Alright, I know I've been absent from the blogosphere as of late. I don't have a complicated reason, except that I've just been dang tired. My wipeoutitis has reared its ugly head as I barrel towards the finish of my marathon training (less than three weeks 'til race day!). I promise I will spend some time over my winter break catching up on everyone's blogs. I have a lot of reading to do! I have several race reports to catch up on and several running related stories for you...
1. Great River Road Run (10 miles)
If you are ever in the STL area during Thanksgiving weekend and want a great way to work off some turkey and pumpkin pie, I highly recommend this race. They shut down a 5 mile stretch of the Great River Road in Alton, IL, for an out and back flat course. The race quite literally runs next to the river, and it's really quite beautiful. Wind was the biggest weather issue that day, but otherwise it was a perfect day for a run. I ran a 20 miler on Thanksgiving, so I took it easy and ran much slower than my regular race pace. I met up with Mr. Snarky and some of his much less snarky friends to run. One of his friends was just returning to running after having a baby, so I stuck with her and we chatted it up along the race course. Yay for new running friends! Another added bonus-you are strategically located to partake in a post-race drink/meal at Fast Eddies...and we took advantage of the opportunity.
2. St. Louis Track Club Frost Bite Series
This is the second year I've participated in the series, and I have to say I'm hooked. The race series combines a long (8K, 10 mile, 20K, Half Marathon, and 15K) and short (3K, 2 mile, 5K, 4 mile, and 3 mile) distance race over 5 weekends during the winter months. If you live in the area, it's a great way to stay in shape over the colder running months. If you are a track club member, the race series only costs $30.00, or $6.00 per race. It's only a couple dollars more per race if you aren't a member. You can't beat those prices! I ran the 8K a few weeks ago as part of a 20 mile training run. I ran into a woman I met at the series last winter, and we spent the race catching up on all of our news from the past year. After we finished, we parted ways and I ran the rest of the 20 miles on my own. The 10 mile race was this weekend. It was 60+ degrees, raining, and VERY windy. It was crazy to be running in shorts at the end of December! I had run another 20 miler a few days before, so I took it easy, but it was a great run and a lot of fun despite the rain and brutal wind.
3. Wipeoutitis update
I don't know if my mind and body blocked out the memory of the exhaustion of the previous marathons, but I do NOT remember being this wiped out. I am so tired I feel nauseous most days. I've had to resort to running some days in the evening just to squeeze in another hour of sleep. Case in point...I went to get my hair cut a few weeks ago. I got dressed in my running gear before I went so I wouldn't have an excuse not to go when I was finished. After Laine finished highlighting my hair, I fell asleep in the chair. When I got my hair washed, I found myself dozing off again. As she was cutting my hair, I had to fight to keep my eyes open. We made jokes about me sliding to the floor and having her have to wake me up to flip me over and cut the other side of my head.
4. Roller Derby
The weather in STL has been absolutely insane. We've gone from single digit temperatures, ice storms, with below zero wind chill factors to 65 degrees, sunny, with freak flash floods thrown in the mix. During the single-digit ice storm phase, I was forced to do the unthinkable. Yes, folks...I ran on a treadmill. As my friend Cheri will attest, treadmills make me a VERY grumpy runner. I whine, I complain, and stomp around, I basically turn into a 3 year old in a mega-power struggle. So, I gathered my strength, stuck out my lower lip (what I apparently do when I pout, according to my parents), got in my car, and slid my way to the Y to do two days of 5 mile runs on the *gasp* treadmill. Luckily, my run club buds were also there for emotional support. We lined up and dominated the row of brand new, shiny treadmills (sounds good, but still sucks). I turned and looked at Cheri, growled, and commenced the torture. Now, it's been a while since I've been forced to run on the torture machines, so I didn't realize they've added some fancy bells and whistles. Treadmills now have the feature where you can program your view (i.e. track, 5 K race course through the trails, etc.), where you are a little red line, moving through the virtual terrain. This is just the treadmill makers' way of teasing you: You're not REALLY out here in the open, in the fresh air, with a mountain view. Yup, you're still stuck on a rubberesque strip revolving around and around in a stinky gym, facing a brick wall....just kidding....sucker!!!!
To pass the time, Cheri and I day dreamed about revising the feature. What if you could have a giant flat screen in front of all the machines that tracked everyone's progress on the same virtual course. Each line would have a corresponding number with the treadmill you were using. I decided it would make it A LOT more interesting and motivating if you could virtually knock your competitors into the course lakes and shrubbery....like we were in one massive virtual roller derby!!! Now THAT I could get into! Ah...good times, good times. Alas, they don't make roller derby treadmills and my two-day stint with torture came to an end when I threw caution to the wind and ran in the cold and ice. I just couldn't do it again. Cheri already has wee ones at home who engage her in power struggles...she didn't need me to virtually push her into a shrubbery too.
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