9/2013 – Where to find me now?

Hey there!

It must be RAGNAR season because every year around this time I get a comments about my Ragnar Relay Packing List or an email with questions. Given that I wrote that post 5 years ago, I felt I should post a little update about where I am now, and where you can (or can’t) find me.

[This first of all required searching the depths of my brain to figure out WTH I would have used as a password as a sophomore in college. I figured it out. It made me laugh.]

[Me, roughly 4  years ago. I can tell I’m sitting in the U of MN Rec Center, which has since undergone major [awesome] changes! Funny – I wore pretty much this outfit yesterday.]

The last post on RunRoamRecycle detailed my switch to self hosting, which was at DrTriRunner.com, later transitioning to theTriathlonRx.com for quite some time. However, if you type in either of those addresses you will find NADA. Unfortunately this last winter I was faced with some privacy issues involving a reader and some pretty unrelenting contact. It was also at a time where I was extremely busy working in the hospital, working in the lab, and school. So I made an impulsive decision, said F IT!!! in that way that only all-caps and 3 exclamation points can convey, and deleted myself from the internet. Didn’t think you could do that, huh? I suppose if the FBI really wanted to find my product reviews, they would have some binary database and could piece it back together. But to the average reader, I was gone.

Unless they were friends with me on facebook or Twitter. Fortunately, this one isolated reader-turned-TOOMUCH was successfully blocked on all other means of contact, and since has been a non-issue.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time off the interwebs, but am happy to be back. The most common thing readers have contacted me about is fibrous dysplasia in athletes, and while I cannot provide any official medical advice, I can share my story and experiences. I am going into my 5th surgery in 5 years, and documenting the journey along the way. I also got many emails from other runners/athletes dealing with various sports related injuries, which further fueled my new venture.

You can now find me at www.offtheDL.com Hope to see you there!

Be fierce. With a smile.

-Erika

Victory Memorial 10K & 5K Race Report

Well… I said I was racing a lot this year, and I wasn’t lyin’! On Labor day I did not one, but two races – the Victory Memorial 10K and 5K – ohhh yes – enter the double headers. This was not your run of the mill lil race – there was some SERIOUS runnin’ going on. Lots of very. competitive. runners. Luckily though, not so many in my age group.

But looking at the results only proves my birthday fear – I will not be so highly ranked once I move up into the next age group! Check out the RESULTS and you’ll see what I mean! For the 10K WOMEN, the top time in the age group ahead of me (20-24) was a freaking amazing finish by Amy Lyons with a time of 36:31. That’s a 5:53 average pace!! Annnd.. look just down a little and there is a new Minnesota record – a 41:12 (6:38 avg) for a 55 year old!! She finished 3 places ahead of me, and MAN was she looking strong! 

So my race: I ran the 10K in 41:33 (6:41 avg pace), which was good enough to get me 20th overall, and 1st in my age group! I won’t even tell you about the 5K, because race it – I did not. I was under the impression that the 10K awards were after the 5K, so I thought WTH, I’ll do the 5K as a cool down. It was only 5 extra bucks for the double header, so I paid, got a 2nd number, and hopped to it! I was running with two other ladies from  one of my training groups who had also run the 10K, and were were running pretty easy. Then at mile  2.5, Jackie reminded me that there was a prize for best overall combined time for anyone doubling that day, and she suggested I go for it. So with only half a mile left, I kicked it up a bit and ran in with an average of 7:20. Unfortunately, I wasn’t elligible for the double-header category since I wasn’t preregistered for both. But apparently there were no 19 and under females running the 5K faster than I did, because I took that age group too!

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getting my gift certificates!

OK.. enough about races – I’m going to give you the whole shebang in photos, and get to homework! I have two posts that I really want to get out, but I thought I better post this before it’s like a month later!

 

The rest of team MED (which is now MED-B) also ran the 10K!

The rest of team MED (which is now MED-B) also ran the 10K!

 

Gettin' pumped

Gettin' pumped pre-10K

Stretchin out the muscles pre-5K

Stretchin out the muscles pre-5K

 

Two of the ladies and I.. oh J, sorry ;)

Two of the ladies and I.. oh J, sorry 😉

Bringin in the 5K

Bringin in the 5K

And that is that my friends! I honestly had no expectations going into this race.. I legit went to bed at 1:15 because I was hanging out with the guys downstairs, and I woke up at 6:00. But hey – adversity training, right? 

No more races (that I know of!) until TWIN CITIES MARATHON which is only 24 days away! I have my last 20 miler this Saturday which I’m super pumped for, and then I belllieve I’m headed up to watch/cheer/volunteer at the Square Lake Triathlon. Several of my TEAMMATES are competing in the half course! More on that to come…

And one quick word – SCHOOOOL. ?!?! Ahhh! Back at it. I am having some class scheduling/changing/dropping/switching difficulties ATM, but other than that, good stuff. Feels great to be back!

Love you all, and see you soon.

-E

p.s. I feel like cookies would be a very very good pre/post run fuel! And perfect for being on the go at school!

St. Croix Valley Triathlon Race Report!

Goooood lord. It is only like 3:45 and I swear it feels like 8:00! It’s not that I really feel tired, but it has definitely been a long day! Here we go.. start to finish! The St. Croix Valley Triathon:

I decided not to go out to Hudson last night. For some reason I had in my mind that it took like an hour and a half to get there.. but then I put it in googleMaps and it said it only took 40 minutes. So I nixed the plans with my mom’s friend (where I was planning on staying overnight) and decided I’d just drive out in the morning. It was a early morning! I haven’t seen 4:30am in a looong time. But it was well worth it – my mom’s friend has a dog, and I have allergies, and that wouldn’t have been a good idea the night before a race!

So I was out the door by 5:15, stopped for coffee (I had my coffee pot all set up to brew this morning.. but I set it for 5PM instead of 5am! doh!!) and was on my way! It was pitch black when I left, but I got to watch the sun rise as I was driving east to Hudson! SO PRETTY! Hhaha annnnd.. I swear the only people out on the roads at that time were people going to the tri! Every  car I saw had a racing bike on the back or a TriHarder bumper sticker… it made me smile every time!

 Got there, got my transition area all set up, got my packet, my “small” shirt (which goes down to my knees… who makes these!?) and got tatted…

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and then had a while to wait for the start. I was nervous because my feet and hands were COLD. I’ve always had bad circulation.. but i was thinking if they’re cold now and I haven’t even touched the water yet.. then I’m in trouble! The water even looked cold!

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The race started at 7:30, but since I was in wave 5 (women 29 and under) I didn’t start until like 7:45. There were some competitive looking girls out there.. but at this race they didn’t mark your age on your calf like they usually do, so I couldn’t tell who I was up against! Maybe a good thing… 

The gun went off and so did we. The water was actually not bad – I think it was probably about 70°.. so the water temperature was not the problem. Especially because I did this in more clothes than I did Green Lake… I was wearing a full length tri top and shorts. Little teeny shorts.. but shorts none the less. 🙂 Honestly though.. I think I panicked a bit in the lake. Open water swimming is really different than swimming in a pool.. and the sighting thing just wasn’t working for me today. I had to breast stroke a bit in the beginning just to calm myself down, and by the time I reached the turn around bouey I was pretty much fine. It definitely slowed my swim time down though!

Thennnn the bike. I have two conflicting factors here when I try to compare to my last tri: 1. I was on a much better/faster bike. 2. I. was. FREEZING. I said the water temperature wasn’t a problem.. but the air temperature was. It was still too early for the sun to shine on the road, so the air temp was still like 55°. Take that, plus being soaking wet, plus going 22 mph = froze my ass off. Hahha I can’t wait to see the pictures from the professional photographer.. my face was like locked in one position that I’m sure was disgusting very attractive… I’ll have to wait and see. 

And then, my love – the run. This was a 4 mile run.. where as Green Lake was just a 5K. I actually like this run way better though. And finally my face and arms and core warmed up because the sun was finally peaking through! My legs from the knees down though were just numb.. it was ridiculous! But I knew they were still attached, and damnit, they had a job to do, so I got to it. I definitely started out slower than usual, but ended up picking it up a lot at the 2 mile turn around. My time out was 15:42 (!!! wtf) and coming back it was 13:44. All for a grand average pace of 7:21 (according to Gomer). Which for me.. is still ridiculously slow for a 4 mile run. But with frozen feet and being a newbie up and coming triathlete, I’ll take it. 😉 My friend Cyndi is the only other person I knew up there… she is from the Splashers team I train with (hard core name.. no?) and she is a great athlete! She says she is not a runner.. but I told her that is the great amazing thing about individual sports. You can be whatever you want to be. You can improve, and it’s easy to forget that sometimes! I love this lady’s attitude. She is definitely kick ass and will help remind you that you are too!

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My total time was something along the lines of 1:20:xx… PickleEvents does the chip timing and they haven’t posted the results online yet. What I can say is that despite feeling like it wasn’t my best race.. it definitely wasn’t.. I took 2nd in my age group (and contradictory to my age-group-upgrade-fears, would have taken 2nd in the 20-25 devision too). I came home with an amazing medal engraved with St. Croix Valley Tri a .. stop watch? Mmm yep. Not kidding. Note to Race Director.. hopefully you’ll see this somehow – I LOVED your race. Everything. But a stop watch? Even Green Lake did medals.. they were just dog tags engraved but actually I like that the best! Then you can actually wear it without looking like you’re trying to be a show off. I can promise you that I wont be wearing my St. Croix Valley stop watch out to dinner tonight. My mom actually said she needs one for school, so…. !! 

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The after celebration was nice – it was a Luau theme so they had leis and pineapple and what not.. but the main “event” for the food was pulled pork. I am not one of those PITA vegetarians, but I would have appreciated sommmme sort of meat-free option! I wasn’t kidding about the shirt being huge.. and I hate that because half the point of doing a race is to get free shirts.. and I like to be able to WEAR them! Here is me, trying to jump up on my couch before Photo Booth counts down…

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Please ignore the crazed look on my face.. and I promise. I am completely G rated in posting this.. there are shorts on under there! And Chad.. this is all for you buddy – the shorts:

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I was actually looking for racing buns.. but no where keeps them in stock! They’re mostly for team orders.. so this was the closest I could get. And I LOVE them. And bought two pairs. 🙂

I met my mom and some family friends at Dunn Bros on my way home. It was really nice to see them all.. and MAN was I ready for a cup of coffee!! That brings me to here.. all done with a triathlon before 9:30am and saying now what? for the rest of the day! I think I am meeting up with someone to buy the calc book I need for this year (craigslist – in case I go missing) (Kidding!! Sorta… =/ ) and then I think I am going to go spend the rest of the day helping my mom set up for our YARD SALE we are having in two weeks. So this my friends concludes my St Croix Valley Tri race report, and overall I’d say it was a success. If I’m in town, I’ll be back there next year!

I’m out!

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See you soon love bugs. Race on Monday.. school starts Tuesday! YIKES! Live it up while you can!

Ragnar Relay Packing List

I’m not quite ready to post my Ragnar race recap just yet, but I can say WOW it was so much fun! I am 50% exhausted and 50% still pumped! We are already planning next year’s race. In the mean time… I’ll leave you with this:

 

When I was trying to think of everything I needed to bring along for the Ragnar Relay.. I felt like I kept forgetting things, or thinking of new things! The whole trip I found myself saying, “I wish I would have thought of that!” I had searched on Ragnar’s site for a “packing list”, but all I came up with were some suggestions of a few food items, and the mandatory items you needed to run (reflective vest, headlamps, etc.)

 

I’m putting this list up so that if anyone else is googling trying to find a Ragnar packing list, they might stumble upon this and I can be of help! Of course not all of these things are necessary, and some of them are just personal preference items that I wanted to have along, but at least it’s a good place to start!

 

CLOTHES:

  • Running top (3 – one for each leg)
  • Running shorts (3 – one for each leg)
  • Socks (3 pairs)
  • Shoes (I recommend 2 pairs in case it is raining during one of your legs)
  • Sports bras (3)
  • COMFY CLOTHES (to wear in between legs)
  • Sweatshirt
  • Sweatpants
  • T-shirt
  • Flip flops
  • Hat/visor
  • Running belt
  • Jacket or windbreaker

 

COSMETICS:

  • Baby wipes
  • Deodorant
  • IcyHot
  • Ibuprofin
  • Inhaler (if you have asthma)
  • Contact case / solution / glasses (if you wear them)
  • Hair brush (hair gets super tangled in the humidity)
  • Bandaids
  • TUMS
  • Toothpaste / toothbrush (your teeth start to feel furry after all that Gatorade)
  • Shampoo / soap (several of the major exchanges have OUTDOOR showers. Read: cold)

ETC:

  • Garmin/watch
  • Cell phone
  • RACE BIBLE (at least 2 copies – one per van)
  • Reflective vests (2+ – Mandatory. At least one per van, but they get sweaty – I would bring your own)
  • Head lamps (2+ – see above)
  • Flashers for back side (2+ – see above)
  • Camera & batteries
  • iPod
  • Sleeping bag or blanket
  • Pillow (though you’re not going to be getting much sleep!) 
  • Ear plugs (see above)
  • Money
  • FOOD & BEVERAGE (see below)
  • Swiss army knife
  • First aid kit
  • Towel
  • Glow sticks
  • Sidewalk chalk (to write on the road ahead of your runners.. it’s so fun to see a message to kick a$$ when you’re dying on mile 7 trying to peak the hill!)
  • Book / magazine (I brought them.. but honestly you’re having too much fun with your team to have time to read)
  • Walkie Talkies (if you want em’… cell phone coverage is spotty)
  • Cooler
  • Sharpie (I wanted it.. I feel like it’s always a good thing to have along!)
  • Window paint markers (for your van)
  • Safety pins (for pinning on numbers.. taking care of blisters.. you get the picture)

 

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my lovely artwork

 

FOOD & BEVERAGE:

  • Water bottles (bring more than you think you’ll need. You’ll need them.)
  • Gatorade or Powerade
  • Bananas
  • Bagels
  • Peanut butter
  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Bars (clif/power/granola/etc.)
  • Gu/Sports beans/Shot Blocks/etc.
  • Raisinettes
  • Cereal
  • String cheese
  • Crackers
  • Gum
  • Trail mix
  • Pretzels
  • COFFEE (you don’t need to have it with you, but if you are one of those people who need coffee to keep going, make sure you have a plan of where you will get it!)

 

the goodie bag

the goodie bag

 

 

Like I said, some of these things are just things I wanted to have along for personal comfort. You obviously don’t need chalk to write on the road, but it is something I wish I had brought along when I saw “Kick It In!!” written on the road ahead of me! 

I’m off to bed mis amigos. I started my first leg at like 3:00 yesterday afternoon, ran somewhere around midnight, and finished my last leg at like 9:00 this morning (Saturday). There were probably about 3 hours of sporadic sleep thrown in there.. and as far as I’m concerned, it feels like its already Tuesday. 

And I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Ragnar Relay – Great River 2009 – prerace!

Want to get this up super fast.. intended on actually posting about it before I left, but you know how that goes! 

Tomorrow at 7am I’m off to go relay it up from WI to MN – the Ragnar Great River Relay! (Actually.. it is starting in Winona MN this year due to some construction or something, crossing over to WI, and then ending in Minneapolis.) We’re a regular 12 person team.. no ultras here this year! I’m super excited but to be honest the logistics of the whole thing are kinda stressing me out. Either way, I know it will be a ton of fun! I have enough food to feed an army (of one.. ME!), 3 sets of running clothes, 2 pairs of shoes, my camera, 8 batteries and 2 flash cards, and a crapload more! 

I promise many many photos and a full recap when I get back! Have a great weekend everyone!

-E

Twin Cities Marathon Countdown!

 

Hard to believe, but Twin Cities Marathon is only 7 weeks away! And just now as I wrote that.. I said WTH. 7 weeks is a lonnng time. Honestly though, I know it’s going to fly. My schedule for the next month is crazy busy. I’m traveling the next three weekends, and then school starts up right after that! 

 

What really prompted this post was this morning’s run – I did the first 20 miler of this training period. If you haven’t read my blog before, I’ll fill you in pretty quickly: in December I had 3 pins put in my hip, and then in April I got hit by a car while running. SO… after PT and rehab I’ve pretty much had to start from scratch with my running. I went from being a 3:19 marathoner to a maybe-I-should-only-do-3 runner pretty quickly.

 

 

the pins of doom

the pins of doom

 

 

 

With caution and guidance from my medical team, I built back up. Slow as the process was, it was doable. My surgeons told me I could run again. That I can. What they didn’t make any promises about was racing, and that brings me to where I am right now. 

 

Initially, I had some pretty high hopes from TCM. Ultimately I want to run a sub 3 some day, but for Twin Cities I was thinking I’d shoot for more like a 3:15 or 3:10. Then surgery happened and a car happened and I found myself needing to reevaluate. Right now, I would be stoked to pull a 3:19 again. For today’s 20 miler I held an 8 minute pace (which would be like a 3:30 marathon) but if I’m honest with myself, I don’t know if I could have gone a whole lot faster. Not to mention, I would have still had a 10K to do to finish. 

 

My “plan” thus far for October 4th is to line up with the 3:20 pace group. If I feel better than that at the half, I’ll take off. If I feel like I need to pull back, I’ll pull back. The human body is an amazing thing even without running 26.2 miles, so the fact that it will even still let me do that with three pins in my hip is truly a blessing. I will let my body dictate the rest. 

 

So I guess my point of this whole thing is that it’s OK to change your goals. It’s OK to reassess plan. For anyone who is more towards the type-A side of the spectrum (coughMEcough) this can sometimes be a difficult notion to accept. It’s either black or white, right or wrong. I like to know the schedule ahead of time, and I want to stick to that schedule damnit, so don’t go changing the game plan! 😉 Hahha honestly though… it does get better. Sometimes I need to force myself to be flexible, and this is one of those times. Ya feel me?

 

So I leave you here my friends. Gotta work dinner tonight, but just a short shift. I’m going to try and get a nap here before that. 🙂 For any readers that are still around.. I know a lot of you are runners – what do you have on your race calendar? I’ll try and post mine soon – I have a lot coming up! Trying to fit in whatever I can before my birthday.. ie before I move up into the next age group!

 

-E

 

P.S. My dad visited! And I’m going out to see him two weekends from now. Here’s an update on our tat’s 😀

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*ETA* Run To The Finish is probably the greatest. I hope I can do something like this on MY birthday!!

shake ya money maker

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHpMYR9wVaU (for the readers who don’t have a secret affair with pharrell)

I actually really didn’t (/don’t) like that song when it came out. The lyrics are pretty lame. But Pharell.. and that face.. ahh!!

ANYWAYS, the money maker title comes from the fact that makin money is like my job right now (oh wait.. aside from school..) because I came to the sad realization that many things in life cost money (… doh!) and although I have a decent safety stash in my bank account, I am really terrible with spending money. I haaaate it. I’m not like so frugal that I won’t spend money at all, but when it comes to buying things for myself, I usually find a way to talk myself out of it. Either it’s “I have enough running clothes” or “I can run the lake for free, why would I pay to race it?” 

Wow.. that was a tangent. What I was going to say right after “makin money is like my job right now” is that  I spent part of today down at Brigham & Women’s Hospital participating in an asthma study. And an asthma study that pays! Today I was paid for basically just filling out forms, and getting myself down there, which was like a 15 minute walk in the gorgeous sun. Next time I will be paid for letting them induce an asthma attack in me, which doesn’t sound as fun as just filling out forms. Luckily, they jack me up with albuterol to bring my lungs back to normal after the attack, so it can’t be that bad. And hey.. I’ve had enough asthma attacks on my own, and no one pays me for those! 😉

And the other sentence that was supposed to come after “spent part of today down at Brigham & Women’s Hospital participating in an asthma study” was that I got paid, and I used that money to register for the Loco Luv2Run 5K! This will be my first “real” race now that I’m back in action. It is also the day before the Boston Marathon, so maybe this will help ease my pain from not running. 

No joke.. letting Boston go this year is the hardest thing I’ve ever not done. 

Anyways – this race – I’m really excited!! This adds one more race to what is my current/probable race calendar for 2009:

  • Great River Ragnar Relay (3 6-mile legs over 24 hours)
  • Lake Waconia Triathlon (the running leg)
  • Hennipen Lake Classic Double Header (10K + 5K)
  • Urban Wildland Half (Half.. claro)
  • Loco Luv2Run (5K)

That pretty much gets me through the end of the summer! I haven’t started looking at races once school starts up again in the fall, because I don’t really know what my situation will be at that point. I have to hop on it soon though and get my registration in for Ragnar and the Waconia Tri.. because one of the things I hate dislike the most is paying a late fee! 

Time to go meet this kid for some Caf time.. I don’t know if I like the kid more or the caf? Haha oh life… there is this little love triangle going on here in Boston, and it’s throwing me off big time. When it rains it pours. And that’s the end of that!

Love yall.
-E