US Olympic Trials

No, not the track and field trials like most runners, the swimming trials. I am full on obsessed. I have set my DVR to record ALL of the trials. The prelims, the finals, everything.

My swimming obsession isn’t new. And isn’t because of Michael Phelps. I have always been a swimmer. My first swim lesson was a mommy and me class at 3 months old. I started competing at age 9 and swam through high school. I have not been in a pool in over a year, but that doesn’t take away the fact that I love the smell and I could get in and swim 1000 yds. And now I can’t get back in the pool because I quit the gym. I miss it, I do, but I refuse to pay for the gym anymore. I love everything about this. I probably spend too much time on NBCOlympics.com, but I’m okay with that.

These kind of shots are amazing.
Photos from NBC Olympics
I do enjoy this aspect of swimming as well.
I mean, really, we have two of the best swimmers in the world competing against each other before the Olympics even start. The rivalry between these two is good for swimming.

I geek out at the stroke and technique. I am sad at how quickly the hour each evening goes by. And I will continue to obsess over this until the Olympics are over. The stories are great. Seventeen year old Missy Franklin qualified last night. She is 17!  Although it’s sad to see the veterans like Natalie Coughlin getting beat out by the young ones, but they are the new faces of swimming. I will enjoy every moment of my rarely televised sport.

Rock’N’Sole Half Marathon

This was half marathon #13. I decided to go back and look at my list of half marathons. It is pretty exciting to see the progress I have made over not a long time. I ran my first half in August of 2009 in 2:10. This past March (2012) I ran a 1:52. That’s a lot of time to drop.

At this point running 13.1 miles has become pretty normal to me. It’s not a stretch to get to that distance anymore. I can’t believe I’m saying that, but after months and months of training it’s true. This does not mean 13.1 is easy. This does not mean that 13.1 is not an accomplishment because it is. Each one is a new adventure with different goals. I’ve learned that there are ups and downs to races and that not every one is for a PR.

I never planned on really racing this one. Sara and I both decided to just run it. We already both set PRs in the half this year and are at the beginning phases of marathon training.

Sara and Me waving to Marty and Annie. We did not practice our waves.

I met every single goal I set for this race. We had fun. We didn’t die. And we had beer. We also ran over the Hoan Bridge, both directions, made it up Lafayette Hill and got to the finish line. It was a good day and I am so grateful it wasn’t any hotter. The humidity was rough, but we made it.

All smiles once we finished!

It was lots of fun to finally run a half through my city. I haven’t run a half in the city I live in since the National Half in 2010. It was an easy morning and I got to see lots of friends before the start, on the course, and at the finish. I am very grateful for and to the running community in Milwaukee.

I do want to break 1:50. I know I can do it. I just need the right course and the right day. But my training is switching over to marathon training and that is a whole different game.

As always, a huge thanks to the best running buddy I could have ever asked for. Love you Sara.

Something New

I’m in a bit of a running funk right now. I have barely run since Ragnar. I did run the Race for the Bacon 5K and win my age group. That was fun. And I got a super cool pin. And we ate a lot of bacon.

And I got to run another race with Sara.

My something new is MY HOUSE. I closed on my house on Monday. Somehow I am now a homeowner. Not exactly sure how that happened, but I am so excited and I LOVE my house.

So for now I am going to concentrate on getting settled in my house. I will be running the Rock’n’Sole Half Marathon on Saturday. Sara gave me a race plan that I promptly agreed to:  RT @mkemom: @rshill37 Plan: Run. Have fun. Don’t die. Have beer.

How can you argue with that? In addition, Mo will be here this weekend and we get to play, which will of course involve more beer. Probably on my front porch.

Marathon Training: The Beginning

Remember when I signed up for the Lakefront Marathon back in February? So it’s been a few months and while I know it’s out there I haven’t really thought about marathon training. Well that’s not completely true. I have thought about it, but not in the sense that it should start soon. Then Kelsey had to go and tell me it is in 18 weeks. And then Mo blogged about it too. Stupid friends. I was happily living in my own world.

The good news: I have a ridiculous base to go into marathon training with this time. I have run 25-30 miles a week almost every week since November. The only month under 100 miles since October was January. I run 12-14 miles on any given weekend.

The bad news: I have never successfully trained for a marathon. Yes, I have completed one, but I got injured, never ran my 20 mile training run and had to completely change my goals

The good news: I am a strong and smarter runner now. I am not training alone or blindly. In addition to having a running coach I have Sara. Running with Sara is fantastic. I know I have gone on and on about this, but I never truly understood how helpful it is to have a running buddy so well matched to your own abilities.

So in essence I’m not exactly sure when “official” marathon training starts, but it’s going to happen and I am going to be ready for it.

Ragnar Chicago: One week away!

A week from now we will be on the road or gravel path as it may be. Excitement is everywhere: Talking with my team, on twitter, on Facebook, during runs. We are ready.

In this last week before Ragnar just be excited. 

  • Pack, no really, you actually have to pack this week, or at least before Friday morning. Here is my list again.
  • Confirm the van pick-ups
  • Confirm when team members are arriving in Madison
  • Confirm who is packing what as far as van items
  • Check the Race Bible for any changes
  • Double check the runner distances – these can change due to construction
  • Make sure to bring cash or checkbook to pay team members for the van, hotel, shirts, whatever
  • Expect some sort of hiccup between now and the start line on Friday. It’s okay, don’t panic.
  • The official nighttime hours are 7:30PM—6:00AM – make sure you have your safety gear: headlamp, reflective vest, blinky light.
  • Did I mention get excited?

Once again, I am on Team Awesome, you can follow our adventures on twitter @TeamAwesome12.

We hope to see lots of you out there!