Saturday, January 21, 2012

#TwitterRoadRace 5k

Twelve races for least one per month. Seems like an easy goal that has a nice ring to it: 12 for 12. Other than the fact that January and February have the tendency to be a bit snowy and cold. Never mind that Central Indiana has just finished several weeks with temperatures in the 40's-50's. Today was the day of my TwitterRoadRace 5k. Mid December I signed up for the virtual race that Doug Cassaro set up using Twitter.

Last night the freezing rain, snow, and ice arrived to cover the roads. Also awoke to a 4 degree windchill. Driving to Muncie to join a running group was not going to take place this week. So, after waiting for the temps to rise to a nice 19 degrees this afternoon, and being very excited to see a snowplow come down my road, I started to bundle my layers and prepare to trudge through the snow.

How does one run on a snowy, slushy, and possible icy road? With Yak Trax! But I don't have those. Wait! I do happen to own an "off brand" called Winter Trax!! Received these as a Christmas present several years ago. They are fantastic for walking across icy parking lots and my driveway. Found out today that they do work for running on the road.

This was a real road race with a bib, and over 700 participants around the globe. Support came from all of those tweeting at #TwitterRoadRace and from race director @Seedouglasrun. Even Bart Yasso ran!

Sherberts was my Dad's nickname for me when I was a kid

Look at me go, speeding down the lane

Must have the cheeser moment!
The road before me.

Who made this print? Crazy runner girl wearing winter trax on her shoes.

What made this print? Horse pulling the Amish buggy down the road. Just as I headed out the door, saw the Amish neighbors heading home. Only vehicle encountered was a neighbor driving a tractor. Had to step off the plowed section of the road into a drift to let him pass.

At my finish line

The run was not a speedy venture as I did my warm-up walking as part of the 3.1 miles. There were also pauses along the route to snap several pictures. Found out there are a different set of muscles used when running in the snow & slush. It was akin to running in sand. Overall, I enjoyed my time on the road today (even if the family thought it was nutty) and am happy that I took that step out the door.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Miles go by in 2011

As most of you know, I began walking this year and progressed to beginning to run mid summer. Because my parents used to run & compete in road races, I knew all about tracking mileage and speed. Runkeeper is an interesting freebie app I have on my phone. It uses the GPS to track distance, speed, and route which I can view on the phone or on the website with more details. I had downloaded it soon after the phone purchase to use when we walked the trails at the park. I used it a few times, but that was it.

Somehow I remembered this app when I began walking. I would use it most times I ventured out, but not everytime. Occasionally when there was a certain type of cloud cover it did not want to get a gps signal. Then, there were times I just didn't have any pockets to stash it while I was moving. Most of the summer running shorts only come with a little "key" size pocket...nothing big enough for a phone. I bought a handy dandy Spibelt which is just big enough for the phone, driver's license, and car keys to solve this problem. Still, there were plenty of times I went out and did not keep track of the miles. During several of my races, the days I went out for the mail or paper and went to the corner and back, hiking around in the fall...or just didn't care about time & distance.

Runkeeper was my main tracker with Endomondo as a second app used to track when I walked with family. Their walking pace is slower than my running pace. Wanted to keep my average up :-). Both of these apps have made improvements and upgrades this past year...gps locating works the same on both for me. Both have web sites available to review stats, etc. One advantage I like about Runkeeper is I can put in "notes" for the activity on the phone before I save. Little things like it was windy, my shoe came untied, I did walk/run intervals, hot enough to melt... Runkeeper was my exercise log for the year. One feature recently added is the option of audio cues. It can be set at a distance of your choosing to "voice" your speed, pace, etc. This is handy when running a new area, but not wanting to look at the phone every so often to check time & distance passed.

I had not even planned on adding up my miles until many of my Daily Mile & Twitter running buddies started posting their totals. This made me curious. And that is the point of this post, to state how far I went this year.

Okay, so my total of TRACKED miles for 2011 is 313.83. This includes walking, running, hiking, and biking miles.
Total tracked running miles is 130.3. Not too shabby for taking up running at the end of June.

In case you were wondering, there is no particular mileage goal for 2012. The goal is one special big race, and many smaller ones. And possibly the 12 for 12 (at least one race each month).

Here is to a year of improvement in my times and to continue on the quest of fitness.

Jazz hands!