Weekly Wrap Up-My Random Thoughts From This Week

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I don’t really have much to report on “race wise” but I am still trying to keep up with always posting a new blog on Sunday’s. I am actually quite shocked that I have kept up so well with it since starting this blog, as I mentioned in early posts that “journaling” was never really my thing. So the fact I am still at this almost two years and counting is amazing!

This past week brought some unseasonably warm December weather for Lethbridge (low 50s on Friday!) and then a pile of snow yesterday. Go figure. I went on an awesome 8 mile run Friday to take advantage of the weather. It was my first run with my new pair of shoes…aren’t they pretty!?!

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My RunStreak is now 47 days strong (will be 48 after a quick run this afternoon!). I think yesterday was the most comedic of the runs, as I did 1 mile on the WCHS treadmill….with my dog and two cats in the room. Why? Well, we had an open house from noon till two and I had to get the pets out of there. So taking them to work was the logical solution. I watched them in the mirror as I ran the mile and holy crap, they were confused in there. They were much more at ease once we got to my classroom. I Spy a little orange cat…..

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I also received my tentative training plan for the BMO Vancouver Full Marathon, which I am running on May 3rd. This blog will definitely focus a lot on my training for this race, as I attempt to try and qualify for Boston. I will talk more about the issues I have had in attempting before in the past year in a later post, but I can say that I feel very positive about my chances after seeing this plan. I had Dean Johnson, of RunDeanRun a local Lethbridge coach, make my training plan. He took my previous race times into account and customized my plan quite nicely. He did tell me that the plan is “pretty aggressive” and that’s what I need!

I have one last race this month, and that is the New Years Eve Resolution Run 5km in Red Deer, Alberta. I was hoping to find a race during Christmas week in Milwaukee, but apparently none exist. Oh well, I’ll just have to go on traditional training runs while home for Christmas. I may do a non-traditional run next Monday, though, while at our station stop in Minneapolis, MN. I need to keep that RunStreak going, and the Amtrak stops over there long enough that I could bolt off the sleeping car and get in a mile before we leave again…that could prove for an interesting story!

And in conclusion to this weeks random thoughts and stuff, RunDisney picked me as their “Fan of the Week” on Facebook. I had submitted my Dopey Challenge photo last week and they picked me! No, I don’t win anything for this, but it is pretty damn cool if you ask me! Have a great week everyone! The holidays are right around the corner!

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Santa Shuffle 5km 2014 Recap

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Yesterday, I participated in the Santa Shuffle 5km. It is a “fun run” and it is not chip-timed. This event is hosted by Running Room, and just like their Hypothermic Half and Resolution Run events, it is held in various locations all over Canada. The event is ran over at Nicholas Sheran Park, which is less than a mile from where we live, so it makes for an easily accessible event. I also registered early enough so it was just a $25 entry fee, which would include a finisher medal (a rare thing for 5km events). I opted to not purchase the t-shirt (yeah, don’t need another long sleeve cotton shirt).

I decided to tack on some extra mileage to my run that day, wanting to total 8 miles, so I went out at 9:15 am and put in 3.3 miles before the 10am start of the event. After the event, I would cool down jog what I needed in order to reach 8 miles. I made it over to the start area at 9:52. People were milling around pretty clueless by the start. They had a 5km and a 1km “Elf Walk” starting at the same time. When they called out to start in one minute, everyone around me was questioning “what the hell is the route?” Some older woman volunteer was then honestly in THE MIDDLE of the pack of people waiting to start trying to explain this half-ass planned 5km route around the lake. While she was in the middle of explaining, they started the race. Needless to say, that isn’t the best organization.

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We were off….it was perfect weather for running (above freezing!) and sunny, very little wind. However, the snow we had had the previous week was just melting, and was still drifted and packed down in spots on the trail. The route would be two laps around the lake, with an additional straight-away added each time once you made it around to near the start. You would turn south and head down the path to where it reached the end of the park, then make a quick almost dead-stop turn, where you would the route again.

The first mile brought runners to this quick turn, and I had ran it in 7:07. At this point, I was actually the leader. Not the female leader, but the main leader. Yeah—it was a small race. I decided I wanted to hold this position because it’s fun to beat guys. Doing the second lap was more challenging, because you had to dodge families coming back from the out-and-back Elf Walk, plus the walkers (who usually had their dogs too) doing the 5km. My feet were feeling heavy with the snow stuck to the bottom, but I kept pushing. Mile 2 slowed to 7:19 and mile 3 even more to 7:32. I finished the event (which my GPS had at 3.18 miles) in 23:11…quite a bit slower than my 5km personal best from the Mustache Dache in November (21:08) but was still good enough for a 1st Place Finish.

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I was very surprised when I received a small “gold medal” for being first place female, in addition to my participant medal. Sure, my husband made fun of it when I got home later because it is pretty tiny, but I thought that was nice and not expected since the race wasn’t officially timed. That is my huge complaint with these “Fun Run’s” and most of the events Running Room hosts nationwide—-they aren’t timed. Why? I have no clue. I am guessing that if I asked them, I’m sure they would say “Well, we want to just encourage people to come out and run without pressure of being timed.” I think it is because they are being cheap and don’t want to pay a timing company to come out and run the event. Is that harsh to say? Maybe. But it is pretty sad when the largest running store in Canada can’t even do an officially timed event.

That being said, with the lack of organization and perks to this race, I will not be registering for it again. I would recommend it for families because of the Santa theme, but for anyone else (even a beginner runner) do yourself a favor and choose a better 5km for your first event. I can give you suggestions to local races that have better experiences than this for a 5km. And hint—none are put on by Running Room.

And with that crabby post, Happy Sunday!

So…About This Past Month….

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I wrote about my overall alterations I was going through with my eating/drinking/running habits. Well, I can say that the RunStreak is still alive and well (35 days strong…even just got back from a 3 mile run at 7:45 am this morning in -11F temperatures-probably not the healthiest or safest running conditions, but I ran!). This RunStreak has been vital to me staying positive and happy during this seemingly tough stretch—reaching Christmas break while teaching some heavy-duty Math courses, trying to overhaul my nutrition….and, add in the fact that Dan and I bought a new house! We take possession on January 15, 2015…it is not conditional on the sale of our current one, but selling it before moving would be epically awesome. Just trying to sell during the arrival of winter and the holiday season is a whole different ball game.

I am struggling, though, with longer runs. While it is not necessary for me at this time (no “big” event coming up that I need, let’s say, a 10-miler in the weekend), I just feel lazy with my three milers. And winter is a tough time for finding races in Alberta! I don’t even care if they are legit, Chip-timed things…I need some gritty “underground” events to keep me motivated. Likewise, I need marathon club to start STAT. It doesn’t start until the weekend of January 24th….which I won’t even be at since I’ll be doing my Spartan Races in California then…so I will have to do the first weeks’ distances the week before. After California, I plan on going to both Saturday & Sunday’s run….do the full marathon training distance on Saturday, and the half training distance in Sunday. Having these routes pre-planned for me, plus the camaraderie of a group of other die-hards, gets me fired up and I am better at sticking to my training plans! This will hopefully lead to me reaching my BQ in Vancouver!

I have already day-dreamed about additional races to register for this coming 2015. I am currently registered for the Spartan Super & Sprint in Temecula (January), Hypothermic Half Calgary (February), Moonlight Run (March), Vancouver Full (May) and Spartan Beast in Montana (May). The more I can register for, the better, as I have come to find out I thrive on pushing myself to my limits. Ten-Mile Road Race, Woody’s RV 10km, any local 5km races I can get my hand on…also deciding if I want to go for Trifecta status in Canada for Spartan Race (already am in the US) Pushing myself to the limits is what I did this past month, but not necessarily in regards to running. I attempted to cut alcohol out of me “diet” and also overhaul my eating. The eating of crappy snacks can be eliminated by me just not buying the shit. The biggest offender-TOSTITOS. Oh my god, I love my chips and salsa and sour cream. And I used to NEVER eat sour cream until University….must have been the fact that the food at Whitney Center tasted “that good” that I needed to add sour cream. I improved quite a bit with my snacking, and I am trying to make Dan and I better evening meals. With Dan not working as late of hours during the winter, he can also pitch in and cook. We have tons of fish in our deep freeze, which were all caught by Dan’s dad…it is just now trying to find different ways to cook it all so we don’t get bored with it.

And the alcohol? Ok. It was going to be a two month dry-spell, with the exception of Tyranena Beer Half and Christmas. However. I love beer too much. Dan loves beer too much. And we have a very pricey craft-beer Advent Calendar to start tomorrow. Ok, that isn’t the real reasons why the two months became just one. During this last month, I realized how good my body felt during the week as I was working out. I have been increasing my muscle mass steadily, as I have been getting into the fitness center before school twice a week, where I do a lot of arm and core workouts, courtesy for Shannon and JJ. While I had been doing it sporadically in September and October, I really tried during my “dry-spell” in November. I can see, and feel, the difference. I now recognize what I need to intake and not take in my body on a day-to-day basis, and I also have realized the levels of moderation I need to take into account given the results I seek to obtain. Before it was always “I run so I can eat and drink what I want.” Now, I am going to be running, lifting and more and seeing more results by making small and steady changes in the diet realm. Sure, if I nixed beer out of my diet completely, maybe something amazing would happen FAST. But I enjoy beer for the taste and the variety—not just because it is alcohol. So, the amount I take in now will be substantially less than I used to a month ago. And I know it’s for the better.

I could ramble on and on about more of the crazy stuff going on in my head—what I want to accomplish, how I think I can get there, training frustrations I have had, and more. But I’ll save that for another time. Until then…GO PACK GO! (Halftime of the GB vs NE game… 23-14!)

Claus Cause 2014 Recap

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Hi everyone! Only behind by one race recap, phew…so that’s what I’m going to talk about tonight! On Saturday, November 15th, I participated in the annual Claus Cause 10km. I did this event last year, and you can read about the wacky weather that occurred in my post from last year. Claus Cause 2013This year, was just as crazy….but unlike last year where the snow came in after the race, the ice and cold was already evident that morning.

I bundled up quite a bit for this race, though I knew I would end up warming up rather quickly. Midway through I would end up ditching my outer layer of mittens to just be left with stretchy mitts, but all my layering was necessary for the beginning. Maybe I spent too much time over analyzing what I was going to wear because I made my seemingly consistent mistake of leaving my house too late, thus arriving and parking at the last minute. While I am always very early and relaxed for races outside of Lethbridge, I am just apparently terrible at getting to local races early. I jogged up to the start area, dropped off my food donation for the Lethbridge Food Bank, and weasels my way into the start corral near the front…all with about four minutes to spare.

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It was cold. How cold was it?!?….I think it was around 6 degrees Fahrenheit at race start (9:00 am) which is a very, very, very cold -15 Celsius. The course was quite a bit different that last years, as we were starting and finishing at Helen Schuler Nature Centre. While we would run on the same trails as last year, there would be some different looping to make up the distance.

I started off with a vengeance, maybe because I was so damn cold and wanted to warm up, running a 7:01 mile. The 10km and 5km started at the same time, and since I had positioned myself near the front I had good spacing around me right away, which allowed me to run such a fast first mile. Mile two and three slowed, with a 7:28 and 7:19. After mile three, I was wishing I had signed up for the 5km, because breathing in the cold air just hurt.

Mile four and five was where we had split off from the pack of 5km runners to head down past the water treatment plant and to the turnaround. I wasn’t really sure where the turnaround was, but when I got to it (past Lynx Trail and before the bridge) I almost came to a complete stop going around the pylons. Ooof…it would be hard to pick the pace back up again. I ran mile four and five in 7:30 and 7:26.

The last stretch was hard. My legs weren’t really giving out on me, but I thought I had something stuck in my shoes. Turns out, when I finished, I realized I had nothing stuck in the tread but it was just that my feet were so cold they were tingling. Probably on the edge of hypothermia, who knows, but at least I had worn two layers of socks. As we headed back towards the nature centre, my one complaint about the course came up—the 90 degree turn which led to a 50foot straightaway, three pylons to turn around, and then back. I slowed so much here, because the ice was just ridiculous. I had to stutter step and it really threw off my stride. But at least I knew the finish was ahead. I pushed towards the High Level Bridge and made my way to the finish line—1st place female in the 10km was mine! I finished in a 45:50!

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I was very happy with my finish time, which was my second-best 10km time! (My 10km personal best was set last year at the same event!). I really like the 10km distance, but don’t get to do enough of them. I was feeling very positive after this race, and I already decided that after my quest for Boston and training for the BMO Vancouver Full passes, I will focus a lot more on 10km events. I would really like to break 45 minutes!

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Runners Soul presented age group awards inside (thankfully!) and raffle prizes pretty quickly after the events. They had the cute gingerbread “medals” again this year, and lots of snacks to partake in. I look forward to this event every year, as it really is the last chip-timed event of the year in town. I know the weather can always be a crap-shoot at this time of the year, but that’s fine-registering for this race gets me out the doors and running…no excuses!

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Mustache Dache 5km Milwaukee-Race Recap

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I last wrote about my Tyranena Beer Half Marathon which was held on Saturday, November 8, 2014. That race was all about fun and helping Kirby get her best half marathon time (which did happen!). The next day, because of my planning, we had registered for another race…sort of my own mini “Challenge” weekend (Dumbo Double Dare anyone?). I had found while searching through Milwaukee area events that the Nationally held “Mustache Dache” would be stopping in Milwaukee on Sunday, November 9th. Of course we had to sign up! I told Kirby we were doing it (she was a little uncertain about this given that we would have done the half the day prior) and I encouraged my friend Maureen and her husband-to-be Ryan to sign up too. Before we knew it, 8:20 am Sunday rolled around and Maureen & Ryan were at my mom’s door to pick us up and head downtown!

I was looking forward to this race for three reasons. 1) I would get to do a 5km right in downtown Milwaukee, something I never have gotten to do. 2) I would get to do it with some of my best friends! And 3) I wanted to break my 5km personal best of 22:09, which was from the Milwaukee Brewers Sausage Race 5km from August 2003.

The day before was chilly for Tyranena, and today was no different. Add the fact the wind was coming off of Lake Michigan and it felt even colder. The race was said to be held at Veterans Park, which YES, it was. But we were all idiots and just assumed that meant starting at the War Memorial. So we assumed we would need to park in a structure. We decided to drive past the memorial to see where the race would be, and everything seemed desolate. No one was anywhere to be found. It was 8:50 am, and the race was scheduled for 10 am. We drove around a bit more and headed toward the kite stand at McKinley Marina (everyone back home knows what that is!) and VOILA! There was a small assembly of volunteers and a DJ setting up, and an empty parking lot to park in for free!

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We sat in the car bundled until we could go get our registration packets. We also spent this time trying to put on these crappy Dollar Store mustaches Maureen had bought. That at least kept us entertained and gave us some great photo ops!

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Speaking of photo ops, as Maureen and I were sticking out heads through the kite store cardboard sign pretending we were at Disney World using our Photopass, someone walked by and causally shouted “isn’t this race a little short for you Lammers??!!” Wtf. I have a buff on my head and a mustache stuck to my face, my head in a cardboard cut out….who here knows me? I sprint over to the guy who yelled at me, and lo and behold it is my Franklin Track & Field long distance coach from my senior year, Mr. Thorpe. So funny running into him, and nice to chat with him too. He would be running in the race also, but, I then found out he is in charge of the Milwaukee Movember chapter, which raises funds for men’s health and prostate cancer research. Last year they earned over $100,000! Amazing!

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Runners assembled near the start around 9:45 for the National Anthem, which to me was a tad ridiculous, as the Mustache Dache mascot Mo held the flag. Stay weird Milwaukee! Prizes were given to people with the best REAL mustaches and then for the people with the best costumes. Pretty soon we were lined up to the start and off we went!

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I ran off with a mission to complete-break 22 minutes. I would need to run 7:10 minute miles to comfortably do this. I knew mile 1 would be no issue (ran it in 7:00 flat) but mile 2 and 3 would be tough. At this point, the leader was off in the distance, but a man had ran up next to me. The only words I spoke was “I wanna break 22″. He nodded, and we would continue running together for the duration of the race. The wind was a bit tricky in spots, but when the wind was with us, I pushed extra hard to make up for the points for when it was a wall. Mile 2 was completed in 7:07….holy shit I could do this!

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The last mile of the race had you run down a peninsula that jutted out into McKinley Lake Marina, and then you turned around to head back to the finish line at the kite stand. After this turnaround I could see I was in a great spot for first place women. I kept pushing with my eyes on the finish line. Buddy who was next to me sprinted off when we hit the mile 3 marker and I tried to keep up. He got me on that last 0.1 miles, but what I got was a new personal best….21:08 to be exact! 1 minute and 1 second faster than my 11 year old record!

I was ecstatic. I not only beat my best time, but smashed it, and was able to do it while back home in Milwaukee! I got some watered, wandered around and cheered Ryan on into the finish line. He use to run cross country back in the day but hasn’t done much running for some time. Later that morning he would say that he wanted to sign up for more 5km races again!

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Kirby and Maureen had fun too. They used the “Dache” as a time to catch up and chat, as they hadn’t seen each other since my Wisconsin wedding reception in May 2011.

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They did a small award ceremony, where prize winners received a “Mustache Dache” cup. All the medals, shirts and cups were nice, but since this is a national race, they only had the national logo on it, and did not note anywhere that this was in Milwaukee. That is my only “complaint”, albeit a petty one.

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I got called up separately at the start of awards to be recognized as the first place female, so that was cool! I was hoping they would mention I came all the way from Alberta from this, but I should just be happy they could pronounce my whole last name. Funny thing—earlier on they posted printed results as people were finishing. I looked for my name and at first couldn’t find it, as I always look for the longest last name possible. Turns out that apparently on that print out my last name didn’t fit horizontally so it just said ANDREA. On the official results it has everything though!

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So glad I was able to do this race while home and get my friends to tag along too. Afterwards we headed to the Milwaukee Public Market, where I spent way too much money, and to Wicked Hop for brunch, where I ate was too much food (Virgin Bloody Mary with extra toppings, biscuits & gravy, eggs, and a bratwurst patty). But. I think it was all well-deserved!

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Tyranena Beer Run Half Marathon-Race Recap

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When Kirby came to Calgary for my full marathon in June, we came up with the great idea to fly out to Milwaukee in November and run a race together. We had found the Madison Marathon on Sunday, November 9th, but were looking for a half marathon. After a few more weeks of searching, I uncovered the Tyranena Beer Half Marathon, which would be occurring on Saturday, November 8th. I love running, I love beer, I love friends, I love Wisconsin….so we signed up!

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With the race start being 11:30, we didn’t have to leave my mom’s house in Franklin until shortly after 9 am. The drive to Tyranena Brewery is simple-head on the Interstate towards Madison and get off at the Lake Mills exit. We arrived to the brewery at around 10:15 am, and headed into the beer tent for the race packet pickup.

Pickup was a breeze, and in our bags were our shirts, dinner vouchers, race bib and drink tickets. This stuff would be put away in the vehicle until after the race was done, as the real party would occur after the finish line! Kirby was starting to get nervous, as it was pretty chilly out. Even though it was about 43 degrees, I’d bet the wind temperature was much colder. Kirby lived in Arizona the last 7 years, so her body was not used to this standing around in the cold. We hid out in the tent for awhile, then the car, and then we had to get ready for the race.

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The plan for this race was to run together. Kirby would be running her fourth half marathon, with her most recent about a month ago in Nashville, Tennessee. I had been encouraging her this month that she could run a personal best at this race, and I wanted to help her. I had thought her personal best was around a 2:18, so we were going to go for a 2:15. Now, I am fast-forwarding a bit because it was somewhere around mile 10 that she admitted she sort of lied to me and that her unofficial best time was 2:18, from the Phoenix Rock n’Roll Half. It was unofficial because she paused it during a long potty stop, and restarted her watch after the stop. She kept telling me she didn’t want to admit her time to me, and I told her she was an idiot because I didn’t think any less of that time, because it’s awesome! She is a former sprinter, who used to do the 400m in high school in 57 seconds. This girl is a former sprinter now turned casual long-distance runner! I was just happy to be running a race with my good friend!

So her personal best was from the Women’s Running Series Half in Tennessee from the end of September this year, which was 2:24.20. I also told her I would shame her on here for lying to me, because I picked the 2:15 goal based on a 2:18 best time! Part way through the race, I would start making changes to our goal, to eventually just get a personal best…no matter what. Now, I am not a mean friend, really, I am not….because wait until the end of this post.

So the race started and we headed out for our first mile at a great pace of 10:00. It was actually 9:59 and change, but pretty damn close to a perfect 10. The weather was still windy, yes, and cold, yes, and Kirby was cold, though I knew she would warm up. The initial plan was to run around 10:10 min/miles for the first 6.5 miles and then see how she felt. For a 2:15 you would need approximately an average pace of 10:17 minute per mile. I decided to lighten the mood and also take a selfie with Kirby at each mile marker, and she would hold up the mile number with her frozen fingers. These ended up being VERY amusing. Here are the first three miles and some of the pretty views we saw!

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The course was very nice, with some rolling hills through some VERY nice neighborhoods. The view of the lake was gorgeous. The only major hill was at mile 4, but otherwise I found the course pretty comfortable. The wind was bothering Kirby, and the cold air was causing it to be harder to breathe. I tried to be encouraging, and our pace was still on, so all was good. When we exited the lake view and headed towards a farm, the wind started to kick in even more. Miles 4-6 looked like this:

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Kirby was starting to hurt, and I told her it was totally ok if we slowed down. We were now on a gravel path (was a bit boring at first) but I kept just talking to her to keep her occupied. We were still on pace, so slowing for a mile or two would be good for her to catch her breathe. We were now on the Glacial Drumlin Trail, so the wind was blocked from the trees a bit. Miles 7-9 are here:

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So after mile 9 is when the truth came out. Kirby is such a positive person, so she really wanted to keep going at that pace, but I could tell she was hurting. I made the decision we would slow down lots and try for a 2:20 finish, and if not that at least get her under that 2:24. I knew even if she kept a slow shuffle we were set for this because of the pace we held the first six miles. The unfortunate part of the last miles on the course was the boring scenery. You wound through an industrial park and then up into an older neighborhood, down and back up to the brewery entrance. You could not see the brewery at any point until the final turn at mile 13 so it was very tough mentally. Kirby never complained, and the meanest she was during this segment was when she made the face for our mile 12 photo. Here are miles 10-13:

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We finished the 13.1 miles in 2:21.28…new official personal best for Kirby! I was so proud of her! She beat her old personal best by three minutes! So solid! She was so happy to be done though, not going to lie there! We headed into the post-race tent which was filled with bananas, cookies, nuts, chocolate, peanut butter sandwiches and water. And, of course, our medals!

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The major perk of this race was the bang for your buck with post-race party items. We went back to the car to change into warm clothes and headed back to the beer tent. We had two tickets for Tyranena Beer (YUM!) and a catered lasagna dinner. We couldn’t remember what the registration price was, but know it was under $50! Probably around $45. So, a beautiful course, shirt, medal, dinner, two beers, live DJ and a great time at a great price was perfect! The dinner was HUGE and the beers were tasty (remember, I haven’t had a beer in two+ weeks so it was VERY yummy). This was my cheat day, and worth it. The atmosphere was fantastic and we stayed until 4:15, and then it was back to Milwaukee.

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I would recommend this race to anyone within the area. Next year will be the 10th anniversary, and I am sure they will hit it out of the park. The weather could vary from a warm, Indian-summer 61 degrees to a full-blown blizzard, given the time of year, but the show that Tyranena puts on makes it doable! This will be a race experience we will never forget!

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Fly, Run, Fly, Run, Repeat….

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I am in row 2A of this 18-seater aircraft which is about to leave the Lethbridge Airport. Where am I heading? Milwaukee, of course! It is Remembrance Day long weekend, and we have Monday and Tuesday off of work, so this is the perfect getaway weekend. I did the same thing last year when I headed to Disney World for my first RunDisney event-The Wine & Dine Half Marathon. So in order to get the most out of this weekend, I used a half personal day for today (Friday), and now I get to enjoy twelve fun-filled hours of travel. Getting to Milwaukee via air from Lethbridge is such a pain….but I am happy I can use my Airmiles for this flight (trip cost about $160 in taxes only. Round trips!) even though it requires an early flight from Lethbridge (5:20 am), a dumb layover in Calgary and leaving at 10:15 am, then leaving Toronto at 6:20 pm. What a day ahead….

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…But it is worth it! This weekend was first discussed back in June when my friend Kirby came out to Calgary for the marathon. She flew in and did the 10km, while I did the full, and we had a great weekend. Kirby is a friend from my University of Wisconsin-La Crosse days, and was one of my bridesmaids. She grew up about 40 minutes from me, so she is also a Wisconsin girl. We wanted to head back not just for a Wisconsin weekend, but a run weekend!

On Saturday, we will be running in the Tyranena Beer Half Marathon, out in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. Kirby has ran 3 half marathons, with her best time around 2:18, so we will run together on Saturday as I try to get her to 2:15! She is nervous about the cold, because while she grew up in it, she has been in Arizona since we graduated University! She is already in Wisconsin as I type this, and she told me she grabbed any clothing she owned that is remotely close to cold-weather wear! I told her that the cold will make her run faster as she will want to get more layers on!

In coinciding with my food/beverage overhaul, I am allowing myself the splurge of two beers after the race Saturday. Oh my god, those beers are going to be delicious. The beverage portion of my two-month experiment has actually been going smoothly—it is the food that isn’t. I am great with my whole-grain cereal/fruit/coffee breakfast and packed lunch…but dinner is a disaster. This week has been all over the place, with late nights at work and first aide recertification in the evening, so my dinners have not been the healthiest. And let’s be honest—a weekend in Wisconsin is never full of healthy food. I eat anything and everything I can’t get my hands on here.

Back to the running—so we are not just doing the Beer Half on Saturday, but we are also doing a 5 km on Sunday! It’s like a reverse RunDisney challenge, with a race two days in a row, but the longer distance first! A little over a week ago, I found some information about a 5km run down at Milwaukee’s lakefront—The Mustache Dache. It is a nationwide event, with runs happening in about a dozen cities. The name says it all-mustaches are encouraged, and this is a fun 5km! Since it is Movember, this run fundraised for prostate cancer research. I am really looking forward to this, as I have not done a “themed” run outside of Disney! And it won’t just be Kirby running on Sunday, but my friend Maureen and her fiancĂ©e Ryan are too! Kirby and Maureen are going to walk it, while Ryan and I push ourselves. He is like 6 ‘5″ though….so one of his strides will be 8 of mine.

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If you had read my Two-Month Experiment post, you would have also remembered I said I am doing a run-streak until Jan. 1st. So far so good….and yes, even today, on this day of travel. While I could have just maybe waited to get my single mile run in when I got to Milwaukee, I boldly set my alarm for 3:45 am today, and was out the door at 3:55. I ran a 9:01 minute mile and got ready for my flight. When I woke up my groggy husband at 4:25 am to drive me to the airport, he said I was dumb. Whatever Dan! I made a plan and I stuck with it!

Lastly, while my Twitter followers and friends on Facebook would have seen this, a casual reader may not have. I will argue with my husband that I am “dumb”, but I wouldn’t argue if he said I was crazy. Why? Because I have decided to give my quest for Boston one more shot. On Sunday, May 3rd, I will be running in the BMO Vancouver Full Marathon. You know how I said I am using AirMiles for this weekend worth of flights? Using them again for Vancouver, as I can head out Friday after work and be home Sunday evening, without missing a day at school. And going away for a race is always more fun, as a change of scenery and variety never hurts anyone, I have heard fantastic things about running in Vancouver, whether in this race of the SeaWheeze Half in August, so I became intrigued and investigated further. The fact I will be running at sea level is most exciting, and I know this can be used to my advantage since I live at 3,000 feet above! I figure with my diet change, my easy & consistent running in the last two months of 2014, and a training plan overhaul in 2015, I can make some real progress. I will be talking about this adventure more in the new year, but I figured I would let everyone know that I can wait to run in Vancouver, with the fantastic ocean views and more….Take Me to the Sea!

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