I don’t heart winter. I make that pretty clear. Or, should I say I like it if it stays 30* and above, I do like the snow and no wind please. Also, start up the week of Thanksgiving until mid January and then hover around 60* until April when the temperatures can go up. That shouldn’t be too much to ask. It certainly was this year though and the winds have been worse than I remember in my nearly 8 years of living in Reno. 4 seasons with Winter, Spring and Fall being two months, Summer 6 months. Thank you very much…. Where is Utopia?? Exactly.
HOWEVER!!! We have had a couple of warmer days, we’ve gotten through the clock turning and now the buzz of Spring and Summer races are in the air. The weather might not be cooperating yet but we have light at the end of the tunnel!!
Time to cash in on all the winter training...
I’m signed up for the following:
APRIL: Relay for Life 24 hour run on the 20th; Escape From Prison Hill half relay the 27th
MAY: Rock N River Half 6th; Peavine 50/50 trail half 19th
JUNE: Odyssey 2 day, 178 mile relay 2nd; Reno 5000 with the family 5K 23rd
It’s exciting to have races on the calendar, pay for them and watch the weather get warmer as we also gain more light. My family loves summer – wakeboarding on the boat, camping, hiking, biking and pretty much staying outdoors for a few months straight. I look forward to the change in wardrobe, barbeques and flip flops…..
Yesterday I went on a field-trip with my two 6th graders to the King Tut exhibit. It was a blast because 1.) I was there and 2.) My kids were there. The exhibit was small but the staff was excited, had a lot to say and we learned a ton. The best part of it all is that my kids know how special and important they are to me. And they are.
SO, I got great input on the last post about asking for a reduced family rate for races. Thank you, thank you!! I did email another race – one that my kids entered last year – and they offered to do a flat rate for us!! I’m absolutely thrilled. The race director was fantastic (has 6 kids of his own), very understanding and willing to make it worth it for our family as well as worth it for his race. The kids will be thrilled!! Since this race is a series throughout the year, we’ll have additional opportunities to enter the family. I’m so happy. It’s hard to push my family to be healthy and active, to run and then not to have the money to enter us all in a race. Events are the icing. The goal. So this is fantastic.
Here’s Ashlea, Gabrielle and myself at King Tut yesterday:
I put the laundry in last night. It included my gym bag that I bring to my shop. I bring a change of clothes for my Tuesday run to work and swap the sweaty stuff for the clean. As I was doing the change from washer into the dryer/hang up I saw my headphone cord. And I nearly pooped myself….. OK, maybe I did just a little…
That can mean only one thing. OK, a couple things. One, my iPod and Garmin are also in the washing machine. Two, I’m a space-shot and angry at myself because after nearly 4 years of owning said Garmin, I’ve never had a mishap. I’m running numbers through my head to calculate how much I’ll need to save and then spend to replace my beloved running companions. I’m also wondering how I’ll make it without them in the time it takes to replace them. My heart just sank. I dug them out of the washer and set them on top. I just stared in horror.
I know. It’s not the Apocalypse. There are far, far worse things happening in the world – heck even right here in Reno. But in the World According to Jenn, it still sucked. After I completed my dryer transfer I turned on the Garmin. It made that familiar beeping sound. I held my breath. I turned on the iPod and plugged in the headphones. I put them in my ears and pushed play. I heard the delightful sound of hip hop!!! That “grab a pole and start stuffing one dollar bills” sound beat in my ears!!! Oh, sweet clubbing, my iPod seemed OK!!! Then I gathered my courage and glanced at my Garmin. I love the stickers on it that one of my daughters and my nephew put on so I could tell mine from Chris’. I love the bulkiness – enough to stop a mugger with one strike and the band that never fits quite right; always a little snug or a little loose…. And (cue angels singing) it was on. Ready to go on it’s next run. Ready to pace me and be my guide – my honest voice of time and distance traveled. As I stood in my sweats ready to make the first round of dumping bringing kids to school, it was there, gleaming it’s windows of truth. Waiting for me to gear up and go. I will answer your call, my BRF!! Later…..
Thank you, Garmin and iPod for weathering the washing machine. Please hang in there. I am hard on you as I am on myself for these runs. I’ll continue to beat at you due to my love of the run, my determination to be stronger, better, faster but will try to remember you in my gym bag in the future… I heart you…. Now I need to change my underwear…
Runners - when nearly pooping themselves - get this excited to see a port a potty. Even more excited when there's toilet paper!!!
SO… One thing I heart about running is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. Having said that, it certainly can be. Most of my running career has been pretty minimalist. I believe in putting money into good running shoes but everything else – not so much. Having said that, I find shoes that I like and then look for them online for less or at discount stores like Big 5, or wait for a sale. So I try to spend less. As far as the rest of running stuff, it’s not as big of a deal. Having said that, it’s easy to rack up some pretty hefty numbers on the cash register and it would be so fun to go hog wild…. I suppose like anything else it’s about balance and importance. Some things I get for dirt cheap, some things I spend more on but I do always try to save.
Races are why I run. OK, there are lots of reasons why I run but races are the fun part. The icing on the cake, the ring in the Cracker Jack’s, the shiny object. It’s the pinnacle of all that freaking training in 8* weather and 30 mph winds. The bonus round for 100* temp runs, early mornings and night runs. I adore going to events!! Some of them cost too much for me to justify, some cost just fine but after adding travel, hotel, meals, etc… cost too much, some are potential goal races like Great Wall of China or winter fantasies like Maui. This leads me to a question….
It’s no one’s responsibility that I’ve chosen to have a large family. I love it so I don’t really care what other people think about that part. We pay for everything, support our family without assistance, work hard and all that jazz. BUT having a large family means (without a hefty trust fund) we have to choose what we do. Almost all of my kids run. Two of them do the mile fun run, but the other 8 that live at home or in town run the 5K or 10K. So it’s definitely become a family affair. I think it would be great for the kids to do two events a year. One they do is in October so I try to find another in Spring. The problem is how expensive it gets. I’ve looked at three different races for Spring and they range from $360-$400 for all of us to enter. Compared to some races this might not seem like a lot. For me, it’s a lot.
Is it wrong for me to contact the race director and ask if we can enter as a group and get a flat rate?? On one hand I would think the race would prefer for example $275 for us to enter as a group instead of nothing if we don’t race at all. On the other hand I understand that it costs money to put on a race and it can’t cost them money for us to be there. Is there a balance?? What if we didn’t get the T-shirts?? I did contact one of them and asked if that was possible. He was very rude in his email reply so I in turn felt bad for asking. Then I got irritated because it’s $45 for the 10K no matter the age $35 for the 5K no matter the age. We’ve done other races that are $10-$15 for the kids prices but we’re limited to what’s available for us locally. I just don’t know how to feel or whether or not to ask. For the most part I’ve had nothing but great experiences with events and especially the people who put in the time and effort to make them happen. I just love how excited my kids get, what a fantastic opportunity it is for them, how much they learn, how happy it makes them. I love this look:
Kids before the Reno 5000 Halloween Race October 2011
So 8 isn’t 12 for those of you paying close attention. I did my usual routine – got home last night and got all my stuff out and ready. This morning at 6 I rolled out of bed, called the airport automated weather and got on weather.com. I vaguely recall thinking that I couldn’t run so I went back to bed. I’m a morning person and usually up and ready to go but this morning I remember it more like a dream.
When I woke up for real at 7:45 I had no idea why I couldn’t run. It was 32* at 6 am with 6 mph winds. Not a really big deal. Hmmm… Guess sometimes you just need to sleep. I had already made an everything bagel with cream cheese – not something I often eat and never before a run. As I sat staring at the weather online I realized that there is a wind advisory but it didn’t start until 11 am. Maybe that was my brain fart this morning?? As I continued to wake up I also realized that if I just threw on my clothes and left I could do the 8 miles straight to work and just cut out the 4 mile hill section. So I did. Since I ate the bagel with cream cheese, I threw down a ginger chew (just a precautionary measure for the tummy), got dressed and took off. After a brief conversation with my co-worker to let her know I’d be in a half hour later and please don’t send a search party out combing the ditches, I was on my way. It felt great!!! Yes, it was 11-15 mph winds and in the mid 30’s but I felt so fantastic I was nearly giddy.
There are pros and cons to running the same routes over time. I personally like to go somewhere new where I don’t know what’s up ahead and just sort of take it as it comes. It’s new, it’s fresh, it’s exciting and I don’t know how long the hills are or when they’re coming. Chris likes the same routes because then he can gauge what’s coming. He knows what to expect and when and can gear up for it. At any rate, I do the same few routes with alarming regularity. The biggest pro in my mind is that I know how much I’ve improved. The first 3.25 miles of my 8 miles is mostly uphill, the remainder flat and downhill. Those initial hills used to intimidate me. It takes a couple miles for me to warm up anyway and tossing in some uphill makes the warm up a little more difficult. I used to stop and walk 1,2 even 3 times in that three miles. Now those hills seem like just a bump in the road and I run them at a 9 minute mile pace. That is a good feeling. A really, really good feeling.
Here’s to getting up, getting out, getting better and getting it done!!!