Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Hiking and Pumpkins

Went to the Wildlife Refuge in Shakopee on Sunday for a little hike. It was cool but really nice outside. We didn't have a map so we were a bit off course for a while but had a lot fun together. We wanted to see the homestead but couldn't get to it due to the high water level. We'll have to try again in the summer.

Chloe was in a nasty little mood and was very upset that she fell in the mud.

Later that night, we carved our pumpkins....

Same Running program, different Barr

Over the past few years, I have watched my husband shrink. He is very discplined and very focused on his goals. I've seen him train and dedicate himself - 100% - to this new passion of his, running. I've washed his stinky, sweat drenched clothes, prepared his low calorie meals and envied his success. As of 6 weeks ago, NO MORE. It is my turn. I joined Weight Watchers and started training for a 5K.

6 months ago, I tried to do the 5K program he first started on, many moons ago. I got to about week 5, then quit. My hips were killing me and I wasn't mentally prepared for the work. My main problem was that I could not imagine myself running for 20 minutes. Running is so much more mental than physical. I could've done it if I had really wanted to. But I thought I needed to loose 20 pounds and then I'd try it again. So here I am, 20 lbs. later, running.

I hit the same obstacle over two weeks ago. I hit the workout that is described like this: Brisk 5 min. walk, then run for 20 minutes, or 2 miles, with no walking. Holy crap. There it was again. The workout previous to that one was only an 8 min run, 5 min walk, then 8 min run again so why the hell should you just jump from 8 to 20??? I was so upset by this. So I did that workout many times, then even went up to 10 min run, 5 min walk (and repeat). That 10 min was rough for me. How was I going to do 20?

So then last Tuesday night (one week ago), I was walking into the gym to run and I just decided that I was going to do it. That was the night for me. I got into a zone and I did it and I have never been so proud. At one point, I looked down at my time which read 23:45 and I was beaming. Holy crap, I was doing it. I almost yelled at Jason who was on the treadmill in front of me to tell him. I decided to wait and not startle him and cause an accident instead. I'm sure he appreciates that.

I'm on week 7 now, just finished week 6 today. I ran 2 miles for the first time in my life this week. I'm not as fast as I'd like to be, I often am short on the suggested distance the website posts (www.coolrunning.com - search for Couch potato to 5K). But you know what, I'm friggin' running, man and I'm putting in the time. This is awesome. I ran for 25 min today. I was in the same "zone" I had been in last week when I first did my 20 min. I wish I could bottle that zone thing. It is a mental place you go to when you can focus all of your energy on the task and not think about the time or distance. The second I start to think about time, I'm screwed. I have to force myself not to look at the time and not to think about it. I just watch tv and listen to my music and try to think about nothing in particular but moving forward. It is zen like.

I'm doing the Reindeer Run on December 3rd www.reindeerrun.com/website. It is a 5K in the freezing Minnesota winter. I'm not near my goal weight or an awesome runner so this is by no means a culmination event like Jason's marathon. It is just one of many goals I've set to prove to myself that I can anything I want. I never imagined that I could run before. I don't know if a marathon is in my future but I know I can do it if I want to. I've lost 15 lbs. in the past month and half and I attribute every pound lost to the running. It really helps you lose weight. I am eating better but I'm a work in progress. I'd like to be down 30 more pounds by Christmas. We'll see.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

More Fall!

Had a lovely day today with the family at Cleary Lake. It was 60 degrees and sunny so we packed the camera. You can compare the photos from today to the ones from the previous post titled "Cleary Lake" a few months ago to see the gorgeous colors of the leaves.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Ahhhh... Fall

Fall is my favorite season. It is so nice outside - cool and brisk which is just perfect. The leaves are changing and the colors are amazing here in Minnesota.

I was inspired to take some photos of the kids fooling around in the grass before it gets too cold. Here they are just being their normal goofy selves. The first one is my favorite.

And here are some shots of Jason and Chloe goofing off. Dad got the short end of the stick when he decided to give Chloe the oven mits.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Updated Marathon Time

Well, I just got a postcard in the mail from the Twin Cities Marathon with my official results. My chip time was 4:07:57, so it looks like I ran two minutes faster than I originally thought. That put me on a 9:39 per mile average for the entire race. Ashley told me that I had a better time than the running club instructor at my gym. That made me feel good. :)

Monday, October 03, 2005

Well, I did it

As Ashley has posted, I managed to complete my first marathon. My finishing time was 4:10:19. My over optimistic goal was 4:00 and my realistic goal was 4:30, so I came in between. Chloe got me sick on Saturday and I only got about 5 hours of sleep the night before the race, so I think it was good considering I was sick and tired. I actually kept my 4:00 pace going until mile 17, when I just couldn't hold going to the bathroom anymore (nerves make you have to pee) and broke down and used the port-a-potty. After that, it was never the same and with miles 20-23 being basically uphill, I lost a good deal of time.

One funny story I have from the race is that I almost lost my wedding ring during it. Around mile 6 or 7, I had pulled out some of the Clif Shots gel stuff to get some energy. The stuff is very sticky (think honey) and it was all over my hands. I suffered for a bit, but then I couldn't take it anymore, so since my shirt was full of sweat, I used it to clean my hands. Well, I accidentally pulled the ring off my finger (it is loose since I have lost so much weight since we got married) and it started bouncing on the ground. Someone kicked it ahead of me and then someone else kicked it off to the side of the road where it stopped just in front of a drain. So, luckily, I was able to pick it up and keep running, without really losing much ground from my pace. More importantly, without losing the ring.

Some interesting observations from the marathon:

The course goes through some really nice neighborhoods. Some of the houses I saw were very beautiful. The Twin Cities Marathon markets itself as the most beautiful urban marathon and while I don't know how it compares to others, I can definitely say it was very nice going by all the lakes, going through the nice neighborhoods, and seeing the trees with the leaves which had started to change colors.

People are very nice. There were lots of spectators in the later miles with trays of cut up oranges and bananas and people with bowls of Jolly Ranchers, M&M's, and Tootsie Rolls. Those people really help you out when you need just a little bit of energy and they make you feel good. Also, all the people cheering really help out as well.

People will party for anything. I thought it was amusing seeing all the marathon parties people were holding on their lawns. I saw one group of people drinking mimosas. People will celebrate whatever, which is good, I suppose. Like I said, it is nice when they cheer when you run by.

Oh, one other thing that was nice for the marathon is they organized it so that there was a musical act about every 2 miles. They ranged from Japanese drummers to polka bands, to rock bands. The music was very nice and helped with the run. There were also just people standing out there by themselves playing instruments every once in a while. I passed a couple of lone bagpipers, a guy with a tuba, a kid with a trumpet, etc. All of these people helped to make the run a great experience.

So, now that I have done a marathon, I was thinking of working on doing some triathlons next year. However, next year is the 25th Twin Cities Marathon, so I might feel the call lure me in. We will see.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Our Hero

Here's the athlete before the marathon (the back of his shirt says Crazy Cajun):

It was overcast which didn't make for the best photos, but was great for the runners. They are an inspiring crew.

We went to Minehaha Falls to catch a glimpse of the runners and to cheer dad on. Kieran really enjoyed this part.

Kieran made a sign for Dad (notice the little apple at the bottom - he just learned how to draw one). How cute he is.

Chloe did her job too. She mostly enjoyed throwing the "thunder sticks" out in the road - in front of the runners. Then she thoroughly enjoyed watching mommy run after them and apologize profusely to the runners.

Can you find Jason??? He's in there.

At just before noon, we headed to the finish line area for a final cheer or two before Dad crossed the line. Here is Kieran again with his trusty sign.

And here he comes!

And there he goes, only .2 miles away...

on his way....

to the finish line! It was so cool to see the runners' faces when they saw it ahead for the first time. Huge smiles and sighs of relief. 26.2 miles... whew. Jason finished in 4 hours, 10 minutes. He did awesome! He will post more later, I'm just here to post photos.

After a LONG wait, Jason finally mosied on over to meet the family. The crowd was huge!

Here's Jason gingerly putting his sandals on his much blistered feet.

And the family photo op. Who could've guessed that the once 325 lb. computer geek would one day run a marathon. He's amazing. We love you and are so proud!!