Thursday, March 29, 2012

Experimental Temporary Pace Tattoo

Screen capture from Taz Running with pace chart specific
to the A2A Half Marathon that I'm running on Sunday. The
pace chart is what the tattoo looks like.

Pace bands from Marathon Guide,
just cut out, cover with tape
and tape it on your wrist.
Since I have two more half marathons this weekend I was looking for some pace bands or cards to use just to see if I'm staying where I should be as far as pace goes. I would usually just print up the pace bands from but came across these temporary pace tattoos in the past. Another site I found for temporary pace tattoos was where you have the option of ordering a tattoo at a set pace or at a pace that takes into account elevation changes and such (limited to specific races). They also offer you the ability to print out the chart yourself and use it an whatever manner tickles your fancy. I decided that I would try to print one out and make a temporary tattoo. 
 Pace Tat

In order to do this I would need some temporary tattoo transfer paper that could be run through my inkjet printer but after doing a search for instructions on how to make a temporary tattoo I stumbled across this site which did not require any specialized paper other than the backing of a sheet of labels. So, I gathered everything I needed: label backing paper, astringent/alcohol to clean the skin, moist paper towel, non-toxic glue stick, scissors and tape (medical or athletic recommended).

My finished product.
Step 1. Find the pace chart that you want to use and save it as an image. Print it out on regular paper first and ensure that it will fit on the area of skin where you want to place it. If it doesn't, resize the image and repeat. Be sure to save the image again when it's the right size.

Step 2. Get ready to print the image. Insert the backer sheet into your printer so that the printing will happen on the glossy side (the side where the labels were).

Step 3. Change the settings on your image (you may have to save it to your Paint program) so that it prints in reverse. Some printers have a "Mirror" setting that can be used instead of Paint.

Step 4. Print the chart. Remember that printers won't print white, so wherever there is white on the image it will be you skin only. Be sure not to touch the chart itself or print anything before you remove the sheet from your printer because the image will smudge!

Step 5. careful with the image. It is very delicate. Cut out the chart leaving minimal edges. Do not touch the image itself.

Step 6. Clean the area of skin where you want to place the tattoo with the astringent or alcohol. Allow to dry completely.

Step 7. Use the glue stick and apply it in a light layer to the whole area where the tattoo will go. Be sure to have good coverage as this is what will take up the ink from the image.

Step 8. This step is not necessarily needed but would be a wise move. Use the tape to secure the tattoo in place for 10 minutes. During this time be careful not to move the tattoo around.

Step 9. Use the moist towel and simply dab it on top of the tattoo to moisten it. Another option is just to lay the folded towel over the top of the tattoo until the 10 minutes is over. The latter is my preference.

Step 10. When the 10 minutes is over, carefully remove the paper and allow the area to dry completely. When it is dry you will be able to touch the tattoo which will have a slightly tacky feeling.'re done!

After a nights
restless sleep.
Now, I wouldn't recommend rubbing the tattoo over aggressively. While it did tolerate light to moderate rubbing I didn't try a full blown scratching or rubbing. I applied this in the early evening and by the time I went to sleep around 11pm it was still fully intact without much special care taken to protect it. When I woke up I found that the tattoo had smeared because I had slept with my arm resting on my chest which resulted in the tattoo partially transferring to my chest. When I got into the shower the tattoo almost immediately washed off with only the water running over this method is probably not something you'd want to try if you sweat profusely. It's currently two days later and I still have a light ghost image on my forearm.

One thing I did have a problem with was finding a backing sheet for labels that wasn't perforated. It seems that almost all labels have perforations that go through the backing sheet as well as the labels themselves. I did find a whole sheet label that only had two perforated lines on the backing sheet, so I used that and just taped the perforations together into one piece.
Ghost image
after shower.

I'm going to try to find some tattoo transfer paper for my inkjet printer, but I've not had any luck yet. I may end up ordering online as I'm just crazy enough to try every method before deciding whether to buy the professionally made tattoos or not!

Now, just to let you know. The ink never really dries on the backing paper. It's now 3 days later or so and I accidentally touched some other charts I had printed at the same time and the ink smeared all over the place. So, needless to say, I won't be using this technique this weekend. I'll probably just be using the trusty pace band unless I can find the special tattoo paper and find that tattoos made with that last a while.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

AZ Distance Classic, Pt 3: Meeting the Future Daughter-In-Law

While my first reason to go to Arizona was to run the Distance Classic a secondary reason was to meet my son's fiance. I had met her in passing only a couple of times before they moved to Tempe. You have to understand that as kids I teased the son and daughter about boyfriends and girlfriends thus I rarely met anyone that they were dating. Anyway, they officially got engaged late last month and the timing was just right that they could come down and meet me in Tucson.

I'm happy to say that they seem to be a good fit for each other and that oddly enough she and I share some pretty close views on things such as cooking, being on the messy side as compared to the son's neat freak side, preferring to camp with a trailer/RV versus tenting, etc. You know, the important things. lol! Conversation never seemed forced and I was able to openly joke about how to keep the boy in know..."Just give me a call and I'll reach through the phone line to smack him upside the head."

We all had a really nice day visiting Biosphere 2 (pretty cool...especially for the science geek in us), eating lunch at Joe's Crab Shack and dinner at Sushi on Oracle (highly recommended if you're in the Tucson area...the place is tiny, try to get there before the rush). It was really quite a quick visit but it was nice having a cheering section for the race and people to hang out with for the last half of the day.

We parted ways around 7pm...the boy will hug his mom but he won't give me a kiss on the cheek unless I keep at him...which I do just to be a pain!! lol!! And he's supposed to be a momma's boy...hmmmmph. Well wishes all around and a hug for the future DIL and they were off for the hour or so trip to Tempe.

As for me it was back up to the room to pack, play on Facebook and try to get some sleep before my 6:10am flight to Albuquerque. I did manage to fall asleep around 10:30pm or so but 3:30am comes awful quick! I'd like to say that the morning was uneventful but I left the base at 4:30am and what should have taken 20 minutes to get to the airport ended up closer to an hour since I got lost after my GPS lost the signal. Grrrr. I always seem to get lost when I rent a car and it's time to return it!! I made it to my flight with a little time to spare so no big drama there. Just glad to be home for a few days before leaving for my double in Midland, TX and Ardmore, OK on Friday. Hmmmm...2 back to back least they are pancake flat!!! lol!

Arizona Distance Classic - Part 1
Arizona Distance Classic - Part 2

Arizona Distance Classic Recap - Part 2

Race Day
I awoke at 3:30am on race day. The race didn't start until 7am but I wanted to get there in time for the 6am yoga warm up. Showered, taped knees and feet, dressed and headed out the door just after 4:40am. I stopped and got a bottle of orange juice, something I don't usually have before a race, from the front desk and started the drive to Oro Valley. The nice thing about driving this early was the lack of traffic so the drive was nice and smooth with the ability to time the lights to avoid as many reds as possible.

As I got to the venue, there were quite a few cars already was about 5:40am. I got a nice parking space at the end of a row where my son could see the car after I sent him a text with a picture. I headed out to the expo area where they were playing the likes of LMFAO and the Black Eyed Peas...loudly. I heard the announcement for the yoga warm up that was starting but instead I just hung out eating a Honey Stinger energy waffle and sipping slowly on the OJ...I didn't want to drink the whole thing and have it backfire on me.

Finally at about 15 minutes before the start, they started having all the half and quarter marathoners line up in the corral. I decided to get in back of the 2:30 pacer, at the back of that group, as I figured that if I slowed down I could hopefully still keep up with the 2:45 group. When the gun went off, I tried to start out slowly but had to pick up my cadence a bit to get over the first two hills. After we got to the flatter part of the road I found myself running about 2 miles at a I know I probably should have shortened that. Things seemed to be going pretty well for the first 6 miles. After the start the hills were more or less least heading to the turnaround. I did walk some of the higher portions of the hills but for the most part I was still running. I think it was the hill at mile 6 that killed it for me. It seemed like an upward climb that would never end!

At the top of the hill for mile 6 I could almost see the turnaround near and yet so far! I kept on plodding along and finally made it to the turnaround at about 1:23:35. I'm not sure what happened, but I think it was the coming around that turnaround and seeing the hill that I had to go back up. My brain is a bit fuzzy but I think I did run most of the hill but I think it took just what I had left to do it because at about mile 8 I was done. I had already started doing more of a walk/run than a run walk and as I turned the corner I was suddenly joined by my son who was telling me to keep going and who had almost missed me because he was looking for the Chariots of Fire theme!! He just told me to keep running, keep moving and I told him how tired I was and that I'd probably be walking more of the race but would finish if I had to crawl. After about 1/8 to 1/4 of a mile he turned around to rejoin his fiance and look for somewhere else that they could cheer me on. As they drove past they're both screaming and yelling as they drove past me. :D

I continued along my way finding that my running bursts were getting shorter and shorter and by the time I hit mile 9 or just after I was in full walking mode. I try to run a few steps and I'd start cramping in one calf or the other. Not just a little "hey, I'm cramping on you" cramp but more of a "you'd better walk if you know what's good for you" cramp. And so the nearly 90% walking started from that point on. The kids met up with me at a small park just before mile 10 and the son assured me that the 2:30 pacer was just a few minutes ahead of me. He chided me with promises of a big, juicy, rare steak after the race...yeah, he's my kid...he knows what makes me happy!! ;-)  Again he ran walked with me a short way and just said not to stop. Again I reassured him I would finish one way or another.

At some point the 2:45 pacer passed me up and I sent out a Facebook status saying so. My goal was now was first and foremost to finish and secondly try to beat the 3:00 pacer. I kept on marching along, the son found a place to park across the street at mile 11 or so and was yelling the typical "only 2 more miles" chant. I waved, motioned to him to be quiet (he was loud!) and continued on my way. Passing the 11 mile marker I sent out the status post, "The hills have won...I'm walking the last 2 miles." From this point there were no more attempts at running at all, just walking and swinging those arms as much as possible to keep me going although I just so wanted to sit down and rest. As I pushed into the last turn I was in the mind set of "Where is that damned finish line?" Again it was a so near, yet so far situation. Finally I passed the 13 mile marker. There it was. That glorious finish line on 1/10th of a mile ahead of me. As I got closer I tried to run to at least put up a strong finish...but the calves said no and cramped up hard enough that I stumbled a little. I shrugged my shoulders in defeat at the son and just tried to keep up the pace to finish. When I heard that beep as I crossed the finish line I was relieved that it was finally over, glad that I did finish and didn't give up and wanted to find a patch of green grass that I could just lay down on a die (grass doesn't exist in Arizona apparently).

I got my finishers medal, grabbed a half of a bagel that ended up being dried out and got thrown away, stopped for my obligatory finisher picture, met the kids and headed over to get my medal engraved (which didn't happen since I couldn't see the results for my time). We stopped at gear check and I had my jerky, chocolate milk and banana talked a little since this was my first time officially meeting his fiance. The boy even gave me a little calf massage...say what?? He didn't do stuff like back rubs or such when he lived at home!! lol! Eventually we decided that we'd eat at Joe's Crab Shack, something they've talked about but haven't done even though they live only a short distance from one in Tempe. But first I really needed a shower...I hate that dried salt/sweat we headed back to Davis-Monthan AFB before starting the adventure with the kids portion of my trip.

AZ Distance Classic - Pt 1
AZ Distance Classic - Pt 3: Meeting the Future DIL

Arizona Distance Classic Recap - Part 1

Pre-race Travel & Prep
This was my first solo flying trip specifically for a race since the husband couldn't come due to school. I spent most of the Friday for the race finishing my packing and going out to get last minute items that I needed. I thought I was all set and tried to get some sleep around 9pm since I had to be up at 3am to get ready for the nearly four hour drive to Albuquerque where I was flying out of. Yes, I could have flown out of Amarillo or Lubbuck, both only about an hour and a half away from home, but flying out of Texas makes the flight about $200 more expensive and about 5-6 longer in travel time. No matter how much I wanted to sleep, it just wasn't happening. I didn't want to take my melatonin because I didn't want any lingering drowsiness having to wake up so early. I tossed and turned, got in and out of bed and finally just as it was getting to be time for the alarm to go off I got tired. I reset the alarm for 30 minutes later and I think dozed off lightly for a catnap only to wake up a couple of minutes before the alarm was to go off. I showered and dressed, said goodbye to the K9s and left the husband alone since he's a hard sleeper. And off I went for the drive to Albuquerque.

I managed to stay awake without any problems for the drive and ended up in Albuquerque about 2 hours and 15 minutes before my flight. I decided to stop for breakfast...initially at Cinnabon in the mall but they were closed, so I headed for the Starbucks at ABQ Uptown. After a tall hot chocolate and a warm cinnamon swirl coffeecake I headed towards the Sunport (what they call the airport). I used to park in the airport parking lot, but have recently began parking in some of the off airport parking. Trying to save some cash I went to a lot that had a specific military discount advertised...I mean really, you can't beat $3/day even if it's in the open parking area rather than covered (the car was filthy anyway so it didn't matter where I parked). However, I must remember to keep some dollar bills in my wallet/pocket 'coz I felt bad when I didn't have any cash for a tip for the shuttle driver. Ooops! Since I had pre-printed my boarding pass, I did the curbside baggage check and headed up to the gate. Now, the Sunport is a small airport and I hardly ever have to wait more than 15 minutes or so to get through security...that's one of the reasons I like flying out of there (Amarillo and Lubbock security lines are even shorter waits). First stop after security was Keva Juice for a Keva Kolada smoothie and then the short walk to the gate. At the gate I had trouble connecting to the free wifi but eventually got it done with about an hour yet to boarding. So my happy technophile self sat there playing on Facebook, of course.

We boarded about 15 minutes prior to departure and thankfully the flight was less than half full. I got my beloved aisle seat (flew on Southwest) and had no one sitting in the middle seat next to me. I tried to catch some sleep but again it wasn't happening and since it was only a 55 minute flight it didn't seem worth trying that hard. I was operating on about 28 hours without sleep at that point. Once we landed, I just love short flights, I picked up the rental car. Initially they were going to give me one of those cute, little Fiat's that J-Lo did a commercial for but they couldn't find the keys...damn! I ended up instead with a Toyota Yaris sedan that had the instrument cluster in the middle of the dash! It took me a full day to get used to that...I will definitely not be buying a Yaris anytime soon!

The first order of business was to go to packet pick-up which was about 45 minutes away. As I drove through the Saturday Tucson traffic I remembered why I was glad not to live in a metropolitan area. Traffic is crazy! Why does it take 45-50 minutes to travel 22 miles??? Ugh!! So, I finally get to the store where pickup is happening and get my bag, ensure that my D-tag is registered since I would be wearing my custom shirt rather than the regular bib, looked around the store a bit and got a new 13.1 shirt and some GU gel then headed out to drive the course. First off, I got lost trying to find the start since my GPS was being a pain but I eventually got to the right place. As I started following the course map, the first thing just out of the start was a...hill. Joy. The further I went along there were some more slight inclines before reaching a piece of flat road that lasted a few miles. Then they started happening again...more hills. Now, let me clarify...where I live there are few areas that I can call hills. I have to drive out about 10 miles to find a stretch of highway or park road that qualify as hills, so it's not wrong to say that my hill training was fairly minimal. Truthfully though, the hills didn't seem quite as daunting as I thought they would be...I forgot that I was looking from the perspective of driving a car. As I completed the out and back course I thought that the race would be doable...not fast...just doable. Meaning that I would finish...period.

I still had some time to kill so I set the navigation on my phone to locate the local Fleet Feet store. It took me another 45 minutes to get back to the right area of Tucson (the race was in the suburb of Oro Valley) and find the store. Once I found it I spent about an hour looking around and ended up coming out with a new Nathan 2 bottle hydration belt, a gel flask, a roll of KT Tape Pro (love it!) and a CEP ankle support. Since I've started in this sport, running stores have become my addiction. There just happened to be an Italian restaurant next door so I ended up eating there to continue my carb loading. Wow, their meatballs were spicy but good! I had hoped to have enough room to go to the gelato store on the other side of Fleet Feet, but I was just too full. Darn! I love gelato and needless to say in rural New Mexico there is no such place.

The time was now well past 3pm so I headed out to Davis-Monthan AFB where I would be staying in the lodging facility. I did see a Joe's Crab Shack that I kept in mind for when the son and his fiance would be visiting me on race day...he is a crab lover. I got on base and found the lodging office and got a nice 1 bedroom suite with kitchenette (minus the stove). Too bad the A/C wasn't on yet even though it was over 80° already (they did provided a tower fan, but the A/C wasn't scheduled to be turned on until mid-April). I got unpacked and headed across the street to the base exchange to get a belt since my jeans were too loose, some jerky and some small scissors to cut the KT Tape Pro. On my way out I stopped at Baskin Robbins for a scoop of ice cream the headed over to the Shoppette for a bottle of chocolate milk (I always bring my own to the races). Then back to the room to get all my gear ready for the race the next morning. After that got done and I caught up a bit on Facebook I ended up skipping dinner (leftover spaghetti & meatball) and ended up going to bed around 7:30pm after a very long 37 hour day.

AZ Distance Classic Pt 2
AZ Distance Classic Pt 3 - Meeting the Future DIL

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Since I can't sleep...

Well, it's 2:21AM. I should be fast asleep so that I can drive nearly four hours to Albuquerque to catch my flight to Tucson. Instead I'm dealing with this blasted insomnia...again. I started taking a delayed release melatonin tablet this week but it's only worked off and on. I didn't want to take it tonight because I didn't want to be groggy for the drive. Well...that may happen anyway. I need to stop and get some hot chocolate somewhere. Actually, I can just make it here as I have some disposable cups that I can use.

I'm heading to Tucson for the Arizona Distance Classic Half Marathon. This is going to be the first in a string of half marathons that I will be doing to work my way up the Half Fanatics ladder. I have to admit that I'm a little worried about this race because there are "rolling hills" and since I live in the flat desert, I don't have much experience with hills. As a running friend pointed out, the elevation chart only indicates a 1.23% it really shouldn't be that bad, right? I did buy a cool shirt though...with this shirt I don't have to wear the paper race bib! :)

Race bib printed on front of shirt.
Saying on back of shirt.
Next weekend will be my first "double" or two half marathons in two days. I'll be interested in seeing how that works but at least I know that the courses are both flat as a pancake so no hills to worry about there. I do, however, have a 3+ hour drive to get to the first race in Midland, TX and then right after running the half marathon I'll have a 6+ hour drive to get to the second marathon in Ardmore, OK. If I successfully complete these races, I'll move up 4 levels in the Half Fanatics ladder! Woohoo!!

Well, I'm finally starting to feel a little tired. Of course, I have only 45 minutes before I need to start getting ready and hit the road...story of my life. This is gonna be a long weekend since I'll have to wake up early Sunday (around 4am) for the race since the yoga warm-up starts at 6am and the venue is about an hour from Davis -Monthan AFB where I'm staying. Then on Monday, I'll have to get up around 3am to get ready for my 6am flight back to New Mexico. Oh joy. Well, good night, I mean good morning. I'm gonna try to get a few minutes of shut eye!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

My first running dream

My sleep last night was rather interesting. First off at about midnight, I was still wide awake playing on Facebook, I began having a hypoglycemic episode. Broke out into a sweat, blurred vision, light nausea, slightly disoriented, etc. It's been a long while since I've had an episode...months to a couple of years, literally. A couple of tablespoons of honey for a quick pick me up plus a really late  second dinner (I had eaten a Big Fish sandwich and a total of 3 cola ICEES around 7pm) of french bread pepperoni pizza and a nice big glass of milk got my sugars back to normal. Typically a serious lack of sleep, something I've been having to deal with for the last few weeks - sleeping only 3-4 hours per night if I'm lucky - contributes to my episodes; but now that I read that "3 cola ICEES" statement it may have not been a true  hypoglycemic episode but a sudden sugar crash from all that sugar and ice. Hmmm...Once I stabilized after about 30 minutes I went to bed and I guess fell asleep fairly quickly, something I haven't done in weeks.

I don't often have vivid dreams and I don't know if it was because of my blood sugar situation or what but I had a doozy of a dream last night. Now, keep in mind that many of my new running friends from the Tinkerbell Half Marathon had mentioned that they were having pre-race running dreams. I didn't have any...haven't had any with any of the races before or after Tink. This dream last night was my very first running dream. So this is what happened...

I'm in my hometown in California to run a marathon, as far as I know there's never been a marathon there. We're at the waterfront waiting for the race to start and I'm all geared up except for my running shoes, I just have my battered slippers on. As race time approaches, I go to the car to put on my shoes only to find that I didn't have them. My hometown doesn't have any running specialty stores and it's too late to go buy a pair anyway because the race is about to start. This is my first full marathon and there was no way I was going to miss it! I make the decision to run the race in my slippers. What? I know, I have no idea why other than the fact that I didn't have my shoes with me. So, the race starts and as usual I'm at the back of the back half of the pack. I make it past the waterfront and we head towards one of the hills near the downtown area. This first hill is fairly steep and my feet hurt running in the slippers, my IT band is yelling at me and I'm just plain tired. It's less than or about  2 miles into the race. As I struggle up the hill I decide that it isn't worth it anymore and start knocking on people's doors. Someone finally let's me in and I just hang out at some total stranger's house for hours (a marathon for me would take probably 5-6 hours). Finally, my husband comes knocking on the door looking for me...about 7-8 hours after the race started. I don't know how he knew which house I was in. And, that's basically where the dream ended.

My "running" slippers.
Now, I can sit here an analyze this dream but I really won't; just know for the last several nights I've been playing around with a new race schedule, setting a new goal, training for my next half in 9 days, worrying about the hills I'm going to encounter at this next race, thinking about starting full marathon training in the next couple of months, etc. You can probably see where I'm going with this...

So, have you had any strange running dreams? Do tell...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Movin' on up...

Last night I was just sitting here on the laptop considering what I could do to move up the Half Fanatics ranking ladder by the end of the year. Then I saw that 365 day was the cutoff for some qualifications rather than the end of the calendar year.

If I survive my 3 half marathons at the end of the month (3/25, 3/31 & 4/1) I'll move up to Mars (5 moon) level which is halfway through the ladder which maxes out at 10 moons (or Sun level). Then I looked further down the rankings and thought...I can do 20 halfs before 1/29/13...the anniversary of my first half qualify for Venus or 7 moons.

Then the more I sat here,  I realized that I could push my 365 day limit to the end of February March since I'll be running in California again in January, Texas a couple of time during the year and New Mexico at least once...that way I can get an East Coast race in to count and increase my half marathon count to 23 for Mercury level (8 moons). Since Vulcan is the 9 moon level and unattainable as determined by the powers that be that only leaves the final level...SUN!

That requires 30 half marathons in 30 states in 365 days. I've been able to come up with a count of 33 races...I'm wondering if I can find 3-5 more so that I have extras in case I miss races. Am I crazy? I know this plan is crazy and crazy expensive...I'll be driving to most of the races rather than flying and renting a car...but I think it may be doable. Hell...I'm not working so I have the time, it's just the cash that gets in the way. Whatever happens I'll at least get to Venus or Mercury. Here's the scary 30 half marathons in 30 states in 365 days schedule that I'd be following with 3 extra HMs for a cushion....

1/29/12 - Tinkerbell HM - CA - (#1) Done!
2/25/12 - Pecos Valley Stampede HM - NM - (#2) Done!
3/3/12 - Xpress HM - TX - (#3) Done!
3/31/12 - AZ Distance Classic - #4 - Begin 365 day count!
3/31/12 - Bloodgusher HM - (Repeat state) 
4/1/12 - A2A HM - OK - (Weekend double HM, 6+ hr drive) - #5
4/28/12 - Drake Relays On-the-Roads HM - IA - #6
4/29/12 - Wichita HM - KS - (Weekend double HM, 6+ hr drive) - #7
5/5/12 - Snoqualamie Cinco de Mayo HM - WA - #8
5/6/12 - Portland Cinco De Mayo HM - OR- (Weekend double HM, 3+ hr drive) - #9
5/13/12 - Hope & Healing - TX (Repeat state)
5/19/12 - Community Hospital HM - NE - #10
5/20/12 - Colfax HM - CO - (Weekend double HM, 4+ hr drive) - #11
5/26/12 - Go Girl Run HM - MO - #12
5/27/12 - Parke County HM - IN - (5+ hr drive) - #13
5/28/12 - Owensboro Memorial Day HM - KY- (Weekend TRIPLE HM, 3+ hr drive) - #14
6/2/12 - Spirit of Magic Valley HM - ID - #15
6/3/12 - Casper HM - WY - (Weekend double HM, 9+ hr drive) - #16
6/10/12 - Wounded Warriors HM - TX (Repeat state)
6/16/12 - Ft Atkinson HM - WI - #17
6/17/12 - Ann Arbor HM - MI - (Weekend double HM, 6+ hr drive) - #18
7/4/12 - Brownville HM - NE - #19
7/7/12 - April Sorenson Memorial HM - MN - (Long weekend double HM, 5+ hr drive) - #20
7/22/12 - Rock & Roll Chicago HM - IL - #21
8/4/12 - Parowan City HM - UT - #22
8/5/12 - ET Full Moon Midnight Marathon - NV - (Weekend double HM, 3+ hr drive) - #23
8/18/12 - Thunderbird HM - ND - #24
8/19/12 - Leading Ladies HM - SD - (Weekend double HM) - #25
Late Aug/Sep/early Oct concentrating on FULL marathons (26.2)
10/21/12 - Rio Grande HM - NM (Repeat state)
11/10/12 - WDW Wine & Dine HM - FL - #26
11/11/12 - Outer Banks HM - NC - (Weekend double HM) - #27
11/22/12 - Atlanta HM - GA - #28
11/24/12 - Kaiser Realty HM - AL - (Long weekend double HM) - #29
12/2/12 - Las Cruces HM - NM (Repeat state)
12/9/12 - Fayetteville HM - AR - #30
12/16/12 - Ole Man River HM - LA - #31
1/19/13 - Temecula HM - CA - #32
1/20/13 - Tinkerbell HM - CA (Repeat state) - (Weekend double HM, 1+ hr drive)
Early 2/13 - Free HM - AZ - (Tentative, Repeat state) - Extends 365 days to 4/1/13
2/16/13 - Myrtle Beach HM - SC - #33
2/24/13 - Princess HM - FL (Repeat state)
2/25/14 - Scenic City HM - TN - (Weekend double HM, 9+ hr drive) - #34
3/16/13 - Rock & Roll USA - DC - #35
3/17/13 - Shamrock HM - VA - (Weekend double HM) - #36

Just because I've made the list for Sun level/10 moons doesn't mean I'm necessarily going for it. It's just nice to know that I can do it if I wanted and I have a plan ready just in case. The goal is at least 20 halfs in 20 states in 365 day. So let's see where this leads...

Hmmm...if I just do all the doubles/triples I'll still be able to get 20 HMs in 20 states in 365 days!

EDIT 3/12/12: Most races changed to weekend doubles. Races in pink are singles and may possibly be dropped unless already paid for or can be made into a weekend double. By doing only the double/triple weekends, I'd be able to get 31 races total if I don't miss any. Drive times indicate time between races and does not include my drive from/to New Mexico.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Photo Blog: The Xpress Half Marathon

The Xpress HM was my third official half marathon (I have a virtual marathon that doesn't count as "official"). This was a fairly flat course aside from one small hill to go up and down at a little over mile 5 and on the return trip around mile 8. Just past mile 9, at the turnoff, the trail changed to packed gravel until just before mile 11 when we began retracing the route again. This was the inaugural running of the race. There were roughly 65 runners total for the half marathon and roughly 67 for the 5K.

The Xpress Half Marathon

The Xpress Half Marathon

13.1 miles / 21.0824064 km
Created 03.07.12 by MouseRN on

Staging area at around 7:50am.

The starting line.

The first part of the run was on the roads of Barnett Road and Lake Shore Drive.
This is just past water stop at mile 2.3 as we started on the actual Lake Wichita Trail system.

Probably around mile 3.

Forward view at about mile 3.

On the return trip somewhere around mile 8, just coming up off a small hill.
This is what it looks like being 4th from the last! lol!

Approximately mile 9, if I remember correctly.

At the finish with my bling.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Motorola MotoACTV : First Use Review

Today I decided to try to do a 10 mile run (after yesterday's half marathon) just to see how it would feel to do a in the double half marathons I have at the end of the month. Well, that didn't go too well. I was only able to get 3.34 miles done before my quads started burning so bad I had to stop.'s not looking too good for my double. It's a good thing that I have 3 weeks off to train and start doing some back to back mid to long runs to prep for the double.

One benefit to the run today was that I got to try my Motorola MotoACTV for the first time. It did take me awhile to really figure it out but once I got everything set it was pretty much a breeze to work. I still have to do a pace set up/fitness test which I'll probably do on Tuesday when I go out for the run/walk club meetup. The MP3 player is great, nice clear sound quality even in the basic ear buds that come with the unit. I have the wristband and I thought that the wired ear buds might be a pain, but I just ran the cord through my shirt sleeve and down my arm. Even with the excess cord flopping in the wind it didn't get in the way as I thought it might. Unfortunately the built in microphone on the ear buds provides poor sound quality to the receiver of the call.  I'd like to upgrade to the Bluetooth, wireless headphones with built in pulse rate monitor (no chest strap required) to rid myself of the wiring and to be able to monitor my heart rate. The problem is that Motorola no longer has the wireless, pulse monitoring headphones for some reason...but I'm keeping my eyes out for them. The swiping of screens is smooth and set up of the unit itself is pretty painless. Keeping in mind that this was the first time I've used it, I'm loving it so far. More on the MotoACTV to come soon...

Oh...BTW...I found a St. Paddy's day half marathon in Midland, Texas. Someone please talk me out of doing it!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Half Marathon #3: The Xpress Half Marathon Recap

OMG!!Half marathon number 3 is finally in the books, but it almost didn't happen.

Yesterday went fine...I did the 5 hour drive from home, went directly to packet pick up and got my goodie bag, headed over to Academy Sports and picked up nutrition/my first pair of running shorts since high school/3 Nike visors. Then I headed over to Napoli's Italian Restaurant to get my carb loading on! My next stop was to get the car washed because I could barely see out the window and see my brown blue Explorer. I then drove to Shepard AFB and checked into lodging and found that they had converted dorms into lodging you had two room (one set up as a living room and the other a bedroom) joined by the bathroom. LOL! Odd, but it works. I had to make a trip to the BX because I wanted to get a new camera but they didn't have one I liked so I ended up driving back into town to go to Walmart where I got breakfast items and a camera. I hit Hastings to see if they had the new Women's Running magazine and got a smoothie that I had to wait for for 20 minutes after I paid! Grrrr! Last stop was Target to get scissors, tape and chocolate milk for post race. By the time I got back to lodging it was 10pm and I had to get my outfit ready, take pics, play on Facebook, load up the camera software, etc. It was about midnight by the time I went to sleep.

Race outfit

I woke up at 5:30am (4:30am MT) and like and idiot got on Facebook like I always do first thing when I wake up. I let the time get away from me and it was just before 6am when I got breakfast ready. Playing on Facebook and eating at the same time, it took me until nearly 6:30 to finish eating...I don't know why so long.
Jumped in the shower and tried to clean up fast, had to tape up my knee and tried to see how to use KT tape to tape up for peroneal tendonitis, but gave up due to loss of wi-fi and just used the ankle support I had brought. I still had to put my Gu gel into the flask and thin it out with some water and mix up some G2. I hurried and stuffed everything in the suitcase or post-race bag ran out to the car and loaded up. I drove over to the lodging office to check out and find an ice machine to fill up a baggie to keep my chocolate milk cold (post run protein).
I finally left the base at about 7:40am...the stadium is about a 15-20 minute drive from there! I didn't speed (good thing because there were cops everywhere) and actually missed my exit!! Arrrrrgh! Took the next exit and made a U turn. I got to the stadium about 5 minutes to 8am. I checked in and got my chip and made a quick restroom break. It looked like they were running late so I hurriedly taped up both my feet for my turf toes since I had forgotten to do it at lodging. Thankfully they were running about 5 minutes late and I am now proficient at taping my feet! I managed to have about 5 minutes to warm up before the race started. While I was waiting there was a girl...young lady...maybe in her early 20s who came up to me and asked if I was running the half. I responded in the affirmative and she said, "In this weather? Doesn't it cause any problems?" This kind of surprised me because it was perfect weather in my book...slightly overcast, wind maybe 10mph, temps in the low to mid 40s. I told her that it shouldn't be a problem and that I've run in rain and snow and still enjoyed it. She kind of gave me that "You're crazy" look and we chatted just a bit more before she went on her way. I'm guessing that she probably did the 5K since I didn't see her on the route.

I managed to start at a nice easy pace and kept it up for most of the first half. I would run about 1.5-2.5 miles at a time taking short walk breaks of about 100 feet before running again. It's been awhile since I've been able to run that distance before a break. For most of the race I was third from the last...nothing new for me in a small race. Around mile 5 I finally passed the lady that had been in front of me. She was wearing a shirt from the New Year's Double (2 half marathons on New Years Eve and New Years Day in the Dallas area) and we chatted about that for a bit before I pulled away...yes, I actually passed her and kept on going!! That put me at 4th from the last! I was able to maintain that position for quite awhile and even sped up my pace from about mile 6 through mile 9 where I passed yet another runner...again, yes! :D At around that point the trail went from paved to a tightly packed gravel trail with some loose gravel on top. I wasn't expecting this and it actually scared me a bit since my ankle was feeling wonky this morning and because anytime there is an uneven surface, my IT band seems to kick up. Luckily, this was not the case today. I maintained about a 12 minute/mile pace where I passed another runner at around mile 10...again!! Yay!! That doesn't happen often for's usually the other way around! I managed to keep pushing but my pace slowed slightly at about mile 12. I had to keep talking to myself to try to maintain or pick up the pace but even though I could see the finish line I found myself walking. I allowed myself to walk about 50 feet and then said that I would have to run the rest of the way and try to push for as fast as I could...which wasn't very much! I think the thing that probably kept me going was that I could hear the steps of the lady behind me and I wasn't ready to let her get ahead of me this close to the finish! I crossed the line and let out a huge sigh of relief with a smile on my face. I had managed to get a clock time of personal best so far!! I'm trying to find the website where final times are supposed to be posted, but I'm not having any luck. I'll probably have to contact the race director for the URL. Over all in my age group I was 4th out of six...darn!! Only 30+ minutes and I could have gotten 3rd and a plaque!! lol! No matter what I'm happy with my performance after a rough start to the day. I set a new PR and was able to apply to the Half Fanatics Club...the latter really being the only mission today!! So hopefully in a day or so I'll be able to say that I'm Half Fanatic #1982!! Whoohoo!

Finishers medal
Finished 4th in my age group,
Edit: Official time for the race is 2:37:31, my age division finish dropped from 4th to 5th. :(