Thursday, November 20, 2008

There's a first time for everything...

This post has nothing to do with running, but I am seriously finding it difficult to care about school this semester. My classes bore me to tears, I feel like I'm learning nothing with the exception of my exercise physiology lab class where occasionally we do something cool, like watch bubbles being pumped into the professor's heart. Anyway, because of this newfound laziness, I've accomplished a couple things I never thought I would do:

1 - Get drunk the night before a midterm.

Now granted, this is a midterm in a class that I do not attend except for the exams (which I guess is kind of terrible in itself) and I study by going through the lecture notes, but more importantly, the exams from previous classes. My professor is mega-lazy and pretty much re-uses old exams...a big, big bonus for those who can get their hands on them while everyone else in the class brings down the curve. (I realize, I'm a terrible person. But I think I deserve one class that involves absolutely no work after the pre-med hell I've been through) Anyway, it was my friend's 21st birthday and obviously I was going to go out. About 3 drinks into power hour at the Nitty Gritty, I literally was like "oh my god...I have a MIDTERM tomorrow!" Like, I had been studying for the past couple days, but my need to go celebrate with my friend had completely pushed all thoughts of it out of my mind. So, was I a good responsible person? Um, no. I continued drinking through 3 bars with the birthday girl and finally called it a night at 12:30...also, I had to wake up at 6:30.
Also, I got an 88% on the exam...and based on the previous exams, the class average will most likely be <75%. WIN.

2 - Write a paper the day its due.

Actually, I'm kind of in the middle of this one right now. I could have worked on this last night, but I thought it would be a better idea to watch 3 hours of Mythbusters, Top Chef, and Good Eats while consuming a pint of Mackinac Island Fudge with BF. Oh well..these things happen. Another idiotic class, online at that, so I'm about to go spew out 4 pages about how my grandmother's life experiences (which are freaking awesome btw...she is the coolest lady ever) relate to HDFS 363. And then I'm going to go run the Arb loop. WIN.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I can has tempo run?

I'm back after my week off...and yes, it did turn out to be a full week. Things got busy, there was a football game, and I woke up feeling like death (as in actual sickness, not hungover, amazingly) on Sunday so my running comeback was delayed until yesterday. It was also quite a rude awakening going running in 25 degree and snowy weather when the last time I ran was at Nationals where it was 55 and sunny. But apparently the cold weather worked out pretty well, since Nicole and I did what turned out to be a tempo run at 7:09 pace on the bike path. Yes...that's right...5 seconds faster per mile than my race at Nationals. Huh...that's cool...well, I guess in a way it kind of is, since I felt really good, but why couldn't I have pulled that out a week ago? Ohhh well. Anyway, it felt good, and today we did the Monona Bay loop at a slightly slower but still by no means lazy pace. The best part is, (knock on wood), I've felt NO pain in my hip the past 2 days! It's actually kind of amazing being able to walk around after a run and not be limping...and a little sad too that I got so used to it and just put up with it for that long. Either way, I hope that the week off and a few weeks of no workouts will be the cure for whatever that problem is/was.

I don't have anything planned in the way of races for awhile...if I could, I'd probably be doing a Thanksgiving Day race, but sadly Milwaukee hasn't jumped on that bandwagon yet. That's probably OK though since I'm sure I'm due for a break in racing, although I haven't done a road race in awhile and I'm kind of looking forward to the Jingle Bell Run in December. I'll pretty much be doing whatever I want running-wise until Thanksgiving, then after that starting lifting and doing some workouts to get ready for track...still don't know exactly what I'm running, but I guess we'll see. I think I get better at running in the cold every year, but ugh, I still hate winter in Wisconsin. Brrrrrr!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The little things...

Dude at Indie Coffee: I see you have a USATF sticker on your computer, are you a runner?
Me: Yes!
Dude: Atta girl!

This pretty much made my day for some reason. Indeed, I am a runner. :)

Throwin' up the W

I don't know what to do with my life today because I don't have practice at 5:30. It's weird. And since I am attempting to take a "week off" (read: 3-4 days) after cross country, I'm in running withdrawal as well. I went swimming last night. It was bizarre. Swimming does not equal running, especially when the last time I worked out my arms was forever and a day ago, but its cool because I swam a mile and a quarter, and that equals out to 5 miles. Win!

So anyway, the nationals race report. It took me awhile to write this because I had to get over my initial issues of a) having a shitty race and b) cross country being over, potentially forever. I was in a glass case of emotion this weekend, that's for sure. But now that I'm a little further out, I feel ok to deal with it...maybe.

So my race sucked. I would say probably my worst race of the year, at a time when I should have been at my best. My legs felt. like. shit. I felt like I'd been sprinting 400 m intervals by the mile mark, and the lactic acid never subsided. I felt like I was dragging 2 painful lead weights around, and no matter how hard I tried I could NOT pick it up. It was by far the most frustrating race I've ever run because from the waist up, things were fine, and my legs just refused to respond. Hey legs, try to stick with Jade...nope. Hey legs, go with Karin and Taylor...nope. Hey legs, Nicole is passing you, fucking GO WITH HER! Nope. Nothing. I finally dragged myself across the line in not my worst time ever, but far, far, far from my best. And sadly, I think the reason I felt so bad was the fact that I had been driving for 4 and a half hours the night before...and I tense up incredibly when I drive. But hey, I guess I didn't have the worst race of our team, since Laura (who just found out she's super anemic) ended up dropping out because she felt like she was going to faint. Overall, our team was definitely not anywhere near its strongest, and we ended up tying for 9th (when most likely we would have been 3rd with our top 3 there/at full strength). But since I'm trying desperately not to dwell on my shitty mc shit shit race, lets talk about how the rest of the weekend was incredible. WTC BOYS....NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!!! They completely kicked Oregon's ass, 35-89....who's #1 now?? Also, did I mention that our girls team still managed to beat Missouri despite being in our weakest state all season? Take that, NIRCA rankers!

So the road trip aspect of the trip was ridiculous/hilarious. We drove 1400 miles to race Missed tolls, "Can you switch gears while driving? I guess so!", signs telling us to buckle up the next million miles, beer drive throughs, van races, 3 motels in 3 nights, strip clapping games, tattoos, sluts at the Olive Garden, fail-movie van, the worst mall in America (Clairon, PA), ordering water at a bar, "the highest point on I-80!", sketchy Motel 6, always waiting for Kyle, Mo's sleep-talking (" you have a rope or an atom? I need to go on the ceiling..." or "We took the fish out of this little was like an Easter egg hunt, but with little fish")...seriously, road trips cannot be explained haha. Watching the guys win was one of the most exciting things I've ever experienced. I think I used up all my adrenaline screaming as I watched Ben, Zach, Nick, and Joe shoot towards the finish line, one after the other. The course was gorgeous, and I think under other circumstances I could have run a really kickass race...but it wasn't meant to be. We also discovered the BF's twin...seriously, it is CREEPY. This dude runs for Illinois and I am not kidding...same hair, same facial hair, similar facial features, same height....even he was creeped out when he saw the picture.

I'm sad to see it end. The team aspect of cross country is something you can find nowhere else...and our team seems to just get closer and closer as the years go on. If anything will keep me in Wisconsin for PT school, its this team. I cannot imagine what my college career would have been like if I hadn't become a part of this incredible group. I've become a legit runner, and I've met some of the most awesome people I know. I know one bad race doesn't define my season, and I had some awesome races this year. I really want to find a way to run cross country next year, wherever I am...because you can run in all the road races you want, but nothing can quite compare to standing with your team on the line on a crisp fall day, the gun going off, and hundreds of runners roaring down that line towards the horizon...

But you know what's also pretty sweet? Track season. Coming soon to a club near you :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

yes. we. CAN!

I have to say, it was pretty cool being a witness to history last night. I actually most likely wouldn't have even watched the election except for an amusing random happening. The BF and I went out to dinner for our 1 year anniversary (yay! love you!) at this restaurant called Harvest on the square. HEAVENLY...small first course (I think I read its called an amuse) of butternut squash soup which was delightful, an appetizer of seared scallops (heaven.) with tomato vinagrette and zucchini puree, then for dinner he had grouper and I had this absolutely ridiculously awesome hanger steak with salsa verde and potatoes, we also split a side of mushrooms in brown butter. And of course, to top it off, a decadent chocolate cake with mousse and this ridiculous caramel sauce. It was the perfect place for an anniversary dinner - quiet, simple, and spectacular food.

So anyway, we're walking home after splitting a bottle of wine when we realize we need to pee. It just so happens that BF mentions this just as we're walking past the Nitty Gritty and I suggest we go in, pee, and have a beer...why not, right? Well as it turns out, there's a bunch of people there and the election is on, and oh...there's a $10 debit minimum so I guess we're getting 2 beers each...haha. The place absolutely ERUPTED when the results came up that Obama had won and so we decided to stick around to hear his speech...meaning more beer. Top that off with an Ale Asylum Hopalicious nightcap and we ended up being two pretty drunk Obama supporters. In all seriousness though, I got chills when Obama made his speech. I'm really not terribly political at all but this was seriously a landmark election in our country's history and we are witnesses to it. It was actually really cool being in a bar for the announcement and having people to celebrate with...apparently State Street was completely full of people. The whole night really made me very proud to be an American (and also thankful that I have the most incredible boyfriend ever :))

So running you say? Well, I leave tomorrow at 4:45 for NIRCA NATIONALS!!! Needless to say, I'm excited. The girls team has run into a bit of a roadblock with 2 of our top 4 runners not coming, but you know what? Screw that. Who says that Jade, or Nicole, or Karin, or what the hell...ME can't have a breakout race and just dominate? We got dropped from the rankings this week which has honestly fired me up even more because we are CLEARLY better than the #4 and especially #5 teams....I'm sorry, just because you have one awesome runner doesn't make up for the fact that one of your scored runners runs a 29:45 6K. Rant aside though, I know we're all going to leave it all on the course on Saturday. I know I will....hell, this could be my last cross country race, and I'm going to make it count. My hip has been feeling OK lately...definitely better than the past couple of weeks, and tapering has been good to me. I'm ready. My team is ready. And we are going to rock the socks off everyone who stands in our way. In the words of Obama: YES WE CAN!

Time to kick some ass.