May 29, 2012


After the race

And while I didn't "eat those 13.1 miles for breakfast", I did kick my own ass and surprise myself!  A week ago I ran 12 miles up here on our hilly roads-keeping my running light and easy-in about 2.5 hours.  I figured if i can tackle monster hills up here, I could take on 13.1 miles in relatively flat Anchorage.  My goal was to finish the race in under 3 hours-pushing for the 2.5.  I finished in 1:58:26!!!  Miles ran it too, kicking ass at  2:06-ish.   And that guy ran the whole things in his Vibram Five Fingers!
The temps Saturday were perfect, about 55 and partly sunny.  It wasn't a huge crowd, only about 200 runners-this being a more obscure race dedicated to a mother and son who where killed by a bear while out running.  We got there on the early side watered and fueled, hit the honey pots, stretched a bit, and did some warm-up jogging.  To be on the safe side we decided to get on the now very long line to the honey pots and try to evacuate any "leftovers" before the race started.  Nothing like running a good distance with a crap on deck...or a full bladder.  We were  just hopping out of our respective cans as they started the 10 second count down!  Joining the back-ish of the line I fumbled with securing my tunes to my upper arm and even tried to take a couple phone pics of the runners ahead of me. 

I wasn't feeling panicky or nervous like I thought i would once "go!" was shouted and took it easy as we found a comfortable pace gaining some speed and making our way more towards the middle of the pack.  Miles and I didn't chat as much as usual, saving energy and concentration for the race.  I fought the urge to plug in my ear buds for the first 2 miles, enjoying the peace of the woods, ambling river, and me and my husband's foot fall.  The birdsong was beautiful...  But soon I started to get that "racehorse in the gate" feeling.  Biding adieu to Miles, I turned on the ipod and surged ahead to U2's "Beautiful Day"- I felt like I could fly!  I slowly made my way passing many runners up ahead.  The collective atmosphere seemed energized and joyful-smiles, words of encouragement and cheers from bystanders and kids offering water.  After a few miles, the first of the front runners started to appear as they made their way back to the finish line.  I tried to throw out a few "keep goin'!"s and thumbs up but around the halfway point I was starting to realize I needed to not break my concentration.  I downed a few Gu chomps, trying not to slobber as I breathed heavily through my chewing.  As I passed the halfway point I fast-forwarded through some songs to find something that would really get my spirit cranking.  After a minute or so, my heart took a leap as I saw my hunny approaching with his arm outstretched.  I let him know the that the halfway was right around the corner as we high-fived.  "I love you, Baby" I yelled and got to work on the last half of the race.  To push myself a bit, I would target anyone in front of me and try to pass them.  I have a habit of getting comfortable following...I get in a groove and zone out while they lead.  In the past this has translated into my life in general.  Somewhere in my mind a voice said to my inner child,"You can follow or you can lead...".  I did my best to lead-passing all but one young woman that I ran neck and neck with for awhile until she surged ahead toward the end.  In my naive mind, I had hoped to run steady until that last couple miles where I would kick it in and run hard to the finish.  Didn't work out that way!  The last 2 miles were TOUGH!!!  4 of the people I had previously passed eventually overtook me.  At one point I broke out of my zoniness to realize I was alone on the trail and wasn't seeing any markers!  I got a bit freaked out thinking it would be just like me to take a wrong turn as the trail branched out quite a bit in that area!  But I soon approached a familiar park and knew I was on track. 
At one point I came SO close to walking...but I snapped out of it, telling myself,"You KNOW that in about 10 minutes you will be DONE and able to rest and revel!!!  Don't you fucking WALK!!!"  All thoughts of slowing down left as I passed under the last tunnel and could see the finish line and people up ahead!  Those distant cheers of encouragement uplifted me, giving a boost of energy and speed to fly over that finish line!  What an incredible feeling!!!  I walked about for a couple minutes, passing a last minute speedster bent over and maybe puking in the lake. I stretched my quads and turned my attention to the finish line to wait for Miles.  I walked back along the trail about 50 yards and after a few minutes he appeared.  I yelled out something like,"GO baby!!!" and ran parallel to him through the crowd to grab him at the finish.  We were both THRILLED with our bad selves..having exceeded our own expectations!  I'm STILL high...
I've spent the last couple days nursing some intense soreness!  Sunday was misery as we continued work framing our interior walls.  As of today only my calves are still crying...but I'm hoping they'll recover by Friday night's Twilight 12K run!  Hey, I know it's soon, I know my second thought after that 1/2 marathon was,"I'm not running for at LEAST 10 days!" (After-race brain fuzz?!?)but there is a BEER GARDEN at the end of this race, yo!!! 
Ok, I'm totally hooked on running races!!!!!  I've always had the urge to RUN since I was a kid, begging my friends to run in the Town Journal Run with me(I never did).  If I could go back in time I would DEFINITELY join the track and cross country teams in school.  Back then, I never had the confidence....couldn't handle being in the public eye.  But now, at 42 years old, it's there-a little late, yeah- but now is MY TIME!!!!!  And I can't wait for my new Subaru to come in so I can slap that 13.1 bumper sticker on the back window!!!!
Runs with phone

May 14, 2012

Pinterest, huh?

  An interesting way to post pics and info of stuff that I covet dig?  Why, yes!  Methinks I will, please and thank you.  Like I need another mindless interweb thing to play with...  Oh, well.  I gave up a couple other sites, so this I can fit in.  'Tis fun.

May 12, 2012

Weekend warriors!

That's some kick-ass terrain to run on!

We've had some busy productive weekends lately!  Running, beer brewing and bottling, chopping down trees, construction, and school the point that I'm craving a few hours to just  snuggle on the couch with the cats and a good book on my Nook.  But I'm NOT complaining!!!!  A couple weeks ago, I challenged myself to running 8.5 miles on our hilly road (see photo above).  I'm training to run a 5k, a 1/2 marathon, and possibly a full marathon this summer.  The most I've run on these hills is 6 miles and i wanted to see if I could take it up a notch.  Miles joined me on the run and had planned to head back home after a few miles while I finished the run.  He ran the 8.5 with me and  at that point I was still feeling pretty strong so I decided to tack on an extra route.  We kissed goodbye and I started down a wasn't more than 10 ten seconds before Miles yelled out, "wait up!  I'm gonna do it, too!"  Being the stronger runner, I was SO happy and proud that he pushed himself with me on that last leg of the run!  By the end of it I was definitely ready to be done!  When we got home I hopped in the car to track to mileage of our run.  It turned out that we ran 11.5 miles that day!  My longest run yet!  I'm feeling pretty happy with my endurance and will... and confident in my ability to run a half marathon right now!
Now might be a good time to update folks on how things have been going for me over the last year running in minimalist shoes.  I am still LOVING my Vibram 5 Finger toe shoes...but it's been a rocky transition.  I'm going to just cut and paste a message I sent to a knowledgeable runner that I admire, detailing my experience these last months with the VFFs- as well as what I felt on this 11.5 mile run.  But I will use this in a second post today so that this one isn't so long.

Miles going up...

Dana going down....

Previous night's
healthy fuel
Previous night's
healthy fuel
 made not so healthy! 

After months at a standstill, we finally started up work on the new addition again and got our main interior wall finished! I was MANICALLY happy to be out there pounding nails! Next weekend we'll be erecting the last 2 small walls and then it's on to powering up the room with electrical.  Slow progress is better then NO progress and I am filled with glee when I get to don my manly tool belt!

Workin on that wall...

May 6, 2012


Our brew...mmmmmm hops.....

...And I was sick.  :(
Yesterday was  National Homebrew Day-  "Brew-A-Thon" for the Anchorage area Great Northern Homebrewers.  At 8 am in the morning many nutters brewers hauled their brewing rigs to a fellow member's property and set up stations to commence concocting mucho batches of tasty beers.  Together outside in the Alaska spring (overcast, breezy, 40-ish degrees).   Miles and I brewed a Black Imperial IPA. Our second shot at improving the first one we brewed a while back.  It was a friendly festive climate with food, instruction for newbies and most folks brought homebrews to share throughout the day.  All we needed was some live music!  The gig was fun, I think, but...poor 'ol me...I woke up with rocks stuffed in my chest, a headache and a scratchy throat.  I spent the time just trying to stay warm.  I was so chilled and feelin' sucky that I wound up zonking out in the truck like a homeless person.  I was pretty useless....sorry, Hunny.  And I was very NOT into tasting much beer.  Not happy, me.  And looks like running is out for the weekend.  Meeeeeeeeeeehhhhh....
But here's some pics of the brew fest...
The 8 am GNBC toast

This guy is a sweetheart!

One of the nifty all-grain set ups!

Our rig

Ginger for their honey-ginger ale

Willa grooving on the Iodophor funkiness!

One way to cool your wort...

Tasting table