Self Portrait

Self Portrait

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The OZ Run Half Marathon - Chippewa Falls, WI

My plan for 2015 is to complete 4 half marathons. I had registered for two, one in the beginning of May and one the beginning of June. Since there were long runs in my training schedule for the June half I decided to make another one of those an event. I also wanted to do more of a destination race but not to far away. I found the OZ Run in Chippewa Falls and since this really should be considered a training run thought it would be fun to run one like this in costume. Not worry about my time and just have fun.

I didn't want to dress a Dorothy because I figured there would be plenty of those and I decided on the Tin (wo)Man. They had a costume contest but I wasn't really planning on being a competetor in that because I didn't want to put on silver makeup for running a half marathon.

The website was nicely laid out, with the information easy to find. Great map of the courses (5K & half marathon). Clear when and where packet pickup was and there was a discount rate at a local motel, the one packet pickup was at.



Arrive in Chippewa on Friday. Checked into the hotel and checked out where the race would be starting and then went to packet pickup. Loved the tech shirts we received! They have a simple design and are great colors. On the sleeve it had the distance of the race the runner was doing. The race bibs had the same simple, noncluttered design. It was pretty organized and went quickly.

The half marathon race started at 8am and I arrived about 7am. I am always and hour early. Best parking that way plus you never know if unexpected issues will come up. The race start and finish line was at the fair grounds and there was plenty of parking right up close! This is always a plus.



I was surprised at the lack of costumes of the runners. The half marathon only had a handful of runners in any kind of Wizard of OZ costumes and just as I suspected, most were of Dorothy. The 5K runners were more festive, there was even one lady dressed as a tornado! It was pretty awesome.

It was finally time to start the race. There were only 119 runners in the half marathon. We ran downhill out of the fairgrounds and across hwy 124 into Irvine Park. Took a right turn and up a long gradual hill then around infront of the animal cages, another right turn and another hill. The first 3 miles where in the park and it seemed all up hill lol there were a few downhills but much more uphill. I knew once we got out of the park and onto hwy 5 it would be flatter, so I was just running for that. Flatter, not flat though. It was not a closed course but that didn't really matter. The vehicles were staying real clear of the runners and since the race was small there wasn't a whole lot of passing other runners anyway. Off hwy 5 we hit a asphalt trail through the woods and past some fields, then into a business park type area then into residential. Onto another trail, which brought us out to the edge of downtown Chippewa Falls. Back into residential and finally up a hill, around a long block and back to the fair grounds.



Along the course there was also OZ themed displays. There was a flying monkey in a tree, signs with OZ quotes, Toto in a basket, a witch and a poppy field. Nice little surprises to put a little smile on my face along the course.

The weather was about perfect and wind was minimal. Mostly sunny skies. There were plenty of water stops but only one porta-potty on the course, at about mile 7.5. Although when we ran past the golf course there was a porta-potty there that could be used, that was about mile 4 maybe.


The medal had the same design as the shirt. I really like it. The half marathon and 5K looked the same, just the half marathon one is bigger. They also have the race distance on them.

Once back to the fairgrounds there was recovery food and water. Photographers were they to take our finisher pictures infront of the OZ banner. They were only charging $5 for a digital download! There was a DJ near the finish and a live band over in “Emerald City”. A petting zoo for the kids as well. There was a table with the results but they only had about the first 30 finishers for the half marathon there. I kept checking back but no new updates were posted.



Then came time for the awards ceremony and costume contest. The age groups were kind of strange. My group was 48 to 59 (I think). I was second in my age group by only 1:51. The first place person received a yellow brick. Kinda cool but after I was thinking what would have I done with that anyway.

I also found out why you never wear something new on race day. The inside of my arms were raw at the end from rubbing continuously on my costume. But, hey, how can you train in a costume. Could you see me running around my neighborhood or on the treadmill at the gym in my tin woman costume? I would just be laughing everytime I passed someone!

This is definitely a race I would do again. Probably just the 5K next year but you never know…

Monday, May 25, 2015

I'm Baaaacccckk

First post in a long time. Had been so busy with work, training, school, certifications, etc but hopefully I will be able to having something new here often!

Since my last post I completed my AS in Business, received a certification in Sports Nutrition, certification in Group Fitness, became certified in R.I.P.P.E.D. (a group fitness format) and started a coaching endeavor with Mom’s on the Run. Also took courses in running injuries and heart rate training. I have been learning a lot!!

I have also been completing a lot of race events. My running goals for 2015 is to run 100+ miles per month (did it all of 2014) and do at least one race event in every month, with a total of 30+ for 2015.
In the coming weeks and months I hope to share with you all information to help you in your fitness and running goals, as well as, write review of the events I participate in. Maybe even some product reviews: shoes and accessories mostly.

I’ll just begin this with a list of the events I have and will do for 2015. Later I will give some reviews on my experiences with the ones I have already done. 2014 was my year of endurance and it seems 2015 is my year of variety. Planning ahead I am hoping to make 2016 my year of speed!
And the list of events for 2015:
Ø  Polar Dash 5k                                               January 1st                       Minneapolis, MN
Ø  Fight for Air Climb                                       February 21st                   Minneapolis, MN
Ø  Life Time Indoor Triathlon                         March 1st                         Maple Grove, MN
Ø  Survivor Mud Run                                       March 7th                          Mesa, AZ
Ø  St Paul Irish Run 8K                                     March 22nd                       St Paul, MN
Ø  Gopher Run 10 Miler                                  April 11th                          Minneapolis, MN
Ø  Hot Chocolate 15K                                       April 18th                          Minneapolis, MN
Ø  Go Spring! Trail Run 5K                              May 2nd                             Maplewood, MN
Ø  Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon             May 3rd                             Wayzata, MN
Ø  Fargo 5K                                                        May 8th                              Fargo, ND
Ø  Fargo 10K                                                      May 9th                              Fargo, ND
Ø  Birdtown 8K                                                  May 16th                           Robbinsdale, MN
Ø  Esprit de She Duathlon                              May 17th                           Lakeville, MN
Ø  OZ Run Half Marathon                               May 23rd                           Chippewa Falls, WI
Ø  Minneapolis Marathon Relay                   May 31st                           Minneapolis, MN
Ø  Lola’s Half Marathon                                  June 6th                             Waconia, MN
Ø  Running Wild Trail Run 7K                         June 13th                           Pelican Rapids, MN
Ø  Spartan Sprint                                              June 27th                           Welch, MN
Ø  Stars & Stripes 5K                               July 4th                              Wichita, KS
Ø  Warrior Dash                                               July 11th                            Hastings, MN
Ø  Ragnar Relay                                                August 14th & 15th              MN/WI
Ø  Women Rock 2.5K                                       August 28th                       St Paul, MN
Ø  Women Rock 10K                                        August 29th                       St Paul, MN
Ø  Women Rock 5K                                          August 29th                       St Paul, MN
Ø  Women Run the Cities 5K                          September 27th               Minneapolis, MN
Ø  Twin Cities 10k                                             October 3rd                       St Paul, MN
Ø  Twin Cities 5K                                               October 3rd                       St Paul, MN
Ø  Twin Cities 10 Mile                                      October 4th                       Mpls to St Paul, MN
Ø  St Paul Turkey Trot 10K                              November 26th                St Paul, MN 

There may be a few more sprinkled in there. I plan to do a 4th half marathon that I am still deciding on and I still need to sign up for a December race but as you can see my race calendar is pretty full!
Let me know if you are going to be attending any of these runs, we’ll meet up!

For now I hope you have are having an awesome Memorial weekend and I’ll be back SOON!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Time for Change

I have spent most of my adult life traveling up and down the numbers on the scale. Gain a little, lose a little, gain more, lost some. Gain a lot, lose a lot, over and over. A lot of this had everything to do what was going on in my life at the time.

By April of 2011, I weight as much as I ever had and was not happy at all happy about it. Over the next 9 months I was able to lose 15 lbs but that really could have been a lot higher. I did go threw a lot in 2011 but I soon realized I can't let that hinder what I am trying to accomplish. I kept thinking about my Mom and Grandmother. They were always active and strong, but choices they made during their life had caused them to now be forced into living a sedendary and dependent lifestyle. That is not something I wanted for my later years. I knew I needed change.

In January of 2012 I took a Wellness for Life class and one of our first assignments was to do a family health history. I found out that month that my paternal Grandfather and 4 of my uncles all had heart disease! I wanted nothing to do with that health issue so decided it was now time to get serious!

On January 23rd, I joined an online 12 week body transformation challenge. I had to post pictures online of me wearing only a sports bra and shorts. I in no way, shape or form wanted to put that pictures up! But I also promised myself that the two week progress picture would look different, and it did, as did the four week one and so on. by the end of the 12 weeks I had lost an additional 40 lbs, making my total for the last 12 months 55!

My before & after picture! The one on the left was taken Memorial Day 2011 and the one on the right was taken April 15, 2012.