Monday, September 30, 2013

Mondays in Love/Announcement #2: Not my Gateway Drug

That's right, Mondays in Love is back!! I've really missed writing this series in the weeks and months we've spent getting here and getting set up.

Today's re-introduction post is Announcements, Part 2 of 2, as promised a few posts back. Some of you have heard this announcement already on Facebook, so feel free to skip down a bit to the part where this matters for my life as a runner. For everyone else, behold:

I bought a bike! 

Now, I know what you're thinking. Here's another runner who bought a bike "for recreational purposes" and before we know it she's going to be waxing ecstatic about triathlons. I know. We've seen it again and again and again. But I promise you, this is not my gateway drug to tris. There will be no wet suit. No fancy bike shorts. There WILL be a very purple pannier bag. That is happening. 

I thought it seemed like fun, and a fun way to cut back on vehicle use. From our house, it's a relatively flat ride anywhere from 0.5 to 1.5 miles to a variety of points of interest, everything from coffee shops to a Post Office to book stores and consignment shops. So, why not? 

I've ridden just a few times already and I've enjoyed it. I have a sense of accomplishment about getting errands run while skipping the car and getting a little bit of exercise. And once the kids are old enough, we'll be ridiculously adorable biking together to buy ice cream cones. 

Happy Monday in Love. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Announcement #1: My next race!!

Those of you I'm linked up with on DailyMile might have already pieced this together, but for everyone else, allow me to spring the cat from the bag:
I signed up for my 8th half-marathon!!

On November 3rd I'll be running the Raleigh City of Oaks Half-Marathon with my BRFF (best running friend forever) Meg. Remember her? This girl. It's going to be epic. 

Raleigh will be our fourth half together, and I couldn't be more excited (in case you couldn't tell). Our goal is simple: break 2 hours. Why? Because that's always been the goal.  

Our first race together was the first 13.1 either of us ever ran. We'd trained with Team in Training and had high hopes. It was Chicago in August. It was hot. Being newbies, we didn't have experience dealing with adverse race conditions, and tried to push through. We turned in a 2:12 and I threw up about 6 times (lovely, right?) (non-graphic recap here).

Our second race was the Indy half in October 2008, when my older son was not quite 5 months old. I think the reason we didn't sub-2 that day is fairly obvious. 
That's me in the blue shirt about to cross the blue mat. Meg is next to me. 

Our third race was the Illinois half in May of 2010, just after we'd both graduated (recap here). That day was about so much more than running--or rather, running was about so much more than running. But, it wasn't our day on the course. We posted a new PR for Meg, but a slower time than we'd hoped for. 

Running in our hoods one Saturday that spring--running together
was about so much more than running

Soon after that race, she moved really really far west and I moved to STL. Then she moved again. Then I had another baby. Meanwhile we both had(have) demanding jobs. Then I moved again. And finally we found an opening to get together for a race. 

So, Raleigh. November. That's the goal: sub-2 our half. We can do this!! We're training "together" from a distance (we're 2000+ miles apart) using the Runner's World 2-hour half training plan, which I've used before and really like. The course is flat and the weather should be favorable. And coming from UT, running at sea level will feel amazing. SO EXCITED!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Where I've been since June

My last post was a question about trusting race medals to a moving truck. I got answers all over the board--everything from "if it means a lot to you and they're small, tuck them in the car" to "this made me laugh--the truck has all your stuff, it's probably fine." So what did I do? Was it fine? Oh, so much to tell.

Our move started on the 4th of July when Mr. Joanna flew east with our kiddos. They were going to hang out with the grandmothers while my Dad and I drove from MO to UT, close on the new place by the 14th, meet the moving truck by the 16th and get kids' rooms put together. I left MO on July 8th. That day was insane, starting with a run with my STL running buddy and friend Rachel, then signing all the sale papers on that house, and overseeing the movers as they loaded the truck. When the truck left, Dad and I left town. Our drive across the country was uneventful, we closed  a day late but we closed, and got busy painting immediately.

Me & Rachel after my send-off run. I miss this girl.

My Dad in downtown Omaha when we stopped for lunch

Downtown Cheyenne, which is adorable

Buying paint for the boys' rooms!

Mr. Joanna and the kids and my Mom (Pepper) were scheduled to fly to UT on 7/16. All that happened, except that at 5pm on the 15th we learned that our moving truck had not yet left MO and didn't even have a driver assigned and had failed to give us adequate notice because "they were busy". It was too late to get the flights from the east coast, they arrived to an empty house and I was helpless to do anything at all about it. My parents stayed at a hotel until they left on the 22nd, and we bought enough provisions to essentially camp in our house--not without some bumps in the road, but we made it work.

Our things didn't arrive until July 28th, and I'm 99% positive that one of the people who unloaded the truck stole a pair of my earrings (which might have looked real to an untrained eye but weren't). NEVER USE NORTH AMERICAN TO MOVE!  I seriously cannot stress this enough and will happily give anyone the full details should it be useful to anyone. They were awful.

I made a point to swim at the hotels during our drive west, and I started running pretty soon after arriving, once I wasn't painting all day every day. My Garmin's charger was held hostage on the moving truck, so I ran tech-free until our things arrived.

Running in the high desert is a totally different animal than Midwestern or East Coast running. First, there is little to no humidity. This means that people are seen running at 90 degrees or even hotter temps (not me). Second, it gets cool at night even on the hottest days. This means that if you run at dawn, even on the hottest day of the year, it's completely reasonable. Third, I'm at 4600+ feet in elevation. The air is thin. This means that while it took only a few days to acclimate for everyday activities, running left me sucking air for several weeks. Fourth, it ain't flat! My glutes and hammies have been getting a good workout here, and I can already tell it's making me a stronger runner. 

Post-truck (when we finally got our stuff), we've settled in pretty well. While it was not our intention, we have become urban farmers. We grow an insane amount of produce, from which we've made homemade blackberry ice cream, apple pie, applesauce, grape juice, grape jelly, pear jam, and a few other smaller things. On the whole, eating healthy, whole, natural foods seems really easy here. It's a lifestyle, and it's so easy to love, especially when you grow the food yourself!

Stay tuned--there are TWO big announcements on the fitness front. Welcome back to JoannaRuns, everyone! Show me some love!