Friday, October 31, 2008

Genesis 24:58

Today I did something I've been thinking about and designing for roughly two years. My first tattoo. It is an honor to mark a piece of the Lord's work in my life on my body.

Did it hurt? Sometimes. Overall it was more irritating than painful. No near tears. It was worth it.

The reason behind the design comes from Genesis 24, the story of Rebekah and how she came to be with Isaac. The man leading Rebekah on the camel is an example of the Holy Spirit. In verse 58 Rebekah is asked a pivotal question that would change her life forever. "Will you go with this man?".

This question has transcended into my own life in a very real way. There are many times in my walk with God where I am asked will I continue to follow His leading or not. I pray I always have Rebekah's answer, "I will go."

Now for how it applies in a physical sense... most people who don't run marathons or do triathlons say "I could never do that." For most of us it's not a question of can, it's a question of "will you". That is where the inspiration for the gears came from.

I plan on going as far as the Lord has set out for me, in spirit and in body. :) This tattoo is a symbol of that.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What came first?

Saturday night I went to bed chilled. The special kind of chill that tends to stick with me most of the winter months.

After a beautiful autumn ride that morning the thought of snow hadn't really occurred to me. To be honest I was more excited about my running tights fitting over my bike shorts and
contemplating the warmer gear I'd need for the next trips out on Tangerine.

Come 4 a.m. Sunday morning I had different thoughts. 50-60 mph gusts were thrashing against our apartment hard enough to wake both Jeremy and I up. Uhg.

We checked the bedroom windows to make sure they were completely closed and locked.Sometimes they whistle like it's more windy outside than it actually is, but such was not the case. It truly was that windy. The sleep following that initial stir was fitful.

What we didn't see on our window panes when we checked them earlier is what we woke up to later that morning. *Snow*

The sight neither excited nor disappointed me. Which is odd. The prospect of strapping on my board and wanting more time on my road bike collided. Usually snowboarding rivals quite a lot, but this year it is different. I realize now that I have a problem, which isn't actually a problem at all: Too many passions.

By noon the dusting of snow we received had melted. More time to ride, my bicycle. For now.

With snow already having fallen you'd think that the trees here would be barren and the grass a dull shade of green, but the cool weather seems to have brought out the color.

Here are a few photos from the path I typically run on (taken today).

As to the start of this week, Yesterday was another attempt at Pilates. It gave me a headache again. Which either means I'm forgetting to breathe or not doing the exercises right. I'll find out soon enough. Classes are three times a week so that gives me plenty of opportunity to figure out what I'm doing wrong.

Other then that, Jeremy and I have been feeling run down so far this week. Unfortunately that's not from running, but more than likely some bug going around. We are doing our best to take it easy. I shoot a wedding on Saturday and need to be healthy.

Again another conflict of passions. Sometimes work trumps training. No complaints. :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Architectural "Art" Meets Boulder Holders

Today I had the chance to shoot some engagement photos downtown. While I driving around looking for spots I was surprised to see the array of bras strung together draping from rooftop-to-awning of the Hotel Donaldson. It was both hilarious and in an odd way beautiful.

Just thought I'd share the shot. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Red River Run - Race Report

Yesterday Jeremy and I participated in the Red River Run. (He did awesome!)

Last year it was a beautiful race course along the river with autumn colored leaves scattered everywhere. So, when I found out that the course had to be moved due to flooding this year, I was a bit bummed.

Winter is undoubtedly on it's way and I'm cherishing what is left of fall. Fortunately, the new race course was just as lovely. Unfortunately, the camera battery went dead before I could capture it. But, here are a few shots we got before then...

Why do I look like a bandit/convict?

1.) Because I can.

2.) Because there is a costume contest at this race.

3.) This is the only reasonably priced costume I thought made sense to run in.

Did I win the contest? No. But I did get a tacky coaster with a road-runner painted on it. :)

Obviously my toes continued to heal throughout the week enough for me to run. To my knowledge this is the last longer distance race of the year in this area so I was really happy to be able to run the full 15k.

In comparison to the other races this season the attendance was sparse. Decent turn-out with 222 runners, but when you spread them out over a 5k course and a 15k there aren't many racers around you.

It was a quiet 9.3 miles which meant a lot of time alone (good prayer times) with only my internal dialog urging me onward. I don't mind races like this, but from the beginning I was somewhat worried that I may not be able to find a fellow runner to pace myself with & that my time would be poor because of it.

Much to my surprise I actually ran faster averaging a pace of 10:07. Giving me a total time of:

Red River Run 15k


I guess my mental stamina and physical determination are stronger then I realize. I certainly wore myself out, but it's an awesome feeling finishing the race to the sound of your husband cheering you on & knowing that you held nothing back. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tougher than nails, well toenails...

Thanks to the lively crew at Beyond Running here in Fargo I have some fun video from last weekend's Filthy 5k. This clip is at the last and most slick mud hill on the course just before the finish. I'm (in the orange jacket) at about minute 7 on the video if you'd like to watch me claw my way up, but it's just as entertaining to watch everyone else try too. :)

At the start of the race they instruct you to just enjoy yourself (which I did) and not expect a PR because of the terrain. Judging by the standing water in the grassy areas, I knew that the ground on the woodsy part of the course wasn't going to be pretty. I was right, but they were wrong about the PR...

2nd Annual Filthy 5k 30:01:74

One of these days (hopefully this fall/winter) I will drop under the 30 minute mark for a 5k, but for now I'm just excited that with each foot-race I've done so far this year my pacing has become faster and faster.

Anywho, The Filthy 5k lived up to it's name this year. So much so that they had to cancel the water truck they had scheduled to spray down the course (see I knew they had been scheming). As it turns out the continuous rain showers we had all week did the trick.

Jeremy and I arrived early giving us some time to scope out the new course route and visit with other racers as they arrived before the race began. For some reason a few of the ladies there missed the memo about it being a "filthy" 5k and you could see the apprehension on their faces as they contemplated getting their nice white shoes and pretty tech-gear all muddied up. As for me I was ready in my ever so sexy (HAHAHA!) running tights and old shoes that are 1/2 sz. too small.

After the Mustache contest had taken place we all lined up at the start for what would indeed be an interesting race. (What racing and mustaches have in common, I still haven't quite figured out, but it was a laugh anyway. I was tempted to compete.)

Most of the trail ended up being single file with a few wider sections for we faster runners to make our way around those running at a slower pace. Overall it wasn't as crowded as I worried it may be considering the race numbers went from 42 last year to 125 this.

What felt true to me last year held true this year. I absolutely love trail running! Even when it's so wet along the trail that your shoes make lovely farting noises from stride to stride. It was difficult to keep my pace and not walk any portion of it, but I managed to hang on until the final mud slicked hill that involved some crawling. My heart-rate maxed out at the top. After a few deep breaths I was able enough to slowly & feebly sprint the final 500ft. Whew!

At the finish I was awarded with the best medal I've gotten yet. Soap on a rope! :)

Like Jeremy said in his blog post, this is a race that we will mark in our calendar a year in advance so that we are sure to be around for it. It's a blast.

Thanks again to Beyond Running for putting together another fantastic race this year!

In other news:

I was able to fix what was broken successfully. My camera and memory cards are now functioning properly thanks to a new card-reader. Please note *If your compact flash cards come up as DCII instead of DCIM on your computer and all the files are corrupted/unreadable then the card no longer works in your camera, it's probably something wrong with the card-reader. Such as bent pins or something along those lines. Unfortunately getting back those images might not be possible ( Such was the crud in my wknd) but at least it doesn't mean buying a new camera body.

And: The pain that I woke up to at 4am Sunday morning from an ingrown toenail on my left foot has subsided enough to allow me to continue running. Finally! I was able to get a 6mile training run in yesterday and while there were twinges of pain here & there it was manageable. I probably wont get a pedicure when on vacation again. I can't help but think that it was because of that, that I got the ingrown toenail to begin with. Since I have started to feel the same pains starting in my right big toe it makes me suspicious. Epsom salts, rubbing alcohol, tweezers and a good nail trimmer are so very nice.

We'll see how the rest of this week turns out. Hopefully/Prayfully my toes will continue to heal so that I can still run the 15k on Saturday. If I ended up only running the 5k or shooting the event that's *okay*, but certainly not my preference.

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Filthy 5k Race Report (preview)

The Filthy 5k on Saturday was without a doubt, Filthy, not to mention a blast. My weekend however went from mud to crud. More about that later, but for now I'll post some "dirty" photos of Jeremy and I. Enjoy!

Now I'm off to try to fix what's broken. Hopefully with success.

And here is today's art project. :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Preparing to get filthy...

One (of many things) I appreciate about Fargo is that regardless of the season and/or weather there is always some devoted athlete out there running.

Before I started running I never noticed them, but like one who is on the hunt for a new car or camper, once I started looking I see them everywhere. Even when I'm not making a conscious effort to do so.

A good friend asked me this week where I derive my desire to keep lacing up the Mizunos' and get out there.

I'm fortunate enough to run for no other reason than that I love to. This does not, however, mean that I am immune to the struggle most of us runners face. Mornings are the weakest portion of my day, 15-30 mph winds aren't something I bask in and some days it's physically uncomfortable if not painful for me to run. I still need inspiration and a nudge to get moving too.

For now, I doubt that, that need will dissipate. And for now, more than likely for always, I appreciate the encouragement of my Beloved and the other runners I see in this city day-to-day inspiring me to keep going. Thank you!

Yesterday I made a stop downtown to drop off our registration forms for The Filthy 5k at Beyond Running (Great shoe/gear shop if you haven't been there yet). They were excited we would be there. How could we not? Last year was a riot.

Something did cause me some concern though. I was told to bring an extra change of clothes to switch into post-race. This sent my imagination into over-drive contemplating what sorts of mud puddles and booby-traps await me on Saturday. Yes it is supposed to rain, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the crew has been brainstorming up a plethora of dirty ideas.

What did I expect? This is a race that hands out awards to the runner who ends up the filthiest.I'm entirely too atwitter about this. :) Not to distracted to get a long run in, in preparation for the 15k I found out the Red River Run (Next Saturday) has in addition to the 5k though.

The half-marathon/triathlon base I have been able to build this spring/summer has come to my aid more then I expected it to. I know I can cover the 9.32 miles, but after scaling back the distances of my training runs since the Dick Beardsley 1/2 would it still be enjoyable?

Much to my jubilation after hammering out 6.12 miles in 15mph wind & 25ish mph gusts yesterday I am confident it is well within reach. It was a great training run despite a slight stomach ache from running mid-day shortly after eating lunch and a stiff headwind on a portion of the course.

It looks to be a promising start to the fall race season for me. :) w00t!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Beach Blisters & Returning to Autumn

Since returning from the two weeks I spent in Florida I have been low on ambition. Readjusting to the normal routine of housework and training has been difficult. I left 80-90 degree temps with high humidity to come back to 60 degree highs and falling leaves. Harsh transition, my lungs are still acclimating to it all. But I'm starting to regain my drive again. Thankfully looking forward to upcoming races (one this Saturday and another next wknd).

Before I get to that, here's a recap of what I neglected to write about while on my trip...

The thought of giving up precious space in my suitcase for running gear was a bit of a new concept to me. My how my mindset has changed since a year ago. Now I must admit that I am somewhat proud of the fact that what I am most jazzed about when future vacations arise is the opportunity to train in a new exciting location.

These are just a few of the views I was blessed with in my time along the golf.

As I mentioned earlier running in Tallahassee was a challenge, but after four runs through the neighborhood with steady improvements I was happy.

My 5th and final run was by far the highlight. However the scenery was different.

The sunset and sand fence shots are from the beach along St. George's Island where I had the delight of running Sunday morning at sunrise. It was stunning. Running barefoot along the shore with the surf brushing over my feet, listening to Third Day playing in the one ear not pointed toward the ocean and listening to the waves crashing in the other was surreal. I pray the Lord's creation never ceases to amaze and give me joy like it did at that moment.

Half way through the run I realized that my index-toes were hurting. I reasoned that away figuring perhaps they had gotten a bit beat up by the fist sized seashell that got kicked around between them a mile back. When I returned to the Inn I realized that when untrained running barefoot and on sand leads to one thing(well technically two)....


Ouch! After draining both and super-gluing one shut (hurt way worse then getting my nose pierced) I was, okay. That didn't keep me from fretting about the sub 10minute "lay-overs" I had on my flights returning home the next morning. Walking on them caused twinges of pain, I wasn't in a hurry to experience the pain of running through the terminal from gate to gate. Fortunately a good nights rest and open air did a lot of good and as you can tell I made it home just fine.