Wednesday, June 27, 2012

"It's a New Life for Me, and I'm Feelin' Good"

Ladies and gentlemen, this happened:

Our wedding, much like every race I have ever ran, was completely worth all the stress, all the work, all the sleepless nights, all the everything. It was worth it because it was amazing. I could talk about the week leading up to it--the parties, the lack of sleep, the over-caffeination due to said lack of sleep, the panic when we found out we might have to wait until the following Monday for a marriage license (and the sweet relief when we were able to get it), but then I would be here for days. I will just say these things:
~I have an amazing family. I really do. They worked their asses off for a year and a half to pull this off, and I will forever be in their debt for that.
~I have truly great friends, who I could never live without, and being able to celebrate with them just made the whole event sweeter.
~Trail running, I feel, adequately prepared me for tearing 1/4 mile through the woods to where we hid our car while wearing a wedding dress and sparkly ballet flats. Mercifully, I didn't fall for once. 
~I am FINALLY Brandon's wife. I have only been wanting to be able to say that for the better part of 3 years, and I am still beside myself happy that I wasn't dreaming this time and we actually are married. 

Unfortunately, while I was in TC gearing up for our wedding, this happened:

Massive, catastrophic flooding here in Duluth. Damage in the millions of dollars, tens of millions. Parks, roads, homes, businesses destroyed. It was killing me being back in MI in the sunshine and seeing this on the news, knowing that this time while I was watching coverage of a disaster, it wasn't unknown locations and anonymous faces I was seeing. I could point out every place I saw. I knew the things I was seeing. My new home was in trouble, and I wasn't there to help. Furthermore, my groom was still there. Thankfully, my friends and co-workers were OK, Brandon made it out (though he did have to caulk the wagons and ford a few rivers to do so), and both my homes in Duluth (the apartment and DRC) are OK. The trails are going to need some help, though, and I have my name on a list to do so. Life in Duluth goes on, and it will all be OK.
(Also, if you're in Duluth--there will be a benefit concert next weekend for flood victims as part of the Twin Ports Bridge Festival. $35 daily pass/$60 weekend, and all proceeds on Sunday go to a long term flood relief fund. Good music for a good cause = very much yes.)

Lastly--this is officially underway:
Hello, marathon training plan! Thanks, little sister!

In short--despite the chaos of a week ago, life is about as good as it gets right now. I'm married. I'm in marathon training. I'm back to my pretty awesome full time job. I have everything I desperately wanted 2 years ago. Life is so good.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"What If It All Goes Right?"

My last race as Lindsey Goss is in the books.

1:48:48. My first half in which I did not PR, but 7 seconds away from doing so? I'm more than OK with this, especially when you factor in the week that has been.
Before the race itself, tied in with packet pick up, is the Essentia Health Fitness and Health Expo. For us at the store, it's been weeks of getting ready, 3 days of pricing, sorting, and packing, and then 2 days of shoe slinging chaos. I worked somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 hours in the 2 days leading up to the run, and was at nearly 50 including the rest of the week before.
Yeah, I was tired.

Race morning wasn't too hectic. I had the forethought to get my packet right away Thursday and pack everything that night, including a drop bag to leave at DRC so I could clean up and change there rather than fight my way back from my apartment. Wake up call came at 4:00am, but I was already awake at 3:45 and just fighting it. I had some coffee, and toast with this stuff (which might be one of the best discoveries I have ever made):

So good. I also had a small pouch of that which I ate on its own about 45 minutes before the run started. 
I will say this: I have never prepped nor ran a "bigger" race without my family there, and I really, really wished at least one of them was with me yesterday. I was a jittery, sleep-deprived, emotional basketcase. I lose 2 points in the "being an adult" category, but it's the truth.
I made it out on one of the first busses from the DECC to the starting line. True confession time: I cry before every race over 10K. It's odd, I have no explanation for WHY it happens, but it does. So I was the crazy lady with her headphones on, sitting in the 1 person seat in the back of the bus, quietly crying like a 3 year old for the entire ride. 
I was not a fan of the starting area, to be quite honest. I understand why they have to set up the way they do, and I will not cut them down for it, but I wasn't a fan. Sweatbags had to be dropped by 6:00am, so in the name of not literally chilling in just my race singlet and shorts for the next 45 minutes, I sacrificed one of my old cotton race shirts in the name of warmth. Also, they wanted us to be in the starting area by 6:15, and I wasn't sure where and how to go about warming up so a warm up was non-existent. Also, being that I was standing near the edge of the chute, I was constantly being pelted by people flinging shirts, bottles, and empty gel packets. (Pigs.)
This was nice: when they said the race started at 6:45, they weren't joking. 6:44:52, things kicked off. True to form, I had no idea anything started--the crowd started cheering and moving forward, so I went with them. I was about 1:40 back from the line. I was slightly bummed in that my Garmin seems to be punking out and wasn't holding a satellite connection until .1 out, so my splits weren't going to be right. That may have worked in my favor--I just glanced to see what my pace was from time to time and trusted the course mile markers. PS--balloons? Genius idea. You could see the markers quite a distance away. I was a fan.
I felt pretty decent up until mile 9. Gelled it at 6, alternated water and Powerade until 10. Between 8 and 10 I kept running in to my old boss from back in Marquette, and we agreed that we'd be good training partners for each other if only we were still in the same town. She finished about 2 minutes ahead of me clock time, but all things shaking out with gun vs chip time we finished with the exact same time. 
Anyway, I hit my usual wheels off at mile 9. I could tell I was slowing down significantly and I was not feeling good anymore. Though, I must have been hiding it well, because this picture does not show a woman who feels bad:
(This is coming by DRC and high-fiving all my co-workers. 2.6 to go.)
The last bit reminded me a lot of the Cherry Festival races, in that you're going through downtown and there are people everywhere cheering for you. Brandon waited for me at DRC, then biked down to catch me at the finish line, where even though I was rolling 8:40's by then I eked out a decent finish.

I should note here that as I came around on to Railroad St, a certain Journey song that I have adopted as my power anthem came on my iPod. I finished my last race as Lindsey Goss with "Don't Stop Believing" playing. It was perfect. 

The clock said just over 1:50 and my Garmin said just over 1:47, so I knew I was in the high 1:48-low 1:49 range. Brandon was tracking me on his phone and had my official time ready for me after I crossed. 
I was very, very happy to be that close to my PR. Training this spring was not the best, so to be able to match last year's times at this level of fitness is a good sign that something had been going right in there somewhere. 
Overall conclusion: I would definitely run this race again, with this stipulation: I will not run it again as long as I'm working at DRC. It's too much with the expo and race weekend store traffic to throw that all in. I'd like another crack at it when I'm rested and had good training under my belt. Also, going to work right after a race like that is just plain no fun. It was a good thing I was in the back just checking stuff back in to inventory, because I was one grouchy, nasty little lady.
So, with that--the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and my last race as Lindsey Goss is in the record books:
Marathon training starts Tuesday, and life as Lindsey Goss-Maurisak starts on Saturday. Bring on the next adventure!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

"My Kind of Crazy"

Highlights from this week:

~Marathon training plan is officially in the works, courtesy of my sister, and will be kicking off post-marital shindig.

~NMTC Finale:
   In which it was uphill both ways, I ran a somewhat decent race (if not just had a fantastic prowl through the woods with a co-worker's wife/new friend), and left with a full pizza, a rather large tub of hummus, a bottle of tea, and this little bad-boy courtesy of the series finale prizes:
Heck yes, little Brooks flask!!

~I had a man who was an ordained minister of the church of Dudeism offer to marry a coworker and me, and then proceeded to flip his shit when he found out of my impending shindig and offer to officiate. Dude. Where were you a  year ago?? (Kidding. KIDDING! Pastor Carolyn is the best, there's no one else I'd rather have running that show. It would just be hilarious, that's all.)

~More new kicks!
   Brooks PureGrit before Taisha and I went and played in Hartley:

   Brooks PureGrit after Taisha and I went and played in Hartley:
Hooray, mud!!

So, here I am, on a quiet Sunday morning. I'm sipping my coffee before heading out for a 7 mile run, staring down the barrel of two crazy weeks. At the halfway point of the madness is a finish line. At the end is the beginning of the rest of my life. (OK, ew, that last one was cheesy. Sorry about that.) Along the way, there will be a 55 hour work week, a 3 hour bus ride and 3 hour flight, 2 smaller parties, and not a  lot of sleep. Either way, it's going to be madness. It's going to be fun. I'm ready to get this started. 

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