24 May 2011

This is Still My World

I've been a huge fan of Joseph Arthur for a long, long time. There was a day a long time ago someone I knew bought his CD Come to Where I'm From based solely on the cover art. Fortunately, he's as good an artist as he is a singer/songwriter. We listened to that CD on repeat for weeks and I've been a fan ever since, picking up his new music as he creates it. I've had the extreme pleasure of seeing him perform live - once here in Grand Rapids at Calvin College and another time as a member of the audience when he was the musical guest on Later with Carson Daly. His latest full-length solo CD The Graduation Ceremony dropped today and I've been listening to it all night. I'm hoping he'll come back to Grand Rapids (Detroit or Chicago would work too) in support of this new music. Digging on it big time!

16 May 2011

2011 River Bank Run

To anyone who would listen, I've been going on and on all weekend about what an amazing experience this year's River Bank Run was. As you may know, this year was my third year running the 25K (15.5 miles, yo!) and it was by far my best race yet. I think that's why I've been so psyched about it!

The weather was drizzly and in the mid 50s when we started and it lightly sprinkled on us here and there throughout the race. Compared to a complete downpour (earlier that morning), or heat and humidity (like we had on Friday) or gusty wind or all of the above, we couldn't have had better weather. I was joking about why they call it River Bank Run before the race saying "you think it's just because you get to run along the Grand River, but it's actually because you become one with the river by getting rained on the whole time." Of the three years I've run, the weather on Saturday wasn't even a factor.

I was literally smiling along the course, singing along so some of my tunes and pointing out different things that were so cool about the race. At one point - somewhere between the 11 and 12 mile markers I turned to my running buddy A and said, "You know what's cool about running today? It's sort of like last week's run since it's part of the course that we run all the time, but we actually get a medal for running it today!" I love getting the finisher medals for completing a race like RBR and hadn't thought about it at all until that moment.

We saw some of our running buddies along the course, which is always cool! Motivator Man was out cheering runners along at different points in the course. We saw him after the race and I thanked him for being out there, that he always seemed to show up in just the right spots to give me some extra motivation. The crowd at RBR is fantastic and completely helps keep you going the full distance.

The run itself was so enjoyable. We were keeping pretty close to 10 minute miles up until the end when we got a little slower, but it was such a steady and solid pace that I never felt tired. I even had some extra energy to kick in for a solid finish. And finish I did! I came in at 2:41:30, which is right around where I predicted I'd be. I'm super happy about that! I'm also happy to report that I've gotten faster each time I've run RBR. Last year was 2:43:36 and my first year was 2:45:44! Can't wait to come in under 2:40 next year! Progress!! One of our friends shaved 19 minutes of his time from last year. Dare to dream!!

I love running so much. I hope everyone has something that they enjoy as much as I enjoy running. It's such a positive part of my life, I'm super grateful for every day that I can lace up my shoes and hit the road for a run. Race days are icing on the cake with friends, family and the whole running community there for the fun!

Another reason to love running a 25K is that you have totally earned the right to eat anything you want for the rest of the day (or weekend in my case!) I had to have my standard post-race pancakes and scrambled eggs from Real Food Cafe. I had a giant pretzel at the movies and ice cream later on on Saturday. It was all marvelous!

13 May 2011

My Runner Profile

The Fifth Third River Bank Run is this weekend in Grand Rapids. It's the largest 25K in the country and I love that it's in my hometown! This week The Rapidian has featured diffrent runner profiles written by Roberta King. I love reading about other runners and what draws them to running. I also thought it would be fun to answer the questions myself and share with y'all!

What race are you running and why did you choose it?
I'm running the 25K. I enjoy distance running over shorter races like the 5 or 10K races. The 25K is an ample challenge, but not ridiculous regard to how much time you need to train each week, which is my perception of marathon training/running. Sometime I'll have to see for myself.

Are you a repeat racer, if so, how many and which ones?
This is my third River Bank 25K. My first was in 2009, second 2010. I plan to keep running them until I can't anymore!

Describe your training program.
I usually adapt the River Bank Run training schedule to fit my own schedule. They basically have you running almost every day. The first year, I followed it pretty closely, but once you know you can finish a 25K, you know what you have to do to be able to run a good race. I usually run three or four days during the week and one long run on the weekends.

What about running appeals to you?
I love the feeling of crossing a finish line, knowing that so much of my life (training, healthy eating, etc) is devoted to making that moment happen. It's my therapy. It's my social time, weekend runs with friends are great! It's my exercise. It makes me feel strong and reminds me that I can do anything I put my mind and energy into.

A runner since?
I ran track in middle and high school, but did not take it seriously. For me it was all about socializing. I started running seriously in 2008. I got into to running by way of a sprint triathlon my sister in law organizes in New Hampshire. My brother is a tri-guy and convinced me that I could do it. I quietly trained, headed to New Hampshire and completed my first and only triathlon to date. I love running and biking, but need to hone my swim before I attempt another one. It's much easier for me to train and complete distance races.

Running tunes?
I usually always run with my ipod unless it's not charged, which is a bummer. I'm such a music person and a good song can really help motivate you to keep moving when your body is telling you otherwise. Some favorites in this season's running mix: Stars 4Ever by Robyn, Charlotte by Book Shade, Meds and Feds by M.I.A., Teqkilla by M.I.A. and Barbara Streisand by Duck Sauce.

Pre-race ritual?
Drink extra water the days leading up to the race. Pasta dinner the night before with my running buddy, A and her family. Get a good night's sleep. Breakfast. Suit up and show up ready to rock it out!

12 May 2011

All Questions.

I have some questions for y'all:

If you are a patron of the arts, say you have season tickets to the symphony or you have purchased some art that you love. Do you talk about it? Or do you just nerd out on your own over the particular art you love?

Do you have room for out-of-town guests to sleep comfortably at your house or apartment? How many can you sleep? I'm planning on coming over and need to know! mwahahaha!

Do you or your significant other do the yard upkeep at your house? Or do you share the yard work? Or do you hire it out?

What's your favorite thing about warmer weather?

Are you on Twitter? Have you ever introduced yourself to someone you follow (who may not follow you) when you've seen them at a social function?

Leave your answers in the comments. Then I'll answer in a later post!