Monday, January 30, 2012

Snowy Bacon Run

We got about 4-6 inches of snow this weekend, which produced beautiful snow covered trees and not-so-beautiful slush covered sidewalks.

My Back Yard

But Saturday breakfast called for bacon (which we did not have in the house), and the sun kept peaking out through the clouds, so I put on a small backpack and ran to Meijer.

The going wasn't bad at all.  Things were a little sloppy in the lower areas, but nothing I couldn't step through and avoid splashing road slop onto the tops of my shoes.  I hate that and try to avoid it as much as possible!  I always thought it was ironic - and by ironic I mean aggravating - that my socks could be otherwise dry and then get soaked by one splash of liquid onto the meshy top of my running shoes.  Arg!

So 2 miles to the store.  Picked up bacon and some bananas.  Then 2 miles back.  I got my run in and my shopping trip at the same time.  After being mildly sick this week, it felt good to get out there again.

Though I ran very few miles last week, I'm ready to pick it up over the next few days.  I'm actually eager to start doing some speed work.  I met a new running buddy who's pace is faster than mine, but I'm confident that I can catch up to her pace with a few weeks of effort.

Also, please send your healing vibes and well wishes the hubby's way at the end of this week.  He's getting his tonsils out on Thursday!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dodge Ball Action Shots

My friend and teammate, Cat, wrote up an awesome report of our dodge ball experience so far.  You should seriously go check it out here!  She's awesome.

The amazing staff of the Grand Rapids Sport and Social Club also takes great pictures of the league as we play and then party together.  Thanks, Anna!

Me trying to survive on the court in week 2 with one good hand

The hubby in mad action

Grab those balls!

Cat and I (in the background) having fun with the gang after week 1's game

Monday, January 23, 2012

Registered: 2012 Running Fit Trail Half Marathon

It's official!  I've registered for the Running Fit Trail Half Marathon on April 28, 2012.  It's on my work calendar and everything, so hopefully my boss won't send me to a customer site that week.  ;)

I've put together a training plan combining elements from several that I found online.  I sort of meshed together a half marathon plan and a 25k plan.  The longest run on the plan is only 11 miles.  I'd actually like to go longer before the race because it's going to be a very hilly trail - 1275 feet of elevation change - and most of my training will be on roads.  But there's a lot of speed work in there, so that should help with the required surges and maintaining speed when I'm tired.

I'm actually pretty excited that I'll be travelling to a customer site in South Carolina again in March.  This is where I found the Anne Springs Close Greenway when I was working out there a few months ago.  It's a fantastic system of trails that I fell in love with.  I'll be working second shifts out there, so I should be able to make it to the trail during daylight hours any day I don't feel too tired.  That will be my best opportunity for trail running before the race.

I'm looking forward to a long trail race in the beautiful Michigan spring!

2012 Events List

I've decided that creating a 2012 events list on my Grand Rapids Events page would be more work than it's worth this year.  But I still wanted to at least post the events that I plan to take part in.  So if you are looking for a race that at least one other person on the planet thinks will be fun in the Grand Rapids or general Michigan area, check out the list!

I keep my feelers out there for cool events of all kinds in the area, so if you are looking for something in particular - a road run, an obstacle race, a triathlon, a bike tour, an urban adventure race, etc. - let me know.  I'd love to help you find an event to get excited about!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Off hand throw

Last night was the second week of our dodge ball league. My sprained right thumb from last week’s game is still healing, so I taped and wrapped it and played using my left hand.

What a spectacle! I was useless with my off hand. My throws either shot off in a direction that I was not aiming or fell limply to the floor six feet in front of me. I think the opposing team took pity, because after creaming us for 20 games, we spent the rest of our hour playing rounds of non-standard configuration such as all women and all men. One such configuration was throwing with your off hand only. I didn’t feel so awkward then!

From what I read online, a sprained thumb takes 2-3 weeks of immobility and a couple more weeks of gentle stretching to fully heal. Mine feels better every day. I’ve kept it wrapped to protect it. The swelling is gone and the bruising is fading. I still feel a little twinge of pain if I jerk the thumb the wrong way, but it’s not bad. I’m confident in a quick and full recovery. In the meantime, my left hand is learning to do many things that it could not do before.

About the time that I regain use of my right thumb, the hubby will be getting his tonsils out. So I’m going to need full hand functionality to run our blender. I’ve threatened to make spaghetti smoothies. Sounds delicious, right?! LOL

Monday, January 16, 2012

Unbreakable: The Western States 100

Last night, the hubby was playing League of Legends with friends, so I sat down to watch Unbreakable: The Western States 100. This documentary tells the history of this 100 mile trail footrace through the mountains of California juxtaposed with the story of the 2010 competition. I LOVE watching this stuff! The people who attempt the run amaze and inspire me, and those who compete to win are truly incredible. While I have no desire to run 100 miles, I do love putting myself in the runners’ shoes as they weave through the trees and bound down the switchbacks. Even in their exhaustion, you can see the joy in their eyes.

I had been thinking about signing up for the Fifth Third Riverbank Run 25k here in Grand Rapids in May. Since the marathon in October, I’ve been wanting to do a half marathon or similar distance race. But I wasn’t truly excited about the 5/3 run. Then, watching the Western States movie reminded me that I’ve also been wanting to do a trail half marathon for some time now. That’s the ticket!

I’m thinking about doing the Running Fit Trail Half Marathon on April 28 in Pinckney, MI. I’ve been there before; that’s where I did the Ann Arbor Triathlon a couple years ago. It’s a tough, but fun trail. It’s only a couple hours from home, and I can stay with my mom just a few miles away before the race. Oh, and it’s only $39 to enter until March.

I haven’t committed to it yet. I still need to decide if I want to spend February through April training for a race. But it’s kind of an exciting idea to me right now.

On a whole different topic, I went for a run yesterday on the bike path near my house. The path and all the trees and bushes were covered in snow. It was so pretty! If I get out there again today, I’ll take pictures.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dodgeball League

The hubby, my friend, Cat, and I joined an adult dodgeball league with the Grand Rapids Sport and Social Club.  Our first game was last night.  What a blast!  Much like kickball, dodgeball is so much more fun as an adult than it was as a kid in gym class.

We played one of the best teams in the league and got our butts handed to us, but they had such a positive attitude, that it was still a great time.  After the games, the club goes out to a local bar for cheap beer and food.  There are about 400 people signed up for the league right now.  Wow!  We met so many new people, and even learned a new drinking game.  Fun stuff!

I did, however, sustain a minor dodgeball injury.  One of the guys threw a ball at me pretty hard, and I was able to block it with the ball in my hand.  Unfortunately, in the process, I bent my thumb back really hard.  It hurt immediately, and I dropped the ball.  I was out.  But the guy who hit me was super sweet, and made sure I was OK after the game ended.

My thumb is all swollen and starting to turn purple, but I'm sure it will be fine in a couple days.  For now, I'm trying to train myself to hit the Space Bar with the other hand.  Crazy hard to do!  LOL!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Warrior Dash Coming to Grand Rapids

In addition to the Mt. Morris, MI edition of the Warrior Dash, in 2012, there will also be a race in Grand Rapids!

To be held on September 15 at Millenium Park, this race brings the Warrior Dash to my city!  The hubby and I are already signed up.

Exciting!  Come out and join us for a really great time with the mud, obstacles, beer, music, and furry hats!

Warrior Dash Grand Rapids 2012
Warrior Dash Mt. Morris 2012

Note from Missy:
Sorry I haven't gotten around to compiling a 2012 events list yet.  Have you used my Grand Rapids Events page in the past years?  Would you like to see it again?  Or would I be wasting my time putting in the hours to create it this year?  Let me know in the comments.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hike at Stanaback Park

I’ve been looking forward to doing some snowshoeing, but this winter has been so mild so far that we haven’t had much snow. There is no snow on the ground right now at all! I’m certainly not complaining. In fact, instead of snowshoeing, the hubby, our friend, and I headed over to our traditional snowshoe spot yesterday for a hike instead.

The park where we stomped around is a nice wooded area with tons of hills and a quaint little creek running through it. We hiked around one side and then followed the river back to one of the bordering roads – I’m guessing about 5 miles in all.

I expected the ground to be pretty muddy, so I took my poles with me for a little extra digging in. It ended up being pretty solid, but I still appreciated having the poles for extra leverage. And they made good balancing sticks when I crossed the creek on a fallen log.

I’m in no rush for the snow. It will get here soon enough. So in the meantime, I’m happy to take advantage of the clear sidewalks and trails.

How has winter been in your areas?