Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Shoes

So it's time for me to start studying for the bar and re-learning all the things I've forgotten from the first year of law school, which means I suddenly have the urge to run random errands and update my blog. Weird.

Since the impromptu triathlon I have been running pretty regularly when the weather hasn't been literally insane, and I have been riding my bike to St. Paul every day for bar review courses. But after running the past couple weeks I've noticed that my heels have been hurting after running. I know that means I need new running shoes, but it's so hard for me to justify buying new shoes when the old ones still LOOK so nice!

After a bit of online research and emailing myself a 20% off coupon for Famous Footwear, I headed out to one of those suburban strip malls to do an afternoon of errands. Two hours later, I'm back in the car with some sweet kicks: 

I stuck with Asics, because I've had such great luck with them in the past. But this time, I made some big-boy moves and bought actual full-on, all-the-way running shoes (the Gel-Nimbus 12) priced at $189 at the Running Room. Luckily, my bargain alert was on high today, and with my coupon, plus an additional discount for Memorial Day, I scored these shoes for $99. BOOM.

I'll post a review later, because I'm about to leave for my first run around Lake Calhoun in the new shoes.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Impromptu Triathlon

Having set my sights on the Square Lake Triathlon in September, I settled back into the usual humdrum of law school and exercising when I had time or the weather cooperated. Enter Ann, a fellow law student and great friend, the Fruit at the Finish Triathlon, and why I decided to enter.

First, the chance to see the St. Johns/St. Bens campus, which I have heard about since my relocation to the Twin Cities was a huge incentive for participating. The bike and run course were to wrap through campus, the Lake Wobegon Trail, into the school arboretum and throughout a set of woods. A lovely way to start a spring morning in April!

Next, I was tempted by the indoor swim. April is way too cold for lake swimming in Minnesota, and I am still pretty scared of unknown lake creatures lurking in the depths. I can't do flip turns, but I knew my swim time in a pool would be far faster than my lake time last summer.

Ann also assured me that this was a relaxed race, not that competitive, and a great way to start the season. I was initially a little nervous, because I haven't been training anywhere near as hard as I did last summer, but with those words of assurance, I paid my $17 and made the commitment!

Flash forward to April 30. Minnesota is inundated with severe storms and heavy downpours. We drove to St. Johns hoping the entire ride that the rain would stop and we would have the sunny spring day we had planned on. The rain did eventually stop...2 hours after we had finished the triathlon. Competing in this so-called relaxed triathlon turned out to be one of the most hardcore things I have ever done. The swim was great, but the bike ride. Oh, the bike ride. Limited visibility, high winds, CROSS winds, cold, stinging rain, slick surfaces, it was nuts. By the time we got off our bikes and began the 5K, my feet were numb and my legs felt like sandbags.

But you know what faithful readers? This is just one more testament to willpower and friendship. Ann and I did the race side-by-side, had a FANTASTIC time, horrible weather aside, and the excitement from the race kept me in high spirits throughout the rest of the weekend, which during law school finals is saying a lot. I saw a bald eagle and heard about a million frogs chirping to each other, totally loving the rain. Now I'm concerned that the Square Lake tri might be too far away for my increased triathlon appetite, and I'm looking for a June or July race!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

52 Degrees in the Twin Cities

Having become obsessed with the ten day forecast upon my move to Minnesota, I use this weather predicting feature fairly often to plan outdoor events. Today was no different. Knowing it was going to be in the 50s, I scheduled a run with Claire earlier this week, and we had a really great run together this morning along the Mississippi River. We were both working off hangovers, and today's run proved to be a satisfactory treatment.

Running with Claire is great, because she keeps a good pace, challenges me to pick up my speed, and we don't get to see each other too often, so we chat the whole run and the time just flies by. I canceled my gym membership earlier this week, so my last day at the gym is going to be April 14. But between scheduling running dates with Claire, and Rachael, who I run fairly often with as well, I think I will have ample opportunities to exercise. Claire is running her first 10K next week, Rachael signed up for a half marathon, and another friend, Lanser, is competing in her first triathlon this summer! Working towards my new triathlon goals and having some friends to keep me accountable is going to make this summer especially productive.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Bicycling Barristers

The above map is an approximate route of the bike ride I'm going to be doing every day this summer, twice a day, to my bar review course. The starting point is not at my apartment, just in case any of you stalkers out there were attempting to figure out my exact location. The ride is 8.5 miles each way and an estimated hour and a half commute roundtrip. I. AM. SO. EXCITED. I can't wait to start riding my bike again and really getting in some longer rides in the warm weather.

Even better, Erin lives near the Greenway, albeit a little further down the trail, and she plans on meeting up with me along the trail and finishing the ride together. I'm calling us the Bicycling Barristers. Maybe I'll even make t shirts. Studying for the bar 8 hours a day and still dealing with the additional pressure of not having a job has dampened the joy I typically experience in looking forward to the summer, but my daily bicycle ride is definitely something I can't wait for!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Guess Who's Back

Whats up, readers? It's been a long time since a new post, but that is all about to change. There are only two days left in March, and if there is a governing deity in this world, then the snow will be melting soon, and I will be training for my second triathlon!

Get ready for a summer full of excitement, sweat, and progress towards new goals. I have signed up for the Square Lake Triathlon sprint distance race, which will take place on September 10th. This race is different from last year in a number of ways:

1. new location 
2. longer course (.5 mile swim, 16.5 mile bike, and 5 mile run)
3. later date aka more training time 

Since the St. Paul triathlon I have done my best to stay in shape so I wouldn't have to start from square one again this summer. It has been tough, especially with my last year of law school not being as easy as I anticipated, but I've managed to maintain a fairly frequent gym routine. I'm looking forward to starting a new training program soon and having a schedule to follow every day. My goal is to start actually training after finals, oh and a little thing I like to call GRADUATION. Until then I plan on continuing to work about 5 times a week, but trying not to feel to guilty if I let school work take priority over the gym.

Like last year, Chauncey and I met up over spring break, but this time I went to Berea, Ohio to visit him. Luckily, Berea had much less snow than Minneapolis, and we were able to go running together a few times. This is about the time last year when I had made the decision to sign up for a tri and really challenge myself. Running with Chauncey this spring made me realize how far I have come in a year (at this time last year I couldn't run for more than a mile without stopping!), and it really made me excited for this upcoming season.

Stay posted for more updates and reader love!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Final Stats

Vacation Sports posted the final times for the triathlon yesterday, and I was thrilled at the results of my first race! I met all of my goals (finishing; not finishing last; and not walking at all during the run portion), and when I came around the final turn towards the finish line, I thought I was going to die of happiness. Six months ago, I couldn't run a mile without stopping. To see hard work truly pay off in concrete results such as a race time is so gratifying.

My overall time was 1:31:19, and I finished:
  • 264 out of 476 total competitors (men and women) in the sprint distance. 
  • 79 out of 211 women
  • 12 out of 23 in my age group (women 20-24)
  • AND I had the third best bicycle time in my age group
It was such a great experience, and I can honestly say that every second of the time I was competing was enjoyable! I have already started looking at more triathlons, but one of the bad parts about living in Minnesota is that triathlon season is really only from May to September. At this point I am planning on competing in another sprint triathlon in spring 2011, and I'm going to aim for a specific time. In the meantime, I have to continue working out and maintaining the healthy habits I've picked up along the way. Second triathlon, here I come!

Hugs from the #1 fan!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Finish Line

I DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!! More details to follow, including final race time and pictures.