Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Club XC

Club Cross Country Nationals went well individually and as a team.  The women won the team, and I placed seventh overall.  I qualified for the United States team going to the Edinburgh, Scotland for the Bupa International Cross Country Challenge on January 5th.  My teammates Meghan Peyton, Ladia Albertson-Junkas, and McKenzie Melander also qualified for the women’s team, and John Peterson qualified for the men’s team.  Dennis Barker, my coach is going as the junior men’s coach.  Also Stephanie Price, my former University of Minnesota teammate, qualified for the women’s race.  Amazing! Five of the nine spots on the women’s side were given to women who train in Minnesota.  I am so excited to travel internationally with some of my favorite running partners.  I am also excited to meet some new runners.  Last year was so much fun in Edinburgh because we had such a great group of women.

One of our board members, Lance Elliott came along with our team, and ran in the men’s masters race.  He warned us before our race started that the course was difficult and muddy, always going uphill or downhill, it was hard to gain ground on runners once you let them go.  I went out hard with the leaders in the first section of the race, and we passed through the first mile in 5:10.  The top three women started to pull away, and I was feeling strong, so I went with them.  I continued to feel great through the second mile, but started to fall off the leaders during the third mile.  In the last 1200m of the race, I was struggling, and three women passed me.  Thankfully, two of them were my teammates.  I’ve been training with Meghan for the past two years, and when she ran past me, she yelled at me to keep it going.  I truly didn’t have another gear to shift into, but her words helped to motivate me to stay strong to the finish.  As a team we had 4 people in the top 11, which was awesome.

Also, I had such a great time spending time with my teammates and all the other runners from Minnesota.  Elizabeth Yetzer, my roommate, came with the Run n Fun team, as well as many of my other good friends. 

Post Race
And Post Awards


Friday, December 7, 2012

Club Cross Pre-Race

I am on the plane heading towards my first race of the season.  I am running Club Cross Country Nationals for the first time, and Team USA Minnesota is sending a women’s to compete for the first time in its history.   The team is made up of Meghan Peyton, Heather Kampf, Ladia Albertson-Junkas, McKenzie Melander, and I.  The fact that five out of six of our women on Team USA Minnesota are healthy, fit, and willing to compete at the same distance is pretty amazing.  We are racing a 6k, which is pretty long for some of us.  However, there is prize money for the top five teams in the race, which is a good incentive for everyone.  Also, this race will be used for the selection for the U.S. team for the Bupa International Challenge in Edinburgh, Scotland, next month.

The trip is especially exciting because Run n Fun, the running store I work for is sending a women’s team, two men’s teams, and a masters men’s team.  We all have the same flight schedule, and are currently driving the rest of the passengers on the plane nuts by our talking (cough, cough, Elizabeth Yetzer), and our collective need to use the bathroom often.

I’m trying not to get too worked up about the race.  It is a long year of running, and I know I won’t be a significant break until next fall.  We haven’t done much race-specific training, because we dedicate our fall to base training.  However, I really want to be part of the cross country team in Scotland again.  I had so much fun, and it was a great experience last year.  Either way, I hope a few Team USA Minnesota runners are able to go.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mom's 50th Bday

On Sunday evening I had a wonderful time celebrating my mom’s 50th birthday with several of our neighbors.  The gathering was at the household of Mark Raderstorf and Linda Armstrong, the party organizers of the neighborhood.  They are a very generous and open family who enjoy hosting gatherings at their house.  When Elizabeth and I housesat for them last year, as they lived in Ecuador, there was a lot less socializing on the block. 

Now, when I usually go over to their house, I am one of several ‘youngsters.’ The Raderstorf/Armstrong family has three children, Jeff, who is my age, Goosey, who is Dylan’s (my brother) age, and Jenna, the youngest.  There are many other children on the block who are between Jeff and Jenna’s age who make their way through the house.  All of the children on the block have grown up in the neighborhood, with Dylan and I being the late arrivals when I was in fifth grade. 

But, on Sunday night, I was the only one of my generation.  Which was surprisingly great.  Since leaving for college, I have slowly matured into being able to enjoy the company of my parents and their friends, but never have I been so excited to spend time with adults 25-35 years my senior.  The food was delicious, and Phyllis, the next door neighbor of Linda and Mark’s delighted us all by bringing bread and delicate desserts from Patisserie 46.  I loved being able to talk with adults who are highly invested and leaders in our community.  After dinner, Mark had everyone at the table go around and say one thing they appreciate about my mom.  The ritual was corny, but also an amazing way to build my mom up, and have everyone practice seeing and articulating the strengths they see in someone else.  Afterwards, Linda led us through the lighting of the hope candle for the first Sunday of advent.  Although her readings was Christian based, she made sure the beauty and wisdom of the custom was accessible to the Christians, Jews, and Atheists around the table.  I appreciated being included in the dinner, and I hope I am able to build a similar community where I settle down someday.