Giving up french fries, making my bed every day, trying to keep a daily journal -- I've had plenty of New Year's resolutions over the years. Usually I hold strong for at least a week or so before the resolution is quietly forgotten or given up on. But when my husband, Chad, and I set our New Year's resolution for 2012, I knew it would be one we'd follow through with. Back in November of last year we decided our goal would be to complete 12 races in 2012.
Zoinks! I spent over two hours of my Saturday morning chasing down Scooby-Doo in the Monster Dash 10-mile run in St. Paul. Scooby and sidekick Velma were using the run/walk method during the race while I was sticking to my usual method of just slowly shufflin' along. Scooby would run past me and then stop to walk. So then I would slowly pass the canine sleuth. Then Scoob would start running again and get back ahead of me. That routine continued for the majority of the 10-mile run. I spent half of the race staring at Scooby's tail and Velma's orange sweater and black wig.
Sunday's date had been circled on my calendar since the beginning of 2012. When Chad and I made our New Year's resolutions to compete in 12 races in 2012, I knew I wanted to do an Iron Girl event. I had considered the Iron Girl races in the past but had never trained well enough for them. But when Chad and I sat down to write out which 12 races we were going to do, I went to the Iron Girl website right away. Iron Girl's mission is "to empower women toward a healthy lifestyle" and is a women-only event.
Summer is definitely over at the Bray household. Long gone are the days of sleeping in, heading out for four-hour training rides on the bike with Chad or grilling healthy meals out on the deck. Replacing those summer days are hours in the classroom and coaching football for Chad and my commutes to Winona for the start of the fall ball fastpitch softball season at Saint Mary's University -- in addition to my hours at the Republican Eagle. It was easy this summer to schedule times to workout -- usually together - and have time for both cardio and weight lifting.
We knew before the race even started that we were pretty much guaranteed to have a faster time than we did last year. But it wasn't because we were going to actually be faster. Chad and I competed in the Minneapolis Duathlon Sunday for the third year in a row. We participated in the mixed two-person team competition. The event -- which is advertised as the world's largest duathlon consists of three legs -- a run, bike and then another run. It used to be a 5K run, an 18-mile bike and then a 5K run. At that distance our best time was 1:59.44.
I've been told my column is interesting because I'm not very good at racing -- and that I'm supposed to take that as a compliment. Hmmm. The truth is that I've received some awesome feedback from this Twelve in '12 health column. The more races I've been doing, the more comments I've been receiving. People come up to me at the grocery store, at restaurants, at the YMCA locker room ... you name the spot and people are talking to me about it. During the Fourth of July Road Race at Bay Point Park someone actually shouted out to me across the street asking me which number race I was on.
Chad's bike is a Trek hybrid -- a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike -- with big tires. My bike is a Giant road bike with thin wheels that allows me to fly. The two bicycles are perfect because they allow us to bike together at the same pace and both get a great workout. When Chad takes his bike to races like the Wingman Triathlon or the Minneapolis Duathlon, he always gets a lot of comments about how well he bikes on such a slow bike.
It reached 100 degrees in Red Wing on July 4. Most people probably enjoyed the warm temperatures while cruising the river on their boat, lying on their floaty in a swimming pool or kicking up their feet while drinking a cold one. Not me. My feet were busy shufflin' along on the steaming pavement. Chad and I decided to spend our holiday by participating in the Red Wing Fourth of July Road Races at Bay Point Park.
I had to do some research for race No. 5 since I had never done a trail run before last weekend. I signed up to run the Gilmore Gallop 5K Fun Run/Walk at St. Mary's University as part of my 15-year college reunion weekend. The race was free -- which I'm positive will be my only free race all year -- and the bluffs around campus are known for their beautiful trails. As soon as I signed up, I started doing the research. I went online and searched "trail running vs. road running" which led me to several helpful articles.
DNF -- Did Not Finish. It's not very often that I start a race with no intention of finishing it, but that's exactly what happened June 3. After tearing my gastrocnemius (calf muscle) on March 28, my training for all upcoming races came to a crashing halt. My husband, Chad, and I set a New Year's resolution to compete in 12 races in 2012. We had done three before my injury -- the Polar Dash 5K, an indoor triathlon with Lifetime Fitness and the Get Lucky 7K.