Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Did you really just say that to me?

Location: gym locker room
Conversationalists: me and some old woman, probably in her 70s

Old lady: So do you play soccer, basketball, or volleyball?

Me: Actually, I am a runner.

Old lady: Really?  You don't look like one. 

Me: Oh.

Old lady: Runners are always skinny.  I once took a yoga class that was too advanced for me and the instructor was a runner and there was nothing to her.  But've got some meat on your bones.  A lot of meat on your bones.

Me: Put hair in pony tail.

Old lady: Does that bob make you run faster?

Me: Put in ear phones and walk away, saying some words to her in my head.  I just couldn't take it anymore.


Seriously, did that lady just call me fat to my face in a round-about way?  I wanted to punch her, but refrained from doing so.  As a person who has struggled and struggles with weight and body image, this type of comment frustrates me.  Granted, I chalk it up to lady being old and senile.  But still, to have the nerve to say that.  That is the first time in my life that I can remember that someone called me fat.

Now, I am not and will never be a size 0 or 2, but that does not bother me.  In the past few months, I have come to terms with my "happy weight."  The scale does not define me or my happiness.  I'm happy being me, in my size 6 or 8.  I am healthy the way I am, and don't feel like I need to change that.  I feel like the pictures below show that.  So, old lady, take your comment back.  You can eat my dust when I fly past you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday Thoughts

First, and foremost, I got a new bike for my race on Saturday.  I am excited!!  I am too tall for a women's bike, so I had to get a men's.  I've always been tall (actually, I am the short kid in my family), so it does not really bother me.  Doesn't it just look fast?

I decided to get a device that would tell me my speed and how many miles I have biked.  I thought it would be very helpful for races as well as training.

Can you see my reflection?

Yesterday was a crappy day weather-wise.  It was in the low 50s and rainy.  After I got up and looked at the forecast, I saw that it was supposed to rain every hour of the day.  I needed to get in a long run for the week, so I dressed appropriately so I would not be freezing.

I felt like it was winter again with my running tights.  I went out to do one of my favorite routes consisting of a 5.5-mile loop trail, and was originally going to do the loop twice.  However, I stopped after one time because I was freezing.  It was so cold and wet and rather miserable.  I even had my visor on to shield my face from the rain, but it didn't help too much.

I ended up going to my gym to finish the rest of my miles.  Another 10 are in the book in my quest to break 1:40 for the Rockford Half Marathon.  I then went out to test my new bike.  I had to figure out how things worked and everything.  It was still bitterly cold outside so I only ended up doing 5 miles, but got (mostly) everything figured out.  It calmed my nerves for Saturday. 

As the week continues on and Saturday draws closer, I am getting more and more excited.  I am curious to see how I'll do.  Any advice on a runner turned duathlete (is that the name of a person who completes in a duathlon?) for the weekend? 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

This Weekend in Pictures

I love where I live, but there is just something about going back to where I grew up that comforts me.  Maybe it is the fact that the pace of life just seems so much slower, or maybe because the people are friendlier. 

The drive from Illinois to Iowa is a whole lot of...nothing, for the most part.  It rained almost the entire way there on Friday.

Along I-88 in Illinois. 

Random farm in Illinois.  Many people think Iowa has the most farms, but Illinois has their fair share, too!

Another farm.

A different landscape, finally!  This got me dreaming about traveling to far away places, like Egypt.

Almost to my parent's house...just have to cross the Mississippi.  See all the buildings?  Iowa is not just made up of farms, contrary to popular belief.

Crossing the bridge from Illinois into Iowa. 

It rained all day in Iowa.  This flower outside my parent's house clearly displays that fact.  This is my favorite picture, hands-down.

My mom had some Easter decorations out around the house.  The bunnies on the table have me, my brother's and sister's names painted on them.  My grandpa made them when we were really little, but I think my mom will put them out even when we are much older. 

I forgot to take a picture of the purple egg, my favorite. 

Easter Lily.

Heading back to Illinois, crossing the Mississippi at a different point this time.  I always drive to my parent's house one way and back to Illinois a different way.  I like the variety.

A whole lot of flat farmland.  Aren't the clouds interesting, though?  I thought they looked perfect.

I couldn't help but take a picture of this sign.  It made me think of my upcoming half marathon and goal times.  This exit is for Rockford, where my next half will be.  I will run faster than 1:39:51!!!

I'm off of work tomorrow...woo hoo!  I plan on running my long run and doing some major biking/teaching myself how to use my newly-bought road bike. 

Do you ever find inspiration from road signs?   

Friday, April 22, 2011

Probably Not the Smartest Idea

My first duathlon is 8 days away, and I still didn't have a bike until this morning.  I guess that is technically not true - I took my mom's old mountain bike last summer for some training, but I wanted a "real" bike for racing.  This morning I went to a local bike shop and bought a road bike.  I've been wanting to get one for a year and knew that I wanted to race with it for my duathlon, and this morning was the first time I could really go and get it.  It probably wasn't the smartest idea to wait until one week before a race to buy a bike that I have absolutely no experience using, but that is exactly what I did.  Monday I don't have school so I'll be teaching myself how to ride on the bike so hopefully I'll do okay on Saturday.  My favorite comments from the experience were:

"You look like you would be really fast on the bike based on your body type."  Really?  Because I always feel like the worlds slowest biker. Apparently tall, lean people are fast bikers?  I always thought short people were faster bikers, generally speaking. 

Have you ever bought a bike a week before a race?  Do you think I'll be able to teach myself how to effectively ride in one day?  If you have any tips for me, I'd be most appreciative! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What's in a name?

I've always found names interesting...their origin or how a person was named.  My grandpa recently printed the history of my dad's side of the family going back to the 1600s.  Our last name was spelled differently back then, and, according to him, "they just got lazy and dropped the second 'n' at the end."  Although last names are interesting, I find how a person got their first names far better. 

My sister, brother, and I all were given our first names because my parents simply liked them.  However, growing up I always wished I had a different name.  My siblings have "normal" names, while mine is not common.  As a matter of fact, I've only met two other people who have the same first name as me.  Yeah, it is not frequently used.  Secretly, I always wanted to be a Katie.  Now, I am glad that I am not.  My name fits me well I think. 

My sister, brother, and I all have middle names that are significant.  Once again, I got the "unique" one.  My sister's middle name is the same as my grandma's.  My brother's middle name begins with the same letter as my grandpa's middle name.  His first two initials are JP, just like my grandpa's were (and I have three cousins with P middle names, after my grandpa).  However, my mom decided that she wanted my middle name to be her maiden name.  So when you say my whole name it sounds like I have a hyphenated last name and no middle name.  My dad's mom always said that I would not liek my name because people would mispronounce all three of my names (first, middle, and last), which is true.  However, I like the fact that I get my mom's maiden name as part of mine now.  I guess this goes to show that a person's opinion can change over time.  I like my name, even if all three are often said incorrectly. 

As I have blogged about, I am riding in the Chicagoland Tour de Cure in June.  Part of being a team captain was naming our team.  I'm the only one on my team with diabetes and am so happy some of my friends are biking with me.  I wanted to come up with a creative team name, but could not think of anything.  Originally, I wanted to do something related to A1C, or hbA1C, but couldn't get it to work.  Therefore, I turend to a person who I always know I can count on: my dad. 
Although he is busy at work, he still came up with a list of 10 suggestions for me.  I took the one I liked the best and now my team is called the Beta Cell Bikers.  I just liked the sound of it, kind of like how my parents chose my first name.  Can you tell that the bike wheels are beta cells in the picture? 

Speaking of my parents, I'm off to Iowa to visit them tomorrow.  :) 

Are you named after anyone?  How did you get your name?  Do you wish you had a  different name? 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Know that Feeling...

Today while I was running, I felt a familiar I felt in the fall that forced an early taper for the Quad Cities Half Marathon I did.  It is an unpredictable pain located in areas around my knee - in front of and behind it - that causes me to change my stride and sometimes stop running.  Although I went to physical therapy and my injury eventually worked itself out and disappeared, I don't think my physical therapist ever exactly knew what it was.  It was rather mysterious.... and just like many mysteries, the villain comes back and the most inopportune, least-suspecting time. 

However, the major difference this time is I know some of the exercises that I did that seemed to help.  For some reason, the treadmill makes my running worse.  I can run outside on the streets/roads/trails much better and pain-free right now.  But once I step on the treadmill, the likelihood that I'll experience pain drastically increases.  Good thing the weather is turning nicer so I won't have to free everytime I step outside for a run.  Now, it is more likely that I'll get wet due to the copious amount of rain that we've been experiencing in the Midwest. 

I'll be attempting to incorporate my own version of physical therapy into my workouts and, hopefully, it will work.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me, as I have an incredibly busy spring and early summer.  Although I nixed my first race of April (a 10k), I do not want to cut any other races from my schedule, especially for an injury.  Remember....

I am racing a duathlon on April 30
..................a half marathon on May 15
.................a 4 mile race on May 29
.................the Tour de Cure bike race on June 12

and my newest of two nights ago......the Madison to Chicago 200 mile Relay on June 10-11.

That means I'll have the MC200 on June 10 and 11 and the Tour de Cure on the 12th.  However, I'm only biking 30 miles for the Tour de Cure, which, in my mind, is nothing. 

I'll be doing two Ragnar Relays this summer: Madison to Chicago and NW Passage.  I decided to sign up for the MC200 because it will be a nice way to start my official marathon training.  However, I think it is fairly comical because the group I am going to be training with for the marathon will have their first training run that weekend and I'll miss it.  Oh, well..there is always the next weekend. 

How many races do you have left to compete in this spring?  I am sooo excited for all of mine.  Seriously, I can't wait for the April 30th to come because it is going to be a fun, crazy ride. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Endo Visit and Exciting News

Can I just say one more time how much I like my endocrinologist?  My main goal was to have a higher A1C.  Although that did  not happen (actually, it went down 0.1), my endo told me I was doing such a better job than before. 

The main difference from the last time I saw him is that I started to do the majority of my training at at a temporary basal (currently 73%, but needs to be a little lower).  We talked about this at my last appointment and recapped at this one how it was working.  One thing that I truly appreciate is that my doctor knows that I cannot make drastic changes overnight.  It takes me a long time to change things.  He was thrilled that I lowered my temp basal even lower than what he suggested (80%). 

We then discussed my A1C and blood sugars.  My current A1C was 5.7, which is lower than my last visit.  However, I am not having as many lows.  Win, win!  I still hope to have a higher A1C the next time, as I want to try to have even tighter control.  I can't remember the last time my A1C was in the 6s or above....I think it was when I was in junior high.  My basals seem fine to him as well, which I was thrilled about as well.  There is nothing worse for me than basal testing.  If I don't get to eat I get grouchy, just like a baby. 

Next up was my feet.  I have been having some trouble with my toes, which is really strange.  He took a look at them, pressed them some funny ways, but said that it was probably just an issue stemming from my running.  Since it is not impacting my stride or hurt when resting, he said I could probably just let it go.  Then he said that it might be good for me to take some time off of running, but followed it up by "I just wasted air and time by saying that to you."  Yes, doc, you did.  (However, I did take today off after my big mileage weekend.)

Before I left, my doctor asked me about my upcoming races.  I filled him in on the NW Passage relay I'm doing with Insulindependce, how I signed up for the Chicago Marathon, and what I am currently training for now (half marathon and duathlon).  I also might do the Chicago to Madison relay this summer...I need to decide tonight, though.  Decisions, decisions.  However, I told him my main reason for signing up for the NW Relay was to meet other diabetic runners.  He told me that he works with quite a few marathoners and said he might see if there is interest in getting together sometime.  I told him I would do it in a heartbeat.  How great would that be? 

Finally, and maybe most importantly in my life, I have an interview set up at another school for next year.  I'm so excited!!! 

Do you like your endo?  I think my endo knows that I like/need to have positive feedback, which allows me to get along with him so well. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What counts as a workout?

I'm a firm believer that in order to count something as a workout, I must sweat.  I always sweat when I run, so it is always a workout.  The ellipticle and biking....most of the time.  Rec league volleyball....not so much.

I can remember when I was in college meeting up with some friends to play some volleyball one night.  I had run beforehand and one of the girls that was playing said that she was counting volleyball as her workout for the day.  I know if you play "real" volleyball, it truly is a workout.  However, rec league, not really in my mind. 

This weekend, I successfully completed 5 workouts, plus three games of rec league volleyball.  Saturday's workouts - three of them - all involved running (9 miles total for the day).  My middle one also involved lifting and other cardio.  Today's workouts - two - involved running 12 miles in the morning and then biking and doing some other cardio work a little later prior to volleyball. 

What does this mean?  I am exhausted right now and am going to crawl into bed and sleep for a long time - or until 5:37 when my alarm goes off. 

Tomorrow I'm also going to the endo....which always makes me nervous.  I have constantly reminded myself this weekend that I like my endo and there is nothing to be afraid of.  I am hoping to raise my A1C (yes, you just read that correctly).  I think I am the only type 1 who hopes this. 

Hope your weekend was wonderful!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Triple Workout Day

My next half marathon is less than a month away, on May 15.  I can't believe how quickly it is approaching and how much I should do beforehand.  I've been adapting Hal's half marathon plan   to meet my needs and help me become a faster runner. 

After my last half marathon (March 25), I've done two longer runs - one eight miler and one 11-miler at decent times.  I'm not quite sure when I'll do my long run this week because the weather is not looking too good.  Who wants to be out in the rain/cold for more than an hour?  It just sounds like a recipe for how to get sick to me. 

Although this is not part of Hal's plan, I've been trying to do a double workout day one day of the weekend, typically on Saturday.  This morning I got up and ran 3 miles at a slower place (average of 7:49/mile) and then I'm doing another workout of running and other cardio and weights in another couple of hours.  Today, however, I wanted to challenge myself a little more.  I want to run three times.  So I plan on doing another 2 or 3-miler in the late afternoon/early evening.  Three workouts...yes, please. 

Will my legs fill it tomorrow?  I'm not sure.  I don't plan on doing a lot of running during each run, keeping it to 2, 3, or 4 miles per run.  So I won't be doing more than 10 today.  Sometimes I think it is easier to run 10 consecutively than to do them separately, but I need a different challenge today.  It is good preparation for Ragnar Relays, if nothing else. 

Do you do double workouts in one day? 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Finding Balance

It seems as though I've always had trouble with balance in my life, starting at a young age.  Although I've gotten much better at being less of a perfectionist, doing things perfectly in all aspects of my life have consumed much of my time.  I can remember in high school working on a portfolio that every senior had to complete before graduation.  We had to meet so many goals, and out of those goals so many objectives.  Most seniors procrastinated and tried to complete it all the week before it was due.  However, not me.  I was working on that portfolio throughout the fall and over winter break.  I read and re-read each piece of evidence I chose and each reflection I wrote for each objective.  I don't even want to know how many hours I devoted to this project. 

Ever since entering the "real world," my life has been busy.  During my first two years of teaching I also completed my master's degree in education.  Although I am glad I did the volunteer program and am grateful for my experiences, I was glad to see it end.  I thought that when I took my current job, my life would allow me to have more time to devote to causes that I chose and deem important. 

Last year I took five steps in reverse in finding the balance in my life.  I teach all students in my grade English, math, and science.  The students are leveled for math class, so I really teach 4 math classes a day, two science classes or English classes...except for one day, when I get to teach both science and English two times, and spelling and a literature class to my homeroom.  If you are a teacher, I'm preaching to the choir.  If you are not, you probably don't fully understand what this means.  I plan 20 math lessons a week, 6 science lessons, 6 English lessons, 2 spelling lessons, and 4 literature lessons for a grand total of 38 lessons.  This does not include making tests, grading papers, grading tests, recording homework scores, updating my online grade book for the parents, and everything else that a teacher must do.  There are 65 kids in the grade, so that is a lot of papers to read and give feedback on.

In addition to teaching all of the "heavy" subjects, I also am the one who enforces discipline in the grade.  Although I try not to let my co-teachers ability to pretend like nothing is happening when the kids are running around the class screaming annoy me, it does.  I realize it is hard for the kids to change between a teacher who expects them to do work well, work hard, and behave well and one who runs what is more like a circus in her classroom.  It is draining for me to do everything.  I don't know how much longer I can..for mental purposes.     

In the past month, school has been especially hectic.  I've been given/forced more responsibilities.  Some of my new tasks I greatly enjoy, but they take my time and energy.  I only have 24 hours in a day, just like everyone else.  I cannot allow school work to consume 12 hours of my day every day, although it could.  I love teaching, but I do not love it 12 hours a day, five days a week plus additional time on the weekends.  My balance scale has been tipped over and needs to be evened out again.

There are many other things that I feel like I am compromising on since my work load is so time-consuming.  For example, my friends.  Lately, I have not seen them nearly as much.  I feel like I'm not getting a chance to fully live my life now.  I'm young and want to enjoy my life now while I still have the opportunity to do so.  I want to run, volunteer, bike, and learn more things.  I want to be able to go out with my friends for a few hours on a weekday night and feel guilty about all of the work I have to do before 7:30 a.m. the next day. 

I've decided something has to change.  I do not want to keep living this work-filled, friend-deprived life.  I've worked on updating my resume and cover letter this week and want to change schools.  Who knows if anything will happen, but I'm willing to give it a shot.  It is exciting to think about.

Do you have trouble balancing everything in your life, or did you when you were younger? 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Best 11

I've had so much to do lately, but then again, who doesn't?  Lately, I've been going to bed an hour later than usual and I've felt the affects during the day, but especially with my running (it has been pretty crappy lately).  Last night I was determined to have a good run, looked at the forecast, and knew I had to run outside.  60-degrees and sunny...yes, please! 

Determined to prove to myself that I am still in shape after not running very many miles the past few weeks, I headed to my gym for a quick warm-up and then drove to my favorite path.  It is a 5.5-mile loop, relatively flat, and my favorite.  The result was me having the best long run I've ever done on my own that has not been a race.  11 miles in 1:23:29, a 7:35 average.  Pure bliss. 

On my run, I thought about a different thing each mile.  I had some thoughts about what I was going to focus on at the start, but then decided as I ran what I wanted to concentrate on in the following miles. 

The details/stats..fairly interesting how my mind influences my body.

Mile 1: 7:26 - how running distance is all about mental toughness
Mile 2: 7:25 - how fresh my legs felt after taking some time off
Mile 3: 7:20 - my previous half and upcoming half
Mile 4: 7:26 - my to-do list for the next two weeks
Mile 5: 7:32 - how wonderful the weather is today/how much I love spring weather
Mile 6: 7:51 - do I have Achilles tendinitis in my left leg? Why am I cramping?
Mile 7: 7:45 - my job...and the future
Mile 8: 7:38 - I ran by a blue house..who lives there? Do they like the fact that their house is baby blue?
Mile 9: 7:41 - my friend's recent engagement
Mile 10: 7:30 - how much I wanted this to be my fastest mile
Mile 11: 7:52 - cool down/thought about how much I had to get done in the next hour

Do you think about random things while running?  I feel like the miles go quickly when I do this.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Three Things Thursday: Writing, Leg Issues, and Blood Sugars Edition

1.  I've been thinking about a post to write for a few days now, but have not found the time to write it well.  It deals with stress, work, and perfection.  Hopefully I'll do some quality writing this weekend. 

2.  I have been having some trouble with my left leg while running.  The pain ranges in severeness, from just a little bit to I want to stop running because something just seems terribly wrong.  At first I thought it was a stress fracture, but then realized that fractures are usually felt in one specific spot.  My pain is sometimes behind my knee, while others in the back near and sometimes in the front.  Any ideas?  It is confusing to me.  Needless to say, my mileage this week has been the lowest of the year. 

3.  My blood sugars have been wacky this week, to say the least.  I've noticed that I have a hard time adjusting to seasonal temperatures...or maybe that I just have 4 "bad" blood sugar weeks a year, all around when the weather changes temperature.  Does this happen to you?

I am so happy tomorrow is Friday.  I've got a lot of stuff to do this weekend that I'm looking forward to. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

8 Miles with My Brother

Does 8 Miles with my Brother sound like the name of a potentially new Nicholas Sparks book to you, or is it just me?  As I mentioned before on my blog, my brother runs.  However, to the surprise of many, Saturday was the first time we ever ran together.  I was back in Iowa, where he lives, and wanted to run 8 miles.  He wanted to do a slow run, so I met up with him for a bit before he continued on to complete many more miles without me. 

One thing I love about training runs is that they are relaxing.  We ended  up doing 8 miles in 1:03, just under an 8-minute/mile pace.  It was windy and we ran some hills, and it felt good not to push myself too hard, but just to enjoy the day.  It helped that the temperature was nearly perfect. 

Some things we talked about while running....

  • Some of his past races, including the Leadville 100 mile run and his first half marathon
  • His future races, including a 100k this weekend, a 24-hour run that he hopes to run over 100 miles in and win coming up, and his next big race: the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run
  • My upcoming races, particularly the Peanut Butter Duathlon and the Rockford Half Marathon
  • The fact that I'll probably get smoked in the bike portion of the duathlon because many people who sign up for duathlons are much stronger bikers than runners (this happened to him when he did a duathlon)
  • His slowest half time vs. my fastest half time (his slowest = 1:33, my fastest = 1:40)
  • Ironman, and ironman training
  • NCAA March Madness - we're both hoping Butler wins
  • Mileage for the month of March.  Mine: 138.  His: 280. 
  • Weekend training runs
  • Sleep need for quality training, especially longer weekend training runs
  • How a runner we saw while running is incredibly cocky and annoys us both, but in different ways
  • My sister and parents
  • Relationships
  • How running long distances is mostly about mental toughness
  • Barefoot running and the fact that we are both against it
  • People we both know who live near me and run
  • The Chicago Marathon
As you can see, it was a lot of running talk with some other stuff thrown in.  Actually, we talked about relationships and our sister and parents for quite some time. 

Time to watch the final basketball game.  Go Butler!!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

March Review and Stats

March Stats

Miles Run: 138
Miles Walked: 22
Miles Biked: 109
Miles done on the Elliptical: 9.9
Miles done on the Stair Master: 9.1
Weights: 7 days
Total Mileage: 288 miles


Book of the Month: the world in half by Cristina Henriquez

Song of the Month: Coming Home by Diddy

Indulgence of the Month: Cookies...I ate my weight in cookies over spring break

Obsession of the Month: Becoming faster and breaking 1:40 in a half

Drink of the Month: Coconut water

Current Wish-List: Someone to help me with the copious amounts of papers I need to grade for school

Current Need: A way to wear my hair when I'm running that is not pigtails.  I already look young enough, and pigtails make me look even younger.

Triumph of the Month: Both of my races I PR'd in: St. Paddy's Day 5k and Sam Costa Half Marathon. 

Current Bane of my Existence: I have one, but won't say because I am trying to be a nice person. 

Current Blessings: Currently being injury-free and healthy, and my family and friends. 

Current Excitement: My upcoming spring race schedule, including a duathlon.  Also, plans that my friend and I made last night for the upcoming month and summer. 

Current Goal: See current obsession: run 1:30-something in a half marathon.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spring Race Schedule

Happy April Fools Day!  I am not a big fan of April Fools Day because I like to believe people, and, therefore, have been tricked a few times.  My dad always used to like joking with me and my siblings when we were growing up.  When I was younger, I played basketball year-round and was a huge Reggie Miller fan.  One year my dad woke me up early and told me that Reggie had been traded to the New York Knicks.  It wasn't until later in the day that I realized it was a joke.  If you followed basketball in the 90s, you would know how devastating that trade would be for a Pacer fan!

I finalized my spring race schedule last night and am excited for it.  I realized when looking at my miles for the month of March that I took a lot of rest days, which are good, but also because I raced two times.  I'm hoping my spring races will be fun and challenging.  They are:

*April 17 - 10k Spring Ahead race 
April 30 - Peanut Butter Duathlon
May 15 - Rockford Half Marathon
May 29 - Dash to Cure Diabetes 4 mile trail race
June 12 - Chicagoland Tour de Cure bike ride

A few notes about each of the races...

April 17 10k Spring Ahead: I'm not 100% sure if I'm doing it or not.  It depends how I feel with my training and if I feel like racing that weekend.  I'll probably decide the day before.

April 30 Peanut Butter Duathlon: My first multi-sport event!!  I chose this duathlon because of the name.  I eat a ton of peanut butter, so I thought it was only fitting that I participated in it.  I'm excited to try it out and have some fun.  I am not putting any pressure on myself to do well.  The event is a 2 mile run, 14 mile bike on trails, and then another 2 mile run.  I know it will be a learning experience, which is good.

May 15 Rockford Half Marathon: I'm going to train with longer runs so my pace does not slip in the last three miles.  The half and full are together through 12.5 miles, so I plan on running with the 3:20 pacer for the majority of the race and then finishing strong on my own.  I'm looking for the ever-coveted 1:30-something finish. 

May 29 Dash to Cure Diabetes: I am running this race solely because it benefits diabetes research and I like to run.  Win, win!  Plus, I've only run a 4-mile race one time before....way back in 2006 and didn't record my time.  Plus, it will be fun to run on trails.

June 12 Tour de Cure bike ride: I'm going to be cross-training a lot by biking and thought this would be some good motivation to keep me riding.  One of my friends said she would ride with me, and my brother might as well.  You get to choose to ride either 15, 30, 60, or 100 miles.  I'm thinking either 30 or 60.  Plus, I'll be a Red Rider, which will be neat. 

What is your spring race schedule look like?  Do you have any events on it that you've never done before?  I'm excited for my first duathlon!