Dallas Marathon

So I ran a marathon on Sunday without training.

Things that I would not recommend doing include running a marathon without training.

That being said, the patented Lauren-Lindley-All-Season-Taper-Plan worked out alright because I finished. I did not get a stress fracture this year (I did last year) but I can’t really walk and I feel like a truck ran over me.

The weather was DREADFUL: humid and almost 70 degrees at the start. The first two hours I felt like I was swimming. The Dallas Marathon is a really wonderful event: tons of runners (comradery! misery in numbers!), well organized, water/gatorade stations at every mile, really gorgeous and flat flat flat. You run from downtown, across the bridges into West Dallas, back into downtown and through the Design District to Turtle Rock, through Highland Park, across Lower Greenville, out and around White Rock Lake and then back to downtown.

Strangely enough, despite this marathon being far more physically brutal than CIM was for me last year, it was mentally exceptionally easy. You would think those two situations wouldn’t go hand in hand and I have no way to explain it but despite my physical agony during the run, mentally it was cake. The miles seemed to tick by SO fast right up until the last one!

It was so humid that I got blisters on two of my toes at mile 14 and then at mile 16 my right leg started to cramp. By the end of the race, both of my legs were cramping so severely it was comical and there was no point in the last ten miles when I had any relief from that situation. But, you know, the faster you run, the faster you’re done so I just kept trucking.

The humidity really took it out of me early on and I walked through every water stop in the last half of the course. My time ended up being about 15 minutes slower than my first marathon (4:37 vs 4:23) but considering that I ran a total of 30 miles in the last 6 weeks, that’s pretty damn good!

I got to see one of my bestest friends while I was in Dallas and we went to a fantastic little tapas joint called Sangria on Friday night. In true marathon-prep fashion, M and I decided to treat ourselves to an amazing dinner on Saturday night at Nonna, a Highland Park restaurant dedicated to regional Italian cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients. My pappardelle was to die for but the real stand out was my mother’s Maine Lobster Ravioli.

Overall, it was a really fantastic event and just as fun and well organized as California International Marathon. Both would make wonderful first time marathons due to the crowd support, the sheer number of runners (it makes it better somehow), the entertainment along the way, and the course itself. We already have our sights set on next year’s event: The Marine Corps Marathon.

But for now, I’m taking a break from running and it’s into the pool I go.

Type II Fun Update

Remember that time I registered for another marathon?

I think that was a bad idea.

Every time you go to the Dallas Marathon website there is a handy dandy countdown clock that lets you know exactly how long it is until you run a marathon you haven’t trained for.  As of right now, I have about 10 days and 19 hours until that point.  Tick tock tick tock.

Last year, I did a REALLY bad job of training for the marathon. So bad that I was determined to do better this year.

I actually did worse.

I didn’t think that was even possible.

On the left, you can see my mileage by week leading up to the marathon.  On the right, you can see my mileage by week leading up to today.  I actually managed to run almost 100 less miles this year than last year, which is about 36% down from the ridiculously small amount of mileage I actually did last year.  I am clearly insane.

Important things to note:

  • I went into last year’s marathon feeling overly trained to the half marathon point.  I do not feel this way this year.
  • I went into last year’s marathon feeling like miles 20-24 were probably going to suck really bad.  I think the suckiness might actually start around mile 16 this year which is going to be a real bummer.
  • I am not sure if there is any amount of shot blocks that can make up for the fact that I have not been running.
  • I’m pretty certain there is a stress fracture in my future.

My plan, much like last year, is to just run really slow, slower than I want to, keep my heart rate low, and let the fact that I’m at sea level work to my advantage.   I have to really watch out for this because when I get to sea level I usually feel an uncontrollable urge to run really fast.  If I can reign in my pace and make sure I run 10-11 minute miles, I’ll hopefully still feel pretty good at the half way point.

What’s even more annoying than the fact that I didn’t train is the fact that I feel like I’m doing myself a disservice and that I can do better and I already want to do another one to prove that I can stick to a training plan.

Like I said: INSANE.

Running Half Marathons while Dancing

When I originally planned my trip to New Orleans, it was to run the Jazz Half Marathon. Once upon a time I came up with this ridiculous idea to run a half marathon in every state, among other things. While some of the things on the list I’m no longer interested in (my goals are in a constant state of re-evaluation), this is one that’s stuck around. It appeals to my innate thirst for things that both physically and mentally challenge me.

So far, I’ve ticked CA, UT, OR, and TX off the list, where I had the worst race of my life and they rubbed it in by listing me as a male even though I’m not and I missed out on a 2nd place age group award. I really wanted to get three states in this year, but I’ll take the two.

I digress.

So, I plan a trip to run a half marathon, discover that Voodoo Music Fest was the same weekend and decided that it was totally in the realm of possibility to run a half marathon AND go to a three day music fest on the same weekend.

No. Big. Deal.

We got up at 6 AM to ride bikes down to Lafayette Square in the downtown business district where the race was set to start. I hadn’t run in three weeks because of a nagging injury from the Bizz Johnson marathon so I was more than a bit nervous. My leg still wasn’t at 100% and I gave myself a caveat: I could bail at the 5k turn around if I wasn’t feeling up to it. While I had been running fairly steadily before the Bizz Johnson, by the time I hit mile 8 my quads were feeling quite thrashed, enough so that the miles from 10 to 13 were pretty damn rough. I will say that the “whiskey shot” rest stop at mile 12 did make me giggle. In the end, my efforts were enough for a 28th place finish in my age group and a time of 1:52:55. Not too shabby for more than 2,000 runners.

After the race, we had an amazing southern brunch at Rae’s grandparents’ house and headed over to Voodoo Fest for day 2. Highlights from the day included: Treme Brass Band, K’nann (where the hell have I been? This guy is awesome!), Soul Rebels, and my favorite new find, Zeale, a kid from Austin with insane energy, a heart of gold, and mad verbal skills. I LOVED him.

I also checked out Justice, who I used to adore but apparently has been touring with the same exact show for more than three years and Metallica which was overwhelming times gazillions.

Voodoo Music Experience, Voodoo Fest, New Orleans

Clockwise from top: Voodoo Music Carnival, Zeale, Gary Clark JR, Big Chief Bo Dollis and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux with the 101 Runners.

Thanks to running a swift 13.1 miles that morning, I ended up quite saucy by the end of the day. Running + dancing = success.

Bizz Johnson Half Marathon

When my friend Bri separated her AC joint mountain biking this summer she decided to focus on the only sport she could do, which was running, and on a whim, registered for the Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon in Susanville, CA.

I have tons of customers who have run this event and while they have always lauded the course and the support, I have heard many a horror story about how it was snowing, or raining, or snowing and raining on race day and how miserable it can be. Honestly, most years that I’ve lived in Tahoe it has snowed every year on that weekend.

Because Bri and I had tickets to go see Florence and the Machine in the Bay Area with some friends of mine, I decided that I would register for the half and tag along so that we could drive straight from the Bay to Susanville for the event.

So, we drove all over Northern CA and ran marathons. No big deal.

We spent Friday night with my friends Chris and Erin, who danced to Florence with us, cooked us bacon and waffles the next morning, and showed off their gorgeous new daughter.

Mmmm waffles!

Look at those happy beautiful eyes!

On Saturday we drove up to Susanville and camped at the gorgeous and completely empty Eagle Lake Campground and Recreation Area. Literally empty. There were probably 60 campsites there and only three of them in use, including ours!

Things that you should do before running a marathon: 1) go to concerts, 2) drink wine, 3) drive 7 hours, 4) spend some of that time shopping at IKEA. We are so pro.

Eagle Lake Campground and Recreation Area

The Bizz Johnson Marathon and Half Marathon take place on Susanville’s Bizz Johnson Trail, a 25.4 mile Rails to Trails Project that follows the old Fernley and Lassen Branch Line of the Southern Pacific railroad. The trail starts at the old Susanville Rail Depot and follows the Susan River Canyon.

Booker explores the beginning of the Bizz Johnson Trail.

Briana was taken 26.2 miles away where she was hoping to get a BQ time on the mostly downhill course, but came in just slightly past her goal time. Regardless, it was her first marathon and she did awesome!!

Bri comes across the finish line looking strong!

The half marathon course was an out and back on the trail, which included one of my favorite race moments ever: running through a super dark, quiet and 800 foot long railroad tunnel! It was so cool!

Physically, I had a pretty terrible race, but while I didn’t feel super awesome, at least the scenery was gorgeous and the event was well run, which is more than I can say for the last horrible race I had, which took place in the god-awful town of Wichita Falls, TX. So far I am 0 for 2 on races this year!

Anyways, I had gone in to see my PT/Chiropractor with a slight injury the week before and he cleared me to run, thinking I had some minor soft tissue damage. This was apparently a bigger problem than we both thought because now I haven’t been able to run again since the half which leaves me feeling a bit anxious about the upcoming half and full marathons I’m registered for. I know I can always just go out slow and wing it, but I’d rather not come away from this year’s marathon with a stress fracture. I still have no idea what’s wrong with my leg, but in short, it feels like a lead rod is jamming up my tibia into my knee when I run.

So, I ran a half marathon. Oh, I got third in my age group. Bri ran a marathon, she got 2nd in her age group. We saw Florence and the Machine. We shopped at Ikea. We picked up my new table from West Elm. We had fun. Overall, a successful, but busy and driving filled time.

Buddy and Lauren’s Masquerade Ball



How did this happen!?!?

I know how it happened, I worked away my summer.

In the meantime, Buddy and I are throwing a Halloween Party in less than 20 days.

It was with great sadness that I sold my ACL fest ticket to Erik. This will be the fist year since the inaugural year of the fest that I’ve missed it! I thought that my life in October would quiet down but it’s clearly not. At first I sold my ticket because I was going to get a puppy because I’ve lost my mind but I decided to wait for the breeder’s next litter from the same mother. Instead, I’m also going to the Bay this weekend to see Florence and the Machine, then driving to Susanville to run the Bizz Johnson Half Marathon while Bri runs the full, then moving on October 15th to an amazing new four bedroom house in Meyers for which I’m going crazy at West Elm over, and then we’re throwing the Halloween party and THEN we’re going to New Orleans and Austin for 10 days so that I can run the Jazz Half Marathon, hit up Voodoo Music Festival, spend Halloween evening in New Orleans and then fly to Austin to go to Fun Fun Fun Fest and a good friend’s wedding.

It’s not like I’m not going to have a lot of music in my life in the next month so I guess I can skip ACL fest for one year to move.

Tahoe Kids Tri #3

The last of the series of Tahoe Kids Triathlons was held on September 9th, which happened to be the same day as the annual Tour de Tahoe. I usually ride Tour de Tahoe every year since my store sponsors the event, but had promised to volunteer at the kids tri as the finish line photographer again. I was pretty happy to sleep in until 9 that morning!

Once again, the event was a joy to watch and assist with. There were kids from all over and more than one close race to the finish line.

Here are some of my favorites from the day, but you can see the rest of them via the link below.

This girl was so adorable in every photo I took of her.

Child determination.

Look. At. Her. Helmet. How can that not make you laugh?

These kids competed in each of the three events this summer. Awesome!

If you are a parent and I photographed your child being awesome, you can find the photos available to download here.

2nd Annual Angora Lakes Tri

Participants in the 2nd Annual Angora Lakes Tri

Last weekend was the 2nd Annual Angora Lakes Tri. The first one was held on the same weekend last year and we all had so much fun we couldn’t stop talking about it. It’s an unsanctioned, unofficial race with no fees, no bells and whistles, run on one or more volunteers with a bit of an unorthodox course: you ride your bike from the beach to Angora Lake, run from the parking lot of the lake to the lake, swim across the lake, jump off the 20 food cliff and then head back to the start line in reverse.

Angora Lakes Tri Course Map

Last year, I was the first one up the hill climb on the bike and sort of assumed that whoever led the race at this point would always win. We had more contestants this year (11 instead of 4!) and I had a formidable opponent. Adrienne is a killer bike rider and she was probably about 5-6 minutes ahead of me on the bike leg and already in the lake swimming by the time I arrived.

I was sure Adrienne had this race in the bag! I was SO wrong. In a normal triathlon, where the swimming comes first, cycling second and running last, a fast swim leg hardly ever wins the race. In our unorthodox race, my swimming abilities really gave me the advantage. I was across the lake and back before Adrienne even reached the cliff. I then sprinted back down to the last transition area to hop on my bike. I knew that if I could get enough distance on the downhill on the bike, that MAYBE she would get stuck behind a car and I would win the race.

Coming into the last transition area. Thanks Will for being our awesome volunteer and a photographer!

I ended up winning for the 2nd year in a row at a time of 1:15.45, only two minutes faster than last year! It might have actually been considerably faster I had I not crashed on my first bike leg. That’s right – our unsanctioned race is so extreme that I crashed and continued to race.

You can read Meghan’s account of the day over at her blog. Thanks so much to all our amazing volunteers: PK, Boyfriend, Gretchen and Will! Also, big thanks to the Angora Lakes employee who somehow knew what we were doing and was high-fiving and cheering us on!

Tahoe Kids Tri #2

August 12th was the second in a series of three kids’ triathlons being held here in South Shore. My camera and I went out to cheer on the kids and my future customers in the first one and I had such a blast supporting the event that I went out again. I got a bit of a late start that morning and missed the Five and Under start and the group talk, which yielded some fantastic shots the last time. I did get quite a few I’m happy with and was the official finish line photographer. Congrats to all the kids who competed! They had almost 1/3rd of the competitors attend from outside the Tahoe community! Awesome!

This post features just a few of my favorite photos from the morning. You can find the rest here. If you are a parent and I photographed your child being awesome, you will find them available to download through the link.

Little tykes cheer on their older sisters.

There was an accidental and hilarious mass start of both older groups of kids.

Girls duke it out on bikes!

Getting ready to head out on the run.

This kid is pumped!!

Huge race to the finish line!

Post Race Paddleboarding.

The youngest age group winner! I think he is three!