Monday, March 17, 2014

Seamus O'Possum 30k- the Trail Run from H-E- Double Hockey Sticks!

First, off, despite the title of the blog, this race was nothing but well put together...the RD's and the runners and the AS folks and all the volunteers made this event flawless....I just bit off more than I could chew!!

Two days later I am still not sure where to begin.  I have run exactly three trail races in my life.  One 4 miler, a 50k (three years ago) and now the Seamus O'Possum 30k.  Past trails have taught me that they are rough and much different from road running.

I started to have a panic attack on Friday night wondering why I decided that this was a good idea.  I had to kindly remind myself that if I was going to attempt a solo 100 miler in the summer then I needed to keep putting on foot in front of the other.

This race was just, I don't know what- a pain in the ass, a hell of a good time, mud pit....many other adjectives that I still can't come up with????

It was held up at Delaware State Park in the Dam Area.  The race directors, Chad Heald and Mark Carroll are some really awesome guys.  I thought it was a sweet event.  And they clearly care about ensuring that folks have a good time because the vibe on race day was really chill!

I mean, no gun to start the race, just Mark yelling "Ok Go!"

Since I am training and raising money for the bunnies, I wore my ears and tail to the race.  It got a lot of compliments and cheers from folks as they passed by me.  And oddly, I think my cotton tail is shoes and legs were caked in mud, but somehow my little white fluffy tail did not get ANY mud on it...hmm.....

Here are some photos from race day:
This is me coming into the first aid station around mile 4.  I was still feeling pretty good at this point!  Happy, glad to be out there...but then I hadn't seen the worst of the mud yet...
A little pepsi to add some pep into my hop:

The second, or 2/3's of the course was nothing but a horrible sloppy mess.  And I was NOT prepared.  It got to the point where I wasn't sure which was harder, walking or running.  I tried everything, going around the mud pits, running right through them...I got to a point where I LIKED the mud puddles because I figured out how to manage those, but that horrible sloppy stuff- I never figured it out and my ankles are still paying the price.

In the end, the last 7 miles were all just me in my head ANGRY.  I knew my body was going to hurt and I'd accepted that, but I was mentally tired and I could not get myself out of the angry zone.  Karen at the first AS was such a welcome sight and I am sure I might have growled at her a little...

Either way when I got back to the dam wall, all I could think about was the tv show Game of Thrones and how everyone dies some scary death and how badly I wanted to throw something down the side of the dam wall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At the end of the day, I finished!! I finished in 4:38:26, I made the cutoffs, I completed a race that I felt so unsure of the whole time. 

Thanks for a great race and pictures Chad and Mark!!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

"Don't Stop Til' You Get Enough" Last Chance for Boston Half Marathon

For those that want quick deats: Last Chance for Boston Half Marathon #17-2:21:33

I didn't think it was going to be a good day.  For starters, I hate getting up early-and secondly, my stomach was a wreck!  But I got my tush out of bed and headed to my 17th half marathon....Yes, I did write that right ;)

The day turned a corner when my iPhone started playing Michael Jackson's Don't Stop Til You Get Enough.  This song just makes me feel good inside when I hear it and it makes me want to dance and smile-all a very good sign!

But the day just kept turning the corner towards awesome possum!!! One of my fave people to run with pulled in and parked RIGHT NEXT TO ME! I am not sure if I believe in fate, but it was definitely good jiujiu to have so I'll take what I can get.  The last time she and I ran together at this race I got my half PR of 2:17.  So, I was definitely getting excited.

We lined up for the race and they 'released the hounds' and off we went!  I was running conservatively this first lap.  I had some really great 3 and 4 mile runs lately, but typically anything over 4 miles I can get kind of slower.  In fact, I had told another friend that the goal was to finish and then MAYBE beat 2:45 (dream world 2:30) if I could. 

But, maybe I was a little like the race horse Secretariat who kept improving the more you raced him and trained him because that first lap left my legs yelling at me to 'go!'

So off I went!!!

And I KILLED IT!  My splits were in the low 10's every mile exactly, until the last 3 where I faced a wall and struggled!!!  In the last mile I got really teary eyed and started to feel like I wanted to cry.  I had so needed this race today! 

My self confidence has really been waning lately.  I have made some improvements in so many areas of my life, I am really getting consistent with my writing and my training, but I am still carrying around an extra 10 pounds that I would love to shed (but am finding it difficult to do).  It's been frustrating me a bit, especially when I see pictures of myself.  I can be kind of harsh with the gal I see in them...

But finishing so much faster then I ever believed I was capable of doing in the current body shape that I have just reminded me that we are capable of accomplishing and doing so many wonderful things.  Our bodies are pretty damn miraculous, and instead of looking at pictures and thinking of myself as chubby I should be grateful for it because it helped me achieve something pretty damn sweet today! 

I hit 10 MINUTE MILES! Almost the ENTIRE TIME! The last time I was close to that kind of a pace was 3 years ago when I hit my PR!!!

In honor of being proud of myself I am sharing a picture my friend took- All I see is a gal running, being active, healthy and happy!

So cheers to a well-done race, cheers to my friends who had great races and the ones that came and cheered us on! 

I am so grateful for this race today! It is just what I needed to lift my spirits and raise my confidence a bit.  Plus, the raccoon in me totally digs the snowflake medal :)



Sunday, February 9, 2014

Learning How To Train

I have been running now since Fall of 2002.  I've run 5 marathons, 16 half marathon, one ultra and a bunch of other races.  Some would call this quite an achievement and I guess it is.  But honestly, I did all of them, yes ALL, by the skin of my teeth.

If there is one thing that I am terrible at, it's training.  I am the fool who can go out and run a marathon, finish it (albeit slowly) only having run 16 miles for a long run.  It doesn't feel very good and it certainly isn't what I was setting out to do, or even what I expected of myself.

This time I am asking something different of myself. 

After being so focused on my dissertation I have learned that I have what it takes, but that I need to focus my mind (kind of like what Yoda tells a Jedi to do).

So, I promised myself that I would work on my consistency.  And working on it I am!

Today was the perfect example.  I hate the cold, I hate the snow...basically, I just don't enjoy winter.  But, I had 10-12 miles on my schedule. And I was determined to make sure that I did it.  Today was exceptionally a nuisance to this winter hating gal because we had an inch of snow that came down in the middle of the day... (GREEAAATTT).

So, I made up my mind to ditch Negative Nancy and find neat things to take a picture of as I ran to campus.

First there is the Lane Avenue bridge:
I caught this picture at just the right moment with the sunlight peaking out of the clouds.  This section was particularly brutal because of the headwind coming off the river.  But it was so cheery and inspiring.
When I crossed the bridge at the dam, I saw a whole passel of geese!!!!
There were literally hundreds of these guys just hanging out on the ice, making honking noises and looking like they were just having a grand old time!

Needless to say, the total mileage for this week was 23 miles, almost double what I managed the week before.  Already for this month I have hit 30 miles which is the total I ran in January...

I know I have a ways to go still, but it is really great to see myself achieving these small goals that I am setting before myself.  I am just going to keep taking it one day at a time, knowing that some days I might not meet my goals, but the whole thing is a journey and I just need to get back on my feet the next day!

Hop to it!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Many of you know this already- but I am currently a PhD candidate at The Ohio State University in Education Psychology and Philosophy.  My work is in line with the Philosophy and history part.  I've been at this now for quite a number of years, but this time I applied to gradaute this semester and now I am FREAKING OUT!!

That really leaves me hardly any time to write or think.  I write a chapter, print it out, and then realize it was total crap. 

The Graduate School has all of these crazy deadlines, so if I want to be able to gradaute I need to defend in late March or early April and then upload my completed dissertation by mid April.

This thing is chewing me up and about to spit me back out....or maybe its more like the Sarlacc pit from Star Wars where I will be digested over thousands of years.....I am not sure which, but it is honest to goodness harder than anything else I have ever done.

I imagine being on a beach somewhere with an umbrella drink in my hand, reading some  trashy romance novel, not worried about the state of my dissertation.

I imagine leaving work, and being able to run for however long I want to, or leisurely going to the gym, or driving to my mom and dads and taking my psuedo woof Molly for a long walk.

I imagine volunteering again for the rabbit rescue groups.

I imagine traveling to see interesting this, or reading books that are for fun, or just...

Well, just about ANYTHING except for writing a dissertation.

For those of you familiar with the Columbus Marathon course, as I told my buddy Sunshine, I just made the turn to come down Vine St. and I can see that mini baby hill and I know the turn to go downhill and the finish is just over that peak....but I still have a little ways to get there.

I guess dissertation writing is like running, just everyday you put one foot in front of the other, or edit, edit, edit.


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hello....I'm RnRBunny

My name is Shannon AKA RnRBunny.  Why the nickname?  Well, it all started back in 2011, when I raised money for the Columbus House Rabbit Society as part of my marathon training.  I wore bunny ears and a tail to that event which was a ton of fun.
Since then I have worn my ears and tail to numerous events and its sort of become my 'thing.'  The ears and tail are nice because they generate shouts and smiles during a race-but more importantly, it reminds me of why I started to wear the ears in the first place.
To raise awareness about the plight of rabbits as pets in America- to educate the public that they are the THIRD most abandoned pet.  That just like a cat or dog, rabbits are smart, inquisitive, do well with a friend, can be litter box trained, and more importantly can share very close relationships with their human brethren.
In other words...bunnies ROCK.
So, I continue to run for the bunnies.  I hope that you will consider following me and seeing what kind of mischief I get into.