Thursday, May 29, 2008

4 Unexpected Rest Days

Today was my first day back to running. I haven't run since the 10 miler on Saturday. Sad I know but I could not find/make the time. Crazy job has got me stressed and not allowing me much "me" time. Today's run, nothing spectacular - 4.5 miles and not very fast. It was a struggle to maintain a 9 minute mile pace today. Just one of those days. But the weekend is coming (yay!) and Jacob is going out of town. This all means, no eating poorly, and a lot of time on my hands to 1) work out and 2) get my freaking wedding invitations made. Seriously there is like 86 days or something until my wedding, less than 12 weeks, less than 3 months. That is just nuts, plain nuts. Again I will ask - Where does my time go? So yeah, this weekend I will be up to eyeballs in assembling my lovely invitations and attempting to use my best penmanship to hand address all the envelopes. This should be interesting...Good thing I will have some time to run I'm going to need some breaks.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Soldier Field 10 mile run Race Report

I wanted to title this post "It's so much smaller than I though it would be". Although this is something you guys never want to hear ;) ;) I am talking about Soldier Field. It is so huge from the outside then you go in and the field and seats are so small. Now I know why I can never get tickets to a Bears game...too few seats! But onto the race itself.

Before the race. I look like such a dork. I never know what to do with my hands.

The alarm went off at 5:30 am...ugh. Of course I couldn't fall to sleep until late and then woke up at 4:30am then every 20 minutes until the alarm sounded. So early! But we took off on time and after a few issues with finding our way to the parking lot we made it to the field just before 7 a.m. On the way to the field I ran into my friend Archie and his girlfriend. Didn't know they were running so that was a nice surprise. After one last bathroom break and almost forgetting to attach my chip I lined up between 8:30 and 9:00 min/mile at 7:15. Then stood around taking it all in. It was a beautiful day, a little too sunny said the girl with no sunglasses but in the 50's. The starting corral was tight so I was hoping the group would eventually thin out. I would come to find out later this would not happen. Shortly after Tim McGraw's cousin sang the national anthem (what no Tim? He's in town for a concert he wouldn't swing by for a 2 minute song???) we were off...sort of. Only took about 2 -3 minutes to finally get started.
mile 1: It was crowded and I was tripping over people. I got stuck behind yellow shirt guy. I would veer right to go around, he would veer right, then I tried left, you get the picture. This went on for a good 1/2 mile right until we went through a tunnel under McCormick Place. I hate that tunnel. Lucky for us it wasn't hot so it could have been worse but regardless I still hate running through tunnels in Chicago - they're gross! About this time I saw a 40 year old woman who probably weighed less than my 6 year old niece. Her legs were like the size of 3 of my fingers wide. Very disturbing. I wanted to feed her. The pace wasn't too fast and I was actually running right around my goal.

mile 2: Brought a slight uphill but nothing else sticks out. I think unfortunately this was my fastest mile which was not in the initial game plan. What are ya going to do?

mile 3: I ran by by Archie's girlfriend once the course took us onto Lakeshore Drive and hung with her for about a 1/2 mile. 8,000 people and I run by her such odds. They were starting to slow and we were coming up to a course that split weird and I took the left path and she went right so I was by myself again. Still keeping a good pace and was definitely wondering if I could maintain. Spoiler alert: The answer is no I could not.

mile 4: I look across to the inner lakefront path to see some of those fast runners actually contending for the $ spots across the way. Oh to run like them...I kept on and was trying to figure how much longer to our turnaround to head back to the field.

mile 5: The lovely turnaround. Over a curb and uphill on soft grass from actual Lakeshore Drive to inner lakefront path. This turnaround sucked but I don't imagine there was anyway else to have it on this out and back course. At this point I could feel myself struggling. I was just tired and honestly a little bored. I tried to push myself but my body was fighting me. My normal mental pick me ups were not working their mojo today. Also I was hoping the field would have thinned a bit by now. No such luck. I think out of the 8,000 runners half of them happened to be running between an 8 and 9 minute mile. So at mile 5 I still was bobbing and weaving more than I would have liked.

mile 6-8: Please just get through this. One foot in front of the other. You aren't breaking any records today sister girl...

mile 8.4: What was a nice breeze at mile 7 turned to a cold headwind here. It didn't last long once I made it to the other side of the McCormick Building. Legs were heavy and I was just tired. Really tired. In my mind I thought "wow you didn't even feel this bad at mile 23 of the marathon last December better training next time".

mile 9: One mile left. You can do one mile. Ugh, there's still one mile. Is this mile ever going to end. Why haven't I made it to the field yet. Oh yes there's the field. Oh man through a tunnel - oh wait cool this is the tunnel the actual players use to run out onto the field. Ooh this is fun. There's the field. Then I tried to sprint the last .25 mile. My sprint is laughable but at least I finished strong.
Made it to the finish! Yay!

I found Jacob quickly in the stands as spectators weren't allowed on the field and actually ran into Archie again who was waiting for his girl. Made my way through the tunnel, collected my awesome medal, stocked up on the free food because the race packet stunk and I believe it was my due to take a few extras. At least I'm not as bad as people who grab empty boxes and just start filling it with food. Now those peeps are just ridiculous. The food isn't that good...

Jacob and I. I'm very squinty

Final results aren't up yet but garmy said I ran 10.07 miles (too much weaving or I started the watch too soon) in 1:27 and change. Sorry I'm too lazy to get up and grab the guy to look at the actual time. I remember it worked out to an 8:43 average. Definitely not my goal but at least it was under 9 min/mile average today. My last 2 miles were a bit sad and garmy reflected my poor feeling. Room to grow. And hey no matter the outcome it's a PR! Gotta love your first race in a new distance.

And you know what else? Nothing beats a hard earned free beer at 9:30 in the morning! Cheers!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Who Needs Sleep?

Last night the only thing that kept running through my head was "Who Needs Sleep" by the Barenaked Ladies. A song about insomnia - great. I go through these periods where I just can't sleep and everything wakes me. I have only actually treated it once back in between high school and college as it usually doesn't last long. I have admit this is one of my worst bouts ever. I can't fall asleep, I can't stay asleep, and I wake up early morning with only an hour or 2 before I need to actually wake. There is no other way to describe it - this sucks! This to shall pass; I just hope it hurries itself along :) Discussing my lack of sleeping does have to do with running. The little 10 mile run I signed myself up for is tomorrow (EEK!) and yes it starts at an ungodly hour (for me) 7:30 am. Seriously? I am sure it's for traffic reasons but whatever that's just early. I haven't run that early in the morning since I was training for the marathon last summer. I have a half day at work today (wahoo!) so I will be chilling the rest of the day, maybe even sneak a nap in later ;) 3 1/2 glorious days off from work! Nothing sounds better right now and the long break can't start soon enough.

Have a fun and safe holiday weekend peeps! I'll have a race report for anyone who cares over the weekend sometime.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Wedding #2 Recap in Pictures

I didn't take too many pictures at my friends wedding this past weekend. Everyone else was so I figured I just make copies of theirs. One of our friends already has some awesome pics up on their website so I thought I share. It was the most fun at a wedding that I have ever experienced. Oh and this wedding happened to be on McDonald's campus in a suburb here so the bride and groom set up to have McDonald's cheeseburgers as a 10pm snack. Best snack ever at a wedding. Seriously I eat McDonald's twice a year at most and I inhaled the burger (no I was not drunk just starving from dancing!) me helping the bride with her Cubs garter. yes we are all Cubs fans ;)
The happy couple
All the girls

Me and the beautiful bride. Yes, I should have set my drink down...

not the best picture of us...

I hope to get some cross-training in today before going out to celebrate Jacobs 33rd birthday! We have been spending a lot of moola here lately so taking it easy plus he needs to be up early tomorrow. Probably catching a relaxed dinner and a movie he wants to see. Yesterday I was able to run 3 miles. It felt good to move after my Sunday slothness. The 10 mile race is this Saturday! Ah! I'm a bit nervous but really, really excited. I received notice of my bib number yesterday - 1095. Just need to head downtown to pick it up before the race. Probably will have a couple more short runs before Saturday just to keep them loose. I really can't believe it is already here.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I can finally relax

Another whirlwind of a weekend. May wedding#2 is in the books. No one wanted it to end especially the bride! My friend looked amazing and nearly everything was perfect. The rain once again held off until just as the last person in the recessional walked off. Unbelievable timing. I danced my booty off which is good because I drank a lot of corona's and had a lot of delicious, aka bad, food. Had two very late nights...let's just say I was one of the last few hanging on (and usually only girl) both Friday and Saturday night and I can't remember the last time I stayed up until 4am! I'm too old for this stuff ;) There were a lot of laughs and catching up with old friends and current friends so in my book that's a success. And even with all my late night partying on Friday I was up and at em early enough on Saturday to get in a workout. A friend and I went on a short trail run got a bit lost then ran back to the hotel and went to the gym for another 40 minutes. It felt great though and it was nice to actually have a friend to workout and run with this time. Then he is uber healthy boy so it was easy for me to eat a healthy breakfast even though I wasn't so good the rest of the day :) I am more exhausted now than I've been in awhile. This go, go, go state I have been in over the last 6 weeks finally caught up with me today. I felt as if I had been hit by a truck. So after we got home I took the day to catch up on Indiana Jones movies over on the Sci Fi channel then Grey's Anatomy episodes. It was great not to do anything!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Feeling Guilty

I ended up sleeping in this morning as I couldn't fall asleep until nearly 3 am last night. Therefore no workout today and I am feeling guilty. I had a great plan at 7:30 am to sleep some more and get to site then catch an earlier flight home to workout in Chicago and then run to the store for some healthy dinner food...Yeah, so no earlier flight. I really don't know why I thought there was a flight before mine??? Then my flight was delayed nearly an hour so I didn't walk in the door until after 8pm. At which time I was starving and inhaled the only edible items in the house - a lean cuisine then some carrots, hummus, dried cherries, and almonds. (random I know but I didn't want to leave the house again to pick up food to make a normal dinner). And this is yet another example of why I seriously can not wait for the day I don't have to travel on a regular basis for my job! Tomorrow is my long run so no missing that run!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

This and That

20 minutes of weights is better than no minutes of weights - right? That's what I told myself today. I squeezed in a short but I think effective workout before heading off to the airport today. I did go on a easy 4 mile run yesterday with Jacob. He actually went all 4 miles with me! Yeah Jacob! My visit starts a little later tomorrow morning and even though it is a bit late I hope to wake up and do some sort of cardio. My schedule is all messed up this week and I think I may be doing my long run on Thursday instead of the weekend. At least it will get done this week :)

In other non-running related news - we received our first wedding gift!!! So fun receiving presents in the mail from people I don't know (relatives of Jacob's I have never met). And what is you might ask? Just the coolest 8 inch omlette pan you have ever seen ;) I'll be mixing some of the tastiest spinach, mushroom, cheese and 1 egg + egg white omlettes! I also was giving myself mad props last night for FINALLY figuring out my map and direction information to go in with the invitation. I'll have to put pictures up later. But if I don't say so myself my little booklet looks very professional. I surprise myself weekly with my newfound craftiness.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Week in Review 2

Wow, what a long weekend that went by so fast. Does that even make sense? I am exhausted but happy to finally be home. My friend's wedding went nearly perfect. Her now father in law drank in excess and called the 2 of us lezbo's because we were dancing together in order to avoid him. Nice. He most likely doesn't remember that part of the evening. Anyways, she looked beautiful and the rain held off until the day was nearly over. I've never seen her happier and at the end of the day that is all the matters. Oh and that the bridesmaid dresses for this wedding rocked! And see those pearls - they're real! One of the bride and grooms friend works in India and got a great deal. What a sweet bridesmaid gift! Not a great picture of the two of us but all that I have. Not really in the picture taking mood this weekend.
But before the fun could be had in central IL I carved out an hour of my morning to complete Nancy's 10k on the 9th er 10th! I felt like crap but powered through the crappy feeling. I ate too much for breakfast, went out to fast, had a blood blister pop at mile 2 (blood blister came from running through O'hare in heals not running), and finally just plain wanted to give up and walk starting at mile 3. Even with all that and the lack of crowd or course support (my own fault I suppose for not picking a better course) I finished. I couldn't imagine trying to come back and write about how I gave up because of my lack of motivation. Plus, knowing so many others were running and possibly going through the same thing helped get me through the hour. I think this run ended up being an excellent precursor to my 10 mile run in 2 weeks. So the stats

1 - 7:59
2 - 8:11 (pop goes the blister)
3 - 8:26
4 - 8:35
5 - 8:46 (just plain wanted to give up but then didn't want to write about walking in my blog)
6 - 8:31 (almost finished)
7 (.2 miles) - 8:04 (finally done!)

Average pace of 8:24 with a final time of 52:07 :) Thanks again Nancy! Looking forward to the next one for sure. And Happy Mothers Day to all you moms! Hope you had a wonderful day.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Really I wanted to title this Worst Run Ever but I felt that may be a bit negative. I'm in southern IL and there are some severe storms moving through so I took the run indoors. I was scheduled to run 6 mile tempo run with 4 miles at 8:30. Yeah, not so much. I got through 4.5 miles with 3 at an 8:30 pace and that was a struggle. Not that I was out of breath but rather my limbs just didn't want to move or work in any sort of cohesive manner. The room was extremely warm as well and I'm not sure that helped. I probably could have made it to five if severe stomach cramping hadn't started. From what? Who knows...At least I was able to get a 10 minute cool down done on the bike. It's something I guess. Next struggle finding something healthy to eat. Not too much to choose from in these parts. There is a Mexican restaurant, Steak and Shake, or Ruby Tuesdays. I'm going to search some more. Maybe I can find some wonderful local restaurant :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Lots to do and no time to get it done

Stressed that is the word of the week. There just aren't enough hours in the day. Except somehow I manage to blog about my stress...hmmm...can we say avoidance? I leave in a couple hours to head to a lovely suburb of St. Louis for 1 night, then up to southern IL, then back home on Thursday night. I am only supposed to work a 1/2 on Friday in order to have enough time to get out of the city to make it to my friends rehearsal dinner in time. Then wedding on Saturday and finally drive down in further central IL for mother's day with Jacob's mom then drive home so I can start my week over with wedding #2. In between that time I need to fit in some random runs, make it to the store b/c we are running low on such necessities as toilet paper and contact solution, get a manicure and pedicure because I was told to by the bride, need to return some items I bought that didn't work out before the return window expires, another store to pick up some champagne for the brides to be, and oh yeah and get some work done. I'm sure there is more to do but my head hurts. I really need to run today for my own sanity but I don't think that is going to happen either.

Ran an easy 5 miles yesterday. My body still feels heavy and dragging on my runs but at the end I am always glad I ran. Hopefully this feeling wears off by the time my 10 mile run comes around on the 24th.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Week in Review

Oh wedding season is in full force. And I'm not talking about my own. As I may have mentioned once or twice before I am standing up in two weddings back to back. #1 is this coming Saturday in central Illinois. Full Catholic mass = One long day. #2 is the following. Bachelorette party #2 was last night. For a girl who wasn't looking forward to last night the bride seemed to have fun. Mission accomplished. I can't wait until May 31st. That's the first weekend that is mine. All mine. Even the fiance is out of town that weekend. I probably won't know what to do with myself when that weekend arrives! Actually that's the weekend I have set aside to assemble and address my invitations. Anyone care to help? ;) Yes, I really do have to plan that far in advance for my wedding stuff. And no, I'm not a planner by nature. I procrastinate. Maybe it's good I have so much on my plate. Otherwise the invitations may never get done and I just spent $$$$ for a wedding no one will attend b/c I was too lazy to get invitations done and sent! So being busy with others weddings and wedding related activates as well as traveling all over the country for work is a good thing ;)

Onto running for the week. They were just okay. I was able to get 9 miles done yesterday morning before leaving for the day long party. Not a stellar pace (9 something) but I made it back before the ominous clouds broke loose. The speedwork session I had scheduled for Weds didn't go so well. It was supposed to be 3x1600 and I could only get through 2 1600's and 1 800. At least it was something. With the warm up, recovery jogs, and cool down it was around 6 miles. And my easy run on Thursday felt more hard than easy. I think my body is a little run down from everything going on right now. I just need some sleep. Today is my day off so hopefully tomorrow will be better.