Sunday, June 27, 2010

locked out!

After lunch I decided to head out on our front balcony to finish up my current read (Angelology) to enjoy the hazy, lazy Sunday afternoon. My husband decided to go to the driving range at some point and I thought nothing of it. That is, until I got up to go inside... The husband accidentally locked the slider thus locking me out! Unfortunately, I had no idea of knowing if my neighbors who have a copy of our key were home and I could have jumped over our balcony onto the condo's front steps. I was barefoot and didn't want to take the chance of being locked out in an even worse position than I started. So I waited with legs crossed for an hour and a half until my husband returned. I knocked on the glass every 15 minutes hoping he had come home but not come up front to see me. When he finally arrived home and I was set free ;) I took off in a mad sprint to the bathroom. By the look on his face I know he felt horrible. The whole drama is funny now but not so much when I didn't know when he would be returning home!

The rest of the weekend was filled with a little of everything weekends should be filled with; some more reading, laziness, dinner on a friend's deck in the suburbs, and a short run in which I tried to sweat out this cold/infection. I'm no better and no worse post run but it was tough on me since I haven't done much of anything over the past week. The run did serve a purpose other than looking like a struggling, red-faced mess. For the first time in a long time I wanted to run. For the first time in a long time I wasn't just going through the motions. I may have felt like a hot mess and it may have only been 3 miles but those 3 humid mile may have been just what I needed to push this funk on out and find the next race/start the next training cycle!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

this week's travel

What a week and it's not over yet...
  • started the week with a horrible cold. it's still sticking around. really how much mucous can one person make?!? (a lot and it's nasty)
  • left on Wednesday for a trip from O'Hare to Tampa then Tampa to Oklahoma City with a layover in Dallas, returning to Chicago Friday night. All those connections and random cities make the week feel longer than it is.
  • realized on my drive to the airport the bag in which I pack my unders, socks, and sports bra was sitting on my floor at home. (these items are packed in a separate bag so security and the rest of the airport don't see the hot pants if I have a random bag search).
  • my flight out of O'Hare was delayed nearly 3 hours because we had no pilots. I was worried I wouldn't make it into Tampa in time to find an open store to buy the necessities. And my visit started at 7:30 am on Thursday morning!
  • finally our pilots arrived! and I make it in to Tampa just before VS closes! sweet there's a sport's authority next to the mall and I pick up some new running gear :)
  • the Tampa site I was visiting - so rude. Not the way you want to start your day at a 7:30 am meeting. You think you would be nice - I help decide if they get to participate in the study and make some money!
  • Finish up on Thursday early and head to the airport to catch an earlier flight... flight is booked :(
  • we board our flight (late) but are taken off the plane within 30 minutes for "mechanical problems"
  • after nearly 7 hours in the airport flight is cancelled
  • all flights on all airlines are booked solid out of TPA... I can't get to Oklahoma City to do the visit that NEEDS to be done. All flights booked until the afternoon.
  • my study Lead (sort of manager) questions if I did everything I could to make it to the visit. Really dude, I want this hassle? I would rather make the visit in OKC just to not have to deal with you!
  • I can't make it back to Chicago until late Friday morning. But I at least get to go home earlier than originally planned! Wahoo, it's turning around kids!
  • now I just need to find a way to fit in that pesky Oklahoma City visit...

A whole bunch of little crap that wouldn't be so bad on its own but adds up to a hot, frustrating mess. Fingers crossed I make it back to Chicago before dinner time Friday! And because of the cold (I can't breath and have continual coughing fits) and this crazyness travel I haven't ran or really done much of anything. I'm feeling okay about that and looking forward to a hot, humid, sticky run this weekend.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

weekend in review

Since my husband had a friend coming to Chicago over the weekend I decided it was best to let boys be boys and get out of town! Friday I called the day off of work and headed back home to Ohio. My sister and I had conspired to surprise this guy...

She picked me up from the airport Friday afternoon and we ran some errands (including finding last minute Father's Day gifts!), she made one last call for work and we headed back to her place to enjoy the rest of the evening on her boat.

Few things beat a nice relaxing evening on the water!

Afterwards we decided to make the drive to my dad's house to surprise him! There was about a 10 second delay when he saw me then a couple "What the h*ll are you doing here?!?!" I think I succeeded in surprising him :)

The rest of the weekend included a lot of family time, cookouts, and drinking. Eating and drinking are two things my family does best. Before the stuff of faces began my sister and I also snuck in a short humid run on Saturday morning which included following the marathon blue line. The Akron marathon paints a blue line along the course and since the course goes right by her front door and around her neighborhood we were able to experience a small part of the marathon course.

Of course before I left Friday I had a severe sore throat and thought I could get whatever start of a cold under control. Ummm.... not so much. I woke up Monday morning sounding like Marge Simpson's sisters and feeling like my head weighed 500 lbs. Yeah, I'm supposed to travel to 2 visits this week in which I have to talk the majority of the day. Should be fun! At least it all hit me after the trip home.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


As of late I've been in a bit of a funk. I'm feeling a little like the Glee kids after watching this performance from Vocal Adrenaline :)

The cause of my funk??? So many different things but it all stems from my job and the constant travel. After 8 1/2 years I am beyond done and ready to move on. BUT I'm am trying to change that by submitting my CV like crazy and researching possibly going back to school. I wish either someone would call me back or I could find a position that makes me happy! Ideally I would love to take a break all together but I don't think my husband would agree ;)

While my job may be the root of the problem my release isn't helping either. I'm not getting that love and feeling from running. I haven't in awhile. Lately I'm running naked (without a garmin and sometimes ipod) and not following any real plan in hopes that going back to basics resurrects some old feelings. Mostly I feel like breaking up. I know I need to give it some time because I go through this after big races. Unfortunately this is the longest my funk and general bad mood has lasted and I'm becoming a bit frustrated.

But it hasn't been all bad funktastic feelings.

Since it's humid and sometimes hot I've been enjoying my most favorite post-run treat - Fla - VOR - ICE

Reminds me of being 5 :)

And even though it was all doom and gloom outside this entire weekend I managed 10 miles. The rain caught up to me and I loved every minute it lasted. Afterwards the rain held off long enough for us and some friends to enjoy Ribfest. Not too crowded or hot - one of the best years for it yet!

the best ribs we tasted today

a little squinty but not bad ;)

So I hope in no time I'll be able to turn around my funk just like those Glee kids.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Soldier Field Race Report

Saturday I ran another race... This time it was the Soldier Field 10 mile. I last raced this in 2008 (report here) and there have been some improvements since then. Which is good because the event has grown even larger. I know it wasn't smart to "race" 13 days after finishing up a marathon but I kind of signed up on a whim. Some friends of ours were running and I'm a sucker for races I know people running. Plus, I saw an e-mail saying there were only 50 spots left open while I was sitting in the Springfield, MO airport 2 months ago. When I got that e-mail I realized I wanted to try and run it again.

Race morning started off early. I had traveled the previous two days for work so I didn't get much sleep the few days prior to Saturday. Never a good way to start. My race sherpa (my husband) and I got out the door with 1 hr and 10 minutes until start time. We drove since Soldier Field isn't easy to get to by train. Also, we were making a day of it! After sitting in the parking lot for nearly an hour in 2008 we got smart and planned a tailgate party with our friends. Of course we weren't the only ones driving but figured that early in the morning it is only a 10 - 15 drive and the line getting into the lots shouldn't be too bad. Ummmm, yea right! The line to get into the lots was horrible! By the time we made it to the lot and then walked up to the stadium I had 20 minutes until race start and I had to pee. After spending 26.2 miles holding 2 weeks earlier it I wasn't about to do that again for this race!

Because this race was at a major stadium there weren't a lot of port-o-potties since they had real bathrooms inside to use. I didn't have time to go through the 1 open door find the real bathrooms and get back to the start. I guess I also didn't have enough time to stand in line for the port-o-potties because the lines weren't moving. I literally jumped out the p-o-p and climbed over and through barricades as the gun for my coral went off. I was going to jump in with the other corral but wanted to make it for mine since it took off 4 minutes before and had WAY fewer people. Luckily the corral police were kind enough to let me past as my group was going by. I have never ever been that last minute for a start!

My game plan was to take it easy the first 5 and push it the last 5. I wasn't looking for a PR and wasn't sure how I would be feeling. Well my plan went to crap. I started off the first mile right where I wanted to be and was feeling okay. I was tired and my stomach started to act up again. This stomach thing has become a pain my last few races. I wish I knew what it was. After mile 1, I instinctively picked it up too soon at mile 2. Race morning started off a comfortable morning that turned hot fast! After running under McCormick place the first mile there was little shade on Lakeshore drive on this out and back course. I started to melt even but still maintained a decent pace. In between miles 3-4 we saw the elites on the back portion of the course. The winner (from Illinois) won for the 3rd year in a row and maintained a 5:05 pace. Side note: Ryan Hall came in 12th. Though I wish I could have seen him on the course. Anyway, I still thought I would be able to pick it up on the back half of the course. Then I hit the turnaround, walked through the next water station, and didn't want anything to do with racing anymore.
The last 4 miles were kind of survival miles for me. I was burnout on running, hot, and tired. Not very good excuses I know but just how I was feeling on Saturday. The back portion of the course was on the lakefront path south of where I normally run so it was nice to run that portion. Plus always cool to finish up on the Bears 50 yard line (even though they rush you off the field quickly after crossing the finish line) after running through the tunnel the Bears run out of for every game.
I finished in about 1:32 which equates to a 9:13 average. Way off of any sort of PR but still a respectable time for how I was feeling.

While waiting for our friend to finish announcements were made that the race had been canceled 2 hours into the morning due to extreme conditions. Racers on the course were directed to walk to the finish. Our friend finished running as did everyone else around him. When I headed to the car people were still running on the course too. It was a hot day (in the upper 70's) sure but I thought it was a bit much to "cancel" the race when it was nearly over. I am sure they were just being careful and I hope all the people who finished have official results.

Overall, the course is decent enough and I would recommend the race to anyone who loves Chicago, the Bears, or visiting different stadiums. Fleet Feet Chicago does a great job organizing such a huge race. The water stops were plentiful and well supported. There are not a lot of fans along the course because they are all waiting for you in Soldier Field! I like that they have a corralled start and it's good that it goes up to those running a 9 minute pace. The race in 08 seemed overcrowded and while this year it was crowded I didn't feel suffocated like I did previously.