Sunday, December 30, 2007

Some Exciting News

Not much has been happening on the running front. It's been about a week now. Thank you head cold, too many hours to count in a car, and trying to plan a "small" New Years party. I am feeling a bit guilty about the lack of runniness happening. Yes, I know that's not a word but I like to make up words when the one's I have don't quite work :) Anyways, today it's going to happen. I am starting the New Year off right before the actual new year :)

Even though the running hasn't been working to my favor my personal life in 2007 is ending in a bang...
after nearly 5 1/2 years of dating, 1 1/2 years of living together
Jacob proposed late Saturday night!!!


and funny enough one of the things I said (after I said yes of course) was "I won't be able to run the Chicago Marathon unless we take the honeymoon after the race". And folks that's what makes me a runner.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Oh Christmas time and driving all over the midwest to visit family...It doesn't allow one much time to herself. I was making progress last week with the running (ran 4 days!!!) and well not so much this weekend and week so far. I probably would have gotten a run today except for this horrendous head cold Jacob gave me. The pain in my sinus cavity is unreal. I can't tell you the last time I got sick with the cold or flu - 2 years ago maybe. It just doesn't happen to me I get lucky. Not so much this time around. Here's hoping I can resume a normal schedule when I return home on Thursday. And here's hoping my waistline (and thighs) don't pay too much for taking that much time off!

Maggie isn't quite feeling being an elf :) I'm such a mean one dressing her up even if it only lasted long enough to get the picture. Merry Christmas! I hope santa brings you everything you want and this finds you all healthy and happy with your respective families.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Welcome Back

Well I'm back at it. Running that is. I took a well deserved week off from, well that's face it, nearly all physical activity. A sloth in front of the computer or TV for a whole week. I did attempt weights and the elliptical machine 2 days but it was a extremely half-hearted attempt. Oh and I ate like crap too. And it felt great until yesterday. Yesterday I realized I needed to get back at it (especially if I wanted to continue to fit into my only pair of jeans). I'm a cold weather wuss so the blistery 20 degrees had me headed to the gym today. BUT I took these last two weeks of December off from work so I can leave whenever I want and not worry about missing a call or important e-mail. Anyways, easy run of 4 miles to get back into the swing of things. It felt good to be back at it. Although I do need to suck it up and run outside soon...

I have been thinking a lot about races in 2008 especially now that I met my goal of finishing a marathon before 2007 ended. I am toying with the idea of the New Orleans half marathon in February. My closest friend and her husband will be running as well so that will be nice to actually have someone to run with as I am nearly always by myself! I would like to PR this time so I'll need to focus more on speed and tempo runs. I've already figured out a new training schedule so all I need to do now is find airfare, hotel, and sign up! Usually I only do a handful of 5K's over a year and sign up very last minute but not the Race to Wrigley 5K in April. It's small and you get to run in the stadium (not on the field) and finish under the big marquee. I love it and have done it each year (this year is the 3rd) but the race fills up fast. I am kicking around either the Lakefront 10 miler or Soldier 10 mile both in May. I have wanted to do both for years but have never been in very good running shape in the spring to run. Plus this year I am a bridesmaid in 2 weddings that month (a freaking week apart!!!) so training is going to be tough during April (showers, bachelorette parties, etc). The race dates aren't finalized and could fall on one of the wedding weekends. The Soldier 10 would be awesome because you finish on the field and post-party there too! This race fills up in days though. As far as another marathon I would love to go somewhere else but I think Chicago and I have some issues to settle. I see payback coming in October (sub 4 anyone!?!) And that's the plan. I'm sure I'll try to squeeze in some more races as soon as the Chicago race calendar is finalized :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dallas Marathon Report Part 2

Jacob was asking why it's taking me so long to write this report. I told him I have a lot to say as it was an interesting 4 hours. He says I'm just long winded. He's probably right.

The second half of the race was different. I started focusing on different things as the euphoric high I was feeling began to wear thin. You know a guy holding a sign with Larry the Cable guy saying "Git r done" and having the path go by a store called CondomSense can only take you so far. I tried to enjoy it but then of course the pain started to set in. Significant pain didn't start affecting me until mile 18. But at the same time between mile 18 and 19 I realized I was going to finish this one. And not for the reasons you might think. It is so weird but I had just come off a turn and was running by a storage facility on my left and woods/lake on my right. Total deja vu happened at this point. I have been here before --- but I hadn't because I had never been to Dallas before. I realized this place was in one of my crazy running dreams a few months earlier. Weird I know. Then a sense of calm and resolve washed over me and I knew that was it. That no matter what the rest of the race brought I was going to finish. But I also knew I had to keep going.

Mile 19 was a big ass party. I was laughing because it was this motivating mile that Clif bar and Hooters was supporting but the Hooters girls were so cold they were in orange jumpsuits instead of their typical uniform. But all very nice nonetheless. There were funny signs like "If you wanted to get a pedicure and couldn't because you are missing toenails - you are a marathoner" and "If you have ever gotten excited for a Powerbar - you know you are a marathoner". Yep and Yep. Then they had a crappy sign. "THIS IS THE WALL" with no push through it or there is no wall. And right after that was the biggest hill on the course. Thanks for the motivation. But I got to laughing again when supporters were trying to pass out beer and donuts and trying to cheer us all up the hill. Simultaneously I was really motivated when I surged the hill and everyone started walking. I felt like such a rock star. I was just looking around at everyone thinking why you peeps walking didn't you train for hills??? No you didn't but I did!!! At that point I was apologizing for every bad thing I had ever said about hill training.

Things then became a bit quiet from this point until the end. The runners had thinned tremendously. Often I was running by myself. Plus, there didn't seem to be as much crowd support. Around the lake was cold in parts and if the wind came off the lake just right it was downright nasty. I had already ran through a mile of rain pelting the side of my face and the wind trying to blow me over. That's the mile I just reminded myself over and over that it was nothing compared to that one nasty training run on lake Michigan ( Even after I had come off the lake it started to cool down even more. I only noticed when the wind picked up and would fight through saying to myself "you live in the freakin windy city this is nothing". It actually worked this time.

Mile 20-22 I felt myself slow down. There was no mile marker for 21 so I was really thrown off on my time. I had no idea how I was doing anymore and honestly I didn't care during those miles. At mile 22 it hit me - Shit this is the longest I have ever run and there's only 4 miles left (okay 4.2). So I envisioned where I was on my lakefront path and how I normally feel at that point and what I normally do to get home. Just get home was all I was thinking. I was really hurting. My left knee had decided to join the pain gang the left hip had started. The arches of my feet were aching horrendously. I am already flat-footed and it felt like I flattened them with a blacktop roller. Then somewhere around this point my right knee felt left out and wanted to join. I also took my last GU and as I stopped to grab water ( I walk through the water stations as I am not coordinated enough to drink on the move) my left knee/leg gave out felt like it just collapsed...F*** @#$%^&*& That's not good - Is all I could think as I didn't feel any pain. Keep moving, keep moving, drink water, suck the GU and RUN. Get your ass in gear girl. It actually felt better to run. Finally I came to mile 23. My watch read something like 3:34. I figured I could do a 5K in ~30 minutes or so at this point. The faster I get through this the sooner I'll stop hurting. Oh and for even more motivation I looked up to spot thong girl just ahead (I had been running "with" her now for nearly the entire race) . I picked up my pace and went. No way thong girl - it may be mile 23 but I am going to kick your little thong butt. I passed her and didn't look back. Really it was because I was scared to see what the front of her awesome running suit looked like.
Mile 24-25 dragged on because there were not many supporters and the marathoners merged with the half-marathoners around this time. In my pain I then had to swerve between walking half-marathoners. Not so fun. Then I saw a guy whose shirt read "CHICAGO WAS HOTTER". I wanted to catch him to talk but decided I needed to pass him instead. A major plus, it was all downhill or flat from here on to the finish. I hit mile 25 and had to go around a curve on my approach to the West End of Dallas and I started to get choked up realizing I was going to finish, it was going to happen for real not just in my mind. Tears nearly streaming down my face I had some difficulty breathing so my emotions would need to wait until I actually finished. With around .3 left my ipod shuffle shuffled onto Somewhere Over the Rainbow sung by Israel Kamakawiw Ole' (not Judy Garland or Katherine McPhee but the good version). I thought it was very fitting for how I was feeling. Then it died, just ran out of juice. But I didn't! I put the headphones in my pocket so I could take in the finish line (and take a good picture). Literally steps before I crossed the finish line I heard my name and saw Jacob and his uncle waving. I waved back and threw up my arms as I crossed the finish line. Again I can't wait to see that picture :)
You know what was evil though. The finish area was on a hill so I had to walk uphill to get my blanket, medal, take a picture, get some water, etc. That hurt. Really, really hurt. Then I had to go down 4 steps to go to my meeting place with Jacob (yeah didn't plan that too great either) and I looked down and just stopped. I couldn't do. Then this little old Texan man came up and said "honey, you okay? Here let me help you". So sweet because I'm not sure I would have made it myself right then!
Here are some pictures Jacob took of me finishing and after the race.
me in the pink and white - almost there! The back of me finishing!! so freaking cold but so freakin happy too
my race bling
And the shirt I have been waiting to wear since October

Overall I had a great 2nd 1st marathon experience. During the race I kept thinking "Now this is how you want a race to go" and I actually finished saying I would run another marathon. Although I do vaguely remember around mile 19/20/21 thinking maybe I might be better at only running 1/2 marathons. But eh that was just the pain talking. Next goal under 4 hour marathon! I'm still sore and wobbling around like a penguin but the pain will pass. I look forward to the day when it won't hurt to sit on the toilet or go down steps. There were some things that annoyed me about the pre and post race. Like the fact I couldn't find any food when I finished only beer and I was so not in a beer drinking mood. It all could be corrected if they chose to put up signs. But it was nice to run a smaller race and visit a new city.

If I hadn't started blogging I can't say for sure if I would have been as motivated to attempt another marathon after Chicago. You all kept me motivated throughout training and kept me moving one foot in front of the other during the tough miles of Dallas. Thank you everyone!!!

Before I leave you here are some more fun stats from the run.

start to mile 5: 9:28 min/mile pace

Mile 5 - 13.1: 9:09 min/mile pace

Mile 13.1 - Mile 19: 9:25 min/mile pace

Mile 19 - finish: 9:42 min/mile pace (need to work on this)

Dallas Weekend Race Wrap-Up part 1

I wish I was a master storyteller but unfortunately I did not receive that gene from my father. My sister inherited that one instead. So I'll do my best here to replay my 2nd 1st marathon weekend. I think the use of pictures will move the story along. But be prepared this is a long report so get comfortable.

Jacob and I arrived in Dallas on Friday and took a very expensive cab ride to the hotel downtown. Cabs are ridiculously expensive there! I thought Chicago and Vegas were bad but Dallas takes the cake. On the ride to the hotel I realized I had no idea where the packet pick up was located. Yea me for being prepared. Luckily it was on my e-mail confirmation that I had printed off as an afterthought:) Once we checked-in we headed back out to hit up the expo and then grab some dinner. I was bummed the expo didn't have any race t-shirts that I liked or magnets but otherwise very similar to every other expo I have been to just smaller.

Saturday we slept in and it was so nice. The hotel concierge recommended a great place for brunch. He sent us to Breadwinners and told us how to get there for free! The McKinney Trolley. This was the oldest train car I have ever been on but it was a lot of fun. And you can't beat the price!
McKinney Trolley
Apparently this was the only brunch place in Dallas as it was packed. But it was all large groups and luckily there was a table for 2 available right away. If you ever go to Dallas you must stop by this place. Later Jacob's aunt and uncle picked us up and we drove around Dallas. It was 80 and gorgeous and I just tried to stay hydrated which meant I had to pee every 20 minutes. We had some fun by the convention center with the bulls :) Jacob attempted his best Ace Ventura impression.
Big threat of rain was on Sunday's forecast. Earlier in the week it was supposed to be sunny and warm so Saturday I received an e-mail about staying cool in the warm weather from the race director. No chance of that by the time the e-mail was sent. By Saturday they were calling for cooler temps and scattered thunderstorms. Sunday I woke up and after putting my contacts in I hustled to the window to see the rain situation. None that I could tell at 6 am. Checked and the rain was supposed to be in city center around 7am. Oh just perfect :) We got to American Airlines center right around 7 so before the rain came I took a picture. It was a little chilly, in the 50's, so perfect for running!

I was kind of annoyed with the pre-race set-up. They had the American Airlines center available to stay warm and dry but it was a complete cluster f***. There was a huge line to get in because you had to go through metal detectors and have your bags searched. Then they only had one set of bathrooms open. Luckily those moved quickly. It was impossible to move around in there so it took nearly 25 to get in, use the facilities, and get out. As soon as I walked outside the rain started. But it was a steady rain not hard rain. So I pulled out the handy dandy New Orleans Bourbon Street poncho left over from friends wedding 3 1/2 years ago when Tropical Storm Matthew hit and walked to the starting line with 15 minutes to spare.

Before I got into line Jacob gave me a very serious look and reminded me to walk if I ever felt bad that there was no shame in walking. He told me to remember if I ever felt like I did in Chicago that I needed to stop immediately. I was like yeah yeah whatever I'm good :) I settled in between the 4:15 and 4:30 pacers not really knowing what to expect this time around. The weather was better for running this time around but then I started questioning my choice of only running in shorts, t-shirt, and gloves. Did I need a long sleeve? Would I be okay? Instead of obsessing I realized I would see Jacob at the halfway point and if I was miserable I would stop and pull my shirt out of my bag then. I realized standing there that there weren't many females running this race and not many people my age. Very interesting. I didn't talk to anyone rather just tried to get in the zone of doing this thing. My stomach was in knots and I was hoping it was only nerves and nothing GI related. It was difficult to hear what was happening up front so I just waited for everyone to start moving. Only took 2 1/2 minutes to get to the start line as compared to 15 in Chicago. I threw off my poncho and I was off. To top it off it had stopped raining! I went out at what felt like a slow pace trying to remember everyone's advice about if you feel slow in the beginning you are probably right where you should be. People started weaving in and out and I lost the pacers immediately. I started to get nervous. Then in my head a little voice said over and over "just run your own race you are in it for the long haul". I started to relax immediately and try to enjoy my surroundings. My first 5k took slightly longer than I wanted but I figured I could make it up in the middle and tried not to worry too much. I felt great I was happy and having fun. The 5k - mile 8 flew by. My left hip was aching but nothing I hadn't felt on every other training run so I wasn't worried yet. I smiled big for the cameras at mile 6 (can't wait to see those pics!). Best of all the rain was off an on but never for more than a few minutes at a time through the first 8. For the most part it wasn't raining or maybe I was just running so fast I missed the drops ;). The rain that did fall made the roadway slick and I nearly lost my footing at mile 7. After that I focused on my stride and looked ahead to seeing Jacob at White Rock Lake between mile 12-13. A huge chunk of the race occurred around this lake (must be why they call the race White Rock Marathon). Anyways, at around mile 8 you head downhill and curve around to reach the top corner of the lake at 9 miles. This is where I found orange slices. Oh mama - that was the best orange slice EVER! I felt like a soccer playing 4 year old who got an orange slice at halftime. Then the course took us around the lake for the next 10 miles.

The group had definitely thinned out by the time I arrived at White Rock Lake and I was always seeing new faces because of the corporate relay challenge so it was difficult to find a rabbit. I always like to focus my attention on one or two others and try to hang with them during the race. But then I found the girl I wanted to beat. Girlfriend was wearing a matching lycra running suit in silver and it was blatantly clear she was wearing a run a marathon...I was like no way is a silver suit thong wearing bouncy girl beating me. But more to come on that.

When I reached mile 11 and started looking around for Jacob. I wasn't seeing him so I started to get a bit bummed out then right after a water stop that I passed there he was hanging by himself. I gave him a thumbs up and big smile. I seriously felt so great here better than any training or race before. He came out and asked how I was feeling (because this is where I took a turn for worse at Chicago) and told me I was on track for a 4:02 marathon. I was surprised. I knew I was running good but that was better than I expected! Here I am smiling big for the camera. I'm such a cheeseball.

I reached the halfway point a few minutes later and still was smiling and feeling really good. I got through 13.1 in around 2:01 and knew I could keep it up!!! Since it took me two attempts at my first marathon it is only fitting that I leave you at this point. I'll post part 2 later but right now I seriously have some work to catch up on!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Here's my mastercard commercial...

2 sticks of Body Glide: $15.00
New running shorts, shirts, sport bras, socks in order to find the perfect fit: $200
3 new pairs of running shoes: $350
Race entry fee for your 2nd 1st marathon: $90
Airfare and hotel for Dallas: $300


Guys I rocked this race!!! Just so happy and I haven't come down from my cloud yet. I can't wait to give the full race report but that is going to have to wait until I get back to Chicago. But to hold you over here is my final numbers breakdown.

Final chip time: 4 hours 6 min 53 sec (a 9:25 pace!)
Overall I finish 1674 / 4019
Gender 376/1443
Age 83 /254

Saturday, December 8, 2007


Oh man oh man the race is almost here. My race bag is packed, clothes are laid out, and bib #1972 is ready to be placed on the shirt. One last post before I lay my head down on the "heavenly bed." Race day weather looks nasty - colder as the race goes on with some Texas style thunderstorms on the side. Wet and cold could it be any different that 2 months ago?!? I plan on taking both pre and post race pictures so be prepared Monday :) Already have some good ones of us goofing off in Dallas. And just found out tonight Jacob's uncle has a hot tub - wahoo! Hot tubing with a big strong drink. That's what I'll be thinking about climbing the hill at mile 19 :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Leaving on a Jet Plane for Marathon part 1 take 2

In just over 26 hours from now I will be on a plane down to Dallas. Well of course nothing is for sure on a Friday flying out of O'Hare so I guess the first sentence should read I am scheduled to be on a plane in 26 hours. Dallas White Rock Marathon here I come. My bags are not quite packed but in mind I am ready to go. Not sure how I feel about the marathon this time around. I'm hoping I put the mileage in that I need to finish. I ran my last 3 miles tonight and of course my first thought when I ended - "Was what I did the last 7 weeks enough to get me through Sunday?" I'm trying to think positive for this one and not let what happened in Chicago affect this race. They are two different races but the insecurities keep trying to creep on in my brain. There is so much racing through my head right now. First I need to focus on packing then once I get there and pick up my race packet I'll start freaking out. Once again, thank you for all your support! I hope I have a better ending race report this time around and I hope to see you on the other side. The other side being Monday when I return home.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Wednesday randomness

I was ultra-productive yesterday and hung the lights on our balcony, decorated the tree, and even wrapped the presents I have purchased so far. I took a picture of my beautiful work on the tree for all of you to enjoy :)

While at Target yesterday I picked up the January Runners World. No, I don't have a subscription yet. Hopefully soon though as it's on my Christmas list ;) Then what do you know in the mail today?!? 3 guesses the first 2 don't count...The January RW. Anyone need a copy I'll send it to you tomorrow when I go to the post office for work. And it won't cost a thing - I'll add it to tab I'm going to expense :) Anyways, it seems that since I partook in the 2007 Chicago LaSalle Bank Marathon I get 3 free months of the magazine. Who knew I would get a gift for a DNF?!? And why couldn't this have kicked in 2 months ago so I could have saved myself the money on the last 2?!? Maybe they finally felt bad about not providing enough water, Gatorade, and cooling stations so they used the money they saved on these items for magazine subscriptions for 45,000 runners as a please accept our apology on such poor planning in October 2007 :)

On to today's run. I had a choice to make about my running. The schedule called for a 6 mile tempo run but a big storm moved through the city yesterday and today. I could take my chances and run outside in the fresh snow (and ice). But that would most likely mean me breaking my ass before Sunday as I am the worlds clumsiest person OR I could go to the gym and hit the treadmill again. But going to the gym was no easy feat either as my poor Libby (yes I named my car Libby the Liberty) was under a good 6-12 inches of snow. I opted for the workout before the run and dug out both my car and Jacob's car (I'm such a nice girlfriend).

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Today on my drive to Target.

It hit me today while driving to Target. " S**t, I'm going to be running 26.2 miles on Sunday. For real. No 20 miles then pass out and go to the hospital (we'll I hope not at least). I leave for this so called race in 3 days. Damn that's not many days". I came as close as I have ever come to a panic attack. Then I got over it and bought some lights for our balcony. No seriously I am quietly freaking out when no one is around. Which is happening a lot because I am home by myself all week. Just me and the cat. I try to talk to her about it but she's really only a sprinter and doesn't understand the long distance race :)

Yesteray I ran a little over 3 miles outside. It was one of those runs where 3 miles was harder than any 10 mile run I have ever done. I was glad it didn't take long. And that's really all I have to say about that run. Today is supposed to be a cross-training day. I think I'll do free weights in my home instead of driving to the gym. I have no motivation for the gym today. Instead I am going to hang lights outside and finish decorating the tree. Even though I feel strongly that hanging lights outside should be Jacob's job. He's not here and I want the lights to get up before December 24th so I'll attempt it myself. Should be interesting :)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Not Again

I told myself not to. The race is still days away. I held out until now.

I had to look
now I'm worried
more like freaking out

high of 78. Low of 64.'s like 50 there right now. Why can't it just stay in the 50's for 6 more days. I know a lot can change in 6 days. But then it couldn't and I have another hot one on my hands. I think I might be weather cursed when it comes to trying to run a marathon.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The weather outside is frightful

and a warm shower is so delightful. I know that's not how it goes but seriously I am very happy I woke up semi-early to run for 2 hours and make it my toasty home before a snowflake hit the ground. It was a cold run but at least there was no precipitation. Now 1 hour post run and there are many snowflakes on the ground. And that's how I'll end the long training runs...on a good note. yeah long training runs are done for now!

alright off to enjoy lunch and clean the house. for those of you in the northern part try and enjoy the winter wonderland. well until it becomes nasty freezing rain and high winds. yuck. december is starting off with a bang this year.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Crazy Dream

Oh my I just had the craziest dream. It was incredibly vivid and I actually remember most of it. I was wherever (no idea) but getting ready to run my second marathon. I have this feeling that I am in the wrong race and realize at the start that I am. Then we start running and there is this ridiculously huge grass hill that is so steep we have to climb it; can't even run and the race just started. So I say screw this and go find my race (like there would be two marathons close by the same day but whatever it's a dream). So I was instantly transported to the start of the race I had signed up for. Which I come to find out is not your normal race. The marathon was more of a experiment. Instead of a loop or a straight race all the mile crossed over one another and there were mile signs to follow. And you had to go underground and through rooms it was weird. So I kept getting confused and repeating and/or missing miles. Then I ran into some people I knew so we all tried to figure it out together. That didn't work out they seemed to know less than me. Then I looked at my watch as saw that I was nearing 4 hours and I was only on mile 7. I finally finished something like 12 hours later and I was so upset. I didn't even accept the medal because I was depressed that the race didn't turn out as I expected and wasn't fun.

So I think I have some nerves about the upcoming marathon in Dallas :) what do you guys think?!?

On a running note I had a good speed workout yesterday. I wasn't even supposed to be home but got done with work early and caught an earlier flight. I opted for the treadmill not really because of the weather but more because I didn't want to run on a dark track or on a dark trail. So it was a 3x1600 at 8:00 w/ 800 jogs and a warmup and cooldown. 8:00 is really pushing for me and it didn't feel good. But I guess speedwork is about pushing yourself to an uncomfortable level. Anyways, I did it! On the 2nd 1600 I had to put it back down to an 8:05 for the second half. But on the last 1600 I went down to a 7:47 for nearly the whole last 800! Tonight I am supposed to do an easy 7. I may push it off until tomorrow. There is some Christmas shopping I want to do and may be going to dinner for sushi :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Last Trip (maybe)

Getting ready to leave on what potentially might be the last business trip of this year! I'm not going to get too excited yet because things (such as my manager's prerogative or study time lines) could always change. But as of Weds, Nov 28th at 6:15 I officially have nothing else on the calendar in the way of work travel. wahoo! But my running schedule is all messed up this week because of this short trip. I'm trying not to get too stressed about everything being all mixed up/fitting everything in for the week. Just before lunch today I was able to get in the "easy" 7 miles I had on the schedule. They didn't feel so easy but I maintained a decent pace. I wasn't really looking at the watch too much...just didn't have the energy to lift my arm to look at it. It was one of those runs that I just wasn't really feeling it but I wanted to get it done. It lacked all excitement and enjoyment. Lately that has been happening. I am sure it is both a combination of general burnout from this long training schedule and my poor food choices. I am trying to get back on track with the food this week - I even packed my own dinner to take on the plane (okay there maybe a cookie in with the apple and turkey sandwich). Hopefully that will make the difference in a couple of weeks...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Happy to Finally be Home

Hope everyone is full on turkey and pumpkin pie! I know I am. In fact I just polished off leftover turkey sandwich - yummy.

This seemed like the longest weekend EVER. I seriously thought it was never going to end. It is hard going away for every holiday. I couldn't get a minute to myself to decompress. Family is great but it wasn't mine (at the boyfriends house all 4 days) and I need some downtime. All I wanted to do was come home and sleep in my own bed and not have to do anything. So I am very happy to be home now. Running according to the schedule became a challenge this long weekend too. There was always something else to be doing, someone to see, somewhere to go.

Turkey day I was able to get out for a 6 mile run before the food eating competition began. I felt so much better sitting down to the huge spread knowing I burned some calories already. I had planned to run between 16-18 on Saturday but what do ya know but the boy's parents had a night out for a big steak dinner planned on Friday (yeah and I rarely eat steak and we had just had a steak dinner the previous weekend). Seriously two huge meals in two days not my idea of fun and I like to eat. So needless to say halfway through dinner Friday I nixed plans on running Saturday. Instead I helped rake all the leaves in the yard as Jacob's dad messed up his back and couldn't do it himself. Got home today around 3 pm and headed out for that long run. Thought I would be a mess after taking 2 rest days but I wasn't! It was a good run. Freaking cold with some snow, sleet, rain mixed in. The rain/snow mix felt like tiny pinpricks on my face for over 6 miles and my cheeks felt like I just had two shots of Novocain that hadn't worn off yet. My legs felt strong and I was able to maintain a 9:30 min/mile pace for all 16 miles. I was feeling very guilty about resting for 2 straight days and there only being 2 weeks left before the race. However, during the run I realized I needed the rest and didn't even know it. So that unplanned rest worked in my favor this time.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Temp run, Traveling, and Thanks

I made it home and not as late as I expected. Yeah! But then I stayed up much too late running around unpacking, repacking, doing laundry. boo! We are leaving today to head back to Jacob's parents house for the weekend. So the fun begins in trying to get two runs done in the middle of nowhere, trying not to eat too much, and dealing with his mom give me the guilt trip about not having 2nd and 3rd helping for running and whatever else she can think of to give me a guilt trip about. It should be interesting as it is my first Thanksgiving with his side of the family. For the past 5 years we have split up and I drive home to hang with my sister and go shopping. But now I am told I am not allowed to shop this weekend. WHAT?!? I have been shopping this weekend since before I could walk there ain't no stopping me now.

But before the 3 hours car ride (which will probably be longer due to the date and the wonderful weather) I got a tempo run done. I was hoping to head outside but the cold and rain and overall nastiness had me headed to the gym instead. The schedule had me doing a 8 mile run with 6 miles at 8:43. I wasn't so confident I could pull this one off but I am happy to report I did! I had more miles logged in between 8:35 and 8:41 than the upper tier of 8:50 and I maintained it for 6 miles. Wahoo! On the car ride home I was thinking all that I was thankful for and besides my awesome family and friends and being healthy again I am thankful for you guys. Everyone out there who reads, comments, and provides endless support and inspiration. Thank you!

Okay now I am running seriously behind schedule and need to jet. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Enjoy the long weekend with family and friends!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


No workout today. Instead I am stuck in the Fort Lauderdale airport. Yep, that's right it's the holidays so it could only mean one thing for a busy traveler - DELAYS! Normally I would be enjoying a week long vacation because I always take the 3 days off prior to Thanksgiving. But nooooooo...I was denied because of some lovely project timelines. Blah. So hopefully I get home tonight. If I do it's going to late which is fine and instead of dinner at home my choices are a turkey sandwich made sometime last week or pulled pork and ribs. :) At least the people watching is prime in this airport!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Crappy weekend run and such

Great weekend with the exception of the working out / running. After such an amazing run Thursday I followed it up with the crappiest long run Saturday morning. It took everything to get through that run. First, I dressed to warmly and wore the completely wrong shirt. I tried new fuel and it was disgusting. My feet felt like cement blocks and legs like there were sand bags attached. But I finished.

Saturday night friends of ours from Denver who were in town visiting family and came to the city to hang out. For the first time in over year the whole group got together. Had a delicious dinner, good stories, lots of champagne and wine. Lots. My friend Janice kept saying "have another glass its my birthday". How could I not oblige the birthday girl?!? So there was no workout on Sunday. Yeah I won't be doing that again any time soon :) I'm on my best behavior until Dec 9th.

Friday, November 16, 2007

A great run and random 5

Last night I had a great run. I was ecstatic when I got home. Jacob (the sort of runner) didn't really get it. Yesterday was cold, like high of 37 degrees cold. I didn't get out for the run into 4:30 so it was dark and cold. No way was I taking the 7 miles easy. I didn't want to be in the cold any longer than I had to be. I upped the effort to where I pushed myself but knew I could still maintain the pace. Even with my stupid water bottle belt that wouldn't stay put I completed the run in under 63 minutes. That's averaging less than a 9 minute mile for 7 miles. That's awesome for me. I haven't done that since, well, it's been a long time. Even when I felt like I had slowed down I continued to run the same or faster miles.

And about my travel schedule. I do travel a lot. I can't do my job of reviewing data unless I am actually at the doctors office, hospital, clinic, etc where the subjects (patients) are seen. I have been doing this for 6 years on Dec 3rd (crazy). Over the years I learned how to make the workout fit in the schedule or otherwise I would become the chunky monkey I once was not too long ago. Sometimes it doesn't happen b/c seriously I hate waking up early or I'm just too tired from traveling for 89348730 hours. And eating is the most difficult because you eat out all three meals and there aren't that many healthy options. A girl can only eat Subway so many times for lunch over 6 years. I just try to eat less of whatever sounds good on the menu. And sometimes I don't so then I run/elliptical/bike/sit-up/push-up extra longer. It's a constant battle. And I've gained weight since I first started. At least it's nothing compared to what I used to be. I am looking forward to the day I am going to be home 90% of the time rather than the road 90% of the time.

Alright I was tagged a couple days ago by Amanda. Ever since I have been thinking about 5 random things about here we go.

1) I am named after a Canadian waitress. My parents traveled to Niagara Falls while my mother was pregnant with me and had a waitress they liked named Jamie at some random restaurant. I was the only girl Jamie growing up. Plus that show Small Wonder (where the sister was a robot) the brother's name was Jamie. So I thought I had a boy's name and I hated it. I don't mind so much now :)

2) I auditioned for a Nike girls basketball commercial when I was a freshman in college. I got called back but my bad foot (I broke a bone in my foot that was later removed) prevented me from getting the part. I felt bad about it (definitely could have used the money!) until I saw the commercial and realized it sucked. There was supposed to be a series of commercials it didn't get past 2.

3) I love going to the movies. I'll see nearly anything once and I save all my ticket stubs. One day I'll do something crafty with them or pay someone who is crafty to figure it out.

4) I have an obsession with not smelling; therefore I have 6 different deodorants in the bathroom. Plus, I have one in my work bag and one in the car glove compartment. You just never know...

5) I have the mouth of a trucker. I love to curse. I know it's not lady-like but sometimes it is completely necessary.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

traveling fool

Sitting here chilling in my sweet hotel room watching The Biggest Loser. Okay, it's not a sweet hotel room; just the same old Hampton Inn I always stay in Atlanta. But a girl can dream. Watching the biggest loser is making me feel guilty about my meal choices today, especially dinner.

Work is crazy right now. I am a traveling fool until Nov 28th. In Atlanta this week, Pembroke Pines, FL next week, then back to Atlanta. Then December is mine to catch up on everything I couldn't do the rest of the year! No traveling! Well unless you count the marathon and going home for Christmas. If I travel because I want to it doesn't count.

The schedule has me on an "easy" week. Monday I ran 5 miles on the treadmill. The last mile I did hill repeats. Decided just to throw those in and they seriously kicked my butt! Definitely going to be working on that more often. Then I ran the stairs back up to the hotel room. Overall a good workout. Today I moved up my workout that was supposed to be for tomorrow because of what else but travel. It was supposed to be 7 miles but I did 6 miles on the treadmill. I'll probably make up that mile running outside on Saturday.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weekend Wrap-up

So Fred (that's my dad) calls Friday morning at 9:05 a.m.

Fred: "We are thinking about coming to visit this weekend"
Me: "This weekend, this weekend as in today???"
Fred: "Well tomorrow morning but yeah, you know to do some shopping"
Me: "Seriously?!? Um, well, thanks for the notice see you tomorrow I guess"

Fast forward 2 hours to me frantically cleaning my house and catching up on 2 weeks of laundry. Luckily I didn't have a full day of work or weekend plans. Well I did have plans so they had to be cancelled. No big deal. it's family. Plus when family comes to visit you eat delicious meals at nice restaurants :) Unfortunately it also meant walking around Michigan Avenue on a Saturday during the holidays in the cold. Love those crowds.

Saturday morning was my 20 mile training run. Haven't done one of those, since, well...the Chicago Fun Run. I'm not even sure if I made it to 20 then (I think I did). I knew I could finish but I can't tell ya I wasn't nervous. It was freaking freezing once I got my butt out of the warm bed and out the door. It is getting more difficult to complete the Saturday morning long runs with the colder weather and leaving a warm bed. Only 3 more Saturday's before race day - then warm bed I'm here I come. I started my cool down just as Fred called to say they were on Lakeshore drive. Nice timing. Especially since I he gave me no idea as to when to expect him and the wifey.

The run itself - not so bad. Another long run and my left hip continued to hurt like hell. And for the majority of the run. At mile 4.5 I was bored and started doing math to help pass the time. There is something about running and math, I just can't do them at the same time. At mile 10 I felt like I could have finished a marathon. It was good running weather and I was feeling like an incredible superstar runner. Maybe it was the new snack I tried at mile 10 that gave me this false sense of running security. I tried the new Luna Blueberry Moons (energy chews). I recommend them highly. They are easy to eat on the run and provide just as much energy as
GU. At mile 12.5 I was thinking hmm...not so much. Then at 18 and 19 I felt better than I did at 15 and 16. Even posted faster miles. Overall I averaged 9:51 min/mile. Definitely not a stellar time but I'll take it.

I'm still sore today. I am in the process of trying to motivate myself to go to the gym for some cross training action. We'll see...the couch and my dvr are calling to me too :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Step 1 admitting I have an addiction

Well to many things, but this week it happens to be bite size Take 5 candy bars. I...just...can't...stop...eating...them. The chocolate, peanut butter, pretzel yummy goodness. The bag is almost empty in only 4 days (because I keep walking in the kitchen for water and grab just 1). This is the problem with working from home! I solemnly swear to never buy a bag of Halloween candy after Halloween because they are on super sale and I am craving chocolate and peanut butter. And I was so good leading up to the holiday. It's those after holiday sales, they always get me.

On the training schedule today was a 7 mile tempo run with 5 miles at 8:44. I did better and actually averaged an 8:25 min/mile. I am happy with that but I now need to start working on maintaining the speed throughout the entire tempo run. I started out too fast and definitely slowed that last mile and a half. I also need to start working on hill training. There are two good size hills in marathon take 2 and I am going to crash and burn if I am not prepared.

Tonight is Mexican dinner with the girls. My friend kicked butt in the Marine Marathon (her first and only) a couple weeks ago and we finally found some time to get together and celebrate. Looking forward to seeing friends. I haven't seen one of the girls (one of my old roomies) in nearly 6 months, I think since our other friend got engaged and we got together to celebrate. It is crazy how fast time goes by and before you know it you haven't spoken to someone in 6 months or a year. But luckily no one has a meeting, I'm not traveling (thanks to Jury Duty), others found a babysitter, and ta da we can all get together for some yummy guacamole and a margarita. My revolves around food. Seriously, I think I need help :)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Civic Duty

Today I performed my civic duty as stated by the constitution. Yes, I was summoned for jury duty. Luckily, I was called to the downtown courthouse instead of the huge courthouse on the west side. Downtown is much easier for me to get to, you get to leave for lunch, and they deal mostly with civil trials. Here they have the 1 day or 1 jury then you are off the hook for 1 year system. The group I was in was called around 9:30 am. I didn't get picked - thank goodness. After having a lawyer for my father I have seen and heard about more than my fair share of trials. Unfortunately, I was told I was not chosen around noon but had to stay until 3:30pm to see if I would be called to be a juror in traffic court. So boring! I sat in this artificial, white room for the next 3 1/2 hours. The book I recently picked up is just not good. No matter how bored I was I still could not read. I just sat and stared at the ceiling.

Made it home around 4:30, changed into some warm running clothes, and headed back out for an easy 5 mile run. Now that it turns dark at 4:30 I was pretty much alone on the path. It was a bit unnerving where the lights weren't working but otherwise a good run.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

It's official

I have made my final decision... The money is paid and it's official... I will be running the Wellstone's Dallas White Rock Marathon December 9th. 5 weeks until take 2.

Today was my long run of 15 miles. Got it done in just under 2 1/2 hours. These long runs are wearing me down mentally. It takes every last thing I've got to get out of the bed early and do the run. I guess it doesn't help that is now so cold in the mornings. Today's run was a wavering feeling between being happy to be out there to wondering why the heck am I continuing this training. The weather was nice running weather since I went out a bit later than usual (had to watch the finish of the U.S Men's Olympic Trials) it was cool but sunny. My left quad and hip are still giving me problems. Minor aches that turn to full blown stiffness and pain by mile 12. Otherwise an uneventful run and uneventful running is good!

In other news, had a nice date night Friday. Tried a new Italian restaurant by the movie theatre. The restaurant really wasn't that good which is really disappointing because the online reviews gave me such high hopes. Which reminds me I know need to go put my 2 cents in on that website :) We then caught American Gangster. Definitely a must see. Graphic violence so not for the little ones. But of course there was some parents there at a 9:40 movie with a 3 year old in tow. I will never understand...

Best of luck to all the NYC runners on Sunday!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!!! I love the holiday because I like to see everyone else dressed up but do not partake in the dress up activities myself. Like I said yesterday tonight was the annual Red Lion dinner. 5 years now we have been going. Usually with friends but tonight everyone wanted to stay home so it was just us. It is an old English pub that's claim to fame is their poltergeist. Unfortunately for the last 5 years the poltergeist chooses to hide on Halloween. No fish and chips for me tonight - decided to go with the Irish Stew. Mix things up a bit. Plus it came with a salad so I felt like that was the bit of a healthier option. No mind the Stella Artois, or 3... I know I shouldn't drink beer during the training but seriously no records are being broken by me and Stella, it's damn fine beer :)

Before the pub meal I had speed work on the schedule. And I am sore! 6 miles and a 2 x1600 at 8:03 with x800 jogging. My first 1600 - 7:49! What?!? I think the wind may have helped move me along. Or my mile wasn't quite a mile, that absolutely can't be right. The second 1600 - 8:01. Awesome. I felt like I was moving in slow motion. Everything was hurting on the second 1600 and I wasn't sure I was doing very good. Lungs, legs, everything just burning. But a good burn :) I'm really happy with my times for the first speed work session in awhile. Overall I wish I could feel like I did this afternoon on every run.

Also, tonight I tried out some more new Nike apparel. I now love Nike. Have for awhile. I used to think they were just an overpriced company with stuff you could get anywhere for way cheaper. Not so, not so. Their shirts are some of the best (there are exceptions). The shorts are average not always made for a big thigh girl like myself. However, I recently purchased a pair of their Nike dry fit cushioned running socks with the separate foot technology. They even put a little L and R on the bottom of the socks (as if you couldn't figure it out from the shape of the sock) Love them! They turned out to be even better than my Asic running socks. The perfect amount of cushioning so my foot doesn't get to warm but still feels cushioned. Now I want more. But I refuse to pay full price. The pair I bought was one of the last medium sizes at the outlet in Florida. boo...Maybe next time I am in Florida they will have restocked.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

long day but a good run

I feel like it is much later in the week than Tuesday. Yesterday was a long day. Had the alarm set for 4 am to catch my 6:45 am flight. ugh. I had Monday's with early flights. Jacob and I had the debate if it is better to travel on Sunday versus waking up nearly 3 hours before the sunrise to fly the same day. I say no. And here is my reasoning - you take a 5pm flight to get you into Florida by 7:30pm. I would have to leave my house by 3pm to catch the flight and of course I didn't pack on a Saturday night so my day would be over at 1pm while I try to catch up on work I need to take with me, packing, and general getting ready to go. Your Sunday is then ruined. I complain about 4 am but it is a heck of a lot better than losing a Sunday to work travel. Now if I was headed to a beach...ah, for another day I suppose.

Anyways, woke up at 4am finally made it to the site around noon and left for the hotel around 5pm. I quickly changed to run a planned 5-7 mile easy treadmill run. The schedule called for 7 miles but I was tired! Some lady was walking on the mill so no dice. I stay in Hampton Inn's and there is only ever one treadmill if I'm lucky. I decided to go back upstairs and grab my phone, debit card, and ID (after marathon 1 I'll never leave home without some form of identification now!) and head outside. Now, I have traveled here several times and never ventured outside usually due to the extreme heat but the only path I know of is a concrete sidewalk. Yesterday was humid but not unbearable. I told myself I would go for as long as I could but no pressure. Then as I turned onto the main road I hit the headwind. A little over 2 miles I came to a gas station - Thank God! I got some water and stretched my calves. Very close to having a nasty charlie horse. That would not have been good. The run back went smoothly and I felt strong. I know the tailwind helped! I am not sure on time (left the running watch at home) or distance (maybe short of 5 miles).

No workout today because I am headed home. I have a local visit tomorrow (which should be interesting) then speed work is on the schedule. And it is Halloween so that means Jacob and I are headed out for our annual dinner at a haunted bar (the Red Lion). We have never seen the ghost but the costumes are always entertaining and the fish and chips are excellent!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

First Long Run, round 2

Yesterday the new running clothes I ordered from Running Warehouse and Nike arrived! I love shopping!!! So of course I had to try something out on the run. Today I felt like a runner because I looked like a runner in my fancy new top :) I still run in the pair of shorts that I wear for all long runs and every race, I never change that. Although I probably should buy a second pair so I don't have to do the laundry as much. It felt weird to step into them this morning as it was the first time since marathon take 1. Anyways, I had 12 miles on the schedule and told myself if I wasn't feeling right I would only complete 10. I made it through all 12! It took exactly 2 hours. This is a little slower than I had been training before but exactly where I wanted to be today. I have to say it was a little lonely this morning - I actually miss seeing all the other training groups and having the path full with runners. It made me feel better that I wasn't the only crazy person out there training for a marathon. I know I'm not but it helped to actually see other people putting in the long miles right along with me even though we don't talk.

Starting out today I didn't have the initial heavy or rubber leg syndrome I have been having on the earlier runs since starting training all over. However the left hip started acting up around 4 miles which is much earlier in the run than in past trainings. I was still able to maintain my pace which was good. Just need to focus on my gait and do a better job of stretching that sucker. Then my left quad felt left out and wanted to let me know she wasn't too happy either. Hmm...that's a first in a long time. Probably still mad that I passed out and laid in a hospital bed for 36 hours without stretching after the 20 mile fun run :) Other than that my run was uneventful. I'm sore now maybe a little more than I should be after 12 miles but not so bad for the first time out in 2 weeks.

I will officially sign up for marathon part 1 take 2 after next week's long run. I want to make sure I am fully committed and able to complete 6 more weeks of training. Man, going into training back in April I fully expected to be done with this for now. Taking it easy and just running my 5k's and 10k's. Sure does a mental number on me to have to totally change my focus. 6 weeks, I can do this...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Waiting on others

Sitting here waiting on other's to get through their work so I can finish mine. Another report coming stating "CRA did not complete____ due to time constraints" when it is so not my fault. Moving at a snail's pace. Normally I wouldn't care but tight deadlines are coming and I would rather get it done now before the craziness is in full force. They don't seem to be too concerned. I try to explain it needs to get done and why it needs to get done. Again, no one seems to concerned.

I'm traveling home this evening so no workout for me today. I was able to complete 6 miles on the treadmill yesterday. It was meant to be a tempo workout of 6 miles with 4 miles @ 8:40. I am still trying to recuperate and lost a lot of my endurance (more than I realized!) so I did a mile warm-up, 1 mile at 8:50 pace, 1 mile 9:20, 1.5 miles at 8:50, 0.5 miles at 9:20, 1 mile cool-down. Not bad.

There happen to be a few races this weekend occurring where my long runs take place so now I'm worried when I'll get the run done. I am a creature of habit and don't like to alter my long run course too much, especially when all the mile markers are nicely displayed and water fountains are still running. We'll see maybe I can maneuver around the races somehow. I wanted to join in the Trick or Treat 5k or 10k but Jacob says I'm not allowed - too much too soon. He thinks I'll push too hard and hurt myself again. I think he is crazy but don't want to race with no support. I still have time to change his mind :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Okay, so I need some help. I am lost when it comes to speedwork. Not that I'm all speedy or anything but I know working on it will improve my overall conditioning which is the main goal for me right now. Does anyone have any suggestions on programs or a schedule to follow for speedwork when training for longer distances? If so, could you leave me a comment or email me? (email link on my profile)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Chicago Theatre Presents

Kathy Griffin - My life on the D list star. Love her! She rips on all celebrities equally yet strives to be one, freaking hilarious. Saturday night me, Beth, and Shea had a girls night to take in her stand-up show. Kathy did her stand-up for a little over 1 1/2 hours and it was awesome. Absolutely great Saturday night. Plus a great girls night.

If any of you out of towners ever get a chance to come to Chicago and see any type a show at the Chicago Theatre definitely jump on the chance. The theatre is gorgeous! And there's not a bad seat (I know I have been all over the upper balcony). I love going to shows there.

I ran again tonight! Around 7 miles. And it felt amazing. Tonight was my go out and just run in hopes to remember why I love to run. I have been too focused on not running and not being able to follow a schedule and it was stressing me out. I needed to go out and enjoy the act of running. It took me a long time to convince myself to actually move away from the computer and change then I remembered the Nike shirt that says something like - the time spent thinking about running you could already be done running. The inspiration has to come from somewhere and today it was a t-shirt. Whatever it takes...

And on a final note - Congratulations to everyone who had races today and finished! I'm so proud of all of you and very excited to read all the race reports.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

That's one expensive marathon

Got the hospital bill in the mail today right before I headed out for my first run since the whole marathon/hospitalization debacle. For some reason they didn't have my insurance information even though I gave it to a dozen different people. Anyways, if I didn't have insurance I would be royally screwed. 1 ER visit, 1 night, a gazzillion blood draws, lab tests for the grand total of...any guesses???


Almost had that heart attack they expected me to have in the hospital right in my kitchen. Sitting on the couch listening to the bill Jacob plainly stated "That was one expensive marathon" Yes, yes it was...Definitely calling Monday to get insurance thing straightened out.

So I ran for the first time in two weeks!!! Yeah! Just went out for 31 minutes. I can't ever stop at 0 or a 5. I'm weird I know. Legs felt like a rubber chicken and my body wasn't really comprehending what was going on. I'm not sure if it was because I haven't run in 2 weeks or because I ate Mexican food and drank some margaritas. Yeah I wasn't expecting on running today. Plus it was my celebratory "I survived Chicago 07" dinner. The food I was supposed to have after I finished the marathon but couldn't! So I took my just over 3 mile jaunt easy today. I am hoping to start feeling like my old runner self in about a week. There are a lot of holiday 5k and 10k's going on these next couple weekends so I would like to run 1 or 2 of those before I attempt the marathon part 1 take 2. That's what I'm going to call it, marathon part 1 take 2.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Just the Dehydration Talking

I was able to workout yesterday! Yeah! Even after a full day of work. Nothing crazy just the stationary bike and stair stepper but girl worked up a sweat. And it felt good. I needed it after the stressful day of work. Hopeful wishing but the site although better (only because they got in serious trouble with an auditor) was still a pain in the butt. Maybe I have too high of expectations but it is partially that I don't like doing others work or waiting on others so I can get mine done. Alright enough bitching about work.

So I know I said a week ago I probably wasn't going to run another marathon. That was the dehydration talking. I am now officially obsessed with crossing the finish line. There is this picture burned in my brain of finally crossing after 4 some odd hours of running and throwing my arms up in the air b/c I am so happy to have finally finished. I need this picture to become a reality. I need to say I finished a marathon.

I have been searching endlessly for marathons happening in the upcoming months. Because of the hospital stay and I haven't been totally cleared by the doctor (last round of lab work is tomorrow) I couldn't exactly do one this month. So I was looking at Nov - then realized I just can't between work and not enough time to get back in the training game. So I came upon early December. Because it will be cold training in Chicago but not so cold that I can't go outside most of the time for runs. Not like it might be in January or February here. I did the Vegas HM last year and although nice they have some kinks to work out (lack of food at the finish, mile markers misplaced, starting line ridiculousness, etc). Plus my friend ran her first marathon there last year and although the downtown strip is awesome there isn't much else to see in the outskirts of Vegas where the course takes you. So I came upon the Dallas Marathon Dec 9th. The temps on average are low of 40's high of 60's. Jacob has family there we could visit. It gives me 7 weeks from this Sunday to train. I think it would be good for me. Anybody run or heard anything about this marathon? Do you all think I am crazy to try it again so soon? I haven't signed up yet; I figured I would make that decision at the end of the week after I have gone to the website 50 million times...

Monday, October 15, 2007

back to the daily grind

One week since I have checked out of the hospital. Today was the first day I have really had to exert myself. And it sucked. Because it wasn't really anything that I should be tired from. I have been able to take things at my own speed for the last week. Which meant really, really, slow. I didn't leave the house until Friday and that was only to go eat (love some sushi rolls)and catch a movie (Michael Clayton - go see it! Great conspiracy flick!) Today meant getting a move on it. I wore myself out walking through O'Hare and Orlando. I was exhausted by the time I made it to the gate. I know it won't last forever but that doesn't make the being light-headed and weakness suck any less.

Tomorrow I have a full day of work at my worst site. They are so far behind on work and refuse to do anything in between visits. Yes, these are grown adults. Anyways, I am really looking forward to it. I brought my workout clothes and may try to get some time in on the bike or stair stepper. I figured I am going to need some workout time to relieve the stress I am going to be feeling after the work day. I would like to be back running by the end of the week but I am not going to push myself.

Friday, October 12, 2007

appetite is back

Appetite is back. Well more than it was a couple days ago.

I decided to copy Marcy and make myself feel better by making some food. Instead of coughed and sneezed on halloween cookies I choose some funfetti cupcakes. Yeah, I'm 12 and still enjoy a good funfetti cupcake just like mom used to make! And to celebrate having an appetite for the first time in 3 days I proceeded to eat 3! I figured it wouldn't hurt. I have now lost way too much weight in the last 5 days. I am down between 6-7lbs. I know it is all fluids and probably some muscle; not the desired fat. I wanted to lose 5 lb but not this way!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

health update and thanks

Thank you everyone for your amazing support and encouragement! It's amazing to know there is so many of you that are concerned and ready to lend advice when I need it the most. I appreciate all of your comments.

So an update. I am still feeling overall yucky (how's that for a medical condition). Basically just very tired and extremely weak. I am forcing myself to eat b/c I am not hungry. Drinking my fluids to flush all those nasty proteins that caused my muscle breakdown out of my system.

I hope to back into the swing of things soon. I had the foresight to schedule myself in house this week for work but I hit the road next week. Hopefully I will be ready.

So this blog until I can get healthy may be sparse but basically about the happenings in my life instead of running. It will change as soon as I can get back into the game.

And I haven't had a chance to say to all my fellow chicago marathoners - congratulations to those who were able to finish! What an amazing accomplishment in such dreadful weather. And I feel for you who were forced to stop. But to everyone looking ahead or had already found a new marathon good for you! I look forward to ready how round 2 works for all of you :)

Monday, October 8, 2007

So Close...

Well folks this first time marathoner posted a big DNF - that's right I did not finish. Plus the course shut down before I could have finished. But I am getting ahead of myself.

The day started muggy and just generally disgusting. I drank my fluids and thought to myself maybe I should take the time to fill out the back of my bib due to the extreme heat I would be facing. Nerves were at an all time high but I got down to start with plenty of time to spare. It was very chaotic! People jumping fences to get in line. I just sat and soaked it up and chatted up the guy next to me. At 8 am the gun went off and about 8:20 I crossed the start line and was off. Feeling good just really, really warm. It was extremely motivating and exciting with so many people around. I have never in any of my Chicago races ever seen so many spectators. Yes, I got a bit choked up. I changed my goal time early on to 10 min miles and actually came in a bit below that through the first half. Saw 2 friends at the 5k and I was feeling great. The shade helped. At around 8 miles I saw my great college friends and seeing them helped me keep on pushing. At this point the heat was starting to wear on me and I was trying to slow myself. Luckily the local grocery store was passing out bottles of water! Through 10 miles I felt like a superstar as much as one can feel like in 90 degrees. I was keeping pace, feeling confident, and the time was passing by like nothing. (Not that I was going fast but it seemed like I was!)

At the 12 mile mark my friend jumped in to run with me. I needed her in that moment even though I couldn't talk. Saw the family at 13.1 and I was starting to feel worse for the wear. The stomach was full of fluids and gu but I was so thirsty and drained. My friend left me around 14 and I was on my own. By 16 I was a mess and I couldn't find water or Gatorade to save my life. There was no shade that I could find (maybe I just couldn't find it) I couldn't focus and I felt as if I were drifting/leaning (yeah dehydration) but my stubborn self kept pushing.

At this point I don't have much left to tell you. I had made up my mind to jog/shuffle until 20 but walk through aid stations. Then at that point I would give myself free reign to walk because I just couldn't go any further. I so desperately wanted to just finish. The last thing I remember is trying to get to 18 or 19. I think the website shows me making it to 20 but not sure. ANYWAYS - I passed out (no recollection) and woke up in the hospital where they asked me if I remember passing out on the course. To which I responded "Marathon, I wasn't running any marathon!" I couldn't remember my name, Jacob's name, family, where I lived, phone numbers. Yes, like I said I did fill out the back of the bib for emergency contact but nobody bothered to check. I was so out of it I didn't even know I had a bib.

Around 2-3 hours later I remembered everything about me but could not for the life of me remember any one's phone numbers. And who by the way remembers phone numbers when everything is programmed into cell phones (which my boyfriend had). Luckily someone remembered the bib we got ahold of the family. It was very, very scary. I seriously thought I had amnesia. They had to admit me overnight b/c of my questionable EKG and high lab results. They thought I was either going to have a heart attack or kidney failure (luckily neither happened but labs are still a bit elevated). I'll leave out the nasty details of my hospital visit. I laid in the ER until 10:30 at which time they found a bed. Unfortunately, I did not get any sleep due to the doctors and nurse waking me up every 30 minutes asking me to repeat my story, draw blood, take my vitals, etc. They finally let me go around 4:30 pm today after making a lot of noise to discharge me.

DNF and thoroughly disappointed. All that training to pass out. My first marathon feels a bit tarnished. But I have a good story even if it does not involve a finish time or picture. Good thing I didn't get the Finisher t-shirt they were selling.

I am okay now just need to find a doctor for follow up labs and I can't run for awhile. Not sure if I will attempt a marathon again. A part of me feels like I need to. we will see...

(and I'll post some pics as soon as I download)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Thank You!

With 3 days to go I am feeling a bit emotional. I wanted to take the time in this post to thank friends, family and running blog friends alike for their support over the past few months and especially the past week. The outpouring of emails and phone calls of people just checking in and the motivating comments left here means so much. They have all brought a smile to my face! I know I have put in the work over the past months but it is only human to doubt oneself. When the weatherman started predicting the warmest day since 1947 friends and RBF's were there talking me through it. Others are emailing to ask where I need them to be on the course to support me.

As one wise friend reminded me today was to just remember the race is my payoff for the months of training. If that doesn't put it in perspective I don't know what would!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


I just checked the weather for Sunday... 84 freaking degrees in freaking October. What the hell. Seriously. Okay now I am freaking out.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Delays and such

This morning found me staring at the alarm at 4 am asking why I haven't won the lottery so I could retire early. Yeah, girlfriend had a 6:20 am flight. I hate waking up that early to travel for work but I hate traveling on Sunday - my day of rest ;) - even more. I chose the lesser of two evils in my opinion. Thing is, I probably could have just slept longer. First, we are all lined up and ready to board in 2 minutes instead of boarding we receive the following announcement"Ladies and Gentlemen we have some sort of mechanical issue so we are now departing out of gate B10" I guess the good thing about leaving first thing in the morning is they have some extra planes hanging about. So everyone rushes to the next gate where we proceed to stand in a boarding line for the next 20 minutes. Okay, our depature time has now come and gone. Finally, they board the crew then us and then we...sit...I sleep...wake up 45 minutes later and still I'm sitting (drooling) on the tarmac in Chicago. Nope, haven't moved. This plane had mechanical issues last night and the paperwork went missing. Seriously, you have to be kidding me. Oh, then they found the paperwork except 1 page was missing so that had to be located. And why isn't it filed in a folder on the plane and available at take off. Because that would be way too easy. So yeah, 2 hours later we take off. And people think traveling is glamorous.

Finally I made it in one piece just a little sleep deprived and cranky. Work is proving difficult to focus on (hence the writing on the blog in the middle of the day). I was supposed to do cross training yesterday but I was too dang tired after Saturday night and entertaining people all weekend. I may do the training tonight or run on the treadmill. I need to do something!

Race day weather. I promised myself I wouldn't look until Weds but I checked it out Sunday. My parents used to ask me what the weather was going to be like for the day instead of watching the news - I was obsessed knowing the week's weather when growing up. Lately not so much b/c I am never in one place long enough to really care. But with the unseasonably high temps in Chicago (80's over the weekend) I had to look. Yesterday, said high of 78 (at start time in the 60's). I was freaking out! So of course I had to look today to see if the cold front is coming to Chicago sooner than expected. It showed a high of 64, 50's at the start of the race. I'll take the 64 please! So I'll be tracking closely over the next few days. A girl needs to know how to plan her first marathon outfit :)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

8 days and counting...

My sister and her husband came into town last night. I didn't actually see her until 2:30 am when they came home. Which is fine but I wanted to be up at 7 am for a run. Oh and their drunk friend called at 3 am...Yeah, I hit the snooze button...

Even though I had a rough night of sleep (meaning I couldn't sleep) I dragged my butt out of bed at 8am and was out the door 30 minutes later - everybody but the cat sound asleep. I had 8 miles on the ole schedule today. I thought I would be draggin after drinking a couple brewskies last night (GO CUBS!) and the lack of sleep. Instead I had a good run. I decided to go a little beyond just the 8 miles, probably closer to 9 and I actually had to tell myself to slow down and the second half. Don't want to use up all the reserves before next weekend! The legs and I did our morning jaunt of my legs saying "no, I don't want to you can't make me!" and me replying "but you have to - I don't have time to do this later and I'm already up so let's get it done". Finally (and luckily) shortly into the run they agreed to stop protesting and do their thing. The run lasted around 1 hour 20 min but I am not sure on the exact mileage. I was happy with it and I probably could have kept going. Now I hope that happens next Sunday.

Good luck to everyone who has races this weekend! I am looking forward to reading everyone's race reports Sunday/Monday!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Rabies Awareness 5K Fun Run

Did anyone see the season premiere of The Office last night?!? LMAO! First of all if you didn't see it Michael decided to raise money for rabies awareness after he hit Meredith with his car and she ended up in the hospital for a broken pelvis where she need to get a rabies shot. So Michael becomes obsessed with rabies and has the great idea of making everyone run the 5K (which he thinks is 5,000 miles) to raise money. At one point Dwight tells Michael that he spiked Toby's coffee with Imodium (yeah he meant to use ex-lax) and cut to Toby saying "This is my best run ever, usually I need to use the bathroom at this point". Michael tries carbo loading and someone else discusses chafing. The episode is hilarious and all you runners will greatly appreciate it! I suggest if you didn't see it to check it out on It is free to watch there for a week. Enjoy!

And on to my running. I'm back! I had a great run this morning, everything felt good, the weather was cooler. I kept to my 9:30 minute miles on this run - it is taper week 1 and I have an 8 mile run tomorrow. Now after such a great run I am motivated to get this condo clean.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I Need to Hire a Maid

I got in a short 3 mile run on the treadmill yesterday after work. I struggled through it. This time I am going to blame in on the bad tv show and the fact I couldn't find the remote to change the channel. I would have manually changed it (for all you who think I am so lazy I need the remote) but it was a wall mounted tv and I am too short to reach the channel buttons, I was only able to reach the volume. Sucks being average height sometimes!

The schedule called for a 4 mile run today and I may still get it done if the plane shows up and leaves on time. If not I'll do it tomorrow. Tomorrow (Friday already?!?) I need to find some time in the middle of trip report writing, teleconferences, cleaning the house, and grocery shopping to get the run done. Probably on my lunch break. My sister, her husband, and their friend are visiting this weekend. Which would normally be fun but they 1) aren't really coming to visit me. They'll hang with me in between seeing all their friends and my condo will be like their own hotel 2) I haven't been home in 2 weeks except for a day or two. My condo isn't the cleanest (more like a couple of frat boys live there) and I haven't been able to shop for groceries in awhile (we eat out every weekend) . So another busy, busy day Friday. Luckily they won't be getting into town until 6 or 7pm ish so that buys me some time.

Plus side, the house will be clean for the most part for next weekend (RACE WEEKEND). That's when both sets of parents come to town to meet for the first time and stay with us. In hindsight, having mine and Jacob's p's meet for the first time (mind you we have been together for 5 1/2 years) the weekend of my first marathon probably wasn't the best idea I have ever executed. Oh well. I've warned all I am not walking all over Chicago to show them the sites or go shopping. And for me to say I'm not shopping downtown takes a lot! They say the understand now, hopefully that's the case next Saturday. Maybe they'll get along splendidly they won't even realize I have disappeared out the side door to go home and watch tv :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Back Running

Today was my first run since Friday. I ran without a watch because halfway through my warmup I realized I didn't have it on and wasn't about to turn around to go get it. Running has been a struggle for me lately. I have been really tired and feeling weak. I'm not too sure if it is because of the running schedule or because I have been so busy with work and everything else. Probably a combination. Plus the weather here is still humid and gross. I usually don't pray for cooler temperatures as I love the summer and want it to extend as long as possible but not this year. I need some 60's!!!

Headed off on another business trip today to lovely Pembroke Pines, FL. Looking forward to the time in my career when I won't have to live out of a suitcase because I am traveling every week.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

10 years and still the same

Best friends since 8th grade

Sarah, Mindy, and me catching up

Back in Chicago after visiting my hometown Medina, OH for the weekend. So the 10 year reunion...I don't think I'm going to another reunion for a long time. 10 years apparently is not long enough to get beyond the high school mentality. I was in a class of over 350 students or so. Only about 75 people showed up and a quarter of those were dates! Not many have changed and nearly everyone stayed in their high school clicks all night. I was surprised that a lot more didn't show. Plus, all the people who didn't show were the ones I would have liked to have seen. Luckily I got to catch up with some good friends and that was a lot of fun. I had a little headache this morning :) My poor boyfriend was so bored! I owe him a nice night out after putting up with me and my friends and being our sober sister for the night...
No weekend workouts due to trying fit everything and everyone into the short schedule. I will get back into things tomorrow (hopefully).

Friday, September 21, 2007

Mental Struggle

What a horrible run this morning. Ugh. My legs felt like cinder blocks and my stomach was upset. Not good. Never, ever, ever will I eat Mexican food and drink a maragarita (or two) the night before a long ever, ever again as long as I live. And I really didn't eat that much but it was enough to make me feel like crap. Oh and the fact it was just an overall crappy run. But it's done. I went out slow, I came back slow but I finished.

I am starting to hate the taper but have realized one thing which makes me appreciate it a bit more. This is not just a time to let my body heal as much as it is time to continue the mental training. These short runs are seeming more difficult than any of my long runs (with maybe the exception of that one 17 miler I did and I thought I was going to die) physically and mentally. Today was a mental fight and test. I didn't want to be out there, I kept thinking "f***, I'm only at ___ mile" So I had to practice pushing those negative thoughts out and remind myself there are going to be times during the marathon my body is not going to want to continue but I KNOW I can do it. I proved that I could get over my mental hurdle this morning. I wanted to give up, start walking, and find a phone to call home collect for someone to pick me up but I didn't. I convinced myself I wanted to finish and I had to get to the next spot and it worked. I'm not saying the negative thoughts weren't there. They were and I allowed them to pop in once in awhile to say their piece but then I learned to send them back so I could keep going.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Confirmation Ticket and Reunion

It is official, I am running on 10/7/07. Well I guess it is official when I actually do the race but today I received my all important confirmation ticket in the mail that allows me to pick up my race packet at the expo. All of you who will be in the Chicago area or checking up on the progress of the Chicago Marathon my bib # is 43914. I barely made the cut...

So I have decided to alter my training schedule once again in lieu of this reunion weekend. I caught an earlier flight home by 3 hours today. Woo hoo! So I went for a "quick" 5 mile run before going to dinner with my man. By quick I mean I ran. My legs felt like 100 lb weights for the first 2 miles. Just getting acclimated to running outside after being a treadmill runner earlier this week but still not fun. So annoying but two runners ran into me without apologizing. I asked one where his manners were. When you pass on the right, come from behind, and hit someone the least you could do is mutter a sorry. Manners are underrated lately...

Instead of doing my long run Saturday in a new place around Akron, OH I am going to try to wake up early and do my long run Friday morning before work. Good thing I work from home and no one cares what time I start! Then off to Ohio. And now I'm nervous to go to this reunion. Basically b/c I want to make a good impression and of course have nothing to wear. I have lost weight since high school (about 25 pounds) and I need to look good without looking like I am trying to hard. Such dilemmas! I am resorting to high school mentality I know. It's hard not to when you grew up where I did. Alright off to pack!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A little tropical depression never hurt

The morning gym gods were against me today. I went to bed late and had the alarm set for an early a.m. run. I hit snooze only to convince myself the short 4 mile run needed to get done on the dreadmill. My site I was at doesn't like to do any of their work and has a lot of major issues that only causes me stress. So my short runs keep me sane and when I don't get them done it's not pretty...It was early and there was a tropical depression so no way I was running outside. This brings me to reason #792 on why I hate weekly business trips. Possible tropical depressions that lead to possible hurricanes. You may be asking yourself really how many times does one get in the middle of a tropical depression. Well only three times...but enough to know it would be better if it was zero.

So anyways the gym gods...The same treadmill I had used only 13 hours earlier was broken. I hope my big butt didn't break it but you never know. I think I'll just blame somebody else's big butt ;) Then I thought aww what the heck I'm up so I'll do the stairmaster. No dice, the right foot stepper - broken. So okay, the recumbant stationary bike then....not so much. So at 6:30 I went back to the room to do sit-ups and push-ups. Very exciting I know. Even though I was delayed into Atlanta due to the lovely weather and mechanical issues I still made time for that dreadmill. I ate dinner late and now I can't sleep but I got it done.

I am supposed to run tomorrow but I think I am going to switch the routine up and take the day off b/c of my traveling schedule. I would like to do something rather than nothing but I also value what little sleep I have been getting lately. Friday I am going home to Ohio for my 10 year high school reunion (yikes!) so I'll get an outside run done before I have to sit in a car for 6 hours. I'm sure I'll have plenty to report after this weekend of my crazy family and people from high school I haven't talked to in at least 5 probably even 10 years!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Catch Up

After the 20 miles on Saturday I haven't done much working out. A bit of strength training at home yesterday before my 10 hour travel day. Blah...traveling for work. At least I got some sort of workout done before the long day. I am planning on a run this evening after work/before dinner in the hotel. The tapering has begun now that there is only 19 days to my first marathon! 19 days people - that's crazy!!! I remember 8 months ago when I was just thinking about signing up and trying to get back into running. It seems like last week I was making my final decision and sending in the paperwork. Where does the time go!?!

I am both excited and nervous and vacillate between the two extremes at any given moment. The taper is starting to make me question "Am I ready?" and "did I do enough to prepare / could I have done more?" I am having weird dreams about running that I'm on the wrong course or I show up on the wrong day. And they seem so real! I have to have trust in myself that I did enough and I am ready. No pesky negative thoughts need to sneak in anymore.

On a side note regarding my weekend activities. I took Jacob to Family Guy Live. HILARIOUS! A little crass though but I enjoyed it. It was the creator and 8 others associated with the show (voices, writing, etc) and they did a table read for a favorite episode with some improvisation then they did a couple singing numbers, and finally an answer/question session. Did you know the creator also does 3 of the voices on that show and can freely go between all three so he is essentially having a conversation with himself. Awesome. I tried to upload a video from youtube but I can't figure it out. Maybe later!
Oh! And my girl Jami got engaged - so happy for her!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Take 20, part II

Went better than my first 20 miler two weeeks ago. First, I want to take the time to thank Jacob's cousin's mother-in-law (even though she'll never read this) who has run several marathons (including Boston) for recommending that I run 2-3 20 mile long runs. My schedule didn't call for it but I am glad I did it. Definitely not as sore this time around either. This run did a lot for my confidence.

I left the house around 7 am to head towards the lakefront and dang it was cold! 43 degrees, I had to break out the gloves. A little chilly for just walking around but great running weather! The second song on the ipod happened to be "Long Trip Alone" by Dierks Bently. Yes, it was going to be...but no problem, I've done it before.

The run went smoothly with the exception of every single running group being on the path this morning. There is a big Ready to Run 20 mile "race" tomorrow that has 3,000 CARA runners using the entire lakefront for 5 hours so everyone else tried to get their run in today. The narrow paths made it a bit tricky maneuvering around running groups, bikers, and walkers but it is just prep for the big day when there will be 40,000 runners. I would have done the race but they were charging $45. No thank you, I can run by myself for free! As usual I started to feel the aches and pains around mile 15 as I was headed up and over that damn North Beach bridge. But I was keeping a slightly faster/hopefully close to race day pace on this run. Jacob ran from our place and found me with 1 1/2 miles left in my run so that was nice. It was pretty much around the time I started slowing down due to my hips yelling at me! But since his legs were fresh he wasn't slowing so I kept up my pace until the end. Yeah!

I didn't stop my watch during any of my water or gu breaks and I finished the run in 3 hours and 10 min. If I could do a happy dance I would but that hurts too much right now. Instead I'll just dance from the waist up :) I am on target to finish the marathon in just over 4 hours...woo woo!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

daily happenings

Overall a decent run today. Another 5 miles was on the schedule. I did an easy 5 1/4 mile with 1/2 mile cool down walk. I didn't even bother with the watch today. Just me, my ipod, and running shoes. And it was another beautiful day in the city. Had a close call on the running path. I wasn't paying attention, looking up ahead thinking about who knows what and I nearly tripped/twisted my ankle over a small piece of a broken tree. It woke me out of my running trance to remind me to be in the moment. Funny how most insignificant daily happenings have a larger effect on me.

Tonight I am headed out for dinner with my friend Jami. Yes, I have a friend with the same name and yes we very similar personalities. Weird I know. Plus, people who meet us together for the first time always think were messing with them. We are going to new bar - Fat Cat - in my hood. It has upscale bar food and a retro theme. I'm looking forward to a cold beer, good food, and good conversation with a friend I hardly see! Even though she is a non-runner she asks questions and lets me vent and talk about all things marathon. It is very nice of her and I am sure Jacob appreciates it! Plus, she is turning down a sort of family obligation to support me on race morning - so sweet! I am going to need all the help I can get.

Tomorrow is a rest day then Saturday morning is my second 20 mile run. I am getting knots in my stomach just thinking about it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

best 5 mile run EVER

Holy crap what an awesome run for me today! Could it be the weather? I'm sure it had something to do with it. In the 60's just absolutely perfect running weather after the sweltering heat. Or maybe it was my new lighter haircut. I swear I lose 5 lbs everytime my hair gets thinned out. YES, my hair is so thick and unruly I have to thin it out every time I go. Otherwise I look like something between a shaggy dog and a lion's mane. It's not cute trust me.

It took me awhile to physically get my butt out the door but once I did everything felt right. I had a 5 miles to run today, 3 at 5k pace. I actually ended up doing over 5 b/c I had to go the grocery store which is further north... The run ended up looking like this and I'm now wondering if maybe the lakefront path mile markers aren't measured properly!

mile 1 - Not sure b/c they blocked my original entrance for construction so I had to do some manuvering. Once I got to the mile 1 mile marker my watch said 10:25. Thinking my run took me a bit over 1 mile

mile 2 - 7:56 (WHAT?!? I never run this fast)
mile 3 - 8:00 (Crap, I'm actually going too fast but it feels comfortable so I'll roll with it)
mile 4 - 7:58 (Again?!? Dang I rock)
mile 5 - 8:30 (That's more like it)
last 1/2 cool down run.

So yeah, I'm pretty happy right now - hang on - doing the happy dance right now!!!