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 :)