Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shamrock Shuffle 8K report

The Shuffle should now be labeled the Snow Fun Run...

This morning was a shock to the system.  I woke up to a text from my friend saying "This sucks" and my husband in the bathroom saying "this is not good, what a mess!"  Both were referencing the lovely, race day weather.  There was a couple of inches of snow on the ground with fat flakes falling quickly.  I anxiously waited for 1 of the 3 other girls running to text or call saying they were out.  I just needed someone else to initiate it.  Even checked the website 3 times to see f the event would be cancelled.  No such luck.  20,000 other people that signed up had the right idea and stayed home.  We choose to have an experience with 15,000 of our closest and craziest friends.

My number 1 goal for this race was to use this 8K as my weekly tempo run.  The 2nd was to average better than an 8:30 min/mile even if I thought this might be wishful thinking.  Both went out the door as soon as I saw the weather.  My goals changed to finish this as quickly and safely as possible and hope it is a sub-10.  It was cold, icy, and very wet.  They cleared the course of all the snow they could and what slush remained became ice once 15,000 runners started.  I decided to leave garmy and the ipod in my bag and just run to finish. Running on the sides of the streets was nearly impossible thanks to the lakes and rivers of icy slush that formed.  Running in the middle was full of people going slower than me and compacted slush/ice.  Due to the size and short duration of the race there was never a break in the crowd. A lot of weaving, speeding up, slowing down, and trying not to fall on my ass.  I had a near scare about 1/2 mile into the race; my right foot caught a small pothole filled with awesomeness and my ankle just gave out.  Luckily I saved myself from falling (but not from embarrassment as 2 guys pointed out my sweet moves) and I didn't twist, sprain, break the ankle.  Yay! At mile 1 the clock read 26 minutes (thanks to the long time it took to cross the start) and I heard someone comment that the elites were already done.  Thanks for the reminder.  For the rest of the race I decided to play a game only I was playing to help me to stop thinking about how miserable the elements were so I found different people out to pass or created little stories about different groups.  

Once I crossed the finish line I felt like I could have done more whether it be go faster or longer.  But I stayed as safe (albeit not dry) as possible.  

Picture time!

Here's the start.  They were having some issues getting the START to stay.  What a mess!

My friend and I at the start just trying to stay warm.  Why are we doing this again?
At the start, not quite the 35,000 people that had originally signed up earlier this year.
The crew before the race.
The awesomeness that lined the course.  
Enjoying my much deserved beer ;) - Cheers!
And a big thanks to the hubby who also braved the elements for over an hour to hold my gear! What a trooper!  

So overall it was way off from any PR but a productive morning at least.
Chip time:  44:38
Overall Place4121 / 13294
Gender Place1099 / 6550
Division Place213 / 1324

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Cry Me a Runner

Sweet. reports snow on Sunday for the Shuffle.  Should be a fantastic time!  I am so unmotivated for this race thanks to the gray, crappy weather and just feel like staying home. But since my friends have made the commitment to run I too will be there (unless there's sleet. I'll bail if there's sleet).

I moved my 16 miler to Friday afternoon so not to run a long run then a race back to back this weekend.  It was cold.  I'm tired of the cold.  I'm not asking for much of a warm up - 50's could you come back?  Soon?  The first 8 miles went by quickly with nearly no issues.  I felt like it was going too good and tried to pull back a bit for the reserves on the way back.  Wouldn't you know 9 and some odd miles hit and everything just went to crap.  I felt pain in places that I never felt before, didn't know could hurt.  But it wasn't the kind of pain that was worrisome/indicating something was seriously wrong,  just general I'm running 16 miles this will probably hurt pain.  Normally I gauge then disregard; however it really bothered me yesterday.  My head fell out of the game by mile 10.  I fought through with much struggle and for the first time ever as I was doing the short cool down back to my place I started bawling.  I walked in the house a blubbering mess and freaked my husband out.  I have no idea why I reacted like a baby.  Everything just hurt, I was tired, frustrated, and just lost it.  My husband asked why I didn't stop and call.  I started crying harder and said I couldn't give up just because it hurts a little and I'm frustrated. What a hot mess I am!  

After all that the average pace was 9:52 min/mile

Today there is a slight discomfort in my right ankle and some overall stiffness.  I'm really surprised there isn't more pain.   So just taking it easy, stretching, and will see on Sunday how I'm feeling. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hello from BHM

Hello from stormy Birmingham.  I'm hoping to make it out of this place in an hour or so but it's not looking all the good.  I'm also hoping some nice person at the BHM will stop using the 1 of the 4 outlets so I can charge my computer but I don't see that happening either.  

So yesterday when I arrived at the hotel I realized I was booked at a completely different hotel I never stay.  After I figured out that whole mess (which ended up being not too difficult thanks to the 2 hotels being the same brand and plenty of open rooms) I ended up getting intervals done on the dreadmill while watching Twilight on my ipod :)  Not exactly the intervals that my program called for but it was something!  And it brought me to just over my total of 7 miles.  It just didn't happen all at the same time.  After the run I changed and headed out for some dinner at the lovely CPK (California Pizza Kitchen). On my way out some random guy stopped me on the parking lot (creepy right?) and asked if I was "that girl running in that room".  If by room you mean 1st floor exercise room then yes.  He said he was going to come in but I intimidated him.  Ummm....good excuse buddy.  Who knows maybe I looked awesome while running but when I looked in the mirror all I saw was a chunk-shaking, red faced, sweat flying, hot mess. Anyways, he was nice enough and the pseudo compliment boosted my ego briefly.  

Oh!  Someone is moving now there is an outlet to use.  Happy days!  

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

All Messed Up

This week makes my return to being a road warrior.  That also means this week my running schedule gets all moved around.   I am running the Shamrock Shuffle 8k on Sunday but I also have to find time for a long run of 16 miles and the rest of the weeks runs without too much back to back to back.  Then I completely threw myself off on Monday when I didn't find any energy or motivation to get out the door for a run.  I headed out this morning before work for a speedwork session.  Then it started raining and I was stressing myself out about having enough time to get ready for my trip so I just turned around and headed home.  Not being in the right mindset can be detrimental.  I land at a relatively normal hour in Birmingham so hopefully I will find the time and determination to finish what I started this morning once I get to the hotel.  At this rate I'll be lucky if I get any miles done this week!

I'm not sure how to run this weekends race.  Do I want a full out effort?  Or maybe I'll hang back with my friends and do the run/walk they have been doing for training?  I'm not sure how I'll feel after Friday's 16.  There is no chance for a PR based on my current running.  I found my time from the last time I did the Shuffle and it was stellar.  My competitive side will probably come out once I see everyone taking off and then I'll want to push it.  We will see though...

Friday, March 20, 2009

Stalking the Mail

The mail finally arrived!!!  I've been a la Marcy and stalking the mail person all week long and the mail arrived late today.  I have ordered several items from amazon and since things always arrive sooner than they say I stalk.  However the one item in particular I was anxiously awaiting was Twilight. Oh yes, I pre-ordered that bad boy back in January in order to get all the R. Pattinson viewing my little heart desires.  That and so I wouldn't have to stand in line at some midnight groupie event to get a copy. I'm so excited I may have to forgo this afternoon's viewing of NCIS and CSI NY reruns and watch the movie even though I just saw it in the theatre 2 weeks ago.  Yeah, I'm that lame some days.

In other news why is it so easy for me when I miss 1 day of training to then miss the second/make-up day.  It's nearly 5 pm and I have been putting off the 5 mile run I had planned for yesterday all day.  I think I may push it off until Sunday...I'm lazy and really not wanting to go out in 30 degrees.  It is supposed to be in the 50's this weekend.  Since the little warm-up we had around here I am back to be a cold weather wuss again.  It doesn't take much.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Oh Crap

Today was the closest I have ever come to crapping my shorts.  How's that for an opening statement?  What was meant to be an easy 8 turned into move your ass as fast as possible and get to the nearest toilet.  Of course every bathroom along the lakefront is currently locked since it is the off season. So when the tummy started rumbling around mile 5 my only option was to prairie dog it home as fast as I could over those last 3 miles.  I seriously thought I was going to lose it.  I weighed my options, I didn't have any.  Really the only thing I had going for me was there weren't many people out so maybe no one would notice.   My husband wasn't home, I couldn't call him to pick me up.  There were no gas stations or restaurants nearby.  I was screwed.  I kept trying to think of anything else other than my pain but that only lasted a nano second.  Luckily I made it home...barely but who cares, I made it.  

And to think I had a completely different post planned up until the rumble :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

70 and sunny

I wish everyday could be as nice as today was in Chicago.  If only 72 and sunny would stick around for awhile...(sigh).  I had a nice 7 mile recovery run Monday besides the fact that my new shorts suck and kept riding on up in the front and back.  Anyways, it was too gorgeous to sit inside or be at the gym so I decided to bike the lakefront. Nothing too exciting happened during the 50 minute ride and it was nice to enjoy the outdoors doing something other than running. Being out during the day I'm always amazed at how many other people are also running/walking/biking/laying around during the day.  A lot of people have free time in the middle of the day.  I know what my excuse is (work from home and taking a break); I just want to know what their deal is! 

On a side note.  Am I the only one who eats dessert happily while watching people kill themselves working out on the Biggest Loser? Plus what was with everyone calling their half marathon run "half OF a marathon"  It's a lot easier just to leave the "of a" out.  And I think I would have gone crazy running 13 miles on an indoor track like several of them did.  

Saturday, March 14, 2009

What a difference 7 days makes

It's amazing how much better a long run can go when you don't drink a bottle of wine the night before.  Brilliant I know :) What a difference this weeks 19 was from last weekends 17.  It was cool but sunny, perfect for a run!  My legs felt great and the general leg achy pain didn't set in until miles 11/12.  I experimented taking the GUs a 1/2 mile sooner than I had been and it seemed to work out a lot better for me.  Although I don't know what it is but in the middle of the first gu stop I feel as I am going to regurgitate, it passes, then I'm fine. I never had this happen while training for the first 2 marathons.  Weird and kind of gross.  Except for that I was able to average a 9:50 min/mile over the 19.  Part of this is I'm am also walking while taking Gu as I'm not talented enough during the actual race to keep running while drinking out of the cups and take a gu.  Unless they start providing sippy cups I need to practice walking during my runs :)  So the time is not as great as in the past but I'm getting there!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Look Who's 30!

It is a momentous occasion - today I turn 30 - gah! I guess this means I need to start acting like an adult or something...

To change things up around here today I'll be treating you 30 random facts about me since I'm 30 list! I know you're excited. So here it goes in no particular order.

  1. I'm on the hunt for the perfect pair of jeans for my oddly shaped lower half. No matter what the cost...

  2. I love a cute pair of shoes (and have many) but would be much more comfortable in flip-flops or bare feet everyday.

  3. I have a potty mouth . I love to swear. This little nuance of mine drives my husband and father crazy as it is not "very lady-like". I never claimed to be and there is nothing like a good f-bomb to get the point across.

  4. I'm incredibly over-emotional and cry at the drop of a hat. It's only worse when I'm embarrassed, stressed, or tired.

  5. I've woken up during both my outpatient surgeries I had to undergo. Neither was a good experience I ever care to relive.

  6. I love the movies and going to the theatre. My dad used to take me nearly every weekend growing up that was how we bonded in addition to bonding over ...

  7. books and bookstores. I love to read but I love wandering around bookstores even more. I secretly wish I had my own bookstore and a house big enough for my own library.

  8. I love my Jeep Liberty - Libby. The first and last car I'll ever buy brand spanking new. She sucks on the gas mileage but makes up for it in her amazing turning radius. The latter a definite plus when parallel parking all over the city.

  9. I'm a huge klutz. I run into walls and furniture that have been in the same place for years, am constantly dropping things, knocking thing over, or hitting myself with random objects. Example - When I was 8 or 9 in a span of minutes I opened the passenger side door of my mom's Ford Tempo car door and hit the edge of the door right between my eyes then turned around and walked into the half open garage door (nearly knocking out my front teeth) and finished it off by tripping up the 4 stairs into the house. Luckily it takes a lot for me to bruise.

  10. In all my klutziness, other than the minor scrapes and bruises, the worst damage I have done is broken my right sesmoid (had to have surgery) and sprained my middle finger. Good thing I seem to be relatively durable.

  11. Candy, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, etc are my achilles heel. Nearly all sweets, except plain chocolate. Not a fan.

  12. I have a very unhealthy obsession with all things Twilight. I may love Edward Cullen/R. Pattinson more than my 13 year old stepsister which really is wrong but I don't care.

  13. I wish I had time to take photography courses.

  14. I love working from home in my pj's but do get lonely. It's hard to meet new people and possible friends when the only time you leave your house in 2 days is to go for a run. Although I don't miss all the office politics crap that I left 5 years ago.

  15. I act like and think I look like my dad but everyone growing up said I look like my mom. I really don't see it.

  16. I lost my mom on July 3rd, 2003 in a very sudden, random way. We weren't close before it happened due to things I'm not going to go into here. Though I wish she would have sought the help she needed and I miss her constantly.

  17. I make one of the best tuna salad sandwiches you could ever find. Because of this I am always hesitant to order one in restaurants because it may come out all wrong.

  18. Huge, enormous procrastinator. As Mark Twain said "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow."

  19. I bite my nails. It is an absolutely disgusting habit I have tried to break countless times and have never lasted more than a couple of months.

  20. I'm very forgetful. I remember faces, not names, make lists then leave them somewhere I can't remember, never remember where I put my keys, so on and so forth.

  21. I'm very indecisive because I'm worried I'll make a decision someone else doesn't like. Old habits die hard.

  22. I believe in ghosts and love true scary stories though both scare the crap out of me.

  23. I started running because the boy I liked was running a summer 5K with a girl I didn't really know from work. They both got me excited about it and it was a way to spend time with the boy as we lived close and could run together. The girl is now one of my very good friends who has had a huge influence on me and where I have taken my running. I ran my first 1/2 marathon with her (well she finished well ahead of me!) and she gave me the confidence and encouragement I needed to sign up and train for my first marathon. And the boy I liked...I married him...but he's not running so much anymore :)

  24. I didn't have road rage until I moved to Chicago.

  25. I have only lived in 2 places - Medina, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois. They really couldn't be more different. Although I am ready to move again and would if I could convince my hubby.

  26. I have worn glasses since the 3rd grade and contacts since high school. Every month I say I'm going to go have Lasix but I chicken out. I would probably be one of those people that had complications.

  27. I love eating out and will try new things but at my favorite restaurants I will order the same exact thing every single time. My favorite is table side guacamole and margaritas...yum!!!

  28. I absolutely hate talking on the phone and avoid it all costs. This includes ordering food and booking appointments. I get all tongue tied and nervous when I even think about calling people I don't know. Whenever possible I pass off the phone calls to other people.

  29. I love to sleep in late. Most weekends it is a struggle for me to rise before 10am. That's even pushing it.

  30. I love to travel especially when it involves traveling to a beach. (Business travel not so fun) Few things in life get much better than sitting on the beach relaxing, reading a book, and sipping on a cocktail.

On a side note, I feel slighted that I get 1 less hour to celebrate my birthday and to sleep this year.

Friday, March 6, 2009


This week I had enough foresight to look at the weather report for the upcoming weekend. is calling for 90% chance of rain all weekend. After last weekend's long run in the elements I decided to move this weeks 17 mile run to Friday. Well because of the forecast and because of my birthday! I tend to celebrate a birthday week, and at the very least, weekend, instead of just 1 day :) So today was a beautiful day for a run, sunny and in the upper 50's. Shorts and t-shirt - a first in 2009. Although the weather was fabulous I was not feeling fabulous and it took everything I had to not give up. This run was one of biggest mental and physical struggles I have had in a long time. The first 4 miles were some of the worst. After my first GU at mile 5 I felt a little better but by mile 7 I just didn't want to be doing the run any longer. Reason for nothing gelling and the overall crappy feeling? Probably because I drank some (a bottle) of red wine last night. Will I ever learn??? Yes, today I finally learned my lesson. No more drinking the night before a long run. It seems like a no brainer...I also think I need a complete rest day the day before a long run. I have been testing doing light cardio the day before and it isn't working out to well for me. At least I learned something today!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Is Winter Over Yet?

So I'm an idiot. Saturday would have been a good day for a long run. Well an okay day for a long run. 16 miles in fact. It was chilly (25 degrees) but the sun was out. But on Friday night the hubby and I had some wine with dinner and it led to a little more wine after dinner and to me staying up late. Come late Saturday morning I was not hung over but I was not in the mood for running, especially running 16 miles. Instead of I read the rest of Empire Falls and essentially wasted the entire day. Which was great! We took it easy Saturday night went for dinner and to my beloved bookstore so I could get up and run Sunday.

Sunday late morning the first words out of my mouth ' "Oh crap. It's snowing" Welcome March. Anyways, I wake up late because it's cold and really it doesn't matter what time I run as long as the long run gets done. I take my time getting ready. I need my keys, where are my keys, where's my cell phone ??? I won't need my cell...better find it just in case.
Today was the first day in all my long runs that I had to get my ass picked up before I was done running. Not because I was hurt, tired, couldn't do it. Because of the dang weather. It started out fine, a few flurries and wind gusts. It turned nasty. Part of the lakefront path was blocked because it was too dangerous to go any further (a guy was actually in his car blocking the path!) at 5 miles. So I figured I would do 2 out and backs at a certain point. I turned around to head back and I go to take some's frozen, so it the cap of the Gatorade. Then the wind and snow were just too much. I couldn't look up, icicles were forming on my eyelashes, I couldn't see. I started walking backwards then realized, this was not happening. I called the husband who had kindly waited for me foreseeing this would happen to come pick my sad butt up at 6 1/2 miles.

this is part of the path just before my husband picked me up. Looks innocent enough...

I accidentally erased the picture of me with both eyebrows covered in ice...I know that I couldn't feel my chin at this point.

Once I arrived home I changed and went to the gym to finish up the last 9 miles on the treadmill. ugh. Instead of 16 I did 15 because I was just mentally fried. So it took longer than I expected and there was a break in between but I was able to finish most of the long run.

I really should have done the run on Saturday...