Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away

It seems as if everyday since Saturday it has either rained or been overcast here.  The rain was refreshing at first; now I'm ready for it to be gone.  I think we are stuck with it through tomorrow and next week's extended forecast doesn't look too promising either.  

The plan was to run an easy 4-5 tonight but I think that may be scratched thanks to the lovely weather.  I could use the treadmill however my ankle could use the rest from running as I think I may have aggravated it more yesterday during my hillwork on the grassy knoll.  Yes there is actually only 1 (manmade) hill wedged in between multiple soccer fields.  I think a lot of the kids thought I was crazy running up and down it.  So maybe it would be good to complete some cross-training since I haven't managed to find time over that past month to do anything other than run.  I'm hoping the elliptical is nice to the ankle than pounding the pavement or 'mill.   

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Brooks Running Apparel (I splurged!) and Review

Let the countdown begin... 19 days until Cleveland

This week I had the unfortunate pleasure of having to travel for work on Sunday.  I absolutely despise flying on Sunday for work seeing as the weekends are so short already and I'm really not a huge fan of my job. I ended up not arriving to the hotel until almost midnight so I scratched the waking up early Monday morning running plan and took another rest day.  My quads were still really sore from the 20 so I rationalized it was needed.  Although when I arrived home last night I had a nice little package waiting by the front door and my plans for rest nearly changed.

A week and half ago the online shopping bug hit big time.  I made a substantial purchase on of which nothing was on sale but everything I had to have.  Two tanks (one to support breast cancer research), a freaking cute shirt, another shirt just because, and shorts (I'm on the hunt for the perfect pair for me on long runs).  Once I unwrapped all my goodies faster than a kid on Christmas morning I nearly went for a run despite my exhaustion, hunger, and the pouring rain.  In the end the weather and my hunger won and I stayed home to inhale leftovers and watch Heroes.  Never one to deny myself too long I had to try out the new shorts (it was too cold for any of the tops) on my easy, peasy 4 miles this afternoon.

First thing I noticed when I opened the package - there's no drawstring!  Weird, because the picture of the pacer short has a drawstring.  Whatever.  According to the description this is an updated "creep-proof" short.  I could use a lot less creep in my shorts.  No seriously we all hate picking the shorts out every few minutes on the run.  And with my larger than life thighs this is a little too common with running shorts.  The shorts are incredibly comfortable and stretchy. No pulling on my hips or hugging my thighs.  That's a plus in my book...  They worked well enough on the run.  The right leg started as a creeper shortly into the run but then I didn't it stopped and behaved after the first mile.   I'll try them out on different length runs but I don't see them being my new long run shorts which was my hope and desire in the initial purchase. Now I need the warmer temps back to try out the other purchases!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

20 Round 2

Well I made it.  My 2nd attempt at 20 this training cycle didn't go as well as the first go around.  Today's run had a little of everything between the weather and how I was feeling.  It was windy, humid, overcast, then sunny, then stormy, then overcast, extremely windy, and humid.  So I can officially say I am prepared for just about any weather race day may bring.  Even snow. Although I hope it ends up overcast and in the 50's :)  

Today there was a 10 mile race happening along the lakefront that encompassed the first 4 (and last 4) of the path I run.  I decided to wake up before 7 to make it to the path before the race started.  I don't remember the last time I woke up before 7 am. I typically wake around 9 am and although I thought it would be more of a struggle it wasn't too bad. Overall I moved a lot slower today.  Equal parts humidity, ankle pain, and general fatigue. But I persevered and made it to the end even though I nearly gave up at mile 9.5, then again between 16 - 17.   Around mile 11.5 I had some creepy guy on a bike tell me I had a great ass as he passed me. Ummmm...thanks?  I mean I do have a great ass but I just don't need to hear it from you. Hubbie was sweet and surprised me at 18 and that gave me the push I needed to finish strong.  

I ended about 1/2 mile from the house so during the cool down it hurt a lot more to walk than run but I had to get back to my house somehow and hubbie wasn't going to carry my hot ass home.  Upon finishing, the first thing that crossed my mind was "yay taper time" the second "am I ready?  do I have it in me to do another marathon in 3 weeks?"  if you had asked me 2 weeks ago I would have had a resounding hellz yeah!  now after this week of struggle I don't know?!?!  We will see come May 17th!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Take Me Out

Springtime means a couple things.  First, it means nice running weather :)  Second, it means baseball.  Primarily playing hookie to go to a 1:20 game at Wrigley!  Nothing better than taking in a game on a gorgeous afternoon in a historic park, drinking some beer, when you should be slaving away at a desk.  Last night around midnight I decided to check the 'ole cubbies website to see if any tickets were released that were previously unavailable and wouldn't you know they were.  Not just any tickets...2 seats behind the visitors dugout 7 rows from the field!  Unfortunately the Cubs lost.  Oh well, that's the "fun" of being a fan.  Otherwise it was a fabulous day - the sun was shining, the beer was cold, and I didn't have to work.                                                   

In running related news I did go for a 5 mile run before the game so I wouldn't feel as guilty about the beer and dogs.  Another struggle but I got it done.  Friday is a rest and stretch day so hopefully that helps.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today...Not So Good

Tonight's tempo run was a struggle mentally and physically from the minute I started.  My legs were heavy and I felt like this huge mass tromping along.  I ended up cutting my tempo part of the run down by a mile and even had to walk because I mentally could not to run another step.  Then I made a deal to only walk the remainder of the distance until I reached the next water fountain. After the fountain stop and a bit of stretching I was able to pick it back up again.  I actually ran the entire 8 miles I had planned and I came close to (though did not actually hit) my scheduled split times. Overall the run included more breaks and  feeling like garbage than is really necessary for a Wednesday run.  

I haven't been sleeping well and have really pushed myself these past couple of weeks. Maybe it's all catching up with me or maybe it was just a bad day.  Whatever the reason I hope I was able to clear the "bad" run out of my system before this weekends last 20 miler. 

Monday, April 20, 2009

What the What?

Sun + rain that turns to hail then back to rain but only in certain neighborhoods = me thinking mother nature might be drunk or really hungover.  

Again it took me all day to put on the running gear and head outside.  No real reason, I wasn't busy with work, the rain seemed to holding off but there was no motivation.  Finally moved away from the computer just before 5.  It started raining just as I walked out the door, I turned around to head back in, and realized I just needed to go because there was no way I was getting my butt to the gym for a treadmill run.  Luckily the rain ended maybe 1/2 mile into the warm-up.  Overcast and great running weather for the rest of my run until I crossed the invisible line into my neighborhood.  The sun was shining/setting to my left and above me a light rain started.  No problem less than a mile to go.  The rain became heavy in an instant and next thing I know little white pellets are nailing me...What the What*?!?  I was still about .5 mile from the tunnel or any cover.  Ultimately it passed quickly and was all nice and sunny by the time I ran out of the underpass.  

Easy 6 on the schedule today but  I went crazy and ran 7.25 miles at a very comfortable pace :) My new shoes were the motivating factor.  

I have been wearing Asic Kayano's for a 2 years now and love them - especially the 15's.  For some reason I thought I might be wearing the wrong shoe.  I guess b/c I just picked them based on how they felt, never went and did the whole running store fitting and there was no real solid reason behind my choice.  So Sunday I headed over to my local Fleet Feet to find other options. Apparently I had been wearing a good shoe for my foot!  What are the odds?!?  Regardless I tried some other option and  settled on the Brooks Trance which are very similar to the Kayano's.  Today I may be having buyer's remorse. Maybe we just need to get used to each other?  Maybe I just miss my other babies?  I'm not giving up and I didn't break up with the Kayano's permanently.  I will be rotating my first shoe love in with the Trance and see how it goes after a few more runs.

*courtesy of  Liz Lemon (Tina Fey's character on 30 Rock).  My new favorite line now used in heavy rotation in everyday conversation.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday Morning

There is something I love about being awake and outside before most of the city residents have stirred.  There is a calm before the madness of Saturday in the city really takes hold.  I really didn't wake up that early but early enough for me.  My hubbie and I had agreed to help move our good friends J and B out of their city condo to go to the 'burbs (boo to them leaving the city! I miss them already!)  so I had to be up earlier than I would care to be on a Saturday.  It took me awhile to get out the door thanks to my putzing around for no good reason.  Before moving to get dressed I looked up the temp and decided on long sleeve and shorts, finally walked out the front door and turned right back around to take the long sleeves off.  What a day it turned out to be!  In the 60's and partly cloudy.  I was almost too warm *gasp*.  My ankle was really bothering me today and overall I was just feeling run down but I maintained a consistent pace (9:50 average) for the 13 miles even though the first 10 seemed more of a struggle than usual.  Once I hit 10 I was feeling back to normal.
Around mile 4.5 I took my first gu, strawberry banana, not a favorite.  I took too much in one gulp and started gagging.  All I could think was I tried to swallow too much at once then  I started to crack myself up with a "that's what she said".  Wow - I'm a dork.  But I love a good that's what she said...

In other non-training but running related news...About 2 months ago my sister unfortunately lost her job thanks to the stellar economic times. While looking for new employment she has decided to eat healthier and work out more, even going as far as to take up running! Yesterday I nearly convinced her to run the Cleveland 10K while I'm running the marathon. Since she runs 4 miles she could totally do a 10K and she'll be waiting around anyways.  Plus, we know a lot of people that are going to be there or running the 10K or half.  She even asked our sister-in law to run too (trust me that wasn't easy for her).  I think I may have gotten too excited too soon.  I just got a text saying "just got her first running blister at mile 2, not sure about this 10K, how do you do this shit?" Made me laugh!  And remind me that's how I felt once I decided to start running again 6 years ago.  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cyclist I am Not

Everyone can ride a bike...right?  I mean it all started out on the banana seat with ginormous handle bars bike back in kindergarten or 1st grade?  I was too chicken shit to actually try sooner unlike my sister who was rocking the pink bike with no training wheels (and streamers!) at 4  years old.  show off.  Well after today's little cross training adventure I kinda felt like a loser.  All these super stellar cyclists on their fancy road bikes with their matching outfits kept flying by me.  And me?  I could barely pass people walking their dogs on my Target bike.  It wasn't that long of a ride 9...maybe 10 miles.  Enough to feel like I did something than sit in front of the computer and type out expense reports all day.  The way back felt like I was tied to a wall going no where fast.  At one point one of those super stellar cyclists blocked me in on a narrow part of the path near Fullerton Ave.  I look up to see a girl that had been out running (I presume) had stopped in the middle of the path to mess with her shoe.  Almost took the girl out.  Really she should have moved off the path since it was such a narrow section and at least the first cyclist apologized when he realized what was about to go down. The 2nd guy, yeah, nothing.  I'm happy to report my brakes work :)  I give props to all you du athletes and triathletes.  From now on if I get the urge to bike the lakefront I think I may do it earlier in the day.  It may be safer for me then :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


200th post!  Sadly I don't have much to say on such a momentous occasion.  

I *think* I may have finished my wedding album.  Now all I need to do is pull the trigger and place the order.  I know, I know...We were married last August, we received the pictures in late September and I'm just finishing it now? You know it's really difficult to narrow down the pictures (nearly 800 between the photographer and friends/family!) and figure out the design (created the album in iPhoto on my new Macbook!  Macdaddy motivated me to get the album done once and for all.) Once I place the order then it can't be changed and that's just too final Although I hope to have the order placed by the end of the week.  Enough procrastination already! And yes, this is what I did with my week in the office instead of actual work.  I may have completed a few reports and sent a couple e-mails to look like I was busy but really those just got in the way of my photo book design.  Next up - honeymoon pics!  First I should really do some expense reports...

Thanks to photo book design day I didn't go for a run until late in the day.  Although today it worked in my advantage as the sun came out in the afternoon.  It was still cool and very windy but nearly not as nasty as the past 2 days.  Another fantastic run!  9 miles, easy breezy. I'm enjoying the good runs and trying to hold on to the "happy" feeling to remember when the running may not be in such a happy place.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Click - All Better

Monday ended up being a rainy, cold, dreary, kind of day where all you want to do is lay in bed. Unfortunately since I still need a paycheck I worked.  I was supposed to have an easy run.  Instead of going out in the crappy weather I bitched and moaned about going to the gym instead.  My husband made me go which ended up being really good.  I was able to lift for the first time in weeks (my tri's are killing today!) and had a nice cross-training session.  

Tuesday rolled around and although there ended up not being much rain it was still cold and overcast.  It took me until nearly 5:00 to find any desire to change and head outside but I did. It ended up being a fantastic 7 miles.  It was supposed to be on the easy side and I didn't feel like I was pushing it but I ended up with a 9:25 min/mile average!  I kept trying to slow myself down but it actually was more uncomfortable to run slower.  Amazing how I can feel like junk and think it's going to be a "bad" running day and then something clicks and it all falls into an amazing place.   Days like today are reminders of why I'm putting myself through marathon training (only 34 days!)

Once hubbie returned home from the grocery store I whipped up a minestrone/veggie soup and we had ourselves a tasty and healthy dinner!  I ruined it with a Southport Grocery vanilla cupcake for dessert ;)  If you have any idea what I'm talking about you know it's a little piece of heaven in every bite.  I shared with the hubbie - everything in moderation!  

Monday, April 13, 2009

Too Much

And we're back!  Weekends are way too short to begin with and even more-so when you throw driving 5 1/2 hours on 2 days nearly back to back.  It was a fun weekend that involved too much drinking and eating!  See:

exhibit A - The delicious appletini at Cana

exhibit B - The Whitey's "Maggie" Burger.  Seriously Whitey's may just have the best burgers anywhere.  No I did not eat the whole thing.  I cut it in half and barely finished that!  

So my healthy eating went out the door this weekend.  But it always does when I go home.  To make myself feel ummm...less bloated I went for a short, easy run Sunday morning.  I felt so much better afterwards.  We ended up leaving late from Ohio to drive back (thanks Masters tournament!) and there was no where to stop so I was forced to eat McDonalds.  My stomach is killing me.  I haven't had mickey d's in several years even though I live in walking distance of 2. But I was hungry and there wasn't much open on the toll road in the middle of nowhere.   

No work travel this week - yay!  That means I can get back on schedule and maybe even have time to cross-train/lift weights.  It is raining today so I will either move the run to tomorrow or head to the dreadmill.  

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Early 16

This week flew by.  They always go quicker when I travel. I made it home late last night after a lengthy delay in Dallas.  I'm really starting to hate that airport.  It may be on my top 5 worst airports.  Maybe it's just I can't stand American Airlines.  Anyways now that I'm home it's almost time to leave again.  My family was apparently missing me and my husband so my sister told me I was driving back to Ohio to visit this weekend.  I do what I'm told :)  that and it's my stepmom's birthday and my dad is cooking a huge meal for Easter.  

With all this travel I had to be creative with my running schedule again.  I knew I wouldn't find much time to run while in Ohio.  We really aren't there that long and this weekend is going to be a busy one.  16 was out of the question.  I was planning to run Friday morning before driving back.  Then I realized what a horrible idea that was for me.  I would be so uncomfortable for the 5 1/2 hour drive.  So the 16 got done this afternoon.  And for today's run I decided to take pics of my usual path.  It all started because I had to stop less than a mile in to use the now open bathroom facilities.  Then I decided to take a pic since Marcy is busy packing and hasn't had the time to take any of her typical bathroom shots!

I thought this bathroom would be a lot more gross.  Maybe since it was early in the season it hasn't had time to mature.

the north beach bridge about 4 1/4 into the run.  I hate this bridge. It's not so bad 4 miles into the run but on the way back - it SUCKS!  My quads burn and ankles scream every time I start the short climb.  Although I love running over lakeshore drive.  It is so much better than the tunnels that run under the drive.

the cool view from the top of the north beach bridge.  light traffic for rush hour!

the north beach boat where all the cool, sexy kids play every weekend in the summer.  I'm too old to hang here anymore but I pass all the pretty people every 4.5 miles into the run then again on the way back.  

just over 7 miles down and about to reach the downtown marina/yacht club  You don't even want to know what it costs to dock a boat here!  I have passed Navy Pier at this point and gone under a bridge for a half mile.  when you come out the lake is on the left but you don't see the city for another 1/2 mile.  Then you come around a curve to a cool view of downtown.  

On the way back. There is this random hill in the middle of the path.  i curse it nearly every time.

around mile 11 on the way back down by oak street beach.  I've just passed the beach at this point.  wouldn't it be nice to live in one of those condo's to the left!

the start and end of my run about 1/2 mile from my condo.

Happy Easter all!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Recovery Sock Review

These crazy socks called recovery sock have been making the rounds in the running blogworld.  I of course am a sucker for anything cool, new, and pink.  Plus when multiple people rave about anything that could help me feel better after a long run as it is usually impossible for me to walk down stairs without cringing my interest is piqued.  Normally I wouldn't pay over $30 for a pair of socks but like I said you people had me convinced.

I have to say they arrived quickly, about 3 days, and the purchasing process was smooth and a nice little confirmation e-mail.  I like it being easy to buy more stuff!  Of course I tried them right after a mid range run so although they looked super hot ;) I didn't notice any difference but they were comfortable.  After running 20 this weekend I almost forgot about them as they got kicked under my bed.  gah!  After coming home from lunch I crawled back into bed, put on the comfy pants, found pinky and pulled those bad boys on for the next few hours.  I noticed a difference in my lower legs immediately.  We were meeting friends for dinner and I was hoping to not look like a geriatric person who lost her walker.  By dinner I had substantially less foot and ankle aches and pain and absolutely no calf issues.  It was incredible as I was hurting at lunch time!  I'm a convert and may have to buy a little less conspicuous pair now :)

It snowed here yesterday but luckily  nothing stuck to the ground.  I hope to run an easy 5-6 before heading back to O'Hare.  Off to the great state of Texas this week to visit the doc's in San Antonio and Dallas.  It will be nice to have a short break from the cold and snow even if most of my time will be spent inside in research centers.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Perfect 20

If only every run could go as well as today's 20 miles went.  Everything just came together almost too perfectly.  The day was cool (not quite 50 degrees) but sunny, the path was busy but not too crowded, and I never hit the wall since I paced myself much better this week.  I even ended up with negative splits the last 4 miles.  Plus, no major pain other than my typical ankle and arch soreness which didn't set in until much later in the run.  Yay for better conditioning! Today did so much for my overall running confidence.  I was starting to feel a bit down from this training since I seemed to repeatedly have more "bad" runs and not overall not meeting my weekly goals (especially in the area of speedwork).  I take with good and the bad there just seemed to be a lot more bad happening which was starting to affect me more than I was letting on.  It's good to know I can do it :)

Unbeknownst to me a 50K was happening along the lakefront today as well.  At first I thought some guy had left a bib on from a previous race because normally there are signs up or the path is closed.  Then I saw a few more and was actually able to read one of the racers bibs as  I passed him.  These people seriously motivated me to finish strong.  They started before me and overall looked really strong and still going when I passed them again nearly 3 hours later.  If I was feeling pain I could only imagine what these runners felt with no crowd support and few aid stations.  

Oh and having Lady Gaga's Pokerface and Flo Rida's Low shuffle at the most perfect point helped get the booty moving too ;)  Plus my hubby met me for the last 1.5 miles.  Although he is not the best pacer as he tends to move a little too fast for me when I've already run over 18 miles he kept me moving.  See everything just fell into place so fantastically today!  Now it's nap time then dinner with friends (Indian food - yummy!  Their first experience so I'm excited for them!)  I'm treating myself to the large Kingfisher beer tonight :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Tired but Happy

What a week!  I'm exhausted but very happy to be home.  Yesterday when I arrived home it was cold and overcast.  I didn't want to run; I was tired and cranky.  The combination of many early mornings, combined with interrupted sleep, and long days working at the different doc's offices left me with little energy.  I figured I could skip the run since I had woken up early to workout at the hotel (weights and elliptical) but it was not an intense workout by any means.   Then I started to feel guilty that I wasn't going to make my weekly mileage and get a run done before this weekends 20.  So after 30 minutes of sulking around the house I changed into some running clothes in hopes to motivate myself.  Then that caused my husband to feel like he should do something :) so then I could not go!  He run's significantly less than I do and because of this when he gets ready to go for a run this always motivates me to get out the door.  

I had 9 miles with 7 at tempo to do.  I told myself to see how I felt and do as much as I could no pressure.  There was some intense wind but it was at my back on the way out.  On the way back it was painful but gave me a much more intense workout (and motivation to get home sooner since it was freezing!)  I'm happy to report I hit my goal pace for every mile but 1!!!  The only reason I think the 1 mile was off (and by 6 seconds average) was because I stopped for water and garmy took awhile to get back to normal pacing. 

I'm sore today after doing arm weights for the first time in weeks and my legs are tired (but good tired).  I'll be taking it easy before this training cycle's first 20 mile run tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


A lot of re-arranging the running schedule again this week.  Monday was a day trip to Rochester in which I woke at 4:15 to catch my 6:30 am flight.  I think I walked back in the door around 7 p.m.  Tuesday was much of the same except I was in Queens, NY and delayed 2 hours coming home.  By the time I arrived home the last 2 nights I was too exhausted and hungry to even think about going for a run or any sort of physical activity other than eating then sleeping Another travel day today to St. Louis.  I found time to get outside for an easy 7 before this afternoon's flight.  I feel so much better now.  It was a nice cool day for a run.  Barring any kind of delay tomorrow I should be home in the early afternoon so I hope to get a tempo run done.  I could say that I am going to wake up before my visit in the a.m. and get the run in but who am I kidding.  I love sleep and since I haven't had a lot of it lately I am going to take full advantage this evening/tomorrow morning.

These last 2 weeks any sort of cross-training and weights have fallen by the wayside.  When I barely have time to run these get cut first.  I hope to resume both once this week and a couple times through the end of this training.