Friday, October 29, 2010

foto friday

First, please ignore the no make-up/dark circles/crazy hair pre-run look.

This is the obnoxious yellow shirt half marathoners received at the Akron marathon/half marathon in September. I'm not really sure you get the full effect from this picture but I think it is safe to say I stood out on my 8 mile run tonight. Safety first :)

Of course the full marathoners received normal red and blue Brooks running jackets and a finishers t-shirt which was a non-ridiculously bright color. The relay runners received grey shirts. This is happened several times where all the other distances get normal color shirts. Not sure why the races I sign up for always have the crazy color of the event?!?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

wednesday what?

What a windy run! It's sunny and in the upper 50's so but the 37 mph wind gusts were a bit of a challenge. I wanted to get something done before my nearly all day flight (layover in Dallas) to Shreveport today so I went for a short 4. It took me until halfway through the 2nd mile to get everything working the way it should. I decided to pick up the pack on 2 and 3 for a mini tempo run. The faster miles felt pretty darn good! Now it is time to throw some clothes in a bag and head to the airport again.

My countdown to vacation is on like donkey kong. Only 5 days - wahoo! In my view vacation is a time to get away from it all by reading the books I don't have time to read on a lounge chair by the pool/ocean while sipping on a fruity drink. I really don't want to do anything. I've never considered exercise much in my vacation plans. I do explore and sign up for fun activities but rarely decide to go for a run. It's not like I'm not up early. For some reason on vacation I become an early bird but I like the spend the extra time in the morning having a leisurely breakfast and walking the beach. This vacation I really should be getting some form of running done. I know I'm not going to follow my schedule as it dictates and the 12 miler may not happen but I'm hoping it won't hurt me too much when I'm back home in full training mode.

Do you follow your running schedule when on vacation? Or do you skip it off all together? How do you motivate yourself to get the miles in when all you want to do is relax?

Monday, October 25, 2010

1 week of craziness

Why is the week before vacation the worst work week? I have 2 work trips (not for my study by the way) a day trip to Vegas booked only 4 days ago and an overnight to Shreveport, Louisiana. The travel time is the worst time suck of this week but I also need to fit in all the other work "stuff" that would normally be put off when traveling because I won't be in the office for 2 weeks. I know it will be all worth it in a week but getting there can be a bit difficult.
This week will also be a bit trying in fitting in the workouts once again with the travel Tuesday - Thursday. Luckily I was home today so I was able to take a much needed break for a mid distance run. Since I left a bit late and I was on the edge of hunger I cut the original 8 miles plan to 7 miles mid run. On the back portion of the out and back run I started thinking about some issues and my leg turnover quickened. When I finally looked at my watch I was maintaining a sub-9 minute pace comfortably. Whoa! Guess I was a little burned up about all those issues ;) I dialed it back but still finished with a very nice negative split. Then I came home and couldn't heat up leftovers fast enough!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

weekend running

Friday's 8 miler felt effortless. Even though I had run the 2 previous days they were easier runs so my legs still felt fresh. Friday the temps were cool and there was no wind. All the makings for a fab run! I tried to hold a bit back because I knew I had a longer run the next morning and I was running these two a bit closer together than I should but my legs wouldn't listen. It felt fantastic and I finished with a ridiculous smile on my face.

Saturday morning I woke up late thanks to staying up to late watching scary movies. Goodness, I love cheesy horror films. The last 2 weeks of October are prime time horror cheese! Anyways, Maggie
this is how she sleeps on car rides to Ohio and back
the cutest and most annoying cat in the world thought it was time for us to wake up. Normally, she wants nothing to do with us unless she's bored.

It took me awhile but I finally made it out the door for my long run. Yeah, it was closer to noon than not at this point. It was rainy but warm and I didn't want to run but knew I had to (the schedule said so!). I wore my Nike running rain coat... big mistake... HUGE. It cleared up and became very warm less than halfway though and I started sweating through the coat. I was miserable. My legs were heavy, I was overheating, and I couldn't find my happy running place mentally. My head was all over the place. I didn't want to be on a long run which is the absolute worst. I can handle heavy, tired legs but when my head's not in the running game I'm ruined. The entire run I spent making deals with myself. "Just get to point... at the halfway point you'll... at this point you can walk..., etc. I spent a lot more time walking than I would have liked but at the end of the day I got 15 miles done. I may have been happy about mile 4-6 then it was over for me. I couldn't find the "sweet spot" and it was rough. The run didn't go as I had hoped but it was done and it was a heck of a lot more than a lot of other people did on Saturday. At least that's what I tried to tell myself.

It may not have been my day but it got done. We have good days, we have bad days, and we have those days that fall in between. I'm glad I didn't give up on myself no matter how I was feeling. And that says a lot.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

calling all bloggers

I'm updating the blog page in these parts. Still working on the my running story page but have added my race reports and will continue to update my restaurant review page. If you want to be listed on my blog roll please let me know! I'm always looking for new blogs to follow and I haven't updated the roll in awhile. I follow a lot in google ready and I'll update with that info but if you are a silent party I may not know about, leave a comment. Or if you know of or have a fantastic blog to follow please let me know!

In other news for the first time ever I lifted with my hand weights after a 5 mile run this week. Usually I totally bail on weights but not this week and it felt great! Yes, it was only about 15-20 minutes but it was more than I normally would have done. The squats and lunges were a bit difficult after a run but I'm glad I put the effort in to getting it done. I hope to actually make this a weekly occurrence. Maybe by putting it out there I will be keeping myself accountable.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wednesday what?

Two weeks from now I will be sitting on a beach in Maui with a drink in hand. Yeah, I.can't.wait! It hasn't really sunk in that I will be in paradise in less than 2 weeks and on my first *real vacation since our honeymoon over 2 years ago (picture to the left our last trip). Maui has definitely been on the list of want to go especially before kids and now we are finally going! Our travel wants is long and includes some "never going to happen unless I somehow win the lottery" type destinations and a lot of them include a beach. One day maybe the Maldives, Seychelles, Tahiti, Italy, so on and so forth, trip may happen until then I'm enjoying where I can go.

If you could go anywhere on vacation where would you go and who would be your travel companion(s)?

*I consider real vacations one that last more than a long weekend. We tend to take a lot of 4 day trips.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"joys" of flying

I've had some pretty bad flight experiences; everything from babies screaming the entire flight, kids throwing up in their puke bag right next to me, very large men who should have bought 2 seats spilling into mine and taking up my very limited personal space (for 4 hours). I could go on but I try not to focus on it too much because it will happen again! Tonight's flight to Wichita was up there on the "bad list". An older woman was traveling with her itty, bitty, cute little teacup size dog and sitting right behind me. Yeah, you know where this is going... Nearly the entire 2 hour flight the dog barked loudly and she did nothing to quiet it down. Oh my splitting head! I understand about loving your pets and wanting to take them with you everywhere you go but sometimes there needs to be a line. Train your dog not to bark or to be comfortable in their carrier before subjecting everyone on the flight to the incessant yapping.

okay rant over :)

On a separate note congratulations to all you Boston marathon qualifiers who actually got in and registered in the 8 hour window! A huge congrats to my friend Mr. H, who ran with me in Cleveland this year. He ran Columbus on Sunday in 3:15 and thought he hadn't qualified because he is 34. However by April he will be a year older and provided 5 extra minutes which count for registration now. Yea! Congrats to my friend for qualifying for the first time (and the huge PR on Sunday!) AND congrats to all of you who qualified!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

the forgotten exercise equipment

When I travel for work I don't necessarily have the largest per diem for hotels. Typically I stay in Hampton Inn's since the majority of them have been updated over the last couple of years. That's usually as nice of a hotel I'm allowed. Though I really do wish it was all Westin's and Hilton's for me ;) These last 2 weeks I've stayed at Homewood Suites because they were close to where I had to go and in the per diem. The one detail I forgot about Homewood Suites... nearly all of them have free weights in addition to the typical cardio equipment! Weights tend to be the first thing to go when I'm in the middle of training. Between the busy work travel schedule, the running schedule, life, and my general laziness I definitely don't lift as much as I would like or should. Now that I have some time seeing I'm not training for anything in particular this moment it's nice to get back into "it". My booty is a bit sore from the lunges and step-ups but a good kind of sore. It's only been 2 weeks and already feeling better!

Is there any one exercise or thing you drop once you really get into training only to pick it up in the "off-season"? Or are you a well rounded exerciser mid-training / how do you make it all work?

Monday, October 11, 2010

bloggers running

Monday after work I had to the opportunity to meet up with the lovely Amanda from Run To the Finish. She was in Chicago for work and I was actually home! The plan was to meet at her hotel for a run before her client dinner... of course I happened to get a "little" turned around when driving from the office to the hotel so I was ridiculously late. I'm usually early to everything and so my lateness was a little stressful for me. Not the way I hoped to start my first blogger meet-up! Sorry Amanda! Luckily I made it and we headed to the lakefront for a wonderful run. The day had been warm and sunny but as we made our way north the fog rolled in and cooled the city. It was so nice to have someone to talk to along my favorite route. Not sure of the distance because in my hurried state I left my garmin in the car... I'm guessing 5ish miles. Exactly what I needed after a day in the office filing :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

pep in my step (and some chicago tips)

Today I had a little extra pep in my running step. I was slightly pressed for time before my afternoon flight and I had left the house a little later than I had originally planned. The weather was sunny and a bit cool. Everything was in place for a faster run though I don't think my good run was due to any of that. Instead I was thinking of everyone running the Chicago marathon this Sunday! I felt like I was the one tapering and getting ready for the race. I'm so jealous of you all ;) I know I'm going to have a blast at the wedding in NC... but... there is this energy in the city right now (and around blog land) that is making me so excited for all of you who are running! It makes me really wish I was in state this weekend. Instead I'll be cheering you on virtually!

For all you who are running have fun and enjoy the city! I haven't run NY or Boston or another big race but my experience at Chicago was like no other. It is the only marathon I haven't needed my ipod because I was so entertained the entire time. Here are some of my tips:
  • If you have people there to see you be sure to plan where they will be AND what side of the street. Trust me on this there are too many people to keep scanning back and forth. Or have them hold an obnoxiously large sign or balloons on a stick to easily see them ;)
  • Line up sooner than later. Otherwise you are going to have to jump barricades into an already overstuffed start line.
  • Don't freak out when your garmin goes haywire the first mile because it will and it will continue throughout downtown. You start off by runningunder Wacker/through a tunnel and are in a big city.
  • Take in the deafening roar of some of the 500,000 spectators when you start but don't get overly excited and lose your race by playing dodge 'em.
  • Be sure to look all around and up. People, camera's, buildings, different neighborhoods, crazy dressed up runners, inspirational runners, stuff to see will be all around you!
  • As you turn into Boystown (mile 7-9) enjoy the boy cheerleaders. They pretty much rock.
  • If you are a middle to back of the packer expect a full race...the.entire.race. At mile 21 heading into Chinatown I felt like I was still tripping over people.
  • Mile 24-25 is the quietest (and most spread out) section of the race. Though the people who are out there do their best to make up for it.
  • Wear your name on your shirt.
  • You end up on an uphill. All Chicago races do. It sucks but let the massive crowd and seeing yourself on the big screen carry you through until you turn to your left and can see that finish line.
  • If meeting people afterwards meet them in the designated area and stand by your letter. Everyone tries to be tricky and stand by the XYZ thinking no one else has thought of this.

If you need a suggestion on where to go pre or post race let me know! I love to give people some ideas about this lovely city!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Just call me Mrs. Clean

Is anyone else having problems writing October 1st today or is it just me? Where did September go?

So the in-laws are coming to visit this weekend. Even though they live less than 3 hours south of the city they have been to Chicago exactly 2 other times the 8 years I've been with Jacob. They aren't big fans of the city ;) Other than trying to figure out how to entertain them this weekend I have to do the mad house scrub. Every time people come to visit I run around cleaning like crazy but I know the MIL will have an even more critical eye. She already thinks I don't cook for her baby boy (I do cook but she only hears about all the restaurants we go to). I cannot have her thinking I can't keep a clean house either! Our place isn't so much dirty as it is messy and cluttered. For example, we don't have a laundry room, only a laundry closet so our clean clothes are overflowing in a basket in the hallway. Problem is I'm a bit lazy when it comes to cleaning and am sidetracked easily. Like I just found a Criminal Minds marathon on A&E kind of sidetracked. This is going to take me all day... Luckily, I work from home and have a 1/2 day today. I would rather be doing my long run but scrubbing the bathroom is a workout right?

Hope you all have a cleaning free, fun weekend!