Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New look, new title

I have Jenn to thank for part of the title, the "mission accomplished" part. Thanks for the input, Jenn!

The mission was the marathon, and that's over (yes, I realize it was 2+ mos ago). Now I need to move on to another goal. I won't stop running, but for now, half marathons will be my max. I will run another marathon, but I have other things I'd like to accomplish first, like going back to school. I figure between work, family & school, marathon training is out for now. I can't commit to the time it takes.

So, that said, it is New Year's Eve. Like alot of you out there, I have been pondering over the past year, as well as the upcoming one. It was a good year, but there is always room for improvement, changes and new goals.

A big goal is fitness - getting back to regular running and occasional weight training. Nutrition is another - time to put away all the holiday crap. My other big goal is school. Specifically, cosmetology. I've wanted to do it for years, but finally have found the right fit with the school. The one I choose has a very flexible program, and offers a free first 40 hours to try it out.

I'm excited, and a bit nervous about figuring out how to make it all work, but am confident it will all happen.

There's other things too, like continuing to keep in mind that I can only control myself and not how others act; keeping in touch with friends & family more often and trying to be more patient and less defensive!

So, as 2008 ends and we ring in 2009, here are a few sayings from my vast list:

** Don’t be afraid. You needn’t slay the beast nor scale the entire mountain. That’s not how it’s done. You only need to move through today. Think of the distance you’ve already covered. Focus on your strengths. Let each new step remind you of your freedom. Let every breath you take remind you of your power. Seek out friends and guides, they’re anxious to help.

** The only way to get what you really want, is to know what you really want. And the only way to know what you really want, is to know yourself. And the only way to know yourself, is to be yourself. And the only way to be yourself is to listen to your heart.

** A positive attitude has nothing to do with what happens to you. It's what you do with, and how you react to, what happens to you. Your humor, internal belief system, and your ability to look at things from a different perspective. That's the key to a positive attitude. Stuck in traffic, NO PROBLEM! Turn on the radio and laugh! It's all how you look at life!

Happy New Year, see you in 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I need a new blog title..

since it's not about Chicago '08 anymore. Been there, done that. Not in the time I wanted, but I'm over that. I started, I finished. Tadaaa....

So, if anyone has any great ideas, let me know. And yes, I do plan to actually start blogging again. It's been a busy month. But, the new year is upon us, and I'm excited about that. Be sure to check back for the spiffy new title and look..

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's time..

to get motivated again. I read an article the other day about starting up again after taking way too much time off from running (for various reasons - too busy, injury, etc.). The goal is to EASE back into it. I'm not so good at easing into anything. I'm much better in jumping in with both feet, regardless of consequences.

At this point, there is no reason for me to run a zillion miles at one time. It's freezing outside with snow on the ground, so that makes it more difficult. All I have to do is a few miles, a few times a week. If I feel like getting crazy, I throw in some weight training. Really, how hard is that?

I need to sign up for a race, something to give me motivition. I'd love to say I'm running for the sheer enjoyment, but having a goal gets me off my butt alot faster.

There's a half in Kenosha in May, so I think I'm going for that one. Yes, it's in May, so I have time, but at least it's something. I miss running and I miss how I feel when I do it. Running is one of those things that no matter how I feel before the run, I always feel better afterward.

So, run on. You'll find me on the treadmill tomorrow...finally.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Since it is the day after Thanksgiving, it is officially Christmas season! This weekend, we'll put up the Christmas decorations and get all ready. However, first I have to clean & straighten up my house, which honestly, isn't happening. Instead, I'm sitting here blogging, hanging out on Facebook and watching shows I've TiVo'd. It'll get done eventually.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We went to my sister's in-laws and had the best time. Ate way too much, but that's what Thanksgiving is all about.

Have to brag...my boy has been given the Core Value Kid award for November at school. Each month, 1 student is picked in each classroom to be the core value kid. For November, it was caring. His teacher told me it was an easy choice, as he is the first to jump in and help whenever any other student or she needs help! So, so proud of him!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sooooo..

Now that football is over and not consuming my entire existence, what do I do?? Same thing happened last year. After spending 4 1/2 months with the football parents, I now must return to my regular life.

Well, there's running. I had good intentions this morning, but nada. I was evil-cranky yesterday and thought sleep would be better. There's also the stuff I wanted to do around the house, like clean. And paint.

However, with Thanksgiving a few days away, let's talk about my favorite dumb commercial - Kohls. It's the one with the 4 dogs talking to the chick getting out of bed to shop. At 4 am. In a dress & heels. Seriously? While I'm no "black Friday" shopper, you can't tell me any of them are getting up at 4 am, dressing to the nines to elbow each other out of the way for the last Wii (or whatever the hot toy is this year, I really have no idea). If she had rolled out of bed, threw on sweats, Uggs and a baseball hat, it would be WAY more believeble.

And that Key Lime Cove commercial..I don't know why it creeps me out, but it does. It even creeps out B...

On a totally unrelated note, I'm watching Oprah. Dr. Oz is teaching us how to live to 100+. Currently, they're at the "blue zone" in Italy. The 99 yr old man who still does daily manual labor says his long life is due to wine, cheese and bread. Sign me up.

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. Eat, drink and be merry!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What a Season!

Today was B's championship game. Of all the Bantam teams in our league, it was us and TriCities. We ended up losing, 0-6. However...our running back scored a TD in the first half, but our team was called for holding and it was taken back. The other teams TD was a fumble recovery in the end zone. Our defense played awesome, and so did theirs.

TriCities is an undefeated team this season. We held them to 6 (in my opinion, undeserved) points and only 2 first downs, something no other team has done. We had more first downs, but just couldn't score. And, in defense of TriCities, they were the only team to hold us to 0 points in any game this season.

Out of 20+ cities in the global league that governs 10,000 kids from the Bantam level through Heavyweights, our boys made it to the Bantam championship. They got medals for winning the division championship last weekend and trophys for second place this weekend. Quite an accomplishment!

For a team with only a few kids out of 18 who have ever played organized football before, they have come so far since July. They played hard and with alot of determination and heart.

We had awesome parents and awesome players. Go Blue, you boys rocked it this season!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

SUPERBOWL BOUND!!!

Yep, they did it! B's football team pulled off a win today! We are officially headed to the Superbowl!

The game was iffy, 0-0 at halftime. In the second half, we scored, then they scored. Then, we scored again! We are the division champs and next weekend, we play for the Bantam class championship!

GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One Month

The marathon was exactly one month ago. Oddly enough, today would have been a perfect day to run a marathon. At 5:23 pm, it is 47 degrees outside. It was cloudy and not windy. Go figure.

Soooo, what have I done since then? Well, I have run several times and began to weight train. Not so hot on the eating part, but whatever. Then, it happened. My November allergies kicked in and you got it, I'm sick. It's happened every year for a few now. Usually I can't taste Thanksgiving dinner, so it's a little early this year, which will bode well for Thanksgiving. You'd think I would have take steps to prevent it - allergy meds or something. And it did occur to me, I just didn't do anything about it. Lesson learned.

If you all remember, I promised the weather gods I wouldn't complain about the winter if they gave me good weather on marathon day. Well weather gods, that didn't happen (to their credit, it was a decent training season). So guess what, it's going to be 39 and flurries this weekend at B's playoff game. Guess who will be complaining???? Better luck next time!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

WE WON! WE WON!

What a week! Historic election, Chicago weather going from 70+ to 30's, a great report card for B and his FOOTBALL TEAM WINNING ROUND ONE OF THE PLAYOFFS, 25-0, I might add...all in the first 8:30 minutes of the game.

Yes, I'm thrilled about the election results, not so thrilled about the weather, even more thrilled about the great report card, and very, very excited about the game - it was so fun..because we were up by 24+ points, we had to change out our players, so B got to be QB again for most of the game. He did a great job, and even ran for 30ish yards total. We have such a great team, great coaches and great parents.

Next weekend, we're off to our division playoffs, then when we win that one, off to the "superbowl"! What a season!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day!

I love election day. I'm not a big political junkie, but I've always loved election day. Today is no different. I would have much rather been at home today watching CNN obsessively, but nope, had to go to work.

We get home from football practice and MY DIRECT TV BOX ISN'T WORKING! REALLY???? You'll be happy to know after 20 minutes of trying reset the stupid thing, it is now working. WHEW. And thank goodness for the internet. I now can watch TV AND browse the web to cure my election obsession. Gotta love technology!

Here's my rant about election day...WGN has Judy Baar Topinka and some other guys on giving their .02. The anchors keep going to the three of 'em for so-called "insight". Gag me. They're all so annoying. One of the anchors asks Topinka which candidate's tax plan is better. She says McCain..of course she does, she's a republican. Then they go to the Dem dude. Guess what his answer was?? Shocking, I know. Just tell me the numbers and go away.

I'm going to be tired tomorrow, because I will be up watching election coverage into the wee hours. Join me, this could be fun!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mother Runners??

This post will be all over the place, but I will start by directing any of you runners out there who are also mothers, to Kristina's blog. Take a look at the post about her book. Then, take a look at all her posts. Her blog is awesome!

Next, mother-related themes..B's team won on Saturday, 24-0, and he intercepted again. YAHOO! We're already headed to the playoffs, but his team is also #1 in their division. Championships, here we come!

Also..get out and vote tomorrow. I don't care for who, just vote.

And finally, back to running, I did just that Sunday. 5 miles in just over 48 minutes. Rock on.....

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sports, sports & more sports....

We went to the Blackhawks game last night. Dave won 4 tickets on Monday at a union meeting, and our seats were 3 rows off the ice. My brother in law, John, is a HUGE hockey fan, so he came with us. We all were outfitted in Hawks apparel, courtesy of John's collection, and off we went.

What a blast! B got a practice puck before the game from one of the officials on the ice and he loved every minute of the game. He was screaming and jumping up and down most of the game (well, when he wasn't eating hot dogs, nachos or pretzels). I've never been that close to any professional sport before, so it was quite the experience, especially when they chucked each other against the glass. We were hoping for a good fight, but no such luck. The Hawks won, 2-5. Hockey is officially my second favorite sport, right behind football. Plenty of action, the potential for some butt-kicking.... oh yeah....

The other big news related to the hockey game is B would now like to skate more (although, he does claim football is still his favorite). John and Juj took him back in the spring, and like every other sport the boy plays, it didn't take him long to pick it up and buzz around the ice for 2 hours. So, we now have to make time for THAT. The good news about that is he loves sports, and I love that he does and that he is so active. Guess where you'll find me once football season wraps up?? (Okay, one cannot ignore the "hockey mom/pitbull/lipstick" comment from earlier in this political season. I may not be a republican, but I'm pretty sure I can pull off the "hockey mom" persona!)

Back to football...B plays today. It's our make-up game from the rainy September weekend. The team we play today beat us in the "superbowl" last year, so B and the other 3 kids from last years team are out for revenge. Those 4 kids have been named captains for todays game, and they all think that is very cool. We're already in the playoffs, which begin next weekend, but we're still looking forward to a big win today.

And finally, B announced that while we will continue to watch college football and the NFL, he doesn't want to watch hockey on TV. He'd prefer to go to the games. He thinks that is alot more fun. Anyone have Hawks tickets they want to unload???

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Midget in a Bottle?

Contrary to his normal "I never stop moving" MO, anyone who knows B knows that he is also a pretty creative kid. He spends alot of time sitting at the table, drawing and coloring. His pictures are always very colorful and there is always alot going on in the picture.

Tonite, he brings one over that he drew in school. No color, just pencil. It's a midget in a wine bottle saying "help me, help me". However, there is also a meteor, the sun, fireworks, a rocket, a big hand, a boomerang and a dog (not his best, he says). You'll be happy to know the meteor hits the bottle (the picture is complete with breaking glass on the side of the bottle), and the midget gets out.

I don't know what this says about my kid, or my parenting. I'm thinking I shouldn't read into it too much, because it might send me right into therapy. I'm just going to go with the thought that he's very creative and has unlimited potential in the graphic arts field. That makes me feel alot better about my parenting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Enough Already

I love Dancing With the Stars. Sure, I loved it more last season when Jason Taylor was on, but I still watch. But enough already. Get rid of Cloris Leachman. She's not funny, she's obnoxious and she can't dance. As my Mom put it. "She makes old people look bad." Let's hope tonite is her last night.

And am I the only one completely creeped out by the kid dancers? I don't have a good reason why, it's just creepy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

GO WARREN!!!

I haven't talked much about B's football this year, but we are having a great season. We won yesterday 29-6, AND my boy intercepted the ball TWICE (he almost had 3but the ball slipped right through his hands the third time). We have a make-up game next weekend, but we are onto the playoffs.

The boys have played hard this year and have had an absolute BLAST! Kudos to all our coaches and the great group of parents we have!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Apparently, it runs in the family...

My sister, Juj, has often wondered why she runs like someone is chasing her. It seems to run in the family. 4 miles today in just over 38 minutes. Why am I in such a hurry? And yes, I want to get faster, but it doesn't have to happen the first time out.

The good news is that it felt really good to get out there again, even if it was windy on the way back.

Running in the fall brings an interesting set of issues: the previously mentioned wind, darkness coming a lot sooner and leaves. Especially wet leaves, which can be slippery. The leaves almost took me out, but no fear, I regained my step and managed to not break an ankle.

On a completely separate note, GO WARREN....B's team plays today and if we win, it's onto the playoffs!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Better

You'll be happy to know my week got better after the last post. Oh, and the ice cream wasn't even that good.

I've worked out twice this week, on the bike, so that was good. I'm going to run this weekend, and can't wait. I told myself I'd take 2 weeks off after the marathon just in case the calf was worse than it felt. So, I'm off to hit the pavement, either Saturday or Sunday, depending on the weather. I'm really, really excited.

Runners are an interesting bunch (in addition to being really nice, funny, attractive, you get the idea!!!). You finish one race - regardless of the length - and think "if I only ran faster, or didn't walk as much" or whatever, and you think you can be faster next time. That's where I'm at now. Yes, I'm thrilled I finished this year. Now I want to do it again. Faster.

So, Jenn, I'm about 80% in for next year. At least if I register, I can always drop out. That doesn't work the other way around.

Who's with me??? Brandi, whattya think????

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sooooo, it's Monday

It was supposed to be day 1 of gettin' back into it. The day started out on the right track, even lunch went well. Then I got home and it was comfort food all the way. In my defense, it was 1. a great day for comfort food (cold and rainy here in Northern IL) and 2. I did just come off 18 weeks of marathon training. One lousy night won't kill me, but a very long string of them will.

So, as I sit here, the ice cream is out for one last hurrah.

Jenn is trying to convince me to do Chicago '09. Maybe it's not a bad idea. It's a goal, right? And I did say I do better with a goal. Yes, I KNOW it is an entire year away, but there are a few halfs on the way. And maybe if I actually keep running over the winter this year, I can make that 4:45 for next year.

Tomorrow is another day, right??

Friday, October 17, 2008

Now What???

So, this week I've done nothing. Well, not NOTHING. I've worked (4 days anyway) and taken B to football practice. That's pretty much it. I was sore through Wednesday, but had a massage on Thursday and feel great now.

I know I'm supposed take some time off to recover, and I do plan to do just that. The other part of me doesn't know what to do with herself. I should relish this time to relax and not get all crazy about what I should be doing, but I do much better when I have a goal in mind.

So, here's the plan: take the entire week to do nothing and eat whatever I want. Next week, I get back into weight training & will get back on the stationary bike (it's not really a stationary bike - it's my bike on a trainer thingy). I'm giving my calf a full two weeks to recover. It doesn't hurt at all, but I don't want to run the risk of further injury. Next week also begins me (loosely) following the Weight Watchers Core plan again.

I'm also thinking I should rename my blog, since Chicago '08 is over, Round Two, completed. But I don't know what to call it, or if I can even change the name and still have the link work. That might be too technical for me, so we'll see..

So, my next goal is a half marathon is in March 2009 - I think there is one in N. IL that month, so I will plan on that. I know I said I'd take next year off from the marathon....but....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tagged!

I got tagged by Jen last week, so I figured now is a good time to FINALLY do it...

Rules: Each player answers the question themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves them a comment letting them know that they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve answered the questions on your blog.

10 Years Ago (1998):
1. Moved into our house
2. was working for MetLife
3. been married for 2 yrs.
4. ??? (yes, I can only come up with 3. Sad)
5. ???

5 Things on Today's "To Do" List: (we'll make this tomorrow since its almost 9 pm)
1. Work
2. go to the bank
3. take B to football (although I'm hoping it rains)
4. Laundry (provided it rains and we're home)
5. Call for massage appt.

5 Things that I would do if I were a millionaire:
1. quit my job & volunteer at a cancer related organization
2. hire a maid
3. buy several new vehicles
4. pay off Julees student loans
5. go back to school

5 Places I have lived:
1. Chicago IL
2. Waukegan IL
3.
4.
5. that's it...no where else!

5 Jobs I have had:
1. server for catering company
2. retail - Bermans Leather
3. retail - Just Pants
4. Loomcraft
5. MetLife

Now, I'm tagging....
1. Jenn
2. Chris
3.
4.
5. yep, only 2!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Race Day (Edited 10/13)

Today, October 12th....I got up early and headed to Juju's house. She and I drove down early. Dave, Brian and John met up with her later in the morning. She dropped me off at Charity Village, and headed to find a spot.

Running for a charity is so amazing. The American Cancer Society (ACS) once again did a fantastic job with their tent. At the ACS dinner on Friday, we sat with 2 ACS runners - Krista (and her Mom) and Brooke (and her Dad). I saw Brooke in the tent and we walked out to the starting corrals with the ACS group. The gun went off at 8:00, and it took a good 25 minutes to hit the start.

It was warm - not 2007 warm, but warm. Around mile 4, my calf began to hurt. "No way" I thought, "I am not blowing out this dang calf muscle." I slowed down and stopped to massage it often. At the half way point, I saw Julee, Dave, B and John. That was the toughest part of the run for me, between 13 and 18ish. I was tired and warm, but knew I'd finish and didn't care what time I'd clock. I saw my posse at mile 16 again, which was awesome. By mile 18, I was feeling better. My calf was still sore, but not horribly. I got weepy at mile 20, because I knew I only had 6.2 left and that I was actually going to finish this thing. From 18 on, I felt awesome. I don't know if it was a second wind, the GU Rocktane gels, or the grace of God, but I was headed in and happy as hell.

The turn off Michigan Avenue onto Roosevelt Road is mile 26. My hands were in the air, and I'm yelling "we're almost done!" It was there I saw my posse again and just ran by and yelled "I'm almost done!" and just kept going. Eastbound on Roosevelt Road is uphill, which is just cruel, but it wasn't that bad. I made the left onto Columbus and hauled butt to the finish line - 5 hours and 33 minutes after I crossed the start line.

My goal was 5 hrs, but I am not the least bit bothered by my time. I trained for months, lined up and FINISHED the best I could, given the conditions. My right calf hurts like crazy, but otherwise, I feel great.

I headed back to the ACS tent, where I saw Krista, who must have been right in front of me and Brooke who was right behind me. Congrats on your first marathon, gals, you're amazing!

Dave, B, Julee and John met me at the tent. We took pictures, then headed over to the 27 Mile Party, where some genius at Nike decided it would be a great idea to offer Finisher merchandise to finishers only at the end of the run. Brilliant. Of course, I bought a few things.

For anyone considering a marathon, I have one piece of advise - respect the distance. It is not easy, and you just don't know what Mother Nature, or your own body, is going to throw your way. That said, crossing the finish line is an amazing feeling. The training and marathon run were ALL ME, and I did it. Will I do it again? Yes, but in a few years. I'm going to stick to half-marathons for awhile.

Many, many sincere thanks to the ACS group - just like last year, you were all amazing. From the tent to the route support, you all rock. Thanks to the fabulous people of the great City of Chicago. As in 2007, you were out with hoses and ice. And you were there cheering us on. You have no idea how much that means to the runners. Kudos to the Chicago Marathon committee - the aid stations were well-stocked, and your volunteers were the best.

Thanks to all my friends who I'm sure were tired of listening to my training stories. Thanks to Jenn, my online friend who I'm sure I'll actually meet one of these days! Jenn, next year is your year! Thanks to Brandi who had awesome time today, finishing yet another hot one - your email support through this has been priceless. A huge thanks to everyone who donated to my American Cancer Society fundraiser. Your generosity helped me raise $1,180.00!!

I also want to mention Michele again - if you've been reading my blog, you know she is my wonderful friend who qualified for Boston in June 2008. Michele, I don't know how the heck you ran a 3:40 marathon, but damn girl, you rock. I'll probably never see a finish time like that, but I have a whole new respect for you and all the crazy fast runners out there.

Finally, thanks to my wonderful, supportive family: Dave, for putting up with my insanity over the last 4 months; Julee, for her unwaivering support and always being willing to get up early for the 20 miler or the marathon - you are the best sister ever. John, for marrying my sister and being so very cool, for his support and following my butt all over the city; Brian, for cheering me on and being proud of his Mom, and my Mom, who is always, always supportive. I love all of you more than you know.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

This Is It

The day before the big day. I'm nervous, anxious, excited. By this time tomorrow, it will be over. It's not all that different from planning a wedding. You plan & prepare for a long time, and poof....in a few hours, it's over. Actually, I'm sort of hoping it feels like "poof" tomorrow, But at the same time, want to take it all in.

The weather won't be ideal, but it won't be horrible either.

The weekend has been good so far. Friday, Juj and I drove downtown to the Hilton, then hopped on the shuttle to the expo. The expo was nice and not crowded. When we were done, we hopped back on the shuttle and went back to the Hilton. The American Cancer Society dinner was Friday night. The dinner was very nice - good food and, good speakers. We met some nice people, and had a great time. It was a perfect way to kick off the weekend.

Today, I didn't do much of anything. B had a football game, but Dave took him. I ate pasta & watched "Sex in The City" on pay per view. I will put my things together tonite and do more nothing.

Tomorrow, I'll be up early and ready to go. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Passion?

The other day, someone was asking me about the marathon, the training, etc. She asked me something that got me thinking: what motivates you? During our conversation, she also said, "well, running is your passion."

I've never really considered what motivates me to run or that it could be my passion. I don't know that running by itself is my passion. I think running is a part of the global "taking care of myself" concept, which might be more of the "passion". The concept of making changes now, so I live a healthier, longer life really clicked when my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. Yes, he was a smoker, so the diagnosis really wasn't a shock - but that didn't lessen the blow any. Anyway, all of a sudden, preventative measures now - me not visiting the tanning spa anymore (yes, it was bad), eating right, exercise, etc., all meant a much healthier life down the road. (Okay, it might have also had something to do with too many Oprah shows & Dr. Oz, but hey, whatever works...)

Now, that doesn't mean that I eat right 100% of the time. I shoot for 85%, and I am a believer in the "everything in moderation" concept (ie. Portillos chocolate cake, which I will NEVER eliminate!). And I don't love every run and every workout, but I always, always feel better afterward.

So, maybe it is my passion. Maybe what motivates me is a long, healthy life or maybe it's something as personal as running my 20 miler faster than the year before. Or maybe it's that 5 years ago, I never, ever thought I'd be this excited about the thought of running 26.2 miles.

The human body is an amazing machine. The human mind is even more amazing. Set your mind to something, and you will not fail.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

REALLY?????

76 on Sunday? Come ON! It's OCTOBER. I guess the good news is that the overnight low on Saturday night is in the 50's, and Tom Skilling says - and I quote "markedly cooler by the lake". He also mentioned the marathon, that it should be in the 60's around noon. Let's hope he's right.

The other good news is that there is no question about what I'll wear that day. Shorts & my American Cancer Society tank top. And my orange hat, which was a life-saver last year. I don't think we'll be in "life-saver" mode this year, but I'll wear the hat anyway. Look for me in it, throw ice, do whatever it takes!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

T Minus 6....

Weather.com = 69 & cloudy
CNN.com = 60 and mostly cloudy
WGNTV.com = 62 and cloudy
Ch 7 = 60 and cloudy

At least we seem to be narrowing it down. All are very good!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

T minus 8 days....

And in case you're wondering, weather.com is calling for 69 and partly cloudy on race day. CNN weather is calling for 52 and cloudy. I'd prefer the latter, but it still beats last year.

Yep, you know where this is going....I'll try not to post daily about the weather, but you can be sure I'll be checking the forcast daily!!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Look

I changed the look of my blog in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. I just finished watching Oprah from the other day - she had Christina Applegate on, discussing her battle with breast cancer.

She also had on Nancy Brinker, the woman who founded the Susan G. Koman foundation, in honor of her sister who was diagnosed in the 70's, when the words "breast cancer" were never mentioned. She went on to say how other people were afraid of her sister because they thought she was contagious. How far we've come, thanks to her foundation. It's amazing.

Ladies, please do your self-exams & follow your intution if you feel like you should seek further treatment after finding a lump or anything out of the ordinary.

For more information, check out the Susan G. Komen website.

Why, yes, I HAVE been running..

It occured to me that I haven't talked much about running lately, but I have done it. Last Sunday was 7 miles and yesterday, I did just under 5. This weekend is 8 miles. It certainly has been a taper!

I'm excited about 10/12. Now I'm obsessing over weather. Tomorrow, the 10 day forcast will show that Sunday. I fully realize it can change a zillion times between tomorrow and the 12th, but it gives me something to freak out about. Anyway, I'll continue the short runs next week to get ready for the big day and continue to obsessively check weather.com!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Singin'

I'd like to wholeheartedly thank my online friend & fellow runner, Jenn, for the "Holdin' Out for a Hero" song that is now running through my head. On one hand, it's okay because I have downloaded it to my Ipod playlist. I do like it and well, it is from Footloose ("up on the roof, oh yea, 100 proof, oh yea.." Come on, you've all seen it).

I'm not so sure I needed to see the Bonnie Tyler video, but oh, how far videos have come from the 80's.

On a similar note, I've been meaning to bring up the subject of songs (so, thanks Jenn, for the segway). What ever happened to Billy Squire? Aren't songs like "My Kinda Lover" and "Rock Me Tonite" just classics in their own right? And really, who writes songs like "Born to Run" and "Detroit Rock City" anymore?

I'm certain Chris, another online friend and fellow runner, will be the first to jump in on my choice of Ricky Martin on my playlist, but hey, whatever it takes to get through a run! And I'll be the first to admit the plethora of songs on my playlist - the previously mentioned, as well as most 80's rock, Elvis, IL Divo, country, classic rock, and current bands - Theory of a Deadman, Hinder, etc. I won't bore you with the entire list.

Now, come on, sing it with me...."I'm holdin' out for a hero till the morning light...."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Just waitin' around

For the big day. I've run twice this week, both times on the treadmill. Short runs, nothing to brag about, but I'm planning on 10 in the morning. So, there's not much to talk about in the running world, other than I'm anxiously awaiting the weather forcast, and I'm really, really excited for 10/12 to get here.

It was a busy week. B turned 8, and that was exciting. Went to see "Mamma Mia" for the 6th time today. If you haven't seen the musical, see it next time it's in town. We've been listening to Abba music since I was a kid, so it's gotten a bit cult-like for me, Mom and Juj - but really, it is alot of fun. Make it a girls night, you'll love it!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Taper, here I come!!! (the edited version....)

20 miles. 20 minutes better than last year! It was humid, and warm in the second half. At mile 14, I institued the "run 2 songs, walk 1" pacing method, which worked well. I feel good - a little tired, but that may have more to do with getting up at 4:45 am.

So, a 20 miler and I'm not joking, 3 different times, someone stopped to ask me questions. I'm turning into my mother (no, Mom, of course thats NOT bad!) - peopel talk to her all the time. No joke. It wasn't other runners - none of us felt like talking - it was people just walking by:

Number 1 "what are you running for?" Me.."training run for the Chicago marathon". Her "oh, how nice!" Yeah, it's a hoot.

Number 2 "how long is the race, a 10K?" (this is just past mile 10). Me "no, its a 20 mile training run"....but I was thinking "dear god, I wish is was a 10K, I would have been done 4 miles ago).

Number 3 "are you running a race?" Me...."no, training run". This one looked at me funny, probably because we all had numbers on our chests. Whatever, it was hot, I was somewhere around mile 14 and I didn't like chatting.

I'm not sure why those people picked me to talk to. This is why I normally wear sunglasses. No eye contact. I didn't have them on yesterday because it was supposed to be cloudy. Not so much.

It's funny how fast 20 miles goes by. I don't know if it's because I was just in the zone or what, but 3 hrs and 55 min really did fly by. I think this is a good thing, because I never really felt like I wanted to die, and that's a huge plus.

Thanks to Juj for coming down with me and thanks to all the great volunteers on the course.

It is now time to taper. All through marathon training, you look foward to the taper. Now that it's here, you start to wonder "did I do enough, did I push myself hard enough, should I have kept up that crosstraining, should I have gone faster" It is a total mind game. Personally, I know I'm doing better than last year, and am pretty confident in what I've done so far.

Please, please weather gods..I am begging for 55, no humidity and cloudy on October 12th. Please.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Confirmation E-mail: Bank of America Chicago Marathon

Yep, got my confirmation email today!! My bib number is 31331! Pretty cool number, I think. 3 is my favorite number AND there are 3, 3's in the bib number. A good sign? I sure hope so!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

10 Miles

I can't believe I'm going to actually admit to this, but I'm starting to really enjoy 10 mile runs. What's happened to me??? I did 10 miles in 1 hr, 48 min tonite and beat my "virtual partner" setting on the Garmin by 1 min, 23 seconds.
Eat. My. Dust.

10 miles is nice because it doesn't require a huge time commitment, and when it's over, I still feel like I've had a kick-butt workout.

I do have to thank Tim McGraw for asking me "how bad do you want it", and Ricky Martin for "do you really want it" and finally, Sugarland, who didn't ask any of those questions, but managed to show up on the Ipod in the last .4 miles with "Settlin'". Ah, the power of song...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

This is it...

the final big week of crazy mileage. If you're following the training plan - which I am, loosely anyway, the runs this week should be 5-10-5-20. Today I did 4, I might do 4 tomorrow on the treadmill - if I can fit that in between football practice & curriculum night - definitely 10 on Thursday and the big 2-0 Sunday.

The big 2-0 is an organized race at the lakefront. It's a beautiful run, hydration stations and a t-shirt & party at the end. Really, how can one go wrong?? I signed up for it months ago, and when doing so, had to pick a pace I expected to run. As mentioned, that was months ago, apparently back in the optimistic days. I went to pick up my race packet yesterday and had myself down in the 10:30 pace group. Hee. That would be fine, if the run were say, 4 or 5 miles. My long runs have been averaging 11:30, which is still pretty dang good compared to last year.

So, I'll start out with that wave & sloooooowwww down so I actually make it the 20 miles and they don't have to come looking for me at the end. My goal is to finish in about 3 hrs, 45 min. Then, we taper. The taper is nice, but just leaves one way too much time to ponder if they've done enough over the last 4 months. Enough or not, 10/12 is inching closer. I can't wait!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Rain, rain go away....

There was no running the half marathon this weekend. Me and Juju were supposed to go to the expo to pick up our race packets, however, around 9:15 Saturday morning she called in a panic that her basement was flooding. Five mintues later, we were in the car, headed to her house.

It was unbelievable. The area was flooded, and it was tough to make our way there, but get there we did. Five inches of water in their basement - it wasn't pretty. We moved out whatever we could, and the water eventually went down. We then spent a good part of the day pulling up carpet & padding and hauling it out to the garbage.

So, we never made it to the expo, but after walking up & down the basement stairs a zillion times, running 13.1. miles today wasn't going to happen! And it's just as well, because it was still raining this morning. Ugh.

All the games in B's football league were cancelled for this weekend too. And, I have to say, not having to get up for anything this morning was very, very nice!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back in Business

You'll be thrilled to know the Garmin is working again. Whew.. 9 miles last night, in 1 hr, 36 min.

The marathon is 1 month from tomorrow. I'm anxious....anxious to know what the weather will be, how I'll do..things like that. I'm running a half marathon this weekend with Juju, and that should be fun. The following weekend is the 20 miler, then we taper.

Everyone I know who is running this year is just tired. Tired of crazy long runs, tired of running & starting to doubt if they've done enough. I think that's common at this point in the training, with the high mileage. I know that I'm in a better position than I was this time last year, but yeah, I'm tired too. I have to keep reminding myself how far I've come and that there's 1 long training run left.

Part of me can't believe it's almost over and part of me wishes like hell it was.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

AAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

All started out well. I got up on time, got ready & out the door by 6:20. Turned on the Garmin, it's trying to find me and.......nothing. The stupid thing freezes up. Crap. So, off I went anyway. I knew it was 3.5 miles to the nature preserve by my house, and I knew it was 2.5 miles around the big loop. So, I did the big loop 4 times, then ran back home - for a total of about 17 miles. It was close enough.

I ran the first 3.5 out, then decided I should pace myself so I ran for 2 songs, walked 1 song (really, did I HAVE to get Paradise By The Dashboard Light for a RUN song???). The 3.5 back might have had a bit more walking, but I felt good when I got home. This means I either paced correctly, or didn't try hard enough. I'm going with the first one.

In case you're wondering, I did go online to figure out how to unfreeze the Garmin, and it's charging. Again. So, we'll see. I figure next weekend is the half marathon, so I really don't need it. And the week after is the 20 miler, so I don't really need it then either. Then, we taper - 12 miles, then 8. For those and the shorter weekly runs, I can figure it out by the routes I usually run. I'm hoping the Garmin continues to work, but if not, no biggie.

It feels good to be done with this one. Last year, I finished 10 of the 18 miler, due to rolling my ankle on a turn. Let's hear it for progress. Now, just one more really long one, and it's the CARA sponsered 20 miler at the lakefront. Good weather vibes for that one too! I'm excited & anxious for October 12th!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Inspiration from Anywhere!

Since I know how much you all loved my Rev Run quote, I have more!! It's sort of funny how these things come up right when you need them....

This is one from Oprah's inspriational quotes:
"Never give up, which is the lesson I learned from boxing. As soon as you learn to never give up, you have to learn the power and wisdom of unconditional surrender, and that one doesn't cancel out the other; they just exist as contradictions."
—Kris Kristofferson

An another from Rev Run:
"In order to succeed in life.. You must clearly know WHAT you want and WHERE you're going. (Remember this!) An inner feeling that you know where you're going allows you to put up with limitations and delays that might otherwise cause you to give up... Keep moving!!! Don't stop!!!!!"

Never give up, don't stop, know what you want....do you see a trend?? This weekend is the 18 miler. And really, it's the last really long run I have to do alone. So, sure, I'll take the inspiration from anywhere!

All that said, I did 7 miles the other day without the Garmin. I turned it on, and it told me I had 0 battery hours left. Oops. Luckily, I knew where 3.5 miles was on the route, then turned around & ran back. I'm not exactly sure what the time was, but subtracting the time I spent in Walgreens and the time standing at stop lights, I think I finished 7 miles is around 70 min, maybe 75 min. So, that's right about the pace my shorter runs have been.

Tomorrow morning, I'll be up early to get my 18 in. Be sure to check back to see how that went!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

How Appropriate..

I get these "inspirational" emails from Rev Run. I know, but I saw it on Oprah or something, signed up and still get them. Anyway, this is todays:

"Patient energy applied over time brings the best solutions... ALWAYS think things through and THEN follow through. Instant answers to your questions and problems RARELY occur... Like my man Will Smith tells me from time to time.... “Let it marinate Rev.. (Remember!). On your way to the top, ENJOY THE RIDE! Life is a marathon not a sprint......... Haste makes waste but slow and steady wins the race!"

Obviously, that could apply to many things, but oh so appropriate for my 18 miles this weekend. Slow & steady, pace myself, be patient... You just never know where your inspiration will come, do ya??

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's September 2nd.

Do you have any idea what that means?? That means the marathon is NEXT MONTH. Like, 1month, 10 days away. Holy crap. I'm still not entirely sure where the summer went...

Overall, the training has gone well. I'm not cranky about the long runs this year, and my pace has gotten faster. Although, I'm pretty sure by "cut-back week" they didn't mean "run once". But it's all good. Last year, I missed the 16 miler and most of the 18 miler and still faired well...considering the heat & humidity.

Once again, the weather gods are smilin'. 70's and a chance of rain this weekend. You know what that means...cloudy. Thank goodness. Sure, sunny weather is nice. But after running in direct sun for 3 hours, I've had it.

So, it seems things are shaping up nicely for the 18 miler this weekend. And really, there are 2 really long runs left - the 18 miler, then the 20 miler at the lakefront in a few weeks. Sure, there's a half marathon (13.1 miles) thrown in the middle somewhere, but I'm doing that with Juju, so that should be fun.

2 more long runs. Then I taper. Then I run 26.2 miles. I'm not so much freaking out over it as I am anxious and really excited. I feel robbed after last year's experience, and I want to know that I've really done it.

1 month, 12 days. Keep the good luck & good weather vibes coming. It's working!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

NOLA

This has nothing to do with running.

As you likely know, Hurricane Gustav is headed toward New Orleans. Three years ago, Dave spent 2 weeks in Slidell helping out the Slidell Fire Department after Hurricane Katrina. It was quite the experience. He already received a call from the Slidell Fire Chief requesting his presence, should they need it. A team as already been assembled & are awaiting the word. So far, Dave hasn't gotten the call...yet.

Let's just pray it turns out to be not as bad as they're saying & that those people in the New Orleans area are not devastated once again.

And, news media.....yes, I'm following the election, yes, I vote in every election. But, I don't care what the democrats or republicans have to say on the situation in Louisiana, OF COURSE they're going to say all their concern is on Louisiana. I don't care that the Republican Convention festivities have been cancelled for Monday, and are up in the air for Tuesday. I don't need to see McCain accept his nomination from the Gulf Coast area. It was the same party who screwed up 3 years ago. Shut up about the election, keep the politicians off the air for now.

Instead, tell us what's happening to an area of our country that has already been destroyed once, tell us that everyone is okay, tell us that our current administration can get it together THIS TIME, tell us anything about the well-being of our fellow Americans who are in need. Don't tell us about the election. It doesn't matter right now..... Keep the Gulf Coast in your prayers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hump Day

I have to thank the weather gods for giving us such a great summer. It hasn't been ridiculously hot, which has been great for running. Tonite, there was just a thin layer of clouds, but enough to block out the direct sun. Ahhhhh, so nice. So, 5 miles from home to football practice. Please, weather gods, keep it up. I have an 18 miler in a week and a half, and a 20 miler 2 weeks after that. Please, I promise not to complain about the cold next April..........

Also, a shout out to Juju. Yes, the Bodyglide on my left foot worked. No blister & it didn't even feel weird during the run. The right foot didn't fair so well, but that blister is way newer. The good news is that its moving right along, if you get my drift, and I'll be fine. Bodyglide is your friend.......

On a completely unrelated note, as I'm typing this, America's Got Talent is on. Come on, folks, does a 6 ft something guy hanging upside down in chains being beaten like a pinata (yes, I swear) really constitute talent?? I think not. It's so incredibly stupid. In case you're dying to know, he was voted off.

On another completely unrelated note, Harley Davidson is having their 105th celebration this week/weekend. We're going Saturday. And there are a jillion bikes on the road. Please, be careful out there.....

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Running AND Football

16 miles today. I took a new approach. I ran 4 out & back in one direction, stopped at home to refill, then did 4 out and back in the other direction. I was worried I wouldn't have the willpower to go back out, but I did. I think it's better this way, because then I'm never that far from home. So, it was 16 miles in 3 hrs, 4 min; which according to the Garmin was an average 11:30 pace. That is right on with all my other long runs. And I walked for .25 mile around mile 13.25 and left the Garmin on.

I felt pretty good throughout, even toward the end. This is either progress, or the hydration belt was too tight and I was numb from the waist down. I'd prefer to go with the first, but hey, whatever it takes.

I got back, had to shower, but a bag of ice & head to football, so there wasn't much rest. My knees were sore, but I suppose they should be. Overall, a decent run.

On another note, my son had a pre-season game today. And the WON, 14-7. My boy is the QB, and scored the extra point for each TD. They don't kick in the extra point at this level, they have to run it in. And, boy, did he ever. I was so nervous. Last year, he was defense and just had to hit. This year, its a whole different game. You'll be happy to know he did awesome! Played QB the entire game, and even played safety a few times. Our entire team did amazing, so yahoo!! Next Sunday is our first regular season game..be sure to check back for updates!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Training

For the marathon, I am following Hal Higdon's novice plan. I'm not one of those people who can wing it for something like this, I definitely need a plan.

So, Higdon's training calls for 4 runs per week, typically Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and the long weekend run. Tuesdays & Thursdays are shorter runs, Wednesday is longer. I've yet to run Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Heck, I think I've had ONE week where I actually completed 4 runs in 1 week. So, my training is turning into "training for a marathon on 3 runs per week."

However, I think it's going well. I did 7 miles outside Wednesday night and 3 miles on the treadmill today. I figure it's better not to push it and be able to complete the long weekend run with fairly little pain & suffering. So far, so good. Maybe I'm onto something.

Talk to me on October 13th, and we'll see..

On that note, here's a little something to keep in mind:
"If you haven't before, start having dreams. Have lots of them. Have great dreams, have small dreams." —James B. Stewart

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Well, hello!

Yeah, I've been MIA for a bit. Mostly because the Olympics have kept me up till all hours of the night, combined with football practice, work, etc... But really, its the OLYMPICS. I cry every time Team USA gets up on the medal stand and every time they play the National Anthem.

I did manage to run too. Last Thursday was 5 miles, 2 on Friday, 15 on Sunday - which went fairly well, I was a little sore afterwards, but felt good a couple hours after the run. And then 7 tonite. Tonite was okay, my legs were heavy and I was tired. It wasn't 7 continuous miles - I stopped several times, but while the Garmin was clocking, I was running.

I'm going to do 4 tomorrow, then the long run this weekend is 16. That will be early Sunday morning.

In the meantime, you can find me in front of the tv at midnight... GO USA!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

OLYMPICS!

Are you watching the Olympics? One might say I'm obsessed. I love the gymnastics, swimming, diving, running & beach volleyball. In my next life, I want to come back as an Olympic female beach volleyball player.

Anyway, the talent, physicality and endurance of these athletes just blows me away. Michael Phelps is something other than human; the men's gymnastics team on the single high bar was amazing, and the women on the uneven bars was unbelievable. Oh, to be be born with that kind of talent.

What the human body is capable of is so amazing to me. Not only to train it to run 26.2, or more, but to push it to the limits of Olympic athletes. Its just unbelievable..

GO USA!

Monday, August 11, 2008

For the Love of Running

The other day, someone asked me how I manage through the miles during the long runs, "what do you think about, isn't it boring?"

Well, the runs do have their moments of boredom, and sometimes it seems that I'm never going to finish. But for the most part, the time/miles really do fly by.

For a good portion of the long runs, I am concentrating on the road in front of me, making sure I don't step on some random rock or in some random hole and end my running career. I watch the cars coming toward me, hoping like hell they actually see me. I check out the scenery, noticing things I've never noticed even though I've driven down that road a zillion times. I notice all the stuff that ends up in the ditch that has been thrown out windows, either on purpose or accidently. I sing to whatever is playing on my Ipod.

I can think of nothing or everything, sometimes wondering how the heck I'll manage 26.2 and then remembering how far I've come.

Take this past Sunday for example. It was a cut-back week of only 10 miles. See, right there, ONLY ten miles. I wouldn't have said that 2 years ago. And it was a great 10 miles - the weather was perfect and I felt strong the entire time. I took a break at mile 6.18 at the gas station - bought some Gatorade and had a Gu. During the run, I stopped a few times, but again, turned off the Garmin when I did. Here's the "how far I've come part".....I ran the entire 10 miles, and it felt really, really good. 10 miles in 1 hr, 49 minutes (11 min per mile pace, also way better than last year). That, my friends, is 3 minutes better than my last 10 miler.

This coming weekend's long run is 15 miles. If I stay on my 11 min per mile long run pace, I should finish in 2 hrs, 45 min, which means I'll have alot of time to watch for rocks, holes and cars. And I'll have alot of time to think.

This brings me to a passage I stole from Kristina, off her blog, but it really does hit home:

It's from Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running:

Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you're going to while away the years, it's far better to live with clear goals and fully alive than in a fog, and I believe running helps you do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that's the essence of running, and a metaphor for life--and for me, for writing as well.

Maybe not so much the writing part for me, although I do love blogging. Does running & exerting myself help me live with clear goals and be fully alive? I think it does. If nothing else, it gives me a period of time to either clear my head, sort it all out or completely forget about it. As much as I may sometimes complain about the long runs, I really like them. It's my time. I feel better & stronger afterwards and feel a sense of accomplishment.

Here's something to keep in mind...whatever you do to be fully alive, just remember to know what you want, who you are and never worry about what anyone else thinks.

Run on, friends....

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Soooo..

5 miles yesterday afternoon. I still hate running when it's even remotely warm. I think I need one of those lights to wear on my head, like coal miners, so I can see the ground in front of me, and just run at night. That said, it was 5 miles at 10:16 pace. I did walk a few times, especially at the end, but turned off the Garmin each time. So, I really did RUN 5 miles.

At the beginning of the run, I was thinking "hmm, maybe this time off was good. I feel strong, nothing hurts. This should be good". By the end, I was cursing myself for not being consistent. I know, I had I started out slower, I wouldn't have had to stop so often at the end. Whatever....

Here's another thing.....a big shout out to the crazy lady in the huge SUV turning into the post office who CLEARLY saw me, but did not feel the need to stop or even slow down. I was running in the same direction she was driving (south). She was sitting in the turn lane, waiting for the north bound cars to pass. So, yeah, she saw me and apparently, didn't care. Or hates runners. Whatever the reason, I had to come to an abrupt stop to avoid getting tossed into the parking lot. And yes, she got an earful because her window was open as she passed....

On a similar note, the DJ's on 101.9 were talking about the lakefront path the other day. The lakefront path is really nice, but seems to be getting more & more crowded these days with walkers, runners, bikers, rollerbladers, etc. They were saying how runners were the nicest bunch, because the stay to the right, waive hello and all that. Walkers in large groups tended to take up the entire path, instead of keeping it 2 across and bikers were the worst because they tend to speed up and down the path, like its the freaking Tour de France.

I don't encounter alot people while running - maybe because I'm usually running down the side of some road where sane people do not go. I do pass groups of bikers quite often. Bikers crack me up because they're rarely friendly. The only time I've had any of them acknowledge my existence while running was a few weeks ago. Two women rode by, said hi and waived.

I always waive. We're all out there for some form of exercise, so just be nice. The male bikers tend to be serious as hell about their trek down O'Plaine Road, and I find it kind of funny. I'm not out there pretending to be Deena Kastor, don't pretend to be Lance Armstrong, dudes.

10 scheduled for tomorrow morning. Good luck to Jenn at the CDC Half Marathon!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Okay, I know..

but I'm back. 3 miles on the treadmill today. It felt good. It should feel good, considering I hadn't run in a week.

The training schedule I'm following calls for 7 tomorrow, which I will be doing after work. The long run this weekend is 10, which should go well, considering the temps in store for the weekend.

So, game on. The marathon is 2 months, 6 days away. Where does the time go??

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Just a Few Things....

1. My new favorite show is Shear Genius on Bravo - Nicole is my favorite, I LOVE her hair. It does get a little catty, like any reality show, but it's mostly about the hair. I should have been a hair stylist, but completely missed my calling. The good news is that I found a school I can go to part time. Yahoo! That's my goal after the marathon. It'll take about 2 years to finish, but finish I will. Wish me luck!

2. Really, WHEN WILL BRET FAVRE JUST GO AWAY? Yes, I get that he's a amazing quarterback and I respect that. But come on already, he's done the crying-at-the-end-of-the-season thing twice now, and officially retired earlier this year. Then the Packers offer him 20 million to stay gone. NOW I hear that he's been reinstated. It's turning into "the boy who cried wolf". Even the Packer fans have to be tired of this already (yes, this coming from a Bears fan who is fully aware of our very lack of a quarterback. It's not jealousy, I'm just tired of hearing about him).

3. B and I went to the beach today. I just want to point out that lifeguards are not babysitters. When you bring your 3 kids under age 5, make sure you have enough adults to WATCH THEM. If you do not, stay home. Do not let the 7 yr old cousin watch 2 of them while you tend to the baby. When said 7 yr old does not pay attention to YOUR children, it is not the lifeguards fault. Do not yell at them. (As a side note, both kids are fine, no one drowned, but neither should have been playing in the water UNATTENDED and the Mother had no right to yell at the lifeguard because her kid wandered off).

4. The Olympics. I love the Olympics, I can hardly wait until the 8th. I fear I will be up in the middle of the night cheering on the USA teams. I suppose the good news is that I can hit the treadmill at the same time, right? The other good news is seeing Olympic athletes is very motivating, which is something I REALLY need right about now.

5. I'm not sure why I'm so anti-running this week. Maybe I just need to quiet the running/marathon/training obsessive soundtrack going through my head over and over. Maybe it's because my lower back has been bothering me for a few days. Maybe it's the fabulous diet I've had. I don't really have one good reason. Regardless of the reason, I have to get my head back in the game. I did this once, I can do it again. The time between now and September 21st is the hardest. And really, it's only a month and a half....okay, taking a deep breath and moving on.....

Friday, August 1, 2008

Let's Call it a Rest Week

Why? Becaue I haven't done anything except the 3 miler on Tuesday. That, and because "rest week" sounds alot better than "I'm too lazy to make time for this running thing this week".

So, I'm putting it out there...there won't be a workout tonite, but there will be on Sunday, on the treadmill. It won't be 13 miles, more like 7. And, if I feel ambitious, there may even be a weight workout....

Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Running????

Yep, go ahead and ask, "are you doing it?" Nope. Well, not really. I ran 3 miles outside Tuesday morning. I did this figuring I'd get an outside run in before the sweltering heat set in. It was hot Wednesday, but not sweltering (insert 8 zillion excuses here as to why I did nothing on Wednesday). And today, it was really nice. Of course, there will be no running today either.

Between Dave's work schedule, my work and football practice, there's barely time to eat. I should be getting ready to hit the treadmill. What did I do instead, you ask? Ate McDonalds after football practice, checked email and am waiting for B to get out of the shower so we can finish off the Portillo's chocolate cake (this is Dave's fault, he bought it, can't let it go to waste!!)

I will run tomorrow, not sure how far, but it will happen. I'm still not sure what the weekend holds, but if the sweltering heat hits then, I'll be hitting the treadmill. This will not be fun, but necessary. Be sure to check back to find out how THAT goes!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

12er

12 miles today. I'm not sure why 12 seems so much harder than the 10 a couple weeks ago, but it did. Here's a summary of how it went:

Miles 0-2: Feelin' good. No traffic on the street I run on and a decent pace. I stop at mile 2, turn off the GPS, stretch & drink water.

Miles 2-4: Still good, I pass 4 other runners and 1 walker. Everyone waves, I'm guessing because we're all still in a good mood and don't want to die yet.

Miles 4-5: Another short break at 4. Part of this leg is uphill on the side of a busy road. I stopped for a few seconds a couple times, but the run is still going well.

Mile 5 (up to 6, the halfway point): Who the heck knew Libertyville was so hilly? I've driven the damn road a zillion times, why did I never notice? Uphill sucks. I forget to turn the GPS on again at one point, but I didn't go too far before I figured that out, so whatever. And, I realize the OTHER side of the street is shadier. I cross. I have to run PAST the gas station to get to 6 miles, then come back before I can stop for a bit. The mileage when I stop is 6.13. Oh, and I have a blister. Yipee. However, 6.13 miles in 1 hr, 8 minutes.

I hang out at the gas station - restroom break, refill the water bottle & buy bandaids. I sit outside for awhile, take a GU and rebandage my blister. For those of you who aren't familiar with GU, it's a small packet of just that, goo..sort of a honey consistency. You rip off the top of the package and suck it out & down with water. It comes in various flavors, but I like vanilla and chocolate. The fruity ones make me gag. It gives you energy for the long haul.

Miles 6 - 7.5: Not so bad since the hell hills are on the way out, the way back isn't so horrible. I stop around 7.5 to toss the water bottle, and will defer to the Gatorade in my hydration belt for the rest of the run. I should note, I hate running while holding the damn water bottle, but when it's warm, it's nice to have it to dump over my head.

Miles 7.5 - 9.56: Mostly downhill, but I'm tired and my legs are getting heavy. I stop at mile 9 and figure I'll walk for 1/2 mile. Normally, when I stop running, I turn off the GPS. I kept it on this time, so I know how far I'm walking. I actually stop running at mile 9.06, and figure I'll walk until 9.56. When the GPS hits 9.56, I start running again.

Miles 9.56 - 10: Yes, not quite a half mile, but I stopped at 10 because the next 2 are the final stretch. I stretch my legs a bit and keep going.

Miles 10 - 11: I take a detour through a neighborhood. I do this because if I can tack on a half mile or so of flat running through said neighborhood, I can (hopefully) finish before the damn hill at the very end. I am also hoping maybe I can find a sprinkler to wet my hat again. Not so. Doesn't anyone water their lawn or wash their cars on a lovely Sunday morning? Isn't this suburbia? I walk for maybe .3 of this mile, but leave the GPS on.

The last mile felt good and horrible at the same time. I walked again for maybe .3 of that mile and that was up the hill. The good news is I finished before my starting point, so I was able to walk for a bit. Total running time, 2 hrs, 20 minutes. Yahoo!

I got home & was tired and hungry, but felt good and was thrilled that the 12 miles were behind me. The GPS I wear on my wrist keeps up to 2 yrs of data. Last years long runs were a good 1.5 - 2.4 minutes per mile slower. I'm all about not getting caught up in the numbers, but I am also happy to see I've made progress! So, yah for me!

Friday, July 25, 2008

GOAL!!!!!

I've reached my American Cancer Society fundraising goal! I think I'm around $1030 today ($850 was the goal). So, THANK YOU to everyone who donated, it means the world to me & my fellow ACS runners.

Everyone should come out on marathon day to watch. Its such a great time, and so inspiring!

Again, thanks to everyone for their support!

Nutrition

Now, I realize eating right equals better performance. I also realize I only ran 3 miles today. However, considering what I've eaten since last night, that might explain the sluggishness.

My intake consisted of a half hot dog, because I got up to answer the phone & my dog ate the other half, a handful of Sun Chips and an ice cream sandwich - all last night. This morning was coffe, half a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat & a banana. That wasn't so bad. At work, maybe a few handfuls of popcorn.

I eat that, get home at noon and expect to run, or do anything, well? Nope. So, 3 miles in about 32:30, which isn't bad either, but it felt like forever.

Anyway, I'm done and can now sit and do nothing!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

11:41 PM

Yep, that's what time it is now. And I just finished 7 miles. On the treadmill. It wasn't pretty, but its done.

I decided to do this for a few reasons:
1. I'm much more of a night person. Unfortunately, the lack of decent streetlights and sidewalks around here doesn't really lend itself to nighttime running.
2. Everything was all warmed up from moving around all day, so no need for a big warm-up.
3. Iffy weather on Sunday. Possible storms & humidity.
4. Now, when I get up tomorrow morning, I can drink coffee & watch the news instead of fretting over when said run would take place.

I realize running on the treadmill will likely happen again during marathon training, but I think I'll try to keep it to runs under 5 miles.

Back to the sidewalk thing. I grew up on the northwest side of Chicago. There were sidewalks on both sides of the street, everywhere. It's not like that in the 'burbs, and it makes me crazy, because it really messes with my running routes (as well as walking & bicycle riding routes). Add to that the lack of decent streetlights. Sure, they're around, but not well-placed. Maybe this is part of the suburban charm, you know, being less like the city, but given the suburban sprawl, it really doesn't make any sense.

Okay, now its 12:02. I'm going to stretch, shower and go to bed. Sweet dreams!

Thanks..

to everyone who has donated to my ACS fundraiser! Currently, I'm at $730, and the goal is $850. I'd love to raise more, but I truly appreciate everyone who has supported me through this - in every way.

It means alot to me, and I will be thinking of all of you & all our loved ones affected by cancer, during the run.

I've volunteered for the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon for August 10th, to help out at an aid station on behalf of the ACS, so that should be fun. A very early day, but fun nonetheless. It'll be nice to support my fellow ACS crew that day.

I haven't run much this week, and I have no good reason - maybe it was the ridiculously hot weather or maybe I was just lazy. Tomorrow, I'm definitely doing the 7 scheduled for this weekend. I'll get back in the swing next week, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Baby Borrowers

Is this the best show on TV or what?? If you haven't seen it, it's several teenage couples who think they are ready for kids. Each couple gets a baby, then a toddler, preteen, teenager and elderly person - not all at the same time, but in 3 day stints.

The parents are nearby watching everything and can intervene if they think it's necessary. There is also a professional nanny in each house, watching just in case, but it's the couples responsibility to take care of the children.

If this isn't the best form of birth control, I don't know what is.

Watching these couples try and handle a toddler is priceless. This show should be shown in high schools around the country.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Another Random Thoughts Post

I did run 3 miles this morning, but this has nothing to do with that.

1. The Marine who killed his Army wife...at what point in ones relationship does that become a way out? And why the hell didn't someone slap him around and tell him it's a really bad idea. Same with the psycho guy who stabbed his wife in the hotel parking lot a week or so ago. My god, if she doesn't want to be with you, deal with it and move on, or take yourself out. Let her be....

2. Have you seen Kerry Wood from the Cubs lately? He has that too-skinny-Hollywood look going. I've never thought he was exceptionally attractive, but he just looks bad.

3. Brad & Angelina - I don't care what Brad said in the delivery room, I don't care what Angelina said. I don't care what the kids names are and I don't care who gets the damn pictures. Take the zillion dollars some magazine is going to pay and use it for something worthwhile.

Okay, I've vented. I feel better.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

TEN!

This weeks long run was 10 miles. I got up around 7, it was really nice out - low humidity, breezy and a decent temp. I ran a new route today, and it went really well. 10 miles in 1 hr, 52 minutes, 42 seconds.

This is good for various reasons. First, I completed the run and didn't want to die. That's always a huge plus. Second, last year after the plantar faciitis bout, my first long training run was 10 miles. I ran it with one of the running clubs in the area, and it was ugly. The first 5 were okay, but I basically walked the last half. And, that same day, I was going for bridesmaid dresses for my sisters wedding. I had to come home, shower, drop B off at a friends and head out. I wanted to die. I was tired and everything hurt - my knees, my feet and my legs.

Fast forward a month or so later. I'm running longer training runs and feeling good. This is progress.

During the run today, my route had 1 traffic light. My old route has alot more, which gives me more chances to stop. Today, my goal was to run 2 miles, stop for a few, and keep going. That's pretty much how it went. I stopped at a gas station at mile 5.33 for Gu and took a longer break there. The last 2 miles were hard - it was windy and partially uphill, but I stayed at a consistent pace throughout the run and was happy with the results.

I iced my knees when I got home, but I feel really good. The other good news is my pace. I'm a firm believer of not getting caught up in the numbers. Today's pace was 11:16ish. Last year, my long runs were 13:00 and over. I still won't get caught up in the numbers game, but my 11:16ish pace today blows away my long run pace last year, and that sign of progress makes me very happy.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Go Cubbies!

We went to the Cubs game today. It was B's first trip to Wrigley and his first train ride. He loved the train. We get to Wrigley, he's all excited. Our seats were in the upper deck, so we had to walk up the ramp. B was having none of that. None at all. He didn't want to be that high up - he cried, he protested and we almost left. We tried to bribe him with everything we could think of...after a very long time & a hot pretzel (he later declared part of his crying was due the absence of said pretzel. Mmmhmm, sure it was), he decided he was ready. We got to our seats, and he then decided that it wasn't so bad afterall and he had nothing to worry about.

Yes, it was the very game where the Cubs blew a 7 point lead and ended up tied in the bottom of the 9th. We left, mostly to catch the train before the crowds. They did end up winning, but come on, they blew a SEVEN point lead. The good news is B's first trip to Wrigley ended in a win, and he thought that was very cool. It bears mentioning that it was visor day at Wrigley, we don't regularly walk around in matching Cubs visors...

Being at Wrigley was great, it was a beautiful day. However, to me, baseball has always been 4 innings too long. Most baseball games are moments of exhilaration, followed by periods of boredom. I did have a great time, but give me a football game over a baseball game anyday!!!

Here we are:

Thursday, July 10, 2008

My New Idol

Have you seen the 41 yr old mother who made the US Olympic team for swimming? Amazing. While I realize she has an entire posse for her training, she's still 41. She looks awesome and managed to kick some serious butt at the trials.

So cool.

Sittin' Around

Tonight I'm doing nothing. Nada. And really happy about that.

Ran 4 miles last night. I had planned on 5, but it was late and well, I just didn't want to eek out another mile. So, 4 at about a 10:27 pace.

Looks like tomorrow will be 3 miles on the treadmill, since its supposed to be hot and gross, but I think I can handle 3 miles on the tread.

Saw another crazy runner jogging in place this morning. Except it almost appeared she was sprinting in place, which frankly, was hilarious. And she kept checking her watch. Really? The light is what, 2 minutes long?? I'll never stop finding that funny...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Complete Mindlessness

No workout today, I'll get back to that tomorrow.

I'm watching The Bachlorette. I love this show, much more than The Bachelor. This is because it's way more fun to watch a bunch of guys fall over some chick than watch a bunch of crazy women fall all over some guy.

Additionally, I love cheesy reality tv. Not all of it, stuff like The Bachlorette, Real Housewives of Orange County, Workout, Keeping Up With the Kardashian's, The Girls Next Door and even less cheesy stuff like Deadliest Catch. I think it's because I'm really nosey & just love knowing how other people live (if you can call it that!!)

Back to The Bachlorette....psycho stalker Jeremy shows up AGAIN. Get over it, she clearly can see the crazy side of you. Heaven knows we all can. She tells him she has enough respect for him to not lead him on. Then FINALLY tells him she's not in love with him. Dude, do you realize how pathetic you look on national tv? Enough of the deep crap. Granted, she's all weepy & stuff. What I'd really love is for the camera to cut to her making the crazy sign next to her head, but that would kill the moment.

Crazy Jeremy has been dumped again. And he just can't understand why.....(insert sobs here).....Gotta love this stuff!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Third of the Way

Well, so to speak & if you round up. 9 miles today, about 11 min per mile, which is about a third of the marathon. Actually, the Garmin only read 8.70, but that's because for some reason, it didn't feel the need to count the first .30 miles. So, I reset it started it over. Damn technology.

I was up early, around 6:40, due to the impending heat & humidity. It was nicer out that I expected, so that was a huge plus. As much as I hate getting up early, I really do like running at that time of day, especially on the weekends. There is very little traffic & not many people out. I pass the occasional fellow runners and maybe a bike rider or two, but that's pretty much it.

I walked a few times, but ran most of it. I feel good - knees are a little sore, but since it's really the first long run of the season, that's okay. I feel alot better than I did last year after my first long run, post-PF, so that's improvement, right?

I realize Gurnee is mostly flat & I won't disrespect the hills of American by calling Gurnee hilly, but they are definite inclines. Heading west on Grand Avenue, they may as well be Mt. Everest. Trust me. I think being able to conquer these is good, helps with the training and that god-forsaken hill at the end of the marathon course. The hills were good to me today. The better news is that on the way back, it's mostly downhill, right up until I hit the incline on O'Plaine, which is near the end of my run and isn't any fun. But even that was doable today.

Just over 3 months to go!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Ignorance vs Knowledge

The weather here in northern IL was perfect today. Low 70's, maybe even high 60's, no wind & sunny. Glorious. I need it to stay this way all summer.

Ran 4 miles today in 41:19. I walked a couple times, but overall, it went really well. Lately, my runs average 10:30 - 10:45 min per mile pace. I'm happy with that because it's way better than this time last year.

I've been reading other blogs & the Chicago Marathon website and there's alot of talk about cross training. I did none of that last year, but have adopted it for this year. My cross training mostly consists of riding the bike in my family room. I like to think it's helping, but I guess that remains to be seen. I feel stronger or maybe I'm just more knowledgeable about what it takes this year.

Last year, a few people suggested the "ignorance is bliss" theory when it comes to marathon training - that it's better to not know what you're getting yourself into. This may work for some, but if you've read the first post from today, you know I'm a control freak. For me, it's better this year because I know exactly what it takes, and what to expect on October 12th (well, at least through mile 16).

This year, I'm going with "knowledge is power".

Tagged!

By Jenn, so here goes...I'm supposed to list 6 things about me, then tag 6 people, but I don't know if I can come up with 6, so we'll see!

1. I have my own song. My Dad wrote songs for me, my sister & my Mom when I was a kid. Back around 2000/2001, he cut a CD & my song is on it. The CD is "Once Again for the First Time", and my song is "Theme for Karin". All 3 songs are instrumental, jazzy songs. I have the first line of music tattooed around my left ankle.

2. I'm a major control freak, and its getting worse as I get older.

3. I, like Jenn, have never been out of the U.S. I'd love to get to Italy, Australia and Ireland...someday!

4. At age 38, I can still do the splits 3 ways....left leg in front, right leg in front and both legs out to the sides.

5. I'm slightly OCD (not diagnosed, but I know I have issues). For example, my radio stations have to be in numerical order, I can't eat regular food with a dessert fork and I have to clean out my email inbox, both at work at home, until its empty. I know, crazy.

6. I learned how to ride a motorcycle last year & now ride a 2007 Harley Davidson Deluxe. I love, love it!

Ok, I have to tag 6 people, but can only come up with one...another Jen

Here are the rules:

- Link to the person who tagged you.
- Post the rules on your blog.
- Write six random things about yourself.
- Tag six people at the end of your post.
- Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
- Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My New Favorite Song

Is "Sacrifice" by Theory of a Deadman. You may recognize it from the Olympics commercials currently running. You've gotta love the internet & Itunes and the ability to find a song in like, 3 seconds with minimal information.

I like their sound, its got that Nickelback, Hinder, Linkin Park sound that I love. So, added a few of their songs to my current playlist, along with 2 Quiet Riot songs and a Rainbow song. The mp3 player is the best thing ever.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bikin'

Not on the motorcycle, no. Going to ride the bike for an hour tonite. No running today, but tomorrow I'm in for 4 miles. It's supposed to be hot & rain, so it should be interesting. There's always the treadmill, which I dread....

Here's my observation for today....ran out at lunch today and on my way back, there's some guy waiting to cross the street. He was jogging in place while waiting for the light. I realize there are varying opinions on this, but really, it just looks hilarious. Dude, you're waiting for what, 2 minutes? You're not losing any fitness or anything else during that time. Just stop, wait for the light to change, then go.

I also realize this is coming from the girl who thinks she looks like Phoebe when she runs sometimes, but I do stop at lights.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

This Weekend

I know, creative title.

So, Saturday, the sum total of my physical exertion was playing catcher for B, his friend and Dave in the afternoon, then tossing the football with B and his friend for awhile later in the day. That was pretty much it. I also went for a massage, thanks to Cheryl of Peak Performance Massage Therapy. She's awesome, and it felt great. She's in Glenview, so if you're interested, let me know, I'll pass on her info.

Sunday was 5 miles in 53 min, 52 seconds. This is good because my Shamrock Shuffle 5 miler was something like 59 minutes and some odd seconds, so at least there's been improvement, right??

Also, for the virtual 5K mentioned the other day, my 5k time was 31.19.

The long run next weekend is 9 miles, which should be interesting considering 5.26 is the longest I've done so far this year. The good news is that as of yesterday, the weather forcast calls for temps in the high 70's, which means morning temps will be very pleasant. Let's hope it stays that way.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Oh, and....

I didn't run today, but I did ride the bike for 45 min. this morning. Dave got the trainer thing to put my mountain bike on, and it lives in our family room. Its actually quite nice.

It wasn't a killer, dripping with sweat workout, but it was better than hitting snooze & falling back asleep. After that, I did weights for my arms. So, overall, not bad.

I am looking forward to the cooler weather this weekend....ah.....

Virtual Run Club

So, learned about the Virtual Run Club on Jenn's blog. It's a blog where us runners can track mileage. So, I joined too. Since its a running club, there is a virtual 5K this weekend, which is kinda cool. A 5K is 3.1 miles, and I plan to do 5+ this weekend, so I'll be participating in that too. Kizzy, the blogger, had a few questions for the participants, so here goes:

1. When did you start running?
Summer of '05, when my sister, Julee was training for the Chicago Marathon. I figured if she could train for that, I could certainly drag my butt up and do something.

2. Did you follow a plan (C25K etc.) to get you started running? If so, what plan did you use? If not, how did you go about getting started?
Not really, just bought good shoes and off I went.

3. Why did you start running?
See #1, but also for the fitness benefits.

4. Now that you are running regularly, what do you find to be the biggest benefits?
Stress relief, me time, weight loss and the ability to eat (almost) anything!

5. What are your future plans for running? Short-term and Long-range.
Short term to actually cross the finish line the right way at the Chicago marathon this year. Long term...I'd love to say Boston someday, so maybe that.

6. What are your personal goals for the Virtual 5K?To finish in 33 min, which is about an 11 min pace, which I think is totally doable.

7. Do you have a music “theme song” that you will use for this race?My current power song is "Settlin'" by Sugarland. While training for Chicago last year, I had an awesome 10 miler, and during the last mile, that song came on and it was so very cool!

So, there it is...Be sure to check back this weekend for the results!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

5.26

Yep, 5.26 miles on Sunday. I think the key for me is running at dusk. I seem to have my best run at dusk, around 65 degrees. Think I can pull that off all summer? Not likely, but it sure would be nice. I think its because I've been moving around all day, and everything is loosened up. Maybe we can move the marathon to a 6 pm start. I know, also unlikely.

Anyway, a successful 5.26 miles in 59:52. Not the 10 min pace I'd like, but that's okay, I have time for that. I felt good and only walked a grand total of 4 min that entire time. Ya-freakin-who.

My new gameplan is to run every other day. The bod seems much happier when I do that. If necessary, I'll drop the shorter weekday run. Throw in some biking, on our new, groovy trainer, and I should be good.

Here's the bad part about running at dusk...mosquitos. They really, really like sweaty people. Maybe that's why I kept going and didn't walk much. But hey, whatever works. If the silly mosquitos keep me moving, then so be it!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Love/Hate

Nope, not the bar owned by Ami James & Chris Nunez from Miami Ink (the tattoo show on TLC). I wish, but that's not what this is about.

It's about my relationship with running. On one hand, I love how I feel afterwards - exhilarated, energized, happy to be done. I also love that it's a great workout.

On the other hand, I hate being uncomfortably hot, that I'm not faster, that I took almost a month off and lost a bunch of fitness and have to walk periodically during the runs. The other thing I hate is that I have to force myself to slow down. Trying to slow down while running is like riding the motorcycle in first gear when you should be in third. It's not easy. But for now, it's necessary. It's true, when I slow down - even a little - I'm more successful and less ticked off at myself for the calf injury and said month off.

And while I'm out there plodding along (3.10 miles today), I wonder how 26.2 is going to feel. Cuz at the moment, it seems impossible.

But, I'll keep going and logging the miles however necessary. As Dean Karnazes so eloquently put it "Run when you can, walk when you have to, crawl if you must. Just never give up."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yahoo...

Another successful 3 miler. Well, I'm calling it 3 miles. My Garmin is calling it 2.73. That is because I forgot to turn the stupid thing back on after I stopped at a stoplight. But I ran a good distance before I realized that, so let's call it 3 miles.

For all you runners out there, do you ever wonder how you look when you run? Remember that "Friends" episode where Rachel goes out to run, and Phoebe goes with her and and runs all crazy? That's how I felt today. Some days, I can get into a good rhythm, and others...well, not so much. I envision cars driving by and people chuckling. Trust me, I don't care what they think, but sometimes I just wonder how it looks.

Back to the Garmin - and this is a shout out to Heather, who is one of the featured runners on the Chicago Marathon website under Runner Diaries, and a self-proclaimed gadget freak. I can't run without the Garmin. I have to know how far, pace, etc. I've tried to run without it, just for the shear pleasure, but it cannot be done. I'm way too much of a control freak, but at least I can admit it.

My last thought for today comes from the Portillo's drive-thru guy. We were there tonite, and he had tattoos on his forearms that said:
"Every sinner has a future, Every saint has a past"
Profound, isn't it?? I thought so.......

Monday, June 16, 2008

Success

I ran on Saturday. Well, I ran and walked on Saturday, but still managed to finish 3.01 miles so that was good. The calf feels good. I'm stretching alot, and alls well. Whew.

One thing the doc suggested was "endurance biking". I don't know where I'd "endurance bike" around here, and don't really have the time (or desire, for that matter) to haul my bike all over to ride. So, my wonderful husband is going to pick up one of those bike trainers - you know, the one you put the rear wheel of the bike in and can ride in the comfort of your own home.

So, my plan is to dump one of the weekly runs for now and bike instead, then maybe throw in some biking on Sunday too. Tomorrow is another 3 miler, which should be doable after work.

We have summer hours now at work, which is great once Friday rolls around. However, trying to get up, get ready, get B up and to camp then get to work by 8, doesn't really leave much time for anything else. Then factor in baseball games at night and football that begins mid-July. Should be an interesting summer.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? Mmmhmmm..riiiiiiiight!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Shouts

A few shouts for this week -

Brian, who is now officially a second grader. When asked how that felt, he said "It's really different." When asked why, he told me "I really feel older". Then today, proceeded to tell me how OLD 40 was. Out of the mouths of babes....

Mari, my fab friend who has recently quit smoking. She was commenting last night how she's gained weight. I reminded her of 2 things - 1, a little weight in the beginning is better than smoking and 2, it is very hard to quit smoking and lose weight in the first year. I told her to give herself a break, to concentrate on not smoking. Yahoo, Mar, you can do it!

Juju, my groovy sistter who has finished her second semester of nursing school. All A's so far! She starts summer school next week. Not much of a summer break, so more power to her!

Doc Day

I saw the sports medicine doc today. He really didn't tell me anything I didn't know - or, anything Julee hadn't already told me. He did say he could not palpate a space (or did he call it a divet? I can't remember) in the muscle, my calves are symmetric and I didn't have any range of motion issues. The exam was essentially negative. I should stay with a neutral shoe because of the orthotics (I didn't know that), he suggested some bicycle riding mixed in to keep up the cardio, but take stress of the calf. Otherwise, he wasn't too concerned. Good.

I did get new shoes. They're a little roomier than the old ones, so if nothing else, they will be more comfortable and hopefully, I won't end up with that lovely black toenail this year. Buying shoes always feels like a shot in the dark to me - depends where you go, which salesperson you talk to. I like to think they all have the same general knowledge, but I guess you never know. I ended up with Saucony today. They're roomy in the toe box, snug around the mid-foot and fit well in the heel. Tomorrow I'll be taking them out for a run. Let's hope for the best!

Tomorrow, Saturday, is the official 18 week start of marathon training season. So, watch out for those runners out there. They're on a mission, and they're quite serious about it. Cut 'em a break, when you see one, they could be at the end of their long run!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Another quote

I lifted this one from a Runners World article. It's from the column written by John Bingham, "No Need for Speed". At the end of his column from the July issue it says,

"I resolved to approach life with a new perspective and to accept the challenges that come my way not as obstacles or failures, but as opportunities to grow both as a runner and as a person."

Another very interesting thought to ponder.....

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ahhhhhh!

I went for a massage yesterday. The human body is such an amazing machine for so many reason, but to think that muscle knots can be relieved with simple pressure amazes me (okay, maybe not so simple pressure. At times, it was painful, but the pain didn't last long). The massage therapist must have worked out a zillion knots in my neck, shoulders and calves. So much better! My calves were so tight it was crazy.

I often read about how massage can help runners (well, everyone really) but never followed that advice. I think I will going forward. Still haven't gotten new running shoes, but I will after I see the doc on Friday. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that between the doc's advice, new shoes & massages, this training thing will go smoother this year.

Marathon training officially starts next Saturday with a 6 mile run. I won't be putting in 6 miles, but I will try to put in something. I'm not the only one slacking. My blogger friend, Jenn (see http://mysecondfirstmarathon.blogspot.com/), is too. Jenn is also a Chicago Marathon '07 reroutee and American Cancer Society runner. It's nice to know I'm not the only one easing into this training!! Send your good vibes her way, too!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Random Thoughts...

So, a few things I'm pondering lately..

What's up with the damn price of gas? Seriously, $53 for a HALF tank in my car? And why is a gallon of gas here $4.19, in Germany it's $8.00 and in some other country, it's .30? I realize the local economy differs in these areas, but shouldn't there be SOME regulation? Something has to change.

The Jenny Craig Queen Latifah commercial where she's on the treadmill "really moving"? Come on, you're barely walking, Queenie, and you know it. And no, the goofy chick 2 treadmills down doesn't deserve the "way to work it out" comment. Not only is she not even sweating, she's so annoying I can't stand it. No one cares about your 5K, or how your consultant taught you how to cheat on your stupid diet. Queen Latifah is not that dorky. Who writes those stupid commercials?

Today was Joke Day for Brian's class....here's one we thought was HYSTERICAL -
How do you get a Kleenex to dance?


Put a little boogie in it - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....come on, he's a 7 yr old boy, its hilarious!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Thought for the day...

I stole this quote from my friend Mari's Facebook page (yes, she knows I've hijacked it)..but I think it says alot:

"Life is too short to wake up with regrets. Love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy. They just promised it would be worth it. "

Nothing new on the running front, except that I'm not. My calf isn't really sore, but I can feel something. No doctor's appointment this week, I couldn't get in, so I'll wait until the 13th. I'm wondering if its my shoes. I've been running in them since the end of March, with no major changes in pace or distance, they're the only thing that has changed. My plan is to see the doc, and try new shoes. I think I'm also going for a massage this week, which should help work out any knots (thank you, Juj, for the idea).

I miss running, but better to err on the side of caution!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

She Did It!

My friend, Michele qualified for Boston!! Her finish time, per the San Diego Marathon website... 3 hrs, 40 min and 13 seconds! She had to finish in 3 hrs, 50 min or better, and she sure did!

I am so freakin' excited for her!

Sorta Back in the Game

Hi folks..what a great weekend!

Went for a run today, the first one outside. The calf was okay, then around 2.70 miles it started to feel sore. So, I stopped running & walked the rest of the way home. I wasn't limping, and wasn't in pain but could definitely feel something. Boo. I wasn't running at a crazy pace, the average for the run was 10:23, which was comfortable.

The good news is there was no bruise like last time & I can walk on it. I have an appointment with a sports medicine doc on June 13th, however, I'll be calling tomorrow to get in this week. I may need to take a few weeks off, but that's okay. Last year, I didn't even start marathon training until the end of June, after developing plantar fasciitis, and all worked out just fine.

In the meantime, we'll do some bicycle riding, I'll get more weight training in and get back on the Weight Watchers core plan a bit more diligently. I'll see what the doc says and go from there!!

Enjoy the weekend...finally!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Back in the Game

Game on, folks. Started running this week again. Taking it slower, but so far, so good. The official training starts on June 14th.

Yesterday was the CARA (Chicago Area Runners Association) training packet pick-up. Very nice techinical shirts this year, provided by Nike. Alot nicer than last year, so that was a nice surprise.

A big ole shout out to my friend Michele again....this Sunday is the San Diego Marathon. Her goal time is 3 hrs, 50 minutes to qualify for Boston next year, so GO MICHELE!! You'll find me online Sunday checking her results. Then, look out Boston, cuz here we come to cheer her on!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

One more WalMart rant...

So, after my post on WalMart, I'm watching TV and see a commercial....at the end, it says:

WalMart
Save Money. Live Better.

Live better? Really? Have the people who wrote this ever been in one of the stores? Nothing about being in WalMart = living better.

Okay, I'm done now.