Monday, September 29, 2008


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


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 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!