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


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


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


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
5. that's 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
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 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


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


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.... = 69 & cloudy = 60 and mostly cloudy = 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, 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!