Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Yay motivation! (& a Bday tribute)

Got some great news!!!!!

My daad is going to run the Chicago Marathon with me!!!

My daad won an entry to the marathon from Arctic Ease. He even had to create a facebook page to do the contest. Im so proud ;) Arctic Ease makes super cool (no pun intended) wraps. You dont even put them in the freezer or anything. The wraps are like magic!!  They are nice post run when I need to ice the calf and move around. And their customer service is wow!!! Go "Arctify" yourself now. Do it!!

Motivation and a birthday tribute:

I am so excited to run with my dad in October!

My dad got me interested in running. I ran my first race at age 9- a 1 mile St Patrick's day event and won my age group! Then I didn't really run again until cross country in high school. I always was inspired by my daad, the runner. I watched him complete a triathlon and many other races.
(Source) High school cross country. 12 years ago?
I ran my first marathon with my dad- The 2002 NYC marathon. he beat me by 45 minutes.

I ran my first 1/2 marathon with my dad. The 2003 Las Vegas international half. He beat my time again.

He's pretty fast for an old guy. Lol

I watched him achieve his lifelong goal of qualifying for Boston at the Rock n Roll Arizona 2010. (his best marathon was a 3:04:59 back in the day when the Boston standard for young guys was 2:50 and his 5k pr is a blazing 16:48!!)

I am motivated and inspired.

I wanted him to run Chicago with me this year, but back during registration he was dealing with injuries that almost forced him to drop out of the Boston Marathon. Luckily he was able to overcome those annoyances, finished Boston and is relatively pain free now.

He has been cleaning up the age group hardware in the local 5ks in Florida, with some fast times in that crazy heat. So with 6 weeks to go he is now training for a marathon (Sorry daad, no more AG medals for now!). The playing field is closer to even and I think we will be able to run a slightly sub 4:00 marathon together (for once) in Chicago.

Thanks Daad for inspiring me to run and continue on even when things get tough.

I can't wait to run this race with you!!! (and pig out on BBQ food and good beer afterward)

Happy birthday Daad!!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

6 weeks...

Wow! 6 weeks from today is Chicago Marathon Sunday!


Week in review:

28 total miles. Eh, not quite what I was hoping for, but had to bail on my LSD 18 miler (turned into a 7 miler)

Monday: 6 miles: 52:20
Tues- Wednesday: off
Thursday 5 miles 46:30
Friday: 4 miles 35:45
Saturday: 6 miles 51:34
Sunday: 7 miles 61:00

The shin/ calf pain was a little more present this week so I was a bit scared with every step I took. On saturday after the 6, I got a massage which *hurt* so good on my calf. By Sunday it was still in a little pain, but in the afternoon I felt good and squeaked out the 7 miles.

It's all about listening to your body and knowing when to stop.

The massage therapist said it felt like my muscle had separated from the bone (not the first time I've heard that) *shudders* but had I actually torn my muscle (back in late may) I'd imagine the pain I should have experienced would have been tremendous, and I wouldn't be running relatively pain free currently. Plus, I didnt have any bruising or swelling when it happened back After the soldier field 10, I'm thinking it could have been a strain due to dehydration and then the hard running I did after the first signs of pain, or perhaps a stress fracture. I dunno. I just want to get to the start of the Chicago marathon healthy. (I've already started looking at spring marathons.. Redemption!)

I ice, use arctic ease, TP kit, foam roll, and use the stick on my leg- in addition to compression socks. and it is much better, I just have to stay smart about this silly thing. I'm thinking of making an appointment at athelitco to see if something in my stride is causing undue stress on my right leg. I'm not sure if they would even be able to get that in depth with a free diagnostic exam, but it couldn't hurt. (I'm also not sure how much of the pain is purely psychological as opposed to real pain in my leg)

I'm staying positive and happy with the week I had. Yeah- no yoga. I decided to save the $$$ for now. The 6pm class is ridiculously packed, the 8pm class is too late for me and the 6am class could work, but I'd rather leave work at the normal time and not 30 minutes later. Sigh...

I also enjoyed some of this during the week....

Eh, Injuries. Or psychological ghosts...

How do you stay motivated when you have setbacks in your training?


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dear Chicago marathon training

These past 13 weeks have been anything but ideal. The start of 2011 had me focusing on consistency and speed (as opposed to the last few years of running and not pushing myself) I started making some great progress towards my goals of reducing times in all the distances I wanted to race. Then came may 28- the soldier field 10. I had a great race and had reduced my per mile pace even lower than before. But, after the race I began experiencing pain in my shin/calf. I kept running on it that week and damaged it further to the point I was limping around.

Then Chicago marathon training started. I paid $$$ to train with CES (pre injury) and couldn't even run for 6-8 weeks. It has been so incredibly disappointing. I went into this training season with high expectations and now I am constantly reevaluating everything- my goals have changed substantially as they should. I am also paranoid with every step I take that the minimal pain I still experience will come back full force. I am disappointed and frustrated to the point that this has become an excuse for not doing the training that I should be doing. I am lucky to have an extremely supportive wonderful, wonderful who encourages me to go workout. Yet, even with my support and the highs of getting a PR by 5 minutes in the Rock n Roll Chicago Half marathon last week, I am still barely breaking 20 running miles a week. The past 2 weeks I've gone to yoga once. It's pathetic, I'm pathetic.

So this is where it all stops. Chicago marathon training, I am writing you off for the past 13 weeks. I will no longer feel discouraged, disappointed, or frustrated at what could have been with you. Starting today I will focus on the next 7 weeks and do everything i should be doing. Yoga 4-6 times a week, and increasing my mileage back to around 40ish a week. No more excuses.

Today starts the beginning of the next 7 weeks, a clean slate and the ability to run free of these demons that have plagued me during the past 13 weeks. This morning I ran 10 miles in 1:22:30 and felt wonderful. This is going to be the start of something really great.



Sunday, August 14, 2011

Race recap: Rock n Roll Chicago


I went into this race just hoping for the best- whatever that was.. With the lingering calf/shin problem that has been around since the end of may, I was just praying to finish the race pain free. The past few months I haven't gone over 30 miles for a week of training. This week, I didn't even do yoga at all :( I felt exhausted and drained all week and managed a 3 mile and 6 mile run this week. That's it.

Rolled out of bed before the sun woke up and wonderful, wonderful and I made the mile trek over to the start area. I was seriously nervous for this race. I was worried about my tummy having issues because pasta dinner the night before sits like a brick in my belly,and I was worried about my injury (it still rears it's ugly head occasionally- and isn't 100% healed), and was nervous about hitting my "A" goal of 1:50 for the half, which would get me into a seeded corral for the Chicago marathon. I knew it was possible, but with the minimal amount of training I've done, well, I wasn't too confident.

My garmin mileage was whack for this race because of a tunnel in the first mile, and also someplace near the end where it goes under the McCormick place. Other times during the race my pace would read 14:00+ minutes and a mile later would read 6:00 which I assume is because of the tall buildings impeding satellite reception. For this reason, I have no mile splits. From the official results, I know I did negative splits. It's the way I train, so I'm happy I was able to accomplish it for the race.

I took off with the 1:50 pacers and felt pretty good. We were hitting nice even 8:19 splits. I took water at every aid station- about every other mile. Drank 1 cup and dumped the other on my neck. I was soaked by the finish. Around mile 5?, I looked off into the distance and saw some crazy scary black storm clouds and thought sh$t, hope there's no lightning. Just before mile 6 I took a jet blackberry Gu about .15 from a water station. It had 2x caffeine and was a nice pick me up for the rest of the race.

About mile 7 I just started to push more and more and eventually lost the pace group. I kept looking over my shoulder to make sure they didn't pass me at a water stop- otherwise I'd have to haul butt to catch them. I think by now I was starting to hit some 8:05ish miles. I was on cruise control and felt pretty darn good. I started doing the math in my head at each mile marker to ensure I was still on pace for a 1:50 finish. After 9 miles of being on pace I couldn't let it slip away. Chariots of fire came on my iPod and I nearly cried. I was going to make my goal, the goal I wanted so bad since I signed up for the Chicago marathon back in february. Eminem's "loose yourself" came on a few songs later and I must have listened to it 5 times during the last couple of miles. It was a straight road to the finish and the finishline didn't seem to be getting closer. I kept pushing on and would look down so the finish didn't seem so far away. I crossed the line and cried.

This race meant so many things to me.

-a nearly 5 minute PR. I love me a PR.

-a surge in confidence after the last 8 weeks nursing this injury. I am doing things right and will continue yoga and slowly build mileage back to my routine.

-a seeded start in the Chicago marathon.

-a goal achieved and beaten. It feels damn good.

I am also so proud of my wonderful wonderful for finishing, even though he cannot train much due to his crazy travel schedule.

Rock n Roll Chicago thoughts:
-extremely well organized. Many aid stations, volunteers were smiling. Thank you!!

-loved loved loved the downtown course. It was reminiscent of shamrock shuffle, with about 8 more miles..

-the weather was perfect. Maybe 62 at the start, cloudy and some light sprinkles. I was so concerned it would be 95 like it was a few weeks ago.

-the 6:30am start was early, but welcome. Get it done before it gets too hot. Have the rest of the day to celebrate.

-popsicles and cold towels at the finish. Awesomeness.

-the crowds. It was packed with spectators in the second half. Loved the crowd support.

I would do it again. The RNR events are pricy, but worth all the pennies because they are run very efficiently.

Celebration followed our finishes.

Kettle chips with bleu cheese from hackneys. A nice long nap completed our afternoon.

Congrats to everyone who ran today!

I'll spare you the waiting..

1:48:07 a new PR by almost 5 minutes!!!!!!!!

Race report to follow, after proper celebrating!


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Rock n rolling #14

#14 is tomorrow. I cannot believe I'm up to 14 half marathons after tomorrow. My first was the las Vegas international half, back in February 2003. (i didnt train for it and the course was super boring in the middle of no where about an hour outside of Vegas)

The 2nd, was the 2008 rock n roll san Jose half marathon. (I am seriously going to miss doing that one for the 4th time straight this year- it is the week before the Chicago marathon.) Half marathons are my favorite distance hands down. I like pushing myself for 2 hours and receiving a medal. I use them as training runs for full
Marathons, and also do them just to enjoy a nice long supported run.

Tomorrow is the rock n roll half marathon in Chicago. The course is all downtown which is a nice change from running just on the lakefront like the 3 other halfs I've done here this year. Plus, it starts and ends about a mile from my place..

The expo had innovative fitting rooms.

Also had to get our usual shots...

We went on Friday after work to get our bibs and schwag. It was awesome to walk around the expo and not be packed like 12 people into a vw bug.

I like the shirt and wish they were not unisex. It is a dark navy blue tech shirt.


A 1:50 or less. That means a 2+ minute PR and qualification into the last Chicago marathon start corral before the "open" wave. If i dont get a 1:50, I'm starting in the herd with 40,000+ others come October. Smooth start = happier me in 2 months.

Finish and be healthy. My leg is good this week, but sometimes it acts up. I would like to remain injury free. If it starts bugging me, I will take it easy to the finish.

This race starts at 6:30am tomorrow. Yikes! Im not a morning runner. On the other hand, I'll be happy to be done by 9am.

It will be nice to meet some others at the FFCheer tweetup post race.

(been wearing that since Friday and it's just as annoying as it looks. At least I won't have to show my id post race and wait in line)

I'm looking forward to some beer after the race- even at 9am Chicagoland time, it's 5 o'clock somewhere.... (Eh, even if it's MGD 64 aka beer flavored koolaid)

Good luck to everyone who raced or is racing this weekend! I can't wait to hear how your races went. :)


Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Yeah, it's that beautiful here in Chicagoland today.

With the rock n roll Chicago half coming up on Sunday, it seems as if my prayers and offerings to the cool weather gods were partly answered.

This past week I:
Ran a 5k(ish) time trial in 23:22
Ran 8 miles in 66:50 (last 5 miles at 8:19, last mile at 7:50)
Bikram yoga 4 times, 6 hours

I also got my orders of Nuun and Gen UCan. The vanilla Gen UCan recovery was nice after my 8 mile effort. I drank lemon tea flavored Nuun during my run. It was delicious! It tasted like nestea but not as sugary or syrupy. I cannot wait to try grape, and especially strawberry lemonade. I'm also looking forward to trying out the Gen UCan pre workout drinks. They have carbs in them that will fuel you for 2+ hours if you drink them 30-45 minutes before a workout. I'm not digging pasta right now, so if this works, it will be awesome to be able to avoid pre race carb loading!

Cb wants to model for beer commercials, so he had me take his photo. Kid needs a job, but I don't think his idea will pan out.

He likes watching storms when there isn't any lightning or thunder. Perhaps He should just stick to being a house pet who runs sometimes and barks a lot.

This week I'm looking forward to:
-more bikram yoga
-some easy taperish runs

What are you looking forward to this week? Anybody racing this weekend?


Friday, August 5, 2011

Yay Friday!

I couldnt resist the more cupcake truck this morning

Key lime cupcake!!

Mariachi band serenades a Whale

This video is awesome and will brighten your day.

Happy weekend!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Today is not my Friday

But I wish it was....

Mainly because of the lovely weather that has descended upon chicagoland.

I did a 5k time trial last night with the CES group. There were less people last night than other nights, maybe they were at outdoor cafes enjoying the refreshing weather.

I had planned earlier in the day to push the pace a little and finish in 25:00. After the warmup, I was feeling good so I took off and was surprised to see I was running 7:30 pace at the first half mile. I felt great and pushed the pace but kept it comfortably hard for the rest of the run. I finished in 23:22 although I think the course was a little short. I'll take 7:40 pace any day! This was a massive confidence booster because I keep worrying about my calf (which isn't hurting much surprisingly) and because Of the lack of mileage this cycle. If the weather was hotter like last week, I would have folded like a cheap suit.

I'm actually a little excited for the rock n roll Chicago half next week. I'm hoping the weather stays cool and keeps getting cooler.

Classic CB

How do you build confidence when you are having a less than ideal training cycle?