Friday, September 30, 2011

September by the numbers

133.6 miles run in September

1 Half marathon in 1:53

8 days until marathon #4

3- the number of marathons I will have completed in 365 days.

48- the number of photos I took of Willis.

3- the number of cupcakes I ate. They were yummy!

3- the number I'm hoping to see at the beginning of my
Chicago marathon finish time.

0- the number of injuries I currently have.

1- the number of photo shoots I did with CB.

1- the number of races I registered for.

2- the number of friends who will be running this event also, who convinced me to do it. (thanks Tribu!)

0- the number of marathons I had planned on running before april 2012.

1- the number of weeks off after Chicago marathon before I start training for the Ing Miami Marathon.

1839- the times I've obsessed About Chicago marathon weather and the Miami marathon weather.

??- the number of bloggers I hope to meet next week.. I'm talking especially to you JunieB and Britt :)

3- the bowls of pasta I'll eat with my dad next week before the marathon.

0- the number of bowls I want to eat of pasta.

Happy October!


Sunday, September 25, 2011

2 weeks from this moment

I will be celebrating crossing the finish of the 2011 Chicago Marathon. (marathon #4)

Saturday: 12 miles, 1:39

Yesterday was my last double digit run for this cycle. I felt great and pushed the pace for negative splits (huge confidence booster). It was a bittersweet moment because I am finally pain free and ready to run, but alas the taper will begin. This week I will have about 30 miles after my Sunday 5 mile run.

Let the taper madness begin!!

I am beyond happy that my shin/calf problems are seemingly behind me. I can attribute being pain free to this:

3 weeks ago I was having a massage and the therapist suggested I try digestive enzymes- like the kind from papayas and pineapples. She told me that cooked foods don't contain the enzymes necessary to digest all of our food and the toxins we ingest thus causing our body to focus energy on digesting those things instead of healing. So I went straight to whole foods and spent $6.99 on a bottle just to see if they would make a difference. I take one pill with every meal. Within a few days I didn't feel the usual dull pain on my shin/calf anymore. 3 weeks later (this week) I ran 3 miles in 22:00 just to see if the pain would return after a hard effort. And now I'm happy to report that nothing happened! I continue to ice, foam roll, stick, etc just to stay smart about it.

Have you ever tried digestive enzymes?

- I will continue to take the digestive enzymes and probiotics because I can feel a huge difference. I wish I would have started taking them sooner.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Bum drinking 40's

Yeah, someone- several times found my blog with that search. Also "alcoholic marathon." love those google analytics.

3 weeks until marathon Sunday now and it can't come soon enough. I'm ready to celebrate this training cycle and move on with my life. There are some 5k's looking interesting in November and a possible 15k, before everything freezes over that I want to do.

I got my confirmation ticket with bib # for the chicago marathon on Friday. It's all starting to feel real now... (and that this cycle will be coming to an end very very soon!)

This week I ran about 30 miles. No run longer than 8 miles. (at-least 2 runs were pretty intense- with hills or speed thrown in) This week was tough mentally, plus I've been feeling very fatigued. Since I'm not after a time goal anymore for Chicago (asides from sub 4:00), I don't feel too guilty about ditching the long run in favor of staying healthy. Plus, I need to enjoy the view of Willis (tower) from our new place.

I'll probably do a couple of 10+ mile runs this week and officially be on taper mode by the end of the week. (and take a cue from CB when he isn't crazy barking at ghosts)

What are you looking forward to this week? Any races? Special events?

- for me, I just want to continue to be pain free in my shin and calf. Nothing special going on in my hood :)


Monday, September 12, 2011

Chicago Half Marathon

Time: 1:53

Got in a taxi at 5:50am for the 7am start. Figured the 7 mile ride to the start couldn't take long. I was WRONG! Taxi hit mad traffic because the race had already closed lakeshore dr at 31st street. Luckily my driver knew where to go once we got to the exit. I ended up walking .5 mile to the start, slipped into my corral and then the race started literally 5 seconds later. No pre race port a potty stop. No usual pre race ritual this time. At least I was warmed up!

The Plan
My plan was to just take it "easy". Wonderful, wonderful and I moved to a new apartment this weekend and my calf was bitching about carrying heavy stuff (along with my back and arms...) I also wanted to take it easy because I didnt want to damage myself before the Chicago marathon in 4 weeks. Plus it was on the warm side.
(I know I know. 70 is not warm to most of you, but with 80+% humidity, it was sticky)

The Race
So no sooner did I get into the corral (and take a few photos) the race started. Talk about cutting it close! As I was walking up to the start line after the gun went off, I realized my garmin had shut off. So much for being pro active during the .5 mile walk to start by turning it on. I failed to hear it beep saying it was going to power save mode. I crossed the start and began my 13.1 mile journey.

For a split second I thought about running the race "naked" but decided to get the garmin connected again. About 2 minutes later it hooked up to the satellites. I was surprised that my "easy" pace was hovering around 8:35 a mile. I felt fabulous. Every aid station I drank some water and dumped another cup on my neck. The race went up lakeshore dr and then back south. It was never crowded (surprising because of the volume of participants). I saw so many people with red white and blue on and saw several people carrying large American flags- which would prompt the spectators to chant USA USA USA. It made me tear up hearing the patriotism.

(fire truck that responded to the 9/11 attacks in NYC. All of her crew died when the World trade centers collapsed)

The second half of the race was in the sun. It was getting warm, but I just tried to keep the 8:30's feeling comfortable. By mile 11, I saw the race had gone to yellow flag(use caution). All I kept thinking the last 2.1 was Sh*t! Just don't go to red so my time can be recorded. Mile 12 was still yellow so I pushed it in to the finish and was happy to be done.

(seeing this truck gave me chills. It is being restored because it got banged up when the WTC collapsed)

Post half #15
walking through the finish chute I saw military personnel in uniform and ROTC students giving out water and other snacks. I made it a point to say thank you to them not only for the water, but for their service and dedication to ensuring freedom for us.

I found the tent to pick up the "windy city challenge" medal I earned from "finishing" that dreadfully hot black flag 13.1 Chicago half marathon race in June. I love the medals! The Chicago half medal's lanyard has their race logo and also a flag which says "we will never forget" on it. Love it!

Final thoughts
A HUGE thank you to the volunteers who were enthusiastic and genuinely happy to be out early on a Sunday morning. You guys were seriously awesome!

I would do this race again. However with oakbrook half, Naperville half, and the Foxvalley half/full all being within a week of each other, I might have to try a race in the burbs next year during the first few weeks of September. Organization, the course, everything was perfect for this race. It really couldn't have been better. (and far exceeded my expectations for a massive race)

Cheers to the Chicago half for putting on a great event!


Saturday, September 10, 2011


Tomorrow is the Chicago half marathon. It will be my 15th half.

The expo was at navy pier, so I decided to run the 2.5+ miles there to get my stuff and then run back.

It was a beautiful (albeit warm) day. Maybe I shouldn't have worn my jacket...

My plan for this race is to treat it as an easy training run. Just average 9:00 or so per mile and just feel good. My calf, after a week of feeling great has decided to give some discomfort again. Perhaps it is all the carrying of heavy things moving from one apt to a new one- not sure. Depending on how I feel after the race, I might run home- which is an additional 7.7+ miles.

The shirt is pretty cool. It is also very soft. We are encouraged to wear red white and blue tomorrow in remembrance of 9-11.

They were also giving out free posters.

I signed up for a sports chiropractic evaluation. For $25 I will get x rays and an eval to determine if one leg is longer than the other, or if there is some other spinal problem that might be causing the right leg extra stress. The guy at the expo had me stand on 2 scales- one for each foot and told me to stand even and balanced. The weight on my left leg was 11 lbs more than my right. He said a normal range is less than 5lbs. I'm really hoping to get some good answers through this. Monday afternoon I hope to have more knowledge about my problems.

Have you ever had an evaluation with a chiropractor that specializes in sports?


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Woof woof Willis Wednesday


(likes to hide in small spaces under tables)


(likes to flash his beautiful blue eyes at me and make my heart melt. Makes up for all those times I yell at him for barking...)

Willis (tower)

(I like the Willis tower- formerly the sears tower. It looks like legos!)


(there is a very tiny amount of beer in his bowl and as a result he looks embarrassed. He wouldn't try it until I walked away. Then he licked the bowl clean)


(he likes keeping an eye on everyone from stealthy locations, like the balcony)


(Willis being camera shy)


Sunday, September 4, 2011

6 weeks to go week in review

Total miles: 50

AM 5 miles 44:20
PM 5 miles 44:00
Tuesday: rest
AM 5 miles 43:40
PM 5 miles 43:20
Thursday 1 mile warmup/ cool down
7 miles alternating 8:30, 8:00 pace per song, last mile 7:30. 56:50
Friday rest
Saturday 15 miles 2:13:18
Sunday 4 easy miles with cb, 3 miles 24:42

This week I wanted to up my mileage. I succeeded. The plan was more longer slower distances and a cutback on the speed during the increase. My calf issue stayed at bay and I felt really good the entire week until it came time for the long run.

I was not feeling the whole "run for almost 3 hours" event when i woke up saturday so I decided to prepare for it and just see how I felt while running. (the plan was 20 miles, but was willing to run 6, and defer the 20 until Sunday). I drank some Gen UCan cran-raspberry pre workout drink about 30 minutes before running. They are supposed to have enough carbs to last for 2+ hours of activity, and are easy on the stomach. (and for good measure I've been eating a lot of rice and other carby grains this week)

(found some more Chicago marathon banners!!)

I felt great the first 6.5, then towards the end of the next 6.5 I started feeling even more tired. I ate my usual chomps and salt tabs and kept hydrated with some fruit punch Nuun. I filled up my water bottle a 2nd time with just water. But starting mile 14 was tough. I pushed for 15 and called it quits. Could I have kept going? Yes. But it would have been a Big struggle. (and probably not worth it)

I think I was dehydrated. Craziness! I drank more than I usually do, but felt so crappy the rest of the day. I'm sure it was dehydration though. Blah! Lesson learned.

Sunday CB and I walked/ jogged 4 miles on the lakefront and had a photo shoot. CB likes being noticed, just don't touch him.

Some girls asked to take a photo with him. (he had been staring at them and everyone else to get noticed while we were sitting in the grass) then when they came over he acted all shy. I dunno. In our building He always makes eye contact with people in the elevator, but backs away when people try to pet him. Silly pup!

He is also camera shy, but I think the extended walk tired him out so he wasn't focusing on dodging the camera.

In less than 5 weeks, I'll be crossing the finish of marathon #4. For the first time in weeks
(and months) I'm truly excited.

Do you ever "bonk" during a workout? If it happens, are you always able to find a cause for why it happened?

- some times I can pinpoint the reason- like dehydration. Other times I seriously have no idea why one workout was far worse than it should have been. Perhaps it's our body's way of saying "backoff" for this one.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

August in numbers

4- the number of times I've taken a photo of these banners.

1- the number of firework shows I've actually seen from navy pier (seeing the top of the fireworks over the buildings from my place doesn't count)

1- the number of times I ran outside at night. Happened to be last night when I joined the south loop runners club to go watch the fireworks.

5- the number of miles CB and I ran to go watch the fireworks.

0- the number of fireworks CB liked. (he freaked out the entire time. Not a surprise)

106.7- the total miles I ran in august.

20- the number of miles I ran (in 2 days) during the last 3 days of August

16- the number of days I ran.

6.66875- the average miles I ran per day (running days) in august.

5- the number of minutes I smashed my PR by in the half marathon, Subsequently qualifying me for a corral in the chicago marathon. Read about it Here

1- the number of race entries won. Ok, it wasn't me who won, but my dad. My dad is running the Chicago marathon with me! Read about it here.

1- number of black truffle risottos I made. And it was easy and delicious and full of yummy carbs.

1- the number of Crumb Bakeries that opened up entirely too close to my office.

1- the number of times I've been there. I only got the most delicious cherry almond turnover ever!

1- the number of stare downs CB had with his enemy, the metra train. He doesn't like it because he watched the movie "source code" with us one night.

???- the number of yummy beers consumed.