Thursday, April 28, 2011

Leaving on a...

Going back to participate in the graduation ceremony for my second bachelors degree, in accounting. (the first degree I received 7 years ago was in music performance)

(not my ride, but the one next to it)

Hoping to get some nice long runs in this weekend, in the heat.



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rain delay :( *cancelled game* :(

Left work at 12 to go to the Rockies- cubs game today which was to start at 1:20. (it is a work sponsored event. I couldn't pass up a free ticket to go to Wrigley and hang with my co-workers)

We are still in the bar because it won't stop raining. :(

Wrigley field!

I hope it stops raining soon. I really want to see the inside of the park. :(

game is postponed until June 27.

I'm really bummed right now. But I'm happy I can go home early.

Drinking on the clock is awesome! ;)


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter, Feliz pascua!

3 miles in 26:50 on the tread yesterday.

3 miles in 26:08 on the tread today to celebrate Easter.

I'm feeling 100% after the marathon less than a week ago. But, am taking it easy because I'm still recovering from the 26.2 and those wicked hills.

I don't want to fall into the "marathon blues" rut I got into after Nike womens marathon last year- so I need to keep focused on the big picture of:

1. Breaking 1:50 in a half marathon (preferably 1:45) so I can qualify for a seeded corral for the Chicago marathon in October. It's totally doable in the next few months.

2. Qualify for Boston 2013 with hopefully a 5 minute cushion. Lofty goal considering I need to cut almost 50 minutes from my PR time, but I know it's possible if I don't get injured *fingers crossed* and put quality miles in with my new family at Chicago Endurance Sports. Training starts June 4th with them!!

Until then, I have 2 half marathons, a 10 miler and a 5k to work on. I'm hoping for PRs in all of them. I like to dream big. I'll have at least 2 more halfs to do 8 weeks and 4 weeks before Chicago to see where I'm at in the fall.

Looking beautiful, Chicago.

How do you stay motivated after a big training cycle/race?

- the first time was a failure for me. I had a half marathon and 5k to train for but didn't. I just ran them when they came up and would "train" like 3 times a week for 3-4 miles. This time around will be different.

Happy Easter from the yawning CB.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy good cupcake Friday and a PSA

Happy good Friday!

Dreary rainy cold today became awesome, amazing Friday because of this:

The cupcake truck!!!

It was a tough decision between carrot cake and passion fruit merengue.

Passion fruit won today.

The cake was so light and fluffy just like the merengue topping.

Then I bit into it and found something yummy:

Passion fruit custard!!!

The gourmet street food trucks definitely make up for the lack of agreeable weather here in Chicago.

Now on a more serious note, the PSA.

When I got back to my aunt's house after the Boston marathon I saw this:

And this:

Yes kids, that is a horrible sunburn mainly on my right upper side.

The thought of sunburn never crossed my mind. For the past 3 years of running fairly consistently I have not gotten burned. Maybe a little color, but not the absolute pain like this. I've run in the sun, rain, fog, whatever and nothing. Now I know that "chaffing" under my arm in the race was really something much worse. No wonder the Vaseline didn't do much to help it. :(

So let this be a lesson. Use sunscreen so you don't end up like me.

What is your favorite flavor of cupcake?
I really enjoy carrot cake since it's not too sweet. Red velvet is a close second.

Can anyone recommend a good sunscreen for me to wear while running?
Since Chicago has a summer with heat and sun (unlike san Fran) I'm going to need something that protects my skin and stays put (doesn't get into my eyes, doesn't wash off with sweat.)

Recommendations please!! Thanks!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Boston Marathon (aka) The most Awesome Weekend Evah!


Me: 4:19 (PR by 9 minutes)
My Dad: 3:52

After 9 weeks of training I finished the Boston Marathon with a HUGE smile on my face. And then felt really bad- not puking bad- but like every muscle in my legs were cramping up/ light-headed like I might fall down kind of bad. Never felt so completely crappy after a race before. But you wouldnt have guessed that from the photo.
Rewind to the beginning now.
Waiting for the Bus to Hopkinton. We met Stephanie , the other winner from SUAR's Boston contest and made our way to Hopkinton. It was really nice meeting her and I have to say a BIG congrats on her PR!!
Stephanie and I at the Athlete's Village.
It all starts in Hopkinton. My dad and I were really excited to run Boston.

I was feeling really good going into the race. Even with the shortened training cycle, I felt confident with the 26.2 miles that were awaiting me. The first few miles were good- i was keeping close to my goal pace while weaving around loads of walkers. By mile 5 the course had opened up and it was easier to keep a good pace.
Mile 6 was when I started breaking down psychologically. I could feel hotspots on my 2 big toes and that worried me a great deal. I remember thinking "oh crap- Im going to have 20.2 more miles of this." I wore the same shoes and socks I had used on my long runs and had never had a problem with blisters. I can only guess it was because of the downhills so early in the course.
I really loved all of the signs like these along the course.
Wellesley was exactly what I thought it would be. Crazy screaming girls. It definitely gave me an adrenaline boost.

I was still on pace by the halfway mark hitting a 2:01, but was feeling worse and worse as the miles went by. Then I started to slow little by little.

The Newton hills slowed me down more. The more my feet hit the pavement, the more I thought about the blisters. I started feeling sluggish and flat. Some days you go out and feel great, and others you dont feel good. Boston was one of those not feeling good- cant get into the groove kind of days for me. It stinks even more because the weather was perfect.
Somewhere around mile 18.5 I passed Team Hoyt. I started to tear up. Ive grown up watching their story on TV. I couldn't believe I was there alongside of them. What an inspiration!

I was really happy the hills were over. They arent that steep, but with already tired legs, they become something a bit more fierce. Running up to the crest of Heartbreak Hill, someone had written "Thump" "Thump" "Thump" about 20 ' apart going up the hill. It made me laugh and gave me some extra motivation to get to the top.
It was a great feeling getting into Boston.

The last 3 miles were the hardest for me. I said- "Legs, lets do this. It's only 3 miles. We should finish strong!" My legs replied with an emphatic "F%$K YOU!" as they gave me the finger. I picked up the pace a little and could not believe there was only one mile to go. I hobbled as fast as I could and vowed I would not walk a step until I crossed the sacred blue and yellow finish line.
There it is in the distance. Just a few more blocks and I would be a Boston Finisher! I picked up the pace, tried to fight back tears and just gave it my all.

Finishing was such an amazing feeling. This race is so historic- especially after 115 years, and especially after the world record was broken although it probably will only count as a "world best" and especially after Des Davilla almost won it.

I am humbled to have participated in this event. I ran in the elite's foot steps, their sweat, their tears, their pain, and their spit :) To be in an event with so many talented people was incredible. It is the "Superbowl" of marathons. I cannot wait to BQ and run this race again as a qualifier. I joined a running club to train for the Chicago marathon this fall, and hope to BQ and be on the starting line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. The changes in the registration for Boston will exclude Chicago as a qualifier for 2012. Had I known this beforehand, I would have chosen an earlier race to qualify with.

Tribu, my Dad and I post race.I think we were all happy to be finished.
Daad and I post race in front of Hermes.

This was an incredible experience to share with my dad.I know we will reminisce about this weekend for the rest of our lives.

Thank you again SUAR for making this dream a reality!

Do you ever have a "blah" day running? Did you figure out the cause?
Ive never really had a bad race until this one (by all accounts it was great- no puking, peeing, pooping or walking ok, one time at a water station near the end up a small hill/stopping ok, once to get some Vaseline,but it was quick.during it and I only had one blister much to my surprise). Ive been fortunate. Maybe all the hype surrounding the race tired me out in the days preceding it, or maybe 9 weeks wasn't enough I felt prepared because of the quality miles logged, but I know im fully capable of running 15-20 minutes faster, and Monday just wasn't my day. Who knows?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Did it!!

I caught a unicorn!

I'm really happy, I swear.

More pics and update to come. Now it's time to eat!


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Can't believe it's here

Tomorrow my dad and I will descend upon Hopkinton with 27,000 other runners.

It's been an amazing ride these past few weeks. I can't believe I'm running a marathon after 9 weeks of training. But, I feel confident about the miles I have put in. The main highlight of this cycle was a 7 minute pr in the half marathon. And the impending running of the oldest marathon.

I am sad because my biggest supporter is not here.

He encouraged me to run in the mornings I didn't want to.

He rode his bike with me for 20 mile runs.

He was patient while I avoided alcohol, and tried to eat healthier. And was supportive when I needed to run 6 days a week and sometimes in the mornings.

He stood out in the cold rain for 2 hours waiting for me to finish the Nike marathon. If that's not love, I don't know what is.

Thank you for being you!

And thank you to everyone else that has supported me during this adventure.

Pre race pasta day 4.

I'm ready to run the Boston tomorrow. Marathon #3 here I come.

Good luck to everyone running tomorrow!


Saturday, April 16, 2011


My sweet ride to Manchester, NH.

Boston is an amazing city. I really enjoy coming here to visit because of the history, food and fun stuff to do. Also it's always cool to see my "nath east" relatives.

The food:

No trip would be complete without a stop to royal house of roast beef. The roast beef is so tender- melts in your mouth. I ordered mine with horseradish and BBQ sauce. It was amazing. I wanted 4 more but restrained myself because of the race on Monday.

I love this bridge.

Boston is beautiful.

The expo on Friday was packed.

The shirt. It's pretty sweet.

A shirt I almost bought at the expo.

I also love the free poster they are handing out. It has every participants name on it.

We also stopped by the finish line.

Tonight my Dad and I were lucky enough to meet Suar at the blogger meetup. She is even more beautiful and fabulous in person than she is on her blog. It was awesome to be able to thank her in person.

My dad and I also went to the bill Rodgers running center. I got a neon yell bill rodgers shirt "the marathon can humble you." and also a Boston beanie. It's cold here.

I'm cold. This weather is making me worried. The forecast is low 40's and a high of 60 for Monday. But the highs have been in the low 40's or so for the past few days. I really hope the rain leaves and it warms up just a little for Monday.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The biggest surprise ever, well kind of

I got bit by the marathon bug last year. After doing a bunch of half marathons, I figured it was time to tackle a full. After Rock n Roll San jose 2009, Meb was kind enough to take a photo with me. (he won the NYC marathon a few months later) This was the first spark towards completing another full. (My first full marathon was the 2002 NYC marathon. That experience is a story for another day. SUAR, you've totally got the Boston with your current level of fitness. I know what it is like to "run" a marathon without any training whatsoever. I finished and didn't die. You are in much better shape now than I was then...)

In January 2010 my dad and I went to Phoenix to do the Rock n Roll Arizona half and full marathons. This race was his BQ. I was so lucky to have finished the half in enough time to run over to the car, get my good camera, and then run back to the finish area for the marathon and wait for my dad. I got nervous when the 3:40 pace group went by. A few minutes later I saw him run the final 200 meters to the finish- and I knew he had BQ'd.

 We were both so happy he could fulfill his life dream/goal of running Boston.
He is from the Boston area and was always into running- he just fell short of the crazy qualifying time standard to get into Boston 30 years ago. (he needed a 2:50 marathon) Again, watching him finish made the urge to run another full very present in my mind. I ended up getting into the Nike Women's marathon for 2010. My goal was to go balls to the wall in training and BQ too. My best friend Tribu was also going to run the Nike and try to BQ.
Long story short. I had to abandon the BQ training very early on. I was working full time, going to school full time for my second bachelor's degree, and had to have some time for my wonderful, wonderful and my puppy CB. I trained, but not hard enough. My goal was to remain healthy- and that was achieved. I finished my 2nd marathon with a smile on my face and Tribu BQ'd. I remember seeing her on the course as she only had 2 miles to go, and I still had about 6. I screamed at her "TRIBU TRIBU! You're going to BQ!!!!!!!" I was so happy for her. (it was her first marathon. She is a badass!)
So what does all of this mean? Well, this april 18 I had planned to go cheer for my dad and Tribu and everyone else at the 115th Boston Marathon. Change of plans.
Back in February Beth at SUAR held a contest- and I was one of the lucky winners. I entered it thinking I had nothing to loose, and everything to gain if I was picked. Regardless, I had to enter. I wrote my heart out and meant every word. It was a surprise up until a few weeks ago when my dad searched the entrant database for the Boston Marathon and found me. (We are the only 2 with our last name running it) I had to come clean and tell him that I would be running the Boston Marathon with him this year. He was/is shocked. (Im glad he found out so we could talk about training and share in the pre boston excitement together)
I went to Boston for July 4 last year. I took a photo of the Boston finish line for my dad to motivate him because he was having knee trouble and was going back and forth about even doing Boston, His dream. Little did I know or even dream that a little less than a year later I would be joining him in Hopkinton. This is  a dream come true and the best gift I ever could receive. I do feel a little weird about not qualifying. But my dad has reassured me I am no "Bandit" I am forever grateful to Beth for picking me and making this a reality. 8 weeks is short for marathon training, but Im in better shape now than I was in for Nike after 16 weeks of training. (and I graduated with my second degree- well finished the coursework. I officially graduate with my accounting degree in 2 weeks) I was able to train hard and put more miles in because I finished the classes for my 2nd degree about 2 weeks in. Timing could not have been more perfect.

This Monday my dad, Tribu and I along with 27,000 others will descend on Hopkinton to take on this sacred course. Everyone of us has a different story on how we got there and our reasons for doing "Boston." For me, I get to share my dad's lifelong goal of running the marathon that was in his backyard for so many years. He is proud of me and I am proud of him for making his dream a reality. Now only if I could get him to join me in wave 3 so we could run it together... Or perhaps I will just have to catch up to him and his 20 minute head start! :)  

I am so excited for this moment. It has been a journey the past 8 weeks, but well worth it.

See you in Boston!!