Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week 10 Review- Chicago Marathon

Monday- Rest
Tuesday- 90 Minutes Bikram Yoga
Wednesday- 90 Minutes Bikram Yoga
Thursday- 90 minutes Bikram Yoga
Friday- 90 Minutes Bikram Yoga
Saturday- 8.5 miles, 1:19.00 With the CES Group
Sunday- maybe a run, maybe yoga or maybe nothing

Total: 6 Hours Bikram Yoga
8.5 Miles running

My philosophy on training for the Chicago Marathon has changed from 10 weeks ago when I started. Before it was, train smart- but push the pace a little to really see where I can go. Now, I try to take every day, one at a time and evaluate what I need to do to cross the finish line healthy in a few months. While running with the CES group on Saturday morning (9:00 pace group) I had already decided to just do what the half marathoners were going to run- somewhere between 8-10 miles instead of the 14-16 miles the marathoners were going to do. I just felt like crap during the run and decided to stop at 8.5 for the day. My calf/shin was starting to bother me and I felt sick and thought that there was no reason to push for another 2-3 miles. Currently, my calf/shin is bothering me, not bad- just very present and worse than the last few weeks. Perhaps it is because I havent been foam rolling-stick-TP therapy-compression as much as the past week.

This week I plan to do 5-7 yoga sessions, and do some nice slow runs of 5-7 miles, a "slow" 5K time trial on Wednesday with CES, and a long run on Saturday of 8 miles with 5x 30 second pickups.--only if the calf is okay. Maybe this will be the first week I actually complete a saturday workout with CES?

This week my daad came to visit Chicagoland. We bummed around and ate a lot of food and acted like tourists minus the stopping dead in our tracks in the middle of the busy sidewalk to gawk at something or take a photo or look at a map.
First stop was the Willis Tower (aka Sears tower)

Wonderful, Wonderful and I on the scary glass overhang.

My daad and I and Chicagoland.

Then we visited the Bean.

Then we saw the new Marilyn Monroe statue... Um yeah..
Look at that girl picking her nose in my photo.. RUDE!

After walking all over Chicagoland we went to Sheffield's for some BBQ and Beer.

I tried all 3 of the ESB style beers they had. All were delicious.

Wonderful, wonderful and his beer.

It was a great weekend with Daad. Next time i'll get him to come up for a 5k or half marathon.

What is your favorite style of beer? (stout, IPA, lager, etc)
-I love Stout. And IPA is growing on me.

Friday, July 29, 2011

What up Willis!?!

The view from the top.

Long way down!

Have a great weekend!


Monday, July 25, 2011

Week 9 in review- Chicago Marathon Training

Week 9

Monday: Bikram yoga 90 minutes
Tuesday: Bikram Yoga 90 minutes (Didnt run with the other group due to the heat)
Wednesday: Bikram Yoga 90 Minutes (CES group was canceled due to the heat)
Thursday: 5 Miles, 42 minutes (running)
Friday: Bikram Yoga 90 Minutes @ 6AM
4 Miles, 44:30 (Run with the CB dog, It was HOT)
Saturday: Bikram Yoga 90 minutes
6 Miles, 52:30 (running on the tread) Dont eat spicy food when you know you will go run later...
Sunday: 15 Mile long run- 2:09:06 (on the tread)

Total Hours Yoga: 7.5
Total miles running: 30! The most miles i've run for this training cycle!!

Things I learned this week:

I think this is the first week I've worked out everyday, in a long time- or ever. I have also eaten really healthy this week. Im feeling good, and think I'm starting to see some results.

Got my Running Chic shirt in the mail that I won over at Christy's My Dirt Road Anthem. I wore it to my first yoga class and it was so comfortable! I got the Navy Alo tank, and am contemplating buying a few more very soon. Thank you Christy for randomly picking me :) (I love the Chic with the dog.. reminds me of CB and I)

Bikram yoga is AWESOME. The 1st day I had to lay down several times because it was hot, and intense. (studio is 105 degrees with 40% humidity) By the end of the week I could get through class without having to lay down. Ive never sweat so much in my life. By the end of the 90 minute class i'm literally drenched- as in jumped in the pool with my clothes on then caught out in the rain kind of soaked. It is so refreshing!

Nothing is more perfect after a long sweaty workout than Horchata. (rice almond drink)
Just like morning running, early AM yoga is super hard more challenging for me. My flexibility and coordination and balance are a little off in the morning- just as my early AM runs seem to take more energy to achieve the same pace that I easily run at in the PM's

The calf/shin thing is pain free while running now. If I start poking the "spot" on my leg, it is still tender- like a moderate bruise feeling- No pain unless I touch it. I should stop touching it now.

I am still having motivation issues. The Bikram Yoga has really changed my view on life and running (maybe a change in cross training was all I needed). I am less sour about marathon training, but still just want to run for fun. and HOLY CRAP! Im running the Rock n Roll Chicago Half Marathon in 3 weeks. OMG. (praying for a freak cold front to come through and drop the temperature to 45 degrees during the race)

My 15 miler was on the treadmill again. Saturday at 2am a really wicked lightning storm rolled thorough dumping 5-7" on Chicago. Poor CB was freaked the entire 2 hour duration of the storm and as a result I didnt get any sleep. When my alarm went off for Marathon group- I accidentally hit "off" instead of snooze and woke up at 5:45, 15 minutes before the group run. D'OH.

CB looking all kinds of crazy after my 15 miler today.Eh, we both look a little off in this photo. I have an excuse! lol

This week i'm looking forward to:
More Bikram Yoga!
Celebrating my wonderful, wonderful's birthday with him (all the cool kids are born in July!) haha
Getting to show my dad around Chicagoland for the weekend (and drinking yummy craft beers)
*and going to the CES group runs this week- especially the long run on Saturday.

 What are your favorite cross training activities?

Does your running club ever get canceled because of excessive heat? (my friends in Florida laugh at me for this- because its consistently 95+ everyday and 100% humidity there. I thought it was supposed to be hot in Chicago during the summer...I dunno)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Chicago, I'm falling for you

I really miss the san Francisco bay area still- even after living in Chicago since late January of this year. Here is a list of the things I like about Chicagoland.

The lake front path is about .75 miles from my apartment. Yay running!

All the cool bars and restaurants near my place with craft (micro) brewed beer.

There is a great sushi place close by. (oysy)

Gourmet Food trucks. More Cupcake truck, southern Mac n cheese truck, meaty balls truck, haute sausage truck, tamale spaceship. And the newest one I've found: fido to go. Yes, it's a gourmet dog treat truck. On thursday nights about 7-10 food trucks gather outside "Ethyls dive"(a new restaurant in the west loop) I want to go soon. Cb wants to see fido to go too.

(from the fido to go website)

A new gourmet grocery store is opening very close to my apartment soon. Whole foods is currently 1 mile away, target .5 mile. I was SO happy to see them working on the store yesterday.

Farmers market at the daly plaza With the creepy baboon Picasso statue looking over the scene. Also, I get a goat cheese, honey, olive tapenade, crepe with balsamic reduction almost every Thursday now.

I also get plants from the market

That violet plant now sits on MY DESK in my NEW OFFICE!
After being a "temp" employee for the past 3 years, I got a real job 2 weeks ago. My first corporate job and I have a Fricken office. It's awesome!
That's one of the main reasons I'm starting to fall for Chicago. Having a real job =stability= peace of mind= happiness, at least for my world.

(chomper 4, from the farmers market)

I love Bikram yoga in a studio a stones throw from my apartment. What the hell took me so long to sign up for this when I've been seeing the signs since February? Probably the job situation. This is my first week and LOVE it!

I'm falling for you Chicagoland.

What are some things you love about your city?

Have a great weekend!


Monday, July 18, 2011

The thrill is gone

Recap of the week:
Tuesday: 7 miles running in 59:30
Wednesday: 5 mile worth of repeats workout. (5 x 800 @ 7:15 per mile pace- with warmup /cooldown)
Thursday: 9.15 miles/ 35 minutes on cycle
Friday: rest
Saturday: 13 miles in 1:52.37 (1st 4 miles at 9:00, 2nd 4.5 at 8:40, 3rd 4.5 at 8:30- 8:00pace)
Sunday: 7 miles , 30 minutes cycling
My new orchid "Chomper 4" bought from the farmers market. Had to replace "Chomper 3" who traveled cross country with me from San Fran to Chicago and recently died due to bugs.

Its the most i've run in months, yet I am disappointed.

I ran by myself on saturday for the long run because psychologically, I am done training for the marathon. Ever since my calf blew up around May 28- after / during the soldier field 10, I have struggled to stay motivated. I have cycled more on the stationary bike than I ever would have imagined.And I created crazy treadmill workouts (like running a 9:30 pace for 2 minutes on a 6 incline, repeat 8 times, with a brisk 2 minute walk in between) because the incline would not bother whatever was wrong with my calf.

I ran by myself this weekend because I have been sick of telling the pacers and whomever else I was chatting with on the saturday long runs, that I would be cutting out to only do 5-6 miles instead of the 10+ miles that were scheduled. I needed to show myself that I could run 10+ miles without my calf exploding again.

The thrill is gone, because I no longer really care about races (Im sure this will change). I thoroughly enjoy reading all of your race recaps- they seriously inspire me,  but I am dreading the Rock n Roll Chicago half (in a month) the Chicago Half (in 2 months) and the Chicago Marathon in less than 3 months. To pay $$$ for an entry, to actually follow a plan to train for the event, and to put so much emotional/ physical time into the event many months into the future only to get sidelined by injury is beyond frustrating. I just want to run, to run again. I would love to just go out and run 10 miles for fun. Or do a speed workout to go fast and sweat a lot without the pressure of being healthy for a race. Maybe focusing on shorter distance races will help with this. I love running. It is my drug, my therapist...

I am disappointed. 

  • Because I paid $$$ to train with the Chicago Endurance Sports group and have made it to maybe 45-50% of the group runs in the past 9 weeks.
  • Because I got injured- out of my control I know. everything had been going so well up until then.
  • Because I could have been doing *more* during the last 6 weeks. More cycling, start swimming, more core exercises, push-ups, weight training...
  • Because I must abandon my time goal for the Chicago Marathon. It was lofty. But that goal is on hold until the next marathon.
  • Because I dont take CB for runs anymore for fear he will get killed by one of the douchebag cyclists on the lake front path. (not all are DB;s, but when they fly by going 25+ mph, its dangerous- combined with the clueless tourists and all the other runner/walkers, its just too crowded) I need to find an alternate place to take him.
I am optimistic:
  • Because  I am almost fully healed. There is some discomfort in the calf/shin, but i can run and the pain is very minimal to non-existent after a run.
  • Because I did the right thing. I MICE'd (movement, ice, compression, elevation) like a crazy person. "Yes, those are CEP compression sox on with my boots." Without the MICE, I would still be in a lot of pain- plus some massages didnt hurt (well at the time they did). And foam rolled, used the stick and the trigger point kit. All life savers.
  • Because I ran this weekend 13 miles in a time that was consistent with my PR half marathon of the "Hypothermia Half" (haha) Chicago Spring Half marathon. Apparently I am back to my pre injury fitness, or even better.
  • Because I can make delicious smoothies and my extreme aversion to pasta is slowly going away.
I am thankful:
  • For the support of my wonderful, wonderful who helps me through these "tough" times when I sound like a damn crazy person because im so bummed about my leg.
  • For you! The bloggy universe who give encouragement and thoughtful comments when I really needed it most. 
  • For my family and the CB dog who always listen to me rant about this crap. 
This week i am looking forward to:
  • Following the marathon schedule this week and going to all CES group runs- wednesday and saturday.
  •  maybe trying out running with another club on Tuesdays near my place.
  • Trying out Bikram Yoga at the studio very close to my place. They have a great special for the 1st month. I have never done yoga in a studio- usually I just use a DVD at home, so I think this could be really beneficial for staying healthy and a great cross training tool to help improve my fitness for running.
Cheers to a new week!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Belated Birthday Post

A week ago I celebrated my birthday in Montreal. While my wonderful, wonderful was going to talks at the conference that brought us to Montreal, I was out exploring.
First stop: The botanical gardens. They were a short metro ride from the hotel. The gardens were absolutely worth the trip.

Then I walked all the way to the Lululemon store and H&M and Zara and about 30 other places. Then I went for a run. The hotel we stayed at had an "in house runner" named Claude who leads runs on Wednesdays and Fridays. I figured why not?! So I went down to the lobby at 4:15 and saw another guy dressed in cotton shorts, t-shirt, etc and we waited for Claude. The cotton guy said I looked like a serious runner. :) Claude showed up dressed in a white singlet, white leggings and a garmin.(he runs marathons) He asked us how far we wanted to go- (I was expecting 4-6 miles since it was advertised as an hour long run) Mr. Cotton said 4-5 miles. So we took off towards this. (Parc Mont Royal, notice the very small cross at the top)
Around 4 miles we hit the summit. I felt good, and was wondering if there was a shortcut way down, but was secretly hoping for a long run... (Montreal is so beautiful)

Then we jogged around the cross.
I picked up the pace for a few K's with Claude down the Mont, and made my way back to the hotel while Claude ran back to Mr. Cotton to finish out the run with him. I ran without water- luckily there was a water fountain around mile 3.5. (and that it was less than 80 degrees, and like 50% humidity- otherwise I would have died)

So for my birthday I ran the farthest i've run since May 28. 9.3 miles, or 15K. The nice 1 hour run I was expecting turned into a 1:30 run up the Parc Mont Royal. It. Was. Awesome! The calf is still tender, but it was a confidence booster since I havent run more than 7 miles at a time since my calf exploded.

Later on, I had a nice birthday dinner with my wonderful, wonderful and then we went to a club for the conference party. I would say it was a birthday success.

What are some of your favorite birthday memories?

~for me, this year was awesome. Being able to spend your birthday with someone you love is always amazing, no matter where you are.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Montreal Part 1

Day 1

Our ride- had to walk to it. I felt special like a world leader because they never seem to use jetways to get onto planes. When was the last time you saw a president or royalty using a jetway? Never. Yeah i thought so. :)

In da tiny plane. Like a G6...

We walked about 7 miles and saw a lot of downtown Montreal. It is a beautiful, clean city and everyone speaks french! I took 3 years of french in High school. I cannot speak it now because I learned Spanish and am learning Portuguese (and who the heck speaks french in Florida?) and those destroyed any ability I had to speak French. However, I can still read it, and that proved to be useful on more than one occasion.

Cathedral Notre Dame. WOW. This Cathedral is so ornate and beautiful.

(HDR photo - 3 photos combined into 1. light-medium-dark exposures)
I liked the statues on top of the buildings.
and not on top of buildings.

Im sure I was the 1st person to ever do that...
Brutopia was a nice way to refresh after walking all day. They brew their own beer! WHoo Hoo!

I had their Stout and their Cherry Wheat. YUM

(Me in my hoodie. A fashion faux pas haha)
The people in Montreal seem to care how they look. I didn't see anyone dressed in pajamas or looking totally sloppy- instead they wore colors, dresses, *gasp* and nice shirts, pants and heels *gasp* and looked great and fashionable. Perhaps this is normal outside the USA? (Mexico aside- where I lived for 2 years and most people wore shorts and t-shirts because its 100+ degrees 11 months of the year) But in other places Ive visited outside the USA (like Sweden, France, Germany etc), people care about their appearance. I also did not see many obese people in Montreal.Why are we so content to be comfortable here? Comfy doesn't have to mean sloppy....

Next up:

Mon Anniversaire! (my birthday to those non french speakers out there :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Au revior montreal

At the Montreal airport- American customs is done in the airport before going to your gate.

There was poutine, unexpected long run, yummy food and Other birthday fun. More to come when I get home and upload the photos.

Until then, I have my wonderful, wonderful and the latest canadian running magazine to keep me busy on the plane.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lemon loaf & Bon anniversaire!

Thanks for all the well wishes for CB. He seems back to normal and a little drowsy from the meds. I think I was more affected by everything than he was.

The Starbucks lemon loaf is as delicious as Christi @ pedestrian runner made it sound. Yum!

Bon anniversaire!

I'm going to Montreal, Quebec tomorrow to celebrate my birthday. I've never been. Anything that is a must see or do there? I will try poutine and a bagel there and hit up the "brutopia" for some birthday brew. I plan to walk around a lot and go for a few runs. (and visit the luluemon and lole stores)

What's cool to do while visiting our frenchy neighbor to the north?


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Review of the weekend

Our extended weekend was comprised of a nice jog/walk and a photo shoot :)

Didn't get my long run in because of an emergency trip to the vet that lasted 3+ hours. CB got a UTI and is on meds now and is doing well.

Did a 6 mile run yesterday at 8:40 pace and felt great. Looking forward to a nice long run this weekend.