Saturday, July 31, 2010
Miles run: 125.8
Longest run: 13.1
Races run: 3
PRs at said races: 2
Miles biked: 94.9 (gah... soooo close to 100! I'll do better in August, I swear!)
New favorites: New Balance Tempo Tee 2.0, Brooks Run Happy Cavalcade of Curiosities, Order Up! for Wii, cheap cases of Diet Coke at Walmart, Jason Bourne books, Hell's Kitchen on Fox, ANDRE DAWSON IN THE HALL!
New favorite so important it gets its own line: My 2009 Fuji Absolute 2.0 road bike. I <3 it.
New things to dislike: Ryan Theriot (although as of this afternoon you can file that under NotMyProblem), crazy humidity at 9pm, my lack of ESPN, people who talk during movies at the theatre, Bdubs (used to be my absolute fav but hasn't sat well in my tummy the last 3 times I've been there)
Non-running events worth noting: 35 more days until my Vegas trip!
Weeks to go until Chicago: 9 and change
Here's to an even better August!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I'd say it's motivation when I need it the most. Nearly halfway through training, and my body is starting to get a little beat up. I know the finish line is there, but it seems so freaking far away. I know that I have 6 weeks of 5s and 8s coming up, and my tummy gets big butterflies just thinking about it... I swear I've done this training program before, but it feels so much more difficult this time around!
But I can do it. My new mantra is... 1%, 1%.
That's right... us marathoners do something that only 1% of the population does. That makes us pretty darn special.
73 days left until that finish line appears in front of my nose.
Are you getting excited yet?!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I truly believe that you can learn a lesson in every race you run. It's not always about the PR. (*Note: All races that are indicated as a PR were a PR at the time of the race. Some times have been lowered further.)
I've run 19 races so far this year. And I've learned a little nugget in each one. Here's a rundown...
1. InStep Icebreaker Indoor Pikermi - 1:56:32
I like blue Powerade. And so does my tummy.
2. 26.2 with Donna Family Fun Run - 19:50
Bridges over rivers usually mean ginormous hills.
3. 26.2 with Donna Pikermi - 1:54:31 (PR)
Set multiple alarms when you have a shuttle bus to catch... even more alarms if said shuttle bus is a half mile away from your hotel.
4. St Paddy's Day 5K - 27:05
Flooded gravel paths = wear trail shoes. No exceptions.
5. Shamrock Shuffle 8K - 39:19 (PR)
When running a race of 25,000+ people, while running with friends who start in a different corral, it's probably a good idea to bring a gear bag so that you have a warm hoodie while waiting for them to finish, instead of standing on the street corner shivering. It's a miracle I didn't end up with pneumonia.
6. Des Plaines River Pikermi - 2:11:45
When incorporating a pikermi into a 20 mile training run, the pikermi should probably come first, followed by the extra 7. Not the other way around.
7. GO! St Louis Pikermi - 1:52:15 (PR)
At mile 9 of this race, running next to a guy who is dripping with sweat and clearly dying, it's not advisable to ask, "When do the hills start???"
8. CARA Lakefront 10 Miler - 1:27:54 (PR)
Clif Shot Bloks settle my stomach like no other. And prevent cramps. Magic supplements that taste like candy!
9. Ravenswood Run 5K - DNS
Races are run rain or shine.
10. Wisconsin Marathon - 4:18:53 (PR)
Oh so many lessons learned, it's hard to pick just one! The biggest one- always always ALWAYS carry TP in your Spibelt for when you have an emergency and need to use a port-o-john that only has a single square remaining. Hand sanitizer wouldn't be a bad thing to keep handy, either.
11. Rockford Pikermi - 1:50:32 (PR)
Leave Garmin at home for races. You WILL run faster. And you WILL have more fun.
12. Soldier Field 10 Mile - 1:25:09 (PR)
Run YOUR race, at YOUR pace. I didn't do that at this race, and I left with a PR, yes, but a sour taste in my mouth and a sense of unfinished business.
13. United Run for the Zoo 10K - 51:14 (PR)
Always line up just ahead of your expected average pace. You'll still have to zoom zoom around slow people, but it won't be quite as bad.
14. St Norbert Block Party 5K - 23:43 (PR)
After running the race of your life, bite the bullet, wait the extra hour, and stay for the awards ceremony. You could possibly have, oh, WON your age group or something.
15. 13.1 Chicago - 1:50:11 (PR)
Running with others makes the race go by much faster than running by yourself.
16. Woodstock Challenge 10K - 51:10 (PR)
Heat + Hills = Walking. Need more hill training!!!
17. Frontier Days Stampede Run - 49:49 (PR)
Not eating breakfast before the race means I'm not in any kind of danger of pulling a Paula Radcliffe.
18. Fleet Feet Women's Festival 10K - 51:24
There is ample free parking at Montrose Harbor beyond the lot. No need to park by Wrigley and walk it in.
19. Alexian Brothers Fitness for America Sports Festival Pikermi - 1:48:34 (PR)
Bring extra dry socks! Especially when it's raining!
What will I learn next??? Stay tuned...
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
So I get the following email from her, oh, about an hour ago:
Don't forget Michigan dunes on Sunday!
I reply, within a minute:
Sunday? I can't on Sunday, I'm running a half marathon.
Her reply, 32 minutes later:
Some people just don't get it.
Yes, I got a PR in the pikermi. Yes, I was a badass who ran in the rain AND the heat. I did run 28.1 miles.
But I didn't (and still don't) FEEL like it was a good week of training. Does that make sense?
I'm still beating myself up (mentally) about skipping one of my 7 mile runs. And I'm still wondering if I spent too much time on the bike. And I keep thinking that I should have made up that 7 miler when it was GORGEOUS outside on Sunday... but I really wanted to sleep in. And go bike riding. And eat ice cream at Dairy Queen. And watch Cubs-Cardinals. See? I can make excuses all day.
So yesterday I made a vow to be better than I was last week. And that started with checking the weather, seeing that yesterday was PERFECT running weather and today was going to be steamy. So I switched my 4 for a 7, making the day with hotter weather easier on me. Yep, that's a thought that didn't even occur to me last week, believe it or not.
And it worked. I feel better. I am going to have a great week. I am going to meet Loopsters at the expo on Saturday. My excellent week will culminate in the Rock n Roll Chicago pikermi on Sunday, my favorite race from last year. I will get to stuff my face with Sunday brunch afterwards!
It's the 8th week of training- I'm almost halfway there! I can hardly believe it!
Here's to making each week of training from here on out better and smarter than the one that came before it...
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
After the torrential rains we had all night on Friday (including a lightning strike that woke me up from a dead sleep at 3:30am!), I didn't have expectations that this race would even begin. I left the house just before 6 to drive to the race site. I parked the car and walked to packet pickup, with the intention of heading back to my car and reading my book before the race started. It was drizzly as I walked to pickup, but it quickly turned into a downpour, lightning included. Great.
Another round of thunderstorms. I get my stuff and decide to just make a run for it and head back to the car.
It was all good until I stepped in a GIANT puddle! Now my shoes and socks are completely soaked. 45 minutes to go before the race, what's a girl to do? Luckily I brought a towel to dry the rest of my body off... so I stripped my shoes and socks off, wrung out what I could, then turned the floor heater in my car on full blast and attempted to dry my socks. (Of course it didn't even occur to me to bring an extra pair!) Surprisingly, it worked!
I took a power nap and then headed to the race start. It was still raining as I got to the packet pickup area (conveniently located in a tunnel under a building, so at least we had shelter), and I was fearful that the race wouldn't be run. Lucky for me, it was only pushed back 30 min. I amused myself by stretching and staying loose and talking with other runners, marveling at how many people actually showed up to this race!
At 7:53 I made my way to the start area, and at 8:00, counted down by the mayor of Hoffman Estates, IL (10, 9, 8...) we were OFF!
Mile 1: Since the race started on the AT&T campus, we're running around their little work subdivision. It's similar to the one that I work in, but there's HILLS! No fair! 8:08.
Mile 2: I'm running behind 2 AIDS team runners who say that they looked at the course map and it's 2 loops of this and then an out-and-back. I hope they're mistaken, as this 1 work building subdivision loop is super boring already! 8:01 (16:10)
Mile 3: Grateful for the cloud cover! Best mile time of the day. 7:57 (24:07)
Mile 4: Looping back by the start, and I can see the finish line. I hate races that taunt you with the finish line, particularly this early on. At least there are TONS of people cheering, and that helps motivate me to maintain my awesome pace. 8:13 (32:20)
Mile 5: Running next to the highway, blah. Another runner comes up to me and says, can you imagine how much this would suck if the sun was out? I agree completely. I would be melting right about now if I were running in Friday's weather! 8:21 (40:41)
Mile 6 & 7: There are TONS of dead frogs on the road, as a result of the rains we've had. Did I mention that I left my ipod in the car, for fear it would get too wet, and am running unplugged? I need to do something to keep entertained, so I start counting the dead frogs on the road. I'm so immersed in this new task that I miss the mile marker for 6 and don't really realize it until I come across mile 7. 16:32 (57:14)
Mile 8: Uh oh. The yucky tummy feeling is back. With a vengeance. I haven't felt this bad since the Rockford race, when I took a 2+ min pit stop and still ended up with a PR. I need history to repeat itself and find a port-o-john, pronto! 8:43 (1:05:58)
Mile 9: There's no port-o-john in this forest preserve and I doubt there will be. I'm in AGONY and I'm contemplating running into the woods to take care of business! I'm even willing to sacrifice my tank top! Nothing like feeling like your ass is on fire to get all the crazy thoughts percolating... 8:24 (1:14:22)
Mile 10, 11: Miraculously once I hit the 10 mile mark (I'm convinced that from here on out, the mile markers were totally in the wrong places, as I was running a totally consistent pace and have wonky splits to show for it), my tummy troubles disappear. Gone. Poof. Like I haven't been in total distress for the last 3 miles. How horrible. I catch up to my friend from mile 5, it's his first half. We chat for a bit and then he lets me go. I run faster at the end of the race. 14:56 (1:29:20)
Mile 12: I grab a cup of water at the last aid station and shovel down 2 shot bloks, when this girl comes from out of the blue and just blows past me. Whoa. She either a) started in the back or b) dogged the last 11 miles. There's no way anyone could have THAT MUCH gas left in the tank. Maybe she's a superhero. That's truly the most logical thing I came up with. I need a nap. 8:58 (1:38:18)
Mile 13: Another mismeasured mile, as I've extended my stride and am starting my kick. I feel like it takes forever to get to the turn, but I can see the final turn into the weird tunnel under the building thing. Volunteers are cheering for me, and I thank them. My feet are blistered from my damp socks and wet shoes, and I can't wait to put my sandals on! Almost there! 9:30 (1:47:49)
Mile 13.1: I've known since my tummy troubles vanished that I was going to get a PR today. I'm just surprised by how much time I have taken off in a month! I kick in to the finish line, knowing that I can still go faster. But today is still a great day, and I have a finishers medal and a shiny new PR to go along with it. I also finished 6th in my age group! 0:45 (1:48:34)
FINAL TIME: 1:48:34 (PR)
AVERAGE PACE: 8:16
NEXT PIKERMI: Rock n Roll Chicago, 8.1.2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
*My longest ride so far is just over 10 miles... I found myself wondering yesterday if I could stretch it to 15 on Sunday. It IS cross-training day, after all.
*I bought some gloves on Friday, and now my hands don't sweat all over the handlebars and make gripping brakes hard. A-MAZING.
*The "hills" on the bike path are getting much easier. I barely notice them anymore.
*I took my left hand off the bike to scratch my face and DIDN'T freak out.
*I turned in a tight circle and, again, DIDN'T freak out.
*I'm averaging 2 mph faster for my ride than I was at the beginning of the month. Lance Armstrong I am not, but I'm definitely making progress.
*I crossed a busy intersection on Tuesday and made it to the other side before a speeding truck flattened me. (I swear, people speed up when they see bicycles in the crosswalk.)
*This cross-training thing is doing wonders for my running... I've been riding, then coming home for 30 minutes to rest and fuel before going out for a run. Yesterday I had a 4 miler after my ride, and as I was coming back after the turnaround point, I glanced down at Garmin to see that I was running at 7:51 pace! And I wasn't even breathing hard! In the humidity! Crazy!
Here's how the rest of my week is shaping up:
Today: 7 mile run (if the t-storms are too severe today, will make up the 7 miles on Sunday)
Saturday: Alexian Brothers Fitness Festival Pikermi in Hoffman Estates, IL. Forecast calls for hot and humid with scattered t-storms. Blech.
Sunday: BIKE RIDE!!!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
It all started so innocently last year at the Chicago Marathon expo. I went to the MCM booth, asked about the guaranteed entry, and got a magic postcard. I ran Chicago, smashed my previous PR by nearly an hour, had a blast, and decided I was ready to consistently train for marathons. So on November 1st, I registered for MCM using the magic postcard.
Fast forward to December. Hmm, I said to myself, the Chicago Marathon is on 10/10/10 next year. I love numbers- what a perfect day for a race! (In 2009 I ran 9 miles on 9/9/9 just to do it. It was fun. Knowing myself like I do, I will probably run 11 miles on 11/11/11, again, just to do it.) I could do both!
Usually crazy ideas like that leave my brain within 48 hours. Not this one. So at midnight on February 1st, I registered for Chicago.
The lowest level of Maniacs says you need to run 2 in 16 days or 3 in 90 days. Time between Chicago and MCM is 21 days. Luckily my bro just bought a house in Tucson, AZ... the Tucson Marathon is December 12th, well within my timeframe. Problem solved.
I've been having second thoughts for awhile now. Not about the Maniacs thing, but about the Tucson thing. After Labor Day week, I won't have any vacation days left. My 3 sick days are being used for Madison (the mini registration was a Christmas gift from the parentals) and MCM. Spending 8 hours cramped on an airplane to be in Tucson for, oh, a little over 24 hours doesn't seem worth the money.
So I searched Marathon Guide for inspiration. I came across the Veterans Marathon in Columbia City, IN. It's on November 13th, and is about 3.5 hours from my house. If I left after work on Friday, I could be there by 7pm, just in time for a carbo dinner and sleep. The best part, besides the fact that it's on a Saturday, leaving me with all day Sunday to recover, plus the fleece they give instead of a t-shirt? It's only $55!
Done and done. I'm going to register today. My revised goal is to join Marathon Maniacs for my 28th birthday, as I joined Half Fanatics for my 27th. Happy Birthday to me indeed!
-Had man boobs far bigger than my own boobs
-Were so hairy I doubt they'd need a sweater in the winter
-Had a tummy that stuck out so far I thought she was pregnant (she wasn't)
-Were so pasty I was nearly blinded
Monday, July 19, 2010
@ryanhall3 via Twitter, 9:52am PST 7/19/2010
"Dreamt last night that I was at start of Chicago marathon and went to put my racing flats on and only had two right footed shoes!"
One day last winter it was snowy and gross outside, and I'd had a bad day at work. I pulled up to the gym, eager to burn a few miles on the treadmill. I get dressed in my workout clothes (shorts & a tank), pull on my socks, and reach into my gym bag for my running shoes. Only to discover that I had packed the left shoes of 2 different pairs. No right shoes. Bummer, man.
I'm sure if that ACTUALLY happened to Ryan Hall, he would have somehow managed to run the race and finish with an amazing time.
Me? I pulled on a pair of sweats, drove home, and flopped on the couch. I didn't go back to the gym.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Yesterday I raced in the Fleet Feet Women's 10K. I didn't have high hopes going into the race- it's usually very crowded, and notorious for being held on one of the hottest days of the year. We're in the midst of some brutal heat here in the Chi, so I was just hoping for a lower humidity.
I didn't get the lower humidity, but I did get cloud cover! Yay! The bf elected to come with me, and since I refuse to pay for parking at Montrose Harbor, we parked on Clark St. across from the cemetary and walked about 2 miles to Montrose Harbor. A nice stretch of the legs to start the day! I picked up my packet (LOVE the t-shirt and tote bag), checked my bag, and then we walked along the water for a bit to kill time before the race.
Things I never knew about Montrose Harbor: there is a boat house (someone asked me for directions but I had no idea), there is free parking near the fishing hole, and there is a nature preserve. Huh. You learn something new every day.
We walked back to the start line and I lined up right between the 8:00 and 8:30 pace signs. It wasn't too crowded up near the front! Yay! 7:30 came and we were off...
Mile 1: It's humid but at least it's still kinda cool and the sun isn't beating down on me. Plus there's a great breeze coming off the lake. The first mile goes down Simonds Dr straight to Foster- not the most scenic, but it passed by in a blur. 8:04
Mile 2: Turnaround at the beach and heading back towards Montrose Harbor. The path is much narrower and I keep getting stuck behind slow people. Grr. Skip the first water station, as I drank a huge Gatorade and some water right before the race began. Too much more Gatorade and I might have to make a pit stop! Make our way to the tunnel and there are TONS of people cheering AND a DJ station! I don't remember this from last year- what a great improvement! 8:20
Mile 3: We've split off from the 10K runners and are continuing south along the lakefront path. Here's where it gets interesting- the path is open to traffic. Walkers, baby joggers, bicycles, skateboards, and CARA marathon training groups all compete with us for path dominance. Hard to say who's winning... 8:27
Mile 4: We've passed the Waveland Ave golf course, the clock tower, softball fields, and the totem pole on our way to Belmont Harbor. Glad I didn't bring Garmin, as he goes completely bonkers at this location for some reason. Grant Park with 45,000 other people? No sweat. Belmont Harbor? Forget about it. Makes absolutely no sense. Much quicker this mile. 8:09
Mile 5: The wheels kinds fell off the bus a little bit for me during this mile. It's hot and humid and crowded and I'm tired and I just want to be DONE already! I'm thirsty but content with the Gatorade- I brought Clif Shot Bloks, but I haven't had to use them yet, something new for me in a 10K. I took one about 20 minutes before the race started and I seem to be ok so far. 8:41
Mile 6: Nearly done, and I kick it into high gear. There are still TONS of people coming the other way, which means that they will just be hitting the 3 mile mark. Crazy! I get one last cup of Gatorade and run to the other side of the park. I can see the turn and it's almost here! My arms are covered in sweat and I'm dripping with every move I make. I love it. 8:09
Mile 6.2: Another DJ zone and I can feel the energy... this is FUN! I can see the finish line, so I just gun it. I know that after the 8:41 5th mile a PR is completely out of the question, as is matching my time from the zoo run, but I don't care. I've run a smart race and I'm proud of my efforts. I see the bf and he takes a great photo of me! I sprint the rest of the way and finish with arms (and head) held high. 1:32
FINAL TIME: 51:24
AVERAGE PACE: 8:17
STAT I'M MOST PROUD OF: I finished 143/1469. If I had run a PR, I would have been one of the top 100 finishers. Whoa!
NEXT 10K: Windrunner 10K, 8.29.2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Groupon has been majorly sucking so far this month. I haven't been tempted by anything! Until this morning... 49% off a Top Golf card? I'm so there! So what if tonight I will probably be running 6 miles in heat, humidity, and rain? I can always take my rest day at Top Golf tomorrow :)
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Me: It's so bright out today! Glad the humidity went down a little bit. I think my shirt is too short.
Self: It's gorgeous outside! Enjoy the day! And yes, your shirt is a little short, but only when you put your arms over your head. So just don't do that.
Mile 2: Halfway down the Lake Arlington path (north side) to house with dog so big I think it could jump over its fence
Me: This road is winding... and hilly! I ran this last Saturday... how come I never noticed the hills?
Self: Congratulations, Maureen. You're now seeing things from a cyclist's point of view.
Me: Oh. I think I liked being ignorant to hills.
Mile 3: House with dog so big I think it could jump over its fence to Girl in red shirt
Self: What is with the ipod today? I swear all the music it's playing is slow and lame. We've already heard Darius Rucker AND songs from that movie Once. And right now? Weird, weird, weird.
Me: Um, Thunder Road is playing now.
Self: As I said before, weird.
Me: Don't. Ever. Dis. Bruce. Springsteen. Again.
Mile 4: Girl in red shirt to geese in the middle of the path
Me: I need WATER. Sooo thirsty.
Self: Quit crying. And fix these headphones! Your music choice is suspect today.
Me: Self, you're going to have to get over it. Besides, it's Madonna. Behave yourself or I'll put instrumentals on there.
Self: I'll be good, I swear.
Mile 5: Geese in the middle of the path to House
Me: Sun is beating down on me, but I feel great. Legs are burning, but it's a good burn. Must be from all the extra biking I've been doing. And my shorts tan! It's nothing short of spectacular.
Self: Tomorrow's supposed to have heat indexes in the 100s. Those 3 miles are going to feel like 11. And your clothes? Gross.
Me: Shut it, Self. Let me enjoy the last .25mi of today.
And I did. 5 miles = 43:45.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Boss man of Costanza,
Instead of building the team from within,
You went for the free agent bonanza.
The loss of 2 Yankee legends
In less than a week,
Your trademark white turtleneck
Was nothing short of chic.
To hell with the others
You ran the team your way,
It'll be sad to visit July 4th
Without another Steinbrenner birthday.
I hope the Yankees go far
The team you were so proud to own,
Just know that when I picture you in heaven
You're munching on a calzone.
Yep, someone referred to me as the "strange girl," as if I weren't sitting 5 feet away from them at the time. Is it because every day for the past 7 months I've had a PB sandwich for lunch? Is it because I'm currently toting around The Bourne Ultimatum in its library book goodness (as in, it has a giant picture of Robert Ludlum holding a pencil on the back cover)? Who knows.
After work, went for a 3 mile run. Humid, alternating sun/clouds, easy pace, pretty uneventful. The 3 mile route I use is a loop around the man-made lake, back past my house, then out onto the main road for .10. I just end there and walk back home. Yesterday I decided to wear one of my all-time favorite race t-shirts, from the RnR Chicago Half last year. As I'm walking back home (seriously- it's less than .1 mi), this guy in a BMW slows down to yell at me, "You'd better go faster than that if you want to run a half marathon!" Oh geez. It's one of THOSE days.
And finally, you might have had the day I did if, while going for a bike ride after the 3 miles, your boob pops out of your sports bra, because like most clothes these days, it's too big. True story.
Tuesday has so far started out with my co-worker having an INTENSE conversation. With her computer.
Maybe the Mondays aren't limited to just Monday anymore...
Monday, July 12, 2010
Tourist slogan for Illinois... "Mile after magnificent mile." They sure weren't kidding... :)
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Case in point...
Friday after work I set out to run 6 miles as quickly as possible but still slow enough to not tucker myself out for Saturday morning's long run. Not an easy task, to say the least.
Left the house at 3:45 & headed on my usual route: halfway around the lake, down the main road, & around another park that has a terrific drinking fountain.
Get to mile 2 & I don't feel good... maybe I can quit now with 4, head home, & call it a day? I'll be way early to pick up the bf from O'Hare, but that's why they invented the cell phone lot... right?
Wrong. I keep going. I get to the park, circle the drinking fountain & the elementary school, & arrive at the turnaround point. I feel like my bottom half weighs a million pounds. Stop & sit on the hot sidewalk to stretch. My face is DRIPPING with sweat, as are my arms... and butt, actually.
Head back towards home. Stop at the drinking fountain, take a Shot Blok, & am seized with overwhelming cramps. Everywhere. Legs, shoulders, back, stomach... you name it, it's cramping. Down some more water & start to run around the park. Hmm... I wonder...
See the ginormous port-o-john (seriously... it's one of those double ones) & yep, it was not a humidity problem, or a lack of motivation problem, it was a poo poo problem.
Feel a zillion times better when I exit the smelly poo house. Feel a million pounds lighter as I start to run home. I make it home with no further issues, & am running the best I have all week.
Am home within an hour of leaving, despite stopping to take care of business. Get out of the shower & hear my phone ringing as I'm getting dressed. Huh, I say to myself, who could that be?
It's the bf. His plane has landed. 35 minutes early.
So you see, life really is a crapshoot.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I've just felt awful this week. Like even the 3 milers are a challenge. It's brutal with a capital B. And then this morning, I wake up (at 5:55) and see that the humidity is already at 93%. Walk out to the car to drive to work and I'm already sweating. I HATE Chicago in the summer!!!
Monday: Best day of the week, because I ended up not having to work and was able to get my workout in before 8am. Of course, while I was running, I still felt like I was on the bicycle, but that's an entirely different topic.
Tuesday: I've already blogged about the Drinking Fountain Shuffle. It was as bad as Iit sounds, believe you me. And I set aside my soaked clothes so that they wouldn't get all the rest of the dirty laundry all stinky and wet and guess what... as of this morning, they were still wet. Humidity is evil.
Wednesday: I tried to go for a quick bike ride (about 8 miles or so) before my run, but that was not to be. I got a little over a mile away from home when big black clouds came rolling in. I figured riding an aluminum bike on a trail that winds around power lines wasn't the smartest thing. I got back home and slugged my way through 3 miles. And I mean SLUGGED. I had trouble breathing and felt like my heart was on fire.
I ran loops around my subdivision, stopping at my house after every 1.15. I didn't want to leave my house to finish the run. I considered cutting it down to 2, or just walking the rest. But then I reminded myself that this is 2010 Maureen, and that kind of crap doesn't fly anymore. I ended up finishing the 3 in 25:55, a much better time than I deserve.
As for the rain? It didn't arrive until after I went to bed. Ah well... better safe than sorry, I suppose.
Thursday: Here's hoping today will be better... but so far, not so much. I have a 6 miler on tap for today, but when I woke up this morning it was 71 degrees with 93% humidity. With rain. And not a nice cool rain either... it's one of those rains that feels like sweat.
I'm leaning towards taking a rest day today and either waking up ungodly early tomorrow or running after work. It all depends on what time I have to pick up the bf from the airport! I think instead I can concentrate on cleaning my house and trying to find out why my kitchen smells like mangos. I don't have any mangos. Weird.
But I need that 6. Eventually I will get it.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I downed a big glass of water, grabbed a pack of shot bloks, and left the house. I decided to run at long run pace (~9:00) to combat the heat. The sun was hiding behind a cloud for the first mile, so I thought to myself, This isn't too bad.
The first mile was toasty but easy. I stopped for a drink of water just after the mile marker, and headed out to the road. Still hanging in there but boy, it's hot and humid today! I really really hope I don't have any races in this kind of oppressive heat.
Get to 2 miles and now I'm starting to feel it. The sun is out and it's punishing... and there aren't any more clouds for it to hide behind. Figures. 1 more mile to the turnaround point, I tell myself. You can do this. Another drinking fountain at about 2.5 mi, and I run around an elementary school to get that last .5 mi in.
Stop at the turnaround and decide I need a rest. Stretch for a couple minutes, curse myself for deciding to run today, and keep going. My pace is a little too fast right now, but by the time I get it under control, it's time to stop at the drinking fountain again. I refuel with A TON of icy water and a shot blok.
I'm sure my face is beet red, judging by the looks I get from people walking their dogs at the park. But I resume running.
I turn out onto the main road and the sun is merciless... it's beating down on me and now my arms are red as well. UGH. Now I'm dead. Garmin beeps at 4 miles and I'm slugging along now. I wish I were closer to home! I should have cut my run down to 5! I should have worn a fuel belt!
I stop for a minute to catch my breath and sit in the grass to stretch. Decide it's way too hot to sit on the ground and stretch, get up, and start plodding again. Now my legs are itchy. Yep, I somehow have gotten a rash from the grass :(
Reach 5 miles and now I'm just trying not to fall apart... cry... walk home. I am making a deal with the devil, in this case, my body. PLEASE hang on and we'll go home and have a beer, I tell myself. I'll feed you dinosaur chicken nuggets! We don't have to ride the bike today!
That spurred me into action, I guess... another drinking fountain, and I eat the last of my shot bloks... stretch the calves, which are actually really tight from Monday's bike ride... keep going. I make it to the edge of the path and am almost home. Less than .25 mi. Hey, I'm running at 9:15 pace now! Garmin beeps 6 miles and I pump my arms in the air like I just qualified for Boston. I'm still alive! It's hot but I did it!
6 miles, 53:13... good enough for 8:52 pace. AMAZING, considering the conditions.
I really need to start bringing that fuel belt...
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Leave work at the normal time and get stuck in HORRIBLE traffic due to lights out for no damn reason. Remember that I live in Illinois, and these things are all too common in months without snow. Drive to running store for packet pickup. Encounter one of the dumbest women in the entire universe.
Running store lady: It says here you signed up for a Men's Large t-shirt. Would you like a women's size instead?
Dumb woman: Yes. The website was so confusing. I couldn't figure out how to get a women's t-shirt.
Ahhhh those drop-down menus getcha everytime...
Fight more horrible traffic to get home, get dressed, and grab the bf. Encounter even more horrible traffic as you attempt to get to the bicycle store because, yes, the bf's and your bicycles have arrived at the store. (They actually arrived on Wednesday, which would have been far more convenient, but the store misplaced them. Do yourself a favor and take your business away from Performance Bicycle- their customer service is atrocious.)
Watch as the bf nods his head as the bicycle store man says, "Do you know how to use the quick release tires?" Then alternate between anger and embarrassment as the bf does not indeed know how the tires work and you spend 20+ minutes outside trying to figure out how to get those damn bikes in the trunk/backseat of a 2002 Toyota Echo.
Drive to the forest preserve to try out the new bikes. New toys are irresistible. Mount awesome new road bike, teeter for a minute, then fall into grass. Repeat several times. While riding on the path, slam too hard on brakes, veer into the woods and somehow get a bruise in an interesting place. (I'll give you a hint- it's south of the border in a private place and hurts like hell!)
Eat giant burger smothered in wing sauce with homemade potato chips on top. Wash it all down with a pitcher of Coors Light. Drive back home and pass out on the couch.
Wake up late to watch the first half of Argentina-Germany. Miss the first German goal and decide you've seen enough. Run 5 miles on the bike path and, despite the beautiful weather, encounter no funny people.
Eat lunch at your FAVORITE place in the entire world... Superdawg. For those of you who aren't aware, Superdawg is famous in Chicago for being a drive-in hotdog stand. It's location on the NW side of the city, in the neighborhood where I grew up. It's been featured on so many shows... Hot Dog Heavens... Chefs v. City... anything that shows a unique hotdog stand, you'll see Superdawg. (They put the fries in the box with your meat, that's why it's awesome.) They just opened a new location right by my house, so the bf and I went there for lunch, sat in the car and listened to the Cubs game while we ate our burgers. (Yep, I get the cheeseburger... it's the best thing on the menu!)
Purchase bike helmet so that you don't damage your noodle while riding that death machine.
Go grocery shopping at Walmart where they're out of Budweiser. Settle for Miller Lite.
Try and watch Invictus. Decide that Clint Eastwood is trying to kill you with his boring films, and promptly walk the disc to the mailbox. Wonder aloud when Hot Tub Time Machine will be released to Netflix.
Run neighborhood 10K. Miss the first mile marker and decide to forego splits. Make a game out of running through sprinklers and hoses. Beat the guy from the bike store in town. Finish with a new PR UNDER 50 minutes (49:49), much to the surprise of your family, who wasn't expecting you for another couple of minutes. Refuel with a giant slice of watermelon and some frozen grapes. Discover you placed 5th in your AG!
BBQ for lunch and then take a 3 hour nap, somehow missing the Cubs debacle. Wonder aloud how Mike Pelfrey, Carlos Silva, and Joey Votto were left off the all-star team. And any Padres pitcher. Remember that the all-star game is stupid.
Go to sleep early because you have to work in the morning.
Arrive at work at the usual time, and there are, oh, 4 cars in the parking lot. You see someone from your floor walk into the building wearing jeans. What the heck...? Send a text to the boss lady, "Am I supposed to be here?" She says, Nope, not unless you want OT. Ponder OT when phone beeps again, Can't offer you OT today. Drive back home.
Get workout in early (8 miles on the bike, 3 miles running). The bf is in Tucson. You are not at work. What to do, what to do.
Call the parentals who say, "Come to the casino with us!" You don't have to ask me twice!
Play bingo for 2+ hours, win nothing. During intermission, win door prize of $25 for MORE bingo. Lose $25 on the slot machines.
Head home. Get stuck in, yep, traffic due to, that's right, construction, at the IL-WI border.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Monday, July 5, 2010
We arrived about 10 minutes before the race started, having thought ahead and picked up our race packets on Friday after work. Everyone was already lined up in the street... it was MUCH more crowded than last year! I started on the grass, thinking that once the gun went off I'd just smush into the crowd.
It was SO crowded for the first mile that I not only got separated from the bf and Roger (cousin's husband) and had to run on the sidewalk, but I somehow missed the mile marker! I glanced at my watch after awhile and saw that the time was 9:38. Wtf?!
I caught up to the bf at this point (his knees were in a little pain), and wondered aloud, "Did I miss the mile marker??" A lady running alongside me assured me that yes, I did miss it. Damn. No mile splits today!
I hit the 2 mile mark at 16:03, still feeling great but maybe going a little fast. I know I started the race 12 seconds after the clock, so I want to keep my pace right around 8 minute miles. Very reasonable.
It's hot and a little humid out here, but definitely bearable. I don't have any trouble breathing, and there are TONS of neighbors outside with their sprinklers on helping the runners keep cool. You definitely can't beat a small race like that!
We separated from the 5Kers just before our 3 mile mark, and I hit said mark at 24:10. Grab some Gatorade this time (it tastes SO GOOD), and end up running just behind the man who owns the bike store in town. I overtake ("chick") him just before 4, and now I'm in the zone. Take a shot blok with my next cup of water, and I'm definitely feeling a PR today.
Mile 5 is uneventful, aside from the fact that I pass 3 Team World vision dudes... all badass with tattoos, and here comes little ol' me. I bet it would have made a hilarious photo! Still on pace, right around 8:00/mile, but the sun is starting to beat down on me.
Last mile FINALLY! I am definitely going to PR today, but I don't know if I'll reach my overall goal of going under 50 minutes. Hit the turnaround and I'm still in a groove. There's a SWEET downhill, and then suddenly we're 3 blocks from the finish line. I'm still holding everything in until I reach the 6 mile marker, since I don't want to be gassed as I cruise to the line.
Turn the corner and the finish line is 100 yards ahead. I see it! I also see the bf, my cousin, and her husband... they weren't expecting me for another 2 minutes! Glance at my watch and not only am I getting a PR today, but I'm going under 50 minutes! Woo hoo!
FINAL TIME: 49:49
AVERAGE PACE: 8:03
NEXT 10K: Fleet Feet Women's Festival, 7.18.2010
I ended up taking 5th in my age group... a tremendous effort, seeing as though the winner finished in 43:something! Ah well, maybe an award will come my way next year.
Friday, July 2, 2010
- I ran 111.6 miles- by far my lowest monthly total of the year so far, but hey, it's the early weeks of Chicago training. I'm yelling at my body not to overdo it. I also reached the halfway point of my yearly goal to run 1500 miles. As of June 30th, I had completed 792 miles, or 52.8%.
- I met a Loopster (fenwick_razzleberry), and she rocks!
- I ran 4 races (1 5K, 2 10Ks & a Pikermi) and I PRd in all of them.
- I won 2 age group awards... 1st place 25-29 at the 5K and 3rd place 20-29 at one of the 10Ks, thereby doubling my lifetime age group award total. (Previous awards? 2nd place 15-19 @ Ravenswood Run 5K in 2002 & 2nd place 15-19 @ Fall into Fitness 5K in 2002. Yes I looked it up.)
- I got on a bicycle for the first time since the George W. Bush era... and loved it so much that I bought a Fuji road bike that should be arriving sometime next week. Oh, and now I'm obsessed with finding training plans for duathlons for next year. I tell you, when I get a hobby, I go ALL OUT. Still no bicycle helmet yet... maybe this weekend.
Here's hoping that July brings more of the same! :)
Thursday, July 1, 2010
My motivation for yesterday was to run 3 miles as fast as possible so that I could go home and take a nap. True story. I didn't want to waste time crossing any intersections either. Or dealing with snotty people on rollerblades. So I avoided the bike path and headed out on the main road. .75 mi later I turned the corner and ran on the sidewalk next to the lake path. There is a point where the 2 paths join, but usually you're only running with people for a hundred feet or so before they pick up the path again. Oh not yesterday.
The victim: guy, about my age, ginormous water bottle pack on back, radio (oh yes- he had his death metal blaring- hasn't he ever heard of headphones?), wearing a red shirt so you know he thought he was fast.
I was headphoneless and still going at a fast pace. So where the paths join, he joined me and kept going. And apparently he's much more important than I am, since he took up the ENTIRE sidewalk. I didn't care, I was daydreaming about my nap, so I ran in the grass. And ZOOMED past him. I do a quick glance behind me to see if it's clear to go back to the sidewalk, and he has stopped to glare at me, and crosses the street. I can still hear the death metal as I reach my turnaround point and quickly head towards home.
My town has a 10K on Sunday... it is wrong of me to wish he's in attendance? Because I wasn't even breathing hard. Or sweating.
The best part (besides not giving a flying frick about his feelings)? I was wearing my new favorite running outfit, Nike shorts and a New Balance tee that oddly matches. The color scheme? Light teal.
So yes, my friends, I chicked a guy while wearing pastels. I dare you to have a better day than that!