26 October, 2007

I just went out for what will probably be the last of the "run-outside-after-work-before-winter-sets-in-and-it's-pitch-black-by-noon" runs. I pushed the pace so I could get more miles in, but alas, only made it 3 miles before it was too dark to continue. 3 miles in 30 minutes, which is good for me. On my last lap, I got a fantastic glimpse of the moon peeking out between 2 horizontal layers of clouds. It was really vivid golden color, don't see that very often!

Anyways, the 5k I was hoping to do on Sunday got cancelled. There's a different one tomorrow a.m. but I've got other plans, so no can do. Looks like the next race is something on 11 November a few towns over, then there are a slew of Turkey Trots.

I haven't raced any short distances in a few years, and I'm really interested to see what I can do now. Back then, I always was worried if I could even run the whole distance w/out having to walk, much less hold onto any pace. Now distance is not a problem at all, and I've been doing speedwork, and am used to pushing myself, so look forward to racing soon and seeing what I'm capable of.

yesterday and today

Last night: did 5 mile steady run at 10:53 pace. I think I need to start racing some shorter stuff because that's a PR pace for me at that distance. Slow by most/any/all standards, but it's getting better for sure.

Today's plan: my schedule says 4 easy miles for tonight, and given that I don't see the point in getting sweaty for less than 5 miles, I will either increase the distance to 5 or up the intensity a bit (maybe a progressive run?).

24 October, 2007

Thanks, My Chicago wrap-up, and next steps...

Hi friends and family,

First, the good news!
As of last Friday, Fred's Team Chicago has raised $330,000 for critical cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, passing our team goal of $300k! Thank you so much, my friends and family, for being a part of that amazing news - with your help and generosity, I passed my personal fundraising goal of $10k, and hit $12,000. YOU ALL MADE IT HAPPEN, and for that, I'm eternally grateful!

On to the bad news... Race day has come and gone, and as you might have read in the press, it was extremely hot in Chicago on marathon Sunday. High of 89 degrees,very humid, and sunny all day. I altered my pace accordingly to be safe, stayed hydrated (I had thankfully carried my own water), and ran safely, but when I got to mile 16.5 on the course, I found it barricaded by the police where I would have made the turn to head south for the last 10 miles. The decision was made by the race directors to call off the race part way through for safety reasons. At that point, we were made to continue east on Jackson to head directly back to Grant Park (the finish area), another 1.75 miles. All in all, I ran about 18.25 miles that day.

I can understand the race director's decision, and it was done for the safety of the runners - no argument at all given the conditions of the course and the day. I just know it was a disappointing day for me. I trained well this year for my race, I did the work to get to race day, I ran safely and smartly, and I didn't get to go the distance.

Soooo, after trying to get a last-minute entry to the 2007 NYC Marathon with no success, I've signed up for the Myrtle Beach Bi-Lo Marathon in February 2008, and I'm going the distance. Heaven knows heat won't be an issue then! :-) I'll continue with the training plan I used for Chicago, my running is going really well right now, and I'll arrive at the start raring to go!

Thanks again, all of you, your support means the world to me!

Whatever happened to my EASY run?

What happened to my 5 easy last night?

I did 1/2 mile warm up, then 2 x 1/2 mile at 9:40/mile pace, then 1 x 1/2 mile at 9:20 pace, then 3 x 1/2 mile at 9:10 pace. 1/4 mile recovery between intervals at 12:00 pace. And a good cooldown and stretch.

Thought I was going to cough up a lung after the 4th interval and had to do a bit of that recovery at a walk, but got back up to the 12mm pace for recovery, and then had no problem getting the final 2 intervals done.

Tonight, 5 EASY miles for sure.

19 October, 2007

the cheese and cracker incident

OK, I admit it. I am ADDICTED to cheese. You can keep your chocolate, keep your ice cream, keep the cake, keep it all, just give me the cheese. Hey, I'm from a dairy state, what can I say. LOL.

Last night's dinner consisted of fantastic Dakin Farm Aged Cheddar (from Vermont, naturally), Vermont Common Crackers, and pepperoni (from Vermont Smoke and Cure). At least I'm eating locally? Let's go with that as the positive in this picture... :-)

So, back to reality today. Eating healthful foods (like maybe a vegetable or 2?) and not sabotaging myself.

And 5 miles easy tonight. I promise.

18 October, 2007

a nice little treat for myself

I don't know many runners up here where I live. Which is why blogging and running forums are so great - I can blab indiscriminately *here* and none of my un-interested friends or family have to listen to me blab about running anymore.

Anyways, I digress... I stop into my local running store regularly (for same reason as above - so I have someone to talk running with - yes, I'm obsessed), and it was Brooks day yesterday. So I picked up a new running jacket at 20% off. Weather-resistant, lightweight, plenty of zip pockets for clif bloks, and the perfect length. I'm calling that my post-Chicago-well-deserved treat.

Maybe I should have gone running after that? :-)

17 October, 2007

4 easy miles

I have 4 easy scheduled for tonight, looking forward to it... Although, I will admit, I can't be bothered w/ easy runs. I know the slower running is there for a reason, but darn it, I'm slow enough already w/out slowing down on purpose!

16 October, 2007

first post-Chicago run

So, did my first post-Chicago run last night and it felt good to get the legs moving again!

Owing to the fact it's now dark by 6:30, I'm on the treadmill for weekday runs for the foreseeable future.

Warm up then start my run. First 5 minutes at 5.0 mph, and every 5 minutes after that, I bump up the speed by .1 mph. Last 10 minutes at 6.0 mph. Total distance is 5.5 miles in 60 minutes.

Today's either an SRD or 4 easy miles. Waiting to hear on a number for NYC Marathon, so I'm either in taper mode, or I'm getting back to my normal weekly mileage.

11 October, 2007

post race? WHAT race? :-)

So, I've been in New Orleans since Monday. Flew here right from Chicago. A little stiff on the plane ride, but had an aisle seat and stretched the legs regularly.

Since Tuesday, my sister and I have been working at Habitat for Humanity worksites. Tuesday was near Musician's Village - spent half the day crouched under a house pounding nails up if they missed the floor joists (I've never used the word "joist" in a sentence before LOL). Yesterday and today, we were on the West Bank and put in a flooring system - hung the floor joists, blocked between them, and between yesterday and today, laid the subfloor.

I'm sore alright, but nothing to do with running.

Oh, one strange thing... I went to a concert in Lafayette Park last night, and when I took a step down off the flight of stairs we were sitting on, my right knee sort of gave out. Feels a little weird today - almost like it's hot?

Will try running tomorrow. There's a marathon next weekend (the 20th) and I'm thinking about it...

09 October, 2007

My Chicago Marathon (sort of) race report

First chance on a computer since race day.

I had a good night sleep on Saturday courtesy of Tylenol PM. Sunday, race day, dawned humid and warm, it was over 70 when I got to Grant Park at 6:00 a.m. Had 3/4 bagel and a luna bar. Stomach was mercifully happy this year, which was a nice change from last year.

Started heading to the start around 7:30, lined myself up near the 5:15 pace group. Temp is already 78 or so. Gun goes off 8:05 a.m. and we stand there a while, start shuffling towards the start line. At this point, we're into the sun and it's steamy already. I finally cross the start line after 21 minutes.

Moving along, it's hot. Get to the first water station just before mile 2, and of the 10 or so tables set up there, 9 were already folded up and stacked on the side of the road because they were out of water already. 1 table had water, and completely out of Gatorade. interesting...

I keep running and we start heading north, feeling ok but hot. Broad daylight, no shade to be had. Next water stop has water but no cups. I luckily was carrying a waist-pack water carrier, so I topped off my bottle and kept going. No gatorade there either. Keep going north and we are into Lincoln Park. Aid station there has cups but no water (see a pattern developing?). We exit Lincoln Park and are along Lake Shore Drive - runners are literally filling their water bottles from the decorative fountains in front of apartment buildings - the kind of fountains you toss pennies into. This is mile 6 or so and the heat is already really affecting people.

We make the turn and start heading south. there's a fair amount of shade on this section of the course, and the homeowners and neighborhood people are fantastic. They're out there w/ their hoses filling cups and bottles for runners, running sprinklers to cool us down, going into the stores to buy water since there obviously wasn't enough supplied by the race organizers.

Anyways, I'm well off my planned pace but still feeling ok because I had my own water supply and topped up my bottle every chance I got, and I dropped to a walk when I was in the sun for too long and started getting hot.

Aid stations are still lacking - whether they have cups but no liquids, or liquids but no cups. One stop where they had Gatorade (important on a day like yesterday, where you need to replace the salt), but no cups, we were literally taking used cups off the ground so we had something to drink from. Not exactly hygienic, huh?

At this point, we've made the turn to start heading west. Sun's beating down, and I pass the halfway mark. People are sitting on the side of the road, laying on the sidewalks, getting loaded into ambulances. It is brutal out there. About 2 minutes later, there's a police man walking down the middle of the road telling people to walk because they're calling off the race. I turn to some runners near me and they couldn't tell if they heard him right either, so we keep running. I pass the 25k mark, which is 15.5 miles, go over the timing mats there, keep running. We've heard a few more cops saying they've called the race. there's a helicoptor flying over us w/ someone announcing something but we can't really hear what they're saying.

Anyways, I've sort of got a 2nd wind at this point, have been going under every sprinkler and hose I've seen, have refilled my water bottle at every opportunity, and feel fine. Taking it slow, but feel fine, and I'm still running.

Regardless, I get to the corner of Jackson and Halsted at mile 16.5 where I should be turning south and they've indeed called the race off. The police barricaded the road heading south, about 10 minutes before I arrived there. We were told to keep heading east on Jackson until we get back to Grant Park. So, we did. No choice in the matter at all. It was probably another 1.5 miles back to Grant Park and I decided to keep running, as did a few others around me, so in all, I covered around 18 miles.

I can't argue w/ the decision to call the race off, once it was apparent how depleted the aid stations were, major medical issues including one death, and I also heard that they had critical shortage of medical staff because of the huge number of people suffering from heat exhaustion, etc.

Could it have been avoided w/ better fluid supply out on the course? I don't know the answer to that. Heat and humidity like that is brutal. And it was pretty scary to hear the sirens going non-stop for hours.

I just know it was a disappointing day for me. I trained well this year for my race, I did the work to get to race day, and I didn't get to go the distance. Of the 35000 runners who started the race, only 24000 finished. And I feel like I've let down all my family and friends who supported my run by making donations to MSKCC.

I'm looking into doing another marathon this fall - I'm trained up and I really want to go the distance - hopefully I can pull some strings and get into NYC at this late date.

Anyways, that's it from here. I hope everyone is OK!!

04 October, 2007


OK, I'm starting to flip out now with race day almost here. And I'm really annoyed about this darn heat wave in Chicago. For once, I actually trained well for my marathon, and if I end up w/ another cruddy finish time due to the heat, well, I'm just gonna lay myself down on the ground and throw myself a tantrum LOL. ;-)

Actually, no I'll just go with the flow, but it is a little worrying.

Anyways, I've been resting up a bit this week. Tonight, I start doing laundry - I'm going to be bringing every stitch of running clothes I own so I have exactly what's needed depending on how the weather turns out. Better get a bigger suitcase? :-)

Here's what I bring (in my carry-on):
confirmation ticket/booklet
running tights - capri length, full length
bike/compression shorts
tech shirts - short and long sleeve
2 sports bras
3 pair of wright socks double layer MESH wicking socks
rain-proof jacket
baseball cap (RED SOX of course)
clif bloks and sport beans
waist-pack water carrier and spare bottle (I hear Chicago has water only every 2 miles??)

anything else can go in checked baggage.

01 October, 2007

more sleep?

In an effort to get more sleep this week in advance of Chicago, I went to bed at 10 last night instead of my usual 11 or 12. Needless to say, I woke up at 4:45 (said as she stamps foot in annoyance)!

It was still pitch black, so I started the coffee, checked email, etc. and thought about going for a run when it got light out. Well, I had half a cup of coffee and then promptly got back into bed and read for an hour and a half. :-)

I'll run tonight.