Friday, September 30, 2005

Can't wait to run

Yesterday we ran 6 miles and again felt good. Felt fast! Again for the first time in a long time the runs are not dragging along with nothing to focus on except the various pains in the body.

So I can't wait to run my 3 miles this afternoon.

Ran in the new shoes and they felt really good. So bouncy! I'll keep track of the milages on these shoes as well as keeping up with the old ones. I don't think the old shoes are quite dead so I might keep these in use for short runs and so on.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Go Go Manager of Fleet Feet

Earlier this morning I had e-mail the Fleet Feet chicago people about the horrible service I receieved at their store.

I just wanted to note that the manager of the store wrote me back apologizing and explaining the situation in more detail. Perhaps this is the true sign of a good company and not how a couple of minions behaved.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Nice and Easy

We went 4 miles today and for the first time in a long time my legs felt good! Not only my legs, but it seems that running life has re-entered my body. For awhile my runs have been long and tedious and just ughhy.

I know it was only 4 miles today but still all of a sudden I was at the turn around point. The weather was super crappy too...windy and rainy.

Anyways, I am doing ok with the taper, but Jason and I are being VERY snappy with each other. I guess when you stop running lots of miles a week the extra energy has to go somewhere else.

Bad Bad Bad Service

I am appalled at the customer service I got at my local Fleet Feet running store yesterday evening.

At the beginning of last week I went into the Fleet Feet in Chicago on North Ave to buy my shoes for the marathon. I figured with 3 weeks left to go until the race, I would have plenty of time to get them. The store didn’t have either my husband’s or my size in the shoe we were looking for, so they said that they would order them for us. They had hubby’s at another local store so they said they would be at the store in two days. For my shoes, they had to order them and said it would take a week. So I went into the store a week later because my husband’s shoes had come in (although a week later not two days like they said!). I asked about my shoes and after many looks in the back and then telling me that they would be in on October 15th (yes this is a week after the marathon I am running in), then took a closer look at the card with my information on it and said, “Oh, we just put that order in yesterday” So I asked them why then last week they told me they would be in in a week. Cashier lady said, “Well, we put our orders in on Mondays, it’s not my fault”

And. That. Was. It.

No apologies, no helping to see what other options there could be. Just pointing the finger at someone else and looking at me like I was crazy for thinking that a specialty running shoe store would be as helpful as possible in getting in what I need. How could I want a new pair of shoes for the marathon, I mean what is wrong with me!

It was absolutely the worst costumer service I have ever received. I mean I wasn’t shopping at the local Sport Mart or Sports Authority where some 17 year old is just there to look cool. They are a specialty running store and they did nothing to try and please the customer. Instead they did everything to get me out of the store as fast as they could. I worked at the local Sport Mart when I was 15 and I am now currently a physics graduate student and I know better sales behavior. I mean, I’m sorry but how hard is it to please the runner. We love our stuff: shoes, shirts, shorts, watches, sunglasses and so on. A little bit of help goes a long way in my book. Now Fleet Feet has lost both my business and my husbands’ business. You do the math….shoes alone would have been roughly 600 dollars a year. Plus, who knows who else I can contact though the few channels that I know.

I am still out to find a better store and stopped by Universal Sole on Lincoln Ave and they seem to be on the task of finding the shoes I am looking for. Hopefully they will come through for me and get the shoes I am looking for so I don't have to run in shoes that will have way over 300 miles on them. This is a bad situation and I just want to warn those that read this site to try their best to find another shoe store so they don't have to have this kind of problem in the future.

*Update. I found three other running stores in Chicago that were very willing to help me out. I ended up finding the shoes I needed in my size at Running Away at 1753 N. Damen in Wicker Park. Just goes to show that Fleet Feet is not in fact the heaven of running stores and there are plenty of places to buy shoes. The people at Running Away were very friendly and so thanks to them for the help.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Taper Taper Taper Time

So as mentioned below we ran a 20 miler on Sunday and have started the taper. We walked about 3 miles on Monday (X-training) and then took Tuesday off. Yesterday we ran 5 miles and felt ok. Some miner pain twinges, but other than that things look ok.

We will run 8 miles tonight, then 4 tomorrow and 12 on Sunday.

I really wish that I could have gotten my marathon shoes earlier in the week. Hopefully everything works out alright and I'll be able to get them in time. A note about the milages on the shoes. The routes that Jason and I usually run end about 1 mile from our house, which we then walk home as a cool down. But I never add this 1 mile in on the don't know if it matters but there is probably about an extra 40 miles on each of our pairs of shoes. Man those numbers are climbing. Come On Fleet Feet and get my shoes in!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


So Leah and I went to get our OFFICIAL MARATHON SHOES from Fleet Feet, the lovely local running store. As it turns out, we weren't the only people to have this idea. Who would think, 3 weeks before the marathon, that everyone would try and get their OFFICIAL MARATHON SHOES?

(okay, everyone would think that...shut up)

To top it all off, both Leah and I wear Asics 2100's, one of the top selling shoes on the market. So, oddly enough, they were out of that particular shoe in our sizes. Damn.

Now I have to wait a few days and Leah has to wait a week to get our OFFICIAL MARATHON SHOES. Luckily shoes don't take very long to break in these days.

So anyway, here's a tip for anyone out there that hasn't gotten their shoes yet: GO GET YOUR SHOES.

And next year...pre-order.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Hey, I ran 20 miles too! I think I should talk about it.

Actually, Leah said it all. 20 miles is really, really far. It is really hard to head out from the house and keep going farther and farther out when you know you have to eventually comeback. And once you are 9.5 miles away from your end point, there is no choice. You simply have to finish because walking would be even worse (especially if you combine failure with pain). Btw, when I say walking, I mean for miles. We always walk a bit when we get gatorade or water. I'm very okay with this.

There was a lot of pain involved in this run. For the first 10-11 miles, my knees and ankle hurt most of the way. The knees are nothing big, just the usual runners knee. The ankle just hurt off and on for the first half. In the second half, all my joints stopped hurting (numb?) but then I found some new body parts. My hips started to get really sore as well as my feet and stuff. Not a big deal...20 miles is far. Stuff is going to hurt. But I just thought it was interesting that I had no two things hurt the same between the two halves of the run. I guess that is better than one, long, sustained soreness.

But the run went great and it was very exciting. I still felt I had plenty at the end and I finished running strong (so did Leah, if she didn't mention it below). One little concern: about an hour after the run, my ankle started to hurt pretty badly. It was very sore to walk on, probably a bit of tendonitis. So I rested it the rest of the day and iced it (And iced it. and iced it). The next day I iced it a bunch more and when I went for a walk it didn't hurt, so that's a good sign. I haven't tried to run on it yet, but I'm fairly confident that it won't be a problem.

Okay. 20 miles is the bag. Let's taper, baby!

Monday, September 19, 2005

20 miles whoo hoo

Well we did it. Yesterday we ran 20 miles. yowza!

We started at the ole' wayne manor and ran to the lake front path and then to about 2.5 miles south of the aquarium. This is far :-) It was so hard to be going, ok, we have to go more south now. At about 12 miles, it felt to me like we were in no mans land, but this guy came running up next to us and started talking to us. That was awesome as the next .5 mile before we had to turn around went quite a bit faster as we had someone new to talk to. He is running the detroit marathon. I think he also mentioned that he's from the Detroit area which was very confusing as he was running in chicago....later as I realized that the Bears were playing Detroit so perhaps he was in town to watch the game.

So then we got to turn around yeah (!) and then it was 9.5 miles back to where we could stop. First just had to make it back to the gatorade stand that was 4 miles away. I did want to stop for water before that, but to make it less time to the gatorade I held out as long as I could and was able to make it about 1.5 miles. So stopped for water, then onto gatorade. After this I was like ok, just 5 more miles to go, and all of a sudden I realized where I was and how far I still had to go and I freaked out and had to walk for about 30 seconds. Jason calmed me down, got another drink of water, made it to the next gatorade stand and then made it to the end (one more water stop between) So at the end I wasn't crawling and still feeling semi-strong.

So we had two gatorade and 1 water stop on the way out. and 3 water (quick stops) and two gatorade on the way back.

Now it's time to taper and start really freakin' out about the marathon. Holy Shit it's in 20 days. damn.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Yesterday we ran 9 miles and I felt pretty good. Stopped for water at ~3.5 miles and 6.5 miles and was able to kick it at the end and finish with a slight sprint. by end I mean like 100 meters :-) but it's something.

It was nice to run farish and not be limping at the end.

No run today, easish 5 tomorrow and then the big 20 miler on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Sure, I lost the keys yesterday and had to run all the way back to the totem pole to try and find them. In my defense, though, I'm very dumb.

But what was fun, though, is that I wanted to find the keys before anyone else did so I took off and ran the 3/4 of a mile all the way back at my fastest non-sprint pace. That is the pace I would like to run someday (you know, in my dreams). Actually, at this point I can't run that fast as I was starting to lose a little steam towards the end, but I could probably run a 5k at 90% of that pace. But still, it was fun to air it out. After the marathon, the next thing I will want to train for will be the shamrock shuffle, which is just a 8k, and so I want to run it really fast. Last time Leah and I ran the shuffle in 38+, and so this time I will shoot for 35 or so. I think it will really be fun to train for a short run.

But anyway, I ran 5 miles yesterday nice and slow. Everything pretty much hurt below the waist at some point, but the only thing that was any concern was a pain/tightness in my lower right calf. I iced it last night and it is feeling a bit better today.

9 miles today, nice and slow again. I just want to make it to the taper without anything bad happening. Nice and slow.

Easy 5

Ran 5 miles yesterday and finally (!) got through one of these runs all the way. I have been having such sore legs that I would have to stop and stretch a couple times durning the run. This didn't happen yesterday though. We ran to the 5 mile marker and then back to the 3 and my legs were quite stiff. So we stretched right then which we don't usually do (i know i know we should always do this) and then got some water and headed back to the apartment. we were about 5 blocks away when I said, "You have the keys right?" Jason looked at me like I had two heads. So we had to go all the way back to the totem pole and hope they were there. Which the were. He must have dropped them when we were stretching. So that probably added about 2 extra miles of walking since the totem pole is a bit over a mile from our apartment, but that's alright.

Legs are feeling pretty good today actually. Maybe this quad thing is loosening up (slightly) Today we have a 9 mile run. woof.

notice that the milage on the shoes is pushing it's way to 300 hundred miles. We will get new shoes before the marathon. need all the bouncyness i can get :-)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

My Favorite Run

As I was checking out the RW forums, I came across this thing where you could map out runs in your neighborhood using Google Maps. Check out:

It's really amazing. When you zoom in all the way and then go to satellite view I could get the lake view running path which is not visiable on the regular map thing. Although I use GPS when making new running routes anyways, this is great for folks that don't have such devices. Also just to keep all the loops in a handy place with distances attached since once I have a loop I don't wear the GPS. I am frequently going ok, I ran from this block to this block to this block and so on. This site has you make an account and then you just name all of your runs and then you can also post how fast you did them and any comments you had about the run. A training log you might say. Very Very cool. !

Run Walk Run

Walk Walk Walk

There wasn't even a run scheduled for yesterday, but I was figuring that wa because in the schedule we should have run a race on Sunday. So as we didn't I thought it would be a good idea to get out there and see how the ole' legs held up. We probably were out there for about 4 miles, but I am guessing only ran about a mile of those. Not a big deal, just felt good to walk and stretch the legs out.

I had lots of problems falling asleep last night. The point of this month is to get lots of rest and blah blah blah. I just couldn't do it. So I probably slept about 5 hours or so. Sheesh. Tomorrow Jason and I work from home so I might be able to sleep in then.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Wow, Jason thanks! I'm so happy that I was able to do something to help you today. I was feeling all kinds of things like, " I have been holding you back this whole time, " and stuff like that. I had a whole blog written in my head about things I could write about and how your left me in your dust (which i know had to happen because i was crawling at that point)

Anyways, the run for me was in 3 stages. The first was miles 0-4 or so. I felt shitty. My legs hurt (shins and left quad muscle), I was feeling bad for myself, I was thinking of all the people in my life and how they are all seemingly better off now that they are as far away from me as possible, and now my husband/running partner was included in that now that he was probably about a mile ahead of me so he didn't need me to be with him while running. sigh.

Then I stopped and got some gatorade and continued the trek on towards the 9 mile marker and I started to stop feeling sorry for myself and just thought about how to get through the run alone. My legs had worked most of the kinks out so that wasn't bothering me anymore. So I saw Jason coming back towards me about a 1/4 mile before the turn around point (I just put my head down and didn't look at him) I stopped for gatorade about 1/2 mile later.

The last part of the run was really pretty difficult, although I was able to get through it. I had to stop for some water at Oak St. Beach but that was the last time I would stop until the end at the totem pole. One really fun thing happend while I was running. I was going over the North Avenue Bridge and one of the running groups was coming up the other side. One of the girls in the group started shouting:


and everyon started clapping and cheering and I just this surge of energy and I got this huge chill and realized that there was going to be an end and a purpose to all this training. I thought that if that was what the marathong would be like people cheering all over the place I knew i would be able to finish. So who ever that group was you ROCK (i think it was the AIDS marathon people...although i'm not 100% sure)

So that was it. Next week we have a 20 miler whoooo whooooo whooo!!!!
Today was a "fall back" week. I put "fall back" in quotes because it is pretty silly to think that 13 miles is an easy run. There is never anything easy about 13 miles. It is brutal.

This time Leah and I separated because I was running faster than her today due to the fact that she was experiencing leg pain. So I went ahead so she could do her own thing. It is really a whole different game, running alone as opposed to running with a partner. It takes much, much more mental toughness because there is nobody to feel guilty towards if you stop.

Running on the lakefront path, we started at the 3 mile marker and ran out to the 9 (oh, sorry, that should be "just the 9 mile marker"). At about the 8.5 mile marker heading out to the 9 I started to get real down on the run. I knew where I was and I knew where home was, and even worse I knew that I had a whole mile more just to get back to the 8.5 mile marker again. It just seemed like it was too far to run. Too far and too hopeless.

But, I pushed myself out to the 9, turned around, and began my death march back home. But then I saw Leah! I really had no idea what had become of her. I didn't know if she had quit and gone home, had walked, or was 10 feet behind me. I really had no idea. The fact that she had fought through all that leg pain and pushed on this far was a big time inspiration to me. I figured if she could make it with legitimate pain, then I could fight through my aches and pains and make it back home.

Oh course, this boost only lasted about another 2 miles and then the death march began anew but it was still very, very inspiring. Great job, Leah. You are going to kick the marathon's ass!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Where's the Love

Yes a song by the Black Eyed Peas (I think) but also a description of my current training state of mind. We just tried to run 8.5 miles here at work which we promised a couple of months ago that we wouldn't try to do again. We work at Fermi National Lab which is basically in the middle of a farm and so there are lots of long straight paths with not a lot of action on them. I get so freakin' bored immediatly that all the little pains i have which I can usually ignore along the lakefront path back in the city come roaring their ugly heads up.

my feet hurt
the outside of my shins hurt
it's hot
my thiegh hurts
and so on.....

When I am in the city I can go ok, I know exactly where I am. I know there is a water fountain in one more mile. Oh look at the other hundreds of runners of all speeds, shapes and sizes doing the same thing I'm doing. I can get past the....pardon....the bullshit of the little annoyances and just get the run done.

The plan now is to run 8.5 tomorrow. The run today ended up being 2 miles to the main building and then walked the two miles back to my office. Shitty. So we'll be back in the city tomorrow and will just try again.

A quick other note. I have recently been perusing the Runner's World Forums which are becoming a little annoying. People are posting about how you won't finish the marathon if you dont' do at least 2-3 20 milers and well maybe you'll finish but it won't be worth it. These comments are not towards me, but to other first time marathoners. Isn't the freakin' goal of the first marathon to finish? How about giving some support to these folks who are doing their best, their out there anyways and might not be running 3:10 marathons! That's my feeling on the matter anyways. Alright, that's all from crappy runner girl. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Time for me to catch up. As Leah has mentioned (somewhere) below, we completed our 18 mile run and it was a success. I was really happy to get through one of the really long runs with no major problems. Sure, everything was pretty sore by the end, but we finished very strong at the end and probably could have squeezed out another 8 miles with a little race day magic.

I was really, really tired for the next three days following that run, but I have finally gotten back to normal. Recovery from an 18 mile run seems to take a long time.

We next ran on tuesday (yesterday) and it went fine for me. I had to stop a few times because my knees we hurting me pretty badly, but with a little walking I was able to finish. It was also super humid again, and so it was much harder to finish.

All in all, I think this last month is going to be hard. However, I am also very confident that we will both be able to finish the marathon and that is more than I knew last month.


oh man. yesterday's run. I don't have much good to say about it. As we started everything hurt on my legs. My quad muscle on my left leg, my feet hurt, my shins hurt. It was just annoying. I told Jason to just go ahead of me because I knew that my pace was probably a little bit over walking (if that) and I didn't want him to have to run 5 miles at such a slow pace. Instead of doing that he slowed down to go behind me, thinking that I just wanted to run alone. So then I felt that I had to move the pace up just to stay in front of the time we got to the lake I was dying. So I finally yelled at him to JUST GO AHEAD. Which he finally did.

In the end this is better for me. When Jason is right next to me and I'm having a bad run I can whine to him and he'll be the good husband and tell me to walk or whatever. However, as soon as I'm alone I realize there is no one to whine to and hence I can move the run along. I can hone in on what is actually bothering me and get the job done.

I know it's hard for Jason to leave me behind when I am in pain, but we talked about it after the run that sometimes it's better for me to just do it by myself. I think it's good anyways to get through some runs alone because like I said, you can focus on what the problem is and not telling your running partner that your legs hurt and not being able to get off that train. So in the end ran about 5 miles and an incredibly slow pace. i stopped to stretch 3 times within that distance. Tomorrow is an 8.5 so we'll see how that one goes. We'll have to run it at work so at least it's a change of scenery.

Monday, September 05, 2005

We Did It

Well we did the 18 miler on Saturday. Wow. I almost don't have words for it.There were times that I didn't feel awesome, there were times that I felt like a machine. But as I was running the last mile, I could feel my heart pumping out of excitement, I knew we were going to make it and I just felt awesome.

I have stopped timing the long runs to try and just enjoy them and not be so worried about the pace. However, I did note time the time we left the apartment and the time that we stopped (probably actually about 18.3 or so) and it was under 3 hours, which means that we were pacing less than a 10 min/mile pace which is awesome.

So with a little over a month left until the marathon I am so happy to have finally gotten through this long run. I am so much more confident about the marathon now to have this one under my running to say.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Running Angry

Well I suppose it something that you shouldn't do cause you run to fast and are too crabby to stop for water or to stretch if needed. so that's what happened today. I suppose we went about 5.5 miles or so. I don't think we will be able to run tomorrow so I wanted to get as much in as possible. Now it's 9:40 pm, still haven't eaten dinner and dont' know if that's going to happen anyways. sigh.
Yesterday was an 8.5 mile run, or as I like to call it, the "other long run". I have to admit, I was a little concerned about this run. Leah's leg had been hurting and my motization was fairly low and I feared a bad Wednesday run would kill confidence for Saturday's big 18 mile run.

But, never fear! The run yesterday went very well. Personally, I was aware of every inch of my right leg all the way from my hip to my ankle, but I was able to run fast and that was fun. Honestly, after weeks and weeks of plodding through our runs, it was great to lengthen the strides and have a good run.

I could tell my legs were hurting more than usual, though, so I stopped four different times in the 8.5 miles to give them a break (which is about four more stops than we used to make in our 8 mile runs). I would rather my legs be a bit fresher on Saturday.

Today I'm pretty achey, but I feel a renewed confidence regarding our runs. Amazingly enough, I'm not dreading today's run, and it has been a few weeks since that was the case. I'm looking for the enthusiasm for running to spill over into Saturday and we will have a great long run.

Btw, a few days back the nasty toe nail fell off. It was pretty nasty underneath, as well. Nothing good going on south of the old ankle.