Monday, October 31, 2005

Getting back into it

I'm excited to be getting back into running on a full-time basis. After the marathon, we sort of had to back off from running and let our legs recover. However, as the weeks pass, the distance gets to slowly creep up.

What I'm really hoping for is that on Sunday we can do this really nifty 6.0 mile loop. The thing about the loop that is cool is that we stay right on the shore of Lake Michigan rather than taking the inside part of the lakefront path. And in the fall, if you run along the shore in the afternoon, it is quite spectacular. On an overcast November day, the water is a very cold, grey color and the tide is high so the waves come crashing up in a very dramatic fashion. It is like running in a movie (except that, I suppose, in a movie you would probably be chased by Vikings while you ran or something like that. Luckily there are very few Vikings along the Lakefront path).

Of course, it wasn't so nice the last time we tried to run it. A couple Sundays ago, we tried this loop without pre-measuring it...who knew it was so far? Well, our legs certainly knew the distance and right around the 3.5 mile marker they made their opinion known. It was like hitting a wall and all of a sudden our legs started hurting everywhere. And so we had to walk the last 2.5 miles which, on a normal day, wouldn't be a big deal. However, it was about 45 degrees out and the wind was gusting up over 20 mph. Let's just say this wonderful, movie-set like running loop didn't have the Hollywood ending.

I'm hoping, then, that we really are back to the point where we can start doing some nice, longish runs (without having to trudge back home, shivering in the wind). I understand that taking time to recover is important, but running less than 4 miles every run gets old after awhile. After all, half the fun of running a marathon is getting to reply to the question "what did you do today" with a shrug and a casual "oh, we just ran 10 miles."

All Minied up

Jason and I just signed up to run the Indianapolis Mini Marathon on May 6, 2006. We ran this in 2004 and was the first major race that we competed in (and by competed I mean ran in as we aren't exactly competative). Our finishing time was 1:57 and our goal for this year is 1:50. The last time we trained for this we didn't run that many miles during the week and didn't do any speedwork. However, we were training in Bloomington, IN and so all of our training runs were on hilly roads. So hopefully this year with more experience, and some speed work we'll be able to drop the time a little bit. This was such a fun race so I am looking foward to running it again! Plus now I have the fear of the upcoming race and so have to keep on my training schedule.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Weekly update

Above are the updated plots of our workouts this week.

I didn't really feel like runninng this afternoon after the crazy weekend that we had. But we ran 3.87 miles and actually felt good during the whole thing.

This week we will start these shifts at work that are 10am-6pm everyday. This will continue for 3 weeks and then a week off and then another 2 weeks. This will be a tad annoying but I think it'll be good because it will force us to be regulated with our schedules and hence make workouts stay regular.

Halloween Aftermath

What a weekend! With all of our marathon training for the past many many months we have not gone out like that in a long time. On Friday we had our work halloween party and it ended up being a blast! I was worried at the beginning because there were not that many people there, but as time went on and kegs got emptied I realized it was quite the exiciting party. Yesterday we went out to dinner with our friends Corey and Danny and then went to my friend Becki's halloween party which was pretty fun. Both nights we went to bed around 3:30. Yowza. We are going to attempt a run after the Bears game. We'll see.

Friday, October 28, 2005

The First Marathoner

Everyone knows the story of the original marathoner, right? This guy, Pheidippides, ran from Athens to Marathon to deliver a message of victory over the Persians...and then promptly died.

And then 2000 years later later, apparently because it went so well the first time, hundreds of thousands of people re-enact his dead march every year by entering in various 26.2 mile runs which we'll call "marathons".

Doesn't it seem strange that the guy dies after just one of these races and yet people will do this every year. I think so too.

Anyway, in case you are wondering where I am going with this, that's my costume. I'll have a toga (we'll pretend that's what the Greeks wore...close enough, anyway), my race number ("1" in this case) and "Go Pheidippides" down my arms. And, of course, socks and my running shoes. I'm the original marathoner! Or, I'm a drunk frat guy at a toga party...I'm cool with either costume.

And yes, there will be pictures.


Well tonight there is a biggish halloween party here at work. Since I am on the party planning committee I was semi in charge of getting this thing up and running, hence I have to have a costume. So Jason and I went to our local thrift store last night to try and come up with something. Here are some ideas we had
  • high school king/queen of the prom (they had old ridiculous prom dresses)
  • dead bride (groom)
  • trashyiest couple ever....
  • disco queen
But then I saw the many many racks of 80's clothes and knew what I had to do. First of all, the only reason that these clothes exist is because someone bought them 20 years ago and thought they were the coolest thing ever. So I found a pair of stone washed jeans with....wait for lace patches all over it. Oh yes I did. I could barely get my foot through the bottoms of these things because they are so tapered. So I had the pants now what. Oh that's right. I found an orange mesh tube top. excellent. So I plan on going crazy with big hair, side pony tail (with scrunchi and everything), nice dark eye make up, hot pink, blue and green socks (layered of course), big earrings......ahhh the fashion of my childhood.

What were people thinking? I'll post pictures from the party tomorrow.

As far as running. Will run tomorrow and sunday to keep the weekly runs at 4 days a week right now.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Reflections on Two Years of Barefoot Running

Reflections on Two Years of Barefoot Running:

This guy runs barefoot. So at first I thought that he must live somewhere warm to do this. Nope. He lives in Kansas City and says that he runs in all weather INCLUDING SNOW!!

That's insane. I have real problem with cold toes in the winter, I can't imagine shedding my shoes. yowza.

Fun Run

Today's run went really well. As Leah mentions below, we just ran through the city along the sidewalks. But it was really nice to get out there and not know the distance, not know the time, and not feel sore. Before, on all our runs (post-marathon), something had hurt. One day it was my shins, another day I couldn't breath, and every day my knees hurt. So it was very refreshing to get out there and not have to worry about pain or breathing. It seems that we are finally recovering from the marathon.

It is nice not being in training. I had forgotten what it was like to just run for running's sake. You might say, those runs are "fun runs" (which, coincidentally enough, is the title of this post).

Pretty soon we will start building up the milage again, but for now it is alright just knocking off 3-4 miles at a time.

Perfect Speed

Today we ran before we came into work and I thought it would be fun to run through the neigborhood instead of over to the lakefront path because we have spent the last 3 months on the lakefront path, so change is good. We left around 7:45 and felt good the whole way. I have been having a pain in the muscles in the backs of my legs but it only hurt at the beginning and stopped as I continued. When we left I was a little worried because there was a lot of lights along the way, but as the title of this posts states apparently we ran the perfect speed because we made ALL of the lights. (ok except one...but still good!) So in the end the loop was 4.25 miles, so it totally is starting to feel like we are back to normal....well almost (or were we ever normal?)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Screwed up Sleeping

Last week Jason and I slept less than ideal hours. We would sleep like 4 hours a night and then I would not be able to fall asleep the next night and so another 4 hours and so on. We had a wonderfully relaxng weekend with lots of sleeping and napping and so on. The problem comes when we start a new week of work and want to get up early and on it.

I guess I should mention that Jason and I are graduate students working towards a PhD in physics (we aren't that nerdy.....except that we are) but the point is that we don't have to keep any certain hours. We live in Chicago but work at Fermi National Laboratory which is in Batavia, IL. To try and dodge traffic and be able to run in the winter when there is very little daylight we like to try and work very early. Leaving home ~5:30am and getting home around 4pm. So this is fine except when Sunday night comes and now I can't sleep because I had a wonderful weekend of rest and then I have to get up at 4:30 in the morning, it just doesn't happen.

I HAVE TO GET MORE SLEEP or at least be more regulated about it. I would like to get 6 hours a night and then a bit more on the weekends.

Another note of interest. I played a lot with excel last night trying to make a graph that is useful/interesting. So above the "contributers" on the right hand side is a now a link called Running Progress, you can click here and see the graph change on a daily basis. I am going to then just always include this on my Sunday evening posts. So here is the newest version of "runner tracker". The yellow shows the distance ran that day. The purple is the weekly sum of the distances (I will eventuall include a marker of some kind signifying the end of a week) and the green is a sum of the yearly distance. Physics Nerd to the rescue. My entire purpose as a graduate student is to make many many (many) different kind of plots, so that experience helped a bit here.

Nails and Notes

My unbelievably disgusting fourth toenail has finally fallen off. Seriously, that thing was one of the worst things I have ever encountered (visually didn't hurt that bad). It wasn't just that the nail was black, but also most of the toe around the nail was black. It was 90% blood-clot, 10% toe (which isn't the ratio I usually shoot for).

But, anyway, it's gone now and my toe now looks like it has a little alien head on the end of it. Still gross, but in a different way.

Now the Big Toe nail is about 50% off. I think it is going to get the axe tonight.

From now on I'll be going by 8 Toes Jason or, if you prefer, Ol' Eight Toes.

In other news, Leah and I went to the gym last night and worked out on the elliptical machines (no, I don't just pick at my toes). This was an experiment for me, as the last time I tried these machines was in college, and I definitely didn't much enjoy the experience. It just doesn't come naturally to me. According to Leah, when I try to use the elliptical, my upper body is completely rigid and I stick my ass all the way out. Much like Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance, nothing moves except my legs. Suffice to say, this is a somewhat embarassing experience and one I am still trying to live down.

But yesterday was much better. I was going to be comfortable, dammit, or die trying. And so I managed to complete 30 minutes on the elliptical without making a complete ass of myself.

We also worked out and lifted many heavy objects. I'm huge now.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Weekly Milage

I am trying this new thing where I keep track graphically of how our runs are going. I don't know exactly how to do this quite yet. But for now, I just have our progress last week. This graph shows our additive distance each day. This is good because then the last day is our total distance for the week. Maybe somehow on top of this I can show the actual distance we ran each day....or how we do on a week by week basis. So stay tuned for more progress on this front

Today we walked to the gym an then did the stupid boring elliptical machines for 30minutes. The back of my knee has been royally bothering me lately and didn't want to push it. So 2 miles of walking to and from the gym and then ...

***side comment from Jason***
"My big toe isn't going to be around much longer either"
(he just pulled off his 4th toenail. It's totally gross)

...I guess the machine calculates how much distance you do and it was 2.7 miles. Then we lifted weights and ended with some situps.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sunday Run

Well we are still in the process of slowly getting back into the running. We went for a Sunday run, but went at 12:30 pm instead of our usual summer 6:00 am start time. Here's the route. I think we probably went a little fast, I didn't time it but was breathing pretty hard by the end of it. I'm so happy that we are out there running again so soon after the marathon. I want to really try and make sure we keep up with it so that we can be in really good shape when we start training for our next races. We have a tenative plan of trying to get more races in next year and so far it looks like this is our plan:
  1. Shamrock Shuffle - Chicago, IL
  2. Indy Mini Marathon - Indianapolis, IN
  3. 3 Rivers 12 K - Fort Wayne, IN
  4. Chicago Marathon - Chicago, IL
We'll see if these happen. I know that the indy mini fill in fast so we would have to sign up fast. I do think that being signed up for races keeps up the training morale. So I would like to try and make it a common thing.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Almost a little bit better

This week has been bad for the sleep thing. Jason and I have gotten like 4 hours of sleep each night and so yesterday we were so tired when we got home. But running is totally a part of our routine and so we jumped into some running clothes and we were off. I love this running after the marathon stuff, no distance, no routres, no timing. Just getting outside in the crisp Fall air and moving the legs. So I wanted to do this route. Obviously I was not really thinking about the distance, but was just anxious to get outside an enjoy the weather and the lakefront. Ok so I also didn't take into account how chilly it was going to be when I stopped running. The back of my knee was bothering me and so we started walking after we got water. There is no need to push through pain now that there is no race coming up.

On the way back home we ran into Steve and Marilyn who are friends of my dad's. (Steve was also my AP english teacher!) So after chatting with them awhile we were about a mile from the house and freezing. So we walked fast and got home.

This is a great loop for future referance though.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Well now what?

So the title of this blog is Marathon Running.....but the marathon is over now. Well FOR now anyways. We had such a great time not only running the actual event but all the training that led up to it we are planning on running another marathon next year....probably Chicago again since we live here and it freakin' rocks.

So now what?

We took a full week off from running. I was going crazy because it's hard going from training 4-5 days a week for 10 months to nothing. But I was good and took the time off. We are just going to get back into it slowly. Our race plans include The Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago and perhaps the Indianapolis 1/2 marathon. We'll see.

As far as training. On Monday we ran to the gym, worked out and ran back home. It was so HARD. The running was alright, except that I was out of Then at the gym they have this machine where you can do assited dips and pullups and I used a lot of assitance and my muscles were basically done after that. Did a few more machines, some situps and then ran back home. I am going to put the hardness of monday on the fact that we are still in recovery....yeah that's it........

We will try the same workout today and see how it goes.

Jason's Race Report

Sorry this is so late. The race was such a big deal that I wanted to write a really nifty race report that was carefully crafted and well thought out. While those are lovely intentions, it really just ended up being something that is likely to never get finished. This needs to get written, however, as we are now in a whole new stage of our running and it is time to move on.

With that...

The Race Report

Phase 1: Jason Feels good

I was a little surprised at the start of this race. When Leah and I ran the Indianapolis Half Marathon, I can remember standing in my start corral doubting my readiness. I believe my actual thoughts as they fired the start gun in Indy were: "Wait, we can't start yet, what if I'm not ready?!?" It wasn't just that I was worried about my running shape, but I was worried that maybe I did something wrong and didn't tie my shoes tight enough or would have to pee. In Chicago, I didn't have any of those fears (although, as it turns out, I should have). I felt mostly ready to start and wasn't especially concerned about how far we had to go before we crossed the finish line. This lack of fear and nervousness is really suprising given what I know of myself.

The first mile went amazingly fast. It seemed like we went down a little hill, under a bridge, and then *boom*, the first mile marker. That was a great feeling and made me feel like this marathon thing would be a breeze (note to self: respect the distance, dammit!!) . We saw our intrepid crew of spectators for the first time shortly after and that was all a blur. I saw Scott and Sue at the front and then the only other person I saw was Leah's Aunt Donna as I hurled my long sleeve t-shirt at her face (sorry about that). We just passed them so quickly I couldn't take everyone in. I made a mental note to make sure I made contact with my niece the next time we saw her so that she wouldn't be disappointed.

After the first, the miles really just melted away for awhile. As we passed through downtown and headed north, I was really pleased to find that my legs felt pretty decent and I didn't have to work out too many kinks. I was just completely absorbed in the enormity of the event and the shear volume of people watching me run. Honestly, it was a little surreal. Before I knew it, I was approaching our neighborhood. One of my favorite memories from the race was running up Sheridan and running directly alongside the running path where we did all of our training. I felt like I should cross the road and hopped on the path (I didn't, though).

Around mile 6 or 7 I became very aware of the fact that Leah and I hadn't been talking much during this run. She had mentioned some knee stiffness but hadn't said much beyond that and so I was hoping that she was doing alright. Conversation wasn't really an option, however, as I was just too overwhelmed to have any intelligent thoughts or the ability to form words.

The next encounter with our spectator team was at mile 8-ish. They positioned themselves on the wall at the corner of Addison and Broadway and this time we spotted them in time for me to see everyone. We both waved like maniacs and I shouted my niece's name as she was perched on my Dad's shoulders. And then they were gone and we were running up Broadway, a street we'd been down hundreds of times before.

There were an unbelievable number of spectators lining the streets of the North side including dancing drag queens and men dressed as cheerleaders. It was an amazing amount of fun. The crowd carried us for awhile but around mile 11 or 12 Leah started to get a little down as she mentioned in her report below. I wanted to try and help since I was feeling good, but I still had the little problem of being unable to form sentenced. The best advice I could give was to note that if we kept going, the miles would just go away. Apparently, it worked, so that makes me happy. Sometime between mile 11 and 16 it got quiet and I got a little desperate for some conversation, so I shared the only thought I had been having for the past 3 miles or so. My "conversation starter": "Hey, you know what I've been thinking about for the last half hour? Bob Loblaw." If that makes no sense, say it out loud (if it still doesn't make sense, say it faster). Don't blame me, it's from a TV show.

Anyway, mile 16 was long but that was really the only tough mile before mile 20. I started to drag a bit at mile 20 but I knew that in the 21-22 mile range we would have more spectators. And sure enough, first we saw our good friend Corey and her little baby at 21 and then at mile 22 we saw our road crew again. What you can't tell from reading these race reports is how absolutely amazing the road crew was. They were the best part of the race (except maybe the finishing part). But then we passed them, and the only thing between us and the end was lots of pavement.

At some point, I can't pinpoint exactly when, my quad started to go bad. I actually think it was at mile 18, but I'm not sure. Anyway, one spot on my quad tightened up badly and I could feel it with every stride. It sort of felt like it was going to burst out of my leg at some point and I was a little concerned, although I knew Leah had gone through the same thing in training and had survived. If she ran 6 weeks with this problem, then I could run 6 miles.

Phase 2: Jason goes Bye-Bye

Remember that "respect the distance" thing I mentioned earlier? Well, I respect it fully now, because it is a long, long way to go and I felt it all at the end. I'm not sure what changed, but my breathing started to get a bit ragged around mile 22 or so. Leah claims she never heard me breathing, but it was loud and clear in my head. Except the clear part, that's not true. It was loud and wheezy in my head. I was a little worried. Never in any of my long training runs did I run out of breath. The problems always involved leg, back, or shoulder aches and pains, but never breathing. I think it may have been caused by the quad thing as those nagging pains can be very distracting and make the running seem harder than it actually is. Regardless of the cause, I was worried. For the first time, I started to be very concerned that I wouldn't be finishing the race without walking a significant portion of it (which I very much didn't want to do). This, however, was also the point where Leah started to feel much better and kept on running like a pro. My only goal in this race was to finish with Leah, and so I was going to have to keep running as well. Oh God.

Phase 3: Thank God Leah kept running, because I died somewhere back there

Mile 23: Man, only 3 miles to go, this is the distance that I always say is easy if you can get there because then one mile later there are only 2 miles to go and anyone can run 2 miles. As it turns out, this is complete and total bullshit. The only actual thought going through my head at mile 23 was how I would never make it and that the thought of running 2 more miles once I got to the next mile marker...well, that's just stupid. There was absolutely no way that I could run 3 more miles, but Leah just kept on running, and so I did too.

That's the nice thing about running: it's easy. You just put one foot in front of the other.

Mile 24: I want to walk. We very briefly pause to walk at an aid station, but it is not as long as I was planning. However, Leah is saying that we are almost done and wants to press on, and so do I. I really don't want to let on to how badly I'm doing. I never, ever like to be the one to slow us down. The spectators mock me with cries of "You're almost there, you can do it." Actually, no, I'm not almost done and I can't make it; clearly you are mistaken. I know I shouldn't feel this way, but it just seems so far and I am basically dead. Right now I owe everything to Leah. She is the only reason I'm still running.

Mile 25: We cross the 25 mile marker and I know that I should feel relief. After all, there are only 1.2 miles to go and so we are practically done. However, I don't feel that way. Part of the problem is that we are still in the numbered street and I know we have to get to Roosevelt, but in my head the numbered streets have to go all the way to zero before I get to Roosevelt. This is not actually the case, and of course it doesn't matter because a mile is a mile, but right now logic is not my friend. Logic is for people who can breath.

Mile 25.2: The "One Mile Left" marker!!!!! Only 2 minutes have passed between the 25 and 25.2 mile marker, but it seems so different. I know I can run a mile because it becomes a half mile so quickly and then a quarter mile, and then done. We are cruising now and passing all the people who went out too fast and are now walking. The crowd is screaming all around us and we are going to make it! In a couple more minutes we will be marathoners! We start to approach Roosevelt and I can see the runners starting to make the turn and head up the hill. I know at the top of the hill is the 26 mile marker and then, of course, the finish line. We make the turn and hey! This hill's not that bad. We surge past dozens of walkers and make it halfway up the hill when we spot our road crew again! Hey, they made it! A little extra surge and we reach the 26 mile marker. The finish line is in sight. All I can think is "Come on finish, please hurry" and "you're almost there, don't stop now."

Mile 26.2: We made it. Alright then, I'm ready to sit down.

And a half hour later I finally do get to sit down.

This was probably the most amazing thing I have ever down. I know it was the hardest. But we both made it and crossed the finish line together. Leah and I made a great team as I felt good for the first 20 miles, and she felt good for the last 6.2. Running partners don't come much better.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Walking a little funny

Well it's all over and we did it! We finished in 4 hours 20 minutes, which was our exact goal! How about that! I wanted to write a really long detailed post about how I felt during the race, before the race after the race but it was all so exciting and crazy that it's hard to recollect any of it!

At the beginning I think we should have warmed up and stretched a little bit in at all. It was a bit cold and we were in the pens with about 40 minutes to go. We probably could have warmed up and stretched at the location we chose in the pen. This might have proved useful later on in the race. We started talking to some other newbies next to us who also seemed a little on edge. Then we started moving forward and slowly but surely the starting gates got closer.

Oh my gosh and then we are running and there are millions of people around us, on the course, on the sidelines cheering us on. I am in awe of how many other crazy people have decided to run this race. Almost immediately I see someone wearing a Maine East high school sweatshirt, which is my alma mater. I scream at him, "Hey Maine East! I went there, that was my high school" He smiled and waved and probably thought that I was only a little crazy.

A little bit after our first mile we see our family and friends wearing all red with big red signs that say, "Go Leah, Go Jason....." I start jumping and running and trying to get their attention, we run right in front of them and throw our long sleeve t-shirts at them and we are on our way to more miles.

We run the loop downtown and I am amazed. It's about 8:30 in the morning on a Sunday, the streets are not only packed, but music is BLASTING through the streets of downtown Chicago. It's unbelievable. I am overwhelmed with everything.

We start to head north and as we continue in this direction we start to run in more and more familiar territory. We run by Lincoln Park Zoo, and then I really know where we are because we are running right next to the Lake front path, which I have run on thousands of times. I know this area by heart. All of a sudden we are at Addison Av and I know to start looking for our family and friends. There are literally thousands of people at the corner of Addison and Broadway all screaming and cheering and wait, there is the family. Run by and say hi, grab some candy from them and we are gone.

We continue up Broadway and the road we are running on looks like something out of a TV commercial. The road is packed with runners, the spectators have moved in on the street and are going crazy. Wow. I really can't get over how many spectators there were at this point in the race.

We get to mile 10 and all of a sudden I realize that my knee is starting to get a little stiff. Great I think, I am only at mile 10 and my leg is starting to hurt. We go another mile, stop for some Gatorade walking through the stand a few steps. Alright we are back on it. I realize that we are not yet half way, my legs hurt and I start to get a little negative. We keep moving forward and wait, we are near mile 12 where is the family. Oh there are the red signs, run near them and wave!!!! Can't believe they made it back south to see us.

Alright, almost halfway now. There is the sign, check my watch. It's take 2:07 to get here. If we can keep this pace we'll make the 4:15 goal we had set. But my legs are killing me. We keep going, get to the Gatorade stand at 15 miles and walk through it. One of the volunteers says, "Now the slow ones come...." and I yell back, "HEY, we aren't slow we're fantastic!!!!" Everyone around me cheers. Alright, back on the running thing. But I have to stretch my legs. Alright, Alright. Legs stretched. Break is over. 10 miles to go. Let's get on it. I tell Jason that this is horrible and I'm never doing this again. He says, listen if we just keep running the miles will come and go and we'll be done. I think, well of course. So we stay on it.

At mile 18 there is a stand for some of this power gel stuff. I look for the tangerine flavor because I remember that this one is double caffeinated and thought it might help my brain. I take the top off it and push some of the most awfully gross goop into my mouth. YUCK. I quickly get to the water stand and take some water to get the taste out of my mouth. I realize I should have taken all of the goop right before the water, because then maybe itwouldn't have been that bad. Oh well. Time to keep going.

We get to mile 20. Well this is what it's all about right. This is the part that you train for. So now I get my mind into finishing mode and I'm on it. All of a sudden I hear my name and I see my best friend Corey and her Husband and baby. I peel to the side to give her a hug. I can't believe that she found us in the crowd. Total boost of energy hits me and we are on it. There is mile 21 we are about to enter china town. Wait Wait there are some red signs. Wave at the family and grab some candy. One bite of snickers bar, and then some Gatorade at the next stop. Getting close now.

The miles start peeling off for me at this point. Mile 22, 4 miles to go. I remember when we were training and every time we would get to the point where there was 4 miles to go I would say, "anyone can run 4 miles". I had this distance photocopied in my brain. I knew I could do it now.

We come up on Sox Park and I know this is as far south as we will have to go. Mile 23.

Mile 24!!!! I realize that when we get to the next mile marker there will only be one mile to go. There it is. Mile 25. Right after this is a sign that says, One Mile to Go.

I can feel it now. The girl in front of us says this is it; this is what she has been training for the past year. The crowds are huge, everyone is screaming. We make the turn onto Roosevelt, and then turn onto Columbus; there it is the Finish Line. I hear someone screaming my name. It's my Dad. I can't believe he made it to the finish line. Jason and I grab hands and cross the line.

I am overwhelmed just thinking about it again and apparently I do remember a lot about the race. Just had to get it all sorted out.

I am proud of us for keeping the same pace throughout the race. I know that our first 3 miles were at 10 minute miles, and I am guessing some of the middle ones were faster or slower. But we only walked when we got Gatorade or water. We didn’t walk at all if not at one of these stands. The aid stops are so crowded anyways, and crazy and slippery that there was no real need to run through them and bounce Gatorade all over yourself. At the end many of the people that had passed us earlier in the race were walking and we were running by them. That made me so proud of us for sticking through it all the way!

I have to thank our family and friends for being there for us. Their support helped us get through the race in ways they can never understand. Thanks you guys!


looks like I got the bug.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Okay, I really should post here too. I've been pretty preoccupied with trying to hide this face from the world:


whenever I think about this weekend (as Leah sums up below nicely). My fingernails are pretty much all gone and I've been very jittery recently (especially my legs). Other than that, I'm just really excited about the idea of the race and eager to get it on. Let's get this party started already!!

Monday, October 03, 2005

holy crap it's almost here

The marathon is this weekend. THIS weekend. Did everyone hear me right? THIS WEEKEND.

I am so so so so nervous. All of the runs recently have been going really well. We ended up running Saturday morning instead of Friday night because we stayed at the Lab to help with a volleyball tournament. That run went alright. Saturday evening we had a wedding to go to and probably danced a little too much as woke up with slightly sore feet.....i know i know how stupid. But we ran our 8 mile run in the evening and it went alright although it was raining really hard at the start.

We will run wed/thur/fri this week with distances of 3/4/2. I want to try and sleep as much as possible on Friday night because I don't know how much sleeping i'll get done on Saturday.

After the race we are going to our friends Kay and Gary's house for an after marathon party. We will just go straight there from the race and shower and all that good stuff there. Thank you to them for having everyone over. And early apologies if I fall asleep while talking to you ;-)

Other non-running related news. I was elected to the Graduate Student Association at Fermi perhaps I can form some running clubs or something through that.