Monday, November 28, 2005
I think after the marathon, when we were ready to start running again, we were so excited to not have to train (i.e. we could run for fun) that we had energy to burn. All of our runs were fast - faster than we had ever run. This was great fun, but it ended up being pretty hard on the legs. By the week before Thanksgiving, when we had finally made it up to around 30 miles per week, my shins had begun to hurt...a lot. And it wasn't just that they were sore, it was that they felt like all the strength had gone out of them. Also, they weren't just sore while I ran; it hurt to walk as well. Leah was having the same problem.
Shin pain is evil. It isn't like it is impossible to run, but it is definitely not fun. The insidious ache sucks the motivation right out of you. The question of "why am I doing this" comes screaming to the forefront. So, to put it simply, this is something that needed to go away.
I guess the first thing that is always recommended when the ol' legs start to hurt is rest, and so rest we did. We took Thursday, Friday, and Saturday off and cut our Sunday run down to ~5 miles. Hopefully this rest will help a bit and the shin-ache will go away. It is one thing to run through pain when there is a marathon on the way...it is quite another thing to do it when you are just trying to run for fun in the off-season.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
We didn't run on Friday or Saturday to give our poor shins a bit of a break. We did walk to the gym on Friday evening and lifted some weights and as Jason likes to say, got big and huge. Today then we ran ~9.3 miles (!). Putting our weekly total at about 28 miles. You can see the charts below that show our progress since the marathon and we have been adding distance each week but I feel we are now getting to a point where we can sit for awhile. I would like to be consistant at 30 miles per week until we start seriously training for our next big race which will be the Indianapolis 1/2 Marathon on May 6th. I would also like our longs runs to be consistant at 10 miles. So we are just about there. Don't know if this will happen next week because of the big family bash in Frankfort Indiana, but we will try and get them all in.
By the way. Frankfort's high school mascot is the Hot Dogs
The Frankfort Hot Dogs......I couldn't even make this up!
Friday, November 18, 2005
We ran about .75 miles and then stopped to stretch which always helps for about a .25 miles after that. The pain does eventually stop though so I was able to get through the run without have to walk or stopping to stretch again.
We will probably not run today or tomorrow to give our legs a bit of a break. We are going to Fort Wayne, IN to visit Jason's parents for thanksgiving and so we will run on Sunday morning around there. We will try and walk to the gym tonight though and work out. We'll see as it will depend on what time we want to leave for Indiana.
Last night we went to see Saw 2 with some memeber of our volleyball team. oh man was it scary! I am such a sucker for horror flicks and this one lived up to it's predecesor. Good twist and scary scenes.....eeek. (i totally checked the backseat of my car before we got in to drive home...hahahaha)
Thursday, November 17, 2005
This way we zigzag through downtown and then end up at Oak Street beach for a nice run home. Tonight we will again run around the ring here at work. Tonight we are going to see Saw 2 with some friends. After the first one, I seriously went around my apartment and turned on every light....so CREEPY. Hopefully this one is as good.
Nope, it's just the adventures of Insane Girl and her dashing sidekick, Jason...the Great. This is the sidekick's story.
To make a long story short, it was cold yesterday. It started out cold in the morning and then, as luck would have it, it just kept getting colder. But the good news was that the cold was accompanied by 20 mph wind, gusting up to 30 mph.
Well, if you know Insane Girl, you know this is just her kind of thing. She'll start singing the theme to Rocky, punching the air, and running circles around her sidekick. Me, I was worried I would freeze my ass off.
No, I mean that literally.
I figured that, right around mile four of our run home, I would hear a dull thud and turn around to find two quivering lumps of flesh lying on the ground, mocking me with their not-attached-to-my-body-ness. That's just not something you want to see...ever.
Luckily, though, it ended up not being that bad. Instead of running through Millenium Park to get to the Lakefront path, we zig-zagged through downtown, crossing whatever street allowed us the rightaway. This meandering run was really nice because it broke up the early part of the run into little pieces and also because that nasty wind was never in our face for too long. By the time we made it to the lake, we were already halfway done and the whole run felt so much shorter.
Next time on The Adventures of Insane Girl and Her Dashing Sidekick, Jason (Note: must find zippier title): Four feet of snow? Bah!
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
We landed on the lake front path at the Harbor that is on Monroe (maybe it's even called the Monroe st. harbor). We ran this path so many times over the summer that I knew the route and was beginning to realize we might be going a bit farther than we had hoped. Oh well, it was really fun to run along Lake Shore Drive, right along the lake. There were a few other runners on the path and I would give them a wave as they passed by. I think I get about a 25% wave return. Well I was noticing that the wind was really picking up, or maybe it had been bad the whole time, just at my back.
I got off the lakefront path and kept running North for about a half a mile and everytime we got to a street corner, seriously the wind just about picked me up and would push me into Jason. I knew that the last mile or so of the run was directly running west and I knew that it was going to be a tough finish. I told Jason that we had to be tough for this last mile and we did make it back to our apartment without being blown away.
This morning I checked the distance of the route (click here) and it looks to be about 8 miles. This is farther than we ran on Sunday and so somewhat negates the long run on Sundays. We'll try this again tonight. By the way the weather yesterday was 50 degees. I woke up this morning to 30 degrees and some snow flurries! I love Chicago winters. It's so all of a sudden. One day fall. Next day dead of winter. Ah well, it had to happen sometime.
***Note I found these pictures online, I would like to start carrying my camera with my so I can take my own pictures. I have a Canon power shot camera which is very tiny, so soon I will do that
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
You scored as The Amazing Spider-Man. After being bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter Parker was transformed from a nerdy high school student into New York's greatest hero. Peter enjoys the thrill of being a super hero, but he struggles with the burdens of leading a double life. He hopes someday to win the heart of his true love Mary Jane, the woman he's loved since before he even liked girls. Right now, he just wants to make it through college and pay his bills.
Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
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That's right. 007 James Bond....perhaps Jamie Bond for me......A good top 3 though too!
| You scored as James Bond, Agent 007. James Bond is MI6's best agent, a suave, sophisticated super spy with charm, cunning, and a license's to kill. He doesn't care about rules or regulations and somewhat amoral. He does care about saving humanity though, as well as the beautiful women who fill his world. Bond has expensive tastes, a wide knowledge of many subjects, and his usually armed with a clever gadget and an appropriate one-liner.|
Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com
Monday, November 14, 2005
We did about 25 miles last week which is a nice increase from the week before, and from the weekly distances that we kept last winter.
We only found one problem with running home from the train and that was all the stop lights along the way. On wednesday it felt that we had gotten stopped at all of them. This week we will extend these runs a little bit and run east to the lake, and then home along the lakefront path. It gets very annoying when you finally get a rhythm going to have to stop at a light. So this should increase our weekly distance thise week, but this is all we will add as I don't want to do too much too fast and get myself hurt.
Here are the up to date graphs of our progress.
Sunday, November 13, 2005
She was also an avid bowler (as Dad says, "I didn't see my mom one Friday night my entire childhood"). My dad and stepmom recently moved out of their house and onto their sailboat (read about their adventures here) and of course I got a lot of stuff since they cannot take it with them (which is great for my tiny 1 bedroom apartment) . But he said, "Do you want my mom's bowling ball? It has her initials on it" I said, "Sure, how heavy is it," thinking that I could use it when I went to play. He said, "16 lbs". I guess when she went to buy it they asked her how heavy of a ball she wanted, she asked how heavy do they get, they said 16 lbs, she said I'll take that.
She was 5'11" tall and wore size 10.5 size shoes. These are exactly my propotions (well 10.5 for running shoes 10 on all others). Apparently her good friend once gave her bowling shoes for Christmas, size 7.5. When my grandmother asked what the hell was wrong with her as obviously these weren't going to fit her, her friend told her that she just wanted to see her have to return them for a bigger size...a bigger size by 3, not just a half a size or something.
I think it was very hard for my grandfather see his wife take the turn that she did with the disease. I don't know if I could imagine watching someone that I loved who was so active in sports and life in general get a disease which cuts off your ability to move. He told me that they had stopped at a restaurant and she couldn't walk up the stairs to the entrace and had to go through the kitchen entrance. He said that's when he realized that something was really wrong.
I grew up Ukranian Catholic and when I couldn't sleep or something, my mom would say, pray or talk to God or whatever. Well I never really was into the God thing, but I would try and talk to my grandmother. I always thought that she was watching me and just hanging out. I am sad that I only know her through the stories and not her personally. I think that we would have been good friends if she were still alive.
As far as grandparents go I am pretty lucky as my other 3 are still alive and are 3 people that are truly spectacular. They have lived lives and come from a time that I can't even fathom. But after watching the Jon Brais complete an Ironman with this horrific disease I cannot help but to think of Lucille Welty, a woman that I never got to meet, but miss all the time.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
I had big BIG plans to get up early on Friday and go to the gym in the morning and then run 3 miles or so in the evening. Well that didn't happen as "getting up early" wasn't going to happen. We work at home on Friday's but we are working these computer shifts and so had to be in front of the computer from 10am-6pm.
We did run to the gym in the evening and then worked out and ran home. Our little routine at the gym is the following:
3 sets dips/pullups on the machine that assists you to do this
3 sets on the bench press
3 sets of biceps/triceps
3 sets of shoulder exercises
3 sets for upper back
3 sets for lower back
(I don't know the real name for any of these things...i like shoulder exercises....sounds like i'm in the 50's...come on kids time to do your exercises)
So I think the total amount of running yesterday was 1.5 miles. Actually this ended up being ok, because I would like to add the 5th day of running back in slowly. Tomorrow our plan is to go out for 7 miles. Today is an off day.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Just like it says below, Leah and I did our very best impression of a proton and an anti-proton racing around the ring except that, instead of eventually crashing together at energies not seen since the birth of our universe, we just occasionally brushed up against each other while tooling down the road. Other than that, though, our impression was dead on.
Anyway, that is neither here nor there. Basically, we ran at work yesterday and it was business as usual. Business as usual, that is, until the conclusion of our loop when, all of a sudden, Leah was gone! Well, that's the way it seemed to me anyway because she started sprinting towards the finish line and suddenly her form was just a blur.
This was just wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Because, you see, I started sprinting too. I did; I was hauling ass. But, as I'm forcing my body closer and closer to its top speed, she's just casually gliding along unaware of me clawing at the air trying desparately to catch up.
Faster and faster I go. My body starts to shake like a Klingon Bird of Prey appraoching warp speed (yes I just said that. No, I'm not ashamed), body parts flying off, clouds of steam coming out of my ass and what about Leah? Well, she's jusy coasting along doing her nails (figuratively speaking, of course). And do you know what it reminded me of? It was like watching the women start the NY marathon. They looked like they were barely moving and I thought to myself, aren't they starting off awfully slow? Of course, they were, as they start off at aroung a 6 minute mile pace. They were running miles I can only dream of and it looked like they were hardly trying.
That's what it looked like from my vantage point of 10 feet behind Leah (wait, no, 20 feet...30 feet...geez). It looked completely effortless as she approached top speed. Just smooth as can be.
So, I'll tell you what. I'm just going to go ahead and let her win these little sprints at the end of our runs. She can go ahead and run "fast". Because, as we all know, the marathon isn't a sprint, it's a...well, it's a marathon. Which is really far.
It just must be nice to be able to acutally race the protons around the ring...and win.
But we made the decision to run around the ring instead of just around the grounds and it was (like all of our runs lately) a great run. The main building is really an amazing piece of architecture and it looked so cool at night with all the lights on. This picture was taken on the other side than we were running on (just found it online).
There is something to be said about running at work. There are times when I hate being a grad student. I hate the menial jobs that we get stuck with, I hate the teeny salary that we get....
But then there are times that the project that you have been working on for 1.5 years works or at least doesn't make situations worse for ALL the physics groups. When you realize that you work at the most prestigous physics lab in the world which is pretty spectacular realization. I still don't know what I want to be when I "grow up", but this all has to lead somewhere. As far as my time now, I will always look upon this part of my life fondly. I mean, moved back to Bloomington, back to Chicago, got married, ran a marathon, and eventually got a PhD in physics. That's a lot of doing in 5 years. Well we all know that I like being busy!
Thursday, November 10, 2005
The temp was 45 with a 25 mph NW wind.
I had brought running shorts, a tank top and a long sleeve t-shirt. hmm. Luckily I married a very smart man who brougth 2 long sleeve shirts. he was able to wear the sweatshirt he wore to work and one of these and so I was able to nab an extra long sleeve shirt.
The run went well again, actually much better for me than the first time we did this because I didn't have that annoying pack sitting around my waist (notice how I refrain from calling this thing a fanny pack). But jeez the wind was quite the event. One good thing I suppose about running in a loop is that at least for part of the run you can get a break from the wind, but if you run in a straight line and the wind is in your face, it's going to be there for the next hour.
But we live in Chicago, and expect the weather to not be ideal throughout the winter months. However, we were able to get through it last year, through all the snow storms and 10 degree days. I am hopeing that we will still be able to do this even though this winter our milage will be higher than last year. I just HATE running on a treadmill and once I get out there on the path, no matter what the weather I can usually survive it. I always say that the hardest part is getting out the door, once you are out there you might as well finish. :-)
Today we will run here at Fermi Lab...probably around the main ring.
(I love doing this because we send protons and anti-protons around this ring at about the speed of light....I like to think that I am racing them....plus lots of math to do in my head to try and figure out how many times the protons have gone around in just one of my steps.)
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
It's fantastic. It's the only way to travel and it's about 10,000 times better than sitting on the Eisenhower. Commuting with bike was nice too, but this is so much better because I get home and my run is done. Just like magic.
There were a couple really cool things about it. First off, Clark street is an exceptionally cool street to run down, especially at night. Between the restaurants and the bars and the park, there are tons of different looks and neighborhoods. Time absolutely flew by. I mean, we were running pretty fast, but that's not really the point. It still took probably 50 minutes to get home, but it felt like 20.
Another really great thing was the feeling of getting somewhere. Whenever we run, as Leah mentions below, we either make some sort of loop or do a straight-out-straight-back run. This is great if we are running from home (and the only real option) but it is so much cooler to run from point A to point B (luckily enough, point A was the train station and point B was our house. Otherwise, who knows where we would have ended up). I really like the idea of using my legs for transportation and if not for the potential smell issue, I think this would always be a great idea. Just run everywhere!
And finally, yes, the backpack was fine. I never really noticed except when I was noticing that I didn't notice it. Got that? It is sort of like when we are running and I notice that my breathing has been fine which completely screws up my breathing and I have to spend the next five minutes trying to get it under control. Basically, the only time I noticed the bag was if I expanded my lungs more than usual and then I would feel the chest-strap a bit, but it didn't restrict my breathing any. I will probably go ahead and loosen the strap for the next run as I thought it was more necessary than it really is. This give me high hopes for using a hydration backpack in the winter as they are apparently not as annoying as they look.
So, in summary, commuting is much better without a car and I'm really grateful that Leah came up with the idea.
So we started downtown at Madison and Canal and ran east to Clark St. This was so beautiful and fun to run across the rivers. Then just took this all the way home (bascially). This ended up being a 6 mile run. You can see the full route here. This was such a fun run because we got somewhere. We have to get from point A to B somehow and to be able to use a run to do part of that really made the trip much better. It was also fun to run downtown and through some neighborhoods that we don't get to see because we tend to run from our door in some kind of loop and then back to our door.
As far as the packs go, I guess Jason's worked really well, while mine didn't. I couldn't quite get the thing to sit right on my waist. I put the pack part right above my fanny thinking that perhaps it would just sit on my lower back and not bother me too much. Unfortunatly it kept sliding around and I had to cinch the strap tight so that it wouldn't bounce. This became a problem at the end as we were moving a pretty good clip and it was affecting my breathing/stomach (too tight!!!). Jason said his little bag didn't bother him AT ALL so he will carry my book from now on and perhaps we can take turns with that.
We will try this again tomorrow and then slightly shorter runs on Thursday (4.25 mi) and Friday (3.8 mi). Whee!!!
Monday, November 07, 2005
But while running, I couldn't help but think some thoughts (it's what I do). One of the things I thought of during our run was how differently everyone runs. Granted, there weren't exactly throngs of people to look at on this particular rainy Sunday morning, but everyone we passed was just a bit different.
There was the girl who ran as if she either was nursing an injury or had one leg shorter than the other. Whatever it was, it gave the appearance that she had more control over one side of her body than the other. Then there was another guy who ran very deliberately and heavily, as if each step was a big commitment and he wanted to be absolutely sure of it. And, of course, the 50 year old super run who blew past us with his perfect form. I hate that guy.
Just to be clear, I'm not judging. I have nowhere near perfect form. Leah has, in my opinion, nearly perfect form. She holds her arms at the perfect angle, takes nice, clean strides, and doesn't bounce very much (especially when we run faster). And when she sprints, it is a thing of beauty. She is a real runner and a natural runner. I just picked this sport up later in life, so I have a few flaws in my form that I doubt I will correct anytime soon.
The main thing that I would like to correct is my arm angle. Mainly this is an aesthetic thing, as I think the race photos look better when I don't hold my arms up high. I've heard it helps with the running, too, but that's really just a side benefit of looking good. Maybe a picture would help. I run like this most of the time:
But when I get tired, my form really can go to a bad place. My arms get much higher...which would be good in boxing, but less ideal in running. Unfortunately, I've been known to get tired in races and then those arms start climbing...and then invariably a picture is taken. For example:
I think I've gotten a lot better about this in the past half year or so. I didn't really notice this happening during the marathon. Like they say, everyone has a different running style and different things work for different people. I'm not really concerned about having the "perfect form" or anything along this lines as long as I can run far. I just hope it doesn't go to the bad place anymore.
I love the concept of the "task force" being created now when the problem the force is addressing is a problem that has been around for years. That's what you get working for an organization that is a part of the Department of Energy....lots of task forces....not a lot of things accomplished execpt more meetings and more discussing.
Talk amongst yourselves...i'll give you a topic....
I'll update the blog tomorrow when we get home from running home from the train (very exciting!) Then this week we will run Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri and Sunday.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Today was also the NYC marathon and we went out for our 6 mile run and was thinking about all the excitement that must be happening 1000 miles east of us. Remember standing and just waiting for the race to start and looking at all the people around us. Crazy. We have been following a fellow debut marathoner in his quest to run a marathon and was running the NYC marathon today. I just checked the tracker and he finished in 4:43. Congrats Danny!
Our 6 mile run followed roughly this route. We ended at the Jewel though instead of our apartment because we needed a few things for our traditional big Sunday breakfast. We tried to run this route about a week and a half after the marathon and made it about 3 miles. Felt awesome today however and finished with my usual little sprint :-) I have been listening to music again via my ipod shuffle and realized how much I missed it while training for the marathon. Although I do think it's imporant to get out there and listen to nature and your feet hitting the pavement, I also think it's way fun to get Jon Bon Jovi's Shot Through the Heart jammin in your ears.
This week we will attempt our running home from the train station and was happy to get through 6 miles today since we will need to do that tuesday and wednesday. Here are some plots from the week tracking our progress, these can also been seen under the Running Progress link on the upper right.
Friday, November 04, 2005
So this weekend marks 4 weeks after the marathon and so next week will add some intensity into our runs. We will try and run 5 days a week instead of 4 and will try and up the distance. I am thinking something like this :
- M : am 3.8 miles
- T : pm 6 miles
- W : pm 6 miles
- Tuesday and Wednesday we will be trying this new idea to run home from the train station. We'll see how it works out
- R : OFF
- F : 3.8 miles
- S : OFF
- S : 6 or 7
This will put our weekly distance at about 25 miles, which isn't too shabby. This week should end up at about 17.8 miles, so it might be a bit much of an increase but we will just see how we feel and alter it accordingly if we feel the need.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Less sweet tarts = better run.
But yes, it's true, we woke up a bit late on Wednesday morning and so our morning run was relegated to the night. And we were smokin' fast last night! It just feels really good to do more than simply plod on, gathering miles like wild flowers (yes, I just wrote that. No, I'm not proud). And it seems to be easier on the joints. I think if you run faster you run smoother and there is less bouncing and joint-jarring. Of course, the pain in the lungs goes up quite a bit, but I think this will be reduced by the future speed-work that we plan on working into our training.
But, in general, it just totally rocks to be out of training and able to pick up the pace a bit.
(Now if I can just take another minute off of last night's pace, I'll be able to qualify for Boston. Boston's evil.)
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Go Go Welty-Rieger-Teyema Team ( yes i am just that nerdy!)
It will be quite the change to carry anything because we have never carried fuel belts or anything like that. The other idea I had would be to find shirts that are similar (or exactly) like the ones bikers wear that have the big pocket in the lower back, used usually I am assuming to hold food and what not. I am wondering if the size of this pocket however is the perfecct size for a paperback.
Any other suggestions?
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
And that would be one brisk marathon.
Take a look as the Antarctica Marathon page. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that they are the only marathon that advertises with an iceberg. To be honest, though, the running conditions don't sound all that bad. 15-30 degrees Fahrenheit is not all that cold, especially if you train in Chicago.
I'm guessing this is a small field, though, which I think would make it that much more difficult. However, it is in freakin' Antarctica, and I think it sounds like fun.
All penguins are welcome.
So why can you call me crazy? Here's my new idea.
Jason and I live in Chicago but work in Batavia which is about an hour drive away. So we have two drivers so it's not all that bad, but it can get repetative after awhile. Last summer while training for the marathon Jason and I would ride our bikes downtown and take a train out to batavia, and then drive from there to work. It was great during the summer because our car didn't have air conditioning and it was a nice change of pace and we read on the train and so on. On the other hand, we were exhausted because were biking about 12 miles a day (which i know is not a lot) but then also training for the marathon. So we would get home and then have to run and it just got to be too much.
So here's my new idea. This keeps our cost of travel per week about the same, but changes things up a bit and lets us get training runs in simply. So here is the schedule
- Monday : Run in the AM, drive to work and back (as usual)
- Tuesday : Drive to work in AM take Metra downtown after work BUT RUN HOME FROM HERE!
- Wednesday : Take the el downtown, Metra to work, Metra back downtown RUN HOME
- Thursday : Take el downtown, metra to work, drive home. Perhaps an running off day
- Friday : Work from home and run whenever.
We would only do this schedule if we weren't in some training program for a race. Right now that is looking like the rest of this month, December, January and then maybe June. We would have to be hyper organized with clothing and how do we get our books that we read on the train home in the afternoons while running (small backpack???) But we will start to try it out next week and see how it goes and we'll update the system on the blog.