Friday, June 30, 2006

More Non Running

Well it looks like all the shit has caught up with us. Oh well. We are still so far out from the marathon that I am not too concerned about it. The original plan of course was to run 5 miles yesterday and then 17 today. We didn't get the 5 miles in yesterday because of the awfulness that was Wednesday and there just wasn't any time with work stuff.

Today we are still going to try and run but we don't know how far we'll make it. We have to head west to drop our cat off and run a bunch of errands tonight. When we get back if we are feeling up to it we'll go out for a run.

I am feeling that I had overdone it and so I'm ok with missing these two runs. I don't think that pushing yourself till you vomit is necessarily a good sign. We will then still run our recovery week next week in Lancaster, and then the following week we'll probably have to take completely off because of travel and work schedules. The following week we'll repeat the recovery week and continue from there.

I'm not very happy about missing a 17 mile run since these are the important ones to keep up with. But sometimes life happens and there isn't anything you can do about it. I'm still very early in the training schedule and will have lots to time to do lots more 17+ mile runs so I'm sure it'll be ok.

So here's to a good trip in the United Kingdom and stay tuned for posts from the other side of the pond!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Much Needed Non Running

Well I can chalk up yesterday to being one my worst days ever. Nothing seemed to go right from presentations, to exhausted freak outs, to bad food, to stomach issues, to highways being closed.

Today we were supposed to run a 5 mile recovery. That's not going to happen as I haven't eaten much all day and my body is just exhausted. We are still going to try for 17 miles tomorrow though, but I am guessing it will be a pretty slow and steady deal. Then perhaps I can get the 5 miles in on Saturday before we leave for England.

We still have TONS to do for our trip including getting back out to the western suburbs to drop the cat off at our friends house. We had plans to drop the cat off today at 4pm which is towards the end of the work day BUT RCN sucks and our internet went out and so we had to come into the lab early so that jason could finish up his talk for our round two of practice talks.

Ok goal for the day : No Crying during critisism stage of my practice talk. Cause .... THERE'S NO CRYING IN PHYSICS. I just hope they don't ask for all kinds of additions to the talk....cause I am so flippin' exhausted that I can't will myself to add more slides at this point.

Ok. here's to a good practice talk. and hopefully smooth sailing for the next day and a half before our trip. and then it's ENGLAND BABY!!!!

**editors note: The practice talk went really well!!! I kinda think that it's because of yesterday's debacle and they didn't want to be mean to me.....but I'll take it!**

Work Until You Puke....


Little Leah did perhaps a bit too much. Perhaps working for 14 hours straight and having a nervous breakdown for 1.5 hours for that and THEN run 10 miles averaging 8:44 miles (last mile at 7:36!!!) is too much.

OR I had some bad food. I am going with option two as I'm still getting sick :-(

Poor Jason. I found a plastic bag in the car on the way home at 2:30am to shoot for....all was well until there was a hole in the bottom of the bag. As I was spewing like a fire hose he had to take care of it and me. Not a good scene. I feel so bad. After he dropped me off (because I was going to get sick....for a 3rd time) he had to go back out and get some cleaning solution for the car. It's now almost 4am and the LeahJason crew is tired and ready for bed.

Am I truly insane because I am still happy with the running effort. Yeah. I think so. Sigh.

Tip of the day: If you see a Go Roma! restaurant I say Go Homa!!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Just When I Thought I Was Out....


Well my practice talk sucked. I got only critisims and no compliments. AND I have to add in all kinds of shit to the talk. All kinds of physics results and plots and whatever. Which is fine, but it would have been nice if that would have been brought up two days ago when I started going to people for help.


Jason and I are going to try run 10 miles tonight after my shift.....which is at midnight.

Then I'll probably just keep my skinny ass here at the lab till tomorrow at midnight because my level of sucktitude is so high I have to give ANOTHER practice talk tomorrow.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

So. Sore.

For all of you out there who scoff at the athleticism of baseball players, let me assure you that they are better than you give them credit for (shame on you).

I played softball for 2 and a half hours yesterday. And today? I can make no movement that doesn't result in some level of pain...including breathing. My upper back, by obliques, my shoulders...everything. And to top it all off, by hamstrings, hip pointers, and groin are all super, duper tight.

People think baseball players are lame for always pulling their hammies? I'm amaze they don't pull them every day. A tweaked groin? Hell yeah, you should be glad that's all you got.

Softball is not the sport for us slow-twitch types. It frightens our bodies and makes them spasm. Hell, it even leveled one of our very own RBF members.

So, go ahead and mock the baseball players who just stand around waiting for a pitch to be hit. But realize this: you may be able to run in a straight line for longer than them, but they've got a whole 'nother kind of endurance to make it through a 162 game season without getting injured more often.

I mean, just look at them. They're beasts:

Quick Recovery

The run wasn't too quick...but this post will be. The run was good, just a nice easy 5 miles. I don't remember the splits offhand but we averaged a 9:45 pace. Maybe a bit quick, but I am so worried about all the work I have to do I wanted to get into the lab as soon as possible. ASAP you might say.

I am frantic to get my talk for the conference next week done AND get all of the runs this week done by Friday AND get packed and ready to go AND get my cats babysitters all set up AND get the apartment cleaned AND the laundry done. Sigh.

My practice talk is tomorrow afternoon after which I am hoping things will calm down slightly before we go. Tomorrow we also have a 10 mile run planned, then 5 miles Thursday and 17 miles on Friday....breathe breathe will all get done!

Happy Running everyone!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Now THAT's...

A really, really, really, really hard run.

Holy crap, that run was exhausting.


This morning, before heading out to work (4-midnight shift this week), Leah and I had a 9 mile run with 4 miles at Lactate Threshold pace. Now, this wasn't our first time lactating. Just two weeks ago we ran eight miles with the middle four being run lactiously. And really, that wasn't so bad. Hell, it made us feel strong. Like bull.

This week however...

I think part of the problem was mental. We wanted to take Garmin with us on the run since, well, we were running and besides that it was a special run. The sky, however, was peeing all over the place and we were worried about getting the Garmin wet and ruining it. Is this a valid concern? Has anyone tested this? Hello? Anyway, we eventually decided after waffling three or four times that it was better to play it safe since we knew how upset we would be were the rain to ruin it. We did, however, take the iPods to give us that speedy rhythm.

We step out the door the final time after taking the Garmin back upstairs and, of course, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and a little angel is playing a trumpet right over our heads (which is weird because he usually plays the clarinet). Damn. Well, so be it, off we go.

We warmed up for 2.3 miles (Leah's headphones are bothering her and bouncing out of her tiny ears. She is getting annoyed with them) and then turned it up a notch for our LT miles. The plan was to run 7:45 miles for each of the four miles. The splits:

Mile one: 7:41 (*applause*)
Mile two: 8:02 (but wait! we had to cross the bridge at north avenue beach and we got stuck behind some beach-goers with coolers. And, what's this? Leah's iPod battery died. Now she's just running with bouncy headphones)
Mile three: 8:15 (aaaannd...there's the wind. For the second half of this mile the wind was howling in our faces. Right about this point I was sucking some serious wind. No pun intended.)
Mile four: 8:04 (still lots of wind, but at this point we just want to finish. Leah throws away the headphones. The crowd rejoices)

After finishing those four miles, I was declared legally dead. It was the most exhausting run of my life. Our pace was a bit slow, but I know my legs were topped off with a generous layer of lactic acid and felt like really gross jello, so mission accomplished. After take long, heaving breaths for a bit and walking, we managed to run a bit to the next water stop. I was ready to curl up into a little ball at this point, but Leah thought that might be a bad idea so we ran the last 2+ miles home and that ended up okay.

In the end, we were in the right zone for an LT run and so we have to be pretty happy about the run. It just would be nice if we had a bit left for the cool down. But, I think we were sort of mentally funky going into this and we also might be a bit tired out from running so many miles this last week.

No excuses, though. The miles are in and onward we move.

Later that day...

Hey, I actually got a chance to play softball! I played last year and it was really fun (I love softball despite not being great at it) but my schedule has been so crazy this summer that I've missed every game so far this season. However, with Leah being stuck working 4-midnight, I got to join the team for a practice. We did fielding practice and I got to hit some as well; it was great. I'm pretty decent in the outfield (although I throw very badly) and have the most speed on the team (see, this is why we do speedwork), so I can track most flyballs down assuming I don't misjudge them. I also played a bit of third and first, although I really think they might regret putting me at first. My insticts are...not so great.

I was a little wobbly in the batter's box, pulling off the ball a bit (I think I was dropping my shoulder), but I still managed some nice line drives.

Stay tuned for results from my first (and possibly last) game on Wednesday. I can't wait!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Now THAT'S The Way It Should Be

15 mile long run today.

no pain.
no tiredness.
no boredom.
no crying about being slow

A whole lot of laughing.
A dude playing, "If you're happy and you know it ..." under Lake Shore Drive at Navy Pier.
A couple getting married on a boat near Buckingham Fountain, we made it time for the, "I pronounce you..." while everyone on the boat (and land) cheered.
A new recovery item...Orange Burst Gu with caffeine....tasty.

All of the above + average 9:05 min/mile (last 4 miles under 9....last mile under 8!)= best run of the season.

It's runs like this that keep me going day after day.

It's why I keep lacing up the sneakers even after bad runs and after worse runs. It's why I run by all the Cubs fans sitting at Bernies drinking beers or the kids at the Kit Kat Club on Halsted drinking martinis of all colors instead of joining them.

For me there is no better feeling than having a run like that. We all have bad days, we all have days where even the thought of putting on running clothes and going outside to run sounds too horrible, let alone actually doing those things. It's what you do with the bad days. Do you get out of bed anyways?

Jason says running is like being a pitcher. He says a pitcher on average will have his best stuff 25% of the time. It's what you do with the other 75% that matters. I don't love running all the time. If you have read this blog in the past week you probably have gotten a less than, "LET'S GO RUNNERS, LET'S GO!!!" cheerleading feeling from it. And then today came, and one foot went in front of the other easier than it had in a week and I'm back on track.

I run because I get better at it. I keep following the workouts and advice of the pros and the miles melt away faster and easier and the seconds per mile drop bit by bit. I like that parts of it can be very analytical. Do this and you'll get faster, try this and it might help....and it does....go figure. Maybe that's a big part of it for me, why I can be ok with going out there everyday when sometimes there are things I would rather be doing. Because if I can keep the other things in check I can hopefully catch that Boston time ... or at least get under 4 hours this year.

By the way I will have to take 40 (!) minutes off my time from last year to qualify for Boston. That's a lot and I realize that....but I also realize that last year my idea of a recovery drink was frozen margaritas and I didn't do speed work or pace runs or tempo runs or strides or anything like that. I'm ok with that...for last year. But I want more this year. I am so hungry for more. AND I LOVE IT!!!! I love having something out there that isn't quite attainable...but just a little more push and you're there. It's FUN for me to push the envelope of what my body can do and make it stronger and tougher and quicker.

I run because it's something that keeps me sane in my life. I can have a horrible day at work, all my code is wrong, I sat in horrible traffic for two hours, I couldn't find a parking spot...ahhhh but then. I can go outside, enjoy that sunshine and my City and it's just me, my legs and the pavement and I am away from all that other bullshit. And it's good.

I must say, I love all of you out there who read this blog. I LOVE writing about running and getting comments & suggestions & compliments & corrections from all the friends and family and RBFers that read this stuff. I love thinking about what to write when I am running and I have to be honest that this is a big reason why I think I'm getting better this year. It gives me focus when I am out there and my head keeps reeling...I have how many more &%$#@* miles to go? The supportive comments and other people following the same plan who offer suggestions about what I am doing wrong or right are without a doubt one of the more helpful things out there. So Thank You!

I think it's important to ask the Why Do I Run? question. Lots of times there is something better to do, something more fun to do, something easier to do. It's to each his own reason and sometimes we have to dig deep to find it. So with that,

Run Far. Run Fast. Run STRONG!

Friday, June 23, 2006

I've been tagged!

A) Four Jobs I've Had in My Life:
  1. Shoes Sales Girl at SportMart
  2. Summer job in a physics lab putting together the new detector that is now at Dzero
  3. CAD desinger for an HVAC company
  4. Physics grad student

B) Four Movies I watch over and over:

  1. Indiana Jones (all 3)
  2. Clue
  3. 13 Going on 30 (I love the Thriller scene)
  4. Wedding Crashers.....I need more than 4 options :-)

C) Four Places I have lived:

  1. Joliet, IL
  2. Des Plaines, IL
  3. Bloomington, IN
  4. Chicago, IL

D) 4 TV Shows I love to watch:

  1. Grey's anatomy
  2. Desperate Housewives
  3. Buffy....everyone shut the hell up :-)
  4.'s a classic

E) 4 Places I have been on vacation:

  1. Abu Dhabi
  2. South Africa
  3. Paris
  4. Mexico

F) 4 Websites I visit daily:

  1. gmail (email)
  2. Bloglines
  3. Chicago Tribune
  4. New Running Blogger who comment on my to find you all

G) 4 of my favorite foods:

  1. Pizza
  2. Cheese Burgers + Fries (really can you have one without the other)
  3. Ice Cream
  4. Pasta (of course) ....good thing I run with all that super healty food

H) 4 places I'd rather be right now:

  1. New York City
  2. Visiting Parents + Grandparents in Florida
  3. North Avenue Beach
  4. San Francisco (love that city and I'd love to see my friend Becca!)

I) 4 Favorite Bands/Singers:

  1. James Blunt
  2. Jack Johnson
  3. Steve Earle
  4. The Beatles (I am sucker for the old stuff!)

J) 4 Bloggers I am Tagging:

  1. Ryan
  2. Joe
  3. Bridgette
  4. Lana
You're IT everyone!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Not Perfect But Complete

Well another weird run today. I don't know what the problem is. Ok that's total bullshit because I have an idea of what the problem might be. I am not sleeping well during these midnight shifts. Last "night" I woke up at 1pm, 2pm, 3,4 and 5 at which point I finally just got out of bed. I think we can all agree that this isn't the best nights sleep. Add that together with some pinwheel cookies (which are deliCIOUS!), peanut butter toast and too many liquids before we left I was just feeling kind of heavy out there.

We did the 10 miles, but we were all over the map on pace. We did the first mile in 9:28 which is fine because it's a warm up and so I don't really mind, then we were at 8:30, 8:38 which is all fine, then we hit some water and we were at 9:34, then 9:05 then 10:00 (another water stop...and I am starting to see the problem) Then 8:54, 9:21(water), 8:55 and 8:16 (holy ass I just totally remembered those without going back to the I am a cool cat!).

I think the problem is 3 water stops too close together and stopping for too long at each one. As soon as we make the turn around to come back home all starts to feel better because we know we don't have too far to go. So I think we should just make the turn and get water on the way back one more time.

So average 9:04 pace for 10 miles. Not great, but at least we finished.

I think another part of the problem and this happens a lot is I miss the summer. I miss going to bars to sit outside and drink cheap budweisers or going to the beach to swim and look at all the runners, or take long walks around the city like we used to do (we used to love to walk home from downtown). I don't think that it's the running that is stopping these fun activities but rather these ridiculous shift schedules. We just have to remember to do some of these little things to keep running from being a chore and instead just another fun summer activity that we get to do.

That being said, Jason and I are going to try and make it to one of our favorite summer festivites this weekend .... GAY PRIDE PARADE!!!! Since we are doing our long run on Saturday this week instead we are free on Sunday to go check it out. Unfortunatly unlike other years we have gone there will be no drinking (at least no crazy! drinking) because I have to go to work to shift in the evening. There might might have been a drinking incident last summer at the parade so I'm actually ok with this. We'll probably try and go catch the parade near Clark and Belmont so I can attempt a quick escape after the parade and head west to get to work. If anyone is planning on going let me know and perhaps we can meet up for an hour or two.

Happy Running everyone!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


This schedule is RIDONKULUS!!!

We fell asleep around 11am and I was so totally out it when our apartment buzzer rings. Now I have to tell you that our apartment buzzer is not just some regular nice ding dong sounding bell. It sounds like a fog horn and I am guessing can be heard in all the buildings around us. Needless to say when the bell goes off when we are sleeping it tends to wake us right up. Like a cartoon character jumping horizontally off the bed. I start running around the bedroom thinking,...actually I don't know what I was thinking....but I was running around going, "The bell? The alarm? The phone?...wait it's only 1:30. What day is it? Where am I?"

Jason runs downstairs to see who it is and as usual someone buzzed our bell for someone elses apartment. This happens all the time in our building. 3E AND 3W ARE DIFFERNT APARTMENTS! We need to put our name on the buzzer because it happens too frequently (When our pot smoking 22 year old neighbors lived here last summer they would have huge parties and people would be buzzing our apartement at like 3 in the morning....not great when those parties were just about every day of the week).

Ah, I digress...what was the title of this post...oh right Snap.

We actually ended up sleeping until 6:30 or so which was nice and then went out for a nice 5 mile recovery run. People it's hot out. So. Sticky. Oh well, we are making it through the run with nothing particluarly exciting happening and just when I was thinking that this was going to be a really boring post (actually it's still kinda boring...but oh well :-) ) I had to adjust the headband rubber band that I wear to keep the hairs out of my eyes as it was sliding back on my head. So I grab it to pull it forward and it slips out of my fingers and snaps right on my forehead like a giant rubber band. Ouch. Jason looked at me and said, "Well that's gonna leave a mark."

We didn't take garmin with us because I like to go with the ebb and flow of my body on the recovery runs and just...well...just run. No worries about pace or time or anything like that.

It's back to the lab tonight. I need to finish a presentation for the England conference. Tomorrow it's a 10 mile General Aerobic run.

Run. Work. Sleep. and Repeat. This is the life! (I really do love it!)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Stride Right

This morning (evening? well I guess it's morning for all of you and evening for Jason and I this week since we are working the midnight-8am shift) we finally were able to get some sleep. I have troubles sleeping when it's light out because I just feel like I'm taking a nap so I'm up every hour looking at the clock and going, "No, can't wake up yet". However today we went to bed around 11am and slept straight all the way till 4pm which was a nice change. Slept on and off then till about 5:30 then got up, had some toast and went out for our 8 mile run with 10x100m strides.

Two weeks ago Bob graciously let us know that were doing these workouts incorrectly and we should be doing the strides faster and the inbetween segments slower. So we took a different approach today and by the end I think we had it down.

We started with 4 miles averaging 9 min miles which I think is a little slow, but still ok. Then we started with the strides. I think at first we did them wrong and were doing each piece (sprint and recovery) too fast, so by the time the third sprint was complete I was feeling very sick to my stomach. We walked almost all of the next recovery chunk to try and get my stomach under control and we hit a lot of foot traffic along the path as well.

By the end of the ten strides I think I had a good routine down. I would spend the first 10 steps or something getting up to speed and then hold that pace for the rest of sprint period. Then we would walk for about 0.05-0.08 miles, then start a slow jog for 0.15-0.18m then it was another sprint. Doing this kept us in check for both getting a full recovery and getting the most out of each sprint. The sprints were between 5:30-6:15 min/mile pace. I would like to try and keep this more steady the next time we try these and also keep the recovery periods more consistant.

Working the midnight shift is hard. Yesterday was really less than thrilling because we got to the lab at like 9pm and of course didn't leave till 8am. There was a slight chance that my analysis would be finished by Wednesday to go to a conference but after the head of the group came by my office at around 12:30am and saw the state of things he agreed that it's close (kinda) but not really. I am going to try and have the result done for this conference in October and then hopefully be on track to graduate (graduate!?!?!?!) by Jan/Feb of 2007. Then what? Every week I'll give you a different answer :-)

Alright, tomorrow it's 5 mile recovery run.

Run Far and Run Fast everyone!

Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs

If you've read Running with Scissors or Dry, you know what a completely insane life Augusten Burroughs has led. If not, I highly recommend checking out both of those books assuming brutal honesty doesn't make you squeamish. It's actually kind of hard to describe the circumstances under which he grew up, but I can guarantee you will check the back cover of the book more than once to confirm that this is, in fact, a memior.

The first half of this book is very similar to a David Sedaris book, a series of hilarious scenes from his earlier life. These stories are just flat-out funny. The second half deals more with his post-crazy, post-alcoholic life with his significant other and successful writing career. Most of these stories are still very good, just not as funny. However, if you are a fan of Burroughs, you will appreciate the closure these stories bring to his life story. That being said, he'd probably be better off switching back to fiction for awhile. He's starting to run out of humorous life-events.

This is definitely a book worth reading, especially if you have already checked out Running with Scissors and Dry. Basically, if you like David Sedaris, but wished he had more of an edge, you will love Augusten Burroughs.

(that'll teach Reading Rainbow to reject my application. And I had a damn fine analysis of The Berenstain Bears and the Missing Watermelon Money)


I just tapped the water cooler here at work!

That's just as cool as tapping a keg, right?


Man, we runners lead wild lives.

Monday, June 19, 2006


Jason and I will be leaving for Lancaster, England in less than two weeks now. I am so freaking out because nothing (NOTHING!) is ready to go yet. I get a little crazy when it comes to travel and like to be overly prepared. Honestly I'll start making lists this week :-)

But what about running. I would like to stay on track until we leave and then have some freedom while we are in England since I started the training program so early. So, ok stick with me here.

It would be great if I could get all the miles in for the week before we leave. This way I don't have to worry about sitting on an airplane all day getting to england and going, ok we have to run 17 miles. So below I have the next two weeks scheduled :

So because of shifts and flights I have squeezed the runs together. Jason has shift from midnight-8am on Sunday the 24th an I have shift the same day from 4-midnight. We could have kept the 15 mile long run on this day but we probably would have had to run seperatly because our schedules would be so different from each other.

With this configuration however, we won't have an off day between any of the 5 weekly runs, but will still get a day off between weeks. This is good because I shouldn't miss any of the miles before we go, but I worry about having so many runs in a row. Opinions?

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Doubting Miles


not good.

Today we had a 14 mile long run. I woke up around 8am to say goodbye to Lisa (my cousin) and Evin (her boyfriend) as they had stayed with us the night before. As I was still sleepy from the long hard week the week before I went back and layed back down and slept to, oh I don't know 11:30!!! I NEVER sleep that much. NEVER! But sometimes the body needs to sleep and so apparently it was needed.

We started running at about 12:30. On the plus side, it had cooled down to a very nice, comfortable temperature and there was a nice drizzle as well. On the bad side, almost immediatly the arch of my foot started hurting. This has been happening on and off and I think it's just a warming up thing because it usually stops but today my head wouldn't stop doing the,

"You aren't fast enough."
"You won't ever qualify for Boston running a pace like this."
"Qualify for Boston? How about you won't even FINISH the marathon?"
"You are ruining Jason's run and screwing him so now he won't run fast either"

These thoughts are never good because I get all annoyed at the run and the slowness that it is becoming and I start picking fights with Jason. Although I still think he should go ahead of me when I am in pain and running really slow. There is no need for him to stay around a) a person running a pace that is way too slow and b) a crabby negative person.

So we bickered at each other for about the first 5 miles. Of course Jason was right and my arches stopped hurting by this point (I didn't tell him that then...I told him they stopped hurting at like mile 9), but I had lost so much motivation and had stopped to stretch many times that I knew there wouldn't be much speed for the rest of the day.

Oh I also should mention that it was raining when we left so I left Garmin at home. No need to break the expensive watch. I think we ended at 10+ minute miles which is a ways off our target pace.

I have to stop playing those doubting mind games so early into the long runs. If I had shut the hell up and just run and let my legs loosen up I am guessing we would have done the same pace that we have done for the last 2 weeks, but I lost more than just speed in those early miles, because I basically lost the whole run pace wise to my doubting self.

In the end, we finished and there is something to be said about that. I didn't turn around at 3 miles like I wanted, I pushed through and got through the run. I haven't missed one run or workout in the past three weeks and that makes me happy. This week we are working midnight - 8am and don't plan on missing any this week either :-)

We have a strides workout on Tuesday which I am planning on doing more correctly than the last few weeks. Faster on the sprinting part and slower on the recovery part.

And with bath here I come!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Recovery Recovery

Today we had a 4 mile recovery run and did we ever take the recovery route. We stopped to stretch a couple times and the second time stopped for quite a bit to try and work out the kinks in our legs. We slowly made it back to our neighborhood and walked the rest of the way after hitting Sheffield & Waveland. I understand that recovery runs should be slow, I just felt way sluggish today. A part of that is the heat I realize, but I hope all goes well tomorrow for our long run.

My concern about the run tomorrow is timing. We could get up and go early in the morning but my cousin and her boyfriend are staying with us and so we won't be going to bed early, plus we have the Cubs game today (my new favorite pitcher Carlos Marmol is pitching today!) and are meeting people for beers and burgers before the point is that I don't necessarily want to get up early tomorrow.

So we could go in the the heat and just take the hit in speed. If we do this I think we'll end at North Avenue Beach and go swimming....this is always a really nice treat after a long hot run and makes running in these high temps worth it....but from NAB we have about 4 miles to walk home...which is fine....just something to think about.

OR we could go in the evening after the sun goes down a bit. This won't help the temperature much but would help the direct sun on us. Add into all this that we have to go to Fermilab at midnight for shifts. I am thinking now that I would like to go in the afternoon because then I could come home and be tired and nap for a few hours before going into work.

I am expecting that what ever time we go it's going to be hot and so we have to be smart and make sure we take enough water and fuel along the way. So here's to a steamy 14 miles and


Friday, June 16, 2006

CRU Meet Up

Tonight was the first installment of the Chicago Runners Unite (is this what we are sticking with?) meet up at Goose Island. How fun was that! It was so awesome to meet up with other Chicago runners and see what kind of training plans (or tv shows on DVD they watch...can we please let the Buffy thing lie?) they were taking part in this year. Also nice to connect faces to the blogs!

It was so awesome meeting all of you and I can't wait to see you all again next month!!!

Off Day

Well we were going to go work out at the YMCA. But instead took a walk around the neighborhood to get city stickers and neighborhood parking permits taken care of. It was probably a little over two miles and it was just nice to walk around a bit. We are so often stuck in the car commuting or running or working or sleeping that I never get to take advantage of the city (even if that advantage is just walking around). But everytime I just get a day or afternoon or whatever it makes all the commuting garbage worth it. Plus it's nice to have a day off every once in awhile. I'll do some situps and push ups here at the ol' apartment and then it's time to get ready for the CRU (for those of you that missed yesterday....thats the Chicago Runners Unite group....or well....the goofy!!!) dinner.

Tomorrow we have a busy day with a 4 mile run, then meeting up with kids from Fermi Lab for beers before the Cubs game, then the Cubs game, then my cousin Lisa and her boyfriend Evin are going to be in town Saturday night and staying with us (hence we are also frantically cleaning today and tomorrow). Then it's 14 miles on Sunday AND THEN it's back to midnight-8am this week for shifts. sucky sucky! I mean fun fun!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Just the Usual Thursday 10 Miles

We had another general aerobic 10 mile run today. After a stop at Dicks sporting good in Lombard we randomly ran into a fellow Chicago Blogger and got home in what was, for once, a reasonable amount of time. I had probably purchased too much...but, oh well, I needed some technical undies (and apparently I wasn't the only one) and had read some good things about the Underarmour brand. Dicks had a wide selection and so I got some, plus some more Nike Shorts + sports bras because let's be honest it's hot and sticky out, you are not wearing those guys more than once before they need to be washed...and probably washed more than once, at that :-)

So we went out for the 10 miles hoping to keep the 8:45 pace that we have been keeping on these runs. I have to admit I wasn't feeling like a rockstar today; I was just a little blah blah during the run. Maybe like a rockstar after a big show, so I would be all tired out and stuff? I'm not giving up on the Rockstar career....well, that or an Olympic athlete or maybe a Doctor OR...well you get the idea.

We decided to try the Clif Bloks instead of the Jelly Belly Sports Beans and so we each took three of the blocks which equals 100 calories. These weren't great. Not the best taste and with the beans they take awhile to dissolve in your mouth. I would totally recommend the beans over the bloks (Jason says: Bad after taste which, if you take them during your run, is really a during taste and that's not fun. And I think they made my mouth numb, which wa totally unnecessary).

I also think I was dehydrated again because I can really tell the difference if I have had enough water before the run compared to when I haven't. I have one of those Nalgene bottles and if I can get through two of them during the day I usually feel pretty good. I only got through 1/2 of one today so, needless to say, not feeling great.

However all, that being said, even with one really long mile about half way (9:50 -We stopped for water and to eat one of the Bloks) we still paced an average of 8:45. So, we're still on target which is nice to see. Our last four miles were nice and quick too, coming in at 8:29, 8:31, 8:35, 8:00.

Tomorrow is an off day and the Chicago Runners Meet Up (By the way, we need a cool (and I'm using the air quotes on cool name, which is probably not necessary since I could use actual quotes since I'm, you know, writing...but whatever) Chicago Runners Unite or CREW. You see, being a physicist, all I hear are acronyms of which I don't know what they stand for :-) )

See some of you tomorrow and everyone else...Happy Running.

Spilling the Beans

Ok Barb I don't know if you have heard....but I can't wait.....

So on the way home today from work (we left a "little" early) we stopped at Dick's Sporting Goods on Rt 56 in or near Downer's Grove to get, of course, more running gear. I was strolling around with my arm fulls of shorts and what have you and I hear someone say, "Leah?" I turn around and see a guy standing there waiting for me to respond. I don't recognize the person and I am thinking it's someone from high school or whatever and then he said, "It's The Out of Shape Guy"

I just about fell over.

I have been hoping to run into fellow Chicago runners along the lake front. But I never thought in a million years that I would run into a fellow city dweller runner at a Dick's sporting goods way out of the city. How funny is that!!!

We are meeting up with them tomorrow, but just a way random occurance today. I cannot freakin wait for this meet up. He and Barb sound a lot like Jason and I. :-)

Alright it's time for 10 miles...whee we get to run by Wrigley during a game....maybe we'll catch a homerun!!!

Running Blogger Meetup - More Details

I just wanted to list some more specific details about the meet up since there was a question in the comments aways down. Click here for more details if you don't know what I'm talking about.

We have reservations at Goose Island near North and Clybourn at 7pm under RBF. Jason and I (because I am insane) will most likely be a little early and so hanging out in the bar area before that. So if anyone comes early look for us there.

If you haven't already commented on if you are coming please do so, this way we can have an accurate number for the reservation and if anyone is joining you. I can't wait to meet all of you!

First we covered, then we re-covered

Today, we were slow.

And damn proud of it.

Say it Loud: I'm slow and I'm proud!

We decided to unplug and leave Garmin and Shuffle at home (we had used the iPod shuffle to aid in speed work, no need for that today) and went out and just ran slow and smooth for 4 miles, trying to de-lactate our very lactitious muscles that were taken to the very...wait for it...threshold yesterday. I think we met our goal of slowness and it hurt a lot less than last week, probably because the last recovery run we did was after a fast general-aerobic run where we didn't ice-bathe like we should have. We have no plans to make that mistake again and will be ice-bathing again tonight.

Poor Leah. I'm not sure if she's mentioned it, but she just can't warm up after taking an ice bath. The entire night, she's one big Leah-cicle. So, if you ever meet up with us on a Thursday or a Sunday, bring a hair-dryer and join the effort to re-heat Leah's core.

Today we have a 10 mile general aerobic. Last week we ended up running about an 8:30 pace, which is fine, although I'd like to start out a bit slower this week than we did last week. It just makes for a nicer run to start out a bit slower than you finish as it is easier to find a rhythm.

And, don't forget, tomorrow is the Great Running Blog Family Meetup at Goose Island (at North and Clybourn) hosted by Leah and Running Jayhawk. I've linked to it, but you can always find the link on our sidebar. They have great cheeseburgers, sandwiches, and jambalaya. Oh, and beer. The best beer in the city, to be exact.

We'll see you there.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Lactating the Threshold

What a great workout!!!

Hard. But awesome.

Today was an 8 mile run with 4 of the miles at the lactate threshold pace. This pace as described in Advanced Marathoning as :

"Lactate threshold training should be run at close to the pace that you could currently race for 1 hour"

For us this is about our 15K pace (for faster runners this is more like their 1/2 marathon pace....because they can cover more ground in an hour). In other words :

"..this should be the intensity at which lactate is just starting to accumulate in your muscles and blood."

So it's about the intensity you run.

So ok, our plan was to run for 2 miles as a warm up. Then the four LT miles, then 2 miles for a cool down. I had read a tip about these runs to just think about the mile you are on and making it a quality mile and don't worry about the rest of the miles...yet. Ok so here are the splits

Mile 0-2 (Warm Up): 8:43
Mile 3 (LT-1) : 7:38
Mile 4 (LT-2) : 7:39
Mile 5 (LT-3) : 7:44
Mile 6 (LT-4) : 7:25
Mile 7-8 (Cool Down) : 9:54

Average = 8:28 min/mile

So as you can see by our LT paces we did extremly well. The last mile we were smokin'! I was a little worried at the third LT mile because we had dropped 5 seconds, but we overly made up for it in the last mile. PLUS we were alrady 15-20 seconds faster than we thought we could do. Now, you might notice those last two miles are a little slower..but whatever. We walked for a little and jogged over to a water fountain. But after that...let me tell you it felt awesome! A nice easy pace and it felt SO easy after those speedy miles.

So a great workout and I look forward to trying these again.

For those of you who have these workouts coming up, really think only about the mile you are on. It made it so much easier. Tomorrow is a 4 mile recovery.

Hanging out with all the boys

at the, all together now...






Anyway, Leah and I had an off day from running yesterday so we decided to do some hard-core strength training. Currently, we are on the one-day-a-week plan which is really the two-day-a-week plan but we never make it to the gym on Fridays. This weird life thing keeps getting in the way.

So, this may shock some of you out there, but I'm not a huge guy. Some might go so far at to call me "skinny," although I prefer "lean." Sure, lean implies a certain muscular definition, but it is a much nicer word than skinny and I'm writing this so I get to use whatever words I want. Still, I do not aim to deceive. Let me break it down for you.

Just to give you an idea, here's a recent picture of me. Now don't get me wrong, I'd like to be stronger...I'd like to look like this. However, this requires the lifting of many heavy objects which is really annoying, because they are all so heavy. But I'm doing it. I'm making the trek down to the Y on a weekly basis, slapping a 5 spot on each side of the bar, and pumping away. As you can see, I'm already starting to see some results.

Okay, lest you think I'm a bit of an idiot, let me assure you that I do realize that going to the gym so infrequently isn't going to result in my getting any bigger. Besides, with all the running, I can barely eat enough calories to maintain my weight, let alone get bigger. So, I'm okay with not getting any bigger (that's three sentences in a row with the word "bigger" in them. Anyone have a thesaurus handy?), although I hope to increase my strength a bit with this added gym time which will help with the long runs. After the marathon, I may take advantage of the forced reduction in mileage and work out 3-4 days a week and try to actually increase my muscle mass. After all, if I want to one day qualify for Boston, I'm definitely going to need a bit more general stength. Then I can call myself lean and people won't get all frowny and confused and wonder who I'm talking about when I use this "lean" word.

Later this evening we have 8 miles with 4 at our lactate (lactic? lactose? I'd better look this up) threshold pace. The plan is to warm up for 2 miles, run our 15K pace for 4 miles, and then cool down for 2 miles. The Pfitz book gives two routes for running the lactate (yes, I checked, that's right) threshold pace. For slower runners, they suggest running those middle miles your 15k pace and for faster runners they recommend your half marathon pace for that interval. Now, I certainly think we're fast, but I sort of doubt Pfitz does, so I think we definitely fall in the 15k pace zone. Furthermore, we want to run the marathon at about the same pace as our half marathon, so it wouldn't make sense to run a tempo run at that same speed. We'd never get faster doing that.

So, the plan for those 4 miles is to maintain an 8 minute pace, which is what we did at the Fort Wayne 12k. This run sounds pretty damn challenging; I can't wait.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Chicago Marathoners

Check this out. Terrifying? Exciting? Both?

Sunday Long, Today a 1 Year Anniversary

Yesterdays run went pretty well I would say. We went 13 miles and are having tons of fun with the Jelly Belly Sports Beans. What I love about the beans is you don't have to take all of them at once, like you do with Gu. There are 100 calories per little package (~13 beans). Jason and I took one at Mile 3 and then every two miles after that. I just put one in my mouth and let it dissolve over about a 1/2 mile. Jason was describing it like having a gatorade drip in your mouth cause there is always this tasty taste in your mouth. You do need to make sure you have water nearby though because there is sodium in the beans and you will get thirsty if you don't have something to drink every once in awhile. Luckily we run along the lakefront where there are gobs of water fountains and since the Bean packet is so small it just fits into the inner pocket of our shorts and so still hands free!

No major problems yesterday, but my arch was really sore for about the first 5 miles. It loosened up after that (or something!) and we were able to finish really strong. Average pace for the run was 9:15 which again is in the perfect range (see numbers calculated last week). I just don't understand how we are going to run 8:15 miles for 26 miles....maybe this is where you have to trust your training? We had the one long mile in there because I stopped to try and tighten the laces on my shoes to help my arches. But other than that we were strong and smooth, running far and fast is always a nice way to end the week (my weeks start on Monday!). Check out the pace on the last two miles...we were flyin'!!!

So what's the one year anniversary? Wedding? No.

A year ago today my Dad and Step Mom left Chicago on their sailboat and sailed off into the sunrise. They have covered something like 3500 miles in a years time and have made it all the way to Clearwater, FL going through the great lakes and past New York City and down the east coast. I am so happy for them that they were able to do this. They sold ALL their stuff...Car, house, everything in the house and so on. In this world where we love our stuff and can't quite get enough of it, they live on their 40 foot boat and all they own is what is on the boat.

A year ago yesterday however, they had their going away party. Let's just say it wasn't pretty at the end of the night. No eating, running early in the morning and starting in on the Old Styles at about 11am, put that together with a tube top, 90 degrees and no sun screen and you might might say that Leah wasn't a happy camper the next morning. Put ALL that together with the fact that I didn't want them to go in the first place made Leah a really really unhappy camper. I am real real close with my parents (my mom told me about 2 weeks later that she was leaving the area as well at the end of the summer and moving to Florida...let's just say...running=good place to put frustration/sadness...everyone has a reason for running their first marathon right?) and so when they made the decision to be so far away I wasn't thrilled. There were tears and fights and broken radios....and in the end...

I still miss them. Every day I still want to say, "Oh maybe my Dad and Sue want to come to watch a Cubs game....oh wait they aren't here any more". BUT I am happier than I thought I would be FOR them. The thought of my dad growing old in Des Plaines is overly depressing and I would not have wanted to watch that happen. PLUS now I get it. I get to go visit them in exoctic place like (ok so far only!) New York City, Ft. Lauderdale and Clearwater at the end of the summer and then who knows...Mexico? Hawaii? Around the World? I know that their trip has taken some unexpected turns and they are in Clearwater for the next few months instead of Mexico but hey, that's what they signed up for. It's about as far away from that Des Plaines life that you could get.

At some point you have to let your parents go. They have wings and need to fly :-)

Congrats Dad & are (as you have always been) a total inspiration for me. Happy Sailing, Happy Living.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Attention Chicago Runners!!!!

It's time to talk about running!!!
(and drink beer!)

I was of the feeling that there are lots of people here in Chicago that are either just running for the joy of running or in the processes of gearing up for training for the Chicago Marathon (you all know who you are) or some other race. Since many of us are following very different training plans it would be fun to get together once a month or so to talk about how your plan is going, problems you have come across and so on and use each other as resources. I know that a lot of you train with training groups so already have this, but I don't there.

Running Jayhawk and I were talking about having a monthly "meeting" and by "meeting" I mean dinner and drinks, to stay in touch with each other, aside just following the various blogs and websites. (There are actual real people behind the words....really....and we are very cool!).

The first of these gatherings will be occuring on Friday, June 16th at 7pm at the Goose Island Brewery near the North and Clybourn intersection. I know everyones schedule is busy so hopefully we can keep these going on a semi regular basis.

Please let me know in the comments if you are interested in joining and I look forward to meeing all of you!

Are we recovered yet?

Man, that was one difficult recovery run. Is that an oxymoron?

Yesterday Leah and I were scheduled for a 5 mile recovery run. The goal, of course, was to either run it slow or slower, with an option of slowest, depending on how we felt.

We were meeting people in Oak Park (suburb right outside Chicago) to see The Omen (we were the only people who liked it and Leah loved it. Hey, it had a decapitation, what's not to love?) so we had to run at the lab before heading out there. Luckily, Leah has her fancy-schmancy Garmin, so the five miles were easy. Easy to measure, I mean. Easy to run? Uh...

I don't know, it was fine I guess. It's just that both of our legs (both meaning Leah's and mine, not both as in right and left) were fairly tired and I know I was sore in many spots (calves, knee, arches) which is something that was not happening before this week. Leah said she had some arch/calf tightness as well. I think it might be a product of running Thursday too hard and not icing. After today's 13 miles, I am taking that damn ice bath whether I want to or not (I'm thinking "not" will be my mood). Regarding the actual running of the recovery run, we went nice and slow, pacing around 10 minute miles. We did stop to stretch once and I walked the last quarter mile since my legs were starting to feel pretty bad and I wanted to "walk it out."

My right leg has been doing this thing this week where the foot goes numb and then with more running the numbness climbs up my leg. It feels like the foot is asleep. I can still run on it just fine, I don't limp or anything, but it is very uncomfortable. This is something I've always dealt with when running, usually when my training gets stepped up, so I don't think it has anything to do with my shoes. After my training stabalizes, it will usually go away. Does anyone have an idea what could cause this?

Today we have 13 miles after work. Hopefully the achey legs won't be a problem for today's long run; I really don't think they will be. With a long run, there is so much time to get loosened up and it is a slow run without being sooo slow that long runs tend to be fairly comfortable. Regardless, I'm going to try to approach this run with a positive outlook (I mean, what choice do I have?).

Friday, June 09, 2006

Jason and Leah Travel to the UK

It was brought up in the comments of yesterday's post mentioning that we started training 3 weeks early and what happens if everything goes as planned and now I have these extra three weeks to deal with.


Jason and I are going to Lancaster, England for a conference at the beginning of July. A couple of months ago our advisor asked if we wanted to go to this conference called BEACH...we said sure, thinking that it would be somwhere, where there was a well...beach. Then he said, "It's in Lancaster, England and they need two speakers so we thought that you guys would work out well" I tried to hold my composure while at the same time falling off the chair. It's really exciting that we get to travel to Europe for a conference. I think it might be a nice conference with lots of dinners/trips planned so I am looking forward to it.

So you notice that I said beginning of July, that's three weeks from tomorrow. I need to get moving on getting organized and talks ready and whatnot. There will be lots of talk of the trip in the upcoming weeks and any tips or sites we have to see while there would be appreciated. We are going to be in Lancaster for the conference which is a week long, than Manchester for a day or two and we are going to go down to London for about two days as well. It's going to be a lot of quick sightseeing...which is always fun!

Also since some of the days we'll be in travel or without internet my Dad over here said he would guest post for us. He's working on getting ready for a 15K in Florida which we are going to join him for on September 2nd. He should also know where we will be so can update if we can't.

So there it is. I can't assume that I'll be able to get every run in perfectly for the two weeks that we are hence....starting 3 weeks early!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Great Talk & a 10 Miler

Well people the talk went well! I went to the room a little early and ran into a new girl named Mandy, looking for the meeting room. She's a student from Oklahoma University and probably thinks I'm nuts because when I get nervous I tend to talk a LOT and FAST! Oh well. I was the third presentation of the day and was real ansy to get going. It's so difficult giving talks at Fermi Lab because everyone in the room has a PhD in physics or will have a PhD in you might say a bit intimidating.

Remember when I said that I talk fast and a lot when I get nervous, if that is me giving a presenation change that to fast and LOUD. So I guess I am pretty understandable even though I am flying at 100 miles an hour. I didn't have any major questions and the new girl said that it was a great talk (Thanks!). When I got back to a computer I had this little message from my advisor:
Outstanding job. Very smooth, showed solid progress, no questions as I think you hit everything.
Those little two sentances from him are just so meaningful. He is one of the top physicists at the lab and every conference we go to people ask, "Oh are you so and so's student?". I have a huge respect for this guy and so when I get compliments like that it makes all the little bullshit things float away. Thanks!

Alright, well of course that is no where near the end of the story...still a lot of work to be done. But I'm on it.

We got home around 6:30 after a dissapointing stop at the store Running Away on Damen...which is no more :-( I wonder if they moved or are just out of business....hmm?

We had a 10 mile run planned and since I have had wandering brain on our runs lately I decided to take my iPod shuffle with me for some music motivation. I wish I could give real stats about the run. I wasn't paying good enough attention to the Garmin and so I hit 9 miles see the thing tell me the pace for the mile and I continue under the viaduct just south of Belmont and look back at the watch and what do I see? 8.8 miles? WTF? After I got home and uploaded the thing to MB I noticed that it had me running out into Lake Michigan. I have to pay more attention to the satillite quality. So the watch says we ran 10 miles averaging 8:44 pace (right on target) , However MB says we ran 10.8 miles averaging 8:05 miles (too fast/impossible looking at the split times!) I think we are more likely at 10.2 miles which comes out to about an 8:33 pace which is fine by me and makes more sense than the other two numbers.

I LOVE that I can go out and run 10 miles at a pretty brisky pace on a Thursday night. I was NO WHERE near this kind of conditioning last summer and it makes me really excited to delve more into this training program. Next week we will have our first Lactate threshold we'll see how that goes & we'll be up to 40 miles &&& we add in another day of running! Whew....let me change that to terrified!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Closing in

So Leah has a talk tomorrow, the first talk on her thesis work. She's closing in on her result and it's pretty exciting (whee!). When I finished my paper for my analysis she bought me an iPod. I wonder what she'll get?

So, while she works on her talk (she's sitting over to my left. Hi Leah!), I'll eat my ice cream and discuss lots of important running topics.


Ah yes, the Pfitz plan. There was much debate in the comments section of our 8 mile roundup with regards to how to run the 10x100 sprint runs properly (well, by debate, I really mean a couple people saying "well, I don't know for sure, but that's what I thought. What do you think?") and this sparked a spat of running research on the trusty internet. The general consensus amonst the net-people is that Bob is right in his running and that we are wrong. So, our training is ruined and we've decided to give up on the marathon and dedicate ourselves to eating each and every variety of Little Debbie snack cake.

Okay, maybe not, but we do plan on doing these properly next time. So, the idea behind these "stride runs" is to increase your turnover rate and inprove your running form (and by "your" I mean "my." I'm not sure why I switched to the second person there). Thus, it is best to do the "sprint" part fast, like as fast as you can without breaking form and the "slow" part as a full recovery run, i.e. sloooowwwly. Walk if you need to. One should not be tired when it comes to sprint time as this will lead to a degredation of form. There is not really any concern with going too slow as the point of these runs is not aerobic training.

Frankly, I think they sound pretty hard Bob's way, but I don't suppose they were all that easy our way either. So, thanks, Bob, for setting us straight.

Tomorrow we have 10 miles of "general aerobic" crap which, I think, means we run at our normal pace. No sprints, no Lactating threshold...just running. I think I can do that. An ice bath will possibly follow, unless we use up all the ice with margaritas (either way, the pain will be lessened).

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Fartlek Faster!

Wow. Amazing what a slight decrease in temperatures/sun will do for someone. Although we still had wind and humidity we had much better weather than last week for our 8 mile fartlek run.

I don't have time to highlight the lines tonight like I did last week.....but wow did we speed up. Because we had to add an extra mile to the run we added to the end. So this week we had a 2 mile warm up, 4 miles of fartleking (stop laughing!), then a 2 mile cooldown/finish up.

We did good for the warm up pacing 9:12 min/mile and then started in on the sprints followed by a recovery period. Last week our recovery periods were all in the 9 minute-9:30 min pace range. This week as you can see we were much faster, staying steady between 8-8:30 miles. We had to go drive a water bottle out to the course we were running because we knew that we would want some during the run. So there is one segment in there at 9:42 as this was the water bottle pick up and then the last segment was in 11:06 as we walked for about 0.1 miles drinking some water and catching our breath.

What's really excellent are our last 5 sprint segments. ALL under 7 minute mile pace! I know I know it's only for 0.07 miles BUT still, it's nice to see our speed get speedy as the run progressed. I am also really impressed with our recovery paces. I think this is more how these runs should be going.

We then had the two mile cool down and even though these were directly into the wind we did these at an 8:37 pace. Finishing the run at 8 miles in 1:09:33 = 8:41 pace which I believe is perfect if we are working towards an 8:15 pace on marathon day.

I am happy that tomorrow is an off day because I have tons of work to do, but luckily (!) I *think* I made some progress today which is always good news. Since I'm going to have to do a ton tomorrow I might try and get as much sleep as possible tonight and then work my ass off tomorrow. I do want to try one thing tonight and then it's off to bed. Then it's 10 miles Thursday, 5 Recovery on Saturday and 13 on Sunday....for those of you following along that's a 4 mile increase from last week. Woof.

We also tried the Lemon-Lime Sports Beans eating one every once in awhile and letting them somewhat dissolve in our mouths. Tasty...but I would like some more water to go along with them.

Tough Week Ahead

Well as Jason mentioned yesterday I had a tough day at Fermilab yesterday. Shifting from Midnight-8am might suck because it's stupid to be awake at those hours, but at least it's quiet in the control room. All the experts are working from 8am-4pm and so with all their tweaking of programs/crates/whatever the Data Aquisition System can get a little screwy.

Aside from that I am TOTALLY stressed about my analysis. I have to give a presentation on Thusday, but I have these shifts from 8-4 when it's hard to work, so Jason and I will be staying late at the lab the next two days. Running you say? Well of course! We are going to move our runs to the lab this way I can get out of the building for a little bit and the come back and work for a few more hours anyways. Today is 8miles with 10x100m

I get real ansy because people this work is my THESIS work, not just some little project like I have worked on before. This is for all the money and I am feeling that it is so rushed and I'm being a bad little programmer and not being very organized which is never good. I have to get myself under control though because if I can just step back, make a list of little tasks to do and get through those it's better than looking at the whole thing. Perhps like a marathon? You can't look at at the 26.2 miles because that's terrifying...gotta take it one mile at a time (like how I pulled it all together. I know I know, I'm totally awesome :-) )

Monday, June 05, 2006

Off day

Ah Monday, the great recovery. A day of relaxation and a break from all the work.

Well, the running work anyway.

Today I stayed home to help get my schedule switched around as I'm transitioning from the 4pm-12 schedule to the 8am-4pm. Of course, the way this works best is if you don't sleep in until almost noon on the day you stay home. Hopefully I'll be able to get to sleep at a reasonable hour tonight.

The other purpose of staying home is to take care of some of the chores that pile up during shifts. So today was a day of cleaning and cooking to prepare for the coming week. Currently we have no food of any kind (well, except for the gross, old kind) in the house and so a trip to the store is in order.

Meanwhile, Leah's at Fermilab right now on shift. Besides having tons of people yelling requests at her down in the control room, she is also dealing with many frustrations with her analysis. These shifts are hard enough as it is without trying to do your thesis work at the same time. To top it all off, Leah managed all of two restless hours of sleep last night. So she spent today exhausted, in a basement, struggling with problems with her analysis. Yep, not a good day for Leah.

This very minute, Leah is playing a few games of beach volleyball to help out a team that was a bit short on the co-ed side of the co-ed league. Hopefully that is going decently well as the rest of the day was a bit of a bust.

Tomorrow will be 8 miles with 10, 100 meter sprints. Here's hoping tomorrow is a better day.


One last thing. I wanted to mention that the ice bath went much better this time. Other than the fact that I quickly jammed myself into the water this time since I new it would only be bad for a second (no roger rabbit action...somehow that sounds wrong), I think I also really did the bath much more correctly. Last time, in order to fit my 6'3" frame into our diminutive tub, I had to lock my knees and keep my feet straight up...and not move. I think my muscles and tendons were all stretched out and then they contracted in the water and I basically sprained my ankles while icing them. Pathetic, I know, but apparently true.

This time, however, I just filled the bath with a lot more water so I could bend my legs and still have them under the water and then I rolled my ankles a bit and flexed my knees, moving around regularily. I think this helped with the circulation a great deal and today my legs feel great. I'm not stiff and I'm not sore. This is what I expected when we decided to bathe in ice.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Weekly Long Run

Today we went 12 miles and I would say felt "ok" for it. Not great, not bad....just, well, just "just" I guess. I don't know what the problem was, maybe it was being too cocky after our 9 miles on Thursday which went beautifully (I mean really 12 miles is just another 3, it can't be too hard right?) It was pretty warm out though and REAL sunny so that could have slowed us down a bit. In all actuality it didn't really slow us down for what we are suppose to be running for these longer runs...but I had NOTHING in my legs for the last 5 miles...which quickly brings me to...

Do any of you use Gu, Clif Bloks, Sports Beans? If so what flavors do you like? Last summer Jason and I did all of our long runs in the early Sunday morning hours and Fleet Feet had free gatorade stands out along the lake front path so we didn't need to carry anything with us. With our schedule being the way it's going to be for the next month and a half we have to run when the time allows us to run so we won't necessarily be there when Fleet Feet is there. I think you eventually run out of gas only taking in water so it's probably time to start exploring these guys.

We finished the run averaging 9:18 miles. This is almost bang on to what we are supposed to be doing for long runs. I read somewhere in Advanced Marathoning that your long runs shouldn't be too slow, I think it said you should be somewhere between 10-20% slower than you goal marathon pace.....uh oh here comes some math....

Goal Marathon Pace = 8:15 (495 seconds)
Fastest (10% slower than MP) = 495 *0.1 = 49.5s -->8:15+0:49.5 = 9:04.5 min/miles

Slowest (20% slower than MP) = 495 *0.2 = 99.0s -->8:15+1:39 = 9:54 min/miles

So we were exaclty in the range that we wanted to be in, pacing closer towards the faster suggested pace which is nice. I'm actually happy about this and have to remember that all runs don't (AND SHOULDN'T) be done at 8:30 miles...that would defeat the purpose of different workouts for different days. We did have one bad mile with a longer water stop and a bit of walking to get our legs back to wanting to work and ended up finishing strong with Mile 11 in 8:57 and Mile 12 in 8:35 (see the above splits for the full brekdown)

I also think I might have been slightly dehydrated because when we finished I drank water for about 2 minutes without stopping. We got home and did the ice bath thing. It was good again, but I could NOT warm up afterwards. I stood in the hot shower for what felt like forever and was still shivering when I was done. Bad circulation perhaps? Oh'll feel really good on those 110 degree days on my 3rd floor, non-airconditioned apartment.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

4 Mile Recovery

OOOOOHHH I love the word recovery. Nice.

Jason and I had a wonderful run this afternoon. I had to go into the lab for a meeting this morning and came back around 12:45 or so. We went out sans watch or any real kind of plan and just went slow and steady and comfortable. We ended up running by the baseball diamonds that are near the totem pole and the fields were PACKED with people playing slow pitch Chicago style softball (Chicago style=big 16" squishy softballs). Everyone had coolers and picnic stuff and kids were running/roller blading/biking around. It was just a great day in the city of Chicago.

We made our way back home and now poor Jason has to head to the lab for his shift from 4-midnight. Poor guy on such a beautiful day. I am swamped with work, so I am going to go get some lunch and enjoy the day and then back home to work. Hopefully the list of things I have to do will go fast and then I can relax the rest of the evening.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Bad Bad Bad

Well I suck. I know I am smarter than the Leah that existed last night. There was a barbeque at the lab last night with free food/beer/wine and so on. Yesterday morning I was super runner/healthy girl, yesterday night I was back to my undergrad drunk girl self.

What the hell happened?

I know better than to drink that much with almost no food in me (I had a bagel before our run and a bowl of Cheerios after the run for lunch and that was it!).

I couldn't go into work today because I was more than just a *little* hungover. Let's just say it wasn't a good scene. At least we aren't running today although if we did have a run scheduled I probably would have been much smarter last night.

Damnit. I am so pissed at myself. Maybe I am being too hard on myself. It was just so fun last night talking to some friends and meeting new people. I don't remember the last time I went out and had beers with people. Jason and I are so busy with work schedules and running and commuting that I forget how fun it is to let loose and have a beer or two (or apparently the entire keg).

Anyways, tomorrow I will go to the lab to see the end of the New Perspectives conference. We have a 4 mile recovery run tomorrow and then a 12 mile run on Sunday. Can't wait to get back out running after the atrocity that was last night. sigh.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Taking the Plunge

Today Jason and I ran 9 miles and we paced an average of 8:40min/mile with our two fastest miles being 8:20 and 8:16 which were the LAST two miles. Gotta love when there is still some fuel in the tank at the end.

I have been perusing the Runner's World Forums and there was a great post talking about the Pfitz plans and suggestions/support (read the full thread here).

One of the poster was giving suggestions about ice baths and I have read lots about ice baths and how important they are and all the pros do them and yadda yadda yadda. So on our cool down walk home Jason mentioned that we had recently bought a bag of ice (for yummy frozen margaritas) so we decided to do the ice bath thing and......


That was cold! I had the advantage because I just sat in the tub and let water fill over my legs so that I could get used to it.

Jason however went after me and I'm telling you it was like trying to give a dog a bath. Or more similar to the scene in the move Who Framed Roger Rabbit when they were trying to put Roger Rabbit into the 50 gallon drum of oil and he was using his ears and everything else to not touch the water. It was hilarious. There was nothing I could to get that boy to sit down in the water. Finally he let go and took the plunge. So. Funny.

Although I felt great during the run I am really sleepy now. I think maybe I am a bit dehydrated (though we did stop 2 times for water along the run. I HAVE to keep doing this, I tend to go, "NO we can't stop running!" and frankly that's stupid). Jason had to take over on the drive to the lab because I was falling asleep. So I was able to close my eyes for about 20 minutes which always helps. Tomorrow is a long day at the lab and no running, then 4 miles at a recovery pace on Saturday and 12 miles on Sunday.

I think we'll try the ice bath again after the 12 mile run....maybe it'll be a twice a week treat.