Thursday, August 31, 2006

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Walking An Extra 4 Miles...

....So you can lactate with the wind at your back.

The run on today's menu was 12 miles with 7 miles at a lactate threshold pace (7:40-8:00 min/miles for us). Terrifying you ask? Absolutely!

I was not looking forward to this run and after the warm up with legs still sore and angry from running in bad shoes yesterday, I wasn't feeling any more confident. But ok, stretched out the sore shins for the third or fouth time and finished the last half mile of the warm up and started speeding up.

I immediatly noticed how strong the wind was at my back. Chalk it up to the looks on the oncoming runners face, the look of, "oh please. please, please kill me know and make the pain and torture stop", or the look of the bikers who couldn't actually look straight ahead and had their heads skewed in my direction, or the fact that with every step I took I flew a little bit in the air or the fact that the sand that was blowing on the backs of my legs was actually painful.

We decided to go a bit farther away from our apartment because we didn't want to do too many of these important speedy miles into the wind. Of course doing this has your full 12 mile run ending 4 miles away from your apartment, but totally worth it....because....

WE ROCKED THIS WORKOUT!!! Garmin was a little crabby for a few miles but :

Our splits were :
  1. 7:53
  2. 7:53
  3. 7:38
  4. 7:13*
  5. 7:58
  6. 7:55
  7. 9:57**
*This mile might have been slightly short because we lost the signal as we went under a bridge, but gained it back right away
**This mile was about 0.3 miles too LONG. I was noticing where we were on the garmin at each mile marker. The mile before the last one garmin said 8.80 miles and the mile marker was 8.5. When we got to the 7.5 mile marker you would think that garmin would be some where close to 9.80 no it was at 9.5. So if you take that into account this was probably about 1.25 miles and so something like 8 minute miles which is SPECTACULAR as we were directly into this horrible horrible wind.

(are we noticing the colors.....DA BEARS start next weekend!!!!)

We slowly slowly slowly ran/walked the last two miles of the scheduled 12 miles....and then stretched a bit and the walked another 4 miles home where we talked about what we want to be when we grow up (Dad you'll love the new plan!)

I am really proud of the effort and outcome of this run. And the best part : NO MORE LACTATE THRESHOLD RUNS!!!

Tomorrow is a day off and then 12 Friday, 5 Saturday and 20 on Sunday. We found out that we can get into our new apartment tomorrow night which is so exciting so stay tuned for pictures!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Trance : A Different View

Well Well.


After reading Bob's post about the new Brooks Trance 6 that came out with a 90 day guarantee I couldn't (apparently turn it down). I went to Running Away in Chicago which is a really nice running shoe store, and they had the shoe in my size. It felt great in the store so I went for it.

Today I had an easy 6 mile recovery with 6x100m strides thrown in there.

By the end of the first mile I could barely move my left leg, by the middle of the run I felt like I had put my feet into concrete buckets let it harden and then gone out for a run, and by the end after adjusting the laces about 400 times Jason looked at me and said there is no need to have that close of a relationship with your shoes.

They are just A LOT of shoe, and too much helping me run a certain way which is bad for my legs and they seem REALLY heavy. The store I got the shoes at don't have my beloved adrenalines in my size but I am going to go in tomorrow anyways and try on a pair of mizunos that I read about in Runner's World and if those don't feel good, I am going to order 2 pairs of the adrenalines that I love (one pair for the marathon) and run in my old adrenalines until they come in.

sigh. I am so dissapointed because the Trance's are very cute shoes...but sheesh....just too much help.

Oh right 6 miles with 6x100m strides. Done and Done.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Weekend Roundup

Amazingly, our weekend consisted mainly of:
  • running
  • working
I know, I know, you don't believe me. And I can't blame you since, I'm sure, you expected me to write something more along the lines of:
  • drinking
  • partying
  • partying and drinking
But this was one of those rare weeks where we were really busy and were just happy to get our runs in. I was on midnight-8am shifts on Saturday and Sunday morning, so my nights and days were pretty much shot. On Friday, as Leah mentioned, we woke up around 7am and left Bloomington for Chicago, getting home around 1 or 2. We then went for our 5 mile recovery run and then Leah went to meet up with Lisa and Evin and I was left to my own devices. This was supposed to consist mostly of sleeping and...sleeping, but our little kitty Dagny had other ideas. She was more in a passive-agressive violence-through-nuzzling type of sleep thwarting mood and made sure that I didn't get to sleep for more than maybe a half hour. Awesome. Well, whatever, off to work I go.

I got home around 9 and, having been mostly up for over 24 hours, crashed pretty hard and didn't wake up until after 6. The most amazing thing? While I was asleep, the apartment cleaned and packed itself. I've got to sleep during the day more often.

Okay, time to run. We were out the door at around 7 for a beautiful dusk run, 8 miles with 8x100 strides. The run went extremely well although it was a bit misty and slippery. Luckily, I handle corners like a dream and come equipped with traction control. The run went by really quickly and we both felt pretty good. This set of strides was the first in a long time that my legs didn't feel really heavy. So, instead of being 30 feet behind Leah during each sprint, I was only, like, 10! (she's fast)

Okay, run done, off to work for me. Work work work, home at 9 am. Scare the crap out of Leah when I walk into the bedroom just as she's waking up. She has a minor heart attack, but I'm too tired for CPR. Luckily, she pulled through. Despite her brush with death, Leah was still plucky enough to make a big breakfast and it was rather delicious (we switched to eggs that weren't harvested by Satan, and they're much tastier. I recommend the cage-free eggs). Hunger sated, it was off the bed for me. I slept for a bit and then dragged myself out of bed at 6 (actually, Leah woke me up by jumping up and down on the bed yelling "wake up, I'm bored! Entertain me!!" I guess it's time to get up.

We were set for a 14 mile run yesterday, which was about as far as I'd want to run starting at 7pm. It's always harder to run far in the evening, it just seems longer somehow. Still, the run went pretty well. We ran south from the totem pole to Grant Park along the lakefront path and we both agreed that Garmin must be confused, because clearly we were running faster than 9:15 miles. Not that I mind that pace, I just felt that I was running my-tee fast and Leah agreed. Alas, we were likely faster than technology and the Garmin was just trying to catch up. We made it to the 9 miles marker, GU'd up, and turned around.

And there's the wind. Lots of it.

Running into the wind is hard. We mostly maintained our pace but it did slow us down some. The real effect of the increased resistence was an increase in effort and an increase in aches and pains. Leah's knee started acting up, likely a residual soreness from hill-running in Bloomington. The wind never helps with knee problems. Also, she started getting a rumbly in her tumbly and that's never fun. Still, she kept her spirits up and finished very strong. Our last mile was the fastest, just the way we like it.

Over all, our pace on the long run was around 9:30, which is in the dead center of our long run range. I'm certainly pleased with the effort this weekend and now comes the challenge. We are entering our highest mileage week ever AND we're moving AND we both have tons of work to do.

Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to go sacrafice a chicken to the God of Time Management.

(technically, it'll be a chicken egg, and the sacrifice will be nestled in some tuna, two slices of bread, and some cheese. And it'll be all melty and delicious)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Book Report x 2

Hello all, although it took me awhile to get through In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, I made up for that slowness for getting through another book in one day yesterday, so here are two for your enjoyment :

When I started reading this book Jason was on shift and I was home late at night. Although I tore through the first chapter I was so terrified that I had to put the book down and wait till he got home to continue. As I was nearing towards the end of the book my mind suddenly went, "Wait, this is a true story" Which of course I knew, but it is written so well and it's so entralling that you can not tell. The level of creepyness that the two killers contain with in their person is really unnerving. So for those of you that like a good creepy book and a bit of history, pick this one up.

While in Bloomington my friend Karen aka The Super Reader gave me a bunch of new books to read. This was one of them. I started it in the car on the way home and I finished it later that night in my comfy reading chair. So a nice quick read if you are looking for something of that type. The story follows a 15 year old autistic kid for a few weeks as he tries to find out who killed a dog in his neighborhood. He ends up opening all kinds of doors that you know as the reader can see he probably shouldn't be opening. A very good story, and as usual Leah aka The Book Whore recommends it.

Happy Reading.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Bloomington Report

Well Jason and I are back in good old Chicago. We had a wonderful couple of days in Bloomington, IN full of physics, running, drinking and seeing of old friends.

We decided to push our runs back a day, after again not sleeping much on Monday night because we were at work for a ridiculous amount of hours, I think I was correct in my prediction in being there for 13 hours and I needed every minute of the time to get ready for the talk which was at about 8:30am. The talk went fine but it's really hard to give a talk via video because I kept getting feedback and it was really disorienting. We napped for about an hour before taking off for Bloomington and we had to take turns driving because we were both falling asleep.

We had a great evening with beers and burgers at Nicks and then back to our friend's house for some good conversations. We got up early on Wednesday and after hitting our favorite breakfast place we headed over to the physics building (as seen on the right hand side). Smiled at the DOE reviewers and then headed out to walk around campus and pick up a Windows CD (very exciting because it's XP with Service Pack 2 which means now I can try Boot Camp on my iMAC although I am a little nervous about infecting my Mac with that PC garbage....but I would like to be able to use the Garmin software and other programs that i have heard about that you have to have Windows for....) Anyways, we ended the day at the physics building around 3:30 and headed back to get ready for an 8 mile run.

I was really worried about this run because last year when we went to Bloomington for the DOE review and we had a 6 mile run to do or something and Jason and I could barely make it a couple miles because of the heat and HILLS! Bloomington is Hilly. Chicago is Flat. It makes a difference. We headed out around 4pm so we still had the heat, but the run went really well. We ran by our old apartment and by our advisors house and through that old big house neighborhood and then we made our way after many hilly loops over to campus to look at all the teeny freshman moving in to the dorms. Then we went back to our friends house and finished up 8 miles paces 9:15 miles which I was thrilled with.

The picture on the left is one of my favorite locations on campus.

On Wednesday night we went to a reception at one of the proffessors house which was an amazing house out a bit aways from campus. We met one of the DOE review people that is actually a professor at the University of Michigan who I noticed was wearing a dress shirt, jeans and running shoes....which always means that they are a pretty serious runner. We found out that he's training for the Detroit marathon and has run a total of 7 marathon and has done Boston a couple of fact when he first qualified for Boston he did it in 2:54!!!! Now that is fast! He was a super nice guy and I told him in his report to mention that Jason and Leah are the two best grad students he has ever met. He said he would include a line that mentions we need time to train for the marathon and so to leave us alone for the next few months....I somehow think that won't fly with our advisor though :-) (Jason come on....get on that quark diagram. I mean really how stupid are you? i love you :-))

After the reception we went to Yogi's to meet up with our friends Aaron and Karen with whom we were staying, and had a super good time. We split a pitcher of beer with Aaron and then when that was done we noticed that mini pitchers of Long Islands were $3.5o so we each ordered one of those.....and holy ASS were they strong. There was little or no coke in those puppies...and I must say they were De-licious! After Yogi's we headed to a billiard hall on the square and Ms. Leah was unstoppable. I made everything. I beat the boys and everyone is always happy when Leah most of you that read this blog regularly know.

Needless to say we had a slight hangover on Thursday morning and I was really worried about our VO2 Max workout. It was 8 miles with 5x600m with 90s in between those. We didn't find a real track to do them on, but we did find a gravel track that was near the workout building on campus. Turns out that the loops was 0.4 miles long so just slightly shorter than the 0.38 which is 600m which was nice....the gravel wa a little loose in a couple places so that made it a bit harder. The track was about 1.7 miles away from our friends house, so we did that as a warmup and then I programmed in a workout to take care of the VO2 Max part. Run for 0.38 recover for 90s and repeat 5 times. Unfortunatly I wasn't too on the ball with these and was a little jumpy with the pace. They are as follows :
  1. 6:28 min/mile = 2:27.28
  2. 7:02 min/mile = 2:40.16
  3. 6:55 min/mile = 2:37.59
  4. 7:14 min/mile = 2:44.39
  5. 7:07 min/mile = 2:42.20
I think I would have liked to have been able to stick to about 7 min/mile and perhaps it will be easier if we can find a track for the next set of these guys so we are sure that it is exactly flat. And I have to say for the way we treated our bodies the night before and the heat and not being in our own rhythms and schedules.

The repeats ended up being a total of 2.5 miles. Jason had some serious serious leg pain after this run (I guess he would have a pain in his ankle but it would move all the way up to his lower back, and not on every step....just every third or every other which was kind of weird). So we ran for about 0.8 more miles and we were both dying of thirst and Jason was in a whole bunch of pain, so we decided just to walk back (though the University entrace gates) to our friends house and just be ok with only running a total of 5 miles instead of 8. Next time I will do more miles before the repeats.....or something.

Thursday night we went out to dinner and then came back to watch a movie (A History of Violence...which was really good). We chatted for a bit more and then it was off to bed.

We got back to Chicago around 1pm and relaxed a bit at the house and then headed out for a 5 mile recovery which went really well with no crazy leg pain from Jason which was nice. Jason is working the midnight shift tonight and I went out to dinner with Evin, Lisa and Matt at Goose Island. Jason and I gave Evin and Lisa the 3rd season of Scrubs on DVD for an engagement present and they loved it...there was almost tears of happiness.

Thus ending our 4 days of travel...although Jason will be up for the next 12 hours...but I'm done, so I'm off to read my book and watch some Sex and the City on DVD.

Monday, August 21, 2006

I Am A Big Cheater

Alright. Alright. I cheated.

I didn't do my 15 mile run with 12 at pace. There I said it. I am somewhat upset about missing it, but my work schedule and sleep schedule and "I don't want to make myself sick" schedule did not allow for it. I was going to try and do the run at 8:30 this morning and realized that I had been up for about 20 hours. 2+ hours of running and then an hour drive home makes for too close to 24 hours of awake time for me.

So I skipped it.

So What. I was happy to get some sleep and be able to be in here working (can't you tell I am working) earlier.

I shouldn't miss any of the runs this week....although we are going to Bloomington until Friday. The drinks are very blue and very cheap in Bloomington, so here's to hoping I can run around around that schedule that I am guessing our friends Aaron and Karen have been putting in place. Jason and I always love going back to Bloomington to visit because we met in our undergrad years there....we were randomly assigned physics lab partners the second semester of our sophmore year and instantly became friends where we stayed for about a year and a half before the boy finally asked me out (" you want to go out with me or something?"). Anyways, it's just fun to go hang out in the old haunts and see the town.

We will run tomorrow morning after I give a talk via video at a conference that is happening in England. So that only puts me at the lab today for oh....13 or so hours. Awesome.


Well that's just fine. Yesterday Jason and I woke up at 9.....let me go back.

On Saturday morning Jason and I got up at 2:30am to go see my old roommate compete in her first triathlon. It was so much fun, but needless to say we didn't get much sleep. We both slept a bit in the car on the ride home and then we went to bed around 10:30 pm.

The alarm going off at 6:30 was not happening as apparently my inner bully came out and started beating on the alarm. Why is it I can so easily find the snooze button, but not the FUCKING OFF button! I snoozed for 2 hours dragging myself out of the bed at 8:30am. We talked about how our run was going to go and realizing that the air and water show was happening on the lake front there would be no running there but we had an important run to do (15 miles with 12 at marathon pace). I went back into the bedroom to change into my running clothes and I layed down, and that was it. I stayed in bed until...1 pm! I have not slept that late since I was an undergrad.

By that point we decided that we had to wait until this morning to do the run. Jason is working a midnight-8am shift and I have tons of work to do so we both came in here after going to a friend of the family's house for dinner. So I have been here since 10pm, I woke up at 1pm.....I had steak and shake at 5am. I am guessing this run is going to be brilliant!

OOOOH in very exciting news, I got a phone call from my cousin Lisa at about 11pm, her boyfriend Evin proposed to her last night! So a big congrats to the two of them, they are both such awesome people and a perfect match! Congrats!

Alright, 1.5 hours still before we can run. big. sigh. I probably should chalk this one up to stupid schedules and work but we'll see, maybe it will go really well...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Slow, Sore, and Slurpeelicious

Sometimes it's just really hard to go slow on a recovery run. Other times, it's just really necessary.

We went a modest six miles as slowly as we could possibly manage, which was really pretty slow. We plodded along for the first two and a half miles, but after we stopped for water and to stretch, we lost all our momentum (both literally and metaphorically). After that, we pretty much walk/ran the rest of the way, walking for a little bit at each half mile. It was incredibly humid and we were both pretty sore and worn out from running yesterday, so it was just hard to get motivated to run slowly back home.

That is, until we decided to get Slurpees. Oh Slurpees, you are so icey and delicious. The thought of this frozen treat gave us the motivation to run the last two miles all the way home. Although only one flavor was ready to pour (Frozen Mountain Dew), it was still delicious and we had a nice walk home.

It wasn't the easiest run. We were tired and it was humid. But it's over now and six more miles have been notched. Go us.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

All Over The Map

Today was a 14 mile run which we started at about 6:30pm. Although we paced 9:06 miles for the whole run we were all over the map with some miles at 8:30ish or less and others around 10 minutes, although the longer miles usually included some water/stretching.

I just said to myself, "We ran 14 miles today". There was a time in my life when 14 miles would have been ridiculous, it would have been something that I would have had to spend all week getting mentally prepared to go out there and get done. Now we are just knocking off the miles on a Wednesday night.....with all the other shit that doesn't work in my life it's awesome that running is usually consistant.

Very. Nice.

6 mile recovery tomorrow. 6 with strides on Saturday and then 15 w/12 at marathon pace on Sunday....shit....what is my marathon pace?

Oh and Saturday is Bridgette's big day. She's competing in her first triathlon!!! We are heading to Indianapolis to cheer her on! She's going to do so awesomely! Go Go Bridgette :-)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Running towards....Something

Don't know. Run was fine. 6 miles at a recoveryish pace.

Work is kinda....oh I don't know. Annoying. Don't know where I'm going with this physics thing. I don't know what I'm doing and people keep asking, "Do you have a result yet?"


Still nothing works.

Since I am alone working on this project, nothing will continue to happen.

More wine? Ok.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Good Food Good Drinks

Last night Jason and I indulged ourselves at our favorite Chicago restuarant, Wildfire. It's a steak house with a 1940sesk vibe to it. The food was so delicous and I think that the waitress probably talked to the other folks on the wait staff about the amount of food two of her customers were consuming. Wow.....that's why you run 20 miles just so you can have a great meal like that. The food and the beer, martinis, bottle of wine......all so good.

I didn't sleep well though last night, I kept waking up and I had a really terrifying nightmare which woke me right up this morning. I hate having fitful nights of sleep because I am just like goo all the next day. Good thing today is a day off from running and tomorrow is only a 6 mile recovery run.

The rest of this week is shaping up to be very interesting. I have a meeting with a woman on Wednesday to talk about the possibility of me moving into the field of neuroscience.....very. interesting. Jason and I are also going to start working on applications for fellowships at a physics lab in Germany. I am going to be looking at the medical physics program at UIC. Who knows where this train stops next but any way it's going to be super exciting....and terrifying!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

20 Miles and 2 years

Last night we went over to my cousin's apartment to visit and keep her company while she was babysitting her nephew, Will. We still don't understand why he is in a White Sox uniform, but he's so cute I think we can let it slide. We watched Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle which is so hilarious. Jason and I caught the end half of that movie a couple months ago and so even funnier all the way through. That's one of those movies that you could watch over and over again and it just keeps getting funnier. Apparently when Lisa and her boyfriend watched it last week they then had to go find White Castle for themselves. As Jason does not like the whiteys and i LOVE them, I am excited to have fellow White Castle lovers in town.

This morning we got up around 7am and were out running by 8:15. It was such a beautiful day out and we had wonderful run. At about mile 4 and near the Bally's (I really don't understand the spinning class....outside....on the bike path...but whatever) we saw someone yelling at said spinners and then noticed they had a familar shiney scalp, "Hey, HEEEEEY HEEEEEYYYYY JOSH!!!!" It was our friend Josh over at Pugpaw. He ran our direction for a few 100 meters and then sprinted back to catch up with his training group. I love LOVE love seeing people I know on the lake front path so that was a ton of fun.

We just kept on moving forward and soon enough we were at the 12 mile marker that is near the little beach and park a bit south of McCormick place. We had gels at mile 7.5 and ~15 and had slightly longer miles there (10:00 and 10:39) but other than that we just cruised at 9:15 miles ending with an 8:41 and 8:11 mile for the last two. I am always really happy to have something left in the take, especially at the end of a 20 miler. So we paced 9:22 miles, which I must say is pretty perfect!!!! It was a great run. It was a great feeling to be done with and we have run 100 miles in the last 13 days. I never thought that I would be able to do that, so now it's time to celebrate with some pizza rolls and frozen drinks before naptime :-)

Today we also celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary. Wow.

To Jason-I love you so much. While we were running today I was trying to think of a cute little thing to write to you know, Webster's Dictionary defines love as....blah blah....but I couldn't think of anything very clever. So I will just say this : You are so spectacular and I am so lucky that not only do I get to spend the rest of my life with you, but I get to spend the rest of my life with best friend and partner in crime :-) Happy Anniversary Baby. I love you. Here's to a wonderfully fun and exciting and spectacular and unordinary lifetime.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

It's a beautiful day for a recovery

...let's run 5.

Man, if only all the summer days could be like this, 75 degrees, low humidity, and not a
cloud in the sky. Just a perfect day to be outside.

We had five miles of recovery to cover today so we were able to go nice and slow and really enjoy the weather. I think both of us were pretty achey to start out (I know I was) and so it was easy to go slow for the first half. That's what I love about doing recovery runs the day before a hard workout; it's like a shakedown run, gets all the kinks out. I know I'd rather feel sorta bad for a run that doesn't matter than one of my long runs or some sort of speed workout type thing.

The 2.5 mile mark was nicely timed to coincide with the water fountain right by the bridge that crosses the entrance to Diversey Harbor if you stay along the lakefront instead of following the actual running path (did even the Chicago people get that?). Anyway, it is a nice open area and so we had a drink of water and spent about 5 minutes stretching. I really like to stretch halfway through my recoveries since I so rarely stretch when my muscles are all warmed up and this seems like a good time to do it. Besides, that just meant more time in the great weather.

After a bit of stretching, we finished off the distance at our apartment and walked around the block to recover from our recovery. All in all, 5 very nice, easy miles and a nice morning. Tomorrow is 20 miles and today? Today is sorting through all our clothes and cleaning out the bedroom. Ah, what wild lives we lead.

Friday, August 11, 2006

We Did IT!!!!!!

Yes yes we did. The 11 miles with 6 at LT that has been dreaded by your fearless duo has been conquered!!!

Our goal was the 6 miles at an 8min/mile pace. When we first did this workout we were able to keep a 7:45 pace, but as we have not been able to get through one of these workouts since we decided to keep it at 8min. We did a 3 mile warm up with the paces decreasing from 9:30 to 8:30 and then we started in on the LT miles:
  1. 7:58
  2. 7:51
  3. 7:47
  4. 8:12
  5. 8:13
  6. 8:08
Ok so what happend with miles 4-6 you ask. We turned around at about 2.75 into the LT miles to a really really strong gusting wind...right. in. our. faces. ugh. So we did slow down, but in my opinion it was the same effort level because I didn't even feel like i was moving forward at one point AND the 6th mile although still slower than the first 3 miles, still faster than the previous 2 which was good to see. The average pace then was just slightly over 8min/mile (8:01:30 min/mile). YES!!!!

We finished with 2 slow slow cool down miles. Now it's time for some frozen margaritas and to revel in our speedyness!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

3 Weeks to New Digs

Well we are moving 3 weeks from tomorrow which of course is utterly exciting......and the get the boxes fill the boxes move boxes aside dance has started!

I never realize how much crap we have until it's time to move. It a way it's good crap, books, movies, cds, office equipment (really you can never have too many ultra thin colored sharpie markers), photographs, a huge Lou Gerhig collection......more books....more photographs......

We are doing a nice long move though because a friend of ours is taking over our apartment for the month of september, which is awesome because we can move sooner. However, now it's like, ok what are we going to take with us in stage one and how do we get this place super clean to rent to someone with shit everywhere.

It will be done. Eventually.

Tomorrow is 11 with 6 at LT. I am SO looking forward to that. One mile at a time. One. Mile. At. A. Time.........we'll see.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

12 Miles The Hard Way

Well that's done. It was particularly pretty but it's done.

Jason and I went 12 miles today and just felt....I don't know...kind of like....uggy. Around 4.5 miles or so I went ahead of Jason because I could feel a bickering fight coming on and I didn't want to deal with that. This ended up being brilliant because I knew with him 30 seconds behind me I would keep the pace up as well as I could and not take too long at water stops and so on.

We paced 9:16min/mile for the full 12 miles which isn't bad for a medium-long run. I realized at about mile 3 that I have no idea how fast to do these. Probably slower than a general aerobic run, but faster than a long long run. So I'm saying that 9:16 is fine. Not spectacular, but it works.

On Friday we have this 11 mile run with 6 miles at LT pace and are trying to mentally get around this training run. We got through the first LT run of the season and since then not so much. So hopefully being a bit more mentally ready and out of the 99 degree baloney will help....that's my plan anyways....that and probably having to slow down the LT miles a bit. Saturday it's a 5 mile recovery and then 20 on Sunday.

Sunday is also Jason and I's 2 year wedding anniversary :-) We have plans for dinner at Wildfire downtown which we are both looking forward to. 20 miles and a fancy dinner, is there any better way to tell someone you love them?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

6 miles, sprinty style

Today was one of our more enjoyable runs. It wasn't perfect or anything, as Leah and I were both still a bit achey after our 18 mile run on Sunday, but it was very nice.

What was so great about it? It was only 6 miles! Not 7, or 8, or 18. Nope, just 6. Hell, the only runs we've had under 7 miles in a really, really long time have been recovery runs and those are rarely "fun" as they are soooo slooow (that is, you really get to experience each and every mile). But this was great. 6 miles and it went really fast because we also had 6x100 meter sprints which broke the run up into nice, managable sections (nibblets, if you will). There wasn't much time to worry about the distance, because after 3 miles of warmup we were doing the sprint/walk/jog cycle and had other things to think about besides just plodding along.

So, that's done now. This is the first run of this week's 54 (!) mile week, which is well beyond anything we've ever done before. It's a bit exciting and a bit scary (and probably some other stuff too).

Here's a question: does anyone have any brilliant ideas for getting around the Chicago Distance Classic that'll be going on along the lakefront path from 7-10:30 (I think that's right) on Sunday, the day of our long run? We generally start at the Totem Pole on the path and then head south and our 20 miler would normally take us to about 31st street. Obviously there will be lots of racers down on the south end of the path so we won't be able to take our usual route. Some thoughts we've had so far include running north first and then less far south, leaving late Sunday morning, and running through more of the city. But if anyone has any other ideas, they're more than welcome.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Famous People Tri-ing

Well well well.

I found out today that one of the competitors in my little race on Saturday morning is famous! Bob Scott holds 2


in the Kona Hawaii Ironman compitition.

He hold the record in the 70-74 and 75-79 age categories, finishing in 12:59 and 13:27 respectively in 2001 and 2005.

How cool is that! I noticed the Ironman stickers on his super fancy bike and asked how many Ironman's he had done which was 8....but I didn't find out anything more about him until today.

Seriously. How cool is that!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Last 3 Days

Have been bu-sy!!!

Wow. Let's recap. Kind of a long post. The running parts are at the end.

On Friday was an off day from running which was great because I had so much work to do. We met up with my cousin Lisa for a late breakfast (she is now living in the hip Wicker Park area) at a place on Milwaukee called Earwax. Good hippy-ish food and good conversation as always. It's really fun have Lisa in town because I think I'll have someone to play with me when I'm bored :-)

Then....I went to work. I had an Inbox full of triathlon e-mails, more people wanting to register, more questions, more organizational trama to deal with. I spent the day working through those e-mails, meeting with the other oranizers of the race, setting up the biking and running course, setting up the swim order with Jim who was in charge of the swimming portion of the race and finishing up the excel spreadsheets housing people's name and what would hold their finishing times as well as other ones that would be running check points along to course to make sure people went by that point (or so they didn't get lost). I left Fermilab at 12:30am but didn't get home until about 2am due to some midnight lane closures on I-290.

I woke up at 4am (yes if you are counting...home at 2am...probably didn't fall asleep till 2:30 am=1.5 hours of sleep) and threw myself out of bed and into the shower to wake myself up. The shower helped and I had to get into the mode of controlling not only 40 odd competitors but all the volunteers and spectators as well. We made a quick stop at Jewel for last minute things we needed for the race and then at McDonalds for some coffee for us and then it was back to the lab.

We got there at 5:45 and I mentioned to the security guard that there would be an influx of people coming in around 7am to compete in the triathlon. Now I had organized all of this with security and the roads and grounds grew already and I knew that security knew about it. Of course this security guard got all Barney Fife on me and said, "I don't know anything about any triathlon, if non-fermilab people get here before 8am I'm not letting them in. So you better call dispatch and let them know". So not having much sleep and already being a nice little ball of stress I was freaking out. I calmed down a bit and got a hold of the security guard that was going to be my contact for the day. He was SO SUPER nice and said not to worry about it and that of course he knew about it and would let the guards know that these people would be coming in. He came by the race site as well and we talked about the race and where people would be and it was nice to have such a nice person helping out with the event.

The race ended up going really really well. I was really nervous when I started to check people in and couldn't find my other GSA partners. Somehow it all got done though. Jim was spectacular in getting the swimming organized and all of a sudden it was happening. People were exiting the pool and runing for their bikes and coming back from the bikes and heading out for the running. Everyone said they had so much fun and thanked me so much for organizing the event. Past Fermilab competitors said it was so much fun to have more people competiting and even had other ideas to get more people through the race. I was so happy because I know I did a job well done. I was thrilled that people were happy with the race and that they had good time and that it actually worked! In the end we had 42 total competing (8 teams and 34 individuals) and the whole thing was over in 3 hours and 45 minutes! Thanks to all my GSA partners in helping me with the event as it would not have happened so smoothly without them.

Now onto running.

After the event I was flying high and so even though we were a bit tired we wanted to get OUR workout in. We had a 7 miles with 8x100m strides. We did the 3 miles of the race course which was good because I found some paper signs along the course and so I picked those up. We came back to our car for some water and then back out with 1 more mile of normal running and then 2.4 of strides and then .6 of cooling down. I think I finally have the strides figured out. We go all out for the stride part, walk for 0.13 slowly start jogging again for 0.1 and then sprint for 0.07. So each segment is .3 miles. It was a great run done just as I think it should be.

After we got home we showered ordered some pizza and passed out for a few hours. We woke up around 8:30 pm and watched Pride and Predjudice. I wanted to see the movie version since I had just read the book and as usual the book was better....but actually a really well done movie and Jason said he liked it....although I'm not sure if he really did.

We woke up around 7:30 this morning and I have to admit less than thrilled to have to be going out there for a 18 mile run.

But it went REALLY WELL!!!!! I took Garmin but instead of just watching the miles ticking off I set the fields to look at the time of day and the pace of the previous mile. This way I could just run and not go...oh my god that felt so far and it was only 0.4 miles!!! That doesn't help the mental game in anyway. Lalapalooza was happening down in Grant Park so we got some music as we went by (we don't take iPods for the long runs) and I, of course, heard a song I really liked and have no idea who it was. And we just ran. and ran. and ran.

In the end we paced 9:38 min/mile. When I list the pace times it always includes any water stops we take or lights that we hit. I want to simulate the marathon as best as I can and the clock doesn't stop on race day so I don't like to stop it during our runs. This is a perfect pace for our long runs (anywhere from 9-10minutes) and our last two miles were 8:56 and 8:52 respectively. All the other miles were over 9 and so we didn't go to fast and still had some in our tanks at the end.

My legs are sore's time to shower and nap! (The ice bath is already done and I think Jason is already asleep)

Friday, August 04, 2006

Let's Go Tri!!!!

Alright people. I am SO excited to be putting on this race tomorrow. I got a few nasty e-mails including one that concluded,
"I'm sorry to be so mean in this e-mail but you deserve it"
I almost started crying and asked one of my GSA partners to write back to him because I would have told him what he deseves is a slap in the face.

I have had a blast getting ready for this race. I am excited for the extra involvement. I have done everything in my power to accomodate everyone. I might be fired after this becasue I had to send my boss an e-mail telling him I couldn't do physics work until Sunday night and I still haven't heard back from him. I might not sleep tonight but that's ok. I have spent the last two days solid working on this......and yes I still deserve a really really nasty e-mail. Bite Me. Most people have been really nice about the race though and understanding so that's good news.

After this event I am sending my resume to the Chicago Marathon Organizers (and if you -the Chicago Marathoner organizers are reading should hire me...I'm really good!)

Ok, here's to a few hours sleep, a good tri race day and a 7 mile with 8x100 (yes I'm going to fit that in dammit :-) )

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Triathlon from Hell

ok people. ok.

15 people in this race last year.

we are up to 46 that want to compete but we had a cut off at 35 this year. (I am organizing this along with the my fellow GSA (Graduate Student Association) officers)

I am getting yelled at because I didn't mention the cut off (we didn't know a cut off would have to be envoked) and all these people can't compete now.

Of course I just want to say everyone can compete but we have a small 5 lane pool and so the race will take a long time. I don't mind about the time, but my other GSA folks might have a problem with it. And it's 10:45 at night and I can only get a hold of one of the other people organizing this who has some concerns but I think thinks it can be done.

I have been working on this triathlon stuff since I got here at 4pm. My advisor is not going to he be happy.


That was the temperature when Jason and I went running this morning.

That is 20 degrees less than any of our recent runs. What a difference. We had the wind at our back for the first half and when we turned around I was almost chilly!

Nothing too exciting (except that it was a nice fun easy run, that and there was a ton of really old looking sail boats on the 4-5 sail dealys). We pace 8:55 for the 11 miles which was nice. But what was even nicer about that pace was that we were very consistant. Sometimes I think that we take too long when we are getting water and then have a really speedy mile following. Today everything was right in the same wheel house. I like the feeling of consistant running and I'm going to try and do this more.

This weekend is 7 miles w8x100 and then 18 miles on Sunday.

I am organzing a triathlon at Fermilab on Saturday morning which is fun. however, last year there was a total of 15 participants (12 individuals and 3 teams) This year we are at 33 people (teams + individuals). Um. Right. It's going to be tons of fun, I just hope that the competitors will be patient because we only have a 5 lane pool that is short. I suppose if they aren't, they could just go home as this is a very friendly race. I am just so worried that I have forgotten something. Well there goes my sleep on Friday night :-)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


It's nice to go run and know that, no matter how badly you want to, you aren't permitted to run fast. I mean, I was chopping at the bit to unleash my speed but no, it was not allowed. So we just toddled along, bearing the heat upon our shoulders like a big, really hot weight.

Okay, so it wasn't that dramatic. Actually, it was pretty good. We stopped after about 1.5 miles to stretch and then ran the whole rest of the way, not even needing to stop for water as we had hydrated well the day before. We finished about a half mile from the house which, conveniently enough, put us right at the fire hydrant outside Wrigley. Best water in the city, bar none.

Tomorrow is 11 miles of general aerobic and has promised us that it will be cooler. I don't care if it is pouring rain and lightening crackles all around us, I just want to run in reasonably cool weather.

Hey, whadya know? We're actually looking forward to tomorrow's run. Sweet.

On another note, join the e-mail campaign to get ESPN columnist and laundry blogger Paul Lucas to apologize for his slandering of Ron Santo and mocking of his disability. I know there are lots of Cubs fans who read this site, so if you are also a Ron Santo fan, stop over to Goat Riders and fire off an e-mail.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I Can't Control Everything

We slept, we drank tons of water, we ate, we were mentally ready to run. Excited to get out there and be speedy.

Then we get outside at 10:30am.

Then we run 2 miles.

And started melting.

It was 95 degrees when we left for our run. I'm not a strong enough runner to be able to lactate any kind of threshold in that kind of weather. There is nothing I can do about the time when we run because that is the schedule this week. I can't change it. I can't make it be 70 degrees instead of 95.

But I can be smarter that I have been in the past two weeks. I can realize that the 10 miles is never going to happen because it's getting dangerous. We decided to just run 6 miles at whatever pace we could get through.

And you know what? It's ok. It's not going to keep me from running the marathon. It's all I can do in this weather. We ended up having a nice run together and not bickering or bitching at each other ("Just go ahead of me, I suck" "No I'm staying with you" No I am a loser and I suck just go the fuck ahead of me" "I don't want to." "JUST DO IT") for the first time in awhile while out there running . We had a really fun last mile getting a little speedy and running funny and playing tag (really).

Making the realization that I can't control every piece of my life and so some of these training runs are going to have to change a bit depending on my schedule and the weather and so on, I think will help my mental/training state and make the training more fun (THIS IS KEY!). Maybe next year I won't be in such a ridiculous state of scheduling hell and can follow the plan to a T, but that's not this year. I'm going to get most of the miles in, I'm going to finish the marathon in some amount of time.......and

IT'S OK!!!