Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Great Midwestern Relay....Name Contest

I realize there is a lot of cross readers between here and Barbs blog here, BUT I just wanted to mention here as well that we will be running the Great Midwestern Relay that runs from Madison Wisconsin to Chicago. The team will be :

Leah & Jason
Leah's Cousin Lisa (who is not yet a blogger)

WHoooooHOOOOO!!! Go TEAM ___________________

See that's the problem we don't yet have a name. SO drop some suggestions in the comments and we'll have a voting contest on our sites with said suggestions

Ready GO...think....be creative!

70 Degrees? October 30th?

I'll take it!

I went out running yesterday for the first time since the 2006 Chicago Marathon. My dad gave me a new iPod nano and so I made a running playlist for roughly 1 hour of running. It's really fun to have playlists as usually I just put a bunch of songs together that are "Run Fast" songs and I end up running real fast in the beginning and screwing up the run for the rest of the time. So the playlist was awesome with some slow songs in the beginning and moved onto faster peppier songs includeing 'One' by Metallica which should be on everyone's running playlist as far as I am concerned after listening to it last night. So in short (too late) iPod nano = awesome! More running with music for me.

When I started running I had the weirdest feeling in my legs. What's that? You don't hurt? You feel like you are bounding down the street in the free-est of ways? Ok then. I think the week off was awesome and totally worth it as my legs felt incredible. It was a beautiful night out (one in which I should have relished in a bit more as we are going to move away from 70 degrees and into 10 degrees) and I went 5.25 miles averaging rougly 9 min/miles.

When I got home I made an effort to stretch. I think Jason and I have to be more conscience about doing that after our runs to try and prevent injuries and just being a bit more flexible won't be so bad.

The plan of the week is to run Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (I got Bears tickets AGAIN for this Sunday. Stay tuned for pictures from last Sunday's game which was awe-some!). I'm hoping to get about 20 miles in this week, 25 next week,30 the week following and stick there for a couple weeks so I can be ready and comfortable to start the Pfitz 12/55 on December 4th.

Happy Halloween everyone! I believe we are watching Halloween tonight (yes ON halloween......cause I'm so cool like that) which in my opinion is by far the best scary movie out there :-)

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Wall

At the Chicago Marathon race expo, Leah and I subscribed to a year's worth of Running Times. I mean, why not, they gave us a free technical shirt and hat which must have been worth damn near the cost of the subscription (unless...wait, you don't think running clothes might have a huge markup, do you? You mean my Nike dri-fit might not cost 30 dollars to manufacture?!?!).

Anyway, this magazine supposed to be the answer to the SAT question:

Runner's World:USA Today:: __________:New York Times.

Anyway, we got a few back issues of the magazine which they had for free (free!) and the April edition had an article on Rethinking The Wall. For a week now, I've been telling people for a week now that I didn't hit the wall, I just got sore and couldn't keep running. I mean, I saw people who hit the wall, and I wasn't interested in feeling their pain. Yikes. Nope, I was just sore.

However, according to this article, there is another component to the wall besides running out of carbs and switching to fat burning (and, as a result, slowing down to a crawl). Apparently, when the muscle damage hits a critical mass, the body releases a chemical that restricts the impulse to rally muscles to the running cause. Basically, the brain is saying: hey, you're breaking me, knock it off.

So it sounds like I did hit the wall, just not The Wall that I fear ever so much. And that's why there are so many of us out there walk/running the last few miles, befuddled as to why our legs won't just run and get it over with. Our mind says "go, bitches" and our legs say "no, I'll pass. Isn't there anything on TV?" and so the finish line approaches ever so slowly. It's chemicals! We aren't just lazy and/or weak!

I have to admit, this does make me feel a little better. Self-preservation is a powerful instinct and fighting against it is no trivial matter. The key is to figure out how to prevent that instinct from kicking in and to avoid the wall, just like with the other wall. But I knew that, that my legs have to get stronger, I just understand why a bit better now. I love when stuff gets all science-y and makes sense.

As far as what to do about it, they suggested strengthening the muscles that keep the body from succumbing to gravity. Jumping exercises, running a bit downhill (gentle downhill), and drinking stuff while exercising that has both protein and carbs. I'd link the article, but they don't seem to have the article online. In short, I think it's just "be sure to exercise the muscles that running doesn't." I was planning on doing that anyway.

So, all you hitters of the secondary wall, feel better? I know I do.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Square One

Well. Sigh.

For those of you that read this know that I am working on my PhD in physics. I work at the Fermi National Laboratory on one of the experiments called D-Zero. When I think about the sentance, "I work at the Fermi National Laboratory, the biggest physics lab in the world" (biggest for the next couple years anyways), I think that's a pretty cool sentance. Everyone I work with either has a PhD in physics or is working towards one, so the group that surrounds me is, ok they are REALLY nerdy, but pretty smart folks.

Being a grad student I don't yet to be one of the pretty smart folks. I have been working on my thesis analysis since about February and since then it's been going ok. There has been a lot of, "When are you going to be done? When are you going to have a plot? Where is it going to have a write up?" and not a lot of, "Do you understand this? Can you show me exactly what you are doing and explain it?" So I have been mosying down a path and making plots and all the numbers have been basically where they should be. "Are you going to have a central value by this week? I think so!"

That was until Tuesday when my advisor asked me something and when I answered he said, "Oh, well you can't do that" Oh really? um....pretty major flaw in what I have been doing. After looking at my code for the last few days it has become apparent that I can't use the fitting method I have been working with because there are limitations with it. I literally had to start all over yesterday, trying to get the first fit I got many months ago. With my office mate helping me it also because very evident that I am way behind in the mathematical understanding of what is happening with the physics and what it is that I am actually measuring.

I asked myself last night at dinner why did this happen. Is it all my advisors fault for not making sure I understand what I am doing and just asking for more plots? Maybe. Maybe it's like 10% his fault. But what is wrong with me that I wasn't sure in what I was doing? I just blindly went ahead with this method and told myself, I think I understand it, I kinda get it. I thought that would be good enough. OF COURSE IT'S NOT YOU IDIOT.

So I'm back at square one. New programming techniques &new mathematical methods, here I come. Hopefully with these annoyances will come a better zen like understanding though. I just have to do enough each day to not quit, because when 6ish months of work get deleted quitting seems like the easier step, and seems like what I deserve for being so out of touch with the physics. However, I haven't been fired yet, and so until that happens I am going forward....forward into what I still have no idea but forward none the less.


Friday, October 27, 2006

The next step

I have some hopes of taking my running career to the next level. Of course, next level for me is a 3:30 marathon since the Olympics are probably out of reach, but that level's still going to take some work.

You see, right now my legs aren't all that strong. I discovered this about 5 days ago when my legs wouldn't carry me all the way to the finish line and gave out around mile 18. They had a few cocktails, took a nap, and left me to run the race without any legs. The culprit in the last two marathons has been my quads. In 2005, one of them "popped" around mile 22, but we weren't going all that fast so I was able to maintain our 10 minute mile pace and it was really more a distraction than a major pain. It sucked, but I survived. This year, however, with the faster pace the quads took a little more abuse and gave out in more dramatic fashion. I think you can still find quad shrapnel back on the course (for which I apologize because that's just gross).

I'm starting to see a trend here (I'm a scientist, you know) and so I think it's time to work a bit more actively with my leg strength. Running doesn't do much for the quadriceps, so I'm going to have to start hitting the gym (*gasp*). We will have access to a gym on Mondays and Thursdays, so on those days I'll do a combination of leg presses, leg curls, and leg extensions. If I can't make it to the gym, I'll do lunges and wall-sits at home. I'm hoping to find a way to work in some crosstraining as well (stationary bike probably). Basically, I need to hit all the muscles that running generally doesn't.

The other thing that I need to seriously work on is my flexibility. I think the hamstring problems I had later in the race probably had something to do with compensating for my quads and pulling lots of muscles and crap. Doesn't matter; the point is that I'd like to be able to touch my toes. Also, the groin injury that I got from doing strides of all things is fairly pathetic and just another sign that "stiff as a board, light as a feather" isn't working for me anymore. Time to get bigger and more flexible.

The little snag in all this is that I've tried this before. Every time I've tried to hit the gym with regularity, I've invariably stopped going once the running miles climbed too high. It just took too much energy/time from me. However, this is the first time that I won't be jumping in mileage in my training. With a repeat of the Pfitz plan, I hope that I'll be used to it so it won't seem overwhelming. Also, I know that I've got work to do to catch up with Leah, so that's motivation too. I really want to cross the finish line with her when she qualifies for Boston and to do that I'll have to work a bit harder than she does.

I can't wait.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What's next?

Well no running for a few more days. I decided to give myself a full week off from running, since I have been training basically since January 1st with little to no days off. This was a great idea until I remembered that the reason I love to run is that I get to step away from all the other shit happening in my life (read : work) and just run and get away from it and refocus. It's weird that how just a few days off makes me feel so unbalanced.

Either way I am sticking to not running until next week. My legs are just starting to feel better today and I have a busy weekend with a halloween party on Friday and then DA BEARS game on Sunday which I am so looking forward to. (Hope they look better than they did against Arizona).

As far as what's next for our training. We are going to run the Sarasota marathon on March 4th. My mom lives in Sarasota and since I won't be seeing her for Christmas this year and she hasn't seen me run in a marathon I thought that would one to do. This way I get to keep up my milage and my mom gets to see me run a marathon. Training throughout the Chicago winter will probably keep me at about where I am now speedwise so I am going to treat that marathon more as practice and not worry about setting a PR. It's a small race too so it'll be wierd to go from running with 39,999 of my closest friends to 2999 of my closest friends. I am sticking with the Pfitz plan since I have seen such good results, not only from my own race, but from many who follow the plan. Since I don't have 18 weeks however, I am going to do the 12 week 55 mile week plan. I know it'll be tough to get out there for long runs in bad wintery conditions, but I am confident that we can do it.

After that, Jason and I are doing some relays and then will most likely train for another fall marathon (most likely Chicago) where I can move towards a BQ. Next summer I'll either do the 18/55 or perhaps try and push it up to the 18/70 or 24/70 to get more milage under me. I would actually like to train for a 3:30....then I have a nice 10 minute BQ buffer.

So that's our plans and I'm looking forward to getting back on the running shoes next week.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Party Pics

After the marathoning fun we went to the RBF meetup that was at Goose Island. We had so much fun meeting runners and putting head and bodies to the words they we have been watching for the last few months. Just a story in pictures. Tomorrow our plans and how hard it is to NOT run this week (although I must say quite enjoyable). Oh yeah....I chopped all my hair off, Elliot Reed Season 3 Style (for those of you who watch Scrubs). I think I like it....but I'm dreading trying to do it myself later today.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Chicago 2006 - The Jason Report

And now we get to the not-so-pretty side of running.

The first 18 miles of this run will seem remarkable similar to Leah's. It was amazing. Amazing how easily I was able to run at such a fast clip. Usually, for me, starting out a run at a sub-9 minute mile make me feel as if my legs were dragging the rest of me along for the ride, my torso flopping around a few paces back. It just never feels comfortable. This time, however, I wasn't entirely sure that my feet were touching the ground.

This continued for a long, long time. Miles 2-8 were basically me trying to reign in these new, speedy legs in an effort to maintain a consistent pace. Leah and I were constantly talking back and forth about how we just needed to keep a consistent pace for now and then we could think about making a move at mile 16 if Boston was still in reach (and we weren't exhausted).

Miles 8-16? Yep, still easy. I was still running easy with a smile on my face. I found myself making the occasional "chugga chugga" sound effect as I felt like an unstoppable train. It was long, easy strides and enjoying the spectators and bunnies and Santa Claus and you were there and you were there...

Anyway, things started to go south around mile 17 or so. I developed a pain on the insides of both of my quads which was increasing the effort of each stride dramatically. I had something similar last year (only on one leg last year and started at mile 22) but it was pretty manageable since we were only pacing 10 minute miles. This year, with the faster pace, my quads were a lot more necessary. The difficulty in taking a full stride while trying to maintain pace with Leah was getting to me and I was having a really hard time keeping my breathing steady. I spent the next mile trying to my relax myself and keep it steady, but I think the fact that I still had 8 miles to go was too much for me.

The thought of fighting to keep this pace for 8 miles seemed impossible.

The thought of hold Leah back was unthinkable.

When stretching my quads didn't help I told her to move on. She was doing too well to slow down for me and we had agreed to run our own races. And so off she went and we were running two very different races.

I was doing okay for the next 3 or so miles. I just slowed my pace down and made a deal with myself that I would just walk through all the aid stations to reward myself for running through the pain. Again, this worked for about 3 miles. I trudged along at what must have been a 9 minute pace and watched the big, yellow 3:45 sign recede into the distance. At mile 21 I saw our spectators again and gave a half-hearted smile, grateful that they had waited for me to pass after Leah went by. I wasn't really expecting it, but it was nice to see. Thanks again to all the people who came out and watched. It was so tremendous.

After mile 22, things got a lot worse. The quad pain was now mirrored in my hamstrings and it was becoming more than I could take. I body started rebelling against my mind and not letting me run all the way to the next aid station. The spectators on the sidelines were treated to a look of bewildered frustration as I keep telling myself to just go, run. I would run a bit and then, no, time to walk. Kind spectators exhorted me to run hard, I was so close, but I just shook my head in disappointment. I had no idea why I couldn't run through this pain like I had all the others in training, but something was different. I couldn't ignore this pain.

I slowly ran/walked on, feeling like a branch in a river as waves of people flowed past me. The 3:50 people surged past me, making me feel like I was just falling backwards. My math skills (addition) told me that I was a lock to finish in under 4 hours and achieve my primary goal, so I
do think some of the incentive to push myself super hard was gone. I don't know. All I know is that I couldn't get my body to so my bidding and that was quite frustrating.

As mile 24 approached I was passed by the 3:55 people and stepped it up for a little while trying to keep up. That didn't last for very long. For the last two miles I was one of "those guys." I was the guy who was so close to the finish but still walked. I was the guy talking to himself while shaking off the kind words of the spectators, feeling quite the opposite of whatever they were saying.

Eventually I finally hit the one mile to go sign and at 800 meters I stripped off my outer shell to get my finish photo. For awhile I had tried to push myself hard enough to get a clock-time under 4 hours on my finishing shot, but that was not in the cards either. I continued the death march as the turn up Roosevelt approached, preparing myself for a smile at our spectators to let them know that I had survived and that they could go ahead to the meet-up place. Apparently my layer-strip threw them off and most of them didn't see me, but I caught someone's eye and hit the hill.

Or, I suppose, the hill hit me. Either way, oh my god. I've heard about people saying that the hill killed them, but it didn't bother me last year and I didn't see how it could bother me now. Heading up that slight grade I felt like a new-born deer. My legs wobbled under me and at some point someone affixed a piano to my back, dragging me back down the hill. I couldn't believe that I had to walk part of the hill. I really never thought that would happen. My face was one of utter disgust that I couldn't make myself run the entire hill, that I had lost control of my body to this extent.

So I walked a few paces, and then ran, and then maybe walked again. Frankly, I don't entirely remember. But finally the hill ended. And I ran. I ran for the entire 0.2 miles just to make it end, to get my shiny blanket.

Clock time: 4:04. I had made it, this was a guaranteed sub-4. Thank god. At that point I just wanted to get through the crowd and congratulate Leah as I knew she would have finished strong. I was so proud of her.

Although I was pretty disappointed with myself while running I pretty much refuse to be disappointed in myself now. I set a PR by almost 23 minutes and made it through an extremely difficult training program, all having only run for about 3 years. I've got lots of miles left on these legs.

Now I've just got to get them healed up enough to start running and weight training. I've got lots of work ahead to make up 12 minutes and then gain an extra 15 so I can finish with Leah when she easily BQ's next year.

So lets get running! You know, as soon as I can walk.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Chicago 2006 - In Leah's Eyes

On Friday night after watching the brilliant movie 'Stick It' (by the makers of 'Bring It On') Jason and I went to bed at about 9:30. I knew there was no point in getting to bed any earlier because I wouldn't have fallen asleep anyways. I tossed and turned for about an hour, but I didn't wake up at all during the night which was great. We woke up at 5:00 (hit snooze), so we woke up at about 5:15 or so. I was a bit tired and really crabby because of the weather. All of a sudden I hear music blasting in our apartment :

Risin' up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances

Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet

Just a man and his will to survive

So many times, it happens too fast
You change your passion for glory

Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past

You must fight just to keep them alive

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the cream of the fight .....

(I am sure our neighbors love us)

Jason made a wake up music list....so after dancing around to Eye of the Tiger we started getting ready. Usually I'll put my number on at the race, but I knew that my hands were going to be so cold that there would be no point. So we got all that taken care of at the apartment. Our parents were at our place at about 6am. We all had breakfast and some coffee and then headed on downtown. My dad took Jason and I to the start and Jason's parents went with Sue to where our spectators would be meeting up.

We got of out the car a bit early and walked the last few blocks to the race. All of a sudden my nerves just melted away. All those people down there, everyone was cold and no matter what happened it would all be over soon. I stopped worrying about my time and how we would finish and where we would finish. I was just going to run and make decisions while I was in the race.

We hit the porta potties a couple times and then headed into the corrals. I had planned on warming up with about .75 miles or so, but it was so crowded and it was getting close to go time and so we just said forget it. We took a place that was right next to the 3:50 pace group. I thought this was a good place to start and we could always move up if we felt good or drop back and still make it under4 hours.

As we were standing there all of a sudden someone said, "I think I might know you". We turned around and immediatly recognized Josh. It was really fun seeing someone that we read all about and it made the final 25 minutes before the race start fly by. We did do the layers thing, but I was wishing I had on long sleeves under my t-shirt. We threw away our cheap sweat pants and sweat shirt and were left with our short, tshirt, long sleeve tshirt, gloves and ear band (hat for Jason).

All of a sudden we were on it slowly creeping forward. And then we were running through the start. As usual an amazing feeling. The people running and the people spectating, unreal. This year however I wasn't immediatly going, "Oh my god we have to run really far now" I just ran and looked around at all the happenings around me. All of a sudden we were nearing state and grand where we knew our spectators would be and then we saw the red dots on sticks and smiled for the cameras and we were on our way. We knew we would see spectators again at mile 3.5ish. Our first three miles looked like :

Mile 1-2 (missed mile 1 marker) : 17:48
Mile 3 : 8:38

We saw our spectators soon after this and dropped off our gloves and head coverings and headed on to the north side.

Mile 4: 8:20
Mile 5: 8:21

We stopped for gatorade here and walked a few steps and moved on. Jason and I talked about how effortless the miles were this year. How much we loved our training plan because never in my life would I had thought that miles sub 9 would be "easy" I told Jason if we could keep with the 8:20's I could possibly make Boston if I made up some time from the first 3 miles.

Mile 6: 8:35
Mile 7: 8:30

Well now I would have more time to make up. At this point I didn't think it was out of question, but I knew that it probably was. We started keeping our eyes open for our spectators and there they were! Red dots, go Jason go leah......and we were on it.

Mile 8 : 8:21

We hear someone say "Go Jason" and a few strides too late we realize it was our friend Meghan from Fermi Lab. We continued down Broadway and I love this part of the race because we used to live here. Love the aid station and the cowboy dancers. We passed our old bar and our favorite bartender was outside. We yelled at him and it took him a couple seconds to register who we were (not surprising as when we were friends with him we weren't exactly in running shape :-) ) and cheered us on.

Running up Broadway and onto Clark was awesome as it was last year. A shout out to all the spectators who came out and cheered even though the weather was less than ideal, it's so wonderful having so much crowd support. I was feeling really good at this point and just crusin' through the miles.

Mile 9 : 8:20
Mile 10 : 8:27

Somewhere around here someone had music BLASTING out of their apartment and the song was Sweet Home Chicago which was so fun to hear. We got gatorade at the mile 10 aid station which was on par with our gatorade every 5 mile plan.

Mile 11 : 8:29
Mile 12: 8:29

We knew or spectators were going to be at the corner turning west and yep, there were the red circle, smile wave high five and make the turn. I knew at this point a 3:40 was out of the question. I was feeling really good with the 8:30 miles and knew I wasn't going to have enough to make up the lost time or run much faster.

Mile 13 : 8:28

This part of the race last year was horrible for me. You just go out west and more west and more west, you look south and see people that have already made the turn around and yet you keep going west. I was mentally prepared for this though and so it wasn't so bad.

Mile 14 : 8:29

At this point Jason says, well we are nothing if not consistant.

I did have to stop and tie my shoe, I don't know why I didn't double knot the laces....but I didn't change it here either and would have to stop again in the miles 20 whatever to retie it again.

Mile 15 : 8:38 (shoe lace)
Mile 16 : 8:36 (gatorade)

We saw our spectating crew at about 16.5 which was awesome. It's so bland during this part of the race that it's fun to have something to look forward to. In the video I am saying : "I'm still smiling" (it's really short....but a movie none the less)

Mile 17 : 8:30

Around this point I was noticing that Jason was running behind me instead of next to me. It's not that odd because as we move around people he usually is behind me as we slip between people. I also noticed that my knees were starting to hurt a bit. We stopped to stretch for about 10 seconds.

Mile 18 : 8:49

Now I look back and Jason is farther behind me than I realized. His face has a bad look on it and he says his quads are killing him and for me to go ahead. I ask if he's sure, he says he is....so I go on. We did make this deal before the race. Even though we do all our training together we realize that the race is each our own and so we decided before the race if something were to happen to one of us the other will go ahead. That doesn't mean I wasn't lonely from then on however.

Mile 19 : 8:32
Mile 20 : 8:45

The sun came out at this point and so I took off my outer long sleeve shirt to get rid of some weight and so that I could have my number showing so I could get some pictures taken of me during the race.

Mile 21 : 8:37

I see our spectators at China town and I tell them that Jason is behind me and to wait for him. I was so worried that something really bad had happened, but I told myself that he's so tough and he'll be fine and just to make it through the last 5 miles. So I put my head down and tried to not think about how my knees were hurting and to just get through the last part of the race. I made my new goal at this point to have all the miles be under 9 minutes :

Mile 22 : 8:50
Mile 23 : 8:42
Mile 24 : 8:56
Mile 25 : 8:54

The picture on the right is going up the final hill.....you can't always look pretty.

Mile 26.2 : 10:31 (8:45 pace)

Finishing time : 3:45:41

I am so happy with this finish. I PR'd by about 35 minutes which is HUGE. I love the Pfitz program and will be sticking with that from now on I am guessing. I felt so strong during the race and until the last few, the miles just flew by. I couldn't have done any better than this as I pretty much had nothing left at the end. I'm glad I realized early on that Boston was out of reach and didn't let it ruin my race. What I do know though is I will be able to qualify for Boston next year as I have confidence that I CAN run the kind of miles that is required for a BQ time. With more training I know I'll be there.

I love this running life that I lead. It's my everything. (After My Jason of course).

Congrats to all the Chicago marathon finishers. More to come on the RBF meetup which was a total BLAST. Also stay tuned for Jason's race report.
Because I can't find graphs in any program that are remotely useful I made my own. Here's my pace per mile comparing it to my average pace. A little fast in the beginning/middle and obviously creeping up towards the end. I do like that my last 3 miles got faster to keep me under that 9 min mark.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Done & Done

Leah : 3:45:41 (awesome)
Jason : 3:57:3 (sweet....he hit some major pain at 18 so we seperated)

full report to come later. (I am pretty stoked right now!!!)


It's marathon morning. It's race day. RACE DAY WOOOO!


I am really nervous. More so than last year because I know what I have gotten myself into & the weather is so shitty this year that I am dreading being out in it for 4 (or less) hours. Cold Windy Rainy, I mean really who DOESN'T want to run a marathon in those conditions? Blech.

Well either way in about 7 hours it's all over! Good Luck to all the other runners!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Look For These

Our spectators will be carrying around these lollypop looking signs. Red circles & easy to see. There will be a Go CRU one so look for them :-) (oh the nerves are setting in!....I think I am going with short sleeves and shorts with a long sleeve throw away....if it's raining I do not want wet clothes on me the whole way...that's it and I'm sticking to it....unless I should.....oh jeez)

Took Sleep Instead

Well I WAS going to get up early and go run. Apparently though I am still in high school and slept till 10 instead. Oh well, I know I won't get much sleep tonight so I'd rather have had some good sleep last night.

I keep going back and forth on what to wear for the race. dry fit t-shirt with long sleeve over for the first few miles? tight dry fit tank with dry fit t-shirt over with long sleeve tshirt over. Keep the number on the short sleeve and then if I get really warm switch the number to the tank top underneath?

I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. What have other people decided on? Tank tops or t-shirts.

(I accidently looked at the mornng hourly weather for Monday on Accuweather which has temps in the lower thirtys and I almost started crying. We are now at start temps of 40.....)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Weather Practice

Since I am so worried about the temps on Sunday I thought I would go out and practice my clothing plan to see how I felt.

Jason and I got up at 6am this morning and were out by 6:30am. The temperature at this time was 39 degrees. This is what it will be at race time tomorrow. The difference being Sunday it will "feel like" 28 and today the feels like temp was 39. We started in shorts, thin tank top, long sleeve technical, sweat pants, sweat shirt, ear band and gloves. We ran a .7 mile loop to warm up, streteched and dropped off the sweat pants and sweat shirt at our apartment. Then we ran a 1 mile loop with the shorts, long sleeve technical, gloves and ear band. Then dropped off the long sleeve, ear band and gloves and went for another 2 miles in just the shorts and tank top.

Although my skin was pretty chilly on top my legs were fine. I will need to find a thicker type tank top (maybe even short sleeve shirt) and I think I'll be fine. I'll drop the sweats right before we start the reace, then I'll drop off the mid layer with our spectators either at mile 1 or mile 3. I know it's bad to run the race in something new.....but I think it will be better than any of the tops I currently own.

We need to go find some cheap throw away sweats and I think we'll be set.

So, ran 3.7 miles today instead of 5 and didn't do any strides as the plan called for and will probably run 2-3 tomorrow morning early instead of 4. We'll be at the finish line tomorrow at about 7:30am if anyone wants to join us (unless it's raining then we might not go because I don't want my marathon shoes wet on race day)

Freaking Out

Hi everyone. The hourly forecast is now up at Accuweather. It's going to be COLD and the real feel temp is going to be really cold. No Rain or Snow which is good. But all this flippin work and now I have run in 37 degrees for 4 hours. Dammit.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Not Perfect....But Better

The temperature isn't getting better. At all. We are down to a high of only 45 which will put the start temp in the 30s, but weather.com and accuweather.com are saying partly cloudy.....which is obscenly better than 45 with rain! Plus if the sun just comes out to play a little bit it will be a lot better mentally.

No Running today. My dad and stepmom are getting into town tonight so I get to see them, which of course I am really excited about. Tomorrow it's 5 recovery w/6x100m and Saturday it's 4 mile recovery. I will try and do both of these early in the morning to get my mind ready for morning running and for running in chillier temps. Pictures and stories from the Expo tomorrow!

Getting ready to race

So far, Leah and I have been in pretty different places regarding the race. She's been bouncing off the walls and vibrating like crazy and I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who can understand her when she speaks, she's been talking so fast. As for me, I have barely been aware that there's a race coming up. Nothing much in the way of nerves. I think I've been too focused on the task of getting my back into shape that I haven't been worrying about the run. Icing for 15 minutes every hour is a lot more than it sounds and it seems that as soon as the ice is off it's back on again. Only one more day of this and then I'm resuming normal activity in anticipation of the race.

For those of you interested, my back is probably at 90%. I have a full range of movement and no pain when I walk (and I've been walking more this morning) and the only sign that I'm not 100% is that the lower back is still a bit tender to the touch. But hey, I'm not planning on touching my back while I run, right?

I'm a little worried that I'm not going to be mentally prepared for the race since I haven't been obsessing about it and so I'm going to try to really focus these next few days and visualize the run, get excited about it. Running on Friday will probably really help with this.

Okay, enough about the back and my mind. Here are my thoughts about the race:
  • I need to really focus on miles 22-26(.2) as that's where I faltered last year. I just lost it mentally and only kept running because Leah was running. I'm pretty sure that it'll not be a problem this year since I know I got through it last year.
  • Don't freak out if I feel like I'm going out fast. I always get freaked out if the start feels like I'm going faster than planned because I'm worried that it'll cost me at the end. My mindset needs to change if I plan to go faster. I need to remember that this is a race and I don't have to run for a whole week after the race. Besides, after the first mile it usually gets easier to run fast anyway. Go for it. Run the damn race.
  • Just put one foot in front of the other. Each step you take is that much less you have to run and you are guaranteed to eventually finish. Don't think about the miles. Don't think about how much is left to run. Stay in the moment. Run.
  • It's going to be cold, but it's best to just ignore that. Cold is good. It keeps you from over heating and that will only help the you keep running fast. Besides, after the race you get the shiny blanket and it feels so nice and warm. Run for the shiny blanket.
Let's go, people. Game face.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Best Run of the Season?

Well Well Well.

I went out at 5pm today for a marathon dress rehearsal. The plan called for 7 miles with 2 at Marathon Pace. Since I am undecided about my marathon pace...I know I know we are 4 days away blah blah.....I decided to run the first two slowish, nice quick pace for 3 and 4 and then easy breezy for 5-7. After having a frustrating work day (I really do exist right? Like I am sitting here typing this....ok I thought so. GRUMBLE.) I probably did the first mile too fast which of course lead to 2-4 being a bit too fast. But I have to tell you, I felt STRONG. I had sore shins for the beginning miles but I was caught at a light for a few seconds and I stretched them a bit....kinda helped. I think it just goes away eventually. I ran the first two miles in 8:58 and 8:51 respectively which lead to an 8:06 and an 8:01 for 3 and 4. I know this is too fast, but I felt great so I am thinking that an 8:30-8:45 pace is going to feel just fine. The last three miles were 9:13, 8:49 & 8:54. I have to say that I was feeling smooth and strong on those last three miles.

So. There. I don't know what to do with that. It was only 7 miles, but we'll see what Sunday will bring me. I still think a 3:40 is out of reach........but you never know what the 2nd half of the race will bring.

I did get some valuable information from the run as it was raining. The shirt I was planning is not going to work. It's almost spongy like (it's a Nike shirt, but maybe not dry fit?) and when it gets wet it's going to get heavy and chaffe my arms. So I am on a mission to find a singlet that will work better for the race. All the other clothes felt great, including the socks I was wearing (sometimes the bottoms of my feet get really sore....getting to warm?). My clothing plan for the marathon will be shorts, singlet and an old technical long sleeve shirt that I have, ear band and gloves that I modeled here. I will loose the long sleeve shirt, ear band and gloves during the race either at Mile 1, 3.5 or 8 where our spectators will be.

Come on Sunday!

**Note : Jason was still out today trying to fix his back. He say the ice is helping. He'll go out for the 5 miles on Friday and see how it's doing, at least to get an idea of what to expect to feel while running. Think good thoughts!**

Best Boy In The World

That's right Jason, I'm talking about you.

Poor guy has been best friends with icey dixie cups and ice baths and our wood floor the past two days. He missed yesterdays run and will be missing todays as well. Yet I know better than to keep asking him if he'll be ok on Sunday. That's because I know he'll be next to me toeing the line (I use "toeing the line" loosely and we will be "toeing the line which is 1/4 mile behind the actual line"). I know he'll stay with me during the course because he is one of the toughest people I know (I also know this becuause the back is getting a lot better). I was asked earlier what would happen if he had to slow down in the race or step out of it completly. I also love that we understand that although we run together it is our own races on Sunday. If something happens to either one of us the other is not expected to wait around for them. But it's good to put that on "paper" for both of us to remember.

He has been there for me and gone along with my crazy running/working/commuting/eating/reading/writing/"the future" plans. I don't know how he does it as every day he'll hear, "JASON I know what we should do when we grow up.......LET'S WRITE A BOOK" "Let's write a book" has many variations ranging from opening bars and restaurants to moving to mexico and working in a bar or restaurant. Thank you for only looking at me like I'm crazy when I turn my back.

You are what every person should get to have by their side as they move forward in this life. So thank you for beliving in me and standing by my side when I feel like I won't succeed or that I am standing along.

Thank you for letting me post these ridiculous pictures of you and your Afternoon Ice Bath Adventure. ;-)

Starting Gear?

Stop hitting reload on Weather.com leah. STOP IT. Digging through boxes for hats and gloves, glad we found them.


Seriously. Snow Showers? I know it's early still and I know that it's only 40% chance of percipitation.....but come one! At least the high for the day moved up a degree.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

6 Solo

My Jason has as a really sore back. He has been laying on the floor all day. Not good a few days before the marathon. Hopefully all the heating he has been doing will help.

Because he was stuck laying on the wood floor I went out for a 6 mile recovery run solo. Felt good the whole way, stopped to stretch a few times, had some kids through some paper at me out of a bus. Lovely. Finished pacing 9:20 miles. I took some music (which I haven't done for awhile and it was really nice) with some Recovery type mellow music on it. I ended up having the Garden State soundtrack for most of the run along with Room At the Top and Echo by Tom Petty. Nice groove to music as my cool groove 9:20 pace felt.

The weather has moved down to a high of 45. It's going to be fine. Maybe I'll finish in 3:40ish just to get out of the cold :-) You never know. Crazier things have happened. (realistically I am going for 3:45-3:50.....)

Saturday Morning Run?

Hello people running Chicago.

Jason and I are thinking about heading down to the finish line early Saturday morning and running about 3 or 4 miles out and back from the finish line in the direction of the course. In other words run the last part of the race. There will probably be some traffic but if it's early enough it won't be too bad. We will do these as a recovery run, so at about 10 minute miles.

Anyone else interested? We'll probably be down there around 7 or 8am.

Now this is Crazy...

Thanks Mark!

Getting Worse

Ok people. The high for Sunday is now 48 degrees with a low of 34 degrees and showers. I am still planning on wearing a tank top and shorts though. In then end you will warm up quickly AND you really don't want wet heavy clothes sitting on you for the duration of the marathon, so for all of you thinking about what to wear take that into account. Plus there is still only a 40% chance of rain....which of course means there is a 60% chance that it won't.

To Thomas : Yes I have been posting a lot more :-) I am very jittery about the race and all that nervous energy has to go somewhere!

6 recovery miles later today.

Monday, October 16, 2006



they could lose it.......and he shanked it


Let's give it up for the Bears defense shall we!!!!!

Why Can't My Teams Be Easy to Watch

Why Why. Why couldn't I grow up a Yankee fan or a fan of any team that doesn't give me a stroke in the first 1/4 of every game.

What is this Bears Shit on the field. Not the team we have been watching for the past 5 weeks. And what ESPN? is this the Matt Leinart show? How about one more shot of him? Please. It's like when the Cubs were in the playoffs in 2003, it was all about the stupid goat. That's what I hate when they are national TV because you lose the home team announcers. Matt Leinart my ass.

I have now put myself into my office with the door closed and am listening to music loud enough to drown out the Bears game that Jason is faithfully watching. He'll just be happy because his beloved Colts will be undefeated and the Bears will have lost to a shitty ass team.


**update : in case you were wondering, the idiot ESPN announcers "really like" what the cardinal offense is doing. Really like it. Really like it. They also like Matt Leinhart. By the way, the could also stop showing his stupid college highlights as he is now in the NFL. Jesus the Bears look bad tonight!**

28926 & 28927

Leah and Jason got their confirmation booklets! Our mail is totally screwed up so we didn't think we would get them. But we did and Leah is already winning. I kid.

Some Things I Remember

Alright Alright, we are 6 days away and I can't stop watching any kind of press on the marathon. Land of the Gods, a couple times a day, Highlights video, I'm currently on my third pass, the course video have now gone through that one once (which after watching it i am happy that I have done so much more running along city streets this year, I think knowing Chicago city blocks will help a ton). I can't worry (well I can and I will, but I'll say I won't) about the weather yet. Jason and I had an outdoor wedding so I watched weather.com for days and days before our big day. We had rain predicted all the way up until the day before when it switched to mostly sunny (at which point I started screaming in joy and woke Jason up as it was about 6 in the morning).


Somethings I remember about last years race that I thought all you Chicago Newbies would interested in. For those of you that have run Chicago before feel free to add on!
  • The first mile = AWESOME. I looked around and thought, why would all these people be doing something so stupid :-)
  • Miles 7-10 are run on the northside through Boys Town and are incredible. I was so overwhelmed that I forgot to look around. I saw our spectators and rows and rows of other people watching us and that's about it. There are lots of cheerleaders here and a big party in the neighborhood. There will be a bar on the left hand side of the street about 1/2 mile past the 8 mile marker called 'Murphy's' which is where Jason and I used to hang out. Look around and enjoy it!
  • Miles 13-18 a bit tiring. Not as much of a party atmosphere. At mile 15 last year one of the water stop people said, "This is when the slow people come by" I was not thrilled to hear that and told him we weren't slow, we were in fact awesome.
  • Miles 21-22ish are through China Town. Jason's dad who was spectating loved this part of the spectating becuase it was so awesome with all this stuff happening and he always asks if I remember it and how incredible it was. I don't. I was so in the moment at the point getting a final wind to push it through that I don't remember a lot of it. So like the northside of the race. Look around and enjoy!
  • There is a slight hill at probably mile 25.9. When you get to the top you make a left, there is a sign that says 26 Miles and you can see the finish line. Push as hard as you can up that hill and you'll be home free in no time.
  • The finish. I was almost in tears. The number of people that are lining the street between miles 25 and the finish are obsence
  • The runner meet up was a disaster! We had plans to meet people at te 'W' and it took us forever to get over there and there were so many people in that runners meet up that we could hardly move. Along with the people there were people with big giant strollers taking up tons of room. So you might want to just pick a street corner to meet on instead of trying to deal with the runners meet up area.
That's all I have at the moment.

Damn It

Well that doesn't look so good. Still a bit early I guess, but I am worried about that temperature.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

12ish & 42nd Week

Today we had 12 on the schedule. We did all if it but walked the last mile. Our legs were a bit tired and didn't want to over do it. I didn't bring Garmin and we had a really enjoyable run in our city. It's important sometimes to leave the computer and the gadgets and the music and the Gu's at home. Then it's just you and the running. It's nice to just get out there and be without the numbers game. What was my pace this mile, what was it last mile. I know that's important and I do it most everyday, that's why it was nice just to go out and RUN today. So I don't know how fast we went, probably not very fast at all, which I'm ok with. Too much stopping and starting down Chicago Ave becuase we left late this morning, but again, no big deal.

In preparation for the race we wore shorts and a t-shirt since it was probably about the same temperature that it will be on race day. I will wear a tank top and shorts and I felt that I would be fine in that kind of clothing in the kind of weather that we saw today. The only problem is that my toes and my fingers get a bit chilly, but warm up after not too long.

I realized that the race will be taking place on the 42nd week of the year, which for those of you that have read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams know's that this is the answer....the answer to EVERYTHING.

(for those of you that haven't read it, there is a really large computer named Deep Thought that is built to come up with the answer to Life, the Universe & Everything. Deep Thought works for a very long time (7.5 Million years to be exact) and it comes up with 42. When they ask the computer what that is supposed to mean, the following ensues
"I checked it very thoroughly," said the computer, "and that quite definitely is the answer. I think the problem, to be quite honest with you, is that you've never actually known what the question is"
"But it was the Great Question! The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything," howled Lookquawl.
"Yes." said Deep Thought with the air of one who suffers fools gladly, "but what actually is it?"
So if you haven't read it, go get it, I promise you will laugh out loud....many many times. As I was just looking through it for the above passage I had troubles not typing in many more lines :-) )

AND of course a quick shout out to my good friend Barb who wrote this fabulous little story.

1 week to go people. 1 week.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

We're Famous!!!!

I called my dad and stepmom (Sue) today and while I was chatting with Sue she asked me what Jason and I were wearing in the race last year. I told her and I heard her say to my dad, "Yep that had to be them"

Thanks to the anonymous commenter (Berner) that pointed us to the marathon movies that are on the Chicago Marathon page. Go here and watch the highlights video (which is awesome and will send your heart a fluttering again)....actually click on the links for 'highlight video' becuase the one that starts playing on the site is really bad quality. Close to the end of the movie they start showing everyone finishing, there is a row of girls that put their hands up in the air and then there is a guy, name Paul on his shirt that says, "Wow", a guy in a orange shirt runs through, a bunch of guys wearing red give each other hugs, a black guy runs through in a white tank top and right after that you will see soon after that you will see two people on the left hand side of the screen. A guy in a white tank top and black shorts and a girl in a teal tank top and royal blue shorts with her hand way up in the air like a monkey......which of course is Jason and I!!!!!!!! hahahaha. Aweseome!

Enjoy the movie.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Getting Anxious?

Well I think 4 posts in one day pretty much shows that I am getting all excited about the race. I keep thinking about the race and our strategy and going back on it and wondering if we should do it a bit different and what is our goal finishing time and yadda yadda. I think I watched that Marathon Movie like 5 times today. Everytime they show the start of the race my heart jumps a little bit and sit up in my chair and remember how awesome that moment is.


We had 5 miles with 6x100m strides tonight. Felt great on all parts of it. We have found a school near us that is about two blocks long on one side, but no street that interrupts the sidewalk, and there is very little foot traffic along that sidewalk, especially around 6pm in the evening.

Tomorrow is off and then 12 on Sunday.

Anyone else out there doing Pfitz think that there are a lot of miles before the race? 5 next Friday and 4 on Saturday. I know these are both recoveries and I know that Pfitz knows more that me so I'll probably do them, just wondering what others were planning on. Last year I did like 2 miles on Thursday and none on Friday or Saturday. I don't really want to question the plan now though.

Ok. Movie time.

The World According to Garp by John Irving

No I didn't forget how to read. But I did read this one a bit slow because of moving and time being less available now that I am not on shifts anymore. Ok on to the review.

Strange to say the least yet really good. I read Cider House Rules a couple of years ago and I wasn't a huge fan. My friend told me it was her favorite book and I read it just to get to the end of it (if that makes sense). Garp was also given to me by a friend who said it was the best book she had read in awhile. I was a bit skeptical after my previous experience with Irving, but I found this book to be a lot better.

T.S. Garp was born to Jenny Fields who was a bit of a nut. The book starts off with descriptions of Jenny's life and how Garp came into the picture and then moves on to follow Garps life as he grows up. It follows him through world travels, first novels, first loves, first kids, second kids, pains of love & life Jenny becomes a famous feminist and Garp has that on his plate as well.

I realize that I am doing a less than stellar job describing this book, probably because I started it so long ago that my memory on the beginning part of the story is a bit vague.....then again it could be that I am not a professional book reviewer. So as usual in this reader's opinion, a good read. I believe, however, it's a book which needs to be sat down with and read for awhile at a time. I was reading a page here and a page there and I think I lost a bit in doing that.

Enjoy. Read On. Run On. Taper On.

Happy Friday!

Too Good To Be True

I know it's early, but here's to hoping things stay the same as it
wouldn't get much better than this!!!!!

New Marathon Movie Trailer

I still don't know when this movie is coming out, but the new trailer is awesome. Lots of shots of the race itself and it makes me all jittery and a bit emotional.

At the end of the trailer there is a line :

When you cross that finish line, no matter how slow, no matter how fast, it will change your life forever.

There can't be a more true statement about my life than that one.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Preview of Winter

On the way into work this morning we had quite a bit of snow coming down. None of it has stuck however, but just a nice little preview of the next few months.

When I woke up to a "feels like" temperature of 30 degrees this morning I realized I am going to have to get my body used to being cold if we are going to be training for an early spring maraton. Of course you do get adjusted and soon enough 30 degrees doesnt' feel too bad, but I am going to have to make sure we have proper clothing/hydrating equipment (they turn off the water fountains on the lakefront path in the winter) to get through the winter months. It will be a very different experience as usually I run just enough to keep in shape, so we'll see what happens when there is a 20 mile run and it's 15 degrees outside.

No running today which is good since I only got a few hours of sleep due to a meeting this morning and a late night shift last night. Tomorrow it's 5 and then Sunday 12 and then it's only


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Street Corner Advice & Consistancy to a T

Today we had a V02 Max workout on the schedule. 8 miles with 3x1600m @5K pace with 2 min recovery between them. After going back and forth between just 8 miles and then 3 of the miles fast or going down to the track and doing laps we opted for the latter. We decided to run the 4 miles to the track, do the 3 miles of quickness and then about .5 more and then get on the bus home.

On the way to the track we did our usual stopping to stretch at 2.5 miles and a woman came up to us and said that she had just started running the day before but her legs were really sore and did we have any advice. Did we have any advice.....me....talk about running? Shut up I hate doing that....oh no wait...I LOVE it. So we gave her some tips and laughed and after she left I asked Jason if he thought standing on a street corner selling running tips could be a lucrative career, he said....well no, but it could be fun :-)

We got to the track and I have to be honest. For some reason I have been dreading this workout for the past many weeks when I first noticed it on the list. I had measured the track on Google Earth before we left and it is exactly .25 miles around so I left Garmin at home and just used my regular digital watch to keep the splits. We started the first one and I kept an eye on each lap so I could know how I was doing, and if I had to make any adjustments. I wanted each lap to be at 1:50. Our first lap was done in 1:42, and the next three were done in 1:50 each giving a total time of 7:10 for the first 1600. We walked/jogged for 2 minutes and started the next one. This one was awesome, each lap was done in exactly 1:50. Exactly. We finished in 7:20. Jogged for another 2 minutes and were consistant again at the 1:50 pace finishing off the third 1600 in 7:18.

I am so happy with this workout. That is a perfect pace for us for a 5K and we felt strong on all three of them. Just more confidence to go into marathon day with.

I am back at the lab tonight for another stupid shift (even though I am not qualified to be there.....in my rant against the paper work I told them if I couldn't be there maybe I should be sent home....oh no we don't want to go that far. I HATE IT!!!!!!!). No running tomorrow, 5 mile recover w/6x100 on Friday, off on Saturday and then 12 on Sunday......me likey the taper.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


That's what I said that all the paperwork is to the head of my experiment. I think we can expect that he won't be giving me a recommendation.

Ok, but please. I have worked here for 2.5 years and all of a sudden I need 4 MORE certificates on things like :
  • personal protective equiptment (make sure you wear shoes to work)
  • environmental hazards (don't eat glue)
  • hazard communications (don't put the phone to your face cause you might break out)
I mean come on! How is this necessary? Apparently all new employees have to take these. I didn't have to take these when I started here. So they waited until they had the tests online for all current users of the lab so they could do them then. Whatever, I have five other training types but apparently being radiation ready or able to assist in the beam pipe just isn't good enough. I hate this bureaucratic government bullshit.

I love it, cause no one here knows how to deal with me. When I ask what's the point, they say, "cause you have to". I LOVE it. My dad can attest that my side of the family does not like this kind of crap.

What a shitty day this ended up being.

Oh yeah....and Jason and I aren't going to get paid 550 dollars of our salary (we get a cost of living adjustment for the move from Southern-Indiana-Hickville to Chicago-Land-Of-Coolness). They knew about this at the end of September, we found out today (yes that's right almost 2 weeks later) that we wont' be getting this. I so was planning on getting that money this month and so spent accordingly. Well, I'll tell you what, I am going to love the blinds and curtains I put up in my bedroom cause I'm probably going to have to be eating them by the end of the month. AWESOME. What makes this even better is that while I was about 2 dollars above minimum wage, now I'm like 50 cents above. See, they aren't treating us like slave labor. Again I say Bullshit.


Ok, pissy act is over. Shift is almost over. Time to go home.

Leg Pain Receding Like....

Jason's hair line (just kidding baby!)

Today was 7 miles with 8x100m thown in for fun. I have been running in my new Brooks Adrenalines for the past three runs and today I really felt the difference. Hardly any shin pain which is nice and the pain I had on the inner lower leg was a lot les. I have really been worrying about my leg pain with the marathon approaching, but it looks like the Saucony's I was running in were the culprit. That and now that I am running a bit less with the taper my legs are having the opportunity to heal up.

Anyways, we are working 4-midnight (I have two shifts that I have to make up for a friend) so we went running around 10am. We ran for about 2.5 miles and then stopped to stretch for about 2 minutes and the continued onto the track. We started sprinting the straightaways and then walking along the curved portions. After the second one I turned around and noticed Jason farther behind me than I was expecting. Apparently he had slightly pulled his groin muscle and so smartly decided to just slowly run the last three laps and stretch after each lap. I continued on with the strides and while they were "ok" I felt really winded which was wierd. I don't think I was recovering enough after each one, but whatever. We both finished about the same time. Ran about 2 more miles and walked another 1 mile to get back to the house.

Jason is currently enjoying the ice bath he is in and I am off to ice massage my shins to keep them feeling healthy.

(I am VERY happy that my legs felt better today!!!! Just wanted to re-interate that :-) )

Monday, October 09, 2006


My feet hit the pavement.
Left Right Left Right
My legs hurt
My shoulders are tired
Left Right Left Right
9 miles to go today
Left Right Left Right
2 weeks left till race day
Left Right Left Right
You can't help but to ask,
All the work, will it pay off?
Left Right Left Right
It's taper time.
It's time to think about why we do this.
To think about why we run.
To think about why we pound the pavement.
Left Right Left Right.

Run On.

From my sister-in-law.

I just love this picture. Thanks Susanne!

Sunday, October 08, 2006


You put the Bears 'C' onto anything, and I will buy it. But I have to say these beer cozies are quite fun. What's the coasters under them? Oh that's Peyton Manning. I can't wait to get the trib tomorrow morning!!! I love the 12 page sports section on the Bears only. This is such a Bears town and boy do we love it when they are good.


Extremely Negative

Don't worry, the title makes is seem worse than it was.

Yesterday's run never got off the ground. On the schedule was a 8-10k tune-up race and, without any races scheduled, we decided to do 5 miles at pace.

That is, we decided to do that the night before. The morning of I could barely drag myself out of bed and then when Leah's shins started acting up again we gave up. 0.8 miles for us and back home to ice and rest. Leah needs to get those shins healthy for the big race and, hell, I never wanted to go for the run in the first place.

This has been a running (heh, "running") theme for me during this taper. My motivation to run has been practically non-existent. This continued with today's long run.

Today Leah and I went out for 16 miles. We were up and out the door by 6:45 and it was a beautiful, albeit cool, Chicago morning. It was 4 miles to the lakefront and then out past McCormick Place, then back home. For Leah, the issue was shin pain. For the first 4 miles or so (I'm guessing here as she doesn't complain much) she had that stupid shin pain we all know and hate. For me, it was more mental. I just didn't want to run and 16 miles seemed so far. As a result, our first four miles were over 9:30 with a couple of them over 10 (minutes, in case that wasn't clear).

Hitting the lakefront, we started to heat up a bit. Our paced picked up into the low 9's and things were getting better. I still felt very, very unmotivated but it's not really all that hard to keep moving forward. You know, left right left right (lather, rine, repeat). There was another brief potty break, the second in two weeks after zero in 2 years for Leah and me, and we continued out 8.25 miles before turning around. A bit after that we took Gu and...


Something happened with that Gu (magic Gu?) as our next miles were almost all under 9 minutes plus some under 8:30. Leah's shins were feeling good, my mind was revived, and we were speedy. My legs felt fresh and strong and the second half of the run was much faster than the first half. It was 16 miles with a very negative split, but a final pace of 9:15 minutes/mile which is about right.

In the end, just another easy, breezy 16. Bring on 26.2.

Friday, October 06, 2006

2.5 Weeks?

Till the Chicago Marathon? Well yes....

but I am talking about the number of weeks it's been since your fearless duo has done laundry. With running we burn through 3 or 4 "outfits" (I use outfits loosly as I work at home and so outfits are t-shirts and jeans....but still) a day. PJs, "work" clothes, running clothes, evening clothes. so waiting to do laundry for so long means that, well you might say, it has piled up. Piled up such that there are no more containers in our apartment to hold it all. This is addition to the few bags of sweaters/whatwasleftattheoldapartment means that the party on Friday night for J&L is at the good ole' laundrymat.

Oh Please, I know you are jealous.

We have 4 miles with 6x100m planned for early evening. We'll run down to the track and sprint on the straight parts and walk on the curvy parts. Tomorrow it's 5 miles at a higher clip, then 16 on Sunday. I might run the 5 tomorrow in my new shoes to get them warmed up to be fast.

Happy weekend everyone.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

To Garmin or Not to Garmin

That is the question.

Tonight on our recovery run (and by recover I mean total recovery at +10min miles 50:14 total) Jason and I were talking about whether or not I should wear the Garmin during the marathon. I think we decided that it has the potential to be a bigger pain in the ass than helpful. I worry about signals being lost and miles then being totally off. Much of the race is through downtown Chicago where the watch could have potential problems. I worry that I will worry more about the watch than about the surroundings and my actual running.

I think I will wear my $30 Timex watch and just hit the lap button every time we get to a mile marker. This is not like a training run where none of the miles are marked so it's helpful to have Garmin at your side. Of course in the marathon all the miles are marked and so I think it will be easier to just hit the "split" button on Timex and see how I am doing on a mile by mile pace rather than being frustrated because the miles on Garmin aren't lining up with the miles on the race course. I did this during the Indy 1/2 and it worked just fine.

That's my opinion for now anyways. What are other Garmin wearers planning on doing. I realize that if you have the attached heart rate monitor it's a different story.

Taper on. Taper. On.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Urban Safari

Today was 8 miles with 5x600m @ 5K pace. Right before we left I read Barb's post mentioning that there was only 2.5 weeks left to race day.


Scary enough, but I realized that I didn't have my shoes yet for the marathon. I have been running in a pair of Saucony's which have been fine, but I have never really loved them. I had been going back and forth with sticking with this style or going back to the Adrenaline stand bys. I remembered how good of a race I had in Indy wearing these shoes (and yes I am a little superstitious about those kinds of things) so I decided if I could find them in my size I would go that route. I called our favorite place, Running Away and to my delight that had a pair for both Jason and I. They said they would only hold them till the end of the day so we hopped in the car and drove over there. Our favorite guy, Tim, was working and we chatted a bit about shoes and why the tops of my feet get this really deep red mark on it when I run and why I was going back to the adrenaline. He gave us some socks, we grabed some tri-berry Gu and our shoes and we were on our way. We parked our car on Augusta and Ashland and started our run from there.

It was 2.8 miles to the track and I just felt....fine except that I am having some horrific shin pain. I am so used to this, but it's JUST.SO.ANNOYING. I feel like my entire lower leg gets really stiff and so I feel like I am running without moving my ankles at all (no heal to toe action).....if that makes any sense.

Since I am pretty sure that the track is a 400m track we decided to do 1.5 laps instead of letting Garmin figure the distance out because I think it has problems on the turns of the track. This worked out fine and our splits were :
  1. 2:23
  2. 2:43
  3. 2:41
  4. 2:43
  5. 2:38
The first one was too fast, but I was really happy with the consistancy of the last four. This was a total distance (according to Garmin) of 2.4 miles with the 200m recoverys we put in there in between the fast stuff.

We did the 2.8 back to the car for exactly 8 miles.

The run was a bit annoying because, although I realize that running down Chicago Ave, I am bound to get caught by some lights, tonight I got caught by every single one. It just got so annoying after awhile. I should leave later if I am running at night so at least if I miss the light, there would be less traffic.

Where does the safari come in?

As we were coming home, with about a half mile to go we were running by these apartments. All of a sudden a gigantic dog behind a fence barks like I am trying to come in and rob the place. It was so loud and so surprising and so close (just on the other side of a fence) that I jumped in the air and screamed! Then about .1 miles later we were running under a viaduct and pidgon was flapping around and scared me a bit too.

See, we city kids have wild life too.

Run Far Fast! (not for 3 weeks though!)

Taper Madness

Between those who read this site and those who write on it, many of us are entering the marathon taper. Last year the taper was pretty awful for me. I was always tired, felt sick, and couldn't run three miles in consecutive order.

This year, Runners World had an article on tapering that I thought wat pretty interesting. I totally forgot about it until Josh mentioned it over on his site. I tracked down the actual article and think it's worth a read, especially for first-timers.

Taper Traps

Monday, October 02, 2006

Because Pictures are Fun (and everyone loves them)

Because our cat Dagny is awesome and iPhoto is addictive :

Because our cat is clingy :

Because Aaron is a riot :

Because it was sad moving out of our old place :

Because our new place is tons of fun :


A great article for all you Bears fans out there.

Oh Sweet Love of the Taper

Well folks. The race is 20 days away. Say it slowly Perry Cox style (that's a little shout out to Lisa and Evin or any other Scrubs fans) :

Tweeeeeeennnnnnnntyyyyyyyyy Daaaaaaaaaaaysssssssss Leeeeeeeeeeeeft



Don't freak out.

I am starting to be pissed at myself for missing some runs during this training series, and for doing some too slow. What if I had made every run. Would I still have Boston in my eyes as I did at the beginning of the summer. What if I could have been tougher and gotten runs in, even after working midnight - 8am or after our initial move to the apartment when Jason and I schelpped stuff in cars for roughtly 40 hours on 3 hours of sleep. What if....

What if life hadn't gotten in my flippin' way.

Well then it wouldn't be called life I guess. I did what I could given the hours that Fermilab handed me, and well it's just going to have to be enough.

Now it's time to taper (how fun was it looking at the schedule for the week? It was beauty!) and time to reflect on the race itself. What's our plan? When do we start to kick it? 20 miles 15 miles? 23 miles? Will we be able to be tough in those last 6 miles? How many times will we get gatorade or water? How many places are we going to see family? How do we make it as great of an experience as last year (last year by the way I told Jason at mile 15 that I would NEVER ever do this again.....then I finished......can't beat that feeling).

Jason and I are working on our plan and talking about how we want to race it. Last year it was all about finishing, this year it's about finishing.....but finishing in 4 hours or less :-)

20 days people. 20. days.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

22 Miles!!!!

we DID it!!!!

22 miles pacing 9:19 miles. We ran for 3 hours and 25 minutes. The pace includes all stops including a bathroom stop for mr. jason.

This was a specatular run. It was a beautiful day in the city and we ran all the way to the Museum of Science and Industry. that has always been a landmark that I have alway wanted to run to. We also ran along side the Chicago Half marathon which was fun.

I feel more confident about the 26.2 coming up in 3 weeks now. I think we can break 4 hours as while we were running the miles that were around 9 min/miles felt VERY comfortable and effortless.

ok one more trip to the old pace for last minute stuff then nap time!

(i realize that this isn't the most brilliant post....but mrs. leah is a bit sleepy :-)!!!! but she's very excited about the run and wanted to get it down!)