Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bears Eating Colts!

This picture was on the front page of the Chicago Tribune this morning. These are two of the Bears at Brookfield Zoo....eating a Colt helmet pinata! How do you not love it!

Yesterday we had volleyball in the evening and so there was no running. I did however warm up before the match with 15 minutes on a Precore machine. I think I could probably make it 30 mintues before I want to kill myself out of bordom but as far as indoor machines go they are probably my favorite. We played three great games of volleyball and even though we didn't win any games all the games were within a couple points of each other so at least we didn't get blown out.

After the game we did some weights which for me consisted of bicep curls, tricep work, shoulder work, bench press (but not the real one cause it was being used and so I used the machine flavor one) and then lower back. I don't really know what I am doing, but my arms hurt today so I guess that's good. I really should buy a book and get some kind of routine going. We worked out at the gym that is at Fermilab which we are members of. It kinda sucks as a gym, but it's super cheap and we have already paid for a year so we are going to try and go 2-3 times a week. We'll for sure work out on Monday's after volleyball and then try and get in there some other day of the week. After the weights I did the ab workout that I have been doing for the past week. I am starting to be able to add to the number I do of each kind so I guess that is progess right?

And last but not least......a photo of our current evening skyline. Go Bears!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Now you've done it

You had to go and draw on the Holy Peyton Manning Coasters. Not a wise move.

Courtesy of Deadspin, we have the true result of a Bear/Colt matchup. I hate to bring out the big guns, but that's what you get for mocking Peyton.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Getting through Two

Two runs that is not two miles. And seriously the best two runs that I have had in WEEKS!

After getting home on Friday we decided to move our run to Saturday...just cause. It was a really nice afternoon and we opted for a really long walk around the neighborhood and a stop in a local cafe to read our books.

Saturday morning we got up early and got to the Laundrymat before it became Bad Laundrymat with people doing mini-vans full of laundry, came home and ate some oatmeal for breakfast and then headed out for our run. All I knew is that I wanted to run 6 miles and I let my body dictate the rest. Well I guess my little body was ready (finally) for a bit harder of a workout as it pushed itself through some fast miles. The splits were like this :
  1. 9:22
  2. 8:55
  3. 8:39
  4. 8:09
  5. 8:13
  6. 7:42 (that's right...that's a 7 in the first column and is not a mistype!)
Man, it wasn't even that tough. I was breathing hard, but my legs weren't asking to slow down. The best thing about this run was just that it went. So many runs before the big breakdown were labored, every mile was tough no matter what speed and putting up miles that were under 9 minutes was close to impossible. After this run I was even more sure about my decision to cut back on the weekly mileage.

The song, Have You Fed the Fish by Badly Drawn Boy (which was part of my running mix that day is) :

Sometimes you've got to rewind to go forward

It seemed so true while I was out there. If I hadn't cut back and in a sense started fresh, I don't how long it would have been until my whole life went out of control. It's not surprising that I cut back because there wasn't another option. The other option was me having a total and complete breakdown, which...well we don't want Jason to see that side of Crazy...just yet.

We enjoyed a lazy lazy rest of the day on Saturday filled with movies and nachos (which I love because that's what we had for dinner......yes I am truely an adult because I can do that...remember being kids and your parents said, "when you are an adult you can have whatever you want for dinner...." well that happened).

This morning we woke up to temps of 14F with feels like temps of 0F. We busied ourselves in the apartment reading the Sunday paper and having some breakfast and watching a recorded episode of Heros (we are all caught up now....uh.....hello awesome show) and cleaning the house. Around 12:30 I couldn't wait any longer. I made the case to Jason and he finally, begrudgingly perhaps, agreed to go out for a run. The temperature was up to 18F with feels like 4F which is a bit better.

And you know what.

It was another great one. 4.32 miles in 40:19 or 9:19 min/mile....not bad for "just getting out there". It was cold at times, but really it wasn't too bad. Having good quality winter running gear is the most important thing. My new tights were fantastic and I simply wore a Brooks thin long sleeve shirt, a Nike mock turtleneck and then this jacket thing. None of it is very heavy, but I have to say, I was pretty toasty.

I have also been doing ab work and pushups every day for the past 5 days.....I don't know if it's doing much, but I'm going to try and keep fitting in everyday.....I AM going to florida and the bahamas in about a month.....granted eating Nachos for dinner isn't going to help my abs pop out...but oh well. I'm going to do what withing what I CAN and what I WANT.

So a good weekend of running and relaxing and it's only one more week till it's


AND I get to see my DAD!!! who is flying in on Saturday (just to be in Chicago when the Bears are in the Superbowl). I am so excited for this weekend. Jason gave me this Bears blanket for my birthday and even though our living room is about as cold as it is outside, I have used it on the window (now that's a fan)....oh yeah...we don't own ANY Colts gear....except for little Peyton Manning coasters which I have written on ....HA.

(on the left it says, "OUCH!!! These Bears are kicking my ass and on the right, "I want my mommy"
Jason said I made him laugh so hard his sides hurt....sarcasim perhaps?)

Friday, January 26, 2007

It's Not Magic

I do this all the time. I think that well, I could run 10 miles like 4 weeks ago, so why shouldn't I be able to do 9 miles it now.

Cause you haven't run for 2 weeks that's why.

We went 5.5 miles yesterday instead of the 9 miles that is on the marathon training schedule. I'm not thilled that I didn't get through the 9...but on the other hand, I'm thrilled that I am using this time in my running career to listen to my body because I really don't HAVE to run that 9 miles. Over the summer there isn't much freedom in running what you want and where you want and the speed you want because you are knee deep in marathon training (by you I mean me....maybe I should be using 'one' where 'one' is a marathon runner....anyways).

Other interests about the run, it wasn't super cold out only about 18F....but I didn't wear the one up level of warmth in my running clothes. I should have opted for my tights and this warmer jacket that I have just for a higher comfort level. We also got stopped by every freakin' light in the city. blah. Oh well. We had a great time chatting and laughing and....well I don't know....it was just one of those, "Well shit we aren't going to make the 9 miles, but....oh well. Let's just do what we can and head home."

We have also decided to just do the 1/2 marathon in Sarasota and treat is as a long run that my mom can watch :-) I don't think we'll be going for any PRs in the half because we had such a great race in Indy last year, which we were really prepared for and so were able to get the time low. I guess I would like to be around 2 hours for the 1/2....that's the idea anyways. From now until then, I'm just going to keep enjoying the running and getting through what I can. There should be some icy rain tonight....which of course is awesome.

I'm going to try and do 6 tonight and then maybe 10-12 on Sunday.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Starting Again

Yesterday we ran....yep we ran a whole 4 MILES!!!! I'm not sure what the average pace was, but somewhere under 9min/miles and under 10min/miles, which is right about where we should be.

The rest of the week is looking like :
Thur : 9 miles
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday : Movie marathon on my couch
Sunday : 18...really...what....ok

That's the idea anyways. We'll have to see how Sunday goes, but I am planning on just taking it slow and steady and hopefully it won't be too cold to enjoy it....I'm guess the iPod will be taken with Eye of the Tiger and Unwritten on repeat. That's right, I love that song Unwritten. shut up.

Jason and I are also looking into joining a gym. Has anyone been a member of Cheetah gyms in the city? Aside from the high initial (called initiation fee.....i hope that doesn't involve jason dressing up as a woman) it seems reasonable for 2 people. I am also interested in Crunch gyms....from looking at their website...they look wacky. For the rest of the month they have a fre cheap starting fee. If anyone has any tips on either of these places please let me know. Or if you know of something else....I did like the YMCA in lakeview, but it's not near my house anymore.

9 miles tonight.....only 9....I can handle that.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Today will be first run (just 4 miles) since the Colts and Bears both made The Super Bowl!!!!

Speaking of which (not that it's been on our minds or anything), what the hell am I going to do? Which team do I want to win? I honestly have no idea. When in doubt, make a list:

Bears Pro:
  • Hell yeah! Living in Chicago when the Bears win the Super Bowl? Are you kidding me?
  • Wife will be happy and that makes me happy
  • In-laws will be happy and it's always good to be in with the in-laws
  • I am a legitimate Bears fan. I've been a fan since 2001 when I first lived here and have suffered through Jonathan Quinn and Craig Krenzel. I may not be a fan like some of you, but I'm as much of a fan as you can become in 6+ years.
  • I've actually watched every Bears game this year and attended two of them. I've seen somewhere around 6 Colts game this season, if that many. While it's true that we just root for laundry, I "know" the Bears players better.
Colts Pro:
  • Sure, I'll be in Chicago when the Bears win the Super Bowl, but will I be the only unhappy person in Chicago? Or maybe slightly happy while everyone else is peeing themselves?
  • Wife will be unhappy, but I'll be happy (other than the wife being unhappy which will make me unhappy. But which will win out? undecided)
  • Actual family will be happy including a brother in Indianapolis
  • I've been a Colts fan about twice as long as I've been a Bears fan, a loyalty which was emphatically clinched during the amazing 1995 season.
  • I really want Peyton to win a Super Bowl to shut up the nay-sayers. I hate when people say nay.
  • I hate Tom Brady. Not really relevant, I just wanted to put that out there.
I don't know, it seems to come out to a draw. The thing is, I can make all the lists I want, but the fact is that a rooting interest is a visceral thing. I'm sure I'll know where my true loyalties lie after the first score.

Frankly, I like Leah's cousin Lisa's suggestion for survive the Bears/Colts game at a Chicago bar: Big cheers for the Bears, tiny fist pumps for the Colts.

Go Colts!!
Go Bears!!
Go Colts!!
Go Bears!!
Come on tie!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Will Start Again...Tomorrow

I'm giving myself one more day of recovery...why...cause I want to (& cause the schedule says so) :-)

Last night even with the slight headaches that we were carrying around with us, we managed to make it our volleyball game at 7:30. Apparently all the drinking really helped Jason as the Ref asked him if had been practicing or training anywhere in the last few weeks. He's really learning how to hit the ball hard and surprised everyone on our team the first time he did it. So surprised actually that non of us were ready for the other team to actually return the ball and so lost a point. I made a few good plays as well and am always surprised to see how much Jason and I have improved since we started playing a few years ago.

We have decided to give the Hal Higdon plan a try until the marathon and then depending on how we are feeling we will choose to run the marathon or half marathon in Sarasota. The general form of the schedule is Cross training mondays (this is perfect because we have volleyball anyways), Off on Tuesday (great because I'm not 100% from my weekend festivities today), Runing on Wed, Thur and Friday and then running long on Sundays. This plan works much better for winter running and can keep me in the game at work as well.

In very exciting news, my dad is coming to Chicago the weekend of the Superbowl!!!! He can't stand being out of the city when one of his teams is in a final game, so it's time to start making a game plan for Game Day.

So.....you know what I'm going to say now right...

GO BEARS !!!!!
(My posts are done rooting for the Colts)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Greatest Weekend Ever.....IT HAPPENED

I am pretty much without words on the greatness of the past weekend.

The weekend started out with the Cubs convention. We went to this last year and I've got to say this year there was a lot more excitement in the air about the team. With a new coach and a load of new players I think we are going to be good this year. I realize that the Convention is just a big weekend of advertising for the Cubs....BUT this year it was different. I like the new coach and....well it just sounds like they are going to be....well good....so GO CUBS.

Oh yeah and Mark Grace graced Cubs fans with his presence at the Convention for the first time since he was traded out of the city. We went to a session called, 'The Boys of Zimmer' that Grace was at along with about 7 other players from the 89 Cubs team. It was a really really fun session with lots of funny stories from that year....we learned that Zimmer frequently said, "Because I'm the manager". When asked why players weren't in the lineup....they would be told.....Because I'm the manager. Except when Grace asked the same question and was told, "Because today son, I want to win". Ha.

Sunday saw us with a day full of football. We got to our local bar at 10:45 (that's right). We got a Bloody Mary and read the NY Times for awhile. The place was jammed about 1.5 hours before game time so I was happy to have a seat at the Bar even if I HAD to get there early. I don't have any words about the Bears win. I am speechless. Everyone was hugging eachother and high fiving and cheering and just well...shit....just amazing.

After the Bears game we stayed in our seats for the Colts game. There was too much celebrating to leave....and Jason didn't want to miss any of the game.....so we stayed. The drinking slowed down a bit at this point (note...I'm not "bragging"....just telling the story of the weekend...that's just for you anonymous). After the Colts won, the bartender bought us shots as he was rooting for the Pats.....don't know if I needed it...but I took it.

On the way home from the game, we high fived anyone we saw on the sidewalk and gave them a, "How 'bout dem Bears!!!" We stopped by Lisa and Evin's to cheer some more.....apologies again for bring our ashtray/beer/shot smelling selves into their apartment :-). We stayed for about 10 mintues and continued home...where we fell asleep to Sports Center and Bears Highlights.

Today I can't read/listen to enough Bears talk. So. Happy.

Go Bears!!!!!!!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

WE ARE SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO BEARS!!!!!!!!!!


Friday, January 19, 2007

Getting ready for the weekend


Okay, we tried this last year and things ended badly. Last year we had the same setup: Cubs Convention, Cubs Convention, Bears, Colts. It seemed like it would go down as the greatest sports weekend ever, but it ended up sad in the end.

This year, it should be even better. One of the writers for Goat Riders is staying with to take in the Cubs' festivities and, not only do we have playoff football, we have insane playoff football. It's the Bears and Colts playing for the Super Bowl. And, to top it off, the Colts are playing the hated Patriots. It's almost too much to handle.

So what will it be? GREATEST SPORTS WEEKEND EVER or The Weekend that Could Have Been. Whatever, I'm excited either way.

So, with our Canadian friends coming in to visit, I'm staying home to welcome them (and to clean) and Leah's at work (I suppose I got the better end of the deal). Tonight we're going to play a little Cubs bingo and then grab a few drinks with some fellow Cub bloggers and then tomorrow is the big day at the Convention with Q&A sessions and, of course, Mark Grace. Go Cubs.

So, if you happen to be at the Convention, look for us. We'll be the ones in the Cubs hats.

Go Cubs!!
Go Bears!!!
Go Colts !!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

What Fun

Yesterday is how I wish every day would go. The alarm went off at 5am and I instantly jumped in the shower (ok ok actually at 5:09...but that's just one snooze cycle) and got myself totally woken up. I worked from 6:30am-2:30am, Laundry from 3:30-6pm.

And then. I went running. I just went three miles. I didn't do it very fast, but I had a great time. I used my new warm pants that I got on Christmas which were wonderful, if not a bit TOO warm which is nice since it was 19 out and so those should take me down to temps as low as they'll get here in Chicagoland.

Then we just relaxed, ate some dinner and watched American Idol and headed to bed. It was just a day that flowed like it was suppose to flow and things got done like they are supposed to.

Then this morning happened and the alarm went off again at 5am, but I didn't exit the confines of my electric blanket until 6:10.....blah. Oh well, I'lli just work until 3:30. Another big night of cleaning....not quite as much happened on Tuesday as I thought had happened.... so we'll be busy tonight getting that together.

Alright, I'm on to tackle Thursday.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Back On it Tonight...Perhaps

After getting off of the running train for the past few days, I can hear the whistle blowin' and it's heading to my stop (you like how I did that.....running train, but then refered to a real train...my God I am clever).

One of the other writers over on Goatriders (Death for those of you that follow) will be hanging out with us this weekend and staying at our apartment for the Cubs convention. We are both excited to meet him and his girlfriend.....but as we didn't want them to run screaming when they saw our apartment we decided to start cleaning up....that's right kids....we starting cleaning sooner than midnight the night before we had company....maybe we really are growing up. We did majority of the apartment last night, are off to the laundrymat tonight (again two weeks after we went last time) and then tomorrow it'll be finishing up the bedrooms/hallway and last minute pickup.

I feel bad because our apartment has the worst heating I have ever seen in an apartment. The air vents are all on the ceiling AND the closest one to the living room is in the dining room and as far away from the living room you could get. Our living room has three windows which face that brisk Chicago air....SO we are hoping that Death and his lady bring their thick Canadian blood :-) since that is most likely where the airbed will be placed. There might be a solution of putting the air mattress in our second bedroom where there is a heating vent and there might be some relief from the cold, but some rearragement and storing of desks/computers will be happening.

Facinating I know.

Anyways, we might try and throw in about 3 miles tonight after the laundry is done just to get back out there. I am surely missing the running, or at least the running that allows me to clear my head and not the running that was giving me panic attacks when I thought about it. Looking at the novice Hal Higdon Marathon Plan starting with week 12, I think I can easily make it through the end of it and then I'll have to try and treat the marathon as a fun little game and take my time and blah blah...or just run the half. Either way if I finish out on that I think I'll be prepared for either although won't be going for a PR in either one. This is a small race, so I don't know how exciting it'll be to be stuck out in lala land gutting out a marathon...we'll just have to see how the next few weeks go.

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007



One of the Best Ever

Well I have to say, that was, by far one of the best weekends Jason and I have had in a long while (at least in my opinion). I'm putting a warning out ahead of time....this will be a long post (and you thought my race reports were long)....but if you want to see funny pics of the OOSG and the Jayhawk looking *slightly* ridiculous in bike helmets at about 1am on a Saturday night....I say read through it :-) Plus there are lots of pictures.....to help get through all the words!

I should also mention off the bat that Jason and I will not be continuing on with the Pfitz marathon plan for Sarasota. That's not to say we aren't going to run the marathon, but the Pfitz plan was just too much at this point.....which of course left the weekend wide freakin' open for bad (but fun) behavior.

On Friday night we went to a puppet preformance with our friends Jake and Laura. It took place at Link's Hall in Wrigleyville. Both of the live preformances were wonderful.....some of the movies were wonderful....then a very long.....very artsy (I use the word artsy, because maybe had I been more artsy I would have understand what the hairy chef who was a communist meant...).....movie happened. The show ended up being 3 hours and we all agreed after it was over that we all would have been happy if it was about 30-40 minutes shorter.....and no one understood the artsy movie so that made me feel better. After the show we went to the Pick Me Up Cafe on Clark and enjoyed desserts and giant cups of coffee. Yes giant mocha latte at 12:15....I wouldn't be doing that if I had to run the next day...ha...but I didn't....and I LOVE IT. Jason and I stayed up till about 3am watching movies which I don't know the last time I was up that late.

On Saturday we got up late and headed for the Blue Line. Both the restaurant on Damen and the actual train. The Blue Line is our new favorite breakfast place with great food....and cheap bloody mary's (although a tad on the too spicey side). After breakfast we jumped onto the Blue Line and headed downtown (that's right...downtown!) We had plans to go ice skating so we walked down to Michigan Ave and over to Millenium Park. It was fun being around the Bean because there was not many people there. In the summer it's jammed and you have to work you way to the front to get pictures taken. There was probably only about 15-20 people around the Bean and so we had lots of opportunities to get the pictures in. We ended up liking watching the ice skaters better than joining them and opted for more walking around the city instead. We hit up (of course) Garrett's Popcorn for two bags of treats (one mix and one carmel only....man that shit is good) and enjoyed the rest of the South Loop for about an hour. We jumped back on the Blue Line and it was back home just in time for the Colts game.

The Colts won of course which is very exciting for Jason....but we are getting close to a Bears/Colts Superbowl...oh wait, I haven't even gotten to the Bears game yet....hold that thought.

After the Colts game we headed downtown for Dawn's birthday party. We met up with Mike and Barb at their condo, petted their new bikes, grabbed some dinner and headed over to Dave and Buster's where the party was taking place. Many beers were consumed (not enough for Barb and I to tackle Dance Dance Revolution...), trivia, skeeball, baskeball and football were all played, tickets were awarded...prizes were bought with said tickets, laughter ensued...you get the idea. After the party we went back to Mike and Barb's for more beer, more laughter. I got the kids drunk enough to model their new biking gear.....Jason and I have much jealousy about the bikes + gear...it's all very cool! (Great sentance....is it a better sentance because I added the exclamation point?), We got home late again, saw 3am pass on on our clock before heading to bed.

OH RIGHT....AND Mike took my BP and it was absolutly normal at 120/80 so I say screw you to the doctors making me all nervous.

We got up around 10am on Sunday morning (yep that's right....missing another run) a little foggy headed from the beers the night before. We literally, got up, brushed our teeth and headed out for the Bears game. We ended up at Cans and grabbing the last two seats at the bar (this was 45 minutes before game time) and settling in for the long haul. We had some breakfast which was pretty terrible...stick to their non-breakfast food, bloody mary's (delicious) and waited for the start of the game.

The Bears of course pull out the win in a great ending, Rex had a good game throwing for 280ish yards and so we hope to see Good Rex back again next week. Now then.....the bar was crazy style. Jason and I were drinking like we had just discovered beer (seriously my beer would be empty almost instantly), we were buying shots....everyone there was so freakin' happy. This town is obscene when the Bears are good (just look at the picture I took of the ART INSTITUTE the day before...that's right...that's a 'Go Bears' Banner). I fucking love this town.

Ok then.....the next few hours are a little on the hazy side....let's just say that.

In an interesting playoff the Patriots beat out the Chargers (which I actually preditcted because I thought the Chargers were overrated......and everyone had them pegged to win the Superbowl....and didn't talk about them getting through round 1) which means an always fun and exciting Colts/Patriots playoff game next weekend. So go Colts. I hate the Colts, but really, how can people hate Peyton....I know that if he played for your team, you would find the love. He could be one the best QB's of all time, and I am hoping that he can overcome his playoff happy feet on Sunday. Now then, if they and the Bears win....well then.....I will of course hate Peyton and hope that he gets a big ole' face full of Brian.

Right then....oh yeah. hazy hours....yes, around 6pm I threw myself in the shower becasue we had game night at Mike and Barbs and had to get it together and head over there. I would like to say I sobered up a little......but well I don't know....maybe just a tad. We had oodles of fun at game night, which is obvious with this video of Mike playing our favorite game Time's Up. Lots of games, lots of snacking, more beer.....blech.

We headed home around 1am and were lucky enough to catch the bus back to our neighborhood. Someone behind us might have had too much fun watching the bears game as he got sick all over the place. I didn't see anything or smell anything as I was pretty far ahead of him....BUT that doesn't mean I couldn't hear anything. Nas-ty. As we were getting ready to get off the bus we talked to the driver about DA BEARS and how awesome they are and how they are go to the Superbowl.....EVERYone is a Bears fan!

Another night late to bed....and late to rise which apparently was our mantra this weekend. At about 11:30 we headed over to Lisa and Evin's to check out their new wedding furniture stuff. We left there around 12:15 because Lisa's brother had given us tickets for the 1pm Bulls game. We had seats in the 4th row behind the Spurs bench were such incredible seats. My god are pro basketball players athletic....which you can really see that close. Kirk Hinrich had a great game going for a double double. The Bulls easily beat the Spurs thus ending a great sports weekend.

We were lazy for the rest of the day although I did make a big dinner for the first time in awhile which was so super tasty.

AND if we thought this past weekend was a great sports weekend, then this upcoming weekend is just going to blow our minds. We have tickets to the Cubs convention (and Mark Grace is going to be there...so I might be thrown in prison for jumping him) on Friday and Saturday and then it's Bears & Colts playing for the Superbowl on Sunday. Last year during the weekend of the Cubs convention we were planning on the greatest sports weekend ever because the Bears and the Colts were playing their first playoff game and no one thought either one was going to lose. Of course they both broke our hearts and it ended up being a craptastocweekend (although I still got my picture taken with Andre Dawson so that was good). Let's hope that the Bears and Colts pull out wins which I think with just good (not great) play it shouldn't be a problem.

So there. So that was a very long post. If you made it this far, thanks for sticking around. As far as running, I am just going to try and do some miles for fun this week. We have friends in town this weekend so we might not fit any in since we'll be cleaning and laundrymatting and so on. But that's ok........

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Sometimes Things Have To Go

Thanks for all the comments everyone. The doctor's appointment was "ok". My BP was still pretty high, 150/90 (so I guess slightly better). The doctor wanted me to go on BP medication if I wanted to stay on the Pill. I told him that I don't usually have high BP and for the last few years it's been around 120/70 and how I didn't understand how a 27 year old marathon runner could be having issues with this now. He gave me a one month refill of the pill and I'm going back in a couple weeks to have it checked again and possibly have some blood work done. I know sometimes people's BP goes up when they go to the doctors and it's fine when they are at home....so maybe that's a part of it. Anyways, I'll know more in two weeks or so.

Jason and I were talking last night and we came to the conclusion that if something doesn't give then I am really going to have a heart attack in the next few months. As it stands now it's looking like the Sarasota marathon is off the table. My typical day is like this :
  • 5am : Wake up
  • 5:45 : Leave for Work
  • 6:30-3pm : Work
  • 3-4 : commute home
  • 4-4:30 : get ready to go run
  • (on long running days) 5-7 : run
  • 7:30-8:30 dinner
  • 9pm : in bed reading
What is missing from the schedule. ANY TIME TO JUST BE!!! Everything is stacked back to back and there isn't even an extra hour in there to read or go for a walk or anything.

One of our favorite things to do in Chicago is take the el downtown get some Garrett's popcorn (you Chicagoans know what I'm talkin' about) and just walk around the city....for hours. When is the last time we did that....oh I don't know....YEARS ago. Everything is based on what time I have to run and what kind of run it is and where I am going to be doing the run, which is actually fine, but I am starting to feel very smothered.

In the summer, our runs end up being time we get to spend outside. It's not such a big deal because I LOVE being outside in the summer and the longer the run the better because I just get to be out there longer. In the summer we already play the, "I can't stay out late on Saturday night because I have a 20 miler tomorrow". Again, most of our friends are in the same boat and so they tend to understand. But now, I am starting to play that game in the winter, which is totally unfair. We have 4 things happening this weekend
  1. Play tonight with our friends Jake & Laura
  2. Birthday Party tomorrow night at Dave and Busters
  3. DA BEARS Noon on Sunday & Hanging with Mike & Barb on Sunday night.
Here's what happeend in my head :

Ok, gotta get up early on Friday so I can get the LT run in at the lab around 2pm, so I can get home in time to shower and head to the play. Saturday morning, gotta get up early go to the laundrymat, do a 5 mile recovery, nap perhaps and head out to Dave and Busters for about an hour since I have to get up early on Sunday for an 18miler because I want to be done with thtat by 10:30, so I can get showered and get to the bar to watch the game. Then it's off to Mike and Barbs where Mike can take my BP and tell me it's 200/120 :-)

Which is fine....but....I don't know if I can do this two times a year. If I could cut those long midweek runs out of the schedule that could help.

Aside from all the above my work has to get more attention than it's been getting. I have to have a result soon and sitting here worrying about my running schedule isn't helping anything.



There are two options as it stands right now. Either I can scrap the marathon all together and perhaps run the 1/2 marathon that is taking place at the same time. OR I can get off this Pfitz plan and use Hal Higdon's Novice schedule and run the marathon just for fun and just to finish and not worry about the time at all. I know following this I won't complete the race as fast as I did Chicago last year, but I would still be able to get through it. His Novice plan is only 4 days a week with no speed work and maxes out at 40 mpw, which shouldn't be a huge problem. So instead of :

Monday : 0
Tuesday : 5
Wednesday : 12
Thursday : 0
Friday : 11w/LT
Saturday : 5
Sunday : 18

It would something like this (maybe bumping things up one day since I volleyball on Mondays which could be the cross training) :

Monday : 0
Tuesday : 3
Wednesday : 7
Thursday: 4
Friday : 0
Saturday : 15
Sunday : Cross

Which obviously is way way easier. AGAIN I realize that I won't be as prepared for the race, but I might be able to cut a huge amount of stress out of my life and keep up with the running at the same time.

If we scrap the races all together I'll just be running for fun....and to get out of my head (if that makes any sense). Running until I feel like stopping and then turning around and going home.

Anyways, I would love to hear any opinions. It's really hard for me to admit that I have failed at something I have tried, but at this point, my health has to come first. I cannot be wound this tight and live a happy life.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I'm a Worrier

Alright, well I am. I worry about everything from why I couldn't get through the run last night (actually I do know this...it was cold and SOMEONE didn't dress warm enough) to my parents to my future to the fact that I have about zero dollars to "what will I do when I grow up" to I'm going to be a lousy parent because I am going to be so worried that I won't let them do anything (yes I realize that I am years away from the kiddies, but that doesn't mean I can't start worrying now....) to well anything



I have a Doctors appointment today to go and talk about my blood pressure issue and to see if it's stress based or if I really have a problem. I would be very surprised if there is something really wrong with me considering a 27 year old marathon runner who eats "pretty" healthy should not have high blood pressure. What really pisses me off was back in college when I ate very unhealthy (bagels and cream cheese.....oh dorm food how I loved you) was super stressed about classes, drank and partied like there was no tomorrow I had a very low blood pressure reading....maybe I should go back to that spectacular way of life.


I had to tell my boss what happened yesterday since I am leaving work early for the appointment and so will be missing out on meeting with him and he asked if I knew what it was and I told him that I didn't know, but that the last 4 weeks of my life have been pretty awful (read : worst in my life) so perhaps that had something to do with. At least this gives me something else to worry about.

Right the run :-) We went about 3.75 miles out and Jason was frozen and I was not great, but felt ok. Since there is no need for him to get even colder since we had to go another 2.5 or so out we turned around. No big deal in the end. The weather looks awesome for tomorrow (does sarcasm work in blogging?). Mid-upper 30s and raining all day, so I am hoping that I'll be able to LT it up with not too many problems.

Alright. maybe I should take some shots of whatever before the docs appointment to calm me down.......kidding......really.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

High BP

I just got back from Planned Parenthood to restart my birth control pills. At this point I am only taking them to control my mentral cycle since it can get out of hand when I'm off (at least from what I remember since I have been on the pill for so long).

Anyways, apparently my blood pressure has sky rocketed to 168/100. (last year this time it was 120/70)

Since the pill can increase the chance for heart attacks/stroke they won't refill it. Which I totally understand since they don't want a lawsuit on their hands.

But now I am totally worried about it and know that if I go and get it retaken it will be higher since I am worried about it being taken in the first place. Plus work is getting worse not better AND now that I can't get the pill my cycle is going to be fucking awful...and what timing, I should have my period right during the marathon. awesome. I am guessing the highness is based on stress, but I see no aleviation of any thing and so now what.

I have really shitty insurance, but now I have to try and find a doctor that is in plan and see how much it's going to cost to get this checked again and/or taken care of.

today fucking sucks.

**Update : My old doctor I had when I was a kid is actually in my student health insurance plan. The student health insurance actually isn't so bad. It looks like you pay for everything up to $100 and after that it's a $10 copay which I can handle.**

oh 5am..I Remember You

Son of a Bitch.

Well so much for 5am wakeups. Apparently that's already out the window as I hit snooze for about an hour and got up at 6:15 this morning. I have to get it together tonight because I absolutly have to be up and at work early on Friday because I can't get home late because I have plans with some friends AND an 11mile LT run. So I have to move like clockwork that day.

Last night we did a 5 mile recovery which was really nice. Not fast at all, but just getting the legs working and running again in cold weather. It has been so beautiful here the last few weeks that I forgot what it was like to run in the lower 30s. I'm always really worried about it...then I run a few steps and realized that I'm going to be perfectly fine and by the end I'm totally warmed up.

Tonight is a 12 mile run, then off Tomorrow, 11w/LT on Friday, 5 on Saturday and 18 on Sunday. I am going with this is one of those weeks where I shouldn't be looking ahead in the schedule, because when I do I want to curl up into a little ball and cry. One day at a time. 12 miles I can totally do that

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Integrity, Volleyball wins and M&M's

Yesterday, I came to find out that the "help" that my office mate provided two weeks before Christmas which sent me into an emotional tailspin was probably wrong. So wrong in fact that when I talked to other people about it (yesterday) they looked at me like I was a complete moron. Which makes me wonder whether or not this fellow either

a) purposly gave me wrong information which I wouldn't put past him (because once he told us about this other dude here that did that and when he told the story he seemed to think it was really funny) or
b) he didn't really look at what I was doing and hence gave me half assed advice.

Either way, I have to wonder why people don't like to help. How does this person gain if I come off looking like a dumbass. Laughing with your friends or girlfriend or other coworkers? I mean I know I'm funny...but come on. Or is it just, "Look how clever I am, now this stupid girl can question whether she should be here at all and she'll spend two weeks vomiting and crying every night and I'll come off like the genius because I'm graduating and now she'll probably miss another deadline." Awesome. Now some people might say that I tend to exagerrate and that my office mate wasn't really trying to lead me astry, but I don't know....he's too good at physics to have let me go down this path. Maybe it's that he's trying to graduate and is so busy that he's annoyed with me asking him questions or doesn't really have time to look at what I am doing. Either way I am done going to him for help for fear of inconveniencing him and hoping to not waste another 4 weeks (that's right....4 weeks).

No running yesterday as it was an off day, but we did win all three of our volleyball games which is always fun and the first time we have one more than one out of three on a game day. Go us. Does it matter that the team didn't have everyone there....no.....

Dark Chocolate M&M's are by far the most delicious things in the world. I have nothing more to say about that.

5 mile recovery tonight....

Monday, January 08, 2007

Running Long, Vince Sighting, Santa doing Calistenics

Yesterday brought the dreaded super exciting long run of the week. We had 17 miles on the table and since we haven't had a long run, well, yet in this training cycle (since we have missed some runs), we were both a bit nervous. On Friday I was up at 4:30am and went to bed around 1am, got up at 6:30am on Saturday for meetings and so I crashed pretty hard when we went to bed on Saturday night. So hard in fact that I missed the 7am alarm completely and ended up getting up at 8am. Both Jason and I were slow to actually get out of bed, but we finally did, had some toast for breakfast laced up the ole' shoes and headed out.

The first few miles were...oh, I don't know, fine I guess. I was doing the thing where I was thinking about how many miles were left (16) instead of thinking of how many I had gotten through or thinking of the run in pieces(ala "ok, just get to the lake front...worry about that first, then think about what's next"). I was pretty frustrated, but kept moving forward knowing that I was going to be way more pissed off if I turned around and went home than if I just dealt with the running and kept going. Around 2.5 miles we stopped and stretched for a few minutes and then kept on heading down Chicago Ave.

This was about 9:30 on a Sunday morning, and usually the streets are pretty empty or people with Jeans and sweatshirts on and their Starbucks & Tribune walking the streets. We noticed on Rush that there were a bunch of movie trucks, which we had noticed but didn't phase us at all. The second that we passed Rush street, the sidewalks were thick with people, kind of dressed up and looking really nice. I thought maybe a church had let out or something because it was very odd street traffic for a Sunday morning. We get to the corner of Michigan and Chicago and look across the street (in front of the Ralph Lauren store) and see the filming of the movie actualy taking place. You know that Chicago is still a midwestern city because we still get very excited about movie stars......and what do you know.....standing on the corner going through a scene is one of my favorie actors....VINCE VAUGHN. So of course I stop my watch since I was going to be stationary for awhile while we watched.

You could almost instantly tell that it was him because of his acting style, and then we noticed the extras. They had people dressed pretty nicely walking behind Vince (notice how I got by his first name...cause we are so close like that), they would walk towards rush on Chicago, turn around head back to Michigan and head South for a bit and then back to Chicago and so on. We are wondering now if there is ever a movie with people walking behind the main scene if there are repeats since apparently they are just walking in a loop. I am hoping that maybe the camera was zoomed out and they could see the North side of Chicago ave and then maybe us running will be in there :-)

So that was very exciting, but the scene ended and I know that we had a lot more running to do. So we kept heading east. When we got to the stairs that will lead under Lake Shore Drive to the lake front path, we saw tons of trailers...I am assuming for the actors. But outside the trailers were a bunch of Santa's one of who was running around and doing high stepping and ...well, like the warmups that you would do if you were in high school track. It was a very comical scene and the talking about how we "just saw vince VAUGHN!!!!!" kept us going for another 4 miles. At this point we were about 1/2 way done and from then on...well, then every step means that the distance you have left is shorter than what you did and helps with the mental game.

Since there is only one fountain on (the CARA donated one that has water running all the time....why don't they have one of these on the south side...or at several places on the path?) we haven't been taking any kind of Gu or sports beans or anything. I thought all of that stuff was just helpful for the run but not necessarily necessary (if that makes sense). I was very, very tired the last 4 miles of the run. We ended up having to stop in a Quiznos and get a glass of water. We are going to get some Gu's for next week's 18miler and try and take it at the said water fountain.

The great news is that we did 47 MILES last week. That's the most that we have done in a really long time, which is exciting. Oh yeah and the movie that Vince is shooting is I think a Christmas movie coming out at the end of the year called Fred Claus....something about Santa's crabby brother or something.

Alright...on to Monday...blech

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Fast and then Slow

Going back a few days, we were supposed to run 11 miles on Thursday night as part of the continuing "don't run like crap in the new year" plan. Well, it was raining with a 20 mph wind and so that didn't happen. So we tried running at 4:30 am on Friday. Yeah, that's too early.

But we came up with a plan! We'd run 11 miles after work at Fermilab and before Leah's fancy dinner with all the people going to Washington D.C. with her for the science policy stuff. It would be tight, but we just managed to fit it in. Out at Fermi, we had an excellent 11 mile loop and, for once, it wasn't windy so we were able to run like the wind (or, not like the wind, since there wasn't any wind. Either way, we were fast). It worked out nicely since we needed to be fast to get done in time and pacing 8:37 miles was fast enough, it seemed. So we ran, Leah primped, and we were in Naperville just in time for her dinner. I dropped her off and went to get my own dinner in downtown Naperville, after which I just went to the Borders to hang out.

Saturday Leah was gone for the entire day at D.C. meetings and so I was left to my own devices. As it turns out, my own devices are pretty lazy. Oh well, I got in some solid laying about. Then she got home and was exhausted, so we went for our 5 mile recovery run (that was the "slow") and then crashed for the night. Just another exciting Saturday night in Chicago. That's okay cause we need sleep for our big 17 mile long run on Sunday (which is actually today), but that's a topic for another post.

Oh, and

Colts Win!!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Resolution Check In

How are the New Year's semi resolutions going?

Well so far.....not too bad I guess...I did floss last night (but really the first time since stating I was going to do it more often a few days ago).

I didn't run last night. Excuses excuses sure, but it was super windy and super rainy and dark by the time we got home since I got up late and hence was at work until 4:15 or so. SO I planned on getting up at 4:30am this morning and getting in the 11 miles that were due, until the alarm went off and I realized that 4:30 isn't a time when humans should be awake let alone running. I laid in bed (awakeish) until about 5:15 and decided to move the run to the evening at the lab. I have a dinner thing tonight at 7pm in the western suburbs so I have to be here late anyways, and I can just shower and get ready at the gym here. So the love running thing is still good although it was hanging by a thread early this morning.

Eating out less.....right. Forgot to get sandwich stuff for today will have to get sandwiches and because I have a work dinner thing Jason will have to go out to dinner on his own. Not actually a huge deal, but off the plan anyways.

World peace...I'm working on it.

Work harder...I might *might* have had a breakthrough with my analysis yesterday. I don't want to talk about because this has happened in the past just to find out that my code is still buggy....but there is some good behavior going on...so we'll see what today brings.

I guess that was about it. Happy Friday everyone and just because I love Jason so much....


Thursday, January 04, 2007

Recovery, Sleeping Late (already), the Capitol

Yesterday we left work a bit early (but we were there at 6:30 so leaving at 1:30 isn't tooooo bad) so that we could hit up the laundromat before it got crowded with the after work crowd. Well it was still very crowded but we were able to do our...oh i don't know....15 loads of laundry (it's been awhile) in about 2.5 hours.

After the laundry we headed out for a 4 mile recovery run which was done probably a bit too fast, but since the 10 miles on Tuesday was a bit slow I figured it all come out in the wash. It was a nice run too, legs felt pretty good and the breathing was fine and I'm looking forward to our 11 mile run tonight.

I stayed up too late watching the ND game....so I didn't get up at 5am. Oh well....2 days in a row is still good. We still got out of our apartment in 45 minutes which has been our goal in the morning.

In VERY good news, I am going to be able to go to Washington D.C. in March. I went on this trip last year and was asked to go again by our Users Executive Commitee. I think Jason will be joining me this year since there was enough downtime that we could hang out together. To save money I am going to get my crazy on and I think we'll drive out there and then I can get the credit from my flight which would pay for the gas/parking....plus we might be able to visit Jason's brother (ok we REALLY just want to see the baby.....). We are both interested in perhaps getting into science policy so maybe we can meet with some people while we are there as well. Why is this so crazy? I get back at 8pm from the Bahamas on a Sunday and need to be in Washington by Monday eveningish. Drive On.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

new Shoes, the Love & Twin Peaks

Yesterday the plan called for 10 miles with 5@LT. Jason and I have been in the funk lately and running has been by far the last thing we have wanted to do. Our legs have been hurting for one, but more importantly every step that we took (well every step that I took anyways) was like one step closer to death. I didn't want to be out there and it just wasn't fun anymore.

One of the big problems was that my shoes were pushing 350 miles and so I just felt dead because my legs and feet felt dead. I had been wanting to wait for the the brooks Adrenaline 7s to come out but after calling around yesterday it looked like they weren't out and one store told me that the release date had been pushed back to the middle of the month. After some slightly weird customer service at Running Away (I asked them to call me when the shoes came in, and when I called yesterday to see if they knew when they were coming in the guy said, "Are you that in need of new shoes?".....um why do you care and why don't you know when they are going to be in your store....anyhoo) I called Fleet Feet and for once they had some nice customer service. Although they didn't have the 7s they did have the 6s in both Jason and I's sizes which is shocking since I wear a size 10.5 (I'm 6' tall leave me alone) and it's a less than common size to have especially since the new version will be out soon. So we asked them to hold them and we headed down there. Jason also got his Christmas present from me in the form of a new digital watch AND we found out that you get money back if you shop at Fleet Feet, so next time we buy something there we'll get $25 bucks off.....which I have to say is very nice. We'll be back again for sure.....hopefully the guy that helped us yesterday will be back as he was very nice :-)

Right then. We had shiney new shoes for our run. We decided that since we hadn't been able to locate the Love we would just run 10 miles and go more on feel and forget the LT as that would have probably thrown me into a pit of running despair. So we drove over the the Lakefront and just ran. We stopped and stretched frequently, said hello to a very nice Chicago cop, found a new little path which goes along Ohio St. Beach (as you are coming around that corner from the North keep turning left instead of going on to Navy Pier and there is a nice tree lined walkway that i would say is about a 1/2 mile long) stopped and stretched...looked at the beauty that is Chicago (again I ask myself why one would ever leave this city.....) and made it back to the totem pole pacing 9:30 min/mile. I know this is slow for us, but for as enjoyable as that run was I really don't care. The miles which we did not stop to stretch were all around 9:05 and the miles were we did stretch were 10:05...so that's where the 9:30 came from. Very very pleasent run and I'm now looking forward to the rest of the week. 4 mi recovery today and then 11 tomorrow. Then 5 Saturday and 17 Sunday.

Another day of out of bed at 5am. Excellent. And I even had my shit together enough to make muffins for Breakfast....Krusteaz No Fat muffin mix is very good for those of you that might be interested (we have tried the Bluberry and the Cranberry Orange....delicious and doesn't taste fat free)

Last but not least I got an e-mail this morning from Amazon saying that something I had asked to be alerted to when it was released was being released. What is that something? Twin Peaks Season 2 will be out on April 10th. That's right. Only 6 years later. The story is that we watched the series in college, it was very....I don't know college like, middle of the day watching Twin Peaks and eating donuts and cherry pie....i mean studying physics...i mean. Anyways, I bought the full series on VHS because I had gotten busy and hadn't been able to see the whole thing (ala who actually killed the girl) and Jason hadn't been in the group that was watching it. However the VHS quality SUCKED. So I returned it. Soon after that we saw that Twin Peaks was on DVD, so we bought it. Oh it was only season 1....where you don't find out anything. We bought that soon after we graduated from undergrad in 2001.....and I have refused to watch it because I have wanted the whole series. And really how long can it take for them to release season 2. Apparenlyt quite awhile. So. I am very excited about that and looking forward to a weekend full of Twin Peaks. Jason is happy that he can finally watch any of them :-)

Onto New Years Resolution 'Work Harder'

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A New Year

Well I say that New Year's Resolutions really don't have to start until January second because you spend the first recovering from whatever you did the night before (OOSG, the Jayhawk who runs, me and the cutie hubby having fun on NYE), preparing for the upcoming week of work and lazing around watching football bowl games.

Right then. New Years Resolutions. I don't usually do this. Should it be things like :
  • floss every night?
  • work towards world peace?
  • spend less money?
  • eat out less?
  • drink less?
  • wake up earlier?
  • go to bed earlier?
  • read more?
  • work harder?
  • something that contains all of that?
I'm so NOT doing the floss every night thing...that hurts to much...maybe I can pull off every other night though.

Work towards world peace? I was asked back for this Washington DC trip (I still don't know if I am going to be able to go because of our two week trip to Florida and the Bahamas, but I am really hoping to). So maybe while I'm there I can work on the world peace thing.

Spend less money. This is a biggie. I spend way too much money on eating out...which brings us to the eating out less bullet point. Jason and I were eating out almost every lunch & dinner and were starting in on breakfast. I have a goal for the next two weeks (I have heard that it takes two weeks to make a habit) to make all three meals and skip the going out stuff. So far so good. I realize that it's only the second, but I made a big batch of chili last night and I am on par to have those leftovers plus some pasta later in the week.

Drink less? Are you kidding! Screw that. I am still going to be enjoying my glasses of wine at night.

Wake up earlier. This is another big one. I am working towards moving back to my early work schedule. It just ends up making more sense. Again, we are going to work on that for the next two weeks and hopefully get it through our heads that when the alarm goes off at 5am that does not mean that you can hit snooze until 6:30am....at which point you realize traffic is so bad that you just say Fuck It and turn the alarm completely off and end up leaving for work at 9am.

But to get up at 5am, I cannot be going to bed at midnight to 1amish. So there is a definite need to get into bed and get alseep much earlier. I think I can get this done by just getting into bed too early to sleep but reading for about an hour to get calmed down and then using the new portable DVD player that Jason's brother gave us for Christmas watching part of a movie or a TV show on DVD. That's what we did last night and I was up at 4:50 am. Isn't it the best when you wake up before the alarm?

The reading more thing has to happen. I have been having a very nice relationship with my DVR, which as wonderful as that is takes away time from reading. I'm going to try and keep the TV/DVR thing for Saturday and Sunday mornings and stick with the reading at night thing. That's why I have DVR anyways right? So I'm not some kind of slave to the ole TV shows. (By the way, how sad was I when I ran out of Ugly Betty recorded shows...um...very).

Work harder....hmm....right. Well yes. I have to get more in tune with this physics analysis. I really want to graduate and while not quite ready to throw in the towel, I got scarily close the week before Christmas. I took the week of Christmas completly off to...oh I don't know....reset I guess. So here we go. I have realized that my weakness with this work is not that I'm not smart enough or good enough or whatever. But rather that I am not patient enough. I like to see results, so when I come in and work an 8 hour day and feel farther from the goal than I was when I came in that day, I have to treat that as clues to the puzzle and go from there and not bitch and moan that the world is coming to an end and that the analysis can never happen. That's the idea anyways....

Run more. The end of the year saw my love and my desire and my drive for running come to a complete halt. I am somewhat ok with this considering I was figuring our weekly numbers were going to take a dive around the holidays. I know that this marathon is not the Chicago Marathon and I'm doing it so my mom can see me run a marathon and to just stay in shape during the winter. However, making it one mile in a 16 mile run is a bit disheartening. A new week though, and a new year is here. I didn't sign up yet for the marathon which is a bit annoying because it was cheaper to sign up before the end of 2006. However, this gives me some room and if I end up wanting to only do the 1/2 marathon I can still do that. I really would rather do the full though, so that means we have a 10 mile run with 5 at LT tonight...wait no, I want to do the 1/2.

Something that contains all of that....well shit. I just want to live a life that I know I am capable of living. Life is too fucking short for me to be as miserable as I was at the close of 2006. I think the changes above are less resolutiony and more just paths to live a bit healthier and happier.

So here's to 2007. May I not be listing the same things next year.