Tuesday, July 31, 2007

52 Books 52 Weeks

I am still doing my 52 books in 52 weeks project. Since April, I have been trying to read a book a week and keep track of them with short book reviews at this site :


I took the Harry Potter books as a vacation, but I have read another two short books since then, so head on over and take a gander. I really really recommend The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Jason and I aren't taking the train anymore so I don't know how easy it'll be to keep up the one a week pace...but I have quite the buffer since I got through 9 books in the last 4 weeks. Granted the Harry Potter series is quite the book candy....but read all the same.

(by the way I had a math teacher in grade school name Mr. Lowry who was kind of creepy....he didn't like the sound of pencils sharping...in a math class...anyways, that author made me think of him....oh Newberry Academy such warm memories).

Music Music Music

This Friday, Saturday & Sunday....yes that's right kids, you're fearless duo has come across some Lollapalooza 3 day passes for this weekend. The tickets were a gift from the friends who's son was in the hospital last week since they won't be able to use them. So generous and so another big thank you out to those guys. By the way, the kid is doing 800% better and will be coming home tonight. We are happy to hear that he is just about back to his usual self. Yay!

So yes, Lollapalooza this weekend. I have never been and so I am super looking forward to it. I did look at the schedule and it reminds me of a conference where there are 8 things happening at once, all of which sounds interesting....ok maybe that's not true at a physics conference...but you know what I mean.

Anyone out there have any suggestions on anyone I just HAVE TO see, drop a note in the comments. You can head here to see the line up :


That link is just day 1, you can see the other days by clicking on the ... well other days at the top. So that should be super wacky fun times in the city.

Speaking of music, I set my alarm to use the radio instead of the regular buzzer this morning to see if it would snap me awake faster. The song on 103.5 at 4:55am this morning sure did the trick because Jason and I were laughing so hard at utter stupidity and lameness of it...something about getting your elbows out or I don't know what...but that plan worked and I am at work pre-6:30am which is always a good start to the day.

My big code rewrite has gone super smoothly and (go figure) thinking about the problem a little before diving in seems to have worked wonders. When you need a result, you just do it and get it done how ever you can. Oh I need another distribution...ok, I'll make that over here. Oh wait, I have to subtract something from it...alright I can do that here. But then it comes the time when you have to rerun everything with small changes for the systematics...and well....you can't have stuff here, there and everywhere. So I reorganized it and I'm sure a computer developer would still think it's too complicated because it doesn't run the whole thing on a push of a button...but it's close (and to all those computer developers out there....that's a skill I can learn...in oh about 6 months).

Tonight is an easy breezy 6 mile recovery.

Monday, July 30, 2007

The Farthest Since October 2006

After a long week of running we had a big fat 2-0 on the schedule for Sunday. We hadn't run that far since the marathon in October last year.

We decided to drive down to Recreation Drive (by the tennis courts and totem pole) on the lakefront path so that we wouldn't have any traffic interruptions during the run. Plus we know the lakefront path so well, that it helps knowing how much farther you are going. We got there at 6:30am and knew that we would have to pay for the parking ($0.50 an hour with a 5 hour limit) starting at 8am. We though we would done at about 10am, so we wanted to put in about 2 dollars worth (4 hours) so that we wouldn't get a ticket. However the stupid machine to get the parking sticker doesn't turn on until 8am. Which of course is ridiculous, because now I would be parking for 2 hours when it is enforced that you have to have paid...but there was no chance that I could have paid! So we put a note in our windshield saying just that and hoped we wouldn't get a ticket (which we didn't so that was just a lot of words for no reason :-) )

And so we started. I felt good and strong the whole way. There isn't much of interest to write about until we turned around to head back. We ran all the way to he 13 mile marker on the south side, and when we turned around to come back, you get a fantastic view of the city. We walked for a few steps to soak it in....just truly amazing. Highly recommended from this city runner to all you city runners. Go explore the south end of the path!

Then it was just time to knock off the miles one at a time. We had a Gu around mile 11.3 and around this time we started playing leapfrog with this other runner. He would stop to tie his shoes and then we would go around, then we would stop for water and he would go around....and so on. When we got to the Fleet Feet gatorade stand that is south of Navy Pier he said to us, "I don't know if I'm the tortoise or the hare?" We laughed and found out he was doing 21 miles today. We went off and after the next time he stopped for water we went past him and didn't see him again.

There is a stretch on the lakefront path between North Avenue Beach and Ohio St Beach (Just north of Navy Pier) that I like to call the Sahara. There is no shade, it's about 1.5 - 1.75 miles long and right next to the water....with tons of people swimming....and me just sweating and looking longingly at the water wishing for yet another time that I was a triathlete and would just have to swim for a workout. But we pressed on. The gatorade stand at North Avenue Beach was still setup so we got one more shot to finish up our last 2.5 miles.

I don't know if it was the extra fuel that we took in the run or what...but our last two miles were incredible. Mile 19 was in 8:28 and Mile 20 in...wait for it....wait for it....7:45! Nice! We ended the 20 miles just uner 3 hours in 2:59:35 for an overall average of 8:59 min/mile. When I made my weekly pace graph I was delighted to see how consistent we were over the course of the run (aside from the last mile...but whatever it's the last mile and we did it in 7:45...did I already say that...oops sorry but I am excited to be able to get that kind of mile out at the end of a long run :-) )

We were really happy with this run on all levels. Legs felt good, breathing was good, fueling was good, pace was good. A nice way to end a 54 mile week.

We came home and ice bathed/showered and headed out for some breakfast. Then it was home to pass out for the rest of the afternoon while watching/listening to the Cubs game.

And to all you Brewers fans....you know who I am talking to......the Cubs are now only 0.5 game back....since you don't play today and we do....we could be all tied up by this evening. GO CUBS!

Thus ended our weekend. Now we are back to Monday and have a not so bad week on our hands. I am looking forward to Sunday's run which is 15 miles with 12@Marathon Race Pace, so we can see how we are doing so far with the paces we would like to run.

Alright, Monday means it's go to work time. Right. I'm off.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The LT Report

Well I suppose it could have gone worse.

I suppose the humidty could have been at a full 100% instead of the simple, I'm guessing, 99% that it was yesterday when we went out for a cool 11 miles with 6@LT pace. sigh.

We decided to do this run at Fermilab since we were stopping at a friends on the way home. The ring is about 3.75 miles around for one lap...that means of course that three laps is just over 11 miles. Helloooooo Boring! But it was easy, and it was there and it didn't require too much brain power to make the route.

So at about 4pm off we went. We do our three miles of warm up, then six at LT, then 2 more to cool down. The tough thing about just doing laps around the ring is the fact that two times you get back to where you started....but have to keep going around. Even worse was having to pass by home twice while running at an LT clip. ANYWAYS. Our first three miles :
  1. 9:20
  2. 8:58
  3. 8:41
We were feeling 'ok' but already soaked through our clothes with sweat. It was annoying because it didn't really feel hot when we went outside, but that humidity hits pretty hard. At this point it was...not raining....but I think there was so much humidity (don't say humidity) in the air that the air was spontaneously turning into water as we ran through it. Then it was time to start the LT miles....and just for kicks at this point, the clouds went away, and the sun came out. There are about 4 trees along the 3.75 mile loop which is the only shade you can get while running out there. I'm not making excuses for the following paces, but I do think that the weather had something to do with them :
  1. 7:59
  2. 7:46
  3. 7:42
  4. 7:47
  5. 8:00
  6. 7:52
This comes out to an average of 7:51 min/mile for the LT miles. A bit too slow, but it was absolutely all I had to give and still respectable. After the last LT mile we stopped for a bit and as we were right by the main building we decided to go in for some water. I noticed that even though I was sweating up a storm (all my clothes were soaked...it was gross), I had goosebumps all over my arms, which couldn't be good.

We were really really hot and sweaty and exhausted so the last two miles were pretty ugly
  1. 14:49
  2. 10:13
But I have to say I'm still proud of us even though we were a little too slow, because we got through it. I wanted to bitch out at about LT mile 3, but with Jason motivating us to go on and knowing I could do it, I just kept putting one leg in front of the other....and got through it alright.

We just finished a 5 mile recovery run and it's a big 20 miler tomorrow. Then the next two week look to be a bit easier than the last two weeks which makes me and my body very happy.

Friday, July 27, 2007

It's Coming....

The 11 miles with 6@LT will be taking place within the next two hours....

who's stupid idea was it to plan runs like this one on a Friday. I loved my Friday's off. boo.

Still busy at work, but have made some clever leaps and bounds with my analysis which should hopefully make systematic studies easier, and less chance for bug errors. Plus I would like to reiterate how much I heart Keynote...makes my results look oh so pretty.

Jason has a specific date for his thesis defense...which makes it even more scary. He'll be defending the Friday after the marathon....then we'll leave for Germany the day after. I am so excited that the conference is after the marathon this year. Last year we had big plans to get all of our runs in while in England....which didn't much happen. It'll be nice to not have that nagging my brain while touring.

That's it from the JasonLeahCamp.

Happy Friday All.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

12 miles of swimming running

It's been a busy week for our little family here at jasonleahrun. As Leah mentioned yesterday, her Dad is in town from the Dominican to help out with his Godson and we've been doing whatever we can as well. The last couple days, all we've been able to do is be company (well, that and Leah made some baked ziti) and so we've been stopping by our friends' house to visit with everyone and watch the Cubs in spectacular HD-o-vision. Yesterday we worked at home and planned on heading out that way after traffic died down in the evening.

Before we could head out there, however, there was this little 12 mile run hovering over us, looking down and laughing maniacally. Runs do that sometimes. I think I can safely say that, when 3pm rolled around and we had to run, neither of us were particularly in the running mood. Our plan was to drive down to the totem pole on the lakefront and park in the lot there, run our miles, and then drive home and get ready to head out right away. We executed the plan pretty perfectly and, as a bonus, parking over by the totem pole is free! Chicago continues to get everything lakefront-related correct.

The 12 miles were extremely tough, I won't lie. I'm not sure if it was the stress of worrying about a sick kid (Leah especially as she's known him since birth (his, not hers)), the extreme humidity, or just the fact that it was 12 miles, but whatever the reason it was definitely tough. It took us until the 5th mile to get our pace up as our first miles went 9:24, 9:03, 9:13, 9:10 (with water) and usually our paces only go down if they go any direction, so that third mile was quite the surprise. I mean, the pace was fine, just a bit slower than expected. The rest of the miles were fairly grueling, but were still all in the 8:40-9 range and we completed the 12 miles in spite of ourselves. It definitely felt more like a swim than a run though as we could literally see the humidity in the air. Super gross.

We saw Whitney at the North Avenue bridge, but we were so exhausted by that point (we were about 9 miles in) that we probably sounded super rude. Sorry Whitney, it was the humidity, not the personality. So, anyway, hi.

After the twelve, we did .65 miles worth of strides to make up for the lost mileage the day before and then called it a day. Woof.

After that it was back home and out to the suburbs where we watched the Cubs win in commanding fashion. The Cubs are now only two games behind the Brewers and a half game out of the Wild Card. Remember when this team was on pace for 90+ losses? Two months ago? Gotta love the turn around.

What I've failed to mention thus far is the most exciting news of all: Leah's been invited to give a talk in Hamburg, Germany! We're going to Germany! Woo Hoo! She's going to be talking about her particle, the Bc (read: bee sub see) as well as another analysis and will get a full 25 minutes to talk. It's really super exciting. But, she definitely has to finish her analysis by mid-October (no problem, but her ass is currently on fire and I'm writing the post as she works). Interestingly enough, if the scheduling goes to plan, I'll be defending the Friday before we leave so it'll be defend, party (or drink alone in the corner should I not pass), then fly to German. Score.

Anyway, today we get a day off and then it's 11 miles with 6 at threshold. I think I just threw up in my mouth. Guh. That being said, this week and last look like the hardest week in all of the training, so we just have to survive and then next week has three (3!) recovery days. Now we just have to survive...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Skipping Strides

Last night we had a 6 mile recovery run with 6x100m strides attached. I have been having this nagging pain in my ab area so decided to skip the strides part to try and give it more time to heal without sprinting up a storm on some strides.

Monday night my dad flew in from the Dominican Republic. The son of close friends of our family has been sick and things got very bad over the weekend so he grabbed an emergency flight to come up and help. We spent much of the day yesterday in the hospital and hanging out at their house helping out where we could.

Another reason I skipped the strides is because there were people that I wanted to be near and I wanted to get back as soon as possible to their house. Like I say often...life happens sometimes.

It makes me very sad. I don't know what else to say right now. A long last couple of days.

Today we have a 12 mile run on the schedule....man these midweek long runs are getting loooong!

Oh. And I finished Harry Potter on Monday. Best book of the 7 I think.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter, Striding and Long Running

Friday night Jason and I headed to Border's for the Harry Potter release party. It was silly and goofy and all around wonderful. We played some Harry Potter Bingo and then watched as some kinds played a Harry Potter Spelling Bee. Lots of people were dressed up as their favorite characters and I must say, some very clever outfits. We had only reserved one book which was going to be fine because my cousin had pre-ordered one to be delivered and as she is out of town said that I could just read hers. I hadn't quite finished reading book 6 anyways so I thought that would be fine. But I was like....well....I am really going to want it super early tomorrow and what if her copy isn't delivered or whatever. So we just stopped by the Barnes and Nobles that is across the street from the Borders after we got through the mega lines and there was NO ONE there....we walked in and they said, do you want a book we have plenty...I was like...yeah sure. So armed with two copies of The Deathly Hallows we headed home.

I fell asleep at about 2:30am and had a bunch of dreams about running miles within a bookstore...like I kept saying, "I can get a couple miles in because I know where the mile markers are!" Awesome. I woke up at about 6:25...and could have fallen back asleep but I got up and finished off book 6 instead.

Jason got up around 8am and soon after that we headed out for our 7 miles with 8x100m strides. I slowed my pace for the first 7 strides because I have been having this pain in my abdomen area and while I think it's just a pulled muscle of some sort I didn't want to push it if its' something worse (I don't think it's anything terrible as it's been there for about a month and just worse after long or hard runs). The last stride I picked it way up just cause it's fun to go fast :-)

Saturday was spent watching the Cubs and napping for me and of course reading Harry Potter. I am love love loving book 7.

It was to bed early and up early for our 18 mile long run. If we got through this one we would have gotten through 50 miles for the week. The run went well. We stopped a few times for gatorade and had one Gu with us. We had thought about running and staying on the lakefront and then going for a swim. But with my side/stomach hurting ended up thinking it was best to just head home so a day on the couch could start sooner. We averaged 9:01 min/mile total time of 2:42 :

A little jumpy on the paces, but the big jumps are Gatorade and Gu stops. Again hitting the marathon race pace for the last mile or so. Surprising because it didn't feel like we were going that fast...maybe I was numb to the speed. Either way it was over and it wasn't even 9am yet.

Sunday we spent sleeping and reading and watching movies and just a nice relaxing end to a 50 mile week. We have another tough week coming up...but just one day at a time....and today is an off day. Looking at the last 6 months of weekly miles...I'm looking pretty good, gotta love when the graph goes up!

Btw....I still have about 300 pages left in the Harry Potter book (I'm taking it slow since it's the last one) and I can't read anything online or in the papers because I don't want the ending given away...DO NOT SAY ANYTHING IN THE COMMENTS ABOUT THE BOOK IF YOU HAVE FINISHED IT :-)

Friday, July 20, 2007

These Weeks Are F*$%ing Hard

What the hell....did I not do these weeks last year? I think I didn't because Jason and I had the trip to England and then it was hard getting back into the marathon training mindset.

I don't know how people with real jobs do this. I am so tired but luckily the no real schedule of being a grad student so I can come into work earlier/later whatever. Like today.....I took my tired ass and slept in and got here a bit late....which is kinda bad because I have a meeting with my advisor this afternoon and had I gotten here at my usual 6:30am....I would have had more to shown him....similarly if I waited to blog for another 3 hours I would have more to show him. ANYWAYS.

The run yesterday ended up being pretty good. We had an 11 mile medium long run so we slowed down to more match the long run type paces instead of the general aerobic paces. We ended up with 8:55 averages finishing in about 1:38. And we were really good on the consistency even though the second half of the run was directly into the wind. I always think it's better to start with the wind at your back, because you get your running mojo working and get comfortable with the pace so when you turn around all you have to do is try and keep your strides the same with a little more effort, which we were able to do.

Ended the evening with everyone's favorite Jayhawks who made us some nachos as we watched the voting off of So You Think You Can Dance? They graciously offered us a ride home which I took given my level of tiredness. Thanks again kids.

Tonight Jason and I are going to embrace our nerd levels and head out to Border's for the Harry Potter midnight release of the 7th book. They are having some kind of party and while we aren't quite nerdy enough to dress up.....I am sure many people there will be so I'll make sure to bring my camera. I still have about 500 pages to read of the 6th book so we are planning on heading there early and sitting in the coffee shop and just reading for many hours.

This weekend will then just be full of running and reading the 7th book which should be tough but yet relaxing which I always like.

7 miles with 8x100m strides tomorrow and 18 miles on Sunday. Just two more days....two days of running and I'll get in the 50 miles for the week. Happy Friday all!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Rockin' out in Millenium Park

Yesterday was another work-at-home day which was great because we were able to get some laundry done. Very! Exciting! There's nothing quite like the smell of fresh, clean laundry (unless you were to just inhale a Bounce sheet, but that's just a gateway drug. Next thing you know, you're huffing Rubber Cement). But anyway, the point is that we had to get the laundry done before we could go running which ended up not being until 3 o'clock (this is relevant. really).

We were slated for a 4 mile recovery and wanted to do it properly as we were both tuckered out from our 10 mile lactate run yesterday. It was a remarkably unpleasant 40 minutes of running as we were having to claw our way through the haze, the effort leaving us coated in sweat. I've ran through swamps that were less humid than Chicago yesterday*. But we did it and finished around 3:45 or so. We had to shower really quickly and all that so we could get downtown for the free Decemberists concert in Millenium Park but we still weren't able to leave the house until about 4:30 or so. Everyone clear on the timeline? Good.

(* may not be true)

Well, as it turns out, all of Chicago wanted to attend the Decemberists concert and so, by the time we arrived at the bandshell (~5:30), it was packed. Packed packed packed. We couldn't see a single patch of open grass, so we just started wading into the crowd in the hopes of either finding a free space or else finding someone weak enough that we could intimidate into leaving (music nerds tend to be spindly). Lo and behold, he landed the last 3 square feet of open space and threw down our mat to claim it and enjoyed the next hour in oppressive humidity surrounded by 3000 14,000(!) 98.6 degree space heaters. Yummy. We were later joined by Mouse and the band started right on time at 6:30. As soon at the band started playing, the rain started coming down, but just barely.

Let me just say, the Decemberists with the Grant Park Orchestra was incredible. The bandshell has a great sound setup and the effect of a rock band backed by an orchestra was some seriously big sound. So, we alternated standing and sitting (we could just barely make out the little G.I. Joe sized band on the stage) and just enjoyed the music. After about an hour and twenty minutes of playing, they dismissed the orchestra and made it sound like they were done playing, much to our disappointment as we had still been expecting to hear two of their best songs (the playlist was on the internet). The crowd kept cheering just in case that would bring them back out and, of course, it did (although I think they were always planning on coming out anyway). At this point, half the crowd had already fled to "beat the traffic" and "return to suburban hell" and so the band told everyone to come forward, which we did. And we were able to come *much* closer. Like, we could actually see the band. They then proceeded to play one of their best songs sans orchestra (16 Military Wives, for those who know the band) and it rocked. And then, the song we had all been waiting for. They've become famous (well, famousish) for a big stage performance with what's probably their best song, The Mariner's Revenge (Scott, it's kind of about boats!). I'm happy to say that it didn't disappoint as the crowd was completely in it, the band was going crazy, and the heavens were joining in with a nifty little pyrotechnic display. It was probably the best song by a band that I've ever seen live despite the fact that I was seeing it from hundreds of feet away. I can't wait to see them in a regular venue.

And then it was time to go home. We made it to the train before the rain began to fall, but after reaching Chicago Ave where we had to transfer to the bus, it was clear that all hell had broken loose. It was not just raining, it was pouring (and it's quite possible that the old man was snoring). Luckily, there was an awning to stand under because I'm allergic to water and a mere 20 minutes later the bus arrived, but not before we heard the loudest thunderclap of my life. The lightening flashed and then *instantly* came the thunder, so I'll let you do the math on how close it struck. It poured the whole way home and we splashed our way from the bus to our apartment. It seems that we had found the flash floods. Or a lake. Or something.

Today we have 11 miles of general aerobic. 11 miles? In the middle of the week?

What'll they think of next?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

LT #3 Done. and Done.

Yesterday hosted our third Lactate Threshold run of the training cycle a mere 10miles with 5 at LT pace. Two weeks ago we did a LT run and you can see how it went here. For that run we were able to stick around 7:30s for the LT miles which was awesome. I didn't know if we could do those paces again as I thought they were a little fast and we had perfect weather two weeks ago and a hot soggy humid mess last night. Oh and I had a little motivation problem before we left. We took the bus down to the lakefront path deciding we would run shirtless and then have non-smelly non-sweaty shirts to put back on when we got back on the bus to go home...this is important later.

So here we go. We like doing three miles kind of to warm up and when I looked back at the last time we did this the miles last night were all slightly faster that our other warm up miles which could have had an effect on the LT miles.
  1. 8:40
  2. 8:28
  3. 8:44
I never got into the groove on the warmup miles, I felt like my legs were a bit jelloy and I don't know...just weird feeling. When my legs do feel like that I tend to have troubles with consistancy. Right then. Onto the LT miles :
  1. 7:38
  2. 7:35
  3. 7:40
  4. 7:43
  5. 7:38
So these were not as fast at the miles that we did two weeks ago. However, I think they were probably more where they should have been pace wise. If I am to take it that these runs should be at your 15K pace (remember it's your 15K pace for slower runners and 1/2 marathon pace for you speedy kids...it's more in tune with the pace that you could run comfortably for an hour or so) which when I look at McMillian for a 3:35 marathon pace it's a 7:37 for the 15K time. The above miles averaged out to just under 7:39 so I'm right in that ball park. Also the range they have for Tempo runs here is 7:28-7:47 which I was right in the middle of. And this pace felt a lot better. It was tough, but it was a comfortable tough...if that makes sense.

When we finished we walked a bit to catch our breath and looked down at our chests and stomachs and realized that we were covered in little dead black gnat type things. Which was totally gross. And I realized that it wasn't super brilliant to have put the said tank top...just a cotton one by the way since I didn't think it matter since I wasn't going to run in it, around my waist tucked into my shorts...as it was soaked...and gross.

So we continued on our way for two cool down miles :
  1. 11:48
  2. 9:33
We ended around navy pier and took a jump into the fountain that is there to cool off. We hung out a bit to dry off as much as possible and jumped back onto the good old 66 bus and headed home.

One tough run of the week done. Tonight The Decemberists have a free concert downtown that we are heading to which should be tons of fun. I just hope the rain stays away! A simple 4 mile recovery today and then 3 toughish runs left this week...although I feel tons better getting this LT out of the way.

Monday, July 16, 2007

A Sale, A Condo, New Energy and a Crazy Week!

A favorite running store, Momentum, on Clybourn is going out of business. They were a super nice store and I am surprised that they are going out of business as they had lots of fun runs out of their store and in general seemed like a nice group of people. I didn't shop there a ton, but when I did they were always pretty nice.

After getting Jason a new suit (he sure will look spiffy! Now he just needs an interview to head out to so he can wear it), we stopped in to get some Gu and looked around and saw a barren store. They mentioned that they were going out of business, to which I immediatly asked if they were having a sale. They said everything was 20% off so I asked if that was shoes too, which it was. They surprisingly had my size (I am a women's 10.5 which is a hard size to get a hold of at times...frequently stores which are not specialty stores do not care half sizes past 10 and even the specialty stores only have a few of that size...ANYWAYS) and then mentioned if I paid with cash it would be 30% off. So we ran to a Chase bank and 72 bucks later I had a new pair of kicks. I have some more miles left in my old pair, but for the first time I'm not going to be frantic for new shoes when the old ones are done.

Some exciting new items :
  • The lovely cousin Lisa and her husband are putting an offer in on a condo a few doors down. They are also leaving for a month long trip to Africa in the coming days so are trying to work a deal in a few days. GET THAT CONDO! It will be fun to have a cousin a few doors down.
  • In talking to my advisor yesterday I mentioned that I was working on my paper work for my 6 month form for graduation. You have to do this and then can finish 6 months after it gets in or any time after that but not before. I think that he thought this was already done because he mentioned that he hoped I was done in 6 months if not sooner......which I say two things..YAY I'll be done.....SHIT now I have to figure out what I am going to do.
  • The head of our group here at Fermilab did his graduate work at the University of Hawaii and still has some connections there. The Hawaii Natural Energy Institute is located at the University which could be a direction this degree could take us. I'm not getting excited about it because it's just too exciting....if that makes sense. But it looks like it could be something to keep an eye on.
There are flood warnings in Chicago today which is going to make my LT run tonight even more difficult. We have 10 miles with 5 at LT pace......no no...I'm SO super excited about it.....grumble. This week of miles is very difficult, with only one recovery run :
Mon : Off
Tue : 10 w/5 @ LT
Wed : 4 Recovery
Thu : 11 General Aerobic
Fri : Off
Sat : 7 mi General Aerobic w/8x100m (what the ass....?)
Sun : 18 mi Long Run
I hate looking ahead because it makes me throw up a little bit in my mouth...so just one day at a time. If all the runs get done we hit the big 5-0 mlies this week which is an exciting mark to pass.

Alright, let's hope the storms pass through earlier rather than later!

I'm Still a Marathon Runner?...Right?

Well I sure did have fun with that recovery week. Usually I am very much the same with my training. To bed early, awake early.....eat right, don't drink and run run run.

All of that behavior came to a big fat end on Saturday night. Oh and Thursday because we went out drinking on Thursday for Jason's birthday. Oh RIGHT and Friday because we ended up at the Fermilab User's Center (bar on site) and had a few with our advisor and the head of our group. But I think it all gets topped off Saturday night when some friends of ours had a big party. We debated on going since we knew we had a 12 mile run on Sunday. If we didn't go we could get it done early like we like....but we also knew this was pretty much the last relaxed weekend until the marathon so if we were to go out, this would be it....plus we would just have like one or MAYBE two drinks and then head home.


That plan ended almost instantly with a game of elimination flip cup...to which I "won" being the last person left for my team. Also means I had to drink a lot more than everyone else on my team. I do like winning things though as most of you know. That was followed by dancing and more drinking and in general....well a fun night.

We got home around 2am. Obviously we were not getting up at 5am to run, so we slept in. Until the kids next door were playing with some kind of pop gun at 8:30 in the morning (SHUT THE HELL UP!!!). So we got up and watched the end of Harry Potter 4 and an episode of 24 on DVD. Lisa and Evin came by after looking at a condo about two doors down from our apartment to tell us all about it. They left and we realized that it was time.

We decided to leave not only the Garmin at home, but also my watch so we didn't time it. I have no idea how far we went or how long it took. I know that it was probably a bit over 12 miles....but that's all. Leaving at about noon makes for a crowded run on the lakefront and a few stoplight problems but we lucked out with the weather as it was only about 80 degrees which is really good for mid-july in Chicago. The run felt great in the end. Neither of us had sore legs or out of breath. We just enjoyed the city and mosied on through it dodging the North Avenue Beach beautiful bodies and the Michigan Avenue shoppers. An old me wouldn't have even done this run, marking it up to bad behavior and a recovery week anyways. We have yet to miss a run on our marathon training schedule and just looking at my training log, really have yet to miss a run since early April. Woooo us!

A good weekend. Now it's back to Monday!

Friday, July 13, 2007


...or I can't think of a clever title for this post.

Yesterday Jason and I did 8 miles in just under a 9 min/mile average around the neighborhood. Felt ok, nothing exciting to report, just some side stitch problems about half way through. In the evening we met up with everyone's favorite Jayhawks, Mouse and the lovely Lisa for drinks and dinner at Small Bar to celebrate Jason's birthday. We realized that we had now been out with Mike and Barb for each our respective birthdays which is fun. Jason and I spent many years here at Fermilab celebrating things alone because hadn't made many friends. Needless to say, it's nice have friends to come out and celebrate or just to hang out with. So happy to have met you kids and can't wait to celebrate many more birthdays with you.

This morning Jason had another interview with a recruiter out in Northbrook so while he did that I read at the Borders near by. I was planning on working, but you have to pay for the internet at Borders because apparently they aren't making enough money as is. Grumble. But I did get through the 4th Harry Potter book and then the first 100 pages of book 5. I am hoping to get through five by the end of the weekend, then book 6 next week and then be all ready for the midnight release next Friday night. The interview went really well by the way...times are getting exciting for your favorite running duo.

Today is Friday the 13th and I have already hit way over my average per day of visitors to my site. I think they are all image searching "Friday the 13th" on Google, because I had a post with a picture of that a few months ago. So maybe some will come and stay :-).

Another relaxing weekend ahead! Happy Friday!


Note from Jason: Just a quick thanks to the kids who came out. Thanks to Mike and Barb for the in-no-way girly shot with the rim of the glass delicately lined with sugar. Thanks to mouse for teaching me (at the late age of 28) that there are kinds of tequila that won't bring about the shot face. Patron is definitely light years above any Cuervo I've had in the past and did, in fact, go down smooth. And thanks to Lisa for the nifty bookmark. I wonder how she knew I would like Einstein? And, in generally, thanks to everyone for coming out. I never do anything for my birthday and it was nice to have a full table of cool people (and Mike...kidding!) to celebrate with.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

It's the Boy's Birthday!

Well my guy is 28. 28.....really? It feels like a just "a couple of years ago" that we were stumbling down Broadway Ave after he's 22nd birthday. Humpf. Mike likes to remind us that Jason has now moved from his "mid" 20s to his "late" 20s. Oh it's so true too. Ah well...we still have 2 years till the big 3-0....yikes!

As random things go, today is also my Dad's birthday. The man is 57 today. Happy Birthday Daddio! Even more random today is also one of our Fermilab friend's birthday! What's with July 12th as a big day for birthdays.....Mom's and Dad's getting busy around the middle of October? Jason says because by that time it's cool enough that mom and dad's can touch each other again instead of laying next to each other sweating in the sweltery summer months. ANYWAYS.

We ran too yesterday!!!!

Nothing too exciting. Just 5 miles recovery. We ended up finishing in exactly 50 minutes, so we were at exactly 10 minute miles which was good news for our tired legs.

We are going to do 8 this afternoon and then an evening at Small Bar in Wicker Park as per the boy's request. Happy Birthday sweet thing!

oh and the baseball games are awesome!!! The first game is the Ryne Sandberg game in 1984...even though the cubs win the game, Jason is twitching because the Cubs keep giving up runs :-). The games are hilarious because they are so different than games now. There is no information on the screen. No little map showing if there are runners on base, or number of balls, strikes and outs. Anyways, it's a pretty fun thing. For those of you that are baseball fans but root for one of the "other" teams in baseball, you should check it out because they do have sets for lots of different teams.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Only the best wife ever

Well, my birthday isn't actually until tomorrow (28 and counting), but I already have received two of my presents. First off, my in-laws are awesome and got me the ESPN Baseball Almanac which has the record for every single player who has ever played the game up until 2006. Seriously. Try me. I can tell you the lifetime batting average of Don Zimmer. I can tell you how many homers Shoeless Joe had during the infamous Black Sox season.

I am a god.

So, I got that yesterday. Now, today, I package came in the mail. Leah, being totally unable to contain herself, quickly wrapped the present and brought it right out. So it was a day early, big deal. My mom was in labor anyway. I quickly opened it and what did I find? It's the Chicago Cubs Legends Great Games Collector's Edition. It's a DVD set of 8 full length games featuring all the modern day greats and great games: Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, Rick Sutcliffe, Kerry Wood, Mark Grace, Derrek Lee, Sammy Sosa, and Greg Maddux. I'm going to spend all day tomorrow watching games, but I'm not sure whether to start with Kerry Wood's 20 strikeout game (my personal favorite single game) or the Sandberg game which I've never seen. Oh, the suspense.

Seriously, it's an incredible set. The package has the full box scores on it, the inside has the inning by inning details, and the games are unedited. Totally worth buying for your favorite Cub fan out there.

Go Cubs.

Sometimes Bad is Bad

You know those running days, the ones where it's a chore to even put on your running shoes, let alone actually do the run itself? But then you get out there, and you have the run of your lifetime, you have the wind beneath your feet and could fly forever.

Know what I'm talking about?


That's was just about the opposite of yesterdays run. We got home a bit early and did a weather check and noticed roughly the same temperatures as the day/night continued and that there was always a chance of thunderstorms. As there was no rain at the moment we decided to go earlier rather than later since there was going to be no break in the temperature. We had 8 miles with 8x100m on the schedule. Our plan was to run about 6.5 miles, ending at a school in our neighborhood. We can do the strides on the sidewalk in front of the school since it's a long block and roughly 100m long. Then we would only have about 0.5 miles left after the strides, putting us just about at our apartment.

We had problems starting the run too fast and then getting stuck in that rut where you speed up slow down, speed up slow down to try and get to your target pace and instead just jump all over the place. The first 6 miles had these paces :
  1. 8:46
  2. 8:23
  3. 8:54
  4. 8:39
  5. 8:50
  6. 8:47
We ended up doing ok, but that 8:23 thrown in there wasn't a great idea..especially since it was so early in the run. I just felt....I don't know...heavy I guess. Just plodding along and even though the paces were ok the effort to get them done was relatively high. We ended at the school just as planned at about 6.4 miles and started our strides. These ended up taking a lot out of me. To the point where I was dizzy and having a very hard time catching my breath. We slowed down and extended our recovery time between the strides and in turn the strides also had to come down a notch. After the strides, we shuffled ever so slowly towards home and finished the run.

I'm so proud of us that we did this run, and didn't do bad pace wise on the first 6 miles, but I have been having so many problems falling asleep at night that I am not the least bit surprised that the last part of the run was so difficult. Sometimes when you feel like complete ass...that's how the run ends up feeling. All you can do is lace up your running shoes the next day and try it again. That's what makes you a good runner. Looking at those bad runs and saying...yeah...I know it didn't go well..but it's only one day and I get to (get to being key) to do this again tomorrow. I have to remind myself of that all the time.

That of course is easy to do here because tonight is a simple 5 mile recovery run.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Hmm...always hard to write on Tuesdays since we don't run on Monday so there isn't much to report.

Last week Jason and I worked at home every day and this week we are driving into the lab. Who cares right (Didn't I already say that I don't have much to report....)? Well I have noticed how much time I get back if we drive. I am wondering as the miles start adding on if the extra 2 hours commuting by train is worth it. If I drive then I can leave by 5:30am, and work like 6:30-2:30 and I'm home by 3:30. With the train, I leave around 5:45 and work like 8-4 and get home by 6:30 which is less than idea as soon there will be 12 and 14 mile runs to be done after that. If we can work from home two days a week as well that would mean only driving in 3 days a week which means that we would save a ton of money cause we would only need one fillup of gas per week instead of two.

So. Well this week we are driving and working at home on Friday because Jason has an interview on Friday....and interview by the way with a company in Northbrook.....who wants him to :
accentuate how you have brought added value to the organizations that you have worked with in the past. Note your IT development experience and follow up with hard fact information/testimonial details, ie: How you saved time, money, tangible information.
Well I guess he saved the Department of Energy money because he basically works for minimum wage...do you think that's going to count? How do we get these people to see how skilled we are even though we might not have skills that are "tangible".


This is going to be a looong process. Here's to hoping an advanced degree didn't bite us in the ass.

Tonight we had plans to go out with some fellow runners to see some music, but as I layed awake last night watching the clock tick for over two hours thinking about how unqualified I am for apparently anything I am going to skip it (ok ok.....I AM overdramtic! Thanks to all the friends and family that are looking around at their companies for any open positions). Home to run 8 miles with 8x100m (only 8!) and then probably crashing.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Saturday in the Park, Sunday...um, something that rhymes with "park"

This week was the first big week of the training cycle. 46 miles and a long run of...17! (gasp!) Would we make all the miles? Would we survive? Oh, I can't stand the suspense.

Well, the first part was easy. We had a 5 mile recovery which we did first thing in the morning after waking up. After a whole bunch of wine the night before and a diet of snacks and...um, snacks, it was a little rough. Leah might suggest I was a tiny bit out of sorts, but that's just her opinion and it's her word against mine so who are you going to believe? But, we made it through the run despite the blistering heat. It was a little bit too quick (under 9:30 miles), but I think we both just wanted to finish.

During the run, we decided to head to the beach as, remarkably, we hadn't been to the beach all summer. There was a little bit of debate as to whether this would be wise as we didn't want to be all sun-baked and dehydrated (it all sounds so lame now that I say it out loud), but in the end we figured a) a couple hours isn't going to hurt anything and b) we can't let running take all the fun out of our summer. So we took the Chicago bus down to the beach and...gah! No swimmers. Yes, the beach was closed due to e-coli.

This was disappointing to say the least. 12th Street beach was apparently open, but then there was a whole deal with figuring out which bus to take and then what if it really wasn't open and blah blah blah. So we walked over near Navy Pier while thinking and, as we did this, we noticed kids playing in a big fountain. So, we sat and watched for a bit and then, well, why not? We set up our sheet and beach stuff in the grass and jumped in the fountain to cool off. It was awesome. After splashing around a bit we lay in the grass for an hour or so reading and then went home. Pretty simple, but very enjoyable. I love the city. The beach was closed so all the kids migrated over to the fountain. And there were no rules or security. No parents screaming at their kids to walk or not get wet. Just kids (and big kids) having fun.

It was Saturday, so of course that meant early to bed so we could get a good nights sleep and be well rested for our big 17 miler. It was a little hard to fall asleep in the heat but we did and then slept through the night like little angels.

Wait, wait no. No, that didn't happen at all. What actually happened is, our downstairs neighbors threw a kegger. So, around 1am there we woke up to an awesome mix of people chatting (and screaming) outside our window and some sort of driving dance beat shaking our floor. Oh god. We closed all the windows except for the bedroom window (it was far too hot to close that one) and that might have helped if not for the fact that the bass vibrating our entire apartment was independent of window aperture. Nope, not a good scene. So, we lay there. I personally sort of half dozed, listening to the party and the music. Apparently we both secretly debated going running at 2am but decided it would be a little weird to join the partyers in our running clothes. Yeah...no. Anyway, around 3:30 it all stopped (maybe they got yelled at?) and we were able to get back to sleep...for two more hours.

I can't really complain, though. In 10 months they've had exactly one party. Our old neighbors had a party 3 times a week. Now we just need to ask them to have the next one on a Friday. In noticed later that they had managed to kill two kegs in one night. That is awesome. Maybe next time they'll invite us (and we can tell them "no, we have to run").

So, as a result of Dance Party 2007, we got out the door about a 1/2 hour late. We broke down the 17 miles with an expected 4 miles to the lake, 6.5 miles north, and 6.5 miles back. For those in the know, that would take us up to Lawrence (or thereabouts) and the one mile marker on the path. We'd never been that far north so it was kind of exciting.

I don't think I've mentioned it here, but since the Thursday before last, I've been battling knee pain. I think it's the same problem Rubbish Marathon Runner had and I've been treating it using Biofreeze and Aleve. It wasn't really that big a deal, though, as it only hurt for the first mile or two (and didn't hurt very badly) and then after starting back up after a water break (and then for only about a quarter mile). And I hadn't been treating it much in recent days as I thought it was pretty much better. Yesterday, however, was a whole 'nother story.

My knee started out hurting for the run. Each time I took a stride forward with my left leg, I'd have pain in my knee. I figured it would stop within a mile or so, but I arrive at the lakefront with no improvement. I obviously could run on it, but this was going to be an annoying 17 miles. Awe-some. But, as long as I can run, whatev. That is, until we stopped for Gatorade. Between miles 5-6 we stopped at one of the very nice Fleet Feet Gatorade stands and walked a little bit while we drank our Gatorade. And then we resumed running and...HOLY SHIT. My god did my knee hurt. I had to tell Leah to slow down while I got the knee under control. Not because it felt better to go slow, but because I couldn't maintain my breathing. Yikes. After about a quarter mile it was bearable again and we got up to speed again. It was definitely not good but I could run on it again.

Then we were just cruising out. It was hot, but we were doing okay. I made the mistake of stopping once more at a water fountain after 8.5 miles, but the pain was even more intense. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on me again. But fool me a third time...not going to fool me again. That's right. I learned after the second awful experience to not stop. So, when we took Gu at mile 10.5, I just sort of ran in little circles around the water fountain...like an idiot. But, it helped. Yay for learning experiences!

Whew, we had made it to the turn around point. Thank god. It was getting awfully hot at this point and I think we both just wanted to finish. So, we subconsciously picked up the pace a bit and upped it from the 8:50-9:30 minute mile zone to 8:30ish zone. We tried to slow down once we realized this, but the faster pace felt better than the slower pace so we kept going up the quicker pace. Reeeeealy just wanted to finish.

One more Gatorade stop with about 3.5 miles to go and then we were in the home stretch. Unfortunately, the home stretch involved 3 miles with no shade in 80+ degree heat, but it was the home stretch nonetheless. So, we baked and we baked and, 17 miles after we started, we were done. This was most certainly the most exhausted I've been after a run in a long, long time. The combination of heat and distance really took it out of me.

The beach was closed on Saturday, so we went straight to the fountain to cool off and...it was turned off! Booo! We dithered around trying to decide when it would come back on and eventually decided to see if the beach was open today. It was! So we waded into the cold water and had the most refreshing swim ever. Seriously, it is hard to describe how good that water felt after the heat. If only I had a thesaurus. And, as an added bonus, it was cold enough to double at an ice bath.

The run was a little jumpy, but the end pace was 8:55 which is right on target. The graph is below. Note the improvement made by Leah as all the stops are labelled.

All that was left was to bus it on home. Yep, we were the smelly people on the bus yesterday. But hey, if you don't want to be around stinky people, don't ride public transportation.

Alright, so, 46 miles in the books. This week is a blessed fallback week as only have a long run of 12 and two 8 mile midweek runs and 37 total miles. This is very much welcome. After that, it's back up to the big mileage with a 50 mile week.



Happy Monday, everyone.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Summer City Fun

I don't know if I need to say more than this slide show.

Oh and we ran this morning....5 miles recovery. Tomorrow it's a big 17 miles....whooooo.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Girl Outside My Window at 5:30am...


Oh my god, some people have been locked out of their apartment and are sitting outside our bedroom window and the girl has apparently a whole fucking arsenal of clangly jewelery.


As long as I'm "awake" (barely as we went to bed late thinking we'd sleep in) I might as well blog about the run yesterday.

We had 10 miles on the schedule which has become quite the norm for our Thursday runs. Dice is in town and so we had 6 people for our little weekly running club which was fun. Jason and I started a little bit fast...and then just stayed there. We forgot our Garmin and so ran an extra 0.35 miles to get to the mile marker on the path so that I could get mile splits. I'm too tired for the graphs though...but 10 miles in 1:28:24 or 8:32 min/mile average. The first 5 miles were all within about 3 seconds of each other which was awesome. The last miles were quick which has become normal for us.

We headed back to the jayhawks for some delicious food as always (Thanks again kids....although the burgers were *a little chared*). Oooooh and we got our Chicago Card Plus cards in the mail yesterday which was fun to use.

Alright.....clanky jewelery girl seems to have stopped moving...maybe I can get a few more hours of shut eye.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Two Fun Days

Well that last few days have been fun days. The 3rd of July of course is just a great fun, city day and the 4th...well the 4th is the 4th and was a bit different this year.

On the 3rd after our most awesome Lactate Threshold run we got some stuff together and headed on downtown. We had our chairs, two backpacks and a cooler. We did have a cooler with wheels but opted (I think to Jason's disappointment) for the non-rolling one because it was a bit smaller. We took the Chicago Bus downtown and got off right before Navy Pier to get some ice and sunscreen at a Walgreen's that we saw. Then we were off walking over to Grant Park to settle in for a day of reading, Taste of Chicagoing and relaxing. This was when Jason wished we had a rolling cooler...but I guess that he was thinking about those Strongest Man compititions and how he with his 20lbs of cooler could now totally compete.

We staked out a spot in the grass near a light pole that had a number '2' on it and figured that when people came they would be able to find us easily. We set up camp and then headed into the Taste. Soooo much good food. A taste of something here, a BBQ sandwhich there...and ending with my favorite booth.....Rainbow Cone.

We headed back to our spot in the grass and had a beer and were enjoying the sun and our Harry Potter books (we are both reading the whole series before the next book comes out) when all of a sudden the volume gets pumped. They have a TV in the middle of Grant park to show what is happening on stage.....but all they were showing in the day time was ...commercials..on a 10 minute loop....at a volume level that I could probably hear it at my apartment 5 miles away. What has happened in our society that this is even ok? Why is a giant TV blaring the same stupid shit every 10 minutes : a Pepsi Commercial, a Bud light commercial, a cell phone commercial and then our favorite....a commercial for the city of Chicago, the "idea" for the advertising for the Taste....you couldn't get more clever than that....really?

It was so annoying and one of those things where if you just "don't listen to it and let it become background noise" it gets even louder and more annoying. So we went for a walk to refill our water bottle. We noticed tons of people out by the lakefront with blankets set up and it was so pleasant with just the sounds of the city. There wasn't media streaming into our eyes and ears. So we thought maybe we should move over to here.....and then we got back to Grant Park and to our surprise and delight the orchestra had started practicing and the commercials were gone. It was like a weight lifted. We got back to our spot and told the people next to us that apparently we just had to leave for the madness to stop. They mentioned that they also didn't get the commercial for Chicago .... as most of us probably get it...as we probably live here.

The rest of the day was pretty laid back. Mike, Barb, Mouse and Dice all joined us eventually and we had a spectacular time with them. The fireworks were even better than I remember. It ended up being worth dealing with the commercials because we could hear the symphony and the fireworks are coordinated to go with the music and so that was fun. They even played the....this is from the nerd Jason not me...the Imperial Death March from Star Wars for one set of fireworks.

Then...then the real adventure of the day started. It had started raining a bit and so we couldn't sit around and wait for some of the crowds to die out as we had originally planned to. Our plan was to head back to Navy Pier where the Chicago Bus line starts....then we could actually get on the bus. So we said goodbye to the other running kids and headed that way.

Then we got there and I realized why this was going to be a bad idea. Obviously as loads of people are waiting to get on the stupid buses (we are not the only ones with this idea)......and nothing is moving traffic wise. I mean stopped still not going anywhere. Which makes me crazy.....so (because I'm so smart) I go...we could probably walk home faster from here since we are only 4.5 miles away from home. So we decide that's what we are going to do...and head on it.

Then we get to LaSalleish...and I'm thinking...maybe there are a few neighborhoods along Chicago Ave that I don't want to be walking down at 11pm. So we decide to try and find a cab. Hmm....no cabs. Finally finally we see one with the light one, run across the street flag it down with looks of pride on our face and the driver rolls down the passenger window and asks where we need to go before we get in. I say our intersection and he says, "No I'm not going out there" and drives away. I couldn't believe it. I'm pretty sure that's against the rules....and it wasn't like I was asking to go into some horrible neighborhood. So we head back to the bus.....and here comes the bus....Jammed and not stopping.....sucky sucky. Oh wait here comes another....jammed and not stopping. Then there are no more buses in sight, there are still no cabs. So we call the jayhawks since we are about 2 blocks from their place at this point. They tell us to come on over so that's what we do.

We hang out there for about an hour I'm guessing chatting it up and having just one more beer. As Jason was falling asleep in his chair we decide it's time to brave the outside again and start looking for cabs. What do you know....there are no fucking cabs. None! So...we stand under the glass entrance to their building hoping that maybe someone is dropping someone off here.....and what do you know ... here comes a cab dropping someone off right in front of me.....mind you it's now about 1am..and fucking pouring. So we get in the cab, close the door and the lady cab driver asks where we want to go. We tell her and she says...oh sorry....I'm closing up now I can't take you there. I say, are you serious? We are already in the Cab, you can't deny a fair at this point. She says, sorry I'm closing up. So we get out, and as we are getting out someone trys to get in the cab. I try and shut the door saying that she's all closed up and isn't taking any more fairs. HE GETS IN ANYWAYS....AND THEN WE SEE THEM DRIVE AWAY. I couldn't believe it....fucking 1am...pouring rain and that bitch denies the fair. I wish I would have had something to write on or a pen as she would have been reported.

So we continue to walk around downtown like lost souls....when we see another cab.....we open the door let the girl paying finish and get in......."Chicago and Western" I say...and the driver says..no problem. And a big sigh of relief passes. Lucky driver too...my dad was a Chicago cab driver for a summer...I usually tip well anyways...but after the night we had the driver got a good tip from us. So thanks to that driver :-)

We slept in on the 4th and then.....did nothing. When I was little I remember going to houses for picnics and parties..I don't know what happened that it went away. Maybe it doesn't and it just happens more when you are older....but a little strange. But either way it was an enjoyable day. We did a 5 mile recovery run at about 2pm and then watched some movies, napped...watched movies. Very relaxing day.

Today however, getting up at 10:30 on the 4th (we had been up for almost 22 hours when our heads hit the pillow the night before) and then napping..did not lead well to falling asleep at night. I got the worst night sleep that I have gotten in years and woke up feeling like complete ass. We decided to work at home again today and headed back to bed. Which is where we stand now.

So it's off to my dining room to get some work done. 10 miles with folks on the lake front tonight.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Take that Lactate and Threshold

Well Well Well. Look what little LeahC and Jason can do if you piss them off enough. They can take that stupid Lactate Threshold run and hit it out of the ballpark Aramis Ramirez style.

Today we had 9 miles with 4 at Lactate Threshold pace. We tried basically this run 2 weeks ago and failed miserably. With wind and side stitches I didn't even make it two miles.

Today we went sans iPod becasue I think I have a good feeling for my pace and can get into a rhythm if I don't have JT or Rihanna changing the tempo on me every 3.5 minutes. We got up at 5am and headed down to the lakefront path. We drove down there since the meters don't start till 9am and so we started the run at about 6:15 heading North from Chicago Ave. We decided to have three warmup miles instead of two to a) wake us up a bit before starting to Lactate and b) we only wanted to have to do two miles after the LT miles.

So off we went and the first three miles looked like this :
  1. 9:14
  2. 8:54
  3. 8:25
So a nice way to start the run. Slowing down at the beginning and slowly picking up the pace over the next two miles. I think it also helped not having music here because we slowed down.

Then it was on to the LT miles. Sometimes these also start off to fast and then jump all over the place. But today. Today we were fucking rock stars, starting off only slightly slower than the last three but staying incredibly consistant :
  1. 7:39
  2. 7:30
  3. 7:32
  4. 7:26
Even coming in fastest on the last mile! So proud am I. And I was tired .... but not totally uncomfortable. That's not saying that I wasn't ready to stop LTing though.

We walked for about a 0.1 miles and got some water and carried on for our last 2 miles :
  1. 11:27 (water and walking and stretching)
  2. 9:18
So that was our morning. I am saying that was the best run of any of them so far in the training cycle. A total confidence booster and feels good to run hard and have it work just like it should.

Today we are off to the Taste for the whole day! Hopefully the rain stays away for the fireworks. Tomorrow John Mayer is playing at the Taste as well which should be fun. So if you see two lanky nerdy kids on the bus with coolers and chairs and backpacks....oh that's us....and yes we are cool!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Well, I haven't posted in awhile...which means of course lots to update!

I found out that my 'Not A Number' errors made sense because I was looking at doing my systematic check on the wrong sample. So great news being that I don't have some giant error in my code which I always think I do. I don't know if that feeling will ever go away...I suppose once you preform all the checks and your analysis still works you would gain a bit more confidence.

The night before I found out that friends of our family had extra tickets to the Cubs game at 1:20, so with my new found knowledge that I was still a physics rockstar Jason and I headed downtown. Jason had an appointment at a bank downtown with some old physics kids from Fermilab so I ran down to State Street from Ogilvie Station, jumped onto the Red line and headed to the old ballpark. I met our friends outside and headed in...to our seats...which were row 1 behind the visiting team's bullpen. Like I could have ear flicked the players in front of me....which rocked.

I was so excited about this game since the Brewers lead the cubs in the NL Central and we had just had a 6 game winning streak so it was time to make some ground up. AND Rich Hill was pitching who I love. Well.....he ended up having a rough day, giving up 5 runs in the top of the first, which we all know can be trouble for the cubs. Usually they will do nothing then for the rest of the game putting the fans into a deep sleep. That day though, they got a run here and two runs there and suddenly going into the bottom of the 9th we were looking at a 5-3 ball game (kudos to the bullpen for keeping the Brewers to just those 5 runs). The cubs got one runner in and then Aramis Ramirez comes up with 2 outs and a man on first.....and then BOOM CHACALACA!!!! THAT BALL'S OUTTA HERE!!!!! I have never seen Wrigley go that crazy. They must have put Go Cubs Go by Steve Goodman on repeat. Everyone was dancing and cheering and going crazy. We stayed probably an extra 15 minutes cheering for our Boys in Blue. I felt *kinda* bad for the 4 Brewers fans sitting next to us......well not that bad.

After the game I headed back downtown to meet Jason and we headed to the Taste for dinner. Jason and I splitted a bunch of taste portions (really loved the Italian French frys wherever those were from). After filling our tummies up it was back on the red line to Chicago Ave, hopped on the bus and back home in no time. We are pretty excited because we just ordered new Chicago Plus Cards so we don't have to have cash on us anymore and get a slightly cheaper ride on the CTA.

We slept in a bit after the hectic days we had been having. We needed to go get our car and so we did our 4 mile recovery run to the train station downtown. This time was fun because I wanted to finish my book and since it was just a light paper back...I carried it with me. Runners who Read....Reading Runners....I am guessing we looked pretty silly running with books in our hands.

We got our car and jetted home, I made some cookies quickly and then it was off to Kay and Gary's house for some bbq and some dominos. Fun afternoon there.

Nothing too more exciting happened on Saturday....just came home and relaxed and set that alarm for 5am sunday morning.

The day of running long. whooooooo. We had 15 miles on the schedule this week. We got up around 5:15, and did our usual morning routine, 1/2 cup of coffee, 2 piece of toast with PB, read running blogs to get motivated to go, bathroom, change...and we are out the door by 6am.

As usual with the long runs....feeling fantastic! I had to stop myself (and the watch) for an emergency bathroom break between miles 7 and 8. I'm not thrilled about stopping but there wasn't going to be another choice and I wouldn't have made it another hour. So did the bathroom thing and then sucked down a Gu and continued on our way. 15 miles feels much more like a long run distance and thus was treated that way. We stopped again at the North Avenue Beach for Gatorade provided by Fleet Feet (THANKS!!!!) walked a little bit and then continued on. Before we knew it we were back at Chicago Avenue with less than 4 miles to go. Bumped up the pace again for the last three miles, with the last two around our Marathon Race Pace. The rest of the miles were nicely within the boundries we have set for ourselves for long run paces. I know I know...you just want the picture :

After the run and hanging out with Evin for a few minutes we decided to head to Bite to grab some food. For the first time on a Sunday I was starving and needed some kind of big meal. It wasn't as crowded as we thought it was going to be and so go table right away. An omlette and a chorizo scramble later and we were back home....just in time for Nap Time :-)

We both took some shuteye and then watched the end of the Cubs game....and the cubs take 2/3 from the Brew Crew. GO CUBS!!!

After the game we headed to Target for a new DVD player as ours had frozen and the only way to fix it was to re-sotter something at which point we said...no we'll just get a new one. We spent the rest of the day reading and watching movies and being wonderfully lazy.

We are working at home today as it's the holiday week. Tomorrow it's an LT.... 9 with 4. Which I'm saying is going to go swimmingly.

Alright. Long wrap up...Happy Monday all!