Throwback Wednesday – Progress? And a Decision…

After the Zoo race I had hoped to get back to my Marathon plan. But, the injury from the beginning of the year still worried me. I didn’t want to increase distance too quickly. So I scaled it back. I was hitting the gym more often and I was also keeping up the running.

I felt good about the running I had done in the month of June… I was at least getting out there more often. But with July around the corner and my mom coming into town I knew that naturally the mileage would dip…

But it dipped FAR more than it should have. The mileage for the month was a measly 25.98 miles. That is the mileage I should have been running per week not per month.

I was determined to get back on track in August but I had two night baseball games to start the week… at White Sox Stadium. I can get a run in before a baseball game if it’s at Wrigley but not CWS… so that was two days off. Then I went to NYC for a week. I wasn’t foolish enough to think I would be running while there. Plus I had to have work clothes and going out clothes and a few in between… there was no room for running gear. I got back from NYC and 4 days later was on the road to Minnesota to go to a baseball game there with a friend. There was no time for running. Got back from that trip and immediately got sick from lack of sleep. Spent a week on the Couch and then the following weekend was a good friends Wedding.

Needless to say my August ended with a paltry 14.20 miles. WAY too low for marathon training… Especially a marathon that was only a month and a half away…

I was determined to get on track in September. I knew by the end of the month I was going to have a decision to make… Do the Marathon or DNS.

I got out there several times a week. I was feeling good about the progress I was making. Running was no longer feeling a chore and the runs were getting a bit easier. It was a sure sign that I was getting back in the running groove.

I ended the month with 37.96 Miles and I had a decision to make…

My September Running picked up. But I was still way below where I knew I should be. My longest run that month had been 3.90 miles…

October first came around faster than I wanted. I was happy with the progress I had made in September. Considering it was the year where EVERYTHING went wrong… I thought it was a decent month. It was not the month I had envisioned when the year started. It wasn’t even close

With the Marathon only 9 days away I had a serious decision to make. I knew there was no hope of running the whole thing. Hell… I wasn’t even sure if I could run HALF of the race. But, I also knew that I was stubborn enough to finish the race should I decide to start. I also knew that race day weather was going to play a HUGE part.

So, I checked the expected weather forecast just about every day leading up to the race. All forecasts were calling for warmer temps. Damn… I would have much better luck if it was only going to be 50 degrees or so… But 70 something… that’s warm for a marathon.

A friend of mine told me to do the race. It’s an amazing accomplishment to even finish so why not go for it.

I wanted to do the race. I knew it would hurt and I knew I would be doing a lot of walking. This race would probably take me well over 5 hours to complete. But to finish a marathon would be amazing.

But in the back of my head I also knew how foolish it would be. I would be in an immense amount of pain after. I probably wouldn’t be running at all for several weeks after the race either. To top it off, my Favorite 5K was the Saturday following the marathon… The race Gods were not kind.

My mom was coming into town. She was prepared to support me no matter what my decision, whether I choose to run or not.

I thought about my pride for a tiny bit… I talked about doing this race FAR more than I talked about doing my first half. It would be a HUGE hit to admit that I pulled out. But that was not my determining factor

As much as I wanted to do the race to say that I completed a marathon… and believe me, it was A HUGE factor. I knew I just couldn’t

I opted to DNS – In fact, I never even picked up the race packet or attended the Expo.

To say I was bummed is an understatement. This had been my goal race for the year. But it was a year where everything went wrong… Injury and constantly getting sick and some summer heat. It just was not meant to be.

The marathon course used to run in front of my apartment and then behind it… essentially locking me until the runners passed the 10ish mile mark… so somewhere around 11:00 am.

Race morning came and I decided that I may not be running the race but I will be damned if I wasn’t going to partake in some fashion. So, Camera in hand, Mom and I ventured outside to cheer everyone on. The elites ran by very early with a speed I can never hope to have. After that came the speedy normal people. We stayed until we saw a friend of mine run by so I could yell out his name. We had been outside for over an hour and I wanted to watch the elites finish the race so ventured back inside to watch the elites finish the race on TV.

This is still a sore point in my running history. But really… you all saw it coming. I was never foolish enough to believe that I could fudge my first marathon. Had I already gotten a marathon under my belt I would have been a lot more inclined to go through it. I find races easier the second time around because you know what to expect. But it was not meant to be and this taught me that it really is never meant to be.

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I May Be A Serial… Racer

When I started this running venture sometime in 2008 I really had no intention of racing. It was just a way to work out and still enjoy the outdoors. But then that pesky half-marathon idea got into my head… and well… the rest is a series of blog posts :-p

In 2010 I signed up and finished only 5 races. It was my first year tracking my running and I felt a little over my head signing up for races. Where do people find them?!?!?!? The Answer – BTW is to sign up for a race because then you get hundreds of emails about other races… anyway.

2011 I signed up for 10 races – I completed 4 and took a DNS on the other 6. As I am sure you have all started to gather… 2011 was not a good year… for running OR racing.

For 2012 I finally had a racing buddy… Eric caught the running bug and wanted to race. He got hooked after his first one. I was happy to support him in his new found love of running. With that came coordinating races together. Then Chris joined us and we had our own little race group. Eric went for distance but I was convinced my distance days were over so I happily took on the 5Ks at his Half Marathon Races and Chris joined me for that venture. We never actually RUN together… Just arrive, meet up after and leave together. There was cheering each other on as well.

After taking a look at the money I spent last year (yea… you know that Excel Obsession that I have… It falls over to my budget as well… Totally separate post) I decided I needed to spend less money on races this year which in turn meant fewer races.

When I started this blog I had 13 races on the schedule – 2 of which I had already taken a DNS on. Slowly but surely I have added more and more races. If I keep to the schedule I have right now I will finish 19 races this year and have taken a DNS on 3 races.

Ummm – wasn’t I supposed to do less?

Good news… I am still spending less this year than I did last… I have NO IDEA how that math works out. I really don’t. Especially since I have signed up for a few pricier races this year too (*cough* Soldier Field two days before the race *cough*).  Granted, I am only going to be about $10 less this year… but still… less is less. Of course if I add even one more race to the schedule I will go over what I spent last year… There is one more race I want to do but am on the fence…It will put me “over budget” if I do sign up

I can think of far worse things to spend $40 (let’s just use this as a good middle ground number) on several times a year.

Ultimately, I would like to travel for some races in the future. I think it is an awesome way to experience a city. I just need to build my savings back up a bit… Buying a condo and moving (and then subsequent shower issues) is expensive. But down the road I really would love to travel to races… In fact… a number of them have already been picked out for future dates. And I am sure I will have the usual suspects in tow 🙂

This is a hobby of mine. Sure, it is sometimes an expensive hobby… especially with the running gear and running shoe purchases. But it is also a healthy hobby. It is something I really enjoy.  And I enjoyed meeting fellow runners this year and look forward to meeting many more.

Now – What other races should I sign up for? :-p

Training: July 22nd – July 28th

July 22-28

Monday – Rest

I didn’t run on Monday. My uncle came into town so mom and I had dinner with him instead. I debated a run after eating but I was just too full and it was still on the warmer side so I decided against it.

Tuesday – 2.23 Miles

Headed out for a run after work. Originally planned to do 3 miles but HOLY WIND. Heading North was brutal and I felt like I wasn’t moving at all so when I reached my 2ish mile turn around point I opted for that. The waves were huge that day too which was kinda fun to look at while running. My blood sugar totally tanked while running too… always fun. So I spent the rest of the evening feeling insanely nausea. Fun…

Wednesday – 2.22 Miles

After work, Mom and I went for a walk. It was really nice out. We tried a restaurant/bar in my area that opened up not too long ago for dinner. After that we walked home and I went for a run. Yea… Dinner was NOT settling well with me. Everything stayed down during the run but about an hour after the run…well… you get the picture.

Thursday – Rest

Decided that since the two previous days had been bad in terms of stomach and running that I would skip the run for the day.  I really didn’t want to chance anything. Mom and I grabbed dinner and went for a walk instead

Friday – Rest

Since it was Mom’s last weekend in Chicago and we had yet to go to Twin Anchors (a must go if you have not been) we decided to go. A quick text to Eric earlier in the week (he LOVES Ribs) is what helped us decide which day to go. Eric met my mom and me at my place and off we went to eat. I ate WAY too much like normal and knew a run was not going happen after. Oh well…

Saturday – Rest

A friend of mine from College was nice enough to offer assistance in an attempt to fix the hole in my wall in my shower. Unfortunately, I need to figure out a better way to get the dry wall so after several hours of work I still have a hole in my shower. He did fix the tiny hole above the faucet in my shower though… so one down and one LARGE one to go. I appreciate his effort immensely… but the dry wall was the issue. At this point I might just keep the hole in my wall until I can afford to re-tile my entire shower (I don’t hate the tile in my shower but I don’t love it either)…  Anywho… by the time all was said and done a run was not going to happen. I was exhausted for some reason and the caulk (which fixed the small hole) needed to dry for at least 3 hours before I could use my shower again… so no run for me

Sunday – Rest

As much as I wanted to run, I knew the likelihood was slim to none when I woke up. Needed to do a better clean job in my bathroom and put up more plastic over the hole – can I just say that I LOVE Duct Tape? I wanted to run a couple of errands while still having access to a car and we were meeting my Aunt (not blood related but mom’s best friend) for dinner. I knew a run after dinner wouldn’t happen and before depended greatly on timing. Well… late start to the day meant we only had about an hour to kill after errands and before leaving to go to my Aunts. Oh well

Needless to say it was a pitiful running week despite the awesome weather. I doubt I will do much running this week too. Starting the drive to TX tomorrow with mom after work and then doing the rest on Wednesday… So two travel days. Plus its well over 90 degrees in TX… I don’t like extreme heat. I will bring my running gear with me and see how it goes. But I am not too optimistic. Once I get back into town I should be able to get the running back to normal though. My Next 10K will probably hurt a bit though…

Some Things That I Occassionally Ponder While I Run…

Does Sprinting for the Bus count as Speed Work?

Generally I am not out for my normal run when I have this thought but I am RUNNING. Now – I am not asking if this means that I will be able to run a sub 20 min 5K – I am not stupid… nor am I unrealistic… I will NEVER have a sub 20 min 5K. But along the lines of every little bit helps… well… Does it?

Why do people ignore posted warnings?

While running on Wednesday evening, I noticed that there was a barricade up indicating that the lakefront patch south of Fullerton was closed. Didn’t affect me… I never run south of Fullerton in the summer anyway. But I saw a countless number of people going PAST the barricade or going North and had obviously ignored the barricade at some other point on the path. Now, the waves had calmed SIGNIFICANTLY at that point but this is not the first time I have seen that happen. Remember that huge snow storm we got where people were told to stay off LSD and the Lakefront path… Well… we all know what happened to those on LSD but there was apparently someone who went on the Lakefront path, fell into the water and died. WHY WOULD YOU IGNORE THE WARNINGS?

Why is that person doing that?

I am sure I am not the only person who has seen someone on the lakefront path doing something that is rather odd… in fact, I dedicated a post to it one day. But I still see these people and it STILL boggles my mind

What all do I need to get done?

Oh yes… when I run I go through my schedule for the following week, chores I need to do, errands I need to run, etc. I cannot be the only person that does this…

Why are those people have THAT conversation while running?

I am not going to lie… Occasionally when I run a race I listen to the conversations around me. Its a good distraction sometimes and other times… well… sometimes people are shouting their conversation while running so it’s rather difficult to ignore. But in overhearing these conversations I wonder why people are having such personal conversations with so many other people around. And I am not referring to those gossipy kind of conversations but more the ones where people are talking about some sort of medical thing or an extremely detailed conversation about a persons recent sexual activities (though that one was entertaining). But with so many people around why are you talking about that?

One question for you all on this Friday Morning – What do you Ponder while you run?

A Few Things…

The Shower Saga continues…

So, as most of you know, I have been having shower issues. To sum up the issue… I had very little water pressure and was told that the valve would need to be replaced, which requires going into my wall which means cutting into my tile. They started back in MAY. Yes – MAY. My building engineer said he would do it if I got the parts. Ok fine so I did. Then he wouldn’t be able to get to it for several weeks. I was given the option of hiring a plumber or waiting. Since I wasn’t able to take time off work because we were really busy (my boss told me I could but I really didn’t want to leave my team short handed) I opted to wait. Then the engineer tells me it is too big a job so I need to hire a plumber. Grrrr… FINE… So quick call to my mom and she offered to wait for the plumber so I didn’t have to take time off work. During this time I had a long conversation with the building engineer to get a better understanding of what was going on and to get all my ducks in a row. During such conversation I point blank asked if I would need to alert the building about the plumber coming (they would need to shut off the water for a short period of time) and the engineer told me no. So Plumber comes on the day I scheduled him for only to find out that I DID need to alert the building and engineer is off that. At this point I am beyond frustrated. I have gone over a month without a normal shower in my home. I could use it but with low water pressure and long hair you can imagine how long it too to get shampoo and conditioner out of my hair. So I predominately showering at night and tried to find other places to shower… like the gym. Ok, finally get the shower fixed. Now I just have a hole in my wall. Easy enough to deal with short term… all I need is Duct tape and some trash bags and I can use the shower. Got it! Try to get someone in to fix the drywall and re-tile. One estimate was $600… are you FREAKING KIDDING ME?!?!?!?! It is NOT that difficult a job (I just don’t have the tools). So find someone else. He was supposed to come yesterday and he just blew us off. Never showed – No call – No text. What’s worse is my mom sat there waiting all that time.

Now… I am running out of time. Mom and I both leave for TX on Tuesday afternoon… And to top it off… Condo Association rules… Cannot have a contractor in my unit past 5 pm on weekdays and they are not allowed on the weekends. Does anyone know a tile person in the city that can do the job under VERY short notice? Or… does anyone know how to patch dry wall and then tile (with my help)?

Ok… Moving on…

I was fortunate enough to win a FREE entry to the Chicago Half & 5K race in September compliments of the Lovely Karen over at Trading in My Heels. I am SOOO excited! I am no where near ready for a half and I am not brave (foolish?) enough to tackle a half in the beginning of September where we are pretty likely to have warm temps so I opted for the 5K. Now I get to cheer on my friends running the half. And its another fall race. Really very excited!

Had an interesting encounter the other day while running along Fullerton back to my Condo. There was a girl in front of me who kept moving from the right to the left while not really paying attention to where she was going. I knew I was going to have to pass but was having difficulty picking a side to pass on because she was weaving (not drunk but looking up at the building or at her cell phone) I ended up picking her left side and yelled out “on your left” as I passed her… which is when she veered right into me and said “watch where you’re going”. Now I bit my tongue but was REALLY tempted to yell something along the lines of… I was but with your swerving back in forth it was difficult to figure out where YOU were going. Anyone else have something similar to this happen?

Looks like I have some exciting things lined up for August. More on all that later but I am going to do a Nike Training Club (NTC) thirty challenge with some fellow bloggers. Really looking forward to it… even though I don’t entirely know what it entails (hence the more on that later part…)

Happy Thursday everyone!

Throwback Wednesday – United Run for the Zoo 10K 2011

After falling in love with this race in 2010 I decided to do it again in 2011. At the time, it didn’t really fit into the training that I had set for myself but I still wanted to do to the race. The original plan was to get in a longer run the Friday before, which didn’t happen… No notes as to why on the old log. So instead this race turned into my long run for the week.

A friend of mine joined me for the race but he took part in the 5K instead of the 10K. We met up at packet pick-up at the zoo the day before and it was HOT. In fact, this was the day that the 13.1 Half Marathon was stopped due to the weather. I remember being worried about the temps for the following day.

Luckily, weather was on my side for this one and we got a cool front that night. I had one goal for the race… I wanted to run the entire thing… no walking at all. Not only had I been angry that I had to walk the year before but I had missed out on the long for the week so in my mind I had no excuse for walking this race. Because I didn’t want to walk at all (not even through water stations as per my norm), I ran with water so I could skip all the water stations.

This year, I was smarter and didn’t eat anything before the race. I met up with my friend before the race at my place (at the time I lived across the street from the start line) and we agreed on a spot to meet after the race. He lined up for the 5K and was off.

I lined up for the 10K and after not too much time waiting, we were off. It was a nice morning… warmer than I would have preferred but not too hot for racing. And it was DEFINITELY far better than the temps from the day before.

The miles ticked by nicely and I was feeling good. One of the reasons I love this race is because I love the course so much. Not only is it one that I run almost daily but it is scenic and there are some shady sections too which is also helpful when the sun is out.

I was very glad I ran with water because I was able to skip the water stations, therefore avoiding the crowds. I very much had a mindset going into the race that if I stopped I was done for. Thus far in my racing, I had proven stopping to be a bad thing and I wasn’t about to screw up this race.

Once we got to the 5 mile mark I started to struggle a bit. I felt my blood sugar tanking which is not a fun feeling. For those who have never had it… I get nausea and can feel dizzy. This time it was just being nausea…

But I opted to be stubborn and push through it even though it slowly got worse. Once we crossed over the lake at the Diversey Harbor Bridge I was desperate to walk. But I also knew how close I was to the finish so I decided to let stubbornness take over.  After going through the Fullerton underpass I knew it was the home stretch and I took off for the finish line.

After the Race, I grabbed a bagel and bottle of water then went in search of my friend. We chatted briefly about the race then parted ways.

Later that day I looked up my official time 1:05:58 for a pace of 10:36

Want to hear something really funny now… It was about a YEAR before I realized this was a PR…  How does one miss that?

ABC’s of Me…

Bad Goldfish :-p Ok I was tagged so I guess I have to jump on the bandwagon…

A. Attached or Single?

Single. But I am very attached to my wonderful friends

B. Best Friend?

There are actually several… but in the interest of not making this a VERY long list I will name my best guy friend and best girl friend. Eric and Cookie respectively (Cookie is a nickname not her actual name). In general if you have been invited to my Birthday Dinner you rank up there as one of the most important people in my life (with the exception of some out of town people that I don’t invite… Hopefully you know who you are)

C. Cake or pie?

Cake – Definitely without a doubt cake… I like yellow cake with chocolate frosting best. I also really like with Ice Cream… Or Ice Cream cake…

D. Day of choice?

Hmmm… Tough one… I like Saturday and Sunday because I don’t have to get up early but I don’t HATE week days. I think what makes me dislike a day is perhaps events from said day….

E. Essential Item?

Normal Working Shower :-p Which I now have… If you can ignore the Trash bags and duct tape covering the hole in my wall… Haha Just kidding (mostly). There is a stuffed animal I have had since I was 5 that I would go absolutely ballistic if I ever lost… or if it fell apart (totally not kidding)

F. Favorite color?

Depends on what the color is for… I generally love blue. But when it comes to colors for the home I have mostly grays and whites. Some blues as well. If we are talking Sports then Navy Pinstripes :-p

G. Gummy bears or worms?

Gummy Bears without a doubt. Although there was a period of time in HS where there was an obsession with the sour gummy worms

H. Home town?

I have several… Detroit, MI – Wyckoff, NJ – Southlake, TX – Chicago, IL – The latter is the only one I have chosen so you could say it is my favorite :-p

I. Favorite Indulgence?

I probably have too many… But I definitely like my candy… way too much lately… And other sweets… Again… way too much lately. But I also have a Starbucks habit that I gave up trying to eliminate many years ago

J. January or July?

Again – It depends… am I racing or just going about my day. I do NOT run well in heat and because of that I prefer January but my mom comes to visit every July so because of that I prefer July… Can we just call me a fickle chick?

K. Kids?

Not for me but I love my friends’ kids. I get to be the Aunt that spoils them rotten and gets to buy them Yankee gear but at the end of the day, they go home with mom and dad. My Best friend just had her first child and I am overjoyed! I cannot wait to spoil the little guy and teach him all about sports

L. Life isn’t complete without?

Hmmmm… Difficult to answer. I love all of my friends and could not imagine my life without them. I love my family (as small as it is). I love being able to work out regularly. I read all the time. I do enjoy my Saturday and Sunday mornings on the couch watching Law & Order Re-runs :-p

M. Marriage date?

Why are there two questions related to relationship status… Way to pour salt in the open wound of the single (KIDDING… Mostly…) How about my marriage to running instead… Sometime in June 2008 is when it officially began but began training for my first half on January 4, 2010 so we will go with that

N. Number of brothers/sisters?

None. I also do not have any cousins. None of my Aunts and Uncles had kids… Most never got married, Though they have all been in relationships for well over 20 years. And BTW… MI is not a common law state

O. Oranges or Apples?

Neither – the texture of fruit REALLY freaks me out. I know I know – I am weird… I like several types of dried fruit though… Dried Cranberries and raisins are my favorite.

P. Phobias?

Ummm… The texture of fruit? I must say… at this point I am terrified of another shower/plumbing issue in my condo. And due to the car accident I was in last year… I have no desire to drive again

Q. Quotes?

Do you know the name of the blog you are reading right now? I choose that name for my blog because I think it is excellent motivation but other quotes that I like…

“We Make time for the things that are important to us. Period.”

“It Takes 4 weeks for you see your body changing. It takes 8 weeks for Friends and Family and it takes 12 weeks for the rest of the world. Keep Going”

“This is me – Take it or Leave it”

“I’m looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love.”

“Boys are Stupid… Throw Rocks at them” :-p

R. Reasons to smile?

Hmmm… There are lots. Far too many to list that’s for sure. But I like to think that I can appreciate the little things as well as the big things when it comes to smiling

S. Season of choice?

Fall… Definitely Fall. I also like Spring. I think Snow is pretty so I like winter too. Oddly… Summer is least my least favorite… too hot… I don’t really like temps above 80… Though if it was 75-80 all summer long then I would love it.

T. Tag 5 People

Grrrr… I don’t even think I have 5 people reading my blog (who also have blogs)… Also VERY sorry if any of you have been tagged previously and already done this

Trading in My Heels

Fluency’s Folly

Running for Boston

Too Tall Fritz

Mag Mile Runner

U. Unknown fact about me?

I cross-stitch… Haha… Now I wonder how many of you actually know what that it is :-p

V. Vegetable?

I detest onions in any form (I hate them so much that I pick them out of any sauce) and I really do not like raw tomatoes. But I do like Kale, Spinach, Carrots, Green Beans… just to name a few

W. Worst habit?

I am sure I have a LOT… but as for running related… I never seem to remember to sync Daily Mile… Then all of sudden I sync and there are several months added at once.

X. X-ray or Ultrasound?

I have never had an Ultrasound and Luckily it has been YEARS since I have been required to have an X-Ray. Now I am wondering why this question is even asked… The only one that is positive is an Ultrasound and that is only if you (or your wife) is pregnant… so really… Why?

Y. Your favorite food?

Haha… This is also a rather long list… and none of it is healthy… As for foods that I could never give up completely… Pizza, Candy, Cookies, Ice Cream, Cake (But I have been known to give up one of more for Lent)

Z. Zodiac sign?

Pisces