Some Updates

First off, this is likely to be my last post of the week… Now dry your eyes… I promise to be back on Monday. That also means that there will be no Throwback tomorrow. I know you were waiting on the edge of your seat for the next installment of 2012 running but it will return as normal next week. As a result… you will get several mini-posts this week… try to keep up :-p

I am choosing to sort of check-out from internet/related stuff while spending time with my family. Though I am sure I will still check in at some point in the mornings and the evenings, I will not be constantly playing around on the internet like I normally do… However, that may change if my Aunt wants to know what FB and/or Blogging is about. But regardless… I am not planning to do much updating until back in Chicago. This is Family time and I do not see my extended family nearly as often as I would like.

In other news, I wrote about a Holiday Challenge (or Holiday Streaking as it is being called by Runner’s World) last week. Though, I know I will be skipping a handful of days due to schedule difficulties. I am ultimately going to take on the challenge. Outside of that whole holiday season indulgence reason, I am taking on the challenge to mentally and physically prep myself for some of my 2014 goals. One of which is to start running 5 days a week again. I do well with short term challenges as a way to prepare myself for a larger goal. In all reality, it looks like in taking on this challenge that I am really only going to be running 6 days a week since there is at least one day a week between now and New Years where I just won’t be able to fit in the run (even if it is only a mile) due to the schedule. So let’s officially call my challenge through New Year’s Day running 6 days a week.

Some of you may also recall my post where I talked about being nausea after running and indicated that I thought it was caused by being on Birth Control (BC) for skin related issues. Well, roughly two weeks later and off the BC, I am reporting in to let everyone know that the Nausea problem seems to have been resolved. I still feel an occasional “twinge” every now and then. But it lasts for minutes (instead of the rest of the day and sometimes into the next day) and is not anywhere near as severe as it had been. I suspect that the medication is still working its way out of my system which may account for the twinges I have been feeling. Further, the skin issues have not returned yet either. As such, I am really hopeful that this issue has been resolved. Will continue to monitor and check back again.

That’s all for today. I wish everyone a very happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Training: November 18th – 24th

Nov 18-24

Monday – 2.00 Miles & Upper Body Strength Training

It was super windy outside and I had no desire to deal with that… so I decided to just walk to the gym and run there. Started off the treadmill and then did some strength training… Towards the end of the strength training I started to feel a tad guilty about only doing a mile so I ran another mile on the track. I am noticing my pace has slowed quite a bit… Not entirely sure why but I am not too worried… I have no intentions of running for time until probably April

Tuesday – 2.56 Miles

By far the best weather day of the week so I decided to take advantage of it and go for a run outside. I didn’t really have any goals… just wanted something between 2 and 3 miles. Decided to run my favorite park route which included a handful of hills (by Chicago standards). It was a decent run and I was feeling decent after the run. I partially think the pace might have to do with it taking longer to warm up once I start running… Not sure though… Meh

Wednesday – 0.80 Miles & Lower Body Strength Training

So, I had fully intended to do a run to/from the gym but I ran into a gym buddy (someone I have chatted with at the gym off and on for years but hadn’t seen in a while at the gym… probably because I hadn’t been there lately) and we started to talk and he offered me a ride home. Which I accepted because my Achilles Tendonitis seemed to have flared big time that day. But still got in a very good strength training workout so not all was lost. And keep in mind… the whole goal is just to run at least 4 days a week… so I was still doing my part even if it was less than a mile…

Thursday – 2.00 Miles & Upper Body Strength Training

With Slushy snow falling… there was no way in hell I was going to run outside. I started off the run with a mile jog around the track. Was rather angry with myself since it took me 11:00 minutes. So while Strength training I decided I wanted revenge… hopped on the treadmill and got it… But it hurt. Considered upping the weight for the strength training but decided against it since I wouldn’t be hitting the gym this week.

Friday – 1.00 Miles & Lower Body Strength Training

High Wind and REALLY cold… Yea… Again with the no running outside thing. Also not too concerned with mileage for the week, I settled in for a mile on the treadmill. Then decided to hike up that incline as high as it would go for 10 minutes… I figured if it was leg day at the gym then I should do something to make the legs work harder.

Saturday – Rest

With my parents getting into town the next day and quite a few errands to run, I needed to be productive. Got all the errands done with just a little time to spare before meeting up with friends and going to the Festival of Lights (since Book Club was canceled because the host has the flu). I had never been before so I was excited. After freezing our butts off, we went to grab dinner.

Sunday – Rest

Yea… Productivity wasn’t as high as it should have been in the morning… but my bed was just too comfy. Managed to get the tree up and about 2 strands of lights on the tree before the parents arrived and we watched the bears lose then grabbed dinner. Returned home and got the rest of the Christmas decorations up and all 6 strands of lights on the tree.

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It was a good week. Really glad I got in 5 days of running. The 4 days of strength training felt amazing. My pace is slower but I hope that is temporary until my body adjusts to running and strength training… I probably should throw in some actual speed work at some point too…

Don’t anticipate too much running this week with the parents in town and then us heading to MI but I will bring the running gear with me and you never know. Kind of bummed I won’t be running a turkey trot this year but really excited to spend Thanksgiving with my family in Michigan

Hope everyone has a great week!

A Busy Weekend Ahead

I have lots of things I need to do, want to do and probably should do… But there are only so many hours in a day…

Tomorrow I have several errands that I need to run… Specifically three and of course none of them are near each other so I get to bounce all over. Then I have book club in the evening… which I am really looking forward to. Been a while since I have been able to catch up with the girls. Luckily it should be an early night though.

Sunday my parents get into town. YAY! They will spend a few days here before we all pile into the car to go to Michigan on Tuesday. But before they get here, I need to get the lights on my tree so we can decorate it… This may seem like an easy and quick thing. But I put about 600 lights on my tree… so it is hardly quick.

In fact, I should probably get the tree actually UP today after I get home from the gym. Its still bundled up and laying on my floor….

Then there are the other small things that I need to/should do… Laundry, Clean my Bathroom and Vacuum. Of all of those I am fairly certain that vacuuming is the only one that will get done.

To top it all off, we are about to get an extreme cold snap here. Which is not that big of deal… I am ready for the winter season but it is also supposed to be very windy tomorrow… so running errands all day won’t be all that fun.

But I am looking forward to spending time with my parents and I am excited that the Holiday season will be in full swing.

Holiday Challenge

There has been a challenge floating around the running community lately. It’s fairly simple. Run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Years.

When I first learned of the challenge, I immediately thought “Nah… not for me” but now I cannot get the idea out of my head… and that’s usually not the best sign when it comes to me and running…

I am VERY tempted to take on the challenge. But I do see a handful of small road blocks.

There is one day that I know for sure I will not be able to run… when I travel back to Texas. As you may or may not know, I am at work between 6 and 6:30 in the morning which is why I do not run in the morning. I am already getting up at 4:30 just to get to work on time. So running in the morning just won’t happen. And the day I travel back to TX for the Christmas holiday, I will go straight from work to the airport. I will land close to 9 pm… so by the time I actually get to my parents it is likely to be closer to 10… and I just don’t see a run happening at that point. It will have been a VERY long and tiring day and… yea… just not gonna happen.

I am also not sure about running on Christmas day… I think I MIGHT be able to make it work but probably not without effecting my parents (as in asking that breakfast be delayed for 15 minutes while I change and head out for a quick run) and/or eating and then running right away… so let’s consider that day a no as well.

And as for starting the challenge on Thanksgiving… it’s iffy. I am traveling to MI with my parents to see my dad’s side of the family. It looks like the hotel has a fitness center so I could get in a mile on the treadmill probably without too much difficulty… but there is a timing issue here as well. It will all depend on when we leave for the day to go to my Aunt’s and that whole three people needing to use one bathroom to get ready in the morning thing… I am planning to bring my running stuff with me but I am not counting on being able to run while I am in MI.

Because of these small issues… I am thinking about taking on the challenge with a small twist. I am considering tacking on the 1 mile from a missed day to my run on a different day to make up for it. And yes, I totally understand that is not taking on the challenge but work with me here.

Not really knowing what I will or won’t be able to do while in Michigan next week leaves next week kind of up in the air. But I am thinking that I will just run two miles (at least) on Saturday and Sunday… then move to the daily thing through most of December. That travel day’s mile will be added to my run the following day while I am in TX. And as for Christmas… yea… will probably add that mile to the run on the day before…

Sure, it’s not the true challenge… but isn’t the point of the challenge to commit to running through the holidays?

And if, in fact, that is the true point of the challenge, then I am still successful…

I haven’t completely decided yet but the past has taught me that once I get a running idea in my head it really doesn’t go away until I do it…

Throwback Wednesday – Strike Out ALS 5K 2012

This race entered the radar because Eric found it. It is for a cause that is near and dear to his heart. Since Chris, Eric and I all like baseball it was easy for us to commit to the race.

For those who do not know (or for those who missed my re-cap of the race from this year), the race starts outside of US Cellular Field (where the White Sox play) and after going through the parking lot, we enter the stadium and finish on the warning track on the field. Pretty cool to finish a race there. After the race, some of the concession stands are open and the All Star game is broadcast on the jumbo tron for us to watch from the seats.

We also got our friend Curtis (also a huge baseball friend) and Rhoda to join us so we had a nice little group.

This is a July race and is held in the evening. And yes, it was a hot one (though not as hot as this past year). I brought my race stuff to work with me and changed there before heading down to the race site… where I was REALLY early and killed lots of time sitting in the shade before Eric and Chris arrived. Rhoda and Curtis were not too far behind them. We did gear check and killed some more time chatting away and such. We lined up and without much fuss, we were off.

Now, it is also no secret that last year was not a good year for me in terms of running. I still hadn’t really gotten back into a good groove and the heat that we had to start off the month of July did not help.

Needless to say, I went into this race not expecting much in terms of time.

I did alright for the first mile and a half but then the sun and the heat got to me and things just went downhill from there. The rest of the race was run/walk intervals. I also was not feeling the greatest.

After I crossed the finish line, I found Eric, Chris and Rhoda. We waited for Curtis to finish and then got in line for some food before finding a seat in the stands to watch some of the all star game.

It was fun but once it started to get late, we decided it would be best to leave. Rhoda was nice enough to give us all a ride home. All in all it was a fun evening.

Winter Running

It’s no secret that I prefer running in cooler weather… I run better and my body just seems to function better. But running in cooler weather has some downfalls as well.

I have done a fair amount of running outdoors during the winter months… Not a ton but enough to know how to dress for it and how to take the precautions needed. And I am not talking about just the shorter days that force you to run in the dark more.

Running in the dark is not my preference. Although, it’s not as bad as I once thought. As much as I love the lakefront path there are just some sections that are pretty dark and I still have issues with running through those sections. Not so much because I don’t feel safe running there but it more difficult to see the path and therefore I could potentially not see a branch or hole or something along those lines until its too late. THAT just makes me feel a tad uncomfortable with my footing. Its not terrible but I just feel a lot more tense when I am in those sections. Plus, once we get into the really icy weather, I will get even more tense… Two words… Black Ice.

Because of these dark spots along the lakefront path, I tend to stick more to the park and just loop it if I need to. Also, the parking lot behind the zoo is about .80 miles (and gets plowed rather quickly)… so I have run that back and forth before. Even if we did have snow/ice recently, I can run out and see where all the icy patches are and so on the return trip, I know where I need to be more cautious. There are definitely advantages to my work schedule

My other secret… running along the high rises by Lake Shore Drive. It’s well lit, there are sometimes friendly doormen standing outside that give a nice a hello and, the best part, those sidewalks are ALWAYS completely shoveled and salted in the winter. Black ice is not an issue there.

Luckily all my winter running gear have pockets big enough for a small water bottle so I don’t have to worry about that in the winter… but I still hate running with water…

Then there is the issue of what to do when it rains or it is snowing…. I know there are plenty of people who will run outside no matter the weather. Major props to them but I am just not that person. As much as I hate the treadmill or the track… sometimes there is no other option.

In fact, this week the weather is not looking too good and I am starting to wonder if my little run to/from the gym will even work this week… so far its not looking like it. So I might be forced to the treadmill and/or track. The track is MUCH better than the treadmill in my opinion but not by much. The only thing I actually like the treadmill for is speed work… I am forced to keep pace.

So it looks like this week I will be spending a lot more time on the track… or the treadmill.