Weekly Training Report: November 17th – 23rd

Nov 17-23

Monday & Tuesday – Rest

The temperature dropped drastically in the city and with wind chills in the single digits, I opted to take the two days for rest. It looked like the weather would be better later in the week so I figured it would be a good idea. I also thought it would be easier to take my rest days during the work week while I try to adjust to the new schedule. So this was a little testing of that theory.

Wednesday – 4.05 Miles

This run was BRUTALLY cold. Our wind chill was nice and toasty in the teens (note extreme sarcasm). I played around with some layering but it didn’t work quite as well as I wanted. It was an evening for the LFT since I didn’t want to play around with guessing mileage. So I did my normal out and back 4 mile LFT course. Except, I am really not enjoying the LFT in the dark especially since I don’t always see other females. But mostly, I just felt pretty miserable on this run because I was so cold.

Thursday – 4.06 Miles

Me and layers are becoming good friends. The problem is, no matter what I wear on the bottom my butt and thighs are always freezing. I can be completely hot and sweating on top but the butt and thighs feel like ice cubes. Not exactly a fun experience. Decided that I just didn’t have the mental capacity for the LFT trail either so I opted to run in the zoo parking lot. I figured it would help block the wind a little and I was correct, it did… except for one section. Towards the end of the run, I started to notice that my stride was a little off and wondered if it was due to the cold or my layering.

Friday – 4.08 Miles

This run was brutal. From the very start of the run, I knew my body did not want to do the run. I was going to do the zoo parking lot again but then decided I needed to switch it up so I did three hill loops. The whole thing was a struggle though. More than anything I wanted to bail but I also really wanted 4 miles for the day. I decided maybe I needed to get to the inner trail to finish off the run and then mentally I would be better off. But that didn’t help either. I really have no idea how I managed to finish the run and get to 4 miles but I did.

Saturday – 7.02 Miles

Chris joined me for another run on the LFT. It was significantly warmer and I was really excited about that. But it was also really damp out. I had no idea what to wear. In the end, I opted for a pair of tights, a pair of Capri’s over the tights, a long sleeve, a wind breaker, a hat and gloves. I was WAY over-dressed. I was concerned that if it started to rain I would be cold. Of course, it never rained. After the first lap I was dying and over-heating big time. This run had disaster written all over it. After the second lap, I kinda wanted to bail. I could tell Chris was hurting and not fairing all that well but he insisted we continue. So off we went for our third and final lap. About half way through the last lap he started walking, I tried to stay with him but he kept yelling at me to go on and he would meet me at the water fountain. Well then. We finished the run and I felt surprisingly good after. Chris felt less than stellar. I then had several errands to run… This was a major flaw in my plan… I was exhausted.

Sunday – 2.00 Miles

Rain was in the forecast but it looked like it would hold off until later in the day. I wanted to get my meal prep for the week done first and then I would go for a run. It was a good idea in theory… But by the time I was done with the meal prep, it was raining. I had an errand to run so I figured I would use it as an excuse to see how the weather was. Here is where the huge debate started. It wasn’t too cold and it wasn’t raining too hard. Running in the rain wasn’t too appealing but neither was running inside at the gym. Plus the trek to the gym would add at least 30 minutes of time to the whole process of running. If I just ran outside then it would be roughly 20 minutes of time. So run in the rain, it was. It wasn’t too bad either. I considered adding on another mile but really just wanted to get home and relax a bit instead.

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It was a decent week… despite the extreme cold and the wind chills. Definitely need to figure out a better layering system too. Part of me thinks a cold butt and thighs will just be something I have to deal with in the winter months. There is also a small part of me that has been contemplating taking the running indoors to my gym’s track but doing more than 2 or 3 miles on a track sounds as brutal as running in the cold… Guess we shall see….

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October in Review

Oct 2014

Well… better late than never…

It was an incredible month with a ton of great training. I had assistance with the training and it was a huge help. The biggest improvement though was getting over my running fear. I had a lot of goals for the month and mostly nailed all of them. For the first time ever, I officially completed a training plan that I set for myself to train for a race. After that, I cut back on the weekly mileage a tad, took out the longer run and upped my daily run to 5 miles a day… something I have not done in years and it felt AMAZING

Oct 2014 Snapshot

I ran 22 days over the course of the month and I am really happy with that number. I also managed one race… in which I got a massive PR. I got SO close to hitting 100 miles for the month but fell just a tad short when my left knee decided to go wonky due to my calf muscle being too tight. Rest and two days of stretching and lots of rolling out solved the issue. But I was rather irked to get SOOOO close only to miss it. If I had just one more run day, I would have nailed it. But since the following week I had a huge goal race, I opted for the play it safe route.

Even though the month ended on a bit of disappointment, I am still really happy with how the month went.

Oct Yr to Yr 2014

Besides, can you really be angry when you hit the highest October mileage ever as well as your highest monthly mileage lifetime? No, not really. But missing 100 miles by less than 4 miles does bother me… Then again, it gives me something to work towards in the future too…

Oct Avg 2014

Averages wise, I stayed above 4 miles and my pace was around 9:30 which I am really happy with. A year ago when I was at the height of my running issues and very fed up, I never dreamed I would have a month like this. I finally found a nutrition plan that works well for me and I think that is a huge part of why my running went so well.

Yes, I am still a tad irked that I missed 100 miles. But I also knew that I shouldn’t push the wonky knee. Mostly, I am just glad I figured out what the issue was quickly and it went away quickly as well. Minor set back but it wasn’t a huge issue either.

I also really enjoyed my 5 mile trail run as well as my two trips to Cross-Fit. Hope to do both again in the future.

Weekly Training Report: November 10th – 16th

Nov 10-16

Monday – 3.05 Miles

It was my first day at my new job! I already went into the week understanding that I would not be working the hours I was hired to work because I needed lots of training. I was also trying to figure out the nutrition… I wanted to keep what I had going while unemployed. Essentially I went into the week knowing it was going to be an adjustment. Unfortunately, I WAY Overdressed for the run. It was warm and insanely windy and I thought the wind would be colder than it actually was. I also didn’t drink enough water throughout the day so that didn’t help. With the water fountains now off, I knew I would have to run with water. Running when you have a lot of variables changing right off the bat… not ideal. Still coming off of a week of being really busy and not sleeping out of anticipation… Let’s just say I had a lot working against me. This run was not the greatest….

Tuesday – 3.08 Miles

Hello Temperature Drop!!! It got rather cold… and it was only going to get worse. I didn’t need the full winter running gear get-up for this one… but pretty darn close. Running in the dark is not my favorite. I can do it but don’t really enjoy it. Especially when I think the LFT could be better lit… but that is a whole other ball of wax. I was happy that I was at least a tad bit faster than the day before. But noticing my slower pace on these three mile runs when my previous 5 mile run pace was faster was starting to bother me. And the fact that my pace during a daily run used to not even cross my mind and now it was also bothered me. Without a doubt, my body is adjusting to a lot of new stuff at the moment… and it was starting to wear on me.

Wednesday – 3.03 Miles 

Yep… even colder than the day before… Winter running in Chicago… Moments of disdain. I needed the full winter running gear get-up for the run. While out on the LFT, I noticed that I was the only female… which I found a tad unnerving. It was also rather windy which didn’t help with my enjoying this run. But I was glad to see that I was faster than the day before but it was still a lot slower. I know I am adjusting but I am annoyed…

Thursday – 3.05 Miles

Significantly less wind and female spotting on the LFT… so perhaps there was some female event on Wednesday that I was just unaware of. During this run I could tell that the nutrition for the week was way off. I really just did not want to purchase a lunch at all for the week so I sort of winged it. But it didn’t work out very well. During the run, I thought about how to fix it and I came up with a good plan.

Friday – Rest

Several weeks ago, I had made plans with Michael to watch hockey together. I also needed to make a quick trip to Target. Except getting off work closer to normal people hours instead of my nice 3:30 in the afternoon meant this wasn’t as quick of an errand as I had anticipated… and the buses were packed and stuck in rush hour. I also somehow totally messed up the start time of the game… Despite messing up the start time and mis-calculating how long it would take me to run my errand, I still managed to make it there in time to see the puck drop. The person who states that females are always late has never met me :-p I never intended to stay out late but ended up getting home at 1:15 in the morning… ooops. But it was a fun night!

Saturday – Rest

The plan was to do my longer run and I sort of decided to do 6 miles for the week. After two weeks of a random taper, I didn’t want to jump back into 20+ mile weeks right away. Plus the daily run was only 3 miles so I just decided this was a good place to start. For some reason, I just did NOT want to do this run. Waking up early exhausted on Saturday did not help either. But I was being insanely productive… so I figured I would do the run on Sunday and stick with my productive streak. I had been texting with Chris and found out he wanted to do about the same mileage as me so asked if he wanted to join me. I should add there is an attempt to transition him to running outside instead of on a treadmill… There are several other attempts going on with him but this was an easy one for me to cover. He agreed to do the run with me and we ironed out some plans to accomplish it. So I went on my merry productive way.

Sunday – 6.13 Miles

I was wide awake at 6:15… Seriously?!?! Being a morning person is both a blessing and a curse. I had my morning coffee and made breakfast and then jumped into my food prep for the week. I wanted to get it out of the way so I wouldn’t have to worry about it after the run. When Chris got to my place, I was just about done. So we layered up and headed out. Now, the thing to know about Chris is that he is HIGHLY competitive and he likes to bolt out of the gate. Overall, I am a pretty good pacer… This is not Chris’ strong suit. I was not going to lecture him, instead I was going to observe and let him sort of figure it out. The first mile was a tad fast… and though I think part of that was my attempt to keep up with him and the other part was the constant start/stop (the entire first half mile is full of intersections where you usually have to wait for the light to change). But after that we settling into a good steady pace. I opted to do my loop since it was snowing off and on and I wanted an out in case the weather turned. I also wanted to test myself on the water intake and see how I would fare going over two miles before water (I was well hydrated to start). I don’t talk when I run… mostly because I rarely run with people but also because it slows me down and I wanted at least a sub 10 pace for the run (My conversational pace is just over 10). However, Chris’ pocket DID talk… the running app on my phone drove me bonkers!!! There is a reason I turn off notifications on any running gadget… I don’t want them WHILE running…. with the rare race exception. He kept trying to push the pace and though I let him get a little ahead of me, if he started to get too far ahead I would tell him to slow down. The mile splits for the rest of the run were consistent…. Most importantly… I never attempted to shut up Chris’ pocket :-p

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There is a LOT of adjusting but overall it was pretty good. I know I will eventually get into a routine but the adjustment period has been a little rough thus far. This is when I need to just force myself to get out there and do it.

Life

Some of you may have noticed that, though I have been updating you all on my running, I have kept rather silent on the personal life aspect.

Even though this is technically a running blog, I do enjoy sharing personal tidbits.

However, when I got laid off, I threw everything into my running. It was my outlet and I felt like it was the only thing I could really control. Despite seeing a few people while being unemployed, for the most part, I didn’t see very many people. I may have had the time but I lacked the funds. And really, I didn’t enjoy the conversations that centered around how unsuccessful the job search was.

My life became running and thus, I really didn’t have much else to share.

I think I threw myself into running because I felt like it was all I had. If I lost my running, I would have lost everything. An over-dramatization, obviously. But, at the same time, I sort of felt that way.

I never identified myself by my career. It was simply something I did. Granted, I did love my job but it was not my identifying factor. But, I have always identified myself as a fiscally responsible adult… and having a job is linked to that. So lose the job and lose your financial security and I guess you can say I had a bit of an identity crisis.

Granted, being fiscally responsible was also a saving grace because I knew what I needed to do to survive financially and made sure I was only spending money on absolutely necessary items.

But I still had my identity as a runner and I clung to it with everything I had left.

So, what is going on in my life? Well, the biggest development is that I got a new job! Admittedly, I struggled with how to announce this. Then again, I struggled with how to announce I lost my job as well… so at least I am consistent.

One of the most important things for me in my career is my happiness factor. I know too many people who hate their job and it pours into their personal lives. Being happy has always been a high priority for me and since I had a job I loved, I felt like I had it all so-to-speak. This happiness factor is the main reason why I never would have left my old job. Why would you leave something you love?

This is something that I really thought about a lot while looking for a new job. I had a lot of response to positions that I could tell would not be a good fit for me because I would be miserable the entire time.

But of course, I also had a few other things that I was looking for in a new job. The longer I went being unemployed, the more I started to wonder if I would ever find something that was a good fit for me. When a friend reached out to me that the company she works for is hiring, I was really hopeful.

A week later I was offered the job. I knew about 15 minutes into the interview that the people I would be working with would be a good fit for me. Not only that, I knew the position and the company would be a good fit for me so I was ecstatic when I got the offer and accepted.

I started on the 10th and a week later, I still feel like this is a perfect fit for me.

Throughout the entire process of being unemployed, I didn’t so much doubt my ability to find a new job, but I did doubt my ability to find a job I would love.

If you love what you do then you never work a day in your life.

NYC Trip

So… in case you somehow missed the memo. I was in NYC last week. A part of my heart will always remain in NYC. And no, that is not because the Yankees play there. Since I provided a report on the 5K I ran while there, I thought I would do a post on the rest of the trip…

I had left the booking to Eric. He found a hotel in the Murray Hill area that was decently priced and he choose the flights that we take there and home. Originally, I was going to work out of the NYC office but obviously that was no longer the case… so I just had a really fun vacation to look forward to.

We had a VERY early flight out on Friday morning at 6 am and I really resent that Midway has few coffee options that early in the morning. I may not NEED coffee but I enjoy it so don’t give me icky coffee at 4:30 in the morning. It was an uneventful flight and I tried to sleep but couldn’t manage it. I was far too excited.

We landed and got our bags and into the taxi line without incident. After a trip through the tail end of rush hour, we dropped our bags off at our hotel. It was still going to be a few hours until we could check into the hotel. It worked out well since we both wanted food and needed to go to the expo.

First order of business… a decent cup of coffee. Eric managed to be a genius in this respect because there was a Starbucks across the street from the hotel. With that, we were off to go the west side of Manhattan… Except we had a lot of time before Chris‘ train would get into Penn Station. So we found a pizza place… which just happened to be right by Penn Station. So I had Chris meet us there.

We arrived at the expo and HOLY LINES!!!! The boys got IN line (Just for you Chris) while I went in search of a restroom. This was a trek in itself since the restrooms were well hidden even though the overall direction was well labeled. When I got back outside I saw the line moving quickly but couldn’t find them. So after multiple texts, I finally found them. I really do not understand how you can KNOW that 50,000 people are coming to a location and still have THAT long of a line just to get into the damn expo. Point one to Chicago on this…

After we all got our packets (the boys the marathon packets, Eric his 5K and my 5K) we wandered around the merchandise. I did find a few thing stop purchase since I wanted to document that I was actually there…. even if it was to spectate instead of run. Chris then headed back to NJ and Eric and I headed back to our hotel to check in and attempt to take naps.

When we got into the hotel room… we realized that Eric made a HUGE mistake while booking the room. There was ONE double bed in the room. And it was rather tiny… the next five nights were going to be fun… Luckily Eric knew I would have no issues kicking him out of said bed if he pissed me off… to which I added… be careful on Saturday. Note that in all reality, I wouldn’t kick him out of bed but what are best friends for if not for idle threats?

After attempting to nap, I changed to meet up with my childhood friend from NJ and we met up for dinner. I love spending time with her. Despite the years of not seeing each and the distance, whenever we get together it is like no time has passed and you would assume we talked every day. Good friends are like that 🙂

I then headed back to the hotel. It wasn’t that late but I had been up since 2:30 and was exhausted. Plus I had a race the following morning.

Eric and I were up to race on Saturday morning… with rain… Joy. You can read all about that here.

Once we got back to the hotel, we both tried to nap… which didn’t happen for me. But it wasn’t too long before we headed back out to meet up with Chris near the Theatre District to grab dinner at an Italian place. After we finished our dinner, Chris and I had a ton of time to kill before going to see If/Then. Eric headed back to the hotel and Chris and I headed to a bar to grab a drink… or two before going to the theatre. We chatted and caught up on each others lives because it had been quite a long time since we hung out. I knew nothing about the play we were going to see but with Idina Menzel as the lead, I didn’t think there was any chance of disappointment.

The play was absolutely fantastic! The general gist was the choices we make and if they change our destiny with the main theme being love. I pretty much balled my eyes out the entire second act. I highly recommend you check it out if you are in NYC!

Chris and I then walked to Grand Central station where we parted ways.

Eric was up early for the Marathon on Sunday and I did NOT sleep through it but luckily managed to fall back asleep for about an hour once he left. Sometimes I really hate being a morning person…

Prior to leaving for NYC, Erica had given me a suggestion for where to spectate. Since I knew I wanted to be on 1st to spectate but not really sure where exactly, I took her advice. She had recommended I go up to 95th. After grabbing breakfast and a cup of coffee, I headed out… with three hours to kill.

I knew this would be the case so I had always planned to walk from 29th up to 95th. But I decided to wander over to 6th and check out the Kiosk’s set up in Bryant Park for the holidays before continuing up toward 95th. At one point, I decided I wanted a scone so I headed over to one of my fav scone places… but not before getting the west and east side locations mixed up… so I had to back track a bit. Oh well… time to kill.

My other reason for walking was to stay warm. It was insanely windy and I was walking and noticing it, I knew the runners would be as well. Apparently NYC also has that whole “No matter which direction you are going it is into the wind” thing too…

I got to 95th and 1st around noon. I was there for about 15 minutes when I spotted Erica and shouted out to her. Maybe 25 minutes later I saw Chris and I could tell he was hurting… a lot. So I jumped onto the course to give him a hug… and get his attention since he didn’t see me at all before get back to the sidelines. The runner tracking told me that Eric wasn’t too far behind and they were projected to finish around the same despite Chris being in Wave 1 and Eric being in Wave 3. Magically I spotted Eric about 10 minutes before I expected to. I made sure he saw me and noted that he still looked pretty strong before I left my spot.

Here is where things got fun. The family reunion zone was on the west side of Central Park. I knew with all the road closures it would be difficult to cross Central Park so I headed over to Madison to avoid foot traffic and headed back south to go down and around Central Park to get to the west side. I stayed off main streets when I could simply because it was TOO crowded. I made it to the entrance of the reunion zone around the time Eric crossed the finish line…exactly 15 minutes after Chris. Thank you runner tracking app.

It took me about 30 minutes to get through security but I found a good spot to hang out at and sent Eric and Chris texts detailing (as best I could) where I was. It was probably another 45 minutes before I saw Chris and then shortly after I saw Eric. Chris had checked a bag whereas Eric went with the no bag check option… this meant they both found me pretty close together. But the marathon also made them both do a LOT of extra walking so I knew the first order of business was to find food. Chris and I thought alike when we both determined it best to stay west of the race so we walked over to 9th and then headed south until we found a place with a menu that appealed to all of us. Then it was back to the hotel for Eric and I while Chris headed to his car to back to NJ.

After hanging out in the hotel for a few hours, Eric and I decided to grab a drink at the bar next to our hotel. Except one drink turned into 5… compliments of making friends with the bartender. It was a lot of fun but it left me hungover on Monday…

Monday I got up and showered and then headed over to my old office to see my former co-workers and boss. It was good to see everyone and catch up.

Eric and I met up and both of us wanted food so we found a place to grab a cheap slice… gotta love NYC! We then headed up 5th toward Central Park to check out the post-marathon activities but all of the lines were too long so we headed back to the hotel. We met up with another friend of mine for dinner and then it was back to the bar next to the hotel for more drinks.

This is where things got comical and I learned just how much of my father’s daughter I am…

Eric started checking into the flight (Southwest) so I decided it would be smart to do the same thing… except I wasn’t able to. Eric looked at my email confirmation and that is when we noticed I booked my flight back for the wrong day.  SHIT!

My friend said she could put me up if needed but she lives with her BF in a studio and he doesn’t know me that well and I would still have an issue of getting into Midway way later than I wanted to by myself. Chick alone on the south side of Chicago late at night isn’t exactly on my to do list. I text Chris in a panic and found out he was driving back the next day.

It didn’t take me long to figure out I would be driving back with Chris… Southwest wanted to charge me $300 for a less than half full flight (found that out when Eric boarded) and they don’t allow stand by. Okie dokie… new plan. Take the train into NJ where Chris would pick me up. I would crash with him at his sisters place (HUGE thank you to her) and then we would drive back together on Wednesday.

Tuesday I had to call my parents and explain my snafu… which was met with humor and comments of “Must be genetic”

We had to check out of the hotel so Eric and I spent the day wandering around Manhattan before I headed to Penn Station and he headed to the airport. The trek to the train station was easy as was the actual train trip. Chris and I grabbed dinner at a bar near his sisters place before sharing the sofa bed… which was LARGER than the bed I had just shared with Eric in the hotel…

The next morning I was awake early and luckily so was Chris. We made a quick stop at the shore to see the ocean before grabbing breakfast and hitting the road.

One thing Chris warned me was that he changes the music station often and I already knew he cannot carry a tune. However, I CAN carry a tune so I figured I could just drown him out with my own singing :-p

The trip ended up being a lot of fun and we enjoyed belting it out to 80s music and various other genres of music. Including the moment when the radio played a song from If/Then which caused me to cry… again… I have a feeling the music from that show will do that from now on.

There wasn’t ONLY singing… we also did a lot of chatting. I am really glad to have him as a friend… saving my flight booking snafu butt aside, I  really enjoy spending time with him… even if it is quite off key :-p

Chris and I also both agreed that Eric would have killed us about an hour into the trip :-p

When he dropped me off at my condo around 10 pm we both agreed that we needed to do another road trip… except more planned out.

The trip was a lot of fun and I am really glad I was able to join them for it. Definitely need to make it out to NYC more often though!

Weekly Training Report: October 27th – November 9th

Oct 27 - Nov 9

Doing something a little different for today – Two weeks in one post

October 27th – Monday – 4.03 Miles

I originally wanted to do 5 miles but when I headed out for the run my body just wasn’t having it. Knowing that I was traveling on Friday and wouldn’t be able to run on Sunday either, I couldn’t bail on the run completely. Even though I considered trying to hang on for 5 miles several times, I just knew it wasn’t going to happen. Instead, I settled for 4 miles.

October 28th – Tuesday – 5.05 Miles

It was a much better running day. I felt more like myself and knew I wouldn’t have any issues getting in my 5 miles. The run was awesome and I felt fantastic. Less than two weeks out from my big goal race and I felt more than ready. I was feeling more ready than I ever have for a 10 miler.  Just needed to get through the rest of the running for the week and then cut back a bit the following week.

October 29th – Wednesday – 3.20 Miles

And this where it all went to hell. I woke up and my knee felt wonky. It didn’t hurt exactly but it felt uncomfortable. I couldn’t really figure out what was going but was definitely worried. Things started to feel better after I did some major stretching and icing and moved around a bit. I contemplated bailing on the run completely or heading out, knowing that I might have to bail part of the way in. The plan was to do 5 miles but I was fully prepared to bail if I needed to. About a mile in, I started to feel the knee. I knew I could keep going because there wasn’t really any pain but being so close to a goal race, I decided to be smart and bailed instead. I definitely noticed stopping and starting made things worse. When I got home I iced, stretched and rolled and felt better. I was hoping things would go back to normal the following day.

October 30th – Thursday – Rest

Yea… things weren’t feeling back to normal. Better but definitely normal. I kept up with the stretching and rolling and the knee was definitely getting better but I didn’t want to risk it. I knew I was traveling the next day, had a race on Saturday and knew the amount of walking I would be doing in NYC. As much as I hated to do it, I knew the rest day was the right decision.

October 31st – Friday – Rest

It was a travel day. I was up long before the sun to head to NYC. And of course today the knee decides to feel normal. Go figure. I contemplated fitting in a run when I got to NYC but I was also exhausted and didn’t have too much time to spare after packet pickup with Chris and Eric and meeting up with a good friend of mine for dinner. Me and vacationing and running don’t seem to happen…

November 1st – Saturday – 5K Race

One thing that I have wanted to do for a long time but have never gotten a chance to do is run in NYC and more specifically, to run in Central Park. Finding a race that allowed me to run through the streets of NYC and in Central Park was perfect. You can read my full report on the race here. Even though the rain sucked, I am still glad I did the race.

November 2nd – Sunday – Rest

Marathon Sunday in NYC! I had always planned to find a spot on 1st and just spectate from there before meeting the boys near Central Park after they finished the race. Erica, was kind enough to give me a heads up on the best spot on 1st to watch from. Eric was up bright and early and I knew there was little chance I would fall back asleep for a long time. I slept for about an hour before I was wide awake. I still have a ton of time to kill but I decided to walk up to my spectating spot at 95th and 1st from our hotel at Park and 29th. Yes, it is a LONG walk… Several miles. But I also had a ton of time to kill. I took my time and even meandered over to 6th and Bryant Park to wander around. I made it to my spot about 15 minutes before Erica went flying by me. About 25 minutes later, I saw Chris and he was clearly struggling. He also didn’t see me… I hopped onto the course to see if he was ok and once he told me he was, I jumped back into my spot. Based on the runner tracking, I knew Eric was supposed to finish at about the same time as Chris even though he was in a later wave. Another 20ish minutes or so later, I saw Eric and he was looking strong. I called out to him and once I knew he saw, I took off. I had to make it to the west side and I knew cutting through Central Park would be near impossible with the closures. So I wandered over to Madison (to avoid foot traffic) and headed south to go down and around Central Park. I made it to the family meeting area at about the same time Eric crossed the finish line, exactly 15 minutes after Chris. It was a good thing it takes runners a minimum of 45 minutes to get to the family meeting area because I had to go through security. I found a good spot to hang out and text both the boys to tell them where I was. Chris found me about an hour later and then Eric found us about 5 minutes after that. We then went in search of food before parting ways and going back to the hotel.

November 3rd – Monday – Rest

Yea… so… umm… I originally planned (and packed) to run on Monday. But after making friends with the bartender the night before and drinking far more than planned, I was too hungover to care about running. I also had a list of things to do in the morning. So I got up and headed out. Eric and I met back up for Lunch and try to take part in the post marathon activities but the lines were too long so we headed back to the hotel before meeting up with another friend of mine for dinner.

November 4th – Tuesday – Rest

So… Funny story… I booked the wrong flight home. This meant I needed Chris to bail me out. I was going to take the train into NJ and he would pick me up at the station. I would crash with him at his sisters place (HUGE thank you to her) and then we would drive back to Chicago the following day. I opted against running since I had to explain to my parents my little snafu… Luckily we all had a good laugh about this being genetic. Eric and I then headed over to an Asics Sample Sale before checking out of the hotel and searching out a place for lunch. We wandered around since Eric wanted to try to find presents for his niece and nephews but didn’t really find anything. We were back at the hotel with time to spare to get our bags. We said goodbye and I hiked it over to Penn Station to catch my train. This was an uneventful trip thankfully.

November 5th – Wednesday – Rest

Chris and I were awake pretty early but I had zero desire to run and I knew he was taking time off after doing two marathons in there weeks. We made a quick trip to the shore before grabbing breakfast and hitting the road. It was a fun road trip home full of chatting and lots of singing to 80s music. Despite our 12 year age difference, I know a LOT of 80s music (I am younger in case you didn’t know). I was truly an awesome trip and I am still insanely thankful that he was able to bail me out. We will definitely have to take a road trip together again… except the next one will need to be actually planned.

November 6th – Thursday – Rest

I told myself I would run but I was too exhausted to care. Not sleeping much while in NYC on top of the junk food eating and too much alcohol made for a very unproductive day with a nice long nap. At least I managed to unpack before meeting up with one of my good friends for dinner who is leaving town for a bit. Sad to see him go…

November 7th – Friday – Rest

When I woke up I said I was going to run after getting picking up race packets for Courtney and I. Since packet pickup was right near the grocery store I also stopped in to stock up. I then proceeded to walk home carrying my food like bucket carries. Great workout but probably not the best decision before a 10 Mile race. I was exhausted again when I got home so I took a nap instead of running…

November 8th – Saturday – Navy Pier Perfect 10 Mile Race

It was race day! This is the race I trained for and I was ready to conquer it. Well… sorta… the lack of sleep, junk food and alcohol over the previous week made me feel less than ready for the race. My body was just angry with me. But I was still going to go for broke. I had a few goals in mind and I knew one of them would be a battle on the best of days. You can read my full report here. It wasn’t the race that I wanted but it was the best I could do for the day.

November 9th – Sunday – Rest

Ehhhh…. I have taken all week off so what is one more rest day before starting a busy week? I considered heading out for a quick three miler but in the end I just decided to take the rest day and start the week off anew. I did do a LOT of rolling out though… so I did do something good. After all, I am now officially training for Disney…

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It was hardly the two weeks I had originally planned to have for training but it is what it is. Sometimes you just need a brief break to enjoy life. That’s not to say that I would have enjoyed things any less had I run instead of taking all the rest days. But with as exhausted as I was feeling, I knew it was smarter to take the rest days.

But now it is time to get back on track.

Race Report: Navy Pier Perfect 10

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After not hitting my goal at SF10 this year, I looked to this race for my goal race. Originally, I was going to run this as a training run and not care about my time. But the more I trained and the better my running was getting, I decided it needed to be a goal race.

My original goal was just sub 1:56 which is the goal that I missed at SF10. But when I talked to a friend of mine about my goals (and he was originally going to run with me), he dropped the 1:40 or better goal into the pot. Then I couldn’t get that goal out of my mind. My 10.47 mile training run had been 1:46 and change and I didn’t even try to run that for time/pace. So in all reality, it wasn’t as lofty a goal as I originally thought.

Then I traveled to NYC where I barely slept, ate nothing but junk food and drank WAY too much alcohol. I wasn’t exactly feeling in peak racing condition the two days leading up to the race. I knew sub 1:56 would be an very easy goal unless something went horribly wrong so I wanted a different goal that would be mostly easy and I decided on 1:50 or better. But then I got angry with myself for such an easy goal so I decided that 1:45 or better would be good. A goal I would need to work for but was still very attainable.

It was chilly and the forecast called for wind… which was hardly thrilling.

Courtney and I met up at Navy Pier early in the morning. I knew my body was a little off. I hadn’t been drinking nearly enough water over the past week and add to that the alcohol consumption… not exactly smart. But I was still hoping I would be ok with the cloud cover and the cooler temps. I knew as long as I could hold a 10:00 pace for the 10 miles, I would hit my goal.

I lined up with the 8:00ish pace people while Courtney held back with the 9:00 pace people. I didn’t want to go out too fast but I also knew that the first mile would be tight and I didn’t want to be held back too much… especially since I loathe weaving in the first mile.

We were off and I took off with people flying by… fine by me… I knew what I needed to do. It was definitely a tight start and I was glad I lined up where I did. At the first mile marker, I checked my split and saw a 9:06. DAMNIT!!!! Way too fast!

I slowed it down a bit… and the hills on this section of the course helped me slow down. Heading toward the second mile marker, I was already feeling thirsty and could tell I was a little more dehydrated than was ideal. But I checked my mile split at mile 2 and was still on target and grabbed my water at the water station and walked through it.

Then we headed to my least favorite section of the course… we go up a hill and around a block of VERY bad sidewalk. The footing is uneven and this section of the course is on almost all Team Ortho races and is one of the main reasons I stopped doing those races. I missed my mile 3 split because the mile marker was a little after the mile three mark but I hoped I was still ok.

Right when I saw the mile 4 marker and saw the time clock, I had a little over a minute of wiggle room to play with. This is the part of the course that has a nice long steady climb. I could tell I was fading and it was too early in the race to fade this much. My body was fighting me and I knew that the dehydration was going to start being an issue. So I decided to walk up the hill to conserve some energy.

I was thrilled to see the second water station because I was dying. The mile 5 marker and clock still had me on target but barely. Even though I took water, it wasn’t enough.

Here is where my race started to fall apart. My stomach was cramping big time and I knew it was from dehydration and I knew it was only going to get worse. So I started to take very short walk breaks. Even though I knew my goal was slipping away by doing this, I just couldn’t hang on.

I hit the turn around and saw Courtney… she wasn’t too far behind me. I wanted to stay ahead of her but it was becoming more and more difficult for me to hold on. I was starting to feel dizzy and my stomach was cramping even more. Several times I thought I would get sick because and I knew it was because I was too dehydrated.

The mile 6 clock showed that I was barely off pace for my goal. Here is where the mental battle really began. It was becoming more and more difficult to hang on. Walking breaks would kill my goal but I also knew I couldn’t finish the race without the walking breaks.

So I started to walk a little more. I grabbed a cup of water at the water station and knew that if I had decided to run with water, I might have been able to hang on. For some reason… I never even debated that…

At mile 8 I was more than a minute off my goal. I kept trying to tell myself to just run the last two miles but the dehydration was catching up to me and I was REALLY starting to struggle. Mentally I wanted it but physically my body was against me. Try as I did the dehydration was worse and I knew if I pushed too much, I was putting myself in danger.

Then Courtney caught up to me… I knew it was likely to happen since I was walking more but I didn’t like it (Which I told her after the race). It was the push I needed

I started running again and got ahead of her. I knew there were a couple or hills towards the end that I was going to walk but I desperately wanted to run everything else. Shortly after the 9 mile mark, I felt the dehydration hit me and I had to walk for a bit… and Courtney caught up to me again.

I told myself I had to do this. I knew I had a little left in me and I was going to leave it all on the course. So I started to run again.

The last .75 miles was brutal. My stomach kept revolting… it was cramping a lot and I wasn’t sure if I was going to get sick or not… and there were several times I thought I would. I wanted to walk so many times I lost count. But, somehow, I managed to hang on… and I really don’t know how I did.

When I saw the mile 6 marker for the 10K I tried to kick to the finish but I couldn’t. I had nothing left. It was too much of a struggle to just keep running. I saw the time clock and it was nearing 1:43 and I tried so hard to run faster so I could come in under 1:43

I have no idea if I actually did run faster or if the pace I was running just managed to get me there but I was beyond done when I crossed the finish line. I got my medal and a bottle of water and turned around to see Courtney getting her medal.

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I checked my watch and saw my unofficial time. It wasn’t the time I wanted and this certainly wasn’t the race I wanted to run but I still had a massive PR. I also knew that I gave it my all and left it all on the course. I was completely done.

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Courtney also managed a PR! So all in all it was a good race day 🙂 We then made our way to get breakfast… but not before getting a post race pic

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My official Time – 1:42:53 for a 10:18 pace and a nearly 14 minute PR

Navy Pier Perfect 10 2014 Race Results

In the end, I am happy with my results… though the dehydration and feeling icky kind of clouded that a bit. It just wasn’t my day but now I have a goal for my next 10 miler…

So who is running Soldier Field with me?