Weekly Training Report: April 13th – 19th

April 13-19

Monday – 3.29 / 31:57

Started off my week running through the park. The water fountains were being turned on and I know that running through the park isn’t really an option on the weekends. So I took advantage of the Monday evening and ran through my favorite part of the city. Was a bit dehydrated because I didn’t drink as much water at work as I should have so that slowed me down a tad.

Tuesday – 3.07 / 28:11

It has been a VERY long time since I have had to run the day out after a brutal day at work and this was definitely one of them. I worked very late and even though I was mentally drained and exhausted, I knew I needed the run. I ran hard… even if it wasn’t that smart. The run allowed me to clear my head though and that is exactly what I needed.

Wednesday – Rest 

Despite another rough day at work, I just couldn’t force it. I didn’t even get home until 7:30 and just didn’t have the mental bandwidth to battle through a run, even if I did need the mental clarity.

Thursday – 3.14 / 28:58

Another rough day at work… are we noticing a pattern? Luckily, I was able to leave work before 6 though. I laced up and headed outside. It was an absolutely gorgeous night out and I was thrilled to be running on the LFT. I even saw a friend… even if I didn’t stop to say hi… I was in a groove and really just needed to finish the run. But I felt amazing after the run and it was exactly what I needed.

Friday – 2.36 / 22:21

Started my day off exhausted despite a solid night of sleep. I was so exhausted that I was running into furniture. Yea… I have only lived in this condo for about two and a half years now… I also managed to shampoo my hair twice… ok, it is going to be one of THOSE days. The day at work was no better and despite my hopes that it wouldn’t be a rough day, it was. I headed out for the run even though my body didn’t feel up for it. I nearly face planted twice within the first mile so I knew it just was not my day. I called it quits before hitting three…. mostly because I was worried if I pushed my luck I actually WOULD face plant.

Saturday – Rest

I had the best intentions of running. But I didn’t sleep as well as I would have liked (I was too hot) and I just felt tired the entire day. I knew the week at work had caught up to me. One of my good friends was in town for a short while but managed to squeeze in a brunch… although I got way too hungry waiting for him (yes, HE was late) so I ended up not eating at said brunch but decided to have a mimosa… which sealed the deal of not running. Truth be told, even if I hadn’t had the drink, I probably still wouldn’t have run. I knew I needed the extra day so I was ok with taking it.

Sunday – Rest

The plan for the day had always been to rest. In fact, I choose to get a pizza Sunday night so I wouldn’t have to do meal prep for the week and would just take the leftovers for lunch instead. I desperately needed the very lazy day and it was glorious.

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Definitely not the best week of training but I am hoping to at least hit 15 miles for the week this week… and hopefully hit 5 days as well.

Marathon Monday

If you are a runner, then there is a good chance that you know what today is. It is the third Monday in April, Patriots Day in Massachusetts. It is the day of the Boston Marathon.

A year ago I was at the race. The first Marathon after the tragedy at the finish line. I will never forget my first sighting of that finish line… the iconic finish line that so many of us runners dream of crossing. Even though I choose to not run a marathon, I still think about what it might be like to cross that finish line.

So I found the next best option for me… I found a 5K that shared the last half mile of the marathon course before continuing on to our own finish line. Running down Boylston was magical. Knowing how many runners have run down that street while heading toward that finish line… a dream for many was just incredible.

The entire weekend was emotional… a mix of highs and lows. Knowing what had transpired a year earlier and refusing to let them win. Refusing to let the finish line be theirs. The finish line was ours and it was time to take it back.

I was extremely fortunate that my parents went along with the whole thing. It was so important for me to be there one year later and they knew that. The entire weekend was about the marathon and running… and it wasn’t even my running.

More than anything, I would love to be there again. I know greatness will happen again. I know that the support will be insurmountable. After all… it’s Boston.

If you happened to miss my posts about Marathon Monday you can read them here and here.

I have always supported this race… always turned on the live video feed while at work to watch the elites and to track any friends that I may now running the race. This year will be no different. I will watch eagerly for those I know and for those I don’t know. Greatness will happen again. Of this, I have no doubt in my mind.

Good luck to all the amazing runners out there. My heart is with you where I cheer from afar. My heart is at the Boston Marathon.

1 Boston 4-20-14

Weekly Training Report: April 6th – 12th

April 6-12

Monday – 3.07 / 29:40

I still had the remnants of my cold… I was still congested. But I felt more normal than I had been so small victories. Decided to try a different course to hit 3 miles… mostly to see if it would work and it did. This gave me an idea for when I need runs between 5 and 8 miles… since I don’t have good courses for those distances. The weather wasn’t spectacular but it is significantly warmer than it was at this time last year.

Tuesday – 2.00 / 19:28

Took the run to the gym because I wanted to strength train. For the run I decided to keep the pace comfortable and go hard for the strength training session. Felt pretty good but I definitely need to try to keep up with the strength training.

Wednesday – 2.02 / 19:09

Quick little two miler outside. This whole cooler lakefront thing is a love/hate relationship. I considered going to the gym to get in another strength training session but there were some things I wanted to do at home too so I had to choose.

Thursday – Rest

Knew that I would be staying late at work due to a company meeting. Also knew that it was supposed to storm on and off most of the day… so I planned for it to be a rest day.

Friday – Rest

An issue arose at work and I ended up working late. Despite the gorgeous weather, I just didn’t have the mental capacity to run. I did, however, notice that more of the water fountains were on in the park, which means there were more water fountains on along the path as well…. This is very exciting news in my running world 😀

Saturday – 6.22 / 1:02:01

Ended up running with Eric. We were texting back and forth about some stuff and he commented that he was looking forward to a run to enjoy the weather and I made the same comment. It then occurred to me that we should run together. So we did. My intention was to run at a conversational pace… which is 10:00/10:15 but we pushed the pace a bit. I at least felt good about feeling winded a few times while running when I checked the pace after the run. Always fun to run with someone!

Sunday – 2.03 / 19:10

I met up with Eric to go to some open houses with him… he started to look at buying a place and since I have already gone through that process, I offered to help. Once we were done, we grabbed some yummy gelato (thanks, Eric!) and chatted a bit. I still had some stuff to do at home and wanted to get in at least two miles to finish off the week so I headed home while he waited for his agent for a private showing.

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It was a good week. Once I knew I was getting better from my cold, I adjusted my weekly goals for a couple of weeks so I could allow  myself to ease back into things but I ended up not needing the extra planned rest day since I kept the mileage on the lower side.

Two Years

Runners United to Remember

It has been two years now… two years since tragedy at the finish line of an incredible race. I still remember being excited in the morning… excited to see so many runners do something incredible.

But that something incredible turned into something even more incredible…. a something that arose from tragedy.

The images from that day are still vivid in my mind and I still get choked up when I think about it all… in fact, I have tears in my eyes now.

I had a thought the other day while running… running is my personal life. It is my friend, my lover, my passion, my boyfriend…. Running has given me (and continues to give) so much more than I ever imagined. The thought that someone would try to take that away from me… away from anyone is… well… shattering.

Running has been there for me through everything and I know it always will be. I think of a line from the movie “What Women Want” where Mel Gibson’s character is pitching to Nike and we see the proposed commercial and hear him talking… “The road doesn’t care if it’s been one week or even one hour. All the road cares about is that you pay it a visit once in a while.” (Note: that may not be 100% accurate but it is pretty close… doing this from memory)

I know that is true…. That is what running is. It is always there when you need it.

On this day, I will mourn for the tragedy that we all experienced but I will also think about the incredible. The amazing feats that we as runners accomplish on the course. And the amazing feats of people who had no idea what was going on but only wanted to help.

They tried to destroy us but I will continue to lace up… And I will continue to line the course to cheer on those doing something that I choose not to do. My love and support of running will never waiver.

Weekly Training Report: March 23rd – April 5th

Mar 23 - Apr 5

Monday March 23rd through Tuesday March 31st – Rest

I started to feel a little under the weather but it didn’t feel too bad so I decided to take a few rest days to make sure it didn’t get worse… but then it did and by the end of the week I got kicked out of work and then proceeded to spend a solid 72 hours either in bed or on my couch. I was also forced to take a DNS on Shamrock which was a bummer… I really would like to go a year without taking a DNS but there is always next year…

Wednesday April 1st – 2.52 / 23:55

Even though I was still very congested, I was going stir crazy and just didn’t want to be inside anymore so I finally headed out for a run. I was pleasantly surprised by the run and certainly did not plan to run that fast. The congestion made it difficult and I was far more dehydrated than I would have liked… and coughing did not help but I was just happy to be back out there.

Thursday April 2nd – Rest

It was a gorgeous evening out but I opted for a rest day. But I did manage to get in a decent walk and got some errands out of the way as well. Despite the nice weather, I also knew that I had just taken a solid two weeks off so decided to take it easy… especially since I had a race on Saturday.

Friday April 3rd – Rest

Another rest day… though this decision was more based on weather than anything else. Even though it started out nice in the morning, the temperature dropped drastically in the afternoon and it felt like winter again. It was also very windy so I knew a run in those conditions would not be smart.

Saturday April 4th – ChiTown 10K Race

A part of me wanted to run this for time. But I also knew that there was a good chance my body wouldn’t be up for that challenge. It had been several weeks since doing a longer run and I was STILL congested. So in the end I decided to play it by ear. You can read my full report on the race here.

Sunday April 5th – 2.32 / 21:18

I headed out for a quick, short run but once I started running, I figured out that if I ran 2.30ish miles, I would be able to get to 11 miles for the week. So my intended two mile run turned into 2.30 miles.

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Trying to get back into training now that I am over the cold… but I have a 10 mile race looming and the truth is that I will likely need to adjust the running plan/goal for that race…

Race Report: Chi Town Half & 10K

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On Saturday I ran the 10K portion of this race. Once I knew that I would have to take a DNS on Shamrock, I was a little irked. It has been a while since I raced and I had no idea where I stood from a racing standpoint. And yet… I didn’t really try to push the page at all… just sort of chugged along.

It also didn’t help that I was still recovering from my death plague of a cold and was therefore still congested and with a slight cough… which gets worse when I am thirsty or running into the wind.

But I am getting a little ahead of myself…

My friend Mike had posted to FB that he was going to sign up for this race… and it happened to be the same day where I knew I was taking a DNS on Shamrock. Since the race just happens to be a LP race and thus a mere 3 block walk to get to the start line, I was all in.

Packet pickup was nice and easy… although I found it odd that they were mailing a good portion of the hoodies when they had so many available at packet pickup… but oh well.

Since Mike lives in the burbs and parking in my neighborhood isn’t exactly easy, I offered for him to crash at my place and join me for my usual pre-race pizza dinner. I went bed later than I normally would, which I was ok with since I had zero intentions of running for time. Despite my intentions to NOT run for time, I was wide awake at 4:45 am… lovely…

We both decided against gear check since I live so close to the start/finish line and the brunch spot was also super close. It was chilly but not too terrible out.

After a quick snafu where Mike for got his bib, we were heading to the race. After a quick meet-up with one of his friends, we headed to the start. I ducked into the 9:00 pace area. I really had no idea what pace I would run since I was still very congested but I figured I was running sub 10s through recent training so why not.

Most narrow start line I have ever seen… holy moly… It was MAYBE wide enough for three people to go through at a time. I was rather surprised since there is plenty of space on the path and I have run plenty of races that start/finish in the same area with wider start lines. I knew there was the potential for that to mess up some half marathon finishers due to crowding…

Running through the park heading north to start and I knew there were some spots with puddles due to the recent rain we got… But I also knew how to avoid them. I saw that the half marathon and 10K would share the entire course until the 10K split off to go back to the finish line, while the half marathon continued on.

I noticed that the wind was picking up and we were heading directly into it. The remnants of my cold were making me feel more thirsty than normal and I noticed a little bit of wheezing… not a good day for running fast. A mile later and I am really very thirsty but I have yet to see a water station.

Finally after the two and a half mile mark… closer to three miles (according to my Garmin), I finally get my water. Luckily it was a nice full cup so I walked and it until I was done. We were approaching the area where we would go underneath the underpass to get into the park and start heading back toward the finish line.

Except a volunteer was shouting that there was water under the underpass so we could either turn or go under the underpass… which caused a TON of confusion. No one could really tell if they were trying to split up the 10K and the Half or what was going on. Since I saw the sign for the 10K/Half split earlier in the race, I knew they were coming up with a last minute re-route. It was very clear that they did NOT check the course before the start of the race… that underpass ALWAYS floods when we get heavy rain and takes quite some time to drain…

A last minute re-route wouldn’t be an issue if they had a way to shut down traffic which we would now have to run through… I got luckily and had the cross signal when I approached the intersection but the light changed as soon as I was across and I wasn’t sure the cars would be nice enough to let everyone behind me pass. I saw a cop pull up ahead to cut off traffic for the runners which was good. Even though I wasn’t running for time, I would be beyond angry if my time was longer because I had to wait for traffic… and I was only running the 10K… I knew the half marathoners would be even more angry than me.

The rest of the race was uneventful… that is until I heard the person on the bike coming up behind me for the half marathon lead runner… with only about three tenths of a mile left. It would have been nice to have finished before the winner of the half… But oh well… it was not my race day.

I knew I was running slow and I also knew that I had some kick left in me. But since I was insanely thirsty and congested, I kicked it a little but didn’t go all out.

When I crossed the finish, I got my nice large medal and my bottle of water and headed to good viewing spot to see Mike cross the finish line.

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I checked my time on my Garmin and though I wasn’t thrilled with the time, I was ok with it considering it was more or less my second run in three weeks.

Once Mike crossed, the three of us stood around and chatted for a bit before Mike and I headed to brunch (his friend had to go to church).

It was a decent race and hardly a BAD race experience. Really wish there had been another water station on course. The re-route was annoying and if I had been running for time, I would have been very angry… I overheard the winner of the half saying that he had to run through the underpass and the water was up to his knees which I am sure slowed him down and running with wet feet isn’t exactly fun… so I feel really bad for the lead runners. Also don’t think the narrow start/finish chute was very smart. I definitely saw several half marathoners struggled to find room to go flying across the finish line around 10Kers.

All in all it was a fun experience and I am glad I did the race.

My official time – 1:07:09 which isn’t fast but I am glad I was able to run the entire thing with only walking through water stations. So not bad all things considered.

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