A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Well, Crap


For the first time since I started doing track with the group, I didn't finish a workout. We were supposed to do 4x1600 at 10K pace and then 2x800 at 10K pace.

This is what I did:

Warm-up mile: 9:13

1st 1600 - 8:00 (7:50 mile)
(1 minute rest)
2nd 1600 - 8:18 (8:06 mile)
(Full recovery)
3rd 1600 - 8:46 (8:13 mile)

And then I just couldn't go on.

During my work day I'd felt just "off". My brain felt sluggish and I felt kind of dizzy. I tried drinking a cup of tea and eating a granola bar thinking that maybe it was my blood sugar but that just seemed to make it worse.

Lunch helped some but I still felt out of it. My stomach felt strange and, since we're in polite company, I'll just say I wasn't the only thing planning on running.

I debated skipping track all together but decided to do what I could. My head and body just weren't in the game, though. I started out way too fast and then faded. After that 3rd 1600 I was dizzy and getting a little chilled even though I was dripping sweat. Plus, my intestines were starting to cramp up and I feared that continuing to run would just make it worse. Since the track's bathrooms were locked I knew that would be a BAD idea.

So, I headed home. Could I have pushed through and finished the workout? Yeah, I could have run another two miles. But it wouldn't have been pretty. And, really, I'd rather not kill myself for two crap (possibly literally) miles.

Still, I managed a total of 4+ miles, two of which were comparable to the last time I did 1600s. And that's with a week off of running and track while feeling kind of cruddy. Hopefully once I get back into the groove I'll continue to see improvement.

I wonder, though, if perhaps I'm the kind of person who does not do well after taking time off. How about you? Do you find yourself refreshed after taking some time off of an activity or do you struggle to get back into it?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Post-Vacation Running

Click to see larger

So, I did not end up running at all in Savannah. Even though I naturally woke up around 6:45 or 7AM most days, I decided that the heat and humidity was too much and usually rolled back over and went back to sleep. Part of me is sad that I don't get to add another state to my list of places I've run but another part of me is happy that I was able to fully enjoy my vacation instead of being wiped out by getting up early and trying to slog through the 90oF with 85% humidity mornings. Of course, I kept myself plenty busy seeing the sights of Savannah.

Click here to see all the photos with captions

All of that means that I went 7 full days without running before I headed out last night with my running group.

My marathon training plan had me doing a tempo run with a one mile warm-up, 4 miles at 9:05, and a .5 mile cool down. Due to some user error with the Garmin (hey, I hadn't used it in almost 8 days. I was out of practice!) I didn't record the majority of the run. I will say, though, that I'm pretty sure we weren't running 9:05. Probably closer to 9:15. And my last mile and a half was MUCH slower. Regardless, it felt rough. 5.5 miles after a week of not running? I was VERY glad for the water and Gatorade break at mile 4.

I also rode my bike to and from running group and didn't feel nearly as nervous as the last time. But maybe that's why my quads are so sore today. Hmmmm....

Now it's back to the daily grind. I'm planning to get back into my gym routine, go on some bike rides with Jason, and try out that free week of yoga coupon. All while continuing to marathon train. I've also got a 4 mile race coming up on Saturday morning. Should be exciting!

Saturday, June 19, 2010


The Chicago area had some wicked storms on Friday night that caused scenes like the one pictured above (that I totally stole off a website and did not take myself). Thankfully the storms subsided by the time I went out for my Saturday morning run and they took the 90+ degree temperatures with them.

Doesn't mean it wasn't still freaking humid at 6:45 AM. My first mile was a toughie. I couldn't believe it when the Garmin told me I was only running a 10:30something pace. It felt way harder than that.

The FIRST training plan I'm following seems to think that my Planned Marathon Pace is 9:50. Oh, FIRST training plan. You're so optimistic. I can barely run a half marathon at that pace, let alone double the distance. Regardless, that's what my training plan told me to run my 9 miles at so that's what I attempted.

I didn't quite make it but, all in all, I'm pleased with my 10:00 minute/mile pace. The run was rough and I had to stop for traffic a ton of times. I took some Sports Beans around mile 5.75 and those did give me a boost for a bit.

I will say, though, that I was glad when I hit 9 miles. I was slippery with sweat, I was tired, my feet ached, and I really just wanted a shower. And, even though I know I should eat something after I run, I really was NOT hungry until hours later.

Regardless, I'm glad I got it done and at what I consider a good pace. My legs are freaking tired, though, because after all that I ended up walking around a mall with my mom for a few hours. I'm glad that most of tomorrow will be spent sitting.

Speaking of which, I'm going on hiatus for a week while I enjoy a vacation with my mom. We're going to Savannah, Georgia. I have no idea if I'll run since if I can barely handle our temperatures and humidity I'm sure I'll dissolve into a puddle of goo in theirs. Still, I'd like to be able to say I've run in yet another state. But will I? I guess you'll have to check back next week to find out!


Route:--Elev. Avg:625 ft
Location:Forest Park, ILElev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:06/19/10Up/Downhill: [+59/-59]
Time:06:44 AMDifficulty:2.3 / 5.0

Distance: 9.01 miles
Speed:6.0 mph
Pace:10' 00 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
110' 28+0' 285.7-0.3+3 ft
211' 00+1' 005.5-0.5+6 ft
310' 20+0' 205.8-0.20 ft
49' 45-0' 156.2+0.2-9 ft
59' 43-0' 176.2+0.2+10 ft
610' 25+0' 255.8-0.20 ft
710' 32+0' 325.7-0.3+3 ft
810' 34+0' 345.7-0.3-13 ft
end9' 19-0' 416.4+0.40 ft
Versus average of 10' 00 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bring on the Wringer

Last night I arrived at our track workout expecting to do some number of 800s (twice around the track) and some number of 400s (once around the track). Imagine my surprise when the workout for those of us training for marathons turned out to be four 1600s (four times around the track) followed by two 800s. Whoa!

The coach told us to run the 1600s at our 10K pace. Since I haven't run a 10K since last November I decided I'd stick with Maribeth who runs about my pace, perhaps a little faster. That should push me, right?

Oh boy did it ever push me! Especially since I got there late and didn't get a chance to warm up. After the first 1600 (which, by the way, is a little longer than a mile. At least according to my Garmin) I didn't know if I'd be able to keep up that pace. For reference, my best 10K time was an 8:50 pace. But here are my times from last night:

1600 - 8:36 (Mile time - 8:15)
60 seconds rest
1600 - 8:21 (Mile time - 7:59)
Full recovery
1600 - 8:12 (Mile time - 7:57)
60 seconds rest
1600 - 8:24 (Mile time - 8:22)
Full recovery

800 - 3:59

Approx 60 seconds rest
800 - 3:53

Cool down mile - 9:31

We were REALLY proud of that 8:12 1600. Really, really proud. Of course, on the fourth 1600 I wanted to cry. "Close the gap!" the coach kept yelling as Maribeth pulled further and further away. I started to get anxious and I felt my throat threatening to close up.

"This is just for fun," I kept repeating to myself. Finally, my throat relaxed and I was able to make it all four laps.

The first 800 felt tough. I was really worn out and my legs felt like lead. But then something clicked in the final straight away during the last 800 and I was able to sprint past Maribeth and power my way past the finish.

I'm really glad I didn't ride my bike to track practice. I would have been walking it the 3 miles home. I was worn out. I barely had enough energy to make myself dinner when I got home. But last night was the first night where I really felt like I was pushing myself past my comfort zone and overcoming some of my mental hurdles. Nights like that will definitely make me a better runner. Bring it on!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Bike Brick


You may have been wondering after my North Shore Half Marathon report about Jason's new bike. I mean, I've been the one talking about getting a bike. What's all this about my husband getting one?

Well, I have news. Let me introduce the special guest star of my workout last night:

My new bike!

This past Saturday, after driving all over creation, we finally went back to the very first bike store we visited two weeks ago and purchased our bikes. I decided that I liked the Giant the best. It's a little bit heavier than all the other ones I tried (Specialized, Felt, and Trek) which I think makes it a little bit more stable. Perfect for a road bike newbie. We also bought helmets, locks, and a tire pump.

Last night I took it on its inaugural non-test-ride ride and rode the 1.5 miles from my house to the running store where we start our Monday night runs. The bike rode perfectly but I admit I was nervous to get out there. My biggest fear? Traffic!

Growing up I either rode my bike on the sidewalk (bad) or in low-traffic residential neighborhoods. I never learned the bike hand signals and I had no idea what to do if I needed to turn! The ride to the running store was a little nerve-wracking but I made it in one piece.

The run itself was nothing special. I was supposed to do a tempo run with 2 miles of warm-up, 2 miles at 9:05, and then a 1.5 mile cool-down. However, everyone I was running with had raced some distance the day before (or was nursing an injury) so we were all dragging. I think I had one mile that was close to 9:05 and I ran incredibly positive splits.

But then I rode my bike home and since there was much less traffic I was able to build up quite a bit of speed. Bike riding is fun!

I'm really, really looking forward to signing up for some duathlons next summer. But first I have to get through marathon training. At least now I have a bike to use for cross-training!


Route:--Elev. Avg:628 ft
Location:Forest Park, ILElev. Gain:+3 ft
Date:06/14/10Up/Downhill: [+22/-19]
Time:06:36 PMDifficulty:2.0 / 5.0

Distance: 5.40 miles
Speed:6.4 mph
Pace:9' 23 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 17-0' 066.5+0.10 ft
29' 04-0' 196.6+0.2-9 ft
39' 20-0' 036.4+0.0+3 ft
49' 29+0' 066.3-0.1+7 ft
59' 57+0' 346.0-0.40 ft
end9' 26+0' 036.4-0.0+3 ft
Versus average of 9' 23 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com

Monday, June 14, 2010

North Shore Half Marathon Race Report

Yesterday I ran another half marathon. Yes, just six weeks after the Wisconsin Half Marathon brought me to tears I laced up my shoes and joined the crowed at the start line for what may be the hilliest race I've ever run. Yes, even hillier than Napa to Sonoma.

I mean, check out this elevation profile:

Click to see larger

At one point in the second half of the race I would have killed someone for a nice, long, downhill stretch.

I had no official time goal for this race. After the one in Wisconsin Kim suggested I run another one and not focus so much on time. So, this time my main goal was to run the whole thing, not hit the wall at mile 7, and finish strong. Of course, I was secretly hoping that I would squeak in under 2:10 but throughout the entire race I just kept reminding myself that my time was not that important. That I was only out there to prove to myself that I could run 13.1 miles and still feel good.

Two members of the OPRC rode with Jason and me to the race and the three of us joined the massive crowd at the start line a few minutes before the race start. Originally all three of us thought we were aiming for 2:10 or less but as soon as we got past the start line I knew I wasn't going to be keeping up with either of them.

I had been afraid that the weather on race day was going to be horrible. The weather people were predicting highs near 80 degrees and high humidity. However, I was actually a little chilly at the start in my tank top and shorts and the humidity took the form of a nice misting rain and overcast skies. In actuality, the weather was almost the best you could hope for for a June race.

I made sure not to go out too fast and even though miles 1 and 2 were some of my fastest they weren't that far off from my final overall pace. Not like my previous half marathons where my first few miles were light years faster than my final pace.

There were a few hills during the first few miles but mostly we were headed downhill. "This isn't so bad," I thought.

And then the long, sloping uphills started. Jason texted me at one point to say that he was waiting for me on the left on the "long hill". Obviously he was not aware that there were multiple long hills.

I have to say, though, that while I wished for the hills to stop, they didn't significantly slow me down. I never once had to walk a hill. Towards the end my calves and my Achilles were starting to ache but for a girl who does no hill work I think I did really well. Even during the killer "infamous Park Avenue hill" at mile 7.

That doesn't mean I wasn't grateful for the aid station at the top of that hill, however. I took a short walk break at the aid station and grabbed some Gatorade to supplement the water and Sports Beans in my fuel belt.

At this point in the past my brain usually starts to play tricks on me. "You're only half way. You're tired. You'll never make it." But this time I quashed those voices and told myself over and over again not to think of the race in those terms. One mile at a time. Just take it one mile at a time. I focused on the people in front of me and kept going.

At the mile 10 marker I walked for a second to eat some more Sports Beans. I grabbed some more Gatorade at the mile 11 aid station and briefly walked while I chugged. In addition, I'd been sipping from my water bottle every few miles. My stomach felt very full, though. Almost as if it wasn't digesting anything. Maybe it wasn't.

As I neared the mile 12 marker I briefly considered walking in order to try and build up some energy for the final miles. But then I heard Jason coming up behind me on his secret weapon:

His new bike! We'd brought it to the race so that he could get to mile markers more easily and quickly. Kim's husband Steven also brought his bike so the two of them rode around the course finding good spots to cheer from. Or, in certain instances, good spots to ride alongside us runners and cheer. Or shoot some video:

I finally had to tell them to go away and stop harassing me :-) At least they provided some amusement for the other runners. And motivation for me. Knowing Jason was behind me kept me going for the final uphill climb to the finish line.

Aside: race course planners who put the finish line at the top of a long hill are evil. So very, very evil. I'd wanted to speed up during the final mile but it was all I could do to stay steady as we climbed the last hill. But as soon as I crested it and could see the finish line in the distance I dug deep and pushed hard.

I got my medal and met up with one of the OPRC members who finished in under 2 hours! The other OPRC member who rode with us (not pictured) completed his first half marathon in an awesome 2:04:56.

The post-race area was a little chaotic and was probably the only irritating part of the entire event. In addition, we'd been promised not only an awesome gym bag but a towel, a hat, flip flops, a sweatband and other fun goodies. Strangely, none of those things were actually in my gym bag. I managed to pick up my towel and sweatband at the race but they were out of all the other items. Hmmm. Also, the post-race food definitely left something to be desired.

So, tired, sore and hungry we got back in the car and headed home and to drop off our carpoolers. I'm a little bummed I didn't meet up with all the other people I knew who were at the race: Kim, a former coworker, and two other people from my lunch time running group. I guess you can't do everything, though.

I am, however, thrilled that I managed to run this entire race! I don't count the three times I walked (twice at aid stations and once at mile 10 to eat some Beans) because none of those were because I HAD to walk. Not once did I feel like I couldn't run another step. I kept my mile times fairly consistent and didn't feel like dying (or crying) at the end. I totally smashed this goal and I feel much more confident in my running abilities.

I didn't smash my secret 2:10 time goal, though. But I came close! Official race time? 2:10:18. Only 17 seconds slower than Wisconsin and that's with even more killer hills. Now I'm fairly certain that on a flat course I could break 2:10 with no problems.

Official Time: 2:10:18
Age group place: 104/187
Overall place: 1356/2067


Route:--Elev. Avg:663 ft
Location:--Elev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:06/13/10Up/Downhill: [+951/-951]
Time:07:03 AMDifficulty:3.7 / 5.0

Distance: 13.16 miles
Speed:6.1 mph
Pace:9' 54 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 40-0' 146.2+0.1-13 ft
29' 46-0' 086.1+0.1-7 ft
310' 00+0' 066.0-0.1-7 ft
49' 59+0' 056.0-0.1-22 ft
59' 50-0' 046.1+0.0+19 ft
69' 50-0' 046.1+0.00 ft
79' 35-0' 196.3+0.2-65 ft
810' 08+0' 145.9-0.1+56 ft
910' 04+0' 106.0-0.1+10 ft
109' 55+0' 016.0-0.0-16 ft
1110' 06+0' 125.9-0.1-29 ft
1210' 00+0' 066.0-0.1+53 ft
139' 57+0' 036.0-0.0+16 ft
end8' 08-1' 467.4+1.3+6 ft
Versus average of 9' 54 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com

Friday, June 11, 2010

I Spy


Something you don't want to see on your strength training workout sheet when you've just run 1.5 miles to the gym and will have to run the 1.5 miles home:


Something you are not expecting to pass on the sidewalk during your run home from the gym:

Note: this is not a photo of the mariachi band I saw. This is just a tribute.

Something you wish you would see after your run and strength training:


Yes, I ran to the gym last night. I didn't want to go from Wednesday to Sunday without any running at all. Plus, last night was gorgeous. Overcast and breezy and not very humid. Lovely.

I inwardly groaned when I printed out my strength training workout and realized that the focus was legs. I was not looking forward to my run home. Still, I did my workouts, managed all the reps at the listed weight (including two sets of 12 push ups), and headed home.

That must be what a brick workout feels like. My legs felt like lead and yet I was running at essentially the same pace I had gone on the way to the gym. And, yes, I passed a mariachi band on the sidewalk. They weren't playing, sadly. But what a random thing to run past on a Thursday evening!

Jason was wonderful enough to make dinner so I came home to tacos. I've also had this bottle of red wine (Railroad Red, to be specific) open for probably too long and I really want to finish it off. However, I find that if I drink alcohol after a run I wake up so dehydrated the next day no matter how much water I drink. It sucks! Does this happen to anyone else? Last night, though, I took a chance and after drinking a glass of water with dinner I had a glass of wine with dessert. There's still one more glass left in the bottle. I think I'll finish that off tonight.

Overall I did 3.2 miles broken up by 45 minutes of strength training in the middle. The run segments felt good and the strength training felt good. Life is good :-)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

No Snoozing

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

After a long day at work and a slight sinus headache I seriously considered skipping my track workout and snoozing on the couch. Thank goodness that I do track with an awesome group of people. I tell you, if it wasn't for them there is no way I would motivate myself to get out there.

But, get out there I did. Although, I admit, I didn't push myself quite as hard as last week. Actually, for that 4th 800 I felt like I was running through sand. It was tough! But I rallied and still managed to get progressively faster during the 400s.

Half mile warm-up

1st 800: 3:50

(30 second rest)
2nd 800: 3:52
(Full recovery)
3rd 800: 3:53
(30 second rest)
4th 800: 4:00
(Full recovery)
5th 800: 3:54
(Full recovery)

1st 400: 1:55
(30 second rest)
2nd 400: 1:53
(Full recovery)
3rd 400: 1:51
(30 second rest)
4th 400: 1:47

Cool-down mile: 9:42

Total mileage: 5.06

I apparently had a few user-error Garmin issues so I'm not sure on the times for my warm-up and the time for the 1st 800 is based on memory. And let me tell you, trying to remember something from a time when your brain was begging for oxygen is not easy.

And, because I am awesome, I not only managed to work a full day and run 5 miles of speedwork, but I also had dinner on the table before 8:30 PM. Actually, 8:30 PM for dinner probably sounds really late to most people but I consider it an accomplishment. Dinner before 8 PM is actually an anomaly in our house. What time do you normally eat dinner?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Nothing to See Here


First off, I want to apologize for the incredibly emo-tastic downer of a post I made after Saturday's run. I blame humidity. And hormones. God, how I hate both of those things.

Anyway, there isn't much to say about Monday night's run other than:

A. It was MUCH better than Saturday's run

B. My Garmin refused to pick up a signal until over a mile into the run. Irritating!

Technically this was my first run of marathon training. The plan (as I altered it) had me doing 2 miles warm-up, 2 miles at 9:05, and 1.5 miles cool-down. I wouldn't say I stuck totally to the plan although although my average pace was around 9:19 for the miles my Garmin did record. I call that good enough.

And with that, I end the world's most boring post. Oh, other than to tell you that I may be in love with Kohl's Tek Gear performance tops. Seriously. They fit perfectly (even better than the C9 stuff at Target) and they're excellently priced. If you have a Kohl's near you I suggest you check it out!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Why do I do this again?


Yesterday was just not a day for running. I wanted nothing more than to turn off my alarm clock and go back to sleep when it blared at me at 6:30 this morning. Instead I dragged myself out of bed and leisurely drank some water, ate a bagel with peanut butter, and changed into my running gear. Around 7:15 I was ready to go.

As a sign as how out of it I was, I made it out of the house and onto the sidewalk before I realized I'd forgotten to put on my visor. Back to the house to get it. There was no way I could have run this morning without it. It was like a freaking swamp out there!

Told myself I could go as slow as I wanted. That I would do the 8.5 mile loop and tack on an extra mile or so at the end if I felt good.

I did not feel good. Every single step was a struggle. I was running a slow-for-me pace and it felt harder than the pace I run during track workouts. The sky was overcast but the humidity was brutal. I prayed it would just start raining already. Maybe that would help.

The rain did come but it was just a light sprinkle for a few miles. I wouldn't say it helped a lot. Every time I tried to speed up I'd just feel horrible. Dizzy. Exhausted. Weak. I wore my fuel belt, drank some water every mile and a half, and at mile 5.5 I stopped and ate some Sport Beans. They didn't do anything but sit in my stomach and make me feel like puking.

Everything hurt. My shoulders ached. My quads were sore. My adductors were killing me. That spot in my right glute/hip was giving me some troubling talk.

Still, I trudged along and told myself I wouldn't walk other than for a few minutes while I transferred my iPhone from my armband to my fuel belt pocket (keeping it out of the rain you see) and to eat my Beans. I stuck to that goal until just after mile 8. Then I just couldn't go on anymore. I walked. I passed the dog park and there was a dog who reminded me of Trinka Deu. I started to cry. My run was horrible. My dog was dead. How was I ever going to run an entire half marathon without walking? How was I even going to train for this stupid full marathon in this horrible weather? I walked the last half mile home and then cried at the sink while I drank my post-run chocolate milk.

It was a very discouraging run. However, I did manage to distract myself by test riding two road bikes later in the afternoon. Of the Specialized Dolce Sport and the Giant Avail 3 I really liked the Giant. No purchases yet, though. I plan to try out a few more brands later today.

I have to admit, though, after having such a horrible run followed by having fun on a bike the idea of a duathlon is looking better and better.


Route:--Elev. Avg:626 ft
Location:--Elev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:06/05/10Up/Downhill: [+59/-59]
Time:07:17 AMDifficulty:2.3 / 5.0

Distance: 8.56 miles
Speed:5.3 mph
Pace:11' 25 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
110' 27-0' 585.7+0.5+3 ft
210' 38-0' 475.6+0.4+6 ft
311' 00-0' 255.5+0.20 ft
410' 44-0' 415.6+0.3-9 ft
510' 55-0' 305.5+0.2+13 ft
611' 05-0' 205.4+0.2-3 ft
711' 21-0' 045.3+0.0+3 ft
810' 44-0' 415.6+0.3-13 ft
end18' 10+6' 453.3-2.00 ft
Versus average of 11' 25 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com

Friday, June 4, 2010

Racing Season


Racing season has definitely started here in the Chicagoland area. The "official" start is in March so we're well into the time when there is literally at least one race every weekend.

Since I belong to two running groups and have friends in the area that run, I'm constantly being bombarded with races to sign up for. I love racing. I really do. So, although at the start of the year my race calendar was clear between May and October, I've already managed to fill it up!

Here's what I've got (tentatively) planned for the next few months:

Sunday, June 13th - North Shore Half Marathon
I know, I know, I said I was going to stick to marathon training and then shorter distances. But I am not trying for time in this race. I'm trying to run the whole thing without walk breaks. I've never done that in a half marathon before.

Saturday, July 3rd - 4 on the 3rd 4 miler
In lieu of our monthly running club meeting members run this race and then have a picnic brunch afterward. Sounds good to me!

Saturday, July 24th - Waterfall Glen Xtreme 10
Both OPRC members and my lunch time running group members are running this. Remember that super hot trail run I did a few weeks ago? Yeah, same course. I'm supposed to run 12 slow miles that day for marathon training so I wouldn't necessarily "race" this. Plus, I seem to recall that I might have some birthday parties to attend this weekend...

I was also going to run the Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon on August 1st but I was trying to save up the $110 (!!) entry fee. However, it's now sold out at that price and there's no way I'm paying $160 (the current price) to run the 13 miles I have on my marathon training schedule. Oh well.

So instead I'm thinking about running the Chicago Half Marathon on September 12th. I've got 10 miles at a pretty quick pace on the schedule for that day anyway. That one's only $70 but I'd need to decided quickly before it sells out!

And then, of course, there's the CARA Ready to Run 20 miler on September 19th. It's not a race, just a fully-supported 20 mile training run targeted at those of us training for the Chicago Marathon.

And THEN there's one of my favorite races of the year, the PAWS 8K on September 26th. I may or may not do this one as it doesn't really fit into my training plan.

The biggie of the rest of the season, though, is, of course, the Chicago Marathon on October 10th (speaking of which, if you're one of those people who likes training plans, here's mine). After that I may be so burnt out on racing that I take the rest of the year off. Or maybe I'll run a 10K or two. Believe it or not I don't have my schedule planned out that far :-)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Little Bit of This


So far this week all I've done is post race reports and monthly wrap-ups. Have I done any actual workouts? You bet!

On Tuesday I was able to run with the lunch time group for the first time in over a month. We did our short route of 3 miles and I ran the first mile or so at a nice strong pace while chatting about a work project. I have to say, running with coworkers is quite good for that whole networking thing.

The second part of the run, though, was tough. I was starting to feel a little dizzy and get chills toward the end. It was HOT and super sunny outside and running in the middle of the day was probably not the best idea. I had to take a rinse-off shower in the locker room afterward. Let me tell you, showering with only a hand towel to use afterward is quite an experience.

Also, I was totally still sweaty for the rest of the day. I'm not sure the underside of my hair ever dried out. Good thing I didn't have any afternoon meetings!

Then last night was our weekly track workout with my other running group. I was pretty sleepy beforehand and the call of the couch was strong. Plus, the running group's monthly meeting was the night before and instead of having a speaker we had a Pilates instructor come in and do about 45 minutes of exercises with us. I haven't done Pilates in months and my abs, back, quads, and hip flexors were still sore and tight on Wednesday. But, after a nice warm-up around the track I felt pretty good. So, it was off to the races. Five 800s and four 400s. Whew!

Warm-up mile: 9:18

1st 800: 3:59

(30 second rest)
2nd 800: 3:53
(Full recovery)
3rd 800: 3:50
(30 second rest)
4th 800: 3:58
(Full recovery)
5th 800: 3:50
(Full recovery)

1st 400: 1:52
(30 second rest)
2nd 400: 1:51
(Full recovery)
3rd 400: 1:53
(30 second rest)
4th 400: 1:51

Cool-down mile: 9:24

Total mileage: 5.58

You can see I started to lag in that 4th 800 but then Maribeth got in front of me and I made it my goal to stay on her heels. We rallied and busted out that 5th 800. And my 400s were nice and even. Overall, a good track workout.

In other exercise news, a new yoga studio just opened up close to my house. They have a coupon for one free week that I'm totally going to take advantage of. After I've heard so many people rave about the whole hot yoga thing I knew I wanted to try it. Unfortunately the only places I knew of were 45 minutes to an hour away from me. This place does TWO different hot yoga classes and it's more like 10 minutes away from me. I'm so excited to try it! Now I just need to figure out the best week to use my coupon so I can try as many classes as possible.

Also, I'm one step closer to possibly buying a bike. At least, I've picked out two bike stores to check out and I'm going to try and go this weekend. The one that a guy in my lunch time running group suggested doesn't let you test ride the bikes (!!) so even though they have a huge selection I'm going to try two other places first. However, if you're reading this and you're in the Chicago area and have a suggestion of a good bike store, let me know. Remember, I'm a total bike noob (haven't ridden in almost 10 years and even then it was a cheap mountain bike) so I need a nice, non-bike-snob place.