Sunday, February 28, 2010

February recap

28 days in February.

127.5 miles logged over 21 days of running

Average run of 6 miles

1 angry pig

Great Month!

I’m heading towards Chicago full steam ahead. My mileage is in the mid 30’s and other than an agry pig I’m feeling healthy. I decided to go slower in my weekly increases to avoid injury. To be honest I’m a little nervous about hitting the 40’s. The goal by the end of the summer is 60ish, but to achieve that I have to hit 45-50 without falling apart. Something I have yet to accomplish. For March I plan to continue the structured workouts and focus more on the long runs. Maybe two 14 milers? For someone who is training for a marathon, I really hate long runs.

Miles trained today: 11

Days till Chicago: 223

Friday, February 26, 2010

date night

A run couldn’t count as a date could it? We didn’t talk much, a few comments here and there. We ran side by side the entire time. I think at times it pissed him off that he couldn’t pull ahead (that much by the structured workouts paying off). I hadn’t expected company on tonight’s run. Sometimes there is a vibe that he releases indicating that he has no intention of running. I was surprised when he changed and even more so when he was out on the roads with me. There was just a quiet rhythm between us tonight that is not always there when we run together. It was nice, and I’ll count it as a date.

Miles trained today: 6

Days till Chicago: 225

Thursday, February 25, 2010

not now, please no

It’s starting. My pigs are revolting. This is the 3rd time in as many years. It always happens when the mileage grows. My concern is this isn’t a spring marathon; I have over 200 days to go. If the pigs are pissed off now in February where will they stand in September? I’m trying to be nice, pedis more often, comfy shoes when food shopping. It started with a blister during the NYC Half. If I had taken time to relax after we would be good. Instead the mileage continues to climb and now I have a very angry pig. Good news, my running isn’t bothered. Bad news, this road leads to noting that looks pretty in open toed shoes. The unthinkable has yet to happen, I haven’t lost a nail. If that happens I walk away, no more marathons…EVER.

Miles trained today: 5

Days till Chicago: 226

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'll have to do it now

I thought I was going to get away without any workouts this week. My weekly e-mail didn’t get sent until late on Sunday and with no response I was starting to get excited. Don’t get me wrong, I know the workouts are important and will get me closer to my goal in Chicago. But I really enjoy the lazy runner route and you know that without Bob telling me what to do I am NOT going to do it on my own! Too bad the e-mail came in today and what was also too bad was the fact I slept through my morning run. Leaving no excuse for tonight. 4x1m at 9:50 pace with a 4 min rest, not completely tragic but not what I had envisioned as my evening plan. I’ve been doing these timed workouts on the treadmill lately. The rest of my runs have been outdoors since the mutiny, but I have a lot of trouble staying on target on the roads alone. Joe refuses to have anything to do with these workouts and Wednesday nights are still a few weeks away. I’m always amazed at how quickly I can power through them though. I had been dreading this run since 10am this morning and knew that it was getting bad when I found myself at work late. One of my surefire ways to sabotage a run is to stay at work until it’s too late to run. Dinner plans aren’t until 8:30 and although I didn’t want to run I wasn’t staying at work that late J I’m sitting here now, sweaty but feeling accomplished. What feels better is to look back at my log and see that each week I’m a little faster with a little bit of a shorter rest. The best part is the structured workouts are done for the week! YAHOO!

Miles trained today: 6

Days till Chicago: 228

Sunday, February 21, 2010

perfect day, perfect run

This could have been ugly. We were running late in the day, the whole way there I was trying to think of a good enough reason to skip. It was warm, but standing waiting for Joe it felt cooler than expected. Off we went down the middle of the Blvd. It was a little tricky dodging mud puddles; Joe did some whining about getting his new shoes dirty. Now lets see here, you bought sneakers to run outside in and are upset that they are getting dirty, whatever. I was pretty surprised to see how quickly we reached the bottom of the Blvd. On the way back we made it up that slight uphill with some good speed. I was tempted to look at my watch to get an idea of the pace but I decided against it. Things felt good and that was enough. I knew heading down Cole that we were making good time. I was keeping up with Joe and the arms were pumping. It was such a nice day to be out, it felt like spring. Finally we had beaten the winter, I was wondering how we could replicate this at 4:45 tomorrow am. Even running into the wind down Elmgrove was nice. Again I had to fight the temptation to check my watch. Alright, home stretch, we picked it up. When we reached the car and I finally checked my watch I was amazed. We ran 6 miles in less than an hour, unheard of for us. I checked it again, 59:50. I don’t know how this was possible but I’ll take it. Don’t expect a repeat!

Miles trained today: 6

Days till the Chicago Marathon: 230

Saturday, February 20, 2010

the gummy bear that saved my life

Things were going along fine until just past 6 miles. I knew I should have brought some Gu, I didn’t know it would get this bad. Hunger took hold, ravenous hunger. I tried to ignore it, focus on my run; it wouldn’t go away. Joe made a joke and I almost attacked him. I started to scan the roadside for a rogue apple. We had 5 miles left to go, I wasn’t going to survive. We had to cut the run short and even then it was another mile or so to the car. This was going to get ugly. Then the skies parted and there was the sound of angels singing, Melissa had come to save my life. A gummy bear, several gummy bears! They tasted better than Thanksgiving dinner; I could feel my life force coming back. I would live to run again, next time with Gu.

Miles trained today: 8.5

Days till Chicago: 231

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I am a runner, who likes it

I run. I run marathons (makes me smile to write this). This means that I have to run a lot. Ok, a lot is a relative term. Granted there are many who run many more miles than I do. Congrats, you people are the crazy ones. I just run most days of the week. Not all, just most. Yes I complain about it, and yes I run in the rain (only reluctantly). I run in cold and heat as well as snow. Indeed, I do beat myself up over track work and other workouts that make a plain old run look as appealing as a chocolate shake. Running websites, books, movies, stores and magazines make my heart flutter a little. I'm slightly obsessive about my running log and yes I keep them from year to year and do go back to see what happened 2 years ago (today was a day off in 2008). I understand what it feels like to loose your self on the roads. I also get what it feels like to have to roads beat you up and have to limp back home. I've cried when I had to give up a marathon, I've also cried when I finished one. I have many running friends who get it and more friends who don't, I love you all the same. I'm lucky enough to have a running spouse who puts up with my obsessions and is along for most of the runs to protect me from barking dogs and crazed paperboys. My dogs run, well only one counts as a training partner, the other is a sprinter at heart who really enjoys running from hydrant to hydrant sniffing. I guess I like it. I have to remind my self of this on days like today where I thought my pick-ups were going to kill me.

Miles trained today: 5

Days till the Chicago Marathon: 233

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

too far from home

Things were going along fine this morning. We were lucky to have made it out on the roads; it had been a late night. Today’s route was the same as yesterdays, just backwards. The roads were slick and we were moving slower than the day before. There were parts of the road, epically in Lincoln, that we seemed to be skating more than running. There was some celebration once we hit Branch Ave. We had gone far enough that the run would count, we had also under-estimated how far we were from home. It didn’t take long to reach that final left onto Charles St. I knew we had at least a mile, maybe slightly more. There is the mildest uphill on Charles and we pushed up that, but then we didn’t slow again. Off Joe went and I foolishly kept pace behind him. Without a watch I have no idea what we were doing, but the lungs were indicating this was somewhere faster than a 9:20 pace. For sure he’ll slow down in a few steps, only when he did I took the lead. By the time we passed the bakery I was having trouble breathing. It was at that point where if you think about breathing you seize up because everything is working so hard. Damn it! We still had more than a third of a mile to go. We hit the gas station where I would normally decide we are at the home stretch and speed up; today I had to just keep moving. There was no more speed to add. I started to wonder if this mile would ever end, I had been able to see our street for a while now. Joe pulled onto the sidewalk, not realizing why I kept going. 2 blocks to go, 1 more, and here we are. Finally the right turn onto May and we can stop. Only I stopped dead in a puddle, too winded to yelp, we cheered that we had finally reached the finish. Next time I won’t charge home when there is over a mile to go.

Miles trained today: 5

Days till the Chicago Marathon: 234

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Why do the best runs always seem to happen when the watch is at home? We headed out this morning and didn’t really have a plan. I had semi planned out a route, but a mile from home we decided to try an old route. Neither of us were quite sure how far it was or exactly what roads to take. It didn’t take long before we remembered why we never ran this route backwards. Running up Woodward sucks, bad. Up we went and over Mineral Spring Ave. Joe started to pick up the pace coming around the golf course, only to be slowed by another hill. I smiled as I caught up and then passed him on the hill, show off! It wasn’t long till we hit Charles St. for the final stretch home. After warming up and checking out a map we found that the route was 5 miles, a mile short of our 6 mile goal. It’s too bad that I didn’t bring the watch, because it appears that this run would have counted for our tempo for the week. Depending on how the rest of the week goes, it still might be counted as the tempo, Bob doesn’t have to know that our watch was left behind.

Miles trained today: 5

Days till the Chicago Marathon: 236

Thursday, February 11, 2010


I don’t like running enough to do it without a purpose. There is always a goal, something to keep me focused. Whether it’s an upcoming a race, completing a hard workout, hitting my weekly mileage there is something to keep me moving. This week I’ve started to struggle a little. My mileage has gone up so all my runs will be longer than 6 miles and it’s hard to swallow. I feel like I can run anything under 5 with no problem, once I pass that mark I start to doubt myself. It’s all still so new to me and there are times I have trouble understanding why I’m doing it. I’ll never win a race, nor will I ever race competitively. To be honest I’m not that good at it, but I still enjoy it for the most part. Today I needed a goal larger than running, something to get me to finish those 6 miles. Something that would hold my interest and make me get it done. God knows there are many other things I could have done with that hour after work. SHOES and not the kind that are beneficial to my running. I’m talking about 3-4 inch heels, maybe higher if I’m lucky, the kind that irritate my ankle! Run 6 miles and you get a pair of shoes. Not after every 6 mile run but after today’s run. That’s all it took, once I promised myself new shoes, this 6 mile run seemed like nothing. So here I sit getting ready to shop and I don’t care what it took to get me to finish the run. I’m done and ready for new shoes J

Miles trained today: 6

Days till the Chicago Marathon: 240

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Ok, I've been cheating. I've been running on the treadmill, a lot. In my defense, it's been really cold and Joe went away and was then sick so it just became easier. I don't really have a problem with the treadmill, as long as I'm getting the miles in. Last night we were doing to planning and Joe attacked. NO MORE TREADMILLS!! He's a lunatic, it's cold and I don't care. The plan was 9 miles outside at 4:30. Today we failed, or more accurately he failed. If he's going to force me back into the frigid weather he can motivate us to get out of bed at 4:15am. Well, the alarm went off, I heard him get up and felt him get right back into bed. This went on for 2 HOURS! Yep, 2 hours. I won, no running outside. After work I went to the basement, turned on the 1st season of Sex in the City and knocked back a 6 mile run with 5 pick-ups at a 9 minute pace. Oh Joe, yeah he didn't run at all, inside or out...

Miles trained today: 6
Days till the Chicago Marathon: 241

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The tunes that keep me going

When I started running with the club and when we would meet at Roger William’s Park, I would often hear the song, Girlfriend.  Still whenever it comes up on my i-pod I think about climbing that hill in the park.  Then around mile 17 or so of the Breakers Marathon I’m Gonna Be came on.  I hit repeat several times and was singing it aloud to get my mind off the pain I was in.  Empire State of Mind came out just before we ran New York.  I didn’t run that marathon with music, but it always reminds me of that weekend and the marathon.  No matter where I am on a run You Give Love A Bad Name will pick me up and I’ll move quicker, it’s great when it comes on as I’m heading down the Blvd on that slight downhill!  Remember the Name makes me feel like a bad-ass long distance runner, like I could keep running forever.  The song that always makes me grin and whenever it comes on I feel like I needed to hear it, Gotta Get Thru This.  As I came close to hypothermia on the bike path today I spent some time wondering what song I’ll have for Chicago..

Miles trained today: 10

Days till the Chicago Marathon: 244

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Good times

I was in no mood to run outdoors this am.  It was colder than I had wanted (10 degrees) and windy (12mph).  Unfortunately I had no choice, I had talked to much smack about others who had wimped out of these runs.  Surprisingly we met a fairly large group at The Edge and when we started out we were with 7 other runners.  Everyone was chatty and in bright spirits, maybe because we had narrowly missed the 30 inches of snow that would have prevented this run.  There was a light snow that was coming down, but it was for more decoration than anything else, nothing was sticking.  After a mile or so Joe and I were on our own.  Things were feeling good, before we knew it we hit the turn around spot.  Heading back was going to feel much nicer, the wind was to our backs.  Not only did many members of our group show up for the run today, but there were many other runners out and about today.  Were people getting ready to overindulge tomorrow or just sick of their treadmills?  We it the car and when I pulled my watch out of my pocket I was shocked to see that we had hit 5 miles with a 10 min pace.  It hadn’t felt like we were pushing hard at all.  Are things starting to pay off?  I don’t know, but for today it was a great run.

Miles trained today: 5Days till the Chicago Marathon: 245

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Case of the missing hamstrings

My hamstrings are missing and I don’t know where they are.  I’m not sure where they went or what happened.  Flexiblity has never been my strong point but this is getting ridiculous.  I noticed tonight while in yoga, there are people who can straighten their legs in the air.  I try and the knees bend, a lot.  Then we do the thing on the floor with legs out front and bend at the waist towards the toes, my hands make it to my knees.  That’s on a good day.  I don’t know if I left them on Elmgrove Ave during a run one morning or on the track, but they are gone.  If you find them and they are hiding scared, please encourage them to come home, I will need them in the near future. 

Miles trained today: 6

Days till the Chicago Marathon: 247

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Picking up speed

Day 1 of 2days per week of speed work.  Why am I doing this again?  That’s right I want to run faster, I remember now.  All this complaining and it wasn’t bad.  5x3min pick-up’s at a 9:20 pace.  Goal is to make marathon pace (10:30) feel comfy.  I warmed up for a mile and hit it.  I’m glad I paid attention to the instructions and didn’t try to knock out 3 at once.  The first felt easy, as expected, I didn’t want to slow down when the 3 minutes were up.  By the 3rd I was huffing and puffing, it took longer to recover.  4 and 5 were uneventful.  Tomorrow I will do an easy 5 miles and hit the speed work again on Thursday.  Going forward I plan to get this work done on Mon and Thurs.  So far so good, I can’t help but wonder when injury will set in.  But for now positive thinking, I’m doing this right, intentional and slow. 

 Miles trained today: 4

Monday, February 1, 2010

January Recap

31 days in January.

97.5 miles logged over 20 days of running.

Average run 4.8 miles

0 injuries

1 half marathon

Great Month!

1st full month of marathon training behind me, goals for Feb are to get the weekly mileage into the high 30’s, continue with my lack of injuries.  I’m also planning to add an additional day of speed work.  So far so good.  It’s hard taking it slow; I just want to be at a higher mileage at a quicker pace.  This weather blows and I’ve spent more time on the treadmill than I’m willing to admit.  I’ve found with the treadmill I can focus on the run rather than the elements, which can be helpful.  I’m also able to be more precise with some of the more mundane runs in terms of pace.  That said my races aren’t on treadmills so I need to spend more time on the road in Feb.  No races planned for this month, although suggestions are welcome.  I’m kind of in the mood for a 10k, I also have the urge to register for my marathon...

Miles trained today: 5