Sunday, July 31, 2011

Week 8 Recap

Goal miles 56
Actual miles 46


So this week didn't really go as originally planned. Mileage wise I intended on taking it easy, but planned for some harder intensity workouts. Most of those workouts didn't happen, all for various reasons. Quite honestly I realized this week that I am overextending myself a bit, and that sometimes you've just got to let a workout go.

Monday:
8.21 easy miles
Saw a guy pulling his lab in one of those baby carriers that connects to a bike, the dog was sporting doggles and looked as happy as can be with his head sticking out the top of the carrier.


Looking for some doggles for your pup?
You can find them here.
Tuesday:
9.63 easy miles
There is a man that lives in Lincoln Park and he has a pet parrot, I used to see him on an almost daily basis when I lived there. On this particular day he was riding his bike and the parrot was parched on his handle bars.

Wednesday:
Unscheduled day off.
I was tired, and I had no motivation to run. So I didn't. No big deal because it's all about listening to my body and doing what is best for me.

Thursday:
8.21 easy miles
Apparently it is all the rage here in the city to sport your pet in as cool of fashion as you can. A biker had two tiny dogs in a basket on the front of his bike that were wearing helmets and matching reflective vests. Seriously is there a market for this kind of stuff???

Friday:11.21 miles with 5/4/3/2/1 @ MP and 6x400's @ MP.
I decided to sleep in and head out for this run around noon. The goal for this workout was for the legs to begin to feel comfortable running goal MP and should have been a breeze to get through. But my timing here was way off. Running on a black path during the suns peak time with no shaded areas can really wear the body out. I was able to hit all of my paces, but had to take the recoveries a lot easier then I planned.

By the 6th 400 I was starting to feel a bit out of it, and may had been nearing heat exhaustion. For the remainder of the day my head was throbbing, I had no energy, my skin was pale, every muscle of my body ached, my mind couldn't focus on anything, and my stomach very was uneasy.

The lesson to take from this folks is simple, don't think you can over power the weather. Please learn from my mistake and do not attempt speed sessions mid day on a sunny and warm July afternoon, no good can come of this. No matter how great you feel in the first half of the workout, the weather can change that fast and hit you hard.

Saturday:
8.24 easy miles.
The running juggler that lives in Chicago passed me going the opposite direction. Talk about making a lady feel bad about herself. There I was trying my best to maintain a sub 8 pace and barely squeaking by and this guy is flooring it while juggling. Show off.

And I saw Elvis for the second time on the lakefront path, no big deal.

Surprise surprise the legs felt cruddy. Took the run very easy where I followed it up with an intense stretching and foam rolling session for the cramped muscles from the previous day.

Sunday:
NADA.
Thought that I would get in a 10 miler with 6 @ tempo pace. But I woke up and decided otherwise. During the early stages of my training, I wrote a bit about the quality vs. quantity of miles put in. Today that tempo would have been of poor quality, and really I would have just been running to increase my weekly mileage. I am slowly learning to be okay with letting a workout go knowing that somedays trying to squeeze in what is on the schedule may do more harm then good. So I took the day off and will be closing the week with the lowest mileage yet this training cycle.

Week 9 Goals
This is the half way point in training.

Continue to work on speed. Spent the first 8 weeks building up my mileage and endurance, now my focus is going to slowly be switching over to building speed and increasing the intensity over those miles.

75 miles. Highest mileage week so far this year. Should be a good one, especially after taking an extra day off in week 8.

Fueling. Nearly 10 hours of running, 3 hours of resistance training, stretching and rolling, in addition to all of the other tasks in a day require a lot of fuel to keep my body going all week long. Last year this is where I slipped up in my training, I wasn't getting enough of the right foods at the proper time and I found out this will catch up with me on race morning.

Second 20 miler. Focus of the first 20 was to just make the distance, this 20 will be a progressive run. I also need to continue to figure out my long run fuel system. So far this summer every 5 1/2 miles I have been taking a gu.

Maybe start running with a camera. People are doing some really strange things on the lake path and I think that I need to start documenting it. Maybe this stuff has always been going on and I've just not noticed, or maybe I need to get with the program and create some weird trademark of my own because that is what all the cool kids are doing around here these days.



Enjoy the weekend. I have a much need weekend off from work coming up. It's August and I still haven't hit up the beach yet this year or done anything really exciting. Time for me and D to live it up in the streets of Chitown.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Totally Random Thursday


Today is one of those days where my mind seems to continue to veer off on the strangest tangents and it is extremely difficult for me to keep a constant thought.

  • I'm tired. My hubby thinks that it is because I ran my highest mileage week so far this year last week at 71 miles, and at first I thought that he was right. But then I got to thinking, and July has been an absurdly busy month in my household. Work has had me on the craziest schedule that has majorly interfered with my sleeping patterns with strange days off and long stretches between off days, like this nine day stretch I'm in right now. We had family in town, I've been working on some large projects, and dang it it is summer. Now I think that it's because I have been doing a lot of go, go, go with my free time and trying to enjoy the nice weather.
  • Think I'm coming down with something. Probably because some of the above mentioned reasons. My throat is scratchy and my head is pounding more so then it usually does.
  • I am sweating way too much. Okay this sounds silly, but I think it's true. Today was mid 70's and really cloudy on my run, quite perfect temps to run actually. But when I got home, I looked like I had just jumped into the lake...and I hadn't.


Please tell me that this is how sweaty your legs get after an easy 8 in cool temps.
  • My legs feel like garbage today. Probably because of the tiredness and the germs that are festering inside me right now. I actually was hoping that my garmin would die so that I wouldn't pressure myself to hit a certain pace today, but I wasn't that lucky.
  • Blog comments make me laugh sometimes. This one was pretty good:

Let me explain because I think that I may have some folks confused.
My dogs are 4 1/2 years old, but I call them pups.
They are a mix between doxies and westies,
their bodies are long and their legs are short.
I call them pups because they act like tiny little men,
but resemble puppies.
They do not run,
I cannot even get them to walk a quarter of a mile in less then 30 minutes,
they doddle and linger.
They think they are too good for most things that normal dogs do,
like play fetch, sleep on the floor, or eat dog food.
Pretty much they are little babies stuck in puppy sized bodies.

They were pretty cute puppies.


I love them dearly,
but we will never have running adventures together.
They would much rather lay in bed under the covers napping.
One day I'll share their story
and how they came into our lives,
it's a tear jerker.


Thank you Steady Pursuit, you unknowingly made me giggle.
The thought of me trying to get these fur balls to run is rather amusing in my head.
  • I really want these shoes. They have been calling my name for months. I think that I would really rock them.
My husband thinks that $155 for a pair of shoes that I will wear for
speed work and races is too much to spend.
Apparently he thinks that it is more important that we buy groceries
or save for a house.
This is why I am not in charge of our finances,
because if I was I would own 10 pairs of these shoes.

  • Back to being tired, I feel like I'm sleep walking. This morning while I was driving to and from the gym, while waiting at stop lights I would rest my eyes for a moment. Probably shouldn't be admitting that, but I know that you all have done it before. Truthfully I feel like I'm asleep with my eyes open right now.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Willpower of a Woman

Nothing is permanent.
This is my new phrase.
Saw it the other day written in chalk while I was romping around my city,
the next day it rained and and all signs of this phrase vanished.
How ironically platitudinous.
Got me thinking about my life's current state and how I'm responding to it.

I will not...

...be 27 forever with 15% body fat and the strength of a heard of elephants. Must enjoy this time NOW and rejoice in my gifts.
...boast about my accomplishments. I will simply acknowledge, appreciate, reflect, and praise.
...let numbers define the perception I have of myself. Race pace is a state of mind, not a set number.
...become discouraged if it is not in the stars for my sub 3:10 feat in October. Sometimes the desires of the human heart do not coincide with Gods plan, and I am okay with this.
...ever be with the likes of Paula Radcliffe, Deena Kastor, or the other insanely fast women there are in this world. But I will rejoice in their accomplishments and appreciate their awesomeness in its entirety.
...let others impose their limits and expectations on me. I dream my own dreams and create my own goals.
...diet. Endurance athletes need fuel. I will make healthy choices and observe moderation for foods, but I will also indulge when my body asks. There is no shame in eating an entire bag of sour patch kids in one sitting.

I will...

...make it across that finish line for the Chicago marathon this October with a PR, even if I have to crawl on my hands and knees or roll my fatigued body down the Columbus Dr. straightaway.
...continue to be honest and truthful about my journeys.
...have a babe sometime soon. Maybe two. And afterwards I will continue on my running voyage, piglet(s)-in-tow, without skipping a beat.
...only run for myself. And maybe my husband. He is the only audience that I aim to please and impress, the only opinion that fairs me well on earth.
...one day figure out why the tendinitis on my left foot, dubbed my sausage foot, has never gone away.
...in due time have my redemption at the Boston marathon. And when I do, I will actually RUN it injury free and beat my previous time by an hour, and it will be awesome.
...one day remember to put my socks on correctly before a run. But in the mean time I'll nurse countless blisters.
...surprise all the naysayers.
...continue to let peace brew in my soul.
...always sing praises for progression runs. If you don't know why, then you probably haven't tried it. Do it, it will build your confidence like nothing else.
...acknowledge that life has peaks and valleys. When the depth of my valley deepens, I will trudge on an not lay down and be defeated by my woes. My strength will always allow me to prevail.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Real Week 7 Recap

Goal Miles 71
Actual Miles 71


Last week I got a little crazy and did week 7 recap when it was really week 6...so this is now the REAL WEEK 7 recap

Monday
9.49 miles easy at 7:47 pace

Tuesday
12.01 miles easy at 7:35 pace

Wednesday
OFF
It was just too dang hot this day, couldn't bring myself to brave the heat wave.

Thursday
10 miles on the mill
I hate the treadmill, it bores me to death. But if I had to choose a lifetime without running or a lifetime with runs only I the treadmill, I would take the machine of death...but only if my life depended on it.
Miss my tribute to the good ole machine? You can catch it here.

Friday
12.05 easy miles at 7:44 pace
Wanted to get in my long run for the week here, but didn't. Making attempts to fight the heat wave here in Chicago has left my legs feeling exhausted.

Saturday
11.16 easy miles
Again thought that I could get in my long run here, but didn't.
Apparently some of you have never heard of monkey bread, and I'm speechless. If you've yet to try this little gift from heaven you can catch the recipe here from Pillsbury's website. My only suggestion is to hold the raisins, and cook for 45 minutes.

Sunday
5 am alarm goes off, I roll over and go back to bed until 7:15. Get ready to head out the door for my 16 miler and it starts lightening. Boo. So I decided to instead fuel up on monkey bread and fruit until the storm calmed. When I headed out it was still raining and lightly lightening, and the temp was perfect. Legs took about 5 miles to shake out. Decided to run progressively, started at 8 pace then worked my way down from there. Last 8 miles were MP or faster, with 4 of those mile sub 7.


I think that the mocha flavored Clif Gu should be illegal, for me it is like speed. My body loves it, and I don't know why.

Week 8 Goals

56 miles. This week is a mileage cutback week, which is well deserved.

Speed. Speed. Speed. I couldn't bring myself to do it this week. With the weather being what it was, I opted for all easy runs because I knew that speed sessions would just be crap runs for me. With high heat and humidity the core temp of the body is raised and blood volume is effected decreased, meaning that the body is working extra hard to cool itself with less available fuels. One week of modified workouts isn't going to kill me, but pressing the body beyond its limits may.

Stretching. Back in the beginning of July I noted that I need to pay more attention to my stretching routine, well I haven't been paying tribute to that very well. The legs are feelin it this week. Stretching+foam rolling=a happy lady, just need to keep reminding myself of this.

If you do not own the trigger point foam roller,
you must be living under a rock,
you need to get into the 21st century and hook yourself up with one,
your muscles will thank you.

Positivity. Nothing is permanent, times of trial will pass and life will go on.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Monkeying Around

Woke up at 6:30 today to get in a 16 miler. Didn't happen.

The Chicago lakefront path can get rather busy in the summer with bikers, runners, tourists, training groups, and small children and dogs wondering all over the place. For some crazy reason, they all like to come out to this beautiful path on Saturday mornings in large crowds...maybe it's Fleet Feet's overly sweetened free Gatorade that attracts them all. This causes people to become extra aggressive for their personal space. After being intentionally ran into by a woman who didn't want to let me pass after she called me a few less then ladylike names I decided to shut the run down. I'll just have to get up tomorrow morning at the ugly hour of 5 am to get in my long run in a somewhat peaceful setting on that path.

So I did what any savvy runner would do with 45 spare minutes in the morning...I made monkey bread. Yes that good ole American staple that offers no nutritional value but will fulfill your sugar, fat, and calorie intake with two bites of the stuff.


Why do they call it monkey bread? Is it because you pick off the pieces and shove it into your mouth like a monkey? I could eat this entire thing in 5 minutes.


On another note, I feel like a bad puppy momma today. One of my pups thought that I was opening the sliding glass door this morning when I wasn't and walked into it full force and knocked his little head. He made a little squeal noise and has been moping around the house ever since, I think he now has a headache. Poor guy with a pea sized brain.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Hate You Treadmill

Why I hate the treadmill...
  • I'm running, but I'm not making any forward motion which makes me feel like I'm not really running.
  • It is hard. I never understand when people say that treadmill running is easier then running outdoors, for me it feels the opposite. I really struggle and it is difficult for me to maintain my normal pace.
  • My gym does not have fans by the cardio equipment and I am a sweaty beast. This morning on my 10 mile treadmill run I had to wash the machine down after use. There was a puddle on the belt and my glistening sweat kissed every part of that machine.
  • No one wants to run on the treadmills around me. This is probably because my sweat flings off my arms, legs and my ponytail but it makes me think that I smell. Okay I probably do smell, but maybe I smell worse then I think.
  • I cannot stand watching the countdown of how much time is left. I. HATE. IT. Sometimes I feel like 30 minutes have gone by when the clock tells me it has only been 5.
  • I hate controlled conditions. I feel like this doesn't at all prepare me for what may come on race mornings. Sometimes the more challenging the weather is the better I feel post-run, like I actually accomplished something meaningful.
  • People come up to me and say "you're still going?". Why yes I am still going, obviously.
  • Sometimes men like to go a few treadmills down from me and I feel like they are trying to race me. Why? Does this prove your manliness? I will not race you, my workout is too important to be bothered by your ego issues. Please get a grip on yourselves.
  • Two towel limit??? Who are they kidding. I need like 12.
Does anyone else hate the treadmill, or is it just me?

Please explain because I don't get it, how is it easier then running outside? I DON'T GET IT!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

2011 Goal Check

It's mid-July and now I am realizing that I never gave myself a mid-year goal check. Where has time gone?

When 2011 begun, I had plenty of expectations for myself. I decided that I needed to put my goals in writing in order to commit to them, stay focused, and be able to asses myself along the way. By adding some of my goals for 2011 here, I have been able to hold myself accountable for the desires of my heart this year. Goals are funny things, we set them with the best of intentions not knowing what the path ahead holds or where it is leading and make attempts to pursue these dreams throughout the constant uncertainty of life. While we cannot predict the future, we all still set mini "check points" along our lives path so that we can asses ourselves.

In my life I have always set goals for myself, but it wasn't until this calender year that I decided to be so outspoken and upfront about the progress I want to make. Secret goals were very prominent in my life. I didn't want people to know when I failed or came up short because I felt like this would be reflective of my character, I didn't want to be that girl that never accomplished anything. But I made myself that girl anyways. Keeping all of my dreams bottled up and secret prevented them from fully flourishing and developing into the things that I wanted them to be. So for 2011 I decided that if I wanted to truly challenge myself that I had to be completely honest and upfront with the desires of my heart.

My 2011 goals are as follows:
  • Marathon: 3:10
  • Half Marathon: 1:27
  • 10 Mile: 1:08
  • 8k: 32:30
  • 5k: 19:00
Where I am in relation to these goals:
  • Marathon: We shall see come October
  • Half Marathon: I ran a half back in mid-May in extremely challenging conditions. Race morning I thought that I was going to possibly finish in 1:29 but ended up crossing the line in 1:32:59 as the 2nd place female. For the conditions of this day I did the best I could, and if there is one thing I have learned in my life it is that we do not have control of the weather. Maybe on a different day I could have ran a 1:29, but on this day I didn't but I am still proud of my finish. This race was difficult with some terribly brutal winds that knocked me on my a$$. I will get my 2nd go at this distance in September and I am confident that I will break 1:30 by a decent amount.
  • 10 Mile: Memorial Day weekend I raced the Soldier Field 10 mile where I finished in 1:07:48. Over 12,000 people finished this race, where almost 7,000 of those were women, and I just barely missed the top 25 women. This was kind of a break through race for me in my mind. I felt strong and confident, and felt for the first time this year that the I am making great progress with my fitness.

  • 8k: Goal was 32:30, in April at the Shamrock Shuffle I crossed the line in 32:38. At the time I thought that I may have had set my goal a bit too aggressive, but came close anyhow. I learned a lot about pacing from this race, mainly that it is best to go out at your own speed and not with the masses. Mile 1 here was nearly 6 minutes, which was way too fast for me and my legs never did quite recover. But this was the very first time this year that I realized my legs do have some speed.


  • 5k: 19 flat goal, last Thursday I ran a 19:26. Maybe if I was training for 5k's I could hit 19, but I'm not and I don't. This is a very aggressive goal for me, and maybe I'll hit it next year. But even so I feel really good about my 19:26. My splits were straight all around here and I felt relatively relaxed and confident. One thing I did learn here is that if I do want that 19 minute time, I will have to pick a race that has a better course where dodging people who are running a separate distance race at a slower pace then myself are not ahead of me.


Personal Goals:
  • I will receive my personal training certification from the ACSM by the end of April 2011
  • In the fall I will enroll into a 200 hour yoga teacher training
  • My dream of building a business based on sharing my gifts and knowledge of running and wellness with others will become a reality
  • Continue to make my best attempts to maintain balance in my life and live by the standards of what the healthiest options for MYSELF are

  • Be a better wife, sister, daughter, friend, Christian, and confidant to all of the people in my life
Where I am in relation to these goals now:

  • I have had my ACSM personal training certification for over a month now, still haven't done anything with it but I'm making a bit of progress.
  • Working on developing my own business right now as well, and that is a very very slow process. This is more difficult then I thought. I still need to keep job A so that I have an income while trying to develop job B, while training for a marathon. This is exhausting and moving slower then I wanted but all great things in life come from baby steps.
  • Still hoping to find a yoga certification program to enroll in before the end of the year that correlates with my schedule, haven't yet thrown this out the window.
  • Working everyday on being a better me, but this is a life long process that doesn't ever have an ending point.

  • Balance and I haven't exactly been the best of friends this year. We are slowly becoming more and more comfortable with one another, but just like any relationship there are fights. We will one day find one another at the right time and create harmony.


Who knows what the remainder of 2011 holds for me, but I am insanely optimistic about the future. Things are never easy or simple for me, but I am a blessed woman and appreciative for all the wonderful blessings that I have.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mind Fart

You know when you've officially lost your mind?
I do and I think I did.
Yesterday I posted "Week 7 Recap",
but week 7 hasn't happened yet,
it was week 6 last week,
now I'm in week 7.
Whoops, I'm crazy and can't keep track of time apparently.

Today I woke up and was starving,
so I ate breakfast and chose to go running after 9 am,
that was a bad idea.
I didn't get in my 12 mile fartlek,
I barely got in 9 miles and I had to jump into the lake to stop from overheating.
IT. WAS. WAY. TOO. HOT. AND. HUMID.
It was almost a suicide run,
my skin actually felt like it was boiling at one point.
Not the most ideal conditions for speed work.

Tomorrow I'm going to hit up the doggie beach
with these guys to try to keep cool.


We're the three best friends that anyone can have.

P.S. You followers rock.
Thanks for being a great support system,
I appreciate all of you.
You all are amazing.
Stuff like this...
warms my heart and makes me feel super special.
So thank you for continuing to stop here,
even when I post about random crazy stuff like
my dogs or messy house.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Week 7 Recap

Goal miles 69
Actual miles 68


I lost my mind this week. FOR REALS. Too many complicated projects, family activities, and miles this week for me to maintain sanity. My husband is a good man for sticking by my side in my ugly moments, and those were plentiful this week.

Monday: Planned on doing a fartlek. It didn't happen. Instead I ran 11.75 miles easy.

Tuesday: Easy 10.19 miles

Wednesday: Easy 10.05 miles

Thursday: Ran a 5K, 19:26 a new PR for me. I don't know what happened to my timing chip, but it never activated and I'm not in the results listing. Shoot that stinks. I would have finished in the top 5 women according to their info, but their results are way messed up.


I don't know why but my right arm always hangs out "raptor-style" when I run,
maybe I was a dino in a past life.

Friday: Easy 9.53 miles. Legs felt surprisingly okay after the race the night before, no soreness which means I probably should have been running a bit faster.

Saturday: What should have been the 2nd 20 miler of this cycle actually became my 1st. This run was basically the recipe for disaster from step one. A weeks worth of nights with only 5-6 hours of sleep+ running at 5 am when I never run at that time+no gu in the house and substituting with sweedish fish that were making me feel sick+no breakfast before hand+ humid temps+legs that would have much rather still been in bed=one challenging run. Nothing to brag about here, nothing impressive. Wanted to attack this workout progressively, but the legs weren't feeling it and it was an extremely challenging run for me. I don't think my legs were yet ready for this from the 5k two days prior. I'll get it next week.


After my 20 I spent the day celebrating my in-laws 40th wedding anniversary. I tried to recreate their wedding cake but replicating authentic 70's style in 2011 is difficult, and to make matters worse it was so hot that the cake was melting away.

Week 7 Goals

Sleep. I need at least 8 hours a night of sleep to function properly, this week I've been averaging between 5-6 a night and I feel like a zombie right now. I naturally have a bit of a saucy attitude, mix that in with little to no sleep and I get extra spicy. It's not pretty.

Hit the weights. Okay I'm serious about it this time. Every week my goal is 3 resistance sessions, but lately I've only been able to fit in two. When life gets busy this, and regularly doing my laundry, is the first thing to go.

70+ miles. Highest mileage week so far this year with a tempo, fartlek, and a progressive long are my target runs this week with the remaining miles easy. Practically all of my mileage last week was easy so I'm ready to take on some aggressive speed work.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bastilles Day 5k Race Recap

Time to let the secret out...I desperately wanted to break 20 minutes for this 5k. My PR stood at 20:23 for the past 9 years, and I've ran that time not once but TWICE. What are the odds? I may have tried to play it cool a few posts ago that this was just a mock tempo, but that was a lie. I was motivated, I was ready to unleash the running beast that has been brewing inside of me.


My goal for the day was to hit mile 1 at 6:15 and see how long I could hold it, and I was hoping that it would be the entire race. Well today was my lucky day.


Not 6:15 miles, but hell it's close enough for me!
A new 57 second PR 19:26



I love this picture because the gal in the white went out super fast and I slowly closed the gap right before the end. Sneak attack.


Today I realized that the reason I have never before broken 20 minutes for a 5k is because it is HARD...like REALLY HARD. Within the first two minutes of the race my legs were feelin the burn. The only thing that helped me maintain even splits was that I kept reminding myself that I deserve to break 20 minutes because I am an efficient runner and I work frickin hard 95% of the time. Or maybe it was the lovely lady before the race that gave me an amazing ego boost by complementing my arms, so thank you again you beautiful brunette if you are reading this. An encouraging comment from a women can sometimes be just enough to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside.

It hurt and was exhausting, but was a wonderful evening. I don't know why I have been avoiding the 5k all these years because it can be fun if you let it, and I just wasn't letting it be enjoyable in the past.



I signed up for this race because they advertised that each finisher got a cupcake. Lets just say the smile on my face does not show how disappointed I am that this cupcake was the smallest one I have EVER seen. What a tease.

I am not sure if I would do this race again next year. Yes it was fun and I loved the course, but there was an 8k that let up right before the 5k. Major traffic back up around mile 2 where I had to weave in and out of traffic and cut people off left and right which I am certain added a few extra seconds and distance. Some 8k runners were actually yelling at the 5k runners as they were passing them, it was tense. I'm just glad I'm slightly petite and can fit through snug spaces...and that teeny tiny cupcake ain't goin to do damage to any human body so for now I suppose I'll remain that way. Damn you teeny cupcake.

advice for a race mix...

i need your help!

this evening im running a 5k and i am trying to make a mix for my ipod...
but i don't really know what songs to put on it...
any good ones that i need to put on...
what songs pump you up...
i need music advice stat!!!

until then i will be busy in the kitchen...
trying to recreate the wedding cake my inlaws had at their wedding...
40 years ago...
13 years before i was born...
for their surprise anniversary party this weekend...

gotta love the 70's...
what a cool time...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Making Sensible Adjustments, My Sassy Garmin, and Sweaty Summers

Today I wanted to try to get in a 12 miler with 2x 5/4/3/2/1 fartleks @ marathon goal pace. After mile 1 I decided that though my legs were feeling better then they have been for the past few days, that this workout would be best left for another day. On deck for the remainder of the week is a progressive 20 miler, a 5k, and a total of 47 miles to go. The logical side of my brain that usually doesn't engage in these types of things said to try this workout next Monday, so next Monday it is.

Last week Vanessa over at The Gourmet Runner found out via her Garmin that she runs a whopping 87 mph, and doesn't even have to leave the living room to do so. Yesterday my Garmin was on the fritz a bit and told me that on mile 1 of my run I was clocking a 30 minute mile and mile 3 a 5:46 pace. So yesterday I found out that a 30 minute mile and a 5:46 mile feel the same for me effort wise, good to know...especially since my mile PR is like 5:58 that I ran in high school. Watch out Kara Goucher, by the info my Garmin tells me I'm getting ready to crush your Olympic dreams!


Got to love technology!

Everyone seems to be fighting this summer heat. Ashley, Jess who has coined her sweatyness SWASS, my fellow Chicago blog pals Charlyn and Kim, and plenty of other bloggers are feeling my pain. I thought I would share just what a nasty pig I am with a little before and after photo opt.

Before
Dry as a bone


After
Looks like I jumped in the shower with my clothes on
But no folks thats all my nasty sweat toxins


Shooting my pups a smile
they love my nastiness

So nows your chance folks...
Have some lovely before and after sweaty pics that you'd like to share with the world so that we can all realize that we are not alone in our ickiness?
If so send them to chicagorunnergirl@gmail.com and I'll include them in an upcoming post and link them back to you.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Oh Summer Weather

Today's planned workout was a 12 miler with 2x 5/4/3/2/1 fartleks.

Weather persons last night were predicting some thunderstorms in the am hours, but when don't they these days??? It seems that almost every day there are predicted storms and only 10% of the time those storms actualize. So this meant nothing to me this morning. Pssh, what do those weather people know anyhow? I mean can we really predict the future?



I got up at 6 to hit the gym for a full body lifting session. The sun was trying to shine, but there was a lot of moisture in the air so it was terribly hazy. No big deal.

Finished my lifting session at about 8 and headed home where it begun to look a bit overcast. Still not worried. Then I saw this in my rearview mirror, no not the $4.29 for the gallon of gas because that is pretty standard here, the darn street lights are on at 8:15 on a summer morning.


Still convinced that this was the perfect timing to get my workout in, even though it begun to rain cats and dogs horizontally, I went in to check the weather.


Okay so maybe this isn't the best weather to be running alongside a large body of water in, so now I'm waiting it out convinced that this storm will pass and I can get in my workout. Fingers crossed.

Do you ever run in lightening?
Yes and yes. Shh, don't tell my hubby.



Sunday, July 10, 2011

Week 5 Recap

Goal miles this week: 67
Actual miles this week: 65.5


Monday: 11.06 easy where the legs felt excessively heavy

Tuesday: 9.61 where the legs still were feeling a bit icky

Wednesday: 11.28 miles with my ipod. I hadn't ran with my ipod in 4 years and I think that I'm going to starting doing this again every so often. This is the day that I realized I was being a bit fat do-do head by stressing myself out a bit too much.

Thursday: 9.07 miles with 5x1600's. 6:19, 6:16, 6:15, 6:11, 6:17. These weren't easy, but I felt strong.

Friday: 9.64 easy recovery miles

Saturday: 14.84 miles. I planned to do 16 here, but had to modify. The day was extremely busy leaving the only time to run at 3 pm. All I can say is icky. It was so hot and humid I would have been able to cut the air with a knife. Oh and I also got bit by a dog in the calf somewhere around mile 5.

Goals for WEEK 6

Wake up early. This week my schedule was flipped and I ended up having to run in the evenings and work in the mornings and I hated it. It is so much harder to get in a quality workout after work. For week 6 I need to get up as early as possible to get in quality miles before the heat and humidity kill me.

Run a 5k. Thursday I am doing a 5k. I don't often race this distance and maybe only do one 5k a year. Goal is to break 20 minutes, but there will be no resting lead up and this race is more so being considered a short tempo for me. Just want to have fun.

3 lifting sessions at the gym.

69 miles. I am hoping to get in a 20 miler and maybe some type of incline training. There are no hills in Chicago, and "inclines" here are kind of a joke so I'm not sure how I'm going to go about this yet.


Bust out my baking skilz. Big surprise family event this weekend were I am on pastry duty.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I'm Alive, and Well

Ever have those days when you feel like you just need to slap some sense into your thick skull? No? Is it just me?

I've been carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders lately allowing frustrations to turn into stress, stress into anxiety, and anxiety into exhaustion. Staying focused on my goals ahead has been wearing me down mentally and physically. The constant need for progress greets me early in the morning and flows through my blood all day long leaving me sluggish and tired.

Maximizing my workouts has been the fuel that has been feeding me, but for the past week or so my tank has been extremely low on gas. Running has become more of a chore, something that I just need to tick off of my to-do list in order to move on to the next task. And I don't want my running to feel like this, EVER.

With the idea of progress comes the need to constantly distract myself and not let my heart be silent and still. Notions that relaxation and silence are a waste of time are rattling around in my head lately. Truth be told, life is good. There really is no need to be making myself into a tizzy. I have a wonderful husband and family, a job that while isn't a perfect fit for me right now still meets a majority of my needs, my health, love, support, and the ability to run like the wind...some of the time.

No secret here, I want to run fast. I want to fly and feel strong and powerful doing it. But lately my desire to be fast has trumped my desire to run and feel free and uninhibited. I have taken all of the fun out of running and have been making workouts serious business filled with pressures and stress to make progress. Dang you progress, why must you torture me? I appreciate that there any not any worthy achievements in life that do not come with out hard work and dedication, but for some reason my heart lately has been paying tribute to this lovely manifesto incorrectly.

Last night I decided to postpone my planned mile repeats and instead run just for the hell of it, like the olden days. I made a running groves mix, popped in my ear phones, laced up my shoes and headed out the door. While I was sweating like a beast and rockin out to the most random mix of tunes imaginable, I took a moment to pay tribute to what I was actually doing. I WAS RUNNING. Yes that sounds silly, but I was engaging in an activity that some can only dream about at a leisurely 7:40 pace for 11 miles. Dusting the dirt off my shoulders and reminding myself that pace is relative and numbers are not definitive of who I am was necessary. The pressures only exist because I put them there, and I have the power to make them fizzle away.

Running is just like every other experience in life, there are peaks and valleys. Right now I'm in a valley, a very desolate and barren valley that I am eager to get out of and pushing hard to get past. Running is not easy and if it were then everyone would do it; world records wouldn't hold significance and Ryan Hall would just be a normal guy. This valley will pass and it is a sign that progress is being made, and I just need to have a patient heart and give my body time to make adaptations...and let the pressures go.

So today I headed out for those mile repeats, pressure free. The plan was to just take them one at a time and not be concerned if I was off pace or needed to put a kibosh on the workout. No stress or pressure, just enjoy running fast. That attitude left me feeling strong and confident and able to live in the moment.


Goal pace: 5x1600's @ 6:18
Actual pace: 6:19, 6:16, 6:15, 6:11, 6:17

There are far more people in this world that endure far worse then I; those that I am focused on raising money for in Africa with Team World Vision, my friend Nicole whose running journey never seems to be easy, those that are jobless or homeless and are hungry on a daily basis. Life isn't about one day or one experience, it's about all of the moments when our character is put to the test and how we choose to move forward into the future. Running isn't the end all be all for me, it's just something that I do to bring me joy. I'm moving on to the future with joy in my heart for the life that I've got.

Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthews couldn't have summed up my feelings any better

So damn easy to say that life's so hard
Everybody's got their share of battle scars
As for me, I'd like to thank my lucky stars
That I'm alive and well

It'd be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you sat and watched go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me, I'm alive

And today you know that's good enough for me
Breathin' in and out's a blessing, can't you see?
Today's the first day of the rest of my life
And I'm alive and well
I'm alive and well

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Gotein Giveaway Winner


And the winner is....
drumroll please...



Congrats to Christy! Email your address to chicagorunnergirl@gmail.com.
If you don't already follow her, you should.
She is also doing her own giveaway for the Handful Bra, so go make a stop at her blog ASAP!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

3 Day Weekend Aftermath

After taking several days away from the blogging and technology world to relax and enjoy the holiday weekend, I felt a bit overwhelmed when my google reader told me that I have nearly 200 unread items this morning. Yikes, I don't know if I will ever catch up but I'm sure going to try.


D and I spent the weekend relaxing, eating, seeing family, and enjoying the company of one another. We don't often get the opportunity to spend weekend days together, especially holiday weekends, because of my job. So having three stress-free days together not worrying about the laundry, how badly my bathroom needs to be cleaned, or trying to pack events into our small moments together was truly lovely. But now my house is a disaster, I feel exhausted, and I don't want to go back to work...I just want to take a nap.


On the workout front, I have had some fairly terrible runs in the past week. My knee is healing and almost back to its usual self, but my legs feel like they weigh about a million pounds a piece. I've been eating too much garbage for the past few days and skimped out on my resistance sessions in the last week, and this has me a tad lethargic. I know that an inconsistent resistance training schedule is basically a waste of time, yet I have been having difficulties sticking to my planned resistance dates this summer. In addition the humidity that seems to be hanging around 24 hours a day here has been sucking all of my energy. Every run has felt like a fight for the past several days and sadly I haven't enjoyed a run in about a week, and it is really frustrating to me right now.

So what am I going to do about it

Maybe start running with my ipod again. I haven't done this in about four years. Maybe it will distract me from the heat a bit and help mix things up a bit.

Wake up earlier. While I do not want to do this, trying to push through late mornings runs on the on a path that offers no shade is really draining me. So 6 am runs here I come.

Stop eating crap. Fresh apple doughnuts, homemade cherry almond ice cream and strawberry rhubarb crumble, and candy are not exactly power foods. I love produce, especially summer produce. More watermelon and peaches, less sour patch kids.


Stretching. Stretching after 3 out of every 6 or 7 runs ain't cuttin it for me.

Stop forcing it. When my legs are tired on a run, I have a bad habit of forcing myself to go the distance anyways. If after 7 of 11 miles the legs haven't loosened I need to stop telling myself to give it another mile "just to see". I just need someone to tell me "let some miles go crazy pants".

Today is the last day to enter my Gotein Giveaway!!!
If you haven't yet had the chance to enter, do so now. Giveaway ends tonight at midnight.

Friday, July 1, 2011

STOP...Take Life In!!!

Is it crazy that I want to sign up for twitter for the sole purpose of chasing food trucks around the city of Chicago?

This week my body has been telling me to slow down and take life in.
Relax for a change.
Make the most of the upcoming three day weekend.
Enjoy life's simplicities and blessings.


Take time to appreciate this guy who does weird things with his hands that ruin perfectly good photos.

Celebrate life as the "little one" turns 17, and isn't quite so little anymore.
Rock out to Counting Crows and Jack Johnson like the old days.

With one bum knee from my fall almost a week ago still bugging me and the other still aching from running in a pair of less then desirable shoes for my feet, I am one gimpy lady. Oh and not to mention my run in with the trash can on Wednesday that had left a giant strawberry and bruise on my arm. I'm a hot mess.

Note to self: when it is human against trash can, the trash can will always win.

My mind always seems to say "go, go, go" which can be exhausting on me physically. Intentions for this week were to take my workouts easy so that my knees would heal and I would be physically ready for a few 70 mile weeks ahead. While I should be enjoying the scale down this week, instead my mind is frustrated and I keep wanting to find time to pile in more miles. I had to stop myself yesterday when I was mentally ready to take on a double digit run and my knees weren't. The pains are getting better with each day, but it is a slow process here. Telling myself to "wait one more day" was truly a challenge, but listening to the signals my body is sending me is an important step to being the forever runner I want to be and not just a right now runner. The main problem is that there is stiffness preventing my stride from its usual range of motion, but only on the right side of my body. I can only imagine how strange I look running right now, bruised and beaten with an uneven stride. It is probably quite an entertaining thing to watch.

I feel ready for the miles ahead and EXTREMELY anxious and eager to put them in. Just thinking about October and the potential of crossing the line sub 3:10 and knowing that I am going to PR no matter what gives me goosebumps. But, there is a time for everything. Now is the time for a little relaxer in mileage despite what my mind is telling me. So yes I did run 12 miles today, but only because my body said okay. This is still a lower mileage week for me, where I will rack up about 50, compared to the few behind and ahead of me.


After a month of waiting, my ACSM certification finally came in the mail a few days ago. It feels weird. I did 9 months of self study for this test and now I'm a personal trainer. Should I feel different? Shouldn't I have just woken up one morning and been like super buff or something?

Alright Chicago food trucks, you may think you have fooled me for now...
but I'll find you...
until then I'll be enjoying the holiday weekend.
Taking mental pictures of all the beautiful faces in my life,
and celebrating life.