Wednesday, August 31, 2011

16 Miles, Thank Yous, and Some Randomness

Today is Wednesday...
so that means...

Originally I had planned to do 6 rather aggressive mile repeats today, but after further consideration I decided to scrap that workout. With my half marathon now 5 days away I wasn't sure that my legs would recover fully from this workout. But I still wanted to get in some type of speed work in addition to a long run this week, so my solution was to combine the two so that the remainder of my miles this week could be easy.

On tap for today
16 miles
2 warm up
12 miles with 1 mile hard/1 mile easy
2 miles cool down

I am trying to prep myself now for marathon morning so today I took this workout as a dress rehearsal. Woke up and had an iced hazelnut latte and a bowl of fruit then took my pups for a walk so a little digestion could happen. Headed out of the house about an hour and a half after breakfast.

I felt good on the warm up and knew that I was going to have to continue to remind myself to not take the "hard miles" too hard and shoot for goal marathon pace hard miles today. That worked for the first few repeats until the gu begun to kick in where a few of my hard miles were a bit more aggressive then I planned but felt relaxed and comfortable. I felt strong the entire 16 where my breathing was under control.  Leaving the workout feeling like I could have kept up with the 1 mile hard/1 mile easy for at least another 5-6 miles was my plan so that the legs wouldn't feel completely drained for the rest of the week. A big part of me still wanted to do those planned 6 mile repeats @ 6:20-25 pace, but a bigger part of my heart wants that sub 1:30 on Monday. Sometimes you have to sacrifice one workout for a better one.

Just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone that has taken a moment out of their busy day to stop here and leave supportive and loving comments. Blogging about my running journey can at times make me feel vulnerable and exposed, but the sweet and encouraging feedback that I have been receiving here lately is truly inspiring and makes me feel like I am a very blessed woman to come into contact with bloggers across the globe. So thank you very much for continuing to stop here with love and support because I really do appreciate all of your wonderful comments.

Lately I have received a lot of really great questions and comments that I would love to respond to, but blogger is stupid and doesn't allow me to respond to everyone because of profile settings. So if you have asked me a question and I haven't responded, I am sorry but I haven't forgotten about you just haven't have time yet to figure out the best way to contact you back. I also have received quite a few requests for future postings such as:

Thank you ladies for you posting suggestions, I am working on these as we speak. If anyone else has a suggestion for posting topics which they would like to read more about I will take any and all suggestions because the blogging topic well is beginning to run a bit dry here at CRG.

Also on an unrelated topic...
whoever keeps visiting my blog by google searching the terms "wet my pants for pleasure"...
this is creepy and I'm not certain why you have been linked up here but you are weirding me out...
mainly because it has been multiple visits with the same search terms...
I am not a doctor but I don't think this is normal...
I also don't think that you are going to find the answers to what you are looking for here...
just sayin...

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week 12 Recap

Goal Miles 60
Actual Miles 57

Most of my workouts didn't go quite as planned this week, mainly because of my usual self-destructive-careless behavior got in the way.

Garmin was acting up, so I did 8.25 miles slow without a watch in my Newtons. Hit the weights.

After a bump to the head and some strange symptoms that followed, decided against the tempo I had been aching to get in. Instead I did another 8.25 miles EXTREMELY slow, seriously I think snails were passing me. Felt awful here, and followed my excruciatingly painful run up by getting soaking wet while trekking to Garmin to fix my watch.

11.88 easy miles. My entire body felt like it was recovering from a torture chamber.

10.28 easy miles.

11.32 total miles. 3 warm up, 6 @ HM pace, 2 cool down. My body finally felt like it's normal self. Goal for this day was to see if my body felt comfortable at my goal pace for my upcoming half marathon on Labor Day. I surprised myself after several days of feeling like garbage and this workout has made me feel confident that my HMGP is more then doable. Pumped some iron.

Took the day off. Spent my afternoon drinking too many alcoholic drinks (which I honestly never do), floating in the middle of a lake for hours soaking up the warmth of the sun while it is still here, and beating the hubby in scrabble. It was lovely.

My Miley Moo

Don't you love a good farmers sports bra tan?

My Chasey Poo

7 miles easy. Planned on getting in 10, but instead ran on shady country roads with the hubby at the pace of his discretion. He is currently trying to get his running mojo back so we started out with a few 9 minute miles and slowly picked up the pace finishing the last mile at 7:15. This is a big deal for him and I am super proud with the progress he has been making in the past few weeks. After years of being plagued with injuries his body is finally willing to cooperate, and it is amazing to watch.

7 days until my half marathon.
80 miles on the books next week.
3 days left of my job, then I am a free woman.
5 days until I have ANOTHER 1 week vacation.
2 weeks until I begin a NEW career venture.
41 days until the Chicago Marathon.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Tempoing My Way To The Weekend

Finally got my tempo in today.
 3 mile warm up, 6 miles tempo @ goal HMP, 2 miles cool down.

40:18, 6:43 average pace

Legs felt really great. Breathing was in control, felt relaxed, and feeling confident for my half marathon as this pace felt extremely comfortable. The good thing about feeling crappy for quite a few days is that when you finally get out of your crap slump, you feel awesome.

We are heading out this weekend to my parents lake house for a quick get-away. Off to pack.

Get a little beach time in

Catch some nice lake sunsets

Jet ski with some dogs

Roast some s'mores

Hope that the last weekend of August brings everyone relaxation and great end-of-summer memories.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Love Me Some Post-Em's

So it has been 3 days since I bumped my head and self-diagnosed myself with a concussion. Good news is I am pretty much feeling back to my usual crazy self and think that life can now resume as usual.

I have had to make a few adjustments to my workouts this week so my brain could have some healing time, but have still managed to get in some miles. Running while your state of mind is foggy, your head is pounding so badly that it is causing body aches, you have no appetite and therefore no energy, and you feel like you are floating outside of your body isn't ever a good idea. So I had to drop one of my workouts this week but I have a tentative tempo tomorrow. Hopefully all goes well and my body will comply.

The past few days I have been trying to mentally prepare for my half marathon coming up on September 5th. Lately my racing state of mind has changed a bit due to the crazy busy summer I have been having and I have kind of lost my mental edge that I worked so hard building earlier this year. With a to-do list a mile long greeting me every morning, my runs have become a tasks that I am completing in order to move on to the next leaving my mind sometimes astray for my workouts.

So earlier in the week I started jotting down positive thoughts on post-its to surround myself with positive energy.

They started in my running log. But then I remembered that I usually open that only once or twice a week to make quick notes, so they then grew to the computer screen. Now my husbands computer is covered in a crazy woman's rantings on purple post-its.

I've mentioned before how I prepare for races; visualization, confidence, mantras, reminders of why I run. Now apparently I stick post-its all over my home.


I think that there is an amazing power in positivity, and once you feel it inside you it can pump through your veins and provide you the fuel to conquer anything. But sometimes I eat myself ALIVE mentally, and race mornings have always been a struggle for me. This year I have worked on appreciating that I have the ability to run and acknowledging that I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO WILL EVER HOLD ME BACK. With about 10 days to go until my half marathon I need to get my head out of my a$$, which is where it has been all summer, and remind myself that a sub 1:30 is in the bag...hopefully.

How do you prepare mentally for your races?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back In Business, I Think...

Thank you to everyone for their Garmin troubleshooting advice. Yesterday was an extremely frustrating afternoon where I could not figure out why the heck the watch decided to go on the fritz for this gadget challenged woman. Baah, why does technology have to be so much smarter then me???

I decided to take my issues up with the people at the Garmin store here on Michigan Ave. and was assisted by a lovely young lady that has become my savior. She assured me that there was nothing that I did to make the watch go bonkers, that it was an issue with Garmin and the Forerunner specifically. Apparently this watch needs a lot of software updates in order for it to continue to function properly. With my tinkering with it yesterday trying to fix it plus the need for the system update the poor thing was kind of jacked up.

All of the software has been updated, and the watch seems to be functioning appropriately as of right now. BUT time will tell I suppose. The woman assisting me must know me pretty well because she said that I probably wouldn't have figured it out myself because it was kind of complicated, and she gave me the customer assistance number if it begins to act up again. 

Lets just hope that I don't need it. 

I actually haven't yet taken it out for a run since the software upgrade, but I may later this evening and FINALLY get my tempo run in. Not sure this is a great idea as of right now because I think that I may have a rather mild concussion. Bumped my head on my pedestal sink last night (for like the 1,000th time) and haven't felt the same since. Terrible headache, nausea, and EXTREME sleepiness are plaguing my body right now. Tried to go for a run this morning and it was the most awful experience of my life, I wanted to vomit on myself and perform a self-lobotomy. Fine time to not have health insurance huh?

Oh a day in my shoes...

To perk myself up and for a little chuckle, I thought that I would share some of the search terms from which people are finding my blog these days:

I am sorry if you came to this blog looking for an "elite runner", whoops thats not me.

Thank you for "deciding to be honest with yourself", I like to do this too.

I don't really know why someone would google "sweaty legs", but yes you will find those here. I really know how to rock those and make them trendy.

If someone out there is looking specifically for a blog about "sour patch kids watermelon" depending on the day this may or may not be the place to stop. Today I am rocking the SPK fruits, which are also very tasty and I would highly recommend them.  

And yes, the Chicago RNR half was too expensive.

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Think My Garmin Is Broken, insert sad face here

December 24th, 2010...the day that Garmin and I become bffs.

Ahh what a great day

August 22nd, 2011...the day my bff decided to turn on me.

Boo what a sad day

I have been fixed in this position baffled for the past few hours, staring at the dang watch hoping that it suddenly decides it still wants to be friends with me and wondering why the heck it has turned on me. 

I don't know what the heck is going on with my garmin. 

The last day that it worked properly was Thursday on my long run, and during the last few miles it alerted me that the battery was low.

On Friday I decided to run without the garmin but plugged it in to be charged as before I left the house and unplugged it a few hours later when it said the battery was full. 

Saturday morning as I was getting ready to head out the watch said that the battery was low again, which was odd. I figured that maybe my memory was off and I didn't really charge it like I thought.

Then Sunday came and I couldn't get it to turn on before my run. When I came home I finally got it on but it wasn't making any sound, then it wouldn't turn off.

Today as I am getting ready to head out for my tempo, the watch 
The screen kept freezing, the timer wasn't complying, and the numbers were moving erratically in inconsistent patterns. When I plugged it into my computer it told me that there are issues with the device and the computer isn't recognizing it.
What the hell is going on with the stupid thing???

I've read online of some other people having issues with the Garmin Forerunner 110 woman's watch, but mine has never acted up until the past few days. The owner's manual is no assistance and I'm not exactly a gadget genius, so I don't really know what to do here?! I have only had the watch since December and logic tells me that a watch that costs nearly $300 should last more then 8 months.

So if you have had Garmin Forerunner 110 issues before...what did you do?
Did you take it back to the store? If so did they repair it and how long did it take?
Did you have to shell out $300 more for a new one?


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Week 11 Recap

Goal Miles 77
Actual Miles 78

This week my schedule got a little out of whack and things haven't gone quite as planned. It has just been one of those weeks around here. I've been an emotional basket case this week where I had some extreme highs and just as many extreme lows. Sometimes when my emotions take me over I feel like being a woman is a curse.

12.36 miles. Ran first 4 in my Newtons. Adjusting my shoes and making attempts to be consistent is my gait is going well. The Newtons feel light-weight and great on my feet, so great that I feel ready to just take to all of my runs in them. BUT this would not be wise and I have to continually remind myself that this is a slow process where I need to give my muscles appropriate time to adjust and gain strength. More to come on that in a yet-to-be-determined posting.

10.2 miles. Ran my first 4 in my Newtons. Got my svelte on at the gym.

11.13 miles. Easy miles.

19.79 miles. This became somewhat of a rather busy day for me. I woke up extra early to head out for my long run, which was dumb. My body doesn't run well right out of bed, my muscles need a few hours to wake and I need fuel before working out. But I tried to pump out a strong 22 on 5 hours of sleep with no breakfast on a rather humid morning 30 minutes after getting out of bed. Lets just say I felt crappy and decided that 20 was enough for that day. I never get side aches but for some reason had a terrible one for the first 10 miles which was kind of strange and uncomfortable.

After the 20 I ate my way through my entire house and  headed to the gym for resistance session #2 this week. While I was working out I became the target of a "mean girl" attack where some gal who I have never seen before felt the need to make some seriously rude comments in regards to my weight that made me cringe. At first I felt the need to confront her like a crazy woman to go on the defense that though my body may be lean, it is healthy and looks the way it does because I run nearly 80 miles a week and make healthy food choices, but instead I decided to just let it go because it was my wedding anniversary and I didn't want to become all heated and crabby for the rest of the day. Usually I don't really give two crapolas what people think about me, but for some reason this was really eating me up and I shed some tears in my car on the way home. I hate when a random person doesn't like something about another and feels like it is their place to pass judgement, and wish I wouldn't have gotten so sensitive about this. Instead I should have replied with something like:

"Your nose is too small for you big air head and it is distracting my workout" 
"Only 12 year old girls wear sweatpants that say 'cutie' on the butt"
"You have cankles" 
"You don't look like a doctor, and I didn't ask your pull your fat lip over your head and swallow"

but I didn't say any of these things, sometimes when my emotions get involved I'm not my usual sassy self. People should know when to just keep their opinions to themselves and their mouths shut. Gossiping about someone you don't know is a waste, especially when it is in a hurtful manor. Sometimes I just want to scream FOCUS ON YOUR OWN FLAWS at people, but I don't. Maybe I should start.

Later that night the hubster and I celebrated 4 years of wedded bliss by dining on a delish 5 course meal at Graham Elliot. It was a lovely meal, but not nearly enough food for a gal who ran 20 miles and pumped iron like the worlds strongest woman at the gym hours before.

Yes we are high class folk that take public transportation to fine dining meals

So good...but a 3 bite dessert??? Really???

Love a good night out on the town with my man,
erases all the pits of the day.

Unprompted day off. My brother came into the city for lunch where I accidentally took a 2 hour nap after he left. By the time I woke up it was 6 pm and I decided to not try to squeeze in my run and instead enjoy a free Friday evening with my hubby.

13.5ish miles. Woke up early and headed to the gym for my 3rd lifting session this week, then followed that up with about a 7.5 mile run solo without a watch in my Brooks. When I came home I recharged my batteries with a freeze-pop and headed out for another 6 miles in my Newtons with my hubby. This weekend is the air and water show on the Chicago lakefront and the path was crowded as heck and we got free energy drink samples while running.

We spent our late evening hours at Scooter's Custard celebrating my last weekend EVER at my current job. This place is amazing, they even give free cones to the furry visitors. I know that I may get some hate mail for saying this, but this stuff is better then any frozen yogurt on the planet.

Don't mess with a pup and his custard

11 miles. Planned on getting in a 6 mile tempo @ half marathon pace but I forgot to charge my garmin. I instead decided to just do an easy 11 without a watch and get the tempo in tomorrow.

Forging on to the future, next week I have a mileage cut back, a now unplanned tempo on Monday, some 400's later in the week, a weekend getaway, and lots of preparations ahead for a new career venture.

2 weeks until The Oak Brook Half Marathon
7 weeks until The Chicago Marathon

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Our Real Life Teenage Dream

Today Doug and I are celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary. We met when we were in 7th grade through our mutual interest of running and begun dating our freshmen year in high school. Our first date was decided on at a co-ed track meet the day after Doug left some flowers and a love note in my locker.

We are an extremely blessed couple that has been able to spend the past 12 years of our young lives creating memories and experiencing all of life's greatest and most difficult moments with one another. It is nearly impossible to capture our journey in words but it has been filled with many special moments that are all cemented in my memory.

There were the teenage dream years

There were a few absurdly crazy college years where we were making our best attempts to keep our long distance relationship going strong, but it was wearing us down. Doug decided that we were two very lucky individuals that were very blessed to have the special connection that we do, so he transferred colleges his senior year to be closer to me. What a doll.

The first time I ran a marathon Doug searched high and low for someone to drive him 500 miles round trip to be on the sidelines supporting me. This was when I was in culinary school and my kitchen partner put something hot in a blender, covered it, then turned it on where it then proceeded to explode on my face two days before D came into town. The beautiful scab on my forehead was not the way I wanted to greet him.

After 6 1/2 years of dating there were almost another two years of engagement. We were only 21 when we got engaged, and both still in college while living at home with our parents.

Then on August 18, 2007 there was the much anticipated wedding.

And life continues to go on

I wouldn't ever say that marriage is easy, there are good days and bad, but all the good days make the bad ones worth it.

Having a good man by your side when you look like a fool dancing that doesn't judge and instead grooves along with you is a pretty special thing.

We make a good team. When one member is dragging, the other is right there for support...or clif bloks and an encouraging sign.

And if you haven't noticed, he likes to rock snazzy sunglasses just like me.

Love you D, and heres to many more memories and great years.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Thinking Ahead

Yesterday was the Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon and I didn't run it even though I wanted to because I decided that it was too expensive. I think that I have spent somewhere just over $400 this year alone on race entry fees, which is kind of absurd. But that doesn't take away the fact that today I have buyers remorse, or rather non-buyers-remorse if there is such a thing. The weather was perfect, my legs felt great yesterday morning on my 16 miler, and I am ITCHING for a sub 1:30 half.

Inaugural Chicago Rock n Roll Half Marathon
Circa 2009.
The year Kara Goucher won.

I instead registered for a smaller half in the suburbs that I ran last year on Labor Day. I liked the course, the price was much more reasonable, and the race has a cap at 2,000 registrants. I am ecstatic about this race and feel confident that I my legs have a sub 1:30 effort in them without a taper. This will be a great tune up race for me as well because it falls just about a month before the Chicago marathon.

Oak Brook 1/2 Marathon 2010

While I don't like to get too many steps ahead of myself because it give me major stress, I am now beginning to wonder what I will be doing post Chicago marathon. It may be too soon to make any decisions because I may just want to take it easy afterwards. I have been training basically the entire year, so I may just want to have my life back to normal for awhile and not be stuck to a training plan. But there are a lot of races that I want to do. Some of the thoughts that I am currently entertaining:
  • There is a new 10 miler here on November 10th called Chicago's Perfect 10, this is my favorite distance to race. I'm just not certain yet if I will be up for a race so soon after the marathon and how recovery will be going. I don't like to pay money for races and do them as "fun runs", I feel like this is a waste and I can stage my own "fun runs" FOR FREE. I may just have to wait and see how the post race recovery goes before I make this call.

  • The Las Vegas Rock n Roll Half on December 4th. This race would be fun for obvious reasons; it's Vegas, it would be a great get away, and of course there is the urban blogger summit. But I think I am getting a bit selfish these days with our fun money in regards to running, being that it mainly all goes to me. My hubby is very loving and supportive of my interests and hobbies, but I also want him to be able to do the things he wants to do. So still on the fence about this.

  • La Marathon on March 18, 2012. Right now I can say I am ready to commit to a spring marathon, but I don't know if I will feel that way in the Chicago marathon aftermath. But the biggest seller about this race is that the brother-in-law lives there and we could visit him. I keep going back and forth about this.

  • September 18th Navy Pier will be hosting the first ever Run the Pier 1 miler. Love Navy Pier and would love to race a 1 mile seeing that I haven't done this in the past 10 years. It would be a chance for me to prove that the legs do have a sub 6 in them still. But do I really want to pay $29 for an ego boost and to run a route that I take routinely?

  • Boston, Boston, Boston. As much as I want this to be a possibility, I don't think it'll happen. Maybe 2014. This girl wants redemption and I'm sure one day I'll get it, I just have to be very patient. Patience is not my strength.
Boston Marathon 2008

Planning ahead right now for me beyond October 9th is difficult and there are a lot of questionable possibilities. I cannot make up my dang mind or predict what I will be feeling like on October 10th.

Is it too soon to be thinking about a spring marathon or post marathon races? Is a 1 mile race for $29 worth it?