Saturday, May 31, 2008


Two weeks ago I put my official training schedule to paper.

Week 1, with 21 weeks to go, I ran 3 miles. Then blew the rest of the week because I was sick.

Week 2, with 20 weeks to go, I ran a pathetic 2 miles when the schedule called for 3 (was obviously still sick). Then I blew the rest of the week due to long work hours and work stress.

Here we are at beginning of week 3, with 18 weeks to go. I will be in Phoenix for a work conference. I will be up early for meetings and have work functions at night. I'm still packing my running shoes, dammit.

Revised schedule so on call for this week: 3, 4, 3, 5.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

This is me stressed

Or, this is my desk when I'm stressed. This doesn't really have anything to do with running, except for the fact that if work wasn't so insane right now I'd have time to run, not to mention a little stress relief.

Desk contents: Red Bull, Coke, Water, Motrin and Stress B-Complex Vitamins

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How Could I Forget?

While I was bitchin' and moanin' about being sick I forgot to share the important stuff . . .

My cousin (and hero) John had doctor appointment today and scans are clear and cancer-free!!

John recently completed treatment for his (third) bout with Hodgkin's . . .

and oh yeah, he's only 38.

and oh yeah, he's going to train for the Chicago Marathon this year.

Now you understand why he's one of my heroes.

Still Feeling Crappy, No Run


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Only Fooling Myself

Went outside for 3 miles yesterday as planned and ended up running the most pathetic 2 miles . . .

I thought I was feeling better but apparently not well enough. Coincidentally, the song playing on my iPod was Kate Voegele's "Only Fooling Myself."

Hope Wednesday's planned run is significantly better.

Thanks to Jon Hay for his donation to the American Cancer Society!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Marathon Training: Day 1

New week, new schedule. When I prepared my marathon training schedule with a few extra weeks thrown in in case of illness and injury, I didn't think I'd be using one of the sick weeks right off the back. Jesus.

So let's start this again.

On board for this week: 3, 4, 3, 5 - total, 15 miles.

I will be immensely proud of myself if I can stick to the schedule and complete that because this is going to be a very busy week at work and a busy weekend. As always, running around the kids. Meaning . . .running when they're still asleep or when Mike is home for the kids. Mike home is another challenge to the schedule . . .our work schedules are rarely complimentary.

Plan to knock off the first 3 miler when Mike gets home from work today.

Favorite Running Song of the Day: "Sky" by Joshua Radin

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Getting Back on Track

Signed up for the Chicago Distance Classic this morning. Still not 100% but no sore throat, so plan to run when Mike gets home from work and get back on my schedule.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Putting Things in Perspective

Been pissy about being sick, not running, a messy house, too much laundry and having to get a lot of work done this weekend.

Then I found this.

I'll stop whining now.

Thanks to Running Jayhawk for directing me to some perspective.

Frustrated and sick

Frustrated and sick, that's me.

Frustrated because I finally got motivated with a set running schedule (I'm a person that thrives on structure and schedules) and I get sick. Haven't run since Monday. Maybe I'll be able to run later today though. Throat not as bad and Mike let me sleep in today. (With our opposite work schedules and two young kids, being able to sleep in is a rare treat.)

I'm not the only one who skipped the Soldier Field 10 Mile today. Jeanine signed up, forgetting that she was going to be in NY for a wedding, cousin Lauren didn't feel she was quite ready, like me. I see Unfocused Life skipped too. Cousin Kim was the only one making it to the start line.

I picked up my packet. Might as well as least get the tech shirt. I see though, that I was a bit optimistic when I signed up for the race in February, and ordered a size smaller than I usually wear.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Reality Bites . . .

. . . but it's time to face it.

Last weekend, with 13 days until the Soldier Field 10 Mile and 5 miles as my longest (recent) run, it hit me. Why am I stressing myself out? Life (and laziness) got in the way of training for the SF 10 and I didn't do a good job about making time to run. So instead of ramping up the mileage way too fast (and subjecting myself to likely injury) I'm pulling out of the SF 10.

Call it a wimpy move if you like, I'm calling it a safe move. My ultimate goal is to finish the Chicago Marathon in October and the last thing I need to do is to run a race (or two) I'm not ready for, only to risk stress fracture. I said hello (well, it was more like WTF) to a stress fracture in my ankle two months before the Marathon last year and it nearly kept me from the starting line.

So, to live up to the promise my sister and I made to ourselves to not train like assholes, I'm going to play it safe. My new (and more realistic) race schedule is below on the right.

I've also dusted off my marathon training bible, The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer. The Non-Runner's Guide is a 16 week program, there are 21 weeks until the Marathon. I figure this gives me some cushion for injury or illness.

So, without further ado, here is my "Let's Not Train Like An Asshole This Year" Training Schedule: (while this will make me seem like I have the maturity of a 12-year-old, did you know that if you typed "3704559" into a calculator and turned it upside down it spells . . .well, you try it.)

(Mondays kick off my training weeks)

Week 1:
Week of May 19
3, 4, 3, 5 (15 miles weekly total)

Week 2:
Week of May 26
3, 4, 3, 6 (16)

Week 3:
Week of June 2
3, 4, 3, 7 (17)

Week 4:
Week of June 9
3, 4, 3, 7 (17)

Week 5:
Week of June 16
3, 5, 3, 8 (19)

Week 6:
Week of June 23
3, 5, 3, 8 (19)

Week 7:
Week of June 30
3, 5, 3, 9 (20)

Week 8:
Week of July 7
3, 5, 3, 10 (21)

Week 9:
Week of July 14
3, 5, 3, 6.2 (21)

Week 10:
Week of July 21
4, 5, 4, 11 (24)

Week 11:
Week of July 28
4, 5, 4, 11 (24)

Week 12:
Week of August 4
4, 6, 4, Half-Marathon (Chicago Distance Classic) (27)

Week 13:
Week of August 11
4, 6, 4, 14 (28)

Week 14:
Week of August 18
4, 7, 4, 16 (31)

Week 15:
Week of August 25
5, 8, 6.2, 16 (34)

Week 16:
Week of September 1
5, 8, 5, 16 (34)

Week 17:
Week of September 8
5, 8, 5, 18 (36)

Week 18:
Week of September 15
5, 8, 5, 20 (CARA Ready to Run 20 Miler) (38)

Week 19:
Week of September 22
5, 8, 5, 9 (27)

Week 20:
Week of September 29
3, 5, 3, 8 (19)

Week 21:
Week of October 6 - - Happy Birthday to me and Marathon Week!
3, 3, walk 3, 26.2 (35.2)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hello Out There? . . .Thank You . . .and Run Like a Mother

Thank you to The Ramsey Family and The Pinn Family for your donations to the American Cancer Society!

Hello out there? Family? Friends? Appreciate your support guys but also trying to raise another $2,400 in 4 1/2 months for the American Cancer Society so please don't wait to donate! I know you're out there . . . (yes, brother-in-law JPF, I'm talking to you!)

On a completely unrelated note, I came across Kristina's blog today and saw the shop she set up to raise funds for the Dana - Farber Cancer Institute. I love the "Run Like a Mother" items, pretty clever. Anyone who still has my Mother's Day gift to order . . .ahem, ahem . .this would be a good idea too.

Reality (and logic) has set in regarding my training for Chicago '08. More info on my training schedule to come later.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Video Inspiration

Haven't been to the Chicago Marathon site for awhile but found my way there tonight and came across this. I liked how the organizers handled the video; I was wondering how they were going to handle the heat debacle of '07 and glad they didn't ignore it. Helps me get excited (and motivated) for this year!

On a separate note, I came across this race bag and thought it would make a good Mother's Day gift. (hint, hint to anyone who might be buying me a Mother's Day gift on behalf on my 6-year-old and 4-year-old.)

Sunday, May 4, 2008


My thigh muscles were still screaming from yesterday's 5k (I told you I was out of shape) but I ran five miles today because 1) the weather was beautiful and 2) I'm panicking about 10 miles on May 24. Need to get the miles in.

Now I really hurt. I have a feeling I'm going to be limping in to Monday morning's staff meeting.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Race Report: Chicago Police Run To Remember

My 4 year old wakes up at 5:30 a.m. and we bring her into our bed; I can't fall back asleep and for 28 minutes I lay in bed, trying to forget the fact that I have to pee, wanting to get up and pee but also not wanting to wake up our 3 month old puppy who sleeps in a crate next to our bed. If I make too much noise I know he'll want to go out and start the day. So, I lay in bed awake for 28 minutes because who can go back to sleep when you have to pee so bad?

Get dressed, have my toast and peanut butter, grab a Red Bull and off I go. Only 5 minutes behind schedule. You see -- and this will be important later on, so take note - - I hate to be late. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. It stresses me out, it freaks me out, I can't stand being late. Put it this way. Easiest way to give me a heart attack is to force me into a situation where I only have minutes to catch a plane.

So I breeze downtown from the suburbs and 40 minutes later, arrive at Soldier Field parking. The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation has kindly arranged for free parking. It's about 7 a.m, the race starts at 8 and there are a lot of people on site, but also plenty of parking still available. I text cousin Kim, sister Jeanine and husband Mike to let them know I've arrived. I follow the crowd to Gold Star Memorial Park (which honors fallen Chicago Police officers) and see the race area. No lines for the porta potties and the sun is out, the sky is clear. Beautiful.

Kim sends me a text as she already picked up her chip and as I head over to Kim I call Jeanine.
Jeanine was kind enough to pick up my packet/bib so I didn't have to trek downtown the night before. It's about 45 minutes before race time and I'm starting to feel naked without my bib #.

So I call Jeanine:
Me: Where are you? (Really I'm asking, where's my bib?)
Jeanine: You're there already???!!!!! Are you the first one?
Me: No, a lot of people are here.
Jeanine: I mean other than volunteers.

See, this is the part that I forgot. While it was very cool of my sister to pick up my bib for me, I forgot that she is notoriously late. She can't stand being early. She considers it time wasted. So there she is driving somewhere still way too far north on Lake Shore Drive for a race that starts in 40 minutes, with my bib. Then I think, I hope she remembered to bring my bib. Organization is not really one of her strengths.

To be fair to Jeanine, I should say that while I consider her to be notoriously late, and at times, unprepared and disorganized, she would say that she considers me to be anal and bossy. I'm the oldest, can you tell?

Kim and I hang out, waiting for my bib (I mean Jeanine) and the race area starts getting busier and busier. I can't remember now how many times I called Jeanine on her cell to see where she was, (two or three) but I do remember thinking that my repeated calling was probably annoying the crap out of her and I didn't care.

By this time it's about 18 minutes before race time, Jeanine is not even in the parking garage yet so I figure I'll pick up our chips. I call her to ask her for the bib numbers, she gives them to me along with a mini heart attack because she's at 800 North. Still too far north for my comfort level. Kim and I head to the chip booth and the volunteer won't give me the chips without the bibs. Damn. I call Jeanine for a status update.

Jeanine: Is there only one level in this parking garage? I can't find a place to park!
Me (in my head): Arrrrgghhhhh!
Me (to Jeanine): They won't give me the chips without the bibs!
Can't remember exactly what Jeanine said at this point but I vaguely remember picking up a little panic in her voice. I don't know if she was starting to panic about missing the start of the race, or starting to panic that for the rest of her life I would be reminding her about how she made us both late for the start of the race.

I call Mike at home.

Mike: Hello?
Mike: When do you start?

I call Jeanine again and she immediately picks up and says she's running. Seconds later, she's there. One quick stop at the porta pottie and off we go.

Race highlights (about time I get to the actual race, huh?)
  • Chicago Police helicopter swoops by as runners start. Pretty cool.
  • We start out by Soldier Field, past the Field Museum and head north along the lake. Great scenery on a fantastic running weather day.
  • I realize about mile 1 that I started out way too fast.
  • About mile 2 I wonder how I'm going to complete 10 miles at the Soldier Field 10 Mile in 20 days.
  • The small incline near the Field Museum before Mile 3 just about kills me. I'm so out of shape.
  • As we approach the finish line, the course is lined with pictures of Chicago Police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Very touching and I can't imagine how the familys here who have lost a cop in the family must feel.
  • I finish, not a brag-worthy time (just over 38 minutes), but I finish nonetheless.
  • After the race, Jeanine, Kim and I meet up (Jeanine and Kim finished well before me) and Jeanine and I find our retired Chicago cop dad's "brick" in front of the Police Memorial honoring him for 30 years of service.

Time to end an already long post so I will just say that while my sister and I are complete opposites, I love her dearly and if it wasn't for her, I would have never made it to the starting line for the 2007 Chicago Marathon.

20 days until 10 miles.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Updates and More Updates

1. Congratulations to my cousin and hero John who completed his last cancer treatment today!!!

2. Chicago Police Memorial Foundation's Run To Remember 5k is tomorrow. I am NOT expecting a brag-worthy time. The weather is supposed to suck. Race report to follow soon.

3. More heroes added to my hero list. Keep 'em coming. Goal is to collect names of 262 heroes to carry with me for 26.2 miles. You don't have to donate to the American Cancer Society to add a hero to the list (although it would be appreciated) and we don't have to know each other personally, just add names to the comment section and I'll add.

4. I quit Jenny Craig. Those who know me well know that this follows my typical pattern of embracing something with absolute gusto only to let my interest and dedication peter out . . .and quit. My friend Suzanne probably remembers "This Palm Pilot Will Save My Life" campaign circa 2001 only to discover that I hated the thing. A paper planner I remain. My husband knows my frequent "I am going to organize ALL of our cabinets . . .THIS WEEKEND!" campaigns. To this day one kitchen cabinet and one laundry room drawer is organized. After 19 years together, my husband is one thing I haven't quit, so I do know what's important :)

5. I joined Weight Watchers. Again. I mean re-joined. Again. Mike thinks they will think I have multiple personality disorder from my frequent joining and cancellations.