Monday, March 31, 2008

Jeanine Needs More Cowbell!

After the Shamrock Shuffle my sister commented on how next time she should wear a shirt that says "I need more cowbell" a la the SNL skit.

I thought Jeanine (and hopefully others) would enjoy seeing this again.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Race Report: Shamrock Shuffle

Mike and I participated in, and more importantly, finished Chicago's Shamrock Shuffle 8k today.

Given my inconsistent training of late, my goal was simply to finish without killing myself. Once we arrived though, I thought I would be one happy person if I finished under an hour. Yes, I know I'm slow.

Waiting in the corrals, we met up with my friend Jon. Haven't seen him in awhile since we don't work for the same company anymore, so it was good to see him. Jon recently started training and worked up to 4 miles, although this was to be the first time running outside (Damn Chicago winter.) Cousins (and fellow Chicago Marathon '07 participants) Keith and Kim were in the corral ahead of us, so given the hoards of people, we didn't meet up. My sister and Jeanine and her boyfriend Sunil joined us right as we started moving toward the start line as corral was too full once they arrived. Interesting that the two people living closest to downtown were the last to the corral, isn't it? :)

Jeanine pointed out that she ran a few miles on Wednesday, and once in January. Before that, October. Jon didn't feel so bad about not running outside at that point.

Took us about 30 minutes to reach the start line (so the 1st place finisher actually crossed the finsh line before we crossed the start!). At the one mile mark, I realized that I felt much better than I did in the extreme heat of the Chicago Marathon. Mike and Sunil were long gone already, Jeanine was somewhere in the vicinity and I still had Jon in my sights until I slowed down to a brisk walk to whip off my hat and fix the ponytail that was already irritating me.

Around Mile 2, I realized how much my pace was all over the place and I started to lose some focus. At Mile 3, the image of a turtle came to me (since I felt like one) and I thought about starting a running clothing company featuring turtles . . .for the slow runners like me. I kept my mind occupied by thinking of sayings for the running shirts like "slow and steady finishes the race" and "Turtle Proud."

Somewhere along Mile 3 I passed Lou Mitchell's and wondered if anyone was out there passing donut holes to the customers waiting for tables. I abandoned turtle thoughts and wished I had a donut.

At around Mile 4, I spied Jeanine ahead of me. My original plan was to copy Berhane Adere's come from behind sprint to overtake a completely unaware Adriana Pirtea in the 2007 Chicago Marathon and just follow Jeanine and fly past her at the finish. After a minute or so I thought that would be mean, especially since Jeanine was nice to slow down for me during the the '07 Marathon and plus, there was no way I was going to keep pace with her on the Roosevelt hill.

Speaking of the hill on Roosevelt, I think Jon said it best when he said, "Whose idea was it to put a hill at the end of the race?" I should point out that this was a hill by Chicago standards, not sure that it would rate as a hill per se in less-flat cities. Sidenote: Reminds me of when Carlos, Chicago-bred husband to my friend and California native Suzanne said (upon arriving in Cali years back), "Look at those mountains!" to which Suzanne replied, "Honey, those are hills."

Turns out that I didn't quite make my hour goal, I finished in 1:00:06. Dammit. Maybe if I finally start eating right and lose these extra pounds I will pick up some speed! Curious to see the marathonfoto photos from the finish since I started sprinting with everything I had to try to beat the clock. Guessing they're not too pretty :)

I placed 20,636th out of 22,558 finishers. So 20,635 people didn't train like assholes :)

By the way, thank you to Rob & Amy Koziorowski for their donation to my American CancerSociety marathon fundraiser. Appreciate your support! And Rob, I'll wish you luck for the Marathon now because I know you'll be wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy ahead of me during the race!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Send Me Your Heroes!

I'm collecting the names of 262 Heroes -- cancer survivors, those currently battling the disease or those we've lost to cancer - - to carry with me for 26. 2 miles during the Chicago Marathon in October. I can't take credit for this excellent idea; that goes to Running Jayhawk.

So, send me the names of your heroes! You don't have to donate to my fundraising effort for the American Cancer Society (although that would be nice too.) And we don't need to know each other personally. If you're just an occasional or first-time visitor to this blog and we've never met in person, that's fine. Just leave the name of your heroes in the comments section.

Click here to see my current list of heroes, and if you're so inclined to donate funds to the good works of the American Cancer Society, click here.

Chicago's Shamrock Shuffle is tomorrow; will be back with a race report. A little worried about it because despite good intentions, I've trained like an asshole.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I'm Going to Win the Lottery!

Ok, so this isn't running related . . .

The fortune in my fortune cookie (I had pad thai for lunch, probably not on The Runner's Diet) says "You will soon be crossing great waters on a fun vacation."

Sweet! Well now, Mike and I don't have any plans for a vacation this summer (in fact, we'll be lucky to get time off at the same time) so the logical conclusion is that the Lottery ticket I bought yesterday (for tonight's drawing) is a winner and we will be $113 million dollars richer (or $14 million after we divide among parents and siblings, I'm nice that way.)

Then, after we claim our winnings I will quit my job and we will take a fun vacation on great waters to Hawaii.

I know what you're thinking. Cynics.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dangerous Run

Ran five miles yesterday. Beautiful weather, but was not the best run for a few reasons:
1) I have not run 5 miles in a long time and my legs are reminding me that today.
2) I have not run outside in a long time (damn you Chicago weather) so I started out too fast and my pace was all over the place.
3) I came very close to getting hit by a car coming out of Barnaby's Pizza. I thought he saw me, apparently he did not.
4) A goose started chasing me down Golf Road for a brief time. I think the goose scared me more than the car

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Good Running Songs?

Are your speakers on? I added a few of the songs on my running playlist to the blog. My running playlist, like my music taste overall, tends to run the gamut (that's what happens when a Duran Duran, New Order-loving person falls in love with and marries a heavy metal fan) from Metallica to Tegan and Sara to Queensryche to Rob Thomas. Have a good running song? Let me know about it in the comments section.

Gotta take advantage of decent weather today and my last day off of work and go run outside.

Thank you to the Strom Family and my friend Lindsay Bechtel for their donations to the American Cancer Society and support of my marathon quest!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Still on Track

Still on track, ran 3 miles on both Saturday and Sunday and even though I was dead-tired on Tuesday night, I ran a mile. I know a mile isn't much, but the goal was just to run period because consistency is key for me at this point. Going to start working in 4 and 5 miles in this coming week so I'm ready for the Shamrock a week from Sunday.

On a separate note, I opened the pantry door last night and with a mix of surprise, horror and excitement I screamed, "How did these get here?!!!" Mike bought Hostess cupcakes. He claims our 6- year -old wanted them. Our 6 year-old says he doesn't like them (how a being created by Mike and me does not like a chocolate Hostess cupcake is something we will never understand.)

Whatever the case, I have to resist eating them (or more of them) because I don't think running and Hostess cupcakes are a good mix.

Damn you Hostess.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Back on Track

I hit a milestone last night, I hit the 26.3 mile mark - - that's more than a marathon. Okay, so it was over a three month time span, so let's call it a progressive marathon.

Some of the avid runners visiting from the discussion boards may scoff at my inconsistency, but let's remember that I never proclaimed to be Dean Karnazes. I admire him, yes, but I never proclaimed to be him.

The point is, I feel like I'm turning a corner on the consistency scale. I ran last night. I didn't feel like running on the treadmill at 9:30 last night, but I did it. One run does not equal consistency you say? Well, yes, I see your point, but I feel it in my (aching) bones. Pressure does that sort of thing to you, the Chicago Shamrock Shuffle is in less than two weeks.

I did find it amusing that my husband (and fellow Shamrock Shuffle participant) was telling me I'd better get moving as I slowly put my running shoes on. Amusing because he was sitting on the couch eating a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream and telling me to get moving. Now that I think of it, I was just jealous because I wanted to eat the brownie.

I'm going to run again tonight (unfortunately on the treadmill again) but there's a thing about being a mom to a six year old and a three year old, you can't leave them home by themselves while you go running outside. Mike is sleeping after an overnight shift, so technically someone is home with them, but I know that four minutes after I leave the house they would be in our room jumping on the bed. And a tired, cranky husband with two and a half hours of sleep does not make for a harmonious marriage.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Not Exactly Living Up to the Promise

When I started this blog, I mentioned how marathon training was going to be different this time around. As my sister put it, we weren't going to train like assholes this time around.

This is the same sister who confessed to me the other night that she hasn't run since October. October. OCTOBER???!!!!! Ok, I'm not so bad. I'm not good, but not that bad.

Jeanine, what's happened to us? Where is our motivation, our determination?

Well, the Shamrock Shuffle is coming up quickly so we are both getting back in gear. No work excuses, no busy lives excuses, no I'm moving and I commute several hours a day excuses (that was my sister).

My sister is such a procrastinator. I'm just . . . deadline-oriented.

Want to help my motivation? Donate to my American Cancer Society Fundraising effort. Become one of my mile sponsors and add the name of a friend or loved one to my Heroes list.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Meet our Future Runner

Met our future runner today. Had to pick him out of a male litter of six, so hard to choose! We bring him home in two weeks and can't wait until the kids meet him (haven't told them anything yet, planning on an early surprise from the Easter Bunny.) Still deciding on a name, but Payton (as in Walter), Sawyer and Quincy on the table. Miles was also considered at one point, but not a front runner. Other name suggestions?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

No Excuses

Good reminder. Thanks to Half-Fast for posting it; I stole it.

The Non-Running Running Blogger

I'm not going to get into the many valid excuses, I mean reasons why I haven't been 1) posting or 2) running lately. Planning to do a quick run tonight after we get the kids in bed and the house turned around (Grandma and Grandpa will be over tomorrow afternoon and after several days of Mike home sick with two sick kids, the house is not pretty.)

Belated thank you to Suzanne and my most recent Mile Sponsors Isabelle & Leila for their American Cancer Society donation.

I will be back running and blogging about running soon, I promise. In the meantime, you can check out some of the blogs I like to read down on the right. But y'all come back soon now, ya hear?

Ok, gotta get back to work. Note on behalf of corporate communication/media relations departments everywhere: Please do not "create" your own press release without looping your communications team in first. Really now. Yes, I know it's not rocket science but there is something to what we do, trust me.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Looks like a good morning to run outside on Sunday!

Tom Skilling's 7-day forecast
48 34

A thought occured to me as I watched the mall walkers while waiting to get my haircut this morning . . .could I be a mall runner? Running in the mall may sound a little crazy, but if people can walk, why can't I run? I may try it the next weekend when it's cold and crappy out (which will probably be next weekend.) Mike thinks it's too busy with walkers for me to run. If I go early enough I think it will be safe; I didn't see that many there this morning. Plus I could take advantage of the ramps for hill practice :)

I can also do a little window shopping . . .anything to beat the mind-numbing boredom of the treadmill.

I'm not fast, but I can probably outrun mall security.