Monday, June 30, 2008

My Crappy Run Was Something Like This . . .

I know this clip has been around for awhile, but I still like it . . .

(You'll have to pause my playlist on the left so you can hear)

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Better Run Today

Ran six miles today, 3 miles in the rain. (Why does it always rain when I run down Roselle Road?) Longest distance I've run this year, so I expect to be sore tomorrow.

Had to stop and pee twice, once in Caribou Coffee, once in McDonald's. Not sure what is up with that. When I came out of McDonald's I hit "end" instead of "unpause" on the Nike +. Very frustrating.

I replayed Queensryche's "Spreading the Disease" about 5 times once I was in a good grove. Good song for running, lyrics not for the kiddies.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Crappy Crapola of a Run (aka Wee Little 5k Race Report)

This isn't going to be a long race report because I don't want to dwell on it, but I had a crappy run today. I wasn't pelted with hail like Chris, but it was a crappy run nonetheless. Here's why:

- Arches in both feet start bothering me at .26 mile point. I'm not even out of my subdivision yet and both feet hurt? What the hell?

- Windy day in the Windy City. So much so that my hair keeps blowing out of my ponytail and it's bugging me.

- My pace and breathing is all over the place. I have no focus whatsoever. I hate the first mile so much that I wonder how on earth am I going to do 26.2? Hell, how am I going to do 6 miles tomorrow?

- My knee hurts. My mom had knee replacement surgery on Wednesday so I'm thinking this is mental.

- I realize that even though I had complete control of the course route for this Virtual 5k, I picked a street with absolutely no shade.

- Halfway point. Finally. Head back and the wind that was swirling my hair like a wild banshee is facing me and slowing me way down.

- My ankles are tired. Really tired.

- I stop a couple of times. A few times. I shake my foot out a bit a couple of times in front of drivers stuck in traffic (why did I pick a busy street with an audience?) as if to say, hey, I'm injured, I don't always run this crappy.

- Struggle with pace and focus all the way back. Keep playing Veruca Salt's "Volcano Girls" to try to focus and keep me going.

3.1 miles, 36.49 minutes

Chipper Kim

My cousin (and fellow marathon trainee) Kim just texted me to check in; she just finished 9 miles with her training group. I haven't even had my morning Red Bull yet.

(Instead, I am surveying the mess in our house. It looks like a teenager had a party while the parents were away. And instead of beer, the teenagers opened every toy in the back room of Toys 'R Us. Except, there are no teenagers in the house and no party. I will start cleaning the house after I finish my donut . . a great breakfast by the way for my virtual 5k later today.)

For anyone who's read Dawn Dais' The Non Runners Guide to Marathon Training for Women, Kim is my Chipper Jen. I say that with love, but that's the first thing I thought of when I got her text message today. Congrats on your 9 miler Kim!

Need to go reassure my four year old that the toilet is not going to flood the house. We had a problem last week and she still thinks the toilet will overflow every time she goes to the bathroom.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wee Little 5k

I had planned on doing the Fleet Feet Women's 10k in Chicago in mid-July, but turns out Mike has to work that day and it's not worth getting the kids (and their grandparents to watch them) up so early so I can run at 7 a.m.

I signed up for another race though - - the Wee Little Virtual 5k. I joined a Virtual Running Club this week, so seems only fitting that I enter a virtual 5k. Thanks to fellow VRC member Kitzzy for leading me to it.

Little by Little, our host for the event, is asking Virtual 5k participants to complete a questionnaire, so here goes:

1. When did you start running?
March 2007. The instigator? Dinner with my sister Jeanine and cousin John in December 2006. I left the table for a few minutes to pee and came back to find out I was signing up for the 2007 Chicago Marathon. Sure it seemed a little crazy, (you say crazy, you say stupid, I say spontaneous) but I thought it might get me on to a consistent path to lose the weight I gained since having kids. (Did I mention dinner was at The Cheesecake Factory? Yes, I was doing really well with losing weight. No exercise and dinners out with cheesecake.) With more cousins on board (cocktails on Christmas Eve were involved) we got serious about it. Naive, so naive.

2. Did you follow a plan (C25K etc.) to get you started running? If so, what plan did you use? If not, how did you go about getting started?
While training for the 2007 Chicago Marathon, (if you're curious about what transpired, click here) I followed The Non-Runners' Guide to Marathon Training. It's a great book, based on the Marathon Class at the University of Iowa. It was also the only piece of material I could find that supported a non-runner like me starting out from couch potato and going to Marathon in the same year.

3. Why did you start running?
Peer pressure (see Q#1). Actually, completing a marathon before I hit 40 (2010) had been a goal; I only had a few years left to do it.

4. Now that you are running regularly, what do you find to be the biggest benefits?
Weight loss, stress relief and looking back, I think I needed a hobby besides work, laundry and taking care of the kids. Oh, and eating. That wasn't a good hobby. My husband has taken up running again so it's nice to have a common hobby with him. With my sister and cousins running/marathon training too, it's brought us closer together. Although we live in the same metro area, we all lead different lives and it was easy for work/family/life to get in the way. We connect a lot to support each other's training and complete races together. Also, I think it's a good example for my kids - - it's good for them to see my husband and I exercising regularly and once I complete a marathon, I want them to understand that if you make a goal and work toward it, you can achieve anything you want to.

5. What are your future plans for running? Short-term and Long-range.
Short-term: Complete a Marathon before I'm 40 (I turn 38 in October) Preferably, the Chicago Marathon since that's where I'm from. Long-term: I've thought about some of those wacky marathon goals like completing races that start with every letter of the alphabet or maybe run a marathon in the Midwest, East Coast, West Coast and South. I also thought (I have a lot of time to think on these runs you know) about setting a goal to qualify for Boston by the time I'm 45 but that's probably crazy talk.

6. What are your personal goals for the Virtual 5K?
Hmmm. I've always been slow so completing in under 35 minutes would be fine by me.

7. Do you have a music “theme song” that you will use for this race?
I've been stuck in a rut lately playing the same songs on my iPod, but then again, those are the songs that keep me moving. Maybe I can be patriotic for this pre Fourth of July race and have Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" as my theme song.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Joined The Club . . .

. . .the Virtual Run Club that is. Kudos to Chris for starting it; I know he and the other members - - *jen*, Jillian, Topher, jlou, Amy, EmLit and Ama - - will get on my ass if I slack off. All in the name of accountability. It's already working too. I'm scheduled to run tonight, it's getting late and I don't really feel like it but I'm feeling guilty (I'm Catholic, guilt is big with me) as slacking off on my premiere showing at the VRC would not be good.

I also joined Run Your City, a site Ryan started to unite running bloggers. Good information on the site, so check it out if you fancy . . .you can search running blogs by city, see where to run when you're in a particular city, good videos (I have to watch the one about stretching later) and a runners' book club. (First up, Dean Karnazes' UltraMarathon Man).

Just a reminder that I'm still on my quest to collect names of 262 Heroes (a cancer survivor, someone currently battling the disease or someone we've lost to cancer) to carry with me for 26.2 miles during the Chicago Marathon this year so please help me fill up my list and leave the names of the Heroes you know in the comments section.

Mike put this song on my iPod when I was training for the Marathon last year; I think I'll need to listen to it on the treadmill tonight to keep me going!

Ugh, treadmill here I come.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

First Training Week Down . . .

. . . 15 more to go! Trained consistently this week but damn, I wish I started earlier. Ran, er struggled through 5 miles outside today. Twenty-six seems pretty impossible right now.

I don't remember being this scared the first time around. Naive. Didn't Yoda say something about that?

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Got out of work early on Friday, changed into running clothes and . . .thunder. So I ran four miles on the treadmill (and considerably slower than my last two runs). I blame my four year old daughter. She kept coming into the laundry room (where our treadmill is) throwing me off focus with MOMMY, IS THAT YOUR EXERCISE? MOMMY, ARE YOU RUNNING? WHY MOMMY? MOMMY, IS THAT THE TREDDYMILL? MOMMY, HOW DO YOU TURN THAT ON? WHY CAN'T YOU HEAR ME MOMMY? ARE YOU LISTENING TO MUUUSIC?

Five miles on deck for Sunday. My foot is bothering me. One week into training and my foot is bothering me. Same foot where I had an ankle stress fracture last year. A bit worried.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

11:15 p.m . . .Time for a Run!

I DID run last night, although it was a bit later than planned. By the time I got the kids to bed, some laundry done, checked some email and calmed down the you're-home-so-I'm-ready-to-play puppy, it was after 11 p.m. Now I know you might think I'm crazy to run so late at night, but I can't let myself slide on my schedule too much because with me one night off becomes two nights and two nights off becomes three nights and so on and so on and so on.

Mike got home from work at 11:30 and was a little surprised to see me on the treadmill. "LOOK WHAT I GOT FROM CARA!" I yelled, with headphones still blasting. (Like Karin, I do really like the CARA Marathon Training shirts.)

This run (again 3 miles, I'm in first week of marathon training) went surprisingly well for a post 11 p.m. run. I was a little wired before bed and regretting it a bit at my early morning meeting today, but glad I'm stuck to the schedule.

Tomorrow's run of 4 miles won't be so late. And I should be able to do it outside.

Today's Favorite Running Song:
I feel like I should say "Na Na Na Na, Hey, Hey, Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" in honor of the Chicago White Sox/Chicago Cubs Crosstown Classic this weekend (I grew up on the South Side) but it was actually The Von Bondies' "C'mon C'mon" that got me through the late night run.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I AM Going to Run Tonight

It is 9:20 p.m. I am laying on my daughter's bedroom floor, in my just-arrived CARA Marathon training t-shirt with my laptop, waiting for her to go to sleep ( Please don't judge, Mike and I know we screwed up bedtime with her long ago. We're working on it.)

At approximately 3 p.m. today I commented at work that I really want to try to run tonight. My colleague couldn't really understand why it would be an issue . . .you run and that's that. I didn't explain in detail to my colleague why it will be a small victory to get me on the treadmill tonight so I will explain it to you. (Note: The following passage is not intended as commentary that I am busier than anyone else, or that I'm busier than runners without kids, or that I'm busier than runners who are stay-at-home moms, or that I'm busier than runners who are work-at-home moms, or that I am even remotely as busy as single parents. In other words, if you take offense, please lighten up.)

5 p.m. Conference call ends, I grab my stuff and rush out the door, down the looong walkway to parking garage. Forget I came later and not in my usual spot 9 (s#*t!), have to run up flight of stairs to car.

5:15 p.m. Arrive at 6-year-old's school. Sign him out and get back in car. Plead with son to stop doing the chicken dance and get in the car because we have to pick his sister up.

5:25 p.m. Zip down Higgins Road past Busse Woods on way to 4-year-old's preschool. See several runners on Busse Wood path. Remind myself I have to run tonight.

5:30 p.m. Waiting at stop light. Where is my cell phone?

5:35 p.m. Hit every godforsaken light on Arlington Heights Road. Crap. Still can't find cell phone. Hoping I didn't leave it at son's school.

5:45 p.m. Arrive at daughter's preschool. Sign her out and use phone at school. Call Mike, ask him to give me a couple minutes and call my cell phone. Tell him that if someone else answers, ask where it is. Silently hope that I still don't have the phone on "silent" from when I was on conference call at work.

5:47 p.m. Buckle kids in car; hear the familiar Flock of Seagulls "I Ran" ringtone. Phew!

5:55 p.m. Hit every godforsaken light going the other direction on Arlington Heights Road.

6:00 p.m. McDonald's drive-thru. Happy Meals for kids, two cheeseburgers for me. And just like that, I blow a day of otherwise decent eating habits.

6:05 p.m. Try to decide if I can get to swimming lessons faster by taking Golf Road or Higgins Road.

6:10 p.m. Start down Golf Road. See fast, fit runners. I am eating the second cheeseburger.

6:15 p.m. Tell kids to take shoes and socks off and put flip flops on in the car to save time. Swimming lessons start in 20 minutes.

6:20 p.m. WTF, why are we so backed up? Golf Road an obvious mistake as light out in front of Woodfield Mall, making a congested area even more congested.

6:3o p.m. Son warns me to slow down or police will pull me over. (One time it happened while he was in the car and he hasn't forgotten.)

6:31 p.m. Resign myself to the fact that we will be late for swimming. Tell son to take shirt off at stoplight to save time.

6:35 p.m. Kids should be in pool. We are pulling in to lot.

6:40 p.m. Pretending they are superheroes, kids put swimsuits on remarkably quickly.

7:05 p.m. Swimming over. Head home.

7:20 p.m. See that my CARA Marathon Training goody bag/packet/shirt has arrived. Very excited.

7:30 p.m. Kids and I take Quincy for walk.

7:45 p.m. Quincy steals potato chips out of daughter's hand. Meltdown.

8 p.m. Supervise son taking shower to make sure he is actually bathing and not just playing in water.

8:30 p.m. Pick out kids' clothes for Summer Camp/PreSchool tomorrow. Mentally calculate what time I can run and still get to bed before needing to get in office at 7 a.m.

8:31 p.m. Wonder if I can get to office at 7:30 a.m. and still be ready for first meeting.

8:32 - 8:50 p.m. Nightly battle of potty, pajamas, tooth brushing and sibling fights ensues - - without reinforcement, since Mike is at work.

It's 9:35 p.m. Daughter has stopped singing soundtrack from High School Musical and is asleep. Going to run now!

Guess What? I Ran!

Okay, so it was only 3 miles on the treadmill last night, but still, I ran.

The run actually went much better than I expected (Sorry Chris and Terri) but again, it was on the treadmill, so I didn't have hills or pavement pounding to deal with.

Even though I had to force myself to get on the treadmill last night with tired legs, I felt good and realized I missed running. I was able to keep my breathing and mind focused and daydream about how I wished I could sing like a Wilson sister (or sing at all for that matter).

My schedule for the remainder of the week: 3 miles tonight, 4 miles on Friday, 5 miles on Sunday.

I do need to learn not to hop on the scale the morning after one little run and expect to be down 5 pounds.

Thank you to my brother and sister-in-law Mark and Nancie for their donation to the American Cancer Society!

Favorite Running Song of the Day:
"Hot N Cold" Katy Perry

Friday, June 13, 2008


I'm supposed to be running a Half-Marathon in Hoffman Estates tomorrow.

Mike is supposed to be running a 5k in Mt. Prospect tomorrow.

It's not happening. This is what happens when neither of us run. Races come up and we're not at all prepared for them. (Actually I decided awhile ago to play it safe and revise my overzealous race schedule but still.)

It's too bad too, because it looks like it's going to be excellent running weather in Chicago tomorrow. (Figures, because if I was running 13 miles it would be very hot and humid.)

So do we go and pick up our goodie bags/t-shirts anyway? Is that bad running etiquette since we're not running the race? I thought about putting on some running clothes and going to pick up my packet/bag/shirt and then while pretending to put the stuff in the car, actually get in the car and go home. Mike suggested that I put on my ankle brace from last year's stress fracture, pretending that I can't run due to injury and pick up my shirt/bag.

I'm probably being banned from the Chicago running community and Runners World message boards as I write this with the crime of even considering picking up a shirt for a race I'm not running, hosting a running blog when I haven't been running and . . .not running. Oh yeah, when I do run, I wear headphones. Even in organized races. Sorry, I have to. (I'm sure I just lost some readers for that.)

So tomorrow, we are starting fresh. No more I'm sick, work is crazy, I have to go on a business trip excuses. The Marathon is four months away. Training is underway.

Doubting me? I'll be back with a post tomorrow about my 3 mile run. Just you wait and see.

I may even wear the Hoffman Half Marathon shirt.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Nike + Human Race

I'm signed up for Chicago . . .anyone else? Nike is hosting a 10k in umpteen cities around the world on the same day in August. . . a long day so I'm really too (yawn) tired to explain it, you can go to the site and check it out for yourself.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Why do I have two titles on my blog? It wasn't always there . . .blogger won't let me delete so I'm going to have to ask Mike to work on it.

My brother-in-law sent me a text message while I was at the often-mentioned work conference in Phoenix that made no sense so my response back was "WTF* did that mean?" (I swear a lot when I'm stressed). He didn't know what I meant by WTF and I didn't want to tell him over the phone while in a crowd of people. (It would harm by professional image :) )

This is the same brother-in-law who installed crown molding in his closet.

Now there's a WTF.

*This is not the Battlestar Galactica version.

Where Have I Been?

My blogging friend Karin (and fellow "they called Chicago '07 on me the first time so I'm back for unfinished business in Chicago '08" runner and American Cancer Society Charity Runner . . .Karin, we do have a bit in common) asked via the comment section . . ."Jenn, where have you been?"

Would you believe running miles and miles every day while I was at a work conference in Phoenix?

Nah, didn't think so.

I wish I did. I packed my running shoes, socks, shorts, sports bra, shirts, headphones, iPod . . .even the damn BodyGlide.

And I didn't run once.

Was crazed with work during the conference, then hit the social functions at night, drank some wine, ate some really fattening food, got up and worked again.

No more work excuses though! That's it! I'm serious! I'm yelling at myself!

Ok, gotta go redo my training schedule since I blew another week. Then off to read the new Runners' World.

I really got to start running more if I'm going to keep up with this running blog, don't I? :)