Friday, October 31, 2014

Spartan Giveaway

Whoops, one more thing! This week has been so crazy I almost forgot.

As most of you know I was supposed to run the Miller Spartan Sprint tomorrow. That goal unfortunately had to get axed in favour of the ultra, but I haven't forgotten it - I will step out of my comfort zone and end up there, maybe not that event in particular but I will do a Spartan event. It's a different kind of challenge than racing and someday - I will conquer that. I may end up doing the Miller sprint next year - it's particularly appealing to me because it's in a baseball stadium, so my husband is happy to be there and spectate, and it's indoors, so no mud. (I trail race. I don't mind running through mud. But mud up to my shoulders? I am not yet sold on this idea.)

That said, although I won't be there, the nice folks over at Spartan decided that in honour of that cool event they would give one of my readers a free entry into any of their Spartan events. The neat thing is their events are all over the country, so if you're interested, you don't have to be local. There might even be another indoor Spartan somewhere if like me, you're not quite sold on the mud! Click here to read more about them.

So, since tomorrow is the Spartan, I'll get this kicked off. To enter for chance to be a Spartan, simply comment on this entry and let me know if it's something that ever interested you, or if you've ever done one before. For a bonus entry, follow my blog on Facebook *points to the right side of her blog* and comment letting me know you did so.

Good 'ol will help me pick a winner on 11/8. GOOD LUCK!

(And if you don't want to leave it chance, go ahead and use SPARTANBLOGGER for 10% off!)

Disclaimer: Spartan gave me the race entry to give away in exchange for blogging to get some publicity for the Spartan Sprint. I am not affiliated with them and my opinions on their events and on mud are strictly my own and I personally am not being compensated in any way shape or form. Yadda yadda. /legalese

Weather Woes

In true Chicago fashion, we went from a beautiful fall to a frigid winter - literally overnight. It might be only halloween but there was snow on my porch this morning - and, apropos for stepping out of comfort zone. the 50k tomorrow will be 20 degrees colder than anything I've run in since last year.

I seem to have running amnesia; I can't remember what I wore when it's supposed to be 30-35 for the whole run! Luckily there's a shakeout run today where I can practice an outfit, but sheesh. I vortexercised my way through last winter - how quickly it's forgotten!

I have to say, I would have liked a few more fall runs before I bust out the winter gear, but welcome to Chicago. I think tomorrow's word of the day will be "layers" - which is funny because for both 5ks last week, I wore a t-shirt!

This post doesn't seem to have a point. Can you tell I'm nervous for tomorrow? Not as much as for the marathon, but tomorrow's gonna hurt. Will it hurt as bad as the marathon did? Guess I'm gonna find out!

Next time I blog, I'll be an ultrarunner. Wish me luck!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Training 10.20.14

Monday 10/20 - Rest
Monday rest

Tuesday 10/21 - Run || 4 miles || 39:55, 9:58p || Treadmill speedwork

Wednesday 10/22 - Run || 3 miles || 30:50, 10:16p || Treadmill
3 easy miles. Tried to watch Reign...not sure what I think of it.

Thursday 10/23 -  Run || 4.09 miles || 39:47, 9:43p || 59*
Meant to do some easy miles, but sometimes anxiety makes it feel so good to work stuff out your system by just riding the edge of almost too fast for a normal run.

Friday 10/24 - Rest

Saturday 10/25-  Run || 3.1 miles || 35:14, 11:22p || 59*
Thriller Trail 5K

Run || 1.25 miles || 16:31, 13:12p || 59*
Thriller Mini-Monk "3/4m" 

Sunday 10/26 - Run || 2.86 miles || 25:01, 8:44p || 48* and sunny
Hyatt's Pumpkin Trot "5k" (short course) - 3rd female and 1st in AG!

Total: 18.31 miles run this week, no xt. I didn't do a long run because I did such a tough trail race (and hey that's like XT right?!) and then raced really hard on Sunday. I wanted to go out for more miles on Sunday but decided with the 50k a week away there was little benefit to it after racing the 5k.

Hyatt's Angels 5K Recap

Oh. My. Gosh.

So, I haven't mentioned it here before but my goal 5K is the Schaumburg Turkey Trot in November. The problem is - while I have done a few weeks of speedwork - I mostly haven't had any excuse to run fast since my half marathon back in August. I've run a marathon and I've run trail races, but nothing fast.

So I wasn't actually even sure if I was in shape to PR! But when I looked at last year's AG placings, I realized that with the paces I've been holding in my speedwork, I actually might be able to swing an AG placement too...if I can translate speedwork into race pace. So, I found a local race on a Sunday and thought, what the heck. I signed up for the Hyatt's Angels 5K in Independance Grove. While the course wasn't analagous, since Independence Grove is rolling hills and Schaumburg is pretty flat, it would at least give me an idea if my legs remember how to go fast and if I remembered how to run on just the edge of uncomfortable without pushing myself into vomiting.

Typically I have a hard time with 5Ks. I end up going out too fast and burn out and end up needing a walk break or two in the last mile. It's such a hard distance because it's too short to have leeway - in longer races, you can bounce mile paces up and down a bit and still pull off what you need to. For 5ks, by the time you realize you've made a mistake there's so little race left that it's hard to correct. I have both gone out too slow and been too comfortable, and gone out too fast, burned myself out, and ended up walking during the last mile. I have also pushed myself into dry heaving. (I don't recommend that.)

But, I found this and signed up. And then..I wasn't sure what to do! There wasn't a whole lot of info about the race, and no real website about it. After emailing them I figured out I'd pick up my packet on race day.

And pickup turned out to be very easy. I had my packet, a nice new (very orange) tech shirt, and I was nervous but ready. It's kind of weird to have the goal to run at an uncomfortable pace; it's like, yes let's ride the edge of almost wanting to puke for half an hour. Fun!

The weather was perfect - sunny and 49. Pretty close to ideal. The race was small - no chip timing, maybe 100? 150 people? Since it was chip timed I lined up pretty close to the front, not because I thought I was blazing fast but because there were a lot of kids too and I didn't want to weave just to get to the start line. This turned out to be a good choice.

For the first mile I focused on holding myself back without getting too far from my goal - I wanted to open between 9 and 9:30; fast enough to keep my eye on the 27:xx prize but slow enough to, I hoped, not burn out. Mile 1 came in at 9:01 - the low end of perfect, but hey, I was in range. I was chasing a pack of fast guys and 2 fast women, while keeping pace with a very nice lady I learned was named Cathy. The pace felt hard but not impossible and looking back I wonder if maybe I went out a little slower than I needed, but I felt good.

Mile 2 was sunny but I was plugging along; we passed the aid station about 1.25 miles in and shortly after hit the halfway mark. (The course was a big loop.) My breathing felt loud but not fast or laboured, so I'm not sure what was up with that but while it was a hard pace it didn't feel like I was about to burn out any moment. I even managed to pass one of the two women ahead of me! Mile 2 beeped in at 8:33.

For the last mile I struck up a conversation with Cathy, the woman I'd been running next to. I probably shouldn't have because it slowed pace, but it was fun! She told me I looked like I was 20 and was shocked to hear I had not only a 1 year old but a 5 year old too. Haha. I liked that! We talked about the mission of Hyatt's Angels and how blessed we felt to have our children.

Around 2.75 the woman I'd passed the mile earlier passed us but I wasn't worried; I was holding steady and she was clearly burning it up - I thought we had a third of a mile to go and she clearly couldn't sustain what she was doing for more than a minute. (Is that mean to say? I don't think so - it looked like a good strong finisher kick, the kind of energy you only sustain for the finisher chute...I just didn't think we were anywhere close to it.) my surprise...we passed a volunteer who said we (Cathy and I) were third and fourth female, and the finish line was just around the corner! Dang, short course. I put on the speed but the chick in front of me had just finished. Oh well! The finisher clock said my official time was 25:01 for 2.86.

I finished 3rd female overall and 1st in the 30-39 AG. Here I was trying to see if I had a possible AG win in me in November - and I managed to snag my first AG win here!!! I know there are a lot of people faster than me, and I know to some of the people reading this that isn't even their slow pace. I know I got lucky for a small field. But you know what? I won a gold medal for my AG and held a sub 9 for a whole race. I realized since I didn't grab water at the aid station this is also the first race where I never needed a walk break because I burned myself out.

I am not even bummed about the short course, because I wasn't expecting to PR here - I was just trying to see if I still remembered how to run Heather-fast.

To say I am ecstatic is an understatement. I GOT A MEDAL!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Thriller 5K Trail Run Recap

This weekend was a double whammy; one weekend, two 5ks! On Saturday I ran the Muddy Monk Thriller 5K trail race, and then did the mini-monk trail run with my 5 year old.

The race was out in Shorewood IL and like every monk race, packet pickup - for both me and my mini-trail runner - was a breeze. The race started promptly at 10 and we were off; the course was beautiful in fall colours (and familiar - we'd run it at the MERICA 5M race back in July - this was pretty much a shortened version of the same course).

We're off! Pic courtesy of Muddy Monk FB.

Why do I always forget how much harder trail running is than road running? The scenery is totally worth it, but it's much more work! In the first mile we had some steep downhills and steep uphills.

Getting ready to jump across a creek! Pic courtesy of Muddy Monk FB.

In the second mile we crossed creeks and edged our way along a steep river bank (twice, since this mile involved the turnaround point and aid station too). And then the third mile we did the first mile in reverse! Except that, just like the last time we ran this course, I stepped in the creek on my way back to the finish line. Sigh.

Happy to be done! Pic courtesy of Muddy Monk FB.

In the end I finished in 35:14. The course was so hard, that was me running the whole time! (well, when I wasn't trying to pick my way down a steep downhill! I joked with a woman as I went uphill who was still heading to the toward the turnaround point so going downhill that before trail running I thought uphills were the worst - trail running taught me that steep downhills are scarier!) With better weather I kept a significantly better pace on the same trail considering back in July the middle mile was wholly paved, so that race despite being farther was actually a bit easier.

Then it was time for the Mini Monk mini-mile! It was supposed to be 3/4 of a mile, so that was my daughter practiced. She ran in her Supergirl and I put on my Supermom bondi band to match. She wanted to run it herself but although she looks big for her age she's only 5, so I wasn't comfortable even though there would be adults at every turn on their course.

Such an artsy out of focus shot! Pic courtesy of Muddy Monk FB.

After how her 5k went back in May I was unsure how this would go, but she wanted it and so we did it. The other kids mostly took off but I told Lily that they could worry about their race and she only had to worry about her race. We had fun! Although, I was surprised to see we had to do one of the steep creek crossings; she panicked a little so mama to the rescue - I carried her across the creek! :)

Crossing that creek! Pic courtesy of Muddy Monk FB.

For the first mile she was totally awesome. When the mile was up and we realized there was still a quarter mile to go, she started whinging a little, but we regrouped with a hug and I reassured her she was almost there. She ran the whole time. She finished in about 16 minutes, which included the first mile at 13:04 and her fastest mile EVER! I am so proud of her. It ended up being 1.25 which is a lot more than she was ready for, and she did AWESOME.

My super girl! Pic courtesy of Muddy Monk FB.

Another awesome trail race done! My next race would be the next morning, the Hyatt's Angels 5K. That one is a road race and I chose to do it to figure out if a) I was in PR shape and b) I had a shot at an AG award at my target fall 5K. I'll recap that one for you tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sobbing on the finish line

Does anyone else give ugly sobs as they cross the finish line? There's my husband, smiling for the camera like a good little model, and me in the middle of a mouth-open dark ugly sob of pure emotion because zomg-i'm-a-marathoner. Hah!

Back at my Lincoln Half in April I cried so hard as I crossed the finish line, because I'd had such an unexpectedly large PR, that a volunteer was actually concerned if I hurt myself. (In contrast, when I finished the Full Moon half in August and finished about where I expected, despite running really hard and in many ways running a smarter, harder, and more skilled race than in Lincoln, it felt pretty meh because it was exactly where I expected to finish.)

Please folks, tell me it ain't just me! Share your ugly-finish stories with me?

In other news, I haven't signed up for the ultra yet but I think I will shortly. My husband is pushing for me to do the marathon in Madison the following week instead so I am giving it serious thought. That's hilly though and I'm really not trained for hills. But I love my husband, so I'm thinking about it anyway!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Training 10.13.14 - Chicago Training W20

Monday 10/13 - XT || 2.44m || 30:00, 12:17p || Course 1, Level 3
Very slow, very gentle elliptical workout to work out some soreness.

Tuesday 10/14 - Run || 2 miles || 20:42, 10:17p || 50*
Keep the legs loose! Felt great. 2/490.08

Wednesday 10/15 - Rest

Thursday 10/16 -  Run || 4 miles || 42:34, 10:38p || 40*
Definitely could tell the marathon took a lot out of me, but 4 miles didn't feel too bad at all.. 6/494.08

Friday 10/17 - Rest

Saturday 10/18-  Rest
Wanted a long run, but got sick.

Sunday 10/19 - Rest
Still sick. :(

Total: 6 miles run and 1 XT session. Yikes. I planned one extra rest day, and wanted to run both weekend days...ummm, hello illness. I had a single digit training week this week. That won't kill me in a couple weeks when I want to run a 50k, will it?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Post marathon thoughts

So I'm 4 days out from Chicago. Honestly, I feel pretty good. I did a gentle elliptical workout on Monday to help flush out some lactic acid, and a short 2 mile run on Tuesday to keep my muscles loose - yesterday I rested.

Today, I feel good. My left hip still feels a little tight, and on Tuesday I managed to wack the bottom of my left heel pretty good, but otherwise, I'm feeling much better than I expected. I've been really hungry all week, but my running group described things like feeling like you got hit by a truck or having the flu or stomach queasies - I don't even feel any more tired than usual. So, I take all that as a good sign. I plan to go for a short run, maybe 3 miles today, less if I feel too tight and more if I feel good. I really do want to do the ultra in a couple weeks, but I am playing it by ear and doing my best to really, really listen to my body. Before the marathon I had planned to repeat my taper period and run 5/4/5 with a 12 on the weekend, but it turned out that what felt good was running 2 on Tuesday and resting yesterday, so I went with it. (This is a big deal. I like checking things off a list!)

I have thought a lot about how I feel about how it went, and the time we ended up with. For the most part we came in pretty close to where I had thought we'd be, and I made my peace with a slow marathon a couple weeks ago. I wasn't thrilled, but I knew I'd be running at nowhere close to my race pace and that I was going to be there to enjoy the city with my husband rather than race it. And in the end, that's exactly what we did. I wouldn't trade this experience or go back and re-do if that were somehow magically an option; I think he needed me with him to get through this, and I had hours alone (well, alone in a crowd?) with him. It was exactly what we had hoped, minus the race photographers not actually getting a picture of me in the finisher's chute. (Oh well.)

And in so many ways, this was an incredible confidence booster for me. Being unprepared for the level of ow actually ended up making me feel better when I thought about it - because it meant that the ultra is feasible, and because I made it through despite not expecting it. You expect childbirth to hurt but you get through it - I didn't expect this to hurt so badly, but I got through it. I know I can get through the ultra, assuming recovery goes well.

So, I'm in a good place, post-marathon. How about you?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Training 10.6.14 - Chicago Training W19

Monday 10/6 - Run || 4 miles miles || 43:28, 10:52p || 55* and windy
Stroller be honest I think the pace is wrong, I'm fairly sure I hit 4 miles a couple minutes earlier, but the BIA had a hard time in the park today looking at the gps showed me as running through the lakes :o But whatever, a run is a run! It was tough pushing the stroller into the wind! Wow! 4/455.87

Tuesday 10/7 - Run || 4 miles || 42:29, 10:37p || Treadmill // Speedwork
Second week of speedwork! I did 1/2m slow warmup, then 6x400s at 9:04p. The last interval was really hard but I think it was supposed to be! 8/459.87

Wednesday 10/8 - Run || 4miles || 42:00, 10:30p || 60* and breezy
Last real run before the marathon...all that stands between me and Chicago is a short shakeout run on Saturday! WHOO! 12/463.87

Thursday 10/9 -  Rest

Friday 10/10 - Rest

Saturday 10/11-  Run || 2.01 miles || 22:03, 10:58p || 45*, 40% humidity - cold!
This run actually sucked. But, it's done, and taper is done, and tomorrow, I'm gonna be a marathoner! 14/465.88

Sunday 10/12 - Run || 26.2 miles ||  5:57:17, 13:38p || 40-50*, 40%
Chicago Marathon! 40.2/488.08

Total: 40.2 miles run. I'm a marathoner!!!!

Chicago Marathon - Recap!

AKA - I'm a marathoner!

Oh, gosh. So many thoughts. So many things I want to say. This is going to be insanely long. For the tl;dr crowd, my husband and I finished at 5:57:17.


I guess I'll start with the expo. We went to packet pickup at McCormick place on Saturday and the expo was just...enormous. Biggest I've ever seen, thousands of people. So of course, within moments we run into some people we went to high school with that we haven't seen in 10 years except on FB.


But oddity and size aside, packet pickup was easy - we gave our id and packet pickup ticket, they scanned us in and sent us to our station...which because we'd checked in 30 seconds earlier had our packet already out and waiting. It was spooky, we walked up to the station and they asked "Are you Heather?"! Talk about down to a science.

We wandered for a bit, got our shirts (boring - tiny logo on a grey shirt...) grabbed some samples, nabbed our CorePower power-up bracelets so they'd take our picture for free on the course, took pics with our bibs, registered for the 2015 polar dash, and bought overpriced souvenirs (we each got long sleeve Chicago Marathon pullovers - neon yellow for me, marbled blue for him). And that was that!

Actually at this point I had a headache and wanted to go home, haha.

That night, I actually slept okay - albeit not much, since we weren't staying in the city. 4am wake up call to be out the door by 4:30 for a 4:58 train - yuck! Needless to say, I slept on the train on my husband's shoulder, but fortunately we'd laid out our gear the night before. There was no thinking required to get up and out. Which was good, because my brain wouldn't have even bothered.

When we got there we had a little bit of trouble finding our gear check (Chicago is so huge that there were 3 different gear checks and each check was subdivided by bib # - this actually made gear check a 10 second affair one you found it). But it wasn't long before we were in the portopotty lines and then - our corral! We were in J.

Port-o-potty line selfie!

And let me just say - the weather was perfect...for running, at least. 40* is too cold to stand around in though! We'd gotten throw-away clothes from the thrift store (an extra pullover for me, since I was running in shorts and a tank, and pullaway snap-pants for him plus an extra pullover for him) but man, my teeth were chattering, and since corrals were closing at 7:45 but they didn't expect to release us until was a long time to be pretty cold! I shed my throwaway right near the start line, but man, it was still several minutes of shivering!

In our corral, ready to go!

But by 8:15 we were off and running...his goal pace had been to stick to 12 minute miles, but it became pretty clear that he wasn't quite there. We hovered around 12:30s for the first 5k, when we stopped for a bathroom break. I learned something - don't stop at the early portopotties! It took almost 10 minutes. The later stops had no lines at all. Oops!

Yes husband, we're running, but first, let's take a selfie.

Around the 15k point I started having a hard time staying by my husband; a combination of him slowing down a bit and me having a great time reading all the spectator signs...I got lost in them, it was so exciting! I loved reading them, and we read some really great runs. The best though, was seeing a Breaking Bad one with Jesse going "Run, Bitches" and me telling my husband that that was nice and all, but I'd rather see a Doctor Who one quoting 11 going "Basically, run" of course, within a mile or two, we saw just that!

I'm the Doctor. Basically, run.

We hit the half point at a little under 3 hours. I think my husband was disappointed by the times, but I had kind of expected it. (Running more than 1-2 times a week and a long run more than every 2-3 weeks makes running a marathon easier! Not that it's easy, but yes, you will struggle more if you undertrain!) I had let go of time entirely; the times I couldn't pace with him I let myself drift ahead of him and then would pause and walk until he caught up. I was just enjoy the sites.

At around 13.5 we passed the CorePower office, who had a party going on and a photographer taking pics of people who were wearing their bracelet. We gave 'em a fist pump!

Photo courtesy of CorePower FB! Pump it UP! 13.5 miles in and feeling strong!

Somewhere around mile 14 I started getting choked up and sniffling. "In just 12 more miles, I'm gonna be a marathoner! 12 miles is easy...that's an easy training run, a cutback week!" My husband laughed at me, but I was feeling good.

At 15 I couldn't wait to hit 16 - we'd be then going under double digits, and we had a family member at that aid station. I so wanted a familiar face! Somehow though we missed her, and I have to admit, I was really upset. I had this weird mental blip where the disappointment from missing her just had me near tears! I spent the next 2 miles in a funk and at mile 18 I was just like, I'm ready to be done now, I don't wanna do this anymore! My husband tried to snap me out of, but I was in a pity me mood...if I'd been able to go at my training run pace I'd be almost done! Wah wah wah. Thinking back, I have no idea what happened.

Feel sore but I am 20 miles in - let's take a selfie, because I am about to run further than I ever have!

After mile 20...well, I gotta be sucked. I was not prepared for how much it would start hurting. I started to dread aid stations because it hurt so much to start running again. It's easier to run slower, but it's a lot more time on your feet, and eventually, that does catch up. I found myself moaning a little bit when I breathed out - I had automatically gone back to my childbirth methods for coping with pain! Miles 20-24 are a complete blur. I know they sucked, I know we had sort of a mutual meltdown where we walked for 10 minutes, I know walking through the aid stations hurt as much as running did but you didn't have a choice because there were so many people you couldn't run, and that starting running again after walking for a minute really hurt.

At mile 24, I told myself I was strong enough to get through it because my 5 year old had taught me how strong I really was, both from her birth and from her life. So that entire mile, I kept myself moving, running, because it was for Lily. I had to stop occasionally because I got really far ahead of my husband - I was still able to put out a 10:30 pace and he..well, by that point we were lucky to average 13:30, but in this mile, I found a deep well of strength. I looked like hell, which you can see at the mile 25 marker, but I had it.

This expression is because I couldn't figure out if my camera had taken a pic or not. Haha. 25 miles in!

Mile 25 was for my son, my miracle. But to be honest as much as I hurt, I somehow didn't notice. I knew on one level my legs hurt, but especially when we got to the 25.2 and then the 1/2 mile point, I grabbed my husband's hand and I was literally dragging him in. I felt like I was sprinting, and he was trying to keep up, but I could not have stopped if I wanted to - it felt like my legs had a mind of their own, and they were ready to cross that finish line.

When we crossed that finish line, I burst into tears. I was a marathoner.


Some final thoughts:

+The crowd support was amazing. There was someone at mile 23 telling us, "Yes, this part sucks. It hurts and it sucks. But you trained for this, and you are NOT quitting now!"

+The signs were awesome. I don't remember miles 8-13 because I was so busy reading signs!

-This would have been so much easier if I had been able to go a little bit faster. I never hit a wall or ran out of energy - what caught up with me was so much time on my feet. On that note..

-I was entirely unprepared for how much it was going to hurt. I should have done more training runs with my husband to spend more time on my feet if we were going to run together, and if we do another marathon together, I will.

+/-On the course I swore I'd never do anything like this again, but as long as recovery goes well, I will go forward with the ultra on 11/1. That might be crazy because oh my gosh, this one hurt, but it really wasn't intense until I got to the 5 hour point...I think in the future, this should be easier. Not easy, but easier if I can be on my feet a little less. My worst training runs were about an 11 in the worst of the heat and humidity, and I didn't come anywhere close to running out of energy - in many ways this marathon sucked because it hurt, but it gave me a lot of confidence, too, because not only did I do it, but I know I could have stepped it up quite a bit on my own, too.

+I worried for weeks over the "hill" at the end - but by the time we got there I was so intent on the finish line...I didn't even register it at all. Whoo!

+ I'm a marathoner!! HELL YES.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

This is it!

2 mile shakeout run: Done. Which means...

Taper: Done.

Packet: Picked up.

Running kit: Laid out for the morning.

That's it, folks. Next time I post - I'll be a marathoner! Wish me luck! If you feel like tracking me, that'll be me in the running shoes and bib #47557. Catch y'all on the flip side!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Training 9.29.14 - Chicago W18

Monday 9/29 - XT || 2.83 miles || 30:00, 10:36p || Course 1, Level 3
Easy recovery workout, although honestly, I am not sure I needed it! 

Tuesday 9/30 - Run || 4 miles || 42:29, 10:37p || Treadmill // Speedwork
My first time doing speedwork. I had been feeling meh about the upcoming marathon now that it's really setting in I can't race it, so decided to focus on getting faster. I did 1/2m slow warmup, then 6x400s at 9:13p. I can go faster and will probably try future ones faster but I find the treadmill more challenging - and this workout was challenging but felt good to complete. 4/436.5

Wednesday 10/1 - Run || 3.37 miles || 36:47, 10:52p || 60*
MRTT RNWL...temp said 60 but felt much cooler than that. First run with the new Bia! 7.37/439.87

Thursday 10/2 -  Run || 4 miles || 42:30, 10:30p || 70* and 85% humidity
Yowza. I guess I got used to it being cool and no humidity, because this felt hard! Yikes! 11.37/443.87

Friday 10/3 - Rest

Saturday 10/4-  Rest
Unplanned "rest" - my daughter caught the stomach flu and I was up all night Friday night and much of Saturday night taking care of her. Bumped long run to Sunday...I hope.

Sunday 10/5 - Run || 8 miles || 1:23:04, 10:22p || 45*, 40% humidity - sunny
With Chicago Lakefront 50k being the goal now I wasn't sure whether or not to follow my taper this week or bump up the long run, but I opted to follow the training plan since technically I am not signed up for CL50k yet. I was pretty tired from my daughter being sick anyway so keeping it to 8 was probably smart. Last long run before my first marathon is on the books! 19.87/451.87

Total: 19.87 miles run, 2.83m XT. T-minus 7 days to Chicago!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

If you're going to dream, dream big.

It may have come through a bit on the blog, but I've been moping a little bit about the upcoming marathon.

Since the day we signed up, my husband and I planned to run it together - side by side. When we signed up, our paces were pretty close. It didn't occur to either of us we'd fall out of sync, but I seem to have found my groove while running and for a variety of reasons, he's fallen out of his. Truth to tell, he's not really loving the whole running thing right now.

I kind of knew this while I was training but when we did our first training run together, it became really apparent that the race I'd been training for wasn't the one we were going to be running. And don't get me wrong - I want to run this race with him. We don't usually get to do things together between his work schedule and the kids and their schedules. I have every intention of crossing that finish line holding hands.

But it kind of stung that all the hours I've put in were going to culminate in a long training run, that I couldn't really race Chicago. It was still going to be an accomplishment, but not quite...the finale I'd been working towards, if that makes sense.

I started contemplating a second marathon and after a lot of research Naperville was the only one that fit the bill; it was a week later than I would have preferred but that was doable. It was close enough and flat enough. I got energized again. I'd run Chicago with my husband, and Naperville for me. But I didn't want to sign up until after Chicago because well...what if I hated it? Or got hurt? Or something?

But...Naperville filled up. Oops.

I started thinking about a spring marathon, but I was back to moping a bit. I want the months of training to culminate in me giving something my best shot, and Chicago wasn't going to be that. (Not in a time sense, because I don't have a marathon time goal - but you still want to know you really tried, you know?)

And then...I found the Chicago Lake Front 50k. It's not a marathon, but it's close. It's flat. It's the right week. It's 31 miles the week before my 31st birthday. I'll have a 26 mile training run 3 weeks prior. According to the Trail/UR group I'm in, the stars had aligned and it was a sign. It's small, it doesn't fill up, and I can wait to commit until the week before if I want.

Guys? I'm gonna run an ultra.