Tuesday, April 30, 2013

4/30 run

7.2 miles: 1:19:23: 10:59

I felt a lot better after this run than I did on Sunday. It was a bit of a slog and then I hit mile four and got an energy boost. Had planned only six miles but decided to tack in the extra mile.

It was quite the month of running, two races, happy with results in both. But the second biggest challenge is upcoming on May 18 with the Tough Mudder. After this week that means scaling back the miles a bit and then giving me some time to recover.

April totals:

75.36 miles: 13:48:01: 10:59 pace: 13,314 calories burned

In the Fitocracy monthly running challenge I should finish in the top third as well, as of this morning I was 30 out of 102 participants but that could change as people log more miles today but the most I'll drop is one or two spots. There are some crazy people in that challenge, running 200 miles in a month.

Monday, April 29, 2013

4/28 run

A half way decent action shot from
the Lakfront 10.
11.2 miles: 2:09:50: 11:31 pace

What a difference a week makes. After the Lakefront 10-miler I felt great. And while running a marathon is a challenge, it was something I was feeling confident about. A week later and there are nothing but doubts.

Not really, but Sunday's run was one of the worst in recent memory. My feet hurt, my shoulder hurt, my knees were aching, I was 40 seconds a mile off my pace from the previous week, it was not good. My form must have been off for all these thing to happen. I was also trying out a new hydration belt, one of those that has the single water bottle that goes in the small of your back, and that took some getting use to but I really don't think I can blame that.

Luckily none of the aches and pains got to the point of being so bad until I was a couple of blocks from home. My goal was to try and hit 12 miles but I knew it wasn't going to happen. I'm also pretty sore after the run. My feet hurt a bit and my legs just feel tired.

Wright-Way connected us
with Matilda!
I'm at 68 miles for the month and plan to get six or seven in tomorrow to try and hit 75, which will be the most miles I've run in a month. Maybe I am suffering from some fatigue. May will not be as high mileage of a month. I'm planning 13-miles this weekend but am then tapering a bit before the Tough Mudder on May 18. I'll also probably take a couple of days off after to rest up. That's when marathon training begins in earnest.

With Sunday's run I also passed 200 miles for the year and more than 500 in the last 14 months.

But now it's a new week and almost a new month so I shall try not to dwell on what's in the past.

Lastly, you may notice on the right hand side of the page a gadget that enables anyone to donate to me for the marathon. Wright-Way Rescue is a fantastic, no-kill shelter so please make a donation.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

4/25 run

4 miles: 44:43: 11:08 pace

Speed work this morning and I was dragging ass. I need to be more committed to this work out as I think it helps me get faster but it's the one I feel like I can skip.

But I did it, it just didn't feel good. It's been a heavy legs week in boot camp and I definitely had that moving through quicksand feel a few different times.

This will most likely be my biggest mileage month since I recommitted to running a little more than a year ago. That is also probably killing my legs a little bit. Two more runs this month, wonder what the final mileage will be. There's a decent chance I could pass 200 miles for the year before the end of the month too.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

4/23 run

6.1 miles: 1:06:24: 10:50 pace

FINALLY, t-shirt and shorts. I did have a run back in January where it was a weird 50-degree morning but I wouldn't think it would take until late-April till it happened again. I was also happy to beat the rain, it did drizzled a little but but nothing too bad.

I should have gotten out the door quicker this morning, I woke up 10-minutes before my alarm went off but rolled over and went back to sleep. Probably could have gotten another mile in but the timing along with an urgent call from mother nature made me cut this run a tad bit short -- mental note: no brats the night before a run.

It's also starting to get light out when I start. Last week I started noticing it but it was getting really light out this morning. I feel like that's giving me more energy.

And I was right, I am more sore today than I was after the 10-miler. Between the glute exercises and lunges from boot camp combined with the six mile run I am hurting a little bit today. And with the rain coming down pretty good and no break in site it's unlikely Matilda will be getting her daily mile walk.

Boot camp tomorrow, four miles of speed work Thursday, boot camp Friday and 11-12 miles on Saturday.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Lakefront 10-miler recap

Snow on the ground before the race.

10.1 miles: 1:48:52: 10:52 pace

Friday afternoon it started snowing and it was still snowing when I went to bed. All week the weather forecast for Saturday was upper 30s/lower 40s and sunny, great conditions for running. When I woke up on Saturday and saw that it was 30 and there was snow on the ground I was annoyed. I ended up gearing up, light tights, two shirts, a mid-layer and hat. 

The race started at Montrose Harbor and there was still snow on the ground the pavement was slick in spots. I slipped a little while walking to the start of the race and officials were warning everyone to be careful on the course because of ice. I met my friend Roger and we chatted about the awful Spring we're having in Chicago and then the race started. 

I have to hand it to the Chicago Area Runner's Association (CARA). They know how to put on a race. Five aid stations on the 10-mile course, clearly marked, plenty of volunteers. I feel that this was one of the better run races I've every run. 

The bling for finishing.
And I am very happy with the results, a sub-11 minute mile, less than 1:50 and most of all, I pretty wasn't any more sore than I would be after a typical long run. In fact I'm probably going to be sorer after my boot camp session this morning where Shara kicked our asses. 

This race made me believe that I can run the marathon. I just felt good afterwards and am looking forward to my next long run. Tuesday -- if the weather permits, more rain predicted -- will be six to seven miles and Thursday four miles. Saturday will be 11 to 12 miles. 

Two more weeks of long runs on Saturday and then I'm going to back off in anticipation of the Tough Mudder.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Catching up

What a week.

Watching all the news on the Boston suspects and as I'm writing this one is dead and the other is being hunted.

I did run on Tuesday -- 6.24 miles, 1:7:09, 10:45 pace. Was pretty happy with the results but didn't feel like talking about it after Monday. Went to boot camp on Wednesday and planned to do three or four miles of speed work on Thursday but instead woke up to an inch of water in my basement.

The Chicago area was slammed by a huge storm late Wednesday into Thursday, we probably got about six inches of rain. The storm drain outside my basement door was backing up and coming through the door. Not a lot of damage just a huge pain in the ass and cleanup. More cleanup will have to happen this weekend.

But first is the 10-mile race Saturday. I'm a little nervous. This is probably a relatively small race --hundreds of people, not thousands and my bib number is like 107. I know I'll finish but I don't want to be last. My goal is to finish with sub-11 minute mile pace and hopefully that will be good enough.

Full report to come next week.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Jezebel post

This piece better sums up what I was trying to say below.

Boston Marathon aftermath

I had a busy day of interviews yesterday and so when I had a free moment I decided to take Matilda for a quick walk, enjoy the decent weather and get some air. When I came back the world had changed once again.

What happened at the Boston Marathon is a shameful, cowardly act. The whole incident is baffling and depresses me to no end.

Luckily, the handful of people I knew running yesterday are all fine. Rory's cousin crossed the finish line about eight minutes before the explosion. I forgot that her other cousin and her husband were going out to watch as well, and luckily they are all fine. The folks I know from the Endurance Sports Connection on Facebook are also ok, but they were stopped on the course and didn't finish.

I wore a race shirt to honor those in Boston. 
This won't affect the runners, they're going to keep at it. The sad thing is this is going to affect those who come out and cheer on people running the races. I can't fault them either. I already told Rory that I don't think I want her waiting around for me at the finish line for the Chicago Marathon with what happened yesterday. I'm going to tell my parents and anyone else the same thing.

In the meantime you try to focus on the positive, the people who ran into the explosion to help those injured. The people who are doing what they can to support those impacted by what happened yesterday.

Try not to wallow in the negative, look at the positive and hope they catch those responsible for the atrocity.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon

So I'm turning into a huge geek and watched the end of the Boston Marathon. Wow, these people are fast. Five minute miles at the end of the race, holy crap.

There was an article in Runner's World that detailed "squeaking" into Boston. For me to qualify at 39-years-old I would have to run a marathon in less than 3:10. Will never, ever happen. I get the appeal of Boston but if I do a second marathon it would probably be Marine Corps Marathon in Washington.

Rory's cousin is running Boston now, he went the charity route, though he is a lot faster than me and on the right side of 30 so he could actually probably qualify for Boston if he wanted to. He just started running last year.

I'm just still in awe, 5 minute miles, wow.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

4/13 run

8.1 miles: 1:27:25: 10:47

Saturday's run was interesting, started out sunny but cool, about half way into it started snowing and it was sunny again when I finished. It took me forever to het out of the house because I wasn't sure how to gear up, weather bug said 34 but felt like 26. My real cold weather gear would have been too much. I went with a tech shirt, mid-layer, hat, light tights and shorts. I had to take the hat of when the wind was at my back because I was too warm but it was chilly going into the 15-20 mph winds coming out of the west.

I've accepted that we're not going to have a Spring in Chicago this year and in the next couple of weeks it's just going to be in the 80s.

Besides the weather it was a really good run for me, couldn't ask for anything better coming up to the 10-miler. Considering I did five miles at 10:32 last weekend and yesterday was three miles more and  a 15-second increase in my pace make me feel pretty good. I would be ecstatic to keep the 10:47 pace for the entire 10-miles and think that's doable. I also set a personal best for a 10K time 1:06:52, which I believe is a few second better than my previous.

I had some foot pain yesterday at the end of the run, again in the balls of my feet. It didn't linger at all and today I'm fine. I may bite the bullet and get a pedicure after the race and have the calluses take off to see if this helps at all.

This is my first time doing this Lakefront 10-miler and I guess the course has changes slightly from what it was previously. I guess it starts and ends going up Cricket Hill. For those not familiar with Chicago hills of any type are a rarity and I know one buddy running the race who isn't thrilled with this.

Seven day-forecast says upper 40s for next Saturday with 10-15 mph winds. Can't complain about that, the race course is north/south along Lake Shore Drive so it shouldn't be too bad.

Boot camp on Monday and Wednesday, with six miles on Tuesday and around four on Thursday. Friday will be a rest day.

Friday, April 12, 2013

4/11 run

3 miles: 37:01: 12:07 pace

Did the second Road Runner Sports Adventure Run last night. It was a shorter route, should have gone all the way out to 2.5 miles and worked my way back but didn't. While I knew how it worked this time there were still moments of confusion when I was trying to figure out where I was going. 

They had a home run whiffle ball derby to win tickets and I did some burpees for some more. No free shoes this time but I did win $25 gift card to Champs Sports Bar in Old Orchard Mall.

There were a bunch more people this time around and I think this is going to be a fun monthly event. I'm hoping Rory can join me next time. 

And I was lazy yesterday, when I work up it was cold and rainy so I bailed on my morning run. Felt like crap most of the day because of it too. 

Eight miles tomorrow for the last long run before the Lakefront 10-miler. Next week will be 6 on Tuesday and 3 on Thursday. Probably taking next Friday off from boot camp to get some extra rest. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

4/9 run

 4 miles: 43:38: 10:51 min/mi

Speed work this morning that wasn't necessarily that speedy. Felt good to be out there and was able to beat the rain. Also, just wearing shorts and a couple of t-shirts and a hat. As much as I do enjoy running in the cooler weather I'm hoping this is the start of somewhat warmer weather. 

Weather this week is looking dicey, Thursday could be a crap shoot but with a double planned I should be able to get one good run in, hopefully both. Saturday's eight-miles is looking dry and the mid-40s.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Shamrock Shuffle recap

Hydrating before the race started.
8K: 52:18: 10:32 pace

Sunday was a beautiful day for the Shamrock Shuffle, cool, sunny, couldn't ask for anything more. Once I passed the start line it was a great course that took you through the heart of downtown Chicago, something I had not experienced before. Once the course turned off Wacker and on to State Street and you saw nothing but runners it was quite the site, wish I would have had a camera handy.

Thankfully, the field wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be and there was plenty of room to get around people.

I was pretty happy with my results as well, a 10:32 pace for the whole thing is pretty good for me, and while I would have like to be a little faster I can't really complain.

All that said, I won't be running this again. The packet pickup at Navy Pier was a nightmare, taking about an hour to move about a mile. Part of this was my fault for deciding to drive down but traffic was horrific getting in and out.

There were also the corrals. This is something I just need to get use to, especially with the marathon. The first corral of wave two took off at 9:15 am. I was in corral H and didn't start until 9:37 am. They also closed the corral at 9 am. That was a lot of time just standing around. I didn't know anyone else in my corral so I was just trying not to get too stiff or bored. Rory was in the last corral and she didn't start the race until 10 am. I need to figure out the best way to deal with this when it comes to October.

I'm on kind of a taper leading up to the Lakefront 10-miler on April 20. Tomorrow will be four miles of speed work and then Thursday is a double with the Road Runner Adventure Race again. I can count on the adventure race being around four miles so I'm not sure what I'll do in the morning, probably another four or so. Saturday will be eight miles.

With the fundraising I need to do for the marathon I'm trying to think of different thing I can do to encourage people to donate. I've already decided that once I hit the $500 mark I will run a 5K in a tutu as a reward with many picture to be included. Shaving my head and facial hair is a no go as the former scares me and the latter scares Rory. Any other suggestions?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

4/4 run

3.7 miles: 39:49: 10:42 pace

I am long overdue in starting my speed work and this is my version. I do a warm up mile and then sprint for two blocks, walk for one block. I can configure my watch to do a two minute sprint/one minute walk too but this works for now. 

I was dragging out there a bit this morning, thought this would ne a nice easy run but it was tougher than I thought. Though I need to make sure to keep this in my plan, though I may move it to Tuesday. Speed work on Tuesday, longer run Thursday -- 5 to 8 miles -- and then long run on Saturday. Boot camp on Monday, Wednesday Friday. 

Wore the Adidas this morning and had no pain. My feet are a slight bit sore but it's nothing in the greater scheme of things. I'm sad to say that I'm retiring the Brooks for boot camp for now and bringing the New Balance into the rotation. I would like to not buy anymore shoes until July or August. 

Random thoughts: 
  • Six weeks till the Tough Mudder, hoping to drop another five pounds by then. My biggest concern about this right now is the weather and gear, it could be 50 and raining or 80; May is unpredictable. I'll be wet but just not sure how to dress/layer for the possibility of colder weather. 
  • When I do the marathon would love to be 15 pounds from where I'm at now, but that might be wishful thinking. 
  • Planning a 13.1-mile training run in four weeks for fun -- did I really just write that -- and then laying off the high mileage in anticipation of the mudder
  • Probably doing at 10K in Humboldt Park on June 1 with some friends. That will most likely be the last race I sign up for before the marathon, though I am still debating the 20-mile CARA training run a month before the marathon. 
  • First race expo Saturday when Rory and I pick up our packets for the Shamrock Shuffle. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Some pain

6.15 miles: 1:10:40: 11:30
The Adidas Boost have been my go to shoe lately.

Was hurting on the run a little but this morning. I don't know if it's my shoes, the surface I run on or if I'm fatigued but the balls of my feet are hurting today. They were just a tiny bit sore after Sunday's run -- I wore the Adidas Boost that day -- but I had to cut today's run a little short because I couldn't handle it.

This morning I wore my Brooks Glycerin 10s -- it's my second pair and I have just more than 100 miles on them. I have been having more foot pain when I wear this pair than the Adidas. I put more than 300 miles on my first pair of Glycerin's and I loved them. I don't know if it's the show or what but a couple of more runs with pain like this and I'll have to figure something out.

The Boost just came out and I'm kind of ashamed to say that they're awesome. They're light and I've never had a shoe feel as responsive. I know to many that it's silly to buy the latest shoes but when I tried them on and gave them a spin on the treadmill I fell in love. I broke them in at boot camp for a couple of weeks and have since been inserting them into the running rotation and am still loving them. They just feel good and I have no pain. If I had to pick a shoe to run the marathon in right now it would be the Boost.

Part of the problem may be that I have pretty rough calluses on the balls of my feet. Rory has been trying to convince me to get a pedicure and I've begged off. I have psoriasis -- a skin condition that causes white flaky patches -- and it's particularly bad on my feet and don't really want anyone handling them.

After searching online a bit the recommendation seems to be taking a pumice stone to them to try and wear down the calluses. A pedicure might cause blisters after and I don't want to risk that, especially with a race coming up. I'm at least hoping it helps a bit.

I also know the surface can be playing a role. I definitely can tell the difference between running on concrete versus asphalt. I've switched up my route specially to run on more asphalt. I wish I lived closer to some trails so I could do that instead.

Monday, April 1, 2013

No more tights?

Been trying some of these different gels and whatnot
to see how my body handles them. 
I'm hoping this week is the last one where I have to put the layers on before my morning runs. It'll probably be uppers 20s - low 30s tomorrow morning but then on Thursday I'm hoping for at least high 30s so I can shed some of the clothes I've been wearing.

Yesterday was my first 10-mile run -- 1:54:27 for an 11:22 pace -- and it was quite nice out. Shorts, two tech shirts and sunglasses, it was nice to get out.

There was a pretty hefty wind out of the west but it was still a good run. I was getting over the cold still and struggled the last couple of miles but in the end was pretty happy with the results. Would love to get my pace under an 11 minute mile and hopefully with the weather changing I'll be able to have one of my weekday runs be speed work to achieve that goal.

With these longer runs I'm starting to experiment with gels and other types of fuel. I've been doing a little already but yesterday was my first time taking it when I ran. I was also carrying the 20-ounce Nathan water bottle, which I thought would be perfect for the eight to 12-mile runs.

I had only used it once before in February when I ran the four miles to and from boot camp. It served it's purpose well then and I didn't have any problems. But yesterday I was struggling with it. The sloshing and holding it got to me after while and I was also done with it by mile eight. Considering it was only in the mid-40s yesterday I'm going to need something else in the summer when those 12-14-16+ mile runs come up. I'm looking at different Camelback models to see what might work best.

Tomorrow I'm aiming for a seven mile run and Thursday will be my speed work day of about four. Shamrock Shuffle is Sunday and I wish I was more excited about it but I'm kinda dreading it just because of the size. 40,000 is a lot of people and I think it's going to be miserable though I need to get use to running with that size crowd. Also, they're serving Michelob Ultra after the race and that's just a crime in a city that has so many good craft breweries.

One of the many reason I'm excited about the Lakefront 10 -- April 20 -- is that they'll be serving on the the city's newer craft breweries and I haven't had it before.