April 27, 2012

Whoops. It's been a bit TOO long.

Back when I was running a lot I had two kids napping, now I just have one. I decided to try to run today during the little guys nap ... Which is now "quiet time" for his big sister.

It was very difficult to explain to her that she had to leave me be for a whole 20 minutes. I put on one of her shows and sat her in front of the tv ... Then went to the treadmill.

It took me about 5 minutes (maybe more) to turn it on! I forgot it won't start without a key :(. By that time Brooke was already getting antsy, and I hadn't even started.

I decided to run 2 miles. First, because my legs still hurt from the other day. Second, because I knew she wasn't going to wait for a three mile run.

During those two miles she came in four times. She wanted to hand me the empty bowl from her snack. Then she wanted to get some hand weights to "exercise". Then she just wanted to chat. Then she had to announce she had to go potty.

I did the first mile at 10:30. I kept increasing the pace from that point, at every .25 miles. I knew my window was short.

Good thing: got in two runs this week
Bad thing: naptime running is going to be a challenge

April 24, 2012

Im Back

Bet you thought I stopped blogging, huh? Nope. Just stopped running.

Went for my first run today, last run was in November ... About 5 MONTHS AGO. I only went out for two because I didn't want to break myself, and you know what? I survived. In fact, I paced at a pretty good pace. Surprising because of the time off, but I'm pretty excited.

Life is a bit harried lately and I need to take it one day at a time, but I'm hoping to be on here more and more as the days go by :)

November 22, 2011

Chicago's Perfect 10 - A very late race recap

Its been a week and a half since I ran the inaugural "Chicago's Perfect 10". Its been a rough 10 days or so, with sick kids and every free minute working on my dissertation proposal. I actually have 10 whole free minutes right now. Not enough time to crack open the proposal, so I figured I'd get into the race report instead.

The race had the typical novice race type feel. Not a lot of participants. Sloppy communication. Poor crowd control. But, I ran a good race, had a good time, and would likely do it again.

First off, only a couple of days prior an email blast goes out that the race time had been changed from 8AM to 7AM. It threw a wrench in some plans, and also seemed like a pretty big last minute change. During the race we could tell not everyone got that email ... because people were just starting out as we were rolling back in. Honestly, I would be furious to show up and realize the race had started an hour earlier. In fact, furious enough I likely would not have even ran that race ... so I do give those people some props ;)

The race started and ended on Navy Pier, which was actually pretty cool. Most Chicago races start on some random city street, or on a path near a park. This one started next to the lake, surrounded with tall ships and a ferris wheel. It seemed pretty crowded as we all stood inside the building waiting for the start (it was pretty cold!) but as everyone went to line up at the start line the crowd seemed a lot smaller. In fact, there were 959 runners in the 10K and 1322 10 mile runners. Thats actually really small for a Chicago race. Despite that fact, the course was pretty messy in the beginning. We ran along a path, so the width of the course was not much. The course did a turn-around, meaning the 10K runners ran 5K out and literally turned around and came back (same with 10 milers). The fast 10K runners were on their way back as I was still on my way out, but the crowd would not move to the side. So, those people trying to run for the finish (and actually WIN) had to run against the crowd and weave in an out to get through. There wasnt a single race official there to tell people to "move to the right" and let the runners pass. Pretty poor control. Again, if I wanted to win that race, I would have been steaming mad. In fact, I bet you wouldnt see me run that race again. But, I wasnt going to win and I just felt sorry for the other runners. My race was still a-ok ;)

Here I am, thinking I am all fast, trying to kick it into the finish.

I am so fast, I leave my sister (meanjean) trailing behind me ... eating my dust.

Unfortunately, I couldnt have been going that fast cuz the guy next to me looks like he is out for casual stroll.

I felt pretty good the whole race and finished 1:03:22 with a 10:14 pace. Considering I havent run 6 miles in over a year, I did surprisingly well. With more training I think I could have done even better, but beggars cant be choosers I guess. I was a little sad to realize the last time I ran a 10K was in 2009 and that my finish time was 1:03:01. I honestly couldnt have put in any more at the finish, but if I had known how close I was to beating that time I would have found a few seconds here and there throughout the race. At least I am consistent!

I havent run since the race (Saturday 11/12) because I honestly have not had the time. Despite that, I just did a last minute sign-up for an 8K Turkey Trot on Thursday. Not sure if that was a good idea, but it was the only way to force myself to allocate time for decent run ;)

November 3, 2011

Student For Life Interrupted

I could write a 20 page post on this, but I'll try to keep it brief. It might be obvious that I havent been talking a whole lot (um, at all in fact) about school lately. There is a great reason for this. Here is the short version.

After blowing me off for about 1/2 a year, my dissertation advisor up and retired, "effective immediately", due to health concerns. Instead of helping me find someone new he suggested I do it myself, then disappeared. Nobody offered up the next two years of their life to work with me. The university basically tried to kick me out (but instead just nicely suggested that I quit now and find a good teaching job since finishing the program is really hard work). With two kids and a busy life, I originally agreed.

Then my peers began to tell me what an idiot I was for not putting up a fight. Explaining that my department had to support me and that I needed to seek action. So, I filed a complaint. A lot of stuff went down. Now someone in my department has been forced to be my chair, and several others have been forced to be my dissertation committee.

Thats the short, nice version.

Anyway. I'm back in school, working with some people who dont really want to work with me. Some of them (one in particular) I believe are trying to sabotage me. On top of that, I've got two nutty kids and I'm trying to fit running in somewhere. (Im not going to even start to get into the other stuff going on in my life right now, this stuff is just the tip of the iceberg!)

I havent been posting a lot because if I have a few extra minutes I'm trying to sneak in school work. Today the little guy woke up early from nap and screwed up my school work time, so I figured I'd post while he shoves his face with Goldfish crackers. I have been running. I also have been meeting with my trainer. I'm hoping life gets settled in a bit and I can add laundry and cooking to the "have" list. For now its dinner from a box and "find your clean socks somewhere in the laundry room". Its working ... but not well ;)

October 13, 2011

Rest Day ;)

I did three miles on the treadmill on Tuesday and met with my trainer yesterday morning. Again, she kicked my butt, but today I dont feel as sore. Last week I could barely walk and this week I dont feel that level of pain. That could be because she balanced the workout more and didnt attack my legs as much, or it could be because I've gotten back on the fitness wagon and have been running regularly. Since I like to feel good about myself, I'll assume I'm not sore because of my routine (not because the workout was different). Most of what we did yesterday was relatively easy, but I had two major challenges. First, as part of the active recovery segments she had me to jumping jacks. I figured it would be really easy, but I was way wrong. I had to do jumping jacks for a minute, a set of chest presses, and the jumping jacks for a minute again. Those were two of the longest minutes of my life. She also had me do "walking planks" (found here as a Walking Dolphin Plank). Those almost killed me.

Either way, I lived to see another day. I honestly would have run today, but an eye doctor apt made me miss the majority of the nap overlap. Both kids are still snoozing and I'm enjoying the sound of the rain until the first little one breaks the silence with the inevitable "MAMA!" cry :)

October 10, 2011

Today's Run Outlook: Not Good

Saturday night I didnt get a lot of sleep, I went to bed really late and got up early for the race on Sunday. No biggie, because my plan was to get to bed early last night and get a nice, long sleep. Of course, that didnt happen.

First, I didnt get to sleep until after 11PM. That was strike one.

Then, at 2:55 my daughter started screaming and yelling. I ran into her room and she told me her "blankets were messed up". Strike two.

Then, at 4:50, my son woke up. He looked around his crib for a paci and couldnt find one. Then, whimpered and whined as he tried to fall back asleep. I let that go on for about 20 minutes until I went into his room and gave him one. I tried to be swift, but he saw me anyway, and then had a hard time falling asleep because he likely thought it was actually time to wake up. He didnt fall asleep until after 5:30AM. Strike three.

My daughter got up at her usual 6:30, my son slept in until 7:45. So my day begins again, short on sleep. Topped with the really short Saturday night and the long marathon volunteer day, I'm worn out. Its 8:00 AM right now and I cant stop yawning. And, to top that all off, I'm going to spend the day walking around the zoo with the kids. Fun, but even more exhausting.

So, I can likely say that if I get both kids to sync on a nap (which sometimes doesnt happen anyway on days we do outings) that I likely will be laying down for a snooze, not hitting the treadmill. But, tomorrow is another day :)

October 9, 2011

Race Recap

The race was a lot of fun, although not without a few hiccups. Compared to when I volunteered in 2009, I found this year slightly less organized. Not the whole race, but just the water station itself. There wasnt enough of a "management" presence, as whenever we needed help or guidance nobody could be found. Instructions werent really given to people as to how to fill the cups, stack them, etc. So there was a lot of variation between tables. In addition, there was a shortage of supplies. This isnt unusual, but yet somebody should have been managing the sharing of supplies or directing how things should be dispersed and instead volunteers were grabbing stuff like a free-for-all. We didnt have a jug of Gatorade or a pitcher to pour it into cups for our table. Instead we needed to use the Gatorade from the tables to each side of us, and make a jug out of a cut out water bottle. Not a huge deal, but the guy next to us had a pitcher in each hand and was using them to fill multiple cups at once. Might have made a wee bit more sense if each table at least got a pitcher :)

The race itself was great. It was hot - and the runners looked pretty hot and worn by the time they got to our station, less than 1/2 way in. But, there was plenty of water and Gatorade, in addition to misters and wet sponges scattered throughout the race. At least according to organizers, things went great. I havent heard if runners actually thought the same thing, but plan to do some blog surfing in a bit to get a participants viewpoint. Here they are, chugging along at mile 10.5 ... looking good!

At the conclusion of the race there were tons of left over water jugs and Gatorade mix. Any box that had been opened (each box had 4 jugs of water and 4 Gatorade mixes), regardless of whether or not a water or Gatorade was missing or opened, had to be thrown out. It was something do the the inability to store these open supplies. There was so much waste. It seemed that they should have known this would happen and that an arrangement was made to store the stuff or donate it. Im pretty sure there are 1,000's of organizations in the city that would have taken the gallons of water at the very least. I wonder if all water stations did this, or if each station was done differently?

Overall it was (another) great experience at the Chicago Marathon. Volunteering still did not give me the urge to run it again, but I know my sister (who volunteered with me) has been pondering it. I wonder if she feels inspired or repelled by her volunteer experience? I guess we find out the answer to that question in October of 2012 :)