Running pic

Running pic
Yup, that's me!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Ravenswood 5K Recap

Yeah, OK I didn’t get around to the review of the free trial Crossfit class – so sue me.  Suffice to say it was hard and I got really sweaty and although I enjoyed the workout I don’t think that the gym we had the class at (Atlas Fitness) would be the best place for me. They seemed to be a little too focused and intense and I think that this wouldn’t be the place to go if you needed a bunch of modifications.

But, I do want to recap one of my favorite races – the Ravenswood 5K.

Cost: I’ll admit it – because of my association with Fleet Feet I got this one as a freebie, but I did pay for my husband and I bought us both pancake breakfast tickets (breakfast $10 each, race $40). Normally I hate paying that much for a 5K, but at least with this race I know it will be well organized and the charity partners (a local food pantry and the Student Health Centers at two local high schools) are very worthy.

Packet Pick-up: I volunteered to assist with packet pick-up so it was pretty easy to just grab the two I needed during my shift. I’m glad I checked though because only one of the two pancake tickets were included – something that was easily remedied with a quick computer check. While I was volunteering there was a steady stream of people coming in and we tried to make it so that no-one had to wait more than a couple of minutes to get their bibs & bags and we wished everyone good luck at the race. I saw a bunch of people I know from the neighborhood, the gym, and from Fleet Feet.

The Goods: I knew based on the fact that the shirts were from a Japanese company to go a size up, but I know there were many disappointed people with tiny shirts. There was a shirt exchange at the race that I know some people took advantage of. I was happy that this year they FINALLY got gender specific T’s and I really like the purple color of the women’s T’s. I also go a free volunteer shirt to wear at packet pick-up and these were unisex sized cotton T’s but in a really nice deep purpley-blue color. The packet had the usual race flyers and a sample Clif bar.

Transportation: Gotta love a race I can walk to. It took about 30 minutes to walk to the race which was a nice warm-up.  We got there in plenty of time to stash our gear bag, use the porta-potty and chat with some friends that we saw.

Course: Due to some construction on the regular course this year the course was all new. I knew that this wasn’t going to be a PR race – I had run 10 miles the previous day - but I also knew that since it was only a 5K I didn’t want to lollygag too much either so I lined up around the 9:30/mile area. I spent much of the first half of the race dodging people which is to be expected – no-one ever seems to be able to estimate their pace correctly (not even me – I ran 8:30/mile). I thought the course had less turns than it has in previous years and I really enjoyed running down Lincoln Avenue past the Fleet Feet store. I got to slap hands with Chuck and Kathleen, two of my favorite Fleet Feet people, and stuff like that always give me a silly energy boost. I don’t do 5K’s very often, so the finish line came around sooner than I thought it would – great since I felt a little barfy around the 2.5 mile mark. I’ve never barfed at a race – maybe I’m just not trying hard enough? I have seen plenty of barfers though.  Some people have just been obviously hung over (5K/10K races on Sunday mornings) and once a woman barfed right next to me as she crossed the finishline. Too bad since it put me right off the post-race food offerings which were pretty good – a brat and a beer. I was happy with my 26:09 finish.  A couple of minutes off my 5K PR, but I’m not going to complain and I do love a race that is NOT on the lakefront path and one that gets to use the full width of Chicago streets is pretty special.

Post-Race: What else can I say except for Ann Sather cinnamon rolls? Yum. Plus the Stewarts Coffee truck was there and it hit the spot. The pancake breakfast was OK – three pancakes, a hashbrown patty and a sausage patty all packaged together. Eh – the $10 bought the food pantry 100 pounds of food so I’m not going to complain too much and it was like it was inedible or anything – just not really hot. There were also bananas, chocolate covered acai or pomegranate, bottles of water and Clif was there with a full complement of samples – I don’t think anyone went home hungry.

Other notes: Did you know that there were Fleet Feet employees who actually went out the day before and SWEPT the course to get stray debris off the street? I did not know the level of detail that went into a race like this and it’s pretty interesting. 

I managed to get in 23.1 miles last week – I overslept on Friday morning and missed my regular run. So that was over 5 days of running ( broken down to 2, 5, 3, 10 & 3.1 miles) and 3 trips to the gym for cross training.

This week has much of the same with some fun stuff thrown in. FF-Lincoln Square is having a Girl’s Night Out after Chick’s Night on Wednesday – vendor discounts, sports bra fittings, mini-massages, snacks and drinks and then there’s the Saucony Kinvara4 Launch party on Friday evening at FF-Old Town that will also have snacks and drinks. I do love the snacks and drinks. Then on Sunday I get to go to the Naked Korean Spa for a friend’s birthday party and get in some real relaxation.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

CARA Lakefront 10 Recap

Saturday morning came all too fast.  I had to be on site at the CARA Lakefront 10 by 5:45am to get a parking spot and get the Ragnar booth all set up.  Imagine my surprise when I went outside and found that I had to scrape an inch of ice and snow off of my car. I was dressed for the cold – bottom layer of Pearl Izumi winter tights, an Icebreaker 260 weight half-zip and my Ragnar Ambassador jacket.  Over that I threw on a pair of huge sweatpants and a winter coat because I knew I’d be standing around for hours. I took off the coat & sweatpants for the race and about 3 miles in I tied the Ragnar jacket around my waist because I was boiling. I also had on a fleece hat and a pair of Smartwool knit gloves (hat stayed on for the whole race, gloves came on and off as my hand temperature changed).

Booth set-up couldn’t have been easier.  Ragnar ordered a tent/table/chairs from CARA and they were already set up when I arrived.  I just had to put on the Ragnar tablecloth, pop up the sign, and spread out the free t-shirts and post-cards.  I had help from two fellow Ambassadors (shout out to Mattie and Brett – thanks again!) so I was able to step away and run the race. I didn’t race the race – just used it as a training run so I pulled off my timing chip because I was planning on slow-poking the whole way.

Packet Pick-Up: I felt pretty bad for the volunteers working pick-up at the race.  Although there were several locations in the city and suburbs to get the packets before the race, but I knew I’d be plenty early on race morning and would have time to get everything there. As soon as I saw that they had the booth up and running I went over, Unfortunately, the list of registered runners wasn’t in alphabetical order so the two girls working had to go page by page until they found the correct name – I managed to see my name while they were searching for the guy in line in front of me. I think they were working on getting a new list printed up and brought down to the booth and for their sake I hope it showed up soon. The goodie bag was a nice reusable grocery bag (I use them for laundry) with a couple of Cliff samples and a nice long-sleeved tech-t (now that I’ve worn it, it seems a little short in the torso). Bonus: a nice medal at the end.

The Race: The race started right on time. I was running with three buddies of mine who (sorry CARA) were banditing the race just to run with me – I have the greatest friends! Two of them were feeling speedy so they took off after about mile2 and I didn’t see them again until the end.  I just wanted to dog it and the other buddy hadn’t run 10 miles in about a year so we stuck together and then found another friend at the CARA trough who looked like she wasn’t having the greatest race. I stuck with her and became Poppy: Race Coach.  I’m really good at blabbing on and on to help take people’s minds off running – just ask my sister-in-law.  I ran the last 8 miles of the 2009 marathon (her first) with her and I apologized the next day for all the blabbing but she said it was the best thing ever.  Maybe I have a new career? I’ll offer to run next to people while I go on and on about completely inconsequential subjects. Last year I ran a few miles with a friend in the Chicago Marathon and recapped a New Yorker article about Korean pop music. Anyway – back to the race.  The course was fine – pretty much the same as last year – going north to start and then looping back to head over Cricket Hill (really people – it’s a bump!) which was a little slickery from all the rain the previous week and then winding around the lakefront path – going under the bridge to run on the side with the CARA trough and then back around to head north again.  Can I just take a moment to mention my least favorite part of just about every race on the lakefront? There’s that point, close to the end, where you head east by some gothic looking field house.  I always just want to run straight across the field and cut off the ‘U’ part of the path.  I guess I hate it because I’ve done it so many times and at that point I know exactly how far it is to the finish. I’m never one for poring over course maps because I like to be surprised and I’ve run this area so much that there are no more surprises

Post-Race party: There were a fair amount of booths at the race including Clif and some Noodles & Co. who were serving mac & cheese , plus each bib had a ticket for free beer (I gave mine away). Since I was working a booth I got a chance to talk to the booths next to me (Chicago 13.1 and a massage place) and I stopped to talk to the Merrell rep because they were sponsoring the Crossfit class I was taking the next day.

Would I do it again?: Sure. 10-miles is a nice distance and since I usually have a half planned somewhere in the near future it’s a good training distance. I paid $48.50 which was probably on the high end since I missed early registration due to indecision – I did get the CARA member discount – buy $48.50 doesn’t seem that high at all for a 10-mile race especially since there are 5Ks that cost that much.

Last week I did manage to get in 29 miles even with the torrential downpours– a recent high! I’ll be back later this week with a training update and a little recap of the Fleet Feet Boston Tribute run.

See you on the trails!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Week in review

It’s been kind of a shitty week for running – on a lot of levels.  Obviously, Boston.  I’m unlikely to ever qualify unless I keep running until I’m in my 80’s but this year both my sister-in-law and my super-speedy nephew and a good running buddy all qualified.  On Monday I had just finished checking the runner tracking site (nephew & buddy had already finished) when I saw the first e-mails about the explosions.  Everyone I know who was there is fine but I haven’t had a chance to sit down with everyone to hear their stories. I know my sister-in-law had to be pretty close – there was a 40K (24.8-mile) time for her but no finish time.  That means she was less than a mile and a half from ground zero.  I’m so thankful that they are all safe and sound at home now. This whole situation makes me all the more determined to do well at the Madison Marathon that I stupidly signed up for.  I have a little over 6 months to get in marathon shape and I think I can do it and do it better than my only other attempt – Chicago 2011 – where I didn’t do nutrition or hydration well and it was hot and I got blisters and whine, whine, whine. Anyway, if you are looking for a way to support those affected by the Boston bombings, mark Saturday June 15th on your calendar to do a charity 5K race/run put on by Chicago Running Bloggers where all proceeds will go to the One Fund for Boston.  I know the website has been a little wonky, so the easiest way to get updates is to ‘like’ the page on Facebook. I’m sure they will need volunteers and if you can spread the word at any running clubs/groups or fun runs it would be great.!/RunForBoston5k

Now for my running updates. Last week was pretty great even if I was feeling slow.  I got in all the miles I was hoping to for a weekly total of 26. I haven’t hit that kind of number since January before the injury. I ran 5 miles on Monday, 6 on Wednesday, 5 on Friday and 10 on Saturday.  The weekday runs were all pretty standard runs but for Saturday I went with a small group out to the path that runs between Bunker Hill on the south end and the Botanic Garden on the north. We usually drive up to the parking lot by Old Orchard Road and run out and back heading to the north. Running south is OK, but there’s a stinky stable and usually large clumps of walkers to contend with so we only go south if it’s a really, really long run and we want to break it up – like 4 out and back each way for a 16-miler. The run was slow but it was a nice day and I made it through without stopping (except for a potty break) and a brief stretch at the turnaround. I even felt good later – no lingering pain even the next morning. After the run we went for coffee and then as I headed home I saw a riderless horse emerging from the forest preserve. I got stopped, put on my hazard lights and tried to approach the horse.  I might have been able to catch him but some idiot swerved over in her car and scared him into crossing a busy street and heading onto the running path going north.  I called 911 and gave them all the info I had and then went home.  I’m kind of tempted to call the police department to find out what happened – to the horse AND to the rider that got dumped.

So far this week has been pretty good too. I got in 4 miles each on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I had to run on a treadmill on Wednesday due to the massive rain and lightning and  the whole time I was reminded how awkward I feel on a treadmill – I just can’t get into a groove.  I spend the whole time intensely thinking about running – where my feet are, how my arms are swinging. Am I going to accidentally hit the pause button on the hand rail? Am I too close to the front? Too far?  It’s just too much thinking for me. Plus the view sucks unless (sorry sexist comment ahead) there’s some hot guy I can stare at. I’ve managed to get in some good cross training too – a Body Pump and a CXWORX class and I hope to get in another Body Pump class on Friday evening.

Saturday I’m running the CARA Lakefront 10-Miler – running, not racing (although I’ll see how well that resolution holds out once I get in a crowd). I think a couple of my friends are going to bandit the race and keep me company for at least part of the race. I have to get to the race super-extra-early because I’m setting up and working at the Ragnar Relay Booth.  Set-up starts at the ungodly hour of 5:30 – I’ll probably get there at 5:45 since our booth is not complex – a pull up sign, a tablecloth, some stacks of post-cards and some giveaway shirts and tattoos. I got an e-mail from the race about heightened security which – I know, I know too soon – seems a little over the top.  Boston is a world class athletic event with tens of thousands of runners and a zillion spectators.  The Lakefront 10 has what? A couple of thousand runners and maybe 100 spectators if it’s a nice day? But I get it – everybody’s a little shaken up and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Originally I was totally not going to do this race because it’s also my wedding anniversary and I’m sure my husband would rather I not fall asleep with my face in my dinner at the fancy restaurant where we have reservations but eh, I’d have to run 10 miles anyway and I might as well get a nice shirt and a medal.  I can always take a nap when I’m done.

Sunday I’m totally excited to try a free intro to Crossfit.  Fleet Feet organized a workout with a local Crossfit Box - we will meet at the Old Town store, run a warm-up mile to the Box to do a Crossfit workout, and then have a nice cool-down run back to the store. I did a Crossfit workout once before at a rowing studio where I had a Groupon for classes.  It was really, really hard but I liked how it used all different parts of my body – I actually enjoy a workout that gets me really sore the next day. There’s a Crossfit Box going in on Lawrence about a half mile from my house and I’ve e-mailed them to keep me in the loop for their opening date so maybe this will become a regular thing. I've heard that it's kind of cult-y and people who do Crosstit regularly really, REALLY get into it. I've also heard that not every Box is for everyone - you have to find one that will let you make modifications and take your level of fitness into consideration. We'll see - if nothing else it's a free workout that will surely burn some calories and add 2 miles onto the weekly total. 

So, I’ll be back on Monday with a Lakefront 10 recap and a review of the Crossfit class.  In the meantime – go ‘like’ the Facebook page for the Run for Boston Charity 5K - just do it!

Friday, April 12, 2013

An idea takes seed..........

Just a quick (slightly tipsy) update.  So, it’s close to tax day and I went out to lunch today with my cousin and the woman who prepares our fairly complicated taxes.  We had 2 bottles of wine.  When I got back to the office I had an e-mail from Chicago Endurance Sports about their fall marathon training program with convenient times that go out of Fleet Feet Lincoln Square. My friend Kari from Janesville, WI had mentioned earlier this week that she was doing the Madison Marathon and I was planning on signing up for the half so I could hang out with her for a girl’s weekend. I was all set to be the person who was happy, showered, and waiting at the finish line with coffee and doughnuts for Kari and Laurie when they completed the marathon.  Then the wine started talking and I decided in one fell swoop to sign up for the training program and the marathon.  Well then.  Or as they say in Wisconsin, and then so. Bad idea? Probably. A good goal? Definitely.  I guess I can kiss my weekends goodbye and start to stock the house with pasta again. So, is the moral of this story don’t sign up for big races when tipsy? We will have to see -  November 10th will tell the tale. At least I can be fairly certain that it won’t be a massive heat wave like the 2011 Chicago Marathon where the temps hit close to 90 and my feet were a sweaty blistered mess. Plus, having not looked at the course AT ALL, aren’t there hills in Wisconsin? I’m doomed! Doomed I tell ya’!

So, any experience with either CES training programs OR the Madison Marathon? If you have any complaints, compliments, advice – I could certainly use it.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


So yeah…speedwork. Not so much. Well, that’s not entirely true.  Back in 2011 I was a running fiend. Anytime, anywhere, and when I saw a Living Social deal for a 10-workout punchcard for coached track workouts run by Max Multisport and I bought it and went once a week all summer long. It was an all-women group and although I never really felt like I fit in entirely (most of the participants were also part of the Max tri club or used the track workouts in addition to the Max training programs for half or full marathons so they all knew each other already) I did push myself at the workouts in a way I never would have if I was on my own and there’s no argument that I was as fast as I’ve ever been.

 Last night’s speedwork session was supposed to be on the cinder surface track at Winnemac Park but due to a soccer game we got bumped and had to run on the asphalt path that bisects the park.  The nice thing about track workouts is that the track surface is usually very forgiving – cinder, mulched rubber – and kind to the old joints and injuries.  The asphalt was pretty painful. We did 5 ¼-mile repeats (faster/more advanced people did more) and by then end I had two issues: my calf was starting to hurt and I had blisters on each of my heels because I wore stupid socks. The coach was super-nice and encouraging while still managing to push us to run more and run fast. I’m not going to be able to do the workout next week – I have tickets to the Blackhawks game that night – but I wish I could go and give it a try on the track. I’ll have to wait until the 22nd to give it a go.

So….NEW SHOES! I was lucky enough to get a pair of pre-release Saucony Kinvara 4’s and they are sweet! I’ve worn Kinvaras in the past and I have to admit that these aren’t that much different – there’s some change in the placement of the ‘flex-film’ on the mesh upper (the stuff that keeps the shape of the shoe) and there’s a more cushioned heel insert and added reflectivity on the heel  – but if you’ve worn them and loved them in the past like I have then you’ll be relieved that they didn’t monkey too much with a great shoe.  I wore these for my (only) marathon and they held up great for a neutral/minimal shoe. The blisters I got were absolutely not the Kinvara’s fault – I wore a pair of super thin Lululemon running socks that slipped down into the shoe and allowed rubbing. Those socks will furthermore be relegated to casual gym workouts only. I’m looking forward to wearing these shoes for longer distances and conveniently I have my first double-digit run in a long while planned for this Saturday and I’m going to do it in the new Kinvara 4’s – just with better socks.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Shamrock Shuffle Expo & Race review

Spoiler alert!  I’m happy to report the Shamrock Shuffle went really well. But let me start from the beginning.

I usually run 4-5 miles every Friday morning at about 5:30/5:45 with a group of women who all live within a few blocks of our start corner. Last Friday I was going to be the only one around and I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t maintain the motivation to get my ass out of bed and on the streets without a running buddy.  I briefly considered hitting the gym and running on a treadmill but that’s even less inspiring and was less likely to actually happen.  So I put social media to work.  I tweeted that I was looking for someone to run 5 slow miles early Friday morning near Lincoln Squareand tagged it with #runchi  so that my fellow Fleet Feet runners would see it.  I got a response almost immediately and had a new running buddy for Friday morning – sweet! I love it when things like that work out well! Sara met me for a lovely run with the added bonus that we had lots to talk about to make the time pass quickly. That run put me at 17 miles for the week (along with a swim workout, two weights workouts, and a yoga class - not too shabby). And made me worry less about spending the entirety of Saturday at the Shamrock expo and missing my regularly scheduled long run.

So the expo.  I ‘volunteered’ (in quotes because I was compensated with a nice gift certificate, a new pair of Brooks shoes and a Brooks half zip) at the Fleet Feet booth to help promote and sign people up for their Women’s Half-Marathon & 5K in June. My shift was from 8:30 am until 6pm.  I had some sort of magical idea that we might be sitting behind a table, but we were on our feet all day approaching people to ask them about the races (the booth also promoted the Soldier Field 10-Miler and the Big 10 10K). It was hard work, but most of the people we talked to were enthusiastic about the races and some were even happy to have a chance to sign up on the iPads we all had – especially since we had $10 iTunes or Chipotle gift cards to give out. The expo was HUGE this year.  For once I managed to not buy a bunch of crap that I don’t need. I did take a few laps around to look at all the booths – lots of shoe companies (I stopped at Newton and told them how much I love them), running stores, running accessories like headbands and race belts, charities trying to get marathon runners to raise funds for them, and of course other races. I did stop by the Ragnar booth to visit with the Ambassador Co-ordinator and to discuss the booth we’re going to have at the Lakefront 10-Miler later this month. Altogether I really enjoyed working the Fleet Feet booth – I got a chance to work with a bunch of runners that I only knew through Facebook/Twitter and get to know them better. I’d absolutely work other expos for Fleet Feet although maybe not for a full 9 hour shift – the last hour or two my back was aching, my legs were sore and it was harder to work up a full enthusiasm as I approached harried strangers who were trying to get their packets. Luckily all the race workers helped keep a smile on my face and it was pretty easy to promote a well-run race that I rtruly love.  After the expo I hurried home and went out for a nice Italian dinner with my husband and came home and went right to bed with the hopes of recharging my tired legs.

Race day my alarm went off at 6am as planned and I got up to check the temperature outside. It was cooler than I expected oo I wore a dri-fit t-shirt (one of the commemorative Nike race shirts) with an emerald green Icebreaker half-zip over it and a pair of capris (RoadRunner house-brand – the best around as far as I’m concerned), and pulled on my Newton shoes. I was still kind of full from dinner so I didn’t want anything to eat - just a small glass of water to hydrate.  I puttered around and checked my e-mail and took care of bathroom business (always a relief) and packed my gear bag ($20, ID, L-card, iPod/headphones) and pinned on my bib. I walked to the L and met my friend Kendall. We rode down to the Harrison stop and walked to the CARA compound so I could check my gear (Kendall was going all minimalist and didn’t need to check anything). We were running a little late and had to squeeze into the first wave corrals and fight the crowds to move up to the C corral where we were both assigned. I knew Kendall was going to have a great race so I told her to just go when she got the chance – not to wait for me – and that was the last I saw of her when our wave started at 8:45. I started out feeling pretty good – especially considering that I’d been on my feet for all of the previous day.  I always forget that even as a pretty flat city Chicago has a few ‘hills’ in their bridges and that you have to run on the metal bridge grids (or compete for space on the carpet that is put down for the race) which is a little unnerving. My first mile went great (8:29) and so was mile 2 (8:46) and then I started to get a little worried that I was going to blow out my calf muscle so I consciously slowed down a little and mile 3 came in at 9:02. Mile 4 was 8:59 and the last .9 was at an 8:55 pace. I have to say that I paced myself really well - especially since my Garmin was completely useless with the tall buildings blocking my signal for much of the race and I couldn’t rely on the info it was giving me.  I wasn’t completely gassed going up the hill on Roosevelt and I had enough left in me for a decent sprint to the finish line. I finished just under 44 minutes and I was really happy with that for my first race back post-injury. It’s less than 2 minutes off my best time from 2 years ago when I was several lbs. lighter and didn’t have any injuries to contend with. I’ll take mostly sub-9 minute miles any day. I skipped the post-race party and hit brunch with my husband and a friend and enjoyed a celebratory Bloody Mary to replace the sodium I lost through sweating. I was surpirsed to read later that the course had to be altered because some guy was threatening to jump off a bridge over the river along the course. Kudos to the race organizers for making the changes so seamlessly that I didn't even notice anything was different (although I'm not one for poring over course maps before races).

Totals for last week were 22 miles – back to being able to bank a few miles which I need to replace the deficits from February and March. This week I’m going to try to hit the speedwork session at the Fleet Feet fun run, put in 6-miles at Chicks Night, 5 on Friday morning and then a slow 10 on Saturday morning for a total of around 25-27 depending on the speedwork miles.  I’ll be back tomorrow for a speedwork review – I’m sure I’ll hate it but I know it’s good for me.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Here's to a full recovery! I'll drink to that!

I’m totally back baby.  Baby got back? Whatever – no more leg problems means I’m ready to run - faster! I ran 6 really slow but consecutive miles on Saturday morning on the beautiful lakefront path and I felt fine – no twinges.  My running buddy and I did mix it up a bit with the Bunny Rock 5K people about a mile from my car – one guy even teased us and asked if we had taken a short cut – it made me remember why I’m not a huge fan of running on the lakefront path. Then I took Sunday off – if you can consider a super-hard yoga sculpt class a recovery day. Yesterday I did a 6-miler at a much faster pace than I planned on (thanks Monica…) but it went really well and nothing hurt at all – during or after! I switched back to my beloved Newtons to run in last night and I’m in love again. I had forgotten how light they are and how fast they make me feel. Seriously – go get a pair. Unless you need a ton of stability, then they’re probably not for you.  But, since the speedier pace didn't seem to kill me I guess I can start pushing things a little bit and I hope to get in on the weekly speedwork sessions at Fleet Feet leading up to the Ravenswood Run.

I looked at my mileage totals for the year and I think even with February having only 45.75 miles and March having the completely dismal total of 35.5 miles (counting walking and swimming and the little bit of running at the end) I can still make 1000 miles for 2013. There are 8 months left and I have to run 807 miles – about 100 miles per month.  I can totally do that now that I’m healed. I’m planning on running 6 on Wednesday at the Fleet Feet Chicks Night run and then 5 on the Friday long loop in the morning and then Shuffling the Shamrock on Sunday for an additional 5 – that will be 22 for this week.  Then next week I want to step it up and start doing 8-milers on Monday and Wednesday and then longer runs on weekends - like 10-12 miles.  I have to get in Ragnar shape and then there’s that pesky Green Bay half-marathon in May that I’m doing with two friends. I really, really don’t want to get left in the dust by them because, I’ll admit it, I’m vain and I’ve got better times than both of them on the record books despite their being like 15 years younger than me and I'd like to keep it that way (the better times, not the 15 years older - I'd TOTALLY fix that if I could).  I’ll have to employ my secret weapon: an iPod shuffle filled with crappy techno hits and top 40 remixes. I use it so that I. WILL. RUN. TO. THE. BEAT. OR. ELSE. It’s cheesy, but it seems to work pretty well. I know that if I miraculously became an elite runner I'd have to give up my audio crutch but since that won't be happening anytime soon I don't see a reason to stop using the iPod.

In other news I secretly signed up my husband for a half marathon in September. I’m sure he’s going to kill me, but he did recently say that he thinks he’d like to try running one so I took the thought and made it a reality. I found a local-ish half that runs on crushed limestone trails and is mostly flat – what’s not to love? It’s a week after our annual vacation where he runs a ton because he loves the paths so much – similar paths to the one the half is on – get my thinking? It’s not that he doesn’t run and I’m springing this on him to get him to start – in fact he’s the reason that I started running – but he usually only goes out for 40 minutes or so and considers himself done. I have gotten him to do 5K’s and an occasional 10K with me in the past and I’d love it if he turned it up a notch and ran further (farther? I never know which one to use) because then he might consider doing long runs with me. I signed myself up too and I’m considering splurging for a hotel room for the night before the race so we don’t have to drive so far in the morning (he hates getting up early for races). Now, how and when do I break the news to him? Right away so he has time to prepare or should I wait a month or two since he’ll have started his annual running program by then? Thoughts?
Here's the rest of my week: Tonight: spin class, Wednesday: Hard Core Class, 6-mile run, Thursday: Yoga Sculpt, Spin, Friday: 5-mile run, swim? Saturday: work all day at the Shamrock Shuffle Expo - come see me at the Fleet Feet Womens Half-Marathon booth!, Sunday: Shuffle, Yoga Sculpt.
See you all on Monday with an expo and race report for the Shamrock Shuffle!