Saturday, August 30, 2008

Swimming, Movies and More

This summer a few people I know competed in Triathlons I never thought I would ever want to participate in anything that involves swimming, biking AND running at the same time. However, after hearing and reading about their experiences I am intrigued. I have always shied away from this sport since I am TERIFIED of the open swim.

Wait… I know what you are thinking… yes I used to be a lifeguard… for many, many years. Ok hear me out before you start to pass judgment and thank the lord you never went to my pool. In a pool I can reach for the side if I need to. In a pool I can see the bottom. In a pool there are no fish. But in an open water tri swim there are tons of people and my fear is being kicked and grabbed and losing my breath and drowning because the water is cloudy and no one sees me go under. And then the fish eat me.

So I have decided to swim throughout the winter and then see how I feel about starting to swim in open water. I have been swimming three times in the last 2 weeks. The first swim I barely could swim one lap without gasping for air. But I forced myself to keep going. And yesterday not only did I swim for twenty minutes and not die (although I still needed to take lots of short breaks) I then went running with my neighbor and ran 2.43 miles in 26:18 minutes. Not bad if I do say so myself.

I have been house/dog/cat sitting up in the burbs since Wednesday. The first morning was rough when I woke up to shit throughout the entire house, but since then it has been a great time had by all. They have every single movie channel imaginable and I have done a ton of sitting on my ass and watching endless hours of TV. In the past 48 hours I have watched the following:

1. Hard Candy – an insanely disturbing movie that I will be scarred for life watching.
2. 10 episodes of season three of Weeds
3. Across the Universe
4. Feel the Noise – I said stop judging me.
5. You, Me and Dupree
6. Knocked Up
7. 2/3rd’s of The Beach - also pretty disturbing
8. Alpha Dog

And the night is still young…

Tomorrow I am running in the Human Race. I am pretty excited to run in it just because I think it is so cool that it will be ran in tons of other cities across the world at the same time. AND there is a Fall Out Boy concert afterwards.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

So City

Hot town summer in the city…

This past weekend I was SUCH a city gal. After taking a quick run with Ash and sweating my ass off, I hopped on the “L” and rode down to Michigan Avenue to pick up my race packet for the Human Race. Then I was a sweaty sardine on the ride back along with everyone else and their mother who was going to the Cubs game.

S and I walked 12 blocks to lunch with one of S’ softball friends (Mr. Softball) and then to the park where I was planning on reading my book. But guess what I did instead?? I played Frisbee AND catch. And I wasn’t THAT bad!!!

I felt so city. And it gets even better. What else can two city gals do when they are hot sweaty messes? On the way home S and I stopped for Italian Ice of course.

On a semi complete side note that has nothing to do with being SO city but does have to do with playing catch and Frisbee. I would call myself fit. I can run multiple miles at a time and I don’t mind working out. But I never really think of myself as an athlete. Athletes play sports that involve hand eye coordination; athletes have rock hard bods and sweat… A LOT. Well as I was playing Frisbee and catch and even (should I say it?) batted, I FELT like an athlete. And I kind of liked it.

But I digress…

Saturday night S and I met back up with Mr. Softball and his roommates to see 16 Candles play at the Cubbie Bear. Besides sweating my ass off, AGAIN, we danced and sang and *Ahem* drank a lot. And I had a great time. I also kissed a boy. Mr. Softball’s roommate, Long Island Boy. So S, Mr. Softball, Long Island Boy and I went for pizza at 4 in the morning and then headed back to the apartment. I gave out my number and we will see if I hear anything.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Scheduled: 3 miles
Actual: 3 miles
Time: 34:44 minutes
Pace: 11:49 minutes/mile

Ash and I got up early and ran half mile intervals. They were as follows:

1st half mile: 6:30 minutes
2nd half mile: 5:15 minutes
3rd half mile: 6:20 minutes
4th half mile: 5:09 minutes
5th half mile: 6:32 minutes
6th half mile: 4:56 minutes

It was hard… but doable and it was over before 6:30 am. Unfortunately it killed my back. Later at yoga I had to come out of almost all of the poses due to my back. After class the instructor came up and asked me if I was ok and told me that I need to relax my back some more. Hmmm…


You know it is a successful bar crawl when…

- 4 bars turns into 7 in the same amount of time
- The first 2 bars serve German beer only
- Pedometers are handed out to all who participate
- Furniture is imitated
- You stumble out of the 3rd bar
- One bar is only for shots
- Birthday balloons are stolen and then chased down and lectured in the middle of the street
- At the final bar you and your friends dance on a miniature dance floor while everyone else watches
- You belly up to the buffet and eat off the platter like it is your own plate
- Laughing a lot
- Pole dancing on other people
- 5 million pictures
- You steal food off of a plate waiting to be served to strangers
- When you steel serving tongs
- Making new friends
- Passing out at 9
- Waking up an hour later and go back out
- Dancing to 90’s rock music
- “tonging” people
- Making out with total strangers (unfortunately not me)
- Seeing a crazy man climb a light post on the walk home
- Drinking for almost 12 hours straight
- Spending a ridiculously fun night with your friends

Here are some pictures for your enjoyment…

and my favorite

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Runnin' with the Roomie

Scheduled: Just run.
Actual: 3.46 miles
Time: 41:56 minutes
Pace: 12:08 minutes/mile

Since Ash and I carbo-loaded for life last night we decided to get up this morning and run. We ran down Irving to the lakefront and then back up Addison. It felt ten THOUSAND times better then my last run.

This afternoon we are going on a barcrawl. More on that to come...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Race Pic

I'm in the black hat and greenish tank. Please ignore the time. It took 20 minutes to cross the start line... bastards.

I like it because you can't see the pain... and I think my legs look good.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Step by Step

Scheduled: Anything
Actual: 2 miles
Time: 23:45 minutes
Pace: just under 12 minutes/mile

This run was slightly more painful than I was expecting. AND it wasn't even my knees that were hurting. It was my calves that were screaming.

Maybe it was the not really stretching after the race...

Monday, August 11, 2008


Chicago Distance Classic Half Marathon
Distance: 13.52 miles (according to my Garmin)
Time: 2:52:50 minutes
Pace: 12:48 minutes/mile

As I’m sure you knew by reading my past few posts I was not excited to run this race. The only reason I was going through with it is because I am cheap and I didn’t want to waste the money. On Friday I took the day off work and went to the expo to hear John Bingham speak. He answered a lot of my questions about the course and the wave start. For example:

Me: Why did you change the course from last year?
Bingham: (not word for word) the city of Chicago wanted the cut off to be 13 minute/mile pace and I wanted it to be a lot slower of a cut off so we changed the course back to the course it was 2 years ago. The city also felt any time a runner had to walk they needed to move to the sidewalk. When I told them that I advocate run walking they said every time I walked I would have to go onto the sidewalk. This doesn’t make any sense.

After he spoke I went up to him and thanked him for giving me money last year to buy Gatorade during the marathon last year. He was so excited that he was able to help and gave me a huge hug. Afterwards I was super excited that the Penguin hugged me… then I thought about it and I must be a runner now if I was excited that the Penguin hugged me.

Sunday I toed the line and had an internal debate whether I would run with the 3 hour pace group and then pick up the pace the second half or try and pace with the 2:45 pace group that was a run 5 minute walk 1 minute group. As my wave crossed the started I decided to try and push myself and go with the 2:45 group.

I felt great. The run pace was around 11:25 minutes/mile and then a little slower overall with the walk breaks. Then around mile 9 I had to go to the bathroom. BAD. I didn’t want to stop because I knew I would lose the pace group but it was a desperate situation and I basically had no choice. So I had a three minute bathroom break and headed back onto the course. Unfortunately I had totally lost my groove and tried to do a run 4 minute walk 1 minute pace for a while. Then around mile 11.5 my knees started to scream. Every step I took felt like someone was smacking the outside of my knees with a baseball bat. My beautiful pace went to shit and all I could do was count the steps to the finish.

As I rounded the corner and came to the last straight-away I tried to pick it up and finish strong. Unfortunately my body felt differently. At about 100 feet from the finish my knee buckled. I stopped with the finish line right there in front and me and I couldn’t move. The Penguin was there right next to me on the microphone and looked me right in the eye and said “The finish line is right there! Keeeeeep going!!!” So I prayed that the next step I took wouldn’t result in me crumbling to the ground and hobbled across the finish line. But I finished.

Here are my mile splits:
Mile 1: 12:12 minutes
Mile 2: 10:56 minutes (caught up to the pace group)
Mile 3: 12:22 minutes
Mile 4: 12:28 minutes
Mile 5: 12:07 minutes
Mile 6: 12:15 minutes
Mile 7: 12:04 minutes
Mile 8: 12:17 minutes
Mile 9: 15:00 minutes (the bathroom break)
Mile 10: 13:11 minutes
Mile 11: 13:12 minutes
Mile 12: 13:38 minutes
Mile 13: 14:09 minutes
Mile 13.1 (which if I didn’t think the course was longer than 13.1 miles would have been my final time) 2:47:32 minutes. This would have been a 10 minute PR. I am pretty skeptical that I wove around people for .42 miles.
Mile 13.52: 2:52:50 minutes.

I PR’ed in this race. I beat my time from last year by about almost exactly 5 minutes. I am excited about this but pissed off at the same time because if I would have trained a little harder I most likely would have done a whole lot better. I am also pissed that I lost the pace group when I went to the bathroom. There are very few things that make me wish I was a guy but the whole being able to whip it out whenever I need to pee thing makes me pretty jealous.

I had been feeling pretty ho hum about the race course but I must admit that there were some super beautiful areas of the southern lakefront path. It was slightly scary to run on lakeshore drive almost on the cars as the line to the porta potty stretched out to the cones and people had to run around them to continue in the race.

So that’s that. I have officially trained and completed 4 half marathons, trained and attempted to finish 1 marathon and ran in a 10 mile race in exactly ONE year. I am feeling burnt out. I want to love running again. So I have decided not to run a winter half marathon. I had been thinking of running a rock and roll half marathon in Arizona in January… but I need a break. Don’t cry. I will continue to run smaller races (such as the Human Race and the Buck Town 5k) but nothing too long for a little while.

Congrats to Lou for finishing a great race and my running buddy Laura for also being super fast!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Slightly uneasy

Sunday is the CDC.

I am grossly underprepared…

But I’m ok with this.

I got a manicure today so when I am sucking it up during the race I can look down and think “Hey at least my nails look pretty…”

Friday, August 1, 2008


Since I have moved to the city I have been walking everywhere. I love it. I love the whole difference in mentality between the city and the suburbs. When I lived at home I would jump in the car and drive distances that I don't even think twice about not walking in the city.

Yesterday I think I over did it though...

I walked to and from the train (slightly under 2 miles each way) and then I walked to and from yoga (slightly over 2 miles each way) on top of my 90 minute yoga class.

Today I am exhausted.
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