Monday, October 31, 2011


On Saturday I signed up for a 15k in Chicago.  I did the race last year and surprised myself at how well I did.  Last week I signed  up again for the 15k.  It is such an odd distance, one that I find difficult to train for.  I am not scared at the distance - I know I can run 9.3 miles.  I am more concerned with my pace.  I have not done speed work in over 1 month, although I did have a nice 7:16 average minute/mile 5  mile run last week.  I didn't do a long run this weekend...unless you count 6 miles as long.  I thought about doing a nice 8-10 miler today, but was at the gym and the power went out so that didn't happen.

The biggest difference between last year and this year is my motivation to run.  Due to a recent event that has provided me with motivation to PR at everything, I am ready to go out and dominate the run (for me).  My  motivation has never been stronger.  The fuel has been added to the fire and it is burning high and is out of control. 

Watch comes a PR. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

More Shoes

I love shoes, almost as much as I love running shorts.  Although my love for shoes is not limited to the running variety, those are the ones that get purchased the most.  When Saucony came out with a new shoe not so long ago, I wanted to try it out.  It seemed like the perfect shoe - lightweight but supportive so it could be used in longer races.  On Saturday, I got my new pair of Cortana's. 


I was fascinated by the tongue of the shoe.  One direct it says "Saucony" while the other direction says "Cortana."  None of my other shoes do that.

Since I got my new shoes, there was only  one thing I was dying to do - go test them out.

I need to take a photography class immediately.

I did an easy 3 miles in them and they felt great.  Usually I find that shoes are rather stiff when I first get them, but when I was running in these it was like they were already broken in.  

What else did I do this weekend?  See if you can figure it out based on the pictures.

Will this be yours?
Happy Halloween tomorrow!  Halloween is when I was diagnose with diabetes...22 years ago.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


It has been a while, but here are my answers to some very interesting questions.

Big Daddy Diesel asked:

Would you ever consider a multi-sport event?  Triathlon?  Duathlon?  Aquabike?
This spring I decided to try my first-ever multi-sport event, a duathlon. I really liked the first duathlon I competed in and decided to sign up for another one in the early summer.  I hope to race in a few duathlons next year as well.

I love running, and am getting better at biking, but I cannot swim.  I hate swimming, so a triathlon would be challenging for me.  I took swimming lessons when I was a kid, but don't know how to properly do the swimming strokes.  Plus, I am afraid of the water.  If I did decide to sign up for a triathlon, I would have to get a swim coach.  I do want to conquer this fear and compete in at least one triathlon.  I just don't know when that will be.

As far as the aquabike is concerned, I don't think I would compete fast enough to finish a race.  I'm a slow biker and right now cannot even swim properly.  It would be pretty entertaining to watch. 

If you could meet one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

Harriet Tubman.  Her life fascinates me.  She was such a strong and courageous woman.

What childhood memory that, back when you were a kid, you didn't like doing, but now, you wished you enjoyed it better because you really miss it?

My family (all 5 of us) used to go to a tree farm every December and walk up and down the trails, searching for that perfect Christmas tree to adorn our living room.  Of course, my sister, brother and I always thought that our tree was the best tree.  Ultimately, I think my dad decided on the tree, while my mom was there to console the children who didn't get their favorite tree picked.  My dad would then cut it down with the saw that they gave us and we would haul it back to the little hut to pay for it while sipping on hot chocolate to regain feeling from being outside for so long. 

Now, my parents still cut down their Christmas tree, but do it in December when none of the kids  are home.  I miss going to the farm to do so, even though I didn't like it a  whole lot when I was younger. 

One unique tradition my family has is that my parents  always wait  to  decorate  the main  tree  until all  of the kids  are home.  The past 5 or so years, we have decorated the tree on Christmas Eve.  My mom sets up a fake tree in another room, which she decorates earlier in December. 
Do penguins have knees?

I had to laugh at this question.  My first thought was, "No, they don't."  But then I started thinking about it some more and got curious.  As it turns out, according to the Internet, penguins do have knees.  Who knew?  Not me!

Scully asked: 

What are your future running plans?

I am only doing one more race for 2011, which I'll be blogging about this week.  But, after that, I am going into retirement for the rest of the year.  For the month of December, I plan on running with no plan.  I'll log the miles, and run the distance and speed I desire.  In January I'll resume training.  I did the same thing last year and it worked out well, so I'm hoping for the same this year.

I am not sure what 2012 will bring.  It depends on how I'm feeling.  I would have never predicted at this time last year that I would race so much in 2011.  I know I'll be racing, though.  Much of it depends on another factor that I cannot and do not want to discuss. 

What are your hobbies outside of pounding the pavement?
I am a teacher and teach at what I would describe as a "high school prep" private grade school that caters to wealthier families.  I teach 10 different classes, so preparation and grading for each subject is time-consuming.  Besides trying to become a better teacher, running/working out and sleeping, I like to read, shop, learn, and occasionally draw/sketch pictures.  Another aspect of my life that I have never talked about is my faith, which also consumes some of my time.

Did you know that penguins have knees?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Sometimes life gets busy.  Priorities shift, stuff happens, and life changes from what you thought was going to happen.

I had full intentions to run the Monumental Marathon in 11 days.  I trained for it after the Chicago Marathon.  And then last week, stuff happened.  My time and energy got devote to other things.  I missed a planned 20-mile training run on Sunday.  Yesterday (Monday), I set out to do complete my second attempt at a 20-miler.  I made it 11 and then quit.

I quit. 

I stopped running...and I felt free.  It felt as if a huge burden had been lifted.  I decided on my second loop of a 5.5 mile trail that I wasn't going to complete all 20 miles.  I wasn't going to sign up for and run the marathon.  I was going to start to run the distance I wanted, not what a schedule told me.  I need to run less so my legs are not as tired. 

I am not a quitter.  I am stubborn and a perfectionist, so the fact that I quit this run is not  typical for me.  But, my mind just couldn't do it.  I put a  lot of pressure on myself to succeed.  I feel like my expectations are attainable, but get discouraged if I don't meet and exceed them. 

I've been feeling pretty crappy about my running lately.  My legs are tired and my miles are slow.  It amazes me that I was able to run a 20:12 5k last month.  Where did that go?  I think it disappeared...along with my running confidence.

I have been reminding myself that I didn't fail during the Chicago Marathon.  Some days it is easier to believe than others. 

I might run 1 more race this year, in early November.  I ran it last year - The Hot Chocolate Race - but I'm still  not sure.  It will sell out soon so if I'm going to run I need to register soon.  This race gave me so much confidence last year.  Maybe that will happen again this year?

In the meantime, I'll enjoy doing what I want to do.  I'll run how many miles I want to run, not because a plan tells me to.  And I'll enjoy every single one so much more because of it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ask Away - Questions Welcome

Awhile back, one of my favorite bloggers did a "Choose Your Own Adventure" post, allowing people to ask her whatever they wanted.  It was really neat seeing what people asked, an then reading her answers.  Some of my other favorites have one similar posts as well, like this guy

Here is your chance to ask me questions.  What do you want to know about yours truly?  I hope you want to know something, otherwise the follow-up post to this post will be incredibly short.  So start thinking of a question, or two.

Please submit/post your questions by Sunday.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Surprises are fun.  This could be a surprise run well-done, or perhaps a gift.  A few days an "anonymous" person left me a gift on my desk.  It was so kind and thoughtful.  Although I knew who left it, even though they did not sign their name, my mind instantly went to the back of an old Starbucks cup.

The cup said something to the effect that a person paid for the drink in the car behind them in the Starbucks line, and then that car paid for the car after them and so on. 

I love to give gifts, so I got a gift for another teacher which I plan to leave anonymously tomorrow. 

Hopefully it will make her day as much as my gift brightened mine :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Week Off

Training for a marathon takes a lot of time, dedication, and planning.  I was happy to have a week where my daily runs were not a predetermined mileage to run this week.  I went on how I felt.  For the most part, except for Thursday, I ran the speed my body wanted to run.  It was glorious.

So, what did I actually do this week?

3 mile walk

3 mile run at 9:28 average pace
9 miles biking

5.5 mile run at 8:12 average pace
5 miles biking

6 mile run
11 miles biking


4 mile run at 7:54 pace

10 mile run at 8:20 pace
5 miles biking

Total Running Miles: 28.5
Total Biking Miles: 30
Walking Miles: 3
Weights: 2 days

Now the question becomes....

Do I want to run the Monumental Marathon on November 5?

I am going to see how I feel this week, and then make my decision next Sunday.  It is hard to prepare for something for 4 months and not do as well as you anticipated.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Three Things Thursday


I am a sensitive person, and I know it.  I also have a good memory, and can remember what people talk about and comments they make to me and how they act quite vividly.  Tonight I went to my running club.  As I was driving there, my goal was to run 5 or 6 easy miles, nothing faster than a 8:30 pace.  I show up, thinking that the majority of people I typically run with on Thursdays will be there as well, only to find 5 others.  None of my friends came, most likely because they just ran the marathon. 

Mentally, I was upset with myself for not talking to them beforehand, but just assuming they'd be there.  The 5 people there were 4 guys who run their marathons in less than 3 hours and a girl who just ran a 3:20 at Chicago.  And me.  I should have stopped beating myself up for being there.  I went their with the right intentions - to run.  Since there is a "no drop" rule in the club, I immediately felt bad for the rest.  Although they were doing recovery miles, our pace gradually increased each mile.  We took a new route tonight so I couldn't even turn around on my own because I didn't exactly know where I was.  I was having more and more negative thoughts.

I was with the group for the first 5 miles, each of which were getting faster.  My legs were tired by then and I wanted to slow down.  By that point, I decided that I just didn't care.  I wanted to go slow and was going to.  So be it if one of them had to slow down to run with me.  I was not racing, nor should have I been on that run.  My last mile was 7:35.  I hope my legs will forgive me tomorrow.


Part of the reason why I had such bad thoughts during my run tonight was because I do not like to be last.  I don't like being thought of as slow.  I especially hate it when I doubt myself.  During my marathon, I was shown that the mind is powerful.  If you believe you are defeated, you are.  If you think you are running well, you most likely are.  I need to remember that I run for me.  It is something that I like and makes me feel more alive.  I should not have these thoughts, but that is easier said than done.


I'm so glad tomorrow is Friday.  I need the weekend to get here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Chicago Marathon 2011 Race Recap

Please get a cup of coffee or tea, perhaps a glass of water, and be prepared to read a very long post.  This post is more like a mini-novel.  I've created bold heading for everything I deem as important.  The bold headings/chapters are as follows:

1.  Race Stats
2.  The Night Before
3.  The Ride into the City
4.  Pre-Race
5.  Start Corral Chaos
6.  The Race Starts - the first 10k
7.  10k - Half Marathon
8.  Half Marathon - 20 Miles
9.  20 Miles - 25 Miles
10.  Miles 25 - 26.2
11.  Cape, Medal, Water
12.  Post Race: Meeting My Parents
13. Blood Sugar/Diabetes Management
14.  Post Race: Meeting with Friends
15.  Post Race: Hotel Meet-Up
16.  Post Race: Niketown
17.  Day After: Walking and Stairs
18.  Race Uplifting Moment
19.  Snotty Day-After Comment
20.  Medal Engraving
21.  Tuesday at School
22.  Overall Thoughts
23.  What's to Come in November
24.  What's to Come in 2012

1.  Race Stats

Official Time: 3:43:35
Overall Place: 5,083/35,670 (14%)
Gender Place: 980/15,414 (6%)
Age Group Place: 261/3,686 (7%)

2.  The Night Before
I've heard a lot about the night before the marathon.  "You won't sleep at all."  "You'll be up every hour."  "You'll have a thousand and one thoughts going through your mind."  I went to bed around 9, got up at midnight, and then was sound asleep until 4:15 AM.  I sleep like a champion.  My alarm was set to go off at 4:30.  After hitting snooze once, I decided I had to get out of bed to get everything organized for the race.  I left all of my packing, outfit picking-outing, food-eating things until the morning.  In some ways, I like having a plan.  On race day, I never  know what outfit I will feel like wearing.  I couldn't even decide that morning and had to bring a few different options with me.

3.  The Ride into the City
My parents were my chauffeurs.  They picked me up at 5:15, which really turned into 5:23 because I wasn't ready in time.  On the way to the city, I ate my usual breakfast and was fairly calm.  I was excited to run.  I had made a playlist to listen to on my ipod, but didn't end up listening to it.  I was talking to my parents instead.  They were re-telling the story of when they were in Chicago to watch my brother run his first marathon.  Our experiences, and their experience, was really different.

4.  Pre-Race
We got into Chicago at 6:15.  After finding parking, I walked to a hotel.  My running club had reserved a room at a hotel for people to use.  After seeing a few people, I got in line to use the bathroom.  The line was moving incredibly slow.  By the time it was 6:45, I was getting nervous.  I still hadn't made it to the bathroom yet, and knew I wanted to go before the start of the race.  I was finally done at 6:55.  I still had to change into what tank top I was going to run in at this point (pink or black).  Black was the first one I pulled out of my bag, and, because I was rushed for time, is the one  I wore.  I also had on black socks, and my compression sleeves (also black), and black sunglasses.  Perhaps it was black overkill.  After changing and putting on my race bib, I rushed down to the street.

5.  Start Corral Chaos
I didn't know that the start corrals closed early, and barely made it there on time.  If you are running Chicago, know that they close at 7:15 AM.  I made it to the corral gate at 7:13, with two minutes to spare.  The lines were awful.  I started in Corral C, and I didn't get into the corral until 7:25.  I miraculously moved up to find the 3:40 pacer.  Side Note: I don't think I would ever run the Chicago Marathon if I was not able to get a corral start.  There were so many runners. I looked back at open and the line just kept going...and going...and going...and going.

6.  The Race Starts - The first 10k
The race started and it took a little under 4 minutes for me to get to the start line.  During the first 10k, I felt good.  My Garmin, however, got really messed up with the tunnels.  According to it, I ran my first mile in 6:14.  Actually, it was 8:20.  It was off the entire race, which was discouraging.  But, I figured out how much it was off by and did the math in my head to compensate.  The first 10k were good.  The crowd support was awesome.  My running club was working the second aid station and I saw a few of them.  I was so happy to see them.  Even though I didn't take water at that station, I still yelled "hi" at a few. 

7.  10k - Half Marathon
I was feeling really good at the 10k mark and decided to pick up the pace a little bit.  I ran ahead of the pacer and ran based on feel alone.  I had my first GU at mile 6.5, and it went well.  I took water or Gatorade at the majority of the aide stations.  There were a group of people handing out water bottles right before I took my first GU.  I took one and it helped me get the GU down.  I ran by an Elvis impersonator, who I knew would be on the course.  It was neat to run by all of the tall buildings and look at the city.  I really was having a great time.

8.  Half Marathon - 20 Miles
After I crossed the half mat, I was still feeling pretty good.  It was getting warm so I continued to drink water and Gatorade at most aid stations.  I had my second GU at mile 14 after I was given another bottle of water.  At mile 18, I started to get tired.  My legs didn't have as much energy as before.  I knew it was mental at this point.  I kept thinking, over and over in my head, how much this one race meant to me.  I trained for it for over 4 months.  I ran over 661 miles in preparation for it.  That meant that for every mile of the marathon, i ran a marathon for it (more or less). 

9.  20 Miles - 25 Miles
The last 10k was rough.  My hips hurt a ton, which is very bizarre because they never have hurt before.  My legs were starting to feel heavy and I was sick of seeing the sun.  The crowds were a lot less and there weren't any tall building to look at.  Honestly, I thought the neighborhoods were boring.  I saw my friends at mile 23 and was so happy.  They made me a sign which totally brightened that spot in the race.  Once again, I just kept telling myself, over and over and over again, how hard I had worked for this race.  It was sad to see the 3:40 pace group run by me near mile 24, but I was not disappointed.  Miraculously, I focused on the positive.  I thought about my goal, and realized that it was ambitious for me to be able to run that my first marathon.  I thought back to my first half marathon and how much I knew then compared to how much I know now. 

10.  Miles 25 - 26.2
At mile 25, I ran by a lady I run with in my track group.  She was moving slow because she had started to cramp.  I ran by her for a little bit, but then she had to stop and walk due to the cramps.  I knew I could finish the race and kept thinking "only 10  minutes...only 10 minutes....only 10 more minutes."  I saw another lady I run track with about 0.5 miles away from the finish and heard her cheer for me.  I was so happy at that point that the finish line was in sight.  At that point, it was more like "I've got this...only 2 times around a track and then I'm only one time more around the track."  When I crossed the finish line, I wanted to stop moving immediately.  I was so tired.

11.  Cape, Medal, Water
After finishing, I literally walked to the side and just stood for a minute.  My legs were hurting a lot.  I was next to the medical people.  The guy I was standing next to was really nice to me.  He asked if I was okay, to which I responded yes, I just need to stand more a minute.  He then asked if my blood sugar was okay because he noticed my pump.  I said I felt fine.  He congratulated me again.  I saw the lady I run track with shortly thereafter and we walked through the medal/cape/water stations together, talking about our races.  She was moving a lot better than me at that point.  I felt like a 90-year-old woman.  My hips were killing me.  I was also thirsty and was so happy to get some water. 

12.  Post-Race: Meeting my Parents
As I continued to walk to the area where my parents said they would meet me, which seemed like miles, I thought about what a journey this whole experience has been.  I would not have traded it for anything.  Two years ago I didn't know if I would ever be able to run a marathon due to injuries.  I know I exaggerate things, but that thought was a reality in my mind for quite some time.  I am so glad that I was able to run the race.  As I continued what seemed like a never-ending walk, I finally saw my dad.  I was so happy to see him that I shed a tear.  I sat down on the curb and immediately took off my shoes.  It felt so good to sit down.  My mom was telling me about the texts she received for tracking me.  She had forwarded them to my uncle and brother.  My uncle called as I was sitting down.  My uncle and I have a game going...he is currently faster than me at the half marathon distance.  I now have him beat for the marathon distance.  We talked about the course, the weather, the crowds, upcoming races, etc. 

13.  Blood Sugar/Diabetes Management
During the race, I consumed 3 GUs, numerous cups of Gatorade (which was not my original plan) and did not test my blood sugar.  I am not a doctor, so what I do is what works for me.  I trained 100% based on feel.  I ran the race without changing my insulin settings (basal) and did not take any insulin (bolus) when I consumed carbs.  This method worked in training, and in the race, because when I tested post-race I had a blood sugar of 130. 

14.  Post-Race: Meeting with Friends
One of my friends also ran the marathon.  He wanted to break 3:35 and did.  I met up with him and some of our other friends that came to cheer for us.  We got some pictures together.  It was nice to see my friends.

15.  Post-Race: Hotel Meet-Up
After meeting with my friends, I went back to the hotel that my running club was stationed at.  It was neat to talk to some of my friends about their race, and hear all of the other stories from the people who worked the aide station.  One of my friends missed BQ'ing by 48 seconds.  We were tlaking to our track coach, who also ran the marathon, about it.  She was saying how she wanted to run another marathon to qualify.  I want to run another marathon because I feel like I can do a lot better.  We got to talking.  Ideas started flying around.  Read further down the page for what is coming....

16.  Post-Race: Niketown
What was I obsessed with getting?  That's right...a shirt that said "FINISHER" on it.  I wasn't leaving Chicago until I had my hand on one...or two...items that said stated that I finished the race.

17.  Day-After: Walking and Stairs
I feel like I am walking relatively normal, but stairs, how I loathe them.  Going up is not nearly as bad as attempting to go down them.  I have to hobble down, which makes me think I need to invest in a cane if I plan on running any more of these races.  Also, normal things like standing up and sitting down are now considered a workout for me.  You could say that my quad muscles are tight. 

18.  Race Uplifting Moment
At mile 22 or 23, I was running behind a guy that had a shirt on for one of the diabetes organizations.  He was a charity runner.  I went by him and said that I appreciated that he was running for diabetes, because I have type 1 diabetes.  He then said, "That means I am runnign for you, then.  You're doing great."  He then patted me on the back and I ran on.  It was really uplifting at that point in the race.

19.  Snotty Day-After Comment
Today I took a 3-mile walk around my neighborhood to stretch my muscles.  Walking fast is not really an option for me right now because I am still really sore.  I was walking at a leisurely pace, and an old man says to me "don't strain yourself by walking too fast, now."  I just smiled and walked on, but wanted to shout at him, "I just ran a marathon!  What did you do yesterday?" But didn't. 

20.  Medal Engraving
A local running store offered free medal engraving yesterday.  I took my medal in and got my name, place, and time on it.  I have a rather long name, and it just fit on the medal.

21.  Tuesday at School
All of my students knew I was running the marathon.  It was neat to have them come into class today, hearing that they tracked me online.  I got a lot of compliments today, which was really nice of everyone that I work with and the students.  They all wanted to know whose time was closest to my actual time.  One girl was only 4 seconds off - she predicted I would run a 3:43:39.  Impressive!

22.  Overall Thoughts
I wouldn't trade this for the world.  I'm not sure if I'll run Chicago again, but there are definitely more in my future.

23.  What's To Come in November
I mentioned above that a lady I run track with was less than a minute from BQ'ing and really wanted to.  We were talking to our track coach after the race.  I want to run another marathon now because I know I can do better.  I now know what to expect, what miles will be hard and what they will feel like.  I want to run in the cool weather.  So...this Sunday I plan on running 10 miles.  If all goes well, then I'm signing up for the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis on November 5th.  If my legs are not feeling great, I won't sign up and will run the Hot Chocolate Race in Chicago (15k) instead that weekend. 

24.  What's To Come in 2012
Another great adventure I'll be training for and running is an ultra marathon relay.  I'm running the Madison to Chicago Ragnar Relay on a 6-person (all female) ultra relay team with other members of my running club.

I am impressed if you've made it this far into the post.  That takes some real dedication on your part.  It was my longest post ever, but is only fitting because it is the race that has meant the most to me.  Thanks for all the support along the way.  It has helped tremendously.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I Finished

It was warm out today, but that didn't make it less special.

I'm still wrapping my mind around the experience.

I ran a 3:43:35.

More to follow in the next few days.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Chicago Marathon Poem

A little poem dedicated to the Chicago Marathon, by yours truly. 

Back in February, eight months ago,
I registered for the marathon when everywhere there was snow.

Through the spring I trained,
in sun and snow and sleet and rain.

I ran some a few duathlons,
a 5k and some half marathons,
but knew that my dream was still a few months later on.

In June I officially started to train.
I started to see some results
and got excited in my brain.

A few more races and PRs later,
my confidence grew and ran in races with a
view of the lead Gator.

My biggest confidence-booster races
were the Madison to Chicago Relay
as well as the Park Ridge Charity Classic 5k.

Since June I've run 661 miles.
Some were hard,
while others were all fun and smiles.

I walked, ran, elliplitcal'd, lifted weights and biked,
and now....the marathon is (almost) here and I am psyched.

Tomorrow I will go to the expo,
with my dad and mom in tow.

I will pick up some samples and my shirt,
but restrain from eating dessert.

There is nothing more to do but wait.
Soon, I will run the marathon and learn my hard work's fate.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

And Then There Were Three

I think it is official: I am going crazy.

The cause: tapering.

Tomorrow is going to be rough.  We have an institute day tomorrow for school.  To say the least, the topic is incredibly boring.  Trust me - if I were to tell you the topic, you would agree with me.  Most of the time I look forward to going to institute days, as they pertain to classroom management or the subjects I teach.  This one, however, does not apply to either things listed above. 

I know my legs will be going crazy, full of energy.  Mentally, I won't be present at all.  Physically, yes, I'll be there.  My mind will be elsewhere.  At least I'll get some quality time to think about the race and other things.  That is something I always welcome.

I can't believe the race is almost here.  A dream is about to become a reality in only 3 days.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chicago Marathon Goals

As I start to type this post, the Chicago Marathon is 3 days, 10 hours, 21 minutes, and 2 seconds away.  After yesterday's meltdown, I am feeling much better today.  Thanks for the positive comments BDD and Scully

Random, Useless Fact:
After consulting the internet, I found out that the average time for a woman to complete a marathon is 5 hours and 10 minutes.  The average time for a man is 4 hours and 30 minutes.  (Did you know I love weird and useless information?)

I've talked to a lot of people recently, and the majority have all said the same thing: don't have any time goal when racing your first marathon.  I can remember back to the days leading up to my first half marathon.  My goals were simple: have fun and to run the entire distance.  However, that was a little over 5 years ago, and my running has changed since then.  Sometimes I think it is better to just go out and run and not have time goals, but there is so much fulfillment in setting, meeting, and even exceding a goal. 

People also told me to follow the beginner training program for the marathon.  This makes sense for a person whoh is a beginner runner, but I did not think I fell into that category.  For my training, I followed the intermediate and advanced plans every week.  I would typically run the advanced day scheduled distance 4 days and the intermediate distance 3 days.  Things worked out pretty well for me.

Without further talking, below you can find my goals for the marathon.  They took many hours (done while running) to create.

Chicago Marathon 2011 Goals
  1. I get to start in Corral C.  In that corral, I plan on finding the 3:40 pacer and attaching myself to his/her side for the first 21 miles of the race. 
    1. Goal: Run the first 21 miles with the 3:40 pacer.
  2. Pick up the pace for the last 5+ miles of the race.  There is some contradicting debate on this: some say run with a faster pacer and if you fall off at the end, so be it.  Other say run at a more comfortable pace and pick it up at the end. 
    1. Goal: Finish the marthon strong.
    2. Goal: Finish under 3:40.
  3. Take in the sights and sounds of the city.  Although I live about 30 miles from Chicago, I rarely go into the city because I hate driving.
    1. Goal: Enjoy the city.
  4. I have decided to not drink Endurance, the Gatorade-like drink that will be served on the marathon course.  I tried it a few weeks ago and hated it.  I am going to consume GU on my own.
    1. Goal: Take 1 GU every 5-6 miles (6, 11, 16, 21)
  5. Believe in myself and all of the time I have spent training for this one event.  I plan on writing something inspirational on my hand.  I need to see written encouragement when I run, and this will help.
    1. Goal: Believe I can do this. 
I realize there are some things that are out of my control:
  • Weather - it is supposed to be hotter than normal
  • Pacer issues - going too fast or too slow
  • Nerves/nervousness
The biggest thing is believing in myself. 

"Running is 90% mental."

Chicago, I am ready for the challenge.  I am ready to run. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Marathon Freak-Out

Today as I was driving home from a running meet-up with two people I typically run track with I had a panic attack which surrounded the marathon.

Can I really run a full marathon?

Can I meet my goals?

Today, 6 miles seemed like a struggle at some points.  How will I run 20 more successfully?

Why is it going to be hot?

Did I hurt my knee?  Why did it mysteriously start hurting today at mile 2? 

What shoes should I wear?  The shoes that have 350+ miles on them?  My speed work shoes, that I ran my most recent half in, but never farther?  Or a new pair that have 30 miles logged on them? 

Ah....I figured I would have at least one panic attack before the marathon.  Here it is.

I need to think about all the hard work I've done in the past 4 months to get me to where I am today.  There is nothing more I can do to prepare myself.  Doing more right now will actually hurt me come race day.  I need to focus on the positive.

Maybe I'll post my goals tomorrow...after my panic-attack is over.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Students' Predictions for my Marathon

Every day I get to welcome 29 students in my classroom.  Over the course of the year, I spend more time with them than their parents.  I know some before they are in my class because I've taught a sibling or know them from being in 4th grade.  Others, I have never seen before. 

Each Monday we have what I like to call "Weekend Round-Up."  It is something I started last year and allows the students to share what they deem as important events that happened to them the previous weekend.  Most of the time it revolves around how they did in their athletic events.  Surprisingly, the football team actually won a few games this year.  Last year, they did not win a single game. :(  I also take part...most of the time sharing if I ran a race.  My students all know that I run and that I'm doing the marathon this weekend.

I have a 30-minute time block with my homeroom students every morning.  Typically, we have a literature enrichment class that I started last year.  However, the good thing is that it is flexible.  Today, the kids had to complete 26.2 questions about the marathon.  It was math-based and they had to calculate mile times and paces and compare stats. 

The students wanted to have a contest and see who could guess my marathon time.  So, the final question (.2) was to guess my time.  The answers were....indescribable.  See for yourself.

Question .2: How fast will your teacher run the marathon?


5 hours, 48 minutes, 2 seconds
4 hours, 44 minutes, 4 seconds
5 hours, 2 minutes, 8 seconds
2 hours, 52 minutes, 16 seconds
2 hours, 33 minutes, 44 seconds 
3 hours 44 minutes, 32 seconds
3 hours, 42 minutes, 25 seconds

There were obviously more since I have 29 students, but those were a  nice sampling. 

Holy fast!  I could never dream of running a 2:33.  I also think I would be filled with disappointment if I crossed the finish line in 5:48. 

Tomorrow you'll get to read my actual goals for the race.

Until then, you can laugh at my students' predictions.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

From 0 to 26.2....A Review of 4+ Months of Training

In less than a week, I will have hopefully crossed the finish line at the Chicago Marathon.  I feel like I am a broken record and keep saying this, but I cannot believe that the marathon is Sunday, although I feel like I've been training for it forever.  I started training for it back in June.  Below you can find all of the things from 0 to 26 that I did or happened to me during my training. 

    0.  Number of times I have regretted signing up for the Chicago Marathon.
  1.   Number of glucose container holders (10 per bottle) that I carry with me while I run
  2. Number of 20+ mile runs completed
  3. Number of PRs set during training
  4. Number of pairs of shoes that were used during training
  5. 5k...possibly my new favorite race (the verdict is still out, though)
  6. 6:30 AM - the time that all of my long runs started on Sunday morning
  7. Number of races competed in during training
  8. Number of months it has been since I registered for the Chicago Marathon
  9. Number of half marathons I have completed (#9 was during the training session)
  10. Average number of people in my running group on Sunday morning
  11. Number of miles I'll be running this week....not including the marathon
  12. Number of speed work days during training
  13. The day I was born on...I couldn't think of anything else for this one
  14. Number of times a day I think about my goals for the marathon
  15. 15 x 44 = miles run in the past 4 months of training (660)
  16. Longest run during the week
  17. Number of runs that were 10 or more miles
  18. 18:30 (military time) when I met up with friends to run on Thursday nights
  19. Number of times a day that I am grateful that I am healthy and not injured
  20. Number of minutes it took me to run my fastest 5k...and some seconds
  21. Age you have to be to consume alcohol...and 0 is the number of times I did it while training
  22. Most number of miles I ran at one time
  23. 230 + 42 = number of total pages in The Greatest: The Haile Gebrselassie Story I read for inspiration
  24. Hours in a day...although I wish there were more so I could sleep more
  25. Number of days that I did not run during training (a lot more than I thought!)
  26. My age on race day
Chicago can't come soon enough.  My legs have been feeling strong and ready to run.  Mentally, I am ready to go.  Can you please press the fast forward button for me?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Reviewing September

The months are really starting to fly by.  I cannot believe it is already October.  Time really needs to slow down!

September Running/Work Out Stats

Running: 163 miles
Biking: 89 miles
Elliptical: 11.5 miles
Walking: 2 miles
Weights: 6 times

* * * * *

Book of the Month: The Greatest: The Haile Gebrselassie Story.  It was an inspirational read.  He has lived quite a life so far. 

Song of the Month: This was a tough one, but All That You Are by the Goo Goo Dolls wins the prize.

Drink of the Month: Pumpkin Spice Latte, oh how I love thee.  I think I could drink one every day of the year, but try to limit my consumption to fall and only 1 per week. 

Current Wish List: Nice weather with no rain.  I've seen enough rain the past 10 days to last the remainder of the year.  Sunshine, please!

Triumph of the Month: Running 20:12 last weekend for the Park Ridge Charity Classic 5k run.  It has been quite a confidence builder heading into the marathon.

Current Bane of my Existence: The alarm clock.  I am  a person who loves to sleep, and hearing my alarm clock every morning at 5:41 is just not pleasant.

Current Blessing: Being injury-free. 

Current Excitement: The Chicago Marathon is 8 days away! 

Goal for October: Have a wonderful marathon.

How was your September?