Monday, November 29, 2010

Surprise Party

On Saturday night, we threw a surprise birthday party for The Sailor and one of my sisters-in-law, both of whom are turning 30. And they were actually surprised! We told them we were getting together for our family's Thanksgiving at my brother's house, since we didn't get together on Thanksgiving.

Surprise Party
DIY wine tasting

Surprise Party
30 years + 30 years

Surprise Party
Listening to the most tone-deaf version of "Happy Birthday" ever

Surprise Party
The Sailor & Me

Surprise Party
Our roommate hit it off with my mom & my mother-in-law

Surprise Party
The Sailor & his BFF

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Meeting Peter of Peter, Paul and Mary

Peter Yarrow
Peter and me (and another volunteer)
Tonight I volunteered at WTTW Channel 11, answering phones during their pledge drive. (Anyone can volunteer.) One of the shows that aired during my shift was a Sing Along with Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary. And wouldn't you know, Peter Yarrow was live in the studio while we were taking pledges! (click for video!)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm Thankful For ...

a very snuggie Christmas
Five people I'm thankful for: The Sailor (despite the Packers hat), my brothers and my sisters-in-law.
Photo taken last Christmas. Two of the three snuggies belong to me.

Turkey Trot: Bonfield Express 5K

Picture lifted off the Facebook page.
I'm in the white, second from right.
This morning The Sailor and I woke up early (for a non-work day) to run the Bonfield Express 5K. It was a little chilly and dreary and misting when we left home but it was a good race. After the Hot Chocolate race, I wanted to beat The Sailor.

We started off with about 3,400 other runners through the streets of Downers Grove. It was pretty crowded. We started in front of the walkers corral but still ran around a lot of walkers during throughout the course. And also children and people with dogs. Not really very safe in my opinion for such a large race. At one point I saw a woman running with a dog almost clothesline a kid with the dog's leash. Luckily she noticed before the kid went down.

Anyway, I followed The Sailor throughout the course, weaving around people the whole way. We got to the final stretch and he started sprinting. I tried to keep up, and was doing a good job, but about 20 yards from the finish, felt like I might puke if I kept up at that pace.

So he beat me by four seconds. He finished in 29:55 and I finished 29:59. Pace 9:39. Not too bad considering how little I've run in the past three weeks.

If it's any indication of the crowd, our splits were 10:16, 10:10 (lost 8 seconds to tie my shoe) and 9:12. Which means we did the last .10 mile in 20 seconds? Hmm. That's not right.I trust the official race time over the GPS on my phone.

Anyway, this will probably be our rematch.

And last night we saw Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band at Schuba's. Awesome show. Where else will you see a washboard played like an instrument and then set on fire during the finale?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Post-Race Update: Our Times, and My Iliotibial Band

I came, I (mostly) ran, I got the sweatshirt
Yes, this sweatshirt was a big reason
I did the Hot Chocolate 15K
I talked to my marathoner friend yesterday afternoon and described the pain I felt during the race (pain on the outside of my knee/leg), she suggested it was probably my IT Band, which would be my Iliotibial Band if you know your anatomy (I do not). After a little Google research, it sounds like that was it. And it makes sense, because one of the causes of IT band pain is pushing yourself too hard and increasing mileage too quickly, and in the week prior to the race, I ran/walked 7 miles the Saturday before, and then didn't run again until the race. Smart.

So anyway, our times:

I told you the Sailor had a good race. He finished in 1:43:38, an 11:08 pace. Not bad considering the last time he ran such a long distance was a year ago during A-school in Pensacola.

And as expected, I finished in 2:10:43, a 14:02 pace. I'll put a little asterisk next to my records ...

Next up, Bonfield Express 5K on Thanksgiving morning!

Chicago skyline from the Shedd during Hot Chocolate 15K
One nice thing about walking - time to snap a nice picture of the Chicago skyline

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Hot Chocolate 15K and my stupid knee :(

So this morning was the Hot Chocolate 15K (and 5K).

enjoying hot chocolate after the Hot Chocolate 15K

I went into it hoping I could finish around a 12:30 pace. (I was doing the 15K.) Unfortunately my knee had other plans.

Anyway, so to start at the beginning. It was chilly out there this morning! I think around 29 degrees when we woke up, not sure what it was when we got downtown, but not that much warmer. And it was crowded. Two races with 15,000 runners each. I will say this - there were more than enough port-a-potties, thank you RAM Racing! I didn't even have to wait in line.

So the 15K starts, and I start out slow. I didn't want to get sucked into starting off at a faster pace as is common at races. The Sailor started out a little faster than me, which was fine, I figured he would slow down in the second half and I would catch up.

No such luck.

Things were going fine. I kept it slow and felt great, figured I should be able to at least run the whole thing at that pace, maybe even do the second half a little faster.

But then just past the halfway point, my knee started hurting.

My knee has felt like that before during runs, usually after a little bit (of either running or walking), it goes away. So I figured I would just walk until it went away. So I walked.

Every few minutes I would try to start running again. Nope, major pain. This is how miles 5-8 went. Walk walk walk try to run OW walk walk walk try to run OW walk walk walk etc. Eventually around mile 8 I just figured well, I guess I'm just going to walk the rest of the way.

Honestly, it was a major disappointment. I knew without the knee pain I could have run a good race (for me). And it was such a large race, it would have been fun to finish with a lot of other runners. Instead, I walked and finished with people who intended to walk the race. I tried really hard not to be negative, but there is not much else to do when you have to walk for 4.5 miles. And I don't run with music. So it was just me and my thoughts among the walkers.

When I got to the very end, I tried to at least look like I was running to cross the finish line. But that REALLY hurt and if they did snap a photo of my crossing the finish line, I'm likely grimacing. At this point my jacket was zipped up and you couldn't see my bib so I'll likely never see those pictures which is OK. I did pose for some finishers photos with my bib number showing. My sunglasses hid my tears. (How poetic.)

After the race finish I hobbled around, eventually got in line for the chocolate fondue (which was really yummy) and found The Sailor. He was really sweet once he realized my pain + disappointment. He actually ran a really great race, did much better than I thought he would.

enjoying hot chocolate after the Hot Chocolate 15K

So anyway. I think in the next few weeks I'm going to try to work on doing some weights for my legs. I don't know if that was the issue. But probably a good idea to strengthen those muscles.

enjoying hot chocolate after the Hot Chocolate 15K

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Photos: For the next few days I can enjoy the sunrise during my morning commute

And this morning was definitely a sunrise to enjoy.


I swear these were all taken while I was at a stoplight ...


Well maybe just two out of three.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween! Photo Post. Lots of 'em.

Not my fireplace

Hope everyone had a great Halloween! I did!

Jack Skellington Jack-o-Lantern
I always wanted to do a Jack Skellington pumpkin

I think this is the first Halloween that I intentionally chose a "feminist" costume.


Rosie the Riveter. I needed to practice the face more. When my friend was about to take my picture, I smiled like I normally do, then quickly thought to myself "look serious." This was the result.

The Sailor was a cannibal

Our party hostess was Coraline

Martha Stewart, crafting from her craft basket

A Chilean Miner, his "wife" and mistress

The Sailor's sister and her family stopped by during their trick or treating on Sunday. She made all of their costumes - Peter Pan, Tinkerbell, Wendy Darling and John Darling. Pretty handy.

Peter Pan

And now for some photos lifted from my roommate's Flickr account ...

Halloween 2010-63
Carving the pumpkin

Fall Frisbee 2010 Schiller Park-128

Apparently he was supposed to dress as a pirate for their Frisbee game. He mentioned this a few days prior to the game, but he didn't have a costume... As luck would have it, when I was at my parents' house a couple weekends ago, I picked up my pirate costume just in case. Problem solved. Although I kept the headscarf for my Rosie the Riveter costume. He supplied the balloons.