Thursday, April 19, 2012

Moving to Wordpress

I'm taking the plunge ... going to move to a self-hosted Wordpress blog. So www.magmilerunner.com might be down for a little bit while I figure it all out. (This post is for those of you who subscribe via RSS or email.) But once I'm back up, I will be at www.magmilerunner.com! At least, that is the plan. See you on the other side ...

First World Problems: Thankful Things Thursday Edition

Someone brought cookies to the office and I have no self-control. We're still not through all the leftover Easter candy that's been brought to the office. But I am thankful that the cookies are delicious.

My arms are super sore from Monday night's Body Sculpt class. (Yes, on Thursday.) I can barely lift my arms! This better result in a disappearance of my arm flab. Pain is beauty! I mean, strength! Strong is the new sexy! I'm thankful for my (future) strength!

I can't find anywhere to get falafel within walking distance of my office. Come on! This town borders the Chicago city limits! Make with the falafel already! But I'm thankful there is a Naf Naf Grill within driving distance.

Related to that, I'm spending way too much money on lunch. Especially considering there is a Trader Joe's within walking distance. New plan: go to Trader Joe's every Monday and stock up on lunch supplies for the week. This will easily cut my lunch spending in half. And probably also cut my portion sizes in half.

Everyone in my office is getting sick. I DO NOT WANT TO GET SICK. I'm thankful that my version of "sick" is a mild cold.

picplz_uploadOur desk jobs are killing us. We've all heard the horrors of sitting at a desk all day. (And this infographic truly treats it as a horror.) I'm thankful that I have my own office and enough desk space to create my own "standing desk" arrangement -->

I'm thinking about moving my blog to WordPress. Not really a "problem," but ... just throwing it out there. In case you're curious why, for one thing, I keep hearing that it's the "better" blog platform, so I want to see if that's true. Additionally, since I work in online marketing, and part of my job occasionally includes blogging, I should probably know how to use the #1 blog platform. If anyone has experience moving from Blogger to Wordpress (especially if you have your own domain) and has any tips, let me know.


Don't forget: Runner Photo Challenge!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Runner Photo Challenge: Memorabilia From Your Favorite Race

Just for funsies ... I'm starting a Runner Photo Challenge. We all like to run, and we all like taking pictures, why not combine the two? Also this could make for easy blog fodder when you (and I) can't come up with a good topic for a post. 

Sort of related ... has anyone else seen Yes Man?
And did it totally make you want to start a Running/Photography Club? Just me? 

How the Runner Photo Challenge will work (I'm kind of making this up as I go along) ...

  1. Each week I'll suggest a new photo challenge. It will be running related. (Unless I run out of ideas ... get it? Run out of ideas?) It might be really specific (like the first one - see end of this post). Or it might be more vague and open to interpretation. 
  2. If you want to participate, sometime within that week, take a photo that fits the theme of the challenge (or find a past photo that you've taken or has been taken of you). 
  3. Share the photo (and any related story or explanation).  How you share it is up to you. You can blog it, Facebook it, tweet it, post it to DailyMile, etc. If you would be so kind, please include a link back to this post. 
  4. Share a link to your post with me - leave a comment with the link, or email the link to mag@magmilerunner.com, or tweet a link to @not_margaret, or post a link on the Mag Mile Runner Facebook page
  5. If you don't want to share it elsewhere, you can also just email the photo (and related story/explanation) directly to me at mag@magmilerunner.com.
  6. The following week, I will do a round-up post with everyone's photos (and related stories), and introduce the next week's photo challenge. 
Sound easy? I hope so. Sound interesting? I really hope so. If you have idea for future photo challenges, leave a comment. 

Some notes: You do not need to be a blogger to participate, but ideally you should be a runner (and by "runner," I mean that once in awhile you lace up a pair of shoes and put one foot in front of the other at a faster pace than you walk). You do not need to participate every week, just whenever you feel like it. There are no prizes for participating, other than fame, and even that is pretty questionable (I'm not Skinny Runner). You do not need to be a good photographer, and with apps like Instagram, any photo can look artsy and cool. 

That being said, here goes nothing: 

This week's photo challenge: A picture of memorabilia (bib, shirt, medal, trophy, etc - can be just one thing or multiple things) from your favorite race. Include an explanation of why it's your favorite race. 

Here's where I get nit-picky - only pick ONE race. I know we all have many favorite races for various reasons. Pick ONE. There will be future photo challenges (unless this is a fail). Also, the emphasis of the photo should be the memorabilia. For example, it can be a shot of you wearing your medal, but the emphasis should be on the medal. 

Send/share your photo & explanation, or a link to your photo & explanation, by end of the day on Monday, April 23 to be included in the photo challenge round-up next Tuesday. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Training, April 9-15

Monday: 6 miles at 10:03 pace on a local hilly trail
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 6 miles at 9:33 pace with Kelly J. at a local forest preserve
Thursday: 6 miles at 9:27 with the FNRC, first mile with Kelly W.
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rockdale Ramblin Run 10K, 44:52, 8:02 pace, 3rd in my age group!
Sunday: Rest

You can also follow me on DailyMile.

Total miles: 24.2

Thursday
Before the 10K
Obviously not running related but wanted to share another pic from Saturday night

Thoughts:

  • I need to make strength training a part of my routine. Those rests days above? At least one of them should have been some kind of strength and/or core workout. This is the only part of my training that is not going as planned. I'm starting to get to a point in my running where my body is telling me I can't continue just on running alone. If I want to get faster and make 30+ weeks and 100+ mile months part of my routine, I need to be stronger overall. Especially with marathon training starting in less than two months. If anyone has any suggestions for runner-specific strength workouts, let me know. 
  • With the exception of Monday, my paces this week were where I wanted them. Easy runs around 9:29 pace, if I did a tempo run this week, the tempo miles would have been around 8:03 and that was my pace for the 10K race. Although, if it had been a true tempo run, miles 1 and 6 would have been at my easy pace, but oh well, I'm competitive and it was a race. 
  • I still need to get new shoes. But I also need to get new (non-running) pants. Hmm. Decisions. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Good to know: I still know how to hang

My cousin's future wife's bachelorette party was last night.

Andrea's Bachelorette Party

Andrea's Bachelorette Party

It's not a fanny pack, it's a holster:

Holster

"Mr Stud" has been to a lot of bachelorette parties since 2003.

Andrea's Bachelorette Party

Andrea's Bachelorette Party

The bride-to-be and her "date"

Bachelorette

The bride's future sis-in-law, my cousin and occasional half marathon partner.

picplz_upload

We totally rode around all night in a hot pink stretch limo. I swear.

Andrea's Bachelorette Party

And we're totally in our pajamas.

Andrea's Bachelorette Party

This morning:

picplz_upload

Andrea's Bachelorette Party


Also, yesterday I realized:

1) I need to actually go out and buy new clothes. That fit and are in style. Clothing swaps are fun, but my wardrobe is looking a little dated. And because I've lost weight, I'm running out of pants that fit.
2) My legs can propel me lots of miles, but they can't take high heels anymore. Good thing I have so many pairs of cute flats.
3) I'm glad to know I can still stay up past 3am once in awhile, even when I woke up at 6am for a race. Although I'll probably be asleep by 9pm tonight.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Race Report: Rockdale Ramblin Run 10K

This morning I ran my first 10K, a race billed as "the toughest 10K in the Midwest." Having no other 10K races to compare it to, I'll have to take their word for it. It was pretty hilly, by south suburban Chicago standards.

Going into the race, I thought a bit about my goals. I knew I would PR even if it took me two hours, but that's no fun, is it? I didn't look this up beforehand, but based on my Shamrock Shuffle 8K time from three weeks ago, the McMillan pace calculator predicted that I could finish a 10K in 49:53, an 8:01 pace. (I knew it was around 8 minutes, just didn't remember exactly.) Before the race, I told BFF Genevieve that my goal was to keep my heart rate around 173-176, and I would be happy to finish in under 50 minutes ... maybe 52. It was "tough," right? Plus I didn't know how to approach this race mentally. For 5K's, just push to almost-puke-speed and hold it. For races of 10 miles and above, keep it slow enough to not fall apart miles from the end. Where does a 10K fall?

Rockdale Ramblin Run 10K
Before the race with Genevieve

I won't go into a play-by-play breakdown of each mile. But it was a hilly race. (Again, for this area.) There were some uphills that were challenging (particularly one around mile 4 1/2), but the downhills were tricky too, especially the steep ones. Around the 3 mile mark I was definitely thinking "ugh I'm only halfway?"

The last turn put you on a straightaway to the end, you can see the finish line, but there was still over a half mile to go. I sped up, especially as I passed the 6 mile marker, and passed some people, and pushed myself to whatever sprint I could muster when a woman who could possibly be in my age group tried to sprint faster as I passed her right before the finish. (I crossed first.) It was a chip timed race, so who cares, but if I could push harder, why not? It is a race after all.

My official finish time was 49:52 ... one second faster than McMillan predicted. And under 50 minutes! So I was pretty happy. Once I caught my breath.

Post-race we met up with the other F'N Runners for some pictures.

Rockdale Ramblin Run 10K
Front: "This sh!t sucks! What time tomorrow?" 

Rockdale Ramblin Run 10K
Back: "F'NRC, Frankfort-New Lenox Running Club, Home of the Rucking Funners." 

By then they were starting the awards, so we stuck around. Of course I was hoping to place but I wouldn't have been surprised if I didn't. Turns out ...

Rockdale Ramblin Run 10K


Third place in my age group! Nicole got first in our age group, and was the second female overall!!

Rockdale Ramblin Run 10 K
10K chip timed race, hoodie, finishers dog tag, beer post-race, coasters for AG winners
... not bad for $35 ($30 if you're a CARA member)


Officially
44:52, 8:02 pace
Overall: 139 / 562
Women: 19 / 288
F 25-29: 3 / 41

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fashion Friday

I didn't do a Fashion Friday post last week (did anyone notice/care?) which is good because this week revolved around wearing shoes that didn't rub my possibly suicidal big toenail the wrong way. So not much that was photo-worthy. Good thing I have last week to fill in.

Red & Black/White & Animal Print
I really like this scarf. It always drapes well. I feel like with most of my other scarves, I spend way too much time trying to get it to drape nicely and usually I give up.

wardrobe remix wardrobe remix wardrobe remix

Gray Blazer & Yellow Scarf
If I'm wearing a scarf, that usually means I was too lazy to wear jewelry

wardrobe remix wardrobe remix wardrobe remix

Colorblock & Print
I wear this dress all. the. time. It's my lazy go-to outfit. As in "I want to look put-together, but I also want to be comfortable." The dress has pockets!

wardrobe remix wardrobe remix wardrobe remix

Vertical Stripes & Can Finally Wear Cute Shoes
Most of this week was spent wearing and old pair of Asics or Danskos. By Thursday my toenail could handle flats, as long as they were a little roomy. Also, I picked up this dress at last week's clothing swap.

wardrobe remix wardrobe remix wardrobe remix


Did you notice??? I'm wearing a different pair of shoes with every outfit! That NEVER happens in these posts.

ALSO - if you like purses and purse-like things, I'm doing a virtual party with Thirty-One. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

First World Problems

IMG_2971My office is very small and we don't have a functioning coffee maker. I cannot afford Starbucks twice a day every day, so I have to get by with the instant options. (Not drinking coffee is not an option.) In case you too have to deal with such a travesty: Double up on the Taster's Choice Hazelnut instant singles. The Folgers tea-bag style singles are also suitable, and you don't need to double up. Nestle makes creamers that you can buy in 20-packs (or just steal from restaurants) and they don't have to be refrigerated (not pictured). I would look for my French Press, but then I'd have to clean it out twice a day! The horror.

I drive my husband's car to work and it doesn't have an Auxiliary hook-up. I have to listen to the ACTUAL radio or ... get this ... CDs! I know, how retro. My car has an Aux hook-up, but I also don't trust my car to drive 94 miles per day. Although I've been listening to a lot of NPR and it's probably making me smarter, so that's a win.

This picture has port-o-potties in
the background, therefore it is relevant.
I used a really disgusting port-o-potty at the trail the other day. Seriously, I don't think it had been serviced since last fall. I should have known better though - I could smell it from the outside. And it didn't have toilet paper ... I would have been better off peeing behind a tree. I've never been so glad that my husband keeps generic Lysol wipes in the trunk. (Like the ones for cleaning your countertops, not hand wipes ... but at moments like those, who cares?)

I think I might lose a toenail. Oh wait, this is first world problems, not runners world problems. But still ... summer is coming! I don't want my feet to look freaky.

I had Naf Naf Grill for lunch today and I'm sad there isn't one closer to home. Because it was delicious. OMG. South suburbs, why do your dining options suck so bad? A million taquerias, but no falafel. (Although I do love the taquerias.)

No one got me an Easter basket this year. Although I'm pushing 30 and could stand to not gorge myself on chocolate and jelly beans. Although my mom had a "communal" Easter basket, and people have been refilling the office candy jar with various chocolate eggs, so it's not like I've gone without candy.

I'm going to a bachelorette party this weekend and there will be no naked men. I mean really, what's wrong with most women? What is with the "no naked men" moratorium that so many put out there for their bachelorette parties? BORING! It's a bachelorette party! It's SUPPOSED to be cheesy and tacky and embarrassing. Speaking of which, my bachelorette party was five years ago as of this weekend. And there were [partially] naked [dancing] men. And there was embarrassment.

And I had a BLAST. I'm pretty sure everyone did.

I was holding a blow-up doll. 

A different kind of Dollar Dance.


... and those are all the pictures I will post from that night. My dad reads this thing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I've changed

2004: Back when I knew everything. 
So I'm turning 30 this year. The big three-oh.

This post is probably the first in a series of "oh hey I'm going to be 30, let's reflect" posts. You've been warned. My birthday is August 22, so we have a few months of this to look forward to. 

Anyway, I realized that I've changed over the years.

(Shocking, I know. No one EVER does that.)

How have I changed?

I regularly wake up before my parents. During the week doesn't count - I wake up early because I have to for work. (And with the exception of Wednesdays when my mom teaches a 12-hour nursing clinical at the local junior college, I am the first one awake.) What surprises me is that on the weekends I'm often the first one up. It took me a long time before I became one of those runners who wakes up early on the weekends to run. "Waking up early to run" used to be 8am. Now? I usually leave on my weekday alarm (which starts ringing at 5:20am) to make it to an early group run or race. My parents? Might still be asleep when I get home. In their defense, my dad currently works evenings and doesn't go to bed until 2am. My mom is partially "retired" and I think tries to keep a similar sleep schedule (although not staying up quite as late).

I'm married. When I was a wise 21-year-old, nearing college graduation, wrapping up a 1 1/2 year relationship (which I liked to think of as a part-time relationship), and obviously knew everything, I thought to myself "I just want to have fun in my 20s. Maybe when I'm 30 I'll start thinking about marriage." I will celebrate 5 years of marriage in a week.

Related: When I was 18 and my parents moved me into my freshman dorm, I told them "who knows when I'll be home again ... I mean, maybe I'll come home for Christmas ... we'll see." OH how my parents love to bring up that declaration of mine. Now? I just don't say I'll do anything. [Who am I kidding? That doesn't happen.]

I'm not as certain about kids. I used to be 110 percent certain that I wanted kids. The question wasn't did I want kids, the question was how many. At one point in my life, I thought five kids sounded fun. Now? After spending more time with small children, and the parents of small children (best friends, siblings, siblings-in-law), the thought of kids in my future isn't quite the certainty it once was. We still talk in terms of "when we have kids" and not "if we have kids," but my thoughts on when and how we're going to have them is changing. I won't put anything in writing though (see above).

I'm more outgoing. I spent most of high school following around BFF Ultra Vera, becoming friends with whoever she became friends with first. I purposely picked a college that no one from my high school was going to, because I wanted to be able to make my own friends, not continue the habit of following someone else around and making friends by default. However, I was really shy. And I didn't really know how to make friends. Luckily I did manage to make some really awesome friends in college, but they were all women I met in my freshman and sophomore dorms (which is the easiest place to meet people in college). But somehow, since college, I've become more outgoing. More often, when I met new people, I find myself thinking the other person is the awkward one, not me. I'm usually the one keeping the conversation going. (Tip: keep asking the other person questions about themselves. People love to talk about themselves. HELLO BLOGGING.) Anyway, I blame credit my years of working in public relations for forcing me to come out of my shell. When you're "the PR gal" you kind of have to play the role of outgoing, even if it feels so forced. Fake it until you make it. And now I regularly find myself talking like a PR person when not at work (it's good for dealing with my in-laws).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Everything I know about going fast

Here's a picture of me running not so fast.
Most runners want to go faster. It's a natural desire. You run and run and run, and you want to see improvement. In both speed and distance.

But how do you go faster? Easy. You ... go faster.


I've gotten a few questions lately via DailyMile and comments on this blog about tempo runs and track workouts, so I thought I would share my knowledge.


Let me be clear, I am not an expert. This should be obvious, but just in case you weren't sure ... I'm just a blogger who runs, or maybe a runner who blogs. Either way = not an expert. 

If you want actual expert advice, check resources such as Runners' World Smart Coach or a Hal Higdon training plan to learn how and when and for how long to do these workouts properly. 

Also, before adding speed workouts, you should have a good "base" before you start these. But I don't know what that is. If you can run for an hour without stopping and/or walking, that's probably a good indicator.

And the basic rule is only do one speed workout per week. And not the day before or after another "hard" run (like your long run).

For all of the workouts below, my warm up and cool down is usually a mile at my easy pace. 

Tempo run: Warm up, run for a few miles at a "comfortably hard" pace, cool down.
From what I've read, "comfortably hard" is around your 10K pace. If you don't know what that is, consult the McMillan pace calculator, or run by heart rate. (This is how I calculate my heart rate.) You want to maintain the same pace throughout your tempo miles. So don't start off too fast. 

Track workout: Warm up, run sprint intervals with recoveries, cool down. Most speed workouts call for sprints of 400m (1 lap around the track), 800m (2 laps) or 1600m (4 laps). Recoveries should be at your easy pace (sometimes I go slower) and can be done by distance (1-2 laps) or time (maybe half to 3/4 of the time you sprinted). I definitely recommend checking out the McMillan pace calculator to figure out sprint paces, and check out Runners' World Smart Coach or a Hal Higdon training plan for suggestions on distance and number of sets. The big thing to remember about track workouts is that all of your sprint intervals should be at the same pace. You don't want to push too hard on your first one and then have each one get slower. You want to hit the same pace each time, for the duration of the sprint.

If this sounds like a lot to remember, one really easy way to do speedwork is with a fartlek (it means "speed play"). It's similar to a track workout, but without as much structure. Warm up, and instead of doing sprints structured by pace and distance, just sprint to a point in front of you - the end of the block, the yellow house, a mailbox, etc. Then jog (recover) for a bit. Then sprint to the next point. Then jog. Repeat. Cool down when you're done. This is also good if you are out on the streets/sidewalks and get slowed down by things like intersections and stoplights.

Or, just go run some hills. I've always heard that hills are "speedwork in disguise."

There are more workouts you can do for speed - pick-ups, progressive runs, hill repeats, etc. I haven't really done much research on those, and that's where I draw the line on pretending like I know what I'm talking about.

If you know more about running than I do and anything above is incorrect, or you have more to add, please correct me in the comments. Or, if you're not correcting me, let me know what kind of workouts you do to get faster. 


ALSO - if you like purses and purse-like things, I'm doing a virtual party with Thirty-One. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Training, April 2-8

I never do training log posts, but Kim revised her weekly training post format to include lessons learned, and I liked it, so ... let's see how long this lasts :)  This is my current "training plan."

Workouts (you can also follow me on DailyMile):

Monday: "Rest" day after the half marathon. Rode my bike! 8.43mi in 55 minutes (9.2mph)

Tuesday: Met Kim after work for 5.15mi in 45 minutes, 8:38 pace ... and great conversation :)

Wednesday: Met Kelly J after work for 6.42mi in 1:02, 9:40 pace ... and more great conversation :)

Thursday: Rest. Actual rest this time. Wanted to be fresh for the following morning's hilly run.

Friday: Group run at Waterfall Glen. 9.34 hilly miles in 1:31, 9:45 pace. Beautiful morning for a run! Was smart and brought chocolate soy milk, pretzels and other snacks to eat post-run.

Saturday: Rest. Unless you count going to the gun range. Those things are heavy, so maybe it was a little strength training?

Sunday: Track workout. 6.02mi in 53 minutes, average pace = 8:44. Goal was 3x1600m at 7:33 pace with 800m recoveries. Actual splits were 7:29, 7:38, 7:41. WU was 9:51, 800m recovery paces were 9:55, 9:50, 9:25 and 1/2 mile CD was 10:33 pace.

Total miles: 27 running, 8 biking.

Me & Kim Waterfall Glen Group Run


Lessons learned:

Bring snacks for hilly long runs that are about an hour from home. It really does help!

Stick to the goal pace during track workouts / speed sessions. Clearly, my sprint paces during this morning's run got slower. That's not the goal. The goal is to keep a consistent pace for each interval. I actually noticed I was going way too fast during my first sprint and forced myself to slow down. Had I not done that, my sprint splits would have been even more inconsistent.

For the past few months, I've been rotating between three pairs of shoes. The oldest are Brooks Adrenalines which are nearing 400 miles, the newer two are Mizuno Wave Nirvanas with 292 (blue) and 167 (yellow) miles on them. The yellow Mizunos are currently saved for races, and I rotate the blue Mizunos and the Brooks for training. I think I might try Brooks again for my next pair. I know I've ramped up the mileage a lot in the past few months, but I've been getting some minor aches and pains, and that never happened before the Mizunos. Right now I'm worried the nail on the big toe on my left foot might fall off - it's been sore/tender since last Sunday's half marathon. Also my ankle never felt painful, but it's finally starting to feel back to normal (and I've been wearing my Brooks a lot more lately). And I got my only blister ever in Mizunos, although that might have been due to double socks during a very cold 5K. All of these aches might not be the shoes, but my Brooks have served me well, so no harm in going back to them.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

First Trip to the Gun Range

Last month, I posted about my goals for March (if you missed it: cooking and reading), and I forgot to post a follow-up. (Forgot or "forgot" is debatable, as basically the post was: "I didn't achieve my goals.") That also means I forgot to post goals for April. I was going to set new goals, but figured I should just carry over my March goals.

If I had made new goals, one of them would have been "try something new at least once each week."

Well this week, I tried two new things! The first was checking out a new running trail, but the second was going to the gun range. And firing a gun for the first time. Four guns, actually.

But speaking of March's goals, I sort of achieved one of them on the way to/from the gun range - I got caught up on Runners' World. Here's a tidbit for you: The Boston Marathon Race Director and I have the same birthday. (August 22. Which I also share with Tori Amos. When I was 13 and discovered that, I was the happiest Fan Girl ever.)

Anyway.

Gun range
On a trip to the bathroom, I glanced in the mirror and realized I looked like a total badass.
Right? 

Gun range
The Sailor said I did a good job shooting a gun for the first time.
"Really good on the rifles." Who knew??

Gun range
The Sailor and his dad. 



Gun range
There were brooms everywhere because you had to sweep up your own spent shells and dump them in a bucket. 



Oh and guess what else, Instagram finally came to Android! Hence my lovely hipster photos.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Redemption Run at Waterfall Glen

Many runners do redemption races. Maybe they did a race, and it didn't go so well ... so they set their sights on doing the race again the following year, and kicking ass at it. I'd like to eventually do that with the Palos Half Marathon, hopefully next year I won't have a wedding the night before.

Last fall, I ran Waterfall Glen for the first time with some other local runners. I had heard Waterfall Glen was tough, but I was surprised at how wiped out I was post-run, especially considering I ran it a little bit slower than my normal pace at that time. (It should be noted that it was also the day after Thanksgiving, so I was recovering from not only massive food and wine, but a 4 mile Turkey Trot race. Also, Waterfall Glen is hillier than my usual running routes.)

Amanda organized another group run for this morning at Waterfall Glen. Even though my office isn't closed on Good Fridays, I decided I could use a day off. I also decided this time I wasn't going to let Waterfall Glen get me down! Literally. I think last time I lounged around for most of the day and took a nap. Maybe I went to a Tribal Belly Dance Workshop that night, so I wasn't totally beat.

Waterfall Glen Group Run
This morning's shiny, happy group ... who are these people?
No seriously. Thanks to social media, I have no idea who some of them are.
But who cares, they are runners, and therefore instant besties, right? 

Anyway, to prepare for today's run, I took a rest day yesterday, and packed port-run snacks to share. Bananas, peanut butter, pretzels, bagels, plus water and chocolate soy milk for me. I'm like a freaking soccer mom. I also planned to just focus on my heart rate and take it easy if I had too. Oh, and I definitely didn't run a 4 mile race or gorge on food and wine.


    
Last fall's run on the left, today on the right


BAM! The distance is around 9.4 miles. If you look at our moving time, we were about three minutes faster, but more importantly, my heart rate was lower. Not sure why the big difference in the elevation gain/loss, we ran the exact same route. I wonder if the GPS bounced off some trees or something. Based on the elevation charts, I think today's looked more accurate.

And post-run? I felt great! I haven't taken a nap but I could sure use some coffee. But I did get up around the same time I normally do and by now I would have had two cups of coffee.

Once I got home from the run, I took a cold water bath. I don't add ice, I just let the water run as cold as possible, get in the tub, close the drain and let it fill up and sit in it for about 15 minutes (or until I'm done with whatever Runners' World article I've started). I usually wear my running top while I'm in there just for extra warmth. Then I wait a bit (at least 15 minutes) before I take a shower. I know some people say ice baths do nothing, but I'll try any "natural" remedy that will help prevent injuries.

And now I have to take my cat to the vet to figure out why she likes to pee on the floor.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Another Post-Work Fun Run

Even though we don't work or live near each other, Kim and I were able to meet up for a run tonight that was actually convenient for both of us. We did five miles on the North Branch Trail, which was new to me. Even though we were in Chicago (or maybe just outside the city limits), we saw deer on our run! It's kind of funny to me to see wildlife so close to urban areas.

Me & Kim
Another shot using my trunk as the tripod. 

It's always fun meeting a fellow blogger in person. Even though this was our second time meeting (although we didn't get to talk much the first time), it felt so familiar, but I guess that's what happens when you read each other's blogs :)

Also it's nice that even though my commute is long and terrible, the fact that is spans almost the entire Chicago suburbs means I can meet-up with new running buddies!

And, the official Chi Town Half Marathon photos are up! Another plus for the race: no watermarks! Ali is in the blue and white tops, her friend Eileen is in the red top. (Hopefully you recognize me.)

   

   

This one's definitely a keeper! I grabbed her had at the end for this shot. 

PS - don't forget to enter my 13.1 Chicago half marathon giveaway. I'll pick a winner on Thursday.