Friday, January 25, 2013

Illinois Marathon Training Week 10

I was still in San Francisco at the beginning of this week so my training week was a little off.  I did my week 9 "long" run of 6 miles on Monday.  Traveling always leaves me a bit exhausted so this week didn't go as well as I had hoped.
  • Tuesday: 20 minutes of yoga at the airport
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: 7 miles (9:40 on the treadmill and increased .1 mph every mile)
  • Friday: 30 min elliptical (a.m.)
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: 15 miles 
  • Total: 22 miles
I skipped my speedwork session this week.  I thought about doing it on Friday morning but my legs were still a little stiff from Thursday evening.   Postponing till after work was another option, but happy hour with my coworkers after work turned into happy 5 hours.  The hangover from the festivities meant no long run on Saturday either which gave me plenty of time to prepare for blogger book club on Saturday afternoon.  Running on Sunday also meant that I didn't get to run in the beautiful 40+ degree weather we enjoyed on Saturday and instead, was stuck with temperatures in the teens.  Brrrrrrr.

Running in those kind of temperatures is something I haven't done since, well, possibly never.  But with layering (3 on top with running tights) and gloves and a headband, I was comfortable when I was running.  

My splits look okay.

Mile 1& 2: ???
Mile 3: 10:16
Mile 4: 10:21
Mile 5: 10:07
Mile 6: 10:53
Mile 7: 10:20
Mile 8: 10:35
Mile 9: 10:00
Mile 10: 10:13
Mile 11: 8:15
Mile 12: 10:10
Mile 13: 10:25
Mile 14: 9:15
Mile 15: 9:38

These really make me question how accurate my phone/this app is at recording my splits.  Mile 11 in 8:15? Unlikely.  Most of the others seem okay, but the splits for mile 14 and 15 seem slightly fishy.  I did really want to be done, so maybe I ran faster? I felt amazingly good for this run.  The 13.5 miler from 2 weeks ago didn't go so swell and I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to make it 15 miles, but I didn't need to worry.  Sure I was tired, but I never felt like I couldn't do it.

Matt was visiting this weekend which honestly made me think about skipping out on my long run. I felt guilty for leaving him for 2.5 hours to go run after I left him for 3 hours on Saturday for book club. I talked about this before on my blog, but I feel guilty when I have to do long workouts when I am spending time with family or friends.  It is definitely self-imposed as Matt didn't complain or try to talk me out of it at all.  In the end, I convinced myself to go because I would regret it when I had to run 16 miles next weekend.  Matt tried to go for a bike ride while I was gone, but the colder weather seems so much worse on a bike.  He suffered through 45 minutes before crying uncle because his face was so cold.

Once I got back to my apartment I was freezing cold.  Shivering, chattering teeth, shaking-all of it.  I burrito myself in a quilt and laid on my bed and I still couldn't warm up.  After laying there for about 20 minutes, I took my temperature because I was still so cold and it was only 95.5 degrees.  Normally, my body temperature runs in the low 97's, but this was a new record for me.  The only way I managed to warm up was to take a long, hot shower.  It felt so good to be warm again.

I did some Google-searching and besides finding out that I have some terrible disease or hypothermia (Please note the sarcasm), all I managed to come up with is that I was dehydrated. (Also I don't recommend Googling your symptoms, it always comes back with the worst possible outcome instead of the most likely cause).  Dehydration makes the most sense because I don't carry water with me on runs and I didn't have a lot to drink Sunday morning or on Saturday.  I'm going to be more aware of my hydration next weekend!

Has anyone every experienced this kind of can't-get-warm feeling after a run?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

San Francisco Weekend Part 2

After a full night of sleep, my mom and I woke up nice and rested on Sunday morning.  We set off on the hilly streets for our morning walk.  After a few rough hills, we came upon the Grace Cathedral.  The cathedral was open to visitors and so we headed inside.  It was beautiful! The cathedral is huge and very open.  We continued on our walk to find some breakfast and found a cute little coffee shop where my mom and I enjoyed yogurt with fresh fruit (the pineapple was divine!) and a Greek breakfast sandwich.  My mom also ordered fresh squeezed orange juice and I got a pick-me-up of a small coffee.

Once our stomach's were full we headed back to the hotel to prepare for our next adventure - Alcatraz! I had purchased tickets online the night before so we just hopped on a trolley car and picked up our tickets.

Alcatraz Island is only a short boat ride from Pier 33 on a solar powered boat.   The views from the boat were awesome.

The city skyline.


The Bay Bridge.


And the Golden Gate Bridge.  


The island includes lots of plant life and many species of birds. 


Once we we deboarded the ship we headed up another steep hill to pick up our headphones for the audio tour.  The audio tour for the prison is set up very cool.  They've included several inmates and former guards' voices and stories in the audio tour.  I learned about escape attempts both semi-successful and unsuccessful.


We happened to be there on a day when a former resident of Alcatraz Island was also there.  Jolene Babyak  lived on "The Rock" as a child when her father was associate warden of the prison.  She's the author to several books about the prisoners of Alcatraz and Eyewitness on Alcatraz which details life on Alcatraz for the guards, families, and prisoners.  I'm hoping to pick up this book soon!







We walked around the whole island and I wish we could have stayed longer, but we were getting hungry.  Once back on the mainland, we headed over to the Pier 39 area for lunch.  First we were side-tracked by some loud barking coming from a hoard of sea lions.  


We found a lunch spot and I had some clam chowder.  I was definitely taking advantage of this seafood thing  while I was near the ocean.  This is slightly ironic considering the clams in my clam chowder were most likely not fresh.  


My mom and I were debating how to spend our last hours in San Francisco and eventually decided on renting bikes and biking to the Golden Gate Bridge.  I knew that San Francisco was hilly, but we both underestimated how strenuous of a bike ride we had signed up for.  Funny that they didn't mention the physical challenge when we were signing up for our rentals.  Good thing my mom and I both exercise regularly so we were able to power up the hills.  I estimate that we probably did about 15 mile ride.  



We biked all the way across the bridge and down into Sausalito.  I wanted to stop and take a picture on the bridge but I was a bit too much of a chicken to stop.  It's not that I don't have faith in the design or construction of the bridge, but bridges like this do tend to sway and vibrate and that feeling creeps me out.  Random sidenote:  I can also feel the movement of the floors at the Schaumburg IKEA since it made mostly from concrete (I think).  The feeling makes me a bit quesy.


By the time we arrived in Sausalito, it was already getting dark and cold so we ended up taking the ferry back to San Francisco.  To celebrate our bike ride we stopped back at a Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop for a decadent sundae.

Since I was meeting my boss in the morning and my mom needed to catch a flight, we caught the train back out towards the airport Sunday evening to our second hotel.  The next morning, my mom and I enjoyed a quick breakfast together before I headed out for my customer visit and she flew back to Chicago.  My mom caught another round of bad luck and her flight ended up being delayed over an hour! Her drive home ended up being a bit later than she wanted but she made it safe and sound!

I was able to sneak in one run along the bay before I left San Francisco.  The weather wasn't too bad and I caught to enjoy some gorgeous views as the sun was setting.  I wish I could have this scenery on all my runs.  


On Tuesday, I squeezed in a short yoga session at the airport! San Francisco Airport has a small yoga room and I enjoyed getting away from the crowds for a few downward dogs!  Then it was back to a very chilly Chicago.  Even though I complained about the cold weather in San Fran, I would gladly exchange the single-digit days we've been having in the Midwest for those 40 degree days!


I wish that my mom and I would have been able to spend a few more days exploring San Francisco as we definitely missed out on a few things we wanted to see.  But, overall, we both had a great trip.  I really enjoyed traveling with my mom and I am so grateful she is willing to explore new places with me.  This was our first trip together without the rest of my family and I hope we will be able to do this again in the future.  (And Dad, if you are reading, we can take a trip to go golfing somewhere!)


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

San Francisco Weekend

About a month ago, my boss approached me and asked if I would like to visit one of our customers in Fremont, California, to meet with the current team we are working with and other engineers within the company to bring in more projects.  Not wanting to let a great opportunity slip by, I immediately said yes.  I was given the option to fly out on Saturday to spend the weekend in San Francisco before our meetings on Monday and, as luck would have it, my mom was able to find a cheap flight to San Francisco as well.  

Normally I like to plan out every detail of a trip, but that didn't happen for this one.  Thankfully I got a suggestion on where to stay from Erin and was able to find a good hotel in the area.  Since my mom and I were only going to be in San Francisco for about a day and a half, I figured it would be okay to mostly wing it when we got there.  I looked up a few must-see suggestions and made a mental list of things I really wanted to see.

My mom's initial lucky streak came to an abrupt end on Friday night.  At 8:45 pm, I received a frantic call from her saying the her scheduled flight from Dubuque Airport (20 minutes from my parent's house) to O'hare had been cancelled and she was rescheduled to arrive in San Francisco on Sunday night.  That schedule was not going to work out considering she was flying back on Monday morning.  At first, I thought she was pulling my leg because she tries to pull crap like this on me all the time, but one look at her flight itinerary proved she wasn't kidding.  She was on the phone with American Airlines trying to figure out an alternative that got her to San Francisco on Saturday.  After about 45 minutes, she got placed back into her flight from O'hare to San Francisco on Saturday morning with me and got in the car and started the 3.5 hour drive from Cascade to Arlington Heights.  At 10 pm.  Which meant she didn't get to my apartment until 1 am.  That's a late night when you need to get up the next  same morning at 6 am.

Dubuque is a very small airport so I can't say I am that surprised that her connecting flight was cancelled, but it is aggravating that it wasn't cancelled until 24 hours prior to the flight (my mom checked her flight on Thursday evening).  She was also in such a panic that she didn't even think to ask the airline agent if she could get another flight out of a nearby airport, and both the 2 other closest airports (Moline-Quad Cities and Cedar Rapids) had flights to O'hare on Saturday morning.

Thankfully we were both able to make it safe and sound to O'hare on Saturday morning for our flight.  Flight cancellations be darned!

Once we landed in San Francisco, we hopped on the BART train to the Union Square area.  Our hotel was only a block from the station which was super convenient! We were able to check in early and immediately set out to find an early dinner since we hadn't eaten a proper meal since breakfast.

We ate dinner at the Daily Grill which we both enjoyed.  I had a great salmon dish and my mom ordered fries and chips.  After dinner, we explored Union Square a bit and ended up in the Levi's store where I bought a new pair of jeans and a shirt.  Probably not a great idea considering my carry-on bag was already packed fairly full, but I couldn't turn down a $20 pair of jeans that fit great.

The cable car line to Fisherman's Wharf started  right in front of our hotel so we hopped on. Since it was a full car, I rode standing off the back.  I also got to watch the operator crank down on the cable to slow our cable car down on the hills.


He also pointed out the sites including Coit Tower and Lombard Street


I also caught my first glimpse of the Bay Bridge and the Cable Car Museum.


It was already dark by the time we arrived at the Fisherman's Wharf area, but my mom and I walked around to see what we could find.  We also stopped at Walgreen's so I could purchase a pair of gloves since mine were left behind in Chicago.  

Although many people tried to warn me that San Francisco wasn't going to be warm I underestimated them.  The forecast for San Francisco originally said the temps were going to be in the 50's over the weekend, but it ended up only getting to the 40's.  It was over 50 degrees in Chicago when we left on Saturday so it was quite the shock when we arrived in California.  I expected much warmer weather and had only taken a jacket with me instead of a heavier coat.  During the day it wasn't too unbearable, but at night I had to keep moving to stay warm. 

We went into some touristy shops and then headed over to Ghirardelli Square.  This area was previously a chocolate factory and now has several small boutique shops and several Ghirardelli stores and ice cream shops.     


They were giving out free samples of the caramel-filled squares and we definitely took advantage of that.  



My mom and I were exhausted from a long day of travel and not much sleep so we hopped on a cable car heading back towards our hotel.  I tried to catch the end of the Packers v. 49'ers game, but our hotel didn't carry that channel.  Unfortunately the game didn't go well for my team anyways.  We planned out our agenda for Sunday and called it a night at about 9 pm.  Considering that was 11 pm Central time, I say that is perfectly okay.  And we needed to rest up for another busy day on Sunday!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Illinois Marathon Training Weeks 8 & 9

Since the last time I blogged, I've went on a trip to San Francisco and returned. It was great, even if it was a very quick trip.  I can't wait to tell you more about it and all the adventures I had there. And even the adventure of getting my mom to San Fran.

Now I'm back in the frigid Midwest and stuck with getting in miles in on the treadmill.  I shouldn't say stuck because I could run outside, but it's cold and I don't appreciate logging miles in the dark.  Good news is that I watch a lot more news these days.

Week 8

  • Monday: Rest (battling a cold)
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: 7 miles (treadmill 9:40 pace)
  • Thursday: Zumba
  • Friday: 5 miles (treadmill 9:32 pace)
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: 13.5 miles
  • Total: 25.5 miles
I decided to take it a lot easier this week with cross training because I've been battling the same cold/cough since Christmas.  Not wanting to cut back on any runs, meant something else had to go and cross-training it was.  Monday and Tuesday were both spent lounging on the couch and watching tv and going to bed early.  I think I finally kicked this cold to the curb.  Yippee!!!

Week 9
  • Monday: 15 min elliptical, 1.25 hr yoga class
  • Tuesday: 5 mile (treadmill, which felt impossible!)
  • Wednesday: 45 minutes spin class
  • Thursday: 4.5 miles with 3 @ 9:09 pace, Zumba
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Walking around San Fran
  • Sunday: 1 hr walk with Mom, Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge (3 hours)
  • Monday: 1 mile incline walk, 10 minutes of strength circuits (morning), 6 miles along the Bay (evening)
  • Total: 15.5 miles run



This week was a recovery week, but instead of totally recovering I used it to get in a bunch of cross training-yoga, spinning, Zumba, and real biking.  Looking back I realize it was a pretty intense week for me.  My mom and I walked a ton while we toured San Fran, but I believe that is definitely the best way to explore.  

The biking excursion on Sunday was my first time being back on a hybrid/mountain bike since before I purchased my road bike.  I actually laughed at how difficult it was to ride and balance sitting so straight up.  The first time I started to pedal, I picked my foot up on the upstroke because I forgot my feet didn't clip in.  Although we realized San Francisco is very hilly, my mom and I didn't realize how strenuous it would be to bike across the bridge.  It was quite the incline to get up there.  Funny they didn't mention that you need to be physically fit when they rented us the bikes! We both survived though! And we both indulged on an ice cream sundae at Ghiradelli later!

Running along the bay on Monday evening was spectacular.  The path ran right along the water and I ran through some hilly trails in a park before finishing the run along the flat portion at sunset.  I wish I could have views like that on all my runs! But I guess it just makes me more fortunate when I do have runs like that.
  


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Illinois Marathon Training Recap Weeks 6 & 7

I missed last weeks recap so I am just combining them for this week.

Week 6 - Dec. 17-23
  • Monday: ran those 10 miles from week 5 on the treadmill
  • Tuesday: yoga
  • Wednesday:  Off
  • Thursday: 4.5 miles with 2x1600 @ 8:41, Zumba
  • Friday: Off
  • Saturday: 8 miles run, 2 mile walk
  • Sunday: 2 mile walk
  • Total: 12.5 miles running, 4 miles walking
Week 6 was a cutback week and I still missed a 4 mile run.  I thought about squeezing it in on Sunday, but instead opted for another walk with my mom.  My mom walks almost everyday and when I am back in Iowa, I try to make time to join her.  

Saturday's 8 miler was chilly.  Cascade got about 8 inches of snow Thursday and the sidewalks and roads were still icy in places.  I walked over any icy places and my pace wasn't very steady or fast.  But I got it done.  When I was heading back home my parent's were just heading out for their walk so I joined them.  I produce a lot more heat running than I do walking and so I was a little bit cold on the walk.  I wish I had stopped at home to grab a jacket, but at the time I was still all warm from running!

Week 7 - Dec. 24-30
  • Monday: 2 mile walk, No More Trouble Zones DVD
  • Tuesday: Off
  • Wednesday: 2 mile walk
  • Thursday: 6 miles
  • Friday: 5 miles with 3 @ 9:14
  • Saturday: Off
  • Sunday: 11 miles
  • Total: 22 miles running, 4 miles walking
Week 7 was very busy at the beginning of the week with Christmas gatherings.  Since Matt and I are from the same town and most of our family is in the area, we get invited to many Christmas gatherings.  We spend Sunday, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day shuffling from place to place.  I love seeing everyone, but it is quite exhausting.  On Christmas Day, we went to 6 different places.  I am a little bit bummed because I feel like I hardly got to talk to anyone for more than 5 minutes!  All this shuffling from place to place caught up with me because I woke up with a scratchy throat on Christmas morning and on Wednesday morning I had a full blown cold.  

I got in several more walks with my family and managed to squeeze in all my training runs in the second half of the week.  Unfortunately, I had a terrible, horrible, awful run on Sunday. I didn't prepare the best on Saturday.  I wasn't very hungry all day which is a side effect of my cold.  The run started out okay, but I could tell by about mile 5 that this run was going to go downhill quickly.  I definitely did not drink enough water before I left because I was very thirsty.  My energy was lagging and I still felt pretty congested from my cold.  I ended up taking quite a few walking breaks.  I took half a Gu around mile 8 to give me a little bit more energy, but it just make me even thirstier. 

The only exciting thing that happened was that I saw a coyote!  I was running in a forest preserve and at first I thought it was a dog.  It came up to cross the path about 50 feet in front of me, looked back at me for a second, and then continued trotting on its way back into the grasses.  It scared me at first and I stopped and waited till I knew it was further away from me before starting to run again.  I would say the coyote was the size of a medium-sized dog.  This seemed quite big for a coyote in my opinion, but Matt (the wildlife expert in our relationship) informed me that coyotes weigh up to 50 pounds.  My other guess was that it was a wolf, but that didn't seem right to me.  And wolves seem much more intimidating to me than coyotes.  Matt also says coyotes are mostly afraid of humans and it wouldn't attack me.  I'm just glad I wasn't any closer or I might be telling this story with only one leg.  



Any wildlife encounters for you lately?  I think I am about maxed out with the deer v. my car and now the coyote.

Friday, January 4, 2013

2012 Racing Statistics

Why, hello. Part of my brain is still on vacation and the part that is remaining is focusing on work and surviving a lingering cold. No brain power has remained for blogging until today.

I saw this 2012 racing summary on Kim's blog and Lindsay played along as well. I thought it would be fun to see how I did this year.

Races participated in: 8
Races “raced” (of x amount above): 5
DNFs: 0
DNSs: 1 (the Capitol View Triathlon signed up before realizing it was the Sunday after Ragnar)

Distances:
5K: 2
10k: 1
HM: 1
Sprint Triathlon: 1
Olympic Triathlon: 1
Half Ironman: 1

New to me distances: 5k, 10k, Half Ironman (it’s strange, but I’ve never run an organized 5k or 10k before this year outside of triathlons!)

States run in: 3 (Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois)



Road: 5
Technical Trail: 2
Months run in: 8 (April - October and December)
Hottest race: Toss up between Ragnar relay and Racine 70.3 (both we at least 90 degrees)
Coldest race: Schiller Chiller
Windiest race: Racine 70.3 - biking was always seemed to be into a headwind
Wettest race: Racine 70.3 because I was in the water the longest



Races I ran for free:  2 (my mom paid for Outrun the Rays and my boss paid for Ragnar)
Race entries I paid for other people:  2 (Camp Courageous Tri for Matt and Jared)
Total spent on race entries (me + others): 704.41 (ouch!)
Average cost (total/races participated in):  88.05
Cheapest race: Outrun the rays 5k $25
Most expensive race:  Racine $241.45 (ouch!)

Participation medals received: 3
Race glasses recieved: 2 tall glasses, 1 mug, and 1 shot glass




PRs:   6  (4 of them were new distances for me)
Placed in AG: 2 (Sprint and Olympic)




Races run alone: 1
Races run with others: 7
Who:
Illinois Half: Laura
Outrun the Rays 5k: my mom and my cousin Kristin
Ragnar: my coworkers
Racine 70.3: Laura
Camp Courageous Tri: Matt and my brother, Jared

Thriller in Schiller 5k: Lindsay, Katie, Kelsey and Emily
Schiller Chiller 10k: Lindsay, Erin, and Kim




Acted as pacer: 0
Races run without music: 6
Races run without Garmin: 8 (because I don’t have one)
Races run in costume: 1





Best Injury Photo:



Favorites:
Medal:



Bib:


Picture: 
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