Friday, October 29, 2010

Tuesday:  5 miles treadmill plus an hour of weights.
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: am run: 5 miles  pm hot yoga: 90 min
Friday: SRD.  I was going to run 3 miles before work, but I overslept.  One of the wonderful side effects of hot yoga...the amazing deeeeeeep sleep...Didnt even hear my alarm go off!

Tomorrow is the first 'long' run since Chicago marathon.  15 miles...I hope these legs can still run that far...its only been 20 days...surely I can do THAT right???

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Not great pictures to 'borrow' but its the best I could do with what I had :O)


Monday, October 25, 2010

Koala/Lukes Locker Half Marathon/Relay

This race, back in 2006 was my first ever half marathon.  At the time, not knowing any better, I didnt realize what (the old route) could do to a person.  Between that first 1/2 marathon and a few other races that used the same (old) course, I quickly grew to feel the same way as others about this section of our roadways so popular for races...We hate/loathe it to our very core. 

So in 2007, 2008 and 2009 I avoided this points race.  Running it several times a year for either the marathon or other races was enough for me.  AND to run 3 loops of it for the half?  Um.  No.

This year we FINALLY get our wish!  A newly certified course!  Which still involves this road way, but instead of 3 loops its a one loop course!  And for relay'ers the handout/exchange is in the same place!  At the finish?  Whaaat?  Say it isnt so!  Fanfreakintastic I tell ya!

So knowing that this half was exactly 2 weeks after Chicago, I shouldnt do the 13.1.  But I wanted the points (to go towards bypassing the 2012 marathon lottery), and the medal.  I can honestly say this is the FIRST time I have ever done a race simply for that.  I am not a blingwhore at all, but I like to do races to better my times from race to race if and when possible.  Therefore I recruited someone to run the relay with me.  6.55 miles each.  A new 'distance' for me, so on top of the points and the medal?  I get an automatic PR!  Score!

Really big medal with a neato cutout, AND the finisher singlet is cool; one that I will actually wear!
 And of course...the weather was HOT.  As in 74deg 90% humidity hot.  At 6am.  On October 24th.  For a brief moment I felt bad for those doing the 13.1, but hey I did my time 2 weeks ago in Chicago.  At twice the distance.   This is a race that I would NEVER sign up for in advance.  I did this time simply because I knew I was doing only the relay.  How bad could it be at 6.55miles no matter the temp?  ummmmmmmmmmm...

It can be bad enough thats for sure.  While having to do only one loop with the AP 'hills' it sucks for the relayers because they come at you with a 1-2 punch, then a very small break and you have to then go up a very long slow incline only to be 1-2 punched again...thankfully I was running the 1st leg so I didnt have to deal with the sun beating down on me like the 13.1'ers and the 2nd leg relay runners.   Don't think I didnt plan my being 1st runner.. I did ... I am not as dumb as some think I might be ;o)

I still alright considering the marathon just a couple of weeks back, the heat, the course, and a 'situation' that popped up on the 2mile run over to the Start that I wasnt prepared for...which meant I had 2 dashes into porta pottys during the 6.55m route (Garmin showed my leg as 6.7 and I ran the tangents to what I would call just about perfect)  (Good read:  In GPS We Trust).  With it being a new course, there might have been some distance off..who knows (again read In GPS We Trust)? I know a lot of folks said it was 'off' as a whole.  A lot because of the fact that after crossing the first timing mat, the 2nd half of the 13.1 course seemed long which would explain some of the much higher times on the 2nd half...for just about every single person, its hard to believe it was due to everyone slowing that much down due to heat/sun...I dont know...

Mile 1:  9:03  (oops)
Mile 2:  9:37  (not slow enough JB)
Mile 3:  10:06    (more like what I wanted to do the first 3 miles)
Mile 4: 10:16
Mile 5: 10:56 (walked for water, stopped for porta potty, and the back side of the 'hills')
Mile 6: 10:53 (just trying to survive, and the ankle/achilles started really hurting with every step on the right foot)
.7      :  10:23 pace

Average pace:  10:12

I really wanted to run around 10's to 10:15 the first few miles so that I could have something left for the 'hills', get my negative split and come in around 1:05 instead of 1:08...  Obviously that didnt work out, but glad I got what I did.  Mildly disappointed.  One of the things that also did me in was that I got the start time wrong and had to bust a move to get to the start, throwing my bag under BCRR tent without grabbing my gel.  I didnt eat before leaving the house because I was going to take the gel right before the gun went my tank was as empty as it could be.

I had parked 2 miles away so that I would be forced to do the 2 miles back giving me my 10 miles for the day.  While this worked fine on the way there, it was tougher on the way back due mostly to the fact that there was SO MUCH AWESOME FREE SWAG from the vendors that my backsack was heavy (Muscle Milk and Honey Milk being what added most of the weight).  But 10 miles for the day was done so I was happy about that.

All in all glad I did it for the reasons stated above, plus its always full of friends doing the race, the post race is one of the best around these parts.  Next year will definitely be a week of decision to do it again in 2011.  No more signing up early for these types of races that dont sell out.  No reason to do so for fear of being left out.  There wont be a Fall marathon next year so to do the entire 13.1 on the new course is something I would definitely be interested in doing.

Should Mother Nature cooperate more in our favor.  Rested and rehydrated for about 5 hours and headed off to 90 min of hot yoga at the studio.  Felt awesome!

Today I am taking an unscheduled rest day.  This morning when I woke up the ankle and achilles was very sore and ouchy.  Gotta be smart.  Back to high mileage run this coming weekend.  At least the weather forecast is for 50deg or so...muuuuuuuuuuch better...

No more racing until the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day.

Neeraj and I at the Finish where I was taking photos of friends.  He's a fast one that Neeraj!
Friday was a SRD.

Saturday: 6 miles

Sunday: 10 miles including the Houston Half Marthon (relay).  Race report to follow.  Then I rested for about 5 hours and then went to 90 min of hot HOT yoga.

Today marks 15 days since the Chicago Marathon.  Play time is over.  Time to get ready for Dallas in December and Houston in January.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Not something I am especially good at...

I have found myself in somewhat of a rut I suppose...always running, or maybe once, if I'm lucky 2 times a week going to the gym...always looking for something that would make me feel like running makes me feel...doing my ab work...not consistent though...tried a boot camp thing for a few weeks, couple of nights a fizzled...

Several months ago I tried yoga a few times..just your basic beginner class and it just never 'took'.  I found myself distracted in class, or just uncomfortable for a reason I can't really verbalize....but there is a picture that kinda summed it up... :O)

This is what the first yoga classes made me think/feel like...I was the one on the right :O)

Then at Kenyan Way...a woman that I met (same pace group)...well first off she was just awesome...then there was her body (she didnt get that from running!!)...and slightly younger than I...She started talking to me about Bikram...she is a hard core yogi; seriously hard core.  She would talk to me about trying Bikram/hot yoga AFTER I was done with Chicago...she was adamant that I wait.  So I did.  Once back from Chicago, going through my detox and de-bloating and ran a few times, I followed up on some reasearch of different places I had been doing and finally settled on the place and the start date.

I was extremely nervous, but was assured that I would be a-ok and the place I chose (by others that go there) was beginner friendly.  I did everything I was told to do leading up to the class, and felt like I was as ready as I would ever be.

Let me tell you what I wasnt ready for...when I walked into that room I literally lost my breath.  Talk about H.O.T.  They sure weren't kidding.  Holy schnikes!  I wont go through all the BS, but to Cliff note it, I only got nauseous a time or two and just child posed it out until it passed.  After 90 min of sweat pouring out of every pore and every hair on my head laquered to my head, I had finished!  There were a couple of poses that I couldnt do all the way, which well...of course!  However the few yoga classes I had taken certainly helped, but for those that wonder, you dont have to have ever done yoga to do Bikram/Hot Yoga.  There were 2 girls and 1 guy in class yesterday that had never done yoga once in their life.  And if you cant do some things or you feel ill or dizzy...the goal at first is just to STAY.IN.THE.ROOM.   Its 90 wonderful minutes of heart pounding, sweat infused exercise that will make you feel just freakin' awesome!  I swear!

Having done a few classes now I am officially HOOKED!  I just loooooooooooooove this!  Yesterday I was actually able to do 2 of the poses that I couldnt do previously...I was so excited!  I dont know that I couldnt do them before or if I was just nervous of them, but either way, I did them!  And who knew I could plank for that long?  and on one hand????!!!!  whaaaat?!?!?!?

One of the things that is true and that my friend had told certainly will and can prepare you for running in the heat/humidity.  When I ran on Wednesday evening it was hot...but I was like eh...this ain't nothin'!  :O)

And the best part of it?  I get to wear hardly any clothes!  Everyone knows how I love minimal clothes :O)
Now if I could just find a place here that does this...

So think outside the box every once in a while! Do something that you're not so comfortable with!  You just never know what new passion might be waiting for you!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ho! Ho! Ho! Who You Callin' a Ho? :O)

Oh don't kid yourself that its only Thanksgiving to New Years...

It actually starts in soon as the first chill hits the air, people first want make soup or chili, or hot chocolate, or pumpkin spice whatchamacallits high calorie coffees....and then there is all that Halloween's a trick with that...don't buy the candy until the day before the actual day!!!  Or you're gonna eat it..maybe not all of it, but certainly more than what you would have if you didnt buy it so damn early!

As far as what goes on the rest of the year...well you know its an average of 7-12 lbs that are gained between Thanksgiving and the New Year holiday (and then lets not forget about Superbowl (end of Jan and then Valentines (mid Feb)...its neverending I tell you!  5months of just gluttony if you allow it!  And then even with the same. old. new. years. resolution. to lose weight, only about 5 of that actually gets lost...

So net pounds gained overall may differ, but net pounds gained nonetheless.

Now I have mastered this personally, and its a personal thing for me to do this, but if its that important to you to either maintain and yes, even lose during the holidays it can be done.  And no I don't starve myself or go without...I do practice a lot of portion control and go mainly with BethanyF on this one:  Taste everything, eat nothing.

Don't make the mistake (much like people say when they are marathon training); oh I can indulge, I'll lose it know...after the new year...or after that will all even out.

It don't even out peeps.  Sometimes...maybe...

I am not gonna lie, its not easy.  It takes willpower and it takes work.

And if you arent a work out kinda person to begin with...and you want to indulge, then at least get out and walk 30 min a day.  Or take a yoga class once a week.  Something!

So give it to me if you dare!  What are some of your secrets for staying slim through the long winter holiday months???  Or do you just say eff it!?  Or do you indulge at one and not the other?  Come on!  Spill it!
Monday:  55 min run on the treadmill
               1 hour 20 min of weights/abs

Tuesday:  90 min Hot Yoga class (15 min of which were core/abs)

Wednesday:  4 mile run

I am so over this hot ass weather I need another word for over...Seriously its FREAKIN' October 21st for God's sake! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More Sex? More Cheese? More Sleep? Um...Yes Please!!! be happy!  to be healthy!  to be ... yes... to possibly be thin, thinner, or whatever!!  But to feel your best!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Remember When We All Felt Like This?

I challenge you to do this or something similar every single morning!!!  Find something or some THINGS that you love and can do better than anyone else ;o) .. even if you can't do it better, if you believe it and you say it ... pure power I tell you...I've done it before ...I just need to do it more every day more often...

and the deleted scene is even better!

Recently, on numerous occasions, a conversation which came out of nowhere really, kind of got me in a tizzy.  And the only thing in common with all of them, well was the one thing...oversharing...

Who do I really want to know stuff about me?  You think some people are harmless, but guess what?  Apparently they aren't.  I know there are people that read this blog for example that I wish they didn't.  People I don't like.

At. All. 

I might be one of those people and pretend to with some of them, and some know already that I don't so I could care less.  Yes, I could put on the privacy again like I did with the last blog, but I don't want to 'have' to do that.  At least with Facebook, I can pick and choose who sees what.

However...still...with the Facebook thing...and this is where it gets least one person I know of isn't really my friend...not that I ever really THOUGHT that at its core...and while I might have suspected that what they might see that lets say...someone else can't?... Yeah their a fucking blabber mouth...and blabber mouth is such an idiotic word to use, because honestly there isnt anything TO blabber...its just nonsense talky talk that is unnecessary.   But then there are those...more than just a few, that I think only friended me for some other stupid sick reason...all of which I want to unfriend...I really do.  For now I just hide them, ignore their incessant comments on my wall or to my updates...get a life...quit trying to be something/someone you arent.  You freaks.

So I just quit 'oversharing' or do I block/unfriend those that I suspect do this, and/or just because they are friends with other people that I don't like?  I don't know...

I have unfriended some people from Facebook, and yet I see them hitting (reading) my blog and it infuriates me.  I don't know why, but it does. 

Right now I am just won't be posting any status updates on Facebook, speaking only when spoken to on there basically, with some mild commenting to those people I actually DO like.  I hide a lot of people already because of the constant barrage of political/religion crap that I get tired of seeing from them...

As far as blogger goes...undersharing can be a snore-fest, but for now...maybe its the best answer.  I am just sick to death honestly of way too many people knowing my business...and yes I know that's my fault, but less is more for now methinks. 

You faithful readers who I do love and adore?  You'll get the running stuff, weight stuff, workout stuff, but never in advance, and maybe a bit late now and then...and at least for now, with minimal effort (words) from me. 

My Twitter're solid.  :O)

Monday, October 18, 2010

This guy ran Chicago 2010 with an HD camera strapped to his head which took time lapse photos every 2 seconds of his journey.  I thought it was pretty darn cool and my ability to recall pretty much all of the 'sights' along the way (even at the pace this is played back), not to mention the fact that I was spot on about the 2nd half being pretty much like laying out in the sun with the way we just ran and ran and ran with it beating down on us...very cool indeed.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A quick 3 miler this morning bright and early before hitting up for tailgating at Reliant and then inside for the game.  First day after Chicago where the legs didnt feel like lead!

What a nailbiter (the game)...Worn out.

Going for 6 miles tomorrow with some heavy weights.  Gotta get ready for the half marathon relay in a week!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Didn't run with Kenyan Way this morning.  Getting up at the butt crack of dawn to run 5-6 miles just didn't seem sensible :O)

So about 7:25 I took off from mi casa and did a 3 mile loop which took me by Lukes so I could get a drink of water, then I ran a 2.5 mile loop before calling it a day.  5.5 for the day less than a week after Chicago.  I'll take it.

Everything feels ok, but I just feel incredibly slow.  Legs still feel like they have a bit of lead in them which I know will be gone with a couple more runs.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rid your body of the marathon evils!
Post marathon tip #1: Quit eating so much!

One of the things I like to do after a marathon is to get rid of a lot of gunk in my body.
Now obviously this doesn't apply to everyone, and its certainly not something I know of that is what you would call standard post-marathon, but it helps me!
Now even though I eat pretty darn clean (and only recently added some lean meat back into my diet (reason in a later post)), I still feel pretty darn miserable afterwards and I will just use Chicago Marathon as an example.

The week that we left, I purchased very healthy foods and was great.  I dont eat a lot of carbs (from pasta, rice, potatoes, etc to begin with) but once we got to Chicago (friday; my carb load day), we went to Italian Village (the upper restaurant) and proceeded to have the most amazing food.  I just went with pesto tortellini (I do NOT eat meat in the days leading up to a marathon); had amazing bread.  Ate half of the portion and then ate the other half later in the room for dinner.  It was a lot of pasta...Saturday, I dont remember having breakfast...and then we went to Ginos East for lunch.  Deep dish pizza (1 slice) and yet again, the most amazing bread I have ever had.

Saturday late afternoon (6:00) we had dinner plans now that everyone had arrived.  Another pasta place.  I ate a cup of chicken broth and a side salad. 

OK, so on marathon day, I had my 2 Pop Tarts pre-race and then because of the heat, I drank A LOT of fluids out on that course.  Looking back on it now, I know I drank too much.  Plus 4 gels.
I didnt eat until almost 4pm that afternoon and I felt already like a water balloon.  And anything I drank due to the dehydration and loss of salt, well my body just wanted to hold on to it...
By the time I got up on Monday morning, I was miserable.  And not because of the 26.2 miles
My body was rebelling with all the foreign food I was eating..I had eaten just a little bit of what I had ordered at 4pm the previous day so I was really hungry.
I ended up with a very healthy breakfast, and no lunch, but I ate icky late afternoon.  thankfully all the walking on Monday helped though to some degree.

Detox started right after that.

I have been drinking as much water as I can, still having 1 diet soda though a day.
Only fruits and vegetables and only those that are mostly water or are known to help rid you of bloat and extra water weight.
One (sometimes 2) serving of 'carbs' a day: either 1/2 english muffin, some overnight oats, or a 1/2 piece of flatbread
protein sources (organic/farm raised chicken or beef or fish, eggs, protein smoothies)

And really no eating past 7pm (I did have a bit of a snack later in the evening last night)

I feel fantastic!  The marathon bloat is finally gone and I feel leaner that before I left for the Windy City!

I honestly think a LOT of post-marathon blues are brought on by not only the no running or hardly running but coupled with the fact that people continue to eat like they cant shove enough (and fast enough) into their darn piehole! 
Besides eating right, healthy and not too much will aid in your speedy recovery to get you back on the roads!

Here is a great read for post marathon blues that I just think is great reading!

No Rest for the Weary!

Finally got back on the horse yesterday.

35 min easy run (treadmill)
1 hour of heavy weights w/ abs

Legs felt good.  I was a bit apprehensive at first, I usually am the first day back running after a marathon.  But it felt good and man it was awesome to run run today, but going to do 5 or so tomorrow morning.  Coach said to run easy (3-6 miles per day) for these 2 weeks, with my next real long run not until October 30th (12-15 miles).  I will be racing the half marathon relay next weekend.  Then we'll start ramping up again in preparation for Houston.  Basically doing a 20 miler in November sometime, another one in December and then 22 three weeks before Houston Marathon.  Everything in between will just be anywhere from 12-18 milers.  I figure I could just do 12-15 three weekends of the month(s), with that 20 miler and that would be sufficient.

It sure is nice to already be trained and knowing that I dont have to anticipate the brutality of the ramp up. 

I've been there done that already :O)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

When Man Plans, God Laughs

I heard that on Monday the day after the marathon. 

I love it.  And I am certain it is indeed true.

There is absolutely nothing anyone can do about what Mother Nature is going to hand you at any given time, but there are 'expecteds' but even then ... I knew before I even left for Chicago that it wasn't going to be what I had trained for, and I came to grips with that, but also holding out hope that the cold front due on Mon/Tues would speed up.

It didnt.

I am not going to go into great lengthy detail about the fun times that were had on Friday and Saturday, and what we did, or how wonderful of a day I had the day AFTER the marathon just doing my own thing all over the city (pictures on Facebook and at some point I will post a few here)...but we did have a grand time on Friday, and on Saturday, doing a thing or two (shopping and lunch) and then dinner with everyone else at 5:30pm for their carb loading.  I dont carb load the night before, but instead will eat more on the day before that and then a bit of a heavier lunch the next day.  Thats it.  For example, for dinner the night before, I had a cup of chicken broth and a small salad.  I had a slice of deep dish pizza at lunch (Gino's East which is FANTASTIC by the way!!!!!)

I am also going to try and keep the post as short as possible (I might even bullet point it!), because the saying is:  You can't run your next one until you forget your last one.  So thats what I am trying to do...because I have big goal for the White Rock (half) and then I want Houston to be my redemption...God willing (and Mother Nature too).  And I need to put what just happened behind me.

Here is a link to an excellent slideshow of photographs taken during the race...they don't however tell the whole get that you would have had to be right there in the heat heart of it...

So here we go:
  • Wake up at 5am
  • Walk out the hotel door at 6:15am
  • Walk 2 blocks to the start of the open corral.  Score.  No one there yet!  Are you kidding me?  Super duper yay yay!
  • Sit, wait and listen to the little director person then tell us at 7:15 the gate separating us from the D corral will drop and we move up.
  • Time to go.
  • Time to REALLY go.
  • 2 miles in I swerve off to a little parking lot to the left of the course, pop a squat in front of the only car there and pee'd.  Yep.  Sure did.  About 20 feet off the course with 45000 runners running by me.  When you gotta go you gotta go.  I never had to go again after that.  I dont think I had to go for almost 12 hours afterwards either.  You just sweat out everything you were putting in, along with a thick layer of salt.
  • 5K, 10K, they all just pass.  Its not too bad, the temp, but it was getting warmer and I knew what was coming.  I would say, if I remember, the first half is pretty much all shaded, some because of the time and some because of the buildings.
  • 13.1 came in at 2:15.  Not bad, though I knew this would be pushing my B goal of 4:29, so I just kinda stayed with that goal in my head for as long as I could.  I was still in front of the 4:30 pace group, and was still seeing 4:00 plastered on some peoples backs.  I had obviously adjusted my goals and pace because of the weather. 
  • I dont recall any splits in my head until mile 20.  That was the one I had to be focused on no matter what goal I was going for, it just differed.  If I could be at mile 20 at 3:25 I had a shot still at Goal C.
  • At mile 20 I was at 3:34. 
  • Damn.
  • Miles 18 to 20 were rough.  The wheels were wobbling.  The alert level was at High Risk.
  • Miles 22 the wheels just came off.  All at once.  I saw the alert level at 2 different stops at Maximum and it just did me in mentally.  Along with all the 'dead bodies' dropping around me and the 'walking wounded'.  It was all I could do to run as far as I could before I would take 30sec to a 1 min walk. 
  • Tried the iPod at this point.  Pointless.  All it did was annoy me and it lasted for about 3 songs.
  • Miles 22-25 I was passing people with 3:55, 4:00, 4:15 and 4:30 swatches on their back.  Well I was doing better than they were.  There was that.
  • It was during mile 22 where I wanted to quit.  But then I thought of a few people, first my Coach, and what they would say or think, so I didnt.  Besides I had trained so hard, ran this far already, and had already paid $60 for a finishers shirt.  No way was I quitting.  I wanted to be able to wear that shirt and not sell it on ebay and to have that medal.  I earned it.
  • Somewhere in here the 4:30 pace group passed me.  What took them so long?  :O)
  • I got a few bursts of energy here and there and took advantage of it.
  • Last mile and I was so happy knowing it would soon be over.
  • 800m sign oh how I love you
  • The hill before the finish how I dont love you (but you werent that bad considering)...I pushed myself at the fastest gear I had and was passing so many people on that hill/ramp I felt great knowing full well once I got to the top I was going to turn left and it would be there waiting for me.
  • 100m from the big Finish sign
  • I mustered up my best form and stride and smile that I could at that point and brought it on home just like a big girl
  • And then I just cried just like a little girl
The positives:
  • No issues (GI or otherwise) like I had at Houston in January
  • I am well trained and I proved that to myself in this race, the conditions just didnt allow me to get it done like I had planned
  • Thats the fastest 1/2 and 20 mile splits I've ever clocked in a full marathon which is awesome since I was being conservative to begin with; and the 1/2 split was seriously no effort outside of my comfort zone thats for sure
  • I was way off of a personal worst whereas most of those I knew there had to settle for one, and we're talking WAY over their PW.  Personally there was a cut off for me, and thankfully I didnt go over that, because as I told one person, I think I would have slit my wrist had I gone over that time.  Not going to say because I dont want to offend anyone
  • It was faster than my NYC in 2008; I dont think I can count this because duh...that should have been a no brainer, but I'm reachin' here folks ;o)  Just wasnt faster than my standing PR
  • I finished strong and on my own two legs and I never ever stopped
Next Up:
October 24 - Houston Half Marathon (2 person relay/didn't think I would be ready for a fast 1/2 so soon after Chicago)
November 25 - Turkey Trot (probably the 5K not the 10K)
December 5 - Dallas/White Rock (Half Marathon)
January 30 - Chevron Houston Marathon (Full)

Finish Line Pics...Race Report to Follow...

Click photo to enlarge

Click photo to enlarge

Not finish line...there were 2-3 different spots along the way with the photogs up in extended crane buckets

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Chicago vs New York

Before we get to the good stuff, I thought I would take a minute to compare Chicago Marathon to the New York City Marathon, both of which I have now done.

While my Chicago marathon was 4 minutes faster than New York (and should have been a LOT more), the New York experience (race wise) was much better.  It was cold and my family was there all along the course.  Both marathons were set in a city I had never been before and I have always dreamed of what New York City was like.  I never really thought of Chicago like that.

The courses:  New York has its challenges with the bridges, 2 of which can suck the life out of you if you arent prepared for them.  I was.  The Verranzano I barely blinked (its in the first 1.5 miles of the race and adrenaline makes you forget what you are doing at the time.  The Queensboro at mile 15-16 is a bitch.  And all the bridges are very lonely.  The Queensboro (among a couple of others) have to have carpet laid on it due to the grating.  There were a couple like this in Chicago as well, but the bridges in Chicago are like a speedbump at best.  Would still call it 'flat' as they tout.

New York does have a lot of spectators, but let me tell you what....Chicago spectators are the foshizzle!  It was indeed incredible.  For every step of those 26.2 miles there was not ONE place along that route that was not covered with screaming people.  In New York there were 'sections', mostly in Manhattan where the sound was that loud.  I still get chill bumps thinking about portions of Chicago and the loudness of all of them.  There were obviously sections that were WAY louder than others.  I have my favorites and one being at around mile 21-22 through Chinatown and the parade-like dragons where you turn right.  It was almost so loud you wanted to put your hands over your ears.  But by that point I needed my arms and hands right where they were...trying to propel myself forward step by step.

I wish I could remember all the incredibly cute signs, my favorite being:  RUN BITCH!   That made me laugh out loud.

New York is definitely more hilly, and also, at least to me, Central Park which everyone talks about...well I didnt think it was such a big deal.  By that time I knew I was going to get my goal time and I was on cloud nine.   Chicago is flat, sans the couple of speedbumps I mentioned and then the last 400m right before you turn to head for the finish you have to run up this damn ramp/overpass (not sure what you would call it).  You pass through the 800m mark and there is a huge screen (just like NYC as you get to Columbus Circle) and you see it to your right...and its obvious that its uphill as you can see people running UP.  By the time I got there, even though I was dying I ran that bitch like I was Deena Kastor.  Once you hit the top, you turn left and you can see the Finish line about 100m away.

The other thing about Chicago is that for the first half of the course you are pretty much in shade, some because its early but also because of the buildings and the neighborhoods.  Then its touch and go on the shade and since it was full sun this past Sunday, you sure needed it.  I ended up with some tan lines and a sunburn (mostly the face was the burned part).  In New York its a concrete jungle from start to finish, and no quaint little neighborhoods with people and their water hoses for you to run under.  Of course I didnt need those when I did New York, but Chicago had more of a 'homey' feel to it.

Also when you finish Chicago, you walk about 1/2 mile and you are right back where you started and you go to your hotel.  In NYC, you have to walk over 1.5 miles to get OUT of Central Park and then to get to your hotel is whole other animal.

The start?  Well...we walked 2 blocks to the Start at 6:15 and got right in front of the open corral with absolutely no issues whatsoever.  In NYC you catch a bus, and/or a ferry at 5:30am and you start your race HOURS later (for me it was 3 hours later).  Sitting out under a bridge...waiting...waiting...

So while NYC was a better race experience (time wise only), Chicago wins in my eyes.  It was easy, well run, and due to the conditions the race directors did a FINE job!  There were misters put up, baby wading pools of ice cold water and sponges out the yazoo.  The only bad part about that was having to run over a road made of sponges that were tossed once every single cold drop of water was squeezed out of it.  The water stop volunteers were generous (sometimes too much) with cups of ice water thrown over you...note to some:  you might want to tell someone you are about to throw water in their face :/ before you do it...just sayin'.

Both cities have amazing public transportation and easy to manuever.  Chicago is much more 'compact' therefore less miles to cover in sightseeing which I did all by foot on Monday (logging about 7 miles walked the day after the marathon; go me!)  I just never took the subway anywhere, relying solely on my phone app and that annoying womans voice telling me 'turn left at _____'..she only steered me wrong once, taking me around the same block once before she figured that shit out :)

Now I am completely serious when I say I am DONE with Fall marathons...BUT, if I had to choose one of these to do over again?

Chicago all the way baby...Chicago.

Before the race on our way to the Open Corral...More to follow...still in the process of 'borrowing' photos from the site :)
Most are not good, and I blame the MASSIVE amounts of fluids I took in for the spare tire around my middle least my after i finished picture isnt bad!

 Done.  And D.O.N.E.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It wasn't pretty...but it got done.
Mother Nature socked us with temps that sent the alert level from green (Good) (really?  in what universe is that GOOD to start a marathon?) at the start (69deg) to black (Maximum) (88deg) by the time I hit mile 22.
Here is one thing I will say for in the hot Texas weather does NOT mean you are prepared for a full marathon in the same conditions.  It helps to assist you in surviving, but it does not equate to a good race by any means.
More later...I am beat from 4 days of Chicago and traveling all day today.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Well here we go...
No blogging until mid-week next week!!
I am on Twitter and Facebook though, so some will have access to information :o)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Taper worm...before

Taper worm...after
Oh sure the taper worm is happy...JunieB is not!
You wait and wait and wait for the taper...and then it comes, and all you want is for it to go away...
3 miles last night, 4 today....3 tomorrow and thats it.
You know the worst part?  Its been so freaking awesome weather wise here and now you tell me NOT to run far? 
Le sigh.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Time to adjust them.
It looks to be warm and sunny in Chicago on Sunday.

Monday, October 4, 2010

It Is October after all...

When the alarm woke me up this morning at 4:45am (which is scary anyway :o)), I immediately just felt uneasy.  I don't know if I had had a bad dream in the night, or what, but I almost just scraped the run.  I laid there for a few minutes and knew that I should run this morning (cooler temps again; closer to what we might have in Chicago) as I wanted to see if running in my usual 'warmer' weather attire was going to be bearable at the beginning (it was) I just re-routed my 5 mile run and cut it to 4.  This route was completely lit except maybe for 100m on the way back and I just felt a bit more at ease when I decided that. 

I don't know how to explain it, I just felt an uneasyness in my stomach about my usual route, which part of it is extremely dark and desolate, not many cars at all ... can be kinda scary sometimes when the shadows hit just right and all of a sudden instead of seeing one of you, there appears to be 2.  I dont know how that happens but it does and I always quickly look over my shoulder...

So I went out, did the 4 miles at GMP, and felt better once I got back inside the safety of my warm house.

I have definitely decided that the minimalist running attire is what will be used on Sunday, unless the weather forecast changes drastically, which I dont expect it to.  I have a throw away KW jacket to wear at the start, which I am sure will last maybe a mile into the marathon.  I of course will bring alternate as well, because heck with Mother Nature it could change on Friday or Saturday!  Wearing what I wore this morning and have all summer was perfect this morning and it was 58 and a slight breeze...a bit chilly if you're standing around, but running?  Yeah.  Still warm.  :O)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The proverbial hay is in the barn!
Well its done.  The last 'long' run before race day.

10 miles at (or below) goal marathon pace.  Was told to do 7 at that pace but with 66deg and low humidity, I just had to go for it.  And even then it was more conversational than I usually do because of the heat I just didnt chat that much.  Ran with Amber, Erin and Kelly...and honestly I usually just cant hang with Erin and Kelly and at one point I heard Kelly say "I was pushing hard to catch up" (they were actually behind us for the first 3 or so miles.

A few times I had to slow it down because I was running way too fast (below 9:30; gmp is 9:55).  My average pace came in at 9:54 for the 10 miles.  Awesome.

Went to eat, meet and greet with some of the KreW after which is always fun.  Been getting some things done around here and have a little party this evening for 2 friends that just recently got engaged.  ah love...

Come race day in Chicago, yes 9:55 or better is the goal, however, 10:18 per mile is something I dont want to go over.  That would put me over 4:30 and well...I just dont want to go over 4:30.  That would be a huge PR for me and would more accurately reflect the shape I'm in for the distance, but race day is race day.  Anything can happen and I know that.

Right now the weather looks to be warmer than I would like (51 for the low), so I am in the process of rethinking my race day attire.  Thats just too warm for a full shirt as far as I am concerned.  I will pack the original and also the 'spare' which will be what I wore this morning.  I've never run a race without a full shirt, so I'm a little apprehensive about the pictures (yes I'm vain like that)...but I would rather run in what I am comfortable in temp wise than to be miserable in the race when it becomes too warm.  Lets just say I will be doing abs EVERY day this week, possibly twice a day ;) just in case.

I've got the right foods to fuel this week without adding unnecessary bloat and puff and to keep me from eating anything I dont prepare myself...Dont want to chance eating something that will get me sick as it did the week before Houston 2009 where I was puking etc for 3 days leading up to the race, lost 6 lbs, was beyond dehydrated and had to drop all because I got a stomach thing from something I ate.

I have to say I'm as ready as I can be.  If its not my day on 10-10-10 then so be it, but it wont be because I didnt do everything right.

I've got 4 more days of light running and then we're off!  I am supposed to do 3x1 mile at gmp on Monday with a minute rest in between (5m total), but after today I think I will just do 5 and call it a day.  I suspect at least 3 of those will be close to gmp as the weather is supposed to be even cooler than it was this morning anyway.

We leave bright and early on Friday morning!  The only drawback with going with so many people I know is the pull and tug of do this, do that...I have to stay on plan and do what works for me and  no one else.

Well y'all have a great day and we'll see ya later on!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Where's Waldo Junie?

Last Sunday at the Texans vs Cowboys game...tailgating beforehand...

Hint:  Look quick and look early :O)  Can you pick me out? we are the middle of this story...on another story surrounding controversy over new tailgate rules...

And also for your viewing pleasure...yet another Eat This!  Not That!