Thursday, February 28, 2013

BofA Chicago Marathon - 2013 Debacle

Well it was bound to happen eventually.

The Chicago Marathon has become a lottery.  Of sorts.

With all the problems they had last Tuesday with the servers issue, people were outraged.  And I too was manic about it when trying to register.  I didn't have more than the hour at lunch and I hadn't made it in, but a friend texted me (she was already in) and said email her my info and she would sit there and get me through.  She sat there for I don't know how long and finally got me registered before they shut everything down.

I was hoping the dissonance would lessen after everyone had a chance to cool off--apparently there will always be whiners inexplicably showing a lack of maturity and reasoning. 

The organizers did the only thing they could do--have a lottery at this point. Without it, a meltdown would have ensued in the first five minutes after reopening registration and we'd be right back where this started. 

The organizers clearly stated their sorrow, acknowledged the frustration, explained what happened, presented a comprehensive Q&A list of lottery parameters and set up a window to accept and then choose entrants. 

As well, they will sit down over the next year to weigh the options for future races. Any seasoned runner, and especially marathoners know all the logistics of entering and staging a race. 

Newcomers are now learning these things as well. Frustration and shortsightedness are not part of this sport; perseverance and patience are. There is a finite number of entries available; that will not change--lottery or not.  I cannot believe the things I am reading where people are outraged because, for example, they already booked their hotel and airfare?  What?  And my personal favorite is how all that training will go to waste now.  Again I say What?  How is that?  You've been training already?  Why?  And then there are those that specifically state how they 'deserve' or are 'entitled' a spot based on either of these, or any other number of reasons.


This is no different than going to a store or concert to finding it sold are not entitled to an entry, only equal access and a chance to get on board like others. This race is popular because it earned the kudos through excellent staging, volunteers, a flat course, a great city with crowd support, and that they welcome ALL runners with ALL abilities to enter--first-timers, world-record holders, weekend warriors, and those who run for charities. 

This is one of the biggest running events in the world. Lapses happen and they fix it. They're not intentional nor taken lightly. Be a good steward of the running community and learn to accommodate the nuances as they arise--isn't that what distance running is all about?

As someone who has been marathoning for a few years now, and gone through the headaches over when Houston switched to a lottery, I obviously realized that, at least for now, marathoning became and seems to be something on a lot of peoples bucket list.

I don't know.   There are so many other marathons out there that if indeed your training is going to go to waste that a person could do either right before and right after Chicago.  

Run one of those.

Would I feel the same way had I not gotten in?



Sunday, February 24, 2013

Make It 11

Friday afternoon when I got off work, I headed to the grocer to get my shopping done since Saturday I wanted to only concentrate on getting my run done and a few errands in advance of the storm headed our way.

As I drove through town, I was amazed that the roads were so clear from the mid-week storm.  They actually plowed almost all the streets, whereas they normally don't.  So basically what I am trying to say is that when I drove around my 2 mile loop, all things looked clear for a Saturday morning run outside after all.

That is until I got up Saturday morning and saw that the temperature was 5degrees.

Um, nope.  :O)

So I headed to the gym unfortunately.  And man am I glad I got there shortly after it opened because before long every treadmill and elliptical was taken.  And normally I am the only one that stays on one for hours, but this morning, I wasn't alone.  Thankfully the sign only says that treadmill use is limited during peak hours meaning Mon-Fri 5pm-7pm.

Originally I had put 10 miles on my calendar for this particular Saturday, but I decided to just make it 11.  I wasn't going to do 11 until next weekend, but now, there will be 2 weekends with 11 instead.

I started the run with just listening to music and switched about 45min in to something on NetFlix (Super 8, then tried My Run), but neither one held my attention and I just felt irritated, so I switched back to my music and just zoned out.  I took one PB Gu and drank a ton of water.

Done and done.

Thought I might run again today if the storm didn't materialize, or maybe was late (it was supposed to start snowing early morning), but then I woke up to this:

Taken about 6:30am from in front of my house looking towards the golf course and the bluffs.
As its now 3 hours later, I guess maybe another inch or two has fallen.  At least the winds are light and the snow falls so pretty, sticking to the tree branches and shrubs.  Supposed to get up to 6 inches today, but I am snug as a bug inside, plenty of food prepped (was craving pork chops so I bought some, cooked them last night and plenty of leftover!)
I wonder if they will plow as well as last time so that I can run outside without worrying about slipping and falling.  I really should buy a pair of YakTrak, but I just keep putting it off!   Maybe someone at their outfit will see fit to send me a pair to test drive and review!!!
What say you YakTrax?

Hoping for a chance to do my Saturday long run outside next week!  No snow and a bit warmer temps are forecasted so I feel optimistic!!!!
Oh and its Oscar day/night!  With 5 hours of pre-red carpet/red carpet coverage and then the actual show, its a good day indeed to be snowed in!!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Right Side, Basic, Left Side, Basic!

Who remembers Step classes from the 90's?!?!?!?

I sure do!

I remember going at least 5 times a week and had worked my way up to the super advanced classes that were 90 minutes long as well.  So much fun!

Obviously the popularity wore off as did my attendance especially once I bought my house in Houston proper and the gym I was going to where Step was a big deal was the Woodlands area closer to where John and I lived before moving into the casa.

When I first moved to Nebraska, I found the local gym, which is also the Community Center, and only a couple of months ago did I start looking into the classes they had.  Something to mix up from just running, CrossFit, or just weights work.

When I saw they had a Step class, at first I laughed, but then about a month ago, I wanted to try all the different types of classes they had:  Zumba, Kickboxing, Spin (havent done that one yet), Step..those are all the ones that they have in the evenings.  They also have Yoga twice a week, but well unless its Bikram, I'm not interested.

To keep a long story short, I have been loving my Thursday night Step classes!  Its pretty basic by my standards, but just last night I noticed that the instructor is getting a bit more interesting with her combinations!!  I loved last nights class!

I hope that she continues to do that, but not holding my breath.  Here the instructors, well they do this as a hobby not as their job, and they probably aren't certified or anything like that.

Still, its a lot of fun, I get a great workout in and the women in the class who are basically the same ones each week, are fun to chat with before and after.

I also like the Kick Boxing class on Tuesdays, but I don't go to that every week and even when I do that one, I get in either a short TM run beforehand, or I go up on the indoor track and do 100m sprint repeats for about 10-15 minutes.

Did.  Not.  Like.  Zumba.

Probably more that I don't think the instructor is any good.  I can see where it would be a fun and great workout, but I just didn't get that the one time I went.  Maybe I should give it another shot, but eh.  That class is always packed though. A lot of women really enjoy it.

So that's what I did last night, and today, as always during training or not, I take Friday as a rest day.

Tomorrow is long run day for NYC.  10 miles.  Which if you saw the picture from yesterday, you know it will be 10 miles on treadmill.  Blargh.

Thank goodness for my iPad and NetFlix (or iTunes if I want to watch a newer released movie that NetFlix doesn't have)!!!!

It certainly helps with the miles and minutes to tick by a little bit faster thats for certain.


Thursday, February 21, 2013


THIS is why I have to train on the treadmill more often than not!!!

Shoveled 10 inches of snow this morning from my driveway!  My drivers side of my car was drifted in.

Having to shovel your way out that early so you can go to work is just nonsense!  LOL.

Definitely won't be running outside for a while as when it does decide to melt each day a bit, it will just ice and then ice and then ice some more.

Oh well, another 10 miler on the treadmill this Saturday!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

So Where Were We?

I sorta scrolled through to see what I had written over the past year, and really most of it, while sporadic, basically was all about me leaving Texas for Nebraska, my injury which reared its head early April if I remember correctly, rehabing for 2 months and just as I was getting back into running and CrossFit, well Nebraska happened.

Before the injury I had just come off of 3 marathons in 99 days...oh wait, the 2nd one due to rain, cold and wind, I took the easy way out in Dallas and turned at the half mark  :O)

So there was Chicago, Dallas (hey I retrained for the full so I count it) and then Houston...and then...blargh.  The horrible back injury which had me out of commission for a month of immeasurable pain, to seeing chiropractor and slowly working my way back.

Moving to Nebraska set me back again.  It was too much of planning to move, to moving, to living in a hotel for 6 weeks, to then moving into a new house, and settling into a new job, a new business model, new people, a new 'culture', and adjusting to life in a small town with limited resources that I was used to having at my fingertips.

Before I knew it, winter arrived and it became clear to me that training for a winter marathon (Houston) just wasn't going to happen here.  I am not one that can do a 22miler on a treadmill if the weather turned bad.  And for the record it does that a lot here.

Its constantly beyond windy, and cold as hell.  Once I ran outside when it was 19real temp, but the wind chill was below 10.  Sorry but that just sucks.

So I ran outside when I could, ran on a treadmill the rest of the time, did weights, did CrossFit, etc.  I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I had no real desire to train for anything.  It was OK.  I had realized somewhere along the way that so much of the stress I put on myself to run farther, faster, more races etc., werent necessarily for myself for the most part.

It was for other reasons, of which I will get into in another post.

But then things started to settle down and I started missing the training aspect.  Having a goal, so on a whim I put myself in the lottery for the NYC Half.  Well lo and behold when I was in Houston for Christmas I got the email that I was in.

Holy shit.

At that point I was running a long run of 6-8 miles or so and not regularly and now I only had a short period of time to be able to finish a half.

Obviously I knew I could finish it, but the old me came out for a bit and I begin worrying about what anyone would think if I clocked a 'bad' time.

I don't want to fall into that frame of being again, so I quickly just realized that even if I posted a PW, it would be OK.  If I had to run/walk it, it would be OK.

I had to put the fact and the number of 2:06 (my PR) out the window knowing there was no way in hell I would come close to that with the past year that I had had.

So I've been training, and most of my long runs on Saturdays have had to be done on the treadmill due to ice and/or snow (and its looking like this weekend might be that way again as we are supposed to get snow and ice this evening and tomorrow but I am hoping it doesnt!)  .. but then I have to pray that it warms up enough and a not so bad wind chill for me to be able to do it outside and not relapse (I've had a very bad cold for over a week now, its better, but I dont want it to come back)

And when I say I've been training, all that means is that I am doing the miles.  There is no speed work, I've done hill work a few times, when the roads/hills allow me to by not being covered in ice.

I am LOVING the training again...the having a goal race, and Lord knows I love running in NYC.  Plus another girl will be there and we plan to run together.  In prior life I would be way ahead of her finish time, but not so much anymore :O)

In fact I have been enjoying training again, I went ahead and signed up for a 3rd round in Chicago.  I honestly thought I had finished with the 26.2 distance, but ... well, I am excited about it which I havent been in quite some time.

So that's it for now....Since life has settled down so much and I've changed so much...and the fact that I will be training solo and I havent done that since I first trained for my first half (2006) and my first full (2007), I thought it might be interesting fodder for the blog to be rejuvenated.

I see I still have a few followers, but not sure anyone will come back to read regularly, but I sure hope you do!!!!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Am I Through or Not, That is the Question

Registration opens tomorrow...

And man the price went WAY up...

But its so cheap to fly from Denver to Chicago...

Even less than the entry fee...

I haven't had to train alone for a marathon since 2006...

Can I do it again and stay sane?

Also I am thinking of beginning to blog again, if only a couple of times a week...

Things are settling down now that I've moved, so maybe...