Sunday, July 30, 2006

Weekend Stuff

I wish my dog was a running dog, but I guess I'll just have to accept that mostly he justs wants to hang and cuddle.

The plan for the Half-Marathon Training Group called for a 7-mile run on Saturday. I emailed the participants re: carrying water, wearing a cap, dressing properly and bringing nutrition. So what did I forget to tell them??? NO DRINKING ALCOHOL THE NIGHT BEFORE!

I was impressed cause one gal confessed to her alcohol consuption evening before we started and asked if I thought she should go with the run/walk group because of it. I said absolutely, and I'm sure the reason she survived the run was because she came clean. Not true for the 31 yr old male runner. He bonked at 4 miles--dizzy, nauseous, chills-- and when I tried to call a cab to have him brought in, a nearby physician said he needed an ambulance. One was called and the poor guy wanted to hide in the deepest hole. I told him to just get his blood pressure checked and if it was ok, I'd walk him in. Which is exactly what happened. I believe he learned his lesson!

On Sunday I had a real treat. One of the guys on the ultrarunning web group I'm on met up with me to show me a wonderful trail nearby. Seems the Des Plaines River Trail runs 30-miles, all the way up to Wisconsin. Although the temp said 80 degrees when we started, we were ready. (Well, actually, I should have brought a second water bottle, but now I know better!) It was beautiful--some runners and bikers were out, but not nearly as congested as the small trail near my home.

We completed a 9-mile run, enjoyed chatting with each other and the peaceful surroundings and I'm thrilled to know a place close by where I can escape. He had an extra Diet Coke in his car which he shared and I discovered why Coke is so popular after a long run. Refreshing and calming for the stomach.

Three of my running girlfriends are planning on running the Milwaukee Marathon as their 20-miler run and asked me to come along (Todd is doing that too, I think). I said yes not knowing it's a pajama-party overnight thingy!! Luckily these wild girls won't be able to party the night before (in all fairness one only plays bartender) but it should be lots of fun. They want to try out the Penguins run/walk theory and see how it works. So I'm game. Should be interesting--I'll let ya know!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sunday is Hiking Day!!

Haight and I drove up to Kettle Moraine in Wisconsin for a morning of hiking. We only came across one runner up there and four hikers. Almost all to ourselves.

We filled our camelbaks with water, made pb&j sandwiches, added fig newtons for dessert and we were off.

There are different loops you can take, each with different mileage and terrain. We chose the green loop for 4.3 miles, a rough terrain--some good uphills and downhills, then we returned to the rest stop and had our lunch. Back out there for the white loop, less hillier and less shade, but only 3.2 miles.

I felt strong throughout the 7.5 mile hike and am ready to hit the marathon training program head on! These last few small injuries threw me off schedule, and with my own little fear of doing speedwork, I've been holding back.

So now I'm ready to go...two marathons up ahead in my future, followed by my first 50k in May 2007. It's time for me to kick up my strength training which has been lagging behind. I haven't yet found the program to help me thru, so that search continues. In the meantime, I'll piece together exercises from a few books I have and start there. To the gym this week!!!!

Saturdays Run & Street Fest

A perfect Saturday. Had our group run at the lakefront-six miles. I'm down to 9 runners in my group, which is perfect. This week was much cooler than the high of 90s we hit last Sat, so the running was easier. Of course, Lora taking the wrong turn on the trail and having the group miss a water stop didn't help, but we all made it back in one piece for some great stretching and bonding time.

Haight and I went to a fun street fest in Chicago and even dragged my 22-yr old son and one of his buddies. That's Haight's hurricane I'm drinking--I'm a weakling, three sips and I had a buzz! Geeze--cheap date!!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Lingering Thoughts

All I want to do is run. If I let it, I could have it take over my life. But I stay balanced....not that that's so hard for me. I have a lot of responsibilities to handle...tho after this year they will lessen. I am ready for that. 22 years of parenting, 11 as a single mother, is plenty. I know my job is forever, but the day-to-day heavy stress should be over by then. At that point, it's all about me.

I put off so many dreams due to being a single mother. That was hard. Though I love my kids and couldnt imagine my life without them, waiting for them to grow up was challenging. My generation is a selfish one. I look at my Mom and realize all she gave up to keep her family together and my Grandmother, coming over to America at 16 yrs of age, leaving behind her parents and all she knew, and I know my challenges are small in comparison. For the most part, we Americans have it made. I try to keep that in the front of my mind.

So I am finally running. Not as much as I'd like, but I'm running. I was always an athlete but never really given the opportunity to seek it out as a teenager or young adult. I did the "acceptable" things as a young mother--Jane Fondas Aerobic tape, Jazzercise classes, gym workouts. I finally got really into running about 14 yrs ago. A casual runner, but I was running. I bought a treadmill against the wishes of my then-husband, and I used it several times a week for 3-miles a shot. It took me years until I figured out how to deal with my asthma and the weather, but when I did it was very special to me. I could run outside!! I could do races!! That was only 3 yrs ago. Small steps.

Now like a kid who's been kept away from candy all her life, I gaze into the candy shop and my mouth waters. Races, marathons, ultras, travel. I want it all but life still demands negotiating. Let me loose onto the trails with a backpack on and let me feel what I have been craving. Until then.....I dream.......

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Taxi and Dreamin....

It's one of my favorite songs from my H.S. years. Each time I hear it, it stops me dead in my tracks and pulls me remember where I've come from, where I thought I'd go, and accepting of where I am. Twenty-five years ago today, Harry Chapin died in an auto crash. A senseless death. Gone, but most certainly, not forgotten.

I went on a 2-hr bike ride today. All alone....which I'm getting to really enjoy in the wee hours of Sunday morn as not many people or cars are out yet. My path is a smooth one and I'm able to get lost in my thoughts. I pass by an empty storefront that has recently caught my attention. See, the last 8 yrs or so I've had a dream. A dream that I'd own my own little coffee shop, I even found a great location...until I heard how cutthroat this big chain out there could be....they open up right across the street and wait it out til you close down. I wasnt going to tempt that....and good thing, because they did eventually open a few blocks from the location I wanted.

But this's right off the running/bike path. A good location to stop, take your helmet off, put your feet up and have a ........piece of pie! Homemade crust, fresh fruits --a dab of creamy vanilla ice cream on top. Yep...that's my new little dream. A Pie Place. I doubt it will come true....I know how dreams go at this point in my life. Reality kills the I'll just dream about it every time I pass that spot. It always brings a smile to my face. That's just going to have to be good enough.

I ran with the running group on Saturday. Still some runners wearing long sleeves or long pants. Another lecture from me. Tho, after the run was over, they most certainly got it! We're having record breaking days here in Chicago...and running on the lakefront is brutal.

Good news, leg feels fine. I've been stretching and strengthening my calf, along with icing it daily. I also went to the masseuse again after the run and her wonderful torture of me put me in fine form. Is part of being a runner mean you're also a sadist?? Or is that a know, the one that inflicts pain on themselves and enjoys it?? Well, you all know what I mean....cuz you're probably one too!! We all even have the torture equipment...the stick, the IT band roller, the flexible rubber band....I should probably change my blog name to "Madame Lora". I bet I'd get more hits that way!! It is a strange world out there!! well.....naw......I think I'll just sit here quietly, drink my water and soon check if my pee is light yellow. Ahhhh, the simple life.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


There's a Farmer's Market a block from my home on Wednesday mornings. I always forget about it, but Haight doesn't. He disappeared this morn, only to return with blueberries, cherries, asparagus, dill, sugar peas and beautiful flowers. Now mind you...he doesnt eat most of them. He did that for me! Am I lucky or what.

I'm down another 2 lbs. I've discovered that the carbs I should eat are basically fruits and vegetables, any white products that go in my system sticks to my body in ugly ways. So I've basically eliminated them from my diet with great results.

I've avoided running since Saturday, biking every other day for at least an hour. I saw Beast Woman (my masseuse) on Monday and she brutalized my IT band. It feels better but not fully there yet. I'm icing daily and using the heating pad at night. I should be ready for the group run on Saturday--at least that's the plan!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Totem Pole

Saturday's Run....We met behind the totem pole, mile 3 on the lakefront path...down behind the tennis courts. There were about 15 in my pace group....three other pace leaders were there, with one more being recruited and one out for a race. I felt better knowing that. I had the slowest runners, just in front of the running/walking group. That suits me just fine cuz I like to do my long runs between an 11:30-12:00 pace.

I got someone to cover the back of the pack and I ran between the front and middle, chatting with everyone and keeping an eye on the ones that I thought would be struggling. Many of them were wearing the tee shirt handed out to them--a heavy poly/cotton mix...this was not going to work. Some had pants on. Now mind you...Chicago may get cold in the winter, but come July and certainly by August, we're hitting in the 80's to 90' matter what they say about the beautiful lake breeze, hot is hot when you run. Especially with that gorgeous body of water, Lake Michigan, acting as a full-body reflector.

We had just 4 miles to run and I questioned many of them about their experience. Most were brand new runners...having only run 2-3 miles at most. A couple did our recent Soldier Field 10-miler and one had done a half-marathon 2 yrs ago but was totally out of shape now.

I only lost one runner to a walk during the last mile--the girl in black pants. I talked with her about her outfit for next week, told her that gatorade is a must when running and made sure she stayed around for the stretching.

I'm thinking of asking for their emails so I can keep in touch during the week and give them weekly pointers. I'm liking this!

I've narrowed down my outer leg pain to the infamous IT band which I'm voraciously stretching and icing and the inner leg pain to a weak calf muscle. I only ran twice last week, I'll see what happens this week. I did a 2-hr bike ride today, covering 30 miles, which felt great. At this point, I still plan on doing the Chicago Marathon....but time will tell.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A bit scared...

My leg hurts...not when I run...just afterwards. I've been icing, resting, stretching and even strengthening. I'm running just under 20 miles/week and around 3-4 hrs biking weekly. Not much, I should be increasing now for the marathon in October, but who knows if that's to be now. I'll try a few more days of resting and icing and then I'll see the doc.

hmmmm.....are triathlons the answer????? Maybe I'll go swimming tonite. Lucky I'm female and can get away with this ever-changing-mind crap.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July

Decided to make today my long run day since I will be running 4miles with the running group on Saturday. I guess I'll take it week by week as far as how to get my long runs in, which was always on Saturday, but the half marathon program I'll be pacing those mornings calls for much less mileage. I could wake up real early and get mileage in before I start with the group, or run afterwards. I'll see how it goes.

On Sunday I did a 2-hr bike ride....headed north to the Great Lakes Naval Base. I went a bit further but the area started looking a bit scarey....not even sure what town I was in. So I turned back and headed home. Got my speed up to 21 mph for just a smidge, but mostly staying around 17-18 mph.

Todays run was 9-miles. Lots of families out on the trails. I carried two water bottles with me, drank one every 45-mins and had 3 Clif blocks at mile 5, which was a great boost. My legs feel real strong, probably from the biking, but I still need to work on getting my strength training in. I do a little here and there. I have a nice range of hand weights at home (I'm really not a healthclub kinda gal) and I have a ball, so I really am set......just need to do it consistently. I'll just keep trying.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A New Position

I ran with my running club on Saturday...just 7 miles...still have that ping on the right side of my lower leg that I'm working thru (my masseuse worked so hard on it I have a black-n-blue mark!!) As I pulled into my spot and opened my jeep door, Reen popped her head in!! She's back!!! Walking first, but at least she's there--I've missed her so much at our morning runs.

After the run, we all went over to The Bagel--we sit outside now--it's the most relaxing part of my week. Well, Beth, who started up theAlpine Runners of Lake Zurich and now has also started her own training group, Illinois Runs Training Programs, pulled me over and asked me to be a pace group leader on the lakefront. Leave my friends in Lake Zurich??? No more bagel???? But how could I say no??? She is a terrific lady and I want to do what I can to help get her business going, so I said yes. Well, it seems there are 200 people signed up for this program which gets them through to the Chicago Half Marathon: Chicago Half Marathon, and there are only three of us leading them! Yikes!! OK---guess I just have to find a bagel place by the totem pole. Life is just full of changes!!