Friday, September 29, 2006

You're All Amazing

Wow--you all just blow me away. Thanks for all the believing in me. Makes me want to just book a marathon in each of your states (countries) just so I can run with yas!!

I'll take mucho pics to post. I'm getting very excited!! I emailed the group I trained for this race and have heard back from many of them. They are very nervous and it's just awesome to see the race thru their eyes....brings it all back to when I started. And that's what it's all about--getting more people into the sport, more people getting healthy, sharing this great feeling.

The shoes are sponsored by New Balance--lucky for me since that's what I wear. Each pace leader got to pick their style--I wear the 1023's, which are now the 1000's. We are all given a specific outfit to wear---must have lots of advertising for New Balance on it. Nothing like America and their bottom lines!!

And, oh, by the way--I'm only 7 lbs away from my goal! Holy Cripes Batman!!!

Monday, September 25, 2006


I got a call today from my "running boss", Beth, the wonderful lady that runs the training program for the Chicago Half Marathon. Seems the 2:30 pacer for the race is unable to make it and she asked me to fill in. YIKES!! After talking a bit with her regarding how my running is going, we both decided I can handle it (even with carrying a stick??? Yes, she said!! oyyy). So there you have it....Meet the Chicago Half Marathon 2:30 pacer!! And what's in it for me?? A new pair of shoes!

Please send strong vibes so I can meet this goal!!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Electronic Breakdown

The 20-mile run went really well. What a difference a year makes! My only wish is that I'd have enough time to do one or two more of them, but that's not possible before the Chicago Marathon. So, it's on the plan for the next big race.

I set out my "stuff" the night before. I figured I needed to wake up at 4am, have my coffee to get "cleaned out", hit the road by 5:10 and get on the running path by 6. I would do an hour running alone, 5 miles, then 6 miles with the running group, then off alone again for another 9 miles.

My son lent me his ipod and even set up a "Lora's Running Playlist" for me to use. As he and I listen to the same old rock music, it was pretty easy for him to do, but I was still touched that he put it all together for me.

All went well until I pulled into the parking lot at 6am. It was still dark out, I was the only car there and it was a well-hidden area. My mind fought with itself for a bit.....stay here or move to a better lit area. I was almost out the door when my logical side got the best of me. Like it or not, I'm a chick, and we have to take these I moved to the main street for this first hour of running.

The first hour went well...I didn't use the ipod just yet as my mind needed some clearing. I saw only four runners the first half hour. I was a bit creeped out and realized this was stupid to be all alone, but of course I kept on going. By 6:30 the running groups started showing up.

For those of you that haven't see what goes on here in Chicago, it's pretty amazing. There are 3 or 4 main organizations that have running groups specifically to train runners for the Chicago Marathon. The largest is CARA, Chicago Area Runners Association. There are about 25 runners in their packs, lead by a pace leader in a special tanktop advertising the group. Pace groups run from 7:00 thru 12:00, so just imagine six of these, 25 runners deep, times 4 different programs and you can figure how packed up the lakefront can be. Of course add the "regular" people out there not in a paid-for program, along with the bikers, walkers, dog walkers and you have a good visual.

I ran back to my car, moved it to the other parking lot, which is closer to my group, changed my top (to my advertised tanktop), refilled my water bottle, forced down the frosting-tasting Gu, gulped down water, and off I went.

There were only two people in my group....hmmmm, the rest must be slacking since it was only a 6-miler. But these two were the ones showing up every week, a brother and sister, who both seemed to be naturals at listening to their bodies and keeping their pace based on that info. I was proud of them for being there. I've watched both of them increase their endurance and speed thruout these weeks and I must say, it's a great feeling to know that they will accomplish their final goal next Sunday.

We kept a comfy 12:00 pace for most of the 6-miles, with the brother taking off a bit at the end. Ahhhh, he has some extra energy he has yet to tap into. I predict he will do better at the race then he even imagines.

We got back to the start, said our goodbyes, and back I went to my car to refill my water bottle, change my top again, gulp down another Gu with water and get the ipod ready to go.

Off I went. I was heading out for 4.5 miles, then turning around back to my car. I got a real kick out of hearing the songs my son picked for me, Respect, Yellow Submarine, (I'll fill more in as I remember them--damn this early dementia) and I realized how great it is to run with music. That's right......this was my first time. In all these years of running I've just gone with my thoughts and the sounds of Mother Nature. Not a bad thing, but for long runs, it sure does help to have some assistance when you're alone.

I continued the 12:00 pace and soon hit the asphalt area. Most of the lakefront is trails, and I wore my Montrails which made my feet very happy. But hitting that asphalt for the 5 miles basically just sucked. My shins were aching a bit and I had to stop a few times for a good stretch.

Unfortunately at around mile 15, the ipod shut off. Or rather, I couldnt hear the music anymore, the screen was still on. I couldnt figure out what the problem was, so I just keep plugging along. Then, at around mile 17, my garmin died! The battery recharging gods were not my friends today.

As I continued on, I realized how much stronger I felt from the last time I did a 20-miler (a year ago). I was in agony then, and walked a lot. This time, I was achy, but that was it. By mile 19, the agony hit, but I had the experience to make it thru with mind games and basically just ignoring it.

Here are the breakdown of my miles as requested by Neese (just for you Sweetie!):
Mile 1.......11:42
Mile 2.......11:24
Mile 3.......11:49
Mile 4.......11:13
Mile 5.......11:14
Mile 6.......11:53
Mile 7.......12:23
Mile 8.......12:35
Mile 9.......13:09
Mile 10......12:04
Mile 11......11:41
Mile 12......11:21
Mile 13......13:18 -- walked & stretched
Mile 14......11:57
Mile 15.......11:23
Mile 16......12:34

I'm happy with my times. I got home, showered (there is nothing so wonderful in this world as a hot shower after a looooong run) hit the pillow for 2 hrs, got up and then iced my legs.

I'm off to my girlfriends home for dinner. Happy New Year to all the Jewish bloggers out there. May this year bring you all good health and happiness.....and a few good PR's!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Weather Turns

Fall is here. It was 40 degrees when I set out to run this morning. First time wearing pants and ear coverings! I used to think I couldnt live in a city that didn't have a changing of the seasons, but I'm starting to reconsider. A taste of both would be nice....Chicago in the summer & spring, and just maybe, Tucson or someplace in New Mexico for the winter. Time will tell.
I have my first 20-miler this Saturday. I haven't done one in a year! I'm trying to work out the nutrition part. My friend, Fred, who got me into running races three years ago reminded me of his recommendation of Accelerade before each run. I had tried it, but gave it up because the watered-down creamsicle taste didn't do it for me. He told me to tough it out and try it again. So I did...this morning before my 5-miler to the hills. Well, I don't know if it was that or the fact that I've been eating only fresh fruits and veggies these past few days (lean proteins too) but every mile felt great.

So my plan is to have Accelerade before my run, carry half gatorade-half water in my water bottle, somehow get a Naked fruit drink halfway, and Endurox for my recovery drink. The gels will be my next try if this doesnt work. I just can't do the sweet beans. The sugar doesnt make me happy.

The weight keeps dropping :) Ten more pounds and I'll stabilize. It's hard to stay with only veggies, fruits and lean proteins, but I'm hoping that will get easier in time. BadBen mentioned a juicer in my comments, so I'm thinking that would be a great purchase-----it's always somethin' eh?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Finally.....A Long Run

On Saturday I ran the 10 miles required for the groups half marathon training. So glad to see everyone able to make it and doing well. They are all ready for the race on Oct 1st, and I'm excited to run with them that day and see them accomplish their goal. They all plan on running with the 2:40 pace leader, which is really cool as he is the one that was my pace leader when I trained for my first marathon. I'll be very happy to see him again.

I went on with three other gals to do another 8 miles on the lakefront. The temperature started creeping up and I knew it would slow me down. I was testing out eating a pack of beans slowly, as it bothered my stomach in the last race when I ate it all at once. That worked real well on this run, but by mile 12 I was S-T-A-R-V-I-N-G! Not good! I really don't like the sweetness in the beans during my runs--last year I used GU and I'm thinking of trying that this Saturday for my 20-miler. Tho I hit the wall hard at mile 21 of the marathon last year, and was very hungry. I need to find something to carry that will work, with enough calories, that won't upset my stomach. The search continues.

At mile 16 we were in front of the Lincoln Park Zoo and we saw a group of people dressed up as fruits carrying signs. Fruit of the Loom was protesting???? One of the girls had to check it out, so we all stretched while she went over there. It was the drink, Naked, advertising and giving away free drinks! Perfect! We all ran over and enjoyed. I wish I had my camera. The girls said last week they saw a group doing makeovers and they ran over and got goodie bags with makeup in them. Nothing like living in a big city!!

I ran real slow....the first 10 miles I ran a perfect 2:01 with my group. I was happy with that. Sat around for about 1/2 hr waiting for the other girls to get in---I stretched during that time. The next 8 miles was done also in 2 hrs since they wanted to do a run 4 mins/walk 1 min thruout. I wouldn't have done that if I had the choice, but I went along with the crowd. Since they like to chat (I'm not your typical gal----not very chatty, don't even like talking on the phone) it made sense for them. The good thing was that I recovered real well. I had a massage the same day as the long run and did the special ice-heat-ice in the evening. No aches the next day at all. I think if I slowly build up after the marathon, and get my body used to the longer runs again, and I religiously do weight training twice a week, I'll be a happy camper.

I've lost all the weight I had taken off I'm down to the lowest I've been in years. But I'm still aiming for at least another 10 lbs. I'm feeling dedicated now....I bought The Paleo Diet book and am sticking to their methods. It basically advises you to eat the way we did back in cavemen times.....lean protein, lots of fruits and vegetables and NO processed foods at all.

I've become a firm believer in thinking all this processing is a big cause of diseases Americans are suffering with....that and of course overeating which is a terrible American pasttime. Add to that the lack of exercise in the majority of Americans lives and we're dealing with a major problem. I won't even touch on tobacco. I get to see the results in my patients daily. Auto immune diseases, heart disease, cancer.....I just wonder how we'd do if we eliminated the processing--and if we could eliminate abuse of alcohol, cigarettes and lack of exercising --I'd happily be out of this job.

Friday, September 15, 2006

It just happened....

had the dreaded Marathon Nightmare. All I remember is that the friend driving me to the marathon said he'd help me out by dropping me off at mile 23, then I discovered I forgot my running shoes! I immediately started to think I should do another marathon so I'd get it right. I checked into the Arizona one but it was sold out! What a nightmare!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Thinking Back...

to a year ago when I was in training for my first marathon. I had joined a Chicago running group to get me through the training, Higdon's Beginner program. I was so pumped. I hardly missed a training day, had no major injuries and met some wonderful people that I stay in touch with still.

And I learned a lot and grew. Over this past year I:

finished that first marathon
PR'd twice
learned how to run in all kinds of weather
spent hundreds of dollars to run in all kinds of weather
discovered trail running
bought my first pair of trail running shoes
discovered gps running watches
lost 10 lbs
gained it all back
lost it again plus a few more
gained back that few more
learned how to swim
finished my first sprint tri
spent more money on tri clothes
spent gobs of money on a road bike
paid for a coach
went to physical therapy for a hamstring issue
decided, wisely, to have a weekly massage
began to be pulled to the dark side....thinking of doing an ultra
began to run carrying a bottle at all times
always drank Endurox after my runs
wondered why I never tried an ipod
bonked, cried & felt exhilarated on my runs
tried walking after each mile--learned to respect the walk
subscribed to many running mags
wanted to only read books on running
started this blog
discovered runners around the world have hearts of gold
lost my precious Dad
helped Mom deal with newly diagnosed breast cancer during dads illness
learned how strong I can be
learned how much I hate death
became a pace leader
loved to share what i'd learned
didnt keep up with marathon program due to 1/2 training interference
didnt really mind
changed my goal for second marathon-just cut off 15 mins
started to weight train
bought a condo
put my house on the market
having sleepless nights over possibly not selling my house
visited Seattle--ran on amazing trails there
got my wild daughter to graduate HS
wished pot was legal so I could catch a break
and thru it all, I continue to run. Thank you Lord.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Runners Edge Half Marathon Report

I had a great time! I've been looking forward to this race to see the difference in a trail race vs a road race. I knew there was a more casual attitude, and that was part of the attraction.
I woke up early....Haight was volunteering and they told him to be there by 6am! The race started at 8:15. We heard parking is an issue, so we decided to get there a bit after 6 so we wouldnt have to walk a mile to the car after the race.
We arrived and were sent to lot A/B--right at the finish line! Yay!! Haight left to help and I relaxed in the car and watched the setup. It was so early, the portapotties were still on the flatbed!

I snuggled into my jeep, keeping warm and listening to music (it was drizzling out) until I saw Todd walk by--he was volunteering too. I jumped out of the car and led the lost soul to the volunteer sign-in. He was assigned to water stop 2/11, which is where this pic was taken.

I finally met up with the other Alpine gals I was running with and we headed over to the start. I had my gps watch on, my trail shoes on (Montrail) and carried my beloved water bottle filled with half Gatorade/half water. I had two bean packets ready to go in my pockets. This chick was prepared!

We took off and shuffled thru the first few miles getting our legs warmed up. Of the four gals I was with, one took off ahead of us pretty early, which we expected. Three of us stuck together until the last few miles. We were in pace with a couple behind us and we all took bets on when the lead male runner would pass us by. I chose mile 4, but it turned out to be 4.5, so I didnt win.

The path was nice and wet--I like when it drizzles during a race, it keeps me cool, keeps my legs going longer.....and I love when I get dirty---the old tomboy in me! When one of us would fall behind, we'd yell out that we're sharing sex stories and that friend would rush up! (Then we had to come up with something--come run with us to hear the stories!!)

I noticed the mile markers were off at mile 4--the curse of Race Directors, runners with GPS watches! But it evened out by mile 10-11. Luckily my watch automatically marks off the miles and my time, so I don't depend on the signs.

I had one pack of beans at mile 5--forced myself to eat them all,even tho I wasnt enjoying it. I regretted that as my stomach wasnt happy with this decision. One of the gals I was running with needed a potty, I told her the woods are your bathroom in a trail race--she held off!

My shoes untied TWICE--I hate when that happens. So I'm sure to buy lacelocks--I already have them on my road shoes.
There was lots of puddles on the trail, lots of horse crap and hardly anyone out there but the runners. That was nice as I run on this trail regularly and the mountain bikers come by pretty fast--I think the rain held them off. Also, IMWisconsin is this Sunday, so many of them that are usually out there were resting up.

I started feeling tired around mile 10 and just followed the shoes of my girlfriend in front of me. I repeated one of my mantras, "John Jacob Jingle Hyman Schmidt...." from my old camp days. It kept my mind off my tired legs.

The mile 9ish water stop offered beer!! Though I've never acquired a taste for it (yeah I was a nerd in college) my girlfriend in my age group decided to have a cup--I knew then I was going to beat her!

At mile 11, I saw Todd at the water stop. He saw me coming and had two Gatorade cups ready to go into my water bottle. Thanks Todd!! I felt reenergized and kicked it in. My last two miles were my fastest. I kept an eye on the time the whole way so I knew I was going to make it before the 2.5 hr cutoff. I made it by a minute! YAYYY!

And the best part of the race???? The party afterwards at Flatlanders. What a great job they do there. We were given two drink tkts and a raffle tkt when we arrived. Flatlanders and Runners Edge (the store that sponsors the race) supplied the raffle prizes--which were outstanding! I didn't win anything but I was very impressed with the giveaways. There was free food there too---all for a $40 registration fee. Not bad! I can't imagine they make any money from this race--all the more reason to respect this store (there's actually two of them, one in Wilmette, one in Libertyville). I will be sure to shop there more often.

One of the guys in my Half Marathon training group says he wants to do this race next year--just a little pressure for him by putting it on my blog (hi Mike!) :)

I definitely recommend this race, and I look forward to more trail races in my future.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Runners Edge Half Marathon

2:28:55--A new PR!!

Report to come.....

note to self.......

--get lace locks for trail shoes

--ice baths ROCK--even if they make you scream!

Alpine Gals

Haight & I at the Start

Got Milk?

How cruel is this new ad campaign, "Got Milk, Get Oreos".

How's a girl supposed to hold onto any kind of diginity with that kind of pressure???

Who can I complain to??

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Resting up

Carb loaded at the very "hot" teenage place to be seen. This is a real greasy spoon place that teens have claimed as their own for years now. If you visit Chicago with a young adult, put it on your list!

Ran 13 miles with the lakefront group on Saturday. One of the gals from Alpine Runners, that I used to run with before I was drafted to the lake, showed up. That means only one gal left up there to run by herself!! I just know she's blowing a cork over this. Oh well....gotta do what ya gotta do.

The group hung thru their longest run--everyone made it in running--YAY! I decided not to run Milwaukee Marathon as my 20-miler (even tho I signed up) but to do the Chicago Half Marathon and to share the experience with them all. I'm really looking forward to that--I was signed up for it last year but had to miss it because my Dad took a turn for the worse, so I flew into NJ. Word on the street is that it's a great half....starting at the Museum of Science and Industry (my favorite Chicago museum besides the Art Institute) and thru the streets surrounding the Univ of Chicago and then mostly on Lake Shore Drive which runs along our beautiful Lake Michigan. And now the Half is closed--10,000 runners are signed up. So amazing how this sport is growing.

Tomorrow is my first Half Marathon of the season. I missed the inaugural Half that I like to run in March due to my Dads death. I can't believe I haven't done a running race since the Shamrock 8K in March. Though my focus in the spring was for my first triathlon that I did in July, it still seems odd. Now I'm fully back to just running, as I've discovered that I can't make the time for three sports right now.

There's a 2:30 cutoff for the race tomorrow. Normally I would believe I could do it, but since I ran 13 miles yesterday, I'm not sure I'll be rested up enough. I'll give it my best shot, but we shall see. So to give myself some kind of edge...I'm going for the dreaded Ice Bath today!! So if you hear a blood-curdling scream later in the day, don't get scared.

Friday, September 01, 2006

If you're going to get sick....

Best to do it with a Jewish Mother! Did my body and mind purposely do this knowing it's the best place to break down?? Probably! Not that I was terribly sick, but a chest cold took over me for about three days while I was visiting my Mom. She suspected something when I asked for a blanket while we were watching TV. Before I knew it, I had an echinacea pill, a Vit C pill, hot tea with honey and lemon and her favorite "dickie" shoved in front of me.

I finally ran again on Friday....5 miles....felt so ready to do more but I didnt want to push it as I have 13 miles tomw with my group and a Half Marathon on Monday. I highly doubt I'll make the cutoff time, 2.5 hours, but I'm going to enjoy myself.

When I got back to Chicago, I got a call from one of my girlfriends that there's an extra entry into the NYC Marathon floating around if I was interested for a mere $250. I think I'll wait until I make it in by lottery. That will be either next year or, for sure, by 2008. Gonna kick some butt on those bridges!!