Thursday, August 30, 2007

Purchases :)

So Coach Lisa advised me how to avoid the messes I got into at Howl. I now own Kineses Sunscreen spray and three pairs of Injinji socks. No more sunburns or blisters for this girl!!

While I had the credit card going, I finally went for a Running Skirt. Girls---if you haven't tried one, check it out!! Running Skirt, GymGirl, MarathonGirl, Nicole DeBoom, SkirtSports, TRIKS I'm really loving it!

And just what is that necklace you see above?? Well, I went to the Expo for the Accenture Triathlon here in Chicago to see all the "stuff" and found a wonderful exhibitor called, "I Run Like A Girl". I just had to have their necklace!!

Yesterday was my hardest track workout. 1 miles x 3, with as long as I wanted in between. I pushed myself to make each mile harder, but cut it short on the last mile as I lost all my steam. I'll ease up a bit next week.

Today is an easy hour run with 10 minutes on stairs. Then a day of rest!! Am I the only one loving the rest days???!!!

This Saturday is the last run with the Half Marathon training group. I've really loved being out there with their wonderful enthusiasm. A handful will continue training with me as we head towards the Tucson Marathon. It's been a great ride so far.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


30:2 Those are the magic numbers. Thirty compressions for every two breaths. Remember them!!
A blogger recently collapsed and needed CPR here in Chicago. So realizing it was used twice in just a few weeks, I thought it would be smart to pass on to all the runners out there the importance of learning it.
We pass our time in a sport that requires we know this. You can contact your local Red Cross to find a course in your area.
If you do nothing else, read it and remember!! And pass it on to your loved ones!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Howl At The Moon

What a wild day this was! We arrived 45 minutes before Start time, having stayed at a nearby hotel. Tents were set up all around the Start, with people finishing up their morning coffee, stretching and getting over to the scorer who kept track of your laps, to sign in. I found my friends and we schmoozed a bit and then Haight set up the area where I would stop at each lap to refill my Succeed powder, grab a GU and do anything else I needed. My own personal aid station. Everyone had one, it was great after each 3.29 loop, even though they had a "Margueritaville" aid station halfway. Always nice to have your own personal stuff available.

It was going to be a hot day. Temps were expected to hit the lower 90's. I planned on drinking my water bottle with each lap, along with having a GU and a salt tablet. I had never eaten anything else on a long run, so I wasn't sure about the aid station food. I was going to try the food available and see how my stomach handled it--good test for my 50-miler.

300 people started out - runners and walkers alike. The walkers had numbers on their backs so you could "report" them if you saw them running, which would lead to disqualification. We all took off--very casual start, which is the great part about Ultras.

As I was around the 2 mile mark, I saw a group of people on the side, some kneeling over someone. A man was down---and they were doing CPR on him! I got closer to see if they needed a nurse and found out an EMT was doing compressions, and Juli A, an oncology RN, (that's her in the pic with me) was doing the ambulance had already been called and the RD was being notified. I didn't think it would help if the crowd got larger around him, so I took off with a heavy heart. I said a little prayer for him. Unfortunately, we found out later he didn't make it-- two others would need to go to the hospital before the day was out, but they were okay.

I continued to follow the 3:2 run:walk then 10 minute walk that Coach Lisa prescribed for me. I walked a bit more, feeling that my longest run of 13 miles wasn't really enough and the heat was certainly a cause for concern.

I found Todd along the trail and stayed with him for quite a few laps. At the Margueritaville aid station, I dosed my head and body with the cold water they provided from a hose. I screamed each time, but asked for more. After about the fourth lap, I decided to try the food. I went for the cooked potatoes in salt. mmmmmm---perfect! The next lap, I tried it again along with the cookies. My stomach held up real well. I never felt lightheaded, so I knew I was taking in enough water and electrolytes.

The last lap I pulled Haight to join me for a walk. It was the only lap I fully walked. My feet were hurting so much. They felt like they were boiling in my socks and shoes. I wished I had brought my Keen sandles as they would have been perfect for the last few laps.

I did 8 laps--just a smidge over a marathon. I never expected I could do that. I was actually hoping I could last 20 miles, so this was a great accomplishment. I never "hit the wall". I realized how strong I've become and how well my training has been going.

The best part was taking my shoes and socks off!! Oh heaven!! Though I discovered I had a blister on each foot. I popped them, applied neosporin and covered them up. My first blisters!!

Afterwards, we all went to the 4-person outdoor shower to wash off the salt. We were all a saltlick of our own! The line for the shower was long, as we shared stories and watched those ahead of us soap up.

Most people were staying the extra night in their tents. Haight and I had no idea this was a weekend party, so next year we'll be more prepared.

A wonderful experience--with great jobs by all the volunteers and an awesome RD. My thoughts go out to the family and loved ones of the runner we lost. He was in his early 50's -- way too young, though the RD said he was a lover of the trails and if he had his choice of how to go, it would be this way. Still.........

Friday, August 10, 2007

Day Before Howl at the Moon: 8 Hour Race

We leave tonight for Howl at the Moon! It's a 3 1/2 hour drive, and I remember Rob, Running Further, telling me you're not supposed to drive further than the race distance, so I think I have that right this time!!

I'm having the usual dreams of forgetting my water bottle, getting lost in the woods and not having my running shoes with me. Now I know I'm really excited!!

I don't know what to expect and that's part of the fun. I have never tried anything like this so I'm just going to enjoy the experience and see what the day holds for me.

Coach Lisa instructed me to do a run/walk at 3/2 minutes with a ten-minute walk and to rest for 5 minutes each hour. Then, when I really have to, just walk. So those are my orders and I'll stick with it.

Haight has his lounge chair all ready -- and the cooler will be filled with his favorite beer. Why do I feel he may have the better deal here????? What a lucky man he is!

Interesting info: the website states that they got the name Howl at the Moon in honor of the RD's brother who passed away and was a lover of wolves. I just love that. So no, I won't be howling at the moon anytime soon - but I will honor the memories of loved ones lost.

And away I go................

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Officially NUTS

I have a crazy race coming up---Howl at the Moon 8 Hour Race!! I've never done anything as nutty as this so now I am at peace with the fact that I've totally lost my mind when it comes to running!!!!

I emailed Coach Lisa, who is recovering from an amazing Badwater Double Relay, and she gave me my strategy. I set my Half marathon runners up with my girlfriend to get them through their training run of 13 miles since I won't be there. I told them why and, of course, they think I'm nuts. That's okay---I give them a few years....we all know what will happen!! ;)

So that's the latest in my life. I've actually just been busy with my own training and keeping in close touch with the people I'm training for the Chicago half Marathon. I'm loving it all!! These runners in training are just great to train. They share their fears and their excitement and it's great to share their journey towards a wonderful goal.

My dilemma---I was asked (begged) to be the 2:30 pace leader again at the Chicago Half Marathon. That would mean I won't be able to run with the people I've been training as they will be with the 2:40 pacer. Though that pacer is the man that paced me through my first marathon, that's our picture from last year, and he is a great and inspiring guy. So, I'm thinking I'll pace again and meet up with my training group at the finish line.

I had a visitor on my run today. BUBBA!! That's him showing his medal after he completed Ice Age 50-miler! As I was at around mile 11, he spotted me in front of my group and joined in!! Most of them were just asking about the distances of triathlons, and here in real life was an Ironman!!! I think Bubba got a kick out of being a little celebrity in the group!! It was great catching up with him...he's doing IM Wisconsin and I'm thinking of being on the sidelines to cheer him and others I know out there towards their finish. That is, as long as the weather is nothing like it was last year!!!!

Life is pretty darn good!!!!