Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mid-week mumblings...

I can't believe September is almost here! I am scheduled for one class this fall quarter and I am really looking forward to it. Environmental Literacy! The course description is "Basic concepts of environmental sciences and how they are applied to public decisions. Risks, regulations, and basic engineering concepts concerning air and water resources, pollution control, solid and hazardous waste, and energy sources. Environmental problems viewed from an integrated, multidisciplinary analysis/decision/solution standpoint." The book was selling for $140 on Amazon. And no, that is not a typo. $140 for a freakin' book! I'm not certain one Heinlein first edition cost that much. But lucky for me there was an Amazon seller who had it for $58 shipped. *whew*

Saturday there is a 12 mile run scheduled but I haven't decided what to do about it. One of my coaches said it was okay to miss it and do the 10k on Sunday since 12 miles is a cutback. But I'm thinking I may still go out and just do a shorter run.

And if anyone is curious about the amount of fundraising the Illinois chapter of Team in Training raises for individual races... check this out!

Fundraising Update:
Steelhead: $29,903.91
CDC: $114,259.13
Chicago Triathlon: $208,872.58
Apple Cider: $46,943.92
Chicago Marathon: $412,685.31
Nike: $89,222.23
Combo: $112,202.84 (this is just for people who signed up to do the CDC and the Chicago Marathon... the totals for those races listed above are from participants running that race only)

Isn't that amazing! That is almost a half a million dollars for the Chicago marathon this year. And just from the Illinois chapter!

I am still $635 short of the TNT goal so if you can help, please consider sponsoring me as I run the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and the Bank of America Chicago marathon with Team in Training!

Donate $25 and get your name entered into the next quilt raffle! The second drawing is October 5, 2008!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Let me tell you about Saturday...

The horror!

Saturday I was really, really excited about the 16 miles that was scheduled. I had magic pills from the doctor and I was looking forward to seeing if they would work. The first 4-5 miles were nice and cool. I managed to not get on the wrong path (or to make a detour through the Lincoln Park Zoo) and was able to run! Run without needing to track down a port-o-let!

And then... and then... I had to run over a walkway crossing Lake Shore Drive. On the other side was a 5 mile stretch of shadeless path. The temperature was in the mid-80's and it was muggy! I got slower and slower. The heat began making me dizzy and when I drank, I became nauseous. I was drinking and taking in Gu but what I found out later was the Gu did not have enough electrolytes or sodium. My poor coach, I feel bad that he ran the last 1/3 of the course with me. I kept getting dizzy and sick. I was fortunate enough to be on a trail where there were plenty of water stops. And I'd put a $20 in my fuel belt in case of emergencies. We stopped to find some salt and I bought a Gatoraid. Nothing so bad as having to lick salt out of your hand just to make it to the finish (there could be but I don't go on backpacking trips to find out).

The salt helped a bit. My coach talked to me about dehydration and its opposite, hyponatremia. I'd been drinking enough water while running but I did not have enough salt in me. And I just wanted to cry. I was so excited about not enduring my usual dreaded running problem and here I had another problem. I just wanted to quicken my pace!

My coach and I made it back to our finish point without calling for a car pickup but it took a long time. I had to keep stopping due to dizziness and nausea. And my calves were cramping enough that I was limping the last 4 miles.

So Saturday's lesson is: take salt packets along for the run! I also picked up some Powerbar gels with 8% sodium (my Gu had 2%) and a Kool Tie to take along for those pesky long runs. And even after all the problems from the run (I also had a HUGE blister on my foot from my new running shoes) I wasn't terribly out of sorts on Sunday. That I feel good the day after a long run makes me happy. I remember when 4 miles would kill me. I may not be fast but I am healthier and more fit (although I still have a ways to go). I may never even get to the point where I love running but I do love having race shirts! They're proof for me that I can participate.

This coming Saturday is 12 miles and I have also signed up for the Nike+ 10k Human Race on Sunday. I was told I could skip Saturday's run (it's a cutback week) and do the race on Sunday. The race concept intrigues me. 25 cities are participating with an organized run and anyone can participate on their own by doing the 10k while wearing their Nike+ gear and submitting the results online. And not to be a gung-ho supporter of Nike+ but it is really nice to see those miles add up with the gear.

As always, there is still time to donate to The Leukemia & Lymphoma's Team in Training!! Please consider sponsoring me as I run the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and the Bank of America Chicago marathon with Team in Training!

Donate $25 and get your name entered into the next quilt raffle! The second drawing is October 5, 2008!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Now, I really dislike taking medication but I will forget about that and be thrilled that I have pills! I had an appointment with my doctor yesterday to take care of some medical stuff for school and I remembered to speak with my doc about the dreaded running issue. She prescribed Dicyclomine which is prescribed for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). She said if this does not help during my long runs she will send me to a gastroenterologist. I hope the pills work. I only need to take one about 1-2 hours before a run so if this works I'll be set! I admit, I am excited about Saturday's run now because I really want to run more and if this little blue pill will allow me to run without interruption, I will be so happy! I know I can speed up if I didn't have the dreaded "urge" all the time.

Plus, I get to test my new running shoes on a long run! And the thought of being excited for a 16 mile/5 hour run is so bizarre to me that I start giggling. This excitement coming from a girl who had to be forcefully removed from her bedroom and made to play outside by her step-dad. *laugh* I would go outside but I always brought a book with me to read. I haven't changed much in that regard.

Yesterday I also had a hair appointment. It had been about a year since my last haircut so I was overdue. I am in love with Red 7 in Evanston and Matt there is simply wonderful. I just let him do his thing and I am never disappointed. Yesterday he chopped off about 6 inches so now my hair is chin-length and no longer looks all schlumpy. The shampoo woman also does a scalp massage and hand massage and everyone is there offering beverages and snacks in the morning. Out of all the salons in the Chicagoland area, Red 7 is the only salon I've returned to regularly. The salon is totally hip without being in yer face trendy (like Art + Science) and the stylists are friendly and the owners are wonderful. Honestly, 7 years of living here and I never found anyplace I liked until Red 7 opened in Evanston.

As always, there is still time to donate to The Leukemia & Lymphoma's Team in Training!! Please consider sponsoring me as I run the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and the Bank of America Chicago marathon with Team in Training!

Donate $25 and get your name entered into the next quilt raffle! The second drawing is October 5, 2008!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back to the training...

Saturday's run was only 90 minutes. And it was a very cold morning. I hadn't gotten much sleep and was woken up around 4am by George. I also did not feel very well. It took everything in me to get ready and leave the house for the run.

Our team had shrunk by over half by the looks of it. The fall team is training for a number of runs but most of the team must have been made up by CDC participants. We also had the small winter team joining us. I won't envy them their winter runs! But seeing as how I will most likely be joining Team in Training again to prepare for my return to Disney World marathon, I'll have to start preparing now for those snowy runs.

Saturday I also got fitted for a new pair of running shoes. I had to run outside on the city sidewalk while the shoe guy watched how I ran. It was hot and I was not dressed for running so I was a bit embarrassed. He said my new shoes should last me until a month or so after the full marathon, about 300 miles. I laughed because really, 300 miles between now and November? Sounds awfully high. But then I did the math and yes, I will have covered about 300 miles by then. That is so freaky to think about! I don't even DRIVE that many miles in that many months.

Saturday was also the Team in Training 20th birthday celebration in Oakbrook Terrace. I had a quilt entered for the silent auction. It was won for $150 by... the boy! He said it was worth more than the $100 bid and I'd joked that I really wanted to keep it for myself so he bid and won. Now I need to sew straps on the back so it can be hung on a wall per the boy's request. It really did turn out well.

Wednesday I have an appointment to get a general physical and get some paperwork done for school. I'm going to ask my doc about some help with my running problem. Imodium just doesn't work well and Pepto only works a little bit better. I've changed my eating habits but nothing really seems to have made the dreaded trots better. I can't let this slow me down anymore! I know I can speed up my time if I didn't have the cursed urge to search out every port-o-let on the course.

I also have an appointment with my stylist for a haircut. I love the guy. I haven't been since last September so I'm overdue. I'm thinking of going very short but I'm a bit scared. I haven't had super short hair for about 5 years now. Hopefully Matt will have some good ideas on what to do because I need a change badly.

As always, there is still time to donate to The Leukemia & Lymphoma's Team in Training!! Please consider sponsoring me as I run the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and the Bank of America Chicago marathon with Team in Training!

Donate $25 and get your name entered into the next quilt raffle! The second drawing is October 5, 2008!

Thank you so much Susie and Margaret for your donations. You've helped me get closer to my fundraising goal and helped the LLS get closer to their goal of finding a cure for blood cancers!

Monday, August 11, 2008

I'm a CDC finisher!!

I may be slow but I did it! I finished the Chicago Distance Classic in under the 4 hour time limit (3 hours, 44 minutes and 32 seconds). I was not the slowest person on the course, nor was I the slowest person in my division. And I have my first medal!

Sunday I woke up at 3:45am so I would have plenty of time to eat breakfast and let it digest. I made a bagel with a bit of cream cheese but it made me want to gag. So I switched to oatmeal and my usual pre-run grape Gatoraid. I showered, dressed, applied the glorious goo that is Body Glide, laced up my shoes, grabbed my fuel belt and was ready to go! The boy and my mom took bikes so they could meet up with me along the route while my step-dad took a folding chair so he could sit near the finish line (he has a bad back).

I got dropped off and went to find the Team in Training tent to sign in (only we didn't need to sign in) and find an empty Port-o-Let. TNT had 3 right near their tent and the line only had a few people. MUCH nicer than the long lines at Disney. I ran into one of my team's mentors who I'd first met at the kick-off party. She had been so helpful about answering questions and she comes up and says hi at our runs (which is nice because I don't know many people there). And then I saw a woman I've run with once before. We chatted and went to get in line.

The CDC had a wave start so we had to know our pace and get to where that time was listed. There were 4 waves with about 2,500 people in each. Fastest pace groups first and then after 2+ minutes another wave would be sent out. This was so there would be no bottlenecks once the route narrowed around mile 5.

I should point out that I wasn't nervous. I kept telling myself that I'd already done 12 miles at a recent TNT Saturday run (before the taper) so I knew I could complete 13.1. And we were running along the south section of the same trailway I run each Saturday. The weather was in the low 70's and sunny, couldn't have been a nicer day. I'd eaten what I needed to and I'd gotten enough sleep. So other than the "dreaded trots" there was absolutely nothing to worry about.

When my wave started out I took off running at my normal speed. I didn't try to keep up with anyone near me because I knew I had to keep with how I trained. And I trained to finish, not to make a personal best time. The only personal best I cared about was finishing.

Anyway, other than my usual intestinal discomfort I was feeling great! I ran until my cardio or my intestines complained and then I walked fast. I took some Gu about every 45+ minutes when I spotted a water station. I swallowed a Gu (Espresso Love wins over Chocolate Outrage) before the station and then grabbed a water. A couple sips to wash the Gu down and I was off! And I have mastered the drink and walk!

I saw my folks and the boy about a half-mile into the run and then I saw my mom and the boy about 3 miles later as they biked alongside me for a few minutes. It was just me and Dresden Dolls after that. The rule was no musical electronics so I followed the rule. I was one of the few who did, many people on the course were wearing headphones. I decided I still needed music so I mentally sand along to Girl Anachronism by the Dresden Dolls.

The path twisted and turned near the 6.5 mile area before shooting us out onto the lakefront running and biking path. I'd never been on the path south of the loop before and it is really lovely there. The bad thing was the headwind. It was really blowing and slowing me down. Not sure why but I haven't had that problem north of the loop before. The boy, my mom and the boy's cousin Ali met up with me again around the 8-9 mile mark. It was nice to chat with them as I made my way along the course. I was feeling so good outside of the intestinal problems. I'd had no unusual aches or pains. I was just happy to be out there. It's funny how happy I am after we get past mile 8 in the trainings. Before 8 miles I hate running but after hitting the 8 mile mark in training I stop thinking about how I hate running. *laugh*

I met up with a TNT teammate from Columbus, Ohio around mile 11. She was ahead of me at the beginning of the race but I'd caught up with her near the end. I stopped and asked where she was from and we talked about Ohio State and Kent State and various sports teams. She was having some cramping so I decided to run alongside her just in case she needed help. My timing would be slower but I didn't want to run off and leave her alone with her pain. She laughed when I told her I'd carry her across if she needed me to.

When we weaved our way through the twisty bits of the course right before the 13 mile marker we could hear The Penguin announcing the runners. My step-dad and Ali were on either side of the course cheering me on and as I got closer to the finish I heard The Penguin saying my name and telling me my mom was looking for me. *laugh*

My teammate and I were met by two TNT coaches. The woman high-fived us and ran with us closer to the finish line. Then one of my coaches for the Chicago team joined us as we made our way to the final 100 meters. I asked my teammate if she could run and she said she'd give it a try. We started up and ran the final distance and crossed the finish line together.

CDC Finisher!

So I finished the CDC in 3:44:32. Not fast at all. But since speed wasn't my goal and finishing was, I am happy. I have a medal for completing a half marathon. And I know what I need to do to raise my speed. I knew starting the race that I would finish but now I have the proof.

CDC Finisher!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

3 days and counting!!!

Well, 3 days if you do not count today and Sunday. I am already nervous. Which is crazy since I've already covered 12 miles so far for our long runs. A half marathon is 13.1 miles. I know I can do 13.1 miles. But I still get nervous because this time it includes my chip timer.

I should take a photo of my marathon items. I have the usual... sports bra, race shirt, compression shorts, running socks and running shoes. Then there is my Amphipod fuel belt which carries a 20 oz. water bottle and has two zippered pockets for my Gu energy gel (I love the Espresso Love and Chocolate Outrage). There are also two little pockets that house my Burt's Bees lip balm and some Imodium tablets. I have an ankle strap that holds my timer chip and a tag with my emergency contact info. I wear my Disney 2008 marathon running hat as a goal reminder. I also have a pink Timex Ironman watch that can be set for interval run times.

I am set for wearable items. I know I am nervous but it's a different sort of nervousness. I know I'm prepared. I know I can finish in the allotted time (4 hours for the half marathon) but sometimes I feel like I am a fool for trying because I am not an athlete. I'm not sure that I will ever get to that point mentally because I have almost 38 years under my belt of being a non-athlete. It's silly, I know. I keep telling myself that at least I am out there trying. I could still be sitting on the couch but instead I am out there running on the same paths that "real" runners are on. I may not look like the ideal runner but at least I am out there trying.

And hell! I have a collection of bib numbers now! I have a bib number from a 35 mile bike ride, 2 5k bibs, a 10k bib and even the dreaded Disney marathon bib.

Maybe I'm an athlete after all!

As always, there is still time to donate to The Leukemia & Lymphoma's Team in Training!! Please consider sponsoring me as I run the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and the Bank of America Chicago marathon with Team in Training!

Donate $25 and get your name entered into the next quilt raffle! The second drawing is October 5, 2008!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Silent auction quilt...

I wish I'd taken photos from the start but here's a few from the early stages to the final product.

Sideboard mess
The mess of sewing supplies littering my sideboard.

Sewing the beginning blocks...

TNT 20th Anniversary Silent Auction Quilt
Trying to figure out what to do about that middle piece.

TNT 20th Anniversary Silent Auction Quilt
Getting ready to sew the final 3 top pieces together

TNT 20th Anniversary Silent Auction Quilt
The layers all ready to be pinned together.

TNT 20th Anniversary Silent Auction Quilt
The finished product! The quilt is 54"x54" and pretty! I am hoping it goes for more than the $100 starting bid price because the cost for materials was about $90.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Can I go back to bed now?

I spent the weekend sewing a new quilt for the silent auction at the Team in Training 20th anniversary party this month. My back and feet hurt worse after that then they have on any of the long runs so far. I was even up until midnight last night pinning the binding to the edges. I'll post photos later when I get a chance to download them from my camera and upload them to my photobucket account.

My neighbor came over yesterday and I was so excited because I had the names of those who have donated to TNT all cut out and folded up and ready for the first quilt drawing. Seriously! I really wanted to find out who won the first quilt! And I was hoping it wasn't my mom and step-dad (they donated a lot and I wanted to make them a quilt because I am enjoying sewing again and because I was hoping someone else would have a better shot at winning). And even with my folks' name in the drawing, someone else won! And it just so happened that the someone else was the first to return my letter with their donation!

Congrats to Gene and Cathy for winning the first drawing! Thank you so much for your donation to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training!!! Yours was the first donation I received so it seems only fitting that you won the drawing!

As always, there is still time to donate to The Leukemia & Lymphoma's Team in Training!! Please consider sponsoring me as I run the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and the Bank of America Chicago marathon with Team in Training!

Donate $25 and get your name entered into the next quilt raffle! The second drawing is October 5, 2008!