Race Schedule

Saturday, June 11, 2011

From the Ground Up

I've been quiet for quite a while now (who knew I could do that?) because I truthfully haven't had much to say.  But things have been going on.  I've started my new job and its really kind of awesome.  I've continued to lose weight, still at a slow pace, but that's what I'm going for, I never want to see those pounds again!  And I've been undergoing physical therapy to treat this silly injury that you've all heard more than enough about.

Out of all these developments, its the physical therapy that has made the biggest impact on me.  When I went for my initial evaluation, I was told nothing about the way my body is reacting right now is right.  I don't even stand right.  I doubted statement until presented with the evidence and well, my PT was right.  My running problems started literally under my feet.  

Upon further reflection, I've realized that I didn't only need a physical makeover starting at the soles of my feet, I needed a mental one.  

I hate to say it, but I think for the last year I've been running for the wrong reasons.  I started this blog about nine months ago, hawking it as a chronicle of my journey of healthy living.  But in retrospect I see race this, race that, training, training, training, race, race, race.  Do I enjoy training for and running races?  Absolutely.  But lately my training (even thinking about it, since my training is confined to bike and pool for now) has turned into a chore and an exercise in frustration.  I force myself out to pound out x number of miles and when I find I don't keep the pace I think I should or the pace I used to I get upset, I push to hard, make myself miserable and sometimes (often, now) I end up hurting myself.  

I'm not saying I want it to be easy.  I expect this sport to be hard.  I expect to need to force myself out the door some days and I honestly believe those runs you don't want to do are some of the most important.  This is a sport about dedication and discipline just as much as community and fun.  I want the whole package back and I think I'm starting to get there again.

Memorial Day weekend I walked (almost every darn step) of the Beverly Ridge Run with two friends (one injured, one pregnant) and we had a great time.  It wasn't a huge accomplishment or anything of the sort but I very much needed that race to refocus myself.

My body is being fixed, bit by bit, from the ground up.  At the same time, I am working on my mind.  I hope that by the time I'm physically ready to run again I'll be mentally ready as well.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Confessions of an (Injured) Runner

I’m a bad kid and its not because I haven’t blogged in way, way too long.  Want to know why I’m a bad kid?  Because I’m injured - but I did two races on consecutive weekends.

Granted, we’re talking about about a 5k or two, and I walked a good portion of both (no PRs here or anything) but I’m still limited to 15 minutes of walking everyday so I perhaps didn’t make the smartest choice.

I got really excited that I was able to finish those races with minimal pain and I maybe got a little cocky.  I damn near walked my foot off Saturday while I was with my family and guess what - this girl isn’t healed.  

But here’s the thing:  I haven’t been able to resolve this injury for years.  Its been a lot of patching it together and let’s do this race and that one and after two or three something else (all relating back to the same injury) pops up and I end up typing up a blog post like this.  This time is different though.

This time, there wasn’t much of a break between one injury and the next.  I only managed one race, and it wasn’t a very good one.  Today I saw an old woman limping down the sidewalk and all I could think was ‘that’s exactly how I feel.’  I’m not okay with feeling like an old woman who can hardly walk.  I have goals for my life and some of them are things that I’m afraid might have an expiration date and they all require me to be a strong, healthy twenty-something year old woman.

As a result, I’ve made a very difficult decision:  I will not register for anymore races until I am fully healed; until I’ve been given the all clear from my doctor and physical therapist and I’ve regained both the speed and stamina I’ve lost from previous injuries and I’m sure I’m losing right now.  

I don’t know how long this is going to take.  It might be a few months, it might be a year or even longer.  But I think its really the best and safest choice I can make for myself right now.   In the mean time, I’ll still be here, blogging about my progress and I’ll be volunteering at races - starting with Ragnar this weekend!  If you’re running Ragnar Chicago, I’ll be at the finish line, I hope to see you there.  I’ll be cheering on Team Online Relationship and wishing I was out there running with them!

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Few General Updates and a Dream

I've got a quick laundry list:

1) I did something to my peroneal tendon (no clue when, but its been going on a while).  Went to a new doctor and was diagnosed with tendinosis.  I'm out 3 weeks minimum and I'll be starting therapy this week.

2)  I may not have mentioned it before but I've been unemployed for 6 weeks.  I got laid off the beginning of March.  But I officially accepted a wonderful new job today.  Its a much, much better position than what I left and I really happy about it.

3) I will not be running the Illinois Half Marathon because of the aforementioned injury but since the job situation has stabilized, I'm still planning to go to Champaign to spend the weekend with Courtney, Aaron and Jenn.  I've appointed myself the official cheering section.

Which brings us to the dream....

As all my regular readers have probably figured out, Courtney and I have been friends since we were kids and have kind of been adopted into one another's families as a result.  Her mom is like a second mother to me....and I evidently haven't seen enough of her lately because I had two dreams about her this weekend.  The first was Friday when Courtney crashed at my house and it was weird and random, something about her making us ice cream.  But then Saturday night I had another dream about Momma Fran.

There's been some speculation that tomorrow RunDisney is going to announce a Tinkerbell themed half.  Courtney's mother loves Tink (so does Courtney, for the record).  So in my dream, the race is announced and Momma F. calls me and tells me she wants to run it but she wants to surprise Court at the start line so we can't tell her about it (what?)  No Problemo, Momma, I say.

We proceed to spend weeks training her in secret for this race and it angers Courtney to no end because she can never find us.  Momma F. and I make it to race day and are at the start (in the wee hours of the morning, it IS a Disney race, after all) but our plan falls apart because we can't find Courtney anywhere.  We start the race and finally at mile 10, we come across Courtney.  We're overjoyed, we've spent months secretly plotting this huge surprise.  And Courtney (brat!) turns, sees us, and says Oh hey guys, having a good race? That's it.

Do you think the Tink race is going to happen?  (I hope so!) Anyone interested in running a Tinkerbell Half Marathon with me?  And am I the only one who dreams about running?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Runners Wanted!

Last year I committed to run Ragnar Relay Chicago with a group of women I know through Twitter.  We formed Team Online Relationship.   Unfortunately, as we've gotten closer to the race several runners (myself included) have had to leave the team due to personal and work conflicts.  I will be volunteering for Team Online Relationship but my current work situation prevents me from running.  At this time, we have 4 runner slots open and they are as follows: 

In Van 1: 
Runner 2: Leg 2 (4.5miles), Leg 14 (4.5miles), Leg 26 (6.8miles): 15.8 miles
Runner 5: Leg 5 (6.3miles), Leg 17 (3.2miles), Leg 29 (2.9miles): 12.4 miles

In Van 2: 
Runner 7: Leg 7 (4.7miles), Leg 19 (3.7miles), Leg 31 (4.9miles): 13.3 miles
Runner 11: Leg 11 (5.5miles), Leg 23 (4miles), Leg 35 (8.3miles): 17.8 miles

Please keep a couple things in mind:

You'll probably need to take Thursday June 9th off of work for travel to Wisconsin and definitely Friday June 10th since the race starts that morning.  

Registration: $90
Hotel room in Madison, WI Thursday night before the race: $35
Van rental: $35
Gas for Van: $??
Food: ??
If you are coming from out of state, airfare: $200++

I'm not trying to scare you off but I want you to have all the details in mind! Now if you're interested and this sounds doable for you,  please e-mail Courtney ASAP at

Thanks! I hope you can join us! :)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon Race Report

I honestly don't have too much to say about this one, guys.

I've gone into races unprepared and I'd feel a lot better if I'd been slacking during my training for this one.  I played by the rules, I stuck to my training plan but it was just a bad day.

The race was wonderful, the support was stellar and I would recommend it in a heartbeat to anyone.

I had wonderful personal support as well, Jenn was by my side every step and if it hadn't been for her I'm not sure I wouldn't be laying in a ditch somewhere in Springfield right now.

There are parts of the race I don't remember at all, which is probably just as well.

All I can say is that I finished and its behind me.

Illinois is next and it will be a better race.

Have you had a really bad race?  How did you get through it?  How did it effect your next race?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Seen On My Run...

You guys know the hash tag #seenonmyrun ? (Yes, I have a Twitter obsession, I'm sorry if you don't.)

Today I started with an awesome #seenonmyrun. (Jesus statue by the side of the path -awesome, right?) Then things got weird.

This morning was cold and snowing and miserable but I have a half next week so I had no choice but to brave the elements.  The other members of our group evidently didn't feel compelled to leave the warmth of their homes and I don't blame them at all.  It was just a group of two today, Michelle and myself.

Michelle and I decided to go the opposite direction on the path that we typically do just for a change of scenery.  We run in the Cook County Forest Preserve and some areas of the path run along side neighborhoods and busier streets.  Other areas are deeper into the woods and quite deserted.  The path is a 3.25 mile loop.  We planned to do two loops this morning.

I have to preface this by saying that we always stick together on these runs, we try to stay alert to our surroundings and we see a lot of the same people out on the path every week.  That said, we do not run with pepper spray.  I have always felt safe enough in a group that I never felt compelled to purchase any.  I never go out on that path alone, if I run by myself I run through the neighborhoods and check in at home or with a family member a few blocks away during that time.  I try to keep myself as safe as I can.

A mile into our second loop we were approaching an area that runs directly along side a neighborhood.  I saw a man approaching us, walking fairly slowly.  He wasn't wearing running clothes, he wasn't with anyone and he wasn't walking a dog - the vast majority of the people we see fall into these categories.  I did notice he had a phone in his hand that he was pretty fixated on, but nothing else about him seemed that strange.  After he passed us, Michelle said she thought he exposed himself to us.  I honestly hadn't given him that good of a look but I commented that he wasn't really dressed for a run.

We decided we would keep an eye on him.  Within a few moments, he turned around and started walking the same direction we were - still very slowly.  We had reached a neighborhood by then and got off the path and walked close to the houses to see if he would pass us.  We had to slow down almost to a crawl before he strolled past us.  Michelle was right:  He was walking around giving a show.

At that point we knew we would not be getting back on the path.  The next mile is the most deserted part of the path, there were few people out with the morning being so cold and he was walking so slow we would have no choice but to pass him - putting him behind us and out of our line of sight again.  We opted to walk through the neighborhoods to my parents house and got a ride back to pick up our cars.  I made a report to the police and they went to investigate but called me back a short while ago to let me know they didn't see anyone but they will be increasing patrols in the area.

There's every chance this man is a harmless flasher but people who exhibit that kind of behavior often progress toward other less harmless acts and I'm not going to lie, I just had a bad feeling about the whole situation.

I know most my readers are women and I really want to encourage all of you to be cautious when you run, even in a group.  Don't run alone in the woods and no matter where you run be sure some one knows your route, be sure they know about how long it will take you - check in with people - response time is critical in any abduction.  The first thing my mother said when we walked in the door was that she thought I'd been gone a long time for a six mile run - if our morning had ended in a different way her having that information could have been very important. Above all else, TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.  If you have a bad feeling about a situation, trust it, get out as soon as you safely can.

If you're in the south suburbs of Chicago, be on the lookout for a white man in his twenties on the Forest Preserve trails that sticks out.  Today he wore jeans, a black coat, white (non athletic) sneakers and a white ski cap.  Cook County Forest Preserve Police have been notified and did check out the area but stated they didn't see anyone matching the description.

That's all for my public service announcement.

Lincoln is next week - be on the look out for race report Sunday!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Short Note About Cross Training

I'm not going to beat around the bush here, guys.

I absolutely suck at cross training.

Its something I've been working on.  I logically know cross training with make me a better runner and a better athlete all around.  I also know that when I'm training for a triathlon I feel much stronger.

When it comes right down to it, I am lazy about cross training.  I tell myself its more important that I don't miss my running workouts.  But really, I should treat both as equals.

So this week I am being very intentional about cross training.  I have successfully cross trained both yesterday and today.  Three more days to go.  Tomorrow I think I'll swim and Thursday (technically my rest day) I'm planning yoga.

Do you struggle with cross training?  Are you more likely to skip a scheduled run or cross training work out?  How has cross training helped you?