Thursday, June 29, 2006

Wishing Summer Never Ends...

So I am SO not a fan of winter or really fall for that matter. Today started out with a semi-ok three mile run. I set the alarm for 6:00, SNOOZED, like the snooze queen I am and woke up around 6:40. I was going to shower and get ready for work, but instead I said..."I'm going to run now so I can swim tonight." And that is just what I did. I went out and it was cool and brisk and comfortable. I loved the temperature and the morning sun. I did NOT love the slight pain and dead legs feeling after about 1 mile though. I'm really hoping that this weekends 7 miles doesn't start hurting after 1 mile, because the last 6 will be REALLY long. are today's stats...I ran alone and went a bit slower...but I still think I should run even a bit slower.

3 Miles
Mile 1 = 9:48
Mile 2 = 9:46
Mile 3 =9:45

At least I was consistent, right? :)

Then I worked all day and went to my gym's pool to loosen up and swim some laps. It felt great to get in the pool...I sure don't remember how I used to swim double practices in high school!! I definately want to get into triathalons next summer because I miss swimming so much!!

The weather tonight is equally, not humid and just perfect. I was swimming some laps in the outdoor pool and the water was so warm! I love summer....

NOTE TO SELF--MUST MOVE WEST!! Like...maybe Maui!! WHAT AN AMAZING VIEW...I could do some awesome running there.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

WTF...Pacing Issues...Please Help!

Ok, so tonight's three miler felt like SHIIIAAAT!! I just felt myself wanting to stop alot because the lower legs were hurting again. I'm wondering what pace I should be running my weekday runs as opposed to my long runs.

Ultimately I'd love to finish the marathon anywhere under 4:35, which is about 10:30/min miles. As you may tell from my splits I list, I think I may be training too fast for this. Thoughts?!

Here are tonights splits from the 3 miles:

Mile 1 = 9:26
Mile 2 = 9:41
Mile 3 = 9:42

The run sucked for me because as usual I felt like I was slowing down Nick, who was running with me instead of ahead of me because he wanted to track his mileage. I think I need to just start running on my own to get into my own groove/pace. But I need everyone's help with the training pacing.

I know the long runs should be about 1 minute slower than actual marathon pace goal....but running 11 min/miles seems like I may be forcing myself to slow too much. Input at this point would be great!! Thanks so much.

Maybe tomorrow's post will be more interesting...I'm off to watch So You Think You Can Dance!!

Monday, June 26, 2006


Ouch...that 3 miler just killed. I discussed with hubby and we both feel that the sidewalk running is NOT, I repeat, NOT a good option. It just makes my lower legs throb and now I have to jump into another ice bath. GRRR...this means that I will have to now drive about 20 minutes extra just to do my shorter weekday runs so as to avoid the dreaded CEMENT SIDEWALKS. I much prefer the paved trails and streets. :(

Anyways, I'm off to the ice bath. Here is the 3 mile breakdown:

Mile 1 = 9:00
Mile 2 = 9:24
Mile 3 = 9:31

AND, for comedic is a picture of me back from the Shamrock Shuffle...the race that started it all for me. I'd like to think I've already come along way from back then...for starters, I will NEVER pose for a picture with that stupid ass face again! :)

NOTE TO SELF - start posting cuter pics of yourself on your blog so as to not scare off any of your limited readers! LOL!!

Hydration and Nutrition Questions before I get onto the topic of this post, I thought I would update everyone on the shopping expedition from yesterday! The purchase of the day was a fancy new Ipod Nano...I broke down and bought one after the Mac Genius told me that my 20 gig Pod isn't meant for running because that freezing issue is typical with hard drive based MP3 players. So, since the Nano is a flash driver based player, I've been assured that it will be freeze free during my runs. I'll kill someone if it isn't...or just return it! :)

I also added to my ever growing collection of jeans. I have this bizzare fettish with jeans...I never seem to get that perfect fit, but I think yesterday I accomplished it, without spending over 60 bucks. Beats that last pair of $160 jeans that are a wee bit tight...damn pounds need to start falling off!! GRRR!! I won't even get into this mornings hatred of the scale. Bottom line is that I almost threw it against the wall...that damn thing MUST be broken. ;) Not sure how hubby keeps losing weight while I keep adding. But I digress....

So onto the topic of today's post: HYDRATION and NUTRITION I need some help with this from experienced long distance runners. I know that as I start increasing the mileage and time I run on the weekends, I'm going to need to start worrying more about these factors. I am definately focusing on eating enough good calories during the days and drinking plenty of water as well. But I need some guidance on how much to drink before/after/during the long runs and what I should be drinking. I've heard water isn't the best choice? I also need some help on all those GU/Sport Bean type nutrition things for during the long runs. Any information about what strategy is best for running hydration and nutrition would be appreciated. Here are some questions currently running through my head:
  • How much fluid do I need to drink before the long runs? What should I be drinking? Water/sports drink?
  • How much and how often should I drink during the long runs? Again, what should I drink?
  • When will I need to start using Gu or another similar nutritional supplement?
  • Is Gu the way to go? I don't want to puke! :)
  • Is there some sort of specific recovery drink that I should be drinking after the long runs?

Ok...I'm sure some of you out there have some guidance on these issues. I want to try and become consistent with my hydration and nutrition plans. So please give me any info/advice/suggestions you may have!!! THANKS IN ADVANCE.

Also, I think I may have to modify my running schedule again because I really want to do my long runs on Saturday's instead of Sundays. So tonight I'll be heading out for a 3 miler in order to try out this schedule for the week:

Monday: 3 miles

Tuesday: Yoga

Wednesday: 3 miles

Thursday: 3 miles

Friday: Yoga

Saturday: Long Run (7 Miles)

Sunday: X Train (Swim)

I think this schedule may work out better for me. Oh other news...I'm going to VEGAS for Labor Day weekend...the 16 miler I'm supposed to run that weekend should be LOADS of fricken fun. Will I really have to put in 16 miles on the Dreadmill!?!? Thoughts/advice? I'm already worried about this...what a freak I am...I know, I day at a time right! We are going to celebrate the little sis's 21st birthday...Vegas Style. Mandalay I come!!

Nick...another small vacation is on the way. Did I ever mention my husband rocks? Well he does...he has his first night of overnight on call as a doctor tomorrow...poor thing! How will I manage without him?!? Luv u Niko!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Last Minute Change of Plan

So, yesterday after work I headed out with sore knees and shins to do my three miles. Suprisingly, that run went better than expected.

Friday's 3 miles
Mile 1 = 8:44
Mile 2 = 8:59
Mile 3 = 9:09

I was a bit winded toward the end, but no significant pains during the run. I iced the knee last night and popped some Advil.

This morning I woke up and took the dogs for a quick 1 mile walk to loosen up the legs a bit.

Then I went to lay out at my gym's pool for a few hours with my mom and sister. My mom informed me that she wanted to head to Woodfield tomorrrow for some shopping, which means she wants to get an early that got me thinking...hmmm...maybe I'll do my 6 miler tonight instead of tomorrow morning.

I went to get my mani and pedi...felt lazy...and developed a headache.

When Nick got home from the hospital we both decided that it would be best to get the 6 miler under our belts tonight so we could sleep in a bit tomorrow. So out we went. My mom came along for moral support and did her walk/jog routine! It was awesome out.

We headed out to this great place in the suburbs for some nice trail running. It was the Hickory Junction Bike Path that connects to the Old Plank Road Trail. We did 6 miles...and boy were there some killer hills. Maybe they were just "rolling hills" but they were hills nonetheless. I feel like adding some hill training in the mix will only make us stronger for the marathon.

It was sweet running through that was slightly wooded in parts and the scenery was much more pleasant that just neighborhood sidewalks. Except for the time when a bug flew in Nick's eye around 4.2 miles, we didn't stop once. All in all I'm pretty pleased with the run. Here are the stats from my first official long training run:

6 Miles
Mile 1 = 10:07
Mile 2 = 9:45
Mile 3 = 9:57
Mile 4 = 9:25
Mile 5 = 9:25
Mile 6 = 9:14

That made for an average pace of 9:40/mile. I wonder if I can maintain such a pace on longer runs....we shall see!! Now I'm tired and must rest. I have a big day of shopping ahead of me tomorrow...maybe I'll just break down and buy the Nano. Today I actually ran with no music b/c stupid Ipod wouldn't even turn on!! But, I found it to be peaceful without the music. G-Nite All!!

Friday, June 23, 2006


Ok, so everyone who uses an Ipod during their runs, I NEED HELP. I have the 4th generation IPod (20 gig/no video or color screen). I use it on a clib when I run because when I put it on my arm I feel like I'm carrying a weight! :) Anyways, I've been experiencing some jamming up and freezing issues lately during my runs. Does anyone else have this problem?

I've read on some Mac techie websites that this is a common problem with Ipods that have that much memory because of the mechanical hard drive in them getting jostled during running. I hate this problem and I'm contemplating purchasing a nano if this issue will be avoided. The Pod regularly works but adding jostle creates this problem. Any input would be GREATLY appreciated since the Ipod is likely to be my training partner.

If I have to drop $200 on the Nano, I wouldn't mind. I'd rather do that then pay $160 bucks to run with CARA for the summer...I think that is a steep price to pain for running partners especially since I don't want to have to be downtown by 7am every Saturday...I live about 45 minutes out of the city.

I admit that this no running partner issue is frightening to me, especially thinking about those long weekend runs...but I can do it. Running Rabbit you won't be alone in your solo training endeavors!! :)

Other than that, I have nothing too exciting to report. I'm experiencing some interesting shooting knee pains today as I sit at my desk. I'm hoping that tonights 3 miler doesn't aggrevate or worsen that condition!! Tomorrow I think that I am going to do some laps in the pool and lay out to work on my tan. Then I'm getting a mani and pedi with my gorgeous sister Gina!!

Sunday I'm hitting up the 6 miler solo...which should prove to be fun. BUT, my wonderful mother said she'll come out with me and walk while I do the run! She is truly the best!! Luv u mom!

Tag I'm It

Runner Girl wanted to play a game of tag...and now I'm it!

A) Four Jobs I've Had in My Life:
  1. Lifeguard
  2. Swim Lesson Instructor
  3. The Express Retail Girl
  4. Attorney

B) Four Movies I watch over and over:

  1. City of Angels
  2. Jerry McGuire
  3. Save the Last Dance
  4. Big

C) Four Places I have lived:

  1. South Holland, IL
  2. 16th floor of Mertz Hall at Loyola Chicago
  3. North Shore Avenue in Chicago (Roger's Park)
  4. Orland Park, IL

D) 4 TV Shows I love to watch:

  1. LOST
  2. CSI
  3. Law and Order SVU
  4. Jordan's Crossing

E) 4 Places I have been on vacation:

  1. Maui
  2. Kauai
  3. Mayan Riveria, Mexico
  4. Scottsdale, Arizona

F) 4 Websites I visit daily:

  1. Comcast (email)
  2. Bloglines of all my runner pals
  3. (celebrity gossip)

G) 4 of my favorite foods:

  1. French Fries
  2. Crab Rangoon
  3. Pizza
  4. Ice Cream

H) 4 places I'd rather be right now:

  1. With my hottie hubby
  2. On a beach in Maui
  3. On a hammock in Princeville Kaui with Nick
  4. In a Mayan Shower (ask for details)

I) 4 Favorite Bands/Singers:

  1. Dave Matthews Band
  2. David Grey
  3. Coldplay
  4. James Blunt

J) 4 Bloggers I am Tagging:

  1. Running Rabbit
  2. Leah
  3. Running Jayhawk
  4. Bob


    Wednesday, June 21, 2006

    Loving Ice

    Ok, so I know you are all dying to hear if I killed the "Debbie Downer" in me yet...and the answer...well you'll just have to wait until the end of the post to find out. :)

    So last night was depressing. I hate feeling like a failure because I am a relentless perfectionist and always want to be on target for whatever goal is looming on the horizon. So when I feel like stopping a mile into a measly three mile run, when I've run pefectly easy 8 milers previously...the pefectionst is NOT pleased at all!!

    Tonight before my "easy 3" I slathered Biofreeze all over my lower legs...this stuff is wonderful...creates that nice numb feeling that sets in after 3 miles automatcially rather than trudging through 3 miles of creaks and moans. I went out to where I normally do my 4 mile loop and just did a 1.5 out and back. It was HOT and HUMID tonight. I was hoping the sun would not be blaring down on me, but no luck...because it did.

    Luckily Nick ran out in front of me right from the start because I HATE, HATE, HATE feeling like I'm being pokey and slowing him down. So I just ran along and the first mile was semi-pain-free. But since it was so darn hot, I had issues keeping my breathing under control.

    NOTE TO PERFECTIONIST SELF= remember to focus on breathing slow and even when it is HOT HOT HOT! I am definately a cool weather runner, despite loving summer. So I am looking forward to fall for training already (unfortunate as today is the first day of summer)!!

    Anyways, so I'm plugging along, watching Nick get further and further in front of me. After I mile, instead of stopping to stretch I pushed on until the 1.5 mile turn around where I laugh at Nick who is still running....too bad he doesn't have his own Garmin! ;) Then I turn around, crank up "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" on my IPod and hope the next 1.5 doesn't go into a painful downhill spin.

    Suprisingly, it really didn't go all that terrible. I ran another mile when Nick passed me up...I wanted to punch him, but remembered how awesome he is and just watched him run by as I quickly paused to stretch out those lower legs for the last .5 miles. All in all, not terrible. I feel a bit better than last night and optimism is back on the rise in my head.

    Here are the stats from the "semi-easy-three".

    Mile 1= 8:53
    Mile 2= 9:21
    Mile 3= 9:19

    My question is, when will the easy 3 become just that? I also wonder why my super competitive dumb ass self can't stop looking at the watch and saying "oooh, I'm running at 10:00 min/mile pace, lets try to keep it under 9:30....I'm a freak! I should not push myself so hard and be so hard on myself. I need to remember that this is only my first marathon and that finishing it alone is awesome. I'm such a competitor...grrr!!

    So after the run, I took Leah's advice and took an ice bath. I jumped into my tub, closed the drain, cranked the cold water on high power, and took the torture...Nick walked in, called me a freak and told me to stop complaining that the water was so cold because I did it to myself...point noted honey...I'll try better next time. It took at least 3 minutes for the water to rise enough to cover all of my legs and toes...those first 3 minutes were definately the worst...probably not quite as bad as this guy jumping into some sort of garbage can ice bath...but oh were they worth it!! After 5 minutes my legs were in a state of numb bliss and all of the semi-pain left from the run melted away!! I love ice baths now...I'm official an ice bath addict. Maybe its silly to ice bath after the measly 3...but I will do it from now on after my legs feel that they have taken a beating!! Thanks so much Leah!!

    The only downer for tonight is that my friend who promised she would run the long runs with me on the weekend just informed me that she wants to do the training runs with CARA...this makes me sad because I live in the suburbs and don't really want to get up at 5:30 on the weekends just to make it downtown from the suburbs in time for the 7AM CARA training runs.

    AND to make matters Ipod is on the keeps freezing up on me...maybe I'll just have to break down and buy a Nano if the peeps at the Apple Store can't fix it. OH well...I guess everything can't be perfect.

    Hope everyone else out there had a great training day!!

    My new motto for the week is "You Get What You Give"... hopefully that keeps me going ... I'm gonna give this training my all and hopefully I'll get to that finish line in one piece and with a smile on my face!!

    Tuesday, June 20, 2006

    Already Doubting Myself

    Yes, yes I is this possible? Well let me tell you how today's easy three miler went:

    First off, it was NOT easy at fact I nearly cried almost three times throughout the run because I felt pain in my lower legs. I ran all 3 miles, albeit not very well. I pushed myself through the run despite the hubby's attempts at convincing me to stop and just walk home. I only stopped two times, after mile 1 to stretch briefly and again after mile 2.

    Total 3 miles
    Mile 1= 10:17
    Mile 2= 10: 08
    Mile 3= 9:45

    Now, let me explain how this run utter and complete shit...blech, ick, yikes! After about .9 miles in I verbally announced to my husband next to me, "I think I am not ready to run a marathon." I'm thinking to myself now...what the heck was I in the world will I be able to run 26.2 miles when a measley 3 hurt like none other?! I am not quite sure what is up with my lower legs....I'm going to try icing and stretching them out alot tonight and hope that they feel considerably better tomorrow's 3 miles will not hurt so immensely.

    Many people may think I'm just being a baby, but tonight's run put serious doubts into this head of mine. I wanted to cry because I feel like I've been "pre-training" so much since March to get into a decent shape so this weeks Novice training program wouldn't hurt, but still it does. :( Tear, Tear from Tara....

    Sorry to be "Debbie Downer" tonight, but I just needed to vent. I will keep it up and continue to push through this issue and my doubts. Obviously this marathon training will be a self-growth and learning experience for me. I'm going to ice/stretch and go crash on the couch to watch the first season of Lost with the hubby.

    And for those of you who are Lost addicts, feel free to discuss at any point...I'm addicted. Nick is so kind to let me pause on Matthew Fox when he has his shirt off. :) Now maybe that thought will help me get through those next 3 miles. HEHE...just kiding're my one and only...."hey where do you work out"? Until tomorrow...

    And So It Begins

    Marathon Training is Officially Here!

    I will be following Hal Higdon's Novice marathon training program with a few modifications. Here is my plan for the next 18 weeks:

    Work is hell today, so I can only briefly update on my workouts since last Thursday.

    Thursday: CRAP RUN of only 1 mile (lower legs were killing)
    Sunday: 4 miles
    Monday: X-Train (60 minutes of biking/ 21.6 miles)

    The Garmin was out of batteries on Sunday, so I can't give you my details. Tonight I'll be heading out for 3 miles. Hopefully they go well!!

    Thursday, June 15, 2006

    Best Hubby Ever

    Before I begin to rave about my husband, let me do a quick running update.

    Tuesday morning I went out for a 4 mile run. It was a pretty good run, the weather was pleasant and I did it around 40 minutes. I had to walk a little toward the end because as usual I went out way too quickly with the hubby.

    Yesterday was a no run day because it was MY BIRTHDAY...which leads me to the title of this post...I HAVE THE BEST HUBBY EVER!! Unfortunately, like all adults, I had to work on my birthday. It just so happened that my boss who was out of the country for two weeks, returned to work yesterday also. So that made for a super hectic day at the office. BUT, Nick (hubby) suprised me with the most amazing floral arrangement, which was delivered to my office. I'm a huge fan of cymbidium orchids and they were in my wedding bouquet...and what do you know...Nick had these sent to my desk. LOVE THEM.

    Also, I get home from work....and a full gourmet meal was in the works. NOT only did I have filet mignon with homemade Bernaise sauce, but there was also rosemary roasted potatoes, fresh green beans with shallots and garlic, and a special desert. ON TOP OF THAT...Nick made me a pitcher of Mojitos. I am addicted to this drink....for all of you who have never tried one...YOU far the best summer time drink out there.

    So, needless to say, this was an amazing birthday. He also suprised me with a cute pair of shoes for my growing collection and invited my parents and sister over to participate in the wonderful feast he created. LOVE HIM...muah!

    So back to running. Considering the large quantities of calories consumed yesterday, I probably need to run at least 10 miles to make up for it, but tonight I will just be doing a 4 mile run. I hope to also get up tomorrow morning for a quick 3 mile cruise before work.

    Nick and I are headed to Warren Dunes in Michigan for two nights of should be fun to do the five miles or so in that environment Saturday morning.

    Also, quick shout out to Running Rabbit: AWESOME 9.5 miler!! You are getting super speedy!! WAY TO GO!!

    Hope everyone going to the RBF meet up Friday night has a blast...wish I could be there, but I'll be there in spirit. :)

    Monday, June 12, 2006

    Wally World Running Skirt Debut

    So, after reading Runner Susan and the Running Blogfather's blogs religiously...I learned that running skirts are all the rave lately. So, this weekend when I was out doing my weekly errands, I discovered a running skirt at Walmart...yes you heard it right....Wally World carries a running skirt.

    The best part is that it was UNDER $10...and it wasn't even on sale. So I had to buy one, just to see what it was all about and give it a try. Despite my husbands best efforts at trying to convince me to purchase a WHITE, yes I know he is crazy, skirt...I did what I do best and bought it in BLACK! :)

    So here are two pics of me in the skirt pre-run tonight.

    Wally World Skirt Review
    I actually liked the skirt. Let me explain what it is all about. Underneath what you see in the picture are some spandex like short shorts. So it really isn't like the typical underwear like insert in running shorts. I thought it was very comfortable...not super tight, not super loose. The waist band was elastic and only shifted a bit during running but nothing that was too annoying. I have a bit of a "booty" but I didn't feel that it was hanging out or jiggling too much in any way...which is always good.

    The only drawback is that there are no pockets of any this is strictly a skirt for short run training runs in my opinion.

    Garmin Review
    As you can see in the second picture, I am sporting the new Garmin 205, which I LOVE and highly recommend. It makes outdoor running so incredible for you technical runners who love to see your mileage and speed. Thank you to Bob for helping me figure out how to clear my Garmin! :)

    Tonight's Running Stats

    TOTAL: 3 miles

    Mile 1- 8:48
    Mile 2- 9:44
    Mile 3- 9:34

    Bottom line is that this run hurt my calves like crazy. I felt super tight after the first mile, probably because it was a bit fast (which is what happens when I run with speedy husband). Had to stop and stretch the calves out two times...but overall I pushed through it. Tomorrow morning is a four mile run...I'll have to force myself to stay above 10 min/miles.

    Improving Little by Little

    So, running is getting back on track (sorta).

    I do love the Garmin 205 and highly recommend it...I am still working out the details but it is awesome!

    Here are the running updates:

    Wednesday: 4 miles in 40 minutes (it was hot and I hated every second of the run)

    Thursday: 2 miles (recovery run)

    Friday: off

    Saturday: 6 miles in the rain in 57 minutes (very proud of this run)

    I decided that I much prefer running in cooler temperatures than hot ones. The Chicago Distance Classic should prove to be fun! BARB AKA Running Jawhawk...RUN IT, RUN IT!!

    For other Garmin users...Leah and do you post the picture of the details of the run from the software into your blog? I am clueless on this still. Also, I still haven't figured out how to clear a run from the watch without deleting it, unless I link it up to the PC. Is there something I'm missing? :)

    Running Goals for this week:

    Today: 3 miles
    Tuesday: 4 miles
    Wednesday: 4 miles (IN THE AM, b/c that is my 26th birthday!! YIPPIE)
    Thursday: 3 miles
    Saturday: 5 miles
    Sunday: X-Train

    This weekend Nick and I are going camping for two nights (Friday and Saturday). SO our 5 mile run will be in the Warren Dunes State Park in Michigan...should prove to be a nice change of scenery. Unfortunately I'll miss the RBF Chicago Get-Together. Nick starts his residency in one week from today...I hope I won't go insane missing him from his new crazy schedule. YIKES!

    I cannot believe how fast the summer is already going...the races will be here before I know it! So I'll just keep running!!

    Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    I'm Back

    I know, I know...where did I go right?! Well I was on a much needed vacation with my family and hubby. Had a wonderful time, managed to only run two times, which is NOT good.

    Good news is that Nick (the hubby) gave me my birthday gift early...he bought me a Garmin 205...I am so excited!!

    Bad news is that I have started training again and feel so out of shape from the vacation. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that all inclusives are not good for me and that I ate way too much?! Or maybe it is because I'm used to treadmill running and I am not 100% transitioned to outdoors yet? Or maybe because I've ran my past three runs with the hubby who is way faster than me and I feel bad going slow? Or maybe it is because I've been leaving my IPod at home? Or maybe it is just a combination of all of these?!

    Regardless, it is frustrating that after 2 miles I feel totally winded and tired. I could normally treadmill run for at least 3 before even feeling phased. Hopefully this annoying phase of starting back up doesn't last for too long.

    Here is a running recap since I've been back from vacation:

    Saturday: 4 miles
    Monday: 3 miles
    Tuesday: 1.5 miles

    Tonight my plan is to do 4 miles nice and easy. Wish me luck!! I'm back for good now.

    About me

    • I'm Tara
    • From Chicago Suburbs, IL
    • Still feeling defeated by my injury that prevented me from running the Chicago Marathon this year, I've decided to refocus!The new focus of my life and this blog is to train and prepare for TWO half marathons next year. I'm also *DREAMING* about gearing up for a triathlons, but have no bike right now. :)
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