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Showing posts from June, 2012

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday and Happy first official weekend of summer!

I'm starting off summer with a little family vacay next week to a lake in Missouri.  I see lots of boating, skiing, tubing, grilling, relaxing, etc. in my future.  I'm pretty excited to take a little break.

I'm also bookending the vacay with weekends in St. Louis.  I see the muny, ted drewes, A CARDINALS GAME, etc. in my future.

I'm actually pretty excited, even though my packing job was awful for this trip.  (You would think I'd be a pro, but not for week trips like this.)  I might be rockin' some pretty interesting outfits ;)

I'll be back in Chicago for the fourth of July.  (Kind of bummed it's on a Wednesday this year.)  And this is a first for me (maybe a second) to be in Chicago for the 4th.  Usually I take a mini trip.

Summer's off to a pretty great start for me!  I hope yours is too!

Song for the day!


Today is one of my very favorite days of the year...SUMMER SOLSTICE.

Today is the longest day of the year folks.
And the first official day of summer!
The sun is at it's highest spot in the sky all year TODAY.

In the fall when the days start to get shorter and shorter (well, technically, they'll start getting shorter tomorrow) and there's hardly any daytime to speak of, I keep waiting for the winter solstice...  Because then I know the days will start getting longer.  All building up to the SUMMER SOLSTICE. 
(I can't help but use all caps, I love it so much.)

So what are you doing to celebrate?

I'm in Dallas for meetings that are wrapping up today so after that finishes, I'm heading back to Chicago and meeting up with a friend tonight.  We'll have to catch some of those extra rays at a patio or something!

Happy Father's Day

I'm pretty lucky to have a totally rad Dad!  (sorry, I had to)


things i'm loving this morning

Clouds.  You may never hear me say that again, but it made for a much more enjoyable morning run.

A pot of veggies for breakfast.  I was still in my sticky, dripping running clothes when I started chopping veggies.  Totally worth it.  Yum!

Iced coffee.

Cardinals line up for today.  Even though we're still missing many players, I'm happy to see Craig back in the 4 spot.

Reusable napkin.

Summer dresses.  I say dresses are God's gift to women (we deserved something, no?).  Although winter dresses are another story.  Those can be torture.  

Ceiling fan.

Luna recovery drink.  After long runs, this is lovely.  No, it's not made anymore and mine is expired.  But I keep drinking it and I'm ok.  I would not serve it to others, don't worry.
I remember when my mom gave these back to me when I got back from Mexico and I pointed out they were expired.  She said it would be ok.  So if it passes mother inspection...

Walk The Moon.  I'm obsessed with them right now.  
I looked throu…

Walk it out

I'm all for biking.  In fact, I'm at the point where I will ride just a few blocks because it's faster & I can put my bag in my bike basket.

But sometimes it's good to take a walk around the neighborhood.
Support some of my neighborhood shops or, at the very least, be aware of what they have for the future.
And it's nice to hang out with my neighborhood peoples.  (Except for the 2 blocks I was stuck behind a smoker.  Usually, I go real fast to get around them, but I was stuck.  Yes, I'm aware it was only 2 blocks, but it felt like 10.)

Tonight I needed a little pick-me-up and I needed to run some errands, which normally I would ride my bike to do.  But tonight I decided to take my time and walk.  
And it was lovely.

And now I'm going to do some yoga to get through tomorrow.
maybe while i listen to the cards game

Running is Free

So I'm going to finish up my constant running posts with... Running is Free...

Well, sort-of.  That totally depends on what type of runner you are and your own preferences.  It will be very difficult to say it is free, which is the common perception.

I'm a pretty low maintenance runner, but I still find parts of running quite an investment.  Maybe not as expensive as other sports, but it can definitely add up.

My list:
ShoesShoes can be between $75-$200.  I think this is a lot of money.  Especially when you're running a lot of miles and wearing them out so quickly.  

Clothes This also depends on you.  I have some favorite brands.  Even the clothes can add up.  This year I hit up the Fleet Feet's Memorial day sale and limited myself to the 50% off area.  I walked out with two tech tees and pants, all 50% off.  I was very proud of myself and didn't feel ripped off, which is easy to feel when paying full price.  I'm set with clothes for the season.
I also really like Lu…

chews vs gels

Chews and gels can be very helpful when pounding out the miles to maintain your nutritional needs.  Fueling yourself with carbs and electrolytes during longer runs and races will prevent you from running out of energy and help boost your performance.  
That's good to know, but how do you know how often to take them or which kind you should take.  All of this depends on your preference.  Try as many as you can during training and figure out what works best for you.  Stick with that.

Personally, I enjoy chews best, but I'm not completely sold on a brand.  I tried Honey Stingers last year and really liked them because they are smaller.  I also chew Clif Chews as well, but I think this year I'll go with the Honey Stingers.  
I took me years to figure this out.

Some people swear by gels.  I don't like the feeling of eating chews (while it's in my mouth).  I always want to spit it out.  Not the point.

The general rule is to take about 100 calories an hour of running.  I gener…

in 10 years time

Twenties can be a tumultuous time.  Seriously.  Think of all the changes you go through in your twenties:  college, graduation, job, new job, new job, etc.  Basically I feel it's a time to figure out life and it can be stressful at times when you never know what's around the corner and every year/month/day has new challenges (I guess that last part's just life in general).

But really I feel like there are tons of changes in your twenties, more than other decades where you're making your own decisions.  Maybe that's it!  It's the first decade where you are in charge of your own decisions?

I was talking to my dad yesterday about feeling stressed about some decision or other and still not wanting to be an adult.  After he told me I should be an adult.  I said, "How am I supposed to know where I will be in 10 years?"  I could have just said 1 year because that's how I'm feeling, but clearly I wanted to be dramatic.  He said, "No one does."…

running's not always easy

This morning I woke up and running didn't sound fun to me...
Here's a bit of how my mind was working.

-I don't want to get up yet.  I'm tired.  (maybe I shouldn't have gone out last night)
-You have to get in your run before it gets too hot.
-It's so hot.
-I don't want to go.
-Why am I running this marathon?  It's the first week and I can't get out the door for my first long run of the official training.  Ugh.

Then.  I got out the door.  Mile four was the first time I checked in with my body and realized I felt great and was really happy to be running.

Then the heat started to get to me.

I finished my 10 miles and didn't feel excellent (I have a long way to go).  I think the fact that I'm starting how I am and recognizing how much I'm going to improve is very exciting and I need to pull out my determination and I'll be so happy race day.

Let's just hope it's not this hot all summer.

running shoes

A question I get asked quite often about running is how to choose running shoes.

I'm no expert.  I went to Fleet Feet several years ago and got fit.  They watched me run on the treadmill to determine if I naturally over pronated or under pronated.  I was one of those, but can't remember which right now.  Then they started pulling shoes out for me to try out.  They have a mini strip of track once I tried on the shoes, they watched me run on the track and determined if the shoes did what they were supposed to do.
I haven't had any problems with my shoes so I keep going back and buying the same style.  Yes, there are lots of different versions and they usually make changes with every version. Some runners are so nervous that they will change their shoe so when they find one they really like they stock up.  (Think 10 pairs.  Now take a second to think how expensive that would be.  I do not do that.)
Sometimes I can feel the changes they make to my shoe.  Sometimes I can't.  

people on the lakefront path

Traffic is picking up on the path.  Which is exciting with all the energy, but also can be a bit stressful with so many people.  There are walkers, runners, bikers, roller bladers, and everything in between going along on the lakefront path at all times.  But did you know everyone falls into a category and if you spend enough time on the path (which I'm comfortable admitting I do) you'll be able to distinguish them very quickly?

* The tourists.  Or the Chicagans who never come to the path but once a year.  
Basically, they don't know the rules, therefore they don't follow them.  They are usually in the way and people are usually frustrated with them.  They don't know any better though.  The rules aren't posted anywhere... you just know.  I have to remind myself the majority of the people on the bridge just south of Navy Pier don't know any better and I have to remind myself often.
*The people who have been around long enough to know and understand the rules an…

30th birthday surprise

Remember how it was my brother's 30th birthday last week?
One thing I couldn't share at the time was that my sister-in-law, Greta, was throwing him a surprise weekend.  
Some of my brother's high school friends, their significant others, and Karen & I all surprised him in Wichita.
Here's some photos of the weekend

And of course, I have to post some Charlie photos

Getting back to Chicago Sunday evening, I was a teensy bit annoyed the west side of the L was closed in the loop.  So I got off to walk a few blocks to the bus and had a lovely surprise...

I got to see them finishing up Color Jam!  I don't really know the point, but it's fun anyway.

I run naked

No, not naked, but running naked.
Meaning running without electronics.
No ipod, phone, Garmin, etc.  I don't like to carry anything but keys and chews (for a long run).  That's more than enough for me.

Many people say they like to zone out with their music and don't understand how I run without music.  When they ask, this is the story I tell:
Summer '08 I was training for my first marathon when 5-6 weeks in my ipod stopped working.  I didn't want to buy a new one.  No ipod.  No music.
After I got used to running without music I really started to like it and even after I got an ipod I haven't gone back to running with music.
I'm very happy running with (and sorting through) my thoughts.

I know runners who LOVE their Garmins.  Maybe I'm not in love because I've never tried one, but honestly, I have no desire to.  I'm happy running just to run.  I don't need to know my exact time or exactly how far I ran.  Yes, I follow a training schedule stipulating…

speed days

Today was my first speed workout.


Basically if you choose a training schedule higher than beginner (which is what you should choose if it's your first or maybe second or third... you know yourself... marathon) there will be some speedwork involved.

Does anyone like speedwork? 
I'm sure someone does.
I do not consider myself one of those people.

My throat burned today as I ran.  It was not comfortable.  I just kept repeating, 'it'll get better... it'll get better.' 
Not today, but through training.

Trust yourself.

Speedwork helps. I do trust it (or else I wouldn't do it).  Marathon training is hard work.  I can't like all of it.


Most people may not think there is much to running form.  It's just running, right?

Sort of.
Not really.

When you're running 50+ miles a week, it makes a difference if you're stepping in a way that will irritate your body.

Somehow we begin to forget how we were meant to run until a part of our body finally says, "That's enough.  You're not doing that right."

Up until last year, I would keep running until I felt some pain.  That was my clue it was time for new shoes.  Then last fall after the marathon my right knee started hurting.  I went and got new shoes (it was way past the mileage recommendation).  It didn't help.  Then I didn't know what to do.  It'd never happened to me before.
I started icing my knee after runs.
I started trying to cut back on running and give my knee a break.
I didn't know what to do.

Somehow I realized it could be the way I was running!  I started trying to alter my form and oh man, what a difference.

It wasn't easy.  I…

Running Mantra

Guess what? My fourth marathon is 18 weeks away!  
What does that mean, you ask?  Training starts today. And I'm super excited.  This year's Chicago marathon is on October 7th.  Registration usually takes a few weeks to sell out when it opens in February.  This year.  6 days!  6 days!  People are excited.  I can't wait to run with such an enthusiastic group.
So in honor of training starting this week for 45,000 runners I have a week of running posts coming your way.  (Please note I am no expert, but I'm willing to give my two cents.)
Let's get started!
Last year I didn't really trust myself in my running.  I mean I did it and I enjoyed it and I think it helped me work through a lot of stuff I needed to work through, but I didn't really have my full trust in myself.
I feel like I'm in a much better place this year.  (Even though training may be a bit tougher this year because I'll be traveling more.)
So this year I'm going to have a mantra:  Trust Yourse…