Go, Erin, go!

Working mom, wife, food-lover, ultra-runner(?). This is my life.

Week 18 – Training Run #55 – 3 miles May 13, 2008

Filed under: marathon,Riley — Erin @ 7:06 am

Three miles today. It seems so little, but it helped so much. I wish I could have gone for a longer run. I am a ball of nervous energy. I need to get out there and run to clear my head and myself back, but I can’t. I’m in the taper and it’s kind of getting to me. I am really looking forward to the big run on Sunday.

I’m getting a little nervous as well. Chicago is flat. Very flat. There is one “hill” on the course for the Chicago marathon, and it’s not even a hill, it’s a bridge over railroad tracks. You don’t get hill training in when you run in Chicago. Well, apparently Rockford is not as flat as Chicago, and this has been starting to worry me. I didn’t train on hills, so a hilly course could be the end of me.

I went to the website again (I seem to go there daily now, not quite sure why) and re-read the course description. They say that only 10% of the course is hilly and the rest is flat, so it should be a fairly fast course. That made me happy. Then Alan pointed out that means only 2.6 miles of the course are hilly. That made me even happier. Then I figured if you go up hill, you have to go down on the other side, so only 1.3 miles of the course should be uphill. I can handle that. That is doable.

So as you can see, I am a spaz. Three miles helped, but ten would have been better. Riley did well although she really wanted to go by North Pond. We were at an intersection and she really wanted to cross the street and go north, where as I wanted to go west and head home. It took some convincing, but ultimately, I am the human and I am in control. I know we were a funny sight though. I’d take a step west, she’d look at me all sad then turn and take a step north. Silly girl.

Okay, five days from right now (8:04 AM CST) I will be about 30 minutes/ 3 miles into the marathon. Ahhhhh. . . .


Week 16 – Training Run #49 – 5 miles April 30, 2008

Filed under: marathon,Riley — Erin @ 6:44 am
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Okay, technically I was supposed to run 8 miles this morning. I was going to, I swear. Riley and I ran 5 miles together, which is her limit. After the 5 miles, We went home to drop her off. She gets her breakfast right after our runs, so I have to go inside to feed her. I got to the top of the stairs and something felt very weird in my knee. Right then and there, I decided I wasn’t going to run any further this morning.

At this point in marathon training, you tend to get paranoid and become very careful and really listen to your body. It would suck so bad to have gotten this far and then screw up my knee trying to run three more miles. Then get side-lined and have to start all over again once the injury is healed.

So only 5 miles this morning. It was a good five miles. My legs felt great! I was worried for Riley for a while there. The bunnies seem to come out about half-an-hour before the sky gets light and we’re heading out just as the sky is getting light nowadays. Fewer bunnies are around and that is her life’s love.

When we’re running, she’ll sometimes slow because she’s getting bored, wants to sniff, is getting tired, or some other reason I can’t think of. To get her to go faster, all you have to ask is, “Riley, where’s a bunny?” and she takes off again. Now, this works, as long as in the next 10 or 20 minutes you actually see a bunny. After a while, if there are no bunnies, her heart is not in it and she thinks you’re lying. Well, just as I was really thinking the run would be a total bust for her, we saw a bunny. She stalked it and I really think if I ever let her off-leash, she could get one. In total we saw about four bunnies. Nothing compared to the 40 bunnies we’d see about a month-and-a-half ago.

Soon enough it will be bright enough out that there will be no bunnies, but there will be squirrles. She goes completely ga ga for squirrels.


Week 15 – Training Run #47 – 5 miles April 24, 2008

Filed under: marathon,Riley — Erin @ 7:05 am

One more run. 

I hit the snooze button this morning, but only once.  Hopped out of bed, got Riley on her leash and we were on our way.  I did 3.5 miles with Riley and then 1.5 miles on my own.  Riley was not going to go 5 today, I could tell.  It’s getting warmer and a little more humid out which she is not used to.  She did good. 

The weird thing is that although we left at the same time, when we got to the zoo, there were barely any bunnies.  We only saw two or three; we usually see 20 or 30.  So either there was a great bunny massacre – which I really think we would have heard about -, a dog went through just before us and scared off all the bunnies, or they are waking up earlier since the sun is rising earlier.  Regardless, Riley was a bit bummed. 

Today was the closest I probably have come to getting hit by a car, but there really was no danger since I had my eye on the guy from nearly a block away.  He was driving in a way that made me suspect he was going to do a rolling stop.  I was right.  I had Riley’s leash nice and short so she was right next to me.  We were running across the street in the crosswalk at a four-way-stop, and the guy just didn’t stop at the stop sign.  I stopped running so as not to be in the path of his car, kept Riley real close, and raise my arms in a, “What the hell?” manner.  The guy finally saw me, gave me a nasty look, and stopped.  Riley and I proceeded on our way, safe a sound.  That is one of my biggest pet peeves as a runner, and simply as a pedestrian, drivers that don’t stop at stop signs.  Dummies.

So, as I started this post with, one more run.  The weather looks pretty good for my 20 miler.  Upper 40’s/ Lower 50’s with just a 20% chance of precipitation.  I am actually looking forward to it.  I just need to get some rest this evening.  I have two personal training sessions tomorrow evening, but it shouldn’t be too bad.  Perhaps I should have planned a bit better and not had clients tomorrow.  Oh well, no big deal.

One more run.


Week 15 – Training Run #45 – 5 miles April 21, 2008

Filed under: marathon,Riley — Erin @ 7:54 am

Alarm went off at 4:45 AM. I turned it off and went back to sleep. Woke up at 6:15, got my lazy butt out of bed and out the door. Ran 5.1 miles with Riley. We saw bunnies AND SQUIRRELS!!!! Spring is in the air.


Week 10 – Training Run #28 – 7 miles March 18, 2008

Filed under: marathon,Riley — Erin @ 8:00 am

Well Riley was NOT in the mood to run today.  Good lord!  That was an awful, nearly painful experience.  After about 3/4 of a mile, I threw in the towel and took her home.  When she realized we were heading home, she kicked it into high gear.  Guess she just wanted to eat breakfast and lounge around on the couch.  I can’t blame her, I would have rather done that.

So I dropped her off and headed back out the door.  The first couple miles back out were a little rough.  I was overcome with massive hunger and there was nothing I could do about it.  I had no money on me, so I had to just push through. 

The run finally got better and ended up feeling really good.  It was dark the whole time I ran and drizzling.  It was really kind of miserable out.  I am glad I got my butt out the door for the run and that I didn’t postpone it until tomorrow morning. 

I am pretty tired now.  Such is my life!



Week 9 – Training Run #25 – 4 miles March 13, 2008

Filed under: marathon,Riley — Erin @ 5:36 am

I think this was my first run outside that was above freezing.  It was about 40 degrees out which was very nice.  It was a bit windy though which eventually made me pretty chilly, but I survived.  Riley came with me for the full four miles and did an awesome job.  We saw LOTS of bunnies, so I’m sure she had a good time.  She looks pretty tired now.  I think she’ll have a very good nap today.


Week 9 – Training Run #24 – 7 miles March 11, 2008

Filed under: marathon,Riley — Erin @ 6:56 am

Alan’s alarm goes off at 4:15 each day he has school.  I usually lay in bed for another half-hour to an hour, but today I got up as well.  I need to start getting out the door early on Wednesdays so I don’t get to work too late. 

It was chilly this morning at 27 degrees.  I know I am the one who chose to train for a marathon in the winter in Chicago, but this is getting to me.  I don’t need sunny and 60, but I would like it to start getting above freezing for my runs.  Today wasn’t too bad, the cold didn’t get to me until the last mile or two. 

Riley and I headed out to run three miles.  I was thinking of taking her for four, but could tell she isn’t quite there yet.  She could have done it, but it would be slow going.  She did pretty well, and saw two bunnies again.  I dropped her off, fed her, and headed out for another four miles.

This run went well.  I felt very fluid while running.  It seemed almost effortless.  I love runs like that.  I’m not as tired as I usually am after a seven mile run.  I guess I am getting stronger and my body is getting used to the miles.