Go, Erin, go!

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

Week 17 – Training Run #54 – 8 miles May 10, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Erin @ 9:58 am

Today was my last Saturday run before the marathon. It was an 8-miler. Since it was such a short run (training for a marathon changes your definition of what a “short” run is) I decided to not set the alarm. Thank god, I slept past 5:45. I woke up at 7:00, geared up, grabbed Riley, and we were on our way.

Riley was funny today. She sometimes likes to choose which way we go when we come to an intersection and she lets you know if you’ve gone the wrong way by stopping and looking up at you with the saddest eyes. Well today she did it, but we couldn’t go the way she wanted because the street was closed for construction. She didn’t care and kept trying to make me go her way. I finally told her, “Squirrel” and she perked right up and went my way. Funny girl.

We went five miles together and then I went out for another three miles. The weather is beautiful today! Sunny and a little cool, perfect for running. I can only hope for such good weather next Sunday. So far the forecast looks good, but that’s a week away, so anything can happen. Lord knows I’ve trained through it all, so bring it on!


I swear I am going to run tomorrow April 29, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Erin @ 6:32 am

I was supposed to run 5 miles yesterday, but didn’t. I was very tired and honestly, a wee bit hung over. However, I did walk 4 or 5 miles through out the day. I took the bus half-way to work and walked the rest of the way, and did the same thing in the evening. Plus I gave Riley a nice walk yesterday morning. So, I kind of got my 5 miles in, just not quite at the normal speed.

This morning it is cold and dreary and I made the decision last night to sleep this morning instead of run. So, I will be running my 8 miles tomorrow morning. I have to.

Just an update on my post-20 aches and pains. There were none! I felt great Sunday morning, aside from simply being tired. No nasty bruise where I fell, which is almost a disappointment. If it got really gross looking, turning purple and green as nasty bruises can do, I wanted to take a picture and share it will you all. Alas, my body seems to be dealing with it well.

I can only hope I feel this strong in three weeks!


Week 14 – Training Run #41 – 5 miles April 14, 2008

Filed under: marathon,Uncategorized — Erin @ 8:40 am
Tags: , ,

The alarm went off this morning and my immediate thought was, “Son of a bitch.” Five weeks from today, this will all be over with. I’ll be in post-marathon blissful achiness; I will be done. I’m not there yet, I have five weeks to go and today apparently I wasn’t in the mood.

I popped out of bed though and went on my way with Riley. We shook things up a bit today and took a slightly different route, enjoying the paths around Diversey Harbour. The run was okay, I guess. I had too little water yesterday, and too much beer last night. And so, I ran, not hungover, but dehydrated. I didn’t really feel it until I was finishing the second mile, but it was there. I was sluggish and off.

Riley seemed just fine until the last mile or so. She was ready to stop running when we were at mile four. I was able to encourage her and she picked up again to finish strong. It was one of my worst runs this season, but at least I was able to finish. I need to buckle down and not do that to myself again the night before a run.

Granted, yesterday was Alan’s first Sunday off of his new days, so we were enjoying having a whole day together. I guess I’ll have to enjoy it without beer for the next five weeks. ūüôā


Week 8 – Training run #22 March 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Erin @ 12:44 pm

There are good runs and then there are bad runs.¬† Today was a bad run.¬† I got my three miles in at lunch.¬† It was a bit rough.¬† My shins tightened up on me so I had to walk a bit after the first mile so they’d relax.¬†

I just never got into a groove and felt like I was stuggling the whole time.¬† Granted I was going fast for me (I tend to do that on treadmills, especially on Thursdays), but still.¬† I felt well hydrated, so I don’t think that was the problem.¬† I was a little hungry when I went down to run, so that could have been a factor.¬† Sometimes you just have a bad run though.

¬†I’ll take a bad run today if that means I’m going to be a rock star for my thirteen miles this Saturday.¬† Here’s hoping!


Stupid dream February 28, 2008

Filed under: marathon,Uncategorized — Erin @ 6:38 am

You know that dream where you’re in college during finals week and realize you haven’t gone to class all semester?¬† So you run around, trying to write a paper or even find the classroom.¬† Well, I had the running equivalent last night, well this morning.¬†

The alarm went off at 4:15 as usual and I just couldn’t get up, so I laid in bed and actually fell back asleep, and so the dream/ nightmare began.¬† In my dream I was running around getting ready for the marathon on race day.¬† I looked down at my legs and saw I had my socks pulled up to my knees.¬† “That’s funny,” I thought.¬† Upon further inspection, they were the socks you wear when playing soccer, and I had shin guards on.¬† And I reazlied I even had cleats on.¬† (I told you this was a stupid dream)

I don’t think I resolved the shoe issue when I realized I hadn’t made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (I run with these in my pocket to eat during the race) and I didn’t have time to make one.¬† What was worse is I had no Goo, ShotBlocks, PowerBars.¬† Nothing!¬† Luckily my friend Kelley (a real-life running buddy of mine) stepped up and gave me her Goo, she decided that morning to not run the marathon.

Great!¬† I’m good to go!¬† Nope, realized I had to ID nor a CTA card.¬† Why I thought I needed these to run the marathon, I have no idea.¬† So I ran around like a mad woman looking for my ID and CTA card.¬† The whole time my friend Cristen was there trying to calm me down by saying things like, “It’s not a big deal.”¬† That didn’t help (sorry Cristen, at least you made a cameo appearance).¬†

Okay, shoes, check(ish), food for run, check, ID and such, check.  Alright, time to go.  Then the horror of all horrors (and the part that really makes it like those college dreams) I forgot to go to the packet pickup the day before, I had no chip!  SHIT!  (You can certainly run a race without a chip, but there will be no record of you running it.  We runners like to have proof that we did, in fact, finish things like a marathon.  )

I had no chip and twenty minutes until the race started.  I went running down some stairs to head to where packet pickup had been in the hopes of getting my chip and making it to the starting line when, in real life, Alan clicked shut a clasp on his bag which woke me up.  Thank God!  The stupidness finally was stopped!

I am pretty anal when it comes to the night before a big race.¬† I lay out my shorts, shirt, jog bra, socks, shoes, CHIP,¬†makings for my PB&J, all of it.¬†¬†If I keep having this sort of dream before now and the big day, I’m probably going to turn OCD.¬†¬†

I have three miles to run today which I am hoping to get in at lunch.¬† I still have¬†a tense feeling left over¬†from that dream.¬† If¬†it’s not gone¬†by¬†lunch, I know that¬†the run will clear my head.


Week 5 – Training Run #13 – 10 miler February 16, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Erin @ 12:24 pm

You know it’s been pretty cold for a while, and you’re a little nutty with running, when you’re excited to see that it is only 17.5 degrees out at 6:00 AM.¬† And when I say “only”, that means it’s not any colder.¬† When I saw that, I knew I could run outside.¬† This made me very happy indeed.¬† So I set out at 6:30 with it 18 degrees out and the¬†sun just starting to rise.

¬†I decided to head north today to shake things up a bit and to stay more in the neighborhoods instead of heading downtown.¬† Also,¬†if needed, I could do a couple four miles loops and then a two mile loop to get my ten miles in.¬† I wasn’t sure how the run would go since it was my first long run since bronchitis.¬† When I got to my turnaround for a four mile loop, I was feeling really good so I kept on heading north.¬†

I do like to run on the streets and take in each neighborhood.¬† I am amazed by just how many restuarants and shops there are in Andersonville.¬† I never get further north than Hopleaf when I am up there socially.¬† There are a few shops I passed that I want to get back to, I couldn’t window show very well running past the windows.¬† There are also a bunch of restaurants I want to try.¬†

I turned around quite close to Jon and Rick’s place (Alan said I should have knocked on their door and told Rick to cook me breakfast).¬†¬†Even when¬†running in the¬†cold, you still lose a lot of water and run the risk of geting dehydrated.There’s a lot of water lost with exhalation, plus you still sweat, even if it is below freezing.¬† I wasn’t that thirsty, but wanted to make sure to stay hydrated, so I made a pit stop at the 7-11 near Jon and Rick.

I¬†ended having a pretty darn good run.¬† My legs felt strong for most of the run.¬† The last mile was a little bit of a struggle, but not that bad.¬† That’s how these long runs go.¬† The last mile is a bit of a challenge and at the end, you could go maybe one more mile, but you’re glad you don’t have to.

For those of you wondering (and for my future reference) I wore a short-sleeved technical top, a long-sleeve, slightly heavy weight technical top, plus my New Balance jacket, a pair of running tights, and a pair running pants.  To top things off, I also wore a fleece cap, neck gater, and mittens.  I think I dressed perfectly.  I was just a wee bit cool the whole time, which kept me from getting overheated.

I think I am completely recovered from bronchitis.¬† If I wasn’t, there’s no way I could have run ten miles, especially in the cold.¬† I am quite tired now and ready for a nap.¬† I’m laying on the couch as I type this with Riley at my feet.¬† Alan’s over at a friend’s place watching the Manchester United/ Arsenal match, so I’m thinking now is as good a time as any to nap.

Besides, I need to rest up since I am going out tonight to a wine bar down the street.¬† I don’t see things being as crazy as they were last week with Jon, but you never know.¬† ūüôā


The Bottomless Pit – training run #7 January 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Erin @ 7:03 pm

I went for my long run this morning – nine miles.¬† I almost didn’t go this morning as the forecast is a wee bit better for tomorrow morning.¬† But, the weather was good enough today, Alan was fast asleep, and I had to get the run in at some point.¬† I finally just told myself to suck it up and go.¬† So I did.

The temp¬†was in the mid 20’s which was almost warm compared to the temps we’ve been having.¬† We got about two inches of snow last night, so I grabbed my Get-a-Grip traction aids and headed out the door.¬† I was thinking of doing two, four mile loops plus a one mile loop to get my nine miles in.¬† I started out and it was a bit grueling.¬† The¬†Grips helped, but it was still quite a workout.¬† I decided to ditch the loop idea, knowing that a lot of that route wouldn’t be shoveled.¬† I decided to head to a main shopping drag, which I hoped would be shoveled.¬† About a mile-and-a-half into my run, I was going slow on the still¬†not shoveled¬†sidewalk when I saw a guy running in the street in the bike lane.¬† “A ha!”¬† I thought.¬† Silly me, why don’t I run in the bike lane?¬† So I took off my Grips and headed into the street.¬† Aaah. . . that’s better!

I continued heading downtown and kept a good pace.¬† I think I prefer running on the city streets as opposed to on the lakefront path.¬† There’s more to look at and you are so distracted by trying to not get hit by cars (even when I run on the sidewalk) that the time really goes by quickly.¬† I find myself not paying attention to how far I’ve gone¬†or how far I’ve left to go.¬† I just go.¬† I see restaurants, buildings, and parks I haven’t noticed before.¬† I run past places that are new lunch options.¬† I take it all in, and just enjoy myself.¬†

I don’t really get lost in my thoughts.¬† Running kind of clears my head out.¬† Just empties it.¬† And like I said, I am too busy paying attention to traffic, bikes, potholes, dogs, and other obstacles¬†to think of much else.¬† I got to a point downtown and decided to turn around and head back towards home.¬† About a mile later, I realized I was thirsty and could use some Gatorade.¬† That’s when my new distraction was finding a mini-mart.¬† I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see a Walgreens!¬† I went in, got some Gatorade and continued on my way.

In all, I went 8.7 miles, with a goal of 9, so I was happy with that.¬† I figure the mile-and-a-half of running in snow makes up for the slight shortfall.¬† When I got home, I was quite hungry.¬† I had some leftovers from the other night’s dinner shortly after I got home.¬† Two hours later, I was ready for lunch.¬† I had a homemade steak-and-cheese¬†sandwich and some side salads.¬† That filled me up, for about an hour or two.¬† That’s when I remembered, when you train for a marathon, you turn into a bottomless pit.¬† If you don’t eat properly, you never feel full.¬† Your body needs some serious fuel.¬†

When I trained for the marathon two years ago, I trained with a running group.¬† We’d do our miles and then head to breakfast.¬† The amounts of food we ordered was obscene.¬† Sometimes there would be so much food ordered that it almost didn’t fit on the table!¬† When we were done, the plates were nearly licked clean.¬†

I was able to get my appetite under control after lunch.¬† I took Alan to work at about 2:30, came home, tried to take a nap, and then was in a really crabby mood.¬† I was thinking it was because I was tired and didn’t get a good nap.¬† Then I realized, once again, I was hungry.¬† So I had a big bowl of fried rice which chicken which did the job.¬† I perked up almost immediately.¬† The crabbiness went away and I felt more awake.¬† I¬†am now thinking of popping a bunch of popcorn.¬† That or make some banana bread.¬† Or both!¬†

So it begins, the bottomless pit.¬† I have Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition and her Food Guide for Marathoners both which I really need to start reading.

All in all, it turned out to be a pretty good run. And I will continue to be the bottomless pit.