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Showing content with the highest reputation on 10/21/2017 in all areas

  1. So this year has been filled with starts and stops... Run 3 or 4 days in a week and then nada for two or three weeks. I just could never get back into that groove. Sure there were some injuries I guess, but a few years ago I would have run through most of that. Some of it was new aches and pains that come with a 50 year old body I suppose, but also I found myself 20 pounds heavier than I was after my last marathon (Chicago '14) and I needed to get back in running shape to really start enjoying running again. September was a month of travel for work, and I decided to not just pack my running gear but actually use it on these trips. On a week long trip to Germany I ran 4 days along the Isar river in Munich, (which is totally freakin awesome btw), and then two days along the Rhine in Cologne (which is totally OSOM btw also!). The weather and scenery were incredible, and since I didn't pack my Garmin I just really enjoyed the running. It would be a way too long bloop but if you get the chance to go to either of those cities, do not forget your running shoes. A week later I was in Las Vegas for a trade show and ran on the strip three mornings, also semi-naked... It was again great running weather and surprisingly a pretty good place to run (a lot of stairs to get over intersections right downtown though). Anyway, I got my legs back into semi-decent running shape and lost a few pounds... it's really amazing how much better and stronger I felt after just a couple of weeks back running 4-5 days/week... And then I got an email or something from Dave pointing me to this "new Loop" site, which seemed like some kind of message from God or something to keep running... There was Bangle, Speet, NavEng, CompulsiveRunner, Dean, Stew, Peg, Tomato, Kate, Col, Corc, TO, Word, Shaunp, CClement, Raz.... and many more of the Loopsters I remembered pulling me through 4 years of struggling and training up through Boston (was it really 5 years ago?). So This week I've been keeping at it, seeing the most incredibly red sun-rises over the lake, and really getting lost again in running. Lastly, I knew what I really needed to do to keep myself from back-sliding again, enter a race. So this morning I signed up for the Hot Chocolate 15k next Sunday. It's one of my favorite races, (and even though my 8 miles this morning kinda sucked to be honest), I'm hoping that this time I'll be able to keep getting out there even when the those aches creep up or the weather isn't so nice... To give a different answer when people ask me "Doing much running lately?" And I'm thinking about Chicago in '18. It's a new AG, after all... Happy Running all!
    2 points
  2. Good Morning Loop! Last Monday (10/16/17) marked 6 months till Boston. As I wrote in my Injury update, I am a bit broken. Physically....Yes....Mentally...Never!!!! I was told on September 17th that I cannot run for at least 6 weeks because of a broken elbow. Well, I haven't really followed that advice. How could I? Running is not just something I do. Running is part of my lifestyle. I can't just bike (that is what led to this problem in the first place). I can't just get on a stationary bike (it is okay for a once a week adventure). I can work on my core and lower body; however, nothing beats a run! Nothing!!!!! I MUST RUN! So...I started running. I did take some time off from running...I biked, I walked, I speed walked, I biked...I jogged down hills on my walks, but I did not run. Last Saturday, about 3 1/2 weeks post injury, I went out for a walk and said screw it...I running. And I Did! Guess what? My arm did not fall off....my bone did not jump out of my elbow socket...I didn't fall over (but that would have sucked). Everything went fine. I ran 4 miles on Saturday....5 more on Sunday...8 on Monday...(Biked on Tuesday) and then ran 5 and 5 on Wednesday and Thursday. Yup...I am running again. Boston is only 6 months away and I am not going to take another 3 to 4 weeks off. I figure I can slowly build back up my miles while my elbow is still recovering, because it is not like I have a broken leg or ankle...it is a broken elbow on my arm. Therefore, I am upgrade myself (against Doctor's orders) from Injury to Training. Actually, I am a Doctor...not an MD, but a PhD and therefore, I am not going against Doctor's orders...as a Doctor, I am giving myself new orders...a new journey...that started on Monday and will take me to Boston on 16 Apr 17!!!!! Happy Running Loopsters! Dr. Ed
    1 point
  3. Run now or you'll regret it. The words that finally got me out of bed. Late. No rain. No wind to speak of. But I really really didn’t want to get up yesterday morning. When I heard the girl’s alarm go off, I started thinking about when I could run later in the afternoon. Lets see. I’m going on a field trip with Mookie. I can run after the field trip. Wait, no. Can’t count on that because we might get back right at the end of the day. I can run before Bell Choir. No again. I have Bobob until my BF gets done with work. Run after Bell Choir? Yeah, you know you won’t run before bed. Get up. Run now or you’ll regret it. It was 6:30 before I was actually out the door. Cutting things really close so I decided to head to the track and do some speed work. ¾ mile to the track. 6 sprints on the straightway with the curves as recovery. I think that’s 6x100? I didn’t do track in high school, like my sister. Just one year in 7th grade because practice interfered with church choir practice. My sprints were right around a 7:00 pace. Maybe next time I’ll do some more controlled 400’s. Something closer to what might be a better 5k pace than my current 3 miler slog. I’m trying not to be too hard on myself because while my head remembers that I can run, my body will be quick to tell me I’ve not been running for a few years if I try to set over-ambitious time goals. Still, it would be nice to run the 5k in December at something close to 35:00. I smile when I read the bloops about goals of sub 25:00 5k’s and paces that I have never seen. (My 5k PR is 27:xx) Running is an awesome sport. We are all competing with ourselves. Sure we race other people, but in the end, we are working at the consistent self-discipline necessary to become better, stronger and faster than we were. Ultimately, that self discipline transfers into the stuff of daily life. This is good for me. I contemplated two more sprints but decided I had worked hard enough and it might be wiser to head home. No sense in doing too much too soon and getting sidelined before I’ve begun. The field trip with Mookie went well. Outside learning about salmon life cycles and it didn’t rain till our drive home. Thankful for the ability be flexible with my work schedule so I can go on these things from time to time. P.S. Not entirely sure what category my bloops belong in. I am training for a 5k in December soooo... But most of my bloops feel like they are ramblings loosely gathered post-run. Happy running all.
    1 point
  4. It's nice to have a marathon that turns out better than you anticipate, as it often goes in the other direction. Meeting that supportive running group was a godsend! Winters in Iowa are a tough time to train for a marathon, but in January '09 I was slogging thru the slush trying to get ready for Birmingham/Mercedes when I ran into another old fart who was training for a half in Florida. Not only was he almost my age, he had - like me - been in Peace Corps/South America, spoke Spanish, and ran at my pace. We have been best friends ever since and still run together. "Miracle" is a bit too strong, but it was a stroke of incredibly good luck!
    1 point
  5. Waterton Canyon is a major asset for Denver I think.. when I interviewed here back in 1995, went for a walk afterwards up Waterton, thought "I could live here.." here's my trip report from a fishing point of view.. the canyon has been closed for some years, first due to dredging operation in the Strontia Springs dam, then for flooding, then because idiots were taking selfies with a mama bear and cubs.. used to ride my bike up after work for a couple hours' fishing and ride out in the dark.. http://classicflyrodforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=772899#p772899
    1 point
  6. When I think of beautiful Fall colors, I tend to think of New England. Thanks for sharing some CO beauty!
    1 point
  7. Beautiful pictures! I love the sheep! I'm with everyone else. In my experience, employers have been very understanding about pre-made plans. For me, it was traveling (taking a week off) for a marathon within the first month after I started. With something as awesome as your opportunity, I'd think there's a good chance they would work something out with you.
    1 point
  8. At mile 15 I started crying at the turn from Damen onto Jackson having just done some runners math (complete with padding numbers for marathon addled inaccuracies) because I knew I was going to finish. I could walk the rest of the race and I was going to finish under the cutoff time. I definitely didn't do that math because that was the plan, but starting about mile 18 it wound up being a good thing that I had that extra time, because it would turn out I'd need almost all of it. But, as usual, I find I'm getting ahead of myself. I should really start at the beginning. The beginning, in this case, includes a warning that is similar to the warning I included in my first half marathon bloop almost 4.5 years ago: brace yourself, this is going to be long. After all, I only get to do my first marathon race report once, and well, I don't want to miss anything. In fact, if you're the type that likes some tea, coffee, wine or beer with your reading, now is an ideal time to grab your beverage of choice. Don't worry, this report definitely isn't going anywhere. As many loopsters will remember, I didn't think I'd gotten into Chicago and I was pretty bummed about it. I didn't say a lot outside of the Loop, because I didn't want to rain on the parade of the dozens of friends who had gotten into the race. I had resigned myself to finding a different marathon to train for and being the best Chicago hostess and cheer squad you've ever seen when I got this email on March 14th: Once I got over the initial shock (and combed through my spam to find the original acceptance email) I did what all good runners do and began totally and completely obsessing over my training and race schedule between March and October. Seven months, after all, is more than enough time to prepare, and while I wasn't entirely sure what I needed to get out of this race yet, I knew I needed to finish it, and I wanted to do whatever I could to make sure that happened. You see, the marathon and I have had a three year long flirtationship. I'd signed up for two other fulls, one of which resulted in me dropping to the half marathon when I couldn't get my mileage up to where I wanted it to be six weeks before the race and another I wound up with a DNS after moving and changing jobs seriously impacted my training schedule. In fact, three years ago for Christmas my best friend got me a necklace that says "I Run 26.2" that's been sitting in my jewelry box at home through three apartments and two moves...and...well, more about that necklace in a bit. So, when I got my surprise participant update I printed off a map of the course and hung it at work. As you can see below, I wrote "Be Uncomfortable" on top of it. If you follow my non-running obsessions, you know that I love the Chicago Cubs. "Be Uncomfortable" was one of Joe Maddon's catchphrases as the Cub's entered the 2017 season, I thought it seemed pretty appropriate for marathon training through the summer, so I embraced it as my own little motto as training began. And, really, training was going pretty well into July. I wasn't getting much faster, but I wasn't slowing down. I might miss a handful of mid-week runs here and there, but my long mileage was on point. I wasn't missing races. I felt like I was going to be okay...until I just didn't feel like I was going to be okay. I've shared parts of this on the Loop before, so I don't think it's going to come as a huge surprise to anyone, but I've spent most of my adult life dealing with depression and anxiety to various degrees. I'm pretty remarkably good at managing them 80% of the time, and the other 20% of the time I probably just come off as having a bad day, or a weird stint of running late all the time. For a variety of reasons my anxiety was pretty much on tilt this entire training cycle, and while running is usually a tool that helps me manage that, this summer it just wasn't happening that way. It was taking most of my energy to manage work and relationships, leaving very little left to devote to training. And I'd still get out and run, or run/walk, or workout, or something, but I'd be lying if I said those runs felt good. They felt like the absolute bare minimum that I needed to do to be able to run this race and the whole summer felt like I was fighting my mind to follow through on a goal I set for myself. An eminently, achievable, personal goal - if I could just get the chemicals in my brain to cooperate. In the month leading up to the race it sort of felt like everything that could go wrong would and did go wrong. My 18 miler in Spokane was run in the smoky haze of wildfires, but was a relief since it gave me a break from political arguments with my family. My 20 miler was hot and I felt about as crappy as a non-sick person can feel while I did it. I left my watch at home for both rather than look at the times. Two of my three legs at Reach the Beach were a complete and utter suffer fest. I ran them at 1pm on terrain that is hillier than anything the city of Chicago has to offer in full on 80 degree heat. I spent most of September bracing myself for the very real possibility that even though I'd start this marathon I might record my first ever DNF. So I was a little shocked when the week of the race I felt pretty eerily calm about my prospects of at least finishing. I thought about how hard running had been over the summer and how it had happened anyway. I decided to just let any time goals and fitness ideals I had go out the window, and truly just focus on finishing. I thought about how much I wanted to run through my new city and see neighborhoods I never visited. I remembered that I've overcome a lot in my life, and running my first marathon at a time that was less than ideal was just going to be another one of those things. So I tried to ignore the fact that the temperatures were creeping towards 80 on the day of the race. I tried to ignore the fact that I hate running in the heat. I tried to ignore the fact that I was sick with a pretty bad head/chest cold the weekend before, that didn't really start to dissipate until Tuesday. I tried to stop apologizing to everyone who asked about tracking me that I was going to be really, really slow. I decided to just "Be Uncomfortable" for a day and see where it took me. On Friday morning I came into work for a half day and had a "Good Luck with your Marathon" card from my coworkers. They included a protein bar, because they are awesome. It was the first of approximately 42 times I would tear up over the course of the weekend. On Friday afternoon I went to the expo with a friend of mine who was running his first Chicago, he wound up being the perfect person to hang around the expo with and we truly had a blast. Our plan was to give ourselves a couple of hours to get our bibs, shirts, posters and any gear, and then get to the Goose Island Tap Room right as they opened so we could score their free insulated pint glasses. I wound up getting teary eyed approximately half a dozen times just at the Expo. Seeing the Packet Pick Up sign made me teary, showing them my ID made me teary, getting my packet made me teary, getting my poster made me teary, successfully getting our Goose Island glasses made me teary. I've included some of the highlights below, but I should warn you, there are a lot more tears up ahead. Really cool Expo version of the course. I was really only going to get a Finisher's jacket, and then the North Face decided to put the marathon information on the Wrigley Field marquee. Just take my money. Goose Island, always on point. Saturday I met up with some running friends for lunch and then went to watch the Cubs game at a local pub. The Cubs didn't win, but there was this wicked cool rainbow over Wrigley Field and it felt like it just had to be good luck. I had my race gear laid out and ready to go for early Sunday morning I woke up Sunday and everything went according to plan. I got ready, got my coffee, got on the train and headed to the start. I'm so glad I was able to run my first marathon in my own city, sleeping in my own bed, going to my normal Starbucks...everything about that familiarity was amazing and awesome on race day. I took a picture through tears on the train on the way to the race: And as I walked past my office to the start, I took a picture of the Art Institute, which I see five times a week, but it was so much cooler to see it swarmed by hundreds of runners who were all about to run the same course I was about to run. And one more shot of the city from the bridge on my lunch run route, if it wasn't so hot, it would really be a perfect day In no time, it felt like we were off and running. The first eight miles were sort of a blur, and went exactly the way I wanted them to go. I kept it slow, I enjoyed the crowd. I saw two friends cheering at different points along the way and felt so incredibly loved. I saw areas of the city I run through all the time, but this time they were filled with cheering people. I'm pretty sure my favorite scene from this stretch was running past the retirement home on LaSalle, waving at all the retirees who made signs for us. They were awesome. Miles 8-11 run through my neighborhood and back to the city. A friend of mine ran down Halsted to give me a hug at mile 10. I didn't even know he was on the course cheering, it was just lucky that he saw me and I saw him. It was brilliant. Mile 14 runs past my old office. A space that I tried so hard to make work, and just didn't work. A place that holds a lot of conflicting feelings for me. I ran defiantly past my past and felt reinvigorated as we headed west. At mile 15 I knew I was going to finish. Even if I walked. I broke into tears briefly. At mile 18 as we ran on the South Side, the crowds thinned, the sun was in my face, and there was no shade. And I entered a world of pain. I decided to walk the sun and run the shade. There was a lot of walking through this area, as there was not a lot of shade. In Pilsen I ran through Hispanic neighborhoods full of people who look like my family. I screamed "Si Se Puede" back at a few dozen people and got energy from the crowd handing out horchata (I didn't take any horchata). I got a lot of energy in Pilsen. In Chinatown (and yes, I know that I stopped being specific with miles...I'm sorry about that, everything after mile 18 was a blur until mile 24, at least as far as specific miles go) I saw my friend Carol and am a little embarrassed that I was sort of cranky from the heat. She called out that I looked awesome, and I'm pretty sure I responded with "it's really f****n hot." I apologized later, but she's done this before too, and totally understood. Carol is awesome. As we turned back towards the city the shade picked up again and I started running again. A phenomenal black woman was preaching in the street that we would all finish and not to listen to any of the doubt in our heads. I yelled "Amen!" as I passed her and thought I'd float to the finish. At mile 24 I lost my left pinky toenail. It was excruciating. I almost passed out, and began limping. But I had enough time relative to the cutoff, and I wasn't about to give up. So I limped towards the finish. At mile 25 a blister on the bottom of my right foot burst. And I actually looked up at the sky and said "Are you serious?" But I kept limping towards the finish. There was no way I was giving up, 1.2 miles from the finish. It was sort of funny, the crowds around me were yelling and cheering for me, telling me how close I was, and all I could think was "people, if you had any idea what was going on with my feet, you'd understand." With 300 meters to go, I ran into Jose. Jose was struggling a bit at the end too, and he looked at me and said "I think we should run in together." I looked at Jose like he was crazy and thought about telling him about my feet...and then I thought, what could it possibly hurt to try? It's 200 meters. We turned the corner off Roosevelt and ran across the finish together. I cried for the last time, stopped my Garmin at 27.48 miles and 6:24 and hugged Jose. It was nowhere near the time I'd ever hoped for. It was nowhere near the race I thought I'd run. It was hard and brutal and hot and perfect. Shortly after I got my beer and my medal I took this photo After a shower and some first aid on my feet (which still aren't 100%) a friend and I went to get pizza. I may have to run another marathon just to experience how amazing food tastes after 26.2 miles. No bite of food has ever been as good as this bite of food. In fact, the only thing that might be better than that bite of pizza is finally being able to wear this incredible gift from my best friend. I run 26.2. The marathon is definitively the hardest thing I've ever done on purpose. And I'll probably do it again.
    1 point
  9. Hello All! I have to confess, I’ve been a lurker for YEARS (probably somewhere around 2012), and enjoyed every minute of reading about the ups and downs of your running adventures. I lack confidence in my writing ability and meeting new people, but I thought with the new format, I would try to come out of the creepy lurking shadows and at least let you all know that I exist. I was quite crushed when I read that RW was removing the loop, and I’m not much of a “Facebooker,” so that wasn’t going to be an option for me even if I introduced myself before the end. I tried to read a few other blogs about running, but nothing was nearly as interesting as the Loop, and, of course, I felt like I knew all of you…even if none of you had any clue I was reading. I just want to THANK YOU all for the great reading and the motivation over the years, and for driving my desire to get back on the training train treadmill these past couple of months. I found this page by lurking my way over to Dave Shultz’s blog, in an attempt to find any information about PEGLEG’s BQ quest, and it worked! I was hoping and praying for her with every attempt. When I finally found my way over to this forum, and read her race report, tears of joy were streaming down my face! CONGRATULATIONS PEG!!!!! This complete stranger is so happy for you! Now, since I feel like I know so much about all of you, here’s a little information about me: I ran a couple of 5 and 10Ks back in my teenage years while playing a lot of soccer, and I decided that without any additional training, I would run a half marathon. Not the smartest thing I’ve done (not the dumbest either). I managed to finish with minimal walking (ahh to be young), and an EXTREMELY painful week of muscle soreness. However, I was hooked and decided that I would run that race every year. I tortured myself similarly by not training for the next few years. Then, towards the end of college, I decided recreational running was fun, and that year, my time dropped dramatically and the week of pain never occurred. At the time, I was utterly amazed at what a little training could do. The following year, I trained a little more seriously and ran several other races. It was a very emotional run when I first clocked a mile under 8 minutes in the middle of an 8K! With two miles left in the race, let’s just say I learned that crying and breathing at the same time is difficult. I completed my first marathon in 2006, and have since completed 13 more, qualifying for Boston at the 2009 Flying Pig. Unfortunately, at the time, I wasn’t interested in running Boston. I now regret that decision. I fell off the structured training wagon for several years until two months ago because other life is sometimes more important. It feels amazing to be following a training plan again and I hope to set some PRs in the future (and maybe work on getting that BQ again - maybe)! Right now, my A goal is for a 10K under 45 minutes at a race on 11/4/17 <--- I figured putting a goal out there will give me something to blog about in the future. I know it’s blasphemy to some, but now that it is dark at all the times I’m at home, I am an almost 100% gym treadmill runner. I am completely ok with the brain zone-out for an hour or two. It just makes it hard to guess at where you really stand in terms of outdoor speed during training. Since I have had difficulty finding information on this, I'm going to try to include my training treadmill paces, and resulting outdoor race pace, in an attempt to help others that may be looking for this info. I’m sure that’s more than you all care to read and thank you to anyone that read this far! I hope to add to this wonderful community, and like some others in the past have said, I am sure it will be nice to have a place I can geek-out about training and running since it’s just not my DH’s thing. He's a good sport about it, but i can tell he isn't really interested in the amount of detail I want to discuss. P.S. – To all the other lurkers that have made it over here... HI!
    1 point
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