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ChicagoPhil last won the day on October 30 2017

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About ChicagoPhil

  • Birthday 09/22/1967

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  1. ChicagoPhil

    On the bus...

    Glad to be following the bus again, even if from a distance!
  2. Absolutely. I'm going to settle that account this January.
  3. I just need to find it and charge it up... Actually I like the fitbit, but it's weird feeling to have two watches.
  4. I think the last race report I did on the old loop was either Chicago 2014 or maybe even Boston 2013... Anyway, that's about the time I kinda started losing the old running mojo. It was a slow decent into lethargy. I ran 6 races in 2014, including two 1/2's, and the Chicago Marathon in a steady 3:31 which was actually my 'easiest' marathon ever. I felt great the whole way through, and ran basically 7:50-8:10 splits for every mile. I was in excellent shape, but not running for any particular goal any more. Maybe it was not tough enough? I don't have any races logged for 2015 OR 2016. I think I actually did a couple in 2015 but didn't even log them in. I was getting bored with running. Of course there were tons of outside distractions. Changing jobs (not completely by choice), teenage daughters (don't even go there...), and other excuses we can all make. Sure there were some injuries too, but basically I was losing the motivation to get out there the way I had since 2008 when I started "chasing the unicorn" as it's called. Maybe once I completed it, I didn't have anything to replace it with. So fast forward to 2017 and I'm pretty far gone. 20 pounds heavier and going weeks between runs. Run three of four days in a row. Then take three or four weeks off... Around my 50th birthday I committed (again!) to get back on the program, and hopefully this time it's sticking. I joined a gym. I got a fitbit for X-mas, and I've since 'lost' my Garmin. I count steps instead of mph now. It's kinda liberating to run without checking pace every 3-4 minutes actually. I knew the answer would be depressing anyway... After getting a few decent weeks in a row of running in, I started to feel good about running again. And (finally) seeing the scale show I was 10 pounds lighter, I bought some new running shoes. First new pair in 18 months at least... So I signed up for a race. I think deep down since I DNS'd at the 2015 polar dash (I just slept in. I've never, ever, DNS'd before) I knew I needed to get back to racing to try to get the mojo back. So I signed up last week for the Hot Chocolate - one of my favorite races that was coming around the corner. So this morning was race day. Up at 4:50 AM. Feed and walk the dogs and on the train by 6:05. Ate a power bar on the train and headed to the race. It was still dark and cold. 34 deg and 5-10 mph winds. I waited around the gear check and stretched until almost 7 then took off my outer layer and headed for the corals. I had signed up with a 8:45/mile target pace, which I thought was honest... That put me in coral F, fine by me. I really was looking at this as a training run. I hadn't actually ran 9 miles all year I don't think... And Like I said, I 'lost' my garmin... So I assumed most people around me would be running around 8:30-9 ish pace. Nope. So finally we get going. The first 1.5 miles is pretty much in the tunnels of lower Wacker Drive, which is a bit funky but warmer than at street level. It was pretty congested There are 45,000 runners in this race, most of them in the 5K. And obviously a lot of them were less than honest about the coral they belonged in. Once the 5K throngs split off at mile 2.8 it was much better, but still a lot of slow runners...? Certainly reminded me why I used to care so much about getting seeded up in coral A for these bigger races. But that's fine. Anyway, I'm totally rambling. Sorry. Here's the nuts: I ran 1:24:08 or 9:02 / mile average. Wow. Yeah, that looks about right... (it felt faster, whatever that means). Looking at my race history I've never averaged anything slower than 8:12, which was a hot year marathon. But I'm not disappointed. I wasn't running for time. I wasn't shooting for a PR. I was hoping to run a little faster than that I guess, but I'm ok with the time. I felt good throughout the race (mostly). I didn't stop running, I finished strong, although much more winded than I should for 9 miles at 9 min pace.... But still! I negative split each 5K. In the end, what matters is I got out of bed and got the damn race done. It's all up-side from here is what I'm saying. Hey, if I had run my pace from the last Hot Chocolate I would have been 10th in my age group. Yeah yeah... The important thing is I may just have my mojo back. We'll see in a couple weeks if I'm still out there on the frozen tundra that can be Chicago in winter. I think a certain Polar Dash needs to be added to the calendar next.... Run Happy my friends!
  5. They were both incredible running cities... Beautiful running paths for miles along the rivers in both.
  6. 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!
  7. It was too hot this year to hit your A-goal in Chicago. (Especially for a cold weather runner.) Don't beat yourself up - congrats and "Oh My Quad!" Nice Pic!
  8. Way to listen to the inner voices and git er done! I'm the exact same. Those "I can run later" plans never work out.
  9. Great RR Bangle! Gives me hope that old(er) guys like me and you can still get it in gear and deliver the smoking fast times!
  10. Hey Bonnie - it's Great to see so many "old" loopsters here again - It's awesome!
  11. Thanks BAngle - - slow but steady these days!
  12. Great Great Great RR! HUGE CONGRATS on your epic BQ Journey and enjoy the ride on the Magical Golden Unicorn... Boston is absolutely worth all the blood sweat and tears it takes to get there!
  13. On the bright side you get to make new friends every day...
  14. ChicagoPhil

    Giving this a try.

    It's like the Blues Brothers are puttin the old band back together again!!!
  15. Great to hear from you! I remember avidly following you're quest for the Ironman Madison back on the old Loop and what a great story that was! Don't be a stranger - we need the inspiration - thanks
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