Monday, October 30, 2017

6/12/24 countdown! Come on hip!

Here are some pics from the race!  Enjoy!  Another week of babying the unhappy hip and another week of some trigger point therapy OUCH.

Michael and I.  He works for a prison in Missouri helping prisoners get their GEDs!
Sunday after my race I could barely walk I was so sore.  My stupid hip was not happy yet again, but this time I could point to the exact muscles that were not happy, whereas after Chicago, I could not.  After having a rather painful session with Dr. Needles, I felt so much better.  Of course the trigger points he worked on were super sore, but overall, my hip felt loose and free!  Unfortunately, I found out that my insurance had changed and that I no longer had a co-pay with my chiro, so I will be paying for all visits out of pocket, until I hit my rather large deductible. Sigh.  Doesn't matter, that seems to be the only thing helping right now, so I guess I will go a little in debt getting this fixed.

Me yelling something to my group!
I decided to be cautious and give my hip a few days to recover.  Dr. Needles said I could run as soon as I wasn't feeling any pain at the walk.  Well, it was hard to tell the difference because the pain from trigger point session was pretty bad.  I could tell the front part of my hip felt better though and that felt thoroughly released.  I figured it wouldn't hurt to try a short run Thursday.  While the trigger points he worked on were very sore during the run, I felt fine post run.  We got four done, even if my watch says we didn't.

I also helped with girls on the run that afternoon.  I was really worried that my hip would be angered by any extra curricular activity.  At first, the girls were running and resting and didn't need me, but when they turned to just laps, I saw a few struggling and had to jump in.  Surprisingly, post running and even on Friday, my hip felt better (knocking on a huge piece of wood).  I still wasn't super sure of what type of long run to do for the weekend though that wouldn't anger the hip, but still would give me some sort of confidence leading into the timed ultra.  

Saturday Andrew and I had a full docket planned.  We had soccer (got canceled due to cold), a play date, and then an agility play date.  Many of the women who held andrew while I tried to run Deuce and do agility were going to be out at Alice's house (where I use to teach) and I wanted to see everyone. I also wanted to get a run in somewhere.  A short one.  I decided 3 or 4 miles would be perfect and the cold made it magical.  I sure do love running in cold weather, but a nice slow transition would have been nice ahem, KS.  Post running and play date, we headed out to the agility play date.  We signed up for one run and we just did individual obstacles.  Deuce forgot his release word a few times, but overall, he looked great!  Andrew tried his hand at handling and did pretty good!  It's hard for a 5 year old to think when the dog you are handling is so fast.  We need to find a slightly slower dog for andrew to learn with I think.


Post agility and throwing stuff for the dogs for hours, we headed out for a nice hike around the property. Deuce and Andrew loved walking and andrew walked for over an hour without a single complaint about walking.  It's a miracle!  Maybe we are ready for some hiking out at Konza!

pic curtesy of Jen!
Sunday I decided to do a few miles just to see what back to back runs felt like.  You know when you have an old injury and it's kind of still there but doesn't hurt per se?  That is what it felt like.  No pain just kind of tight and stiff.  I made sure to do a dynamic warm up and did all of my stretches post run. 

Stella had pouted the entire day before and into sunday, so she and I just had some girl time to ourselves :) . She was SO happy the entire run!  4 miles of her smiling and jumping and barking at me.

Well, not going to lie, after this week of again low mileage, getting pretty nervous about conquering 31 miles.  I wish my body would have let me do at least one long run post Chicago, but I guess I will have to settle for a 13 miler as my last long run before tapering yet again.  Fingers crossed that I can do this and finish!  Have a great week!

Friday, October 27, 2017

November Runfessions

Feel free to smack me.  I did an october runfessions and never published it.  Partly because sometimes I feel weird writing about my inner most thoughts.  Today I am going to try and be better and remember to hit publish, because back publishing my october thoughts would be kind of crazy, since most of the events have come and gone.

You might need a whole six pack for this one so hang on to your hats, crack open a cold one, and relax.

Let's start on a serious note.  The whole #metoo campaign brings a flood of really bad emotions back.  I have always wanted to write a FULL blog about what happened to me in grad school, and may still at some point. But honestly, I am scared to death of being sued for libel.
Everything in this account is true, it happened.  But the man I will only refer to as "he" is the type of person who would sue for fun, and has the money to do it.  And I could not afford the cost of defending myself. 
The gist of the scenario is that he was/is a person in power, and at that time he was in control of my future and my career.  His words and actions included talking about my weight constantly, making fun of me for being short, telling me I'm stupid, and "joking" that the reason he hired me was that I "fit under his desk, if you know what I mean" to a crowded meeting full of scientists, in which I was the only female. That represents just a tiny bit of what I, and others, encountered. 
It still makes me FULL on SICK that he got nothing more than a slight slap on the wrist, paid leave, and little to no consequence, despite the fact that I and twenty-two other people, YES I SAID 22 of US altogether, came forward with complaints.  The university basically said over and over again that he brought in too much money to terminate his employment.  We were told the university couldn't get rid of him, but would just "control" him.  While I do not believe there were any physical sexual assaults, and his words were used as means of exerting his power over us, it makes me so sad that he has gotten promotions, is back to receiving grad students, and has basically gotten accolades for being such a great person. 
I hope he has changed.  I really do.  I forgive him. I have spent time in therapy and was prescribed anti depressants to help me cope with what he put me through; but I forgive him.  He has made me one tough cookie and I actually thank him for that.  I have had to completely change careers, taking three years and burdening me with $33,000 of educational loan debt.  I had to reassure myself by saying, "Oh well, I can't work in that industry because of him, BUT I found a much more rewarding career in a totally different field," and for that I thank him. 

My current boss, who sat beside me during the university hearings, and wiped my tears away, and held my hand, has the best quote.  I am not sure where she got it from, but her advice has always been, "The best revenge is living well."  I remind myself and take her wise words to heart every single day.  

Moving on to something a little lighter now:) I am looking at the spring schedule for races.  I am going back and forth from resting and maybe just doing some of the spring halfs I love, to wanting to do another spring marathon.  There is a really fun local marathon that is not 10 minutes from my house, and is exactly on what I train on, which is gravel roads.  They call it a trail marathon, and while parts of it are trail ish, there are several just rural gravel roads.  It honestly sounds like heaven.  Before the taper, I told my coach I needed a break.  While I do need a break, the taper and the the subsequent recovery from Chicago and KC seems to have let my mind do just that.  I don't think it is the miles that get me, it's the speed work that does.  While I know many runners who never ever do speed work and do just as well at races, I know for me it is a necessary evil.  I am even toying around with the idea of doing a 50 miler late fall early winter in 2018.  While I know i absolutely can NOT handle heat and have to find a late fall early winter race, I think it could be doable.  Thanks Lindsey for putting this thought into my head :) . Now to get this hip healed so I can run all the races!

Lastly, since I laid down some heavy stuff at the beginning, I would like to say that Andrew is doing much better at school.  While he goes through small spells of bad days, that seem to be directly related to his ability to get tons of sleep the night before, we aren't getting the long string of bad days that we were.  He has gotten all the way down to orange, which isn't good, but he isn't a robot and all of us have bad days now and again.  His overall report was pretty good at parent teacher conferences.  He is still having issues with the sitting and waiting for instructions and still has days when he reacts emotionally rather than rationally.  He is a young 5 and I don't expect him to act like an older kid, and I know his teachers don't either.  I think we have fair and reasonable consequences in place along with some random reinforcement for stringing together green days.  I try not to get too bummed when he is bad and remember that his behavior is on him, not me.  

Hope you aren't drunk now and have a great November!  It's my birthday month so I am going to celebrate all month.  It's my big 4-0 and I am excited to embrace my 40s!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Kansas City Half Marathon Pacing-My very first pacing gig!

I will try and not turn this into a novel, because this was my first pacing gig, and I enjoyed it SO much!!!!  My friend Lindsey at Livinglovingrunner  paces races for a group called Smart Pacers and had been after me for a long time about trying out pacing.  I was intrigued, but kind of scared, because you are holding the hopes and dreams of others in the palm of you pacing hand. I didn't know if I would be able to really open up and enjoy this responsibility, or be completely freaked out and stressed about pacing correctly.  The good news is I experienced the former and not the later!  I had a great front pacer and Lindsey, who really explained exactly how to pace people correctly.  While we were still a little close to our time (from what i understand the front pacer needs to be in pretty much on the dot and the back pacer can be a little behind by one or 2 minutes), I think my first gig was a huge success!  Let me back up and unfold a little more of the story.

On Friday, we traveled down to KC for the expo.  Lucky for me, Lindsey has been pacing races for a few years, so on the drive down, she answered my hundreds of questions and gave me TONS of great advice.  She had decided we needed an adventure, so instead of just parking at the expo at Union Station, we parked downtown and took the streetcar/trolley in.  After catching trains in Chicago, I felt very confident, but what I don't feel confident in is parking!  Thank goodness Lindsey does not share my fear, and was able to park us street side!

Parked right in front of the Drafthouse! 
We easily hopped on the street car/trolley/train and were off.  The short and fun train ride ended at Union Station, where we headed into the expo.  This building and space was very beautiful, although a bit warm.

I quickly found the Gypsy Runner booth and the Saucony booth.  I was very good and only purchased one thing at the Gypsy Runner booth, and if you know me, that is really, really good.  The expo was a good size, and had a variety of booths both informational and gear/shirts/races oriented.  We spent time at the Garmin booth and Gypsy Runner booth, and then headed over to pick up our pacing sticks and shirts.  Each race this team does has a specific pacer shirt, so we are recognizable and this year our shirts were blue.  Also a side note, as a pacer you get all of the swag that a runner entering the race would including the race t shirt, finisher's medal at the end, and ticket for food and beer post race.

I kind of screwed up.  Usually medium women's tech ts are small and tight on me.  I got a large just in case, since this kind of breaks the no new things on race day rule.  Well, it was HUGE on me, and v neck, so I kind of looked like I was drowning in it.  Oh well, at least I wasn't looking like I was trying to show off any assets LOL!  We had some chipotle for dinner, a new thing I am doing for carb loading the night before.  I think the rice and steak is better on my tummy than the pizza, but the jury is still out.  I always get salsa, and anything with onions gives me indigestion, so that is a trade off.  Luckily Zantac is amazing because it works fast, and usually takes care of any issues that might incur.  We got to bed around 10 pm for a nice early wake up call of 4:30 am.  

We had to drive in that morning, but I will take a little drive over an uber expensive hotel room.  Lindsey's car was already seeing all the closed and block roads and warning us, but she knew exactly how to get to where we were going.  I am so grateful to her for driving, because me and city driving do not mix! I would have been a nervous wreck!

We easily found parking and headed over to the pacer meet up at the Westin Hotel.  My co pacer was not there yet, and in fact got caught in the traffic that must have started in earnest after we got there.  Around 6:30 am, we all headed out to line up in the corral.  I had hoped that my co pacer would be there as I had NO clue where to stand, especially since there were not the usual pacer signs on the corral to tell me where to be.  I quickly got boxed in by runners and really couldn't move anyway, but lucky for me, was between the 2:35 and 2:45 pacers sort of.  Quickly, I started having runners line up around me that were introducing themselves and telling me that 2:40 was their goal.  I kept telling them that I hoped we were in the right place and that our other pacer was going to be there.  Lucky for me, she finally showed up after having to fight the traffic and then swim upstream through all the throng of excited and nervous runners.  I am not sure how many runners were there, as I have heard between 6,000 and 10,000.  After an amazing national anthem, we had fireworks, and we were off!  Let me tell you, as a runner it is super hard not to blast out of the chute at the beginning of a race, and even harder as a pacer because we start out a wee bit slower than normal to get our pace group warmed up.  Thank goodness Julie was there to help me stay slow, and of course I was already talking to people from the get go which also helped me slow down.  The pace felt very comfortable for me, even on the hills, and let me tell you, this course was nice and hilly.  

I didn't take a ton of pictures during the run, but the course was beautiful.  I had run parts of the course for other KC races, but it was fun to see parts of KC that I had previously never seen or had forgotten about.  The trees had started to turn bright reds and yellows, and the neighborhoods we ran in were gorgeous.  The miles and the hills honestly flew by, even though we were at a nice easy pace.
My special pace band that needed a safety pin to keep it on!
 Since I was the 2:40 group, our overall pace was a 12:12, but each mile had a specific pace on our special pace band.  I have always had success running with pacers from this group because of this very strategy.  I had a few faithfuls that stayed with me the entire race, or as they felt good or bad, floated from the front pacer back to me and then sometimes back again.  We had several first timers, and the fact that we were able to help them reach their goals just makes me SO happy!  We also caught some people who were struggling and helped them finish strong, or gave them motivation to keep it up.  We got lucky in that the weather that was predicted (rain, storms, and heat) stayed away, and the cool breeze and clouds helped keep things manageable.  I was red faced and had sweat on my face, but overall, I felt pretty good.  Most of the runners in my group were also pretty red faced and sweaty, but no one got in trouble with the heat and all seemed to be hydrating properly.  We walked through each aid station and the front pacer I was with did some walk run intervals and walked at the top section of a few of the tougher hills. 

I think the hardest part for me was staying slow enough, especially those few times I was without someone to talk to.  My front pacer had very long legs, so even her fast walk was my slow jog.  Sometimes I just had to take a little walk break, so I didn't get too close to her.  I think the next time, I would like to try out lead pacing or back pace the 2:35 or 2:30 group.  I have to say it was easy to stay slow when I was doing a lot of talking.  Several people asked me pretty detailed questions and you know me, I was ready to talk about anything and everything in detail to help them stay distracted.  Most wanted to know how long I had been running and what distances I had run.  Some wanted to know more about what I did for a living or if I had kids or pets. I am an open book so I am super easy to talk to.   We kept a pretty big core of people between us, and I think we only lost a few.  Lindsey was right, as we passed a few, they got pretty down but I tried to encourage them to keep up with me and to find their strong and chase me down!  Especially on the super long down hill at the end, which my hip did NOT like.  I am sorry to say that while my hip felt fine during the course, today as I type this, my hip is SUPER sore.  I am really glad I am headed to Dr. Needles tomorrow.  I ended up with an official time of 2:41:10 with my overall pace being 12:19.  As a back pacer, I can be directly on or a little bit below pace.  I feel like and hope my boss thinks my first gig was a success!

Post race I just hung out at the finisher's party eating, drinking, and listening to music by a band that did Lady Gaga and Madonna covers.  I saw a few of my pace group at the party and we had a few laughs and a few tears :).  Pacing is definitely very rewarding and can be very emotional.  I also went back out on the course and cheered some marathon runners in and cheered Miss Lindsey in.  She got a 15 minute PR on a very hilly and tough course, and I am very proud of her!  I recommend this race highly due to the beautiful, but hilly course, and I will be back pacing if they will have me!  I so hope I get to pace some this spring for Smart Pacers, because it basically is a very nice way to get a long run done, see some new places, get some swag, and make some new friends.  Fingers crossed!


6/12/24 Hour race countdown beings.

T minus 27 days till my next ultra!  Now that I have my body slowly coming back to normal, my brain is starting to grasp that I have less than a month before I am going to attempt my fourth 50K!  This week, the focus is still on recovery and then my very first pacing gig at the KC half marathon/marathon.  I want to do a good job and motivate ladies and gentlemen to reach their goals.  I wish I knew more about the route to be able to give them an idea of what is coming up, but this is my first year at running this route as well.  I entered this race a few years ago and didn't run it due to my almost stress fracture.  I hear this is a slightly new route, so maybe it wouldn't matter anyway if I had run it before. I have lots of good running stories or non running stories, whatever they may want to hear and I love to talk, so there is that.

We finally got our graphics on the "tank" as I call it

Monday:  Rest day.  GOTR day.  The girls did better, but a few didn't show up at all, and a few kind of walked a little more than I would like.  After some pretty vigorous stretching pre and post running, I did maybe a mile of walk run with my girls to help them get their goals.

Andrew or Captain Underpants?

Tuesday:  3 easy miles.  Talked to coach and she gave me the option of taking it easy this week and just cross training, or doing 3 or 4 easy miles a couple of times.  I of course chose the later because 1) I may go insane if I don't do something 2) i need some BRF time 3) biking this time a year is tricky because the sun rises so late and we have sports post work, so can't ride post work.  I really need to invest in some good lights for my bike.  My iphone light or my running headlamp really isn't good enough.  Anyway, it was super hard to get back into the routine of getting up early, but it felt SO good to be back out.

Wednesday:   Cross training.  I had grand plans of getting on my bike and heading out post picking up andrew.  Some how my van found it's way to the local bar/deli, and before I knew it, we were having beer and sandwiches and the sun was going down.

Then we went and had ice cream, because why not when you have already completely blown your diet. I am still kind of celebrating Chicago/resting/recovering, but that was suppose to end at the beginning of this week:) . 

Having lunch at our favorite local bakery outside.  Loving this fall weather!

Thursday:  4 miles easy.  When 4 am came along, I just hit snooze.  Something gave me horrible indigestion and I was up and down all night.  The thought of getting up early when I could sleep in (since andrew didn't have school) just didn't sound right.  I sent melly a text and said run post work? We had parent teacher conferences that night, but we were hoping it would be quick and then I could change and get on the road. 

While the conferences took a little longer than we had hoped, we got lots of really good reports in andrew's progress thus far.  He had a pretty rocky start at first transitioning to play and learn to just learn, but he is getting much better with sitting still, controlling his emotions, and trying new things.  He LOVES art and music which just makes my heart sing :).  His music teacher was amazed that he already knew certain note values and was starting to learn to read sheet music.  His art teacher gave us some good suggestions on what to get him for sketching, since he is in a phase and loves to draw.  All in all, he still has some room for improvement and is getting extra help in reading, but progressing and learning in all other areas at a rate that pleases his teachers.  The four miles went by quickly post conference.  Little to no pain in the hip, YIPEEE!!!!!

We are on a street car/trolley!
Friday:  Rest day.  Travel day.  I am going to do a separate post about the race, but Lindsey and I traveled down to KC friday afternoon for the expo held at Union Station.  I got to see my favorite vendor Gypsy Runner and buy some of her new reflective shorts.  I honestly could have gotten one of everything in her booth.  I MADE myself put back a second pair of shorts and looked lovingly at the cold gear.  I wish I could go to all of amy's races that she vends at so I could get one thing a week :) . Check out Gypsy runner on Facebook and on her website!  She has THE BEST Shorts for running!  I won't run in anything else!

I love this pretty medal!  

Saturday:  Race day!  2:40 pace group.  Check back for a separate post on my very first pacing gig.  Overall, I LOVED it!  I knew I would!

Sunday:  Rest day.  Got to bed super early and got almost 12 hours of sleep. Hip is a little sore, but nothing like it has been, and I know what to do to get it to relax and release.  Will be doing lots of stretching today and seeing Dr. Needles again Monday. 

Have a great week!!!  Looking forward to some rest and some easy miles before getting back to the grind!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Week of Recovery

Mom and I celebrating my tummy cooperating again!
This week is all about recovery.  Lots of sleep, a little bit of cross training if possible, and lots of icing/heating/rolling.  I may OD on tart cherry juice :) I wish i was one of those bright eyed and bushy tailed runners that just bounces back a few hours post race and is running a few days later.  Unfortunately, my body doesn't ascribe to that theory, and in fact is pretty hateful after most races.  It always amazes me that I can be that sore post such a flat race.  My quads at the top are TRASHED.  My hip isn't hurting as it was in the race, but everything about it  and around it feels SUPER tight.  I managed to get my appointment with Dr. Needles moved up to Thursday and am still trying to get in with the man with the healing hands Doug at Body First ASAP.  I have decided there is NO way in hell i can even walk the 5 K this weekend, but the money goes to such a good cause that I don't care.  Recovery is the most important and pacing the half in two weekends takes precedence.  My tummy finally after two days of not loving anything is back to accepting food at regular intervals.  Finally got to have my victory beer Tuesday night!

Been getting evil side eye ever since I got home. She knows I raced without her
Later on in the week,  I was able to see Dr. needles and have a mini breakdown.  He is use to my tears, usually because he is the cause of them :) . Overall, he said my body was in a really good place, especially post running a marathon.  He suspects it is a strain due to my adductors and abductors not working together in my hip.  I also have some inflammation on my trochanter and some other slight things off.  Probably one of the most painful things he did was work on ART on my back.  Apparently my trunk took over the duties of helping me run and it was out of whack majorly.  Something he was doing on my back fired up my abs, so they were fluttering and contracting while he was back there getting things to release.  It is an odd and cool feeling how your whole body is so interconnected and how certain parts of you take over if needed.

I could stay at the chimp enclosure all day
Friday was a day off for Andrew from school, so we headed out for an Andrew:mommy day that included some zoo time, some chickfila time,  and some park time with soccer friends.  Lot of walking and my hip felt sore, but better.  I actually ran one half of one lap during Girls on the Run practice.  I wasn't planning on moving period, but one of the girls was struggling, so I power walked with her.  Then the head coach announced we were done and she wanted to finish her current lap so we ran/speed walked so she met her goal.  After a rough few weeks with the kiddos, I am happy to say that they all are meeting or exceeding their goals for their laps.  I guess our pep talk (and some pep talks from some parents:) really helped.

I finally did a slow and super easy run Sunday.  I really battled the thought of taking one more day  off, but I really needed to get out more for the mental side of things.  The dogs were SUPER happy.  They have had more issues with the taper than I have.  They ran and played and ran some more.  When they were attached to me, they pulled like sled dogs!  I am going to take next week super easy as well and probably see Dr. Needles one more time.  My hip felt really good during my run, just a tiny bit sore, but more sore from what he did than anything.  I am feeling much better about running and my hip and life in general :)

I am going to end this post with some thank yous and some sappy thoughts, so if that isn't your thing, I get it and you should stop reading now :) . First, thank you so much to my hubby. 

 I try and get up as early as humanely possible, so I am done about the time everyone is getting up, but it doesn't always work that way.  Some days it later and some days its post work, and for the most part, my hubby always smiles, says no problem and takes our 5 year old (going on 13) and deals.  He also never tells me no when I come up with all of these crazy ideas, like let's do a marathon and then an ultra twice this year, meaning two times traveling and the costs that come with that.  He also helps me out as much as possible financially with my numerous chiro visits, massage appointments, and tart cherry juice/gear/essential oil purchases to keep my 40 year old body from falling apart.  I love you, and am so glad you are in my life.  

Thank you to my running partner Melly.  Thank you so much for getting out of bed twice a week at 4 am to do speed work/hill repeats/whatever coach Jenny throws at us, no matter what the weather.  Thank you for listening to me bitch/moan/cheer about whatever we are doing and for the constant hating of humidity in the Kansas summer.  Thank you for signing up for races with me, cheering me on from a far, and always being there for me with an ice cold beer.  I love you and you are amazing.  

Thank you to my mommy, who came to KS despite tearing up her knee a few weeks pre Chicago, due to some stupid hornets stinging her and chasing her down.  While we were ready to pay for a ticket for little man to go to Chicago with us, she understood how important it is for us to have time away, and she put your big girl brace on and headed out for a 9 hour drive to Kansas and then 9 hours back using her bad leg.  She toughed it out walking him to school and chasing him around at soccer AND taking him to Oztoberfest.  You are wonder woman and I will always love you for being so selfless. 

 Another huge thank you to my coach, Coach Jenny, for always putting together a killer plan that includes strength training, running, active stretching, and anything else that is state of the art new to running that you love.  I know you have lots of clients, but I always feel like you have time for me to answer all of my questions and listen to my whining about speed work and or doing anything on the dreadmill.  Thanks for always pushing me farther than I think I can go, and thanks to always saying yes to my cray cray ideas like let's do two marathons and two ultras in one year.  

Last but not leasth, thank you to all of my running friends out there both here and on social media.  Y'all are awesome for cheering me on, running with me in person, and sending me the nicest notes!  Running friends really are the best!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Chicago Marathon 2017 RACE DAY

Race day!  After a good night's rest, in which i hit the snooze button a few times, I was up and ready for some coffee and a good bath room visit.  For some reason, sleep is not a problem for me in Chicago.  I had a nice long walk to the gate to just get to my corral and knew I had to wait in various lines, so fueling/bathroom breaks were going to be tricky.  I decided not to risk loosing my pack and just taking my belt for my fuel.  I can't remember if I talked about this issue before but a few days prior to us leaving, I saw that "packs" would not be allowed, and some people were saying hydration packs counted.  I had a bit of a panic because I train with my pack, and was planning on using it.  I did email the proper authorities to ask questions and sent pics, and while they okayed it, I was told that security still could deem it un safe and confiscate it.  I decided the night before that it just wasn't worth risking loosing my favorite pack ever or even worrying about it. 

Tony went with me to the security check point to cross the bridge to get to my corral and bag check.   Since I had nothing to check, I got there, headed through security in the blink of an eye, and quickly found a place to sit.  I didn't want to have to get into my corral 2 hours before we started, due to the fact that the porta potties are not in the corral.  The volunteers will let you leave, but they kind of get cranky with you going back and forth.  I happened to sit next to a wonderful lady Irene.  This was her 18th time running Chicago and her 185 marathon!  She gave me a little plastic poncho to keep the wind off of me, and we sat and talked till time to get a last minute porta potty stop in and walk to our corral.

We hung out in our corral and  even started together.  She reminded me SO much of my good agility friend Joc Baker:). I hope I can track her down via Facebook, as we had to take a selfie since everyone else was!  She really made a long wait go so much quicker, and I can't thank her enough for keeping my nerves at bay!

We slowly made our way to the start line and we both crossed at 8:35 am on the dot.  Since i had run this race before and I had had trouble with my Garmin from the start thanks to the buildings, I knew it would pretty much be off the whole time.  At one time it was almost a MILE OFF! Last Chicago race, it adjusted itself back magically, but not this time.  I had to tell myself to ignore it and just watch for the mile marker signs.  I was gunning for a 5 hour marathon, but at the start was on track for a 4:40 and was with that pace group until the heat and my hip got me.  About 3 miles in, my hip started a hurting, not a sharp pain, but a dull ache both on the front of my hip and the on my upper back.  While I think it is fixable, I am worried about my pacing duties in two weeks AND my 2 dog themed races I have signed up for.  Also, even though it was nice and cool with a breeze at the start, it quickly became very hot and humid.  The Chicago marathon is really good about taking care of its runners, so there were several stops that had water spraying (hello chaffing) and of course there were aid stations i think every 2 miles with lots of water.  There were two sponge stations, and I just kept my sponge so I could re wet it and put water on my head and back.  I started out getting a cup of water and taking three big sips, but by the end I was drinking the entire cup, getting a second and drinking most of it, then taking what was left and putting it on my head.  Let's just say I have very creative chaffing.  The places I applied my trail toes balm were barely chaffed, but i had several other spots that are raw that I didn't even think of as chaffing spots.  I do think that while the heat made it hard to run my race that I had planned, my hydration was on point.  I was using my Honey stingers as I usually do,  one waffle every hour at a time, but around the 4th hour my tummy said hell to the no.  I saw people handing out bananas and also fruit snacks, and while I have never really used those two items mid course, that was all my tummy thought sounded attractive and I wanted to get calories in anyway I could.

China Town
Okay, so here is a mini rant, and I sure hope people don't hate me for this, but this was a HUGE problem this year.  I was put in the next to last corral due to my time of previously running Chicago at 4:45.  I pretty much had to dodge people walking from about mile 2 on.  Like LOTS of people.  Now I know that the heat had a huge part in it, but I also feel that some people were seeded wrongly.  I know there were several people in my corral alone that were shooting for 6 hour marathons.  In my corral we had a 4:30 and 4:40 pacer, so that makes no sense, unless they just entered in their fastest time ever for registrations.  I just don't remember this being an issue quite as bad last time I ran Chicago until the end, which it totally understandable due to the race getting hot both times I ran it.

Boystown.  I think they were Abba this year

Off my soap box.  So my right hip that has been hurting on and off during my training, but usually never really during my runs.  It reared it's ugly head for one big last show down at mile 3 and continued the entire race.  I have never felt such a pain like that during a race, but I managed to gut it out and finish.  I was contemplating stopping at an aid tent just to see if I could get some sort of pain killer like advil, and I usually don't take anything during or before a race.  I will be seeing Dr. Needles Monday the 16th.  I kind of had a break down when I saw Tony at the finish, because I don't want this to be the "END" that the ortho doctor years ago predicted.  As I said, it has hurt on and off during this whole training cycle, but MYRTL and strength training seemed to always fix it.  Lesson learned the hard way, don't ignore a niggle, because it will turn into a full ROAR.

the best sign ever.  1 mile to go!

All in all, I really had so much fun this race, even if I was in the pain cave for the majority of it.  I was able to fully enjoy the sights and sounds of the neighborhoods this year and even take pictures.   I still think Pilsen is my favorite.  They really, really bring it!   Most places all along the route had people cheering with cowbells, noise makers, and other various instruments. While I did have a time goal and did not succeed in meeting it (5 hours) this still is one of my favorite races.   Just wish it were a wee bit cooler, as they last two times now I have run it, heat was a problem. 

My splits.  Sorry I cut off what split is what but you can see how the heat eventually kicked my ass

I liked the finish area this year so much better,  and Tony and I were able to find each other very easily.  We didn't partake in the festivities post race, as I just wanted to get back to the hotel and lay down.  My tummy at that point had had enough and I was doing some dry heaving and feeling very faint.  The finisher's chute is super long, and I think all of that walking post race just was too much in the heat.  Luckily, they gave us bags of ice, which helped, but my body was just done.  My wonderful hubby got me a coke from a nearby food truck, helped me find a place to sit, and then got me back to the hotel and in bed.  Post shower, we pretty much laid in the bed the rest of day and he even went and got Chipotle for me when my tummy finally decided it was happy enough for food.  My tummy has been in and out of feeling good, even two days post marathon, which I attribute to the heat messing with my body.  I am two days out now and sore but not any more sore than I have been for any other marathon. 

The only thing I could eat post race.  A brownie from Magnolia Bakery

I am still riding a small cloud of I did it!  Marathon number 3 in the books and Chicago Marathon number 2!  While I am slightly disappointed in my time, I am VERY excited that I managed to finish period with my hip and the heat trying to keep me down.  I am really excited that my fueling worked well (no wall) and my hydration seemed to be right on.  I can't wait to come back in a few years and run again.  While I didn't plan or think about the fact that we were both 40, it was a nice surprise that we got to celebrate together.  I am thinking that we need to celebrate our 50th together for sure!

See you Chicago!!!!  Thanks for being so awesome as always!!!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Chicago Marathon Expo

Okay just a quick recap, we headed out to Chicago via Southwest out of the KC airport to Midway Friday morning.  Post a quick train ride, we headed over to our hotel, which use to be the Burnham but now is the Alise.  While we figured we would just store our luggage and head over to the expo, our room was already available.

I still love this hotel so much for all of the uniqueness and architecture, but now they have a ton of little cute amenities like European style duvets for the beds and stuffed dogs for suckers like me who will pay the 25 dollars to take it home.  Sigh.  Anyway, we also had a huge snack pack waiting for us that my hubby  we just had to have.  Post noshing on some expensive snacks, we headed out to have a quick bite from the hotel restaurant, and then catch a cab to the expo. The food at the hotel wasn't the best I had ever had, but certainly not the worst, and kind of served as brunch since our first breakfast was at 5 am.

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The expo this year was.....very crazy and very exhausting.  Last time I ran this race, everything seemed so streamlined and so smooth.  Everything was contained within the great hall, and I felt like there was no confusion whatsoever as I was directed where to go at all times.  This year, we had to go do a check in process outside of the expo hall, find our number (still don't know what that meant but there was no line for my number so pays to be slow?), and then get our bib.  Post that, we had to go to the complete back of the entire huge expo to get our bags, t shirts, and posters (which I am hoping I won't forget at the airport this year).  I think what I heard was that the check in system went down about the time we got there, which caused huge lines and tons of irritable people.  What got me was the fact that no one was directing us as to what to do, so the first time we walked in, we missed the check in stuff all together.  I figured it was something we needed to do, only because there were so many people milling about, but no one ever told me that I needed to check in first in that area.  So odd.  Anyway, once getting through that mess (the system came up 5 or so minutes after we got in a line) we fought our way to the t shirts and we had a better time hitting up the booths.

I mainly wanted to visit the saucony booth, and maybe check out the Nike merchandise. EVERYTHING had huge lines, so once we were done at the saucony booth, we basically hit a bee line for the door getting a few photo ops on the way out.

We headed out to get a taxi, and once again were met with a ton of angry folks.  The place that the expo is held in is HUGE.  Many of us were directed to a certain location to get taxis, only to walk all the way to said location and find out there were in fact NO taxis.  After being told to walk to yet another location, I had a mini break down and said nope, calling an Uber.  Downloaded the app, got a super nice Uber driver, and headed back to our hotel, no problems.  Got to sight see on the way and had a great conversation with our driver.  She dropped us off at a food truck gathering near our hotel, and we had some Korean food (mainly just rice and some beef for me), and some baked goodies.

I actually laid down when we got back at the hotel and took a nap.  I was tired and sore from all of the walking, and just needed some rest.  I knew we would need some deep dish pizza later, and knew one of our favorite places were super close by.  Post nap and resting with my feet up, we headed down to Pizanos.

Southern Tier Beer!

I LOVE their deep dish Chicago style pizza, and lucky for me, pizza is my typical long run fuel.  Beer is also my language of love, so had to have some Chicago beers.  I was two days out from running, so had plenty of time to rehydrate.  I had a Daisy Cutter Pale Ale and a Southern Tier Pumpkin beer.  The pizza and beer was amazing and we walked away full and happy.  We even got to see the Cubs win their first play off game, as I drifted off to sleep.

Compliments of the Procompression Instagram page

Saturday looked like possible rain all day, but mainly in the afternoon.  I had a quick meet up at the Bean for Procompression and We run Social, as well as meeting Carly, a blogger who i have followed for years.  Post that quick meet up, we decided to do the double Decker bus tour first and then head to the aquarium if we felt like it and or it was raining later.

We really enjoyed the double Decker bus tour of Chicago, even if it was a bit windy up top and our tour guide bundled her script several times.  Just being outside, sitting with my feet up, and seeing the sites was fun.  We had lunch at Potbelly subs, and then visited the Disney store (which is right across from the hotel), and got our Garrett's popcorn.  Post that, we were both wiped and ready to just rest for a while, versus getting out again and being on our feet.  It's so hard when you come to a new place not to be a tourist, but in the end, you have to remember you came for a marathon, or for me 5 hours or more on my feet running and being on tired legs is not a good thing.

Millenium Park

kind of laughing at my compression shorts tan lines as seen from the back

For dinner, we decided to just stick to what we knew, Pizanos.

I knew the ravioli gave me indigestion the night before so I skipped that and just had my deep dish cheese pizza with a huge glass of water.  It was kind if funny, we got to the restaurant and it was PACKED.  One hour wait.  We thought, it's worth it and many people will leave so stick with it.  There were a few tables outside, but it was threatening rain.  We gambled and took a table outside immediately, got our order in and even got our food before several tables around us, much to their chagrin.  The rain started when we were waiting on our bill, so WIN for us!  Got back to our hotel and post setting out flat Michelle, crashed back in the bed with the help of some melatonin. 

Okay on to race day!  New post :)