Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Plan

I feel like things are really coming together for Chicago. In less than two weeks, June 9th, training officially begins. Thanks to the incredible Shirley and her guidance, I have a training plan selected.

I am going to use Hal Higdon's Advanced I schedule. One of the goals behind running Chicago is to get ready for Goofy in January. This plan incorporates a short long run and a long long run, so it should be a good fit.

Things have been going well. Despite the heat and humidity, I have felt really good about my running. I have been quietly biking for the past few weeks and that, while not as consistent is fun and nice way to get some cross training.

Also, tonight I went to my first yoga class. I have some yoga DVD's that I tried a long time ago, but this was my first experience with an instructor led class. I really enjoyed it! I plan on making that part of my Tuesday routine. I feel really good after the class. I feel like all of my running-related tight spots have been loosened up. Ahhhhhhhhh.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Before training officially starts, I am happy to say that my travel plans for Chicago are finalized and booked.

This was the biggest stress factor of this marathon experience. And now that it's set, I don't have to worry about it anymore!

The whole family is traveling with me this time and everything just came together really nicely.

We arrive in Chicago (Midway) on October 4th. We are going to rent a car and drive to Madison, Wisconsin to spend a few days with my sister. I'm excited about this leg of the trip. She moved to Wisconsin almost three years ago and we have yet to make it to her new house.

We're heading back to Chicago on October 9th and we'll be staying at Hotel 71 on Wacker Drive. It's about a mile from the marathon start and just five or six blocks from the three mile mark and about eight or nine blocks from the 20k mark. Close enough where my family can see me a few times on the course.

We're heading back home soon after the race. Our flight leaves Midway around 6:30 PM that evening.

I am so excited about seeing so many friends in Chicago. Petra, Melisa, Charlie, Susan, David...

And I am so relieved that I have a place to sleep in the big city! By the way, if you haven't booked your trip yet, check out Expedia. I got a rockin' deal!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Another Good Week

I feel like I haven't blogged in forever and a day. It's been eight days and that's quite a long time. I guess it's true that sometimes, something has to give...

The beginning of the week was a whirlwind as I prepared for my third trip in six weeks to San Diego. Early Wednesday morning, I headed to the airport and by 10:30 AM PDT I was in glorious Southern California.

I have gotten the hang of my three day trips to the west coast and I have done a fairly decent job of avoiding jet lag. After working until 5:30 PM PDT in the office on Wednesday, I headed to dinner with some colleagues. By 8:30 I was asleep.

Thursday morning I woke up at 5:30 and headed out on my run to the harbor. This is the route that takes me around the harbor, past the Star of India and the U.S.S. Midway. I make my turn and head through downtown and back to the hotel in Old Town. The total was 6.37 miles and I was back in just under an hour.

Thursday evening I walked to a little Mexican take out restaurant and I had an amazingly humongous burrito. It was $3.75. I ate half of it. That's how big it was. After I was done eating, I spent about 20 minutes in the hotel hot tub. It was so relaxing.

My room this time was right next to the "fitness center". The hotel I stay at is a little bit older. The rooms are clean and nice. I'm sure to stay competitive, the hotel added a fitness center. It's simply a hotel room that has been converted to hold a universal style weight machine, an elliptical machine, a treadmill and a recumbent stationary bike. As I drifted off to another early night to sleep I could hear the weights being slammed down. Ugh!

Friday morning I was out the door before 5:30 AM and I headed to Harbor Island. I had hoped to run the whole Island this time, but I only made the first half. I was worried about how much time I had. This time around I didn't see my duck friends. My total for the run was 7.54 miles.

Friday afternoon I was headed back to Orlando.

Saturday I wanted to take it easy. I wasn't jet lagged, but there was no need to push it. After dinner, I ran 3.25 miles on the treadmill.

Sunday morning I woke up early and drove to downtown Tavares. I parked in front of the Lake County Administration Building. My plan was ten miles. I ran on the "Tavares Trail" and I headed toward Lake Eustis and into Leesburg. I reached the five mile mark and I turned around for the return trip. I made the decision to leave my fuel belt at home and by mile eight I thought that maybe it wasn't the best decision. It's too hot to be out that long without any water. Next time I won't make that same mistake.

It was a really good week for me and for my running. I ended with a total of 35.41 miles. I'm hoping the good groove continues.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What a Weekend!

Late last week I got an email from my friend Cheryl. We usually get together on most weekends to get out long runs in. She asked if I would be interested in running the I-Drive 5K Run I thought, why not... We both registered by last Saturday to take advantage of the price break.

The plan was to run the race and then get some more miles in after the race. I had such a good time running I-Drive with Irish Blue when she was in town, I was looking forward to another spin around that area.

Saturday morning I picked Cheryl up at 5:30 AM. I am not a fan of packet pick-up on race day so I wanted to be sure we were early enough to get out packets and stow the extra packet stuff back at the car.

Between the lack of traffic and nearly the entire route being highways, we were there in no time and had our packets in hand, numbers pinned in place and a potty stop by 6:35.

Race time wasn't until 7:30 and we were already begining to feel the heat of the day working it's way into the morning. Cheryl asked what I wanted to do. I told her we should run a two miles before the race to beat the heat after. She agreed.

We headed out and we returned in 19:19 with 2.08 miles under our belts.

We waited a bit and then lined up for the start of the race. It was realy getting warm.

The course went South down International Drive for and then we hung a left. At the first mile marker the Orange County Fire Department had their chopper parked in the median. It was cool to see it that close.

We then took a right on Universal Boulevard. We hit the water stop, went a little further and then turned back. On my way back, coming toward me, not yet to the turn around point, there were about 20 Orange County Firemen in gear running in formation. The leader had a flag and was calling a cadence and the firefighters following him were calling back to him. It was really cool to see. And when you consider the humidty it was something else.

I continued on and the course went past our first turn and then turned into the back entrance of Pointe Orlando. The end of the course was really strange because the last .1 mile was almost like an alley and there were speed bumps. The speed bumps kind of jacked with my stride because I was trying hard to avoid them. It was just weird.

It was so hot. The kind of race David would call a death march. I would totally agree with him.

My time: 28:15.

Did I mention it was hot?

After the race, I seriously thought I could have thrown up. I ate a bagel and a banana and I was feeling better. But... Cheryl and I decided it was just too hot to run anymore. We packed it in and headed home.

Yesterday afternoon, my family and I headed to my sister-in-law's house in New Port Richey. Becuase of the heat on Saturday I planned to get to bed at a decent time so I could try to get a run in before the heat was in full force.

I was out the door by 6:30 and I ran 6.03 miles in 58:23. It was hot, but there were some nice breezes coming from the canals and my brief minute in front of the Gulf of Mexico. It was a really nice, peaceful run. There wasn't a lot of traffic and not a lot of people out and about.

It was a nice way to close out the running this week and it was a great start to a great Mother's Day.

This coming week is another trip to San Diego! After the humidity I have felt the later part of this week, I cannot wait for my "Harbor Run" this Thursday!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Women Run the World 15K :: Race Report

Late Friday afternoon, my daughter and I headed out to Wide World of Sport to get my race packet and check out the expo. On the way, I noticed the beginning of scratchy throat. Oh, no! I couldn't be getting sick!

I thought the expo was lacking. Last year there were some big brands with floor space. Champion, who is a pretty big sponsor was there last year and absent this year. New Balance, which was a big favorite with my daughter last year because of the opportunity to play Dance Dance Revolution was also MIA.

There were a lot of smaller brands there, such as my friends from Running Princess. And there were other girly brands there too who had some super cute stuff.

By far the booth with the most action was the Bondi Band booth. As you all know, I am a big fan of my bandannas, but I was lured in and I bought two Bondi Bands, one for me and one for my daughter. I didn't wear it today, but I'll try it out soon. I bet that 30% of the runners today had Bondi Bands on. Amazing! I am going to see if they can find some pink camouflage material and I just might make the switch. Stay tuned...

Friday night and all day yesterday I was on a steady stream of Airborne and Zicam (I should have gone with the nose swabs, the dissolving tablets are tough to choke down)

This morning, I was up just before 4:00 AM. With a 6:15 AM start, I knew I needed to leave here no later than 4:30 AM to beat the road closures and be sure that I had time to stretch and get ready.

I arrived without incident, made my first port-a-potty stop and then began to wander around. I ran into my friend Angie who I ran the last 10 miles at the DeLeon Springs Half Marathon. We talked a bit and then realized that the port-a-potty lines were growing quickly. We got in line and when we were done we made our way to the start. We had to snake our way through the 11:00 minute milers and found our place around the 9:00 minute mile pace. We said our "good lucks" and when the race started, we parted ways with Angie taking quite a lead.

Because I have not been feeling the greatest, I decided to take the first half of the race cautiously. I was moving at a decent pace, but I wasn't pushing too hard. After the turn around near Wide World of Sports we hit the four mile mark. The volunteer called out 38 (something, I can't remember the seconds). I was feeling really good. I thought I could be on pace to not only get a PR, but come in at the 1:30 mark, which was my #1 goal. I decided to pick up the pace a bit.

On days that I have not been running, I have been walking on the treadmill at a good clip (5.0 MPH) at an incline of 8.0 - 10.0. That really helped me to cruise up the off ramps and other inclines that have slowed me down in the past.

We made our way through Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios) and around the boardwalk. We passed a group on the beach participating in a sunrise yoga class.

The course goes through a back area at Epcot and then you pop out into England in the World Showcase. It was really all a blur once I was in Epcot. Before I knew it I was almost all the way around the lake. I remember smelling the Jasmine in China and the next thing I knew, I was headed toward Spaceship Earth. At the nine mile mark, the volunteer called the time and I thought that the PR was within grasp.

I was almost there .3 mile to go and then I really started moving.

I crossed the finish line in 1:28:02 (chip time).

A New PR by seven minutes and six seconds!

I missed Leana today. Next time we'll have to make a plan to meet up before hand. But the race almost snuck up on me this time.


Before the race started this morning, it was announced that the 15K is being replaced with a half marathon next March. The Princess Half Marathon. Registration opens tomorrow. I'm all over it!

I was thinking that the Minnie Marathon Weekend would be replaced by a co-ed race. It is just being replaced by a more marketable franchise. Princesses trump Minnie all day long.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Record Month and Duck Redux

I am excited to report that April 2008 was a record mileage month for me. I ended the month with 123.9 miles during the 30 days of April. This tops my previous record of 109.54 miles in September 2007.

I have been feeling really good and I am looking forward to keeping the momentum going!

Shirley and Irish Blue, - aka- Melisa both asked how I knew the difference between a male and a female duck, becuase of the "Harbor Island Incident"

When I was little I loved to go to the park and feed the ducks. - Okay, okay, I still love to feed the ducks. When I was small, my mom taught me the difference. She also told me that ducks were partners for life. I don't know if that's true or not, but something I remember...

Male Duck

Female Duck

Sunday is Disney's Women Run the World 15K. I emailed our friends at Disney Sports earlier this week about the 2009 races. In their reply they said that this year would indeed be the last year for the Minnie Marathon weekend. I was assured that there would be additional races added. This makes me a little sad. after three years, they are pulling the plug on one of my favorite races.

When I started thinking about it, I decided it must be financially motivated. They're leaving a lot of money on the table by marketing the weekend to women.

I'm sure the race they replace this one with will be a co-ed race.

One more month of running for the fun of it. In June, official training for Chicago begins! Yay!