Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Runner's Roundtable

I am getting back in the swing of things and ramping my training back up as I prepare for Disney's Goofy Race and a Half Challenge. I'm looking forward to improving myself over the next few months as I strive for 1,200 miles for the year and an awesome Marathon Weekend at the house of mouse.

Today, I was lucky enough to be an invited guest on the Runner's Roundtable Episode #7. I shared my Chicago Marathon experience with Petra and Charlie. Melisa was there in spirit.

Not only was the Chicago Marathon an amazing experience, re-living it again with my friends and sharing it was a lot of fun!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hats Around the World

My sister came to town a few days early for a conference she's attending at Disney. Yesterday we went to EPCOT. I decided to wear my pedometer - just to see how far we walked while we were there.

It was a total of 13 1/2 miles. I was figuring that it would be close to eight miles. I was surprised to see the end result. Now I know there is more benefit in walking than not doing anything, i.e. sitting on the couch, but this distance was really covered at a strolls pace.

I had a great time with my sister! We decided that as we made our way around the World Showcase, we would have our pictures taken with silly hats when we could find them.

Hats Around the World:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nike Makes Amends

This was posted on a Nike+ Forum today:

Hi all,

Nike is announcing today that it recognizes Arien O'Connell as a winner in last weekend’s Nike Women’s Marathon with the fastest chip time, completing the full race in 2:55:11. She shattered her previous time and achieved an amazing accomplishment.

Arien will receive the same recognition and prize, including a Tiffany & Co. bowl, the full marathon elite group winner received. Arien was unfortunately not immediately recognized as a race winner because she did not start the race with the elite running group, which is required by USATF standards. Because of their earlier start time, the runners in the elite group had no knowledge of the outstanding race Arien was running and could not adjust their strategies accordingly.

Learning from the unique experience in this year’s race, Nike has decided today to eliminate the elite running group from future Nike Women's Marathons. Next year, all runners will run in the same group and all will be eligible to win.

Nike has a proven track record of supporting athletes and we’re proud to be able to honor Arien and other athletes who surpass their goals and achieve great accomplishments.


Nike+ / Nike Running

Yay Nike! It just shouldn't have taken two days.

Congratulations Arien!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nike = FAIL

This article made it rounds on Twitter today. It seems that the woman who ran the fastest time didn't win because she was not registered as an "elite". What? I'm sorry, that's crap. If she ran faster than anyone else then didn't she win?

"At this point," Nike media relations manager Tanya Lopez said Monday, "we've declared our winner."

Okay, Ms. Lopez, you declared a winner but not the correct winner. You may have declared the top three elites, but clearly, Arien O'Connell ran a faster race.

According to Jim Estes, associate director of the long-distance running program for USA Track and Field, "The theory is that, because they had separate starts, they weren't in the same race."

Run Together? Well, Maybe Not...

If they weren't running the same race, then shouldn't there have been prizes for this other race?

It extremely frustrating to me that Nike, the top sponsor for this race chose to snub their noses at Arien O'Connell. What a missed opportunity for Nike to admit their mistake, or lack of forethought, and create an award for the fastest time, or something. If I were Nike I would be on the phone with Arien O'Connell right now making this right!

If I were in the marketing department of another shoe and clothing company, perhaps Reebok, Adidas, Sauconny, Asics, you get the idea... I would try to right Nike's wrong for them!

Nike, you still have a few minutes to redeem yourselves, but the clock is ticking.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Race Report :: Chicago Marathon

A painted building on the Kennedy Expressway - Taken in the car.

Friday at the Expo with Charlie, Petra and my daughter, Chase.

After an amazing dinner (a recommendation from Runner Geezer 26.2) on Saturday evening joined by Petra, Charlie and his family, Melisa, her husband and their support crew, my family and I called it an early night. I had all of my marathon preparations taken care of, I packed the majority of our belongings and I was in bed at 10:30 PM.

Bill, Melisa, Charlie, Me, my son Stone and Petra.

I slept well and I only woke up once during the night. And when my alarm went off at 5:45 AM Sunday morning, I was ready to start the day.

I had a plan to meet Petra in the lobby of my hotel at 6:30. With one broken elevator, it took a few extra minutes to get down 37 floors. Petra and I walked to Charlie and Melisa's hotel. We met out front for a few pictures, spent a few minutes chatting and then we all headed to the port-a-potty lines. The lines moved really quickly and we made our way to the starting corrals.

It had been chilly for most of the week and I was prepared for some cooler weather. I bought a thermal underwear shirt and cut it up the front jacket style. My thought was use it for warmth for the first few miles. Before the race even started I had placed it in the corral fence. It was warm enough in a sleeveless shirt. I just didn't know how warm it would end up being.

At the Expo with Petra.

Petra and I said our good-byes to Charlie, Melisa and Bill, Mr. Irish Blue, and found our place between the 10:00 and 11:00 pace signs.

Soon enough we were on our way. Okay, so it took us about 15 minutes to cross the start line. But then we were moving.

The first few miles were a blur. We looked for my family as we crossed the first bridge around the 1.5 mile mark. My kids made signs and they were looking forward to cheering us on. We didn't see them.

The next bridge pass over the Chicago River was around the 2.5 mile mark. Again, Petra and I looked through the crowd, but we didn't see them. the course took us North through some really pretty parts of the city. We passed a band and during the middle of a song the singer stopped singing and said "Go Petra! Go Maddy!" Our names on our shirts absolutely made us feel like rockstars!

Near 6 miles, we saw a couple with laminated signs pinned to their back that said they were completing their 50 marathons in 50 states that day. I noticed that the man was wearing a Track Shack shirt. I spoke to them briefly, they are from Oviedo, just on the other side of Orlando. Petra and I congratulated them and moved on.

Soon we saw Petra's hosts and they took a few pictures as we went by. We continued on through Old Town and passed the restaurant where we had eaten the night before.

The miles were blending together and although I had slowed down a little bit, I was still feeling pretty good. We turned onto Hubbard Street and I told Petra that I thought it was a requirement that I looked strong on Hubbard Street. She agreed.

We soon made our final pass over the Chicago River. Finally, finally when I was parallel with my family I saw them. they had missed me also at their other two attempts. I yelled to them and they waved, I kept moving along. We had not prepared well with specific meeting spots. I had no idea until after the race that there would be 1.5 million spectators.

Petra and I made it to the half at 2:25:00 We were running the city and there was still ample amounts of shade provided by the sky scrapers. Once we made our way South the shade disappeared and the temperature soared.

Once we were out of the downtown area a woman was offering ibuprofen with small cups of water, I gladly took two. My groin, while noticeable, was not really bothering me, and I really wanted to keep it that way.

I knew I was holding Petra back and I told her to go ahead. She refused. She would get about 20 yards ahead, walk and once I caught up, she would start running with me again. Throughout the race we had walked each water stop. It was really just too congested to not walk. At this point I was looking forward to the upcoming water stops for an opportunity to walk just for a minute.

When we got to Mile 17, I said to Petra, "Single digits to go!" At one point again, I urged her to go on without me, she said no.

I could no longer take in the Gatorade they were offering. I had switched to water only. to this point in the race I had consumed three packs of watermelon sport beans. Between the beans and the Gatorade, my stomach had too much - not really sweet, just too much. I did take the Twizzlers, Skittles and Jolly Ranchers I was offered - more to keep my mind off of what was still ahead of me.

Petra was just a saint, an amazing friend, and a fabulous person. The poor thing, it seemed that every time she spoke to me, I said "What?" and she repeated herself. I was concentrating so hard on moving forward, I was having a hard time comprehending anything else. But throughout it all she stayed with me. And for that I am thankful!

Right at mile 20 there was a water stop. I was really having a tough time of it. Petra knowing that I had dedicated each mile to someone went into pep talk mode, just as I had gone face-first into "the wall".

"Who is mile 20 for Maddy?" Petra asked.

"My Mom." I said, as I burst into tears. I was really feeling like I had just had it.

Petra was so calm and explained to me that she knew my mother would be so proud of me and that I was setting an amazing example for my children. She also said that we were not only going to run this mile for my mom, but for Baby Isaac.

She grabbed my hand and I was pumped up. We continued on and over the next six miles I received nothing but encouragement and kind words from my friend.

Five miles to go, that's nothing, you do that in the morning before work.

Four miles left, piece of cake.

A guy a work with owns a loft at mile 23, he explained to me where it was and told me to keep an eye out for it. That entertained me for a half mile or so. I never did find it. Again I asked Petra to go on. She told me that she had stuck with me for 23 miles and there was no way she was leaving me for the last three. I was so grateful! It was HOT, I was struggling, but I had someone who would not give up on me.

Before I knew it we had one mile to go. Petra grabbed my hand and said that she would hold my hand as long as I needed her to. We were going to finish this thing!

We made our way up the biggest hill of course, which is really just mean turned onto Columbus Avenue. The finish line was right there!

We crossed in 5:14:34 - A PR for me and a PW for Petra.

I cannot thank Petra enough for her kindness and sticking with me for the entire race. Without her help and urging, I don't think this would have been a PR Race for me.

The Prize

After my second marathon, I know I am not done yet. There are many more marathons in me.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Chicago Marathon Results

I will post a proper race report soon.

Finish Time: 5:14:34

A new PR although I was well off my goal.

It was HOT!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I'm Not Dead

It seems that after my groin injury, I fell off the face of the earth.

I spent some time healing and resting. And then I got busy.

I spent time getting ready for back to back trips and just as preparations were wrapping up, the fun got started.

Last Monday, I travelled to San Diego for my company's user conference. It was a full week of catching up with clients face to face and learning a lot about how people are applying best practices to their campaigns.

I managed to get a few five plus mile runs in around Coronado Island. It was nice.

I arrived back in Orlando Friday around 5:00 PM.

Saturday, I was back at the airport Saturday at 9:00 AM for our flight to Chicago.

We have spent the last several days in Wisconsin. Visiting with family, checking out some attractions and just relaxing.

Tomorrow we are headed back to Chicago to check out the city and then, apparently there is some race, I'm going to look into on Sunday. Ummm, yeah, the Chicago Marathon.

I have decided to dedicate each of the 26.2 miles of this race to my friends and family. Now, normally, I would include links where applicable, but for the sake of time, I just can't do it.

1. Adam Tinkoff - He reminds us all that a journey begins with a single step
2. Casey McGraw - This amazing girl is battling her second round of cancer.
3. Steve Runner - He has he sights on a marathon under four hours.
4. Nik - #4 - 4 Feet Running and a Bad Girl of Running (Can you say San Diego?)
5. Dan - Because without Dan, Nik would only be 2 Feet Running
6. Jeremy - I think I can convince him that a marathon is in his best interest yet.
7. Chase - My daughter, my light, is seven.
8. Charlie - He's sharing his first marathon with us in Chicago.
9. Melisa - Her perseverance has paid off.
10. Marathon Chris - She's 10 years older than me - and an amazing friend and inspiration.
11. Patty - My sister is my best friend and she's just awesome.
12. Stone - My son, my buddy turned 12 today.
13. Susan - She's running the Worldwide Festival of Races Pregnant.
14. Darrell - My husband - we've been married 14 years and he's a cool guy.
15. My Dad.
16. Ann - She's planning on walking the Disney Half Marathon
17. Shirley - Fit, Fast, Friend
18. David - Striving for better every time
19. Linda - My aunt who is sharing the day with my family while I'm running the Chicago Marathon.
20. My Mom - (Rest In Peace) She would be proud of me.
21. Greg a.k.a. The Road Warrior - Virtually running coast to coast while in law school.
22.Cheryl - She has a passion for running and has run many many long runs with me.
23. All the Bad Girls of Running
24. All the Bad Boys of Running
25. Tracy - She thinks she'll never run more than a 10k, but I know her better than that.
26. Petra - Without an email so many months ago asking if I would be interested in running the Chicago Marathon, my fall marathon might have been somewhere else, all by myself instead of in one of my favorite cities with my friends.
.2 Me - I made it this far and this one is all me.