Monday, May 31, 2010

Training Resumes for Suzanne

On Sunday, I successfully ran 3 miles on a grass field with no pain whatsoever.
Everyday I continue to ice and stretch. This week I will resume training and see how things go. I’ll be honest that I’m nervous and trying to be optimistic. Please, please let me be able to continue marathon training!

I ran a little today on my regular running paths (concrete) and it was really different. While I was running I kept thinking about my hip and looking for any signs of pain or discomfort – almost like I was expecting the pain to reoccur. It was really odd and made for an uncomfortable run. When I was done my hip was OK. I did not have any pain while running and just a tinge of soreness afterwards - very similar to what I had previously during training.

Week 9 Training: 4-7-4-16

This week I plan to cross train on the elliptical for one of my runs so I don’t overdo it but can continue to get my cardio in and train. Wish me luck and I’ll keep everyone updated on my progress.

SF Marathon Here I Come,

Thursday, May 27, 2010

On the road to recovery…..

I don’t usually remember what I think and/or dream about when I sleep but on Monday night I dreamed that I was running for the first time and my hip was pain free.

Since my run last Tuesday I have taken the last week off to rest and ice my hip. This Tuesday I worked out for the first time. Completed 5 miles on the elliptical and felt really good. I kept looking at the treadmill and wondered if I’d feel any pain if I ran? A treadmill finally became open and I decided to try.

Very happy to report that I ran 1 mile without any pain or discomfort. I had to really restrain myself as I wanted to keep going and run faster, but I decided to be smart and see how I felt after icing and stretching that night. Overall I felt good but my hip was a tiny bit sore.

I’m continuing to take it easy and doing cross training while waiting to start running again. This little break might be a good thing - can you tell I’m trying to find the silver lining in all of this - as I have really missed running/training. Never thought I'd say that and I know that sounds crazy but I’ve gotten into training mode and I look forward to completing my runs.

I just hope that I’ll be able to physically continue and once I do I will bring even more enthusiasm and appreciation to my marathon training.

SF Marathon Here I Come,

Friday, May 21, 2010

To Run or Not to Run a Half Marathon this Weekend?!

That is the question I've been struggling with all week. My hip still hurts – my left hip to be more specific. As you know, for the first time my hip really bothered me at the end of and after my 11 mile run last Saturday.

Both my husband and Jenn advised and pleaded with me to rest this week. Take it easy, ice and rest so you don’t further hurt yourself. Makes sense, right? Well, I truly intended to listen to them…honestly I did. However, on Tuesday I was walking without any pain for the first time. I felt GREAT! So I decided I just had to sneak in a 4 mile run. Good idea, right?

WRONG! I was so excited to get out and run…I felt like a kid sneaking out of the house. At exactly .77 miles I had to stop. The pain was excruciating. I know the difference between aches and actual pain, and unfortunately this was pain.

While I tried not to think about it, I knew that this probably meant that I was definitely out for the half marathon this weekend. I’ll admit this made me sad and I was down about it (still am). I really wanted to run this weekend and I was looking forward to participating in the 1st Annual Rock Your Socks Virtual Half Marathon and 10K too!

The smart and safe thing to do is to continue to rest and ice my hip. Despite how badly I want to race this weekend, it would not be in my best interest to try and go out and run the half marathon. While I’m not happy about it, I keep telling myself that I need to keep focused on the real goal: running the SF Marathon on July 25th!

Hopefully, I can recover and get back to training….never thought I’d say this but I really miss running! I just hope my body will allow me to do so.

Anyone else had any running injuries? How did you cope and recover? Please share!

SF Marathon Here I Come,

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Suzanne’s Favorite Running Songs

To follow-up on Jenn’s recent blog on music, I thought I’d share some songs that are featured on my running playlists. They are listed in no particular order but these are the songs that get me going, inspire me or just make me happy to listen to while running. I’m starting to put together my marathon playlist so feel free to provide suggestions. Mine will definitely include the songs listed below. Enjoy and don’t judge me too harshly for my musical tastes – I can’t help what keeps me running!

My Power Songs
Eminem: Till I Collapse, Lose Yourself, Not Afraid
Muse: Supermassive Black Hole, Uprising
Lady Gaga: Bad Romance, Poker Face, Just Dance, Telephone, Paparazzi
Britney Spears: Stronger, Piece of Me, Womanizer, 3, Anticipating
Kanye West: Stronger, Gold Digger
Glee: Don’t Stop Believin’, Halo/Walking on Sunshine, Gives You Hell
Def Lepard: Pour Some Sugar on Me

Girl Power
Mariah Carey: Obsessed, Touch My Body (Mariah is my FAVORITE singer!!)
No Doubt: Just a Girl
Shania Twain: Honey - I’m Home, Man! I Feel Like a Woman!
Taylor Swift: Love Story, You Belong to Me
Gwen Stefani: Hollaback Girl, What You Waiting For, Bubble Pop Electric
Fergie: Glamorous
Dixie Chicks: Let Er Rip
Kesha: Tik Tok, Your Love is My Drug, Blah Blah Blah
Avril Lavigne: Skater Boi, Girlfriend
Kelly Clarkson: My Life Would Suck Without You, Since You Been Gone
Cher: If I Could Turn Back Time, Strong Enough

Songs that Make Me Run Faster (or at least I’d like to think they do)
Black Eyed Peas: Hey Mama, I Gotta Feeling, Let’s Get it Started, Imma Be
Bon Jovi: Living’ On A Prayer, You Give Love a Bad Name, Born to be my Baby
Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch: Good Vibrations
C+C Music Factory: Gonna Make You Sweat
Ricky Martin: Cup of Life
Jennifer Lopez: Let’s Get Loud
Timbaland: The Way I Are
Rhianna: Don’t Stop the Music, Disturbia
Michael Jackson: Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough, Shake Your Body
50 Cent: In Da Club
Justin Timberlake: SexyBack
Pussycat Dolls: When I Grow Up, Don’t Cha
The Killers: Somebody Told Me
AQUA: Barbie

R Kelly: World’s Greatest, I Believe I Can Fly
Tina Turner: Simply the Best
Wicked (The Musical): Defying Gravity
Nickelback: Gotta Be Somebody, If Today Was Your Last Day
Mariah Carey: 100%, Make It Happen
U2: Beautiful Day, Elevation
Survivor: Eye of the Tiger
Jamie Foxx: Winner

Other Songs that I Run To
George Michael: Monkey, Faith
Wham: Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go
Tupac: California Love
Jay-Z: We Run This Town
Kings of Leon: Be Somebody, Use Somebody
Linkin Park: Crawling, New Divide, In the End, One Step Closer, Numb
Nickelback: Rockstar
Adam Lambert: Whataya Want From Me, For Your Entertainment
Coldplay: Viva la Vida, Speed of Sound
Vanilla Ice: Ice-Ice Baby

Monday, May 17, 2010

Join Suzanne in Running the "1st Annual Rock Your Socks Virtual Half Marathon and 10K" This Weekend!

Are Jenn and I on a blog roll or what? Jenn forwarded me this virtual race and I just signed up since I'm running a half marathon this weekend. Who is going to join me? It's a 10k or half marathon.

Here’s the information:

1st Annual Rock Your Socks Virtual Half Marathon and 10K

WHEN: Friday, May 21, Saturday May 22, or Sunday, May 23

DISTANCE: 10K or Half Marathon


WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: Go to this link and comment on the blog to let her know you are in! Then send an email to with your name, distance and blog address (if applicable). And don't forget to invite all your friends to join in.Then on the weekend of May 21-23, pick your course and run your race!

When you are done email to the above email the pictures, a link to your race report and your finish time.WHAT WILL YOU GET?: Every participant will be linked on the Run Like A Mother Half Marathon and 10K Recap. And all racers will be entered to WIN a prize.

Trying Out Something New

Suzanne already at 11 miles, isn't she doing awesome?! Way to go buddy, but take care of that hip.

A few quick hits from me:

  • Today is Day 1 of my Caffeine Wean. I drink a lot of caffeine, diet Coke mostly. Not sure what exactly spurred this other than the nagging knowledge that I don't drink enough water so I eyed the 7 remaining Diet Cokes in the kitchen and decided, one a day then I'm done. I went cold turkey on Red Bull a few years back so I think I can do this, right? Work is really busy so may not be the best time to wean, but I'll give it a shot.
  • No More Fast Food. Well, ok, I will probably grant myself a Portillo's cheeseburger (If you're in Chicago, you know it and love it) when the Marathon is over. I eat like crap. I know it and anyone who has ever dined with me knows it. Hard to get serious about training when I stuffing crap into my mouth. I was inspired by Suzanne's moratorium on pizza and Cubicle Dad's success with giving up fast food.
  • Jillian Michaels of Biggest Loser fame (yes, Jilly and I are Facebook friends, why do you ask?) posted a challenge for the week: Say nothing negative about yourself. If you start, say something positive about yourself. I tend to have a glass is half-empty outlook when it comes to my training (ugh, this is so hard, how am I ever going to do this, I can't do this) to my issues with my weight/appearance. Most of what I say is "in-my-head" talk so let's see if I can curb this.

Ok, lunch time over, my one Diet Coke is empty so time to grab a water bottle and get back to work.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom, 11 Miles Hurt and I’m Running a Half-Marathon on Saturday

Happy happy birthday to my Mom! She has always been so supportive of everything I do – this marathon included – and I’m very lucky to have such a wonderful mother. You finally made it in the blog mom!

Yesterday I got up early to run 11 miles. I made the mistake of not eating anything before my run as I thought drinking some Gatorade would suffice. ROOKIE MISTAKE. My run actually started off really well. I was happy with my pace and how I was feeling through mile 8. Around mile 8 is when I started feeling the pain in my left hip. My left hip has been slightly sore after the last few long runs but nothing to complain about. Once it started hurting I could not for the life of me stop thinking about it as I kept unsuccessfully trying to push it out of my mind and focus on something else.

When I hit 9.8 miles I started to walk and did the walk of shame for .2 miles. I really regretted doing that and felt like a complete failure as I have not walked any part of my runs since my “six miles sucked” (3/17) run. When I hit the 10 mile mark I forced myself to finish the run. Words cannot describe how painful it was to restart running. Honestly I’m not sure how I managed to run that last mile but I am very proud of myself that I did. Eminem did not let me down as his two songs – “Lose Yourself” and “Till I Collapse” – got me through that last mile.

While I was happy that I finished the run, overall I was very disappointed. My time was OK (even with the .2 walking) but not quite where I wanted it to be. I was on pace for the time I wanted up to the 8 mile mark. I also realize that I was an idiot for not eating before the run. After the run, I was also the most sore I had ever been up to this point, particularly my left hip and right knee. I had a nice ice down when I got home.

Today I’m feeling much better than yesterday but I still feel the aches and pains. It’s really made me question whether I can physically withstand what is necessary to complete a marathon. Don’t worry, I’m absolutely going to keep going but I’m not feeling as confident as I was last week. I’m just praying for a good week of training to help change my mind.

This week’s training is: 4-6-4-12 (I will be running 13.1 instead)

This Saturday I will be running in my first half-marathon! It happened to coincide nicely with my training so I entered it. I enjoyed my 10k race so I’m hoping to have the same result with the half-marathon, but I have to admit that I was more excited about the prospect of running a half-marathon last week before my 11-mile run. So wish me luck!

This week I will try to focus on each run as it comes up and not look too far ahead. I need to focus on staying healthy, injury-free and strong so I can continue to train hard and successfully complete this marathon.

SF Marathon Here I Come,

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Have A Confession . . .

. . . but before we get to that, we need to give Suzanne a minute. Because somewhere in Northern California, she just fell off her chair realizing that I wrote a blog post two days in a row.

Okay so the confession . . .

Britney Spears is my power song.

There I said it. Now he may not have fallen off his chair, but somewhere in suburban Chicago, my husband rolled his eyes, swore, or both.

You see, my progressive metal-loving husband can't stand Top 40, Showtunes, Pop, Alternative, Country, Hip Hop, you name it . . .anything that pretty much isn't metal or progressive metal. (Okay he does like some rock classics.) He is not a fan of my musical taste, but maybe that's because my musical taste is pretty much all over the map. I call it open-minded, he'd call it . . .musically un-educated.

Our iTunes library appears to have a multiple personality disorder because for every Metallica and Metal Church, there's a Shania Twain tune. Or for every King's X and Flotsam Jetsam, there's Gwen Stefani and something from the Glee soundtrack. Now I do like a lot of his music. Rush, Dream Theater, Queensryche, and yes, even some Metallica and Anthrax have found a home on my running playlist. (After twenty-plus years together, it had to rub off on me :) )

But I read Suzanne's post about running to Britney, I tried it out, and while I'm glad I wasn't her mother during the head-shaving-bashing-the-car-with-an-umbrella stage, I'll tell ya, Miss B got me through a couple of tough miles.

I've been making quite a few iTunes purchases lately, adding new songs to my running playlist for motivation. (See, I told you I'm ready to play Marathon again!) Some songs are just because I happened upon them, some are Suzanne's recommendations and I found a list on the Run Like A Mother book blog that are pretty awesome** (Allister covering The Backstreet Boys anyone?)

New additions on my running playlist . . .maybe you'll add them too?

Teagan and Sara
I have a few T&S songs on my Nano, but I've found this one is good for the "middle miles"

Whitesnake. Why? Because I went to high school in the '80s, that's why.

Jack McManus. This song popped up on Pandora while I was at work. Haven't run to it yet, but it makes me smile so it's on the playlist.

Lastly, Paramore's Brick by Boring Brick. I defy you to run to this song and not ba da ba ba da ba ba daalong with the band at the end.

Happy Running!


*I know once my husband reads this post he will proceed to point out several examples to illustrate that he is not a musical snob. Then I will remind him of the the time we were at Appletree Records as college students in DeKalb and he threw - - yes, threw -- an album (I know, we're old) back in the bin when the review called it "radio-bound."

**The Run Like a Mother book is pretty awesome too. Suzanne and I are both reading it as we train.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Yikes, it's been three weeks since my last post? Luckily Suzanne has kept the blog (and for that matter, training) going for both of us.

I've been in a funk for the last few weeks but I'm back in the saddle today, running 3.5 miles at lunch. Further proof of my desire to play Marathon? An updated training schedule (to account for my missed runs during my funk stage), a new race (Oak Brook Half Marathon , running it with my husband) on the calendar and a renewed energy in all things Marathon.

As added motivation I signed up as part of a charity team, Team CPD, benefitting the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. The Foundation provides support to the families of Chicago Police officers who were killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty. This support could be anything from paying for prescriptions for a CPD widow to paying the college tuition for the children of police officers killed in the line of duty.

Why CPD? Well, I am the proud daugher of a retired, 30 plus years on the force Chicago Police officer. My uncle is also a retired copper (as us Chicago police families would say) and my cousin is a CPD detective.

During my past Marathon attempts (sigh) I've run for the American Cancer Society and Children's Memorial Hospital, raising nearly $5,000 for the charities combined. (Thank you friends and family!) Both great organizations but the CPD Foundation is a little closer to home so to speak so I'm glad to take part. I don't have my fundraising page updated yet, but will have it ready soon for anyone feeling generous!

I have a lot of memories of my dad as a police officer . . .there are photos of us opening Christmas presents while Dad is still in his uniform because he just got home from the overnight shift . . . I distinctly remember the tremendous relief I felt as a 7 or 8 year old during a tornado watch (or warning? I never get them straight). I peeked from my hands over head position against the wall when I saw my Dad, in full police uniform, walk down the school hallway to pick me up and take me home. There's also of course, the time I got to ride in the squad car when I was 5 because genius that I was, I stuck a Barbie doll shoe (or 2?) up my nose while watching "The Johnny Cash Christmas Special" and my dad and his partner came home to take me to the emergency room.

Ok, enough reminiscing.

This week's mileage: 5, 3, 4, 5. Very doable :)

Happy running everyone!


Sunday, May 9, 2010

10 Miles Baby, No More Pizza and Week 6 Training Begins

I can not believe that I ran 10 miles this week - double-digits baby! Got up early on Saturday morning for my run and I’ll admit I was a little nervous about how it would go and how I would feel. I was so nervous that I could only manage to eat 1 piece of wheat toast. Started off slow – I think because I was still half asleep – and was able to continually pick up the pace for the rest of the run. It felt great until the last 1.4 miles of the run. It seemed to take FOREVER but I was able to gut it out and finish the run strong, sprinting with what energy I had left for the last .5 miles or so.

My playlist for the run was my favorite songs from the 90s! I have to say some of the songs made me laugh and brought back good memories which made the run even more enjoyable.

It really amazed me that I was able to complete 10 miles. And I felt better once I got home and drank some Gatorade which my body seemed to need. Today I had some minor aches but nothing major. I’m going to need to start stretching more after runs and start icing a little bit as a preventative measure.

This week’s chapter focuses a lot on food and how to properly prepare your body. Of course what was on the top of list of foods that are poor sources of carbohydrates? One of my favorite foods of all-time…pizza! Oh how I love pizza.

While I am reluctant to admit it, I have noticed the impact of my food choices on my energy and running performance. This will be a huge sacrifice for me, but after this Wednesday – Wednesday is my daughter’s school birthday party and the pizza is already ordered – I’m going to swear off pizza until after the marathon. Guess what my post-marathon meal is going to be people?? Yes, you guessed it!

This week’s training is 4-5-4-11

Say goodbye to 3 miles short runs! Oh how I’ll miss you 3 miles! I remember when working up to 3 miles was hard and now I wish my runs were only 3 miles…oh how far I’ve come. Coming up fast is the half marathon race which is a week from Saturday. I’m excited and looking forward to it but need to focus on getting this week’s training completed first.

SF Marathon Here I Come,

Monday, May 3, 2010

Suzanne Training: Week 5

Week 4’s training went well. All runs felt great. Once I get about a mile into any run that I start it feels good…it’s just getting started that can prove difficult. I was also encouraged that I was able to do it even though I had to travel last week. It shows that we can all do this if we plan ahead and make it a priority.

This week’s training is 3-5-3-10

After this week we say goodbye to 3 mile runs as the short runs will turn into 4 mile runs. Of course just when 3 mile runs were getting easy.

And this marks the first double-digit long run – 10 miles! Whew. It’s hard to believe that each week I’m able to actually complete the long runs. But the training must be working as I have been able to do it each time. After my race on Saturday though, I’m looking forward to my long run this week. Never thought I'd say that!

SF Marathon Here I Come,

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Race Recap: Loop the Lagoon Results

On Saturday, May 1st, I completed my first race ever…a 10k. And…I LOVED IT! My official time was 1:05:05 and I recorded my fastest mile time to date during the run. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect since I’ve never actually participated in a race before, but I had a blast and I’ve included some race tidbits below.

DON’T START FAST! I took Jenn’s advice to not get caught up in the hoopla at the beginning of the race and just start slow. While I was successful in doing that, I can’t tell you how HARD it was to watch all these people just blow past me. I had to really focus to stay calm and resist my competitive instincts to just speed up. You would have laughed if you heard me talking to myself (in my head, not aloud) during the first few minutes of the race.

KILOMETERS?? So I set my Nike ipod sensor to the 10k distance. However, I did not realize that when I pressed my button to find out my pace that it would tell me what my pace was per kilometer! Jenn knows that numbers are not my friend and there wasn’t a chance in hell that I was going to be able to translate what my per kilometer time was into my mile pace. That was very unnerving at the beginning for this to happen as I was already trying to NOT speed up and run with everyone that was passing me up.

SWEET REVENGE! It was awesome to start passing up all those idiots that blew past me in the beginning. One by one I started to pass them as they either slowed down or were so winded they actually stopped running. It was very satisfying each time I passed someone up. It really kept my mind busy watching people in front of me and thinking about “are they tired?”, “they look like they’re getting tired,” “I bet they’re going to stop,” “I’m going to catch them,” etc. It was fun and kept me really entertained during the race so it made the time pass so I wasn’t concentrating on every stride I was taking or how tired I was.

EMINEM ROCKS! Songs that really got me going during the run: (1) Gonna Make You Sweat by C+C Music Factory (2) Lose Yourself by Eminem (3) Till I Collapse by Eminem. Both Eminem songs made me attack the hills we had at the end of each loop. I didn’t realize we were going to have any elevation to run up but I surprised myself and did really well running up them. It gave me great pride to run at a good pace up the hill, passing a lot of people along the way. When people actually stopped running it almost made me run faster.

FINISH STRONG! My goals for the race were to (1) complete the race, (2) complete without stopping and (3) to hopefully be able to finish strong. I’m proud to report that I met my goals and felt great at the end as I was able to finish strong by running the hill and then sprinted the last half mile of the race. Fittingly, the song that I crossed the finish line listening to was Celebration by Kool & the Gang.

I WANT TO RACE AGAIN! This race definitely brought out the competitor in me. I really enjoyed running in this environment and am looking forward to doing it again in 3 weeks. I have my half marathon race on Saturday, May 22nd. It’s hard for me to believe that I will be running 13 miles – is that possible? In any case, I’m looking forward to crossing another finish line and continuing my goal to finish the ultimate race….the SF marathon!

SF Marathon Here I Come,