Thursday, June 14, 2012

Running Sucks

This weekend, David and I ran the Chicago 13.1 Marathon sponsored by Allstate.  Over the last couple of months, I have started more formal and consistent training, have set running goals and have accomplished those goals.  One long term goal of mine is to become more comfortable with the half marathon distance.  It's something I feel like I should do before I step up to marathon distance.  Ya see, somewhere in between miles 10 and 13, it goes down hill for me.  I lose focus, my legs become heavy and it is everything I can do, mentally, to keep moving my legs because I just want to quit.  I don't quit though.  So I've increased my average run, making the average distance I run 6 to 8 miles.  I've become more comfortable in the 8 mile range and I am holding a more consistent pace in the longer runs.  I thought this half would be better than the previous ones.  So I felt really good Friday, the day before the race.  I set a goal for myself, to finish in under 2 hours.

The morning of, we get to the race start and stand around, literally, for almost 2 hours.  Yea, that was not the smartest thing to do.  It started like any other run, only a little hot and humid.  However, as the run continued, I never really loosened up.  By mile 6, I still hadn't found my groove.    

The first 6 miles, I held a perfect 9 minute pace and somewhere between mile 6 and 7, I lost it.  Mental exhaustion set in and it just sucked.  It never really got better from there.  I spent the rest of the run battling the urge to quit.  And finished in 2:05.  Of course I was happy and proud of myself but I was still disappointed that I  missed the 2 hour mark.  It's frustrating because I try so hard!  It also doesn't help when David is right beside saying "just move your legs faster" and perky stuff like that.  In the last 2 months, he's ran twice and it still comes so easily to him!  The day was hot and humid and the course was not as flat as I was used to.  The previous half marathons I've run were a very flat course and this had small, and gently slopping hills.  

David and I before the mud run.  See how happy I am! 

So I'll just keep trying.  Our next half is in September, and I will make it under 2 hours.  I've resolved that those miles, 10 to 13, may always be rough.  I'm just going to push through it, knowing that it won't last.  I have yet to run more than 13.1 miles, and maybe mile 14 is where it gets better for me.  
This is why I love running.  It is ALWAYS mentally challenging for me.  I am always proud of my ability to keep trying; to try and become faster, to try and run farther and to never quit.  

In other news, I finally caved to my curiosity about the five finger shoes.  I've been researching them for the last year.  I can't wait to see what they do for my running.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

A short stop

Towards the end of last week, David worked a few night shifts in a row, which meant we had the days to spend together.  On Wednesday, we headed to the zoo and ended up spending all day there with the girls.  We took Hannah to see her first Dolphin Show.  Personally speaking, we're not a fan of dolphin shows after watching The Cove, but we did believe that Hannah would enjoy it and we didn't want to deprive her of seeing it.  And she loved it.  After a day at the zoo, we stopped by Oberweis Dairy for some ice cream, which was yummy.  I had blueberry pie ice cream, David had key lime pie ice cream (which was SO good) and Hannah had her staple mint chocolate.  Then we headed to Grandma Cernock's house for a short visit before heading out to a boy scouts picnic.  Grandma and Hannah love to read stories together.  It's a perfect set up, Hannah loves to be read to and Grandma loves to read.  

And the whole point of this post: to share these two pictures. 

It was a picture perfect moment.  (except I cut off grandma's feet!)

And Riley, sleepily sucking away on her fingers.  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In Honor of National Running Day: What Running Has Taught Me

It's all about what running has taught the author.  I got to thinking about this in my own life.  Running ha taught me so much about myself, my abilities and my will power.  
Oprah has said that running is the best metaphor for life, because you get out of running exactly what you put into it.  This is the only time I WILL EVER quote Oprah, I'm personally not a fan of her.  However, I agree with this statement.  For example, I want to run faster.  So I'm going to train, do speed work and I will run faster.  I have already seen the results of formal training.  My first run after having Riley was run at a 12:30 pace.  My latest 5k, I ran an 8:30 pace.  In nine months, I have shed 4 minutes off my mile time because it's what I wanted to do.  Hard work pays off, in any venue.  

My most miserable race, Summer of Love run.  It was in July, at the beach, in the evening; it was so hot and so humid.  And they ran out of water.  But I didn't quit.  I ran 10 miserable miles.  
Events in life aren't going to be perfect but every one counts.  

Down & Dirty 5k

I have learned that running is all in your brain.  Your body won't quit on you, but your brain will.  It's why I feel so accomplished when I finish a run.  There are runs that I struggle through every mile, constantly pushing myself.  And there are runs when I find my groove immediately and could go on forever, it feels like.  No matter how "good" I become at running, there will still be bad runs.  I still must overcome and push through.  I refuse to quit, kind of like life in general. I tell ya, the bad runs make me REALLy appreciate the good ones though!  
Running has taught me that I can do anything.  For years, I said "I'm just not a runner."  I said it, and I believed it.  Then, one day before I got pregnant with Hannah, David took me out and I ran 4 miles with him.  Out of the blue, I just ran.  David taught me about pace that day.  Once I found "my groove" I could run and just run.  More than 5 years later, I have hundreds of miles under my feet and am addicted to the accomplished feeling I get when I finish a run.  My current goal is a full marathon and s print triathlon.  I have no doubt that I will reach these goals, both within the next year.  I don't quite know how to explain it, I just know that I will.  Because I can run, I can do anything.  What an awesome feeling to have about myself.
That's why I encourage everyone else to run.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cavalcade of Planes

Saturday we went to the Cavalcade of Planes at Clow International Airport in Bolingbrook.  
We got there early, before it opened and eventually go to go in early.  This meant that there wasn't any crowds.  Hannah climbed on a couple of planes and sat down in them, playing around.  She was able to take her time, since there wasn't any long lines behind her.  

She rode in the Ground Bound Plane with David.

We walked around for a couple of hours.  We went and looked at how affordable new planes are! ; )  We picked one out for ourselves.  We'll start taking donations for
birthday/christmas now.  

A guy with the private remote control airplane club.  David has always talked about flying remote control airplanes.  He spent about 15 minute talking to this guy.  And he's going to join their club.  They have a flying simulator, and I guess David did really good.  This guy approached him about joining the club based on his simulation.  

There was one downside: the President.  David and I were talking to the parachuters, because it is still a dream of ours to become certified, and he explained how we would have already seen jumps except that President Obama was in Chicago and as a result there were flight restrictions in place until he left the city!  We were able to see a few planes come in and land, but everything else had been delayed until the President left!  We were pretty bummed, more so because Hannah had already done everything and was starting to get a little antsy.  
So we headed home around noon.  We had a great time.  I am glad we got there so early, which allowed Hannah to take her time and really explore.  

Monday, June 4, 2012

More Deer

They're being sneaky, sneaky in this photo, can you find them?