Monday, October 31, 2011

The Spooktacular 5K Race Report

The Spooktacular 5K and Boo Run were held this past Saturday, October 29th.  I have many great memories from this race, including several little gold, silver, and bronze jack-o'-lantern trophies that were the old age group awards from years ago (I was going to insert a picture of them all lined up here, but it didn't happen this year.  At least I did locate them in the attic though!). 

It was great to see so many people in lots of fun costumes at the race this year! 

It was a freezing cold morning, so I whipped out the arm sleeves and hat for this race. 

The cold temperature helped many people PR today!  My husband, Rick, PR'ed today with an 18:30.  That is smokin'!  And he was not even wearing his Garmin!!

I got 20:12 and was 4th overall (same overall as in my last 5K).  I improved my time by 10 seconds from my Liz Hurley time, but honestly I was hoping for more.  It seems like I could've made myself run faster (like 13 seconds faster??), but I just didn't feel like it today.  Splits were more consistent than usual though.  Now to get them 5 seconds faster per mile!

Splits were:
Mile 1 6:26
Mile 2 6:36
Mile 3 6:28
.1 :41

20:12 overall pace 6:31 
Photo by James Hurley

Photo by Jen Grant

Photo by Jen Grant

My running group began this Halloween day with a spooooooky run with our new LED blinky light rings.  They are fun to wear and will double as safety lights for my two little trick or treaters tonight.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Des Moines Marathon Two Years Ago Yesterday

I wore a long-sleeve shirt today for my run for the first time this fall.  On the shirt was "Des Moines Marathon October 18, 2009." A rush of memories came flooding back.  You may remember that last month I posted about the Maui Marathon that we ran two Septembers ago.  Well, the plan to run the Des Moines Marathon came from that race.  We wanted another marathon in a new state (for us) a month away from Maui.  Des Moines was the marathon-that-almost-wasn't for many reasons!  I plan to share the story here later this week, but for now, here is Rick's version of the race.  This marathon is easily the only marathon I really had to want in order to run it.

More later!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Liz Hurley 5K October 15, 2011

The Liz Hurley Ribbon Run is a huge 5K race here in Huntsville named in honor of a local anchorwoman who is a breast cancer survivor.  This year, 5,500 people signed up to run or walk this race.  From the website in the link above:

When Liz Hurley, a local television news anchor, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998, she put a courageous face on breast cancer for all of us in the Tennessee Valley. In 1999, the Liz Hurley Breast Cancer Fund at Huntsville Hospital Foundation was established for the purpose of creating awareness about breast cancer, purchasing equipment for breast cancer diagnosis and providing continuing education for the Breast Center staff. Since its inception, more than $2 million has been raised and thousands have been touched through this fund. The Liz Hurley Ribbon Run brings together our entire community and support from around the world in the fight against breast cancer.

When I was 22, I remember watching Liz Hurley on the news.  She was the first person I "knew" who had breast cancer.  When the chemotherapy took away her hair, she just kept right on reporting while wearing a scarf.  She didn't let it stop her at all.  Now, that is someone to admire! 

This year, my work colleagues at my preschool got together a team in honor of two wonderful coworkers who are breast cancer survivors.  No way I could pass up the chance to be on our team!  I wanted to show support for the cause, but more so, I wanted to show support to my two coworkers.  If I could do that through running, that's even better!  A small problem was the fact that I ran the Chicago marathon on the previous Sunday, only 6 days from the Liz Hurley run.  I decided to give it a try, but I knew it would probably feel tougher and be slower than my usual 5K times since I was still recovering from the marathon.

I rode with my mom over to the race and spent a lot of the morning with my team, taking pictures and just talking.  Some of my group had never been to a race before, so it was very neat watching the men finish (they started an hour before our race) and hearing my coworkers' reactions to the race.  Most of the group hadn't ever run/walked a 5K before.  I enjoyed seeing the race from their perspective.  Since I was with the team, I took things more easily.  I skipped my longer warm up in favor of a half mile or so with Jane instead.  But I still tried to get up in the front so that I could give it my all! 

I felt great for the first mile, but then I felt very tired and had trouble catching my breath for the last two miles.  I could tell that my legs were not fresh!  I managed to get a 20:22, a comparable time to my recent 5Ks and a time I am very happy with given the circumstances.  I finished 4th overall.  The neat thing about this race is that men and women start separately, so I could see the first three women and the lead car for most of the race. 

After the finish (and again at work on Monday), my coworkers made me feel like a celebrity or something because of my 4th place finish.  I get very nervous having a lot of attention on me, but I did my best to thank them for their congratulations without making a big deal about what I'd done.  Some of them walked the race, finishing in three times what my time was.  To them, it may be hard to picture ever going as "fast" as me.  I didn't want to tell them that this wasn't my fastest 5K, or that I usually do finish near the top in local races, or that I'd run a marathon in that same week.  I tried to remember that many of my coworkers had just done something amazing, something they thought they could never do.  This race was definitely more about them than me, and they are what I will remember about this race. 

I was honored to be a part of their experience.  I was honored to help contribute to the cause of breast cancer equipment for our city.  I was honored to see breast cancer survivors out there.  I was glad to be a part of all of it!

For fun I looked back to my previous years of racing this event:

2010--plantar fasciitis injury--did not run
2009--running the Des Moines marathon that weekend
2008--??? did not run it
2007--25:20 first race post-daughter (7 weeks postpartum)
2006--23:18 (about 3.5 months after my son's birth)

Racing the same week as my marathon, I was still able to get a course PR for me!  A side note for anyone new to races: My mom and I stayed for almost all of the awards.  The Dominos pizza people started giving away whole pizzas at the end.  Mom and I each left with a whole pizza.  You never know what you will get if you stay through the awards!

Mile 1 6:17
Mile 2 6:44
Mile 3 + .1 7:22 (6:42 pace)

20:22 4th OAF
overall pace 6:33
Me and my mom wearing our team shirts
Mom walked the 5K in under an hour.

Our team pre-race

Our team post-race

Fun picture!  This is the front page of The Huntsville Times Sunday edition. 
I am in the center--one row back, with my sunglasses on, and in my blue and black Fleet Feet uniform.  Do you see me?

Here is the entire picture.  Look at all of those runners!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Three and Five Days Out And MORE Black Toenails

Can you find A) The 2 old black toenails (they appear white) and B) The 2 new black toenails?

Answer: A) 4th and 9th from left
B) 3rd and 7th from left
Recovery from this marathon has been great so far and much easier than normal.  I have no idea how or why!  As usual, we walked a lot the day of the marathon after the race.  We did sightseeing and didn't sit too much.  On Monday, we rode for 10 hours in the car.  I kept taking Advil throughout the day, but I got stiff and felt soreness in my legs.  Tuesday I returned to life as normal, so I had school drop off, grocery shopping, dance practice, etc. to run around and do.  I felt very tired by the middle of the day and lacked energy, but I wasn't too sore. 

I took those two complete days off from running.  I felt good enough to meet my friends on Wednesday morning and ran 7.3 miles with them without any major pains.  The tops of my feet were very tender when I put on my running shoes.  I think I tied my laces too tight during the race?  And my two new black toenails were hurting.  Remember how I wrote here and here that they start out hurting a lot but don't turn black immediately?  Well, these two were black right away but didn't get as tender.  So I guess there are lots of ways they can turn black.  But they sure are ugly, and don't even look at the rest of my toes!  Ugly feet!

On Friday (five days out from the marathon), I ran 11.5 miles with my friends, just because we were all having such a nice conversation and the pace was so relaxed.  It is freeing to not be following a training schedule for the moment.  We had the funniest conversation about the word "explosiveness" and how it relates to cheerleading, running, and other sports.  Isn't it a fun word?

For the week, that puts me at almost 45 miles with only 3 days of running.  Today I ran the Liz Hurley 5K.  At one point in the race,  I thought I might be able to get a marathon PR and a 5K PR all in less than a week.  Then reality set in and I changed my mind about the 5K PR!  I will have a race report up here soon.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bank of America Chicago Marathon Race Recap: Part 2

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The day we had been waiting and training for had finally arrived!  We awoke at 6:00 a.m.-- much later than we normally do for running!  I had tossed and turned almost all night (nothing new for me the night before the race), so I was ready to go way before the alarm clock went off.  We were able to walk over to the start line from our hotel, meeting our friend, Teddy, along the way.  Since the race started at 7:30 a.m., we had less than a hour to check our gear bags, use the bathrooms, and get into our start corral (we were all in B).  It should've been plenty of time, but it wasn't for a race this size, as we soon learned.  Below are some pictures we took before checking our camera at the gear check.

Amongst the other runners race morning
At gear check

With buildings in background

Rick and Katie pre-Chicago
Getting into the corrals proved to be the hardest part of the morning.  There was a bottleneck at Corral C, causing those heading to Corral B to be stuck in the flow.  Rick and I (Teddy had left us since he didn't need gear check) couldn't move towards our corral, except at a turtle's pace.  People were jumping the fences to get over to our corral faster.  We stayed in the slow moving traffic and eventually got into our corral but in the back.  I looked to my right and saw a guy crouched next to me peeing into a Gatorade bottle and a girl with her shorts down going in the nearby park.  These were some desperate measures but very common sights at the beginning of a marathon.  It's odd the things that we remember sometimes!  We took about two minutes to cross the start line.  I pushed "start" on my watch, and my race had begun.

The Race

There were four things that kept me going during this race (in no particular order--They kind of floated in and out of my mind throughout the race):

1. The plan
Rick, Teddy, and I had a plan.  They were going to run together at a 3:10, and I was going to run a 3:15.  We would all meet up at the end.  I went into the race thinking that they both had their times in the bag.  Everything would work out as planned if we all stuck to the plan.  I am so glad I thought they were ahead of me getting their times.  That thought pushed me to keep my pace.    

2. The poster
"There will come a day when you will not be able to do this.  Today is not that day."  I already mentioned this poster here.  How can you seriously attribute your time to a simple poster?  I don't know how, but the message on that poster pushed me through.

3. God, through the song "You Make Everything Glorious" by the David Crowder band
You know from this post that I had chosen not to wear headphones.  The song above just got stuck in my head from all of the times I listened to it during training.  During the race, I thought over and over about the lines "My eyes are small but they have seen/ the beauty of enormous things."  I kept looking out over all of the buildings and thinking about all of the enormous, beautiful things I had seen in my life.  And I thought about God creating me and how He made these tiny eyes to see the things and this brain to actually comprehend everything I'm seeing and this heart to appreciate it all...

I know it seems silly that I spent so long thinking about these things, but it didn't feel silly at all.  I sang a little of the song out loud as I ran.  I'm sure no one noticed, and who cares if they did?  God did make all of us glorious, and if I can't praise Him in the middle of the marathon that He enabled me to run, then when can I?  When would be a more appropriate time?

My eyes are small but they have seen
the beauty of enormous things
Which leads me to believe
there's light enough to see that

You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
You make everything glorious
And I am Yours

What does that make me?

4. My friends and family who were tracking me
I liked knowing that others knew of my time goal for this race.  It kept me accountable for getting that time.  I knew they would hear of my time, and I wanted to be proud of doing my best out there. 

Starting Too Fast
My first mile was a 7:14--faster than my goal pace of 7:27.  Starting fast is normal for me.  Rick was right by me at the start, but I didn't see him after that.  I later figured that he had somehow passed me and I missed it.  In actuality, he had never passed me and was right behind me for much of the race.  The runners were pretty close together during the first couple of miles, but after that they spread out a bit.  They did always look shoulder-to-shoulder when I saw a group in front of me, though.  Miles 1-17 were all under pace, with the fastest being a 6:54 at Mile 7 and the slowest being a 7:25 at Mile 17.  The miles felt easy and relaxed.  I would shake out my arms a little every couple of miles to stay loose.  I enjoyed seeing the crowds and trying to take each mile as it came.  My half was a 1:34:10, which is actually a half marathon PR for me (it will be interesting to see what I can do with "only" a half marathon when I race in one next month).  This put me on pace for a 3:08:20 with even splits.  I know I don't run even splits, though, so I wasn't thinking sub 3:10 at all.

Fueling and the Heat
I had eaten a Honey Stinger Waffle and a thing of Clif Bloks for fuel before the race.  I normally take something about halfway, but today I did not feel like taking anything (other than the Gatorade that I drank along the course).  My first food was the vanilla Gu at Mile 18 offered on the course.  I had to choke down my Clif Bloks I carried with me at about Mile 20.  I put them in my mouth and almost could not get them down.  The "heat" picked up as we ran.  I know 70s isn't really hot, but it is hot when you are running a marathon.  I felt sweat on my forehead in the first mile, and that is not a good sign.  They had cold sponges for us along the course, and those felt great.  The drinks were nice and cold too.  Still, the heat and starting too fast were taking a toll on me.

Finishing It Up
Mile 18 was my first mile over pace, and it was only over by 1 second.  Mile 19 was over by 2 seconds.  Then--BAM--Mile 20 was 13 seconds over pace.  I would be lying if I said that it didn't bother me that I'd started too fast.  I am a perfectionist and it is natural for me to analyze every part of my race.  I had a 3:08 pace at the halfway point, and I was watched it slip between my fingers over the last 6 miles.  I know that makes no sense since I was supposed to be aiming for a 3:15, but it is still how I felt.  I kept figuring my finish time by multiplying the number of miles remaining by 9 minute or 8 minute miles.  The slow down at the end of 1 minute per mile cost me a finish that would have been somewhere between 3:10 and 3:15.  Of course, I know myself, and I know that starting under my pace helped give me confidence.  I know also that my goal was a 3:15 and a new PR, and I met those goals.  But I can't help but wonder: If I'd started slower, could I have made a faster time?  I guess that is what all determined athletes do.  We question our decisions, we adjust, and we try to be better next time.  I have thought about the 3:10 in ways that I never would have before this race.  I see it as a possibility now.

I honestly don't remember a whole lot about the end of the race.  I remember that is seemed like a looonnnggg time between 21 and 22.  I remember a cool Nike cheering section at Mile 24, where they were announcing, "Only two miles left in your Chicago marathon dream" or something like that.  It really helped me!  And there was a nice guy (though a bandit!) who ran alongside me in the last mile, telling me to count the number of people I was passing to encourage me.  You know, that was the weird part.  Though my pace has fallen by a minute, so many other people must've had their paces fall even more because I was passing people right and left.  I couldn't muster up the energy to count them, though, but it was a nice encouragement and I was thankful for the distraction.  We crested a little hill at Mile 26 and then rounded the corner to the finish.  I saw 3:17 on the clock (3:15 chip time).  But unlike all of my practice runs, I did not have to get-up-and-go to sprint to the finish.  My official time was 3:15:33.  Though I met my goal, the victory of conquering the marathon with grace was missed for me today.

After the Race 
I know I gave it my all, because when I crossed the finish line, I again felt like I could not stand up on my own.  Someone was right there helping to support me.  I became a little nauseous and had trouble catching my breath.  I was taken to the medical tent, but I only needed to sit for a couple of minutes before I felt good enough to walk again.  At least my visits to the medical tent are getting shorter!  I was anxious to get over to our meeting point to find Rick and Teddy, so I got up and quickly shuffled over to our spot (but not before grabbing a free 312 beer!). 

When I didn't find them, I went over and asked for a print out of their finish times.  I figured they'd been done for awhile and were tired of waiting for me!  Sadly, I learned that Rick had gotten a 3:37 and Teddy a 3:19.  My excitement about meeting my goal and earning a PR was immediately tempered by my disappointment that Rick and our friend had not met their times.  I was actually stunned that Rick, who had trained so long and hard, had not met his time.  And I was worried when the guy printing the results for me told me that his times had dropped sharply at the end.  Was he sick or hurt?  I grabbed the printouts and went to sit back at our meeting spot.  I was in the middle of a phone call with my sister (the kids did great!) when I saw Rick!  Needless to say, he was disappointed and not too happy with himself or even with marathoning in general.  He fought hard out there in the heat, but it just wasn't his day.  He still finished the race, and I am proud of him for that.  There wasn't time to dwell on it, though, since we had a mile or so to walk--err, shuffle--back to our hotel.

Back at the hotel, I was able to see my sister's text updates that she received throughout the race, and we had her take a picture of us with our medals.  After cleaning up, it was time to eat pizza and ice cream, drop Laurie off at the bus station, and do our final sightseeing at the Cloud Gate. 

Phone texts of our updates
Marathon finishers!
Deep dish pizza at Giordano's

Deep dish cheese with spinach--Yum!

Ghiradelli's Ice Cream Shop

Mint ice cream--Yum!

Cloud Gate

Kind of how the last few miles felt to me!

We headed home on Monday, October 12.  The walking on Sunday after the race really helped the soreness to go away, but it was hard sitting for the ten hour car ride.  I am now three days post-race.  I ran today and had one of my best post-marathon runs yet!  I am hoping that means a fast recovery from this one.

Below are some of the race details provided by the marathon.  How thorough!  I can't say I've ever been in a marathon that lists my country by my name!  Go USA!

This is neat because it shows your overall pace for each segment of the race.  You can see my slow down here. 
1 7:14
2 7:17
3 7:16
4 7:14
5 7:06
6 7:10
7 6:54
8 7:12
9 7:09
10 7:11
11 7:19
12 7:06
13 7:10
14 7:04
15 7:10
16 7:15
17 7:25
18 7:28
19 7:29
20 7:40
21 7:52
22 7:54
23 8:25
24 8:23
25 8:17
26+.2 9:39
overall place 1598 out of 35,628
overall woman 212
age group 48

Overall pace 7:28
Race number and medal

Print out of my finishing time
Ending Thoughts
I've gone back and forth about whether to "reveal" all of these thoughts about my somewhat disappointing PR marathon to you.  It should feel like a victory---I got my PR, met my goal of a 3:15 (well, a 3:15:something), and conquered the warm race conditions.  I finished in 1,598 place out of 35,628 people!  I think, though, back to Myrtle Beach and how I told myself that I just wanted to finish the marathon strong or even without needing medical assistance at the end.  A fast, strong marathon hasn't happened yet for me, even in spite of all of the training I did for this race.  I think my foolish race strategy may be the last major hurdle to overcome, if only I can make myself do it.

My friend and big supporter, Jane, wrote the nicest blog entry about me the day after Chicago.  From her blog:

Katie is one of our fastest runners and she is so inspiring for all of us. She's super talented, but I'm not sure she really sees it and that is probably one of the many reasons we like her so much. Anyway, Katie has been training HARD for the Chicago marathon. In fact, this was the first time she'd done a lot of what she did in training. It wasn't always fun. It was super challenging. And because she'd never done much of it, she was not quite sure if she was doing it right, if she was doing all she could, or if it would result in a PR marathon. Her goal was a 3:15. Her best was a 3:18.

Now, I felt the whole time that she had it in the bag. Not only is she already a strong and amazing runner, her training was hard core and she stuck with it the entire time. Still, there is always room for something beyond one's control to happen in a marathon. I have experienced it and seen it happen in others. And it is heartbreaking. Katie knows this too, and so as the marathon approached and she began to question and doubt and wonder and talk herself out of being disappointed if it didn't happen, the girls and I were right there with her.

On race day the e-mails were flying. We were on our computers before and after church services, and I wondered how she was doing the whole morning. And then I saw it. The e-mail titled, "KATIE ROCKS!" I almost stood up and cheered. I said, "SHE DID IT! SHE DID IT!" as Jason asked who did what. The e-mails continued to fly as each of us discovered the news. I'm sure Katie's phone and facebook page began to light up with congratulations and comments as her friends and family realized she had achieved her PR.

But I like to think her morning running crew were the ones who really knew, who really understood.

Jane, my other running friends, and the readers of this blog know and appreciate what shaving 2.5 minutes off of a marathon PR involves.  I know there is a victory there.  But as a determined athlete who wants to push myself, I cannot help but think about the next opportunity I get to run a smarter (and faster) race.  I will make the most of it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bank of America Chicago Marathon Race Recap: Part 1

A race as big as Chicago deserves two posts for sure!  There are so many pictures that I divided the post into two smaller posts.  My next entry will be all of the race details!

Friday, October 7, 2011
My family headed to Chicago via minivan at 6:00 a.m. on Friday morning.  This trip worked out perfectly since it was also our preschool's Fall Break.  Our days off from school (and work for me) coincided with our days for the trip.  What a nice coincidence!  In the car, my daughter had us laughing when she asked, "Is that Chicago?" when she saw a building that was literally two miles from our house (and even though I told her we'd be in the car until dinner)!  With stops and traffic, we made it to our hotel at 4:30 p.m.  I had been hydrating in the car expecting to be at the hotel by 4:00.  When that didn't happen, I started doing a potty dance as we inched our way to the hotel.  It was a good hotel in a great location.  We could walk to restaurants, shops, and, most importantly, the start of the marathon!
I had taken a rest day on Thursday, so I had planned to run on Friday after we got to the hotel or on Saturday morning.  Below is a picture of the new shoes I started breaking in about a week before the race.  I love comparing the old ones to the new ones!  

New Nike Air Pegasus + 28 Breathe shoes for the marathon!
Around 5:00 p.m., we took a shuttle close to Niketown to the marathon expo and stayed at the expo from 6:00-7:00 p.m.  I am a "geek" in that I LOVE the expos.  I rarely buy anything, but I just love to "window shop."  Seeing all the running gear and all of the other runners gets me excited about the race!  I was a little bummed that I missed seeing Hal Higdon, who was there promoting a book.  I wanted to thank him in person for the training program!  We ended up with a lot of free samples, though some were not the best for carbo-loading (One I remember was a natural peanut butter.).  It was great to try out a sample of the drink they'd be using for the race (Gatorade G Series ProTM 02 Perform Endurance Formula lemon-lime flavor). 

My absolute favorite part of the expo was seeing a video they had playing of the course, complete with music and little icons that would flash the different mileage checkpoints along the course.  Everyone was crowded around watching it on big screens.  I had seen it on facebook already, but I liked seeing it on the big screens with others that would be running the course on Sunday.

Packet pickup went from 1-45,000 bib numbers!

Entry to packet pickup
Below is an event sign showing the status of the event as "Moderate." 

I had already read about the Moderate status in an email we received.
It stated:

"The Alert Levels range from Low (green) to Moderate (yellow) to High (red) to Extreme (black) based primarily on weather conditions, as well as other factors.

According to the advance local weather forecast, the weather on race day is projected to be sunny, with morning temperatures in the upper 50’s (degrees F) and afternoon temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s (degrees F).

(And the part I didn't like) Plan to adjust your pace for the weather. The increasing temperature will require more of your body’s energy and resources to maintain normal function, so a slower pace than originally planned is recommended in order to get you to the finish line without overheating.

Having to adjust my pace wasn't something I wanted to do! 

Moderate status
Nike has the coolest expo display.  I wish I'd taken a picture of the whole thing.  It looked like big squares from far away, but when you got closer you saw that it was actually a list of all of the runners' names!  We has fun finding our names and getting a picture of them!

My daughter finds our names

"Katie Maehlmann Rick Maehlmann" (middle of picture)

There was also a HUGE map of the course (something I had also seen and studied before this day).  It was a great photo opportunity!
My bib number was 3634 (the 4 is covered by the timing chip). 
"B" and the red color were for my start corral. 

Rick and the kids

Enormous expo!
After the expo, we decided to get some pasta to go from a restaurant that was right up the street. It was around 8:00 p.m., and everyone was starving. Rick and I had both decided to eat more carbs for the three days leading up to the race. Our lunch was two baked potatoes each from Wendys, and dinner was a whole lot of pasta. The portion for a small was an 8x11 inch pan!

Buca To Go (small portion!)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rick and his friend, Teddy, went for a run first thing in the morning, and then it was my turn.   I knew I only needed a couple of miles and not too much more.   Once I got going, though, I found a pretty popular path near the lakefront.   Runners were everywhere, getting in their last runs before the race.   The runners, the beautiful yellow trees, the water and boats, and the big buildings in the distance made the most beautiful sight!   I ended up doing about 5 miles at a relaxed and easy pace--a little more than I wanted but highly worth it!   What an awesome run!

I wanted to try out my pre-race fuel of choice the day before, so my breakfast was a Honey Stinger Waffle.  For 170 calories for such a little flat thing, I joked to Rick that we could make the same thing ourselves by squishing a donut with something with a grid design!

It is hard to tell how tiny and flat this thing is by this picture, so just trust me.
Since we had our children with us, our agenda for the morning was very full!  We took them to the beach (I had no idea Chicago had a beach!) and to the Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier.  We go to different museums around the country for free since we have a reciprocal membership with our local museum.  Maybe we should have a goal to try out a children's museum in each state too!

The beach with pretty fall leaves and buildings

They were so happy to take their shoes off and run to the water!
Chicago Children's Museum

We picked up my sister, Laurie, at her bus stop and began our afternoon activities. We ate lunch at Jimmy John's, shopped at the Magnificent Mile, and ate dinner (more pasta) with our friends, Angie and Teddy.
Aunt Laurie (and our sitter!)

I ate a vegetarian sandwich at Jimmy John's.  Their bread was delicious and a good source of carbs.  It was interesting to really think about each thing I ate in the three days prior to the race as being fuel (in the form of stored glycogen in my muscles) for race day.  I normally don't give a whole lot of thought to the food-performance connection.

Jimmys John's vegetarian

Rick carbo-loads!

I don't know how wise this was, but I walked everywhere in the Magnificent Mile that day.  We spent hours going to American Girl to Ghirardelli (can't say no to free samples even if they're not carbs!) to Niketown (AWESOME store with soooooo much marathon stuff!).  Rick was smart and rested for some of that with my daughter in the room.   I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to shop!  I really liked seeing the Apple store's makeshift tribute to Steve Jobs.  There were post-its covering the windows with little tributes people had written. 

Apple store

Post-it tributes

"Well Done"

"You changed the world for the better.  Thank you."  Wouldn't we all want that said of us?

Niketown ROCKED!
We got more pasta to go (much easier than waiting forever for a table and a better decision with small children!). 
I got bow tie pasta with broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes.  Yum!
Then it was time to get everything ready for tomorrow.  I had a bag of gear packed, my clothes, and a reminder note to retrieve my drinks from the fridge (yes, we had a full-sized fridge in our suite!).

Ready to roll!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Quick Update

3:15:33  A new PR!

It will be a couple of days before I can get my race recap up here.  Thanks to everyone who followed me with the text updates on their phone and then commented (here, on facebook, or through email) with congratulations.  I enjoyed reading each one!  Of course the PR makes me happy, but the story of this race is a complicated one, and I will share it all soon.

One thing I did want to quickly write today was about an AWESOME poster I saw along the course.  This poster kept me going the whole race.  I literally repeated the words in my head dozens of times.  It said, "There will come a day when you will not be able to do this.  Today is not that day." 

If you are needing some motivation today--maybe just for a run or maybe for a marathon or some other race you are going to be doing soon, really think about that for awhile.  On Sunday, I ran even harder as I thought about these words.