Monday, December 17, 2007

Santa Speedo Run - Spectator or Participant?

Get in a speedo, wear a Santa hat and run through Boston.

the following taken from

The first Santa Speedo Run in 2000 was essentially a meaningless stunt conjured up by five friends in their mid-to-late 20s who thought, "we should do something stupid like we used to do," said Jonathan Ianelli, one of the founders of the race.

Their "stupid" idea was to run around the city wearing nothing but red Speedos while taking turns holding a portable stereo that played Christmas music by the Muppets. Passersby were stunned and amused by what they saw. Holiday shoppers stopped to cheer for the scantily clad pseudo-athletes.

"Just from that reaction, we realized people really liked it and that we could probably do something good with it," Ianelli said.

The fivesome began recruiting more friends to join the run and decided to charge a registration fee that would be given to a local charity. In 2003, they raised $14,000. In 2005, they raised over $50,000. This year, they're giving the money to the Women's Lunch Place in the Back Bay.

"It's great because we'll actually run by the church where they have the shelter," Ianelli said.

The day begins with morning drinks and registration at Lir, an Irish pub on Boylston Street. Participants have to raise (or pay) $250 to participate. It's free to watch, of course, and over the years, spectating has become part of the day's fun.
The run starts at about 1 p.m., and since the race is short, it's usually over within a half hour. Then it's back to Lir for more partying.

Kelly Fitzgerald, one of the first women to have run the Speedo event, says participants and spectators should expect to be social. After all, she met the man she married at one of the runs. "The first day I saw my husband, he was in a Speedo," Fitzgerald said.

The greatest compliment to the group of friends who originally started this race as a gag is that other cities have copied the idea. Runners in Austin and Toronto have contacted Ianelli about starting up Speedo races in those cities, and the Springfield-area rock station Lazer 99.3 is running its own Santa Speedo race on Sunday in Northampton. Ianelli doesn't mind the copycats.
"As long as they're doing it for charity," he said.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Missy "the dog" Ohst - At Peace

Late last night (11/25/2007) we said goodbye to our very old dog Missy.

I let her out last night and when she did not return I went out to look for her in the field behind our house that she loved so much. I took a flashlight and silently scanned the field (no use calling for her since she hears very little). I found her collapsed near her favorite grove of trees. She was awake but barely acknowledged me. I tried to coax her into getting up but she made no effort. I ran back across the field to get Andy and a blanket. Andy and I carried Missy by placing her on the blanket, I took one side and Andy took the other and we lifted her up and home.

In the kitchen we tried to comfort her and warm her up and figure out what the hell happened. Andy says Missy had been running across the field earlier in the day. She had not shown any signs of being sick or in pain other than the usual difficulties getting going in the morning due to arthritis. She had eaten fine and when I let her out she seemed perfectly normal.

We called our vet to get the emergency number off of the recording and after a short conversation with the assistant at the Lisle Emergency Vet clinic we loaded up the car and the whole family went. We knew this was probably going to be it so we wanted the kids to be able to say goodbye.

To make a long story short it turns out that Missy had a very large, possibly cancerous tumor in her lung and the vet thinks perhaps a portion of it had broken off and lodged in her spine and now Missy no longer had control of anything from the neck down although she did seem to be able to feel things. There was nothing that could be done and Missy appeared to be going into shock. She was sedated to be more comfortable and to give us time to explain to the children.

We agreed that we would tell the children about the tumor and what we thought was wrong. We would then say that the dog was to spend the night to be cared for so that they should say goodnight to Missy with the understanding that she most likely was not going to make it through the night. Kyla was crying but went in and comforted Missy with all her heart. The staff gave us all the time we needed and we were in there for a long time crying and hugging Missy. Erik was the only one who didn't seem to know what to do, maybe not really understanding it all. We all went back out into the waiting room and the vet put Missy to sleep. Then just Andy and I went in and I cried like a baby into the fur on her neck. We left. The children will be informed after school today.

Since it is the holiday of giving thanks I will do so here for Missy.
I am thankful for the wonderful dog that has been in our care for over 17 years. She was an incredible running partner while I was training for the Olympic trials and she added a great amount of security with her company on cold dark mornings/nights of training. She LOVED when we did fartlek sessions, waiting for that next burst of speed and it was with such joy! I give thanks for her patience with the kids, never biting them, always watching out for them. I am thankful for her calmness and lack of need to bark for every fool thing. :-) When the doorbell rang she ran up to it and then waited...unless of course we were not there then she would bark her fool head off (at least that is what the UPS man says). Missy was sweet and playful and until age made moving quickly difficult, hearing and sight limited, she would run to greet us every time we came home. We thank Missy for the love she showed us the way only animals do and even as she aged and caring for her became a lot of work we did it as a way to return our thanks to her. I give thanks, for Missy was the dog I had always wanted.

I miss her so much...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Absurd News

Cow Falls Off Cliff and Hits Van

By Associated Press
12:51 PM CST, November 6, 2007

MANSON, Wash. - Charles and Linda Everson were driving back to their hotel when their minivan was struck by a falling object -- a 600-pound cow.

The Eversons were unhurt but the cow, which had fallen off a cliff, had to be euthanized.

The year-old cow fell about 200 feet from the cliff and landed on the hood of the couple's minivan, causing heavy damage.

A Chelan County fire chief, Arnold Baker, said the couple missed being killed by a matter of inches in the accident Sunday on a highway near Manson.

The Eversons, visiting the area from their home in Westland, Mich., to celebrate their first wedding anniversary, were checked at Lake Chelan Community Hospital as a precaution.

Everson, 49, said he didn't see the cow falling and didn't know what happened until afterward.

He said he kept repeating: "I don't believe this. I don't believe this."

Can you tell I'm really bored today??

Officially In! Boston Bound 2008!

Finally got my official "your are in" e-mail from the Boston Marathon organization! I was getting a little worried since it's been a month already since I applied for the race and I already have airline tickets bought and all.

The training continues....

Memorialize a loved one in a Diamond??

Okay so this has nothing to do with running, and that's okay because it's my blog and I can blog about whatever, right?

Well anyway I was bored and I was reading news off of and there was an advertising link to a company that will make a diamond with the carbon of a love one. LifeGem is the name of the company and I guess they are based in Elk Grove. Check this link out

At first I was totally creeped out by the thought, then I thought hmmmm, then I was creeped out again.

What do you think?

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Naperville North Girls Cross Country Team bring home 3rd place State Trophy!

Congrats to my training partner Dan Iverson as his girls once again saved their best race for last and brought home a State Trophy by placing 3rd. This was indeed a very competitive year and the road to the state meet was challenging. Through this season's up-and-downs I had a sense that with a solid team effort this team could grab that last trophy spot, the question remained as to how many of the seven girls who stand on that starting line in the championship season would find it in them to really lay it on the line and race. Well enough of them did to secure their place and I breathe a sigh of relief. I know how hard these girls work all year, and I know how much time and energy Dan gives to this team, and I'm very happy for them.

Unfortunately many good teams and individuals could not race at state as the qualifying round of meets had most of the best teams in the state all in one sectional. Naperville themselves placed 4th at this loaded sectional. The top four teams at state all came from this one sectional. Seems like the IHSA needs to look at a better way to walk that line between regional representation and a state meet that really means something with all the good players in place...

Congrats again to Dan and the Naperville North Girls Cross Country team, the seven that ran and the rest of the 90+ girls that make up this team. They are all winners!

(Can you imagine trying to coach 90+ high school girls, yikes!)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Brian Completes 50 Miler and Paul Completes 1st Marathon

Congrats to Brian Gaines and Paul Clement for their race finishes on Saturday.

For Brian this was THE race he had been planning and preparing for all year. A stress fracture in June really held Brian back as he missed months of training while it healed. As soon as he was able he was back on the road and was able to put in a 10 miler (speed walked), two marathons (one walked, one run), and a 33 miler before getting on the starting line of his 50 miler. (my apologies if I forgot a race or two).

Although the wind provided some challenge in some parts, and physically there were some rough patches Brian had to work through, he successfully made it to the finish line and did so in admirable and respectable fashion. We are all so darn proud of him! Way to go Brian!!

Here are some pictures take by fellow ChiA runner Kelly.

Brian during Loop 2, on his way to Northerly Island, with the Adler Planetarium in the background

In the final stretch, spelling out 5-0 with his hands

All smiles after 10 hours, 11 minutes, and 57 seconds of running

Now we go to Paul. A.K.A. "Mr. I don't run more than 6 miles and I don't run on pavement Paul." Its been quite a year for Paul as he not only ran more than 6 miles on a regular basis he actually ran in his first marathon after not having any real plans to do so until just recently. He picked the most low-key, no frills marathon I've ever seen and did a great job with it. (No miles splits on the course, can you image that?? You guessed it I'm not an ultra runner!) I guess he figured all the training he went through to help pace Kelly in the latter half of her marathon needed to be put to good use. I love stuff like this! Way to go Paul!

Paul finishing his first marathon. 4:46:31

Friday, October 26, 2007

Chicago Lakefront 50/50

Best of luck to fellow ChiAs Brian Gaines and Paul Clement as they run the Chicago Lakefront 50/50.

Brian will be running the 50 miler after having completed the 50K last year (31.0685 miles, hey I got that from a converter)

Paul will be doing his first marathon as the race was gracious enough to offer a timed marathon this year due to the issues at this years mega-sized Chicago Marathon on October 7th.

I won't be there to cheer you on but I will be sending positive go fast energy your way all morning. Correction...Brian has requested a longer sending of positive go fast energy so I will continue through until the late afternoon just to be safe :-)


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Val Finishes Her 1st Marathon in Boston Qualifying Time!

Special congrats to Val Trax-Hattabaugh, a co-worker of mine, for her awesome Chicago Marathon finish - 3:47:57. Awesome in many ways:

  • It was her first marathon
  • She did it in the brutal heat
  • It's a Boston Qualifier and she wasn't even trying!
Val isn't expressing much interest in running Boston but we are working on her!

...and while we are here let me just say ONE more time - I not only knew Val would run under 4 hours I predicted a Boston Qualifier months ago! So satisfying being right. :-)

Congrats again Val and I do sincerely hope this isn't your one and only marathon because I know you can go way faster and I kind of suspect you actually liked doing this marathon.

Farmdale 33 Miler - Yikes!

Congrats to Brian Gaines and Gayle Wagner, fellow ChiaDeads for completing last weekend's Farmdale 33 Miler! A 3 x 11 mile looped trail course in East Peoria.

This is the longest footrace ever completed for both of them and Brian now looks to his 50 miler on October 27th. On top of it all Brian had run the Chicago Marathon just the week before. He makes me feel like such a lazy bum as I'm still in "recovery" mode from my marathon.

For information on next year's race and this year's results go to

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Time to Say Thanks

I usually consider my fall marathon to be the end of my racing season for the year as the next few months are recovery and a shift back to base training with a few 5k's thrown in for fun. So its like the end of the year for me and I always get to thinking about what has happened through the months both good and bad but I think especially of those people I feel I owe thanks to. So don't read if you don't like the mushy sentimental stuff... :-)

Kelly Roe & Brian Gaines: The last few years I had been struggling with the balance between my running and the rest of my life. I was burned out, not racing well, had growing responsibilities that came with my growing children, and I plain old was tired. I had recently let go of my coach and was truly bummed. But one cannot be bummed about running and racing with Kelly and Brian around. Thank you both for helping me find my "inner" runner and bringing me back to truly love what I do. You both have helped me more than you can know and I totally love being involved in your races.

Jenny Garrison: Jenny is a two time national triathlon champion and about 11 years my junior. She just burns with energy and I have benefitted so much from being able to train with her. Thank you Jenny for being on my door step at 5am twice a week and many times on the weekend. Running your workouts helped get some of that turnover back into my old legs and I love how I can talk to you about anything. Jenny is one fierce competitor and she helped wake up my competitive drive again. Now have your baby already and get back, I miss you.

Jen Skowronski: Jen is my personal trainer and owner of Fitness Inside Out. I started with Jen over 2 years ago to address the weak points in my running form which centered mostly on poor core strength. Not only is Jen a great trainer she has become a great friend. She personally tailors my training for my running needs and has helped me become a more physically and emotionally balanced athlete. Thank you Jen for truly caring about my goals and dreams and especially for listening to me as I sorted out how to balance my personal life with my running and racing. You are the best!

Dan Iverson: Running partner of over 10 years now and coach of girls cross country and girls distance track runners at Naperville North High School. Thanks for being on my door step at 5am 3 times a week and for all the countless long runs on the weekends. I know I can always bounce ideas off of you and get an honest educated answer. Your knowledge of training is vast and the energy you put into your coaching makes you one very special coach. The runners at Naperville North are very fortunate to have you. I'm fortunate to have you as a friend!

The runners I meet during races: It seems that in the majority of my races I have met up with other runners who end up working with me to get to that finish line. I often never learn their names but I wanted to thank them all the same. Thanks to Dave Schaefers for Bastille Day, pacer Bob at Chicago Distance Classic, Tom at Milwaukee, unnamed runner at the 23 mile mark at Milwaukee, and a series of guys with names unknown for the Fox Trot 10 Miler and March Madness Half Marathon. What a great sport this is!

Non-Runner friends: To all my non-runner friends who often seem a little confused by it all but support me all the same with their sincere well wishes and congratulations. They often seem amused by all my dashing around but my friends know what's important to me and they are there for me. Especially you Mary!

Fellow bloggers: To those runners who consistently post on my blog and also give me much to read and think about on their blogs especially Sam and Wendy. I give thanks to God for the fact that Sam is with us today by providing all the necessary angels he needed when he had his heart attack. Glad He decided you needed to still be here with us and I look forward to your first race back. Wendy, you are just cool and your blog rocks!

To anyone who has said I inspire them: That inspires me, period. To be a positive for someone gives me nothing but joy.

Now to the person I have everything to be grateful for:
Andrew Ohst: To my husband, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the years of support you have given me, for giving me the time to train without struggle, for understanding that "runner" is an important part of what I am and not asking that I change that. I love you and the family we have together. xoxoxoxox

OMG! - if you live through all that mushiness you deserve a medal!! :-)

Peace everyone!
RunnerGirl - Janeth

Monday, October 8, 2007

Milwaukee Marathon 2007 - Race Adventure (Report)

Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon
October 7, 2007
3rd Overall

Its been a long road to my marathon this year but I was here and lined up for my Boston attempt. I had several concerns weighing me down as I had not really been able to train much over the last 8 weeks due to a knee injury followed by ankle tendonitis. My weekly mileage was minimal and the number of 20 milers completed was a grand total of 1. I had e-mailed the race director to let her know I wasn't coming and I let it go...or so I thought. The ankle was getting better slowly and I thought if my ankle was in good enough condition come race day I should just go get the job done on what I had. It wasn't going to be pretty but it was not unreasonable considering the shape I was in before the injuries and the strength I knew I still had. I felt confident that all would be well and I did what I could running wise, took care of my ankle the best I could, got my sleep, and ate well. I never even thought that race day would bring temps in the high 80's low 90's. My confidence started to drop. I SUCK in hot weather. The last time I ran in a marathon that had a starting temp over 70 degrees was a disasterous and tearful DNF in a very high profile women's national race (Grandma's Marathon 1994). To add to my concern was that my 9 year old daughter had asked to come and help and I had said yes so I definitely didn't want Kyla's first close up view of a marathon to be of her mom crashing. I had to get my act together and keep it together, it was important.

Okay so here we go.....ankle wrapped, very little training, hotter than hell, loved ones in the front row seats.
Oh boy...

crew member - Kyla
The Start
The early miles were pleasant. It was already 71 degrees but there was plenty of shade and a nice breeze. My plan was to stick between 7:30 and 8:00min/mile so of course my first two mile splits are 6:58 & 6:59. Of course. I swear there were a lot of downhills! Really! I pull back letting go of a nice pack of runners I thought would be fun to run with.

Over the next 2 miles there is small chatter with different groups of runners as we all check out what goals are and see if there are people to click in with for the long haul. I find myself with a guy who seems to be comfortably in the same area with me and we slowly gravitate to each other and start matching pace. Mile 3 - 7:21 was much better but Mile 4 - 7:16 comes too fast again. Again we had some nice downs but also there were a lot of women passing me and I was working hard not to go with them. Mile 3 saw the pack in general surge up and mile 4 had 4 women passing me all at once. Resist, resist.

Course starts to roll and after the 5 mile split of 7:11, Tom and I finally settle into the pace we need to be running which is in the 7:35 - 7:25 range. I see Andy and Kyla around this point and all is well, I'm comfortable and I take my first GU and drink some. It is getting warm and we lose some of the shade we had been enjoying. I keep my head wet with each aid station and I drink freely from the bottles of gatorade on my fuel belt.

Tom to my left. I'm reaching for my gatorade

Miles 6 - 10

Miles 6 - 10 are beautifully steady even with a lot of annoying inclines. It's Tom and I with a group of about 3 other men including one guy who keeps sprinting forward, then walking, then sprinting forward again. Idiot. It's getting really hot but we are gifted here and there with shade, residents with water hoses, and at mile 7 we get a half mile of "cold" Lake Michigan air. That was heaven but it was short lived. Somewhere in this stretch we come upon Bonnie Blair Olympic speed skating champion. What?? Okay let me explain. There are relays in this marathon and there was a relay made entirely of Olympians (including Bill Rodgers) running to raise money for Jenny Crain's medical expenses (a local elite athlete suffering brain injuries after being hit by a car). I have posts on her if you care to look. We make a big deal about meeting Bonnie and she apologizes for being a terrible runner and we all laugh and tell her how sorry we were for her, gold medals and all. We leave her and continue on. Splits: 6 - 7:34, 7 - 7:34, 8 - 7:23, 9 - 7:25, 10 - 7:35 for a 10 mile total time of 1:13:19.

Miles 11 - 15

Okay so far things are good but I'm am working just a little bit harder than I had hoped at this point so I tell Tom that my plan is to not give any of the inclines much energy and take what I could from the downhills and he says that fine and stays with me. So after the 11 mile split of 7:25 we don't see anything under 7:30 for the rest of the race but that was no issue and really was just a small shift needed to deal with the heat and rolling hills. As we approach the half way point I start seeing the women come back to me and I'm starting to see a lot of walking. According to Andy it was really hot at the half way point. I was still in control and not letting the heat get to me mentally. He notices the women coming back to me and some dropping out. Later he tells me it was like they all died exactly at the same time. I was in 7th place at the half and then just a few miles later I was in 4th. Splits 11 - 7:25, 12 - 7:33, 13 - 7:36, 14 - 7:33, 15 - 7:35. Half way point was 1:36:48.

Miles 16 - 20
Okay now we enter what I affectionately call the "BLACK HOLE" of most of my marathons. Typically after 14 miles I start to lose focus, I start to feel overwhelmed by the distance that is left and I slow down tremendously till about 19 miles. A lot of time is lost in here and I usually don't remember much other than being pissed. Well not this time!! I think a lot of this had to do with how well Tom and I were working together and the care we took with most of our previous miles. Tom and I take turns being in control of the pace without saying anything, it just seems that when he is feeling crappy I'm feeling strong and when I'm feeling crappy he is feeling strong. Works well. The carnage around us is growing as there seems to be more people walking than running, a lot of drop outs, but the residents are out in full force with water hoses and positive energy, not something you normally get with this marathon. We pass one of the women on the side of the road crying and she appears to be bleeding. She isn't alone and she is being taken care of so we move on. I'm in 3rd now but I'm feeling a little somber as I realize how difficult this race is and I worry about my friends out on the Chicago course. There are some significant inclines in this section of the race and after 18 miles I have lost Tom after going through a water stop. Having all my gatorade with me allowed me to sail efficiently through the water stops taking only what I needed to douse my head and take a small sip, the rest came from the bottles I had on me. Thank God I had decided to wear my fuel belt, something I NEVER do when I race. We see Andy and Kyla multiple times during this section and everytime I see them I get a great lift. I toss them some of my empty bottles. Splits 16 - 7:33, 17 - 7:36, 18 - 7:39, 19 - 7:33, 20 - 7:35 for a total 20 mile time of 2:29:03.

The Last 10k

10K to go! I'm very hot now and tired and alone. All I can think about is the famous drop at 23 miles and hopefully the cool lake air as somewhere past there we have the lake to our left with nothing inbetween but open park area. I'm struggling with the inclines but mentally I'm still okay as I know that my Boston Qualifier is no where close to being in danger. I've shift to mile splits over 8 minutes but I'm okay with that, I can go way over 9 minute miles if I have to, but of course I don't want to. The course starts turning a lot as we go through some neighborhoods that remind me of the rich north shore. I turn a corner to see the 23 mile mark and then it hits me. My head starts spinning, I feel like I'm going to throw up. Its over, I'm done I pass the 23 mile mark and I collapse on the grass right next to the owner of the lawn sitting in his lawn chair. In retrospect it was kind of funny. I wait for the wave of failure to wash over me and then I say to myself "Damn you, you have 50 minutes to get 3.2 miles completed. Sh*t I could probably walk that, it would be embarrassing but it would be a Boston Qualifier. I also thought about Kyla and Andy and just at the moment I hear a voice saying "Let me help you up, you can finish this, you gotta get up" A fellow runner had stopped, stopped for me, someone he didn't even know, and he wasn't in any great shape either and he got me going again. I wish I knew who he was but wherever you are THANK YOU. I did a few yards of power walking then I started jogging. The woman at the corner was just cheering her head off at me as she saw the whole episode and she yelled out to me that there was a special treat for me when I turned the corner.....and there it was THE GREAT DOWNHILL DROP and the LAKE. The temp felt like it dropped a whole 10 degrees (I'm sure it didn't but it felt like it) and I was back! A little while later I pass the runner who had helped me and he was walking. I put my hand on his arm as I passed and gave him what encouragement I could. Quads are starting to cramp but I know I'm almost home. Now its just one mile after another as I hear the announcer in the distance and the rest takes care of itself. Splits 21 - 8:01, 22 - 8:00, 23 - 8:11, 24 - 8:26, 25 -7:59, 26 - 8:11, last .2 - 1:36. Finish time 3:19:30.

The Aftermath

After I crossed the line my quads staged a mutiny and cramped up and I was stumbling through the finish area. The volunteers at the finish area, bless every one of them, were working hard holding everyone up and bringing them safely into the arms of their families. I was escorted to Andy and Kyla and I was so happy. I asked Andy to take me to the medical tent because I was getting dizzy and my quads were still being a problem. I spent about 15 minutes in the medical tent and I was released after drinking 2 cups of gatorade and once my blood pressure stablized. Throughout the race I had consumed over 35oz of gatorade plus the water I took at aid stations.

After all these weeks my ankle decides to be silent, whaddya know!

News From Home

After showering and returning to the finish area for the awards ceremony, which we knew we missed but just in case they were running late, we spoke with the race director and got news of the war zone the Chicago Marathon was turning into. Kris told us that they were telling everyone who had not reached the 16 mile mark by 3:30 to stop running because the race was being cancelled. Immediately I was concerned for all the friends I had running in Chicago but I knew I probably wouldn't know anything for a while. As we left Milwaukee I took out a piece of paper and started figuring out what pace you had to be on to make that cut off. It was pretty funny with me converting time to minutes, dividing things out through long division and talking to myself the whole time about where I thought each of my friends could have been at that time. I felt pretty confident that everyone I knew should have made the cutoff as long as they weren't already in trouble with the heat. Knowing the course I was pretty sure that Chicago's course wasn't giving the runners the breaks we got in Milwaukee. I was worried but all I could do was wait.

Andy, Kyla and I of course stopped for lunch at the Brat Stop on highway50 and I94 on the way home. Eating lunch here after the Lakefront marathon is a tradition from back in my olympic trials training years. For every member of our training group that ran the marathon we would all celebrate a race well done here. It is here that the team helped Ann and I celebrate qualifying for the olympic trials. We popped champagne and made a lot of noise. The following year we all celebrated Jane's qualifying run. I was tired but I ate my traditional brat with gusto.

I did get a call eventually from Kelly reporting in that she finished but that it was absolute hell. I spoke with Brian as well. It was almost 5:30 pm at this point and my family and I were just arriving home in Naperville. That was one long day for my Chicago friends.

Well I'm going to wrap up here. Congrats to all who ran the Chicago marathon, whether they finished or not. It was not a kind day and there were many personal struggles.

Goodbye October 7, 2007!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Marathon Weekend

Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon

Okay we are now entering Marathon Weekend!!

I wanted to wish Kelly, Brian, Val, Wes, Katie, Wendy, Mark, and members of the Dick Pond Racing Team, the swiftest of feet!
  • Val will be running her first marathon (she says it will be her one and only...we'll see).
  • Katie will be shooting for that Boston qualifying time.
  • Kelly will be attempting to add to her string of incredible PR's this year
  • Brian is happily returning from his injury.
  • Wes is running his first marathon and is raising money for Children's Memorial where he was once treated for Hodgkin's Disease. He was only 15 years old at the time. He is now an adult with a wife and beautiful daughter.
  • Wendy will attempt to walk/run the marathon as her back permits. Take it nice and easy girl!
  • Mark will be leading the 4 hour pace team.

I, of course to be difficult and different, will be running the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon on the same day. I will be shooting for that Boston Qualifier.

Run fast ya'll!


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Jones Finally Admits Steriod Use

US sprinter Marion Jones, winner of 3 golds and 2 bronze medals at the Sydney Olympics has finally admitted to using steriods in the years prior to the Olympics. She faces jail time for lying to federal investigators during the BALCO scandal, and she will most likely face the loss of her medals.

Just this year I was in Belize where our tour guide proudly pointed out the Marion Jones sports stadium she helped build. Marion's mother is from Belize as is much of her mother's family . Marion holds dual citzenship US/Belize. They are so proud of her there. What will they think now? What legacy does she leave for her son?

I'm sad but not surprised.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Why do you love me?

New World Record - Men's Marathon!!!

An unbelievable 2:04:26 for Haile Gebrselassie in Berlin! That's just under 4:45 per mile back to back for 26.2 miles. It hurts just thinking about it.

An amazing athelete who gives generously of his race earnings to help fight poverty in his native country. Currently is lending his support to a clean water project for some of the more remote areas of his country. Clean water definitely is not a given for many parts of the world, something Haile knew very well during his childhood. Learn more at

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Training Log - September 24th - 30th, 2007

Weekly Summary
Total Miles: 28.3
It was an interesting week as the ankle really has taken a turn for the better. Pressing just below my ankle no longer causes any pain. I am keeping my ankle wrapped at all times, except when I'm sleeping, to be safe. It was also kind of a tough week to get out and do my runs. Two days where I had planned on running in the evening were effected by family needs, and with my trainer gone on vacation I didn't get in the usual pilates reformer session that really helps keep me loose and flexible, and I think that kind of put me a little off center.

One more week till the marathon! I probably won't do anything much different in the coming week, running wise, since I don't feel the need to taper from basically doing very little. I will concentrate on getting my sleep and hydrating during the week. I'm excited for next Sunday but also anticipate that its going to be a little uncomfortable in the later miles due to lack of long run time on my feet. I really have to be patient with my pacing....boy that's going to be hard!

Monday - 3.1
Treadmill at health club. Another fun day on the treadmill. No ill effects from yesterday's 10 mile tempo run. :-)

Tuesday - 0
Unexpected day off. Family drama in the evening kept me at home. Ugh.

Wednesday - 5
Northwest Side Run Shortened. Things continue to feel good as ankle is barely talking. I'm keeping things wrapped just to be safe.

Thursday - 0
Little boy sick and I was exhausted. Even missed piano lessons today :-(

Friday - 4.9
River Run. Nice beautiful evening run.

Saturday - 7.5
Things felt oddly difficult today. Ran with Church guys. Miss my pilates instructor as she is on vacation, maybe that's why my hips and hamstrings feel tight and out of sorts.

Sunday - 7.80.
Run with Dan. Better than yesterday but still feel tight and not very smooth.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Trailer - The Spirit of the Marathon

Will give you chills! Found this on another runner's blog and I had to post it too.

More info just in!

This film will be shown at the Chicago International Film Festival on October 5th! One of the Chicago Endurance Sports members is in the movie. Here's a link with schedule and ticket purchase info:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Brian Gaines Race Walks the Fox Cities Marathon

Fellow ChiaDead Brian Gaines (a.k.a "Leadfoot") completed the Fox Cities Marathon on September 23 by race walking the entire distance! He finished the course in an average mile time of 13:22 finishing in 5:49:56. Not an easy "feet" to walk so fast for so long. (puns are just a riot aren't they?)

With no foot pain resulting from this race we are all confident that at Brian's next check up with the podiatrist he will get the okay to get back to RUNNING marathons.

Way to go Brian!

Not sure if he will post a race report to his blog but if you want to check out his blog its at

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Training Log - September 17 thru 23 - 2007

Weekly Summary
Total Miles - 27.5
During this week the ankle really started improving dramatically and then I was stupid enough to do a run on friday without any brace and it hurt the rest of the day. On a good note I was good enough to do a 10 mile tempo run (what I normally would do two weeks out from the marathon). I needed to see where I was at condition wise after all these weeks of limited running and no hard workouts. I was thinking that staying under 7:30 pace would be tough but I was pleasantly surprised to be able to average 6:52 a mile. My running partner rode his bike part of the way and was able to help monitor my workout. He said my form looked great and that I was running well. Great to hear as working on my form has been something I've really been concentrating on for the last few years.

I am considering running the marathon on October 7th to get my Boston qualifier in. I won't be able to "race" it but based on strength alone the qualifying time of 3:50 should be do-able. I will go for 3:25. I will see how things look the week of the marathon.

Monday - 3
Time 12noon.
Warmed up on the eliptical and it really felt awkward, I then went outside. Kind of tough in the city with red lights all the time but I took it real easy and the ankle faired okay. It actually felt better a few hours after the run, didn't swell.

Tuesday - 2.6
Time 7:15 pm.
Run 15 min prior to pilates session and then run home after.
7:30pm - Pilates session
Really hammered out a great session

Wednesday - 3.1
Time 12 noon, 31 minutes
Nice and easy 5k on the treadmill at work. Today I only wore the ankle brace during my run. Things are really starting to feel better :-)


Friday - 6.8
Northwest Side Loop at 05:00 am with Dan.
Ran without a brace since the ankle was feeling so good but it was a mistake and it hurt most of the rest of the day. Back to running with a brace on.

Saturday - 2
6:50am - run 15 min prior to pilates session and then run home after.
7am - Pilates session

Sunday - 10
Time 7am/ 1:08:48 (6:52/mile).
Tempo 10 miler.
Ankle was sore to start but warmed up after a few miles. I set out to do a steady tempo 10 miler to see what kind of shape I was in for the marathon. I was pleasantly surprised. I thought staying under 7:30 might be tough but I averaged 6:53. Splits: 1 - 7:41 (ankle sore needed to warm up, partner needed to warm up too), 2 -3: 14:23, 4 - 6:49; 5 - 6:40; 6 - 6:28, (at this point I pulled back a bit as I was getting faster than aerobic pace and I wanted to stay true to keeping it a tempo pace); 7 - 6:43; 8 - 6:43; 9 - 6:42; 10 - 6:35.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Training Log September 10th - 16th, 2007

Weekly Summary
Total Miles: 22.3
Well it was an up and down week with the ankle business. Some days it felt better, other days it just hurt and I needed to keep my ankle support on all day. I think this coming week I'm going to start incorporating more biking and/or eliptical training to keep myself moving and in some sort of shape as I feel like that is sliding away fast on me. I joined the health club here at work so that will give me access to the equipment I need. "Keep it moving" will be my motto and soon I hope to be able to run full strength again. :-)

Anyway its hard to be down when its CROSS COUNTRY SEASON. I love cross country and I'm a total junkie when it comes to following the high school team results!! With many friends serving as coaches at the high school level I kind of have a vested interest and I get all the "news". Love it!

Monday - 0
Elected day off

Tuesday - 3.73
am: A lot of ankle pain to start, warmed up during the run but I had to hobble around corners. Ankle did well the rest of the day with only slight soreness.
pm: pilates. Great session.

Wednesday - 3.73
Same-o same-o

Thursday - 0
Elected day off

Friday - 4.8
Ankle did much better on this treadmill. Improvement continues but slowly.

Saturday - 0
Elected day off

Sunday - 10
am: Time: 1:18:59 (7:53 min/mile). Ran with Dan. The usual, ankle hurts, then warms up, then hurts etc. Limping around turns etc. Ran with my ankle brace on. No change in ankle through rest of the day.
pm: 8 miles of biking riding with the family.


The latest news on Jenny, taken from the hospital care pages web site...

Tonight Jenny was moved from ICU to 5NW Room 18 at Froedtert Hospital. This is an important milestone reached by Jenny. Jenny will been taken off all of her antibiotics by Wednesday indicating that her infection has been successfully addressed. For the third straight day Jenny’s eyes are open and moving. She seems to be showing increased eye movement and is occasionally following objects around the room. Jenny is also beginning to exhibit some muscle resistance in her arms when her family is helping her with range of motion therapy.

Jenny’s family is deeply appreciative of the entire care team in the ICU. Please join in thanking the medical team for their outstanding treatment of Jenny.

Yesterday Briggs and Al’s Run occurred on the streets of Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article on the event reported it this way: “Jenny Crain wasn't there Saturday to defend the title she has won the past two years at the Briggs and Al's Run and Walk for Children's Hospital. But her spirit was certainly in attendance. Crain, the well-known Milwaukee marathoner, remains in critical condition at Froedtert Hospital, where she has been since Aug. 21. On that day, Crain was hit by an automobile in Milwaukee while on a training run. Crain, 39, who had been given a strong chance of making the 2008 United States Olympic team, is suffering from head, jaw and neck injuries. The three-time winner of the 8-kilometer Al's Run's was in the hearts and minds of many of the competitors and spectators at the event, which is in its 30th year. "I have never run in this event before, but I wanted to be here today for Jenny," said women's winner Bethany Brewster, 27, a six-time All-American runner at the University of Wisconsin from Madison. "It felt good to come out here and race for her." Many of the runners and spectators wore "Make it happen" T-shirts supporting Crain. Al's Run organizers gave space to the Crain supporters to sell the T-shirts, the proceeds of which will be used to help defray her medical costs.”

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Training Log September 3rd - 9th, 2007

Weekly Summary
Total Miles: 41.5
With my knee issue finally resolved I had hoped to put in a stronger week starting with the Park Forest 10 miler as a hard workout. My daughter became ill the night before the race so I didn't race but that was probably good as my ankle that had been mildly sore through my whole knee issue was starting to take front and center on the pain scale. I had also hoped to finish the week out with a 20 miler as my marathon is just about a month away. That too didn't come to pass as I only did 10 due to the pain in my ankle. I still did manage to put in just over 40 miles this week and I'm pretty convinced the ankle thing is either really bad tendonitis or its just strained from the race and hasn't healed or both. I'm currently wrapping my ankle and it is improving slowly and I'll keep the mileage low and schedule cross training for some of my days next week. I'm pretty sure I won't be doing my marathon this year as I am woefully behind on my long runs and I'm not doing anything close to the amount of work I feel I needed to get done during these last few weeks. I'm okay with that and I'm going to focus on getting these injuries healed so I can get back to full training again. :-) I've got to be healed enough to run around at the Chicago marathon cheering on my friends :-)!!

Monday - 7
Had to back out today's race but in late afternoon I attempted a tempo run. I ran mostly in the 8:10 - 18:15's and it was very hot. It was a lot more work than it should have been. Definitely lost some conditioning over the last few weeks, but it was a good start as my first harder effort since all this knee business started.

Tuesday - 0
Work and family issues

Wednesday - 6
Easy run with Dan. Now he's the one with knee issues. I ran the last two without him. :-( Ankle really starting to talk a lot. Dan talked to me a little about how to tape my ankle for extra support.

Thursday - 6.1
50 minutes. Too hot to run outside for what I wanted to be a hard effort. Warm up 20 minutes, 3 x 6' with 2' easy run, run easy remainder of time. 6' intervals were done at 8.3 mph (7:13m/mi) 0 grade, and warm-up/cool down/recovery was done at 7mph 2 percent grade. I was pretty tired and the first 6' effort was very uncomfortable but the next two were much better. A few hours later my ankle was just screaming at me. Running on 2 percent grade probably wasn't such a hot idea. Ice and took some ibuprofen.

Friday - 7.5
With ankle wrapped very nicely I was able to put in a longer run and an easy tempo.

Saturday - 4.9
Time: 40:02 - 8:10m/mi. Ran a faster tempo today but it felt like more work than it should have been. Ankle wrapped well

Sunday - 10
Time 1:19:45 - 7:58m/mi. I decided to end this run with Dan at 10 miles to be safe. The ankle really hurt at the start and then would warm up, then would start hurting again etc. It was a good 10 miler at a good pace that didn't feel sub 8 at all.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Off Injury List

So I went to my PCP on August 29th to have my knee checked out. Of course knowing this wasn't a sports doctor I was not optimistic that I was going to get what I needed without
"defending" my status as a runner.

Well doctor comes in and immediately gives me the impression that he wanted to be done for the day. Well excuse me but if I could go home whenever I felt like it ... Anyway he listens to my story and then says he's no fan of running. Okay now this is getting worse...until he admits he's a fair weather runner and has knee issues of his own. He's still giving me some attitude but proceeds to try and twist my knee in all sort of weird ways to try and get it to hurt and he couldn't. Okay so now I look like I'm complaining about nothing.

He tells me that in his opinion it is nothing but a strain but if not that then it would be a meniscus issue but I needed to give it more time. He feels I shouldn't be taking big chunks of time off but run a little everyday to keep the joint moving. I kind of look at him but I don't say anything. He is going to do me the "favor" of putting in the paperwork to get an MRI and if in two weeks I still "insist" that my knee hurts I can go ahead and make the appointment with the specialist.

Success!! I totally was okay with waiting a bit longer since it had been getting better but happy with the path cleared to move on if the problem did not resolve itself.

Long story short. My knee doesn't hurt anymore and the insurance rejected the request for the MRI anyway. Insurance wanted me to see an orthopedic first which would have been fine with me but kind of assumed that an orthopedic had to be the one to do the MRI anyway so if he didn't feel I needed one I wouldn't have gotten one. Whatever.

So now I can concentrate on complaining about my left ankle which hasn't stopped hurting since the damn race! This is a pretty common problem for me for decades as my feet are the perfect example of completely and utterly flat with the added bonus of a bunion on my left foot. Never stopped my training - mostly aches a lot.

I'm feeling pretty out of synch with my training because of the time spent on this stupid injury so I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. I'm contemplating scheduling a later marathon but many are already closed. We will see.

Hope everyone is doing well.

Runner Girl - Janeth

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Race Report - Chicago Distance Classic Half Marathon - August 12, 2007

11th Overall
3rd 40 - 44 AG

*all pictures in this posting taken by Brian Gaines

I'm very late posting my race report due to the fact that I left on vacation the same day of the race and when I came back I had a really tight deadline on a work assignment. So here it is for what it's worth.

I considered this race to be an "A" race as I was going to use the results as a way to determine what my marathon goal pace would be in October. I didn't run very well here last year as I took it out quite aggressively and died big time in the last 5K, going from being in the top 10 overall to finishing 23rd. I still cringe when I remember that race. But anyway that was then and this is now and I was determined to make it a smart and strong race. I arranged to stay at the Congress hotel the night before the race, arranged for the kids to be with the grandparents, and brought my number one support guy along (that would be the husband, poor guy rarely gets any mention). It wasn't the best week leading up to the race training wise and there was a lot of work and vacation planning distraction but I felt like I would be focused when the gun went off.

I woke up at 3am on the morning of the race to the sound of thunder. There was a regular light show going on outside with plenty of rain. I lay there trying to get back to sleep but I couldn't and I got up around 4:00 and I ate my breakfast. I had told fellow chiadeads Kelly, Paul, and Brian that they could drop by my room before the race if they wished to drop stuff off and after the race they could use the shower. I was pretty sure Paul was coming and I waited for his call and I monitored the weather from my window.

The weather cleared up, Paul showed up, and Andy, Paul and I left for the starting line about 5:40ish. It was humid but not the beastly heat that had been the norm all week so I was grateful for that. We got to the starting line and I left to do my warmup and strides, Paul went to go find Kelly and Andy waited near the starting line. I felt okay during warm up but I still felt really distracted and I worried about how warm it might get. I got more positive as the warm up progressed and I headed for the starting line. I had decided to stick with the 1:25 pace group and I hope to be able to make a move ahead of this group at the 10 mile mark if I could so that I could make an attempt at sliding in under 1:25. I met Bob the pace group leader and he was upbeat and ready to go. I met a few others that would be joining the pace group and I felt that this could actually be fun. The gun went off and I became part of the blob known as Bob's group or the 1:25 group. I heard Andy's voice cheering me on but I did not see him.

Bob's group....The guy holding the yellow flag is Bob and I'm on his right side hidden from the camera.

The early part of the race was smooth as the pace was comfortable and easy to match. As a group we actually had to hold back as a few of our splits were a little fast. First few splits 6:34, 6:28, 6:25, 6:20, 6:25, 6:32, 6:29, 6:36. I heard Andy several times during this section and a few other people calling my name and I motored on. It was about 8 miles that I started to feel that things were getting a little harder. It was getting warmer and I regretted not taking any GU with me. I had planned on it but I left the hotel room without it and I didn't return to get it when I realized I didn't have it. I put that out of my mind and focused on trying to keep with Bob's group. The group seemed to keep humming along while each incline caused me to slip a bit from the group until I would catch up again on a flat or decline. The 10 mile mark was a really good 1:04:50 for me but I had serious doubts on being able to stay with the group much longer. I lost Bob's group about half a mile after that slipping to more like 6:35's. I was with another cluster of runners at this point and they helped keep me going at this pace up to 12 miles. My 13th mile at 6:56 was definitely a low point but I didn't lose faith as I knew I was still running better than last year and hell I was flipping almost done! The multiple tight turns in the last mile of the race didn't do much to help with a struggling pace but I would say it was really more the humidity and heat that I was kind of fed up with that contributed to that mile. It was in this section that I heard Andy and Brian cheering me on and Brian took some really great pictures of me. Thanks Brian! I made the last turn for the finish, turned on the sprint and finished in 1:25:41. I talked with Bob in the finish area and I spoke with several men from the pace group. I promised to stick with them to the end next year and I thanked Bob for his work.

Overall I was happy with my time as I beat last year's time and it wasn't the march into hell it was last year. It seems as if the 10 mile mark is kind of a threshold for me as I had a drop off after 10miles in my half marathon in March, of course the drop off in this race wasn't as bad and the whole race was at a much faster pace. Somehow though I just know I should have been under 1:25.

Andy and I returned to the hotel (slowly, I was tired) and I showered. Paul, Kelly, and Brian showed up after their races, changed and we all went to get a bite to eat. It is always fun getting together with friends after a race to share our experiences and I got a look at Brian's pictures of the race on his digital camera.

Now my vacation started and it was off to the Wisconsin Dells for a week of family bonding, very little running, and a lot of time playing in water and going down the slides. It was a blast and much needed vacation.

Congrats to all who ran the race!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Kind-of disabled list

If anyone is wondering why my training logs have not been timely (okay so they are pretty much absent) is that I'm nursing a knee issue. I'm not sure what the deal is but it points to something a little more serious than just "runner's knee" My running is happening once every 2 -3 days and usually not much more than 3 -4 miles. I've finally secured an appointment to see my primary care physician and start the process of trying to get him to send me to someone who can actually tell me what the deal is. Most likely I will be cancelling my next race (Park Forest 10 miler) and depending on what I find out I may have to pull out of my marathon in October.

Pain started with my first run after the Chicago Distance Classic. Since I left on vacation the day of the Distance Classic I didn't run until tuesday and I had this weird sensation that my knee wanted to lock. I would be running and I would get this twinge of pain deep in the center of my knee joint. I can't even touch the area where the pain is coming from. Its not consistent pain but it happens maybe 3 -4 times during a minute of running. Downhills trigger pain and turning sharp corners does also. I walk without pain....I can just hear the Dr. now "Don't run".

I'm bummed but what I really want is a clear understanding of what is happening so that I can do what I need to do to get back to the roads. I'm definitely hoping we aren't talking surgery here but if that is what is needed then so be it. Of course it could be something really minor and it just needs time....I just don't know and I've never had this injury before in all of my years of running.

I see my primary care physician tomorrow. Let's see what happens.

Runner Girl Janeth

Monday, August 27, 2007

Training Log August 6th - 12th, 2007

Monday - 6.8
Super humid day, it was insane. I was rested and tolerated the humidity okay.

Tuesday - 4
Matt Pilates with 4 miles of running afterwards. Humidity continues to be pretty brutal.

Wednesday - 6.8
Not feeling so great. Running is sluggish

Thursday - 4.5
Warm up, 6 x (1' pickup with 2' recovery jog), cool down. Each pickup felt forced and uncomfortable. By the time I went to bed my tailbone/lower back was so tight I could barely bend over. I suspect a new exercise I did in my pilates session strained something.

Friday - 5
Back a little better but I can feel it down hills and around turns. Tightness centered on my tailbone.

Saturday - Back better after warming up. Busy day packing for stay downtown for the race AND packing for next week's family vacation which will start promptly after the race is over. I feel distracted and out of sorts :-(

Sunday - 14.1 miles
Warm up and strides, Chicago Distance Classic Half Marathon - 1:25:41. 11th Overall and 3rd in 40 - 44 AG. Warm and humid but not as beastly as it had been most of the week. Thank God! I ran with the 1:25 pace group until 11 miles when I had to let them go as I was struggling with the pace, in a matter of seconds they were too far ahead to ever hope to catch up with them again, definitely disappointing but I put my attention to trying to keep it together the best I could and get to that finish line. my 13th mile was poor but I was able to sprint and finish faster than last year and weather conditions this year were definitely not as good as last year. Things were definitely difficult after the 10 mile. When I ran the half in March it was the same thing, althouth it was at a much slower pace as I finished that in 1:31:02. The 10 mile mark seems to be a sort of a threshold for me. Hmmmm, I'm going to have to think on what to do about that. Of special note is my 10 mile split of 1:04:50 which is faster than I ran at the Fox Trot Memorial race in 1:05:12.
Splits: 1 - 6:34; 2- 6:28, 3 - 6:25; 4 - 6:20; 5 - 6:25; 6 - 6:32; 7 - 6:29; 8 - 6:36; 9 - 6:24; 10 - 6:33; 11/12 - 13:09; 13 - 6:56; 13.1 - :44.

Weekly Summary
Total Miles: 44.9
Just a weird week. The taper felt crappy and I had a lot of trouble keeping focused all week. Work issues and the hectic schedule of getting ready for our vacation didn't help. I think I'm just due for a really good break and that's just what I'm going to do with my family. Next week will be what I like to call "active rest". Run if and when I feel like it. Sunday's race was good but still felt short of what I had really hoped for which was to slip in under 1:25.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Continuing Information on Jenny Crain

August 23, 2007 at 08:15 PM CDT
“Positive & Hopeful”

Today Jenny’s family met with the multidisciplinary medical team caring for her. She has not gotten worse and seems to be minimally improving. Doctors are putting in a tracheotomy and feeding tube today. This is a very good development because it will provide her more comfort and the nutrients needed to promote healing. Her condition remains critical, with continued focus on treating her brain, vertebrae, carotid artery, and jaw injuries. The care team cannot get a full assessment of the brain injury until the swelling in the brain subsides, which as been decreasing in very small increments. The family had many questions about the brain injury, with the doctors unable to give an accurate assessment until the swelling decreases. While Jenny has broken vertebrae the doctors did report that it does not appear that she has spinal cord damage. While this is hopeful news, it is not conclusive. Jenny is not in a coma. She is under heavy sedation and receiving pain medications to keep her comfortable. Jenny does not have any broken bones in her legs, arms and torso. The focus is on her head and neck injuries. The doctors were positive and hopeful at this early stage of Jenny’s long road to recovery. Because of her excellent physical condition Jenny is at an advantage in her fight to recover. Jenny is such a positive and hopeful person. The news today reflects her spirit. Please keep praying and sending your positive energy to Jenny. We will post additional information as it becomes available.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Jenny Crain in critical condition after being hit by a motorist

I've recently received news that Jenny Crain, a very talented elite runner living in Wisconsin, was hit by a motorist and is in critical condition at Froedtert Hospital. Froedtert Hospital has something called CarePages, and there is now one for Jenny that has been updated a couple times today. Sign on at www.carepages. com. You'll need to get an ID set up. Once you do, the page you're looking for is supportjennycrain.

The most recent update on her page is as follows:

After undergoing surgery yesterday Jenny is in critical condition. The
extent of her injuries has become clearer. As a result of the accident she
suffered brain damage, broken vertebrae, damage to the carotid arteries, among
other injuries. The most serious concern now is bleeding on the brain. The
neurologist has indicated that Jenny is now in a waiting period to see if the
bleeding will stop. Please keep Jenny and her family in your prayers. We will
update this site as frequently as information becomes available.

Jenny is well known in her community for her volunteer work and kind nature. It is heartbreaking to hear of this news knowing how much she has worked and sacrificed pursuing her dreams.

I pray that she recovers and somehow can return to what she loves. I pray also for the ones that love her, that they can have the strength to support Jenny come what may.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

For you triathlete fans!

Take a look at Jen Harrison's site!
She's a friend I met through some runner friends a few years back.

So let's count all the Jen's I know.
Jenny Garrison (triathlete and training partner, at least for the running part)
Jennifer Harrison (friend and sometimes race competition)
Jennifer Broughton (friend, neighbor)
Jen Skrowronski (my personal trainer)
Jenny Spangler (college teammate, old training buddy)

Reminds me of a skit I saw on the comedy central show Kids in the Hall where one of the guys does a song about all the Dave's he knows and by the end of the skit he's singing his song while walking down the street with all these Dave's following him and singing along
"These are the Dave's I know, I know, I know, these are Dave's I know!"
Very funny, really. :-)
Thanks Russ for this link :-)

By the way I also work with 4 Dave's .... all in the same department!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Training Log July 30 - August 5 - 2007

Monday - 4.9
7:30pm River Run. Time: 41:36 (8:29/mile).
Easy run. Not feeling all that bad after my long run yesterday. I'm thinking that taking the GU during the run yesterday helped save my legs a little for today.

Tuesday - 9.38 miles + 2.6 miles
4:30 am. Time: 1:14:56 (7:59/mile).
Intervals. Warm up 1.5 miles, 10 x half mile with 1.5 - 2 min recovery jog, cool down. This was a long workout but I didn't do all that bad. Halves started out between 2:59 - 3:01 but after the 5th one it slid to more like 3:03 - 3:05 and I took the 2 min recovery jog instead of the 1.5 min. I wanted to do a hard effort mile afterwards but I ran out of time and I was pretty done after the halves. Splits: 1 - 9:17; 2 - 7:38; 3 - 7:49; 4 - 7:07; 5 - 7:31; 6 - 7:36; 7 - 7:45; 8 - 7:34; 9 - 9:10; 9.38 - 3:26.

7:15 pm - Pilates session 1 hr

Run to and from pilates session 2.60 miles.

Wednesday - 7.4
8:30 pm. Time: 1:04:43 (8:44/mile).
Legs a little slow tonight but I enjoyed the night and it was nice to work out a little of the junk in my legs from yesterday's workouts. Splits: 1 - 9:01; 2 - 8:35; 3 - 8:42; 4 - 8:30; 5 - 8:50; 6 - 8:50; 7 - 8:44; 7.39 - 3:28.

Thursday - 10
8:30pm. Time: 1:24:40 (8:28/mile).
Nice 10 miler over rolling course. Really felt good in the last 3 miles. Splits 1 - 8::42; 2 - 8:29; 3 - 8:34; 4 - 8:37; 5 - 8:34; 6 - 8:35; 7 - 8:35; 8 - 8:07; 9 - 8:07; 10 - 8:17.

Friday - 8.25
6:30 am.
Prairie Path run with Dan. A little tired from last night but not bad.

Saturday - 20
6:30 am. Time: 2:29:00 (7:27/mile).
Thought I would try a 24 miler today with the group out in Barrington but as I took on the hills and did so with a group running faster than I had in a long time I thought sticking to a high quality 20 would be the best. I ran with the group through 18 (they all stopped) then I did 2 miles on the track at the school putting in a last mile of 6:55. I was tired but this was definitely one of the best long runs I've done in a long time. The running group I was with were so positive and supportive. A great day.
Splits (I only have splits 1 - 14 and my last mile as my GPS watch lost contact) 1 - 8:01; 2 - 7:27; 3 - 7:21; 4 - 7;23; 5 - 7:29; 6 - 7:24; 7 - 7:22; 8 - 7:30; 9 - 7:35; 10 - 7:17; 11 - 7:33; 12 - 7:11; 13 - 7:21; 14 - 7:16,...20 - 6:55. Finished with nice blister on left heel from hole on inside of shoe. It was the last run in them anyway. New shoe time!

Sunday - 0
Tired and a little tight but not so bad really. I could have run something short or even make it to the trails race everyone else was running but I needed some "home" time.

Weekly Summary
Total Miles: 62.5 miles
This was a good solid week for me. My interval workout and long run this week were a real pleasant surprise as they went way better than expected. I was tired during some parts of the week but it wasn't that deep fatigue type of tired. My stomach issues from last week seem to be resolved and everything is going well as nothing really hurts. Back down week for Chicago Distance Classic. Hoping for nice weather - see everyone there!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Training Log - July 23 thru July 29 - 2007

Monday - 8
7:45 pm. Time: 1:06:07 (8:15/mile).
Started out okay but by the end my calves and achilles really were tight.
Splits: 1 - 8:24; 2 - 8:05; 3 - 8:16; 4 - 8:10; 5 - 8:14; 6 - 8:14; 7 - 8:19; 8 - 8:21

Tuesday - 4
8:30 pm. Run 1.45 before pilates and then finished up the rest after. Run to pilates felt like crap! I've had stomach issues all day and calf and achilles were so so tight. Much better after pilates session!! Thank you trainer Jen!

Wednesday - 9
4:45 am. Time: 1:15:28 (8:23/mile).
Warm up, quarter repeat simulation 16 x 90" with 1' recovery jog between each, 4' jog recovery after the 16 "quarters", 1 x 6' hard effort, cool down. Calves and achilles much much better. Leg turnover wasn't the greatest so things stayed at moderate effort but it was a relief to not have my achilles and calves hurt anymore. Workout done as a continuous run. Splits: 1 - 9:14, 2 - 9:08; 3 - 8:09, 4 - 8:07; 5 - 8:04; 6 - 8:25; 7 - 8:02; 8 - 7:43; 9 - 8:38.

Thursday - 9
7:30pm. Time: 1:15:45 (8:25/mile).
Continuing stomach problems so I had to make a quick stop at the library. Run a little labored but it was also warm. Splits: 1 - 8:47; 2 - 8:20; 3 - 8:25; 4 - 8:15; 4.47 - 3:38 (potty stop, turn off garmin), 5.47 - 8:19; 6.47 - 8:28; 7.47 - 8:25; 8.47 - 8:21; 9 - 4:42.

Friday - 6.8
5:00 am.
Easy paced run.

Saturday - 7.63
8:00 am. Time: 1:06:17 (8:41/mile).
Pretty tired after a tough pilates session. Ran into pregnant friend pushing her baby jogger and I spent a little while run/chatting with her before moving on. Splits: 1 - 7:42; 2 - 8:23; 3 - 8:33; 4 - 8:22; 5 - 8:20; 6 - 8:17; 7 - 8:42; 7.63 - 8:07.

Sunday - 17
7:45 am. Time: 2:18:22 (8:08/mile).
All running partners gone I had to face this run on my own and I was kind of bummed as I really hate running long by myself but it needed to get done so out the door I went. From the first few minutes I knew it was going to be a good day. Course was rolling hills with it being harder in the second half.
I used today's run to experiment with different energy gels and hydration to see what I might start leaning to for the marathon in October. I used GU, shot blocks, Accelerade, and plain water. Every half hour I took something and plenty of water. Turns out that I get more from GU then from the shot blocks but I'm not sure on the Accelerade vs plain water. Will play with that next time.
Splits 1 - 8:29; 2 - 8:08; 3 - 8:10; 4 - 8:14; 5 - 7:51; 6 - 8:21; 7 - 8:20; 8 - 8:15; 9 - 8:05; 10 - 8:00; 11 - 8:00; 12 - 8:07; 13 - 7:54; 14 - 8:04; 15 - 8:11; 16 - 8:06; 17 - 8:10.

Weekly Summary
Total Miles: 61.4 miles

Kind of a hard week as I was fighting stomach/intestinal issues all week. Nothing bad enough to keep me down but a drain most of the week. The week did end up good as I finally got better and I had a solid long run on Sunday and I just popped over 60 miles for the week. I plan on working next week very hard before backing off again for Chicago Distance Classic on Aug 12th.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Hawkeye Head Women's Track Coach Loses Two-Year Battle With Cancer

James Grant, head track coach at Iowa, died on Monday morning at his home. Coach Grant started at Iowa in 1986 when I was just a freshman. Although my time at Iowa was not a happy time I do remember Coach Grant fondly. He started as the assistant coach and his responsibilities were to the sprinters on our team, therefore he wasn't my coach. He was well liked and I enjoyed the few conversations I had with him. His Jamaican accent was priceless! My favorite memory was when for some reason, and I'm not 100% sure why, he needed someone to drive his BEAUTIFUL sports car from some parking lot to the field house but I think he needed to remain on the bus with the rest of the team. He didn't really know me well but I was the only girl on the team who knew how to drive a stick shift and I volunteered. He was SO nervous, I could have sworn he was shaking when he gave me the keys, but I made it safely (even up that crazy hill that passes the dorms and leads up to the fieldhouse)...and it was a beautiful car!

My prayers to his family, and all the athletes that have had the honor of working closely with him. I wish I could have been one of those athletes.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Training Log - July 16 thru July 22 - 2007

Monday - 8.21
4:45 am. Time: 1:12:23 (8:48/mile).
Partner was a no show but I ignored my desire to just go back to bed and went out the door. Not such a great night of sleep so I felt and ran pretty slow. Splits: 1 - 9:21; 2 - 8:58; 3 - 8:46; 4 - 8:44; 5 - 8:47; 6 - 8:48; 7 - 8:37; 8 - 8:32; 8.21 - 1:47.

Tuesday - 9.45
7PM. Time: 1:13:31 (7:46/mile).
Mile "simulation" repeats. Warm up 1.5, 5 x (6' broken out this way: 2' @ tempo, 2' @10K pace, 2' @ 5K pace; 2' jog recover between each), 4' recovery jog before this one - 1 x 6' hard effort. Cool down.
Mile simulation workouts are hard to do on my own but surprisingly I felt strong and smooth. No indication of thursday's race left in my legs. Repeat number 5 wavered a little but probably because I knew the 6th repeat at hard effort was next. Entire workout done as a continuous run.

Wednesday - 6.80
7pm. Pea soup outside really struggled during the run. Had stomach problems.

Thursday - 4.90
5am. I felt terribly today. Running partners no shows again but I still went out that door. Humidity is still high.

Friday - 4.90 miles.
Felt better than the previous two days. Temps are much cooler now also. Should be good for race day tomorrow. Also did 6 strides afterwards. Calves are tight and right achilles is sore.

Saturday - 12
Warm up 2 miles plus strides and drills. Race Xtreme 10 Miler Waterfall Glen. 10 miles. Time: 1:06:55 (6:41/mile). 5th Overall and 2nd 40 - 45 AG.
Splits: 1 - 6:31, 2 - 6:28, 3 - 6:49, 4 - 6:51, 5 - 6:50, 6 - 6:43, 7 - 6:36, 8 - 6:39, 9 - 6:37, 10 - 6:47. Not the best of races but a good solid tempo over a hilly course. Problems with calves and right achilles worse now. Iced and took some ibuprofen. See race report for full details.

Sunday - 0
Planned day off of running, race recovery day. Rode bikes with the family over 7.6 miles. Calves and achilles just as tight as can be, its hard to ignore. More ice and ibuprofen.

Weekly Summary:
Total miles: 46.3 miles
This was a tough week for some reason. I didn't feel well most of the week, I had trouble dealing with the humidty and I wasn't sleeping well. Tuesday's workout really took more out of me than I had expected and my saturday race was solid but below what I had hoped for considering the break through effort I had at Bastille Day. Well weeks like this happen and its time to buckle down again for the next two weeks to prepare for Chicago Distance Classic. I need to get this calf and achilles thing resolved so I will prepare a plan for training but I will evaluate day by day what can or cannot be done. I don't think I actually injured a muscle as much as I need to get these muscles stretched out after these last two big races and all the hill running on saturday.

Race Report - Xtreme 10 Miler @ Waterfall Glen - July 21 2007

Xtreme 10 Miler, July 21 2007, 8am
5th Overall
2nd 40 - 45 AG

Xtreme 10 miler is a great race run through Waterfall Glen in Darien, IL. Many of us like to train there because its really a great preserve with a great crushed limestone path and plenty of hills to give a long run something a little extra! This year was the 4th running of this race and gaining in popularity as it is now a CARA circuit race.

For some reason I just didn't feel very enthused about the race this year. I don't feel like I did very well last year when I came here tapered and rested and spent the last half of the race running "backwards" as I was constantly passed - somehow that bad feeling still hung on me. I also came to the race this year planning on this race being more of a "B" race as I wanted to train through this a little because the Chicago Distance Classic Half coming up in August is of more importance to me. This was a scheduled race on my Dick Pond racing team circuit so I was committed to run.

Temps were perfect for today's race and my general plan would be to go out very conservatively and get through the early hills (including "Big Bertha" starting somewhere after the 2 mile marker and ending after the 3 mile marker), then see what I could lay down in the second half of the race. Nell Shields, Christen Meyer, Jenni Goebel, Gert August, and Rachele Hegele from my team plus Suzanne Ryan currently taking no prisoners in any race she has entered this year were present and ready to race.

My friend Jenny Garrison showed up to warm up with me, I did my drills and strides and joined my teammates to the cross country style start at far end of a big field. We talked among ourselves as to what we were going to try for, we wished each other well and we lined up. The gun goes off for this elite wave (3 waves altogether, elite, open men, open women). I went out really easy as the footing is pretty bad and within less than 2 minutes the race narrows onto a small dirt trail and passing is absolutely impossible. That lasted maybe 40 seconds or so and then we are on the main trail and I was able to get settled.

First mile 6:31. That's great I thought since I was really running comfortably and mile two was 6:28. I can see about 3 women ahead of me but I resist the urge to speed up and pass since I know "Big Bertha" is coming up and I had a feeling they were going to come back to me anyway. Insert evil chuckle here. ;-)

Big Bertha comes up, I keep my steps quick and efficient and I don't worry about speed here. There a few level offs during Big Bertha's ascent and I put in little pushes here and I've got my 3 women passed by the end. I thought I would have held out until after Big Bertha but they came back sooner than I had thought and I just went with it. Miles 3 - 6:49, 4 - 6:51, 5 - 6:50. Big Bertha may be big but its really only the start of a series of hills over the rest of the course that definitely brings up the mile splits.

After mile 5 during one of the sharper turns I catch a glimpse of the woman behind me and its Gert one my teammates and also a masters runner. Okay its time to start moving I think to myself, if she hangs with me fine, she's a teammate, but she's going to have to come with me cause I'm not playing anymore. Do I really say these things to myself when I race?....Yup, I'm a dork. The next splits are 6 - 6:43, 7 - 6:36, 8 - 6:39, 9 - 6:37. All hilly but I'm no longer easing up the hills as I concentrate on pulling in as many people as I can. I'm starting to feel significant tightness in my right achilles, in both calves, and I'm fighting off a side stitch (ugh!). I keep the side stitch under control (but it never goes away) and I keep plugging away.

Okay its mile 10. I try to drop the hammer as I only have half a mile before we leave the main trail, run the narrow dirt trail, and re-enter the field and going back to dealing with tall grass and bad footing for about half a mile. I enter the field and surprise of all surprises I hear Andy's voice and my children yelling "Go Mommy!" I had left them all sleeping in their beds this morning!! Even though I'm struggling to keep my pace going though the rough field I do my best to look good for the kids and I give them a quick smile. Mile 10 - 6:47. I finish 2nd Masters runner and 5th overall in 1:06:54. Christen Meyer grabs 1st and Gert grabs 3rd in our age group. Christen ran fast enough to finish in the top 3 overall, very impressive. Suzanne Ryan wins the race easily. My little girl Kyla is the first to give me a hug and offer me a bottle of water. "Mommy you have to drink," she insists. :-) Andy and Erik come next and I'm so happy to see my family.

Initially I was pretty disapointed with my time. Its about what I ran last year and I had thought I could do better even with a more relaxed strategy this year. After another look it turned out to be a nice solid tempo race with the hills I really needed for my training on a beautiful day in a beautiful place with lots of company! :-) I didn't have a super high mileage week but I had put in a really hard tuesday night workout and a solid week and wasn't as rested as I was last year when I really put out all I no grumpy face allowed for this race. Will just have to come back next year?? :-)

Splits: 1 - 6:31, 2 - 6:28, 3 - 6:49, 4 - 6:51, 5 - 6:50, 6 - 6:43, 7 - 6:36, 8 - 6:39, 9 - 6:37, 10 - 6:47.

Next race Chicago Distance Classic, August 12th

Peace everyone,

Runner Girl

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Training Log July 9 - July 15 - 2007

Monday - 0
Planned Day Off

Tuesday - 4.9
5:10am. 43:40/ 8:54 a mile. Grumpy. Annoyed by having to run alone and annoyed that evening was going to be so booked up that I can't run in the evning. I hope I'm not grumpy like this all day.

Wednesday - 4.25
Easy run. River/Oakton route plus strides after. Feeling great, rested, smooth and strong. Strides felt "race" ready. There's a good race in me wanting to come out! :-)

Thursday - 6.41
7:30 PM. Bastille Day 5k. First race as a masters runner. Warm up 1.5 miles plus strides and drills, race which turned out to be 2.91 miles, and cool down 2 miles. Race time 16:55, estimated 18:01 5k time, first woman overall. I haven't won a race in such a long time I almost forgot what it was like! Dave Schaefers helped with pacing providing almost continual positive words the entire race and I pulled this time right out of my @ss! Love ya Dave!!! I haven't run under 18:40 in YEARS! I'm so pumped! What a blast being with my friends from work, husband running the race too, and a cool $250 gift certificate to NikeTown. I was just drooling over their stuff when I was there to get the race packets. Looks like its time to go SHOPPING!! Team finishes 6th out of 48. Very cool. See Race Reports for full details.

Friday - 0
Planned day off. Old lady needs a day to recover.

Saturday - 5.9
Easy run. 51:12 (8:40/mile). All seems to be well (no back pain, no quad pain, etc) but I do feel very flat. Splits: 1 - 8:39; 2 - 8:37; 3 - 8:22; 4 - 8:42 starting to peter out a bit; 5 - 8:48, 5.9 - 8:01

Sunday - 10.38
Went to the Morton Arboretum to get in a beautiful long run with some good hills. Run went okay but my legs still feel heavy with thursday's race. My ankles and lower calf feel a little beat up from racing in my "go fast" shoes which of course have little to no real support. 1:25:41 (8:15/mile). Splits: 1 - 8:51; 2 - 8:24; 3 - 8:13; 4 - 8:04; 5 - 8:11; 6 - 7:52; 7 - 8:15; 8 - 7:53; 9 - 8:10; 10 - 8:32; 10.38 - 3:16.

Weekly Summary
Total Miles : 31.8
This has been such a good week for me. I couldn't be more excited about thursday's race. To be able to race on that edge again felt like something from a life time ago. To have an old running friend just show up and pace me, to put all his energy in supporting my effort and telling me afterwards that he owed me at least that for the support I showed him when he was just starting out really opened my eyes. I had no idea that I had had that effect on him. I am truly grateful that just going about my everyday business of training during that time that I was able to help someone, even if I didn't know I was and then having it come back to me years and years later....interesting how things work, eh? Well I must move forward now to next week. I'm going to see if I can put in one really hard effort, some moderate runs and a pull back in preparation for saturday's Xtreme 10 miler at Waterfall Glen. Its a tough course and a race I did especially poorly at last year. Let's see what I can do to turn that around. If I'm not too beat up I will try to tack on some more miles after the race.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Race Report - Bastille Day 5k July 12, 2007

Bastille Day 5k
Thursday July 12, 2007
1st Overall Female
Corporate Team 6th out of 48 teams.

Hi Everyone! Well another race, another race report. This one is for the Bastille Day 5k which I ran with my co-workers from NFA. This included fellow ChiaDeads Kelly, Brian, and Paul. This was to be my first race as a masters runner as I turned 40 on June 9th.

Its been a number of months since I've done a 5K and things have really changed since then. I've been training more consistently and with a new positive attitude and I just had this feeling that perhaps I was due for a breakout race soon... I really wanted to do well so I really cut back this week and focused on getting my sleep. I was excited also to be running with a lot of my co-workers and even my husband would be running instead of at home watching the kids. The run I did Wednesday evening was effortless and the strides I did afterwards felt "race ready". I was excited but I didn't want to say too much to anyone...."don't advertise just deliver" an old coach of mine used to say. I did look at last year's results and I'd thought that a top 3 - 5 finish would probably be most realistic but I knew that I was going to fight for something even better.

Well I woke up at 4am to take the car into work so that we (hubby and I) could easily get home after the race. I left the house at 5am, got cash, got gas and was in a parking lot at Monroe and Des Plaines by 5:45am and at my desk at 6am. Then started the long day of trying not to think about the race and do my work. It was so hard. I would be typing and then I would think about hitting my splits and my heart would start racing and I couldn't remember what I was supposed to be doing. Finally the end of the work day came and I got dressed and Andy, fellow ChiaDead Paul, and I started the walk to the car to drop off our stuff and then continue on to the race area. I felt better to be moving and although it was a tad warmer than I thought it would be, it wasn't the oppressive heat of earlier in the week, thank God for that!! We got to the race area and soon after the rest of the crew showed up. Fellow ChiaDeads Kelly and Brian ("Bootsie") were there. Due to Brian's stress fracture he planned on walking the course with his big boot on. Also in our group were many of our co-workers.

I started an easy warm up around 6:40pm since I just couldn't stand around anymore. I did my drills around 7pm and then I headed for the start to jog and get ready to do some strides. I was feeling really focused and just wanted this race to start. I was hanging around the start and I bumped into Dave Schaefers. Brother of Ann Schaefers-Coles one of my training partners when I was training for the '96 Olympic trials. I first met him after the trials and he worked out with our club for a few years until I went off to have kids. He was too late to sign up so he offered to pace me and I was totally for that. Oooo I thought I'm really gonna run fast now knowing he would help me to keep myself together mentally through the whole race. I knew I could take some chances with an aggressive pace now. I thought perhaps there were 2 -3 women warming up that looked like they would be my primary challenge. Dave and I talked about what I wanted my opening mile to be, we did our strides and lined up.

Gun goes off. I pick a pace thats not crazy but is definitely on the aggressive side. Mile 5:48, fast but I feel good. I'm breathing hard but the legs are going strong so I just keep at it. Dave is around giving positive comments almost continually. His voice kept my concentration on nothing but the race. We approach the 2 mile and it beyond fast, like world record fast, damn the 2 mile was short, I didn't bother to take a split it wouldn't have meant anything. At this point Dave informs me that there isn't a woman in sight behind me. I decided that I had the luxury to gamble a little so I dig even harder for mile 3 clock. The 3 mile clock gives up a total time of 16:18, again not anything realistic but I just feel it, I know we are cooking so I just keep it going. In this race the finish line is hidden behind a turn (I hate finish lines like that as the sight of that finish line works so well for me when I'm driving for home) so I do what I can to really dig down deep with no finish line in sight. We round the corner and I finish first woman overall with a 16:55.

Dave and I recover and give each other a look concerning the finish time. Short we both say but I'm happy. I tell him I will gps the course and figure out the mile pace and extrapolate what a full 5k would have been. I thank him profusely for all his help and he says he owed it to me for the years I encouraged him during workouts and smacked him around everytime he started to whine and complain (I'm not very tolerant of that especially when I'm working on ignoring my own fatigue). Well I didn't think he owed me anything but he definitely was instrumental in helping me race like I haven't in YEARS. We did a cool down, I said goodbye and I went to meet up with my team.

I ran into Kelly and Paul. Paul's GPS said 2.91 for the distance. Later that evening using I came up with the very same distance. Kelly and Paul had run great times but were understandably a little miffed about the distance being wrong. I had a feeling once we figured out the average mile paces using the correct distances and then using that to figure out a 5k time that they would be happy. The course was a flat as you can get without stepping on a track, it would be hard not to run a good time. :-)

Once I was home I verified the course distance, figured out my average mile pace of 5:48 which is about a 18:01 5k. I was so excited and really pleased. For years I've been running anywhere from 18:40 - 18:55 and just couldn't seem to get back down any further. Finally, and without a coach. I guess I made the right decision back in January to step back and let go of my coach for a while. The next day both Kelly and Paul figure out their 5k times and I'm happy to report that they both ran very well. PR's for both of them. Kelly is the PR queen!

Brian covered his walk in under 50 minutes (don't remember the exact time) and it was cool seeing him come in, boot and all.

Even though we are only half way through this year I want to say what a year it has been so far. In January I was tired, burnt out, didn't think I would continue running much longer. I just was having a hard time accepting my slower race times, and I wasn't even sure where running fit in if I wasn't going to be racing fast anymore. I let go of my coach and started feeling sorry for myself. It was then that I started listening to some of the runners around me, really listening to how much they strived for being the best they could, how they built their relationships with other runners to share the road and races with, how they all supported each other. I was really taken back, the running world didn't just exist of runners trying to qualify for the trials, trying to win every race they entered, fighting for the limited amount of prize money that floated around. It was a different perspective and it was starting to make a lot of sense to me. Running for the love of the sport, to be strong, healthly, to have races to run, but most of all friends to share it with. I was on fire again and I felt that I owned my running and not the other way around. I reset my sights and I developed a running schedule that respected my responsibilities as a mother of two children, with a great husband, a full time job, and allowed me to pursue my piano studies. It all seems to be working and although I'm always in pursuit of fast times it is not the only reason I train and step on the starting line. It's turned into much more than that.

Okay that's my race report and therapy session all in one and I'm done!

Next race Xtreme 10 Miler at Waterfall Glenn July 21st.

Peace everyone,