Running Buddies are Fun [Updated]

I wouldn’t normally blog about my Saturday long run, but DailyMile was down and I had thoughts I wanted to put down.

I had 12 on the schedule for Saturday. I really didn’t want to run by myself. I know I can, I am just sick of it. Thankfully Tracey saved the day and emailed me asking if I wanted to join for a run this weekend. Yay! I knew that Tracey and Rochelle probably had a million miles to run this weekend, but I love that they will do loops to include other people.

I met up with Tracey, Rochelle, Annie and Ali at 6:30.  I took the long route to Tracey’s house to get in a bit more mileage before we started. The first loop was the airport run where you end up on the south end of the airport and we were able to see a few planes take off. We looped back to Tracey’s house where Annie and Ali were done for the day. Tracey, Rochelle and I set out for more miles, a lot more for Tracey and a few more for me and Rochelle. I separated from Rochelle with less than a half mile to go and ended with 12.12 in 2 hours.

This was a great run. I am really happy with the pace I kept. I went out slow and was able to push it during the second half. I had  really good miles 8-12. I had a great time chatting with Tracey during the first half and then talking with Rochelle on the way back. Running buddies are fun. It makes the time go by quicker plus I learned some new routes near my place.

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So much more than the shoes

I remember someone telling me running was easy because all you needed were shoes. I wish I could go back to that moment and laugh. I was so naive that I believe this notion.

It amazes me I get out the door sometimes.

Shoes are just the beginning. And a lot of us are pretty obsessive over our shoes. I spent more on running shoes than any other shoes I own and I have a lot of shoes. We wont buy just any shoe. We want the perfect shoe. The perfect shoe for me is not the perfect shoe for you. We all have different feet and different strides and and endless number of other issues that may affect which shoes we purchase. And a lot of us have more than one pair. How many pairs of running shoes do you currently have?

Socks are a whole other story. It blows my mind what I will spend on running socks, but I learned very early on that you will regret buying the cheap ones. I now run almost exclusively in Smartwool socks. They are the best. I love them.

Tech Clothing – I used to run in cotton <<shudder>>. You couldn’t pay me to run in cotton. All the different layers you need when you live in a climate like Wisconsin. It is exhausting. I have run in everything from 8 to 90 degrees this year (above 90 and below 0 equal treadmill). That is a lot of different clothing. I would run in Nike Tempo Shorts year round if I could. I own one pair of running shorts that are not Nike. That was just stupid. Now everything else is a variety of brands, usually whatever is on sale.

Watch/HR Monitor/GPS – There are so many choices for this. I run with a Garmin 310XT which I rationalized when I told myself I would get back into triathlons. And then there is the HR strap and the shoe pod and whatever other add-ons you can think of.

Hydration– again, there are endless options. I used to be a FuelBelt girl. Now I run with a Nathan handheld. I love it!

Hat/visor/Headband – I need something to keep my hair out of my face. It really varies by day. I do know I need another hat. I am hoping I get a free one at a race this fall.

Music – Here is the one thing I have let go of. I used to periodically run with my ipod shuffle, but somehow dropped running with music this summer.

Sunglasses – This is only a sometimes needed item

BodyGlide – Do NOT run without this product. I tend to find bodyglide in weird places like my purse. It is also good for non-running uses in the summer.

Now what have I forgotten? Clearly something. Like I said before, sometimes I don’t know how I get out the door. Also, I don’t believe in “naked” runs. Even if it is an easy, carefree run I want it logged.

So much more than the shoes.

Disclaimer: None of this is meant to be an advertisement. These are just the products I use. You may have a different favorite and that is totally okay. That is why they make so many options.

A fun weekend of running

I ran both days this weekend! Big deal for me. Plus I was pretty lazy this week and kept telling myself that it was ok because it was recovery week. I needed to get some miles in.

Saturday Thai Phi and I ran along the Oak Leaf trail in what I considered perfect weather. It was 70 and overcast and then it misted on me. The only negative were the gnats by the lake. Holy crap were there gnats. (And if you want to see some really terrible puns check out my DailyMile post). It was gross. Enough so that I changed my planned route and got away from the lake. It was a great start to a fabulous Saturday. I ran 8 instead of 10 and was okay with that.


Sunday morning Thai Phi and I got up and went for a trail run. She had never done trail running before, but loves to hike and enjoys nature so I took her to Nashotah Park. We had a fantastic run. I didn’t care about my pace, I didn’t care about the distance. We just had fun. I loved running with Thai Phi. We chatted, we took pictures, we walked up the hills. It was perfect.

And then this afternoon I got an email from my coach that made me super happy:

Wow those are awesome races. Probably the most fun races out of anyone I coach all fall for racing. Plus with the Army 10 miler in there that is a tough one for sure.

Great fall schedule.

I was worried my fall race calendar was too crazy and my coach wouldn’t like how close races were together. Not so much. And he was very nice about me needing to move my long runs to Sunday’s since I have Badger tickets and there is no way I will get in a long run before an 11:00am kickoff.

And after a so-so, but fun recovery week it is back to the grind. I am actually looking forward to my workouts for the next several weeks.

I am back.

Three Things Thursday

1. I still think the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago course was long. And before you start lecturing me let me state that I understand running the tangents. I do not expect to run exactly 13.1. I ran 13.77. I raced with a footpod. The footpod works with my garmin indoors, it should work when I am under bridges and there are tall skyscrapers. While I remain upset about this I also know that my official time was 2:00:01 for 13.1. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe I ran 13.77 in 2:00:00. That being said this is my last complaint about the course.

2. Badger football starts two 2 weeks from today. TWO WEEKS! That is 14 days. I can’t wait.

3. I am exhausted. I need to stop. I need some time to myself. This will not happen until Monday. I left for Chicago straight from work last Friday then immediately drove out to my parents’ house after returning, didn’t get back to my own apartment until Tuesday and am pretty sure the only time I have spent at home has been sleeping. But I will keep on trucking because Thai Phi is visiting this weekend! I will catch up on sleep someday. Shouldn’t I have more time for myself? I live alone. I don’t have kids.

I love visitors

(In her honor I did not use more than 1 exclamation point)

She has never been here before.

I haven’t seen her since April.

We used to see each other almost every day. (I could wave from my apartment window to her in her office).

There will be beer.

There will be cuddling.

There will be couch time.

It will be awesome.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon

Let’s take a quick step back and look at my Goals and Thoughts for the weekend:

Goals for the weekend in Chicago:

  • Have fun!
  • Remember that I love racing.

I achieve both of these goals. I had a fantastic weekend in Chicago. Jenn and I both got in Friday night, her quite a bit later, but I was so out of it I did not hear her come in or climb into our giant king size bed.

Maureen joined us Saturday morning and we all did a pre-race run over to the expo. We wanted to get in and out early to avoid the crowds. We got our bibs, signed up to win a millions things that will most likely end up just being more emails in our inboxes and wandered the expo. We were all pretty well behaved and did not walk out of there with large purchases. We probably walked around a lot more than we should the day before a race, but it was just so much fun to hang out with Jenn and Maureen again. We met up with Kelsey and Laura, more Ragnar girls, for an early dinner and then all separated ways for an early night.

Morning came way too early. Jenn’s alarm went off at 4:00am. Mine was set for 5:00. I realized how lucky I am that I don’t have stomach issues when running. I shoveled down some cheerios, got dressed and was ready to go. Jenn and I left the hotel to meet up with Maureen, Kelsey and her friend. We found gear check and bathrooms without a line pretty quickly and then all separated off to different corals. Maureen moved back several corals and I kind of moved up one so we could hang out together before starting. I knew I wouldn’t see her again until the finish, but it is nice to have someone to chat with before the race starts.

My goal was to go out conservatively and just see how it went. This was my first Rock ‘n’ Roll event and it was quite fun to have the bands every mile. I don’t race with music so I enjoyed it all. There were a lot of people out cheering considering how early the race started (6:30am). Lots of kids, the UIC Cheerleaders, teens with KISS face paint on (bets on any of them knowing who KISS is?), and friends and families of runners. Miles 9 and 10 were the hardest for me and almost always are. Not sure if it is a mental thing or not, but I definitely need to look into that. Once I got to Mile 11 I told myself I had to pick up the pace and push it. I ran the very last mile fast, really fast for me, right around 8:00 minutes. My finishing power never ceases to amaze me. It is not that I save too much because when I cross that finish line I am done. Garmin had me at 2:00:00. I’m easily amused.

I got my medal and then there were popsicles! Seriously genius idea. I found Maureen and we went to get our free MGD 64s. Moments late the rain started and that is when I got cold. Maureen kept running into everyone she has ever run with, but it was fun to meet people I have heard so much about. And then as we were leaving I finally got to meet Chanthana! We have been so close to meeting before.

Hot showers, comfy clothes, mimosas and food ended the fun weekend.

Official Results:
Chip Time: 2:00:01
Division: 512/2488
Gender: 1641/9480