Saturday, October 22, 2011

Next Up, the NYC Marathon...

Have I mentioned lately how excited I am about the New York City Marathon this year?  It is two weeks away and the anticipation is killing me!

Ken asked me how to train for a marathon four weeks after a marathon.  I told him I really had no idea, other than just to stay injury free and try to recover from Chicago.  I did a little Googling and found a plan that was exactly like what I had in mind. 

You spend the first week recovering and then just run to keep your legs fresh and go right back into taper.  I have a kind of long run planned for tomorrow morning.  I am planning on running 12 miles just to make sure I remember how to run longer than seven.  :)

Did I mention my Wicked tickets came in the mail?  I am sooooo excited to see this musical on Broadway and have Ken watch it.  I can hardly contain my excitement!  Especially since I was just sure I was going to re-fracture my leg running the Chicago Marathon.  Speaking of that, Ken stepped on my left foot this morning and I of course shouted to him that it was my broken foot and he hurt it.  Yeah, my foot has been healed for three years.  I guess you can say I am dramatic. 

Go Cardinals!  Let's beat Texas!!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chicago Marathon Weekend Pictures...

We had a lot of firsts this trip to Chicago.  For starters, my mama joined us and she has never been to Chicago.  She had not flown in like 35 years or so.  Bless her heart, she ended up getting the full pat down at the airport.  At least she got the full experience.  :)  It was also Ken's moms first time in Chicago.  Bill and Linda decided to join us for a weekend of fun and to watch me run.  We did all types of new things this trip, including going to the top of Willis (Sears) Tower and on an Architectural tour.  We had a blast spending the weekend with my mom and Ken's parents. 

We arrived in Chicago the Friday prior to the marathon.  I went the expo right away to get my race packet. I am so not a fan of crowded expos.  I, of course, had to get my traditional picture with the course map.

My mama and me on the architectural tour we took

Bill, Linda, mama, and me

Ken and me on the boat tour. 

The architectural tour was very cool.  We learned a lot about the buildings and history of Chicago. 

One of the many bridges on the Chicago River

Sears Tower, now known as Willis Tower

The top of Sears Tower.  See the area with the large windows?  That is where we went next. 

Mom and me inside Sears Tower

I enjoyed walking around and reading all of the facts about the tower.  I once again, proved I am queen of useless trivia.

Ken likes to take super close of pictures of me.  Please excuse the huge zit I have forming near my lips.

Mom and me waiting to board the elevator for the ride to the top.

A view of the Hancock building and Trump Tower

You can see all of the tents set up for the start and finish of the race.

There are platforms off the building that you can step out onto.  For some reason, I walked right out there.  Here are my tiny feet.:)

I was shocked when my mom walked out on the platform with me!

Everyone had fun checking out the views of Chicago

This might look like a tender moment, but Ken is getting a lecture about always ruining my pictures by making faces.

Much better!

My mom had so much fun checking out the views and taking pictures

Ken's mom and dad had just as much fun

Mom showing me all of her pictures

She just loves that she is a few inches taller than me

Mom and me at Navy Pier

Bill and Linda having coffee and waiting to go find me at mile 12

My mom taking it all in

This is the funniest picture from the weekend.  This is around mile 12 when I came running by.  I gave the double thumbs up to let them know I was feeling great.  Right when Linda went to take a picture of me, my mom raised her hand to waive.  I am right behind her hand.  So this is me, at mile 12.  At least we know what time it was.  :)

Running to the finish.  I am on the left with the black top and pink shorts

Looking a little rough

This picture cracks me up.  I look like a midget next to him.

They enjoyed their first marathon spectating experience.

Just to prove I am not too proud, here is a hot picture of me with my compression socks on with my Grinch shorts.  Yes, I am too hot for words.  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chicago Marathon Race Report...

**This is going to be long, I had free time at work to write most of it**

I was fortunate enough to participate in the 34th Annual Chicago Marathon on Sunday.  This was my 2nd Chicago Marathon and my 7th marathon overall.  Chicago puts on a great event in a great city.  I may just repeat this marathon every year as long as timing permits.

I was hesitate to set any time goals for this marathon, since I was sidelined with a stress fracture back in May and did not have a ton of training.  I kept my training consistent, I was just unable to run many long runs.  My longest run was 18 miles on the treadmill.  I was reminded of that fact around mile 21 when my legs were taking a beating.

The forecast was a little warmer than I was hoping for, but not as bad as last year.  We were fortunate enough that it was in the upper 50's/lower 60's when we started.  I believe it was in the upper 70's when I finished.  My Chicago Marathon time from last year, 3:56, qualified me for a seeded starting coral this year.  I did not really think this would make a difference, but it really did.  It was not as crowded at the start. 

My morning started at 3:00 am when some jackass on a motorcylce thought it was appropriate to rev his bike up over and over again for about 15 minutes.  How considerate of him.  I had slept very well until this point and then slept on and off until I woke up at 5:15, had some coffee and a power bar and got ready to go.  I was prepared to take a cab down to Grant Park, but a nice guy named Steve hopped on the elevator after me and guided me to the train.  He was even kind enough to allow me to use his CTA card, so I did not have to purchase fare.  It is so refreshing meeting nice people.

I rarely have to pee once I get to a race, but I did not time things correctly this time and was going to have to use a porta potty.  I was in line at the porta potties inside the seeded start area and realized there is no way I would make it thru the line.  I noticed a tree with a group of girls huddling around it and saw that they were blocking each other while they were peeing.  I figured why not?  I grew up in Southwest Missouri, I have peed outside a time or two.  I went over to the tree, talked with a nice girl, she blocked me, I blocked her.  I did glance over to see a man body gliding his, uh you know uh junk.  I may have done a double take.  Call me shocked, small town, whatever, but I could not help but look.   I mean, he was a black man and I have heard a lot about black penises, so I wanted to see if what I heard was true.  So, after me looking for what was probably considered an unacceptable amount of time, I came to the conclusion that it is true, very true and I was on my way.  :)

I had taken my Garmin off of auto lap, since it loses the signal inside the tunnel during the first mile.  My plan was to run the first two miles around 9:15 and then try to maintain nine minute miles after that for as long as I could and maybe toss in a few 8:50's to make up for slowing down at the end.  My first mile came in at 9:08.  A little fast, but I was happy with it.  My second mile was 9:07.  Perfect I thought.  Third mile, 8:44.  Holy Moly, I remember thinking!  I am not even winded.  I totally rock!  The next mile was 8:40.  I was thrilled.  The sad thing is, I knew better.  I knew I would feel like a million bucks to start with and should just slow my ass down.  What did I do?  I kept on truckin, knocking miles off in the 8:xx's thinking how totally awesome I am not to be winded and to barely have trained for this thing.

1- 9:08
2- 9:07
3- 8:44
4- 8:40
5- 8:44

My mom, Ken, and Ken's parents were planning on meeting me just after mile three.  I expected to see them on the right side of the road for some reason.  They were on the left side and I did not see them until I was already passed them.  I tried to run over and shouted in my loudest Keri voice "Ken, Ken!".  Although, I am sure it sounded more like "KIN, KIN!".  They did not see me.  I fiddled around trying to call him to tell him that they missed me.  Yeah, talk about wasting energy here.  I looked like an idiot trying to get my phone back into my IFitness belt.  Oh well.  He did not even answer.  I kept moving along, hoping I would be able to see them just after mile 11. 

My one goal this year was to see Wrigley Field.  I had completely missed it last year and made it a point this year to find it on the map in advance to know where to look for it.  So when we turned the corner onto Addison, I was looking all around, just waiting to see what I had missed last year.  Um, yeah, next thing you know, we are back in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and no Wrigley Field.  You have got to be kidding me, I said to myself.  I missed it again!  Apparently, I will be running Chicago again next year with a third try to see Wrigley during the race.

6- 9:03 (this was my ideal pace)
7- 8:33 (waaaay to fast for a marathon!)
8- 8:57
9- 8:52
10- 8:48

Once back in downtown, I was able to see Ken, my mom, and Billl and Linda.  I gave them the double thumbs up, to let them know I was feeling great!  Of course I was, it was mile 12.  I could have been doing cartwheels at mile 12.  I hit mile 13 in 1:55:XX, basically in the same neighborhood as I ran last year.  Heck ya, was what I thought.

11- 8:56
12- 8:48
13- 8:59
14- 9:08 (I forgot to hit lap, so this one is long)
15- 8:37 (this was a little short of a mile since mile 14 was long)

I was still cruising along, feeling fine up until around mile 18.  I was still fine physically, but for some reason, I had convinced myself that we were at mile 18 when we were really only at mile 17.  Boy, that was a crushing blow.  It was like someone told me I was not going to be able to have a birthday cake this year.  I thought, wow, what idiot put a 17 mile marker twice?  I looked at my Garmin and saw, yep it just rolled to mile 17.  Son of a....

16- 8:55
17- 8:59
18- 9:25 (getting tired)
19- 9:04 (there was still hope)
20- 9:37 (started walking thru an aid stations)

I was cool, told myself to man up and stop being a pansy.  Just make it to Chinatown at mile 21, was what I kept thinking to myself.  Not sure what was going to happen at Chinatown, but I was using it as a must make it to point of the race.  I think I was looking forward to the Chinese music that would be playing over the speakers.  Um yeah, talk about a let down.  It was some current pop song.  Great, just great, Chinatown was ruined and to top it off, there were very few Chinese people in Chinatown.  Quite a change from what I remember from last year.  Talk about bursting my bubble. 

At this point, I was allowing myself to walk thru the aid stations.  My legs were killing me!  This is when I knew only running 18 miles one time on a freaking treadmill was haunting me.  I was still happy though, I mean I was maintaining a good pace for being undertrained.  I let go my secret, secret goal of 3:55 and decided that I could still come in under 4:00 if I could maintain about 10 minute miles from the remaining 5.2 miles.  I knew my watch was measuring off by .2 miles and when I realized that I would be really close to missing the 4:00 mark, I decided not to push it.  I reminded myself that I have a little race called the New York City Marathon coming up in four weeks and that I should swallow my pride and just not push it the last few miles.  Save the legs is what I told myself.  I texted my friend Tara around mile 24.  Bless her heart, it was not a nice text, but she responded back with words of encouragement and told me to keep going. 

21- 10:01
22- 9:42
23- 10:48
24- 10:20
25- 10.17
26.2- 12:42 (I forgot to lap my watch at mile 26)

I kept cruising along down Michigan Ave, just waiting to turn to head to the finish line.  I tried looking for Ken in the bleachers, but did not see him.  I was unable to sprint but did kick it up a bit to pass a few people.  It is amazing what see the finish line does to you.  There it was, the end, I crossed the finish line in 4:03:06.

Garmin time:  4:03:07 - 26.48
Official time: 4:03:06 - 26.2

Marathon #7 finished!  I was very pleased with my time.  How can I be disappointed for finishing my 7th marathon?  I am so excited about running New York next month. 

Thanks for reading!  I have a ton of pictures to post from our trip.  I will be doing that over the next few days.  Happy Running!