The Days Before
Friday started early, but I was ready. I carried everything I would need for the marathon with me and packed the rest. I was not chancing the airline losing my shoes and gear!
I arrived in the Windy City and we eventually made our way to Harvey House B&B. We settled in, did some unpacking and then headed for the train into the city and the Expo. I picked up my packet, grabbed lots of freebies then it was off to dinner then back to the B&B for a good nights rest.
The next morning we lazed around and eventually made our way into Oak Park to visit the Frank Lloyd Wright museum and other interesting architecture in the area.
Another interesting house
Look - another one!!
Frank Lloyd Wright house/museum
Frank Lloyd Wright Unity Temple
After that it was time for an early dinner at a local pasta place and then back to the B&B to prepare for the marathon and to hopefully get a decent nights sleep.
Woke up around 5:15 am and slowly got ready and then headed for the train.
Waiting for the train. Thank goodness the train didn't start running any earlier than 6:30, otherwise my mother would have wanted me on it!!
Well, we made it in plenty of time so I stopped off at a restaurant for a pre-race potty break and then it was off to the start.
Heading to start line.
Packing them in - it was amazing the amount of people!!
I said my goodbyes to my mom and Tom, and then I headed in. 10 minutes to go. 5 minutes to go and the wheelchair participants are off. GUN!! And here I go. But beware of where you step - there is clothing and plastic bags EVERYWHERE!! You definitely do not want to trip in that mess!!
9 minutes and a few seconds later I cross the start line and the running begins.
Take it slow, Jill, you do not want to go out too fast.
Look at all those people on the side lines. Listen to all those people.
Wow, there is mile marker 1, and I haven't been doing my walk breaks. Probably because I can't hear my Garmin! I have been going slow, it should be okay. I will just keep going.
There is the mile 2 marker - I am looking for you Mom and Tom. I can't see you - I wonder why?!!
The throng on the run at mile 2
Mile 3 - okay time to start looking for Brenna.
A quick turn around and I see her!! A quick hug, some photos, a little catching up and then I am on my way again.
Boy, I sure have to pee. There are some port-a-potties with huge lines. I can go a little longer.
Mile 4 goes by and I am still running. Feeling great!! Oh - look - there is TNT Coach Dan! What a welcome face to see!! He ran with me for a couple minutes and then he headed over to 11 to check on the other runners.
Mile 5 goes and I REALLY need to take a potty break. Where are those darn port-a-potties? I see a gas station with a line and make a pit stop. Lots of other people are in need of a pee break, too. And some of them are crazy enough to go stand or squat over in the park. Not me. I have a little dignity!!
Pee break over with and it is back on the road. Less than half a mile later I see the port-a-potties!!
Miles 6, 7, 8 and 9 fly by. I am feeling great. I have only taken a couple breaks - walked some of the water stops, talked with Brenna and stood in-line for like 8 minutes.
Mile 10 goes by and there is my mom and Tom!! Yay!!
Mile 10 and smiling. Hugs, hellos, pictures. I grab a gel then head back on the course.
Miles 11 and 12 float by. Mile 13 - it is Brenna again. And she has dragged David out of bed this time!! More hugs. More pictures. More catching up then back on the course.
Only 13.1 more to go!
Miles 14 and 15 - starting to finally take my walk breaks. But I think the damage has already been done.
Miles 16, 17, 18 and 19 - getting a little tired. Could it be any more cold! Oh and I have to pee again!! This time I find the port-a-potties right away and the lines are nil! In, out, on the course. And what do I see in front of me? A purple TNT singlet with "Running Jayhawk" printed on the back. Wow!! I run up, tap her on the shoulder and say "Hey, I've read your blog." I tell her my blog name and she says "Yeah, I've read yours, too." Is that not crazy or what? We chatted a bit. She says she has been having a rough day and could really go for some food since she upchucked all her breakfast earlier. Even with the nerves she still kicked some tail and finished in 5:55:28! Way to go!
Mile 20 - 10 K to go! Thank the Lord!! I am beat! And I have to pee again!! What is the deal?!!
Band at 20
Looking rather tired
Potty break number 3
Miles 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 when is this going to end?! Oh, look - there is Coach Dan again. He comes over and runs with me a little and tells me it is only a little bit further. Just down here about half a mile then a turn and a bridge and then another turn and then the finish.
Mile 26 - this is so WRONG! You do NOT make someone run up a hill the last few hundred meters of a marathon. If you think I am running this - you are CRAZY!! But at least I get to see my personal cheerleaders (Mom and Tom) one more time before I cross the line!
Just a couple hundred more meters
Finish Line - 6:13:41
I finished - next time I will do better
After getting my medal, thermal blanket (what a wonderful thing!), some water, food and my pic taken I headed over to the meetup area to wait for my mom and Tom.
Buckingham fountain - meet-up area
We then headed over to the TNT tent to see if anyone I knew was over there. I saw Bill, Bev, Emily, and Janie. Great folks.
It was then time to go back to the B&B for some relaxation and eventually a nice hot bath. There was no way I was taking an ice bath this time around!!
I woke up around 2 or 3 am with a wonderful sore throat. I went back to sleep hoping it would go away, but it didn't. I, actually, think I was fighting getting this cold for several days but had told myself there was no way I was getting a cold before the marathon. I guess it worked!!
After getting ready and having a wonderful breakfast at the B&B we headed over to The Field Museum.
Christopher Columbus statue with friend - I just had to laugh at this crow perched on CC's finger. He was having a grand time up there just cawing away.
Sue - most complete T-rex
Even though the walking and stairs were a little painful, I think they really helped in the recovery process.
Riding the train
Final Day and some other pics
The final day in Chicago we drove around the city quite a bit to have a look around and then it was time to head to the airport and home.
Buckingham fountain - clean again. Why couldn't the weather have been like this for the marathon?!
Chicago Library gargoyles
Thursday, October 26, 2006
The Days Before
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
The weather was COLD!! Not that I really minded. I am just thankful it wasn't raining or snowing. But one thing is for sure - I have become too acclimated to Houston heat!
The crowds and volunteers were fantastic! There were people everywhere, cheering everyone on and making sure we got to the finish line.
I saw my Mom and Tom at miles 10, 20 and 26. Very welcome faces to see out there on the course. Thank you so much for being there and supporting me. Also, my mom took tons of pics that I am very thankful for!!
I saw my friend, Brenna (we trained for our first marathon and triathlon together) around miles 3 and 13. We chatted a couple minutes, had our picture taken together and then I was back on the road. She is great.
I saw Houston TNT Coach Dan at miles 2.5 and 25. He was so encouraging and I am so thankful he was there to cheer us all on - TNT alumni and participants alike.
One surprise was seeing/meeting Running Jayhawk around mile 18. I had just finished taking a tinkle break in the port-a-potty and when I started running again I saw this purple singlet with "Running Jayhawk" spelled out on the back. I, of course, had to catch her and tell her that I have read her blog. Too funny!! BTW - congratulations on a great finish - even with all the anxiety.
And finally to what you really wanted to know - I finished. That was my ultimate goal. I would have really liked to have finished under 6 hours, but it did not happen. Final time was 6:13:41. One of these days I might finish under 5:30. That would be nice!! But I need to stop getting caught up in the excitement of the whole event and stick with my plan. Which does not include running for 10 miles with only a couple rest breaks (talking with friends, potty break and water stops). I didn't train that way so why in the heck do I race that way?!! You would think I would have learned my lesson after my first marathon, but NOOOOOO!!
Oh well, another couple weeks of training should help me (hopefully) keep up with Christine when we do the Route 66 Marathon on November 19.
That is it for now. I will have some more pictures and details in the coming days. But for now I will leave you with this.
Me - the day after!
Another rambling by Jill on Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Friday, October 20, 2006
Well, in a couple hours I will be on my way. Marathon number 3. My goodness - the nerves are starting to kick in. But the excitement is building!!
My mom and Tom will be there supporting me in my quest to complete 26.2 miles. I have called my friend in Chicago and she will be cheering for me at miles 3 and 13 (before I start getting pissy!!). I will have lots of TNT friends running with me and attempting the same feat. And, of course, I will have all my family and friends cheering me on in spirit.
I will let you all know how it goes when I get back!!
Another rambling by Jill on Friday, October 20, 2006
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
The time is getting short. On Friday morning I will be flying to Chicago to participate in my third marathon (my first in a year and a half).
I am excited but I am also a little nervous.
I am not where I could be. There are so many things I could have done better in my training, but you know what - it is okay. I know I will never be the fastest runner. I will be happy to just be a middle of the pack person versus a back of the pack person. I am starting to come to grips with that. I might even start logging my pace and letting you see it (especially now that I have my Garmin!!). Baby steps!!
This past Saturday was my final long run (10 miles) and I think I did pretty well. I even received a couple compliments on how well I have improved and one on my nice looking calves!! I ran strong and it felt good. I have a lot of improving to do - speed, walk breaks and poundage. But with the cooler months approaching I think things will start falling into place. This is good. Because there is so much I would like to do.
I started my journey into running wanting to lose weight. Which I did (and which I gained back after breaking my toe!). I then decided to try a triathlon and then next after that was a century ride. Well my next adventure is a half-ironman, and maybe one of these days a full!! Some people wonder about my sanity, but most of them are not into this running, biking and swimming stuff.
It seems like I have always been battling my weight. But looking back, what I have really been doing is try to look good for other people. There seems to have always been someone criticizing the way I look since I have hit puberty. Friends, family, random people on the street, you name it. And it has not always been my weight that they have commented on. And you know the worst part - I didn't look bad, I actually looked pretty darn good (what I wouldn't give to have the body I did back in high school!).
I know – some of you are saying deal with it. But that is sometimes hard to do when you are 13, 15, 17 years old and trying to fit in with all your peers.
Through the years I have always said "I will show them, I will lose this weight and look so good they are going to regret how they treated me." But the reality was, I went on a diet, lost some weight, went off the wagon, and gained it back with some extra.
But you know what? I am finally realizing I shouldn’t be changing my body for other people. I should be changing it for myself. Yeah, I know, took long enough!!
But that is finally where I am. I want to change for myself. And you know why?
So I can be faster in the swim, faster on the bike, and faster on the run.
So I can run a 5K without having to take a walk break, and then eventually a 10K and then...
So I can run a sub 30 minute 5K, and then a sub 27, then maybe even a sub 24.
So I can finish a marathon in less than 5 hours, then under 4 and a half.
So I can have an average speed of 20 mph on the bike during a triathlon.
So I can look good in a wetsuit!!
I still have a lot of demons (in my own mind) to overcome, but I will get there. I will succeed. But most importantly I am not going to do it for someone else,
I am going to do it for me!
Another rambling by Jill on Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Monday, October 16, 2006
Thursday, October 12, 2006
I am back. Not liking it, but I am back.
Vacation was great.
Went over to have dinner with my paternal grandparents on Wednesday. We chatted a bit in the living room, then made it over to the dinner table. At my dad’s seat there was a bag of licorice my grandmother had brought back from Branson. At Michele’s seat there was a package of soup mix, and at my seat there was a big gift bag with tissue paper.
I didn't want to appear too eager so I placed the bag on the floor and ate dinner.
Then the time came to open the present. I was thinking it was going to be something that my grandmother had found on her trip to Branson, so when I eventually got the box out of the bag and saw the Fed-Ex and electronics labels I didn't think anything of it. I proceeded to peel off the tape and pull out the bubble wrap.
Inside the first box was a second box. I pulled it out and was completely flabbergasted.
It was a Garmin Forerunner 305!!!
O.H. M.Y. G.O.D.
My grandparents had bought me a Garmin!!
To say I was surprised would be an understatement!!
That night I charged up my new baby and fell asleep reading the manual.
The next morning I programmed my new baby, strapped on the heart rate monitor and played around with it for a bit before heading out for my long run.
A couple weeks ago I went to the docs and the nurse weighed me, checked my temp, BP and HR. Well the heart rate she came up with was 52 bpm. Shocked me! Just 20 minutes prior to that I was barreling down the sidewalk on my bike trying to make sure I got there in time. So I was really doubting that heart rate. Well, while sitting in front of the tv fiddling with the Garmin and rereading the manual my heart rate was averaging 50, and at one point it got down in the mid 40’s!! WOW!
After finishing with the fiddling, I dressed and headed out to the river for a 14.73 mile long run! It was fun. I enjoyed having my new toy along with me and seeing what my averages were.
Next item on the list is to load the software onto my computer and download my workout info.
Another rambling by Jill on Thursday, October 12, 2006
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Yesterday was a rather pretty day here in Richland. I went running down by the mighty Columbia and the water was like glass in some areas. Hardly a ripple except for the boats trolling the waters - most likely for salmon. The air was cool and dry, such a difference from Houston.
While dressing for my run I decided to put on a pair of shorts that are not as tight as my lycra ones, but I figured all would be okay. I have worn them plenty of times before with my amphipod clipped to the waistband at the small of my back.
I left the house and walked the couple blocks to the park entrance and proceeded to start my morning run. The first thing I notice is my shirt is sticking to my skin due to static. The joy of dry air! The next thing I notice, my shorts keep slipping down. I hike them back up. They slip back down. I do it again. And they do it again. And the problem is even amplified because of the amphipod.
I take the amphipod off and stuff it in my bra. That was a pretty sight, I am sure!! The shorts still keep slipping and I keep pulling them back up.
I am getting to the point where I am just going to say the heck with it and go back to the house, but then something magical happens - I start to perspire!! And eventually I build up enough of a sweaty sheen that my shorts stop slipping down and the static goes away! I don't think I have ever been that thankful for sweat!!
Now that the static and slipping have ceased to be a problem I can now enjoy the run. And what a glorious experience it was compared to running in Houston heat! My weekend long run (14 miles) is going to be great!
I ended up doing 6.5 miles yesterday.
And today I ended up going a little over 5.5 miles.
I started along the river and then decided to take a detour over to one of my cousin's for a quick visit with him, his wife to be, their little boy, my aunt and my mom. It was a nice afternoon and a great run.
Tonight it is off to the paternal grandparents for some socializing and dinner.
Another rambling by Jill on Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
These past couple weeks have been a bit hectic for me. I have been trying to train and make sure all was taken care of at home and work so I could leave on vacation.
I did the training - 15 miles on Sept 23, 21 miles on Sept 30 and some weekday training thrown in for good measure!
I finished up what needed to be taken care of at work and got most of the stuff at home complete.
Then Oct 1 came and it was time to take off for Washington (state - that is). Richland, WA to be specific.
Sunday was filled with unpacking, greeting all the animals at my dad and Michele's, relaxing on the porch with a vodka tonic, taking a quick walk with the dogs, stopping by to say hi to my grandfather a couple blocks away (my grandmother would be home later that night from a trip to Branson, MO), then it was back home for some much needed sleep!!
The next morning it was up and out the door by 7:30 to head over to Enumclaw to drop off my aunt Janet's dog and to have a quick lunch with her and my aunt Martha.
On the way over we passed multiple vineyards and apple orchards, had a great view of Mt. Adams and as we went over Chinook Pass we had a picture perfect view of Mt. Ranieer and even got a glimpse of Mt. St. Helens every so often. It was a beautiful day.
After getting to Enumclaw (the Black Diamond tri festival is held close to here), we did a little visiting, had some lunch and then it was time to head home.
I was hoping to get some better shots of Mt. Ranieer on the way back, but the clouds had come in and she was was covered up. Too bad. At least we were able to see her in all her glory that morning.
We kept on going and made a stop in Yakima at the infamous Miner's burger joint (well it is famous here, anyway!!). During high school team road trips this was THE place to stop. And it has been that way for years. When my dad and mom were in high school, they stopped there, too. It's got history!
Anyway, after half of a Big Miner Burger, some fries and a small peunut butter chocolate malt it was back on the road to Richland and eventually a nice cozy bed.
Now I need to get back in the training swing of things and go for a run along the Columbia River. It is looking like it will be a gorgeous day and I am so ready to run in cool weather!!
This past Saturday when I left the apartment at 5 am for our 21 miles - the temp was in the mid 70's and the humidity was 100%. Yuck!! And the day didn't get any better from there. I do not know what the deal was but my legs HURT during that run!! Yeah, I know - 21 miles will do that to you. But this was a different kind of hurt. It was like my legs were being stuck with thousands of needles. I tried stretching, didn't help. The only thing that helped was stopping. And I couldn't do that becuase I had to get to the "finish line"!! I finally finished, stretched, went to the store and bought a 10 lb bag of ice (should have bought two) and attempted to have an ice bath. Well, the ice melted too fast so I ended up with a cold bath, but I think it helped a little. I just wish I knew what the deal was. Maybe it was just a bad day. Let's just hope the same thing doesn't happen during the marathon.
Okay, enough typing. Time to get into my running gear and head for the river!!
Another rambling by Jill on Tuesday, October 03, 2006