Sunday, September 16, 2007

Grab a cold one

A cold run, that is. Yesterday when Meg and I left for our Saturday run it was 37 degrees! Before I started training for the half I was completely unwilling to run when it was any cooler than about 55. Needless to say, that changed yesterday! I wore long yoga pants and a sport fleece over my running shirt. After the first half mile or mile I got past the frigid stage, but I never did really warm up.

Meg and I ran only 4 miles. I was okay with that. It was cold and we're not training for anything. It was a fun little run. I'm glad we went in the cold; I'm glad I can now say that I've done that. It was also nice to see everyone both Friday night (team dinner) and yesterday morning. After our short long-run we sat and cheered for the others, who were running 20 miles. I'm really glad we went.

Until yesterday, it had been quite some time since I had run in cotton (my pants were cotton). Even though we didn't run very far and certainly weren't sweating like we would on an 80 degree morning, I was struck by how much my sweat hung in my clothing. It was a great reminder why, as a runner, I love technical fabrics. It might be time to get winter running gear!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Running in early fall

I LOVE running in the fall. I love those evenings when it would be just a bit cool to eat dinner on the patio without a light jacket, but running is perfectly comfortable. Yesterday was one of those days. The high was 70; it had cooled into the 60s by the time I went for my run. The sun was moving toward the horizon, casting long shadows. I had to laugh at my shadow at one point. The shadow of my legs stretched out for about 5 feet on the pavement while the shadow of my torso was only a foot or so.

I did a 30 minute run around a neighboring subdivision. Some dogs were out (behind fences or tied up, thankfully). Several families were out, playing, working on the garage, watering lawns, or just hanging out. The run itself was easy and fun. All around, it was nothing less than beautiful. I'm so thankful for these fall days, enjoyable to the last drop of sunlight.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

First neighborhood run in a while

On Monday I went on a long overdue run around my neighborhood. It had been some time since I had done this circuit--so long that I'd begun to forget how pleasant it can be. It was a simple 30 minute run. Nothing fancy. Perfect weather. Not even any music. Just me. And it was perfect.

I'm quickly realizing that I need to rename this blog and find some new direction for it. Perhaps I'll turn it into a blog on finding motivation to exercise when there is no finish line to work for. More on this later.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

New questions and new pictures

I see that it's been a while since I added a new post. It's true that I've not been on a regular running schedule since my race. It's also true that I haven't been quite as lazy as the lack of posts would lead one to believe. Last weekend I was out of town (I went to Penn State for the season opener, had a great time). I got back on Monday night. Tuesday I did yoga. Thursday (I think) I walked with Marla. Saturday (yesterday) I ran. Which leads me to the "new questions" part of this post.

Yesterday I ran 3 miles on a treadmill. Last night I got a headache. This reminded me that almost every time I run on a treadmill (it had been a while) I get a headache that evening, but I never get them when I run without a treadmill. Can anyone explain this? It's really annoying and I'd love to avoid it, but I've never come up with a solution. It isn't a hydration problem. Pain killers seem to help only marginally once the headache starts, but do help to keep it at bay if I take preemptive Tylenol. Any help would be appreciated!

On to the "new pictures" part of the post. As I mentioned, last weekend I was back east to visit Penn State. While I was there I also visited my parents. My mom had had her film from the race developed and so gave me a CD of her pictures. Here are some of the better ones.

(left) This is a picture of all of the Team in Training participants for the Chicago Distance Classic. We took this picture right after the Pasta Party the night before the race. Meg and I are in the middle in the back, unfortunately looking the other way.

In the photo to the right Meg is just visible. She's on the right-most while traffic line, wearing the TNT purple top. I'm behind her and am not visible in the picture.
To the left, Meg and I are just about to cross the finish line! Our time on the clock reads 2 hours 15 minutes 25 seconds. Since we didn't cross the start line right at the gun, the finish line clock was a few minutes ahead of us. Our time was 2 hours 12 minutes 0 seconds.

To the right, we're crossing the second mat, right after the finish line. It wasn't totally clear to me which mat was the finish line. Meg is to my left. What a sweet moment! We had finally done it! We had finished our race!

(Left) After crossing the finish line, Meg and I celebrated with a hug. I was so happy in that moment. I was glad my parents were there to capture the moment.

(Right) After our hug, we waved to my parents then headed on through the finishers' area. The finishers' area included sweat towels that had been soaked in ice water, bagels (which I couldn't even look at), and finishers' medals. Once we got through that, we started the walk back to the TNT Victory Tent.

Back at the tent TNT had set up quite the spread! I didn't feel up to eating just yet, but others enjoyed a breakfast. Someone, I don't know who, took this picture of Brett and Meg.

I don't anticipate more pictures, but should any surface I will be sure to post them.