50 Down and Marathon Bound

2009: got hope!

My Profile

  • Name: B-Kay
  • City: Chicago
  • Region: Illinois
  • Country: United States

My Weight Loss

Height: 167.6cm
Start weight: 206.00lb
Current weight: 177.40lb
Goal weight: 140.00lb
Lost to date: 28.60lb
Remaining: 37.40lb

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Before After

Indy Mini Marathon Race Report

So after a maddening week of deadlines at work, skipped lunches (a phrase rarely uttered out of my mouth), multiple 4-hour sleep nights, one stinkin training run, an uncooperative right calf muscle, and 150 cookies later….there we were at the start line. Me, Lou and Megan…and Lou’s practically identical little sister who just ran a half marathon last weekend (official bad@$$ in the bunch), and Annah, although she elected to start in her Corral N, and not my Corral T. Corral T? For real?! And when I can figure out how to upload pictures from my cell phone, I will insert a few pics from the start line.

Dinner at Iaria’s Italian Restaurant. Reservation screwed up. Ate outside, under tent, but rainy and 50 degrees. No biggie, I guess. Food? Decent. I'd go there again, it definitely served its purpose.

Pre-race Night:
Hampton Inn. Nice, but small room. Shared room with Annah and Meg. Falling asleep, I noticed myself already started to talk and mumble. Tried to stay awake until I heard the other ladies sleeping. Sorry, Annah and Meg for any disturbances, sleep-talking, gastrointestinal or otherwise.

Race Morning:
Pulling up my 3-year old running pants, ripped a hole right in the crotch, which called for BodyGlide galore, either that or some very unfortunate chafing later on. Slathered—lathered it on.

Start Line:
The start line was crowded. For some weird reason, I guess race organizers thought it would be festive and jovial to toss around beach balls of all different sizes. Yeah, well NOT! I hate beach balls when they’re anywhere but at the beach, and even then I'm suspicious. The whole “jarring my peripheral vision” thing with the beach ball headed towards my face is just not cool, makes me jumpy, so any ball that landed near me “mysteriously” lost its air. Call me a party pooper, but beach balls have nothing to do with running, racing or Indianapolis. (Rant over.)

Anyway, it took us 33 minutes to reach the front of the start line, but I don’t think any of us were really nervous since we all knew we could do 13.1 miles. Nervous? No. Bladders beginning to fill up from the long wait? Yes.

Miles 1 through 3:
Boo-ya! (and now this is where my report may veer wildly from Lou’s as this is just my take) The three of us, because Sarah left us in a cloud of dust like one second in…the three of us were like a machine…like back in the old days of 2007, moving in tandem. Uh, well whatever that would be for three people moving together flawlessly. Ducking and dodging the thousands of walkers that SOMEHOW MADE IT AHEAD OF CORRAL T WHICH IS A TOTAL CROCK. (Now mind you , I'm all about the slow runner/walker, but you really should pay attention to your Start Corral, no?) But anyway, ducked and dodged and veered, we did it together, and at a decent clip, right around 11:30’s, I would say.

Meg informed us to go ahead, though, at the first sign of port-o-potty, she said she had to break from the pack, but for us to keep going. So we did. Me and Lou…doing our thing, duck, dodge, but on point. Aaah, like the old days. (At least to me.) Then a little after mile 3, Lou made a port-o-potty break for it, also. On my own….busted out the iPod, although it had been in my ears the whole time, just not on. Ok, just not on very loud.

Miles 3 through 6:
Perfect, still on point. At the 100+ water stations (and I’m not complaining, I swear I’m not), I hydrated. Oh yes! I forgot to mention that I made the executive decision (for myself) to NOT wear my fuel belt, since there were so many water/Gatorade stations on the route. I carried my Gu in my coat pocket, which ended up being wrapped around my waist even before crossing the start line. Anyhoo….So at each station I took just a bit of water and Gatorade. Mile 6: 1 hour and 12 minutes and a few seconds, TOTALLY on pace! I only fell victim to the super-long starting line process by fiending for a Gu ata round 3.5 miles Go figure?

Miles 6 through 8ish:
The longest 2+ miles of my life! So we entered the Indy 500 racetrack, you go in and there’s this huge downhill slope, followed by a slightly less huge incline and voila, you’re on the race track. Then I swear to you like all of the sudden, the sun came out from the clouds and said “hahahahahaha, I AM going to come out today, and you only have another half of the race to complete, ah-HAAAAAAA!” and it suddenly felt kinda hot out there. And I suddenly felt equally as foolish for pondering the rain/slightly cold weather gear.

So we (me and 35,000 other runners) are going around the track and I’m trying to put some pep in my step, imagining that at any moment there would be a car racing towards my backside. Didn’t work. I walked a few times on the track, but always maintaining some dignity with that whole “pick a point up ahead and start running again right there” thing. Then Meg came along, catching up to me…and we were together all of about 30 seconds before I shooed her along, because I knew I needed to walk again.

Around 8 miles I decided it was time for another Gu. (I generally go every 4 miles anyway, bidding on the low end of the Gu package instructions where it says “every 45 to 60 minutes of extended exercise.” Around that time I glanced up at the jumbo-tron screen and was watching the race footage. Somewhere on the track, some chick had fallen, and she was screaming and writhing in agony. Her friend tried to help her get up, and she fell back to the ground screaming. Then the camera abruptly changed scenes. Jarring! Never saw that scene again as I moved on. (And if I can figure out how to upload pictures from my cell phone camera, I will show you a cool picture from the racetrack!)

Miles 10 through 12:
During this time, I pretty much walked through EVERY water/Gatorade station. And there were lots of them, too. I kept hoping to get my running mojo back. My “middle miles” tend to be bad, but I’ve had many runs where I struggle thru miles 5 and 8, and then suddenly run “on air.” Not this time.

Miles 12 through 13.1:
Self talk: “Okay! Get it together! You’re going to slow down and run the remainder of the race, no walking!” But somehow that talk didn’t make it to my legs, or in particular, my right calf. Because when I saw that ¾ mile sign (you have ¾ of a mile left to go), I don’t know…my heart sank even at the same time that I was surprised to be that close to the finish. (And why I was surprised, I don’t know, since I did have my Garmin on.) I walked a little more, then ran. ½ mile. THE AGONY. “WON’T THIS STUPID RACE JUST END ALREADY?!?!?!” Feeling anxious and short of breath. “Calm down, you idiot, before you give yourself an asthma attack!” ¼ mile. “Ok, no more than 3 minutes and you will be DONE!” And finally, the finish line. DONE. And not happy about it, but glad I finished. 2:49:14.

Stats: 12:56 pace, blech! DOUBLE BLECH! Self talk “You are going backwards!”
Garmin: 13.24 miles (lots of weaving around those walkers, I guess.)
Chafing: NONE! Well at least there's some sort of victory! Hooray!
Overall: 5th half marathon. Two better times, two worse times. So mediocre at best.
The others: Annah 2:04ish; Sarah 2:13-ish; Megan & Lou 2:37-ish (RIGHT ON PACE!) and special shout out to Meg's first long run since the 2007 marathon debacle, knee surgery and some heart-health issues. If you know her, send her an email with a big WOO-HOO!

I said I wasn’t going to worry about my time given my barely adequate training and my calf hurting for like the last month, but I guess I lied, because I’m not too pleased with that time. Oh well. I shall live to run another day, and another race. And that’s the truth, Ruth! (say that in your best Samuel Jackson voice from Do The Right Thing! Ya Dig? Sho Nuff!) ok, enough with the reverence to Spike Lee.


Let the Marathon Training COMMENCE!

Email on 4/23/09 at 10:52am:
Registration Has Closed for the 2009 Bank of America Chicago MarathonOpen Registration for the 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon closed today when it reached its capacity. If you would still like to take part in the 2009 event, entries can be obtained through our affiliated charities and international tour groups. For more information on these registration options, visit chicagomarathon.com.

Celebrate the Excitement with 45,000 Runners
Thank you to all those who have registered for the 2009 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Although registration is closed, everyone is encouraged to be a part of the 2009 event, whether as a runner, volunteer or spectator. The Chicago Marathon is world-renowned for its dedicated volunteers, enthusiastic spectator support along the 26.2-mile course, and the best Health & Fitness Expo in the industry.
Down at the Marathon Office I'm imagining a scene of confetti, balloons dropping from the ceiling, corks popping, and a whole lot of hooting and hollering...er, I suppose it's not all that dramatic, but I should think it calls for a 2-hour lunch or something.

A Run with a View: Why I like (running in) Chicago!

If you can't read this entry, go here.

Week in Review: 4/13 - 4/19/09

Running: 3 miles' 3 miles; 11 miles (more on the long run in my next post)
Strength Training: 2 lower body; 1 lower body
Cross Training: 1 time on the elliptical

Another "roll with the punches" kind of week. Tuesday night I had a meeting for work that kept me out until about 10:30, and I still managed to make it up at 4:40 the next morning to go to the gym. Had to, b/c hubby was heading out of town Wednesday and wouldn't be back til late Thursday night, so no gym opportunity Thursday morning.

I skipped Friday morning, hit the snooze and slept in another hour and 45 minutes. But it wasn't as simple as that. Hubby didn't get home until real late Thursday. The girls and I did as we usually do when he's out of town, and slept on the pull-out in the living room. Well the thought of one of them waking up and me being gone, them not knowing he came home, it was just too much. They wouldn't even know to check upstairs, and I really just didn't want them to have to deal with that...so I just didn't go. And you know what? The extra sleep and extra rest for my calf did my body good.

The next two weeks approaching the Indy Mini (Half) Marathon are going to be very busy at work, so I'm not sure how my workouts might change. Here's what I'm aiming for this coming week:

Runs: 3 miles; 3 miles, 2 miles; 8 miles
Strength: 2 upper; 2 lower
Cross Training: 1 elliptical

And the following week, the week before the race (and two major project deadlines at work):

Runs: 3 miles; 3 miles; 13.1 Miles (race!)
Strength: 2 lower, 2 upper (with only 2 sets instead of 3 sets)
Cross Training: 0

So that's what's up with me!

Oh, the irony...

So on a day when running a mere 3 miles on the treadmill had me stopping to stretch twice, question my ability to finish, argue with myself that 1) it would be ok to just do two miles, but 2) you are already here, just do the 3 miles, or 3) maybe you are going to make your calf worse by trying to run the stupid 3 miles, is that number really all that important?


I went ahead and registered for the Chicago Endurance Sports marathon training program. The one I trained with in 2007. My girl Lou is actually gonna be a pace leader for 12:00'ers like ourselves. A friend from work is already registered to traing up to the halfway point, and she also plans to run a 12:00.

But yeah, i had "one of those runs" that just humbles you and reminds you that every run has the potential to be a challenge all by itself, in one way or another. And to think I have to run 11 miles on Saturday. Yikes.

p.s. By the way, the sun came out this afternoon. I came outside and was all like "Wait. Something's different. It's not dark and damp and dreary and misty and foggy and cold and non-springlike for a second." GASP. "It's the sun. The SUN!"


It's been a tough week. I mapped out a plan to run 3 times midweek, run my long run of 9 miles on Saturday, all while hitting the weights again with two upper and two lower body workouts, and up my elliptical days from one to two. All this, and a HUGE project deadline at work on Wednesday. I knew Wednesday might get funny, so I gave myself permission to slack a bit on the elliptical stuff if necessary.

Well Tuesday night turned out to be an all-nighter for me. Ok, not technically since I did manage to grab a little bit of sleep from 5:30am to 6:50am. (You're thinking I should have gone to the gym then, aren't you? Kidding.) I have been tired ever since. I even downed a bottle of that 5-hour energy stuff they sell on the counters of 7-11's round' the world. I took it at 4pm, in fear of falling asleep while going to get the girls, or having a hellish evening of preparing dinner while my face was plastered to the couch. So that bottle of 5 hours netted me about 3.5, and I'm not complaining! I even played Sudoku in that time span, so consider that my rave review for the stuff--when absolutely necessary.

Anyhoo, then my mom called and asked if I was coming to their church's annual Easter Egg Hunt for kids (read: you bad parent, you, for not having planned any Easter festivities, purchased Easter dresses, committed to any egg-decorating EVER IN THEIR LIVES). In order to get there in time on Saturday morning, I would have to leave early enough that would prohibit my 9 mile run...unless I want to take the girls in their pajamas, and that's never a good look. Long story short, I ran it today.

So here's my rundown as to why I am so rundown:
Monday & Tuesday: 3 mile runs both days, felt great, swopping upper body and lower body workouts. On Tuesday's run, I did some ol Biggest Loser type stuff and really hit it hard in the last few minutes. Body check: what's that? Is that my right calf hurting a bit?

Wednesday: Nada (well, not working out, at least.) I was so busy at work all I had time for was a small bag of beef jerky (that I bought when I bought the 5-hour energy shot). It was tasty. Got home and ate my face off. Yelled at hubby when he told me to get off the couch and go to bed. Went to bed, but not before setting my phone alarm for 4:45. Make that 4:40, I might need an extra 5 minutes.

Thursday: After waking up at 5am, I still went to the gym. Thinking about maybe running Friday instead of Saturday, I did just 2 miles on the treadmill and FORCED MYSELF TO GO SLOW. I also did a workout of both upper and lower body in one day, which I absolutely hate doing...and not for any other reason other than I just don't like being around weights and beefcakes for too long. Body check: I think my calf hurts still. Hmm.

Friday: Let's do it! Take the morning off. Go run that 9 miles! I even got my sweet beloved Garmin working again. (AND FORGOT IT!) So I'm heading up Lakeshore Drive (honestly people, is it Lakeshore Drive, or Lake Shore Drive? I've seen it both ways.) And I notice the wind whipping up the waves something fierce and decide on a "NO" for the concrete monster, that's what I call the area near Oak Street Beach. It's a beast in the summer when the morning sun comes up over the horizon and slaps you on your face with no shade to be found. (There it is on the left, only this picture is obviously during warmer times. Those people off in the distance on the right? Well that was all water today.) While driving, I also pinpointed the area of the S-curve's latest victim that I read about yesterday. I wonder how many lightpoles along LSD have taken people out.
Anyhoo, so I park just north of the History Museum on Clark. At a meter. Gatorade? Check! Gu? Check! And I get out of the car and WHOOOOOOOSH! The wind hits me and I'm frozen immediately. As I walk over to the Ben Franklin statue in an effort to conjure up the good vibes of the 2007 training season with CES (and that's where we used to meet), I was coming up with all kinds of excuses...you don't even have your Garmin (b.s. there are half mile markers up and down the lakefront. In theory.)...you saw the forecast, it might be warmer on Sunday morning. (b.s. you're already HERE.)

So I just started running. Into the wind. And it sucked. I was so slow, although I don't exactly know how slow, because I looked at my cell phone at the beginning and at the end of my run to gauge some sort of time. I was cold, my hands were cold, my stomach...MY STOMACH was numb from the cold wind. I stopped to stretch like three times, my right calf telling me "You'll be sorry you did this!" But I made it to my turnaround point, took a Gu, and then everything became effortless. I don't know if it was due to less wind or the Gu, but I was in the zone. And then I finished. One hour and 54 minutes later. Crappy pace of 12:40, but now I only have one more long run before the Indy Mini Marathon.

I realize that my training for this race is less than ideal, but I'm glad that I've been able to make these "make or break" runs, regardless. It probably won't be fun, and I certainly have run other races more prepared, but at least I'm covering the distance, one way or another.

My calf has been hurting all day now, but sitting at my desk at work probably isn't much help, either. Extra stretching all weekend, and no working out AT ALL.

Week Totals:

Mileage: 17 miles, 4 runs

Strength: 2 upper, 2 lower

Elliptical (Cross training): 0

So about this upcoming race...The Indy Mini Marathon (half marathon)

This article is from the Indi Mini April Newsletter, with some of my very own editorial comments:

A Look inside the making of the nation’s largest half marathon….

The Course…
The OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon course isn’t just pavement, its history in the making…you will be joining the hundreds of thousands that have taken on the nation's largest half marathon throughout the years. (Editorial Note: Woo Hoo!)

So you want to know about the course?
*The course runs from downtown Indianapolis through historic neighborhoods, around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway® and back downtown.

*Over 100 entertainment groups will be lined throughout the course providing music, dancing and much more to keep you running!

*Inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway® you will not only be able to see the live telecast on the big screens, but have spirit squads cheering you around the world famous 2.5 mile oval, which is starting its Centennial Era Celebration this year. The first official celebration of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s ® Centennial Era will be the same event that started it all 100 years ago – a balloon race. (Editorial Note: YAWN.) The Indianapolis Motor Speedway® Centennial Era Balloon Festival, presented by AT&T Real Yellow Pages will kick off Friday, May 1 – Sunday, May 3. As 35,000 runners in the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon enter the Indianapolis Motor Speedway ® to race around the famed oval track, more than 50 balloons will ascend from the infield for the first of two balloon race competitions. The colorful balloons will fill the skies of Indianapolis, creating a beautiful backdrop for the beginning of the Month of May festivities. (Editorial Note: ZZZZzzzzzzzz.)

*Splits: watch for your times at Mile 5 & Mile 10 (Editorial Note: WHAT?! That's it?)

*You wont get thirsty as there are eighteen water & Gatorade Endurance pit stations along the course (Editorial Question...and not one that's rhetorical: Do I trust this and leave my own gatorade at home?)

*Apprehensive about aches, pains, and injuries during the race? No worries, the St. Francis Medical Tents at the start line and other medical tents at each Pit Station will get them taken care of!

What’s new?
The 500 Festival 50th Anniversary Legacy Art sculpture located in beautiful White River State Park’s Celebration Plaza. Look to your right for this colorful inspiration as you leave the start line!

The Week That Was

AWESOME WEEK! I bounced back from a terrible Shamrock Shuffle and living on the fringe of lethargicness for quite some time now. So here is my weekly wrap up:

-Up at 4:45, out the door at 5am, at the gym by 5:15!
-Ran 3 miles on the treadmill at the gym. They have some NICE treadmills!
-Lower body weight training. I like the idea of splitting up lower/upper body, because then I have more time to add extra machines in that I might not have time for if trying to fit it all in during one session.

-same up-and-at-em moves
-Ran 3 miles on the treddy again. 2 days in a row?! Wow, that hasn't happened in a long time!
-Upper body weight training. HATE IT, my arms are weak. WEAK.

-up nice-n-early again, this time waking up before my friendly alarm
-Elliptical for some cross training of sorts. A nice change of pace.
-Lower body weights. LOVE IT. My legs are very strong, and I always feel like Superwoman when I get done. I plan on no knee injuries like last year, or at least due to a lac of strength training.

-2 miles easy breezy
-Upper body weights. Chest and arms still sore from Wednesday.

-7 miles! This is my farthest distance this season, HOORAY. I was very nervous, and my poor sweet Garmin was not working, so I had to gauge time by my cell phone. My finish time of 1:26 puts me just over pace at 12:18. That finish time doesn't include the 5-minute coughing fit I had when pausing for some Gatorade. UGH!

Anyway, I'm just happy I met every goal this week. I hope to string many similar weeks together like this and achieve some good results come the end of the summer. WOO HOO!!!

Well I'm tired, sorry my writing isn't any more entertaining.

Shamrock Shuffle 2009 Race Report: Subtitled "Dude, you suck!"

Ok, i don't know what miracle I expected to happen when I hadn't run in over a week, hoping to rid myself of all phlegm before running again. Probably a bad idea, in hindsight. Then beginning Wednesday I kept hearing about snow and/or freezing rain headed our way for the weekend. 

Cutting to the chase, it was a snowy, slushy mess. My feet were soaked even before arriving to the start line. I actually got to see the elite runners start because we were kinda late in getting there (due to craptacular driving conditions.) I never caught up with Lou b/c I barely made it to the second wave of runners (read: slower) start on time. Afterwards, all I wanted was warmth. No phone calls.

During the race, I felt like crap and walked a minute or two at each mile marker sign. I thought it was my worst 8K time ever...but not quite so, since I had one that was even 14 seconds slower in 2006. (I guess we can call that "the bright side.")  And just think, last year's Shamrock Shuffle I completed it in my best time ever--faster by 9 minutes and 16 seconds! Sheesh!

Oh well. Nowhere to go but up. I shall live to run another day.

Thanks for listening to me complain.

Registration for the 2009 Chicago Marathon opened yesterday...

...and I registered.  Yesterday.  Yay for Lindy!