Thursday, February 21, 2013


I've been meaning to blog for some time now, but you know what's weird about "rest" weeks?  They seem to be busier than non-rest weeks.

This past Sunday ended week 3 of 3 hard weeks.  And I mean hard weeks.  Imagine this:

Long hard bike Sunday (3+ hours), bike workout Monday, swim and run workout Tuesday, bike workout Wednesday, swim and run workout Thursday, easy run and swim Friday, long with fartlek/tempo run Saturday.  Oh and two days of strength and core thrown in there somewhere.

I am a "Run Lead" at the Vernon Hills LifeTime Fitness every Thursday night.  Last Thursday, two of my favorite run club members had to ask me if I was okay because I looked so out of it!

This is, by far, the most intense training I have ever done.  Even when I was running injury free at a D1 college, I don't think I became nearly as exhausted as I do with this program.  That being said, Ryan and I fully took advantage of this rest week.

We stopped being super anal about our calorie intake and even allowed ourselves TWO splurge days (one was for my dad's can't just go to Piece Pizza in Chicago and stare at the giant pizzas).

Oh, and on top of all of this.....OUR RACE SOLD OUT!

Yep, that's right. The 2013 Egg Shell Shuffle 1/2 marathon and 5k is SOLD OUT, folks. We sold out last year, but only 4 days before the race.  This year, we sold out SIX WEEKS in advance...and Easter comes even earlier this year!  Ryan and I seriously could not believe it and are so unbelievably thankful for our wonderful friends and family who have spread the word about our race and helped it grow to what it is now.

As only a third year race, we didn't anticipate so many "can I still register?" questions.  Granted, I have personally been one of those people that email the race director, but for some reason we didn't expect so many people still wanting to get in the race!

SO, we are super excited to announce that we are going to open 20 "Charity Slots."  Basically, runners who still want to run the race will pay $100 for entry into either race.  100% of this $100 will go directly toward JDRF (our charity we benefit).  If all 20 slots sell, we have just raised $2,000 for JDRF.  Seriously, how great of a feeling would that be?

In any case, we are extremely thankful for all of the support we have received from friends, family and strangers in putting on this race.  Can't wait to see everyone come race day!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The NEW Date Night.

Remember when date nights consisted of going out to eat and to a movie?  Or even just going out to eat?  Maybe just going out for some ice cream?

Well, that's not what my Friday night date night consists of anymore.

The NEW date nights Ryan and I have consist of swimming together at LifeTime.  Yep, we spent a lovely hour and a half together full of pain in the pool.

Don't worry, not only did we then hang out in the hot tub, but we also went out for salads.

This probably does not sound like much of a date night to, well, 90% of the population.  But honestly, it was probably one of our more enjoyable date nights we have had in awhile.

Neither one of us particularly enjoys swimming, so to be encouraging each other to finish each set strong was something nice to have.  You see, swimming isn't like running (or even biking) where you can shout words of encouragement at each other.  Swimming is a "silent" sport seeing as we can't very well shout when we are holding our breath under water!

Instead, we'd use eye contact and hand gestures.  As silly as it sounds, every time I received a "thumbs up" or eye contact was made with Ryan, I felt the urge to push harder.  Whether I ended up going faster is debatable as I have no idea what speed I'm swimming at unless I look at the clock, and a lot of the work we are doing is more for technique than anything (so not necessarily timed).

After we finished our sets (me 3250m, Ryan 4600m), we hung out in the hot tub before showering and heading over to Diced Fresh, a create-your-own (or choose from "favorites") salad and wrap place.

However, before we made it there.....I had parked 5 cars down from Ryan in the LifeTime parking lot as I arrived later and it was the closest spot to the entrance.  After I said, "See you soon, love ya" (something like that) to Ryan, I approached my car.  I thought I heard someone say hi from the car that just pulled in, but was in a hurry because I was hungry.  Next thing I hear, "Hey, how's it going?"... "um, good, thanks, how are you?"..."good, whatcha up to?"...."uh, I just finished working out"...."yeah, I kinda figured that since you're coming out of a gym"...."haha, right"...."so what are YOU doing the rest of the night, would you wanna go out?"...."I'm heading to dinner, actually, but thanks, have a good night!"....about five seconds later, the guy lights up a cigarette.  In front of a workout facility.  Can't even make this stuff up.

So I guess I DID have the option of having a real date night Friday night.  I'm thinking my going-out-for-salads-and-home-to-watch-tv probably worked out better for me than if I had gone out with my cigarette smoking friend from the parking lot.

Moral to the story:  this training to qualify for Kona stuff sure requires a LOT of dedication.  But, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Training recap:
This week was brutal.  Basically, Coach Bill has us beating ourselves up for three weeks, then we get a "rest" week.  And it starts over again.

Sunday I had to do my long run as last Saturday we biked with Bill and the group (my long runs are usually Saturday)...this one ended up being on the treadmill as our furnace broke on Saturday night, leaving our house at a lovely 48 degrees.  Since the furnace guy was coming between 8-11am, I didn't have an option to run outside, which was okay because our heat got fixed!

Monday and Wednesday both consisted of my normal hard bike workouts.  Bill and Ryan pumped my watts up, which made these days TOUGH, but luckily I had my guilty pleasure, The Bachelor, on to help me focus better.

Tuesday and Thursday were run workouts:  hills on Tuesday, 400s on Thursday.  Oh and the 400s?  Yeah they were after swimming the furthest I ever have in my life, 3800.  MORE THAN 2 miles of swimming.  And then, hey, let's go run some super fast 400s and see how that works out.  Fortunately, it did workout and I felt helped that I kept getting ESPN phone updates on how Illinois was doing (in basketball) against #1 Indiana.  My 10th of 10 400s occurred as I received the score update: Illinois 74, Indiana 72.  You bet that last 400 rocked.


Friday was an early morning run followed by our date night swim, which brings me to...

Saturday (today).  This was awesome.  Probably 30 of us Dick Pond Fast Track runners met at Barrington High School at 7:30am.  I had on my schedule to do either a progressive 45min tempo or 3x10min at MarathonPace.  Well, my legs were a little tired (can't imagine why...) and my options were to do those segments solo or run a 7:15pace with the rest of the group.

Definitely chose to run with the group.  And let me tell you, it was one of the BEST long runs I've had in awhile.  The people on this team are just so full of energy and encouragement that it is unreal.  Those 16miles flew by and I couldn't believe that we ran so quickly because it felt effortless (after I got over the first two miles feeling awful).

I am SO incredibly thankful for my teammates for the company and entertainment on today's run.  You guys are seriously the best and I cannot wait to run with you in my neck of the woods in a few weeks:)

SO, if anyone wants to crash a date night...Ryan and I will be swimming next Friday night.  We might even take you out for a salad after!