Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winter running and baby Lucy!

Getting back on it after some whirlwind days caused by the arrival of Lucille Jean!

Yes, it's been very exciting and fascinating to watch her already change a little day by day.

I ran Sunday and again this morning. It's snowy out which makes the lake front path very pretty which takes off some of the misery of running in the cold. Only in the low 30's though so no big deal with the cold. I think the winter plan is to just let my body dictate the run. As long as I keep lacing 'em up 3-4 times a week and getting out there I'll be ready (and lighter?) to train when spring comes.

Lucy has a very nice running stroller so there should be some very fun runs in the spring with Lucy and coach Leah. Wheeeeee!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Stop coughing and run. . .

So I did. Always look forward to my Sunday run. Sometimes it's dissapointing (like last Sunday) but for some reason I always look forward to it. Strange. I'm not working and all my days are similar but the Sunday run still feels different.

View belmont north loop in a larger map

Today I tried to really warm up and stretch before running. I jogged about some, stretched my right instep a LOT, ran again, stretched again. This felt pretty good. I then ran 2 miles when I started to feel my right instep tighten up. So I stopped by the statue of Ben Franklin and stretched that instep again. A LOT. Then I ran another mile and change and thus pushed the stick a little for TOTAL run eventhough I stopped for a bit at the 2 mile mark. The rest of the 4 mile loop I interchanged walking with short sprints. Feels fun to really run FAST (for me) just to really get everything working.

Beautiful day for it too. 30 degees and sunny. There's ICE on the pond in the park! Yikes!

By the way, just as reported in the Trib today, there are some weird things in Googlemaps. Check out Fullerton St.. . . what? Dundee Rd? Ha!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

two miler

OK, it's two miler Tuesday! Ran north to the mile mark and back. No problem. A little stiffness in the right instep again but not enough to slow me (which would be stop). Need another 2 on Thursday, and short run/walk on Saturday and Sunday I think it will be time to move the stick! 4 miles? 5???????

We'll see.

OK, laundry time!

sunday run

HEY, a good run! I ran a 3 mile course that I laid out on google maps.

View andrea 3 mile run in a larger map

Strangely, and yet not for the first time, I had the experience of feeling pretty crappy for the first 2 miles and then my breathing finally settled down and the last mile was easier than either of the first two. It seems like it takes forever for my body to settle into the run. Coach Leah says this is not unusual and she often had rottten first 2 miles on long runs of 15 or more. I have to run at LEAST 2 miles this coming week on my tuesday, thursday runs and then do another 3 or more on Sunday. It's really time to up the miles!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday run

OK, An easy mile and a walk/run back. Ran north past the tennis courts to the mile mark from Belmont Harbor. A little stiffness in my right instep again so I didn't press. Want to do a good 3 on Sunday.

On the way back I watched a mom teaching a very small little boy how to hit the tennis ball. She bounced the ball and then swung his racket by holding his hand which held the racket so he'd get the idea. After several of these he took the ball himself. Walked up to the net and dropped it over from his hand.

I mean really, if you want to deposit tennis balls in the other court this probably is the most sensible way! Another Agassi?

This is the very BEST Chicago running weather. Wish I was going farther (further?) but so it goes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

some title...

Haven't written in awhile. Running has sort of plateaued for now. I get out there 2-3 times a week and wheeze through a couple of miles. I need a goal. Coach Leah has some good ideas for short and long term goals which will require and actual training schedule. I'm looking forward to that!

As to today's run it was ok. I ran north to the end of Belmont Harbor and then just followed it around back south. You then come to the opening to the harbor and have to turn around. . . or swim. I turned around.

Some of the gaps in my running have been caused by dealing with elder Welty in Florida. That has been a very mentally diverting endeavour. For me, there's no way a son can look at his 93 year old dad and not wonder. . . what's in store for me? What do I do now to avert whatever.

At one point my dad said, "Where's everbody running too? What's with all the running?" On one hand he may be right. You're going to get there soon enough. What's the rush! On the other hand I feel like saying (but never would) that I'm running at 59 so that I'm walking at 93. Of course getting there is the first trick!

So, running out of time? Sure, we all are if you want to look at it that way. But what a beautiful day it was today. And today, nothing broke and nobody died *

* The official toast on Enee Marie after a safe passage

Monday, October 19, 2009

Still at it!

Yes, still at it but I've fallen off of any kind of regular schedule. I need that AND I think I need a better goal . . . like maybe a 5k soon. Soon ish. . .

Coach Leah helped me buy some awesome running gear for the cooler Chicago weather. Nice and light but WARM.

So, I got a little busy for a bit and ignored my running and now I'm going to be on a better schedule. I'm going to run Tues, Thursday, Friday or Saturday with a short one, and long run on Sunday. I have a 5 mile course for Sunday and have the goal of completing the whole thing. I really like the route which actually helps a little I think. From Belmont to the chess tables at North Ave. on the outside, lake path and then return by taking the foot bridge to the inside path back to Belmont. I've run all the way to the chess tables and now I have to start bring the stick home!

Nice run/walk yesterday on that very route. When I was just starting at Belmont harbor there was a red hulled sailboat with it's mast down chugging out through the channel. I ran about a mile, walked a bit, ran some more, walked, and ran to the chess tables. Great view of the city there and look who's coming around the bend? The red sailboat! Man oh man, sailboats ARE slow if they can't beat me!

At the chess tables a couple started talking to me. They wanted to know all about the lake. They were from southern California. . . where ever THAT is. Anyway as happens often for people who have not seen our lake before they are surprised that they can't see across it. The word 'lake' produces a certain image in people's minds that doesn't include a 350 mile long, 85 mile across inland sea!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Another 2 Too.

Got my 2 miles in 2 day. Looks like I missed a day this week but don't think that will ruin anything for my Sunday 3. We move in2 our new quarters 2day on Sheridan Road just south of Belmont. This puts me 1 block from the path! Looking forward 2 that but want 2 stick with my walking warm up before running.

No pain again 2day and ran north and found the sticker for the 1 mile mark right where coach Leah 2ld me it was. Another GREAT weather day in Chicago. Can't get enough of this!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Problem Solved?

Yeah! After a few crappy runs in a row (don't think about the phrase 'crappy runs') I walked/ran to the lakefront on Sunday and then stretched for about 5 minutes. I especially tried to stretch my calves and insteps as that was what was tightening up on me. I put the thought in my head that the Sunday run was for me to run 3 miles NO MATTER WHAT. I'd have to fall puking on the ground to stop.

I ran 3 miles.

I didn't fall nor puke.


And NO PAIN. I think going out the door and basically hitting it with no leg warm up was the mistake. Now today I did the same but ran about 2 miles instead of 3 as is the during-the-week plan. I say about 2 because I ran north instead of south from Belmont. I ran as far as the tennis courts but had yet to see any mileage sign. So I turned around there and ran back. Come to think of it that means I only ran to Addison which is only a half mile from Belmont. Ooops! I'll go the whole 2 tomorrow. Felt good though and fun to run with the Dad Run play-lists that my coach put together for me.

Thoughts While Running. . .

Coach sent me a link to the original broadcasts from 9/11 from all over the world. Takes you back and still hard to look at. I just about can't remember what air travel was like before that day. At the time I remember we were all waiting for the next attack. The Golden Gate bridge? White House? Wrigley Field! And then nothing happened. Did nothing happen because we slammed the door after the horse got away or did these fundamentalist idiots fire all of their bullets in one day. I tend to think the later but of course you can never go backwards. Maybe some new technology will come along so that we don't have to take off our shoes and run our luggage through the x-ray machine (or how about NO carry-ons!) but we'll have to inspect passengers as they board from now far, far off into the future.

So, are we safer now than we were before 9/11? Well, obviously we weren't safe at all before 9/11. Certainly it is going to be nearly impossible for an idiot to drive a plane into a building again. But are we fundamentally safer? America is still so big and so open. You can go onto any bus or subway with no inspection. You can drive cars and trucks all over the damn place. How are we safe from any of those possible avenues of attack? I think the fact that we really are not coupled with the fact that nothing has happened since 9/11 supports the idea that we might BE safer or as safe as we were before 9/11. Except. . .

We had the WHOLE WORLD on our side after 9/11 except for some creeps living in caves in Afghanistan. We had the support and therefore the chance of a lifetime to build some real coalitions to make the whole world safer from idiots. Right. And what did we do? We invaded Iraq which provably had NOTHING to do with 9/11 and thereby got the whole world to hate us again many times over. Nice going. A chance gone by.

Living in the islands as we have for the last 4 years the common question to us from people from other countries really boils down to this: What the hell is America doing? What's wrong with you people?

I don't know. We're just crazy that way I guess. What we've learned maybe is that if you drive planes into our buildings SOMEONE is going to pay big time. Doesn't matter if it was their fault or not. We will just lash out and we have some very big sticks to lash out with.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ain't Never Satisfied

Last night I dreamed I made it to the promise land
I was standin' at the gate and I had the key in my hand
Saint Peter said "Come on in boy, you're finally home"
I said "No thanks Pete, I'll just be moving along"

That's from my favorite guy, Steve Earle and the theme of today's run. (Running with iPod again.) It seems each run besides being my training for the marathon is a chance to ruminate about. . . well, where ever my tiny brain wanders.

Ain't never satisfied. I guess I'm not. Some people probably think I had it made in the shade a few years ago. I was making good money. I had summers off. I owned my own boat outright and could live and cruise on it all summer. I have great kids that are fun to be with. House was nearly paid off.

But it was all making me nuts.

I had already done all that! I'd already been in every harbor and bay on Lake Michigan. I had certainly lived in Des Plaines long enough! I desperately wanted to sail over the horizon. So I (we) did. Couldn't have done it with out shipmate, Sue!

Back in Chicago now but that's not really ENOUGH, Oh NO! I have to train for a marathon as well!

I was the same way with teaching too. I don't think I ever had two years that were the same. I was never satisfied with my own teaching. Never will be either! Being never satisfied isn't such a bad thing and it is the direct opposite if being "all set" which is many people's goal and that's not a bad one either. Sure as hell there are times when things get rocky that I wish I was more like them. . . but that ain't going to happen.

Looks like there's always going to be something else. I hope so. Some other horizon to sail over. Some other crazy thing to try. I hope I can keep that up right to the end. Then I'll be all set!


Oh yeah, right leg still cramping up at about 1 mile. I think I'll take several days off and see what that does.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Whoops, I think I missed a couple of runs. . .let's see. . .

Well, yeah. .. I had a very nice run at the lake front on Sunday. Made my 3 miles again and felt better than the previous week. Must be good coaching! I think having coach with me keeps me going. Don't want her to see me walk!

I took Monday off and then laid out a 2 mile course on google - my maps which is fun to do with their measuring tool. Tuesday's two miler was ok but my right calf got crampy again. Ran through it so no big deal until. . .

That same cramp cut today's run short. At the one mile mark I felt like I had a steak knife sticking out of my right calf. What the hell? Tried to stretch it out and get going again but no go. Walked and limp-ran the rest of the way. Got to get over this. Coach?

In other news I moved all our stuff into the apartment at 3600 Lake Shore Drive yesterday only to find out that the building would not support us, give us keys, or send up visitors. I thought this was all set up and I blame myself for not checking on these snakes myself instead of leaving it to someone else. I never learn. So I hauled everything back to the coach's apt. We'll take the next place on our list which is at 3120 or so Sheridan. That should happen in a week or so. Sigh. . .

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ready for another 3?

Ran west to Racine, north to Waveland, east to Halsted. . . then I started walking a little. Stiffness in my right instep and calf. I guess I only have one leg to stand on! Coach said no problem. Still good to go on Sunday for our standard 3.

Signed our lease today for the apartment on 3600 LSD. That's just a few hundred yards from the lake front path so many nice runs to come. We move in on Tuesday. Yay.

Chicago Story. . .

I walked from the loop to UIC yesterday. Just thought it would be fun to walk around my old campus and it was. It was the same and very different at the same time and much improved over the concrete monstrosity that it was in the early 70's. Visited the Alumnae office just to say hi and then on down to SES (Science and Engineering South) where the physics department lives. Yeah it lives but I fear all my profs are dead. I guess 34 years will do that! Still interesting to sit in the old places. The same but different.

To get home I took the Halsted bus north to Belmont which I had taken about a thousand times before. Once again everything the same and different at the same time. At one stop I looked up and a ramp magically appeared out of the floor of the bus for a woman in a wheel chair. The bus lowered a little to make it easier. A person sitting in the handicap section got up and flipped that seat up to make it accommodate the chair. The woman rolled on and the ramp disappeared back into the floor. The driver asked if she was locked in and yes she was and away we went. This all took about as long as it would take to board about 3 people walking aboard.

It made me remember when there were fairly hot debates about how much it was going to cost to make buses (and sidewalks, restaurants, public buildings, etc) accessible to the disabled. This was completely backwards thinking. Things were unthinkingly designed to exclude a subset of the population. It's not that it was going to cost MORE to redesign the buses it's that they were mistakenly built at a bargain by making them inaccessible to a fraction of the population. Turns out with a little ingenuity it's not that hard to make a bus easy to roll on to.

At North Avenue the driver got out of his seat and walked back down the aisle saying he just had to take care of something. What the. . . ? He left the bus at the rear door telling us that he was sorry but he just HAD to go to the bathroom! He went into the Borders there while we waited patiently with the engine running.

Only in Chicago?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


My schedule got a little backed up due to not really running on Monday so I ran AGAIN today even though I ran yesterday. As they say in the islands, 'No worries, mon". I THINK this was about 2 miles. Ran east as usual but turned north on Halsted to Addison, to Sheffield and back. Felt like about 2 and I felt great!

Now I'll run 2 on Friday and 3 big ones on Sunday again.

The plan is working Leah! Yay!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Bad and the Good

After my 3 mile run on Sunday my coach came up with a great game plan. Run two miles Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and then 3 miles on Sundays. Do this until your head explodes! She says this is a good way to lay down a good base and so that you'll always know you can run 3 miles...perhaps even from mile 23 to 26!

So I went out yesterday afternoon for my 2 miler. No. See, I take blood pressure medicine in the morning and in the afternoon it is really kicking in which means it takes increases in blood pressure (climbing stairs, accelerating, even standing up quickly) and drives blood into my kidneys which is mostly away from my brain. So I get light headed and have to do stuff slowly. Now I run damn slow but it seem running in the afternoon is out. Usually I take the pills right after my run in the morning. Satisfies the once a day thing but doesn't put me in the trick bag for running. So I quick the run after 2 blocks. I could tell it wasn't going to work.

Today then I got out there this morning around 8. Nice two miler to the lake and back. No problem. Calves are a little stiff but that may be running on concrete instead of gravel and has NOTHING to do with being 59! Breathing was good the whole way.

I think I'll try the same tomorrow to get back on schedule and allow for walking since I'll not have the usual day off in between.

Looks like a plan so THANKS COACH LEAH!

And by the way. . . Chicago is nice and flat although it is a bit uphill when running east toward the lake until you get to Clark Street then it is downhill to the lake. I can't find a good source for this but in my brain is the little 'fact' that rain to the west of clark street drains ultimately to the Mississippi River while rain to the east goes to the lake. That means that Lake Michigan doesn't collect much more rain that what falls on the Lake itself. But I could be wrong! Anybody?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mission Accomplished!

Yep, I made my goal of running the 3 mile course on the lake front path non-stop. I walked the mile to the path and even ran a little to 'warm up'. Stretched some too before I took off. Take off is probably not the right wording. I began to shuffle! No I ran but didn't feel very good for most of the run. I was sucking air after about 200 yards and never really settled into a nice rhythm. I don't know. Seems like I can't get it all going at the same time: Legs, breathing, whatever.

But I did it and it wasn't too ugly. I'm just looking for a time when there is a more enjoyable part to the run. I've experienced this in the past where you just feel like you're going for a ride on your legs. I'm hoping for that again and I think will happen if I just keep plugging away. I'll stick with this distance in the coming week but maybe go the other way on the path just to mix things up a bit.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Concrete Legs

Ugh...I think I may need an extra day off. My legs feel like concrete. Ran the mile to the lakefront on Belmont and then a mile south on the path and then....I was about done. Ran back to the water fountain and then mostly walked the rest. Maybe I should have eaten something? I forgot to.

Next run Sunday and that gives me that extra day. I WILL run the 3 miles on Sunday.

That's for DAMN sure!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just Another Run

As prescribed by my coach I walked to the lake and tried to repeat the Sunday run with a hunk tagged on. Mission accomplished. I felt like Mr. Concrete Legs the first mile. Good for me to keep digging. . . right? Second mile felt fine and I started walking with about a half mile to go on the 3 mile run. A little farther (further?) than the Sunday run.

Turns out I really don't like the 1 mile walk to the lake but coach said I should keep the 1 mile walk afterward for a 'cool down'. Maybe I could run from here, do 3 miles total, and still end at Belmont and the lake and walk the 1 mile back. I'll give this route another shot on Thursday, a short run on Saturday and then nail it on Sunday.

Of course no matter how I feel the city and the running path are awesome. Looking forward to getting to longer runs to get by the lake and go further (farther?).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Nice Sunday Run

Sunday runs are the best. I don't know why. I guess you get a day off from work before that and you know you're not working all day on Sunday as well. Whatever.

Leah, Jason and I walked to the lake front and ran south. Coach (Leah) planned a 2 mile run for us but as the 1 mile turnaround approached she said, 'Let's go another half to make it 3 miles'. OK. And it WAS ok. I felt good all day but did opt to do a little run/walk the last 3/4 mile or so. I still like to have quality runs and don't want to just be dragging my sorry ass the last hunk of any run.

So now I have a good goal for the week. I'll run that same loop on Tuesday and Thursday and try to move the stick. I'll go for a little run, a mile or so, on Saturday and then next Sunday complete the whole loop.

Great to run on the flat gravel on the lakefront.

Friday, August 14, 2009

To the Ball Park!

I swore I'd post after every run so. . .

I RAN! To the lake and then north to Addison to the ballpark. Thought maybe my old friend Will might be working at Bernies but I was too early. Ran and walked some. The Chicago weather as been spectacular for running this week. Hope to run maybe tomorrow and Sunday. Why not?

I feel the need for more concrete goals now either distance or time. Just keeping my legs working every other day becomes boring. Well, my coach will get on that. . . be careful what you wish for!

Off to the ball park now. Looks like the Cubs desperately need our help!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Saying Hi to Old People

Nice morning for a run (New shoes are great - thanks again Leah!) and I ran east on School St and then on Melrose to Sheridan and then back on Belmont. Walked a little on the way back. Near the library on Belmont there was an old woman with one of those deluxe walkers coming my way. Now in Grenada there is a protocol for saying good morning. Walkers passing on the street say good morning. It is on the white guy usually to initiate: "Morning". MORNing"! Like that. Very British. When entering a room or a bus where people already are it is incumbant on the enterer to say good morning and the entire room then follows up. This can be disconcerting before you are hip to the rules as when you enter, say, a waiting room, all eyes will turn to you expectantly. . . What?

In America we mostly don't say hi. There's too many of us and we're too busy with iPods, twittering, iPhones, etc. That's ok too and it's not a big deal. But this woman was old and all alone and I just got back from Grenada so I gave her a nice MORNING with gusto. She lit up.

"Good morning and how are you".
"Old and slow, I responded."

She said more but I was past her (Running FAST you know). I waved and continued on. I was imagining her having lived in that neighborhood (Belmont/Broadway) most of her life and through a time period where she probably knew half the people there and everyone said hi. So that was nice and I'm glad I said hi. Probably should have stopped and talked a little too.

On the other hand if any wise-ass 30 year old says hi to me with a mopey, pitiful smile on their face I'm going kick their ass!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

First Chicago Run


Of course this statement had a little less media attention than when MJ said same but still I am back in the Windy City. We arrived Thursday with cat in tow and minus one bag but that arrived the next day so no big deal.

Great to be in my home town. It's hot here but I don't notice! I can do hot. . . winter may take a little adjustment though. Already had some nice little big city moments. . . just walking down Randolph street and turning into a Borders. (Bought the Pete Hamill book, North River.) Listening to an old black man sing the great Sam Cooke song, 'Change is Gonna Come', down in the subway. Riding the EL. It's fast again! Chicago people...I notice how open Chicago (and maybe American) faces are compared to island people. Nothing bad. The island people are mostly very friendly (if they don't have to serve you beer) but when you walk down the street their faces seem closed. Sort of a blank look. Chicago faces are big and fat. Many have a big stupid smile pasted on them for no apparent reason other than, perhaps, because it is August and not February. There is a street fair going on about 100 yards from my daughter's apartment. I went there yesterday and listened to the live music (no rap!), had a beer and a corn dog. I LOVE corn dogs.

So, the run! Yep, ran in my new shoes today. What a difference new shoes make. Maybe ran a mile and half or so. Nice and FLAT! My coach will soon be putting me on a more structured running schedule. Bring it ON!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday Run - B+

Some observations from today's run-

1. A marked change in the effect on me due to hills. Wasn't doing that crazy cheek flapping breathing on the way up and my recovery once I reached the peaks was very quick. Nice.
2. No rum the night before. Hmmm..., connected to #1? Nah!
3. Sue recently said she thought it was really neat that I was sticking with it so long (been a month and change!). This made me think about thoughts that once thought can't be un-thunk. This whole traveling around on a sailboat was something that looked do-able and once we had that thought we just couldn't not do it! Didn't want to live into old age and try to tell people how we really could have sailed to the Caribbean but we jus didn't. No. Similarly, now that I've had the thought to run the 2010 marathon and I've passed all my heart check tests and cannot now un-think it! it's a really nice (and tall!) long range goal. Once past 60 I doubt that I would go for a first marathon but if I make this one AT 60 I may run more. Who knows and only one way to find out!
4. Got to get new shoes!
5. Funny how I felt like I might be able to make it the whole way today including the bitch of a last hill. My mind said keep running but then suddenly my body vetoed that and just started walking. No conscious thought like "think I'll stop now". Weird and probably a good thing!
6. I miss running with music. iPod won't charge but I may look for a 'shuffle' soon.

OK, next run Thursday. Think I'll stick with my hills.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Run

A good little work out today. I ran my usual route (hilly) but added about 200 yards to the end. From there it is long and gradual uphill run for about a quarter or half mile. So I did that and the other uphill parts by sprinting (well, what I call sprinting) at about 3/4 top speed to a mark maybe 50 yards ahead and then walking another 50 or so yards and repeat. Good way to get the hills out of the way and get my legs moving a little more than they do on just my regular (slow) pace. Ran that regular pace on the flats and downhill parts back to the finish. Felt pretty good today. Cooler here today than usual and that helps a LOT!

Next run is Tuesday. Maybe run up that long incline from the turnaround point.

A note on shoes. . . I'm wearing a worn out pair of my son-in-law's that I got more than a year ago. The stuffing is coming out of the insides and the soles feel like I'm running on 1/8 inch thick cardboard. Can't wait to get some new kicks when I hit Chicago in 11 days! I'll probably start snapping of 6 and 7 minutes miles!


Finally, good luck said son-in-law Jason as he finishes up his training for an upcoming half marathon. 1:59 Jason! You can DO it! (Oh, the link is to Leah and Jason's running blog. . . but it's mostly about babies right now!)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lesson Learned

I take (long chemical name in this spot) for high blood pressure. Yesterday, I forgot, semi-on purpose to take the meds. This allowed for an experiment that I've been needing to do which is see what my blood pressure is without the meds. So last night I measured my blood pressure (I have my own device). Nope. Still high - 140/97.

This morning then I took my medication and THEN went out running. Usually I take the medication later in the morning but what's the diff, right. Well, the diff is that these pills are apparently somewhat acidic. Mix that with a cup of joe and some orange juice and I got some nice acid indigestion while running! Ouch! Stopped running after about 10 minutes and then ran/walked for another 30 or so until I got back.

So not a complete waste as I gained some information. I'll keep the experiment going of not taking meds on Wednesday and measuring BP Wednesday night. Trying to remove all salt from my diet and eat lots of fresh meat, fruits and veggies. Some people CAN lower their own blood pressure this way but some can't. So, I'll just keep plugging away and see what I can do. Next run Saturday. Hope that's a better one.

Other thoughts while running/walking. . .

In two weeks we'll be back in Chicago. We are so excited about our return and about being grandparents. I'm trying hard to really enjoy my Caribbean lifestyle, weather, and my boat for these last several days. On that note I am wondering how I take some of this lifestyle back with me or - KISIC -Keeping It Simple In Chicago! What would that be?

1. Time spent down by the water watching the boats. This is what we do whether we like it or not down here and I want to keep at it! Shouldn't be too hard. We'll be living with a view of the Lake and a short walk to the shore and to Belmont Harbor.

2. Reading. Just because we will have a TV in the apartment doesn't mean I have to give up my hours of reading.

3. Enjoying a day. Not filling a day off with a thousand errands but rather just going for a walk in the Chicago neighborhoods.

I can probably add to this list and will do so as things occur to me. That's all for today mon!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Made it!

First of all I made passing grade on my stress test. I'm good to go! My parallel goal with this training is to knock down my blood pressure via diet (goodbye Pringles, Gardettos, french fries, canned hash. . . sniff) and the training. Blood pressure is good now WITH the medication. So, doc suggested not taking it on an off day and see what my blood pressure is now. Hopefully I can begin to bring it down and dump the medicine or at least lower the dosage. Stress test was fun. Running on a treadmill with a bunch of wires hanging off of me. Based on age, weight, height, etc. the machine predicts a peak heart rate for me of 161. I reached that after running on the treadmill up 'hill' for a bit. Doc says that as I get more fit it will take longer and longer to reach that heart rate. When I get to the states I think I'll invest in one of those heart monitors. Seeing that increase in time to the peak would be a nice carrot to put in front of me. I need those. Now on to today's run. . .

I made it! Finally got out that at 6 as is my goal. Ran to my far point in 14:45 and completed the course and ran all the way (DAMN hills) in 29:54. Thursday I may just run past my far point as it looks like it stays flat for a long way and run to 30 minutes and then walk/run back. So I guess this all means. . .


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sleeping In

I have to get up! Living on a sailboat in the Caribbean we don't exactly have very tight time schedules. OK, we usually aren't sure what day it is and we never know the date. But now I'm getting serious about running again but running here after the sun get up even a little in the sky is brutal.

So, my run on Saturday was just so so. I have this route that has hills but they all do. I go up a little at the start and then up steeply for a bit. Then up some gradual. Now there's a long down and up, some flat, and one more up followed by a long easy down or flat to my turnaround point which is at about 15 minutes into the run. I made it there ok but pooped out on the first up I came to! Damn. I nearly completed this course the first time I ran it and now it's been about two weeks and I'm stuck! I have to get out here at 6AM and NO LATER. I can only hope that this hill work will serve me well in the future.

Monday is my stress test at the doc's. I've read that the only people who have died from running or training for a marathon are those who had heart problems and didn't know it. So, I've had an EKG (normal) and an ultrasound (creepy - results at the end of the week) and just have the stress test to do Monday. So assuming that I pass all of this I'll feel like I can start to press myself a little harder and maybe drag my sorry ass up those hills whether I like it or not!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Crappy Run

Yes it was a crappy run but not as crappy as it might have been.

It's the rainy season in Grenada and while that makes things nice and green down here and cleans my deck and fills my water tanks it also causes us close the forward hatch and things get a little hot and close in our forward berth. So I tried to sleep in the cockpit (I live on a sailboat if you just got here) on a folding chair. That worked a little but lots of waking and turning. Back to the actual bed later and then I over slept. It's the rainy season but it's also the it's-hot-as-hell-after-about 7AM season. So I overslept.

Up at 6 when I usually try to get running. So I had a quick cup of joe, a toast and some pear slices and headed ashore to put in my run knowing it might not bet the best. The running routes from the dinghy dock are all up hill. Of course. I'm starting at sea level! I've found a fairly flat track but it goes through a bunch of industry and it's not very pretty. A more hilly but nicer route takes me up and toward the airport. Nice blacktop path on the road shoulder.

So, up I went. Didn't feel too bad as I climbed the first couple of hills. I reached the peak of the last hill out bound and headed into the nice long downhill/flat hunk. Then as I neared my farpoint I felt some pressure from the nether regions. This isn't good. I'm far from the boat. I started walking thinking about the Notre Dame victory march . . . " Shake down the thunder. . . ". You get the idea. My body was turning against me in a most uncomfortable way! I considered the woods but having done some rough camping I wasn't really prepared for that endeavour. So I tried walking and then running a little but running doesn't really describe it. More like mincing which is all you can do while squeezing your buttocks together at about 400 psi. Mostly I 'quickwalked' back to the dinghy and threw myself aboard the boat . . . in time.

Today's run was a bust so I may run tomorrow instead. I know what to do before I leave the boat too! Maybe put toilet paper in my hat too!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Here We Go

Here is LeahC. Daughter of Scott. Future mother of Lucy or Jack (we'll know which tomorrow morning if the baby behaves!). I have run the Chicago marathon three times and have taken the last two years off of marathon training because of PhD thesis writing last year and being pregnant this summer. So next summer is my come back year.

My dad said, "Hey Leah, I think I want to run the marathon in 2010".

So I said, "Cool, I'll make you a training plan"

Then I thought...well I'm going to be a few months post partum, and probably won't be down to my fighting weight or speed and so realized that my Dad and I would be at the same pace for training. So I told him that not only does he get a training plan, he gets a training partner!

I have lots of ideas for our training and some goals in mind. It should be fun to run the Chicago marathon with my dad after all those years looking for him as a spectator. I hope I can be inspirational and not too "run your ass off"...thus not being disowned. So here's to a summer of training. Stay tuned for tales from the Chicago streets and trails.

running in Grenada

Well, here I am in Grenada - the southern most island in the Caribbean chain. I live on my sailboat with my wife and cat. Not much sailing right now as we are preparing the boat for living in the boat yard for about 16 months while we go back and work and take care of new grand baby coming in November. So . . .'

Might as well get running again!

I used to run quite a bit. Then I'd stop. Then I'd train again. Went like that for years. Running was always there or just over the horizon. Now that I'm sneaking up on 60 I thought I'd make one more push to do what I've not done yet. Run a marathon. I've been a spectator to several Chicago Marathons watching my daughter and her husband run them. It looks awful. I want to feel awful too!

But, it's like one of those things that you can't unthink. This sailing adventure is like that. We just couldn't un-think the idea that we could sail from Chicago to the Caribbean. You can. We did. Now I think I can run a marathon. I can't un-think it. So I'm starting to train.


No. Slower.

I started by running 5 minutes and then run/walk back. That was about 4 weeks ago. Now I'm running 15 minutes outbound and am nearly running all the way back. it is VERY hilly here which is probably good training but a little frustrating as well. My daughter and I call this 'moving the stick'. One time I began to train while we were in Michigan on vacation. I couldn't run very far but I dropped a stick at my far point. Each day I'd pick up the stick on my way by and drop it further down the road hence - 'moving the stick'. Some days the stick didn't move very far and, OK, some days I just kicked it once and started walking but as long as you try to move it forward a little bit you're distance increases.

But now I'm 59 and haven' run seriously in 4-5 years. I'm going to go in for a heart check soon (medical care is excellent and cheap in Grenada) before I run into trouble. My reading shows that no one dies from running a marathon unless they already had undetected heart problems. So...there. I already have high blood pressure and take some pills for it. I'm hoping that via this training and diet (I'm probably around 195 right now but hope to get down to 180-185 by race time) I can lower my blood pressure naturally and get off the pills. This can be done.

So come back often and see how WE are doing. Daughter, Leah, will be training with me and will also be my coach. She is a master at designing training schedules...but she's tough too!