Friday, July 31, 2009

Kara Goucher

It was a stressful day but everything ended up okay. I had a report that had to go out. At the last minute I had to make some changes. I had gotten to work early so I could leave early because I was supposed to get to Fleet Feet to meet Kara Goucher at 5PM. At 5PM I was still at work and knowing that it was not smart to rush on a Final Report but wanting so badly to leave. Everything ended up okay. The report went out a little after 5 and I got to the store an hour late but thanks to Chicago traffic Kara was running late as well!

She came to Fleet Feet and first a Nike rep talked about their new shoe that came out. I actually find that I love these product talks. Most people I think just tune it out and wait to see the celebrity but I love it. It is really interesting all the thinks that they think about and research to design the new product. For example, they mentioned that girls heal widths vary a lot more than men’s. In fact men’s heal widths are almost all exactly the same! Anyway, that wasn’t the most interesting thing I learned but it came to my mind first : ) After that they had an interview with Kara and a question and answer time. She seemed like such a nice and fun person. The lifestyle she lives is unbelievable but I think it would be pretty cool to see how much you could really get out of yourself. Her husband Adam Goucher who was also an Olympian and wrote the book “Running with the Buffalo’s” was there. I feel kind of bad for him because he is an amazing runner himself but Kara has really stolen all his thunder. The only time he is on TV is after she finishes the race and he gives her a hug and kiss. They didn’t interview him and I think most people didn’t even recognize him. They just thought he was some guy in the store. After the interview they took her in the back and the Fleet Feet team got to meet her in person.

After that I went home and worked on finding a way to get to Benton Harbor the next day to see Jeff in his half Ironman. I had a bus ticket but it would get me there at 1:30PM. At 10PM I had found a ride! YES!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Race Judicata.....not a 5k!

Tonight after work my work running team headed down to Grant Park for race Judicata which is a race in the Corporate Team Competition Circuit. We have gotten 2nd in the corporate circle for several years now and hope that this year we can beat CNA. It was a hot night. I met a girl that said she recognized me from races in college. Ends up she ran for Adrian. The race indeed up being 3.5 miles instead of 3.1. It was funny to me because the race was run by lawyers and you would think they would be more legalistic in setting up a race and make sure that the it was exactly a 5k! I ended up winning an hour massage which I was pretty excited about. I also got a gift card and a MASSIVE trophy. It was really embarrassing. I tried to stuff it into my spike bag but it stuck out the top. As I walked home I got a lot of honks and people pointing and kids saying “look mommy! It’s the winner.”

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Meeting with Coach Leach

Today Beth and I met to talk with Coach Leach about marathon training. I learned quite a bit. He said that we should take in energy every 15-30 minutes during the marathon. But the weird thing to me was that we are supposed to take gels that have protein. Most gels do not. Only one brand does. He said that the small amount of protein will counter act the Cortosol release that will cause your muscles to hurt faster. He also stressed running the long runs slow. He said half on the battle is training our central nervous system so you don’t want to cross pollinate. For example if you want to teach it long than don’t introduce fast into it. It was a very informative meeting. I did come away a little worried because he said that he wished I had started my marathon training 3 weeks ago but I should still be “Okay.” Not exactly what I wanted to hear but I guess I will have to settle for “Okay.”

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cubs Game

Today I went to my first cubs game with Mel. It was pretty sweet. I liked how old the stadium is with the brick and ivy. We sat next to some guys that had seasons tickets which was fun because they new all the players and what they were going to do. One of the guys daughter was in Seattle with his wife for the weekend looking at Colleges. What a small world : )
Oh and speaking of small world- I met a girl last weekend at the race who then befriended me on facebook. She then saw the we had a mutual friend- Esther Erb! Crazy! They spent the whole summer in Europe together. She told me that she called Esther to say that she had met me and Esther said hi. Hi back to Esther! That would be cool if we met up at a race in the future! just like old times : )

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Church with Friends

Today Lynn, Kelly, Jon and I went for a short run in Lincoln Park and along the lakefront. Then we had breakfast and got ready for the 11AM church service. The church service was titled Dirt and I thought it was a good one. There were some good analogies. Even if you can take care of your own dirt how can you handle other people’s dirt? People are going to throw their trash at you and trample your garden. This is where he brought up the idea of composting. You can turn trash into good dirt through prayer, counseling, and communication. Also dirt needs to be rested and rotated. We need to not get into a pattern of doing the same thing all the time and not being creative with our gifts. Alos, a lot of us have portions of your life that are really good gardens but then we fenced off a little portion of trash. You can’t keep the trash without it eventually smelling up the rest of your garden. You have to take down the fence and work on the trash even though it will be hard. You might need someone’s help to pick out the stones and it might smell really bad at first Anyway- I really liked this analogy.
After Church we made a Pizza and then Kelly and Jon left around 2. Lynn left shortly after.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Fun day with friends

Saturday I woke up early and Jon Gries met me at my apartment at 5:45 and Beth and Rob picked us up to go to Waterfall Glen for the Extreme 10 miler. I liked the race because it was just like cross country. They started us on a line in a big grass field which funneled us into a narrow trail. The whole race was on trails except for the last 2 miles which was through tall grass (hard work!). The race was done in waves. Beth, Rob, Jon, and I were in the first wave (under 6:30). Everyone went out way way to fast. I was far behind the leaders but still wanted to keep them in range meaning I went out to fast. We were disappointed at the end to find out that some of the really smart runners in the second wave beat us. I was a little irritated because usually the top slots are done by gun time and not chip time because it changes the race from being a race to being a time trial. Oh well. It was a fun race. After the race they had a barbeque…I think that is the first time I have had a barbeque at 9:00AM in the morning haha!

When I got back Kelly and Lynn had gone for a run, had breakfast and were studying.

I took a shower and then a little later Kelly left for the wedding with Jon. Lynn and I went to Farmerie 58. Here are some pictures of our great and large meal.

After that we went to the North Western Hospital because Lynn is thinking of doing Speech Pathology there. Then we walked along Michigan Ave, saw some of the sites, went to the store to buy stuff to make a cake for Kelly, then made a cake for Kelly, then went to the beach and laid in the sun and read.

We got a call while we were relaxing on the beach that Krista and Nicole had arrived so we headed back to my apartment. Then Kelly got back from the wedding soon after that. Then we went under my building to Chipotle for dinner.
Then we took a Taxi to Millennium Park for free Salsa dancing (which was really fun)
Then a bunch of friends from the Chicago suberbs came down and we went to Buckingham fountain to watch the fireworks. After the fireworks we had cake for Kelly’s birthday and walked around Millennium Park. That was pretty much the end of the night…wow- sure did a lot today!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Lynn in town....then Kelly in town

Today after work I took the train to Lakeview where Lynn parked at a friend who had a street parking sticker she could use. We then took the train to my apartment and made dinner. We made Curried Eggplant and rice and salad. She then showed me all of her pictures from her recent trip to Japan and pictures from her trip to San Diego. She will be living in San Diego next summer for a Speech Pathology internship. She had some really neat pictures and video’s from Japan. Later Kelly arrived and we met hopped into her car to help her find parking. It was alittle stressful but we found a spot about a half mile away which isn’t bad at all. After that we just caught up a bit on Kelly’s start to Med school and life in general.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chicago Marathon

So I have been training a lot with people that are doing the marathon. They have been giving me a hard time for training for a marathon and not running one. The thing is that there workouts are what I would do anyway. For some reason I thought marathon training would be different. The only thing that I am missing is a long run. So I was starting to feel like I wished that I was signed up for the marathon because one marathon isn’t going to hurt you to bad and I have alittle bit of curiosity about what it would be like. Then I thought about it more and was like- this is the last year that I will know people on the Calvin team and they all come out to cheer so it would be fun to race while I still have good friends at calvin, also I want to do the Chicago marathon when I live in Chicago and I can’t assume that I will be hear in 5 years even though I would like to. Then there is the whole—I don’t know what my running will look like in the future question. I know I will always run but will I have time to train in the future? Like have people to run workouts with, have Saturday’s to drive places to do long trail runs? Anyway- so I was starting to really wish that I was entered into the marathon but it was closed so that was that. Then I got an email that I could still register as a Chicago resident (it was just a bit pricy- 250). My first reaction was no way that is way to much money..then I thought about it- marathons are usually around 100 dollars (especially for large ones) and I have already made a lot of money in running this year. So not only is my sport cheap but it pays me back so I should not worry about the money.
Soooooo I signed up! After I did it I realized that I might have made a bad decision. The only agreement that I made with myself and Beth is that if it is really hot on race day- we aren’t going to race. We will race the Detroit or Grand Rapids Marathon the following weekend. It just isn’t smart to race that long in the heat. Also, I meet with the Fleet Feet coach on Tuesday to discuss the marathon. My mileage will not be increasing with marathon training but will be redistributed some.
Hear are the reason why I was leery about running (and my conclusion):
They aren’t good for your body- it is proven fact. However, Chicago is filled with people who have bad form, bad joints, over weight- you name it and they all survive the marathon and are even walking afterwards. The notion that I had in my head that I would some how ruin my body from doing one marathon is just not true. Now if I become a Marathoner….that would be bad.
What about having friends stay with you for the marathon….this was refuted by the fact that there are other places for them to stay and it would be fun to be in the action instead of watching like I have for so many years. Also I have people to race with this year (Beth, Lydia, and Jenny Z)
You said you would wait to run a marathon until you get your half marathon time under 1:20. What if I never get my time that low? Just because your half time isn’t equivalent to an Olympic qualifying time in the marathon doesn’t mean that you should through the towel. Also your first marathon isn’t going to be that great. It would be fun to go into the race with no pressure on your shoulder.
You are young and have speed. Why do something long- leave it to the old slow people….haha…I am still going to do that. I love racing and I could never give that up in order to just train for a marathon.
Joko’s response ”What the H! haha Why the heck wouldn’t you do Milwaukee or some other one that you would probably win. You paid 250 when you could win 5000 at a smaller marathon.” Very good point Joko….but I want to do Chicago….remember I have no desire to actually RUN a marathon…it is the Chicago Marathon that has me excited. It is so huge, people come from everywhere, and it’s just an exciting city when the marathon is here. Plus- I love winning (not going to lie it’s a great feeling) but the pressure is really low when you know you will not be winning or even in the top 50. I like that for this race.
Anyway this is just me thinking through a decision….the decision is made and that is that so I am sorry if you wished that you could have spoken to me before I made this decision. I will be alive and the same person after 26.2 : ) I promise : )

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Picture is Up!

After alot of hard work my picture was up. First I traced it and placed it on the wall to see what height looked best. Then I tried a bunch of different ways to make sure the picture holes would be in the right spot. I stuck crayons in the holes and then places the picture on the wall so that it drew arcs on the wall. Then I measured from alot of different directions to make sure the x and y coordinants were the same. Wow- hanging a heavy picture by yourself is alot of work!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fleet Feet Women's Race

Today was the Fleet Feet Women’s Race. Jeff drove me to the race and then continued on to Ann Arbor. Everyone on the Fleet Feet Racing team was required to run this race so it was pretty fun to have a lot of friends at the race. Unfortunately nobody wanted to do the 10k. They all did the 5k. The race was interesting because the 5k and 10k start at the same time. I thought I was in first place until the 5k people turned off and I saw that there was a girl WAY in front of me. This was at mile 3. I figured that I would catch her. I tried to speed up. Whenever she passed a land mark I would count in my head until I passed the same landmark. I was gaining on her. The gap was narrowing from 26 seconds to 11 second. If I would have had an extra mile I would have gotten her : ) ! It was fun though and Jessica said that she has beaten her a few times so the girl is a good runner. The race started at 7:30 so I was able to get back in time for Church. Later in the evening I went to my Pastor’s house for the young adults potluck. It was a really good time. I met a lot of new cool people.

I added these two pictures...the one is from last year--- I seem to look alittle older :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday with Jeffrey

Today was a relaxing one. I did lots of cooking because I had someone to eat with : ) We had French toast with strawberries and potato veggie pancakes (some sort of Jewish pancake thing the recipe said) Then after breakfast I helped Jeff with Excel functions for his research project since I have done a lot with excel for my job. Then we went for a short run ending at fleet feet to get Jeff some racing shoes for his Half Iron Man in two weeks. Then Jeff wanted to run more and I didn’t since I was running a 10k the next day so I went to the farmer’s market and bought a few things and then got beach stuff and walked to the beach. Jeff was going to do some open water swimming for his iron man. I met him down there and we sat on the beach for awhile. The water was to cold to get the courage to go in. Later we went back and had this prepackaged Indian dish . It was really yummy. Later in the day Jeff drove me to pick up a picture that I found on Craigslist. It was really big so there was no way I would have been able to buy it without him driving me. When we got back I made dinner and then we went to play The Tempist. It was a fun day.

Tyler and Jenny's

Today I went to Tyler and Jenny’s house for a grill out. They made really great asparagus, kabobs, and burgers. Above is a picture of the rice crispy treat a made for Jenny and Tyler because it was just recently there birthday. Jeff drove to Chicago after work and made it to the grill out by 8:30pm. It was fun having him there. Jenny and Tyler got a puppy Oakley a few months ago. They appear to not be ready to have a child by the fun we were having with the dog : ) ….filling the dogs bowl with beer and then watching the dog run in circles and try to bit its tail….okay this was the boys doing. Jenny was trying to protect the dog but it was pretty funny : )

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Celebrate Women Night

Today I got home and checked my email and saw that there was a special thing at Fleet Feet to celebrate women. I thought since it was so close to me I might as well check it out. It was great! I got a long massage for free, some free shampoo, Luna bar drink mix, and a lot of free food. They had this festival because it is the Women’s 5k/10k on Sunday morning. It’s a huge all women’s race in Chicago.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tempo Run with Fleet Feet

Monday was the typical run with Beth and Fleet Feet. I was surprised though and I have improved! Ya! This was my third week of doing this tough 6 mile tempo and it has gotten easier…and we are doing it faster. So cool when you surprise yourself! Anyway- I am going to be brief tonight so that’s all I have to say.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Beautiful day in Chicago

Today started out kind of funny. I woke up at 6AM and was really tired but couldn’t fall asleep. I therefore decided to just get up. I got up and made pancakes. I then started doing other things and realized around 8AM that I was really tired so I went back to bed and woke up at 9:30. Kind of weird sleep pattern : ) I went to the 11 church service. Church was good but I can’t remember what it was about! Oops! I know it was the start to a new series. The day was absolutely gorgeous. I went for a short run and I was just loving life. There was a great breeze and it was sunny. I stopped and watched a crew race. It brought back lots of memories of doing Mount Baker Crew. Fun times. After that I went back and grabbed my goggles and a beach towel and went to the beach. The water wasn’t even that cold. I swam around a bit and had a blast. The waves were so big! I think you can probably surf on this lake! It was awesome!! I then relaxed on the beach for awhile. I called Jeff who was just getting back from a 40 mile ride after working the night shift at the hospital and then sleeping from 8am to 9:30am then church. Crazy kid! Anyway, the rest of my day isn’t that interesting, a little scrapbooking, a little cleaning, a little cooking, a little news watching…

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Waterfall Glen, a new rug, worship, dinner,

Today was an awesome day. Beth and Rob picked me up at 8 AM to drive to Waterfall Glen to run. It was a great time. We ran into Kalina and a little while later ran into Toney. Didn’t know so many people went there to run. I liked the wide wooded paths. I also liked that the scenery changed quite a bit and it was hilly. There were really wooded areas and then areas with tall grass.

When I got back I showered, ate and left to go pick up a rug I had found on Craigslist. It took about 20 minutes to walk to the apartment. From there she helped me load the rug into a taxi cab (along with a bin of wrapping paper that she game me). It was a challenge when the taxi came to my place to get everything out of the taxi and into the lobby and pay him. Once in the lobby I pushed the box with my feet and carried the rug with both arms. Here is a picture of the new rug. I then talked to Jeff for an hour and then started reading and feel asleep for an hour. It felt so nice.

Later that night I went to a worship service at my church. I was planning on going to the play after that but I ended up going to dinner with Holly and Darrell after the worship service and not finishing with that until after the play started. The play is showing next Saturday night as well so it didn’t matter. We went to this awesome place called Pockets. It’s a popular chain (sorta fast-food) place. Here is a picture of the pockets to show how they are just bursting with veggies. You end up with like a sandwhich and a salad because they have so much insides. It’s d Holly and Darrell were going to Target so I went along and got some cleaning supplies that I needed and a storage foot stool thing (picture may come later.)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fire Fighters 5k

Tonight was the Run for the Kids Fire Fighters 5k. I wasn’t feeling well so I was kind of dreading the race. However, the race went fine (didn’t feel the best but just pushed through) and ended up winning the race. I thought I had won by about 20 seconds but it ended up that the person that got second started way in the back of the corral so her chip time was only about 4 seconds slower than mine. Wow. That was close. It just shows why races should do gun time and not chip time for the overall awards. I could have slowed down at the end thinking I was first and then gotten second! I was a little disappointed in the post race. It was a good post race festival. It’s just that last year it was amazing. I could tell the economy had taken its toll on the businesses. No free Chipotle burrito gift certificate or free Cosi sandwich gift card. They had pizza and beer and that was about it. It was fun though and it wasn’t as blasted hot like it was last year. Last year they had hoses to spray us down as we ran because it was in the over 90 degrees. Oh and Jenny Z ran the race. One of the guys from my work told me at the end of the race that he ran the whole race with this girl with a Calvin Cross Country shirt because she was running perfect splits! Ya Jenny! Ya Calvin Cross Country! (can you tell I am still loyal to my school- sorry Fleet Feet : )

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Another Loss!

Bummer! We just can’t seem to win our soccer games. Oh well. It was fun.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Last night with my parents

Today I got home from work and went for a run with my dad. It was perfect weather out. There was a nice breeze and it wasn’t too hot. We came back and my mom had been cooking dinner. It was so nice to someone cook dinner for me in my apartment. We had pork roast with apple compote, cauliflower and cheese, and corn on the cobb. My parents had spent the day exploring Lincoln Park and Little India and had bought me some interesting foods to try. They had a good time. After dinner we went to the Green Mill for live jazz. It was a cool atmosphere in there and the artists were good. We got some drinks and just relaxed as we listened to good music.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Presidental Bike Tour

I slept in on Sunday. I was surprised to look at my clock and see that it was 9:10 when I woke up. We had a little breakfast and then my Dad and I went for a rollerblade/run and my mom and Melissa went for a walk. It was pretty tight because we left for the run at 10:10 and church is at 11. We squeezed in a 30 minute run and it was really fun. At church I was pretty disappointed that our pastor and worship director were both out of town so my family didn’t get to see what a normal service was like. Holly and Darrell were at Church so it was fun to introduce them to each other. After church I realized that we really didn’t have much time. We tried to get in to Tempo CafĂ© but there was a wait so we picked up sandwiches/wraps from the Goddess and ate them on the el on the way to Hyde park for the Presidential Bike Tour. The tour was awesome. I would highly recommend it. It was a part of town that I hadn’t explored yet. I was surprised at how beautiful UIC’s campus is and it was fun to learn more about the Obama family. The tour went from 2:30 to 5pm. When we got home Melissa and I picked up some coffee and drank it at the beach while we caught up on life. When we got back my dad had gone to the store and bought some nuts and they had opened a bottle of wine. We sat and talked awhile and then walked around my neighborhood to find a place to eat. We had alittle trouble because none of the menus were calling our name. We ended up at the Tavern on Rush and everyone liked there meals. It was nice to sit outside on a summer night.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fourth of July

This morning I got up at 4:45 am. I had to be on the train by 5:20 to make it to a 7:15 start for the Elmhurst 4 on the fourth. I was a bit nervous because I was meeting a friend of a friend at the Oak Park el stop to carpool the rest of the way to the race. It worked out perfectly though. As I was getting off the train she was pulling up to the stop. The race was fun. It was a hilly course for Chicago though. I ended up with 3rd place so I got 25 dollars and a new pair of running shoes. I met a few guys at the race that lived in my neighborhood so they gave me a ride home. It was 9:30 when I got home and people were eating breakfast so it was good timing. After that we went to the farmers market (one block from me) and bought some fruits and veggies. Then we headed for Navy Pier. We actually went to navy pier to catch the boat architecture tour but it ended up that there were two tour groups and the one we wanted didn’t leave from navy pier. I suppose it was good that we walked on Navy Pier because you should do that once if visiting Chicago. There was a free ride on Navy Pier that you could ride in an artery. It was pretty tame but I did learn a little bit about atherosclerosis. After that we took the free trolley over to where the other boat tour was. It ended up that the next boat ride was at 3 so we had a couple of hours to get lunch. We walked to Millennium Park to the Taste of Chicago (which ended up being much farther than I thought). The taste was okay but there wasn’t anything I would really recommend. We were also pretty hungry at that point so we just wanted to find food. After that we went back to the boat. The architecture tour was really neat. The only downer was that it was raining.

After that we went back to my apartment and got dry and relaxed a little bit. Then we headed to Lincoln Park to find a restaurant. Much to my surprise, there really weren’t many restaurants on Clark between the 2000 and 4000 blocks. We ended up finding a Turkish restaurant on Broadway. I really liked it. It was cool because you sat on pillows on the floor instead of chairs.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Family in Chicago

Today I tried to sleep in but woke up at 7AM. I did a bunch of “sort-of-chores”. I went through my closet and tried things on to get rid of stuff that didn’t fit or I haven’t worn since high school. Then I ran down to the Taste of Chicago. It was fun because they had really good music. I got the grilled pear and blue cheese salad. I then walked back and did a little tidying up for the arrival of my parents and sister. I actually took a little nap. It was fun to see my parents. I took them for a little walk along the lakefront and then back through Lincoln Park. We caught up while we walked. It was nice. When we got back my sister was waiting in the Lobby to surprise my parents. It was a very funny reaction. My mom didn’t even recognize her. She looked right at her and walked right by. My sister had to grab my mom in order for my mom to realize it was her. Haha. Anyway, after that we took my Mom out for a birthday dinner. My mom had chosen the place Province. I thought it was very tasty. We got to try a few different things (ahi tuna, cheese grits, poached egg and spinach salad, tortilla soup, sceviche, Chimichurri rubbed steak, grilled beef tenderloin to name a few) They brought my mom a strawberry tart with a candle in it for her birthday. After we finished eating we went to Millennium Park to watch the fireworks. I thought that they were very good. They had a lot of fireworks that I had never seen before like flowers and smiley faces : ) ! We walked home on the magnificent mile. It was a fun night.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

First life line used- "Phone a Friend"

Today I got lost going to the track. I wasn’t scared because I knew I could get myself to the el and then get home. I was quite flustered though because I was afraid I had traveled so far just to miss the track workout. I ended up calling Holly and I was so thankful that she was at home instead of the track. She looked up where I was on google and got me to the track. I was 30 minutes late but fortunately Beth and Kalina were late also. Therefore I just missed one of the reps. We did 3 miles together each progressively faster. I love the track- have I mentioned that before ? : ) I like the squish feeling, I like the repetitiveness, I like the exactness, I like that it’s a gathering place for runners, I like that there is a soccer field in the middle. Afterwards Beth and Rob gave me a ride home because they live about a mile from me. In the future I can get a ride with Beth to the track which is nice to know.