Knee Injury

A weird tweak in my knee last night while changing positions means no running.

Instead, I spent some quality time with the elliptical and Jillian Michaels.

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I want you (to run a 5K, or 10K, or a half…)

I have this terrible habit of making people want to run races. If they’re never ran before, I can talk them into running a 5k. If they have a few short races under their belt, a half marathon isn’t out of the question. I even convinced a couple people this year to run the Chicago Marathon. I love getting people into running so much so that I would call myself a running evangelist. I love giving advice and motivation, and I’m incredibly jealous of that feeling you have when you finish your first-EVER race, longest race, or marathon. Last month, Runner’s World published the following article; a helpful and humorous look at racing. It is recommended reading for every runner, the first timers through the seasoned veterans.

The Racer’s Field Manual
(Excerpt from The Runner’s Field Manual)

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Wishin’ and Hopin’ and Plannin’ and Schedulin’…

Today is the day I am sitting down and planning out my training over the next three to four months. I am finalizing my decision on which spring marathon I will run, and because I love and want to involve my husband in my decision, I’m waiting until he returns to Chicago tonight to discuss it with him. In the meantime, I will be consulting with HalHigdon.com and entering lots of workouts in my running Google calendar.

In addition to the specific race, one thing I need to figure out in the next few weeks is whether or not I should invest in a coach. It’s a big decision because it is a monetary investment, but it’s also giving up complete control of my running destiny. Some days I feel like it is exactly what I need and others, I need to figure things out for myself.

Today’s training: Meeting up with my previous boss for some easy miles (maybe 6?). Later in the day so I hope we finish before it gets dark.

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Hot Chocolate 15K

On this chilly Chicago morning, I hoofed it down to Grant Park and ran a 15K (9.3 miles) with 30,000 other runners.

Due to some stellar previous races, I got a coveted “Corral A” bib, meaning I got to start in the front of the pack. Thank goodness for that because I’ve heard the folks in the open corral had some major bunching problems.

Overall, it was a nice race. My footsies were pretty frozen solid when the gun went off, and I didn’t really feel them until mile 3. I tuned everything out, listened to my music, and tried to keep a good pace.

In the past, I’ve had some serious stomach issues; not a problem today. I’ve dealt with knee and IT band injuries; no problems there either. I did about as well as I could, which turned out to be 1:17:58. I’d like to qualify that with the fact that my Garmin said I actually ran 9.46 miles, which comes out to a 8:15 mile. Huzzah!

After the race, we were given gatorade, water, a square of Ghiradelli chocolate then moved to a tent, where we received a container of chocolate fondue:

It contained a small portion of chocolate, two apple slices, two marshmallows, a little Rice Krispies treat, a little piece of pound cake, a pretzel rod, and half a banana. As a past participant in this race, I must commend the new chocolate provider. So delicious. Hot chocolate also flowed freely.

I waited for my running friends to finish, and changed into some warmer, dryer clothes. I also put on these snazzy knee highs. Cute, huh?

By the time I finished, it was obvious to see what an enormous event it was.

The post-party brunch took place at The Emerald Loop on Wabash near Wacker. I treated myself to some pancakes (yum!).

Friend Molly’s fiance Pablo made all us ladies angry with the speed of his metabolism. He had all this plus an omelet. Please note the butter.

You can see that all the runnerds had a fabulous time.

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Awww, shucks!

It’s things like this that make me want to be a better runner.

http://twitter.com/Kpengell/status/741415948652544

And make me remember that it’s really actions that influence people.

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Cruise Director

After the 15K tomorrow, I’ve planned a brunch get together for all of the runnerds (Runner-Nerds) to socialize and talk about nothing but running.  I love planning dinner parties but large gatherings that don’t have a definitive start time (because everyone finishes at different times), lack great weather (hello, 32 degrees), and involved third party locations make me nervous.  And it’s because of these things that I had to change the location TODAY.

I hope everyone makes it after they’ve had their fill of chocolate!  This race also marks a roughly 300% increase in participants since last year.  We’re all a little concerned with the crowdedness of the course.  To be honest, I’m a little relieved because I can blame my slowness on that instead of being lazy.

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1,000 Words

I picked up my race packet today for this weekend’s 15k. It seems life has found ways to play jokes on me at every turn.

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