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CARA Lakefront 10 Miler

I did this race on Saturday, April 16 and finished in 1:49.  I am somewhat happy with my time.  You see last year I finished this race in 1:47:57.  My last two races I have finished in about 1 minute slower compared to last year.  What is going on?  My goal for each race is to always improve on last year’s time but so far I have done two races and it is not looking good.

Let’s go back to Sunday’s race.  I almost did not make it because it was raining.  Ugh, I am not a fan of running in the rain, especially if it is cold.  I got to the race early because I got an email letting me know that the parking lot was not going to be open but instead to look for street parking and/or parking at other lots.  I wanted to get a good spot so I would not have to walk too much hence getting there early.  I waited in my car hoping that the rain would go away.  It finally did but it was mostly drizzly and that was fine with me.  I got out to go to the bathroom (loved it no line at all) and got some coffee.  I was so cold so I went back to my car to warm up for a little bit.  I left again about 7:45 and I went to the bathroom again, stretched, and waited in line.

The race began and I made my way.  As usual I started off too fast and paid for it later on.  I still do not know how to stay on pace.  I took my first break after 2 miles and then began running again.  I took a break every 2 miles or so but I think I need to stop doing that if I want to improve on my time.  🙂  The weather was great.  It was not pouring and not windy at all.  It was a good course with no incline and enough space/room to pass other runners.  I did not pass a lot of runners but at least I had the option of doing so if needed.  Last year I ran a race that was so crowded that it was difficult to pass anyone at all!!  Anyway, at the end of the race there was beer but there was a long line and I did not want to wait for it.  I did get bottles of Muscle Milk (love it!!) and FRS Health Energy Drink.  I had a good time at this race and will definitely do it again next year but next time it will be less than 1:47:57!!!!

My next race is the Wrigley Start Early Run 10K on Saturday.  This year is the first time I do this so I am looking forward to it.  I hope the weather cooperates since we have been having some crappy weather here in Chicago.

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Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle

This morning I ran my first race of the year…the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle.  I love this race.  It is an 8K and have been running it since 2006.  I missed it last year because it was snowing…bad.  Anyway, my goal was to finish it in 52 minutes but unfortunately did not make it but instead finished it in 53 minutes.  That is OK.  I am not going to beat myself up over it.  It was a HOT, HOT day and most importantly I enjoyed my free beer at the end.  In previous years I always left as soon as I was done because it was either cold or raining so I never had a chance to enjoy my free beer.  🙂

I need to stop signing up for races.  Yes, I am obsessed and have signed up for almost every race there is.  I am doing a 10 mile run on the 16th, a 10K on the 23rd, a 5k on the 30th, and then a half marathon on May 1st.  Sigh, that is only in April. 

I am so excited about the Boston Marathon.  No, I am not running in the race but I plan to one year.  I have a L-O-N-G way to go but I know that if I really want it I can make it happen.  I admire every single runner than runs 8 minute miles.  I have tried and can only run it for about a quarter of a mile.  One day I will look back to this posting and laugh when I read about how I struggled with 8 minute miles.

Back to work tomorrow.  Counting till June 20th which is the last day of school.  Yay!!

Enough is Enough

Yes, that is what I told myself this weekend.  Stop being lazy and get out there and run.   Last week was my spring break and I did NOT run at all.  So Saturday morning came and I was in bed for almost an hour debating about whether to go running or not.  I checked the weather channel and saw that temperature around Midway airport was around 40 degrees.  Hmm, pretty good running weather.  So, I got my lazy butt up, changed, and out the door I went. 

I was so glad I got up.  It felt so good to run.  🙂  It was a bit windy but I took my time.  I forgot my Garmin watch so I had no idea on pace or finish time.  Oh, I ran 4 miles. 

Today I was supposed to meet up with a friend to run again but he did not show up.  Well, that did not stop me and I made my way to the airport and ran 4 miles again.  Loved it!!  I will run again tomorrow after school and then a few more days this week.

Next Sunday (April 10) will be my first race (8K) of the year.  I will be running in the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle and I am so excited.  I love this race!  I have been running this race for about 5 years and every year I improve my finish time.  Last year it was 52:18 so I am determined to beat that time again.

Once that race is over then it is another race almost every weekend or every other weekend.  Yay!!!  I will be signing up for the Y-Me Race at Your Pace on May 8 and maybe the Cinco de Miler on May 7.  You see my nephew is making his first communion on May 7 and I will probably miss the mass.  The race is at 9:30 am and the mass is at noon.  Who schedules a race so late in the day?  I asked him if he would be upset if I did not make it and he said that it would be OK.  There is still time to register so for now I won’t worry about it.

What do you think?  Should I run at the race or miss it and go to the first communion mass?

Kitty Princess

I know I wanted to write about things that make me smile.  However, I do need to write about something that happened that makes me really sad.  As you know, my cat, Princess, had a tumor and had not been eating for over a month.  Well, it just so happens that she died on Saturday.  I knew it was going to happen but knowing it and when it actually happens are very different.

When I found out she had a tumor I had the option of putting her to sleep but refused to do it.  I felt like I would be killing her.  I decided to bring her home to take care of her and shower her with my love.  Because she was not eating anything she was losing so much weight.  She looked so different.  I asked myself if she was suffering but it did not look like it because she was not “crying” or meowing.  I cherished each day that went because I knew that it could be her last day.

On Saturday morning around 4am I woke up to use the bathroom and noticed she was on my bedroom floor.  So I picked her up and put her on my bed where we both slept in till about 8 or so.  For the next hour or so she would hardly move and was just so weak.  I knew that it was almost time.  I was not sure if I should go to the vet so I called to find out.  I was told that the vets were busy and that someone would call me back.  Well, I then decided to go in on Monday morning to put her at rest.  My 8 year old nephew agreed with me because he said that that way I would spend more time with her.   However, later on I had a feeling that she was not going to make it past that day.  I became very emotional and began crying.  I held her in my arms and it was there that she took her last breath before dying peacefully.

Just thinking about her makes me sad but I find comfort knowing that she is at peace now and hopefully eating a lot of good.  I also know that she had 13 GREAT years with me in which I cherished and showered her with my love.  I am glad that I did not put her down last month but instead brought her home with me.  I am even more glad that I was home when it happened and that she died in my arms.  I got to see her and talk to her before she left.  Every day I feared that she would pass when I was at school and would come home to find her dead.  One of my friends warned me that the latter would be more traumatic for me.

I decided to cremate her and I am supposed to pick up her ashes on Friday.  I know that having her ashes at home will make me feel better.  I know that everything I just wrote may be childish to you and that is OK.  Unless you have a pet you will not know what it is like to love him/her so much and it is so painful to know that your pet will not be waiting for you in the morning or when you come home.

I have my moments when I do feel sad but overall I am happy because I was with her till the end and I know she is in a better place.

Peace.

Running alone in the dark.

I joined the Fleet Feet Running Group and today went to the store for my first group/fun run.  At first I did not wan to go because I was tired and just did not feel like running outside.  Well, I made myself get ready and out the door.

I got to the store around 6:10 or so (the run started at 6:30) so I had time to browse through the store and buy more SmartWool socks.  I just LOVE those!!!  Anyway, 6:30 came and it was time to start running.  Well, my Garmin was not working properly because I turned it on inside the store so it could not connect to a satellite.  I did not realize this until I got outside and by then it was too late.  Since I was new to these runs I was not clear about the running route.  I met a girl that I told myself I was just going to follow.  However, by 6:30 it was dark and she was running faster than me so I lost her.  I ran till I think I was the last one from the group on the path and then I turned around to get back to the store.  Did I mention that it was dark?  Oh man!  I could not see where I was going.  At one point I knew I was lost and had to stop to look around and figure out where I was.  There was some light from the street lights but not enough for me to know exactly where I was going.  The fact that it was dark did push me to fun faster in order to get back to the store sooner.  Whew!  I finally got back and bought more stuff for me.

So this run was a new experience for me.  Running in the dark is not fun.  I did not feel safe.  There was a girl in front of me running with her headphones.  I don’t know if I can do that.  I mean, I do run with headphones outside but there is plenty of light for me to see my surroundings.  I guess running alone at night and in an unfamiliar area made me uncomfortable.  I don’t know if I will go back next week.  I think I might be better off running in the treadmill or running earlier (while there is still light) by the airport.

What has been your experience(s) running at night?