St. Patrick’s Weekend in Chicago AND Meeting a Running Goal!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Growing up in an Italian and Jewish household in upstate NY, I admittedly didn’t really know much about St. Patrick’s Day. I never wore green (and remember being confused about why everyone it seemed in my elementary school was), and didn’t try corned beef and cabbage until I was way into my 20. That being said, living in Boston and then Cleveland, both two very Irish cities that wholeheartedly embrace the holiday- and marrying into an Irish family- I’ve learned to embrace the holiday and enjoy everything about the celebration. Including the color green.

Anyway, this year, B and I had decided to check out the St. Patrick’s weekend celebrations in a city I heard knew how to party – as well as get in a half marathon – the Get Lucky Chicago Half Marathon (full recap coming soon).

It was an AWESOME weekend. For a few reasons:

1. I love Chicago and it was so fun to see the city’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations – including the river turning green!

2. We were lucky enough to spend the weekend and celebrate with a few of B’s siblings – his sister Mary drove in from Cleveland, and his sister Katie (her boyfriend lives in Chicago) and his brother John (who goes to school in Chicago) – and B’s cousin Tom who was in town visiting a friend.

3. I MET MY HALF MARATHON GOAL!!!

Yes, that’s right – I finally got a sub-two hour half marathon, coming in at 1:57:32. It’s been my goal to get this done for a while, and I really didn’t think that I’d make it this race. I hadn’t done enough outdoor runs thanks to the wonderful winter we’d been having – and the ones that I had done had been far from as speedy as I’d been running this summer. Like 30 seconds – 1 minute/slower per mile slow – oof!

Anyway, I’ll post more about the race later, but here are some highlights from a gorgeous green weekend. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

We started Saturday off at the Get Lucky Half Marathon and 7k. There were 3 of us doing the half – B, his brother John and I – and 3 doing the 7k – his sister Katie, her boyfriend David and David’s dad.

B and me in a pre-race photo

B and me in a pre-race photo

After the race, we enjoyed our free beer and some sunny (but chilly) weather.

And then made it back downtown, cleaned up, and checked out the river. It was SO GREEN!

B and the water

B and the water

GREEN water!

GREEN water!

And of course we made time for some deep dish pizza! Giordanos FTW. We met up with B’s cousin, Tom and his friend and feasted. I gave up meat for Lent so while B and the rest of the guys were eating the pepperoni and sausage pizza, I got the veggie feast. It was amazing.

the guys' meaty pizza

the guys’ meaty pizza

Decked out in green and awaiting our pizza. Doesn't the race sweatshirt that B's wearing look awesome?

Decked out in green and awaiting our pizza. Doesn’t the race sweatshirt that B’s wearing look awesome?

Not photographed, but also fun: some shopping downtown, eating a delicious meal at a place called Naf Naf (it’s like Chipotle for Middle Eastern food … aka amazing!), and of course some St. Patrick’s drinks.

Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever been to Chicago for St. Patrick’s Day?
  • Have you taken a weekend trip for a race before? I have been wanting to do this for a while. Go to a new city, run a Saturday half marathon, and then spend the rest of the Saturday and Sunday just siteseeing.
  • When is your next race?
  • What are your St. Patrick’s Day plans?

1,000 Miles … Achieved!

If you’ve been reading my blog for more than a few months, you may know that I like to run. I’ve trained for a marathon, run half marathons, tried running streaks … but I’ve never seemed to hit 1,000 miles in a year. So this year, as part of a 2013 goal (I’m not much of a Resolutions girl) I decided I would run 1,000 miles. The goal seemed achievable – but I still was worried. Even when I trained for the Cleveland marathon last year, I didn’t hit 1,000 miles. Would I be even close without marathon training?

Yes! The answer is yes. In fact, last week I hit my 1,000 mile goal! AND I didn’t even realize it until two days later. So much for anti-climatic, right?

See the cool chart? It’s proof!

handy dandy excel chart

handy dandy excel chart

This is me super excited to have reached my goal. And post a 10k run with B so please excuse the sweatiness.

I'm pretty pumped.

I’m pretty pumped.

And some scenes from my week running – what a gorgeous few days it’s been!

Not a bad view!

Not a bad view!

Yup, pink skies in the morning - meaning the days are getting shorter!

Yup, pink skies in the morning – meaning the days are getting shorter!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you set running goals?
  • Do you set New Year Resolutions? How are you at keeping them?
  • What should my next running goal be?
  • How do you track mileage?

Belated April Running Update!

This week is the Cleveland Marathon Week! It’s crazy to think about where I was this time last year. I had just finished my last long run and was ready for the race … and then found out that I couldn’t run because of the foot and tibia stress fractures.  As you may recall, this year I did not sign up because I’ll be out of town – but I do plan to run this week AND give you all a running update. It’s been a while since I gave a running update – I have no idea where May has gone. I am embarrassed that May is halfway through and I haven’t told you all about how I’m meeting my goal. Spoiler alert – I am!

Last year on this date ... My parents had come to watch me run the marathon and instead I had the boot for 2 days.

Last year on this date … My parents had come to watch me run the marathon and instead I had the boot for 2 days.

My goal is to get to 1,000 miles this year. I won’t tell you where I am now (since we are in the middle of May) but April was a good month, as you can see by my training screenshots (thanks Dailymile!). It’s actually even my best month thus far – I beat January by 3 miles.

Year To Date Monthly Miles:

January 136
February 111
March 113
April 139

Some April running highlights:

  • I can’t claim the weather helped me too much this month – April 1 it was flurrying out and later that week it was in the 20s. Which isn’t my happy running weather. I’ve decided my happy running weather is 55-65 – that’s the weather I enjoy the most to run in.
  • If I bring my phone, I can’t stop taking pictures while I run. I love it. As long as I’m not running for time, I don’t mind stopping and taking a photo.
  • The week of the Boston Marathon was rough for me. I had a few days where I just felt really down, emotionally, as a runner, a former Bostonian, and a human. Still, I made it my goal to run at least 26.2 miles that week (my typical goal is 20 mi/week), a goal I met easily.
  • I got in a few longish, unplanned runs – about 9 miles – over the weekends. I tend to only do these sorts of runs when I’m training for something, but with the weather being nice (toward the end of the month) and my motivation being high, I couldn’t help myself.
  • I did NOT run the Cleveland 10 miler. And, go figure, the weather wasn’t rainy and chilly as it had been in years past. I was out of town that weekend, but still was able to run 12 miles that weekend on my own.
A view from one of my runs. Yes, I stopped to take a photo.

A view from one of my runs. Yes, I stopped to take a photo.

And now, the moment you’ve been waiting for – the mileage charts:

First week in April: 26 miles total

week of apr 1

Second week in April: 37 miles! Holy cow. Not sure HOW that even was possible without a training schedule?

week of apr 15

Third week in April: 30 miles

week of april 8

Fourth week in April: 35 miles

week of apr 22

Last week in April: 38 miles. Some of which will go in May’s mileage number.

week of apr 29

Some thoughts to ponder:

  • Are you still keeping up with your resolutions or goals for the year?
  • What’s your happy running weather? Do you have a certain temperature that you prefer to run in? Yes- 55-65 degrees. I don’t even mind a little drizzle. 40-70 degrees isn’t that bad, but once it gets colder or warmer, I don’t enjoy it as much. Plus it depends on the time of year – 40 degrees in December is much more enjoyable than 40 degrees in June!
  • What do you to track your mileage- a Garmin? A running app like MapMyRun or RunKepper? Or do you measure it out after the run? I do it all! B has a Garmin that he uses when we run (I bought it for him). I tend to just measure after the run using Dailymile unless I know I want to go out for a certain distance – then I use MapMyRun.

PS – Not running related, but HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOM AND DAD 🙂

April Update: 360 miles down, 640 to go to my 1000 mile goal

Can you believe it’s already April? I can’t. From the colder than usual temps, occasional snow flurries, and general disbelief that April means B and I will soon be approaching my second wedding anniversary, it’s hard to believe that we’re already on Q2 of 2013. That being said, I’m still on pace to meet my goal of 1,000 miles this year!  March was good to me. Despite the cooler temps, I managed to make 113 miles for March, which included quite a few treadmill runs, a few longer outdoor runs, and even a half marathon in South Bend, Indiana.

Photo stolen from the Holy Half

Month by month, here’s where I stand:

January: 136 miles

February: 111 miles

March: 113 miles

Year to date: 360 miles

Here’s how the weeks have gone:

First week in March

Highlights: got in an 11 miler on Friday after work! It made for a VERY enjoyable and relaxing Saturday:)
march running recap - 1000 miles
Second week in March 

march running recap - 1000 miles
Third week in March

Highlights: Notre Dame Holy Half!
march running recap - 1000 miles
Last week in March

march running recap - 1000 miles
This month, I’m looking forward to so many things! In particular:

  • Warmer weather! I can’t wait to run in a t-shirt and shorts
  • New spring running clothes! I’m due for a new tank top or two
  • The Cleveland 10 Miler – B will be unavailable but I’m thinking of running this 10 mile race on my own! (You may recall last year we did the race as part of our 20 mile training run)
  • Reading What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – my brother got me this as a birthday gift and I can’t wait to break it open! Thanks Greg 🙂

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Some questions to ponder:

  • What’s your favorite spring running gear? Where is your favorite place to shop for running clothes?
  • Have you read What I Talk About When I Talk About Running? What did you think?
  • What’s your favorite running book?
So this has actually happened before, including this week - B will tell me to go run so I can be out of his hair while he cleans.

So this has actually happened before, including this week – B will tell me to go run so I can be out of his hair while he cleans.