Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's going to be a lottery

The Chicago Marathon announced today that they are going to fill the remaining 15,000 slots with a lottery.  I am so glad that my Sis-in-law and I both managed to register.  I don't know how we did it. 
I saw the announcement on Facebook and the angry comments just flew in!  I spent way too much time reading comments! Many, many, many people said that they had registered but their friend did not get in before the crash or the other way around - their friend was able to register but they weren't. I also read that husbands and wives got one registered but not the other and many stories of some of a group getting in but not the others.   People are saying that if their spouse, friend, etc does not get in through the lottery that they don't want to run and are demanding refunds.  I'm not sure how far they are going to get with demanding a refund but then again, this was an unexpected mess! 
People feel that it's not fair because they were online and ready to go right at noon Chicago time with the 30,000 people who managed to register and now people who weren't trying to register have the same chance as them to get in through the lottery. 

I am just soooooooo happy that we are registered!!!! 

Chicago, here we come!!!!!!

Runner Nerd
got lucky!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Pacer Nerd

Yesterday I was asked to be a pacer at a large 10K race.  I was given the choice of 60 or 65 minutes.  I chose 65 minutes.  When I got home, I entered it into the pace calculator on my ipod touch and it came out to be 10:29/mile.  That should be super easy for me and I should be able to talk and cheer on the runners being paced.  BUT...right now I'm just not running very well.  I won't be the only pacer; I was told that after 60 minutes there are more pacers for each group because that's where the most people want to run with a pace group.  There will be four 65 minute pacers; 65 minutes must be a very popular time.  It makes sense, it is probably inexperienced, newer runners who are working their way down from 11 and 12 minute miles and to them a 1:05 10K is a time goal that is not going to be easy.  I am going to do my best.  Before the race, I will have to go in to the Y and run a few miles at  a 10:25 pace to see if I can get a feel for it and then remember it when I'm not on a treadmill.  
I went for a short run today and it did not go well.  My legs just didn't want to move.  I'm meeting up with my friend, Erika, tomorrow afternoon to go running; she always pulls me along faster than I'd run by myself.

Runner Nerd
race pacer

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sending cookies to Belize

I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies for my kid who is studying abroad this semester because she told me that she misses cookies.  She claims that she doesn't get cookies in Belize.  (she gets plenty of ice cream but not cookies!)  I wrapped each of the 36 cookies individually in plastic wrap then put them in a large ziploc bag, wrapped a sheet of bubble wrap around it and put it in a small box in which I had received one book from Amazon.  I enclosed a note and then sealed up the box and headed off to the post office feeling like a pretty good Mommy!  When I got to the post office and the worker put the box on the scale and entered in the shipping address, he looked up and paused before he said, "get ready; it's going to cost 29 dollars."  HUH????  WHAT?????  Oh, geez!  As if this kid's trip and the 15 credit hours hasn't cost enough already!!  I didn't even have enough cash with me and had to use my credit card to pay for sending the box of cookies!! 
One of the other students received a care package from home a couple weeks ago and she was telling me about all the stuff that was sent.  I remember her even saying that there was a jar of sunflower butter! (my daughter is allergic to nuts which was made known to the other students before the trip)  I can't imagine what that parent paid to send that box.  My box weighed just 2 lbs.
If you're going to send anything to Belize, it's $15.00 per pound!! 
I guess she's worth it!  She's a good kid! 

Runner Nerd
Mother of the year!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Chicago Registration Nightmare

The good news is that I am registered.  Late last night I received an email directly from Chicago Marathon (not and the 2nd paragraph (after all the apologies) read: "The fact that you received this email is assurance that you are registered for the 2013 Chicago Marathon even if you did not receive a confirmation from"  Whew!!
I did receive a confirmation from Active and payment confirmation about 2 hours after I registered.  I have a couple of friends who showed as being registered 3 and 4 times AND had been charged 3 and 4 times too.  I checked my credit card acct online several times after I registered and was only charged once.  My sis-in-law also got the email and was only charged once.
However - today I am showing as being registered 3 times and my sis-in-law is showing as being registered 4 times.  Both of us have rechecked our credit card accounts and have only been charged once so we consider ourselves lucky! 
Every time Chicago Marathon posts an update on Facebook they get hundreds of angry comments.  Most people seem to think that isn't up to handling an event so big.  I've registered through many times but I'm pretty sure it was all local smaller events. 
I knew that there would be a very large number of people attempting to register right at noon central time so I expected it to be slow and maybe even have to try several times.  I had that happen both times I registered for a Bayshore event which fills the first day.  It's not unheard of.  A long time ago after I registered for a Race for the Cure, I got charged 3 times and that wasn't even a situation like a race where many try to register at once.  It just happened.  I emailed the race director but that error was already in the process of being corrected.  I actually got a call.  In that case, there was an alert of the same credit card being charged multiple times so it is "human checked" to make sure it's actually 3 separate registrations, which, in this case, wasn't.   So, it DOES happen. 
I know Chicago is a popular marathon and it's one that I've always said I'm going to do someday.  I don't know how many more marathons I'm going to run.  I like halves better.  I wasn't planning on doing a marathon this year but my sis-in-law and I had talked about this for after I was done with school and I'm done with school!  I guess I'm glad that this is the year we do it if it's going to become another event that fills the first day and is hard to get into, especially when people want to run it together and there is the chance that both can't get in.   I will be able to say that I've run Chicago and I won't have to deal with this kind of registration again!! 

Runner Nerd
running Chicago as 3 people!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I'm in!! I have plans for October 13th!!!

I'm IN!!  I registered for the Chicago Marathon today! 
What a process!!  I began promptly at 1pm Eastern time.  I had to refresh the screen 3 times before the registration button was there.  It took until 2:28 pm to get registered.  I'm not sure how many times I entered my name, address, email, phone#, estimated time, clicked the box for 1st Chicago marathon, and a bunch of other stuff and then clicking the I'm over 18 box, no refunds box and then did not get to the payment page.  I finally did get through to the payment info page but had to do that 3 times before I finally got the message: "please wait while we process your payment, this may take up to 3 minutes"  It took more than 3 minutes but, finally, I got the confirmation screen!!! 
It took another hour before my sister-in-law got registered.  Her and I are planning to run this together.  I wasn't sure if I should panic or not.  I had been researching and found out that last year the marathon filled in 6 days and the year before in 10 days.  I know that doesn't mean anything; this could be the year that it fills in 1 day.  Hopefully, it was just a rush of 10,000 or so people trying to be first to register!  The cap is 45000.  They ended up closing registration for a short while to "resolve the issues", as if nobody expected it!!! 
Tonight is running group; I can't wait to get there and tell everyone that I registered for Chicago!!!
It's going to be cold and windy tonight, oh yippie. 

Runner Nerd
registered for Chicago

Monday, February 18, 2013

I lost something

I lost something.  I am going to lose more of it.  I don't ever want to find it.  I don't ever want it to find me again! 
I've mentioned several times over the last two years of my world's oldest college student adventure that I have gained weight.  First it was 5 lbs and then 8 and then 10 and then 15.  I'm sure glad that RT school was only 2 years.  I was determined to be back to my pre-college weight by the time I went to Key West.  Well, didn't happen.  I was down 10 lbs but still had more to lose.  I gained 5 while in Key West and that's fine because I was on vacation and it was one big splurge!! My running mileage was down when I was still a part-time student taking my pre-reqs but I was still running more days per week than not.  Once I started the program and was full time, the mileage really went down.  I used to run 25 - 30 miles per week and since RT school began, it's been more like 10 - 12 and sometimes even less than that.  I had to give up Tuesday night running group during the whole winter semester of 2012 due to night shift ICU clinical.  The first half of the fall semester 2012 also involved night clinicals so no running group. 
While I was in Key West enjoying huge seafood meals, huge cookies and daily ice cream I was also seriously thinking about getting serious about the need to lose this college weight.  I knew that February 19th was rapidly approaching.  What's February 19th have to do with anything??  Well, in the summer of 2011 while I was on my short break from classes, my sisters and I had a sister vacation in the upper peninsula of Michigan where our parents live.  My sister-in-law asked me if I'd ever be interested in running the Chicago Marathon!  She grew up in Chicago but has never run the marathon there.  Of course I wanted to run it!!  At the time, it seemed forever away but now here it is approaching registration! 
I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers.  I achieved that many years ago after a weight gain after finishing college (the first time) and entering the real world.  If I remember right, I lost 22 lbs to reach my goal and become a lifetime member.  Not exactly a huge weight loss but enough to join Weight Watchers.  Several months back, a blog that I read called "Runs for Cookies" began talking about Weight Watchers new program called Points Plus.  This woman had lost over 100 lbs over 2 years ago and was going through a rough patch in maintaining her loss even though she had trained for a marathon over the summer.  She went back to following the Weight Watchers plan.  As a lifetime member, I am able to receive the materials for any new program revisions they come out with so I went to a meeting.  I think this was in October or November.  I got the materials for the new program and was following it on and off.  After graduation, I decided to really get going and keep track of my meals and points and it is paying off!  I'm almost back to pre-college weight!  I'm not exactly sure what I weighed as I hadn't weighed myself for a long time.  I just go by how my clothes feel.  I know when it's time to put a halt on pigging out but I was always running 25 - 30 miles per week so that was enough. 
Well, anyway, this Weight Watcher thing has been working and I'm steadily losing the pounds!! I can wear one of the pairs of jeans that I was wearing when I started the RT program, the other 2 fit but they aren't public worthy yet!!  I have a few more lbs to go before I could wear them in public!  I am wearing 2 other pair that I bought somewhere along the way because the others were too tight. 
So, there you have it - my weight loss report!  I know nobody reads this but I feel like now I've admitted my problem, so to speak, and I have to update my progress as time goes by.  I know that it will not be any fun at all in Chicago in October if I don't get the weight off well before the training begins.  I am already noticing some improvement in my running but I am also still turtle slow.  I really want to get back to 9:30 miles being an easy, conversational pace.  Right now 10:30 is not conversational pace, a few words but not conversation.  That's pathetic. 
So, tomorrow is the big day!!  Registration for Chicago Marathon opens at noon Chicago time so 1pm for me and 10am for my California sis-in-law!   I posted on Facebook today and she answered that she is ready to register! 

Runner Nerd
ready to register

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I am so done taking tests!!

I did it!!  I passed the third and final exam in the process of becoming a Registered Respiratory Therapist!!  I don't know of any other profession that requires 3 board exams.  (I'm not saying there isn't; I just don't know of any.)  My niece only had 1 exam to become licensed as a Registered Nurse.  I'm pretty sure my friend only had 1 to get his X-ray license.  I passed the first exam January 16th and that resulted in receiving my Michigan license in the mail two weeks later, which is kind of funny because most of the jobs require the higher level of registered so even though I had the license, I couldn't work yet.
I have had the worst cold for 6 days now.  It's just a cold, not flu or anything else but it's the worst cold I've had that I can remember.  I probably should have rescheduled the test for next week but I did it anyway.  I've had this headache that just doesn't quit.  I barely passed this thing today.  I'm glad that it's over.  If I'd have rescheduled, I'd probably have scored a lot better but it would still be hanging over my head.  This particular exam has the lowest pass rate, they tell us that over and over in RT school!   Passing is passing so I am very happy to be done with this process.  I took 3 ibuprofen before going to take the test and it did help but the headache was still there.  I didn't cough very much during the exam which was good.  My nose was only a little runny!  I had as many kleenex as I could stuffed in my pockets!
When I got home, I can't believe the dorky thing I did!  I signed my name with my new credentials, RRT, after my name just to see what it looks like!  I must have written it 20 times!!  I texted my niece and asked her if she did that with her name and the letters, RN, after she passed her exam and she said she probably did it 100 times!!
I graduated Dec. 15 so tomorrow it will be 2 months since graduation and I'm finally done with studying and tests!! YAY!!! 
Sooooo, tonight I try to sleep!  Tomorrow I get to be a bum for a day!  Next week I begin in earnest to look for a job!!

Runner Nerd, RRT
passed the hardest board exam with a headache!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

How far does my food travel?

I am  really missing in-season fruits in my part of the world. I know we are supposed to be aware of how far our food travels but I really like grapes and blueberries.  Lately, grapes come from Chile and they aren't all that great and it seems like I have to throw out more than usual because they are squishy.  The grapes are also tiny which makes removing them from the vine a pain.  It also seems like so many of the little tiny stems stay attached to the grape so I have to remove each one and that takes time.  I'm not much of a kitchen person! 
I saw blueberries in Sam's Club on Friday and they looked soooooo good!  I looked at the label on the box and it said: Naturipe Farms, Salinas, CA.  I was so excited because they came from within the United States!!!   I went back and forth on whether or not to pay over $6.00 for 1.5 lb of blueberries.  The deciding factor was that they came from California!! 
When I got them home and began washing them, I noticed that farther down on the label it said: "Product of Chile".  Oops!  Apparently, Naturipe Farms of Salinas, CA gets the blueberries from Chile and packages them under their name - or whatever.  Oh well!  They were sooooo good!!!  They are almost gone. I did not have to throw out very many for being bad, only a few.
I buy Whole Foods 365 brand frozen blueberries and other fruits; they are really good and barely more $$ than big supermarket brand frozen fruit.

I went running today.  It was 20 degrees and was snowing.  I always like running when it's snowing; I don't know why because I don't like snow.  I wore the shirt I bought last year that I never got to wear!  I wore it with a thin baselayer shirt under it and was fine.  I wore a hat today for the first time this winter.  I usually wear a headband.  I think I would have been ok with just a headband today.   I'm trying to push myself on short runs; today was just 3.5 miles.  My miles were between 10:18 and 10:47.  That's so slow.  I am even considering doing a few runs on a treadmill at the gym to force myself to run 9 minute miles and see how long I can run at that pace.  I must be desperate because I hate treadmills!! 

I recieved my Respiratory Therapist license in the mail on Friday!!  I couldn't believe that it came so fast.  So far, none of my classmates have received theirs and some of them took their exam well before I did.  Now, I just have to get these last two exams done so that I will be at the level of "registered".  It doesn't change anything but all the hospitals require it. 

Runner Nerd
Licensed Respiratory Therapist