Saturday, October 19, 2013

Chicago Marathon race report coming soon...

I'm still waiting on my daughter to send me the pictures she took during the marathon.  I'm working on a Chicago Marathon race report.  Hopefully, I can post soon with the pictures.    

I ran Thursday night with the running group.  It was my first run since the marathon.  When we started out I felt great but I was tired by two miles.  We ran 3.5 miles; I was dragging the last half mile.  I guess I'm still under the influence of running a marathon!

I'm pacing a 10K next Sunday, 65 minutes again.  I'm sure I will be able to do that.

Next year is going to be my year of half marathons.  I will start with Key West in January.  Chicago has two half marathons, one in June and one in September.  If you do both you get an additional medal called the Windy City Challenge!  That is a real possibility!  I would like to do the half marathon on Mackinac Island next year which is in late October.  I'm considering the half in Vegas in November but I'll write more about that in my race report.  My birthday is on a Sunday so I'll be looking for something on September 7th.

Tomorrow is the Detroit Marathon and half marathon and I have quite a few friends running one or the other so it will be exciting to track everyone. 

Runner Nerd

Saturday Afternoon in Chicago

I've been working on a race report and I'm still waiting for my daughter to send me the pictures that she took during the marathon.  She used her camera (not cell phone) so she has to connect the camera to her computer and get the pics off the camera which she hasn't done yet.  She uses her ipad a lot more then her computer.  So, I am waiting on my 22 yr old college student!

I guess I could write about Saturday afternoon in Chicago! 
Saturday afternoon I met up with a gal whose blog I follow.  Her name is Katie, she blogs as From Ice Cream to Marathon. She invited me a few days before we went to Chicago; she had arranged a meet up of several running bloggers who were going to be in Chicago to run the marathon.  I almost didn't go.  I was staying in Mt. Prospect, IL which is a suburb north of Chicago.  I was not sure about taking trains and then finding the place.  Going to the expo on Friday was quite an ordeal.   I found a trip planner on the Chicago Transit website.  We could take a train from the nearby Skokie station to the Howard station, transfer to a red line train and get off at Michigan Ave.  The frozen yogurt place, Pinkberry, was only a few blocks from the train station.  My daughter and I decided that we could do it!  Saturday morning I drove to the Skokie station, paid $3.00 to park for the day, got our train tickets and waited for the train.  It was a half hour ride to where we were going.  The train stopped a lot.  My daughter and I really enjoyed looking at everything through the windows.  The farm girls made it to downtown Chicago!  We went early and walked to the Water Tower Place mall.  My daughter wanted to go in and look around the American Girl store.  She had an American Girl doll when she was little.  The big store in Chicago opened right about the time she was just about too old to play with American Girl dolls.  I remember reading about it and talking about maybe going but we never did.  She wanted to just go in and see what it was all about for, as she put it, her inner 10 year old!  It was fun to see the little girls who were there with their American Girl dolls with them. We wandered around the Mall a little while more.  We went to the top floor on escalators. 
We then headed over to Pinkberry, the frozen yogurt place, to meet up with the bloggers!  My daughter then went off by herself; she wanted to go to the Niketown store.  Three ladies were already there and soon Katie and some others came walking down the street!  I recognized her right away from her blog pictures!
Katie of "From Ice Cream to Marathon"
Bloggers carb loading on fro-yo!
Soon, my daughter and I had to get back to the train station to get back to Mt. Prospect.  My sis-in-laws cousin was making dinner for us.  The farm girls from Michigan survived the big city! 

Hopefully, I will be able to post about my marathon and show a few pictures.


Sunday, October 13, 2013


Guess what!  I ran the Chicago Marathon today!  It wasn't my fastest, it wasn't my slowest, but it was the most fun I've ever had in a marathon! 
This is certainly the biggest marathon I've ever run.  I've never seen as many spectators either; there were spectators lining the entire course.  It was something else! 
I'm not going to write very much right now because I am exhausted.  I stayed in the city until my daughter left on a train for home and then had to ride a train back to where I'm staying. 
I will say this:  I FINISHED!!  I even finished moving at a pretty good pace!  I had a 4:49:36. 
My daughter has a lot of pictures on her camera and phone and will have to send them to me. 
I only have one to show:
This is my sis-in-law and me shortly after finishing. It was not easy standing for that picture! 
Marathon finishing sister-in-laws
OK, it's time to crash!
Runner Nerd
Chicago Marathon finisher

Friday, October 11, 2013


I'm in Chicago! 
We went to the expo this afternoon!  We figured that it would be better to do that today instead of tomorrow because it could involve a lot of walking.  It was huge; I think it is the largest marathon expo I've ever been to. 
Entering McCormic Place with our packet pick up tickets  
OMG!!! It's Dean Karnazes!!!!
I saw a celebrity!  Dean Karnazes was there.  There was a long line to see him so I just took a quick picture.  It would be sooooooo cool to actually have a picture with him but I was the only one in the group who was interested so I just took the pic!
I got my bib!!
Chicago Marathon race bib
There were photo taking spots all over the place in the expo.  This is one of them.  You scan your bib and your name appears on the background! 
I own 26.2
My feet were beginning to hurt from all the walking.  I'm not sure how long we were there but it was around 2 hours. 
We took a bus to near Millennium Park and saw the Bean; my daughter really wanted to see it again.  We thought we were going to get on the train right there by Millennium Park but when we got there we found out that it wasn't the right one.  We had to walk several more blocks to the right place.  I nearly fell asleep on the ride back to where we had to go. 
Tomorrow, I'm going to attempt to go into downtown Chicago by myself to meet up with several running bloggers!  This should be interesting; the country girl in the big city!  I have it all written out - which train to take and when to get off the train, then the next train to get on and where to get off and then it's 2 blocks to the place. 
 There's just one more day until the big day! 

Runner Nerd
blogging from Chicago

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chicago, Here Comes Runner Nerd!

Today, I ran my last run before the Chicago Marathon!  A little ole 3 miler!  I can hardly believe that I'm done training and all that is left is two rest days and then the big day!
I am heading to Chicago tomorrow.  My sister and sister-in-law are there; they flew in from CA this evening.  My daughter and I are driving there tomorrow morning.  My sis-in-law and I are going to the expo tomorrow afternoon.  We're staying with relatives of my sis-in-law who live in a suburb just north of Chicago.  This will be the first time I've ever not been alone in a hotel room the night before a marathon.  I'm  not sure about having so many people around me the night before.  It will be different.
I'm almost packed and just waiting for a load of laundry to finish drying; there's a couple things in there that I need to pack -nothing like waiting until the last minute! 

Chicago, here comes Runner Nerd!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Going to Key West again!

I am going to run the half marathon in Key West again in 2014!  I registered way back in May or June.  My friend, Erika, is also going!  Today we booked our hotel and flights!! 
I'm super excited to be going back to Key West, where it's close to perfect and far from normal!!
Runner Nerd
going to Key West again

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

More Birthday Weekend

I've had this post started and sitting around and figured I should probably finish it.
I had more fun than just the 8 mile race while I was on Mackinac Island.
Last year I was not able to run on my 50th birthday because I was dealing with Plantar Fasciitis and was determined to get rid of it so I could make it to the starting line in Key West in January.  I had to settle for a long  bike ride on my 50th birthday; it was quite depressing.  I did not take turning 50 well at all.
I'm still not happy about being in such high numbers but this year several things happened that made it easier to take!  When I returned to my hotel after the race there were several people who had run the race on the porch talking about the race so I joined in.  (Hotels on Mackinac Island all have big front porches.)  Other race runners came back and joined too.  It turns out that of all the people who were there talking about the race that I had the fastest time!!!  I was also the oldest!!  A lady asked how people found out their time and I showed her the scanning thingy on the bib and explained how it can be scanned.  I felt really smart!!  After I had lunch, I rode my bike all over the island for 2.5 hours.  The weather was beautiful that day.
I biked by the Governor's vacation house. 
Governor's vacation house

Gov's house
 Skull Cave
Skull Cave
 Later in the evening, I went on a 1.5 hour walking ghost hunt tour of the island.
Haunts of Mackinac ghost tour headquarters

It had cooled down a bit so I wore my long sleeve race shirt on the tour.  There were a couple other people doing the tour who had run the race and, once again, I had faster times than them!!   (Just call me Kara!!) I also made sure to tell them that it was my birthday!!  One of the haunted places we went to see was up on the top of a hill.  As we were walking up the hill I realized that I was passing other people and then I was right behind the tour leader!  A lady who had run the race said something about how I could be moving so fast after the running the race this morning!!  Somebody else said something else about the younger ones speeding up the hills.  This was one time when I was more than happy to admit that I was 51!!!
This church has a ghost who is seen at times but did not appear during our tour, oh well!  
Are there any orbs in my pic?
I made it through the 1.5 hr walking ghost tour and then it was time for...ICE CREAM!!!  I put it off earlier because the waitress gave me a free dessert after lunch!  It was yummy!!!
Sunday morning I was once again awaken by the sound of horses hooves on the street!  Sunday morning was much cooler than it was on Saturday.  I went out for an easy run.  I was planning on running about 3 miles.  I had a brochure from one of the bike rental places that had a biking tour map and it said it was approximately 3 miles.  I had to keep stopping to look at the map.  I passed by a lot of the things I saw yesterday when I was biking.  The 8 mile race was mostly flat but once you turn off the outside perimeter road it becomes hilly.  When I got to the end of the approximately 3 mile bike tour route I was at 3.7 miles and had to run back through town to my hotel so I ended up with just over 4 miles.  When I was out on the roads I saw several others out running.  As I was running through town back to my hotel, a man called out to me that the race was yesterday and didn't I get enough then!  (He said it jokingly.)  I yelled back, "training for Chicago and that doesn't stop!"   When I got back to the hotel and walked up the walk to the front porch, a man who I had talked to yesterday and who also ran the race was surprised that I went running again that morning!  That me feel like such a hard core runner!!  I'm not telling all these things to brag; it's just that all of these things made turning 51 less tragic!
All too soon it was time to get back on the ferry and head back to Mackinac City.
Goodbye Mackinac Island!  Thought I was taking a pic of my hotel but it is only partially visible on the far right. 

View of Fort Mackinac as the ferry pulls away
I had lunch in Mackinac City and wandered just a bit.  Then I headed south.  I stopped to visit my daughter in Mount Pleasant which is right on the way.  As always, when one visits one's child at college, we went shopping for groceries and then I took her for dinner. 
So, that was my birthday weekend! I can't think of a better way to spend a birthday than to run a race!  Next year my birthday will be on a Sunday so I'll be looking for somewhere spectacular that is having a race that day!
Now I'm back to training for the Chicago Marathon!

Runner Nerd
back from the UP