Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Lake Run

I took advantage of the nice early-spring-like-temps and headed out to the lake to get a recovery run in. (Recovery as in recovery from the long weekend!) 

Boat and skyline

I heard that some of the marathon training groups start this weekend, so the number of relatively empty Lakefront runs will be reduced until mid-October. Add to that there will likely be plenty of 80+ degree brutal days from now until then, and this was really a run to savor.

Selfie At about mile 4

8:45,7:53,7:58,8:47,7:50,7:34,7:40,7:08 = 7.45 miles @ 8:00/mile average

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Getting Back to Running

I was out of the running scene most of last week due to a cold. It may or may not have been related to a Saturday night out with friends at Del Frisco's on Oak St. and ending up at Pippin's Tavern past 4am. Haven't done a night like that in about 20 years! Anyway, on the plus side of it all, I am all healed up from whatever shin problem I was having and my legs still feel fast. I don't know how much longer I can keep having fast runs without putting in more than 20 miles/week, but it sure is fun!

My 2nd Run today at Horner Park!
A congrats to all of you guys who PR'd yesterday in pristine weather conditions for speed at the Soldier Field 10 Miler! With my luck, I'll run it next year and it will be 95 degrees!

Next up the Run for The Animals 10k on Saturday.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Two Runs under Blue Blue Skies

I ran my long run this morning along the lake, with the sky as blue as I can remember. The temps were fantastic for this time of year, hovering in the upper 40s to low 50s.

North Avenue Beach House
Hancock Building
Break Wall
Navy Pier
Sea Gulls
I did the run-walk-run method (5 min run, 35 second walk) again and still did a quality workout.  I am thinking that for the time being, my long runs will all include a few walk breaks. 15 miles at 7:56/mile.

I took a nap after my run. In the early evening, the weather was still incredible, so I ran through my neighborhood. 2.25 miles at 7:45/mile. Hope this weather hangs on for a little while longer!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I Went to the Track, But The Track was Gone

This morning, I woke up early, eagerly anticipating my first speed workout at the North Park University track. It has been about three months since I set foot on a track. After I had recovered from my injury, I did not do any speed work, as I did not want to risk injury during my crash course final six weeks of marathon training.

So after getting ready, I ran a 1.5 mile warm-up to get to the track, mentally preparing for for the workout as I ran.

However, once I got there, I saw a big construction fence encircling the entire track. Sure enough, when I looked over the fence, I saw that the entire track surface had been removed:

The remains of what used to be the North Park University Track.
By the looks of it, they are going to resurface the track. I am all in favor of a new track surface. Many non-runners use the track to launch fireworks and there were several deep burn holes in some of the lanes. Also, lots of people used to ride their bikes around the track, so it has seen lots of wear of the years. However, I am sad that it will be closed just as I wanted to get back out on the track. Also, I'm a little nervous as I see the construction crew is building an actual permanent fence with a gate around the perimeter. Hopefully we don't get locked out!

Trucks working on the Track
So, instead of running my speed workout on the track, I did it over at the Chicago River North Branch trail. During my workout, I waved at some familiar faces from the track who were also using the trail for their workouts.

The North Branch River Trail where I did my workout instead.
It's a little different doing speed workouts on the trail, because there are several mini hills that either slow you down or speed you up, so it can be more of a struggle at times. The effort I need for each interval may have been different, depending on the terrain. Also, you don't get the cushioning of a track as the trail is all asphalt and concrete. Anyway, despite all of that I was able to run my intervals:

2.0 mile warm-up run
1.0 mile @ 5:55, .25 mile walk
.75 miles @ 5:58, .25 mile walk
.50 miles @ 5:54, .20 mile walk
.25 miles @ 5:29
1.1 mile cool-down run

I have a feeling that my legs will be a little extra sore today because I ran a track-like workout on a hard surface. Hopefully, the new-and-improved (i.e. firework proof) track will be fixed and open to the public (i.e. me) again soon!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Putting the Lakefront back in the Lakefront Trail

It's been almost four weeks since I've run down to the lakefront. My mileage since Boston has been minimal, so in order to ease back into my long runs, I decided to do a run-walk-run. My goal was to run five minutes then take 35 second walk breaks and see how I felt.

At my turnaround at Oak Street Beach (looking sweaty)
I started my trek at around 7 am. I was super excited to finally get down to the lake after my layoff! The sky was blue, and the weather was cool. It was one of those days where you want to just run and keep on running. In fact, I ended up running 13.1 miles. That's more mileage than I ran all last week combined! Anyway, what a great day for a run!

Boat from Norway?
Sun over Belmont Harbor
Action shot while running near Diversey Harbor
Fisherman at Diversey Pier
North Avenue Beach House
My legs feel tight right now, but I don't think I did any damage. The walk breaks are supposed to help with keeping injuries to a minimum. In any case, I'll probably sleep well tonight!

13.1 miles @ 7:37 mile  = 1:39:46 (including walk breaks).

Friday, May 3, 2013

My Favorite Ravenswood Run Pictures

If you show up to spectate a race with a camera, runners will tend to strike some wacky poses for you. At the Ravenswood Run on Sunday, I think a lot of runners thought I was the official race photographer by the way they were hamming it up in front of me. I thought I would post some of my favorite pics:

Runners in German Garb in front of German Restaurant "Chicago Brauhaus"
You the man!
Punk? Or hair just in flight?
Scooters are the best way to race!

Wacky #1
Wacky #2
I've totally got this!


Dual Thumbs Up! #1 and #2
It's a Party!
Him: "Yep, I'm #2303!" Her: "Oh yeah? I'm thumbs up #3"

This is fun!
Thumbs Up #4
Thumbs Up #5

Dog with its own race bib

The Leis

Oh yeah, let's not forget the men's race winner. I forgot to post his pic last post.