Imerman Angels

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Post Altitude Week

Sorry to not have posted in a while. I have started coaching and helping out at my school. Between that and running, I have not had too much energy to post. I am loving being busy though. It means less thinking.

In the last blog post I mentioned I went to Denver and got a few runs in. Hearing about training a altitude made me wonder about the effects it would have on my running when I ventured back to Chicago. I wondered how the week would go with the soreness I felt from my 17-miler in Denver. Surprisingly enough, my four runs went pretty well.

August 18, 2013

This is probably the most excited I have ever been for a five mile run. I thought I would run like the wind and get this run over asap. That did not immediately happen. My sore legs prevented me from getting out of the gates as quickly as I would have liked. Once the first mile ended, things went really smooth. I ended up with an eight minute mile average. It felt really nice to breathe again on a run. That is where I really noticed the difference. I probably could have and should have pushed it a little harder on this run to test my limits. On to the next one.

August 19, 2013

Very up and down here. If there had been any week where I should have tested my limits, it should have been last week. I have noticed that my runs lately are starting off really slow. I know that I have mentioned that I am a runner that tends to get stronger as they go, but I would like to come out stronger and get a little more consistent. The first five miles went like this: 9:22, 8:51, 8:12, 8:16 and 9:11! The 9:11 split probably came from being stopped at a couple lights, but still, I did not like seeing that number. The one positive that came out of this run is that I felt strong enough to finish strong. I know the goal is the marathon, but I probably should pick it up.

August 20, 2013

Another slow start to one of my runs! Despite that, this is the best run I had during the week. My legs did not feel too sore and I felt great. Nothing really bad to say about this run. I did look at my gps and quietly yell out, "There is no way I ran this time." I need to be happy with some of these times. I am lucky to have made it to this point of marathon training healthy. With that in mind, I still had my longest run of the week go; an 18-miler!

August 24

I typically prefer to get my longer runs in on Sunday. I do this because (and I may have mentioned this before) most races are actually on Sunday. Since I had to work some on Sunday and I had nothing else to do on Saturday afternoon, Saturday would be the day for this run. Once I got done lounging around the house, I finally put on my shoes and left the house.

I kept the first half of his run around the nine minute mile mark. This time the slow start is by design. I needed to make sure that I had the legs to finish the rest of the run strong. This is probably where I truly felt the Denver effect. I felt like I could have run the marathon that day.

According to my gps, I ran the first half of the run at 1:20:29. I felt very happy about this because my legs felt great and his is where I picked things up. Minus a couple of hiccups, the second half went great. I ended up running the second half about four minutes quicker than the first nine miles. I am still learning a lot about running, but I think I have become a much smarter runner over the past three years. Hopefully my body will be ready and willing over the next few weeks. There are some challenging runs coming up.

Thanks for reading. Once I get my schedule down pat, more post will come. I may even start doing these from my phone right after I get done running.

Keep working hard!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Running in Denver

This post will not be completely about running in Denver, but I will talk a lot about that. I wanted to have fun in Denver, but I also did not want to completely neglect my running. Since I had three full days in Denver, I altered my running schedule to get two runs in out there. I definitely had an interesting week of training.

August 13, 2003

This is the best run I have had in a really long time. Everything just seemed to come together for this one. When I started running I started a little slow, but once the second mile happened, my body felt super light. The last three miles were negative splits and I am always happy when that happens. Maybe the cupcakes I got promised made me run faster.

When I got to my friend Jenny's, I had a couple of really good cupcakes she made and relaxed. We had an unexpected Los Angeles theme night when we decided to watch a couple of 30 for 30's; the Raiders doc Ice Cube produced and The Marinovich project. They are both very good and I would suggest them. Shortly after that, I headed home to get some sleep.

August 15, 2003

Normally I run Tuesday-Thursday and then Saturday or Sunday. This week, knowing that I would be in Denver for the weekend, I decided not to do my mid-week long run before work and altered my scheduled. Running twice in Denver seemed ambitious, but I like to challenge myself while running. The extra day seemed to help my running.

I had another run with mostly negative splits (my split went up six seconds between miles five and sex).  This is another run where I felt really strong. I am excited to say I finished the last mile with a pace of 6:54.  I felt like I could run forever. Maybe my body will be nice to me and feel that way on the day of the marathon. When I got done running, I hung out at work for a bit and then headed home because I would have to pack clothes for the trip eventually.

August 16

Flying into Denver

I left my place around 3 a.m. to catch a 6 a.m. flight from O'Hare. I know that sounds extremely early, but traveling with drama seems to be thing. The flight went surprisingly really smooth. That could also be because I think I slept through most of it. Once I got to Denver, I ran into my college friend Vicky and her friend Mo. They rented a car and we headed to Boulder.

         Mountains! Driving to Boulder

We had breakfast at this great place called Snooze. It is very touristy, but it is also very good and the portions are large;I had a huge tasty burrito. We split up after that and while they went for a hike, my friend Miranda and I walked around Boulder for a bit. A hike would have been fun, but my legs were really sore for some reason.


Miranda took me to Nederland, Co after walking around boulder and we had a few drinks on the patio of a place called Wild Mountain Smokehouse & Brewery. We had great service and good beer. The weather could not have been better. It is definitely a great way to spend part of a Friday afternoon. We headed to her place after that.

View from Wild Mountain
I relaxed for a little bit while we watched Orange is the New black. When we got done watching that, despite my sore legs, I decided it would be run time! I definitely had been nervous because I did not know how I would react to the altitude. Sloan's lake would be my destination for the run.

So many Geese!

One lap around the lake is around 3.1m. I read a lot about running at altitude and tried to run slower than I normally do. That did not seem to challenging at the time, but once I got started, I could feel the difference immediately. Here we go.
People enjoying a nice day on the lake
My breathing felt shallower than normal during the run. I never felt like I had to stop, but I would take and deep breath feel like I did not take any air in. I probably could have pushed it some, but decided it would be best to keep a similar pace. Four miles is usually a short run, but this is probably the most challenging four miles I completed.

I stopped to take a few pictures
I ended up with a time of 32:16. That felt really good because I never felt particular great during the run. When I got done running, I made sure I drank a lot of water and got a good meal in afterwards. My next decision would be when or if I would complete my long run. Saturday would be a really long day, so if I did it any day, it would have to be Sunday.

August 17, 2003

Anyone who reads this blog knows I am a huge music fan. I just wanted to throw up a quick picture of one of my friends bands I saw at Chipotle Cultivate Festival.
Cold War Kids
Blitzen Trapper and Allen Stone were also really good. The Chicago Cultivate fest is on September 7 and I hope I can make it.

August 18

I woke up on Sunday morning and decided that I would feel really bad if I skipped my long run. Multiple people recommended that I run at Washington Park. I hatched out a plan to run to Washington Park from my friends place and once again had to pump myself up for a run. I hoped I would not get lost.

The beginning of the run started pretty slowly because I could no find the street I needed to get my run started. Once I discovered that one street turned in to another, things went pretty smoothly from there.
I got stopped by a train a couple of times on the run
One piece of advice I would give to runners running in a new place is to be very careful with google maps directions. I never use to take that warning seriously about there possibly not being sidewalks, but I encountered that a few times during my run to the park.  I never felt like I would be in danger, but it important to be safe. Back to the regular scheduled blog.

One of the things that made me nervous is that I forgot the Cliff Bar I bought in Denver for the run. I figured I would be ok without it for a while. Once I got to Washington Park, the plan had been to run three laps and some change to complete my 17-miler. My legs were starting to get really tired when I reached the park.

When I got the park, I had about nine miles to go. It could be that I am unfamiliar with the park, but I could not find any water fountains. A hot day, dry climate and no fuel can make for a disastrous run.
My friend Miranda showed up around mile 12 of my run and I got my Cliff Bar from her when I got to 13.1. The Cliff Bar and water she gave me reenergized me. I no longer felt the last four miles would be the death of me.

The last four miles were not easy but I pushed myself to get it done. I drank lots of water and stretched pretty throughly after I finished. It is not the first time I have completed a 17-mile run, but it is probably one of the most satisfying, difficult runs I have ever done. Whoo!

It will be interesting to see if I notice any benefits of running at altitude this week. We will not know until I try. That is all I have for now. I hope this has been an enjoyable post.

Keep working hard!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

What came on during my run

I figured I would throw up a quick blog while I wait to take off from Denver. I had a pretty great weekend and will talk about it more in detail tomorrow.

Here is what helped me get through my 17-miler today(in order):

The Killers-On Top

Royal teeth- for keeps

The hush sound-sweet tangerine 

Walk the moon-I can lift a car

Fitz and the tantrums-L.O.V

Matt and Kim-good for great

Royal teeth-wild 

Walk the moon-quesadilla 

Fall out boy-dead on arrival

Walk the moon-drunk in the woods

The Mowgli's-slowly,slowly

Fall out boy-rat a tat

The hush sound-crawling towards the sun

Walk the moon-tight rope

Vampire Weekend-A-punk

Jordan Knight-give it to you 

Walk the moon-tete-a-tete

Fun.-take your time coming home

Walk the moon-next in line


Lucky boys confusion-3 to 10

Sleigh Bells-riot rhythm 

Walk the moon-Anna Sun

Vampire weekend-California English 

Foster the People-pumped up kicks

Fun.-be calm

The mowgli's-San Francisco 

Fitz and the Tantrums-don't gotta work it out

The hush sound-don't wake me up

Fall out boy-Saturday

Ke$ha ft Andre 3000-get sleazy

Too Short-blow the whistle

The mowgli's-carry you will

The killers-smile like you mean it

The killers-Sam's town

Vampire Weekend-Run

Vampire Weekend-Diplomat's son

Fall out Boy-Phoenix 

Walk the moon-fixin

Lucky boys confusion-breaking rules

The hush sound-where we went wrong 

Foster the people-Houdini 

The mowgli's-The great divide 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Rain is a good thing

I had quite the exhausting week after coming back from St. Paul. It could that be that a certain someone had too much fun on the trip (me) or that something is up with my body. No matter what the cause is, I had a somewhat up and down week of training last week. Hopefully this week will be different. Lets take a look back at last week.

 August 6, 2013

It sounds weird to say I had an up and down week because I had no complaints with any of my times. I saw some quote this week that said something like, no matter how tired I am, I always find the energy to run (I tried finding it so I could attribute it to that person); that's how I felt on Tuesday. It took me pretty much all day to get motivated for a simple four mile run.

 My body felt lethargic and did not want to leave the house. Eventually, things got going. My body started to feel somewhat alive around 9:47 p.m. The first mile did not go so well; 9:06 split. Suddenly after that, things really got going and I kicked into gear. I managed to get three straight negative splits and finished the last mile with a 6:49 split. Do not ask me where that came from, but it felt great. Things looked promising for the week.

 August 7, 2013

 The mid-week long run can be a difficult one for all runners. It is difficult because it is a slightly longer difference and you have to find a time to do it. My work hours have always been odd, so it can be especially difficult for me. Last week, I worked from 5-9 p.m. and had to find a time to run and get over lethargic-ness.

 I managed to keep my splits between 7:41 and 8:32. My legs were really tired, but I had just had to keep lying to myself and say they were ok. The one thing that made me happy about the run is that I could finish my last half-mile really strong. Having enough energy to have a strong finish is important to me and is a way to implement speed work for me (I really need to get on that). I am not sure why I sweated so much, but that felt good. I even had enough energy to do a short 10-minute full body workout. Even though I did not work too late, I did not know how my legs would react the next day. 

August 8, 2013

Back down to the four mile. The day went by lazily again before I decided to do anything. There were a lot of things that I probably could have done, but just did not have the energy for(noticing a theme for last week). I am not even sure what happened during the day but I did not go running until much later. Eventually, I ran to my friend Jenny's house.

This might have been my best run of the week. The splits were 8:27,8:24, 8:07 and 7:04. These splits are fine for the short runs, but I know that I should find a more consistent pace for the marathon. Again, I will not complain about the splits, because I am happy with them. Despite having good times during the week, the up and down nature of how my body felt, along with the fact that I had to work over 10 hours on Saturday, made me nervous for my long run. 

August 11, 2013

Work got done around 3:45 a.m. I did not get home and into my bed until around 4:15. I think I woke up around 9:30 or so the next day. I went back to sleep for a bit and then just stayed in bed for a very long time. There were thoughts of skipping he 13.1-mile run, but skipping would have made me feel bad. 5:00 p.m. came, I made a half pb & J for fuel and decided it would be now or never.

The sky did not look promising as I walked outside of my place. I said, "please do not rain on me during my long run."Windy City Running Girl and I must have started running around the same time because it started raining around mile three for me. Not sure of what to do at that point, I just kept going.

 It really started to come down and people must have looked at me like a crazy person. I did not want to stop and look at the radar so I just hoped it would stop at some point; it never really stopped. It came, it went, it came, it went. Each time it started raining, it rained a good amount. The best decision I made all day is to wear my Chicago Rock 'N' ROll half-marathon shirt. There is not a time at any point during my long run that I felt like I gained an extra five pounds because of a shirt sticking to me. It surprised me to see how many people were out running once the lakefront path became a part of my run (I wanted to high-five people, but I am not sure they would have liked that).

The first few miles were a little slower because of some stops and I tried to figure out what had been wrong with my phone. I got on to the lakefront path around mile six and started to feel great. It could have been the crazy amount of water I drank at work on Saturday. It could have been that my legs just started to feel great. It just made me happy that things were going well at the halfway point of my run. It is by far the best my body had felt all week. I knew I had been running hard, but it did not feel like a pace that had been too fast for me. Partial thanks go out to the guy who went by me around mile 10.5. He helped push me to finish the run strong.

Upcoming week

Who knows how the week will go, but it should be interesting. I have a trip to Denver on Friday morning and will try to get some runs in out there. Any tips for running out there? That's all for me today.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What came on during my run

Normally I put on one of my playlist so I do not have to worry about skipping songs. During the run tonight, the phone got to "choose" what played.

Here it is:

Good Charlotte-Counting the days

T.I.-dead and gone(Great song, but I don't like running to it)

JD McPherson-B.G.M.O.S.R.N.R &Scratching circles

Kid Cudi-Hyyerr(skipped-wayyy to slow)

JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound-Missing things (another slow song but I love this group)

All Time Low-A Party Song (The Walk Of Shame)-actual name of song

Punchline-Punish or Privilege & Maybe I'm wrong (I've been a big fan of this group since high school so I put them back on the iPhone)

Royal Teeth-Wild(Great song. These guys should hit it big. They have a great live set)

Bayside-Have Fun Storming The Castle Jack's Mannequin-Television Walk portion 

O.A.R-Conquering Fools

The next song would have been Pitbull's "sticky icky"

I want to do more of these post. I think they are fun and I love sharing my music with others. I have mentioned this before, but I will listen to just about anything during a run.

Random note- I finally watched an episode of "Orange is the new Black" with my friend Jenny tonight. It has been a show that has gotten a lot of attention so I am glad she had it on. I liked the episode I saw and will definitely have to give it another shot.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Another week down

It has been a while since I have updated this blog, so I decided to it on my megabus back to Chicago. I am on my way back from the Twin Cities. I had an awesome time celebrating at te Grinagers' wedding. I expected it to be a great time but I worried that I would potentially have to skip a couple of my runs. 

I got in to St. Paul around 8:30 p.m.  on Thursday and had a pretty late night hanging out with some of the wedding guests. I thought about going for my four mile run that night but it had been too dark and I did not want to get lost. The first thing I had to do is find a place to run. There is a little park called Harriet Island regional park right by the hotel I stayed in. I figured that would be a good place to go for a short run. I wanted to do two miles somewhere and back, but I ended up just doing loops in the park instead. The run went pretty well. I also enjoyed the sunny weather and breeze that also accompanied my run. My splits were pretty wacky but I am happy I got the run in.  Once I got done I stretched in an open field and just relaxed. When I got back to the hotel I figured out there would be a a half marathon Saturday morning. I wish I had figured out earlier so I could have gone to the expo. The race started right by right by our hotel so I decided that I would get up early and watch part of it. 
Plaza De Honor at Harriet Island Regional Park
I spent part of my Friday night trying to find a trail or good route to do my 15 miler Saturday morning. There were a couple if good options but I settled on running from to my hotel to Lake Phalen. The park is 4.2 miles from where I stayed and Lake Phalen is 3.125 miles around. I decided to run to Lake Phalen, do two laps and run back to the hotel. Now that I had a plan on where to run, I just had to actually get out of bed and do it. 
Start of the Twin Cities Half-Marathon

Getting up early surprisingly worked out well. I think it had something to do with me not wanting to be in the hotel for too long. I did lay around for a bit but I eventually got up around 8 a.m. I knew I had plenty of time because the wedding started at 4:30 p.m. I got my gear on and did this hip strengthening and flexibility routine I have been doing lately. I like it a lot and would suggest it to any runner.  I left my hotel room and watched some of the runners during the Twin Cities half. Now that I got all of all that out of the way, I could go running!

Lake Phalrn
My three concerns for the run were getting lost, accidentally finding a bad neighborhood and not ring able to complete the run. I am proud to say none of the above happens; I think(it had been early and not many people were out). It also worried me that I did not eat or drink anything before the run. I am not a morning runner so it just skipped my mind. I used google maps to get me to the park; it worked out really well. There definitely plenty of inclines on the way there. There were concerns that these would kill my legs and I would have to give up. I told myself that would not happen because I did not want to have to pay for a cab back. 

Lake Phalen
Once I successfully made it to the park, I really enjoyed the scenery around the lake. I could not have asked for a better view and weather. The other thing I loved about the trail is that there were not too many people and the bikers have their own lane. The park is pretty flat except some small inclines. I attacked the inclines and felt they made my running a lot easier when I did not have to run up them. The two laps went really well and I headed back to the hotel. Getting back seemed much quicker for some reason; who knows.

Lake Phalen

I finished the run in the same park I ran in in Friday and thoroughly stretched. It felt awesome to complete the run and relax in the sun for a bit. I did not mind walking a little more because I did not want to be sore from the run so I could do some dancing(don't worry, I did plenty of dancing)!  I relaxed at the hotel and eventually got ready for the wedding! 

The moral of the long story is that vacation runs can be tough to fit in, but with some planning, they can happen. Use the Internet or ask someone for a good place to run. It can also be a fun way to view a city. That is all I have got for today. 

Run Happy!