Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cross Training and an evening run along the lake

Good morning, marathon fans!  Wednesdays are my cross-training days, and yesterday I survived an 80-minute session with Greg the personal trainer.  What I like best about working with a trainer is that it forces me to get out of my comfort zone and try new exercises.  

After such a great session in the morning, I decided to double-up in the evening and head out to try for the 7 miles we had on the calendar for Wednesday.  That was a great idea, until I actually started running and realized just how tired my muscles were from all those weights earlier in the day.

While Evan took off with a burst of speed to go for the whole the 7 miles, I worked in some of Jeff Galloway's famous walk breaks.  It was just a little too late, and I was a little too tired to get up to the 7-mile mark, but I was happy to stay in the 4-5 mile range.  And it was a lovely evening to be out & about at the lake.

The great thing about running along the lake in Chicago is that there is only really that one trail, so Evan ran to our 3.5 mile marker and turned around, while I cruised back and forth along the 2 mile marker, and we finished together.  I was proud to meet his pace on the way back, and even sprint the last block, once my muscles were feeling warmed up.

What do you do to cross-train?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Overhead excitement to mark 15 miles

Hello marathon fans!   Evan and I finally made it to the 15-mile mark on Saturday!  We took about 2 hours, 45 minutes.  The goal for the long run is to finish and push endurance without regard to time.  Our running coaches from Team for Kids are encouraging a long run pace of approximately 1-1.5 minutes slower per mile.  So, we are in a good place, though we are working in more speed training this week on shorter distances.

Saturday's 15 miles were accompanied by the blue angels flying overhead (I totally failed at taking pictures, but I love this photo, from the J. Parker's FB page).  The air & water show was in full swing, so we altered our route a little to detour through Lincoln Park instead of home along the lake front.  The airplanes overhead were actually pretty inspiring and great entertainment along the way.

On Sunday I cross-trained by going to Ikea and moving/constructing furniture.  That probably counts as a rest day, but I was still recovering from Saturday and definitely felt like it was enough physical activity for the day.  Check back for a post of our shiny new TV and the bench it lives on.

Monday I had a goal of 7 miles on the calendar, but ended up splitting it into 4-mile runs both Monday and yesterday because work got a little crazy on both days, so I didn't have as much time as I'd hoped.  I've been doing evening runs during the week and yesterday the lake was just lovely.  I'll bring my phone tonight to capture some evening action shots.

What keeps you going on your long runs?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Here we go!

Hello family and friends!  Welcome to Molliken on the Move. 

I decided about a year ago that I wanted to run a marathon.  I realized that throughout all the various adventures and experiences I've had in my 20's, I could only count a few distinct "accomplishments" among them.  I had this nagging feeling that 30 was sneaking up on me, and I didn't want this decade to sneak out without feeling like I'd accomplished some specific challenges, this among them.

I am not a natural runner.  It's taken most of my adult life to feel confident enough to want to run with anyone else.  I'm slow, and probably pretty awkward-looking when I run, though I like to imagine otherwise (it keeps me going).  I am also not a particularly experienced runner - growing up I much preferred skiing, or other sports that didn't emphasize running speed.  I completed my first 5K about 4 years ago, but became totally hooked on the energy and enthusiasm I felt on that race day, and have worked my way up to longer distances from there.  Our goal for November 4 is to cross the finish line, regardless of the time.

Marathon training is in full swing in Chicago.  Evan and I have been battling heat and blisters while working hard to increase our mileage.  With 79 days to go until the marathon, we've already experienced some ups and downs and are excited to share the process, as we get ready for "the run of our lives."

Please check back for updates and anecdotes about marathon training, and don't forget to sponsor me here: