Settling into mundane reality

Settling into mundane reality

This is actually last week’s blog. 🙂

Not sure what happened to last week. Would love to report that I took the week off and had my feet up someplace or was vacationing on a sunny beach. No such luck. Although if that were the case, I’d probably have something exciting to write about. Can’t even say I filled my time voting last week. Thanks to early voting here in Illinois, I did that the week before the election.

My life is filled with mundane reality at the moment.  Working. Running. Housekeeping. Parenting. Highlights include weekends with my boyfriend and a little extra time with my girl this month. Still love Chicago although I miss summer. But every morning I ask, “Alexa, what’s the weather?” and I get the report for Chicago. And then I ask, “Alexa, what’s the weather in Ramsey, New Jersey?” So far, no drastic differences. Somedays better there. Some days better here.

My first season as Let Me Run Chicago Metro regional director is coming to an end and I’m thinking forward to spring and beyond, tasked with expanding this worthwhile program. About 120 boys participated this season and completed their 5k this month. I feel pretty good about that, but every boy should have a chance, so that not only means getting the word out to other schools but finding donors and sponsors to underwrite the program for Title 1 schools and provide scholarships for low income families.

Personally, I am also working on building my business here in Chicago (Click HERE for what I do). So, spending lots of time networking! My daughter, apparently less than satisfied with her social life at college has resorted to coming home (although she still calls New Jersey, not the apartment, “home”) mid-week when she has a day without classes and spending time with me. No problem with that. She even cooked dinner – without being asked! – one night last week!

Somewhere in the middle of all this, I realized that my first opportunity to qualify for the Boston Marathon in my new age group will be next fall. I signed up for the Chicago Marathon lottery and, although still 49 weeks away, I spent a bunch of time last week sketching out a training plan. If I’m really going to do it this time, I have to get serious about it and start prepping myself for the training early. When I ran my marathon PR (personal record) in spring 2014, I had been working hard at strengthening and stretching, as well as speed and endurance, months in advance of the actual marathon training.

While I am not a big fan of winter (here, New Jersey, or anywhere cold), having goals keeps me from just staying under the warm covers and catching up on Netflix. Getting out the door is hard, but whether it’s to log some miles or to have coffee with a new contact, I never, ever, regret doing it. Exploring keeps reality from being too mundane and certainly keeps me busy!

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Exploring the Lakefront Trail. Lincoln Park. Chicago, Illinois. November, 2018.

 

Guest: My first marathon (at age 61)

Guest: My first marathon (at age 61)

Today I give my blog over to my first guest blogger, Kurt Fliegel (and, in the interest of full disclosure, my boyfriend). I thought it would be nice to give you his perspective on his first marathon.

Everything everybody says about running a marathon is absolutely true. The highs, the lows, the spectrum of emotions and the breadth and depth of experiences, all the stories by all kinds of runners—it’s the same for everybody, and completely different too. But it’s all true. Read more

First marathon: the role of a coach

First marathon: the role of a coach

“If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon.” – Emile Zatopec

Deciding to take on the marathon – like getting a tattoo – has to be a personal decision. It shouldn’t be something one does on a dare or feels compelled to do because of others’ expectations. It has to be about you, your goals, and who you want to be. That said, when asked, “Do you think I can do this,” my answer is yes 99% of the time. Read more

2018 Chicago Half Marathon Reviewed

2018 Chicago Half Marathon Reviewed

The Chicago Half Marathon/5k was this past weekend. Like all of the other city races I’ve run here, it was a great course and a well-organized race.  It was a Lifetime Fitness event that served as a Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA) Circuit Race and the USA Track & Field Illinois (USATF-IL) Half Marathon Championship. The event also boosted fundraising efforts for charity partner Chicago Run, which promotes “the health and wellness of Chicago children through innovative, engaging, and sustainable youth running programs.” Read more

Mental fortitude and training for a fall marathon

Mental fortitude and training for a fall marathon

When I set out to train for my first marathon over twenty-one years ago, I thought a fall race presented the best opportunity. Even after my second marathon – a spring race – I still believed it was easier to train through the summer than the winter. Of course, I was in my 30s and heat didn’t bother me as much as it does now.

As a coach, and with the experience of having completed eight marathons (four fall and four spring), I will, whenever possible, steer my clients to a spring race. Training through the harsh conditions of winter, I have learned, provides a better opportunity for building what my coach referred to as “mental fortitude.” This is so necessary for staying focused and pushing through in the final miles of the 26.2-mile trek. Read more