A blog by runners. For runners.

Two weeks to the Chicago Distance Classic

I had no idea it has been 2 weeks since my last blog entry and it isn't supposed to read like a confessional! Since my last entry we've run 7 miles, 8 miles, 10k and today we ran 9 miles as part of our half marathon training. This is in addition to the 5-3-5 midweek miles we've been doing so we've really been pounding down the lakefront path. It was nice to have the fallback long run last week where we dropped back from 8 miles to a 10k. You feel so mentally refreshed and it helps a lot.
Today we started out heading North from our place for 2.5 miles and back then 2 miles South and back to get the distance we needed. It's been great psychologically to develop a couple of northbound 3,4 and 5 mile routes and the same heading south so we can mix it up to get the distances we need but still remain on familiar paths. We're also spoiled by beautiful scenic paths along Lake Michigan although you wouldn't think it the way I get cranky with some of the other people on the path. The first mile today we were plagued by the runner who doesn't want to be passed. We were clearly about 10 seconds faster per mile as we approached a lady jogging our way so we gave her a wide birth, passed and after we were a good 5 meters clear we pulled back in front of her. As I glanced over my shoulder she had accelerated behind my wife Melissa and through her hands up in the air like we were in her way. I thought maybe she was running intervals but after she stormed past us by cutting over the grass she slowed back to the same 10 seconds per mile slower pace again. Fortunately Melissa is more patient than me and she just had us slow down until she had taken another path.
The run went great today despite the 80 degree heat. It's not as hot as some of the more humid runs we've done but it felt good today. We stopped a for water at a fountain around mile 4,6 and 8 and made it home in just over 90 minutes. I had remembered to pick up some of the Gatorade Endurance formula at the store last week and refrigerate it so that was nice to come home to. In the summer it's generally a good idea to weigh your self before your run and after to get an idea of your sweat rate and I think the guideline is to drink 16 ounces of water for every pound of weight you lose. I lost 6 pounds running today! That's 96 ounces of water to get back the lost water weight!
This was Melissa's longest run of her life so I'm really proud of how she has done. Two years ago she had just started running as we trained for the PAWS 8k together. Last year she accompanied me on some of my training runs for the San Francisco Marathon (which was exactly a year ago today). It's awesome that she is in training for her first half marathon this year and is doing so well. She's much better at getting out of bed early and running than me so it's a struggle sometime.
I heard from a running friend Todd this week that he has been suffering from the dreaded black toenail and has tendonitis in both ankles. Todd ran the San Diego half marathon in June with Team In Training when I ran the full and I'm sure his tendonitis is related to the banked highways like mine was. I told him that I had read a lot about the black toenail and that it can be caused from having shoes that are too small. They fit fine and may be your normal shoe size when you aren't running but in the heat of running and especially in the heat of summer, your feet can swell almost a size. My advice if you've got a similar problem would be to head to your nearest specialist running store and ask to be fitted. Make sure you mention the black toenail problem and take your running shoes with you.
Lastly today, if you are a Nike+ Sport Kit user and have an account at Nikeplus.com where you upload your routes, check out the the challenges. If you look, there is a 60 mile WalkJogRun challenge where the goal is to run 60 miles in 4 weeks. It's free to sign up and it's been running 6 days at this point so you aren't far behind.
Have a good running week and maybe I'll check back in during the week as we work up to our 10 mile run next Sunday. We're off to brunch as a treat to regain some of the 1000 calories we just burned this morning.