Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Training Begins....again.....

Okay -- Training begins again for me on Monday. Been sidelined with sick children. But, Chris' times are starting to piss me off. But, I'm not competitive or anything......As far as being the sandbagger -- not! Mean words, little brother! I wanted to do a 4:20 AND fell massively short. But, LA -- here I come. New Orleans is a mere stepping stone in my journey to beat 4:30. And, I KNOW, I can do it -- my running partner just finished NYC in 4:05. So, I'll be damned -- I can do it!! And, as proof -- Zac Brown just won a CMA for Free -- my Chicago Song. Just bought my new ipod since the nano completely sucked wind and failed me at my time of need. Nothing beats the simplicity of forward, reverse. Who the hell needs touch technology while attempting to run 26.2. Now -- the real question -- are we maintaining this blog or starting one for NOLA and LA??? Let's do it!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What's Next...

Well... here we go again folks... We're off again!

2/13/11 - New Orleans Half Marathon - Betsy hits the pavement and I just may join her.. What a better way to turn 40! Running with my lil sis in "N'awlins".. It's a rock 'n roll half and you know they serve up some great cerveza after this puppy.

3/20/11 - LA Marathon. Molly, Jennifer and myself are registered. WTF? Yup, we're knocking them off left and right. Now starts the arm twisting.. who else is going to join us? If you're reading this.. you're invited

10/2/11 - Poconos 70.3 IronMan... Known as a "Tin-Man" 1/2 of an full Iron Man: 1.2 Mile swim (I do this before breakfast...really), 56 Mile Bike (I need a good bike) and 13.1 Mile run (that's it?). I'm doing this one for me, but would love company...

- Christopher

Monday, October 18, 2010

Chicago Marathon - Results and Pictures !

Our results!

Sally = 4:57:31 (awesome first marathon: must be the mile high air she trained in!)

Jennifer = 5:03:46 (if you read all the posts from Jennifer about how she's suffering and isn't going to make it... pffst... As our father would have said ..."sand bagger")

Molly = 5:23:25 (Nice time, also first marathon)

Christopher = 5:45:20 (Dead last, finished with a smile on my face and headed straight for the beer tent)

Pics! (Click for full view)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Bug: New Challenge

I've been bitten... I have the "bug".. bad. I'm depressed now that we rocked Chicago... What the hell am I supposed to do now?

Answer: Something else dummy

Molly may have just given it to me... LA marathon, March 20th, 2011.
( .
Point to Point run and basically downhill ???? Hmmm.. while the hell not? Avg max temp = 68 degrees in March. A nice 5 months away... perfect for a new training program...

Sibs... what do ya think? We can all crash at Molly's place (shh.. haven't asked her yet).

I'm also toying with the idea of a tri... seriously thinking about the Lone-star 1/2 iron-man in April @ Galveston... anyone up for that?

Monday, October 11, 2010

We Rocked It!! Four 4 Wally Rules!

Quick post -- we did it! We all finished. Yahoo! Okay -- off to get my aleve and some sleep. More later!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Marathon Jitters

I've been told this can happen... seems it has come true. A Blasts of posts from my sisters losing their F'n minds.

We've all put in the miles.. no one is cheating here. I've seen the Nike+ posts. We're ready and rested. I'm enjoying the excitement and cannot wait to see you all this weekend.

Tonight I'm relaxing and going to veg in bed, fire up my laptop and watch a movie that got me moving on this marathon idea in the first place. If you have not watched this movie.. do so. It'll inspire you.

Oh yea.. here is the site to register to track us:

Wow. It's 4 days away!


Sorry Mom, but it's all I can really type to sum up all my emotions right now.  I'm scared.  Like out of my mind scared.

People say to me in response, "WHAT!?!  How can you be scared of running?  You've been running for 8 months straight.  Frankly, I'm sick of hearing about it. You are going to do fine!"

You know what I want to say to that?

Well.  My mother reads this so I'm not going to tell you. (see above for an example)

In essence, what they are saying is correct.  I have been running, I have prepared, I am ready.  However they are not necessarily addressing the concerns I have regarding my up-coming MARATHON run.  That's right, I said MARATHON.  I mean, as legend has it, a man DIED at the end of 26.2 miles.  (Though that may have been proven historically false)  Irrelevant!  26.2 is still a sh*t long way to run.  A sh*t long way to tell your mind everything is alright... just.  keep.  going.

Since January 17, 2010, the day I signed up for the Chicago Marathon I have been preparing for the moment just four days away.  To date, I've run 3 half marathons in a race setting, and in training have run 14, 16, 18, and 22 miles.  Textbook says I'm prepared.

And this is what my mind tells me:
1)  You SUCKED at those 22 miles.  You walked 5 of them!
2)  Remember how hard for a time you had in Austin?  Ya, it's going to be like that....but worse.
3)  Nan-uh-nan-uh-nan-uh!  Your foot injury is going to be a prob-lem!
4)  Dang, you haven't even run a mile since your last long run?  Ha!  Your training is probably half what it used to be.
...and so forth.

Damn, my mind is MEAN.  Then again, Betsy could have told you that.

Bottom line is, I'm scared of not finishing.  I'm scared of disappointing myself.  I'm scared my mind will get the better of me and not me it.  I'm scared that one of my siblings is going to do better than me. (Uh, did I say that out loud?)

At the end of the day one thought, one word, brings it all back into perspective.  PISKUN.  WE are doing this for him.  It's us out there.  Not just me.  All of us, together.

Jennifer, the oldest.
Christopher, the man.
Sally, the strength.
Molly, the punk.
Betsy, the rock.
Mom, the cheerleader.

It's funny what happens when you are hesitant, scared, and anxious about an inevitable event.  In this case the marathon.  Your mind quickly reviews all the times in your life you've felt similar and reminds itself the outcome.  For me, the only other time in my life that I can remember being this freaked was when I was six years old.  Ironically it was in the exact same city I sit today.

My family took a trip to Los Angeles for Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm.  I couldn't tell you much about Disneyland other than I remember loving Space Mountain and thinking the Matador was the scariest creature to ever have lived; and as such, questioned why it even lived in Disneyland at all.  But the moment I remember like it was yesterday, was that yellow, one loop roller coaster.  You know, the one that is a straight line that suddenly shoots you up, through one loop and back...backwards.  I remember staring at it.  Shaking my head.  "NO WAY!  Nun, uh.  I'm not going on that!  No, daaaaaaaaaaad!" being two seconds away from a complete meltdown.

"You're going."  He replied.  "Piskun's try everything once."

Needless to say, I LOVED every second of that ride.  I believe I made my brother ride it with me 3 straight times that day.  Today, there is no ride I won't go least once.

Funny.  I feel the exact same tantrum brewing today.  The same adamant refusal to try something so daunting and dangerous, so unfathomable.  I just want to run away (figuratively of course) from the task.  But at the same time, I hear that phrase... "Piskun's try everything once."

Jennifer, I couldn't think of a better phrase for our custom made, black and yellow running shirts.  In fact, I think Dad would cry to see we've embraced his yellow/black life-long obsession.

26.2 to go.  This one's for, as Chris would say, you Pop!

Jennifer's Playlist -- No particular Order

The official race song is Beautiful Day by U2. I always start mine with Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen. I won't part with tradition. Other than this first song -- here is my list, in no particular order since I put the pod on shuffle:

Wide Open Spaces -- Dixie Chicks
Remedy -- Black Crowes
Born to Run -- Bruce Springsteen
Off the Wall -- Michael Jackson
Love Story -- Taylor Swift
Beer for my Horses - Toby Keith and Willie Nelson
Better be good to me -- Tina Turner
Billie Jean -- Michael Jackson
Beat It -- Michael Jackson
Live LIke you were dying -- Tim McGraw
Single Ladies -- Beyonce
Never Wanted Nothing More -- Kenny Chesney
Time for me to fly -- REO Speedwagon
September -- Earth wind and fire
Wanna Be Startin' something -- Michael Jackson
Cecilia - Simon & Garfunkel
The Best -- Tina Turner
Thriller -- Michael Jackson
A Change Would do you Good - Sheryl Crow
Brown Eyed Girl -- Van Morrison
I will Follow - U2
Hit me with your best shot -- Pat Benetar
Kiss a Girl -- Keith Urban
Mercy -- Duffy
Suspicious Minds -- Dwight Yoakum
I gotta feeling -- Black eyed peas
Don't stop believin' - Journey
You can't stop the beat -- hairspray
Poker face -- lady gaga
Any way you want it -- journey
Don't stop til you get enough -- michael jackson
solsbury hill -- peter gabriel
dancing queen -- abba
dancing with myself -- billy idol
son of a preacher man -- dusty springfield
A little less conversation -- elvis
we got the beat -- go-gos
welcome to the jungle -- guns n roses
i melt with you -- modern english
super freak -- rick james
blister in the sun -- violent femmes
it's raining men -- weather girls
hold on loosely -- 38 special
caught up in you -- 38 special
Free -- zac brown band
the departed song -- drop kick murphies; for betsy
up against the wall redneck mother -- jerry jeff walker
amarillo by morning -- george straight
some song by the muse -- that's for molly
it's tricky -- run dmc
Waking up in Vegas -- katy perry
rehab -- amy winehouse

my ipod just died -- no idea of the others -- but i have 6 hours of songs -- because it might just take me six hours. ugh!!

Track your number

Siblings --

Do not forget to load up your family members and friends [ie, our support team] on the track the runner option on the official marathon site. It's super easy to do. That way, they can follow us and know where we are -- that is, assuming I wear my chip. # days and counting. It's here. Are we ready? Let's do it!

It's official -- I'm freaking out....can I really do this?

Okay -- I am a bit freaked. And, I should not be - this is my third marathon. But, I am WOEFULLY underprepared for this event and pretty down in terms of motivation. I was so pumped -- as you will see from my posts below -- prior to this week. I knew I had my long run in the bag -- yet, I am finding it hard to get pumped for this run. I have done next to nothing in terms of excercise for nearly 2 weeks. My left knee is killing me -- giving out on me when I walk stairs or carry my children. I am going to so slow that I am seriously contemplating not wearing my chip. Please -- help, send the alarm, help me get pumped. Help me get in the mind-set that I can rock this marathon. That I can take on Boston. That I can finish and finish with pride. I am counting on you followers -- help me rock it!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Updated Playlist

Bored and since I'm not allowed to really run or do anything "hard" this week... I'm going a bit batty. So I've updated my playlist for the big day...

Ordered them by artist -

Sweet Emotion - Aerosmith
Thank You - Alanis Morissette
Hand in my Pocket - Alanis Morissette
Hey Jude - The Beatles (I just might sing this out loud while running)
In a Big Country - Big Country
I Gotta Feeling - The Black Eyed Peas
Let's Get It Started - The Black Eyed Peas (#1 in the list for sure)
Pump It - The Black Eyed Peas
I Miss You - Blink-182
Three Little Birds - Bob Marley
Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams
Surrender - Cheap Trick
Three Little Birdies Down Beats - The Chemical Brothers
Send the Pain Below - Chevelle
The Red - Chevelle
Woohoo - Christina Aguilera (stole this from Emily)
Viva La Vida - Coldplay
One - Creed
Have you Ever Seen the Rain - Creedence Clearwater Revival (Run Forest Run)
She Sells Sanctuary - The Cult (Just Love this song..)
You Might Die Trying - Dave Matthews Band
Louisana Bayou - Dave Matthews Band
Personal Jesus (Pump Mix) - Depeche Mode
Guitars, Cadillace - Dwight Yokem (Great shit kicking song)
My Way - Elvis Presley (If I can time it so I round 26 on this song... be very cool)
Lose Yourself - Eminem
Club Can't Handle Me - Flo Rida
Everlong - Foo Fighters
Our Lips are Sealed - Go Go's (no one can turn off this song)
Know Your Enemy - Greenday
You and Your Heart - Jack Johnson
Empire State of Mind - Jay-Z
Voodo Child - Jimi Hendrix
Pink Houses - John Mellencamp
Hot N Cold - Katy Perry
Tik Tok - Ke$ha (Molly...)
My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson
Mr. BrightSide - The Killers
Somebody Told Me - The Killers
Shadow of the Day - Linkin Park
One - Metallica
Kickstart My Heart - Motley Crue
Rockstar - Nickelback
Closer - Nine Inch Nails
Head Like a Hole - Nine Inch Nails
Mo Money Mo Problems - Notorious BIG
Crazy Train - Ozzy
Just Like a Pill - P!nk
Baby I'm a Star - Prince
Fat Bottomed Girls - Queen
Wake Up - Rage Against the Machine
Lunatic Fringe - Red Rider
Gimmie Shelter - Rolling Stones
It's Tricky - Run-DMC
The Spirit of the Radio - Rush
Rocket - Smashing Pumpkins
Jet Airliner - Steve Miller Band
Little Wing - Stevie Ray Vaughan
Rapper's Delight - The Sugarhill Gang
Just to See You Smile - Tim McGraw
Live Like You Were Dying - Tim McGraw
Jump - Van Halen
Bitter Sweet Symphony - The Verve
Gettin' Jiggy Wit It - Will Smith
How Do U Want It - 2Pac
Caught Up in You - .38 Special

- Christopher

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chicago: Information

I put together some information for all of us. I've also made copies of train schedules, start/finish area maps, observer and participant guides that I'll bring along with me.

Presidential Towers (Christopher, Emily, Jennifer, Sara?, Sally, and Justin)
Address: 555 West Madison, Chicago IL 60661
Phone: 866.273.0973

Hilton Chicago (Mary Ann, Betsy and Molly)
Address: 720 South Michigan, Chicago IL 60605
Phone: 312.922.4400

Expo / Packet Pickup: Friday 9a - 8p & Saturday 9a - 6p
Place: McCormick Place Convention Center: North Building, Hall B1
Address: 2301 South Martin Luther King Drive
Directions: - Public Transportation (From Apartments):
  1. Take a cab to Wrigley square (North Michigan Ave & East Randolph Street)
  2. Take Train ME (Metra Electric) South - Millennium Station to McCormick Place Station (7 Minutes) - Departure Times (assuming Saturday) - f = flag stop: must signal conductor to stop (9:15a, 9:20a f, 10:20a, 11:15a, 11:20a f, 12:20p, 1:15a f, 1:20p, 2:20p, 3:05p f, 3:10p, 3:30p)
  3. Walk west towards McCormick Place Convention Center
  • Train Return: North - McCormick Place Station to Millennium Station (9 Minutes - Departure Times (assuming Saturday) - (9:51a, 9:59a, 10:51a, 11:51a, 11:59a, 12:51p, 1:51p, 1:59p, 2:51p, 3:51p, 3:59p)
Participant guide is your confirmation ticket, don’t forget it
Must pickup packets before race: No race day pickups
Get packet, then go to D-Tag Verification stations to test it
Get participant bag. Need this bag to check in your stuff on race day, also has the T-Shirt!

Holy Crap, Need Stuff:
Nike (Niketown) - all the running crap you need: 669 North Michigan Ave (take a cab)
CVS stores are everywhere downtown - one block north east from Presidential Towers on West Washington and Clinton:

Topolobampo - Mexican (Rick Bayless) @ 5:30p
445 North Clark Street - take a cab

Café Spiagia @ 7:00p
980 N Michigan Ave - take a cab

Table Fifty-Two @ 5:30p
52 West Elm Street - take a cab

Race Day
Race Starts @ 7:30a
Directions: - Public Transportation (From Apartments)
  1. Walk east to North Clinton, Walk North on Clinton to West Lake (3 blocks or about 10 minutes)
  2. Clinton-Green Station (L train) - look up!
  3. Take Pink Line: Direction = Loop (5 stops) to Adams/Wabash Station (~ 6 minutes) - (5:12a, 5:27a, 5:42a, 5:57a, 6:12a, 6:27a, 6:40a - then every 12 minutes after 6:40a)
  4. Walk East towards South Michigan (Can’t miss it from there)
  • Train Return: Take Green Line: Direction: Harlem/Lake or Madison/Wambash (next station) - Runs every 12-13 minutes before 12:00p: every 10 minutes after 12:00p
Misc Crud
NBC 5 local TV station will have coverage
SportsRadio 670AM will have coverage

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to 4 Miles......

This may be fall in the category of "you had to be there" or it was "better in person" but I"ll do my best to describe today's fun times during my run:

1. Started the run with Run DMC's "It's Tricky." This is the song that is scorched in my mind as my brother's -- Chris. So, when it started -- I started to smile and laugh out loud. Forgetting that I had my music blasting at full volume -- note to self: full volume is necessary; you have no ability to think of anything else when the music is so loud it fries your brain and numbs your senses to feel any pain or any other emotion other than loud music......I digress -- so, forgetting the volume -- I"m sure the people around me thought that I was more than a little insane when I said -- and probably yelled -- this one's for you Chris.

2. Usually, on short runs -- I notice the things immediately in front of me, rather than wander beyond 10 feet. Today, I decided to notice shirts people were wearing. Found some great ones -- these were my top three today:

A. A running shirt that said: Run. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. Seems like all I do these days. So, I liked it. Very Fitting.

B. A pack of fast as crap runners running toward me on the trail. Maybe 15 girls in the pack. All cut, all young, all fast as shit. First thought -- depressing. Second though -- damn they are fast. Third thought -- there is a shit load of them. Fourth thought -- damn they are young -- high school. Fifth thought -- Oh, they are the UT Cross Country Team...hmm, am I that old that I think college girls are high school girls...eek. Then, out of the corner of my eye -- I see it. A really killer t-shirt -- maybe I notice it because she is the only one in the pack of hard-bodied, pre-having-birth-of-twin bodies to be wearing a shirt. It says: KICK ASSphalt. Hmm -- bout sums it up. I'll be kicking 26.2 miles of it in two weeks from today! Very Fitting once again!

C. Now -- the best shirt of the run. It was at the end, I had just finished. Walking back to my car. Let me set the visual. Little man in stature; big man in belly. Maybe a taller danny devito with more hair and tortoise shell glasses. Earnestly walking around the trail.......When I say big belly -- it's exactly that -- a big belly. Clearly, they guy eats his fair share of pasta.....Clearly, he needs to be walking the pasta off......Then I see his shirt: huge letters. White shirt, black letters -- kind of like those old Wham shirts from the 80's or those ACA Joe shirts from the 80's [I am fully aware that I have just dated myself, massively -- but you get the picture]. It says: Fat Ass. I almost choked on my gum [yes, I run with gum, sorry sally -- keeps the pace]. I laughed so hard. I had to go up to him and tell him that I loved the shirt. His explanation: "I love it, too. I wear it because you gotta have a sense of humor out here. Too many of these folks take this exercise stuff too seriously. I hate it [exercising] but obviously have to do it. Might as well has some fun with it." He owns the t-shirt kiosk in Barton Creek Mall -- he told me the other shirts he wears on the trail -- I cannot repeat them on this public forum. He wears them to get comments and break up the monotony of the trail. I had a great laugh and I think he did, too.

Two weeks from today! Let's rock it!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tips for Travel

This may be a no-brainer but be sure to carry all of your running gear in a carry on. Also, be sure to bring multiple weather items -- for very cold to warm; some type of cover; whether it be a baseball cap or coolmax rain jacket for rain, etc. Also, if you are on the fence for new shoes -- now is the week to buy them and do your taper runs in them to be sure no rubbing and to break them in. You can use your old one's as back ups to give to our sherpas -- in the event of rain [nothing worse than running 26.2 in soaking shoes the entire way] or otherwise. Be sure to pack flip flops or tevas for after the race and dinner that night. Your feet will thank you for it! Go to goodwill and get your throw away jackets. Be sure to pack running gloves -- if it is cold, your hands will thank you for it. Love each of you! We are going to do this! What keeps me going is that picture at the end with all of us holding our finish medals, wearing our mylar blankets, and someone posting to facebook that we rocked it! love you. jpj

Sunday, September 19, 2010


We are exactly 21 days from the big day. As I think about this milestone approaching, I reflect on the following random topics:

1. There is something to be said for running the streets of your city in the pre-dawn hours. You get introduced to facets that you did not know existed. Such as, deer eating grass along a very busy highway; the smells of kitchens gearing up for the morning crowd--some smells good, some smells not so good; police officers going over their nightly call logs while drinking coffee; how people take care of their property -- from the pristine to the dilapidated; the various shapes of runners -- all shapes and sizes and the one you least expect to pass you does; how nasty the single sex bathroom is in the 7-11 at Manchaca and Dittmar [perhaps it gets cleaner in the would hope so]; trains that take FOREVER TO PASS so you can keep running; geez....and the list goes on.....

2. There is something to be said for your itunes hitting the right songs, time after time -- even though you have the tunes set on shuffle. I knew I had Saturday's run within the first two songs -- Started with Blister in the Sun and then I will Follow -- the two songs that stand out in my mind during my last Chicago Marathon. This is in stark comparison to my 4 mile run earlier in the week when I hated every song in the cue and wanted to throw the ipod in the lake! '

3. Amazing what running does -- for every good day; you have a bad. You just have to remember to keep going. With any luck -- Chicago will be a good day.

4. Further explanation on Number 2 above -- during a desolate part of the marathon [of which, very few exist given the crowd support] -- there was this lone guy with an amp and his electric guitar. He was singing blister in the sun. I needed a pick me up at the moment and by george -- in the middle of the barren warehouse district was this lone soul supporting the runners. He could not have known but he made my day. I LOVE that song. College years came back to memory. Anyway, During the last .2 of the marathon -- as we entered the grand stands -- I will Follow was blasting and the crowds cheering. I will Follow was one of my favorite dance tunes in college. I could not have ended the day any better. So, to start my run -- the one that I was dreading and fearful of finishing-- with these two song randomly selected by my ipod -- heavenly intervention. I knew I had it from the get-go! Hope to repeat that feeling in Chicago.

5. October 7, 2001 -- my first marathon. The Chicago Marathon. A mere few weeks after 9/11. There was a question of whether the marathon would even run. It did. We ran. We finished. At mile 18, the USA started bombing Afghanistan. I'll never forget it. One of the guys running near us must have been listening to the radio as opposed to tunes [we were not doing either] and he shouted it -- oh my, we are bombing Afghanistan. We all stopped. What did this mean? Is the marathon still going? As quickly as we stopped -- it was not lost on us that we were staring directly at the Sears Tower from the furthest point from the Tower -- it stood high in the skyline. As quickly as all of these events took place -- we all realized that they only way to get back to the start was to continue running. So, run we did -- but quietly. Almost surreal. Someone started singing Amazing Grace and we all joined in as we ran. I'll never forget that moment or the fact that while folks were losing their lives -- I was free to run and to run carefree. And, run we did.

6. One must have a marathon song -- in light of my notes above -- I have been searching for that "it" song. I finally found it. It's an unexpected tune. Not heart-pumping or energetic. It's actually mellow in comparison to the songs on my Chicago marathon playlist. But, it hit a cord with me -- particularly in light of note number 4 above -- it's Free by the Zac Brown Band. Something about it - it just fits for me. It makes me want to stretch my arms out to the sides and run with careless abandon -- much like I felt at mile 18 in 2001-- until the reality of the challenge at hand came back to focus -- shit, I still have 8.2 miles to run!

7. There is something to be said for the fact that when I hit 13 miles -- folks will have already finished the marathon; and many of them!

8. There is something to be said for the Mind-f*** that happens when you hit 26 miles. You know you are there but you still have .2 to go. You can see the finish but are not there yet. Your legs are dead; energy depleted; soreness is setting in......Nothing can prepare you for the adrenaline rush that happens. Your body takes over and you go -- whereas. you have battled your mind the entire run and this is the one time that the body says f***-it brain, I'm going for it and get the f- out of the way. Pardon the vernacular -- but that is exactly what happens and exactly what you say to yourself or think regardless of whether you cuss outside your head or not. And, for that last .2 it's you and finish. Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie may be running right next to you and you will not notice. Your focus is keen and you go, go, go. Just remember -- to look up before you cross so you can have a picture of you smiling as you kick this milestone out of the ballpark!

Chicago 2010 -- We're ready for ya! Wally, you done good. Take us the rest of the way. Go Piskuns Go!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Home Stretch

I'm terrified guys!  And normally when I become terrified I run....figuratively.  Yet I find it ironic that now, being the most terrified I can remember being my only job is to run...literally. 

28 days and counting.  My training has taken me to 16 miles.  Finished those in 2:26 and change.  This was also 6 weeks from marathon day.  I was so ahead of schedule, I decided to take an off week, make sure I wasn't over doing it to the point where I would injure myself before the actual run.

After the off week, I began to hit the pavement again on a rare Monday night, dodgeball timed perfectly in its off season to allow another night to run in my final month of training.  Feeling good and ready to begin the final stretch for what seems like a life time of training, I started my 'speed' run like a bullet, pacing at 6'20 for the first half mile.  I came upon the one hill, which is about two blocks long at a about a 20 degree slope and slowed it down to save room for the remaining 2 miles.  I completed the mile at just over 7' (my best mile yet).  Just as I passed about 1.5 miles a sharp and profound pain under my left foot shot through my whole left side and I had to stop running. It felt as if I had, ran...and landed right on top of a fist size rock.  I didn't remember run over anything that woudl make the type of pain I had.  But I just walked home and though everything would be better tomorrow.

It's now been 10 days.  The foot is still feeling a bit odd in some shoes, i.e. boots/heels, but I think I can start the runs again.

So I dive back into training this week. 

the last remaining training schedule is as follows:

Tuesday:  4 miles - speed run (sub 8min miles)
Wednesday: strength training/cross training
Thursday:  7 miles (2 m warm up - farlek 800m 10K speed, 400m jog - 1 mile cool jog)*
Friday: REST
Saturday: 14 miles (easy pace)
Sunday: Cross train/strength train- 3 hours

Monday: 6 miles

Tuesday:  4 miles - speed run (sub 8min miles)
Wednesday: strength training/cross training
Thursday:  9 miles (2 m warm up - farlek 800m 10K speed, 400m jog - 1 mile cool jog)*
Friday: REST
Saturday: 18 miles (easy pace)
Sunday: Cross train/strength train- 3 hours

Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday:  6 miles - speed run (sub 8min miles)
Wednesday: strength training/cross training
Thursday:  10 miles (2 m warm up - farlek 800m 10K speed, 400m jog - 1 mile cool jog)*
Friday: REST
Saturday: 20 miles (easy pace)
Sunday: Cross train/strength train- 3 hours

 Show me yours sibs, please!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I really need to change my run play-list.

Instead of trying to figure out some great songs... I thought I'd just steal yours. Share your favorite run song (anyone reading this).

Sisters: add them all to your play-list for Chicago... It'll help remind us of each other, take our minds off ourselves and the misery of how bad our legs feel.

My favorite run song is "You Might Die Trying" by Dave Matthews Band from their DMB Live Trax, Vol 13 album (live).. It's one of those songs you "lose" in your head and by the end, you're hauling... not to mention is a long one at 10+ minutes. Worth the $1.29 from iTunes.

- Christopher

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Rock On!

Please, oh please say this is it. No more hot-spot! Ran 14 miles yesterday and the leg feels awesome... as if running MADE it go away. It's confusing, but I'll take it. Really hope to get somewhat close to my schedule again. Yesterday was supposed to be 18 miles, but 14 will do when I haven't run more than 6 (yes 6) miles at once since mid May.

- Christopher

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Will I want to do a half marathon 14 days after this full?  It's uber easy...virtually all down hill.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Running, Running, gone!

43 days and counting!! Let's do it to it!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Marathon T-shirts

I love all of the sayings posted below in 4 for Wally. I am going to get the t-shirt made this week. That way, we can do a few runs to make sure they don't rub before race day. Please let me know who wants which saying.....betsy -- we're making one for you. Mary -- let me know if you want one. What should we put on MA's shirt? fun, fun, fun!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Road ID

Found a cool product today -- Road Id. Check it out.


I ran just over 10 miles this morning. I started the morning run with a bad attitude -- woke up late, 80 degrees outside, Nike band not charged, Ipod Shuffle on the wrong setting.....etc. - but ended the run on a high note.....thankfully! From the start -- I was trying to talk myself out of every reason to run, to walk, to turn around. Yet, I continued and, as I ran, I slowly started to gain inspiration, oddly enough, just when I needed it. Here's my tale:

1. Mile 1 -- grumbling about the run; an 80+ year old man runs past me. And, he is booking it considering his age. Now, if he can do it. I can do it. Get cracking. So I do. This gets me looking at all of the people on the hike and bike -- all shapes and sizes. From the most fit -- which is proof positive of what the human body is capable of becoming -- to the least fit looking -- proof positive that where there is a will, there is a way. From folks who were pushing baby joggers, to pulling dogs [and yes, people really do look like their dogs when it comes right down to it!], to downing GU, to lolly gagging and giggling. Made the next 4 go by easier.

2. Mile 5 -- started grumbling again. The t-shirt on the guy running in front of me -- "The task at hand is never as great is the strength within. AustinFit." I took it as a sign and the needed inspiration to keep on truckin'. And, I did.

3. Mile 8 -- Damn it's hot! I'm an idiot for running without water/gatorade. What in the hell am I thinking. Where is that f-ing foot bridge that tells me I'm on the back side, on the way home......About this time -- my ipod shuffle decides to kick in and up pops one of the songs from dad's funeral. Well, I took it as a sign to "Suck it up" and keep on going. I'm not dead, yet! So, I did.

4. Mile 10 -- rounding the bend to the finish - Born to Run comes on by Bruce Springsteen. Another sign - kick it and finish this sucker.

And I did!

Monday, August 2, 2010


3 miles in 23:57.... that is a pace of 7:57... what are your training schedules like this week?


Sunday, August 1, 2010

I'mmmmm Baaa-ck!

Will post a run tomorrow. Awesome job Molly and Jen for some inspiring PRs!


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Four 4 Wally!

Okay -- it's time to get serious about our race attire. We need a group t-shirt. My Idea -- we put Four 4 Wally on the front and favorite sayings of his on our back. Like "gimme a break" or "suck it up" or "just spectacular". What's your idea?

JPJ v The Mountain. The Saga Continues!

Today, my own mini, self-imposed time trial. Can I sprint? Will I faint? Can I push myself? Am I just fooling myself?????? Well....... I ran a little over 2 miles booking it as much as my lungs would allow. I ran it in 17 minutes, 35 seconds. Essentially an 8.30 minute mile. Of course, most of it was downhill -- but I'll take it!! I realize to some of you following this blog that 8.25 is slow as syrup -- but to this nearly 43 year old body; it was heaven! And, at nearly 10,000 feet! Yahoo!! Then, I turned around and ran a mile completely up hill, blind turns, and nothing but concrete -- ouch!! But, I did it. Steep, steep, steep. At one point during this pithy "cool down"
distance an ambulance blew past me and for a split second, I thought it was coming for me! As I did my cool down -- I stopped to watch a chipmunk doing Lord knows what in the pine tree. Thinking to myself -- how blessed I am to be in this wonderful place and how neat that I am one with nature. Well, turns out, the damn thing was laughing at me. And I'm serious!! Just like Alvin. He must have been watching me attempt to run straight uphill. Time for a massage to heal my ego. I told the massage therapist that I was training for a marathon -- how far is that, she asked? I said 26.2 and the .2 is very important. So, are your muscles going to hurt? was her response. Hmmm -- maybe a massage was not the right solution to the chipmunk spank-down. For the next 80 minutes I learned about some basketball player who lost his limbs to some weird virus from sweating too much; how some kid from her college got meningitus [sp] from sharing a bong, how she hit a deer with her car and nearly lost her eye.....did I seriously pay for this relaxation? Saving grace -- she cranked on my IT band and almost sent me to the ceiling but it feels great now!! I digressed -- back to the purpose of this blog: Saturday, I'll take on the 8.5 that I keep saying I am going to do and keep talking myself out of doing. The first 3 miles is uphill --on one of those slow, nasty, and deceptive type of grades. Looks like it's flat until your legs are burning like the dickens and you realize that indeed, you are running up hill!! JPJ v. The Mountain will continue and I will conquer it!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The San Francisco Half Marathon

Well it's done.  I can't believe it.  As I said to Diana the night before, "It'll be over before you know it" I still can't believe the race has come and gone.

But it's done and I have to say it was my best race so far.  Not only because I made my PR (personal record) for a half marathon but also because I ran this particular race to feel closer to my Dad; who we lost to complications from Diabetes a year a ago next Wednesday.  His favorite run was along the San Francisco Bay in the Presidio, a military base we were stationed at when I was four and five. I got the chance to run just as he had and boy did I feel him every bit of the way; it was amazing.

I never forgot the story of when he ran across the Golden Gate Bridge with Randy Quaid.  I was 4 at the time and the image always stuck with me, with us all I think.  Maybe it was because it involved a celebrity, but really I think I never forgot because I remember thinking the bridge was the longest distance anyone had ever ran in their entire lives!  And my dad did it!

While my child eyes just were a bit of an exaggeration as to the actual length of the bridge, it was something to admire about him throughout my life.

I never in a million-bajillion years thought I would EVER willingly run long distances (other than away from something/one).  Nor did I ever think I was ever actually capable of it.  I credit my friend Tiffany, my sister Sally and Jennifer all for getting me into it.  I credit myself for continuing to muster through the pain and annoyance of it all.

I've done it.  I've actually run the Golden Gate Bridge...

The Marathon:

The night before Diana and I prepared our shirts. 

Hers having her writing on the front for photos, mine on the back for all to read while running.  (the letters had peeled off by mile 2).  For her:  a shout out to Suarez, her family name.

Mine: Wally, my dad - though he HATED when people called him Wally, I had to represent myself with the shout out - I'm a teaser at heart.

We, Diana, Sal and I, were up-and-adam ready to get the race started before the sun had even risen.  My alarm went off at 4:00, and the group was in the lobby by quarter of 5.  I've never in my life seen Diana early to anything in the morning...except this!

We met in the lobby of the race hotel for some pre-race coffee, protein and energy load(in the form of saltwater taffy we bought at Fisherman's Wharf the day before- delicious!)

With our excitement in tow, we walked out in the still-dark morning to get into race mode.  The sun was just rising and the atmosphere was soaked in nerves and anxiety.  I myself love this part of the race.  The beginning when everything is ahead of you, when everything you have done for the past 3/4 months has come down to this moment.  Yet the moment is still....moments away.

They should bottle anticipation.

The serious/competitive runners and those whose times are unfathomable to me start first, us to follow.  We were in the last wave, so we had a awhile to wait, stretch and amp up before it was our turn to cross the start line.

And they're off! (the good ones at least)
We walked the 3 blocks back to our start corral watching the other runners begin their journey, just dying to start our own!  Ugh!  I just want to start already!! -Twas our morning theme.

Finally the time was our turn.  The sun was up and we were READY!

And just like that they blew a whistle, fired the gun and we were off.  This is such amazing part of the run for anyone can really experience...for the first 5-10 minutes out of the gates you can hear this inspiring, soothing and just plain cool-ass sound.  I don't even turn my iPod on until I've had my fill of it.  It's the sound of hundreds of runners pounding the pavement at once.  It is indescribable and something worth hearing.  Very cool.

Me with the RED cap - Diana with pink headband - Sal:  Missing.

We ran all along Embarcadaro, passing the numbered piers.  Fisherman's Wharf came up around mile two and I eyed Boudin bakery as I passed, picturing their delicious clam chowder bread bowls and how delicious they would taste after my run...

We kept along the water on Lincoln, past some of the prettiest houses with great big front bay windows that over looked the harbor.  As I ran I imagined myself sitting on their couches, sipping coffee watching the fog roll out over the Golden Gate and on into the Bay and chuckling to myself how wonderful my life is...back to reality.

The course continued along the water and into the Presido; a place I knew well and looked forward to in the run.  At this point in the race, the streets were narrowing and it was hard to keep a steady pace.  I found myself under-performing because of people traffic and wished to be unleashed.  But calmed myself by a promise to later use said energy on a strong finish, when the runners has dispersed more.

And then there was the first hill.... Ouch, you bastard!  That sucked.

At points on the course there would be signs with trivia questions that answered themselves within a block.  The sign on this hill, the hill being the climb to the Golden Gate, read "What is the steepest hill in San Francisco?"  Well that's comforting, at least this is the worst hill there is...  Then I came upon the answer.  "Knob Hill.  Aren't you glad you're not running up that?"   

WHAT THE...?!?  It's like saying "Does it make you feel any better this is only going to get worse?"  Why, yes!  It does.  How kind of you to ask.  Grrrr... 

Then came the moment.  The moment I had wanted and waited.  I rounded mile 5.5 and there she was, massive and beautiful, intimidating, glorious and covered in fog.  I had made it to the bridge and I choked back tears as I approached.  

You'll ...sniff... need the sodium.

It was awesome, in every sense of the word.  Even though it was four miles long, I enjoyed every second of it ... minus the traffic of the people, which made it a bit dangerous and quite slow for my taste.  The air was chill but this being miles 5-9, I enjoyed the hard breeze as we ran across.  The other side of the roadway was open to two-way auto traffic that honked support and encouragement as they passed.  We shared our side of the highway with the runners who had started in the waves ahead and were coming back down the bridge.  Thus making the run EXTRA crowded.
I had to snap a photo...not bad seeing as I'm running at the same time.

Once I was done with the bridge, I'll be honest, I was over the run.  Everything I had looked forward to was over.  The bridge, the Presidio, the flat.  Because now, at the 9.5 mile turn, is when it started to hurt.  The course took us on a steep downgrade hill for about a half mile.  Though I was glad to have an opportunity to make up time, taking downhill fast is quite hard on the knees, especially my knees after the 10th mile.  But I must say the view was INCREDIBLE.   The Pacific ocean, the city blanketing the hills below and the beautiful 100-ft high trees that lined the windy way down.   It flattened out as we turned back into the neighborhoods, exiting the back of the Presidio.

This is where I curse you San Francisco Marathon!  It was soooo hilly.  High and hard, short but painful.  They made us turn every few blocks and with each turn I desperately wanted to see the finish line but with each turn was disappointed.

Finally I rounded a corner and I saw the sign where the half marathon runners and the full marathon's were to split routes.  YES!  Finally, that MUST mean the end.  Oh good a mile marker, this has to be 13!

MILE: 12

Grrrrrr.  This is never going to end.  Screw 26.2!

The streets were clear for me and anyone else to spread their wings and finish strong.  There were hardly any people lining the streets watching which I found very odd especially if I was near the end.  I started to think that one mile was a lot fucking longer than I ever had thought it was before this.  But I focused on the good parts of the run.  I was still running.  I was still passing people. I hadn't given up yet.  However the thoughts were hardly overwhelming motivation with a looming 5 block-long hill ahead.

I looked ahead I saw a guy running just a few people ahead of me with writing down his calves.  As I got closer I looked down at his calves which had a word written on each of them...


What a perfect time to show your face Dad!  I smiled to myself, put my head down and kicked it up a notch.  Before I knew it I looked up to see the greatest word in the English language....FINISH.  And bolted towards it using every last drop of stamina I had.

2:18 and change.  I had wanted a lot faster (sub 2hrs) but I know with starting in the last wave, the traffic jam and the nasty hills were obstacles I never anticipated when setting my goal.  Anyway, it was still a PR for me in time AND distance so I cannot complain or be hard on myself.  And it was the best/hardest run so far...


The story of the day was my roommate Diana.  It was her first half; first race and she nailed it!  She couldn't even run a mile at the beginning of the year and now she has 13.1 miles under her belt!  She ran the entire thing without stopping once;  though cursing me - as she said - when my promise of "it's all down hill after the Bridge" turned out to be false!  But she never stopped!  She finished hers in 2:30, Sal finished his race just in between us at 2:24.

YAY!  Add another medal to my wall.  I love that!  The medal IS the best part after all.

And I have Diana to prove it's the medal that hooks you. 

How do I know what really hooked her?  Well, when she had signed up to run this half with me back in March, I remember telling her "Oh Diana, just wait until you get the medal!  That's why I run.  They are the best part!"  She said to me, "Oh I don't care about the stupid medal.  I just want a reason to continue running, that and say I've run 13+ miles."

Cut to yesterday and her newest Facebook photo upload:

CAPTION:   It's two days later, and YES I'm still wearing my medal.

I told you they were addicting.  And I believe she's after she has signed up to run the LA half in October. 

And I can't wait for my Chicago one.  13.1 miles down, 13.1 to go.

This weekend I take a small break and run week I hit 14.  I'm going to do this.  I AM.  If I ever doubted it before now, it was reinforced over the weekend with pure accomplishment and outstanding support from friends and most especially my family.  [Did I tell you, just as I stepped foot on the Golden Gate bridge my brother Christopher sent me a text "You must be rounding the corner now!  Go get 'em Molls!"]

Ya, and Dad was definitely with me guys.  That was a cool feeling.

BEST. RUN. EVER.  Thank you San Francisco!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

While you are sleeping...

Saturday morning, I'll be running 13.1 miles in the beautiful city of San Francisco.  And I may cry while running down the GGB.

Start time is 5:42am. CHRIST ALMIGHTY!  So when you are sippin' on your coffee or wolfing down your bacon and eggs, I've already burned around 1500 calories and will be be-lining it to the first Jamba Juice I see.

Goal:  1:50:13 (just to make it interesting)

I hope to take pictures along the race too with the iPhone.  Can't wait to tell my story to you guys!

JPJ v. The Mountain....Round ^^%%$##

This ^^%$#$%%^^ mountain! I beat it on Monday. It beat me on Tuesday -- tried to bike up the thing. Legs burning, lungs burning -- got stock in a gear in the middle of the steepest part; nearly fell on my butt trying to get my shoes unclicked. No helmet to boot. Yes, dad would have my hide for the last part -- helmet, helmet, helmet. But -- today. Today is my day. I"m going to take this ^^%$$# mountain. Off to run another 5.5. Saturday is 11 miles -- first three miles up hill. AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Great Run!

I ran 5.5 and beat the mountain. Did it in 55 minutes. Felt great. Finally!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hot Spot

Well the hell is a "hot spot"???

After over a month of rest, Ibuprofen, ice and who can forget an appendectomy.. turns out this SOB pain in my left ankle actually IS a bone injury. Oh joy....

No fracture, but I have stressed it. AKA the "Hot Spot" Tibia.

Today, I finally saw an orthopedic Surgeon. Dr Kupcha of DE Orthopedic Center (Go Army! ...Check him out here: Couldn't have picked a better DR as he completely understood that running Chicago isn't an option.

What really rubs me is that my 1 month of rest accompanied with a consistent dosage of Ibuprofen actually retarded my bone repair... Great, just freak'n awesome news.

So what's next? 2 weeks of no running, but cross-training to simulate cardio work. Swimming, Biking, etc. Hell, just might be in Triathlon shape when this is over.

Bought 2 new pair of shoes (Saucony Guide 3) to alternate every day/ every workout. Find myself a high school track to re-start running here in 2 weeks.

Pop... I know that you're up there master-minding all of this, having a chuckle, a Manhattan with olives and tossing all this BS if front of us seeing if we can suck it up. I'm going to enjoy the finish line.

Oh yea... cannot forget. Molly.. kick ass this weekend! (SF Half)

- Christopher

I left my left lung on the mountain.....

Humility is golden. I ran 3.5 miles today at 10,800 feet, hard face wind the ENTIRE way, and not a single cloud in the sky. How is it possible to be so windy without a single cloud? I'm hot, I'm beat, I'm sore, and I nearly lost my cookies half way through the run on the 8% grade hill. I even had Peter Gabriel's Solsbury Hill playing and it did nothing for my stamina. When I passed by the graveyard, I seriously thought about joining them! I was planning on running at least 5 today so I can work my way up to running up the damn mountain instead of down. I am more than a little disappointed in myself today. How in the heck am I supposed to run 26.2 in 3 months if I cannot endure 3.5 today. Crap, crap, and more crap! Ugh!

Monday, July 12, 2010

My attempt at a run group

In the months I have been training for the Chicago Marathon and the upcoming San Francisco Half Marathon (eeek! just 13 days away), I get the occasional "I want to start running.  Can I run with you sometime?" request.  While it's nice to see when people get encouraged to go out and try running for themselves, I have to say the last thing I want to do is A) run with someone & B) run with a beginner.

That's not to say that I am the best runner on the face of this planet.  Believe me (and why wouldn't you) I am not.  My problem is pressure.  There are times I face pressure straight on and kick it in its ass.  Other times I tend to avoid it like it I did freshman Geometry.  I just can't handle the PRESSURE!!!

So yes, running with another person causes unbearable pressure for me.  Will I be too slow?  Will they want to run elsewhere or further than I?  Can I keep up?  Will I be able to focus on my breathing?  Will they want me to entertain them?  Keep a solid pace?  Heaven forbid, talk to them?  And if they are new runners......forget it.  Been there, done that.  If you think there is nothing worse than the start of your running career, try reverting back to it after 5 years' training, just to be nice.......uhm, nightmare! 

That and the fact that there are no leisurely jogs scheduled in my immediate (<4 months) future.  And like I said, I don't stop, ever. So don't expect me to.

My solution was to tell those who inquired about running with me about a run group I had thought of starting.  Normally that gets them fast off the running subject.  Run with PEOPLE!?!  OH hell no!  I mean, had I mentioned this idea to my people 4 years ago, they would have laughed in my face and then ordered me a beer, thanking me for the happy-hour chuckle.

But something has happened over the past 5 years.  EVERYONE is running.  That or they say they want to... so I decided to actually put my money where my fake-solution was and make it happen.

[Name TBD] run #1.

3 miles
Venice Beach
Saturday @ 9am

Pffft, who's actually going to show for this?  I mean I was frickin shocked 18 people confirmed to my invite.  But really, 9am, Saturday morning ... NO ONE will actually make it.

My roommate and Sal, who are both training for the San Fran half with me, headed out the the beach early (7am) to knock out 8 miles before the 3 mile "run group" appeared; as it was a long run day and we couldn't afford to just run 3 with the race just weeks away

It was a lovely run.  I killed it!  Finished it in 63 minutes.  That is just under 8' miles.  Diana ran her best time EVER with sub 10' miles and Sal kicked ass just by finishing the 8 as he probably has only ran a total of 8 miles this whole training round.

So 8 miles down.  Just another 3 to go...easy, right?

It was 10 minutes to 9:00 when our first attendee showed up...after 15 minutes we had a crowd of 6...and at the start of the Run Group we had a whopping 16 people!

We started a bit late but EVERYONE finished.  Some finished faster than I would have liked (show offs) but that's really my own personal jealousy issues.  But bottom line is, everyone finished!!

I was so proud.  While my final 3 miles were extremely tough due to stopping after the hard 8, I still managed to finish at 9'20 pace - borderline OK.  But the best part of the day?  Is seeing the accomplishment in people's eyes.

They were so proud of themselves.  Whether it was because they ran 3 straight miles, or that they did it super quick, maybe it was because they got up at 8am on a Saturday after partying, frankly I don't give a pile-o-poo.  What's done is done.

Everyone there started their Saturday off with some hard work and personal accomplishment.

And the best part is....I think I may have gotten someone hooked on running because the next day I received an awesome text message:

"Molly, just finished my 6th mile in two days!  Definitely going to sign up for the LA Rock-n-Roll Half. Thanks to you chica!"


You're very welcome Kara.

Can I really do this?

Hmmm -- seriously thinking! I know that I can but lordy, lordy I am out of shape! I am up here at nearly 10,000 feet. Ran 3 miles today and about lost a lung. One hill was an 8% grade and I could barely breath at the crest. I kept going but holy cow! Before I leave here in mid-august -- my happy butt is going to jog up this damn mountain -- Mt. Crested Butte, that is. I may have to be buried at the top. Ha! I am keeping my training pace but damn!

Second issue -- frequency of training. Without day care and an extra set of hands -- it's hard as heck to get some mileage in with the twins in tow. I didn't bring the jogger with me and, based on the first paragraph above, I probably couldn't handle it anyway. At 40 pounds each -- pushing an extra 80 pounds -- two-thirds of my body weight -- not ideal!!

I am seriously hoping that hiking and biking with twins in tow will make up for my poor work out regime. But, I am really freaking out. I"ll do this marathon, even if I have to walk the darn thing -- but I may take off my chip before we start!! Yikes!

Can I really do this???????

Friday, July 9, 2010

Face wind....

Learn to embrace it--it's not called the windy city for nothing!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

I'm Back... I Hope

Well... not what I planned since my half in mid-May. Took a 2 week break that turned into a 5 week break cause of some freak soreness that is either my soleous or flexor digitorum longus on my left ankle. I actually listen to my Physician and give it a rest, ice and Ibuprofen like it's my new religion...

So ready to join the running world once again only to have an appendicitis... Yes, no shit... an appendicitis pays me a visit on Monday 6/28... in the hospital 6/29, FU appendix and bye bye...discharged 6/30... just in time for the weekend Holiday. Come Monday, July 5th, feeling back to normal and hit Margate, NJ for some surfing... I'm back baby.

July 7th: 5:30am... 3 Mile run, no sweat. I haven't ran in more than a month but so what, been cross-training like crazy... Heat wave in the Northeast. Already 85 degrees at 5am. I'm sucking wind major and guess who comes back to visit.. GD left ankle soreness... I'm pissed. Really pissed.

So, what do I do?... I run again on July8th: 5:30am... hurt like a SOB but I'm running through this f'n thing. Surprisingly, working the area with my Trigger Point ball seems to actually relieve the pain... so I have a glimmer of hope here. We'll see come Sat for my 6-8 miler. Traveling to Madison, CT this weekend, therefore running in a new area always produces a really great run or a suck ass one... stay tuned

- Christopher

New shoes!

Tonight I'm going to get fitted, pricked, prodded and fondled (whatever they must do) for my first ever CUSTOMIZED running shoes. I feel so special...

Hopefully this fixes my knee problem. I'm 29 and get out of chairs like I'm 70. And don't even think to ask me to sit on the ground, there's a chance I may never get back up.

Excited! First run is tomorrow in them...will keep you posted. (no pun intended. actually. yes, PUN INTENDED!)

Respectfully submitted,


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Running in the Altitude

Hard as heck! I went from just above sea level to over 9,000 feet. Nothing like altitude to remind you that you are woefully out of shape!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I've realized I hate running, but love accomplishment.

On Sunday, the first 5 miles were cake....

For the past couple of weeks my training has been, well, lacking -or- SAlacking. I think I covered maybe 20 miles in 14 days. More than a mile day. That's good, no?

NO! Not when I should be averaging 25-30 per week.

I went to visit Mom this weekend. Tough weekend, but one of the best, most hopeful I've had in the past year.

With the training slacking and my running confidence shot, I was unsure about whether I could even finish the 10. To me, a terrifying fail.

So all Saturday - mentally preparing for Sunday's run - I would battle between the thought "Just run the 10, you can walk if you need....just FINISH it!" to "Egh, you only need to do 8. Just get another 8 done and do 10 next week..." or even "You're on vacation. Start running when you get back to LA." The typical mental marry-go-round that begins when a long run is within 12/18 hours.

Sunday morning rolls around. I had planned to run early, and mentioned to my mom that I wanted to wake up at 8/830 to avoid the mid-afternoon Texas heat. However with no alarm clock or even CLOCK in my bedroom, I rolled - literally - out of bed at 10:00. [cue the mental battle] Great. There goes the cool run. Maybe I should just run tomorrow? ... NO! Stop that!

I ate breakfast slowly, chatted with my mom, checked Facebook, emailed some people, browsed my fav websites. Then I roamed around the house slowly putting on my running gear a piece at a time. Spent a good 10 minutes searching for a butt pack I knew hadn't shown it's face in the Piskun house since 1986. Finally I just said "STOP stalling Molly and get going."

It was 11:00 am. In July. In Texas. West Texas, to be exact. Yes. This is is where I decided to knock out my first 10-miler this year. This run, mid-afternoon, being hot as hell with 20 mile/hr winds in a tree-free Amarillo would definitely put up a good fight.

Like I said the first five were cake. Can you say foreshadowing?

As I turned around for my second 5, running from my house to the medical park and back, is when it hit me. Yes, it was hot. But a cold front had come in over the week, remnants from Hurricane Alex, to bless me with sub 90 degree temperatures so the heat wasn't as much of a factor as I has originally anticipated. But turning back, I realized why the first 5 had been so easy. The wind. It was at my back the whole way there.

Oh shitballs! This 5 is going to hurt.

Never, well maybe never, but not this training round have I ever had such a difficult run. I pulled every once of energy and positive reinforcement to finish. Miles 6, 7, 8 were OK, but barely. The last two were torture. Running into 20 mile/hr winds with the sun directly on top of me finally got to me after 3.5 miles and with a looming 1.5 to go.

I stopped running. And I never stop. The moment I took the one walking step I immediately started up again. I wouldn't allow myself, no I would not DENY myself the accomplishment of running the complete 10. I could suffer for another 15 minutes...

Make no mistake. That's exactly what I did. One stepped walked, 9.9999 miles ran.

I finished.

For so long I put off the 10 because I was scared I wouldn't finish it. ME! Scared I wouldn't do something. It's like I don't even know myself.

Failure is not an option to me. It wasn't with my dad, it isn't with me. We all have it. ALL OF US. We all have the FIGHT gene when is come to fight-or-flight. We fight for ourselves and we most especially fight for each other, for this family. And that will never change.

Remember that.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

10 Miles

Ran 10. When I write "ran" -- perhaps I should say, slugged through the dang thing. Humid, humid, humid here in Austin! Oh the misery. Oh the bummer when August hits and I am running 20. Ugh! But, good news -- I'll be in Colorado this time next week. I will attempt to do 8.5 miles without first getting accustomed to the altitude. And, with my gazelle of a sister, Sally, no less. This is going to be embarrassing, to say the least! But, I'm hoping the training for six weeks above a mile high will do me good! Yahoo!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Someone stole my iPhone. Right out from under me.

They just reached in my sling bag and grabbed it out of the front pocket. I know, I’re thinking... ”Sure Molly. I know you. And I doubt it was stolen. More like you forgot it. Or you were too drunk and left it in the bathroom.” (I resent that last thought)

OK. I’ll admit it. I thought the same thing myself the moment of realization. “YOU ARE SUCH a mother f@*$!^# moron Molly! Another one gone!!!” I said to myself out loud as I ripped open the bag, ruining a newly bought sling. Nope. No phone.

I knew it was in there; I remembered putting it back in the front pocket when I had checked my text messages – none - if you must know.

So there I am. Sitting, in my driveway @ 2:30am, no phone, no way to get back to the bar, I have a 6:00am flight home to Texas to catch for my best friend’s wedding that I’m Maid of Honor in and I have no phone/iPod/alarm/life. It’s all gone. I glanced back as if by some miracle I managed to toss it in the back seat ... like I actually do that a lot?...and BAM! There it was! Sitting there on a second.

NOOOOOO! Turns out, it’s my roommate's phone. I picked it up frantically and called my number. Please let someone answer. PLEASE! I had charged it all day so I know it still had juice.

Queue the immediate VOICEMAIL.

And there, with my happy 'I'm not here...' message, went the flood gates. In mass hysterics I scream and kick and cry and curse to anyone and everyone I had come across that day. The person who thought to ask me to the bar, the bartender for serving me a drink, the person I expected a text from, my own perma-stupidity and of course THE UNIVERSE. He is such a bitch to me at times!

I’ve now been iPhone free for 20 days. When I say I’ve been iPhone free, I also mean Nike + free. I don’t know how far I’m running, how fast (other than a glow-in-the-dark, giveaway digital watch someone gave me at a concert where I can gauge how long I’ve run). I can’t input my runs into the Nike+Running website to get my daily affirmations. I cannot post my runs to my Facebook to gloat to my siblings/friends about how awesome I’m doing at keeping up the training. And to think I was only 35 miles away from being in Nike's "serious runner" category (150+ miles completed).

This must be said. Running isn’t very fun when you aren’t making people jealous. It's fairly boring actually and quite uneventful when no one knows. It's like a tree falling in the forest.... did it ever really happen?

SO now I wait for June 24th. What a GREAT day that will be! Not only will be a non-smoker for 6 straight months, but I get my life back...version 4G.

Thank you USAA...thank you jerkface universe for hating me...thank you dude who has no conscious. I'll appreciate you that day.

Oh, and Universe? You are welcome. I have now given you two iPhones...I expect my dues shortly, got it?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No Fracture!!!

Alright...!!! Just got word that I have no fracture on my left lower leg. Wait, let me back up.

Had a kick ass Half on May 16th... Plan was to take 2 weeks off and join my Nike+ training schedule for 10/10/10 Chicago Marathon. World is great and as Molly would put it..."My Bitch."

During my 2 weeks off.. I hit the gym and rotate in some long neglected weight training.

May 25th (Tuesday).. felt a twitched in my left lower leg. Inside, near where the Soleous meets the bone... Nothing really new.. felt that before after some long runs. Paid no attention. Suck it up.

May 26th (Wednesday).. had a small 3K event at work that I organized for a charity (ironically for a co-worker based in Chicago, .. ran great. 1.86 miles in 13 minutes... not too shabby... but real sore on my left lower leg.. feels like a bruise.

Memorial Day weekend. Wore nothing but flip flops and my left lower leg ("TP" = The Problem) continues to be very sore. WTF.. nothing has lingered like this. TP is F'N with my confidence. Postpone a 10.2 mile run from Sunday to Monday (Memorial Day). I was vacationing in a new place, mid-size state park, and running on trails.. Made it 5+ miles before I quit due to..#1 Africa hot, #2 TP.. I can now feel it when running.

I declare an additional 1 week rest.. But come June 7th, still TP is here and feeling like an achy bone.. I bitch and moan until Jennifer lays the same speech I laid on her a month back. I see a Doctor... God forbid.

X-ray later.. no fracture and another 2 weeks rest. 600 mg of Ibuprofen and ice are now my great friends. Nike+ program is scrapped and I need to find another. Sibs have offered up theirs. I have tons of material to look through and sure I'll find one. My next window to start running is the week of June 28th.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Knees, Knees and More Knees

Guys -- Had a good run this morning. Did 4 miles without pain with a mid, 9 minute mile pace. The kicker -- during the run -- I found 5 pennies -- all in a row. Took that as good omen No. 1 -- we will all be in Chicago and finish Chicago. As I finished the last 200 yards -- U2's I Will Follow started playing in my ears -- I took this is as good omen No.2. This is the song that was playing as I finished the last 200 yards of Chicago -- when you come through those grandstand of crowds with thousands of folks yelling at you and music blasting. It is all you can do but cry. Chicago -- here we come!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


I'm on an additional week break. Last week ran a very short 2 miler for a work run event (charity) and took that opportunity to run as fast as I could. Only hitch was, I did "something" to my left shin... At first thought maybe a stress-fracture.. but no pain stomping on my foot or twisting. I think I may have stressed some muscle/tendon.. feels like a very deep bruise about mid way on my shin, just on the inside. Ran a little over 5 miles this past Monday and it just seemed to aggravate it.. so, I'm taking another week of rest and will re-join my program next Tuesday.

a week away brings the worries my way

Today is Wednesday. I haven't ran in 7 days. Well I ran on Saturday in Texas, but only a short 2.5 miler to the movies...lame.

I'm back to training tonight and I am WORRIED about my standard 6 mile run! Really, Molly? Really? Weak.

I have to say, running stresses me out more than it de-stresses me. Maybe it's just the training regimen, maybe it's my own expectations...regardless I'm worried (did I say that already?)

It's not that I won't finish it or that I won't make my standard sub 8' mile pace...what worries me is that I won't enjoy the run. I'm afraid I will huff and pant and mentally bitch to myself the whole time about how boring running is, how much I'd rather be watching TV or reading the seventh and final book in the HARRY POTTER series I started last night; a series I've waited NINE YEARS to finish.

It's ironic to think that in the week of not running I wasn't stressed out ABOUT my runs (which was a welcomed relief and departure from usual reality), I was stressed about MISSING the runs. Damned if you do, damned if you don't...

It scares me to think in one week I will have lost everything I've accomplished in the past 3 months. That terrifies me, because once the motivation has lapsed, it's nearly impossible to revamp it...especially at the rate I WAS going. I equate it to stopping at mile 10, and finishing with 16.2 to go...ya, not gonna happen.

But then again, there is always St. Anthony. He finds everything and I'm thinking motivation can't be a stretch for him.

Then again, I may not need him...just yet.

Bolder Boulder Complete - Goal Nearly Achieved


Took a break from my marathon training schedule to run the 32nd Bolder Boulder. My goal was to run the hilly 6.2 course in under 50 minutes.... Didn't make that but ran it in 50:59:74.... There is always next year. I am sucheduled to run a 14 miler this Sunday, we shall see!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why I run - Jennifer

My Dearest Sibs:

For as long as I can remember, I have been involved in some sort of group athletic activity -- from competitive team sports in childhood, to training for my first sprint triathlon in 2000, to my first marathon [Chicago] in 2001. To be honest, running a marathon was not on my bucket list. Never crossed my mind. Until....... a challenge. Simpy put, my boyfriend at the time did not think I could run one -- well, nothing gets me more motivated than telling me that I cannot do something. So, off I went and I finished Chicago with a smile on my face and a desire to do a marathon again -- which I did the next year! I married my naysayer, took time off to start a family, had twin girls, and readied myself to train again.
I continue to run because I can. My father -- and my role model for all things athletic -- died last year, peacefully but unexpectedly. He was a marathoner and an all around great guy. So, with him in mind, we run. My siblings and I will run Chicago this year in his honor. I will run to prove to myself that I can do it again. They will run for diabetic research. It will be their first marathon and my third. We could not have picked a better marathon -- from its symetrical date, to its unbelieveable organization, to its incredible crowd support, to its history and neighborhoods, to its course -- Chicago has it all. We will be traveling from Los Angeles, Boulder, Philadelphia, and Austin. The Piskun Pack plans to take the Windy City by storm and, if Dad has anything to do with it, we'll have the run of our lives [which means finishing!], with the most incredible weather, and enjoy more pizza and pasta than we can handle. We are looking forward to it! Thanks for helping us get there! See you 10-10-10!
Sincerely, Jennifer Piskun Johnson, Texas

Why I run - Christopher

Jennifer today sent out an email with a very cool story of why she is running the Chicago Marathon and it'll be included into a news letter with a Chicago based running group. Apparently that newsletter will reference our lil blog here...!

Why am I running....? It started this past Christmas in Vail. A common topic of conversation among my sibs was getting together in Austin 2/14/2010 for the Austin Marathon/Half Marathon. Despite dropping massive amount of weight over the past 2 years and being in the best shape of my "adult" life, this simply was impossible and stupid to even fathom.

I was running for exercise and weight control. Time Based... I'll do 20 minutes or 30... every once in a while a miracle 40 minutes. 100% treadmill because the road was just too hard on my feet. (amazing the BS we can convince ourselves). I had no goals. Pretty GD boring now that I think about it. I knew running 13.1 in Austin wasn't possible by Feb.

After I got back from Vail...I wondered and therefore started reading about training for a marathon and found inspiration. Boom. Without a doubt... "I have to run a marathon." "This is my year" I convinced myself. My year to do something big and different.

The past few years have been a roller coaster of successes, failures,.. losses. Call it what you want: Bucket-list, mid-life crisis, 40th b-day present, therapy... whatever. It hooked me and anyone who truly knows me understands that when I want to do something... it'll happen come hell or high water. That's the Piskun in me and I have on occasion been to hell or did some paddling.

That was it... I broadcast my intentions to the world. Chicago in Oct. Prepare to join me, support me or get the F*** out of my way. Woke up at midnight Feb 1st (open registration) to officially register. Invested in the right pair of shoes, the right set of winter clothing, the right play-list and I was off.

A blink of an eye later... I ran my first race on May 16th. The Wilmington, DE Half in 2:09:22, a 9'52" average which exceeded all my training and expectations. It was a cake-walk and elevated my confidence through the roof.

But wait...Stop...

Nice try Chris. I got something wrong. I'm coming in way too shallow here... this isn't just about me and my year. I'm not sharing what makes me get out of bed to run 11 miles when I don't feel like it. What makes me eat oatmeal when I really want a super-awesome, holy Sh&% that was great can I have another... bean and cheese burrito.

Redemption ( ... about the only word I can find at this time that may cover it all. It passes by as visions and thoughts;

My son, Luke, cheering me into the finish line; Don't be a wimp; The family coming together, as foretold by our father; T-shirts; Because we said we would;
Because they said we couldn't; Pride in the eyes of a child for his/her father; 1%-er; A Piskun tries everything once;

Finally and undoubtedly....Wally will be waiting for us when we finish...

Why I run

- Christopher

The lull

Normally my week consists of:

monday: dodgeball (40 minutes)
tuesday: running (6 miles)
wednesday: dodgeball (40 minutes)
thursday: running (5-6 miles)
friday: speed run (2 miles)
saturday: easy run (4 miles)
sunday: long run (8-10 miles)

Last Monday I played dodgeball for 80 minutes, ran 6 miles on Tuesday, ran 5.5 miles to the gym Wednesday BEFORE db, Thursday only went 2 & Friday ran 4. There was a fundraiser that I was helping out with on Saturday where I ended up playing 4 hours of dodgeball and an hour of tennis so I elected, wisely, to skip the day's run. By Sunday, my body was VERY unhappy with me.

I woke up Sunday at 10am with the usual, "Oh, joy, it's Sunday. Time to run now." If I do not get from toothbrush to running shoes within 10 minutes of rolling out of bed, I know I've never knock out the run on a weekend. I can't afford to even have a moment to harp on the plethora of reasons my brain will come up with to rationalize skipping the long runs. But this Sunday was different. I could hardly move out of bed. My body felt terrible from all the exercise the day before...the whole week before!

I headed down stairs after brushing my teeth to grab my usual pre-run Slim Fast shake (yes, Slim Fast...they are a great sources of quick calories and frickin delicious, ok?). The trip down the stairs proved to me the day would be very difficult for me...the trip back upstairs garnered tears.

Slim Fast in hand I sat down at my computer and looked for a new post on this blog - an omen from God – willing me to get my ass out the door. That’s the hardest part; walking out the door. Never have I ever turned back once outside.

Nothing. No new posts. Great. Now what? I thought to myself. I wrote out a short post, hoping putting that down on paper for all to see (all 3 of us), would force me to complete the looming task. I finished the Slim Fast, finished the post and looked at the clock. 10:10 am. UGH! I refreshed the page. Still. Nothing. FINE!

I got up and put on my running shorts and shoes, then grabbed my iPhone. Dead.

Out loud I said "Alrighty. There you go. That's it." And I laid back down, shoes on, and fell back asleep for 2 hours.

Needless to say, no long run on Sunday. And I blame Jennifer and Sally and my all too comfortable bed. Who am I kidding, I blame me...and I definitely let myself have it during yesterday's run. Running a 6-mile @ 7'20 pace... I almost passed out the last 100 yards.

MOTIVATION my sibs, I need it...especially realizing I haven’t even begun the hard part yet. I want to hear you so get on the posts, people.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Long run day

Ugh.  I dont want to. 10 miles...I can do that?  We shall see.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nike+ Profiles

Let's all share our Nike+ profiles. Jennifer, make Sam get one and sign up. I agree with Molly... I love posting my times on Nike+ and on Facebook. Had a few friend even comment that they get sick of my posts and that just encourages me even more. They can de-friend me before I give it up.

So post your Nike+ profile userid (username). Mine is cpiskun and already buddies with Sally and Molly.

I got my half behind me and my confidence is through the roof. I was able to stay goal oriented (10" pace) even while half the field was passing my ass the first 2 miles... I had the last laugh. Now onto the Full and looks like Sally (maybe even Molly) are on the EXACT same running schedule. I'll be joining my Nike+ schedule May 30th for a mild 10.2 tempo effort run, but in the mean time, having a few ritas and some weight training.

Third time's a charm?

(For the record gang:  I love that we are doing this.)

My two older sisters and older brother and myself have done the impossible.  We agreed on something.  Jennifer, Christopher, Sally and myself are doing it!  Chicago Marathon, here we come.

On October 10, 2010 four Piskuns set out to conquer Chicago's 26.2 miles of mapped out misery.  This is my first full marathon  ...pfft... I say that like there will be a second (um, doubtful)...and I have to say I'm scared shitless.

Ever since I agreed to join my siblings in tackling the Windy City's streets, I can't help but imagine myself leisurely jogging across the finish line with a shit-eating, I'm amazing smirk on my face.  Until I look down at the date.  May.  Five months away.  Hundreds of miles to run before I even get a shot at my fantasy.  What the hell am I thinking!?!

Medal.  That's what.  I want.

My first attempt at long distance running was the Austin Half Marathon in February of 2007 with Sally who had talked me into a half by asking at the perfect moment.  While visiting her I went out for a run on a beautiful September afternoon in Colorado.  Running was new to me at this point.  (I'm inherently cheap and wanted to workout WITHOUT paying for it, so I started jogging after work.)  That afternoon in Boulder, I managed to complete three consecutive miles - something I never thought I would ever, EVER been able to do.  She was looking to lose baby weight from her first child, then 3 week old baby Gus, when she jumped on my euphoria and laid the question on me, "Wanna do a half marathon in February, Molly?"  I'd have agreed to just about anything in that moment, and apparently did so.

What a joke I was participating in the Austin Half.  I puked at mile 6, 7, 8 and 10 feet before AND after the finish line, cursed and disowned my sister two or three times throughout, and managed to crawl across the finish line after 3+ hours of pure torture.  I hated it.  Every second of that race was difficult for me.  I desperately wanted to be as good as Sally, to be running along side her the whole time with my head held high....I think I may have fantasized about us holding hands across the finish line.  That bitch named Reality was much more vindictive than I thought she could be...I trained, I did some running, I Reality?  I mean, come on, being able to run 4 miles, 2 weeks before the race seemed enough, right?  Who knew I wouldn't be prepared?  Pffft, only everyone Molly.

I thought to myself, 'Never....again... will I subject myself to that torture!'  Assuming I meant running in general by saying never again - any distance - but apparently the thought meant 'never-ever will you be that unprepared.'  Because a year later I was signed up for another one.

Plus that Austin medal was pretty freakin sweet!  And looked so lonesome hanging on my wall.

The City of Angels half in December of 2008- my second half and here in LA - was an improvement for me in training and showing but I still didn't take my training seriously enough and pooped out at mile 11.  A personal accomplishment and failure all at the same time.  11 miles was the furthest I had EVER run without stopping!!  But I stopped running 2 miles from the finish line which pissed me off.  What?  You couldn't push yourself harder, Molly?  No, thank you very much.   I could not.

This time is different.  I can feel it.

Why you ask?
1) Nike +
 - this, like seriously, is the greatest thing to happen to mankind since Jesus showed upon a T-shirt
2) Nike + Facebook
- tracking the progress of my siblings from ACROSS THE COUNTRY...are you serious?  Amazing!
- sibling rivalry kicks into gear, and no offense, after an 11 mile post by Chris or a 7'00" 5-mile run by Sally, and my competitive juices start to flow and I want to kick your posts' ass ...with my own!

3)  No Smoking
 - It'll be 6 months May 24th. YAYs

4) At some point I became a runner.
- between starting my training with a piddly 2 mile run & my faster-than-I-thought-possible first 6 mile run ...I got hooked on accomplishment.  It's a great drug.
 - Now, I look forward to my runs rather than dread them & I feel terrible and sad when I skip one

I'm going to make Chicago my bitch.  And then eat all their pizza.

I'm really excited to hear your thoughts on how you all started running.  Jennifer especially as you are the pro amongst us us all; having completed so many full marathons already.  Chris too because you are starting from the beginning.  And Sally - you are a freak of nature, I look up to you so much and at 29 I still try and emulate what you do, so thank you for pushing me!

But really, I must thank all of you for encouraging me to do this.  I know dad is just rooting us on and is so proud of all of us for banding together and knocking out something so personally and physically a family!

I love you guys.

And let get these posts started!!