Monday, December 17, 2007

Snow Play

Just when I thought we had the fourth and final storm in December, we got hit with another one Friday-Sunday. But this time, the snow was just beautiful. It was the kind of snow storm I use to sit up late and watch as a child, counting down the minutes until I could go out and play in it. Snow angels were my favorite, especially in fluffy white snow. We use to play for hours making forts, snow ball fights and sledding down hills. Now I understand why we were fit kids. We played in the snow rather than complaining about it:)

I went for a run on the plowed and salted roads Sunday after all the snow had fallen and came across Cricket Hill. It is the only hill in Chicago and THE place to be after a significant snow fall. I stopped, took this video and just smiled watching the kids laughing, the adults smiling, and the dogs jumping in excitement.

I finished up my 6 miler and promised myself that next time I would "play" in the snow rather than run around it. I will break out the snow shoes, hit the trails and reap the benefits of a classic Chicago winter storm.

Happy Trails,


Monday, December 10, 2007

Plan B, C, and D...

Well, it's been one of those weeks in Chicago. We went from rather nice running weather in the 30-40s to sleet, snow, and cold. Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining about that but what I am whining about is it all came in one week! We are on our fourth weather storm warning in less than 10 days! And all at the time when I had to get in my 18 miler.

So, I modified, tweaked and practically duct taped my long run plans. First I was going to run it on Wednesday and take a cab north to Lake Forest which is about 18 miles from my home and then run home, but the snow started and it would have been nasty. Then I was going to run it Friday and run loops on the lakefront path but by that time the ice and snow hit and the path was nasty. I scheduled it confidently for Sunday morning as my schedule was clear and surely by then the weather would pass, right? Nope. We had an ice storm all day and the streets and paths were slippy.

So I decided to get it in on Saturday. I ran 8 miles as I coached with my training team Chicago Endurance Sports and then headed back out and finished the next 10 miles. I was dreading it because the path was sort of plowed but still had a significant amount of snow and ice and it takes so much more energy to run on that stuff. It turned out to be a good run even though the conditions were still slippy. The sun was out which was a gift and the winds were relatively calm.

So, the moral of the story is to have several plans and routes in your pocket for winter running. You never know what is coming and it pays to have a lot of choices in your pocket.

Happy Trails,


While I was

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Running And Giving

I'm just back from Randleman, North Carolina where we [John Bingham Racing] hosted the second Annual Run to Victory Half Marathon and 5 Miler. The race benefits Pattie & Kyle Petty's [NASCAR] Victory Junction Gang Camp. The Victory Junction Gang Camp enriches the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses by providing life-changing camping experiences that are exciting, fun, and empowering, in a safe and medically sound environment. It truly is a magical place for the kids.

The first time I set foot on the camp I felt the positive energy. It is hard to describe but you just feel so darn good when you're there. The kids are having fun and you can "feel" it unveiling the layers of happiness inside. Last year we had about 600 run the race and raised $65,000. This year John set the goal to reach $100,000 and we not only reached his goal, but it came in well over $120,000.00! Thanks to all who supported the event and the camp. It is truly a wonderful opportunity for runners to run a tough and challenging hilly course all for a great cause! For those of you who are looking to Run and Give at a fantastic feel-good half marathon or 5 miler next year, put Sunday, December 7th, 2008 on your calendars.

Happy Trails,