Sunday, February 10, 2013

Enough procrastinating already!

Yesterday I updated my Team in Training fundraising page with the the title "It starts today..." so not only has the running season started for me but I have decided that the decluttering season has started too!  

While I was not raised with the practice of giving up something for Lent and I don't consider myself particularly religious, three years ago I attempted to give up clutter for Lent.  As you can see, that attempt did not go too well so I'm at it again.

I'm  not a stickler so I will start today.  Fat Tuesday be damned!  No time like the present!  My plan is to get rid of at least one item per day, even as small as a piece of paper like a receipt.  This may not sound like it would make a difference but I find that one item usually leads to another... and so on... and so on...

Five years ago I gave up meat (just to see if I could) and I'm still a vegetarian.  Hey, maybe this will stick too!

Wish me luck!

Dining room table covered with stuff pulled out of a closet I'm trying to organize.

Chocolate covered pretzel-making supplies.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Trail race in photos

A quite belated report of my first trail race on October 29, 2011. It was the Trail Challenge 8K, part of a 4 race series and I would post a link except the site appears to be disabled. Hmmmm... I hope they are planning another series this year because I want to run more trails!!

The night before I laid out my gear after a carbo loading dinner with mom.

Got to the forest preserve in the chilly early morning in time to catch the sunrise.

Just a glimpse of the trail near the very end of the race.

8K trail race in 1 hour 5 minutes, it was glorious, I loved every minute of it and wait for it....

I came in dead last!

Stayed tuned for more running adventures of me.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chicago Half Marathon Recap

On September 11th I ran my first half marathon. Putting my experience into words proved to be much more difficult than I thought it would be. So much so that it took me much longer to write about running a 1/2 marathon than it did to actually run it... but here it is at last!

Moments and Memories of My First Half Marathon

*The excitement and energy of the Expo at Navy Pier

*A lovely Saturday evening the night before at Andy & Steve's civil union celebration at the newSouth Branch Tavern & Grille on the Chicago River

*A welcoming glass of wine and the world's largest shower at the newly renovated Wheeler Mansion

*Up at 5:00 a.m. on race day when I ate my untoasted waffle with peanut butter and honey (forgot about not having a toaster available), got dressed and ready and at 5:45 a.m. we were on our way.

*Don getting us on Lake Shore Drive just before the barricades went up - he was quite pleased with himself while I, on the other hand, was getting nervous and cranky and crabby as the - I would later learned this was me going "runzilla". Thanks Melissa and John!

*Getting to the Museum of Science and Industry with plenty of parking still available *phew*

*Walking from the museum to Jackson Park as the sun was coming up while happily deluding myself into thinking the cool morning air was a good sign of perfect weather for the race...

*Finding a short-ish line for one last portapotty stop, no toilet paper, but I came prepared, crises averted and mission accomplished!

*Making our way to Corral N where I found the 2:45 pace group. (I eventually positioned myself to start ahead of this group so I might have a chance of actually finishing with them.)

*Only took 12 minutes to get from Corral N to the start line and I was off and running

*Seeing co-worker, Nancy S. up ahead at the water/gatorade station and yelling "Thank you Nancy S!" as I ran by

*Noticing someone with a camera and a tamborine for a noise-maker and thinking "A tamborine - cool idea.... hey that's Linda!" She was as surprised to see me as I was to see her and she took a few photos.

I'm looking ridiculously happy - it was early in the race and I was still in the shade!

*Since the course was mostly an out and back route on Lake Shore Drive it was exciting to watch and cheer for the leaders passing by on their last few miles.

*All of the runners in red, white & blue in honor of the 10th anniversary of September 11th

*Asking spectators if they had seen Apolo Ohno go by and finally one guy told me he was at about a 1:40 pace. I had just seen the 1:45 pace group so I kept looking, however.... I was thinking I needed to make a bathroom stop.

*Making the choice to stop at a bathroom therefore missing my chance to see Apolo Ohno run past. Nature calls!

*After waiting in a short line at the park district bathroom, I came out only to see the 2:45 pace group running by and as hard as I tried, I never did catch up with them.

*Seeing a woman holding and reciting this sign:
"There will be a day when you can no longer do this. Today is not that day!"

*The amazing volunteers with an abundance of water/Gatorade at the aid stations. Not a chance of getting dehydrated at this race.

*Hearing the announcement that the course level was now "Yellow" - slow down, walk if you need to, stay hydrated... yup, I was feeling it.

*Sun, sun, and more sun.

*Feeling my running slowing down as it got hotter and sunnier, thinking I wasn't sure I could finish - but of course I can finish! I just don't know when?

*Getting to the point a where I started alternating walking and running... but I'm a fast walker; Don & Ruby don't call me "quick Bickford" for nothing!

*"Toasting" the volunteers with my water/Gatorade cups

*Finally, finally, finally crossing the finish line. As you can see my first 5 miles was faster than my second 5 miles and my last 3 miles were sloooooooooowwww. I think between the excitement, the adrenaline, and the crowd, I went out a bit too fast. Next time I'll start out painfully slow and save some for the end!

Constance Bickford #2058

Chicago, IL
Age: 49 Gender: F
DistanceHALF MAR
Clock Time3:03:16
Chip Time2:51:03
Overall Place10985 / 11891
Gender Place6003 / 6690
Division Place415 / 469

First half marathon in under 3 hours and didn't get kicked off Lake Shore Drive. Goal achieved.

And yes, you read that right, I did say next time...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I can't do it alone.

With one week left in August, how about a little end of the summer fun? Guess how many miles I will run in the month of August as I train for the Chicago Half Marathon (my first) and you could win a $25 Starbucks or iTunes gift card (your choice)!

Here are the ground rules:

1. Make a pledge of any amount to my fundraising efforts for the Lung Power Team. Any amount from $1 to $100 dollars is greatly appreciated. Click here to make your donation. If you prefer to not donate on line I can easily accommodate check or cash donations as well. Just say the word.

2. Guess how many training miles I will run in the month of August – you may do this publicly on facebook, twitter or in the comments section of my blog, or you may e-mail me privately if you want to play that way. One guess per person please.

3. The first person to guess closest to the number of miles I run in August is the winner. Deadline is Saturday, September 3, 2011 at 12:00 midnight.

4. The winner will be announced on Sunday, September 4, 2011.

Thanks for playing! And thank you for your support.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Look what I did in July!

I did it! I finished all my requirements and I am now a Handwriting Without Tears Level 1 Certified Handwriting Specialist! I received the official e-mail on August 1st, one month to the day that I decided to buckle down and get this thing done!
Go me.
*happy dance*
Woo hoo.
Now it's time to formulate a plan for how I'm going to use this new certification, but first I'm going on vacation... Mackinac Island, here we come!

Vacation Listy:
*pack: clothes, toiletries, books, running gear, biking gear, food, mini-cabin supplies, I'm sure there's more...
*water plants
*one last trip to the grocery store
*cat boxes and feeders
*laundry - there's always laundry
*composting, recycling, take out garbage
*reserve ferry tickets
*chocolate chip cookies
*I'm sure there's more...

You know what else I did in July? I logged a lot of running miles! That's what following a half marathon training program will do for you. I will continue my training for the next 5 weeks - one of my vacation goals it to run the 8 mile perimeter of Mackinac Island - I'll keep you posted...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Almost finished!

Time for a two listy blog post. The end is in sight - and in less than 30 days I might add!

Monday's Listy - Day 15
*review notes for presentation
*make sure I have enough copies
*make sure I have enough pencils
*make sign

Tuesday's Listy - Day 16
*give presentation
*make copies of evaluations
*mail papers
*go for a celebratory run!

No time for a photo today - gotta get to work...

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Weekend Listy - Days 13 & 14
*place completed paperwork in envelope
*work on presentation
*work on presentation again
*continue to work on presentation
*make copies