Chicago marathon weekend!

I’ll be at the Chicago marathon expo tomorrow to check it all out. Follow me on Twitter for info in real-time, or check-in next week for my Chicago marathon expo post here on Bonkless, where, just like last year, I’ll check out all the gadgets and vendors and report back with everything.

Two recent posts I wrote on ChicagoNow’s Sports community blog:

How to navigate water stops

How to get a kick-ass finish line photo

Have a great race everyone!



So, Bonkfighters, what do you think about having the Olympics in Chicago? Thumbs up or thumbs down? Let’s hear it.

Run Green, Greener and Green-ish

greenWhat I dig about this article from Runner’s World is that is gives options for varying degrees of greening up one’s running. For example:


Good: Buy powdered sports drinks and mix them yourself.
Better: Wave away plastic race cups by carrying your own water in a secure container (like Amphipod’s Hydraform Handheld Pockets).
Best: Use reusable bottles instead of throwaway plastic water bottles.

See the rest at Runner’s World.

Lakefront parking meters

In Chicago, many runners are rather peeved (to put it quite mildly) about the lakefront parking meters which are about to be installed at lakefront parking areas.  Some are calling it a class issue– that installing the expensive meters along the lake which line the rest of the streets in the Chicago will serve only to limit lakefront recreation to those who can afford to feed the meter– while some call it just a matter of the city’s enthusiastic efforts to generate a lot of revenue from parking and ticketing, while many say it’s really a bit of both.

But for my parking quarters, my first thought was about my running route, I’ll confess.

Let’s say the meters allow two hours of parking at a stretch. To a runner, that means we can run only an hour away before we must loop back to feed the meter. Which might be okay for elite athletes and shorter-distance runners, but for those of us who aim for longer mileage in our running, this is going to make for some boring runs in the same circles over and over and over. Ugh.

And what of bicyclists? I know a ton of cyclists who park, then ride for hours out, then back. Or parents? I know parents who opted to bring their children to the beach during the summer for little more than the cost of a mid-day cooler picnic. Are they going to leave their children unsupervised on the beach while they go plug the meter? Of course not. They’ll pack the kids up and head home after only a short time. Great.

I can’t help but wonder how the new parking meters will challenge the fitness and recreation of Chicagoans. And not in a good way.

Daydreaming on the train home tonight, I thought of organizing a group of runners and bikers to stagger our take-off times in order to feed meters of the group, but then I returned to daydreaming about open parking like we have for a few more weeks.

Race T-Shirts

I have a ton of race t-shirts. I purge my pile of them fairly often, but the collection grows. I was looking at a brochure recently from Campus Quilt, a company who will sew all of your race t-shirts into a quilt, and it occured to me I don’t recall ever having discussed the matter of t-shirts with another runner.

So, let’s hear it: what do you do with your race t-shirts? Has anyone made a quilt from them? Or something else? Let’s hear it.

Pace Tat Revisited: Part One

In a previous post, I discussed the Pace Tat, a pace temp tatoo. Well! I’m now happy to report that I have six shiny new Pace Tats in my possession to try out. I’ll report back when I know more.

Fight The Bonk: 12-Week Fitness Challenge Redux

I took on a mega-fitness challenge, but my timing sucked. As some  of you may know, when I’m not running, I am a literary blogger, author, editor and festival founder. Well, in the calm before the storm of the literary festival, in March, I took on a modified version of the Body for Life 12-week Fitness Challenge.

Well, that was kind of dumb timing. But, it had its good points. For one, I was working out and not stressing out through the festival in late May, which is also known as my busiest time of the year. But, it did lessen my workout focus in the week that followed, when I was planning for live stream author interviews at Printers Row Lit Fest. But, that’s ok.

A blog I really love is Slow Mofo, by John Frenette of HellaSound. One thing I like so much about his blog is that Frenette isn’t afraid to try new things and doesn’t blame himself when said new things don’t go to the letter. Because, really, what does ever go exactly as planned? Right.

So, with that in mind, I’m starting over. Granted, I’ve never really been in terrible shape but I’m in better shape than I was when I first started the fitness challenge back in late March. So, I’m not starting from the same place this time. So what? I’m starting again, in any case. Part of the fitness challenge is to photograph oneself at the beginning and end of the challenge. On my first time at bat with the challenge, I did Day Zero photos, and was shocked when my halfway point photos looked exactly the same. But, that’s also okay. I could feel a difference, and really saw a difference in my running economy, and that’s what counts.

And why, prey tell, am I doing this? Why not. I mean, really, why not? I’m active and in shape, but I think it’s time to bring it up a notch. I don’t want to just be fit, I want to be strong, have better running economy, expand my fitness activity horizons and be in better health. And, I don’t want to stop at the 12-week challenge. Nope. I want to declare this the summer of uber-cross training and of expanding my fitness horizons.

So, the new 12-week Fitness Challenge is on. It’s inspired by the Body For Life program, but I’m adding to it for variety. And, I’ll document it all here. Because, you know, why not?