Friday, July 25, 2014

16 Days til Steelhead 70.3!!!

16 days until Steelhead 70.3, it is officially PEAK WEEK.  I'm sitting here at work beating myself off because I DIDN'T bike this morning like I was supposed to.  And I kinda don't want to run either!  And the whole thing is silly because it'll be my only day off til 70.3!

There just isn't enough days in the week!!!!

I'll make a game time decision once I get home whether or not I want to swim at the pool tonight.  I really probably should.  But I'm just feeling SO tired today.

Also, I've been avoiding swimming.  Chicago ITU Olympic Triathlon REALLY bummed me out.  It was my slowest swim to date and yet I NEVER panicked and I couldn't stop the water was too deep!  I never turned over on my back.  I just swam.  Apparently REALLY slowly.

So, yeah I've been avoiding the swim.  I went Tuesday morning with CJ to LVAC's Swim Training at 6 a.m.  And it kicked my ass in a good way.  And sorta motivated me.  I'll be back next Tuesday morning.  But I was basically gasping for breath SO OUT OF SHAPE.

I'm not loving running much either.  Last night I completed the Esprit De She 10K.  Barely.  People were encouraging me not to give up.  I musta REALLY looked like I wanted to give up.

At least there was wine after.

And this photo.

Oh right I DO have goals.

We actually got a real life copy of this photo, so I hung it at my desk on the cork board.  When I start feeling mopey I have to look at it and remind myself of the bigger goal.  

But yeah my running hasn't been great lately.  Like the Burgers and Beer 5K?  

Yeah that's me be not able to get by that smiling lady and her TWO children in the stroller.  

Official time was 31:02.  Exactly 10 minute miles.  I guess there is that?

The next day I ran the Strikeout ALS 5K in 29:24.  Not much speedier.  BUT that course was fun since we ran inside the Sox Stadium :)

Okay I've whined enough for today.  I'll try to update more often!!!!  

Thursday, May 15, 2014

4 races in 4 weekends!

I've neglected this blog!

I've been too busy training for Steelhead 70.3.

Actually that's not true I just got done with 4 race weekends in a row!  I'm starting to feel so old those 4 race weekends made me TIRED.

4/19 CARA Lakefront 10 MILER

Nice, fun race put on by CARA my favorite running organization here in Chicago.  Race begins end ends at Montrose and even though it's on the path it has some quirks like running over Cricket Hill!  I ran this race at 9:54 pace which is officially my first endurance race with a 9:xx as a pace!  Afterwards I had ALL the beers and I really mean ALL the beers because people kept giving me their beer tickets!

4/26 Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon

I was hoping for 4:35 and started around right around 10:20 pace and then I bonked at mile 10 and never got it back.  Nice race with GREAT crowd support though!  I wish it was a bit closer to Chicago though as it required a rental car and a hotel room.

5/3 Wisconsin Half Marathon

I got a major PR!  2:07:57!!!  Loved this race.  Weather was perfect.  At the end we got a brat, cheese and local craft beer!

5/10 5th 3rd Bank Grand Rapids 25K

BIG race.  I was tired so I ran it as a training run.  Even with a potty stop and stopping to get ALL the orange slices I managed a 10:46 pace.  I'm planning on training this summer at 11 pace so I'm fine with that finish.

In the coming weeks I'll update this space with links to longer recaps!!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Finding a Good Running Partner

Running with other people can be hard.  Usually you have to run at the slower person's pace because let's face it running with one person huffing and puffing is never fun.

I personally like training with a group because we have already have a set pace.  And this summer I have been group leading the 11:30 pace in preparation for the Chicago Marathon.  I've found this experience to be sooo rewarding.  I love each and every person in my group.  It's nice to go ahead and run 16 miles AT THE SAME EXACT PACE as 10 other people!

BUT I know that the 11:30 pace is a bit slow for me.  Since late May in 10 mile and above races I've managed a pretty consistent 10:16 pace.  This is when my body feels the best.  But in 4 mile and below races/runs I've been running 9-9:45 pace.  So how exactly do I find someone to run with?  It's tough!

I started my own meetup group called Chitown Social Running/Dinner/Brunch Group in order to be able to have more fun runs and also social gatherings in my life.  I mean who doesn't love running with some new friends and then going into a restaurant all hot and sweaty???  Surprisingly it's a lot of fun!  No one minds each other's sweat.

But the whole point of this is that there is a BOY let's call him THE NERD.  And he has been very persistent on wanting to date me.  So finally I said sure come and run with this running group I'm meeting for the first time on Tuesday night.  My legs were tight. I did just run the Oak Brook Half Marathon the day before!  I was feeling kind of slow and I was struggling to make 10 minute miles.  But eventually I settled into a 9:30 pace.  It was about this time though that THE NERD took off!  Not sure how fast he ended up running but he ran about a mile and a half without me!

So what do you think?  Do you expect your life partner to also be your running partner?  Am I wrong in thinking The Nerd rude?

Anyone have a running partner that they just refuse to give up??  They're valuable!

Delta Labs Giveaway!

Hello everyone!  I'm very excited to be a Delta Labs Ambassador and they've sent me some samples to giveaway!

I have the hair/skin/nails samples to giveaway to YOU!  You can find out more details HERE.  I'm a big fan of biotin and have been using the supplement for years.  I also like that the pills contain Vitamin D and calcium as those are two things as runner I need in order to keep my bones strong.

I'm currently testing out the Detox and will have a review up soon!  My late summer fun has been a little too much fun and I need to start flushing those toxins out of my body!  I'm also drinking green tea as I write this!

If you'd like to participate in the giveaway please leave a comment telling me what supplements are currently in your regime.  I'll pick 4 random winners and mail you the awesome prize!

Don't forget to follow Delta Labs on Twitter!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August Goals!

So I'm looking at my August calendar and I see the following:

Lollapalooza 8/2-4

Iron Girl Triathlon 8/11

Fort2Base 8/25

Marathon Training AND Kickball ongoing Saturdays in August


So it's kinda really empty and it seems like as good as a time as any to pick some AUGUST GOALS!

1) I'm using Iron Girl as another "test" triathlon to get ready for the Tri Rock Lake Geneva Triathlon on 9/14.  Basically I need to get used to the whole transition/switch up the sport thing.  And I really gotta get comfortable in the open water and the bicycle.  This is the same goal I've had since last February and it's starting to get a bit frustrating to be honest.

2) Strength training!  I did A LOT of strength training while I was injured and then I just sort of forgot about it.  It's just too easy to go for a run sometimes rather than go to the gym and lift weights.

3) Less running.  I need to stick to Run Less Run Faster plan of only running 3 times a week.  Anytime I over do it then my legs really feel it and I want to go injury free this marathon training cycle.  Consequently I need to start actually doing my PT exercises.

4) See more movies!!!  I've been neglecting my first love and I'm going to change that soon!

What are your August goals?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Xsport Rock 'N Roll Chicago Half Marathon Recap

This summer Chicago has had about 2 weeks of hot temperatures.  The Xsport Rock 'N Roll Chicago Half Marathon was going to be run on the tail end of it.  I know most of us runners had been stalking the weather reports hoping for a break from the heat.  We didn't quite get the break in heat we were hoping for but it was better than the Burgers and Beer 5K

The race started at 6:30 a.m. and I was in Corral 20. 

I woke up around 4 a.m. and the mangie was NOT interested in going for a walk. I actually had to drag him out of my bed to go walking!  That NEVER happens!!  

For any of the Grant Park races I always park at work and walk over.  I knew it wasn't that far from the start because the map had shown that we'd run past my work building at about the .5 mile point.  

It was crowded but everything seemed really really spread out.  I managed to find a porta potty near the after party stages and vendors that had NO wait.  Score!

Then I met up with my half marathon training buddies.

For 7 weeks Amy sent out a weekly email detailing our training for the week.  We basically did a training program that included 3 runs per week: Tempo Run, Speedwork or Hill Repeats (this rotated) and then the Long Run.

Of course this being Chicago basically our only hill opportunity was Cricket Hill.   We did our speed workouts at the Lakeshore Track off of Chicago Ave downtown.  Track workouts are TOUGH but I do have to say I always enjoy the accomplishment afterwards!!

So the three of us lined up in corral 20 but basically everyone kept pushing themselves forward and I know we started ahead of the 2:15 pacer (who was positioned at the front of corral 20).  We only had to wait about 20 minutes before we started which was a nice surprise.  Honestly after long waits in other races with a later corral I was happy not to have to wait 45 minutes to an hour!

The race started out exciting enough as we ran along Columbus crossed the River and turned at Grand. We basically made our way West until about the 4 mile mark and started heading East.  We hit Michigan Ave around mile 6.5 and since this was the most crowded area with spectators and cheerleaders this was DEFINITELY my fastest mile.  And then we hit the dead zone and then came the wall out in the bright sunlight.

Michigan Ave. ALL the way down to 31st street was really really boring.  And then once we hit 31st Street we basically came out of the shade for the first time all morning. And did I mention at this point it was probably nearing 9 a.m.?  So yeah it got hot and it got unbearable.  Also the water stations along this stretch were TERRIBLE.  The tables had empty cups.  So we had to pick up an empty cup and hold it out and hope we got some Gatorade and/or water.  A friend was running a slower race in a later corral and she told me she didn't get ANY Gatorade until mile 12!

I don't really blame the volunteers at all for this mess.  I mean for THAT many runners yeah it's gonna be hard to keep up.  The Race Organizers should have made sure they were equipped to handle it all!  Also there were no sponges until Mile 12 and at that point it was almost too late.  There were a TON of hoses along the way but I am not sure if they were official hoses or not but I definitely ended the race with soaking wet shorts (not pleasant for the after race).

There were medical tents along the way so I grabbed ice from the bags they had laying in front of them and stuffed ice in my sports bra.  That actually helped a lot, but being able to get more than 1 cup of water at each aid station would have helped even more!

The race did offer a ton of splits which is nice especially for a person like me who forgets her Garmin a lot (or in this case it went haywire for the first few miles).

  • 5 km
  • 10 km
  • 10 mile

  • 31:53
  • 1:03:13
  • 1:42:32

  • Pace
  • Chip Time
  • Clock Time

  • 10:16
  • 02:14:30
  • 02:36:38

So I got a new PR!!!  And this is the first race I can confirm that I actually did negative splits!!!  

Would I do this race again?  Probably not.  I don't like the middle of summer unpredictability of the weather.  And also next year I am shooting for the Half Ironman Racine which is the same date!  ;)

Xterra Big Elk Half Marathon Race Recap

Most people that know me know that I'm addicted to races.  So the minute I realized I was going home to attend the Firefly Music Fest I started searching for races in the area.   Half Marathon was my favorite distance and I was excited to find Exterra Big Elk Half Marathon.   Of course it took me awhile to commit to running when I looked at the course elevation chart!  

That's pretty scary for this city girl that lives in Chicago!  About half of the runners were doing the loop twice in order to complete a full marathon.  I had briefly considered doing that but I hate loops.  *spoiler alert a GREAT decision on my part to only do the half!!

Here I am all smiles this was right before the course pep talk.   The race was sponsored by Power Bar and they explained that there would be at EVERY age station just about every 2.5 miles.   OK at a lot of races you are lucky to get a SINGLE energy gel.  And usually these are located at around the mile 9 marker.  But I was about to get them offered to me at 6 different spots??  That's a lil bit weird??

Here I am starting the race all smiles!  I told my mom to come back in 3 hours.  She hadn't even actually showered yet when she dropped me off!  

The course starts off with only a little bit of time before we switched into single trail.  A few people in the race commented that they were surprised we didn't have a longer wide trail to help it thin out.  I'm not sure how these people ended up finishing the race that I was so slow at points I was running on my own with no one else around! 

The trail was really windy and luckily we were downhill for the first few miles.  Those were my favorite miles as there is nothing more exhilirating than running downhill and having to concentrate on nothing but the person's foot in front of you.  It's like a total roller coaster and you have to be careful and dodge mud, roots, bushes etc.  

But still I looked at my watch and noticed that close to 35 minute had passed and I hadn't even gotten to my first aid station yet?!  Suddenly I realized why they were giving gels out at EVERY station.  We were going to need them!  

Side note: hot gels in the summer taste WAY better than frozen gels in the winter. 

Garmin says the rest of my mile were at a pretty steady 13 min mile pace.  There were A LOT of hills that were just basically like stairs because of the tree roots that we had to climb.  There were a few spots where we were out in an open field trying to get to the other side and the trail that was waiting for us.  Those spots were the worst because we were out in the heat and not the shade.  Towards the end of the race I'm pretty sure the temps got close to 80.  

Well right around mile 7ish me and a group of people came upon what we thought was a repeat aid station.  Actually it wasn't we'd made a wrong turn and gone the wrong way.  So now not only had I been out on the course for over and hour and a half but I was back at mile 5!  Luckily instead of having to continue on the course again at mile 5 the aid station lady called and got us a short.  It still added at least a 1-1.5 miles to our course.  Garmin says I ran 14.25 miles.  Is that an ULTRA half marathon?  

By the end I was pretty delirious.  It was hot.  I'd gone through my water bottles 4 times.  But at least every aid station let me refill!  The last station had Swedish Fish (my favorite!) so that was a nice surprise.  Also one of the stations had pickles my EVEN MORE favorite.  If you haven't ever had a pickle on a hard long sweaty run, please try it out!!!

At the race they had tons of snacks and even jars of Biscoff.  I have no idea what Biscoff is so I gave that to my mom.  They had piles and piles of Power Bar gels to give out too!  I love trail running because there are ALWAYS yummy snacks!!

Official time: 3:08:26.

Would I do it again?  YES!  I mean it would be nice if I could train for the terrain but I liked the change of pace even if I was really really slow.  Also the medal was really sweet AND we got a Tshirt AND a hydration backpack!  How cool is that???  Definitely well run race.  Can't wait for next year!