Training: September 23rd – 29th

Sept 23-29

Monday – 3.10 Miles

I hadn’t planned on doing a 5K as a training run but as I was nearing the end of the my run, I decided to go for it. I wanted to see if I could beat 31:30. Luckily I made this decision when it was still easy for me to tack on a little extra distance without having to do some weird loop. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I checked my time for the run and saw that I did break 31:30… Now… if only I can manage to do that during a race… After the run I did a full legs strength training workout. It briefly occurred to me that I should do this workout on a different day since I was planning to do my long run on Tuesday… But who wants to be smart?

Tuesday – 7.00 Miles

To say that this run sucked would be a HUGE understatement. I wrote a full re-cap of the run last week. I really hope this is not an omen for all of my longer training runs for this little training cycle. Although, I definitely won’t make the mistake of doing a full legs workout the day before again. Despite how horrendous this run was for me. I was still pleasantly surprised at the pace…. even more so when I finally looked at the splits for the run. I was pretty consistent on the pace the entire time. This was a complete shock because I thought I was going much slower the last two miles and I would have sworn that the last half mile of the run was at a “barely running” type of pace. Running by feel isn’t always accurate and this run proved that.

Wednesday – Rest

After the horrendous run, my legs were toast. I woke up to an email from Maureen asking if I wanted to go to a premiere showing of a new show on showtime. Since I was rather bummed about the run the night before and my legs were done, I jumped at the opportunity to blow off my Wednesday run and move it to a different day. To ever so slightly make up for it, I did walk there and back for about a total of two miles… which I think helped to break up the remainder of the lactic acid in my legs.

Thursday – 3.00 Miles

I was ready to go when I started this run. The day off not only made me feel better about training in general but my legs no longer hated me. So I set out on my normal 3ish mile route. Nothing exciting to report. Part of me wanted to go that extra .10 miles to see what my 5K time would be but I decided to stop at 3. I then saw my time and knew that if I had tacked on that .10 miles I would have beat my 31:30 goal.

Friday – 2.02 Miles

I headed over to Target after work to pick up a few things. The Halloween isle proved dangerous as I found way too many cute decorations. Once I got home, I head out for my run. Originally, I was going to do 3 miles but I really wasn’t feeling the run at all. So I decided to knock it down to two miles and try to negative split the run. I succeeded Mile 1 was 10:16 and Mile 2 was 9:38. I then spent the evening putting up my new (and old) Halloween decorations.

Saturday – Rest

There was no plan for a run and instead the plan was to clean and be productive. I did manage to go to the grocery store and clean my bathroom but then I took a two hour nap thus ending my productivity.

Sunday – Rest

I managed to sleep in later than I normally would. After my coffee and scrambled eggs with toast, I took another stab at the productivity thing. I got laundry done and made my lunch for the week… all while watching the Bears lose… I took a short nap after my burst of activity and then spent the rest of the day on my couch being a bum.

I am pretty happy with my training for the week. I have a 7.50 mile run on tap for my “long run” for the week, which I plan to do today after work. I also have a 10K race on Sunday. So outside of that my runs are going to be shorter this week. I am planning to hit the gym a bit more to get some strength training in and while I am there I might do some speed work on the treadmill.

Hope everyone has a great week!

7 Mile Long Run

This week I started my training for the Navy Pier Perfect 10 (miler)…. Which meant I needed to get in some sort of a long run and I started with 7 miles.

Monday, I went for a 3 mile run followed by a legs strength training workout. I wanted to do more strength training this week and didn’t think doing legs after a 7 mile run would go over well. Then again… doing legs the day before a 7 mile is not exactly smart either…

A lesson I quickly learned on Tuesday and my legs became increasingly more sore as the day went on. Part of which, I am sure, is due to the fact that I have a desk job. But the other part is due to the really good workout I gave my legs the day before. I briefly considered moving the run to a different day but since the weather forecast called for warmer temps as the week went on I decided against it.

I got home from work and changed into my running gear and headed out. I knew immediately this was going to be tough…. the legs felt like dead weight

Earlier in the day, I had mapped out a course. Since it has been years since I have done anything over 6.50 miles, I had no idea how to run so that I got in the 7 miles without doing one of those last minute mini loops just to add on an extra tenth of a mile… something I have done far more often than I probably should.

Anywho – I was going to run north towards Addison and the tennis courts there then take the paths on the back end over there before heading back south. Hitting the overpass at North Ave and then running the loop around the baseball fields in the park before taking the path north again. I knew I would hit the 7 miles once I returned to Fullerton or only have a little more left to go but I would still walk a few blocks home as a cool down.

The legs were hating me and I felt far more sore than I should have been feeling. I stopped at water fountains like I usually do but made sure I didn’t linger too long. I knew doing so would make my legs feel worse. Once I passed Fullerton and was heading south towards North Ave I was at 5 miles. By now I was hurting and I know that I slowed down significantly. To top it all off my stomach wasn’t thrilled with me either.

I reached the overpass and despite the fact that the original plan was to run over it, I just could handle the incline of the overpass so I walked over it instead but stopped the watch while I did so. I have this weird thing about not counting walking miles for a training run… Just me

I stopped at the water fountain by the overpass but sipping water made my stomach feel far more full than it should be. I had about a mile and a quarter to go and I considered bailing here. But I told myself that I had gone this far so I ran (probably more like jogged) around the baseball fields, looping back around towards LSD and the parking lot along the back end of the park where there is also a running path. Took a sip of water and looked at my watch – Less than a mile.

I was miserable. I was starting to feel ill since I knew the blood sugar was going down. But I knew all I had to do was run to Fullerton and then I would be done.

Once I hit 6.75 miles, I had to stop. I felt so horrible. My legs were hurting and I just wanted to be done. I stood in place debating my options. I could walk the rest… counting walking miles for the first time ever in a training run. I could bail completely and finish the run there. Or I could run the last quarter mile.

I seriously considered the first and second options. But I also knew that in an hour I would be utterly pissed if I did that.

So I ran the last quarter mile all the while begging my watch to roll over to 7.00 miles. As soon as I was at Cannon and Fullerton my watch hit 7.00 and I stopped.

I walked the few blocks home and my legs felt like jello. The rest of me just felt like crawling into bed… I really wasn’t feeling the greatest.

By no means would I consider this a good run. I was miserable. The last two miles were complete hell. Stubbornness is what got me through

Now I just hope the 7.50 mile run goes better next week…

The Training Plan

I know I have stated multiple times that I don’t follow a training plan. I run much better with a simpler goal like running 4 days a week. However, with the races I have on my schedule for the upcoming months (and year for that matter), I do need to follow some sort of a plan.

In January 2015, Eric and I plan to head down to Disney World to tackle Marathon weekend… well… more to the point, Eric will tackle the full weekend and run all 4 races whereas I am not willing to tackle a marathon. So I am going to take on the 5K, 10K and half marathon.

That’s right folks… I will take on a half marathon again which means I need to train for the sucker.

But lets back up a bit here… I have over a year until that race but there are PLENTY of other races to worry about before then. First up if the Navy Pier Perfect 10 (miler).

You all know the story of how I decided to sign up for Soldier Field two days before the race when my longest run to date had been a 10K (and one that did not go well to top it off) and the race magically went really well for me… so much so that I am still a bit shocked and it ranks up there as one of my top race experiences for the year.

Shortly after the race, I decided to sign up for the Navy Pier Perfect 10. I had signed up for the race in the inaugural year but had to take a DNS because I was sick. And last year the thought of taking on a 10 mile race was too much to handle because I had too much other stuff going on in my life (We will get to that stuff eventually).

I want to actually train for this race. I know I can finish the race so that’s not why I am doing this. I want to train to see if I can better my time from Soldier Field… and I am not looking for a huge improvement either. But even more so, I want to train for this race to give myself a better base. I have an overall “plan” for next year to prep myself for January 2015 (more on that later… much later…) and part of that includes keeping Soldier Field and Navy Pier on the race schedule.

In the past I have dialed back the running a LOT through the holidays and I know I won’t be able to do that next year so I need to practice keeping the running up through the holidays this year. And hopefully the 10Ks I have on the schedule for December and January already will help with that.

Now – this is not a huge plan that I am going to follow through race day. The basis of the plan is still sticking to running at least 4 times a week. But I need to throw in longer runs and I don’t want to increase mileage too much in any given week either.

The plan is this – weekly long run and then at least three other runs per week, some of which will be races. I started the long run with a 7 miler this week (you can read about that tomorrow) and I intend to increase my long run by half a mile each week. That way if something happens one week, I don’t have a huge jump the next week. I also intend to try to keep my base (daily run) around 3 miles.

Now that’s not to say that if one day I am not really feeling like a 3 mile run that I have to do it because the “plan” calls for it. No… the plan is more of a rough guideline. I have these races and I should do this longer run. Outside of that I just needed to figure out how to increase the weekly mileage but not increase it to much. Essentially, in a given week, I need to run at least this but not really go over this sort of guideline.

It has been a LONG time since I have trained for distance so this should be interesting… stay tuned

Throwback Wednesday – Shamrock Shuffle 2012

This was my second race for the year and it was the first race for Eric. I had signed up for the Shamrock Shuffle in 2011 but had to take a DNS due to a cold. I was excited that I would finally be able to run this race.

Now, it should come as no surprise that I really wasn’t ready for an 8K since my longest run to date had only been a 5K. So I was comfortable with the fact that I was likely going to run/walk the race. Hoping that I would be able to run 3 solid and then deal with the last two in run/walk fashion.

Eric and I met up bright and early on a really beautiful spring day. Luckily, the heat that the Chicago-land area had been experiencing in March had broken and it was a cool morning but not too cold. As a race newbie, Eric opted against bag check… mostly on my advice since I still had this thing about doing bag check (I eventually got over that). We had a TON of time to kill and spent most of it chatting in the start corrals. Eric was in the corral in front of me so he was off before I was. You will have to ask him how his race went.

Eric and Me Before the Race

Eric & Me - Shamrock 2012

I was at the “rope” of my start corral so I was lined up right at the start line. This was pretty exciting for me because, as a slower runner, I am rarely at the very front.

Shamrock is very well run race so it wasn’t too long before we were off. I had been on a portion of this course before when I ran RnR Chicago in 2010 so I was at least familiar with what was coming.

I was feeling decent but not stellar… I really just wasn’t physically prepared for this race. I was coming off low mileage in February and not much better mileage for March up to this point. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to run the entire race.

I started run/walking and for the most part just enjoying the scenery and the people around me. However, once I was near the 4 mile mark, I saw something that still makes me shudder… a man on the ground and someone giving him CPR… the chest compression kind. It was RIGHT after a water station so luckily he was able to get help quickly but I found it disconcerting.

Oddly enough, I also found it to be my motivation to run… so I took off. Once I got to MI Ave, I knew what was coming… a straight away then a turn onto Roosevelt, up a big hill (Mt. Roosevelt), one last turn and the final stretch to the finish.

Once I got to the sun exposed portion of MI Ave, the sun got to me quickly… I was a tad overdressed for the race and very much overdressed for being in the sun. I allowed myself to walk a bit in the sun.

After making my way up the hill (I HATE that hill… and I say it every year), I took off for the finish line.

Before starting the race – I wanted to finish the race in under an hour – Based on my watch, I was pretty sure, I had succeeded.

I found Eric relatively easily and we hung out for a bit… After all, he was enjoying his beer. But soon hunger took over and left in search of food.

Eric and Me After the Race (don’t I have lovely hair?)

Eric and Me - Post Race

Official Time – 58:55 for a pace of 11:38

This was my first 8K and that is a thought that didn’t occur to me until writing this post… so… it was an automatic PR… A thought that didn’t occur to me until over a year later…

Results - Shamrock

Training: September 16th – 22nd

Sept 16-22

Monday – Mad Dash to Madison 5K Race

This was the week of racing and I started it off with the Mad Dash to Madison 5K. You can read a full re-cap here. It was a race I had wanted to do for a few years and was glad I finally got the chance this year. It was a perfect evening for a race and we finished it off by watching part of the Blackhawks Scrimmage. Pretty awesome Monday night if you ask me.

Tuesday – 2.10 Miles

Since I was doing 3 races in one week, I only need one extra run to hit my goal of running 4 days a week. I struggled with weather or not to do 3 miles or 2 but I ended up with only two miles. Rather uneventful run but it was still a pretty nice evening out.

Wednesday – Rest

My initial plan was to head out for another two miler or maybe do some speedwork but it was starting to rain as I was getting home and the forecast called for severe thunderstorms. So instead I sat on my couch and ate ice cream

Thursday – Oktoberfest 5K Race

My second race for the week and boy was it a hot and steamy once. This was also the first race that the Wurst Running Club Ever (WRCE) did. For the full re-cap you can go here. It was a fun evening and I enjoyed the race despite the heat and humidity.

Friday – Rest

Friday was always going to be a rest day since I have my third race the following morning. Since I had done packet pick-up early a couple weeks before, I spent the evening on my couch eating pizza and watching TV. I was tired so I was in bed by 8:30… Oh yea… it was a wild Friday night.

Saturday – Chicago Women Rock 10K Race

This was my third and final race for the week. Luckily the heat broke and it was a beautiful morning. You can read the re-cap here. After the race, I went home, showered, dried my hair and then head to a bar in Wrigleyville to meet my friends for food before the game. HOLY MOLY was I hungry as I ordered WAY too much food. Once we were done eating, we headed into the ballpark. It was a quick and pretty uneventful game until the Braves scored in late innings. I left right before the Cubs staged a comeback and subsequently won the game (ooops). I then headed over to my friends going away party. I was beyond exhausted from my long day of running around. I got home around 8:30 and promptly went to bed.

Sunday – Rest

After my insanely busy Saturday, I knew I was going to be spending the day on Sunday on my couch watching TV. I watched the Yankee Ceremony honoring Mo and after that I got hooked on the TV Show Devious Maids on Lifetime and spent the rest of my day watching that.

It was definitely a very busy week and 3 races in one week may not have been the best idea. I was able to handle the distance but racing just sort of takes it out me… I think its the adrenaline.

This week I officially start my training for the Navy Pier Perfect 10 (miler) race. I am oddly nervous despite the fact that I survived the Soldier Field 10 mile race after my longest run to date having been 6 miles. It has been YEARS since I have done a training run that is over 6.50 miles. First Longish run is 7 Miles… hopefully it goes well

Race Recap: Chicago Women Rock

1 Women Rock 9-21-13

Saturday was my third race for the week. I found this race early in the year and since I didn’t have any September races, at the time, I thought I would sign up. I liked the fact that this race had Champagne after instead of Beer… I am not a beer fan.

I was able to pick up my race stuff early at the expo for the Chicago Half and Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5K which was awesome.

Saturday Morning I was up early and met my friend Rebecca to head to the race. True to form (my form), we had more than enough time to get to the race and spent a lot of time standing around near the gear check tent people watching and chit chatting. With 15 minutes to spare, Maureen, her sister Bridget, and their roommate Katy met up with us. After a quick picture and gear check, we headed over to the start line.

We didn’t wait for long for the race to start but I stupidly didn’t turn my watch on until maybe 30 seconds before the race started… ooops… it sync’d a couple minutes after I crossed the start so my miles were off for the race. Not that big of a deal.

The beginning of the race was very crowded but I wasn’t planning to run for time so I didn’t mind as much. Although, why people who are walking less than half a mile from the start don’t go to the end of the pack will continue to baffle me….

While running, I started to be concerned that the course might be confusing since there was a half marathon, 10K and 5K. But the course was VERY well marked with lots of signs when coming up to a turn and lots of course marshals as well. I was feeling decent but a week of racing was starting to catch up with me and I knew I had a ton to do after the race so I wanted to take it easy.

During the 4th mile, my hip was bothering me a bit… Not sure what was going on there but I walked a good portion of the 4th mile and then the pain went away completely. The hills towards the end of the course also were taking its toll on me so I walked up most of them.

The run was pretty uneventful. Since this is an all women’s race, there was a ton of support by all of the runners on the course. Lots of cheering for people which is always good to see.

Rebecca caught up to me at the end of the race so we stuck together until the last turn to the finish line and then I took off. I had a decent kick at the end but not my normal kick. Oh well – I wasn’t running for a PR.

This race didn’t have your typical medal if you were doing the 10K or the Half – Instead we got a necklace which I like – Something different.

6 Women Rock 9-21-13

We all got our gear and then headed over to get our champagne – We toasted to ourselves – We also got to keep the glass

9 Women Rock 9-21-13

Then we got in line to take a post race picture – One of the men of the “Men of Women Rock” was there to take pictures with everyone so we had him pick up Bridget. From left to right – Me, Maureen, Bridget being held, Rebecca, Katy

12 Women Rock 9-21-13

We didn’t stick around for too long after that. After all, I had to get to Wrigleyville to meet my friends for food before the cubs game.

By the time I got home, I had gotten en email from the race with a link to my personal results page which I thought was pretty cool and very handy. The page is also pretty details and even has graphic results. My official time 1:09:46 for a pace of 11:14

Women Rock Results

I am actually pretty happy with my results. The weather was cooler but full sun exposure definitely made it a bit warmer and I think I was just worn out from the week of racing. I mentally set a goal of 1:10ish so very happy that I beat that. The main goal was to have fun and that was very much accomplished.

I would definitely consider doing this race again… Just not sure about races for next year yet. I love the Jacket that we got and it was awesome to be able to participate in the post race drinking for the first time ever (again – I do not like beer) and I really like the necklace

Race Recap: Oktoberfest 5K

1 Oktoberfest 9-19-13

Last night was race two of three for the week – the Oktoberfest 5K.

I ran this race last year but wasn’t too crazy about the course (which had us running across a baseball field). Luckily they changed the course this year.

Its a neighborhood race and I always love the races that are close to home. I headed over to packet pickup on Sunday only to find out that the shirts had not been delivered yet. Though annoying, I wasn’t too angry. This is the first race where that has happened…. the norm for Fleet Feet races is not this.

The original plan was to go all out and shoot for my below 32:00 goal. However, after looking at the weather forecast, I changed my plan. I was going to run the first mile and see how I feel and if I was feeling ok then I would go for it. If not, then oh well.

It was a very humid and warm night. There was also a pretty decent wind coming out of the south. I knew that this race was likely to no be very pretty for me.

I met up with Courtney and Rebecca before the race but missed the bloggers since I couldn’t find them before the race. We lined up and were off pretty quickly.

We had gotten a lot of the rain the night before so most of the course had tons of huge puddles. There was lots of hopping around trying to avoid them. Less than a mile in, I was dying for water. Lucky for me, I know where every single water fountain along this course is. So when I hit one of them, I stopped for a quick sip.

We hit the Fullerton underpass and that hill kills me so I walk for about 30 seconds and then take off again. I now I am running at a decent pace but I am really dying for water again. Almost at the turn around point my ponytail comes completely lose and I have to walk while I fix my hair. That was a first for me… Not sure what happened since I had been wearing the ponytail all day and the ponytail holder didn’t break. Hmmm…

I am thrilled when I see the turn around because I know that there is a water fountain near. I saw just about everyone around me stop for a sip at that water fountain…

We are heading south now and the wind is a tad brutal at times. Fullerton underpass again and I walk up another hill. I am taking a few more walk breaks now and I am dying for water again.

FINALLY I see the water station… AFTER the 2.50 mile mark. I really hate when 5K races don’t have water around the half way point and having water at the 2.50 mile mark or later is really just a stupid idea. There were PLENTY of spots along this course where they could have easily set up water… Grrrr

Heading towards the final turn for the finish line and I spot Eric and Declan (and his lovely family). Got my High Five in with Declan and yell out that it is hot.

Hit the final stretch but don’t really have a lot in me for final sprint so I kept the same pace even though I kept trying to pick it up.

Its now pretty dark and I glance down at my watch and read 32:28 – This surprises me because of the water fountain stops and walk breaks but I am pleased.

Find the bloggers and finally get my WRCE shirt (which I was supposed to wear while running… whoops). We take our post race picture (which I do not have a copy of). Then we all head over to the post race party which Courtney and Rebecca join us for.

WRCE Shirt

We sit around chatting for a bit. I take off around a quarter to 9 since I still have a 4:30 am alarm clock for work on Friday.

Once I get home, I look at my watch again and realized that I read it wrong… it actually reads 33:28… ooops…

This bums me out a tad but it also makes more sense.

My Official time 33:29 for a 10:47 pace

Oktoberfest Resutls

Definitely need to work on the 5K time…

Race 3 of 3 for the week tomorrow