Monday, May 30, 2011

Soldier Field 10

1:23.14- Avg pace= 8:20 per mile
5 mile Split- 41:50= 8:22 per mile
2nd half-  41.24= 8:16 per mile 
YAY negative Splits!! 
AVG heart rate: 183, Max 193

I used my "marathon mix" on my Ipod for this race. Not sure if i really care about having music while running yet since I only use it while in the gym.

I was pretty pumped about this race. I struggled with what to wear since it would be in the low 50's at the start (and that I would have to walk about 1.5 miles to get there- then wait around)

 I ended up wearing my Nike LunaRacer + shoes, brooks neon yellow long sleeve tech shirt from the Bill Rodgers Running Center, and purple shorts from the Track and Field store in BrazilI was pretty much an explosion of color. The T&F shorts were possibly the most comfortable i've worn EVER. I had just gotten them, and wanted to try them out in the SF10. It could have been a huge mistake- but they felt great- no wedgies or chaffing. They even have a nice pocket to fit a gu or 2. 

The race was sold out at 15,000 people. It was extremely well organized considering the volume of participants. There were port-a-potties and the restrooms inside of soldier field were also open. It was 55degrees, overcast,  and 100% humidity at the start. Perfect distance running weather!!

Nike LunaRacer + 
First time I've worn them for a long distance- previous long was 5 miles. They felt great the entire time!

I found my corral easily and joined the herd for the start. They had a nice tribute to the service men and women, played taps (extremely nice touch) and then we were off!

The start was smooth, but I felt I went out too fast. We had to run through a building and the satellite connection was lost.  

Mile 1       8:04
Mile 2       8:10
Mile  3      8:21
Mile 4       8:25
Mile 5       8:23

I finally settled down and tried to keep an even effort for the race. It was somewhat comforting to know there wouldn't be the extra 5K at the end to make a half marathon! I started feeling hot and wished I had opted for shorter sleeves. I took water at nearly all of the water/ gatorade stations.

Right before the second half I took a Tri berry Gu gel and washed it down with some water. I still find those less appealing than the chomps/bloks. But since I bought a huge sample pack from Active Schwaggle- I figured I should try to use them more. The GU should be easier to get down because you dont need to chew it- i just have a problem getting them down- i feel like im going to choke on it.

I started picking up the pace the last few miles and "targeting"  people to catch.

Mile 6       8:16
Mile 7       8:18
Mile 8       8:16
Mile 9       8:15
Mile 10    8:37  (went through the stadium and lost the connection, felt like I was still moving forward and not slowing- i dunno)
.03 extra - thank you garmin! 10 seconds

It was really, really cool to come running onto the field into the stadium. I felt like a pro footballer running out there.  Seeing myself on the jumbo-tron was also so cool!  They quickly shuffled us off the field and back into the stadium to get water and collect our medals.

Post race- I walked around the party area for a few minutes- it had live music, food for purchase, but I just wanted to head back home. I was feeling kind of ill most likely because I was dehydrated. I picked up my blanket and walked back home.

I really dig the medal.

Went to a place close to my apartment for lunch post race. All I could think about during the race was their chili (with everything on it) and a nice cold Guinness. It definitely hit the spot!

For dessert, I went to Kingoberry and got a tart fro-yo with mochi, fruity pebbles and gummy bears. YUM!

Sunday I took a rest day because I just wanted to relax. No muscle pain or stiffness. I just kept icing the bum shin, and stretching.

The organization of this race was AWESOME! I would definitely do it again next year. I also liked how it was out and back- but not on the same exact part of the road. It was out on the Lake Front drive heading south, and then on the Lake Front Path heading back north. There were ample water/ aid stations, and there was a high school marching band around mile 9 which made me smile.  All in all, a really cool race.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Another one in the books

Fleet Feet Soldier field 10 mile

1:23 and change

A new pr! Well it was my 1st 10 mile race so it's a PR right?
I averaged faster pace per mile than all the races I've done this year. It's definitely a PR in my books...

CB sporting the sweet medal.

Race recap to come.

Time to eat more and ice my achy breaky shin.

Happy weekend!


Thursday, May 26, 2011

1st 10 miler.....

Tomorrow is the Fleet Feet Soldier field 10 miler! It is my first 10 mile race. I'm excited because the finish takes place inside of soldier field- where Da Bears play. I haven't been there yet, but pass by it almost every time I go out for a run.

I picked up my bib and shirt from Fleet Feet Sports. I also bought some sunscreen. :)

The shirt is pretty cool. reminds me of Boston Marathon colors.

I like that the bib has our names on it! And I like that I'm in one of the seeded corrals :)

The races in Chicago are different than other races I've ran elsewhere because for most of the larger ones (shamrock, soldier field, Chicago half, and Chicago marathon) you need to submit a previous time to qualify for a corral, instead of just stating what time you expect to run on the registration form. This has been one of my favorite things about the bigger races here.

1. It gives me a challenge to achieve a certain qualifying time.

2. It's awesome to experience a smooth start and not dodge walkers or slower runners for a few miles (or get in the way of faster runners) Instead, you start with people who are in a similar level as you.

My goals for this race:
Not over do it because I'm more concerned with the half marathon next week. I need to qualify for a seeded corral for the Chicago marathon.

Treat it as a long/ tempo run.
I'll push a little, but just not go all out.

I'm predicting a sub 1:27 for this race.

Tonight will be the 3rd night of

Angel hair with vodka sauce. Can't get enough!

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!

And a big THANK YOU to all the servicemen and women for keeping our country safe.

Are you running any races this weekend?

What are your Memorial Day plans?


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

La clima esta loca!

Chicago has some of the craziest weather I've seen.

Florida weather is fairly predictable.

Nor Cal weather was pretty much the same all the time.

(just add or subtract fog, and some winter rain)

Here in Chicago it is crazy.

Monday I ran 6 miles outside. It was sunny and 80 something out. I lost 1.5 lbs on the run from sweating so much. It was beautiful outside.

Tuesday the temps started in the 60's and by the time I went home it was in the low 40's and very very windy.

(looks nice, but was coooold!)

Wednesday we are experiencing rainy, windy, lightning, tornado watch conditions. It is currently 49 degrees.

(a view of this morning)

While walking to work I saw lightning- heard thunder. It was also so dark that it seemed like it should have been 10pm, not 7:40am. The street lights were on, it was raining....

I need to run tonight and will definitely be taking my run indoors because I don't want to get zapped by the lightning.

I've decided not to look at the weather forecast for Saturday yet (soldier field 10 mile). I don't want to stress myself out about what to expect just yet because I know the forecast can change dramatically between now and Saturday morning.

Do you have crazy unpredictable weather where you live?


Monday, May 23, 2011

Week 1

Chicago marathon training starts today for me.

Today. Wow.

I went to the Chicago Endurance Sports kickoff meeting on Sunday. Got my training program and listened to the coaches talk about CES. I also enjoyed listening to Carey Pinkowski speak about the marathon. When he took over as race director in 1989,there were about 3500 people in the race, 3% women. Fast forward to today- he said the race sold out in 30 days this year- 45,000 participants- and the most amazing part- 56% women!

The meeting was long- about 1.5 hours and it was definitely geared towards the novice runner. There were mentions of nip guards, proper sports bras, the importance of body glide, don't wear cotton clothes (it absorbs 7x its weight in liquid) and the don't buy the most expensive/ or pretty running shoes- always good to hear again.

So tonight after work begins my journey to 10/9/11. I'm excited to start training with the group in a few weeks. I'm going to miss the first group run on 6/4 due to the 13.1 Chicago. But I'll join them for the rest of the group runs on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

This week I'm most looking forward to running the Soldier Field 10 where I'll finish on the 50 yard line where da bears play.

Running changes everything!

What was the highlight of your weekend?


Friday, May 20, 2011

6 + 1=

7 miles in 1:02. Pace: 8:51/mile (thursday night- wrote this post after, but forgot to upload it)

Today is fabulouso cupcake Friday!

Which one to choose? Vanilla cake with raspberry, red velvet, chocolate chocolate, cookies and cream...

Cookies and cream!!! Yum!

Now back to last night....

Originally set out to do 6 with my precious CB, but we both felt good and made it a lucky 7 miles. No music, no water either.

"mom! I'm connected to the satellites, you don't need the garmin, let's go already!!!!"

It was in the mid 50's and crazy foggy out. Not much wind surprisingly.

We took it easy because I did a hard workout of 6 x 800's @ 7:30 pace/mile with 400m jog in between yesterday.

Running tonight brought out all the cold rainy windy memories from last week's Chicago spring half. It was eerie running on the path in the foggy, still conditions tonight with not many runners or cyclists out.

CB was a good boy. Running with a dog can be challenging. But thankfully there weren't any
!SQUIRRELS!!! out tonight. They are his vice. He stayed focused and kept on the dirt part of the path or grass. Towards the end he needed more encouragement, but we finished strong.

We saw a rabbit and also the Canadian geese with their goslings. I didn't get too close because I almost got attacked by them on the Los Gatos Creek trail in Campbell, CA when I tried to take photos of their babies last year. Lesson learned. Even CB won't mess with them. (and he will chase anything that moves)

Sears tower in the fog.

What are you looking forward to this weekend?

-I'm super happy my wonderful, wonderful is returning from a business trip on Saturday morning.
I'm also looking forward to going to the kickoff meeting for the Chicago Endurance Sports Chicago Marathon training program on Sunday. We will receive our shirt, training plan and meet the coaches and other participants in the program. And I'm most looking forward to hearing Carey Pinkowski speak. He is the race director of the Chicago marathon. Can you tell I'm already fired up for this!?!

Have a great weekend!



Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Got this in the mail today.

I'm so excited to read it because Chicago marathon training starts in 2 weeks for me.

What is your favorite marathon training plan? Or which plan worked best for you?

-I followed the Higdon novice for Nike last year. Thought it was ok for someone to get through a marathon for the first time. Now I'm ready to get a huge PR and think reading about different training philosophies and making some sort of hybrid plan will help even more.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Week in review 5/9 - 5/15

This past week rocked!

Got a new PR in the half marathon. It was only 20 seconds, but the conditions made me fight for every single one.

Tonight I ran 2 easy miles with CB. We ran to the dog park, played for a few and then ran home. I love when he is happy. It was 43 out, with 30 mph gusty winds. BRRR!

Happy Cb.

Review of last week:
I ran 25 miles including the half. Wanted closer to 35, but took 3 days off to let my shin thing heal. I get posterior pain (inside of leg) on my right shin where the bone meets the muscle a few inches above the ankle area. The pain will feel like a bruise and be about 3 inches in length. If I ice it, it usually goes away for a while. the 10 mile run I did a week ago felt awesome. The next day I did 2 miles on the tread and had to stop because the shin was bothering me. I know my right calf, ham string, right leg in general is considerably less flexible than my left. This might be a contributing factor. Im holding right side stretches longer to play "catch up" with the left leg now.

Cb makes sure I RICE.
(I have a pack that i wrap around my leg- its filled with clay! got it at target. no messy melting ice- it is great!)

In eating news, I just finished my second week of eating a tablespoon of chia seeds every morning. (1 tbs chia, 1/3 cup water- stir a few times during the 5 minute soak)I just slurp them down before I head to work- before I eat or drink anything.

I love the flavor and texture of the gel/seeds mix. They are the "Aztec Superfood." whatever that means. They are supposed to keep you hydrated longer during endurance events. I'll go into more detail another time. I think I have more energy because of them, but its still too early to tell.

I also bought a scale.

It's a Conair weight watchers glass digital scale. I got it because it looked pretty (a light sea foam color) and was digital. My goal is to drop some unnecessary lbs between now and the Chicago Marathon. I need a way to keep track.

That's all for last week.

What was the highlight of your week- last week?

What's your favorite "Superfood"?

- I like Acai. Chia is my new favorite


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chicago Spring Half aka soggy windy cold (Race Recap)

1:52:57.7 a new PR by 20 seconds!
34th/266 for AG
107/ 1259 for Women

Wanted to wish Chicago Runner Girl a big Congratulations on her finish in this crazy weather race. She really kicked assphault!

It was a cold, windy, rainy day. It was around 44 degrees at the start with winds 20-30mph gusting to 40mph. The feels like temp was an icy 35 or so degrees. I think the weather scared many of the participants off since there was 3,000 registered  as of last week for the half. Only 2096 people finished.

I was worried the race wouldnt start on time due to the rather large line for packet pickup and bag check.

Me and my fruit smoothie flavored powerbar. It was almost like a rock by the time I got half way done with it because of the cold. I ate it about 45 minutes before the start of the race.

Wore my old faithfuls- The Nike LunaRacer +2. At 6oz, they feel like a pair of cushioned socks. I have the new version, but their design is very different from these. The new ones are more like a 2nd version to the original LunaRacer + and feel much more narrow. I'm still not sure about the new ones- they feel very different from the LunaRacer+2's.

Garbage bags are SO in style! I had on my CEP compression sox, RRS capri leggings, long sleeve tech shirt and Brooks jacket for the race. The brooks jacket is NOT waterproof like I had thought. I ditched the garbage bag at the start.

This Navy ensemble performed the star spangled banner for us. It was a real treat. I was waiting for a flyover, but none came by. :(

The race started on time at 7am. HUGE PLUS since i was convinced they were going to delay it for all those slackers still waiting to get their Bibs. I started with the 1:50 pacer. The start was smooth. I didnt have to dodge too many walkers/ slower runners. After a mile things spread out nicely. (I was worried with a race of 3500 how it would be on the path because it is narrow- but the entire time there was plenty of room) For miles 3-5 some faster people would run by- presumably the people who started way after the gun went off who were still waiting for their bibs. (get to the start earlier next time!!)

I stayed in front of the 1:50 pacer until the turnaround- but was not too far ahead. I was hitting some good miles in the first half and trying to bank some time for the atrocious 2nd half that was to come. It was quite a sight seeing waves crashing 10'+ into the air along the path. The entire first half was run south- which meant a nice tailwind that almost pushed you along.I took a gu gel (jet black berry) around mile 5 and had a hell of a time trying to open it. The wetness combined with the lotion I had on made it nearly impossible to open. If I ever use a gel again, I will have to make a cut in it first before the race to facilitate the opening.
I did the first 7 miles in 56:57 and was feeling great, but I knew what was awaiting me. Before mile 6 I started seeing the lead runners heading back north after the turnaround. I really wish I could have taken some photos of the angst on their faces. Some were shielding their eyes from the rain with their hands- others were squinting. Dios Mio! (Im sure there will be some super heinous photos of me from the race photogs)

The 2nd half went worse than I thought. Most of it was directly into the headwinds. Some parts were sheltered by trees, fences with tarps or just because we weren't running due north for a brief time. The light drizzle combined with 30+ MPH winds felt like little ice pellets being shot at every exposed piece of flesh. They stung when hitting the eyes making you squint. My hands were completely numb and in pain by this time. The wind was so strong I felt like it was pushing me back with each step. I also had trouble breathing with all of the wind being pushed into my face. Around mile 10, I gave up any hope of getting a PR. I walked for 20 seconds because this mile seemed to have no relief from the relentless wind assault.

Mile 11 saw more sheltered areas from the wind and drizzle so I tried picking up the pace and attempted to draft off the other runners. I was feeling good- but trying to keep my 1st half pace was out of the question. By mile 12 I realized if I could push the pace, I might just squeak a PR out. Luckily by this point, the course was more sheltered than before which made it possible. I sprinted to the finish and was relieved to have finished and super happy to have gotten a PR (even if by only 20 seconds) on this rotten weather day. 
My hands were so numb and in pain after the race. My teeth were chattering. I could barely hold on to the FRS drinks they were handing out.

They had a picnic buffet set up after the race. There were eggs with cheese and peppers, tortilla, sausages, potatoes and pancakes. I almost dropped my plate on the way to a table due to the numbness of my hands. I was shivering the entire time I was eating and could not wait to start making the trek back home.

I really enjoy the medal. It is pretty big and has a cool lanyard.

 Stopped at Starbucks on the way home and got a coffee. While walking home, I was shaking so bad the coffee kept spilling out of the cup. When I arrived at home, I immediately got out of my soggy clothes and took a nice soak in the tub to warm up.My lips were blue by the time I got home.

Lunch was turkey breast with lacy swiss on flat breads with bread and butter pickle chips and a Guinness. YUM. 

All in all, I would say this race was well organized. There were plenty of aid stations- usually on both sides of the trail serving gatorade and water. There were also mile markers every mile with a clock- i think one towards the end had blown over. I wish the weather was different- but this is Chicago and the weather is very strange here. It was over 80 degrees just a few days ago! 

Even though I didn't hit my "A" goal of breaking 1:50, I felt I gave it my all. Had the weather been different, Im sure that goal would have been achieved. But, I am still happy with a 20 second PR given the circumstances.