Illinois Half Marathon – 1:36:54

23 Jun

My first half marathon!!! This race originally started out as a training run for me, but as time grew closer to race day it was decided that I’d try my best. I didn’t taper in the week prior as I also had my A race (Illinois 5k) the night before the HM. Its funny how you say you’re NEVER going to do something and you end up doing it anyway. I said I’d NEVER run a HM and it turned out to be my favorite race to date!

Since I had raced the night before, I didn’t get to bed until around 12:30 which was going to make it hard to be up at 4:15am. I decided to pack all of my stuff so that I could just get up, brush my teeth and go. 5am rolled around and Ryan and Dave were there to pick me up – yet I was still in bed! For fear of making them late, I almost told them to go ahead without me and I’d just skip the race… good thing I didn’t. I grabbed my bag and we headed to the gas station to get coffee. When we made it to Peoria I had yet to go to the bathroom and had drank a whole coffee and eaten a granola bar. I was banking on the fact that this was a huge race and there should be plenty of port-a-potties around – Fail. There were huge lines for every bathroom I could find!! I tried to tell myself I didn’t have to go but with people being called to the starting line, I had to just suck it up and hope I wouldn’t have to stop on the course. Because I was so frantic about the bathroom thing I only took in a little water and had a Stinger Honey Gold gel. I put another gel in my belt for mid-race. I went with Adidas arm sleeves, sports bra, shorts and my Adios for race gear. Since we had about 20 mph winds my plan was to draft like crazy… something I have been practicing. Since I had no idea what to expect Ryan told me to go out slow for the first 2 miles and then pick it up as the race went on.

The race started out slow, which was fine with me. At about 4 miles in I found a guy who was running about the paces I wanted to be running so I stuck with him all the way to mile 11. At mile 6.5 I took another Stinger Honey Gold gel and washed it down with a bit of water. This was my first time fueling in a race and it went pretty well. I also decided to wear my ipod for this race since I knew I’d be out there for a long time and didn’t want to find myself all alone. It was a good choice – it definitely kept me going. At about mile 11 my personal wind-blocker took off and my legs were definitely feeling the effects of racing the night prior so I kept my pace and let him go. The last 2 miles were certainly the toughest as I felt like I was going sooo slowly. Coming into the stadium I saw all the guys (Ryan, Dave, Chris, and Seth) and got a sudden burst of energy pushing me under the 1:37 mark. This was my most enjoyable race yet and I can’t wait to run another HM ūüôā

1 – 7:38
2 – 7:20 (bit too fast)
3 – 7:29
4 – 7:26
5 – 7:13
6 Р7:27  (gel Рwind)
7 – 7:29 (wind)
8 – 7:12
9 – 7:17
10 – 7:18
11 – 7:12
12 – 7:20
13 – 7:22
.1 – 1:04

Time:                       1:36:54

AG:                           9/698

Female:                   36/3707

Overall:                   294/6435

1st AG bag and medals

Jess and I

Illinois 5k – 20:59

3 May

There is nothing more odd than running a 5k at 6:30 at night haha but I wanted to do it anyway. The Illinois Marathon offered an “I-Challenge” option this year so knowing that I’d need a long run that weekend, I signed up. It consists of the 5k Friday night and then either the half or full marathon the next morning. At that time, my intent was to race the 5k and just use the HM as my long run. Anyway – I took off early on Friday to meet Ryan, Dave, Melisa and Stacey at Often Running so we could head over to Champaign. I have to admit, I was nervous for this race. We got over to Champaign in plenty of time and went and checked out the expo. Then before we knew it, it was time to warm up. We all changed into race gear and Ryan, Dave, Mike and I went out to run the course. There were lots of people already lining the streets so it was cool to actually get to see that while not racing.

Finally, it was time to shed our warm ups and do some strides before the start. I found a spot a couple rows back. We were off! I kept my pace conservative and steady… keeping myself from going out too hot. It was cool to hear everyone cheering us the whole way – something you don’t get when running the smaller races. I picked out a couple girls and we all seemed to pack together for most of the race, which was actually pretty awesome as I’ve never done that before. After we hit mile 2 one girl and I broke away and started to speed up for the finish. At about .75 miles left I was able to push past her and focus on the girl that was up in front of me. Knowing that we had to make half a lap around the stadium before coming through the finish, I told myself not to kick before going in – to wait until I was about half way around. The girl in front sped up before we got into the stadium, but I stuck to my plan and kept my pace coming in. Then, I¬†heard Mike, Ryan, and Dave yelling “get that girl!!!” and I couldn’t hold back anymore… I took off and passed her for 6th place female overall! By far the coolest thing about this race, was that her and I chatted after the race and told each other “great race” and the 2 girls I ran with most of the race came up and found me afterwards to chat about the race. I have NEVER had that happen at a race where I didn’t know the other girls I was running against. Very awesome ūüôā

So, Mike¬†ran well enough to win¬†2nd place overall, Ryan won 1st AG, Dave won 1st AG, and I ended up with 1st AG as well. We got some cool pictures afterwards that I’ll post once they are available. I should have ran a little better, but I am thankful for the experience!!! And it was awesome to spend time with great friends and fellow racing buddies ūüôā

Time:                     20:59

AG:                         1/362

Female:                 6/2583

Overall:                 80/4211

I’ll write another post about my first half marathon experience ūüôā

CCHS Saints Alive 5k

2 May

Should have posted this a while ago but I’ve been really busy with training. This race was the windiest race I’ve ever ran, but still fun nonetheless. Since I ran a 5k the morning prior I didn’t even do a warm up from fear of wasting energy trying to battle the 45 mph winds. Anywho, I chatted with my friends at the starting line and told them about my race earlier in the morning. My friend Seanan¬†told me to just follow him for the race so that hopefully I could at least draft – this also meant that I’d have to run a little faster than normal. The first mile went great – 6:40 – then I just got tired. Not fueling between the morning race and this race really took a toll on me while I was trying to fight the winds. The next 2 miles I just took easy, knowing the wind was eventually going to win. I held on to the first female spot until about .5 miles¬†left when 2 girls passed me. At that point I was in the “I don’t care at all” mode and just wanted to finish the race. Somehow though I found an extra¬†burst of energy coming around the track at the finish to pass the 2nd place woman and come close to 1st place. I was happy with my finish.

Time:                         22:35 (7:18)

AG:                             1/7

Female OA:              2/100

Overall:                      21/225

Waiting for the Start

Seanan and I


Trying to catch 1st place


Almost there


All Done!!! 2nd place Female OA


Race That’s Good For Life 5k – 21:08 4/3/2011

5 Apr

Nervous. That about sums up my feelings for this race. I went into the day knowing very well the level of competition that would be attending and was completely ok with the fact that I would probably come in about 40th. This race was in Oak Park, IL and is the only race I know of that has a seperate start for the women and for the men. So when I say I was ok with coming in 40th, I meant 40 WOMEN kicking my butt!! ūüôā Anyway, I woke up at about 5:45 on race day still not knowing what I wanted to wear, what shoes I was going to wear, what the weather would be like etc. I had my usual breakfast of cereal and stopped at Starbucks on the way. At exactly 2 hours out I ate my PBJ and drank a little water. I have to admit – driving through downtown Chicago wasn’t a terrible way to start my morning ūüôā Since the weather was 40ish and windy I decided to go with my Adidas RC racing flats, running tank, spandex, and arm warmers for the race. I arrived on time (which if you know me, this is a huge feat) and went in to get my race packet. The atmosphere was unreal – there were lots of racing teams and coaches hanging around and even though this race has a LOT of runners, it still had the feeling of being very competitive. I saw tons of ladies that just looked fast and it was really nice to see that lots of people were out doing warm ups and strides pre-race. Ryan and Melisa got there right as I was going out for my warm up and thankfully Melisa offered to watch my stuff for me. I turn on my Garmin wait for it to find a sattellite. FAIL. I did my whole warm up without my Garmin even working – annoyed the crap out of me. So I literally stood around until it finally locked on and I knew I’d be good for the race. I got probably a 2 mile warmup – it should have been more, but I was running around frantically trying to find my gloves (another fail.) and going to the restroom. So finally they call everyone to come over to the starting line – I join a couple other ladies for some strides and hop in line. I notice that there are 2 starting lines (kind of like a corral) so I went behind the 2nd one knowing I don’t like to go out fast and the spot ahead was probably reserved for elites. Then they announce that anyone with a 21 5k or under needs to be up in the front – so I shoot a quick glance over to my coach, Ryan. He gives me the “get your butt up there” look and I move up. So if I wasn’t nervous before, I surely was now! There are tons of professional photogs up there taking pictures of everyone and people with video cameras – it was bit overwhelming. Like I said before – there were some really fast girls (winning time was 17:40) running so I can see why it was like that.

So we’re off and I let people pass me as I try and settle into my pace. The lady that was lined up right next to me seemed like someone who had ran quite a few races in her time and I figured she would keep a pretty even pace. So I followed her. Mile 1 went pretty quickly and I remembered thinking how I should feel a bit more tired but my split was 6:43 which was where I was supposed to be. 2nd mile I think my Garmin must have been bouncing around because I kept seeing low 6:00 paces so I slowed down a little knowing I can’t keep that througout the race. Mile 3 we turn… right into the wind. I didn’t realize it was windy¬†but once I felt it, I knew that I should have pushed harder on mile 2 to make up the longer time it was going to take me to run mile 3. The final turn towards the finish I was 18 something and man did the finish look closer than it really was – turns out it was a good half mile to the finish line haha. So I thought I was going to PR until I realized the finish was much further away. Nonetheless I picked up my pace and tried to make the best of the finish. I heard my name announced as I crossed the finish line and was handed a rose. Every woman that crosses gets a rose, so I thought that was pretty cool. Disappointed in my time and at myself for not pushing harder I went and found Melisa to wait for Ryan’s race to begin. All-in-all I think I’d like to do the race again next year as it was ran really smoothly and you could tell it was a pretty important race for the Chicago area.

Time:       21:08 (6:49 pace)

AG:            5/55

Overall:    34/456

Race That's Good For Life - The Start

Getting started

Getting closer to the finish!

Finally Done!! And I was not thinking and stopped at the 1st mat.. oops!!

Coming into Chicago pre-race

After Ryan’s race I drove 90 hurried back to Bloomington to run the CCHS Saints Alive 5k. One of my friends helped put it all together so I wanted to come out and support everyone – and it was 80 degrees so I decided to run ūüôā Those 45 mph winds were something else tho….

CIDA 5k – 21:17

1 Apr

So this was a race that was more of a training run for me. I did my usual track workouts and mileage the week prior but thought that it would still be nice to get out and run and hopefully do a better job of pacing. That has been one of my main focuses during track workouts is to learn how to pace instead of going out too fast or trying to make up time at the end. Going out too fast ends in catastrophe for me as I learned at a 5k race 3 weeks ago. I race best running negative splits Рso that was the game plan for this race.

I had to get up early because I still needed to pack my bag and this race is Peoria, which is about a 45 minute drive. I met up with a few guys that were also racing – Seanan, Tod, and Chris. 3 out of the 4 of us still needed to register when we got there – so we were a little pressed for time. After registering we headed out for a warm up run… it was COLD and VERY windy. We figured out that the first 1.5 miles of the race were directly into the wind making it very difficult to keep any kind of fast pace. I got in¬†2 miles warm up and then realized I need to use the restroom so I figured it was worth not running another mile to be able to go wait in line. It was super cold so we were all debating on whether to wear shorts or tights and long sleeve or short, arm sleeves, headbands… we were a mess! I decided to go with tights, a tank, arm warmers and gloves. I didn’t want to take the chance of my muscles getting cold by wearing shorts – turns out I chose the perfect outfit.

Before long, we were off – running straight into the wind. I have to admit it was really hard holding back and making myself go slow. I just didn’t think it would be smart to go out at a normal 5k pace when we were running directly into the wind – made sense to me¬†to save that energy for the 1.5 miles back. There was one girl in front of me and only a handful of men. The girl was only a few steps ahead and I could tell by her breathing that she was pushing pretty hard. So when we turned the corner to head back towards the finish I sped up quite a bit and passed her. My first mile was 7:11 and I negative split the next two miles feeling very comfortable with my race. Once we got closer to the finish the volunteer girls yelled “First Girl!!” – something I’ve NEVER heard yelled at me before. I looked around and there wasn’t really anyone behind me or in front of me so I just cruised into the finish, realizing that I was running this race as training and that pushing for¬†a PR wouldn’t be smart (I am running a race Sunday that is more important). I ended up with first female overall and 13th overall!! My coach Ryan won Overall Male so that was pretty cool as well. I ran a 21:17 – not a PR or even close to my goal 5k time, but I accomplished what I was wanting to which was to hold back the first mile and run a smart race. It taught me a lot!

Time:           21:17

F AG:           1/22

F OA:            1/?

Overall:        13/233

CIDA 5k - Overall Female Finisher

Lana, Seth, Me, Tod, Stacey, Seanan, Ryan, and Chris

Busy Girl

1 Apr

Wow the past two weeks have flown by!! I had another 5k race (which I will write a separate post for) last weekend and closed out March with my highest mileage yet of 153 miles!

3/21  OFF

3/22   Run Рeasy 2 mi w/u (16:55), easy 2 mi c/d (16:20)
              Run Р12 x 400 @ 1:30, 60 sec recovery (ISU outdoor track)

3/23   OFF

3/24  Run Рeasy 3 mi w/u, c/d (ISU outdoor track)
             Run Р12 x 200 @ 41, 30 sec recovery (39, 41, 41, 41, 40, 40, 40, 40, 41, 41, 41, 39)

3/25  Run Р6 mi easy (south starbucks to State Farm)

3/26  Run Р3 mi easy w/u, c/d for race
             Race Р5k (21:17) CIDA  Peoria

3/27  Bike Р45 mins

Weekly Total:  Run Р23.6 mi
                              Bike Р45 mins

3/28¬†¬† Run –¬†9 mi¬†easy (1:12) Tipton to Often Running

3/29   Run Р2 mi w/u, 2 mi c/d  (ISU outdoor track)
             Run Р5 x 1000 @ 4:05, 60 sec recovery (4:10, 4:10, 4:10, 4:07, 4:05)

3/30  Run Р7.4 easy (White Oak Park)

3/31   Run Р6.8 mi fartlek (6 x 1:00 in the middle) 58:07

Monthly Total:  Run Р153 miles
                                 Bike Р3 hours, 15 mins

3 New Things

23 Mar

I looooove shopping for running gear so here are a few new things that I’ve added to my collection recently!

My new racing flats!! Nike Mayfly


Its cold around here.... so I bought arm warmers finally!

Lightweight Nike Gloves


So far I’ve used the arm warmers and gloves, and I love them both!! I will be trying out my new shoes Saturday morning at a local 5k (CIDA).

Training Catch Up

23 Mar

Wow, I haven’t blogged in a looong time – sorry about that!! I still find time to read all of my favorite blogs though during my morning coffee ūüôā Here is my training for he past 3 weeks (I’ll write separate blogs for the more exciting stuff!) :

2/28      Run  Р5.45mi easy (51:24)  Tipton Trail  36*
3/1         Run Р4.5 mi (38:00) w/u & c/d for track workout ISU hood                
                Run Р6 x 800 (3:10, 3:13, 3:20, 3:11, 3:10, 3:12) ISU track  36*
3/2        Run Р7 mi (50:19) 7:12 pace РTipton Trail 34*
3/3        OFF
3/4 ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Run –¬†3 mi easy (26:30) w/u for race¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†
               Race  Р1 mile (6:06) North Central College Indoor Meet
3/5       OFF
3/6       Run Р15 mi long (2:24) Constitution Trail 36*
               Bike Р30 min

Weekly Totals:      Run Р38.9 mi
                                    Bike Р30 min

3/7¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Run¬† – 7 mi tempo (54:10) 7:45 pace (Ryan’s Hood) 34*
3/8       Run  Р3 mi (28:00) w/u, c/d for track workout РISU track 
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Run – 4 x 800 @ 3:15 –¬†ISU track
3/9       OFF
3/10    OFF
3/11     Run  Р4.77 easy (41:08) my hood
3/12     Run  Р5 mi easy (43:34) St. Pats Loop
3/13     Run Р6.5 mi easy (58:05) w/u, c/d for race  27*
               Race Р5k (21:00) 6:47 pace PR 27*

Weekly Totals:       Run  Р31.3 mi 

3/14     Bike Р60 min
3/15     Run Р5.3 mi (45:36) ISU hood
3/16     Bike Р60 min
3/17    Run Р3 mi easy (26:00) w/u. c/d for track ISU hood
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Run –¬† 5 x 1000 @ 4:00, 90 sec rest¬† ISU track
3/18¬†¬†¬† Run – 8 mi tempo (1:05:15) Ryan’s hood
3/19    Run Р5 mi (41:05) 8:13 pace (Hill Reps) from OR to Jersey Hill
3/20   Run Р4 mi easy (38:55) w/u for tempo
              Run Р6 mi tempo (7:30, 7:20, 7:20, 7:27, 7:31, 7:28) Const. Trail

Weekly Totals:         Run  Р33.8 mi
                                       Bike  Р2 hours

Pedestrian Crossing

28 Feb

It has come to my attention that drivers are totally unaware of runners – even when you are running right in front of their car! Last Wednesday my friend/coach Ryan, another girl, and I were all out doing a 5k time trial. We almost didn’t run at all since it was windy, raining, and about 33 degrees – but its still¬†more enjoyable¬†than having to run on the treadmill. So as we were almost through the 2nd 5k loop we noticed a car that was waiting to pull out of a restaurant parking lot. I thought “no biggie, she can totally see us coming”. WRONG!!!! As I was running by her car she totally pulled out and hit all 3 of us! Ryan was trying to yell ahead to me and tell me to stop because she didn’t look before she pulled out but it was too late – I was already in front of her car. So of course he tried throwing both of us girls out of the way and ended up running right into the driver’s side door of her car. Its funny now, but the only thing that was going through my mind as I was pushing off the car’s hood was “not my legs – I have so many races to run” lol So we checked oursleves out to make sure no one was bleeding or broken and finished our run. What I learned: While it is common sense to look to your right and left before you pull¬†out of a parking lot, there are lots of idiots who don’t. Don’t expect drivers to see you. Later that night my left shoulder started tightening up and then started hurting pretty badly Thursday and Friday so I went to the doc to have it checked out. Turns out I strained my rotator cuff and trapezius muscle so I’m on some muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory meds until it heals up. No planks for me for a couple weeks… BUT it could have been SO much worse, so I’m very thankful for that.

Anywho I took rest days on Thursday and Friday since I think my body was just shaken up from the whole thing. Both Saturday and Sunday’s runs went super well so I was excited for that. My training this week will switch from one track workout a week to two, 5k time trial on wednesday, indoor mile on Friday evening, then some more progressive runs¬†during the weekend. I will also start doing 2-a-day runs at least on Sundays. Oh and my first outdoor 5k will be on Saturday morning! Not sure how good I’ll do with running the mile the night before, but its all for fun, right? ūüôā Here’s a look back at my last weeks training:

2/21         Run Р5.2 mi recovery (51:35) 34* rain
                   Bike Р30 min easy

2/22        Run Р2.6 mi w/u (27:20)
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Run –¬†8 x 400¬†(12:40) ISU outdoor track (1:28, 1:37, 1:36, 1:35, 1:34, 1:38,1:37,¬†1:35) 25*, windy, and snow
                   Run Р1 mi c/d easy

2/23¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Run – 1 mi w/u easy –¬†29* rain
                   Run Р2 x 5k loop easy (22:50, 25:09)
                   Bike Р30 min easy

2/24         OFF

2/25         OFF

2/26         Run Р6.5 mi (56:29) 31* mist

2/27         Run Р11.2 mi Р1:36 (middle 7 miles progressive) 38*, 20mph wind (yuk!)
                    9:25 warm-up
                    9:13 warm-up
                    8:14 (turning into the wind)
                    9:43 recovery
                    9:38 recovery

Totals:    Run Р35.6 mi   ****new weekly high!!****
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Bike –¬† 1 hour

Next race is the indoor mile at North Central College in Naperville, IL!!! Then Miller Park 5k in Bloomington, IL!! Ooooh and I just ordered some Nike arm sleeves and matching Nike gloves that I can’t wait to wear for 5k’s instead of a long-sleeve shirt or coat!!

Frozen track workout

23 Feb

So the spring weather is gone for a while… both of my runs this week were pretty darn cold. Since I had a long run on Sunday I ran a 5 mile recovery run on Monday and a light bike ride and then had an easy track workout last night. I have a 5k time trial tonight – should be interesting!! At least I’ll have some sort of idea where I’m at with training and my coach can get an idea of what I should be doing for the next couple weeks. I’m ready for 5k season to start already!!! ūüôā

2/21      Run Р5.1 mi recovery, my hood  (51:35) Р34* rain

2/22¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Run –¬†2.7 mi w/u (27:20) 25*
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Run – 2 mi¬† ISU outdoor track (8 x 400’s – 1:28, 1:37, 1:36, 1:35, 1:34, 1:38, 1:37, 1:35)
               Run Р1 mi c/d (9:05)

Last night’s run put me over 100 miles for this month already ūüôā