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Month: April 2014

Nike Women’s Half Marathon

This past weekend I made another trip to Washington, DC.  I have to say that it is one of my favorite cities.  I’ve been there numerous times and each time I always have a great time.

I got in on Saturday afternoon and made my way to the hotel.  I was meeting up with a few girls from the Nike Training Club.  I dropped off my luggage and made my way to the expo.  I am used to an expo being in one building.  Well, this expo was different because you had to go to three different locations to get your bib, your shirt, and other miscellaneous stuff.  There weren’t many vendors plus it was crowded so I did not stay too long.  I then found out that Shalane Flanagan was there.  Dang!!

As soon as I got my bib and shirt, I saw this.  Pretty cool!

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 The course map.

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Found my name!  It was so cool to also see my mother’s name next to mine.

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Then I met up with the rest of the girls and then went to lunch.

I woke up at 5 on race day.  I quickly got dressed and ate a ClifBar with some coffee.  Then we proceeded to take the metro to the start line.  It was a bit chilly and part of me wanted to go back to the room for a long sleeve shirt.  However, I knew that eventually it would warm up and then I would be too hot.

Ready to run!

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There were so many runners on the course.  Even after one mile, the course was still crowded.  It was then that I saw JB.  She had flown in the day  before after running The Garmin Half Marathon in KS (where she got to meet Meb). She is pretty amazing!  She was running with a coworker and I managed to tag along.  Yeah, we ran together till the end.

It was a gorgeous day for running.  At various points there were so many spectators cheering for us.  I did get hot and thirsty but overall felt good throughout the race.  I began to feel a bit tired around mile 11.  I told JB to go ahead while I walked.  However, she is such a good pacer and part of me still wanted to run with her so I picked up the pace until I caught up with her.

Less than a mile to go.  That is me by the letter “E”.

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So close to the end.

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Finally done.  I love that instead of a medal, I got a Tiffany necklace.

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It is a great race!  It is not a flat course but isn’t too hilly either.  The weather was gorgeous.  I definitely recommend doing this race.  I enjoyed it so much that I plan to go back next year.

 

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Three Things Thursday, April 17, 2014

1.  It is official.  I am in.  In October I will be running again the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.  I am very excited!!

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2. Last week I attended a reception at Fleet Feet Chicago for the premiere of “Finding Strong”.  I was in class most of the evening but made it with enough time to talk to Bart Yasso and David Willey. They’re both really cool guys!

3.  It’s been 11 days since the last time I ran.  I finally ran yesterday.  I went to the gym and only managed 3 miles.  Boo me.  That brings me up to a grand total of 34.22 miles.  I am behind in the Nike+ Leaderboard.

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I guess I am still in recovery mode because I am so tired every single day.  I was supposed to go to Utah this weekend for a half marathon but decided against it.  No desire to race this weekend.  Ha, better get out of this weird mood and be ready for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon on the 27th.

Chicago Lakefront 50K

On Saturday, April 5, I completed my 2nd ultramarathon.  I ran my first one two years ago.  This race was a fun experience but I will admit that I also felt some disappointment.

I spent the week leading up to the race just relaxing and not thinking too much about it.  I know that if I think about it then I worry and what good does that do?  Absolutely nothing.  I made sure to drink plenty of water and carbo loaded on Friday.

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The weather was perfect on race day.  It was sunny and no wind.  I saw Amanda from Too Tall Fritz and Michelle from This Momma Runs.  I was so nervous that I went to the bathroom 3 times. Luckily there weren’t too many people running the race so the lines moved pretty fast.

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I got in line at 8:25 and realized that I did not have my iPod.  I thought I had lost it.  When I couldn’t find it, I went to my bag to leave my headphones and saw that my iPod was already clipped to my waterbelt.  By then the race had started and I was still trying to get myself together.  There was no chip time so it is important that you start on time.  I was finally ready and was probably the last one to cross the start line.  I did not worry at all because I knew I would catch up to the other runners.

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My friend, Rhoda from Relentless Rhoda, agreed to run with me for 9 miles.  I saw her before mile 1 and we ran till the first turnaround on North Avenue (5.2 miles) and then continued on till mile 9.  It was great running with her.  Thanks Rhoda!!

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Mile 15.5.  I was in a lot of pain and took two ibuprofens.  Thank goodness I did because it would have been tough to run another 15.5 miles.

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I ran and walked the rest of the way.  I turned on my iPod but for some reason the battery had died.  It was weird because I made sure to charge it the night before.  Ugh, I was annoyed because I spent a few minutes before the race looking for the darn thing.

By the time I got to mile 20.7 (start/finish area) there were a few people that had already finished. What?!?!?!?

Just before the finish line.  Not sure why it is blurry.

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Done.  Finish time is 6:39:08.

photo-4Luckily I finished before the watch battery died.

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Post-race food.  I had two bowls because I was hungry and one wan’t enough.

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I keep thinking about the race to figure out what went wrong.  The weather was perfect.  I felt really good.  I did not have any hip pain.  So it should have gone just perfect right?  I know I cannot PR at every race.  However, I did not think my finish time would be 20 minutes more/worse than my first ultra.  I had such a great experience at the Bank of American Shamrock Shuffle and thought for sure that it would be the same on Saturday.

Overall, it is a well organized race.  There was packet pickup on Friday and also on Saturday morning. It is so much cheaper than a full marathon.  There is no crowd support but there were so many runners out there and a few of them cheered for us.  There are 3 aid stations on the course with plenty of water, gatorade, potato chips, pretzels, and other goodies.  I realized I did not have to carry so many gels and Perpetuem solids with me because I could get them each time I passed by the pass/finish area where I left my bag.  I like that there are 6 legs and each one is a little over 5 miles. This helps to mentally break down the miles and not focus so much that you have to run 31 miles.  If you are thinking of running an ultra, then this is THE race to do.

Part of me does not want to run another ultramarathon but then another part does want to and hopefully get a better finish time.  Third time is a charm right?

The chafing is so painful.  I took my time taking a shower.  I did get three blisters on my left foot and thought for sure I had lost a toenail.  Oh, and I am constantly HUNGRY!

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I saw this tweet from Kara Goucher (love her) and it made me feel a little bit better.

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My next race is the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in DC.  I’ve heard so many great things about the race and am so excited about it.

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Three Things Thursday, April 3, 2014

1. Thanks to Maggie, I won a race entry to the Michelob ULTRA 13.1 Chicago, on June 7.  I’ve ran this race in the past and have enjoyed it for various reasons.  There was one year in which it was cancelled due to the hot weather.  I was around mile 10 and told myself that I was almost done.  Yep, sure was and had to walk the rest of the way.  Sign up today as there is a great post race party and the view is phenomenal!!

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2. Have you heard of “The Metabolic Effect Diet”?  Well, I am finally going to get a chance to read it. The idea is to lose weight/fat but you eat more and work out less.  I first heard about it from Kim from (Just) Trying is for Little Girls but it wasn’t till I saw her post and pictures in mid-March that I bought a copy for me.  She looks great and you can tell that not only has she lost weight but she looks more toned.  Way to go Kim!

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3. I am off this week for Spring Break and cannot believe it is already Thursday.  It has been great staying home, relaxing, and catching up on Grey’s Anatomy.  I began watching it last year via Netflix and made it to Season 8.  Then I cancelled my subscription to Netflix because I was also paying for Amazon Prime which gave me access to many online shows.  Well, after waiting a LONG time for the episodes to be available (and they’re still not available), I finally bit the bullet and renewed my Netflix subscription.  Now, I am almost done with Season 9 and luckily episodes from Season 10 are on my DVR.

Now off to rest and to start getting my stuff ready for Saturday.  Yep, the big day for me…my second 50K.

 

March 2014 in Review

This month I ran 140.56 miles compared to 122.09 in February.  December 2013 is still my best month with 142.39.  This month I was so close.  Dang, if only I hadn’t missed my 10 mile run on Thursday. Oh well.  Definitely another great month.  Yesterday I ran outside again and it was just perfect.  Felt so good.  Spring is definitely here.

I ran one race:  Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle.  I got a PR!  Very happy about my time.  I can’t wait to run a 5K and see how I do.  I think I will run the Run to Remember 5K on May 3rd.  I’ve ran it in the past and have had a great time.

ultra_marathon_50kThe Chicago Lakefront 50k is on Saturday.  I’ve been checking the weather channel and it is supposed to be 45 degrees in the morning.  Definitely good running weather.  I did my best with keeping up with my training plan.  My coach told me that this week I need to focus on resting, recovery, and staying positive.  I always struggle with the latter but yesterday’s race did send me positive vibes that I hope will last all through the week.  Plus, I am off for Spring Break so I will definitely rest and relax.

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I’ve enrolled at the SESAME Program at the University of Chicago to take classes for a Math Endorsement.  I am excited about it!  I need to take 8 classes and then I will have an endorsement to teach math to middle grade students.  I will be in class on Wednesdays from 5pm-8pm.  My first class starts on April 2nd and ends on June 11th.  The next session runs for two weeks, Monday-Friday, from 9am-12pm.  Then they also also another session from 1pm-4pm.  I don’t think I want to be in class all day for two weeks but I will definitely take one class.  If I take one class per quarter then I should be done in 2016.  Ha, seems like a long time but time sure goes by fast.

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Two weeks from today I’ll find out if I got in the Bank of American Chicago Marathon!