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Category: BibRave Pro

Illinois Half (of a Marathon) Race Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Illinois Marathon part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

Whew!  It was an interesting weekend.  The weather was perfect after battling with Mother Nature with the never ending winter.  However, my race didn’t go as I planned.  I didn’t run the marathon but instead ran the half marathon.

Let’s go back to Friday before the race.  I worked for 1/2 day and then drove to Champaign.  It took me about 3 hours to get there.  No big deal.  

I arrived at the Activities and Recreation Center to pick up my bib at the expo.  The expo was pretty small.  I didn’t buy anything but did sign up to be a bone marrow donor for Be The Match.

Found a picture of the course and saw Abe Lincoln.  🙂

Later that evening I went out to dinner with some friends at Old Chicago Pizza and Tap Room.  I had pizza and pretzel sticks.  We didn’t stay out too late and I think we left around 9pm.  Earlier in the day I got my stuff ready for the race and that night I double checked to make sure I had everything I needed.

The next day my alarm went off at 5am.  I got ready and then went to Dunkin Donuts for coffee and a bagel.  It was cold.  I knew it would warm up and was glad to see lots of sunshine in the forecast.

I parked in the lot and stayed in my car to stay warm.  Finally I got out to use the port-a-potty and to check in my gear.  I saw a few friends and we talked for a bit and got more excited about my race.  I took one huma gel at about 6:50am.  The plan was to take one every 4 miles. 

I ran into Amanda (another BibRave Pro) and it was great to finally meet her.  Then it was time to run!

My plan was to start running “slow” and then pick up the pace after the 13 mile marker.  I was enjoying the warm sun and soaking it all in.  I was FINALLY running a marathon that I had trained for a very long time.  Training that took me outside running in very cold weather this winter.  Finally everything was coming together.

I took another gel at mile 4.  Still feeling good.  I made sure to drink water at the water stations.  Then after mile 6 my stomach began to hurt.  I felt like I had to use the bathroom.  I decided to walk a little and hoped that I would feel better.  I didn’t.  I kept walking and knew I was in trouble.  I could feel my heart beating fast but couldn’t understand why since I was WALKING.  I then got very tired, had some trouble breathing, and struggled to run.  There was some wind but nothing worse that what I had encountered during my training.  I wasn’t cold since I had a jacket.  By mile 9 I knew I wasn’t going to finish the marathon.

I was in tears and was so mad.  I was angry because I trained so hard for this marathon.  Angry because instead of allowing this anger to push me to keep going, I was allowing it to mess with my head. 

Yep, I went left. 

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The finish line was inside Memorial Stadium.  I got my medal and went up the stairs to the Great West Hall to get some food.

I didn’t stay there too long and then went back to the hotel to shower.  Afterwards I met a few Oiselle gals for brunch at Big Grove Tavern.

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I spent the weekend trying to figure out what went wrong.  Did I panic?  Did I get nervous/scared?  Was I a wimp and decided to take the easy way out by running 13.1 miles instead of 26.2?  Did I start off too fast?  Too many questions and honestly I am not even sure I will figure it out.  Below are my splits.

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Thanks to Athlinks I added another race to my profile.  I have now run 158 races (69 half marathon)!

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By Monday I decided to just let it go and stop thinking about it.  Regardless I still ran a half marathon and I should be proud of it.  

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I thought the race was well organized.  The half marathon course was pretty flat.  There weren’t too many spectators and the ones that were there did a good job cheering for us.  The best part was seeing a guy on a unicorn bike blowing bubbles.  🙂

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Source: https://www.instagram.com/jenhawleyprice/

So what’s next?  My next races are a 10K on the 20th for the Chicago Spring Half Marathon and the Soldier Field 10 Mile on the 26th.   I would like to continue running a half marathon in each state.  I will be running in CO in October which will make it state #39.

For now I don’t plan on running a marathon anytime soon.  I am signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon but plan to transfer my bib, so if you are interested in a bib, let me know.

Linking up with MarciaPatti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

TuesdaysOnTheRun

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Spring Training Update!

Disclaimer:  I am promoting these races as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

As you’ve been reading along these past few months, I’m training for the Illinois Marathon on April 28th.  I began my training on November 27 (just realized it will be 5 months of training).  I joined an online coaching group with Mary and Rochelle where they’re coaching a group of women training for the Boston Marathon.  We had our last Facebook Live call yesterday in which Mary talked about the course.  It was interesting and one day I will be there!

This has been a hard and wonderful training experience.  It felt hard because of the weather and some of the runs.  I did most of my training outside and there were so many COLD days.  I did 4 runs on the treadmill.  Surprised I didn’t do more since I don’t mind too much running on it.  However, I did tell myself that I would try to do my runs outside and only on the treadmill when I really and absolutely had do.  <<Nothing wrong with it but a personal preference.

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My training began with mostly easy runs.  Those felt good.  Sometimes it was hard to run “slow”.  That wasn’t a problem later in the training when the runs got more intense and my body could only run “slow”.  Sometimes I even ran slower than the “slow” pace and I was OK with it.  I did miss a few runs – I was too tired or didn’t feel like running outside or the treadmill.

I had some awful and great runs.  Awful because the pace felt hard or the weather conditions simply didn’t help (this has been a LONG winter).  Some great runs because the weather was decent and/or I nailed the required paces.  Those were GREAT confidence boosters and just what I needed when I had a run that didn’t go well.  All about balance, right?  Marathon training isn’t easy.  We have our good and bad runs.

My last long run was this Sunday – 3 hours.  Ugh, I was cold and tired at the end.  I will admit that I had my doubts (again) about how I would complete a marathon when I had no desire to run after 3 hours (and this marathon will take me more than 3 hours).  

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So let me tell you about my goals for this marathon.  I still have 3 weeks of training and a few more “long” runs.  Nothing crazy like 3 hours but yet more like an 1 hour or so.  

Illinois Marathon 2018 Goals

After the marathon I will take some time off.  I signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon (October 28) and I know Mary and Rochelle will have another coaching group training for that marathon.  For sure I will be a part of it!

I do have 2 races that I signed up for in May.  I am doing the Chicago Spring Half Marathon/10K (I signed up for the 10K) on May 20 and the Soldier Field 10 Mile on May 28.  While I would love to PR in those races (it’s been years since I’ve PR in those distances), I have to see how my body recovers and feels after the marathon.  It will feel weird not running 5 days a week but I am sure my body will love the time off.

If you’re in the Chicago area and would like to join me, below are two codes you can use.

Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half-1

Use code “BRSoldierField” to score some bonus RAM Racing sunglasses for the Soldier Field 10 Mile.

RAMRacingSunglassesHow is YOUR Spring Training coming along?  Does it feel like Spring where you live?  Not here.  We had snow yesterday.  🙁

Linking up with MarciaPatti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

TuesdaysOnTheRun

Shamrock Shuffle 8K Race Recap

Disclaimer:  I am promoting the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

On Sunday I ran my first race of the year – The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K.  It was my 10th time running that race with the first time being in 2006.  This race is always a fun one and is the start of the official running season in Chicago.

Saturday morning I went to the expo to pick up my packet.  There were hardly any vendors there.  It was a very small place for an expo.  In previous years it’s been held in a much bigger room.  A friend had mentioned that it was a small expo but I had to see it with my own eyes.  I was there for about 20 minutes.  I was supposed to be in Wave 2, Corral F or G but went to Participant Services and asked to be moved to Wave 1. 

I tried kombucha and did not like it.  

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The shirt and socks are cute!

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I bought two Sparkly Soul headbands.  

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Sunday morning it was another cold morning.  I am over this cold weather.  I know I’ve run on so many cold days but mentally I am done with it.  I want some warm weather!

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My cat woke me up at 4:30 am.  She didn’t care that I wanted to sleep in till 6 because I had a race.  She just wanted to eat.  I got up, got ready, had a protein bar with coffee, and drove to the train station.  I was supposed to meet the Oiselle gals at the Hilton Chicago for a group photo.

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After the photo I left to use the bathroom again  Then I walked to the race to drop off my gear and do a 20 minute warm up.  I was also supposed to meet Wendy since we were both in the same corral.  Unfortunately I didn’t meet up with her.  I did my warm up but had to cut it short by 1 minute because I was supposed to be at the corral entrance by 8:20 and I was afraid that I would be too late.  I wasn’t.  There were so many people still trying to get in after 8:20.

Even though it was sunny, it was still VERY COLD.

I waited in my corral for 15 minutes before I began running.  I removed the auto lap function on my watch because the buildings always seem to mess up the satellite signal. 

I felt good for 3 miles (10:19, 9:31, 9:44).  I ran nonstop.  I didn’t stop for any water or Gatorade.  I had 3 layers on and was not cold.  I remember last year it was windy but this time it wasn’t too bad.  Mile 4 (10:23) is when I began to get tired and walked a bit.  I told myself to slow down instead of walking but that didn’t happen.  I was surprised at how well I did for mile 5 (10:06) because I walked the small hill that is right before the finish line, and once I made it to the top, I ran as fast as I could.

Finish time is 50:03.  

My PR is 48:38 from 2014.  You bet that over the years I’ve been wanting to better that time.  Last year my finish time was 56:26.  I am pleased that I bettered my time by more than 6 minutes.  To me that is a HUGE accomplishment!  

After my run I did a 20 minute cool down.  Then I went to get my bag and some pizza because I was hungry.  I checked out the beer tent but had no desire to drink beer.  Everyone there was having a good time.

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I was about to leave when a friend saw me.  I ended up talking to her while she waited for the rest of her family.  They were going out for breakfast and I decided to go with them.  

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We walked to the train station and I got VERY COLD again.  Once on the train I was still cold and decided to just go home.  I needed to get out of my wet clothes and take a hot shower.  

Thanks to Athlinks I have a summary of all of my finish times for the Shamrock Shuffle 8K.  Have you checked out Athlinks?  If you haven’t, do so soon and you’ll have access to dates and times for ALL for all of your races.

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I am happy I did this race.  It is one of my favorite races.  I will admit that I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t PR because I’ve been doing so well in my training for the Illinois Marathon.  However, I will not dwell on it anymore but instead be happy with how well I did on Sunday.

Linking up with MarciaPatti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

TuesdaysOnTheRun

Friday Five 2.0-Five “new” races for me!

Disclaimer:  I am promoting these races as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

Happy March!  I am hoping that with January and February behind us, March will be better in the weather department.  I am proud to say that running wise I did great in February.  But I still want some warm weather!  My first race, Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle, is this month and I am excited about it.  Read HERE to find out why you need to run this race and make sure to use code “SHUFFLE” at the following link: http://haku.ly/dd2567 to save $10 on your race entry. 

Hello March

I have added a couple of races to my calendar.  Thanks to BibRave for giving me the opportunity to sign up and run these races this year.  I’ve run 3 of them in the past and while I haven’t run in Denver, a Rock ‘n’ Roll race isn’t new to me.  Hopefully you can join me in a few or all of these races.

1. Soldier Field 10 Mile, May 26.  This race is always on Memorial Day weekend.  It starts and ends at Soldier Field.  I love the distance, flat course, and you get to run on Lake Shore Drive.  There is some great food and beer after the race along with some live music entertainment.  My PR is 1:41:56 in 2015 and it is time to set a new one this year.  Use Code “BRSoldierField” for bonus RAM Racing sunglasses (expires 2 days before the race). 

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2. Tailgate 10K, August 11 This race used to be the BTN Big 10 and is held in Grant Park.  Plans for this race are still in the works so be sure to check the website for updated information.

3. Fort2Base, August 26.  I did this race in 2013.  I ran 10 nautical miles which equals to 11.5 miles.  It is a unique race distance and an automatic PR for those running this race distance for the first time.  This race takes you through a military command and training centers.  I remember there is a HUGE hill (Hero’s Hill) that wore me out.

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4. Run Mag Mile, September 8.  Last year was my first time running this race and I had a great time.  The weather was perfect and I loved running along Michigan Avenue.  We got a beautiful medal and some delicious food after the race.  Use Code “BRMagMile” for bonus RAM Racing sunglasses (expires 2 days before the race).

5. Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver, October 21 Rock ‘n” Roll races are not new to me.  I’ve done quite a few of them.  🙂  However, I’ve never been to Denver.  My niece lives there and this race will give me the perfect opportunity to meet up with her (and maybe she’ll run with me).  When I finish this race I will also cross off another state in my Race in the 50 States Goal.  If you want to sign up for this race, use code “RNRBRP2018” for $15 off your registration fee.

Which one of these races would you like to run?

I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 2.0.

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Friday Five 2.0-Top 5 reasons to run the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K

Disclaimer:  I am promoting the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K is next month and I am excited to run it again.  It is one of my favorite races in Chicago!  This race marks the start of the official running season in the city.  Are you signed up for it?  If yes, GREAT but if not then read on to find out why you MUST run this race.  I will even give you a discount code.  🙂

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1. Automatic PR and sweet medal.  Isn’t it beautiful?  An 8K is 4.97 miles so if you’ve never run this distance before then you automatically get a PR.  I’ve run this race 9 times and my PR is 48:38 in 2014.  I am having a great marathon training season and hopefully will get a PR this year.

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2. Beer!  Celebrate that new PR and/or show off that sweet medal at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle Post-Race Party.  Each runner gets a ticket for one (1) Michelob ULTRA (must be 21 years or older to consume).  There will also be live music.  The party doesn’t stop there.  The celebration will continue at The Scout Waterhouse & Kitchen (1301 S. Wabash Ave.) from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Shamrock Shuffle participants who bring their race bib will receive a ticket that can be redeemed for one (1) Michelob ULTRA.

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3. You can dress up!  How fun is it to be all decked out in green and run in a beautiful city?  I’ve lived in Chicago for almost 40 years and never get tired of the view.  This race is also great to do with friends.  Each year I’ve been able to run with friends and have a fabulous time.

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4. It is a short but yet popular race.  An 8K is a unique distance and in Chicago there aren’t that many 8K races.  Over 30,000 runners run the Shamrock Shuffle.  It is so popular that on race morning NBC 5 Chicago provides live, streaming coverage of the race start and finish from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. where supporters can watch their favorite runner cross the line.

5. Save $10 off registration fee.  Make sure to use code “SHUFFLE” at the following link: http://haku.ly/dd2567 to save $10 on your race entry.

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So did I convince you?  Will I see you there?  Have you run this race before?

I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 2.0.

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