Category: Chicago Marathon

Tuesday Topics: Some of my best races

Happy Tuesday and welcome to another edition of Tuesday Topics!  Last week I wrote about some not-so-great things that have happened to me at races.   So today let’s discuss some of my best races whether it is because of a PR, the course, or some other reason.

Tuesday Topics-44

This week’s Tuesday Topic:  What was your best or worst race You can write about this topic or feel free to post any running related blog post.  Remember to link up with Kim and Zenaida!  Visit at least two of the other linked posts – the more the merrier!  Remember to come back for later linkers!

2016 Chicago Marathon – It it my marathon PR.  I simply love everything about this race.  I’ve run it a few times and also love spectating it.  


2015 Live Grit 10 MilerI met Wendy and Marcia at this race.  It was warm in the beginning of the race but then the temperature dropped about 20 degrees.  I did not have a jacket and was COLD.

2019 Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Half Marathon – I was undertrained but loved this race.  I was also dealing with plantar fasciitis but I made the best of it. It is an incredible experience running the bridge to Canada, in Canada, and then back to the U.S.  

2019 Delaware Marathon Running Festival – Hilly course but I met Kim!  What’s not to like about it?  Running in Brandywine Park felt peaceful and very relaxing.  It was just what I needed to deal with all of the hills.

2013 Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4thI don’t remember how I heard about this race but am so happy I did.  I love everything about it (distance, price, location, to name a few things) and continue to run it each year.  I am sad it is cancelled this year but understand the reason.

Elmhurst 4 on the 4th 2013-1

2020 Publix Atlanta Half MarathonSo the race itself was not that great.  It was a VERY hilly course and I was undertrained.  What I loved about it was the Olympic Marathon Trials that took place the day before.  I got excited and goosebumps being so close to many elite runners – LOVED seeing Desi on the course!!

Utah Valley Half Marathon 2017 – A race meeting up with blogger friends!  The views were incredible.  It was the first time dealing with altitude and running a downhill race.  Not easy but I finished in 2:34:59 which is a whole lot better than I expected!!

Walt Disney World Half Marathon and Walt Disney World Marathon – Did this as part of the Goofy Challenge.  Seriously, I have no idea what I was thinking when I signed up.  I don’t think I was thinking AT ALL!  🙂  It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.  No regrets at all.

The Great Alaskan Running Cruise 2017 – It was a fun week exploring and running in Alaska.  There were a total of 4 races:

5K Kick Off Run/Walk in Anchorage and Welcome Party
√ Glacier Half Marathon in Juneau
4-Mile Amazing Race in Skagway
5K on the trails in the Tongass National Forest in Ketchikan

♥ Chicago Lakefront 50K 2012 and 2014 – I don’t have a recap from my first race in 2012 but HERE is the second one I did in 2014.  As if running a marathon isn’t hard enough, I decided to run a race even longer than 26.2 miles.  I ran the RnR New Orleans Marathon early in March and then ran the 50k a few weeks later.  Why not, right?  🙂


I enjoyed writing about this topic.  It was fun reading older posts (sometimes cringing because of what I wrote – Yikes!!), but overall remembering each one which made me smile.

Tuesday Topics

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Weekly Run Down: Chicago Marathon weekend and a Model PLC School

Weekly Mileage-29

No, I did not run the Chicago Marathon and definitely did not feel like I was missing out.  The last time I ran this race was 3 years ago.  It was in the mid 50s.  I ran the first half faster than the second half.  However, I did manage to get a PR and bettered my time by 40 minutes from 10 years ago (my first marathon).

I did however felt left out when I saw everyone’s post from the expo.  I usually go every year and love it.  From the pictures I saw that Joan Samuelson, Paula Radcliffe, and Deena Kastor were there.  I’ve only met Deena and have seen Joan on the running path.

I ran 3 days this week for a total of 11.65 miles. I missed my run on Wednesday and Saturday.  I was out late at a concert on Friday and slept in.  The rest of the day was just busy and then we went to a family dinner.  No time to run.

Wednesday evening I went to a Board Meeting because my school was recognized as a Model PLC School.  Earlier in the day during our after school meeting, the Superintendent and various Directors showed up to congratulate us.  Everything we do we do it for the kids.  It feels great to be recognized and I know we will continue to do great things.

Model PLC School.jpg

Early this morning I went to spectate the Chicago Marathon.  It is so much fun to spectate!  One of my best friends was running her first marathon.  The tracking app was acting funky and I missed her a few times.  In the end I did see her and ran with her for about 5 miles.

It was cold Sunday morning.  The sun came out a few times and it did warm up but then it got cold again.  I wore shorts with a singlet, a long sleeve underneath, and a light jacket on top.  I also wore pants and took them off a bit before I started to run.

2019 Chicago Marathon-1

Another busy and hectic week.  Next week is my half marathon.  Am I ready?  No.  My goal is to have fun and enjoy it.

Have you spectated a marathon before? Have you run the Chicago Marathon?

Linking up with Kim and Deborah for the Weekly Run Down.

Weekly Run Down.jpg

Thoughts on Hansons Marathon Method


If you read my marathon training weekly recaps then you know I used the Hansons Marathon Method.  In a nutshell, this training is based on the concept of cumulative fatigue. You train your body to run often so that you are frequently running on tired legs.  The idea is to run this way so that during the last miles of a race you are prepared to push through the final miles. These plans are 18 weeks and have you running 6 days (easy, speed/strength, tempo, and long runs) a week with one rest day.  

This was my first time using this method for the marathon.  I was fortunate to be off this summer (I am a teacher) so I knew I would be able to handle running 6 days a week.  However, going back to work did not go well.  Please note that I am NOT saying that if you are not off this summer that you will not be able to handle it.  This girl has a job and always made time to get her runs before going to work.  

  • This plan is HARD.  However, I am not saying that it isn’t doable.  It is but you need to make sure you can run 6 days a week with only 1 day to rest.
  • Tempo runs freaked me out.  I ran all of them on the treadmill and they weren’t bad after all.  I managed to run them at the specified pace and that was a confidence booster.
  • Plan to run high mileage.  I was not used to running so many miles in one week.  The Advanced Plan had me running over 40, 50, or 60 miles in one week.  
  • I was constantly tired.  Oh my goodness.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt as tired as I did this summer.  Again, I was fortunate that I did not have to get up early to go to work.
  • Sleep was my best friend.  See point above.  I slept and napped like a baby.
  • Wednesday was the best day of the week.  Remember that one rest day mentioned above?  Yep, that is on Wednesday.  Each week I looked forward to this day.
  • No strength training for me.  In the beginning I did a few TRX sessions before my runs but stopped once I realized I could not wake up in time for the class.  <<Excuses, I could have taken the class in the afternoon or evening.  See points 4 and 5.
  • You can choose from 3 different plans.  In the book you’ll find plans for “Just Want to Finish”, “Beginner”, and “Advanced”.  I chose the latter because, well, this was my 8th marathon so I knew it would be perfect for me.
  • Read the whole book; a few times if necessary.  I didn’t and ended up asking many, many questions that could have been answered if I had read the whole book.

Going back to work was challenging.  I was fine the first two weeks and then BAM it was a struggle.  I had to stay late most days and found it hard to run after work.  I am not making any excuses.  I know everyone has a job and finds a way to make it work but I just could not find a balance nor get back to a different routine.  That left me worried and frustrated and various times I thought about giving up.


Now that the Chicago Marathon is over (read my recap here), I’ve asked myself if I would use it again for another marathon.  At this point I have NO desire to run another marathon.  However, if I were to run another one then I might use the Hansons Marathon Method again.  I am already familiar with it.  I know it is doable.  However, I would run my speed/strength and tempo runs outside instead of the treadmill.  Or at least alternate a bit so as not to do all of them on the treadmill.  And I will make sure I do not skip so many runs. 

I do wonder if my marathon experience would have been better if I had followed the plan exactly as stated.  However, I know that there are no guaranteed and anything can happen on marathon day.  I mean, I was ready for my marathon but somehow my hip decided to be a jerk that day.  I did get a PR and I am definitely happy about it!


I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.

Hoping everyone had a good week!


2016 Chicago Marathon

On Sunday, October 9th, I ran the Chicago Marathon (my 8th one and my last one for a while). This one was special to me.  It was 10 years ago when I ran my first one.  I remember my feet hurting a lot,  I was cold and wanted to quit.  I told myself I would never do another one again. Yeah, right.

I took it easy the days prior to the marathon.  I went to the expo on Friday and stayed home most of Saturday.  I was excited, nervous, but looking forward to running 26.2 miles around Chicago.

Saturday night I went to bed at 8pm since I had a 4am wakeup call.  I took a sleeping pill and fell asleep right away.  However, Sunday morning I woke up at 2:30 and could not go back to sleep. Finally at 4 I got up, ate a peanut butter sandwich with coffee, and got ready.  

Perfect running weather, right?


I picked up a friend, drove to the train station, and then boarded the train to get downtown.  We had access to a “resort area” offered by Chicago Endurance Endurance.  There was lots of food and plenty of bathrooms.  I had a banana with peanut butter and tried to relax.  I did get a little emotional just like last year but quickly got my act together.


Finally it was time to walk to my corral.  Let’s do this!  I met up with two other pacers and decided to run with them for as long as I could.  I was in wave 2 and it took us 10 minutes to cross the start line.  However, we had been in line waiting for almost an hour.


I knew that the satellite signals were going to be wonky so I turned off the auto lap and opted to press the lap button at every mile marker.

As you’ll see from the picture below, I was doing really good for 11 miles.  I set my watch to only show the current time and I would only look at it after pressing the lap button.  I was shocked but happy and proud of myself to see the numbers after each mile.  I began to feel pain in my left hip around mile 9.  I remember I was a few feet behind my friends but managed to catch up to them.  By mile 11 I knew I could not stay with them any longer.  I decided to wait till the halfway point to see how I was feeling and to decide whether to stop or continue running.  


At mile 13 I saw Wendy and Marcia.  I remember smiling and saying Hi to them and kept on going.  I was still hurting but decided to see how much longer I could hold on.  I mean, I was already halfway done so just keep running, right?  I remember that when I saw the sign for Mile 16 I realized that I only had 10 miles to go.   I was more than half way there and now more than ever I had to keep going.  Shortly after that I saw a coworker with her family and stopped for a few seconds to talk to her. She asked me how I was doing and I mentioned my hip and how I wanted to quit.  She told me not to quit and to keep on going.

At mile 17 I saw a some Oiselle team members.   They motivated and encouraged me to keep going.  My favorite area was Pilsen.  Wow, so many people.  It was one big party with loud music and people cheering for us.  


I don’t know if I hit the wall but miles 21-25 were difficult for me.  The sun felt strong and I was tired of running.  I kept telling myself that I was almost done.  At mile 21 my time was 4:09 and knew that I could get a PR.  That was my motivation.  I would push myself to get through each mile.  I saw the 1 mile to go marker and I was in tears.  So close to the finish line.  Then the 800m sign and then the 400m sign.  I couldn’t believe it.  Just a little bit more to go.  I walked most of the small incline on Roosevelt (cursing again why this was before the finish line) before making one final left turn and seeing the finish line.  I ran as fast as I could.  Finish time is 5:12:59.  Yep, it was a 4 minutes PR set in 2012 in New Orleans and I bettered my time by 40 minutes from 10 years ago.  I was very happy to finish but even more happy that I did not quit or give up.




Overall, it was a great race.  Lots of wonderful volunteers and so many people cheering for us.  AMAZING!!  And great course! 

I may not have gotten a huge PR and I am a little disappointed in myself.  I trained hard this summer.  OK, so I did miss a few runs and the last 3 weeks I hardly ran at all.  I am glad I was able to finish but I know I could have done better.  I was hoping to finish under 5 hours.  Sigh. Maybe I should just stop here, let it go, and move on.  Another marathon in the books and call it a day.

Who is signing up for next year?  Applications for guaranteed entries will be available on October 25 and those with non-guaranteed entries will open November 1st.

Did you read the article about the Chicago Marathon medals showing up on eBay?  Would you sell your medal?    I really dislike this year’s medal and the one from last year is even worse.


I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.

Hoping everyone had a good week!


2016 Chicago Marathon Training Week 18

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.

Hoping everyone had a good week!



Last week training for the Chicago Marathon.  I am excited (and nervous) to be training using the Hansons Marathon Method. In a nutshell, this training is based on the concept of cumulative fatigue. You train your body to run often so that you are frequently running on tired legs.  The idea is to run this way so that during the last miles of a race you are prepared to push through the final miles. These plans are 18 weeks and have you running 6 days (easy, speed/strength, tempo, and long runs) a week with one rest day. 

Week #18, October 3-9


  • PLAN – 6 easy @10:52-12:16 pace
  • ACTUAL –6.02 miles @10:28 average pace

Great evening for a run!  Ran faster than I wanted to but overall felt great.

Below is a picture of this year’s medal.  Not sure how I feel about it.  I don’t love it but I find it to be plain and boring.  It features an engraving of the original starting line of the marathon, which once began next to the Picasso statute located in front of the Richard J. Daley Civic Center.


Here is the one from last year.



  • PLAN –5 easy @10:52-12:16 pace
  • ACTUAL – 5.02 miles @10:41 average pace

Took it slow today and ran perfect negative splits!!! 




  • PLAN – OFF

After our building meeting I went back to the podiatrist for another cortisone shot.  It was painful but my foot feels better.  I went back because the bunion area in my foot was bothering me.

Major carbo load begins today.  I tried this new cream cheese and it is delicious!



  • PLAN –6 easy @10:52-12:16 pace
  • ACTUAL – Did not run.

The group I run with had everyone’s name written on a wall.  So cool to see my name.



  • PLAN – 6 easy @10:52-12:16 pace
  • ACTUAL – Did not run.

I went to the expo to get my bib.  I walked away with a bunch of cool stuff.  I also went to the KT Tape booth to get taped up.

Love this shirt!


Love this medal for this year’s Rock Little Marathon!


I saw Bart Yasso again.  I purchased a Runner’s World calendar and he signed it for me.


  • PLAN – OFF


  • PLAN – 26.2 miles
  • ACTUAL – 26.94 miles

Chicago Marathon is done!  Recap coming soon.  Spoiler alert: I got a PR and bettered my time from my first marathon 10 years ago.

Total mileage for the week: 37.98 miles <<Including Chicago Marathon

Total mileage for this training cycle: 643.68 miles

Total mileage for the year: 1,126.74 miles