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Category: Race Recap

Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Half Marathon Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Half Marathon 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!

This past Sunday I ran my 70th half marathon and my 39th in my goal to run a half marathon in each state.  I was supposed to go last year but had to cancel a few weeks prior to race day.  I cannot remember why I didn’t go but let’s continue with my recap for this year.

My flight to Denver left at 8:35am and I arrived after 10:30am.  While waiting at the airport in Chicago, I did some research on transportation to/from the airport and hotel.  SuperShuttle was $30 each way and the Denver Airport Trail was $9 each way.  Once I landed, I quickly walked to the platform and purchased my ticket.  As soon I got inside the train, the doors closed and I was on my way downtown.  

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Once downtown I walked a mile to my hotel.  Luckily it was ready and I left my stuff in the room and went out to get something to eat.  I ate a burger and drank a beer and felt so much better afterwards.  Then I took a Lyft to the expo.  It was OK.  I haven’t run a RnR race in years so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I did buy some shoes and socks.

There was a poster and a shirt being sold at the expo with the finishers names.

I like the color of the shirt that was in the goody bag.  Still not impressed with the rest of the stuff.

Sunday morning I got up at 6am.  The race began at 7 and the start line was about 10 minutes away.  I got ready and drank coffee while eating a Clif Bar.  It was in the low 40s and I had debated on whether to wear shorts or tights.  I went with the shorts and compression socks.  I also wore a Oiselle Wazzie Wool layer underneath my BibRave shirt and never got too hot nor cold.

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I had specific instructions from my coach on the paces for this race.  I wrote it down in a piece of paper and also on my hand.  I was determined to stick to the plan since this race was supposed to be a long workout.  I’ve been doing really good in my training and figured that it would be an “easy” run.  Spoiler alert:  It was HARD!  I didn’t realize that the altitude was going to affect me that much.

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The first 2 miles were supposed to be at warm up pace.  I started off faster than I wanted to so I took some walking breaks.  After mile 2, I was supposed to run 4 miles at an 11:50 pace.  I couldn’t do it.  I began to feel very tired and could not pick up the pace.  At one point I accidentally hit the lap button.  I really struggled the rest of the race.  I was basically counting down each mile.  I also felt lightheaded.  

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At one point a spectator told me that I was doing good and that I had 2 miles to go.  I started to cry because I wanted to be done.  I was still feeling tired and struggling.   🙁  I don’t think I’ve ever struggled so much during a half marathon.

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I thought the course was OK.  The weather was perfect for running but it was so sunny and the sun was in my eyes for most of the race.  I was squinting so much and I think that and the altitude are the reasons I got a headache.  It was a bit better when I got to City Park.  It was so pretty there but that got boring after a while.  <<I think I was just in a bad mood.  🙂

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For most of the course there were no spectators.  It was quiet.  There was plenty of water and Gatorade at the water stops.  The course was mostly flat with 2 or 3 uphills.  The best part was getting to the finish line because it was downhill.  As soon as I knew I was close, I took off.  I was so happy to be done!

The medal is pretty cool and I am happy to have earned it.

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Another race done and another medal.

  Athlinks Logo-1

Thanks to Athlinks for the reminder that this was my 70th half marathon and that I have now completed 162 races.

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

TuesdaysOnTheRun

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Elmhurst 4 on the 4th Race Recap

On Wednesday I ran one of my favorite races in the Chicago area – Elmhurst 4 on the 4th.  I’ve run this race since 2013 and have always had a great time.  I like the price, the distance, and the location.  It is very easy to get there and I always find parking..FREE parking.

I left later than usual and even thought I didn’t park in my usual spot, I still managed to park close to the start line.  Then I got my bib and met the Oiselle girls for a picture.

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Let’s go back to my bib.  I gave the volunteer my name and she found it on the roster.  I remember hearing the number 24 or something like that.  Once I got my bib, I didn’t look at it and just went to meet up with the Oiselle girls.  I have a Fitletic belt and use the toggles for my bib.  Again, I did not look at it.

I talked to Heather and Kathleen for a few minutes and then we lined up.  It was already sunny and HOT.

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This race is not a big race but there are a few people cheering for you.  There is just something about running in a small town for a race.  I knew I wasn’t going to get a PR.  I started off too fast and then paid for it at the end.  Still, I don’t think it was too bad.

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I did walk a few times because I also got too hot.  I didn’t have a visor with me because that morning I checked the weather report and it was supposed to be overcast.  Luckily there was some shade and that helped.

This course has a few hills.  Not too many but the worst one is right before the finish line.  I know this but I curse every single time.  🙂

At the finish line, I got a water bottle and an ice cold washcloth to cool me down.  I was sweating a lot.

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.I walked for a bit to cool down before going home.

In my car is when I had a feeling that something was wrong with my bib number.  I remember hearing the number 24 but not 25.  I just wanted to get home to shower and eat.  I knew there was nothing I could do about it so I decided to handle it at home.

Yep, I got the wrong bib.  Once the results were available on Athlinks,  I couldn’t find my name but did find my results with the bib number I used to run the race.

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I emailed the race director right away and explained the situation.  After a few emails back and forth, the problem was resolved.  

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I also checked Kim’s name and she was given a new bib number to run.  Glad that worked out too.

I highly recommend this race to everyone.  It is always fun and the perfect way to start off the holiday.

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

TuesdaysOnTheRun

Soldier Field 10 Mile Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Soldier Field 10 Mile 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!

This past Saturday I ran the Soldier Field 10 Mile.  This race is one of my favorites.  The first time I did this race was in 2009 and this year was my 7th time running it.

I had to stay late at work on Friday so I couldn’t go to Fleet Feet to get my bib.  Thankfully my friend, Claudia, got it for me.  I like the color of the shirt.

It was supposed to be a HOT one.  Man, we complained for so long about the winter and Mother Nature came back with a vengeance.

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Saturday morning I woke up, got ready, and drove to Soldier Field.  I love that they offered FREE parking to race participants.  I met Claudia to get my bib and then we used the bathroom.  There were plenty of port-a-potties outside but we went inside the stadium (the start line was inside).  No line…ever better!

My left leg had been bothering me so I wasn’t sure how do running 10 miles.

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The race began at 7am.  I was in corral K but moved to L to start with Claudia.  We had to wait about 15 minutes before we could start running.  It felt good inside because it was shaded and there was a slight breeze.

As soon as I got outside, I could feel the heat. I knew it wasn’t going to be a good race.  I don’t remember it ever being this hot on race day.  I was feeling OK for about 3 miles and then it went downhill.  The sun felt so hot and I took my time by walking and running.

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At the runaround point the announcement teased us by saying that we looked like we could use some ice (while the song “Ice Ice Baby” was playing).  I thought for sure we would get some ice at the next water station.  Nope.  It was Nuun and water.  I did get an extra cup of water to pour over my head and that helped a little. 

At this point my goal was not to pass out and just to finish.  I didn’t care about my time.  My left was hurting even more but I kept running and walking.

Did I tell you how hot it was?  I was happy to cross the finish line and to get my medal.  It was cool to finish inside Soldier Field. 

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I stayed for a little bit to see Heather and Claudia by the finish line.  Then I went home.  I was hungry and tired.  In the past I’ve stayed a bit longer to hang out with friends and enjoy my free beer.

Love that Athlinks provides FREE race photos.  However, I will admit that I cringed when I saw the photos and almost did not post the one below.  All I see is my big, bloated and round stomach.  🙁2018SoldierField10Mile-18

My finish time is 2:17:21.  That is definitely my worst Soldier Field 10 Mile race.  According to Athlinks, my worst time was 1:55:45 in 2017 and my PR is 1:41:56 in 2015.  

Facebook reminded me of the first time I did that race.  I was thinner back then.  Sigh.  

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Another race done and another medal.  I have now completed 160 races.

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

TuesdaysOnTheRun

Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K 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 159th race!  I did this race mostly for fun and am glad I did it.  

The forecast mentioned rain on race day.  The weather continues to be ridiculously crazy here.  Even with that forecast, I planned to wear a singlet, shorts, and compression socks.  Not sure what I was thinking.  🙂

I signed up for the 10K but got a bib for the half marathon.

On Sunday morning it was in the mid 40s so I wore a long sleeve underneath my singlet, a jacket, and tights.

It was cold and cloudy.  The half marathon began at 7am and the 10K at 7:45.  I arrived at 7:30 am, dropped off my gear, used the port-a-potties, and got in line for the race.  Per my Garmin, I started running at 7:58 am. 

I ran by feel and paid no attention to my watch.  I would only look down when it would vibrate with my mile splits.  I wasn’t cold and was feeling pretty good.

For the most part I was consistent with my pace.  I HAVE no idea how I ran mile 5 that fast.  At least it is fast for me.

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The 10K started on Columbus Drive next to Maggie Daley Park.  We ran there for a little bit and then ran along the lakefront path.  I found the path to be crowded since there were the 10K runners heading back along with the half marathoners.  

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When I was done, I got my medal and then went to get my gear.  I got there just in time because after a few minutes there were a lot more people waiting in line.  I felt bad for the volunteers because they were working as fast as they could but could not keep up with all of the runners.

Post race there was a hot breakfast, Lagunitas beer, and a spring flower station.  I wanted to take part in it but I was just too cold.  I hanged around for a little bit and then went home.  But before I did that, I checked my finish time courtesy of Athlinks.  Not my best and not my worst either.  My last 10K was the Run Mag Mile in September 2017 and I finished in 1:07:09.  However, my PR is 1:04:02 from September 2010.  

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The medal is pretty cool.  It has a spinning Navy Pier ferris wheel.

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I wished the weather would have been nicer and for sure I would have stayed longer and enjoyed the post race activities.

Overall, I enjoyed the race.  I love the distance and the medal.  Many races do not offer food (only beer) and it is nice to see this offered to the race participants.

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

TuesdaysOnTheRun

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