Category: Rock ‘n’ Roll Race

Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon Training Week 1

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

Hoping everyone had a good week!



My next half marathon is the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC in March.  I had not given it much thought as to a training plan.  After the Chicago Marathon I took it easy and ran maybe 3 days a week or just when I felt like it.  However, this past weekend is when I sat down to figure out a plan.  I decided to go ahead and use the Hansons Method again but using the Beginner’s Program.  I will still be running 6 days a week but the mileage won’t be as high as the Advanced Program.

Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Half Marathon training is here!  I am excited to be training using again the Hansons Method for this race.  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 (I am starting a bit late so I will start with Week 4) and have you running 6 days (easy, speed/strength, tempo, and long runs) a week with one rest day. 

Week #1, November 28-December 4


  • PLAN – OFF

It was actually kind of nice to be off.  I went to Kohl’s to pick up some candles and then to America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses and Contact to adjust my glasses.

I spent the rest of the evening working on a presentation for school because I was getting observed on Friday.  <


  • PLAN –5 miles easy, 10:30-11:00 pace
  • ACTUAL – Total 5.02 miles @10:58 average pace

Tuesday’s run felt tough.  It was warm (51 degrees) for December and I got hot during my run.  I wore a vest and long sleeve shirt.  Splits were: 11:05/10:51/10:42/11:12/10:57.


I wore new Balega socks.  Aren’t these cute?



  • PLAN – OFF


  • PLAN – 3 miles easy, 10:30-11:00 pace
  • ACTUAL –Total 3.02 miles @10:12 average pace

Hello December!!!  A new month and I plan to make it a great one!!


I ran faster than I wanted to.  I even managed to negative split.  I felt good.  It wasn’t too cold but it was windy.  Splits were: 10:35/10:11/9:47.



  • PLAN – 3  miles easy, 10:30-11:00 pace
  • ACTUAL –Total 3.02 miles @10:57 average pace

A slower run today and no negative splits.  I did get hot and my hat was soaking wet when I took it off.  I wore two layers (Oiselle Gillman Jacket and Lux Sweatshirt) but I still need to figure out the whole layering thing.  Splits were: 10:49/11:14/10:49.  Very weird how my first and last mile were done at the same pace.



  • PLAN – 5 miles easy, 10:30-11:00 pace
  • ACTUAL – 5.02 miles @10:44 average pace

did not want to run outside.  Too cold.  However, once I was out it wasn’t too bad.  Yep, two layers again kept me warm and comfortable.  Splits were: 10:25/10:30/10:59/11:07/10:40.


In the evening I went to a family party.  My aunt and uncle were celebrating 46 years of marriage.  It was so much fun with karaoke, delicious food, and great company with aunts, uncles, and cousins.  I had two bowls of pozole!!


  • PLAN – 6 miles easy, 10:30-11:00 pace
  • ACTUAL – 6.02 @10:34 average pace

I did not think I would get up in the morning but I was up at 6:45 and ready to run.  I tried not to worry too much about the weather.  It wasn’t too bad.  Luckily there wasn’t too wind along the lakefront so that helped.  Splits were: 10:48/10:32/10:17/10:15/10:56/10:35.  Yep, that made me happy.  


Week 1 went very well.  I am very happy and excited about it.  All of my runs were easy runs between 10:30-11:00 and for the most part I managed to hit those paces.   In week 2 I have 3 tempo miles.  I don’t have a gym membership anymore so I cannot do this run on the treadmill. I may have to run at the track or my usual path (heading to the lakefront).  Let’s see how that goes. 

Total mileage for the week: 22.10 miles

Total mileage for this training cycle: 22.10 miles

Total mileage for the year: 1,210.28 miles

Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans

On Sunday morning I ran my first race of the year.  I was in New Orleans in 2012 for the marathon and this time I ran the half marathon.  I left Saturday morning along with my two sisters and my nephew.  Lola wanted to join us but had to stay at home.  She was definitely missed.


Time to hydrate at the airport.  Seriously, Contigo water bottles are the best.


Once in New Orleans, I went to the expo to pick up my bib.  I was in there for 20 minutes.  My goal was not to buy anything. Mission accomplished!  I was tempted to sign up again for next year.  I mean, $50 is seriously a great deal.


This little park was next to our hotel.

Later I met a few friends for lunch.  I was so hungry because I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast early in the morning in Chicago.  We went to Pierre Maspero’s and I had a beer along with Fettuccine Alfredo with Blackened Shrimp.  It was delicious.  Then we went to a couple of bars to check out the music and to drink.  Well, I did not drink but my friends did.  I did see the cutest cat.


For dinner I had made plans to meet with Rebecca.  I met her in 2013 in San Diego when she ran the full and I the half marathon.  My goal was to finish before her and indeed I did.  🙂  She is so much faster than me and her race began 30 minutes before mine.  I did not meet her for dinner because I had a late lunch but I did see her after the race.


Race day.  I had coffee and a waffle at the hotel.




As for the weather, it was perfect!


For some reason I thought the race started at 7am (that was the start time for the 10k) so I left the hotel at 6:30 since I still had to use the bathroom and check in my gear.  I then found out that it started at 7:30.  Oh well.  I looked for Rebecca and Sam but I did not see them.  I did see Jaime and a few minutes later it was time to go.


When I began training for this race, my goal was to finish under 2 hours (Goal A).  Let’s say I had bad and good runs throughout this training period.  However, I did have great runs during the month of February.  I was confident but was still prepared for Goal B which was to finish under 2:17.  That is my PR from 2013 and I came so close to it last year.


I was feeling great till about mile 6.  That is when my legs began to hurt.  They felt tired too.  I took an ibuprofen and stopped at the medical tent for some of that pain spray (cannot remember what it is called).  None of that worked for me and I ran/walked the rest of the way. I was disappointed.  The weather was great.  It was a flat course.  Some parts of the route was sunny but for the most part it was all shade and it was WONDERFUL.  I did not understand why I could not pick up the pace.  By mile 10 I was around 1:46 and with some quick math I figured that I could still PR as long as I ran the rest of the miles at 10:30. That did not happen.  My last 3 miles were done at 12:00, 11:36, and 11:51.


All this time the marathon and half marathon runners were running the same course but it was time to split up around mile 12.5.  By then I just wanted to be done.  There were people giving jello shots and you bet I took one.  Why not?  I was almost one.

Official finish time is 2:24:26.  Done with race #138 and half marathon #63.  I am disappointed with how my race went on Sunday.  I know I should be happy that I finished the race and that I ran another half marathon (and I am).  However, I can’t help it knowing that I trained for this race for months and then for it not to go as I expected.

My coach told me “Shake it off.  It’s not a reflection of your hard work or self worth”.  So true.  I am not giving up.  I still have a few more half marathons this year and I know I will get my sub 2 this year.


Next race is the Live Grit 10 Miler on March 19.

Favorite race medals

I am linking up with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for today’s Tuesdays on the Run.


Medals, medals, and more medals.  Normally I do not run a race just for the medal but it is definitely nice to get one.  But I am OK with not getting one.

My favorite series of medals are from the RnR Marathon Series (total of 22 medals) and the Run Disney races (total 14 races). 



How can you NOT like this one?

One of my favorites!


One day I will run this race just for the medal.  Why not?


This one is as big as my face!


Disappointed with this one.  I mean, I just ran 31 miles (50k) so a bigger medal would have been nice. Right? However, it hasn’t stopped me from running this race.  So far I’ve run it twice.

My first half marathon medal from August 2006.


My first Chicago Marathon medal from October 2006.


Do you run a race just for the medal?  Or are you OK with no medal?

Race shirts: Favorites and the ones we love to hate

I am linking up with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for today’s Tuesdays on the Run.


I will confess that I rarely keep any of my race shirts.  The year I ran 14 RnR half marathons, I got 14 shirts but did not keep any of them.  They were all nice shirts (Brooks) but really what was I supposed to do with 14 shirts?  There has been one or two races in which I had the option of not receiving the race shirt in exchange for a few dollars off my registration fee.

However, I have kept a couple of them mainly because of the materials and the color/cut.

  1.  Route 66 Half Marathon


2.  Princeton Half Marathon >>My favorite one.


3. Des Moines Half Marathon


I like the shirts from the Bank of America races (Nike brand) but do not keep them either.  Not sure why since I do like the cut.  But I prefer the finisher’s shirt I bought at the outlet store.  It was about $16 three weeks after the marathon. 

Now what3

The “ugliest” looking shirt is this one.  I mean, seriously?

I did keep my Run Disney long sleeve shirts but only because I wear them at night when I go to sleep.  That extra layer keeps me warm throughout the cold Chicago winters.

I know some runners have had quilts made from their race shirts and I kind of regret not saving mine.  Seeing hers made me want to have one for me so you bet I will start saving my shirts. Pretty cool right?  This one is from Kimberly who blogs at KookyRunner.

Do you keep your race shirts?  For you or to make a quilt as well?

Spring Race Plans

I am linking up with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for today’s Tuesdays on the Run.


I am very excited about my upcoming Spring races!  I know it isn’t in the Spring season but my first race this year is RnR NOLA on February 28th.  I did the marathon in 2013 and am excited to go back for another race. My two sisters and nephew are also going so it should be fun!!

Next on my calendar is the Live Grit 10 Miler.  I’ve done this race a couple times but I think last year was the worst one.  The weather started off perfect but then throughout the race it must have dropped about 20 degrees and was windy.  You bet I was cold.  On the good side, I got a chance to meet Wendy and Marcia.  The race course is along the lakefront but on the north side which I enjoy because I normally run on the south side and like the change of scenery. Hopefully the weather cooperates this year.  Love the medal too.


Next is the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K.  This is one of my favorite races.  I love the distance and the location.  The start and finish line are the same as the Chicago Marathon.  I managed to get a PR in 2014 but missed it in 2015 and you bet I am aiming for one this year. Check out the medal.  Pretty cool huh?


I have a few half marathons in various states that are still in the works.  For sure I am going to Michigan for the Bayshore Half Marathon (May 28) and West Virginia for the Harpers Ferry Half Marathon (May 14).  I am working on logistics for the Garmin Half Marathon on April 16. That’s three states.  My goal is to run in at least 5 different states this year.  I’m not sure about the Run for the Zoo Half Marathon in NM on May 1 because that will be 3 half marathons in one month.  I know it is doable.  I am just worried about how my body will respond to it.

I may register for a 5k and/or 10K since I have not done one in years.  The Run to Remember 5K in May is a great one but always gets so crowded.  I’ve been wanting to run both The Good Life Race 5K and the Ravenswood Run 5K and a few running friends have said good things about both races.  I have not made up my mind about the Illinois Marathon Relay also in April.  We had a good time (even if it rained throughout the whole race) and it looks like this year more of my friends also want to run the relay.

Summer and fall races is a whole different story.  I will leave that for another post.

This is how I feel.


Any fun races for you?