Category: Running

Illinois Marathon Training Recap, Week 16

Illinois Marathon-2

Week #16, March 12-18

M Rest
T 3.77
W 2.51
TH 5.83
F Rest
S Ran 3.78
S Ran 13.00

I spent all day Tuesday in a meeting.  It was a long day and the last thing I wanted to do after school was run.  We also got more snow.  Not a lot but seriously crazy weather.  Oh but at least it isn’t as bad as on the east coast.

Illinois Marathon-151

I currently have 4 pairs of shoes in rotation.  They’re all Brooks Launch 4, except the green shoes on the lower right, those are the Launch 5.

On Wednesday it was warm enough to wear shorts.  Spring is so close!

Thursday’s run was fun but also hard!  I had to do 15 minute warm up, 5×5 minute @10:02 pace with 400m recovery, and 10 minute cool down.  I was nervous but knew I could do it.  The first three 5 minute reps felt comfortable.  The last two felt hard because of the wind.  I tried to keep going but just couldn’t take it anymore.  When I saw my splits I realized that I was also running too fast.

I wanted to do these without stopping but with the last two I did stop for a few seconds to catch my breath.  I feel like I cheated.  🙂  Overall, I am very pleased with my negative splits!!

I thought Saturday’s run was 45 minutes but instead it was supposed to be 40 minutes.  Oh well.  It was in the high 30s and I felt great out there.  I didn’t realize how tired I was and ended up taking a nap from 3-4pm.  Lola was very tired too from running around all day.

Illinois Marathon-157

I have mixed feelings about today’s long run (13 miles-4 warm up, 6 @10:45 pace, 3 cool down).  I understand the benefits of tempo runs but I still dislike them.  I always have a hard time holding the pace.  Today’s run felt hard.

Hanging out with Lola before making myself go out for my run.  It was a beautiful and warm afternoon.  

Illinois Marathon-158

I took one Huma Gel (affiliate link) before my run.  They’re my new favorite gels.  The originals are tasty but I also love the plus which have a natural electrolyte.  I took 3 extra ones and ended up taking one at mile 4 and then another one at mile 8.

I was smiling at the end of my run because I was done with it.  But deep down I was sore and tired.  And full of doubt.  As you can see, I did hit my target pace but tempo runs are supposed to be run without stopping and I didn’t do that here.  There were a few times that the pace felt comfortable, which was surprising, but there were times in which I was barely hanging on and had to stop.  A few times I wanted to quit too.  The reason I didn’t is because it was a very nice day for a run.  I’ve been complaining about how cold it has been and today it was just perfect.  So of course I couldn’t stop!

Total mileage for the week: 28.89
Total mileage for this training cycle: 329.93
Total mileage for the year: 251.11

How was YOUR week?  

Link back to the host and let’s support other bloggers linking up as they train for a marathon, half marathon, or any other event.


Illinois Marathon Training Recap, Week 15

Illinois Marathon-2

Week #15, March 5-11

M Rest
T 3.36
W 5.21
TH 3.35
F Rest
S Ran 3.00
S Ran 12.01

Tuesday’s run was fantastic!  I received a new pair of the Brooks Launch 5 and ran 40 minutes in them.  I know I’ve raved about the Launch 4 but these new ones are so beautiful and makes me want to keep on running.  

Brooks Launch 5 Shamrock Shoes-1

On Wednesday I had to do 20 minutes warm up, 20 minutes @11:58, and 20 minutes cool down.  Not very exciting but did it anyway.  It was cold/chilly and windy.  I didn’t do my run exactly like I was supposed to.

Illinois Marathon-144

By Thursday I was tired.  I didn’t want to run.  I got home and stayed in bed for a little bit.  I think I just needed a quick break because a few minutes later I got up to run 40 minutes.  Cold and windy again.  I did see a gorgeous sunset!

Illinois Marathon-145

Saturday morning I got a massage.  The last time I got one was about 5 months ago.  It felt so great!  I could literally feel the tingling from my toes to my fingertips.  I made another appointment for the 24th and cannot wait.

Illinois Marathon-146

After my massage I ran 3 miles.  I was supposed to run 35 minutes.  At 35 minutes my watch was showing about 2.97 miles or something like that.  I knew it would drive me crazy if I stopped at that number so I kept running and finished 3 miles at 35:16.  🙂

Congrats to my coaches, Mary and Rochelle!  Mary placed 2nd in the RnR DC 5k and Rochelle placed 1st in the marathon.

Illinois Marathon-147Illinois Marathon-148

Sunday’s run was 12 miles.  I procrastinated as long as I could and finally went out running around 3:30pm.  The plan was to run them at an easy pace (11:58-13:06).  Usually when I do easy runs I am TIRED and am grateful that it is “just” 30, 40, or 45 minutes.  I was nervous about 12 miles.  But I can say that I felt GREAT during my run.  The sun made it warm and there was a little wind which helped cool me down a bit.  Only 2 miles were done over 12:00 and that made me very happy!

Total mileage for the week: 26.93
Total mileage for this training cycle: 301.04
Total mileage for the year: 222.22

How was YOUR week?  

Link back to the host and let’s support other bloggers linking up as they train for a marathon, half marathon, or any other event.

My love relationship with the treadmill.

I know many people don’t like the treadmill.  In fact, many people HATE it and call it the dreamill.

Dear Treadmill

While I do like my gym and have enjoyed most of my runs outside, there have been times that I wished I had a treadmill at home.  On many occasions I have questioned my sanity because it would be freezing or snowing and yet I was outside.  Also, the snow and ice makes a run or driving challenging so ideally it would be best to run indoors.  Other times it takes me longer to motivate myself and get ready for a run than the actual run (especially for my runs of 30-45 minutes).  🙂

However, I have also done a lot of runs on the treadmill.  I think the longest run I’ve done is either 14 or 16 miles.  During my summer break I would wake up later than usual and by then it would be too hot to run outside.  I remember one day running in the middle of the day and I almost passed out.  Not sure what I was thinking.  Or I guess I wasn’t thinking at all.  🙂

Here is what helped me make my runs more bearable:

 Listen to fun music.  I rarely listen to music while on a run but on the treadmill it is a MUST.  I have a variety of Spanish and English music and various playlists.  Depending on how I was feeling is the music I would pick.  However, my favorites are:

• Watch TV.  Sometimes music gets on my nerves so I prefer to watch TV.  I’ve watched whatever is playing on the television or a show on my iPad.


• Change incline and/or pace.  I did my runs at 0% incline but made sure to change the pace.  I would set a timer for 1:30/2:00 minutes or 3:00/4:00 minutes and then change the pace (I would have 3 different paces) at the sound of the buzzer.  Or I would change it after each song.  This would make the run a bit more exciting and made the time go by faster.

• Reward myself.  For me it would be a coffee, food, beer, or a new piece of gear.  Of course I wouldn’t do this for every single run but mainly on days when I had ZERO desire to run and needed some motivation.


• Thinking of that wonderful feeling after a run.  The most difficult part of a run is starting said run.  Once that happens then you get all of these good feelings and the result is a wonderful sense of accomplishment.  And then be ready to do it all over again.

• Break up the run into parts.  I never did a run without stopping.  Who wants to run 10 miles without stopping?  Not me.  For a run of that distance, I would run 2.5 miles, take a quick break, and run again 2.5 miles.  Then I would use the bathroom and/or get more water and repeat for the rest of the 5 miles.  Something similar could be done for 12, 14, or 16 miles.  The key is to not think of it as a LONG run of 12, 14, 16 miles but instead as short and quick runs with breaks in between.

So yes/no to treadmill?  What’s the longest you’ve run on the treadmill?

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


Illinois Marathon Training Recap, Week 14

Illinois Marathon-2

Week #14, February 26-March 4

M Rest
T 3.28
W 6.40
TH 2.92
F Rest
S Ran 3.33
S Ran 11.00

Tuesday was warm enough to wear a skirt!  I did my run in the morning and it was 44 degrees.  Perfect!

Illinois Marathon-136

I procrastinated on Wednesday to hang out with Lola.  I didn’t want to get out but then remembered it was the end of the month and I wanted to get it more miles to meet my goal.  I didn’t.  I missed it by 8.42 miles.  Bummer.

I actually enjoyed my run and again hit the paces I was supposed to (10:02 for each 3 minute intervals).  I need to work on my recovery since those I am running too slow.

Illinois Marathon-139

March began with 35 minutes of easy running.  It was a beautiful evening with a full moon outside.

Illinois Marathon-140

I was very tired on Saturday and stayed in bed till about 10.  I watched TV and caught up on a few shows.  I still didn’t go out for my run till about 2pm.  The sun was out and did get warm but I also got cold being in the shade.  Still it was a beautiful afternoon for a run.

I remember how before I would do my long runs on Saturday and would have no trouble getting up in the morning.  Now?  Lately I’ve been struggling.  I still prefer to do my long runs on Saturday so I can recover the rest of the day and if needed, on Sunday too.

Sunday’s run had 2×2 miles @10:45 pace and then repeat.  I was a bit nervous about it.  I’ve been able to hold that pace for 2, 3 or 15 minutes but NOT 2 miles.  It wasn’t easy and unfortunately did have to stop for a few seconds to catch my breath.  The headwind did not help and that just aggravated me even more.  Still pleased with my run.

Illinois Marathon-143

Another great week of marathon training.  March is here and I am hoping that we get warmer weather so I can wear shorts.  🙂  I’ve managed to hit the paces on my workouts but still need to work on pacing for my tempo/longer runs.  I tend to start off too fast and then get burnt out too soon.

Total mileage for the week: 26.93
Total mileage for this training cycle: 274.11
Total mileage for the year: 195.30

How was YOUR week?  How is the weather in your city or town?

Link back to the host and let’s support other bloggers linking up as they train for a marathon, half marathon, or any other event.

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 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: 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). 


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.


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.