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Category: Running

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

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Illinois Marathon Training Recap, Week 19

Illinois Marathon-2

Week #19, April 2-8

M Rest
T 3.23
W 2.92
TH 7.24
F Rest
S Ran 4.00
S Ran 15.34

Tuesday was a nice 40 minutes of running.  I also cut off 3 inches from my hair (feels so much better) and bought card stock paper and pens at Michael’s.  I went there to return some ribbon that I had purchased in December.  The paper is pretty!  Someone suggested I use it to make something for Mother’s Day.

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A friend of mine had mentioned the Brooks Asteria as a good running shoe and I ordered a pair.  Got mine on Wednesday in time for my 35 minutes run.  I like the colors and the feel reminds me of the Pure Flow.  That was my favorite shoe before I discovered the Launch.

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I ran in them again for Thursday’s run.  I also received a pair of the Oiselle Pocket Jogger Shorts.  I’ve heard great things about it and am thinking that this might be the shorts I wear for the Illinois Marathon.  The weather was decent and I didn’t know it was going to snow.  It began when I was out there and I did not want to return home to change.  I kept running.  It wasn’t that bad and eventually it stopped.  You can see my legs are red.  🙂

My run was 2 mile warm up, 2×15 minutes @10:43 pace, 2 mile cool down.  I ran by feel and didn’t look at my watch but knew I was running those 15 minutes at a faster pace and it felt comfortable.  I had no idea the second interval was faster.  That was another confidence booster that I needed for my upcoming marathon.

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Saturday morning I went out for 4 miles.  It was cold (20 degrees) but very sunny which warmed me up.  I also ran by feel and felt comfortable on my run.  I had headwind the first 2 miles but knew it would be much better when I turned around for the last 2 miles.  I didn’t mean to go faster than my easy pace (11:56-13:04) and I ended up with negative splits.

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Less than 3 weeks till the Illinois Marathon!  🙂

Illinois Marathon-180

Today’s run was a 3 hour run (45 minutes warm up, 3×30 minutes @10:55, 10:45, and 10:35, then 45 minutes cool down).  I was hurting when I was done.  The wind was just too much and no matter where I turned, it was there trying to push me back.  I didn’t hit all of my paces but I am still proud because I ran for 3 hours.  Plus, the average pace for the 3rd interval is 10:44 which is a big decrease from the 2nd interval average pace of 10:57.  Pretty good!

I believe this is my longest run for this marathon training.  No 20 miles for me.  🙂

Total mileage for the week: 32.73
Total mileage for this training cycle: 415.02
Total mileage for the year: 336.19

Here’s how training has gone so far:
• Week 1
• Week 2
• Week 3
• Week 4
• Week 5
• Week 6
• Week 7
• Week 8
• Week 9
• Week 10
• Week 11
• Week 12
• Week 13
• Week 14
• Week 15
• Week 16
• Week 17
• Week 18

How was YOUR week?  

A+ for March!

Happy to know that March is over.  It was a LONG month.  Three months done for the year.  I am on Spring Break and am excited to be relaxing and plan to do more decluttering…or not.  I am still looking for a house and now is the perfect time to get rid of stuff that I don’t want anymore.

• Training went very well this month.  I didn’t miss any of my runs and pretty much hit all of my paces.  The weather wasn’t as horrible as in previous months but it was definitely too cold for March.  I think we had one day with a little bit of snow?

• Ran 121.43 miles.  I was very happy to see that number.  After missing my goal in both January AND February, it finally happened in March.  That put me with almost 25% done of my yearly goal.

100miles

2018 Goal

• Total time running was 23:00.  Yikes!  That is almost a whole day of running.  Pretty cool!

• Ran my first race this year and came close to a PR.  I ran the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K and while I didn’t PR, I did better my time by more than 6 minutes.  My finish time was 50:03 and last year was 56:26.  I’ll take it!

• 22 days of running.  I’ve been running 5 days a week and for the most part really like it.  My rest days are Monday and Friday which is good because those are the two days in which I am the most tired.

March 2018 Calendar

• I had some great quality session workouts.  These workouts are my favorite.  I love the variety and the challenge.  I seriously need to stop doubting myself.  

• I have not kept up with strength workouts.  I am still failing in this department.  Rachel has another challenge for April and I signed up for it.  We’ll see how I do.

Overall, I am proud of myself with the work I put in this month towards my training for the Illinois Marathon.  It has been a wild training season with many ups and downs.  I have my moments of panic and fear which is normal, right?  I know I can do this but yet my brain likes to mess with me.

March 2018 Report Card

So how did March go for you?

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

TuesdaysOnTheRun

Illinois Marathon Training Recap, Week 18

Illinois Marathon-2

Week #18, March 26-April 1

M Rest
T 3.19
W 3.26
TH Rest
F 7.35
S Ran 11.68
S Ran 4.00

I took it nice and slow on Tuesday.  I was actually very tired and seriously questioned why I was out running.  My splits were 12:08, 12:38, 12:32.

I almost bought these DD/Saucony Kinvara 4 shoes but they were sold out by the time I made up my mind to buy them.

Saucony Kinvara 9 DD

Wednesday’s run actually felt better.  I wore shorts and a new Oiselle top that was sold out but miraculously one became available for me to order.

My left knee is being a jerk and I’ve been using RockTape.  I am a little worried because my marathon is in less than a month and I hope I can still run it.

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I wrote in a post last week that I entered the lottery for the Marine Corps Marathon.  I received an email on Thursday morning letting me know that I got in.  I am excited about it and have until Monday evening when I can officially register.

MCM-2

Thursday afternoon was the start of Spring Break.  I came home and stayed in bed for a bit.  I was very tired.  I did not want to run and I didn’t. 

Spring Break 2018-1

Lola was more than happy to cuddle with me.

Since I skipped my run on Thursday, I went on Friday morning.  It was a gorgeous day for running!  My workout was 1.5 mile warm up, 4 x 1 mile @10:01 with 4 minutes recovery, and 1 mile cool down.

I did pretty good!  It was hard.  I didn’t look at my pace for the mile repeats (except for the last mile) and ran by feel.  The last mile felt ever harder.  My legs were tired and the wind was making me even more tired.  I did stop about 3 times to catch my breath.  I just wanted to finish.  When I was done and checked my splits, I saw why I was tired at the end.  I was running faster than I should have.  But I can honestly say those paces felt hard but not enough for me to stop and walk (except the last mile).  Overall, VERY PLEASED with how the run went.

I decided to switch and do my long run (150 minutes) on Saturday, so I could have all day to rest and recover.  Mother Nature likes to mess with us.  There was rain and lots of wind on the forecast.  Sigh.  

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The original plan was to be out on the lakefront at 7am.  I woke up at 7 but stayed in bed and didn’t get up till 9.  Then I made pancakes and procrastinated.  Then I got ready and by noon was hungry again so I ate a light lunch and watched TV.  I was finally out the door st 2:30.  

This run was HORRIBLE.  It was windy and windy.  No matter which direction I turned there was wind.  I got tired early in my run and didn’t want to continue.  My paces were all over the place.  My fastest mile was 11:24 and my slowest was 13:53.  

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I wanted to quit but didn’t because thanks to Facebook I was reminded of my first ultramarathon 6 years ago.  This run felt harder than the race.  🙂  I had to run the first 100 minutes at an easy pace and then the last 50 close to 11:00.  Obviously that didn’t happen and I didn’t care.  I was just so tired and wanted to be done.

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Even if this run sucked, I am happy I didn’t quit.  But I don’t know what it worse, quitting on a run or continuing but hating every minute of it.  On a positive note, I was also happy because I ended March with 121.43 miles.  Yay!!

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To end the week I ran 4 miles today.  It was cold but surprisingly didn’t feel too cold.  I should have done my long run today but I really thought it was going to be very cold today.  Illinois Marathon-173

Total mileage for the week: 29.48
Total mileage for this training cycle: 382.29
Total mileage for the year: 303.46

Here’s how training has gone so far:
• Week 1
• Week 2
• Week 3
• Week 4
• Week 5
• Week 6
• Week 7
• Week 8
• Week 9
• Week 10
• Week 11
• Week 12
• Week 13
• Week 14
• Week 15
• Week 16
• Week 17

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.

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.  

2018 Shamrock Shuffle-4

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!

2018 Shamrock Shuffle-10

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.

2018 Shamrock Shuffle-11

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.

2018 Shamrock Shuffle-17

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.  

2018 Shamrock Shuffle-18

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.

2018 Shamrock Shuffle-22

2018 Shamrock Shuffle-23

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