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Category: Tuesdays on the Run

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.  

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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

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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.

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• 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.

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• 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.

TuesdaysOnTheRun

February was good for me!

I cannot believe tomorrow is the last day of February!  Two months done for the year.  If you have been following along my training for the Illinois Marathon, you know that this winter has sucked.  I’ve run in freezing weather and in the snow.  It hasn’t been easy and I had to talk myself into getting out there.  

To date I’ve run 81.90 miles.  I have a run today and Wednesday.  I still won’t make my goal of running 100 miles per month.  I know it is my fault because I did miss 2 workouts and didn’t complete another one that was 11 miles.  Oh well.  My marathon is in two months and I know there will be heavy mileage coming up and for sure will go over 100 miles each month.  As long as I have at least 1,200 miles for the year I will be happy.

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2018 Goal

• Total time run is 16:11:13.  That is about the same amount of hours from the time I wake up in the morning to the time I am in bed at night and start all over.  Fascinating!

• I’ve run 16 days.  This training cycle has me running 5 days a week.  I’ve been doing pretty good even with this crappy weather.  I am proud of myself for getting out there.

February 2018 Calendar

• I’ve had some great quality session workouts.  Not only have they been great but they’ve been fun!  I’ve managed to hit the required paces and that has been a great confidence booster.  I remember how before I would do these workouts on the treadmill because it would help me stay on pace.  Now I can do these on my own with no help from it.

• I have not kept up with strength workouts.  I slacked off.  I had signed up to do a February Challenge (Supermans, Squats, and Russian Twists) with a few other bloggers and did good for the first few days and then stopped.  I got tired and lazy.  Hopefully there will be another challenge in March that I can participate.

February 2018 Report Card

So how did February go for you?

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

TuesdaysOnTheRun

Dear Running: I do love you but sometimes I don’t!

Last week I wrote about why I love running.  But it isn’t always unicorns and roses.  As much as I love it, there are a few things I don’t like about running.  Let me tell you about it.

• Chafing all over.  Oh boy, that is definitely the worst.  Throughout the years I’ve had my share of chafing in my inner thighs, in the bra area, and the inside of my arms.  I make sure to always use body glide but I guess sometimes I don’t use enough.  It is much worse in the summer when I am sweaty or when running in the rain.  I remember I chafed so bad during the 2015 Chicago Marathon that I could hardly walk.  It took a few days for it to heal and for me to walk like a normal person again.

• Blisters on feet.  Those suckers are just as painful as chafing.  They’re less painful when I pop them and drain the fluid.  I know I’m not supposed to do that but to me it definitely feels better.  I remember I got a blood blister in my toe from running Goofy in 2014.  I didn’t leave it alone and drained the fluid and that helped with the pain.  I also got a couple from running the 2015 Chicago Marathon (same year as chafing).  << The next time I ran the Chicago Marathon there was no chafing nor blisters.

• The weather.  This one isn’t really running’s “fault”.  This winter has been a mixture of very cold weather and a lot of snow.  Luckily I’ve been able to do most of my runs outside but it hasn’t been easy.  I’ve tried to be positive and make the best of each run.  Sometimes it works and sometimes I wonder why the heck I am training for a marathon.  I know I will complain again when it is summer.  Why is it so darn HOT outside?!?!?!  That is why for me the best running weather is during the Fall. 

• Being tired.  When I was training using the Hansons Method, I was tired all of the time.  That program is intense but at the same time I enjoyed running 6 days a week.  Currently I am training with a coach and I am running 4-5 times a week.  Not as hectic as before but there are some days that I am so exhausted and don’t want to get up in the morning and go to work.  I actually look forward to my rest days.  🙂

• An achy body or injuries.  Long runs and speed workouts take a toll on your body.  But it is those runs along with easy/recovery runs that make us better and faster runners to help us achieve our goal.  But that also comes with a price.  Our body aches.  We are sore.  A good kind of soreness.  But we wake up the next day and run again.  Let’s not forget about injuries.  Those suck!  I’ve been injured a few times and it isn’t fun at all.  Not being able to run drove me crazy.  But it took time, patient, and rest for me to get better and start running again.

What don’t you like about running?

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

TuesdaysOnTheRun

Dear Running: I do love you!

No matter how much I complain about running, I will always love it!  When I started running in 2005, I couldn’t run a mile.  Heck, I couldn’t run 5 minutes.  It took me years to get to where I am now (I ran mostly for fun and never paid attention to speed).  I focused more on endurance and can proudly say that I’ve run over 150 races ranging from ultra marathons, marathons, half marathons, and over shorter distances.

Why do I love to run?

• I know it sounds cliche, but I run because I can.  I am healthy with no medical condition that stops me from running.  Basically, I have no excuse.  I am the one with the excuses – too hot, too cold, too tired, or just lazy.  🙂  I’ve found that getting out there is hard but once I’m done with a run, I always feel GREAT.

• I like to see how much I can push myself.  I signed up for my first marathon in 2006.  With less than a year of running, a friend convinced me that I could run a marathon (glad I believed her).  I had NO idea what I was getting myself into and didn’t know the distance of a marathon.  I didn’t stop there, I’ve run a few more marathons and 2 ultra marathons.

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• The challenges.  Let’s mix them up.  Do a race one day and then another one the next day.  No big deal, right?  The most difficult one I have done is Goofy Challenge (half marathon on Saturday and marathon on Sunday).  Oh man, that was tough but definitely memorable.

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• I love buying running clothes.  Pretty much all of my tops and shorts are from Oiselle.  I always get excited when my order arrives and I wear it on my run.

• Let’s not forget the shoes!  Brooks shoes are the best!

• Support and encouragement from running friends.  I belong to several Facebook groups and my feed is always full of motivation and advice from friends.  Or sometimes I have a question about hydration, socks, gels, etc. and can count on someone to answer it for me.

What do you love most about running?

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

TuesdaysOnTheRun