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Marathon Training

Hello friends!

I have been MIA but am glad to say I am back.  Yesterday was my last day of school!  Yay!!!  No more kids for 2 months but I know that I will miss my kids.  But anyway, now it is time for relaxing, running, and taking vacations.  Yes, I will be going on vacation for 3 weeks to Mexico, Ecuador and Peru.  So excited!!  Below is a photo of my backpack!  Yes, I have to pack L-I-G-H-T-L-Y!!

Marathon Training

Anyway, this is week 2 of my Hartford Marathon Training Program.  I am doing the Hal Higdon Intermediate II.  So far it is going well.  On Sunday I set up to do 10 miles but I am blaming it on humidity and was only able to do 8.  I made a mental note to get out on the lakefront earlier, say like 6am and not 7:30.

I am worried because I will be missing about 3 weeks of the plan.  I might be able to do Week 3 and part of Week 4.  I will miss Week 5 and part of Week 6.  I won’t be able to run but I will be doing a lot of walking/hiking.  Should I be worried?  Any suggestions/thoughts?  I guess I can just enjoy my time off and worry about it when I get back and see how I feel.

Well, that is all for now.  I am going to REI to return and get more stuff for my trips.

Hasta luego!

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PR and PR

Yes, that is exactly what I did!  I have a PR in my last two races.

The first one was the Alivio y Salud Run for Health 5K on Saturday, May 21.  This year was my third time running this race.  The first time I did it I placed 3rd in my age group and got a medal.  I like this race because it is FLAT.  Seriously.  I know Chicago is known for its flat course but there are a few inclines which I have yet to be friends with.  It was a bit cool so I wore a long sleeve underneath my Fleet Feet running shirt.  I am a member of their running team so I wear my shirt at every race.  It is a small race for runners because there are many more walkers than runners.  Also, this race attracts a lot of grade school kids.  As it got closer to the starting time I made my way up to as close as possible to the front.  I was not going to be stuck behind the walkers.  However, instead I was passed up by kids.  Well, I ran as fast as I could and finished in 29:48.  I placed 6th in my age group.  I was so happy because finally I finished a 5K in less than 30 minutes.

The next race was the Solder Field 10 Mile Run on Saturday, May 28.  I woke up so tired that morning and almost decided not to go.  I am glad I did go.   The race began at 7:15 so I left my house around 6am because I still needed to pick up my packet.  As I got closer to Soldier Field I could see the traffic and it was not pretty.  There were two lanes (left side) to get to Lake Shore Drive (north).  However, some drivers decided that it was best to cut in front of the other drivers that had been waiting in their lane for quite a bit of time.  So annoying!!!  I finally got to the parking lot and it was a challenge to find parking.  I found a spot after squeezing in between two cars only to find out that there were plenty of other spots in the next lane.  By this time I was even more annoyed but decided to let go of it and pick up my packet.  So many people were at the race.  I found the packet pick up line but did not know my bib number so I had to go to another line.  Frantically I checked my email on my phone to look for a email from Fleet Feet.  Found it and went to the appropriate lane to get my bib.  Yes!  I even got the shirt size I asked for when I signed up.  I checked in my gear and got in line for the bathroom.  Too many people there.  I left the line and instead went inside the stadium.  By then the race was about to begin so people were leaving the stadium.  Good for me because I did not have to wait long to use the bathroom. 

I went to get in line for the race but there were so many people.  There were corrals and I did not know which one I belonged to.  I followed other runners and made my way to Corral B.  I noticed that the finish goal time was 1:30 but I knew that that was not going to happen for me.  A few minutes later off I went.  As usual I started too fast.  Below are the times:

Mile 1-10:06 (fastest mile)
Mile 2-10:09
Mile 3-10:14
Mile 4-10:34
Mile 5-10:44
Mile 6-10:33
Mile 7-11:33 (slowest mile)
Mile 8-11:05
Mile 9-10:53
Mile 10-10:27

My goal was 1:45 but I finished in 1:46:17.  I am very, very happy with my time.  Another PR for me!!  Last year I finished this race in 1:49:48.

How do you run AGAINST the wind?

I know Chicago is called “The Windy City” for obvious reasons.  We also have some silly and crazy weather…hot for four days and then cold and rainy for two days.  Yesterday’s race was the worst race day ever.  Originally I signed up for the half marathon and changed it to the 10K.  I am so very glad I did.  I took the train downtown and waited for about 5 minutes for a coffee shop to open to use the bathroom and of course to get some coffee.  It was the BEST coffee I have ever had.  I then made it to the race site, used the bathroom again, added another layer, of clothes, dropped off my gear and went to look for the start line.  This is the third year I run this race and of course I did not read the instructions indicating the new start line.  I followed the other runners and found it.

The beginning was really nice.  I had plenty of room to run, the sun was shining, and there was no wind.  At some point around mile two I could feel the wind pushing me.  Yay!  I am running faster!!!  However, I knew that I was going to pay for it on the way back.  Oh.  My.  Goodness.  On the way back it was windy, cold, and raining.  I could not believe it.  I would run but had to stop a few times because it was just so bad.  I was running behind these girls that were running about a 10 minute pace but I just could not keep up.  I was running along the lakefront and could see the waves crashing.  I would have enjoyed the view on another day but at that moment I just wanted to get to the finish line.

My goal to finish the race was 1:06.  However, I finished in about 1:07.  I guess it was not a bad finish time considering the wind and rain.  I was so cold that my face and hands were so red.  At the end there was a breakfast for all finishers but I did not stick around.  I am SO GLAD I changed my registration to the 10K.

So my running friends, how do YOU run against the wind?

I almost choked at the water station!

Yes I know it sounds silly.   Today was the Y-Me 5K race and it was such a gorgeous day today.  It was at 8am and I got downtown at about 7:15.  I did not realize how much further north the starting line was so I then started walking a little bit faster since I still had to go to the bathroom and drop off my gear.

I did not wait long in line.  I was behind a lady that was running in the Vibram FiveFingers and we just started talking about them.  She was raving about them which got me motivated to start training in mine.  Anyway, the port-a-potties were pink!  So cute and definitely clean.  They were the ones that you had to press down a lever/handle with your foot to flush.

I dropped off my gear and made my way to the starting line.  If you read my post from last week you know that from now on I am determined to get as close as possible to the starting line.  There were so many people!  The race was divided into two components: 1.) 5K runners (pink bibs) and 2.) 1 or 3 mile walkers (white bibs).  There were even signs to let people know that the pink bibs go first.  Of course the walkers were at the front of the line.  I was NOT happy about this.  I did point it out to a few girls with white bibs telling them that since they were walkers they had to move back to the end of the line.  One of the girls told me that they were meeting their friends up front.  I let it go.  I mean, I told myself “Come on it is Mother’s Day”.  I then proceeded to move up as close as possible.  Well, the gun went off and we started walking.  We kept on walking and I realized that I was STILL behind a lot of runners.  I then wasted energy zigzagging through people to get away from them.  I finally did and was among runners and a few walkers.

I was not off to a good start.  Somehow my Garmin watch was not working.  I turned it on as I waited in line and waited for the satellite to find my location.  It was not working so I turned it off and turned it back on.  Whew, finally it worked.  Well, I was wrong!!!!  As I was running I noticed that the pace numbers were changing but not the time nor the distance.  Ugh!  Well, I just turned it off and kept on running.  

The water station was a little bit after 1.5 miles.  At least that is what it seemed like.  I grabbed one cup of water and chugged it down.  I grabbed another one but I was so thirsty and also breathing very fast so can just imagine what happened.  Oh my goodness!  In all of my races that had never happened.  I guess I shouldn’t say that I almost choked but instead I did choke.  I was coughing like crazy.  My eyes were watery and people were looking at me but did not ask if I was OK.  “That is OK people.  Keep on running.  I don’t want you to miss your PR”.  🙁 

The rest of the race was not too bad.  There were a few more inclines but I tried to run through most of them.  I dislike inclines very much.  I don’t know what my official finish time is but I am estimating around 32:30 or so.  Not bad considering that the incident at the water station.

Next race is the Magellan Chicago Spring Half Marathon and 10K.  Originally I was signed up for the half marathon but changed it to the 10K.  That is OK.  I don’t think I am ready for another half marathon after last week’s disastrous race.  I have a few weeks to mentally prepare for the 13.1 Chicago on June 4.  I am going to rock that one!!!

Run to Remember 5K

Yay!  A great race today but the weather was OK.  It was not cold nor hot but it was a little bit windy.  My goal was to beat 32:03 and I am so happy to say that I finished the race in 31:19.  Yep!  Not only did I do better than last year but I set a new PR.  I am beaming!!  Let’s hope I can repeat it tomorrow in a half marathon.  The time to beat is 2:20.  I remember from last year that the course was FLAT.  For real.  It was a really nice course with enough room to pass the walkers.  🙂

I told myself that from now on I will begin a race as close as possible to the start line.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am not really fast that deserves to be right at the front.  However, I am much faster than the walkers.  I am in no way trying to put the walkers beneath me but I am just saying that they are slower and most of them take up the running path and are in my way.  We know what the running etiquette is “If you are going to walk, move over to the right”.  Also, walkers should be BEHIND the runners.  Anyway, I spent the first few minutes passing up the walkers and weaving my way through the path and stopped when I finally caught up with a group that was running at a decent pace. 

Around halfway through the race there was a water station and not only was there water but there was also beer!  Yeah!  I got a cup of better and the volunteer so kindly reminded me that it was beer and not water.  Still I gladly took it from him.  It tasted so good.  I don’t LOVE beer but I can drink it once in a while.  Plus, it was so cold so it hit the spot at the right moment.

I hope tomorrow goes well.  Looking forward to it.