Category: Chicago Endurance Sports

Year of Running in 2015

I am linking up with Courtney to share my year in running.


  • Best race experience:  I ran 10 races this year.  Each one brought a different experience.  I worked hard and I pushed on through to cross the finish line.  But to pick one it would have to be the Covered Bridges Half Marathon.  It has a beautiful course with one gigantic hill around mile 8.  Still I ended up with my second best half marathon finish time.  My friend, Jaime, ran a sub 2 half marathon and it made me so happy I was there to enjoy the moment.
  • Best run: I ran 20 miles with the Chicago Endurance Sports.  They had everything set up from tents/support at the beginning of the run to even more support after the run.  It was a gorgeous day for a run and the coaches and pacers did a wonderful job.  It was definitely an amazing experience!  The only bad thing was that I lost my phone with less than two miles to go.  One of the coaches stayed with me to look for it instead of leaving me and going with the other runners from the group.
  • Best new piece of running gear: Definitely my Garmin Forerunner 225.  I had to purchase a new one in November (and thanks to so many discounts only paid $120 for it). Next year I want to upgrade to the Garmin Fenix 3.  Just a beautiful watch!  Not a running gear but I am also obsessed with Nuun Kona Cola.  Unfortunately, that particular flavor is being discontinued so you bet I am stocking up.
  • Best running advice you’ve received this year: To have fun and to be in the moment during my runs.  That is something that is hard for me to do but I am working towards actually doing it.  🙂
  • Most inspirational runner: This is a tough one.  But every runner inspires me.  I love hearing stories of how they became a runner and the reasons they run.  I never get tired of talking to them about their experiences and where they are in their journey.
  • Favorite picture from a run or race this year: This photo was sent to me by a friend.  I was on TV!!


  • Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: Two of my favorite races are the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle and Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th.  I love the distance.  For the former race, this year it was a cold and windy day but still fun.  Also, the race has the same start and finish line as the Chicago Marathon.
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Progress.  I’ve been doing more speedwork and while it is taking me longer than I wanted to, slowly I am seeing progress in my runs.  I’ve had great and terrible runs (who hasn’t) but I am learning to not focus so much on the bad ones but to celebrate and learn from each one.

To read more amazing “Year of Running 2015” stories, go to Courtney’s blog.

Oh, and just want to let you know about my 5 days of giveaways beginning on Saturday, January 2nd.  I have items from Swiftwick Socks, MudLOVE, Momentum Jewelry, Lock Laces, and Hammer Nutrition. 


RnR NOLA Week 2 and 3

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

Hoping everyone had a good week!


My first week of training went well.  Weeks 2 & 3 went OK.


*Week #2, December 14-20


  • PLAN – 5 miles all easy effort
  • ACTUAL – 5.02 miles @10:13 average pace

This run was so much better than last week.  I went to a meeting after school and when I went outside, I saw these ominous looking clouds and decided to skip my run and go home.  Well, once at home I felt guilty about missing my run and then just went for it.  It was a great run!  It always happens that my best runs are usually the ones I want to skip.  Splits are:
Mile 1-10:16
Mile 2-10:27
Mile 3-10:20
Mile 4-9:48
Mile 5-10:16

So weird to start and end at the same pace.



  • PLAN – Cycle Zone and Body Works Plus Abs
  • ACTUAL –Skipped both classes.

My alarm did not go off in the morning so I did not make it to spinning.  Then I stayed after school to volunteer for Ornament Night.  It was a fun night and I enjoyed seeing the parents with their children having a good time.

I did win two M80 Roller from Carlee’s 12 days of Christmas Giveaways!  I had been sending so many tweets hoping to win one of the prizes.  All of that tweeting definitely paid off!



  • PLAN –2 miles warm up (10:00-10:45), 2 minutes around 8:30 with 3 minutes recovery and repeat until you get 2 miles, then 1 mile cool down
  • ACTUAL – 5 miles @11:42 average pace

This was the same workout from last week.  2 miles warm up @10:55.  2 minutes run were @8:32, 8:39, 8:39, 8:39, 8:39.  3 minutes recovery were at walking pace.  As for cooldown, .50 was @10:55 and .50 @10:32.


  • PLAN- 4 miles negative splits
  • ACTUAL- Did not run.

I met a friend for dinner and it was nice to catch up.  I had some delicious deep dish pizza and a chocolate martini.  I am a big fan of the apple martinis but this chocolate one was DELICIOUS.



  • PLAN – OFF

Last day before winter winter.  Had a great day at school with the kiddos and received lots of presents from them.  I do not expect any presents from them but just to show up ready to learn.




  • PLAN- 8 miles
  • ACTUAL- Did not run.


I kind of wanted to do my run but my body did not.  I slept in which felt great and woke up at 8:30.  However, I stayed in bed for a few more hours.  Lola was tired too.  Eventually I did get up to go to a family holiday party.


  • PLAN- Yoga
  • ACTUAL- Did not make to class.

Week #3, December 21-27


  • PLAN – 6 miles all easy
  • ACTUAL – 4.02 miles @12:04 average pace


First day of winter break.  Just wasn’t into it.  Run sucked. It was wet, cold, and windy.  Splits are:

Mile 1-10:36
Mile 2-12:16
Mile 3-11:56
Mile 4-13:30


  • PLAN – Cycle Zone and Body Works Plus Abs
  • ACTUAL –30 minutes spinning and 4 miles @10:24 average pace

My alarm went off and I turned it off and went back to bed.  Then I quickly jumped up because I knew I had to go since a sub 2 half marathon is not going to happen if I keep missing my workouts.  I made it in time to class but the instructor did not show up.  I did my own for 30 minutes then ran 4 miles on the treadmill.  I cannot remember the pace I ran for miles 1 and 2 but I did alternate (2 minutes/3 minutes) between 10:43, 10:21, and 10:00 for miles 3 and 4.

I had dinner plans at Wildfire in the evening so I missed the body works class.  For dinner I had the medallion trio and the signature martini flight (Cosmopolitan, Green Apple, Wild Raspberry Trio, and Stormy Night).



  • PLAN –2 miles warm up (10:00-10:45), 2 minutes around 8:30 with 3 minutes recovery and repeat until you get 2 miles, then 1 mile @9:00-9:30
  • ACTUAL – 5 miles @10:48 average pace

I did not set the treadmill at 1% like I normally do.  Miles 1 and 2 were done @10:43.  2 minutes were done at 8:27; 8:27; 8:27; 8:27; and 8:27 pace while recoveries were done walking @17:08 pace.  Last mile I alternated 2 minutes/3 minutes @9:05; 9:14; and 9:23.  This run felt a little easier but that’s because I had the treadmill set at zero incline.


  • PLAN- 3 miles easy
  • ACTUAL- 3.02 miles @9:58 average pace

Run went much better than Monday’s .  It was still cold and windy.  I wanted to run more but was too cold.  I got negative splits so that made me very happy!!  Splits are:
Mile 1-10:12
Mile 2-10:01
Mile 3-9:42



  • PLAN – OFF


  • PLAN- 8 miles
  • ACTUAL- 9:02 miles @10:37 average pace

A cold and windy morning in Chicago!  There were two of us in our group and our first mile was too fast. The last 2 miles were difficult for me so I stopped and walked a bit.  Overall, I am very pleased with my pace for miles 1-7.  Splits are:
Mile 1-9:33
Mile 2-10:39
Mile 3-10:35
Mile 4-10:28
Mile 5-10:21
Mile 6-10:23
Mile 7-10:35
Mile 8-11:09
MIle 9-11:50



  • PLAN- Yoga
  • ACTUAL- Did not make it to class.

Heads up!  I will have 5 days of giveaways beginning Saturday, January 2nd.  Don’t miss it!


RnR NOLA Week 1

I’ve mentioned that I’ve run over 50 half marathons but have yet to finish one under 2 hours.  My half marathon PR is 2:17:01 at the ING Hartford Half Marathon.  My goal for my next half marathon at the end February is to finish under 2 hours.  Can I seriously do it?  It may sound like a lofty goal but at least I can try right?  Of course Plan B is to get a PR.


*Week #1, December 7-13


  • PLAN – 5 miles all easy effort
  • ACTUAL – 5.02 miles @10:26 average pace

Overall, the run felt blah.  I’ve felt better during my Saturday runs.  Splits are:
Mile 1-10:35
Mile 2-11:03<—– Headwind. I stopped a few times to catch my breath.
Mile 3-10:19
Mile 4-10:04
Mile 5-10:09


  • PLAN – Cycle Zone and Body Works Plus Abs
  • ACTUAL –Cycle Zone and Body Works Plus Abs

Yep, two classes in one day.  I almost did not make it to my evening class (and I got there late) because I was so sleepy from my morning class.


  • PLAN –2 miles warm up (10:00-10:45), 2 minutes around 8:30 with 3 minutes recovery and repeat until you get 2 miles, then 1 mile cool down
  • ACTUAL – 5 miles @11:45 average pace


The sunset was gorgeous and I was bummed I had to do this run at the gym.  I actually enjoyed this workout.  I did 1.30 mile warmup @11:10 before realizing treadmill was not at 1% so then ran the rest @10:32.  2 minutes run were @8:32, 8:39, 8:39, 8:39, 8:39.  3 minutes recovery were at walking pace.  As for cooldown, .50 was @10:55 and .50 @10:32.  The 8:39 pace felt hard but not too hard.


  • PLAN- 3 miles negative splits
  • ACTUAL- 3.02 miles @10:13 average pace


Boom!  Done!!  Decent weather but very windy.  I am taking advantage of this warm weather so I ran in shorts.  Splits are:
Mile 1-10:34
Mile 2-10:04
Mile 3-10:02


  • PLAN – OFF


  • PLAN- 7 miles
  • ACTUAL- 7.12 @10:25 average pace

The weather in Chicago has been warmer than usual.  I am not complaining at all.  I am a 10:30 pacer for the Chicago Endurance Sports Winter Warriors Program and have been enjoying my runs with the group. This was the 4th Saturday pacing the group and each week has been very different weather wise.

Run was going well till the last mile where I walked twice.  Just felt really tired.  Splits are:
Mile 1-9:51
Mile 2-10:12
Mile 3-10:30
Mile 4-10:23
Mile 5-10:37
Mile 6-10:47
Mile 7-10:37



  • PLAN- Yoga
  • ACTUAL- Did not make to class.

*Runs on treadmill are done on 1% incline.


  • I am finally seeing numbers that I like.  I definitely feel that I am running faster.  Even my former coach, Sara, whom I ran with yesterday made a comment about it.  That made me happy!
  • Earlier in the marathon training season I ran in the Brooks Launch 2 but had to send them back because they hurt my feet.  Well, I found them on sale on Running Warehouse, decided to give them another chance, and ordered a pair.  No pain.  Love them.  So I ordered another pair and should be getting them tomorrow.
  • One week before winter break.  To say that I am excited is an understatement.