Monday, April 29, 2013

Illinois Half Marathon Recap

I had the Illinois Half Marathon this past Saturday.  When I signed up for it, I originally was going to just run easy since I had the Half Marathon in Indianapolis the following weekend.  However, after discussing it with Jodi, I decided to try to get a sub 2 hour half during the Illinois Half.  Now, Jodi didn't necessarily tell me to do that.  She gave me a suggestion on goals to try to shoot for while running the Illinois Half (first half run about 9:08-9:09 and second half run 9:04-9:06, I think...).  But if I ran these paces, I'd hit the sub 2:00 hour goal.  So that's what I was shooting for.

I went down to the Illinois Half with Derek and his sister and brother in law.  Derek never ran a half before (long story but he did run a full marathon).  But in the last few months, he's gotten faster (I'm jealous), and therefore made it his goal to beat me, therefore getting a sub-2:00 himself.  I wasn't competing with him but he was definitely competing with me!  Hey...whatever gets you motivated, I guess!

Derek and I both lined up with the 1:57 half marathon pacer but I didn't feel comfortable there (I think it was a 9:00 min avg pace).  And I didn't really want to see Derek fly ahead of me so I told him I was going to move back to the 9:10 pace group (2:00 hour pacer).  We wished each other luck and off to my corral I went.

Before the race in front of the corral Derek started in
The half marathon and marathon started and people were off.  My pace group TOOK OFF!  I wasn't even about to catch them!  When I looked down, I was running at a sub-9:00 pace.  What is this 9:10 pace group even doing??  I was pretty annoyed but I know I need to run MY race and not let all the fast people flying ahead of me (including my pace group) influence my speed.  In fact, my first 3 miles?  8:58, 9:01, 8:55... and I never even SAW the 9:10 pace group!  I didn't "catch" them until mile 6 or 7!

The temperatures that day weren't going to be too bad.  It was supposed to be about 49-50 degrees during the race.  I forgot my hand held water bottle and I thought about bringing my regular throw away bottle but decided against it as I figured I'd drink from the water stations.  NOTE TO SELF: listen to your gut.  I skipped the first aid station, tried to drink on the go during the second and ended up with water mostly in my nose, and skipped the 3rd water station.

I'm not sure what I was thinking here.  It got really sunny almost right away during the half.  I was smart and wore capris, a tank and arm sleeves.  My arm sleeves came down after mile 1 and completely off at mile 2!  The sun was just beating down on me.  I'm a "hot" runner anyway and there was no shade on this course.  ZERO!  After barely drinking any water for the first 3 aid stations (about 6-7 miles), I was definitely feeling it.  Actually, I do know what I was thinking, I didn't want to slow up my time by stopping at the aid stations!  FAIL! know better!

By mile 6, we headed into a field/park area.  This area was very narrow and very crowded.  I knew I'd have pace problems during this mile.  I didn't want to waste energy by running on grass (or tripping and hurting myself) so I tried to keep the best pace I could.  When I got to mile 7, I was feeling really thirsty and didn't know when the next water stop would be.  Mile 8...I really started struggling.  I wanted water, the sun was beating down on me, I was hot, we were still running in this cramped park area and my pace was slipping slightly.  I was getting discouraged.  I decided to walk a minute.  While walking, a blond girl in a bright yellow long sleeve ran past me and cheerily yelled..."Great job! Keep going! You can do this!"  I smiled and gave her a thumbs up.  I actually really needed that at that moment and decided maybe Jodi sent her my way to make sure I kept running...  ?  Haha.  So thank you random blond girl.

By mile 9, I was really feeling dehydrated.  I was trying to push myself but I know my pace slipped a bit.  There was an aid station and I needed to stop and drink water.  A full cup.  I think I may have been on pace for a sub 2:00 or slightly behind it at that point.  I thought, even if I don't sub-2:00, I could still get a PR but it's going to be close.  I was feeling that sun.  At mile 10, I got a huge headache in the back of my head, it felt really heavy and my vision blurred from being slightly dizzy.   My fingers were swollen.  I knew I was dehydrated and I figured if I pushed myself too much right now, someone may be pealing me off the ground and hauling me to a medical tent or the hospital.  Maybe I could have pushed through but I didn't want to take the risk of passing out.  At this point, I needed to walk, grab water and jog slowly.  If I didn't PR, I didn't PR.  I've done enough half marathons (this was my 11th I think) to know you need to listen to your body.  I told myself I was not going to be upset with my time, whatever it ended up being.  I was doing the right thing.  This is, of course, what I told myself.

Not sure where during the race this was taken

Maybe around mile 11, after I started not feeling well. I mustered up the energy to smile and wave for the camera

I tried to just jog as much as possible for the next few miles.  I stopped to walk a few times.  Stopped and got gatorade and water when it was available.  I tried to feel like I was doing the best I could under the circumstances.  At one point, I thought about crying because I hate not feeling good, but what would that get me.  It would just make it harder to run and breathe so I pushed it down.  And finally I was done.

I deliriously got my medal and looked for something...Derek? Water? I really wasn't sure. I was slowly walking somewhere.  Derek came up behind me and gave me a hug and I just started telling him I didn't feel well during the race and I just started crying.  Then I apologized, tried to hold back the tears, explained briefly what happened.  He gave me some of his gatorade and helped me get water.  Then I asked him how he did... yes, he got a sub-2:00.  I thought he would and I was glad he did (1:58:06).  I felt discouraged in myself knowing I was on pace for a long time and doing well.  I wasn't mad that he did "beat" me or did what I FAILED to do this time.  A little discouraging only because I've been doing this so long and he comes along and just does it... (when he was slower than me in December and January).  But I'm definitely proud of his accomplishment and it had more to do with feeling disappointed in myself than anything else.

We got food and waited for his sister and BIL to finish.  We picked up our bags, and I tried to find my Yankee Runner group for a tailgate post party.  I couldn't find them and we were all sore and hungry so we decided to just go eat and leave.

With our finisher medals

Here is how my splits went:

Miles 1-7: 8:58, 9:01, 8:55, 9:10, 9:07, 9:05, 9:36 (water stop)
Miles 8-13: 9:14, 9:46, 10:00, 10:31, 11:17, 10:06

I replay things in my head.  Maybe I should have paced myself better.  I definitely should have drank more water (and brought some with me on the run).  I try to figure out how things could have been different.  During the run, about mile 12, I thought, I'm not ever trying to sub-2:00 again. I'm not going for it next weekend.  NOT AT ALL!!  I hate this.

But after thinking about it, looking at my splits, knowing what I didn't do right.  I still think I can get a sub 2:00.  My time was 2:06.  And that is with "bombing" the last 4 miles!  A year ago, I would have killed for a 2:06!  I know I need to be happy with that time and how I did.  I could have quit. At mile 10, when I got a headache and dizzy, I immediately looked around for a medical tent or aid person.  I was going to pull myself right there.  But I didn't.  I had to change my strategy but that happens in life in general. I pulled it together enough so I could finish.

After a few days post-half, I decided I will try for a sub 2:00 this coming weekend in Indy.  I know I can do it.  I will just run smarter. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Running Update

What have I been up to?  Well, I've been running!  (Of course).  And cycling.

Quarryman Challenge 10 miler (4/13/13)

Since I never got to my Quarryman Race Recap, I'll just say I finished the 10 miles of hills.  Some of the hills (about 4) were very extreme!  They pretty much went straight up, then up more, then when you thought it couldn't get any worse, up more!  Straight up. Steep!  The rest were rolling hills and after the major steep ones, the rolling hills were NOTHING!  It was really amazing.  My goal was to just run easy.  It was 10 easy training miles of hills.  I have a lot of races and really didn't feel like pushing this one.

Of course my garmin crapped out on me before the run.  It was actually great because I had NO idea how I was doing and there were no timing clocks on the course.  So it was me, running, on the hills.  It was a very small race, I'd say about 200 people or so.  And since there was snow that day (in the middle of April), some people stayed home, I'm sure.  Derek joined me at about mile 6 and ran with me to the finish. I was happy to have the company.  But all in all, it was a very peaceful run for me.  I really enjoyed it and maybe that was because I wasn't stressing about the time, looking at my garmin every 2 seconds.  And when I finished, they had people printing out the time.  I looked at it was 1:40:47 for a 10:05 average pace.  I was really surprised because I just assumed I'd be closer to about 11 minutes per mile.  I ran everything except walked up a portion of every large steep hill.  Just a small portion of the steepest part to catch my breath.  So I was pleased with the end result.

Finish photo courtesy of a friend
Around the half way point after mile 5 (source)
Training Run (11 miles) -  4/20/13

Last Saturday, I ran an 11 mile long run.  The night before I had been speaking with Jodi about my concerns to get a sub- 2 hour half marathon in Indy in May.  She gave me a goal to run my mile splits for the 11 mile long run as close to 9:10 min/miles as possible. I, of course, freaked out (inside), thinking there is no way I can do that. But after some encouragement from her and finding a person in my run group that was going to shoot for 9:15's that day in preparation for her attempt at a sub- 2 hour half marathon, I decided to give it the good ol' college try!  I told myself I would shoot for mile splits as close to 9:10-9:15 as possible (since I still doubted I could run solid 9:10's)!  I also decided I would start the first mile as a warm-up.  But then again, I never listen to myself!

Frankfort/New Lenox Running Group
Mile 1-5: 9:04, 9:02, 9:06, 9:03, 9:08
Mile 6-10: 9:08, 9:22, 9:13, 9:19, 9:11
Mile 11 (cool down): 10:15
I didn't warm up (that's what happens when you are trying to stick with someone running faster than you).  It got really rough from mile 6-7 (9:22 split).  My negative thoughts kicked in. I wanted to be done. I hated everything at that moment.  I told everyone to go ahead of me.  Then I decided that I just needed a moment to catch my breath.  I just needed a moment to slow up.  Then I knew I only had 3 more miles to get through (and my cool down mile since that was the only way I was going to be able to finish mentally).  So that mile, I took my break.  There is a hill in that mile and I thought it would be a good mile to have a slower split.

The rest of the miles, I worked for those splits.  The beginning of the miles were a little slower and half way through, I would try to push up the pace a bit.  I wanted to try to stay as close to 9:15 as possible (since I figured 9:10 was impossible!).  But my remaining splits weren't too bad.  I almost didn't do the 11th mile cool down. I stopped running after 10 and said I was done.  But with some encouragement, I decided to finish what I started and run my cool down.  This was definitely the fastest long run I've ever done!

RFK Runners for Boston Solidarity Run 4/22/13

Last Monday, the local running store Running For Kicks had a Runners for Boston Solidarity Run.  Every Monday they have a fun run but obviously this Monday was special.  So special in fact that over 240 people came to participate!  It was a gorgeous and sunny day too which was nice.  Police blocked off streets for us and people came out to cheer us on.  Most people ran 4-6 miles (I went 4.31 miles on the rolling hills in Palos).  It was a great night and very moving.

Photo courtesy of Gail with RFK

Upcoming Half Marathon (Christie Clinic Half Marathon in Champaign, Illinois) - 4/27/13

This weekend I have a half marathon in Champaign, Illinois.  You may remember, I ran this last year...but ran the FULL marathon (recap here).  It will be nice to be able to walk afterwards this year since I'm only running the half!  I, once again, know many people running the full and the half so it should be a great time, before, during, and after.

Of course, my original plan for this half marathon was to run easy since I have another half next weekend and that was my goal half for a sub-2 hour half.  Of course, my plans changed and Jodi gave me some goals to shoot for.  I'll share those goals after the run this weekend and let you know how I did on them. 


I've gone on a few actual outdoor bike rides with Derek the past couple weekends.  It's been a fun change of pace from the running.  One Sunday I went a total of 21+ miles (split into two rides), and last Sunday I went over 10 miles.  I'm really enjoying it and trying to get a cheap road bike online for myself.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Runner Blogger Survey Link-Up

Since I'm having a hard time writing my own blog posts this week in light of the tragedy at Boston (I have my Quarryman race recap partially started but I couldn't finish), I thought I would participate in the Runner Blogger Survey Link-Up that Kelly the Culinarian is doing!  You just answer these questions on your blog and do a link up to them on her post! (I had to ask her for help, I'm an incompetent blogger...)

1. Best Run Ever

This is a hard one.  There are so many runs that I had a great time running, or got a best time with lots of hard work, etc.  BUT...I have to go with my 2011 Chicago Marathon.  It was my very first marathon.  I ran some of it with people but I ran more than half of it alone (most of the second half).  And everyone knows that's the hardest part!!  Even though it is hard to run a marathon, I was in god running shape, had my game face on, and lots of determination!  I finished and was so proud of myself.  Not having a running background (or much of an athletic background), it showed me you can do anything you set your mind to.  And the key is to have fun!  Always!  Otherwise, what's the point?

Reminding myself to smile at every mile
Having fun and looking good at Mile 23!
2. Three Words that Describe My Running

Challenging, Accomplishment, Therapeutic

I'm not a natural runner so even running 1 mile feels like a challenge for me sometimes.  But I run because I love the feeling I get knowing I am doing something I never thought I could do.  Plus, when you are having an awful day, running helps me clear my mind and relieves my stress.

3. My Go-To Running Outfit

I don't really have one.  I'm not a fashionable runner.  I go for function over fashion.  I don't have a lot of money to spend on the cutest and best gear either. I'm not thin so not everything fits me properly.  I run in whatever is the most comfortable and provides the least amount of chafing (not looking forward to greasing myself up for the summer months).  My body temperature heats up fast so I really try not to over dress but still dress warm enough for those cold winter months.  I'll wear pants and long sleeves/running jackets in the winter, capris and t-shirts with arm sleeves for the 50 degree cool weather, and shorts and tanks for those hot summer months.

4. Quirky Habits While Running

I'm not sure if they are quirky...  I am a slightly heavy breather while running (which I've tried stopping to no avail).  I also run with my thumbs pointed upward and an open grip on my hands.  That's about all I've got.

5.  Morning, Mid-day, or Evening

I typically run in the evening after work during the week.  Which means during the winter months, I tend to look like this...

On Saturday's, I tend to run early morning with my training group or other various run friends for my longer runs.

6. I Won’t Run Outside When It’s

Icy or Lightening.  I pretty much run in whatever weather gets thrown at me within reason.  I've run in the rain, snow, 100 degree temps, 5 degree temps.  I absolutely hate running on the treadmill and try to avoid it at all costs.  I try to be careful in the extreme weather...if it's 100 degrees, I might run/walk and keep water with me.  If it's under 20 degrees, I make sure I've got the extra layers on.  In both cases, I would try to stay close to home or make sure I'm running with people in case there is a problem.  If it's icy or lightening out, that's a good reason to take my workout indoors.  My thoughts never know what weather will get thrown at you on race day, especially in Chicago, so I train in it all.

7. Worst Injury – And How I Got Over It

I'm still working on it.  My worst injury was... my shoulder dislocations in July 2012, and twice in February 2013 (Dislocation Recap #1, Dislocation #2, Dislocation #3).  Ironically enough, it happened the first time while running (on a trail and tripping/falling directly onto my shoulder...and face).  It was fun.  It's not an easy injury to recover from and you're not really ever recovered.  My main goal is to not dislocate it again for as long as I possibly can.  Hence, I'm more careful with everything I'm doing right now.   I'm a "repeat dislocater" and have a 99% chance of dislocating it again.  If I do something... I go all in!

Dislocation #1 - before pain meds and dealing with the pain for about 3 hours...there were a few tears and I was alone.
Still Dislocation #1 - Dad was there for support, had some pain meds and they were about to put me out to fix shoulder

Dislocation #3 - (no picture of #2) - I never knew dislocating your shoulder was such serious business! IV's, Oxygen!
 8. I Felt Most Like a Badass Runner When

Another hard one!  Even though I "pretend" to be a bad ass runner...

Sporting my Bad Ass socks during the F^3 Half Marathon in January
...I don't really consider myself one.  Maybe that's my problem?  I think it's because I struggle so much with it sometimes.  But I would say it was pretty "bad ass" (or stupid ass) run the 2012 Rock N' Roll Half Marathon 1.5 weeks after dislocating my shoulder the first time.  I run this every year because it was my first half in 2006, I run for my charity UPS for DownS, and I run for a friend who was killed on the day I ran this in 2008.  I really struggled with the decision to run so soon after dislocating my shoulder, but with the clearance from my doctor (he's a runner), I decided to run... not run for time but to run to honor of my charity and my friend.

Before the 2012 Rock N' Roll Half with Maggie and Nicole
9.  Potential Running Goal for 2013

To PR my full marathon time.  Currently it stands at 4:44:54.  My goal is to finish in 4:30.

10. Next Race Is

The Illinois Half Marathon in Champaign on April 27th.  It's a training run for my goal half the following weekend the half marathon in Indianapolis on May 4th.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon Tragedy

I know most if not all of you have heard of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon today.  I have some blog posts that I want to get up but frankly, they all pale in comparison to what is happening in the running community today.

I am just thankful that the people I know that were there are all safe.  I know people that were in the area minutes before it happened, someone I know was 100 yards away pacing someone, someone else was at mile 26.  This is all too close for me.  Anything seconds to a couple minutes another way and my post may have been completely different.  I'm am just so thankful right now.  I know not everyone is as fortunate.

I'm fortunate to be a part of the running community.  The running community in general is friendly and supportive.  Sure there can be some competitiveness but it's generally all friendly competition.  Run down a trail any time of the day and someone is saying hi and giving you a wave!  So it's so upsetting to me to know that something like this could happen.  People train so hard to get to Boston, to have their finish or their memory of their finish stripped by such a tragedy.  I hope any of you reading this that have had someone in or running Boston today, I hope everyone you know is ok. 

Hug your loved ones today and every day. Be grateful for what you have and who you have in your life.  I know from past experiences and with things like day is guaranteed!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Shamrock Shuffle Race Recap

It's not secret that I'm a fan of the Shamrock Shuffle 8k in Chicago.  I've run it 9 times out of the past 10 years.  It's definitely gotten big over the past several years with 40,000 registered runners.  The one year I did not run it, I registered but then took a vacation to Florida instead.

I hear the expo is great.  Yes, I go to it every year.  It's at Navy Pier and I run down during lunch.  It takes a good half hour from start to finish to get to the expo from my work.  So it generally will take about 1.5 hours to get my packet for this race.  I never typically go on Saturday because I usually have things I'm doing and unless I'm going to hang out at Navy Pier for a while, I don't want to make the extra trip to the city.  Therefore, I tend to "breeze through" the expo.  I know I miss lots of free stuff and a good expo but it is what it is. 

The night before the race, my friend Becky invited me to a Maroon 5 concert.  Both of us were running in the Shuffle but she got the tickets for Christmas.  I told her I could go and I would just suck up the fact that I would probably get to bed late that night.  We had a great time!  The concert was at the Allstate Arena and they have never figured out a good parking situation there so it took us 40 minutes to get out of the lot before we could head home.  Therefore, I got home at 1:45 a.m. and to bed at 2:00 a.m.  Up by 6:00 a.m. makes for a very tired Sunday and Shamrock Shuffle day!

Becky and I at the Maroon 5 concert

The Shamrock Shuffle is so big now and to keep crowding down as much as they can, they divide the race into 2 waves.  In each wave there are a handful of corrals that the runners are organized in (depending on your expected finish time or if you qualified for a wave 1 corral).  I was in wave 1 and corral D.  Before the race, I met up with some of my Frankfort/New Lenox Running Club members for a photo!

F/N Runners

Derek & I before the run

Becky and Derek walked me over to my corral since I was starting in Wave 1.  Their wave started about 45 minutes after mine so I appreciated the company on the walk over.  I lined up in my corral and waited for a while.  It was lonely in my corral as I didn't know anyone else in it.  They started the race on time but it took almost 25 minutes for my corral to start.  And I was off.... In good fashion, my music (which I checked in the corral and was working) didn't start.  Um...why does this always happen.  I was fidgeting with it for a few minutes and got it working but almost twisted my ankle as I stepped in a pothole.  I shook it off and kept running. 

By mile 1, I was already getting hot as the sun came out full force!  The weather was perfect though in the mid-40's!  Great day for a run.  I rolled down my arm sleeves by mile 1.5.  As I previously stated, I wasn't sure I would PR my overall 8k time I received in March!  I figured I would PR my previous Shamrock Shuffle best time.  Then I got to thinking that my 8k PR from March came right after my shoulder dislocations in February and I had just started running again.  If I could get that time with a month off of running, I should be able to beat it.  I decided to just run my best and see what happens.

The garmins get all screwed up in Chicago and so I only knew my pace at the mile markers when I could use the overall time.  By mile 3, my time was 27 minutes flat and I knew I was running 9 min miles.  My PR is a 9:20 average pace so I knew if I could just keep my pace, I'd get a new PR.  The sun was really beating down on us by mile 3 and it felt really hot!  I was running at a comfortably hard pace and was pushing it up the "hills".... (bridges that were inclines) but looking back, at times I felt I could have run harder.  I was just trying to make it through, get the PR, and not die by mile 4.

With the last mile in site, I knew I just had to keep running to ensure the PR.  I had a least 1-2 minutes cushion.  I saw the hill of death (Roosevelt bridge hill) and put my head down and powered up it.  While running it, I was thinking they should move the start/finish of these races to Michigan Avenue so we wouldn't have to run up this ridiculous hill at the end of most races!

And I finished!  A new 8k PR is in the books!  I was really happy with this PR.  I do wish I was a few seconds faster and get a sub-9:00 average pace but what does that mean really??  The race had sensors every mile so we got to see our splits which I liked since my garmin was all messed up!

9:08, 8:54, 9:03, 8:58, 9:05

These are the kind of splits I would like for my Indy half in May to get my sub-2:00 PR!  Not sure I could manage this for 13 miles but I can certainly try!

Me, Derek and Becky - all PR's!
 Frankly, I was too tired from being out late the night before that I didn't try to coordinate meeting any other people in my running group afterwards.  I just wanted to sit and relax afterwards!!  From what I hear, everyone did great!

I need to learn how to push myself a little more on the lower mileage races (5k-8k).  I hold back to keep energy in the tank.  I hate bombing at the end.  That didn't happen here so maybe I did what I was supposed to.  Maggie runs her races by heart rate and gave me some advice on that.  

Are you good at pushing yourself at an uncomfortable pace during races??   Any tips you can give me for "kicking it up a notch?"

Friday, April 5, 2013

Against Runner Protocol

First, can I just say, after my last post, I realized I missed a race in my blog post!  As you can see by my upcoming races list to the top right, I have the Quarryman 10 mile race as well.  And do you know what that means???  Yes, it means a hilly 10-miler.  But do you know what else it means?

I have become one of "those" people!  What I mean is...that makes 4 races in 5 weeks!  Back to back Shamrock Shuffle 8k and Quarryman 10-miler.  Then I have a non-race weekend.  Then I have back to back half marathons.  I never race this much.  As as much as I say "race", I'm not racing all of them.  I'll probably only run hard (race) the shuffle and the 2nd half marathon (Indy).  But I generally try not to "race" all these weekends, back to back to back to back races!  It's exhausting!  But I have 4 races in the next 5 weeks!  Then I scale much farther back since I haven't signed up for much during my marathon training!  Best to focus on training!

So, I have a question for all you runners!  The Shamrock Shuffle is this Sunday.  And even though this will be my 9th time out of 10 years running it, I don't really have any green shirts to run in!  I usually don't care.  I used to run these by myself, I never knew anyone.  I've also worn the race shirt one year with my cousins husband (gasp!!!  call the runner fashion police!).  And I am debating on whether to wear the race shirt this year too.  It's totally not the proper protocol for a runner that's not a newbie!  It's kind of against the "runner law" to wear the race shirt at the race!

I thought about going and seeing about buying a new shirt to wear.  But I'm trying to save money and I also don't always find what I'm looking for.  I could go and see what's out there but I'm not hopeful.  So what should I do?  Wear the race day shirt?  Wear a random other color shirt and call it a day?  It's just another race?  That's usually what I do.  Last year I wore my charity's gold shirt.  I was told by a run friend (ahem Kelly...) that I would get unfriended if I wore the race shirt!  (hahaha!  Love you Kelly).  So what should I do??  What would you do??  Remember, I'm trying to save money.  And the Shamrock Shuffle race shirts are very comfortable.  I've run in them often.

Maybe I'll wear my "I run for me" shirt and green sparkle skirt?  The shirt is a little snug though (and it's black).

Wearing the race shirt on race day with my cousin Nick - Shamrock Shuffle 2011

At my December 2012 half wearing the "I run for me" shirt

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

March in Review, April Goals, & Upcoming Races

I can't believe April is already upon us!  And that mostly it still feels like winter but spring seems to be wanting to creep in ...please spring!  Creep in!  March was much better than February for me as I kept my injuries at bay.


Total Run Miles: 87.46 (a far leap from the 11 miles I ran in February!)
Total Bike Miles: 20.75 miles + 4 spin classes
Total Swim Distance: 0 meters
I also did other workouts including but not limited to a yoga class and a kickbox cardio class

I'm pleased with my workouts for the month of March.  I was surprised my run miles got as high as they did but I think it was because I was already a few weeks into a half marathon training program when I started my running back up from my dislocated shoulder and tried to make up ground.


My main goal for April is to work on my financial budget.  I downloaded an app on my phone and it puts everything into very nice categories.  The couple areas I'm going to cut WAY back is on my lunches at work and Starbucks/7-11 downtown!  I got into a bad habit of going to those places!  So I'm trying to bring my lunches every day.  I may allow myself to eat out once a week but if it's not necessary, I won't do it.

Another thing which I've somehow failed at miserably this year was losing weight.  The year isn't over and I'm not giving up.  But I've gone up and down the same couple pounds since the beginning of the year.  Maybe with not eating out as much and buying those nonfat chai lattes at Starbucks and biscotti and gummy bears from 7-11 (hm...why haven't I lost weight??)...hopefully these changes will help financially and physically.


One of my favorite races is coming up this weekend, the Shamrock Shuffle 8k.  Originally my goal was to PR my previous 8k time (from the 2011 Shamrock Shuffle) which was 48:04.  However, with my surprising comeback 8k race in my hometown at the beginning of March, I already succeeded that goal with a new 8k PR of 46:23!  And you know what?  I'm getting tired of "racing"!!  I love to PR a race!  But the "racing" mentality is a hard one for me because, well, I don't like the feeling of complete exhaustion (like my lungs might explode) when I'm trying to beat these new PR times of mine (my bar is too high for me now!). 

I think what happened was the set back from my two shoulder dislocations in February.  I was feeling GREAT in January and BOOM!  So I'm incorporating speed work back in and, you know what?  It's hard! 

I think my goal for the Shamrock Shuffle is to just do my best.  If that means another PR, fantastic!  If not, I'm ok with that.  Plus, it's a pretty crowded course (even with the wave and corral starts).  We will see what happens!  I'm just looking forward to a good run!

Of course on the horizon are the IL Half in Champaign and the Indy half.  The Indy Half is supposed to be a goal race.  I try to make myself believe I can still do this (sub 2:00 hr) and it seemed more reachable with my 2:03 half in January.  Damn you February and the doubts you have instilled in me!  I'm still going to work hard and try to get back enough to PR that Indy half.  What happens will happen. 

And of course, I've got my Ragnar in June!!  I'm so excited for this race!  More to come in the future on this.  My Ragnar teammates have been awesome at helping put all this together!  I feel like such a slug in the group!  Big thanks!