Thursday, June 26, 2014

Strike Out ALS 5k Giveaway!

I was presented with the opportunity to run the Strike Out ALS 5k in July. I haven't had an opportunity to run this race before so I am very excited to run it this year. And it's for a great cause (more details to come), which makes running it even better.

It's a Tuesday evening at U.S. Cellular Field (a.k.a Comisky Park) and I work downtown so this actually works out perfectly for me (even though I am a Cubs fan!).

This race is supporting the Les Turner ALS Foundation. If you are not sure what ALS is, this is on the race website and gives a good description:
    "Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or motor neuron disease (MND), is a progressive disease that causes muscle weakness, difficulty speaking and swallowing and generally, complete paralysis. In most cases, while the body continues to deteriorate, the mind remains unaffected."
Read more about the organization and this disease here.
The people at the Les Turner ALS Foundation have been generous enough to offer a free entry for this race to my readers (you guys)!  
Race Details 
  • Date: Tuesday, July 15, 2014
  • Time: 6:30 p.m.
  • Location: U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois
  • A new course with entertainment at every mile
  • Awards for the top 3 male and female finishers in each age group
  • Post Race Party on the ChiSox Bar and Grill apron outside of U.S. Cellular Field
  • $3.00 beers and discounted food items
  • Post race concert
  • And much more!
Would you like to win??  See entry rules below:  (Note: Please only enter this giveaway if you CAN do this race.)
  1. Entry one - What is your favorite sports team? Comment below.
  3. For a second entry - Like my facebook page here and leave a separate comment below saying you did (or one saying you already like my page).
  5. For a third and forth entry - Share this giveaway on facebook and/or twitter and let me know in a separate entry that you did and post the link. You can share it on both for separate entries, just leave separate comments for each share. (Follow me on Twitter here).
This giveaway will run through June 30th and I will pick a winner at 10:00 a.m. on July 1st!
Please make sure you leave separate comments for each entry option you complete!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Short Run on a Long Day 5k

Yesterday was the annual Short Run on a Long Day 5k in Frankfort.

*Disclaimer - Sorry, this post might get mushy and gushy and you might see some of the same photos I've already posted on facebook (if you are my facebook friend).  I will not be offended if you close this down right now!

Ok, back to the race. I did this race 2 years ago for the first time. It was about 6 months after I joined the Frankfort/New Lenox Run Club (FNRC). Because this race is located in Frankfort and we are the Frankfort/New Lenox Run Club, it only makes sense that it's a huge one for our group.
FNRC - pre 5k
It's a local and inexpensive race which is really nice. Not so nice that it's always really hot and/or humid for it!  I think the first year I did it, it was about 90 degrees! Last year, I helped Becky get a 5k PR. It wasn't quite as hot but it was pretty humid. Yesterday it was about 80+ degrees and maybe 100% humidity. At least it felt like it.

My goal was to take the run easy. This was my goal for a couple of reasons. First, my knees have been bothering me for about 1.5 weeks. I'm pretty sure it's that my hamstrings are really tight so I've been trying to stretch them but ... ugh... I hate stretching.  Second, I knew it would be hot and humid. Hot and humid do not equal a 5k PR for me.  Third, I'm not even in PR shape for a 5k right now.  So I just wanted to run happy and easy. 

Since my boyfriend Derek was planning on taking it easy, I asked him if he wanted to run together.  We don't typically run together except maybe an occasional Thursday night or something. We don't run races together because, even though we are kind of the same pace, he would typically beat me at 5k's, he's got a better "sprint to the finish", he doesn't really talk much while running, etc. But he agreed that we could run together (or try, lol).

And we ran together and we finished together. I really enjoyed running with him even if it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows during the race. 
Running to the finish with my man!
Finisher photo
Stop reading now if you don't want to get all mushy gushy...

I was really excited to run with him and really excited to finish the race with him. Why? Even though we didn't meet at this run, we met because of this run club, and this run club is such a huge presence in this race.  Another reason? We run past The Grainery in Frankfort, and that IS where we first met.  Need another reason? I like that we share a common interest in running and that we CAN do things like this together.  Being with him makes me happy and running makes me put those two together and...
Whoa!! Close-up!

... you get extra happiness!!  lol.

Another thing I love about doing this race with our run club? You get your own personal cheer section near the finish line! I swear I felt like I was famous or something with everyone cheering for me! I love my run group!

So even though we ran easy and our time was no where NEAR a PR... we had fun and we did well. I finished with a 31:48 (10:15 average pace). I was actually shooting to run 10:30's so there ya go. It's a gun-timed start to the race so we lost at least 10-20 seconds from that too. But it's not a problem for me this time. I wasn't racing. I was running with my run club and having a good time!

Next time you are at a local southside Chicago race (or a Chicago race)... look for some of these gold shirts. They tend to pop up! And we are fun so wave and say hi!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Zooma Discount Codes!

Happy Friday the 13th! And it's one of the few that also has a full moon! 

Because of this special Friday the 13th, Zooma is having a special discount this weekend only!  The discount is awesome and if you haven't registered but have been thinking about it, NOW is the time!!  The discount codes are good through June 16th ONLY!  Do it and run with me on August 2nd! Women only! Sorry men!

What do you get with this race? (Because that's what it's all about, right?)...

1. I'll be there!  Ok, so if running with me isn't good enough...

2. All ZOOMA runners receive a Signature Swag Bag valued at over $50, including this shirt:

3. You get this awesome medal that has a detachable runner girl charm!

4. You get wine and post-race massages when you are finished!  I want to sign up just for that!

5. Muscle Milk at the finish along with Cytomax Sports Performance Drink and water along the course.

This is a great half to revolve around a girls weekend so grab your friends! Don't forget to use the following codes for the discounts through June 16th!

$30 off the half - Code: AMANDAHALF
$20 off the 10k - Code: AMANDA10K

Happy Running!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Esprit De She Triathlon Recap

My double race weekend continues. I did the Esprit De She Triathlon on Sunday following the half marathon on Saturday. How'd this race go??

Esprit De She Triathlon

On Saturday after the half marathon, I headed to Naperville with Carol. We picked up our packets and perused the booths, entered many giveaways, and got free Panera muffins from someone raffling a bike with a cool paint job (thank you because I was starving!). I ended up purchasing an Esprit De She visor that I thought would be good to wear for the race the next day (because it's always good to wear new things for a race, right?). This race swag comes with a great Moxie cycling tank that I am going to love to wear.
Carol and I showing our "guns"...or my lack thereof.
The following morning, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. again (ugh) to get ready for the tri. Derek was coming to support me (it's an all women triathlon) and we were picking up Carol. We got down to the race and set up our spots in transition. I was feeling incredibly nervous and had weird dreams all night about the triathlon. My wave wasn't supposed to start for an hour so I went out by Derek. I realized I forgot something in transition (they were closing it), so I ran back in to get it. When I came back out, Derek asked me why I had my visor. Um... Uh... crap, I don't know! I won't need that until the run! I ran back into the transition area and apologized to one of the volunteers that I would just be a minute. He chuckled and said that no one was mad at me. lol. When I got back out by Derek, I said goodbye to head into the swim area. He asked me why I still had my sandals on. I rolled my eyes and took them off to give to him to hold for me. He laughed and basically said he is not sure how I'm going to do on this. My mind was so scattered.

F'N Run Club about to Swim, Bike, and Run!
(L-R: Carol, Kim, Me, Lisa, Michelle, Julie, Betsy, Angela, Susan)
I headed into the swim area but had an hour to wait. While in there, I found some people that I knew and chatted with them. I went to the bathroom one last time and finally got in position for my wave to start. I also chatted with some of the people in the same wave as me. 

A picture of the swim at Centennial Beach (Photo Credit: Derek). Love this photo!
My wave - green caps (I'm the person with the yellow arrow!)
My wave started and it was so crowded that I was jostling to try to get into a swim position but couldn't seem to. I was starting and stopping. I'm not sure what I did with my arm but as luck would have it, I ended up dislocating it. As soon as my tri started, I thought it was over!
I stopped and stood for a minute (this swim area is a man made beach and there is a shallow end that gradually gets deeper). Luckily for me I was still in an area that I could stand in (the water was about to my chest). I was holding my shoulder hoping it would go back in place. My wave swam away without me and I was alone. Two women came passed me and asked if I was ok. I told them I have shoulder problems and that I dislocated it. She said "Yeah! It's dislocated! Do you want me to get help?" I told her that I was trying to get it back in place and right after that, it went back in. I told the woman it was back in (she saw it slide in place) and she exclaimed "Oh!" I told her I was ok and decided to try the swim.

My wave was gone but the next wave hadn't started yet (they are 4 minutes apart). I did a "half" stroke with my right arm for a bit because I was afraid of dislocating it. I guess the good thing was that I had this area of the water to myself now and didn't have to worry about being kicked. After the first turnaround (there were 3 out-and-backs), I got into a regular stroke rhythm, albeit slow, and started catching up to my wave. I was surprised. And I started passing people and was getting a bit happy. I thought, "Wow! I can actually do this!"

I felt better during this swim than the last triathlon I did in Naperville last August. I totally panicked and could only do about 4 strokes at a time before I would stop for a while and swear and feel like I would drown (even though I could swim). This time, I just swam until I would get to the shallow area, walk around the buoy and swim more. I never stopped swimming unless to readjust my direction. I'm not sure if it was the wetsuit that helped or what but I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at my watch and saw that the swim only took me about 15 minutes to complete! Dislocating my shoulder and all!

I get so disoriented on the transition after the swim that it takes me a minute there to really get things together.

Photo of the transition area
The bike was fairly uneventful. There are rules to the bike that I try to follow: passing, riding on the right, no drafting, etc. The problem is that most people don't know the rules so it was hard to get around people at times. The bike portion was pretty windy and I know that slowed me down a bit. But I like cycling and the course was fine.

Leaving T1 and on to the bike. I'm the one with the white bike and purple helmet. (Photo Credit: Derek)
I don't have much to do in the second transition except put on my visor, since I already clipped my number on in T1. Ahhh, see what I did there? Put on my visor but I forgot one important step...take off my helmet. So I started running away from my transition area, went to go put on my visor and realized I still had my helmet on. Ran back and threw my helmet somewhere relatively close to on my stuff and took off.

My real only main goal on this race was to PR my run from my last triathlon. I did walk up one hill in the beginning and walked at the first aid station. I was planning on walking at the second aid station but when it came up, I didn't stop and just kept going. I just kept reminding myself that I wanted to PR this run. And I did!! :) My run came in at a 9:29 avg pace and the last one was a 9:41 pace.  Surprisingly my legs didn't feel tired at all from my half marathon from Saturday. I guess the ice bath and compression really helped!

My final results

Finish time: 1:38:07
Swim: 15:49 (2:07mins/100 m) - 800 meters
T1: 4:04
Bike: 47:03 (16.96 mi/hour) - 13.3 miles
T2: 1:46
Run: 29:27 (9:29 min/mile) - 5k (3.1 miles)

The swim was double the distance from the last triathlon and my overall pace for the swim was better. So I actually PR'd my swim even with dislocating my shoulder! SUPER THRILLED!

I did slightly better on my first transition but it appears that I still took a nap or something.

I did not PR my bike but I had a feeling that would be the case. The wind didn't help.

I did not PR my second transition. Damn helmet!

I PR'd my run! Yay me!

My number #1 Supporter Derek.
Some of the FNRC finishers (we all finished)
Final thoughts:

I was completely all smiles when I finished my triathlon. I LOVE THEM! I want to do them all the time. But I can't. Super sad face! It is clear I need to take care of my shoulder before I can do any further triathlons. Had I been in open water, I probably would not have been able to relocate it and probably would have needed to be rescued. I'm resigned to running and duathlons right now.

But I PR'd my swim and run and I'm super happy about that. My shoulder didn't actually start hurting until I was done. I guess it's the adrenaline that kicked in during the race. I was completely proud of myself for being able to finish this race. I thought I was done as soon as I started. It was an awful feeling. Luckily I was able to continue, and even finish strong! It was one of those days that "just finishing" was the happiest thing I could do! To have a time that (to me) doesn't seem bad at all was icing on the cake.

And super big props to my boyfriend for waking up at 4:00 a.m. He doesn't have to do this for me but I was really nervous for the triathlon and him being there helps keep me somewhat calm.

Love the tri medal. The "Be Stong" center can double as a charm for a necklace.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Michelob Ultra 13.1 Recap

My double race weekend has come and gone! How did it go? First up...the half. I'm going to break these into two posts so it's not a super gigantic post!

Michelob Ultra 13.1 Half Marathon

On Saturday, I ran the Michelob Ultra 13.1 Half! I ran this race 2 years ago because I won the entry through a blogger giveaway.  This time, I was provided the race entry by the wonderful promoters of this event! I knew I had the triathlon (recap below), the following day but it's hard to turn down a free half marathon, and a lot of my friends would be there, so I decided I would give it a shot.

I woke up early (4:00 a.m.) and carpooled with my friends Jill, Melanie, and Meg. We parked at the Museum of Science and Industry and from there we got shuttled to the race start. I met up with my friend Kim from Ohio and hung around for a while until the race was going to start.

Gorgeous morning sunrise! (Photo credit: Jill)
As I stated in my previous post, my plan was to do a run/walk of 10 mins running/1 min walking in an attempt to save my legs for the next day's triathlon.  Well, I'm not great at following my race plans! I started the race and decided that I would just run until I wanted to walk. Um... that wasn't the plan. The sun came out bright and early and it was already getting warm in the starting corral.  I ran the first mile with my friend Kim from Ohio. I told her to go ahead if she felt good because I didn't want to race it and was already starting to feel a bit cranky.

I ran the first 30 mins (3 miles) right around a 10:00 minute pace but I was feeling very negative about this race from the beginning. Now, it wasn't the race itself that I was feeling cranky about. I actually quite enjoyed the race and the course. I was thinking to myself that I shouldn't be doing it.

I shouldn't be doing this race today.
I have a triathlon the next day that is my focus. This is going to make my legs tired.
It's hot out already and I still have [X amount] of miles left.
Whine, whine, whine.

When I hit 3 miles, I decided to stop my watch and reset it for the 10:1 interval that I had originally planned.  While I was setting my watch, Melanie came by and asked if I was ok. I decide that I probably walked a minute already so I started running with her. We chatted a bit and I felt a bit better.  When my watch beeped, I decided to walk (like I was supposed to) and let Melanie go ahead. While walking, Meg came by and asked if I was alright (lol). I told her I was fine and started running (my minute was up). We chatted a bit and my watch beeped to walk again. I let Meg go ahead. From here and for the next many miles, Meg and I leap-frogged each other. When I walked, Meg passed me. When I ran, I passed her. It was pretty funny but at least it gave me someone to say "hi" to every mile!

Once I had switched my watch to the run/walk interval, it helped tremendously. My watch only showed what interval I was on and how much time I had left in the interval. It didn't show me pace, time, or distance.  I was just out there running (and walking). Nothing else mattered. Mentally, I got myself in a better place not having to worry about pace. Of course, there are mile marker clocks so I did know I was running around 11 min miles due to the walking intervals but I tried not to care. I told myself that no one cares what my pace ends up being.

I did think it was hot. But it was much hotter in 2012 when I did it. I tried to keep it in perspective. I'm going to be running all summer with marathon training and it will be hot. When I'm not worried about pace, running in the heat isn't actually too bad. Luckily there was some shade on the course, although also long periods of no shade.

I got to the finish line and downed an entire water bottle and an entire gatorade. I found my friends, got some pizza and sat down for a while. 

Trying to find my sassy pose... needs work

Finisher photo!
We chatted for a while and then got on the shuttles to head back to my car. I was feeling anxious because I had to go to Naperville to attend the packet pickup for the triathlon.  When I got home, I took a short ice bath, showered, and put on some compression socks to help my legs recover for my triathlon.

Thank you Michelob Ultra 13.1 for allowing me to run the race this year! Love the medals we get from this race!

My weekend medals (spoiler: I finished the triathlon)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Double Race Weekend Plans

My crazy race weekend is here. Yes, I'm looking forward to it but not the logistics or how crazy busy I am going to be all weekend. I like my sleep and this weekend, I will be getting none of that. Sleep is for the weak!

Tonight I'm having dinner with my friend Kim from Ohio. Kim won an entry to this Saturday's half marathon and is flying in today! It will be so great to catch up with her. Tomorrow morning, I have to leave the house early, about 4:45 a.m. The logistics of the race are tough and we have to drive down and park and get shuttled to the start since there is limited parking at the start.

I'll run the half (more on that in a bit). After the half, I have to go home, take a quick ice bath, and drive with my friend Carol to Naperville to pick up our packets for the triathlon Sunday. You have to pick up your own triathlon packets (no exceptions) and this is the only day offered so I have no choice but to go. No post-half marathon nap for me! Naps are for the weak!  After picking up my packet, I have to go to dinner for my boyfriend's sister's birthday, which is good because I need to eat anyway right? Or is eating for the weak?  Can I nap instead?  After dinner, I have to go home and get everything ready for the triathlon. I made my checklist and will start getting it together tonight so I have less to do tomorrow since that day is packed and I'll be tired.

Sunday is the triathlon! Oh yea! So much fun! Can't wait! (more on this below).  But with 2 races in one weekend (and not just little 5k's), I need a plan to get through it, since I normally don't get this crazy. Hell, I get tired having a half marathon one weekend and another the following weekend.  Read on for my plan!


To prepare for my upcoming double race weekend, I've doubled up my long runs or half marathons with some bike/run bricks for training. I'm also planning to stretch, ice, and compression after my half on Saturday to hopefully recover my legs for Sunday. My plan is to run easy for my Saturday half marathon (which I got in for free, legally!) and race my triathlon on Sunday. Here are my goals for the weekend:

Half Marathon Plan
Do a run/walk during my half to make sure I don't try anything crazy like racing it! I'm thinking of doing 10 minute run/1 minute walk for the entire half (not a 10 min mile, just 10 minutes of running at a time). I can set my watch for these intervals and will only have to listen to the beeps as they come in. Makes it very easy to do intervals. Low stress half. Not worried about time. Just enjoying the beautiful day!

Triathlon Plan
For my triathlon, I don't even know where to begin! I'm pretty excited! There are some areas I feel more prepared with on this triathlon (bike/run bricks), and some areas I feel less prepared on (transitions). I would ideally like to do better in every area during the triathlon. However, the distance of the swim is double the last one I did (this one is 800 meters). My bike is 13.3 miles, which is just a bit more than the one last year (by maybe 1 mile).  The run is a 5k, which is the same.

I'm wearing a rented wetsuit for the swim. I was able to try a wetsuit out last year during a swim clinic I took so at least I know the feel of one. I got it about 1 week before the tri and haven't been able to go to a pool or beach to try it out. Therefore, I did the only thing I could do. I put on the wetsuit and played around in the tub, trying to get the water in it as much as possible. Only when I stood up to get out did I get the feel I was waiting for, the water running down the inside of your suit. I got out of the tub and tried taking the suit off so I could get the feel for that. It wasn't too bad so I think I might be ok taking it off. That's what I'm nervous about. I got a sleeveless wetsuit so I didn't have to worry about my shoulder issues. I think I should try it on once more tonight. I have a hard time getting it on. There is nothing worse than trying to get the wetsuit on. My body has some extra curves and I find that I feel like I have to stuff myself in. If I were thinner with no extra skin from weight loss, maybe it would be easier. Not sure and it doesn't matter because this is my body.  I will see if the wetsuit helps with the swim.

Wetsuit bathtub selfie (no need to make this picture any larger)
The bike portion, well, last triathlon I did an average speed of 18.3 mph. I was shocked when that was my average as I didn't think I rode my bike that fast. This year, I'm a bit slower. This triathlon is earlier in the year and we had a long winter. I don't feel as prepared on the bike. Ideally, I would like to average 16-17 mph minimum for the bike course. I'll see how close I come to last year.

For the run, I would like to beat my average pace over last year. Both triathlons have 5k runs. I got a 10:01 average pace for the run, which I was happy with at the time. I actually did feel pretty decent for the run last year but I think I walked twice. So I would like to average better than that. I also have been practicing my bike/run bricks more this year so that should help. What might hurt me? The half I have the day before. I'll see how dead my legs feel. But like I said, I've been practicing my half marathons runs one day and bike/run bricks the next. So I'm as prepared as I can be in that regard.

Hope you all have a good weekend whether you are racing or not! I'll catch you next week to let you know how I did!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Pure Barre Class Review (Take Two)

As you all know, my main source of working out is running. It's my workout of choice about 80% of the time.  What I lack is strength training.  I've had periods of strength training, such as when I had a personal trainer during my first marathon training (2011), or the month bout I did at Crossfit recently.  Back in the day (before my obsessive running), I consistently went to weights/toning classes at the gym but that gym is closed and those classes don't exist at my current gym.  I've also slacked off in this area due to my repeat shoulder dislocations.

My body is so weak that numerous doctors and physical therapists have been utterly shocked at my weak glutes and hips. I have been told that I am the worst they've ever seen!  Woohoo!  I'm #1!  And I've been dubbed by a friend as PITA (pain in the a$$.) for my weak glutes.

So when I was presented to attend a complimentary class by Pure Barre in Orland Park for a few of us bloggers, I was NOT going to pass it up!  I was really excited for the opportunity because, if you remember, I had been to an introduction class back in December and I have wanted to come back for months now!  This is my opportunity to take the class again and see what I think.  Plus this was an actual class, not just the introductory class I went to before.  I was previously sore for 3 days following the December class.  I wanted the pain again!  (What is wrong with me?? Maybe this is why I'm a marathon runner.)

At the Pure Barre studio, I met up my fellow running bloggers Jill, Melanie and Meghan.  I run frequently with Jill and Melanie but this was the first time I met Meghan and I was pretty excited about that. We were introduced to our instructor Cassie and shown where to put our things and what we would need for class.  Cassie was great and talked to us a bit about the class, the goal of the studio, and what we should expect. She also explained that she is a "hands-on" instructor and may correct our form if needed. I love hands-on instructors because I want to make sure my form is good to get the maximum benefit of the moves I'm doing.
"But first, let's take a selfie!" Me, Jill, and Melanie (photo credit...I think Jill...)
The moves at Pure Barre are very tiny, isometric movements that really target the areas that you are working.  In my opinion, it has a "ballet-meets-pilates" type of feel to it.  Anything you need for class is provided there, you just need to bring yourself, water, and wear socks.  They provide a mat, a small ball, light weights, a tube, and a ballet bar.

This is a tough workout!  I think I was about 2 minutes in when I said, "Oh My God!"  In a good way, of course!  The instructor's explanations and reminders during class and during the movements along with the form corrections she would give reminded me to check my form and make sure I was doing things correctly (how my back should be, open up my hips, what I should be doing with my feet).  I was doing a move at one point that focused on the glutes and... wow!!... I felt my glutes. I would take a short rest but try to get right back into the move. I didn't want to waste this class!  I wanted to get as much benefit as I possibly could!

I think it would be too hard and not beneficial at all to try to explain the exact moves we were doing. However, we worked every.single.part of the body... from shoulders, to triceps and biceps, to shoulder blades, obliques, abs, hips, butt, quads, hamstrings, and calves!  It truly is an overall body workout. The movements are so small and tiny and there is no impact on your joints in any way. Due to my shoulder injury, there was one thing I didn't do during the warm-up but other than that, I was able to do (at least try to do) every move they wanted me to.
Post class L-R: Melanie, Jill, Me, Meghan, Liz (Meghan's friend and Jill's neighbor)
So what did I think? I loved it. I loved it the first time and I loved it this time. So, why did it take me 6 months to go back?  To be honest, it's a bit out of my price range. What I had thought about doing was to take advantage of the "first time client one-month unlimited" deal they have and see what my results are after 1 month of going on a regular basis.  I have NO DOUBT I would see great results and really tone up my body!  It would be great for me now that marathon training is about to come underway. This is one of the main areas I'm lacking in (and many long distance runners lack) and I know it would help my running.  I also love that they have several evening classes during the week, since that (and weekends) would be the only ones I could attend. I will definitely keep you posted on what I decide to do.

**Disclaimer: The opinions provided in this post are all mine. I was not paid to write this review.  The class I attended was free to me.

Monday, June 2, 2014

May In Review

I was going to take it a bit easier for the month of May!  So how did I do?


Running Miles: 80.76
Swim Distance: 2,150 yards (2 swim days)
Strength Training/Cross Training Days: 12
# of Workout Days this month: 25 (80.6%)
Bike/Run Bricks: 3

Running: I ran 80.76 miles in the month of June. In order to make the goal of 1,000 for the 2014 year, I need to average around 83 miles every month. I actually expected to run much less than this during May.  I wanted to take it a bit easy before marathon training started in June.  There was definitely one reason my run numbers hit 80 this month (which is pretty good for me).  It probably has to do with the two half marathons I ran this month.  I ran the Palos Half on Sunday, May 4th and the Chicago Spring Half on Sunday, May 18th. To be honest, I got in to both of those free through illegal running means!  Don't tell!  I tried racing the Palos Half as best I can right now and got a 2:09 and ran the Chicago Spring Half "easy" and got a 2:16.  I was pretty pleased with both races even though I'm far off of a PR.  A PR isn't always everything!
Palos Half

Chicago Spring Half
Swim Distance: I swam a total distance of 2,150 yards for the month of May.  That's actually the most I've swam so far this year in one month.  But I'm not too thrilled with it as I only swam 2 days.  I swam once in the beginning of the month for 1,400 yards and once at the end of the month for 750 yards. With my triathlon next weekend, there isn't much left to do but hope my minimal time in the pool has prepared me enough!

Strength Training/Cross Training: This category includes all things not running. So biking, swimming, walking, ab work, etc.  The weather was a bit warmer and I did more outdoor cycling. I tried to incorporate yoga but only did 1 day of that. I had the walk for Autism which was at least 4-5 miles total that I walked that day. My actually strength training is definitely lacking. This NEEDS to change for June! 

# of Workout days this month:  I did very well as far as the number of days I worked out in some form this month. I only missed 6 days!  My normal has been about 11 days missed.  So I did some form of exercises or activity 80% of the days this month!

Weight Loss - I'm not sure that I actually lost ANY weight this past month. I've been up and down about 1 lb all month. It's my fault as I haven't been tracking any of my food or my points for Weight Watchers consistently. I was feeling pretty down about it on Saturday when I weighed in but after a stellar workout weekend and a mostly stellar weekend of eating, I feel great today. It helped that I tried on a skirt that was too tight to wear last year and it fit with room to spare!  I apologize in advance for the messy bathroom in this picture. As always, I did take it to post it. I just sent it to my boyfriend to tell him how happy I was about the skirt! But I guess you need a picture too! Ha!  Anyway, that makes me pretty happy and definite motivation to lose the last 20 lbs I want to lose.
The once-too-tight-but-now-fits skirt
Bike/Run Bricks: I did 3 bike/run bricks this month. Ok, I thought it was more. It felt like more!  Those brick runs are HARD!  But this is actually pretty good for me. I don't think I did this many while training for my triathlon last year.  And my pace on the runs have been pretty good considering I felt like I wasn't even moving!  I also doubled up my half marathons/long runs with a couple bike/run bricks to prepare for the double weekend I have this weekend (half marathon followed by triathlon). I'm hoping that will help me!

I'm pretty excited for my upcoming triathlon this weekend! It will definitely be a challenge to do the half marathon the day before, but I have plans to hopefully help me prepare for it and to recover for my triathlon!

Also, my marathon training technically starts this month (the week of June 15-21). Wish me luck! Nerve-wracking!