Monday, May 28, 2012

2012 Jubilee Jog 5k Race Recap

Oh boy.  This one was a bad one.  Yep.  It was a bad race for me indeed.  

I wound up finishing with a time of 25:15, which is my worst time for a 5K since I started racing again in 2010.  That's an 8:08 mile pace, but still.  I thought I could at least go sub-8 minute miles for this race, but the heat got to me.  It got me good.

But, I got to run in Wilmette, which is new for me.  The course is pretty good - fairly flat and residential.  The race was organized - we didn't start right at 8:00, but that's alright.  The post race refreshments were good and the raffle prizes at the end were awesome.

They gave away a bunch of $120 gift certificates to the new running store, Road Runner Sports, which is off the Edens Plaza, a bunch of gift certificates for Road ID, $25 gift certificates for Corner Bakery, a $120 paddle boating thing in Chicago and a Lululemon yoga stater kit.  

My dad won a RoadID gift certificate which was super awesome.  So yeah, if you do this race, definitely stick around for the raffle!  What's the worst that can happen?  Plus, if you can get a prize, they are pretty sweet.  I definitely was sad that I didn't get the gift certificate or the shoes especially because one of the numbers that were called was 105 or so - so close yet so far!

So close yet so far basically would be a good sum up for my performance at the race.  I actually timed it with my running app (Endomondo) so I could my splits.  My app told me that I did in in 25:09, but race time was 25:15.  Nevertheless.  Still a crappy time.

Mile 1:  I figure that I will start out "conservatively" as to have gas in the tank left for the finish.  Ha.  Like that happened.  Evidently "conservatively" to me means go ahead and run a 7:34 mile dummy.  Whoops. I was trying to shoot for an 8 minute mile... I'm serious.  Oh well.

Mile 2: I do a little mental math and figure that if I can run at that same pace and come in around 15:00 for mile 2 then I have a shot at breaking 24.  I get to Mile 2 a little over at 15:42 for an 8:08 mile.  Much slower and getting to that 8 minute mile point.  I'm pleased and figure if I can really kick it in during the last mile (or at least the last half mile) then I will make my goal.

Mile 3:  Failure.  I start losing it from mile 2.5 to 3.1.  The heat started to get to me and the long straightaways which I usually look forward to and excel at started to just look like never-ending stretches of road.  I could see people in front of me and I was trying to pick people I could maybe pick off, but it never happened.  I just started to fade away.

We round a corner and I can see the cop cars, which were there when we started so I know that the sprint is near.  But of course, I'm running out of gas so I can't really sprint it in.  I finally round the corner into the parking lot of the school and I "sprint" it in as best as I can.

I look at the clock and it is now in the 25s.  I shake my head and walk to get water feeling pretty defeated, but hey, it was like 80 degrees when we were running so I'll give myself a pat on the back for finishing and at least it was an under 8:30 performance.

I wait for my dad and we hang around for a while.  And, the consensus between the two of us is that we enjoyed the race and we liked the course.  And, most importantly, we know we could have run better had it not been so damn hot.

Bottom line: Would run it again (especially to smash that 25:15 time).

- Flat, residential course
- Good refreshments post race & great raffle prizes
- Organized course 
- Relatively friendly people and the runners that turn out are pretty fast (dude who won was in the 17s and woman was in the 19s)

- Worst time ever for a 5K ever sine I started racing in 2010, but it was hot so that's ok.

2012 Loop the Lakes 5K Race Recap

Running season in Chicagoland typically begins in March with the Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Chicago.  However, my official running season begins with the Loop the Lakes 5K in VH.

For some reason, I haven't been able to make it to March in fairly decent running shape.  In 2011, I was out for a few months with the blood clot.  In 2012, I just didn't feel physically ready since I was kind of slacking with the training during the winter months.

So, I start with Loop the Lakes.  It's right in my backyard and I know that I can perform well since it's not very crowded and I have won the women's race in 2010 and 2012 and won my age group in 2011.  And, let's be honest all you runners out there...

You know you have that race.  You have that race that you do because you can do well there and it's your confidence booster.  It's the race that gets you fired up for the rest of the season since you can run well there.  Well, that is what Loop the Lakes is for me.

The race went pretty well and improvements were made to the course due to the creation of a walkway over the lake area by the sled hill.  The rolling hills, which were not included in 2011's course were now in 2012's course.  Yay... NOT.  Like other runners, I do not enjoy any type of a hill at all.

The weather for the day sucked - it was about 35-40 with rain.  But, that's the perfect running conditions for me.  I ran in running tights, a long sleeved top and a light running jacket over it and that worked out well.  Though, after the race, I was pretty cold.

The first mile went by too quickly (as it always does with me) and I posted a time in the low 7:00s - like under 7:10 (that low).  Oops.  I guess I was excited.  Oh well.  That's sort of my "strategy" - book it in the first mile, go a little slower in the second and just hang on in the 3rd.  I can't seem to run negative splits at all for any distance - even my training runs are similar to my races in that I start too fast and peter out significantly toward the end.

Mile 2 is a little slower and I'm feeling pretty good, but not looking forward to the rolling hills toward the end.  I also have a man in my sights who I'm still tailing behind at this point.  I think I can maybe pass him up if I can give it a little more gas in the end.

Mile 2.5 to Mile 3: Trouble starts brewing and I'm starting to fall off the pace.  I know that I'm the first woman so I figure that I can definitely win that so long as no other women come up behind me.  I start doing the look behind me thing since I'm all along at this point.  The man in front of me has now taken off like a bat out of hell and he even passed up the person in front of him.  Gulp.

I see a pack of people behind me and I see the woman since she's easy to stop with her bright yellow running jacket.  She's a bit behind still so I figure that I can get this still so long as I don't crap out, but let's be real here - I'm totally fading.

Mile 3 to Mile 3.1: The hardest part for me - I can see the finish line and I know I need to sprint, but I'm so tired and I really just want to stop running and call it a day and go home into my warm bed, but no... I need to keep going.  I get passed by a little boy on the sprint, which sucks, but I still am able to haul it in and finish as the first place woman.  Whew.

I won a trophy and a $50 dollar gift certificate to Dick's Sporting Goods.  Overall, it was a great race.  I finished with a 23:17, which is way off the PR, but good and a PR for the new course and I went sub 24 which always is the goal for a 5k.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

2012 Race Schedule

Here's a glimpse of my 2012 race schedule.  This may change, but for the most part, it's set in stone.  So, I'm running the Chicago Marathon this year and it will be my first.  I'm training with CARA in Libertyville at 6:45am on Saturday mornings starting on June 9th.

With a heavy heart, I decided not to race because I want to focus on marathon training.  I thought maybe I could run a race and then run more miles after, but I know myself too well.  I'm going to want to run a PR at the race and I will run my hardest and probably be too wiped out to run more later.  Plus, racing may throw off my marathon training if I have to go easy on the week of a race.

Here it is:

April 28, 2012: Loop the Lakes 5K in VH (as always):  DONE (an update will follow)

May 28, 2012: Jubilee Jog 5K in Wilmette
- My dad and I were eying another 5k an a 10k that happened around the same time frame, but with the weather being awfully hot, my dad coming off a calf injury and my volunteer work we decided to run this one.  Plus, neither one of us has run in Wilmette.

June 8 through June 9, 2012: Ragnar Relay from Madison, WI to Chicago, IL
- A 200 mile relay race with 11 other women that I have never met before
- 1st relay race ever
- More on this to follow

June 10, 2012: NorthShore Half Marathon 5k
- Was thinking about doing the half, but don't want to risk it and injure myself before marathon training, but didn't want to sit around and do nothing while waiting for my Dad to finish his first half marathon ever (at the age of 65 no less) so I signed up for the 5k and figured that it would be manageable even if I have to run slow
- I will do the half at some point I swear!  This year's medal looks sweet!

October 7, 2012: Chicago Marathon

November 18, 2012: Big Sur Half Marathon (TBD)

Also, I may run a half marathon during my training since it does recommend that I run one - I'm just not sure which one.  Perhaps I will run the Rock and Roll Half Marathon again, but it's very pricey!

2011 Running Season and Race Recap

Hi all,

I meant to try to keep up regularly with my blog posting about my races and my goals to get my half marathon time under two hours comfortably, but I sort of fell off the face of the planet with that.  Maybe it's because I've seen SO MANY blogs about running out there.  What's going to make mine any different than all the rest?  I'm just your average runner.

But anyway, the 2012 season is just beginning for me so I'm going to give this thing a go and see how much I can blog about.

It'll be good for me to have a place to save my information about my races anyway.  

So, here's 2011's races and results for you:

Race 1: Loop the Lakes 5K in VH: 23:03 (1st in age group, 2nd woman overall)
- I always do this one because it's in my hometown and is literally a mile away from home.  This race means a lot to me since it got me back into racing after I posted a 22:46 (my PR) in 2010 and won the women's race.  And, I can usually win my age group and score some sweet prizes so that's nice.  Hey, I don't cherry pick on purpose, but this gives me confidence going into the racing season.
- I felt good about this especially since I was out of running from October 2010 to February 2011 with a knee injury and a blood clot - see more on that in the above post.

Race 2: NorthShore Half Marathon 5K: 23:01 (3rd/65 AG, 73/795 OA and 16/482 W)
- I'm beginning to always do this one.
- The weather for June was awesome - nice and cool and in the 60s!
- I stuck with the 5k despite really wanting to run the half. I hadn't been able to train as much w/ the injury so I felt like the half would be a safer choice.
- I achieved a course PR which is good because there is a killer hill after mile 1 on this.

Race 3: Frontier Days 10K in Arlington Heights: 49:33 (PR) (7/32 AG, 38/233 sex, 151/545 OA)
- I ran this race with Jared who was my running buddy before he moved to Michigan.  He helped get me motivated especially coming off my injury.
- I ran with my iPod for the first time at this race.
- I went WAY too fast in the first mile (7:01 I believe), but still got a PR by a lot (52:40 in 2010)
- Fun Fact: it always seems to be hot, which makes sense since this is run in July.
- Fun Fact: Met the woman who writes the blog that I follow at this race.
- Fun Fact: My old mortgage loan officer runs this race every year.  He's in this 50s and throws down a 5K in the low 20s.  Talk about bad ass.

Race 4: Alexian Brothers Half Marathon: 1:57:25 
- The 2 hour time goal was broken.
- Like the year before, it was rainy (thunderstorms), but that helped me run faster.
- I saw the woman at this race and beat her because she was having a bad race. :(

Race 5: Rock and Roll Half Marathon: 1:53:32 (PR)
- This was my first race in Chicago.
- It was awesome and part of it is run on the same course at the Chicago Marathon.
- See more on blog post on old site.

Race 6: Buffalo Grove Stampede 10K: 51:16 (BOO)
- Course PR by 2 seconds at least
- Hard course: part residential and part trial
- Good post-race party - all you can eat pancake breakfast

Race 7: Chicago Half Marathon: 1:59:04
- Almost did not break 2 hours.
- Course was super hot and it was boring (think: LSD - NO SHADE WHATSOEVER).
- Ran it on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 which was awesome, but I will probably not be running this one again.

Race 8: Highland Park Fun(d) Run 10K: 50:21
- At least I dropped my 10k time from the DISASTER in BG.
- Got to run along the Ravinia Trial - super cool and will be running here again on my last leg in the Ragnar Relay
- Got beat in the sprint by a guy w/ a belly.
- BF goes, "Wow, that guy ran it?!" when he saw the guy.  I gave him the dirtiest look and I said, "Yep and he beat me."

Race 9: VHHS 5K: 22:47.3 --> almost a PR
- Went back to my high school and got to finish up on the track (nostalgia at its finest) and saw my younger sister's swim coach since he was one of the timers
- Was on my way to becoming the 1st woman overall, but got passed up toward the end by a girl who is not even in high school :(
- Was super excited about almost getting a PR, but was told by another racer that the course was short by .1, which bummed me out a bit

- THE BEST RACE EVER.  You run along the ocean, which is super cool in and of itself.  There are no clocks along the way which actually was good for me since I wasn't freaking out about my mile times, etc.  You get soup and beer at the end.  And, this was my very first destination race.
- My family lives in Salinas, which is about an hour away from the course so I stayed there for a week and got to hang out w/ my family before and after the race
- My aunt, her husband and my two twin cousins volunteer at Mile 5 (and 10) which is a Lovers Point and I got to see her both times. :)
- I'm planning on going back this year if I can.  It's 6 weeks after the Chicago Marathon and I think I should be in shape to run it.