Friday, February 22, 2013

Chicago Marathon: Seriously? Did I do this

Well folks, that's right.  I did sign up for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.  I haven't even completed my first marathon and I've already signed up for my second.  Chicago will probably be a "one and done" for me.  I really don't plan on running it a second time since there are so many other races on my bucket list.  Glad I made it through the sign-up fiasco.  To those of you still waiting for the remaining 15,000 spots...good luck!  I hope you get in.

Speaking of that, I need a place to stay so I don't have to drive that morning from near Wisconsin.  If you've got a place, leave it in the comments...

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Win A Free Biggest Loser Racine Race Entry from @runningdivamom

So I had been thinking about registering for this race in Racine Wisconsin.  I'm a huge fan of The Biggest Loser TV Show.  I ended up having to catch it on Netflix since I never watched it for the first seasons.  The only season I've watched on TV (DVR) is the current 2013 season. It was a sad day when Netflix lost the rights to stream it.

You can read about how to enter the giveaway here.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

2013 North Shore Cupids Love Dash

My Performance:
There are so many things that went well about this race, and perhaps one misstep.  I signed up for this race back in November while I was sidelined for for injury to my Left Iliotibial band causing a painful twinge in my knee.  Hooray for getting early registration price of $30!  At the time I couldn't run a half mile without wincing in pain, but now I have a foam roller, and use it almost every day I've been able to run long distances without any pain in the knee at all.  Since this was a training run for me I wasn't too concerned about my pace or time.  I ended up running the race in 57:33, about 9:18 pace per mile.  Official personal results can be viewed here.

Mile 1: 8:29 (WHOA! Way to fast!) but I get caught up in the excitement
Mile 2: 8:53 Still a bit faster than I know I can maintain
Mile 3: 9:19 This is more like what I was hoping for
Mile 4: 9:12
Mile 5: 10:02 when the hills started kicking my ass (more on these later)
Mile 6: 9:56The Course:
After reading the reviews on a few sites about the previous years regarding this race, I learned that some folks heard that the course was short by a few yards.  Well, it seems like the same thing may have happened again this year.  I'm not too concerned about it to be honest.  I use Nike+ Running app on my phone for pretty much every run, and it's always been very accurate regarding distance and pace feedback.  Today it registered 6.17 miles, a proper 10k conversion is 6.21 miles.  .04 miles is really not that big of a deal to me, but this happening 2 years in a row makes me wonder about the attention to detail.  If you need to change the course a bit, then do it.

I do wish I had realized how many hills were going to be in the last half of the race.  Not sure how I had the impression that it would be a flat course, it seemed like the last few miles of the course was pretty much rolling hills!

I felt they had plenty of traffic directors along the course, including some Highland Park Police officers helping to guide traffic and stop them when needed.  From reviews previous years, this looks like an improvement made this year!  Thanks for listening to those reviews (although they should have been less snarky about it).

Packet Pickup and Race Swag Bag
My last experience with picking up my own packet was with Real Racine Skeleton Skamper Half-marathon.  Much like this race it was very small and I got there early so pickup was an absolute breeze!  Running Right in Highland Park had a spot in their store and only one guy was ahead of me.  I was in and out around 5 minutes.

The pick-up bag looked like a version of the Running Right shopping bag.  Previous purchases there yielded larger shopping bags so this may be a normal bag.  Inside I found a coupon for Krav Maga Illinois coupon for 7 days of free unlimited classes.  Since it's a bit far, I most likely won't attend.  There were some advertisements, wet wipes from North Shore Medical Group and a pretty nice running technical long sleeve shirt.  Not sure why race shirts run small, but I need to start ordering a larger shirt. There was an opportunity to swap sizes, but I forgot my shirt on race day to change it.

Race day photos will be posted to Facebook once available.  I share my photos, if any on this blog.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Week in Training: Jan 26-Feb 1

Another month has come and gone.  As I review my accomplishments for the month of January it comes as no surprise that I've hit a major milestone.  The last major milestone was the completion of my first half marathon in 2:10.  I've finally logged over 500 miles with my last 4.2 mile run.  I never saw this day coming, but I could be happier that it's just 10 months after I picked up running and having 7 weeks off due to an IT band issue at the end of 2012.

My mileage for January 2013 ended at 59.6 miles.  The bitter cold weather is slowing me down a bit so my average pace was around 10/mile.

My long run from Saturday was 8 miles followed by ~4 mile recovery runs later in the week.  I wasn't really motivated and ended up pushing them back to the end of the week.  I'm not sure if it was the cold weather or just the long work hours.

Either way I know I have 9 miles coming up tomorrow and I'm planning on using some Gu Chomps to try and get used to ingesting those to make sure I won't have any stomach issues.  A week from then, I have the North Shore Cupid Dash in Highland Park, IL.  That's a 10k so I'm going to be running an additional 4 miles after the race to keep up with my mileage.  I'm shooting for a sub 60 minute race time.