Sunday, December 30, 2012

Recap: Dash Into the New Year 5k

This was a crazy 5k, not the race itself but getting to the race was literally a challenge

Race Morning
Long story short
-we thought the race started at 9am... and it actually started at 8.
-We almost ran out of gas (didn't have enough time for pit stop) or else we would've missed the start.
-It started snowing/flurries, so people were driving like there was a blizzard.
-We arrived with 5 minutes to spare to Mattison IL, with just enough gas, picked up our packets, pinned our bibs and lined up at the start line (if you can call it a start line lol).

Mile 1 - 7:22, I tried staying calm and not go out too fast.
Mile 2 - 7:26  Wooh! Not tired yet, and I feel good, just trying to keep my pace, I could see one girl in front of me
Mile 3 - 7:29 At this point, I was feeling a little exhausted after the hill going back, but I was still feeling good regardless. Maybe I don't hate 5ks afterall
The last 0.1- at 6:27, I saw where the finish line was and I ran as hard as I could, I was a few feet away when I saw the clock and it is still in the 22s! Ahh!!! I was a few steps away when I knew this was def a PR but I would miss a sub 23 by a few seconds.

Finish Time 23:06 (39 second PR wooh!)
2nd Female Overall
1st Place 20-24 AG

Wow. That was an amazing race, even if there was no awesome goodies, or marked/closed course, or chip-timing. I feel like I can finally enjoy a 5k. I would stress out so much before, but now I think I can handle it. I was a little nervous of how I was ever going to get my 5k time down but without expecting it, I did it. I really feel proud of this race. I gave it my all. I think I can run a sub 23 sooner than I thought.

We hung around for about an hour trying to wait for the placing medals. All they had afterwards were oranges, bagels (?) or more like pieces of bagels with cream cheese and water. They also had on-site massages in the gym, where everything was held.

Race Overall:
-Well... it was a very small race. I think smallest I've done. Only a little over 100 runners.
-T-shirts were nice looking, but I always have issues with sizing (and forget to ask for youth size if they offer it).
-first clock timed race, a little different but gets the job done
-It was about a 30 minute drive from home, not bad.
-The course was decent, not too many turns or hills. It was poorly marked, but there were police officers directing you at a turn.

Would I do this again next year? Maybe (Just to re-live this moment haha) or if I decide to buy an Active Membership and get the race registration for cheaper..

Recap - JV

I came into this race with the expectation of running a sub 19:30 5k. As soon as we got to the start line, realization kicked in.   My legs were sore/stiff and I was freezing.  When the race began, runners scattered everywhere.  The fast runners dashed off to the front and everybody soon was following.  For the first mile I stayed in the middle of the pack.   At the first turn, there was a bridge, which forced most of the runners to slow down.  I was able to pull off the first mile at 6:14.  After the bridge, we ran through a residential area and did a small loop.  By mile 2 (6:19), I was 4th overall and I was chasing down the runner in front of me.   I was slowly catching up to him, but it got more difficult as my legs were getting tighter and tighter. Things got more difficult when I encountered the bridge once again.  It was during this time when I looked at my Garmin and noticed that I had slowed down significantly.  Mile 3 was done at 6:33 and I just had enough energy to sprint to the finish with a time of 19:48 and ended up with first place in my age group m20-24.


-No Start Line?
-No timing mats at the start line- only at the finish line
 -No aid stations
-Miles weren’t timed

-Goody bag
-T-shirt was nice
-We can stay inside the Gym after the race

That wraps up 2012! And completes our 12 races this year

:) Happy New Year

Any new years resolutions?
I'm still working on my "To Do list".. hah

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

2013 "To Do List" Draft

The year isn't over just yet but I'm really excited for the new year. I even started making my list of things to cross off. :)

Looking back, 2012 was a pretty darn good year. No injuries that sidetracked me. No DNFs. PRs. Awesome races and goodies. School and work cooperated with my running schedule. NO SNOW YET! (awesome in my opinion) Although I probably should want some snow and hard weather conditions to train in, my toes prefer dry sidewalks thank you :)

So.. 13 things on the top of my head to cross-off in 2013 include...

1) Complete the LA Marathon in March, injury-free
2) Run a 1:45 half marathon (current PR 1:48)
3) Run a sub 23min 5k
4) Do a night run
5) go vegetarian for 2 weeks
6) run a sub-48min 10k
7) Run a race in Canada!
8) pay off my credit card
9) do a Halloween race & dress up :)
10) Run 1400 miles in 2013
11) Participate in a mud run
12) attempt a duathlon or sprint tri
13) raise $500 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation

of course these are just random things I thought of within 5 mins or things I'm curious about.. (or things already in my race calendar) so of course this list will change, but hopefully I get most of these things done (especially #8 haha) 

14) Complete 21 races before turning 21 (may 21 2013) Golden Birthday :) nvm, too broke :(
15) Run a marathon faster than Sarah Palin lol
16) Eventually rename this blog... I never actually "named" it. It was more of a heading and it stuck. haha
17) run a 5k with my dad

18) Tone up and lose a couple more pounds

What things are you planning for 2013?
Any resolutions? Goals?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Indy Santa Hustle Half Marathon

I peer-pressured JV to sign up for this race with me for 3 reasons:
1) we had not ran a half since Sept and I missed it
2) I wanted to do an out-of-state race before the year ended (our first!)
3) I wanted to complete 12 races in 2012 (this made it race #11, half marathon #4)

So we signed up. Registration was $55, not bad for a half marathon. We were not able to pick up our packets (they only offered packet pick-up the day before the race, boo). I viciously stalked twitter, facebook, and dailymile to see if anyone was also running it. We got lucky, and a nice runner from Indy did us the favor of picking it up for us. Hurray for awesome runners like her!

The drive wasn't that bad, when we arrived, we picked up our packets, and checked into our hotel. I made a huge mistake during our little road trip and ate Cheetos and Cheese-nips. For some wierd reason, the combination hurts my stomach real bad. So we took a trip to CVS and I couldn't sleep well the rest of the night.

Race Morning
My stomach wasn't up for any breakfast, so we skipped out on the free breakfast offered by the hotel. We were able to see what Indy looked like in the daylight, and the first thing I noticed on our way to the start area were rolling hills, itty bitty ones, but they were hills (I hardly ever train on anything besides flat streets, oops). Uhm. I was hoping and praying the course was hill-free.

Long Story Short...

If I could go back and redo this race, I would. It was so much fun and challenging. After getting started without my garmin, I knew my overall pace and time was going to be off by a little but I could manage without it. I manually lapped mile 1, and from there on, it was pretty right on with the course markers.

Mile 1-7
Nothing really happened during the first 7 miles, it was just through downtown areas and through streets of Indy. Some streets weren't closed off for the runners, once we steered away from the downtown area and into the woods, the intersections were being controlled by a police officer. 
what the hell is that?!
...that explains my horrible 8th & 9th split

Before I encountered the hill, I was thinking, maybe I could actually run this half at about a sub 8:10 pace.. my splits had been right on.
And then THAT happened. -->
The "monster hill." The brutal, time-sabotaging hill. I noticed it from afar, but didn't think we would actually have to run OVER it.

Mile 7.8 - 10
There was cyclist around this area, and some of them were even avoiding it. I kept thinking over and over, "don't push too hard. You don't want to collapse, cramp up, or let this stupid hill get the best of you".  So.. I slowed down.. ALOT. A guy in front of me stopped, and walked up the hill. Smart. but I just jogged ahead. I could def feel the incline and at that point I felt I had never actually experienced a tough course like this one. The downhill was a breeze, and let me legs fly past the 8th mile mark. then before I knew it, there came ANOTHER FREAKING HILL! Right after my little celebration, I felt like my PR had instantaneously disappeared.. There was no way in hell I was going to do a sub 1:49. Nope. No way. Screw it, let me just finish this race.

Throughout the race I made quick 5 second stops at mile 4 and 6 for water and Gatorade after taking a Shot Blok. After mile 8, I stopped for a little longer, stretched and took 2 Shot Bloks with water before returning to the next 5 miles.

Mile 10, I took it slow, let my legs get in the groove and recover. One reason I love half marys, even if you run a slow mile, or 2, or 3, you can def bounce back. So I took my time to complete mile 10, and I felt alot better when I crossed the mile mark. 10 Done, 3.1 to go.

The last 3.1 
I was so glad I had slowed and recovered because i felt a little refreshed, I was still tired and legs were heavy, but I was able to speed up from here on after. Negative splits!!! I felt so good the last mile, it felt AMAZING! I had never felt this good for the last part of a half. I felt a little heaviness in my legs after hitting mile 12, but nothing compared to before during previous races. The last 2 miles were usually my slowest and the hardest, not today :)

Finishers Medal (left)
Placing Medal (right)
The last mile was all next to the river, and down a beautiful path. I ran harder, not looking at my watch by now, just running by feel. I passed up a few girls who looked like they were done. Out of no whee, an older women, who looked in her 50s PASSED ME! hahaha. So i let her be my lead. I saw the finish line, she kicked and then I. When I saw the time on the clock, it was in the 1:48s! OMG! I COULD ACTUALLY PR! here! In INDIANA! ON THIS BRUTAL COURSE! As I ran across the finish line, McSpeedy was waiting for me, with my medal in hand. I felt so happy to be done. I was so excited to find out if I really PRed.

Finish Time: 1:48.39 (shiny new PR)
3rd Place in 20-24 AG
28th overall female

We walked around and back to the finish line in time to hear we had placed! and took our placing medals.

This was such a fun race. Although the course caught me off guard and challenged me, it was well organized. I had my doubts after hearing about the Chicago Santa Hustle, but this one turned out very well. The course was pretty and different than what I'm used to. There was cookies and other goodies ON the course, but I skipped out on them.
-Dri-fit T's :)
-Nice looking medals :)
-Goodies at the end :)

The only complaint I have is the packet pick up.. so I would probably rate this a 4.5 out of 5. Besides that, I will def do this next year (if I'm up for the challenge).

Santa Hustly Indy Half Marathon 12/16/2012

This was our first race that we ever did out of state.  It was about a 3-hour drive from Chicago, but it was well worth it.  Luckily the race started at 9 AM meaning we can recover from our long drive and get some rest. As soon as we arrived to Indianapolis, we noticed that it was somewhat hilly compared to Chicago.  We were hoping the half-marathon route wouldn’t be as hilly, but we were dead wrong.  On race day, we were able to find parking right by the starting line for about $3/hr, which was pretty cheap.  As we were walking to the starting line, we noticed that there were a lot of people wearing Santa hats and holiday colors.  The starting line was full with runners.  We had to squeeze our way through the crowds of people to get to the front.

When the race began, I had to start running around people.  I saw a guy running with a stroller and a few people who placed themselves in the wrong corral.   My goal for this race was to run at 6:45 even pace for all my 13 miles, which would be a 1:28:30. This was a very comfortable pace for me and I was aiming at beating my 1:30 PR.   After a mile from the starting line, we started running on the streets.  I saw many runners sprint at the start, but I did my best to run my own race.  As the race went on I noticed that there would be times that it would get hilly, but I wouldn’t let that distract me as much.  Miles 1-8 were perfect at even pace.  I passed up most of the runners that started off fast in the beginning. Half way through the race, I felt great and thought it would be a cakewalk back to the finish line.  I was wrong.  By the time I got to mile 8, there was huge hill which forced me to fall off pace.  I was disappointed, but I didn’t let that bring me down.   These hills kept playing mind games and it got more difficult.  It felt like there was hill after hill.  Luckily towards the finish things started to level off and I finished with 3rd in my age group and time of 1:31.  I knew if it wasn’t for these hills I could of definitely pulled the 1:28 off.  There’s always next time though :) 

-Well organized
-Santa hats/beards included with bib
-Bananas and Cookies after the race
-Cool finishers medal
-Age group awards
-Candy aid station? Haha :)
-First hilly race, even though it made me slow down :(
-First out of state race !
-Fun road trip :)

-Times weren’t displayed along the route (luckily I had my Garmin)
-Few aid stations
-They didn’t have a variety of snacks at the finish line
-As the half-marathon runners were getting close to the finish line, we had to weave around the 5k walkers through a very narrow path.

Amazing weather!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Rudolph Ramble 8k

A bit late but here it is.

We expected it to rain and 35 degree weather that morning.. The weather here is apparently bipolar... because not so long ago it was in the 70s.

8k Goal: Run it at a 7:47 pace
We got up that morning to this --> yuck
Instead of checking-in our gear, we waited in the car. Smarty pants (JV) decided to wear shorts and a short sleeve. We were able to warm up a little when we finally left the car and jogged to the start line. People looked cold. And a sponsor was giving out bags (?) in order to stay warm and dry. By the time the race started, the rain had cleared up but left a mess behind. The course was unpaved at the beginning, so it was obviously very muddy.

Uhm.. I don't know what happened during mile 4, def need to work on keep my pace below an 8min/mile when it comes to short races. Grr? I still don't like anything shorter than a 10k.. Why? I love distance..? Maybe my legs are anti-speed.

Mile 1: Holding back..
Finish Time: 38:36 at 7:45 pace
Mile 2: Ok, not bad. Now keep up. I see the turn around!
Mile 3
: I hate those crazy U-turns. My ankle is in pain.
Mile 4:
I'm so freaking tired..
Last .9mi:
Hallelujah! I see the finish line... I officially hate anything less than 10ks.

(Ended up finishing with a 7:45 pace. Woop Woop! First 8k, success?)

Actually, that is only what I remember... I just wanted to get out of there and into my pjs.
Sorry! Very generic recap. :(

Overall: Would I do it again? Maybe.. The race was on the usual lakeshort path.. and something over $40 isn't really worth my money. Unless of course they offer awesome goodies/t-shirt/medal I would probably rate it at 2 out of 5, just because it was cold/raining and there wasn't any places to wait (besides in your car about a mile away). But it's a holiday race.. so I'll give it an extra point i guess?
T-shirt: Cute, but cotton?
Price: I think I paid $35 or $40 for it. A tad bit pricey.
Organization: pretty much just set up a bunch of tents with sponsors, port-a-potties at the starts, chip-timed and timed mile marker.

Oh and they were giving out antlers and Rudolph red noses (that looked like clown noses if you weren't wearing antlers haha)
Clown.. or Rudolph noses? Hm..

I ended up bumping into Christina, from Chicago Running Bloggers, she's training for her first half marathon in January (go Christina!). We took a picture together and looking at it now, we are akwardly smiling because we were literally freezing our asses. haha :)


Rudolph Ramble 8k by JV

Our first 8k race!! To be honest, I’ve only heard of a few 8ks.  Maybe its because it’s a weird distance (4.9 miles).   On race day, the weather was ugly.  It rained a couple hours before the start of the race and it was cold.    We found parking about 2 blocks away from the starting line.  It beats paying $20 at Lincoln Park Zoo.  By the time we got to the starting line, we just wanted the race to begin already because we were freezing! We saw many people wearing antlers and Santa hats.   They were also giving out free antlers and red noses for all the race participants, which I thought it was pretty cool to get everybody in the holiday spirit.

The race soon started and all the runners took off.  The start of the race was muddy and there were many puddles of water.  I saw runners getting splashed.  You had to watch were you were running for the first mile until we reached the lakefront trail.  The route along the trail was a simple and continued for about 1.5-2 miles then a turnaround.   They had an aid station in the middle of the route along the lakefront trail for runners going to the turnaround and for runners going back to the finish line.  As you were approaching the finish line, it got muddy and you had to watch out for puddles of water.  After the race I found out that I got 2nd in my AG 20-24.  I don’t know how I managed to pull this off.  I wasn’t feeling my best at the start of the race, but I can say that I’m happy with my first 8k

Overall, I liked the race and it was really fun.
-no good snacks at the finish
-mile marker at mile 2 wasn’t working when I passed by it

-Awesome shirt
-at least some of the mile markers were working.  (not all of them)
-free antlers and red noses haha
-organization was good

I Survived Winter Finals 2012

YES!!!!! They are OFFICIALLY over (finals) and to celebrate, we ran a half marathon in Indy! Recap later today. 

Quick update:

-Totally forgot to type up a recap for the Rudolph Ramble 8k we did last last weekend.

-Marathon Training
Finally started following a program (Hal's Intermediate I) and have tried sticking to it as much as I could these past few days. I technically just finished week 5 of the plan.. so from now on, I'll refer to it based on what's left (March 17 seems to be getting closer and closer) . Hurray! Having a plan kind of gives me hope that I'll actually finish this thing.

Week 4: Total 27 miles (Week of 8k)
Monday- Suppose to crosstrain, but did 1.5mi
Tuesday- 7 mi
Wed- 5 mi
Thurs- 2 mi
Fri- 6 mi
Sat - rest
Sunday- Rudolph Ramble 8k

Week 5: Total 28 miles (Taper week, for Indy Half on Sunday)
Mon- crosstrain aka studied for finals aka took an unexpected rest day
Tue- 3 mi
Wed- 6mi
Thur- rest
Fri- 6 taper miles
Sat- Rest

-Christmas is NEXT WEEK! and there's still no snow! Holy shit.. I like.

-Having a month off school sounds really amazing right now


Monday, December 3, 2012

60 degrees in December and My Goals

Holy smokes.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm not complaining about this weather. This past weekend was amazing! Sunday, I woke up feeling iffy. Lately, my joints feel tired? Sore? I dunno. My lowest mileage month was October (48 miles, what the heck?!) and in November, my mileage doubled. Oops. Maybe that's why my joints are feeling it. But everything else feels great!

November Recap: With November ending, looking back it was a fantastic running month!
- I got 109 miles done. Woohoo!
- two 10ks (new PR), one 5k (new PR)
- I decided to give myself a break this month from calorie counting, and stayed away from my scale, and to my surprise, I didn't stray away from my "comfortable" weight. Yay! With all the running and eating, it makes sense I didn't gain or lose anything.

Sunday's Surprising Run
Anyways back to Sunday! We didn't have a goal set in mind as we walked out the door (in shorts and a tank!), but after our warm up we decided 10 miles would be nice and he challenged me to try to keep it at 7:50. He was trying to kill me apparently...

Mile 1-5, average pace was 7:51! and I was feeling good. After mile 6, I was starting to feel my legs getting tired. And after mile 7, I def slowed down. The last 2 miles, I was trying to focus on keeping my pace and not slowing down even further, which tends to happen to me. After we were done, I couldn't believe my eyes. We had finished those 10 miles in an hour and 19 minutes at a 7:57 pace. I was exhausted, but I felt GOOD! Dunno if it had to do with the weather..

I am on runners high at the moment.. since yesterday. This gives me hope for the Santa Hustle Half in two weeks. I can come real close to my goal time. I was hoping to run a 1:45 in the spring.. But I think I can do it sooner than that.

So I'm adjusting my goals a bit..

-We have the Rudolph Ramble 8k this weekend... never ran an 8k.. so I'm going to try to run it a close to my 5k pace but faster than my 10k. (I suck at short distance, at the moment I hate 5ks). Goal pace: 7:47

-Plan A: Going to attempt to run the Santa Hustle half at a 1:45:58 (8:05pace)
Plan B: 1:47 (8:10 pace)
Plan C: ...if worst comes to worst... at least PR (sub 1:49, 8:20 pace)  

Why is this going to be hard?  I won't have the bf with me.. pacing me. I run faster with him than alone.

That, and Finals are next week. Am I going to try to squeeze in running? Maybe. Hopefully.

Marathon Training

Ahh.. I'm planning to look up some plans this afternoon.. or tomorrow afternoon.. and come up with something to atleast get me started. The bf kind of popped my bubble. I thought I had more time to relax after finals and turns out, we were already suppose to begin. With finals, other goals in my head, turkey trotting, and Christmas around the corner, I completely forgot how time flies. Next thing I know... March will be here and I will be ready.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

LA Marathon & Nike Womens Half --HELP!

With all the turkey-trotting and finals coming up, I've hardly had time to type up anything besides recaps.

The crazy bug bit me before Thanksgiving break, and I signed up for the LA Marathon and the Nike Women's Half in DC. (Just looking at the word "marathon" is freaking me out.) So I need some advice for this first-time marathoner.

I've never followed any training plans, so it's going to be tough sticking to one (for 16 weeks?!). Especially during the long, cold, dark winter days. The marathon is in early March, in California weather I'm not sure what to expect. There's a couple things that stress me out besides following a training plan.

1) what marathon training plan to follow?
2) training in cold winter, to then run in California.. ehm? Will this be a bad thing?
4) there's hardly any races during the winter, is it a good or bad thing?
5) motivation to go out and run in 20 degree weather
3) the upcoming winter here in Chicago is unpredictable.. running 13mi+  in the snow?

I'm also running this marathon for charity (Susan G. Komen) and my minimum goal is to hit $500. I have more than enough time to raise this money, but how do I get started? Any good tips on what to do and how to go about fundraising? If anyone is kind enough.. and donate here! :) that would be sooo nice of you

Now.. onto the Nike Women's Half.

I'm not too stressed about it (the distance anyway) but it's about 4 weeks after the marathon.. will I have recovered by then? When I first heard about this inaugural race in DC, I thought "this will be my goal race" I've made it a goal to run a half in 1:45 ever since I finished the Chicago Half at 1:49. But will my legs be fully recovered by then? I'm not so sure

... so Plan B is to just finish it and have fun. I always wanted to run a Nike Women's race (looks awesome! and Tiffany necklace at the finish line ;).. even if it's really expensive. The perks of being a college student -- not only did I get the registration at a discounted price, but I also got a guaranteed spot (no raffle or waiting to see if I got in).

Is anyone else running the DC race?
Me and another fellow run club runner are planning to drive there so we're looking for anyone who is wanting to split gas costs! Please let me know :)
and if you're debating whether to run it or not.. registration is still open! If you're a college student $125 & guaranteed entry :)

Sincerely, distressed and in need of advice runner...

Friday, November 23, 2012

Race Recap: Long Grove Turkey Trot 5k

Why am I not out shopping for Black Friday deals?!?! well..
1. I don't want to get trampled on (I'm short, I get hit in the face.. on the bus, going up the stairs.. Going into a store with a million other people sounds dangerous)
2. I don't really need anything... besides normal people clothes. I don't remember the last time I bought a pair of jeans or a blouse.
3. I don't want to go out in the cold to shop, I would rather go out for a run :)

I will wait patiently for Cyber Monday (BTW anyone know of any good deals yet?)
Now that Thanksgiving is over, it officially feels like Christmas season!

Thanksgiving consisted of running my second 5k, eating turkey, watching movies, eating turkey, and watching more movies, and eating cookies.

5k Recap
The 5k was in a cute little town of Long Grove. I was really looking forward to this 5k since I'm a big fan of All Community Events races and their goodies and (placing) medals. Getting there wasn't hard considering they had country roads (i think). Those roads that have a little sign with the street name and looks like your about to go into the woods.. We also used a GPS app, just in case.
Parking was free, always a good thing, and we could see the start line from where we parked. Packet pick-up was a breeze, except the volunteers looked confused at one point. I was a little dissapointed that they ran out of Smalls, and instead got a Medium, but I'll survive. The sweater was still warm and cute for wearing after the race. Gear-check was also a breeze, and it's always a good thing they bring extra bags, just in case your warm up clothes don't end up fitting in your drawstring bag :) There was a lonnng line for the port-a-potties though, which is never a surprise.

After dropping our bags off, we went and lined up about 10 minutes before the race started. We tried staying behind what looked like a high school track team. lol We knew they were going to sprint off, which was a red flag if I wanted to start off calmly.
The course started off in their small paved streets but led us past some woods, and small section of trail. The course was looped, flat and mostly paved. As we passed the first Mile, I did a really good job pacing myself, a little under my goal pace and even clocked my second mile 2 seconds slower. I was feeling good until we passed mile 2. I was starting to feel tired, and knew that my legs were going to be letting me down today. I stuck with a few guys till about mile 2.8 and sped up. At mile 3, I saw the finish line and also one of the guys coming up behind me. I was a little too late to kick my legs a little faster but still finished under my 5k PR. I was a little dissapointed with my finish and the last half mile, but there's always next time.
I ended up placing 2nd in my age group and shedding a few seconds of my 5k time. After getting our goodies we walked around the little town. My favorite part was the hot cider :) It was addicting and I kept going back for more. There was also beer for those over 21, free massages, live band (although I did not see one single turkey. Like a blown up turkey :(

I'm definitely signing up for this race next year, I really liked the course and the food. and the hot cider.



After our long drive from Chicago, we just wanted to start racing!! The weather was perfect for running. We were both really excited for the 5k and because it was Thanksgiving.  (who doesn't love eating a lot of turkey  and other goodies )

As soon as we got to the race we saw that most of the tents were crowded with runners surrounding them.  We found the packet pick up tent and picked up our bib numbers.  We also got a brown sweater, but it wasn't the size we requested because they ran out.  After picking up our bib numbers we went to gear check which was a truck.  Gear check was smooth without any problems.  I just didn't think that they'll be using a truck for gear check haha. After gear check we went to the starting line.  The starting line wasn't really that organized and it was really narrow.


And were off!!! All the fast runners sprinted off and I tried to maintain my own pace this time.  I did my best to focus on my form and pace.  I ran the first mile at 6:15 and thought to myself okay not bad next one better be around the same time or couple seconds off.  As mile 2 was creeping up, i  soon started catching up to some of the runners who sprinted off in the start .  I was able to do mile 2 at 6:19  and was feeling okay , but things got a bit hard around the 15 minute mark.
I thought to myself this is were the race really starts.  I fought hard to maintain my pace and form. I just wanted the race to end already!  When i looked at my watch for mile 3, My pace dropped, but i got a boost when i saw the finish line insight.  I sprinted to the end with a total time of 19:51 and came in 3rd place 19-24 age group.   Most of the race was ran on the local streets, many which weren't even closed.  The local police just stopped traffic when runners were coming through.  Overall the course was very fast and flat.

Post Race:

Post race after party was good.  They had many goodies and many tents offering free stuff.
Even free massages.

-Fast/Flat course
-Goodies!! (hot cider, chewy bars, candy , etc.)
-Beer?  Not 21 so i wouldn't know
- Free sweater
- 1500+ runners

- Didn't  have our sizes for the sweater

Overall , we both liked the race and would definitely consider to do it again next year.  It was fun and they had many goodies at the end and we both PRed for our 5k distance , which is always a plus.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Race Recap: Lincolnwood Turkey Trot 10k

I think 10k's are my new favorite distance after HM's :)
They're fast, but not too fast, and the distance is just in the middle.
I got the 10k itch after completing last weeks Chicago Perfect 10. The morning of the race, there we went, and I registered a few minutes before the race started.

10k Goal: have fun. It was my first turkey trot ever and first consecutive same-distance race within 7 day span. Although, I wasn't going to take anything above 50 minutes. That would be slacking on my part.

Race Day Registration: Smooooooth. 1 person in front of me, and got my t-shirt, bib, 'goodie' bag filled with bunch of fliers and my pins. Done.

2 seconds to pin my bib on. Then lined up at the gear check.

Gear Check: Not too long of a line. Second time using gear check. Usually at bigger races I avoid those lonnnng lines, but this was a smaller race so why not? Kudos to volunteers for keeping the line going :)

Course: comment. It was my fault for not looking up the course map beforehand, but hey it was a spur of the moment kind-of-thing when we decided to run this race. But here is a snapshot. and it's not pretty.
I'm used to running races on the lakefront.. and with straighter courses. Can you imagine what it was like running a race, not knowing there was so many turns, it kind of felt like a corn maze. When you thought it was finally going to stop, BAM! there came another turn. and another. And when you thought the finish line was after the next turn. It wasn't. Damn it. But it was a good experience. Change is good, and atleast it kept my mind busy from my aching shins (oh yeah, wore my new Brooks, which I shouldn't have, I'm such a noob).

I may come off as mean, but why were there kids on the course?! Especially right by the finish line. A few yards from when I was about to finish, a little girl just jumped in front of me (and probably slowed me down by a few seconds), it would've been terrible if I hadn't seen her..
Which reminds me... having a 5k, a walk, and a 10k all on the same course= not such a good idea. During the last mile, I had to weave in and out of 5k people and walkers. I'm glad I wasn't going for a PR.

6th in 20-29 AG
3rd if they had 20-24 :( darn...
The mile marks and clocks were right on though! Which is always a good thing. Too bad my splits sucked.--->

(look at that first split.. what was I thinking, I was kenyan or something? no way I was going to keep that pace up, what a noob..)

I was really tired after mile 3 and regretted not signing up for the 5k instead haha. but as soon as we hit mile 5, I felt I had warmed up enough (or slowed down enough actually) to keep going. Maybe I could come close to last weeks time? & I did woohoo! I was off by 2 seconds (I blame the little girl at the end, and my shin splints... and the crazy course ;) haha.

... this only encourages me to run another 10k. Damnit...

Top left: stacks of boxes of pizza, no line!
Top Right: live band
Bottom left: cozy warm sponsorship tent with food/goodies inside
Bottom right: Free Hot Chocolate & Coffee Trucks :)
 After Party: After today's race, I could say Chicago Perfect 10 sucked. This race had alot more goodies at the end.

-boxes and boxes of pizza
-Hot Chocolate & coffee
-expo under a tent, kept us warm
-live band
-Chewy bars (but they ran out after a while :(

The only thing they could've had was a finishers medal, but hey it was just a turkey trot.

 For Mid-november, the weather has been amazing!



This was actually our first race outside of Chicago.  Finding parking was a bit difficult, we had to drive around for a while until we found parking lot by a grocery store.  After finding parking, we had to run to registration and pick up our bib numbers and check in our gear.  The whole process went smooth without any waiting .

And were off! Both the 5k and 10k runners started off together.  I tried to maintain a relaxed pace throughout the start of the race, not trying to use a lot of my energy.  The first mile was done at 6:07 according to my Garmin. I did my best to maintain this pace , but it became more difficult as the race went on.   The course was flat and consisted of many turns!! (at least for the 10k route) The turns were not only confusing , but they only made me want to finish the race already! The route back to the finish line was packed with a lot of runners/ walkers because the 5k/10k route came together as one.  The last mile was the most tiring for me throughout the whole race.  I just wanted to finish already, but i also wanted to beat last weeks time.  I pushed through and finished 42:00 flat.  I beat last weeks time by a few seconds, but off from my 10k PR (40minutes)  Not bad for not being in top notch running shape like in the summer.  Time to work hard >:)


-free pizza!
-free plastic water bottles
-bag with a race shirt
-1000+ runners
-timed mile markers

-They ran out of snacks. (chewy bars-granola bars, hot chocolate)
-10k had too many turns! It felt like if i was going in circles
-Age groups are not in 4 year increments.


NEXT UP! Long Grove Turkey Trot 5k!

Any suggestions/advice on how NOT to sprint off at the beginning... it's getting to be a bit of a problem.

Anyone know of any upcoming 10ks? tehe.

Happy Turkey Trotting :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Race Recap: Chicago Perfect 10

My morning: started out at 5am... with a cramp on my left calf that had woken me up. It seriously felt like 5 whole minutes had gone by and I was still clutching to my leg in bed :( Worst. pain. ever. My race mornings never fail to surprise me.


My goal for the race was to keep my time under 50 minutes and if my legs felt like going fast today, maybe even PR. (Chicago 10k finished at 49:44)

The 10k was paid for by UIC, and funded 15 of our runners in the running club. Pretty neat, so even if I didn't like the race, I wasn't going to really mind. Free race = happy Luz, regardless.

The race was pushed back by half hour.. which was good and bad. But more of a good thing, I think. We had just parked a few blocks away from Navy Pier when we heard from fellow bloggers that the race had been moved back. We were barely going to make it on time, so it gave us a few minutes to check-in our gear.

The course:
-was a bit, odd. First thing I noticed was before hitting the lake front trail, we had to run on the road, next to incoming cars. The only thing separating us from them, was a few cones spread out. Uh?
-The hills. Oh my jebus.. Was not mentally prepared for those. Or physically actually. I guess I've been running on super flat courses for the past few weeks.
-no Gatorade for the 10mile runners?

Post race:
-Bananas, bagels and Powerade. I'm not a big fan of Powerade, but after I was done, I took a bottle (not knowing what it was) and it tasted okay.
-Not enough goodies in my opinion.
-We went back to indoor warm place and pick up our gear, which was convenient.
-Gear check-in went smooth, and pick-up as well, with no lines.
-Got to meet up with two Chicago Running bloggers (Christina & Maggie) while hanging out near the gear check :)
Javier, me and Christina

Maggie, me and Javi
-had fun, but would hesitate to register with my own money next year.
-Shirt, a tad bit small.
-Nice bling
-Ended up finishing at 48:43 (7:51 pace), which means a new PR :) and even got 3rd in my AG

Chicago Perfect 10 Recap -  by JV


After doing the Chicago 10k back in August and liking the distance,  Luz and I definitely wanted to do another 10k race. We were very excited for the 10k and were hoping in hitting a new PR.  We got to Navy Pier around 7:15 only to find out that the race had been pushed back to start around 8 am.  We didn't mind because it allowed us time to park the car and go to gear check.  Once we got to Navy Pier, the whole event seemed a bit disorganized .  There were people everywhere and very little room for all the runners.  We decided to kill some time inside because it was a bit chilly outside until we heard that the race was about to begin.  We ran to the start line and placed ourselves in our corrals.  As soon as we got to our corrals, the race started.


As soon as I crossed the starting line, my Garmin wasn't working properly. I had to mess around with it until i finally got it working again.  After that i tried my best to get into race mode.  I found it a bit difficult getting into "race mode" because the start was crowded and the route was a bit narrow.  I accidentally stepped on a runner in the process.  I tried to put all that aside and focus on my running form and pace.  As we left Navy Pier and hit the lakefront trail , everything seemed okay until it started to get more and more crowded.  10 Miler runners and 10k runners were running with one another.  Adding to that were the bikers along the route.  There was also confusion with the clocks along the route.  The times that were being displayed along the mile markers were different for the 10 milers and the 10k , but there was no clear indication on which one was the correct time for the 10k people and the 10 miler people. At the turn around, i just wanted the race to be over already.  I was happy that i was halfway done, but i knew that i wasn't going to PR or anything.   I tried my best to focus , but i just couldn't get into my zone.  I pushed through those last miles until i finished!!

The race overall for me was okay.  I liked that there was:
-finishers medal
-enough people so it can be competitive
-parking close to navy pier
-cool looking shirt, but i heard that it runs small along the arms

-Route was packed with people at the start and along the race
-Clocks caused confusion among runners
-not enough goodies at the end
-Aid stations were dead only few volunteers giving out water without any cheering

Other than that I'm looking forward  to our next race which will happen on Thanksgiving Day (the Long Grove Turkey Trot).

We're both hoping to PR for the 5k distance!!

McSpeedy & I :) ♡

UIC Running Club

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hot Chocolate 15/5k (Volunteering)

This was suppose to be my race-aversary (sp?). The very first race I ever signed up for was the Hot Chocolate 15k in 2011... and it took alot of me to not sign up this year. After alot of debating, I decided to skip out on it. And after all the complaints this year, I think I'll skip out next year too. Instead I registered for a 5k ($30) and a Half Marathon (Chicago Half sale price $35) for the price of one 15k race. (deal or what?) I still wanted to be there race day since a bunch of friends were running it and I wanted to cheer them on and volunteer.

(Thanks jebus for daylight savings time change)
I got up at 4:30am and got ready, left my house by 5am. There was no traffic at the time, but there was a random driver on I-55 driving in the wrong direction, going towards us. (WTF) yeah...
Drive: 15 mins, no traffic

Parking: We were stationed at mile 7 to volunteer, and got easy metered parking a few feet from the 7 mile mark. (25cents an hour) Of course we had to wait till the course reopened in order to get out of there.. but no complaints about that.

As soon as we met up with our leader, we began carrying boxes of water & cups and started filling. It was cold. I was freezing and sleepy. But I packed some left over halloween candy to fuel me through the cold morning :D (har-har). They also gave us warm sweaters, which we had to wait for because they had ran out at our station... (no surprise there) but we still got them after a while of waiting. It was about 6:45am when they finally decided to give us hand warmers, the things you shake and they warm up. Lifesavers.

They took them 10 mins after 7am to finally start up the timer by our station and I noticed the race had started late.. uh oh.  (Not a good sign)

We saw the first runners across lake shore, the still needed to pass the turnaround. Once they did, first male crossed the 7 mile mark around 35 mins. (5 min pace, Super fasttttt)
1st male
2nd Male, he looked like he was in pain..
3rd Male, nice shoes dude

2nd Female

1st Female, 6 min pace! Jeez.

I had not looked at the course map for this years race, and honestly thought it was the exact same course as last years. Was I wrong. For one, running down lake shore is kinda boring, compared to how they did it last year, but that's just me. They had changed a pretty decent course and ruined it. Nice one.

Anyways, I got to see some of UIC Run Club's runners and Chicago blogger too! I had missed the blogger meetup... Maybe next weekend @ the Navy Pier Perfect 10 :)

I can't believe I was screaming for almost 3 hours at that water station. My throat hurt like hell by the end, but I loved it. I just wish I had brought a poster and a cowbell haha people at my aid station weren't so enthusiastic... So I kinda had to scream my lungs out. Idk if it helps runners push through (since I always listen to music during races, I don't really pay attention to what goes on around me).
Does it help?

Well that was that. I had a great time volunteering and cheering on runners! I have no regrets on missing out on this race.  I knew for a fact I would have PRed my 15k distance. (avg pace in 2011 was @ 9:30.. and it was my first race, I could do it in my sleep now, basically lol) So I didn't really need to race this, it was kind of a given I would be happy with whatever my time was. I'm really excited for the next two weeks on my running calendar.
Chicago Perfect 10 next Saturday (Nov 10) and the Long Grove Turkey Trot 5k (Weds. Nov. 22nd). Woohoo!!

Sayo-nara Hot Chocolate.. maybe if you add more things to give me, and better goodies I might consider registering for your race next year.. Maybe.
And change the course. And maybe even a medal would be nice.
Lowering the price would be nice too..

McSpeedy and I

Monday, October 29, 2012

Freedom Isn't Free 5k

Well that kinda sucked...
I learned my lesson never to go out with friends the night before a race. Bad idea.
I ate a good filling breakfast after a 4 hour nap.. and tried shaking off the hangover. I was feeling better by 10am. Thank goodness the start time was at 11 :)

mmm... Hot Chocolate and an egg McMuffin

The course was flat and easy, go out west, loop around a small park and back. Simple. Ha... As soon as the runners when out, I knew my body was not prepared to sprint off the start line, but I did and clocked my first mile at 7:10ish. eek. Not good, too fast for what I had in mind. My stomach felt it. Other runners always say, don't go out too fast on the first mile, it's going to bite you in the ass later. And it did. Second and third mile was def slower.
A 5k is way different than a half marathon, which is what I've been doing all summer. I registered a few days before the race, and had not been thinking "short=super kenyan fast". I guess the short distance messed with my head and so did the speed. The first half, I felt my form was all over the place, dunno if it was just me.
I didn't even have it in me to sprint when I saw the finish line. I saw the clock at mile 3, showing 22:30something... I kissed my sub 23 goodbye. I was not about to puke. lol so I just kept running at my pace.

Finish Time 23:51
1st Place F 20-24
9th/242 Female

Pros: -11am start
-burgers and hot dogs afterwards
-very well organized race (~400 runners)
-great cause (all proceeds went to the Cpl. Conner Lowry Memorial Scholarship Fund at Brother Rice High School)
Cons: none :)

Good race, not gonna complain. I am now anxious to run another one. Soon.

5k Recap - JV
Our first “official” 5k race. We both have ran 10ks, 15ks, half marathons, 20 milers, and even a marathon, but we never found the time to squeeze in a 5k race. We were both really excited until race day finally came. We were sleep deprived, nervous, cold, and had terrible headaches. Nevertheless, we somehow managed to arrive at Brother Rice High School with hopes of meeting our expected finishing time (my goal 18:45+something, Luz’s goal 23 something). We picked up our packets at the race and ran back to the car. From there we can see the Marines putting on a show for everyone. People were gathering around the tents and booths that they had set up. We can also see the people that were lining up at the start line. We chose to wait inside the car until it was time for us to go to the starting line. As we saw more and more runners arriving, we started to get more nervous and excited at the same time. We just wanted to get it over with already!


10 second count down! Luz and I wished each other good luck and we were off!
All the runners rushed passed one another in hope of being the first one to cross the finish line. With all the excitement of the race starting, I didn’t notice that I was going a bit too fast than what I was supposed to go. First mile was done at 5:58. I tried to keep that pace for the next two miles, but I found it harder to keep as the race went on. By now, there were only two runners ahead of me so I felt pressured to keep close to them, but they slowly got further and further from me. Second mile was done by 12:30ish. By the second mile a few runners passed me up. I didn’t let it discourage me because I still thought I could meet my goal time. By the time mile 3 came long I just wanted to finish already. I looked up at the clock and it said 19:20ish. I missed my goal, but I still wanted to finish strong. With the finish line getting closer and closer, I finished with a sprint and a time of 20:04. Not bad for being sleep deprived and not preparing mentally .

At the end of the race, we just wanted to eat so we went to the cafeteria and got free burgers and hot dogs for all the runners. That is when we found out Luz got first place in 20/24 female group!! She also got this cool medal that was engraved. I'm so proud of her !! Wohooo!!
We both liked the race a lot. Definitely doing it again next year. We liked that the race took place on the streets. Each mile marker had a clock displaying the time. There were some supporters along the route. There were some volunteers along the route giving water/Gatorade. It was timed using B-tag chip and who doesn’t love free food!? The whole race was a great experience for both of us. Even though I didn’t meet my goal, I now know where I stand and know what I need to do for my next 5k race. Hopefully I meet my goal next time with what I learned from this race.

McSpeedy & I

JV @ the start line