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.