Showing posts with label race recap. Show all posts
Showing posts with label race recap. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Race Recap: ZOOMA Great Lakes Half Marathon

I ran my first ZOOMA half marathon in 2014. That race took place in Chicago on the lakefront path. You can read my recap here. It wasn't a race I planned on repeating. Fast forward to this winter when the ZOOMA race series made plans to return to the area, but instead with the race taking place in Lake Delavan, Wisconsin. That sparked interest in me. The original ZOOMA race was in nearby Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and I had never run a race in that area. Also, the race series had been purchased by a new promoter and they hired Erika Howder, who blogs at MCMMamaRuns, to be in charge of the expo and the ambassadors.

That sealed the deal. I wanted in.

I submitted an application to be a race ambassador, was chosen to be a national ambassador, and before I knew it, race day was here!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Race Recap: Rock 'N' Roll Chicago Half Marathon Weekend

Disclaimer: As a Rock'N'Blog Ambassador, I received a free entry to the Rock'N'Roll Chicago Half Marathon. My experience and my opinions are my own.

To think I considered not running this one at all. My knees had been bothering me and my endurance was AWOL. With so many blogger friends heading to my hometown to participate in the Rock'N'Roll Chicago weekend, I had to make a decision. Do I drop down to the 10k? Drop out? Who me? I contacted my rheumatologist who recommended steroid injections in my knees. Following the procedure, Mother Nature gifted us with some cool, low humidity days which led to some nicely paced, pain-free runs.

It's funny how things work out, isn't it? With some success on the road and a boost in my confidence, I stuck to my original plan to run the half marathon. I knew it would be tough. I made a race plan to use my 4:1 run/walk intervals. I set a goal finish time of 2:11 but realistically figured I'd finish around 2:15.

I was ready.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Race Recap: CARA Lakefront 10 miler

I just love this little race. This year is the 5th time I have run it and I look forward to it every year. This race attracts some of the best local runners in the Chicago area and it is super competitive. But because it's spring in Chicago, you can always count on a last-minute wardrobe decision for this one. Last year this race was held at the end of March. It was so cold for that one that they moved the race back to April with the hopes of better weather.

Of course, Mother Nature laughed, saying, "hold my beer"...

Thank goodness they serve up good beer at the finish line of this one!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Race Recap: Sarasota Half Marathon

The Monday before I was set to leave for my Florida vacation, I made a decision about something I had been considering for a few weeks. I went to the website for the Sarasota Half Marathon and reviewed all the logistics. Completed the entry form. Entered my payment information. Rechecked the logistics. Started to sweat. Did some deep breathing. Clicked submit.

Within seconds, I received an email confirmation of my entry into the Sarasota Half Marathon. The race was in 7 days. My husband told me I was nuts. My parents told me I was nuts. Maybe I was nuts. My last long run was 4 weeks prior when I ran the Mercedes Half Marathon. But I had been feeling good. My mileage was good. Plus, I had some unfinished business with this race.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

My First DNF: Buffalo Grove Stampede 10k Race Recap

Disclaimer: My result in no way reflects on the Buffalo Grove Stampede. The Stampede is a well-organized race which is part of the CARA race circuit. This race attracts a fast field of runners.

My friend Steph and I have been running together since the beginning of the year and we thought it would be fun to finally run a race together. We signed up to run the Hot Chocolate 15k in October. Two weeks ago, Steph and I were talking about the Buffalo Grove Stampede, a race both of us have done in the past. There is a 5k and a 10k. We decided to sign up for the 10k. A piece of cake, right?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Race Recap: Shake and Bake 5k Run

When Holly invited me to visit her and water ski, I asked her to find a race for us to run. I couldn't go all the way to Alabama without running a race, right? Apparently, finding a race in August in the south is a bit of a challenge. Kind of like finding a race here in Chicago in the middle of winter. Holly found a 5k, the Shake and Bake. The price was right: $20. Even though I haven't run a 5k in years, I was glad for that distance because I was a little fearful of running in the heat and humidity down south!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Race Recap: Wintrust Lakefront 10 Miler

Do you have a favorite race that you do over and over? For me, the Wintrust Lakefront 10 miler is one of those races. Over the years, the name of the race has changed, but the race remains the unofficial kickoff to the Chicago race season. Organized by the Chicago Area Runners Association, this is a "runners' race". The field is fast, the race is well planned, and the post-race party is exceptional. The only thing left to chance is the weather, and more often than not, the weather is a factor for the runners.

This was my 4th time running this race. I struggled with my pacing this week, as my RA symptoms started to increase. Coupled with the forecasted cool, cloudy, windy conditions, I wasn't sure how this race was going to go for me. My PR of 1:24:27 took place 2 years ago. I knew I wasn't going to PR today--I hoped to at least sub-1:30. My friend Kim from Running on the Fly decided to join me for this one. I figured if nothing else, we'd have a good time!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Race Recap: Panama City Beach Half Marathon

I had big plans for the Panama City Beach Half Marathon. My training went well. I hit all my paces. I had plans for at least a sub-2 half and maybe more.

But we all know about plans, right? And how even after training well for a race, it all comes down to one day, right?

I always have a backup goal of having fun and if you read my precap to this recap, you know that I crushed that goal! My finish time goal? Not so much...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Hot Wheeling: Venus de Miles Ride Recap

Another fun Venus de Miles Illinois event is in the books!

I participated in the 25-mile ride last year and was so happy with my experience that this year I applied to be an ambassador. The Venus de Miles ride benefits the Greenhouse Scholars, which is an organization dedicated to providing "personal and financial support to high-performing, under-resourced college students". This is a great organization and I was thrilled to be a part of it again this year! I summed up the mission of the ride in a blog post earlier this summer. Today's post is the recap of this year's event. There is also a ride coming up later this summer in Colorado.

My sister lives less than a mile from the start of the Illinois ride. Since she was riding with me this year I met her at her house.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Stampede 10k Race Recap

Another 10k? Why not? I'm embracing these shorter races where I can find my need for speed! Since this race takes place in the town where I live, I've run this one multiple times. I signed up a couple of weeks ago and made plans with my friend Sara to meet up.

And then disaster struck.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Salute 10k Race Recap

"Got freedom?"

Salute, Inc is a local organization in the Chicago suburbs dedicated to helping post 9/11 veterans as they transition back to civilian life. Several of my neighbors and running friends are involved as volunteers and also as part of Team Salute, running the Chicago Marathon not only to raise money but to raise awareness. Every year there is a 5k/10k/Tactical Challenge hosted by the town where I live. We are always out of town Memorial Day weekend, but due to my son's injury, we were home and I decided at the last minute to sign up for the 10k. It's always fun to run a race where you live and this one was no different.

I picked up my race packet at the local running store Saturday on my way home from work. I noticed that the bib had no timing chip. I asked the volunteers about it and they just shrugged their shoulders, responding, "we know nothing. We are just volunteers". The store owner thought maybe the tear off tabs on the bottom of the bib would be used to keep track of finish place. I laughed because this is how races were run years ago! "Keeping it old school, " I commented.

That night, breaking with tradition (I usually have pizza the night before a race) we went to dinner at the BBQ place where my son works. I ordered the pulled pork platter and it was delicious. Later, when he came home from work, Tom told me that the cooks were very concerned about making my food just right. I thought that was kind of cute! Clearly they must have put some good juju into my food, because--spoiler alert--I had a great race.

I woke up to beautiful blue skies, 70 degrees and no humidity. How perfect! The race didn't start until 8, so I had plenty of time for coffee, breakfast, and race preparation. I left my house at 7:30, parked a few blocks from the finish line, and headed to the start line. I found some of my neighbors who were walking the 5k and we caught up before we had to line up. I had hoped for a portapotty stop before I ran but there were only 4 portapotties and the line was ridiculous. With a hope and a prayer that my GI tract would behave, I skipped the portapotty and got ready to race. Since the race wasn't going to be chip timed, I lined up near the front, hoping not to get run over by the faster 5k runners.
My friend Cathy and me. This is actually after the race.
And her beautiful daughters Jackie and Julia.
After an actual prayer (a first at a race for me) and the national anthem, the starter blew the horn. Instead of the loud noise we were all expecting, a bunch of liquid kind of oozed out of the horn. It was hilarious! So he just shouted GO! and we all took off. I went out pretty fast, but I felt good, and decided to keep my pace at 8 min/mile for the first mile and go from there. In these smaller local races, there are a lot of kids and people who don't normally race, and I watched them sprint ahead, only to pass them a mile or so down the road while they walked. Been there, done that. 

At mile 2.5, the 10k runners split off from the 5k runners, and the race became much more relaxed. We ran through the neighborhoods and a lot of people were out in front of their houses, cheering us on. That was pretty awesome. It was a little warm, and a few folks had hoses or sprinklers on the parkway. I took advantage of those. I also stopped twice for water, and walked through the aid stations. Since I was running pretty fast (for me) those stops gave me a chance to regroup. It turned out to be a great strategy for me. Plus I can't run and drink from a cup at the same time. I'm just not that skilled.

About mile 4, I noticed a woman running next to me. We would run together for the rest of the race. I didn't mind. I think we both kept each other going, especially after mile 5, when there was a long straightaway to the finish. That was probably the toughest part of the race for me. You could see the finish line but it was soooooo far away. As we got closer to the finish, my "friend" slowed down a little bit and I pushed across the finish line at 51:54. I saw a woman writing down my bib number and finish time.
No official race photos but my neighbor got one of me approaching the finish line. The woman behind me was my "pacer" for the race.
During the race, I had been checking out all the runners, and since I didn't see a lot of old ladies ahead of me, I was pretty sure I had an AG finish. Once I caught my breath, I headed over to the food tent to wait. There was the usual bagels and bananas. I took a pass. Corner Bakery had a booth with chocolate chip cookies and muffins. I grabbed a water and some cookies and waited for my friends to finish the 5k. I ran into the owners of the CrossFit box where I train with Becky. They were in charge of the Tactical Challenge.

This is me with Juli Aistars. She is a legend in the ultramarathoning world--and a hometown gal. She's also really fast and I'm glad she's not in my age group this year.
Once the race was completely over, the awards ceremony began. For sure, you knew you were at a hometown race. They would announce some winners, and then someone would interrupt for a moment on the mic--some little girls selling crafts, a guy selling his cookbooks-- and it was kind of amusing.

The announcer finally called out the 10k winners and I was happy to find out that I came in 2d place in my AG. The woman who came in first always wins--she's super fast. Interestingly, the woman I ran with came in first in her 45-49y age group. She came over to thank me for sticking with her! I believe that we got each other through the tough middle miles.

Overall, this was a fun, well run race. I was surprised to receive official results shortly after the race--someone was busy entering them into the computer! Would I do this one again? Of course! For $35, you can't beat it. It's for a great cause, and it's my hometown race. It was really fun for me to run the 10k distance, and I've gotten pretty good at pacing myself for this distance. I would consider doing the Tactical Challenge next year, just for fun. If we are in town, that is.

The only medals for this race were the AG medals. Incentive to run fast!
Did you run any races for Memorial Day? Do you prefer small hometown races to big races?

I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for the Weekly Wrap!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sarasota Half Marathon Race Recap

This was the race that I didn't think I'd get to do. Last year I had to defer due to family issues. Then last week, my PF flared badly. I received treatment for that, and following my doctor's advice, took the rest of the week off running. As an alternative, I went for a bike ride and crashed when I hit a muddy puddle. Sore and bruised, I wasn't sure if I would be able to run 13.1. But some relaxation and aqua therapy in Florida allowed me to heal and line up Sunday morning, ready to run.

Sarasota Half Marathon

This race was supposed to be a training run, but you know me. Even with the best intentions, my inner competitor comes out. I headed to Sarasota early Sunday morning to run this half with no goal in mind but to finish and go with what the day decided to bring. With all that had happened prior to the race, I was determined to run this thing. And if you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I don't give up easily.

My parents got me to the Van Wezel center about 6:30, and with a start time of 6:45, I jumped out of the car and headed to the portapotties. I received a text from Mary Beth from Tutus and Tennies, who I had planned to meet at the race. I came out of the portapotties, and there she was! We exchanged a quick hug and dashed to the race corrals. I was in corral A--what the heck?--but I was glad to be up front. I put my music on, got the signal on my Garmin, the national anthem was sung, and we were off! No time for nerves.

Sarasota Half Marathon
MaryBeth and me!
We headed immediately south on Tamiami Trail towards the Ringling Bridge to Lido Key. I was excited to run this portion of the race but it was pitch black and you couldn't see anything on the water. What I didn't anticipate was the bridge incline! I've driven over it a few times, but it's a different story on foot. By the time I got to the top, I was winded. I breezed back down, and before I knew it, we were running around St Armands Circle and back up the bridge again. This was already mile 4, but I had to walk. The famed Florida humidity was already taking a toll on me. The sun was starting to rise along with the temperature.

When we got to the top of the bridge, I started running again and flew down, trying to make up for some lost time. For the rest of the race, I used my walk-run strategy that worked well for me at Chicago. Most miles, I walked 1/10th of a mile and ran the rest. I did ok with that. I didn't always have to walk, but I was glad to have that safety net. The other thing I was really glad to have was my handheld bottle with my Tailwind. I ended up drinking about 2 1/2 bottles for this race.

We ran through a really beautiful residential area of Sarasota along the bay. The homes were gorgeous, and there was a lot of natural shade from those mossy oak trees that lined the streets. I felt like it was a little easier to breathe and settled into a 9:30 pace. It was all I could do, considering the conditions. So humbling! I ended up running with the same group of people through the rest of the race. Have you ever had that happen to you? There was a girl wearing black capris and a long sleeved black top. I spent the majority of the race pondering her wardrobe choice. Just looking at it made me hot. She was moving along, though, so I guess it worked for her.

There were a couple of medical aid stations and I saw a guy with the crotch of his shorts completely shredded. He was applying vaseline to his nether regions. I can't even imagine what his shower felt like after the race.

We finally hit mile 12, and the song Fine Again by Seether came on my playlist. Don't ask me what came over me--maybe it was because I could see the finish line ahead, but I started to sing. Out loud. I'm sure everyone around me thought I was a lunatic. I picked up the pace. Singing.
"And I am aware now of how everything's gonna be fine one day, Too late, I am in hell now, I am prepared now, seems everyone's gonna be fine..."
Whatever it takes, right? My music pushes me through those tough runs.

Sarasota Half Marathon
My face says it all. This was a tough one for me.
I approached the finish line. I saw the clock and shook my head. While I was glad to be done, I was disappointed in my ability to overcome the conditions. Damn it!

Sarasota Half Marathon

Someday I'll be a hot weather runner...

Sarasota Half Marathon
Happy to be done!
Official Finish time 2:08:38
I reconnected with my parents, and we waited for Mary Beth to finish.  Meanwhile, I enjoyed the amazing post-finish line spread--this has to be the best post-race party I've seen in a long time. There were two long tables of food and drinks.

Would I do this race again? For sure. The course was beautiful, the race was well organized, and the medal was amazing. Did I mention the free race photos? If I was to make the Sarasota Half Marathon a goal race, I'd incorporate heat training into my training regimen.

But it was, after all, a training run...

How do you do running in extreme heat and humidity? Have you ever trained for a warm weather race? Spill your secrets!

I'm linking up with DebRuns for Wednesday Word. This week's word is shenanigans. I don't know about you but any long distance race has some shenanigans, doesn't it?

I'm also linking up with the Wild Workout Wednesday ladies! Check out all their blogs: Angelena Marie, Annmarie, Nicole and Michelle host this fun linkup!