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2014 – Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon – 2:00:35

Race Takeaway: An exhausting night = a punishing race

Before I get to talking about the race here is the rest of my training plan:

Week 15: 18 Miles Run

  • 7/7: 3 Miles Easy, 25:20, Treadmill, 1% Incline, 8:27 Pace
  • 7/11: 5 Miles Easy, 44:18, Const Trail, 8:52 Pace
  • 7/12: 10 Miles Long, 1:25:20, Treadmill, 1% Incline, 8:32 Pace

Week 16: 20.1 Miles Run

  • 7/14: 4 Miles Easy, 35:41, ‘Hood, 8:56 Pace
  • 7/17: 3 Miles Easy, 26:23, Treadmill, 1% Incline, 8:48 Pace
  • 7/20: 13.1 Miles Race, 2:00:35, RNR Chicago Half Marathon, 9:13 Pace

Drew and I would be running the half marathon Sunday and Rob, Chase, Katie, and Carter would be there to cheer us on. We started off Saturday, July 19th with lunch in town before heading to the expo.

Chase and Carter. She’s wearing her “My Mom Rocks” onsie for the Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon.


Carter, Katie, and Chase


Packet pick up was at McCormick Place and was easy like usual. Me and Chase.


Drew, Me, and Chase.


Nestle Quik Bunny!


After getting settled into our hotel room we took a walk to grab dinner. The weather was gorgeous, just 70 degrees. It was going to be a very mild morning for a mid-July race.

Me, Rob, and Chase.



Drew, Katie, and Carter.


On our way to dinner as we were crossing the river we saw this amazing wedding photo being taken. It was so cool looking, yet quite dangerous!


Drew and I both love the ginger salmon at P.F. Changs, but the menu changed and it was no longer an option. While it was a nice visit and we were able to easily get a table, I wasn’t a fan of the menu and may not seek out P.F. Changs in the future.

After dinner we put Chase to bed at her regular time and she was not pleased. This was only our second over night stay and first hotel experience with Chase. It took an hour to get her settled, but then she popped up every hour upset from 8pm to 2am. The only way to get her to settle and rest was to hold her. I ended up sitting up from 2am holding her, looking at a dark room, waiting for 4:50am to come. It was so exhausting. Plus I felt guilty for putting Chase through that, but I guess we didn’t know until we gave it a try. Needless to say we won’t be putting her through that again anytime soon. We will be avoiding overnight trips for a while.

4:50am finally came and we got ourselves ready, we met up with Drew, Katie, and Carter and headed to the start.

Ready to do this.


Family photo time.


The weather was perfect, especially for July. The 6:30am start is also a big help as well. Drew and I waited around and tried to catch a glimpse of Shalane Flanagan, but had no luck. Drew was in Corral 4 and I was in 8.

View from the Corral.


I made a classic Chicago race faux paus. I forgot to turn off auto lap on my Garmin. The satellite connection isn’t good in the heart of the city and thus most of the race it’s impossible to get an accurate pace reading. So I just ran as best as I could considering I was so tired just after a couple of miles. I knew I was in for a long race. Luckily the course was near our hotel and we were able to see Rob, Chase, Katie, and Carter. Rob was able to get a picture of Shalane as she flew by.


It was so uplifting to see them at mile 4 and 5.5. Seeing Rob and Chase made me excited to try to make them proud.

Drew at mile 4


Me at mile 4


I came across the 10K mark at 55 minutes and talked myself into just needing to do it one more time (with a little extra), but my energy just wasn’t there. I was slogging through the miles. Luckily I ran into our friend Carissa around mile 8. She’s a momma of a 2 year old and we chatted about how it’s hard it is to fit in training and also the challenges of getting back into racing post-baby. We encouraged each other to keep pushing that we are tough mommas and can get this finished. I lost her at the next water stop, but it was comforting knowing she was out there too.

I ran into Drew around mile 8.5 almost as soon as I lost Carissa. He asked how I was doing and I bluntly told the truth “like crap”. Drew was encouraging and we kept going. We lost each other about a mile later, but with just a few more miles to go it was going to be easier to find each other at the finish. I put my head down and I thought about while I’m exhausted right now, there is a mom out there crying and worried about the health of her child. The whole purpose was to use something I love to do, running, to support a cause, St. Jude Children’s Research hospital. My pain from this race would stop and fade away, but the pain a parent feels when their child is seriously ill, I’m not sure if that ever leaves. I can’t imagine and my thoughts were with them as I got to that finish line, 2:00:35. I found Drew easily at the finish, he completed it in 2:07. One of the first things I said to Drew was “thank goodness that wasn’t a hot race, I would have been even more miserable”. We grabbed some post-race snacks, which I like giving to a homeless person on the walk back to the hotel. It’s not much, but it’s something.

Thank you for all of those who support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with your donations and prayers. And a special thank you to those who helped with my fundraising: Lisa, Erin S, Erin C, and Kiki! Thank you SO much!!!! If you still want to donate, it’s never too late. You can still make a donation from my fundraising page or through St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital directly, either works!



9:13 Pace

2014 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon Medal


Past races:

2012 – RNR Chicago Half Marathon – 1:54:07

2011 – RNR Chicago Half Marathon – 1:39:54

2010 – RNR Chicago Half Marathon – 1:36:16

2009 – RNR Chicago Half Marathon – 1:55:44

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Update: Running for Charity – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

My training for running Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has been going really well! I’m happy that I’ve been able to get in more consistent running, even with all that we have going on (caring for Chase, illnesses, doctor appointments, vet appointments, work deadlines, etc.) lately.

When I was training for marathons I would view any training run that was half marathon or longer in distance as my long run. For now, while I my longest race distance is a half marathon, I’m viewing anything over 10K as a long run.

Here’s the status from my plan since my last training post

Week 7: 19.7 Miles Run, 1:11 Strengthening

  • 5/12: P90X – Ab Ripper, 16:00
  • 5/13: 3.1 Miles Easy, 30:21, ‘Hood, 9:54 Pace
  • 5/14: Free Weights Upper Body, 5:00; 1.5 Miles Easy, 13:33, Gym Treadmill, 9:02 Pace; PiYo Class, 50:00
  • 5/16: 2 Miles Easy, 17:19, ‘Hood, 8:40 Pace
  • 5/18: 13.1 Miles Race, 2:02:16, Peoria Half Marathon, 9:20 Pace

Week 8: 13.11 Miles Run

  • 5/20: 3.1 Miles Easy, 29:24, ‘Hood, 9:39 Pace
  • 5/22: 3 Miles Easy, 27:47, ‘Hood, 9:16 Pace
  • 5/23: 3.01 Miles Easy, 27:16, Const Trail, 9:04 Pace
  • 5/24: 4 Miles Easy, 37:16, ‘Hood, 9:19 Pace

Week 9: 26 Miles Run

  • 5/27: 5.24 Miles Easy, 48:16, Const Trail, 9:13 Pace
  • 5/28: 5.26 Miles Easy, 48:03, Const Trail, 9:09 Pace
  • 5/29: 5.25 Miles Easy, 47:51, Const Trail, 9:07 Pace
  • 5/30: 7.13 Miles Long, 1:07:12, Const Trail, 9:26 Pace
  • 6/1: 3.1 Miles Race, 27:26, Galesburg 5K, 8:51 Pace

Week 10: 2 Miles Run

  • 6/4: 2 Miles Easy, 16:04, ‘Hood, 9:02 Pace

Week 11: 8 Miles Run

  • 6/12: 4 Miles Easy, 36:00, ‘Hood, 9:00 Pace
  • 6/13: 4 Miles Easy, 37:17, ‘Hood, 9:20 Pace

Week 12: 10.13 Miles Run, 6 Miles Bike

  • 6/19: 6 Miles Bike Easy, 30:34, Trainer, 11.78 MPH
  • 6/20: 4 Miles Easy, 38:05, ‘Hood, 9:32 Pace
  • 6/21: 6.13 Miles Easy, 58:40, ‘Hood, 9:35 Pace

Week 13: 17.1 Miles Run

  • 6/25: 2 Miles Easy, 16:48, ‘Hood, 8:24 Pace
  • 6/27: 4 Miles Easy, 36:46, ‘Hood, 9:12 Pace
  • 6/28: 8 Miles Long, 1:13:38, ‘Hood, 9:13 Pace
  • 6/29: 3.1 Miles Speedwork, 24:43, Treadmill, 1% Incline, 7:59 Pace

Week 14: 19 Miles Run, 6.3 Miles Bike

  •  6/30: 3 Miles Easy, 25:43, Treadmill, 1% Incline, 8:35 Pace
  • 7/2: 2 Miles Easy, 17:09, Treadmill, 1% Incline, 8:35 Pace
  • 7/4: 5 Mile Race, 48:06, Park to Park, Bloomington, IL, Pushing Chase in Stroller, 9:35 Pace
  • 7/5: 9 Miles Long, 1:23:52, Const Trail, 9:20 Pace
  • 7/6: 6.3 Miles Bike Easy, 30:08, Trainer, 12.54 MPH

Week 15: In Progress

If you would like to donate, it’s not too late! Any amount helps! I appreciate your consideration to this cause!!

 My Fundraising Page

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Running for Charity – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Many of the races I’ve run benefit local and national charities. It’s wonderful thing that running races becuase it provides people a fun way to stay fit, hang out with friends, and a charity can also benefit. Something I haven’t directly done before is actually ran a race for a charity by fundraising specifically for a charity. I’m excited to finally do that for the upcoming Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon on July 20th to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

St. Jude has always held a special place in my heart. When I attended Illinois State University they were my sorority’s (Epsilon Sigma Alpha) main charity. We completed fundraising throughout the year and had the opportunity to take a check to the headquarters in Memphis, TN and visit the facilities.

Me and my sorority sisters (circa 1997) at the headquarters in Memphis, TN.

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While we had time for some fun photos, it was a very serious trip to get to visit with children, families, doctors, and the support teams. It’s one of those significant moments in life to witness such brave children and their families battling cancer and diseases. It was apparent that in those moments the world stops and everything focuses in on the love for your child. Now being a mom, it hits home a million times more, what that would feel like.

It was an easy decision to focus a race and support such a wonderful cause that helps families get through such a trying time and support these kids getting the best of technology and research as a part of their treatments and hopefully a cure. Some important information about St. Jude’s:

  • Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
  • Because the majority of St. Jude funding comes from people like you, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving kids regardless of their financial situation. (That means your donation, no matter what the size, will help!)
  • St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90% by 2020.

So I ask for your support either donations and/or prayers for the children going through treatment with St. Jude’s. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post and consider supporting this charity.

My fundraising page

My training is no where like it used to be, but I still want to share what I’m doing in preparation for this race periodically to share my progress.

Here’s what I’ve done thus far for training:

Week 1: 17.1 Miles

  • 4/1: 2 Miles Easy, 16:25, 8:13 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 4/4: 2 Miles Easy, 16:53, 8:27 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 4/5: 13.1 Miles Race, Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon, 2:07:07, 9:43 Pace, Springfield, IL

Week 2: 8.21 Miles

  • 4/11: 3 Miles Easy, 25:18, 8:26 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 4/12: 2.2 Miles Easy, 20:54, 9:25 Pace, ‘Hood
  • 4/13: 3.01 Miles Easy, 26:59, 8:58 Pace, Const Trail

Week 3: Bike – 6.1 Miles, Run – 8 Miles

  • 4/15: 6.1 Miles Bike Easy, 30:09, 12.14mph
  • 4/16: 3 Miles Easy, 25:42, 8:34 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 4/18: 1 Mile Easy, 8:31, Const Trail
  • 4/20: 4 Miles Easy, 38:07, 9:32 Pace, Const Trail

Week 4: 18.2 Miles

  • 4/24: 2 Miles Easy, 17:05, 8:33 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 4/25: 3.1 Miles Race, IL Marathon’s 5K, 36:20, 11:44, Champaign, IL
  • 4/26: 13.1 Miles Race, IL Half Marathon, 2:12:54, 10:09 Pace, Champaign, IL

Week 5: 8.48 Miles

  • 4/30: 1 Mile Easy, 8:40, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 5/2: 2 Miles Easy, 17:39, 8:50 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 5/3: 1.48 Miles Easy, 15:31, 10:30 Pace, Lake Bloomington, IL
  • 5/4: 4 Miles Easy, 37:52, 9:27 Pace, ‘Hood

Week 6: 0 Miles – Chase was sick and then I was sick 😦

Week 7: In Progress….more to come

And I thought I would add a look back at the past times that I have run RNR Chicago Half Marathon. Here are the links to those races.

2009 – 1:55:44

2010 – 1:36:16

2011 – 1:39:54

2012 – 1:54:07

Thanks again for your support!! I’ll post about my training as it goes along!