Enjoying every second of life and running.

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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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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.

SCAN0036 SCAN0049

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!


2012 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon – 1:54:07

Race take away: I have no gas pedal, I have no go. This is not starting at square one, this feels really off.

Rob and I didn’t have great sleep the night before the race, too many people out late partying and making noise that kept us up. 4am came early and we got ourselves ready without rushing. One thing that was off, my stomach. I wasn’t in pain, but just suffice it to say that I think stress and business is taking its toll again. I resign myself to the likelihood that I will have to make a stop along the course, based on other past races.

It was in the 70s and humid, but at least the start of the race was 6:30am and it was expected to be cooler than the record 100 degree temps that we’ve had lately. Rob and I walked just over a mile to the race start and chilled in our corral. Before we knew it we were off. Rob was swallowed up in the crowd and gone before we even got to .25 mile. I took lots of water at every water stop because I felt thirsty already. I knew I was in for a long day when by mile 2 I just didn’t feel it. I wasn’t in pain or anything like that. My legs were dead heavy either. I was just not there. I had no gas pedal, no go, in no way race ready. I had set a realistic goal. I wasn’t trying to break my PR of 1:35, I was trying to improve upon my 1:51 hilly course half marathon in June that was the race where I knew I had an injury and got Graston’s treatments. Surely recovered from my injury, on a flat Chicago race course I can at least do better than my 1:51. Something in the 1:40s would make me feel like I’m whittling away at progress on getting race ready again.

Alas, every mile was just a slow and painful reminder of how out of shape I am. I had to mentally just call it a workout to keep any momentum. I mentally had to focus on each mile than getting into that meditative happy state that I’m used to. I actually can’t remember feeling like this other than when I’m frought with stomach issues and just wishing for the race to be over.

I would tell myself things like “the last 2 miles will feel so good, when we are running back to the finish”. 2 miles on the way back and it was not the case. I never felt a spring in my step. I just existed through it.

I’m tired of hearing myself talking about something being wrong at each race lately. What is most troublesome is my stomach held together for the race (not long after though), I am recovered from my injury, so there is no reason to feel this miserable and out of shape.

I was hoping for small progress to see I’m on the right path again. I am not a patient person so it’s hard to manage through a bad run when I want to build back my fitness. I have to buck up and just keep moving forward. Hopefully the contiued training and racing will eventually bring about some of the old good feelings again. I’m considering setting some running milestone goals that work from where I am today. Hopefully having milestones will help me focus on smaller goals for a while.

Rob had a strong race of 1:36 and I’m so proud of him balancing work, the basement project and still fitting in workouts to keep his fitness intact.

The medal.



8:43 Pace

2011 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon – 1:39:54

2010 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon – 1:36:16

2009 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon – 1:55:44

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2012 Rock and Roll Half Marathon Expo

Saturday I got in a run outside at home then we packed up the car to head to Chicago for the weekend. The 2012 Rock and Roll Half Marathon Expo was easy to navigate as with most RNR events and we got our packets and shirts with no problem.

Once again, the RNR tech shirt is white. I’m still not a fan of white tech shirts as they seem to get dirty easily and I just don’t think it’s flattering when they get wet from sweat and water.

We caught a glimpse of Biggest Losers, Dan Evans and his mom, Jackie Evans promoting getting active and staying healthy.

We took a moment to watch some running legends speak: Steve Jones, Khalid Khannouchi, and Frank Shorter

It was a relaxed day and we were in bed early. Unfortunately the race itself didn’t go well for me, but more on that in the next post.


Rock Encore

Wednesday (12/14):

5 Miles Recovery (Treadmill, 43:44, 8:45 Pace)

Thursday (12/15):

11 Miles Med-Long (Treadmill, 1:35:27, 8:41 Pace)

Friday (12/16):


Saturday (12/17):

9 Miles General Aerobic (Treadmill, 1:16:19, 8:29 Pace)

Sunday (12/18):

15 Miles Long (Treadmill, 2:11:17, 8:46 Pace)

Total Running Miles: 49

Rob and I received our Rock and Roll end of the year medals for our two half marathons with their series in 2011, the Rock and Roll Chicago and Rock and Roll St. Louis. As badly organized as Rock and Roll Las Vegas sounded, I can say that both of these races were very nicely organized and correctly sized for the course.

I’m always a sucker for a medal or trophy. This one I opened in our pile of mail before work. I didn’t sport this one with my work attire for the whole day, but I was tempted. 😉

Friday I went with my girl Lisa to Running Central and One World Cafe, both in Peoria, IL. Lisa wanted to try out their gait analysis since she has very high arches and has been having issues with her feet off and on. Look at all that air under her arches, wow! Girl could smuggle diamonds under those arches if she wanted. 🙂 They gave her some model recommendations in Saucony, Mizuno and Newtons and Lisa is going to figure out her next move on purchasing once she is done with physical therapy.

I on the other had three gift cards burning a whole in my pocket so I was there to load up on Swiftwick socks for Rob and I. I love that local races have door prizes that include gift cards. It’s the icing on the cake to win a prize just for being at a race.

I got 4 pairs of zero ankle Swiftwicks (3 for Rob, 1 for me) AND 1 pair of calf compression for myself all for $17 after gift certificates, score!

When I got home from shopping I power napped and then got up and ready for a happy hour that included two spots. I’m not a big drinker so I just stuck to water and a little diet soda at the first location. The second spot I ended up with two super delish dirty martinis with stuffed blue cheese olives, but I also made sure to drink water.

We had appetizers as a group, but I clearly didn’t eat enough because those martinis left me worked over the next day. I was so unhappy with myself. Lately it seems that one drink is my limit and I’m going to have to stick to that if I don’t want to feel like total crapola the next day.

I wasted most of the morning feeling gross and rehydrating. By the afternoon I was able to get going so Rob and I could ring bells for the Salvation Army. It was freezing out the two hours we worked, but we toughed it out knowning that the money helps others who have to deal with being cold and hungry.

Afterward I got in my 9 Mile run and then we went out to Glenn Miller Orchestra. They put on a great show and include old holiday classics.

My attempts of trying to take our picture.

Afterward we went out for drinks with Chris and Lisa, but I stuck to water since I wasn’t fully recovered. Sunday we finally got to our holiday shopping and decorating, and fit in our long runs. It was nice to feel finally rested and back to normal.


2011 Rock and Roll Chicago – Half Marathon – 1:39:54

Saturday we met up with our friends for a pre-race dinner at P.F. Changs and some delicious Pinkberry. After dinner we headed back to our room to relax and I did my pre-race ritual of a facial mask and manicure, just a perfect way to relax.

We were up and out the door to park by 5am before the road closures and met up with our friends. Drew had a gig the night prior and got very little sleep beforehand.

Us with Drew before the race.

While waiting around a lady recognized me from the blog and posting on The Nest. She said, you are FlyRunner, right? I instantly hugged her without knowing who she was just because I was so excited to meet someone that reads my blog. Her name is Stephanie. She and her husband Daniel drove from states away to run the race. They were heading out right after the race so we wouldn’t get a chance to meet up afterward. They were super nice and I hope they both had a great race! Thanks Stephanie for saying hi, please post if you read this!

While waiting to start they announce that Bret Michaels would not be performing due to flu and dehydration, boo! This seriously bummed us out. He rocked the RNR Vegas event and we were psyched to see his show. I understand

The temps were super mild, especially for August. A great day for a PR, for me it would be a race of just hoping to not have to stop with stomach issues.

Waiting to start.

I had changed the Auto Lap setting on my Garmin 210 to off because the GPS signal gets messed up bouncing off of the buildings and going under the streets. I would hit lap at each mile marker to get my actual pace. The only issue being that the first two miles had no mile markers that I noticed. This got me worried, there is no way I would be able to do the math to calculate how I was doing with pace. Worst case marathon paced run, best case get a PR. Luckily mile 3 I see a marker and had the the remainder of the course.

Out on the course, Vanilla Hammer Gel in hand.

By mile 4 the soreness in my hips that has been whispering to me wouldn’t go away, I knew PR was highly unlikely. Then the feeling I dread most, lower stomach, I want to go to the bathroom pain. On a positive note it wasn’t the rumblings of a demon wanting to leave my body type pain, just a I gotta go situation. So thank goodness for small progress that I wasn’t about to burst into tears or anything from the pain. Still I couldn’t manage a great pace with this feeling reminding me as the miles ticked by slowly. I refused to make a stop. I’m sick of having to stop and I wanted to see if I could make it the whole race and I try to focus on moving forward.

Relief surprisingly came around mile 10. All of a sudden my stomach stopped aching enough that I could enjoy the last three miles. I will take the progress, it is an improved experience since some of my latest long distance racing.

Meanwhile Rob was running a strong 1:33!

All done. 1:39:54

7:38 Pace
Overall: 787/15289
F: 153/9480
F 30-34: 34/1767

2010 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon

2009 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon

Finisher’s Medal

While we waiting for Drew we ran into Mollyberries! We converse via blog, but have never got to meet in person. She was walking in front of us and said “you are FlyRunner, right?!” She got an instant sweaty hug and we chatted about the race and future plans. Congrats Molleyberries on your race! So great to finally meet you!

Our friend Carrisa came in 1:5x and had a great time on the course. Drew came in with a 2:15 and didn’t even looked phased afterward. We did a minor change of clothes and wipe down and took our stinky selves to brunch at the Palmer House. I’m sure the other patrons didn’t appreciate the runner stink, but at least there were others finishers there too. 🙂


2010 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon – 1:36:16

We stayed near this start of this race so we got up at 4am. Unfortunately I made do with a breakfast of a small box of cereal (no milk) that we picked up from the Expo. It wasn’t until late last night that I realized we really didn’t have any breakfast foods, so Expo grub would have to do. Needless to say, this wasn’t enough fuel for me.

Heading out.

We made our way to the start and warmed up. It was so nice to be Corral 1. Kara Goucher was hanging out in the start corral and I got to thank her for the awesome interview she did at the Expo. Then we waited around for the race to start with our friend Seanan that is also on the ORRT Racing Team. We got to see Jake from the Bachelor (which none of us cared about), Guliana Rancic (I was excited about that), Maria Menounos, Al Roker, and finally Kara spoke (and she rightfully got the most applause).

After the National Anthem we were off. I tried to fight the urge to go out too fast, but still ended up with a first mile faster than I wished (I think it was 6:58). It’s hard to get into a pace at the beginning of a race, let alone in Chicago where in the downtown area my Garmin won’t hold a signal. I hit lap on the first mile and figured since my distance would probably be off due to the signal I would hit lap at every mile marker. Turned out to be a mistake to mess with because I didn’t see every mile marker. So my mile split data is going to be all kinds of messy to review.

I hit the 5K and knew I was fast and backed off a bit (perhaps a mistake). Then at Mile 5 as we headed south I brought the pace back up, or at least I thought I was, instead I found that I was struggling more for my pace than I should be. My body kept wanting to settle in what seemed to be the 7:25 pace. I did have a 10K PR (because I haven’t run a 10K race in forever), but with no chip mat I won’t record it as a PR or anything. My race only got worse when I actually chose to not bring any fuel for the race. A complete lack of judgement that was another more impactful mistake. I definitely felt dizzy and out of it by Mile 10 and struggled in the last 5K.

I barely got a PR this race with 1:36:16.

Rob got a new PR (took 3 minutes off) with a 1:30:15!

I’m not thrilled with my time. I’m not thrilled with my lack of judgement on fuel and race strategy. I did leave the race with good lessons learned and I plan to execute a better strategy in future races. I will just have to look forward to the next race.

The rest of the afternoon Rob and I walked around Chicago taking pictures of the buildings and the filming of Transformers 3 on Wabash Ave. We grabbed some lunch and I got to do a bit of shopping. 🙂



7:21 Pace

Overall: 516/18767

F: 98/11924

F 30-34: 15/2222


2010 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon Expo

After a rocking good time seeing the The Dan Band at the House of Blues we woke today and took our time getting to the Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon Expo. The expo was in true Rock and Roll series tradition, well-organized and lots of products for sale. We got to see the medals and they look sweet! Also, the running tech shirt design is very cool!

As we were walking around and saw that Kara Goucher (1st Place Overall at 2009 RNR Chicago Half Marathon, 3rd at Boston Marathon, amongst other amazing creds and running pro) was speaking in 15 mins!! I freaked! We hurried up and snagged front row seats to hear her interview. Then while waiting, we see her standing off to the side of the stage. We went up and asked if I could get a picture with her and she chatted us up for quite a while! We discussed her pregnancy, how her back has been giving her trouble, her working out with Paula, how Adam did a great job of sticking with her most of last year’s RNR Half Chicago, how she has backed off her training for her upcoming due date at the end of September. She was totally amazing! I had to apologize for being trembly when we took the picture, once again I was so nervous meeting someone so talented.

I was also able to get her autograph on my bib. Unfortunately I didn’t notice that she wrote my name as it was on the D-tag, which was missing the “e” at the end, oh well. 

We thanked her and then settled in to hear her interview and it was very informative. The things that stood out most about her talk was how she was never really great at any other sport she tried growing up, and how running was something she felt she knew was right for her. She described the ups and downs of her college and professional running career. It was interesting to hear how she has had years of success, but also periods of it not coming together. There were times where she could have accepted her placing in a race, but instead has pushed herself to say that anything is possible and break the mold of predictions that others have set for her running.

She gives off the cool laid back chic runner vibe even while she is a top American female runner who is creating an amazing career for herself and the sport. It never felt like she was from some other universe of running, her kindness and warm personality really made me feel like she sees us as much a part of the sport as she is.

Afterward we did a 6 Mile Easy run next to Lake Michigan, it was amazing! It was so nice to be on the road again instead of a random treadmill. I felt my legs come back somewhat. I am still not sure that my legs will be race ready tomorrow though.

After our run we got cleaned up and met up with our new friends Mike and Mandy at Navy Pier. We met them at the concert last night, they are so nice! None of us had been on the ferris wheel at the pier so we did that and visited for a while before they headed home.

Pictures from the ferris wheel.

Now it’s time to relax and try to get into race mode. I hope it all goes okay tomorrow!


2009 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon – 1:55:44

It all started at 3:30am. We were up to get ready for the half marathon! Being out of town meant not having a usual breakfast, a peanut butter crunch Clif Bar. We got on the road at 4:30am, not certain how packed the decks would be, we decided to get their early and wait it out. Parking was a breeze and not packed at all.

At 5:30am we made our way to the starting area. The temperature was awesome, 62 degrees and an early morning sunrise.

Us at the start:

The corral area was well organized by groups of a 1,000 with a 1 minute break between each corral. We heard them announce Kara Goucher. It was so cool that she was there to race. I think she ended up winning the WHOLE thing with a 1:08:05! We heard that she out kicked at guy at the end too.

The attendance was over 14,000 runners, our largest race yet and it was surprisingly not crowded feeling. Starting out on Columbus Rd helped too as we took up all lanes at the start.

The start:

The first 5 miles were around town then we head south until mile 8.5, where we turn and make our way up the bike path along Lake Shore and back to the parks for the finish. Rob and I hung together for the first 3 or 4 miles and then he took off ahead. I got to shout to him on the turn around at about mile 8.5 “Go baby go!! Go Rob!!”. During the race there was water, cytomax, Gu and wet sponges.

Somewhere around mile 10:

I had 2 servings of shot blocs (margarita flavor) along the race, but it must not have been enough. That coupled with my not normal breakfast, I started to feel very nauseated at mile 10. I was thinking I could very well get sick. My pace unfortunately slowed. At mile 12 I normally wouldn’t get water being so close to the finish, but feeling sick was very strong. I slowed to get a drink and that was enough for my right IT band to seize up. I had to hobble the rest of the way, which wasn’t fun. I should have worn my knee brace. I was so excited about not feeling pain from my thigh/groin/hip area that I ignored that my IT band may get fussy like it did at IL half marathon. I will definitely start wearing it in longer races.

A lesson learned too was just like forum posts have told me, the Garmin will not keep pace in the city. So for the full marathon I will turn auto lap off and hit lap at the mile markers. That won’t help with getting pace info in the city, but at least I’ll have some data after the race.

I did PR!! 1:55:44

This was Rob’s first half marathon and he did great!! 1:53:54 I’m so proud of him!!

Here is Rob at the finish:

Us with our medals:

Post race was well organized and had the best post race stuff. I grabbed and orange and popsicle. They also had frozen towels which felt amazing. We went to the MGD 64 tent to get our two free beers. I got through 3/4 of one and I was ready to head back to the hotel to check on doggie.

Our sweet medals:

I left this race feeling like I had more in me so I hope to keep plugging away at it and see if I can get my time down more. The USAF Half Marathon is up next. I think it has hills so I’ll have some work to do.

8:50 pace
Overall: 3162/14459
F: 1171/9354
F 30-34: 224/1785
5K: 25:34
6M: 49:58
10M: 1:25:45

Later that day we took Coco out for a walk and hung out by the water fountain at the John Hancock.


Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon Expo

Friday I woke up to much less pain in my leg, about 25% of the pain I had the day before. It had left most of my inner thigh and hamstring and was focused on my groin/hip area.

Rob and I both had to work a bit in the morning. After that I got my manicure and pedicure done in my big race favorite color: OPI “Keys To My Karma”, a vibrant cherry red color.

We headed up to Chicago in the afternoon to get our race packets squared away so we wouldn’t have to stress on getting into our hotel and then to the expo at the last hour on Saturday.

My attempt of taking a picture of the Chicago skyline in the car:

The expo wasn’t busy at all. Probably because most people were still either working or waiting until Saturday. We made our way easily through all the logistics to get our bibs and race shirt. The expo was okay, not the best, not the worst. The Go! St. Louis was still the best expo we have seen, they had tons of freebies. This expo was all free tastes, things unwrapped and drinks poured, nothing to take home to try later (except for a couple items in the bag). We got our MGD 64 wrist bands that will allow us two free MGD 64s post race with no ID. They had a 3oz shot glass sample of the beer so Rob and I toasted to having a great half marathon. 🙂

We did get to see the Biom shoes from Ecco and try them on. The expo sales guys for them were terrible at selling them. Their comments were “great shoe” and “awesome” and when we asked them specific running questions they fumbled to just say “well with this shoe you don’t have to worry about that”, etc. We both tried them on ready to purchase if they felt like something magical, but alas they were not amazing. In fact, they didn’t fit my feet well at all, way too narrow. Well at least we know they are not for us.

The bummer was we missed a talk from Kara by about an hour! Man! Stupid slow traffic!!! Sigh.

Here were the race technical shirts. The design was cool. Just wished they had a women’s cut of the shirt.

We got a quick picture before heading out to drive back home for my second ice bath.

Today we headed up back to Chicago to check into our hotel. It wasn’t stressful when we got into congested traffic cause we knew we had our packets and then didn’t have to rush anywhere. We got all settled in and our sweet little pug, Coco, loves traveling and was psyched to take a walk on the busy streets. We had quite a few people stop to meet Coco and tell us about their furbaby. I have to say the people in Chicago are so nice. I’m always amazed at really how crowded yet calm and quiet Chicago is. And how polite everyone is even in small shops or restaurants where everyone is bumping into one another. Sure maybe it’s not like that everywhere, but for a big city I’m just amazed at how nice and patient everyone seems. Man I LOVE this city!!!

For dinner we had to hit up Cheesecake Factory. I only get it once or twice a year and I love me some cheesecake. We each got an appetizer as our dinner and then got some cheesecake. I had the special Red Velvet Cheesecake. Cause really how could one improve on red velvet other than to layer creamy cheese cake between it! It was CRAZY good! Rob got some amazing peanut butter chocolate one. Luckily our hotel room has a fridge so we brought home half of our cheesecakes for later. YUM! 🙂

We walked around and did some window shopping and then headed back to our hotel. I did another ice bath with tons of ice thanks to Rob and the ice machine on our floor. I’m half frozen and ready for bed. We are planning to get up at 3:30am to get heading to the race at 4:30am. Race time is 6:30!!!