rock n roll chicago half marathon RR

Note:  Garmin was being a jerk, so I do not have mile splits for this race.

The Short Version:  #doubletrouble conquers Chicago once again, finishing this streaker’s 6th RnR half in 2:58:41.

Pre-race:  Another early morning.  We met my cousin at the blue line and headed downtown.  We ended up running into our Half Fanatic friend Carol on the train, so it was nice to see her and chat with her for a little while.  We got to the race site with plenty of time to use the bathroom and check our bags.  We got into our start corral (18, wayyyy back there) and waited for the horde in front of us to move forward.  Kelsey looked down at her shoes and… her shoe tag wasn’t there.  She didn’t put on her timing chip!  So Jill and I stood off to the side, and Kelsey ran back to gear check.  It didn’t take her long at all to get situated, and only one corral passed us by.

Less than 30 minutes after Shalane took off, we did too!

Mile 1:  Jill, who is battling PF (actually, a doctor friend told her it’s probably a stress fracture), decided to do the smart thing and drop down to the 5K.  While we would miss her on our adventure, I think it was the best decision she made.  Sadly, this was the only mile she got to run with us.  We also ran into Maggie and Mr Maggie, and it was nice to see them both!

Mile 2:  Kelsey needed a bathroom, so we got off to the side.  As I looked up, I realized that the building right there was where the bf (I feel weird calling him my fiance, sorry) was staying overnight with his friend.  Not gonna lie, I’m slightly bummed that he didn’t come outside to say hi to us!

(Funny story – his friend was like, why are there all of these port-o-potties on the road?  Jakre told him that I preferred to poop there, haha.)

Mile 3:  Since there are only circus freaks to entertain us thus far (what is up with that?  You can read everyone else’s blog, because everyone noticed that there were hardly any bands.  You can’t fool Chicago, RnR.), I tried to give Kelsey a short tour of the city.  As in, I pointed out stuff and told stories if I had them.  I have a lot of stories.  I hope she wasn’t annoyed with me!

Us at the Thompson Center, where my dad used to work.  True story.  One of many.

Us at the Thompson Center, where my dad used to work. True story. One of many.

Mile 4:  Funny story – so we wake up this morning, and Kelsey puts on a tank top.  Then she decides it’s a bad idea, so takes it off.  But she forgot a short-sleeved shirt, so she is wearing mine.  Ironically, it is the one I wore when we raced together in Nashville.

Mile 5:  All of these loops that we keep doing in the Loop are ridiculous.  I don’t know what’s happening with this course, but I don’t like it.  And I don’t have to.  #6yearvet

No doubt talking about our shared crush on John Travolta.  #whalesvagina

No doubt talking about our shared crush on John Travolta. #whalesvagina

Mile 6:  OH HEY THERE IS A BAND!

Confession – I did not notice the absence of bands until Kelsey pointed it out now.  True story.  That shows you just how little I pay attention to that kind of shit.

BUT – at least this band was pretty good.  Usually they suck.

Mile 7:  Blackhawks cheering section, complete with Chelsea Dagger, so I picked up the pace a little bit.  Then I exhausted Kelsey.  Oops.

Mile 8:  We called this our garbage mile, meaning that we walked pretty much all of it.  As we were walking along, we see two guys with a little boombox playing adult contemporary hits.  They are wearing 5K medals and two bibs.  THEY DID THE 5K BEFORE THE HALF.  I hate that I did not think of this first.  Seriously.  It makes me so mad.  I wanted to be this kind of pioneer.

Speaker guy and his two bibs are right behind me.

Speaker guy and his two bibs are right behind me.

Mile 9:  Another garbage mile, because the stupid sun came out and tried to melt us.  What a jerk.  On the plus side, I got to have a salted watermelon Gu, and suddenly everything is right with the world.  (I don’t normally like Gu, but I bought a case of this stuff because it’s addictive.)

Waving to our legions of fans, obviously.

Waving to our legions of fans, obviously.

Mile 10:  The person who decided that running this part of the race on the lakefront trail should be fired.  Seriously.  It’s way too crowded for this shit.  I am so beyond grateful that I wasn’t up in corral 4 like I was supposed to be, because people would have tried to run me over, or I would have taken an elbow to the gut.  Annoying.

On the plus side, the LFT does provide pretty photo ops.

On the plus side, the LFT does provide pretty photo ops.

Mile 11:  These last two miles were easily my favorites of the whole entire race.  Humana provided a DJ and a lot of speakers, so you could hear the music for two miles.  It was upbeat dance music, and I loved it.  Plus the volunteers were amazing.  Oh, and there were sponges, which I promptly stuck in my bra (my boob sweat started at mile 1, so yeah, it was nasty by now).

Mile 12:  The smelly McCormick Place tunnel wasn’t too bad this year.  It was well-lit, not as stinky, and the potholes had been filled in, so I didn’t break myself.  At least RnR did this part right…

Right before the mile marker, there was a poor woman lying in the middle of the course.  She was clearly suffering from some sort of heat-related distress, and we could hear the paramedics reminding her that she was lying on the ground.  So sad!  I hope she ended up being okay!

Also right before the mile marker, I made a new best friend – the volunteer with the big bag of ice.  I took a giant chunk and stuffed my bra.  It immediately cooled me off, AND made me look like I have boobs.  BONUS!

Mile 13:  We met up with several Half Fanatics that we had been leapfrogging/chasing for the majority of the race.  Since we had decided to run the rest of it, we made a Fanatic chain.  But it didn’t last.  We were too fast for them, haha.

Pretty city.

Pretty city.

Mile 13.1:  We sped to the finish, and made our sub-3:00 goal!  Yay!  (I was happy to be done at this point, haha.)  Super fun morning running with my favorite #doubletrouble friend.

Serious runner face.

Serious runner face.

Finishers who care about when the watch stops.

Finishers who care about when the watch stops.

FINAL TIME:  2:58:41

AVERAGE PACE:  13:38

2014 RACE/2014 DISTANCE/OVERALL DISTANCE:  20/6/90

MEDALS/FINISHER AWARDS:  Medals (and a bonus medal for doing this race too)

RACE SHIRT COLOR:  Blue

NEXT RACE:  Race for the Bacon, 7.31.2014

 

Post-race:  We got our snacks and headed to gear check.  My cousin, proving her awesomeness, was sitting right by gear check with a blanket.  So we didn’t have to walk far, we didn’t have to search for her, and we had a place to sit.  Jakre ended up leaving his friend’s house and meeting us there, so we were all in one place.  We sat for a little bit, and then went to get our extra medals.  Then we headed back to the train, and another #doubletrouble weekend was in the books!  Thanks for the glorious weather, Mother Nature!

Obligatory medal selfie.

Obligatory medal selfie.

rock n roll chicago 5K RR

The Short Version:  On a picture-perfect Chicago morning, some of my favorite people and I chased Shalane Flanagan down the Lakefront Trail, and were rewarded with medals and selfies with Dave Mari.

Pre-race:  There was almost no information available about this race.  We knew that it was part of the RnR running festival, and that we would get extra medals for this race and the half on Sunday, but really, you had to look hard for stuff.  Kelsey and I got up really early, met Jill at the train, and headed downtown.  We get to packet pickup, and sorry you registered super early for the race but we are out of unisex small shirts, here’s a medium.  So now I have a new tent to wear around my house.

(That annoys me.  And reminds me of this.)

See, I told you it was a pretty day.

See, I told you it was a pretty day.

We ran into a few other people that we knew, then chilled out for a bit before heading to the start line.  We lined up somewhere in the middle, not all the way in the back, but not close enough to the front to hear the announcements.  We just started running when the people in front of us did, pretty much.

Mile 1:  The course is just a simple out-and-back along the lakefront trail.  We get to run some of my favorite stretch, getting up close and personal with the museum campus (and angry bikers, haha).  We did A LOT of weaving this mile.  It was quite the challenge to keep 3 people together in a crowd like that, but I’m glad to say that we did it.  Best mile of the day.  11:25

Mile 2:  Major props to Kelsey, who thought that her stomach was going to fall out of her butt (it’s a real thing, shut up), but she kept it together so that I could get an entire mile at the same time for my run streak.  She gets me, you guys.  We stopped to walk a little bit, because my cousin is running on an injured foot, so she wasn’t in the best shape either.  I didn’t mind at all.  My company was fantastic.

Also, we saw Shalane.  She was chatting happily with the people around here, and looked like she was out for a little jog.  Not even breaking a sweat.  In case you were wondering, she is SO tiny and super cute.  14:39

Mile 3:  We enjoyed our run along the lake, get chatting and taking in the scenery.  No rushing involved.  But as we neared the finish line, I was ready to be done and get my bling!  16:07

Mile 3.12:  Jill and I decided to ham it up as we headed to the finish, so enjoy the greatest photo montage in the history of the world.  1:09

Oh heyyyyy

Oh heyyyyy

I just love how my legs look, haha

I just love how my legs look, haha

Smiley happy 5Kers

Smiley happy 5Kers

Best skyline pic ever!

Best skyline pic ever!

FINAL TIME:  43:20

AVERAGE PACE:  13:53

2014 RACE/2014 DISTANCE/OVERALL DISTANCE:  19/4/72

MEDALS/FINISHER AWARDS:  Medals

RACE SHIRT COLOR:  White

NEXT RACE:  Rock n Roll Chicago Half Marathon, 7.20.2014

 

Post-race:  We got our medals and snacks and bags from gear check, and then sat down on the blanket I brought to chill out for a bit.  While sitting there, the famous Dave Mari came by, and we took a selfie.

Fun with Dave Mari.

Fun with Dave Mari.

 

Then I took my own selfie.

Then I took my own selfie.

Jill took a picture of me taking selfies.  That's not confusing at all.

Jill took a picture of me taking selfies. That’s not confusing at all.

We walked across the street and had free beer before heading to McCormick Place for the expo.  Perfect weather and a really fun time for the first part of our double weekend!

#beerfluential

#beerfluential

 

training jul 14-20 [1]

Training Stuff:

Monday:  1.22 miles (10 min, avg pace 8:12) + 0.34 miles walking (5:34 min, avg pace 16:24) = 1.56 miles

13 min s/t (legs/core)

Tuesday:  3 miles (34:28 min, avg pace 11:30) + 0.17 miles walking (3:07 min, avg pace 18:20) = 3.17 miles

14 min s/t (shoulders/arms/core)

Wednesday:  1.17 miles (10 min, avg pace 8:33) + 0.34 miles walking (5:23 min, avg pace 15:50) = 1.51 miles

Thursday:  5 miles (46:38 min, avg pace 9:20) + 1 mile walking (15:57 min) = 6 miles

20 min s/t (chest/back/legs/core)

Friday:  3 miles (28:18 min, avg pace 9:26) + 0.46 miles walking (7:32 min, avg pace 16:23) = 3.46 miles

15 min s/t (shoulders/arms/core)

Saturday:  3.12 miles (43:20 min, avg pace 13:53) + 3.72 miles walking (41:12 min, avg pace 20:38) = 6.98 miles

Sunday:  13.1 miles (2:58:41, avg pace 13:38)

 

Total Mileage:  35.78

Total Mileage (Month):  74.82

Total Mileage (Year):  918.52

 

Total Time:  8:12:39

Total Time (Month):  14:09:55

Total Time (Year):  155:53:21

 

Fun Stuff:

Something Interesting:

Sunday’s RnR Chicago half was my course PW, as well as my second worst time ever.  But as is the theme of my year thus far, I PRd in fun.

 

Book(s) I Read:

Vampire Academy (Richelle Mead)

Frostbite (Richelle Mead)

 

New Beers I Tried:

The Long White Thaw IPA (Harpoon)

Pinedrops IPA (Deschutes)

Gorch Fork (Three Floyds)

Farmers Tan (Southern Tier)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i’ve got a new attitude

Well, kind of.  More specifically, I have a new training plan!

This past Monday, I started my 18 week plan for the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon.  I’m following this plan from Hal Higdon, and I’m actually doing what the McMillan calculator says that I should be doing.  I know, right?  So I’m running slower, which is so freaking hard to do, with the hopes that I will be able to meet my goal time.

What is my goal time, you ask?  All will be revealed in due time, grasshopper.  (In other words, I’m not tellin ya.)

If my last marathon cycle taught me mental toughness, then I would like for this one to teach me patience.  I have a tendency to run all of my training runs as quickly as possible, just to get them done and over with.  But since I have a pretty big time goal, I need to focus on not breaking my body down before marathon day.

What does this mean for Chicago?  It means that since my 20 mile training run falls on that day, that I will be running 20 miles according to my training plan.  I will not be pushing the pace in any way, even if by some miracle the math tells me that I will be close to my goal.  I’m running a half marathon the next weekend in St Louis, and don’t want to go all out at all.  If I get to 20 and feel like death, then I’ll walk the rest.  Haters can hate, I’m doing this for me.

How’s it going so far?  This stuff works, you guys.  I ran with the bf last Friday (3+ miles), and we were going at a slower pace.  Saturday I did a streak keeper, and I CRANKED that mile in 8:15.  Craziness.  So maybe all of these experts know something that I don’t.  I’m choosing to go with them.  I might be (a lot) heavier than I was 2 years ago, but I can still bring it.

So look out, Las Vegas, I’m a coming for you!

rock n roll chicago preview

It’s so hard to believe that after a year of Rock n Roll races, Chicago on Sunday will actually be my first one of 2014!  (Obviously I have to do Chicago, since I have done all of them, and you know how I feel about streaks.)

For the first time ever, I have no goal for this race.  None.  Zero.  I’m going to run with Jill and Kelsey, and just have fun.  We’ll take silly photos, and we just might stop for slurpees.  The possibilities are endless.  I’m so looking forward to it.  It’s my first half in almost 2 months, how crazy is that?!

So let’s take a look back on Rock n Roll Chicago fun, as year 6 commences.  Hope to see you all out there this weekend!

2009, double-fisting because that's how I roll.

2009, double-fisting because that’s how I roll.

2013, Flat Kelsey and I enjoying post-race beer.

2013, Flat Kelsey and I enjoying post-race beer.

2012, I honored Ron Santo on the day of his HOF induction.

2012, I honored Ron Santo on the day of his HOF induction.

2011, being awesome with the Half Fanatics.

2011, being awesome with the Half Fanatics.

2010, that time I left a puddle in a chair at Dunkin Donuts post-race.

2010, that time I left a puddle in a chair at Dunkin Donuts post-race.

3 things thursday [85]

1.  Two of my sorority sisters announced this week that they are each having twins with their respective husbands.  Was there something in the DeKalb water???  Thank God I am not reproducing, because I have no desire for a litter.

 

2.  Rock n Roll Chicago is this weekend!  I’m so excited!  The other half of #doubletrouble is coming into town, and we are doing the 5K on Saturday and the half on Sunday.  (Because MORE BLING, duh.)  It’s hard to believe that it’s my 6th year in a row doing this race.  I have no time goals – I’m just going to run with my cousin and Kelsey, take a lot of pictures, and HAVE FUN.

 

3.  A lady at the park today complimented me on my “post-baby body.”  So if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to drink the biggest beer imaginable, and then stick my head in the oven.