Monday, September 08, 2014
The Chicago HM did not disappoint in any way. It was a fabulous race for me, since it is my largest one yet. I ran the 26.2 Challenge when I entered two of the three race series, the other race was in May. Both races were run along the beautiful famous lakeshore with the cityscape as a backdrop. This race was larger in participants (7,833) and they closed Lake Shore Dr (LSD). It started and ended in Jackson park, in south Chicago, so we did not come close to downtown, as in the Spring race we were a block off of the Magnificent Mile (Michigan Ave). The May race was on the beautiful bike path on LSD, and I feared runner congestion, but it was a scenic race, better than being on the Drive itself.
My DIL joined me, since she lives in Chicago. I gave her a VIP parking pass so we met at the YMCA across from the start line! Otherwise, no parking, only busing and the Bears were scheduled to play. I drove in from Indiana that morning, so this was a real perk.
DIL finished 35th of 733 in her AG with an impressive 1:43:34, 1 minute off her PR!! WTG! I finished 119/201 in AG with 2:35:53, a PR by 6 minutes!! I was happy, especially since the heat was a factor starting at mile 6.
The weather looked so perfect for a good 10 days before race day. A 7 am start, the only thing I worried about was wind off the lake (the windy city effect), and a hot sun beating down on the LSD pavement. The latter proved to be a problem, and the heat moved in sooner than expected. So by 9 am it had already hit 70 degrees, but I will take that condition over rain.
There was a positive buzz pre-race and post race.
The corrals were large enough to handle the crowd of runners. DIL was in corral D and I was assigned corral K, and I was at the start line only 8 minutes after the gun start. That was really fast. Thank you race organizers!!
My splits were real good until mile 6 when the heat was affecting my HR. Not a problem, I could still see the 2:30 pace group until about mile 9. I almost hit the wall at 11M, but I pushed through. My garmin reported a pace of 11:21 (I was targeting 11:22 to come in at 2:29), however the garmin registered an extra .6 miles do to not running the tangents well. I have to work on that. I could not have done any better. This is exactly what I trained for.
This is a cool picture of LSD. The northbound lanes were used for the first part of the race, and this is a shot of runners coming close to the finish line.
Great entertainment for the post party. They were serving Chicago style pizza from Malnado’s and Michelob beer. Pizza and beer never tasted so good, and it was Sunday well before lunch! The event was wrapping up as planned at 11am.
MY RACE BLING!
I still get excited for the finisher medal.
I am not sure why I am waiting to sign up for next year’s races. It is an absolute must to repeat. Great race organization. Runners were supportive. Crowds were controlled. Expo was fun (Navy Pier), and it was a big race (my biggest TD), with a small race feel upon completion.
My next HM is scheduled 7 weeks from now! Ciao!
Monday, August 25, 2014
1:36:12 7.5 Miles 635 Ft Elevation climb
I did this run 8 months ago for the first time. Last week, I did it for a second time.
I was fortunate that the weather was cool (70 degrees at 6 am) and overcast in beautiful Tucson, AZ. There were several water holes I had to run through, given the monsoon season!
And I ran up to THAT peak!
And this run was a warm up for my 6 mile hike the following day, where I climbed 1200 ft, there and back in 2:50:00. The road you see way down yonder is the road I ran.
I would say, I am just about ready for the Chicago HM on Sept 7th. YIKES, just 13 days away!
Keep on running, SparkFolks.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
I do not make elaborate meals anymore. I used to love to entertain, and when I did I choice healthy fare. This is a tried and true recipe that is in high demand whenever I do entertain. I am making them for the first time this season for Fathers Day. Easy Peasy recipesy!! These burgers do NOT shrink. And the veggies keep them really most. Worth a try.
( Prep: 12 minutes Grill: 15 minutes )
1 egg white
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs (use oats for a better choice, just grind them first)
1/4 cup finely shredded carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped green sweet pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound ground turkey, veal, or lean beef
Nonstick spray coating
1 medium tomato, sliced
1. In a large bowl combine egg white and bread crumbs. (If using veal or beef, stir in 2 tablespoons water.) Stir in carrot, onion, green sweet pepper, salt, and pepper. Add Parmesan cheese and ground meat; mix well. Shape meat mixture into four 3/4-inch- thick patties.
2. Spray a cold grill rack with nonstick spray coating. Then, place rack on grill.
3. Grill burgers on an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 7 minutes. Turn and grill 8 to 11 minutes more or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F with an instant read thermometer. Place 1 tomato slice atop each burger and grill 1 minute more. Makes 4 servings.
Broiling directions: Place burgers on the unheated rack of a broiler pan. Broil 3 to
4 inches from the heat for 7 minutes. Turn and broil 8 to 11 minutes more or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F with an instant read thermometer.
Place 1 tomato slice atop each burger and broil 1 minute more.
Calories 290, Total Fat (g) 18, Cholesterol (mg) 79, Sodium (mg) 441, Carbohydrate (g) 8, Protein (g) 23, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
Enjoy your Sunday!
A BHG recipe, not my own. www.bhg.com/recipes/printRecipe.jsp?
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
I love the small and personal races since I come away with the feeling of accomplishment as well as memories of the moment shared with those I love.
My DH is a Rotarian, and this race is a big fundraiser for their causes. Last year, this race was my FIRST ever. I did the 5K, and wow, was I proud of myself. My son ran the same race (I trained, he did not), finishing before me, and my DH drove the pace car, with our then new classic car.
DIL won her AG in the 10K! I was impressed.
This year, I ran the 10K, along with DIL; DH ran the 5K, along with DD. This was DD's 4th 5K, but she ran this one without a running buddy! She got 2nd place! She ran a great race, and all the runners were telling me how well she did on the course. I was beaming, of course! DH fell in way behind DD. And DIL not only defended her AG title in the 10K, she won the women's overall category! Wow, she came in 25 minutes before me. As she was crossing the finish line, I remember all too well where I was in the course at 47 minutes:)
I have never finished so hard in any race.
Since it was a RAD run, DD dressed in the spirit of the 80's, and I called her Suzanne Somers!
She was the cutest one there, and came home with a $25 gift certificate!
Sidebar: Rotary has watched my DD grow up, as they supported her orphanage with $1000 USD worth of formula on our trip in 2008 (a months worth of formula for a small orphanage). So they have always taken an active interest in her life.
So the chief of police saw us all together, and he says, "families who run together, stay together." Great quote.
STATS: My time was 1:12:02 (PR is 1:07:34). I ran a good ChiRun, until I tired on the track to the finish line. I had a hard time keeping cool under the hot sun.
Saturday, May 24, 2014
I love pictures to tell the story. Feel free to view the pics and skip the long blog.
I had an easy time getting to East Lakeshore Park, which is a new lifestyle center close to the Yacht Club and Navy Pier by Lake Michigan. When you are in the park, you forget you are in a large city, even with all the runners that were milling about. The lakefront here is gorgeous. We could not have asked for better weather. It was 50 and part sun at the start of the race, and 60 and sunny when I crossed the finish line. I only fought the wind off the lake one time, around mile 10. Otherwise, the lake was unusually calm this day! Yes! I have biked this path before, and normally you fight your way out, or back.
I can feel the excitement of this crowd just looking at it. The Chicago Spring HM was very well organized. I was assigned to corral H, but hopped into corral I instead since I was not going to pressure myself to do 2:30. I learned a valuable lesson: Everyone is AHEAD of you, and no congestion of runners after the first qtr mile which was the case if you were in a middle corral. It was genius, and something I would do again in a large race (this one was 4500). It took 33 minutes for my corral to start. That gave me plenty of time to warm up, albeit the coziest warm up I have ever done.
Once I crossed the start line, I was really enjoying the view. The view of the Shedd Aquarium with the cherry blossoms was a first for me, as I had never seen this view (top right below) in all my years of visiting the museum campus. That stint really set my run for a fun and relaxing race.
Now this was a repeat course, down and back, and sometimes that is annoying. This race, I did not mind (no wind), and on the course back the Cityscape was gorgeous. I never tire of this view of the skyline and it just became more magnificent as I closed in on the finish line. The lower left pic below is a shot of Soldier Field (what I call the toilet bowl after renovations!).
The picture below is the break wall along the shore, and this spot has significance for me. I was 3 / 4 miles from the finish when I toed the cement and instantly fell to the ground. I had no time to catch my balance. I instinctively rolled over like a hound dog, and the momentum sprung me to my feet, and kept running. Few scrapes, no bumps, (later a sore ribcage), but I sure dodged a bullet thinking of any one bone I could have broke. It was poetry in motion, and I never wish that to happen again. I was trying to sprint in hopes of waking my body up for the last mile. Another lesson learned!
I so enjoyed myself after the finish in 2:41:53. PR by 8 minutes. I was 63 out of 79 in my AG, so I have a lot of work to do. I was real happy I was able to stay ahead of the 2:45 pace group, and I had energy at the end passing many of my co-runners who did not have anything left to give. I was smiling, even after my tumble. GREAT medal! Breakfast was served by Goose Island, our local brewery, and they even had a vegetarian line (it was the “express” line). Best pancakes ever, with scrambled eggs and veggies, potatoes and more veggies. Watermelon to top it off. Yummo! This race was eco-friendly with recycling bins, shoe donations, and a flower station.
Great pictures that were posted on facebook of the event:
**Training prep: I chose the ChiRunning Half Marathon Intermediate plan. I focused on technique and distance for 8 weeks, and very little speed or hill work. The longest run was 13 miles, and it allowed for a simulated run at pace race for 60 mins 2 weeks before the race. I tapered for 5 days. I Consumed carbs for two days prior to race.
**Race Day prep: I was up at 4:30, no easy task. Chose a NoDoz instead of coffee. My drink for breakfast was beet juice. I consumed a bagel with peanut butter, all down by 5:45. I arrived at the park by 6. I used will call (extra $$) for packet pick up, checked my “clear” bag, then headed to porta-pots. 20 minutes later I am on my way to the waterfront starting line. Corrals closed at 6:45. I ate a half banana 40 minutes before I started the race, and drank most of my vitawater zero (with chia seeds added), donated my sweatshirt just before the corral started the race.
Porta-potties a plenty at every waterstation, always a long line. I was glad I did not have coffee or need to use the johns. Water stations were in 5 spots, so I used them 10 times. That was really nice to have. I did have a small water bottle tucked in my waist band just in case I became overheated. They offered Gatorade and water at every station. I took mostly water, as I used 4 Huma Chi Gels for fuel. I tried Gatorade once, and it was too sweet for me. They did offer GU at one station which I grabbed for another day.
I am doing the official Chicago Half Marathon in September. Below the difference will look like this! For this one I will be training hard!
Note: This was my first Chi Half Marathon. I have logged my successful ChiRunning Race here:
Thanks for allowing me to share this wonderful experience with you. Ciao!
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