A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Monday, August 31, 2009

Fall Run and Full Review

As you can see from the above photo (taken on my run on Saturday) it appears that fall is descending. As much as I will miss summer, I'm excited about cooler weather. My 8 mile run on Saturday was not nearly as much of a struggle as many of my shorter runs from the past few months.

The only downside to cooler weather is figuring out what to wear on your run. I usually go by the 20o rule. Meaning, you dress for weather 20o warmer than what the thermometer says. But it's really difficult to put on shorts and a tank when you're standing in your house freezing. So, I ended up in capris and a short sleeved shirt on Saturday. Ended up working just fine.

I didn't start out my run with any goals other than to go 8 miles. This would be the longest run I'd done since my half marathon in July so I just wanted to do it. And although my average pace looks speedy, I find it slightly suspect. And, I admit, I did pause my watch at the major intersection, at the halfway point (while I returned a text message) and when I stopped to take the photo.

I almost paused again during the first half of my run. I can around a corner and just a few feet to my left was a doe, happily chomping on my plants next to the bike path. I really should have taken a picture. She seemed unconcerned about all the runners and bikers flying by. I just love it when I see deer while running. Always brings a smile to my face.

Regardless of my original intentions, I decided after a few miles that I was going to try and run at least two miles at "race pace". That is, I wanted to do them at 9 minutes per mile. If you subtract the time spent paused, then I did it. If you don't, then I only got close during mile 6. But I still think it's pretty cool that I managed to hit that after already running 5 miles.


After my run, I hit up Cosi for some post-run replenishment. I had one of their Strawberry Banana smoothies (it has real bananas in it, at least. I watched the employee cut it up) and a "break bar".

The break bar is an awesome combination of nuts, honey, and dried cranberries. It tasted like peanut brittle but better. I ate half of it and drank my whole smoothie. Both were phenomenal. I will definitely keep Cosi in mind for after my run! I think the smoothie and the nut bar were the perfect combination for post-run refueling.

I also ran in a pair of new Wrightsocks. I received two pairs to try out after posting about socks in the Runners' Lounge forums. Last Tuesday I wore the Running II style for my speedwork on the treadmill. I love that they have the arch support band and, as a fan of cushioned socks, I liked the thickness. The double layers felt funny when I first put the socks on but I didn't notice them after that.

On Saturday, though, I wore the Coolmesh (quarter-length) pair. I didn't like the height since I am more of a lo-quarter gal. I felt like they were too much sock around the ankle. I suppose, though, they would be good with pants instead of shorts or capris. Anyway, they felt good going on and while I was running, but walking around after my run I felt like they were too thin and that my foot was sliding around in my shoes a lot. I did like, though, that I didn't feel the need to adjust the toe area after I put on my shoes. Sometimes socks have those little nubs on ends of the toe seem that seem to sit on my pinky toe the wrong way. There have been days when I've had to take my shoe off, adjust my sock, put my shoe back on and repeat the process a few times before the sock sits just right. I didn't have that problem with this pair.

I don't suffer from blisters (unless I wear strappy sandals and walk over 3 miles) so I can't really comment on how well the double layer technology works. In fact, I've been perfectly happy with my Target and Walmart socks. That is, until I ran holes in my latest pair from Target. I can definitely tell that these Wrightsocks are better constructed. Hopefully they will last longer! I appreciate getting to try them out since I don't think I would have ever bought "fancy" socks on my own. Thanks, Wrightsock!



Route:--Elev. Avg:621 ft
Location:Brookfield, ILElev. Gain:-3 ft
Date:08/29/09Up/Downhill: [+187/-190]
Time:08:35 AMDifficulty:2.4 / 5.0
Weather:Mostly Cloudy
 62 F temp; 67% humidity
 62 F heat index; winds NW 10

Distance: 8.00 miles
Speed:6.1 mph
Pace:9' 49 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
110' 16+0' 275.8-0.3-3 ft
210' 05+0' 166.0-0.2+6 ft
310' 01+0' 126.0-0.1+10 ft
49' 25-0' 246.4+0.3-13 ft
510' 49+1' 005.5-0.6+4 ft
69' 07-0' 426.6+0.5-7 ft
710' 08+0' 195.9-0.2-6 ft
810' 03+0' 146.0-0.10 ft
end********** ft
Versus average of 9' 49 min/mile
** Insufficient data to calculate this split

Posted from bimactive.com

Friday, August 28, 2009

Core and More

After taking a several-months-long break from Pilates, I went back to it last night. The instructor remembered me and one of the "regulars" even remembered that I'd been training for a race. There were two new faces in class but otherwise it was the same group as always.

I could totally tell that I'd taken a break from Pilates. Some of those moves were killer last night. And the leg lift series was torture. One of the new women in the class just sat there most of the hour watching us, unable to do many of the moves. It made me think about how difficult it can be to get into exercising when you're really out of shape or really out of touch with your body. Sure, Pilates is difficult. Sure, there are still some moves I can't do perfectly. Sure, I remember the first time I took a core strengthening class that I laid my head down on the mat and struggled not to cry. But I've always been able to at least attempt the movements. I tried to talk her into switching to the beginner yoga class. I think Pilates may be a little too advanced for someone who has never done any strength training before in her life.

After Pilates, I asked the instructor for assistance in finding the pool entrance. Thank goodness I did or otherwise I would have never found it! She walked me to the locker room and even then I had to ask some women in there where the door to the pool was. They certainly keep it hidden!

The pool at the Y

The other things I was worried about? Well, my suit still fits, but I can tell that it's old. The elastic is starting to disintegrate and, while it still had enough left to keep the legs and the front lining tight, the outer shell just hung loosely when it got wet and it seemed to be shedding flakes of elastic everywhere. I think I'll be buying a new suit this weekend. I'll miss this one, though. It was a pretty purple color with very faint stars on it! But it has to be at least 10 years old.

I'll also be buying goggles. I definitely needed them last night. Without them, I tend to swim diagonally across the lane and start to freak out because I can't see. The instructor was nice enough to let me use his for most of the class. He also gave me some tips on where to buy good goggles for cheap (FYI: He said Marshall's for those of you that have them in your area).

There are four of us in the class. One very beginning swimmer, one guy who can swim but can't tread water and just doesn't feel very comfortable in general, and one woman who wants to learn better technique. And me.

We didn't spend a lot of time moving last night. Back and forth across the pool a few times. The class is only 40 minutes long, though, and the instructor spent a lot of time talking with each of us. I suspect that as we get further along we'll spend more time swimming and less time talking.

The only bad thing is that at the end of the class he wanted to see if we could touch the bottom at the deepest part of the pool and then swim back to the surface. Right as I touched the bottom and started kicking to head back to the surface, both my calves cramped up and became rocks. Seriously. I had like tennis ball sized rock hard lumps instead of calves. Oh, it hurt! And it's hard to stretch and massage your calves in the deep end of a pool! They were still tight and sore when I went to bed last night. I'm thinking that even though my previous experience with professional massage did not impress me, I might need to check out the massage services offered at the Y. My hamstrings would probably thank me, too.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fuel and Fretting

Today's Take it and Run Thursday question is:

It's the morning of your weekly long run... what do you eat and why?

I'm STILL trying to figure this out. I feel like I run out of fuel so fast. Additionally, I'm a really salty sweater so I think that makes me hit the wall even with taking fuel mid-run. Typically, I eat a whole wheat English muffin with crunchy peanut butter and dried cranberries. I try to follow that up with a granola or energy bar shortly before I actually start my run if I ate the English muffin more than an hour before.

I've also tried the oatmeal with tons of add-ins (almond butter, honey, nuts, dried fruit), but it doesn't always work.

I'm definitely not one of those people who can just grab a banana and a glass of water and call it pre-run fuel. My metabolism is pretty fast so by the time I get up in the morning I've fairly well digested all of my dinner. I've tried running in the morning without eating and I tend to get cold sweats or feel super dizzy after I'm done.

So, yeah, still working on the perfect fuel.

Speaking of how things make me feel (yeah, that was a crappy segue), I took my first yoga class last night at the Y.

I'm generally a very tense person, so there were some times during the class that I felt as though I should be relaxing more than I was. Our instructor really lets us take our time in each pose, though, so I was able to attempt to relax each part of my body. We did very basic mat exercises (such as the poses above) and she indicated that this isn't a very strenuous class but that we will be working harder by the end of the 8 weeks. Sadly, I don't think that doing yoga combined with rushing home to get dinner on the table before 9PM is really all that calming or centering or whatever yoga is supposed to be spiritually.

I feel strange (and a little guilty) for not doing any cardio on Wednesday nights. I've done some kind of cardio on Wednesdays for so long that I'm not used to not ending my day by dripping sweat. Also, even though my original plan was to run Thursdays at lunch to make up for it, I don't think that's going to happen very often. Here's hoping that swimming helps make up for it.

Speaking of which, my first swim lesson class is tonight. I'm stupidly nervous. Not that I'll be bad at it or anything. It's lessons; they're not expecting me to be any good. It's just that I have to get in a pool with a bunch of strangers to do something other than splash around and be silly. Also, I'm still not sure how to actually get TO the pool at the Y or whether or not my Speedo tank suit even still fits. Will I need goggles? Do I bring a beach towel or a regular towel? Will I need a swim cap? Probably should have thought about all those things before today, huh?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Weights and Push Ups and Treadmills, Oh My!

Last night I arrived at the Y for my first Total Body Conditioning class. How was it? Tough to say.

The geniuses at the Y decided to schedule a blood drive in the same room where most of the classes are held. So, instead of teaching class in her usual room with her usual equipment, our instructor was relegated to a completely different room with completely different equipment. She attempted to take it all in stride and had us pull out steps, stability balls, mats, body bars, and weight balls. And, without music, we did squats, push-ups, crunches, bicep curls, shoulder presses, and tricep presses.

Did I ever mention I hate push-ups? No? Well, I do. And we did a TON of them.

I'm reserving judgment on the class until we get back into the room she usually teaches in. She seemed rather discombobulated last night and I felt as though the pace of the classes alternated between too slow and too fast as she tried to think of what exercise we should do next. On the plus side, she's really big on working at your own level. As she said, you can do 20 push-ups, but if only 5 of them are any good and the rest are crap then you're not really helping yourself. Do the 5 good ones and work up to the 20 good ones. Yeah, that will be me.

After class, I headed to the cardio room to do some speed work on the treadmill. I took Kristen's favorite speed workout and figured I'd try it. She said her favorite is 1x1600, 1x1200, 1x800, 1x400, 1x200. Kristen, you are now on notice. That was HARD. Or maybe I just did it wrong.

While at work I used a the Runner's World training pace calculator to figure out what my pace should be for my speed workouts since the McMillan Running Calculator website was down. The RW one seemed to indicate my speed workout pace should be between 7:37 and 8:08 minutes per mile depending on what race I entered. Okay, I thought, I'll set the treadmill to a 1% incline and the speed at 7.4 MPH (which translates to a speed around 8:05 minutes per mile).

I did a half mile warm up at 5 MPH. The treadmill I was using had an awesome "speed interval" setting so you just set your "jog" pace and your "run" pace and toggled between them at the push of a button. After the half mile I hit the button and zoomed up to 7.4 MPH. I did my first mile (or 1600 meters) without stopping. Then I took it back down to 5 MPH for a quarter mile recovery jog. Then it was back to 7.4 for another three quarters of a mile (or 1200 meters). Yeah, that didn't go so well. I had to stop and rest a few times in there. I followed that with another quarter mile of jogging at 5 MPH. Then I tried to do the half mile (or 800 meters) at 7.4. I managed a quarter mile before I felt like I was going to die. So, I slowed it down and jogged for the rest of my Y-Cardio-Room-Imposed 30 minutes. I then figured out today that according to the McMillan Running Calculator that my max speed for speed work should be 8:26 minutes per mile or more like 7.1 MPH on the treadmill. Runner's World, you are also on notice.

So, I did a speed workout. More like 1x1600, 1x800, 1x400 instead of what I was aiming for. But, that's okay. I got in three miles of running and today my body can certainly tell I did something last night. In fact, I'm really looking forward to my yoga class tonight. I'm hoping I'll get a good low intensity workout with lots of stretching. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday Night Run

Three weeks in a row of running with the Oak Park Runners Club. Everyone I've met so far has been super nice even if they are all faster than me. Last night, though, I ran with a gal who is running her first half-marathon on September 13th. She's aiming for a 10 minute per mile pace. We were WAY at the back of the pack last night for the first four miles. She kept telling me to speed up if I wanted to, but I know what it's like to be at the back and alone. I stuck with her until after our water stop at mile 4. Then I hung with another woman who really pushed me for the last mile. Especially the last half mile. We did that at an 8:30 pace!

I did feel like I could have gone a little bit faster during those first four miles. Regardless, I got a 5 mile+ run in and chatted with some new people. I think I'm going to sign up to volunteer for the Chicago Marathon with the group. Every year they staff a water station. It would be hard work, but I'm sure a lot of fun.

I'm thinking about running to the group start and then running home afterward. It's about 1.5 miles each way so it would make my Monday night run a total of 8 miles. My only concern with this is that I'm already worn out on Tuesdays after doing the 5.5 or so. I skipped running at lunch today for several reason. One is that it's hard for me to do two runs so close together.

The other reason I skipped my lunch run today is because this evening I have my first Total Body Conditioning class at the Y. Since I have no idea what this will entail, I didn't want to wear myself out beforehand. If it doesn't totally wipe me out, I'll try to do some speedwork on the treadmill afterwards. So, tell me, what's your favorite speed workout?



Route:--Elev. Avg:628 ft
Location:Forest Park, ILElev. Gain:+3 ft
Date:08/24/09Up/Downhill: [+22/-19]
Time:06:34 PMDifficulty:2.5 / 5.0
Weather:A Few Clouds
 76 F temp; 51% humidity
 77 F heat index; winds SW 10

Distance: 5.45 miles
Speed:6.2 mph
Pace:9' 40 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 07-0' 336.6+0.40 ft
29' 13-0' 276.5+0.3-9 ft
39' 45+0' 056.2-0.1+3 ft
410' 47+1' 075.6-0.6+7 ft
59' 57+0' 176.0-0.20 ft
end8' 24-1' 167.1+0.9+3 ft
Versus average of 9' 40 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com

Friday, August 21, 2009

Shuck It

Yes, this is really on the side of the oyster bar/restaurant I run past

I debated whether or not to run last night. I already had over 10 miles for the week. But I wasn't going to be able to get a run in this weekend. I'm not really training for anything, but I do have a training plan printed out and propped up on my desk. I could do 3 or 4 miles, but would it make a difference. It had rained most of the morning, but now it was breezy and sunny.

In the end, I decided I would do 5 miles for a total of 15 and change for the week.

It wasn't a great 5 miles. I had to stop for traffic quite a bit. I was trying to do at least two miles around a 9 minute pace but that didn't happen. When you look at my stats over the week, my average pace slowly crept higher and higher. What do I have to do to get my average pace down from around 10:00 minutes per mile to closer to 9:00 minutes per mile? Seriously, my pace over the past 8 months has been fairly stagnant. Check it out:


That doesn't count any treadmill runs or runs where I forgot my Garmin

Do I need to do speed work? Tempo runs? Run more miles? Do more cross-training? Wait for the weather to change? Be patient? Just don't say hill work (Runners' World, I'm looking at you) cause we don't have any hills.

Or do I just say shuck it and accept my running for what it is?


I don't have a clue what happened to that map. It does NOT look that on the actual Bones in Motion site.

Route:--Elev. Avg:628 ft
Location:Forest Park, ILElev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:08/20/09Up/Downhill: [+101/-101]
Time:05:36 PMDifficulty:2.4 / 5.0
Weather:Mostly Cloudy
 75 F temp; 48% humidity
 77 F heat index; winds W 17 G 29

Distance: 5.25 miles
Speed:6.0 mph
Pace:10' 05 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
110' 32+0' 275.7-0.3+4 ft
29' 58-0' 076.0+0.1+14 ft
310' 41+0' 365.6-0.3-3 ft
49' 21-0' 446.4+0.5-3 ft
59' 45-0' 206.2+0.2-13 ft
end9' 36-0' 296.2+0.3+3 ft
Versus average of 10' 05 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The 64 Thousand Dollar Question - Take it and Run Thursday

Today's Take It and Run Thursday question over at Runners' Lounge is:

When did you know you had become a runner? Was there a defining moment, or was it a gradual progression over time?

Interestingly enough, a friend just recently asked me this question, too!

I don't think it was one moment when I decided I was a runner. It was an accumulation of changes in my life and my attitude.

See, I didn't decide to become a "runner". I decided I wanted to try running. So many people I knew online were doing it and I always thought, "Hey, if they can do it so can I!" I tried on my own for awhile but didn't get very far. So, I joined the Beginning Women's Running Group pictured above (I'm on the bottom right with the pink bandanna on my head).

We trained for a 5K. I ran that 5K. And then something weird happened. I kept running. I made time in my schedule to run. I said things like, "Okay, but I've got to run first." I got up early on weekends to get in a run before I did anything else. I wanted to see how far I could go. 4 miles? 5 miles? 9 miles??

I stopped thinking of running as a way to lose weight and instead wanted to run to increase my distances and my speed. I stopped thinking of my gym trips as just gym trips and started thinking of them as cross-training. Instead of looking for ways to workout that would burn the most calories, I looked for options that would benefit my running.

I started planning my life around my running instead of the other way around. You know how magazine articles always say you should schedule working out just like you would a meeting or an appointment? I actually started doing that. Running took precedence. It still does.

When my friend asked me, I said another way I knew I had become a runner was when I felt guilty about missing a run. Not guilty like "oh no, I didn't work out today" but guilty like "I running have goals and I want to meet them".

But, the more I think about it, the more I think that I knew I had truly become a runner when I was able to answer "yes" when someone asked me if I wanted to go for a run.

Yes, I want to go for a run. Because I'm a runner.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Under Construction

Part of one of my running routes is currently under construction. It makes for some fun times when crossing that road. Talk about off-roading!

I think it's an apt metaphor for my running right now. It's under construction. I'm feeling like I haven't made much progress over the past 8 months. I know that's not true. I've run two half-marathons. I've run longer distances than I've ever run before. But I feel like it's not being reflected in my pace. Instead of getting better, I feel like I'm getting worse. Or, at the very least, getting stagnant.

I did 5 miles last night after work. Originally I thought I'd do between 3 and 4, but I decided to try out a new route and it ended up putting me back near my house at 4.5 miles. I figured I'd just finish off that last half-mile for an even 5. I admit that my goal was to stay as close to 9 minutes per mile as possible. And I did stop my Garmin whenever I had to wait for traffic. So, my Garmin times versus my Bones in Motion times are drastically different. See?

Bones in Motion

MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
19' 30-0' 106.3+0.1+4 ft
29' 37-0' 036.2+0.0+6 ft
39' 18-0' 226.5+0.20 ft
410' 42+1' 025.6-0.6-9 ft
end10' 15+0' 355.8-0.40 ft
Versus average of 9' 40 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com



Yeah, that didn't go so well either way you look at it. I had to walk twice and it was definitely slower than Monday night's run. But, to be honest, I was worn out from Monday night. I think I pushed it harder than I thought. In fact, my legs are informing me today that we need to take a break tonight.

So, in an effort to break out what I feel is a running slump, I'm going to try and shake up my routine. It involves four different classes at the gym and running whenever I can. I may go crazy. But, it's only an 8 week experiment so we'll see how it goes. I do have an 8K race (just under 5 miles) in a little over a month. Last year I ran it in 46:49. I'd love to beat that time. Let's hope my period of construction pays off.

And if it doesn't, I'll just try to remember how I felt last night after my run. I was standing on our back deck, stretching, listening to Wynonna Judd singing about how there's nothing she won't do to be loved by you, and I looked up at the sky to see this:

I don't think it was a runner's high, per se, but it was definitely a feeling of accomplishment and peace that swept over me as I looked at the clouds scattered over the blue sky. It was a nice feeling. Remind me how much I enjoyed it next time I'm feeling down, okay?

Also, note to self: When you run with your iPhone instead of your iPod, don't forget to turn off the "Shake to Shuffle" function. Otherwise you'll spend the first minutes of your run very confused.


Route:--Elev. Avg:625 ft
Location:Forest Park, ILElev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:08/18/09Up/Downhill: [+49/-49]
Time:06:17 PMDifficulty:2.4 / 5.0
Weather:Mostly Cloudy
 78 F temp; 45% humidity
 78 F heat index; winds W 9

Distance: 5.00 miles
Speed:6.2 mph
Pace:9' 40 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)

Posted from bimactive.com

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Running + Pizza + Ice Cream

Last night was my second time running with the Oak Park Runners Club. It was the monthly sponsored run as well as their "run of the month." Brooks had a representative out to raffle off two pairs of shoes and some hats. Sadly, I didn't win either thing. I really wanted to win a pair of shoes, too! What's funny is that one of the women who did win spent most of the run complaining to the Brooks rep that, while she loves Brooks shoes, she hates that they are always blue! So, yes, she won a pair of blue shoes.

Apparently after the "run of the month" people go out for food and drinks. Last night, though, the Brooks rep ordered pizza for after the run. Most people grabbed a few pieces, waited until after the raffle, and then headed home. If you do the 8 mile route you don't typically get back to the starting point until 8 PM and many people run to the start line. Since it's starting to get dark earlier and earlier, people who didn't drive tend to take off shortly after finishing with the group run. So, all in all, only six of us ended up sticking around. Instead of going to get food and drinks, though, we walked to a local cafe and got ice cream and cookies. What a perfect way to end a run!

The run itself was okay. I managed to stick with the 9:00 minute per mile group for the first two miles. And then I had to walk. I don't know what's going on with me but I've had to walk more and more during my runs. It was humid last night, but it wasn't sunny. In fact, it was raining! I was fairly well soaked by the end of our 5.4 miles.

After I stopped to walk, another group newbie caught up to me and we ran 10:00 minute miles for the last two. Although, when you look at my stats it will show that mile 5 was over 12 minutes. That's because it includes the stop at the water fountains where people regroup and determine if they're going to run 5.5 (approx.) or 8.

Anyway, I paid my $15 and turned in my registration form last night. I guess I'm a member now!


Route:--Elev. Avg:628 ft
Location:Forest Park, ILElev. Gain:+0 ft
Date:08/17/09Up/Downhill: [+19/-19]
Time:06:37 PMDifficulty:2.4 / 5.0
Weather:Light Rain
 77 F temp; 73% humidity
 80 F heat index; winds SW 8

Distance: 5.39 miles
Speed:6.4 mph
Pace:9' 24 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
18' 59-0' 256.7+0.3-3 ft
28' 56-0' 286.7+0.3-9 ft
39' 15-0' 096.5+0.1+3 ft
49' 51+0' 276.1-0.3+7 ft
512' 57+3' 334.6-1.80 ft
end9' 49+0' 256.1-0.3+3 ft
Versus average of 9' 24 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com

Monday, August 17, 2009

Rally for Autism 5K Race Report

On Saturday morning, Kim and I met up at a forest preserve in Libertyville, IL to run a 5K together. We'd picked this race because based on last year's times, we should have easily placed in the top three in our age group.

We arrived around 8:30 AM and it was HOT. And I quickly realized that the course had no shade. At all. Our original goal was to run an average 8:20 pace. We headed out for a quick warm-up jog and decided that, what with the heat, we'd be okay doing our first mile in more like 8:30 and then re-evaluating. Good thing, too, because, as you'll see, the heat was killer.

It looked like a smallish, laid back kind of race. No corrals, no chips, just a start banner and a finish banner. Thankfully, though, there were two water stations and lots of course volunteers to make sure we stayed on the correct path. Looking at the results, it appears that over 500 people participated, but I would bet that about 150 of those were walkers and not runners.

Click to see larger...and see if you can find Kim and me!

Our first mile was right on target for our original goal. But after that we started to go downhill and, sadly, not literally. Between the sun, the heat, and Kim's shin injury, we decided it was time to power walk for a bit. After that, we would decide to run to a certain landmark and then walk for a bit. I think we were both disappointed that we had to walk, but we knew that it was for the best. I've discovered that blazing sun is my kryptonite and running a race on a hot August day in no shade does not lead to a good race time. Also, hills. Those darn rolling hills. Interestingly enough, I found myself passing people on a lot of them.

I found a burst of energy at the end, though, as I always do. I powered it up a slight hill and ran hard for the finish with Kim on my heels.

Again, click to see it bigger

I ran into the finish chute and, I'll be honest, I almost threw up the banana I'd eaten a little over an hour before. I had to put my hand over my mouth as I gagged. I managed to keep it down, though. Thankfully! However, I was a little too distracted to remember to hit Stop on my Garmin. Once I'd been sprayed down with water and gotten a bottle of water to drink I finally remembered. That meant, though, that I was unsure of my actual time. Jason did get a picture of me going into the finish chute that showed the clock with 28:21 on it. We decided to stick around for the awards ceremony...just in case.

Sadly, the awards ceremony was not as organized as the race. Issues with a printer caused some delays and then they were giving out the awards but not saying the finish times for each person. We didn't have our names called but we had no idea if we'd missed placing by a lot or a little. Turns out, we came in 7th and 8th in our age group and, even if we'd hit our goal time, we only would have come in 5th and 6th!

So what were the official stats?

Time: 28:20.3
Pace: 9:08 minute/mile
Age group place: 7th out of 41
Overall place: 131 out of 508

Not my fastest race ever, but, I have to say, I still had a lot of fun! Especially because afterward Jason and I went out to lunch with Kim and her husband. It made for a great way to spend half my day. Run with a friend, hang out, eat a tasty lunch. What could be better?


Garmin Stats

Route:--Elev. Avg:661 ft
Location:Libertyville, ILElev. Gain:-6 ft
Date:08/15/09Up/Downhill: [+223/-229]
Time:09:06 AMDifficulty:2.7 / 5.0
 77 F temp; 68% humidity
 79 F heat index; winds S 10

Distance: 3.13 miles
Speed:6.5 mph
Pace:9' 16 /mi
Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
18' 22-0' 547.2+0.7-7 ft
29' 12-0' 046.5+0.0-16 ft
310' 03+0' 476.0-0.50 ft
end10' 54+1' 385.5-1.0+16 ft
Versus average of 9' 16 min/mile

Posted from bimactive.com