Showing posts from March, 2013

Egg Shell Shuffle Half Marathon Race Review

13.1 miles, medal, egg hunt, race shorts. Count me in.
The Egg Shell Shuffle sells out fast so sign up early. Besides the awesome medal there is an adult Easter egg hunt where they get donations of running stuff and museum passes and candy.

Once again I was using this race as a long distance training run. This week only 15 miles (when 15 got placed in the 'only' column I am not sure). This race has race day packet pick-up which is nice because it was south of my house by about a hour and twenty minutes. The race is held in a forest preserve with a small two mile loop at the beginning and then an out and back for the rest with the majority on a bike path. 

 The weather was perfect. Little windy but no snow, no rain and it was not freezing. Aid stations every few miles with poweraide gels at mile 7ish and 9ish maybe. Low key start and finish line, as in I had a hard time finding the start as there were just timing mats in the parking lot without a banner or anything but follow …

Hop to it

Saturday I get to do this run
and obtain this and I am so freakin excited because at the end there is an Easter Egg hunt for adults with fun prizes like a GPS watch and other running gear. 
I am wavering between trying to get it together and maybe try and PR or just chillax and do my planned 15 mile training run, obtain medal and egg hunt- no worries, be happy man.
On Wednesday I felt a weird pain in my left leg so cut my run short, skipped my planned evening run and have taken today off and am iffy on tomorrow. It feels better so I will probably give running a go and see what happens. A few hip stretches and exercises and my leg feels fine but was a definite reminder that I have been slacking in the cross training and hip strengthening department and need to get my butt in gear. 
Any big plans for this weekend? Happy Easter!

Thoughts on the Half Marathon Long Run

The last two weekends I have used these half marathons

as part of my 20 mile long runs.After polling you - my awesome readers- who recommended running the extra seven miles before the race I decided that was the best course of action. Though I had to come to the terms with I would be starting each race tired, because seven miles is not really a stroll in the park, this worked out brilliantly because when the race was over I was done, medal and snacks in hand.

I would recommend this method to anyone who is intimidated like I was of the long run for marathon training.  By this point seven miles is not a huge deal - meaning seven miles does not scare much as twenty miles.

PROS of the Long Run/ Half Marathon Combo:

Course support means not having to run with all the stuff needed to keep you going for that many milesCheering volunteers and spectators- they are always good motivation/ distraction to keep your butt in motionYou get a medal at the end. Twenty miles around the neighbo…

ChiTown Half Marathon Race Review

I once again packed a suitcase to take to this race since the weather said snow.
 Luckily just a few light flurries. It wasn't actually that cold, it just was annoyingly windy.......wait, this just in: Chicago is apparently known as the Windy City.... so yeah windy but let's start from the beginning. 
I woke up at 4:15, ate a protein pancake, layered up and hit the road. The race was about an hour and twenty minutes from my front door. The first time I have headed downtown and not hit traffic. 5 a.m. is the magic hour. I left earlier than needed because I was on the hunt for free street parking and I found some in the most magical spot known to runners- right next to the Porto potties and a few steps from the start. Bean for the WIN.  Packet pick-up the day of which was awesome because otherwise I would have had to drive about three hours total to get it on Saturday. This is a nice feature of All Community Events. Packet pick-up opened at 6:50 and the start of the race was 8:…

Runner Tragedy

I just realized I have no more Vanilla cliff shots for tomorrow's twenty mile run.....

Well I guess I know what I will be doing today. The hunt is on.

Chi Town Time

This Sunday it is time for another twenty mile marathon training run. So must be time for another half marathon.

This one is down in Chicago so should be nice and flat. Just the way we like them. I am going to attempt a seven mile warm-up again followed by a 13 mile run with a few other runners. Good times. The only thing that is not awesome is the weather. As of now 35 degrees with snow showers. Seriously- no more snow.

I would like to see if I can knock this twenty miles a little faster. Other then that I would like to just get it done. This weeks training has been a 4 mile on Tuesday, 9 miles on Wednesday (a double day with 5 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon), and 10 mile tempo run today, 4 miles on Saturday, 20 miles Sunday. Quite the week. I even did some yoga, stretching and body weight stuff. Whooo bring on the marathon.

Anyone else racing this weekend?

I Spy....

.... a good deal.

Firmoo asked me if I would be interested in reviewing their eyeglasses. Heck yes.

Firmoo is the world's most popular online eyeglasses store. We have always been committed ourselves to offering customers the best quality products at the most affordable prices which start at 8 dollars. For this reason, we have gained a solid reputation and trust from hundreds of thousands of fans on Facebook. (from their website)

Basically you can scan your picture into the website- try on some virtual pairs and find an awesome pair of glasses ranging from $8 on up.

I picked a pair and within about five days the glasses showed up at my door. And they are awesome. Last time I was at the eye doctor I saw a pair I liked that were $150. Looks like the highest these glasses run at around $70 but with many under $20. That is a steal compared to anywhere else.

 I ordered these bad boys
 All glasses come with a hard case, soft case, rag and a tiny tool for tiny screws. Every pair comes with …

March O'Madness Half Marathon Race Review

I signed up for this race the day it opened. If you are interested sign-up as soon as registration opens because it sells out quick. Originally I didn't intend to run this as part of marathon training but it worked out that way.

 I was super bummed that the weather was expected to be crappy as in freezing and cloudy. Well at least it was not raining or snowing. But I did my best to pack everything that I own to be prepared. Good thing too because it was cooooooolllldddd. I got up at 4:30ish, drank some coffee, ate some oatmeal and layered, layered and added some more layers. Leaving the house around 5:40 I was at the race by 6:40. Popped in and out of packet pick-up in less than five minutes. Great volunteers with a well organized packet pick-up. The volunteers through-out this race were great. Dressed in green, helpful and cheered for everyone. Amazing.
After picking up my stuff I headed out for 7 warm-up miles. 7 miles of hills. The seven went well. I ran a portion of the cours…


I wore compression socks to work on Wednesday after my progression run. I feel there was a line somewhere that I that happened.

This weekend- Sunday to be exact- 20 mile run.
Also on Sunday
This is my first attempt at half marathon/ long training run combo awesomeness.  General plan of attack:  Saturday pack a bag of crap that will include a lot of snacks and clothing Sunday wake up early, drive an hour to where the race is held (which is actually only around 30 miles away but for some reason Illinois seems to lack any sort of highway system with speed limit signs that are over 40 miles an hour). Pick up race packet at 6:30 a.m. Deposit race stuff back to car (which will be conveniently located next to the race start because I, like usual, will probably be the first one there) and head out on my 7 mile 'warm up run' (note to self- bring flash light, thanks daylight savings). Run 7 miles. Return to car. Eat snack, drink something, possibly change shirt if get wa…

Training Review Week of 3/4- 3/10

Last week was a bit crazy. I came home from visiting family and jumped into training in downtown Chicago. 7 a.m. train rides and not getting home till 7 p.m. severely cut down on time available for running. But with switching things around and getting in my long run on Sunday I managed to squeeze in 42 miles last week. Whoop there it is!!!!
It went down like this
4 easy miles on Tuesday
3 miles on Wednesday, was supposed to be 8 but just couldn't do it
5 miles on Thursday to make up for the lack of 8 the day before
8 mile tempo on Friday, was supposed to be 9 miles but ran out of time- the train waits for no one
4 miles easy on Saturday- outside oh yeah!
18 mile long run- longest one yet

What is lacking in all that is:
a) stretching
b) hip exercises
c) cross training- no yoga, no weights, nada

The goal this week is to get back on track with that which should be easier since I will have more time- now if I could only get over the lazy.

18 Miles

Today was long run day. 18 miles on the schedule. 18 miles done. 15 miles in the rain. 3 miles on the treadmill.

Things I learned today during the 3 hours I spent slogging through the rain and cursing the weather.

1) Running for multiple months on my nice, cushy treadmill has led to me being a wimp. Running on concrete is hard.

2) A marathon is a very, very long ways. It doesn't really sink in until I realize how sore I am after 18 and a marathon is another 8 more miles- ahhhhhhhhhhh. Any idea I had about finishing around four hours- um no don't think so. I will be happy to finish in under 5 hours.

3) New marathon goals- Don't die, don't poop yourself, don't puke. Good to have goals- aim high.

4) Running in the rain kinda sucks and makes me look like hell- more so than usual after a long run.

5) My new hydration pack is awesome

Though this run was hard it went well. I held a good pace the whole way even with the rolling hills in the area. Things I need to focus on:

Life & Training or Life Interfering with Training

You know when life comes around and smacks you in the face and says 'hey this is not Burger King, you can not always have it your way'. In other words life has not been overly conducive to my obsessive compulsive marathon training schedule.

An impromptu trip to visit family in Kentucky led to two things.
2) Missed long run. It was snowing. Not cool Kentucky, not cool.
oh well
This week I have seen a lot of this
and a lot of this

due to training in Chicago which equals about a three hour train commute each day. Fun but equals early, early mornings. So far I have fit in all the mileage just not in the order on the calender. The true test will be tomorrows 9 mile tempo run. Will I get up early enough to fit in 9 miles (hello 4a.m.)? Will I opt to try to split the run into two parts? Will I hit snooze and ignore the whole thing instead?

Tricky, very tricky.

Month in Review: February

Miles run:121.6 which is pretty dang good considering February (anyone else misspell February every single time) 28 days in it.

Half marathons done: 0 but March O'Madness half in two weeks. Super excited and hopeful that no snow will be on the ground.

Obtainment of green shirt and shamrock headband for race: check
Inability to buy just one running head band at a time: check

Cross training: so bad.
I was being so good about yoga and strength and now it is all run, run, run with a side of sit-ups and push-ups. I have been good at doing my hip exercises but I need to step up my game and get back to yoga. It gets harder as my mid-week runs get longer and time seems to disappear into a black hole (aka facebook, instagram and the internet in general- oh and I work, yes that happens too).

Money spent on races: too dang much
Time to reel it in on that. I have one more race to register for to complete my thirty before thirty and then it is hiatus time for awhile. I love doing half marathon…