enjoying every second of life and running


2012 Park to Park – 5 Mile – 39:23

Race take-away: Rip off the band-aid

It has been extremely hot in this area for quite some time. Temps and humidity are stifling, with most days getting up into the 100s. So needless to say it was a hot and muggy morning to race. We all knew that paces would suffer, but I had more concerns than that on my mind. I’ve just been cleared to run again and in no way am I “race ready”. I have no race fitness in me at this point and am happy to run at all. Top that off with Rob and I both getting some sinus head cold type thing for the last four days and I knew this race would be a brutal experience.

None the less, we were going to race. Rip the band-aid off. Get out there, feel the pain and manage through it. Drew was our cheerleader for the day and was kind enough to drop us off at the first park where the race starts. He would meet us at the finish at the baseball field, the Corn Crib.

It was nice to catch up with everyone before starting the race, it helped keep my mind off the impending pain that was to come. Mid conversation with our friend Nikki and the gun goes off, I hit start on my watch and here we go. I try to settle into a 7:30 pace and hope to manage it will feel manageable. First mile 6:56, too fast and my watch was being deceptive. The current pace is not accurate enough on my Garmin 910XT and needs a software update. The pace was showing slower on my watch that actual (got the software update completed after this race). This would be a bad idea to run too fast and I get my pace to slow down to 7:30 for mile 2. The sun beating down on us, coupled with my head cold make me utterly miserable. My pace slows way down and I know that managing 7:30 won’t happen. My head is making that rushing/pounding sound in my ears that sounds like helicopters. The kind of sound I hear when we have a hard track workout, not good for as slow as I’m going and we are only half way through the race.

Familiar faces pass me, saying hi and being encouraging. I’m reduced to grunting hello and saying how awful I feel. I manage to reciprocate well wishes and just count down the time in my head for it to be over. “20 minutes and this pain will stop”, I tell myself.

I couldn’t even push the last .5 mile, I had nothing to give today, just endured the pain. I crossed the line and resisted the urge to throw up from the dizzy/pounding feeling in my head. After a couple of bottles of water I felt normal again and my sinuses felt more cleared that when we started. Funny enough as time passed, I felt better the rest of the day and happy that I did do this race. I didn’t get to keep the pace I wanted, but I could only guess at what I would be able to manage. I have a long ways to go to ever be race ready again, but it has to start somewhere.

Rob came in at 37:40, 7:32 pace.

I got 3rd in my Age Group!



7:53 Pace

F 35-39: 3/?

2011 – Park to Park – 36:11

2010 – Park to Park – 34:34

2009 – Park to Park – 39:55

2008 – Park to Park – 44:27

Chicago Marathon training starts next week and I hope the training process brings improvement.


Park to Park – 5M – 36:11

We had a beautiful mild morning (especially for June) for this race. 65ish degrees a bit of cloud cover and a light breeze. When the sun peaked through though it was warm, but still better than our last race.

The course was new this year, starting just outside of Miller Park and then finishing at the Corn Crib over second base. This added some more hill to the course, but I loved the new finish. I think it’s always fun to run into a stadium or arena.

My lack of speed work and hill work showed during the race. My first two miles were on pace, but then I fell off and my body naturally went back to half marathon pace.

Me feeling the pain.

No PR today for me, but another fun race. I got 1st in my Age Group which was a baseball with the Park to Park race imprinted and a ticket to an upcoming game.

Me and my award.

Drew and Rob



7:14 Pace

F 30-34: 1/61

F: 9/280

Overall: 66/604

After grilling out Rob and I dusted off our mountain bikes and went for a ride to uptown Normal and back.


2010 Park to Park – 5 Mile – 34:34

Today was a fourth of July race from one park to another park at the opposite end of town.

This race was important, like the first day of school type of important because…..drumroll….I am now a part of the Often Running Racing Team!! They are a local racing team sponsored by Adidas and based on my improving times I was asked to join! I’m SO excited! As a part of the team I will be expected to run fast, but also contribute to the betterment of the team by creating race reports (that are shared with Adidas), volunteer in the community and help at the Often Running store.

This was also fun because Drew came down to stay the night in order to be up in time to race. Little did he know we would wake him up at 4:30am 😉 After some cereal and coffee we were ready to roll.

I wasn’t sure when the joining the team announcement would be made so I dressed in Adidas gear.

Turns out that I received my race team gear as soon as we got there, so I changed into the race uniform for the women, black Often Running sports bra and black and white split seam shorts. 🙂 I was psyched! We had lots of friends at this race and so I got to tell them all the news and catch up on how their running and summers were going.

Rob and me before the race. Thanks Mark for the pictures!

After a two mile warm up it was time to line up and get to racing. My race plan was to hold back the first two miles and then incrementally speed up by 5 seconds per mile for the last three. Unfortunately that plan didn’t hold together. I was able to hold back the first two miles and resisted the urge to follow the people who sped out from the start. When at mile 2.5 people started to fall off and I was going strong. I felt like my effort was pushing, but my speed actually remained the same. It was hot and not a flat course, but still I was surprised to not be going faster. Guess I still have work to do in this department.

Me coming into the finish.

I finished with 34:34 and 2nd Female Overall!! A new PR!!

Rob also PRed!! 32:48 and 4th in his Age Group!!



6:55 Pace

F: 2/246

Overall: 39/576

Me in my post run race team shirt and with my heafty team backpack.

Michelle and me all sweaty. 🙂 Michelle placed 4th in her Age Group and this was her first ever 5 Mile race!

Drew requested an offical “gun show”, lol. 🙂

Me with my award.

Michelle with her award.

Michelle and me.

Rob with his award.

Award winners. 😉

Rob and Drew with their “awards”, Drew’s being the free water. 😉 This was Drew’s first 5 mile run ever! He kicked butt!

After the race we went for lunch and then went out with Dan and Michelle on their boat.

Michelle and me.

Me and Rob.

Rob and Drew.

It was a great Fourth of July!! 😀


Park to Park – 5 Mile – 39:55

Today was the Park to Park 5 Mile Race. The race course is one lap in part of a park on one end of town and then out across town to finish in another park. This course has some rolling hills. The weather was perfect for running considering it is the fourth of July. It was 64 degrees, light rain, and 14mph winds.

Me coming into the finish:

Rob finishing:

I finished 4th in my age group with 39:55! A new PR!! Due to the size of the race they do awards to 5th place so I also got an award.

Rob got a PR with his first 5 Mile race, finishing 42:39!

Here is me sweaty and rained on with my award mug:

7:59 pace
F 30-34: 4/35
Female: 34/245
Overall: 175/545

Now I need to take it easy so I am ready for tomorrow’s 12 mile run.