Chase:Every:Second

enjoying every second of life and running


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2014 Peoria Half Marathon – 2:02:07

Saturday Drew and I ran the Peoria Half Marathon (there was a full marathon and 5K option as well). Rob stayed home to watch Chase since it was too cold early in the morning to come out and spectate. I was up at 4:30 and out the door just before 5:30am to head to Peoria, IL.

Heading out:

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I’m terrible at navigating Peoria. For some reason I can never figure the way the roads are laid out and I get turned around. Luckily Drew was able to navigate me to the parking lot once I was over there. We got our stuff together and walked 5 blocks to the start area. Logistically this was an easy race to navigate, especially since was so close to our where we live. I barely looked at the course map and just trusted we would be directed where we would need to get to, which the course seemed well marked. It would be a good race for people to spectate because the course passed through downtown Peoria area a couple of times. This was the second year for this event, so it’s still on the smaller side for attendance. There was no corral system, but wasn’t necessary. There were pacers for only the full marathon, but they were still a good gauge for half marathoners for approximately 9 miles.

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The race started on time at 7:00am and we were off. The first mile was basically a straight shot out with just a turn to the right as we came to the first mile marker. I found it interesting that my Garmin went off early and then no matter how I cut the tangents I was hitting the mile markers early on my watch. I never expect to be spot on, that’s unrealistic, but was just curious how it would end up.

I had good energy for this run and was feeling well the whole time. A big improvement from my last half marathon. Peoria is notoriously hilly, but this course did a good job of keeping the hills to a minimum. Drew passed me on the big hill at mile 7. I then caught back up to him about mile 8.5 and we chatted. I moved ahead feeling great thinking I could pick up the pace. By mile 10 my un-trained body reminded me that I’m not ready to go faster. My left IT band tightened up and I had to slow my pace to complete the race. Drew passed me and I told him I would be okay and that I would see him at the finish. Drew came in at 2:00:18 and I finished 2:02:07. Bonus – I didn’t fall down or walk the race at all, that’s progress! 🙂

Regarding my Garmin being off, I came across at 13.3 miles and so did Drew and others. 13.3 on the nose. I’m used to being off + or – .05ish, but .2 is quite a bit and it’s interesting that others were showing the same thing. It would be disappointing if the course was long (or short), especially if you were running the full marathon. Hard to say what happened there.

A couple items that I didn’t care for at the race were the water cups were plastic, which are very hard to manage when running to get a drink. A paper cup allows you to pinch the cup into a spout to drink will running. Trying to do this with the plastic cups resulted in the cup fully splitting and then not getting any water. Also, the finish only had oranges and bananas. There were no pretzels, bread, or any type of carbs. Not having more than an orange made me feel sick. I would have been in trouble if I were running a full marathon and fruit was the only post race recovery fuel. Finally, there didn’t appear to be much medical staff at the start/finish or throughout the course. That can be a very dangerous situation, so I hope that it is improved in coming years.

The finisher’s medal.

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Stats:

2:02:07

9:20 Pace

Overall: 216/505

F: 75/269

F35-39: 10/38


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Running for Charity – St. Jude’s Childrens Research Hospital

Many of the races I’ve run benefit local and national charities. It’s wonderful thing that running races becuase it provides people a fun way to stay fit, hang out with friends, and a charity can also benefit. Something I haven’t directly done before is actually ran a race for a charity by fundraising specifically for a charity. I’m excited to finally do that for the upcoming Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon on July 20th to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

St. Jude has always held a special place in my heart. When I attended Illinois State University they were my sorority’s (Epsilon Sigma Alpha) main charity. We completed fundraising throughout the year and had the opportunity to take a check to the headquarters in Memphis, TN and visit the facilities.

Me and my sorority sisters (circa 1997) at the headquarters in Memphis, TN.

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While we had time for some fun photos, it was a very serious trip to get to visit with children, families, doctors, and the support teams. It’s one of those significant moments in life to witness such brave children and their families battling cancer and diseases. It was apparent that in those moments the world stops and everything focuses in on the love for your child. Now being a mom, it hits home a million times more, what that would feel like.

It was an easy decision to focus a race and support such a wonderful cause that helps families get through such a trying time and support these kids getting the best of technology and research as a part of their treatments and hopefully a cure. Some important information about St. Jude’s:

  • Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
  • Because the majority of St. Jude funding comes from people like you, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving kids regardless of their financial situation. (That means your donation, no matter what the size, will help!)
  • St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90% by 2020.

So I ask for your support either donations and/or prayers for the children going through treatment with St. Jude’s. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post and consider supporting this charity.

My fundraising page

My training is no where like it used to be, but I still want to share what I’m doing in preparation for this race periodically to share my progress.

Here’s what I’ve done thus far for training:

Week 1: 17.1 Miles

  • 4/1: 2 Miles Easy, 16:25, 8:13 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 4/4: 2 Miles Easy, 16:53, 8:27 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 4/5: 13.1 Miles Race, Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon, 2:07:07, 9:43 Pace, Springfield, IL

Week 2: 8.21 Miles

  • 4/11: 3 Miles Easy, 25:18, 8:26 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 4/12: 2.2 Miles Easy, 20:54, 9:25 Pace, ‘Hood
  • 4/13: 3.01 Miles Easy, 26:59, 8:58 Pace, Const Trail

Week 3: Bike – 6.1 Miles, Run – 8 Miles

  • 4/15: 6.1 Miles Bike Easy, 30:09, 12.14mph
  • 4/16: 3 Miles Easy, 25:42, 8:34 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 4/18: 1 Mile Easy, 8:31, Const Trail
  • 4/20: 4 Miles Easy, 38:07, 9:32 Pace, Const Trail

Week 4: 18.2 Miles

  • 4/24: 2 Miles Easy, 17:05, 8:33 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 4/25: 3.1 Miles Race, IL Marathon’s 5K, 36:20, 11:44, Champaign, IL
  • 4/26: 13.1 Miles Race, IL Half Marathon, 2:12:54, 10:09 Pace, Champaign, IL

Week 5: 8.48 Miles

  • 4/30: 1 Mile Easy, 8:40, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 5/2: 2 Miles Easy, 17:39, 8:50 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 5/3: 1.48 Miles Easy, 15:31, 10:30 Pace, Lake Bloomington, IL
  • 5/4: 4 Miles Easy, 37:52, 9:27 Pace, ‘Hood

Week 6: 0 Miles – Chase was sick and then I was sick 😦

Week 7: In Progress….more to come

And I thought I would add a look back at the past times that I have run RNR Chicago Half Marathon. Here are the links to those races.

2009 – 1:55:44

2010 – 1:36:16

2011 – 1:39:54

2012 – 1:54:07

Thanks again for your support!! I’ll post about my training as it goes along!


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2014 IL Marathon Weekend

5K Race Takeaway: Helping a friend reach a PR is so much fun!

Half Marathon Takeaway: Sometimes it’s just about finishing.

IL Marathon weekend started like usual with picking up our packets and running the 5K the night before.

  • Rob and I would be completing the Half I-Challenge by running the 5K Friday night and the Half Marathon Saturday morning.
  • Drew would be doing the Full I-Challenge by running the same 5K and then completing the Full Marathon Saturday.
  • This would be our friend Katie’s second 5K and she was looking to improve her time from her first race. We decided to run together since we were taking it easy and we could help Katie get her PR.

Let’s just say this is the closest we have ever done a packet pickup and I was stressed. 🙂 I normally like to be at race events super early, but this was cutting it WAY too close, we were there just 15 minutes before the expo ended. Whew!

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This year the 5K started on time and we eased our way into the start as the crowd got moving. I talked to Katie when she seemed to need encouragement and I tried to stay quiet when she looked like she was pushing hard and was focused. Rob and Drew ran with us and were enjoying joking around along the way. It was such a fun time running together as a posse.

Katie was able to push herself and take 2 minutes off of her time and finished in 36 minutes. Go Katie!

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BTW….notice that Rob wore the wrong bib number to the 5K? 🙂 A good lesson learned! Anyone else done that before?

Afterward we headed home to get some rest.

The next morning we were up at 3am and on the road by 4:20am. We were way ahead of the 7:00am start and so I was much more relaxed about things than the night before. 🙂 We killed time doing the normal runner routine: put on bib (the correct one Rob!), get fuel into Spibelts, go to the bathroom a 100 times, ask Drew if he is ready about a 100 times. 🙂

The weather was gorgeous, 50s, sunny, and it was going to get quite warm. Beautiful if you are running the half, potentially miserable if you were running the full. Yet we stayed optomistic that it would be a good day for everyone.

Finally it was time to line up and say bye to Katie. Katie hung out at a nearby Starbucks to see us off. In the past the course has come back on the same road so I thought it would be a good opportunity for Katie to see us again around mile 10. Apparently the course had been updated and that was not the case. Whoops! Katie was able to find the course and see Drew one more time around the halfway point and he was looking good!

My race wasn’t going so well. It wasn’t going well from the beginning, which is always a bad sign. The first mile my legs felt dead. Rob was encouraging and said “maybe they will shake out in a couple of miles”. Unfortuantely that never happened. It was just one of those days where I felt like I was dragging my tree trunk legs around. I got to the 10K at 57 minutes. From there things just worse, I was just out of gas and ready to be done. I was off pace and missed my opportunity to be on live TV at mile 10 (info at the bottom of the post). I gave the crew high 5s and trudged on. Around mile 11 Rob was trying to keep me in good spirits and reminding me we were just out to have fun and that we hadn’t been training. I then said “true, and at least I’m not injured, I just have no gas today”. Well those words came back to haunt me at mile 12. I missed seeing a small bump in the road and tripped. One of those slow motion trips and I tried to catch my steps, but after three awkward stumbles I hit the ground on my right hip, scraped both hands and twisted my right ankle. I was flipped over now facing backward, seeing other runners coming up to me asking if I were okay. I laid there saying “go, go, go” and motioning them to keep on running. Rob was said “I’m not leaving you!” and I was like “no, not you, them!”. 🙂 A cop came up and help Rob get me to my feet. I haven’t been injured like this since a training run in 2010.

I think hobbled for what felt like a quarter of a mile. I started to cry from the pain, but mostly because my hands were so bruised I was worried I wouldn’t be able to pick up Chase. I just wanted the race to be over. At least I fell with only a mile to go, but it was hard to be near all the spectators and feel the energy of the finish and be so wounded. I told Rob I wanted to “run” in and so I ran/hobbled as best as I could to the finish. It’s probably worth mentioning that I didn’t care for the half marathon finish that wrapped around the side of the stadium. The surface was different and there were stumps from lights in the ground that would be a tripping hazard for people like me. In the end I finished: 2:12:54

With my injury I plopped down on a couple of bags of ice. I didn’t get our typical finishing pictures.

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Afterward we grabbed some food and Rob went out to meet Drew around mile 23. I found Katie and we waited for the guys to get back. Drew was having an excellent run and was set for a huge PR, but after mile 20 he ran out of gas. The temps got up to 80, I’m sure that didn’t help. That’s part of marathoning though, sometimes it just doesn’t come together. Drew was able to tough it out and finish it: 5:25:17

 Stats:

5K 36:16

11:39 Pace

Half Marathon 2:12:54

10:08 Pace

The medals – 5K, Half Marathon, and Half I-Challenge:

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Previous IL Marathon Posts:

2013 – IL Marathon – 10K – 8.5 Months Pregnant

2013 – IL Marathon – 5K – 8.5 Months Pregnant

2012 – IL Marathon – 3:46:03

2012 – IL Marathon – 5K – 23:32

2010 – IL Marathon – 3:25:05

2010 – IL Marathon Expo

2009 – IL Half Marathon – 1:57:19

2009 – IL Marathon Expo

The Interviews:

For those that know me or have followed my blog for awhile, you may remember last year that the local news of Champaign, IL, Channel 3, covered my story of running while pregnant. Here’s the interview from last year.

They were back to do a follow up story on us now that we have Chase. Here is this year’s interview.


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2014 Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon – 2:07:07

Race Takeaway: My love of running makes me do crazy things.

Saturday, April 5th was the 2014 Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon.

Before we get to the race day, I have to share some back story. Drew, Rob, and I had signed up ages ago as we were planning out our 2014 racing season. Drew’s training is focused on the IL Marathon at the end of April and doing this half marathon would be a good training run to test his fitness and potentially set a new PR. I had planned a conservative running plan that was focused on the IL Half Marathon and was going to use this race as way to help shock me back into running this far again. My last long run was 16 miles back in December 2012 when I was about 4 months pregnant. I had started my training run the week of Christmas 2013 and all was going pretty well through the mid-February 2014. I was slowly building my miles while trying to manage work, caring for our baby, taking care of the home, and preparing for an exam. My longest run to that point was 8 miles. Then wham, our house was hit with sickness that lasted over 5 weeks! Rob, Chase, and I were all miserable. Each of us had been to the doctor and were all on meds. Needless to say my running completely stopped. I was just lucky to make it through the day and baby wasn’t sleeping well either between being sick and teething. Because of our illnesses we had missed our first two races of the year, a 5K and 10K. March was just punishing.

So the week before this race I was finally coming out of the sickness. Rob was still down for the count. I was able to run 3 days for just 2 miles each day. I was in no condition to be doing a half marathon. Nor would I advise anyone to do what I was about to do. I knew that running this race would likely leave me VERY sore and run the risk of an injury. Also, I knew that it would be very likely that I would feel miserable for at least half of the race. Still I just couldn’t pass up the chance to finally run. The winter in Illinois has been the longest that I can remember and after over a month of sickness, I just wanted to be out running, no matter how much it would likely hurt.

I decided that I would try to run easy for around 6-8 miles and then expected that I could end up having to walk the rest of the race. This race has hills with the biggest ones around miles 8, 10, and 11. Hills are not my thing, even when I am in shape. I just try to survive them.

So with a plan of taking it easy and surviving it was time to go race. This would be my third time running this race. I wasn’t there last year, but since 2012 the packet pick up and race start/finish had changed. Even so, the race logistics were the same, it was very easy to navigate getting around. This was the largest year of participants, over 2,000.

We were up at 4 am and out the door by 5am to drive the hour to get to Springfield, IL.

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We were able to find on street parking near the new start/finish location on 6th and Washington. It was low 30s, sunny, with a light breeze. It was perfect running weather. I decided to run in capris, long sleeved shirt, gloves, and hat. We wore sweatshirts when waiting around before the start.

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There are no start corrals, but because the race is a smaller event it really didn’t feel like an issue. After a few words from President Lincoln and his wife and the national anthem we were off.

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Drew and I were together the first mile and then got separated trying to find out groove after that. I was trying to run easy, but was still just so happy to be out that I was running sub-9, knowing it wouldn’t last. My pace slowed by mile 5 and Drew passed me. He sounded good and asked me how I felt. I told him my stomach was feeling funky, but otherwise I was okay. I was hoping that I wouldn’t be spending time in the porta-potty later on. By mile 6 was I was averaging 9 min miles and came around the 10K at 56:35 (9:08 pace). The hills started after that and I new that I would need to walk so I made the decision to walk the hills and water stops. Around mile 10 we go into and out of a cemetery. I got to see Drew leaving as I was going in and got to shout at him super loud, “Go Drew! Fight for it!! Pop pop pop!!!”. Drew smiled and looked at me like “settle down”. 🙂

It was funny on the hills because anytime we were going down hill I wouldn’t brake my stride. Sometimes people get scared of  the incline and start to lean back and change their stride to slow down. In our past training we learned how to lean into the downward slope and not brake your steps. It makes you go super fast and keeps you from getting injured. I had gotten up to 6:27 pace on some of my downhills. So here I would go super fast to save my legs and then walk up the hills. People would look at me funny as I zoomed past them and then would switch to walking. 🙂 It looked silly, but hey it’s my race and I need to preserved my legs as much as possible. And I was definitely feeling the grind from being on my feet this long, since it’s been over a year since I’ve ran this far.

By the last mile I was sore, but still smiling. I was so happy that I got out there and got to feel the energy of the runners, volunteers, and spectators. It was so worth it and I did better than I expected. As I came through the finish chute I high fived the rows of specters with there hands out and shouted “I just had a baby!! Woo!!!!”. I was so proud to be out doing what I love, even with everything that’s been going on. Even with my walking through the hills and water stops after mile 6, I came in at 2:07:07.

After getting the finisher medal Rob and Drew easily found me. Drew got his sub-2, 1:59:11 and a new PR!!!

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The Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon has a unique finisher’s medals. Normally they are a large penny, but since this year was the 50th anniversary, they had a 5 dollar bill. Man that thing was heavy too!

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Stats:

2:07:07

9:42 Pace

F: 318/1134

F 35-39: 56/209

Overall: 822/?

Previous races:

2012 Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon – 1:41:39

2011 Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon – 1:40:15


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Comeback Year

I hope you all had an amazing holiday! I’m so late posting this that I’m sure most of us have moved on from thoughts of Christmas. I’ll just say quickly it was an amazing time for us as with our new family. It was such a joy to see Chase experience all the aspects of Christmas for the first time: church, opening presents, lots of toys. 🙂 Just warms my heart!

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So on to the new year! Happy 2014!!

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As Drew likes to say, “it’s the year of the comeback”. Meaning we are all ready to get back to the business of running and training hard. Well in my case training hard, will be easy to accomplish. My fitness is so low that most runs feel hard. It’s like I’m starting all the back to the beginning. Except in this case, I know that with consistent hard work the pain will eventually become less and less and the euphoria that running brings will be back.

I won’t be crushing my PRs and still I like the idea of referencing this year as a “comeback year”. I think it will be a year of finding balance of everything we have going on. My training is lighter, but the time I can commit will be more meaningful. The time I’m committing takes me away from Rob and Chase, but at the same time promotes my health so I can hopefully be with them more in the long run. 🙂

I also can’t wait for the warm weather to come back so we can get out for walks and bike rides as a family. 🙂

My race plans for 2014 are starting to form, right now I have the following on my radar.

  • St. Pat’s 5K – March
  • Lincoln Memorial Half – April
  • CCHS 5K – April
  • IL Half Marathon – April
  • Lake Run 12K – May
  • Galesburg 5K – June
  • Park to Park 5M – July

More to come as events get announced. For now I’m gearing my training to get me in shape to run IL Half Marathon. My training plan is very easy and comprises of 3-4 days of running. As I was saying, I’m basically starting over from scratch so I have to be careful and ease back into things to try to prevent injuries. Also, this light plan will also work best with balancing working, taking care of an infant, and taking care of the house. I built this training plan from Runner’s World Smart Coach and adjusted the days of the runs to fit my schedule. Since I am just looking to get more fit, I don’t have a race time goal. I’m basing my paces by level of effort. Which actually works out perfect because perceived effort can change if it’s been a hard night with baby or something like that.

Here’s how my easy training has gone so far:

Week 1

  • 4 Miles Easy
  • 3 Miles Easy
  • 4 Miles Tempo w/2 Faster Pace

Week 2

  • 3 Miles Easy
  • 5 Miles Long
  • 4 Miles Interval

Week 3

  • 4 Miles Easy
  • 4 Miles Easy
  • 3.7 Mils Easy (Baby woke up, didn’t get to 5 miles, oh well)

Week 4

  • 4 Miles Easy
  • 3 Miles Easy
  • 2 Miles Easy (bagged long run, wasn’t feeling well for a few days)

I feel good that while this plan won’t bring a bump up of speed I do feel like it’s getting me into a good practice how to fit running in around everything else. For weekday runs I try to get them done at 4am if the baby is sleeping. Weekends I try to complete them during her first nap. On weeknights I’m studying for an insurance exam (which is hard to do and not fall asleep). I’m terrible at taking tests so this may not end well, but at least I’m trying. 🙂

I can’t believe a month of “training” has already passed. I know it’s not much, but I’m excited that the running year has all begun!

Please share any goals you have for 2014! I would love to hear about what’s on your radar for the coming year.