Tag Archives: 8K

Weekly Workout Round Up–Week 14 & Bastille Day 8K Report

My goals for this past week (July 9-15) were: 

  • Monday:  5 miles Easy (AM) + Strength (30 Min – PM)
  • Tuesday:  Stroke’n’Stride Open Water Swim
  • Wednesday: 50 min Spin Class + 1 mi brick
  • Thurs:  5 miles – Bastille Day 8K
  • Friday: 2 miles + Easy Bike Ride (without socks. Practice U-Turns, taking hydration on the run. Practice opening & taking from bento box as needed, or gu’s taped to the handlebars).
  • Saturday: 11 miles – hopefully at least 6 with CES. 
  • Sunday: Open Water Swim Clinic + Bike Ride to 63rd Street Beach

What actually happened:

  • Monday: 30 min Strength + 5.5 miles Easy (PM)
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: 30 min Strength
  • Thurs: 5 miles – Bastille Day 8K  46:53
  • Friday: Easy Bike Ride (without socks. Practice U-Turns, taking hydration on the run. Practice opening & taking from bento box as needed, or gu’s taped to the handlebars).
  • Saturday: 13 miles pacing for CES at an overall 10:40 pace.
  • Sunday: Open Water Swim Clinic

Overall I’m pretty happy with my week. I didn’t get in everything I was hoping for, but I also took the rest when I needed it. I could work better at getting enough sleep during the week, but I’ve been enjoying watching the Tour de France! 

Bastille  Day 8K Race Report:

  • This is a Chicago evening race that I’ve wanted to do for several years now. I’m happy I did it, and ran it with Anna, a  friend from CES! 
  • It is a crowded Lincoln Park race, so it’s challenging to do well.  It was very dusty – I felt a film of dust covering my throat. 
  • I forgot my Garmin for this race, so I ran “naked,” and tried to figure out my splits from the timing clocks. I estimated several 9:30 miles, which is about right for a 9:25 overall pace on the 8K.
  • I got a cramp at the same spot near the finish as at the Turkey Trot. Is it all in my head? I think I did a better job pushing through this year.
  • The Post Race party took place at the Nature Museum. We tried to go in, but there was a ridiculous line just to get upstairs where the party was.  I didn’t know we were missing Britt’s win!  Mike, Anna & I chilled outside for a while, and then Mike & I went out for some delicious vegan food at Native Foods Café


Shamrock Shuffle Race Report

So this morning started my Shamrock Shuffle epic day!  As some readers may know, last year’s Shamrock Shuffle had a special surprise at the end.  So this year part of my rationale for running was not only to try and bust a PR, but also for the sweet memories! I’d had some issues this week, and didn’t get a chance to run until Saturday, so I wasn’t sure how my running would be on Sunday.  I set my goal to be 46:30, a PR although not quite as serious of a goal as I’d previously envisioned. 

I made it to the race pretty early for my Corral E / Wave 2 start (@ 9:15), as Mike was slated for Corral A & an 8:30 start.  We wandered around a bit, met up with my friend Lilian, and after depositing the both of them at their corral entrances, I went to warm up a bit.  I found some other friends (Hi Joanne & Amy!) at Gear Check, and then headed over to try and see the start of the race.

The start was not quite as picturesque as I’d hoped behind a chain link fence and 3 foot barriers, although I did get to see Amanda and Maggie pass by in the outfits that they’d announced ahead of time!  I headed back to get into my corral as soon as I saw the C’s starting to pass through. 

After shaking it out, and stretching it out in Corral E, I watched the minutes tick down to 9:15.  Finally – we got to start!  The course was pretty much the same as in previous years, so I was feeling pretty familiar with knowing where we were going.  I ended up doing my first mile in 8:51, about 30 seconds below my target pace. 

Mile 2 was also below target pace, and I was feeling pretty good!  However by mile 3 I was starting to get the “why do I do this?” feeling, and noticed myself struggling to keep up those faster paces.  I was happy to complete Mile 3 in 9:19, and Mile 4 right on the 9:21 button. 

At the 4 Mile Marker, the race turns south on Michigan Avenue for the final stretch.  I sped up to finish, although my body wouldn’t have it!  I got a side stitch (the bane of my finishing 8Ks), and walked it for a few moments.  When I started up again running, I couldn’t get the speed back as we were turning up the Roosevelt hill toward the finish.  I did what I could to make it up the hill, and then sprinted when I turned in toward the finish chute.

I crossed the finish line with an official time of 45:21 and am happy to have cut off over three minutes off my previous 8K PR (48:48)! I truly am appreciative of my body, my friends & family supporting me, although I’m also starting to wonder why I’ve been conservative in pushing on my last two (shorter) races.  Maybe I should push hard on my next one?  Oh wait, that’s next Sunday at the Chi-town 10K

Post race, I wandered around, let photographers take my picture, and met up with friends for some sunny beer drinking near Buckingham Fountain.  It was such a gorgeous day all around! 

Photos to come later!

Shamrock Shuffle Race Report–And Announcement!

Sunday April 10 was a big day.  I had just finished my 20 mile long run and then ran the Shamrock Shuffle the next day.

As you might have heard, I finished my 20-miler with some knee pain.  I wasn’t sure how much running was going to take place for the Shamrock Shuffle. The morning began early, getting ready.  There was definitely some having to figure out the outfit at the last minute since it was so warm out – high’s ended up being 80+ degrees that day!  I wore my green Puma shorts in honor of the Shamrock Shuffle (even though it was April).  I was a little rushed, and ended up leaving the house without my Garmin, although I did have my fuel belt since I was still recovering from my long run the day before. 

My friend Heather, a Chicago Princess, came over and we went with M to the race from there.  We had fun going around the Grant Park area, playing around & taking pictures near Buckingham Fountain.  Heather & I were going to start together, although we knew we’d split up since I was still recovering.


Heather and I dropped off her bag at gear check (I had just stuffed mine into M’s to put at his gear check… my own personal gear check valet Smile ), and then headed over to our starting corral “E”.  We had fun chilling out and taking pictures. 


We ran into Julia, a friend of mine from CES Spring Training.  She was completing a half marathon over a 24 hour period!


All three of us started together when our corral finally began – 24 minutes after the starting gun went off! The Shamrock Shuffle is a huge race: 40,000 participants. I did improve upon last year’s starting time of 35 minutes.  Although my knee had hurt a little in the morning getting ready, it seemed to have gone away from walking and moving around. 

When I started, Heather sped off.  I, however, was hobbling along. My knee began hurting a lot more than when we’d been standing around, and I considered bowing out after 1 block. I decided to continue running, and I could always walk back if I needed to.  As I kept running, it dulled a bit. I took some walk breaks.  I took some photos.  And then I ran! I kept running, until I finished! I actually felt pretty good at the end, and impressed with myself by passing other runners.  I was on mile 24 for the weekend at that point!

I finished and I was incredibly happy! I hadn’t done my fastest 8K ever, but an improvement over last year’s Shamrock Shuffle.  I finished in 53:14, or a 10:43 min/mile pace.  I took a banana, 2 bottles of water, and a bag of potato chips at the finish, and made my way back to Buckingham Fountain to meet up with friends. 

I got to Buckingham Fountain and saw Jenna, Adam, Mike and some other people I didn’t know.  Mike suggested that we take a photo, so I took off my fuel belt & we went to pose.

Well I thought we were going to pose. Instead, Mike turns toward me and kisses me.  I was thinking “Let me put my arm around you for the photo!” (and then maybe eat that banana) Mike started talking and then he got down on one knee and proposed! 















Rudolph Ramble 8K Race Recap

This morning I ran the Rudolph Ramble race in Lincoln Park! It was a fun holiday run.  Today’s weather looked like this:


That’s actually the 2:30 pm weather, so it was a bit cooler this morning. I met up with Jenna, Adam, Heather and we went over to the race site.  It was snowing as we went along in our crazy-cab, veering toward Lincoln Park. We made it there safely though!

We met Jen at the race, and then realized it was too cold to turn in our jackets at Gear Check when there was still half an hour before the race.  We kept them on, jumped around and took some photos to stay warm! Jen also had her Santa hat with Mickey Mouse ears on:


Adam, Jenna, Heather & Jen at the starting line


Lauren, Jenna, Heather & Jen, huddling together for warmth!


We also saw people dressed up in fun costumes! Check out Santa and this Christmas tree:


Jenna had a fun outfit on – she was wearing a red shirt, with a white furry vest, and then had a black cape on for warmth pre-race.


When the race started, Heather and I ran together for almost the entire race. The race organizers had changed the race course from a loop to an out-and-back, which I think was a good thing given the weather – snow & wind along the course, with slushy/icy/snow on the ground.  The out-and-back course allowed the race support to be more present throughout the course & keep a closer eye on all the runners, making sure no one got hurt from slipping or falling on the ice.  The wind & snow was also intense – as we were running out for the first half, the snow/rain was coming at us horizontally. I was glad I had a baseball cap on that Jenna had lent me for today. At least once we turned around to head back, it was a lot easier because the wind was at our backs and we at least felt faster.

Overall it was a good course, and even with the slush & snow, my time was 54:56.1.  That’s only a few minutes off from my Turkey Trot 8K time less than a month ago, but that course did not have snow or crazy winds.

Post race, there was the standard food offerings (bagel, banana, water, gatorade) but it was too cold to want anything.  I met up with my co-runners and once we’d gotten everyone, we went out to search for cabs.  This was actually the worst part of the event – we could not get a cab no matter what! Finally we went to a bus shelter to get out of the wind and Adam called for a cab. Go Adam!

We high-tailed it to our friend Laura’s apartment to warm up with french toast, hot apple cider & Bloody Marys. All of us girls are running the Disney Princess Half Marathon at the end of February, so we did some planning for that and figured out our hotels.

Overall, it was a good – character-building –race and I’m glad we did it to help Children’s Memorial Hospital and run with a bit of holiday cheer!