Tag Archives: winter

New Year’s Day 5K

Well, the first race of 2013 is done and done!  Mike & I ran the New Year’s Day 5K in Lincoln Park this morning after a relatively relaxing evening at a friend’s house.  We woke up today to twenty degree temperatures, w/ a wind chill of closer to 11 degrees as you get closer to the lake.

This is the temperature now -- 2 and a half hours later!

This is the temperature now — 2 and a half hours later!

We bundled up, and I wore the following:

  • pink long sleeve top w/ thumbholes
  • Blue jacket w/ thumbholes
  • Grey tights
  • Smartwool socks & Pink Pure Cadence
  • Gloves & earwarmers

We stayed in the car as long as we could…

IMG_1048 But eventually we had to get out of the car and head over to the race.  Since we’d picked up our packets the day before, there wasn’t too much to do before gear check.  We wandered around and I ran into Lauren from Forward is a Pace leading the Team Challenge table.  Nice meeting you Lauren!

I look like a hot mess but I'm so cold!

I look like a hot mess but I’m so cold! I hadn’t even taken my “real” jacket off yet

Today was definitely a day for a warm-up, and I’m glad I did.  My warmup pace let me start out the race at a pretty decent pace, after my favorite pre-race routine of being in the port-a-potty line when the race gun goes off (please note sarcasm).

After business was done, I got my heiny over to the race start & got going! I felt good and was passing quite a few people.  It was so cold, and just icy enough out, that I needed to focus on my footing & to keep moving.  I actually didn’t even look at my Garmin until the first mile marker, and then again at the 2nd mile marker.

Going into the third mile I was still feeling good and kept going as fast as I could!  Although I’d gotten a bit slower of a start than I would have liked (had to tie my shoe at half a mile), I was wondering if I could get close to my 5K PR.

I ended up negative splitting this race with splits of 9:28, 9:02, 8:46 & 7:44 for the last .1 mile.  My total time was about 50 seconds off of my PR, but I lay it all out there today.  When I finished, I couldn’t walk a bit more (not my legs, but my lungs were done) and took a moment to just chill on the side of the finish line.  Then it was grab my banana, some coconut water, and high tail it out of there in order to get warm!  Homeward Bound!

This race was $25 and we got a long sleeve cotton tee & also gloves for being in the first 800 participants.  I like the shirt style, but Mike thinks it’s girly (!), and the gloves look like some good potential throwaway gloves at the next cold half marathon or marathon.  There was also a free beer (and snacks) included at a nearby bar, but we decided to head home to warm up, shower & watch bowl games today.

IMG_1056 IMG_1053

Overall I’m glad we got out there on the coldest day in the past 311 days, and am starting the year off on the right foot for fitness & health!  Now I only have to do my planks to work on my core!

Daniel Burnham Open

Last Sunday I ran my first cross-country race, (practically) right in my own backyard! I participated in the Daniel Burnham Open, a 4K race held at Cricket Hill, the big hill at Montrose and the Lakefront Path.

A few things that are different with Cross-Country:

  • You’re not running on pavement. Grass, mud, snow is the norm.
  • There are flags tied to trees telling you where to go.  Not really any course marshalls, a norm in most 5Ks and other road races.
  • XC Races are team races.  It’s not so much about your individual time, since each course will be different.

and another one, which I’m hesitant to put, but cross-country races are HARD! Not that other races aren’t, but this was one where I’d had higher expectations than I’d been able to perform. 

I signed up with a team that Mike had organized of mostly hashers.  I was girl #2 to sign up, which was important because part of the team aspect was that that the race would calculate the winning team based on each team’s 2 fastest males & fastest female (or I suppose the opposite as well).  Since we already had a girl, I wasn’t super stressed about my performance.  Mike & I also headed out on New Year’s day to practice on this same hill. Mostly I did hill repeats, with some loops around the hill.

Well, race day comes and we find out that Girl #1 will not be coming! (She had to sleep in, and the noon race was too early!) So that put more pressure on me, and team pressure is something I’m not used to in my individual races that I’ve done.  I think the last “team” sport I participated in was… high school swim team? 

So we head out to the race site, and warm up for the 35 degrees it is outside.  Standing outside for close to an hour before the race makes you cold.  I warmed up by doing the 1K loop once, and then jogging around a bit more.  Headed back to the start to stand around some more.  More and more fast-looking people show up and look cold in their shorts, singlets, gloves & armwarmers.  I felt pretty cozy in my running tights & pink longsleeve shirt. 

We then started with everyone starting at once.  Since this was a very “homemade” race (i.e. free), there was no chip timing. You really needed to start with the horn! So I head out as fast as I can.  At approximately half the speed of the front runners!

So around we go – 4 times each.  Cricket Hill is situated approximately halfway through the 1K course, and as I was running up it on my second loop, there were guys beginning to pass me for their 3rd loop.  That’s definitely something to make you feel like you’re slogging along – uphill, getting passed, and on a muddy/grassy course.  As I was rounding through the end of my 3rd loop, I was feeling pretty depressed as I thought I was in last place.  People were already finished and I still had to pass by for my fourth & final loop.  I decided to hold my head up high and to run quickly past the finish for my final loop.  I was actually quite surprised that for all of the people who’d finished, that there weren’t that many people cheering for me as I passed by (Yes – Mike was cheering, but at this point, at least two thirds to 3/4 of the race had already finished). 

And on again for my final loop.  With the hill in the way, it’s hard to tell who might else be out on the course.  I still thought I was in dead last place – and bummed that I’d even signed up for this free race – when I ran down Cricket Hill the final time.  This was the one spot that they had a course marshall directing people to turn. I raised my arms to get some cheering and yelled “run it in with me!” It was only then that I learned I wasn’t the last person out on course!  That really pumped me up, and I worked to pick up the pace and see if I could still make my original time goal – 24 minutes (6 minutes per 1K, or roughly a 9:40/mi pace). 

I ran it in as hard as I could, and realized there was someone ahead! I worked to catch up to him just in the last meters of the race, pushed toward the finishing chute, and realized I’d pushed past this older guy who still had another lap! 

While I’m glad I finished and pushed hard (and was wheezing a bit from the cold air & exertion), I also felt a little bad that I didn’t live up to one of my more participatory principles of not trying to beat someone who clearly isn’t going to win.  In many races I try to offer a friendly word or two when appropriate to someone who appears to be struggling much more than myself, e.g. in the last mile or two of the marathon, but this wasn’t fully clear for this guy in this race. On the race results, it looks like he was 78 years old!  Good job old guy for running such a tough race!  I’m sorry I didn’t cheer more for you at the finish! (And that I didn’t try to get many more people to cheer!).  All in all – I have to say that it seemed like this small and super-fast group of runners was overall less cheer-full than most any other race I’ve run.  I’m not sure why, but I think we need to encourage the speedsters to be more participatory and supportive of the slower runners.  What do you think?  If you’re a faster runner, do you try to cheer for people who are finishing after you?  If you’re slower, do you?

January Goals

  • Go to yoga 7 times this month
  • Join the Chicago Tri Club – actually submit  my registration, not just web-stalk them!
  • Do two speed workouts & one tempo run
  • Develop a plank & push-up plan. Starting point:  Do tests to see how long I can hold a plank & how many full push-ups I can do
  • Send 4 post-cards & collect the other postcards I may have lying around
  • Bike to work 4 times – (weather permitting). Today is day 1.
  • Get on my bike & wear a heart rate monitor.
  • Pick one recipe and cook it this month
  • Complete the CES Winter Warriors 13.1 winter run, and one full week of the planned training runs. 

Christmas Review

I’m back from being out east for the holiday weekend, and wanted to share some of the xmas presents I received:


A new running headband:


Some travel water bottles (fold ‘em up to store when they’re empty):

I’ve already linked one to my gym bag and stuck one in my purse.

Thanks sisters!

Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge–Week 2

Second week of the healthy Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge!  This was a busy week for me (with a last minute work road trip!) but I tried to be as healthy as possible this week, including making sure I got in enough sleep and rest time.  For me, keeping healthy is hard when I travel, so I consider one win this week that I was able to keep my veggie intake up on my travel days. 

  • Saturday last week:
    • 5 miles run – 5 points
    • 3 servings of veggies – 0 points (I had a brunch party & then holiday party… need to plan better on my veggies!)
  • Sunday:
    • 3.25 miles run – 3 points
    • 8 servings of veggies – 1 point
  • Monday:
    • 30 minute weight training – 1.5 points
    • 8 servings of veggies – 1 point
  • Tuesday:
    • 1 mile of walking – 1 point
    • ?? servings of veggies – 0 points (no salad today)
  • Wednesday:
    • Rest Day  – travel to the lovely springfield, IL
    • 7 servings of veggies – 1 point
  • Thursday:
    • Rest Day – travel home from Springfield
    • 8+ servings of veggies – 1 point (4 of those were broccoli – gotta love the southern lunch buffets!)
  • Friday:
    • 1 mile walked – 1 point
    • 7 servings of veggies – 1 point

I definitely worked better on getting the veggies in this week, although my exercise wasn’t quite as robust as I’d have hoped.  My goal this week:  get back to 30+ minutes every day, with Sunday as the rest day.