Get in Gear 10K Race Recap

I had two weeks to prepare for yesterday’s 10K after Goldy’s 10 mile. I took two days off after the 10 mile and then picked up my training routine again. My “long run” on the weekend in between the races was about 5.8 miles. I followed that up with a yummy brunch with two good friends.

Biscuits & Gravy
Biscuits & Gravy

Anyway, back to the race recap. I had been watching the weather all week and it was supposed to be cool, but sunny. I laid out my race outfit and gear the night before. I went with tights, t-shirt, and arm warmers — it’s been my go-to outfit this spring. I got to the race pretty early and sat in my car for over half an hour before I needed to make my way to the start. I was rushed getting to the start of this race last year, so I kind of overcompensated and got there even earlier than needed.

GiG bib

I lined up about 10 minutes before the race started and felt ready to run. With two really good races under my belt so far this year, I was gunning for another PR. (I set my 10K PR at this race last year.) I took off, weaved around some people, and tried to find a comfortable pace. Per usual, I felt like I was going out a bit faster than I should, so I had to remind myself to slow down a couple times – I had 6 miles to go, after all.

Before I knew it, my watch beeped for mile 1 – 9:41. Good pace, I just needed to maintain it. Mile 2 was 9:38, but I started to lose steam going into mile 4 and my pace slowed a bit. I started to get a second wind in miles 5 and 6 and picked up my pace again. Rounding the final curves, I kicked it into high gear as much as I could and crossed the finish line.

GiG finish

Overall, a good race, but my final time was 1:00:42 – just above my PR. A little disappointing, but I also can’t be too upset about another race at a 9:47 pace. I have two more 10Ks planned for this year, and I’m determined to have at least one of those break the 1 hour mark!

One of those 10Ks is part of the TC Looney Challenge in the fall. Might be tougher to PR that one because I’ll be doing 3 races in one weekend. But this came in the mail this weekend which makes the Looney Challenge more real! (And I’m really looking forward to it!)

Love the color!
Love the color!

 Did you race this weekend? What races or event are you looking forward to this year?

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Liebster Award – Share the Love

I’m fairly new to the blog world, so this is the first I’ve heard of the Liebster Award – a way to recognize other bloggers. Erin (Sweet Sweat) nominated me – Thanks Erin! I love reading her blog, and can’t help but feel inspired and motivated when I do. So, now I’ll answer the 11 questions she asked me and try to spread the blog love to some other awesome bloggers.

liebsterblogaward-300x300

What was the inspiration for your blog and its name?

I played around with a lot of options for blog names. I went with “On A Fun Run” because it highlighted the fact that this is primarily a running blog, but it’s also about me trying enjoy life.

Why did you start blogging?

Last fall, I signed up for an endurance training program called Team Challenge where you train for a half marathon and raise funds for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. I had been thinking about starting a blog for awhile, and having a way to document my training and fundraising and keep my family and friends updated on my progress seemed like a good reason to go for it.

What’s your favorite topic to write about?

Running. I wasn’t expecting to love running and races as much as I do. Part of that is the stellar running community I’ve found and I enjoy sharing my experiences and hear from other runners of all abilities so I can learn from them and get better.

What keeps you motivated?

My competitive nature keeps me coming back to training so I can get faster and run farther. I’m also motivated by the high running give me (the runner’s high is no joke, and it’s easy to get addicted). I also love the fact that running is a great workout and can help me maintain my weight loss (hopefully more on that in a future post).

If you could have a super power, what would it be?

Teleportation. Snap your fingers and you can go anywhere in the world.

What’s your biggest fitness goal, or A race, this year?

I signed up for the TC Looney Challenge. It takes place in early October (during the Twin Cities Marathon weekend). It’s a 10K and 5K on Saturday and the TC 10 mile on Sunday. Three races in two days will be a challenge, but I’m really excited for it and plan to focus my summer training on these races.

Describe your perfect day.

My perfect day always happens when I’m in Myrtle Beach. Wake up in the morning and have breakfast and coffee on the balcony looking at the ocean. Throw on my bathing suit and spend the day relaxing on the beach. Go for a walk (or run), take a dip in the ocean, read, listen to music, etc. Then get cleaned up to head out for dinner (which hopefully includes some hush pupppies :)) Get back to the condo and sit on the balcony again listening to the waves crash on the shore before going to bed so I can do the same thing all over again the next day!

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Do you have a mantra, and if so, what is it?

No specific mantra. Things like “You got this hill” and “Come on, halfway done” do cross my mind during runs.

What’s your go-to dinner?

Quesadilla

If you could give your 16-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?

Live in the moment and don’t stress too much about the future. Things will work out and you’ll miss out on good things happening right now.

Are you going to pass the torch and nominate 11 other bloggers?

Yes, but I know many of these have already been nominated by others, so don’t feel obligated to post again. Just wanted to highlight some of the blogs I enjoy reading!

And the nominees are…

  1. Finding a Balance
  2. I Eat, Therefore I Run
  3. Katie Looking Forward
  4. Kate Runs This
  5. Jess Runs
  6. Cooking with a Wallflower
  7. Forward is a Pace
  8. Erica House
  9. Running on Healthy
  10. Grab your Kicks
  11. Ali on the Run

My questions…

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What’s your favorite post you’ve ever written?
  3. Describe your ‘happy place.’
  4. What’s your favorite thing to splurge on?
  5. What’s your favorite workout?
  6. Name 5 songs on your playlist right now.
  7. If you could have a super power, what would it be?
  8. Do you have a favorite quote?
  9. What’s your go-to dinner?
  10. If you could give your 16-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
  11. Are you going to pass the torch and nominate 11 other bloggers?

The rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers (generally with the same number of followers, though it can be tough to tell; ideally less than 500).
  • Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Comment on your nominees’ blogs to let them know you nominated them.
  • Have fun spreading the blogging love!

Goldy’s 10 Mile Race Recap

Yesterday was race day!

Goldys2014(3)

I woke up at 5:45 a.m. and immediately checked the weather. The forecast had been calling for rain in the morning and I was praying that it would magically show 0% chance of rain around 8 a.m. (race start time), but alas it didn’t. Radar looked like spotty showers were going to be moving through until about 8:30 or 9 and then it would stop. My thoughts then moved to what I was going to wear. I opted for my tights, t-shirt, and arm warmers.

This race starts and ends at the football stadium on the University of Minnesota campus (my alma mater). I decided to line up by the 10 min/mile pacer. That was the pace I was hoping to run and I figured it would help me not get caught up in the adrenaline and start too fast. Turned out to be a good idea.

It was sprinkling while we waited for the race to start, but nothing too bad. I had my phone with me (per usual) to listen to music while I ran. I’m super paranoid about my phone getting wet, so I kept debating whether I should keep it in my arm band or put it in the zip lock bag in my spi belt until the rain stopped. Since it was just sprinkling, I kept it in the arm band, which is actually really good for keeping moisture off the phone. Of course, about 2 minutes before the gun went off, one cloud decided to spit out some large rain drops on us. Awesome. So, wet and cold, we took off.

I stayed with the 10 min/mile pacer for the first few miles, but somewhere around mile 3 I realized I had pulled ahead of them a bit. I decided to go with it as long as I was feeling good and I could always drop back if I needed to. The rain didn’t stick around long once we got started (thank God). It was a bit windy too and my hands were freezing in the beginning.

Before I knew it we had reached the halfway point. I noticed that my legs were still feeling good even at the slightly faster pace than I had planned, so I kept it up.

This course is hilly. I ran it last year, so I was definitely more prepared (at least mentally) for the hills. Of course several of the hills come during the second half of the race. Just when you think you’re done with them, there’s one more. I bet the people that mapped this course had a lot of fun with that.

My watch beeped that I was at mile 9 and I knew a PR was actually within reach if I held my pace (and tried to kick it into high gear at the very end). The finish line is actually at the 50 yard line of the field and they project the finish line on the jubmotron! I ran around the outside of the stadium and then entered the tunnel. Coming on to the field I saw Goldy Gopher and gave him a high five right before crossing the finish line!

My official time was 1:39:59 –> a PR!

Goldys2014

However, a friend pointed out that people were saying the course was long (about 10.25 miles). I double checked my watch and she was right. My Garmin had the distance at 10.22 miles which made sense because I knew my pace was faster than a 10 min mile. So, my PR is actually a bit bigger than I had originally realized!

Goldys2014(4)

This reflects my Garmin distance:

Goldys2014(2)

Overall, I’m really happy with how the race went. Despite feeling like a hot wet mess at the end, I felt pretty good the whole time and surprised myself with my pace for the second time this year. I have another race (a 10K) in a couple weeks. We’ll see if this momentum keeps up or not!

The rest of the day was spent lounging, napping, and watching the Gopher Hockey team play in the NCAA National Championship game. They didn’t win. Oh well, until next year!

Definitely a Gopher-filled weekend. 🙂

10 Mile Training – Week 9

Goldy’s 10 mile is officially one week away! Can’t believe it’s almost here. This week’s training was good except for missing my strength training again. Whoops.

Monday – Last bit of walking around Chicago

It was the day after the Shamrock Shuffle 8K. We walked to get breakfast and some popcorn, so a couple miles of easy walking was my workout for the day. Perfect after all of the other walking we did that weekend and the, of course, the race.

Wildberry 2

Chicago mix popcorn before leaving Chicago!
Chicago mix popcorn before leaving Chicago!

Tuesday – Rest day

After a busy and active weekend, I decided another rest day was needed.

Wednesday – 5.1 miles

It was a nice day, so I was able to head outside after work and get in a 5 mile run. I threw in some hills because I know the Goldy’s course is hilly. I felt good on the run had an  average pace of 10:24 per mile.

Thursday – Cross training, 30 minute elliptical

Friday – 2.5 miles

This was a quick Friday night run on the treadmill. I had intended to do 3 miles, but my legs were shot, so I stopped at 2.5 and called it a night.

Saturday – Cross training, 30 minutes on Cardio Strider and 25 minute walk

The Cardio Strider is a newer machine in our workout room. Very low impact, but you can get your heart rate up pretty good, so it’s nice for cross training days.

cardio strider 2

Sunday – 8.8 miles

Last long run before Goldy’s! I headed out to a local lake to get a change of scenery. The lake is still frozen, but the path was clear and it was a gorgeous day!

long run 2 4.6

I like doing long runs around the lake because I can park just off the path and make pit stops at my car after each lap for water. It’s just under 3 miles around the lake, and nice not to have to carry a water bottle.

The first lap around the lake was a little rough. My legs were tired and heavy. I was a little worried how the run would go, but was hoping that I just needed to get warmed up. By the time I started my second loop, my legs felt better and the rest of the run was pretty smooth. My average pace was 10:21/mile. Feeling pretty good about those 10 miles next weekend!

Long run 4.6   long run 3 4.6

I got home and drank half of a Core Power drink (banana) I had in the fridge. The rest of the day was errands, laundry, the standard Sunday afternoon happenings to get ready for the week ahead.

Core Power banana

How was your week of workouts? Do you like to carry a water bottle, or do you find other water options for long runs?

Shamrockin’ Chicago

Well, there was a lot more to my Chicago weekend than just running the Shamrock Shuffle. Okay, most of it had to do with food. Good thing we walked A LOT (and ran) to burn off some of the delicious calories. (Worth every bite!)

Hyedi and I flew in on Saturday morning. We used Uber to get from the airport to the hotel. It was my first time using the app and it worked pretty slick! We arrived at the Hotel Allegro and were able to check in early which was nice for being able to unpack and relax for a little bit.

Hotel Allegro 2   Hotel Allegro 1

We headed out for our 1 p.m. brunch reservations at Frontera Grill. We ate there for dinner on our last Chicago trip, but I was excited to try out their brunch. Such good food! I had trouble deciding what to get, but ended up going with the Hot Cakes Indgenas (corn pancakes w/ whipped goat cheese, organic agave syrup, red chile-glazed Gunthorp hickory-smoked bacon, two eggs sunny-side up). And of course, some chips and salsa.

Frontera brunch  Frontera

From there we walked over to Navy Pier for the race expo. After getting our packets and walking all the way back to the hotel, we decided to cancel our dinner reservation and grab something closer to the hotel. We ended up at the Corner Bakery for some pasta (carbo loading!).

Not fancy, but did the trick.
Not fancy, but did the trick.

Sunday morning was race day! After the race, we grabbed some Dunkin Donuts coffee, made a quick pit stop at the hotel, and then met up with some of Hyedi’s Oiselle teammates for brunch. They were such nice people; it was really great to meet them! And of course I was excited to stuff my face after the race.

Theory_brunch

We got cleaned up and headed over to Eataly. Eataly is basically a two-story Italian marketplace where they sell everything from pasta to cheese to wine to desserts and more.  There are also several restaurants/eating spots where you can get a taste of Italy.

Eataly

We wandered around and found a few fun items to buy. Then we tried out some yummy focaccia, and I was not going to leave without some gelatto.

Eataly_focaccia   Eataly_gelato

After some relaxing and a nap, we headed to our 9:30 dinner reservation at Girl & the Goat. The executive chef is Stephanie Izard who won season 4 of Top Chef (I love that show!). Our eyes were probably bigger than our stomachs because we ordered a lot of food, but I’m so glad I got to try all of these amazing dishes because they were unbelievable!

Goat 2

Bottom left picture: roasted beets (green beans . white anchovy . avocado creme fraiche . bread crumb).
Bottom right picture: goat empanadas (marinated sheep feta . pickled golden beets . tzatziki)

Goat 1

Top left picture: wood grilled broccoli (rogue smokey bleu . spiced crispies)
Bottom left picture: squash wontons with mushroom ragout
Right picture: crisp braised pork shank (buttermilk dressing . grilled spring onion kimchee . naan)

My absolute favorite thing was probably the goat empanadas (I could’ve eaten 10)! That being said, everything was delicious and there were some really unique flavors.

We got up on Monday morning and headed out for one more food outing. We went to Wildberry for breakfast. I had scrumptious omelette with goat cheese, spinach, bacon, and caramelized onion. I had to opt for the buttermilk pancakes as my side. A perfect last meal in Chicago!

Wildberry food

All around, it was a fantastic weekend away. I’ve been to Chicago three times now, and I know I still have so much more to see, do, and eat in the windy city, so I’ll definitely be back!

Til next time Chicago
Til next time Chicago

Shamrock Shuffle 8K Race Recap

First race of 2014 is in the books! It was the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Chicago. My friend Hyedi ran this race last year, and I was really excited to join her for it this year!

The packet pick up and expo were at Navy Pier.

Navy Pier 1

We walked over there on Saturday afternoon and it was crowded. It was a long walk, but probably the best mode of transportation to get to the expo because traffic was crazy and parking was probably a nightmare. Once we finally made it to the exhibit hall (it’s all the way at the end of the pier), getting our packets was quick. No long lines. We walked around the expo a bit, but didn’t hang around there too long.

expo sign

expo_me

Sunday was race day. The forecast was for sunny skies and temps in the mid 30s for the morning. I decided to run in my tights, t-shirt, and arm warmers. I also brought my mittens with me and I’m glad I did. My hands were cold while waiting in the corral and I wore them for the first couple miles. Since we were walking to and from the race, I checked a bag so I could wear my half zip pullover before and after the race.

Sun coming up before the race.
Sun coming up before the race.

Start times for the race are divided up into three waves–a very good idea considering there were about 30,000 people doing the race. Wave 1 started at 8:30 (elites, and corrals A-D). I was in Wave 2 (corrals E & F) which started at 8:55. (Not sure what time Wave 3 started.) We were at the race with plenty of time to find our bag check areas, hit up the bathrooms, and of course take a selfie. 🙂

Shamrock Shuffle selfie

I made my way over to corral F around 8:15 and waited for the race to start. The race got underway right at 8:30 for wave 1, and wave 2 started right at 8:55. Pleasantly surprised at how smooth it all went.

The course was pretty cool. You literally run through downtown Chicago. There are a couple of small hills, but it was mostly flat.

Shamrock Shuffle course

I told myself I wasn’t going to race this one and just treat it as a fun run since my 10 mile race is just a couple weeks away. I set a goal of doing about 10 minute miles. It can be very easy for me to get caught up in the adrenaline of a race and start out too quick, so I had to remind myself to slow down a few times. I had my Garmin on, but the tall buildings really mess up your GPS, so it wasn’t accurate some of the time. It still helped give me a benchmark.

Considering how big this race was, I realized I didn’t have to do a ton of weaving around people. There were lots of people around me through the whole race, but I never felt like I couldn’t run at the pace I wanted.

I felt good for the whole race. By the time I got to mile 4, I started to pick up my pace a bit and then kicked it up even more for the last half mile or so. Coming down the final straightaway, I was moving at a pretty fast pace and could definitely feel my legs getting a bit tired, but I had enough left in the tank to finish strong. To my surprise, I actually averaged 9:45 minute miles! I finished in 48:27! I’ve only done one other 5 mile race and I finished that one in 49:27, so I definitely improved for this distance.

Shamrock Shuffle fitsnap

 

Overall, it was a great race and a lot of fun. I thought it was really well organized and I’d definitely do it again. Also a good excuse to go back to Chicago! More to come on the rest of the weekend in the windy city.