Weekly Recap

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Monday, October 13th: Rest day

Tuesday, October 14th: 1.5 miles running

Wednesday, October 15th: 6 miles running

Thursday, October 16th: 3 miles running

Friday, October 17th: Rest day

Saturday, October 18th: Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis 5K

Sunday, October 19th: Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Louis Half Marathon

Wow, it was quite a week for me! I had my regular marathon training during the week, and then had my two Rock ‘n’ Roll races during the weekend. I really pushed myself hard in both of the races, and the results from each of those races definitely made my hard effort worth it. I will have recaps of both of the races coming up later this week (and maybe next week) and I can’t wait to share my experiences with all of you! I have been looking forward to this weekend for so long, and I am kind of bummed that it has come to an end. Luckily, I have two more races for 2014, and of course am in the middle of training for the Walt Disney World Marathon, so I have plenty ahead to look forward to!

Last week, my 21 Day Fix program came in the mail. I started the program yesterday with just the eating plan since I was taking a rest day after the half, and so far so good. The eating plan is really easy to follow and I am excited to start with the first video today. The videos are meant to be done each day, so on Friday I will do two to make up for the one I didn’t do on Monday. I tested out a few of the exercises last week and I really liked them. The instructor, Autumn Calabrese, is really an awesome trainer and motivator, and let me just say my girl Jillian Michaels might have some competition! haha. I will post my full review after the 21 days!

Have a great week everyone! I hope you all have some beautiful fall weather to run in :)

Lauren

 

Weekly Recap

Monday, October 13—45 minutes running (4 miles at 11:17 pace on treadmill)

Tuesday, October 14—45 minutes running (4.26 miles at 10:33 pace on treadmill)

Wednesday, October 15—Rest Day

Thursday, October 16— 45 minutes running (4.28 miles at 10:31 pace on treadmill)

Friday, October 17—Rest Day

Saturday, October 18—Rest Day

Sunday, October 19—Detroit Chevy Dealers Intl’ Half Marathon 2:23:46 (13.1 miles at 10:58 pace)

What a busy week!!  I left Chicago on Saturday at 1:50 pm for Detroit (I made my flight with no issues) and I was back in Chicago by 3:00 pm today.  How crazy!!  I’m really exhausted from the experience—Detroit is on Eastern Time, so I was felt like I was up at 3 am this morning and now it’s 8:30 pm Central Time as I am writing this.  I’ll have a quick expo recap and full race recap on Wednesday.  My goal for the race was 2:20… I didn’t hit my goal, but honestly, I’m not upset at all.  I had a great race in Omaha last month and I have a 17 mile run next week—so I wasn’t planning on going all out anyways.

This week is going to be intense—work, personally and running wise.  Triple whammy.  For work, I have two huge events—one on Friday evening and one on Saturday evening.  Friday night’s event has a good chance of being cancelled, but I won’t really know until Tuesday or Wednesday.  Personally, I have a good friend coming into town on Friday evening and staying until Sunday lunchtime.  One of my best friend’s Stacy and I went to Ireland in November 2013.  It has always been a dream of mine to go to Ireland and in December 2012, Stacy and I decided to make that dream a reality (what a great friend).  We went with a tour group and we made some great new friends.  One of those people was Erin who actually lives in Indiana!  So, Erin will be staying at Stacy’s this weekend and we’re going to be hanging out at some Chicago places and hopefully planning our next big trip J.  But I am also training for my marathon, so that doesn’t stop this weekend.  This past week called for a 7 mile walk on Saturday and a 17 mile run on Sunday.  With work and travel on Saturday, it just wasn’t feasible to do my 7 mile walk and since I didn’t have time for the 7 mile walk, I knew that it wouldn’t be smart to do 17.  So I flip flopped the weeks.  Besides the following week is a cutback week too… so it’s not like I’ll be doing a 17 miler and then a 19 miler the following weekend.  

I cannot wait to hear all about Lauren’s big weekend tomorrow… she had quite the racing weekend!

Kathleen  

 

A Rockin’ Weekend Ahead!

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I am SO pumped that the weekend is finally here! I have been looking forward to this weekend all year, because I will be running in two Rock ‘n’ Roll events – the 5K on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday. Since I will be running in two events, I will earn the Remix Challenge Medal, which is a new aspect of the race weekend.

On Friday after work, I will be heading over to the Expo to pick up my bibs and packet for the races. The Expo will be from 9-6 on Friday, and I get off at 5 so hopefully the traffic won’t be too bad on Friday so that I can easily get downtown to pick up my packet. The one thing I don’t like about the Rock ‘n’ Roll races is that you have to be there in person to pick up your packet and cannot have another person pick it up for you. If I wasn’t doing the 5K on Saturday, then I would have been fine going to the Expo on Saturday, but since I need my bibs for Saturday’s race, I have no other choice. I am considering going back to the Expo on Saturday during the day, since I probably won’t have much time on Friday to browse around.

I keep going back and fourth in my mind on my plan for Saturday’s 5K. At first I was thinking that I would just take it easy so that my legs wouldn’t be too tired going into the half on Sunday morning. But I am afraid that my competitive nature will take over and push me to go faster on Saturday! So, I feel like I want to be somewhere in between- not going totally at an easy pace, but definitely not looking to PR for Saturday.

On Sunday, my ultimate goal is to go under 2 hours for the half marathon. I have been working so hard after the disappointment of the Nike Half Marathon, where I ended just short of my goal. I have to be around at least a 9:09 per mile pace, and I definitely think that this will be attainable. I just have to push myself through those tough miles in the middle where I always feel like going slower.

The weather is looking beautiful this weekend in STL, with highs around 63 for both Saturday and Sunday. Right now, it looks like it is supposed to be sunny with NO chance of rain! Hopefully I will be back next week with good news about my race weekend!

Lauren

GO! St. Louis Halloween 10K Recap

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This past Sunday, I ran in the GO! St. Louis Halloween 10K. As I shared in my preview post of the race, I had the ultimate goal of going under 50 minutes for the 10K. And I am very happy to share that I was able to reach that goal, even though I thought it would be pretty much unattainable.

When I woke up the morning of the race, I was a bit worried. I stepped outside and it was cool (which was fine) but it was raining. I have never really raced in the rain before, and I was disappointed because the forecast I had looked at the night before said it would rain later in the day, not in the morning. But I should have known this could have been wrong, given the weather forecast is always pretty much unreliable!

I realized that I would just have to suck it up, pray for the rain to stop come race time, but deal with it if it didn’t. I got ready in my outfit I had put out the night before, and also put on my rain jacket in preparation for a wet race.

My Halloween themed outfit for the 10K

My Halloween themed outfit for the 10K

The race started at 7:30AM, so Justin and I left the apartment around 7AM. The race was not too far away, and there was no point in getting there super early if I was going to just be standing in the rain. Justin dropped me off about 10 minutes before the start of the race, and I made the decision to keep my rain jacket with him. I figured it would probably just end up making me too hot, and I was going to get wet anyways, so I might as well not be hot as well!

By some sort of miracle, the rain stopped just as we were about to start! I couldn’t believe it. I was now very relieved that I didn’t bring my rain jacket, because it definitely wasn’t necessary now. I felt like the rain stopping was some sort of sign that this was going to be a good race for me.

At about 5 minutes before the start, all the runners lined up behind the starting line. This race was also a half-marathon, so there were many different pace markers in the group. I stood behind the sign that said 8:01 per mile because that would be around the pace I needed to go below 50 minutes. I knew that the half-marathoners split from the 10k runners sometime during the race, but I figured it would be good to be around that pace group for the time we were all together.

During the first half of the race, I felt very comfortable and was going below the 8-minute mile pace. The only bad part was when I almost slipped on some rain, but luckily I caught myself and was fine! After a while though, the rolling hills of St. Louis were starting to get to me, and my thighs were really burning! I knew it was important to keep going if I wanted to reach my goal, so I just told myself that it wouldn’t be that long of a race and the temporary pain I was feeling would be worth it if I got under 50 minutes!  So I just pushed myself through the pain, and kept going when I wanted to slow down. I was going at a bit slower pace than I started off with, but I knew that I was still around my goal pace.

Before I knew it, I could see the finish line and could make out large time clock right in front of the line. I could see the numbers “49” in the time, so I knew I would be very close! When I crossed the finish line the clock was at 50:09, but I was pretty confident I was under 50 minutes because I started several seconds after the race clock officially started.

I crossed the finish line and was met by many volunteers giving out tons of different goodies like fruit cups, FULL SIZE (!) candy bars, bagels, water, Gatorade, and my favorite – bananas. I was really impressed with all the goodies we got. We also received a really cool medal which I had forgotten about.

Cute race medal!

Cute race medal!

As I was going through the goodie line, I got a tap on my back and for some reason I assumed it was Justin (even though he did not participate in the race so I’m unsure of how he could have been in the finishers area haha). I turned around and recognized that it was a man that had been running around me during the race. He told me great job and that this was his first race and he was behind me the whole time and I inspired him to keep going even though he wanted to stop. I seriously felt that crying after he said that, because I remember in my first race I had followed behind someone and told myself that since they weren’t stopping, I shouldn’t stop. It made me so happy that I helped someone keep going!

After that, I found Justin and we went home. On the way back, I checked the live results on my phone and found out I had reached my goal (just barely!) clocking in at 49:56 for the 10K! I ended up 6th out of 155 in my age group (Female 25-29), 34th of 1016 for females, and 115th of 1426 overall! I was so happy with my time and place in my age group, and really enjoyed the race as a whole. The packet pickup was quick and easy, the race shirt was very cute, the race course was fun as we got to see a lot of downtown sites, the after-race food and refreshments were great, volunteer support throughout the course and after was awesome, and the medals were very nice. I will definitely do this race again, and am contemplating doing the half marathon race next year!

Lauren

 

Diving into Detroit!

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While watching the Chicago Marathoners on Sunday, I kept thinking in the back of my mind… my weekend is next weekend!  And now, I am 1 run and 3 days away from the start of the Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon!  This was one of the races I signed up for on New Years Eve at 11 pm (I didn’t want to miss out on the great deal of $50 for the race) and I have only heard great things about the race.

Unfortunately, with my new job, I am unable to have the exact weekend I was planning on having when I signed up for the race.  My original plan was to go up on Friday with my aunt and grandma to go gambling and then drive home on Sunday.  When I got my new job and realized I had an event on Saturday, those plans were scrapped.  Plus my aunt and grandma went to Las Vegas a few weeks ago so they didn’t mind the lack of gambling.  I still desperately wanted to do the race.  With the time change that doesn’t go in my favor, finding a flight from Chicago to Detroit was the only option.

I’ll be getting into Detroit around 4:10 and the expo closes at 7 pm.  The airport is about 30 miles away from the city center, so hopefully I will arrive in time before the closing (cross your fingers my flight isn’t delayed and I don’t miss it either—hopefully traffic will be non-existent on the way to the airport).  I really want to get my shirt and be able to check out the awesome vendors.  As long as I make it to Detroit, then I’ll be able to breathe a sigh of relief :)

Here are the five things I’m looking forward to this race:

1—Crossing another state off the list!!

-This will be half marathon number 9 for me!  It will be state #8 plus DC.  It will also be my final half marathon for 2014.  With Dopey training, crappy weather in Chicago, and a bit of a hectic work schedule, I do not have another half marathon for 2014.  I actually only have 1 more race for 2014—Hot Chocolate 15k in Chicago.

2—Running in Canada

-I’ve never been to Canada let alone run into Canada.  The awesome thing about this race is that you get to run into Canada on the bridge and then run under the tunnel back into the US.  You actually have to carry your passport on you too!!  They don’t ask to see it when you’re running but god forbid something happen to you in Canada, then you’ll be ok to come back to the US.

3—The Expo!

-I’ve only heard great things about the expo… so I’m really looking forward to it!!  Hopefully I can find some stuff I don’t really need and hear about some awesome races– Pittsburgh Half is on my radar for 2016 and I know they will be there!

4—Running a race in general

-I love running in races.  I’ll do all of my training runs, but I’m much happier actually racing than training.  If I had unlimited money and time, I would race every single weekend.  I do get to race a lot (low mortgage, commute cut more than in half with new job, and making a lot more money with my new job allows me to do so) but the weeks I’m not racing, my fellow coworkers assume that I am racing and then I get runner’s jealously watching everyone on Twitter/Facebook running.

5—The Bling

-This medal is great for a few reasons.  One, the ribbon features half of the US flag and half of the Canadian flag.  The medal remains the same each year but features a different Chevy (I drive a Chevy!) with the Detroit skyline in the background.

I’ll check back in next week with a full recap of this race!

Kathleen

 

The Fitness Games App Review

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As part of my ambassadorship with SweatPink, we get to test out different fitness related products from time to time. About a month ago, I signed up for a chance to test out a new fitness app called ” The Fitness Games” (TFG). I ended up being one of the several that got to test the app, but unfortunately I probably didn’t read the description close enough (MY bad!), because it wasn’t exactly an app that would fit into my lifestyle.

The app has a bunch of different workouts, with descriptions and videos that you can do on your own, or to challenge your friends with (you can add your friends pretty easily). You can also create your own workouts to have you or your friends complete. There are four different types of workouts: Cardio, Strength-training, Full-body, and Cross training. You can earn different points from completing the exercises, which is a fun aspect if you have many different friends on the app that you can compete with. You can also share gym selfies and photos of yourself completing the exercises.

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This sounded really cool at first, and I was very excited to download the app. But when I opened the app and started to explore it, it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. Mainly because the exercises essentially require you to do them at a gym in a weight room, and this is just something I do not do! Yes, I do belong to a gym, but I have never stepped foot in the weight room as it is a very intimidating place for me! When I first read about the app, I was interested in it because I thought you could easily do it in your living room with free weights, but once I got the app and looked through some of the exercises, I discovered this would be very difficult. Thus, I didn’t use the app :(

I think this would be a great and motivating app for someone that regularly uses the weight room in the gym. It would also be very fun and engaging for a person who has friends that also frequent the weight room, as it would serve as a great fitness motivator to compete with one another.

TFG was rated as the Best Mobile Apps for Fitness for Fall 2014, according to its description on the Apple store, so obviously many people have found it very useful. Maybe one day I will end up using it when I get over my fear of the weight room!

Lauren

This post was sponsored by The Fitness Games through their partnership with Fit Approach. I was not compensated monetarily, but was provided the Platinum Version of the application for review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Weekly Recap (Kathleen)

Monday, October 6th: Rest Day

Tuesday, October 7th: 45 minute run (4.28 miles—10:31 pace on treadmill)

Wednesday, October 8th: Rest Day

Thursday, October 9th: 3 mile run (10:28 pace on treadmill)

Friday, October 10th: Rest day

Saturday, October 11th: Rest day

Sunday, October 12th: Rest day

Good thing this was a cut-back week because I only got in 2 of my 3 scheduled runs.  I did my other scheduled run last night, so I’m still on schedule.

The big reason I couldn’t get my run in on the weekend was it was the Chicago Marathon weekend!  My friend Brandon came in from Washington DC for the race and another friend Huyen and her fiancé were also running in the race, so I wanted to spend time with them too.  Have I mentioned that my new job makes weekends like this possible?!  At my old job, guaranteed, I would have had to work at least 1 if not 2 days of the weekend and I would not have been able to spend any time with them.  Another reason, I absolutely love my new job!!

On Saturday, Brandon and I woke up early to hit up the Chicago Marathon Expo by 9 am.  We got there in no time and I was excited to take it all in!!

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After Brandon checked in, we were off to see the vendors!!  One of our first stops was the RunDisney booth where I got to see all the marathon medals and I held the Dopey medal!!

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I really wanted to sign up for the Hot Chocolate 15k this year because of the sweet medal that they are giving away J.  No deals at the expo (ugh!), but I’m at least all signed up and ready to go now!

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I was also excited to chat with some of the upcoming races, I’m signed up for or thinking about signing up for.

 

First was Austin.  I am already signed up to run the Austin Half Marathon in February.  They told me they just saw the first sketch of the new medal the night before and that it will be pretty cool… yippy!!

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Then I knew I wanted to see the Flying Pig Medal.  I had seen the medals online but I wanted to see if the full marathon medal was all I thought it was online.  And it was… oh no… it looks like I may be signing up for the full.  I’ll make the final decision after Dopey.

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I’m also super interested in the Gasparilla Distance Challenge at some point in time.  The medal for 2015 was super cute!!

 

Besides checking out races (I also chatted up with Grandma’s Marathon (the plan is 2016 for the 40thanniversary with Lauren)  and Little Rock Marathon (remembered the “epic” race last year with one of the directors), I also purchased a fuel belt (I used Lauren’s a few weeks ago and really liked it), a subscription to Runners World (always wanted to get it and it was only $15 for the whole year) and I ate lots of free samples of gummies, drinks, and kashi.  I never had kashi before, but I really liked it!!  I will definitely be investing in this healthy breakfast/snack soon!

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The expo was definitely super fun for me!!  Even though I wasn’t running, I still had a great time.  Do I see the Chicago Marathon in my future?  Yes, absolutely.  The energy was amazing and thrilling.  Do I see myself doing the Chicago Marathon in 2015?  Probably not.  I have a couple of half marathons that I’m interested in doing in the fall of 2015.  Now, if I could find a half a few weeks prior to Chicago…haha… oh goodness.

 

My name is Kathleen and I’m addicted to running and more importantly medals :)