Race Recap: Chase Corporate Challenge (24:44)

Last Thursday evening was the Chicago Chase Corporate Challenge.  This was my 3rd time running this particular event – the first 2 times in 2012 and 2013.

The Chase Corporate Challenge is a 3.5 mile race – I think think it may now just be called JP Morgan Corporate Challenge…those banks are always eating each other up and merging and changing names.  But Chase Corporate Challenge has a nicer ring to it, so that’s what I’m gonna go with.  Anyways, it’s a 3.5 mile race on the Thursday night before Memorial Day weekend.  Companies in the Chicagoland area can sponsor a team to compete and usually also offer hospitality tents and food & beverages for employees to just hang out at afterwards.

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I was lucky enough to be the team captain for my current company.  It was hard work and time consuming to get all the moving pieces together (registration, ordering shirts, ordering food, getting everyone pumped, etc.), but definitely fun and worth the hassle.

We left the office as a group around 5:15pm and headed over to Grant Park.  Our company had a few volunteers who went to the park before us, after stopping at Jimmy John’s and Walgreens, to stake out a spot for us near Buckingham Fountain.  We arrived with some time to social, stretch it, and take a few photos.

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I went for a quick warm-up jog with my friend Steve – about 1.5 miles easy + 4 quick, short strides to get some pick up in the legs.  After a few more team photos, I headed to the start line with Kristie and Jeremy.  We had special red bibs that got us into the first corral, based on the projected time we each entered at registration time.  Stu and Mitch joined us up there as well too.  We had a little while to wait and mainly just commented on the other companies’ shirts and hot and humid it was.  This was gonna hurt…

And finally, we were off!  My goal was to run 6:40 average pace.  I thought this was do-able given the speed of my first 5k during Shamrock Shuffle (about 6:43 pace.)

Well, I came through the 1st mile in 6:22.  And could tell there was no way I was holding that in this heat.  Why does the first mile always feel so easy??  Given that I ran a 6:18 mile race the prior weekend, which was an all-out effort, I should not be running the 1st mile of this race in 6:22.  And so I paid for it hard.

I came through the 2nd mile in 6:55.  Except I felt like I was still pushing just as hard.  I guess not…

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(Having cropping issues..but I’m there in lime green!)

Right after the 2nd mile mark, there was a water station.  This was right after coming out from lower Wacker Drive (which felt like the equivalent of a sauna underneath there surrounded by other sweaty, hard-breathing bodies.  I stopped and walked probably 10 seconds to get my water in and re-group my thoughts.  But I basically decided I was just going to kinda coast in at this point because I couldn’t make myself go any faster.  The weird thing was that everyone around me seemed to have slowed down just as much because I felt like I was still around all the same runners during the 3rd mile that I was during the 1st.

My friend Mitch (who ran a 6:08 mile in the Humboldt Mile the prior weekend) was slightly behind me and I was expecting him to catch up, but even he remained about equi-distant behind me the whole time.  And a girl I know who I was right near coming through the first mile ended up finishing a minute behind me.  So that’s me just rationalizing my extreme slow down.  The 3rd mile was 7:48.  Major yikes.  At least I had that good first mile that was close to my 1-mile race time…I can count that as a speed workout.

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I headed back to our base camp area and waited for the others while cracking open a beer.  I got about halfway through the beer when Stu came back (after finishing 5th overall!!) and asked if I wanted to do a cool-down.  So we ran about 15 minutes super easy around the park and back, where I finished that beer and scarfed down some JJ’s.

So kinda a disappointing finishing time, or rather a disappointing extreme slow-down…maybe wouldn’t have been as “disappointing” if I just accepted the heat before starting and adjusted my pacing/goals accordingly.  Oh well, I’m not too concerned over it – it was a fun time with my co-workers!  I did place 64th female overall, which I thought was still great given the size of the race (over 25k+, so I’d guess about 12k or so females.)

And then I walked home and got fro yo.  That’s how most of my stories end.

Chicago friends – Did you run the Chase Corporate Challenge?

Does your company sponsor athletic events?  I also play on a soccer team through work :)  I declined the kickball and softball teams.

Race Recap: Humboldt Mile (6:18)

Yesterday I ran a brand new race – The Humboldt Mile.  Some co-workers and I have been getting pumped for the Chase Corporate Challenge (which is this Thursday!) and one of them was planning to do the Humboldt Mile with some friends from her gym, so she extended the invitation.  A few of us decided it’d be fun and signed up as well.

And it was well worth the $20 entry fee for a variety of reasons!

Concept: First of all, the concept of a 1-mile race is something unique if not on a track…which you usually only get the chance to race during high school or college.  So that was enough to make me want to do it.  I haven’t raced anything shorter than a 5k since college.  I’ve done some 1-mile or 2-mile repeats as part of longer workouts, but not raced.  So I really just wanted to see how fast I could go if I was trying for an all-out effort.

Shirt: Nike Dri-Fit!  This type of race shirt is my favorite, and I think I’ve only gotten them from any of the Bank of America races. (Chicago Marathon and Shamrock Shuffle)  And actually from the Columbus Marathon way back in 2011 pre-blogging days.  I’ve done races that cost $80+ that come with a crappier, no-name brand race shirt.  So this was definitely a bonus for me.

Humboldt Mile Race Shirt

Cause: The Humboldt Mile was put on in conjunction with Hope For The Day, which supports starting a conversation around suicide prevention.  So that was a cause I could get behind.

Pre-Race Organization: I had never been to Humboldt Park before, but getting there was super easy!  Jenn, Danielle, and I just took the North Ave bus straight over, which dropped us off right at the park.  I checked a bag (no line), used the bathroom (no line), socialized, took some photos, and then made our way over to the starting area when they called us over.

Risers at Humboldt Mile

Race: Another co-worker, Mitch, was in the same heat as me, so I found him at the start line and just chatted while we waited.  There were a little over 500 finishers total of the Humboldt Mile and when we registered, you had to choose 1 of 3 heats – the first being competitive and the other 2 being more for fun or walking.  Mitch and I chose the competitive heat (Jenn and Danielle were in the 2nd one) and each were thinking we could come close to 6 minutes.

I ran the 1st mile of the Shamrock Shuffle a few months ago in 6:36, so I knew I should definitely be under 6:30.  But like I said, I haven’t raced an all-out mile, or even really done mile repeats in a long time.  I had done 2-mile repeats recently, but those were at 6:55 pace at their fastest.  And included 3 sets of 2 mile repeats, so not exactly a way to judge my 1 mile speed.

In Orange Theory, I do my “All Out” pace at a 6:00 pace, but we never hold the all-out pace for more than a minute at a time.  So I wasn’t sure if I could do it for a full 6 minutes.  But yeah, that was my goal, to just get as close to 6:00 as possible.  And I also wanted to race people!  I don’t really get the chance to “race” in the longer races because it’s more just a race against yourself.  But I did get a little bit of that feeling during some of the shorter races I did last fall, like the Hot Chocolate 5k.

So…back to the race.  Right upon starting, I could tell this was going to hurt.  The first 100m or so (there were no markers) felt rough, like I was sooo not used to that speed.  Oh wait, let’s back up a tad to my pre-race.

I did not do any type of warm-up or strides right before the race, that’s probably why it felt so hard to get moving at the beginning.  I did, however, do a 40-minute run in the morning before getting on the bus to head over to the Humboldt Mile.  Basically so I could get in a little warm-up and have more mileage for the day.  Ok, now back to the race…

The Humboldt Mile course was like a horseshoe shape or a “U”- out for about a third of a mile, across for about a third, and then back for a third.  There were no markers, so I wasn’t sure how far in we were because I didn’t run the course beforehand, which maybe I should have done.  I looked at my watch for the first time when I was at 2:30.  Then some guy’s watch beeped at one point and I figured he had set it for half-mile splits so I checked my own watch and was at 3:04.

I looked at my watch again when I was around 4:30 and just did what I could to push it to the end.  These last quarter-ish is where I really started to race people because there were a few girls ahead of me that I could tell were slowing down and I just really wanted to cruise past, so that’s what I did.  It felt fun to feel like I was racing!

Humboldt Mile Results

I crossed the line in 6:18 and was somewhat disappointed I wasn’t closer to 6:00, but given I haven’t exactly done training for this short of a distance, it was as good as I could’ve hoped!

Post-Race: My only complaint about this race was that they did not have water at the finish.  They did have a water station back where all the pre-race stuff was set-up, but that was probably a 200m walk from the finish line, so I would’ve liked to see the water station right by the finish.

Humboldt Mile Post-Race

Other than that though, there was a coffee station sponsored by Dark Matter Coffee giving free mini iced coffees which was super clutch and a few other sponsors like Kind Bars and Revolution Brewery.  Unfortunately I was not in the mood for beer just yet.  I could not stop coughing after this race.  I don’t think my lungs were prepared for that type of intensity over a longer period of time than I’m used to.  Gotta build up that VO2 max!!

And then we followed up the race with brunch at Feast in Wicker Park.

Have you done a race shorter than a 5k since high school or college?

What is your favorite type of race t-shirt to get?

I Don’t Like Odd Numbers – 19.25 Miles

Everyone has a favorite number.  Some have a stronger affinity towards one number over all others (cough Erin cough).  I have a few favorite numbers I think…but in general I can say that I don’t like odd numbers.  They’re…odd, if you will.  They make me feel awkward.  Probably because I’m always the number these days.  I just like even-numbered dates and even-numbered things.

I’m pretty sure I hit on this in a post recently…but it seems like whenever I see marathon training plans or in the training plans I make for myself, long runs are always even-numbered distances.  I would never put a 17-mile or 19-mile run on my schedule.  Even 7-mile or 9-mile runs are weird.  Why not stick to 6 or 8 or 10?

So, this brings us to my Mother’s Day run.  I planned to do 20 miles since I had done 18 miles (actually 18.25…I’ll give myself credit where credit is due) 2 weeks ago.  We were supposed to be at brunch at my aunt and uncle’s house at 9:30am, so I had the idea to run from my parents’ house and end at brunch.

The route I’ve taken to run to their house before would be exactly 10 miles.  I didn’t map out a route beforehand, but figured I’d wind around a little before setting on that route and then add on what I needed to at the end.

Unfortunately, within the first 30 minutes of the run, I was not feeling so great.  Not bad, but not feeling like I was going to make it 20 miles.  Right about 30 minutes in, I stopped at a light and needed to take off my long-sleeve shirt and took a minute to stretch out and gather my thoughts.  I decided to continue the direction I was headed, but then to loop back home, for a total of about 7 miles.

But then when I got to the corner where I originally planned to make the turn to head on the route to my cousins’ house, I made the turn.  I think I was in one of my “yeah I can totally do 20 miles!” phases that surprisingly did come.  Normally, I make the decision to quit and it’s done.  That phase ended soon after (don’t worry, it came back again…it really is come and go), but by this time, I was at the point of no return.  If I headed back home, I’d risk not making it back in time before Mom had to leave for brunch…at least that was what I was telling myself so that I wouldn’t turn back.

Like the 18.25 mile run a few weeks ago, I was going completely off of time and had no idea on distance.  I told myself I wanted to run for 2 hours and 40 minutes and see how far that got me.  I was soooo close to their house around 2:20 I believe, but I made myself add on a loop.  And I really struggled during that loop.  I was on side streets, but a few cars passed by me and I don’t even want to know what they were thinking I looked like because it probably wasn’t pretty.

I told myself I’d run to 2:35.  That would be 10 minutes longer than the previous long run.  I got to their house in 2:32.  And I talked myself into running around the block.  And I finished in 2:35:30 for 19.25 miles.  OK, it was actually 19.28 in 2:35:33 according to my Garmin…but you know, weird odd/non-rounded numbers don’t fly with me.

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This was right as Grandma & Grandpa were pulling up and getting out of their car.  I went to give them a hug (they wouldn’t accept one #sweaty) and I was pretty wiped out, but I knew I was supposed to say something to Grandma so I said “Happy Birthday!”  I soon realized that the correct greeting was actually “Happy Mother’s Day!” but they got over it after I told them I just finished running 19+ miles.

So that is my story on my most recent long run. I have another coming up this weekend that I’ll give you the deets on next week – hopefully will hit that 20 miles.

Also, my playlist ran out of songs on this run!  I need to remember to make a longer one!  The current one was intended for a half marathon.

Do you go in and out of strong and weak (mental) phases during your long runs? How do to talk yourself out of the “bad” phases?

Color Changes & 3 Weeks of Training

Well, I have a few weeks of training to catch you all up on!  Work has been pretty busy lately, so this dear old blog has taken the back seat.  But now that I’m just 5 weeks (!!) away from the Anchorage Marathon, I’m sure I’ll have tons of fun to write about.

Wednesday (4/27) at lunchtime: 6 miles @ 8:20 avg pace

Wednesday (4/27) night: Orange Theory class

Friday (4/29): 6.3 miles @ 7:56 avg pace

Sunday (5/1): 6.1 miles @ 7:59 avg pace

Total: 18.4 miles + 1 Orange Theory class

I’m gonna throw in a little fun here though and show off my new blonder hair:

And the next week:

Monday (5/2): Orange Theory class

Tuesday (5/3): 7.45 miles in 1:00:45 (8:09 avg pace)

Thursday (5/5): 5.75 miles in 46:40 (8:06 avg pace)

Friday (5/6): Orange Theory class

Sunday (5/8): 19.25 miles in 2:35:20 (8:04 avg pace)

Total: 32.5 miles + 2 Orange Theory classes

And not only did my hair color change…but the walls in the downstairs of my condo have gone lighter for the summer (and beyond) too:

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And last week:

Monday (5/9): Orange Theory class

Tuesday (5/10): 7.25 miles in 58:30 (8:04 avg pace)

Wednesday (5/11): 4.3 miles in 35:10 (8:10 avg pace)

Saturday (5/14): Orange Theory class

Sunday (5/15) morning: 4.15 miles in 33:10 (7:59 avg pace)

Sunday (5/15) afternoon: 6.25 miles in 49:50 (7:58 avg pace)

Total: 22 miles + 2 Orange Theory classes

I’d say the biggest things have been the increase in Orange Theory classes (so an increase in weight training.)  But with that, has come a general decrease in mileage…especially during the week.  I’ve kinda just been doing whatever during the week with how busy I’ve been at work, but have managed to get into 2 great long runs of 18.25 and 19.25 miles.

And just for more fun, here’s another interpretation of the spelling of Colleen:

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Sooo that’s what my last 3 weeks has been – some running, some Orange Theory, putting some more home-y touches on my condo, and lots of coffee & working.  But that’s all OK, because unfortunately the weather still isn’t ready for summer like my hair is.

What have you been up to the past 3 weeks?

How do you get ready for summer?  New hairstyle?  New clothes?  I definitely have gotten a few new outfits too!

Eating, Reading, and Watching 4.29.2016

Happy Friday!

You know how the sub-title (is that what it is?) of this blog is “…and do other stuff with her life?”  Well, this is the “other stuff” in my life.

It’s been a rough week, physically.  I’ve felt run down after last weekend’s 18-miler.  I have barely run this week and  I have barely had an appetite all week.  So I guess let’s start with…

Eating…

The whole not having an appetite thing actually worked out well Monday and Tuesday because I wasn’t working in my office those days – I was at a management training seminar.  In my office, I typically have snacks on hand and my company supplies some healthy snacking options for employees.  But I didn’t bring any snacks to the seminar.  I did get hungry around lunch time though and since I don’t usually eat out for lunch, it was a nice treat to have something other than my typical turkey sandwich & pretzels.  I had the Farmhouse Chicken Salad from Potbelly on Monday and then on Tuesday I had a half chopped salad and a half turkey on pretzel bun sandwich.  So yeah, can’t always get away from the turkey sandwich.  Corner Bakery definitely makes it better than the kitchen de Colleen though.

Hmm yeah, so I live an adventurous life of eats.  Actually, I did have a very interesting new snack yesterday afternoon – one of the healthy snacks provided by my work.

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The first bite was kinda mehh, probably because I wasn’t sure what to expect.  But then I actually thought they were pretty good.  I hope to see them around the office again soon so I can grab some more!

Reading…

I’m currently in the midst of a few books – Now, Discover Your Strengths and Property of a Noblewoman.  Definitely 2 different types of books.  I haven’t done the Strengths Finder yet to see what it has to say about where my strengths lie, but I’ll be sure to fill you in when I do.  But in similar types of personality tests, I took the DiSC model analysis during my management training seminar earlier this week – my personality type is Conscientious.

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Behaviors of the conscientious: Enjoys independence, Objective reasoning, Wants the details, and Fears being wrong.

I’d say those are about right.

The other book, Property of a Noblewoman, is a bit of a lighter reader than the management books.  I’m actually listening via audiobook because I wanted something to listen to during my drive to Indy a few weekends ago for the Carmel Half Marathon.  It’s decent, but nothing great – extremely predictable with what’s going to happen next.  But it kept me entertained on the drive.

On the drive home from Cincinnati that weekend, I actually listened to the Ted Talks podcast most of the way.  Each was probably 15 – 30 minutes.  I’m definitely going to try to find more podcasts to listen to on future drives.

Watching…

Revenge: This is really the only show I’ve watched lately it seems.  My previous roommate Lauren and I got into it for awhile, but fell out of watching it when the plot line got super twisted and confusing.  So when I told some people I was going to start watching it again, I pretty much got the same reaction: stopped watching somewhere in Season 2.

And that’s where I am right now – Season 2, Episode 5.  I’m pretty sure Lauren and I never made it this far.

I think that’s the only notable thing I’ve really watched in the past month.  If I just have the regular cable TV on, it’s usually just the news or Shark Tank or The Big Bang Theory.

Have you ever taken the disc test?  Which style do you fall into?

Have you watched Revenge?  If so, did you watch to the end?

Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon Training – 9 Weeks Out

Sup, amigos?

I haven’t done one of these weekly training recaps in a few weeks because the past few have been pretty much like this: run easy during the week + race on the weekend.  I guess I can give a quick overview of the past 3 weeks:

3/28 – 4/3: 36.2 miles, including the Shamrock Shuffle 8k

4/4 – 4/10: 26 miles, including the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon

4/11 – 4/18: 28.1 miles, including the Carmel Half Marathon

Which brings us to this week and the fact that as much as I’d like to race some shorter distances because I think I’m in sweet 5k-10k shape, I have a marathon to train for!  And train for it I did this week:

Monday – 7.6 miles in 1:01:20 (8:04 avg pace)

Tuesday – 6.9 miles in 55:30 (8:02 avg pace)

Wednesday – OFF

Thursday – 6.15 miles in 50:00 (8:07 avg pace)

Got a little wet in the rain on this one…nothing terrible, but a rather refreshing mist that actually felt pretty good.

Friday – 6 miles in 47:30 (7:55 avg pace)

Another windy night in the city, so I stayed away from the lakefront.  I considered running into Wicker Park, but that would’ve been just a tad further than I wanted to go, knowing I had a long run on the schedule for the next morning.  And it was nearing dusk anyways, so I stayed in my general hood, just running down neighborhood streets for the most part.  I tend to stick to the busier roads out of habit, but it sure is nice to run down the quieter side streets.  I also did this on Saturday’s long run.

Saturday – 18.25 miles in 2:25:00 (7:56 avg pace)

Looking back on this run (a whopping 4 days removed), I’m still pretty shocked how good I felt on it.  Obviously there were some patches of doubt during it, but nothing nearly as bad as it could have been.  The weather was perfect which helped a ton.  So here’s to hoping I can have a few more quality long runs over the next 8 weeks!

Sunday – Orange Theory class + about 7 miles rollerblading  … and painting a few walls, I’ll call that a workout.

I was holding out on becoming a member at the Orange Theory in the city because of the price.  But it’s clear that I won’t do weight training on my own and I love their classes, so I decided to do the 8x/month membership.  I’ll see how it works out this summer, but I think adding this in 2x/week to my running will help immensely.  Especially with those hills I’ll need to run in Anchorage and my dream of running a sub-20 minute 5k this summer at the 4th of July race.  #goalz

Total – 44.9 miles + 1 OTF class + rollerblading

This was a great week of training coming off a few hard races.  I still don’t feel 100% recovered from that run on Saturday, but mentally I feel pretty great about it.  After the let-down of half marathons recently, I needed a strong confidence booster going into this next training cycle.

OK, but now for some non-running stuff:

Sunday morning after Orange Theory, my mom and I had some painting to do.  I’m slowly making progress with some of the things in my condo that need to be updated and now there are only a few walls left to paint!  I’ll get some photos up of that once it’s all finished and put together.

After a few hours of painting, we hit up a local fish taco joint, Buzz Bait, for tacos, margs, and chips and salsa.

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I had the shrimp taco (yay!) and the chicken taco (nay…)  Next time, I think I’ll need to just get 2 shrimp tacos because that one was amazing.  I’m just writing this here because I’ll probably go back in a few months and forget what I thought about each.  So now I have documentation that I can go back and reference.  Does that happen to anyone else?

After the tacos, I still wanted to take advantage of the nice weather, so I decided I’d rollerblade.  As I was getting ready to head out, Jocelyn texted and asked what I was up to – they were doing some day drinking over at another friend’s apartment – so I said I would blade up there and say hi for a bit.

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#sunsoutbladesout I wasn’t doing a good job of getting a picture while rollerblading, so that one will have to do.

How do you make sure you get in weight training with your running?

Do you always order the same item at restaurants or switch it up each time?

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