Monday, September 29, 2014

Hills and Hollows Half Marathon

I ran the Hills and Hollows Half Marathon on Saturday, Sept 26th in Valmeyer, Illinois. This was my first race in Illinois. Next stop, Chicago!

Race Start.
I signed up for this race as a training run. I'm kinda sick of running Forest Park, and just wanted to have some fun! I'll just say that I loved this race!!! It reminded me a lot of the Napa to Sonoma Race, but with corn fields instead of vineyards. For the first 5 miles, the terrain was rolling favorite!

Beautiful Scenery.
For the next two miles, it was mostly downhill...ahhh. Perfect. But I kept reminding myself that I'd be going back up that hill eventually!! Valmeyer is interesting because Old Valmeyer is in the Mississippi River Floodplain, and after the 1993 floods the town basically moved location to the bluffs. The terrain was flat for the next 4 miles... as we were running in the floodplain. Once we got to Old Valmeyer, it was uphill, for like 2 miles. I only had to run 12 miles, so once I got to the 12, I basically walked it. That hill was killer. I did pass one person on the hill, so go me!

Check out that elevation!
I ran my marathon race pace, and I felt great at the finish (minus the big blister that formed on my toe).

Finish Photo.
They had basically all you can drink beer at the finish, so Josh and I stayed a bit longer than we usually do at races. They were playing good music and it was just fun! They were doing the race awards and I was surprised to hear that I won an award!! Second in my age group..

My Confused Look...
However, I was confused. I went up to accept my award and it said 25-29, second place. Ok, thing is I'm 32. They had a video camera on me while I was accepting my award, so I could never find the right time to tell them that I'm really 32. I looked at my race packet, and sure enough it said that I was F/28. I thought this was all of my fault, so I didn't say anything. (I checked my online registration later, and I put my birthday down correct, so I'm not sure where they got that I was 28). I looked at Josh's registration on his bib packet and his age was M/29. Um, he's 33. He got an award too, 3rd in his age group, 30-34! -- not sure how they corrected that one. Should I have told them that I'm really 32??

Needless to say, this was a very small race. But I loved it. I will definitely be back! I came home and I had this waiting for me in the mail:

Chicago, I'm ready for you!
Also, I attended a two hour headstand class on Friday evening, and I can actually do it! I've been practicing this for 8 months now, and still have a lot to learn...

Monday, September 22, 2014

20 Miler

I did it! I finally ran 20 miles. I didn't make it this far when I trained for my last marathon. It wasn't that bad! I did 17 just fine, but the last three miles were tough. Completely expected though. I'm not liking my new running shoe (Mizuno Wave Rider 16), so I wore my old WR 15s. It felt so much better! However, they are pretty worn, so I just ordered a brand new pair on ebay! I'm pretty stoked that I found the same shoe.

Like every time, my pace was all over the place. I'm not too worried about it, just want to get it done! My feet were pretty sore after the run, so I put them in a cold fountain for a bit. It felt amazing.

I think I'm ready for the Chicago Marathon! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

One Month Until Chicago...

well, minus three days.

I am so anxious about this race!! I don't feel far enough in my training, but I do feel STRONG, and my leg and hip doesn't hurt like it did during the Go! Marathon training/race. I hope the energy from the race keeps me going! All I know is, I'm not dropping out!!

Ok, enough with my pep talk (my mind will not stop thinking about this race).

Josh and I both managed to get into SeaWheeze 2015!! This is my all-time favorite race.

It sold out in under 30 minutes. 

I can't wait to see what lulu has in store.

With Chicago being three weeks away, I plan on running 20 miles this weekend (wish me luck), 13.1 miles the following weekend, and 8 miles the weekend before the big race. I signed up for the Hills and Hollows Half Marathon on September 27. I'm just using this as a training run, because running with others makes the long runs so much easier.