Chicago’s Perfect 10

14 11 2011

Another great race with another running friend. I signed up for this race when Mo sent me a link about it. I figured $23 for a 10 miler, why not? By the time the race came around I was thinking why on earth did I sign up for this?

I made a ridiculous list of goals for the race, packed in a hurry Friday morning, sat in a never ending Friday afternoon meeting, and finally got on the road to Mo’s house. Thankfully it was an uneventful drive. Upon arrival went out for pizza and beer. Mo and I ordered 22 oz Fat Tires, her BF settled for a normal size beer. What? We were carb loading.

Race morning was an EARLY morning. We got up at 4:30 and went on our way to Navy Pier. Mind you, a whole 3 days before the race the race director sent out and email and told us the race was starting an hour earlier. This was supposed to be an 8:00am start. Nope, 7:00am. Fortunately Mo knows all the ins and outs of races in Chicago so knew that parking at Navy Pier could be a mess if we didn’t get there early. Packet pickup was ridiculously easy. We had to get Mo’s cousin’s bag too. She got sick so couldn’t run the 10K, but still wanted her shirt.

We went back to the car and both of us went back and forth on layers. I ended up running in crops and a long sleeve Nike layer with gloves. I kept the gloves on for about half the race. As we were waiting inside Mo asked me how fast I was going to run, which I had only kind of thought about. She decided to run with me so for the second race in a row I got to run with a friend. This is awesome. We were pretty darn consistent.

Mile 1 8:42
Mile 2 8:38
Mile 3 8:34
Mile 4 8:51
Mile 5 8:38
Mile 6 8:37
Mile 7 8:59 (Two water stops within the mile)
Mile 8 8:43
Mile 9 8:48
Mile 10 7:53
Last 0.06 came in at a 6:55 pace!

Overall average pace: 8:38!

And I just realized I am missing a mile in there. I will need to go back and see what I am missing. I found my missing mile. I did run all 10 miles, 10.06 according the the Garmin. And I have my official overall time of 1:26:54. Mo came in at 1:26:52 and some other woman in our age group managed to finish at 1:26:53.

This was faster than the Army Ten Miler (barely, but it was).  I went into it with way less pressure on myself. It was a simple course that started and ended at Navy Pier and ran south on the Lakefront. Thankfully the wind didn’t kick in until later in the day. The wind that we had was at our back on the return, which was fantastic.

10 Miles goes by really quickly when you have an awesome friend to chat with. I couldn’t really tell you everything we talked about, but it was so much fun. When we hit one mile to go Mo asked me if I wanted to push it. Um, yes. Certainly looks like we did. The medals were cool and the ribbon has the date on it. In addition to the medals we received coupons for free McGriddles. I honestly didn’t know what makes up a McGriddle, but we were hungry. We paid for parking so it was easy to get out of the Navy Pier parking lot.

Once back at Mo’s house we showered and turned on GameDay. What else would we do? We waited until her BF got home and then went to eat and watch football and drink beer. i was a happy Badger fan long before they even took the field. Penn State and Ohio State lost, which was exactly what the Badgers needed. The Badger game was so exciting I fell asleep during the second quarter and didn’t wake up until after half time. Another friend of theirs joined us for football watching and dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. I shared the awesomeness of Untapped with Mo, which meant we had to look up what badges we could earn. I may have been the first to pass out on the couch. This is what happens when you do that:

It gets posted on twitter of course

At some later point I was told to go up to bed. Apparently 3 of the 4 of us had fallen asleep on the couches. What can I say? I was up at 4:30 and there were no good football games on at that point.

My body apparently hates me and woke my up at 7:00am. Thanks Twitter for amusing me while everyone else was still sleeping. The big plans for Sunday were pancakes and then more football. They have the RedZone channel. I miss it. NFL TV contracts suck. On Saturday I can flip between as many games as I want and on Sunday they are so limited.

Basically this was a perfect weekend. I ran a great race, I got to hang out with Mo all weekend, I got to relax and the drive both directions was uneventful.

Thank you Mo!

Chicago Perfect 10 – Goals and Thoughts

10 11 2011

First thought: Why the hell am I racing again?

Second thought: Who thought this was a good idea?

Third thought: I get to hang out with Mo all weekend. This is awesome.


  1. Don’t die
  2. Run kind of fast
  3. Listen to my body
  4. Finish the race

I can accomplish all of these.

Then I get to eat, drink beer and hang out with Mo.

Tyranena Beer Run – Half Barrel

6 11 2011

This was one of my best races all year for so many reasons. I signed up for this race when my best friend decided she wanted to run a half marathon. To this day I don’t know why she picked this race. She doesn’t live in Wisconsin and there are lots of half marathons in DC that I fly back for. It does not matter. I got to help her train for this race even from afar. As I wrote on Friday I got to vacillate between Coach Renee and Friend Renee. This past week I tried to calm her. I almost forgot I was racing too.

The Tyranena Brewery is in Lake Mills, WI which is about 30 minutes from my parents house so we stayed there on Friday night. This was not a typical race. We woke up around 7:15 or so and got to just enjoy the morning. The race didn’t start until 11:30! Getting there was super easy. I am pretty sure Thai Phi was freaking out at this point. It was a really easy packet pick-up. I found Sara. We all huddled in the heated tent for a bit. It is November in Wisconsin after all.

They started trying to send us outside about 20 minutes before the start. We waited a bit longer. Once Sara, Thai Phi and I went outside we decided the weather wasn’t so bad. It had warmed up (almost 50) and was sunny. We wandered towards the back, found Marty and his sister, chatted a bit and the gun went off. My last words to Thai Phi were to go out slow and have fun.

Sara and I set out at a pretty stead pace. Both of us were happy with the first mile, not too fast, not too slow. This was a beautiful course. Sara and I chatted some and just ran some. The first real hill was between mile 3 and 4. It wasn’t terrible, but it was not fun either. Both of us said something about quads as we got to the top. We caught our breath and kept trucking along. The next hill came pretty quick. This one was longer, but I didn’t think as steep. Honestly I didn’t think there were any more big hills. There were rolling hills, but nothing that killed us.

Sara and I just kept on running. She would check in on me to see how much shin was. I checked in on her to see how her hips were. Around mile 10 we had the wind at our backs which was awesome, but then there was a turn around and we had to run straight into the wind. Good thing we had run in the insane wind just the week before. The last few miles were the most boring and least scenic, but at that point we both had done the math and knew we would get our sub 2 for the day.

The finish was a ton of fun. We didn’t really talk about it and both had a big kick into the finish. I saw my parents right before the finish. And then my brother, his friend and the dog were right past the finish line. We crossed in tandem and then shared a huge hug. Running with Sara was so much fun!

We got out awesome medals, found some food and then Sara went to find her family and I tried to find mine. It was a little crazy at the finish line tent, but I found the family. I really wanted to change my shoes and get my compression socks on. I thought I had enough time to do this and get back out to the finish to see Thai Phi finish, but she was so speedy I missed her! Thai Phi ran an awesome first half marathon and I am so proud of her.

Post half-marathon glow!

Official time: 1:59:15
Best half since March!
Beautiful course.
Awesome running/racing buddy.
Sharing the day with TP.
Perfect Race.

Goals and Thoughts for Tyranena Beer Run Half Barrel

4 11 2011

I am going about this one completely different than I did for RnR St. Louis. I had goals there, the went bad. I want to run and have fun. One of my best friends is running her first half marathon on Saturday! I am so excited for her. This was 100% her decision to train for and sign up for a half marathon. A lot of our mutual friends think I coerced her into. I did nothing of the sort. She decided on her own to fly to Wisconsin to do this race.

Her training has had all kinds of ups and downs. DC weather, travel, illness, single parenting, but she has stuck through it all. We joke about me having to switch between Coach Renee and Friend Renee in our emails and texts. I have had so much fun helping her create a training plan and talking her through it all. It has helped me realize how much I have learned over the past several years. With each race I do, I learn more about myself and more about running and racing. Sharing that with someone close to me has been fun. She will arrive with smiles and she will leave with smiles. I know it.

On top of Thai Phi running her first half this weekend my brother and his friend are coming along. Many of you probably know by now that my brother does not live near me. In fact he lives most of the year in Europe. I am elated that he is coming home even if it is for not a very long time. I don’t remember the last time I have had family at a race. (This is not to say that my parents aren’t amazingly supportive because they are). I am just excited to have people to come a long and cheer.


  • Have fun
  • Finish the race
  • Help TP have fun
  • Cheer loudly when she crosses the finish line
  • Enjoy the finish line festivities

Swapping Bibs

3 11 2011

Stop it.

Don’t do it.

It’s against the rules.

Yes, losing the money sucks.

No, I don’t get why some races don’t have transfer systems.

Yes, I find that frustrating.

Some races have opportunities to sell them through a transfer system.

Many do not.

Why do you think you are above the rules?

Why do you think they don’t apply to you?

I’m not going to lie, I kind of hope people get caught and banned from races.

Yes, I’m a rule follower.

Stop it.

Wordless Wednesday

2 11 2011

"Little" brother comes home on Friday! Brendan is visiting too!

Thai Phi comes on Friday!

I *might* explode with happiness Friday evening.