Running / 2014 goal update

Moving along in 2014, on track to meet or exceed my goals! See below for updates.

Run 6 1/2 marathons – or about one every other month

  • Jan – Rock and Roll 1/2 in Tempe, AZ – COMPLETE – PR!  (2:03)
  • April – Bunny 1/2 in Chicago – COMPLETE – PR! (2:00:58)
  • June – Michelob Chicago 1/2 – COMPLETE
  • July  – Rock and Roll Chicago – COMPLETE – slow but HOT in Chicago so that is expected (2:10)
  • Sept – signed up for Chicago 1/2 (there seems to be a few of these, huh?)
  • Nov – signed up for Rock and Roll Vegas! Jeff is coming with me and we are making a weekend out of it!

Run 4 other races for a total of 10 races (this is a stretch since I ran 7 total last year)

  • Urbanathlon – Oct – 10.8 miles with crazy obstacles – run in less than 2 hours (2:10 in 2013 but I was stalled after the soldier field steps!)
  • 15K – Nov – Hot Chocolate
  • 10K – May – Susan G Komen – COMPLETE!
  • 5K – Bucktown and/or Chase Corporate Challenge

STILL No problem.

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Running Goals – 10 races in 2014

I have found that by stating your goals publicly, you have more chance to succeed.  So I have been posting my running goals at work for the last couple of years as part of a Gatorade initiative to #winfromwithin (yes, everything here has a hashtag and no, there is not Gatorade coming out of the water fountains).

So, here are mine (with my progress since I am posting this in May):

  1. Run 6 1/2 marathons – or about one every other month
    • Jan – Rock and Roll 1/2 in Tempe, AZ – COMPLETE – PR!  (2:03)
    • April – Bunny 1/2 in Chicago – COMPLETE – PR! (2:00:58)
    • June – signed up for the Chicago 1/2
    • July  – Rock and Roll Chicago – ready!
    • Sept – need to sign up for Chicago 1/2 (there seems to be a few of these, huh?)
    • Nov – signed up for Rock and Roll Vegas!
  2. Run 4 other races for a total of 10 races (this is a stretch since I ran 7 total last year)
    • Urbanathlon – Oct – 10.8 miles with crazy obstacles – run in less than 2 hours (2:10 in 2013 but I was stalled after the soldier field steps!)
    • 15K – Nov – Hot Chocolate
    • 10K – May – Susan G Komen – COMPLETE!
    • 5K – Bucktown and/or Chase Corporate Challenge

No problem.

We will see how the year progresses!

 

1/2 Marathon – came, saw, conquered!!!

Well, maybe “conquered” is a bit much but I finished exactly the pace (literally exactly) I targeted, 10:00 min miles for a finish time of 2:11:30.  How strange is that?  A Gatorade colleague said I trained well so I am taking that as the reason and plowing forward.

Some race highlights:

  • Getting started was a bit rough as my day started at 5AM.  I think I was half asleep during the 1st 3-4 miles since I don’t remember the route at all.
  • Having to run away from the starting line the 1st time I was going to start since I didn’t have my time-tracking tag applied to my foot properly.  (A race volunteer had to help me).
  • Having to run to the port-a-potty in panic that I would have to go during the race (I didn’t)
  • Running through our beautiful city before most people were awake
  • Sweating through 2 headbands so much that I could wring them out
  • Tons of Gatorade on the course – thanks!

Some funny signs seen during the race:

Hope you pooped before the race!

Whether you like it long and slow or fast and hard, the best part is the finish!

Run, complete stranger!

Those all made me laugh.

My music mix was awesome, I had all my best running tunes.  Some songs on my list:

  • “My Michelle” – Guns N Roses
  • “Kickstart My Heart” – Motley Crue
  • “I’m Bad” – LL Cool J
  • “Keep Yourself Alive” – Queen
  • “Hot For Teacher” – Van Halen
  • “The Real Slim Shady” – Eminem

At the finish, I was rewarded with a dry-iced cold towel (seen to the left around my shoulders), since it was already over 90 degrees at 9AM in Chicago.  I then realized why we had to start the race at 6:30AM.

Afterwards, I met up with the super cute captain of “Team Tobey” for congrats and we hung out in the VIP tent for food!

The question now is, when is my next 1/2?

1/2 marathon training – 6 weeks to go

I am preparing for my first 1/2 marathon on July 22.  Up to this point, I have officially run a 15K (9.36 mi) and a few 5K and 10K races.  Even with this running behind me, I am finding out there is always something new to learn.

My current issue: running in the hot weather with the sun beating down on me.  To further expand on that issue, I am getting overheated (headache and dizzy) and (ahem) getting an upset tummy, which I shouldn’t have to tell you is not pleasant when you are outside with not a port-a-potty in sight.

My training schedule has me running 2-3x per week with cross-training.  I did not choose to do the training plan that calls for running 5x per week, that is really too much for me. I am very concerned about getting injured so I am a big proponent of cross-training.   I do kick-boxing and boot camp classes 1x per week in addition to running.  I do a shorter run during the week and a longer run on the weekend.  It started with 2 miles as the shorter run and 5 miles as the longer run.  The shorter run hovers at 2, 3, or 4 miles; the longer run increased to 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.1 (1/2 marathon) – make sense?

Last week I had my 1st outside long run (10 miles) to prepare for the 1/2 marathon in July in Chicago.  It will hot, even at the ungodly hour in the morning in which the race will be run.  Here are some important things I learned during this run:

  • You really have to be hydrated and prepped for a long run, especially in the heat.
  • Water is not enough.  You need Gatorade for electrolytes and hydration.
  • You need this during the run and these things are difficult to carry during a run.
  • Public water fountains are disgusting.  (My dogs drink out of these fountains.  And those are the cleaner species that utilize these contraptions).
  • Carrying a credit card is good to buy Gatorade and to possibly take a cab home if needed (although, thankfully, I did not need to do this).

I went on a medium run during the week (7 miles or so) and it was so hot I had to stop and walk for a bit and felt very nauseous.  Not good.  Then over the weekend, I went on my  long run and it was not pretty.  Let’s just say that if I didn’t find a bathroom on our lovely Chicago lakefront, there would have been a clean-up required on aisle 9.  Thankfully I did find one; I owe my dignity to the Burnham Harbor boat area public bathrooms.

This weekend I will be attempting another long run, my longest so far – about 12 miles.  I wish I had a better plan than just trying it again.  I will be hydrating much more before my run as well as ensuring I eat a good carb-filled meal the night before.  Hope this helps!

On the positive side, I have my route all mapped out on www.mapmyrun.com, which is awesome.  I like to use it to map out the run to determine the distance then I send it to my iPhone (there is an app for that, of course!).  Most of the time, though, I don’t want to lug my phone with me so I use my little iPod shuffle with the Nike Plus “Fitness” feature that has a GPS and I can upload it to Nike Plus and then MapMyRun to track my training.

Sorry if my tummy thing was TMI (too much information) but I was hoping to get some comments or feedback on any advice since this seems to be a unique issue (or maybe no one around me wants to admit it).  In any case, wish me luck, I will need it, as it will be about 95 degrees out on Saturday!  I will be drinking a lot of Gatorade for sure.  Also I will be mapping my route where there are plenty of convenience stores and public bathrooms……

My Journey to 10K

I have always been active and in pretty good shape, doing such things as kick boxing, step aerobics and boot camp training classes, but I have never considered myself a “runner”. Until May 2011, that is, when we were herded down to Grant Park in Chicago for the Chase Corporate Challenge. We all work for Gatorade, so it was difficult to tell my coworkers, “No, 5K (3.1 mi) is too much for me, I will take a pass”.

When the experienced runners wanted to “warm-up” by running from our office to the starting line, I was leery and lagged behind with a few others.  Seriously, were they crazy?  Not only was it 40 degrees outside, it was at least 3 miles to the start of the 5K race.  We took a cab to Starbucks, which was fairly close to the starting line.  Warm-up complete!

So there I am, freezing and waiting to run, hoping I will complete the distance without killing myself.  Most of my coworkers run marathons and compete in triathlon races so I would be lying to say that peer pressure did not have a hand in getting me outside to run.  Did I mention that until now I had only jogged on a treadmill?  Running in a race with thousands of people in downtown Chicago is entirely another story.  My approach was to run at a pace that made me comfortable since I didn’t train at all for this, therefore I didn’t have a gauge on how long of a run I was doing. It worked and I survived; time was 27:41, not bad.   I felt pretty good about it, actually  So I decided to keep running.  Next up – a 10K.

We have a lot of trainers and scientists that work for our brand and I was determined to utilize the information at my disposal.  To be honest, before I started working here, I didn’t realize the scientific benefits of Gatorade or electrolytes or even carbohydrates.  I knew carbs gave you energy but my knowledge stopped there.  At this point in time, I was working on a project to launch a new beverage to drink before you workout, G Prime (4oz pre-game beverage). I learned that before your race or workout, you need something that will give you energy (calories, carbs) but not leave you jittery (caffeine).  This particular product has 30g carbohydrates and 110mg of sodium.  The specifics of why I needed these things did not resonate at the time but I started drinking it before I ran and I really noticed a difference.

I never ran in the past because I did not enjoy it, plain and simple.  I never reached that “runner’s high” or state of relaxation I hear people touting.  I got stomach cramps and muscle cramps and that was enough for me to not push forward with this activity.  After I started drinking G Prime before and Gatorade during my workouts, I realized that these things that prevented me from running in the past weren’t happening anymore.  I have a degree in Industrial Engineering so I am a problem solver by nature.  I knew I introduced a new variable to my workouts but I wanted to understand this better.  After talking to my peers and other subject matter experts, I started to understand a little about the science behind the great-tasting red (or blue or purple) drink.

By adding Gatorade to my workout, I was easily able to start running faster and farther.  I had the energy to keep going and wasn’t stopped by stomach or muscle cramps.   This is mainly due to being hydrated (Gatorade is 94% water), and by adding sodium and potassium (the other 6%) which helps with the cramping.  I learned that you had to drink enough fluid to prevent dehydration without over-drinking.  When I drank just water, I felt too full and had that “sloshy” feeling in my stomach (note that is not a term that the Gatorade scientists used).

So I trained for about 3 months, running 1-2x per week, for my 10K.  I continued the other portions of my workout (kick-boxing primarily) since I wanted to cross-train.  I tried to run at a comfortable pace, increasing distance without compromising how I felt.  I was not as regimented as most runners with my training schedule but I did what worked for me.  By the time I got to the weekend of the 10K, however, I was getting cold feet.  I realized I had never run that far in my life (6.2 miles).  But yet again, I had peer pressure to contend with, as this was a charity race for Susan G. Komen and I was leading the team to organize our company’s participation.  So again I had to do it!

The unfortunate part of running races is the early morning start time as well as the cold and rain in this particular instance (i.e., not fun), so I was a little concerned about the outcome. But I ran the race in about 54 mins and the seed was planted.  I was determined to keep this going and improve my time and distance.

After all of this, I still had a lot to learn.  This was a work in progress. I knew I needed to continue doing what worked for me but not much more than that.  At this point, I started thinking about my next race and goal.  There was a 15K coming up in 2 months so I signed up for that.  Training for that was a little more serious (9.3 miles – that was scary to think about) so I knew I needed to learn more about how to ramp up to that distance.

Next up….a 15K!