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Showing posts from July, 2012

Don't Look Tired at the Finish Line

Unbeknownst to me, my super-epic* 4th place finish at Miles for Melanoma on Sunday morning was captured on film.

Check the last few seconds of this WGN clip from Sunday night:


If I would have known they were filming I would have at least made an attempt to look less like someone who's about to fall over.

The lesson is: you should always pretend that cameras are on you, just in case it turns out that they actually are.

*I am not using the (non)phrase "super-epic" correctly. I fully understand that my finishing a 5K in 20:48 is not at all "super" or "epic" and certainly doesn't warrant combining the two to make a new word. Please indulge me.

Finally Breaking 21 (Miles for Melanoma)

This morning when I finished the Teb's Troops Miles for Melanoma 5K I finished the 30th race I've run this year. I don't think I've run even half that many races in any other year, and it's been pretty exciting being part of all these races this year. But aside from that, I also finally managed to reach my goal of breaking 21 minutes in a 5K, even if it was just barely (20:48). I honestly don't think I ever ran that fast even when I was running cross-country in high school. (How did I stay on the team with results like that you ask? 1. I went to a very small school in East Texas, 2. I was the slowest person on the team).

So here are my splits from this morning. Again with the super high-tech html table showing that I have no steady pacing ability:
MileTime16:1526:4137:07Total20:48
What was more exciting than hitting my ever-elusive goal was that because this was a pretty small race (and since Chicago Runner Girl wasn't there), my time put me into 4th place o…

A Texan at the BTN Big 10K

Even though I'm a Longhorn and not really a sports fan (college or otherwise) I was pretty excited about the BTN Big 10K. Since I'm running the Miles for Melanoma 5K tomorrow, I was planning to take it a little easy on this one. But once the race started, with all the energy that comes with any race, I was running a little faster than I planned to. I was planning for 8 minute miles, but I felt good after the first mile so I figured I might as well just keep going. I did steadily lose speed at each mile throughout the race and definitely wish I would have eaten something for breakfast to at least give me a little bit of energy to burn so I could pick up the pace, but it was still a good race.

Here's a sweet high-tech html table breakdown of my splits:
MileTime17:0127:2237:2547:2757:4267:30Total45:59
Clearly I started out a lot faster than I should have and could not maintain that pace at all, but the good news is that I've gotten a lot faster since the first 10K I did …

Undie Dash (costumes and underwear)

So last night Brynn and I ran the Undie Dash, an evening 5K on the lakefront where you're supposed to strip down and run in your underwear. Since we're too lame and un-body-confident (I just coined this word), we didn't quite do that, but we also didn't want to look weird in normal running clothes. So Brynn went to Marshall's before the race and bought some weird clearance underwear for each of us - she wore hers over her running shorts and I wore mine over running short tights. We probably had on the most clothes of anyone there. Lame of us, I know.
Even though this was only the second annual Undie Dash run it seemed like people get the concept and really get into it, so we definitely have way better costume plans for next year (and at least we have to be in our underwear - and we have a year to get into better shape for that). There were some great costumes last night so we have to try to compete with them next year.

My review of the race is up at Newcity.com

An…

Dean Karnazes and Chicago Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon

As a member of the running community I've obviously heard a lot about the Rock 'n' Roll series over the last several years - especially since the brand was purchased by Competitor Group in 2008 and really started expanding - but I'd never run one before. I figured now was a good time to check one out.


On Friday afternoon I went to McCormick Place for the expo (I figured it would be easier to get in and out on Friday than on Saturday). After picking up my bib, shirt and "swag bag" (their words) I spent a good deal of time walking around checking out all the booths (and there were a lot). Even though I knew Rock 'n' Roll is a big brand for some reason I was still surprised by the size of the expo and the amount of free stuff they were giving out. I'd guess the expo was about half the size of the Chicago Marathon.

As I was getting ready to leave I walked past a booth and almost walked into Dean Karnazes. While I wasn't a big fan of his last book

Chinatown Centennial 5K

I ran the Chinatown Centennial 5K this morning (typically just called the Chinatown 5K - but it's the 100 year anniversary of Chicago Chinatown so they changed the name for this year). It started on Archer next to Chinatown Square which was really sweet because Archer Avenue was completely blocked off:
Before the race there was a great pre-race party going on in Chinatown Square, with free chiropractor consultation from National University of Health Sciences (they were stretching runners out before the race) and a really great lion dance with a green lion and a white lion represented by two guys inside a costume:

The race went down Wentworth (under the "Welcome to Chinatown" arches) and all the way to 31st street before turning around. My full review is at Newcity.com but basically it was a great race.

I was surprised that there were only about 600 runners at this race considering how well organized it was and how great the course was (seriously, you got to run straight…

Bastille Day Run... and Block Party?

So... the lengthily titled Bastille Day 5K/8K Run/Walk & Block Party happened last night.
I think I hit the high points (or low points, as the case may be) in my NewCity review, but it wasn't a very well-organized event.

But here's some additional observations and complaints:
Because the 8K course was an out-and-back it took up both lanes on the Lakefront Trail for a while. There were several bikers riding down the middle of the trail, between the two lanes of runners. I've never seen that before.At the entrance to Belmont Harbor, there was a long line of cars backed up in either direction. When I ran past, the woman in the front car was standing beside her vehicle yelling at the guy stopping traffic, "HOW IS THIS NOT AVOIDABLE??!?!?" I don't know what she meant by that, but she was super-pissed and I almost wanted to stop running just so I could listen to an amazing (and most likely nonsensical) rant.The 5K and 8K courses rejoined at the end and created …

2012 Les Turner Strike Out ALS 5K

Tonight I ran the first of two evening races this week (which also kicked off my first official day of marathon training). Luckily my first day of training is supposed to be 3 miles, so this race worked out well. It was the Les Turner Strike Out ALS 5K and although the map on their site has it listed as a 3.3 mile course, I'm pretty sure it was a straight 5K.

My review is up at newcity.com

It started outside U.S. Cellular Field and KayLynn Van Driest spoke beforehand which was really motivational:

 ...and as you can see from the map above the course went all over the place - but I kind of liked that. It was definitely better than an out and back course.


I tried to get some pictures during the run but I was also trying to finally hit my long-time goal* of running a 21 minute 5K so I stopped doing that pretty quickly. Right at the start, though there was a Metra train going by as we ran into a parking lot and I almost got a picture of it (you can see the end of it) here:

The last…

Evening Runs This Week

Last week we had three days over 100 degrees (the Texan part of me thinks "And? That's it?" while the Chicagoan part of me is thinking "Jesus Christ, why was it so hot?"), but this week the hottest it's predicted to be is 88, starting on Thursday. A few weeks ago we all might have thought "88? That's going to be hot." but now I think we're all pretty excited about this "cool" weather.

And as race organizers across the city look at this weather report for the week, they must be breathing numerous sighs of relief. Because there's a surprising number of evening races this week, while as far as I know there weren't any last week. Lucky coincidence for runners and organizers alike. 

Anyway, there are three evening races this that I know of (two of which I'm running):
Tuesday @ 6:30: The Strike Out ALS 5K - this one takes place at U.S. Cellular Field and, similar to how the Race to Wrigley lets runners run through the conc…

Torchlight Chicago 5K discount code and BadHappy Poutine Shop recommendation

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I ran the inaugural Lifetime Torchlight Chicago 5K Run. Yesterday they sent out an email to everyone that ran it this year with a code for 50% off next year's race (June 20, 2013). I'm not planning that far ahead, but I thought I'd pass it on in case anyone else is, because it's a pretty good deal, considering they gave out two free beers per registrant (I realize I keep going back to that, but that's just such a great selling point for me).

Basically just go to the registration page and then enter the code 2012TORCHRUN. The code is good for the first 500 people to register or until July 15th (whichever comes first).


On a totally unrelated note, after running Sunday morning (luckily, before the unexpectedly crazy storm blew through for 5 minutes) we went to a little place in River North called BadHappy Poutine Shop. It was a happy coincidence that we showed up on Sunday because in case you didn't know, Sunday was Canada Day. That…