After a three year hiatus, I was finally back in Wheaton for the Run for the Animals 10k. I had not run a complete 6.2 miles since the Lincolnwood Turkey Trot back in November. My training for this year's race consisted of a month and a half of three mile daily run/walks and a few weekend seven mile run/walks. I also walked the dogs 2.5 miles a day. So for the four weeks prior to the race, I was at least on my feet and in motion in some capacity for ~30 miles per week. So my main goal was to finish the race without walking. I knew the key to accomplishing this would be a slow first mile or two.
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
Monday, May 23, 2022
I've actually been running the last month, trying to get ready for a 10k next weekend (6/4). I haven't participated in the "Run for the Animals" since the 2019 event. I think this may be the first year in a long time that it's not part of the CARA circuit. It has been replaced on the circuit with the new Bank of America Half Marathon. Unfortunately both races are on the same weekend. I would have liked to run the new BOA Half since it seems to be a tour de force of the West Side of Chicago, which is a place that I've never raced (although I did run there when I worked in the West Loop). I'm definitely not in half marathon shape right now, so it's probably best that I'm only doing a 10k.
On Sunday, I completed the most miles I've done in a single run since October (7 mile run/walk) and it was spectacular late May weather: ~60 degrees and partly cloudy. I hadn't been on the LFT since the fall, so it was nice to get back out there. I took a few photos.
I'm toying with running a one mile race next Monday (Memorial Day). We shall see....
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Still managing to get in 10 to 15 running miles per week and 20 miles/week dog walking. I think that's my limit right now, and I'm happy with that. Maybe next year those numbers will go up, but those numbers are currently in the sweet spot of getting quality rest while maintaining an above average aerobic capacity.
In any case, I went for a run yesterday morning and caught the sunrise while I was on the "new" North Branch trail.
|Kerry Wood Field|
Monday, November 22, 2021
After a hiatus of a few years, I was once again running the Lincolnwood Turkey Trot. My training comprised of thrice weekly runs and seven times a week (2x day) long dog walks.
I've run this race eight times before, so it was an annual tradition of yore that I'm restarting. The itch to race is too great despite the lack of training. I enjoy strategizing pace, racing, and ultimately trying my best at a race regardless of how much or little training I put into it. Part of the fun for me is determining where my fitness is at the moment and then come up with a pace per mile that corresponds to that fitness so I don't leave time on the table by running too slowly. Conversely, I don't want to overdo it and run some "painful" positive splits. As for a race plan, my only fitness marker was 7:45 mile splits for my 5k over a month ago. So, I figured an 8:00/mile pace would probably be doable for a 10k. However, I hadn't run a solid 6.2 miles in a row in over 14 months, so that was a wildcard going into the race.
The weather wouldn't really be a factor however. Sometimes the temps for this race are in the teens. Luckily it was in the 40s for this one with a light drizzle before the race. For the first race since last year I wore a long sleeve technical shirt instead of a singlet. It would probably end up costing me a few seconds but since I was running this race for fun and not a PR, I was hardly concerned about the aerodynamics of my outfit. My strategy for the race can best be summarized in my goals/checklist.
|Start of the race from a bygone year (src)|
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
At lunch today, I ran my last run (four miles) until my 10k on Sunday. It was windy and rainy, so good training weather! During my run today, I started to make a mental race checklist for things to remember during the 10k.
- A 10k is a long distance, so don't start too fast. 6.2 miles is a long distance for someone who has been only run/walking ~15 miles per week. Probably the most miles I've run straight through without taking a walk break is about two miles. So, I need to take it easy especially early on.
- Figure out the wind direction and modulate my pace. If the wind is a factor, I need to run more slowly into the wind and then up my speed with the wind to my back. I will let people pass me if I need to into the wind, knowing I'll probably catch them when we turn around.
- Finish strong. Try to make mile six my fastest mile. Don't start my kick until the last quarter mile.
- Have fun. I love racing and I have fond memories of running the Lincolnwood Turkey Trot, so I intend to enjoy myself out there!
|Running in the rain today|
Monday, November 15, 2021
It's hard to believe the Lincolnwood Turkey Trot 10k is only six days away. Yesterday, the day got away from me with projects, and I missed my long run. However, it was probably a good thing that I missed it as I was tired all day even without doing my run. Maybe I should consider doing long runs every other Sunday instead of every Sunday? Rest is so key. Today I came to the realization that it's more important to ensure my legs are "fresh" for the 10k - my endurance will be whatever it will be.
I need to trust my race instincts will help me modulate my pace on race day. It doesn't matter if my pace is 10:00/mile or 8:00/mile. I just want to run a strong race all the way through.
In any case, it was 28 degrees and clear this morning, so I headed out to do five miles. I was able to run most of it, with only a couple of walk breaks. One of which was to take in this view from Belmont.
|Enjoy the Silence|
I think I'll do one more run on Wednesday and then rest until Sunday.
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
It feels like Chicago has nearly hit peak fall. Lots of trees are changing color and there was frost on the grass (it finally fell below freezing last night). I really, really love running with a chill in the air. 32° feels so good after a summer of non-stop upper 80s.
The sun was shining when I went for my run. I say run and not run/walk, because for the most part I ran the entire 4.25 miles. I didn't even really think about taking walk breaks which may something about my fitness or I was just antsy to keep moving because of the few days off post booster shot. The side effects were minimal, and I actually feel better now than I did in the days leading up to my shot. Go figure.
|Rowing team dock near Belmont|
In any case it was a beautiful morning just to be outside.
Thursday, October 28, 2021
After a year of not running, and now suddenly running 3 or 4 times a week, I'm starting to notice the little aches and pains that come along with running regularly. Besides the general leg and hip stiffness, my toe (the one I broke last year) is starting to flare up and I'm trying to decide whether to take a few days off to let it heal. I might have to take a few days off anyway, since I'm getting the booster this weekend and if it's anything like the first two rounds, I won't feel like running for at least a short while.
This morning I ran four miles to Belmont and back along the river trail.
|Belmont bridge view at the trail terminus|
I may try and squeeze in one more run tomorrow before my booster on Saturday. Thereafter, I may be out of commission for 3 to 5 days.