My week in training 3/19-3/25

Training is definitely tough when you travel quite a bit and have such an odd schedule.  I despise the treadmill so much but when it’s all you have, it’s better than not running at all.  This week was HM training week 6 and I’ve been having a great time with my coaches plan.  She really gets me and pushed me to do my best without injuring myself!  I’m training for a few runs at the same time right now with my first being the Chicago Spring Half Marathon in May.  I’m running the 10K since I have a tough schedule ahead.  I’m hoping to keep a 9 minute pace for that race.  That will lead to my brutal June with the North Shore Half Marathon and the Mohican 50 miler!

3/19   Cross Training for 30 minutes: Rode the Matrix bike at the gym for 30 minutes and ended up doing 6 miles.  HR stayed in Z1 for 18:57 and Z2 for 10:49.   Hmm, maybe I needed to push myself more?

3/20   5 miles easy pace: Ran these 5 miles at 9:35 pace on the treadmill at the gym.  Nothing spectacular and my HR was as follows – Z1 1:38, Z2 3:57, Z3 9:26, Z4 25:22, Z5 7:06.
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3/21   1 mile WU, 800m @8:30, 4 min jog, 2 miles @GHMP, 5 min jog, 800m@8:30 1 mile CD: These tempo runs are definitely challenging.  My HR was all over the place but I still did it.  The mile warmup was at 10:01 and felt good to start.  The first 800 was at 8:30 and while it was fast for me, it was still doable.  The 2 miles at GHMP were a struggle.  My HR made it tough to catch a breath.  Those jogs in between were a blessing and much needed!  I like the challenge of tempos and speedwork but it seems that since my knee surgery, my speed and endurance has taken a short hiatus.
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3/22   5 miles easy pace:   Ran my 5 miles at the gym this morning and averaged 9:50 pace and it felt good.  I ended up watching HULU on my phone (James Bond Spectre) and that passed the time quickly.  It’s a busy day of last minute chores before travelling.

3/23   Rest Day!: Good thing because it’s a travelling day and 10 hours of driving is a challenge in itself.  I probably will still hit the treadmill at the hotel since I’m scheduled for 10 miles tomorrow and I’ll still be driving.

3/24   10 miles easy pace:  I didn’t get a chance to do all 10 miles as I was driving for 10+ hours and my legs just weren’t having it.  I ended up with 5 miles and had to rest.  Not to make excuses but it was 90 degrees here too!

3/25   Cross training 30 minutes:  I ended up just taking it easy and work on core exercises with a long walk to the ocean.  Sometimes that’s all the body needs for mental health!

 

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2018 Chicago Spring Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to 2018 Chicago Spring 10K race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I decided to add another fun run to my year of races and when this opportunity came up, I couldn’t pass it up!  The Chicago Spring Half Marathon is part of a series of runs in Chicago with a spring and a fall race and a special 26.2 medal when you do both and is limited to the first 2000 runners!

Register Here and join me!

Packet Pick Up
Friday, May 18, 2018
• 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | Fleet Feet Sports – Old Town
Saturday, May 19, 2018
• 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Fleet Feet Sports – Old Town

Race Day
Sunday, May 20, 2018
• 5:30 a.m. New registration (Junior Dash only) and Will Call opens | Maggie Daly Park
• 5:30 a.m. Gear check opens| Maggie Daly Park
• 6:00 a.m. Start corrals open for Half Marathon participants| Columbus Drive
• 6:45 a.m. Junior Dash registration closes
• 6:45 a.m. Half Marathon Corrals close
• 7:00 a.m. Half Marathon starts | Columbus Drive
• 7:40 a.m. 10K corrals close
• 7:45 a.m. 10K race start
• 8:00 a.m. Spring Market Finish Festival opens | Maggie Daly Park
• 8:30 a.m. 10K awards| Spring Market Finish Festival
• 9:30 a.m. Half Marathon awards| Spring Market Finish Festival
• 10:00 a.m. Junior Dash starts| “The Ribbon” @ Maggie Daly Park
• 11:30 a.m. Course closes
• 11:45 a.m. Gear check closes

Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • Access to the Spring Market Finish Festival
  • Gourmet hot-breakfast buffet for all participants
  • Complimentary Lagunitas beer (must be 21 with a valid ID)
  • Live music
  • Spring flower station – free to take home
  • Finisher medal for half marathon, 10K and Junior Dash participants
  • Featuring a spinning Navy Pier Ferris Wheel (half & 10k)
  • High-quality, tech-running shirt (men/women sizing)
  • Free race photos courtesy of Athlinks
  • Professional event timing and live results powered by Athlinks
  • Awards for top overall finishers and top age group finishers

 

2018 Cinco De Miler

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the RAM Racing Cinco De Miler as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

Join RAM Racing for Chicago’s only 5-mile race, celebrating Mexico’s colorful culture. You’ll score a fitted technical tee and bottle opener medal, plus tons of tamales, chips and salsa.

The race is on Saturday, May 5th, 2018 at Montrose Harbor and starts at 8:30am

Register here and use the code BRCinco to get an awesome pair of sunglasses!https://ramraces.enmotive.com/events/register/2018-cinco-de-miler

Packet Pickup is at:
Fleet Feet Sports Old Town
1706 N Wells Street
Chicago, Illinois 60614
Thursday, May 3, 2018 – 4:00pm to 8:00pm
Friday, May 4, 2018 – 10:00am to 8:00pm

Does free race photos entice you?  They’ll capture you in high-resolution shots, and track those shots using your unique bib number. After the race, each registrant will be emailed free pictures of themselves at the race. Share it on Facebook, tweet it, or download it and print it out.

After you cross the finish line, head over to the beer garden where your first beer, breakfast taco and Mexican sweets are on us! Enjoy Dos XX Lager or Amstel Light (21 and older, only), Jarritos and Horchata, and take a turn at the mechanical bull or human fooseball, or watch the Live Lucha Libre matches! Continue your Cinco de Mayo celebration and dance the day away to live mariachi bands.

Beer Tickets and Wristband
Choose from the following beer ticket options:
• 5 tickets for $20 @ Packet Pick Up
• $5 per ticket on Race Day (Cash only)

2018 Fort 2 Base

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Fort 2 Base 10 Nautical Miler race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I’m pretty excited that I’ll be running my favorite race again for BibRave.  Though the venue has changed a bit from previous years due to security on the Great Lake Naval Base, the race organizers have always done a great job to ensure this is a memorable race and I’m sure that this year will be no different!  There are two different distances that you can choose from and it’s not your normal race distances.  These are nautical miles which puts a great spin on a distance that you may not have ever run.  There is the 10 nautical mile or the 3 nautical miler and it will be a point to point race.  Keep an eye on the website for the confirmed race route coming soon!

Register HERE!

Pricing Structure

2-1-18 to 4-30-18   10 NM   $60   3 NM   $30
5-1-18 to 6-30-18   10 NM   $70   3 NM   $35
7-1-18 to 8-22-18   10 NM   $80   3 NM   $40
Race Weekend      10 NM   $90   3 NM   $45
* Please check the website for pricing for Active Duty & Reservists, Retired & Dependents, Veterans, and a Virtual Run!

Under Armour Mountain Series: Copper Mountain

“Disclaimer: I’m promoting the Under Armour Mountain Series Copper Mountain as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Do you love running in the mountains with a beautiful backdrop?  Does 12,313 feet of elevation sound appealing to you?  Has a trip to the Rocky Mountains been on your list?  How about a challenging race that will test out your legs?

Then the Under Armour Mountain Series of races is for you!  Especially Copper Mountain and all of the beauty that surrounds it.  There are distances for everyone from the 5K, 10K, 25K, to the 50K!

Schedule of Events
Friday, July 13, 2018
Location: Copper Mountain (Burning Stones Plaza)
2:00PM – Packet Pickup Starts
8:00PM – Packet Pickup Finishes
Saturday, July 14, 2018
5:30AM – Packet Pickup Starts
7:00AM – 50K Race Start
7:30AM – 25K Race Start
8:00AM – 10K Race Start
8:30AM – 5K Race Start
2:30PM – Award Ceremony**

Prices as of today:
50k – $99
25k – $79
10k – $59
5k – $39

Your registration will also get you a commemorative runner package that includes: Bib Number, Timing Chip, Finisher Medal, Under Armour Long Sleeve Technical Running Tee, and 3-Month MVP MapMyRun Access to Training Plans, Nutrition, and Insider Product Content.

 

Follow along on social media at the links below for more information and photos of this exciting event!
https://twitter.com/UAMtnRunning
https://www.instagram.com/uamtnrunning/
https://www.facebook.com/MtnRunning/
#uamtnrunning, #coppermountain

Urban Bourbon Half Marathon

“Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!”

I’m so excited to be running the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon in Louisville, Kentucky this fall.  I’ve been wanting to run this for the last couple of year after seeing some fellow BibRave Pros blogs and posts about it.  Also, since I’m not running a marathon this fall, it’s a perfect opportunity to run this half and go for that PR!

Besides running a fun bourbon themed race, I’m looking forward to seeing that cool medal in my hands and the post race 4 course bourbon themed dinner hosted by one of my favorite chefs, Edward Lee.  I’m a bit of a foodie so this is right up my alley.

This gives me 262 days to train for speed and endurance!  If you’d like to join me,  use the code “BourbonRave2018” to save 10% on your race entry and this is valid from February 1st!

 

Athlinks is partnering with BibRave!

“Disclaimer: I am promoting Athlinks as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

BibRave has partnered with Athlinks!!  Check out the article here!

So what is Athlinks?  It’s the largest database of race results for just about every running, biking, obstacle course, and triathlon race out there.  They’ll find the results and add them to the database and link them to your account.  You can also search out your results and claim them so it gets added to your page!

The Overview page lists all of your personal records, statistics, and upcoming races.  There are pages for more details on these races on your Results or Statistics pages.  It also lists just how many races you’ve been in as well the mileage and how you rank amongst other Athlinks members.

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Upcoming
The Results page is a more detailed collection of your races by year with your pace and how you fair against racers of the same sex or age.  It’s a great collection of your accomplishments so you know just how you’re doing.

Results.jpg

 

The Rivals page is a little competitive feature where you can see how you do against your friends or people you follow.  There is a tally of your wins/losses for races that you have participated in together!  This is such a fun option of the app and gives you a little friendly competition.

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The Statistics page gives you all of your personal best races for each distance of race and the percentage of how you finished compared to others.

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Claim your race results between now and January 8 and you’ll be entered to win a free 2018 race entry to events like Spartan, Leadville, Chicago Half Marathon, and Miami Marathon or a one-year premium TrainingPeaks subscription!  Check it out here!

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Here is my page if you’d like to follow and become my rival!

 

Running my first 50 mile trail race!

I know I said I’d never run another half marathon after my first years back.  I also said I’d never run another marathon after ripping my quad tendon in 2016.  I am the person who said I’d never ever run an ultra.

Well now this is awkward.  I’m signed up for the Mohican 50 mile trail race in Ohio this June.  I can’t believe I’m actually saying that.  This will be quite an undertaking and thankfully I have a running coach who can assist me in my needs.  The exciting part will be the terrain and scenery on the trails.  I’ve watched so many Youtube videos on the race and am really looking forward to the challenge.

It will be a challenge!  50 freaking miles!!  Honestly, I’m not thinking about a finish time or race goal and am taking the time to just enjoy the experience and test my limits.  I’ll rest when I need to and eat when I need to.  I’ll take some videos and action shots and meet new people.

Stay tuned to training posts and how much more excited I get as race time nears!

So long 2017

With only a few days remaining in 2017, I looked back on this year and can say that it wasn’t half bad.  It didn’t start at all the way I had hoped but I came back from that setback thanks to the amazing support from friends and family.  I made some great new friends and met some of them in person.  I ran with some of my favorite people in a bunch of races and I got the opportunity to be part of the BibRave, Orange Mud, and AfterShokz families!  Let’s take a look at how things went…

This is how I spent the winter months after having surgery to repair a torn quad and subsequently a bout with Bell’s Palsy.  I ended up kicking major ass during my rehabilitation and came back earlier than I thought I would. My orthopedic surgeon and my physical therapist would say I pushed it and they’re probably not wrong.

My first race back was the Ravenswood Run 5K that I apparently was not prepared for so soon after surgery.  It was truly hard to get back in the saddle.  It felt as if my lungs were going to explode during this race!

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Next came one of my favorite races, the North Shore Classic half marathon.  I run this every year and did pretty well in years past but once again, I fell short of my goal but still got to run with some of my favorites!

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My next race for the season was a race I’ve always wanted to run and that was the Rock N Roll half marathon.  It was hot on this day…really hot!  Days like this are tough to run in but when you have awesome friends, it makes it all worth it!

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August brought me my all time favorite race and that’s the Fort 2 Base 10 nautical miler from Fort Sheridan to Great Lake Naval Base.  I was a tad slower than last year but definitely felt myself getting stronger.  My surgeon said that with my type of surgery, it would take a full year to be 100% and I was starting to notice how much better I felt.

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September brought me the Chicago Half Marathon and another race I’ve always wanted to run because of the incredible huge medals.  The weather for this race was in the upper 80’s and was just brutal to finish.  I ran/walked the last few miles of the race and was so dehydrated.

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Then came Chicago Marathon weekend and the International 5K on Saturday and the marathon on Sunday.  The 5K was tons of fun and a great warmup/shakeout run before the big race.  The marathon was supposed to be my redemption race after last years attempt and tearing of my quad tendon.  Well, it didn’t quite turn out how I planned.  I just don’t think I trained the right way for this distance and my knee started to get fatigued half way through.  While I did finish, it just wasn’t how I wanted to.

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I finished my 2017 race season in a very special way running the first race I ever ran, the Hot Chocolate 5K.

So, where does this leave me?  I can’t be too frustrated with this past year after some setbacks and I’m harder on myself than I should be.  I was probably just upset that I had a great 2016 and PR’d so many races that I thought that would continue into 2017.  It was a challenge and a fun one at that.  I learned so much about myself and what my limitations are.  2018 is going to be the year I take my health and my training seriously and have already decided on a running coach and picking just the right races for me.  You’ll see me at these races (So far) for 2018:

  • North Shore Classic Half Marathon (Highland Park, IL)
  • Mohican 50 Mile Trail Race (Ohio)
  • Spartan Super Race (Chicago)
  • Fort 2 Base 10 Nautical Miler (Fort Sheridan, IL)
  • 9/11 Heroes Run in full firefighter gear (Chicago)
  • Golden Leaf Half Marathon (Colorado)
  • Hot Chocolate 15K (Chicago)

Thanks to these people and many more for a great 2017 and I hope to see more in 2018!

 

 

 

New Years Eve 5K

“Disclaimer: I’m promoting the New Years Eve 5K as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Are you looking for a fun short 5K race before you begin your New Years Eve festivities? Chicago Sport & Social Club is hosting this year’s 5K and it will start and end at the Theater on the Lake. The scenic 5K loop runs along Lincoln Park and the Lakefront. All runners will receive a custom winter wearable and finisher toast and will be greeted with hot chocolate and warming blankets at the finish line. There’s no better way to start your day and earn your right to party into the New Year!

REGISTER HERE!

5k registration fees
$45.00 – Nov 28-Dec 23
$55.00 – Dec 24-Dec 31

Packet Pick-Up
Saturday, December 30
Fleet Feet Sports, Old Town (1620 N. Wells St.)
11am – 5 pm

and

Race Day
Race Village – Theater on the Lake
2401 N. Lakeshore Drive
7:30am – 8:30am

The New Year’s Eve 5K is proud to support Special Olympics Chicago as the charity partner.

Event Times
7:30am – gear check opens
8:30am – group stretch & warm up
8:45am – start corral opens
9:00am – 5k race begins
9:30am – post race celebration
12:00pm – celebration ends

My thoughts on not running Chicago in 2018

I’ll have to be honest that I sat around most of the day waiting to hear if I got into the 2018 Chicago Marathon.  After finishing 2017, I told everyone that I was retiring from marathons.  It’s been hard on the body, the mind, and the training was timely.  I could barely walk after the race and my knees were just fed up.  Crossing the finish line was a lot of work and the way I trained was just not right for me.  Don’t even get me started on what happened in 2016!  The support I had was immense as is common in the running community.  I needed to prove something to myself to do better than I did.  That’s primarily why I opted in to the 2018 lottery.

I woke up to many friends excited about getting in and as I watched the social media posts throughout the day, I was optimistic that I’d be toeing the line with them.  Then around 2:30pm, I got this…

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At first, I felt like I got punched in the stomach and talked to a few friends and then immediately posted my disappointment on social media.  Taking a step back, I looked at the big picture .  I never thought I’d attempt to be a runner, let alone a marathon and was fortunate enough to run the Chicago Marathon twice.  I made some incredible running friends and felt like I was taking away their joy of getting in.  Reality and what is important should be my main focus.

So, where am I going with all of this?  2018 will be my year of taking my training seriously.  My goals:

  • Hire a running coach
  • PR my 5K
  • PR my half marathon
  • Run a 50 miler trail race
  • Travel a little more to destination races
  • Meet more running friends
  • Volunteer and/or support my friends at next years marathon

 

 

Another year as a BibRave Pro!

2018 will be my third year as a BibRave Pro and I’m lucky to be part of such a great family.  I probably still run today thanks to this group of supportive runners.  Aside from the online support, I’ve been fortunate to meet and call many of them my friends.  I hope that 2018 brings me closer to meeting many more in person.

So for those that don’t know what a BibRave Pro is, I’ll lay it out for you!  Simply put, it’s a great motivated group of runners and athletes that are active on social media and love everything about running, races, and gear.  We wear the orange, we run the races, we promote the events, we try out the gear.  BibRave Pros are privileged to have their race entries covered for promoting everything about the race, from the registration to the expos, to the finish parties!  Then, there’s the gear and equipment!  I’ve been lucky to test out some of the best gear out there like AfterShokz, Orange Mud, Under Armour, Garmin, BOCO Gear, Knuckle Lights, and tons more.  See my pics below for some more goodies that I’ve tested out.

Some of the gear I’ve tested!

Some of the races!

Join us on every Tuesday evening at 8pm CST for #BibChat on Twitter.  We discuss all of the intricacies of running and host some great companies with prizes each week!

 

Yiannis Christodoulou

GB Aquathlon team captain, 2018 National Gold Medalist (Age Group) 2017 National Silver Medalist (Age Group) 2016 National and European Bronze Medalist (Age Group) 2016 National and European Bronze Medalist Representing Great Britain in the 2017 European and World Aquathlon Championships (Age Group)

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