#fcm week 11 and Dopey week 1.

Last week felt a little like a step-back week because all of a sudden, I am not biking and swimming for training anymore :(  It feels weird to just be running again…

Monday: Rest, because.

Tuesday: 3 mile easy(ish) run in the morning.  I didn’t push my pace but it still felt more challenging than 11 minute miles should feel at this point.  Weights DVD in the evening.

Wednesday: DARK mornings now.  The sun didn’t even start to appear until close to 6am!  So sad.  I decided to try a little speedwork session but the internet was not working before I left so I just modified a workout I already had on my watch and ended up realizing it was not really that great of one.  I did five miles total with two of those miles at an intended 8:30 pace.  I ended up running two miles fast and three miles slow which is kind of dumb.  But oh well, I still finished it without too many problems which proves I can run fast.  Sometimes.  For short distances.

Thursday: 30 minute weight DVD in the evening.

Friday: 3 miles in the DARK! Gosh, absolutely no sunlight this morning.  At least it made me run faster?!  I averaged 9:35 for these miles even though I was supposed to keep it easy because of the half the next day.

Also took a two-mile walk because it was someone’s 15th Birthday!!!

Is it my birthday?

Is it my birthday?

Saturday: Lake Country Half Marathon!

Sunday: I didn’t really want to work out this morning but I managed to drag myself to the gym for a little swimming and a little running.  40 minutes of swimming and a three mile run through Germany? Hehe.  The treadmills at the gym have this cool feature where you can run certain routes and it simulates the inclines and scenery, it definitely made three miles on the mill pass just a little bit faster.

Totals for the week:

Running 27.1 miles

Weights x2

Race Recap: Lake Country Half Marathon 2014

I kind of forgot I was running this race… I mean I knew I was doing it but the end of August totally snuck up on me and all month I have been focusing on other races (I have a problem, I know) so this one was not top on my mind.  I was so not even thinking about it that I forgot to wash my workout clothes so my favorite long-run stuff was clean for it oops!  I found something that would work in my dresser and tried to remember everything else I needed to pack the morning of the race.  Normally I am a little more organized and have my stuff assembled a day or two in advance but this race was not one I was prepared for at all.  I left a little later than I planned because I realized I had no idea where I was going at 5:30 in the morning and had to try to find some directions that would get me where I wanted to go!  The drive there was about 45 minutes but uneventful.  I realized it was a little ways past where I used to go for acupuncture so the first 35 minutes of it, I knew I was headed the right way!  As I was getting closer to Oconomowoc, I kind of thought I was lost for awhile but I was following a bunch of runner cars so I figured I was actually on the right track after all!

The pre-race bit is held at Crosspoint Community Church in Oconomowoc which was very nice!  Parking right by the start/finish line, real bathrooms, food and stuff in the fellowship hall before we started, this race was really excellent!  I got to the church around 6:25 and got my packet picked up in like 5 seconds (good thing I didn’t try to drive out there for packet pickup the day before, it’s a long drive!) and then waited through the bathroom line (WHY is the women’s bathroom line always 5,000 people longer than the men’s?).  I dropped my stuff off in my car and then waited through the line again and by that point, it was about 6:55 so I figured it was time to line up!

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A few minutes after 7, someone sang the National Anthem and then we were off!  Since I didn’t really think about this race much, I also did not plan any huge goals in my head for it.  I mean, I know someday I want to run under 2 hours but I figured 100% humidity and 75 degrees was probably not going to be that day.  The weather was also iffy on if it was going to rain/storm or what so I didn’t have much hope this was going to be a good race.  So my first three miles were kind of all over the place.

Did I want to run fast? (not happening), did I want to be really lazy and run slow? (Not particularly)… finally around mile three I decided 9:35 minute pace was what I was going to shoot for.  Don’t ask me why but that just seemed like a good number.  So I tried to keep that pace for as many miles as possible.

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The course was so pretty and ran around Lac La Belle and through Oconomowoc and some neighborhoods.

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The first five or so miles were on a semi-private road around the lake and a golf course (side note: I kept thinking how awesome it would be to live on a lake and be able to practice lake swimming all the days!!!).

I WOULD DO ALL THE SWIMMING!

I WOULD DO ALL THE SWIMMING!

Around mile six we moved out on to the sidewalk and ran along a busier road in Oconomowoc so that was a little more annoying because then you had to try to pass people on a one lane sidewalk.  But I guess that was a good problem to have because it meant I was actually passing people after mile six!

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All the miles after six at a half-marathon really start to blur together for me except for that I know I hate miles eight and nine always.  But this race ended up not being terrible and both those miles passed without any death-march feelings setting in.  I tried to really concentrate on not letting my brain go to a negative place and I think that really helped.  Some minutes of running felt fine and some felt really bad but I tried to just stay calm and not get all freaked out about anything.  I also fueled with a Clif shot block at mile 2, 7, 8, 9, 12 and 12.5 and took a Gu at miles 5 and 10.  I felt like I was sweating a ton so the salt in the margarita Clif shot blocks really seemed to help my side cramp go away when it would start acting up.

Yeah, the lake again!

Yeah, the lake again!

Miles 10, 11 and 12 started to be REALLY painful and felt really long.  Somewhere around mile 10 I realized it was possible to get a PR if I picked up the pace… but that just did not happen.  Mile 10 and 11 I tried but then Mile 12 just felt horrible.  The sun was really beating down and the hills were really rolling at this point and I just wanted to walk SO bad and I just could not make my legs move any faster.  I also kept saying to myself “Almost there, almost there, almost there” because I was really SO CLOSE at that point but it just felt like the mile was endless.  I finally turned the corner to go back into the church parking lot and I was so freaking happy to be done!

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I was incredibly thirsty, my legs hurt and it was hot.  So I just grabbed water, say down and tried to get feeling like I was alive again.  It took me about 10 minutes or so before I was functional enough to look up my time and whomp, whomp, whomp, missed a PR by 75 seconds!  Grrr.  But I don’t feel too bad about that because it still means I finished my fastest half-marathon since October 2011!  And that’s something to be happy about!  My net finish time was 2:05:07 and considering the heat and the couple of hills, I think that’s a pretty respectable time for not having a specific plan.  And also, my average pace ended up being 9:34 so I guess picking that number at mile three ended up working out for me!

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My garmin was also finally spot on for the miles at this race… up until mile six.  And then they started being off again but still being under so I know it was not because of me weaving all over but I wonder if it might have been the course that was off?  I can’t tell because in the end my garmin ended up spot on again… and mile 12 felt like it lasted 4 hours. So I really can’t tell what is going on with my watch.

I sat around for awhile and got some fruit and more water, stretched and tried to find a nice place to take a picture of my medal :)

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All in all, this race was really well organized and really great!  I hope to be able to do the Green Bay Triathlon put on by the same company next year!  They really get around with races in the Fox Cities area, Madison area and Milwaukee area.  I will have to keep an eye on their future events because I really enjoyed this one!  Well done, DuTriRun, well done!

Gearing up for going Dopey.

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48.6 miles in 4 days. WTF was I thinking when I signed up for this?  I keep asking myself this but I guess it’s too late to go back now without  losing out on a ton of money so I need to just do what I can to make this a fun experience instead of a painful one!

But regardless of what was going through my head when I signed up for this beast, we are now less than 20 weeks until race day so it’s time to start training.  I guess technically I have been training all summer anyways with the goal of getting to a place where the Dopey training plan is not such a shock to my body but the official training starts this week.  I’ve gone back and forth and back and forth on what training plan to use and how to structure things but I think I finally decided on following Hal Higdon’s plan as closely as possible.  I did have to make a slight adjustment in early weeks to account for a half marathon I am doing but other than that, I plan to follow it pretty closely.

WEEK MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
8/25/2014 Swim 3 m run + Weights 5 m pace 3 m run + Weights Rest Lake Country Half Marathon 3 m run 27.1
9/1/2014 Swim 3 m run + Weights 5 m run 3 m run + Weights Rest 7 m run Bike 18
9/8/2014 Swim 3 m run + Weights 5 m run 3 m run + Weights Rest Al’s 5 m Run for the Kids Bike 16
9/15/2014 Swim 3 m run + Weights 5 m pace 4 m run + Weights Rest 4 m run Fox Cities Half Marathon 29.1
9/22/2014 Swim Rest Bike + Swim Rest Rest 5 m run Bike 5
9/29/2014 Swim 3 m run + Weights 6 m pace 3 m run + Weights Rest 8 m run Bike 20
10/6/2014 Swim 3 m run + Weights 6 m run 3 m run + Weights Rest 5 m run 15 m run 32
10/13/2014 Swim 3 m run + Weights 6 m pace 3 m run + Weights Rest 9 m run Bike 21
10/20/2014 3 m run + Swim 7 m pace 3 m run + Weights Rest 6 m run 3 m run + Skeleton Skamper Rest 35.1
10/27/2014 Swim 4 m run + Weights 7 m run 4 m run + Weights Rest 10 m run Bike 25
11/3/2014 Swim 4 m run + Weights 7 m pace Rest 2 m run 7 m run 17 m run 37
11/10/2014 Swim 4 m run + Weights 8 m pace 4 m run + Weights Rest 11 m run Bike 27
11/17/2014 Swim 5 m run + Weights 5 m pace Rest 3 m run 8 m run 18 m run 39
11/24/2014 Swim 5 m run + Weights 8 m pace Turkey Trot + Weights Rest 12 m run Bike 30
12/1/2014 Swim 5 m run + Weights 5 m pace Rest 4 m run 9 m run 19 m run 42
12/8/2014 Swim 5 m run + Weights 8 m run 5 m run + Weights Rest 13 m run Bike 31
12/15/2014 Swim 5 m run + Weights Rest 2.5 m run 5 m run 10 m run 20 m run 42.5
12/22/2014 Swim 5 m run + Weights Rest 4 m run Rest 12 Bike 21
12/29/2014 Swim 4 m run Rest 3 m run Rest 8 Bike 15
1/5/2014 Swim 2 m run Rest 5-K 10-K Half Marathon 50.6

A few of the element of the plan that ultimately sold me on it where 1) double long runs only every OTHER weekend instead of every weekend, 2) not out of control mid-week mileage because I work and can’t run all the day long and 3) you practice the lots of days in a row run which I think will help get me to a place where this is not as scary in January.

I plan to use biking and swimming as my cross-training workouts because since starting to bike and swim, I feel like I have had overall less soreness and especially less soreness in my legs.  It seems counter-intuitive because I have not decreased my mileage at all (in fact, I’ve increased it) but it seems that biking and swimming must help even out the muscle development in your legs to result in an overall stronger runner (or so I tell myself – lol).  So I plan to keep these workouts in the rotation to hopefully not die from all the running!

I also plan to keep stretching/foam rolling/strengthening my hips because I can tell when I get lazy with those things and then I am rewarded with a bum hip flexor.  I can already tell the next four months are going to be an interesting balancing act of running and working out enough but also recovering enough and trying my hardest to avoid injury or over-training.  Fingers crossed I am successful with this!  I also am hopeful that I don’t have to spend all the month of November and December running on a treadmill because that might actually make me cry :)

20 weeks seems like such a long time but I have a feeling it’s going to pass in the blink of an eye… I am excited to get started and see what I can do in the coming months!

Also, they really need to release the rest of the medals!  I feel like they are normally out by this point… Did I just miss them?

#fcm2014 : week TEN!

We are getting to the end of this training cycle already.  It’s hard to believe how fast summer has gone but then again, that happens every year.  I do wish I felt a little more prepared/optimistic about running under 2:00 for the Appleton half but I am feeling like it’s probably going to end up right in the low 2’s instead.  I know only time will tell but I just don’t feel like I have been running fast lately.

Monday: 30 minute weight DVD that kind of pissed me off.  I bought a new DVD from Jackie Werner who has another DVD that I like but because the world is out to get me, the one person from the Body Pump DVDs that I absolutely despise just so happens to be one of her sidekicks in this DVD… HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?  And of course said person is as much of a narcissist in this DVD as she is the Body Pump DVDS.  Grrrr.  Why do they go and ruin a perfectly good workout!!??

After work I had all intentions of going to the gym because the weather was supposed to be iffy.  I wanted to get in a little bike ride but by the time work was over, I had absolutely NO interest in going to the gym.  I looked outside and the weather was crap so I was like “I should go” so I even stopped to change my clothes before leaving work… however, by the time I got to my car, my mind had changed again and I decided to just go home.  On the way home I talked myself into stopping at the gym on the way to my house but then talked myself out of that as well… Can you tell I was really excited for this workout?  I ended up just going home and because I was apparently really meant to go on this ride, the sun came out and all of a sudden was a beautiful night.  HA!  So I decided to just go on an actual bike ride and I ended up really enjoying it.  I don’t know what it is about biking but I just DREAD IT SO MUCH and then it turns out to be fun in the end.  13 miles in about 50 minutes.

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Tuesday: I woke up to storms at like 2am so I was kind of wondering if I would be forced to the gym this morning but by the time I woke up, it had stopped storming and was just dark, which is no longer allowed to be an excuse for me since that’s the way it will be for the next nine months :( I ran five miles in 10:30 average.  It’s also time for me to except that my “easy pace” is 10:30… as much as I’d like it to be 9:30, that’s just not how I roll I guess.  My body likes to run s-l-o-w.  So whatever.

Wednesday: I was up way past my bedtime on Tuesday night to go to a Brewers game so I skipped the bike portion of my planned workout today and just ran three miles.  Nothing super fast but I was able to stay below 10 min pace so that always makes me feel good!

After work I did the same weights DVD that killed me last week… DOMS expected to start in 5…4…3…2…1…

Thursday: 6 mile run in the morning that did not go great but did not go horribly.  This was my first three days in a row run in awhile so it didn’t go as bad as I was concerned it would.  Starting next week this is going to be my typical routine!  yikes!

Evening: I am still trying to find the magic time to go swim but Thursday night is officially not it.  There were kids in the lap lanes, NO, just no and other adults doing dumb stuff so grr.  Plus this swim went terribly!  It’s been over a month since I had a swim that went even a little bit poorly but this one bombed.  I wanted to drop out of the triathlon Saturday this swim was so bad…

Friday: Rest

What we do on rest days.

What we do on rest days.

Saturday: Random Lake AODA Triathlon!

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Sunday: S-l-o-w 10 mile run.  But I liked that I didn’t feel like I was going to die on it, especially since I raced hard the day before.  I am trying to get used to being slow because I know that’s going to happen (and should happen) as I start tackling back-to-back long runs.  It also was incredibly humid out so I am hopeful that I can run a tiny bit faster once the cooler air settles in round these parts!

Pretty decent week overall:

Running: 27.1 miles
Biking: 29.5 miles
Swimming: Two really pathetic times
Weights: 2x

I think this will be my last week of dedicated FCM training cause next week it turns into a hybrid Dopey/FCM training plan.  Yikes.  I excel in attempting too much.  This will also likely be the last week with multiple days of swimming and biking.  Even though it makes be a little sad, I can’t focus on all the things and for the next four months, I need to do a lot of running… but I still hope to keep swimming and biking in there occasionally as cross training!

Race Recap: Random Lake AODA Sprint Triathlon

So I guess I am officially an official triathlete now ;)  I kind of felt like a faux triathlete after doing the Cedarburg one (was that really just a month ago?) only because the swim was in the pool and that’s just so much calmer/easier/less stressful.

Backing up to the morning of the race, I woke up early but not as early as I had to for Cedarburg so that was nice.  I ate my banana, english muffin and gatorade and finished packing my stuff up and hit the road around 6:15 ish. It’s about 40-45 minute drive from my house to Random Lake and the whole time, I just kept driving into thicker and thicker fog. Now normally this would make me so depressed at the thought of a race being canceled but well… this time I was kind of hoping they would call it off!  I was absolutely, 100% terrified of the swim portion.

Fog, why did you let me down?

Fog, why did you let me down?

I got to Lake View park around 7am and got my packet and heard the good news that if the fog didn’t clear, it was going to become a Duathlon.  FINE BY ME!!!!  I got all my stuff set up, including the swim stuff and then just tried to walk around and relax some (not happening).  Of course right in the last moments before they were going to call it a Du, the fog miraculously cleared up… oh, awesome, great.  NOT!  But I guess it was either this tri or another tri where I’d first have to do a lake swim so might as well get the doggy paddle/flop around/floating/panicking Michael Phelps level swimming over with ;) Ha!

ALL THE THINGS

ALL THE THINGS

I was in wave 12 so I had to wait a few minutes for my glorious turn to swim.  Excellent.  My parents came down to watch me so I was able to hand off my car keys, phone and t-shirt to them before getting in line.  (I almost accidentally went with the relay teams but luckily realized that was not me even though they had the same color swim caps.  Confusing.)

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So many more people than my last tri

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Do I look like I am going to puke? Cause that’s kind of how I felt…

 

Oh this is not too bad... YEAHRIGHT

Oh this is not too bad… YEAHRIGHT

The initial 37 seconds of the swim was not bad at all!  I was walking, walking, walking, oh shit, time to swim now… and as soon as my heart hit the water, PANIC MODE.  I tried to do actual strokes but I could not catch my breath at all and kept panicking.  Great.  So I proceeded to do the least graceful, most ridiculous 400 yard swim I have ever done.  Some flailing, some full panicking, lots of doggy paddle and about 11 real strokes.  Excellent.  It felt like 3 hours had passed but in reality it was really only 8:24 minutes.  I have never been so happy to get out of the water and into T1.

Oh you think this is how it looked the whole time?  Nope, but my dad got my 1/2 a stroke on camera so it was real!

Oh you think this is how it looked the whole time? Nope, but my dad got my 1/2 a stroke on camera so it was real!

It was a super short walk into the transition area (which is good because I was still in full panic mode at this point) but I managed to get my socks and shoes on, my helmet, race number, sunglasses and was off.  It took me forever though… like 2 1/2 minutes, felt like 11 seconds.

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Wow, nice tall socks I got there.

I almost could not clip in but once I got my first shoe in, the second slipped right in place and I was off.  And I felt totally happy to be on my bike, which is not a common feeling for me.  But I guess compared to “swimming,” it was really relaxing – ahhhh

The hills hit pretty quickly once you are out of the downtown area but since I practiced them last week, they really did not feel bad at all.  The bike course was 16.5 miles and probably had 3-4 decent sized climbs but then lots of rolling hills as well.  I was very proud of myself on the bike course though because I managed to pass probably 20-30 (or maybe more) people while I was out there.  I was third to last out of the water so I had lots of ground to make up.  The biking portion went by really fast and then all of a sudden I was in Random Lake’s downtown again so I knew that meant the dismount line was not far away!  I finished the biking portion in 56:51 or 17.25 mph (ish) which was almost ten minutes faster than I did it last week in practice!

Another transition, but this one I got a very lovely running commentary by the announcer ;)  He was telling everyone what I was doing and it was very distracting but very hilarious!  Especially since I decided to change one shoe, then take off my helmet, then the other shoe.  He was like Oops, you forgot a shoe – hehe! T2 was 1:35.

Oh, HI, yes, please watch me and talk about me on the loud speaker :)

Oh, HI, yes, please watch me and talk about me on the loud speaker :)

The running part is always quite welcome (I say always like I’ve done this SO many times, twice, just twice), but once I get to this leg, it’s just a matter of one foot in front of the other and NO STOPPING.  Well, I can stop I guess, just not quit, stop.  The three miles went super-fast and I again was able to run them in the same pace(ish) as my 5k PR.  I guess I need to try a 5k again at some point and see if I can run any faster?!

Nice Runner Face, yet again.

Nice Runner Face, yet again.

3.1 miles in 26:40 for a total finish time of 1:35: 50 and First in my age group?! WHAT?! WHY? I am not even fast but apparently people my age do not do these triathlons that I’ve done or something.  But that’s fine cause it’s nice to win things :)

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Random Lake is a pretty lake.  Ill have to come back and practice here.

Random Lake is a pretty lake. Ill have to come back and practice here.

 

Oh another medal!  I don't have any of those ;)

Oh another medal! I don’t have any of those ;)

I thought this race was really well organized and hopefully I can come back next year and do even better.  I think I have a ton of room to improve on the swim (like actually doing it) and I do think I could get faster on the bike if I practice more.  It would be fun to come back in a year and see how I do so we shall see!  I also keep going back and forth about my triathlon goals for next year… I REALLY want to attempt a 70.3 but… I suck at swimming.  I would have time to keep working on this so erg, I don’t know.  The next step up is an Olympic but that’s still .9 miles so what’s another .3 to get to 1.2 when you are coming from like .25 miles right now.  So maybe I should just stick with sprints… No matter what I do, I am going to have to get my panic mode under control.  But I guess I’ll stick with one goal at a time and just focus on not dying from Dopey in the immediate future!

Not feeling it.

It’s 30 days until the Fox Cities Half Marathon and I had a little revelation the other day.  I don’t think the sub-two thing is going to happen in 30 days…and I am pretty sure I am OK with that.

I really did have every intention of working on getting faster but then I got super involved in triathlon training and fast running just didn’t seem like that much fun anymore.  I’ve still done most, if not all, of my planned training runs… just a minute per mile slower than I really should have been doing them.  I’ve been really struggling lately to get under 11 minute mile pace for a 5-6 mile run so I just don’t think it’s realistic to hope for 9:09 minute miles for 13.1.

I know someday I will be able to run this fast (and I do think I was running paces in the spring that would have gotten me there but then the race was hilly + hot) but I just have a bad feeling that this will not be happening in 30 days.

Another reason I decided to just let this one go (for now) is I was not liking how the beginning of my Dopey training was getting pushed back until after resting from the FCM half.  Now I have rearranged my training plan for Dopey to start NEXT WEEK!  But this lets me do a half marathon on August 30th (that I was signed up for as practice) and then do the Fox Cities half as my 14 mile weekend with an extra week or two added at the beginning to then leave me on track to follow the Hal Higdon plan I am hoping to follow.

I know this probably makes me a quitter but I just decided Dopey is more important to me than this half marathon so I don’t want to push myself too hard and then be exhausted when I need to start 15, 16, 20 mile runs in a few months. I know part of it was being unrealistic about just HOW MUCH running I need to do to train for this Dopey Challenge thing I signed up for because I am insane.

Who knows, maybe I will still end up running fast on September 21 but if not, no big loss.  Either way I know I will enjoy this half because it’s my absolute favorite half marathon and it’s always a good weekend so I will just focus on that instead.

Someday though.  Someday.

Race Recap: Land Regatta Run/Walk 4 mile

I saw signs for this race earlier this summer and thought about signing up but didn’t want to spend any more money on race registration this year.  Fast forward a few months and the tri club happened to be giving away free registrations!  Needless to say, I was all over that.  I got my start running in Port Washington so I think I will always have a soft spot for running in Port Washington, despite it’s rather hilly terrain.

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I ended up cutting it a little close on the start time because I parked way too far away and then had to walk back to get my t-shirt for the company that sponsored my registration.  I got in the lineup at oh… 8:59?!  Oops.  But I made it for the start of the race and the pre-race pep talk.  Right at 9am, we were off and I was already hot and sweaty, lol!  I didn’t have any real expectations for this race except that I wanted to run as fast as I could :)  I’d never run a four mile race so no matter what I finished in, it would be a PR :)

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Mile 1 went pretty well, despite a really large hill at the end of it!  Even with the hill, I was able to finish in 8:30 ish (side note, this was now the third race in a row where my Garmin was under… is my watch messed up or are these courses really all short?)  The views in this mile were really pretty because it was all along the Harborwalk area and then up through a park that overlooks Lake Michigan.

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Mile 2 was still going pretty well.  It started to be a lot more downhill than mile 1 and was mostly through some residential areas.  There were only about 150ish people doing this race so I was pretty well running by myself with maybe 1-2 people that were near me.

Mile 3 we turned onto the bike path that I used to run all my runs on when I lived in PW.  It’s a very pretty little path but you can’t really see the lake for quite a while.  It was around this time a guy came up behind me and told me to not stop running because I was his pacer :)  Yeah, sorry, I am not someone you should trust for keeping an even pace – ha!  But by talking to him and running with him, I was able to finish mile 3 in a faster pace than the previous 2.

Mile 4 was not pretty though.  The sun really started getting hot at this point and I had broken my own rule and not brought my handheld water bottle along so I started to get a horrible side stitch again.  Grrrr.  So I had to walk because it just hurts so damn bad!  I ended up finishing this mile about a minute slower than the previous 3 :(

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But I finished in 34:41 which was an 8:40 pace (or so the race results say, if my watch was right, this is not true)!  This pace was good enough for third place in my age group but there were no medals so that was a bummer!

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Overall, I cannot say enough good things about this race!  This was their inaugural year but it was fantastically organized, well marked, and a great course.  I hope I can come back next year to do this again!

I mean why wouldn't you want to run by views like this?!

I mean why wouldn’t you want to run by views like this?!