Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bastille Day 5k & 8K Chicago Giveaway

There's something about twilight races and running on the lakefront as the sun is setting that makes my heart skip a beat. The city's beauty looks amplified and things just seem a bit more peaceful.

Evening races are hard to come by, but a staple in my racing schedule for the past few years has been the Bastille Day 5k in Lincoln Park. It's one of those token Chicago races for me that has a pretty neat post race party, a "merveilleux" block party. 

There were the worlds tiniest cupcakes at the finish line of the 2011 race, when I broke 20 minutes for the first time.

And the 2012 race holds a special place in my heart as the first race I've ever won and stands as my current 5k PR.

The Bastille Day 5k & 8k will be held on Thursday July 11th in the evening. The race starts and finished in Lincoln Park right in front of the Peggy Norbert Nature Museum where the course weaves through the lakefront path.

Excited to offer one Chicago Runner Girl reader the opportunity to win a free entry to either the 5 or 8k race. 

To enter leave a comment below telling me your favorite summertime dessert.

For an extra entry you can tweet
"I want to win a free entry to the #BastilleDay 5 or 8k from @ChiRunnerGrl #runCHI"

****Giveaway is open to all entrants, however for anonymous comments to count a name needs to be included somewhere in comment****

Contest will run until 12 pm CST on 6/4 where a winner will be chosen shortly after

Monday, May 20, 2013

Twilight Tempos

"Discontent is the first necessity of progress."
Thomas A. Edison 
I used to love tempos.

The satisfaction that came from the building sensation of lactic in the legs.
The steady deep breath that would power my engines.
The intense internal focus which whisks me in my own little world.

Then last year happened, and I pretty much have had to stay clear of any and all work even remotely resembling tempos. I couldn't hold the pace, and if by some miracle it happened the workout would knock me out for a few days. Really thinking back, this was probably my last good run with a tempo...back in late August of 2011. 

That's quite awhile ago.

Not really expecting much these days from my body, but I've been feeling fairly decent lately and finally like myself again.
Energized. Focused. Relaxed. Confident.

Some workouts are a hit, and still some are a miss. The tempo has been a very challenging thing for me this past year, and honestly something that I've been lacking the urge to tackle. It can be easy to talk yourself out of the things that you fear, and my mind has been on a non-stop reel of "don't do this or that" for several months now. And the tempo was at the top of that list.

Last night I slayed those fears.

Laced up my well worn in Brooks Ravenna 3's that have 700+ miles in them but are still holding strong,
strapped on my ornery Garmin,
and headed for shaded paths in the humid air.

It's not much, just 4 measly miles, but they felt terrific.
Peppy. Propitious. Prolific.

Felt challenging, but laborious the right way instead of the "oh.em.gee if I go one more minute at this pace I'm going to be severely hurtin' tomorrow because I feel completely out of control" kinda way.

I'll take progress in any form these days.
And this, this is progress.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

PR's: how long are they good?

I've been mulling over some PR thoughts lately.

How long can one consider them current?
Can they have birthdays?
What's the expiration date and when do they transition into lifetime-bests?

In the past year, I've ran 4 half marathons...most of which haven't been anywhere close to my current PR of 1:27:53. That was ran in September of 2011. 

Since then I've had quite a few challenges, some self-destructive races and training regimes, and two 13.1 races where I just barely squeaked in under 1:30.

2012 half marathon madness

With the next half marathon now about 3 weeks away and my current personal best at this distance nearing it's second birthday, can't help but wonder if this PR is now just old news.

PR's, what's your take?
How long do you consider them current?

Monday, May 6, 2013

What happens to a running blog when you don't blog about running...

Amazingly, life still goes on and runs still happen.

The blog just kind of sits there. Getting stale as cobwebs start to generate.

My last race was about a month ago, and my next is coming up in about another month. This would usually be the time that I would get on here and blab all about the the workouts I've been doing, reflect on the mileage ran, and really start honing in on what the agenda for race day will be. But not this time around.

I've managed to get in some workouts here and there

There was a day with 12x400's
A few different fartleks
One really solid steady run
3x1 mile repeats with the quickest splits my life has ever seen
A 12 mile long run that felt like a death march
And one really really bad almost, but not quite, tempo run

Life is busy, things change, and running goals don't always seem to hold that constantly steady high importance for me.

It all boils down to this...
I'm a runner, but that is simply just something I do and not definitive of who I am. 

I still run.
I still do workouts when they fit into my schedule.
I still dream about PR's and that perfect marathon.
And I still love every. single. mile.

Life is just in a steady state of change these days, where running and training aren't entirely fitting into the puzzle like they used too. Maybe I'm getting old, but it just seems really silly for me to be in this constant pursuit of something better instead of absorbing the perpetual goodness that is my life. I'm enjoying the pressure free runs and the lack of focus in my fitness. There isn't the feeling as if I'm falling behind or that I need to squeeze this workout or that workout in, instead training has just become a daily retrieval. And I like it that way.

Enjoying the journey more than the outcome these days.
And keeping the window cracked so that possibility may sneak in with a strong gust of wind.