Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Rave Run 5k, Chicago 2013

Last night was the Rave Run here in Chicago!  It's 3.1 miles of light shows, lasers, DJs blasting music, smoke, and 4000 of your favorite runners in glow gear and black light reactive accents! 

Kevin and I had a little bit of stress in the logistics phase of our planning.  The race was at Millenium Park, so we weren't sure where we were going to park, or where the race start was located.  There was not a course map on the day of the race, so it was tough to see where the start/finish was or what the course would be.  Once we decided to drive and park at Millenium Park Garages, I got dressed and we headed out the door!

Getting out of the garage was insane.  Every time we opened a door that said "Exit", it lead to more parking!  There was no exit!!  AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!

We finally got out of the garage and had just 10 minutes to find the start line.  ARGH!  There were quite a few other late runners, so we followed the glowing horde to the start line.  Once we got to the race site it was a little bit chaotic, but we had a few minutes to spare. 

They let people go in large groups about 2 minutes apart, and that was very helpful so the course wasn't too over-populated.  By far the most boring part of the race was the first mile.  There were hardly any lights and there were no speakers or DJs on this part of the course. 

After the first mile we went through the LED tunnel and ended up on the lakefront trail.  This was by far the best part of the race.  There were more speakers, lots of lights and glowy tube things and djs and it was awesome.

The race itself was pretty well organized.  It was not a timed event, but I was surprised that they didn't have mile markers.  Also, there wasn't anybody at the finish line keeping people from milling around on the trail after the finish.  There were tons of people just standing there and it really slowed down the finishers.  MOVE!

As I came in for the last .25 mile there was this great huge downhill bit before the LED tunnell, and from here I SPRINTED  to the finish.  I ran so fast through the finish that Kevin didn't even see me cross the line!

I came in with a 32:38 5k time.  This is a 4 minute improvement over the last race!!  5k PR!!  Woo Hoo!

I had a great time at this event, and would definitely reccommend it to those who 5k for fun.  If you are a serious runner, you might find this race frustrating.  There were a lot of slow runners and walkers on the course which made it hard to navagate at times.  For perspective:  I am not a fast runner (usually I run right around an 11 to 12 minute mile in training), but I was passing large groups of people for almost the entire course.  There were not corrals for different speeds.  It was just a "fun run".  Had a great time!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Bark in the Park is one week away!!

Chicago's Anti-Cruelty Society is having their annual 5k in just one week on May 4th!!!  Me and oxford will be there walking and having fun at Chicago's biggest dog party!!  Oxford has been training for his big 5k since January, and he is ready.  He actually ran 5 miles with me on Tuesday, so he is ready for the 5k!

There are other fun events at the Bark in the Park!  There a pet psychic, nail clipping spa, and many chicago pet vendors will be there.  It should be fun!!

If you want to do it too, here's the link:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


At long last... Here is February's quilt!

I got this Batik jelly roll from the final clearance at Hancock Fabrics.  When I got to the checkout, it rang up as $.01!!  So, this quilt top cost me a penny.

I went with an easy rail fence pattern, and eventhough it's a little bit busy, I really like the texture.  It's a little bit brighter than it looks in the pics, but I like how it turned out.  Perfect size for a throw, or for a baby quilt.

Quilt three is in process.  I'm making it using the 1907 vintage treadle machine, so it'll take a little bit of extra time.  I'm doing a Prairie Braid for it, and am using a beautiful jelly roll from the jelly roll of the month club called "Field Notes".  Here's what it looks like so far:

Constructing this quilt is such a fun process.  And it's so relaxing.  I will literally turn off all the appliances, and pedal away and sew.  

I'm also doing leaders and enders with this quilt, and working my way through the scrappy HSTs that I've been using as leaders and enders for the last 6 mo or so.  I might just finish that stack before the end of this quilt!!

The leader and ender method is almost necessary for the vintage machine.  It makes certain that my needle stays threaded, which is very very helpful... it's not the easiest thing to thread that I've ever encountered... :)

So, that's the quilt update!  I know we'll get the 12 jelly roll quilts done this year, no problem.  Especially after the half marathon!! :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Maintaining the 10k (Week 15)

I graduated the Couch to 10k Program!!  Wow.

Monday of last week was the big 6.2 mile run.  Obviously, this isn't my 10k race (that doesn't happen until May 26th), but since it's what the training schedule said to do, that is what I attempted.


I decided to jog down Clark for a bit of a change of pace, and then head back up Broadway.  Well... a version of that happened.

I knew that my phone wouldn't stay charged if I played music for the whole run, so I decided to save it until I was on my way back.  I really got "in the zone" and ignored street signs... and when I looked up I was at IRVING PARK ROAD.  I had gone 3.7 miles from home.  I turned down Irving Park, took Sheridan, then Broadway north... and then the pouring rain started.

I was freezing and wet and I looked down at my watch and my GPS had lost signal.  The signal stayed lost for a full mile.  At one point I thought about stopping running, but I figured the fastest way to get home was to just keep running.

Even with losing the GPS signal, I ran 6.2 miles.  I did it in 1:20:00, so that's my goal to beat at the 10k in May.

Here's the map (if you play it back, you can tell where I lost my GPS signal... it's where I leapt a mile in less than a second...)

For run number 2 on Thursday, I decided to do 3 miles fast.  I covered a 5k in 31:58.  This is a huge huge improvement from my previous best 5k time of 36:40.  We'll see if I can do it in under 31:00 for the Rave Run... (or I could just try to have fun and not worry about my pace... haven't decided... :)  )  I sprinted the last quarter mile.  It was invigorating, but difficult.

Here's the map:

Unfortunately on Friday I was going to do an easy 2 miles and it did not go well.  It was difficult, and I was SLOW.  12:00 to 13:00 miles, and exhausted.  I couldn't make my feet move.  Must find the through-line for these difficult runs.... Stretching, hydration, too much chocolate?

Now, I just need to maintain my 6.2 miles for the 10k in May.

In other fun news, I have a fun run 5k on Saturday.  The Rave Run is at night, in the dark, with light shows, music, and glow gear.  Can't wait.  It should be fun to run this one.

As a retrospective, I have to say that following the Couch to 10k program (I used the one from ZenLabs) was easy and fun and I never felt like I was injuring myself, but it was just hard enough.  I can't believe how far I can go now, and I am super impressed with the program and very happy with my results.

It is amazing to me that on January 1 I started on this journey and I had trouble running a mile straight, and this week I ran seven miles without stopping.  Once we finish the 10k, I'm going to start the half marathon training program that will carry me the last 13 weeks to the half marathon on August 10th.  The goal seems achievable, and I'm having a great time on the road to 13.1.

Monday, April 15, 2013


So, it is official.

The Zombie Shuffle 5k has been cancelled.  I am sad that I won't be dressing like a zombie killer and running 3 miles, but it might be for the best...  The race was one week before the big 10k in Arlington Heights, so I was worried about recovery days while preparing for a race... That is no longer an issue!  :)

So, the great folks over at Special Events Management have given me a great option...

They are allowing folks to transfer their registration from the Zombie Shuffle over to the Crypt 5k at Rosehill Cemetery in the Fall!!  This is a nighttime 5k in a graveyard in September!  I am very excited!

Event Website:

This will also be a race to look forward to after the big half marathon!  Very excited!

But what do I do now?  I wanted another 5k to help me get geared up...

Here's the solution!  I'm running the Chicago Rave Run.  This is another nighttime event with a light show, music, and glow-y gear!!!

Event Website:

So, yet another excuse to put on a tutu and run 3 miles!!  What a great day!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dropping the Ball- Week 12, 13, and 14 RECAP

It's been a little bit crazy around here.  The rental season is picking up, and I've been putting in extra hours at work, and training has become a little bit tougher.  Last Monday I worked an 11.5 hour shift and the last thing I wanted to do was hit the trail and run, but I knew that once I got out there I'd feel great... and I did.

Running the distance has gotten easier in the last three weeks.  I've made a few modifications...

I'm trying to eat lots of veggies and fruits.  I'm focusing on nutrition when I can, and just adding veggies to everything.  I really feel a lot better, and I think it's helped the running.  I would get to a point where I would run out of fuel on long runs, and that hasn't been happening as much.

I actually had my greatest run ever (and a distance PR) on Wednesday.  I ran 5.75 miles and felt amazing at the end of it.  Here it is:

I am working on choreographing "9 to 5" at the moment, and on the above run I was listening to the soundtrack and working it through the moves as I ran.  I think that kind of right brain engagement made the running easier.  I must employ this technique in future.

So in the middle of Week 13 I started having some hip pain.  I couldn't tell if it was muscle fatigue, or if it was an actual injury.  I took it easy and did a very easy paced recovery run.  It helped to take a break, but the pain was still there.  I did some research, and tried some new stretches.  This REALLY worked.  I also stopped trying to modify my form so much.  It is a little bit frustrating that I'm not getting faster and that I know I've got some issues with my running form, but it seems like trying to modify it makes me hurt.  I think I need coaching if I'm going to try to modify my form.

The amazing thing to me is that we are four months into this endeavor, and I am running for an hour straight.  Also, I'm halfway through my training for my first half marathon, and I really feel likes it's possible.