This is my life. Sometimes shown through the eye of my camera phone, and sometimes not. I'll talk running, gadgets, music, and whatever else I stumble on to

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My race filled weekend

North Shore Half Marathon 6-14-09

A photo taken after finishing the North Shore Half Marathon on 6/14/09. My finish time was a personal best in the half at 01:56:18! I was super, super excited. I think this was my best run ever. The shin problems I complained about a while back did not show themselves this time around. I think doing a 5K the day before really helped me relax (more on the 5K later).

The race was held in beautiful Highland Park, IL. I'd heard of this race before, but this is my first time running it. It was very well organized, and went off without a hitch. The course was disgustingly beautiful and very scenic despite all of the rolling hills. I'd strongly suggest doing some hill work before hitting this race, as a big part of the middle of the course is quite hilly, culminating in a rather steep one near the 9 mile mark.

Somewhere around my winter training, something happened to my running pace. I've managed to find a 'sweet spot' that has me running very close to 8:30 per-minute miles on a consistent basis these days instead of the usual 9:30's I was running. It might have something to do with running with pace groups during my winter training. The 'sweet spot' is hard to explain, though. It's a pace that I feel comfortable running, as fast as it is for me. I think my strides are bigger, and my breathing is now 3x3 (three breaths in/out) instead of 2. This makes a difference in keeping up my endurance, I think.

I wanted to send out a congrats to my sister for running the 5K portion of the race- her first since "retiring" a couple of years ago. She was my inspiration for starting to run again, after watching her finish her first half-marathon in 2006. Congrats sis!

On Saturday, I ran the always-fun Skirtchaser 5K in Bloomingdale, IL. as a warm up to Sunday. It's a pretty fun race series, and you can see the story behind it here. The majority of the course went through a grassy, muddy golf course, which was disappointing. I ended up slowing WAY down to keep from turning my ankle on the terrible, rocky path. I'm just not used to running on grass, which is what most of the course consisted of. Needless to say, my finish time was terrible, but it helped me tremendously on Sunday, so I'm happy.

Now, I'll take the rest of the week off before I start my Chicago Marathon training on June 22. I can't wait to start training on the Chicago lakefront path again. It's always nice to be around so many runners in that great city.

So now, I rest. It's going to be an exciting summer. My pace chart for North Shore is below for those that are interested :)

North Shore Half Marathon pace chart 6-14-09

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