Monthly archives: October, 2012

Thriller in Schiller Race Recap

As I’ve mentioned about 93,082,048 times, last Sunday, Kelsey, Emily, Katie, Alyssa, and I had a blast running the Thriller in Schiller 5k.

The Thriller in Schiller is a trail run located in Schiller Woods Forest Preserve about 30 minutes outside of the city. Kelsey offered to drive us so I’m not sure if the preserve is accessible via public transit but it most likely is– it seems that it’s possible to get almost anywhere in Chicagoland with little hassle.

The race was super easy to find thanks to some signage (our directions just said “turn right” and didn’t provide a street name) and race day packet pickup went swimmingly. Speaking of packets, each of us received a bib, a tech t-shirt, a pint glass, and a few coupons to local sporting stores and RoadID. What an awesome amount of stuff for only $25!

It was bit chilly so we hung out in the car until a few minutes before the race when Kelsey, Emily, and I finally put on our costumes: CONEHEADS! [remember that costume making party?]

Group shot with Katie as a runaway bride and Alyssa as a ref.

It seemed that almost half of the field dressed in costume which I thought was great. There were some really cool costumes too like pacman, the characters from Wizard of Oz etc. The costumes made the race feel really run and laid back. This would be an awesome race for a newbie runner in general.

Before we knew it, the race was about to start. It wasn’t tip chimed (FYI) but the pool was small enough that we were able to position ourselves at a comfortable place in the pack. None of us were running this for time– more than half of us were injured and I’d run 18 miles the day before– we just wanted to have fun!

The first part of the race took us through the woods on a leaf covered trail. The trees were marked but it would have been nearly impossible to get lost because for the most part everyone ran together. There were also a few obstacles like trees across the path that we had to climb over or duck under. It definitely kept things interesting with cones :).

We looped around for a bit (do I even need to tell you how beautiful running in the woods was?) and then came to a big obstacle, a small river crossing! There was a big tree sprawled across the river but you had to be careful not to slip or you would step in muddy and cold water. We all managed to get across and stay pretty dry but then I turned around and took this picture of Kelsey. Can we talk about how no one behind her is in costume?

The course kept twisting and turning through the woods and then we emerged and crossed over a small road onto a wider path where we ran an out and back to the finish line. Katie and Emily were both dealing with their injuries at this point but the rest of us had fun high five-ing the people running the other direction.

About 37 minutes later, we neared the finish line.

Woohoo we did it! We were greeted at the finish line with our pint glass, our times (announced), and water, bananas, and candy. There was also beer and hotdogs for sale. How fun! We hung around long enough to find out that none of us had won the costume contest *sniff* and then freezing we headed back to the city with big grins on our faces, we’d had so much fun!

The Thriller in Schiller 5k is a trail run that literally took us over a river and through the woods. It was challenging but friendly enough for newbie trail runners like most of us. More importantly we all had fun and most of us will be returning on December 1st to run the Schiller Chiller (5k and 10k available).

I want to thank Art for organizing and putting on the event and for offering me a free race entry. I had a blast and can’t wait to run his next race!

Note: All pictures above are mine or were taken by race photographers and posted on facebook for anyone to use.

Have you ever run a trail run? Are you running the Schiller Chiller?




Marathon Training Week 12 {Goofy Challenge}

This was a really fun training week!

Monday – Off
Tuesday – Lactate threshold 10 miles w/ 5 miles at 15k pace (7:15-7:20 min/mile) (avg 7:36 min/mile)
Wednesday – Recovery 4 miler (avg 8:31 min/mile)
Thursday – General aerobic 11 miler (avg 7:57 min/mile)
Friday – General aerobic 7 miler w/ 8 x 100 m strides (avg 8:11 min/mile)
Saturday – 18 miler long run (avg 7:51 min/mile)
Sunday – Thriller in Schiller 5k (avg slow!)

Total Miles= 53.1

I switched things up so that my long run would fall on Saturday and I could enjoy the Thriller in Schiller. I was nervous about loading up on the miles later in the week but it went alright. During my long run I tried a mocha clif gel with caffeine and really liked it, you can definitely see the difference in my splits below (I took 1/4 of the gel at 10, 12, 14, & 16) and just look at mile 17! I probably ran a little conservatively but that’s just fine. I also recovered with a water bottle of strawberry lemonade nuun.

The Thriller in Schiller was so much fun that it deserves it’s own post! Keep your eyes peeled, my guess is it’ll be up Tuesday!

Have a wonderful Sunday!




Three for Friday {10-26-2012}

1. As nice as the random burst of hot weather was, I have to say I’m glad that it’s cooled off. See our apartment building turned off the air conditioning on October 1st and as we’re one of the top units on our side of the building it tends to be warm in our apartment during the winter (heat rises yo!). The return of hot weather has made our apartment more than a little uncomfortable and unfortunately we can’t open the windows because a certain furball likes heights/danger and we don’t have screens.

2. Runs this week are going well. After my tempo 10 miler on Tuesday, I ran 4 miles recovery-style on Wednesday and then yesterday I ran a general aerobic 11 miler and ran into Emily! [I love running into people I know on the lake path, it definitely makes me feel less crazy for being up and running at 5:30 am!] Today I ran a general aerobic 7 miler with 8 x 100 m strides, tomorrow will be my long run (18!), and then Sunday is the Thriller in Schiller. What a fun week of running.

3. I can’t wait until it’s officially the weekend! Not only has this week been BUSY but my weekend looks so fun! Ian and I are going out to dinner tonight, tomorrow I have my long run + book club, and then on Sunday I’m running the Thriller in Schiller with a bunch of my friends. Can it please just be 5 o’clock already??

What do you have planned this weekend?




WIAW {10-24-2012}

It’s time for another What I Ate Wednesday and today I’m going to show you my eats from yesterday (Tuesday). For more information and/or to link up, check out Jenn’s blog Peas and Crayons!
Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

Let’s get to it!

{5:10 am} Pre-run Snack

Before heading out for my 10 mile run, I had a medjool date stuffed with mocha peanut butter and sprinkled with salt and a little almond milk (unpictured). I’ve started salting my nut butters before longer runs to counteract the fact that I’m a salty sweater and don’t drink sports drinks while I’m running. I also accidentally bought a jar of unsalted almond butter and in adding salt to make it palatable realized I like my nut butters salty. No shame.

{7:15 am} Breakfast

It’s been really warm and humid in Chicago so after my run all I wanted was something cold, no oats, waffles, or breakfast bakes for me! I ended up making a recovery smoothie with 1 frozen banana, 1 cup frozen berry blend (TJs), 1/2 scoop Life’s Basics Plant Protein, and maybe 3/4-1 cup almond milk. I also had a rice cake with Naturally Nutty Pepita butter and raisins for crunch. This was a perfect post-run breakfast :).

{11:45 am} Lunch

I really tried to make it to noon to eat lunch but my stomach started growling loudly in my cube around 11 and eventually I gave in and dug into lunch early. I had leftover quinoa taco salad with veganaise and hot sauce and I have to say I think it was better the second time around!

I also had some huge grapes.

{3:30 pm} Snack

Yesterday was a hungry day and by 3:15 I was starting to feel like I needed something to eat. Knowing that I needed to run some errands after work, I snacked on a pear around 3:30.

{7:00 pm} Dinner

Dinner last night was super easy and really tasty. First, I made this roasted brussels sprouts and apples side dish and then I heated up the last of the TJs sweet potato bisque soup. The brussels sprouts were awesome (even Ian had some!) but the soup was just okay, I had to doctor it a bit with spices/hot sauce and I’m not sure I’d buy it again.

It’s hard to take a pretty picture of soup.

After dinner I spent a good chunk of time looking at and eventually booking our hotel for the Goofy Challenge (woohoo). We managed to get a pretty good deal and planning the trip made me realize that it’s actually happening. I’m so excited!

{9:00 pm} Dessert/Snack

I wanted a little something more than just a piece of chocolate or fruit so I attempted to make muesli by mixing oats, sunflower seeds, walnuts, banana slices, chocolate covered walnuts, dried cranberries, cinnamon, and almond milk in a little dish. It wasn’t quite muesli but it was pretty tasty.

After dinner, Ian and I both filled out our absentee ballots and relaxed for a bit before heading to bed. Being productive in the evenings after work is exhausting :P.

Do you normally have a snack after dinner? What do you like to have? 




{Goofy Challenge} Mesocycle 2

Today marks the start of the second mesocycle of my training for the Goofy Challenge. I discussed the five mesocycles of Advanced Marathoning when I first mentioned I was using the plan but to refresh a bit the first mesocycle focuses on increasing mileage to improve pure endurance, the second on improving lactate threshold, the third on race prep, the fourth on taper and the marathon, and the last on recovery.

The second mesocycle, lactate threshold + endurance, is five weeks long and includes one recovery week of 47 miles. The rest of the weeks vary between 52 and 58 miles which is definitely higher than most plans I’ve previously used. One of the most noticeable differences between the first mesocycle and the second is the increase in lactate threshold runs (tempo run sandwiched between 2-3 miles) and strides. While the first mesocycle only had one speed workout a week, mesocycle two includes two: one lactate threshold and one workout with strides. Similarly, this mesocyle features the first set of VO2 max intervals (600 m – 1,600 m at 5k pace). It should be exciting!

This morning I kicked off the second mesocycle with a 10 mile lactate threshold run with 5 miles at 15k to half marathon pace. It was oddly warm and humid out and I wore shorts and a short sleeved shirt. Isn’t it almost November? My run went well and I finished in 1:16:07 for a 7:35 min/mile pace. For the first time in awhile I was happy with my tempo miles (7:25, 7:21, 7:10, 7:15, 7:16), I felt good pushing the pace, and my legs didn’t feel like lead the last two miles (7:30, 7:50).

What training plans have you tried? How do you relax after a busy weekend?