6 Drumsticks Series: Run #2

Date: Tuesday, October 23
Location: Murphy’s Bleachers
Distance: 2 miles
Time: 20ish minutes

Chicago at night!
Planetarium and the moon…

Confession…  That photo is not from Tuesday’s run.  It’s from Wednesday’s run.  But it was too pretty not to share!

I decided to keep Tuesday’s run nice and short, two recovery miles post 10k.  Again, I NEED to get brighter clothes and some knuckle lights.  It was DARK.  The lake front path as a lot of dark patches, so I need to do that soon!

The course was good, left the bar and went to the lakefront.  I ran with one of the girls in the group that I met over the summer.  Normally I don’t talk with anyone, and stay in my own zone, but I was having a seriously terrible week and it was a struggle just to get myself to go to the run, and I needed the company.  When we were heading back though, I hit a GREAT stride and I wished I would have gone for 3 miles!  It felt great to be out there and moving.

No raffle prizes this week for me!  I need new shoes!  🙂


Race Recap: Frank Lloyd Wright Races

Sunday 10/21 ~ Frank Lloyd Wright Races 10k

Time: 1:06:07 ~ 5k  10:39/mile pace.

Fall running is my FAVORITE!  Really beautiful weather for this run.  The race is organized by the Park District of Oak Park, which is where Frank Lloyd Wright designed several homes and had his design studio.  The race is a street race, and both the 5k and 10k routes take you past the Wright Home & Studio.  There are several other gorgeous homes in the neighborhood, so this is one of my favorite courses!

I was a part of a group of runners from my graduate school, and we got together for a photo before the 5k started, so it was an EARLY morning!  I had a friend running the 5k and a few others coming to watch and offer moral support, and they were nice enough to drive…  so it was a 6:30a.m. start to the day!

Frank Lloyd Wright Dominican Group
Group shot!

The 5k started, and we had some time to browse the swag.  Came away with a pretty amazing haul, it was impressive.  Then we headed to the finish line to watch the elites finish up.  (First man across the finish line clocked a 16:17 time.  WOWZERS.)  Headed to the starting line and started feeling WAY jittery.

It was a little chilly, probably around 50 degrees, but I was really trembling.  I don’t know if it was nerves, or jumbly tummy or what was going on, but I started off really not feeling well!  It was kinda scary, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to start.  But with a view like this, I was willing to at least try:

Start Line
Start Line

Once the run started, I did feel better, but it was so weird!  The course was full of views like this.  I started towards the front of the pack, and took the first mile to try and find a rhythm.  I tend to struggle with starting too fast, so I wanted to pace myself on this run.

One of the things that really kept me going, aside from the views, the great course and the cheering neighbors, was the playlist I made.  Has a great flow, times out really nicely and it kept me going!  I was in my head a lot.  Mile one… IT’S JUST ONE MILE?  Mile two…  ugh, four to go.  THEN I fell in to my zone, and started to feel really great.

I brought a gel with me, and decided to have it at the halfway point, but didn’t really need it.  I mostly had it because I was bored.  It warmed up a bit, so I was trying to be sure I stayed hydrated, and stopped at every water stop.  At mile 5 I also grabbed my phone to let my friends know I was on my way!  I noticed by the mileage clocks that my splits were between 10:30-11:00 so I was feeling pretty good about my time.

At one point, I turned a corner, and was SURE that the finish line was right there.  It wasn’t.  It wasn’t even close…  I would say that for the last half mile, I kept expecting the race to be over, so then I was back in my head…  Is it over?  Is it over?  When can I stop running?  But you can’t tell by this look…

Really, I was happy to be almost finished…

And here we are at the Finish Line:

Finish Line!

My initial goal was to finish under 1:05, but I am still very happy with my time!  Next race coming up…  TURKEY TROT!


6 Drumsticks Series: Run #1

Date: Tuesday, October 16
Location: Goose Island Wrigleyville
Distance: 3 miles
Time: 30 minutes

Another season of CARA fun runs!  Over the summer for the Summer Six, I started off pretty well by recording…  one of the runs.  Out of six.  I promise to do better.

Met up at Goose Island in Wrigleyville tonight.  At first I was concerned that I was under dressed, I just had a try-tech t and shorts, but it was perfect.  We ran Addison to the Lake, then north on the path a bit, and back to the bar. I hadn’t been on the Lake Front since the Beer and Burgers 5k, have been treadmill or river running a lot recently, so it was nice to be back out there tonight.  Also, need to look for nighttime running gear, especially knuckle lights or a headlamp.  It was DARK.  And it will only get darker.

No big raffle scores tonight, but reconnected with a few fun running friends that I met over the summer, and got to meet some new folks as well.  Once again I am so happy to be in a city with such strong support for runners.  Thanks CARA!

Planning on about 30 minutes on the treadmill tomorrow, DOR Thursday, possibly yoga on Friday, then I have a 5k walk for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (click to donate!) on Saturday, followed by the FLWRaces 10k on Sunday.  Busy busy!


Frank Lloyd Wright Races Week Three Training ~ Recap

Time to see how successful I was this week!  Pre-planning and looking at the calendar made me feel a little more in control last week.  I should learn from my own advice…

Tentative Plan/Actual Week
Monday: 3 Treadmill/2.96 Treadmill
Tuesday: 3 Outside post work/2.84 Neighborhood
Wednesday: 4 Treadmill @ Fitness center post work/5+ Mile walk
Thursday: DOR or Yoga/4.14 Treadmill
Friday: Elliptical/bike/DOR
Saturday: : 7 River run in a.m./6.84 river run
Sunday: 4 Treadmill ~ Fitness Center/3.5 Elliptical
Total miles: 21/20.3 Running & Cross training (plus 5 miles walking.)

This has been my most successful week in the past few months in terms of sticking to a plan.  And clearly, the first part of STICKING to a plan is making that plan in the first place.

A little bit of tapering going on this week, but I decided to join up with CARA for another of their Six Series!  This one is Six Drumsticks (which, incidentally means six weeks til Turkey Day).  You may recall that I also did the Summer Six series with them.  I sort of half-assed my running recaps, so my goal this time around is to log those runs and share them with you, my dear runnin’ readers!

Also, SO excited about the Frank Lloyd Wright Races this weekend!  Last year I did the 5k (Time: 36:05 Pace: 11:37) and it was one of the first runs where I was able to run the entire race without stopping.  It was a beautiful chilly fall day, running through the gorgeous Oak Park neighborhood past homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  After finishing my race, I watched all the 10k runners pass by.  I was so inspired by them, and never imagined that I could do something like that.  So…  bring it on, FLW10k.  I feel ready!


Sunday Cooking: Crockpot Chili

Chili is just…. the greatest.  I love it.  I love Cincinatti chili, I love Tex Mex chili, I love spicy Chili, tofu chili, and I love perfecting my recipe.

I apologize to who ever I am stealing borrowing this recipe from, but I can’t recall where the original came from.  But I made it enough of my own that I feel perfectly comfortable sharing it with all of you…

3 Bean Crockpot Chili
(If  you’re using chili beans and kidney beans, are they the same bean?  These questions keep me up at night…  If you say yes, than consider this TWO bean chili.)

1/2 white onion, chopped
1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with chilis
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1 can chili beans, NOT rinsed (use all that good stuff!)
1 envelope spicy chili seasoning
1/2 to 3/4 lb lean ground beef (90%-96% lean)

Brown the ground beef until cooked through.  Drain fat and add to crockpot.

Add tomatoes, onions and seasoning.  Stir.

Rinse the black beans and kidney beans and add to the pot.  Add chili beans, and up to 1 can of water if you want to thin the chili out.

Stir to combine, and cook in crockpot on low 7-9 hours.

What is it about this that tastes SO good?  I can’t answer that question.  It just DOES.  It’s hearty, it’s spicy, it just…  worked.

Thoughts: I went for the most inexpensive lean beef I could, which turned out to be about 3/4ths a pound of ground sirloin.  You can use what ever amount of beef you want, I wouldn’t go more than a pound, and know that whatever you do use can affect PP values if you are following Weight Watchers.

As for the chili seasoning, I used an envelope of spicy seasoning because I had it in the cupboard.  Same with the chili beans, they were already there.  Use what ever beans you have handy, I’m sure they will be fine!

Finally, serving sizes.  This ended up making roughly 9 cups.  Again, this depends on whether or not you add water, and how much water.  I said mine was 9 servings, and that averaged out to 4PPs per serving.

Happy (Slow) Cooking!



Frank Lloyd Wright Races Week Three Training

A little different, I am pre-pre-planning this week.  Last week, I got a few runs in, but it was not a very structured week.  I figured out that I don’t do well when I don’t get my exercise in, started to get really anxious and antsy by Saturday evening, after a Thursday/Friday DOR combo.  3 days off is far too many.

This week, I have taken a closer look at what I have going on, and I feel like this schedule is manageable.  Speaking of manageable, I am starting to doubt whether I will be able to finish in under 1:05:00, but I am going to try!  What I really want is to finish happy, healthy and strong.

Training calendar Week Three (10.8-10.14):
Monday: DOR
Tuesday: 2 miles
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: 4.5 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 6.5 miles
Sunday: 4.5 miles
Total miles: 20.5

Tentative Plan
Monday: 3 Treadmill
Tuesday: 3 Outside post work
Wednesday: 4 Treadmill @ Fitness center post work
Thursday: DOR/Yoga
Friday: Elliptical/bike
Saturday: : 7 River run in a.m.
Sunday: 4 Treadmill ~ Fitness Center
Total miles: 21