Chicago’s Perfect 10 Mile {Race Recap}

Saturday I had my next jump up in distance and speed since my Ironman Louisville race.  This was also the first race that was actually two months after the ironman, which is the length of time experts say it usually takes to recover from an Ironman.

The Chicago Perfect 10 race offers a 10K and also a 10 mile option, and leaves from Chicago’s Navy Pier to run along the lakefront.

Chicago's Perfect 10

This was an OK race for me.  I am trying to get my speed back, so I knew it would be somewhat hard, but a part of me was also hoping the speed would come back magically once my two months was up.  Well, that’s not quite true!  So hard work it is…

Saturday morning was a chilly morning, with the winds increasing as the morning went on.

Pro: having the race start and finish at Navy Pier meant we got to stay warm inside before and after the race.  Plus use indoor bathrooms that had NO lines.IMG_4288

I realized I didn’t really know anything about the race course except that it started at Navy Pier and headed south on the lakefront. Not the race’s fault that I didn’t plan ahead.  But it would have been nice having an idea of where our mile markers were… Especially as we headed west and over into Grant Park!  We ran by the Hot Chocolate race setup (similar race distance, but on Sunday). That was a nice little surprise, especially when I found out later that everyone didn’t know that was supposed to happen!  (But we were on course… ran a total of 10 miles).

After that, it was out and back on the lakefront path.  I wore a new top (Icebreaker stripes) with a vest, and suffered from one of the most well-known rules in racing:  Nothing new on race day.  Turns out that top is WARM! And that I probably didn’t need the vest, or should have worn a lighter long sleeve instead.

Oh well, live and learn.  Wool is warm.  And my streak of bathroom breaks at my races tried to continue… but I couldn’t undo the tie on my capri’s quickly enough, so I risked running the final two miles.  No accidents = success!

All in all, a good race. I’d do it again.  It’s small, nice that all pre & post-race festivities are indoors, and there was free beer if you wanted it.  If you had a post-race death face like me, you didn’t.  I ended up rallying and deciding I really wanted a warm starbucks, so I trekked the 5 miles (j/k) through Navy Pier to get to the Starbucks.


FINAL TIME:  1:44:27
NEXT RACE:  Schaumburg Turkey Trot Half Marathon, 11.29.2014

Hero 10K Race Recap

Today I ran as a superhero at the Hero 10K and Half Marathon (I did the 10K).  I won the entry from Valerie at The Style Files and was excited to see what my speed and endurance would be like now that I’m two months out from Ironman Louisville. So we bundled up this morning and headed the hour out of Chicago to go to the Indiana Dunes State Park.IMG_4132

I loved the lakefront beach setting for the start and finish to the race.  Reminds me of an actual beach (don’t get me wrong, I like that Chicago has beaches, but there’s something to be said for not having the city so close by!). It was chilly, but I warmed up well while running and ended up taking off my arm warmers for the last two miles!  I wasn’t sure how fast I’d be able to go, as I’m still getting back to a regular running habit post-IM and re-gaining the speed I lost from training for distance for so long (taking time off from running afterward probably didn’t help much either…).


It was a beautiful run, and I’m happy to report that I ran this race pretty well!  I ran by feel for almost the first mile, and saw myself clock a 10:30 for that mile.  I then used that to try and chip slowly away to get faster with each mile.  And I did pretty well with that!

  • Mile 1 – 10:55
  • Mile 2 – 12:15 (inc. an emergency bathroom break)
  • Mile 3 – 10:03
  • Mile 4 – 10:04
  • Mile 5 – 9:59
  • Mile 6 – 9:32

The race was a bit short – I clocked 5.99 miles total, but I’m ok with that.  I’m happy to see that I executed this race well, and that I’m getting faster!


Post race, I treated myself to two cookies, a bottle of water & a run in the photo booth!

FINAL TIME: 1:02:19

AVERAGE PACE: 10:24 (for 5.99 miles, Garmin)

NEXT RACE: Perfect 10 (10-miler), November 8


Ironman Louisville: Run Report

In case you missed them:  Pre-Race – Swim RecapBike Recap

Well, I may get the prize for taking the longest to complete an Ironman Race Report!  The run was the hardest, and it’s taken an incredibly long time to process my thoughts about that part of the day.  I didn’t really feel ready to put my thoughts down on paper/keyboard until after this weekend’s Well-Fit Ironman Bar Night where I met up with all my teammates who I’d trained with all summer.

Lauren Runs to Tri: Ironman Louisville Run Report

It was incredibly hot out, even according to the pro’s.  I started the run around 4 PM and felt decent. Everyone knows that you feel a bit stiff getting off the bike after 112 miles, so I figured I needed a mile or two to get feeling good again.  It takes me up to half an hour to feel really warmed up anyway on a  run.


Not having fun here. Half way.

Well, I was running from shady spot to shady spot on a course that didn’t have much shade.  It was so hot out.  I was taking water and Perform at each aid station, and also carried a handheld water bottle.  At half an hour in (same as my nutrition plan), I took a gel .  My stomach was starting to be antsy, and I’m not fully sure how much of it was heat or nutrition issues.

Around mile 6, I was starting to REALLY get uncomfortable from some of my stomach issues.  As in, dancing outside of a port-a-potty, and eyeing the trees in front of someone’s yard.  (The IM course mostly went through a neighborhood).  I saw Katrina, my Wellfit IMLOU partner in crime, breeze by looking happy and running fast.  I was jealous.

After that stop, I adjusted my plan to be less run & more walk.  I started experimenting with some of the other food items on course in case it was just the Gu’s I had brought with me.  It didn’t get any better.  I’d feel stabs in my stomach when I tried to run faster (meaning, closer toward my normal long run pace).

Nothing got better.


don't get me wrong - I look happy, but i'm just posing for the camera

don’t get me wrong – I look happy, but i’m just posing for the camera

At the half way point, I saw my family.  It was all I could do to not burst into tears.  I was having a hard time running, and a hard time taking in any calories at all.  (Which of course makes it harder to run).  At special needs, I picked up my nutrition-related items:  a special Gu flavor (salted caramel) and a baggie of Sour Patch Kids.  I got consolation from Mike that as long as I kept moving forward I would finish.

Well, I took that to heart.  By mile 15, I’d decided I’d really just walk.  I didn’t feel good when I ran. As long as I kept up 18 minute miles or less, I’d be OK finishing before midnight.  (WTF- setting a pace goal for 18 minute miles!).  So I walked.  I talked with people, and did the best power walk I could.  It was incredibly depressing and challenging to see people who I thought I should be on par with passing me.  But what can you do?  As Swim Bike Mom says, Just Keep Moving Forward.

I tried to take joy from the people out on the course.  Those out there are cheering for you so much.

This was the hardest f***ing run of my life.  If we can even call it a run.

My dad met me about a mile and a half from the finish.  I was doing my best to power walk to a 16 minute-mile, but when you’re taking a potty break every mile, that’s a little tough.  It was dark out, and I knew I was dehydrated.  Sometime back I had realized I’d stopped sweating.  But what should you do?  I’d already tried everything.  For the last 10 miles, all I had been taking were water, salt tabs, and chicken broth.  Chips when they had it.  Occasionally I’d tried an orange slice, grapes or my candy, but they’d all made my stomach seize.  I knew I’d ask to go to medical when I finished, and I told my dad that.  He was super sweet and kept trying to get me to eat or drink.  Thanks Dad – not like I hadn’t tried those about 3 hours ago!


When we rounded the corner to see the finish line at Fourth Street Live (which is amazing by the way), I found the strength to run.  I ran. I just wanted this f**ing thing to be over.


I don’t remember anyone announcing my name.  I was caught by the catchers and told the medical guy I was dehydrated, that I’d stopped sweating and that I hadn’t really been able to eat or drink much on the course.  They were sweet about letting me take the finisher photos and go to medical.

In the medical tent (really inside the Louisville Convention Center), I got an IV in me pretty quickly.  Once that was done, they made sure I could eat, drink and pee before they’d let me leave.


Swim     – 01:13:18
T1          – 10:09
Bike       – 7:27:14
T2          – 8:38
Run       – 7:23:08
Total      – 16:22:27

I’m proud I finished.  Don’t get me wrong about that.  But this was a painful experience, and I do have unfinished business with myself to prove to myself that I can do better.  I can run (better than that). And I will. 

Finished. Happy, and just before medical

Finished. Happy, and just before medical