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

Ironman Louisville: Bike Report

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

When we last left off… (uh, a week ago! Thanks Maggie for the reminder to finish the race!) I had just gotten out of a fantastic swim at Ironman Louisville!  After wiping off my face, I got my bike shoes, cooling arm sleeves, sunglasses & helmet on, and headed out to the bike!

Determination: Ironman Louisville Bike Report
One IM Louisville tip: the volunteers do not get your bike for you, so you should practice to see how to get to your bike from the changing tent.  I definitely didn’t think to do this and lost my bike… and almost had to get someone to help me find it!  Oh well, T1 total time of 10:09.

The Louisville bike course starts out pretty flat, and it was nice to cruise along super easy.  When I started, it’s almost funny how easy I was trying to ride.  I so did not want to blow up and find out I’d ridden too hard at the beginning.  I let a million people pass me (that may be only a slight exaggeration).

Lauren Runs to Tri:  IMLOU Bike Course

I did find out I had forgotten about certain slight inclines, and yes, one of them came up on the first route up toward Route 1694.  Then we came upon the fun part:  a windy, shaded one-lane road that Ironman lore has as the scene of many an accident.  I was just hoping I wouldn’t get in one, nor anyone else that day.
I love riding fast down hills, and this was going to be the most fun time to go.  I really did take the downhills well, and tried my damnedest to go SLOW up the hill.  Thankfully I made it there and back without a problem.  I also successfully executed a U-Turn (the only one on the course) and also my bottle exchange without any issues.

Then I did it again!  This is the little “stick off the lollipop stick” when you look at the Ironman Louisville course.
After that, you head out for the loop, which I felt like was familiar territory having ridden it twice.  I knew where we were going and when to get into the small chain ring.
Lauren Runs to Tri: Ironman Louisville Bike Report
For one hundred & twelve miles, things can get a bit boring.  My highlights:

  • riding along a farm and hearing another cyclist go “neigh” like a horse!
  • learning that my body may not like the pre-mixed perform (and what a stomach cramp REALLY feels like).
  • Eating 3 bonk breakers, 3 gels, 3 baggies of pretzels & 3 of swedish fish. And probably 25+ salt tabs.
  • Cooling arm sleeves are the bomb!  You pour water on them and they cool you down — especially as the air breezes by!

I saw my family and friends around mile 65:
Ironman Louisville Spectators
And by mile 95 my neck had decided it had had enough of aero.  I started bargaining with myself to stay in aero (so I could stay faster while on a net downhill toward the finish) of 1 minute in aero, one minute out.  What I’d get to do after the race.  Then it was 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.  I also saw other cyclists with the same issue.  Mimicked a couple of them who started riding with their hands on the aero pads.

And then we were back at transition!  Time to run!