Who knew people from Bement were so speedy?!

I’m behind and getting caught up!

Two, wait…three Saturdays ago, Mom and I headed out to Bement to run in the Bement Old Glory Days 5K. It was a fairly small group, compared to the races we’ve been doing – they didn’t even have chip timing, just a bunch of guys at the finish line with stop watches! We all lined up, ready to go, the guy in charge said “On your marks,” everyone took a very professional-looking starting posture, Mom and I said “What the–” and we were off! And when I say off, I mean off – people were sprinting away from the start line. We kept to our usual pace – “We’ll catch up to them, they’ll get tired, you’ll see,” I said. Except we only passed two people! Who knew!

The course was very nice – flat and scenic – but the day ended up being hotter than I’d anticipated when I got up, so I was a bit overdressed which I think really affected my time. We were much slower than we’ve been the last few times. I can’t actually tell you what our time was because they haven’t posted our times yet, but I think it was maybe around 37 minutes or so? So not terrible for us, but not as good as we’ve been doing. But Mom still came second in her age group – I just have to stick with running for 30 more years and then I’ll start getting medals!

I didn’t choose the Girl Scout life, the Girl Scout life chose me…

Friday night brought some fairly serious weather to the midwest – I was staying out at my parents’ house since Mom and I were going to be up early the next morning for our 5K and at 10:30pm, the tornado sirens went off. We grabbed the pets and headed to the basement for the next 15 minutes or so during which the wind really whipped up a storm! When all was clear, we headed back to bed, hoping to get at least a little sleep that night.

At 4:30 the next morning we were up and on the road to the SIU-Edwardsville campus for the Thin Mint Sprint 5K to benefit the Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois. As we got closer to our destination, we started noticing trees that seemed to have been snapped in half along with downed and bent telephone poles. We even saw one or two barns that had been destroyed during the night! By the time we arrived, noticing that the power seemed to be out all over Edwardsville, it was raining again. When we checked in, they told us that, due to storm damage and debris, the half marathon had been changed to a 10K (they would just do the 5K route twice). As the start time neared, they made another announcement – there was now too much debris on the 5K route, so they were busy remarking a new route that the 5K runners would run twice while the 10K runners would run 4 times.

It was still raining, so Mom and I waited in the car.

P to the L to the G to the S! I told Mom to look tough, but she just looks sort of uncomfortable…

There was a bit of confusion about the route once the races started – apparently, the signs that they’d put out to mark the new route blew away and the volunteers weren’t really sure where we were supposed to go either! But I think they eventually got us all sorted out.

By the time we finished, we were soaked through! It was cool but not too chilly since we were moving around. After I accidentally stepped in my first puddle, I gave up worrying about it and just splorshed my way for the rest of the race. When we’d started, we said to ourselves “Well, we won’t be setting any personal bests today, it’s just for fun.” But sure enough, when they posted the results this morning…we set new personal bests! Mom left me behind and finished in 33:17 which is a 10:44/mile pace and came third in her age category and I finished in 33:29 which is a 10:48/mile pace! Woo hoo!

Now that’s my kind of race!

After a disappointing show in last Saturday’s race and a similarly disappointing day at work on Friday, I decided I needed to run a 5K this morning – I felt like I needed to prove to myself that I was still making forward progress in at least one part of my life. So I woke up at 6:00 this morning and headed out to Long Creek Vineyard near Decatur for the JWA’s Run to the Vineyard 5K. Fortunately they had race-day registration and there were even still t-shirts and souvenir wine glasses! After registering, I sat in my car for about an hour reading Laura’s copy of The Great Gatsby (which I’m actually not hating this time around) until it was time to start getting ready for the race. We got sprinkled on before and after the race, but while we were actually running, the weather was clear!

It was a road race – I’ve learned my lesson after last week’s trail run – and, despite there being an uphill section on the way out and on the way back (yes, it was uphill both ways – no, there was no snow), I ran all the way and seem to, unofficially, have set a new personal best for myself! The official race results haven’t been posted yet, but when I crossed the finish line, the 5K clock said 34:33 which is an 11:13/mile pace! I’m slowly getting closer and closer to my 10:00/mile goal!

It certainly wasn’t as fun without a friend to go with me, but I still had a good time – I only wish they’d had a glass of wine waiting for us at the finish line 😉

p.s. – I felt very color-coordinated in my pink and green shoes, pink and green race t-shirt, and pink hair. Even if I’m slow, at least I’m stylish!

Trail running is HARD!

After really enjoying the 10K trail run we did in Allerton, Mom and I were looking forward to the Buffalo Trace Trail Run at Lake of the Woods in Mahomet. We signed up for it, thinking it was a 5K, but it turns out it was actually a 5-MILE run! Oops!

We finished, but it wasn’t pretty. I managed to run the first 3 miles, but then I pretty much staggered the last 2 miles. Mom was doing really well and eventually I convinced her to leave me and save herself, but even she sort of pooped out on the last half mile or so. Her time was around 1 hour and 5 minutes and mine was about 1 hour and 6 minutes, so our mile pace was slower than it has been for our 5Ks but better than the first 10K we did.

I definitely prefer running on plain, old pavement or at least a very packed-down trail (like the ones in Allerton) – running through grass and uneven ground was just enough extra exertion to make it difficult! Mom didn’t place in her age category this time which was a bummer since the trophies were cute buffalo trophies, but according to her “These old ladies are fast!” We don’t think we’ll do this one again, but once we shave a few more minutes off our pace, we may try again and see if Mom can get her buffalo trophy after all.

Triple Crown #2: Kirby Derby

Mom and I are two-thirds of the way to our special Triple Crown sweatshirts! Yesterday was the Kirby Derby out in Monticello and Mom and I did great! They had a great turnout for the race – between 900 and 1000 people! – and the money raised is going to build a 1-mile walking path with stretching stations around the hospital which seems like a good idea and a good cause.

There was a 5K run, a 10K run, and a 5K walk – our goal was to finish before the first 10K runner. And we were sooooo close! SO close! As we were running toward the finish line, up over the hill ahead of us appeared a 10K runner and he beat us by about a minute or so. We actually set a new personal record: 35:25 for an 11:23/mile pace! We did even better than we did at the marathon 5K! I was really proud of us – it seems to be getting easier slowly but surely. I’m sure we’ll plateau timewise soon and then we’ll have to actively work on improving our speed, but for now it feels like a big accomplishment each time.

We did it!

Tonight was the Illinois Marathon 5K which my mom and I ran in and we set our personal best record! We ran the whole way, too, which is not new for Mom, but is new for me – I’m so proud of myself! Our official time was 36:21 which comes to an 11:42/mile pace – considering our goal was a 12-minute mile, we’re thrilled!

There were just over 6,000 runners and walkers in the 5K and we both found that to be helpful in pushing our pace – we were constantly overtaking people here and there and the weaving in and out of the crowd sort of acted as a distraction to the running. There were also quite a few spectators out to cheer us all on which was an added boost! And finishing inside Memorial Stadium was great fun, too – lots of cheering as everyone entered the stadium and bright lights to bring us on home to the finish line. We both had a wonderful time and are looking forward to next year’s race already!

Ran a 5K with my mom…what, that’s totally my mom!

Mom and I were supposed to run in the Race the Roof 5K to support Habitat for Humanity this morning, but she called about 45 minutes before the race and said that Dad had come down with a stomach bug and she needed to stay home and look after him. I asked Drew if he felt like running a 5K with me, but he wasn’t sure his knee would put up with that kind of activity. So I texted Jillian to see if she wanted to run a 5K with me – and, more importantly, promised there would be pancakes afterwards if she did.

It worked!

I wasn’t sure if it would be a problem that a different person was going to take my mom’s spot in the run and at first I was just going to have Jillian pretend to be Laurie but I quickly realized that there was no way they were going to believe that Jillian was my 60-year-old mother… It ended up being no big deal – I explained what had happened when we checked in and they said “Oh, no problem!”

Jillian is a seasoned distance runner – she ran the Columbus marathon! – and a 5K is just a warm-up run for her, but she was a good sport and went super slow to keep me company (our height difference meant that even when I took little breaks to walk, she still had to jog a little to keep up with me). We finished around 37:30 which is not very far off my goal of a 12-minute mile (even though I didn’t manage to jog the whole thing – boo!), so I felt pretty good about it!

Next 5K is in just under two weeks which means I’ll have four opportunities to actually jog an entire 5K in the run up to it (no pun intended). Fingers crossed this will be the one!


Last Saturday, my mom and I ran our first 10K! Crazy, you say? Yeah, I know, it really was. But we’ll do pretty much anything for a special sweatshirt – this year, Monticello is hosting a Triple Crown of races and if you participate in all three, you get a special sweatshirt. So, we’re running!

This first race was a 10K and a half marathon (we are not ready for that, but we’re vaguely thinking about maybe training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon one day) that took place at Allerton Park. It was actually really nice! It was a bit chilly while we were waiting for the race to begin, but once we got going, the sun came out, it started to warm up, and the trees really blocked the wind (we were running on the trails for most of the route).

We finished!

Our goal was to do it in under 2 hours, figuring that even if we walked the whole route, we could do it by then. We ended coming in at around one hour and 24 minutes! I think it works out to about a 13:30 mile pace which is slower than we were hoping for – a 12:00 mile is really our goal. Mom could totally have gone faster and run the whole thing – I was the one slowing us down the whole time. In fact, she came second in her age group and won a little Fu Dog statue!

I’m pretty proud of us! And we’ve signed up for four 5K’s this summer already to be followed by another 10K in the fall which will finish up the Triple Crown and get us our sweatshirt.

New Year’s Resolution #1

Be. More. Active.

Last year, I did the Couch-to-5k program and, yes, I stuck with it. In fact, in October, I ran the 5k Race Against Racism. And I didn’t die! (My mom won her age group – I was really proud of her, even though she puts me to shame.)

Unfortunately, the weather got chillier, the holidays gained momentum, and I pretty much stopped going on my thrice-weekly jogs. But after eating my way through approximately the last three months, it’s time for me to get my act together again. So in addition to my tap class and my weekly tennis workout, I’m going to start taking advantage of HK’s on-site gym and use the treadmill there until the weather warms up a bit. Today was my first day back on the program (I started over at Week 1, Day 1) and it actually felt good to get moving again. Maybe I can get trained up in time to run the Twin Cities Twosome!

Oh, and I’m taking a yoga class twice a week. I suck at it, but I’m doing it!