Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Winter running, Super Bowl Shuffle

Well, it seems winter has finally arrived in Chicagoland. Just in time to make the final weeks of half marathon training really interesting. 

Saturday morning came early for me. My plan was to head to the Schaumburg gym early, swim, lift weights and then head to the forest preserve for a long run; from the gym to Busse, around the loop and back is just over 11 miles. That's basically what happened, except I shoveled the driveway before I left for the gym, and our run - which was through about three inches of fresh powder - was cut short by continuous snow and the need for a bathroom. But man, was it pretty.
Suffice it to say, we did not go to 11. Running in the snow was tough. We were challenged to push through it, and navigate the slippery parts. Slow going, for sure; it took us about two hours to go six and a half miles.

Stop laughing.

The next morning was Super Bowl Sunday, and the third annual Super Bowl Shuffle 5K in Geneva. Linda and I have been participating in this race since the first year; it's kinda fun to have a streak like that. Anyhoo, I was excited. This tends to be a good PR course for me, and I'm still chasing the elusive sub-40 5K. (Again, stop laughing.) So I thought ... maybe today? The trail was well plowed, and we were ready to go! It was cold, and snowing a little, but that did nothing to dampen our spirits.
Me, ready as I was gonna get. Oh, and Kristen's finger, waggling in my face.
The course winds around a really pretty park area in Geneva, IL, and it's the perfect blend of small-town race with some really nice perks - like a warm hoodie and a 10% off coupon to my favorite running store. We were suited up and ready to go!
Me and Linda. 
The posse for this race was me, Linda, Shelly (her first time running it) and Kristen (back for her second year).

We wore race ribbons in the Bears colors on our shoes, because it seemed like the right thing to do. Football isn't my thing, but I know my blue and orange!
Show wheel, with race ribbons.
It's become a tradition to run the race, head into downtown Geneva for breakfast, and then shop at Geneva Running Outfitters. But first, a stop at Nosh for breakfast.
Kristen in my mittens.
They mix a delicious bloody Maria (like Mary, but with tequila). One for me, one for Kristen, one for Linda ... and a Diet Coke for Shelly.
One of these things is not like the others.
I ordered Monte Cristo Benedict with ginger pears on the side, along with potatoes ... and Mars Bars pancakes. I cannot tell you how delicious this was. What I can tell you is that I ate it all day. I took home leftovers and had them for mid-afternoon snack, and dinner. And I miss it now.
All that food? Yep. MINE.
We finished breakfast and headed to the running store, and the timing could not have been better. I was able to pick up a second pair of my favorite shoes - the Asics Gel Kayano - at a great price, because the updated spring models just came in. Saving $35 on a pair of running shoes is a big deal, so I was in my happy place.

Once I got home, it was time to check my race results. I didn't get my sub-40 yet (drat!) but I'm getting closer. I ran the 5K in 40:43, with an average pace of 13:08. I came in 617 of 749 total runners, 36 out 47 in my age group. And GUESS WHAT? I got a PR. My Race to Wrigley 5K was 13:09; I bested myself by one whole second. It totally counts!

Now, we continue training for the half, and practice running at race pace. But most importantly ... we have fun out there!

No comments: