Posts Tagged Soldier Field 10 Miler

Soldier Field Race Goals

Photo from Fleet Feet Sports email

So this Saturday is my longest race so far: The Soldier Field 10 Miler.  Race week has been a little rough because I haven’t gotten in many maintenance runs before race day. I was out of town Monday and Tuesday and didn’t get a chance to do my easy Monday run (I was stuck in a travel nightmare instead), but luckily I got 3.6 miles in yesterday. Hopefully my 16-week training is what will pay off on Saturday.

My SmartCoach training plan says I’m supposed to finish the race in one hour and 25 minutes (about an 8:30ish pace). Ha–I don’t know about that, but here are my own race goals for this weekend:

  1. Finish the race (in about 1 hour and 30 minutes). Since I’ve never done a race this long, my ultimate goal is just to finish it. I’ve done a couple 10 mile training runs so I know this is possible. I ran those training runs in about 1 hr. 40 min. (10 min. miles) so ideally I’d like to race it slightly faster than that by running about 9 minute miles. I’m not sure how I’ll feel that day so we’ll see how this goes (plus I don’t have a Garmin that will tell me my pace so I’m just going to have to gauge it myself).
  2. Listen to my body. Ever since I got myself a good pair of running shoes, I’ve been able to stay injury-free. I’d like to keep it that way. During the race, I’m going to be aware of what my body’s telling me. Hopefully I don’t actually get injured after all my hard training, but in terms of staying hydrated during the race too.
  3. Keep a positive attitude. They say running a race is 90% mental. Training was the time where it was more physical, pushing my body farther and showing it that it could do what I set out to do. I know I can do the 10 miles without stopping, so now I just have to keep myself going with the finish line in mind (and who wouldn’t want to finish on the 50 yard line at Soldier Field?). I like to break the race up in my mind (I did this in training too). I tell myself at 5 miles that I can do this…I ran the Shamrock Shuffle 8k. At 6 miles, I remind myself of how I used to run 6 miles a day every few days last summer. At 8 miles, I tell myself that there are only 2 miles left. Then at 9 miles…well, how hard is it to run one more mile? It’s funny how sometimes I can be so tired after just running 3 miles but then I can keep myself going at a nice steady pace for 9 miles another day because I planned on running that far. Wherever you planned for the finish line to be, that’s where your brain tells your body it is. So it helps to play little mental games with yourself while you run.
  4. Have fun! Years ago I never would’ve thought I’d have fun while running. Yes, it’s hard. I sweat. I get tired. I want to quit. But there’s nothing like crossing that finish line and knowing I accomplished something and achieved another goal. Plus there’s nothing like running by the lake (which you don’t get to do in the suburbs much) and taking in all the sights and sounds of Chicago with it.

And as I wear that finisher’s medal proudly at the end of the race, grateful for my mom, dad, and Gerald who are getting up super early on Saturday to support me (and walk the Hut Hut Hike along with our pug), I can also remind myself that by 9:30 AM on Saturday I would’ve run 10 miles. 🙂 That’s more than we can say for most people in the city.

Do you have any other good race tips or goals to share?


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Slow Speed Ahead

I’ve been training for the past few months for the Soldier Field 10 Miler. The race is only one and a half weeks away and this will be my longest race to date. I know I can finish it–I’ve already done a couple 10 mile runs, and we’ll see how my SmartCoach training plan pays off on race day.

The other night I was looking at my training plan and I noticed that most of the days are slow running days–the plan calls for lots of easy runs (that for me are about 10 min. mile paces) and long runs (that started even slower than 10 min. miles and are now around that same pace). There’s only tempo work and speed work once a week (running at about race pace (8:30ish) or slightly faster).

Then I started thinking about my own schedule for the next few months. Starting this past weekend, life is speeding up again. Here’s what it started to look like:

  • May 14: Humboldt Park Dream Run then Gerald’s masters graduation
  • May 15: Wedding
  • May 19: Author Lisa Velthouse visiting Tyndale (so I’ll be going to Moody Radio with her)
  • May 20-22: All Church Retreat
  • May 23-24: Book Expo America in New York
  • May 27: Youth Group Senior Night
  • May 28: Soldier Field 10 Miler then wedding invitations & stuff the rest of the weekend (also need to start packing for my move!)
  • June 4: Wedding reception planning meeting
  • June 11: Bridal shower
  • June 16: Tyndale picnic
  • June 17-18: Moving day
  • June 22-25: VBS; June 23: work bridal shower
  • July 2: Was told to save this for some bachelorette event
  • July 15-17: Bachelorette party
  • July 25-29: Wedding week
  • July 30: Wedding day
  • August 1-6: Honeymoon

Whew! Just looking at that is exhausting and my summer is practically gone. It’s not that any of these things are bad things. In fact, they’re all exciting and things I’m looking forward to. But looking at that schedule, I don’t know how I’m going to survive all the crazyness. I almost forgot I’m going on a business trip next week (or more like didn’t realize it was next week). This is why as these next few months approach, I’m reminding myself to slow down.

Over the weekend, I ran a new 5k personal record in the Humboldt Dream Run of 24:31. That’s an average mile pace of 7:54. I’ve never run a 5k that fast in my life (and definitely not in training). That proves to me that my training is working and reaping results. I often felt silly about the plan telling me to run 3 miles at a 10 minute mile pace. I thought, “Ten minute miles? That’s so slow though!”I’ll admit that I didn’t usually run the 10 minute pace the whole time. I usually tried to pick up the pace near the end, but seeing how well I ran last Saturday, I think there’s something to be said for the slow training. I needed those slow runs to build up my endurance and energy for those quick, speedy workouts and ultimately for race day (though we’ll see what happens in my 10 mile race on May 28).

Me, Boyi & Jenn at the Humboldt Dream Run

So in the small amounts of time I have where I’m not rushing around to different events, I’m going to be slowing down. This includes spending more time in prayer and reading my Bible, not going out and just enjoying some down time (I’m an introvert so this is also really important for me with all these events coming up), and just resting or maybe working on some wedding things that don’t take much thought (like putting together favors). Then when I have to step it up and go, I’ll be energized and refreshed, ready to put all my effort into everything I have going on.

Slow isn’t bad–it’s necessary. So if your summer’s looking anything like mine, remember to take some time to slow down and breathe. That way you can enjoy every single moment of the busy but good times and you won’t burn out as quickly. Maybe that means saying no to going out with friends or to volunteering and attending every church event. Maybe it means taking at least one day a week just to rest (isn’t that what God wanted with the Sabbath anyway?). Even though it’s hard for some of us to sit still and do nothing, the results will be worth it.

What does your schedule look like right now? Do you need to take some time to intentionally slow down?

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