Upcoming Races

Chicago Marathon

Sunday, January 14, 2018

2017 in Review

3183 miles
10 races (some used as workouts)
Marathon PR
Highest weekly mileage - 100 (which is a life time high for me!)
29 miles for Penny

The Good:

1. I walked away with a new marathon PR and ran in my first "World Major". . . the Chicago Marathon. I was 12th female overall and the 7th American. This is where I punched my ticket to the 2020 OLYMPIC MARATHON TRIALS!! So close to the "A" standard. (Recap for Chicago - click here)

2. I also hit a triple digit week! It was hard, and I'm not sure it will be in the books for 2018. . . but we will see. I'm not sure I was recovering from the high mileage with work, summer heat, and then throwing in some really hard/long workouts. But I'm not fully ruling it out yet :) 

3. I finished 15th at the USATF Half Marathon Championships. This is the first time I haven broken into the top 20 at a championship event.( Recap for USATF Champs - click here )

29 miles for Penny this year :)
The Not So Good:
2017 was not the year for ideal race conditions:

  • The year started with snow during The Big 12 12k. 
  • 20+ mph head winds at Rock the Parkway Half Marathon 
  • Extremely humid and storms/severe weather (they pulled people out of the race!) at the USATF half champs
  • Both marathons were (fairly) hot (60 at Chicago and 80 at Bass Pro) (Recap here)
My favorites of  2017:
  • Best Race Experience - Chicago marathon - First world major, new PR, over 1 million spectators, high finish!
  • Most Memorable Race - Big 12 12k. While the race was really uneventful, it was one of the coolest prizes I've won. I got a year supply of gas cards AND 2 tickets to attend the Big 12 CHAMPIONSHIP game. They even brought out the race winners to the court at haIf time. It was extremely fun and worth battling the snow and wind (I was all-out bundled up with a jacket, full tights, and probably a pack of hot hands. . . I can't remember). Although, I was having second thoughts during the race. 
Snowy and cold!
  • Best Run/Workout - 10 x 800 (w/2.5-3 min recovery). All were 2:35 or faster. This was 2 weeks before Chicago, and why I thought I would get the "A" standard - but we are always chasing the "perfect" race conditions, which I probably need to get the "A" standard of sub 2:37.
  • Best New Piece of Gear - I tried a new brand of Shoes. The brand is 361° and the shoe was called 361 - Onyx. It is a trainer, but the bottom is foam and looks similar to a flat. So I was able to wear them for several workouts and it still felt like I had on a fast shoe. I did not get the miles I expected out of them, but I guess that is expected since the bottom is foam. 
    Decent price and held up okay
  • Most Inspirational Runner of 2017 - I'm gonna go with Jordan Hasay's breakout year for the marathon. She finished 3rd at Boston (fastest debut by an American women). Then she ran even faster and took 3rd at the Chicago marathon.
Goals for 2018:
  • Run a good half/possible PR. I'm not sure which races yet where this will be ideal. If I do well at Boston, I will probably run the half at Grandma's in Duluth again. 
  • This might be far-fetched, but I'm going for the "A" standard of sub 2:37 again. I just keep telling myself that I'm actually closer to the "A" than I am to the "B" standard. I need to take 80 seconds off my PR 2:38:19. My best chance is Boston in April. Then Marshall and I are trying to decide between Grandma's in June or CIM (California) in December as a back up. I really want to go skiing (still mad that our plans fell through. . . we were suppose to be Skiing as I am typing this), so I'm having a hard time fully committing to CIM as both these trips would be very expensive.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Bass Pro Recap and Baby Shower Fun

It's been 8 weeks since the Chicago Marathon, and running is finally starting to ramp back up. It's taking a bit longer because Marshall and I both participated in the Bass Pro Marathon 4 weeks after the Chicago Marathon. . . I know 2 marathons is 4 weeks! Yikes (Marshall must be rubbing off on me). I'm usually a 1 per year kind of girl. However, we never intended to actually full out race the Bass Pro, mostly we run this race for the convenience factor (able to sleep in our own beds, not have to get up supper early, and no travel expenses).

Overall, we did well. The weather was awful hot and humid. I was talking Marshall "back from the cliff" by mile 2. . . lol. Then, I had to talk myself off the cliff by mile 8. I managed to pull off a re-peat win, which happens to also be my second ever marathon win. Marshall and I ran together for about 10 miles, but then the 3rd place male started slowly pulling away from us. At this point, I told Marshall to leave me and see if he could stay with the 3rd place male. If Marshall happened to die in the process, it didn't really matter as there wasn't anyone within viewing distance behind us.

Finishing together; 1st for me; Marshall 4th 
So Marshall left, the cyclist escort for the lead female came back to me and it was pretty much the two of us until we hit half marathoners at about the 21 mile marker. Another mile or so I could see Marshall heading up Jefferson. He was coming back to me pretty fast, so I figured the 3rd place guy had pulled away and he was just going to finish up with me. Turns out the little stinker was trying to hold me off as long as he could :)

Didn't mean to dress like twins!
So for the 2nd year in a row, Marshall and I got to cross the finish line at the same time. Special thanks to the parents and in-law for providing hydration and taking some awesome pictures.
Harry Potter Onesies that I made; and baby house mascots

Game table

Now, I've had a pretty busy November. Two weeks after the marathon I hosted a baby shower for my sister and her very special baby boy. He is due at the end of January, but maybe he can come a week later on mine and Krissy's birthday (Feb. 3). We've shared a birthday our whole lives, so what's one more person :)

This little boy is going to have an AWESOME nursery. It's Harry Potter themed, which is our favorite book ever. I may have gotten a little carried away. . . but who doesn't like Harry Potter? I may be a procrastinator, but managed to pull off the big crafts/projects on time. I did have to have my friend, Kaleigh, come over a little early so her and her mother could help me with a few decorations and food prep. 

I'm getting pretty skilled with my diaper crafts year alone! This was the 3rd and 4th diaper craft in this ye (and other crafts really - I LOVED how the measuring stick turned out).
Dumbledore quote - gift made by me!

Husky lifting a dumbbell - how appropriate :)

I think everyone had a good time. The games were entertaining and Krissy got to keep a lot of the items associated with the games. We did a Brown Bag game, where there was a letter on each bag, and the bags spelled out BABY SHOWER. Then guests had to reach in and feel what think was in each bag. The item in each bag was a baby item that started with the letter that was on the front of the bag. For example, b = bottle, or brush, or bear, etc. 

Diaper cake that I made

Food table (can't take credit for this cake)

I might have gotten a little bit carried away with Harry Potter

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Chicago Marathon!

What a great weekend we had earlier this month in Chicago! I walked away from the Chicago Marathon with a top 15 finish and top 10 American finish. Not to mention I barely squeaked out a new PR.

First let me say, I'm super happy with the way things went down last weekend. However, there is a small part of me that thought I was going to run a little bit faster. I had nailed my Yasso workout, had solid long runs, logged more miles, and fully felt ready to run at least 2:37 low. The ultimate goal was to get the Olympic A standard (sub 2:37).

Having time to reflect, here's what I've decided. All the Chicago News stations kept calling it "hot conditions". Yes, it was about 20 degrees warmer than when I ran my old PR (upper 60's vs upper 40's at the start), but really was far from what I would consider "hot". Let's just say it was "warm". Part of me just wasn't sure I could pull off sub 6 minute pace. Let's be honest, it had been OVER 2 years since I had run a fast marathon. I forgot what it was going to feel like. Now I have it fresh in my mind and in my muscles, and am ready to tackle Boston in 6 months :) This race was a big confidence booster for me. Obviously, I had WAY to much left in the tank at the end. My last 2k was almost sub 5:40 pace.

Chicago Marathon expo - one of the 6 world major marathon
Let's start from the beginning. The elite coordinator was gracious enough to accept me into the elite field, and I was treated with more hospitality than I probably deserved. It was an AWESOME experience for me :) The only issue now, was that Marshall was starting in Corral A and I would be a little in front of him. How far, we didn't know. Luckily, once they walked us out to the front of the race, then next corral was brought up right behind us. Marshall luckily found me before we even got to the 2 mile mark.

Millennium Park - Of course it had to be rainy/cold
The Garmin was being so sporadic, being downtown. On minute it would say 5:30 pace, then is would say like 8:00 pace. I happened to be right behind Danna (we know each other from college).  She ran a very smart earlier this year at Boston, so I just tucked in behind her and her teammate hoping they would be running 6-6:05. Sure enough, like clock work we held this pace through about 14-15 miles. I was hoping to have some just under 6:00, but thought it better to work as a group and try to pick the pace up the last 10k.

I had a slight mental lapse around mile 15, where the pack started to slightly pull away from me. My feet were killing me in my racing flats. I managed to get over it and Marshall and I had slowly started to work back towards a couple of the ladies that had pulled away from us.

Obligatory picture in "The Bean/Glass Bridge"
Unfortunately, at mile 21.5, Marshall started cramping in his abdomen. He briefly said to me, "trust your legs, you got this". Next thing I know, I couldn't find him. I never looked behind me, but figured he wasn't too far. I started focusing in on the next person, and slowly (actually, rather quickly) started picking off one person at a time.

I must have looked like I was moving well, because everyone in the crowd kept telling me I was steadily gaining on some of the ladies a head of me. I might not have PR'd if I hadn't been chasing down two more ladies that last 2k. With probably about 1 mile to go, I could see two runners. One approximately 20 seconds, then next about 35 seconds. I wasn't sure if I could get them because that is a LOT of time to make up in about a mile. The one that was 35 seconds ahead, kept looking over her shoulder, so I knew she was running scared and fading fast. This fueled me even more, plus the drama of the countdown for the last 800 meters. (The race had signs at 800, 400, 300, 200, and 100 to go - I think it helped). I pulled even just past the 800 meter sign and ran with all my my might. I could see the clock and knew I was within striking range of a new PR. This was actually pleasant surprise as I didn't run the first half as fast as I would have liked, and I knew I was not running fast enough for miles 15-19 to negative split. I never looked down at my Garmin the last 2 miles and just ran competitively, so I knew that my last mile must have been REALLY fast for me to walk away with a new PR. 

My finisher's medal
All around, it was a good experience. It was the largest race I've ever been in (45,000 runners and over 1 MILLION spectators!). This was my first "World Major" race and I can't wait for my second one which will be the Boston Marathon this April :)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Grandma's Recap - 5th year in a row

With both Marshall and I feeling down/sick prior to the big day, we thought this trip could possibly end up being a wash. It turned out to be a decent effort on my part, and Marshall still managed to break 3 hours (all though he was 15 minutes off what he usually runs) despite coughing all night the 2 days leading up to the race.

Goal 1: Top 10 finish
Goal 2 New PR (sub 1:15:43)
Goal 3: Sub 1:15 (1:14:59) - *prior to the 2 week sickness*

10th place

We both had a blast and are looking forward to next year! This was our 5th year in a row to head up there. The weekend kick started with a guest speaker at the expo. We got to listen to Kara Goucher talk about the ups/downs of her last 2 years of training. There was even a Q & A portion in which I (yours truly) got to ask my question. You are probably wondering what question that might be. . . "What was the last show you binged watched on Netflix?" 😜

The second interesting aspect was that there were quite a few Springfield peeps up for the big race. It took nearly 800 miles from home to get to know each other, but we got to spend quite a bit of time with Amy and her husband, Lance. There were 7 of us running, and I was the only one running the HALF marathon. . . the other 6 were running the FULL marathon. I'm not sure if that makes me a wimp or the only SANE one in the group 😉.

So the full marathon is the premier event, and it starts at 7:45 am. They want all/most of us running the half marathon off the course before the elite men cross the finish line, so my race started at 6:15am!!! Every year when I'm getting up at 4:00 am I start to question why I do this to myself. However, the nice thing is that I'm finished running before the marathoners even start their race. Then I have 2 hours to cool down to the hotel, shower, and take a nap (yay for naps!!) before heading out to look for the others. The hotel I get hooked up with is conveniently located at mile 25, so I have a nice spot around 24.5 miles into the race where I can look for Marshall, then can quickly cross the bridge and see him again at mile 26.

Marshall at mile 26, only .2 to go - his 5th Grandma's Marathon
My lofty expectations of a massive PR were deemed unrealistic after dropping 3-4 workouts and a long run. Overall, I'm pleased with how I did. I found a group of 2 other ladies and a guy that seemed to be the pacer for one of the ladies. He seemed to be clicking off about 5:45 the first half of the race so I assumed the goal was sub 1:16. I will refer to him a the new Marshall, and I hoped he was as good a pacer as my Marshall is. The new Marshall did well for almost the first half, but then before I knew it we had 3 miles that were 10- 15 seconds off pace. This unfortunately lost me 30-40 seconds, so I had to move on and look towards the next runner. After I left the small pack, I managed to pass 2 sketcher runners by mile 9-10. At mile 10, you start to enter Duluth. I worked my way up "lemon drop hill" and had caught another female by mile 11.5. I could then see one more lady that was possibly within reach. She had about a 20 second lead on me with 1.5 miles to go, but I could tell she was coming back to me rather quickly or at least had become content with her effort. I flew down the brick road, looped around the harbor and boot, then pulled stride to stride with her just past mile 13 (so less than .1 to go). Unfortunately, I had spent myself just to catch up (my last mile had to be 15 or so seconds faster than hers, and I dropped one that was around 5:40). When she realized it was a women that pulled up next to her, she was able to respond and finished 1 second ahead of me. I was disappointed I couldn't quite get her, but I felt great to finish strong and be competitive.

The famous lift bridge, near the finish line. View from the Enger Tower
I was a little disappointed that my time wasn't faster because I felt so much smoother than I had at the Championships in April and I was only about 10 seconds faster. I felt that I was running better than I acutally was I guess. Either way, I'm always pleased to be under 1:17 and I'm encouraged that I had a race that actually felt good. 2017 hasn't been the best year of racing. It was snowing during my first race, 20 mph winds for my second race, and humid/storms at the championships. It was a little humid at Grandma's, but nothing compared to what we've had here in Missouri the last 2 weeks.

Up next. . .hoping for a good Marathon in October. Going to run Chicago!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

I'm back!

After being sick for over 2 weeks, I've finally had a solid 2 weeks of training. I had to drop 3 workouts and 2 long runs, which really bummed me out. I've been bumming around thinking this sickness was going to ruin my run at Grandma's next weekend, but I have a little more confidence now that I've nailed some workouts. I've got fairly good speed right now, but I'm not sure if the endurance is there. It could feel like a really long 13.1 miles next weekend!

We went ahead and changed my schedule around a bit to compensate for the sickness. I haven't been on the track since before the Half champs (early April), and would usually have 2-3 more workouts on the track. I haven't done any of my "staple" workouts.

Unfortunately, I ended up with something that eventually got deep into my chest. After 9 days, I finally gave in and got some antibiotics - then it was another 5 days before I felt like I could even attempt a fast workout. However, I was able to still run some short, slow, easy miles. Call it fresh legs (or maybe I didn't loose as much fitness as I had thought) but I NAILED a 6 mile tempo last weekend. The was run solo with Marshall joining me via the bike for 5 miles of it.

Then, on Wednesday of this week, I attempted a 3 x 2 mile with Marshall in tow. It wasn't easy as I would  have liked it to feel, but managed to run all of them right at goal half pace to a couple seconds per mile faster than goal pace.

Throw back to last year when I ran my PR!!
Lastly, this morning I ran another solo workout that I call "mini (ice cream) sandwich". Basically a tempo, followed by a short fartlek, followed by another tempo. I just shortened the segments a bit since Grandma's is next week end! Again, I was gearing the tempo portion to be close to goal pace, but the last tempo ended up being a quite a bit faster (5:30 pace - oops!). Hopefully I didn't get too carried away. I did have what I now refer to as my MAGIC SHOES. They are my new racing flats, and I figured I should probably run a workout in them. I'd rather the first time I have them on my feet not be during a race. Haha :)

Now I just have a small tune-up workout early this coming week and then it's just time to get the legs fresh and hope for the best. Realistically, a PR is probably out of the question, but hopefully I can run similar to what I ran in April.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


USATF Half Marathon Recap:
Top 20 finish
PR (sub 1:15:42)

15th overall

Despite the fact that storms were threatening a late start (or cancel. . . eek) the weather wasn't too bad for this event. This happened last weekend and all those storms we had in Missouri that caused all the flooding were working their way east to Ohio. It was a fairly humid morning, and we did get rained on around mile 8 or 9. However, I managed the humidity fairly well and I think this is what helped me place so high.

My race started 5 minutes before the Capital City Half race started, so I didn't get to run with Marshall. I just knew I couldn't run 5 minutes slower than him or he'd catch me before the finish!

In typical fashion of a championship event, I started out a bit to fast for myself. This happened to me the past 2 years also at the 10 mile championships. In the future, I'm going to make a conscious effort to not get carried away in the first 2 miles. I need to just trust that some of the ladies will come back to me as I preserve through the race. It's just fairly demoralizing when you open up with a 5:30 mile and are really close to being in last place, but I need to just do what works for me.

I never really knew what place I was in. I felt like I started really far back and slowly reeled in runners ahead of me that had also started out a bit to fast. I saw a couple ladies drop out as well, I don't know if it was the humidity or just not running the pace they wanted, so this also helped move me up to a higher finish.

I had trailed a girl for about miles 5-11, maintaining about the same distance the entire way (20 or so seconds). By the time we got to mile 11, I noticed I was finally gaining some ground on her. By mile 12, I think I had made up another 10-12 seconds on her! Great! I was starting to get a bit more competitive now. Right past mile 12, we started on a fairly decent size downhill, I was running about 5:25 pace, hoping I didn't start to go for it too early. I passed another girl that was struggling, and continued to focus on the girl I had been chasing the entire race. We finally got to the bottom of the  hill, had a right hand turn and started to climb a decent hill into a head wind. Let's just say my pace slowed severely, and I was positive that this girl I was chasing down would EASILY pass me right back. As I crested the top, nearly crawling, I was surprised I hadn't been passed back. I didn't want to look behind me, so I tried really hard to pay attention to the crowd to see if they were just cheering my name, or if the cheers included the other girl as well. Either way, I didn't want to chance it, and I didn't want my time to slow even more, so I made it to the finish line as quickly as my little legs would carry me.

Apparently that hill had the same affect on all the runners. And the girl I had been chasing down the entire time, happened to be the girl that we had dinner with at the elite pasta party the night before! Overall, I'm pleased with my time and EXTREMELY happy to finally break into the top 20 at a championship event. I wished I could have ran a PR,. I don't think that time (1:16) is a testament to my fitness, but apparently the race was pretty slow overall. I'm not sure why, but maybe the humidity and rain affected us more than I give it credit for. I'm also happy that I managed not to get a side stitch and felt fairly strong the entirety of the race.

Soaking wet by the time we got back to the hotel

**on a side note - several of the runners in the Capital City Columbus Half got pulled of the course. They black flagged it when a thunder and lightening storm came through. I'm thankful that both Marshall and I got to finish. However, the USATF race follows NCAA rules. So as long as I started, I would have had the opportunity to finish.

World's largest golf tee. Apparently this little town in Illinois had a whole bunch of  "World's Largest" items. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

April is off to a good start

Racing season has officially begun! The Reed's have got 5 "races" in 6 weeks - April through early May. This makes me feel like I'm in college again, traveling and racing every weekend.

We kicked things the first weekend in April. We headed down to Stockton State Park Marina to run in the 8th annual Crappie Day 5k. This was a good opportunity, being the week before Rock the Parkway Half Marathon, to get out the racing flats and get some speed work in. We ran surprisingly well. I ran my fastest time on that course, 17:21, which was a couple seconds faster than last year. This course always has more hills than I remember. It's actually not that bad, I'm just used to running in flat Springfield. For a bit more speed work, we jogged about a  mile away, to the flattest part we could find, and added 4 x 400. This was tough on tired legs.

Race 1: Havin' A Crappie Day 5k
Goal A - 1st female
Goal B - sub 17:30
Actual - 1st female; tied Marshall for 2nd overall
Actual - 17:21, then added 4 x 400 (all sub 78)

I think this was just past 2 miles in

Race 2: Rock the Parkway Half Marathon
Goal A - Top 2 female
Goal B - Sub 1:17
Actual - First female (10th overall: men and women); 1:18:10

I fell a bit short of my goal time, 70 seconds off. However, I feel pretty good about this race. This is an out and back type course, so the way back was into a 15-20 mph head wind. It was just a bit too much for me to maintain pace. Also the race didn't seem as competitive up in front, so the top 12 runners were very spread out. The next person behind me was over 90 seconds back. Luckily I had Marshall with me through about 10 or so miles. He then proceeded to have an awesomely fast finish and catch the runner in front of us, so he finished in 8th place. This was his highest finish at this race, despite being probably one of his slowest times on this course. 

March in Review:
1 race - Big 12 12k run; first female
Kimi - 305 miles
Penny - 4 miles (21 yearly total)
1 day no running
Highest week - 72 miles

Penny slacked off a bit this month. . . better get her back into shape ;)

I'm feeling really fit right now. I got my body fat checked today and it's right around where I usually am for goal races. I've got 3 weeks until the Half Marathon Championships!! Let's hope the weather is wonderful and I can have some good workouts the next few weeks. The focus these next weeks are going to be practicing taking in nutrition with cups during long runs. I got a mild side stitch around mile 3-4 during the half marathon this past week, and I'm blaming my awful ability to take in water through cups. 

Big 12 run; Finish line photo - it snowed the entire morning!!
In other news, the upstairs room is just about finished. The room that we started fixing the Friday after Thanksgiving. The room that Marshall thought would take only 4 weeks and be done by Christmas. Here we are 4 months later and it is just about done. It looks great though! Probably the best room in the house. Each room we fix gets better and better as we learn from past mistakes. I'm thinking we should have started up there. Haha! Pictures to come soon!