In September I ran 3 races:  The Chicago Half Marathon (Chicago, IL), The Autumn Rock n’ Run 5K (Orlando, FL) and the Miracle Miles 15K (Orlando, FL).  Today, I want to discuss my experience in each race, my goals, what I learned from each race and what I’m doing to meet my goals.

The Chicago Half Marathon September 9, 2012:  Finished 1:41:35/44 out of 1,295 in age group/193 out of 6,815 females/1003 out of 12,105 overall

My goal for running the Chicago Half Marathon was to finish around my PR of 1:39:41 (May, 2012).  I was pleased with finishing a little over 2 minutes over my PR – I had some IT Band pain that ran in to my knee throughout miles 5 and 6 and I know I slowed down during those 2 miles.  I am confident I would have PR’d if it weren’t for that pain.  After 2 disappointing half marathon times before this one (North Shore Half Marathon: 1:49:40 and the Chicago Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon: 1:53:07) I was so happy that I finally made it back to that range.  I prepped for the Chicago Half marathon by eating perfect for a runner, stretching more and keeping up with my training runs the week of the race.  The weather was also perfect which also helps.

The Autumn Rock n’ Run 5K September 15, 2012:  Finished 22:36/5 out of 151 in my age group/34 out of 996 females/152 out of 1,705 overall

My goal for this 5K was to PR – my PR is 21:23 (April, 2012).  It was very disappointing because I thought I had done much better.  I was pushing it but I felt fairly well through the whole race.  I finished 22:09 in my previous 5K and I was tight, sore and the entire race was uncomfortable.  I was very surprised that I finished slower at this one.  5Ks seem to be a little more tough for me.  You don’t have time to warm up so you have to get a good mile in beforehand, which I did not do.  If you start slow, there is little to no time to make it up.  You have to start strong and finish strong in a 5K.  I started incorporating speed training twice per week to improve my time.  I do a Tempo run on Tuesdays and repeat sprints on Thursday.

The 14th Annual Miracle Miles 15K September 22, 2012:  Finished 1:10:58/7 out of 188 in my age group/31 out of 920 females/134 out of 1,678 overall

My goal for this race was to finish between 1:08:00-1:10:00; I had only run 1 other 15K in my life and that was my first race after having my son and taking a full year off of racing so I really had nothing to compare my time to.  I was pleased but not thrilled with my time.  My shoe came untied and I had to stop to tie it just as I was getting my comfortably fast pace and getting “in the zone”.  That definitely slowed me down along with my IT band pain coming back at mile 8 and making the last 1.3 miles pretty difficult.  It was hot and humid as well – I don’t run to my full potential when it’s hot and humid.  I am hoping my speed training will help me with my next 15K (Chicago Hot Chocolate 15k November 4, 2012).  I know the temperature will be ideal for running.  I also switched to a slightly more supportive shoe to help with my IT Band as well as working on my flexibility.

I ran 3 races in September 2012 and for the conditions, I feel I had fairly successful races.  On average, I finish in the top 3% in my age group and in my overall gender group and in the top 8% in the overall group.  I am working and training harder, the temperature should be improving in Orlando and hopefully working on my flexibility and getting a more supportive shoe will all help me improve my time and ultimately get me a 1st place win in my age group again.

Next Race:  U Can Finish 5 Miler October 14, 2012

Set goals for yourself, work towards them, keep improving and keep running!

XOXO The Glam Runner

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