Sunday, February 26, 2012

Training week in review: Feb 19-26

Sunday 2/19: 8miles on Lakefront Path, wedding show, 1.5hour bike
Monday 2/20: BRICK workout -- 2k run@10k pace/8k bike/1k run@5k pace (5min jog) x3
and last LifeTime Monday night fun run
Tuesday 2/21: 4miles, 1hour bike
Wednesday 2/22: 60min tempo
Thursday 2/23: 7.5 mile easy recovery
Friday 2/24: 5miles easy, 45min bike easy
Saturday 2/25: 5miles easy, 1 hour bike
Sunday 2/26: 16miles with 4x5min @ 1/2marathon pace (3min jog b/w) with Joe in Barrington

For training log purposes, my week is Sunday through Saturday, so it was pretty nice to see an easy 50mile week coming up...I decided to do my long run last Saturday instead since I only had 50miles this week! The best part was that, since I only had to run 50miles this week, I was able to bike more. Normally I get 3.5-4hours in a week, which is AWFUL for a duathlete, BUT when you consider that I'm home literally 3 days a week and one of those is reserved for a long run, I think I'm doing the best that I can. So this week, I got in 5 hours 15minutes of biking! Sweet!!!

Mondays workout was INCREDIBLE. I planned it myself as I wanted to do a simulation of what Powerman Alabama would be. Powerman Alabama is the duathlon this year that will determine the US team for the World Championships in September. So to say this race is important would be an understatement.

I raced Powerman Alabama 2 years ago in an attempt to get my Professional License for Duathlon. Well, not enough girls participated so I didn't get it. BUT, I have that advantage going into the race in that I know the course! 2 years ago it was a 10k run, 60k bike, 10k run. This year for the Pros it's only a 10k run 40k bike 5k run!!! This is a HUGE advantage for me as I am obviously not as strong on the bike since I spent the entire past year just running.

The simulator was AWESOME. My 10k pace is probably around 6:05-6:10 right now if I had to guess, so that was my intention going into this brick. I was a little nervous because the wind was blowing 14mph in the direction I knew I'd be starting and finishing, but I figure it could be just as bad come race day. I ran a loop around the bike path by my house and then tacked on the extra .25 as the bike path is only a mile long. My splits are below. The runs felt EASY. I had to constantly slow myself down, so I think I'm finally back to the highest level I was at before my whole hamstring deal!

7:34, 7:24, 7:21 for the 2ks. 3:33, 3:31, 3:27 for the 1ks. The bike was indoor on the trainer, so it was just HARD the entire 12 minutes.

This run pretty much left me speechless. I flew into Minnesota for work on Tuesday, so I knew waking up Wednesday to run this tempo would be a struggle. I decided to run it after work if I had enough time, but if not that I would do it on Thursday. I think I made the right decision.

I warmed up for 1.5miles before deciding to get this workout started.

I started the treadmill at 6:27 pace as I didn't want to start right at 6:20 (what I wanted my average to be) in case I couldn't maintain it. I haven't done a straight out tempo in awhile, let alone an hour long one, so I was nervous that I couldn't hold pace. I have no idea really where I'm at right now in terms of fitness as I haven't technically finished a race since October...whoops.

About 5minutes in, I'm feeling like this is a warmup still so I put it at 6:22 pace and tell myself that every 9minute mark I'll increase the pace. This works fine and I have yet to feel fatigued at all....until the treadmill stops itself at 45minutes. Really?!?! Yes, I know most stop at 60minutes, but 45? Not cool. So I quickly realize what's happening and start the thing back up again. My legs are now confused and just trying to get back at pace as quickly as possible (I think I was at 6:07 at this point). It was hard once I stopped, so I honestly think I went further than the 9.6miles in the 60minutes, but whatever, it is what it is and I'll take that. It still tied the furthest I went in an hour for a tempo while marathon training:) I think a big factor was knowing I had to finish my cool down by 6:30 so I could meet my Aunt Holly at church for 7pm Ash Wednesday mass!

And a final recap of the week....full of more workouts than I realized! I felt pretty sore, specifically my IT bands, on Thursday and Friday so was a little nervous going into this long run. Luckily, my running partner Joe had agreed to incorporate my 4x5minute at 1/2marathon pace intervals into his 20miler in Barrington. The first 5miles just seemed to drag and felt super slow. I felt out of shape and was frustrated (they weren't slow; all were sub 7:30 pace). Next thing I knew, we were starting our first interval. The first interval was pretty flat and I am confident that we averaged 6minute or under pace--if you know the Barrington course, you know "flat" is rare, so no wonder we hit this with no problem. The next two intervals both happened to start with big uphills, so those were 6:15-6:20 average, which I was okay with considering the hills. The final interval had a few smaller hills, not much flat, but not huge climbs and I didn't get the average. If I had to guess I'd say 6:10-6:15, so that was nice to see. Overall, another great run with Joe! His first 20 of his marathon training was a success, so no complaints.

Ended this week with a wonderful (read "painful but necessary") massage by Dave Davis. That man is truly a miracle worker, so here's to hoping my 60minute progression tempo goes as well as my 60minute tempo this past week after now having seen Dave.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I'm a Saucony Hurricane!! and February recap

2012 really is shaping up to be THE BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE. Not only will I be marrying my best friend on October 13th and racing for PowerBar Team Elite (in addition to having the HUGE honor of Chicago Athlete of the Year--see below's delayed post), but I will be again racing as a SAUCONY HURRICANE!!!

I honestly have tried EVERY shoe there is. Nike, New Balance, Asics, Adidas, Brooks, Pearl Izumi, Puma... I really feel like I have tried them all, or as many as a typical running store carries. No shoe has been as nice to my feet as saucony shoes have.

So after not qualifying for the Trials like I had hoped (and truthfully not running an all-out half or full marathon once in 2011), I was very nervous that I wouldn't make the team again. At CIM (California International Marathon), I met SOOOOOO many female Hurricanes. All of them except for one actually finished the race....and that would be me. I know I made the right choice pulling out of the race as I'd rather be hurt mentally than physically, but I second guessed my decision many times when thinking that I might not make the team again.

Luckily for me, the decision makers knew that neither Milwaukee nor CIM showed what I was truly capable of with racing in 2011. So this year, I'm going to show them my gratitude with some awesome races:)

2/1-2/7: I was in Vegas for work. 14miles on the treadmill about killed me. So did the less-than-5-hours-of-sleep-each-night. I was glad to be home.
2/8-2/11: this time was spent regrouping and really getting back into biking since, GET THIS, the hotel in Vegas charged $20 a day if you weren't a Hilton Honors Silver member. And, it was those crappy stationary bikes too. So I said screw it, and decided I'd just be biking every single day that I got home. 2/11 I ran 16miles with friends as our FOOD TASTING was that day!

Sunday, 2/12: bike test. ROCKED IT.
Monday, 2/13: early morning 5mile (flight to Pittsburgh for work)
Tuesday, 2/14: nothing like a failed Valentine's Day workout... supposed to do 6x1mile at 10k pace. see recap below
Wednesday, 2/15: 8miles morning, 4miles evening plus 30min bike
Thursday, 2/16: BRICK 5min run @10k pace, 10min bike, 5min run@10k, 5min jog x3
Friday, 2/17: 2hour bike, 5mile run
Saturday, 2/18: 16mile run with 6x3min at 1/2marathon pace
Sunday, 2/19: 8mile run, 1.5hour bike
Monday, 2/20: planned BRICK consisting of 2k run @10k pace, 12min bike, 1k run@5k pace x3

Well, Tuesday's failed workout failed for multiple reasons. First, I had no idea what my 10k pace was. When I was really in shape near the end of training last year, it was 6minute pace. However, the 10k that I actually ran in October of last year, my hamstring cramped up for and I ran 6:15pace. So, not really thinking about that, I decided 6minute pace was my 10k pace again.


I called Cari after this disaster and she said we should start at 6:15 pace--even though I wasn't 100% for that race, that is the effort I put into it. I went 6:00, 6:00, 6:15 and texted Ryan that I suck at running. He called me and reminded me that I CRUSHED my bike test (see recap below), ran 5miles at 4:30am before my flight, and worked 15hours the day before. OF COURSE I should be tired and those paces should be hard. Bottom line, I need to figure out where I'm at so that I don't screw up my pacing and ruin a workout.

On January 7th, Ryan had me do my first bike test of the year. Basically, it works like this:

10min warmup
2x1min fast spin with 1min recov
calibrate the computrainer
4min easy
5min ALL OUT
10min recovery spin
20min ALL OUT

When I did this test in January, I didn't know you could shift the my 5min all out was 161 watts averaged and my 20min all out was 181 watts averaged. Whoops.

I did this again on February 12th.... I told Ryan while I was doing the 20min that if I averaged over 190watts, he owed me gummy bears (yes, candy motivates me; I'm a terrible influence). Well, that was 6min in.... I ended up averaging 200 watts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CRAZY!!!

The bike test on the computrainer then adjusts your workouts on the computrainer to basically get you better on the bike. This is a HUGE step for me, so I'm hoping that it translates to me qualifying for DUATHLON WORLDS!

The only other thing to post is that this brick workout today is completely simulating what Powerman Alabama will be like. The race is a 10k run, 40k bike, 5k run (different from years past when it was 10k/60k/10k). So, I've divided the race by 5ths and will be doing those distances at the same intensity to see how I do. I'll recap it next week..... to do some wedding planning before the Brick, which falls on the perfect day as Ryan and I are going to Ruth's Chris Steakhouse to eat dinner in celebration of our 4 year anniversary!


Well. The results are in.

Thanks to my AMAZING family and friends, I won Chicago Athlete of the Year!!!

What does this mean? Yes, I get some Cliff products (which might be awkward since Ryan works for PowerBar...), but more importantly, it makes me feel as though my time dedicated to solely running from December 2010-December 2011 was definitely worth it. I know I didn't qualify for the Trials, which was the original goal. I still look back at the whole process and wonder why I had to be so stubborn! If only I had listened to Coach Cari after my 2:56 Chicago 2009 Marathon when she said that I could qualify for the Trials. I had no idea what that meant really, but I only cared about duathlons because I just earned my Professional license that year.

BUT. You can't have regrets in life. Everything happens for a reason. If I had qualified, I might not be focusing on duathlons right now. If I had continued to run CIM in December with my hamstring throbbing, I could have completely destroyed that leg somehow.

So instead, I'm going to focus on qualifying by a LOT for the 2016 Trials. I'm going to put up the Chicago Athlete article in every hotel room I stay in (and take it down when I leave of course) to remind myself to get my butt out of bed every morning to get that quality workout/run/prehab/strength/core session done before work so I am fully focused on it.

Thank you again to all of my incredible family, friends and even strangers (who were encouraged to vote because of family/friends) for making this dream come true.

I promise I will not let you down. This Chicago Athlete of the Year is going to have an even better 2012 and show her appreciation for the title -- this racing season is for you!

is where the whole article is

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

January Recap: PROPOSAL and all!

It's been quite awhile.

Work has picked up, I am now engaged, and we just bought a house... so there's quite a bit of catching up to do! If you're not into the super mushy cute stuff, skip down after all the photos to read about running; otherwise, here's the proposal story!

More important than anything related to running....Ryan and I got ENGAGED!!! December 23, 2011 is the best day of my life thus far. In true Ryan and Jacqui fashion, running played a big role in the proposal.

I was working in Minnesota December 19-22. On my last day there, Ryan emailed me

and pasted the "Race Director's" email to him below (he created a fake email address to send messages to and told me the guy was the race director)

Ryan and I both got free entry since Ryan won the race that this guy put on before.

Now, you probably know how competitive we both are.... any time a registrant list is open to the public, we both look at it to see what are chances are of doing well. So, Ryan created a FAKE website (looks real, doesn't it?!) with REAL names of runners that I could beat...

He even made sure his name (and John Atchison, his best friend, was on there too).

After I agreed to doing the race, Ryan was all ready to put his plan into action. We drove to the University of Illinois down in Champaign (where we both went to school) for packet pickup at Body'n'Sole. Ryan had me go in to get our packets because he had to "take a work call."

When I went in, the guy at the counter only gave me my packet. I was a little upset since I wanted BOTH of us to win the $750 and we only had 45minutes til the start! So, I stormed out of there to tell Ryan to get in the store and make this guy give him a race packet. As soon as I got to the door, Ryan waved at me in his PowerBar car and sped off! Thankfully, I had my cell phone so was getting it out to call him. Next thing I know, John was in my face with his cell phone asking me what I had in my race bag and if I needed a ride! I took out my bib...

to find this note on the back....

After a pit stop at the Track (John did this so Ryan had enough time to get everything else done), we went to Firehaus. My senior year, I had "retired" from collegiate running as I just couldn't stop getting stress fractures. I decided to train for the Chicago Marathon (this is in 2007, the one that it was SUPER hot at). My training was going well until mid July when my Achilles started "creaking"-- any time I stood on my tip toes it felt like it was creaking. So, the weekend before classes started up again, I went out with one of my friends to Firehaus, a bar in Champaign. Ryan was there with some of the other track people and we started talking about the marathon. I told him about my Achilles and how I was bummed that I might not be able to run the marathon. He told me he'd give me some bike workouts so that my endurance could still stay up. This conversation basically brought us to where we are today, so the Chicago Marathon has a HUGE significance in our lives.

This clue led me to the Cookie Jar (well, Insomnia because it was Winter Break so Cookie Jar was closed).... the picture below is the "Long Run Completed" cookie that Ryan and I rewarded ourselves with after an 18miler in 20mph winds and light snow in the cornfields of Champaign while training for the 2008 St Louis Marathon.

So, we went awkwardly into Insomnia (the guy at the register had NO idea what I was talking about until John talked to him too!) and got my next clue.

Annnnnd this would be Joe's. When we went out that night Ryan and I just danced the night away.....and for those of you who don't know me, I very much dislike dancing. I'm just not coordinated, so to dance with Ryan really showed how crazy I was (and still am) about him.

Ryan recapping the Joe's situation. We also made a list of things that we wanted to do before graduating U of I.... the Eternal Flame was one of the things that was on the list as we had just started dating, but I could already see myself being with him forever.

Eternal Flame. There was construction and it was dark, so the picture wasn't that great of quality.

The next clue I had a hard time with. After realizing where it was, it made perfect sense... I just don't remember things being so cheap back then;)

This place would be Ko Fusion, or K. O. Fusion as Ryan would call it.

He even had rice taped to a sushi bowl with the clues pretending to be pieces of sushi.

The clues.

Ryan and I worked together at Mettler Athletic. After I "retired" from collegiate running, I knew I needed to get a job since I would have some free time and want some money! Working at a fitness center only seemed to make sense. I got Ryan a job there as well... I guess we are both a little dorky!

This clue also had a large red bag full of black ballet flats, black leggings, a brown going-out type shirt, a necklace ("bling" as Ryan says) and some eye makeup. There was also hair gel....but Mettler was closed, despite telling Ryan that they would be open. So, taxi-driver John took me to Dunkin Donuts and I just changed in there. Remember, I was in my racing clothes as I really thought we were going to a race!

Ryan had me head to Radio Maria, the place of our first official date. On our first date, he had the waiter bring me out a gorgeous red rose after pouring our waters. So, for the proposal he had wanted to hang up a sign with 1,452 red roses (fake) spelling out "Marry Me?" However, the restaurant said NO because it would "ruin the ambiance." A romantic restaurant, having someone propose at a romantic is that ruining the ambiance?? Oh and the 1,452 (same as my bib number) stood for how many days we had been dating.

Walking up to Ryan at the restaurant, my eyes were flooded with tears. I had been calming myself down to not cry throughout the whole scavenger hunt of clues but just LOST it when I saw him in his perfect white shirt and dress pants. I couldn't believe that my dreams were coming true and Ryan was asking me to marry him.

There is a video on YouTube, but they keep taking it down because Ryan put music to it and apparently that's a violation of some sorts. Anyway, I of course said YES YES YES! and we have set a date.

October 13, 2012

We set this date for two reasons: (1) as you just read, the Chicago Marathon is very significant in our dating. The second Sunday of the month is usually when the marathon is; however, it is also always the day before Columbus Day. SO, this year October 1st is on a Monday, and the second Monday of the month (the 8th this year) is always Columbus Day, so the marathon is October 7th. This works out perfectly for any of our friends/family running it. (2) Ryan (December) and I (May) are both born on the 13th.

Being the anal planner that I am, we have the big things (besides my dress) done. We are actually even having our food tasting this Saturday, so you know I'm doing a long run then!!!

We also found out that the house next door to Ryan's brother Jerry was listed recently as a foreclosure. Since I'm traveling Tuesday-Friday and Jerry works like crazy (he owns his own business), Ryan and his sister-in-law seem to be solo a lot, so it'll be nice that they can hang out when Jerry and I are gone working. And it will be even nicer when the four of us are all home! We put our offer in, after a LOT of investigating and talking with the Realtor, and found out that we didn't get it on Wednesday, January 18th. Then Ryan got a call on Friday, January 20th saying that the couple who bid higher than us didn't sign the paperwork within the 48hour time frame so the house was ours if we could sign and submit the paperwork in time. We of course did and now have a house to call ours! The house is a 3-bedroom, 2-bath with a finished basement, HUGE backyard and a shed in Oakwood Hills, which is basically a part of Cary, IL.

As if the excitement of getting engaged and purchasing a home isn't enough, I found out this week that I was accepted as a part of the POWERBAR TEAM ELITE!!! After not making it two years ago, this was a HUGE deal to me, especially since I religiously use the product anyway since Ryan is a Nutrition Tech Rep for the company!

Coach Cari Setzler and I have been communicating on my key races this year. My only real goals are to qualify for Duathlon Worlds and run a 2:45 marathon. They are definitely huge goals, but I think that if I do all of the right things to achieve them, it is possible.

The races that I have on my schedule so far include PowerMan Alabama on March 25th which will be the qualifier for Duathlon Worlds and the Race That's Good for Life 5k on April 1st as they have a Mother-Daughter division that I want to win with my mom:)

Since my job title is a little different now, I am making it a priority to update my blog weekly like all of my running friends. Feel free to hold me accountable as I love reading all of my friends (and competitors alike) blogs! Off to go workout now.....