Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Garminless Wonders and an American Breakfast

Since saying goodbye to my Garmin for the time being, I've completed only a few runs. I like how I've been feeling and I'm going to keep this break going. Temperatures in Chicago have cooled off a smidge, lending to some comfortable runs (instead of "omg I want to die. This sucks" runs). On Saturday I got up early and got in an 8 miler before the sun was high in the sky.

So have you all been watching the Olympics and seeing all the drama unfold in swimming and gymnastics? Missy Franklin and that forever huge smile. Ryan Lochte and uh Ryan Lochte. The upsets in womens gymnastics. We are only on day 4 folks and the track and field events haven't even started yet!! I've been following along the coverage via twitter, Facebook, and NBCOlympics.com. You can even watch events live on the website! In preparation for yet another Olympic day, I has myself an American breakfast.

Team USA cereal (from Kellogg's of course) with blueberries on top. It was patriotic and it was delicious. I'll continue to wear my red, white, and blue outfits this week in honor of the Olympics. What are you doing to show your patriotism? Dressing like Will Ferrell ala SNL?

P.S. Have you entered my Pro Compression raffle yet? Only $2 per entry this time around!!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pro Compression Raffle

As many of you know, I'm a huge fan of Pro Compression socks. I have them in two colors, purple and yellow.

I like to wear them for recovery after a tough workout or while running to help those calves through some hills.
Attempted Quarryman Challenge

I also wear them sometimes when I'm racing (photos below are from the Jim Gibbons 5k).

Why am I talking all about Pro Compression? Because they have graciously donated a pair of Marathon socks for me to raffle off! You get to choose your size and color preference (including the new color, orange).

Now the big question, how do you enter this amazing raffle?

Donate to my charity, Open Heart Magic by clicking HERE. For this raffle, every $2 donation = 1 entry. ($2 for 1, $4 for 2, $6 for 3, etc.)

Those that have donated to this raffle (or any previous raffle) can gain additional raffle entries if you:
1) like ProCompression on Facebook
2) like Running Kellometers on Facebook
3) blog about the raffle
4) follow Pro Compression on Twitter
5) tweet about the raffle (@kellywils0n)
Example: I've donated to @kellywils0n's @openheartmagic raffle to win a pair of @procompression socks. Have you?? http://bit.ly/LYKq2S

If you do any of the items mentioned above, please leave a comment letting me know so I can be sure to include the additional entries (you can include everything all in one comment)! (If you have any questions please leave a comment or send me an email!)

You have until Monday, August 6th (11:59pm CST) to enter. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, August 7th. Best of luck!

This raffle is open to all readers who donate or have previously donated to the Open Heart Magic charity. Winner must contact me within 48 hours of being announced.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Taking a Break From Technology

I had a bit of an epiphany these last few days. Since Rock N Roll, I decided to take a few days off. I needed a mental break from the heat and the pressure I put on myself. This summer has been hot. The hottest summer in 70 years, to be exact. That doesn't really lend itself to PRs. Therefore, I've decided to take a break from my Garmin.

I depend on it too much. I let it control my workouts. I let it control how I feel about my run. I let it control me. I watched a recent interview with Ryan Hall where he said he's been training for the Olympic Marathon without a Garmin. He's been going by feel and pushing his body without worrying about how fast a particular split was. Coach Britt also did a post recently talking about the unreliability of Garmins and such. I've had some success running without my Garmin in the past, so I know it can be done.

I love my Garmin, don't get me wrong. We have a long history together with lots of great long runs, new distances, and PRs. However, I think it is time for us to spend some time apart. I love running and I want to get out there and remember why I love it. I also know that my Garmin will be there for me when I want/need it again.

And because it is Friday, here are a few GIFs to help visualize how I've felt this summer, and hopefully make you smile.

How I feel while running with my Garmin:

While I feel while running without my Garmin:
Happy Friday!!!

P.S. Have you checked out my interview with Dr. Andy Baldwin yet?

Oiselle London Calling Tee NEW Winner!!!!

As the previous winner did not contact me by the deadline, I have drawn a new winner! And that new winner is...
Jill Yott

Congratulations Jill! Please email me your mailing info (including preferred size and tee color) ASAP to runningkellometers at gmail dot com so the folks at Oiselle can send out your tee in time for opening ceremonies. Please respond by Saturday, July 28 at 11:59pm CST. If I don't hear from you by then, I'm going to pick another winner.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Interview with Dr. Andy Baldwin

After having a not-so-great half marathon performance at the Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon on Sunday, I tried my best to hydrate and get my game face on immediately following the race. Why? Because it was time for my big interview with Dr. Andy Baldwin!

Here is a little bit of background on Andy and some of his accomplishments. (You can find out more information by checking out his website here.)
  • Completed 8 Ironman competitions
  • Doctor
  • U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander
  • On Season 10 of TV's "The Bachelor"
  • Humanitarian
I headed to the VIP tent and met up with my contact at Team Refuel with Chocolate Milk.
My first VIP bracelet just for being a blogger...
As soon as I saw him smile, as I introduced myself and we sat down, I knew this interview was going to be fun. Andy is a very down to earth guy and he was very easy to talk to.

First things first, we talked about the race and Chicago in general. He said he didn't run with a watch and just wanted to run by feel. (Considering the conditions, he still finished around 1:37-1:38.) I think a lot of us have been feeling this way in the Chicago temps these days! He said he's been to Chicago a half-dozen times for the marathon (he completed the Chicago Marathon in 2010), the Taste of Chicago, and Navy week. "I just love this city. I mean, look at it!" The VIP tent was located in the south east corner of Grant Park, lending some spectacular views of the skyline. I must say that I agree! :)

Now it was time for my "official" questions. I was a bit of a nerd and recorded our conversations. I ended up being quite loopy post-race so I was happy that I did this. In transcribing things, I tried to quote Andy as directly as I could! :) Sorry it is so long but I didn't want to leave anything out!

Q (me): As we all know you were on an entire season of TV's The Bachelor. What was the thing you gained the most out of that experience?

A (Andy): A tremendous amount of growth, personal growth. It is not a glorious experience that many people think, being under the public microscope and becoming famous overnight. It is very difficult and you need to have a thick skin. It was also a big re-framing for me when I realized the impact you could have on the public by being a good role model. It allowed me to have a platform to talk about, inspire, and motivate people to get into triathlons, running, and giving back to the community. I learned what truly mattered in life.

Q: I know you're involved with Let's Move and ING Kids Rock which are two organizations fighting childhood obesity here in the U.S. Can you talk about those organizations, kind of segwaying off the previous question?

A: I'm a doctor and I love kids and sports. This is something that is a natural fit for me. It is something that I talk about every day: the importance of physical activity for not only your mental and physical health but giving you the confidence to achieve and succeed. When I was based in DC I did a lot of work with the Surgeon General and got to know the folks at the White House. That is how I was connected to the Let's Move campaign, along with ING Kids Rock and their commitment towards getting school running programs set up. There is no greater feeling than seeing these kids cross the finish line and get a medal and their smiles. They feel they can achieve anything and we are setting them up for success. It is so simple to do if you can spare just a little bit of your time; it is so important.

Q: You've done several different Ironman races. Can you talk about what inspired you to do your first one and why you continue to do them? For me, I can't even imagine the concept of an Ironman and that the marathon is the "home stretch." I barely finished my first marathon last year so the concept of an Ironman is so foreign to me. Maybe you can talk about how you went from your physical fitness state to the Ironman.

A: I believe it is limitless what the human body can achieve. There are so many times we put limits on ourselves and don't think something is possible. I was very much inpsired by people like Mark Allen and Dave Scott as I was eating Wheaties as a kid and first heard about the "Ironman" thing. Just like you, I did a marathon first. If you do the conditioning and the training, you make steps towards achieving it. You've got to push the limit in your head farther and farther along until the next thing you know you're on the start line getting ready to be in physical motion for more than 10 hours. And when you do it, you can't believe its over, and you're ready for the next one. I think that is what life is really about: constantly pushing the envelope, getting outside your comfort zone, and setting personal goals and achieving them.

---At this point, someone stopped by to talk to Andy about his pace, the completion of the race, and drenched they were from the weather. I jumped in soon after continuing the conversation of how hot it was, saying I lost my singlet at mile 3. Andy immediately said that I could "totally do an Ironman." My response was that the swimming would most definitely be the hardest part since I am not a swimmer. Andy grew up swimming and swam in college and he mentioned that this translated well when moving into the world of triathlons and Ironman competitions. He then said "Never say never!" The mind is so important. If you believe in yourself, you can do anything.

Q: Now that you've done many distances and races along the spectrum, what is your favorite distance and what is your favorite race?

A: With the busy work life these days, I've really come to love the half marathon and half Ironman distances. It's not going to crush you in the way of training requirements and put you out of commission like an marathon or an Ironman would. And yet you still feel like you got a great workout in. There are also great series like Rock N Roll where you can do races around the country where all you need is your sneakers. You've got entertainment and a great group of people. With Refuel being part of the race series, I get to see my friends from Refuel and get in the good nutrition to bounce back so I can go back to work the next day and deliver babies!

Q: That's great that you get to travel around with your friends. You're a captain, right? Can you talk about that?

A: A great group fol folks including Olympic swimmers, NBA players... Apolo Ohno, Dara Torres, and Ricky Berens. It is a lot of fun and I'm honored to be an ambassador and captain for Team Refuel, especially since I've been drinking chocolate milk since I was a little baby. It so pure and simple--it has all the right components. Your muscles are hungry after a hard workout and you get a 3 to 1 carbs to protein ratio.

Q: What was your favorite race you've ever completed?

A: Doing my first Ironman in Hawaii. Nothing beats running down Ali'l Drive, completing something that I never thought I would be able do. Falling into my Dad's arms, it is something that I'll never forget. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life.

Q: I get chocked up just watching the finishing videos every once in awhile and I've never even completed that race--just seeing it. I can only imagine actually being there and being the one to complete the race. I've read a couple of blogger recaps for full and half Ironmans... It is so exciting! But the swimming part...

A: You gotta do it!! You gotta do the half Ironman and go to the full Ironman. I predict it! I'm there every step of the way for motivation if you need it. Just make sure you've got your chocolate milk.

One of the fellow Refuel team members mentioned the blog post where I asked questions from my readers. She said that the comments were asking what type of work he does in the community. I was happy for this reminder to bring me back to my last question!

Q: One of my blog readers works for the Lions Club and she mentioned that you were a Lions Club member. Can you talk about your involvement with this organization?

A: I'm in the Lions Club and it has come in handy. I do a lot of international work with the military; any time I'm overseas there are Lions Clubs around. When I was in El Salvador, dealing with a really tough case with a kid who had some real health challenges and couldn't afford to get health care, I was able to call up the local Lions Club and get this guy connected in. I originally was connected to them in Sacaramento as they were doing work after 9/11 with service members. I learned about what they did, especially with eyeglasses. We organized a couple drives for glasses. Now the times I've spent in Kenya, South America, and Central America we've given out lots and lots of eyeglasses donated through the Lions Club.

After my last question, we took a photo with the beautiful skyline in the background!

Overall, I had a lot of fun with the interview as Andy was so easy to talk to! I felt I got to know more about him and some of the great ways in which he uses his fame to give back to the community on both a local and international scale. If you're interested in learning more about Andy's adventures, you can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Thanks again to Dr. Andy and Team Refuel for helping to set this up! It was a great opportunity and now I'm hungry to do more interviews for the blog! 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rock N Roll Half Marathon Race Recap

I had a really really lofty goal for this race as you all know. I was aiming for 1:45. I put in the work and it was time to see the fruits of my labor. Unfortunately, mother nature had other plans for my PR hopes. I tried my best not to focus on the weather and adjusted my goal to be around 1:50-1:55. After a zombie apocalypse dream the night before, I wasn't off to a great start to the day. I met up with Maggie, Amanda, and Kim to carpool to the city for the race. I could sense that things were warm and humid, but I tried to focus on what I could control--my pace. We parked in a discount $2 lot that is a little bit of a walk to the start so we were late for the pre-race blogger meetup. There were a few other stragglers so we grabbed a quick pic.
L to R: Maggie, Markemmanuel, Kayla and me
We did make it in time to see lots of FN runners before the race too.

(Thanks for letting me steal your photos Maggie!)
I then headed to the corrals. I was going to start in corral 7, still aiming towards my lofty goal. I ran into Gingerfoxxx so we said some hellos before the gun went off. I started out and felt strong. I was starting to get into a stride and passed Susan and Wayne from the FN runners around mile 2. I felt great and was still smiling. This was my goal race!!

And then at mile 3 I had cotton mouth. I was so thirsty but I knew I shouldn't have a lot to drink. I always get a sloshy stomach when I drink too much during a race. I watered normally at the water stops and took a few small sips from my handheld. At mile 4, the singlet came off and I had to switch my bib from my shirt to my shorts. That bib was massive to begin with so it was a little cumbersome to do while still trying to run. At this point I hadn't seen a single misting station, we were out in the sun in the middle of no where and I was HOT. I grabbed some ice, at the next cooling station, put it in my sports bra and slowed down my pace. At this point, things were looking more like 2:00 than 1:50. Around mile 5, when Wayne and Susan passed me with a friendly wave and I knew I was in trouble. Around mile 6 I knew my pace was slowing even more and I just could not cool off. I was so hot and we still had a looong way to go on the course. I felt completely defeated and my Garmin kept beeping that there was a low battery. I decided to turn it off and just try to finish. I just wanted to stop running. I was so hot and there was nothing I could do.

I picked up some more ice around mile 8 (after shedding some tears at mile 7) and grabbed 2 cups. I put some in my sports bra and ate the other cup. Yet again, I hadn't been misted and I was still sooooo hot. Why was none of this stuff working??? At mile 9 I finally got misted and that felt nice. At mile 10 there were sponges but by that point, it was so late. Some folks with a 2:00 pace sign were passing me at this point but I couldn't muster up the energy to ask them what corral they stared in. They seemed to be moving so fast, I just couldn't keep up for more than a half mile. There were a few small hills that I just walked up. Some of the coaches for Team In Training and American Cancer Society were cheering through the hills "What hill?? You can do this!" I just said to myself some expletives about these "hills" and kept walking. I was miserable, was no where NEAR my goal, and just wanted to be done. Who's bright idea was it to have a goal race in July?? Haha. More misting and icing somewhere between mile 11 and 12. When I finally saw the mile 12 sign, I felt relief. I was almost done with this sh*t show of a race and I could be done. Once I saw the finish line, I just started to move my arms as fast as I could. I once heard that if you move your arms fast, your legs will follow. That is what I did and that is what happened--except the finish line seemed to get farther and farther away, no matter how fast I ran. I was picking up some speed as I was so excited to finally be DONE. I threw my hands up in the air as I begrudgingly crossed the finish line. IT WAS FINALLY OVER!! I was dyyying when I was done. I couldn't breathe. I was so hot and there was no water in sight. I finally found some water and started down the path grabbing lots of foods as I went in an attempt to cool off... Chocolate milk, popsicles, Jamba Juice smoothies... nothing was working. I still felt so hot. I took a "finisher photo" and so far, this is the only photo showing up on the website.

Considering how crappy I felt for 90% of this race, I would be happy if this is the only photo. I slowly made it over to the gear check area for Ups for Downs (Amanda's charity that graciously let us store our stuff at their spot). I still needed water. After I got some, I felt better and headed over to the VIP tent to interview Dr. Andy Baldwin. He was a really great guy to interview and I was happy for the experience! (I'll be posting more on the interview later this week!) 

After my interview with Andy, I met up with Coach Britt to talk about the race and how disappointing it was. Her husband ran the race too and he didn't meet his goal either. It seems like a lot of people didn't meet their goals during this race. After talking with Britt, I felt much better about the state of things. Although I didn't meet my goal, I still put in a lot of hard work and great workouts that no one can take away from me. I have been building a strong base during the hottest summer of my entire life. I guess that can only lead up to an EPIC fall and winter race season once these ridiculous temperatures start to cool off. I have to stick with the positive takeaways!

Once the endorphins from the race and the Andy Baldwin interview subsided, I felt light headed. I was having trouble putting complete sentences together while talking to Britt so I decided it was probably a good idea to stop by the medical tent. They laid me down, put some more ice on me and gave me some salt water (yes, it tastes as gross as it sounds). I just laid for a little while and tried to cool off. Maggie, Amanda, and Kim met me there and kept me company while I was waiting to feel a bit better. (I was supposed to drive home and didn't want to feel loopy on the highway.)

Thanks to Maggie for reminding me to capture this moment. :) Maggie was also able to look up my official finishing time while I was "chilling" in the med tent... 2:05:28. Not too bad considering all the walking and how horrible I felt... After I felt better and not like I was going to throw up, we headed home. (Thanks again Amanda for driving my car home!) This wasn't my day and I'm okay with that. There is always another half marathon I can do. I'm still going to try for that 1:45. I just know I can do it! I plan on running the Zooma race in Lake Geneva with several of the other Chicago area bloggers. Maybe that will be a goal race? Temperatures in October should be cooler than July. :)

Overall thoughts on the Rock N Roll race:
Pros: lots of cool stuff at the expo, well organized race, great swag and post-race party, love that it runs through the streets of Chicago, early start time for a summer race
Cons: the expo being at McCormick place (the most inconvenient place ever), the course itself (lots of "psych-outs" and turns), a white race shirt (can see your sports bra, gets dingy fast, not great for people with hard water)
Overall: The pros outweigh the cons and I will probably run this race again next year!

And I just want to say again, thanks to everyone for all their support through the blog and Facebook. I am so lucky to have such great readers and friends to cheer me on, regardless of the end result. I really do appreciate it so much. 

Oiselle London Calling Tee Winner

Through Random.org, the winner of the Oiselle London Calling Tee is....

Congratulations Solana! Please email me your mailing info (including preferred size and tee color) right away to runningkellometers at gmail dot com so the folks at Oiselle can send out your tee in time for opening ceremonies. Please respond by Wednesday, July 25 at 11:59pm CST. If I don't hear from you by then, I'm going to pick another winner.

Thanks so much for all of your participation and special thanks to the folks at Oiselle for donating a tee for the giveaway!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rock and Roll Half Marathon Expo

Yesterday I ran my first Rock and Roll race. Due to the cost, I hadn't participated in this race in previous years. For 2012, I got a good deal and took advantage. The expo itself was located at McCormick Place. If you live in Chicago, you know this is a fairly inconvenient location. RNR didn't offer any sort of shuttle service (like the Chicago Marathon does) so you were on your own to figure out parking and everything else. I ended up going on Friday and took the train from the Loop after work. I met up with Maggie along the way. We got our bibs and took a quick photo before we headed to the Brooks booth.

Brooks was the main sponsor for this race and I regretted ordering a medium tee versus a small since they ran kind of big. We tried to win a pair of Brooks shoes but I ended up with a bandanna and pair of sunglasses instead. That's okay, it was some nice swag regardless. We then saw the blue screen photo booth where we had to take a quick snapshot. It isn't loaded yet on Brooks' website unfortunately. I'll be sure to update this post when it becomes available.

We continued to move up and down the aisles and ran into Amanda at the Zensah booth. I chickened out asking Dean Karnazes for a photo as his time at the expo was coming to a close. Instead we made sure to get some quality photos with Charlie, the Starkist tuna mascot. They were giving away sooo much tuna. I think Maggie walked away with 10 packets. I'm not a fan of tuna so I just snagged some coupons for my mother-in-law.

There were lots of other great samples and coupons as pictured below! So Delicious was even giving out free (dairy free) ice cream bars! I was happy to get a chance to try some more Nuun flavors and the Clif powder as I have been liking electrolyte powder versus Gatorade for my races (they're easier on my stomach surprisingly). I also purchased a tube of Zipfizz. TBD how it works out!
All the race swag. Not pictured: 3 tee shirts. They were already in the laundry.

I had a great time at the expo and was able to try out some great products. A full race recap will be coming either tomorrow or Wednesday. I need a few days to think about everything that was the race. If you're friends with me on Daily Mile, you already know how things turned out. Spoiler alert: it was hot day in Chicago and things didn't go my way. I still finished though and am now eligible for Half Fanatics. Also, my interview with Dr. Andy Baldwin went really well! I recorded the interview and didn't take great notes (I was a little loopy post-race) so it will take me a little bit to go through the audio. Stay tuned as I'll be sure to have both recaps up this week.

Today is the last day to enter my Oiselle London Calling Tee giveaway. You have until 11:59pm CST tonight to enter!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pre Race Thoughts Through GIFS

When I hear temps are going to be 96 degrees on race day.

That's okay. I'm still going to give it my all.

During every downtown race, this is how I feel during the first few miles --- boxed in!

For majority of the race.....
What I think I look like.

What I actually look like.

In the middle of the race, this is where my mind goes.

After its all over, this is how I feel.

Aaaand this is how I look.

Happy Friday my friends! 

Sources: here here here
This post was inspired by SOYEAHDUH

Have you sent me your questions for my interview with Dr. Andy Baldwin tomorrow? I'll do my best to ask those that I can! :)

There's still time to enter the Oiselle London Calling Tee giveaway! You have until Monday, July 23rd. Get your entry in time for the tee to arrive before the opening ceremonies!! :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

An Officer and a Triathlete

Is anyone here a fan of the Bachelor? Do you remember season 10-- "Officer and a Gentleman" starring Dr. Andy Baldwin, physician and U.S. Naval officer? In case you don't remember, maybe this photo will jog your memory?

Dr. Andy Baldwin (let's just call him Andy) will be running the Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon this weekend (aka my goal race). The folks at Team Refuel asked me if I wanted to interview him. After doing a little bit of research, I found out that in addition to being on the Bachelor, he's an accomplished triathlete (8 Ironman's under his belt) and does a lot of humanitarian work across the globe.
Andy with Bart Yasso at the NYC Marathon 2011

 I want to find out more about him so of course I said yes!
Andy at the RNR USA expo with Team Refuel Source
If you have any questions you want me to ask Andy, let me know! I'm going to be interviewing him after the race this Sunday (we'll both be extra sweaty) so feel free to send me any questions today or tomorrow. :) If you'd like to learn more about Andy before deciding on your questions, you can check out his website here and his Wikipedia page here

And don't forget... if you haven't yet, don't forget to checkout my Oiselle London Calling Tee giveaway! Entries accepted through Monday, July 23rd!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

More Race Prep

Last night I had a run on the schedule of 4 miles. I tried to do some mental focusing getting ready for the race. It was a bit humid yesterday and I came back from my run just a little sweaty...

I'd like to think that I had so much sweat because I was sweating off the nerves and fear that often accompany a goal race. I have worked hard for this. I can do this. It is supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it.

The half marathon course shape is kind of similar to the Chicago Marathon. I'm trying to picture myself at different points in the course, meeting the time I want to meet. I don't want to obsess about the weather, but I definitely have a Plan A, B, and C. I already regret checking Sunday's weather because it is back up to 96. (It was predicted as 90 a few days ago, and read as a predicted 89 degrees in the elevator this morning.) As we can't control the weather, I'm TRYING not to focus on it. :) Last night I did my laundry and have laid out my race day outfit. I'm getting excited. The big day is almost here...

Have you entered my Oiselle London Calling Tee giveaway yet? You have until Monday, July 23rd to enter.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oiselle Giveaway

Some of you may have noticed a new badge on my blog a few weeks ago. I've recently joined the Oiselle Team of ambassadors! I already loved their brand and constantly talked about how awesome their stuff is so why not try to be part of the team? :) To find out more about Oiselle's history, click here.

During the track trials in Eugene, Oregon, the folks at Oiselle were promoting their brand and trying to get the word out. They even hosted a contest for 2 blogging friends to win a trip to the trials (being an ambassador, I wasn't eligible to enter--otherwise I would have). They had a few runners competing to be on the Olympic team (including Kate Grace on the far right who made it to the semis for the 1500m).

Unfortunately no one made the Olympic team this year for Team Oiselle, but we have high hopes for the future. During the week long trials in Eugene, Oiselle also hosted a party complete with MC Hammer as the headliner (insert 1990s problems joke here). And of course, the event list wouldn't have been complete without a fashion show. Ummm I want pretty much everything! To see what I'm talking about check out the video below.

All the folks at Oiselle have Olympic fever too. And in honor of this Olympic fever, the folks at Oiselle are going to give one lucky reader a London Calling tee! I have one that I won from an Instagram contest and I absolutely love it. I've already worn it to work and I wore it during the entire 2nd half of the track trials.
The winner has their choice of color (orange, grey or white) and size (this tee fits pretty true to size).

How do you enter to win? Leave a comment telling me the event you're most excited to watch at the Olympics

For additional entries, feel free to do any of the following and summarize everything in a single comment.
1) Like Running Kellometers on Facebook
2) Facebook about the giveaway, mentioning Running Kellometers
3) Tweet about the giveaway, mentioning @kellywils0n
4) Follow my blog through Blogger (on the right-hand side of the home page)

Entries will be accepted until Monday, July 23 at 11:59 pm CST. The winner will be chosen on Tuesday, July 24 by 9:00am. This contest is open to any readers in the U.S.

Monday, July 16, 2012

More Weather Frustrations

Last week I talked about how I wasn't going to post my whiny entry. Instead, I'm posting this whiny entry today. I hate hot weather. No matter how much I put myself out there and how hard I try, my workouts still suck. I am trying to get acclimated to the heat but it just hasn't been working. I'm getting out there when it's hot out. I'm not running to the treadmill when temps are in the 90s. When it is in the high 70s, why do I still struggle!? Why did I think it was a good idea to plan a goal half marathon to work my butt off for during one of the hottest Chicago summers on record? My goal race is only 6 days away. That means the forecast is out and things are not looking good. Highs in the low 90s. Ugh. (Hopefully that means it will be in the 60s at the start of the race and when we finish, temps will still be in the low 70s. A girl can dream, right?) This is the time when I'm supposed to be focusing on what I've worked towards over the past 12 weeks. I'm supposed to be visualizing myself achieving my goal and where I'll be throughout the course. There isn't time to panic/obsess about the weather. I think I just need to make sure I have a plan B, which is something I didn't have for the Chicago Marathon. Thankfully this race is only a half marathon and not a full. BUT, I've put in the work, I've put in the sweat, and I've even put in the tears. I'm hoping that the sub 1:50 is within my grasp come 7/22. I know that no matter what happens, I'm putting it all out there and giving it all I have...

Thanks to those of you that donated to my SpiBelt raffle. The winner is...

Lauren from Lauren Runs!

Thanks so much Lauren and congratulations! Please contact me at runningkellometers at gmail dot com to claim your loot!

In other news, I'm back in town from Mall of America where I scored some sweet new running gear with no sales tax. Winning! :) Also, in honor of the Olympics, I'll have a giveaway on the blog tomorrow so stay tuned!
Womens 1500m Semi Final

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Race Nerves

Please please... have you entered my SpiBelt raffle yet?? Your odds of winning are really good! I've extended the deadline until Monday, July 16th!

This weekend I'm at Mall of America in Minnesota stocking up on actual work clothes and trying to find some good deals on running clothes. So far I've bought more things for work than running so that is a win. I'm about to do my last dress rehearsal run before my goal race and I have to admit I'm a little nervous. I've put in so much work and effort into this race, I just hope things work out as well as planned. I know that doesn't always happen on race day so I guess I can only hope for the best (and some 70 degree temps). Here's hoping the dress rehearsal goes well. At least I look the part in my new bright pink tank, right? :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Yesterday I had a really whiny post that I had started complaining about the heat and how disappointed I've been in myself and my ability (or inability) to successfully execute a workout in the last few weeks. I held back on posting it because I didn't want to focus so much on the negative. I'm glad I held off because I ended up having a great run yesterday. It was a run where I was to be "cruising" along with my race pace for stretches of time. While I was running, I did feel like I was cruising and I was able to finding and maintain my pace again quickly between sets. It feels great to run and every time you check your Garmin, the average pace is the same, give or take 1 or 2 seconds.

I've been thinking more about my running mantra through my workout yesterday. A recent quote I saw on Twitter from Mohammed Ali stuck with me. I've modified it to make it easier to remember but I think I finally found a positive message that works for me. "The pain is worth the victory." 1:45, I'm coming for you!

I purchased a Road ID bracelet in the mail the other day and I received it yesterday. I was super pumped to give it a test run last night. It was comfortable and I'm bringing it with me to Minneapolis (Mall of America) this weekend! If you're in the area, let me know. I have out a few feelers and am looking to do my long run this weekend with a local running group.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Olympic Trials Update #2

Now that the dust has settled from the Olympic Track Trials, it is time for the recap, part 2!

My absolute favorite race of the whole trials was the Womens 5k. Having run this event on local roads several times, I can barely scrape by with a sub 23:xx pace, let alone the 15:xx that these ladies are posting. The Olympic standard required for anyone woman is 15:20. To start, Molly Huddle was favored to win and she stayed near the front for most of the race. The lead was exchanged several times until Julia Lucas decided to take control of this race and set a steaming pace with several laps to go. The rest of the racers let her lead the way as they kept steady a few paces behind. When the bell rang, Julie Culley and Molly Huddle really battled it out for first place as Julia Lucas began to run out of steam. That is until Kim Conley crept up from the middle of the pack, giving it everything she had. She leaned for the finish, beating out Julia Lucas, earning a time of 15:19:79 (the London standard by tenths of a second), and earning a spot on the Olympic team. I've watched the race highlights and it gives me goosebumps every time. I'm so beyond excited about the team of ladies we are sending to London in this event!

I guess I can't talk about the women's 5k without mentioning the mens 5k! After a riveting women's race, it was a hard event to follow. They didn't disappoint though. Only because of kind of a big deal, Prefontaine's meet record was broken! Galen Rupp (right) and Bernard Lagat (left--love that facial expression!) sped to the finish, placing 1st and 2nd in this event, respectively, securing their spot on the London team. Lopez Lomong earned the 3rd place spot.

The steeplechase is an event I didn't know much about prior to this year. Let me just say... before the Warrior Dash, there was the steeplechase. The Kenyan's are famous in this event and have won 9 of the last 11 gold medals (and the 2 they didn't win were in years when the Kenyan's boycotted the Olympics). The U.S. had a few favorites (Daniel Huling and Evan Jager), both from the Chicagoland area so I was instantly cheering for them. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the steeplechase it is an event where competitors must clear several barriers (aka hurdles that don't move) along the course, including one that has a water pit on the other end. This isn't an event for the everyday runner. These runners have to have grace and a certain level of athleticism. Evan Jager (green tank top) stayed near the middle/front of the pack for most of the race until he took a commanding lead towards the end of the race. He won by a large margin, despite the fact that this was only his 4th ever steeplechase race. I'm excited to see what he can do in London and maybe he can give the Kenyans a run for their money? One can hope, right?

Given the controversy in the womens 100m, I was really looking forward to seeing the 200m race. Given the millions of semi final and preliminary runs, by the time the final came around, I felt I had a close bond with all of the competitors. I was rooting for everyone to win, but only the top 3 would earn a spot to London! Allyson Felix blew the competition away finishing several steps in front of 2nd place. As soon as she finished, the announcers immediately stated that she is now the favorite in London. Go Allyson! Carmelita Jeter and Sonya Richards-Ross finished in 2nd and 3rd, respectively and will also represent the U.S. on the road to London. I couldn't find a photo of the finish, but I was able to find the video clip! Click here to watch this amazing event.

Having dismally dabbled in the high jump in high school, I have a significant amount of respect for this sport. It is hard and it requires a lot of grace and balance (a few things I lack). It appears the the women high jumpers gave the folks at Hayward Field a big sight to see. Chaunte Lowe (current American record holder), Brigetta Barrett, and Amy Acuff will be heading to London to represent Team USA. Watching these women fly over that bar is so inspiring.

What was your favorite part of the Olympic trials? Are you as pumped for London 2012 as I am???

To see my favorites in the first half, check out this post.
The source of all photos can be found here.

P.S. Have you entered my SpiBelt raffle? I've extended the deadline to Monday, July 16th!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

I Run Because ____ 5k (Guest Post)

Fiiiiirst, have you entered my SpiBelt raffle yet?? Your odds of winning are really good! I've extended the deadline until Monday, July 16th!

I heard rumors about a Lululemon sponsored run and I didn't know much of the details. luckily my friend Nicole Fritz agreed to do a race recap/guest post! Thanks so much Nicole for such a great recap including all these great photos! :)

A few months ago, a friend of mine (Dave Mari) told me about this 5k that Lululemon was having at Fullersburg Woods in Oak Brook. The “I run because ________ 5k” was the first 5k of its kind. Its purpose was to show that everyone has their own reason for running. Some run to relieve stress, others run just for fun, and others have countless other reasons. All I know is that, if Dave was going to be there, and Lululemon was hosting it, I just had to be there too! Plus, it was FREE!!!The race was co-hosted by the Lululemon Athletica’s in Oak Brook and Naperville and was held on a Tuesday morning (July 3) at 7am… I’m still not sure why it was held on a Tuesday, but it worked for me! I woke up early and was on the road by 5:15am. I arrived to the race site in record time and was able to park at the forest preserve.

I picked up my packet and found my friend Jill. Our “packets” consisted of just our bib # and lots of paper. I was secretly hoping that we’d all get white Lulu tanks, but no such luck! :) After dropping my stuff off at my car, Jill and I did a little warmup. While running, we found Dave and of course he snapped a pic!

After our warmup and a quick bathroom break, we headed to the start line, which was just a short walk away. There’s Dave in his trademark monkey shirt!

Once we got to the starting line, I of course, had to retie my shoes. Dave took this as an opportunity to take a picture of the white flower in my hair! Last weekend, Dave gave me this flower from the Fellow Flowers. Fellow Flowers is a new group that encourages unity while running and training for races. They all wear flowers in their hair and each color represents something different. It’s really neat! Dave is probably their greatest supporter… he is always handing out flowers to the ladies lately!! :) You can find more information about them here.

If you have done just about any half marathon in Chicago, you have probably seen the Lululemon ladies at an aide station with their great signs! Of course, we had to snatch this one up and take a photo!!

The race started right on time, at 7am! It was not chip timed, so I tried to line up towards the front

The course was gorgeous!! We turned and twisted all throughout the woods. We ran paste the Graue Mill and a pretty waterfall. Much of this 5k course is included in the Oak Brook Half Marathon held on Labor Day every year. The mile markers were all accurately marked and my final Garmin distance was 3.12 miles. I finished in 22:58, which is slower than I usually run, but it was hot, humid and a little bit hilly too. Besides, I was just there for a fun run with friends… not to race! :)

After I finished the race, I walked back to find Dave. He always has so much fun at races! He takes pictures of EVERYTHING and says hi to EVERYONE. Dave is the best!! He is a celebrity in the world of running!! We were right by mile 3 when we spotted some Half Fanatics (another group we are a part of) and in true Dave style, we NEEDED a photo!! :) He definitely wins the award for taking the most photo’s on course!(For info on Half Fanatics, visit this website)

To see all of Dave’s photo’s, click here.

Lululemon offered FREE post race yoga as well! At 8am, Jill and I participated in a great 20 minute session and Dave was there to document just about every pose! Haha!!

Immediately after yoga, awards started and we had to be there since Jill won overall female!! She won a great Lulu yoga towel, valued at $48! Not bad for a race with no registration fee! I also walked away with a voucher for a free 90 minute yoga class in Hinsdale and a 30 minute sports massage in Naperville. I’ll take it!!

I will definitely be back next year! As much as I loved that it was free, my suggestion to Lulu would be to charge a little bit next year. They let 500 people “register” and my guess is that half that many people actually showed up. I bet a lot of the registered runners just rolled over in bed when their early alarm went off. Maybe if they have some money invested in an event, they would be more likely to show up. Regardless if it’s free or not, I will be at next year’s event!! :)