Tag Archives: 5k

New pub-trivia facts about Annabelle, and a 5k you should check out

I can't share a running photo, because I haven't been racing! But this is proof positive for you that all else is still in order.

I can’t share a running photo, because I haven’t been racing! But this is proof positive for you that all else is still in order.

Please forgive me the fact that most of this post is a duplicate of what you’ll find on another blog, one that I hope you’ll have an interest in after reading this. I’ve been on a long slow road to getting my blogger mojo back after a rough 2014 in terms of training, racing, and running culture in general. I’ll begin elaborating on these things, as well as the typical over-indulgent posts you subscribe here for, in the near future. In the meantime here are a few “Annabelle Trivia” bits for you to enjoy:

  1. I rarely untie/retie my shoes. My mother has scolded me for this since the day I learned to tie laces in the first place. My running shoes get re-tied maybe once a month on average, and my non-running sneakers maybe twice in their lifetime, if that. *note: sometimes before a race, if I’m nervous, I’ll tie and retie my laces upwards of 15 times – a life lived in extremes.
  2. I AM running the Boston Marathon this year, my 4th shot at the course. I WILL NOT be anywhere near PR shape.
  3. I am still working on being OK with #2
  4. I really enjoy the boxed wine from Target
  5. My favorite foods, in random order are: apples, lasagna, pie (apple, blueberry), single-malt scotch, pickles, Classic Lays potato chips, Skittles, Goat cheese … you can see why I’ve never seen 10lbs within range of my racing weight.
  6. I recently traded in the 1999 Chevy S10 Pickup that I’ve been commuting over 300 miles a week in for 4 years. My spiffy new ride has lots of bells and whistles, and now I have all kinds of data to illustrate that I spend, on average, 15-20 hours per week in my car…no more mystery about my injuries!
  7. I am a race director (mostly self-appointed and title)! I’ve always wanted to be at the helm of an event, and here we go, I’m feverishly trying to expand my skill-set to ensure success (yes, this is me asking if any of you want to join my planning committee).

Why you should register for the Super Sunny 5k today!

It’s nearly Valentine’s Day, and I hope your 2015 is off to a great start! For me, a few notable things come to mind when I check in with my personal goals (in no particular order):

  1. I have created some energizing momentum toward my professional
  2. goals in just the first 5 weeks of the year.
  3. I am, thankfully, 7 weeks into training for the Boston Marathon!
  4. I’m struggling with a couple of health related resolutions I made for 2015…time to find a different motivation!
  5. I’ve witnessed more than a dozen breakthrough moments as GCS staff members and people receiving services work toward their goals!
  6. My job is sometimes hard to understand, sometimes challenging, and always important. I think everyone who works at GCS could say the same, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
  7. I’ve developed a deeper understanding of just how much of a turning-point 2015 might be for the work we do at GCS, both as employees and people receiving services.

Let me elaborate on this last points MILLION dollars, 70 of them. SEVENTY MILLION DOLLARS! For me, this is such a large figure, that it doesn’t seem real, yet at the same time, it sort of terrifies me.

For me, this is such a large figure that it doesn’t seem real—but it does seem terrifying. If you are like me and this figure seems too big to touch, let me bring it closer to home. With the end of the tax increase of 2011, your personal paychecks will increase by a few dollars. Multiply that by all the income-earners in Illinois, and you have over a billion dollars! A portion of this tax money is allocated to providing crucial services to adults with developmental disabilities. More of your paycheck in your pocket means tax revenue decreases. When the tax money decreases, the funding thus decreases.

Currently, GCS sees an annual gap of $300,000 for day-program services alone. That is to say, after financial support from the state and federal departments is exhausted, we need to raise $300K in order to continue to provide quality, progressive, and inclusive support.

Overwhelming, isn’t it? I sure think so! Take a deep breath, because you can make a real impact very easily! Here are two ways to help:

1.)  Contact your legislative leaders! They are the play-makers, and they can’t know what is important to us if we don’t tell them! Use the links below to advocate for those we support, and for that which we believe in, and strive for.



2.)  REGISTER TODAY for the Super Sunny 5k. Your $25 registration fee goes right into filling these funding gaps, and you’ll also have to opportunity to help us raise additional funds in the registration process. Click here to go to our registration page.

With hope and aspiration,


EisenHOTTER 5k/10k San Antonio Review

I’ve been visiting with my folks in San Antonio since the 16th. So of course I looked for races while waiting through several flight delays. I found two 10k’s to run so my visit will be bookended with races.

Which is a great, because although I have been getting the mileage in, my workouts have been less than impressive. Hill country indeed (and rattlesnakes, scorpions, deer, skunks, attacking limestone, and a cocophany of unidentified pre-sunrise noises).

You’ll notice the title of this post is a race “review” not “recap”, subtle symatics I know, but the pathetic reality is that I ran only 2.75 miles of the EisenHOTTER 10k, last Saturday.

The course was really confusing, I didn’t realize (well, I considered it, but didn’t quite believe it) I was going the wrong way until I’d have to backtrack about a half mile. Once I figured out where I was, it was also evident that I’d already seen about 20 people also off-course to some degree or another. So I cut my way to the start/finish area thinking  I could tell the race direcor and he could parse out some actual humans to hopefully save some runners from the same frustrating fate.

Call me Ryan Hall if you want, but an olympic event this was not. And the course was tricky enough that I really didn’t want to sacrifice my remaining patience and my 20-mile key workout the next morning to try and decipher the rest of the course, as it was my ankles and recovering shin splits were tender from just the 2.75.

Anyway, here’s a quick review for any future racers happen to Google upon this post.

The Course: The course was great, or at least the approximately 2.75 (ok, exactly that much) miles of it that I experienced. The 5k course is less techincal than the second half of the 10k, but still not well suited for a beginner. I saw on the race’s Facebook page that this was a first 5k for some runners. eek.

The course is entirely contained within Eisenhower Park which is great for when you get hopelessly lost. It sort of counters the whole hopeless bit, eventually someone and their dog will find you.

Being in a public park the trail was of course not closed. However, any locals caught by surprise were gracious and even their dogs seemed happy to watch the runners.

The caveat to the awesome course, is that it was so poorly managed that I’d wager more than half (at least) of both 5k and 10k participants ran over or under the intended mileage, or DNF’ed altogether. Additionally, in both the male and female divisions, of both races, the individuals who won, won because of the superiour abilities to intuit where the course was, rather than because of their land speed. Which is fine, but not typical.

Advice to Runners: If you’re within 6-8 weeks of an “A” race. Don’t race this. The risk of a knee blow-out or ankle sprain on this course is high. That said, provided next years race yields better course management and markers this race would be spectacular fun, and so worth entering and accepting that you might add 5-8 minutes to your 10k time, and you might walk a couple of short sections of limestone.

Suggestions for the Race Organizers: I am sure the course was tested out. But I think having someone totally unfamiliar with the course, and the park test-run the course after the markers were put out would have solved nearly all the problems that occurred.

That said, perhaps some of the things causing confusion wouldn’t have been evident. For example, the blue ribbons, in a certain light, really looked white. So you wouldn’t question that you were going the wrong way until you were right upon the ribbon, but then you would look ahead and think “aha! a white one” and tear off, only to repeat the same error.

The red to white to blue system of ribbons sounds clear enough until you have a hundred runners out there, split between two courses, that often overlap. Pack mentality can override even the most confident of minds.

Two simple course markers, one for 5k and one for 10k might have helped limit these shenanigans.

Or: arrows over flags, and humans over arrows. Always.

All of this was actually not too hard to take in stride. What wasn’t so easy to witness was that rather than simply get to work trying to salvage the race experience for runners, the race director chose to argue with runners and tell them it was their own fault because the obviosly weren’t listening. Really? (I should note that the volunteers were all very pleasant….just not very helpful, but that’s not their fault).

Don’t take the hard line with your customers. Don’t tell a runner it’s their fault, or that they weren’t listening to your instructions. Because they probably were listening, and memorizing, as I was. A lot of runners obsess over courses, and strategy. If one runner out of 200 messes up, then it might be that they weren’t paying attention. But if most of the field is running all over creation trying to navigate the race…perhaps their was something else at play.

Moral of the story? Even if there is not improvment in the organization and management of this race for it’s running next year, I bet it will still see an increase in participation. It’s one of the frustrating consequences of the running boom. Races have become so popular that people will pay $35 to have a shitty experience, and they’ll walk away thinking it was their own fault.

I am hoping for a better 10k trail experience tomorrow at the Jalepeno Del Sol 10k. But I have to say, I am keeping my expectations pretty low. Mostly because I got this email yesterday:


Their little graphic is cute, so there’s that…