20 mile Long Run via Heart Rate Training


Here I am coming off a 20 mile run and nearing the end of my first official training cycle using Heart Rate Training.  I have to admit, it was an emotional, but fun ride.  It started off with many really SLOW runs and many doubts, but to my surprise, I am actually looking forward to repeating the cycle all over again for my next marathon…..but lets get through this one first!

My First Chicago Marathon via Heart Rate

The Big City of Chicago

The Big City of Chicago – Our View from the top of our hotel!  The Chicago Athletic Association Hotel is fabulous!  I loved our room, the facilities, and location. 

Although I love the city of Chicago and I always look forward to going back, I can’t say I am in love with the marathon!  In fact, of all the marathons I have run, it’s one of my least favorites !  I am not sure what the big hype is about this race!   In fact I probably will never know, but one thing I do know, I won’t be rushing back to run it again.

Women Rock 5K via Heart Rate

Women Rock Excelsior brewery Group1

Can I just say running, girlfriends, eating and lets not forget the drinks….soooo much fun!  This past weekend I ran my first 5K race based on my heart rate.  It was actually fun and not once did I worry about my pace.  I just made sure my heart rate was where it was suppose to be each mile and had fun along the way.  Of course, spending time with all these fun ladies at a dear friend’s Bachelorette party made it even more entertaining!

Marathon #25 in the Books-TC Recap

I may have not met my A Goal but I did Finish Strong with a Smile on my Face!

So here I go as promised.  Better late than never, as the old saying goes.  My Twin Cities Marathon Recap.  As mentioned here, this marathon wasn’t my first, or to be honest, second choice, but it was the marathon to run based on my husband’s complicated work schedule.

So with that being said, mentally it was a tough week (or so) leading up to the marathon.  I was a bit emotional for many reasons, which I don’t want to get into too much here since it’s quite personal, but because of what I was dealing with, I am very happy to say, marathon #25 is in the books.

It was a slow start…A HUGE thank you to my husband for chasing me around the course again as I ran another 26.2 miles.  It was a miserable day for spectators!  From the start, I knew it was going to be a tough day, not only because the weather was less than ideal, but I wore black shorts for a reason 😲.  I had an unexpected visitor and wasn’t feeling the greatest.

“Hi Rob!”

The first half of the marathon was a bit more humid than I had anticipated and I seriously considered stopping halfway to ditch my shirt, which is where I planned on meeting up with my husband. However, my half way split was 2:08 which was a few minutes slower than I had hoped so I didn’t want to waste more time.

Climbing the HILL…looking for my hubby for more Shaklee Performance...My electrolyte drink.

I purposely held back my pace the first few miles, but to be honest, I believe I was a bit too conservative.  My main goal was to feel good and finish strong. Although I did accomplish that, I missed an even split by a couple minutes. My plan was to gradually work up to a 9:20 pace by mile 4 or 5. Unfortunately when I increased my pace, my heart rate went higher than I had wanted it in the first half.  Since I didn’t want to burn out my second half, I backed off my pace.  Looking back, I wonder what would have happened if I pushed a bit harder?

I am in the Home Stretch but the WIND AND RAIN are much WORSE!

Isn’t that what most runners do….what if?  What if?  What if?  It’s a runner thing.

So going into the second half, I was hoping to run it a bit faster.  Finishing at 4:15 just sounds better than 4:18😉.  Miles 13-21 were faster, but than I hit the dreaded hill.  The weather had also turned for the worst.  It started to pour, the wind picked up, and it was miserable towards the end. I kept telling myself, “all I need to do is get up over the hill and open up to the finish!”



It worked.  I didn’t walk the entire hill and my husband was so proud of me.  He said “great job Karen up the hill!”  Slow and steady and I didn’t have to walk!  I did lose some time on the hill, but I finished strong.

Unfortunately I was shy of my goal, but I crossed two lines. I finished my 25th marathon injury free; I was 24th out of 94 runners in my age group placing me in the top 25%.  The first time I ran TC my dad was with me at the start and found me at the finish, but this time he saw me run the entire way from Heaven.  I know he’s proud and that makes me happy as you can see!

I need to work at straightening my arms😉!

So that’s that my friends.  It wasn’t a BQ, a personal best or a PR, and to be perfectly honest, I secretly was hoping for a better day but everything leading into this marathon, taxed me mentally.  My training went well and I was strong and fit, thanks to Mary Katherine Brooks who heads up our Heart Rate Training programs.

My first HRT Marathon in Chicago was not near as successful as this one!  The biggest WIN was I didn’t cramp in my calves and for that I am pumped.  Ellie from Simply Nourished had me tweak a few things nutritionally like increasing my Magnesium, Stress Relief Complex, and a trying a few others things.  It worked and I am BLESSED!

I was happy to meet Founders of the Another Mother Runner!

The bottom line, mentally I was weak, and I just didn’t want it bad enough. BUT I am OK with my 2nd Heart Rate Based Marathon, and guess what…there will be another marathon and I am excited for number 26!

Question: Have you run a race lately? How do you deal with disappointments in a race finish? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

A Windy EAT

Enhanced Anaerobic Threshold – Pic courtesy of MB Tepper

For those of you who have been following my running journey via Heart Rate Training, you are probably familiar with the EAT workout.  I am currently in my second round of Heart Rate Training and I am definitely still learning.  Since I have been running full marathons both Spring and Fall for the last several years, I decided it was time I take a much needed break till fall.  So later this Spring I hope to run a half marathon for fun using Heart Rate Training.  

Moustache Run x 3


Like most runners or exercise enthusiasts, it’s a tradition to start your Turkey day with some kind of activity.  Maybe a local race or in my case, Turkey Day Butts and Guts.  Just like every other year, my friend Sarah, kicks our butt, literally!  Everyone who attends brings a donation for food shelf and hopefully lots of energy to burn!  It’s a great way to start the day!