Category Archives: Running

Sly Fox Half Marathon – Race Report

Last weekend I ran my 13th Half Marathon, or intended to run the Half, which is 13.1 miles. Sly Fox Race Report

Race Report: Sly Fox, St. Charles, IL
The race: a small field, but put on by a group that does a larger Half Marathon in August nearby, which is a well run event I’ve done 3x and signed up for this year’s race too.
Weather: upper 30s, but mostly sunny, not too windy.

Packet pickup and post race party were at a bar. Pickup from 4-8 Friday night, and then before the race. Problem – It’s an hour drive for me, in rush hour traffic on a Friday, and I had an event at 6pm. Last year it started earlier in the day, which would have been more convenient for me. I could have picked up my packet starting at 5:30 am, but that would have meant getting there even earlier in the morning.

Plenty of porta potties (Yeah!). So the race started at 7:00 am and seemingly all was well, I’m a middle of the packer, so I stuck with the lemmings and went with the crowd. It was basically a lollipop at the 5 mark (go out a way, go around a loop, then back the same way), but with a little loop from 2-4.

I tried a different training plan for this race, one from Another Mother Runner, and I trained mostly for this in Arizona, which has hills, hills, and more hills. (more on the Arizona stuff later)

I was trying to watch my splits and keep my pace steady and not too fast for the first 5K, when low and behold, I passed the 4 mile marker…but my watch was at like 2.9 miles. The whole course was like that, I was about 1.2 behind the markers. So either the course was short, or the course marshals (or lack thereof) took a wrong turn on the first loop. Later I learned that the lead vehicle and course marshal took a wrong turn.

The first 6 miles were an incline (this is Illinois, so speed bumps count as hills) and I was doing OK, and banking on the second half being downhill. At around the 5 mile mark there was a guy w/a sign that said touch for power – it was his Boston medal from last weekend. Cool!

Just after that a man running beside me asked if this was the 10K or HM. He had registered for the 10K route, but accidentally started with the HM at 7:00am instead of the 10K, which started at 7:20. We stuck together and talked a bit. I sort of coached him along through about mile 8, he’d only trained up to 4.5 miles. I told him it was OK to take walk breaks, made sure he took water and Gatorade, rest and foam roll, and watch his form as he got tired. He slowed down around 8 and told me to go ahead.

I was feeling strong and the downhill was starting. Normally the wheels fall off around 8 and I suffer a bit until I get a second wind at 10, or my  IT band rears its ugly self…none of that was happening so I kept going strong. I saw the Boston guy again. I finished with the lollipop part and was back on the main drag.

The question lingered in my mind as the mile markers were still 1.2 off, and as I approached the last 2 miles runner were looping back to add the extra distance we missed. BUT, that was on an incline and my little legs were wearing down. The last 2 miles are mentally and physically challenging.

I decided to finish and get my medal. I didn’t loop around again to make my Garmin happy. I ended at 11.96 miles. I was not going to win an age group award, I didn’t cheat the course. I had nothing to gain by finishing short, it was my choice. I was already off my personal record time. In retrospect, I wish I had looped back to make the full 13.1. Or at least finished the .04 to make it to 12, sheesh!

The last 6 weeks of the training plan I worked in where I could, between travel and other commitments, life has been a blur and I eeked out a run where I could. So, even with that happening, this was the first time in 13 HMs that I felt strong and confident in every mile, and I will definitely keep this plan and use it again!

Total disappointment in the day: I noticed a cupcake shop near the parking garage at packet pickup. The whole night, and during the race I thought about which cupcake I would get after the race. I earned it, right? So after the race as I shuffled across the street and into the parking lot I see they don’t open for another 45 mins. WHAT? I even had cash JUST for this purpose! I dragged my sweaty and tired self to the car and drove home. BUT, hubby made a breakfast casserole that was hot and ready when I walked in the house. He’s good like that.

Thanks for reading!

So Thankful Card, and the Rest of the Half-Marathon Story

Thanks for tuning in today! I’ll start with part 2 of the half marathon. If you remember, I was going to run my first race of the year on April 6 outside of Milwaukee WI. Thank you to everyone that contributed to my fundraising effort, I made my goal and then some!

I ran a half marathon in November and beat my best time by 12 minutes. Yes, that’s almost a minute faster per mile in 11 months. I planned on taking some time off of running to let some things heal up, but actually, that didn’t happen. You see, I was on the elliptical machine at the gym, staring at the treadmills and well, I knew I couldn’t stop running.

Knowing I had this half marathon coming up, I bucked up the mileage again in January.  This race plan was different –  we were going to run at a set pace (slower than my normal pace), with planned walking between each mile.

There were 2 goals, one was to break the Guinness World Record for Most Runners Tethered together for a Half Marathon, the other was Most Money Raised for  Half Marathon.

Tethered, you ask? Like this:

Beth Pingry Team Lifestriders tethered

Here we are starting the race, this is the timing mat we run over to start the official timer chips. The 2 dudes in yellow hats and the one right in front of me  were brothers, and they joked and cracked us up for the entire race!

Beth Pingry Team Lifestiders

We had orchestrated hand signals, walkie-talkie captains, even an official bathroom break, primitive style. We finished the race in just under 3 hours, and it seems initially that we broke both records. We’re just waiting on the official paperwork to go through the verification process.

Here’s the group of 103 runners and one of the 13-year-old clients, Matthew, of Lifestriders Therapeutic Riding Facility, an equine therapy facility for disabled people.  Matthew’s mom ran with us, and he waited for us at the end so she could push him across the finish line with the group!Beth Pingry Team Lifestriders

Oh look we made the TV news! And here is another video from the Lifestriders Facebook Page.

And this is my sister, her friend and me after the race, I’m looking rather fluffy (I had 5 layers on, it was chilly, a bit rainy and windy).

Beth Pingry Team LIfestriders

So my card today reflects how I feel to everyone that texted, Facebooked, donated, supported me in this endeavor! You can see more on how I made it, today my day to post on the Scrapbook Adhesives by 3L Crafty Power Blog!

Beth Pingry So Thankful Card

Thank you for reading! Cookies for everyone! (Except me, my next race is in 5 weeks and I have some pavement to pound!)


A Little Help from My Friends

I need your support, would you mind reading through my story?

If you know me, you know I work out 5-6 times a week. I’ve done this for several years. Relatively new to me is running. Even though I did a crazy hard boot camp daily, running was always the thing I whined about. A mile? in 12 minutes or less? Ridiculous! Who does that? And Why??

Well, I do now. I do a lot more miles, and in less than 12 minutes. I started with a 5K or two, and then one thing led to another in late 2011. I was whining to my sister about needing to get away for a weekend, I would go anywhere as long as I could sit on a beach and drink cold beverages. She crunched some dates and came back with “Lets go to Phoenix and run the Rock and Roll Half Marathon!” Uh, great, running the desert, just what I wanted!


“But I’m only running 3 miles at a time,” I whined. “Oh come one, we’ve got like 6 weeks to train for it, and we’ll walk a little”, she negotiated. (She was a drill sergeant in a previous life, I’m sure of it) Alrighty then! It’s amazing how many holiday cookies I didn’t eat, knowing I had to hit the floor running every day.


And we did it! We finished it in a respectable time, upright, and alive too! Then she manipulated me into doing it again. We ran a half marathon in her town a few months later. I followed a complete training program for that one.


And then I ran one killed one by myself last November, and took 12 minutes off my best time.


It was 28 degrees that day, so looking lovely wasn’t my first priority. More details on these later, I just needed to set the stage here.

I’m doing another 13.1 on April 6 near Milwaukee, WI. Aside for hitting the dreadmill at the gym (I’m near Chicago and Baby It’s Still Cold Outside! And icy and wet and windy!), I have committed to raising $250. The funds raised go toward the Lifestriders Therapeutic Riding Center in Waukesha, WI.

“Healing comes in many ways. LifeStriders is a non-profit organization that provides life-enhancing, physical and psychological experiences and services, to individuals with special needs. Through Equine-Assisted Therapy, children and adults can experience the beneficial physical and mental benefits achieved through the human-horse connection.”

So here’s the fun part for everyone. By running this 13.1, along with my sister and about 100 other people, linked together as a unit, we will be breaking a World Record and getting ourselves in the Guinness Book of World Records twice, for not only crossing the finish line tethered together (think caterpillar, not blob) AND for most funds raised by a group running a 13.1!

You can be a part of this without hitting the pavement (or you can join us on the pavement, the more the merrier!) Can I get your support? Would you be willing to donate to help me hit or exceed my $250 goal? How about a dollar a mile? Maybe $2 a mile?

I’ll be off to the gym in a few minutes, today is a long run day, 8 miles on the dreadmill in a stuffy gym. If it didn’t just snow yesterday I would do this outside, but I’m pretty sure my 8 mile route is snow-covered, otherwise it would be a great day for a run!

You say “How cool is that Beth, how do I help?” and I say Thank You so Much!!! Just go to my fundraising page right here: Donate, where everything is tallied, taken care of, and safe and secure. Donations go straight to Lifestriders.

So thanks for reading if you got this far, I’ll be tweeting and posting more details as we get closer. Thanks for your comments, donations and encouragement!

Also, if you think I’m crazy, hold on tight! This race is only the first of the year, I’ve signed up for 3 Half Marathons, and then a 26.2! Keep the encouragement coming, I’m going to need it. This current 13.1 is the only race I will be asking for  a donation, the rest will be moral support only!

Have a fabulous Saturday!