Imerman Angels

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving tempo run playlist

I am trying to figure out what music, if I run with music, to run with during my upcoming marathon. One of the ideas I came up with is throwing a bunch of my favorite CDs on a playlist and hitting shuffle. Here is how that list played out today: 

Fall Out Boy- Death Valley 

Fun-Carry on

Houndmouth-Say It

Fall out boy- Miss missing you 

Cold War kids-hotel anywhere 

Misterwives-our own house 

Cold War kids- Harold Bloom 


Lake Street dive- use me up

Fun-Some nights(intro)

Foster the people-I would do anything for you 

The Academy is-Slow down 


Taking Back Sunday-The Blue Channel 

Walk the moon-Jenny 

The Killers-somebody told me 

Taking Back Sunday-Head Club 

The Starting Line-Saddesr girl story 

Plain White Ts-shine 

Lucky boys confusion-Child's play


""-not about Debra 

Was the moon-tightrope 

Lake street dive-use me up 

The dog and everything-love is 

Taking back Sunday-cute without the E(cut from the team)

Bayside-tortures of the damn 

Fenix Tx-no lie 

Jimmy Eat World-Sweetness 

Houndmouth-My cousin Greg 

Woolworthy-Woolworthy stomp

What are some of your favorite songs to run to? How do you put playlist together 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Heard on my run

I went for a long run in Detroit and just let my iTunes do the rest. Most of the time I try and control what is playing even if I don't create a playlist. There were s lot of random tunes I might have changed, but it was fun to hear what was coming next.  Part or whole portions of these songs played over two hours: 

Nelly-Nasty Girl

2 Pac-2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted 

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound-Rouse Yourself 

Lil Boosie-Bad bitch 

Andrew McMahon-Cecilia and the satellite 

Mest-R Ska Song 

Linkin Park- H! Vltg3

JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound-Ordinary 

YoungBloodz-Spending some change 

O.A.R.-About Mr. Brown 

Eric Hutchinson-Rock & Roll

Rooney-All or Nothing 

Pomeroy-Sir Duke 

Rooney-Simply Because 

Ben Folds-The Last Polka 

Lil Scrappy- Ei L.A.

311-Same Misrake Twice 

Kings of Leon-Notion

Clipse-All Eyes On Me 

Mest-Wasting My Time 

Simple Plan-My Alien 

Short Arm Trick-Wasting My Time

Jack's Mannequin-Hey Hey Hey

The Beastie Boys-Country Mike's Theme 

O-Town-Liquid Dreams 

Lloyd Banks-I get High 

Augustana-Stars and Boulevard 

Ok Go-Return

Catch 22-Straight Forward 

The Strokes-Games 

The Killers- Jenny was a friend of mine 

Rich Boy-Get poppin 

Fall Out Boy- Rat a Tat

Girl Talk- That's right 

Ok Go- What to do 


Monday, October 5, 2015


There are a few things that inspired this post: seeing Everest, my strange run last Saturday, and the upcoming Chicago Marathon. It is a strange combination, but it all makes sense in my mind. 

There is a small part in the movie where the characters are talking about the trouble climbing is causing in their lives. Jon Krakauer's character then asks, "Why do they keep doing it?" None of them really answer the question except for one guy. I am paraphrasing this, but essentially he says, "because I can." This brings us to my 15 mile run last Saturday morning.

Morning runs will always be tough for me.  They are extra hard when you go to bed after 1 a.m., it is chilly in the morning and you wake up to see it's misting and it is crazy windy. I dreaded this run. Training is going well, so I should have had no reason to be nervous. 

The run did not get off to the greatest start. I went back to get gloves before I got started. My shoelaces came untied twice within the first mile. I really wanted to turn around and get back in to a warm bed. Does anyone reading this think I would actually do that? I continued to trudge along and feel miserable. I asked myself, why am I doing this again? 

Part of the answer to that is because I am training for a marathon. It really bothers me to miss out on training runs. Ask anyone who knows me. When I see them out, they assume I ran there. Things only got worse when I finally hit the path. The mist and the wind picked up, and my stomach turned against me. A lot of people ask me what I think about during long runs. Like I did on this one, I am talking myself through it. An example of something I might say is, "get yourself to this point and you will feel better." That may not be true, but it feels good to say in my mind. On this run, I wanted to get to the turnaround point. Things did not get any better and I still could not answer the question of of why am I doing this right now. 

My stomach felt terrible and the wind still sucked. Once I got off the path, things felt better. I think my stomach and I agreed that I only have three miles left and it would play nice. Of course that made the last three miles the best of the run. I finally finished running and now knew why I went running. 

I went because this is a run that I will remember on December 6, 2015 when things get tough. I went because I could. There are a ton of other crazy people that would have loved to have been in my shoes. No run or race will always be perfect. I also went because I knew I would feel good about doing it. It is also a good battle story to tell. The funny part about the run I just described, is that it went very well. Things just did not completely click that day and that will happen. 

Good luck to all those running weekend. Remember to remember a tough run or two. Use it as motivation and power through. Remember that if you feel terrible at some point during the race, you will be a marathoner once you are done. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

A weekend in the life of a runner who enjoys a social life

Sometimes I feel like runners feel like they have to sacrifice a social life while training for a race. While it does take making some sacrifices, I am a big believer that it should not conpletely take over your life. Running keeps me structured and Labor Day weekend was an example of this. 
That weekend I decided to put together a little photo blog that somewhat captured my weekend.

This is also not a lecture or judgment on those who do give up a social life. I definitely understand that as well. I hope you all enjoy it. It was a tiring, fun weekend. We will start on Friday night. 

I film games for the football team at the high school I work at part time. The game started at 1 p.m., but I got asked to be there at 10 a.m. to help out. If I wanted to get my run in, I needed to stay in and attempt to get to bed at a decent hour. This a decent hour, right? 

Flash forward to:

Blah! Morning runs are the worst, but  I would hate to miss out on a run more.  I managed to get a warm-up in and then I finally headed out around 6:30 a.m. The positive of morning runs is that it I am done and do not have to worry about a run later. I knew I had to leave by this time to get my it in. 

                 The sweaty aftermath 

I showered, got a quick bite to eat and headed to my next stop. I had some issues that led to me leaving later than I wanted to. That frustrated me because I hate being late. It stresses me out. 

I had some time to get a workout in before the game, so I did that and stretched afterwards. Eventually, the football game started and I took my post in the lift. 

The game ended a little after 3:30 p.m. and I rushed out of there to meet a friend who I was attending a wedding with. I got dressed in my dad's car on the way there because traffic stunk on Saturday. I failed to get pictures at the wedding, but I had a good time. 

               That says 12:29 a.m.

I could have gone out after the wedding, but I was wiped and knew I had a run to get in Sunday. I also knew that I could and would have some fun on Sunday. 

Once I made it out of bed, I ran to a bar to hang out with a friend for a while. This was a brutal run. A combination of the heat and my dead legs did not help.  I left the bar, got something to eat, and headed to my friends for a fantasy football draft.  

            The spread at the draft!

Like I said, Sunday was hot. As much as my friends know I like to run everywhere, I did not want to be completely sweaty. These are my on the go essentials. The power shower wipes are great and I felt good after using them.

That is just a sample of my Labor Day weekend. It is definitely possible to train for a race and have a social life. It also helps to have friends and family who understand your crazy running goals and support them. In conclusion, it is important to go after your running goals, but do not get completely sucked in. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

North Shore Classic recap

Wow. I fist looked at the temp for this race and saw 57 degrees. That looked like perfect conditions for a race. Little did I know what would coming my way on May 31, 2015.

I woke up that morning to a steady drizzle in Chicago and got worried. It calmed me down that the forecast for Highland Park did not call for rain. The temps however, looked turrible(in your best Charles Barkely voice). It also did not help I had no real way of getting out there. We will skip that part because I am upset about that. 

Despite being upset about taking a can to Highland Park, I was happy to arrive. I failed to mention I was nervous about North Shore being my first official half in a while. It is a good thing the cold and wind made me forget about that noise(sarcasm). There was nothing I could do about either, so I got ready to warm-up and did what I could to stay warm. 

The benefits of it being a small-ish race is that gear check was very convenient. It also meant I could wait as long as possible to get into my corral. 

       I look happy, but I'm dying inside

I had a race plan, but I threw that out the window and decided to race by feel and just go. As the picture above shows, I was not really dressed for a casual Sunday run. 

                 So close to the elites!

The first few miles of the race were actually pretty nice. I knew it would be hilly, but these were not bad. With half marathons, I break the race down in three parts. I tell myself to get to mile 6, then 10 and then the finish. With the help of my friend Cass over at and pro, I knew the mile seven would not be too pleasant. 

It starts nice enough with a downhill where your legs keep moving even if they do not want to be moving. Then an ugly hill rears its head as soon as you hit the bottom of the hill. It really is a cruel place to have a hill.

 On a day like that, I would not be surprised if it ended a lot of racers races. I was determined not to walk it, so I powered through and made it to the top. It felt so good to reach the top of hill. Unfortunately, from mile 7.6 or so-to-10, the wind just kicked my butt. It felt like I was running in place for a long time. As I mentioned earlier, I break the race down in three parts and just told myself to get to mile 10.  

The rest was of the race was on pure grit. My body felt like moving, but my legs did not. Despite feeling like that, I kept an even pace and felt really proud of myself for continuing to keep moving. At one point, another runner and I had a conversation about the wind finally being behind us. He sped by me and I wanted to go with him, but I am not sure it would've been a smart move for me. Seeing the finish line of this race made me so happy. I wanted to be done and put some layers on! 

                  The medal is huge

After getting stretched out and grabbing some hot chocolate, I checked my results and was really happy with my time. Of course I saw it and went, "well, if I did this, I might have broken 1:30." I stopped myself and just enjoyed a tough race I ran. Below is the elevation map according to my garmin. 

I would probably run this race again. It is a really nice challenging course. Next time, I will also have to be a little more prepared with logistics. It was a little hard getting out there on my own. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Soldier Field 10 mile recap

Up until last Thursday (May 21), I had no plans to run this race. Originally I planned on being down at the state track meet. Unfortunately, an athlete I help coach did not make it to the finals and I made the decision to run. It is always a fun and well organized race. My night before/morning of races can tend to be a little crazy. This did not quite get there, but it came close. We will start this recap with the day I signed up for the race.

I completed a tempo run after getting done with working and it was kind of rough. My legs were pretty dead. Instead of just stretching and foam rolling, I did a 15-minute leg workout through the Nike Training Club ap. Stretching and foam rolling came after completing the workout. Normally I would have just stayed on the floor resting up, but I had plans to go the Matt and Kim concert. I got home after the concert and planned on an early morning run before the long Friday. 

                          Race outfit 

With my legs being pretty sore, I stayed on the slower end of my easy pace that morning. This run needed to happen early due to work and having to be at a track meet in Lisle most of the day. All things considered, the run went well and it was time to get ready for the day. Work and the track meet came and went. After eating at Culvers, driving back to school, doing some stretching and getting a ride home, I ended up going to bed around 2 a.m. The plan was  to get to Soldier early so I could get a couple of miles in as part of a warm-up( I had been scheduled to do 14-miles that day, but it did not end up happening). My nice little nap ended quick when my alarm went off a few hours later and I made the trek to the race. 

My legs were a little sore and that made me wonder if they could hit the prescribed pace for them that day. Eventually I got a warm-up in and should have gone to the bathroom before the race started, but I got a little distracted. I talked with people, took in the scenery and wondered if I would use music or not(I ended up not having any music. This is the longest race that I have not used any music). Things got somewhat interesting because corrals one and two had a hard close of 6:45 and I was in a bathroom line at 6:43. If someone reading this is good at predictions, the guess that I never made it to the bathroom is a good one, because I never did. 

Corral one closed as soon as I got there. The guard sent me off to corral two and this is where I thought I would start the race. With the help of some other runners who also got locked out of corral one, we wiggled our way up to the corral. I did the dance everyone does when they are doing there best to not use the bathroom right then and there. I figured I could get to a bathroom once the race started;should have known myself better. I took a my Huma Gel and felt ready to go. This is where my bladder and I had to have a little talk. I said, "please be nice to me and I will finish this as soon as I can.

The race started. The bathroom trip I kind of of planned never came and my bladder decided to play nice for the moment. Having no music was interesting because I could hear everything around me. The only annoying thing was this guy who just breathed really heavily for the first few miles. I did not know whether to ask him if he was ok or just assume this is how he always runs. Someone finally asked, but I did not hear the answer. During the first few miles a speedy little 12-to-14 year-old boy passed me. Unassumingly, he became my running buddy for a large portion of the race.

He stayed ahead of me for a good portion of the race. I focused on him but felt determined to keep my pace and run my own race. Around mile eight is where I caught up to him. It seemed like he was struggling a bit and I asked him, "How are you doing?' He responded, "I'm good." We continued for a little bit and I did my best to encourage him to finish strong and say things like, "We are almost there. Focus on the building ahead." It may not have sounded like much, but I hope he appreciate the nice words. Soon after this point, I took off and hit the home stretch.

I sped up a bit around mile nine and started my final kick towards the 50-yard line. Once I finished, I really had no idea what my time was. I knew I had beaten my goal and felt great. I hung around the finish line hoping to see a few people and I saw my 12-to-14 year-old running buddy. I congratulated him on the race and he smiled. This is one of the things that I love about running. He is probably someone I will never see again, but it felt cool to share that brief moment. All in all, Soldier Field went great.

                           Post race 

That bathroom trip I promised my bladder also finally came. We were both happy and celebrated the day with other runners. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Lesson learned

I should set the scene for this blog post.

It started around 3:30 a.m. when I woke up to head to Nike Chicago downtown. I, along with a few others, got asked to do a small photo shoot. It sounded like a fun time and I jumped at the opportunity. Having never done of these ever, I had no idea what to expect. 

We left for the first location (Buckingham fountain/queens landing) and did some light running action shots. This seemed like it would be a fun low key day. The group also was enjoying the warm sunny day we were having. I could not predict what the combo of the sun, a good amount of running and little sleep would do to my legs. 

By the end of the day,  my legs were pretty tired. We did a pretty good amount of running. At a few of the locations we did some pretty fast runs. We were done around three, got coffee, and went our separate ways for the day. My body felt ok then, so instead of going home, I headed to Fleet Feet to drop my bags off and attempt to run this tempo. 

Once I arrived, the pre-run routine to get myself ready started. Things were looking good and I felt excited for the tempo. My legs even felt great during the warm-up mile I did. Maybe this was my body playing tricks on me? 

The answer to that question would be yes. The first two miles of the tempo run were great! Despite how great they felt, I felt an impending doom coming. Did that stop me from slowing down to the pace I actually should have been aiming for? Nope. I pretty much even predicted when this breakdown would come. 

Mile 2.5. The turn around point of my out and back tempo run. It is also the point where legs fell apart. Maybe, mentally I knew this turn would be tough because I gave it in to it way before it even came up. Either way, I still had half of my left to go. 

At the turnaround point my legs did their best to hang on. It also did not help that my stomach started acting up, my mouth got really dry and my Zoom Elites felt so heavy(definitely not the shoes fault). I stopped a couple of times after the turnaround to get water and hope my stomach would settle down. A public bathroom is not something I wanted to spend time in. My pace slowed a decent amount, but this run needed to get done. 

Eventually, my run ended. I felt pretty terrible. Typically some would think I might have been disappointed with it, but I laughed and I loved it. Those things came out of it because I knew I just learned a few lessons from it. Lessons learned from the run include:

-Stay at your prescribed pace even if the first few feel good at a fasteh.

-this counteracts the first point, but it is ok to take chances every so often. 

-It is not easy adjusting to the heat. If you have to carry water with you, do it! I ended buying a Nathan Speeddraw plus handheld and like it more than I thought I would. 

-Appreciate your runs. They may be a struggle, but things could be worse.

The best part about it all is that I got a great run in the next day. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ravenswood 5K timeline

I thought it would be fun to provide a timeline of how I got ready for this past Sunday's, Ravenswood 5K. These are not tips or guidelines, but just a little insight. I do not feel like I prepare for races in a way most runners do. My timeline will start with my Saturday night run. I lounged around for a large portion of the day on Saturday before I decided to actually run. 


6 p.m.-When I should have gone running/gotten a haircut. 

6:40-The time I actually leave my house to get a haircut/run in. I do not always get haircuts the day before races, but it needed to be done.

7:22-I finally started my run after getting my haircut and watching the end of the Bulls game.

Sometime after 8-My 6-mile run went great. I ran to a bar to watch the Hawks hopefully win in regulation. I had a beer and thankfully the Hawks won in regulation.

11:30ish- I head home to get ready for the race. 


Midnight-I eat something because I am starving and do not like going to bed on empty stomach. Once I got one eating, I stretched and rolled out. It is not uncommon for me to stretch and roll out after coming home from a night out. 

12:45 a.m.-I figure I should find out what I am going to wear for this race. April weather in Chicago makes it really difficult to decide, so I picked out something, took a picture and got ready for bed.

Shirt-Nike Dri fit knit
Shoes-new balance fresh foam Zante 

1 a.m.- Time to figure out where the race is. Once I got that figured out, I decided to run there(2.8 miles) as a warm-up. 

Sometime b/w 1 and 3 a.m.-I fall asleep. One of my bigger fears before a race is waking up too late and missing my race.

6 a.m.- I woke up and stayed in bed for quite some time. Setting the alarm at a time before I actually want to get up is a common practice for me. It gives me time to realize that I am up that early and eventually get out of bed to run.

6:20-Bathroom trip and then a shower. Showering before races is another thing that I do a lot. It wakes me up and gets me going a little. 

7:11-I finally leave the house and get going on my warm-up run. 

7:40-I find the Fleet Feet Racing team tent, realize I'm overdressed and change into a t-shirt and shorts. I get a briefly warm-up in and then head to the corrals.

8:01-Race time!

8:20ish- I get done with the race, say hello to a few people and go back to the tent. I wanted to use this race as a tempo run for my half-marathon training and felt good about my time. 

8:33-Start my cool down. After I finished that, I went to eat at a neighborhood place. 

I enjoyed writing this. I got the idea from Cass and Kristen over at There are some good pieces on that site. ( 

I hope you enjoyed reading this.

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 Recap

This year flew by! It seems like I just wrote my 2014 goals a few weeks ago. Running wise I had a good year. Lets start off the new year by looking back at recap of my 2014 running year.

2014 Races

May 9-10: Cape Cod Ragnar 

I had a blast doing my first Ragnar with people I did not really know. The hills of Cape Cod were a killer. I did not know what to expect, but it is a tough, challenging and fun experience.

May 31:The Original 5K

My first 5K ever! Usually this is were a lot of people start, but I ended up going a different route. I did not know what to expect, but I wanted to run a good race. The gun went off and I ran as hard as I could and it felt really hard. I guess I did not expect a 5K to be difficult. It ended up being a good race and gave me the confidence fr the rest of the running season.

June 6-7: Chicago Ragnar 

This ended up being a challenging Ragnar for a few different reasons. The first reason it ended up being difficult is the heat. We were not prepared for it to be as hot it got and the first few legs were rough for all of us. The second reason it ended up being challenging is because I had a wedding to attend on Saturday afternoon! I am thankful the group ended up working with me to get me to that wedding on time so i could enjoy it;even if I were extremely tired.

Chicago Marathon

This is by far the race of the year for me. I changed my training program and went with the Hansons Marathon Method. The plan gave me a lot of confidence and despite my longest run being 16 miles, I felt extremely prepared for the race. Race day confirmed everything I thought and I felt great. I loved the program so much that I even convinced a few of my other friends doing marathons to use it. Not hitting the wall is a great feeling in a marathon. I am looking forward to my next challenge.

Thanksgiving Day: Evanston Flying Turkey 5K

Another 5K! I did this with a few of the students that I help coach at the high school I work for. This is definitely the coldest race I have ever done. Despite having a great running year up until this point, I had not really trained for anything since finishing the marathon. This is another race where I just ended up running as fast as I could and seeing how it goes;it went well! Things seemed like they would go wrong because my shoelaces came untied within the first few minutes of the race and I got really annoyed, but I had to keep moving. The race ended up with me finishing third in my age group.

2014 goals

Beating my race times from 2013

I accomplished this with my marathon this year.


Now I have a 5K PR-19:54

I did not do a half-marathon or 10-miler,so I will try to beat those times in 2015.

Run with others more often

My running community and friends definitely grew. I ran with others more, but this is something that could definitely improve. I did most of marathon training solo, but when I got a chance to run with others, it felt good.

Stay healthy 

This happened for the most part! When I say for the most part, I mean that nothing seriously went wrong that forced me to take time off.

More races

This kind of ended up happening with adding the Ragnar's and 5K's to my race calendar in 2014. This is also due how things are going financially and sometimes I could not justify paying for races when other things needed to be taken care of.

Read more blogs

I still need to be better about this. There is a lot to learn from others runners.

2014 total mileage: 1886