Chicago Women’s Half Marathon Recap

Well..I did it!  I finished the Chicago Women’s Half Marathon!



Good Morning, Sunshine!

The day began with a 4 a.m. wake-up call.  And it was Pride Week in Chicago so when we were getting up some lovely men were coming back to my friend’s apartment building.  She lives in Boystown and the streets were rolling with fabulous men!  And huge shout out for marriage equality!!!

We got ready, I ate a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and then later ate a Power Bar.  Then we got on the bus to head to Grant Park!



Someone wasn’t exactly happy about getting on a bus at 4:50….but the sun never sets on a badass.

We arrived at Grant Park and I drank a couple bottles of Smart Water, went to the bathroom and stretched it out getting ready for the race!  It was already 70 degrees and the race was on high alert due to humidity and temperature.  I knew I was in a bad spot.  I do not do well with heat, as we all know.

The race was set to start at 6:30 and it started promptly.  The owner of Fleet Feet Chicago gave a wonderful speech on how important heart health is for women – it was the charity for the race – and that she was a healthy woman who suffered a heart attack in December.  And she was running the race with us!!  It was a very moving story and truly inspiring that you can bounce back from anything.

And we’re off!!





I started out great!  I kept up with the 2:20 pace team for the first 5 miles, which I was very pleased with!  At mile 2, I ran into the man and said to him, “Wedding Dress!  Wedding Dress! Wedding Dress!”  Is there a better reason to run then that?  I gotta look hot! 🙂

But then…it got hot!!  Really hot!  The race did a great job of having a water station every mile, some misting stations with fans and water and some Gu at mile 7.7.

I didn’t want to walk the entire time and I kept that going through until mile 8.  At that point, I just didn’t want to go to a medical tent!  Girls were dropping like flies, I saw 3 girls pass out.  As someone who has fainted 3 times from being overheated, it was more important to me that I finish and not faint then run the whole time but get sick.

So, after mile 8, I took my time – walking up hills and getting passed by women in their 60’s.  BUT I had time to snap these amazing pictures!





I went around the corner of mile 12, saw the sign for Grant Park, and picked up the pace!  I was able to sprint to the end.  That was very important to me: Start Strong, Finish Strong.

The man told me afterwards that when he looked at his phone and he saw 83 degrees, he knew I was in trouble.  He kept looking at his phone because someone was going to call him saying that I had passed out.  But then he saw me running around the corner and breathed a sigh of relief.

So, it wasn’t exactly the best run, but I got a medal!  I finished!  I learned that it is more important to listen to your body then to push yourself and regret it later.




I’m glad it’s over – and I’m glad I survived.  And was able to eat a huge burger and a McFlurry on the way home!

Here’s to running races in March only!!  Happy 4th of July!

70’s on 7

Happy Sunday!!  It’s my all-time favorite day.  You can sleep in, still have alcohol mimosas at brunch and laying on the couch all day is completely acceptable.

This weekend was a great one.  It was extremely relaxing – Friday night, I stayed home alone watching T.V. and going to sleep early.  It was glorious.  Saturday, I woke up, hung out with the man and then met a friend to run 7 miles!  (More on that later).  Then we went to grab margaritas!  Absolutely wonderful.

FRIDAY – The beginning of the weekend was great.  Work was pretty good, I ate some good eats and cleaned out the DVR.  Breakfast was an apple.  Lunch was a chopped salad with ranch dressing.  It was amazing.  The next picture is of my open sunroof.  The first open sunroof of 2013!!  Oh, then I had a few Oreo’s.  For dinner, I had whole wheat rigatoni with butter and shredded mozzarella cheese.  I spent my Friday night watching some of my favorite Bravo shows over a glass of white wine.  For dessert, I had the last piece of cake in bed.  What is it about eating food in bed that is so delicious?

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SATURDAY – What a great day Saturday was!  Not only was it gorgeous weather, delicious margaritas were devoured.  For breakfast, I had 2 pieces of whole wheat toast with peanut butter, an apple and hazelnut coffee.  Then I had some Sun Chips!  For a pre-run snack, I had a mozzarella cheese stick.  Dinner after the run was chips and guacamole, Georgia Peach margaritas and I split my entree with a friend.  It was a quesadilla with chicken, bacon, cheese and avocado, which was then covered with sour cream.  It was delicious and I’m so glad we split it!!

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THE RUN – I was supposed to run 7 miles on Saturday, which is what we did.  I swung by a running store to pick up some Gu and a nice running fanny pack!  I had a chocolate Gu on the run, which was amazing.  I also grabbed a Gatorade because I don’t think I drank enough water before hand.


I like my fanny pack.  It’s pink!


I learned a lot of things on my run yesterday.

  • It was 70 degrees – that is too hot for my body.  I’ve fainted 3 times in my life, 2 of which were because I got overheated during exercise.  I really need to watch how I feel while I exercise.  I could feel myself getting hot if there wasn’t a breeze, so I ran pretty slowly.
  • I need to practice hills!   There were some step hills on the run and I walked up those hills because I was exhausted and hot.  That was the only walking I did, but I need to build up my endurance for the race!
  • I can’t carry anything while running.  I put my Gu and car keys in my new fanny pack, but I held the Gatorade in my hand. It was surprisingly heavy.  So, note to self: I really need to drink about 3 times more water during the day when I have to run that far.
  • I can finish anything if I put my mind to it.  Even though I was insanely tired and hot, I finished the run!  It took me a total of 1:21:30, which is about 11:39 average pace.  This pace isn’t horrible since I walked up the hills.  I would say my average running pace was 10:24, which is a little slower than my goal for race day.

I’m proud of myself for running that far and not giving up and turning around.  That’s all that matters.  I’m a little sore today, mostly in my knees and shoulders – I’m sure that means I was running with my shoulders up .  Now it’s time to relax before heading to the grocery store.

How were your runs this weekend? 

Where Have I Been?

I know, I know.  I’ve been M.I.A. for a few days but I have a really good reason:


I am a total goofball and didn’t take many pictures of the actual tasting because I was a little focused on the food.  It was super delicious.  I definitely foresee some beef tenderloin in our wedded future.

 I ordered a small cake with the flavor we want for our big day so my sister could taste it.  It says ‘Only 189 Days Left.’  crazy


I didn’t take too many pictures from our weekend, so I’m just going to skip it.  I will say that I did pretty well, except for some beer and a few too many Moscow mules with my girlfriends.  Oops.

One thing I did fit in this weekend….



That’s correct: I completed my training plan – or 6 miles – on the treadmill.  It was absolutely brutal.  Luckily, I had some chocolate gel that was amazing.  The hotel gym was super hot so I was sweating pretty much immediately and needed to take a few walking breaks, but I finished!  That’s all that matters.

Let’s just start with today, Tuesday, from an eats standpoint.  I had a work conference yesterday and all day today, so that didn’t help my eating situation.

BREAKFAST – The really long conference called for a swing by Starbucks for a grande skinny hazelnut maachiato.  Amazing.  I ate some fruit, a little bit of yogurt and a small chocolate muffin from the conference.  It was good, but I definitely didn’t eat enough substance because my stomach started hurting around 11.


LUNCH – When it was finally time to break for lunch, I was super excited to see what the conference had to offer.  It was tacos!!  I filled my plate with some fajita veggies, beef, chicken, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream and a little bit of guac.  I also had some chicken tortilla soup – it was delicious!  I wish I had more of the soup.  It was glorious.


SNACK – I had a M&M cookie during the conference and then came home and ate some Cheez-It’s.


My stomach was definitely having some issues today (again).  I can’t describe what it feels like really well, but it hurts.  It feels like menstrual cramps but higher up in my stomach.  All I can do is curl up in a ball and watch Bravo!  Side Note: Did anyone watch the Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion?  It was surprisingly good and I love me some NeNe!!!

DINNER – We have zero food in the house, so a quick trip to Jimmy John’s did the trick.


My stomach still doesn’t feel great so running wasn’t on the agenda today for sure.  I’m hoping that I can get my butt out of bed early to hit the treadmill for a 4 miles run tomorrow morning.  Wish me luck!!

Is it the weekend yet?

Glorious Morning

Good Morning!  Happy Friday Thursday!  I have the day off tomorrow to travel and do some wedding planning, so today is my Friday.  Hooray for 4 day work weeks.

I started the day off the right way:


That’s right, everyone!  I went to the gym this morning!  I never really understood what everyone (Tina and Julie) were talking about with the morning work outs, but I have to say, right now I feel great!!

I woke up at 6 AM, drank some water and ate half a Luna bar.  I usually opt not to work out in the morning because I need fuel to get in a good work out.  But, waking up 15 minutes earlier to eat something was definitely the way to go.  I really liked this vanilla almond bar.  I’ll definitely be eating the other half later today.


EXERCISE – On the training schedule, I needed to complete 3 miles.  So, I hopped on the hamster wheel and ran it out!


I completed the 3 miles in 32 minutes, which wasn’t bad, but wasn’t fabulous.  I tend to get really hot on the treadmill, so I started my speed at 5.5, then increased to 5.8 and then finished it out at 6.2.

I was sweating like crazy after wards and was actually a little tired, so I went over to the yoga mat section to stretch out and do some planks.  All in all, the fact that I woke up this morning, ran according to my training schedule and was still able to be working by 8 am, I’m pleased!!!

BREAKFAST – I had a wonderfully balanced breakfast this morning and is my go-to when I work from home.  I had 2 whole wheat Eggo waffles with peanut butter and strawberries on the side.  I also had some Green Mountain hazelnut coffee in my new favorite mug!


Now it’s off to work through the day before it’s time to head over to Milwaukee!!  Have a wonderful day 🙂

First Pace Run

Oh man, yesterday’s run was quite…well…horrible.  It was my first pace run on the training schedule.

What’s a pace run?

Well, it’s running the designated miles at the pace you plan to run on race day.

I plan on running between 10:20 and 10:30 minute miles, which might be a stretch, but it’s what I went with.


EXERCISE – I ran after work last night and went to the gym and not outside.  The weather didn’t exactly allow for an outdoor run – rain, rain, go away!  My stats for my run on the treadmill:

  • Distance – 3.0 miles
  • Total Time – 31:42
  • Pace – 10:34
  • Calories – 314

This run wasn’t exactly great.  I didn’t even notice the first mile, but boy, did I notice the second mile.  The cardio area was pretty warm at the gym and I tend to get overheated pretty easily, so I was holding onto the bars quite a bit so I wouldn’t fall off.  Jillian Michaels would not be pleased.

Let’s jump into the eats of the day:

BREAKFAST – A switch from a Kashi bar, some Chobani Greek yogurt.  I had the raspberry flavor, which I liked much better than the strawberry banana flavor.   I would eat this again!


The main reason I liked Greek yogurt (when I’m loving it and not hating it) is that it keeps me full!  By the time lunch rolled around and it was pouring rain, I headed to….Whole Foods.

LUNCH – I was craving some pasta and when there was a free sample of their chicken caesar pasta salad, I was sold!


It was so good.  It was super filling and hit the spot.  I wasn’t hungry all afternoon, until someone at work started passing out M&M’s!  And they were Easter colors!!


I kept on working throughout the afternoon, which included a quick meeting with a new customer, and came home to eat a quick snack before I went for my run.

SNACKS – I ate the final Kashi bar and had an apple with peanut butter.  It was good to have some protein to get me through.



DINNER – I wasn’t hungry at all when I got home.  With the running and then I did some arm weights, I just didn’t want anything.  BUT, I bought some gelato at Whole Foods.  On Wednesdays they have a special where you get 12 ounces for $3.99!  I ordered half raspberry and half chocolate, so I dug into that for dinner.  There’s protein in gelato, right?  It hit the spot and I passed out when it was time for bed!


Half-Marathon Training Plan

Good Morning!  Happy Wednesday.  I hope your day is off to great start.

I mentioned yesterday that I started my half-marathon training for the Chicago Women’s Half Marthon.  I thought I would share my training plan with everyone to a) keep me accountable and b) in case you aren’t sure where to start for training.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a personal trainer, nutritionist, running novice or expert.  I (along with BFF) are using Hal Higdon’s half marathon training plan – novice 2.  You can see his notes here.

Now that that’s out of the way, here you go:


What are your training plans? 

And so it Begins…

Happy Tuesday everyone!  Today was a lovely day.  I recovered from my very first Detroit Red Wings game (so much fun!) by working from home and started my half marathon training.

That’s correct, the half marathon training for the Chicago Women’s Half Marathon has officially begun!  If you recall, my BFF and I are running this race on June 23rd and I’m really excited.  I’ll be sure to describe the training plan we’re following later.

EXERCISE – On today’s training plan, I needed to run 3 miles.  I completed it on the treadmill at the gym in 33:17, which is an 11:06 pace.  I admittedly hate the treadmill/hamster wheel, so the fact that I could keep this pace the whole time, I’m happy with!

Note to self: DON’T EAT REESE’S CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER EGGS before a run.  I ate 2 and they were delicious.  I don’t regret it but I know that I won’t be doing it again.  #thanksmom #Eastercandy

BREAKFAST – For breakfast today, I had a wonderful hazelnut coffee and 2 pieces of toast with butter and strawberry jelly.  It kept me surprisingly full through the morning, but it might have been because I had another cup of coffee about an hour after eating.


First time Chicago mug use!

We have zero food in our place (and we didn’t go grocery shopping tonight) so making lunch was interesting.  I saw a tortilla and shredded cheese so into the microwave those went for a 30 second quesadilla!



SNACKS – I had some jelly beans and tortilla chips in the afternoon before I went to the gym.  I’ve had a past of fainting (including one time on the treadmill in college) and the doctor told me to eat salt before working out so that my body would retain water and I wouldn’t get dehydrated.

The man and I ran to Target to pick up a wedding gift for an upcoming wedding and stopped by Panera for dinner.  I ordered my all time favorite salad – chicken cobb salad with avocado.  I love me some avocado.  I was too hungry to take a picture, but I pretty much ate the whole thing.

It’s almost Wednesday!  On tomorrow’s agenda: Our first marriage prep class (kinda nervous) and another 3 mile run.

What’s on your agenda tomorrow?