Month: March 2014

Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle

I got a PR today!  I am so happy and still cannot believe it!!

Let’s go back to yesterday to packet pick-up.  I am so glad my nephew and I went early.  There were so many people and parking was a hassle.


I registered for the The Original 5K.  How many candy bars in the jar?

Thinking of running the BTN Big 10k in July.


My nephew and I had so much fun with the magic tricks from Open Heart Magic.  Sorry it is blurry.


Today I woke up at 5am.  Why so early?  I don’t know.  I tried going back to sleep but couldn’t so I just stayed in bed and finally got up at 6:45.  I got dressed and had breakfast.  I was nervous about the weather because it was in the low 30s.  I was undecided on which long sleeve shirt to wear but finally decided on a black and thin one.

I left at 7:30 to pick up my friend, ABH, to take the train downtown.  Lots of people were on the train going to the race.  We got off on Roosevelt and walked the 8 or so blocks to drop off my bag at the Nike Running tent.  Then we walked to the start line.  I was in Corral F and ABH was in K so I just went to her corral.  It was a long wait.  By then it was a bit warmer so I was grateful for the “late” start.

A little after 9:30 it was time to run.  There were so many people.  I did not wear my headphones but instead just focused on my surroundings and how I was feeling.  Boy oh boy I was feeling really good! I ran nonstop for 3 miles.  That has never happened.  I was planning to take a break to drink the rest of my water at 2.5 miles but instead just kept on going.

Mile 1-9:40

Mile 2-9:03

Mile 3-8:59 Fastest mile!

I remember stopping at mile 4 because I had a side stitch.

Mile 4-9:48 Slowest mile.

I looked at my watch and knew that I had a good chance of a PR.  However, I did not know it was going to be by almost 5 minutes.  I just ran and ran without stopping.

Once I was back at Michigan Avenue, I knew I was almost done.  I just had to conquer a “hill”.  I’ve walked this “hill” at every race but this time I was determined to run it at a slower pace.  I succeeded! Once I made it to the top and turned left, I just ran to the finish line.

Mile 5-9:43

Done!  Finish time is 48:38.  I couldn’t believe it when I saw it on my watch.


Overall it was a great race.  I was a bit nervous about the weather but it turned out to be great.  My only complaint is that there were so many walkers in the middle of the street.  There is nothing wrong with walking.  I’ve done my share of walking during a race but I’ve always moved to the right side of the street/road.  During this race I kept moving left and right to pass the walkers.  It was a bit annoying but I did what I had to do to get to the finish line.  🙂

After the race I went with ABG and her sisters to Waffles Cafe.  The food and coffee was delicious.


Next race is the Chicago Lakefront 50K on Saturday.


Three Things Thursday, March 27, 2014

1.  The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle is this Sunday.  I’ve ran this race six times since 2006.  My best time is 52:18 in 2010 so my goal this year is to PR.


I am not cool about my start time.  The actual race starts at 6:30 am.  Of course I am not a speedy runner so my start time is at 8:55, Wave 2.  Boo.  Funny how those in Wave 1 and maybe 2 will be done by the time I start to run.



2. I like Picky Bars.  Well, what’s not to like?  They’re tasty and have lots of good stuff for us.  They’re “real food balanced for sports”.  Just this past weekend I became a member of the Picky Club and I got my first shipment yesterday.  As a club member I get 18 bars for $37, free shipping, samples of new flavors, a free shirt, and other fun club gifts.


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3.  I love a good sale.  I bought two pairs of Brooks PureFlows 2 for $50 each from Running Warehouse.  They still have more pairs available so I think I will purchase a few more or all of them.  I love running in those shoes and I don’t think I’ve ever paid $50 for a pair of Brooks shoes.



My training so far for the Chicago Lakefront 50k

I cannot believe that two weeks from today I will be done with my second ultramarathon. I can’t remember why I signed up for something “crazy” like this.  When I signed up for this race I wasn’t sure how I would train for it because I was focusing on my quest to run a half marathon in each state. Luckily I had a coach come up with a training plan.   Fast forward weeks later and here we are.  My coach’s plan has me running 5 times a week in various speed modes (tempo, easy, steady, long, and recovery ) for a total of 415.3 miles from January 27-April 5.

As you know the weather in Chicago has been ridiculous.  Also, I hate running in the cold weather. Yes, I do like running on the treadmill and have done most of my training on it. Coach did advice me to do my long run outside.  No can do.  My excuses were always “It is too cold” and “There is snow and ice and I don’t want to slip”.  I did manage to do a few of them outside when the weather was bearable for me.  I think what makes it more difficult for me is that I run alone.  I sure could use a running partner.

Now back to the plan.  To date I’ve ran 245.7 miles but should have been 315.3.  Believe me.  I did my best to do all of my runs but there were times that I was just so tired that the last thing I wanted to do was run.  So instead I would go home to rest.  My longest run was supposed to be 26 miles.  I only ran 20.  When I began running that morning I was determined to do the whole 26 plus .2 miles to equal a marathon.  Guess the joke was on me.  My legs were hurting so much and I was almost in tears.  I honestly thought that I was injured and thought about quitting and not running the race anymore.  Well, that feeling only lasted a few hours and then I felt better once I ate and showered.

Am I injured?  I don’t know.  For as long as I can remember I’ve had problems with my hips.  My right hip gives me the most trouble.  I HATE foam rolling but I do it because Coach told me to.  I get a massage two times a month, use “The Stick” and do several hip flexor stretches (thanks to Pinterest).

January in Review

The stretches kind of hurt but also feel good.  Weird combination.  In the last couple of weeks I’ve felt (more) pain in my right leg.


I have two weeks till my race.  I was supposed to be in GA this weekend but decided not to go.  I am still running 13.1 miles tomorrow but at a much slower pace.  I have an 8k next weekend that I really, really want to do but will wait and see how I feel.

I am nervous and excited about the 50K.  I am even more excited because Michelle from This Momma Runs is also running that race and has agreed to run with me.  However, that girl is so much faster than me and I think she will get bored with me.  😀 The race starts at 8:30am at Foster Avenue Beach House.  If you happen to be in the area, come run a few miles with us.  Let’s do this!


Three Things Thursday, March 20, 2014


Today is the first day of Spring!  I am sick and tired of the winter here in Chicago.  Let’s hope we don’t get any more snow because I don’t want to see it again this year.

1. I entered the Chicago Marathon registration lottery.  Cross your fingers I get picked.  If I don’t get picked, I won’t be upset about it.  I’ve ran this race 3 times but not enough for a guaranteed entry and I definitely do not have a qualifying time (3:15 for men and 3:45 for women).  I don’t want to run for a charity.  Why?  I guess I don’t feel very strongly about running it this year or I would have signed up to run for a charity.  In the past I’ve ran for the Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization and the American Cancer Society.  Well, if I don’t run the marathon then for sure I will be spectating.  It is so much fun being a spectator.

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Chicago Marathon-Pilsen Style

2. The new date for the ZOOMA Chicago race is Saturday, August 2.  Oh and there is also a new location for this race.  Make sure to register and use discount code CAMB8 for a 10% discount on either the half marathon or the 10K.  Come run with me and the other 14 ambassadors for what promises to be a fun and exciting race!!

3. I am a member of Team Tough Chik and was recently featured on their blog.  Pretty cool huh?

My trip to Epcot

I had never been to Epcot (well, I’ve ran through it) but finally went last month.   AR and I went after the Enchanted 10K.  After my race, I showered, we ate breakfast and hopped on the shuttle bus to Epcot.  I loved the convenience of Disney providing transportation to the parks.

I don’t get tired of seeing this gigantic “golf ball”.


photo-2Let’s go to Mexico!

Who doesn’t love mariachi music?


We had to see the Mexican Donald Duck!

Then off to Tokyo and France.

Morocco and England.  I really wanted to see Mary Poppins but no luck.

We were there for a couple of hours and I had so much fun!  However, I was tired from all of that walking.  I know, I know, I shouldn’t have walked that much the day before a race.  Lesson learned.