Month: March 2015

2015 Shamrock Shuffle

On Sunday I ran my first race of the year–The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle.  It is one of my favorite races.  I love the course and the camaraderie.  The course begins and ends the same way as the Chicago Marathon.

I was in bed before 10pm on Saturday and woke up Sunday morning a few minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off at 6am.  I got up, made coffee, and changed.  I was out the door at 6:30 and drove to the train station and then made my way downtown.

I saw a friend of mine and we chatted for a few minutes while also walking over to The Congress Hotel for the CARA Shuttle VIP Experience.  It was cold and windy so I was happy with having a warm area to hang around before the race.  I did not stay too long because I was meeting a few of The Chicago Running Bloggers at 7:30 for a photo.  Then I chatted with a few of them before heading over to gear check.  I had left mine at the hotel but still tagged along.



Around 8:10 I made my way over to Corral C.  For a moment I warmed up because the sun was out but then it decided to be cruel and hide again.  Oh well, I knew I would start running soon and would warm up.  I had compression socks, shorts (don’t ask me why I wore shorts, because I don’t even know), sparkly skirt, short sleeve shirt, two long sleeve shirts, and a mylar blanket.  The plan was to toss the blanket as soon as the race started and one of the long sleeve shirts once I was warm enough.  I did the former but not the latter.


Finally it was time to run.  I always start off too fast but somehow did not do so this time.  In fact mile 1 was my slowest one (11:48).  Now I know why I was feeling really good.  🙂  It wasn’t as crowded as it has been in previous years.  I was fearing for the wind but cannot remember when I first felt it.  I just remember it being BRUTAL!  I stopped for a few seconds to catch my breath and then moved along.  My plan was to not stop at all but instead to slow down.  For the most part I was able to do that but there was a slight incline with more wind around mile 3.5.  I walked again and felt much better.

I stopped one more time after mile 4 but knew that I had to keep on running because I was so close to the finish line.  I managed to run slowly up Mount Roosevelt, then made a left, and saw the finish line.  I ran as fast as I could and was finally done.

Overall it was a GREAT race.  It was windy but I am glad it did not rain.  I got my medal and went back to The Congress Hotel to warm up and get my bag.  There I saw Tiffany and her fiance, Harry.  It was great catching up with her.




Next race: Live Grit Lakefront 10 Miler, April 18.


Shamrock Shuffle 2015 Expo

Today was day 2 of the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle Expo.  I had to be there at 8:30am because I signed up to be a volunteer.

ShamrockShuffleExpo6I was supposed to distribute the t-shirts.  I did my 5 minutes of training but then was moved to the t-shirt exchange area.  No big deal.  It was pretty cool to see the area without the crowd.




The first hour or so was slow.   There was a crowd at the expo but not too many people were exchanging their shirts.  It got busy by 11am and even more busy by noon.

I actually like the shirt.  Hopefully this year’s Chicago Marathon shirt is just as nice and not an ugly black one like last year’s.


I saw the cute Emily and of course we had to take a picture.  I also met the lovely Charlyn.  We talked and joked around about the weather.  It is supposed to rain tomorrow and Emily and I have had enough with rainy races.  We both ran the Chinatown 5k and Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon last year and it was just crazy with all of the rain.  Plus, she ran the RnR DC Half Marathon two weeks ago and it rained there too.

Phot credit: Emily Seto

My shift was over a little at 12 so I set out to pick up my own bib and shirt and check out the expo.  It was not a big expo but just enough to go home with some good stuff.

I checked out the booth for the Run for ALS 5k taking place in July.  I’ve run this race twice and plan to run it this year.


I saw the medals for the Women Rock Chicago in September.  Cute right?  They will have the Rock Starlet Challenge which is a 2.5K, 5K, and/or 10K/13.1 miles.  Would love to do it!


I picked up a cute Sweaty Bands headband promoting The Magnificent Mile Chicago Women’s Half Marathon and 5k.  I ran this race in 2012 and it was HOT, HOT, HOT!!  I missed it in 2013 because I was in Seattle for a half marathon on Saturday and got in late Saturday night (the race was Sunday morning).  Last year I was in CA for the Dumbo Double Dare.  This year I am planning to be in Chicago.  Plus, I want to meet Lauren Fleshman!


The Shamrock Shuffle is my first race this year.  I am excited and nervous about it.  Don’t know why but I always get nervous before a race.

Now off to pick out my outfit for tomorrow.

Esprit de She Chicago


I have been selected to be an ambassador for the Esprit de She race in Chicago on July 23rd.  I’ve never run that race but have heard positive things about it.  So yes I am very excited to run it this year.

Now I will do my best to convince YOU to run this race with me.  So why should you run this race?  As a registrant you will get:

  • Customized race bib if registered by May 20, 2015
  • Two complimentary drinks at the signature Bubbly Bar, plus your own GoVino wine glass (21 and over only)
  • Healthy post-race tapas and treats
  • Access to the Panasonic Beauty Bar powered by LifeSpa with complimentary massage, mini manicures, blow outs and hair braiding
  • Professional event timing and live results messaging to track and promote your race success
  • Invitation to join Finish Line Training from Life Time Run
  • Awards for top finishers


Christmas in July 1It will definitely be a fun event!  I am not sure which distance I will run but mostly likely it will be the 5K.  I am also planning to run the Christmas in July 6-hour race on July 17/18.  Check here to register for the Esprit de She race and make sure to use code EDS105.

 I hope to see you on the course for both races!  🙂


CARA Membership and Hammer Nutrition Giveaway Winner

It will be ten years since I began running.  I remember I signed up for “Beginning Running” class offered through CARA.  I don’t remember exactly what happened because I signed up for the class again.  Clearly I had NO idea what I was doing.  The goal of the class was to run 30 minutes nonstop.  I think I made it to 27 or 28 minutes and that was definitely an achievement for a non-runner like me.

I signed up for the Chicago Marathon in May 2006.  I also signed up to run for a charity that is no longer in existence.  Anyway, because I was running on behalf of a charity, they offered to pay for my marathon training with CARA and gave me a one year “free” membership.  My training was clearly an amazing experience and I learned so much from my group leaders and the others in my group.

I ran the Chicago Marathon a few more times on behalf of a charity and again I trained with CARA and got a membership.  Over time I decided to not renew my membership.  Don’t ask me why because I sure don’t remember.  🙂

Well, thanks to a Twitter post from Bethany at Accidental Intentions I found out (late to the party here) that I can secure a guaranteed entry to the 2016 Chicago Marathon.  Yep, all I need to do is volunteer for two shifts at the 2015 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K or Chicago Marathon and run either 5 or 10 races (two different options depending on the race distance).  The other option is to earn a top five placement in my age group category in the year end standings.  <<That my friends will NOT happen.

You bet I signed up to be a member.  It is $44 for an individual 1-year membership.  I found a discount code which then brought it down to $38.  I have the option to get a $20 refund on a Runner’s World subscription included in the membership.  That means my final cost is only $18.  Pretty good right?  I am excited to be again a part of this running group.

Why the 2016 Chicago Marathon?  Why not run it this year?  Well, next year will be ten years that I ran my first marathon.  I guess it is more of a sentimental meaning to me.  Plus, it is a great race with a beautiful course!

4, 2006 Chicago Marathon 2
My first Chicago Marathon. This was before mile 20 and I was in so much pain.

Thanks to all that entered my giveaway.  The winner is Marcia K. at Marcia’s Healthy Slice.  Don’t worry if you did not win because I’m planning to have more Hammer Nutrition products giveaways.

Finally it feels like Spring here in Chicago!

Hammer Nutrition Gift Pack Giveaway

Disclosure:  I am an ambassador for Hammer Nutrition and I purchased all of the products in the giveaway on my own.

In late December 2014 I was notified that I had been selected as an ambassador for Hammer Nutrition.  I first began using their products last year and since then have truly enjoyed many of their products.  Below is a list of the things I use:

  • HEED Sports Drink-I love the Melon and Mandarin Orange flavors.
  • Hammer Gel-My favorite flavor is Nocciola (Hazelnut-Chocolate).
  • Hammer Bars-The Oatmeal Apple is yummy.
  • Recoverite-Love the Chocolate and the Vanilla Flavors.

I am giving away a gift pack with the following items:

  • One Purist Water Bottle
  • Two Hammer Bars in Oatmeal Apple
  • Three Hammer Gels (Nocciola, Peanut Butter, and Chocolate)


Enter now!  Rafflecopter will select a random winner in one week.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway