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Month: November 2017

Art Van Turkey Trot Chicago 5k Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Art Van Turkey Trot Chicago part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

I had originally signed up for the 8K.  However, I know it is always cold in November so when I picked up my bib, I changed it to run the 5K.  Spoiler alert:  It wasn’t that cold.  🙂

I picked up my bib on Sunday afternoon.  I was in and out in about 10 minutes.  I did not read the information carefully because later on that week I found out that there was race day packet pickup.  That is what I get for not reading carefully the race information.

One thing I dislike about racing in Lincoln Park is the parking.  I knew it would be a hassle so I made sure to get there early to get a spot.  Indeed I did (5 minutes from the start) but I had to wait about 2 hours in my car.  Not sure if it was worth it.  My friend Michelle joined me at about 8:30 and then at 8:50 we left my warm car to use the port-a-potties and run the race.

There were 2 waves in this race.  We did not plan it carefully because we missed the 1st wave.  By the time we made it to the race and were done using the port-a-potties, people were lining up for the 2nd wave which began at 9:30.  I was annoyed (mainly at myself) because I could have been in the 1st wave if I had left earlier. 

Finally it was time to run and it was a total mess.  The path was narrow and there were so many people on it.  There were lots of walkers (which is fine) but I wished they would have moved over to the right.  I had no time goal for this race but just to have fun.  I tried.  I was happy with the weather because it did warm up.  I wore a Oiselle wazzie wool top and a flyout jacket and was HOT.  But it was CROWDED.  I am not a fast runner at all and found myself weaving around to pass the runners.  

The turnaround was a little before Irving Park Road.  I don’t remember at what point the 5k and 8K runners split up but eventually we were reunited.  Yeah, I don’t think this merging area was suitable.

By now my goal was just to get to the finish line.  And that is exactly what I did.  Happy to be done and collect my medal.  But before I could do that, I had to get through a gridlock of people also trying to collect their medal.

I didn’t stay afterwards to enjoy the festivities.  It looked like people were having a good time after the race.

The medal is cute.

I was really hoping to enjoy the race.  I just couldn’t.  It sold out before Thursday so I am not sure how many people in total participated in this race.  I am glad the sun came out and it wasn’t too cold but that particular area of the lakefront is not a good choice for a race.

Did you run a Turkey Trot Race on Thursday?  How did it go?

Linking up with MarciaPatti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

TuesdaysOnTheRun

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Illinois Marathon Training Plan

BibRAVE Pro

My training will consist of running 4-5 times a week.  It will also include cross and strength training, which I know is necessary, but always fail to do.

I know I wrote about one day qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  I haven’t given up on that but for now it will be pushed to the side.  Or maybe THIS is my training to train to train to train for a BQ?  🙂

As a HUGE fan of the Brooks Launch 4, I am looking forward to wearing some new shoes that I’ve purchased these past few months (Yes, I am aware I have a problem).  

Brooks Launch

I also want these.  Cute shoes and running clothes are required in order to have a good run.  Right?

Friday Five 2.0-5 Things I Am Thankful For

Thank you to everyone for your birthday wishes!  I had a great time this weekend.  The celebration began on Friday with dinner and drinks with my coworkers.  I received a few gift cards while enjoying some delicious food at Miller’s Ale House.  Then on Saturday I met my sisters and brother for lunch.  The plan was to eat Thai food but the restaurant was closed!  It was 12:30!!  So we ended up going to a Chinese restaurant.  It was very good and hit the spot.  On Sunday I went out for a run and then met a friend for breakfast at Nana’s.  We had pancakes and a breakfast burrito.  Finally Monday was even more special.  I went out for a run and and then at school the administrators made breakfast for the teachers.  They do this a few times a year and it is always delicious.  I received a few more gift cards and donuts from coworkers.  That evening I went home to relax and to be thankful for celebrating another birthday.

Birthday weekend 6

Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you ate a lot of food and enjoyed everything.  I ran a Turkey Trot in the morning and then went to my brother’s house for dinner.  We had turkey, corn, mashed potatoes, and rice.

Thanksgiving eat what you want

Now let’s continue with this post of things I am thankful for (in no specific order of importance).  However, there are many things I am thankful for but for this post only picked five.  It wasn’t easy.

  • My health.  I’ve been lucky because for pretty much of my 45 years on this earth, I’ve been healthy.  The only “scary” thing I’ve heard is a few years ago when my doctor told me I was borderline pre-diabetic.  I was confused because I couldn’t understand how a runner could be pre-diabetic.  Yes, I was ignorant.  That was a wake up call for me and I made a few changes in my eating habits.  I don’t remember everything I did but it was enough that when I went back the following year, I was no longer pre-diabetic.
  • My family.  I have 5 sisters and 1 brother.  We don’t always see each other but do our best to have a good time when we are together.  I do have an abundance of cousins from both my mom and dad’s side.  Whenever we get together we eat 🙂 and laugh and always cherish our times together.  A group of them (and my brother) helped my sister move to a condo and her son saw how our family came together to make it happen.  
  • My cat.  Lola has been with me since June 2016.  She makes me laugh.  She is loving but sometimes wants to be left alone.  She definitely knows who her momma is and comes to me at night when it is time to sleep.  We also nap together.
  • My students.  As much as they exhaust me, I love my students.  I love it when they greet me in the morning all excited and ready to learn.  I love seeing their little faces when they are thinking about something I just taught them and the wheels are turning in their head.  I love it at the end of the day when they hug me before saying goodbye and going home knowing that I will be seeing them again the next day.  
  • My job/career.  I don’t love my job but do like it.  Well, let me clarify by saying that if teachers were left alone to simply teach, there would be some very happy teachers out there.  I do my best to enjoy it however I can.  I teach but also make sure my kids have fun and look forward to coming back the next day.  I know that at the end of the day I am making a difference in someone’s life.  <<That is what keeps me going.

How was your Thanksgiving?  What are you thankful for?

I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 2.0.

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Health Warrior Chia Bars Review

Disclaimer:  I received Health Warrior Chia Bars to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

I like to eat.  However, I can be lazy and rarely cook.  I make pasta, quinoa, eggs, pancakes, etc.  It has to be easy with very few ingredients.  I told you I was lazy.  I also like to snack.  I know it isn’t healthy but many times I crave something salty and spicy.  My favorite is potato chips with hot sauce.  No wonder I cannot lose weight!!  Sometimes I also crave something sweet.

It was during this summer that I first heard about Health Warrior Chia Bars.  I believe it was before my trip to Alaska.  I didn’t think about it anymore and then just completely forgot about them till about sometime in October when the opportunity arose to try them out.  Sign me up!

Health Warrior makes Chia Bars, Pumpkin Seed Bars, and Chia Protein Bars.  I received two different flavors of the Chia Bars – Apple Cinnamon and Dark Chocolate.  What makes these so great and healthy?  They’re gluten free, soy free, dairy free, 100% vegan, and non-GMO.  Plus they’re only 110 calories, have 4-5 grams of sugar, 4 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and 1100 mg of Omega-3.

I first tried the dark chocolate.  I liked that it wasn’t too sweet but yet it was enough to satisfy me.  I finished it in 3 bites.

Health Warrior Chia Bars 4

Next I tried the Apple Cinnamon and also liked that one too.  This one had pieces of apples.  Again, 3 bites later and it was gone.

Health Warrior Chia Bars 5

I realize that they’re meant to be eaten as a snack but I think these should be a bit bigger.  🙂  Also, I know chia seeds tend to get stuck in your teeth (dislike it when that happens).  However, I found that that was not the case with these bars.

I enjoy eating one or two of these after school.  I eat lunch at 11:30 am and am done with school at 3:00 pm.  You bet that afterwards I am hungry.  Depending on the day I either have a meeting, stay late to grade papers, or have Math Club on Thursday.

Health Warrior Chia Bars 6

Something else I received with the Chia Bars is a Marathon Training Coloring Book.  I like to color but don’t always make the time for it.  I laughed when I checked out each page because I could relate to many of the pictures in the book.  

Health Warrior Chia Bars 7

The Chia Bars come in 9 flavors:  Acai Berry, Apple Cinnamon, Banana Nut, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Coconut, Dark Chocolate Cherry, Dark Chocolate, Vanilla Almond, and Mango.  The Health Warrior Chia Bars are $15.99 for 15 bars (one time purchase) or $12.79 when you subscribe and save 20% off your order.  The company offers free shipping for orders over $25, hassle free returns, and a rewards program. 

Health Warrior Chia Bars 12

You can also try a sampler box of 3 bars for $4.99 and FREE shipping.  I ordered the Pumpkin Seed Bars in Cinnamon Spice, Dark Chocolate, and Honey Cracked Pepper with Turmeric.  You can also get the free coloring book with your order by going here:  http://healthwarrior.link/colorbookbr.

Have you tried these bars?  Thoughts?  If you haven’t, which one would you like to try?

Friday Five 2.0-5 Things I Am Loving

Happy Friday!  Any interesting plans this weekend?  My birthday is on Monday so I have plans on Saturday to get together with my sisters and my brother to celebrate.  Nothing fancy but we will be going to a Thai restaurant for some delicious pad thai and pad see ew.  Yummy!

happybirthdaycake

Next week I work Monday and Tuesday and then will be off the rest of the week.  You bet I am excited.  I will be running a turkey trot on Thursday and planning to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family.  I made a mistake and thought that the shirts were going to be blue.  They’re not.  They will be an ivory/oatmeal color.  It is still a pretty color.  Remember, there is still time to sign up and use code “17BIBRAVE10” to save 10% off all distances.

Art Van Turkey Trot-7

When I started writing this post I did not realize the topic this week was “Giving Thanks”.  I had initially decided to write something related to it for the day after Thanksgiving.  Instead in this post you’ll be reading about some of the few things I am loving.

  • Waves Micro Towel – I’ve been using these for a few years.  They’re fast drying and ultra absorbent.  I use mine to wrap my wet hair after a shower.  They are also perfect to take to the beach or on a trip.  I love that they’re not bulky and come in some cool colors.

Waves Micro Towel 1

  • Oiselle Lightning Layer – Thanks to the time change it is dark in the morning and after work.  I prefer to run after work because I know more people and cars are out there during that time.  My vest makes sure that I am seen.  Well, it is a top and a vest.  I’ve worn it alone with a sports bra during the summer and over a long sleeve top during the fall/winter.
  • iHome Color Changing Bluetooth Speaker – I love listening to music while working in my classroom.  I mainly listen to Amazon Prime and have a few playlists that I like.  I also enjoy Pandora but for some weird reason my school has blocked that site.  With my bluetooth speaker I can listen to whatever I want.  It is easy to set up and has great sound quality.  I love how it changes colors throughout each song.
  • Achievement – Do you want to get paid to be healthy!  Join Achievement, connect your apps, and start earning money.  Use THIS LINK to join and we both get 250 points.  For every 10,000 points you accumulate, you get $10.  I’ve connected it to FitBit, Strava, and Garmin accounts and already made $20.  Seriously, you have NOTHING to lose.
  • Eagle Creek Pack-It Sac Large– I originally bought this after I saw how my friend, Meghann, had neatly packed for our trip to Alaska.  I did not.  I’ve heard great things about their products but until recently had never own any of them.  You can use this to store magazines, computer cords, toiletries, etc.  I use it to take home my papers to grade.  Throughout the day I store the papers inside and make sure to grab it before heading out the door.

Eagle Creek 1.jpg

Any exciting plans this weekend?  What are you loving lately?

I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 2.0.

fridayfive