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Category: Ambassador

Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K 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!

On Sunday I ran my 159th race!  I did this race mostly for fun and am glad I did it.  

The forecast mentioned rain on race day.  The weather continues to be ridiculously crazy here.  Even with that forecast, I planned to wear a singlet, shorts, and compression socks.  Not sure what I was thinking.  🙂

I signed up for the 10K but got a bib for the half marathon.

On Sunday morning it was in the mid 40s so I wore a long sleeve underneath my singlet, a jacket, and tights.

It was cold and cloudy.  The half marathon began at 7am and the 10K at 7:45.  I arrived at 7:30 am, dropped off my gear, used the port-a-potties, and got in line for the race.  Per my Garmin, I started running at 7:58 am. 

I ran by feel and paid no attention to my watch.  I would only look down when it would vibrate with my mile splits.  I wasn’t cold and was feeling pretty good.

For the most part I was consistent with my pace.  I HAVE no idea how I ran mile 5 that fast.  At least it is fast for me.

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The 10K started on Columbus Drive next to Maggie Daley Park.  We ran there for a little bit and then ran along the lakefront path.  I found the path to be crowded since there were the 10K runners heading back along with the half marathoners.  

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When I was done, I got my medal and then went to get my gear.  I got there just in time because after a few minutes there were a lot more people waiting in line.  I felt bad for the volunteers because they were working as fast as they could but could not keep up with all of the runners.

Post race there was a hot breakfast, Lagunitas beer, and a spring flower station.  I wanted to take part in it but I was just too cold.  I hanged around for a little bit and then went home.  But before I did that, I checked my finish time courtesy of Athlinks.  Not my best and not my worst either.  My last 10K was the Run Mag Mile in September 2017 and I finished in 1:07:09.  However, my PR is 1:04:02 from September 2010.  

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The medal is pretty cool.  It has a spinning Navy Pier ferris wheel.

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I wished the weather would have been nicer and for sure I would have stayed longer and enjoyed the post race activities.

Overall, I enjoyed the race.  I love the distance and the medal.  Many races do not offer food (only beer) and it is nice to see this offered to the race participants.

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

TuesdaysOnTheRun

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Illinois Half (of a Marathon) Race Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Illinois Marathon 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!

Whew!  It was an interesting weekend.  The weather was perfect after battling with Mother Nature with the never ending winter.  However, my race didn’t go as I planned.  I didn’t run the marathon but instead ran the half marathon.

Let’s go back to Friday before the race.  I worked for 1/2 day and then drove to Champaign.  It took me about 3 hours to get there.  No big deal.  

I arrived at the Activities and Recreation Center to pick up my bib at the expo.  The expo was pretty small.  I didn’t buy anything but did sign up to be a bone marrow donor for Be The Match.

Found a picture of the course and saw Abe Lincoln.  🙂

Later that evening I went out to dinner with some friends at Old Chicago Pizza and Tap Room.  I had pizza and pretzel sticks.  We didn’t stay out too late and I think we left around 9pm.  Earlier in the day I got my stuff ready for the race and that night I double checked to make sure I had everything I needed.

The next day my alarm went off at 5am.  I got ready and then went to Dunkin Donuts for coffee and a bagel.  It was cold.  I knew it would warm up and was glad to see lots of sunshine in the forecast.

I parked in the lot and stayed in my car to stay warm.  Finally I got out to use the port-a-potty and to check in my gear.  I saw a few friends and we talked for a bit and got more excited about my race.  I took one huma gel at about 6:50am.  The plan was to take one every 4 miles. 

I ran into Amanda (another BibRave Pro) and it was great to finally meet her.  Then it was time to run!

My plan was to start running “slow” and then pick up the pace after the 13 mile marker.  I was enjoying the warm sun and soaking it all in.  I was FINALLY running a marathon that I had trained for a very long time.  Training that took me outside running in very cold weather this winter.  Finally everything was coming together.

I took another gel at mile 4.  Still feeling good.  I made sure to drink water at the water stations.  Then after mile 6 my stomach began to hurt.  I felt like I had to use the bathroom.  I decided to walk a little and hoped that I would feel better.  I didn’t.  I kept walking and knew I was in trouble.  I could feel my heart beating fast but couldn’t understand why since I was WALKING.  I then got very tired, had some trouble breathing, and struggled to run.  There was some wind but nothing worse that what I had encountered during my training.  I wasn’t cold since I had a jacket.  By mile 9 I knew I wasn’t going to finish the marathon.

I was in tears and was so mad.  I was angry because I trained so hard for this marathon.  Angry because instead of allowing this anger to push me to keep going, I was allowing it to mess with my head. 

Yep, I went left. 

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The finish line was inside Memorial Stadium.  I got my medal and went up the stairs to the Great West Hall to get some food.

I didn’t stay there too long and then went back to the hotel to shower.  Afterwards I met a few Oiselle gals for brunch at Big Grove Tavern.

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I spent the weekend trying to figure out what went wrong.  Did I panic?  Did I get nervous/scared?  Was I a wimp and decided to take the easy way out by running 13.1 miles instead of 26.2?  Did I start off too fast?  Too many questions and honestly I am not even sure I will figure it out.  Below are my splits.

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Thanks to Athlinks I added another race to my profile.  I have now run 158 races (69 half marathon)!

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By Monday I decided to just let it go and stop thinking about it.  Regardless I still ran a half marathon and I should be proud of it.  

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I thought the race was well organized.  The half marathon course was pretty flat.  There weren’t too many spectators and the ones that were there did a good job cheering for us.  The best part was seeing a guy on a unicorn bike blowing bubbles.  🙂

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Source: https://www.instagram.com/jenhawleyprice/

So what’s next?  My next races are a 10K on the 20th for the Chicago Spring Half Marathon and the Soldier Field 10 Mile on the 26th.   I would like to continue running a half marathon in each state.  I will be running in CO in October which will make it state #39.

For now I don’t plan on running a marathon anytime soon.  I am signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon but plan to transfer my bib, so if you are interested in a bib, let me know.

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

TuesdaysOnTheRun

Friday Five 2.0-Five “new” races for me!

Disclaimer:  I am promoting these races 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!

Happy March!  I am hoping that with January and February behind us, March will be better in the weather department.  I am proud to say that running wise I did great in February.  But I still want some warm weather!  My first race, Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle, is this month and I am excited about it.  Read HERE to find out why you need to run this race and make sure to use code “SHUFFLE” at the following link: http://haku.ly/dd2567 to save $10 on your race entry. 

Hello March

I have added a couple of races to my calendar.  Thanks to BibRave for giving me the opportunity to sign up and run these races this year.  I’ve run 3 of them in the past and while I haven’t run in Denver, a Rock ‘n’ Roll race isn’t new to me.  Hopefully you can join me in a few or all of these races.

1. Soldier Field 10 Mile, May 26.  This race is always on Memorial Day weekend.  It starts and ends at Soldier Field.  I love the distance, flat course, and you get to run on Lake Shore Drive.  There is some great food and beer after the race along with some live music entertainment.  My PR is 1:41:56 in 2015 and it is time to set a new one this year.  Use Code “BRSoldierField” for bonus RAM Racing sunglasses (expires 2 days before the race). 

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2. Tailgate 10K, August 11 This race used to be the BTN Big 10 and is held in Grant Park.  Plans for this race are still in the works so be sure to check the website for updated information.

3. Fort2Base, August 26.  I did this race in 2013.  I ran 10 nautical miles which equals to 11.5 miles.  It is a unique race distance and an automatic PR for those running this race distance for the first time.  This race takes you through a military command and training centers.  I remember there is a HUGE hill (Hero’s Hill) that wore me out.

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4. Run Mag Mile, September 8.  Last year was my first time running this race and I had a great time.  The weather was perfect and I loved running along Michigan Avenue.  We got a beautiful medal and some delicious food after the race.  Use Code “BRMagMile” for bonus RAM Racing sunglasses (expires 2 days before the race).

5. Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver, October 21 Rock ‘n” Roll races are not new to me.  I’ve done quite a few of them.  🙂  However, I’ve never been to Denver.  My niece lives there and this race will give me the perfect opportunity to meet up with her (and maybe she’ll run with me).  When I finish this race I will also cross off another state in my Race in the 50 States Goal.  If you want to sign up for this race, use code “RNRBRP2018” for $15 off your registration fee.

Which one of these races would you like to run?

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

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Friday Five 2.0-Top 5 reasons to run the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K

Disclaimer:  I am promoting the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K 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!

The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K is next month and I am excited to run it again.  It is one of my favorite races in Chicago!  This race marks the start of the official running season in the city.  Are you signed up for it?  If yes, GREAT but if not then read on to find out why you MUST run this race.  I will even give you a discount code.  🙂

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1. Automatic PR and sweet medal.  Isn’t it beautiful?  An 8K is 4.97 miles so if you’ve never run this distance before then you automatically get a PR.  I’ve run this race 9 times and my PR is 48:38 in 2014.  I am having a great marathon training season and hopefully will get a PR this year.

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2. Beer!  Celebrate that new PR and/or show off that sweet medal at the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle Post-Race Party.  Each runner gets a ticket for one (1) Michelob ULTRA (must be 21 years or older to consume).  There will also be live music.  The party doesn’t stop there.  The celebration will continue at The Scout Waterhouse & Kitchen (1301 S. Wabash Ave.) from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m. Shamrock Shuffle participants who bring their race bib will receive a ticket that can be redeemed for one (1) Michelob ULTRA.

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3. You can dress up!  How fun is it to be all decked out in green and run in a beautiful city?  I’ve lived in Chicago for almost 40 years and never get tired of the view.  This race is also great to do with friends.  Each year I’ve been able to run with friends and have a fabulous time.

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4. It is a short but yet popular race.  An 8K is a unique distance and in Chicago there aren’t that many 8K races.  Over 30,000 runners run the Shamrock Shuffle.  It is so popular that on race morning NBC 5 Chicago provides live, streaming coverage of the race start and finish from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. where supporters can watch their favorite runner cross the line.

5. Save $10 off registration fee.  Make sure to use code “SHUFFLE” at the following link: http://haku.ly/dd2567 to save $10 on your race entry.

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So did I convince you?  Will I see you there?  Have you run this race before?

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

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Detach Coconut+ Review

Disclaimer:  I received Detach Coconut Water 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’m in week 11 of training for the Illinois Marathon.  This will be my 9th marathon and I am excited but at the same time also nervous.  Over the years while training for various races, I’ve tried various energy gels and hydration drinks.  Everyone is different so what works for one person may or may not work for others.

While running I always make sure to drink water.   I will admit that there are days in which all I’ve had to drink is coffee.  I know, not good.  I do love coffee though.  I was excited and looking forward to try Detach Coconut+.  I had never heard of it and am glad I tried it.

Detach-2Detach Coconut+ was founded with the need for an all-natural drink that helped the creators stay hydrated, focused and supported their training.  They also donate and support initiatives that share their core values, through a portion of the profits, such as Alzheimers Association, World Bicycle Relief, and Sonoma Pride.

Detach Coconut+ is a coconut water-based drink with only a subtle coconut flavor, improved electrolyte balance, low glycemic energy and a micro-protein blend (Beta-alanine, Citrulline and Theanine).  These are vital for the following reasons:

• Beta-alanine – commonly found in trace amounts of legumes and seaweed, has been shown to improve the muscles energy production at intensity and in some studies improving 800m times by ~10s for 1 time use and ~15s after cumulative use.

• Citrulline – commonly found in melons is a known vasodilator, improving Nitric Oxide levels in the body.  This opens up your blood vessels and improves blood flow.

• Theanine – commonly found in many teas especially white and green teas. Theanine is also known as a neurotropic as it impacts feelings of positivity and focus.

In addition each bottle only has 60 calories and NO “fake” sweeteners which leave a nasty aftertaste.

It is recommended to take 1 bottle 30 minutes before a workout and 1 bottle during exercise.  I drank one bottle while on a long run (90 minutes).  It was a cold day but had no trouble finishing my run.  I enjoyed the citrus flavor and couldn’t really taste the coconut.  Actually I could only taste the lemon flavor which I liked.

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I also used it to make a smoothie to rehydrate and have some protein and carbs.  I used Detach, Orgain Protein Powder, and a banana.  I realized later that I should have added hemp or chia seeds for additional protein.

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In conclusion, Detach Coconut+ tastes great and provides an organic and alternative way to stay hydrated.  In addition, it is gluten free and certified paleo.

Would you like to try Detach Coconut+?  You can order it from Amazon or from the Detach Coconut+ website.  In addition, you can sign up for their newsletter to get information on coupons, promotions and giveaway opportunities.