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Category: BibRave Pro

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.  🙂

Shamrock Shuffle-1

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.

Shamrock Shuffle-3

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.

Shamrock Shuffle-2

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.

Friday Five 2.0-5 New to Me Things That I Like

How is it that it is almost February?  January is definitely going by fast.  We’ve had our share of very cold but also mild days in Chicago.  I am definitely looking forward to warmer days.  Then I will probably be complaining that it is too HOT!  That is why fall is my favorite season for running.  

I always get excited when I read about something in a blog/Facebook/Internet/etc that someone else likes and recommends.  Recently, I’ve learned about some new items (to me) that I like and have been using for running or everyday use.

1. Lily Trotter Socks.  These compression socks are easy to put on and come in fun colors.  They have the right amount of compression and are also comfortable.  I’ve been wearing them on my runs and also to recover from my workouts.  My legs feel great!

2. Detach.  As a BibRave Ambassador, I have the opportunity to try out this product.  Detach is is a coconut water-based drink with only a subtle coconut flavor, improved electrolyte balance, low glycemic energy & a micro-protein blend to help you have a great workout.  The drinks are certified paleo, low GI and gluten free.  I like that it isn’t sweet, with a very light flavor, but not artificial or overpowering.  I’ve used it on a long run (100 minutes) and never felt thirsty.  I actually found it to be refreshing and it was just what I needed on that run.

3. Smartwool Socks.  I love the Women’s PhD® Run Ultra Light Micro Socks.  They’re thin, they have enough cushion, protect against blisters, and feel comfortable.  I can wear them for a few days without washing and they don’t smell.  🙂  However, these are not long enough and do not cover my ankles when running in tights during the winter.  When wearing tights, I use the crew socks.  They are just as comfortable as the micro socks and my ankles stay warm.  I also have a pair of the Light Elite and these have more cushion and also keep my feet extra warm during the cold winter days.  I was afraid that with the extra cushion my shoes would feel tight but that isn’t the case.

4. Black Diamond Storm Headlamp.  Depending on how I feel or what I have going on after work, I do my runs in the morning or after school.  I have a Nathan headlamp that I thought I lost but then found in my car.  Someone recommended this lamp and I love it.  It has 350 lumens of power, three-color RGB night vision and improved peripheral lighting for close-range tasks.  I haven’t figured out all of those features but I just know that it is bright!

5. Orgain Organic Protein Powder.  A few friends recommended this to me.  This is plant based with 21 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and no added sugar.  I love the Creamy Chocolate Fudge but the Vanilla Bean is delicious.  They both have a clean taste and is never too sweet.  I make a shake in the morning for breakfast and it keeps me full till lunch (I drink it around 7am when I get to school and eat lunch at 11:35am).  Another great thing about it is that with this protein powder you have proteins from grains (brown rice), seeds (hemp, chia) and legumes (pea) and is also gluten-free, soy-free and non-gmo.  I purchased mine on Amazon but I know they’re also available at Target and Costco.

Orgain Protein Powder-1

Have you tried any of these products?  Any products you like that you can recommend to me?

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

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Friday Five 2.0-5 Things I Am Looking Forward to in 2018

Happy New Year!  How did you celebrate?  I kept it very low key.  Nothing exciting at all.  My sister came over with my nephew.  We ate and watched TV.  Then they left and I went to bed at 10pm.  Felt great to go to bed early and wake up early the next day.  🙂

Happy New Year 2018

The other day I was thinking about things that I am excited about and looking forward to this year.  There are a few but for now I am picking five of them.  Here they are in no specific order or importance.

1. The Illinois Marathon.  This will be my 9th marathon.  My last marathon was the Chicago Marathon in October 2016 where I ended up with at 5:12:59 finish time.  I am working with a coach to get me to the finish line in April.  I am hoping to finally get a sub 5 finish time.  My training is going well.  Most of my runs have been “easy” and short (30 and 45 minutes).  I know this will get my body ready for when I need to do hard and intense workouts.  This week I ran “specific” miles (3 and 4 miles).

2. Rock ‘n’ Roll Races.  In 2013 I ran 14 RnR races.  While it was fun, it was also tiring and expensive.  As a BibRave Ambassador, I have the chance to run again a couple of these races.  I picked Washington DC, New Orleans, Chicago, Savannah, Denver, Las Vegas, Seattle, and San Diego.  There is no guarantee that I will get selected for all of them but I’ll be happy with 2-3 races.

3. Moving to a new apartment or house.  I’ve been living in the same apartment for about 8 years.  When I moved here, I told myself that that would be the last time I would move.  Wrong.  My landlord told me to start looking for a new apartment because he wants to remodel the apartment and sell the building.  Part of me wants to move to another apartment because it is just easier and less responsibilities.  However, another part says it is time to buy a house.  I’ve looked at a few houses and have not seen anything that I like.  My goal is to move no later than March/April (assuming that the landlord gives me till then to move.  What I am most excited about is the possibility of having a bigger bedroom than the one I have now!  🙂

New House Image

4. Run a couple half marathons in new states.  Currently I’ve completed 38 half marathons in different states.  If I get picked for the RnR races (#2) then I will be adding Colorado and Georgia to my list.  I am hoping to also add Delaware and Michigan.

Run all 50 states
Source: www.etsy.com

5. BibRave Ambassador.  I was selected for another year as an ambassador.  I am happy and excited about it!  I’ll have the chance to provide you with various product and race discounts.  I will also have the opportunity to run various races throughout the year and try out different and new to me race products.  I also hope to meet more Ambassadors whether in Chicago or from another state!

Anything exciting you are looking forward to this year?

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

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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.

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