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Category: Friday Five 2.0

Friday Five 2.0-5 Favorite Races

To date I’ve run over 150 races.  Most of them I’ve run in Chicago or nearby but more than half of my half marathons have been in other states.  Recently I ran a half marathon in Alaska.  I don’t have a recap yet but have written a few posts about my trip and you can read about them HERE.

So you bet it was kind of hard to pick and write about my favorite races.  Well, I thought about it hard and here are my 5 favorite races.

Chicago Marathon.  Definitely the best marathon ever!  I am kind of bummed that I am not running it this year but am excited to spectate and cheer for my friends. I’ve run this race 5 times and am always amazed at how well organized it is as well as the support and encouragement I get along the way.  Plus, it is a BEAUTIFUL course!

This is from my first Chicago Marathon in 2006.  Check out the iPod!

4, 2006 Chicago Marathon 2

Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle. The race marks the beginning of the running season in Chicago.  I’ve done this race since 2006 and have missed it a few times due to weather and being out of town.  This race starts and ends on the same course as the Chicago Marathon and there are also many spectators along the way.  I remember the first time I ran this race, I was so happy because I had run the whole race and only stopped ONCE to get water.  That was a huge accomplishment back in 2007 when I was still kinda new to running.

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Elmhurst 4 on the 4th.  I love the distance and there aren’t too many 4 mile races. While I enjoy taking the train and running a race in the city, I also like getting in a car and driving to a different race location.  There is plenty of parking, cheap ($25-$30), and good crowd support.  Plus, I like the variety of running on small hills – different from running in flat land in Chicago.

In 2014 and a 39:39 PR.

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Soldier Field 10 Mile.  What’s not to like about running 10 miles?  It’s weird how when running a half marathon, I start feeling like crap past 10 miles.  That won’t happen when running this race.  I love that it starts and ends near Soldier Field. This year the start line was inside the stadium which was kind of cool and much more organized.  It is cheap if you register early (around $55) but then can go up to $90 in April.

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Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon.  I ran this race in 2014 and it was my last race of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.  I enjoyed running on the Strip at night and checking out the view.  I ran for fun because when will I ever get the chance to run on the Strip and not have to worry about pedestrians and cars?

The best part of the experience was my VIP status.  I didn’t sign up for it but got it               because I signed up to run 15 RnR races that year.  I ended up running a total of 14             races because last minute I decided to skip Denver.

Would I do this again?  Absolutely!  A few bloggers are heading out there in                         November and I am tempted to go but do not want to pay the ridiculous price for               the race.  I could just go and hang out with them, right?

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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 things I am looking forward to the Chicago Half and 5k

As you read this post, I’ll be on my way to Seward, Alaska to begin my trip on The Great Alaskan Running Cruise.  Follow me on Instagram as I will be posting pictures and some stories during my trip.

As I mentioned last week, I am a BibRAVE Pro Ambassador and one of the perks is signing up for the Chicago Half Marathon and 5k on September 24th.  Read along as I list the reasons why I am excited to run the 5k.

1. It will be my first race as a BibRAVE Pro Ambassador.  I am grateful to be chosen as an ambassador and excited to run for this amazing group.  I also look forward to meet more ambassadors at the race.

2. It is a local race.  That saves me time and money.  I sleep in my own bed and drive to the race.  I’ve run before the half marathon so I am familiar with the course.  I love that in this race you run through traffic free Lake Shore Drive.

3. FREE Race Photos.  I never buy any of my race photos (too expensive and don’t like how I look – that alone is another topic) but I’ve noticed that I do like the FREE ones. Regardless, whether I like them or not, they’re still FREE.

4. It is a short race.  I know people have a love/hate relationship with 5ks.  I personally like the distance because it is “only” 3 miles.  Doable, right?  Sure beats 13.1 miles.  🙂

Wallpaper of love hate relationship

5. I am hoping to PR!  My old PR is from 2011.  It is time to set a new one.

EXTRA:
6. You get a cool shirt and medal.  Love the color red!

2017 Chicago Half and 5K 1
Source: http://www.chicagohalfmarathon.com/

Remember, if you would like to sign up, use BRCHI17 to get $15 off the half and $10 off the 5K.

Will I see you at the Chicago Half Marathon and 5k in September?

Do you like/don’t like 5ks?

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

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Friday Five 2.0-Five Things Friday

I cannot believe it is already Friday!  And to think that we are halfway through the month.  I am kind of excited and looking forward to another school.  

I had an exciting week filled with good news and some fun and new running products.

  1. I woke up Monday morning to find out I wa selected to be a BibRave Pro Ambassador.  

BibRAVE Pro

2. As an Ambassador, I have the chance to run the Chicago Half Marathon and 5k on September 24th (I signed up for the 5k).  I would have signed up for the half marathon but I am running on marathon on September 3rd and I don’t think I’ll be ready for a half marathon.  

If you would like to sign up, use BRCHI17 to get $15 off the half and $10 off the 5K.

2017 Chicago Half and 5k

3. Do you cringe when you see your running photos?  I knew I was an underpronator but seeing pictures is just something else.  I was worried that I was wearing the wrong shoes but my friends at Fleet Feet confirmed that I have the right shoes.

Underpronation

4. I love my Oiselle tops and purchased 8 new tops (and some new shorts).  They’re gorgeous!  And I love running shoes so I bought the new Revel from Brooks.  I am supposed to get them today and can’t wait to run in them.  I’ve read that they’re similar to the Launch which are the shoes I use.

There is a summer sale going on right now.  You save 30% off already marked down stuff. Check it out!

Brooks Revel 1

Brooks Revel 2

5.  Do you want to get paid to be healthy!  Join Achievemint, connect 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 $10.  Seriously, you have NOTHING to lose.

Achievement

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

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Friday Five 2.0-Thoughts on Blue Apron Meals (not sponsored)

Please note that these meals were provided for free by a Oiselle friend.  

I’ve always been curious about Blue Apron but did not want to pay for it.  So, when a friend offered to sign me up to get 3 free meals, I couldn’t say no.  

I received a box with ingredients for the following meals:

  • Seared Steak and Fingerling Potatoes
  • Shrimp and Fresh Fusilli Pasta
  • Cajun-Spiced Chicken

Everything came neatly packed in a refrigerated box.  

Any extra (small) ingredients was packed separately.

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I decided to first make the Shrimp and Fresh Fusilli Pasta.  Spoiler: It was delicious.

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I did not follow the steps exactly as was listed in the sheet (I cooked the squash in my toaster oven instead of the oven and I used minced garlic from a jar instead of the garlic that was sent to me).  I did not add the olives because I do not like olives at all.

I love shrimp!  I wished more was included in the box but I guess I could have added some that I had in my house.

It was a very simple and fast recipe.  I was worried about overcooking the shrimp as well as making sure they were properly cooked.  I like the taste of the tomato sauce and tomato paste.  <<So much tastier than spaghetti sauce.

The second meal I made was Seared Steak and Fingerling Potatoes.  It was another delicious meal.

I cooked the potatoes and onion in my toaster oven and I did not use all of the knick knacks for the salad.  The butter lettuce was crispy and tasty.  

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I’ve never heard of crème fraîche or verjus rouge.  I do not like mustard so I didn’t use it either.  Those ingredients were to be used for the dressing but instead I used my own.

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I am not a big fan of onion either but these were pretty good. 

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Finally the last meal was Cajun-Spiced Chicken.  

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This one took the longest to prepare.  The instructions indicated that it was 15 minutes of prep time.  Wrong.  I think it took me about 20 minutes just to chop the pepper, celery, onion, potatoes, and cabbage.  That was a bit frustrating.

I ended up cutting the chicken breast into pieces.  I think that they cook better and faster this way.  The cajun spice blend was not spicy at all but it was flavorful.

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The potatoes and salad were very good.  I went back for seconds and got these two items to eat.

Looks good, right?

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Thoughts:

  • I like how everything you need comes in a box.  No need to go to the grocery store for one pepper or 3 potatoes.  Plus, the ingredients are pre measured.
  • Instructions are easy to follow.  The pictures help in case you need to know if you’re doing it correctly.
  • The meals are yummy.  There are two meal plans to choose from: 2-person or family. Also, you can choose from meat, fish, or vegetarian meals.
  • The following week’s menu are posted on the website a week in advance.  This is good to know in case you want to skip a week or two.  You can also cancel at any time.
  • Not cheap.  It is $59.94 for 3 meals for 2 people, $71.92 for 2 meals for 4 people, or $$143.84 for 4 meals for 4 people.  <<Yes, per week. 

Have you tried Blue Apron?  Thoughts?

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

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Friday Friday 2.0 – Items I’ll Buy Again

I am linking up with with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy

for today’s Friday Five 2.0.

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Happy Holidays!  I cannot believe 2016 is almost over.  I am currently on Winter Break and while I was sick for a few days, I’ve still been enjoying my vacation.  I’ve been running here and there, watching TV, and basically relaxing with my cat and watching lots of TV (finished Fuller House and Narcos).  Next week I am meeting a few girls from my book club so I better start reading the book.  

Today’s topic is “Free” and I will write about some things that I am loving.  While I do have more than that, I will limit it to just five. 🙂

  • Go Contigo Water Bottle – This is seriously the best water bottle!  I have one that holds 32 ounces of water (Cortland) and it is the perfect size for me.  I love that I can add two Nuun tablets and I am set.  I am a teacher so I cannot drink as much water as I want during the day but once I am out of school then I drink like my life depends on it.  I also love that it does not leak.  That was something that I hated with the other water bottles.  You can get online at www.gocontigo.com, Target, Costco, and Kohls.

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  • Balega Enduro No Show Socks – I usually run in Pro Compression or Smartwool socks.  I bought these from Running Warehouse because they were cute and on sale.  Wow! They’re simply amazing!!  I love the no show style and they’re very soft.  My feet were dry and no blisters which is always a winner in my book.  

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  • Saucony Kinvara 7 – They’re lightweight, comfortable, and I swear they’re the reason my paces have been faster.  Heck, I ran my fastest mile at 8:24.  Plus, I love the colors.  I keep checking Running Warehouse to see if they’re on sale (I paid $120 from the Saucony website).  I don’t have to buy them in the same color but as long as they’re less than $80 then I will buy them.  I am sure eventually they’ll be on sale as in the past I’ve bought Brooks PureFlow 4 for $50.

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  • Coffeemate Creamer – I love coffee.  Lately I have been drinking it with cream only to cut down on sugar.  However, there are some days in which I want my coffee a little sweet and some flavor.  These creamers are delicious.  

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  • Cuddl Duds Top – I like wearing them under my short sleeve school shirt on casual Friday.  These tops keep me warm without adding any bulkiness.  They’re listed as active wear but I have not worn them for a run.

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What are some of the things you love (running and non-running related)? Anything exciting for New Year’s Eve?