Category: Giveaway

5 years for this blog and 5 giveaways!


My first post was on January 2, 2011.  Oh boy.  I’ve lost count on the number of times I’ve changed the name (and domains).  I started with WordPress then went to Blogger and finally again back to WordPress.  I think I am just going to leave it the way it is for now.  🙂  Originally I wanted to purchase the domain but it was over $2000.

So just a few things to point out that happened in those 5 years:

  • Gained a few more years in teaching experience.  Took math classes and received my math endorsement.
  • Moved up to 2nd grade after teaching 1st grade for 4 years.
  • Lost my beautiful cat, Princess in March 2011 but this summer adopted Lola.
  • Went on an AMAZING trip for 3 weeks to Mexico, Ecuador and Peru in July 2011.
  • Toured the Princeton University campus as part of my trip to run the Princeton Half Marathon.  It is a gorgeous campus!
  • Went whale watching, to Salem, and Hartford in August 2012.
  • Did a Maine Lobstering Tour as part of my trip to run the Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon.
  • I turned 40!
  • Biked 25 miles in the Chicago L.A.T.E Ride.
  • Ran the Illinois Marathon Relay with 3 other women.
  • Completed my first Ragnar Chicago.  Due to my school schedule I have yet to do another one.
  • Completed 14 Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathons in 2013!  I took a break for 2 years and am registered for 3 next year.
  • Completed two ultra marathons, 2012 and 2014.  For some weird reason I did not write a recap in 2012.  I just noticed the pattern and it looks like I skip a year.  Not sure if I will run this next year.  But I guess you never know right?
  • Got several PRs: Fleet Feet Sports Soldier Field 10 Mile, 5/26/15, 1:41:56; Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle, 3/30/14, 48:38; Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th, 7/4/14, 39:39; ING Hartford Half Marathon, 10/12/13, 2:17:01; Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon, 3/4/12, 5:16:53; Chicago Lakefront 50K, 3/31/12, 6:20:55; and Alivio y Salud Run for Health 5K, 5/21/11, 29:48.  Many are OLD so I need to improve those.
  • Completed the RunDisney Goofy Challenge, which is a half marathon and full marathon in 2 days. What an experience!  And then went on to complete a few more Disney races that year.  I know, CRAZY.
  • Became an Ambassador for ZOOMA Chicago, Fort2Base, and Hammer Nutrition.

Some things I would like to accomplish next year are:

  • Get a sub 2 half marathon and “officially” PR at the Chicago Marathon.   As for #3, I need 3:45 to qualify.  In two years I will need 3:55.


  • PR in a 5K and 10K.  It’s been years since I’ve run a race that distance and I am itching to know how I do.
  • Run in at least 5 different states.  So far I am registered to run in MI, but am looking at KS and WV.   Also, I am going back to run in LA, WA, and NV.  
  • Post more often and get more involved in the running community.  I’ve seen so many bloggers linking up with other bloggers to share posts.  I enjoy reading them and am hoping I can do it as well.  I don’t think it is something I can keep up with everyday but maybe 1 or 2 a week.  A few I like are:
    • Monday-Weekly Wrap
    • Tuesday-Tuesdays on the Run
    • Wednesday-Win it Wednesday or Wednesday Word
    • Thursday-Thinking Out Loud
    • Friday-Friday Five Link Up
  • Stop comparing myself to other people.


  • Work on my nutrition and do more strength training.

Thank you for reading!  Now for the best part.  I have some awesome and brand new gear around the house to bring you 5 days of giveaways.  Yes, that is correct, 5 days of giveaways. Don’t miss it!!


I am planning to post reminders on my Instagram and Twitter accounts about the giveaways, but they will all be held HERE, on Zenaida.Net, so if you don’t already have the webpage in your favorites, you better do it now!

What are some of your goals for 2016?


Year of Running in 2015

I am linking up with Courtney to share my year in running.


  • Best race experience:  I ran 10 races this year.  Each one brought a different experience.  I worked hard and I pushed on through to cross the finish line.  But to pick one it would have to be the Covered Bridges Half Marathon.  It has a beautiful course with one gigantic hill around mile 8.  Still I ended up with my second best half marathon finish time.  My friend, Jaime, ran a sub 2 half marathon and it made me so happy I was there to enjoy the moment.
  • Best run: I ran 20 miles with the Chicago Endurance Sports.  They had everything set up from tents/support at the beginning of the run to even more support after the run.  It was a gorgeous day for a run and the coaches and pacers did a wonderful job.  It was definitely an amazing experience!  The only bad thing was that I lost my phone with less than two miles to go.  One of the coaches stayed with me to look for it instead of leaving me and going with the other runners from the group.
  • Best new piece of running gear: Definitely my Garmin Forerunner 225.  I had to purchase a new one in November (and thanks to so many discounts only paid $120 for it). Next year I want to upgrade to the Garmin Fenix 3.  Just a beautiful watch!  Not a running gear but I am also obsessed with Nuun Kona Cola.  Unfortunately, that particular flavor is being discontinued so you bet I am stocking up.
  • Best running advice you’ve received this year: To have fun and to be in the moment during my runs.  That is something that is hard for me to do but I am working towards actually doing it.  🙂
  • Most inspirational runner: This is a tough one.  But every runner inspires me.  I love hearing stories of how they became a runner and the reasons they run.  I never get tired of talking to them about their experiences and where they are in their journey.
  • Favorite picture from a run or race this year: This photo was sent to me by a friend.  I was on TV!!


  • Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: Two of my favorite races are the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle and Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th.  I love the distance.  For the former race, this year it was a cold and windy day but still fun.  Also, the race has the same start and finish line as the Chicago Marathon.
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Progress.  I’ve been doing more speedwork and while it is taking me longer than I wanted to, slowly I am seeing progress in my runs.  I’ve had great and terrible runs (who hasn’t) but I am learning to not focus so much on the bad ones but to celebrate and learn from each one.

To read more amazing “Year of Running 2015” stories, go to Courtney’s blog.

Oh, and just want to let you know about my 5 days of giveaways beginning on Saturday, January 2nd.  I have items from Swiftwick Socks, MudLOVE, Momentum Jewelry, Lock Laces, and Hammer Nutrition. 


MudLOVE Bracelets Giveway

Disclaimer:  This giveaway is not sponsored or affiliated with MudLOVE.  I am simply sharing some of the extra bracelets I have purchased to support a cause I believe in.

A few weeks ago Carlee wrote a review and did a giveaway for MudLOVE.  I had never heard of the company and became very interested in it.  MudLOVE is a company based in Indiana that sells bands and mugs.  They have partnered up with Water for Good and for every product that is purchased, it provides one week of clean water to someone in need.  What’s not to like?

Of course I wanted to win and I made sure to enter numerous times via Twitter and Instagram.  I did not win but I took advantage of a discount code provided by Carlee to purchase several items for me, some of my friends, and to do a giveaway.


I love my bands.  They’re cute and comfortable.  You can adjust the elastic to fit your wrist.  They’re made from clay that is 100% non-hazardous and the glazes they use are lead-free and non-toxic.  Did I mention that for each one that is purchased, it provides one week of clean water to someone in need?

I am giving four readers the option to win one of the bands pictured below.  To enter, click on the image below where you will be directed to Rafflecopter and enter via leaving a blog post comment, following me on Instagram, commenting on any of my Instagram posts, or tweeting about the giveaway. I am loving this fall weather so I’ve included an extra entry for you.  Good luck!



In case you aren’t one of the four winners, you are still in luck!!  Use code “community” to save 10% off your order!

This giveaway runs through Sunday, November 1st at 11:59pm CT.  Four winners will be selected and notified using the email address listed with their Rafflecopter account.  Entries ARE verified, so please make sure to complete the task or a new winner will need to be selected.  U.S. residents only.

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