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Category: Race Recap

Shoes, shoes and more shoes!

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Brooks running shoes.  In the past I’ve worn the Ghost, Ravenna, Adrenaline, Pure Flow, Pure Connect, and Pure Cadence.

Lately my all time favorite is the Launch.  I remember my first pair of the Launch 2.  They hurt my feet and I sent them back.  Months later I decided to give them another chance.  Cannot remember the reason.  I mean, they hurt my feet so why would I try them again?  I am very glad I did because those were GREAT.  I was upset when they weren’t available anymore.  Then the Launch 3 came out and they felt different.  I trained one summer in them and then sent them back to Brooks (they have a wonderful 90 day return policy).  They just didn’t feel as good as the Launch 2.  Then the 4 came out and they are just as good as the 2.  

They are so good that I am stocking up.  I have 3 pairs in rotation and have 10 new pairs in boxes.  They’re still on sale at Running Warehouse and I am tempted to get more pairs.  That’s how much I love them!  I know the Launch 5 is available but I am going to wait a few months before trying them out.

I don’t just own running shoes.  🙂  I teach 2nd grade and am on my feet all day long so I need comfortable shoes.  Last summer I invested in a pair of Tieks by Gavrieli ballet flat.  I’ve been wearing them almost everyday and like them a lot.  They’re comfortable but I am not too crazy about the price (the cheapest is $175 and the most expensive is $265).

Each pair comes neatly packed in a blue box with a cute bow.  Tieks are sold in whole sizes only.  Tieks typically suggests going down if you’re a half size unless you have a wide foot or sometimes size up.  I’m an 8.5 but I have wide feet but ordered an 8 and a 9.  Included in the box is a black pouch to store your Tieks and a small tote bag.  There was also a handwritten personalized note which I loved.

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I tried both pairs and kept the size 9.  I love that they have FREE shipping.  And if you want to return or exchange them, they also have free return shipping.

You’re probably wondering if they’re worth the price.  For me they are.  I’ve worn shoes from Aerosoles and Naturalizer but after a while my feet hurt.  Plus, they don’t last long.  I will admit that when I first started wearing them, when I went back to work in August, my feet did hurt.  I thought about sending them back.  I couldn’t so I kept wearing them and after a few more days they were comfortable enough to wear all day.  Now, I am very pleased and happy with them.

I know they’re expensive but the next pair I want to get is the Chestnut.  Black and brown are shoe colors that go with pretty much every outfit.  But check how pretty the red, purple, and blue shoes!!  

 

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What is your favorite brand of running shoes?  How many pairs do you have?

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

TuesdaysOnTheRun

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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.

TuesdaysOnTheRun

Chicago Half Marathon & Life Time 5K Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Chicago Half Marathon & Life Time 5K 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 had originally signed up for the half marathon.  However, with the unusually high temperatures in Chicago, I decided instead to run the 5K.  

After my run on Saturday morning, I went to Soldier Field to pick up my packet.  Parking was a deal for $5!  Names were printed on the letters but I didn’t find my name.  In fact many names were missing because I didn’t see any names with last names ending in A, B, C, D, or E (just naming a few as I know there were more but cannot remember).

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Bib pickup and switching over to the 5K was fast and easy.  Not much in the goodie bag.

I do like the shirt.

A reminder that it was going to be warm on race day.

Chicago Half 2017-5It was a good size expo with many vendors.  

I tried Rx bars but did not like the texture.

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Almost bought these shoes.

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Walked around a bit more and left to meet my friend, Claudia, for lunch.

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I woke up early on Sunday morning to get ready and eat something.  I also had some coffee.  Then I drove to the race location.  I got lucky and found parking right away. However, I was there very early so I still had to wait.  The half marathon began at 7 am and the 5K at 7:45am.

I found my friend, Claudia, and we use the port-a-potties, took some pictures, and I wished her good luck as she was running the half marathon.

I hate it when vendors take advantage of the situation (I know they are there to make money) and charge a lot for food.  That slice of pizza is very small which is the same one runners got at the end of the race.

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I was planning to meet Heather prior to the race but that didn’t work out.  I did see her once the race began and she was walking to start running.

Then I had to wait again.  By this point I was hungry.  It was also warm.  At least now there were no lines at the port-a-potties but they were also SMELLY!

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Finally time to run.  It was nice to run in the shade.  Miles 1 and 2 went by fast.  There was a water/gatorade station a bit before mile 2.  I drank some Gatorade and ran again.  I was surprised there was a station so late into the race.  I didn’t care too much for me because I was running a shorter race.  The half marathoners still had a long way to go and shouldn’t have had to wait till mile 2 for water and Gatorade.

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I saw a cute Mexican family with less than half a mile away.  I could hear the music and the race announcer.  I picked up the pace a little bit and finally crossed the finish line.  

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Done.  Got my medal and some post race goodies.

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Love free pictures.  The bottom one cracks me up.  I almost didn’t post it because my eyes are closed.  But there is a story behind it.  Next to me is my friend’s dad.  At the beginning he told me he was going to beat me.  Throughout the race I would pass him and then he would pass me.  Around mile 2 was the last time I passed him.  He surprised me when he caught up to me as we got closer to the finish line and I ran as fast as I could.  We crossed the finish line together and I was laughing!!  I still beat him by 7 seconds.  🙂

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Free pizza.  Would you pay $6 for that slice?  I am a big fan of Home Run Inn pizza and realize that that picture of the pizza doesn’t look tasty.  However, my complaint is the cost for that size.

Are you a fan of 5Ks?  Why or why not?

Friday Five 2.0-Run Mag Mile Race Recap

Disclaimer:  I received free race entry to the Run Mag Mile 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 a 10K.  And it was so much fun!

I picked up my packet after school on Friday.  It took me one hour to get to Fleet Feet in Old Town and then 1 1/2 hours to get back home.  Definitely not happy about it but all of that went away when I saw the hoodie in my bag.  🙂  It fits well and I love the color.

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The race began at 7am so I woke up early to get ready and drink coffee with my Clif Bar. Usually when there is a race downtown I drive to the train station, leave my car there, and take the train.  This time I drove and parked about half a mile from the start line.  Now I have a new parking spot and it it FREE!!

On my way to the start line.  It was a bit chilly in the morning but then it was perfect for running.  I never got hot but just felt very comfortable.

I saw Heather, a fellow Oiselle girl and BibRave Pro Ambassador.  I also saw a couple of other friends before the race.

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Then it was time to run!  Part of the course was running down Michigan Avenue.  This reminded me of Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas where you also run down the strip.  

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Saw this along the course.

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Even though I was feeling great, I did think about switching to the 5k.  Glad I didn’t.

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I enjoyed running along the lakefront except for the wind.  Gosh, it was terrible but surprisingly I kept running and stopped for a few seconds at the turnaround point.

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Run Mag Mile 12Done.  I checked my splits and was surprised because I ran faster than I thought I could run. It isn’t a PR but I definitely enjoyed this race.  Official finish time is 1:07:09.

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Post race every runner got a box with food.  The chicken sausage was delicious!

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Can you tell I am happy to be done?

Would I do it again?  Absolutely!  And here are 5 reasons.

  • The hoodie.  I like how it looks, fits, and feels.
  • The medal.  And it is a big one!
  • The food and beer.  I enjoyed everything in the box.  Also, I didn’t take a picture but each runner had a ticket for one drink, Revolution Brewery beer or a Moscow Mule (I picked the beer).
  • The course.  It was never crowded.  Plenty of room for everyone.  The best part was running on Michigan Avenue.
  • FREE race photos.  I love a race that provids free race photos even if many times we don’t like how we look.  🙂

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

Hoping everyone had a good week!

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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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