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Category: Race Recap

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?

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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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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!

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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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Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon 2017

I’ve run this race before (2009, 2011, 2013).  The last time I ran it, I swore I would never do it again because it is always HOT on race day.  I remember in 2013 I almost passed out because of the heat.

Never say never, right?  Thanks to Erica at Erica Finds I won a FREE race entry so you bet I signed up.  The plan was to run it as a training run (16 miles on the calendar).

The expo was not fun at all.  You can read about it HERE or just skip it.  

Saturday morning was the 5k.  I went to the lakefront to run 4 miles and saw the runners.  I was hoping to see Kathrine Switzer since at the expo I found out she was running the 5k.  I did not see her.  But Wendy got to see her TWICE!  Lucky girl!

Sunday morning my alarm went off at 4:15am, got ready, ate breakfast and drove to the train station.  While there I saw the most beautiful sunrise.

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Once downtown I dropped off my bag at gear check (I felt bad for the volunteers because there weren’t enough of them but lots of people were waiting to drop off their bag) then got in line to use the porta potties.  Ugh, people were taking too long.  I moved to another shorter line but they were taking too long there too.  Finally it was my turn and I was in and out in about 15 seconds!  

I went to get in my corral but there were so many people.  That’s what I get for being “late”.  Finally I got in and just when I was about to cross the start line, I saw Kathrine Switzer! It happened so quickly and I was shocked to see her.  What I wanted to do was call out her name to get a picture but the line was moving and she was walking in another direction so I lost my chance.  Later I found out she was on the course giving out water and at the finish line giving out medals.  I did not see her.  🙁

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It wasn’t as hot as it usually is and it was shaded.  Thank goodness because it is known to always be HOT on that day.  As you can see from my splits below, I did good for 7 miles.  I drank water at every water station and had two water bottles filled with Generation UCAN Hydrate.  I also took a salt tablet every 4 miles.  Prior to the start of the race I drank 12 ounces of water with 2 scoops of Generation UCAN.

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Even though it wasn’t very hot, it was still hot enough for me to run through this fire hydrant. One of the best feelings!

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These pictures made me cry.  I missed the beginning but went back and walked to look at every single picture.

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Before mile 7 I saw Charlene.  Seeing her made me smile.  Then past mile 7 I saw the Oiselle girls and they also made me smile.  And then my feet began to hurt and I bonked.  I was exhausted.  I wanted to take off my shoes and walk.  I didn’t.

I did not cringe when I saw these photos.  No underpronation at all.

I kept running determined to finish the race.  I loved the crowd support and the volunteers. I let out a big sigh when I reached mile 10.  Three more miles and I would be done.  Easy peasy, right?  Nope.

The last mile felt like forever.  The finish line looked so far away.  Why, why?  Can you see it? Trust me, it was there.

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Overall, I enjoyed the race.  I didn’t do as well as I expected but I know that not every race will go as expected.  I loved running on the streets of Chicago.  I rarely go downtown anymore so this was a nice treat for me.  

My next Rock ‘n’ Roll race is October 15 in Denver.  My niece lives there so I am excited to see her and to run in another state.

Have you run a Rock ‘n’ Roll race?  Fan or not a fan?

I am linking up with MarciaErika, and Patti for today’s Tuesdays on the Run.

TuesdaysOnTheRun

Elmhurst Running Club 4 on the 4th

This morning I ran the Elmhurst Running Club 4 on the 4th.  This was my 5th year running it.  It is also one of my favorite races.

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Source:  www.athlinks.com

I woke up early, made coffee and ate a Clif Bar and left my house around 6am.  The race started at 7:15.  I like to get there early so I can find parking.  So far I’ve been able to park in the same spot/area as in previous years.  I got my bib and tshirt.  The shirt is actually nice!

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I met up with a few of the Oiselle crew for a picture.  

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Finally it was time to run.  The course is not flat.  It isn’t horrible but any little incline tires me out.  🙂

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As usual, I started too fast.  When will I ever learn?  My first mile was my fastest and then it went downhill.  However, I surprised myself because my last mile was my second fastest.  

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It wasn’t too hot but it was very sunny.  I remember at one point I just got very hot and had to stop for a bit. There was plenty of water stations and I drank water at every single one.  There weren’t too many people out there but those that were there were WONDERFUL.    They cheered and encouraged us throughout the way.

With less than a quarter mile to go I could see the finish line.  However, there was an incline. I did my best to run instead of walk.  Nothing wrong with that but I wanted to see if I could do it.  And I did!  I was running next to a woman and I somehow got a burst of energy and ended up passing her up.

My official time is 42:37.  I knew I was not going to PR and I did have fun running this race.

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I was looking at my pictures from previous races and I have worn the same socks.  Also, I have worn running clothes in the same colors to go with the 4th of July theme.

This day is extra special to me.  It was in 1978 that my mother along with my siblings arrived here from Mexico.  I’ve been living in this country for 39 years.

How will you be celebrating today?  My two sisters and I will be heading over to my cousin’s house to eat, laugh, and have a great time.

I am linking up with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for today’s Tuesdays on the Run.

TuesdaysOnTheRun