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Category: Running

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).

Chicago Half 2017-1

Chicago Half 2017-11

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.

Chicago Half 2017-6

Almost bought these shoes.

Saucony Kinvara 8

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

Chicago Half 2017-7

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.

Chicago Half 2017-15

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!

Chicago Half 2017-16

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.

Chicago Half 2017-17

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.  

Chicago Half 2017-18

Done.  Got my medal and some post race goodies.

Chicago Half 2017-22

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.  🙂

Chicago Half 2017-24

Chicago Half 2017-25

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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Ready for Fall, running a 5k, and meeting two olympians and an ultra-ultra marathoner!

Friday was the first day of fall.  But it did not feel like it at all.  We’ve been having some HOT weather which is normal for July/August but NOT September.  We have a few more warm days and then it is supposed to cool down.  It looks like it will be cooler for the Chicago Marathon.

Weather Chicago

I am actually looking forward to fall.   For sure the weather.  I am excited to wear shorts/capris with a long sleeve shirt or thin jacket.  To me fall is the best season for running!Ready for fall since last fall

This week I ran 4 days for a total of 11.18 miles which includes a 5k today.  Tuesday’s 2 miles felt tough.  I had Open House at my school on Thursday and I knew I would not want to run afterwards so I ran early in the morning.  It was weird being out there so early.

I got a late start to my run on Saturday and paid for it later.  That afternoon I went to Soldier Field to pick up my bib for the Chicago 5k.  It was a good expo and I was tempted to buy a new pair of Saucony Kinvara 8.  They were only $95 and are very comfortable. But I have too many shoes and definitely do not need another pair.

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Saucony Kinvara 8

Today I ran the Chicago 5k.  I had signed up for the half marathon but changed it yesterday to the 5k.  Although the medal for the half is much nicer, I am glad I ran the 5k. I didn’t get a PR (wasn’t planning due to the weather) but still pleased with my time.  

Then in the afternoon I attended the “Breaking Through The Wall: Marathon Preparation Seminar”.  Although I am not training for a marathon, I enjoy going to it and hear inspiring stories from various runners.  Last year I met Meb Keflezighi, Desi Linden, and Amy Cragg. This year it was Scott Jurek, Ryan Hall, and Amy Cragg.  It was cool holding Amy’s bronze medal from 2017 World Marathon Championships in London.  When it was my turn to take a picture with her, I asked her if she could hold her medal.  Instead, she asked ME if I wanted to hold her medal.  Yes!!

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.  

Hoping everyone had a good week!

WeeklyWrap

Luvo Frozen Meals Product Review

Disclaimer:  I received Luvo Frozen Meals 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 love to eat but don’t like to cook.  My mother makes the best Mexican food and I look forward to it everytime I see her.  

I have a hard time deciding what to take to school for lunch.  I only have 30 minutes to eat and in that time I also have to finish up some work for the next two hours of class and use the bathroom.  Enter Luvo Frozen Meals.  The past few weeks I had the opportunity to try their products for a quick, easy, and healthy meal.

Luvo Frozen Meals 1

Luvo Frozen Meals 10

Luvo’s philosophies for their meals consist of :

  • The right balance of protein, whole grains, and veggies
  • Not too much sodium or added sugar
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners

There are so many meals to choose from – either in a pouch or a bowl.  Below are the ones I was able to sample.

Kale Ricotta Ravioli – This one had a great smell!  Teachers asked me what I was eating because it smelled so good.  This bowl is nut free and vegetarian with 12 grams of protein, 14 grams of whole grains, and 1/2 cup of vegetables

Hawaiian Un-Fried Rice-I didn’t think I would like this but it is actually very tasty.  This bowl is vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy free with 10 grams of plant protein, 42 grams of whole grains, and 1 cup of fruit and vegetables. 

Luvo Frozen Meals 4

Quinoa & Veggie Enchilada Verde-My sister and I both enjoyed this bowl.  I love green enchiladas as well as quinoa.  The salsa verde was tasty and definitely not spicy at all. This bowl is gluten-free, nut free, vegetarian with 10 grams of protein, 37 grams of whole grains, and 1/2 cup of vegetables.

Great Karma Coconut Curry-This is another bowl I did not think I would like.  I like coconut but not a fan of curry.  This bowl is vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy free with 10 grams of plant protein, 16 grams of whole grains, and 1 cup of vegetables.

Luvo Frozen Meals 9

So Cal Kale & Bean-I know Kale is good for you (don’t eat it as much as I would like to) so I looked forward to this meal.  It was sweet which I liked.  This bowl is vegan, gluten-free, nut free, vegetarian, dairy free with 10 grams of plant protein, 23 grams of whole grains, and 1 cup of fruit and vegetables.

Luvo Frozen Meals 5

Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese-I loved the brown rice noodles and the panko style topping on top made it crunchy!  This bowl is gluten-free, nut free, vegetarian with 11 grams of protein, 55 grams of whole grains, and 1/2 cup of vegetables.

Luvo Frozen Meals 6

I know frozen meals are never a substitute for real food.  However, with so many choices of frozen meals out there, I didn’t feel guilty having one of these for lunch.  Here are a few reasons:

  • A few have a high number of whole grains and/or protein.  I was able to stay full till dinner time.
  • Most frozen meals have a high number of sodium.  However, the meals I tried had sodium in the 300s.  The Great Karma Coconut Curry has the highest number with 390 milligrams.
  • A variety to choose from whether you are looking for a vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, nut free, or dairy free meal.
  • Great taste!  Seriously, I was surprised at how good they were.  I tried 6 different meals and I liked all of them.
  • They’re inexpensive!  I went to my local Jewel-Osco and they were on sale for $3.00 (regular price was $4.99) each which is affordable.  Click HERE to find out if they’re available at your local grocery store.

Have you tried Luvo Frozen Meals?  Which one did you like the most?

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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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.

Run Mag Mile 1

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.

Run Mag Mile 5

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.  

Run Mag Mile 6

Run Mag Mile 7

Saw this along the course.

Run Mag Mile 8

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

Run Mag Mile 9

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.

Run Mag Mile 10

Run Mag Mile 11

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.

Run Mag Mile 13

Run Mag Mile 14

Run Mag Mile 16

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

Run Mag Mile 15

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!

fridayfive

Brilliant Reflective, my latest favorite running song, and I am still running.

Disclaimer:  I received Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips to try and 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 rarely run when it is dark.  During the summer it is bright as early as 5am and doesn’t get dark till about 8:30pm.  The few times I run while it is dark, I wear a reflective vest and a headlamp.  I was more than happy to test and review Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips.  The company sent me both Iron-On and Stick-On strips.

Brilliant Reflective 1

So what exactly are these strips?  They’re pieces of tape that you can stick on to your gear so that when light hits you, you are seen.  They’re easy to peel and can be placed on pretty much all of your running gear such as shoes, shirts, hats.  They’re available in black, red, blue, and purple so they either blend in or stand out.

My niece liked them on her shoes.

I used them in my shirt, shoes, and running hat.

Brilliant Reflective 4

Brilliant Reflective 5

Brilliant Reflective 6

I will admit that I removed them from my shoes to put on another pair and somehow one of the strips fell off during my race.  However, they stayed on the shirts even after washing them.

Brilliant Reflective 7

I haven’t used the Iron-On strips but am excited to use them on my Oiselle Power Stretch Beanie and Softshell Gloves.  <<Definitely not ready for cold weather as I am enjoying the cool and fall like weather we are having in Chicago.

Join us on Tuesday, September 12th as BibRave and Brilliant Reflective will be hosting a #BibChat at 8pm CST.  Come by and chat with us about this great product and you’ll have a chance to win some of your own.

My latest running song is “Mi Gente”.  Have you heard it?  Not a big fan of the video but I do like the beat and it makes me want to dance too.  🙂

I had some great runs this week.  Monday and Tuesday was 5.02 miles.  Fall weather is here and that makes the runs much more enjoyable.  I was pleased and surprised with my negative splits!

On Saturday I ran the Run Mag Mile 10K.  It was so much fun!  The weather was perfect and it was fun running down Michigan Avenue (it reminded me of RnR Las Vegas when the strip was closed for the race).  I didn’t get a PR (old one is from 2010) but I ran faster than I thought I could and also had a blast.  I think that definitely counts more than a PR, right?  🙂

So what did you think of the song “Mi Gente”?  What is your favorite running song now?

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.  This week’s host is Sara @ Sara Runs This Town.  Please stop by her blog and show her some love!

Hoping everyone had a good week!

WWGuest