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Weekending Like A Boss

Weekending Like A Boss

You know how sometimes you feel like your life is ending? Like when your phone smashes on a hard marble floor? Not only that, but you’re also trying to network with people at a work event and your whole body warms over and you feel like you’re going to puke after eating something that REALLY didn’t agree with you? Yes, I had quite the week. Luckily, the Genius Bar at the Apple store saved my life (I might have hugged them profusely) and I will forever stay away from gamble salads that have a bunch of god knows what in them. I’ve come to find out that I’ve developed quite a few food allergies over the years. Needless to say, I was THRILLED by the time Friday rolled around. Let the weekend begin!!

Not only that, but Chicagoland was teased with a little bit of summer weather. This girl even got a sunburn one morning!! But let’s back up, last weekend was my daddio’s birthday and in true runner’s fashion, I just ran to my parents’ house to 1. get my run in and 2. wish him a happy birthday asap. Sorry for the sweaty, smelly greeting Dad haha at least your other daughter isn’t a crazy runner. :p

 

Also, I got him a Fitbit Charge 2 and I have to say, I’m a bit jealous. I have a Garmin I only wear when I run, but I think it would be pretty nifty to see how many steps I’m getting in and connect with my other Fitbitters (because I’m competitive like that). Because of family health scares, I felt like not only would this fit the bill for his interest in techy stuff, it’ll really help guide him  and motivate him to move around more since he works mostly from home now. I love him a whole heck of a lot.

Half marathon training has officially started as well which is another reason why I wanted to test myself and pack on the miles that weekend. On average, my mileage has been somewhat on the low side (5-6 miles per run). Time to ramp it up! The race is mid-late May so the weather should cooperate for the most part when it comes to training. It’s just a matter of being good with cross training and stretching properly so I don’t injure my hamstring tendon again (knock on every solid surface). I tend to run based on how I feel which doesn’t always coincide with my training schedule…that’s when I get in trouble. Going too hard too much is just a recipe for disaster.

My survival guide to half marathon training includes:

  • Training in the morning on the weekends (hell if I’m going to get a long run in past noon).
  • Keeping race day in mind. (No one likes this day to come and feeling completely unprepared).
  • Staying focused on my race day goals. I would like to beat last year’s time, so that means no slacking and keeping my nutrition in check!
  • Taking care of my body. This means avoiding that extra vodka drink and empty calories that will just slow me down the following morning.
  • There’s no time for excuses. Really, everyone has at least 1 hour in the day to get some training in so make it count and get it done.
  • Maintain a realistic schedule. If I know I have a long work day ahead, I’ll get my workout in before then because God knows my head won’t be in the game post-multiple meetings later.
  • Train smart. Again, this goes back to me stretching properly, incorporating more crosstraining during the week and building more muscle and flexibility to avoid injury.

And really on weekends like this one, I’m more than happy to slap on those running shoes and go out for a long run. It’s a great way to reset the body too after indulging a little too much during the week. So many birthday celebrations, so much good food. Not to mention, my playlist was ON POINT. Has anyone else jammed out to the new Chainsmokers album? So much YASSSSS.

I also made sure to get a good, leisurely walk in with the hubs. Basically, I took advantage of this damn good weather every chance I got. Give me sun. Give me fresh air to just inhale all day long.

Training aside, I got some quality big sis time in this weekend. We did some major damage shopping and caught up on the latest with each other. Why Free People? Why must you have all the cute things? I picked this tunic up because…obviously.

 

Not only that, but I got my puppy fix in. How can you have a bad day with this silly face staring back at you? #cutenessoverload

 

 

I would totally be fine with having another day off with this weather. Lazy Sundays just can’t be a thing when you haven’t seen amazing weather like this in MONTHS. It’s instant happy. I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!

Cheers!

Life Happenings – We Are the Champions!

Life Happenings – We Are the Champions!

There comes a time when this thing called life happens and documenting it from day to day just isn’t feasible. Especially when exciting things that haven’t happened in over 100 years HAPPEN. Yes, I’m going to start this October/November roundup with THE CUBS. It was a surreal game to watch. We blew the lead twice…and WON THE WORLD SERIES. Heart palpitations, high blood pressure, high anxiety, almost feeling like I just might throw up all over the hundred other Cubs fans that were around me at the bar we were at. BUT WE WON. Absolutely nothing could match the joy of waking up to this that morning.

 

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Feelings of holy shit it happened, extreme happiness, jumping up and down, screaming the lyrics to the Cubs anthem….and flying that W! It was a night I’ll never forget. It was so emotional watching all of the older Cubs fans who have been waiting for this moment for so long. Just a couple days after their historic win, I also was cleared to attend the parade that reported to be the 7th largest human gathering in the world. I opted to go to Wrigley where the parade started. I needed to see this…

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This made it so real.

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While some bosses and HR departments were saying not to skip work for this day, mine was right beside me. Although it was nothing short of crazy dealing with all of the people on the train and getting a primo viewing spot, I have zero regrets. Seeing these guys bring that trophy home was priceless.

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It was a perfect day all around. The only thing that did piss me off were the countless teens just looking to see where the “most epic party” was. Go back to school kids. The hubs has even rewatched the final game numerous times and all of the highlights. It’s just something a dedicated Cubs fan can’t get enough of. We did it. WE FINALLY DID IT. Oh and don’t even get me started on the cray-sauce people in line at Dick’s Sporting Goods after the win. The hubs and I went to see how bad the line would be…we couldn’t even see the end of the line it was so long. INSANE. Online shopping, you ridiculously convenient, sexy monster you. My heart will be full because of this Cubs win for quite some time. GO CUBS GOOOOO.

That Sunday I had a half marathon to run – the Milwaukee Running Festival. I just HAD to represent my Cubs with my race day apparel. Obviously. Although it was FREEZING out in the morning, it warmed up pretty fast. This sunrise was a precursor to how epic of a race this ended up to be.

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Little did I know that Milwaukee is FULL of steady inclines and hills. The first half of the course was either up steep hills or a steady incline. My. Lord.  The hubs and my in-laws came to cheer me on and man did I ever need them! Their cheers definitely helped me pull through each mile. Little did I know that I would end up with a PR by 8 MINUTES. I haven’t PRed since my injury late last year so I felt like I could cry. In fact, I probably did just because my glutes just took a horrific beating from those hills. I definitely worked hard for this medal.

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This time of the year is my favorite. The holidays are right around the corner and the wedding is absolutely perfect for running around the neighborhood. With tensions so high about the election, I’m going to just leave that out and say that we need to love and come together as a nation. This roundup was short and quick and I’m leaving a lot out, but I hope everyone starts this week out right and make it amazing!

Cheers!

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Run Chicago

Run Chicago

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!! Last weekend I ran the second leg of the Chicago half marathon series and man was it epic. Two things can totally make a race. 1.) Perfect weather 2.) Epic swag/bling. This race had both. Granted, it was really hot and humid halfway through, but it was much better than the rain they had predicted! Although my time was one of my worst (thanks whiny hamstring tendon), it’s officially one of my favorite races. I mean, it’s not everyday where you can run down the middle of Lakeshore Drive for miles.

It all started with the race expo being at Soldier Field. Helllloooo free samples galore. I met up with my fav running buddy after I picked up my packet and we went from booth to booth picking things up and buying matching “Run Chicago” bracelets…because…obviously. You can find them here!

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Once we stocked up on our samples and race gear, we headed out to carb-load. Hellloooo Noodles & Co. We had to uphold tradition. Although races are always early, this one is particularly early. Brutal. Both of us were already envisioning that finish line and those HUGE medals.

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We started in different corrals so after waiting in line for a last bathroom break, we split up and braced for the race to start! Luckily I remembered to switch up my playlist because as a runner, you eventually just want to claw your eyes out once you hear certain songs over and over again. Can anyone else relate? A playlist can definitely make or break my run. This time, I was totally spot on. Complete with The Weeknd’s new hit, some Katy Perry, Beyonce, Van Halen and others to mix up my run nicely…and you know…have that one super motivational song play right when you see the one guy loop around already and you’re only halfway through the course. #ImnotKenyan.

The last 5k was rough. I’ve been running a half marathon pretty much every other weekend for a little over a month now so my legs were just like, “girl…we’re about done.” Going around that last corner though only to see the finish line…oh it brought a tear to my eye…or maybe it was just more salty sweat stinging my eye…

There’s also so many perks spotting the camera dude right at the finish line. Flying race pic, HOLLLLLA.

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Then…the medals….this race has the biggest medals by far. You can eat your dinner off of them. And this time, since I finished the challenge, I got to snag a second kick-ass medal.

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I mean really, my neck was even starting to get sore. Epic and totally worth it. Both of us totally rocked that race and we vowed that we would enjoy every second on non-training in our near future.

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The soreness didn’t even fully settle in before we could say that we were signing up for the 2017 half marathon series. I highly recommend this series. Registering right away also means getting early bird pricing. WIN. The only thing I don’t look foward to is the ride home. At least I got a seat all to myself on the train….I’m sure it wasn’t because I smelled like roses post-half marathon. I always feel so accomplished after these races too – not just because of the massive Flav-a-flav bling, but because my Garmin clocked me in at burning over 2,600 calories. Yes, that means I can justify consuming all the things that night. Give me pumpkin spice lattes, pizza, chocolate chip cookies.

Annnnnd one more medal selfie to close. By design, I’d say these are my favorite medals aside from my Chicago marathon medal….because well #marathon. Duh.

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What’s your most coveted race medal or medal in general? Is there particular bling that shines above the rest?

Cheers!

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Run to Remember – Race Day with Volition America

Run to Remember – Race Day with Volition America

Another start to another week! Let’s recap yet another race weekend shall we?! This one was really special and dear to my heart. #wearblue

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Yesterday I had the honor of running the second leg of my half marathon challenge with Volition America. This second half was even more special because of remembering 9/11.

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It’s always a reminder that freedom is certainly not free and it was a REALLY emotional race. By the second mile, an amazing organization, Wear Blue: run to remember, setup photos along the course of those who have lost their lives serving our country. I don’t know what came over me, but I was crying my eyes out looking at these photos. Then participants of the organization held American flags as we ran by. I felt like hugging each and every one of them. It was such a powerful few minutes to reflect…and understand that these men and women have sacrificed everything for our country. Also, running and crying…not so easy.

To rewind at the start line, my wireless earbuds decided to not work. So…that meant running 13.1 miles WITHOUT music. And while it was brutal, I took it as a sign that I needed to really pay attention and reflect on what this day meant…ESPECIALLY after taking in that line of photos. It made me attention to things that I normally wouldn’t down to each breath! The weather was perfect, but by the end of the race that sun was SO unforgiving. I was so happy to see that finish line! Give me ALL the salty things and electrolytes. My hamstring is definitely not happy with me so I’ll be taping it up and stretching it err’day so I don’t really injure it again. Another half is in two weeks! I know, I’m all sorts of cray.

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The worst part about races is the long drive home. I feel like I need a hip replacement each time. #runnerproblems. But hey, medal Monday! Bling-a-bling-bling! I can’t wait to run with Volition America again. They stand for such a great cause.

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I hope everyone else had a great weekend and Monday! As for me…helllooo recovery day, also I tend to justify eating like crap the day after because well…I DID burn over 2,000 cals….don’t judge. Give me all the carbs.

 

Cheers!

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Racing Chicago

Racing Chicago

This weekend was an epic weekend of awesomeness that was full of meeting up with thousands of fellow runners for the Chicago Half Marathon. While I have quite a few half marathons and long distance runs under my belt thanks to marathon training, the anxiety was building just realizing that the next time I will be running a race in this city…it will be for the FULL Chicago Marathon. EEK. Shit just got real guys. This was my fav running buddy’s first half marathon so we prepped accordingly.

The first thing in order was packet pick-up at the epic expo they had. It was swag galore and one can never have enough swag. We got mugs, tech shirts, free samples etc. It’s the best way to get the hype built up until race day.

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After we snagged our stuff and scoped out all of the different sponsors and vendors there, we carb-loaded. Obviously. We went to Noodles & Co. for some penne pasta with chicken and feta. I shoveled it all into my mouth. #noregrets.

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Once we filled our stomachs with all the yummy things, we snagged ourselves some lattes, headed home and started to wind down so we could actually have a chance at getting up at the ass-crack of dawn. Seriously, the things runners go through….Netflix, lattes and tea in our badass mugs happened.

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Once it hit our bedtime…we had to set our alarms so we’d be out of the door by 3:30am…yes you ready that right…being a runner pretty much forces you to become a morning person. We were up and munching on energy chews right when people our age are just getting home from bars. #runnerlife

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Unfortunately we were split up when we had to get into our corrals, but we were both pumped to finish this race so we could get that bling and umm…nap. Over 13,000 runners united for this run and it was awesome. One thing I have to say though was that the volunteers and spectators cheering us all on throughout the WHOLE course were the best. I loved reading all of the signs and hearing all of the cheering. I even stopped my playlist for a bit so I could get amped up just by their support alone! Some of my favorite signs were as follows:

  • Run faster, I just farted.
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, you’re a 13.1
  • Touch here to Power up (points to a shirtless photo of Adam Levine)
  • Run faster so the zombies won’t catch you!

I happened to be right in front of a lot of the photographers too throughout the course so I can’t wait to look at those disaster photos. Especially at mile 12. I lose all realization as to what kind of facial expressions I’m making by then. I haven’t even attempted to look at the photos from the CARA 20-Miler from last week. Because why? I’m sure I look like Courtney Love on her worst day, although at mile 18 I could only wish for an excessive amount of drugs to numb the soreness in the lower half of my body.

Once I hit the finish line though, it was a MADHO– USE. There were so many people finishing at the same time, the only way to know where to pick up your medal was to listen to the huge things clink and clank together. It was all so worth it though. Ignite the runner’s high.

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I was bummed that I couldn’t see my friend finish since it was just so crowded, but once she did, I was SO proud of her. Finishing your first half marathon is no joke. However, the size of these medals definitely was.

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Once we separated ways, I couldn’t wait to shower and relax for the rest of the day….even though I kept on thinking about how the marathon was so close and analyzing what or how I should change my routine for marathon day. I PRed for this race which was way faster than my goal pace for the marathon. I need to add on at least another minute and a half to my time so I conserve enough energy for the marathon. It’s pretty much the hardest thing for me.

My mom like I’ve said before is one of my biggest cheerleaders and got me this awesome medal rack. Once I got it home I couldn’t wait to hang it up in my office.

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This week will be the very last full week until marathon week and I’m sure everyone around me wants to strangle me talking about it so much.  What if i injure myself just halfway into the race? What if I miss my alarm? What if I eat something bad the night before? What if I forget to pack something? What if my playlist is just all off? What if I die?

I know this is highly unlikely, but hey I love to be dramatic in times like these. I officially got my participant packet/ticket in the mail…it’s go time. No turning back. My fundraiser goal is just about met and I’m tapering like a pro….it’s happening.IMG_2464

 

Cheers!!

 

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