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You Ran for How Long?

You Ran for How Long?

This long weekend was a blessing. Balancing work and marathon training is both mentally and physically exhausting. Although it’s been quite hard getting in those longer mid-week runs after work, I’m still going strong! And to top it off, the longest run I’ve ever completed happened on Sunday. 18 miles….18 miles across the fricken African Savanna (it was stupid hot/humid in Chicagoland). I didn’t die, I didn’t feel any kind of shooting pain anywhere, just the soreness that comes along with running for that long. I was stunned and if I had enough energy to spare at the time…I would have jumped and clicked my heels together I was so overjoyed. My pace wasn’t bad either considering the heat.


The funny this is that the night before, I barely got any sleep since the hubs and I went to a concert and didn’t get home until late. I’m still trying to figure out how this miracle run happened. After Sunday’s run I feel like I’m prepped for ANY kind of weather the marathon might through my way. Having a running partner staying on pace with me was key though. We kept on chanting how awesome we were and how close we were to finishing. Oh and food. Have to talk about food. Sunday afternoon was spent like this….


I also had to get my butt up and walk around so I wouldn’t cramp up so much so my sister and I made a date of it. What’s better than a nice walk around Half Priced Books? HELLLOOO Labor Day sale. We snagged some books and ate lunch before I gnawed my arm off. Burning 2,200 calories is something I’ve never done before in one run…so it was quite a task not dive-bombing for the fridge and eating everything in it. My Shakeology sampler pack also came in the mail over the weekend and I can’t wait to try this stuff out.


The stuff is ridic expensive, but I figured I’d see how one week of incorporating these shakes into my diet does with my marathon training and how they make me feel overall. Review to come!

It’s crazy to say that the marathon is pretty much one month away. ONE MONTH. Before then, I have two half marathons and a 20 miler race. Once that last 20 miler prep race is finished, the miles will slowly start to decrease!  After the 18 miler on Sunday, I feel so confident about crossing that finish line in October and rocking the hell out of that medal. My fundraising is also getting closer and closer to the overall goal amount! If any readers would like to help and donate for this great cause, you can find that link here.

In other news, I have the Alpine Half Marathon this upcoming Sunday and stupid me, I forgot how hilly the course will be. Although the mileage is in line with my training, I have to keep my pace in check. The last thing I need is an injury (no matter how small) so close to the marathon! In addition to the hills, NO earbuds are allowed. This will be tough. If it gets bad, I hope any surrounding runners like some JLo because this girl will just start playing my playlist for all to hear. #sorrynotsorry.

Either way, I’m pumped and up for the challenge! All smiles! This runner is HAPPY.

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Five Friday Favorites! #LoveIt

Five Friday Favorites! #LoveIt

It’s been quite some time since I linked up for a Friday Favorites post! I of course will blame it all on marathon training and pile on the excuses from there. Because well…I just can’t pry myself away from a bowl of pasta long enough to hammer out more blog updates. But let’s carry on shall we?!

::1:: Fabletics

I’m sure I’ve posted about Fabletics before when they first made their debut, but I seriously can’t go on enough about their awesome VIP pricing and quality of active wear. Because really? I don’t have time or the funds for ONE pair of $90 running tights.


I recently got to try out some of their sports bras and I LOVE how they have a back enclosure so it’s not impossible to get off post-17 mile run. (FYI getting off a sweat-soaked sports bra should be considered an Olympic sport…if that image is too graphic for you…#sorrynotsorry.)



::2:: Zulily

I’ve recently paid more attention to Zulily thanks to my sis. I swear that website makes it impossible for you to be willing to spend full price on ANYTHING going forward. It’s awesome. I had a gift card to spend on there and within the past two days they had events for Brooks AND Lorna Jane! That kind of apparel can set you back hundreds of dollars and this girl scored some awesome fall running apparel for the price of one top.

Had to snag these Lorna Jane color block tights…because obviously.



This Brooks tech hoodie will ensure that I won’t become roadkill. I’ll be a tall, running highlighter.


Their customer service is also amaze-balls and over-the-moon nice and courteous which is enough to keep me coming back. Even better, if you see something else that you must have and you already placed your purchase, you’ll only be charged for shipping ONCE. We all know how much I loathe shipping prices so this is a major win in my book.

::3:: Race Swag

But seriously, any runner will tell you that before they sign up for a race, they’ll verify that they get awesome swag. I seriously just signed up for a half marathon because why not get a medal when I’m supposed to run that distance for marathon training anyway? Win/win. Race photos…not so much. Do I want a photo of myself at mile 12? Probably not. I’ll most likely look like I’m dying and end up terrified at the realization of how I look while running. It’s not pretty 80% of the time. I need to be more aware of my face as I run…come marathon day I don’t want to mirror some half-living creature as I reach the finish. I also achieved blue status on my Nike Running app and clocked in over 120 miles for this month. I’m not crazy I’m just training for a marathon…oh wait…


::4:: Brooks

Oh how I love Brooks shoes. They’ve been good to me throughout my marathon training and was SO excited to see a second pair of my Glycerin 12s on super sale since the latest model just came out. Brooks isn’t the best when it comes to color choices so I was super stoked when my size was still in stock in another color option that I fell in love with…because that is just as important as its functionality right?…Better cross that finish line in style…and in one piece. I broke them in one morning and had a lovely view!


::5:: Fall Days

Oh yes I had to close with this one! For the past few nights, my runs have been ever so amazing with this fall preview weather. The overcast, slightly windy weather is making me very hopeful for race day in October. It’s such a crap-shoot when it comes to that month in Chicago. I’ve had enough of these hot, sweaty days. Marathon training is hard enough without the sun searing into my skull. I even found out that Dunkin’ Donuts was flying under the radar and got their pumpkin coffee back. (Nope, I don’t care if it’s not even October yet.) I wouldn’t give Apollo any. Not a single drop. Don’t worry everyone, he survived. #dramacat.


Linking up with Amanda at Meet at the Barre and April at A. Liz Adventures!



Also, let’s be friends! Follow Gym & Tonic on Bloglovin’!




Stay Calm & Run Happy!

Stay Calm & Run Happy!

I’ve been hearing a lot about runners getting super burned out right about now while the heat has been at its peak (minus these past two glorious cooler days). I mean even if you love running each morning, knowing you have to put in so many miles each day to train for a marathon can be a little monotonous. It’s even worse when the only time you can get those miles in is after a rough day at work and the days are getting shorter and shorter!  Here are some tips that help me lace up each day!

  • I remind myself why I’m doing this to begin with! It’s really easy to get sidetracked when you’re on week 11 of training and your legs still feel like lead from yesterday’s longer run. I always wanted to train for a marathon, but with my cousin’s diagnosis, I decided to run for the cause in his honor. He’s the best.


  • Think of all the time and effort you put in already! I mean really, quitting now is absolutely not an option. The marathon (for me) is less than two months away and race day will be here before I even know it! No time for slacking! Unless you’re Apollo…


  • Get yourself some new running swag! I don’t know about you, but when I get a new pair of shoes or a new tank I can’t wait to go out on my next run. I mean just look at them….#shoegasm #ohyes

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  • Running with a training group was also the best decision I made. Not only does it hold you more accountable for sticking to your training schedule, it makes those super long runs tolerable and you meet new people who love to run! (This smiley photo was BEFORE we ran 17 miles…)


  • Preventing any injuries no matter how bad they may be is also vital to staying motivated and keeping up with your schedule. I mean sure you can tape up your injury as you run but better to prevent any of that from happening! I purchased these recovery sandals by Oofos and they are HEAVEN on my feet after my runs. I highly suggest them.


  • After being a part of this training group, some people are VERY against listening to music during a run, but for me…it’s quite necessary when I’m running alone. I always have one earbud out and keep the volume low. That being said, new playlist jams ALWAYS packs some extra punch into my runs and keeps me going strong from that first mile to my last.


The hubs has certainly been a trooper too throughout my training. I pretty much get home from work and skip out for my run before it gets too dark out. This also means that he’s pretty much on his own for dinner unless he wants to wait until I’m home from my run. These longer runs during the week are getting rough! I definitely envy those who have enough time to run in the mornings.

That being said, despite a few times where I really had to drag my ass out on a run after a long day at work, I haven’t officially faced a burnout. With this cooler weather we’ve been having, I can’t help but imagine that moment when I cross that finish line and soak in ALL of that glory! 😀 Here’s to hoping for a successful race day!

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What I’ve Learned During Marathon Training

What I’ve Learned During Marathon Training

Now that I’m halfway through marathon training I’ve learned quite a bit…like how I can’t clean my sports bras fast enough and running is on my mind 89% of the time…the rest of the time it’s thinking of food. So let me expand a bit…

My schedule revolves around my runs. I have to fit in my daily run after work so we can just cross off any other potential plans if I have to go for a 10 mile run at 7 p.m.


The mention of low-carb anything….you’ll get this reaction.


Give me all the bread, pasta, etc. I need it all. You can keep your lettuce wrap.

I’ve become familiar with wearing my compression sleeves underneath my work pants. #notevensorry. I’m sure I’m violating corporate dress code policy. Pretty soon I’ll just do my feet a favor too and wear my Brooks around the office as well.


With every long run, you pray that your battery lasts long enough so it’s properly logged. There will be hell to pay if it goes out on mile 19 out of 20. If not…it’s like it didn’t even happen. Let’s be honest.


I’m in a constant state of soreness to some degree. I randomly stretch at my desk, on the stairs, while I’m out doing errands….whatever gets the job done…this is a great hamstring stretch…


Because I’m working on my hydration, I’m always drinking a ton of water and therefore always have to pee. God help me if I’m stuck in traffic for too long…


I’m sure 95% of the people who talk to me instantly regret asking me what I’ve been up to lately because I’ll go on and on about marathon training. #Sorrynotsorry you brought this upon yourself. Sorry I didn’t have that pregnancy announcement you were looking for.



While training for my first marathon certainly altered my normal day-to-day routine, I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’ve met SO many amazing runners along the way and when I cross the finish line in October, I will take in ALL that glory! I’ve got 9 short weeks left of training and it’s GO time. Prepare for glory!!!



Back to Reality

Back to Reality

I’m back guys! Okay well I’ve been back for a little bit but you know how hard it is to get back into the swing of things? I felt like I needed a vacation from my vacation. Getting back to my normal training routine has been ROUGH to put it mildly. I only got one run in because of the bear scare we had. Now I know they’re nocturnal, but this girl isn’t about to chance it. Knowing my luck, I cross paths with a bear that decides to enjoy the sunshine. Nope. No thanks. It really bummed me out though since the trails around the cabin resort were flippin’ awesome and so peaceful.

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Not to mention there was a daily calorie fest of wine, beer, grilled foodstuffs and s’mores by the campfire.


This was part of my daily ritual….shades and a wine glass while sunbathing by the lake.


Granted we were active playing some extreme badminton, capture the flag, kayaking, canoeing and swimming so I didn’t feel TOO bad indulging err’day. We explored all of these different islands on the lake. We made an oath next year that we would pack a picnic, snag some beer and camp out on the sandy one we discovered. #vacationwin. Can I just go back? Can we just pretend that my marathon isn’t about 80-some days away? EEP.



This vacation was exactly what I needed though to get away from work and to clear my head of a lot of things and disconnect. Even getting a little WiFi was hard to come by and while it was tough, it was SO nice. Nothing but this view to look at for a whole week.


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However NOW the hubs and I are back into our routine and I’m trying my flippin’ hardest to deal with this head cold and continue with my marathon training…with this impossible humidity. Just shoot me. My pace and endurance is just sickening. All I can do though is push hard, eat right and get those miles in each week…hopefully things let up soon because hot damn…this boob sweat is out of control.


This weekend my long run ramps up to 12 miles and I’m shaking in my Brooks. Hopefully the weather cooperates a little more on Sunday. Apollo has just been trolling me all day about it…”blondie, get your feet into these shoes…and get me snacks.”


Thank the lord tomorrow is my rest day and the hubs and I will be seeing Van Halen at one of my fav venues. Yes, I said it…Van Halen. I’m so excited I can’t even….

While this first week back was rough, I’m proud of myself for not passing up a run and making excuses, especially with this wicked runny nose (ew). My fundraising is also in full swing again and I’ve hit 60% of my overall goal for the American Cancer Society! I can’t wait to reach 100%!!!


Friday Favorites: Vacation It’s Practically HERE.

Friday Favorites: Vacation It’s Practically HERE.

This whole week of training was quite inconsistent. Due to vacation prep with work and figuring out what the hell I’m going to bring on vacay, my miles and gym time have been all over the place. HOWEVER it still happened minus one day. Sshhhh. I’m going to try my best so this vacation won’t completely kill my training, although it’ll be hard since I won’t be able to get my long runs in. I’ll have to stick with bodyweight moves and weights for the most part. ANYWHO here are some of my Friday favorites!!!


1. The Lakehouse

I’m bummed I totally didn’t do a July 4th recap, BUT I’m totally including it in my Friday favs since I got some more quality cousin time in with the gorgeous weather bringing everyone together. We engaged in some pretty serious tubing faceoffs behind the boat, drank a lot of beer (oopsies) and set off fireworks off of the pier. It was amazing and I can’t wait to have more of these summer days!

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I mean come on, just look at that sunset….this is what summer is all about….


2. Best Workout Capris EVER

This line of activewear is called Fight Through and I fricken love their stuff. I definitely sported these at the gym on the 4th….because well…#America.


The material is so comfy and breathes so well during those really hard workouts. I might have to pick another pair or two…or three….

3. Favorite Read.

This book has been on my to-read list for SO LONG and I’m just now cracking it open (and yes it’s an actual book and isn’t being read on my iPad.) I’m only a few chapters in and I’m hooked. If you haven’t heard of this book, I HIGHLY suggest it. Although warning: you will never view the food industry or the Pillsbury doughboy the same way ever again.


4. Favorite Training Run

I had the opportunity to meet up with this AMAZING pace leader in my running group on Sunday and she’s a true inspiration. As we were going through our 10 mile run we got to know one another and how we got into running. She’s lost over 100lbs since she started running and has completed several marathons and Ironmans. This girl is amazing. She pushed me so flippin’ hard that day (hello still in holiday weekend recovery mode) and while it hurt like hell, she was the greatest motivation. Her positive energy is just infectious and I love it.

This was my aftermath pic…because you know…I was dying in that humidity….


5. Favorite Sales!

Who hell doesn’t love a good sale? It’s even better when you have gift cards. Old Navy has totally been my jam lately with cute dresses. I snagged these up especially since they have tall sizes (I’m so leggy and all short dresses make me look like a whoresicle) #tallpeopleproblems.


My Blackhawks 2015 retro tank also finally delivered and ummmm #winning. So while you’re reading this I’ll probably be making a Costco-sized list of shit I need to bring since I always overpack and can’t leave anything behind and stress over all of the work I need to do over the course of the day….meanwhile Luigi has more chill factor than anyone right now.

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Friday Favorites: Running Happy

Friday Favorites: Running Happy

I have SO many Friday favorites to share, so let’s link-up with Amanda going on this fine Friday morning!


I must sound like a broken record to people these days talking about all marathon running related things. But….


Favorite Photo: Okay so maybe it’s not my favorite-of-all-time photo…but I don’t look like a complete asshat in one of the official photos that were taken of me for the Soldier Field 10 Mile race. I love how they got an air shot of me at the finish line!

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Favorite Running Apparel: ALL OF THIS. For some reason, there are two Sports Authoritys within less than a mile of each other and one of them is going out of business. They had a 40% sale off of their clearance racks and ALL of their apparel was pretty much already on clearance….I got all of this for the original price of one pair of running leggings. Is it Christmas? My birthday? Did I just…okay let’s keep it G-rated.


Favorite Running Shoes: From now up until the day of the marathon, I’m planning on alternating three pairs of shoes, but these Brooks Glycerin 12s might be my favs. Obviously the fit and how they feel always comes first, but it was a bonus that they just look amaze-balls as well. HOLLA. I saved $20 too ordering them through VIP Zappos. I never knew how hard it was to find size 11.5….sold out err’where.


Favorite Journal: YEP by journal I mean marathon training journal. Thanks to Renee over at Getting Fit & Fab! I got to personalize and design the cover and it turned out so perfect. Inside you can track your PRs, nutrition, runs, crosstraining etc. I’m in love.


Favorite Running Fuel & Recovery Mix: I’ve really been partial to the energy chews rather than the gels while I’m out on a long distance run. I don’t need to feel like I’m eating slime while I’m trying to get through my 10th mile. No thanks. CLIF Shot Blocks will be stocked during my training.


As for after my long distance runs, Pacific Health’s Endurox R4 recovery mix is a must. I can run a half marathon and the next morning feel like I just ran a quick 5k the night before. It’s unreal. I’ve struck gold with this stuff.


Favorite Marine: On Memorial Day, this photo of a bald eagle perched on a gravestone at Fort Snelling National Cemetary went viral. Amazing.


This is where my Granddad is also buried. It really sent chills through me. Memorial Day is always a reminder of how my Granddad served in the USMC for so many years. He certainly made a career out of it and was amazingly skilled. Just look at all of these medals. I definitely miss him and his stories. He still holds shooting records in various states.



I hope all of you lovelies had an amazing holiday weekend/week as well!