Showing posts with label Tuesdays on the Run. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tuesdays on the Run. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Every Medal Tells a Story! 2018 Race Bling

Isn't it the truth? There's the race recap and then there's the real story. I love looking at my medals--not just for the blood, sweat, and tears that they represent but because every medal reminds me of what happened out on the course. It's amazing the flood of memories that each medal yields.

I always enjoy these year-end posts. For this post, I'm not going to recap the race. If you click on the race title, it links back to those individual posts. Instead, I want to share anecdotes from each race--something funny or odd that happened along the way. Those are the memories that stand out to me. And it's really those little things that make me line up for more.


Tell me you wouldn't do this one for the bling! I did. It was hot and humid--and yes it was February, but I was with my Weekly Wrap and waterskiing partner Holly and I got to run for the bling. I got my first ever blister at this race on the back of my heel. Fortunately, I stopped at the aid station and in no time at all, was patched up and back to slogging through the swamp. I was amazed at how many people were walking towards the end. It was my personal worst half marathon finishing time ever. But definitely one of my favorite memories. 

Personal Worsting is always better with a friend!
The last time I ran this race was in 1995. There was a deal on registration-$39--which is unheard of for a Chicago race, so I grabbed it and signed up. I figured I'd know a lot of people running it but nope, I was there by myself. While waiting for the race to start, I was standing behind a guy with his bib pinned to his back. So.many.questions. Why? And how did that work out for him?

Did I do something wrong by wearing my bib on the front?
I signed up for this race on a whim. I was in Florida visiting my parents, I had the urge to jump in at the last minute, and that's what I did. I won't be able to do that again since the race has been moved to October. I can't forget about Officer McDreamy around mile 8. "How you doing?" Ummmm fine now!

Officer Friendly right behind me
This race is a perpetual favorite of mine--I've run it 5 times. It's always cold and windy but I love the course and the competition is fierce. While I was waiting to line up, I tried to make small talk with another participant about the Boston Marathon. "Is that going on?" he asked, "after I ran it, I kind of forgot about it." Oh, ok, so you're just slumming at this 10 mile race. What a dick. Maybe that's why I ran this one so well. 
There's always Lagunitas at the finish line, which is really why I come back every year.
Besides being an amazing blogger extravaganza, this race stands out for the weather. As soon as the starting gun went off, the skies opened up and it poured. It rained for almost the entire race and after. We were soaked. On the way home from the race, the sun came out. Of course.

Drowned rats right in the middle.
L-->R Kim, Linda, Michelle, Holly, me, Deborah, Erica, Erica's friend Melissa
A wonderful girls weekend, I was completely unprepared for the hills of this race. I struggled to finish but I wanted to beat my personal worst from Mercedes. I did beat it, but sobbed at the finish line. Why? I don't know. I think I hated life at that moment in time. Then I had a beer. After that, I found out I won 2d in my age group. It really all depends on who shows up, right? Oh, and there was waterskiing with my boys that afternoon. Life is indeed good.

It's a hill. Get over it.
Run/walk intervals for the win, I kind of got annoyed at myself because I kept playing cat and mouse with the 2:10 pace group. This was my fastest half of the year. That finish time was good enough for 15th in my old lady age group. REALLY? Like I said, it all depends on who shows up. Who are these speedy old ladies? 

Free race photos for the win!
Right?
I wouldn't have included this race in my recap here but I did get bling from it! Those same fast old ladies from the Turkey Trot showed up for this one, but I ran fast enough for 2d in my age group. That is one way to get bling from a 5k and I'm thrilled that I've still got some speed in these old legs!

More awesome free race photo love
And no, I don't know this kid but I beat him so really what else matters? :p
What are some stories from your races this year? Do you enjoy looking at your medals and reminiscing? How do you feel about running races with little kids?

I'm linking up with Tuesdays on the Run: Marcia, Erika, and Patti. And yes, I know this was last week's topic but better late than never, right?



Tuesday, December 4, 2018

10 Gifts Runners Will Want Under the Tree



Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

If you're a runner, I'm pretty sure you've got some running things on your holiday gift list! I know I do. It's a good time to be a runner. The offerings are abundant! Here are 10 of my favorite things. If I were Oprah, I'd gift you all with them. It's the thought that counts, right?



Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Race Recap: Schaumburg Turkey Trot Half Marathon

This race has become an annual tradition for me. The last half marathon of the Chicago running season, it takes place in the Busse Woods Forest Preserve, a place where I train and know well. The mostly flat race attracts a fast group of runners and many PRs are made on this course. New for me this year, I was selected as an All Community Events ambassador and was proud this year to represent the race organizer.



Sunday, November 18, 2018

Giving Thanks for All Things Running


With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it's a great time to reflect on all that it is good in my life. There is so much to be thankful for--both on and off the road.

Since this is a running blog, I'm going to share a few running things that I'm thankful for!



Tuesday, November 13, 2018

My Kind of Town..for Running

Disclaimer: This post contains an affiliate link.

If you had to pick your favorite city to run in, where would you choose? Would you pick a city you've never been to but is on your bucket list? An exotic locale? A place that you return to over and over again? Or a place that's as familiar to you as the street you live on?

Me, I'd choose Chicago.

Rock'N'Roll Chicago Half Marathon 2017
Butler Field

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

If You Could Run the Perfect Race....

If you could run the perfect race, what would you look for? After running many races over the years, there are certain things that, while not necessarily deal breakers, make me think twice about registering for a race. And there are some races that almost offer everything this runner could ask for!

One of my favorite races, the Lakefront 10 miler which is organized by the Chicago Area Runners' Association, comes about as close to perfect as it can be, at least for me. With the exception of a garbage hill in the middle of a park that runners have to run up, this event has just about everything I'm looking for in a race. I have no doubt that is because this race is organized for runners by runners.

Here are some of the things I look for when I'm considering whether or not to run a race.



Monday, October 22, 2018

7 Things I Loved About Nashville

Seven years ago, I hit a birthday milestone that I didn't want to celebrate. Instead of having a party, I wanted to take a long weekend vacation to the beach with one of my sisters. Who better but my sister Lisa, who celebrates her birthday 8 days before I do and for those 8 days, we are the same age! Or as they call us, "Irish Twins".

Since that wonderful sister weekend away, we have continued the tradition of an annual sister trip. We go somewhere different every year. This year for sister trip #7, we headed to Nashville, Tennesee!

Kelsey Montague "What Lifts You" Street Art
Found in Nashville Gulch Neighborhood

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

5 Taprooms: Whiling Away a Saturday Afternoon on Chicago's Northwest Side

Last weekend, I tried to convince my husband to take me to the Cubs v White Sox game, the Crosstown classic. The ultimate rivalry, Chicago's two baseball teams, northside vs southside, promised to be full of excitement. The Cubs are on the cusp of winning the division and the White Sox are in the bottom of theirs with nothing to gain but pride. Knowing all this, I still couldn't talk him into going to the game. I even played the "it's my birthday and our anniversary card." Nope, no way.

It was a gorgeous fall day and instead, we made the trek into the city to check out some of the many taprooms that have popped up in the city. We planned our journey the night before and with the exception of Half Acre, limited ourselves to five taprooms all located on the northwest side of the city. Our oldest son, who recently turned 21, wanted to join us. 

Our impromptu tour ended up being a lot of fun and in my book, was a great way to spend a sunny afternoon in the city!



Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Is it Cheating? 9 Things Runners Do that Might Be Sketchy

We live in a time of unprecedented cheating--in school, in life, and in sports. Everyone wants to get ahead at any cost. With regards to running, it's become so out of control that there's a website devoted to runners who cheat in road races.

In the running world, cheaters are more the exception than the rule. Most of us aren't in this sport to win. We run for the love of the sport. We run for fitness. We run for the bling. But there are things that most of us are doing that could be considered cheating. For us recreational runners, what's the concern? It's not as if we're going to win the race, right? Are we really hurting anyone besides ourselves?

What do you think?



Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Running in a Bubble

I'm fortunate to be a part of a really supportive running community. It's really like a protective little bubble. We all really encourage each other. When one of us trips, someone is there to pick them up. Be it with words or a kind gesture, our running bubble feels just like one big happy family.

Until it doesn't.



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Calling All Experts: How Could This Run Have Gone Differently?

This post contains affiliate links.

I know I need to let it go, but I can't stop ruminating on Sunday's long run. It's not the first time the heat has taken a toll on me and with an upcoming half marathon at the end of July, I'm very determined to figure out what I could do differently. I ran this race last year and the conditions were very similar to what I ran in yesterday. I finished but it was a struggle, both physically and mentally. I've since embraced run/walk intervals, which I used yesterday, but even that wasn't enough for me.

I've always had a tough time running in the heat and humidity. Although I've run multiple half marathons in Florida, I've never come close to finishing like I do here in Chicago. Last February's Mercedes Half in Alabama was one of the most humbling experiences I've ever had as I finished with a personal worst.

So here's my request: I'm going to share the details of my morning pre-run routine and what went on during the run. We've got a lot of experts out there, so I'd be so grateful to those of you who do well in the heat if you'd share your advice. Southern runners, especially y'all, I want to hear how you run in these conditions pretty much all year. Tell me what I could do differently. How can I acclimate to these summer conditions? Is it possible?

I also want to know if there's really nothing I can do. Is it me? Do I just need to accept that summer running is tough and slow down to a walk?

Don't hold back. I can take it.



Tuesday, June 12, 2018

8 Ideas for Fun in the Sun on Father's Day

This post is sponsored by Michelob Ultra but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Father's Day is coming up and it's time to think about how we're going to celebrate these special men in our lives. What will you be doing for Father's Day this year? I'm fortunate to have not only my husband but also my dad and father-in-law to spend the day with. We'll be barbecuing in the backyard, listening to bad dad jokes, and sipping ice cold Michelob ULTRA.

Let's toast to the ULTRADAD! The guy or guys in your life who inspire us to live life to the fullest! I'm sharing some ideas for things to do that are all about dads. I went back to the archives--aka my photo albums for a look back at what we've done in the past to celebrate the men in my life. 



Hit the Links
Golf is a tradition for a lot of dads. Maybe you're not a golfer, but why not rent some clubs and spend the day with your dad hitting a ball around the course? If you don't rent a cart, it's great exercise. If you're not a good golfer, you'll get a lot of exercise looking for your ball...

Run a Father's Day Race
Ok, my family hasn't done this. I'm the only runner in this household. However, if the men in your life run, sign them up to run with you in a race celebrating them! Even if they aren't runners, a 5k could be the gateway drug to a whole new healthy lifestyle. Running a race together could be a really fun experience for the whole family!

Ok, not Father's Day.
There was that first Chicago Marathon I ran back in 2011 where they all came to cheer me on...
Take a Trip Back in Time
Being raised by a car buff, I have a lot of appreciation for vintage cars. A few weeks ago when I was in Madison with my sons, there was an antique car show. It was a lot of fun to see all the cars and chat with the owners. I wished my dad was there. In fact, I took a ton of pictures and sent them to him.

My dad in his 1957 Thunderbird with my sons on Fathers Day 2013
Go Fishing
Personally, I can't think of anything I'd rather do than sit on a boat with a pole in the water, waiting for the fish to bite. Seriously. A wise person once told me that you can't fish and worry at the same time. My husband and I fish whenever we are up in Wisconsin. Even better is to go fishing with my dad. Spending the day together and talking? Sipping on an ice cold Michelob ULTRA? Catching the big one? Priceless.

The best part about fishing with my husband? He baits the hook and takes the fish off for me.
Oh, and he cleans and cooks the fish too!
Sleep Under the Stars
Is dad a camper? What do you think about pitching a tent and spending some time getting back to nature? Exploring the woods? Yes! Campfire? Yes, please! S'Mores? Ok!

A little backyard glamping and making s'mores with my father-in-law a couple of summers ago
Look at how little Cocoa is!
Play Ball
How about a day in the ballpark? If I were a dad, I'd want to head to Wrigley Field and watch the Cubs. No matter who you root for, a baseball game is a great way to spend time with the man in your life. Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack... and an ice cold Michelob ULTRA. Or 2.

Last summer at Guaranteed Rate Field watching the White Sox
Plan an Outdoor BBQ
What goes together more than dads and BBQs? While my husband doesn't run, he sure likes to cook! Traditionally, he'll make some kind of meat dish on the grill while we all hang out on the deck. Maybe we'll even play a game of cornhole.


Sit back and enjoy a nice cold Michelob ULTRA
All these activities have one thing in common...being outdoors and being active. Spending time in the sun makes everyone thirsty, and nothing tastes better and quenches the thirst than an ice cold Michelob ULTRA. With only 95 calories and 2.6 grams of carbs, Michelob ULTRA is a beer dads can enjoy without feeling guilty. Sharing a beer with the men in my life is one the best ways to celebrate them. Even better is sharing a Michelob ULTRA in one of my dad's vintage Michelob glasses!

How will you be spending Father's Day with the special dad in your life? Do you need a bad dad joke? What did the daddy spider say to the baby spider? You need to spend less time on the web... Do you need any gift ideas? Check out the Michelob ULTRA Beer Gear website for more!

I'm linking this post with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for Tuesdays on the Run, Debbie and Lora at Running Coaches Corner,  as well as Annemarie and Nicole for Wild Workout Wednesday!




Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Would You Rather? Global Running Day Fun

It's Global Running Day! It's our day, fellow runners! This made-up holiday has gone worldwide and celebrates everything running. What are you doing to celebrate this special day?

I was looking back on past posts that I prepared for Global Running Day and in keeping with my irreverent themes, I thought it might be fun to play 'Would You Rather?'. Feel free to copy and paste in your answers on your blog!


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

How To Be a Good Social Media Steward

As a blogger, I am very active on social media. I co-host a linkup on Sundays and read a lot of blog posts. I participate in 2 sharing pods on Instagram and look at a lot of Instagram posts. While I love to hate on Facebook, I have an active presence there with a page and participation in several sharing groups. I use Twitter but still don't really get it. Pinterest is one of my number one referral sources and so I work really hard to develop pins that are attractive and likely to be repinned.

So you might call me fairly well acquainted with social media. I wouldn't call myself an expert. I play by the rules. I come by my likes and shares fairly.

Sometimes social media makes me cranky. Not only because people don't follow the "rules" but because they're posting things that maybe they shouldn't. Based on my observations, I've got some tips for playing nice on social media.



Tuesday, May 15, 2018

9 Tips for Traveling Light Without Feeling That You've Left Something At Home

Disclaimer: I received clothing from prAna in exchange for this blog post and my honest opinion. It's easy to be positive about prAna clothing!

I just love summer and what's more fun than a trip out of town? With airlines becoming increasingly restrictive about carry-on luggage, travelers really have to pack light or risk having to check a bag. I recently took an overnight trip to a half marathon in Alabama and booked a "basic economy" flight on United. While the ticket was inexpensive, I was restricted to what was basically a tote bag which had to fit under the seat in front of me. I researched the bag size and found lots of options online if I wanted to purchase one that met the requirements. Fortunately, I had a small duffle bag which fit the size restrictions and carefully selected which items I needed to bring.

I take weekend trips fairly often and have become pretty good at packing. Here are some tips for traveling light without feeling like you've left something at home!


Tuesday, May 8, 2018

How to Train for a Long Distance Race Through the Heat of Summer

After suffering through what felt like the longest winter ever, I know I'm not alone in welcoming longer days and warmer temperatures. It feels great to peel off the layers and not freeze when I step out the door. Except that for most of us, running in the heat is tough. Having trained for a few fall marathons through some really hot summers, I know that it can be a challenge to get those miles in when it's hot and humid.

Every single time I've signed up for a fall marathon or a summer half marathon, I ask myself why I do this! But over the years, I've gotten a little smarter about training for long distances in the heat. I thought I'd share some of the tips and tricks that have worked for me.



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

9 Ways To Show Your Hard-Working Runner's Feet Some Love

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I am an ambassador for Tabio socks and receive socks as part of that relationship. I received a pair of Athena sandals from OESH shoes in exchange for my honest review. As always, my opinion is my own.

Now that spring has finally arrived, it's time to bare those feet! Are your feet spring ready? I took my socks off to do yoga this week and was a little disgusted by the condition of my feet. Even with regular pedicures, I've got some pretty scaly heels. Calluses? I've got them. I also have that black toenail, which I'm literally trying to hang on to.

Running is notoriously hard on the feet--both inside and out. I've said it before and I'll say it again: when my feet are happy, I'm happy. For today's post, I'm happy to share some tips and products that make my feet very happy.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

How To Stay Safe on the Run: Self-Defense

How many times have you been on a run and was spooked by a creeper?

It's happened to me a few times over the years. Once, I was out for a long run in the local forest preserve. It was an early morning and I approached a guy with a hoodie pulled over his head. I couldn't see his face, but something didn't feel right and I did a quick 180 and sped back out of the preserve. Another time, I was running at the retention pond and passed a creepy looking guy. I finished my loop and headed towards home-until I ran face to face into the creepy guy. He grabbed my shoulder but I shook it off and ran towards the local school.

I was lucky.

This past weekend, I was fortunate to be able to attend a session of Girls Fight Back and a self-defense session presented by FIRE, a local women's self-defense training system.  The free program was sponsored by our local high school district. While the program was geared towards young women, I was curious and I thought it could be useful for me personally since I do run alone the majority of the time.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

7 Reasons Spring Running Keeps You on Your Toes

This post contains an affiliate link.

Ah, Spring! Always welcome after the bleak winter, spring is the reward for those of us who brave the cold and run outdoors.  There's so much to love about spring--the birds are singing, the landscape changes from gray to green, and the flowers start blooming. Spring is a time of renewal and often the warming temperatures are all a winter-weary runner needs to put some pep back into their step.

But...there's always a but...spring running is never predictable, presenting some interesting challenges for runners. After running outdoors all winter, you'd think you're prepared for everything, right? Until you're not...



Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A Few of My Favorite Spring Running Things

This post contains affiliate links.

"Super fast splits
and cups full of beer,
Bright colored clothing with soft comfy gear,
Finish lines ending with really cool bling,
These are a few of my favorite things...

When the wind blows,
When the sky snows,
When I'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favorite things.... 
and then I don't feel so bad...."   ~ adapted from Rodgers and Hammerstein My Favorite Things