Sunday, February 12, 2017

Cupids Dash 5K Race Review

Cold morning for the Cupids Dash 5K in Highland Park.  My friend Colleen is the race director and I love this event b/c it is a fun theme, easy peasy for race logistics and very well run. 

I met up with some girlfriends but brought Josh along for the run.  He was tired and didn't want to wake up for a 8am race start as exhibited in the picture below.  We are officially in that stage where "if i don't want to be here, you will know it" with josh! hahaha

For the run, Jen was nice enough to hang back with me.  Josh took off and Denise ended up winning her Age Group! Jen and I caught up on lost time and enjoyed the chocolate aid station.. potentially a little too much b/c we shoved a ton in my back pocket of my Lulu jacket and ended up washing it!
Crossed the finish line and met up with the ladies and Josh.  We hung out for a bit and then rushed home to catch the 2nd and 3rd hour of church.  Fun morning with friends and love Colleen's races!


Sunday, over 300 athletes participated in the North Shore Cupid’s Love Dash 5K in Highland Park hosted by Carpe Diem Racing.

Racers welcomed the warmer temps in the mid 30’s compared to last years race day when the wind chill made it feel like -2.  With same-day packet pickup and hundreds of parking spots within a one to three minute walk, it is a perfect event for anyone looking for an easy logistical race.
Swag included a dry tech shirt, finishers medals and lot of goodies from sponsors along with giveaways in the refresh area.  The course covers parts of downtown Highland Park and quiet suburban streets with almost no traffic in sight.  Depending on your race goals, you were able to hydrate with fluid and/or chocolate along the course with a water station and chocolate station.  Police and volunteers were at every major corner providing a safe experience for all.

The men’s overall winner was Josh Ruston finishing in 17:47 with David Erf and Zach Herrmann taking 2nd and 3rd with times of 18:39 and 18:53 respectively.  Brittany Heninger won the Women’s race with a time of 19:47.  Theresa Brown finished in 2nd (20:47) and Michelle Martin rounded out the podium in 3rd (22:41).  Along with Overall and Age Group Winners, there was a costume contest for the most festive runners. Some really got into the Valentine’s Day spirit.
Athletes were able to refresh post race with water, hot chocolate, bagels, bananas, granola bars and more chocolate.  The race also has a charity element with teddy bears being collected for the Zacharias Sexual Abuse Center to comfort children/families that are seeking refuge from sexual assault and abuse.  It was great to see so many bring a teddy bear and provide a service while enjoying their race.   Racers are able to run the course for a PR or walk with friends making it a perfect race for a family affair.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Rev3 Summit 2017

The Rev3 Team has become my family.  People come and go on the active AG team but once you are on, you are part of the family regardless.  This is my 4th year on the team and was excited to be part of the kick off Summit in Manassas, VA (their headquarters).   The summit is an awesome time to review last years accomplishments, ways the company can improve, goals for the upcoming season and to bond with the team/staff.   3 days of fun filled times with the team!  Can't beat it. Love to see a small company work hard, be fully invested in the athlete's experience and truly want to make each race count!
Ck out their schedule and sign up!
p.s. reach out to me should you have any questions.. if i don't know the answer, i will get it for you!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

NYD5K Race Report

Started the year off right with a 5K with Tia.  This race is down in Lincoln park and has easy parking, low key vibe and start time of 11am! Have run this race a handful of years and it is kindof become a tradition.  It was untimed and ran it in 31:42 per Garmin.  Perfect speed for me for winter outdoor running.

At registration time, they asked us for our resolutions and both of ours were on the back of the shirt! My goal was "10 lbs till italy."  I have been logging my weight pretty closely and can easily say I have gained and lost over 10 lbs with a net result of about -2.  Perhaps i should have put LOSE 10 lbs till Italy.  Either way, i always call the winter "a win" when i don't gain.

Here is my write up for Chicago Athlete Magazine
My Chicago Athlete Logo

Sunday, hundreds of runners celebrated the new year with the NYD5K along the lakefront in Lincoln Park. Conditions were balmy compared to last year’s freezing and icy conditions, and some even braved t-shirts and shorts. There were over 350 timed runners and many more untimed runners and walkers that participated in the event.

The race began at 11 a.m., allowing athletes ample time to recover from New Year’s Eve festivities and easy parking utilizing the Chicago History Museum lot right across from the start which allowed for people to stay warm in their cars. The lakefront path course consisted of one loop with two water stations. The course was well-marked with ample volunteers and hardly any foot traffic other than racers.  The event was friendly for walkers and runners alike and provided clocks at each mile.

Birant Akbay was the overall male winner with a time of 16:53 and Cara Paliaka won the women’s race crossing at 19:50.  Racers crossed the finish and were offered steaming hot chocolate, water, bananas and other refresh items from sponsors.  Thanks to the warmer temps, lots of runners hung around and cheered on others as they crossed the finish in their first race of 2017.  Overall, this race is well organized, easy for downtown Chicago standards and definitely one to put on your radar for next year.
This race has been a tradition for friends and I for a handful of years. Many times, the 5K is followed by brunch at a local spot where we reflect on the past year and start conspiring about future race schedules.  My highlight this year was having my resolution on the back of the shirt along with my girlfriends. My goal: “Ten pounds till Italy.”  I left myself some wiggle room whether that is losing, gaining or a little of both.  Either way, it was great to see so many people being active on January 1. Here is to an awesome racing season in Chicago!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Arctic Frog 25K Race Report

First off... i dare say this is on the best race photos i have gotten during a race.  Thank you Guy on Fat Tire Bike for snapping it... thinking this was around mile 8ish. 

Also, my write up for Chicago Athlete!

Second year doing this year and happy to report lots of changes for the better this year.  It is a 2 loop course for the 50K'ers and 1 loop for the 25K.  Race takes place in the Libertyville forest preserve with easy parking, actual toilets at the start and a casual laid back vibe.
For me, i ended up beating my time last year by 30 seconds including a mile while i walked and talked to my boss about work and a hop on a horse for a picture.  I didn't have any expectations for this race other than to log the miles so beating last years time by a bit was icing on the cake.

It is always a crapshoot with weather in December but thankfully it wasn't freezing which i was thankful for.  I still bundled up and wore my trusty Asics lined jacket and warm wear but felt good the entire time. Right before the gun went off, i realized that i forgot my phone.. i really wanted to have it and sprinted back to the car and ended up being the last person to cross the start!
Beginning of the race
Found a good rhythm within a mile and chugged along at a decent pace for me for the first five miles.  The air wasn't too crisp so it didn't hurt to breath.. thankfully!   The course was similar to the year before with slight modifications.  3 fingers with a victory lap around the preserve at the end.  The first two "fingers" were longer (and were a mix of limestone gravel and road) while the last one was only a mile and fully trail.
Part of the course, nice and wooded.

I felt good in the beginning, was enjoying myself, chatting with others until  i started getting a blister around mile 7... ugh.. It doesn't happen often for me but man, i hated that small 2 cm part of my foot over and over for like 8 miles.  Funny thing was, i expected it to be fully bleeding post race and it was just weird skin rubbage/water blister.  I think i have decided for me, when i get those feelings, i need to pop the water blister and cover it with a bandaid as that seems to bother me less. 

Anyways, i digress.  I plugged along for the rest of the race, slowing down considerably.  My boss called and actually ended up chatting with him for an entire mile.  I needed the excuse and walked a glorious 20 min mile with grace! haha.   Then after i started picking up the pace, i saw some guys riding horses and asked if i could get a selfie.  Within seconds, he was off his horse and wanted me to jump up... Aside from the fact i am allergic, that horse was TALL and I had been running for 13 miles in the cold at this point.  After some effort, a leg cramp and the guy basically pushing my butt up to the top, i not have a horse mid race pic.  There was no forward progress since you know I am always battling the "bottom 10" spots :)

Hoped off to then complete the final loop around the reservoir and finished 30 seconds faster than last year.  After the mile walking and horse pic, one has to question what i was doing last year???

Finished only to turn around and see the winner of the 50K cross.   He was from out of town and catching a flight to Alabama so Mr. Uberlube ending up giving me all of his winnings which included a bunch of local gift certificates.  As a friend to the RD, I gave them back to him to raffle off but had to laugh as my prize for not getting lapped by the winner was getting the winner's winnings! (say that 10 times)

Special thanks to Powerbar for sponsoring the event and pulling through with a last minute request! 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Chardon Turkey Trot 5K

Decided to stay close to my parents house for the turkey trot this year and went with the Chardon 5K approximately 15 minute from Gates Mills.  It was Scott's first time running since the marathon (yes, 6 weeks).... so we enjoyed our trotting pace and had a few laughs along the way.  

The race was definitely "small town" set up.  Easy parking, local vendors came out to support and the roads/path were completely clear due to it being Thanksgiving morning and the police monitoring the few traffic spots.  The course was nice with a small portion of out and back and loop around the town square in the beginning and end of the race.   Post race had donuts, oranges and other breakfast goodies.  Proceeds went to stop human trafficking and hopefully a fair amount went to cause since it wasn't the cheapest race.  

Turkey Troy streak lives on!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

LUNGevity's Breathe Deep Busse Woods 5K

Early November brought decent temps for Chicago and signed up with Lungevity's 5K last minute with Josh and his friend.  The cost for kids was super reasonable and it was Josh's friends first 5K.  The race had a very local vibe and a bit disorganized.  They ran out of bibs and shirts but since Josh and Shane were running for so cheap we were ok with that.  The race was an out and back on the path in Busse Woods with a run around the Elk that live in the preserve.   The boys did great with Josh finishing around 25 minutes.  Got a great pic on him on his way back to the finish.

Easy event, nothing fancy but great way to support a good cause and be thankful for our healthy lungs! 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Country Sole 10K

Had the fever for another run and signed up for Country Sole on a complete whim. The race was at Montrose and b/c of only 1,500 people ran, there was plenty of parking near the start.  Got there with 30 minute before go time.  Plenty of time and for me (who loves cutting it close) too much time before the start.

The weather was chilly and the sun just rose before the gun went off.  As i was standing there waiting to start, I kindof ran through the idea that what if I just did the 5K... i was cold and was my mind was wandering. With the half, 10K and 5K all starting at the same time, they managed traffic well.  The lakepath was pretty empty with the colder temps coming in.

For me, I stuck to the plan, stay in a mild uncomfortable pace.  Not so uncomfortable that I wanted to walk to not like running, but in a pace where I was able to keep going. I definitely thank Orange Theory and their "push pace" methods help me keep going. 

Crossed the finish line feeling good but also could tell i pushed myself at the end.  Official time was 1:02:01 with a 10:00 min (exactly) mile average.  A 3 minute PR which I know I could improve on.  Afterwards, they served Eggs and Biscuits.  (Didn't touch the gravy but used them to ensure my salt packets didn't fly awaybut the eggs were yummy.)  Walked back to my car, changed shirts and got back before my family was even awake.  Not bad for a quick jaunt along the lake.