Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Donut 5K... yes please!

If there was a race that was invented for me and a few thousand of my closest friends, it was a Donut 5K sponsored by Stans.  Sadly my running bestie couldn't attend as she was too busy inspiring others by coaching but I joined others in the inaugural event.  Looking back at these pictures, it appears it was kindof muggy as I look sweaty in all of them but I don't remember it that way.  I just remember the excitement of the Stans old fashion donut holes twice on the course.  

The race started and finished at Montrose and found/made a good parking spot right at the start.  Met up with Claire right before the gun and stayed with her most of the way.  I just downloaded the Dear Evan Hanson soundtrack onto my shuffle so I was in the full Waving through a Window groove during this run.  

Took lots of pics, ate four donut holes and felt good crossing the finish line.  Final time: 30:33  (9:50 mile/pace).  Considering all the other shenanigans while I was running, happy with that time!  Met with the crew afterwards to eat the full sized glazed donuts and sample all the full size post race drinks.  Great race, hope they keep the swag and post race food the same as it grows next year.  

Monday, September 4, 2017

Salute the Troops 5K

Had a blast taking Josh and Shane to Arlington Park Race track for a Veterans focused 5K.   I found out about this race through the Chicago Athlete and a bunch of ambassdors joined in for the fun.  It was a great meet up and loved putting faces to names and having my boys get to meet a real like vet from the 101st Airborne (aka: Band of Brothers).  He was a medic and was the nicest guy.  I haven't had Josh watch the series quite yet but he is well aware of their campaign. 

 Race had some good post race refreshments and was nice to chill in the band stands while we cooled down.  Overall, a fun and sweaty event!  Love being able to share these memories with Josh.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

HolidayMan 2017 Race Report

Short Version:  I tried a new race ... and I liked it!

Long Version -

It was late July and I realized I didn't have an Olympic distance under my belt.  With IMAC 70.3 coming up in September, I started scrambling for some options... enter Holidayman.  Located about 90 miles away SW of the city.  Leaving at 4am, there was no traffic to be found and I rolled into transition just after the sun was rising.  I paid the extra for premier parking which was well worth it!  The top picture was taken leaning against my car!  Yes, that close to the transition.
Set up my stuff with ample time and went back and laid in my car for a little bit till I met up with some friends that were volunteering and racing.  Caught up with them before the pre race talk.  Since they allowed same day packet pickup, they did a pre-race course talk right before the race started which was nice.  This simplified the process so much avoiding a full day of packet pickup and wasting time driving back and forth.  Why don't more races do this!?!?

After the prerace talk, the dualthons and sprint racers first and then the olys.  I got into a rhythm quickly and felt good about my pace.  The water was a good temp and I was out in a decent time for me.  This race had no major expectations except to get in the distance, test my endurance and get comfortable on my bike.

The bike was very hilly and we were prepped that there was a big hill we were going to hit a few times.  In fact, we got bracelets to ensure we hit the loops the correct amount of times.  I was a bit nervous I was going to have to walk up said hill but was grateful I did not and managed much better than expected.  I averaged 15.7 MPH on the bike.. fine by me.

The run was slow and a bit of a slog.  Between being tired, a blister and not really putting much effort into the two loop course, I really just putzed along but survived.  I made some friends along the way and was happy to see the finish line, for the second time! Overall time was 3:45, not quite last place but kindof close to last. 

The post race food was subway which was amazing.  Perfect level of fulfilling and freshness.  Great race, great organization!  

Friday, September 1, 2017

Rock N Roll 10K Chicago

First time running the 10K for the Rock n Roll Chicago event.  Have done the half many times but decided to give the 10K a go this year.  I had been dealing with some IT band issues on/off leading up to the race so didn't want to push it and a 10K was plenty. 

Packet pickup:  For the big races, it is always an ordeal.  At McCormick Place. For those that want to get in and out: try to get someone to drive you to save on parking and have them drive around while you grab packet.  For those that want to shop and take in the expo: park, bike, uber, train it depending on your situation and money options.

Race day had nice conditions and sun was shining.  SpotHeroed a spot the night before got to the start

The 10K is modified version of the 13.1.  As you would expect, you don't see as many bands and to get you back to the finish, there is a lakefront path stretch which is kindof the same ol for those familiar with Chicago races.  Something I love about the bigger races is running on the city streets so if you want that experience, do the half.  For those that aren't from the area, the 10K will fill both buckets:  Short portion of closed city streets and lakefront path.. both are awesome for different reasons!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Rev3 St Andrews Glow Run and Triathlon Race Weekend

Racecations are the best Vacations!  Excited to see a new part of the world and throw a race into the mix.  In July, we traveled to St Andrews Canada for a Rev3 race.  As a Rev3 athlete, I had been interested in checking a new race off my list and looked forward to seeing a new place in the world. Not much of a race report in this post but more sharing how awesome this weekend was for my entire family and some planning tips. During our long weekend, we also were able to see Bangor and Bar Harbor.  

A few race tips for those that don't want to read all my personal dribble:
  1. If you are doing this race, stay at the Algonquin... don't debate it.. just do it.  For Americans, the exchange rate has been in our favor and the resort is GORGEOUS!  I don't know if I have stayed at a prettier resort
  2. Book early, there are a select block of rooms for the race at a discounted rate.. Book it, you will thank me later
  3. Take advantage of the free bikes you can check out and scoot around town in
  4. Walking into town is easy but the hotel restaurants are good
  5. Great indoor and outdoor pool for family
  6. If you have golfers in your family, check out the course.  Sadly, it was being renovated when we were there so we weren't able to play the picturesque 9 that you will see in all the pics.  For 2018, it will be done (if not already)

Race festivities last all weekend with the kick off being the Rev3 Glow Run.  I am biased when I say this but Rev3 really makes the event inclusive for your family.  Whether you went for a PR or walked in jeans, the glow run was a perfect way to kick off the weekend.  My whole family participated and enjoyed the dusk run.

This was the view of the swim we would have Sunday morning at dusk during the glow run... see the buoy!?  How beautiful.  Race day the fog decreased the swim for every distance but was happy to snag this pretty pic that evening. 

Saturday, I volunteered at the kids race and then we spent the day touring which included a whale watching expedition.  We were able to see a few minkies along with boating out to the lighthouse that was used in the original Pete's Dragon.  It was cold out at sea but a fun family adventure. 

Race days are always the best days.  Raced my bike about 40 feet from the hotel exit (i.e. parking lot) and then walked to the swim start (Katy's cove).  Family joined me as we waited to the race officials to make the call about the swim.  The fog was SOOO thick, it would have not been safe as guards would have not been able to visualize swimmers.  They made the right call, cut the swim to 300 meters. 

For me, I did the sprint and had a blast.  I borrowed a friend's 11 year old road bike which was perfect for me!  The bike was hilly with the run around the point of the peninsula/island?

After I finished the sprint, I ran with the final finishers to bring them in. One of the main reasons why I love Rev3 is they celebrate every athlete.  As an ambassador, I was honored to run with the final finishers, hear their life stories and bond with them during their runs.  It was a beautiful day and loved this weekend so much.  Anyone considering it, DO IT!  Email me if you want to know more.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Cove School - One Step at a Time

 Coordinated by a friend of mine, I was so excited to volunteer at Cove School's One Step at a Time.  A local 5K that supports the school that educates children with physical and developmental disabilities.  Many students participated in the event and Josh and I enjoyed handing medals out to the finishers.  Any student completing the 5K was awarded a M4M medal. 

A few of mine were in the pile and loved seeing the kids pick them out!  Loved being able to volunteer with Josh and show to him that running is more than just running.. it is a community that supports others!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Leon's Triathlon Race Review

Even though I this race requires you to drive down to Hammond two days in a row, I still return as it is a great season opener and well run.  The one benefit about the extra trip is getting a dip in the water which is normally my first open water swim of the season.  Home Depot provided buckets as a our swag totes which was a fun/different touch.  Negatives about the drive:  Time and paying for the skyway 4 times total instead of 2.

Race morning: 
Racked my bike and met up with some friends before heading to the swim start.  Last year, one of my girlfriends pulled up wetsuit and it accidentally ripped so I jokingly (not so jokingly) didn't have her pull up the suit this year!  

The race is well organized with a lake swim and then a bike along nice wide roads.  It formerly was on the expressway but the roads were horrible and super windy.  While it is still windy on the new course, it is smooth and fast.  Transitioned to the run well and was easy sailing the rest of the way.  Great first race of the season.  It is nice to start with a sprint to kick of tri season!

a snippet from my Chicago Athlete writeup:
I have participated in Leon’s four times since it reemerged from the ashes and have enjoyed it every year.  The atmosphere is one I haven’t seen replicated as Leon is somehow able to get an entire city around this race.  Local support from all different types of businesses rally behind this event.  Even the swag bags included five-gallon paint buckets from Home Depot.  Being out on the course alongside adaptive athletes also puts racing into perspective.  For those of us that are able-bodied, it is a reminder of what a gift it is to be racing and to witness those that still race despite their disabilities is simply inspiring.  Will be back to Leon’s and recommend it to others.