Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Jamie and I teamed up to do our first Scavenger Hunt together.  We had bought a Groupon and paid $45 for the both of us.  Check in was at 11 a.m. at Lucky Strikes in downtown Chicago.

Right at noon we were all instructed to text a number to get our clues.  They also gave out a hard copy. We had been told in advance to download a QR reader.

Anyone have a tattoo?  Find someone with an animal tattoo and take a picture of it with your team.

We (and a few other teams) found this guy on the train down to Wrigley.  Funnily enough when we got to Wrigley scalpers were trying to scalp pics of animal tattoos for $5!

Take a picture of your team Lap Frogging at the tallest building in Chicago.

This clue was the furthest from any other and we lost a lot of time getting there!  Especially since we realized on the way there that we'd have to head back to Lucky Strike and then out again for MORE clues!

Hot yet??!! Head to the bar! Cool off and take a picture of your team chugging a beer!

This was my favorite clue!!!!!

The Bean!!  We love it. Take a picture of your team and three more people building a human pyramid.

I thought this one would be the hardest but it actually wasn't!  These ladies were surprisingly game and we heard from other teams they posed for them too!

Booze, Broads and Bullshit.  Take a picture of your team in front of the giant mural of the owner of this quote.

Take a picture of your team in your favorite baseball pose near the drinking establishment near Wrigley Field that opened in 1953.

Let's play ball!  Head to Wrigley Field and take a picture of your team's bib number with an engraved brick with one of your team member's name on it.  

Jamie found her name after a few minutes of looking!

We love to travel, do you? Take a pic of your team with an out of state license plate.  Watch out for the moving ones. 

This is actually the clue where I stopped a drunk guy from losing his wallet!  The drunk guys thought we were real super heroes and after taking this pic for us kept insisting on taking pictures with us.  Didn't they know they were slowing us down????

Take a picture of your team at the statue of Mr. Cub AND text his last name to 41242.

Find a place where you would perform the Adho Mukha Svanasana.  Take a picture of your team performing this in front of the location. 

Downward dog!  We found the closest yoga studio near Wrigley Field.  Which wasn't easy i think this was at least .4 miles away!

Love the old days!! Take a picture of your team dressed retro style of your choosing.

Ragstock was VERY nice and let us take pics in the store!

We love JT's new song "Suit & ______".  Take a picture of your team wearing the missing word.

Ties!  Two clues in one at Ragstock!

Winnepeg has the title of being this frozen drink capital of the world selling over 188,883 of these each month.  Drink one with your team and document with a pic.

We may have lost a bit of time with this one since there is a 7-11 across from Wrigley Field and it seemed like EVERY team went to this one!  But I ran with that Slurpee and gulped it down in the heat!!!!

We ended up coming in 20th place with a time of 2:44:30!  I can't wait to do my next scavenger hunt!!!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fleet Feet Girls Night Out!!

First let me just say that I whole heartedly approve of any event that serves Prosecco.

And Fleet Feet had this guy and MANY bottles of Prosecco.  He honestly had a TON of other types of wine, but why experiment when there's Prosecco????

But first let's back up a bit.   Fleet Feet has a Chick's Night run EVERY Tuesday Night.  I always want to attend but it's at 6:30 and traffic can be TERRIBLE.  Since they were having the special G.N.O. Jamie texted to let me know that she wanted to run before hand and we'd just leave when we both got there.

By the time I found parking and got there I found Jamie and Kim waiting for me out front.  We decided on running 4 miles and I was kind of shocked to feel the heat in the air!  I went out biking in the A.M. and the air was still chilled.  But at 7 p.m. the air was windy but warm.

I wish I had pics of the Lakefront Path because there were TONS people out and even more importantly TONS of shirtless men!  Since I moved to Chicago in October the path has been fairly desolate.  There was so much activity it was like sensory overload.

During the run I pretty much decided I'm going to need tanks and shorts/skirts for the summer!  It was HOT!

We ended up running just under 4 miles and our average was 11 minute miles.  I kinda wanted to do faster but the heat was really getting to me!

Anyways we got back to Fleet Feet to see this crowd waiting to get inside!  Girls Night Out officially started at 8 p.m.!

After checking in we were advised to sign up for bra fittings and massages right away.  I made a beeline for the bras because I really wasn't 100 percent sure I was wearing the right size!  Surprisingly the super helpful sales girl measured me and I was already wearing the right size.  Nonetheless she helped me find 5 different styles of bras to try out.  I ended up liking Juno.  If don't want your boobs moving AT ALL then get this bra!  It holds you in so well it was a bit of a pain getting out of!

(Do I really have to mention when/if I grabbed a glass of Prosecco??)

Next up Jamie really wanted to try on running dresses but I convinced her to be a bit more practical and try on a Tri Suit instead.

We definitely determined that tighter is better with these Tri Suits!  I mean somehow we have to fit it inside the wetsuit along with our bodies!!!!   I figure the Tri Suit will work slightly better than Spanx for me!

Fleet Feet was having an awesome sale of 30% off of Brooks shorts and skirts.  Of course I had to get a short AND a skort.  The skort definitely ran a bit big, so I'd recommend sizing down, while the shorts seemed true to size.

By the time we'd eaten many cupcakes and drank plenty of glasses  a glass of Prosecco, we realized we still needed to sample the Clif Shots AND Luna Bars.  I'm not a huge protein bar fan but they were on sale for $5 for 5!

When we decided it was time to go we were handed a yoga mat as we were leaving!  Perfect I need a new one for the new beach yoga Groupon I signed up for!

I just love these events that Fleet Feet hosts!  It really helps to build the running community and one of the main reasons why I'm glad I moved to Chicago!!

What about you?  Can you resist a discount?  What's your favorite running place to hang in Chicago?  Invite me next time!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Triathlon for Morons: Protect the Lady Bits!!

Okay don't be a moron like me and think just because you survived a few spin classes with your Lady Bits in tact that you don't need cycling shorts.  Because trust me YOU DO NOT WANT TO BRUISE THE LADY BITS.

I stupidly went out on not 1 but 3 rides without any padding and it was quite painful!  I went and bought cheap $30 shorts/underwear that I can wear under my capris.  I need to get a good pair though.  I like the Gore skirts but so expensive!

I need to get over it but I just don't do shorts!  So many nightmares about the shorts riding up, not to mention well cellulite.  Maybe I can start using self tanner and I'll feel better about wearing shorts....

Also, don't be a moron like me and think you can wear your regular baggy sweat pants on the bike.  They WILL get caught up in the bike and they WILL rip because you'll panic when they get caught and pull at them for fear of falling over!  By the end of an 8 mile ride I had 5 different holes in the inner right leg of my pants!

Since it's still be in the 40s lately I've been wearing my Compression socks OVER the ruined pants.  This seems to be a cost effective way to ride without going out and getting tights.

Because let's face it, I don't do shorts OR tights!!

Thank goodness it's getting hotter out.  So my bike outfit is capris with the bike shorts underneath.  I don't clip in yet, so I just wear my regular sneaks.  This morning it was 57 degrees when I went out at 6 a.m. so I still wore my hoodie.

I'm getting jealous of everyone on the path with the fancy shirts with the pockets in the back.  That might have to be my next purchase!

What do you wear when you are bike training?

Today's workout: 16.5 miles biked in 1 hour 22 minutes.

Today's Lunch:

Salmon!  Horseradish Mashed Potatoes and zucchini and squash.  I'm going to pretend there wasn't any butter on them either!  It was delish!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Jumping on the Quinoa Train!

I'm slowly attempting to change my diet.  So of course one of the fads right now seems to be quinoa!  I bought my very first bag of quinoa today at Trader Joe's and decided to dive right into the world of Quinoa. 

Beware one bag cooked A LOT.  OF COURSE I dumped the whole bag in.  The lil quinoa's looked so small I thought I needed it all.  Hopefully I can keep the leftovers in the fridge and try a new creation tomorrow. 

Today I want to do a berry quinoa muffin bite.  Basically I've been looking for a quick snack that I can eat on my way from work to my evening workouts.  Stopping at Burger King for a dollar burger just doesn't seem like a smart idea anymore!!

My muffin tin is for 24 lil muffin bites.  Since I had so much quinoa I kind of guesstimated how much quinoa to use. 

I put in 2 cups Quinoa, healthy pour of Egg white mixture (got this at Trader Joe's thought this was just egg whites then saw it's 99% eggs or something, next time I want egg whites only!!),  teasopoon of baking soda and teaspoon of vanilla extract, a good helping of blue berries and then I noticed some blackberries in the freezer so added those in for good measure.  Oh and of course some Agave Nectar for some extra sweetness! 

Somehow I actually managed to measure out the exact right amount for the muffin pan!

I plan on taking some of these to work with me so I'll have a quick energy snack before the Chick's Night Fun Run at Fleet Feet followed by Girl's Night Out.

Voila!  Send me your favorite quinoa recipes!  I'm ready to try some more!!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Week in Review 5/5-5/11

Sunday: Kalamazoo Marathon Finished in 5:22 with a 12:14 pace!
Monday: REST went to my first Cubs game! 
Tuesday: REST went to Taste of Streeterville
Wednesday: Strength Training and a lil bit of Elliptical to loosen up my legs
Thursday: 30ish minute swim with Corbett.  We swam in the same lane and she's so much faster than me so I know I swam harder than normal! 
Friday: Hour long bike ride, 12 miles followed with PT session at Novacare.
Saturday: 5 miles with the CARA Half Marathon Training Group.  11 minute milers!  In the afternoon KICKBALL!!  We lost :(

After my Saturday run my hamstring was in PAIN.  It was actually in pain earlier so when I went to PT I asked her to take a look at it.  She said it seemed a bit tight but wasn't too worried.   Immediately after my run I Iced and Foam Rolled.  I was supposed to do a hilly run at the Morton Arboretum in the early Sunday A.M. but I decided to play it safe.  Keeping my fingers crossed that the hamstring is OK!!!

Oh yeah and Saturday night went to BopNgrill because they had a sign that said as seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  So I knew they'd have crazy food.  I opted for the Spam and Eggs.

It was two fried eggs, 3 pieces of spam over rice.  Then a side of kimchi and a cabbage salad.  Pretty good!  Kinda wish I had ordered their Philly Cheesesteak egg rolls though!

Chicago Lakefront 50K Race Recap

I'm an ultramarathoner!!!!!  I made the official cut-off for Spring Chicago Lakefront 50K by 1 minute and 10 seconds!!!

I arrived at the start of the race at Foster Beach and easily found free parking.  I was so thankful for that because I really had no idea how long I would be running and I didn't want to worry about feeding a parking meter! 

The start was rather low key I think there were about 200 runners total, maybe a bit more.  I dropped my bag at the gear check/bag drop which was basically just an open area that was just a few feet away from the start line.  I got my bib and long sleeve t-shirt with no problems.  Now it was just time to wait for the start! 

I guess I was looking a lil queasy because an older gentleman came over to ask me if I was ok.  I just sort of nodded because to be honest I WAS feeling queasy!  I had arrived at the 50K race start with no clear game plan.  On the one hand I wasn't sure how my legs would hold out.  Afterall I was scheduled to get an MRI on Monday!  Clearly they weren't in the fresh condition you'd want to run a 31.25 mile race!  But they weren't feeling all that bad.  They weren't feeling fresh but they weren't feeling my worst.  So I think within the first mile I decided instead of dropping out after 20 miles (my original intention) I was going to go ahead and try to finish the WHOLE DANG THING!!

The course was a simple out and back 3 loops that I knew VERY VERY WELL.   This is my normal training ground and a big reason why I signed up for the challenge.  I think mentally it helped to know the area well in order to tick off the miles.  There were no mile markers but each aid station had a chart so you would know how far you had gone.  I of course had on my Garmin to keep track of the time ticking and the miles.

There were 3 aid stations set up on the course, basically 1 at each turnaround and then one in the middle.  The aid stations had Gatorade, water, and soda for fluids.  I carried my own water bottle and everyone was super nice and allowed me to fill my water bottle when I needed.  Then there was a wide range of snacks everything from potato chips to nuts to pickles.  I really realized that I much prefer salty snacks over sugary GU!

I definitely stopped at each aid station and grabbed a banana almost each time.  I loved that they had bananas because when I ran long runs in the gym I was able to fuel with bananas but it's not so easy to do so when running since they get mushy so easily!  I also was loving the pickles.  I think I might try to figure out how to carry pickles on training runs!!  The aid station that was near the start/finish I was grabbing pretzel rods, since those were harder to eat they seemed as good as an excuse as any to take a walk break back out onto the next loop. 

Since there were so few runners I only had a few chances to run with others but I did enjoy the few times I did get to run with someone else!  Around mile 4 I picked up a lady who was battle an ankle injury.  She'd already signed up before the injury so she'd told her family to meet her at mile 5 in order to pick her up.  I was really sad to see her go as we settled into a nice brisk pace together.  Garmin says we were running about an 11:30 min/mile and the lady said that was actually pretty fast for her usual runs.  She had run quite a few marathons and said her body got the most adjusted when she one every few weeks.  Since I'm a race addict she might have been telling that to the wrong person.....  ;)

At each turnaround we had to check in because the race wasn't chip timed.  The last time the start/finish was a turnaround they asked me if I was OK and I just managed to smile back at them.  They laughed and said at least I was smiling!  Honestly I was ready to quit at this point.  But there were two Cupcake Ladies that had been running in front of me for most of the race and I had told them it was my first time.  I said to them "I wanna die, I can't make it". and they laughed and said "Oh Honey we ALL feel like that".  So I trudged back out there.

During this last loop I was basically trying to calculate how much time I could allow myself to walk but still make it in the 7 hour time limit. 

Here's how my splits looked:
Mile 1: 10:57
Mile 2: 11:48
Mile 3: 12:26 <---Aid Station Stop!
Mile 4: 11:45
Mile 5: 11:34
Mile 6: 12:13 <---Aid Station Stop!
Mile 7: 11:35
Mile 8: 13:03 <---Aid Station Stop!
Mile 9: 11:52
Mile 10: 12:08
Mile 11: 13:42 <---Aid Station Stop!
Mile 12: 12:26
Mile 13: 12:40 <---Aid Station Stop!
Mile 14: 11:11
Mile 15: 12:08
Mile 16: 14:01 <---Aid Station Stop!
Mile 17: 13:15
Mile 18: 13:36
Mile 19: 17:12 <---Bathroom/Aid Station Stop!
Mile 20: 13:38
Mile 21: 15:12 <---Aid Station Stop! This is where I considered quitting!!
Mile 22: 14:15
Mile 23: 14:18
Mile 24: 15:35<---Aid Station Stop!
Mile 25: 13:30
Mile 26: 13:47
Mile 27: 16:42<--Aid Station Stop!
Mile 28: 15:31
Mile 29: 16:35<--Aid Station Stop!
Mile 30: 14:00
Mile 31: 13:24
Mile 32: Last .25 miles was at an 11:14 pace!

Those last 10 miles I really wanted to just break down and start crying on the course.  But since the path wasn't closed I was getting encouragement from both random people on the lakefront path and also from fellow racers.  Each and every person who I passed coming as they were going gave me words of encouragement or a smile. 

When I hit the last aid station I was really worried, at that point I think I only had 1 hour and 15 minutes left to complete the race.  And I was having trouble walking any miles much less walk them!  I got to the last station and I asked how many miles to go.  The guy said about 2.5 miles.  I looked at my watch and realized I only had 30 minutes to get those done!  There were 3 people in front of me and they were taking cups of food with them and then kept going.  I grabbed some chips and some soda and I sped up to meet them.  I asked them if they thought we could make the cut-off.  They had already given up on it but they told me to push it and that I was going to make it! 

I tried as hard as I could to straight run those last 2.5 miles but I did have to stop twice to walk.  But then I saw in the distance to other finishers and I just kept pushing and following them.  My Garmin seemed to indicate that there was about 1 mile left on the course and I had about 12 minutes to finish so I pushed, I really did not think  I would make the cut-off.  And then there it was so I stopped looking at my watch and JUST RAN!!! 

Official time: 6:58:50.  I'm pretty sure I was the last official finisher.  But I tried to tell them of the few others I knew that were still out on the course.  The other finishers that waited around said they knew they were coming and they'd finish (just not within the cut-off time, they'd still get a medal).  I met a really cool Marathon Maniac Halbert at the finish and he MADE me take a bowl of red beans and rice.  Eating was the LAST thing that I wanted to do but I know that it was for the best that I ate it. 

Am I ready to sign up for another ultramarathon?  Yes and No.  While I originally wanted to run a trail 50K this summer, I am thinking that is just not going to work out.  But I look forward to running the fall Chicago Lakefront 50K on November 2nd.  The course will be on the Lakefront Path again, but this time it'll be on the southside rather than the northside.

Oh yeah and about that MRI I was scheduled for on Monday?  Well I went and got it and then was diagnosed with stress fractures in both legs.  Sidelined for at least 6 weeks.  My first major injury as a runner.  

Saturday, May 11, 2013

You Can't Get Naked in a Triathlon?

In my spare time I've been googling local and localish triathlon's trying to compile my triathlon schedule for the summer.  As I was perusing Athleta's Iron Girl website when I found this in the FAQ Section:

What do I wear?
Wear something you can COMFORTABLY swim, bike and run in. Practice in your race wear (and get it wet before riding/running in it so you know it doesn’t cause chafes or wedgies while wet). You
can add clothing to your body during transitions but you cannot strip down in the big field and get
naked to change (and there is no changing tent).
I don't know why I assumed 100s (1000s?) of people would just go ahead and get naked together, but i totally did!!   So now I have to start reconsidering all of my race outfit options!  
First I am definitely wearing a wetsuit, I can't stand the cold AT ALL!!  But what to wear underneath? 
I think it's most logical to wear a sports bra because we'll I'll definitely need it later for the run!!  
But what about panties?  Swim bottoms?  Is there some sort of fast drying hybrid panties/shorts thingie that I could wear???  (commence google search NOW)  
Since we can add things, obviously I NEED my bike shorts.  But I'll need another pair to actually run in.  Whatever tank top I decide on can be worn for both bike and run, so that's the one part I'm not actually worried about.  And I'm wearing my sneakers to bike in since I can't actually clip in and out YET.  
So yeah I can't get naked during the triathlon.  What do you wear during the swim?  And do people that don't wear wetsuit wear a one piece bathing suit THE WHOLE TIME?  Does that result in wedgies??? 

Running Long Your Way

Ever since I major strained my Posterior Tib Calf muscle a few weeks ago and STILL went out on a long run that resulted in me falling and spraining my ankle, I've been afraid to do my long runs outdoors.  It's no secret that Chicago weather has been pretty cold lately.  And there's nothing worse than wanting to give up on a run and realizing you are still at least 5 miles from home.  And then you can't even walk those 5 miles back home because it's so cold that your hands and feet etc. go numb.  So then you you have to choose the freezing cold option or the hobbling on  not happy legs back home.

Also since it's winter the Chicago Lakefront path which normally is a glorious stretch of bathrooms and water fountains during the spring/summer/fall becomes a closed barren somewhat intimidating path.  You have to carry your water bottle and hope it doesn't freeze AND really really not have to go to the bathroom or you're stuck going off path and hoping you stumble onto a Starbucks.  Basically it kind of sucks.  At least for the long runs for me, I'm just not used to this style of running.  I've done plenty of short runs on the path and am so so grateful to live so close to it.  But yeah those runs that are 3 plus hours, not so fun. 

So I decided to do the seemingly unthinkable and start doing my super long runs indoors at the gym.  Most of my runner friends think I am CRAY CRAY for doing this.  But honestly I sort of love it!  First of all Saturdays ABC Family has back to back to back romantic comedies!  All of which I love and basically have already seen before.   Start in the middle of "Confessions of a Shopaholic?" No Prob!  Need to see the grand finale of "A Lot Like Love"?  Makes those last miles 14-18 not quite so bad!  Ashton Kutcher declaring his love to Amanda Peet can get me through ANY tough run.

I hope that if you are going to do a long run indoors then you have access to a TV!  That's my number one pro of running indoors!

Here is what I packed to do my long run.

Banana - another PRO I can never run with bananas they get all mushy!
Water Bottle to refill
GU Chomps
Towel for all that SWEAT!!
ProCompression Socks (wouldn't normally wear these indoors but I figured why not?)

I basically set the treadmill to end after 5 miles.  Ran to the bathroom real quick and ate my banana, refilled the water bottle and hopped back on for another 5 miles.  Repeated again for 15 miles total.  When I did the 18 miler I just added one more interval of 3 miles.  Since I had to refill my water bottle after each interval I even switched treadmills to get a lil variety! 

Now am I going to run any of my Chicago long runs indoors this summer?  Heck no!  (Well maybe if it's pouring rain!)  But when I start training for New Orleans Rock N Roll Marathon this winter, if it's too cold out, then you better believe I'll be indoors. 

Running outdoors in the somewhat terrible conditions can actually cause you to put TOO much effort into your long runs.  So sometimes you don't have to stick to the strict mileage for the day.  But I also think sometimes it's OK to take your run indoors.  After all the key is to play it safe and NOT get injured. 

Our minds and our bodies don't always communicate properly.  I think that in running A LOT of it has to do with our minds.  Yeah our bodies will carry us so far and we do have limitations, but our minds are what is gonna push us even further. 

So what about you?  Run indoors or outdoors?  What's your style?