Posted in Chicago running, Marathon, Uncategorized

Chicago Marathon Recap

I meant to write up the 2016 Chicago Marathon sooner, but sometimes life takes over and we have to write these posts in unique places like the bus ride home which smells a smidge like pee. 

In other news, the Chicago  marathon is over! This was my first time running Chicago and only my second time running a marathon and quite frankly, it was a blast. My overall time was only 7 seconds faster than last year so of course I was a bit annoyed as I was determined to run faster, but since I have been dealing with ankle issues and I did not pay attention to my pace at all… I need to quit complaining. So yes, the good parts about the race (besides everything) is that after mile 6 when Lucy ran up to me and told me I was running 8:30 and I said oh shoot I need to slow down… I didn’t pay attention to anything except running and having fun. The Chicago spectators are the effing best and they are everywhere! I listened to music only a handful of times during my 26.2 miles and towards the end I kept thinking that I had just listened to Cake by the Ocean on repeat for close to 5 hours. I had not… it just never finished.

Let’s be real: I should quit complaining anyway because I ran and finished another marathon and I need to learn to just be proud of that.

Other details.

The expo

Burt Yasso
Custom shirts with Nike purchase

Going into marathon weekend I was playing it cool. My big plan is to run 36 miles in another week so running 26 is far less daunting, but by the time Friday and the expo rolled around I was excited and just wanted to get there. McCormick Place is a beast to travel to, but they provided shuttles to and from places like Nike which made it much more convenient. Vendors were plentiful and I managed to buy a jacket (of course) and a pair of Hoka Ones because I am intrigued on how they feel (lets hope they get rid of that ankle strain).

The race
OMG… I already talked about the spectators above but OMG. So well organized. So much fun. I wore my name on my shirt and hearing people yell for me the entire time was just so amazing. So many great signs along the course including lots of tump and Hilary, two T-rexes, and two corgis who I yelled corgi at… like you do. My friends are also so amazing and tracked me down throughout the city so they could support, cheer and run with me. I am so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by them and have their support on all of my adventures.

Well placed urgent care

Running with a charity
Do it. Raising money isn’t necessarily the easiest but team support is truly divine and access to team bathrooms pre-race instead of the port-o-potties that everyone used is a total game changer.

Post race swag
Bananas. More gatorade (no thanks). Water. Bag from Mariano’s. I didn’t make it to the post race party because I went and celebrated with pizza and Jeni’s ice cream.

I know this recap is pretty quick, but guys… run the Chicago marathon. Everyone says how great it is, and it is. I am looking forward to a bit of a running break this winter but I also can’t wait to get back into training and work on getting faster.

Post race feels: ankles were super swollen next day and tight quads but I’m already on the mend and back to working out.

Oh… and their photographers are and super fast!

Posted in Chicago fitness, Chicago gyms, Chicago running, Enrgi, Uncategorized

Pimping My Friends

If I was a ClassPass member I would rate this class but I am not and thusI can only force you, my dear readers, to read my review of ElectiFYD with Lisa D at All About Dance

Years ago I was a regular at ABD but due to some schedule changes I made the jump to group fitness and found a new love. I use the term love because I love ABD and adore Lisa. This new class offers both dance (follow along, not learning a dance like their usual classes) and strength training. I will warnthe muscle heads out there (myself included) that this is more barre style with small weights and pulsing movements. I haven’t used small weights in awhile (except for at hardpressed when I scoff but then can’t lift 5lbs because I am dead) and while they feel like tiny butterflies in your hand, once you pulse for a bit you are thanking baby Jesus that they aren’t heavier.

And in other news, this was me from three years ago. My how things change quickly. I was just starting to run so I could get around the block in class and was attending a few 1hr classes regularly but not daily. Here we are, three years later, and I won’t tell you how frequently I work out, but I will tell you that I have vastly changed from the girl with the sandwich photoshopped on her (the class I was taking that day is BLT so it’s a most excellent pun).

Posted in Chicago running, running, Uncategorized

GRD & What You Should Be Reading

Today (June 1st) is Global Running Day! Have you already gone for a run? I skipped last year because ya know… I am cool like that, but this year I will be joining North Face for a 6 mile run with ultrarunner Dean Karnazes. I suspect I will keep up with his pace… NOT.

If you are in Chicago and looking for another running event, Nike is holding their 5K time trials to help kick off their NRC Marathon Training Season. To sign up for tonight’s session click here.

In other news, what I would normally be doing on a Wednesday is heading to Wednesday Warrior at Enrgi. This class is coached by Robert who, after being the instructor I was most afraid of has quickly become one of my favorite instructors. He is both brilliant and tough and impossible not to love. I highly recommend checking out this quick A Sweat Life interview with him and if you are in Chicago you should absolutely sign up for one of his classes.

If you can’t get out there and run today, at least remind yourself of why you do run. Whatever your reason, the very act of thinking about it is bound to bring some joy into your hump day.

Posted in Chicago fitness, Chicago running, Health and Happiness Movement, Healthy Chicago, Marathon, Nike, running, working out

This Weekend I ran 1 Mile

I did not run in high school. I did not run in college. I did start running until three… oh maybe it was four now… years ago. Which means the last time I ran just one mile was three, maybe fours years ago because at the time, I physically could not run one mile. This weekend, I ran the Humboldt Mile inaugural race (put on by Three Run Two) and the idea was to run your fastest mile.


I have no clue what my fastest mile is. Well, I have a clue now and it’s 8:03 minutes. Though I am quite convinced that I could have run faster. The funny thing about a mile is that it is just long enough where if you don’t know what pace to go you find yourself thinking can I go faster before I give out (the answer is yes) but it’s just short enough where you don’t want to go to too slow. I was running… not necessarily uber speeding but running fast and towards the end I thought oh god, my legs are tired already but then I saw the finish line and was like oh hellz no I can sprint through this.

How does one prepare to run their fastest mile? I have no clue. I just did my usual runs. I suppose one could actually run a mile and figure it out that way. Or one could do something like Nike’s Find Your Fast program. Or one could just throw their hands up and say who really cares and hope for the best. Next time… if there is a next time, I know I can go faster, but at least this time I know what my fastest mile is.

If you are wondering if I would recommend this race for next year, the answer is absolutely. The course is through the gorgeous Humboldt Park which I am never around. It starts at a very reasonable and happy time of not 6am. It’s fun, it’s quick and how often do you get to run just one mile?

And no, I didn’t take any of these pictures. I stole them from the very talented Three Run Two photographers. Personally I forgot to take any pictures that day.

Posted in Chicago running, Uncategorized

BTN Big10K

I should report in on my running and training and what I am learning (guys… I listened to a free training on how to grow your Instagram account on Sunday and it wasn’t actually the worst) but instead all I am going to bring you today is the BTN Big10K.

Registration is still open and they have just announced the finisher medals as well as shirts with your school’s motto on the back. Woot woot!

Use my code: RAMSWAG3 for a free somethin somethin.

Speaking of mascots… the guy who plays Benny the Bull (Barry Anderson) for the Chicago Bulls is stepping down this year. Why is this important news to me? A few years back I spent a day thinking about what one has to be like in order to be a mascot (super flexible, energetic, etc) and so I spent a day stalking his social media. Please note that I use the term stalking lightly… no harm or danger has come to Barry at my hands. I was just fascinated by the man who has, for years, dressed as a bull and hit on ladies. Keep on keepin on Barry.


Posted in Chicago fitness, Chicago running, Fitness, running, Uncategorized

Enter Title Here

I have nothing witty to add for a title… oh dear! Am I that tired? The answer is yes. It might be time for a mid-morning nap… or soon a lunch time run, but instead I need to power through the work day. And I must say that powering through these days is much easier now that it’s warm again. I didn’t quite realize how much the winter was getting to me until it was sunny and I felt like an entirely different person.


So here is your run down from me:

Since I am not training I decided to venture into some new territory and I joined City Fit Girls for a 3 mile run. I would say I am an averaged pace runner and on Saturday we ran a bit slower than my usual, but it was really great to meet new people and give group running a shot.


If you are a lady in Chicago looking for a new run crew I highly recommend this group. They started in Philly and are newer to Chicago, trying to build a following, but such a nice group of gals! Plus… who doesn’t love meeting new friends that have the same interests as you (running and donuts). Right now their Saturday runs are monthly and while I likely won’t be able to join again for awhile since marathon training will be in full swing soon, represent for me!

I am planning on finally joining Nike for an 11 mile run this coming Saturday so if you are in Chicago and looking for some free run training come join me for that!


Saturday night was an adventure in Logan Square for a friend’s 30th birthday and I came home to a very exciting shipment from RAM Racing! All of the hot chocolate swag that you could ever dream of was waiting in that box including discount codes for the 2016 RAM races. If you are signing up for any of the races below, use my code: RAMSWAG3!

Cinco de MilerBucktown 5K (Best hoodie ever)
Soldier Field 10
Big 10 10K
Mag Mile Half Marathon
Hot Chocolate 5K/15K

And more!

Guys… I took a legit rest day. No working out. I usually take a recovery yoga class as my rest day but I have found that the new instructor likes to add a little more work, which is fine, but does not qualify as a rest. So instead I cooked up a storm doing meal prep for the week and then joined two of my favorites at the dog beach for a sunny, puppy filled afternoon.


OMG WHY DON’T I TAKE REST DAYS MORE OFTEN?!?! I taught at Coop Monday morning and headed to HardPressed in the afternoon where I was actually able to make gains on my weights and I felt great! OMG PLEASE TAKE REST DAYS IF YOU DON’T ALREADY.


That being said… I followed up HardPressed by taking 500 Calorie over at Enrgi and combined they kicked my butt into Tuesday. I don’t necessarily recommend going hard twice a day, but quite frankly when you are trying to fit in a bunch of things into your schedule, sometimes that’s just how the cookie crumbles.

Posted in Chicago running, running, Uncategorized

Annnnd Scene

And scene is what we say in improv at the end of a scene. It’s not entirely applicable here, but it is the end of a weekend so there is that.

And how did I spend the weekend?

Well Saturday I ran the Chi Town half marathon. Friday the weather decided to be a bi-polar mix of sun, rain, snow and that meant that come Saturday the temps were in the high 20s and the race path was entirely iced over. We also had three miles of running straight into the wind. So far this might have been the most difficult race I have run mentally and more than once I thought about dropping out and going home. The only saving grace was nearish to my house I ran into a friend who was walking her dog and it just kept me motivated. 

I also spent a lot of this race thinking about how lucky I am to be so well trained by Enrgi and HardPressed and frankly I’m not sure how people who don’t train made it through! That course was a brute!

I always race to PR and needless to say I did not on Saturday, though my time was only three minutes off my PR so that makes it ok in my mind (well that and Nike claims I PR’d by five minutes but you really can’t trust Nike).

Sunday was more cold-ish temps though not as bad. I taught this morning, headed to yoga and then spent the afternoon cooking. And all I want to do right now is sleep. 

*And since I feel like all I’ve done is whine, let me just say that the volunteers on this course were totally awesome and so energetic and supportive despite the awful temps!