First real Gym Membership!

This has been one of the worst winters for outdoor running, the whole month of January has been in the 20’s and below, way below…lots of negative degree days with even colder wind chills.  It’s made me not want to get out and run, the ice isn’t melting and the snow keeps on snowing!  While there are many members of my running clubs that are out there braving the cold/wet/snow, I am not.  I don’t need to hurt myself and I just have no motivation, I blame myself, I’m being lazy and I hate the treadmill.  If only there was something else I could do!!!

So last weekend I downloaded Focus T25, I mean I can do 25 minutes a day, I can focus on that at home, so now the first week is done and I feel great.  Shaun T has a great program and I even have my bf doing it too.  The house is a bit too small for us to do it together, but we both get it done.  I feel so much better this week after starting it.  I am also taking a Barre None class at my company’s gym, need to do something to combat the winter blues.

Monday: Barre None & T25 Cardio
Tuesday: T25 Speed 1.0
Wednesday: T25 Total Body Circuit
Thursday: T25 AB Intervals
Friday: T25 Cardio & Lower Focus (Friday is double day, I was hurting after doing both.)
Saturday: RecPlex 2 mile run, stretch and 1 mile run

Saturday my bf and I went to the Kenosha RecPlex, he plays basketball and I wanted to check out the indoor track, 6 laps is 1 mile and I calibrated my Garmin Foot Pod so I didn’t have to count laps, it was pretty accurate and it felt really good to run, it’s a bit boring running in circles, but it wasn’t too bad.  We started around 6am, so I got to see the sun start to come up as I passed the windows.

3 lane track, not too bad

the guys playing ball, the running track is around the gym so I could see them play while I ran.

the guys playing ball, the running track is around the gym so I could see them play while I ran.

the guys playing while I recover!

the guys playing while I recover! You can see the track above the hoop.

I signed up for a 30 day membership so I could use the track to get back in running shape and take a few classes.  Can’t wait to get more and more workouts in.  My company has a gym and it costs me around $5 a paycheck but I am not crazy about working out with co-workers and the last of running track makes the RecPlex way more appealing, we will see how it goes and I might extend my membership.

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Chicago Polar Dash

January in the Midwest is always an iffy time to have a race, I did the Polar Dash back in 2012 and it was snowy and cold, but still fun.  So after our -15F temps that we had, a race where it was 30F wouldn’t be so bad!

Expo

Once again I volunteered to work at the race expo, I really enjoy helping out and volunteering, plus volunteering has helped me earn free stuff, such as race entries, gear, ect… I always work with some great people at the expo, from staff to volunteers, it’s why I go back.  I worked in the gear exchange area helping people switch sizes or switch to a black fleece(leftovers from last year) so it went by pretty quick and was fun.  I also picked up packets for some of my fellow running club members.  I took the train down so I didn’t have to mess with parking in Chicago on a Friday, the weather was finally decent Friday morning so the 1+ mile walk from the train station wasn’t bad at all.

Packet Pick up

Packet Pick up

my view during packet pick-up

my view during packet pick-up

The Race

We got up super early, the race started at 8am and we were meeting people to carpool at 5:30am in Kenosha, so Chris and I were up bright and early, it had rained the night before so with snow, rain and standing water everywhere the race was bound to be messy.  The Polar Dash staff had posted the night before that parts of the 14 mile course were impassable, we were running the 10K, and knowing the staff they would do everything they could to make the race experience as good as they could.  So we met our carpool and got down to Chicago with lots of time to spare, everything was pretty wet, lots of puddles, but the temp and weather were perfect.  We had over an hour to hang out and wait before the 10K started, there was 30 min between the 14 mile and 10K start, which was the perfect amount of time so the lakefront course wasn’t too packed.  We went to the race with several other members of the Kenosha Running Club.  We had 5 people doing the 14 miler, 3 of us doing the 10K and 1 doing the 5K.  I love running with this club, so so motivating and such a fun group.

members of the KRC before the race

members of the KRC before the race

Chris and I before the race

Chris and I before the race

Chris and I started out together, but after a couple turns he was getting further and further ahead.  This would be the first race that we didn’t finish side by side, but he is way faster than me and I was totally ok not staying together, I get in a race zone and don’t even notice who’s by me.  The race starts out going north, we get a very short distance and the path is flooded, so up into the slush and grass we went, who knew it would be an obstacle course before we hit the quarter mile mark!

race start

race start

I'm looking at the ground!

I’m not looking at the ground!

There were a lot of puddles, I was looking at the ground most of the time, but it was ok.  I knew what to expect going into the race.  Once we got back behind the shed aquarium the course was pretty narrow (lots of piles of snow) and right around McCormick Place I knew I needed a pee stop, unfortunately I had passed a port a potty and I figured there would be one by the water stop, there wasn’t so I had to improvise (yup, let the course found a slightly hidden spot) and then I was back at it, as I approached the 4 mile mark I could feel that my body wasn’t doing great.  So I slowed a bit more, not running for 4 weeks was killing me, I decided to walk run the rest of the race, which was fine since I hadn’t had any training time.  I finished in 1:09:10 and Chris finished in 54:35, seeing him at the end was pretty awesome.

Post race, WE DID IT!

Post race, WE DID IT!

pretty medal

pretty medal

Team Ortho has 3 more races in Chicago this year, I’m signed up for 3 of them and Chris is signed up for 2 of them (1 is a women only event, otherwise he would be running it too)

Get Lucky Chicago
Women Rock Chicago
Chicago Monster Dash

Polar Dash, Get Lucky and Monster Dash - Awesome gear!

Polar Dash, Get Lucky and Monster Dash – Awesome gear!

Can’t wait until our next race in March!!!  Time to increase the training!!!

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Run Santa Run 5K

Run Santa Run 5K was a really fun race.  It was the second race that Chris and I ran together, I’m really liking the trend of us running together.

The race was in Madison so we combined it with a trip to visit family.  After the race we went to my sisters, had to get some nephew time in, her house was plagued with sickness, but we stayed anyways (I did end up with the flu a few days later, but the time with family was so worth it!)

Front of the shirt we got

Front of the shirt we got

Chris and I ready to run!

Chris and I ready to run!

I almost got him to smile

I almost got him to smile

race start

race start

The race started right near the capitol, we still had to register when we got there.  I had missed registering when the race was only $20 a person, so I had emailed the race director and they would let us register day of for that price (I didn’t want to spend $45 on an un-timed 5K)  So we got there, it was cold and snowy, but still a nice day.  We both registered as elf’s, so we got a green long sleeved tee and elf hats to wear, we both wore the hats for the race.  The course wasn’t too bad, it was snow covered in spots, a little like running on sand but also trying not to fall on my face!

we are up towards the front, cool pic of us running

we are up towards the front, cool pic of us running

The course had 3 stops, a cookie stop (hard to eat a cookie while running), a hot chocolate stop and a mistletoe toe stop (we stopped, kissed but the photographer didn’t get our picture)

mini hot chocolate, so cute

mini hot chocolate, so cute

At the end of the 5K, the Grinch was there so we got our picture with him before heading inside to get our free post-race beer, we hung out for a bit, listened to a band and then started the walk back to the car, it was cold out we were sweaty so it was time to head over to my sisters to shower and relax.  Henry was excited that Auntie Jeni was coming over, but because of Henry and his love for Angry Birds, he got Chris addicted to Angry Birds Go!

This was a fun race, and even with the snow and it not being a timed race we had a great time.  The course was ok, not one of my favorite Madison courses, but it kept us off busy areas and a portion of it was on a bike path, I always like when the courses have variety, makes it fun, but also hard to pass people.  I think my favorite part was the mini hot chocolate, it was a bit to hot to drink so I sipped some of it, then threw it out, if we had been walking it would have been perfect.  I feel truly lucky that I have a great running partner, in 2014 we have lots of races planned and I know we will be doing lots of running together.

post race pic with the Grinch

post race pic with the Grinch

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It’s been a while!

It’s been at least a month since I last posted, not much has been going on in running land. I ran one more race in 2013 Run Santa Run in Madison, I’ll post about that later, and then I didn’t run for 4 weeks.  I caught the nasty flu bug right before Christmas and was fighting it for 3 weeks.  During that time I had no desire to run or write about running.  Now my health is back, it’s a new year and I have already run one race and have many more that I plan to run.  Hopefully I can update on all of them soon.  I won’t be aiming for 13 half marathons this year like I did last year.  I am picking and choosing races carefully.  I also have a great running partner who has plans to do a lot of the races with me.  We just signed up for the Team Ortho Monster Series in Chicago.  3 races, awesome gear and bling.  We have completed one of the three races and I am so excited for the others.

Polar Dash, Get Lucky and Monster Dash - Awesome gear!

Polar Dash, Get Lucky and Monster Dash – Awesome gear!

I’ll post my list of races soon and volunteer gig’s (yup, I have my list of races that I plan to volunteer at this year drafted too)

Heres to a 2014 filled with lots of running and fun!

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A Christmas Story Run

On December 7th was the very first A Christmas Story 5k/10k run in Cleveland, Ohio. Months ago my friend Frank and I decided to sign up and road trip for the race. So on Friday night, Frank, Jerry and I hit the road from Chicago to travel to the race.  It was a long night, took us until after midnight to get to the house we were staying at.  We visited for a few min then we all went to bed, we had an early morning and needed some rest.

We got to the race start just under an hour before the race, I had to exchange my shirt, Kirsten had picked up packets and grabbed the wrong Jennifer’s packet, she was an XL and I was a Medium, luckily exchanging was super easy.

The race was really fun, I had signed up for the 10K, but I knew with the cold and my leg, it would never happen.  The rest of the group was also running the 5K, so it worked out.  The 10K was an out and back, but the 5K was from Higbees department Store (it’s no longer Higbee’s but there is a sign!) to the house from the Movie.

Here are lots of pic’s from the day!

pre race, cold morning

pre race, cold morning

start and finish lines

start and finish lines

lots of signs along the way

lots of signs along the way

more signs

more signs

love the medal, so cool

love the medal, so cool

the whole crew

the whole crew

maybe I should have gotten one of my own!

maybe I should have gotten one of my own!

yup, I'm smiling while running

yup, I’m smiling while running

We headed back and changed/showered after the race, the line to tour the house was super long.  We grabbed lunch at Great Lakes Brewing Company (after a really long wait, but the food was so so good)

time to tour the house

time to tour the house

inside the house

inside the house

upstairs in the house

upstairs in the house

I had to hide under the sink!

I had to hide under the sink!

Everyone was getting their pic by the leg lamp

Everyone was getting their pic by the leg lamp

This was a great race and I can’t wait to do it again next year.

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Frosty 5 with Marathon Man

This week my running club took on a big challenge to help a fellow runner come closer to his goal of 160 marathons in 2013.  The club put together the Frosty 5 challenge, 5 days 5 marathons and a bunch of crazy runners.  For some of us that have never ran a marathon and have no desire to run a marathon, there was the option to run the marathon distance over 5 days.  So each day a half marathon and quarter marathon was offered.  At first I signed up just to volunteer at the 13.1 turn around in Racine, I could only help for 2 of the days because the race was run in the morning some days and in the evenings others. So on Sunday I descided to sign up for the virtual option and challenge myself to complete the 26.2 miles.

Frosty 5

Frosty 5

Monday 6am start
Tuesday 6am Start
Wednesday 5pm start
Thursday 5pm start
Friday 6am start

So I helped with the two evenings, after running the quarter marathon with the group.  I ended up signing up for the virtual option so I could join the fun when I could, but also do some miles on my own.  Monday night I ran alone, Wednesday/Thursday I ran with the group and Friday I ran with Chris since I couldn’t make the 6am start (darn work getting in the way!)  So at least 6.55 miles each time would equal the 26.2 distance that Marathon Man was running everyday. The 5 races in Wisconsin were number 136-140 for him, only 20 more marathons for him to got to his goal!

Monday

I ran on my own by the Racine lakefront, it was windy but I was determined to get my 6.55 in on my own.

Ran part of the race route, so nice seeing the signs out there

Ran part of the race route, so nice seeing the signs out there

Tuesday

The weather was crappy so I didn’t run, I did join everyone at Kaisers for pizza and to hear Trent (Marathon Man) speak to the group, it was so nice to see club members and to get to eat some tasty pizza.

Trent talks to the group

Trent talks to the group

Wednesday

My first run with the group, we had a great turnout and Chris and I ran our first race together, it was so fun to run side by side with him, I see this happening a lot more in the future.  It was super foggy and almost a little warm.  We got our 6.55 done and headed up to Racine to wait for everyone at the turn around, it was the perfect evening for the race and so awesome to see so many people who I know complete the goal of running this race.

Wednesday Quarter Marathon

Wednesday Quarter Marathon

Thursday

Run #2 with the group, the temperature dropped about 20 degrees from the day before and the wind was killer.  luckily I was running with Liz and Mike, so we all suffered but got the miles in.  I headed to the turn around and set up, it was so cold by the lake, I sat in my car waiting for runners. I had hot chocolate waiting for Trent and Andy, we headed into the Chancery to give them a chance to warm up a bit before running the final 13.1 miles.

Thursday Quarter Marathon, burrrrrr cold!

Thursday Quarter Marathon, burrrrrr cold!

Friday

I did my last run Friday around noon, it was cold and windy but my awesome new running partner and I headed to Lake Andrea to run, we were checking out the gravel trail to see how far it went, it’s almost 2 miles long and felt like it was longer, my legs were achy and sore. I had run more miles this week than I have in a long time.  But I wanted to make my goal of 26.2. As we approached 3 miles I knew it wasn’t in the cards. So we ended with 4 miles, but if I count my 4.7 on Sunday I was over 26.2 for the week and I was good with that. I still had a race to run on Saturday so I would have over 30 miles in for the week.

At the end of a cold run.

At the end of a cold run.

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Mayor’s Turkey Day Run 2013

I’m a member of the Kenosha Running Club and every year the club puts on two races, the biggest one we do is the Kenosha Mayor’s Turkey Day run. As a member of the club we volunteer for the race.  I have run the race the past 3 years, so it was a bit weird to work the race and not run, but I know it’s for the club and so that we continue to have a very successful race.  The race has a 2 mile and 10K distance, more people run/walk the 2 mile than the 10K, it’s a great way to get a little bit of exercise in before eating all sorts of Turkey and Thanksgiving meals.

Turkey day Tee's

Turkey day Tee’s

Packet Stuffing

On the Monday before Thanksgiving the club gets together to get everything all ready for Wednesday packet pick-up.  I ran 4 miles with some of the ladies before so I didn’t feel so guilty eating pizza!  We sticker bibs and envelopes and stuffed them full of info for the pre-registered runners.  It was all done pretty quick with all the helpers.

getting the race bib's ready

getting the race bib’s ready

lots of club members helping out

lots of club members helping out

lot's to do with lots of helpers!

lot’s to do with lots of helpers!

Packet Pick-up

The night before the race we have packet pickup for people to get their bib’s and tee shirts before the race.  It also is a chance for people who haven’t yet registered for the race to come out and register.

lots of packets to be picked up!

lots of packets to be picked up!

Race Day

I was out on the course for race day, I was at the entrance to Simmons Island Park, so I got to watch all the 2 mile and 10K runners/walkers come by, I brought my camera to take pictures.  My fingers were freezing part way through but I did get some great pic’s.

runners coming over the bridge

runners coming over the bridge

KRC in the paper

KRC in the paper

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