Hot Chocolate 5k

Just over a week ago was the Hot Chocolate 5k in Chicago. Many members of the Kenosha running club were also running this race. It was my 3rd year doing this race, there have been hiccups the past two year, but this year went great. I was going to ride down with some members of the club, but ended up riding down with Chris.

Me pre race, beautiful Chicago morning

Me pre race, beautiful Chicago morning

Chris and I before the race, he's not as smiley as me.

Chris and I before the race, he’s not as smiley as me.

I also ran into Andrew, another Ragnar ambassador in the start coral, we ran together for most of the race.

Ragnar!!!!!

Ragnar!!!!!

Waiting to start

Waiting to start

I finished the race in under 30 min, my leg felt great and Chris and I spent the rest of the morning walking around Chicago, perfect way to spend a Sunday.

Crossing the finish line

Crossing the finish line

Yummy chocolate!

Yummy chocolate!

Busy after party!

Busy after party!

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First activity as a Ragnar Ambassador!

Saturday I volunteered to help man a booth for Ragnar, it was my first Ambassador event. We had a table at the Spartan Race Milwaukee held at Miller Park. I had never been to a Spartan event before so it was really cool to see and learn more about the event. This was a Spartan sprint, so the shortest of the Spartan races, it also had no mud or water, it was mostly inside of the stadium, and the participants finished at home plate. Very cool to watch and I even got to see one of my Ragnar teammates from last year who was running the race.

Brett, Andrew and I all manning the Ragnar table at the Milwaukee Spartan Race

Brett, Andrew and I all manning the Ragnar table at the Milwaukee Spartan Race

the finish line was at home plate

the finish line was at home plate

a few of the obstacles around the field

a few of the obstacles around the field

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Hot Chocolate Expo

After a busy weekend of race expos, working at a race and running a race… This will be one of a few updates.

Friday I headed down to Chicago on the metra, then over to McCormick Place to volunteer at the Hot Chocolate Chicago 5k/15k expo. I volunteered so I could also pick up my packet since there is no race day pickup, I also ended up picking up a few other peoples packets. It was a fun afternoon and a quick trip to the city. I took a few pics at the expo.

The expo was much more organized this year.

The expo was much more organized this year.

I was directing people and checking fitting rooms for the afternoon.

I was directing people and checking fitting rooms for the afternoon.

I also bought a couple things!

I also bought a couple things!

Some of the packets I picked up and my cute hoodie from the race.

Some of the packets I picked up and my cute hoodie from the race.

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Haunted Hustle Half Marathon

Sunday was my 12th half marathon for the year… still can’t believe I made it to #12, it has been a year of ups and downs, Injury and disappointment along with many, many happy moments.  I was feeling pretty good going into this race.  My DNF was a month behind me and I had completed the Empire State Half the week before.  I hadn’t trained much, just one 2 mile run earlier in the week so I knew my endurance wouldn’t be great, but I also knew that my leg is still not 100% and needs more time to heal so I was planning to run slow and conserve my energy.  My goal was a 10:00-10:30 pace, which I was able to maintain for about 85% of the race so I was pretty happy.

The day before my race I went and spectated the Skeleton Skamper 5K and half in Racine, I have run this race before so I didn’t sign up for it this year.  There were several members of the KRC and OFG running the race so I got to see lots of amazing runners set out to meet and exceed their goals.

KRC group before the race!

KRC group before the race!

This Haunted Hustle was just outside of Madison so I got some family time too.  Spent Saturday evening with two pretty cute Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles after I went to packet pickup.

Two very cute Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Two very cute Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Race goodies!

Race goodies!

The race, it was chilly Sunday morning, but less wind than the day before so that was good.  I arrived super early since I wasn’t sure of the parking situation, the full started 1 hour before the half, so I got there about 15 min before the full started.  Luckily we could hang inside of the Keva center and keep warm (and use real bathrooms pre race!)  it was really fun watching everyone come in with their outfits, Halloween races always have some great costumes.

Start/Finish line!

Start/Finish line!

pre race waiting inside where it's warm

pre race waiting inside where it’s warm

The race started at 9am and it was chilly, only around 36 degrees at race start, not very windy which was great.  I got going and felt pretty good, the first few miles flew by, and right around mile 3 I had a really great surprise, I saw Mel from Fellow Flowers, I smiled even bigger and gave her a high five.  Seeing someone you know on the course unexpectedly is the best adrenaline rush I could have had during the race.  I was totally pumped after seeing her.  I was also wearing my orange flower for the first time in this race, so even better.

story of the orange flower

story of the orange flower

sometime after mile 3 on the trail

sometime after mile 3 on the trail

After mile 3 we were on a trail, it was so pretty and nice.  I really enjoy running on a trail, plus it’s nice switching it up from pavement to crushed gravel/limestone.  There were even some wooden bridges that we ran across.  Very pretty area and a nice change from running on streets.  The trail continued for a bout 3 miles, then we were out near a few farms, and you could smell the farms…ewwww!!!

going up another hill!

going up another hill!

As we got closer to mile 9 we were heading back towards the Keva center and the airport, I really enjoyed the combination of road and trail in this race.  Around mile 9 I started to slow down and began run/walking.  It also got windy on the course.  I ended up finishing with a time of 2:28:14 not my best, but not my worst!  It was a really nice course and a race that I would definitely do again.

around mile 9, the two ladies behind me also have flowers on, they passed me after a bit!

around mile 9, the two ladies behind me also have flowers on, they passed me after a bit!

I did it!

I did it!

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Empire State 1/2 Marathon

So I have been on vacation and I took a little break from blogging.

Went hiking at Taughannock Falls near Ithica

Went hiking at Taughannock Falls near Ithica

Last Sunday I ran the Empire State Half marathon.  It was my first race in New York State and the first race I have run with family.  I left for my trip over a week before the race, so as I looked ahead at the weather I had to bring a variety of running gear because it’s October and the weather can change quickly.  Guess the time to wear tanks and skirts is over for a while!  As I checked the weather all week it was supposed to rain on Sunday morning, I was not happy, it was also super windy most of the week so that didn’t make me happy either.  I only ran once the week before the race and it was ok, but not as long of a run as I should have done.  My endurance has been really low latly, I am taking it easy so my leg heals, which means less running, so I knew this race would not be my best, it was also my first race since my DNF 3 weeks before.  My nerves were high and I hoped I would do well.

not sure what to wear... time for the cold weather running gear!

not sure what to wear… time for the cold weather running gear!

RUN!!!!

RUN!!!!

The expo was small, just a few vendors set up, I grabbed our packets, walked around for a min and headed out.  This was a smaller race, less than 2,000 people.  It also was a half marathon, a full marathon and a marathon relay.  The race was along Onondaga Lake, and started in an area of Syracuse that I had been to a lot.

Expo, small but very fast packet pickup

Expo, small but very fast packet pickup

We got to the race site just less than an hour before the race, we went early to get parking, my cousin had done the race before so she knew the ins and outs of where to park which was perfect.  We waited until 30 min before the race to get out of the car, it was a chilly 40 degrees with 15 mile an hour winds, the temp wasn’t bad, but the wind sucked.

Jen and I freezing before the race

Jen and I freezing before the race

The race started and I felt pretty good, way better than I did when I started my race three weeks ago.  I held back my pace and fought the wind but I felt good.  The first couple miles were pretty boring, but as soon as I got onto the Onondaga parkway, the scenery was beautiful, the lake was to my left and the path was very wide and pretty.  They are also starting to set up all of the holiday decorations so there was a lot to look at, the holiday light displays went on for over 2 miles.  Just before I hit mile 6 I saw my cousin Jen, she had already turned around and was looking strong, I was smiling and felt really good.  I was on pace to finish in 2:15ish or less, if only I could keep the pace from the first half of the race for the whole race.  I was fine until about mile 8, then I began walk running and my lack of training really set in.  but I still felt great, just a little sore, my leg wasn’t bothering my too much and I knew if I fought the wind I would make it back feeling strong.

not too bad of a race photo

not too bad of a race photo

As I got closer to the finish I couldn’t believe that my 11th half marathon was almost done, I really set a lofty goal of 13 half marathons in 1 year and still have 2 more in the next 3 weeks to complete, but what a sense of accomplishment this will be.  I rounded a couple of corners and then I saw my family, My cousin Scott and Jen were there with their sons Adam and Jonathan cheering me on, it was so nice to have familiar faces at the end of the race.  Just wish it had been a bit warmer at the end, we left pretty quickly.

almost to the finish

almost to the finish

I did it!

I did it!

Pretty medal

Pretty medal

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