Get Lucky Half Marathon March 2014

I let my friend talk me into running a half marathon in Chicago in March……..What was I thinking?  Every time I think of March,  I think of spring and that couldn’t be further from the truth!  I can honestly say that I have never had my eyes begin to freeze like they did the morning of this race.  BBRRRR!!!

However,  I was excited to spend some quality time with my BFF.  It is always great to catch up!

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We even did a little sightseeing.  I have been to Chicago tons of times but I have never been to the “Bean”.

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My attempt at being artistic.

It didn’t take me any time to collect my packet and sweatshirt.  It was a very small expo.

We carb loaded at the Italian Village and I must admit that it was an early night for us.  A day of work and travel just wore us out!

We paid for shuttle tickets at the expo so in the morning,  we hopped on a school bus to take us to the start.  The temperature at this time was below freezing.  And to think I almost didn’t pack my gloves!!

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Once at the start,  we had about 30 minutes to wait.  I was surprised that the race didn’t play the national anthem before we took off.  That is the first race I have attended that didn’t do that.  Weird!

The course took us along Lake Michigan.  It was so cold that we had to dance around patches of black ice on the path.  My running has been slacking this year so I knew I would struggle but Michel wouldn’t leave me.  I felt bad holding her back since she has been running so well.

I was ready to throw in the towel and walk at mile 7.  I was convinced I couldn’t do it anymore but that little annoying voice in my head reminded me that if I walked,  it would take me longer to finish and I would be in the cold longer!  Running from the cold will always win with me.  It might not be a fast run but it is faster than a walk.

Every step from mile 7 until the finish was a mental game.  About mile 11,  my eyes and my sweat started to freeze.  Such a strange feeling!!!  The last mile,  I just tucked in behind Michel and put my head down and ran.  Even that close to the finish I questioned if I could do it.  Once we crossed the finish line,  we grabbed some snacks and headed for the beer.

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I am a huge fan of beer but not so much of standing outside in the freezing cold drinking it.  I chugged my beer and half of hers so we could find our way back to the shuttle bus and get out of the cold.

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My official finish time was 2:41:12.  That was with a short bathroom break at mile 6.  My Nike app had my time at 2:38:02.  Considering that my training has been non-existent,  I didn’t think that was too terribly bad.  I have definitely learned that cold weather races aren’t for me,  no matter how good they sound at the time!

Living incognito

The last 2 weeks have been spent trying to get back in the groove of normal life (and dealing with the cold again).  Getting back to work has been easy but getting back to running has not.  I have lost all motivation.  I didn’t even have any when we were in Florida.  I guess my brain is trying to tell me that I need a break.  I haven’t given up all together but running just 3 days a week is a big departure from my usual routine.

I need to get my butt in gear since I let my running buddy talk me into a half marathon in Chicago in 2 weeks.  I am just praying for warmer weather and to cross the finish line.   Just finishing is my goal!!

Who knew that simply being able to see grass would be so exciting?   All of our snow has finally melted and seeing signs (small ones) of spring is glorious after the winter we have had.

But look at what we have to look forward to tomorrow…..

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So not loving this forecast!!!

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I have been living incognito in protest of this weather!  Not really.  I am just lazy and didn’t want to wash my hair.  Isn’t that what hats were made for?

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The boy hard at work on our rental property.

My life hasn’t been without any form of exercise.  Manual labor hurts more than any exercise class I have ever taken!

We spent the weekend sanding and staining the floors in our rental property and I am definitely going to be feeling it in the morning.  My legs were cramping like nobody’s business!  Worse than any race that I have ever run!

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(Almost) Finished product.  We have to seal it tomorrow,  weather permitting.

That means more squats and arm workouts are in my future.  I best go rest up and take some ibuprofen.  OUCH!!

Allergic to WINTER

The week before we left for Florida,  I was battling a cold that just wouldn’t go away.   Once in Florida,  it vanished!  But guess what?  The minute I returned,   so did the stupid cold!  I am beginning to think that maybe it is really allergies and I am allergic to WINTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Guess that means that I need to make a permanent move down south!!  Sunshine and warmth must be the answer.

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Me at Anne’s Beach

After our days spent in Key West,   we stayed in Fort Lauderdale for 10 nights.

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Gorgeous view from our hotel

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Love this place!  BurgerFi!!  Fast food that serves draft beer.

We headed to Miami on Tuesday so that I could do an 8 mile run with the Raven.    On the way,  we were sideswiped by a dump truck that shattered our driver’s side mirror.  UGH!!  Luckily no one was hurt and we still made it to South Beach in time for me to catch up to Raven and get my 8 miles in.

After the run,  I was looking forward to eating at Serendipity 3 on Lincoln Road.  They have a sandwich that I crave!!  Imagine my dismay when I get there and my sandwich is not on the menu.  The waiter said that my favorite sandwich didn’t go over well with the Miami crowd so they axed it from the menu.  Bummer!!

They are known for their amazing desserts so I decided to skip dinner and try out a sundae.

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The Black and White Sundae.  No words!!  I ate it all!!

Our last full day in Florida,  we took all day and drove up A1A from Fort Lauderdale to Jacksonville.  It was such a fun day.  I don’t think I can ever get enough of that state!

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All that traveling wore my little buddy out!!  He loves the warm weather but I could tell that he was definitely glad to be home.

Now that I am home,   I need to find my motivation to start running again.  While I was on vacation,  my running buddy talked me into a new half marathon in March in Chicago called the Get Lucky Half.   At the rate I am going,  the 3 hour time limit scares me….I better get busy!!!

Cool kid

Shoutout to my friend,  Jac,  over at Challenged and Running in the Bike Lane for sending me a pair of Koss earphones to try.  Really,  the truth is,  she had a raffle and I didn’t win so I whined about it she sent me a pair anyways (because she is cool nice like that!).  Thanks again,  Jac!!

I can not keep regular earbuds in my ears so I have a pair of cheap,  old school,  over- the- head earphones that I run with  (Hey…I have never claimed to be a cool kid!) so I was pretty excited to give these a try.

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They are called FlexFit and they are made exclusively for women.  They even came with different size earbuds too.  I used the size that came on them already.  I used them for my 6 mile run along the beach and they definitely block out most other sounds.   It is noisy on our end of the beach with the airport and fighter jets that fly over and I heard nothing!!  It was almost unnerving,  at first!  I guess I am use to the external noises that leak in around my granny headphones.   By the end of my run,  I was so use to the them that I couldn’t even feel them anymore.  They were definitely different than what I am use to but in a good way.

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I sat down at my computer tonight to watch Biggest Loser and tried using the boy’s earbuds since they were right there and convenient but I just couldn’t do it.

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 Lazy,  old me got my butt up and fished these headphones out of my suitcase…..Now that is saying something,  if you know me at all!

Flip flops and tank tops

The boy and I packed up and headed south to spend the next 2 weeks in the deep south of Florida and I must say that it is sooooooo nice to be wearing flip flops and tank tops instead of boots and scarves!!  First thing on the agenda,  you ask?

-To give this thing a bath!  Once we got to Georgia,  we stuck out like a sore thumb.  The only other dirty cars on the road were the other midwesterners heading the same direction as us!  I never gave much thought to the fact that cars in the south are much cleaner than ours.

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Another thing I learned on this trip is that apparently only people from Indiana dip their breadsticks in cheese sauce.  We asked for cheese to go with our sticks at a Pizza Hut in Cocoa Beach and a boy behind the counter quickly asked us if we were from Indiana.   I had to do a double take just to make sure I didn’t know him.  How could he possibly know that from one simple request?  The people behind the counter said that it must be a Midwest thing because they don’t even order cheese to serve at their store.   Strange the little things we learn while we travel!!

We were in Key West the last 3 nights which I am happy to say inspired me to run 6 miles along the ocean.  Yeah!  I even did 50 burpees after my run.

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I would like to say that I ran more but I can’t.  After my one and only run,  my right hip started acting up again so I used that as an excuse to eat, drink, and be happy!

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We took our little buddy up to Duval Street to walk with us one night.  For 14 1/2 years old,  he does pretty well navigating the sidewalks around all the people.  That is definitely something we couldn’t have done with him when he was younger!  He would have been yapping and trying to jump on people.  Age mellows everyone out,  I guess.

We stopped at Anne’s Beach on the way out of the Keys today.  The water is just too gorgeous to resist.  It was pretty warm too.

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The rest of our time down here will be spent in Fort Lauderdale.  I am so thankful to be enjoying some sunshine and warm temperatures for a change.  Winter has been brutal this year and it’s not over yet!

Out of shape

Starting off the new year with the flu and a major snowstorm has left me uninspired where running is concerned (and apparently blogging too!).   The nagging cough still lingers and is so annoying.   This is my first full week back to work so I decided to get back in to my routine and make my way back to my favorite dance fitness classes.  Note to self:  Never take 2 months off again!!  My whole body is sooo sore!  It is amazing how out of shape you can get in just 2 months.

After 4 months in a row of running 100+ miles,  I have been slacking BAD this month.  I have only run 3 times since the first of the year.   My DVR’ed shows are calling my name.  I am close to breaking my own rule of only watching T.V on the treadmill.   Hopefully my soreness will be gone tomorrow so I can run and watch Biggest Loser.   Fingers crossed!

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After all the snow we have had already this winter,  I can’t wait to get away for some sunshine and beach time in a couple of weeks.  Scheduling a warm weather vacation this time of year is so needed!  Hopefully this trip will re-inspire me to get back to running more often.  Who can resist a run along the beach?

Grand total

Gotta love ringing in the New Year sick in bed.  Yep,  the glorious flu has reached our house (just me,  so far.  Hopefully the boy can outrun it).   Mucinex and NyQuil replaced my usual beer and wine for the night.  Not nearly as much fun,  I might add.

Here are a few pics from the holidays and the weekend before the flu bug bit me.

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The gingerbread house that my mom wanted to burn down on several occasions.  It eventually stayed together after they used toxic epoxy glue on it.  I made little candy people to represent everyone in our family.  I was pretty proud of those people!!

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The boy and his 5 lb candy bar.   Should be interesting to see how long it takes him to eat it all.

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My best buddy (my running partner’s daughter) turned 7 and had a Candy Land themed birthday party.  This candy bar was my idea of heaven!!  Her mom is so awesome and recreated the whole Candy Land board life size for all the kids to play.

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Even though I was deathly sick on New Year’s Eve,   I couldn’t pass up some traditional Bagna Calda that mom sent home with the boy.  I was hoping the strong garlic and sardines would help flush the sickness out of me.   Bagna Calda is a traditional Italian dish eaten on New Year’s Eve or day.  It is basically butter,  garlic, sardines, and cream.  You dip cabbage,  celery,  or french bread in it and eat it like a dip.  It is really strong and salty and really good!!!  We aren’t Italian but growing up in a small Italian community,  this is one tradition I am glad we have adopted as one of our own.

Thankfully,  before I got sick,  I had already hit 100 miles for the month of December so I hit my goal!

My grand total of my running stash for the year is $1073!  I can’t believe I ran that many miles.  Ireland,  here I come!

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