Friday, July 27, 2012

30 days later

Last week concluded my 30 day Dailey Method challenge. If you are unfamiliar with what The Dailey Method,  TDM describes themselves as:
The Dailey Method® is a system of strengthening and stretching all the major muscle groups in the body. It combines ballet barre work, core conditioning, yoga, and orthopedic exercises. The controlled movements are very focused, effective, and safe. Proper alignment is our primary focus. Then each set of exercises is followed by a series of active stretches to develop more sculpted and supple muscles. The entire body and mind is constantly working throughout class. Especially your core - every position we teach we cue how to properly achieve and maintain core engagement. Through this process ones body, posture, and physical awareness will be transformed.
They really aren't kidding about the core. I don't know if my abs have ever worked as hard as they did in those classes, which is probably because I never do isolated abdominal exercises. If I could toot my own horn here, I feel like I'm a fairly fit individual. I work hard to take care of myself where I enjoy making healthy lifestyle choices, to me this is just my normal. So when I jumped on this opportunity, I was pretty sure I'd be able to hang with the best of them in these classes.

I was wrong.

I don't often take classes, and this isn't the average class. You know that feeling that most of us stray away from when your muscles are so fatigued that you are convulsing like a fool sending those burning sensations throughout your entire body that tell you you're about to drop to the ground? That was the entire 1 hour class for me. Mileage, strength training, and my sweaty yoga sessions couldn't help me here where I now know why ballerinas are so stinking fit. Damn you Natalie Portman for making it look so stinking easy in your scary portrayal as a rock star ballerina in Black Swan.

I wasn't sure if this 30 day challenge would show much change in my body, and it didn't really. For me I need more than 30 days to see drastic changes. And possibly a better camera with a steady hand.





But I do think that these classes did a good number for my mid section. Like I said, I don't really do isolated abdominal work because it's not functional and most traditional ab exercises are just flexion of the spine. It wasn't until recently that my abdominals actually started to show definition, but only in the Rectus Abdominis area. After the 30 days of class I begun to notice a bit of definition beginning to pop through on the External Obliques as well as the Serratus Anterior muscles.
Photo via my electronic copy of the ACSM's Resources for the Personal Trainer
Overall I think that these classes are a great workout. They challenged me well outside of my comfort zone giving my butt muscles the workout of their life. But, even with the great workout it gave me I feel like my arms begun to get wimpy and loose upper body strength towards the end of the 30 days. Most of the arm exercises were with light weights and really high reps, which is great...just not the beastly exercises my arms are used to.

I give The Dailey Method

Thumbs UP for lower body and core work
BUT
Thumbs DOWN for upper body work

But that is just my opinion because I like to work my arms

This was a great opportunity to try something different, but unfortunately I will not keep the 30 day unlimited membership. While I loved these classes, they are a bit pricey for my frugal self where keeping the unlimited membership would mean that we may have to go without electricity or groceries for a week or two each month. I am still planning on making it to a few classes a month, just on a pay-per-visit kinda deal when my hubby gives me the thumbs up that it's okay to loosen the purse strings a bit.

If you're interested in checking out The Dailey Method, they have quite a few studios across the country. And if they don't have one in your area, you can do what this speedy gal did and order the DVD to get your booty spanked within the privacy of your own home!

Disclosure: I was provided a complementary 30-day membership for a 3 part review, however all opinions stated here and experiences are all my own. This is part 3 of 3.
Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise regime.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rock n Roll Chicago: Spectator Edition

Yesterday was the Rock n Roll Chicago Half Marathon. The #1 in my life was running, as were a handful of the runners I coach, which left me incredibly excited to be on those sidelines cheering on some of my favorite runners.


The expo for this race was pretty neat and Brooks had a really great set up that was carnival themed. There was an electronic fortune teller there where D's fortune had me snickering to myself about the crazed maniac of a wife I was going to be on the sidelines cheering for him the next day.


The morning was extra humid which left the air feeling a bit heavy and sticky. While it's tough for me to be on the sidelines of a race and not sweating it out with the rest of the runners, I was actually glad that I wasn't hitting those streets yesterday. My head is still pretty fragile from the tough spring racing season I had this year where I'm pretty sure that this race would have really done me in mentally for the rest of the year if I toed that line. Sometimes sitting one out turns out to be not such a bad thing.

Beautiful 5 am sunrise over the el stop


D doesn't race much these days and is slow trying to get back in the running game to reclaim his running mojo. His last race was in the fall and he crushed it, and I was stoked to see him get out there again as we are beginning to ramp up for the marathon.
Starting line
This race was very organized where they actually held each starting corral back for a separate start to reduce crowding in the early miles. It was weird that there were about 30 starts, but with races of these size the early miles are always unsafely crowded so it was nice to know that they were prepared for this.

Just a little signage for my man
Being a good spectator requires a lot more planning than I'm used to, but I somehow worked it out. The morning was actually quite peaceful as I roamed the streets by myself thinking about my game plan. Sunday morning at 7 am the streets calm and people aren't out and about in the city, so it was a great time to just soak up the day and get pumped for my runners.

This area is rarely ever vacant as tourists like to turn it into a water park splashing through the water  as it squirts out of the faces mouth in their bathing suits. It's weird and I've never understood this.


Standing on the sidelines waiting for those that you're out there supporting is really nerve-wracking. As I was waiting for the man to pass by when the mercury was rising quickly and the humidity begun to wear out it's welcome, I was so nervous and anxious that I wanted to vomit. He had a big goal for the day and the conditions weren't exactly ideal. Every runner that passed by me even at mile 2 had pretty much sweat through their entire outfit already. It was grossly muggy and no one looked even remotely comfortable.


I tried to stay positive for the man and encourage him the way I would have liked someone to do for me, but he didn't care for my methods. Apparently not everyone wants someone in their face toting alongside them telling them to focus and kick it into high gear ASAP, so I learned something new about my man this weekend.

D and Frank Shorter

After a bit of recovery time in the VIP tent chilling out like rock stars with this gal and this gal, we had a running celebrity sighting. Frank, or Mr. Shorter as my husband insisted, was just hanging around like he was no big deal and kindly let us steal a few moments of his time to chat. After fawning over him for a quick minute, D begun to pick his brain about GPS training and Mr. Shorter's thoughts on it. He verified everything I've been thinking about these dang watches for sometime and plainly put it "a watch will not make you any faster" and that it's rather "a runner's intuition that will allow them to improve". Thanks Mr. Shorter, this was probably the exact thing I needed to hear at this point in my life.

There were a few D-list "celebs" in the VIP area. The guy behind D was a contestant on the Biggest Loser, but I'm not sure what his name it.

This race was very organized where even though I wasn't running, I got my fair share of SWAG and had a great time. While these RnR events do come with a higher price tag, I would say that they are well worth the money for the organization as well as the pre/post race events. I've ran my fair share of races, a lot of which seemed like organizers were flying by the seat of their pants, it was nice to be at event that put a lot of thought into every detail no matter how big or small for the day. 


The heat gave D a really good run for his money, and it looks like we will be sitting back in the open corral for the marathon this fall...which actually might be a bit of fun for us. Being that this was the farthest race this beautiful man has ran in 3 years, I'm beaming with pride at his accomplishment. He is going to rock the Chicago Marathon this fall and I can't wait to at his side for support.

Friday, July 20, 2012

gettin' real for a quick minute

Let's get real for a quick minute here, last week's 5k PR was no lucky coincidence. My body didn't magically go from being burnt out as all hell to strong and steady just like that. It took a lot of conscious work, hard work. And it wasn't the kind of work that made my legs burn and my head feel ready to get out there and crush it like a pro, it was a more focused and patient work where I had to learn to work with what little I have right now.

Over training and burnout aren't a joke, they can really do a good number on someone. I'm not going to pretend that the past month has been all gumdrops and rainbows, because it hasn't. There have been a lot of very frustrating days where my body has let me know that it's not quite ready yet for the workouts that I have planned and that it needs a bit more quality time coasting through lighter mileage and intensity. I've had to be very flexible and forgiving with myself because plain and simple, I just cannot handle the workload that I could 4 months ago. The one thing that I don't want to do is play things out here like I beat myself to hell and then somehow magically recovered, because that DID NOT happen. Not even close. Truthfully I'm still recovering, and most likely will be for the next few months to make sure that I ward off any reoccurrence.

Sometimes it pays to be realistic by adjusting lofty goals and far fetched plans. I'm still holding on to and building all my efforts towards that sub 1:25 goal for the fall, just now with a few minor adjustments.

Ditching the Garmin.
This "tool" has become more of a hindrance than an aid to me in the past year and I've trusted the false send of security it has provided me for far too long. Yes it's controlled by GPS satellites, but whose to say that those satellites are 100% correct all of the time? The Garmin peeps? Of course they are going to say that. Last weeks race, and the Chicago Marathon of 2011 for that matter where it told me I ran just shy of 27 miles, pretty much sealed the deal for me that it isn't always as accurate as we all like to think. I spent most of the race trying to clock a 6 flat pace according to my Garmin to hit my goal time for the day where it was telling me that my pace was sitting in the 6:20 zone for most of the race. Logically, I know that this doesn't add up to an 18:56 finish and I'm pretty confident that this sanctioned course didn't make a mistake. I spent those 3.1 miles racing my watch instead of focusing on what was going on with my body and the trail instead of feeling the situation out and run with my guts. Sure the watch gave me a basic idea of how fast I was going, but what it didn't tell me was that I could have pressed a little harder and focused my efforts on getting closer to my edge which isn't defined by time. Instead, it let me play it safe where I was still able to score a PR but had zero soreness the day after.

That's always a bittersweet feeling.

Bastille's Day pre-race photo

Training by feel vs. splits.
I know that we all say we do this, but I think that I don't do it enough and it again turns back to the Garmin. This summer has been a great test of my strength with all of the 100+ days Chicago has had, most of which were grossly humid as well. I still laced up and headed out the door for my workouts, even though I knew splits would be less than impressive. Instead of going by pace for these workouts, I pushed entirely by effort, meaning what 5k pace should feel like. Some days when it was 100 degrees with 75% humidity that meant I could barely push below a 7 minute pace, and other days my body was feeling comfortably strong settled into sub 6 pace. There was even a kick butt speed workout done without a GPS watch that was probably my best workout all year. Coincidence? I think not.

Braving the elements.
I'm a soft pansy when it comes to racing in extreme conditions. Often times I would avoid them in training and always pay for it come race day. Monsoon-like rain, wind, heat, you name it I've crumbled in it. Obviously I have to change things up because this avoidance isn't getting me very far. This summer I've been heading out in the early afternoon and late morning hours when conditions aren't exactly the most ideal for outdoor exercise, and I think it would be safe to say that it's paying off a bit. There have been quite a few days where I'm the only one out there on the lakefront and I'm moving as slow as molasses, but this is how I feel it should be. You can't control the weather, you can only control how you respond to it where I've found abstinence to be a hindrance. Preparing for the worst will make make me a bit more prepared to respond appropriately in future races.

No more sweaty disasters like this crazy hot race

Conserving.
This time last year I was averaging 70+ mpw on a consistent basis where right now my mileage is sitting in the high 40's to low 50's and will most likely stay there for the remainder of the summer. I would love nothing more than to hit the ground running for hours and hours a day, but at this time I don't think that my body could quite handle it. It's hard to not accidentally turn an easy 6 into a 12 mile steady run and has taken quite a bit of will power from me because I love riding it out along the lakefront.

How could you not get carried away with this view?

But I think this mindset is what gets me into the most trouble as I tend to bend the rules for myself. Keeping my mileage a bit more conservative allows my body to stow away energy for key workouts and hit the ground running with a bit more zest.

Recovering.
Likewise, easy runs and recovery runs have become slow enough to the point where I barely break a sweat these days. There should NEVER be pressure to hit a certain pace on a recovery run because these runs are basically active rest days. I take all of these runs ridiculously slow for me now, and I'm really liking it. Gives me time to just kind of chill out and enjoy the ride. The thing that I think about now is an article that I read several years ago about elite athlete Tera Moody (think it was this article), who hold a 2:30 marathoner and 1:12 half PB, and how she chugs away on her recovery runs at about an 8 minute pace. This woman's running is light years ahead of my own, meaning our recovery pace shouldn't be identical and really puts things into perspective.

Basically it all goes back to ditching the Garmin and tuning into whats going on with my body on a daily basis. I'm not perfect and I make a lot of mistakes with my training even after 16 years, but if I can learn just one teeny tiny little life lesson from each disaster it'll only make me that much stronger to climb the next mountain.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

2012 Bastille's Day 5k, the beginning of a comeback story

"Finishing that 5k was the hardest thing I ever had to do. I ate more fettuccine Alfredo and drank less water than I have in my entire life. People always talk about triumphs of the human spirit, today I had a triumph of the human body. My guts. My heart. While I eventually puked my guts out, I never puked my heart out. And I am very, very proud of that."
Michael Scott from The Office 
Steady. Determined. Relentless. 

2012 was going to be the year of the tiger for me. The year where I would coach myself through many triumphant moments and be an unstoppable force taking on the streets of my town. And it was, for a quick minute. In early March my mind was steady and there was nothing that could shake me. I felt stronger and faster than ever where I was in complete control of my running. Mileage seemed to flow effortlessly from my legs and my heart grew that much more determined to become the athlete many thought I could never be, including myself. Nothing could shake me; not the flu, not another bogus job, not even the demons that once stirred inside me whispering that I would never be good enough. My spirit was relentless and my soul free as I cruised across the finish line of the Shamrock Shuffle with an 82 second PR running with the big dogs.

Then it happened.

My body begun to turn on me and demand rest. It screamed for me to halt as I was tangled up in the strongest paced 5k my life had ever seen and laughed at me when I expected it to just be a minor hiccup. The wheels started slowly falling off the bus and my once unshakable confidence begun to waver. Progress was out of the question from April through early June as every road I attempted to venture down just made the waters a bit muddier and my body that much more beat up. Training switched over to maintenance mode as I found myself having to let go of any and all expectations for the spring racing season that danced through my dreams in the months prior.

2 less than stellar 13.1 performances and 1 mentally devastating 10 miler later I was done. My already tiny frame begun to whither away, exhaustion was dictating how most of my days were spent, and the year of the tiger seemed so far from my mindset. 

Over trained. Heartbroken. Skeptical.

The worst part about being your own coach is that it gives you tunnel vision. You see only what you want from the only perspective you choose. There is no external intervention of a reasonable human with logical concerns, because this is you and it's easy to hush. I'm a pro at this. It's easy for me to be that sound voice of reason for the runners I coach, but for myself it's nearly impossible. And I proved that when I hit my max fast and hard. I am my greatest believer and my greatest critic where the two are still ironing out the kinks of harmoniously existing at the same time.

8 days is what I gave myself. 8 days to rest, recover, and decide if I really wanted to pick up the pieces from the side of the road and do this. It only took 3 before I had an unexpected and somewhat awkward moment of silent stillness in my garage where my heart was flooded with euphoric feelings about the possibilities ahead as I unloaded groceries from my car. This time I was going to do it right, and just like that it all came back.

Once again I found myself. 
Steady. Determined. Relentless.

She's back

After the pickle I had myself in for several months, I knew it had to all be different. The theme of my comeback would have to be "less" of everything where I would somehow try to do more. Possible? Who knows, but I was going to try it anyways. I wanted that 5k PR bad, and nothing hurt my heart more this year then having to forfeit it when I knew I had it. Pure heartache. Again, I was going to chase it down but this time in 24 days with conservative mileage and lighter cross training...the complete opposite of every race I've ever done before. 



Thursday night was go time and I toed the line of the Bastille's Day 5k with butterflies in my stomach that made me really question if I was ready to get back in the game so soon. 33 days prior my body was beat to the pulp, and there I was ready to saddle up again. I was more nervous and unsure then I had been since my catastrophic Chicago Marathon of 2010 experience but this time it felt strangely assuring to have those nerves there. To me this was confirmation that I wanted to be there and was finally in a place to do something crazy enough to scare the pants off me this year. This was the moment I had been craving all year.

24 days from burn-out to sub 19 finish is a pretty crazy goal. 



But I wanted to hunt it down anyways. Make the impossible possible.

5k's are more challenging for me then any other race. They require a deep mental focus from step one as the body has to get to maximum pace as quick as possible. There is little room for error and by the time the race is over is usually when I'm feeling ready to hit it. My mind runs about a mile a minute where it's hard for me to get my head in the game as my breath quickly deepens and sweat begins to glisten off of my brow. As I charged out with the front pack of runners I had a hard time collecting my head. Am I going too fast? Should I try for a sub 6 mile 1? Where are the fast woman and why aren't they out in front of me yet? Can I handle this today if I don't break 19 minutes?

My Garmin seemed to be on the fritz, which is really no surprise as lately it is very temperamental. I kept glancing down at the dang thing where it was telling me my pace was sitting in the 6:15-20 range and I couldn't figure out why it felt so dang hard. Weeks ago I was clocking workout after workout of sub 6 pace, and this only made my mind stir that much more. Should I just back off if I know that I'm not going to break 19? Should I pull out? Am I playing all or nothing today? I hate this Garmin, why the heck do I even run with it anymore? It's not even clocking accurate time. Seriously where are all the fast woman?



It wasn't until about 2.75 miles into the race that my mind decided to join the party. By then I had already let my pace slip away a bit with each mile and knew that if I wanted to win this thing I was really going to have to get myself in check and kick it into high gear. Chicago has such a great depth of quick female runners that I knew if I begun to surrender at this point I would be out kicked and lose the race that in the last .1 that I led for 3 miles. Never thought I had a kick, but it was like a caged animal waiting to be unleashed and poured from my legs like never before. All engines were running where I was picking off the few men ahead of me that were slowly fading their way into the finish like it was no big deal. It all seemed like a blur in my mind where my head finally found peace and a bit of focus on the chute.

Last .1 was 38 seconds, 5:05 pace. 


Official Results
Finish Time: 18:56
Average Pace: 6:07
Overall Place: 12th out of 1232
Gender Place: 1st

That's a 30 second PR.


This was my very 1st 1st place finish

I'm the short one on the right
Took me awhile to realize the reason all that fast chicks weren't dashing out in front of me is because I've slowly wiggled my way to the back of that pack. Sure there are a ton of women who regularly spank me in nearly every single race I run, but I can hang with the best of them where I just have to start believing this a bit more. 

The year of the tiger isn't over yet, it's only just beginning and may make for one pretty sweet comeback story.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

TDM challenge update

20 days into my Dailey Method fitness challenge and my body is still shaking like a leaf during most of the exercises. I still have yet to wake up the day after a class without the good kind of soreness that lets you know you were worked the day before. This morning it even hurt my abs to blow my nose, which I don't know that I've ever experienced.

As I mentioned before, these classes put me totally and completely out of my element. It's just you, a ballet bar, a pair of 2 lbs. free weights, and a heavy duty stretching strap. There are no boxes to bound over, the heaviest weight in the studio is 5 pounds, and I've found myself surrounded by freakishly strong middle aged Mom's decked out in the latest Lululemon gear that could dance circles around me in this class. This isn't the workout environment that I'm used to as it requires deep concentration on the smallest of movements with a bit of grace, of which I tend to lack. Though, I'm loving that this is making me feel like I'm completely out of shape and that these classes are putting me in a new and unfamiliar environment. My body is soaking up every moment of the instructor telling me to deepen and elongate one more inch. I always feel that I learn best when I'm out of my zone of comfort.

That deep burning sensation that fires in your legs when you are at an all out sprint for a 5k as your body is expelling every ounce of energy it has to get to that finish line as quickly as possible and is telling you that your legs are going to give out on you any minute. Then the instructor tells you to hold through that feeling for 10 more seconds; legs convulsing, mind focusing, breath deepening. In nearly every movement this is the exact feeling I'm experiencing throughout the entire 1-hour class where at the end my body feels a sigh of relief and a new wave of self awareness.


When I started this challenge, I didn't weight myself or take any measurements. This wasn't going to be one of those kinds of challenges because let's get real, I don't need to be putting that kind of pressure on myself when I'm already fairly lean and have 15% body fat. Instead my goal with this challenge was to see of my body would find strength in areas that it could use some assistance, like my core and bum. As a runner these are two of the most important areas that can really help speed and strength, and I often over look them. Guilty as charged.

This pic makes me laugh because I ate lunch right before and I can see it just kinda hanging out in the belly

Had one of those boob pads from a different sports top some how stuck in the elastic between my cleavage here.
Didn't notice for hours afterwards even though it was making it look like I had a third boob.


It's really difficult for me to gain muscle, so I don't think in the past 20 days I've really gained anything substantial that would be picked up with my dinky iPhone camera. But what I can tell you is that this has been my primary source of strength training for these 20 days and I can say that I haven't lost any muscle tone whatsoever and I do feel like my body is beginning to pick up some of the strength I lost during late May to mid June. These classes have actually turned out to be great for me as I'm working to get back on top of my game and don't think that my body is quite ready yet for 3 hardcore strength days per week with lots of jumping, heavy weights, and crazy movements that really get the heart rate going.

If this sounds like an activity you'd be interested in, The Dailey Method has quite a few studios across the country and I would encourage you to check out a studio. If my graceless and awkward runners bod can make it through these classes, then really anyone can.

Disclosure: I was provided a complementary 30-day membership for a 3 part review, however all opinions stated here and experiences are all my own. This is part 2 of 3.
Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise regime.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Chicago Half Marathon Giveaway Winner

Thanks to everyone who entered the Chicago Half Marathon giveaway. The consensus for the best summertime activities seems to be a mix of BBQ-ing, eating the great seasonal produce while it lasts, and spending time soaking in the sun.

For me, my favorite summertime activity would hands down be getting in all of my miles lakeside and jumping in good old Lake Michigan to cool off when it gets a bit too steamy. Nothing more refreshing. Love the nautical side of Chicago.



Without further ado...the winner of the Chicago Half Marathon on September 9th, 2012 is

a girl after my own heart, Noodles from Patches & Paws

Congrats!

Email me at chicagorunnergirl@gmail.com and I'll send along all the necessary info for you to redeem your complementary Chicago Half Marathon entry.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

angry birds, sassy garmins, & my classiness

I'm having a bit of an off week with running.

It all started on my late morning run on Monday when I was mildly attacked by a bird on the lakefront. The darn thing has lost it's mind and has been dive bombing random cyclists and runners just North of the LSD pedestrian overpass all week. I'm sure it was quite the sight to see as I was trolling along minding my own business as the bird dove for my head where I proceeded to respond by screeching and moved into duck and cover kinda position. Luckily the bird only got away with a few hairs and left me to my shame.

That same run I had what was the strangest conversation I've ever had with another runner as he seemed to be bothered by the fact that it was hot out and my easy pace seemed to be quicker then his own and I didn't have to pump my arms as much as he did. The entire conversation was awkward as the man was hunched over gasping for breath with his headphones in yelling very loudly. Made it difficult to tell if the man was angry that I was smiling effortlessly in the heat or just making friendly conversation and had no self awareness of how loud he was speaking and the odd tone he had in his voice. Runners really are a breed of their own.

Then just when I thought that I was starting to feel adjusted to the heat, the temps skyrocket to 100+ degrees with high humidity and play me for a fool.

 Makes me really feel silly that 6 weeks ago I couldn't handle mid 80's while racing but would kill for those temps now.

With a 5k 7 days out my #1 goal for this week was a simple race simulator workout of 4x5 minutes @ current 5k pace for just a little confidence booster. Thinking I was invincible, I headed out for this workout yesterday around 8 am when it was already just shy of 90 degrees and sticky where the result was just shy of disastrous. Had to ditch any expectation of pace for this workout and instead govern everything off of effort as the sun was cooking my body. Heat was radiating off the path, the air felt thick enough to cut with a knife, and I was at least 15-20 seconds off of pace if not more. Luckily I'll never have to find out as my sassy Garmin is turning on me once again and deleted my workout.

We'll just call this run the forgotten run, thank you sassy Garmin.
Never had to work so hard for an 8 minute overall pace in my life.

I somehow made it through the workout after taking rather long recoveries and a few dips in the lake where my legs begun to cramp up the moment I walked in the door. It was pretty brutal and is up there in my 5 worst runs ever. Today still feeling a bit spent and I'm 99.9% sure I will have no choice but to take tomorrow off.

Point is this...

No matter how awesome you think you are, the sun is non-partial to your awesomeness and can really do you in. Spicy temps may mean that you have to loose a few workouts this summer, but that is better then dropping dead just because your ego couldn't pump the safety break. Lesson learned.

The worst part about all of these insanely sweaty runs is that my home has turned into one big clothes line where running gear is hanging from every nook and cranny to dry.


A little "hers & his" sock drying action on the trash can. Yup we're that classy as we leave our dirty, crusty, blood-stained running socks out in the open for all to see.

So classy in fact that we let our pups play in plastic tubs on our balcony to stay cool yesterday.


Things will eventually pick back up again where the heat is expected to break this weekend. Until then it'll just be a lot of wet & wild runs.

If you haven't yet had the chance to enter my giveaway for a free entry into the Chicago Half on September 9th, get on over there now. Giveaway expires Sunday July 8th at noon.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chicago Half Marathon Race Giveaway

Looking for a fall half to run in the Chicagoland area?
Then today is your lucky day!



The Chicago Half Marathon & 5k on September 9th has graciously offered a complementary entry to one Chicago Runner Girl reader. This race starts and finishes on the south side of Chicago in Jackson Park and runs along the beautiful Chicago lakefront hosting some incredible views of the Chicago skyline.




With an expected 20,000 runners gearing up to toe the line of this event, I'll also be joining the ranks of my fellow Chicagoans taking advantage of this rare opportunity to run on Lakeshore Drive. This race has a 7 am start and a post race party flowing with Chicago style pizza and beer, no better way to spend a late summer Sunday morning!

This race is also part of the Windy City Challenge for runners who complete both the 13.1 Chicago, which was June 9th, and the Chicago Half. Perks to completing this challenge:

  • A special Windy City Challengers medal
  • Exclusive Windy City Challenge packet pick-up at the Hyundai Hope on Wheels expo
  • Special results showing a combined time for the two races with the opportunity to receive a special award for top placers
To enter for your chance to win this complementary entry to the September 9th Chicago Half Marathon all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me your favorite summer activity. Plain and simple. No other strings attached.

Giveaway is open to all interested entrants. If you are not a blogger, please just leave your name or other contact information with your comment.

Giveaway will run until July 8th at 12 pm.