Race Recap | Chicago Marathon

This race recap is long overdue, but I’m not even sure where to begin! I suppose I’ll cover the entire weekend from the beginning…

I went to Chicago for the Chicago Marathon the Friday before the race with my friend and fellow runner, Ashlee, and her (super fun) parents. We arrived in Chicago around noon and checked into the Westin on Michigan Ave. before Ashlee and I promptly went to the expo to get our race bibs and check out the expo vendors.

The Chicago Marathon organizers had set up free shuttles to take people to and from the expo which made transportation REALLY easy. Once we arrived at the expo we were able to get our bibs and shirts (which are simple in design and super cute) without waiting in any lines – amazingness!! There were a ton of vendors with samples and freebies – a major plus in my book – and with Nike as the official partner, there were plenty of activities and special features hosted by the company. A great expo experience!

course map!

course map!

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Race Recap | Swanzey Covered Bridges Half Marathon

Two Sundays ago I drove up to Swanzey, New Hampshire to run the Swanzey Covered Bridges Half Marathon. This race was purely built into my marathon training so I wasn’t planning to run like I would in a regular race – plus the temperature was a little higher than I’d prefer and it was HUMID.

The race starts and finishes at the local middle school and it is a VERY small race, I think about 250 people ran (both half marathoners and there’s a two-person relay option). When I got there I checked in, got my bib and long sleeve shirt, and warmed up. The race started at 9am, and we were off! Continue reading

Running With (or Without) Music

For the past few years, I’ve always needed to listen to music for any run over 4 miles. I loved my playlist and refreshed it whenever I felt the need. New songs would get me amped up and old favorites would reignite positive memories from previous runs and races.

Then, the strangest thing happened about 8 weeks ago. I went out for a training run and had no desire to listen to music. None. Instead I put on my Garmin and ran my miles. And I liked it. I did it again the next day, and the day after that. Then I went out for my 12 mile long run that week with no music, and I liked that too. Since that week I went cold turkey with my running music and haven’t looked back yet!

My hope is that this will continue and I’ll be able to run the Chicago Marathon sans music. Since I just went on an 18 mile run this past weekend without it, I think I have a pretty solid shot. There are still two distinct groups of runners, those that listen to music and those that do not.

Do you like to run with or without music? How come? Have you ever switched sides?

Chicago Marathon Training Update

I’ve been pretty quiet as I plug through marathon training, I’m now entering week 8 which means that I’m almost half way through this crazy thing.

Overall training has been going well! It’s been a sweaty and hot and muggy summer in Massachusetts and I’ve been drinking everything in sight after each run but we all groove on and muster through it. Some runs feel great and others feel like an absolute slogfest, it happens, especially when you’re training in the summer. Continue reading

Race Recap | Boston’s Run to Remember

I hope you all had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend! It feels like it was so long ago now. I spent my Sunday morning on Memorial Day weekend running my second Boston’s Run to Remember race. Last year I ran the half marathon and it was hands down my favorite half to date. This year I was definitely struggling to get my training into gear in time for the race, and as a result I decided to switch to the 5 mile race instead. I was bummed at first because I’ve never had to downgrade or back out of a race before, but I knew I needed to be smart and not risk an injury, especially with the Chicago Marathon on the horizon. I have to say, the experience of running the 5 mile race has me thinking I may do the 5 mile instead of the half marathon again next year. Let me break down why… Continue reading

Boston’s Run to Remember Training Update

I almost laughed out loud when I wrote the title of this post. Why? Well there’s a reason I haven’t been sharing my training for my first half marathon of the season, Boston’s Run to Remember, which is now less than two weeks away. That’s because the training has been pretty much non-existent. I’ve had some serious issues getting my momentum and consistency going. I had a couple of good weeks but then something work or school or travel related has come up and has totally taken over. Or I get lazy, or a combination. Basically I want you to know that no matter how many years you’ve been running, this isn’t a cake walk. It takes hard work and butt-kicking and consistency and if you’re having a hard time getting into your groove, know that I’m right there with you.

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The Chicago Marathon and One Year Later

I have some exciting news, I managed to make it through the Chicago Marathon lottery and be selected as a runner this October! I actually didn’t plan on running a marathon this year, after my first one last fall I was pretty content with just riding out this season with a handful of half marathons and some 10ks. Then one of my closest friends, Ashlee (who was also my relay partner for the Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler), decided she wanted Chicago to be her first marathon this fall. I couldn’t pass up the chance to run Chicago and celebrate Ashlee’s first marathon with her, so I threw my name into the lottery. How we both managed to be selected out of 70,000 entrants is beyond me but I can’t wait for October 12, and there’s some serious training to do before then!

On a much different and more somber note, I can’t write a post on April 15th without recognizing what this day meant a year ago, and how the Boston and running communities have changed since. The morning of April 15th 2013, I was interviewing runners at the Boston Marathon starting line. For some this was one marathon of many, for others this was their first, and I was so incredibly excited for them. That joy and excitement for them that morning quickly changed to fear and angst later that day. I have friends who were affected and family members of friends who were affected on April 15th, as many people do. Thinking back on that day, that entire week really, it feels surreal, like a dream almost. Now we’re a year later, and it’s inspiring to hear how so many of the victims have been able to make unbelievable amounts of progress since they were injured, injuries that are both visible and those that are not. Their strength is something I honestly can’t fathom.

I can’t really watch the footage they’re replaying on the news and I don’t really want to revisit all of the emotions from that week. I’d rather look ahead, and you better believe I will be out there this coming Marathon Monday, cheering on the runners of the 118th Boston Marathon!

Recipe-Testing the Runner’s World Cookbook

Last week I came to the realization that even though I pre-ordered the Runner’s World Cookbook a while back, and drooled over almost every single page, I’ve actually made NOTHING from it. What’s wrong with me?! Not only is the Runner’s World Cookbook filled with delicious runner-friendly recipes approved by Runner’s World cooking specialists, each recipe is categorized for an active lifestyle. There are recipes for pre-run, recovery, low-calorie, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan, and quick meals so it’s easy to find exactly the type of meal you’re looking for! Continue reading