Tag: giveaway

Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5k

As many of you might remember, I’m running the Chicago Half Marathon this weekend. As excited as I am about that race, today I wanted to fill you guys in on the race being held in conjunction with the Chicago Half, the Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5k.

The mission of Hope on Wheels is to raise awareness about pediatric cancer, donate life-saving research funds, and celebrate the lives of children affected by cancer. The program provides grants to eligible institutions nationwide pursuing innovative pediatric cancer research with the hope of developing new treatments and ultimately a cure.


The Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5k will take place on Sunday, September 8th in the same area as the Chicago Half and will use the same start and finish lines. Runners and walkers will receive many of the same perks as the participants of the Chicago Half including aid stations, entertainment along the course, a short sleeved t-shirt, and a commemorative medal. In addition, 50% of every race entry fee will support pediatric cancer research at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago! You can register for the race here but I believe registration closes tomorrow evening so if you’re interested, register soon!

Hyundai Hope on Wheels 5k has offered to give one reader a race gift bag including a high quality, Hyundai Hope on Wheels backpack, a running shirt, and a water bottle!

There are two ways to enter (up to 2 entries per person):

  1. Leave a comment on this post with your most memorable 5k experience
  2. Tweet about the upcoming 5k (anything will do including something like “Have you heard of the upcoming Hyundai Hope on Wheels?) and then leave a link to your tweet in the comments.

I will select a winner this Friday, September 6th. Good luck!

Chicago Half Marathon and Hyundai Hope On Wheels 5K Race Entry Giveaway

I have a confession… I want to run ALL the races. Seriously. Ask any of my friends and they’ll tell you that whenever they mention they’re thinking of running a race, I almost always respond with “Oh, that sounds like fun, I want to do it too!” but then guess what? I rarely end up doing the race. There are many reasons why I skip out, mostly legit (hello race entry fees -$$), but it’s resulted in me having a 3 page-long bucket list of Chicago races.

One of the races that I’ve always wanted to run but haven’t gotten to yet (I will run it this fall) is the Chicago Half Marathon in September. It starts and finishes in Jackson Park, just south of the Museum Campus, and provides the opportunity to run down Lake Shore Drive. The course is flat and fast (so I’ve heard) and all finishers receive a finisher’s certificate, a tech tee, and a medal (!!).

chicagohalfI’m also incredibly excited to run this race because I haven’t raced a half marathon since 2010. Isn’t that crazy? I’m obviously going to be conscientious of my marathon training, but I can’t say that I’m not anxious to get out there and see what I can do.

If you would like to win a free entry to the Chicago Half Marathon and Hyundai Hope On Wheels 5K, please leave a comment explaining why you want to run this race. A winner will be picked using a random number generator and posted next Monday.

Good luck!

Disclosure: I am being provided a free entry to this race.

Life is All About Balance

Sometimes I forget that life is all about balance.

For the most part, April and May were really hectic. With moving, running the Boston Marathon, dealing with running injuries, work demands, and going to Michigan for Mother’s Day, life had felt pretty devoid of quality Ian time. Fortunately, that changed a few weeks ago when after what felt like one of the longest weeks ever, Ian and I went out for a nice night on the town.

After much debate, we decided to go to English, an upscale restaurant and bar in River North, to enjoy a nice dinner and a much needed “bring on the weekend drink”. We arrived a few minutes before our reservation and were seated at a great high top table near the front windows where we could really appreciate the longer days and sunshine that Chicago has been experiencing of late.

malibu_meAs much as I love getting a good sweat in early in the morning, I also really enjoy going out with Ian and/or friends and having a drink or two. Unfortunately, unless you enjoy running 10+ miles with an awful hangover, it can be difficult to enjoy both lifestyles. Enter, Malibu Island Spiced, a Malibu rum that’s made with Truvia® so you don’t have to worry about having crazy blood sugar spikes (or sugar hangovers) the next day. Plus, if worrying about alcohol calories is your thing, one serving of Malibu Island Spiced is only 70 calories– much fewer than your typical serving of alcohol and probably less likely to make you feel guilty and sluggish the next morning.

At English, Ian and I each started with a specialty Malibu Island Spiced cocktail while we perused the dinner menu. I sipped the Sparkling Spiced which was made with Malibu Island Spiced, soda water, and garnished with an orange wedge and Ian tried the Malibu Spiced and Diet Cola.

malibu2We both really enjoyed our beverages and noted that we could taste the coconut, cinnamon, vanilla flavors. The Spiced on Ice was also really tasty and smooth– something you don’t always experience with your typical alcohol + soda water cocktail. We also agreed that we preferred the Malibu Spiced and Diet Cola because the spice paired nicely with the sweet coke.

malibu1What a perfect no-guilt cocktail to enjoy on a summery Friday night!

For our meal, Ian and I split an order of mussels & frites to start. The mussels were cooked in an allagash white ale broth and were really tasty but definitely on the smaller side. The frites were fabulous though and super salty.

musselsFor my main, I ordered the ahi tuna salad.

ahitunaAnd Ian had the lobster mac ‘n cheese.

macncheeseBoth of us were very happy with our selections and happily cleaned our plates. We also enjoyed the first round of drinks so much that we ended up each ordering another Malibu Spiced and Diet Cola to sip while we feasted.

malibu3After hogging our table for more than a few hours, Ian and I ended our fabulous date night and headed home where I happily traded in my cute dress and heels for some running shorts and my bed. What more can you ask for on a Friday night?

To make matters even better, I woke up super fresh, sans hangover, and ready to sweat on Saturday morning and was able to head out for an awesome, early morning run.


See, life really is all about balance.

Now it’s your turn:

Leave me a comment telling me what dishes you like to enjoy with rum cocktails for your chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card!

Sweepstakes Rules:
No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner  will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 6/13/13 – 6/30/13.

Visit Malibu Island Spiced Rum on Facebook to get more drink recipes and join the brighter side of spiced rum!

And be sure to visit the Malibu Island Spiced brand page on BlogHer.com to read other bloggers’ posts!


MALIBU ® Caribbean Rum with Coconut Liqueur & Natural Spices, with Truvia® Sweetener. 30% Alc./Vol. (60 Proof) ©2013 Imported by Pernod Ricard USA, Purchase, NY

Truvia® and the Truvia®  logo are registered trademarks of the Truvia Company LLC.


*when mixed with your favorite zero calorie mixer. Limes and other garnishes may add calories

Please note that I was compensated for both the night out and my review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Your Healthy Tips + Popchips Winner

Happy Monday! Did anyone else’s weekend fly by like mine did? I seriously woke up this morning and thought it was Sunday….I wish!

You guys all left such great healthy tips on the popchips/Jillian Michaels book giveaway that I wanted to be sure to share some of them. You never know what might help somebody else :).

  • Brittani said, “A healthy tip I have is to never get so hungry you feel like you’re starving. I notice that’s when I make the best dietary decisions and head straight to fat and carbs. Instead, I’ve learned to grab a quick, healthy snack to tie me over until my next meal.”
  • Elyssa said, “My healthy tip is to always make sure everything is balanced. That means eat healthy and exercise but also be sure to treat yourself and not deprive yourself of something sweet or a certain craving.”
  • Sara said, “My healthy tip is to make sure you get enough sleep! It makes a world of difference :)
  • Bethany said, “Healthy tip: grocery shop! Not only is it way more cost effective than going out to eat, but it makes it much easier to eat healthy (provided you’re buying healthy options like fresh fruits and vegetables and/or supplies to make things from scratch rather than always going pre-packaged).”
  • Alex said, “healthy tip is schedule in you time even with a crazy schedule!”
  • Cate said, “My tip would be to not get overwhelmed by your large goal and break into smaller goals. This could be anything from running a half or full marathon or losing a lot of weight. Instead of thinking “oh my gosh I have to run 20 miles” or “I have 100 pounds to lose,” focus on finishing your five mile run or losing 10 pounds. Breaking it into small goals makes it not seem so overwhelming and you get to celebrate all the small victories on your way to your big goal!”
  • Molly said, “my healthy tip would probably be to just be true to what works for you. healthy isn’t the same for everyone!”
  • Allison said, “My healthy tip is that rest days are just as important as training days – our bodies need time to relax and rebuild!”
  • Jen said, “My healthy tip: always carry a water bottle with you. I have one in my car, at my desk, in my gym bag. Staying properly hydrated is key!”
  • Allison C said, “I recognize that I am a bored eater so on my rest days I keep my hands busy by croqueting or doing my nails. Not only does it keep me from mindlessly eating, but I have pretty nails for my long run the following morning.”
  • Amy said, “My healthy tip is to try a new workout or exercise class every month! Mixing it up is not only a great way to cross-train the body, but also fun and refreshing for the mind.”

Alright, and now it’s time to announce the winner of the autographed Jillian Michael’s book + a month’s supply of popchips…


So that means that Danielle T is the winner!


Danielle, if you can e-mail me (runningthewindycity@yahoo.com) your info by Tuesday evening, I’ll pass it along and get your goodies on their way!

That’s all I have for today. Have a wonderful Monday!

Jillian Michaels + Popchips Giveaway

If you follow me on twitter or Daily Mile, you might have noticed that lately I’ve been doing more core work and strength training. To be honest, I’m not intrinsically motivated to do anything but cardio but I figured core/strength training would make me a more balanced runner and it might just help prevent running-related injuries. I set a goal of core training 2-3x week and have found myself repeatedly doing Jillian’s 6 Week 6 Pack DVD. For the first time in my life, I’m actually enjoying core work- the video is hard (especially level 2!) and I feel pretty amazing afterwards.

While I don’t have a 6 pack yet (;) I’m not sure that’s in the cards for me), my confidence is higher and my body feels stronger which to me, is more important than looking ripped in a bikini. In addition, one of the things that I really like about Jillian Michaels is that she preaches self-respect and in addition to healthy living behaviors and she encourages individuals to get healthy (whether that be fit or strong) in order to improve self-confidence.

book cover

So why am I blabbering on about core work and Jillian’s DVD? Well, I was recently contacted by Popchips, who has partnered with Jillian Michaels, and asked to share some of Jillian’s tips on how to be a “healthier you”. Given that I have been enjoying Jillian’s workouts and her tips are pretty solid, I thought it was only fair to share them with you guys.

1. Make a resolution… and keep it. Resolutions shouldn’t be something you wait for, resolve to do it and resolve to start now!

2. It’s all about balance. Eating three balanced meals (every four hours) with a snack between lunch and dinner is key. Reach for a healthier snack like carrot sticks and hummus, fresh fruit, or curb salty cravings with tasty snacks such as popchips or almonds and dried cranberries.

3. Just because it’s not fried, doesn’t mean it’s not delicious! If you are in the mood to nosh, replace fried potato chips with a healthier alternative that still will satisfy that salty craving. Popchips are a great and my favorite snack option. They taste delicious and have less than half the fat of friend chips and only 100 calories in the single serve bag.


4. Grab a buddy. It’s a fact that you will achieve success when you have the support of those closest to you. So get your friends together to support each other in being healthier.

5. Create healthier alternatives to your favorite fried foods. Opt for cooking methods that use little or no fat such as steaming, grilling, baking, popping, broiling, or roasting. You can still make these items taste great with the right seasoning!

The first tip really resonated with me. There are so many times that I want to start doing something like adding in more core work, trying a new fitness class, or riding my bike to work instead of taking the bus but I keep telling myself I will start doing it next month or next training cycle when I really should just start now. What am I waiting for?

Popchips has offered to give one lucky reader a signed copy of Jillian’s new book, Slim for Life, as well as one month’s supply of popchips!

There are two ways to enter:
1. Leave a comment on this post with a “healthy tip”
2. Follow me on twitter (@runningwindycty) and then leave a comment saying you follow me.

The giveaway closes on Sunday, March 3rd and I’ll be announcing the winner on Monday, March 4th. Good luck!

**Please note, this giveaway is now closed!