Tag: Running

The Race That’s Good For Life Discount Code

With training for the I-Challenge (5k + marathon) in late April, I haven’t really thought much about what other races I may want to run this spring. Plus, my free time is limited (although my Saturdays are temporarily free again) and I’ve really hard to prioritize which races I will run. If I’m going to spend my money to register, wake up early, and shift around my marathon training, the race better be worth it.

The Race That’s Good for Life 5k is one of the races that I will be trying to work into my schedule. It’s affordable, incredibly well run (as it should be after being named the best race in Chicagoland by CARA for two years in a row), and I had a blast running it last year with friends.

One thing that is especially unique about this race is the delayed men and women’s 5k start times. I actually hardly noticed it during the race last year but the course which winds through residential Oak Park was never overly crowded. All women also received a rose at the finish line. It is also flat and fast and while I didn’t race it last year and I most likely won’t this year, I can imagine it would be an ideal PR course.

Post-race munchies are also pretty awesome. Last year they had Jimmy John’s, Caribou coffee, popcorn, and then numerous stands with samples of Powerbars and gluten-free/vegan treats. I was pretty impressed and we actually hung around for quite a while sampling items and relaxing. It was quite the fun morning.

The Race That’s Good For Life is on Sunday, April 6 and registration is currently $35. However, if you register before March 31 and use the registration code CHICAGOSBEST2014 you can get $5 off your registration. This discount can also be combined with a CARA discount (again, before March 31st) for a total of $8 off registration which makes this race one of the most affordable 5ks in Chicagoland. Considering how well organized this race is, I’d say it’s totally worth it.

Training Report {02/24 – 03/02}

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Monday – Easy 8 miles on the treadmill (average pace – 8:30 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 3

Tuesday – Speed work (total 10 miles) with 3 x 1600 m at 5k race pace with 600 m recovery (average pace – 7:46 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 3

Wednesday – Easy 9 miles on the treadmill (average pace – 8:33 min/mile)

Thursday – 30 Day Shred Level 3

Friday – 12 mile tempo run with 8 miles at marathon pace (average pace – 7:51 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 3

Saturday – 12 mile easy run (average pace – 8:20 min/mile)

Sunday – 12 mile easy run (average pace – 8:10 min/mile)

Totals -

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Thoughts -

  • The cold/weather snow is back. There’s absolutely nothing we can do about it and I hate that I keep complaining but I would love to run outside more than the 1x/week that I’ve been averaging this week. I’ve gotten fairly used to the treadmill but I’m not running the marathon on a treadmill… although I’d feel more prepared for that than running one outside at this point.
  • I finished my speed work cycle this week and will move on to the “strength” runs next week. Strength runs are done at about 10 seconds faster than marathon pace with longer intervals than what I’ve been doing and while they’re difficult, I definitely prefer them to the running at 5k race pace every week. I feel fairly prepared to race a 5k though…
  • I bought new running shoes on Saturday and could feel a huge difference when I wore them on Sunday. I was very proactive about shoes this time and bought a pair when I needed them (and not 2-3 weeks after) so I’m feeling pretty good about that. I also stocked up on gels and other nutrition so I should be set for the marathon in April.
  • I finished the shred on Friday and I’m feeling pretty good about actually completing the cycle. I plan to recap it soon so I’ll talk about it in more detail then. I decided to take Saturday and Sunday off from strength training as a little break but I plan to start Ripped in 30 this week. Has anyone done it before?

How is everyone’s training going? What’s on your race calendars?

Training Report {02/17 – 02/23}

Monday – Easy 10 mile run outside (average pace – 8:37 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 3

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Tuesday – 10 miles on the treadmill with 6 x 800 m intervals @ 5k pace with 400 m recovery (average pace – 8:03 min/mile)

Wednesday – Easy 9 mile run outside (average pace – 8:33 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 3

Thursday – 30 Day Shred Level 3

Friday – 12 mile tempo run on the treadmill with 8 miles at marathon pace (average pace – 7:55 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 3

Saturday – Easy 8 miles outside (average pace – 8:18 min/mile)

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Sunday – 16 mile long run outside (average pace – 7:59 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 3

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Totals -


  • My body was tired this week. I think HMM is just catching up to me. HMM aims to wear out the legs (but not too much) so that you get used to running on tired legs but man, can that be difficult mentally and physically. I’m adding in extra mileage to the plan too so I’m trying to be super cautious and as a result, I decided to do my intervals on Tuesday a tiny bit slower than usual. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
  • It’s really annoying that I’m still having to differentiate which runs were on the treadmill and which were outside. They should all be outside by now!
  • On Wednesday I saw two coyotes in the city (Chicago and Lakeshore Drive) while I was out running. It was pretty terrifying. They were somewhat riled up and kept crossing the road ahead of me. It was incredibly bizarre and shocking to see them downtown. I ended up stopping and trying to find a number to call because I was concerned for their safety as well as anyone else who might stumble upon them after me but I couldn’t find a place open that early in the morning. I ended up changing my route and never saw them again.
  • The 30 Day Shred is still going and I’m slowly adapting to level 3. It’s so much harder (for me) than levels 1 and 2 though.
  • My long run this week was really hard. My legs were tired and I felt way too lazy to go for a 16 mile run. I finished it strong though and felt so much better afterwards.

Life Updates

I haven’t meant to completely abandon my blog during the week but lately, life has been busy and has left me completely drained and unmotivated to sit by my computer in my free time. Sonic woke up me up early today, on my rest day from running of course, so I have a little time to write before I head off to work. Here’s what I’ve been up to when I haven’t been blogging…

The big thing I’ve been doing is balancing work and school. Boring, I know. Working in academia, I’ve always experienced slow times (summer, the holidays, etc) and busy times (fall and spring) but this year has been incredibly hectic. We’ve put in a few grant proposals and submitted multiple papers and abstracts on top of our normal workload. It’s always good to be busy at work but lately, it’s been wearing on me a lot. Plus, school-demands have picked up quite a bit as well. I’m actually only taking one class right now but it has a lab component on Saturday’s that pretty much kills my day. Fortunately, I’m almost done with this quarter (and chemistry forever!) and I’ll have my Saturday’s back in just a few weeks. My schedule will also become a lot more applicable this Spring-Fall with taking all of the psychology, anatomy, and physiology classes that are pre-reqs for PT schools. I can’t believe I’ll be applying to PT schools next fall.

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I’ve also been spending more time than usual working out. Between running 60+ miles/week and doing the 30 Day Shred 5-6 times/week, I’m spending a lot more time in workout clothes sweating than I ever have before. It’s been good for me though as working out tends to help me focus and vent off any frustrations. I like to start my day with a run (my form of yoga…) and then do the shred when I get home from work (so long as I don’t have a ton of homework/work to do in the evening). It’s nice to do something for me in the evening before making dinner and sitting back down at my laptop. Plus, I’ve seen a ton of fitness gains both physically and mentally. I plan to finish the shred next week so perhaps I’ll write a post recapping my experiences but needless to say, I’m finally realizing cross training is worth it. My running has improved and I feel more athletic than I have in a long time. It’s a shame that I just realized this now, at one of the busiest times of my life.

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In addition to school, work, and fitness, I’ve been trying to fit in some wedding planning which has been a huge source of anxiety for me. I’m not an event planner and I don’t really enjoy planning these types of things. I would LOVE to hire someone to read my mind and plan my wedding so that I can just show up the day of and enjoy myself. I’m slowly ticking things off my to-do list in my spare time over the weekend (ha, Sundays) but there are so many things to think of and details to consider. At least we have the biggies picked out – the  date, the space, my dress, my bridesmaids dresses, etc. but we really need to get going on some other things. Any advice on how to manage it all?

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Between being all sorts of busy, I’ve been pretty good at staying connected with family and friends and finding time to do other things that I love, like read. At this point of my life, I know that when things get out of balance for me, I become unhappy pretty quickly. I know that I need a little downtime every day and that I need to spend time with the people I love in order to feel like myself so I’ve been trying my best to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

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Lately for me, this has involved watching Dexter with Ian, reading lots of Irving (I’m definitely going through an Irving phase), checking out new restaurants, and celebrating birthdays, new jobs, and other things with friends. In addition, Ian’s brother had a baby over a month ago, so we soaked up some time with the little one before they left town for the winter. #minijetsetter.

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So all in all, life is pretty good right now. More hectic than usual but also so full of new opportunities and love.

Do you function better when you’re busy?
How do you maintain work-life balance?

Training Report {02/10 – 02/16}

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Monday – Easy 9 miles on the treadmill (average pace – 8:36 min/mile)

Tuesday – 10 mile speed work on the treadmill with 3 x 1600 m @ 5k pace with 600 m recovery (average pace – 7:49 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 2

Wednesday – Easy 8 miles on the treadmill (average pace – 8:37 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 2

Thursday – Rest

Friday – 11 mile tempo run on the treadmill with 7 miles at marathon pace (average pace – 7:46 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 2

Saturday – 12 mile longer run (average pace – 8:05 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 2

Sunday – 12.46 mile longer run (average pace – 8:04 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 3

Totals -


Thoughts -

  • Another week of mostly treadmill runs… will this winter ever end? Chicago is actually supposed to experience some warmer temps this week but then we drop back into the teens/twenties. I guess I won’t get ahead of myself and cancel my gym membership just yet.
  • On Tuesday I got on a janky treadmill that can’t hold a constant pace faster than a 7:00 min/mile. When I would speed up to do my intervals, the treadmill would change pace on me. I got off once I noticed what it was doing but I still managed to tweak my knee. It felt a little off on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday, although I was able to run. I decided to take a full rest day on Thursday which I haven’t done for a while and it helped a ton. By Friday, my knee was back to normal.
  • The sun is starting to come up earlier which makes me so excited. I love seeing the sun rise during my morning runs. Now if only the weather can cooperate, I can actually run outside before work .
  • I’m sorry for the overwhelming number of training posts. I keep meaning to sit down and write a post with some life updates but I haven’t had the chance yet. My fingers are crossed that it gets done this week!

What’s your favorite winter workout?