It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

This past week I think I hit my limit on listening to Christmas songs. I love Christmas music, and start listening to it after Thanksgiving. Last week while at work I had my Spotify on Christmas stations all day everyday. With a little over a week till Christmas is here, I think I’m maxed out already. Anyone else OD on Christmas music?

Last week I did pretty well with my workouts and eating. This time of the year is super easy to stray off healthy eating for me. I just love candy and cookies too much!  With all that being said, here is my week in review.

Monday: workout sheets– I really like these and think they are helping me get toned
Tuesday: workout sheets
Wednesday: 3 mile run
Thursday: workout sheets
Friday: 3 mile run
Saturday: workout sheets
Sunday: 8 mile run Loved the weather. A bit windy on my second half,but for December,this is great!

Saturday I went to the Rosemont outlet mall. I loved going to an outlet mall that was all indoors with a parking garage! There is something about outdoor malls and northern winters that doesn’t mix well. I found a lot of cute things…many of which were far out of my budget.

This week I have cookies to bake and an office Christmas party on Friday.

Anyone have any healthy Christmas cookie recipes? So far my list consists of peanut blossoms, toffee bars, and healthy gingerbread cookies.

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Starting December Off Right!

I was determined to get both my workout and my eating back on track this month,and so far things are looking up! I have a feeling December is going to fly by and January will be here before I know it. I could really use a few more hours of daylight in the day. Even enough to squeeze in a 3 mile run after work!   Week in review:

Monday Dec 1: Started using some workout sheets I forgot I had. Trying to stay on a schedule and use them 6 days a week.

Tuesday: Finally a 3 mile run! I’m back to the indoor track and counting laps,but 3 miles is 3 miles. Plus workout sheets.

Wednesday: Rest day.

Thursday: Workout sheets

Friday: 3 mile run. Workout sheets.

Saturday: workout sheets

Sunday: Finally a 6 mile run!  Wow, I can tell being sick really kicked me down! and Workout Sheets.

Got my 3 runs in this week,which is my goal for December. And was 6/7 on the workout sheets. My abs were killing me,I think that’s a good sign!

Over the weekend I went to Dicken’s in Dundee Festival. A nice festival in the NW suburbs to kick off the Christmas season. Friday night they had living windows in the downtown businesses, horse and buggy rides, and a lot of places were giving out free cookies.  Yum!  Saturday there was a parade, petting zoo, among other things going on.  I also saw they put up an ice rink.  Anyone want to go ice skating? The weather wasn’t too bad either.

dickens

Anyone else feeling super unprepared for the Holidays this year?

Schaumburg Turkey Trot 5K Recap

I signed up for the Schaumburg Turkey Trot at the end of October. I was looking forward to racing a 5K after my heavy marathon training to see if I could PR. I signed up for just the 5K since I knew weather at this time of the year was questionable,but worse case scenario it would “only be a 5K.” After I got sick and wasn’t sure I should run this race at all, I was super thankful I stuck to just the 5K.

Packet pick up took place at Dick Pond’s on Wednesday,Friday,and morning of the race. My mom drives by the store everyday so she stopped and pick up our packets on Wednesday. They didn’t have zip up sizes down for us on the sheet and she was told that all the XS were already gone. These tops were unisex and ran very big. I wasn’t happy at all that I signed up ahead of time,but didn’t get the size I wrote down. Thankfully, day of race, I brought the top and was able to turn it in since they had a ton of XS left. Seems like a miscommunication from Wednesday’s “all gone” answer. Glad that was resolved.

Swag: zip top, bag, water bottle, and protein bar

Swag: zip top, bag, water bottle, and protein bar

The 5K started at 8:30,which was nice since I didn’t have to wake up super early for this race. I woke up around 6, made an English Muffin and peanut butter,had a cup of coffee and stretched. Temperatures weren’t going to be super cold,but cold enough in my eyes. I wore Underarmour Cold Gear pants, a light blue sparkle skirt,tech tee,my Glass Slipper Challenge half zip,gloves,and ear warmers.

flatjenniferturkeytrot

This race took place in Busse Woods and was a point to point race. You could park near the start and get bussed to the finish or vice versa. I chose to park near the start so I could sit in my car and stay warm till right before the start of the race. =) I waited in the car until about 15 minutes till the start and took the short walk to the starting line.

bussewoodsturkeytrotThere were markers at the start to line up with your estimated pace. I started around the back of the 8 mm since I was unsure of how this race would go. The race started right on time. We started out and I had to do a bit of weaving around walkers that insisted on starting at the very front. I have nothing against anyone walking a whole race, but please be courteous of people that are running and line up with your pace.

The first part of mile one was on the road part and there more snow and ice out than I had expected. We looped back around and got onto the path. For the most part it was clear,but there definitely was some areas that you could slip and fall on. I was feeling pretty good and keeping a decent pace and not pushing to overdue it. By mile 3 I could feel some small inclines and could tell I was starting to get tired. The final stretch to the finish led us through a grassy area that was all covered in slushy snow.  I love seeing the finish line and pushing that last sprint out,but fearing I’d fall I didn’t give it my all.

Final finish time: 26:18.

I was happy with this! Not my fastest,but I wasn’t expecting it to be.

Splits:

Mile 1: 8:26
Mile 2: 8:28
Mile 3: 8:18

After I crossed the finish I received my medal.

turkeytrotmedal

My typical medal selfie.

I headed up to get some water and snacks. They had Matt’s cookies, fruit snacks,granola bars, containers of Kodiak Cakes oatmeal, and bananas. They also had cups of Gatorade and hot apple cider. I was a bit disappointed to see both spectators in line taking food and some people grabbing a bunch of each thing. I waited around a few minutes for my mom to finish her race. I grabbed a cup of the hot apple cider to warm up and it was delicious!

The buses back to the starting area were across the street from Busee Woods. There seemed to be some miscommunication as to where the buses were to actually drop us off at. It ended up being almost an extra mile back to the warm car.

turkeytrotfinishOverall, I did enjoy this race. Despite the zip-up mix up and miscommunication with the buses I would do it again. It was a great race to end the season. I know my limits in running in the cold/snow. 😉

Did you run a Turkey Trot? If so which one and would you recommend it?

Next up: Star Wars Half Marathon in January!!

Finally Back Out There!

I’ve missed my blog writing. After I ran the Hot Chocolate race, I got knocked down again by sickness.  Bronchitis and sinusitis brought along a friend, pleurisy. It’s been a tough last few weeks. No running,no working out. Life consisted of lots of rest,and working from home for a week. Praying it’s all over and doesn’t come back for round 3!

Today I ran the Schaumburg 5K Turkey Trot. I can tell I’m not at top par, of course,but still had a decent race. I will be writing up a recap in the next few days.

I hope to be back into blogging world this week. Need to keep on top of eating healthy and working out in the winter time!

After I finished my half, I got a Tweet text from RunDisney…Disney Princess medals!  Looks like they are going for a Frozen themed weekend next year. Anyone else running Disney Princess weekend?

disney princess medals

Hot Chocolate 15K Race Recap

I signed up for the Hot Chocolate Chicago 15K when I went to the Rock and Roll Chicago expo. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this race in the past, but when I saw that delicious looking chocolate bar medal, I was won over.

Saturday morning my mom and I took the train downtown. We were going to make this easy and stay in a hotel downtown. We checked into the Hard Rock Hotel, and hopped on the Metra at Millennium station and arrived at McCormick place. There was no line for picking up bibs. Showed them the code on my phone, they gave me by bib, and then I headed over to grab my swag bag. I liked how each top was in a sealed bag and they had a separate try on area to see if you chose the correct size for your zipped hoodie.

hotchocolateswagAfter my mom and I had our packets, we headed into the expo. Wow, there were a lot of people. I didn’t have anything specific I wanted, buy, just wanted to walk through to make sure I didn’t miss anything. In the end, I did end up buying an “I run for chocolate” pink top along with a “Chocolate made me do it” headband. The merchandise part the expo was really crowded. The checkout lines moved along fairly quickly. I also ended up finally trying on and purchasing my first SkirtSport running skirt. Larabar had a booth giving out samples, along with Food Should Taste Good. In the middle of the expo they were giving out chocolate covered marshmallows along with hot chocolate. Yum,yum,yum! I may have had a few of both of those things. 😉 I grabbed a slice of Connie’s pizza for lunch, and then headed back on the Metra.

hotchocolateexpoSunday morning I got up early for typical pre race prep. I was starting in corral B, which meant I needed to be in my corral by 6:45. I ate my typical English muffin with peanut butter and drank my cup of coffee while getting dressed and stretching. It was going to be a chilly morning. I went back and forth so many times on what I should wear. In the end I decided to wear my Underarmour cold gear leggings, Sparkleskirt, a tech shirt, and my Bank of America Marathon half zip finisher top. As soon as I walked outside, I knew I made the right dress choice.

hotchcolatepre

Let’s go get some chocolate!!

We made it down to the starting area, and followed the crowds till we found the area to get into the corrals. I got into my corral around 6:35. The wait till the start thankfully didn’t take too long. Corral A was off at 7,and B wasn’t far behind and I was across at 7:04.

Going into this race I didn’t really have a goal. I had not run a 15K since last year when I did Gate River Run. Since Chicago Marathon, my running hasn’t been great due to getting sick. I knew I hadn’t lost everything since I PR’ed my 5K time last weekend, so I decided to do a 2 minute run 30 second walk after my first mile.

The first mile in, we ran through a tunnel area and my Garmin lost signal and it never caught up. This did end up keeping my brain occupied a bit after hitting every mile, trying to figure out what my splits were based on the overall time on my Garmin.

I was feeling really good during this run. After my body knew the weather it was running in, I got into a flow and kept at it. The wind picked up a few times and not to my advantage.

Along the course I passed a Tootsie Roll station and two marshmallow stations. There were also water and Gatorade stops. I chose to just use the water stops and not bring me own, which worked out just fine in this race.

Overall, I ended up finishing in 1:22:20! A huge new PR for me! Another sign my marathon training really paid off!

hotchocolatefinish

After crossing the finish line, there did seem to be quite a walk before receiving Gatorade and water, along with my medal. It was an even longer walk all the way into the finish line party in Grant Park before getting the chocolate fondue finisher’s mug. The mug had melted chocolate, a Rice Krispie Treat, small bag of pretzels, a mini banana, a marshmallow, sugar wafers, and a cup of steaming hot chocolate in the center. I drank the hot chocolate and dipped a few things in the delicious chocolate. I love chocolate, but my stomach can still only handle certain things after a run.

hotchocolate1

My overall thoughts on this race: I was thankfully in a seeded corral so really didn’t have to deal much with the crowding issues people always reference with this race. The swag for this race was great! A drawstring bag, full zip hoodie, and a chocolate bar medal. Aside from the start and finish, there really isn’t too much crowd support during this race. Volunteers that were out there, were great. I also like that they provide free race photos. So far I have only found one,but it’s the one that counts,the finish line!

Gouldilocks and the Bears 5K Race Recap

On Friday when I received the tweet that I had won a race entry to run the Gouldilocks and the Bears 5K, racing this 5K was the last thing on my mind. I hadn’t run or done any working out since October 19th. I figured I would use this race to get my mindset back on track and just have fun and enjoy the scenery. Little did I know, other plans were in store….

Sunday morning I woke up and went through my typical pre race routine.  I ate my English Muffin with peanut butter and had my small cup of coffee while getting dressed and doing some stretches. Thankfully the race was only about 15 minutes from my house. I left the house around 7,and arrived and parked at Carl Hansen Woods by 7:15. Race packet pickup took place at various locations Tuesday-Saturday. I chose to pick mine up morning of the race. Super easy and simple process. I walked up, told the lady my name,received my bib. Walked to another table and got a bag along with my tech shirt. I LOVED the design on the tech shirts and bibs!

gould5kswag

Sawg in bag included a can of red bull,a coupon for free fries with burger purchase at Meatheads,a chapstick,and KIND bar. (yum,love those) The red bag I won at the 99.5 booth. After I got my stuff,back to the car I went.  I forgot to mention…it was COLD outside. Not the brrr it’s in the 40’s chilly cold,but when I got back to the car and checked my phone the “feels like” temperature was 19! I prefer cooler temperatures to run in,but these were a bit chillier than my preference. 😉

The race didn’t start till 8:30,so I had more than enough time to sit in the car and stay warm. My car was parked just steps to the starting line which was great! One perk of a smaller race! Around 8:15 I got out of the car to stretch and line up.

gould5kStart

The word of the day was: layers.

This race benefits The Goulden Touch. The Goulden Touch is Chicago Bears, Robbie Gould’s charity. Before the race started Robbie thanked everyone for coming out and explained that proceeds from this race were going to benefit WITS; Working in the Schools program. After we heard the National Anthem,we were off!  Right on time.

Mile 0-1: As soon as I started running, I knew I wasn’t feeling great and on par. My eyes were watering from the cold,my nose wouldn’t stop running,and to top it off my sinuses insisted on dripping into my throat making me feel nauseous. Surely I can last around 30 minutes and survive this,it’s only a 5K! “Are we going up hill?” Time: 8:01

Mile 1-2: “Oh look the leaders are already on their way back,can’t be much further till I can do that,too” “Are we going up hill?” “YAY its the turn around already”   Time: 8:08

Mile 2-3: “Why is there no one else running anywhere near me” “Look a photographer,put on your best fake smile” Time: 7:57

Mile .1: Almost there! Can’t stop running now!

Saw the finish line and the clock which was nearing 25 minutes. Crossed the finished line and Robbie Gould was standing there high fiving all the runners as we crossed the finish line! My watch said 25:00 exactly.  I finally got my chip time and I ended up with a new PR 24:59! Which also checks off my third goal for the year: run and under 25 minute 5K!

5Krobbiegouldfinish  I crossed the finish and thought for sure I would throw up. Thankfully,that never happened. I got a bottle of water,a banana,and a KIND bar.  The KIND bars weren’t doing too well in the freezing cold weather and were like a rock to eat. I then waited a few minutes and got stretched out by the awesome people at Athletico that had a tent set up.

I was freezing,but wanted to wait around for the awards ceremony. So I went back to the car to warm up. During this time they also held a kids run,and Robbie ran with the them.

The awards ceremony went through pretty quickly. I ended up getting first place in my age group! Whoohoo! That’s a first time for that. Not without a small mistake of announcing my age group and saying there was only 1 runner in it,and it was not me.  This was quickly corrected after a few ladies and myself said something. 😉

I received a gold medal! =)

5kmedalrobbiegould robbiegouldjen

Overall, this was a great race and one I will be putting on my to-do list for next year! Extremely family friendly and for both runners and walkers. Also benefits a great cause. I wish the weather would have been a bit warmer and I would have felt better,but those are things just not in our power. The race was very organized and right on time starting things when they had them set to start.

Getting Back on Track

It feels like I have been MIA from this blog for a super long time. I got sick last Monday,and just now finally feeling relief from it. This also meant no running/working out for the past 2 weeks. And, as hard as it is for me to admit,when I’m sick I fall so far off the healthy eating wagon. McFlurry dinner,anyone? :/

Today I got a Tweet on Twitter that I won 2 entries into the Gouldilocks and The Bears 5K.  This is perfect and just what I need to get back into the swing of things!  Thanks MotorWerksBarrington! Should be a great race, and its for a great cause!

Did anyone else notice the lovely snow falling this morning? Hopefully this isn’t a sign for an even crazier winter!

Hope everyone has a safe and Happy Halloween!