Archive for April 2013

Run Away // Gazelle Girl Half Marathon

It never fails. Despite the hundreds of races I've ran in, the nerves and anxiety of race day alway make their way in. Toes start to tingle and I feel like my heart might beat right out of my chest. It's an explosion of butterflies in my stomach. The Gazelle Girl Half Marathon was no exception - putting my running career and my real life career in the same boat - pretty much a recipe for amped up nerves. Working the expo the day before, the calm before the storm hit. We had pulled off a successful expo, we just needed the race day to go just as well. Mother Nature decided to make things interesting race day morning. I didn't care - I just wanted to run. After the race start, the anxiety left me completely. After mile 5 I felt comfortable; at ease. After mile 7 the energy of over 3,000 women running towards one goal hit me. With an out and back course, I started to run past all the ladies who had yet to hit the half way point. Cheers, waves, and yells of good luck poured from the women I ran past. It lifted my soul, put a huge smile on my face, and it made me run faster. Never have I encountered the magnitude of pure spirit in a race before. Finishing the race in 1:35 and 15th overall, I didn't beat my personal record, but I was still extremely proud of myself. 

I'd say this photo pretty much sums up my race. Hell yeah! 
Photo credit - Sweaty Photo
See you next year Gazelle Girls! 

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Weekend Adventures // NYC

Every year my mom and I try to plan a trip together. Usually we end up meeting in Chicago for a few days, but this year we decided to treat ourselves to a longer trip to NYC. Both of us being big "foodies" and looking to revamp our wardrobes; our goal was to eat and shop. What better place to do that than New York? 

On the top of my mom's list - visiting Beurre & Sel and Prune - both places created by culinary geniuses. Beurre & Sel is a tiny gourmet cookie shop by Dorie Greenspan. The concept behind this brick and mortar shop is beautiful. These simple cookies are sold individually or in tubes, which make such cute gifts. Sampling a few, they crumbled instantly in my mouth and were not at all overly sweet, making it hard to eat just one. 

After shopping and snacking for most of the morning, we opted for a light lunch of bloody marys & the Sous Chef Salad at Prune. I've only ever had a bloody mary that resembled a really bad V8 drink, so I was anxious to try Prune's version as they are known to have one of the best in NYC. We weren't disappointed. 

Probably one of the highlights of the trip was running each morning. If you are searching for a place to walk/run in NYC aside from Central Park, try the Highline. Since we stayed in West Village, we were about 4 miles away from Central Park, so I opted to stay in the area on one of my runs. Although the Highline is short (they are in the process of expanding it) it was so refreshing not to have to stop at lights or watch for traffic. 

It blows my mind how many amazing restaurants and shops NYC houses. By perusing thru endless stores; the amount of inspiration almost hit overload by the time we left. It was just what we needed. Time away to relax and gather ideas geared towards our passions. 
Couldn't have asked for a better mini trip! 

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Run Away // The Riverbank

I don't often like to rehash grueling races. Most of my favorite runs are done at places where I'd never dream of racing - those normal routes around one's home or your secret little getaway trails. Since I needed to get one last long run in before the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon, Zach and I decided to run part of the Riverbank 25K course backwards. During the run I kept asking Zach if this was really part of the course; everything just looked different. I started to notice things around me that never stood out in the past. The river even seemed altered. 

Our approach to life can take a hard lesson from this running route. Facing the everyday doesn't always have to be experienced the same way. If the end goal is met, does it matter the way we pursued it? If so, what will we see if we trend down a different path? Strolling down the crowned road back to the trail head, I thought about how I want every route I run to look this fresh. How I'd want each day to be unchartered; filled with unknown possibilities. 

Running is truly where I find myself. It's where thoughts like these happen. It's where I throw off that old baggage and start to run down an alternate path in hopes of finding something new. It's time to shake up your routine! Who is with me?!   

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