Monday, October 14, 2019

Take the Bridge 2019 {Race Recap}

I’ve followed Take The Bridge for a while. The photos from their races always made the event look crazy fun, so we decided this year was as good as any to try it out. 

We got some pre sale entries and signed up- it typically sells out in minutes.  We really had no idea what to expect. 

The race was Friday night- a few days before the marathon. 
We got numbers to put on our hips and a wristband to designate we were in the race. 

We also got a nice Lululemon long sleeve shirt. 

We also got a drink token for the post race party. 

Once we got to race HQ, I asked a bunch of questions on the logistics. Basically you start the race at a designated spot, then run to the checkpoints any route you want to take. First person back wins cash money.  This race attracts some fast folks. 

We went outside to watch the men’s race- it started 9pm and the women at 9:30. It was roughly 5k total distance depending on which way you took.

Hip numbers on and ready to have fun!

The atmosphere was electric despite it being high 30’s and crazy wind. We cheered for the men and it was really fun.

First place guy averaged low 5’s. Insane.

L kicked ass after some high altitude training in CDMX.

Natali and I ran together for the women’s race. We were both running Chicago a few days later and didn’t want to over do it. We stopped on one bridge for selfies and pics because it was so beautiful.

We had a lot of fun chatting and enjoying a crazy race at night. 

We ran into an MRC runner from Seoul that night too.

It was an interesting race experience- I’d consider doing it again if i wasn’t doing a marathon a few days later.

photo by @gnp_photos

You get marked at each checkpoint. We decided 2 checkpoints of 3 was enough. We were super cold by that point.

Post race party was fun- great music, burgers and kombucha.

We took the bridges!

I’m glad we signed up for this as it was a unique race experience. It gave me some ideas for MRC event/races in the future.

It was a fun night with good people. 10/10 would try again. 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Fox Valley Marathon 20 {2019 Race Recap}

On Sunday we ran the Fox Valley Marathon (Final 20). 

I had signed up to run the marathon a few months ago- it was going to fit in with my training perfectly as an easy long run. 

On Saturday, September 21, the day before FV, we said goodbye to our big dog, Hampton. His health had declined significantly over the past few months but Monday - Thursday of the week was nothing short of awful. He rallied and we had a good day Saturday, before freeing him of his failing body and mind. 

Sunday morning we woke up to rain and grief from losing Hampton. We drove out to St Charles and knew today would be a tribute to Ham, our big fox. 

I had planned on the Marathon as a training run + way to process all the emotions I had swirling in my head about losing our soul dog after almost 15 years. 

The weather was low 70’s, high dew point and humidity. I was feeling ok enough. 

I started with the 3:25 pacer who seemed to easily be clicking miles off 15+ seconds faster per mile than the 7:49’s I was expecting. I didn’t chase them. 

I walked through water stops and started running with the 3:30 group for a little bit. They also seemed to be running 10+ Sec faster a mile than 8:00- so I didn’t chase. 

Around mile 9 (my favorite number) a song came on my iPod which made me start crying because it reminded me of Hampton “someone you loved” by Lewis Capaldi. Luckily the course was spread out quite a bit so I was by myself.  Running + crying is hard. During this time I almost stepped on a chipmunk which darted out of the bushes. I can only imagine Ham Laughing at me saying he expected better from me since he trained me to be an excellent squirrel/small animal spotter. 

I made the decision shortly after to drop to the 20. I felt spent from the stress/sadness surrounding Hampton + the heat/humidity + possible hangover from celebrating CB’s life the day before.  I didn’t want to slog through the conditions for another hour more than I needed. 

Somewhere in the last 2 miles there was a group hanging out mimosas. I remember them from when I did the Half with Kim a few years ago. Mimosa never tasted so good!

After the 20 mile turnoff i was running with a few other ladies for a bit. We had all dropped to the 20 and also had Chicago marathon on deck in a few weeks. After finishing we all high fived and wished each other luck for the big dance in 3 weeks. 

The course is beautiful. It’s whats kept me coming back infrequently over the years- I’ve completed the marathon 2x, 13.1 once and now the 20. Its chill and well organized. 

In the second half I continued to walk through aid stations and take base salt (thank you Natali)

I also started walking a little in between running. When I’d run I felt good but I would start having difficulty breathing so I’d walk. 

S2 tribute for CB dog at the finish. 2:55, avg 8:45

I was very happy to finish. I was so hot and done and emotionally drained. L didn’t finish too far behind me and had a decent day as well. 

We got changed and drove to More Brewing to celebrate. 

This one’s for you, CB. “Space Boots”

I had a crazy Cobb salad with chicken - not my usual first choice post long run but it sounded the best. I was feeling nauseous for a while post race. 

My only goal going into FV was to finish upright. I did that. It was mentally and physically exhausting due to everything that happened. I’m so glad we didn’t bail - getting out of the house for a few hours definitely helped me a lot.  


Belvita almond butter biscuit thing in the car ride over. 

Water at all aid stations. 

Base salt at all aid stations. 
No gel/gu/carbs whatever. The plan was to run to depletion to train my body to run off fat. In Chicago I’ll take Maurten. 

Sunglasses would fog up due to the conditions, super annoying. 

Dedicated to our big fox, Hampton. 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Malort 5k 2019 {race recap}

On Saturday we ran our 2nd Malort 5k. 

We had a huge squad from our run club participating. 

You take a shot of Malort before starting your watch, run a 5k, then take another shot just before the finish. The winners get 1 bottle of Malort, and the last place finishers get 2 bottles. 

Section 8 co hosted the event which helped raise funds for the Fire for Food campaign , as well as the Chicago Fire soccer club.

Smiles and anticipation of what was to come.

We took our shots and started our run. It was super fun!

Despite having the taste of gasoline, number 2 pencil shavings and windex in our mouths, we were having a blast.

Pete B came out to spectate and snapped this great photo of us! And I got to pet his adorable puppies!
This was the first 5k I’ve ever negative split. At least that I can remember. 

After 3 miles we returned to the start which meant 1 more shot. 

Which was promptly chased with an old style.


We even got medals for surviving this amazing race!

We had a lot of fun running and spending time with everyone.

Nothing more Chicago than an old style and Malort.

Done! 2shots and 3 beers before 10am. We were living our best lives!

10/10 will be back next year.

Post run group photo.

Post celebrations we went to the farmers market.

We had raclette.

It was the perfect end to a crazy morning.