Wednesday, December 2, 2015

How I Lost 100+ LBS: Weight Loss FAQ's




I thought I would do an F.A.Q. for you guys since I get asked a lot of questions about my weight loss. I thought about doing a video also to answer all your questions, but I don't like myself on video and I am sloooooooooooowly trying to get used to myself talking on video. These are the lovely questions I get asked most often......

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My FIRST 15K: Hot Chocolate 15K Chicago 2015 Race Recap




I did it! I completed my first 15K. It was a VERY emotional experience and I wouldn't trade my first 15K experience with anyone else's. November 8th was such a special day. The day before the race, I found out that I had hit my 100 lb weight loss. I surpassed it by 2 lbs. I think that is when I knew the following day would be a very emotional day for me. It really didn't hit me emotionally until the next day. I had a lot to do the day before the big race, so I didn't have time to think about it all that much.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Halloween: Chicago Monster Dash 2015 Race Recap




I participated in the Monster Dash on Halloween morning and while I had a blast running in the 40 degree (Real Feel 32 degrees) cold and POURING rain in full out costume, there is a very slim chance that I will actually do this race again! 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Transformation: I Finally Made It To The 100 LB Weight Loss



First of all, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of the new followers and readers I have gained over the past few months and a special welcome to all of my fellow blog hoppers stopping by today. I wanted to take a little time to tell you all a little more about me and my weight loss and fitness journey. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ditka Dash 2015 Race Recap




Last month I did the Ditka Dash at Soldier Field. What a FUN race!!! Originally, I didn't have any interest in doing this race. It didn't spark my interest when I first seen advertisements for this on Facebook. I tagged hubby in the advertisement and it immediately sparked his interest, so we decided to sign up. I am extremely glad that I signed up for this. It was such an awesome race! At first, I was like okay, it's the same course at Soldier Field as a ton of other Chicago races and I was getting pretty bored with the same Soldier Field course, but they really threw me for a loop when I did the course. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Great Pumpkin Run 2015 Recap




The Great Pumpkin Run was in Homer Glen, IL at Konow's Corn Maze last month and I had a B.L.A.S.T!!!!!!!! The run turned into a mud run because the area received four inches of rain 1-2 days before the race and the trails were EXTREMELY MUDDY!!! The mud was ankle deep and I almost lost my shoe numerous times! I took the "Tough Pumpkin Challenge" and I carried a 12 lb pumpkin for 3.1 miles. We were able to choose our own pumpkin of any weight. The week leading up to the race I knew I wanted to go heavy because this girl lifts heavy!! I was thinking 11 lbs and up. As the day got closer I started getting nervous thinking I should choose a lighter weight and constantly doubting myself.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Updates and Monthly Weigh-In: October 2015




Weight Loss/Gain: -7 lbs 

Total Weight Loss (Round 2 - 2015): 74 lbs

Total Weight Loss: 96 lbs


Friday, October 23, 2015

Mighty Nut Protein Shake Recipe And Giveaway

I wanted to share this easy peasy, simple and delicious, yet filling protein shake I made the other day, but first I would like to thank Peanut Butter & Co for sponsoring this post. Lately, my protein shakes have been extremely boring. At first, I was using water. Then, I started switching things up and using milk because I needed to get more dairy in my daily diet and that was the perfect way to fit in my dairy on a daily basis. I wanted to switch things up again when I was introduced to Mighty Nut. Mighty Nut is a powdered peanut butter that is low in fat and calories, which makes it a good option for those who love peanut butter, but are watching their caloric and fat intake.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Insane Inflatable 5K 2015 Recap

Insane Inflatable 5K came to NIU in DeKalb, IL on September 19th! I had a good time, but I must admit that it could have been so much better!!! There were a lot of things that were really lacking with this race. The Chicago location, anyways! My husband and I were signed up for different wave times because I thought we already had him registered and come to find out, two weeks before the race, he was not registered and my wave time was already sold out. I was signed up for the 9:45 AM wave and he had to sign up for the next available wave that was closest to mine and that was 10:15 AM. In the end, it really didn't matter which wave we were signed up for because we both got to run together and in a later wave that neither of us signed up for due to a huge backup at the packet pickup tent.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Wedding AND 10K: Chicago 10K 2015 Recap

The weekend of August 7-9 was a crazy hectic weekend! I was a bridesmaid in my sisters wedding and I had my first 10K the next morning. I was excited for the challenge, but I also knew it was going to be very hectic. When friends and family heard about my plans for the first time, their response was, "You're not going to be able to drink that much at the wedding!" HA! That was totally okay with me. I hadn't planned on drinking much to begin with. My goals are more important than one night of drinking. Friday night, I had rehearsal, the rehearsal dinner, and I stayed a bit afterwards to help finish the reception hall. That night, I only got 5 hours of sleep. The wedding was hectic, but the reception was fun. I did end up having some drinks in the limo and at the reception and probably more than I should have. However, it did not affect me at all like I was afraid it was going to. With the number of drinks I had... I should have been tipsy borderline drunk, but felt absolutely nothing. So, that was a good thing. I got lucky. The drinks were strong, so I started thinking to myself why it had not affected me like it should of. I guess I will never know. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Biggest Loser RunWalk 5K Chicago 2015 Race Recap

August 2nd was such an amazing day!!!! I participated in The Biggest Loser RunWalk in Chicago and it was without a doubt, such an amazing and inspiring event.

My day didn't start off so grand. I woke up at 5:45 AM with horrible pain in my ribs, which eventually went away right before I started the race. I wasn't hungry, but knew I had to eat. Then again, on race morning... when am I ever hungry?! My stomach was a little upset and my enthusiasm for this race was NOWHERE to be found. I wasn't hyped up, I wasn't excited.... I was just tired and in pain. Still dealing with rib pain, I arrive (AND EARLY MIGHT I ADD lol) to check-in. It was a fast and painless process. My family and I walked around for a little bit until it was time for our wave (the last wave of the morning). We were in the walking wave because we had a stroller. If you had plans on running with a stroller you had to start behind the runners with the walkers in their wave and I didn't think that was fair, so I ended up just signing us up for the walking division. I had a wedding to attend AND a 10K the following weekend, so I knew I wouldn't really feel like running anyways. It did work out in my favor though. That morning, I was so glad I signed up for the walking category to just speed walk it because of my rib pain.

Monday, September 7, 2015

WIPEOUTRUN Chicago 2015 Race Recap

My gosh......... I am finally in the process of catching up on race recaps!! I have not been consistent on the blog for the past month because life has been busy and throwing me a ton of curve balls lately. I had a one week vacation with the family, which didn't seem like much of a vacation at all. Hubby and I are in the process of trying to buy our first house together! Woot woot!! Things have been chaotic, but I hope to start becoming consistent on the blog again soon (and with different types content) as the Fall season arrives.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Double Race Weekend Part Two: Dirty Girl Mud Run 2015 Race Recap

June 27th 2015 was such an amazing day for me! I am still smiling. Months before this all went down, I decided to challenge myself by completing two 5K's in a single day. It all started with a dilemma - there were two races I wanted to do, but they were both on the same day. Luckily, it all worked out in my favor. I chose a later wave for the Dirty Girl Mud Run, which allowed me to do my other 5K earlier.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Double Race Weekend Part One: Proud To Run 2015 Race Recap

I am FINALLY getting around to my part one post about my double race weekend I had last month on June 27th. Can you tell that this momma has been busy, busy, busy and struggling to catch up on the blog!! I set a goal to run two 5K's in a single day. It came about when there were two separate races I wanted to do on the same day. Not to mention, it would make for awesome training for my 10K in August.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Monthly Weigh-In: June 2015




Weight Loss/Gain: -7 lbs 

Total Weight Loss (Round 2): 46 lbs

Total Weight Loss: 67 lbs



Saturday, July 4, 2015

Midori Spring Ceremonial (GOLD) Matcha Green Tea Review

Recently, I was given the opportunity to try a new brand of green tea that I have never heard of. I am not a tea drinker. I have tried teas and really didn't care too much for them because the flavors never appealed to me. However, certain teas have so many health benefits and can help for so many things, ranging from fat loss to sleep. When I was approached with this opportunity, I mentioned that I was not a fan of tea, but I kept in the back of my mind the health benefits of green tea. Especially when it came to weight loss. I usually get a small amount of green tea through my supplements that I take, but I figured I would try something new. The company also mentioned that I can cook with it, which is another reason why I came aboard to review this product.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Color Run Shine Tour Chicago 2015 Recap

Another rainy race day!! I did The Color Run in Chicago a little over a week ago. Same story.... we had storms/rain in the forecast for the entire week. It's been really rainy around the Chicagoland area lately. Parking was a little difficult for The Color Run because a lot of the roads were blocked off. Other than that I have no complaints in terms of parking. Had it not been for the only one or two ways to get to our parking garage where we reserved parking in advanced, then parking would have been 5 stars. It was definitely a lot better than the Bubble Run parking. 

We ended up doing packet pickup on race day and I totally regretted that decision. I should of just had it mailed to me. I hate race day packet pickup. We ended up waiting for about 15-20 minutes to get through. I'm sure it would have been longer if we had arrived earlier. As we were waiting in line, we were watching the sky as the storms started rolling through.

It started raining hard before we made it through packet pickup. Once we got our stuff, we headed to the starting line and we were greeted with an awesome flash of lightning and a huge lightning bolt in the sky that almost or might have touched an antenna on top of a building. Everybody had a reaction to it. I thought it was pretty funny hearing everybody's reactions! After a few minutes they let us out of the corral to start and off we went.

It was pouring like crazy, but finally got a break from it when we entered tunnels. I thought it was really cool how the water was leaking from above us and it looked like a waterfall. I thought about running through it, but then just decided to go around it. I had lost the hubby and my daughter and noticed that I was nearing the first color station (pink), so I slowed down to look for them. I came across them before I hit the station and we went through together. There was a large crowd and a line for people who wanted to get color thrown on them and I automatically felt turned off at that station because I thought it was suppose to flow naturally and we were suppose to run/walk through the zones. I thought it was dumb how we had to wait to get color thrown on us vs running/walking through while getting the color thrown on us. 

I quickly learned that not all color stations were like that and not all waves were like that either. To have a more natural flow through the color zones, you pretty much had to be a part of the first wave, towards the last wave, or arrive at a color station at just the right time, which we did a few times. I had the MOST fun in the blue and yellow color zones and the least fun in the pink and orange. 

I started to get irritated and it definitely showed. I couldn't have my camera out to take pictures in the color zones because of the rain, I was wet, tired of the crowds and the crowds wouldn't have been so bad had the weather cooperated. A lot of my photos suffered as well. I got the angles all wrong on my selfie stick and what would have been some AWESOME shots, were RUINED because half of my face was cut off or I wasn't even in the picture.

In the end, I made the most of it and had a good time. Could it have been better... ABSOLUTELY! With what we were given (weather, crowds, etc...), we sucked it up, made the best of it and we had a good time. :) I was extremely bummed about my mood, photos, etc... There's always next year though.

The course was awesome! This was the first time that I ran the streets of downtown Chicago! I LOVED it!! They included an awesome medal this year for finishers, which was nice! I hope they do it again for next year. The race could use more photographers on course. I found two photos taken of me on the course, but that was it. The rest were studio/festival photos. I knew where a majority of the photographers in each area were. They were scarce. After we finished the race we were waiting at the finish line to get our medals and color packets. Turns out we didn't get everything that was suppose to be included in our packet. Glitter packets were suppose to be included and after I received my color packets with my medal and no glitter packet I let them know and they said they ran out and gave me extra color packets, which I had to ask for. The volunteers seemed very irritated and highly annoyed, which made me even more annoyed. I was very sad that I didn't get a glitter packet, but somehow we still ended up covered in glitter lol, just not as much as other people, which might have been a good thing because 5 days later... I was STILL picking glitter off of me and my daughter.

The stage where they were doing "color throws" every 15 minutes still had a ton of glitter packets because they were throwing A TON of them out into the crowd. I stayed towards the back where it was open and a lot of space because of my daughter and the stroller. We participated in 2 color throws, which was fun, but again.... my photography suffered because I had the angles all wrong!!! 

The outcome was this.......





Luckily, there were some great pictures also.....


Last color throw of the day.







We made it rain glitter in Chi Town!


Hopefully next year will be a different experience, better weather and everyone in a better mood.   


The Color Run aftermath! 

I am STILL dealing with stained shoes and blue toenails from the dye. HA! Any tips???


Disclosure: I have received a comped entry to this event in exchange for posting about the event and reviews of the individual race experiences.













Friday, June 5, 2015

Things I am loving this week



















These are things that I am absolutely loving this week. I might start doing a post like this 2-3 times a month. I am not sure yet. Still thinking about it.... It really depends on the amount of free time I have towards the end of each week.



Victoria's Secret Standout Sports Bra

These bras are freaking amazing!!! Before I found these bras, I turned to Enell Sports Bras for my high impact workouts and running. I had to leave Enell bras behind because these VS bras give so much support to the "girls" and I love the fit. I recently started fitting into VS bras again as of early April and I have been so happy with their bras lately that I felt the need to share how much I love these bras. The designs are so cute and the fit is so comfortable. I am creating quite the collection of VS sport bras, haha!






Pearl Izumi EM ROAD N2's

Disclosure: I am a Pearl Izumi athlete/ambassador 

These have been my go-to running shoes for a few months now. I switch out between these and the EM Road N1's. I absolutely love the amount of cushion that the N2's give my feet. Depending on the day and my body, I may want less cushioning for shorter distances, so that's when I'll turn to my N1's. My feet are so happy in these shoes when it comes to longer distances (4+ miles). 







Sparkle Athletic Running Skirts

I have recently become OBSESSED with running skirts! I absolutely adore the skirts from Sparkle Athletic. They are so comfortable and make a super cute addition to any race outfit. The quality is awesome. So far... my sequin skirt has held up well with the Bubble Run race I did, which was very messy. I plan to wear it for my mud run this month as well and I have no doubts about how well the skirt will hold up during a mud run. I recently bought the rainbow one to wear to The Color Run this Sunday because I thought it would be the PERFECT fit for that run with the color and all. They are pricey, but totally worth it.






Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Bubble Run Chicago/Joliet 2015 Recap and National Running Day

On Saturday I participated in the Bubble Run in Joliet, IL at the Chicagoland Speedway. I had an amazing time despite the on and off rain and the few problems that I had encountered with this event. Rain was in the forecast for Saturday and the likelihood of rain was 90% and didn't change for the entire week. I woke up at 7:30 on Saturday morning and it was raining! -___-  I was monitoring Bubble Run's Facebook for any updates and cancellations or delayed start times. Many racers on the Facebook page were distraught about the lack of communication from Bubble Run. Many of them had an hour's drive or longer to the race location and didn't want to make the drive only to find out that it was cancelled. Around 8:20 AM I was still undecided as to whether I should get my family up and going, so I ventured onto Instagram after I got dressed and looked up the hashtag for Bubble Run. I discovered that there was a good crowd already at the starting line and waiting to start the 9 AM wave. That's when I decided to get my family up and going. The rain had let up as we were getting ready to leave the house and I see a comment on the Bubble Run page saying that the 9 AM wave had already taken off and were on the course and that it was still drizzling outside, but they were going to stay for as long as they could as long as there was no lightning or other dangerous weather situations. So, that got me really excited.  

At the starting line.
When I got to the race location, there was a HUGE traffic jam and everybody was arriving and waiting to park. It took us 45 minutes just to get into the race location to park!!! So, parking pretty much sucked! We had to pay $10 just to park in the field. 

Right before we parked it started pouring rain for 10 minutes and then it went back to a drizzle as we were approaching the starting line. 5 minutes into the race, the rain finally let up and it stopped raining for the remainder of the race. WOOT WOOT! There were a TON of walkers, kids and strollers, which was to be expected though. That really made it hard to run a lot of the course, so I just did a slow jog for parts of the course where it was wide enough to not have to dodge kids, strollers, and walkers.




The race started at 9 AM with the first wave and then a new wave every 4-5 minutes. After passing the starting line, Harlie Jade was getting a bit irritated, so we had to move aside and stop to attend to her. She was getting used to her weather shield we had on the stroller. After 10 minutes, she didn't seem to mind it. She would start freaking out when we went through a bubble bog/station and the weather shield was covered in foam. She didn't like that at all! She fell asleep half way through, so we got to enjoy the bubble bogs a little more and didn't have to rush through it.





Bubble bogs/stations are where you pass through the bubbles and foam. There was a wait for EVERY bubble bog we had to go through. The wait was between 5-10 minutes when I reached each bubble bog. Some of the bogs had a huge buildup of bubbles and it was as tall as me, or even taller when there was a good buildup. I'm 5' 4". Others were pretty shallow. I'm assuming because we missed the buildup of the bubbles whereas with other bogs, we had perfect timing! The bubbles don't burn your eyes, or at least they didn't burn mine or my hubby's. It wasn't slippery and it was totally safe. I felt that walking in the mud was more dangerous than walking or running through the bubbles. I was doing nothing, but slipping and sliding in the mud walking in the field where we parked to get to the starting line.
Pink bubble bog







I had the most fun in the blue and yellow bubble bogs! I had a freaking blast in them! Not only were they super deep, but the yellow one had a larger area opened up in that bog for people to step aside and take pictures, play a little longer, meet up with others from your group, etc. It was also the very last bog of the event. 









The finish line. And Harlie Jade covered in bubbles (the part she DIDN'T like). Luckily, she was sleeping.

After the race we stuck around for a little bit before it started raining again. They had a bubble bog area at the finish line festival to play in and I thought it was really cool! Harlie Jade was awake by then, so we decided to take her out to play in it and get some fun photos. I think they should of had two bubble bogs instead of one. We had a good time though. I didn't want to leave just yet, but it was getting ready to pour again and the temps were dropping, so we had to leave sooner than we wanted.

I wasn't too fond of parts of the course because some of the course had gravel and someone could have easily hurt themselves running on it. I've landed wrong quite a few times while running on gravel in the past. The scenery wasn't all that great. The only thing that made it interesting were the dark clouds lingering in the sky.

The cotton t-shirts and the headbands were of great quality. This is a very family-friendly laid back event. Overall, they need to improve on parking, customer service response, bubble bog backup, wave times, and organization with packet pickup. In the end, I still recommend this race because it's so much fun, despite the problems and it was so much fun playing in the bubbles/foam and watching kids have the time of their lives :) I do feel that this race could of been better executed. Hopefully they take the feedback from the customers to heart and work on making this race better because it really is a fun race, but it can be better. I will definitely be doing it again next year if they come back.

I usually don't post too many photos with my race recaps because usually there is no need to, but with this event... I had so many cool photos that are just too awesome not to share on here. I might start adding photo albums to my posts, but first I need to figure out how to do it.

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Happy National Running Day!!!!!!!! This is such a fun day to celebrate! I run because it's my therapy. It makes me a happier person all around and it makes me love life to the fullest. I am blessed to be able to run because I know that one day, there might come a time when I can no longer run, let alone walk. I am blessed to have found running and fitness and to say that I was finally able to welcome both things with open arms. Running pushes me out of my comfort zone. It pushes me to try things I never thought I would try and to do things that I never thought I would or could do. Talking about running makes me happy and gives me a good tingly feeling. :) 

Those are just some of the many reasons on why I run. So, let me ask you....

Why do you run? 





Monday, June 1, 2015

Month In Review: May 2015



I had an EXTREMELY BUSY month. It's been crazy to say the least.

I got the opportunity to cover TheFitExpo Chicago. Check out the recap HERE.



















I celebrated my first Mother's Day. I spent the day with my family at Starved Rock State Park doing a 4 mile hike with 17 lbs of baby strapped to me.


                 



Hubby graduated with 2 degrees from Joliet Junior College, which now brings up a lot of questions as in... what's next for him and what's next for us in terms of moving.




I participated in The Bubble Run on Saturday, which was a BLAST and I will have a recap post with more details and photos later in the week.



Bring on June... another busy month! HELLO June!! :)