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!! :)