Treat Yourself Tuesday

I had a pretty awesome weekend this weekend, so I’m so grateful for the ability to treat myself and to appreciate loved ones around me! When the going gets tough, things like this are awesome to look back to!  I’m linking up with Becky from Olives’n'Wine for her Treat Yourself Tuesday!

tyt olivesnwine

Friday Night Comedy Show

My sister and her boyfriend came to town this weekend as they wanted to see a comedy show and invited Mike & I along!  I hadn’t been to a comedy show in a loooong time, so this was an awesome treat!  We saw Amy Schumer at the Auditorium Theatre.  The theatre is amazing (125 years old and still beautiful!), and Amy Schumer was a hoot!  She has a tv show on Comedy Central that you should check out if you’re into raunchy humor.  I am!


Auditorium Theatre

Amy Schumer


Saturday Brunch

We followed up our little date on Saturday morning with some mimosa brunch time! Old Oak Tap is seriously underrated and it was amazing food.  Mike & I went there for an impromptu date night last month, and I think we need to go back more frequently.

In addition to my multiple mimosas, I also had a BLT sandwich which was OTTW (out of this world).  Fried Green Tomatoes, bacon, and pimento cheese. (Oh yeah, and arugula). And some of the best fries ever.


BLT Old Oak Tap IMG_3087

Tapas Monday:

I got to see my running BFF Lilian!  We’re not really running together any more, but we used to see each other every Saturday morning for about two years to run.  We even took two running trips! Anyway, after not having seen her for a month or two, I was more than OK with taking a rest day post-Shamrock Shuffle to have dinner with her.  We said we’d do a run date, but with the impending rain clouds, we switched it up to just a good time at Cafe Iberico!



What have you treated yourself to lately!  

2014 Shamrock Shuffle Race Report

Another Shamrock Shuffle done and in the books! This race is a must-do for me, and I’ve signed up for it every year. I registered but did not run in 2009 when there was a lot of snow and Mike was in the hospital, and I did not start my blog until August 2010.  Read about my recaps from 2011, 2012 and 2013 for a look through history!  

Expo  – Skipped.  Mike was kind enough to trek to Navy Pier for me!  Instead I was napping digesting a sandwich that looked like this:

BLT Old Oak Tap

Pre-Race - We are in upgrade season at work (I work in healthcare IT) and things admittedly have been a bit busy, including an upgrade that we were working on for this weekend.  As a project manager for the project, I wasn’t directly doing the work but trying to stay updated on everything that was going on.  I did eat a good dinner but got to bed a bit later than planned and was up early to check on if there was anything for me to do before heading out for the race.

Stir Fry was an excellent pre-race dinner, and I ate leftover rice with soy sauce for breakfast the next morning.  I got in a 45 minute ride & 15 minute run on Saturday morning (pre-brunch) to shake out my legs.  I was not too sad about missing the 2 hour ride that was originally on the training plan.


Race - We got to the race pretty early, and like previous years, I hung out with the A Corral peeps until they had to leave.  I was in Wave 2, Corral E (I think I was in Corral D, Wave 1 last year) so I then headed out to do a warm-up.  I got in about 15 minutes of warm up and then headed over to get into Corral E.  It was crowded as Wave 2 (E & F) and Wave 3 corrals all entered from the same spot, but it seemed like things were moving until we were closer and then heard that they’d closed the corrals.  Rumor had it that the race volunteers would open the corrals up after those already in E&F had moved toward the front, but that didn’t seem to be happening.
So I hopped a fence.


It actually wasn’t as bad as I’d thought, and I’m glad I did it when I did as the race officials then started DQ-ing people who jumped the fence about 20 seconds after I jumped and then blended into the crowd.

Then the race started.  My plan was to run at a 9:00-9:03 pace for the first mile or two, and then to pick it up as I felt good.  I felt strong and my pace was initially at that 9:00 pace.  After getting through the first underpass and then rounding the corner to see the one mile marker, I was incredibly surprised to hear the beep with an 8:38 pace!  I wasn’t pushing all out, but that is much faster than my 5K PR pace.

I kept strong for the next mile, and got a bit tired during the third mile.  However I was keeping these mile laps at sub 9-minute miles, although I did see that my Garmin miles were consistently shorter than the real mile markers.  (Note to self: Maybe it’s time to turn off the auto-lap feature at races?)   I did feel particularly proud that when I finished mile 3 I could tell myself:  ”Push it. You can do anything for 18 minutes” and know that this was pretty much true.  I pushed myself harder and kept it up.

I finished in 44:56 and was proud that I did not need to stop or slow down at any point during the race!  This is a real indicator of fitness for me, as I have historically taken a walk break during my 5Ks even.  In comparing my results to a 20 minute all-out run test I did for Ironman training last month, I held the same pace over 45 minutes, and had a lower average heart rate for that time.

Post - Post race at the Shamrock Shuffle is always fun, although one must balance fun with staying warm.  On a chillier day like yesterday, this was a bit of a challenge even though I brought many layers.  But I did drink multiple beers! :)



FINAL TIME:  44:56


NEXT RACE:  New Orleans 70.3 Relay, 4.12.2014

Three Things Thursday

Run with me on June 7 at the Michelob 13.1 Chicago Half Marathon!  Enter my giveaway to win a free registration!

1. I’m done with my big tests for this week! Swim Test, check. Bike test, check. Pretty big improvements on both (although I wonder if I tested poorly the first time on the swim…)
I upped my watts by 10% on the bike, and dropped my swim time by 11 seconds per hundred meters.  I thought it would be good to do a check point on my Ironman big hairy ass goals:

  • I’m 30% closer to my 30 minute swim goal at the half iron distance! The race is in two weeks though, so not sure I’ll get it for the big relay of NOLA 70.3. Perhaps for my June 70.3.
  • Bike speed goal: I am making progress. I haven’t been outside yet (on my bike, this year), and my indoor speeds vary depending on the workout. We’re not focused on speed as much as power & overall fitness. I’m improving on both of those!
  • Training Consistency:  I am making this a week-by-week goal.  This week, goal to complete all workouts unless otherwise dictated by the allowed “Shamrock Shuffle” adjustments.

2. Emma has been “generally unimpressed” lately. With food, with me coming home. Remember when she used to be a cutie and greet me at the door?! Now she hangs out upstairs and just meows when I get up there.


3. I’m so looking forward to the Shamrock Shuffle this weekend! This race has a special spot in my heart (and on my finger!). I’ve decided to race this all out and see how fast I can go right now. I hope to PR (faster than 9:03 pace), and I’d love to go close to a 43:00… Sub 8:51 pace. Eek. I haven’t done a ton of speedy running lately, so this will be an interesting day!.