ZOOMA Chicago Half Marathon

Disclaimer:  As a ZOOMA Chicago Race Ambassador, I received a free entry to the race. However, all opinions are mine.

It was definitely a beautiful day for a race.  I had been stalking the Weather Channel for a few days and the forecasts mentioned not just rain but also scattered thunderstorms. Nope, none of that happened on race morning but it did rain at night.


I was up at 5am and out the door by 5:30.  I decided to drive to the start line instead of going downtown to take the shuttle.  I was there by 6 and hanged around with other ambassadors while waiting for the race to start.


From L to R: Me, Kelly, Meghan, Amanda, and Laima Photo credit: Kelly Wilson


Earlier in the week, Emily from Out and About and I made plans to run together.  We lined up between the 2:10 and 2:20 pacers and we were soon off.  Ha, I thought I could keep up with her since I was feeling really good.  I stayed with her for 2 miles and then stepped to the side to walk a little.  I then decided to just take it slowly and enjoy the race.  And that is exactly what I did.


I love running along the lakefront.  The view is beautiful.  I ran and walked and just soaked it all in.  The first turnaround point was near Soldier Field.  About half a mile or so later there were a gentlemen with munchkins for us.  I took one.  I don’t know why I didn’t take more.


My hips were beginning to hurt and I was experiencing some discomfort on the bottom of my right foot.  I kept on running and walking.  I was also hot and thirsty and made sure to drink water at every water stop. Luckily, there were water fountains along the way and I also stopped at most of them.

I passed the finish line for the 10k and realized I was halfway done.  I was hurting but reminded myself that I was halfway done instead of that I still had 6.1 miles to go.  About a mile later, my friend Lidia caught up to me and we started running and walking together for the next couple of miles.


The other turnaround was at mile 10.  My foot was hurting even more.  I was convinced I had a blister and was annoyed.  My pace slowed down even more.  I kept repeating “Just 3 more miles, 3 more miles”.


I was so happy to see the Mile 12 marker.  Lidia and I were walking more than running.  I reminded her that we only had one mile to go.  Just one.  She was cramping and I told her to stop to massage and stretch her legs.  I also stopped to check my foot.  No blister.  I then thought it was my shoes.  I guess my feet were used to the Newton’s and did not like the Mizuno’s.


Once I saw the yellow school buses in the parking lot, I knew we were very close to the finish line. Lidia told me to go.  I started running and finally crossed the finish line.


I got my medal, water bottle, and then waited for Lidia to finish.  She looked so happy! We then got a snack box which had a grilled vegetable sandwich and chips.  It was yummy and I was starving!

We stayed for another hour or so to enjoy the after party.  Lidia got a free massage while I rested and enjoyed my free wine.  I also chatted for a few minutes with Karen from Trading in My Heels and her friends.


Photo credit: Lidia Huerta

My thoughts on this race:

  • It was in a new location so the path wasn’t as crowded as it was last year.  I did not run it but just heard and read about it.
  • There was plenty of signage.  However, you really can’t get lost on this path or not know where you’re going.
  • I don’t think there were enough water stations but it did help there were water fountains.
  • Again, the view is amazing.
  • Nice medal and cute shirt!  Swag also included Feetures! Performance socks and hat.
  • Fun after party!
  • There is no race day packet pick up but a friend could pick it up for you.  Love it when races have this option instead of “making” you attend the expo like some other race series that I won’t mention here but you probably know which one I am talking about.

I am so thankful to have been chosen as an Ambassador for this race.  I met so many wonderful and beautiful women.  Plus, I actually enjoyed the race even if I was in pain. Will I do this race again?  Absolutely!

Oh, and that mysterious foot pain.  It is one ugly blister.

Not running related but love this sign!


July 2014 in Review

Miles Ran/Last Month:  98.83/75.34.  Another great month of training with Coach Sara.  Almost 100 miles and I would have reached it if I’d complete all of my runs.  I try to get them all done but I have good days and bad days.

Highest Mileage Week:  23.  I managed this despite completing only 12.5 miles instead of 14 on a long run.  

Races Planned/Completed:  3/3.  I ran the Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th, Chinatown 5k, and the Strike Out ALS 5k.  

Current Ache/Pain:  I ran in my Newton shoes but experienced an unusual amount of pain in my calves.  It was to the point that I had to stop (more than usual) during my runs.  The only thing I can think of that made this happen is that I did not transition properly into the shoes.  Well, I was told that since I already run in minimalist shoes, then I did not have to transition.  So now I am back to my Mizuno.  So far so good.  I have a half marathon tomorrow so hopefully I’ll have no problems.

Current Challenge:  A running challenge among friends using the Nike+ app.  The goal is to be the first one to run 50 miles.  Yes, my goal is to be that person.

Current Book:  I’ve read The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith.  I want to read The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.  I just remembered that I need to pick up my copy (that is on hold at the library) of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz.  I am glad I’ve been reading so many books this summer and hopefully will continue to do once I go back to work.

Current Song:  Amor Mio No Te Vayas by Gilberto Santa Rosa.  Makes me want to dance!

Current Treat:  My coffee every morning.  


Next Race(s):  ZOOMA Half Marathon tomorrow,  Fort2Base on August 24, Disneyland Half Marathon on August 31.

Current Excitement:  For now I am soaking everything in and continuing to enjoy my summer break.  I’ve made plans to run a couple half marathons after the Chicago Marathon to continue on my quest to run in the 50 states.  So if all goes well then I will be at state #33 by December.

USA map

Three Things Thursday, July 31, 2014

1. Today is day 4 of my math class.  This is my second one for my math endorsement.  The class is Math Theory and it is very interesting.  Thank goodness because it is for two weeks from 9am-noon. We have covered topics such as prime numbers, F.O.I.L., and various properties such as distributive, commutative, and associative.  It’s been a while since I’ve heard these words because I’ve only taught basic math to 1st graders.  I don’t like the math homework.  I like math but these assignments have been challenging for me.  I spend at least 2-3 hours on 2 math problems.  But each problem has various components to it and I have to write and/or show all of my work.  Again, at least it it interesting and I am almost halfway done with the class.

Now a fun math puzzle for you.  Make sure to do it with different numbers and you will always get the same answer.  Click here to find out why you always get the same answer.

2.  This Saturday is the ZOOMA Chicago Half Marathon and 10K.  Will you be there? Tomorrow there will be a Mocktail Party sponsored by Honest Tea.  It will be from 7-8pm at The Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel.  Hope to see you Friday, Saturday or both!


3.  Are you going to run (or planning to) the Fort2Base race on Sunday, August 24?  There will be a fun run hosted by me and other fellow ambassadors.  Come join us!  It will be Thursday, August 7, 6:30 pm at Yankee Woods in Oak Forest.  I was there a couple of weeks ago for another fun run.  There will be prizes (free entry to the race and t-shirts). Hope to see you there!


Chicago Marathon Training Week 7

*Week #7, July 21-27

Monday: 1 mile WU, 7 x 200 @8:20 (400 RI), 1 mile CD
The plan was to run after my massage.  But I did not feel good afterwards.  My body ached and not the way that you get from a workout.  I went home to rest and then got up to go shopping with my mother.  I told her I did not feel good, she touched my forehead, and told me I had a fever.  When we got home I took some medicine and a nap.  Then I took more medicine before I went to sleep that night.  I felt so much better the following day.

Tuesday: 45 Min XTrain or Power Yoga
I did the 200s from Monday.  WU @10:32 and 200s @8:18.  I felt really good but got tired on the 6th and 7th interval.  I still like them a lot and told Coach Sara to give me more of those.

Wednesday:  45 mins @ 10:45 pace
Ran 4.18 miles @10:46 with negative splits.  Personally I don’t really care for this run.  It is supposed to be easy/fun but I don’t enjoy it.  I have to find a way to make it more enjoyable.  Usually I run by my house or around the airport (though it is really windy there).  I don’t want to run by the lake because I do my long run there.  Excuses, excuses right?

Thursday:  6 mile run: 1 mile WU, 4 miles @9:50 min pace, 1 mile CD
1 mile WU @10:32 but did not finish run.  Struggled to stay on pace and calves were bothering me. Only ran 2.55 miles.  I was not happy with myself.

Friday: Rest/Stretch

Saturday:  14 miles @ 11:00 min pace
It was a great morning for a run.  Temperature was in the low 60s and overcast.  I was in bed by 9pm on Friday so I got plenty of sleep.  My run was going pretty good until mile 9. Well, at least it wasn’t mile 6 like last weekend.  I had every intention to do 14 miles but just could not take it anymore.  I took several walking breaks but then had these negative thoughts in my head and once they were there, there was no way getting them out.  I asked myself why I was doing this.  I reminded myself that I enjoy half marathons so why was I running more than 13.1 miles.  I stopped to sit down and sent a text to a friend telling her that I was no longer planning to run the marathon and if her husband wanted my bib.  Nope.  Her husband is injured.  I sent another text to a friend complaining about my long run.  She understood because she went through the same thing last year.  I walked back to where I met my running group and decided that I was not going to run the marathon anymore.  I also sent a text to my coach and she gave me positive feedback and encouragement.  I did feel better afterwards but still not 100% sure about running the marathon.  Then I got home, showered, ate, and felt better. Oh, but this post really did it for me.  I guess I needed to read that.  So, I will just be happy that I am not injured and have the chance to run 26.2 miles in October.

photo (1)

Sunday: Rest/Stretch
I took a yoga class at CorePower Yoga.  Great class and felt good afterwards.

*Runs on treadmill are done on 1% incline.


  • I need to work on hydrating better.  I run with a water belt during my long runs but have noticed that I drink a lot of water.  Lately I’ve been trying to drink more water during the day since I am at home and have access to a bathroom (very important).
  • Here are some great tips from my awesome coach for running in hot weather.ZoomaMML-CHI-logo
  • This Saturday is the ZOOMA Chicago Half Marathon.  I am so excited and looking forward to it. You can still register for the half marathon or 10K.  Make sure to use code CAMB8 for a discount.  It is supposed to rain.  Hmm, not sure how I feel about that.  But at least we can sing, run, and have fun in the rain.