Thursday, May 29, 2014

JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge Race Recap

Every year my company participates in the Corporate Challenge event. The past few years I haven't been able to participate due to scheduling and pregnancy (it is a crowded race, didn't want to trip). The race takes place in the evening on the Thursday before Memorial Day. This year I decided to sign up and have some fun. I made arrangements to drive to work so I wouldn't be married to the train schedule. I packed a few outfit options and got ready. I forget how challenging it can be to prepare for an evening race, as you have a lot of decisions to make during the day that can affect your performance.

As part of my company's running/walking club, we got to the tent early to set up and get ready for the event. It was chilly while we were waiting so I'm glad I was prepared with some additional layers.
You can see some of the tents set up in the background. This is a HUGE event for corporate Chicago and it is filled with people that don't usually run. It is not really a great race to PR (plus it is an odd distance at 3.5 miles), but it is definitely a fun one to harbor some friendly competition among employees!

I started off slow as that was the plan for the day. But, I felt so good I decided to pick it up and see how I feel. I wasn't going to push it really hard, just a little faster than "easy." I was so excited with the adrenaline of being a race, feeling my legs turnover, passing people... I may have picked it up quite a bit (mile splits: 9:13, 8:55, 8:27). Final clock time was 30:41. I thought it would be awhile before I saw mile splits in the 8's. Looks like I'm stronger than I thought. Our bodies sure are funny that way!

After crossing the finish line, I headed back to our tent to enjoy some sandwiches and beverages. It was a beautiful night and if I didn't have Patsy waiting for me at home, I might have stayed a little while longer. All-in-all, this is such a fun event that I hope to do again in the future. If your company participates, I highly recommend joining in on the fun.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Naperville Running Company Oiselle Fun Run

As a Oiselle Ambassador, I've been wanting to try and plan a fun run at a local running store that stocks Oiselle apparel. Where I live, the closest store is 30+ minutes away in Naperville at Naperville Running Company (south location). I got in touch with our local sales rep who already had a fun run planned and I made arrangements to attend. I love being a Oiselle ambassador, but I wish more stores close to me had their apparel. (I guess the sales rep has reached out to lots of local stores and none of them wish to sell the clothes for some strange reason.) Anyways, I left work a little early, stopped at home to get Patsy and headed out. The store was easy to get to so that was nice. I arrived early to grab some water and meet some of the other runners there for the run.

Patsy was not impressed.

Sales rep Cindi and her daughter Marisa were so nice and ran with me and the jogging stroller on the way out. The staff was very helpful with a nice marked path which was great for new runners (which is different than some other running store fun runs that I've been to).

Sweet action shot!

Patsy was done with the run sooner than I was so Marisa quickly ran her back to the store while I finished the run. Once Patsy was in someone's arms (versus the stroller), she was happy as could be.

Don't mind all the sweat and rain drops!

We hung around after the run for a demonstration of the current Oiselle products available as well as what is coming up in the fall. I'm very excited for what is up and coming! I got to munch on some snacks while Patsy ate before getting in the car and heading home. This was my first time at Naperville Running Company and it won't be the last. The staff was helpful, the store was wonderful, and they had a wide variety of merchandise to choose from.

Thanks Cindi for planning such a fun run! Patsy and I hope to make it out to the next one too; we had a wonderful time! (If you're wondering what I'm wearing, it is the new Cross Top Mesh tank (here) and distance shorts (here) which are both available for purchase at Naperville Running Company!)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ultimate Direction Water Bottle Review

Being a Zooma ambassador, we will be sent various products throughout the course of the next few months to try out and promote before the race. One of the most recent goodies came from Ultimate Direction. They sent me a handheld water bottle and fanny-pack-type belt. I have been in desperate need of a new handheld water bottle since my old one keeps leaking all over the place. It was a match made in heaven! The Ultimate Direction handheld worked well, was dry, and had a curvature that was handy to use while running. It also had a nice reflective strip for night time running (every little bit helps in the dark!).
I didn't utilize the handy pocket the last time out, but it looks like it would fit a gu or two. I'll have to test it out with Picky Bars to see if it would fit. Overall, I got this as a freebie, but this is a product I would have spent money on otherwise.

If you're interested in scoring a UD water bottle of your own, enter the May photoaday contest on Zooma's Instagram account! (Details here)

RunningKellometers Approved

As a reminder, if you want to run the Chicago Zooma race with me, register here and use code CAMB12 for 10% off your registration fee.