The BibRave Chicago Summit and Rock ‘N Roll Half 2019 review

Disclaimer: Iโ€™m reviewing the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago half marathonย  as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming aย BibRave Proย (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

It may surprise some of you, but favorite part of being a BibRave Pro is not the opportunity to try different brands or races, but the community of people that I have connected with across the United States and world. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love that we all run different paces and live in different places, but we all share a love of running, writing/blogging, and encouraging others.

What made the weekend of Friday July 19th-Sunday July 21st so special, though, was the opputunity to hang out with some of the fellow pros and staff in real life. ๐Ÿ™‚ Our slack channel is great and a source of nearly daily chuckles for me, but there was nothing like that weekend of real life fun and chuckles. ๐Ÿ˜› So without further ado, let’s dive into my experience at the BibRave summit weekend, from group runs to the Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon!

Friday July 19th

Started off the morning with a super hot team run, but it was awesome. It was nearly 90 degrees at 10 am when we all went running. We all met at Washington Square park and then ran 4 miles as a team. I ran to the park, though, so I ran about 7.5 miles total for the day.

IMG_0576.jpeg

We ended the run with a little swim in the lake, although I’ll be honest, I never jumped in. ๐Ÿ˜› I knew I was taking the “L” home and didn’t want to sit on the train in my soggy clothes. haha

A few hours after the group run, we went as a team to the Rock ‘n’ expo to pick up our packets. My husband joined as well, even though he’s not on BibRave. ๐Ÿ˜› We got some cool swag and took some goofy photos.

Processed with VSCO with l4 preset

Then it was time for the Orange Carpet dinner, one of my favorite events of the weekend. The dinner took place a City Winery in the west loop of Chicago. I had always wanted to go, but had never been. ๐Ÿ™‚ We all put on as much orange as we good find, hung out as a team, had some tasty snacks and delicious wine. I probably had more wine than I should have, but it was worth it. ๐Ÿ˜›

IMG_0587

Saturday July 20th

After the City Winery event and an unintentional late night, I accidentally overslept my alarm to make it to the team shakeout run. I’m THE WORST. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I woke up 15 minutes before the run was supposed to start. :/ I know all the people that did the shakeout run had a blast! ๐Ÿ™‚ I decided to just take a rest day to rest up my legs for tomorrow’s half marathon.

We then went to the Cub’s game as a team for an afternoon game. I love that we all wore our BibRave summit t-shirts- we definitely stood out at the game with our sea of orange. ๐Ÿ˜› I could not resist still wearing my Cubs hat. It was still crazy hot out, so I made sure to chug water the whole time and was grateful we sat in the shade.

IMG_0588

After the Cub’s game I went back home to finish my homework for my summer class. It was due that evening, so I was cutting it close post-Cubs game. Crisis averted, though. ๐Ÿ˜› Due to my homework, I missed the team podcast recording event post- game, but all the Pros that went told me it was fantastic. ๐Ÿ™‚ I opted for an early bedtime in anticipation of waking up at 4 am for tomorrow’s half marathon race. As many of you already know, Rock ‘n’ Roll was somewhat of a goal race for me, but I knew with all the hot weather I needed to adjust my goal, event hough I’m stubborn and I did not want to.

Sunday July 21st

Race morning started very early- around 4 am. I had to make sure I ate breakfast this time, so I would not repeat the fueling mistakes of last year’s rock ‘n’ roll race. Although, not much could have been done to overcome my lack of training going into that race. haha. Anyway, I had some bland oatmeal and dates and checked the weather as I ate. Thankfully, the weather showed race morning was going to be cooler than the nearly 100 degree weather we had experienced the previous two days, but the humidity was crazy high. I realized I probably needed to adjust my goal of sub 1:30, but I really did not want to.

IMG_0857

Around 5:50 am my husband and I jogged over to the start line so I could make it for a BibRave photo/ pump up chat. I easily found some of team BibRave because orange is not exactly a color that blends in. But not knocking orange- I love it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I then made my way into the A start coral with my husband and we met up with my friend Jeff. I also saw Katherine Switzer in the corral near us, but was too shy and starstruck to say anything.ย  Soon enough the 6:30 am race time arrived and we were off!

IMG_0590

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know my thoughts about the race, so you can skip to the end of those post. lol. If not read below:

I was disappointed with my race result, despite the PR. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ The only thing that made me smile on race day was hearing so many people cheer for me, running with friends, and hanging out with friends post-race. From the BibRave corner just before mile 6, to the Heartbreakers and 3Run2 cheer squads around mile 7, I know without those crews I would not have had much fun. Also shoutout to Lydia, my summer internship mentor and fellow Chicago runner who got this awesome photo of me around mile 7 (before I started struggling).

IMG_0626

I know I am too hard on myself, especially because I met my B & C goals, but not my A goal. My C goal was to have fun. My B goal was a PR. And my A goal was sub 1:30. Maybe I should have adjusted my A goal given the hot weekend and humid race day weather, but I was fairly confident it was within my reach based workouts, especially on hot days the last two months. I should have known it was a bit of a reach goal because I was injured until early 2019 & my training has only really picked up the last few months… Here is a look at my 2019 running going into the race:

๐Ÿ”นJanuary : 14 mi
๐Ÿ”นFebruary: 32 mi
๐Ÿ”นMarch: 73 mi
๐Ÿ”นApril: 54.5 mi
๐Ÿ”นMay: 140 mi
๐Ÿ”นJune: 200 mi

I know I fared better than many others in the heat/humidity on race day, but Iโ€™m competing with myself -not others. And if Iโ€™m being honest I fell short ๐Ÿ˜ซ I held onto 1:28 pace until nearly mile 10, but then I felt very fatigued, overheated, & I stepped off the gas. As a future dietitian, I admit I probably should have taken in a gel during the race and not just water, so that was mistake number 1. But then I also mentally gave up around that point- I tend to give up/step-off the gas once running gets painful & thatโ€™s exactly what I did yesterday. In my training, Iโ€™ve had the same issue on hard workouts days, which I primarily do alone.ย Some people are good at grinding out repeats solo & itโ€™s a great skill to have, but it is for sure a weakness of mine ๐Ÿ˜… I sometimes miss my HS/college team because even if we werenโ€™t always the same pace, we did the hard workouts together & that helped motivate me/push into the discomfort zone that you need to go to on workouts sometimes to get better at running. It helps you race stronger ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿป All the more reason I should join a team! But a few weeks after this race, I can say I am likely joining a team- more on this later! ๐Ÿ™‚

B830F29E-47CC-4C4B-81C4-58742462FACD-1.JPG

So, my takeaway from this half marathon is that I need to work on my toughness in workouts/races even when Iโ€™m in pain ๐Ÿ™ƒIโ€™d love to do more hard workouts with others to help me push the pace, but I also need to work on it during solo efforts. But also a 1:32:11, 3rd in my age group, and a nearly 2 minute PR on a hot/humid day is not so bad. I know a sub 1:30 is in the bag on a more favorable day weather-wise! I can walk away from this race knowing that I learned a lot of important lessons and that all I can ask. Also, shoutout to my husband who was not fazed by the tough weather whatsoever and ran a 1:15:01 good for 57 second PR and 2nd in his age group. But also certain on a cooler day I bet he could run closer to a 1:13 half marathon!

After the race we had fun hanging out with old and new friends over beers in the post-race party. I realized that there was no sense in being upset, my race was over, and no one had a stellar day. It was so fun to meet friends like Matt, Naomi, Austin, Todd, and Jeff for the first time, as well as hanging out with older friends like the BibRave Pros and Michael.

IMG_0856IMG_0855.JPG

After hanging out the post-race party for a while, my husband and I made our way home to shower and eat breakfast. We missed the rain! Once the rain died down we headed to Public House for a little BibRave Pro post-race party. It was low-key, but fun to see everyone before they headed back home (I was the only Chicago resident at the BibRave Summit haha).

IMG_0616

I am so grateful for team BibRave for an awesome Summit weekend! And special shoutout to Knockaround sunglassesย ,ย Aftershokz , and Rock ‘n’ Roll for sponsoring it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I cannot wait for the next summit!

0E06032B-FF40-45DE-B6D1-90CEC67F1DB3.JPG

Did you run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago half marathon this year?! If so, how did it go for you?ย 

Advertisements

Chicago Spring 10k 2019 review

Disclaimer: Iโ€™m reviewing the Chicago Spring 10k  as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

The old saying goes, better late than never, right? So, it may be nearly a month after the fact, but I am finally reviewing my experience at the Chicago Spring 10k on Sunday May 19th. It honestly feels like the race was just yesterday, but maybe it’s just me feeling like this summer is flying.

A LOT has changed for me running-wise since May 19th. At that point I was two weeks into a new training plan and consistent running. After healing from my injury sustained during/after the Chicago Marathon in October 2018 I slowly started running again in January 2019, but with my crazy busy student and work schedule, I just did not have the time to run more than 5-15 miles per week. I kept this type of training up until the end of April where I ran whenever I could fit in a run and even did a few untrained races. As a competitive person by nature, with big goals, I knew this is not how I wanted my training to go the rest of the year and promised to get more serious about it. I received an opportunity to get coached by Jared Ward through his Endure Strong team in April. My goal race is the Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon on July 21, 2019 and I started a new training plan the last week of April/first week of May. There will be a future blog post on my experience with Endure Strong. I also started a one month run streak through Strava on May 1st, so at the time of this race I was 19 days into my run streak.

Let’s just say I was not in peak shape for this 10k race. With two weeks of consistent running under my belt and an unusually humid May day, I did not have any great expectations. I had talked to my friend Katherine before the race and we had a similar race plan, so we decided we would run the 10k together and then if either of us felt good, we would break away with no hard feelings. Neither of us felt particularly good during the race though, so this was a non-issue. Plus, we had an adventurous start to the race, where all of sudden Katherine disappeared from her spot next to me, because the crazy wind swept up her lucky visor. She was able to chase after it and a minute later returned to her spot running by my side. We hit mile 1 around 6:45, which was slightly faster than our plan of 6:50, but did not feel terrible.

But then the struggle-fest began…it was not getting any cooler and I was low-key getting annoyed that we had to keep weaving around the 3 hour half marathoners in our lane and then not veer into the other lane where the sub 1:20 half marathoners were rounding the final few miles. The half marathon started about 45 minutes before the 10k in the hopes of avoiding race overlap. I’d say my only complaint about this race is the over-lap still occurred, but it’s not a huge deal. Anyway, miles 2-4 were a struggle. At this point Katherine and I were no longer running together ๐Ÿ˜ฆ . And I just felt clunky and overheated, but that’s to be expected when it’s extremely humid and you’ve only been training consistently for two weeks. My splits were 6:46, 6:48, and 6:55. The picture below summarizes exactly how I was feeling.IMG_9818

Then just before mile 5, I saw my husband cheering and I caught the 1:30 half marathon pace group. This gave me a little energy, but I was still feeling like garbage. I told myself if I could stick with them I could ensure my remaining miles were under 7 minute pace. I knew this was a tall task because I was also starting to have some GI issues (sorry for the TMI). I told myself to focus on sub 7 minute miles and not pooping (again, sorry for the TMI, but aren’t we all runners here? ๐Ÿ˜› ). I was successful with my second goal (LOL), but not my first goal. Mile 5 was a 6:55 and mile 6 was a 7:05. I was able to kick it in around 6 minute pace for the final 0.2, but it did not feel great, especially with the GI discomfort. My overall time was 43:20, which is technically a 38 sec PR, but that’s not saying much when my first 10k last year was also run untrained.ย 

I’d be lying if I said I was not disappointed with this race and time, but I need to give myself some grace. I had only been running consistently for 2 weeks going into the race and I had not done speed work. Now, nearly a month since this race, I can confidently say I would run a much faster 10k (maybe around 40 minutes), since my training is going well and I’ve been doing speed work! It’s good to have perspective of where you are at in your running journey. On May 19th, that was what I had to give. And in the near future I will definitely go after that 10k time. If you read Katherine’s review about this race, she had a similar experience.ย IMG_4652Overall, it was a well run race (minus the 10k/half marathon overlap) and it was fun. I loved that we all got a free plant for finishing (I still have mine, but it looks dead ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ) and the post-race brunch was a nice touch (even though there were not many vegan options, but that’s what I expected). The best part was getting to hang out with Katherine and finally meeting Katherine’s athlete and my Instagram friend Maddie in real life after the race. We all took some silly pictures and just giggled about how hard and hot the race was. I was in awe of Maddie because she ran the half marathon and I could not imagine how that would have felt, after the struggle I felt during the shorter 10k race. But, we all did our races and are stronger athletes because of it! And this is still a must-run race, because most years the weather is nice and the city/lake views you get during the race are outstanding. I plan to run the 10k or half marathon again next year! I also plan to be better trained this time around ๐Ÿ˜‰ย Processed with VSCO with c1 presetHave you run the Chicago Spring Half Marathon or 10k before?! Did you run it this year too?ย 

Cinco de Miler 2019 review

Disclaimer: Iโ€™m reviewing Cinco de Miler  as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

This is the first race I’ve done truly for fun and not for competition. And for this type A, competitive runner that was tough! But I have not had that much fun in a race in a long time, so I’m glad I did ๐Ÿ™‚ I think the reason I had fun is because I agreed to run the race stride for stride with one of my good friends, Ben! He had just run the Illinois Marathon the previous week and I have just started seriously training, so there was no reason to run a fast, competitive race for either of us. I also do not think I was capable of a fast, competitive race at this point anyway. ๐Ÿ˜›

We lined up in corral A and agreed to keep our 5 mile race pace around 8 minute miles. And that is exactly what we did! Although it was technically a negative split! Mile 1 was 8:00 minutes and by mile 5 we were at 7:27, but this is because we saw my husband and the inflatable piรฑata that signified the finish line. The course was flat and fast along the lakefront path, although there were some spots of flooding from the recent rain. The volunteers were nice and helpful, especially with the spot on the course around mile 4 where we had to veer off the lakefront path. Post-race we were offered beer (although not me because I forgot my ID). And there was a mechanical bull, but I was too afraid to try it. It looked really fun though! And the breakfast buffet had tacos galore. I was thinking about tacos when the photo above was taken (not really, but I am that happy when I am running or thinking about tacos ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

Overall, the Cinco de Miler was an awesome race! The race day weather could not be beat, either. The race course is flat, fast, and itโ€™s a rare distance, so it is an (almost) guaranteed PR (unless you didn’t race it like me). The post-race party was very festive, with the music and mechanical bull. And they had breakfast tacos, enough said! ๐Ÿ˜› They also have free race photos and who doesn’t love that?! It is a race that I plan to run again, but to actually race the next time ๐Ÿ˜‰

Did you run the Cinco de Miler this year or in previous years? What did you think?

Organizing Your Weekly Plant-Based Meal Plan

Good afternoon friends!

It’s been a minute since I’ve done a food related post hereย ๐Ÿ˜ฑย I’ve been a little caught up in the busyness of school, work, and deciding if I should run the Chicago Marathonย or not over the last few weeks. The good news is, I decided to still run the race despite a few weeks of less than ideal training! Those of you who follow me onย Instagramย already know this!๐Ÿ˜œย You can’t run you first marathon if you don’t start the race!๐Ÿ˜‰

Screen Shot 2018-09-21 at 12.46.29 PM

During these busy days of marathon training, school, and beyond, it is so important to eat healthy and often. When I get busy or stressed, I tend to under eat, which is the opposite of a lot of people and not ideal for running some serious miles.๐Ÿ˜ฉย What has been key for me overcoming this over the last few weeks is planning my meals (especially lunch) ahead of time. It also helps to have most amazing husband, who makes me cashew butter and jam sandwiches on especially busy mornings to bring to school. I’m lucky, what can I say?!๐Ÿ˜

Anyway, imagine my excitement when Meghan Harris ofย White Rabbit Garage Storage, reached out to me to write a guest post here about meal planning. I thought that it was perfect timing, as I am personally working on being better about meal planning!

So, without first ado, here is the first ever guest post on Black Bean Queen! ๐Ÿ™‚

BB Title.png

Eating a plant-based diet is not only healthier for you but also makes you feel better and have more energy throughout the day. However, organizing and creating a meal plan to follow can be tedious and daunting. Without a solid plan in place, it is easy to fall back into old habits and to slip up more often than youโ€™d like. Below are 3 tips to help you organize your weekly meal plan and a sample plant-based meal plan for you to try.

Look Through Your Pantry

Go through your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator to get a solid idea of what foods you have to cook with already. Starting with foods you have previously purchased allows you to not only save money, but also time when shopping. Youโ€™ll also waste less food.

Going through your pantry will give you a sense for what foods you typically eat and help you remember which ones you didnโ€™t like when you tried them. You will also be able to free up more space and organize the shelves, so you can look through your food storage easier in the future. If you have any food that you donโ€™t like, and it hasnโ€™t yet expired, donate it to your local food pantry.

BB Pantry.png

Find a Place to Keep Recipes

If you prefer written recipes you will want to find a place in your kitchen that wonโ€™t get ruined by spilled oil and is easily within reach. Consider finding recipe organizers at Target or on Amazon.

If you prefer online recipes keep a file on your computer or phone to organize different websites, you have found with recipes. You can use a word doc, detailed Pinterest board, or Google files to do so. Make sure this is accessible from several devices in case one is misplaced or broken.

Choose Meals with Familiar Ingredients

BB Familiar Food

ย Meal planning will help you feel less stressed during the week, so you can avoid spending money on unnecessary food purchases. However, if you are shopping for items you primarily are unfamiliar with you wonโ€™t use them either.

If you shop for black beans often, you know when they are a good deal and when you should use a different kind of bean. If you use quinoa often, you know exactly how long to cook it for before it becomes soggy. As you become more comfortable with meal planning, add in 1 or 2 new ingredients each week.

As you work on your weekly meal plan, remember that itโ€™s okay to be flexible and that some meals may go awry. You can always pick yourself up and try again the next day!

Screen Shot 2018-09-21 at 1.36.28 PM

BONUS: Here is a simple work week meal plan for you to try!

Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Basic Tofu Stir Fry Cauliflower Fried Rice
Tuesday Vegan Waffles with Blueberry Sauce Creamy One Pot Pasta Pasta Bean Casserole
Wednesday Peanut butter and dark chocolate oatmeal Squacos Greek Goddess Bowl
Thursday Apple Buckwheat Pancakes with Coconut Caramel Apples Tomato and White Bean Salad

 

Black Bean and Quinoa Taco Bowls
Friday Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Vegan Macaroni and Cheese Hummus Pizza with Veggies

This post was written by Meghan Harris at White Rabbit Garage Storage. She enjoys hiking, playing card games, and spending time with her family.

What other tips do you have to organize your weekly meal plan?

 

Top 5 reasons why you should run the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k

Disclaimer: Iโ€™m promoting the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8k as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I’ve lived in Chicago for 4 years now and this is the first year I’m running the Shamrock Shuffle 8k!๐Ÿ˜ฑ If it weren’t for all injuries over the last few years, I would have run it sooner because it’s a really awesome race! Don’t be like me-run it this year too! Need more convincing?! Check out my top 5 reasons why you should run the Shamrock Shuffle 8k below. And if you read the whole thing I’ll even give you a discount code!๐Ÿ˜œ

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Run the Shamrock Shuffle 8k

1. You can’t beat the amazing city views on the race course! ๐Ÿ˜ I may be biased because I live in Chicago, but dang the views are gorgeous! You get to run through scenic downtown Chicago where you get the best of both worlds: city AND lake views! And if you’re not up for the full 8k, the 2 mile walk course still boasts some stellar views! ๐Ÿ˜Š

26815346_931596800324785_4591658928426723520_n

2. Beer! ๐Ÿป Need I say more? You get one free Michelob ULTRA beer at the finish line (if you are of age of course)! There is live music, great city/lake views for that post race insta ๐Ÿ“ธ, and then you can head over to the post race party. This year the post race party is at the Scout Waterhouse & Kitchen (1301 S. Wabash Ave.). If you bring your race bib to  the Scout between 2 pm and 1 am they will give you another free Michelob ULTRA!

26814874_932763996874732_8685395262026738630_n

3. The race is such a big deal that NBC 5 Chicago covers it! So, if you’ve ever wanted to be on TV, now might be your chance ๐Ÿ˜‰ The cooler your outfit, the better your chance of being featured on TV (ok I made this up…but dressing up is part of the fun ๐Ÿ˜)!

23172496_891495484334917_4159073293416815882_n

4. The race is competitive. There’s even an elite corral! So you just may be able to admire one of your favorite runners from afar!  Each year over 30,000 runners run the Shamrock Shuffle! So, regardless of your pace,  there is bound to be someone to race against and push you toward an ever elusive PR! And if you are extra competitive you can form a team and race in the team competition division. Plus, the finisher’s medal is pretty if I do say so myself!๐Ÿฅ‡

27540282_937544836396648_1257706506330509478_n

5. You just might PR! An 8k is a unique race distance (4.97 miles) that you may have not done before. And anytime you run a new race it’s a PR, right?

21731028_868778046606661_7156309517198177913_n

BONUS REASON: I’ll be there! I’m running it for the first time and you know you’ve always wanted to meet the Black Bean Queen in real life ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜œ

21558705_868392843311848_2612160084854846531_n

Have you run the Shamrock Shuffle before?! If so, what’s your favorite part of the race? If not, are you joining me at the race this year?! If use the code โ€œSHUFFLEโ€ at the following link: http://haku.ly/dd2567 you can save $10 on your race entry!