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Showing posts from April, 2012

Weekend Double-Header (Lakefront 10 Miler and Ravenswood Run)

After waking up and checking out the weather report Saturday morning, I wasn't exactly running out the door for ten windy, rainy miles along the lakeshore for the Lakefront 10 Miler. But as Krissy Moehl says (and as I quoted her last week): "There's no bad weather, only bad gear." With that in mind I put on waterproof socks and plenty of layers.

I probably could have still used an umbrella...

Luckily the rain was more like a steady drizzle than a real downpour. Most of the runners waiting in Montrose Harbor for the race to start were either hiding under the sponsor booths or had the foresight to bring umbrellas.

When the rain stopped around 7:30 I headed to gear check (and so did pretty much everyone else). The line went from about five people when I got in line to this a few minutes later:

The weather ended up cooperating and I felt a lot better than I expected, despite some strong winds coming off the lake and a brief reappearance of rain. And the amount of fre…

NYC Marathon live stream, Soldier Field 10 mile and free Cubs tickets

Did anyone else watch the ING New York City Marathon Opening Day live stream yesterday at 11 (noon EDT)? I watched about ten minutes of it and got appropriately psyched for the race but then when they closed the login site so that you couldn't check your own status I decided to stop watching. 
Originally they updated it to say that the site would reopen this morning at 10am, but yesterday afternoon I tried again and was able to login to my account. That's when I found out that...
I didn't get in.
But then my wife logged in and she saw this little badge: So she is in for 2012! 
Here's the funny thing: over the last four years both my wife and I have entered the marathon lottery. And somehow, one of us has gotten in each year: 2009:  Me2010: Her2011:  Me2012: Her This back and forth has worked perfectly because it means one of us gets to run while the other one gets to enlist all of our New York friends in assisting us in a whirlwind marathon cheering tour of the city.…

5K for Earth Day and the Awesomeness of Patagonia and Krissy Moehl

Had a great time at the 5K for Earth Day this morning - first race I've done in Humboldt Park and I really liked spending some time walking around the park before and after (I haven't spent much - or any - time there before today). The race had a really "green" theme (appropriately) and all the runners seemed really into it. For such a small race they had a ton of partners too - including a Nissan Leaf pace car, water from Green Planet Water (I'm not clear on why all companies don't start using their bottles!), GOBI Energy (who supplied the electricity via a solar-powered DJ truck called SolarBeatz), the Illinois Lottery (scratch tickets in the goodie bag and each mile marker was a person dressed as a Powerball).

Anyway it was a really great (small) race and everyone there was having a great time. It felt like a mix between a typical 5K, a green expo and a neighborhood party. And there was a pretty cool addition to the running bib that I've never seen be…

City Running Tours of Chicago

A little over a week ago I hooked up with City Running Tours of Chicago and ran all three of their 5K Social Runs over the course of a few days:

Grant Park 5K RunChicago River/Navy Pier 5K RunChicago Tragic Events 5K Run All three were enlightening (both historically and in a discovering-cool-places-to-run-in-the-morning kind of way) and gave me plenty of time to talk to the Chicago manager (Marlin Keesler) and two of the assistant tour guides as well.

The story I wrote about the tours for Newcity should be published in tomorrow's issue (so go grab a paper if you're in Chicago!) but it's also online now.

For anyone that's thought about signing up for one of these tours but hasn't done it yet, I would definitely recommend checking at least one of them out. Each 5K is only $25 and you get to see the city from a new perspective by running through historical areas early in the morning (before most people are even heading into work). Since taking the tours I've alrea…

Racing to Wrigley: Observations

Despite the (slight) prediction of rain this morning, the weather turned out to be perfect for the 7th Annual Race to Wrigley 5K. Lots of people came out for this one (supposedly more than 8000).

Even though the temperature was in the mid-50s I wore a jacket... which meant that I had to tie it around my waist when the run started... which meant that I probably looked as dorky as I did in the picture that Chicago Runner Girl posted on her blog. Oh well.

The course was nice and wide - they had full streets blocked off for this which was really nice and the mile markers were really visible. Especially cool to run through the ground level of Wrigley Field. But you can read my full review at Newcity.com!

Here are some things that stuck out for me during the race:

* At the starting line one woman tells another about the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco and how at the finish line "guys from Texas give you Tiffany necklaces." Since I am a guy from Texas and since I know (f…

Nike Plus FuelBand review

I've been using the Nike Plus FuelBand for almost a week now and I think I'm ready to give a breakdown of my experience with it (if not a full-on review).

Just to give a basic overview to those who may not know what this device is or does, it's basically a wristband that measures your activity throughout the day and gives you a constant read out of how much NikeFuel you've earned. NikeFuel is a made up calculation that also translates into Calories Burned, Steps Taken, or Distance Covered. It's not an exact science; it's pretty much just a measurement of how much energy you've expended.

You're able to set goals for each day, deciding in advance how much NikeFuel you think you'll earn each day and setting your goal for that amount. Your NikeFuel levels are stored and tracked in your Nike Plus account where you can compare your statistics with other FuelBand users.

So, on to more specifics. 

First of all, it's clear that Nike followed the Apple d…

Rocking with Bunnies

To start the day off right I managed to get to the starting line of the Bunny Rock 5K about 75 minutes before race time... on accident.

Apparently me from a month ago didn't trust me from today to make it on time and so put this race on my calendar with an 8 o'clock starting time.

Once I got over the disappointment in losing an hour of sleep unnecessarily I was able to take the time to appreciate the Montrose Beach view. I also got to watch everyone else slowly trickle in until it was full-blown Easter madness, with a swarm of bunny ear-wearing runners gathering around the starting line.

It was a really great race and I had a great time. My race review is up at Newcity.com

But here I want to tell two brief stories of things I saw during the race. One is hilarious and one is frustrating... and they both involve kids running in the race (between the ages of 8 and 10).

I'm going to start with hilarious:

As we reached the first mile marker this little boy next to me that had been ru…

First Day with the Nike Plus FuelBand!

First day with the Nike Plus FuelBand:
One of the first steps, after setting up your Nike Plus account online and downloading the app, is to set a daily goal (from the following options):
Normal Day--2,000 NikeFuel, Active Day--3,000 NikeFuel High-Energy Day--5,000 NikeFuelNot really knowing how much fuel any given activity earns you I set mine to 3000 this morning before running down the street to meet the guide for the first City Running Tours run in Grant Park.

Right off the bat, seeing The Bean (apologies to Anish Kapoor, but that's just a better name than Cloud Gate) without a ton of people around it was already worth waking up early on my day off:But I'll share more about the City Running Tours once I finish the third one ("Tragic Events") this Wednesday.

Regarding the FuelBand... after running two 5K tours (and walking around for about an hour in between) I had more than exceeded my set goal of 3000 NikeFuel (more than doubling it). Syncing the FuelBand with the a…

Nike Plus FuelBand! How does it work!?!?

In February I went to an unveiling event for the new Nike Plus Fuelband:
And it's a pretty sweet looking little device right? Here's a brief description of what it does, from the website: "Nike+ FuelBand tracks your activity through a sport-tested accelerometer. Then translates every move into NikeFuel. Nike+ FuelBand tracks running, walking, dancing, basketball - and dozens of everyday actions." And if you're not really an athlete, as the presenter said at the unveiling, "...it's also a cool watch." Though he also made sure to add that "If you have a body, you are an athlete."

And even though I'd argue that this thing is actually designed to measure every other type of exercise besides running (it can obviously measure the energy you burn while running, but it's not a GPS tracker that can give you your pace or distance), after testing it out that night (in a series of larger-than-life exercises on Soldier Field involving catching…

Bunny Rock and Chicago City Tours

I haven't gone running since the Fast Cat on Saturday, which is making me a little anxious to get back out on the trail (or at least on the treadmill).

But outside of me-being-lazy news, today I got the notification email from this weekend's Bunny Rock 5K regarding the packet pick-up and all that good stuff. Looks like it's going to be a pretty fun race (even if I don't have any kids to take on the egg hunt... though at my age I'm sure I could OWN on that egg hunt against these little kids). Anyway, planning to pick my packet up on Thursday.

Also started really looking into these Chicago City Running Tours. I've read about them for a while and been interested in checking them out, but just hadn't gotten around to it. With my office being closed for Good Friday it seemed like the perfect opportunity to see what they were all about, so now I'm set up to run both the Chicago River/Navy Pier 5K Run and the Grant Park 5K Run on Friday morning. Not sure what to…