Aug 14, 2017

I'm training for a marathon! (21 weeks out)

Yes, yes, I'm training for a marathon. WHAT?!? I know I think I'm still in a little shock myself.

Kris and I had joked last year about doing the Walt Disney World full marathon in 2018. It would be the 25th anniversary, and it is the Mickey medal. It was a fleeting conversation, and we went onto normal half marathon life. Then, when signup approached, we talked about it again... And we decided to do it. We signed up and hoped for the best.

So here we are, training officially started when I got back from Chicago. I'm following the Jeff Galloway training plan from But I had been getting in about 5-6 miles on off weekends anyways. So I feel like last week, with my 7 mile long run, I'm officially in it.

Now, I have two goals for this marathon: not to die and to get a picture with a character along the course.

But to get to that first goal, of not dying, I need to train. And here I am, to share the nitty gritty.

Truth be told, I'm always running in heat in Florida, but usually, I'm a little lighter in the miles in the summer. This year with Chicago in July and then marathon training I haven't had a choice. It's been hella hot this summer, and super humid, and I've had no choice but to pound the pavement and get in those miles.

This is how the week went down, I started with Shaun Week again on Beachbody On Demand. I really like the crazy and short workouts, and I feel like they help me get stronger and faster.

Monday - Shaun Week: Insane Basics
I totally love Shaun T and wanted to give his new program Shaun Week another try. I mean it's only a week, so it's doable right? OMG this workout is killer. But somehow he keeps me going. Somehow in the 3 weeks since I last did Shaun Week I forgot some of the moves he included. How is that possible?

Tuesday - 30 minute run; Shaun Week: Pure Cardio 2
And early wakeup to get in my 30 minute run and my Shaun Week workout. Got in my run and came home to start Pure Cardio 2 right away. This one is tough, but I got it done. Kinda shocked I was able to get it in after my run considering the moon was out when I started and the sun rose as I finished. This weekday run was a little easier than the last few weeks had been.

Wednesday - REST
I never schedule my rest days, cause I know life happens and they'll just happen when I can't get to a workout. That's what happened right here.

Thursday - Shaun Week: Insane Weights and 25 Abs
Insane Weights from Shaun Week is just what the name says it is. Insanity moves with weights. It's a challenge, but I got it done early. Then after work I was able to get in my 25 Abs workout too. Runners need a strong core right? My abs were burning.

Friday - Shaun Week: Ripsanity
This is my LEAST favorite Shaun T workout ever. The combos with the moves and weights are all so complicated. But I kept up, and used a good weight for myself and got it done. Yes, this left my chest and arms sore. Guess it's working.

Saturday - Orangetheory Fitness
I love going to my Orangetheory classes. It was an ESP workout (edurance, strength, and power), which is my fave. But there was a 23 minute running block. It was crazy long, and had pushes and inclines. I did it though, and then killer my floor work too. This one was hard, but I love it.

Sunday - 5 miles & Shaun Week : Dig Deep
Long run day. There were only 4 miles on my plan today, but my 5 mile loop around the house is just an easier route, cause it's a full circle. I felt good out there. My legs felt great, and I knew I had that little pep in my step to give me some speed. The last mile was kinda hard, cause of the humidity, but I pushed through, knowing I was so close to home. But... negative splits!

And in the afternoon, I knocked out Dig Deep. This one is short, but brutal. Since it was a shorter run, figured I could fit in these 25 minutes.

And there is my marathon training recap for this week. Only 21 weeks til go time.

Aug 12, 2017

Team DJ Takes Chicago (Part 4)

To read the rest of my Chicago adventure, click here : Part 1Part 2Part 3.

After the half, we met up with Cintia at one of her favorite brunch spots. I was run-gry, and ate up the yummy Spanish inspired dishes and downed some yummy sangria too.

After tons of eating and lots of sangria, Cintia headed home and Jenn and I headed back to downtown for more exploring. Our next stop was The Art Institute. Cause, I mean seriously, Ferris went there.

The little things of being somewhere new amuse me. And at the Art Institute it was the coat check. A real coat check! #floridagirlproblems

We headed straight for the painting that Ferris and Cameron checked out, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte."

And we proceeded to take way too many selfies.

We saw works by Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, and Picasso. We wandered upstairs and saw the modern art, some Jackson Pollack and Andy Warhol pieces. It was all so amazing. But our legs were pretty much done.

We thought an architectural boat tour, where we'd get to sit, would be the perfect thing to do. We headed next to Navy Pier, where we would pick up our boat.

Now, it was still chilly--let's be serious, for me it was cold--but we got on the boat and headed down the Chicago river to learn about all those skyscrapers and the history of Chicago.

The tour was about an hour and a half and it was such a great different view of the buildings.

We needed to get the chill off after that boat ride, so we grabbed an Uber and headed to the Miraculous Mile for dinner. We ate at Bandera, one of Jenn's fave places.

It had a great vibe and it was nice to be inside and get some warm food. And OMG, it was good.

A long day that started with a half marathon and tons of exploring meant we were two tired girls. We did plan to use the last item on our GoChicago pass to get the hop on hop off bus tour in the morning.

The next morning, after grabbing some Starbucks, we headed with our medals to take pics at the Bean. I mean when you have a Bean medal, you must take pics with it at the Bean.

We hopped on the bus by the Art Institute and had it take us around the city. We heard more about the buildings and got to take in the city one more time.

And all those views!

We headed off to get the last of food to be checked off our Chicago list, Italian Beef. We went to Al's and it was so good.

Then we had to walk off some of that lunch, so we headed to Buckingham Fountain to get pics with our Buckingham Fountain 5k medals.

And jumping pics!

We had a little time before our flights, so we sat in the park for a while, and then by the lake. It was such a great few days I didn't want it to end.

This is definitely only the start of the TeamDJ meetups. I think we need at least one every year.

And I really loved Chicago. I definitely want to make it back here!

Jul 30, 2017

Team DJ Takes Chicago (Part 3, the Rock n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon)

To read part 1 of my Chicago adventure, click here. For part 2, click here.

Sunday morning was an early wakeup for the half marathon. (Thankfully not runDisney early!) But that early wake up always makes me question why I do this. It also makes me realize that those flat runner posts are all about having your stuff all ready in the morning, so not thinking is necessary. 

We headed out to the start, also super close to the hotel, and passed Abraham Lincoln on the way. Have I mentioned how much I loved all the statues and green spaces in this city?

We were in our corral, well my corral, since Jenn dropped back to be with me, and thankfully, the RnR corrals go out pretty fast, so about a half hour after the start we were off! We ran through a tunnel pretty fast, and this totally threw off the GPS. I don't think all of the skyscrapers in Chicago helped the GPS much either

But we weaved in and our of downtown the first few miles, not that I had any idea what mile we were on. I must have missed seeing a mile marker somewhere, cause I had no idea which was was which for a while. 

We ran through the theater district and had to stop for a pic with the Chicago theater again, and our Aladdin theater too.

There were also to of bridges to cross. This sucked. Those bridges (just like the ones I've run over here in South Florida) were a grid of metal with holes all over. It sucked to run on that, but they weren't too long. Thankfully it was just going over the river.

Around what we think was mile 5ish, there was a great tribute to the troops. Pictures and names of fallen soldiers lined the street, and then a long long line of people holding American flags. It was super touching and really nice.

We saw a bunch of bands, but noticed most of them were brass bands or singing soul music (which was just one that I can remember). I know this isn't very "rock n' roll," but it was really cool. It gave a great feel to the whole race, and I didn't miss the rock at all.

At, what I think was mile 7.5ish, I saw some port-o-potties, and had to make a pit stop. Jenn stopped with me, and thankfully I felt better when I was out and had a little extra pep in my step.

Unfortunately, this stop had let the 2:50 pace group, which we had passed earlier, pass us. So my new goal was getting past them.

By this point we were out of downtown and finally had a long straight stretch of road. So we booked it. Eventually, we reached the 2:50 pace group and passed them just after the turnaround at mile 9.

This guy always seems to be around mile 9
It was supposed to be a lot hotter in Chicago than it was that day. Luckily it was in the 60s and overcast. A glorious change from me running in hot sticky-ness in South Florida. But with the race people I guess being overly cautious, they had some fire hydrants open to cool people off. Some as early as mile 4ish. And then after mile 9, they were handing out sponges soaked in cold water. It was nice a refreshing, but totally un-needed. (Florida race directors, take note of this. It'd be a great idea for our heat!)

Then we rounded the corner to see the finish in front of us. Well, Jenn saw it first, cause she's taller. And in the heat-killing overkill, they had a fire truck shooting out water. Since we were close to the finish, I did get wet by some of he spray, but it was just a mist, which was refreshing.

And we finished! Our excuse for the trip was accomplished. Now, it wasn't my best race, but way far from my worst. I wish I had a little pep in my step earlier in the race, but hey, now it was time to just chill.

After we grabbed our medals and some food. We went and got our remix medal. Gotta love all of that bling!

Everything was tight after the run, and I know Jenn's foot was messing with her. So we did the most logical thing ever. We did Piyo, right there in the park. We might have gotten more than a few crazy looks from people walking by.


After our Piyo session, it was time to get in some carbs and get our beer. As we walked into the beer garden though, I noticed they had wine! I'm not a fan of beer, and even though they were just samples, it was great to have some cold wine.

We grabbed our beers too, cause hello, free beer.

Then we started walking back to the hotel. The run-ger took hold of Jenn, and she got herself a Chicago hot dog at a stand on the way back.

Not my cup of tea, cause pickles are gross. But Jenn raved about it. She said it was the perfect post-run snack.

We got back to our hotel to shower and change and head out for brunch and more exploring. Check my next post for that!

Jul 26, 2017

Team DJ Takes Chicago: (Part 2, the Rock N' Roll Chicago 5k)

To read part 1 of my Chicago adventure, click here.

Saturday morning we got up early to get dressed for the Rock n' Roll Chicago 5k. We decided when we signed up that we needed that remix medal! Thankfully the race started at 7:30, so it wasn't too bad. We looked at the outside temps and saw it was in the low 60s. I'm from Miami, so that's cold for me. Plus the AC in our room was freezing, which messed with our brains. I put on my hoodie and we headed towards the start. Once we got outside we noticed the hoodies were overkill. Around my waist it went.

We lined up with perfect time, since our hotel was literally across the street, took some pics, and then off we went. I very purposely tried to be slow. I wanted to save myself for the next day's half, and I knew we'd be walking a LOT during the rest of the day. So we took it easy.

We ran through the museum campus, saw The Field Museum and the Aquarium, and then ran alongside Lake Michigan. It was a gorgeous day. The temperature was good and the sun was out making it all so pretty.

It was nuts, my friend from across the country and I were running side by side together. Pretty amazing.

We ran back through Grant Park, and crossed the finish. Not an amazing time, but not horrible.

Then we crossed the street to find the Bean, and take all of the pics.

The We Run Social meetup was also at the Bean. It was my first WRS meetup. I got to chat with some really cool people. Hope I can make it out to another one!

We rushed off after out group pic, cause it was time to get cleaned up and head out for our food tour! It started at the Merchandise Mart, which was an amazing gorgeous art deco building. We ended up getting some info about the city and its architecture too.

This was a sidewalk walking food tour, so some stops were eating on the sidewalk. The first stop was the Doughnut Vault. And there was a line for this place, so you know they had to be good.

Buttermilk Old Fashioned with glaze. OMG, just amazing.

Our next stop, was the famous Chicago deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati's. We got to sit in the restaurant for this one. Part of the reason chose this tour was because we could get the pizza, and not have to make a meal of just that, since neither myself nor Jenn was too sure about it. And I'm glad I did that.

This was the most tasteless piece of "pizza" ever. Nothing had any seasoning on it. But I was hungry, so I ate the bland bread and cheese pie, which it totally what it was.

We walked around and learned more about the city, and took tons of pics along the way.

Our next stop, after seeing some amazing buildings and learning some more Chicago stories, was Xoco.

I was hungry when we got here, and stared in the window looking at what they were preparing. Little did I know that it was what we were going to eat next.

And hands down, this open faced veggie torta, was my favorite thing on the tour.

Our next stop was another sit down in the restaurant stop, Cafe Iberico, and the guide had mentioned that they had great sangria, so we had to get some to accompany our chicken pincho tapa. The onions were so delicious.

And our last stop was a great little local bakery, Fabcakes. We had a chocolate cookie nutella filled sandwich, and it was finished with sea salt. OMG perfect dessert.

The tour was great and more than enough for lunch. After we enjoyed our cookies, we headed to the Field Museum, to see dinosaurs and animals and stuff. We upgraded and got entry into the Jurassic World exhibit, cause, let's be serious, I'm a dork.

It was so cool. they had audio animatronic dinosaurs, a lab just like in the movie, with lots of amber mosquitoes, even "hatched" baby dinosaurs in incubators.

After that exhibit, we went back and explored the museum a little more. The "Sue" t-rex skeleton was amazing.

Now, I haven't been to a lot of natural history museums. I think maybe once in my life, so all of the taxidermied animals freaked me the hell out. If I just imagine they are models, I'll be fine!

We checked out as much as we could, and truth be told we were dead. We headed back to the hotel to rest for a bit and put up our feet.

After our little chill break, we headed to eat some sushi, at a great place that our food tour guide recommended. It was delicious.

Then it was back to the hotel to rest up before our early wake up for the race in the morning. I was so tired, I didn't even post my flat runner til the next morning.

Read about the half marathon in my next post!