Running, Rock n’ Roll and Rap

Do you ever have those weekends so jam-packed with fun activities that you wish you could spread them out over the entire month so you wouldn’t have to shove them all into one blog post? Yeah me too.

You may be wondering why I am referencing this past weekend on a Wednesday and not my usual Sunday post. If you are, kudos to you. You are following my blogging schedule more closely than I expected. Please accept my apologies for the delay. If you aren’t (clearly anyone who is actually reading this) get ready for a completely random weekend recap.

I’ll fast forward through Friday and most of Saturday which were spent eating. Pasta, protein bar samples, chomps, electrolyte drinks. You name it, we indulged. If you’ve ever been to a race expo you can probably relate. It’s like hitting up Costco for sample Sunday, only for runners.

Saturday evening I got to spend some time with my lady friend Grayson while her parents had a date night. It was on our walk that I realized the reverse button on my iphone works not only for dog photos in the car, but for making sure the child you are responsible for is surviving your first attempt at wearing a baby bjorn. I got a lot of double-takes from the neighbors but Grayson seemed to enjoy herself. For that length of time anyway.


Sunday morning was the Rock n’ Roll half marathon here in Chicago. It also happened to be Matt’s birthday. I know what you’re thinking. Could there possibly be a better way to spend your birthday than waking up at 4:45 and running 13.1 miles in 80 degree heat? Of course not!

Matt and I decided to run separately this year because 1) he was planning on running super fast and 2) he was planning on running super fast. I took a lesson from last year’s race and didn’t throw a surprise party two nights before so any muscle cramping that would soon follow would be from his own doing. Thoughtful, I know.

rock n roll half marathon chicago team paws

Here’s how it went down.

6:00 a.m.-Decided to ride our bikes over to the race to save time. We would regret this decision in less than 3 hours.

6:15- Drop off gear at the TEAM PAWS tent. I am currently fundraising for TEAM PAWS for the Chicago Marathon so they were very nice to accommodate us. As for Matt, he just looks good in the singlet. 

6:30 a.m.-National Anthem begins. We hop into 6th corral (see reference to running speed for early corral placement)

6:38 a.m.-And we’re off. I forget to look at the clock to see how far behind the start we were. Like the biking, I’ll regret that later. 

6:48 a.m.-My Garmin woke up on the wrong side of the bed and is doing crazy dances all over the place. Either that or my oatmeal had some 2:42 second mile special sauce in it.

7:00 a.m.- I turn off my watch and decide I’ll just run it the old fashioned way. I spend the next 8 miles making casual small talk with runners until I feel comfortable enough to ask what pace they are running. None of them know either.

Miles 3-4- I consider jumping off the route on Adams and just going home. After all, I’m less than a block away and have worked up a sweat already. 

Miles 5-6- I knew those ridges on the Madison street bridge hurt my butt when I rode across them on my bike, but that has nothing on the wobbliness it causes a toe-runner like myself. 

just like Kevin

Miles 7,8,9- Oh I remember you 3 mile straightaway. You’re boring. And no one wants to come cheer along your roads. It’s hot. I take a diagonal towards a man misting people with a hose. The mist turns to full pour just as I pass through. Every piece of clothing I wear is now stuck to my skin.

Miles 10-11- Sponge Station! You better believe I squeezed the most out of that stop this year. And just as I took a deep breath to prepare for the dark tunnel of doom that is McCormick Place, a wheelchair racer pulled up next to me. I felt humbled to say the least. 

Mile 12- Is that a marriage proposal? Yep, those two just got engaged. At least she said yes. I’m too tired to take a picture and slightly jealous that he has an excuse not to run the last mile.

Mile 13- That whole kick it in the last tenth thing I can usually swing? Not happening today. Don’t trip. Don’t fall. Don’t make eye contact or you might melt down. 

And if you don’t believe me, my cousin’s girlfriend was kind enough to provide photo evidence.

finish photo courtesy of Caitlin Lisa Photography
finish photo courtesy of Caitlin Lisa Photography

And so wraps half marathon #6. Anyone who tells you they get easier each time 1) Probably ran one more than 4 days ago or 2) likes running in hot weather like crazy man Matt. Speaking of Matt, he crushed his PR. As for careful Sarah who always makes sure to make a perfect loop and properly secure her D-Tag to her shoe? Well, this is what she saw when she checked to see if she too broke her PR:


Yep. No tracking tracked. Good day to turn off your watch Sarah. Argh.

But there was no time to dwell. We had a birthday to celebrate. And so we did. With cookie cake.


On Monday night, we joined 60,000 others for the Justin Timberlake/Jay-Z concert. I was looking forward to Justin and he didn’t disappoint, but the man of the night in my opinion was Jay Z. Beautiful Night. Great Friends. Awesome Show.

justin timberlake jay z legends of summer concert soldier field chicago

Believe it or not there were a few more activities jammed into the weekend but I’ll save those for another day. I need a nap.

Have a great week!

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