Sunday, May 28, 2017

be open: trekz titanium mini review

Disclaimer: I received the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Mini to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

I need music while running. When I'm tired or bored with my run, I need that extra motivation or power song to keep me moving. What's not great about needing music? Finding the right pair of headphones. 

When I first started running, I used wired earbuds. It was hard to find a pair that would stay in my ear. And the dang wire was such a pain – I didn't love having to weave it under my shirt so that I didn't have to deal with the bouncing, and then worry about how my sweat will ruin them. Then there was the whole not being able to hear your surroundings as well as you'd like.

Eventually I had a good enough phone that allowed bluetooth headphones, but then I had similar problems – finding the right pair that would stay on my head or in my ears, but blocking my ears from surrounding noises. Being able to hear traffic, cyclists, other runners is an important part of safety on the run. It can help prevent accidents

In comes Aftershokz. They are a company that makes headphones using bone conduction technology with an open ear design, so you aren't blocking your ears from hearing your surroundings. Time to end the compromise of your safety while running with music.

A great example of needing these headphones: I ran the Soldier Field 10 Mile yesterday. Half of the race takes place on the Lake Front Path, which is open to the public; not just the race. It's a large race with maybe 10,000 runners. Which means a lot of people running on the left side of the path... blocking cyclists or other runners not racing. I heard a lot of cyclists saying 'Left' (which not all of them do), and saw most people move, except these two guys. They had on wired headphones, and apparently listening to music too loud to hear everyone shouting 'Left' (including runners trying to help the other runners move out of the way and prevent any accidents). I told my mom – they could really benefit from the Aftershokz headphones, because I heard all of the cyclists just fine (though I never run on the left except to pass others, but when I can I move right back over to the right, per running etiquette).

Anyway, these headphones are AMAZING. I wear them on every. single. run. I wrote about them last year and you can read my original review here or my review of the Pink campaign they ran last October (where they were donating parts of the proceeds of their Trekz Titanium Pink headphones + extra through social media hashtags being used).

Why did I want to try the Aftershokz Trekz Mini if I loved the originals so much? I have a small head. I can wear children sized hats better than adult sized. Most adult sized hats I have to snap at the smallest snap, which leaves a huge amount of that plastic part hanging out. Anyway, I thought it might be nice not to have so much of the headphone connecting part hanging in the back. It never bothered me too much, but sometimes when I wore my 1 bottle pack, the back part would hit the bottle or get caught if I moved my head a certain way.

I love the Mini size so much! They are perfect for my smaller head size, I get the same great sound, and I'm not compromising my safety by blocking my ears from the outside world. They are easy to pair out of the box. 

I was so excited to test them when they arrived I forgot to charge, and during my run they gave me a warning to charge. That's nice addition to have – a reminder when they need to be charged. If you've used out the battery, they take about 1.5 hour to fully charge back up. I think I charge mine twice a week – at the beginning and then before my long run. Probably more than it needs, but I like to be safe. If music stops during my run... so do I haha.

You can also see the battery life on your phone up in the right hand corner with all of your other stats (bluetooth connected, phone battery), and you can even press the volume button when no music is playing to see what level the battery is (high, medium, low). Changing songs is easy, just hit the left ear button twice, once to pause/play, and the volume controls are small buttons on the right side behind the ear. You can find user instructions here. They have a battery life of about 6 hours (I've gotten a little over 6 at about 6:15 or 6:30 myself, which was awesome for this slower marathoner). It doesn't drain my phone battery too much either. I am able to go 6+ hours using the headphones/music + sending texts and GPS apps on my phone and still have about 50% when I am done. Granted, I have a newer iPhone which has better battery life, but even with my older iPhone I never had problems with it dying on my long runs/races.

They are lightweight with no bounce and comfortable. I barely notice them when I'm running. I also wear sunglasses and hat/visors most runs. I put on the headphones, then the hat/visor then the sunglasses. I found this strategy to work well. 

They are water resistant, but not waterproof, so don't submerge them in water. If it's a light rain, you're good to go, but I'd say if it's a downpour and you'll get drenched, maybe leave them inside. Use your best judgement. I will say I am a sweaty runner, and have wore them in lighter rains and haven't had any problems.

You can check if the Afterhokz Trekz Mini or the original size would be a better fit for you using their Size Guide.

Aftershokz has great customer service along with a fun social media presence. Their twitter gif game is on point. They are very active and always responding to questions or celebrating you and your run. It's really cool.

The Aftershokz Trekz Mini come in pink or slate and cost $129.95. Well worth the price. Comparable to other bluetooth running headphones and they are safer to wear out and about because you can hear your surroundings. You can even get a free water bottle (those cool insulated ones) if you order through this link:

From the website:
The lightweight and comfortable Trekz Titanium wireless stereo headphones are the safest alternative to traditional sport headphones and earbuds. Bone conduction technology, an open ear design and a suite of convenient features deliver premium music play and crystal clear calling without compromise. Designed with athletes in mind, Trekz Titanium are sweatproof, secure, and will allow you to hear your surroundings - no matter where life takes you.

  • Bone conduction technology delivers music through your cheekbones, ensuring ears remain completely open to hear ambient sounds
  • Titanium wraparound headband is lightweight and flexible for durability and portability
  • OpenFit™ design ensures maximum situational awareness and comfort during long-term wear
  • PremiumPitch+™ guarantees a premium audio experience, including wide dynamic range and rich bass
  • Wireless Bluetooth® 4.1 connectivity and convenient multipoint pairing
  • LeakSlayer™ technology significantly reduces natural sound leakage
  • IP55 certified to repel sweat, dust and moisture, from workouts to wicked weather
  • Enjoy six hours of continuous music + calls on a single charge
  • EQ presets boost bass and reduce vibration on the go
  • Dual noise canceling microphones exclude surrounding noise, effectively enhancing speech
  • Audrey Says™ voice prompts guide users through power, pair, play and talk
  • Hassle-free 2-year warranty

Speaker type: bone conduction transducers
Frequency response: 20Hz~20KHz
Sensitivity: 100 ± 3dB
Microphone: -40dB ± 3dB
Bluetooth version: v4.1
Compatible profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
Wireless range: 33 ft (10m)
Battery: rechargeable lithium ion
Continuous play: 6 hours
Standby time: 10 days
Charge in: 1.5 hours
Weight: 1.27 oz (36g)

Connect with Aftershokz:
website | facebook | twitter | instagram | google+ | youtube | pinterest 

What the other BibRave Pros are saying:

Saturday, May 27, 2017

north shore classic half marathon & 5k: last call to register

Disclaimer: I received entry for North Shore Classic to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Hey guys! I'm running North Shore Classic Half Marathon for my second year on June 4! Don't you want to run, too? My friend and fellow BibRave Pro Frank will also be there, making his grand return to the half marathon race distance after injury/recovery. The race takes place at 7am for the 5k and 7:30 for the half marathon in Highland Park. Lots of free parking in the area, and RAM even provides a nice map to point on the best places to go. I didn't have any problems last year and I always appreciate when the race provides parking information (I get anxious if I don't know the area).

There's some sweet swag in it for you including fun colored (ombre!) tank tops and a heft medal. You'll get the tank at packet pickup, but you need to complete the half marathon to earn the medal. 

Registration will be closing next week. When you register, use code BibRaveNSC17 to score a free RAM Racing water bottle (you'll receive it at packet pickup). It's too late to choose packet mailing option (that closes 3 weeks prior to the event), but there are three days of packet pickup – Thursday June 1–Saturday June 3. 

Packet Pickup Info:
Thursday, June 1 from 3–8pm
Fleet Feet Sports Old Town, 1620 N Wells Street, Chicago, IL 60614

Friday, June 2 from 2–6pm
Fleet Feet Sports Deerfield, 800 Waukegan Road, Deerfield, IL 60015

Saturday, June 3 from 10am–6pm
Fleet Feet Sports Deerfield, 800 Waukegan Road, Deerfield, IL 60015

I went to the Deerfield location last year and it was easy. Though a bit of a hike for me, I believe I went on Friday because I had the day off and the packet pickup for the Saturday race I had was about 30 minutes from there, so I just did them both the same day/trip. I also picked up Mark's packet last year for NSC. Anyway - ample amount of free parking in the area and it was a really nice store (I think it was pretty newly opened last year around that time too, if I'm not mistaken). 

The Old Town location is convenient if you live or work in the city,  but I'm not too keen on driving into the city around rush hour and having to pay for parking (to avoid driving around looking for a spot, I always just park in that parking structure around the corner, which if you get your parking validated by FF, it's $2, which isn't bad. I'd rather pay $2 than drive around looking for a spot). I used to love FF Old Town packet pickup when I was working in the city and I just hopped on the bus to get there during my lunch break or after work. Not so easy these days, unfortunately. While I think Deerfield is farther distance, it's usually a quicker drive. So if you go on Saturday, keep an eye out for me ;)

Frank, Lisa, Mark, and myself before 2016 NSC Race.

Can't make packet pickup? Send a friend or family member – they just need your registration confirmation. Five packets per person. There is NO race day pickup.

I'll warn you - there are some hills here! Last year I went in assuming it was pretty flat, and was sorely mistaken. Literally - hills make me sore haha... and tired. No one mentioned that there would be hills, and I just figured being near Chicago there wouldn't be much incline/decline, and there was. I don't mind hills, as long as I'm aware of them ahead of time. I think there might have been one or two really killer ones, but the rest were fairly tame, I guess. I just remember thinking last year how horrible there were. Again, pretty sure this was because they were completely unexpected, so every hill I encountered I was like 'again?!'.

It's a really nice, scenic course through Highland Park, and there was some cheering from the residents as we ran by. You can read my BibRave Review here or check out my blog recap here of the 2016 race (it was my first weekend of 2016 where I ran a half marathon on both Saturday and Sunday, which I repeated in September). 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

quick guide to soldier field 10 mile

Disclaimer: I received entry for Soldier Field 10 Mile to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Me and Angie at the 2015 SF10.

Yesterday I wrote a bit about the Solider Field 10 Mile race and included some links to my reviews of the past few years. Thanks to Facebook Memories, I saw that 2014 was my first year running it, so this will be my fourth year. It has been confirmed haha.

Registration is still open, so head on over here and use code BibRaveSF1017 for this free water bottle.

Most of this information can also be found in the Participant Guide.

Packet pickup begins today at Fleet Feet Old Town from 3pm till 8pm and then Thursday and Friday from 10am till 8pm. There is NO race day packet pickup (this is a huge race, so that makes sense), so be sure to get to FF Old Town to grab yours. You can have a friend or family member grab it for you, if you are unable to attend – they just need a copy of your registration confirmation. Fave packets per person max. They had offered $15 packet mailing, but you would have needed to sign up for that three weeks (or more) prior to the race. Something to think about next year (or for other RAM Racing events). Note that they also had a packet pickup day at FF Deerfield on Thursday May 18 from 3–6pm and at FITT-RX on Saturday May 20 from 10am–3pm. They do a pretty good job of offering multiple days and times, which is appreciated.

The race takes place on May 27 at Soldier Field (duh) with multiple waves – red, blue, and white. Starting time is at 7am, but each wave will take some time to get through. I didn't start until 7:45 last year (last wave). They recommend an arrival time of 6am and getting into your corrals between 6am and 6:45am. 

Here's a map of the post-race party and corral staging. Post-race party begins at 8:30am (says inside Soldier Field, but the map shows it is on the outside grass) and will include music, food, and beer. Open to the public.

It looks like the starting line-up area is different than previous years, in which a lot of the line up, at least for the last wave, was on Waldron Dr. Here's the Course Map:

There will be gear check opening at 5:30am and closing promptly at 11am. It will be located in the Stadium and you'll want to enter through Gate 0. Only registered participants can enter the gear check area, and your bib must be clearly visible. All bags will be searched prior to entry into this area and you MUST use the 12"x18" clear plastic bag and beaded luggage tie provided to you during packet pickup. 

Aid stations will be stocked with water and Nuun. Port-o-johns will be located at the start/finish area and at the aid stations. Looking at the map, it looks like there will be 5 aid stations located around miles 1.75, 3.5, 5.25, 6.75, and 8.75 (these are just my guesses looking at the map, but gives you sense). Plenty for a 10 mile race.

Have a runner you want to track? Sign up for tracking updates here.

As an added benefit to the participants of the Fleet Feet Sports Soldier Field 10 Mile, there will be event pace groups lead by the experienced Chicago Endurance Sports Pace Team. The Pace Team provides even splits and camaraderie amongst runners striving to reach similar goals. These pacers support a wide range of runners, from those finishing their first 10 mile race to those who are looking for a new PR. Pace groups will be available at the following paces per mile: 7:30, 8:00, 8:30, 9:00, 9:30, 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, 11:30 and 15:00. In addition, we will offer three pace groups that will do a combination of running and walking. The first will be at a 11:30 run pace (5min run/1min walk). The second is at a 12 minute run pace (5min run/1min walk). The third will be at a 12:30 pace (4min run/2min walk). To learn more about Chicago Endurance Sports and the wide variety of training programs they offer, visit

Volunteers, participants and spectators can park in the Waldron Garage and South Lot starting at 3:30am or the North Garage, starting at 4:30am. Entrances are marked on the Parking Map. Follow the direction of parking officials. Parking is complimentary until 7:30am or once the lots are full, whichever occurs first. Should lots fill before 7:30am, vehicles will be directed to remote parking locations. After 7:30am, normal parking rates apply; payment will be required as you enter. In order to ensure that you have a relaxed and enjoyable experience race morning, please plan to arrive at Soldier Field no later than 6:00am. The address of Soldier Field is 1410 S Museum Campus Drive, Chicago, IL 60605.

After the race, look for your FREE race photos. You'll receive an email with your free pictures that you can share on Facebook, Twitter, or download/print it. Gotta love free photos!

Soldier Field 10 Mile is proud to support Folds of Honor as our national charity, and SALUTE, INC. as the local charity of the Soldier Field 10 Mile!

Folds of Honor
Since 2007, Folds of Honor has pursued their mission to stand in the financial gap of the more than one million dependents adversely affected by war, providing educational scholarships to the children and spouses of those killed or disabled while serving our nation. They strive to embody the words of their motto: Honor Their Sacrifice. Educate Their Legacy.

Their logo embodies the heavy price our troops pay for the freedoms we hold dear. Yet it’s also a symbol of hope, representing the enduring ideals that make this country a beacon of democracy. The 13 folds in a flag presented at a military funeral honor the sacrifice of America’s heroes, while giving hope to the bearers of their legacy. This folded flag is a constant reminder of those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. It inspires us to help equip and educate their loved ones in need of our support.

For more information, please visit

SALUTE, INC. passionately pursues meeting the financial, physical and emotional needs of military service members, veterans and their families. SALUTE, INC. strives to raise awareness of their sacrifices and provides a safety net to ensure every military family is treated with honor and dignity. For more information, please visit

So tell me - who's ready to race? Normally they have members of the military handing out the medals, which is a special moment, especially being Memorial Day Weekend. Be sure to thank them for their service.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

up next: soldier field 10 mile

Disclaimer: I received entry for Soldier Field 10 Mile to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

My next two races are this weekend. No, I don't take breaks haha. On Saturday I'll be heading to Soldier Field for my fourth or fifth year of the Soldier Field 10 Mile and on Monday I'll be running the Ridge Run 5k. Is it sad that I can't remember how many years I've been doing races? I don't keep a very good 'record' book, and I only started using BibRave to review the races since 2014, so anything before that is ?? haha. I know a lot of people know exactly how many of each race they've done. The only one I know for sure if my marathon total. Maybe one day I'll find the time to go back and tally it all up.

Registration for SF10 is still open, but not for much longer. Use code BibRaveSF1017 to receive this water bottle for free (you'll get it at packet pickup).

Here's the 2017 Goodie Bag (shirt and finisher medal):

All finishers will receive a Soldier Field 10 Mile medal to commemorate their achievement! The triangles of stars surrounding the Chicago star signify the folded flag placed on the casket of deceased veterans, to honor the memory of their service to our country. The tri-folded flag is an emblem of the hat worn by the Patriots of the American Revolution.

I love this race because it's a unique distance. There aren't a ton of 10 mile options, versus the amount of 5k, 10k, and halfs in the area. Another really cool thing is that you get to finish on Soldier Field at the 50 yard line. Last year was messed up a bit because Beyonce was in town and so the field was covered up with that metal concert platform they put on the fields to prevent them from getting ruined. Do you know what I'm talking about? Anyway - looks like this year should be back to normal.

I haven't decided yet whether I'll run with my mom or run on my own with my usual intervals and see how the legs do. Sometimes I start off of my own, and then I poop out and my mom catches up and I run with her till the finish. I'll definitely be running with her on Monday; it's our tradition. And weather is usually crazy hot and humid, and I don't have the energy to push through that haha.

Check out my BibRave Reviews from 2016, 2015, and 2014.

OR my blog recaps:2015, 2014. Apparently I never wrote my blog recap from 2016 because I didn't run it through BibRave. Typical me – I can never keep up with my blog recaps {eye roll}. I know I had a great time last year because Angie and Josh were in town! We hung out after the race for a bit.

I might need to squeeze in some extra miles the next week so I can hit my 100 mile goal for every month of 2017. I'm a little behind (I don't know how, I feel like I've been running a ton, but I guess I did skip a few week day training runs due to travel/no time away from work/tired).

Anyone out there planning on running either of those races this weekend? Say hey if you see me :)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

feeling the oo: oofos oomg shoe review

Disclaimer: I received an a pair of OOFOS OOmg Shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Last summer I reviewed the OOFOS Original Sports Sandal and loved how comfortable and supportive they were. Not your typical flip flop at all. When I heard that OOFOS was coming out with their first closed-toe design, I knew I had to try them out. While I love the sandals, I couldn't quite wear them post-race here in Chicago, as it's too dang cold for no socks. 

The OOFOS OOmg comes in three colors: white and black, black and grey, and black and citron. You know how much I love bright colors, so naturally I chose the black and citron. I will say, they are way brighter in person than they appear online. I think they are super fun, but for those that might want to wear these for work, you'll get away with it better in the other two muted colors ;) I know that's what a lot of BibRave Pros did. Tip for sizing: If you are a half size order the next size up. Express orders must be placed by 2 pm PST/ 5pm EST to ship same day. You can find the OOmg shoe in the women's section of the websiteMen's specific OOmg is expected out in 2018. They are working on a design that widens the toe box and makes the strap along the top of the foot thicker to hold a bigger and heavier foot. If you are a men's size 9–10, try the unisex version.

Please excuse the dirty car floor...

Let's talk about the technology that went into these amazing recovery shoes.
"These are the first fully closed shoe to feature OOfoam technology! They have combined the OOFOS patented footbed design you know and love with a 4-way stretch mesh upper to create an unbelievably comfortable shoe that enhances the recovery process. Take the stress off your tired soles, joints and give your feet the freedom of natural movement in a shoe you can wear all day, every day."

Perfect to toss in your car or gear check bag for post-race.

"Revolutionary OOfoam technology absorbs 37% more impact than traditional footwear foam materials to reduce the stress on your feet and joints. The OOmg features a breakthrough in shoe construction that eliminates unnecessary layers and leaves only OOfoam between your foot and the ground. New OOtex 4-way stretch mesh upper conforms to your feet and the stretchable strap adds support over the arch without binding. These technologies combine to aid in the recovery process and create an incredibly comfortable shoe you can wear anywhere."

It's not just another shoe, but it's a tool for recovery:
  • Reduces stress on sore feet, knees, and back
  • Enables more natural motion - The 4-way stretch mesh upper allows a lot more give, so it helps the foot to move naturally post-run
  • Minimalist construction technology for extreme light weight (5.5 oz for women’s size 7)
  • Machine washable (mesh won't bleed and you can also spot wipe. Wash on a cold wash, avoid bleach and fabric softener)
  • Close cell foam, which means that you can get them wet and water just drips off, no water stays in the shoe, no bacteria.
  • Typical wear is 6 months – 1 year, depending on the amount of wear (and other considerations). The bottoms will wear out before the foam is condensed.
  • Wear it all day; not just for post-race/run. It's a lifestyle shoe.

These shoes are a "make you feel better" product - the OOfoam technology is extremely unique and defining to the market. OOFOS has created a whole market for recovery.

You might be weary of the price point of the OOFOS OOmg  but take into consideration that it's a recovery tool. How much do we pay for other recovery tools, massages, going to the chiropractor, etc? The $120 price point for the shoe fits into the market for a lifestyle shoe with all of the tech benefits, and the amount of wear you get out of them makes the cost not so bad – if you wear them for a year, that's only $.32 a day ;) 

Not bad without socks, either.

As far as my experience with them, ohhh they've been a lifesaver. I was hoping to receive them for after Illinois Marathon, but unfortunately they came a bit later. I wore them after my half marathon two weeks later (a half that was tired and sore, as my body probably could have used some more rest before going for that longer mileage so soon). 

Went to Downtown Disney to grab dinner.

The real test of these shoes was the following weekend (aka last weekend) when I was at Disneyland for runDisney Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend. I debated bringing them at all, because I try to pack light going out there, as I know I need space for the mugs and glassware and shirts and shoes I buy at the expo. I figured they squished and didn't take up too much space, and were lightweight, so I would fit them in. 


Boy, am I SO glad I did. I spent the majority of the days on my feet – standing in lines for the expo, for security, for entrance into the parks, for rides, and then all of the running + walking to and from the parks to the hotel. I got there Wednesday and left the following Tuesday. My milage for those days were: 5.21, 7.01, 12.91, 12.79, 22.38, 10.91, and 5.14 (clearly a travel day haha). 

After the races, my heels were giving me a throbbing pain all day long. I tossed on the OOmg shoe to wander the parks or when I went out to grab food, and the heel pain would dissipate. There were times where I wasn't sure I would be able to walk much more, but putting on the OOmg helped meet keep moving so I could have fun at the parks with my mom. 

I ordered a size 9 (my usual running shoe size is an 8.5). They are a tad big, so I think maybe going with an 8 would have worked (I wear a 7/7.5 in non running shoes usually such as heels or fancy flats... these days I tend to just get the 8.5 in any gym shoe, even if I'm not wearing it to run in). I usually wear them with socks, but I know a lot of other Pros prefer to wear them without socks. I say you can go either way... just depends on your style, preference, fashion sense (I don't have much of one, so didn't care if I looked dorky with the socks or not... I'm just about the comfort level haha). 

Would I recommend these shoes? Definitely. Again, I know the cost might shock you, but it's like a pair of running shoes – you get fitted to have the right style for your running and foot, and these shoes aren't just shoes, but they are an aid in recovery. Something us runners really need to focus on to avoid injury and to help keep us at the top of our game so we can continue to run those miles. 

Connect with OOFOS:
website | twitter | instagram | facebook | pinterest | youtube | LinkedIn

Check out the reviews from other BibRave Pros:
Mel | Tedrick | Lindsey | Jeannine | Nora | Angie | Vanessa | Emily

Friday, May 19, 2017

my spring goal race is over - now what?

Hello friends! My big goal race of the first half of the year is over and I've finally written all of my posts recapping the experience. If you're interested it's the Illinois Marathon expo + pasta feed, Illinois 5k, and Illinois Marathon. I was extremely pleased with how I did at the marathon – I beat my main goal by over 3 minutes when I wasn't sure I'd even hit my goal during the first half of the race (it was very windy and I just had a lot of doubts rolling through the brain). 

I'm not even sure I've fully processed it yet, as it's been a whirlwind since. The day after I 'ran' another half marathon (with shin pain half way through I pretty much walked the second half... slowly I might add), took a week off, and then was back at it with a half marathon the next weekend, and then a few days later I flew out to California for runDisney Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, where I spent a lot of time on my feet at the expo, parks, running all three races, and what seems like hours spent in line for everything (purchases at expo, corrals, security, to get into parks, and then waiting for all of the rides). I had some sore feet, let me tell you.

Anyway, I have three more weekends of races and then will have a bit of a break in the summer (it gets too hot here, and with humidity (I get sick in that kind of weather) I only do a few races throughout the months rather than every weekend haha).

Upcoming races include:
Chicago Spring Half Marathon on 5/21 (use code BRCHI17 for $10 off) 
Soldier Field 10 Mile on 5/27 (use code BibRaveSF1017 for a free water bottle)
Ridge Run 5k on 5/29
North Shore Classic Half Marathon on 6/4 (use code BibRaveNSC17 for a free water bottle)
Chicago Bears 5k on 6/24
Rock n Roll Chicago 5k on 7/15 
Rock n Roll Chicago Half Marathon on 7/16 (use code BIBRAVE15 for $15 off half valid until 7/9)
Burgers and Beer 5k on 7/17
BTN Big 10k on 7/23 (use code BibRaveBTN17 for a free water bottle)
Chicago Half Marathon on 9/24

Ok, so maybe more races than I let on haha, but it's not EVERY weekend like this past month has been so it seems like less to me.

Those races will be for fun. I never push too hard during RnR weekend because it's usually 90 degrees and 100% humidity. Ick. I'm supposed to be in recovery mode, and instead of short miles on the weekend, I'm running half marathons. So far my body is holding up, but I think not pushing too much is the key. Not running for PRs here, and for runDisney I ran with my mom and we stopped for photos.

So other than these fun races I'll be doing, what else is on the agenda? Well, my next big goal race is Chicago Marathon. I'd REALLY like to get under 6 hours. I'll have to shave off 6 minutes from my current PR, and about 16 minutes from last year's finish time. I think it's doable, but closer to race day I'll talk strategy and finish times with my coach and see what he thinks is realistic. Training should start up next month I think.

I wasn't great about keeping up with my hydration game during vacation (I mean, I can only buy so many bottles of $3 waters), so my goal for the rest of the month is to get back to where I was before the marathon and drinking at least 64oz of water a day. I should be drinking more based on my weight, however, getting to 64 is a big deal for me, as I used to probably only drink 20oz a day. Once I can hit 64 consistently, I'll try upping it. 

Another thing I need to start focusing on again is strength training. I haven't been doing a great job with that in a while, and I need to get back in the habit. Not only to strengthen the muscles I need for running and to stay injury-free, but I also would love to lose some body fat. Going along with this, I want to focus more on my nutrition. I need to get back in the habit of weighing and tracking all of my food to make sure I'm getting the nutrients I need and not too much sugar/unhealthy fats. This is tough for me, as I absolutely love unhealthy foods. I don't drink as much beer as I used to, but I certainly enjoy it so that can add up to. I hate tracking it all, but I know it's the best way to be conscious of what I'm putting in my body and how much of it.

Do you set different goals throughout the year or have a few that you maintain all year round? I tend to need to re-evalutate throughout the year to help keep me focused. What are you hoping to achieve the second half of 2017? I know we are still in May, but with my goal race over, it was time to look again and see what I wanted to do for the rest of the year (besides having fun, of course).