Warrior Dash

Yes. I did it! I completed the Warrior Dash! And it was a blast! I thought I would write about my experience to help others who are thinking about doing it. And let me just say, it was an experience! I did the one in Channahon, IL. Yes, it’s far. They do it at the Dollinger Family Farm. It’s beautiful! But definitely a hike for those of us who live up North.

So, I’ll start with getting there and parking. At about 6:30 in the morning, me, my mom and dad and 2 year old started the drive. It took about 45 minutes to get there from my parents house. Early on a Saturday morning with no traffic. I was in the 8:30 AM wave so I had to be there by 7:30 AM. Once we arrived, we had to pay $10 cash for parking (which is ridiculous because we all already paid for the event) and then they told us where to park. This is where my anxiety REALLY started to kick in! We are in the middle of nowhere, on a farm. There is no concrete parking lot. All cars have to park on grass. Muddy, wet (because it had rained the entire day before) grass. Well, I got stuck! Thank God I had my dad with me! He helped some other guy push my car out. If I was by myself I would have been crying. But they got it out, I parked and we were on our way! Already filled with mud.

The first thing you see is a booth for the waivers. This was great because I didn’t print mine out due to lack of ink. But they have you covered! I filled out the waiver and continued in. There are people greeting you and passing out green glasses that say Warrior dash on the side for free! Bonus! I’m wearing them in the pictures. Then you need to bring your waiver and ID to pick up your bib. Here is my picture right after I put mine on…

Then, you go to the next booth to pick up your t-shirt and warrior hat. Everything was easy, and people were so nice and at this time, it wasn’t too crowded so I was happy.

I met up with my friend and her sister-in-law which was so great! I definitely recommend running this with friends. Here is us before the race!

All clean 😉 The music was loud by the start line and everyone was getting pumped up! And then… we were off! Let me just say, I was really nervous. Like, I have never done anything like this before. Sure, I have done running races, but this was 3.1 miles of 11 obstacles! I’m not going to go into detail, but the obstacles were definitely challenging. Doable but challenging and scary especially if you do not like heights.

My favorites were jumping over fire (because, when do you do that willingly?) and climbing up a wall with only a rope to pull you up. Then you climb down and have to go through yucky, muddy water. So fun! At one point, this guy next to me said, “We actually PAID to do this!) Yes, yes we did 🙂

The last obstacles are the Goliath slide and then crawling through muddy water under barbed wire. Then you run to the finish line and get your medal! So much fun. Here I am at the end…

And with the girls…

Afterwards, you can go get a beer and your picture taken and shower. I surprisingly didn’t get a beer but the showers were great and much needed! I’m highly impressed with the entire event.

It was such a great experience! I’m not sure I’ll do it again, mainly because it’s so far for me and the parking situation was awful. But I’m so glad I did it and completed every single obstacle!. I’m sore, my legs are all scratched up but I can say I’m a warrior! Tips:

-Drive an AWD vehicle
-You need waiver, ID, towels for the car, and cell phone or camera for taking pictures
-They have a gear check if you need it but you are also able to go back to your car once you check in
-Run with a friend!
-It is not timed! Only the first 25 girls and 25 guys who finish move on to the championships
-Obstacles are optional if you feel you cannot complete one
-Have fun! You WILL get muddy!

 

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Healthy Apple Oatmeal Cookies

I love baking with apples! And I’m starting to run again after taking over a month off so I thought, I need a good, heathy, tasty snack/breakfast to get me in the spirit. Apples, cinnamon and oatmeal come together in these soft and chewy cookies. A perfect snack or post run bite. I run in the mornings and these hit the spot! So, go workout  and then start your ovens…

What you will need:

Cookie sheet lined with parchment paper

1 cup quick oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Dash of salt
1 egg
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 apple peeled and chopped

Note: These were not sweet enough for me so when I make them again I will add a tablespoon or 2 of brown sugar.

In a large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together egg, coconut oil, vanilla and maple syrup. Stir in apples. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. The batter is thick. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Drop cookie dough by spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet and press each cookie slightly. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Let stand on cookie sheet for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

 

 

Dark, Cold and Wet

That’s right, my friends! Fall has arrived in Chicago. This morning I woke up to run at 6 AM and it was misty, dark and about 51 degrees. I was thrilled! No exaggeration. I LOVE running when it’s cold. It was really difficult for me to continue my workout routine in the summer. Summer is for swimming and going to the beach and drinking ice cold cocktails. 90 degree weather with 99% humidity is not for running, but that’s just me. You workout in the winter to look good in the summer 😉

So out of bed I crawled, excited to get outside. I usually use the Nike + app on my phone, but it has been sucking lately. I decided to just get out there and not worry about how many miles or how fast I ran. I popped 3 Reece’s Pieces in my mouth, opened the door, inhaled some fresh air and pounded pavement.

Not going to lie, it was probably one of my favorite runs. Not too many people were out and when the sun started coming up, everything looked beautiful! Nature has a way of speaking to you (cheesy, I know), when you least expect it. The wet grass and colorful leaves all said “Good morning, Emily! Welcome to autumn.”

Next up, baking something pumpkin!

 

Running in the Rain

6:00 am my alarm goes off. Ugh, of course my initial thought is that I want to go back to sleep. But I am one of those crazy people who love to run. I always have. So, after I wake up and start getting my “running gear” on (I’ll explain the quotes later), I start to feel good. And then I look outside. Everything is soaked. Still raining, soaked.  Usually I do not like the rain (who does?) and it puts me in a bad mood. I mean, I eat so many sugary sweets, I’m bound to melt, right? But when you don’t have makeup on, haven’t showered yet and hair is pulled back in a pony tail, who cares? And birds were chirping! I love hearing the birds in the morning. For this reason, out I went.

Obviously, I’m not made of sugar, therefore I’m writing a blog about running in the rain. Having to jump over puddles was pretty fun, too. Definitely made it a more difficult run. I am by no means, an advanced runner. I’m fairly slow, actually. This morning I ran a 5K, 3.1 miles, in 31 minutes and 24 seconds. My goal is to do it in 28 minutes or less. I know I’ll get there, it just takes time and dedication.

Here is an amazing (haha) photo of me and what I wore on my morning, rainy run-

The green track jacket has pockets for my phone, which I also put in a ziplock bag so it wouldn’t get wet.  I do not remember where I got the jacket, it is seriously like 8 or 9 years old. The grey leggings are yoga pants from Victorias Secret, and the shoes are Brooks Glycerin 8 which I love!  I really like how Nike running shoes look, but I have wide feet and Brooks fit me better. Function over fashion here, people!

Which brings me to why I put running gear in quotes earlier. There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on work out clothes.  The only items you really should research and try on is a good shoe, and a sports bra if you’re a woman. Then all you need is a t-shirt or tank top and stretchy pants and you are good to go.  I really like Target for activewear. Their C9 line fits well and is inexpensive.

If you do not like to run, don’t do it.  Simple as that.  There are so many other cardio workouts, you need to find one that you actually enjoy doing. For me, running is a great way to clear my head and I just love the physicality of it. I like that I am in a competition with myself and I don’t have to rely on anyone else to finish the race.

So, there you have it!  Get on out there, rain or shine, and reward yourself with a piece of cheesecake 😉

Inspire to perspire!