Cleveland Half Marathon Training – Week 6 and 7

A little behind with my blog posts. I have been busy studying for comp exams and finished my first one yesterday. The second one is in 2 weeks, so I took today off from studying and then back at it again tomorrow for my next test. Despite all the studying, I still managed to do my workouts.

Monday 3/31 – 3.11 Mile run

Tuesday 4/1 – Vinyasa Flow 1-2 @ Zen Yoga Garage

Wednesday 4/2 – 7.06 mile run, Vinyasa Flow 1-2 @ Zen Yoga Garage

Thursday 4/3 – 4.03 mile run, Vinyasa Flow 1-2 @ Zen Yoga Garage

Friday 4/4 – 4.15 mile run, Sun Salutations @ Yogify App

Saturday 4/5 – 9.03 mile run, Yoga Community Class @ Zen Yoga Garage

Sunday 4/6 – Vinyasa Rush Studio @ NTC App

Week 6 Total: 27.38 miles ran, 5 hours of yoga

Monday 4/7 – 4.01 mile run, Vinyasa Flow 1-2 @ Zen Yoga Garage

Tuesday 4/8 – 6.77 mile run

Wednesday 4/9 – Rest Day

I started to get a cold Tuesday afternoon, so I decided to take a rest day on Wednesday.

Thursday 4/10 – 4.05 mile run
I still had the sniffles but I felt good enough to go running around my neighborhood. It was nice to get fresh air and actually felt better.

Friday 4/11 – 4.27 mile run, Vinyasa Flow 1-2 @ Zen Yoga Garage

Saturday 4/12 – Rest Day

I had to take a rest day because of my comp exams, which meant I moved my long run to Sunday.

Sunday 4/13 – 10.05 mile run, Community yoga class @ Zen Yoga Garage

Great day for a run and some yoga. The community yoga class at Zen Yoga was jammed packed and about 50 yogis came. Wow! Don’t blame them since class is free. It was great to stretch out after my run.

Weekly Totals: 29.15 miles ran, 3 hours of yoga

Not too shabby for feeling under the weather with a cold for a couple of days.

At Zen Yoga Garage

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Cleveland Half Marathon Training – Week 5

Another great week of training. I did some rearranging of my schedule to accommodate the Shamrock Shuffle in which I had my “active” rest day on Saturday instead of my usual Sunday.

Monday – 4.06 mile run (neighborhood), 1 hour vinyasa flow 1-2 @ Zen Yoga Garage

Tuesday – 6.02 mile run (Lakefront Trail), 15 min Sun Salutations @ Yogify App, 15 min Alpha Abs @ NTC App

Took a break from yoga and did a short 15 min session at home. The 6 miler was tough because 3 miles was spent running into the wind. Doesn’t hurt to do some resistance training. :)

Wednesday – cross training day – 1 hour vinyasa flow 1-2 @ Zen Yoga Garage, 45 min NTC class @ NTC Chicago

Double workout day. I headed to NTC Chicago for my NTC class with my PR crew leader with Kate. I’m usually not free on Wednesdays because of school, but it was spring break. Once I’m done with my exams, I can come back again. As usual, NTC was tough but a good workout. I felt strong and all that yoga has helped with my core strength.

Thursday – 3.09 mile run (Humboldt Park), 1 hour vinyasa flow 1-2 @ Zen Yoga Garage

Instead of running around my neighborhood, my boyfriend and I ran around Humboldt Park. It was drizzling a little bit, but it wasn’t too bad. The lake was still frozen. Nice change of pace.

Friday – 3.11 mile run (Planet Fitness gym), 1 hour vinyasa flow 1-2 @ Zen Yoga Garage

I learned how to do reversed birds of prey during yoga. I’m not the most flexible person, so this was bit tough. I couldn’t do it as well on my left leg than my right leg.

Saturday – rest day – 1 hour community yoga class @ Zen Yoga Garage

I took it easy today because of the Shamrock Shuffle the next day. It was nice to stretch out.

Sunday – Race Day – 3.05 mile warmup run (Michigan Ave to Grant Park), 5.20 mile run (Shamrock Shuffle 8K), 15 min Sun Salutations @ Yogify App

Moved my long run to Sunday, so I did a short run to the Grant Park. I tend to do better in races when my legs have some mileage in them. Here’s my race recap here.

Weekly Total: 24.53 miles ran, 5 hours and 30 min doing yoga, and 1 hour cross training (45 min HIIT, 15 min core)

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Race Recap: Shamrock Shuffle 8K + NTC Crew Celebrations

Sometimes I find it hard to do races in the middle of training because it often means rearranging my half marathon training schedule especially if the race is on Sunday, but racing often pushes me to go fast as I can. I decided to do 3 more miles before the Shamrock Shuffle as a warmup run to make up my half marathon mileage since I needed to do 8 miler as my long run this week. To be honest, I was hesitant to sign up especially since I have done the Shuffle twice already (hey, I get bored sometimes doing the same race over and over again) and I decided to sign up last minute since this was going to be last Chicago race (at least for awhile).

Anyways, my boyfriend and I went to the expo on Friday afternoon and it was crazy. We tried to take the shuttle from State/Lake L station but after 20 minutes, we gave up and decided to take a taxi. That’s when we realized the hold up was all the traffic on to the Navy Pier construction. Luckily our taxi driver let us out, so we can walk the rest of the way instead of running up the meter. We easily got my packet and shirt and took a picture together at the photo booth.


We walked around the expo at least once to browse through everything. On Saturday, I went to the yoga community class at Zen Yoga Garage as a way to stretch and relax before the race.

On Sunday, we woke up around 5:30 am to get ready. Despite the 30 degree weather, I decided to go with shorts, calf sleeves, dri-fit shirt, and removeable arm sleeves. I had a feeling that I was going to get hot around the 4 mile mark (I did!), so I was dressed for it. We parked around the River North area and I headed out for my 3 mile run down Michigan Ave. It actually was really nice – sidewalks were clear and it was quiet. Once I reached Grant Park, it started to get more crowded which was fine. Once my warm up run was finished, I met up with my fellow crewbies for a pre-race photo and then we were off to our corrals.


This year I was in Wave 2- Corral E. The past 2 Shuffles, I was in Wave 1 because of my previous Shuffle times but I was in Wave 2 most likely due to my late signup and they already assigned the corrals. Oh my, the corrals were crazy. We were literally minutes in Corral E before it closed, but I saw some people jump the fence to make it in though.

Then we were off! The beginning of the shuffle was somewhat slow because we were jammed packed, I ended up weaving a lot more than I wanted but I picked up steam and made sure I was running at comfortable speed and also pushing myself. I did grab some Gatorade at the aid stations and just took one gulp and threw the rest of it away. Also this year I decided to run without music, so I can focus on my breathing and running, which helped a lot to maintain my speed. I noticed that I tend to get a side stitch if I don’t breathe deeply when I run and I end up slowing down which is something I didn’t want to do. A good part of the course was under the shade which I loved, but once we hit the 3.5 mile mark, it was pretty much open to the sun and at one point, I had to push down my arm sleeves because I was getting a bit hot. I swear when I hit the 4 mile mark, it felt like it took forever to get to the finish line. I think I slowed down a little when I hit the “hill” on Roosevelt, but I tried to finish strong. I looked down on my time on my watch and I PR’d! I finished in 45 min and 25 seconds, which was a 1 min and 26 second improvement from my previous shuffle time two years ago. My Nike watch had a different pace time (8:45 min/mile) than the official race pace (9:09 min/mile), but I will take it.

I was pretty stoked about the way I felt throughout the race and how I didn’t feel winded at all. All that extra yoga and cross training has been working and paying off! I’m feeling good leading to Cleveland in May.

Once I was done, I headed to the post-party area and met up with my CRW crewbies and my boyfriend near the fountain.

We hung there for awhile until we went to the Nike NTC Crew Celebration Party at Rockit Bar & Grill where they served us a breakfast buffet and gave away prizes to MVPs of each crew. It was a lot of fun and inspiring to see how all of us transformed during our 5 week training program. I didn’t get to do a lot of the workouts with my crew because of school but I managed to do some on my own using the NTC app.

The PR Crew with our awesome Nike Master Trainer Kate Hiipakka


Overall I had a great time at the Shuffle and seeing everyone!

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Cleveland Half Marathon Training – Week 4

Another great training week for me last week. This weekend I have the Shamrock Shuffle 8K and it’s going to be my third time running the race. I always have enjoyed it and can never pass up the opportunity to run downtown Chicago!

Monday – 3.02 mile run, 1 hour Vinyasa Flow 1-2 yoga @ Zen Yoga Garage

Tuesday – 3.87 interval training run, 15 min Sun Saluations (Yogify App)
Interval training was tough, but I pushed myself.

Wednesday – cross training day – 1 hour Vinyasa Flow 1-2 yoga @ Zen Yoga Garage, 40 min NTC workout @ NTC Chicago

I took my boyfriend to NTC Chicago for an NTC workout, but first they had a special workshop at the Apple store next door talking about the Nike Training Club and their other Nike apps – Nike+ Running, Nike Fuelband, and Nike+ Move. It was a tough workout. My boyfriend’s legs were sore for 3 days. I was fine though. :)

Thursday – 3.01 mile run, 1 hour Vinyasa Flow 1-2 yoga @ Zen Yoga Garage

Went on a neighborhood run and got to practice side crow at yoga. Got some good tips on how to do it!

Friday – 8.22 mile long run, 15 min Sun Salutations @ Yogify App

Moved my long run to Friday and participated in the Fleet Feet Emerald Island Treasure Hunt. See my previous post here

Saturday – 3.06 mile run, 1 hour community yoga class @ Zen Yoga Garage

Helped out with a friend with a running photo shoot. It was cold out there around Montrose Harbor.

Sunday – rest day – 15 min Sun Salutations (Yogify App)

 Weekly Total: 21.18 miles ran, 4 hours and 30 min yoga, 40 min cross training – NTC class.

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Emerald Isle Treasure Hunt

I have been wanting the new Nike Flyknit Lunar 2s, but I have way too many running shoes to go through before needing to buy any new ones.

Then I saw Fleet Feet Chicago’s promotion about the Emerald Isle Treasure Hunt which was a cross promotion of the Flyknit Lunar 2s and the Shamrock Shuffle. Apparently 10 pairs of shoes are going to be given away and they were going to be hidden at various spots on Northerly Island and Museum Campus along the lakefront trail. The hunt starts at 6:07 am and ends at 5:07 pm with a clue released about every hour.

Perfect! My boyfriend and I thought are best bet was in the morning to get the shoes. We woke up early at 4:30 am and headed to the lakefront trail around 5 am. We got there a little bit before first clue at 6:07 am to scope out the area near Adler and Shedd. While we were waiting, both of us noticed another car parked and two people get out around 5:45 am. They didn’t look like they were ready to go out for a run and were holding a couple of bags. We knew they were Nike or Fleet Feet workers. I saw them head north on the trail, so I decided to “follow” them. My boyfriend stayed in the car to watch the Nike people’s car and see if they come back while I chased them around. I ran around past the Shedd Aquarium and stopped at the fork where the trail splits to go north along the lakefront and didn’t see anyone. I second guessed myself and headed back south towards Soldier Field. My boyfriend told me through text that he was pretty sure they were in the museum campus area. By then it’s almost 6:07 am and I saw a few other treasure hunters out there. I ran back to Musuem Campus quickly and stopped at the fork again. I decided to go towards the Museum Campus overpass to see if anyone was there. While running there, I saw two people hanging near the overpass and the first thing I noticed was their bright shoes and I had a feeling that this was the prize. Once I reached them, they looked so surprise to see me. I asked if they where from Nike and at first they denied they were but of course, they were smiling. They told me that I found the first treasure and they just literally tweeted out the first clue. I didn’t even see the tweet and didn’t know what the clue was until I got back to my car. I just relied on my instinct and detective skills. :) After I arrived, the next person arrived maybe 30 seconds or a minute. So I was very lucky and happy that I don’t have to wait and hunt for those shoes anymore. The prize was the custom Nike ID Irish shoe, a Nike bag, a shoe voucher, and neon yellow see through box that says “Run Fast Live Irish”, the slogan for this year’s Shamrock Shuffle.


The treasure #1 clue and my “pot of gold” tweets


Me with treasure #1, the voucher, and the Irish Nike shoe

I ran back to my car and met up with my boyfriend, so we can finish off our long runs – 4 miles for him, 8 miles for me. After our run, we headed to Fleet Feet Chicago – South Loop to get my prize, which was cool because I have never been to this store, only the Lincoln Square and Old Town stores. I got to keep everything except for the custom Nike ID Irish shoe. Love my new kicks!


Me and new Nike Lunar Flyknit Lunar 2′s


Pic from our long run along the Lakefront Trail

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Cleveland Half Marathon Training – Week 3

A little late, but better than nothing. Another great week of training last week aided with some great weather especially on Monday and Friday. I’m finished my last class of grad school this past Monday. I still have to study for my final comprehensive exams and that’s it! I will get my masters!

Here’s how last week’s training went:

Monday – 1 hour Vinyasa Flow Yoga 1-2 at Zen Yoga Garage

Monday’s are normally a run day but I wanted to give my right calf muscle one more rest day, so I switched my cross training and running days around.

Tuesday – 1 hour Vinyasa Flow Yoga 1-2 at Zen Yoga Garage, 5.03 mile run

Double day workout. Felt great during my run and my right calf wasn’t in a pain anymore.

Wednesday – 3.11 mile run, 15 min yoga workout – Vinyasa Rush Studio @ NTC app

Another double day workout. I ran at the gym and hopefully the last time until winter. Ugh, I can’t stand it.

Thursday – 1 hour Vinyasa Flow Yoga 1-2 at Zen Yoga Garage, 3.21 mile run at Nike Bucktown

I finally joined the Nike Bucktown run club for their Thursday run. It was a special event for the Shamrock Shuffle and I didn’t want to miss out. When I got there, I finally had the chance to try their new Nike Flyknit 2s. Also I got to meet up with some of my CRW crew mates for the run. I have been missing in action lately because I have been busy studying for my exams. Anyways, after some announcements, we took off for our 3 mile run around the Bucktown. It was nice change from usual routes along the lakefront and Logan Square. But one thing I have to say is that I loved the Nike Flyknit Lunar 2s. A total upgrade from the Flyknit Lunar 1s and all my issues with the first versions were addressed with this new shoe. The shoe tongue didn’t get loose at all and the shoelaces aren’t as filmsy. I felt a lot of support while running and it’s lightweight. I felt like I was running faster. Once we got back to the store, we were greeted by our surprise – Nike athlete, Chicago Bears running back – Matt Forte. To be honest, I was wasn’t sure who he was when I high fived him but when they told me who he was, I somewhat recognized the name. (Hey I grew up as a Niner fan!). Also we were visited by Carey Pinkowski who is Shamrock Shuffle and Chicago Marathon Race Director and he gave us some insight into Chicago’s premiere running events. I’m still undecided about signing up for the Shamrock Shuffle. I have already done it twice.

Friday – 1 hour Vinyasa Flow Yoga 1-2 at Zen Yoga Garage, 6.28 mile run

I moved my long run to Friday instead of the usual Saturday because I wanted to celebrate St. Patrick’s with my friends. Since it was Pi day and I had to run 6 miles, I ran an exact 2 * Pi miles, 6.28 miles!

Saturday – 15 min yoga session – Sun Salutations @ Yogify app

I needed to relax after a long day of partying. A short yoga session was needed.

Sunday – 50 min barre class at Zen Yoga Garage

It’s been awhile since I have taken a barre class and my legs, arms, and abs were burning. My favorite barre instructor Trista (who also teaches at NTC Chicago) teaches at Zen Yoga, so of course, I’m going to take this class.

Summary – 17.63 miles ran, 4 hours and 30 min vinyasa flow yoga, 50 min cross training (barre yoga)

Overall another great week and the double workouts have made a big difference. Feeling stronger with every workout!

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Cleveland Half Marathon Training – Week 2

So far Cleveland half training is going well. I decided to get a one month unlimited membership at my favorite yoga studio, Zen Yoga Garage. I have been attending classes almost every day as part of my cross training.

Here’s what I did last week:

Monday – 3.1 mile run, 15 min yoga session (Vinyasa Rush Studio – NTC app)

I went to the gym for my run and it was all right. Getting sick of running indoors. After I came back home from school, I did a short yoga session to stretch out.

Tuesday – 4.5 mile run, 1 hour yoga session (Vinyasa Flow 2 @ Zen Yoga Garage)

Early morning run before a work meeting. I originally wanted to do a 5 mile run, but had to cut it short by .5. I made up my .5 in my next 2 runs.

Wednesday – 1 hour yoga session (Vinyasa Flow 1-2 @ Zen Yoga Garage), Descending Cardio workout (100 star jumps, 90 mountain climbers, 80 heismans, 70 jump ropes, 60 scissor jumps, 50 high knees, 40 ski jumps, 30 squat jumps, 20 double side jumps, 10 tuck jumps)

Cross training day. A yoga session in the morning and I couldn’t make it to NTC class later that night to work out with my crew, so I did the descending cardio workout by Nike Master Trainer Kate. It’s a tough workout especially after a long day.

Thursday – 1 hour yoga session (Vinyasa Flow 1-2 @ Zen Yoga Garage, 15 min Core workout @ NTC Chicago)

Active rest day. I still wanted to put in another yoga session to stretch out. Then I headed to NTC Chicago for a Food Demo for Recovery Meals by Ashley Walter Petit. It was great to hear different ways to hydrate and refuel before, during, and after workouts. We got to try a refreshing smoothie as a small snack. We had short core workout before we left. Oh boy, that was tough. Also this is when I started to feel my right calf muscle to hurt and did some stretches.

Friday – 1 hour yoga session (Vinyasa Flow 1-2 @ Zen Yoga Garage, 3.23 mile run

Great day to run and it almost 50 degrees. My boyfriend and I headed to the lakefront and did a 3 miler. It was so nice not to wear multiple layers. My right calf muscle overnight got worse. It was bothering me every time I walked, but I decided to test it out during my run. I managed to grit it out and finished. Then once we got home, I iced my leg, rubbed Icy Hot, and bandaged it up.

Saturday – 5.17 mile run, 15 min yoga session (Sun Salutations – Yogify app)

My right leg was still bothering me but I still wanted to run. I made sure to wear my compression socks to give me additional support around my calf. The biggest issue I dealt with during my run was the snow flying into my eyes during the beginning of my run. Once I got home, I did my injury routine of icing and bandaging a couple of times throughout the day. I ended the day with another short yoga session.

Sunday – 1 hour yoga session (Community yoga class @ Zen Yoga Garage)

Another active rest day. Great day to stretch out and I managed to hold crow pose for a couple of seconds. I have been practicing this particular pose almost every day, so it’s been great to see some progress.

Summary: 16.02 miles run, 5 hours and 30 minutes of yoga, 45 minutes of cardio/core workout

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