Author Archives: runeatplay

Chicago Marathon – Danny’s First Marathon

On Sunday, my husband, Danny, ran his first marathon and I am so incredibly proud of him.

He spent 18 weeks training diligently. He worked a full-time job, ran four days a week, and helped with the kids and house. He would often come home from work and immediately go back out running. He would wake up early before work to run. He would get up early on the weekends to get his long run done.

I admire his dedication and all the hard work he put in. He worked hard to achieve a goal that he will remember forever.

He finished the Chicago Marathon in 3:41:57.


On Saturday, we attended the Chicago Marathon expo at McCormick Place.


There were so many different booths and vendors set up. We got Danny’s bib and shirt and then explored for a while with the kids.

Countdown to marathon time – 20 hours to go!


On Saturday night, we went to Noodles and Co. for dinner followed by some frozen yogurt.


Eat all the carbs.


We woke up about 5 am on Sunday morning and left the house pretty soon after. We got the kids dressed and put them right into the car. We arrived in the city around 6:20 am. Danny was able to pre-pay for a parking spot online so parking wasn’t too expensive. My dad, stepmom, and her friend, Cindy, arrived shortly after we did. Cindy’s husband was also running the marathon.

Before the race:



Danny ate a plain bagel and an apple in the car and then we headed towards Grant Park. Danny had to be in his corral by 7:45 am so we had a little bit of time to kill. Jaden had fun finding and petting all the dogs he could see.



Danny left to go to his corral and we headed towards mile #2 to wait for him. Spectators weren’t allowed into Grant Park until 9 am so we said good luck to Danny before he left.


At mile #2, we met my father-in-law who took the train into the city to meet us. We hung out there awhile and then the marathon started!


The wheelchair marathoners went by first and they were so inspiring to watch. It’s amazing how people who have a handicap don’t let anything stand in their way of accomplishing their dreams.


The elite runners went by next and they were so fast I could hardly get a picture!


Danny didn’t end up leaving his coral until 8:15 am and shortly after that, he ran past us.


We also saw Cindy’s husband, Nick.


The kids made signs to hold up.



I signed up for text updates on Danny so I received alerts when he crossed the 5k mark, 10k mark, half marathon mark and so on. After we saw him around mile #2, we headed towards mile #13 to see him again. Unfortunately, we ended up missing him at mile #13. We were there in time, we just missed him running past us.

At that point, he had taken his shirt off and I think we were all looking for a black shirt not a shirtless Danny. I was super bummed that we missed him.

There wasn’t an easy way to get to another mile marker except towards the end so we headed towards mile #25/26. Spectators weren’t allowed at the finish but we were able to get right before mile #26 towards the end.

My grandparent’s also came to the marathon (my grandma ran the marathon herself when I was in high school!) and they waited at mile #20 but unfortunately they missed seeing Danny too.

Mle #26 was a huge hill and you could just see the struggle on the runner’s faces trying to get up that hill. It looked tortuous. After waiting awhile, we were able to see Danny. He ran by fast and was limping slightly. He said that his hamstring had started to cramp and going up the hill was tough.

He crossed the finish line with the unofficial time of 3:41:57 which is approximately an 8:20 mile pace. I was so proud of him!!


We had to walk a bit to get to the runner reunite area at mile #27 but we were finally able to see him! You could tell he was definitely feeling the effects of running so long.

The first thing he did was stretch, sit down, and take off his shoes. We sat for maybe about a half hour or so before he was ready to get up.


Thank goodness my father-in-law was there because he was the only one who was able navigate the city. He helped Danny up and down from sitting and drove home. We walked back to the car and headed home.




Danny was doing okay until we got into the car. Then he broke out in a full body sweat, started to get lighted headed, and nauseous. It was a little scary for a minute. Luckily, we was okay and sipped water on the way home. We dropped my father-in-law off and I drove home.

At home, Danny took a hot shower and then stretched and foam rolled for a long time. His legs were sore, tight, and cramping. He relaxed for awhile and started to feel better. Around 5:30 pm, we had some family over for pizza and cake.


Everyone stayed awhile and then Danny was just pretty much done for the day. He laid on the floor and my niece helped him roll out his calves. :)


Luckily, he took Monday off of work and he just relaxed most of the day. We did a few errands and I think the walking was good for his legs even though he was moving very slowly.

A big thank you to everyone who supported Danny – family, friends, his co-workers, my co-workers. It was so wonderful to see how supportive everyone was.

I am so proud of him for accomplishing such a huge goal. I can hardly imagine running one mile at an 8:20 pace, let alone 26.2 miles!

Awesome job, Danny!! I love you! And I am so incredibly proud of you!

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Filed under Race, Running

Friday Favorites

Good afternoon, friends!

I’m back with my Friday favorites. Let’s jump right into it!

  • ThinkThin Oatmeal

Did you know that ThinkThin made oatmeal?! I had no idea until I saw it at Target last weekend and of course, I had to buy it to try out. I got the peanut butter and honey flavor and I loved it! It had the perfect peanut butter flavor and was very filling.


It’s great for on the go because you just add water and pop in in the microwave for about a minute. I actually ate mine in the car on the way to work because I was running late. I will definitely be buying more of these! Yum!

  • Starbucks Iced Passion Tango Tea


I usually order unsweetened green tea at Starbucks but I decided to try a different flavor and I was glad that I did. The passion tango tea is so good and a nice change from regular green tea. I ordered it unsweetened and then I stir in a Splenda packet or two.

  • Bath & Body Works We Love Fall Candle

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I love fall scented candles and the Leaves candle is my all time favorite but this We Love Fall candle is a close second. I love that it’s actually three candles in one – the bottom layer is pumpkin apple, the middle layer is sweet cinnamon pumpkin, and the top layer is sweater weather.

  • Celestial Seasonings Caramel Apple Dream Tea


I am definitely a coffee lover, but I love to drink tea on cold afternoons when it’s too late in the day for coffee.

I found this caramel apple dream flavor at the store and I had to try it out. I love the subtle but delicious flavor of the tea.

  • Nioxin Shampoo and Conditioner


I’ve always dealt with very fine and thin hair and it seems like lately it’s been getting worse. I’ve used Nioxin in the past so I decided to try it out again.

It’s supposed to help with fine and chemically treated hair. I feel like I had good results with it in the past and it got great reviews online. It’s a little pricey but because I’ve always dealt with hair issues, I don’t mind spending a little more money on it.

And that’s it for today! Have a great weekend. Only two more days until Danny runs the Chicago Marathon!

** Don’t forget to enter my KT Tape Giveaway!

  • What are your favorite things today?

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Filed under Uncategorized

Back to Butts and Guts Class

Good afternoon!

I worked until 2pm yesterday and I usually bring my gym clothes with me so I can workout when I get off of work, but I still wasn’t feeling that great yesterday so I just went home instead.

Then, I randomly decided to take the 5:15 pm Butts and Guts class at my gym.


I never workout at 5:15 pm and I haven’t been to Butts and Guts class forever but I’m glad I went!


I got a great workout and we did lots of exercises with resistance bands. I burned 409 calories according to my Polar heart rate monitor.


Do I think heart rate monitors are 100% accurate? No. But I do think they give you a good estimate of what you burned. I personally don’t eat back the calories that I burned during a workout but I do like to see my heart rate to make sure I’m working hard enough especially during HIIT workouts.

Today, I was back at the gym this morning for a chest, triceps, and core workout. After strength training, I did about 20 minutes of cardio on the Stairmaster.


I finished up with a little bit of stretching.

I work tomorrow, on Saturday we’re going to the Chicago Marathon expo, and then on Sunday Danny will be running the marathon! I can’t wait. I’m so proud of him!

Have a great day!!

  • What’s your favorite exercise class?
  • Do you use a heart rate monitor?

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Filed under Fitness, Working Out

KT Tape Review and Giveaway!

Disclaimer: KT Tape sent me their limited edition pink zebra tape at no charge to me and are sponsoring this giveaway. I am a big supporter of KT Tape and all opinions are my own. 

In honor of breast cancer awareness month, KT tape has released a limited edition pink zebra tape. The purchase of this tape helps donate $10,000 or more to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.


As a KT tape lover myself, I was excited to receive this limited edition KT tape to use. If you’re not familiar with KT tape, it is an elastic sports and fitness tape designed for muscle, ligament, and tendon pain relief and support. I first heard about KT tape from my sister-in-law when she was training for the Disney half and full marathon and I have been using it ever since.

KT tape works by providing pain relief and support to sore muscles or injuries before, during, and after activity without restricting motion. I use it for everything! Mainly, I use it while running since I have so many hip/quad/calf problems, but I also have used it in the past to tape my wrist when I was having a lot of wrist pain.

I also have been using it on my knee when I do any leg workouts that require lunges or squats because my left knee has really been bothering me lately.


I have always suffered from tight calves and my quad tends to hurt a lot when I run, so KT tape is a life saver when I run races. I wore KT tape for the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll 5k and I think I KT taped every body part I possibly could – ankles, calves, knees, quads. :)


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KT Tape is great for injuries such as lower back pain, knee pain, shin splints, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tennis elbow. The KT tape is applied along muscles, tendons, and ligaments to provide lightweight external support. The purpose of KT tape is to create neuromuscular feedback that relaxes or facilitates stronger firing of muscles and tendons. The feedback creates support elements without the bulk and restriction from wraps and heavy bracing.

There are two different kids of KT tape. KT Tape Original which is made from reinforced cotton fibers and provides up to three days of support and KT Tape Pro which is made up of a specially engineered, ultra-durable synthetic fiber that provides durability and increased performance. Both tapes come in a roll of 20 pre-cut strips. The original tape is about $12.99 at most sporting goods stores and the pro tape is around $19.99. I prefer the pro tape.

A lifesaver for my knees:


KT tape is super easy to use. All you have to do is go on to their website and click on the  instructions tab. They have all different body parts listed and you just click on the one you’ll be using the KT tape on and then watch on video on exactly how to apply it. You can apply KT tape yourself, but I always have Danny apply it for me because it’s easier and he’s pretty much a pro at it now.


The pink zebra print is only available on the KT tape website but KT tape has offered to host a giveaway for one lucky reader to win a roll of their own KT tape in a different color. Enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Filed under Fitness, Giveaway, Product Review, Running, Working Out

Only Five More Days


We are counting down the days until the Chicago Marathon this Sunday! Danny will be running the marathon on Sunday and the kids and I will be there to cheer him on! I can’t believe it’s almost here. Danny has been training for about 12 weeks and finished his last long run of 8 miles last Sunday. I am so proud of him. :)



I woke up yesterday about 3:30 am feeling terrible. I felt fine when I went to bed Sunday night but overnight I was hit with a terrible cold. I feel a little bit better today but my nose is still stuffy and I feel so tired.

I spent most of the day sleeping and resting yesterday although I did venture out to get some groceries.

This morning, I was up for work at 4:50 am and then taught my Women on Weights class in the late morning. Even though I don’t feel the greatest, it feels good to get back on schedule.

I started out my morning with my normal breakfast – plain Greek yogurt mixed with one stevia packet, raspberries, and Special K protein cereal. I also had some egg whites and coffee.


I worked on back and biceps at the gym this morning before teaching my class. Some of the exercises I did included:

  • seated rows
  • barbell 21s
  • pull-ups on the Smith machine
  • alternating bicep curls
  • one arm rows
  • bicep curl machine

Although I still don’t feel great, I felt better after my workout.

After the gym, I stopped at the store to pick up a few items that I need for my Halloween costume.


It’s a secret for now….shhhhhh. I needed a pair of cheap sunglasses and luckily I found this pair at Kohl’s for only $2!

We have a Halloween party every year and this year it’s a little earlier than normal on Oct. 17th so I have less time to work on my costume!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Did you workout today? 
  • When was the last time you were sick?


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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

Salata Kid’s Bento Boxes and a Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I recently partnered with Salata as a Salata Select Blogger to bring you exciting news and information about the new salad offerings from Salata all year long. I received a gift card to purchase my salad but all opinions are my own.


Yesterday, we took a trip to Salata – a build your own healthy tossed-to-order-salad bar. My stepmom and Dad also came with us and this was their first time at Salata. They loved it and everyone had fun creating their own salad creations.


Salata recently starting offering kid’s bento boxes which was a huge hit with my kids.



The kids get a bento style box and they get to chose five ingredients, one protein, and a dressing or peanut butter. Jaden isn’t really a huge fan of meat so he went with some pasta instead. Jacob got turkey as his protein.


Both the kids loved being able to pick out all their own food and getting it in a separated box. Jaden is very unhappy when his food touches so he was very happy with the little dividers in the bento box. Jaden opted out of dressing and Jacob tried the honey mustard dressing which he loved.


Besides salads, Salata also offers wraps which is what my dad ordered. They toss all the lettuce and ingredients you pick in a large bowl and then add it all to a wrap.


I love salad bars where I can pick my own toppings and added a bunch of different items to my salad. I got romaine and spring mix lettuce, carrots, onions, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, feta cheese, apples, smoked turkey, croutons, and falafel. I added the mango dressing on the side which was amazing.


I love the variety of fresh ingredients that Salata offers – fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, cheese, chicken, turkey, seafood, croutons, breads, falafel, soups, and desserts. There’s something for everyone and now even kids can  get their own meals! Of course, kids can always order a regular salad too but my kids loved the bento boxes.

Salata is partnering with Texas-based suppliers to provide new ingredients and offerings now through October 31st including:

  • Pecans from the state tree of Texas sourced from San Saba Pecans in San Saba, Texas
  • Goat cheese from Cheesemakers in Cleveland, Texas
  • A Texas-inspired dry rub barbecue chicken, handcrafted by Salata
  • Prickly Pear lemonade, inspired by the state plant of Texas, and crafted exclusively for Salata by JuicedUp Drinks in Houston

To celebrate its anniversary, Salata will offer giveaways in all stores and on social media on October 14th. Guests can also buy a salad or a wrap at the 2005 price of $5, with a small upcharge for chicken or seafood, when then mention “Happy Anniversary Salata” at the register!


Salata has a great giveaway for you guys today!! One winner will win a Salata tumbler, bag, and a $50 gift card!! 

*****Salata is not available in every state so please check out Salata locations here. Open to U.S. residents only please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Filed under Fun, Giveaway, Lunch, Product Review

Honeycrisp Apple Cider Sangria Recipe and Halloween Drinks

Good morning!

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile now then you know that my family is very big into Halloween. Well, my dad is very big into Halloween – the rest of us just go along with it and enjoy it. :)

My dad always has lots of Halloween activities planned for October and last night we kicked off the Halloween season with a bonfire and a Halloween drink night. We all came up with a grown-up Halloween drink and shared them last night. Some drinks were for a visual effect, some drinks were for taste, and some were for both.


I made a Honeycrisp apple cider sangria. I saw an apple cider sangria recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction and used that as a base for my own sangria recipe. Her recipe is made with red wine but I prefer white wine. The sweeter, the better. :) But this recipe was’t overly sweet. I loved how it turned out!


Honeycrisp Apple Cider Sangria Recipe


  • 750mL bottle white wine (I used Moscato. You can also use a red wine if you prefer or a different white wine.)
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 medium sized Honeycrisp apples, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • orange, sliced thin
  • juice from one lemon
  • 4 cinnamon sticks (more for garnish if desired)
  • club soda
  • Optional: cinnamon and sugar to rim glasses

This sangria is best made ahead of time so the flavors can combine. I made mine the in the morning and let in sit in the fridge until evening. Also, this is a great recipe to customize to your liking. If it’s not strong enough, add a little more wine. If it’s too strong, add a little more apple cider. If it isn’t sweet enough, add a little bit of sugar.


  • Add cinnamon sticks, apples, and oranges into a pitcher. Stir in wine, apple cider, lemon juice, and orange juice.
  • Let sit in fridge for 6-24 hours.
  • If desired, mix cinnamon in sugar in  bowl, wet glass rim, and dip into cinnamon and sugar mixture.
  • Pour sangria into glasses and add a splash of club soda on top. Garnish with a cinnamon stick if desired.
  • Drink responsibly and enjoy!


Everyone’s drinks came out great! Danny made a Jack O Lantern drink made with honey Jack Daniels.


My brother made a gross swamp water drink – luckily it didn’t taste gross!


My sister-in-law’s drink was delicious! It was like drinking a dessert. It was a float drink made with apple pucker, ice cream, and whipped cream. I drank mine and half of Danny’s. :)

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My dad’s drink was the most visually appealing and I loved his touch of using beakers as glasses.


He used dry ice to make them smoke. We were very careful to not actually drink the dry ice. It was stop bubbling after a short while. I believe it was made with run, vodka, and lemonade. He used food coloring for the different colors.

It was a fun night to start the Halloween season! Have a great day!

  • Favorite adult drink?
  • Favorite Halloween activity?


Filed under Family Fun, Halloween

October 1st!

Good afternoon! Happy first day of October!!

Here are a few of my favorite posts from past Octobers:



Fall weather has officially arrived here in Chicagoland and it has been chilly the past couple of days! I love fall but I do miss the heat of the summer.

I started out my morning with some warm oatmeal on this chilly day.


I love topping my oatmeal with just a little bit of peanut butter – it makes it tastes so much better.

After breakfast, I went to the gym and did a really good workout that I adapted from a workout I saw on the NASM Facebook page.

I did each superset four times, resting 1-2 minutes in between supersets.

Superset #1

  • Chest press x5
  • Push-ups x10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of 4 times)

Superset #2:

  • Assisted pull-up machine x5
  • Medicine ball slams x 10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

Superset #3:

  • Dumbbell front squats x5
  • Jump squats x10

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

Superset #4:

  • Dumbbell push presses x5
  • Single are clean and presses x8 each arm

(Rest after and repeat for a total of four times)

It was a great workout that kept my heart rate up! I finished my workout with 2.1 miles on the treadmill.


During October, my gym has a pink treadmill and for every mile you walk or run, they will donate 10 cents to breast cancer awareness research.


On Tuesday, Jacob and I went on our weekly Starbucks trip and I was excited to try out the new toasted graham latte.


My local Starbucks had actually just gotten it’s first shipment of it on that day so I went on the right day!


I really liked it and loved that it had a lighter flavor and wasn’t too overpowering. It’s definitely worth getting again. I get mine short, non-fat, and no whip. :)

My family is coming over for dinner and a bonfire tomorrow so today, I’ll just be running errands and getting things ready and then I work tomorrow.

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite thing about October?
  • How’s your weather? Chilly yet?!
  • Favorite Starbucks drink? Or favorite seasonal drink?




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Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Halloween, Recipes

Nutrexin Alum-Free Deodorant Review

As a Moms Meet ambassador, I was recently given the chance to try out Nutrexin Alum-Free Roll-On Deodorant as well as two other Nutrexin products.


I work out in the gym almost every day of the week so I definitely jumped on the opportunity to try out a deodorant. :)


Alum-free deodorant allows the body to naturally stimulate itself to effectively de-acidify and cleanse acids and toxins from our cells.

I really liked that this deodorant offered 24-hour protection and goes on clear so it doesn’t leave any white residue. It’s safe for all skin types and dries quickly. Trust me, I’ve tried it out many times at the gym already. :)

Nutrexin deodorant doesn’t contain any aluminium, fragrances, preservatives, or artificial colors.

In addition to the deodorant, I also received alkaline bath salts which I love.


These bath salts are great for muscle recovery and promote active metabolism and leave your skin smooth and silky.

They are super easy to use. All you do it add 3 teaspoons to you bath 1-2 times a week or add 1 teaspoon to a foot bath daily. Then all you have to do is sit back and relax!


Finally, I also got the Vital Restore Natural Antioxidant vitamins. These vitamins supports cardiovascular health, metabolism, and healthy inflammation response. They provide a natural boost of energy without stimulants.


You can learn more about Nutrexin on their websiteTwitter page, and Facebook page.

Have a great day!

  • Do you use the same deodorant all the time? Favorite? 
  • Do you use bath salts?

Disclaimer: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product. 


Filed under Uncategorized

Waffles and Workouts

Good morning! How was your weekend?


Our weekend started with flu shots first thing on Saturday morning.


I’m not sure exactly what Jacob was doing in this picture but I think he was trying to help Jaden not be scared of the shot. Luckily, both my kids are okay with getting shots so everything went smoothly.

Danny didn’t join us for flu shots because he was out running 20 miles. That was his last really long run before the Chicago Marathon and now he’s tapering. I can’t believe that the Chicago Marathon is almost here!

Also, on Saturday, I got my beloved Leaves candle from Bath and Body Works.


This is my all time favorite candle. It smells like fall.

Danny and I had a lunch date at a cute sandwich and coffee shop on Saturday afternoon. I don’t know what possessed me to order chicken and waffles but I did.


I ended up taking everything off the waffles and giving it to Danny and then just ate the waffles. I don’t know if chicken and waffles are any good but those Belgium waffles sure were good. :)

Saturday evening, we went to my brother and sister-in-law’s house for dinner before heading home for some much needed sleep.


Danny and I actually got to work out together on Sunday morning!


He’s been running so much that we really haven’t had a chance to work out together. We worked on back and biceps with a little bit of cardio at the end. We did lat pulldowns, seated row, barbell curls, deadlifts, bentover rows and bicep rows, and dumbbell curls.

In the afternoon, we headed out to a salad place about 45 minutes away that I’m writing a blog post about but when we got there, they were closed. I was so mad even though it was my own fault for not checking their hours. I just assumed they’d be open on Sundays – I mean most restaurants are open on Sundays!! So that was a bummer.

We ended up eating at Chipotle instead – not that I’m complaining because I love Chipotle but now I have to make another trip to the salad restaurant – good thing it’s worth it!


The rest of Sunday was spent being lazy and watching the Bears game.

I was up early this morning for work and now I’m headed to the gym. Have a great day!!

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Favorite candle scent?
  • Have you ever had chicken and waffles?


Filed under Family Fun, Lunch, Running, Working Out