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        Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

        After seven years, I think it’s time to end my longest relationship to date: my gym membership. Even though we’ve had our ups and downs (2009: 200+ visits / 2014: 13 OHHHHMYGOD – that can’t be right!!*), it’s hard to rip off the band-aid.  I moved to Old Town to be closer to this gym.  It’s clean, it has great classes and it even has Kiehl’s in the locker room! (So how did I barely manage to go once a month all year?!)

        Looking back, the writing has probably been on the wall for a few years that it’s time to let go. Running outside is obviously better — at least until the temperature dips below 20 — and I love spinning at Flywheel. Long story short, for whatever reason, I haven’t been able to get into the groove of going to the gym regularly for a while. I guess it’s finally time to shake things up.

        The thought of not even having the option of going to the gym in January and February is REALLY scary, so I decided to fall back on what has always provided motivation in the past: training for a race.

        Before I really start training in January, I’m hoping to get back on a running schedule over the next two weeks. Here’s what I’m *planning* to get in this week:

        M: 4m / T: 3m / W: 5m / Th: 3m / F: rest / S: 5m

        In case you’re looking for motivation to workout in 2015, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite half marathons – in Chicago and elsewhere – below. Regardless of how far you’ve run in the past, I guarantee you can finish a half marathon.

        Who wants to run with me this winter?


        January 24: F3 Lake Half Marathon

        I’ve signed up for this race in the past, but it always seems to fall on a really cold weekend, so I’ve never actually ran it.  If I can get in some long runs over the next few weeks and the weather is mild, I might try to run it this year.

        March 14: Get Lucky Half Marathon and 5k

        I love Saturday races and this will be a great way to kick off my St. Paddy’s Day celebration!

        March 15: March Madness Half Marathon

        There is really only one way to describe this race: HILLS.  There are three major ones throughout the course and even the huge number of Boston Qualifiers who run this race seem to be walking up the third one. Despite the tough course, this is one of my favorite races of the year.

        Registration opens December 31 at 6:00 am and will close within minutes.

        April 4: Chi-Town Half Marathon and 10k

        I stumbled on this race during a training run last year and enjoyed it.  Most of the run takes place on the lakefront path and there are some odd turns to get the full distance, but it didn’t seem crowded.

        May 31: North Shore Half Marathon

        I haven’t done this race, but I like RAM Races and it’s always been on my list. Maybe this is the year!


        January 17: Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon and Half Marathon

        Coming from Chicago, this is the perfect winter race.  The weather is great, it’s over a long weekend (MLK) and you don’t have to do long runs in February.  Like I said, perfect.

        February 15: Austin Marathon and Half Marathon

        March 15: New York Half Marathon

        April 25: Nashville Country Music Marathon, Half Marathon and 5k

        Despite lots of hills, this is probably my favorite half marathon.  It’s held on a Saturday and includes a post-race (evening) concert.  I haven’t done the marathon distance, but the hills are even worse than in the half and, like most Rock ‘n’ Roll races, the vast majority of runners do the half, so the marathon feels pretty empty.

        *I can see how many times (and on what dates) I checked in. My membership was on hold all summer, but I still feel like they MUST be missing a few visits!