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Chicago, IL

wedding at Salvage One

 

April showers did not stop the beautiful wedding day of Emily and Mike. Filled with love and laughter, their wedding day was so perfect that no one even noticed the weather. Emily’s infectious smile and Mike’s joyful personality make it all the more obvious why these two fell in love.  Their family and friends were some of the best wedding guests to date.

Emily and Mike we wish you nothing but a happily ever after!

So Much Love,

Gina + Tom

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Emily and Mike’s day was perfection thanks to the talented creative team:

Ceremony + Reception: Salvage One

Coordination: Valerie Turner, Midwestern Bride

Cake: Molly’s Cupcakes

Flowers: Flowers By Stem, Stephanie Stopka

Catering: Maison Cuisine, Danielle Wheeler

Band: Rendition

Photographer: Gina Cristine Photography

Videographer: Something New Media

Danada House Wedding

Wheaton IL

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Beth and Kevin are the type of people you become instant friends with. Both always smiling, always making you feel like you have their undivided attention, and always compassionate. It’s no wonder they found each other. If you do not believe in soul mates, then you have not met Beth and Kevin. Needless to say, they are also surround by some pretty awesome people. Their bridal party and family could not have been more beaming with joy for Beth and Kevin.

Beth and Kevin, we truly wish you your happily ever after!

So Much Love,

Gina + Tom

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Thank you to the crazy talented team who made Beth + Kevin’s wedding dreams come true:

Ceremony and Reception: Danada House

Wedding Coordination: Designed and Detailed

Florals: Wildflower

Cake: Alegrettis 

DJ: Sounds Abound

Photographer: Gina Cristine Photography

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No one wears a glowing baby bump better than this mama-to-be. I can not believe they are on number four, but they should be! They make some beautiful babies 🙂 Thank you K family for having me along your journey since baby bump #1, can not wait to meet #4!

~Gina

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Week 6 was lower mileage then last and I really welcomed that. I tried to literally stop and enjoy all the flowers along the way.

If you missed last week check it out here. This is the link to the Tone It Up daily workouts and the Yoga With Adrienne videos.

Monday was an easy three miles, Tone It Up Daily workout, and Yoga With Adrienne Feel Alive video. P I N this to pinterest

Tuesday was 5 miles and between the weather and the sun I felt amazing, and somehow pulled off my first under 8 min mile and had some negative splits. Did the Tone It Up daily workout as well.

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Wednesday: Rest!

Thursday: 3 miles, Tone It Up and Yoga With Adrienne.

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Friday: Last day of hills! Week seven starts speed training instead. I did do them on the treadmill since it was windy and I hate wind. The thought of running up hill against wind made me cringe. I ran five hills, quarter mile each with a quarter mile in between. Tone it Up Daily as well. I love this sticker I found for motivation. Plus it was fitting since we were literally training to chase a unicorn this week to try the Starbucks Unicorn Frappe. Everywhere was sold out.

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Saturday: Rest!

Sunday: I was supposed to run a 5k race. Since I did not sign up for anything I decided to just run a 5k at a pace I would a race. I wanted to stay under 8min. Well Saturday night consisted of Chinese food, champagne and laughing until midnight with a friend, so i am shocked I actually pulled off this time. It was so hard, but finishing at that pace gave me a little more confidence about my goal.  The rest of the day was celebrating our 12 year anniversary!

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This year was my third Shamrock Shuffle 8K and I at the current moment have no intention of missing this race any year soon. This race in 2015 was the reason I started running. I was convinced by friends it was a fun run, and it really was. The crowds and spectators are all along the course, and the runners are all out there having a great time like it is one big party. I love the course so much, and it amazes me every year the parts of the city I get to see running by on the streets. The Willis Tower, State Street, Financial District , and the river. I also love that the race starts a little later in the am then the marathon and hot chocolate and the road closures are not as bad as those races. So it is easier to get to.

If you are looking for a Chicago race without a huge distance commitment, do this one. The race is 8k which is 4.97 miles. It flies by because you are so preoccupied with the sites and spectators.

This race was especially special for me because the kids were there. In the past, it seemed like a hassle to bring them down for the marathon or Hot Chocolate. Plus it is a lot of walking and waiting. This race is perfect time wise and close enough to find a good spot and hang out. It meant so much to have them there and see that at any age you can start something new and have big dreams and goals.

I ran this race for time.My goal was anything faster than my 2016 time of 41:54 (2015 time was over 50 minutes) and keep about the  pace of what I hope to run the marathon in October.  I am starting to realize I have a thing with having to beat my last race time. I am going to have to eventually get over this, lol. I have decided though, due to my mentality, not to sign up for any more races until the Chicago Marathon. I need to focus on that and only that for here on out.

Flat Gina ready the night before. I never sleep well before a race.

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I felt great at the start. I had friends running as well. So it was motivating to now after we were going to have some fun.

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The Spectators! P I N this to pinterest

I love that the kids, Tom, Parker and Marisa were at mile four. It was needed for that last push. I ended up running this entire race with a side cramp. One of my worst case scenarios. I never seem to be able recover when I get one on a practice run. I kept telling myself to push through and it was not that long, I could handle the pain and it would be over as soon as I finish. The start of the race was more crowded then I remember and I felt like I was dodging in and out of other runners for a while. Maybe why I got the cramp since I did not get a good breathing rhythm to start?

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Here are two pro photos that I liked the best. The left I obviously noticed the camera and the right I must have been trying to breath through the cramp. How funny is it that I am pretty sure that photo on the left is right at the end during that horrible hill on Roosevelt. The image on the right was most likely before that. I was keeping an eye on my pace and I know how wacky a GPS can get in the city so I kept my pace on my Garmin around 7:30 and would not let myself go slower than 8:20. Again, I knew this was not accurate but at least I was going faster than what my goal was according to my  Garmin.

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Jackie,Kevin and Pat passing mile 4 for high fives! Jackie is a true running BA. She has ran Boston and coaches cross country.

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I learned quickly to grab as many water bottles and snacks as I can after a race. Especially when you have hangry kids waiting at the end.

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After I was done, Tom and the kids were still cheering and my friend Laura and I met up. She took me into the VIP Bank of America tent. You guys! This place was heated, with a bar, and a buffet! At that point could not think of eating sadly, but I happily chatted with Laura and had a class of pinot. (Laura…didn’t some guy take a picture of us there? I was hoping it would be in the race photos, next time we need to take our own 😉 )

We did it!The sun was out and it was a gorgeous day.

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Champagne and pizza at Parlor  (Cheesus, Mary, and Joseph, and Brussel Shuffle, yum!) with friends was a must. Not only did a beat my time from 2016, I was sub 40. That is an 8:01 average pace which if you told me in 2014 I was going to start running and someday run an 8 minute mile during an 8k I would have laughed at you so hard.

Sadly the kids were overtired and over hungry at this point so after we were all ready to head back. But not without…P I N this to pinterestDESSERT! Kevin and I have been dying to get here ever since we discovered it on IG. And it was worth the wait. Delicious rich hot chocolate covered with marshmallow fluff, caramel and chocolate sauce, sprinkles of yumminess and a donut. Because. Bombobar is a Chicago must for their hotter chocolate.  P I N this to pinterest

Do you love the Shamrock Shuffle? Tell me your favorite parts of the race or memories.

This race completed week 3/30 for the Chicago Marathon training.

This week I missed a run on both Monday and Tuesday. I did run Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with a weekly milage of 21 miles including the Shuffle. I ran hills on the treadmill Wednesday, 4 quarter mile hills, and speed trained Friday doing a half a mile at a 9:13 pace then half a mile at 7:53 alternating for six miles on the treadmill. I am following Hal Higdon’s 30 week plan and this week should have had a milage of 22 ish so I was close to my total, just crammed it into 4 days instead of six. I felt good but know it is time to incorporate more weight training. I do yoga at least five times a week. I love Yoga with Adrienne. She has a video for every time, feeling, physical need, emotional need…she has something for whatever you need.

For those of you who do not know, I am training for the Chicago Marathon to Boston qualify. Hopefully. This means I need to shave more than 45 minutes off last years marathon time. Judging by my February half marathon time and the pace from the Shuffle, it is possible. With hard work and focus, but possible. I am so grateful for all of you who ask and are supportive of my little hobby. I am going to try to do a weekly recap on the blog of my training. I know how annoying it is to see every run or workout someone does for some people on social media, so I will promise not to do that. Those who want to see can check the blog for my weekly recap. I do love nothing more than this running community, so please share your blog or social media handle so I can follow and cheer you on. Support  and cheerleaders are so important with running and any kind of training/goal achieving.