Who Runs a Half Marathon During a Bachelorette Party Weekend?

Me and my crazy friends, apparently. 😉

The Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon madness began yesterday when we headed over to the convention center to pick up our race packets and walk around the race expo. We got there for the last hour of the expo and enjoyed browsing around the booths that had tons of free food and running products for sale.

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I really wanted to buy the race poster but didn’t want to jinx myself and be stuck with a $20 Chicago Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon poster in case the race didn’t go well since none of us were feeling our best. Hey, it was the day after a night out celebrating, after all. 😉 I’m hoping I can find one online.

To prepare for the race, we stayed in at my friend Krystal’s apartment and enjoyed a pasta party with garlic bread, whole wheat noodles, and a large salad.

We tried to get to bed early, but I don’t think I actually fell asleep until after 11 p.m.

Race Day

Waking up was pretty easy, considering about five different cell phone alarms started ringing at 5 a.m.

We got up and changed into our race day outfits.

My friends made all of us matching pink tanks to run in that said “One more RUN before the FUN” and had a sports bra embroidered with “Bride to Be” on it for me to wear! So stinkin’ cute.

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We arrived at the race site and dropped off our bags at the gear check before heading out to the start line.

We started about 20 minutes after the horn went off, which was totally fine since we all were wearing chips and our official time would be calculated from our individual start times. There were more than 18,000 runners! It was definitely a crowded race.

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Race Start

I really wasn’t feeling my best while walking toward the start line, but told myself I would just take it easy and enjoy the race.

Once I started running, I actually felt much better!

The weather was a bazillion times better than the sticky Florida heat I was used to running in. It was 72 degrees… not hot in the least! It felt amazing to be running when the temperature wasn’t in the 90s. Breathing air that didn’t feel thick and wet was such a treat!

I honestly had the BEST time running this race. There were bands stationed every mile or so, and plenty of water/Cytomax stations.

I felt great the entire time. I had a little bit of pain on the outside of my feet, but nothing awful by any means. I was also in a fantastic place mentally, and really, really enjoyed running and thinking about what a fun weekend we had and what a fun couple of months are ahead of me as our wedding draws nearer.

The race course meandered through the city and passed by the Sears Tower. The last 3 miles or so had us running right along Lake Michigan and were filled with lots of spectators.

My friends and I saw a lot of neat sights during the race including:

  • A man holding a sign for his girlfriend that said “You may be in 13,087 place, but you’re #1 in my heart!”
  • Two vizslas like Sadie!!! (I freaked out)
  • Jake from The Bachelor
  • Giuliana Rancic from E! News
  • A woman running with only one leg (talk about inspirational)
  • A woman wearing a “Baby on Board” t-shirt

I ran the entire race, only walking through the water stations to gulp some Cytomax. I felt strong and in a great place mentally.

During my first and only half marathon back in 2007, I remember feeling so exhausted and really ready for the race to be over. This time around I felt excited and completely fine. I guess only running 10 miles before tackling 13.1 wasn’t too bad after all!

Going into the race I was concerned that I would really struggle through the last 3.1 miles. When I hit mile 10, I felt good and just told myself I had less than a 5k to go . I know I will remember this experience for the rest of my life, so why not make it a wonderful memory?

I ran through the finish line with a big smile on my face! I just finished a half marathon at the tail end of my bachelorette party weekend… can you say insane? 🙂

My official time: 2:07

Though I wasn’t running for time, I was pleased with my finish time. I averaged in the high 9-minute miles the entire race, never going over 10-minute miles.


After the race, I ate a bunch of the post-race treats and hung out with my friend Laurel as we waited for our other friends to finish so we could all head out to a BIG lunch.

On the menu for our post-half marathon feast?

Giordano’s deep dish pizza!


We started off by ordering two deep dish pizzas, one cheese and one super-veggie with pepperoni. Since the pizzas take 45 minutes to make and we were starving, we all ordered appetizers to share, including salads, garlic bread, mozzarella sticks and fried zucchini. So tasty! I gobbled up a piece of garlic bread, a small house salad, several fried zucchini slices, and two mozzarel
la sticks.

Then the pizzas made their way to our table and I think I had a puddle of drool in front of my face.


I’ve never seen so much cheese on one pizza and I was in cheesetastic heaven!

I had one large (actually ginormous) slice of cheese pizza and enjoyed every last bite!


Why can’t they have a Giordano’s in Orlando? So flippin’ tasty!!!

After our pizza pit stop, we came home and watched a movie before heading out to Baskin Robbins for ice cream.


I ordered a cup of cookie dough ice cream. I loved all of the chunks of cookie dough! What a childhood classic!

Now we’re relaxin’ for the rest of the night, watching Father of the Bride and heading out to Whole Foods to pick up some food from the hot bar for dinner, though a leftover slice or two of the deep dish pizza is callin’ my name at the moment…

Time to continue eating massive amounts of food! 13.1 miles seriously ignites your appetite! :D 


  1. Emily says

    Congrats- wasn’t the weather perfect today for the race? I ran it too (my first half!) and had an amazing time as well- even though it was a huge race, it was well organized and I’m glad others enjoyed it as much as myself. Congrats!


  2. Kate says

    Great job! I think my bachelorette will involve a lot more wine drinking and a lot less running, though. 🙂

    We actually have two Giordano’s in Orlando — one’s on Sand Lake, and the other’s by Disney — but, sadly, they’re not quite as good as the ones in Chicago.


  3. healthdivaeats says

    I am LOVING the recaps girl and so glad your weekend has been amazing! U deserve it! LOVED how sweet that was of Ryan to send a note and champagne for you and your friends at dinner! He is lucky to have you and you are lucky to have him!! So happy for you guys!!!

    Way to go on the run and the shirts are so cute!!!! Your friends are really top notch!

    Giordanos is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My fiance LOVES it, he is from Chicago, and grew up on that pizza! Its so filling!! Love it!!

    Have a great rest of your trip! Im sure you are excited to get home to see Ryan and Sadie : )


  4. says

    OMG, running a half marathon after a bachelorette party weekend is super impressive! When I ran my first half in March I was feeling great until mile 13, and I walked for about 30 seconds and finished strong. Makes you feel really good to accomplish something like that!


  5. says

    I actually looked up your results before you wrote this, haha I was curious how you did! Awesome job, I can’t imagine a half marathon being on the itinerary for my bach party weekend!


  6. says

    Congrats on the race! What a great way to end your bachelorette festivities. I am sure running with your best friends made the 1/2 marathon seem so much better.


  7. says

    Girl, I am SO impressed that you ran that race at the end of such a crazy weekend! Especially with such a great time! Congrats! Enjoy the rest of the party, because you definitely earned it!


  8. Jessica says

    Congrats on your 1/2!!!!! Glad you had such a great time ~ it is totally inspiring!

    It sounds like you have some awesome friends, enjoy the rest of your weekend!


  9. says

    Running a half as part of a bachelorette weekend is insane, but I can’t imagine anything to bring friends closer together. How awesome! You did a great job too. I loved the things you saw too. Especially that guy holding the sign for his lady. I bet it was odd seeing Jake too.


  10. balancejoyanddelicias says

    congrats!!! 😀 I bet you feel a million bucks after crossing the finish line!!! It’s great to enjoy the whole race and pain free.
    so you run up to 10Miles before the race, was it your original plan? or you didn’t run more because of the feet pain? I’m training for a half marathon in september and wonder how many miles I should build up before the race.


  11. says

    You are seriously having the most amazing bachelorette weekend I’ve ever heard of!! I’ve said it before but you have such amazing friends for planning all of this!

    I love Sushi Samba! I went there during my one and only trip to Chicago and couldn’t get enough. So super cute that Ryan sent over champagne.


  12. says

    wow! that is sooo great! I want to do half marathons or du-athalons ( I think thats what they are called- running and biking??) one day. They just seem like sooo much fun and so great. I would love to do it for a cause- like Diabetes !
    Congrats on your time, thats excellent.
    And you MUST be hungry- Im usually so hungry after I run just 5 or 6 miles! 🙂


  13. says

    You definitely lucked out with the weather. It has been pretty hot the last few weekends, but this one was fairly enjoyable. Congrats on finishing strong! That’s great. And what a way to finish..with deep dish! Yum! As for Giordano’s..they do have one in Florida! I remember passing billboards for it all the time when I lived in Orlando. I believe they are mostly out in the Disney area, but I thought you would enjoy! http://www.giordanos.com/floridalocations.html.


  14. says

    Congratulations! And what an awesome bachelorette party!!

    The descriptions of your Chicago run made me miss that amazing city! That is where my husband is from and we got engaged on a tour of the city with a final stop at the top of the Sears tour. Hearing those points along your run make me miss that place.

    Enjoy the rest of your time and again great job!


  15. says

    Awesome job on the half marathon! So impressed you rocked it so hard after all the bachelorette activity :). Looks like such a fun weekend for you and your girlfriends!!


  16. Erin says

    Julie, it looks like you had a blast!!!!!!!! You made me crave Giordano’s SO badly! I’ve been there multiple times when visiting Chicago, and one time I actually cried when I left! LOL.


  17. Katherine says

    I’ve been to that exact pizza place in Chicago. Those slices are massive!! I got full after half a peice…that never happens!!


  18. says

    Congrats lady!!! I couldn’t even move the day after my bach party so you are seriously a rockstar!

    Oh and ps…they actually do have Giordano’s in Orlando. It’s off Sand Lake road. My hubbie is from Chi-town too so we get it pretty frequently 🙂


  19. says

    Congratulations!! So glad you had a nice weekend and great run. Really impressed with your skills. I can’t do anything with a hangover (even if I only had one or two drinks the nice before). And I think its awesome that you and your friends broke the mold and did something different for your bachelorette.


  20. says

    Congratulations! I loved reading about your race recap and how well it went. I’m doing my first half in Oct. but am thinking I am getting a stress fracture so I’m a little nervous now. So I’m going to lay off the running for the next 3 days and see what happens. P.S. I gave you a shout out on my latest post. 🙂


  21. Stef says

    I’m so jealous reading about your awesome weekend!
    You and your friends look so georgous in those party pictures and all the thought and effort your friends put into the weekend amazes me. We don’t really have bachelorette parties here in Germany so that might be the reason for that.
    And ending the whole thing on a half marathon..what an interesting idea. Congratulations on your time and the fun you had!


  22. says

    Congrats on finishing the race! Your bachelorette weekend sounds like such a blast. Father of the Bride was on tv Friday and I watched it too. I love that movie! Mmmm now I want all that food in the pictures….if only I had run 13 miles this morning, sigh


  23. Becca says

    Ha I think the only place I was running to after my friends bach party was for some water and tylenol! And good/bad news, there is a Giordano’s in Orlando! Check out the website but they have a few in Fl!


  24. Anonymous says

    Ok I never replay to blogs but that is reallly cool, I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to do this when I get married 🙂


  25. Mikki says

    Hi! I just started following your blog and I loved it!

    I wanted to tell you– and I may be late to the game on this but, there IS a Giordano’s in Orlando! I graduated from college in May 2010 and couldn’t decide between visitng Chicago or Disney World. I really wanted to go to Chicago because I missed the pizza.. but I had never been to Disney! Well, we settled on Disney and while I was there I found a Giordanos! Unfortunately, there are none near DC as far as I know!

    But go find the one in Orlando! Enjoy! And thanks for blogging!



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