Every Day I’m Hustlin’

by Jenn (eating bender) on February 26, 2012

I hope LMFAO won’t mind that I altered their Party Rock Anthem a bit. I had a good reason: I was in need of a song to motivate me to climb 94 flights of stairs at this year’s Hustle Up the Hancock!

We arrived at the John Hancock Center a little before 11:00 a.m. to grab a team picture with Bobby’s work crew before our race wave began at 11:45. Bobby and I made one goal for ourselves: to try and beat last year’s times of 17:33 and 20:13, respectively.

The wait before the hustle begins is excruciating. Nothing to do but stand in line and think about all those stairs! I occupied my time by figuring out what song to play first on my iPod shuffle. :) Finally, it was our turn to climb. I turned on my music and entered the zone.

I decided to give myself a head start by taking the first few flights two stairs at a time. After all, this was Bobby’s strategy last year and it turned out pretty good for him! I started to feel like I was wearing out quickly, though, so after five flights I went back to my one stair at a time, slow-and-steady routine.

Just like last year, things really started to hit me after the 50th floor. I don’t know what it is about the halfway point, but suddenly the sweat starts to pour and the stairwell feels as though it’s one hundred degrees. I kept pushing and gave myself mental pats on the back after every 10 flights. The cheering squads were out in full force, too – their smiles really helped me stay positive and focused!

When I hit the 70th floor, the “countdown” began. Twenty-four flights became sixteen became seven. When a volunteer told me I had four flights to go, I decided my burning lungs weren’t going away any time soon, so I may as well run for it. I climbed as fast as I could. Behind me, I could hear him saying, “Did you see that girl take off when I said there were four flights left?” The comment served as further motivation. Don’t stop now.

A few stairs later, I was crossing the finish line, giving high fives and enjoying an incredible view!

It’s not just talk – the Hancock really does offer the best views of Chicago, from the lake to the buildings.

As for the hustlers…we achieved our goals! The results show that Bobby and I were the 165th and 166th best male and female times, respectively (out of 1,457 men and 1,486 women). He came in at 15:44 and I was at 18:22!

The medals this year were pretty awesome, and I’m not just saying that because I love purple (though if you took one look at my outfit, you likely knew that already). They had a very cool “H” design.

All that climbing worked up quite an appetite, too! Bobby made us extra tall sandwiches for lunch. Mine had turkey, Muenster cheese, spinach, tomato, red pepper, cucumber and mushroom, along with a bit of mustard. And yes, the heel is my favorite part of the loaf.

We decided to have our all-time favorite dinner to celebrate the race: pizza!

Using a pre-made whole wheat crust, we piled on pizza sauce, spinach, tomato, red pepper, mushroom, sliced chicken sausage and mozzarella cheese. Here it is before going into the oven:

And after! We baked the pizza at 400 degrees for approximately 12 minutes.

It really hit the spot. Now I just need something for my sore hamstrings…

Last but not least, my #FebPhotoADay – night – features the other well-known Chicago skyscraper. You know it’s a great “night” in Chicago when you have an unobstructed (i.e. no clouds and fog) view of the Sears Willis Tower.

Big week ahead! I am starting a new freelance writing project that I’m really excited about, among many other tasks and goals. Better get some sleep before diving in head first in the morning. Goodnight!

What is your favorite meal after a tough workout (whether it’s a race, a class, etc.)?


1 Tracy February 26, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Congrats on the climb! However, I must give you a quick music lesson. LMFAO actually “borrowed” and altered the lyrics of a Rick Ross song in “Party Rock Anthem.” The real lyrics from Rick Ross ARE “Every day I’m hustlin’!”


2 Tracy February 26, 2012 at 9:42 pm

EXPLICIT LYRICS ABOVE (sorry, I didn’t know it would imbed the actual video!)

3 Jenn (eating bender) February 26, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Thank you so much for letting me know that, Tracy! I’m glad to know I actually quoted the original version of the song! :)

4 Angela Ten Clay February 27, 2012 at 12:03 am

Wow! So proud of you girl! You really dominated that race. Impressive! Good luck with your new freelance gig.

5 Jenn (eating bender) February 28, 2012 at 8:30 am

Thank you, Angela! Hope your new gig is going well, too! :)

6 Erica February 27, 2012 at 7:23 am

Whoooooooooooooooop! You two rock. Such a fun event to do together. Muenster cheese is amazing, isn’t it? Its always been one of my favorites. After a tough workout- I like breakfast foods

7 Jenn (eating bender) February 28, 2012 at 8:32 am

Thank you! And yes, love Muenster. Breakfast foods are great post-workout.

8 Shannon February 27, 2012 at 9:47 am

Dang, that is so impressive!!! Stairs always seem so hard… delicious way to celebrate :) and i’m with ya on purple 😉

9 Jenn (eating bender) February 28, 2012 at 8:33 am

Thank you! And hurray for another purple fan! :)

10 Megan (Braise The Roof) February 27, 2012 at 9:53 am

Wow, great job! Glad you had fun again this year and killed your time from last year. :)

11 Jenn (eating bender) February 28, 2012 at 8:37 am

Thank you! I was thinking of you while we were there – did you end up running it? If you run it again next year let me know!

12 Sneakers2Sandals February 27, 2012 at 10:15 am

Definitely some carb loaded breakfast!

13 Jenn (eating bender) February 28, 2012 at 8:39 am

Yes, please! Carb-loaded anything is on my list, for sure. :)

14 Lindsay @ Salt, Sun & Sanity February 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Oh man, my calves are killing me just thinking about all of those stairs! Congratulations :) I hope you did plenty of stretching after!

15 Jenn (eating bender) February 28, 2012 at 8:37 am

Haha – mine too! :) Thank you and yes, we did!

16 BroccoliHut February 27, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I love the heel of the bread too–they make for the best grilled cheese sandwiches!
Congrats on the awesome time!

17 Jenn (eating bender) February 28, 2012 at 8:37 am

I don’t think I’ve ever had the heel with grilled cheese – that sounds amazing! Thanks, Caroline!

18 Melissa @TryingtoHeal February 27, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Dang Jenn, awesome job with the new time for the run!! That is awesome! Glad you had fun!

And after workout meal? Definitely french toast…remember the ones you got at that place in Chicago? I’m remembering the lemon on right now…

19 Jenn (eating bender) February 28, 2012 at 8:37 am

Thanks, Melissa! And oh my, thinking about that French toast makes me so hungry right now. YUM!!

20 Emily February 27, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Nice job!! You’re awesome! I’ve always wanted to do one of those climbing fundraiser things! They seem fun!!! I LOVE Chicago!!

21 Jenn (eating bender) February 28, 2012 at 8:38 am

I’m thinking you should do one of the climbing fundraisers in Chicago – with me. Next year!!! :)

22 Rose February 29, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Wow – go you and Bobby! you guys look really cute in that picture too, btw!

I really need to climb some steps, I think.

23 Katie Martin April 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm

That climb sounds so intense, especially at a run! I know running stairs is a great workout, but I can’t imagine running that many. Kudos to you for sure! Do you do a lot of races, running or otherwise?
And you pizza looks like it was very yummy, although i have to say I was more drawn to your sandwich- it looked delicious! I agree with you on the heel of the bread, it is so good. It seems silly to me that so many people avoid it.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: