Enjoying every second of life and running.

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So Long Summer

So I basically didn’t post all summer so it’s time to catch up.

I have a post of us celebrating Chase’s 2nd birthday. Also that month we got Chase’s birthday present, a play house set up. It took every night from about 6pm-9pm for like 5 days (not including the extra day for Rob to remove the sod for the rubber mulch) to get it assembled.


We spent the summer enjoying the Farmer’s Market on the weekends and taking Chase to gymnastics class.


I ran the Steamboat Classic 4 Mile in Peoria, IL – 38:02, 8:02 Pace and Chase and Rob watched me run.


Chase got to join the Lake Run’s Kids Runs for the summer. Every Friday evening they had a run on a track or in a field. At the end of every run the kids get a ribbon and at the end of the summer Chase got her first trophy.


We also checked out a couple Cornbelters baseball games.



Our company has a fair every year and this was our first year attending. She loved the petting zoo the most.


July 2nd we found out we were pregnant with our second baby! So for the 4th of July 5 Miler we ran easy with Chase in the stroller.


We spent time at the park bubblers and also at our company’s pool.




After our 9 week ultrasound we announced our pregnancy by involving Chase as a big sister in training. Chase is so excited for the baby. She changes her answer week to week if she thinks she is getting a baby brother or sister.





We took Chase to the McLean County Fair and she enjoyed seeing all the animals and getting the chance to pet bunnies and a baby goat.


We made trips to the zoo. Chase loved the butterfly garden at Brookfield and the carousel.



Other summer fun included attending birthday parties, the Corn Festival of Normal, IL, and checking out the Hot Air Balloon Festival of Lincoln, IL even though we didn’t get to see the balloons take flight due to weather.

Labor day parade was a huge hit with Chase. It was very hot out, but she loved seeing all the bands and ISU’s Reggie Redbird.


And our tradition to welcome in fall is a trip to Tanner’s Orchard in Speer, IL. Chase enjoyed her first apple cider doughnut, going off the largest slide she’s done so far, visiting lamas and goats, and picking out a pumpkin.


I’m looking forward to fall, cooler weather, and some more adventures. Up this fall I will be posting about baby updates, home improvement projects, a couple of races, vacation, and more.

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2014 Festival of Lights – 4M – 30:45

Race Takeaway: I will run for bloody marys. 🙂

This post is long overdue….

This race was at the end of 2014, the Saturday after Thanksgiving (11/29), Rob and I ran the Peoria Festival of Lights River Trail Classic 4 Miler. We had a perfect day for the race it was sunny, light breeze, and the temps were in the mid-30s. This race is typically freezing temps so this was a nice day to get out and run. Chase was recovering from a cold so we kept her home with our sitter.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts about this race, it’s a point to point course with a night downhill grading most of the way. If you get there early enough you could opt to run the course backward and get in a 4 mile warmup to the start. We took the buses and did a shorter .4 mile warm up before it was time to go.

Rob and I started way to far in the back, which meant being slowed down at the beginning while trying to find opportunities to get around people. Rob took off in front of me and easily in the first mile I found my pace and was able to keep things pretty even splits around 7:40s.

I finished in 30:45 and Rob was done in 28:xx. The results for this race are not easily available on the internet.

Afterward we enjoyed some breakfast and Smoking Aces Bloody Mary’s at One World. 😀




7:41 Pace

Previous Performances:

2012 Festival of Lights – 4M – 30:16 (11 weeks pregnant)

2011 Festival of Lights – 4M – 27:41

2010 Festival of Lights – 4M – 26:16

2009 Festival of Lights – 4M – 27:39

2008 Festival of Lights – 4M – 35:05


2012 Festival of Lights – 4M – 30:16 – 11 Weeks Pregnant

Race Takeaway: Even pacing feels so good!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, filled with time with family, friends and good food! We enjoyed having family over and cooking for everyone. Saturday (11/24), we went to Peoria, IL to run the Festival of Lights River Trail Classic 4M race. This race is a point to point race on the trail system (a paved road, not trail as in a path in a forest) that has a down grade the whole way. It’s normally a great race to set a new 4M PR, but with being pregnant I would be running to get in a good workout and Rob would be with me.

We did a 2.15 warm up with our friend Mike. I’m glad we got out in the cold temps to warm up so it was less shocking by race time.

It was cold, upper 20s and a chilly breeze was in our face the entire time. Rob and I haven’t been good at gauging where I should start at and we once again were too far back (about 15 people deep) and had to pass people the first half mile to get into a pacing area that felt good.

Miles passed quickly and all of my splits were 7:3x. I was very happy that I knew I was working and able to keep the effort even for all four miles. It’s hard to know right now if a pace is sustainable for multiple miles and each day is different.

I was even able to speed up on the last push to the finish and we were done in 30:16.

After talking with our friends we didn’t stick around for give aways or awards. I was certain my time wasn’t award worthy, but I was wrong. I ended up 3rd in my Age Group out of 37 and our friend Senthil picked up my medal for me.

My 3rd Age Group Medal

Meanwhile Rob and I bundled up in clean, warm clothes and headed over to one of our favorite breakfast places, One World. Me with my decaf coffee trying to get warm.



7:34 Pace

F 35-39: 3/37

2011 – Festival of Lights – 4M – 27:41

2010 – Festival of Lights – 4M – 26:16

2009 – Festival of Lights – 4M – 27:39

2008 – Festival of Lights – 4M – 35:05


Run for the 4th – 4M – 30:07

Race Take Away: Too fast, too hot

Last Saturday Rob and I ran a 4 Mile race in the small town Chenoa, IL. I work with the race director so it was nice to get out to support her (and her husband’s) event and check out a race we hadn’t done before.

Rob and I went out for a 2.5 Mile warm up and found out quickly that this was going to be a super hot race. It was humid and the temps were 85-88 degrees already for this 10am race.

We checked out the course and my legs were feeling good. Before we knew it we were off. I knew I had went out too fast because I wasn’t far behind the lead pack of guys, still I was struggling to slow down. I tried to back off the pace, but got to mile 1 in 6:39. Not a good call in the heat and without doing speed work. I would not be in any position to keep that up. I get to mile 2 in 14 and am still lead female, but fading badly. The baking hot sun is melting me and I know that I will get passed soon. Before mile 3 another female we race with often passes me as we talk about the heat. Normally I wouldn’t even get water on a 4 mile race, but by the time we got to the second water stop I couldn’t help but get water. The lead female even fully stopped at the water stop, but I couldn’t close the gap. All I could do was just get there as fast as my melted legs would take me resulting in 2nd female, 1st age group (30-39). Rob also had a melty race, but got 3rd overall, 1st in his age group (30-39).

Afterward your runner bib got you either 2 draft beers or a pork chop sandwich. So Rob and I used our bibs to split the sandwich and each have a beer. It was nice to hang out with the other runners and swap race stories.

We will definitely look to run in this race again!


30:07 (on my watch)

7:32 Pace

F: 2/?

F 30-39: 1/?

Me with the pig mascot. The pig did not run the race, but still it had to be so hot in the costume just walking around.


2011 Festival of Lights – 4M – 27:41

This morning we ran Peoria’s Festival of Lights 4 Mile race. We did not have great weather this morning. It was 45 degrees, but we had rain the entire time. This course is an uninterrupted point to point 4 mile course on the paved trail. It has a slight down grade the whole way making it a great race to PR. Although for me, it would be another attempt of getting back into shape from recovering from my hamstring injury. Luckily the miles clicked by quickly. My pace fluctuated quite a bit as I’m trying to find my legs again.

I was able to get 3rd female overall and 1st in my Age Group! Rob finished in 25:17 and got 3rd in his Age Group! Plus I won a door prize, a $20 gift  certificate to the local running store, score!

Us with our medals.



F: 3/?

F 35-39: 1/?

Past Course Times:

2010 – 26:16

2009 – 27:39


Turkey Trot – 4M – 29:15

Sunday we met up with Drew to run the Turkey Trot 4 Miler in Peoria, IL. Carrie surprised us and came out to cheer us on.

We had good weather it was in the 40s and light winds. This race is a fall time favorite of ours, even with the crazy hill climbing that begins .5 mile in. I know my hamstring recovery didn’t call for racing, let alone a super hilly course, but I couldn’t say no. My pain has reduced to a 3 on a scale of 1-10 so I just went out to see if I could hold together. I’m definitely not in race shape since I’ve been dealing with this. While it was a butt kick race, my heart was so happy to be out.

I was a minute off my time from last year on this course, but I will take it since I finished without making my injury worse. I ended up with 2nd in my Age Group and Rob got 3rd in his!

Us with our awards.



7:19 Pace

Overall: 41/169

F 35-39: 2/?

Past Course Times:

2010 – 28:19

2009 – 29:54


Peoria Chiefs – 4M – 27:29

Today was perfect weather for a race, mild temps and a light breeze. Rob, Drew and I headed to Peoria for the Peoria Chiefs 4M race. It’s the fourth year of this race, but the date this year was moved from Memorial Day to today due to the Peoria Chiefs calendar. They have the race when the Chiefs are home because all entrants get a ticket for the game that day. The date change appeared to have a huge effect on attendance. Last year’s race had 283 participants, this year seemed like less than 100. It was probably the smallest race I’ve ever ran. Still I was going to give it my all. I spent the race running alone.  A small handful of guys in front of me that included Rob and another ORRT member Mike. I was never challenged for position, but I pushed forward and tried to mentally stay in race mode even with the solitude. The course is three loops around the outside of the baseball stadium and then finishing with a loop inside to home plate. I love the format of this race, such a simple course to just do loops.

Mike took the win and Rob was 3rd overall. I was first female overall with a 27:49. It’s not a PR, but I improved my time on the course. Drew set a wicked PR improving his 38:XX 4M time with a 33:52.

This race does great with awards. Mike and I both received Louisville slugger bats that were embossed with the race and our Top Male/Female Overall.

Rob was first in his Age Group and received the mini bat with embossed with his win.

And Drew got 2nd in his Age Group and received a Peoria Chiefs ball embossed with the age group win.

The best part was after we received our awards they asked Mike and I to come back for an interview down on the field before the start of the game. 🙂 So we zipped home to clean up and head back for the afternoon game.

The interview went well. They mentioned that I’ve raced every year since the race’s inception in 2008 and asked us about ORRT. They even called attention to our green adidas uniforms and I made sure to mention that our uniforms were the new season colors for adidas and everyone should check them out. I also got to mention to the crowd that this award was special to me because it was my first 1st Female award. They mentioned the range of ages for the race being from 6 years to 73 years old. I said that running is a lifetime sport and I hope to enjoy running and racing for the rest of my life.

After our interview I popped down into the dugout and asked some of the Chiefs to sign my bat. They were very nice. They seemed impressed with my ability to run 4 miles straight and in a time they considered fast that they couldn’t do for a mile. I said they are probably so used to sprinting. We talked about upcoming Steamboat and I wished them well on their game.

We were able to stay for an inning, but then had to leave to get to Drew’s family cookout. Chiefs did win their game against South Bend, 5-1. We got in a couple more pictures before we headed out. Me and Mike with his son Shelby who is also very fast and won his Age Group.

6:58 Pace
F: 1/?
Overall: 6/65
It was such a fun day! We all enjoyed the race and the weather and then we got to spend the evening with family. 🙂


2010 Festival Of Lights – 4 Mile – 26:16

Another very chilly race, but with the 2010 racing season about over at least it’s another chance to get out there. This course is a gradual downhill for the first three miles making it a lot of fun to race. I would have preferred to not have run into a chilly headwind, but hey that’s what we got.

I held 2nd female position until around 2.5 Miles. A really nice lady eventually passed me and I couldn’t hold onto her. I just did my best to not let her get too far away. There is always hope that maybe she over estimated her efforts and I could pass her closer to the finish, but no luck she had it, making me 3rd Female Overall and 1st in my Age Group with a 26:16. Which is a new PR, thank you downhill running, I’ll take it today!

Rob got a 25:06 that was a PR for him and 4th in his Age Group!

Me finishing.

I quickly threw on some layers and cheered in the other runners before heading in to thaw out. After awards we realized we forgot the camera so I got a picture with my medal at home.



6:34 Pace

F 30-34: 1/36

F: 3/?

Overall: 42/457

Past Course Performances:

2009 – 27:39

2008 – 35:05

2007 – 35:45

We were up very early for this race, so I’m going to get a nap and will be back with an end of the week training report later today. 🙂

Update: We made one of the local papers, a lovely pic of us freezing our butts off.


Peoria Turkey Trot – 4 Mile – 28:19

Today was a hilly 4 Miler out of town. We met up with Drew and got ready to kick butt – Team Throw Down! 🙂

This was Drew’s first time doing this race and he was in for a treat. It is quite hilly, as my Garmin map from last year shows. It was 55 degrees with a light winds and some drizzle. I had a really nice 2 Mile Warm Up and felt ready to go. I only got in a couple of strides and it was time to go. Off we went, after the first half mile we start the climb. I don’t even bother looking at my watch. I don’t want to psych myself up with the lack of speed and instead just try to focus on good form. After the first hill there is a level off, down hill and then one more steep hill before the big decent. Many guys stop to walk the last hill for the moment they were out of gas. The downhill is quite steep and is a challenge to lean into it. I felt the flash backs of my fall back in May and that was on a flat surface easy run, so I was worried about tripping on myself. Luckily I make it down the hill and now it’s time to race down a few people. Rob has been fighting some sinus, cold thing for the last few days and wasn’t sure how this race would go for him. I was so excited to see as we left the hills that he was so far ahead of me he was barely a spec, I was proud that he was doing so great!

I manage to pass some dudes and one lady. The course finishes up on a cross-country path that was lightly muddy, my new shoes were baptised properly. In the last push I get past another guy, but can’t get up to the next female and have to settle with being on her heels just before the finish.

Rob came in at 26:12 and was 2nd in his Age Group!
I was 28:19, not a PR, but a course improvement of my 29:54 of last year. Plus I got 1st in my Age Group!
1st and 2nd finishers got a voucher for a free turkey, so Rob and I have to get out the turkey recipes!

Drew did amazing as well! We didn’t get far into our cool down until we came upon Drew. He was looking great, passed a bunch of people at the end and got a new PR!

Our traditional tree stump pictures. Rob and me.

Drew and Rob.

Our awards.

7:05 Pace

F: 5/?
F30-34: 1/19
Overall: 24/158


2010 Operation Santa – 4M – 28:11

Today’s race is at the Peoria Chief’s baseball stadium and the race raises money to send care packages to the troops.

This 4 Mile race loops around the stadium and finishes near home plate. It was melting hot today. We met up with some of our friends: Jo, Drew and Carrie!

Some pictures before the race.

Me, Rob and Drew.

Me and Carrie.

Flexin’ 🙂 Care for a ticket to our “gun show”?

Carrie was a our pit crew for this race due to her sinuses. Rob ended up also joining the pit crew last-minute because his stomach wasn’t well today. Turned out to be the right move because it was so blistering hot. I was miserable and I knew that Rob would have gotten sick.

Since the race laps around I got to see Rob and Carrie a few times. I was too busy melting in the sun to be able to mutter much back to them. I was lead female up to 3.5 miles. Rob was great with the cheering and also with information about how far off the other ladies were. I couldn’t muster any more energy though and ended up 2nd female overall and 1st in my Age Group!

Coming into the finish.

An article mentioning my 2nd female place in the race.

My award is a tiny bat with some Peoria Cheifs’ signatures on it.

Me attempting to pose like I’m swinging a bat, but I have no clue how to stand. 😉

And for the heck of it, an attempt of me to look menacing with my bat. LOL!

Up close picture of the bat. I will be trying to make out who these names are in case any of them make to the Cubs!! 🙂

No PR today, 28:11. However, I had ZERO knee pain. I felt physically all there, I just melted too quickly in the heat this time. I hope that I’m able to speed it up at the upcoming races! 😀



7:03 Pace

F 30-34: 1/?

F: 2/?

Overall: 27/283