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2014 We Care Twin Cities – 5K – 25:33

Race Takeaway: Even if I’m not prepared, it’s good to keep racing.

This weekend is the We Care Twin Cities race events in our town. Plus I will be racing every day because after doing the local 5K Friday and 10K Saturday, I am driving up to run Quad Cities Half Marathon Sunday morning.ย I am in no way prepared to run half marathon or this much in one weekend, but eh I figure I should survive it. I would rather go for it than not even try, especially since we are having great weather this weekend!

Friday night we grabbed a quick dinner and headed over to the expo to pick up our packets and shirts. Rob would be completing the “half challenge” (5K + Half Marathon) and I would be doing the mini-challenge (5K + 10K), which had a sweet medal made of wood. The 5K start is right next to the expo, so it’s logistically really easy. It was sunny and very warm at the start, 6pm.


While the 5K race is small in attendance, it feels bigger because it runs on our trail system, the Constitution Trail. It makes for a very congested start and we stay in the back since we had Chase in the stroller. It took about a .5 mile before we broke out of the crowd a bit and could set our own pace. I wanted to push myself and have a better time than last year, but not over do it and wear myself out either since there were more races still to do. I was able to accomplish my goal and complete in 25:33, beating last years time by a little bit. Plus I felt good afterward, so I was hopeful the 10K would well tomorrow. I got 3rd in my Age Group and Rob got 2nd in his.



8:15 Pace

F 35-39: 3/18

F: 13/113

Overall: 32/170

Past Performances:

2013 We Care Twin Cities – 5K – 25:42


2013 We Care Twin Cities – 5K – 25:42

Race Takeaway: Setting a healthy family example is such a wonderful responsibility.

The We Care Twin Cities race weekend includes a 5K Friday night and 10K and Half Marathon Saturday morning.

This race weekend almost didn’t happen for us. Chase was sick with hand/foot/mouth all week. She had just a couple spots and it never spread worse, thank goodness. But it was clear she was not herself and wanted to be held constantly day and night. It made for a very long week, which included me sleeping sitting up for 6 days straight. Needless to say I was drained. We just took each day as it was and decided if Chase wasn’t feeling well we wouldn’t be running. Thursday her spots were gone and she seemed to be getting back to herself. By Friday morning she seemed back to good and we took her to daycare to see how she did for the day. She had a really good day so we figured we would give the racing a try. However, I was signed up for the half marathon and so was Drew. We decided that we would downgrade our races to the 10K and all run together instead.

Friday’s packet pickup was at GE Park with the Kids Fun Run and 5K on the Constitution Trail. Packet pick up was easy and quick. This race revolves around energy management and environmentally friendly choices. Which meant that the race would also look for improvements, including having trophies from recycled/donated awards from any sport.

Also, the We Care Twin Cities races would have theย Hydrapouch for water stops, instead of cups.


I’m all for environmentally friendly opportunities, but I’m not yet sold on these as a viable solution. Each runner received one in their race packet. I haven’t looked into the carbon footprint to make one of these, but it just seems that this versus paper cups that this would be less friendly if you don’t use this for more than one race. I can’t imagine how many of these will get tossed in the trash and never used. Also, this is a self serve option, which seems depending on the size of the race would make for congested water stops. While that was not the case during our races, we brought our own water since we had the stroller to stow it in.

So my question to you is, have you used these before in a race? What do you think? Why do you love them or hate them? Do you think these will become more popular at races?

So back to the 5K….as I was saying packet pickup was a breeze and we waited for our race to start at 6pm by watching the kids fun run. It was so awesome to witness all these families out with their children encouraging a healthy lifestyle of running. We got to see some of our friends with all of their kids and it’s just a fun site to see the whole family taking part. It’s going to be so fun to see Chase running in these races and getting her medal. ๐Ÿ™‚

Us before the race that I posted on twitter.

The 5K was a small field of people and we were the only stroller. We started in the very back. It proved challenging because the path of the Constitution Trail isn’t wide enough for even the smallest race, so it gets congested easily. We carefully passed people when possible and finally got out in the open to set our own pace by Mile 1. The course winds through Tipton Park, which has sometimes caused race path direction confusion (more on that for Saturday’s race), but they had this course well marked with volunteers pointing the way.

It was a perfect night for running and we really enjoyed this race. I pushed as hard as I could, even though I hadn’t been running and was so exhausted from the past week. I was able to fight through it and come out with 25:42, which was an improvement on my previous post-baby 5Ks and good enough for 1st in my age group and 3rd in Rob’s age group.

Again, Chase slept the whole way while running. I think she really enjoys our running time. She usually looks mesmerized by the trees, sky, and breeze and then peacefully closes her eyes and starts to snooze. ๐Ÿ™‚

We didn’t stick around for awards though. We haven’t done an evening race with Chase before and it was definitely getting close to her bedtime. So we got her home, fed, and ready for bed.



8:17 Pace

Overall: 15/76

F: 5/44

F 35-39: 1/7


2013 Eureka Heart House – 10K – 58:20

Race Takeaway: Hills zap me, but at least I’m out moving.

This morning was the Heart House 2 Mile Walk / 4 Mile Race/ and 10K Race in Eureka, IL. It was low 50s, sunny, but breezy.

Racing with a baby has changed my approach to race morning. Before Chase I would make sure we were up and hustling to get ready so that we would get to the race with more than enough time. I would stress if we aren’t at a race at least an hour ahead. I want to know that we have enough time to park, register or pick up our packet, get extra warm up clothes off, bibs on, and a warm up with time to spare. Now that’s all changed.

Rob and I still move with focus and hustle in the morning, but the X factor is how is Chase feeling. And Rob and I are both okay with whatever happens. In the case of this morning Chase was extra hungry and took her time eating. Plus she pooped three times (it happens), which meant lots of changes before getting her all bundled up for the race. We weren’t stressed at all. We were like “hey if she doesn’t seem happy we won’t go”, and she was a totally happy baby. And when we got out the door very late, we figured “hey maybe we will just have a nice drive and go out for a run somewhere”.

Turns out we made it there with about 15 minutes, which was just enough time to get ourselves registered and Chase ready.

Chase was super snuggy warm with her pumpkin hat, long sleeved onesie, cardigan, pants, two pair of socks, and two blankets. She probably doesn’t need all of that, but we would rather go over board bundling her up because it’s always easy to remove a layer. ๐Ÿ™‚

We decided this race Rob would still push Chase and we would each run our own pace. Rob would take it easy on any turns or bumpy road conditions.

This race is HILLY. I’ve never been good with hills, even in my best shape so this was a butt kick for me today. I only passed Rob and Chase briefly at mile 2 where it was gravel, Rob was walking to make sure it wasn’t too bumpy for Chase. He then got past me before mile 3. I managed to keep my pace under 9 minute miles for the first three miles, but I was zapped by the hills and just survived the rest of the way. I just told myself it was good to be out and moving no matter what to be a good example to Chase. After mile 4 it was awesome to be able to see in the distance Rob ahead on the course pushing the stroller and picking up speed. There is no way I could have survived with pushing the stroller on this course, I’m so glad Rob was happy to do it. Chase slept the whole way too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rob and Chase finished in 52:30 and I was done at 58:20.

I nursed Chase afterward in the back of the car and Rob went to check the results.ย This was a very small field so Rob and I both got 2nd in our Age Groups.

Us with our finisher medals and Chase. Chase was ready to go and we headed out.

2013 Eureka Heart House 10K



9:25 Pace


2013 Danvers Days – 5K – 27:02

Race Takeaway: I’m not ready for inclines.

Today Drew and I ran the Danvers Days 5K. Rob and Chase were our pit crew. ๐Ÿ™‚




This race is where I have my PR of 19:50 back in 2010. The course has quite a few turns as well as some small hills and inclines. My goal for this race was to improve upon my time from last weeks race. Drew’s goal was to PR. Our plan was to run together for the first 2 miles and then each of us give whatever we have left the rest of the way. We went out and did a warm up of 1.25 miles and then visited with friends before lining up.

Our plan was to hold back the first mile and then kick it up about 15 seconds the second mile. It was hard to hold back and not get pulled into the excitement of the race, but Drew and I kept it in check. We came across the first mile as planned.


Then the inclines start. I struggle through the first and already by the second my legs feel smoked. Drew pulls away from me just before mile 2 and is looking strong.


The next set of inclines and struggle through it, unable to catch Drew in front of me. Drew finished in 26:48 and met his goal of a PR by taking of 7 seconds! I finish in 27:02 and didn’t make my goal of improving from last week. I get 2nd in my age group though. I’m bummed I didn’t do better, but I recognize that it’s going to take time. I just hope to still make Chase and Rob proud that I’m trying hard to keep improving.

Brandi and her fiance ran with their 6 month old daughter in her stroller. Brandi got 1st in our age group!


Great job to Drew and Brandi!!!

And great job to Chase who enjoyed being bundled up and slept the whole time! ๐Ÿ™‚




8:43 Pace

F 35-39: 2/8

Overall: 57/127

2012 Danvers Days – 5K – 21:21

2010 Danvers Days – 5K – 19:50

2009 Danvers Days – 5K – 23:29

2008 Danvers Days – 5K – 27:20


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


2012 We Care Twin Cities Half Marathon – 1:41:49

Race Takeaway: I love our town!

This morning we were up at 4:45am to run an inaugural half marathon that was hosted locally. I’m SO excited we did this race because ย not only did we have perfect weather in the 50s, but it was great seeing so much of the community out being healthy.

My plan for this race was to run my marathon pace or better, but not full out race. We are running Chicago Marathon next weekend and we need to make sure that we have energy in the tank for it. Both my legs and stomach were feeling amazing and it was hard to not get swept away and run too hard. I was able to have moments of chilling out by waving and talking to the crowd and other runners. So many people we know from work, running and flying were all out. The race was mostly flat and only inclines on the road heading back to the finish. It was an out and back course that allowed us to see other runners the whole way and encouraging them.

Through uptown Normal (Thank you Jeff for all of the pictures!)

I spent a few miles running in the vicinity with the race director and got to hear about the work that went into this event and their plans for next year, which include adding a full marathon.

On the constitution trail

Into the finish

I came in at 1:41:49, 1st in my Age Group. Rob got 1:34:26, which was 4th in his Age Group.

2012 We Care Twin Cities Half Marathon Finisher’s Medal

My 1st Age Group Award – Water Bottle

I’m so happy that we got to run this race and we plan to run it again!



7:46 Pace

Overall: 61/477

F: 9/245

F 35-39: 1/46


2012 Danvers Days – 5K – 21:21

Race take away: I’m getting comfortable again with a faster pace, hopefully it continues!

This morning it was really hard to get up. No sleeping in this weekend, we had another 5K to run. We were out the door at 6am to drive to Danvers, IL. The weather was perfect: about 68 degrees, light breeze, and super mild. Rob and I ran the whole course as a warm up to remember it. We didn’t run it last year so we wanted to get familiar with the course. Sounds like they didn’t have the race in 2011 for some reason, so its good that they were able to bring it back.

After chatting up some friends we were off. My plan was to run this race with a bit more effort than yesterday to keep improving my time. This race had some inclines in it unlike yesterday’s race, so I had to put more effort into keeping up with my time. This race had a funny notation on the road before mile 2, it said “Heartbreak Hill”. Who knew I didn’t need to go to Boston Marathon, lol. It was a cute touch and Rob and I made sure to go back after the race to get a picture of it.

I got to mile 2 at 14:00, so just a couple seconds behind yesterday with the inclines. I knew I could improve my time by pressing hard and I felt like it was doable. I came in at 21:21 and was third female overall, 1st in my Age Group. Rob also improved his time with a 19:35 and was 2nd in his Age Group.

They didn’t have the pancakes post-race like previous years. They gave everyone a participant ribbon. It’s nice for the kiddos, but I’m not sure that this will make it to the trophy wall. Well maybe I’ll think of a place….haven’t turned down race recognition yet, why start now?!

We went out for a quick cool down and got a picture of Heartbreak Hill. Love it!

The medals were nice.





6:56 Pace

F: 3/?

F 35-39: 1/?

2010 Danvers Days – 19:50

2009 Danvers Days – 23:29

2008 Danvers Days – 27:20




2012 Flanagan Fest – 5K – 21:41

Race take away: Progressing in the right direction!

Saturday morning it was hard to get up, but we were on the road by 6am to get to Flanagan, IL to run the local 5K. The temperatures were very mild, low 60s and perfect for racing. Rob and I did a warm up to remember the course since running it a few years ago. The course was well-marked, flat and had enough turns to keep it interesting.

My goal was to push my pace, but keep it as even as possible. Another lady passed me in the first mile looking completely relaxed and she just zoomed along like it was nothing. I knew it wasn’t likely to catch her, but I would just try to keep her in my sights so that I could see her at least at each turn. First mile was 6:56, second time was 13:54 and I came across the line at 21:41, which improved my time from last week’s 5K. 5K’s are a hard race cause it’s about pushing the whole time, while managing a pace without blowing up. I’m very happy that I finished this race feeling like I can get faster. I just need to keep chipping away at it again.

I finished in 21:41, 2nd Female Overall, 1st in 35-44 Age Group. Rob was 3rd overall with a 19:50, 1st in 25-34 Age Group.

After the race I hung out for a bit on the park swing while we waited for awards.

I got a couple strange looks from the little kids on the swings nearby. They probably didn’t know what to think of an old lady playing on the playground. ๐Ÿ™‚

Our awards were coozies. I think we can put these to good use. ๐Ÿ™‚





7:00 Pace

F: 2/?

F 35-44: 1/?

2009 Flanagan Fest 5K – 23:25


2012 Evergreen Lake – 5K – 22:13

Race take away: Racing is fun again!

Saturday morning Rob and I headed out to run a 5K at nearby Lake Evergreen. The weather was cool and in the 60s. I was so chilly that I even opted for long sleeves for the race, but short sleeves would have been fine. Rob and I went out and did a warm up for about 2 miles and then caught up with other runners before the start.

As I’m still not in race shape, my plan was to improve upon my Dog Days time, while trying to keep a stead pace. We were off and after the first mile I was feeling great. Splits on my watch were 7:09, 7:06, 7:16. I was third female and was passed at mile 2. After that I was able to pass another girl, keeping me at 3rd female overall and 1st age group with a 22:13. The race felt easy, well as easy as a 5K can feel. I’m excited to be enjoying racing again!

Rob came in at 20:24 and was 2nd in his age group. We both got pilsner glasses for our efforts.

The glass, the back says “Award Winner”.



7:10 Pace

F: 3/?

F 35-39: 1/?

2010 Evergreen Lake – 20:03



2012 Dog Days – 5K – 22:57

Race takeaway: I can remember how to run a set pace, yay!

Dog Days 5K was on Saturday. This race is notoriously hot because it’s July and the race starts at 6pm. With the how ridiculously hot it has been lately we expected that it would be brutal. Luckily a small thunderstorm came through and the little bit of rain cool temps off to 70 degrees. So much better!

I had run 12 miles easy earlier this day and I had no delusions that I was 5K race ready. Still I need to shock my system and run faster. I didn’t want to run the first mile too fast and gas out to a super slow pace. Instead I made it a goal to run the 5K more like a half marathon pace to wake my legs up and hopefully not die after the first mile or two.

Rob and I did a two mile warm up with our friend Ryan and then it was time to race. The course was different from ย previous years because of a bridge repair happening around one side of the lake. Ryan had come out and marked the course a couple of days earlier and got it spot on for the race.

Knowing that we aren’t speedy, Rob and I settled into the start a few rows back. Everyone took off fast and I kept an eye on my watch to not go with them. I was in 6:30 and needed to slow down to be around 7:20 and see how I felt. I’m glad that I did because by the turn around I got to see how unfit I felt. I was able to keep my pace consistent, but I definitely had no gas pedal to kick it up a notch. Hopefully that will come with time and training.


I came across at 22:57, one of the slowest 5Ks in a long time, but so happy to be out racing even when I’m not ready for it. Rob was in at 20:58, two minutes slower than his usual, but also happy to get back into it.

I got 2nd in my Age Group and Rob got 3rd in his.

The age group medal.



Ryan was overall winner and I loved the overall award this year, a ceramic “Dog Days” dog bowl. I love unique awards like that.



7:25 Pace

F 35-39: 2/?

2011 Dog Days – 21:56

2010 Dog Days – 19:39 (course short, they said add 10 secs, 19:49)

2009 Dog Days – 24:10

2008 Dog Days – 25:56

2007 Dog Days – 30:32