Enjoying every second of life and running.


Rock Encore

Wednesday (12/14):

5 Miles Recovery (Treadmill, 43:44, 8:45 Pace)

Thursday (12/15):

11 Miles Med-Long (Treadmill, 1:35:27, 8:41 Pace)

Friday (12/16):


Saturday (12/17):

9 Miles General Aerobic (Treadmill, 1:16:19, 8:29 Pace)

Sunday (12/18):

15 Miles Long (Treadmill, 2:11:17, 8:46 Pace)

Total Running Miles: 49

Rob and I received our Rock and Roll end of the year medals for our two half marathons with their series in 2011, the Rock and Roll Chicago and Rock and Roll St. Louis. As badly organized as Rock and Roll Las Vegas sounded, I can say that both of these races were very nicely organized and correctly sized for the course.

I’m always a sucker for a medal or trophy. This one I opened in our pile of mail before work. I didn’t sport this one with my work attire for the whole day, but I was tempted. 😉

Friday I went with my girl Lisa to Running Central and One World Cafe, both in Peoria, IL. Lisa wanted to try out their gait analysis since she has very high arches and has been having issues with her feet off and on. Look at all that air under her arches, wow! Girl could smuggle diamonds under those arches if she wanted. 🙂 They gave her some model recommendations in Saucony, Mizuno and Newtons and Lisa is going to figure out her next move on purchasing once she is done with physical therapy.

I on the other had three gift cards burning a whole in my pocket so I was there to load up on Swiftwick socks for Rob and I. I love that local races have door prizes that include gift cards. It’s the icing on the cake to win a prize just for being at a race.

I got 4 pairs of zero ankle Swiftwicks (3 for Rob, 1 for me) AND 1 pair of calf compression for myself all for $17 after gift certificates, score!

When I got home from shopping I power napped and then got up and ready for a happy hour that included two spots. I’m not a big drinker so I just stuck to water and a little diet soda at the first location. The second spot I ended up with two super delish dirty martinis with stuffed blue cheese olives, but I also made sure to drink water.

We had appetizers as a group, but I clearly didn’t eat enough because those martinis left me worked over the next day. I was so unhappy with myself. Lately it seems that one drink is my limit and I’m going to have to stick to that if I don’t want to feel like total crapola the next day.

I wasted most of the morning feeling gross and rehydrating. By the afternoon I was able to get going so Rob and I could ring bells for the Salvation Army. It was freezing out the two hours we worked, but we toughed it out knowning that the money helps others who have to deal with being cold and hungry.

Afterward I got in my 9 Mile run and then we went out to Glenn Miller Orchestra. They put on a great show and include old holiday classics.

My attempts of trying to take our picture.

Afterward we went out for drinks with Chris and Lisa, but I stuck to water since I wasn’t fully recovered. Sunday we finally got to our holiday shopping and decorating, and fit in our long runs. It was nice to feel finally rested and back to normal.


Hey Mama


Sunday (9/25):

17 Miles Long (‘Hood, 2:19:52, 8:14 Pace)

Monday (9/26):

7.2 Miles Bike (Trainer, 30:00, 14.4 mph)

Tuesday (9/27):

7.9 Miles Bike (Trainer, 35:00, 13.54 mph)

8 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1:06:34, 8:20 Pace)

Wednesday (9/28):

6.8 Miles Bike (Trainer, 30:04, 13.57 mph)

Yoga 50 Mins

Thursday (9/29):


Friday (9/30):

4 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 31:06, 7:47 Pace)

Yoga 50 Mins

Saturday (10/1):
15.25 Miles Bike (Spin Class, 49:00, 18.67 mph)

8 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1:05:51, 8:14 Pace)

Sunday (10/2):
13.1 Miles Long (‘Hood, 1:39:09, 7:35 Pace)
15.2 Miles Bike (Spin class, 52:47, 17.28 mph)

Monday (10/3):

Tuesday (10/4):

7 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 57:22, 8:14 Pace)

Last Thursday after work Rob and I went to a Mat Kearney concert at a small venue near University of Illinois. Mat sounded amazing, even more so in person. It was a great concert, but Rob and I quickly noticed that we were the minority in the age category. A couple blurry pictures from my phone.

Over the weekend I made fish tacos with tilapia. I cooked the fish with a little olive oil, lime juice, paprika, chili power, onion powder, cumin and garlic salt for 15 minutes @ 425 degrees. After cooking I served it with corn tortillas, fresh salsa and guacamole.

I also made up my version of Spanish Rice in my new rice cooker. I used Trader Joe’s brown rice medley and cooked it to the rice cooker instructions. Then in a separate pot I warmed a can of diced tomatoes and black beans, both drained and added the same spices that I put on the fish. I’m going to take the left over rice mix and add mexican cheese, stuff red peppers and bake in the oven for another meal. 🙂

Monday was a rest day so Rob and I took the Cub out for a flight. It was a gorgeous day!

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She’s On Fire

So much to catch up on in the blog. I’m traveling for work which means missing Rob a ridiculous amount, running in gym hotel as often as possible, attending a conference, attending events, working online in between things, getting in some new restaurants and a bit of shopping.

So here are some of the highlights from this week.

I had some great classes at the conference.

It’s the whole point of the trip and I do have to say I learned some new things and feel energized to get back to my work efforts.

I got in workouts at the MGM Grand gym.

MGM Grand has a Cardio Room that is not a part of the SPA gym. It’s included in the hotel package that came with the conference reservation, so I didn’t have to spend any money each day to work out. I could have went out on the strip for some miles in the AM, but I didn’t have anyone to go with and I think it would have been only worth it to have someone to run with early AM before classes, so I stuck to the treadmill. Some days I was able to get in a run in the morning and evening. One challenge is Vegas gyms typically don’t open until 6am. And most close around 6pm-8pm. That makes it very challenging to get in workouts around other events like classes. It’s like people in Vegas hotels don’t want to workout early or late, I can’t see why not. 😉 Actually it caught me off guard because I was at least expecting the gyms to be available via hotel swipe 24/7, like most places in other cities. It seems like security cameras to keep an eye on things and a card swipe would make it handy for people to choose their hours to workout that fit their schedule.

Me and Jo after I got registered for the conference. The weather wasn’t good Sunday, but I had to work on a report anyways so I was stuck inside most of the afternoon anyways.

I rode the NY NY roller coaster.

After dinner with our friends Jo and Larry and their friend Dave, Jo and I took a ride on the NY NY roller coaster. It was a blast and you get a unique look at the strip and the Statue of Liberty from the coaster. I love that Jo is up for adventure anytime. Even when we were all dressed up she suggested we go.

Us at Broadway Burger Bar in NY NY.

I had the steak salad.

I got to see the Palms and Ghostbar.

We had a work event at Little Buddha which included some delish passed appetizers.

Afterward we went up to check out the amazing view from Ghostbar. It was perfect because it was a Monday night so there was really no one there but event people so it was super chill.

If you haven’t been to Ghostbar, definitely check it out. It’s a great view of the city.

I got caught up with people I haven’t seen at work in ages.

Our company is huge and that means that when you move on to other work assignments you can go a long time without seeing previous teammates. It was nice to get to have breakfast, lunch and dinners with co-workers and catch up on what they have been up to. Our friends Bob and Larry are into SCUBA diving. Rob and I have Advanced and Technical Certifications that we would need to get renewed, but we’ve dove in Jamaica and Turks and Caicos. Getting to hear about their trips all over the world make me itchy to get back out (into warm water dives of course).

One of our lunch meet ups was at Red, White and Blue at Mandalay Bay. I had the lobster cobb salad, with no bacon and no dressing.

We also ate at Wicked Spoon in the Cosmopolitan. I’m not a fan of buffets, but this one was so exceptional that it’s worth trying. The food is little bites of some amazing chef crafted dishes that I can’t do justice writing about.  I got a couple pictures in the Cosmopolitan on the way to the restaurant.

Crystals drip down three floors, surrounding a bar and lounge area.

The famous large shoes. I got pictures in a couple on the floor of Wicked Spoon.

Some other note worthy eats was Fleur in Mandalay Bay.

Tuna taco appetizer with serrano, cilantro, and avocado cream.

The halibut with braised leek, grilled scallion, and sweet corn.

I was able to get in a bit of shopping.

Oh yeah baby! I can’t go to Vegas and not hit up my favorite store, Louis Vuitton! I got this sweet purse. Perfect for the times when I need just my phone, wallet and lipgloss and that’s it.

I also picked up a new wallet for Rob, his first LV. 🙂

The event party included a concert with OK Go!, train and Pete Wentz DJing!!

The event party was held at the M Resort off the Las Vegas strip.

Ok Go!


Rob and I have always wanted to see train in concert so this was a real treat!

Pat extended “She’s on Fire” with a country rendition for part of the song.

Then he asked for ladies to join him on stage to finish out the song. About 30-40 women got on stage. I was one of the first and Pat hands me a shirt and says “quick put this on”. Turns out it’s a t-shirt that says “trainette”. He says normally he is only allowed 7 women or so on stage, but he goes with it and has us all shout where we are from at the same time.

Then he has us all dance for a bit to the song, I stayed near the back, no need to shake my money maker up there. Then he had us sing the rest of the song. Pat moved around the stage so much and my phone camera wouldn’t cooperate as I tried to get pictures. Pat holding out the microphone for us to sing.

My trainette t-shirt. The had was an event hat they gave out to attendees.

The band was very nice and Pat even announced to the crowd that they would be around hanging out after the show. During the show he even took people’s cameras and took pictures of himself with them.

After the show we made our way to Pete Wentz DJ Booth that was propped up on scaffolding high above the crowd. After his portion he only did a couple pictures before security escorted him away. I was able to get a picture and thank him for coming out.

I was happy to get to do some new things on this trip to Vegas. I hope next time to see the Bellagio fountain show. Three trips to Vegas and I’ve yet to see the show. Also, there are other restaurants I am excited to try. Rob and I hope to be back later this year so we will check off some more items on the Vegas list. 🙂




Monday (3/7):

4 Miles Easy (Treadmill, Boston Marathon Course, -3% – +2.5% Incline, 34:13, 8:34 Pace)

Tuesday (3/8):

10 Miles Easy (Treadmill, Boston Marathon Course, -3% – +2.5% Incline, 1:29:59, 8:12 Pace)

Wednesday (3/9):

5 Miles Easy (Const Trail, RTW Group Run, 54:26, 10:54 Pace)

Thursday (3/10):

Rest – well, more like death warmed over

Friday (3/11):

3.75 Miles Easy (Treadmill, San Diego Half Marathon Course, -2.5% – 0% Incline, 33:48, 9:01 Pace)

45 Mins Yoga

2.25 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 0% Incline, 18:56, 8:25 Pace)

7 Miles Easy (Treadmill, Boston Marathon Course, -3% – +5% Incline, 1:01:11, 8:45 Pace)

This week has been a lot of recovering from sickness. I started to feel like crap on Wednesday. I rarely get sick so I was hoping it was just a funk that I would have to tolerate, but nothing more than that. However, during the day I just started feeling worse and worse.

Wednesday night was the Ride The Wave group run. When I got to the meeting location I found out the other group leader would not be joining us. I would have the group of about eight people to pace by myself. It’s better to have at least two leaders so that if the group gets spread out on pace. No worries, we headed out. The weather wasn’t stellar. There was a light rain, cold and bit of wind. I kept my feelings about my health to myself. No reason to bring it up because the group just needed to focus on getting in their run of 5 miles tempo as planned. It was a good time running with the group and talking about races, but after we finished I felt worse. I fell asleep early that night only woke up now and then and was quickly reminded how badly I felt.

Thursday morning I worked from home and made my way the doctor. I couldn’t let this feeling ride out, I was beyond just a little funk. I needed some big gun meds. I got a Zpack and had to get into work for some meetings that I would not be able to miss. I was a walking zombie at best and my energy level drained quickly. I ended up heading home early for an offical sick day and slept as much as possible.

I was woken up to Rob bringing me roses and dark chocolates, really that is better than the Zpack!

Chocolates not pictured, they were in my tummy in less than a second. 😉

I passed out hard Thursday night. Today I woke up feeling much better, but my throat felt incredibly raw. I didn’t want to risk running out in the cold air so I ran on our new treadmill. I did an easy run on the San Diego Half Marathon course. It was nice to enjoy pictures of palm trees and I felt good. Afterward I went to yoga and had a great session there. Every passing hour I was feeling better.

The weather was great for flying so Rob and I took a quick flight around the area.

 I made a flying playlist for the flight. We enjoyed tunes like “Up” from Jason Mraz. 🙂

A view of our company’s south campus. I have to say it’s nice to have Fridays off and fly over. Fridays free are when the longer hours Monday through Thursday pay off.

I also got to try out my new Bose headset on this flight. I got Rob one for his 30th birthday and he has loved having it. He found one for sale from another pilot and so he got it for me. It is in perfect condition and works great!

Tonight I did another easy run on the treadmill. My plan was to do the last half of the Boston Marathon course, but the iFit site was down so I got in a couple miles on the regular until the site was back up. I felt like I was running in sand. My energy is definitely zapped and my stomach feels sour. I’m definitely ready to pass out again and hope to wake up tomorrow feeling better.

Oh and here is a picture of sweet Coco just for fun. 🙂


Best Rest


Monday (2/28):


Tuesday (3/1):

3 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1% Incline, 24:19, 8:07 Pace)

Monday was a planned rest day from running, but not even close to a restful day. We had tickets to the House of Blues Chicago to see MIGGS, Parachute, and Plain White T’s. I bought the tickets awhile ago and didn’t notice that the date was a Monday, whoops! Unfortunately work couldn’t wait so we weren’t able to take a day off. We did leave work early, but Rob attended a conference call the whole 2 hour drive. When we got into Chicago my heart burst just like every time we visit. I feel so at home in Chicago. I never want to leave.

Since we didn’t get out of work early enough we didn’t get time for dinner and it was already time for the show to start. We hung in the back for this show, no need to fight the crowd.

The show was great!! MIGGS did an amazing job! I even got my picture taken after their set with the lead singer, Don Miggs.

Parachute and Plain White T’s also put on an amazing show. Parachute played songs from their new album that just released, it was really good! This was the last stop on their tour and they all really rocked it. It was the best type of rest. A little weekday fun to mix up our regular routine.


Often Running

2010 was an amazing year! Rob and I had many fun flights in our airplane, we saw Dave Matthews Band two times this year (my favorite band), Jason Mraz (also a fave) and the Dan Band, went to our first Cubs game, kicked it in Vegas, went sailing for the first time, and ran some memorable races along the way.

2010 running highlights include qualifying for Boston Marathon three times at Mercedes Marathon, IL Marathon and Chicago Marathon. Meeting Kara Goucher and Constantina Dita, plus getting to be a part of the Often Running Racing Team.

I’m so proud to represent the Often Running store, adidas, and this group of individuals. They have been so supportive and have helped Rob and I become better runners along the way. We have a lot of fun running and hanging out with them.

Thank you to Twin Cities Smile Photography for the team photo that will be displayed in the store.

I couldn’t be happier with 2010 and the running season!


The Best of What’s Around

Saturday was such a whirlwind that I’m just now getting around to writing about it. As soon as we finished with the USAF Half Marathon we were in the car and on the road from Dayton, OH to get to Chicago, IL by the evening to see Jason Mraz and Dave Matthews Band at Wrigley!

Unfortunately we hit traffic and were running late to get to the show. We figured we would be okay since we had bought VIP tickets. In the past with VIP tickets through the fan club (Warehouse) get really good seats. With general admission on the field we expected a sectioned off area up front to be reserved for the VIP. Also, the beer and food is all free as it is built into the price of the ticket. Turns out they did have a VIP section….in the back. Oh and the free beer and food, was at Cubby Bear across the street and was cut off at 8pm, so that was a bust as well. To even get up front we would have had to have been there when the gates opened at 4pm which we would have never made with the trip. So we spent WAY too much on tickets that got us no decent view, beer or food. We would have been better off with regular tickets.

Jason was amazing! I only wish we could have seen his whole set. We will definitely be looking to find a chance to see him again.

Since there was no way to predict that this VIP would be different from others in the past we went and got our own beers and made “The Best of What’s Around”. 😉 After Jason’s performance we took advantage of the opportunity to get pictures of Wrigley Field up close.

Being in Chicago is always the best!!

DMB was fabulous as usual! It doesn’t matter how many shows we see, they are always a entertaining.


Where to begin…

It’s been way too long since I’ve posted. Things have been super crazy busy so I will try to recap the last week.


7 Miles – 2 W/U @ 8:20, 4 @ 6:53, 2 C/D @ 8:20 (Treadmill, 1% Incline, 1:00:57, 7:37 Pace)


It was time for more track work with Ryan. We ended up doing half of our workout in the pouring rain.

1.5 Mile Warm Up

Then time for 16 X 200s:

LAP 1 – 45
LAP 2 – 45
LAP 3 – 49
LAP 4 – 48

LAP 5 – 45
LAP 6 – 44
LAP 7 – 44
LAP 8 – 43

LAP 9 – 43
LAP 10 – 42
LAP 11 – 39
LAP 12 – 43
LAP 13 – 39
LAP 14 – 40
LAP 15 – 40
LAP 16 – 38

Ryan didn’t run each lap with me this time and instead circled the track as Rob and I got to work. Ryan had Rob running 400s and he gave us tips and critiques along the way. This wasa new challenge for me because I had to hit the pacing for each set on my own, it was hard to get the feel. My brain started to melt at Lap 13, a familiar feeling from last weekend.

1.5 Mile Cool Down


My first official two-a-day! Woo hoo! About time!!

AM – 6 Miles Recovery @ 8:15 (‘Hood, 47:31, 7:55 Pace)

I was supposed to stay at 8:15, but went a little fast.

MILE 1 – 8:24
MILE 2 – 7:56
MILE 3 – 7:42
MILE 4 – 7:48
MILE 5 – 7:43
MILE 6 – 7:56

PM – 4 Miles Recovery @ 8:15 (St. Louis Gateway Arch, 33:59, 8:30 Pace)

We traveled to St. Louis to Dave Matthews Band!! Once Rob and I got to St. Louis we took our run to the Gateway Arch, which was a lot of fun for some new scenery.

This time my legs were tired and I was slower than the pace I was supposed to hit.

MILE 1 – 8:44
MILE 2 – 8:16
MILE 3 – 8:17
MILE 4 – 8:38

And for fun, here is a picture of Dave.


Rest day!! I took full advantage and did nothing!


Time to wake up my legs for the Steamboat Classic 15K on Saturday, the toughest 15K in the mid-west!
7 Miles – 2 W/U, 5 @ 15KGP; 6 X 50S (‘Hood, 52:59, 7:30 Pace)

MILE 1 – 8:41
MILE 2 – 8:04
MILE 3 – 7:09
MILE 4 – 7:12
MILE 5 – 7:02
MILE 6 – 7:11
MILE 7 – 7:07

Up next, my Steamboat Classic 15K race report!!


Marathon Recovery: Week 4 Complete

What a jam packed weekend! I’ll try to recap…

Friday we had lots of errands and we both had to work in the afternoon. Afterward we had dinner with our friends the Shippys, at Medici. After dinner we got a text from our friends Mike and Jamie that they were out at Entourage so we joined them for a drink.

Me and Jamie:

Rob and Mike:

Saturday we worked for 5 hours trying to complete the tile backsplash in our kitchen. We got it all done but some small finishing touches that we hope to get wrapped up next week. The whole thing will have taken about 25 hours over 5 days in total. Luckily we did it in chunks as we had time.

We are also getting a fence installed and it’s about done! It will be so nice to have a fenced in back yard.

So after our 5 hours of home improvements we had to bust out 8 miles before a concert. I got us tickets to Lynard Skynard as a part of Rob’s birthday. The 8 miles was supposed to include 8x100M strides, but I had IT band tightness after 4 miles and only made it through one stride and knew I was going to have to head back home to finish on the treadmill. Then we had a quick dinner and it was off to see Skynard! Freaking awesome show! We almost got kicked out too, they were ticked that I was taking video of the show and said they would need to take our camera, the video card, or leave so we said okay we will go and started to make our way to the exit. Then they came and said we just need to delete the video, I played dumb and fumbled with the camera and the guy was like good enough and left. Then on the way home we saw two tour busses getting on the highway and I was like “it’s them!”. The busses had no markings but they were very much very high end and then we saw the second license plate said “Ass Kicking Southern Rock”, oh yeah! We honked a ton at the busses. 🙂



Today we woke up to a beautiful day that was absolutely perfect for flying. So we headed over to Indiana for lunch at Rick’s Boatyard Cafe.

Louie ready to go for a flight.

Us ready to go. I’ve been having to wear my glasses due to a stupid scratch on my eye. It will be a very long week until I have my follow up doctor appointment to verify it’s all healed, blah.
The view from our table outside.
A Stearman flew over. 🙂
They have delicious seafood. Rob put up with me taking pictures of our food. It makes us look like ubertourists or aliens, but whatever, this food had to be captured. Behold the best bread I have ever had (and I actually hate bread). It has all kinds of seeds in it and the whipped butter is honey pecan, it is freaking amazing.
Rob’s dish. Bayou Fettuccine. Rob shared one of the shrimp with me it was so good!!
I was feeling pasta too. My dish. Maryland Blue Crab Ravioli. It had a lot of oil and white wine, but was very good. I was able to eat half of this beauty. Based on how good that shrimp was next time I’m going for grilled scallops or shrimp!
We took a short walk by the water to relax before hoping in the plane.
Heading out. All of the sailboats and Rick’s and the FBO right across the street.

We got back about 3pm and had to hurry home to change and get our 10 Mile run in before the sun was down. I wasn’t feeling great though. Apparently I wore my Nike shorts with built in lead cause I felt like dead legs tonight. I wore a knee brace and that seemed to keep my IT band happy enough to finish the run. I’ll be looking forward to next week and hope it brings better runs.

This week was so busy I didn’t get in any cross training. That is something I also hope to fix next week as it is officially our last week of marathon recovery!

Here is what I did get done:
M: Rest
T: 7 Miles General Aerobic (Treadmill, 1-1.5% incline, 59:15, 8:28 pace)
W: Rest
R: 5 Miles Recovery (Treadmill, 1% incline, 42:47, 8:34 pace)
F: Rest
Sa: 5.49 Miles GA + Speed (only one stride) (‘Hood, 46:09, 8:25 pace), 2.51 Miles GA (Treadmill, 1% incline, 20:37, 8:13 pace)
Su: 10 Miles GA (‘Hood, 1:26:02, 8:37 pace)

Total: 30 Miles