Enjoying every second of life and running.


2014 IL Marathon Weekend

5K Race Takeaway: Helping a friend reach a PR is so much fun!

Half Marathon Takeaway: Sometimes it’s just about finishing.

IL Marathon weekend started like usual with picking up our packets and running the 5K the night before.

  • Rob and I would be completing the Half I-Challenge by running the 5K Friday night and the Half Marathon Saturday morning.
  • Drew would be doing the Full I-Challenge by running the same 5K and then completing the Full Marathon Saturday.
  • This would be our friend Katie’s second 5K and she was looking to improve her time from her first race. We decided to run together since we were taking it easy and we could help Katie get her PR.

Let’s just say this is the closest we have ever done a packet pickup and I was stressed. 🙂 I normally like to be at race events super early, but this was cutting it WAY too close, we were there just 15 minutes before the expo ended. Whew!




This year the 5K started on time and we eased our way into the start as the crowd got moving. I talked to Katie when she seemed to need encouragement and I tried to stay quiet when she looked like she was pushing hard and was focused. Rob and Drew ran with us and were enjoying joking around along the way. It was such a fun time running together as a posse.

Katie was able to push herself and take 2 minutes off of her time and finished in 36 minutes. Go Katie!





BTW….notice that Rob wore the wrong bib number to the 5K? 🙂 A good lesson learned! Anyone else done that before?

Afterward we headed home to get some rest.

The next morning we were up at 3am and on the road by 4:20am. We were way ahead of the 7:00am start and so I was much more relaxed about things than the night before. 🙂 We killed time doing the normal runner routine: put on bib (the correct one Rob!), get fuel into Spibelts, go to the bathroom a 100 times, ask Drew if he is ready about a 100 times. 🙂

The weather was gorgeous, 50s, sunny, and it was going to get quite warm. Beautiful if you are running the half, potentially miserable if you were running the full. Yet we stayed optomistic that it would be a good day for everyone.

Finally it was time to line up and say bye to Katie. Katie hung out at a nearby Starbucks to see us off. In the past the course has come back on the same road so I thought it would be a good opportunity for Katie to see us again around mile 10. Apparently the course had been updated and that was not the case. Whoops! Katie was able to find the course and see Drew one more time around the halfway point and he was looking good!

My race wasn’t going so well. It wasn’t going well from the beginning, which is always a bad sign. The first mile my legs felt dead. Rob was encouraging and said “maybe they will shake out in a couple of miles”. Unfortuantely that never happened. It was just one of those days where I felt like I was dragging my tree trunk legs around. I got to the 10K at 57 minutes. From there things just worse, I was just out of gas and ready to be done. I was off pace and missed my opportunity to be on live TV at mile 10 (info at the bottom of the post). I gave the crew high 5s and trudged on. Around mile 11 Rob was trying to keep me in good spirits and reminding me we were just out to have fun and that we hadn’t been training. I then said “true, and at least I’m not injured, I just have no gas today”. Well those words came back to haunt me at mile 12. I missed seeing a small bump in the road and tripped. One of those slow motion trips and I tried to catch my steps, but after three awkward stumbles I hit the ground on my right hip, scraped both hands and twisted my right ankle. I was flipped over now facing backward, seeing other runners coming up to me asking if I were okay. I laid there saying “go, go, go” and motioning them to keep on running. Rob was said “I’m not leaving you!” and I was like “no, not you, them!”. 🙂 A cop came up and help Rob get me to my feet. I haven’t been injured like this since a training run in 2010.

I think hobbled for what felt like a quarter of a mile. I started to cry from the pain, but mostly because my hands were so bruised I was worried I wouldn’t be able to pick up Chase. I just wanted the race to be over. At least I fell with only a mile to go, but it was hard to be near all the spectators and feel the energy of the finish and be so wounded. I told Rob I wanted to “run” in and so I ran/hobbled as best as I could to the finish. It’s probably worth mentioning that I didn’t care for the half marathon finish that wrapped around the side of the stadium. The surface was different and there were stumps from lights in the ground that would be a tripping hazard for people like me. In the end I finished: 2:12:54

With my injury I plopped down on a couple of bags of ice. I didn’t get our typical finishing pictures.


Afterward we grabbed some food and Rob went out to meet Drew around mile 23. I found Katie and we waited for the guys to get back. Drew was having an excellent run and was set for a huge PR, but after mile 20 he ran out of gas. The temps got up to 80, I’m sure that didn’t help. That’s part of marathoning though, sometimes it just doesn’t come together. Drew was able to tough it out and finish it: 5:25:17


5K 36:16

11:39 Pace

Half Marathon 2:12:54

10:08 Pace

The medals – 5K, Half Marathon, and Half I-Challenge:


Previous IL Marathon Posts:

2013 – IL Marathon – 10K – 8.5 Months Pregnant

2013 – IL Marathon – 5K – 8.5 Months Pregnant

2012 – IL Marathon – 3:46:03

2012 – IL Marathon – 5K – 23:32

2010 – IL Marathon – 3:25:05

2010 – IL Marathon Expo

2009 – IL Half Marathon – 1:57:19

2009 – IL Marathon Expo

The Interviews:

For those that know me or have followed my blog for awhile, you may remember last year that the local news of Champaign, IL, Channel 3, covered my story of running while pregnant. Here’s the interview from last year.

They were back to do a follow up story on us now that we have Chase. Here is this year’s interview.


2012 Chicago Marathon Expo

Today was the Chicago Marathon Expo. We had an easy time getting our packets and bags.

We found out that a “Spirit of the Marathon II” movie will be coming out in March 2013! We also went by the Disney Marathon Series Booth and got to see the 20th Anniversary Disney Marathon Medal that we will be getting in 2013! It is so heavy and beautiful! I has two spinners in it!

Plus we got to chat with the race director about the event and share our excitement to do the Goofy Challenge. Oh and I scored a princess crown they were giving out for registering.

But I have to say Drew did look prettier than me in the tiara.

And we got to see Deena Kastor! Deena was so kind and spent time talking to us. She even wrote Rob some words of encouragement to take our household record time in the marathon. Rob has yet to take it from me, but he will be able to easily. 🙂

I didn’t love the Nike gear this year so I didn’t buy anything. The colors and choices (no track jacket and the women’s running jacket doesn’t have the side pockets for gels like the men’s) just didn’t stand out to me. I did get a couple more sweatybands and I may be on their facebook page soon sporting a couple bands.

And we found our names on the wall. 🙂

It was a successful expo! The temps look mild for Sunday. Hopefully we have a great race day!

Leave a comment

2012 Bix 7 Expo

Friday Rob and I left work early to hurry up and pack to get to Drew’s house. We drove up to Davenport, IA to grab our packets for Bix7 that would be the next morning. It’s a small expo with some booths for shopping. We didn’t need anything so we were quickly in and out with our stuff. What’s cool about Bix7 is they have commemorative pins for milestone years of running this race. They start at year 2 so we got our first pin. Our next pin opportunity will be at 5 times running this race.

Have you run a race with a commemorative pin for the  years of running that race? I can’t say I’ve seen this anywhere else yet, but I like the idea!

We ate dinner and walked around the festival that was going on in the downtown area. We found out that Bix even has its own beer brewed for the events occurring that weekend! I’ve only heard of custom beer for an event for the Boston Marathon, from Sam Adams.

Rob gave the Bix beer a try and he said it tasted similar to a New Castle. It wasn’t his favorite, but it was worth a try. Also, another nice race event touch.

1 Comment

2012 Rock and Roll Half Marathon Expo

Saturday I got in a run outside at home then we packed up the car to head to Chicago for the weekend. The 2012 Rock and Roll Half Marathon Expo was easy to navigate as with most RNR events and we got our packets and shirts with no problem.

Once again, the RNR tech shirt is white. I’m still not a fan of white tech shirts as they seem to get dirty easily and I just don’t think it’s flattering when they get wet from sweat and water.

We caught a glimpse of Biggest Losers, Dan Evans and his mom, Jackie Evans promoting getting active and staying healthy.

We took a moment to watch some running legends speak: Steve Jones, Khalid Khannouchi, and Frank Shorter

It was a relaxed day and we were in bed early. Unfortunately the race itself didn’t go well for me, but more on that in the next post.


2012 IL Marathon – 5K – 23:32

Today after work Rob and I had to get to Champaign, IL to go to the IL Marathon expo and run the 5K. Tomorrow morning is the marathon so this was a first. When to eat the night before a marathon when you have a 5K at 6:45pm and then won’t be back home until 8:30-ish.

That resulted in Noodles & Company side salad with fat free dressing and regular buttered noodles at 3:00pm. I have no idea if this is the right route, but we usually eat at 4:30-ish the night before a marathon so we will try this and have a light post-5K snack.

We were down to the expo in more than enough time to pick up bibs and shirts.


I managed to spend a couple bucks on headbands at the expo. Then we headed back to the car to wait. I used the time to take pics of our running shirts.
The 5K shirt. General guy’s fit for this one.

The women’s cut marathon shirt.

We made our way to the start line in plenty of time. There were approximately 5,000 5Kers registered.

Other than a delayed start so cops could tow a car on the course the start was smooth. The race course is relatively flat and has minimal turns. We ran easy paced. Just before the finish we saw Ryan and Melisa! We always seem to find them at events without even trying, is like a mini-tradition to spot them. 🙂 Then into the stadium to finish Rob and I hold hands. 🙂

All done!

After the race we got to chat with Ryan and Melisa for a bit. Then we ran into Erin and Mike (who won tonight’s 5K!) so we caught up with them quickly and then got on the road.
The medal was really nice, the middle “I” spins.

Now off to get rest!
7:35 Pace
F 35-39: 4/?


2012 Boston Marathon Expo

After a really good sleep Rob and I still got up fairly early to get in a run before our busy day began. We decided to check out the exercise room of our hotel since Rob will be doing a long run on the treadmill Monday morning while I am racing. The fitness facility was really nice and I got in 6 miles easy.

Then we got showered and headed out the door to the expo. We decided to walk the ~3 miles to the expo since it was so nice out and we could take pictures along the way.

We got to the area and realized we needed to get moving if we were going to make our lunch reservations at the Barking Crab. We hustled through bib and shirt pick ups for the Marathon and the 5K we would both be running on Sunday.

After collecting my bib and shirt we got our 5K bibs and shirts. The merchandise area of the expo was mayhem. They had a section set up right after bib/shirt pickup that was very tight. It seemed to have a limited selection and luckily a nice employee informed us that the major booth was at the center of the expo and this was just a smaller set up with limited stuff. This helped save us some time because we had a lunch reservation to get to. We made our way to the larger adidas store area and grabbed the few things I had my eye on.

Since we are tight on time we went to lunch and came back afterward to take a couple of pictures before leaving.

The Barking Crab was PHENOMINAL!!!! One of the best meals we have ever had!! We had a reservation, but if you are fine with getting there at open at 11:30 you may be able to get a sit with little waiting. This place is super popular and we see why.

The bloody mary was unique and was lighter in taste, but had bits of crab in it, which is an outstanding idea!

The chowder was very good!

The oysters were the BEST EVER!!!!

And then finally, literally the best food EVER EVER EVER. The naked lobster roll!! Holy crap is it good!!!

We met a nice couple seated at our picnic table. After chatting with them we rolled ourselves back to the expo for a couple more pictures.

Then we took advantage of Nike’s free trolly rides back to Niketown in Back Bay.

After a little shopping we got back to the hotel at 3pm to chill for an hour. Here is the BAA 5K and Boston Marathon gear.

And the item I bought. The Supernova Sequencials Jacket. Rob spotted this and said it would be a sweet jacket, I agree!

Supernova Short, I normally wear small in shorts, but these just seemed tiny on the hanger. I panicked and bought medium without trying them on and they are way too big and floaty looking. I will try wearing them with the waistband rolled, but the style just doesn’t work for me after all and I probably won’t by this style again. I do like that they feel very light weight.

The adiZero singlet. I love the lightweight feel and the design. The singlet is longer than I’m used to, but I think I like that. The arm area is cut and looks funny on me, but I can deal with that. Overall I’m happy this singlet.

I LOOOOOOVE the Climacool Speed Backpack and would say that other than the official Boston Marathon Jacket, this bag was my favorite purchase. The bag has so many pockets and compartments. It is streamlined and smaller than past adidas bags that I’ve had. This is just a great bag with well thought out design and is something we will carry for years to come so it seems like a great investment.

Last year I got a water bottle and I used it often. Unfortunately I dropped it in a parking lot and it caused the aluminum to dent on the bottom so it doesn’t sit flat anymore. This time I thought I would try out the coffee mug since my water bottle still technically still works.

And the pilsner glass. Maybe in the future Rob and I will have a larger set of these. I would like one for every year we get to race. I also got a pin and patch (not pictured).

After a quick rest, we met up with Alaina and David for a walk and some pastry at Modern.Rob and I got to take the train for the first time through Boston and I’m glad Alaina was there to navigate for us.

Then Rob and I took a walk before having dinner at Union Oyster House. The oysters were good as usual and then we tried something new, the Union Lobster Special. A baked lobster stuffed with seafood stuffing. Delicious, as expected!

Then it was time to head home to get to bed early so we could get up for the BAA 5K and then to the Boston Red Sox game.



My Boston Marathon packet arrived Monday. It’s exciting to get because it’s a sign because it’s getting close to time to go! I cannot wait to get out there and enjoy this race again. While we are there we plan to enjoy the town as well.

1) Rob and I hope to meet up with the ladies I met last year. Alaina is such a sweet person and knows the area like the back of her hand, like it’s her job or something. Okay maybe it is. 😉 I met Natalie on the bus to Hopkinton and she was so cool that I felt like we had been friends for years. Plus she was uber prepared for our 2 hour wait and shared everything she had with me since I was definitely under packed for the long wait. Natalie, I promise to come with provisions this year so we can enjoy our camp out. 🙂

Me and Alaina last year.

2) The expo is in a new location this year, the Seaport World Trade Center, which means we will get to see another side of the area and we have a couple new restaurants picked out to try.

3) We are definitely going back to Union Oyster House. The oldest restaurant in the USA and the seafood is so amazing that I can’t compare it to anything else. If you have other restaurant suggestions for our trip, please let me know! 🙂

Us at Union Oyster House last year.

4) We are running the Boston 5K Sunday morning together! It will be so nice to run some easy miles the day before the marathon. Rob and I are excited to add this to our trip this year.

5) We will be going to a Red Sox game Sunday! We had such a good time last year.

6) We will be driving to Boston again this year! It’s quite the road trip, but so much fun! Rob and I enjoy the time together listening to music and seeing the sights as we go. 🙂

I seriously can’t wait for the whole trip!! Not much longer now!!


Everyday I’m Shufflin’

Friday I left work and met up with my girlfriend Lisa to take her to lunch for her birthday and then I went home to bust out my long run on the treadmill with the Boston marathon in my new kicks, the adidas adios 2.

I have to say it’s always daunting when your favorite shoe model gets revamped. Why change such an awesome thing? The adios has been serving me so well for over a year that I wasn’t pleased to see updates to the best shoe I’ve ever had. Even the tread was updated.

They look sweet with the 2012 Boston Marathon jacket.

I didn’t just jump into this new model with my 20 miler. I did get in 4 easy the day before in them. They do feel different, but not in a bad way, just different. The heel area and the overall shoe feels stiffer, which feels unnecessary. The fit in the arch and the fore foot does feel comfortable. I wish the heel wasn’t stark white and had the gold color like the new adidas Boston or just black would be good too.

Anyways, the shoes worked fine for my long run and caused no issues. AND my stomach as good too!! 😀

This morning Rob and I headed outside for 8 Miles before driving to Chicago for the Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8K Expo. The expo was at Navy Pier and was crazy busy by that afternoon so we parked a few blocks away and enjoyed lunch at Yolk before getting our race packet. This place is a must visit and I think they have three locations in the Chicago area. The service is really good and everything on the menu is outstanding. I had the smoked salmon scrambler, it was so good!

After an amazing lunch we took the long walk down to the end of the pier to get our packets.

The expo was medium sized and easy to navigate.

The expo shirt was nice and should go with my new shoes nicely for a future race.

Now we are back home to get a good night’s sleep before the early morning to get ready to race.


2011 Chicago Marathon Expo

Friday Rob and I went to yoga, had lunch and then went up to the 2011 Chicago Marathon Expo. The expo like past years did not disappoint. It was easy to get around, there were lots of merchandise options, and the vibe was all marathon. Rob and I got our bibs and made our way to the Nike store to get some official gear. We both went for the track suit top in black and Rob also got a very soft bright blue long sleeved 3/4 zip running shirt.

Afterward we got the Chicago Marathon shirt that comes with the bag and I have to say it was a bit of a let down. White? And the design wasn’t stellar. Nothing I would go out of my way to wear so good thing we bought some gear.

While walking around we happened upon one of our running idols and legends, Dean Karnazes signing autographs and taking pictures at the VW booth. The VW booth was strict about not taking personal photos and instead had a professional photographer on site. They said they will upload a professional photo to a site that you could then download/share/print, score! 

Dean is seriously so kind and gracious. He seemed genuinely interested in chatting with us and signed each of our bibs. Then we had our picture taken.

Here is a picture of our bibs signed by Dean.

After we left Dean we were figuring out what to do next when a man came up saying “Fly Runner”. It was Omar! He was super nice and I got a quick picture with him, it may be a bit blurry. Omar thanks for reading my blog and for saying hi! I hope you had a good race and weekend!

Up next Rob and I found our names on the Nike wall.

On our way out we noticed the Chicago Marathon trophy on display, it is quite impressive!

After the expo we went out for a nice 5 mile run by the lake. My hamstrings have been tight for over a week and this run I could still feel it. I’ve been doing yoga, foam rolling, biofreeze, and massage. Sometimes these things just take time and I’m out of time. It was at least improving. So I just hope for the best that another day of rest will bring enough relief to make through the race in one piece.

We cleaned up and went to dinner at P. F. Chang’s, dessert at Pinkberry, and grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s. It was a perfect day!


Rock and Roll Chicago Expo

I’m trying out something new, I’m writing this post from Blogsy for the iPad. Anyone use this product? It may take me some getting used to.

Friday Rob, Drew and I drove up to Chicago to do packet pick up for Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon.

First we stopped at Grand Luxe and Trader Joe’s. Drew had never been to either so he got to see how awesome TJoe’s is!

Then we headed to the Expo. It was a standard Rock and Roll Expo, nothing new. We did pick up a new Spibelts and I got a couple more Sweaty Bands. I will be adding both of these to my favorites section of the blog with info about them.

After the Expo it was time for our tradition of running by the lake. We already paid for parking so we always change clothes and then head out on the path along the lake for an easy run. This time we even stopped at Navy Pier for a drink. I only had a couple sips of Bloody Mary because it wasn’t stellar. The drinks are overpriced and nothing amazing, but it was all about chillin with the wolf pack.

We got a couple pics along the way.

Rob and Drew flexin for the camera.

I got the Spibelt so I could carry a couple times when I’m out for an easy run, especially in an area away from home. The belt was so slim and not bulky that I may consider wearing it more often. We got the water resistant model to help improve the times we bring items we don’t want to get wet, but I will still put items in a ziploc baggie to be certain.

Then we headed home so Saturday Rob and I could attend spin class, run and pack for the race.