Enjoying every second of life and running.


June 11, 2013 – The day we met our sweet daughter

We are happy to share the news that our sweet daughter, Chase Christine Johnson was born on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 (her due date). She was 7 pounds, 15 ounces, and 20 inches long.


Labor Story

Monday, June 10th I was able to work from home this day. It was nice to have the opportunity to keep my feet up being 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant. Rob and I had our 40 week appointment that morning. I was expecting to hear some news on my progress especially since I spent most of the weekend cramping off and on. One of those stints lasted 4.5 hours, so I felt good that something had to be going on down there. Turns out I was wrong. The doctor said I hadn’t had any progress. I was still a finger tip dilated if that, my cervix was still posterior (meaning the baby’s head wasn’t yet pressed up on my cervix), and the baby was at a -3 station (which the baby is way back, you want to get to zero and then +1 and +2). I was nervous about what all we need to be prepared to discuss if we made it to the 41 week appointment and were still in the same spot. The doctor said we would then get an ultrasound, do a non-stress test, and start talking options and dates. My doctor is not pro-induction, so that would only be happening if it was medically necessary.

Needless to say I pouted. I know it was a selfish feeling, Baby J is doing great and that’s all that matters, but it just felt like meeting her was still so far away. Rob and I had lunch and I sulked that all of the cramping over the weekend appears to have done nothing to help Baby J get here sooner. False labor is so annoying.

At the end of my workday I decided I needed to go for a walk. While it may not get the baby here any quicker since she wasn’t yet engaged, I needed to walk off some stress (since I can’t run it off these days). I texted Rob and said that I was planning to walk on the treadmill until he got home from work and then I would want to walk with him through the neighborhood. I put on my running shorts and sat on a bench to tie my running shoes. I made my way to the bathroom and felt a hitch, that’s the only way I know how to describe it. Kind of like if you have a joint in your hip or knee that catches funny. It doesn’t hurt, but it has a feeling of catching. That’s how this felt, except in my vagina. I took one more step and my running shorts filled with water and it ran down my legs. My water had just broke. It was clear, which we learned from our baby classes is a good sign that there are no issues. Since I was just told that the baby wasn’t close to ready, I was immediately concerned for her and wondering if bending to tie my shoes had somehow broke my water. I called Rob first and everyone in the meeting he was in began cheering in the background. Rob made his way home and I called the doctor’s office. They assured me that I didn’t do anything to break my water, it just happens sometimes. Rob got home and we were already packed for the hospital so it was easy to get out the door.

My contractions started in the car, but they were mild so we were able to enjoy some Dave Matthews Band and Jason Mraz on the way. We were check into our room by 4pm. They checked me and I hadn’t yet made progress. We needed the head to press against the cervix so that they umbilical cord couldn’t be there first and potentially cause a threatening prolapse. I was instructed to stay in bed for about an hour and continue to contract. My hospital allows clear fluids so I was given a cherry popsicle and jello for dinner.


When I was checked again I was 2.5 cm dialated and the baby’s head appeared to be on the cervix. They  wanted me to try different postions and movements to get the baby down from the -3 position. First, they had me in the yoga position called child’s pose with a stack of pillows for about an hour.


Then I was allowed to walk for an hour. The contractions were getting more intense. When walking and a contraction would come on I would stop and grab the railing, focus on the ground, and breathe. Between contractions I was still able to relax and joke around, but I knew things were about to get more intense and it wouldn’t be that way much longer.


Next I was put on a balance ball. Walking and the balance ball were my favorite methods of dealing with the natural portion of my labor process. The ball was quite comfortable because it provided support and counter pressure on my pelvis. We had seen birthing position options in our baby classes, but we hadn’t planned on doing yoga or the balance ball. It ended up being nice incorporating them into the process.

During a contraction I was able to focus on the ground, breathe, and roll slightly back and forth. The contractions were getting very intense. The rests between were shorter and some of the contractions would peak for as long as 2-3 minutes.

After that I was back in the bed and was checked. It was 12:30pm and I was 4.5 cm. The contractions were becoming unbearable. While they were becoming more intense they felt 100 times worse in bed than on the ball. After the contractions I was getting full body shakes in my legs, arms, and face. They said that it was hormones and completely normal. Also, my hips were killing me. I needed the epidural. It was after 1am when the anesthesiologist arrived. Other than the actual delivery this was the hardest thing I’ve had to do, to focus and be still amid painful contractions. It took all of my focus to remain perfectly still. After it was in place I fell into a deep sleep. I snored so loud like a lumbar jack sawing logs and Rob didn’t get any sleep because he was keeping an eye on the monitors.

At 5:15am they checked me and I was 6.5 cm. Rob was finally able to rest lightly. They flipped me from one side to the other since I was completely numb below the belly button and by 7am I was 7 cm. I got to have apple juice for breakfast.

Some of the nurses were trying to tell me that because of my marathons and running background that I could manage natural childbirth. I’m have to respectfully disagree. Maybe that’s true for some women, but they are completely different in my book. No matter how painful a marathon can be, I can adjust my pace or even walk if needed to manage. There is no negotiating the pain level of a contraction. I can’t adjust the intensity. So my hats off to those women who deliver naturally.

While I was getting an epidural, I was not okay with IV pain killers because most of them can pass through the placenta and affect the baby.

I had joked with the nurses that I would only consider a natural child-birth if the was a trophy or medal at the end. 🙂 Our nurse said that even with an epidural, giving birth is medal worthy so they made me a finish tape and a medal signed by the nurses. Isn’t that so awesome?! 😀




It was a beautiful day for Chase to be born.


So if you were wondering, we picked out the name Chase before we even started trying to have a baby. We decided that if we had a boy it would be Chase Robert and if it was a girl, Chase Christine. We decided on the name Chase because it represents to of our favorite sports, running and flying. Running just because of the term “chase” and in flying when you are a flight of two, they refer to the second plane as flying “chase” (as shown here we are flying chase with our friend Jack).

At 9am my cervix hadn’t made progress, I was still at 7cm. Since my water broke at after 3pm the previous day, we needed to get the baby out within 24 hours to due to risk of infection. At this point the nurse was talking with my doctor’s office about potentially on boarding pitocin to keep my labor moving forward. I would rather not have to, but would if it was what was best for the baby. Luckily by 11am I was at 9cm and we didn’t have to introduce pitocin. 🙂 It was really going to happen! They started setting up the room for delivery and I was allowed a popsicle for lunch, gotta carb up! 🙂


Monitor of baby and the contractions


Just before noon I was 10 cm and we started the practice pushing to see how much progress the head would make. It was a challenge to push when I couldn’t really feel anything. I did notice the pain in my hips and pelvis. It was a pressure that felt like I had a serious running injury or something. After 40 minutes pushing, we had made head decent progress. The nurses then had me “drift” for an hour. Which meant just resting and letting the contractions help her continue her decent. They said that it would be better for me and the baby to just let things marinade if you will. It would be less stress on both of us. I took an hour nap and Rob looked up pushing techniques on his phone. When I woke up we started trying again at 2:30pm. Rob coached me on some tips he read that said instead of just focusing on pushing through my bottom (or pelvic floor), to concentrate on making a really good crunch more in my transverse abs in my upper rib area. I gave it a try and it made a world of difference. The nurses were like “oh my goodness” and on the second set, they said “stop”! The baby was past the pelvic bone and we were ready for the doctor. We waited about 15 minutes for my doctor to arrive and it was funny hanging out with my legs up chatting about random things with the nurse and techs.

Our doctor is amazing. It was so great to have him there. He immediately put some sort of mineral oil on me and we started pushing. He was very impressed with my pushing ability and it really didn’t take much to move the baby into place. The cool part was my doctor was determined to not have me tear. So he actually had me not push through a few contractions, added more mineral oil, and let things naturally stretch on their own. It totally worked! He was so patient and careful with the delivery.

Baby J was born at 3:11pm, exactly 24 hours from when my water broke the day before and on her due date no less! She came out arms and legs wide open and whaling. The doctor and nurses said she was so pink! They didn’t have to even wipe her down or get her to breathe, she was already at it. They put her up on my chest and Rob and I completely melted. It was the most amazing blessing from God and I felt that love wrap around the three of us. We had made our family.




We are so overjoyed for this little girl. She is more than we could have ever dreamed for.


Our doctor supports delayed cord clamping, which means letting the placenta pulse out the last bit of nutrient rich blood before Rob cut the umbilical cord. Our hospital supports skin-to-skin, which means if the baby is healthy they leave them right on the mother’s skin and don’t do any sort of weighing, shots, or eye treatments for the first two hours. Instead they let the family bond and start breast-feeding if the mother plans to try. I was planning to breastfeed and Chase took to it immediately. She nursed for 15 minutes three different times during that first two hours.

The baby never leaves the room unless there is a medical reason. So all of the weighing and standard treatments were done in our room. Chase weighed in at 7 pounds, 15 ounces and was 20 inches long. 🙂


After her treatments she got her first sponge bath and hair washing. She love the hair washing part. 🙂


Proud daddy. 🙂


All swaddled up.


Me with my motherhood club finisher’s medal and the best prize of all, our precious daughter.


Our hospital has a photographer that comes and does photo shoots that the parents can purchase. I came prepared with outfits for Chase. Here are some of photos from her shoot (1 day old).


IMG_0330 IMG_0331 IMG_0332

Rob got me the most beautiful push present. A 1 carat pink sapphire surrounded in diamonds from Tiffany’s, called Soleste. We had talked almost 10 years ago about a pink sapphire as a future ring for me, but then I completely forgot about it. Rob didn’t and felt this was the perfect time for something pink to represent our baby girl coming into the world. 🙂 Rob did some special ordering to get this ring. Tiffany’s is very selective in their standards for diamonds and other precious stones, so it takes some time to get it arranged, but it is totally worth it! I love it!!




Finally we were able to go home and we were so excited for Chase to see her first home that she will grow up in and meet her big sister Coco. 🙂 Daddy getting Chase ready for her first ride.


In upcoming posts I will share with you how things are going with Chase, my recovery, and products that been a big help to us. Thanks for reading and sharing in our joy!


A San Francisco Treat

This post may be a bit longer and all over the place because I want to share all the non-work highlights (other than the SF Giants game in previous post) that we had in San Francisco.

First the most important – running! Rob and I ran on the hotel treadmill, but one of the mornings we went for a run with our work colleagues through San Fran and across the Golden Gate Bridge. Our run was approximately 13 miles, we couldn’t get satellites in the downtown area so our Garmins showed 11.29 miles.

Us leaving our hotel to run down to wharf to meet the other runners.

The run on the bike trail was gorgeous! Such a great scenery to run to. I can’t imagine living in the homes that were right by the bay and getting to enjoy the scenery on runs everyday.

It was a hilly run, but we took it easy and really went out to enjoy the run and take lots of pictures.

Rob and also rode in bike paddy cabs for the first time, which was fun and easy way to get around the conference.

Out for sushi

At the wharf

And Rob treated me to a little memento. 🙂 Tiffany & Co. Black Onyx Bracelet

And riding on our first trolley, in San Francisco no less!

Even with the highlights it feels so good to be home!


Give me a “J”!

It’s been a while since my last post. Things have been a bit crazy mayhem lately and my training took a dip in mileage because of it.

First the good news: I got a leadership development opportunity at work to be an IT Architect.  I quickly realized the new level of responsiblity that I will have. The time commitment will impact my running schedule and I’m going to have to learn how to manage that. Rob is in this role and so it’s going to be awesome to be able to have him as an informal mentor.

The not great news is Coco got sick. She is doing better now, but it was most of the week of taking her to vet appointments and being with her to make sure she was comfortable. It’s been so nice to see her medicine working and that she is feeling like herself again. When Coco gets sick, my world stops. I really don’t care what miles I need to run, instead I hold her and comfort her any chance I can.

Then it was also my birthday last weekend. Rob had planned an amazing day for us in Chicago to celebrate, including tickets to a Cubs game. However, Coco was still not well so we stayed home with her instead and had a quiet weekend at home. Rob got me some beautiful presents!

Tiffany & Co. Black Onyx Studs

Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Letter Pendant w/18K gold “J” – turned around, whoops!


In the midst of the craziness Rob and I still managed to keep our long runs and a few shorter workouts. I will have more running related posts and some home project items coming up.

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This Has Gotta Change

I was doing long overdue blog updates: updating race plans, the about and the races/awards sections when I noticed on my dashboard some metrics that show what topics I’ve been posting about most.

So I definitely need some changes on this blog. I would like to have injury, recovery, and physical therapy to not be in my top 10. Although sometimes recovery is just coming off of a big race without actually being related to an injury and is just the maintenance mode.  In the future I will categorize the Recovery for those related to Injury vs. Race Recovery, to be more specific.

Still, while we are on the topic (and it’s what I’m dealing with right now) I wanted to give an update as how my Graston’s treatments are going, especially because it’s going great!

I’ve completed five of seven Graston’s treatments. After my assessment they set up sessions for 2-3 weeks that are 48-72 hours apart (72 hours is the standard length to allow healing, but can be shortened to 48 hours by the PT if healing is sufficient). After each session I have to let the area heal and I don’t work out during that time. I could only do yoga and upper body weights until I got the green light to try some running, once the area was healing. Here is what my workouts/recovery looked like for this time around.

NOTE: This is MY experience with MY injury and is not comparable to anyone else’s injury/recovery and is only for informational purposes only.

Wednesday (6/6): Doctor Assessment


Thursday (6/7): Graston’s Treatment

Upper Body Weights

Friday (6/8):

Upper Body Weights

Saturday (6/9): 


Sunday (6/10):

Yoga – 45 Mins

Monday (6/11):

P90X – Ab Ripper

Tuesday (6/12): Graston’s Treatment


Wednesday (6/13): 

Yoga – 45 Mins

Thursday (6/14): Graston’s Treatment


Friday (6/15):

2.09 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 18:28, 8:51 Pace)

Yoga – 25 Mins

Saturday (6/16):

2.05 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 18:22, 8:58 Pace)

Sunday (6/17):


Monday (6/18):

2 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 16:29, 8:15 Pace)

P90X – Ab Ripper

Tuesday (6/19): Grastons Treatment

1 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 8:23) – before Graston’s

Wednesday (6/20):

4 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 29:35, 7:24 Pace)

Thursday (6/21):

4 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 31:46, 7:57 Pace)

Friday (6/22): Graston’s Treatment

1 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 7:15) – before Graston’s

And after Friday’s treatment I was cleared to do more running! I can’t wait! Especially because I got my new kicks!!

adidas adios, I love the pink with a hint of purple!

adidas Boston 3

This weekend the basement project continues, plus I’m painting a couple of our bedrooms and working on cleaning and staining our fence. Can’t wait to get to running and everything else!


Core Energy

adidas has the 2012 Boston Marathon gear available starting today! The color is called “core energy”. In running, I love bold colors so this is perfect. I’ve already placed my purchase of the jacket and the 1/2 zip fleece.

adidas Women’s 2012 Boston Marathon Jacket

I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up getting two like I did last year. You know, backup for a Boston Marathon jacket emergency. 😉 I think I bought two of everything last year, so why not do the same this time around. 😉


A Perfect 10

Monday (12/19):


Tuesday (12/20):

8 Miles General Aerobic (Treadmill, 1:06:24, 8:18 Pace)

Wednesday (12/21):

5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 43:10, 8:38 Pace)

Thursday (12/22):

12 Miles Med-Long (Treadmill, 1:43:38, 8:39 Pace)

Friday (12/23):

5 Miles Hills (Treadmill, 2%-5% Incline, 44:44, 8:57 Pace)

Saturday (12/24):


Sunday (12/25):

16 Miles Long (Treadmill, 2:16:09, 8:31 Pace)

Monday (12/26):

9 Miles General Aerobic (Treadmill, 1:14:54, 8:20 Pace)

Total “Weekly” Miles: 55

Tuesday (12/27):

11 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1:35:22, 8:41 Pace)

Wednesday (12/28):

13.1 Miles Med-Long (Treadmill, 1:51:25, 8:31 Pace)

I hope all of you had a Merry Christmas and regardless of whatever you celebrate this time of the season that you got to relax and enjoy some time with those that you love.

Rob and I have been non-stop with work, home projects and spending time with our friends and families. Because of that I shifted my workouts so that I could swap my rest day scheduled Monday with my workout scheduled for Christmas Eve. Therefore my weekly workout spanned Monday the 19th to Monday the 26th.

I want to share that Rob got me some very sweet gifts, he always has great taste so I never have to give him a list or hints.

The Louis Vuitton Multicolor Cosmetic Case that matches my Multicolor Speedy.

Boston Marathon charm in sterling silver. I actually bought this and wore it all the time, including races. It was a heavy charm for racing, but I loved that with racing it would hit me around the collarbone area every now and then and I felt like it was my reminder mid race when I would feel it hit me lightly that I’ve done Boston and I could manage the race I was currently in with no problem. Well I finished a race this year to find that the charm had come off and was never to be found. 😦 I was so sad, but Rob was able to replace it for me. 🙂 Now I just won’t wear it racing so I don’t risk losing it again.

And we are making plans for our next plane build. Originally I had said that we were going to build a Hatz, but we have since had a change of heart. Instead we will be building an RV-10. We loved the RV-7 build and will be familiar with what we will be in store for us. Plus the RV-10 will be a four seat plane and have amenities like air conditioning and heated seats.

This is Rob Hickman’s RV-10

Since we already have our vintage 1945 J-3 Cub we won’t be rushing to complete this project like we did the RV-7. The RV-7 was a four year project that required Rob to work almost every night and weekend. For this RV-10 build we plan to still keep traveling and racing and have this project progress at a pace that doesn’t interfere with other stuff. It will likely take 5-8 years to finish, but it will be such a great reward when it’s complete.

You can watch all of the progress of the build on our new website and also review our RV-7 build at



Before I get into how the Chicago Marathon didn’t go as I hoped. Let me start with Saturday. The day before the race was a great day. I ran my 4 Easy around the neighborhood. My hamstring was still tight and I know that there will be some miles that I will have to fight for, the question would be how many. I feel ready to face it and actually still hopeful for a PR. Sometimes magic can happen and the pain or soreness can go away after some warm up miles or the hype from the race makes the pain feel more tolerable. I am still positive that things will go well.

We head up to Chicago and make time for a little shopping! Rob and I go into Tiffany’s and we see their line call Sparklers. Rob had wanted to get me one for a while and now we had a chance to see it in person. It truly earns its name. We couldn’t resist and Rob got me the 8.5 carat lavender amethyst in 18K rose gold. It has just such a light color and still a warmth with the rose gold band. I love the color!

I try to convince Rob that I will run a faster Chicago Marathon if I get to wear it during the race, he didn’t go for it. So I feel really hopeful that I will have fast legs race day to get me back to my Sparkler. 🙂

After shopping Rob and I met up with Drew and Carrie for a relaxing dinner. Up next the race…..

Updated September 23,2012 with more photos that have been requested.

The “Tiffany & Co.” engraving is on the two sides of the basket. It is very subtle and shows up in this picture because we took pictures in macro mode.

The stone measures just under a half of an inch.


Out and Back

Ugh…I wrote this post out once already and it looks like only the pics saved and not the post. I hate when the technology gods eat my post.

So here it goes, attempt #2.
It was a busy Labor Day weekend for us. The weekend included a long run of 21 miles with Rob. We did an out and back from our house, meaning we ran through town on our trail until we hit 10.5 miles and then turned around for home. Time flew by as we chatted about running, cycling, travel, airplane and house projects.

Before we got to our chores we did squeeze in some fun shopping which included this sweet Louis Vuitton. I felt like pretty woman as they served us champaign and personalized my purchase. Definitely a fun little Saturday!

Sunday we got our new pedals installed.

A blurry picture of the cleat.

Speed Plays are very easy to clip in and out of it seems. I dunno, I have no other comparison. I had one foot on the curb in front of our house and practiced getting the feel. Then Rob and I went for a mini-ride and practiced slowing down and clipping in and out. So far, no falling clipped in. We will keep practicing with small routes.

Monday we spent the day polishing the plane. I updated he Flights Page with a few pics too. We will have news in the airplane dept to share soon! Hope you all had a relaxing Lanor Day!



As of tomorrow (Friday) I am in a new running age group. It is my birthday and I’m happy to have had another year of adventure!

Rob let me have my presents early. LV checkbook cover and iPhone4 cover. I love them!!!

Rob and I both have to work Friday, but we were able to get away to Chicago for the day today and enjoy the city. It was absolutely beautiful outside; sunny, mild and clear. We watched the Cubs, but they lost to the Braves 8-3. Still a great time to sit back and relax and take in some of the best of Chicago life.

I had my first gluten free beer, Red Ridge, and it was yummy! I’m not a big beer person, but it just goes with a baseball game.

We cut out of the game early since we had to head back home to work the next day. On our walk down Clark we ran into a restaurant we saw on the TV show Man vs. Food, Lucky’s Sandwich Shop. Not a gluten free establishment by any means, but it was a once in a lifetime situation. Rob and I split the smoked turkey sandwich. They are known for putting the slaw and fries in the sandwich. It was an original food experience, but I won’t have a desire for another since I’m not used to eating fries, slaw or bread. My stomach wasn’t feeling good as soon as we left. Nothing against them, it’s just how my tummy is. Back on the gluten free wagon.

Afterward, we drove along Lakeshore. Rob trying to drive while I take a bunch of pictures from my phone.

At a stop light.

When we got home Rob made me a gluten free birthday cake. It was very good!

This is my first age group change since becoming a runner. I am ready to embrace the next age group chapter.


New Wheels

Rob and I have been kicking around getting Tri bikes for training, since we only have mountain bikes. While out for our Saturday workout (spin class followed by a 7 mile run) we got to chatting about heading to Vitesse Cycle to check things out.  We had to stop in Often Running to pick up my new adidas Bostons and they are in the same store.

Three hours later of shopping and we leave with new bikes for both of us. Well, Rob’s was in stock, mine will need to be ordered. Plus our pedals and his shoes need to be ordered.

Here is my new ride, Giant Trinity Composite 1 W

It’s the 2012 model so it had to be ordered. I can’t wait to see it in person.

Rob’s new ride (minus pedals and shoes), Trek Speed Concept 7.0

Oh and my sweet adidas Bostons! I love the bright pink with black laces.

My helmet and shoes.

Rob and I don’t have any triathlon race that we are planning for. At this point I’m just looking at getting some time on the bike. I will be posting more when my bike arrives. 🙂