Enjoying every second of life and running.


2012 – Chicago Marathon – 4:07:25

Race Takeaway: I finished and sometimes that’s all that counts.

Sunday morning Rob and I got up at 3am to run the Chicago Marathon. We both slept well, got our things together and met up with Drew with no problem. It was marathon business as usual for us. The only snafu was the coffee shop we typically relaxed in hours were not aligned like they have been in previous races, they were closed. It was freezing out, upper 30s at 5am, but luckily in Chicago there is always a coffee shop just a few steps away so we found a new hangout.

It was going to be a chilly day, but luckily only 10mph winds from the NW. I wore capris, long sleeves, gloves, and hat. I also wore a throw away sweatshirt while we waited in our start corral.

Before I knew it we were off. I was on my planned pace easily and miles were clicking by. I noticed a tinge in my right calf, but nothing alarming. Unfortunately by Mile 9 what started as a tinge turned into full on cramp in my right calf and tightness in my right hamstring. I knew that the next 17 miles would be painful and my new plan would be just to finish. My pace slowed with each mile as the tightness became more painful. By mile 19 I needed to make a potty stop, but there were no worries on my time since my goal had switched to just finishing. The last few miles were very slow and I just willed my way to the end. I did run into a fellow runner from my hometown and got to chat with her as made our way through the last 800 meters.

It wasn’t my day and I knew early in the race and managed through it. I wasn’t disappointed as I did the best I could with the situation. It’s another marathon finished and that does count for something.

Rob had a good race, finishing with a 3:38:50.

Chicago Marathon spectator signs are the best. I love all the creativity. Balloons, pictures of peoples faces printed up huge, and the hilarious signs. Some of my favorite signs during the race were “Hurry Up We Are Freezing!” and “<Insert Name> I’m Pregnant”. Drew said he saw one that said “Hurry up the Bears game starts at 3:15pm!”.

2012 Chicago Marathon Medal

Oh and I still had time for shopping! I got the Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM Damier 😀 It’s a huge purse that will be great for travel! I love it!!


With the sides synched in.



9:27 Pace

2011 – Chicago Marathon – 3:45:26

2010 – Chicago Marathon – 3:24:14

2009 – Chicago Marathon – 4:08:13


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!


It’s a Runner’s World


Monday (1/30):

Yoga 45 Mins

Tuesday (1/31):

6 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 49:05, 8:11 Pace)

2012 January Stats:

Run: 209.1 Miles, Bike: 24.9 Miles, Strength: 3 hrs 35 mins

Wednesday (2/1):


Thursday (2/2):

6.1 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 53:22, 8:45 Pace)

2.9 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 25:18, 8:44 Pace)

Friday (2/3):

4 Miles Easy (Treadmill, Boston Marathon Course, -3% – +4.5% Incline, 35:16, 8:49 Pace)

11 Miles Lactate Threshold w/ 6 Miles @ HMGP (Treadmill, 1:26:15, 7:51 Pace)

Saturday (2/4):

7 Miles Easy (Treadmill, Boston Marathon Course, -3% – +4.5% Incline, 59:17, 8:29 Pace)

Sunday (2/5):

20 Miles Long (Treadmill, Boston Marathon Course, -3% – +6.5% Incline, 2:43:00, 8:09 Pace)

Weekly Total: 57 Miles

Monday (2/6):

6 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 54:41, 9:07 Pace)

I tried out the chia seeds! I put a tablespoon into my blended green monster. They start out looking like poppyseeds and then they absorb the moisture in the smoothie and puff up a bit. They have no taste that I noticed and weren’t too annoying (not like a strawberry seed can be in a smoothie). I didn’t notice any instant benefits from it, still I will keep them as a part of my smoothie and yogurts.

Also, I got us registered for some races including 2012 Chicago Marathon and can you believe the race is already SOLD OUT?! How amazing!! I’m so excited to get to race Chicago Marathon again and I’m happy that so many people are interested too!

We also got registered for the 5K during the Boston Marathon weekend! We didn’t run the 5K last year when we were there for the Boston Marathon so we definitely wanted to this year as a fun run prior to the main event!


2011 Chicago Marathon – 3:45:26

The race didn’t go as I had hoped, but I will start from the beginning.

We awoke at 3am and I felt fully rested. Other than lingering tightness in my hamstrings I was feeling really good. My stomach was also feeling good, but no magic happened in the AM which is a sign I will likely need to stop mid-race at some point.

For fuel I had one Hammer Bar and one serving of Perpetum.

My race day outfit. No throw away clothes needed, it was 50ish degrees with temps around 67 when we finished, high for the day was in the 80s.

Coco is all race ready too.

We had no problem getting down to the start and meeting up with Drew. We parked in millenium parking garage at 5am before it gets crazy and then we wait it out at a local coffee shop. If you buy a small coffee you can chill and use their bathrooms.

Around 6am we made our way toward the corral area. By 6:30am we made it our respective corrals and waited in line at the porta potties one last time. Always good to go a 100 times if you have the opportunity. By 7:20 we are in the corrals and the 10 minutes fly by and we are off.

The weather felt perfect and my legs felt good. I was executing my pace as I had hoped. I hit 5K at 24 mins, 10K 48 mins, 15K 1:12 mins….like clock work the miles click by as planned and I feel really good.

By Mile 11 I know I will need to make a pit stop. At least my stomach isn’t rumbling with violence and it’s a normal gotta go feeling. I make my pit stop, putting my half marathon at 1:43. I wanted to be at 1:39-1:40, but I still feel good about a potential PR or at least being in the vicinity of my previous time since I had a pit stop last year as well. I see our friends cheering which was a fun surprise. By around mile 15 I get the gotta go feeling again, now I’m frustrated. On the positive it wasn’t the gut wrenching feeling, but another just gotta go. I’m annoyed to have to stop again, but I know it’s something I won’t be able to ignore. Now my pace is really off. I set back out to get in the zone and things get worse from here. The stopping doesn’t help my hamstrings. They feel REALLy tight. It’s mile 16 and I already feel a limited range of motion, shooting pain and I know that the next 10 miles are going to take forever.

Each mile the passes from this point forward the pain increases, my range of motion limits and I’m completely frustrated. My movement is more a shuffle than a run and I feel soreness in my feet and other locations and my body is compensating with my awkward stride. I’m now enduring this race. Around mile 19 or 20 a man comes up to me saying “Fly Runner” and introduces himself. I’m sorry I now can’t remember his name, so if you are reading this please comment! It was so nice to chat with someone at this moment since my body feels completely broken. I had become so disappointed in myself. It definitely helped to have someone take my mind off of it for a bit. He spots a loved one and goes to the side to get a moment with them and I shuffle onward. I hope his race went well and he enjoyed the moment. I was ready to be done, ready to say today was not my day and move on to the next.

I finish and am absolutely unhappy with how things went, but there is nothing more I can do. I make my way to the family meet up area and find Rob. I burst into tears hugging him saying how long the 10-11 miles feels when all I wanted to do was to go home because I was hurting so much. He comforted me and told me it’s another one done and that there are no promises that the marathon will go well, it’s a long amount of time for many things to happen. He reminds me that it’s another one done and there are many more ahead. Rob finished 3:33 and is feeling pretty good, just the usual soreness that comes with a marathon.

We meet up with our friends, clean up and have some lunch at Palmer House while we await news of Drew’s finish. Drew had a tough race as well, but finishes in 5:21 and adds his second marathon (two in the same year) under his belt. We meet up with Drew, Carrie and his family to hear about his experience. His family was able to see him multiple times on the course which had to be so awesome!

Drew’s mom gave us a little gift, gummy candies in the shape of sneakers, too cute! 😀

I’m not the best at putting these types of races in perspective. I know that running means getting disappointed sometimes and facing issues. Maybe I won’t ever PR again, who knows, but that won’t stop me from trying. I love running and I want to do this forever. So I have to just focus on recovering from my soreness and keep working on my strength and flexibility as I set my sights on the next set of races.


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!


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!




Monday (7/18):

P90 – Yoga X – 1:15

Bike 12.6 Miles (Easy, P2 L5, 45:00, 16.8 mph)

Tuesday (7/19):

8 Miles General Aerobic + Speed (Treadmill, 1:04:06, 8:06 Pace, 4 x 100M Strides)

Rob and I spent most of the weekend laying low. After two work trips that were only a day apart I needed a weekend with less obligation. I ignored chores, layed out in the baking hot sun, and caught up on magazines. Rob did make plans to visit a local winery that we’ve talked about for years, but never made the time to visit. Our friends were going so it was the perfect time to catch up, but still relax.

Monday it was time to get back to work and catch up on items in progress while I have been traveling. It is also the beginning of the training for the Chicago Marathon! 😀 Last week I got in 41 miles to get phased into training miles. I can say that there are little moments in my running where I get little glimpses of my old running self. I hope it all comes back, and then some.




Tuesday (2/1):

9 Miles General Aerobic (Treadmill, 1% Incline w/4% Incline for last mile, 1:08:23, 7:36 Pace)

Bike 8.2 Miles Easy (P1, L5, 30:00, 16.4 mph)

Today didn’t start out so good. I accidentally dropped one of our cameras and thought I broke it. I had to have Rob look at it and I made sure to give him my pouty face.

Turns out that only the filter broke, which is a very cheap item to replace!

Then the day got better because work closed early and we also got registered for the Chicago Marathon!

We are pretty much snowed in now so I hope to get a lot of reading done on my new running books. Perhaps I should also look into making time to comb my hair and paint my nails. 😉


2010 Chicago Marathon – 3:24:14

Saturday we drove up to our hotel and just relaxed as much as possible, which meant reading magazines and books for us and bone chewing for Coco.

We went to bed super early, 8pm and were up at 3am. We took our time getting ready and made our way to the starting area by 5am. We parked in one of the garages and chilled for about 30 minutes before heading out. We saw a Caribou Coffee shop along the way and stopped in for a coffee and relaxed in the leather chairs. The coffee was way too strong for me, but at least we could relax and utilize the restrooms. As we sat there discussing the race in walks our friends Ryan and Melisa! Completely unplanned and totally awesome, they too just happened to by the coffee shop, walk in and see us! I considered this good luck. 🙂 Melisa was running the race and Ryan was on pit crew duty. We chatted it up and then it was off to our corrals. This was me and Rob’s first time in the seeded corrals and it was very nice!

Walking to the Corral entrance.

They had porta potties right there and the lines weren’t crazy long, much better than open corral that we had last year. Standing aroud means we can get our money’s worth on pictures being taken.

The last hour passed by quickly and then we were off!

How quickly I forget how the amount of people running and their paces picking up and quickly slowing down all around makes it difficult to settle in. Rob was off and quickly swallowed up into the crowd so that I couldn’t see him. I was psyched that the crowd being so thick that it forced me to hold back on pace. The miles started ticking off right according to plan.

Mile 1 – 7:52

Mile 2 – 7:41

Mile 3 – 7:35

Mile 4 – 7:34

Mile 5 – 7:32 (shot of EFS)

Note: A funny sign that just said “This is a sign” hehehe 🙂

Mile 6 – 7:32

Mile 7 – 7:33

Mile 8 – 7:26

Mile 9 – 7:40

Mile 10 – 7:33 (shot of EFS)

Mile 11 – 7:43 (stomach cramping)

Mile 12 – 7:37

Mile 13 – 7:47 (not able to deny that I will need to stop, ugh!)

Mile 14 – 8:56 (Pit stop, so ticked that I have to waste time to take a potty break)

Mile 15 – 7:30 (feel better though)

Mile 16 – 17 – 15:31 (missed a mile marker)

Mile 18 – 7:44 (cant’s seem to get my pace going any faster)

Note: I hear a voice shout “Go Baby!” and it definitely sounds like Rob. I don’t see him, but I wonder if it’s him and I hope it isn’t just because I want him to meet his goal. I notice at some point that the course color system changes from green to yellow status due to increased heat.

Mile 19 – 7:47 (hmm..can’t get my pace up, guess my training isn’t where it needs to be yet)

Mile 20 – 7:45 (shot of EFS and a few Sports Beans, most fell to the ground)

Mile 21 – 22 – 15:57 (missed another mile marker)

Mile 23 – 24 16:03 (missed another mile marker)

Note: A friend of ours, Leanna, who we haven’t seen in ages, crosses right in front of me carrying her son and I can’t believe I’m able to process that it’s her and actually call out her name and wave midst mile 23. 🙂 Also, we pass a bank that says it’s 89 out and man it felt hot.

Mile 25 – 8:17 (Are we done yet? This is miserable hot.)

Mile 26 and the .2 – 9:30 (7:41 Pace)

Somewhere along the course.

Almost there!

About to finish!

All done!! 😀

Rob and me! 😀



7:48 Pace

F 30-34: 86/3,071 (2.8%)

F: 343/16,013 (2.1%)

Overall: 2310/35,809 (6.5%)

So this wasn’t even much of a PR and not what I was hoping to do. But alas, I know what training I need to work on and it still is a new PR. I

think my fueling worked out better and at least my stomach wasn’t in a huge knot the whole race like last year. I’m not happy to have to had lost time taking a potty break, but I guess these things happen. I hope that I can keep getting my stomach used to this. Also I never felt light-headed or out of sorts, so I think the amount of fuel that I took for the race worked out well. I also felt strong. I couldn’t get moving in the pace I wanted, but at the same time, I never felt really beaten down. Hopefully that’s a good sign that I can keep training myself into a faster pace.

Upon finishing I slowly walked through the finishing area and I really notice how hot it is. I ask a lady if it was really 89 degrees out like the bank said and she replied, “yes, we were just told it’s 85”. Not ideal at all.

I shuffled around and ran into Chris and we talked about each of our experiences for a moment. Then I looked around for Rob and eventually found him. Turns out it was him that I heard at mile 18ish. He fell off pace after Mile 15. The good news is that his IT Band injury didn’t flare up on him, instead it was just that he missed some critical training from recovering and just couldn’t put it together today. His fuel did work for him this time, so that’s a huge accomplishment. Rob’s final time was 3:43:11. Even though it’s not the time he wanted, he is definitely one step closer with a fuel strategy that appears to work for him.

We made our way back to the hotel, got some food and a quick nap and then met up with Ryan and Melisa for some post race celebrating. We ended up walking around downtown and stopped at a couple pubs for drinks and food.

The second pub happened to have a statue of a bull and after a couple drinks well….

By the way, Rob is not an innocent bystander in this picture. I was too sore to get up there myself so he gave me a boost. 😉 Security came and we bolted before getting into trouble. 🙂


2010 Chicago Marathon Expo

Expo day!! We drove up Friday to get our packets so we wouldn’t be up and on our feet a ton Saturday before the race.

First stop at the Expo was to get some Chicago Marathon gear! Rob got a sweet vintage style track warm up type shirt and I got a running jacket.

Me in my new Chicago Marathon jacket.

While shopping we saw Dean Karnazes doing a small signing. The line was already cut off, but not matter. He is speaking at our university Monday night so we hope to catch him then.

After a bit more looking around we got to meet up with two fellow runners I’ve been excited to finally meet in person, Stevi and Chris! Stevi was super sweet and we both talked a mile a minute trying to catch up on how each other were feeling about the impending race. This will be her first marathon and I know she is going to do great! I only wish we lived closer so we could go for a run sometime. 🙂

After our gab session Rob and I continued checking out the Expo. We found our names on the Nike mural and they were next to each other this year, very cool!

The video that runs the course.

Before we left for our run we got to meet up with Nic!! I haven’t seen her since we both met up before the Chicago Marathon last year!

Nic is such a sweetheart and will be cheering on some friends this year and has a marathon coming up very soon!

After a quick change of clothes it was time to get to 5 Miles Easy around the lake followed by 6x100M Strides.

Rob running along Lakeshore.

When we returned we were able to meet up with two gals from our hometown, Amy and Abby. This will be their first marathon and we are so excited for them! I hope we get to see them at more races in the future!

And that was the end of our Expo experience! It was such a fun day! I’m glad we got to meet up with so many great people and I hope we get to hang out post-race. Good luck to all Chicago Marathoners!!!!