enjoying every second of life and running


Run Greater Peoria – Half Marathon – 1:37:04

This morning Rob and I headed to Pekin to run the Run Greater Peoria Half Marathon. The course was originally supposed to be a scenic run of Peoria including crossing a bridge over the Illinois River. For some reason the course was moved to the neighboring town of Pekin. No matter to us, just meant making sure we made it to the right location.

The temps were perfect, mild and calm. I had a bit of a hectic morning. First, my Garmin 210 didn’t charge and actually the battery was drained from not being set properly on the charging clip. Then my ORRT singlet wasn’t clean so I had to run in my ORRT sports bra. Rob was able to get me a car charger with usb so I was able to get my Garmin charged on the ride over.

I had my standard coffee and Hammer Bar. I’m sorry it’s TMI, but also the majic happened so I was set up for a good race.

The race was small, I suspect about 200-250 racers. I ran into Jamie a fellow runner that I met at the Washington Cherry Festival 5K.

Rob and I lined up to the front and we were off in no time. I was first female for not even a mile and a young woman comes bounding by effortlessly. I wonder if she can keep up the effort or if we will meet up later in the race. My paces were going perfectly. In fact I felt amazing, like I haven’t felt in ages. Another young female passes me around mile 4. I resist the urge to hold pace with her and choose to focus on my pace since it’s a possibility I could PR.

She stays within my eye line, just .25 to .5 ahead at most. By mile 6 we are starting the hills. I knew we would have hills mid race, but I was surprised by the repeated amount of hills. I am able to pass the second place female around mile 8. Seriously, when will these hills before. My pacing is slowed to MGP during this time, so much for a PR. By mile 11 it flatens out, but all I can do is focus on moving forward to get through the last miles. I run into Rob who is having ankle pain that has forced him to walk. He has been dealing with a nagging strain that is likely from spin class. He is walking and running through the pain to finish.

I’m able to hold off the now third place female and come across the line in second place over all with 1:37:04. I am over joyed to have finally had a race that my stomach didn’t hurt at all and I was able to run feeling back to normal.

Rob shows up not long after at 1:38:15. We are happy to have raced, but Rob was ready to ice his foot.

Jamie had a great race, she PRed even with the hills, which shows she is going to have an amazing time on a flat course. I was able to get her to take a picture with me.

The post party was in an interesting dome arena type building.

We found out awards would be mailed out in 2-4 weeks so we left to get Rob’s ankle iced.

The medal.

Later that evening I went to spin class and then came home to make Jenna’s BBQ Chickpea and Sauteed Onion Pizza with a gluten free crust.

Afterward we hung out with our friends Chris and Lisa. Lisa made me an amazing gluten free cake! It was to die for!

Update: Four weeks later Rob and I each got our awards.


Birthday Girl

This weekend has been full of birthday fun. Rob and I had to end up working on my birthday, but my girls Abby and Amanda made sure it was still a special day. I picked up snacks for my new team to celebrate my birthday and of course made a stop at Starbucks when I ran into Abby and Amanda. They were picking up a box of coffee for me to share with my co-workers. Yay!

And my Starbucks crew gave me a little message, thanks wolf cub! 😉

Abby and Amanda even brought me in treats to share with my co-workers. Amanda brought in cubed watermelon and Abby made the Hungry Girl Pumpkin Muffins (recipe in nutrition page), but with her own cool spin. She did mini-muffins so they were tiny bites of awesome. Thanks girls!! You are the best!!

After a long day at work Rob and I relaxed with an amazing dinner at Biaggis where we see our favorite waiter ever, Jeremy. Then it was time for another Starbucks ala bday style, thanks Cassie and Brooke!

Saturday us girls went out for Thai food and then for mani/pedis. I was in desperate need of some polishing. 🙂 Thanks girls for spoiling me! You are too sweet!!!

Rob and I then went to Peoria, IL to register for a half marathon race on Sunday and then had dinner at Jona’s Oyster Bar. We had oysters, grilled white fish and red beans and rice. It was so delish!! Up next a race report!!



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.


How do you Monster?

Sunday I ran my 18 miles outside, showered and dressed for spin class. My post recovery fuel was a Green Monster with Hammer Vanilla Soy.

For anyone who doesn’t Green Monster, you need to asap! They are delicious and packed full of nutrients. Basically you make a standard smoothie and add green spinach and you can’t even taste it, but it adds such a boost to your energy.

My Hammer Vanilla Soy Green Monster post long run is:

  • Banana
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • One scoop of Hammer Vanilla Soy
  • Spoonful of almond butter (any nut butter will do, or you can omit)
  • Big handful of raw fresh spinach

Blend in a blender and then add ice and blend again.

Depending on the amount of ice and ingredients it can make quite a bit. I store the extra in a cup and freeze for later.

How do you Monster? What is your favorite smoothie mix?


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. 🙂