enjoying every second of life and running


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


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.


And So It Begins…

Monday (12/12):


Tuesday (12/13):

9 Miles LT w/4 @ LT (Treadmill, 1:12:27, 8:03 Pace)

This week starts 18 weeks of training for 2012 Boston Marathon!! I’m using the Pfitz 18/70+ training plan for this cycle because I’ve really enjoyed it in the past. It is funny that the kick off day of the training (Monday) isn’t running at all. It’s a cross training night. I chose to do weightlifting at the gym. It’s amazing how quickly strength goes away for me if I’m not consistent. It basically feels like starting at square one again.

At least it’s the beginning of a new training cycle, I can’t wait for this to really kick off and get my butt kicked in some workouts!


Baby It’s Cold Outside

Monday (12/5):

14 Miles Long (Treadmill, 1:56:25, 8:19 Pace)

Tuesday (12/6):

5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 42:50, 8:34 Pace)

100 Pushup Challenge

Wednesday (12/7):

5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 43:26, 8:42 Pace)

Thursday (12/8):


Friday (12/9):


Saturday (12/10):

10 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 1:24:53, 8:30 Pace)

Sunday (12/11):

13.1 Miles Long (Treadmill, 1:51:18, 8:30 Pace)

Run Total: 47.1 Miles

This past week was my longest mileage since training for Chicago Marathon. I”m getting ready to start Boston Marathon training and I’m so thankful to feel like my hamstring is better. I will keep doing my stretches and foam rolling to keep it maintained.

Saturday it was 25 degrees, sunny and light wind. The temps will just keep getting colder so as long as the roads are clear and it’s not super windy I plan to be outside. Any day without major winds around here is a gift, especially in the winter.

I wore my Boston Marathon long running pants. I love how light weight, yet warm they feel. They will be great for cold weather races.

I hate feeling cold, but luckily I was warm after mile 2 of my run.

This weekend was full of happy hours and dinners with our friends. It was a nice relaxing weekend. So nice to chill before the training begins!


Vegas or Bust

And we busted, crapped out. Heck we didn’t even get to put in our chips. This post won’t be full of pictures because we were so tired from driving and we were planning for most of the pictures to happen past Colorado, but let’s start at the beginning.

The week before our Vegas trip was like waiting for Christmas day as a kid. Every night was filled with house cleaning, packing, and making lists. I couldn’t wait to get on the road. Visions of an amazing race, a little gambling, shopping at Louis Vuitton, and fine dining… was going to be a vacation and a race all in one.

This year has not been an easy one as far as running is concerned. I’ve had my fair share of disappointments and difficult races due to stomach issues and hamstring problems. Rock and Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon was going to be the last race of the year for me. My intent was to make it a redemption race. PR or get close to feel like I can get back on track with my training. However my hamstring issue became too big to manage on my own and I have been going to physical therapy for Graston’s. I was leaving for Las Vegas put back together, but out of race shape from the recovery. My new goal was to run a race healthy, no stomach or hamstring issues and get to focus all of my attention on racing again. It wouldn’t be the redemption race I had envisioned, but a quiet taking of the reins again to start anew.

When it came to making the 2,000 mile drive to Las Vegas we had 2 major ways to get to there. Come from the North or make our way South around the mountains. The South route adds an additional 5 hours to the trip, which over time is very taxing so we chose to come from the North since the weather was looking absolutely perfect. 25-40 degrees the whole way, sunny and completely clear.

Thursday morning we left to cover 450 miles to Omaha, NE. It all went smoothly and we were able to go out for dinner. We went to Biaggi’s which is a chain, but known for gluten free menu and I didn’t want any surprises on this trip. Unfortunately our hotel did not have a gym and the pool was closed for repairs. There appeared to be some hills we could run nearby, but I was scared to aggravate my piriformis or hamstring. Riding in the car was already going to press my luck and I figured I’m in no place to throw hills at my leg right before this race. I figured I would hold off until we made it to our next destination.

Friday morning we packed up and drove over 500 miles to Denver, CO. Again a smooth and uneventful trip. When we arrived we were tired. We didn’t venture out for dinner and dined at the hotel instead. There was a hot tub outside running with a view of the mountains, a beautiful indoor heated pool and gym waiting for us. Unfortunately after dinner we found out the hot tub was closed, probably due to the dropping temperatures. The indoor pool, while inside, was too cold to enjoy. So instead Rob and I ran in the gym. The treadmills were decent. Rob did some pick ups and said he could feel the altitude. I was surprised, but I was running 6 easy and didn’t notice….until I finished. As soon as I stopped my head turned completely red, I got a headache and felt fevery and light headed. It was surprising and I felt gross. I just hydrated and rested.

The next leg of our trip would be to Las Vegas! Our planned route was to take 70E. It would take 12 hours to get there and we would gain an hour back from the time difference. The expo packet pick up would be open until 8pm, which would not be a problem. We went to bed super early so we could get a full nights sleep, get up at 3am, and on the road by 4am. Before bed Rob was concerned about traversing parts of the mountainous route in the dark the next morning. He was reading up on how parts of the mountain have no railings and there are steep drop offs. We know we will need to travel very carefully, but it will be some of the most beautiful driving as the sun comes up. Rob checked the weather again and everything looks good to go. That is, until the morning….

We were up at 3am rearing to go. Rob went out to pack the car and get Coco out and found we had snow on the ground and it was still coming down hard. We immediately starting getting a game plan together. Where did this weather come from out of nowhere? Apparently the 100mph Santa Ana winds blew what would have been rain into the mid-west turning it to snow. 70E was now CLOSED. We definitely would be coming back from Vegas via the South route and adding potentially another day to our vacation, that we could manage. However, to get to Vegas now we were going to have to take 25 over to 80 and then down to 15. 25 and 80 were showing severe weather condition warnings and even parts of 15 were also showing the same. This re-route would take our 12 hour drive to 15, so we had to get on the road pronto to make it work. The hotel front desk person was concerned for us, and wished us well trying to get out.

25 was ridiculous. Snow covered, icy, windy, and dark. We were going 30-35mph and trying to not end up in a ditch, like other cars and semis that were out in this weather. It took FOREVER to get to 80 and was treacherousness the entire time. It took us an additional 2 hours just to get there and the weather wasn’t letting up. We were now in jeopardy of not even making the expo in time at all. 80 wasn’t any better, which meant we were over 17 hours to get there, if we don’t end up in a ditch. Our Vegas plans were over, there would be no way to make it in time. Instead we re-routed 80W to get across Nebraska. It took us 13 hours of going 30-40mph on a highway that is normally 75mph just to get to Lincoln. It was an absolutely exhausting drive because every move with the semis and cars was a potential to be in a ditch. The amount of vehicles in the ditch was so high I stopped counting. We eventually made it to Lincoln. It almost took us twice as long to get there than yesterday, and Omaha was still another 50 miles that we weren’t willing to risk.

We slept in, in hopes that the roads would be cleared. The weather was scheduled to improve, but the predictions of clear weather the whole way produced the exact opposite so we knew they could be very wrong. Luckily Sunday morning the roads were better and we were able to make our way home safely by night time.

Ugh….so a 1,000 miles to Colorado to stay one night and 1,000 miles to come home (more than half of it being dangerous driving). We made the best of the situation, joking about the silliness of the whole fiasco and making plans for our next adventures. I’m not sure that we will make our way this route ever again, especially in December, no matter how great the weather is predicted to be for 10 days straight.

I’m disappointed to miss our race, our whole weekend plans, and time with Drew and Carrie and other friends. I hope Drew, Ryan, Terry, Tanya, Linda and everyone had an amazing time and enjoyed the race.

I am grateful that we made it safely, that Rob is such a good sport and a joy to be around no matter how stressful things can be, and that he can manage driving in terrible conditions because I cannot. So in the end we got an adventure, just not the one I had expected.

Now that we are finally home, I can focus on unpacking, decorating for the holidays, doing some home projects and planning for our next races. I am looking forward to starting again in my training and focus on 2012 racing.