enjoying every second of life and running


Da Bears

Sunday Rob and I went to our first Bears game! I got us tickets as a part of Rob’s birthday present. I like to get Rob presents that are something he wants and something we do. I think it’s fun to make memories, especially new events like this.

Me in my Bears hat with baby bump, ready to go!

The stadium

We had seats in Section 113, Row 18, Seats 1 and 2. I got tickets on an aisle on purpose since I pregnant and need to get up to go to the bathroom a 100 times an hour. 🙂 The seats were covered by the seats above, which would have been good had it been raining. We had perfect weather though. It was upper 30s, sunny with a light breeze. Plus being row 18 allows us to have two TVs to view the broadcast and in stadium cameras.

Us in our seats. Game day they gave out Bears scarves.

The sweet potato fries were really good in my opinion. Plus we had hot chocolate to keep warm. 🙂

The Bears did amazing against the Minnesota Vikings and won! The game was so exciting that we were jumping, shouting and cheering throughout the whole game. Afterward on the way home I was so exhausted. I felt like I had partied for three days straight I was so worn out. 🙂

Go Bears!



2012 Festival of Lights – 4M – 30:16 – 11 Weeks Pregnant

Race Takeaway: Even pacing feels so good!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving, filled with time with family, friends and good food! We enjoyed having family over and cooking for everyone. Saturday (11/24), we went to Peoria, IL to run the Festival of Lights River Trail Classic 4M race. This race is a point to point race on the trail system (a paved road, not trail as in a path in a forest) that has a down grade the whole way. It’s normally a great race to set a new 4M PR, but with being pregnant I would be running to get in a good workout and Rob would be with me.

We did a 2.15 warm up with our friend Mike. I’m glad we got out in the cold temps to warm up so it was less shocking by race time.

It was cold, upper 20s and a chilly breeze was in our face the entire time. Rob and I haven’t been good at gauging where I should start at and we once again were too far back (about 15 people deep) and had to pass people the first half mile to get into a pacing area that felt good.

Miles passed quickly and all of my splits were 7:3x. I was very happy that I knew I was working and able to keep the effort even for all four miles. It’s hard to know right now if a pace is sustainable for multiple miles and each day is different.

I was even able to speed up on the last push to the finish and we were done in 30:16.

After talking with our friends we didn’t stick around for give aways or awards. I was certain my time wasn’t award worthy, but I was wrong. I ended up 3rd in my Age Group out of 37 and our friend Senthil picked up my medal for me.

My 3rd Age Group Medal

Meanwhile Rob and I bundled up in clean, warm clothes and headed over to one of our favorite breakfast places, One World. Me with my decaf coffee trying to get warm.



7:34 Pace

F 35-39: 3/37

2011 – Festival of Lights – 4M – 27:41

2010 – Festival of Lights – 4M – 26:16

2009 – Festival of Lights – 4M – 27:39

2008 – Festival of Lights – 4M – 35:05

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Deep in the Heart of Texas

About a week ago I traveled for a work conference to Houston, TX. While most of the trip was work, I thought I would share some of the restaurants and my short experience visiting.

One of the first things we experienced upon arriving at the Hyatt Regency Downtown was learning about the Downtown Houston Tunnels. There are seven miles of tunnels underground that connect the corporate buildings. Plus there are restaurants and shops.

It was late afternoon so we made a quick decision to try out a local restaurant, Treebeards. It was quick southern comfort food. I tried the red beans and rice with mashed potatoes. It was filling and delicious.

The second day’s lunchtime meal was at Mia Bella Trattoria was a select your own pasta ingredients. I went with mushroom and sun-dried tomato with farfalle in a basil pesto sauce. It was so yummy and the price couldn’t be beat, $10! They had unique sauces like a mushroom pesto. I wish we had a place like this back home.

And probably the best lunch I tried on the trip was at the Grove. Nestled in a beautiful park, this green building grows it’s own herbs and produce, and filters their water on-site. This place also is dog friendly on the patio, which is a nice bonus.

I had the Crab and Shrimp Salad. It was perfection! The greens and zesty tomato taste was amazing. I also had truffle fries with parmesan. While they tasted like most truffle fries, they didn’t have that addictive quality going and I probably wouldn’t order them again. I also loved that they served a small amount of almonds in herbs (not pictured), rather than bread.

My favorite dinner was the one I got to have with my family. We don’t get to see each other nearly enough. The best part was spending time with my brother, my sister-in-law, niece and her boyfriend. Being with them made me feel like I was back home. I only wish Rob could have been there with us.


We ate at one of the best Mexican places in the Houston area, El Tiempo. Every thing tasted amazing! I had green spanish rice, which I have never tried before and it was so good! I had a fish and crab taco that was to die for. I should have cut it open before the picture to show the yumminess inside.

The weather was perfect for early November. Lows were 60s and highs were mid-80s. While I didn’t run outside during this trip, I did hit the hotel treadmill for miles ranging from 5-10 miles a pop. The gym at the Hyatt Regency Downtown is well equipped with Lifetime Fitness equipment that is well kept and maintained. This hotel also had access to the downtown tunnel system (didn’t learn that until the second day). I would say this is a runner friendly hotel and would recommend it to others.


2012 Canal Connection 10K – 48:57

Race Takeaway: Running pregnant feels empowering.

Sunday Rob and I drove north to run the Canal Connection 10K in Utica, IL. This race is between two towns along a canal path that was used for moving barges along the water with mules pulling while walking along the path. This point to point race is scenic and time goes by really quickly as there are few turns and you are able to really just focus in on running from one end of the canal to the other.

It was chilly, high 40s – low 50s, with a light breeze. Rob and I purposely over dressed knowing that we would be running a slower pace. Rob would run with me and I would be running by feel. If I was feeling good I would pick up the pace, if I felt off, I would just back off. There was no pressure for time, just get out and have a good workout.

Me near the finish area. This is baby’s second 10K race (Morton Pumpkin Festival was the other 10K).

We got on the bus to take us to the other town and waited for the start. We did a light 1 mile warm up and then lined up way back, about 20 people deep from the start. And we were off. The first few miles felt good but I knew I was running too fast so we backed off a bit. We chatted about the algae along the canal, ducks that were around, and how running is probably so good for baby. I couldn’t stop thinking about how running pregnant feels pretty amazing. Before we knew it we were at the finish in 48:57.

I’m so glad we came out to race!



7:57 Pace

2011 Canal Connection 10K – 44:24

2010 Canal Connection 10K – 43:21

2009 Canal Connection 10K – 48:15

Our local running store Often Running has sale items at the event so I was able to pick up some larger running clothes to get me through the pregnancy and post-recovery.

I love Nike long-sleeved shirts, they are so soft!

I’ve never had Brooks running bras but for the price I will give them a try. I love adidas the most.

And some Mizuno winter pants.