enjoying every second of life and running


2013 IL Marathon Weekend – 8.5 Months Pregnant

This weekend was the IL Marathon events in Champaign, IL. This event has evolved and improved over the years.

For my past reports on this race you can view those here:

2012 – IL Marathon – 3:46:03

2012 – IL Marathon – 5K – 23:32

2010 – IL Marathon – 3:25:05

2010 – IL Marathon Expo

2009 – IL Half Marathon – 1:57:19

2009 – IL Marathon Expo

Over the years the IL Marathon has added a 5K option on Friday night. If you complete the 5K and then one of the other races Saturday (10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon) you get either a Mini-I Challenge, Half I-Challenge, or Full I-Challenge medal as well.

This year being 8.5 months pregnant I would be tentatively participating by walking the 5K and 10K if I was feeling up to it. Last year we ran the 5K at an easy pace before our marathons. This time Rob would be walking with me. The 5K has 6,000 participants and is very crowded. It’s a relaxed environment and it appears that running strollers may be allowed to (always check first though). It’s a great way to get into running if you haven’t raced a 5K before because it’s a casual environment. If you are a seasoned racer, just expect for this to be more about a casual pre-event to Saturday.

The 5K started at 7:30pm and I wish I would have brought my jelly ring that has lights in it. This would be a good race to bust out any glow necklaces, etc.


Rob and I walked with a little running mixed in. It was awesome to have so many people cheering “Go pregnant lady!” and “Go Mama!”.

I have to say being pregnant and staying active has really changed my outlook on running. I used to focus more on my running times and the race aspect of it all. Being forced to slow down has allowed me to enjoy the environment and appreciate the running community in a way I hadn’t before. Seeing so many different people: ages, weight, health conditions toughing it out. I always enjoyed seeing people out working hard, but now I was witnessing it mid-race and it is awesome! I said to Rob, “this confirms for me there will NEVER be an excuse or reason to not be out running a race”. Okay the only reason would be a doctor saying ‘no’, but that would be the only reason. The people around us were doing it and it reaffirmed for me that this is something I want to do forever.

We finished in 44:22 (14:17 pace).



2013 IL Marathon 5K Medal


Saturday morning was perfect race weather: low 50s, no wind (later it got up to 8mph), a little overcast. We were up at 3:30am and got on the road about 4:30am. We were parked and settled before 5:30am and got to catch up with some of our friends that were also running.


Rob in corral A. The marathon and half marathon started at 7:00am with the 10K starting at 7:40am.


I got to walk with my friend Jaime. Rob and I both had our phones in case anything came up with me and the baby. Jaime and I walked very casually and time flew as we just girl talked the whole way. Again, I got lots of encouragement from people along the way for being out active while being pregnant. We decided to count how many people said something along the way and I think we came up with 22 compliments. 🙂

I was expecting to need to stop a few times for the bathroom, but actually I felt fine and made it the whole way without any pit stops. The funniest thing that happened on our walk was that about .5 mile to the finish. This older lady in the run/walk lit up a cigarette and was smoking while walking! We couldn’t believe it! Then she started to pick up her pace and I was like “oh hell no, we have to pass this lady”. So we picked up our pace and ran into the finish to get away from this lady and also because it’s fun to run into the finish of Memorial Stadium on the 50 yard line.

All done 1:44:05 (16:45 pace). Me with my 10K medal and Mini-I Challenge medal.


Rob texted me while running the marathon, which I immediately knew if he is texting, it’s not going well for him. He had leg cramping earlier into the race and was just toughing it out to finish. He finished in 4:07:38 (9:27 pace) and got his 11th marathon completed.

Rob with his Full Marathon medal and Full I-Challenge medal.


A successful IL Marathon weekend for us. We got out there and are keeping active!


2013 IL Marathon Mini-I Challenge, 10K, and 5K medals.


Me with my medals.


We all hope that those of you that were out at the IL Marathon weekend had a great time!


2013 CCHS 5K – 37:01 – 8 Months Pregnant

Today Rob and I went to the CCHS 5K to run/walk. I’m just over 8 months pregnant so we would just run or walk whatever felt comfortable for me.

Ready to go, wearing the 2012 Boston Marathon shirt. I bought an extra one from another runner that was oversized so I could wear it pregnant.


It was upper 40 degrees, sunny and windy. We got to catch up with our friends and hear about their recent races and training schedules.


Finally we were out lined up in the back to start the race. Rob let me set the pace, which was 10 – 11 minute pace. After 1 mile I did a walk break, then again around 1.75, and one last one around mile 2. Race spectators were great and cheered us on, including baby. 😀

Rob was an awesome husband and checked on my often to make sure I was okay. My heart, lungs, and even hips felt good! The only thing that was sore was my pelvis and I was feeling all the pressure of my belly and the baby. When we got to the last mile I picked it back up. The race finished with about 400 meters on the high school track. I loved that part and picked up my pace to 7:30.

For run/walking I ended up at 37:01 (11:56 pace). This will likely be my last version of running in a race until after the baby. If I’m able to do the 5K and 10K at IL Marathon next weekend, I will be walking. It all depends on how I feel that day.

It felt so good to be out today and see everyone!


Weeks 30 – 32 and Showered in Love

I was trying to keep posts coming each week or two on the pregnancy, but with the news surrounding the Boston Marathon I’ve been preoccupied keeping tabs on everything going on than working on my blog. I’m relieved to see that in the matter of days the men involved have been killed and captured. I know this is the beginning of many investigations and this is long from over. Plus, the capture doesn’t mean there isn’t grief for the families affected by this horrific event. Yet, I’m happy to see Boston and the surrounding towns get some relief after such a crazy week. They truly are Boston Strong!

So backing up three weeks, here are some highlights from my pregnancy.

Week 30 bump pictures


Green Top – Ann Taylor Loft, Black Skirt – ASOS Maternity, Black Sophie Wedges – Tory Burch


Purple Tee – The Limited, White Tank – Ann Taylor Loft

Blue Denim Skinny Jeans – Jessica Simpson Maternity, Wedges – Coach

Week 31 bump pictures


Black Top with Gold Rivet Detailing – Forever 21, Black Skinny Jeans – Heidi Klum Maternity, Black Sophie Wedges – Tory Burch

Coco is sporting her brown Coach collar. 🙂


Grey Cotton Dress – Ann Taylor Loft, Black Tank – Destination Maternity

Black Tights – Gap Maternity, Flower Flip Flops – No Idea (I’ve had them forever)

Week 32 bump picture – 8 Months!!


Black Short Sleeved Cotton Dress – ASOS Maternity, Flower Flip Flops – No Idea

My workouts have varied around work and how I feel that day. I’m still cycling on the trainer, doing prenatal yoga, and getting outside for walks when the weather has been nice. I take Coco and then drop her back at the house so I can go for a walk on my own. Although this day, apparently Coco wasn’t into walking so she stayed home. 🙂


Baby J:

In baby news my friends Lisa and JuLee threw me a Tiffany themed baby shower. It was so beautiful! We had a brunch and they made the most amazing food!


I’ve been working on getting our bags packed for the hospital. I have my lists about half done and I still plan to post about what we’ve packed when I have it done (or close to done).

Between the baby shower, gifts from friends and family we are feeling pretty close to well stocked in all the baby items we will be needing when we get home. Feeling more prepared has really relieved stress around these final weeks.


The nursery has had quite a bit of progress too! Here are some of the latest updates.





Paint – Anonymous from Behr

Addison Rug – Pottery Barn Kids

Kendall Crib – Pottery Barn Kids

Harper Bedding – Pottery Barn Kids

Princess Chandelier – Pottery Barn Kids

Butterfly Mobile – Etsy store LoveBugLullabies

White Ruffle Drapes with Blackout Panels – Etsy store TheCrookedBranch

Drape Hardware – Bed Bath and Beyond

Prints – Etsy store Wallfry

Frames – Michael’s

We’ve ordered a couple more items for the walls, plus the glider and ottoman. I will have more pictures soon with updates to the nursery. 🙂

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Thoughts and Prayers to Boston


It was such a tragic event yesterday at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Our thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by the tragedy. Also, thanks to those who responded to those in need. Our thoughts are also with those who were displaced and those that are trying to travel home. We hope you have safe travels and are able to rejoin your loved ones as soon as possible.


An Ode to Boston

Since it’s April I thought I would write a post about the Boston Marathon. While I won’t be there this year, it is amazing how only just running it twice this race has imprinted upon my life and given me memories I will cherish forever.

So for those of you heading to beantown for 2013, whether it be your first Boston Marathon or you are have ran it more than once, I wanted to share some of my experiences of things that I enjoyed from my time there. If anything maybe it will get you hyped to read more about the Boston Marathon. I remember all to well trying to fight off taper madness by busying myself with plans of our travel and the race logistics. So here’s a few thoughts on my time there, I hope you find it helpful, or at least entertaining.

Original posts can be found here:

Twas the Night Before Boston (2011)

2011 Boston Marathon

So Great To Be Back (2011)

Sweet Caroline

2012 Botson Marathon Expo

2012 BAA 5K

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

2012 Boston Marathon


Both trips to Boston (2011 and 2012), Rob, Coco, and I loaded up the car and drove from IL to Mass. 18 hours of driving broken up into two days. Crazy to some? Perhaps. For Rob and I, we enjoyed every minute. We start the trips at night after work (take a little personal time to get out a bit early) and get on the road to knock out the first 8ish hours. Which means that we roll into bed around 11pm-ish (midnight if we’ve changed timezones, which I think occurred). Then the following day we got up early to get the next 10 hours of driving accomplished.

People have asked, “You guys fly (have a plane), why not fly yourselves there?” or “Why not get a commercial flight, it’s the same/cheaper than driving?”.

Good questions. Driving for us was never a cost thing, it basically evens out between gas vs. tickets/bags. We don’t even use our car when we get to Boston, so it’s not that we need it there or anything.

I would say our reasons to drive included:

1) Rob and I don’t get a lot of downtime. Spending time in the car telling stories, singing to music on the radio, and telling jokes is great bonding time for us.  Plus I get to learn that Rob knows the lyrics of most songs, including super random tunes that I have never heard in my life. 🙂


2) Rob and I haven’t seen much in the Eastern states. For our first trip this would was big factor because it would give us an opportunity to see each state along the way.

3) Driving meant Coco could go with us and be comfortable. I know that there are options to bring your pet as carry on to flights, but it really sounds like a hassle and I’m not sure that Coco would like it too much. She’s precious cargo for us. 🙂

Boston 2011 Post10

And if we had taken our plane, I don’t think we could have got everything packed with us, I like to pack a lot of stuff and driving allows me to load the car up. 🙂

4) We could get into side-adventures along the way if we wished. On the way back from Boston 2011 we drove an extra 3 hours out of our way, litterally calling 80+ stores to find the LAST White iPad 2 with 64MB this side of the Mississippi because everywhere was sold out. Rob got a black one for himself too because he saw how happy I was about mine, one of our most favorite purchases. 🙂

Boston 2011 060

Boston 2011 061

Travel Tips:

Here are some travel tips I have from our adventure that you may find helpful.

1) Know your route and the options you have along the way. Weather can be nuts. While we have never had an issue getting to Boston, it could happen. In fact, one of our trips to Las Vegas got cancelled due to unforseen weather that was impassable.

2) Give yourself enough travel time. If your schedule allows, give yourself a day buffer so you could still get to the race using your alternate route or after weather clears. I figure, if the weather is that bad, no one is flying either so it’s better to add a buffer of time and see if you can safely get to your destination, if not then you have to be ready for that too, driving or flying.

3) I like to not have a full out itenterary along the way. We just let the day happen. For long car trips Rob and I live off of Starbucks and Subway that we just search out along the way. If our schedule allowed I would search out a nice restaurant, but I’m usually too excited to get there that I leave the side adventures for the way back. Although we did jump out of the car just to get a picture of PJD from American Choppers. 🙂


Check out something in Boston:

For us it’s the Boston Red Sox. 🙂 We figure as Cub fans they aren’t in the same league so it’s not a conflict of interest. 🙂 Heck, while we are Cub fans, if they aren’t playing we root the home team and get into it. Cub fans and Boston fans are similar, they both like to party and really get into the game which makes it that much more fun. It feels like you make friends with everyone around you at both ballparks.

Boston 2011 017


Something that we added to our agenda in 2012 was running the BAA 5K the day before for fun. Definitely consider doing this! It was so nice to get to run this with Rob and enjoy seeing more of Boston Commons with him.


Eat some amazing food:

Maybe if you are from the east coast, this is no biggie. For me, I LOVE seafood. So it’s a must do in Boston. Get the chow-da, get the lob-sta, and oysters on the east coast are different from other places, so try it all!

Must eat places for us include: Union Oyster House

Boston 2011 Post12

and Barking Crab – Lobster roll with sweet potato fries (it may have been the best thing I ever ate in my entire life, no joke)


Meet up with blogger friends:

Both visits we met up with Alaina who works for the Fairmont – Copley Plaza. She is such a sweet person and it has been nice to get to see her in real life and hang out with a real Bostonian. 🙂 She showed us around the area and to new restaurants.


Boston 2001 Part2 001



Make new friends:

Maybe I got extremely lucky, but I met an amazing lady in Athelete’s Village at my first Boston. I didn’t know anyone else running the race so I was there alone and under prepared on what to bring to wait around for 2ish hours. Natalie took pitty on me immediately and shared everything, her blanket, her extra set of throw away pants, and food. Even without all the goodies she was just the perfect person to hang out with. It was both our first time running Boston and we gabbed so much that time flew and I actually forgot about the race and my nerves. Luckily she didn’t find me too dorky and wanted to be friends. The bonus was that we both were able to run the following year and meet up again! She even brought me Starbucks! We are totally Boston Marathon BFFs. 🙂 Neither of us will be there this 2013 and while we still keep in touch, I have to say that I will miss seeing her this year as much as the actual race.


Oh yeah and the race 🙂

1) If you are taking the bus shuttle to the start, then get to the buses early if you are like me and don’t like to feel like a herd of cattle standing and waiting around. Yes,  you still wait around in Athlete’s village, but at least you are able to lie or sit down and meet new people. Plus, I think both times the bus got turned around and the trip was longer than planned. It all works out because chances are your bus is full of Boston Marathon vets and in both cases they redirected the bus driver where to go. 🙂


2) Come prepared (because I didn’t the first time), in fact bring too much stuff. You can leave what you bring for other runners, donate (there will be people with bags closer to the start), throw things away, or gear check. I will say I’m not a fan of the gear check. It’s a long wait to get your stuff back so instead I have Rob with an extra set of clothes and meet him in the family meet up area. Just my personal preference.

3) If you haven’t done the course and are not from the area (and worse you are from somewhere flat like me), the course is no joke. It’s a complete mental trick and really grinds on your legs. So soak in the run and consider just letting things happen as they come. 2012 was 85ish degress with the sun unrelentingly baking us for most of the race. Don’t over estimate your power over the elements. If you feel good in those conditions savor the moment, but play it smart and consider not speeding up. There were people throwing up by mile 8 and it was a war zone of people dropping off the closer we got. I heard many stories afterward of people who it was their first Boston and they DNFed from the heat. One guy dropped and busted his face at mile 25. 😦 It’s your Boston medal to get and when conditions or your body don’t cooperate adjust your plan and be smart so you can try to finish no matter what. Much like any marathon, you never know what you will get that day, but this race seems to up the ante.

4) Smile, cry, wave your arms and shout….soak it in!!!!! The crowd is amazing the whole way, but when you get to the last 4 miles it really becomes a wave of cheers. I imagine that’s how professional sports players may feel entering the stadium/arena. I burst into tears I was so happy and the crowd just loves it more. They know how much it means to us runners. Show them the love you have for their towns and hospitality.


Boston Marathon 2011



Hopefully I will get to be there again either running myself or watching Rob. There is nothing like the experience of the Boston Marathon. For those of you running, I hope you have a wonderful and safe 2013 Boston Marathon! Celebrate every bit of it, no matter the outcome!

Boston Marathon 2011 014


Updated to add a video of 2011 and 2012 Boston Marathon: