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!

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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:



Week 16, 17, and Monumental Decisions

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!!


I’m behind in posting because we were enjoying a little time off and a chance to kick off some projects around the house. Here’s some of what has been going on:

Just at the end of 15 weeks.

Week 15.2

Since maternity clothes can be hit or miss, I thought I would start posting where I got the clothes I’m wearing. It’s a mix of maternity and non-maternity right now so I’ll also call out when it is something from maternity.

Black cardigan – Ann Taylor Loft Maternity, Sequin top – The Limited,

Black Jeans – Adriano Goldschmied Maternity, Black boots – Jessica Simpson

I ordered some prenatal exercise DVDs is hopes to add them to my shorter running regimen.

Week 16 and 17 and Monumental Decisions

I was able to give each a try. Here are some initial thoughts.

Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga – This video very good workout. I did the 75 minute routine and the first 40 minutes were more lunges and warrior poses. I thought, “I guess this is all pregnant women can do”, but then they got into some serious squats and other moves. I would say that this DVD would have been a good workout, pregnant or not. The video shows modifications for all three trimesters, so you may want a block and a yoga strap, depending on the month of your pregnancy or your flexibility. The DVD is not “professional” though. You can hear street noise of cars in the background and tell it’s a low-budget film. It’s a little distracting, but the workout is good enough to keep you focused on the next pose.

Summer Sander’s Prenatal Workout – I apparently can’t read and I thought I ordered a yoga DVD, which this is not. It’s a in room aerobics workout and I turned it off after 15 minutes since it wasn’t what I was looking for right now. I think I will pop it back in when I get to the end of my pregnancy. Summer Sanders was super cute and funny. I really liked her what I saw of the video and think she should definitely do more workout DVDs, if she hasn’t already. Oh, and I didn’t catch on the back of the DVD, you really need a resistance band to do the workouts they are completing, so make sure to get one of those.

Shiva Rea Prenatal Yoga – This video is professionally made and covers all three stages of pregnancy. They utilize blocks, straps, blankets and a chair depending on the pose or stage of pregnancy. It was definitely designed with the preparing for labor in mind. It wasn’t a challenging workout, but it would be a good stretching video to compliment another one of my workouts in a day.

4 months!

Week 16

Sheer top – The Limited, Grey long-sleeved tee – Gap,

Dark wash jeans – Jessica Simpson Maternity, Brown boots – Jessica Simpson

17 Weeks!!

Week 17.1

Black and purple sheer top – Ann Taylor Loft, Black tank top – Ann Taylor Loft,

Black jeans – Heidi Klum Maternity, Black Caroline Wedges – Tory Burch

Week 17.2

Orange sheer top – Von Maur, White tank top – Ann Taylor Loft,

Cream blazer – Gap, Dark wash jeans – Jessica Simpson Maternity, Brown boots – Jessica Simpson


Black two-tone slouchy sweater – Topshop Maternity, Grey tank top – Ann Taylor Loft,

Black faux leather paneled leggings – Topshop Maternity, Black boots – Jessica Simpson


I do feel my energy coming back in this second trimester. I’m still sleeping pretty well and we have a humidifier running at night to help with my stuffy nose. I haven’t felt any flutters or kicks yet, but I can’t wait!

We will know if we are having a boy or girl at the end of January!!! We don’t plan to keep it a secret either so there will definitely be a post about that! 😀

Plus we have two amazing hospitals in our town, but we have selected the one that’s right for us and have signed up for every baby and parenting class they have. It will be great information to hear. So much so that I think we will also being taking classes at my OB’s office too. Never hurts to hear the information twice!


The nursery progress is going to be its own post because we are going some changes to the room. As I said in a previous post we are clearing out our workout room and moving it to the basement. The biggest ordeal was getting the massive treadmill down two flights of stairs. We originally were going hire a mover, but a friend suggested trying an appliance dolly to move it. After three hours of removing the console and trim pieces and the bedroom door, Rob was able to get the treadmill out without any damage to himself, the walls or the stairs. It was quite an undertaking, but in the end it was probably better we didn’t get a mover involved since even getting it prepped to move took so long.

Rob also took on the task of adding a ceiling light outlet and switch to the room. When we had the house built originally we were pretty young and scared of all of the building costs that were adding up. We cut back on little things (mistake) like a ceiling light fixture in that room. Luckily within a day Rob was able to get up into the attic and get it added. Now we will have a beautiful chandelier (if it’s a girl) or a cool ceiling fan (if it’s a boy) in that room. I couldn’t be happier!

Up next Rob is going to be putting up crown molding in the room just to give it a more finished look. Also, we ordered a whole new closet organization system from The Container Store. First we need to get trim up and the room painted before we install the system.

Then the real fun will begin – decorating!! By then we should know if we are having a boy or girl and we will be able to start picking out window treatments, furniture, and all of the accessories. Eeeeee! 😀

I may start a house project page that shows the nursery work and some of our other rooms that we are updating.


As for the airplane build we’ve kicked around a couple of models over the past year. Now with the baby coming we want to balance the complexity of the build with knowing that the amount of flying we will do recreationally will probably not be large cross-country flights for a while. Rob loves both vintage style and modern fast airplanes. So this go around we are building something in the vintage category, a clipped wing Cub!

It looks similar to the Cub we sold, but there are differences. A Cub is a certified aircraft and because we are building this it will be an experimental (like our previous plane). The wing span is shorter, hence the ‘clipped wing’ description and there will be other modifications to the fuselage area around the windows and doors.


This will be a fun project for Rob because it will be a completely different build type than our RV-7 was. This one will require woodwork, welding, and fabric skins. Plus this will be a great forever plane for us to keep, even if we build or buy a second. It will be something he can teach our child to fly and will just be a great family heirloom for us to pass down.

You can see the build and our previous RV-7 build on 🙂


As for running, I’ve cut my mileage as prescribed by my doctor for my second trimester. It’s not been easy to back off. Here are my workouts since my last posting:

Sunday (12/16):

20 Miles Long (Const Trail, 2:53:08, 8:40 Pace) – My last long run before my doctor cut my running mileage and pace

Weekly Totals:

Run: 42 Miles

Walk: 1.5 Miles

Monday (12/17):

Yoga 45 Min

Tuesday (12/18):

5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, .5% incline, 41:53, 8:23 Pace)

Wednesday (12/19):

5.25 Miles Easy (Treadmill, .5% incline, 44:41, 8:31 Pace)

Thursday (12/20):

5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, .5% incline, 43:04, 8:37 Pace)

Friday (12/21):


Saturday (12/22):

4 Miles Easy (Treadmill, .5% incline, 35:49, 8:58 Pace)

Sunday (12/23):


Weekly Totals:

Run: 19.3 Miles

Strengthening: 1 Time, 45 Mins

Monday (12/24):


Tuesday (12/25):

4.5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, .5% incline, 40:17, 8:58 Pace)

Wednesday (12/26):

4 Miles Easy (Treadmill, .5% incline, 40:49, 8:58 Pace)

Upper body weights 5 Mins

Thursday (12/27):

4.5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, .5% incline, 40:18, 8:58 Pace)

Friday (12/28):


Saturday (12/29):

4 Miles Easy (Treadmill, .5% incline, 35:49, 8:58 Pace)

5 Miles Bike Easy (25:29, 11.77 mph)

Sunday (12/30):

4.5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, .5% incline, 9:15 Pace)

Prenatal Yoga – 1:15

Weekly Totals:

Run: 21.5 Miles

Bike: 5 Miles

Strengthening: 2 Times, 1:20:00

Monday (12/31):

4 Miles Easy (Treadmill, .5% incline, 37:10, 9:18 Pace)

2012 Totals:


And for the monumental part of the post……

I finally decided on a fall marathon! I will be running the Monumental Marathon in Indiana on November 2nd!! There were a few factors in the decision to run this race. Rob and I will be alternating our races so we can each watch our little one. Rob will be running Chicago Marathon in 2013! I needed a fall race, but I didn’t want it too early coming back from having the baby. Monumental is a flat course and in a state that we haven’t done a marathon before. We’ve heard great things from our friends, so I’m excited to check it out! My training will start in August and I will complete some short races and half marathons to help me get into marathon shape.

It feels so good to have a marathon and training plan on my calendar! I can’t wait!!


I will be adding a super easy, made up recipe to the nutrition page. I hope to be adding some more to the page soon!

This was heat up a Tb of extra virgin olive oil, sauté chopped shallot and garlic. Add diced chicken breast and brown. Then add chopped asparagus, grape tomatoes, italian seasonings, and a 1/2 of white wine and let simmer. Then add cooked pasta. I found this beautiful farfalle (bow-tie pasta) from Italy that just is pretty addition.

Nutrition - 01

So that’s about it around here lately! I’ll be having more pregnancy, nursery, workouts, and nutrition posts soon!

Happy New Year!!!!


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