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 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon – 1:54:07

Race take away: I have no gas pedal, I have no go. This is not starting at square one, this feels really off.

Rob and I didn’t have great sleep the night before the race, too many people out late partying and making noise that kept us up. 4am came early and we got ourselves ready without rushing. One thing that was off, my stomach. I wasn’t in pain, but just suffice it to say that I think stress and business is taking its toll again. I resign myself to the likelihood that I will have to make a stop along the course, based on other past races.

It was in the 70s and humid, but at least the start of the race was 6:30am and it was expected to be cooler than the record 100 degree temps that we’ve had lately. Rob and I walked just over a mile to the race start and chilled in our corral. Before we knew it we were off. Rob was swallowed up in the crowd and gone before we even got to .25 mile. I took lots of water at every water stop because I felt thirsty already. I knew I was in for a long day when by mile 2 I just didn’t feel it. I wasn’t in pain or anything like that. My legs were dead heavy either. I was just not there. I had no gas pedal, no go, in no way race ready. I had set a realistic goal. I wasn’t trying to break my PR of 1:35, I was trying to improve upon my 1:51 hilly course half marathon in June that was the race where I knew I had an injury and got Graston’s treatments. Surely recovered from my injury, on a flat Chicago race course I can at least do better than my 1:51. Something in the 1:40s would make me feel like I’m whittling away at progress on getting race ready again.

Alas, every mile was just a slow and painful reminder of how out of shape I am. I had to mentally just call it a workout to keep any momentum. I mentally had to focus on each mile than getting into that meditative happy state that I’m used to. I actually can’t remember feeling like this other than when I’m frought with stomach issues and just wishing for the race to be over.

I would tell myself things like “the last 2 miles will feel so good, when we are running back to the finish”. 2 miles on the way back and it was not the case. I never felt a spring in my step. I just existed through it.

I’m tired of hearing myself talking about something being wrong at each race lately. What is most troublesome is my stomach held together for the race (not long after though), I am recovered from my injury, so there is no reason to feel this miserable and out of shape.

I was hoping for small progress to see I’m on the right path again. I am not a patient person so it’s hard to manage through a bad run when I want to build back my fitness. I have to buck up and just keep moving forward. Hopefully the contiued training and racing will eventually bring about some of the old good feelings again. I’m considering setting some running milestone goals that work from where I am today. Hopefully having milestones will help me focus on smaller goals for a while.

Rob had a strong race of 1:36 and I’m so proud of him balancing work, the basement project and still fitting in workouts to keep his fitness intact.

The medal.



8:43 Pace

2011 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon – 1:39:54

2010 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon – 1:36:16

2009 Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon – 1:55:44


2012 Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8K – 37:01

I gotta start somewhere.

That was the post-race motto assessment on my part. Of course I would wanted for a faster race, but my legs just wouldn’t have it. I’ve lost fitness and I have to work to get it back, so I have to start somewhere, but let’s start at the beginning.

Rob and I did not stay in Chicago the night before the race. Instead we choose to stay home and make the drive up in the morning, which without any traffic is just over 2hrs. We got up at 3:30am and got ready and were on the road by 4:45am.

I added some green to my running outfit to be festive. I had my green gummy ring that lights up, Zensah green compression calf sleeves and green adidas adios.

My stomach as been rock solid normal now for coming on two weeks. It has been crazy good. I really hope that my stomach troubles are behind me. My doctor did advise me to try taking an Imodium on race day just to see if that ensures that things stay good during the race. This was just under a 5 mile race, so it wasn’t a big test, but things did go well in that department.

The drive was relaxing and easy with the traffic being so light. We got parked in Millennium Garage off of lower Randolph Street with no issue. We then made our way over to Starbucks on Michigan Avenue that is between Monroe and Randolph. We got a couple tall soy mistos and took a seat at the window and chilled for 45 minutes before making our way to the car one final time and then to the start corral. Something funny that happens it seems every time we go to a big Chicago race is we run into our friends without even planning it. I don’t think we could plan it better if we tried. Ryan and Melisa were there to race, Ryan as an elite no less and Mike and Erin (also runners) were there for race support for them. Such a rockstar group and so good to see them before getting into the race.

Rob and I didn’t get into much of a warm up before we were lined up and ready to go. The weather was outstanding for the race. Overcast, mild temps (50s) and the lightest breeze. Ryan gave us the great advice of making sure to start slow for this race. He warned that even more than other Chicago races like Chicago Marathon people take off super fast and drop off after mile 2 or 3. He warned that it’s a tricky distance and many people go all out like it’s a 5K. Rob and I took the advice to heart. In my case, I’m out of shape so I would just start off easy and then try to add speed if I could find it.

The race did move quickly and with 8 turns durning less than 5 miles the time flew by quickly. Here are my mile splits to show that I have a lot of work to do.

Mile 1 – 7:35 pace (this is in the range that I planned)

Mile 2 – 7:23 pace (okay at least I picked it up, hope I can the next mile)

Mile 3 – 7:20 pace (okay, faster, but not I felt like my effort was harder so I was hoping for better)

Mile 4 – 7:39 pace(uh oh, I feel like I’m adding more effort, but clearly I am not)

.97 – 7:03 pace (I tried to force myself forward and it worked, even with the incline that’s before the finish. Just need to keep working at it)


7:27 Pace

Rob had a great race and ran exactly as he had planned. He finished with 33:50. PRs for both of us, since this was our first 8K! I’ll take it! 🙂

Only wish for this race would be a finisher medal. It wouldn’t need to be anything major, but for the price of the race a little something is nice. I like having a medal to wear around the city to explain why changing clothes and wiping my face is about the only cleaning up I will do before heading out to have a breakfast or lunch. It seems like people are more forgiving of a runner’s appearance when you have a medal draped around your neck, plus I love me some running bling. 🙂

I would recommend this race to those who plan to run Chicago Marathon or other Chicago races. It gives you an idea of the logistics for the morning. Since this race has two waves make sure to have a meet up location selected ahead of time with any friends or family. The barricades are different than other Chicago races we’ve done because of the multiple wave start. We never saw a “family meet up area” with the letters on pillars (A-Z) for people to find each other so I’m glad we had a meet up plan ahead of time and we had no trouble finding each other.


Everyday I’m Shufflin’

Friday I left work and met up with my girlfriend Lisa to take her to lunch for her birthday and then I went home to bust out my long run on the treadmill with the Boston marathon in my new kicks, the adidas adios 2.

I have to say it’s always daunting when your favorite shoe model gets revamped. Why change such an awesome thing? The adios has been serving me so well for over a year that I wasn’t pleased to see updates to the best shoe I’ve ever had. Even the tread was updated.

They look sweet with the 2012 Boston Marathon jacket.

I didn’t just jump into this new model with my 20 miler. I did get in 4 easy the day before in them. They do feel different, but not in a bad way, just different. The heel area and the overall shoe feels stiffer, which feels unnecessary. The fit in the arch and the fore foot does feel comfortable. I wish the heel wasn’t stark white and had the gold color like the new adidas Boston or just black would be good too.

Anyways, the shoes worked fine for my long run and caused no issues. AND my stomach as good too!! 😀

This morning Rob and I headed outside for 8 Miles before driving to Chicago for the Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8K Expo. The expo was at Navy Pier and was crazy busy by that afternoon so we parked a few blocks away and enjoyed lunch at Yolk before getting our race packet. This place is a must visit and I think they have three locations in the Chicago area. The service is really good and everything on the menu is outstanding. I had the smoked salmon scrambler, it was so good!

After an amazing lunch we took the long walk down to the end of the pier to get our packets.

The expo was medium sized and easy to navigate.

The expo shirt was nice and should go with my new shoes nicely for a future race.

Now we are back home to get a good night’s sleep before the early morning to get ready to race.



You know the best thing about trying a new race distance? Instant PR! Yeah it’s dodgey when the race is a unique distance so you don’t get a chance to race them as often, but I’ll take it anyway I can these days.

This weekend Rob and I will be running Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8K for the first time. Nothing like squeezing 40,000 runners into major city streets with approximately 8 turns in a mere 4.971 miles. I know what you may be thinking. Why bother, won’t that be more mayhem than actual racing? Well yeah, but it’s Chicago! That’s reason enough in my book. And the insta-PR doesn’t hurt either. 😉

But I have to ask, ‘Why is the Shamrock Shuffle an 8K, and not just a 5 mile race?‘ I went through the participant guide online and found no answers. I googled….nothing….no wikipedia entry….grrr! It is interesting that googling 8K brings a lot of St. Patrick’s Day related results….coincidence? Hmm…

I hate searching out data, so I just bit the bullet and emailed the race organizers directly. With as much logistics they have going on preparing for this weekend’s race I’m sure they are thrilled to see someone bothering them with the history of the race. I will update this post if I get a response. 

I’m not expecting any clock-busting pace, but I’m still racing. I need to wake my legs up and this is a great opportunity to work on that.