enjoying every second of life and running


2012 – Rock and Roll St. Louis Half Marathon – 1:50:11

Race Takeaway: Running with Rob makes time fly by quickly!

Last weekend we made our way to St. Louis to run the Rock and Roll St. Louis Half Marathon.

We met up with Drew and Chrissy for the expo and hung out on Washington Street. They were interested in sushi for dinner and checked out Wasabi Sushi on Washington. I was more in a burger mood so we checked out Bailey’s Range. It was amazing! All of the meats are grass fed, free range, local and the sauces (ketchups, mustards, etc.) are all homemade in house.

We split the onion rings, these are a must do!

And I enjoyed a small salted carmel shake. OMG it was delicious!!!

I also got the Ozark Burger with white cheddar on a pretzel bun. The pretzel bun wasn’t what I imagined. It was hard as a rock and I wouldn’t get it again. So I only had a couple bites. I was so full of shake and onion rings anyways. 🙂

That’s a good pre-race meal, no? Knowing my past stomach issues this would have been the kiss of death, but being on a probiotic pill (as advised by my doctor) really helps. Plus Rob and I were planning to run this race for fun together. So it wasn’t like I needed to be ‘race ready’ or anything.

Sunday morning we were up at 4am and all headed down to the start just after 6am. It was a quick walk from our hotel. The weather started out cold with a brisk breeze and I wished I had brought a throw away shirt. I don’t know why I don’t just pack one for every race just in case because I’m usually cold at race starts year round.

The race started 10 minutes late, which can get a bit annoying standing there, freezing, waiting to just get things going. And then we were off. While I liked having a hat, I regretted the gloves by mile 2.

Time flew running with Rob. We chatted about buildings we saw, cute doggies with spectators, etc. While the miles clicked by quickly, my right piriformis hated the inclines and hills that are through out this course. My leg was not ready for the race, so I had to really back off the pace and it was just a family run more than a workout. We had a good time smiling for the cameras too.

One particular race highlight – I got rapped at! A girl around mile 7 actually starting rapping a beat “you’re running!” and then dropped some beat box sounds. It was crazy! I was like “Did I seriously get rapped at?! She took my mind off the pain in my leg!” Loved it!!

All done!!

2012 Rock and Roll St. Louis Half Marathon Medal



8:25 Pace

2011 – Rock and Roll St. Louis Half Marathon – 1:43:09


2011 Rock and Roll St. Louis – Half Marathon – 1:43:09

This race I was on the fence about running from up to the moment we woke up to get ready.

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I have been dealing with tight hamstrings, especially on my right side, for about a week before the Chicago Marathon. I ended up having hamstring issues most of the marathon. Since then I’ve been trying to follow the scheduled recovery period as my legs would allow. I was feeling optimistic since I was noticing improvement. Eventually my left side was pain free and just my right hamstring was sore.

Friday I was feeling better and went out for my planned 8 miles easy and was going to do pick ups afterward. I found out quickly that I couldn’t even finish 8 easy without foam rolling. How was I going to run a half marathon in two days feeling like this?

I iced my leg often Friday. Saturday I even sat on an ice pack on as we drove to St. Louis. I also did an ice bath at the hotel that night.

FR Tip: If you are at a hotel and plan to take an ice bath, use the gear check bag as your ice container for the ice machine, it holds a lot!

I knew HM goal race pace was out of the question. I was more worried could I make it 13 miles without making my injury worse, especially when 8 easy Friday was such a struggle. I awoke to a leg that was improved, but not 100% I planned to run the race and be conservative with my stride. I knew I could get out there and within a few miles I could be regretting my decision.

As far as my tummy goes the day before the race I had gluten-free cereal, salad from Panera with no dressing and a strip steak with cream spinach for dinner. I know it’s TMI but magic happened, thank goodness! So I was happy to expect tummy issues wouldn’t be a concern.

I got ready and hugged our pug Coco before heading out. 🙂

We stayed in a hotel close to the start/finish area so we were able to easily warm up before getting into the corral. Rob and I spent some time determining how much of a stride I could take to try and save my hamstring. I would try to make an effort to take smaller steps and lean forward to keep my hamstring as happy as possible.

The weather was perfect! 55 degrees and zero wind, mostly overcast, the sun only came out for short moments.

By mile 2 a young lady says to me “Hey didn’t you race Washington?”. I say “no”, thinking of Washington D.C. first and wondering if Rock and Roll has a race. I didn’t catch at the time she meant Washington Cherry Festival in Washington, IL. Then she says “but didn’t you run Rock and Roll Chicago and IVS Half Marathon?” Then I’m like “yes, yes I did!” She responds “I thought I’ve seen you at those races, you and your husband race a lot.” No denying my addiction for racing. 🙂 She asks if I ran Chicago Marathon and is suprised to see me out. I tell her about my hamstring and my conservative pace. I try to catch her name and I think it was Vanessa. I tell her about the running blog, so if you do read this please post and say hi. I hope you had a great race!

The miles passed by easily. The course is hilly throughout and noticible to me since we live in a very flat area. I enjoyed every moment running with my conservative stride. I was able to say “good morning”, “hi” and wave to many people on the course. I even saw two pugs at different points on the course and told the owner my love of pugs and that we had a sweet pug Coco. 🙂

The course went south into some beautiful neighborhoods. It was just an absolute perfect day. As we came into the finish it was on an incline which was an interesting, punishing twist. I finished with a 1:43:09, which I’m very happy with considering I wasn’t certain I could even race at all and my leg didn’t feel any worse! I easily found Rob and he also had a fun race, finishing with a 1:32!

This was one of the better organized Rock and Roll races. There were a lot of bands throughout the course that sounds really great. The waters were iced and there was plenty of fruit afterward. The medal was large and seriously heavy.

Afterward I had another ice bath and am still feeling like things are improving, thank goodness! I would definitely consider coming back to do this race again.


2011 Go! St. Louis – Half Marathon – 1:41:10

One word for this race: WARM!!!

Races lately haven’t been going my way and today was no exception. We woke up to it being 74 degrees at 6am, not even close to ideal for racing. We met up with Drew and got to the start area with no problem. We ran into Brian, who recognized us from the blog at the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon last week. It’s amazing how in a sea of people you can run into someone you know. After a warm up we fought the crowds to get to the start line. A woman I met at the IWU track meet was there and we said hi and we chatted for a bit after the race. She is super fast and so nice.

I was so happy that I had finally a good week of no stomach issues. I felt great and I was excited to run so I went out in hopes of a PR when I should have adjusted my expectations to meet the hot conditions and just stuck to marathon pace the whole way. Within 5 Miles of running in the baking sun, I wilted and my pace backed off turning it into just a training run in terrible heat. I was burning up hot so badly that by Mile 8  I was getting three cups of water at the water stops. I was well hydrated for this race, but the heat was way too killer and sapped my energy.

I’m not excited about my time, but I wasn’t upset like the last race. Our last race was perfect conditions and I physically couldn’t perform. This race was awful conditions and I couldn’t perform, so I’m forced to accept it as another run. Between winds, stomach issues, and heat, I can tell you that I’m ready to have a good race. It’s been so long that I’ve raced well that I’m forgetting what that feels like. At this point it feels like I just  run around and take what comes that day. I guess it’s forcing me to enjoy fitness for fitness sake and just appreciate what I can do. At the core of it all I love running and no matter how crappy the race is for me I will keep going, even if it’s a slower pace than I want. I will never stop doing what I love.

Something cool that was at the end of the race was a Michelob Ultra tent with touch screens where you could login to your facebook account, take a picture right there and upload it, too cool! Here is our goofy pic as we tried to figure out this thing.

Drew had a melty race as well, but now he has his second half marathon down.

Here is a picture of the medal.

My time was 1:41:10. Rob came in at 1:35:33!



7:44 Pace

F 30-34: 11/1,201

F: 49/7,086

Overall: 340/11,534

Afterward it was on to some Pappy’s Smokehouse!! 😀

After some rest and shopping I hit the hotel gym for a light recovery workout on the bike. I suck at self-portraits. 🙂 It felt good to just pedal lightly and shake out the day’s race.




Saturday (4/2):

13.1 Miles Race (Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon, bad stomach, had to stop, 1:40:15, 7:36 Pace, 2nd AG)

Sunday (4/3):

17 Miles Long (Treadmill, Boston Marathon Course, -3% – +6% Incline, 2:08:07, 7:33 Pace)

7.9 Miles Bike (P3, L4, 30:00, 15.8 mph)

Monday (4/4):

6 Miles Easy (Treadmill, Boston Marathon Course, -3% – +4% Incline, 51:27, 8:35 Pace)

7.7 Miles Bike (P5, L5, 30:00, 15.4 mph)

Tuesday (4/5):


Wednesday (4/6):

7.5 Miles Easy (RTW Group Run, Lake Bloomington, 1:18:06, 10:23 Pace)

Thursday (4/7):

8 Miles General Aerobic (Treadmill, Boston Marathon Course, -3% – +3.5% Incline, 1:03:42, 7:58 Pace)

Friday (4/8):

4.1 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 34:45, 8:29 Pace)

45 Mins Yoga

Saturday (4/9):

4.1 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 34:23, 8:24 Pace)

2.75 Miles Easy (Gateway Arch, 26:18, 9:34 Pace)

Today we headed to St. Louis to run the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon. Coco enjoyed the ride in the new car.

We met up with Drew and his friend Tony to get our Expo on.

There was a small Brooks trailer outside of the Expo, and we got Drew’s picture with the infamous Walk on Water Jesus Lizard.

The Go! St. Louis shirts are bright green this year!

We sported these on an easy run by the Gateway Arch after dinner. Now off to rest up for the race!


IL Marathon Training: Week 7 Complete

What a great and exhausting week!

First here is the weekly mileage run down:

M: Rest

T: 5 Miles Recovery (Treadmill, 1% Incline, 38:59, 7:48 Pace)

W: Rest

R: 11 Miles Med-Long (Treadmill, 1% Incline, 1:25:14, 7:45 Pace)

F: 6.26 Miles Recovery W/6 X 100M Strides (‘Hood, 46:32, 7:27 Pace)

Sa: 5 Miles Recovery (Treamdill, 1% Incline 41:12, 8:15 Pace), Planks and Wall Sit

Su: 13.1 Miles Race (Go! St. Louis Half Marathon, 1:36:50, 7:24 Pace, 7th Age Group)

Total: 40.36 Miles

After the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon it was time to throw down on the BEST BBQ we have ever had! Pappy’s Smokehouse!!!

The smoker outside on the street.

This place is usually a 2 hour minimum wait. Luckily we got there within the first 15 minutes of opening and had to wait about 20 minutes. After we were done the line was out the door and down the hall. This place usually doesn’t even stay open until close because they sell out of everything before then.

This amazing mecca of BBQ is covered in famous people’s autographs and photos including folks like Willie Nelson. One of the visitors putting this place on the map is Man vs. Food Adam Richman who now has a menu item in his name called “The Adam Bomb”. This menu choice is no joke: One full slab, a beef sandwich, pork sandwich, 1/4 chicken, 4 side orders, and frito pie with hot links. Yes, he ate it all.

Pappy’s is a Memphis style BBQ. Their motto: “The sauce is on the side because we got nothin to hide.”

My ginormous rib platter choice was in the making since August of 2009. I told Rob that I wanted to eat some really good ribs since I rarely have them. We had planned to fly to Lambert’s but the airport has had their runway closed for repairs and then timed passed and I have been waiting for the appropriate time to throw down on some ribs and today was the day. What perfect ribs to wait for! They were seasoned unlike no other and I used very little BBQ sauce on the side because they were amazing with the dry rub. Also, they had the best sweet potatoe fries I’ve ever had, they were made with brown sugar, yum! I had never had fried corn on the cob before so I gave it a couple bites and decided although it’s not bad I needed to save the space for the amazing BBQ ribs instead. 🙂

Rob’s platter was beef brisket and pulled pork and was equally satisfied with his choice.

After the marathon of eating we had a good food coma nap and then headed to City Museum. This place is an interactive art playground with fun for all ages and they serve alcohol.

I put the wrestling moves on this same sumo statue back in 2008, this was round two. 🙂

One of the many slides.

Down the hatch!

Inside one of the buses that’s suspended. Rob makes a good angry bus driver. 🙂

Taking a break.

Every square inch of City Museum is covered in art and materials that have all been reused. Even the pillars in the cafe had tiny old toys in them.

There are petrified trees you can climb through.

Once again we never saw everything at City Museum so we will definitely be back!

A blurry picture of my lighter dinner at the hotel, cobb salad with no cheese, no bacon, no dressing.