moving forward, Races

Medal Monday and recaps

This was our first race in three years , and the first half for my daughter.

We arrived to the expo Saturday and had a complete blast checking out the booths. Thankfully we were able to stay downtown, so we had a 0430 wake-up to get ready for the race. We walked down to the start and got in the corral. The excitement was truly tangible.

The first four miles were almost easy. Cool weather and low humidity helped the miles fly by. I had to take a bathroom break around mile four but thankfully took only 30 seconds or so. We took our huma chia gels and kept running.

At mile five or so we saw my best friend Kandice who while was supposed to run the race, wasn’t able to due to injury. She still came down to support us. So amazing.

I was feeling great until around mile 9. My ITB seized up and I had to stop to stretch several times. It was Sophia who motivated me. Seeing her in so happy kept me going and her runners high was priceless. She was high fiving spectators was so cool. I only wish I had taken more pictures. But it took everything I had to keep moving. Stopping wasn’t an option.

Kandice caught this video of us just before the finish.

We finished strong with negative splits, with a finish time of 2:41. It wasn’t my best race, but the finish line feels and feeling the sobs of pride while we hugged at the finish line is something I’ll never forget. I may not be the runner I used to be, but man it felt good to race again and share this with my family is truly priceless.

moving forward, Races, running

Racing well wishes!

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend. It’s been a year since I’ve done a half marathon and 5 years since I’ve done a full…but this quote was always something that hit home with me so I wanted to share it! Cheers and good luck!!

What’s your favorite distance to run? Are you racing this weekend?



moving forward, race recaps, Races

Disney wine and dine half marathon.

While I can’t give a huge recap of the race from my phone, I do want to share about the race since it’s been almost a month and I’ve not written about it. It was an amazing weekend from expo to finish and my only complaint is that they didn’t have a plan B for the after party that got rained out. Regardless my husband and I had a blast and finished despite not properly training for the race. Here’s the weekend in pictures!!

We did it!! While it was my slowest half marathon to date (2:48ish) it was one of the most fun races I’ve run. And even better I got to do it with my hubby.



race recaps, Races

First “race” in two years.

Two years ago my husband was deployed to Iraq. Needless to say my running/racing days came to a screeching halt. I did run a 10k in the fall of 2016, but that was my last organized run/race.

So when my girlfriend Kandice asked me to run the “Whiskey Joe’s 5k” with her, I jumped at the chance. We agreed we’d only be running for fun, and she has a goal to run the entire thing. I had no time goal in mind so I told her I’d love to run the whole thing together.

We arrived to the race early, and watching the sky change colors as the sun began to rise was amazing. I may hate mornings but I do love a good sunrise. The race was seamless and we finished in around 40 minutes and she ran the whole thing! I was so proud of her. We sat on the beach and enjoyed our complementary beer, and then had a yummy brunch together. (we’re still doing Keto-so I skipped the English muffin, lol)

Here are a few pics from our day!

How was your weekend? Do you have any races coming up?



Races, running, Uncategorized

Bite the bullet

Last night I went to dinner with my running friends to celebrate my friend Christine’s birthday. I hadn’t seen most of these friends since before my husband left back on my birthday. In January. Sigh. 

When you’re not running, training and/or racing it’s hard to keep in touch. Of course I’m thankful for social media and texting etc. but it’s not the same as physical interaction. So to sit with these awesome people for two hours made my day. It also made the fire for running burn again in my belly. They are all doing a 10k next weekend and encouraged me to sign up. 

And you know what? I couldn’t sign up fast enough. I’ve not run a single race this year. And that sucks. Of course my priorities are elsewhere right now. But I need to make time for me too before I internally combust.

So first thing this morning I signed up. 

Yay!!  This fueled me to run tonight. I ran FOUR miles after work today with my mini. She scootered along with me!!

We finished the day with a yummy salad. And what makes this even better is that it was my mini’s idea. Kale, romaine hearts, red onions and grilled steak topped with blue cheese crumbles and a little oil and vinegar. 

How was your day? Ever bite the bullet and sign up for a last minute race?




Prairie State 2015 half marathon race recap!

I went into this race with NO expectations other than to finish, and most importantly HAVE FUN.  Those that have been reading for a while, know I took a good 6 week break from distance running after the Grandma’s Marathon in June.  This break wasn’t due to injury, but for personal reasons and a few weeks ago I decided it was time to get back at it.  I’ve done this race in the past back in 2013 so I decided as long as I beat my time of 2:14 (you can read the recap-HERE), I’d be happy.

A couple of my friends were also doing this race, which was an added bonus!  They invited me to join them for the 1 hour commute north to Libertyville, IL.  YAY!  We met up at Jitka’s house at 6 a.m. and headed north.  The trip was uneventful other than the cold front came through causing some pretty serious fog.  The sunrise was AMAZING tho…


The racing Gods must’ve been smiling upon us because everything worked out perfectly.  We had to park in a parking lot about 15 minutes from the start line and get bussed to the race.

bus bus2

We got to the race with about 30 minutes to spare, and thank goodness because the porta pottie line was LONG.

Crazy long lines with MAYBE 20 stalls.
Crazy long lines with MAYBE 20 stalls.

We made it just in time to pee, hug, and get into our respective areas in the shoot.  Jitka was going for a PR so they made their way to the 7 mm area, and I headed back to the 9:30 pace group where I normally feel the most comfortable.

start start2startingshoot

We started promptly on time (yet I wonder how many people were late as the bus situation proved to be quite a hassle for those that arrived later than we did…) and I felt great.  It was around 45 degrees with a slight breeze and I was thankful I had on my arm sleeves and a throw away sweatshirt.  After about a mile and a half, I tossed my sweat shirt and took off.  And took off I did-WAY TOO FAST having my miles be in the low 9’s.  This is FAST for me mind you, and by mile 5 or so I started to get a side stitch…no matter what I did, it was there, but I kept trucking along.  I saw my sister right before the turn around point which truly lifted my spirits and distracted me from the pain in my ride side.

My sister got this pic, love it!
My sister got this pic, love it!

By mile 10, I decided I need to walk it off, so I walked for a good 3-4 minutes.  Thank goodness, because mile 11-12 were all slightly at an uphill incline which totally kicked me in the tail.  The last mile I kicked it up, and it felt great knowing I was almost finished.  My buddy Mark ran me in, and this was AFTER pacing Jitka to a PR of 1:37, AND second place in her age group…AMAZING!!!

Happy Finishers
Happy Finishers

Last push!
Last push!

All in all, it was a great race with a few tough miles. I finished in 2:08:06, and keep in mind Dickson Chumba won the Chicago Marathon yesterday with a time of 2:09:25, ROFL…Sure puts it all into perspective, doesn’t it?  LOL!!!

We finished the day with my favorite post race drink-a Bloody Mary!  We also enjoyed a yummy lunch, and then headed home.


lunch lunch2

I come out of this experience reminded of my true passion and love for running, as well as an appreciation for my friends that love me, well, even when I am not the easiest person to love.  A cool little fact, is that I met Jitka at this race 2 years ago, and we’ve been friends ever since!  ❤

How were your races this weekend?  Did you do anything fun with friends or family? What’s your favorite post race meal?

Have a great week!!

❤ Michelle

Races, Recipes, Sunday Supper

Great Western Trail half marathon race recap with a recipe

I preface this post with the fact that I have only been working on speed every so slightly, once or twice each week on short runs in the last few months, and that I am an idiot for not being completely thrilled with my PR. 

I’ve done this race now three times, and was excited to possibly break my course record of 2:01, as well as maybe crush that good ole sub 2 goal I’ve had for the last several years.  The weather was nearly perfect at the start, with the temps in the low 60’s and a nice breeze. I was giddy as I got to hang out with Wendy from Taking the long way home, as well as the fact that this was my first race of 2015.

With that, I took off too fast, and only was able to hang with Wendy momentarily.  But I felt GREAT so heck, I was going to give it my all. “The faster you run, the faster you are done” rang sweetly in my head along with “Slow down you idiot or you’ll burn out!!”  I honestly could picture my PR/Sub 2 the entire race, and gave it my ALL.  I tried my best to keep my pace at or below 9:09, only faltering on that goal for a couple separate miles.  But as the temperature rose, and the sun came out in full force I could feel my head throb and hands swell by mile 11.  The spectators and volunteers were amazing, and after a couple high fives from some VERY cute little dudes I picked it back up.

But then, there’s that last mile of the Great Western trail half marathon that isn’t for the faint of heart or weak of mind.  It will take everything you have, and more to get through the winding hills, and never ending trail that seemingly is about to end…but then it doesn’t.  I pushed, feeling as if I was going to pass out, and then pushed some more.  I crossed the line with an official time of 2:00:11.  And I cried.  Sobbed nearly as big sweaty, salty tears stung my eyes.

And then I got mad, for not being happy that I got a PR, and that I finished strong WITHOUT passing out.  My awesome friends were there to hold me up, and celebrate with me all I had accomplished and I am so very thankful I didn’t feel sad for very long.

A huge shout out to the Fox River trail runners, the race organizers, volunteers and spectators.  I love this race! (Minus that last mile, lol)

Teri from Reinventitude, Wendy from Taking the long way home, and Karen from Trading in my Heels ❤

This pic, truly says it all.  Thanks to Dave Sheble from the Fox Valley Marathon for capturing it!
This pic, truly says it all. Thanks to Dave Sheble from the Fox Valley Marathon for capturing it! What AM I doing with my hand, though?

I finished my day by prepping/cooking Sunday Supper.  Tonight’s theme was Asian inspired. I even got my mandolin out, and if you recall from my Christmas post the mandolin and I got in a fight.  I decided to tackle my fears.  Heck, if I could PR in this heat, I can use a mandolin right? Mandolin 1-Michelle 1!

My husband is just hilarious, right?  LOL
My husband is just hilarious, right? LOL

Asian inspired short ribs

What you’ll need:

Short ribs (we used beef, but pork is fine too)-season with kosher salt and pepper and set aside


1 cup of low sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup of chili garlic sauce

2 cloves of garlic-grated

Fresh ginger-grated

Juice of 2 limes

Fresh cilantro, finely chopped

5-6 green onions, chopped-use all of white, and some of the green

Drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil and mix well.  Pour over your ribs and let refrigerate for a couple hours.

Bake the ribs for about an hour (covered) at 325 degrees.  I might try lowering the temp next time, but they were amazing.  I served with ginger infused mashed sweet potatoes and a fennel, green apple and baby bok choy salad.  YUM!


Did you race or run this weekend?  Any new recipes in your rotation? How do you handle missing your goals?

Have a great week, y’all!!  It’s time to retire to the couch!