race recaps, Uncategorized

Sycamore pumpkin 10k recap and weekly wrap up! 10/24-10/30

I am happy to report that last week I ran THREE times, did yoga once (hey, that’s a lot for this non-yogi) and did weights twice. Here’s a couple of my workouts:


We watched the Cubs take the pennant and have watched all the games since…and yes, I am very tired from staying up even later than I normally do, LOL!


My mini was sick with a low grade fever so we hunkered down and rested this weekend so she’d be better for Trick or Treating tonight. #priorities We did manage to carve pumpkins, which is SOOOOO not my thing (I am not a fan of Halloween in general, I know, bah humbug) but I put on my happy face for my youngest.  My oldest had no desire to carve pumpkins with us this year…her friends are more fun, ya know? The best part is that my hubby Facetimed us while we were carving pumpkins and having not been able to talk to him since the end of September, this MADE OUR NIGHT!!!!


I also ran my very first 10k (yes, I know I’ve ran 3 full marathons and I’ve lost count of half marathons) on Sunday and it felt great to be racing again (even though my pace wasn’t really fast, it was fast for me not running for several months and just starting back a couple weeks ago). The race was the Sycamore 10k pumpkin run and many people were dressed up in costume.  They had same day packet pick up, and a nice area for us to hang out inside while we waiting for the race to start.  The race went pretty well, despite some CRAZY winds the last 4 miles.  The first 2 miles were glorious as we ran through wooded neighborhoods.  The Fall colors were brilliant!  I was afraid if I stopped to take a picture I wouldn’t be able to stop again though, so I have only my memories to share with you, LOL.  But as we hit mile three and turned left to make the first turn of the loop, the wind literally smacked me in the face and I got a little nervous.  Would I be able to finish this race with this wind?  Ack…I kept positive though, thinking as soon as we turned the wind would ease up…I was wrong, it just blew you sideways, LOL…So I stopped to walk the 4 mile water stop, and walked for a good minute to catch my breath. I really wanted to finish the race strong.  So I slowed my pace, and just settled in. I saw my friend Mark at the 5ish mile marker, and he ran me in the last mile or so giving me encouragement and cheering me on.  It was just what I needed!  I finished in just over an hour (1:03) and for not having trained really (2 weeks of running) I was quite pleased.


Overall it was a pretty good week which will hopefully carry over in to my 6 day work week this week.

How was your week? Any races to report?  Do you like carving pumpkins/Halloween festivities?

Linking up with Holly at https://hohoruns.blogspot.com and Tricia at http://www.misssippipiddlin.com for the weekly wrap!





Deployment thoughts

My 2015 review

I’ve thought a lot about this last year.  I’ve truly changed, and for the better (in my opinion, and that is what counts, right?) if I may say so myself.  I went through and purged my blog of negative posts in the beginning of the year, realizing what a drag I was for SUCH a long time.

So I thought what fun would it be to highlight my POSITIVE posts for my year in review?

This post is where I beam with pride for my husband taking his first command position in the Army.  Now, as he prepares to deploy for a year I NEED to focus on this pride and not sadness.

My hero...
My hero…

And then there is this post, where I talk about my once hated birthday, and how I finally started to celebrate life and all the wonderful blessings I’ve been given.

As we hit the second month of the year, I found myself feeling sorry for myself as I caught my aging reflection in the mirror, and I spoke about the truth. And how important it is to BE TRUE to yourself and others always.

My world was barreled over and changed in the blink of an eye when on St. Patrick’s Day, my oldest daughter was in a life threatening car accident.  This post was (and still is) my most viewed post since the beginning of my blog.  (Thank goodness, she’s is A-OK and you’d never know the accident happened minus a couple scars).


What would a runner be, without thoughts about running the Boston Marathon?  I share my thoughts, here.

Here, on the eve of my Grandma’s Marathon 20 mile (SOLO) training run, I found myself on the crazy train, and I tell you what, it nearly derailed, ROFL!!!  note: I not only survived, but I ROCKED my last training run!

My current half marathon PR race can be found here, all full of tears and fun balled up in to a great big sweaty mess ROFL!!!!  Throw in a recipe for short ribs, and you’ve got a winning post, right?!  LOL

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!

My year in review wouldn’t be complete with out the recap of the race I trained nearly half the year for: The Grandma’s Marathon, in Duluth Minnesota.  I ran/walked this race with my sister, and I can honestly say it was one of the toughest races I’ve ever ran.  Guess what? It was also a life changing, relationship building and character testing event that I’ll never, ever, forget.

All. The. Beers!
All. The. Beers!

We headed to the beach in July, and I finally found where I believe home will be once the kids get a bit older.  We started out in Marco Island, but got rained out!  So my hubby saved the day, and the last 2 days we road tripped to Miami and I was instantly in love.  You can see our adventures in my picture post recap, HERE.


One of my favorite Friday Five posts can be found here.  I love it when you have an “Ah HA!” moment.

I ran my last official race in October, the Prairie State half marathon.  Check it out here!  It was all about fun, friends, and food that day and I had such a blast!

Happy Finishers
Happy Finishers

And then, the news came that my husband was deploying.  Overseas.  To an icky place.  For a year.  And some days, even now that I’ve had a couple months to digest the news, I find it very hard to even breathe. #sigh

So we made the most of our anniversary, knowing we’d be apart for our next.  And just writing that sentence brings more tears to my eyes.

Can you tell I like him just a little?
Can you tell I like him just a little?

Lastly, one of my favorite weekends of the year, every year, is our annual Christmas Staycation in Chicago.  This year we went all out, and it was AH. MA. ZING.

Us just before going in to the Lion King
Us just before going in to the Lion King

As I said, I learned so very much about myself this last year.  I hope and pray I have the continued strength to get through this next year on my own without my husband.  My girls need me.  My husband needs me to be strong for them.  I need to be strong for ME.

How was your year?  Did you meet all the goals you set for yourself?

Cheers to a great 2016!!  Thanks to you all for following along and supporting my journey!

❤ Michelle




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