Going the Extra Mile(s)

I thought John might strangle me mid race when we realized what we thought was a 5k turned into an 8k.

The Ronald McDonald road race was on Sunday, and the weather was absolutely perfect. Starting a run when it’s chilly and finishing when it’s just starting to warm up is racing perfection.

My brother and his family joined us for the race, and we all set off at the gun. Tony sprinted ahead while John and I found our groove among the crowd. Maneuvering a jogging stroller in that crowd was tough. As we approached mile three, John turned to me and said, “So, this isn’t finishing at the Ronald McDonald House?” A lady next to us interrupted and said, “It is.” I received a death glare from John because we were almost to mile three and nowhere near where we started.

As we ran beyond the third mile, John called it quits. He had been a great sport and simply said, “That’s what I signed up for. I did it. I’m done.” Elijah and I kept going. Beyond mile four I was honestly starting to worry. I saw people ahead of me turning off towards the right, farther away from where we started. It confirmed what I feared, we were on the half marathon route. Panic. I knew I couldn’t push the jogging stroller for 13.1 miles.

At the next corner, a woman on her phone rerouted me and a few other runners up the steep hill towards Carver Arena. Talk about an arm and leg workout! I rounded the corner towards the finish line and confirmed with my brother that neither of us had run a 5k. It turns out that only the very first runner was routed for the 5k, and everyone else followed the half marathon route.

All things considered, we didn’t do too bad. (Besides the fact that Colin fell out of the stroller while Ashley was pushing it!) Tony ended up being a top finisher, Elijah and I were in the top 12, and even John finished just a couple of minutes behind us.

Thankfully everyone was in good spirits about the mixup. No matter how many miles we ran, it doesn’t come close to the challenges the families face when they need help from the RMHC.

I’ll run the race again next year, but it might take more convincing for John to join me.

Alumni Basketball

John plays basketball two-three times a week depending on the season. Tuesdays and Saturdays are with a group from church, and Sunday nights are through a rec league just outside of town. He’d like me to mention that he recently won the championship with his rec league team.

Even though John rarely misses one of these opportunities to compete, I haven’t watched him play in over a year.

Saturday’s alumni basketball tournament back in our home town allowed for Elijah and me to cheer him on for multiple games.

Graduating classes created teams to compete against other classes. Each team member paid an entry fee, and all the proceeds went to the high school boys’ basketball program. It was fun to recognize faces and watch the young guys take on the “old” guys. John was admittedly pretty stiff and sore following three games.

John was supposed to play in the tournament last year, but we were spending every waking hour at the hospital with Elijah. This year, Elijah clapped for his dad, and he got mad when John was playing and ignoring him. It’s safe to say Elijah wants in on the action and won’t be sitting on the sidelines for long.

2016 Recap


Family Weekend Away


Baby Shower at School


Baby Shower with Family/Friends



Preparing for Baby W (and an updated photo)



Embracing March


Surprise Baby Shower at School


Elijah James 3.25.16

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The Biggest Test of Our Faith

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Rest and Recovery in the NICU for “God’s Miracle Man” and lots of Swaddles and Snuggles

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Bringing Elijah HOME!


A Minor Medical Setback



Baptism (on Mother’s Day)

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Our First Road Race



Celebrating 31 with this sweetheart!


Celebrating Six Years of Marriage


Meeting Miss Mollie



4th of July


Livin’ the Lodge Life


Vacation: Music City

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Standing by Mollie’s Side


EJW Community of Faith Scholarship


Healthy Check-Ups


Starting My Ninth Year Teaching

Another Road Race



Notre Dame Weekend


Flood Week


Celebrating SIX months



Raech’s Birthday/Wine Tour


Presenting at ITEC



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UIHC Children’s Hospital Open House




Turkey Trot 8k with Matt



Celebrating John


Christmas Blessings

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Thank you for being one of the many blessings in my life!

May 2017 offer you health and happiness.

Turkey Trot ’16

fullsizerenderMy brother Matt has a heart of gold.

When he found out about my limited training because of my recent leg procedures, he wanted to make sure I crossed the finish line.

I showed up to get my race packet Saturday morning, and he was standing in the school entryway, race bib pinned to his shirt. He was running with me.

I was nervous I would slow down Matt’s natural athletic ability. He let me set the pace, and we settled in for five miles. After running the first mile in
just over seven minutes, I knew I needed to slow img_4704down. Matt let me slow down to eight minutes miles, and we finished the race in 40 minutes.

My cousin Christy and her daughter ran the 4k through Lydia’s running club at school, and my parents joined John and Elijah to cheer.

It was the perfect start to a fall morning.

Thanks for being my rabbit, Matt!

Fall Running


Crisp air filling my lungs while leaves crunch beneath my feet help me take in my favorite running season one stride at a time.

It was a challenging work week. I spent all of my energy on things that did not directly impact my students’ learning, and that is frustrating! Too many meetings to count, quarter one grading, and “putting out lots of fires” kept me at school way too late each night. (Thanks to John for his extra energy at home all week!)

When the weekend hit, I was burned out. Thankfully, the gorgeous weather provided more than just sunlight to my life. Elijah and I took advantage of the empty trails. My legs hurt when we returned home, but my lungs felt strong and my mind was more centered.

I know this incredible weather won’t stick around forever, so this week gives me the opportunity for a new goal: Less time in my classroom, more time outside.

St. Matt’s 5k


Another road race is in the books for Elijah.

Our church festival included a 5k Saturday morning and my friend Jenni and I decided to break out the jogging strollers and support our parish.

Not many people participated in this event, so hopefully Elijah understands it might be the only time I bring home a 2nd place medal for us.


img_4339I really wanted to try paddle-boarding last summer, but Hawaii paddle boarding = surfing. The water was much too rough.

Since it was still on my bucket list, google helped me locate an opportunity while we were in Nashville.

This was the perfect intro to paddle-boarding because the tour guide img_4334picked us up downtown, drove us two+ miles downstream, taught us how to safely operate the board, and we were off. The guide joined us on our float and took photos of us from her board. Once we reached the city, we paddled over to a dock and they helped us load our boards for the next group.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone visiting Nashville, and I will absolutely paddle-board again.

Road Race Registered

IMG_0928One of my New Year’s resolutions includes running two road races this year. I am now preregistered for the Marion Arts Festival 5k. I’ve run the half marathon for this event three different times, and it’s one of the most organized road races. Plus, a start line minutes from home is hard to beat. I definitely recommend it.


The race is in May, so hopefully baby W and I can get some miles in before race day.

If you have an interest in registering for the 5k or half marathon, there is a discounted price until next week. Register Here!

Last year’s half recap.

Shamrock Series 5k

IMG_2186Call me crazy, but the Shamrock Series 5k was one of my favorite parts of the entire trip.

The sun was shining, the air was crisp, and the participants were almost all Irish fans. To top it all off, John came out of “running retirement” to join me. (The last race we ran together was the BIX7 in 2011.)

It would have pumped me up enough to have the Notre Dame fight song playing at the start, but the Shamrock Series did it right. The Notre Dame
IMG_2175-0Marching band was there to see us off, complete with the leprechaun leading the way. While most people associate the Notre Dame Fight Song with football games, it reminds me of the Notre Dame Sunburst Marathon four years ago. I was ready to run!

Past the Cheers Bar on Beacon St. IMG_2249and then down Commonwealth Avenue, the route was out-and-back. The turnaround took us close to Fenway, and the finish was back at the Boston Commons Park. This route was flat and offered gorgeous architecture. It was the perfect way to take in the city.

And if that wasn’t enough, check out the finisher’s medal.

As promised, we went straight to Dunkin Donuts for warm pastries and hot coffee as a reward.

Back On My Bike

After a procedure at the dermatologist, I was stitched up and told not to run for at least two weeks. Of course this came at the end of the summer, and I was beyond bummed to be told to “take it easy”.

IMG_1758I spent my last two weeks exercising on my Schwinn. It’s a basic bike I bought years ago, and most of the gears are now broken. I also couldn’t ride two days in a row because the seat is awful. Again, how do people ride RAGBRAI?

Even though these were not the workouts I wanted, I tried to ride leisurely and enjoy the routes. Sometimes I rode to the library to pick out a new book. Other days I rode the trails late in the evening when it was almost too cool to be out in shorts and a tank top.

It wasn’t how I wanted to spend my last weeks of summer, but it did encourage me to take things easy and enjoy the scenery.

Dr. John took the stitches out, and I enjoyed my first long trail run in awhile this morning. It was great to lace up my Brooks and work up a sweat. Unfortunately, I’ll be back for another procedure too soon, and the healing time period will begin again. They assure me they just have to take a little more. At least I’ll have some bike routes ready.