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.

Shamrock Shoes

These shoes sold out as soon as they hit the market. Thankfully my husband knows his way around shoe sites, and he found a pair available and in my size.

My feet and shins are picky when it comes to running shoes. Remember the bleeding toenails and shin splints when training for marathons? Brooks has been a better fit for me the last couple of years. The fact that these shoes were designed by Brooks in the Launch style was a sign they would be a perfect replacement for my old running shoes. I couldn’t resist.

They even say “Kiss Me, I’m a Runner” inside!

They arrived just in time for St. Patrick’s Day!

Thanks for helping me “up my shoe game”, John!

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!

This week…

I’m running the five mile Turkey Trot. This has been a fitness goal of mine since I had Elijah. I love this race. The distance, the cool weather, and the starting line just a short drive from my front door make it my favorite road race.

Having this annual race on my mental calendar helped motivate me postpartum.

Two weeks ago, I went to the dermatologist to have another biopsy taken from a “moderately abnormal mole”. They took the mole a month ago and were ready to go back bigger and deeper. I have had this done so many times that I figured I would be able to run through the healing. Nope. Once the numbing meds wore off, I was in a lot of pain. I couldn’t sleep. Two nights of parent/teacher conferences and being on my feet extra long added to the discomfort.

I know the pain was a small price to pay for the clean bill of health I received. I know. I know.

However, I’m still bummed I haven’t been able to run. The first biopsy took me out for two weeks while those stitches healed and now another two weeks set me within days of the race.

John took my stitches out last night, and I hope to lace up my tennis shoes before Saturday morning. This race is 100% relying on




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.

My Running Buddy

img_3535Saturday was the Marion Arts Festival 5k and Half Marathon. I had yet to run 3.1 miles with the jogging stroller, but I was up for the challenge. It just doesn’t get any better than a road race minutes from home.

It was cold when I woke up, so I bundled Elijah up and covered him in blankets. We were off!

He fell asleep at the starting line. He slept the entire race, even over the bumpy gravel on the trail. I couldn’t have asked for a better running buddy, and people were so encouraging. Runner’s are the nicest people. Am I right?!

The weather warmed as we finished the race, and it img_3529was the perfect morning to stick around and cheer Katie on to the finish of the half marathon. She rocked it!

Over 1000 people participated in the road races, and we even witnessed a marriage proposal at the finish line.

Elijah proved to be a great running companion, and I’m already looking up future races to enjoy with him.


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.

Pregnancy Running

Running is about so much more than physical fitness. It is my stress release and my escape. When the weather is nice enough to run outside, it fills my lungs with fresh air and the sunshine warms my cheeks. It’s a gift.

I’ve worked hard to make running a part of my weekly routine. It doesn’t happen daily due to other commitments, but it is something I set aside time for each week. Because of this, my body is in good enough shape to handle the physical elements of running. When I found out I was expecting, I kept running. My doctor said I could do anything I could do before, but I needed to slow the pace. I was relieved to hear that I didn’t have to give up my road therapy. My goal was to keep running as long as I could and then switch over to walking.

At 25 weeks, I was still running. Over the weekend, I ran my typical loop to the trail and back. I had no intentions of running that far, but it was so nice out for being December 5th. My body wanted to keep going because the future holds snow filled sidewalks and me back on my treadmill.

Fast forward to the afternoon after that long run, and I was a new kind of sore. The pain was enough to make me do some research, and it’s apparently a pretty common problem for pregnant runners from 25 weeks forward. While I assumed I’d have increasing pain throughout my pregnancy and decrease the milages with the weeks, this does not seem to be the case. Every article and comment I read indicated that my issue was normal. One run is enough to trigger pain that can last the rest of the pregnancy if not handled correctly.

I’m working with my physical therapist and doing my best to treat the issue. He suggests prenatal yoga. As for pregnancy running, I’m pretty disappointed it’s over.