Sunday, November 17, 2013

Road ID

Road ID - Because you never know.  No one plans to have an accident while out running, biking, or whatever it is you like to do.  How many times have you been driving along and see another driver distracted, whether on their phone, yelling at their children, or just plain not paying attention?  Road ID is having a holiday sale until November 24th with 10-60% off.  I personally have 2 interactive ID's myself; one sport, and one slim wrist.  The sport was my 1st, and I still love it, but needed a new band, so I just ordered one for less than $4.  I chose interactive because my information may change, and a lot more information can be obtained quickly.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

What to do with those race bibs?!

My bib collection a few months ago

I've been pondering this question for about a year, and the number of race bibs I collect keeps growing (which by no means is bad!).  24 race bibs just sitting in my office.  My favorite idea would be to transfer the bibs onto fabric and incorporate them into a quilt, but alas 24 bibs is a lot, but probably only a fraction of a quilt!  So until I have enough bibs for my quilt here are a couple of ideas I liked:

Do it yourself bib coasters

Wine Bottle Stoppers

Racer Wall Frames

DIY Wall Plaques

Bibs hanging from a hook 

I also stumbled across a photo book that had a copy of the bibs with race photos that was pretty neat!  It was probably made on a site similar to Shutterfly.  I do also love these Mile 22 bags, but at $175 I think I will have to pass! I did see a DIY version of it, but I wasn't impressed.

Do you have any creative ways to display your bibs?!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Run 10 Feed 10 Route

Alright friends, I have the Run 10 Feed 10 fun run route planned!  6.18 miles (you can keep running downhill to get that .02 in)  We will be running from Bail's Watering Hole, Sunday, September 29th at 10am.  Please bring your own hydration.  If you are not much of a runner please feel free to stop by, if you walk 10 steps and help us raise money for FEED we all win.  This is a fun run, and if you wish to get Women's Health swag you may register at or go to

Can't make it but would like to help out? You can donate at

Thank you all for your help!!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Color Me Rad 5 k

I had so much fun volunteering at Color Me Rad this weekend! Color Me Rad is a 5k color run/walk where colored corn starch in powder or liquid form is thrown onto you at "color stations" along the course (typically every kilometer).

Friday night I made my way up to Madison to hang out with a friend, but then 6:30 in the morning came entirely too soon. Luckily I was pretty close to the Alliant Energy Center and was able to make it there by 7. Once parked I engaged in some light conversation with some other volunteers as we made our way to Willow Island. Once checked in we started to blow up beach balls for the event, and did some various tasks.  They started to split us up into our areas, but there wasn't anyone else there for "start line ropers" so I joined in with color station 1.

We walked down to our station and started our set-up of a plastic tarp, flags, and 25 pound boxes of powder color. We were set up fairly quickly and had some time to kill; so we started chatting amongst ourselves. I chatted with Brooke and Tierney; whom didn't have other friends at our station. There were also a pair of younger girls, a group of 3 friends, a mother/daughter pair, and our station set-up guy at the station.

After an hour of waiting it was finally event time. Shortly after 9 am the first wave of runners started to come through.  We had been told that there were about 8,000 runners, so be sure not to throw huge fist fulls out.  We were also told that there were going to be runners whom thought it was their goal to beat everyone, which there were, and it was pretty funny to see them run through.

Because we were the first color station we were busy! The crowd hadn't had a chance to spread out much yet, so when we got the waves of people we were grabbing color and throwing it on people as fast as we could! 10 minutes or so later the wave was through, and we had a few minutes to regroup and open more boxes of color. Even though we were practically covered in purple after our first wave we felt the need to throw more purple onto each other, and get our set up guy, as he looked too clean.

The waves kept coming from 9-10:15, and we continued to throw color and started to sweat causing our purple to split into blue and pink streaks on our faces. I looked pretty scary by the time all participants came through! After everyone had come through we started our clean-up and I headed out. I hadn't planned really well for throwing color, so I didn't have much in my car to contain the mess. I sat on a reusable bag, and scrubbed my face with antibacterial wipes, yet I still looked pretty silly! I even ventured to the mall to help my friend pick out glasses before she laughed at me and gave me her apartment keys to shower. 2 days later I still have a pink scalp, but it was definitely worth it.  I had the best time volunteering!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

50 Reasons to Exercise

I'm fairly certain it happens to us all, we get into a slump and don't feel like we want to go workout.  Here is a fun motivating list I ran across tonight to remind us all (including myself) some of the reasons we exercise.  What are your reason(s)?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Run 10 Feed 10

Who likes discounted races? I do!  Here is a code for 10% off of a Run Your Own Run 10 Feed 10 race:    WHSCHAAPV

Why should you sign up?
 Feed raises money for children in our country who don't know where their next meal is coming from.  You get a cool Feed bag and shirt while helping out a great cause. AND, you get a free one year subscription to Women's Health magazine!

Check out the promo video here 

If you aren't much of a runner you can always join team Wisconsin to fund raise for this great cause.  Donate to my page, or create your own.  



Monday, July 1, 2013

Women's Health Run 10 Feed 10

I am excited to announce that I have been chosen as a Women's Health Run 10 Feed 10 Action Hero!  I will be working with Women's Health to set up a local informal race in WI.  If you do sign up for a Run 10 Feed 10, please comment your name below so I can get credit for recruiting you!

The details are still being ironed out, but you will be able to help by either donating to my page, setting up your own fundraising page (look for the WI group), or signing up to run with me!

My fundraiser link is below:

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Some pics from last night/ this morning

Kim before Colin took off running
Nathan in Helensville
Laurie flashing us :o)
This dude wears some short shorts!!

Nathan taking off on his run

Good morning!

Leg #3 into Kenosha, 11 miles done!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Van tagging, short shorts, being a bum, and Jen coming in for the graham crackers!

Tagging a van

Being a bum under the bridge
Skelly running by the van
Teddy Graham refueling station

Ready to go!

Fun with friends and running

Steve doing some country running
Laurie and I
She loves permanent marker temp tattoos
State Farm road and our State Farm rep

Body glide on foreheads, kissy faces and exchnages :-)

No one likes chafing, glide up!
Laurie gives me a face, lol
Exchange time

Exchange 2

Laurie passing off to Colin
Heading to the van

Ragnar Chicago leg 1 done!

Had a nice 8.9 mile run with a new friend Kathryn from Chicago. I'm glad I made a new friend, she kept me paced and made the miles go by quicker. We started our run at 11am, so we were running in the middle of the day with little shade. Only 2 legs left!! :-)  and 190 miles hehe.

Six Shades of Ultra is about to get started!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Sundown Dash 2013

It's that time of year again, I am doing 50 things at once and planning the Sundown Dash :o)  The Sundown Dash is a 5k run held on the last Wednesday night of July this year (July 31st). The same as last year we are working to raise funds for Chasing Chad, a great local organization that raises money for brain cancer research.  The route this year will be the same flat, out and back course with chip timing! Although, the race does have an option to not be timed. I'd love to see a turnout like last year, so get registered here! Or e-mail me with any questions on here or at

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Road to the Wisconsin Marathon

Two days later, I am still in disbelief that I ran 26.2 miles.  I never thought that I would do one, and had my doubts after facing a knee injury that kept me from double digit runs for 4-5 weeks.  Thankfully 5 weeks ago I was able to get back into double digit runs without any pain.  I was able to get in 18 and 20 mile training runs in the following weeks with the support of some awesome friends.  The next two weeks were taper time already, with shorter runs of 12 miles, 5 miles at Crazy legs, and a 4 mile on Sunday, per the advice of Aaron "It is better to be over rested".  The taper weeks held their own challenges as this seemed to hurt, or that seemed tweaked, when it was probably just me getting inside of my own head.  Friday rolled around and it was time to head to Kenosha.  Aaron, Laurie, and Mike picked me at around 1, and we headed out.  We checked into their hotel, spent some time browsing the Kenosha Prime outlets, then headed over to my hotel for packet pick-up, and check-in.  Then we headed over to Hu Hot for dinner.  After my experience eating rich pasta at the Hot Chocolate 15k, I decided it best to avoid an excessive amount of pasta and tried to load up on veggies.  Around 6pm my mom and younger sister Caitlin met us at the restaurant, then we stopped at Panera so they could eat, GFS for some bottled water, then headed to the Best Western. However, I told my mom we were at the Best Western Harborside, but she had put in the wrong address, so we laughed as I told her we were in the wrong place.  We made our way to the correct hotel, got settled, and then headed down to the packet pick-up again to meet Britten and Dixie.  Britten asked if I could braid her hair, so they came back to the room, and we chatted for a bit.  They left, then I got all of my running gear in order for the big day.  I plugged my iPod and Garmin watch in, pinned Hammer gel to my fuel belt, picked out my socks, thought about which headband I wanted to wear, and gave my  mom and sisters items I thought I may need.  Eventually I settled down with an issue of Runner's World, which had some great advice on staying positive. As expected, I slept alright, but got up a few times to turn up the heat or just because.

Some of the ASR group
Finally 5:30 am arrived, and it was time to get up!  I got up and dressed, and fought back some nerves.  I waited for my mom and sister to get ready, as I ate some leftover pizza, and then a peanut butter sandwich when I didn't think my stomach was going to handle the pizza very well that day. Then we went down to the continental breakfast for a little bit, and met a Marathon Maniac, Chris, who was on his 3rd Marathon in 3 weeks (I don't think that many marathons consecutively is ever a good idea!).  We chatted for a few minutes, then mom, Caitlin and I made our way to the start line to find the ASR group.  We took a couple of pictures, and wished each other luck, then made our way to the start area by our anticipated pace.

Mile 4, downtown Kenosha
Last year I started too far back between 9-10 minute miles, so this year I started at the back of the 8 minute mile group.  We observed a moment of silence for Boston, the star spangled banner was sung, and then the count down to race start, with a man who simply said, "GO". Since I was in the 8 minute area there were probably a few hundred runners in front of me, so it was slow to get to the actual start line.  We started to jog a little, but then slowed down to a walk, but was able to start out at a nice easy pace.  The minute I crossed the start line I had a feeling that I really needed to pee!  I told myself to keep running and it would go away.  Thankfully, by mile 3 it did go away, and I started to get into my groove. My plan for the marathon was to keep between a 9:15-9:30 minute mile the first half and see where I was at for the 2nd half.  I did pretty well maintaining this goal for the first 4 miles, but then I sped up for miles 5-10 to around a 9:10.  I think I just got excited when I was seeing my friends on the course (Aaron, Steve, Dixie, Britten, Gary, Jennifer, Aimee, and Mike).  I ran with Mike, who was running the half, for a bit, and gave him some advice to stop looking at his watch and asked him how much steam he had left.  He said a lot, so I told him at 10 miles he needed to pick up his pace for the next 3 miles, but I needed to maintain pace.  Around 10 miles he took off as I told him to.

The course was mostly an out and back for the half marathon with a split at mile 11.5.  Luckily I was still feeling great around 11.5 so I didn't even attempt to cut it short.  I was still feeling pretty good into miles 12 and 13 but knew that my pace had slowed.  I had planned to take a Hammer Gel vanilla at 6, 12, 18, and 24. I took my gel at 6 and 12, but didn't get the same boost I had gotten at 6, but I knew my mom and sister were supposed to be at 16, so I told myself to push for 3-4 miles.  I rounded the corner around 13.5 miles and there were my mom and sister!  Caitlin ran up to me, and I exchanged water bottles with her, took half of my half peanut butter sandwich, and asked for an extra Hammer gel.  Caitlin ran back to my mom and sprinted barefoot back to me to hand-off my gel as I reached back. We had to have looked ridiculous, but I loved it!

At this point I just listened to my music and kept moving my legs.  I had some Clif Shot blocks to alternate with my gel, so I picked mile marks in between gel, and told myself just 2 more miles, or 1 more mile until shot block time!  I took a couple of shot blocks around 16, and told myself only 2 miles until gel time!  Miles 14.5-18 were pretty tough as they were on mostly gravel roads.  Somewhere in there I saw Aaron, and he was asking thumbs up or down, and I gave him the thumbs up!  Around 18.5 we were finally back on some pavement.  I could see the 19 mile marker with a timing mat, and I was thankful for that timing mat, because I saw a guy cut out around 15 miles, and I was going to be very angry if he also got a medal that I got and he did not run the whole thing!  A quarter mile later I was making the turn to head back, and remember a friendly volunteer and blow-up cow sitting there.  Just after I crossed the mile 19 marker I saw Deanna.  I was quite shocked to see her because I figured she was ahead of me. Seeing the familiar faces seemed to help me out.  I got a 2nd, or 3rd, or 4th wind and started to pick my pace back up slightly.  By mile 20 I literally said to myself "hmm, I don't think this is so bad!" There was no self talk about how I was never doing this again, only positive thoughts.  Soon after I think I passed the multi-marathoner I had met that morning, he was walking. On mile 22 I remember feeling fantastic and passing probably 4 or 5 people who were spaced out.

Super Cheerleader and Videographer Caitlin
Then there was mile 23... my runner's high diminished some, and my body started to give in.  My IT band was feeling a little bit of discomfort.  I had read that the mind is the greatest tool that you have in your last 6 miles, so I decided to test that theory.  I briefly closed my eyes and imagined the weight of my body being lifted.  Basically, I pictured myself being lifted up into a bubble, and you know what, it worked, so think I'm crazy if you must :o) I was able to pick up my pace for mile 24 over mile 23's pace, but then mile 25 was my slowest mile of the race.  The spectators and volunteers on the course were truly awesome.  I think after mile 20 they knew that we (the runners) needed them.  There was nothing but encouragement and "you are looking great", "home stretch", "keep it up, shoulders relaxed" and "you rock", along with humorous signs.  Mile 26 had 3 race photographers, so I made sure to smile, wave, or give a thumbs up to each, so I hope I get some good shots!  At 26.1 as I rounded the final stretch I saw my mom to the left, screaming "yea Kayla!" so I knew it was time to kick it into high drive.  I moved my legs as fast as they would go to finish out that .1 as I passes people.  I crossed the finish line, looked to my right and see Caitlin with two cell phones held up, which I was assuming that she was taking pictures on both; nope, even better, she took pictures, and a video!  In the video you can see the moment that I spotted her because I have a big ole grin on my face!  Overall it was a fantastic day, and I'm glad that some friends and family could share it with me.

Mom and I

May 4th, 2013

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Taper time

The miles have been run, the injuries overcome, and I feel like a bum!  That means that it is taper time.  It's hard to believe that it was 4 or so months ago that I started to plan running a marathon.  Overall the training had its up's, then a few large downs, and has been back on the up, with a few bobbles here and there.  Post knee injury I have been trying to be very careful and pay attention to what my body is telling me.  I felt a small twitch in my foot again a week ago, so I taped it overnight, and it felt great the next day, and I haven't felt much knee pain if any on any runs lately.  This taper stuff is hard, I want a big confidence boosting run, but I know that the rest of the runs (Thursday) should just be easy.  It's hard going into the weekend knowing that you want to run 26.2 miles, but it has been 2 weeks since you've had a really long run.  I feel like my confidence comes and goes, a lot of friends have been telling me that I am ready, and I will do great, but right now my nerves may be winning.  Today I got my e-mail with the race details and I was instantly anxious. I need to tell myself that I have my plan in place, I've done my training, and hope it is enough to get my 26.2.  I mean after all, you run the first 10k first, and follow it up with a nice 20 miler ;o)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Sidelined by injuries

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that injuries suck, but I am going to anyhow!  7 weeks into my marathon training I hit a huge roadblock.  At the end of week 6 I ran 10 miles on the track, which irritated my knee with all of the turning, but I worked through it not thinking much of it.  Wednesday I ran 4 miles, Thursday I ran 5 miles, Saturday I ran 7 miles, and by Sunday my knee was pretty much done, but I pushed to 15 miles.  Pushing through an injury is not the way to go.  My mileage was pretty much at a halt for 4 weeks.  I did try to be smart and rest, but I still kept testing the waters which lead to a minimal 4.5 mile running week followed by a 1.6 mile week.  The third week off was a little bit better with a few 4 mile runs, but still disheartening when you are "only" running a couple of miles when your marathon training partners are building and running 17-19 miles.  I kept the miles low, and then 3 weeks ago it was push or pull back time. 

With the Wisconsin Marathon 6 weeks away I needed to get back to double digit runs, or I would be dropping down to the half marathon for sure.  I got up early on Sunday and met with my ASR friends, and we headed out Mineral Point for our run.  Fortunately for me I had my friend Nathan to run and chat with.  Coming back from an injury and marathon training together are an interesting thing.  In marathon training you are training not only your body, but also your mind. In any given run perhaps I feel a minor tick or twinge, but it usually is not anything to warrant stopping.  In marathon training I am mentally preparing myself to keep going through perhaps pain, but where do you draw the line and stop?  In my 10 mile run I felt fantastic up until about the 9 mile mark, when my knee became slightly painful.  I also felt that perhaps it hurt more because I was consciously tracking how it was doing so I didn't overexert it. 

Fast forward to last weekend when I was in Minneapolis, I just went out to get lost for 14-16 miles.  A few times I felt a slight pull in my knee, but nothing more so I kept going.  This time instead of inventorying my knee constantly I focused on maintaining proper running form and engaging my quadriceps if I felt any twinges.  So what else did I do while not running?  I decided to focus on swimming when my mileage was low, as well as hip strengthening.  The hip strengthening exercises are really simple.  While standing I place my resistance band either around my thighs or calves and do abductors to the side, front leg lifts, and back leg lifts concentrating the movement from the hips.

I hope that if you read this perhaps you will be more cautious if you feel an injury coming on.  Happy running! 

Monday, April 1, 2013

My new Team ASR shirt I got tonight for mentoring the 10k program. I am proud mentor tonight; my mentees ran their first mile all the way through, then we walked for a minute, and  ran until the next mile marker. I'm so proud of them :-)  

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Run While You Can

Happy Valentines Day, I think? Yes, it is, because I was able to get out tonight and run the fastest 5 miles I have ever run. For this I am thankful.

7 years ago, my Grandma was in the hospital recovering from surgery when my Grandpa left to but her flowers for Valentines day. Upon his return he was devastated to find that she had passed away.

So what I want to say, but am having a hard time finding the words for is: run and do the things that you love while you can, there will be a time when you cannot; love those around you, and tell them, not just today, but every chance you get. I am thankful for all of my running (and non running) Valentines tonight. You all push me to be better <3

Sunday, January 27, 2013

13 miles to go

As you may know I started my marathon training January 1st for the Wisconsin Marathon May 4th, so I am currently at the end of week 4 training.  For the past few weeks my mileage has been hovering around 24 miles or so, but this week I got to up the mileage.  On Saturday I had a 6 mile race pace run on the schedule.  I went out by myself with a plan to stay around a 9:30, I have a really hard time achieving my "normal" race pace of about a 9 minute mile.  So the plan was to go out to Wright Road and just run the neighborhoods and check out some houses.  Running alone is never ideal, but I seemed to find my groove around the 3.3 mile mark, and started to kill it.  I ran the next 3 miles around an 8:53 pace, which is pretty fast for me.  Another reason I feared my 13 miler today.  By 7pm on Saturday my legs were already feeling sore.  I suppose tiring your legs out the day before a long run is actually the plan so you are used to running on tired legs, but I was not thrilled about it. 

This morning I decided I better suck it up, and go meet my friends at ASR.  I am so thankful that I did.  Although the plan was the hills in Oakhill Cemetery and back to ASR for 8 miles.  I was running with Dustyn, and we both decided we were not feeling the hills, so we made our way out of the cemetery and down to Riverside to run.  We did have one big hill down there, but I didn't mind too much.  We made our way back towards downtown on the path and headed towards the bus station for a little bit of extra mileage.  I'm glad I had someone to run with and keep me going.  On our way down Jackson we saw Maria and Andrea on their way out for more miles, they were the only other ones doing more than 8 miles, I asked where they were going, and decided to jump in with them.  I ran miles 8, 9, and half of 10 with them, until my turnaround point.  Maria joked that I might as well just keep going with them for 17.  I said no thanks and started to make my way back. When I hit mile 11 I felt a small surge of confidence, I COULD do this.  I had been contemplating with myself scaling back to the intermediate mileage for the week, which was 11.  At mile 12 I knew I could do it.  My ankle felt tweaked but it didn't matter I was going to run 13.1 miles in less time than my first half marathon.  This may not feel like a huge deal, but it is to me, I am about 5 minutes from being a sub 2 half marathon, which is one of my goals for this year. 

I can't express how awesome it feels knowing that I had an almost 20 mile weekend, and I feel great!  I can't wait to keep going.  Thanks so much to my running and non-running friends for their support.  13.36 down, 12.84 to go :o)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2012 in review

As we close out 2012 I can't help but consider my goals, and accomplishments from the past year.  I set out at the beginning of 2012 with races every month from May until August, and even surpassed that.  The year started out in Florida with Ragnar Relay Florida Keys, which I met some truly amazing people.  I did not know anyone on the team, but walked away with 11 new friends.  You can read about my experience (here).

It was in February that some friends finally convinced me to take on 13.1 again in May.  In March my miles started to climb with back-to-back weekends with 10 mile runs.  It was also in March that I started my project of planning the Sundown Dash (a local 5k to benefit Chasing Chad).

April brought new experiences.  I visited NYC, and was able to run through Central Park from my hotel a mile or less away.  I loved the juxtaposition of the trees and baseball diamonds with the buildings, I had to stop and take a picture.  At the end of April I ran Crazy Legs in Madison, with a PR time 6 minutes faster than the previous year.

May 5th I trekked over to Kenosha for the Wisconsin Marathon with Jessica, and stayed with her, Aaron and Laurie.  The weather was dreary, but that is where I achieved my PR Half Marathon time of 2:00:24.  Yes, I was a little disappointed to be 24 seconds over 2 hours, but there is always 2013 to get it done!  Mid May Elizabeth and I decided to head over to Racine to do the Color Run.  It was a lot of fun, we ran together, and I especially liked the color throw at the end.  It was hard to breath with all of the colored corn starch, but it looked really cool.  In fact, my skin was colored pink and purple in some areas for a few days from it!  After the race we found the helpful hints of what to do before the race to avoid this.  Of course the fun did not stop there, I signed up for triathlon training with my friend Elizabeth.  We had both done a triathlon previously, but I was less than thrilled with my first triathlon experience.

Triathlon training continued into June, and my team "Green Machine" and I ran Ragnar Relay Chicago.  The great thing about this team was how well everyone got along, and a couple of my teammates from Ragnar Key West were able to join us.  Unfortunately I had a case of severe dehydration and/or electrolyte imbalance and felt terrible after my first leg.  In fact my teammates were pretty worried about me going out for my 7.7 mile run.  Just before my run I ate a banana and drank coconut water, and was off to a shaky start, but quickly felt better once I got moving and pulled out some fast miles for me: 8:47, 8:44, 8:55, 9:02, 9:33, 9:15, and 8:48.

The 4th of July weekend was my second go at a triathlon.  I made huge leaps from my first, even though I still had some anxiety in the water to over-come.  The heat index was over 100 degrees and it was somewhat miserable, but from this triathlon I decided I wanted to push my limits further, and I started recruiting friends for the Fontana Olympic Triathlon a month and half later. The end of July was also my first experience as a race director.  Overall the Sundown Dash was a success with 165 registrants.  A few days later I was up in Milton for the Milton Mud Challenge for MS.  It was a fun 5k course with a lot of obstacles in the middle.  It was pretty hot, and I was pretty disappointed they didn't have any water on course for participants. 

Next up was the Fontana Triathlon, in training Britten, Jacky and I had biked the course, so we knew the hills that lay ahead.  August 25th came before I knew it.  In my training I focused on getting my biking miles up, and swimming in as much open water as possible.  In the end it payed off.  I rocked the swim after a slight panic attack that I quickly talked myself out of, and even finished the swim before a couple of others in my age group.  The bike went fairly well, and the run was a torturous 2 loop 5k course, completely uphill on the out.  I survived! In fact, I took 3rd for my age group.

In September I volunteered in what has to be the most inspirational race I've ever witnessed: Ironman Wisconsin.  The day before Ironman I was baking with Laurie, and she said she wanted to do a half ironman after she couldn't run as much.  After Ironman, she immediately wanted to do the half in 2013.  Also in September I took the opportunity to volunteer at the River to Ridge Half Marathon, 10k, and 5k.  I was stationed out on the water station at the half, and had a lot of fun cheering on my friends as they came by.  Later in September I joined a Ragnar team for Ragnar DC.  One of my fellow Ragnar Ambassadors needed another runner on her team, so I flew out to Philadelphia, hung out there for most of the day, then drove down to the Cumberland, MD area. Sitting harbor-side while drinking beer was my favorite post-Ragnar.

October was the Haunted Hustle Half Marathon in Middleton.  I kept telling myself that I was going to start seriously training after Ragnar, but then never officially followed a training plan.  I injured my foot in volleyball 2 weeks prior, and although it felt fine to run I decided to tape it up.  Despite the injury I decided to start with the 2 hour pace group to pace myself in the beginning and see where I ended up.  I actually did very well at keeping the pace right around a 9 minute mile, and staying with the pace group.  I met a nice guy who works in Madison and we chatted quite a bit during the run.  It is always nice to make a new friend to run with, even if it is just for that day.  Although it was not a new PR time kind of day I was happy with my time of 2:02:52.

A few weeks later at the beginning of November I was off to Chicago with 3 lovely ladies to run the Hot Chocolate 15k.  After watching the Hot Chocolate Facebook page I knew that packet pick-up was going to be quite the task.  After arriving at a Soldier Field parking lot we waited in line for a couple of hours snaking our way through the ginormous line.  We went out to dinner and drinks at a cute little Italian restaurant a few blocks away, and then it was bedtime.  I did not sleep very well that night, I kept tossing and turning, and unfortunately my stomach was really upset in the morning.  I wasn't sure if I was even going to be able to run a 15k that day.  Luckily my stomach finally decided to settle down.  At the start-line there were so many people I decided that I would stick by the girls, because I could not find Jacky a corral back to run with her.  A while after the official start time we were able to start.  At the 2 mile mark we miraculously saw Jacky running up the hill next to us, so I ran the rest with her.  We had a good time weaving in and out of people, we must have passed hundreds of people!  After the run was a great time too, we got in line for our chocolate, and caught up with several other ladies from Janesville.  

The Hot Chocolate run concluded my official races for 2012, but not the running fun.  In December ASR did Wednesday night hill run, which Jacky and I got turned around on, so we made our own route and went to check out Christmas lights.  Then the last Thursday of the year after our Thursday run we had a little post-run cheer at O'rileys, marking my one year anniversary of running regularly with ASR.  Last night I finished out 2012 with a snow-covered trail run with my friends at All Season Runner.

2012 was sure a busy year, 1111 miles covered swimming, biking, and running.  I can't wait to see what 2013 brings!