Thursday, October 16, 2014

Camping at Devils Lake

So my last post I kept mentioning Starved Rock...and it was WRONG. We were at Devil's Lake, WI. I was obviously exhausted.

So let me shower you in pictures of more fun we had.

night one..a balmy 29 degrees

I had not slept in a sleeping bag for years. I might have tried flipping over in my sleep only to have flipped over the cot...twice.

our the woods...with lots of critters visiting at night

hunting for twigs to start the fire

he found a friend

hiking day two

V tripped over a tree root and landed 6 inches from this edge...I almost lost it

again from where I almost lost V.

hike 2 of the day (day 2)
...and look at these views

This was all eroded, and we had to climb rocks/slide down on our butts/cross creeks by slippery, mossy rocks.

It's hard to tell, but it was really hard through this hike.

here is a better idea of what we were climbing over, and you can see V on the rock to the left, in the gray and blue.

We honestly had an amazing time. We went with friends, and it was just a lot of fun. I don't know if I would have gone on either hike if it wasn't for my adventure seeking friends.

I would recommend Devil's Lake to anyone. It was completely beautiful there.

Where is your favorite state/national park?

Do you hike? I was told this isn't hiking, but 'bouldering'. I had never heard of this before.

I was just SOOOO happy to not have seen a snake. I HATE snakes.

Monday, October 13, 2014

quickie - from our family camping outing - bad..not Starved Rock, but Devil's Lake. :/

If you follow me on facebook, you already have seen many photos from our trip. I just wanted to share that hiking in Starved Rock hiking trails (should read Devil's Lake) is not for those that think it is easy.

On Saturday, we climbed up balance rock and saw a medic helicopter, we found out today via the radio on the way home a 54 yr old male fell, and is in critical condition in Madison. :(

our trek up

taking a break, you can see our path is vertical

at the top and exhausted

at the end and resting, while waiting for our group

Isn't it beautiful? It was .4 mile straight uphill.

the trek down was a bit hard, we did the CCC trail, thinking it would be easier, but if you look at that first link, it isn't easy at all.

So, we had a good time, this was by far the hardest hike I have ever done. My screaming knee and foot didn't appreciate the good time. They protested with swelling and soreness. (I was hoping by now I would be feeling much more like 100%).

Have you ever been to starved rock  Devil's Lake?
Do you like to hike? I learned quickly next time I need other shoes than running shoes...they are way too slippery.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Rollerskating, Morton Arb Fall Color 5k Recap and reminder my giveaway ends tonight!

Let's go out of is the link for giveaway (opens in a new window, it ends tonight go now and enter)

Yesterday, V was invited to a roller skating birthday party. He had never been roller skating until yesterday, which is sort of ridiculous due to the fact that we could have walked to the rink. We didn't due to the weather.

starting out

getting braver

By the end he was doing great. He wants to go back.

Today we went to the Morton Arb Fall Color 5k My stupid foot still isn't cooperating, I probably should go see a doctor. I did wear my compression socks to the race. It is a hilly race, and my goal was to finish. I was really hopeful for V.

He ended up starting up with the 9 min mile group. I moved to the back of the runners. I then looked back and saw the whole group of runners with strollers, and figured I really didn't want to get run over, so I moved to the back of the walkers.

So I did ok, it was MUCH better than my half marathon even though stupid foot was being annoying.

I crossed the finish line and V found me right away and told me, "I finished in 29:00 I have a new PR!" So I took his picture.

We got his official results and he finished 5th in his division (1-10, he is 7) and he finished in 28:29. He had a huge PR! I am so proud of him. He is a bit sad he didn't do better (because he is hard on himself) but he will get there...whom am I kidding, he is already there.

So anyway..the recap...V did awesome!

OH you want a real recap? The race is great, every year it is awesome. I don't even know many times we have done this race.

The volunteers are great! It started exactly on time. It is a smaller race, just over 1500 people ran it. We always arrive early to find good parking. We sit in our car until it gets closer.

Will we do it again? You betcha! We will see you there next year!

Did you run this weekend? Tell me where and how you did.

Are you as proud of V as I am?

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

stupid foot, hangry boy and a GIVEAWAY! - winner !!!! Was it you?

Hey let's start with more ugly...

Last week, I had completed the Fox Valley Half Marathon (if I was a good blogger, I would have linked you up, ok I did you are welcome)

As you experience (again..should be linking you up to my last entry, just did) was nothing less than horrible.

My stupid foot has hurt since the half. Initially it hurt on the top of my foot south of my big toe. I won't lie, my foot is swollen..ok both are, but Stupid Foot is much more swollen than Stupid Foot 2.

We actually took some time off, we had done our walk2run with our favorite walk2run and other running groups  (OK maybe I should really start linking you up, you are welcome, check them out) last Monday, and didn't do much after that until last night, as V had strep (AGAIN) and so it goes. So we went out last night for more Walk2Run and my suspicions are making it more clear...I am pretty sure I might have a stress fracture..or maybe 2. :( My newest most painful spot is on the side of my foot. In the SAME foot.

Tonight we hit up our FastTrackTeam and we only completed a mile. V was HANGRY. He has been eating out of house and home lately. He was also COLD. I thought he was dressed warm enough, but it turns out he wasn't. Another parenting fail....OH..hey wait..want to hear another parenting fail? I told V the other night to grab a yogurt to supplement his undying hunger. I was working on laundry, I came around the corner to find him finishing a gogurt. I didn't even realize we had any gogurt...turns out it expired in July. He survived with no issues. (#parentingfail)

OK...moving on!


I received an offer from the Spartan Race Giveaway. They are giving away one entry for one of the following: Miller Park Sprint (in Milwaukee, WI), or Dallas Beast or Sprint, or Mississippi Spartan Sprint. The prices are from $75-$200 depending on the race.

We have not done one of their races, we are not at all compensated for this giveaway, this is a compilation of getting the word out of a great time/adventure/fun with Spartan. We are not even compensated an entry for ourselves.

That being said, I am changing things up a bit. I have in the past changed my settings for note leaving, because of the spam. So you can leave a note on my blog or a note on my facebook link of this blog entry (you must be a friend/follower on FB) to enter this giveaway. I do request if you think this is a great giveaway, and know you can't make one of the races, you just like my entry, as this won't give you an entry into the giveaway. (as you must comment in the note part of my facebook to be entered)

Please keep in mind the only thing I am giving away is ONE entry to one of these races (not a kid's race, yes I asked) this does include transportation nor hotel accommodations, this is your own expense.

This contest closes at 9:00 pm CST on 10/5. I will contact you if you are the winner.

We hope you do share your experience after your run! It looks great!

Tell me, do you have an angry foot? How about a hangry child?

Are you excited to see if you win??

A HUGE Congratulations to Seth! I left him note to email me, and Seth if you see this first, please email me at! I can't wait to hear about your race!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fox Valley Marathon and Fox Valley Kids' Marathon Recaps

Hey everyone! How have you been? I know, I have been MIA over here, but things have still been busy.

So, let's get down to business. I am going to start with the ugly.

Today I participated in the Fox Valley Half Marathon and it was NOT my day for running.

I woke up at 2:30, with a stomach ache, which I attributed to nerves. I tried to get more sleep, and I was so uncomfortable, I couldn't sleep. I was also afraid I would over sleep.

So finally at 4:15 I crawled out of bed, stomach was a mess. I tried to calm it and it didn't work. I figured once I started, I would be good.

Miles 1 through 3, felt ok, my stomach was a bit queasy so I ate a Honey Stinger gummy. Then I started burping it up, then I started to feel worse. I also started having pain in my knee. This is the same wonky knee that has bothered me in the past.

After mile 4, I just kept on trucking. I felt like I would puke at any given point. So I was mainly was walking at this point. Thinking I needed some Gatorade, I tried that..and the pain magnified. Things did not get any better.

I ran into my friend Denise's (who was doing the full, and did amazing!) boyfriend Cavin. He was just finishing fixing his bike tire, I asked him how Denise was doing, and he wasn't sure because of his bike tire. I kept on and Cavin moved forward to a better watching spot for Denise and ended up back in front of me. At this time, I asked him if he had any crackers. He offered me a Bonk Bar, but I was looking for something bland to help settle my stomach, and so I said, 'no thank you' and kept on going.

I finally ran into a volunteer who had a running stroller. I stopped and said, "I have a crazy question, but since you have a baby with you, do you have a cracker?" She said, she probably had something, and offered me a granola bar. I declined that, and told her I needed something bland. At the same time a 3 yr old or so girl looked around the stroller, and I said, oh she isn't a baby. Then she said, I have gold fish let me find them. So she completely dumped her bag and filled my hand with goldfish, and I continued on my way.

I fought my way towards the finish...knowing that my sub 3 hour goal would be close, but I just couldn't do it today. I finally finished in 3:01:35. So close. And considering the amount of pain and discomfort, I will take it, as I finished.

Thoughts on the half, the volunteers, as in the past three times, I have done this race are nothing but amazing. The one that stood out to me, was on the hill between the park and mile 13. She would encourage and run up and down the hill with people who were struggling. She didn't actually run with me, but I ran aside her and someone else and she was giving the runner stats on how many people actually run half marathons, and this is were the sheer determination has set in to finish. She was congratulating everyone. She was the one that stood out to me, I am sure many of the other volunteers made a difference/impact to many other runners.

It was also awesome being part of an awesome team, Dick Pond Lisle #TeamLisle is the most amazing group of runners. They welcome every runner with open arms. When I was out on the path today, and struggling a few of the super fast guys were walking to find another team member, they saw me and cheered me on. Later on, I saw a huge group waiting on one of our favorite runners and they all cheered for me, as well as a few that were by the finish line. They are a great group. They are also the ones we go running with to #walk2run, #fasttrack and #funrun they also have a have a #trailheads group that meets for long runs on Saturdays. I am unable to make those at this time. Once V learns how to ride a bike, it might be easier.

Now onto the Fox Valley kids marathon.

Now this was V's third year of completing a marathon. This is an amazing program. It is a great way to get kids out and moving, and showing commitment, as well as the parent's commitment.

V has been loving all the attention he gets from our running group. For instance, our friend Christine took a men's #fasttrack shirt and customized it to V's size. So of course, V had to wear that to the final 1.2 run on Saturday.

He was so determined, he came within the top 20 (I was counting but not at the finish, so I don't know where he landed) and the two he ran by me with just before the finish were each about a head taller than he is. He finished his 1.2 in 8:47. Again the volunteers at this event were amazing as well. V even came up to me tonight and asked if we could volunteer at a race soon. This just goes to show you, everyone notices how amazing the races, volunteers and support systems are for this race.

Here are a couple of pictures:

We both plan on running these again next year.

Are you joining us?

Do you ever have a bad run?

Anyone want to run with V for the Fall Color 5k? He is too fast for me to keep up.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

green smoothies review - my opinions, not a paid entry

As many of you well know, V and I are huge fans of Marianos fresh green smoothies.


Well, V informs me Tuesday morning as I am trying to usher him out the door, he needs to have a healthy breakfast for testing that day. He normally eats breakfast as school. I suggested we hit the drive thru at McD's and he said, "Momma that isn't healthy, take me to Marianos for a smoothie". So I suggested running over to Jamba Juice for a smoothie, as it is much closer and we were already running late. We got to Jamba Juice at 6:56 to find out they open at 7.

So we waited the 4 minutes while the worker inside literally stared at us waiting outside. (Super awkward) and debated on our selections. I don't remember the actual names of what we ordered, but V got a mango one and I got a kale/peach/banana one. I watched them mix them up, they added scoops of stuff and ice, and 'juice'.  They were absolutely awful. There were many chunks in mine, and it wasn't well mixed at all.

When we get them at Marianos, they are scooping in real ingredients (that are frozen, or fresh and I believe organic), handfuls of greens...fresh greens. NO ICE! Completely well mixed and about 30% less of a price tag.

We LOVE Marianos. WE LOVE Marianos' smoothies, we haven't been compensated in any way or form, all of our smoothies have been purchased. However if you have a giftcard laying around you won't use, we would be happy to use it for our smoothie addiction.:)

Tell me your favorite place to get a healthy smoothie.

Do you ever go to Jamba Juice?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

open and honest re 12 miles

Ok..this will be a very raw entry. If you don't like it, do not agree, have issues with this...etc..please move on. This is just an entry of where I am and where I want to be. (remember what your Grandma told you, if you can't say anything nice, do not say anything at all)

Now that we have that out of the might have seen on my facebook page, I did 12 miles on Wednesday. This is a very easy way for me to get in my longest run before the half marathon, on V's first day of school. I can do it outside (which I have done in the past, this year was inside, because last year I got freaked out, and didn't want to get kidnapped/die/do it alone) but instead I did it on the dreadmill. I don't want to admit, but it was a really hard 12 miles.

you have to add 100 minutes

As you all know, I am SLOW..imagine a turtle running through a vat of peanut butter...that is how fast I run. I do a walk/run, actually 3 run/1 walk. It is much easier for me on the dreadmill, but on the track..I fall apart. It is crazy. I can easily jog over a .25 mile on the treadmill, but while at the track, running over a 200m  is HARD.

Have I mentioned before, how hard my brain makes things?

On top of this fun, my newest shoes (which is the same shoes as I have been running in, but new) are giving me shin splits. OK, not fun at all. I have been foam rolling, using the stick, resting more than I should be for half marathon training, etc.

I gave in on Wednesday, used my completely worn out/toe pushing out shoes and didn't have an issue with shin splints. So obviously I need to break in my new shoes.

Also, I will probably use my old, worn out shoes for the half marathon coming up. I honestly don't know how to make this better.

As you all know, we go running with some amazing people. They all make it look so effortless. I am completely out of my mind jealous. Not the kind of jealous, where I want them injured, but the kind of jealous, where I want to look the way they do, and run and run and run and not be so winded, and hurting and my stupid brain telling me, 'this is hard, what are you thinking, you can't do this'.

This will be my 4th half marathon with Fox Valley, and last year I hobbled through injured and crying at the finish. This year, I wanted it to be different, and yet...I am scared I will be crying once again when I cross that finish line.

I really know this whole running thing would be easier if I would lose the weight, but it hard to lose the weight. I like to eat/drink.

Please send lots of prayers/strength to me for the half marathon.