In the fall of 2013, just after completing my first marathon (and apparently declaring myself a “runner”), I came across the SPI (Small Personal Item) belt in an airport shop. New to running, I had never seen something like that, and just made the comment that I thought it was a cool idea. That Christmas, my husband bought one for me along with some other running gear. I absolutely love my SPIbelt! I have the smallest version, whose pocket, according to their website, expands to 6.5″ x 3″ x 2″. This is more than enough room for my iPhone 6S (in its somewhat bulky case)Read More →

I would easily rank this as one of my absolute favorites. Entering the running world with the colorful and diverse neighborhoods of the City of Chicago as a backdrop, it is hard to find a race venue that can compare. Enter the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon, the premier event within the Destination Races series. I heard of this race from a friend, and to be honest, the first thing that drew me in was the amazing bling! An internet search of past races in the series showed medals displaying a wine theme, a very good fit for me and my love of wine. IRead More →

I used to track my runs using Strava on my cell phone. I love the app and it is still what I use, as you see posted on this site. However, I do like to pay attention to my pace, as I am still trying to figure out exactly what that is. I found it difficult to do so using my phone. For one, I didn’t want to carry the phone in my hand, so I used an armband to carry it. I tried several bands and found them to be too bulky for my arm. Most had velcro closures and would sometimes pop open whenRead More →

As I mentioned in my last post, I had to cancel my plans to complete the 2015 Chicago Marathon for various reasons, most acutely because of a family emergency. Since writing that post, things have stabilized and my mother is now in a rehab facility and is well on her way to recovery. As marathon weekend approached, I felt comfortable enough with her progress to head down to the city to watch my son participate. I drove down to meet him on Saturday afternoon and we went to the expo center to pick up our race packets. I figured I paid for it, I mightRead More →

Well, if it’s not one thing, it’s another, ya’ know? Another summer, another version of the best laid plans. I really (really!) did plan to train this year. But, as (good) luck would have it, my business was particularly busy this year. Generally, my busiest travel time is the spring and the fall, with little or no traveling throughout the summer. For some reason, I was crazy-busy all summer long, traveling two to three times per month, not to mention my regular job, my regular life, and getting my third son ready for his first year away at college. I literally have not even walked aRead More →

Hello. Me again. That’s right, I’m back. After last year’s painfully slow (but hey, I finished!) trek across 26.2 beautiful miles of Chicago, I really was done. Two Chicago Marathons—that’s two more than most people do. And certainly two more than I ever intended to do! So why push it? Because my eldest son has decided this is ‘our thing’, that’s why. How cool is it that even though his 2014 finish time was more than two hours faster than mine, he still wants to do it with me? Who knew we had a thing? But seriously, why does it have to be this??? SoRead More →

Growing up I never had a new bike. As the 4th of 5 children, I got what I got. So when it came time to buy myself a bike, I did a lot of research before making a purchase. Much of my research included feedback and advice from my eldest son, who is an avid cyclist. He was fortunate to ride in the Little 500 Bike Race at Indiana University during his sophomore and senior years and knows a thing or two about bikes (not a bad framing job, if I do say so myself). The bike I chose was the Trek 7.4 FX WSDRead More →

Alrighty, then. Given the fact that I didn’t train for the 2013 Chicago Marathon as I had intended, and given the fact that I was once again roped into doing another, I decided this year would be different. I downloaded a training plan, marked my calendar, and announced to the world (or at least to my family and friends) that I was signed up for the 2014 Chicago Marathon! And then…life. Yep, another batch of lemons. Major surgery with a 7-inch wide incision across my lower abdomen. Kind of puts a damper on the whole training thing, you know? So as of now, training isRead More →

When I finished the 2013 Chicago Marathon, I pretty much was done. Remember me? I am not a runner! I was thrilled to be able to say I completed a marathon. So when my eldest son decided to throw his hat in the ring this year, I was all for cheering him on from the sidelines. His response? “C’mon, Mom! We have to do this together!” Yeah…no. I haven’t run a block since the 2013 marathon! I was done. And by done I meant, well…done. But on his insistence, I went ahead and put my name in the lottery. Seriously, what are the chances I’dRead More →

Well, the best-laid plans. I had planned (really, I did!) to train well (or well, train) for the marathon. But as it happens, life got in the way. I did, indeed start training in a way consistent with my I-am-not-a-runner capabilities. I started with a 3 mile walk on the treadmill in mid-June, and by the second week of July I was doing walk-runs (mostly walking) outside 4 days a week. I was following the Nike “Finish a Race with Coach Purvis” plan as best I could, considering my unpredictable work schedule. If the plan said run 6 miles, I walked 6 miles. If itRead More →