Time for a change….

I am moving….blog sites that is. I am trying something new, which will hopefully mean I will blog more (hopefully). For all those that follow me, you can now find me here:

http://riseandrun4.blogspot.com/

It is a work in progress, but I am hoping to have that new site looking just as good as this one, but with a few more posts!!

Thanks to all of you who are avid readers of this blog and i hope you follow me over to the new site.

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Hot Chocolate 15k/5k

Seeing as this race holds some great memories for me from last year (S proposed at the end of it), I had decided to run it again this year. Sadly, S couldn’t join me, so I decided to recruit my sister!!

I was a little nervous about the race this year, especially after reading so many posts on Facebook about how horrible the packet pick-up was, how the bib numbers were wrong, and the sweatshirts were not of good quality. However (and thankfully, I might add) my sister and I didn’t experience any of that. Sure we had to wait in line for twenty minutes to get our packet, but we made the most of it and chatted with the people around us and had some good conversations. Our bib’s matched our names and never had an issue with them come race day. And the sweatshirts were awesome!

Kudos to all the volunteers and the staff that puts on this race for a job well done. Once again, I was not disappointed in this race. My sister and I had a fabulous time. Race day itself was awesome – good weather, great chocolate and a good course. My only frustration were people that wanted to walk the course and chose to start up with the runners. I have no problem with people walking, but please go in the proper pacing group or at least stay to one side – it is outright dangerous to have walkers on the course as runners are zooming by them. I think I almost took out one or two of them.

But, all in all, a great race and I look forward to doing it again next year!!

Here’s a picture of S and I from last year:

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Changes…..

Getting married…

Finding and getting a new job….

Leaving an old job……

Moving to a new town….

Saying goodbye to a town I had grown to love….

Moving into a new home…..

Sharing that new home with my husband…….

Changing my last name…….

Getting new running shoes that are not Saucony’s (quite a huge deal for me)….

So many changes, but all so very, very, good. I can’t wait to see what the next year holds!!

 

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To DJ or not to DJ….

….that is the question. As most of you know, when planning a wedding, one must plan the reception and that of course means planning a meal and the entertainment. It has been shown that 80% of the guests will most likely remember either (a) the food that was served or (b) the music that was played, so choosing those two things should not be taken lightly.

Before I was engaged, it never crossed my mind to use any other means of entertainment other than a DJ. It seemed that everyone was using a DJ and most of the weddings I went to, the DJ’s were tolerable, if not quite good. Well…welcome the world of technology and now we can be our own DJ’s with ipods, ipads, laptops, etc. This adds a whole new dimension on things. Not only can you have complete control over the music, but it is so much more cost efficient. And since S and I are trying to stay within a budget for this wedding, this was certainly a viable option for us.

But, I do have my reservations and thus S and I have had long and sometimes heated debates on this topic. He is all for having the ipod or laptop for music…I on the other hand worry that it will be added stress for us, a lot more work, and won’t allow us to totally kick back and by worry-free at our wedding. Ok, I should be honest – I am more nervous that I will be so focused on making sure the ipod things works that I won’t fully enjoy the reception.

Ah, the joy of wedding planning and making decisions. We can’t wait too much longer as the wedding is less than 5 months away….time is ticking….

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An evening of shopping

It has been forever since I last went shopping at the mall, but my mom needed to find a dress for my brother’s wedding so off we went. And I have to say that I had fabulous time. Not only did my mom find a dress (YEAH!), but we had so much fun just hanging out together. With all the craziness of planning the wedding and fixing up the new house, sometimes it is just nice to slow down and spend some time with your family.

I often take my mom for granted, but it is nights like these that I am pulled out of ‘my own little world’ and reminded just how much I appreciate and love her. Funny how a little shopping trip can reveal so much.

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Life….

Sadly, I haven’t been updating this blog very much…but I guess that can be expected with wedding plans in progress, on-going home repair (yes, we bought a house!) and searching for my next career move…all this leaves little time to write. Oye!!

But, it’s a new month, so I’ll try this ‘blogging’ thing again. I don’t want to bore all of you with the crazy happenings of my life these past few months; although, I would love to write about it. To spare all of you, here is just a quick recap of what’s going on:

Wedding: We are well on our way to walking down that aisle and saying our ‘I Do’s’. I can’t wait for September 1! Don’t get me wrong, I love being engaged and am trying to fully embrace it, but wedding planning is tough…so much to do, so many people involved, so many decisions to be made. But, we have made good progress. We have booked the reception hall, I have found my wedding dress, all of the bridesmaids have bought their dresses, we have met with the priest, attended pre-cana, and started our registry. Fun Stuff. There is still a lot to do…but we do have 5 more months, so I think we can pull it off.

House: Yep, we bought a house!! We are so excited about this. The house is absolutely gorgeous and is the perfect size for starting our family in the near future. We have a bunch of projects in the works for the house…more detail on that later. I haven’t officially moved in yet and I won’t until right before the wedding, but I am there on the weekends and love imagining what it will be like to be there permanently living with my best friend.

Running: I ran my first race of the season (Shamrock Shuffle) two weeks ago and it was fantastic. Another Personal Record…I am keeping my fingers crossed that I have another killer racing season like last year. Here’s a pic from the race:

Love how we are sporting the arm and leg compression gear!!

Other than that…life goes on. I am trying hard not to get overwhelmed and to keep my sanity in check…these next 5 months are definitely going to be a roller coaster ride, but I am ready for it!

Peace.

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Engagement Photos

These pictures are way overdue, but about a month-ago, my soon to-be Sister In-Law took our engagement photos. We went to a park near St. Louis and spent about an hour sitting in gazebo’s, swinging on swings, playing in the playground, walking on bridges, and sitting on benches. The weather was absolutely perfect and A did such an amazing job taking the photos. She has such raw talent for this stuff.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

No big updates on the wedding planning, except, that we now have the date, the church, and the reception hall all booked….hmmmm, I guess those are big updates. :-) We will be sending out save-the-date cards soon and I will be dress shopping within the next month or so. Gosh, it is all so exciting!! I will of course keep all of you ‘blog’ readers up-to-date as this wedding planning progresses.

Happy Running.

 

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A bit of news….

November 5, 2011 started like any normal day; the BF and I were racing the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15k and had planned to go to my favorite breakfast place on the northside…Victory’s Banner. The morning started out just as we had planned: get up, get ready for the race, eat a quick breakfast, drive to Chicago, park, walk to the start line, stretch, get in corrals, and RUN! Everything was going smoothly, nothing seemed out of the ordinary…until….

My BF and I decided to go get our pictures taken after the race. We found a photographer, put our water bottles, etc. on the ground, and my BF walked up to get his picture first, then he stepped aside, and I took mine. Then, he walks towards me, so that we could get our group shot. But instead of facing the camera, he turns to face me and starts saying some incredibly sweet things. I find this to be a bit strange, but since he normally says really nice things I don’t think too much about it. Just as I am about to tell him that we should ‘really take the picture’, he is down on one knee holding out a ring and asking me to marry him!!!! That’s right, my BF proposed to me that morning! I was totally surprised and couldn’t believe it. I think the exact words out of my mouth were: “really”, “here”, “now” and then of course “YES”! Even after saying ‘yes’ and after he had gotten up, I was still totally speechless and completely shaking. He was so cool and calm that entire morning and I never saw it coming…he is good!

After he proposed and I stopped shaking, he had another surprise planned for me…he had invited several of our closest friends to be there and to share breakfast with us. It was such a blessing to have them all there to share in our special moment. One of my friends drove all the way from Kansas to be there….pretty amazing! I have some very incredible friends!

It’s been 2 1/2 weeks and I still can’t believe it. I never imagined that I would find a man who could make me this happy and whom I want to spend the rest of my life with. God has been so good!

Check out a few pictures from that day: 
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Flying through the air….

…well, perhaps not flying, but I did ‘zip’ through the air today for the first time up in Lake Geneva at Aerial Adventures. A few weeks ago, a coworker and myself were discussing things we would like to do someday and ziplining came up. So, we did some research, found a place up in Lake Geneva and the date was set. Neither her nor I had ever done this before. I wasn’t too nervous as I am not one who is afraid of heights, but the thought of flying through the air while you are attached to a cord, kind of freaked me out.

Well, the day arrived (today) and I had managed to persuade the BF to go with me, so the both of us went North and met up with my coworker. I have to say, I was a bit surprised when I got there….I thought the ziplines would be longer and perhaps even a bit faster. I never felt like I got up to max speed, nor did I think the course was all that long, but we still had a fabulous time.

Steve was a pro…he zipped 3 times, never went backwards, landed perfectly, and never got nervous. I, on the other hand, twisted a few times, was very nervous on the first zip, and had mediocre landings. But, it was a good time! I would definitely go zip-lining again, but I think this time around, I would go to a place that the lines were higher off the ground and longer. But, if anyone is looking for a quick zip that is fairly inexpensive, I would check out Aerial Adventures up in Lake Geneva.

Here’s a pic of Steve and I after we had zipped. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any with us actually zipping :-(

Steve and I at the Zipline Course

 

And running update…ran 6 on Saturday at an 8:38 pace and 10 on Sunday at an 8:48 pace. October has certainly started wonderfully in terms of mileage! Goal for this month is 125 miles.

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A 5 miler that wasn’t and a 5 miler that was

Well, my plan of running on Thursday and Friday didn’t quite pan out. Wednesday night, I ended up staying up way too late, so when the alarm went off at 5, I promptly hit the ‘off’ button, rolled over and went right back to sleep. No guilt, no hesitation, nothing…my body clearly needed the sleep.

I couldn’t run that evening because it was ‘date night’ as the BF and I like to call it and it was wonderful! We ate at Chipolte and then headed over to GameWorks for a bit of competition in the racing games. And, I actually did quite well….he did win most of them, but I still put up a good fight :-) To end the evening, we walked over to Starbucks and had some nice warm coffee (well, he had hot chocolate). It was absolutely wonderful!

This morning was much better in terms of running because I was actually able to get up and get out. I did 5 miles at an 8:45/mile pace, which felt pretty easy. And finally, my legs feel back to normal after the half marathon this past Sunday. Whoo Hooo!!

Tomorrow, I’ll skip the running and do Yoga and then on Sunday will be 8 miles!

Happy Running!

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