Tag Archives: beer

Festival College + Bull Falls race

Good morning, friends!

For the past several years, I’ve been invited to Festival College, which is a leadership conference for the managers of Festival Foods. Festival is a grocery company, and I just love working for them. They welcome me with open arms and I coax smiles out of their attendees. They had 375 people this year, so their event coordinators run everything like a well-oiled machine. 🙂 It takes place at the Kalahari resort in the Wisconsin Dells, so when I’m not working, I get to relax at the indoor waterpark and run in their hotel gym. 🙂

I took photos of the cocktail and social hour…


 …entertainment (the Badger band and Brat Pack Radio!)…   

     …award winners…

…senior staff and guest presenters…






 …and I captured the atmosphere of the event. 



 After a few days inside, I was happy to log a few miles outside. I consider myself so lucky to live in a town with the Green Circle, and it runs right through my neighborhood. If I head out from my house, within a mile and a half, I find myself in the sculpture park. So cool!  

I was happy to be home, and Brian and I bundled up on Saturday to head over to Bull Falls Brewery for their annual Bock run. It raises money for the Honor Flight program, which is incredible in its own right and is a tear jerking cause. 😀 

Backtracking a little bit- I guess I forgot to mention during my sixteen miler that I took a mega digger. We were a half mile in to the run, and I tripped over a heave in the sidewalk. I tore up both of my knees, though my right one was worse, then I had to run the remaining 15.5 miles with skinned knees. Anyway, since I had that knee wound, I couldn’t wear pants to the Bull Falls race, so I had shorts on, even though it was in the 20s. Brr!

I ran into a few friends while we were waiting. Hi, Nicki and Kim!

 They had two races- a normal 5K, and a hilly course they called the Bock Buster. Of course, I couldn’t just run the regular race, so we lined up near the front of the pack with the rest of the Bock Buster runners.

 The race itself was, indeed, a buster. Holy hills! The upside was that it was mostly uphill the whole way out, so it was downhill on the way back. I have a relatively new Garmin, so it notifies me when I set records, and I set a record for fastest mile on the way back in during this race. There were also adorable notes to cheer us on!   

 Brian and I came in somewhere around 29:30. I hopped right on the massage table, then hugged it out with my best friend, Nikki, who ran the 5K! 🙂    

 I’m pretty experienced with races, so I’ve learned to bring dry clothes along to change into afterwards. I hate that sweaty chill! I even brought a blanket this time, and the beer helped warm me up. I had something brand new this year- carmelized beer! They took a hot metal rod and stuck it in my beer to melt the sugars, I guess. I’d never even heard of this! It was delicious.  After we mingled and visited with everyone, even this bearded monster that loves Nikki ;)…  …we headed over to Amy and Chris’ house. We took a quick shower and headed out for a wine tasting and dinner. The wine tasting was at Lil’ Ole Winemaker, and we had a great time!

After the tasting, we went straight to Thrive for dinner. 

 We talked about wedding stuff, and laughed, and had a grand old time. Thanks for the fabulous day, friends!


As always, thanks for reading! 🙂 

Up next? An impromptu concert, my 18 miler, and meetings in Minneapolis.

Miles this year: 182.35

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The UP + my mining ramblings

It was a chilly Friday morning when I pried my eyes open and packed my suitcase. Brian started the coffee brewing and I threw some clothes in my luggage. Traveling with running gear means I have gotten very efficient with my packing, since I need, at the minimum, an extra pair of shoes, extra clothes, and an extra jacket.

We hit the road early enough, around 7, and the views were beautiful. 

Before I knew it, I found myself with no service. That’s the sign of a good adventure. 


We stopped for gas and I picked up a delicious dark chocolate bar…


We were up in Marquette, Michigan, which is about as far north as you can get without being in Canada. 🙂 Our friends, the Almond Tree, needed some help on a busy weekend, so we ran their booth at the UP Builders show.

 We set up the booth and worked on Friday afternoon, then slept soundly in the hotel, and I woke up early on Saturday to go for a run along the big lake.




   It was a cold, windy run along the water, but Marquette is a beautiful place. Even though I was tired, and it was cold, I’m glad I woke up early for this run. I always am, but it doesn’t make it any easier to get out of my nice cozy bed. I hit up Marquette’s co-op for breakfast (and coffee!), then we worked at the booth all day Saturday. A couple years ago, on a trip to Marquette, we found this fabulous Cajun restaurant, so we couldn’t wait to go there for a late dinner. It’s hard to find, since their main door is tucked in an alley, but it is worth the chase.




Another sound night with full bellies, and Sunday morning came awfully early. We don’t always go to Marquette, but when we do, it’s on a time change weekend. With the end of daylight savings, and the time zone change, I felt two hours off my normal schedule. I still rallied for another run in the snow, knowing I had hot coffee waiting for me when I got back to the hotel.





Towns like Marquette really make me think about my life as an active conservationist. This area has literally been built around mining- the newspaper is even called the Mining Journal! I’ve never really considered myself an extremist, and I pride myself on trying to understand all sides of the issues before I take a solid stance. Sometimes, though… I find myself surrounded by people who feel the same way I do, and use the same arguments I do, and it’s really easy to find myself saying things like, “Mining is a terrible and destructive industry and I am opposed to it.” Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. I’m not willing to give up copper and steel and gemstones and gravel and a million of the other things that are the spoils of mining. I do believe that there are environmentally destructive locations, methods, and times to mine, and I hope that we can find the least destructive way to take what we need, and no more… and that we find a way to restore the abandoned mines and reconnect our resources.

Whoa, rant over. Anyway… we had a good last day at the show, stopped for whitefish tacos and I drank this delicious beer…  …and we hit the road for the four hour snowy ride home.  

One more adventure under my belt. Up next? Flowers, Thai food, and running our mountain. Thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 156.35

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Fly fishing on my mind

What is an avid fly angler to do in the winter months in central Wisconsin? 

Go to trade shows. Lots of trade shows.

I went to the Chicago Outdoor Sports show to visit my friend, Jen, who runs DUN magazine and had a booth there. It was awesome to play around with a couple new rods and remember what it feels like to cast a line to water. They had a pool for us to cast into. 

I stayed with my aunt Eileen and uncle Rick in their beautiful Elk Grove home, and I got to hang out with my cousin twin, Killeen. She just bought a super cute house and it was wonderful to hang out there, drink some wine, and relax. 🙂

I loved running around their neighborhood- they even have a little pond.

I returned home to the frozen tundra, and headed over to the Eastern part of the state for Fox Valley TU’s Cabin Fever event.

Jen is an active volunteer in the Fox Valley chapter and she’s doing great work for the women’s initiative. It was great to see you, girl! I also had a booth at Central Wisconsin’s TroutFest, and I’ve been working on reaching out to the women in our communities and in the angling industry to get them hooked up with the work that Trout Unlimited does here in Wisconsin. 🙂 I also have some blank trout outlines for kids to color. How cute is this?

The short days and no sun has really been getting to me, so my incredibly talented electrican husband whipped together a light box for me.

After sitting in front of that contraption for a few days, I felt like a million bucks! We were lucky enough to cap off our busy week with Central Waters’ 17th anniversary party. I was covering the event for Hoopla magazine, but I ran into Lydia at the party!

We drank some delicious beer and danced to live music. A perfect Saturday!

Thanks for the fun night, Central Waters!

I’ll leave you with some of the most refreshing subjects I’ve had in the studio lately- fruit!

I just love working with food. Seriously. 🙂

Up next? Frame’s 150th anniversary, an encaustic artist, and out of town friends.

Thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 84

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PJ’s and SentryWorld

I was such a lucky girl- I was invited to the new restaurant inside the SentryWorld complex- PJ’s.
They are known for their Bloody Mary, and I made sure to feature that…

The restaurant has a really unique design- the facility just screams, “Wisconsin!”





The general manager, Mike, offered to give me a tour. I’ve shot weddings in SentryWorld before, but not after their remodeling. This building is just beautiful.



I loved visiting this place. Maybe I should take up golf!
In the meantime, I’m working on my skiing. I got a ski waxing lesson from the awesome folks at the Hostel Shoppe, and I’m on my way to enjoying our Wisconsin winter!

It’s been pretty cold, but I get Abbie out for a few miles when it’s warm enough. 🙂

We’ve also been battling our dry winter air with the best humidifier- home brewing!



As always, more adventures to come. Thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 63

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Happy New Year + trying to catch up

My regular readers will certainly recognize that I’m a little behind. As we all cozy in for our below zero wind chills here in Wisconsin, fall portraits feel like they were taken an eternity ago. Thanks for bearing with me as I try to catch up. Go easy on me for the photo-heavy posts for the next week or so as I bring us up to date 🙂
When I left you last, I was writing about my new tattoo and spending my fall days with families. I also started a very part-time office gig…

…when I was in my walking boot last year, I started physical therapy on my foot at Point Forward. I love that place. They think I have a fun personality and a good work ethic I’m crazy, so they asked me if I’d be available and willing to train in their scheduling/insurance/reception position, so I could fill in when their normal awesome scheduler was going to be gone to Mexico on vacation. I underestimated the things I’d need to learn, including HIPAA and individual insurance company policies. In any event, after the training, they asked if I’d be willing to help them out when things get busy, and that started in October. I only spend four or five hours hours total a week there, on Monday and Wednesday, and it gives me no excuse for skipping my workouts, since the clinic is inside of my health club. 🙂 I’m learning more about the human body than I ever thought I would! I love helping out over there, and it hasn’t been too hard to schedule work around those hours.
I’ve still been running like crazy- Carmel and Lydia and I met up at Iverson since we hadn’t been there in a while.



I went to a special yoga class for breast cancer survivors, and dedicated my practice to my best friend’s mom, Marilyn. ❤

I met my mom and her fiancé, Bill, up at Rib Mountain for their engagement portraits. We had such a wonderful time, and seeing my mom smile with love is just too adorable.





We spent Halloween with our friends in Madison. Brian pondered his list of mustache-y costumes and finally decided on cowboy. I took advantage of my Cheesehead beliefs and went as a mousetrap.



Thanks for hosting us, Amanda and Andy! We had to run off the next day to shoot the Leave a Legacy fundraiser for Trinity Lutheran school. We set up our gear and took photos of couples that look like this…

We donated a portion of the proceeds back to the school, and had a lot of fun being our own light testers. 🙂 yay for a self-timed portrait!
My Stratus and I have reached a big milestone in our adventures…

Oh boy, I hope my car makes it through another year!
Carmel and I ran with pups…


…and I’ll leave you with a very fun photo shoot at Bull Falls.

I really love working with beer and breweries. 🙂 such gorgeous subjects!
Bull Falls recently finished a big expansion. The street sign in the middle of their new facility is where the road used to run through.








It always makes me so happy to see local small businesses growing and expanding! #buylocal

Thanks for reading, friends!

My total 2014 mileage was 597.2. Starting 2015 goals now! 🙂

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Recovery: am I supposed to be taking it easy?

In traditional Heidi style, I was way overbooked. The day after the marathon was filled with a physical therapy appointment (to check me out and test out my stress fractured foot), an oil change, and a pedicure appointment with Carmel. 🙂 My sore little toes loved it!

At least I wore compression socks!
I drank smoothies…

…and smelled the roses.

I even found time to do a brook trout manicure before my trip to Minnesota…

…and I snuck in a photo shoot at the next local brewery- North Abbey Brewing. The space was recently purchased, so they’re in the middle of demolition and starting to move equipment in. I can’t wait for them to build their dream so I can see (and taste!) the finished product!





I spent my day and a half at home being a busy bee, then loaded up the car to go visit the TU Western Restoration staff at their retreat in Minnesota. It was pretty cool for me to visit the driftless area in another state. I love learning through travel! We had some beautiful weather, took a couple field trips, and I ran on the trails near our cabin.













I loved this trip. It was wonderful to meet some new people and see some old friends! 🙂 after the retreat, I drove a half hour south with my friend, Mike, to catch my first Iowa fish. Trout season was closed in Wisconsin and Minnesota, but Iowa was just a stone’s throw away.






The Asian Lady Beetles were terrible. I’m not positive, but I think it’s because they live in soybean fields, and during the harvest time, they’re evicted.


My stratus and I reached a new milestone, I drank some great diner coffee, and I hurried home for another busy weekend. 🙂



Thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 509.1

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Chicago Marathon 2014: a race recap

Are you ready to share in my crazy adventure?
We made it to my aunt Maureen’s beautiful Chicago home at 3:00 in the morning, and tried to go to sleep. I did end up getting about three hours of sleep, then I had to get up and get ready to run.
I set out my bib ahead of time, and at Robert’s suggestion, put my name on it.

That was awesome. It resulted in hundreds of strangers cheering for me by name.
I was proud that I’d kept everything organized, so race morning was a breeze. It took me about fifteen minutes to get dressed, and we headed out, with a quick stop at Starbucks for a hot cup of coffee. I drank that, and fueled with one of my favorite treats- Rice Krispie treats made with chex instead. Extra bonus if there is sprinkles… And since I made these, they were covered in rainbow sprinkle magic.

We’d anticipated some traffic, but tried to make a plan for a good spot for Brian to drop me off. I was chilly, so I wanted to stay in the warm car as long as possible. As we neared the place to drop me off, the map looked a little disheartening.

After waiting in the car as long as I felt comfortable (I didn’t want to miss the start!), I got out and started walking. It was a little confusing, as runners were literally walking every direction. Normally, I can just follow everyone else. I relied on my GPS, and eventually I found these angels!

They directed me through to security, where I was scanned with the magic wand.

I started out near this guy, who was the pacer for the 4:30 group, and he was running his 100th marathon! How cool. 🙂 Way to go, Jerry!

Brian wins the award for most awesome support team at every race, but he came to my rescue this morning by picking up an emergency blanket for me to use to keep warm while waiting for the race to start, and surprising me with it when I got out of the car!

While I waited for the race to start, with a few thousand of my closest friends, this was the view in front…

…and behind me.

I met this super cute girl who was running her first marathon. How cool! I did my best to encourage her, and I offered to share my emergency stash of Skittles, if she needed them.

After about a half hour, I finally crossed the start line!

I tried to take pictures as often as I could, but to be totally honest, I was just enjoying the course! I loved running along the Magnificent Mile. When I was growing up, I watched Oprah religiously, and that’s the only reason I knew what the Magnificent Mile was. 🙂 As I ran, I cried a lot… almost every time someone called my name! Putting my name on my bib was a great idea. I high fived a ton of spectators, and thanked every volunteer and policeman.
Wrigleyville was awesome- I’ve run through that neighborhood frequently- almost every time I visit my Chicago family.
Before I knew it, I found myself in Boystown.


Brian popped up to cheer me on, and caught me mid-stride! I was SO excited to see him. ❤


I can’t remember where these Taiko drummers were…

I loved all the music in the different neighborhoods.
I made it to the halfway point, still wearing my signature smile!

In most of the half and full marathons that I’ve run, there is one guy who runs the whole thing carrying a full size American flag. This race was no exception!

I stuck with that guy for a while, as the crowds were all chanting, “USA! USA!”
Somewhere around mile 20, we went through Pilsen, a big Latino community. The crowds were huge, and there was a lot of fun music playing. I danced my way through that neighborhood!

About this time, I noticed my right arm was stinging pretty terribly. I thought I’d managed to cover my entire body in Body Glide to prevent chafing, but I’d forgotten the inside of my right arm, by my tricep. After, oh… 40,000 steps, and 40,000 times that I’d rubbed my arm in the seam of my shirt, my arm was screaming for help. Luckily, just in time for the festivities of Chinatown (and keeping with the red is lucky theme)…

DOCTORS! I ran up to them, and said, “I need help.” They were so awesome. I was still smiling, so they knew I wasn’t seriously hurt, but I couldn’t see the bottom of my arm and they were the ones with the magical Vasoline, so they helped me and rubbed it on my arm. Good as new! Thanks, guys. 🙂 They were a lifesaver!
There were a few corners with cameras and big screens, so we could see ourselves coming around the corner.

Once I got closer to the finish and entered the Prairie District, I started crying all over again.

I started my princess wave to the crowd about a mile from the finish, and Brian had snuck his way into the spectator crowd around mile 26!

If you look closely, you can see me, in my orange skirt, just to the left of that sign, waving! 🙂

The security was really ramped up after the bombings in Boston, so general spectators weren’t allowed at the start and finish lines. We had spectators until about 26.1, though, which is where I stopped for my final race selfie… 🙂

…before running the through the finish chute.

I cried. A lot. Of course!
A few yards past the finish, our first stop was these kind people who gave me my medal.

They were so sweet, and they offered to take my picture!

Next stop? Bananarama.

Mountains of bananas, with a castle of banana boxes built behind the tables. I can’t even imagine how many bananas they brought in!
Third (and most important) stop: beer.

I had been crying for quite some time, so she gave me two beers. I told her that I wasn’t hurt, I was happy… but she insisted I take two, anyway. 🙂
I hobbled over to the finish area, and I had planned to make my way directly to the massage tent. Big races often have a massage tent with massage students, and it is like a little slice of very painful heaven. I was sort of surprised at how far we had to talk after the finish line to see our families, and the icing on top of the cake was the SET OF STAIRS that we had to walk down. It was only about 8 steps, but we all stared at each other as if this was some kind of cruel mirage. I didn’t take a picture, I was too busy holding my beer, banana, and trying not to topple over while waddling down. I went straight to the massage tent, and waited in line for a few minutes, when Brian found me! He surprised me with roses, and I was so excited. 🙂 I gave him my beer while I spent fifteen minutes being stretched and massaged. I walked out of that tent a new woman!


We walked a few blocks to the L…

…those stairs. Ouch.

Brian, in his infinite wisdom, parked right by an L stop in Wrigleyville, and next to a Starbucks. 🙂 Cold runner + hot coffee = VERY HAPPY HEIDI!

When we got back to Maureen’s house, I took the most amazing hot shower, changed into cozy clothes, and enjoyed some serious Chicago pizza with my cousins. Oh… and champagne. Lots of champagne.




It was an incredible race. I’ve never smiled so much during a marathon! 🙂
One of the things that made this race experience unique for me was the spectators. At most races, there are normal spectators, who half-heartedly clap while very busily looking for their friend/spouse/child who is running. Here, in Chicago, the spectators were people who live here. People who came out to cheer just because they can. 🙂 The neighborhoods all seemed to have their own identifying flair and they welcomed us all with open arms! Of course, individual runners had their own little cheering squads, and since there were so many countries represented along the athletes, the spectators were speaking and holding signs in different languages!
I ended up placing 27,563rd, coming in at 4:54:49. It was definitely not my fastest, but my happiest race, and running without headphones was a great challenge.
Thank you all so much for supporting me and cheering for me from afar!


Miles this year: 507.1

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Happy birthday to me!

I celebrated my 29th birthday with a 20 miler. It was tough but I made it through 🙂




Long runs build character, as well as strengthen my body. I took four five mile loops, and fueled at home in between. The fall colors were starting to show, and I took some beautiful loops on the Green Circle. I was even stuck behind a train at mile 18!

I finished along the Wisconsin River by my house, and relaxed in compression socks for a while 🙂


My mom and Bill invited us up for pizza at Sam’s, the place where I had my first waitressing job. 🙂
I celebrated my birthday and long run with some thin crust deliciousness and a frosty mug of beer. Pretty awesome. Afterwards, we went to the campground where they’ll be having their wedding reception.


We returned home, and I tried to take a selfie with my curly-haired Grammie, but she was being camera shy. Too cute.

I had Friday to recover from my fun birthday, and we headed over to Waupaca on Saturday to capture the wedding of Mary and Scott. These two are so cute together, and they had lots of personalized details- especially featuring their shared love for Scott’s Cadillac. They had their reception at the historic Gerold Opera House, and it was a beautiful and unique setting! All the lush red velvet and well-danced wooden floors…
Take a peek!



























Congratulations, friends!
I took Abbie out for lots of miles the next week to burn off that delicious wedding cake, and I wore her out… She loves her new bed!





Brian was gone the following week at an AFL-CIO conference, so I filled my time with friends.
I ran with Sarah…


Met Stacey for coffee…

And hooked up with my cutie patootie BFF Nikki for dinner.




Too much fun in one week, if you ask me. 🙂
Next up? Engagements with my friend Staush and his beautiful fiancée, Colleen, dinner with the Phares’, and a whirlwind weekend with a trip to the apple orchard. Thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 464.5

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Driftless adventures

Our first stop once we got back to Wisconsin was at Goose Island park.

We put in, and headed out for a great paddle on the beautiful Mississippi River 🙂
We stayed pretty sheltered, since the park is full of beautiful little water mazes, and we spent a couple hours exploring.







It was a fun day to be out- hot, humid, and a fair amount of current, but very little chop. After we loaded up, we dried off, hydrated, and headed down to Viroqua via a beautiful country drive. 30 minutes of solid Wisconsin. ❤
A late lunch at the co-op, and 15 more minutes in the car led to one of my favorite spots, Camp Creek.

We only had a couple hours to play down there, but I caught a few fish.

I also took my very first fish selfie.

I peeled off those waders, sat by the car, and ate chocolate cake while drinking an IPA. Perfection.
We packed up and drove the three hours to home, with just enough energy to unload the car from the home-Amherst-Milwaukee-Winona-LaCrosse-Viroqua-home trip, and collapsed into bed.
My Monday morning involved getting my first crown. I didn’t realize that young people needed crowns sometimes, so I felt pretty old when they told me I needed one. In order to lighten the mood, I wore a crown to my crown appointment.


Yes, I love my crazy life.
As always, thanks for reading, friends!
See you soon!

Miles this year: 417.65

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A little paint job, running, and a trip to Central Waters

After living with a peach wall in our bedroom for five years, I decided that I wanted to make a switch to grey. This is not related to my current obsession with watching old Grey’s Anatomy’s episodes and the city of Seattle, in general. 🙂
I just made the decision to do it one evening, and picked out the paint, bought a duvet cover to match, and did it. Brian came home from working on my paddleboard to quite the surprise!


I love it. 🙂
I was lucky enough to be invited over to Central Waters Brewery for a photo shoot.
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades will be playing a concert over there on October 11, so I had the chance to hang out with one of the owners, Paul, and Adam, from the band.











It’s also Oktoberfest season, so we had fun playing around with some of that gorgeous (and delicious!) beer.
I went to the dentist for my checkup. I’ve been seeing Becky and the awesome technicians over at my dentist for the 26 years since my teeth came in!

They did tell me that I’d need a crown. More info on that to come!
I came home, had a couple calls for work, and headed out for a bike ride to visit Brian. He’s been toiling away on my paddleboard!

That Wednesday night was one of the fun runs here in Stevens Point. I love this group! Our once-a-month meet ups have been a lot of fun. This time, we headed over to the Little Plover River Park.



I always leave those runs with a big smile on my face!

See you soon- next up: adventures in Milwaukee, some delicious food, and TU fun with a side of beautiful wedding!

Miles this year: 381.85

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