Tag Archives: long run

Oshkosh Marathon 2015 Race Recap

My ninth marathon. Oh boy!

Brian and I went to Oshkosh on Saturday night to pick up my bib, and we spent the night with my mother-in-love, Jean, in New London. We were lucky enough to get to hang out with my sweet nephews, and we brought pizza, so they seemed extra happy to see us 🙂

I had my fly box in the car, so I got to show the boys a little piece of my passion… apparently, the boys like bugs! They thought it was awesome. I relaxed and painted my toenails, a pre-marathon ritual, and caught up with Jean.

We went to bed pretty early, and amazingly, I slept soundly through the night. My 5:00 alarm went off awfully early, and I peeled myself out of bed, took my thyroid meds, and started getting ready. I got dressed, braided my hair, and made oatmeal. Brian brewed coffee and helped me get everything together, and we headed out to Oshkosh. We met Lydia and Matthew at a coffee shop near the start line, and we huddled in the warmth of the store before we made our way to the start.  The race starts at the same place that we have our annual Wisconsin TU banquet every year, so I’m very familiar with the area.  Our men came and acted as pro spectators for us- I think Brian shared some of his secrets with Matthew. 🙂 Lydia and I made our way to the crowd and settled into our pace group.

The view in front of us:  …and behind us… …and us!   They sang the national anthem, the gun went off, and we started shuffling along. We talked and talked for the first few miles. Before I knew it, we saw the boys!

Shortly after this point, the half marathon course split from the marathon course, so I had to say goodbye to Lydia. Our first few miles had gone by so quickly that I wasn’t ready to say good bye! It snuck up on me. Luckily, I had a huge bridge to climb to distract me, and then I was looking down on Hwy 41.  Miles 3.5 to 17 were out-and-back on the Wiouwash trail. It was beautiful! Sometimes we were sheltered, but it was mostly open. 

 I was happy to make it out to the turnaround and head back.  Unfortunately for me, it was super windy, and the “back” part of the course was hard-fought with a headwind. I still managed a smile for my halfway selfie. 😉  In the meantime, Brian and Matthew went out to meet Lydia. I’m not sure how far this was on the half marathon course, but Lydia looks awesome!  

   I think almost every race I’ve run has had someone who runs the whole race with a full-size American flag. I loved cheering on this guy when I passed him!

We ran past a lot of water on the course. I was thinking about fishing and Trout Unlimited and high capacity well pumping and invasive species and all sorts of other water stuff for a good chunk of the race. Surprisingly, I didn’t think there was enough water stations on the course, but that may be just because I am a sweaty, thirsty runner.

We ran though a little bit of campus, and along this little trail along the water, too. For a majority of this race, I ran with a guy named Mike. When I say ran “with,” I really mean that in a totally unusual way. I drafted off him from miles 4-6. Then for miles 6-17, we’d run together for a mile or so until we hit a water station. He didn’t stop for water, but I always stop and walk through, so I can drink my water or Gatorade. It would take me about a quarter mile to catch up to him, then we’d run together until the next water station. It was kind of fun. Eventually, around mile 17 or so, I couldn’t catch up to him. Luckily for me, he reappeared around mile 22, and we gave each other pep talks along the way. For example, I confessed to him that I was running without my glasses, so I couldn’t see that well. About a mile later, I said, “I’m going to walk for a bit at the next block.” He replied, “Oh, come on- you can make it to the next turn.” Of course, about a quarter mile later, I realized there was no turn!

That’s the kind of marathon buddy I needed. It was perfect! Eventually, I out ran him, and made it into the final mile by myself. I was starting to feel my muscles on the verge of cramping, both hamstrings and calves. I started giving myself an audible talking to… “Come on, girl. You can do it!”

It helped to have my sole sisters cheering me on virtually. I love these women! I had been texting them mile updates and photos, and they helped me through the rough times. 

The end of the course is up and over a bridge, with a kind of sharp angle at the bottom. It took all of my remaining bodily control to make the corner and not take out the spectators standing at the end there. 🙂 The final .1 is along the river, and it would have been fabulous, if anyone was paying attention to the race. Kids were playing, and anglers were fishing, and there was no one there to give me a little push for the last stretch. I was feeling pretty miserable, and making a sound kind of like Darth Vader, if he knew how to whimper. 🙂

Luckily, I hung in there for the last minute, and found myself running through the chute!


My official time was 4:40:54. So close to a PR! Darn wind. 🙂

Lydia convinced me to stretch, even though I didn’t want to! Plow hurt so good.  As we relaxed on the grassy knoll, I drank the chocolate shake that Brian brought for me (thanks, baby!), and then they called my name to the podium… 2nd place Athena!   
 I caught up with Mike for a quick photo, then we headed out. 

Of course, the only thing to do after a race is have pizza and beer. Of course. Glass Nickel, FTW! 

I stretched and danced and ate and drank until I was full and happy, then I napped in the car on the way home. Brian went straight to Belts for an ice cream dinner, per my request, and I crashed hard and early at 7:30 pm!
It was a great race.

Some people don’t believe in weight-based classes like Athena, and I don’t always race as an Athena, but I do feel like there’s something special in taking ownership of my size and reaching for goals anyway. Until I competed Athena, I never felt that powerful feeling of competing against someone else- I was always competing with myself. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, I usually prefer it… but it was kind of fun to race hard (for me!) against other runners and know that I had a chance to win something.

Despite the wind, the weather was beautiful, and I was so happy to have company of friends for the course. Thanks for the support, Lydia, Carmel, and Stranger Mike!

I’m already looking for my next race… I wonder where I’ll go! I have my heart set on Missula for next year, but I might pick something for the fall. 🙂

Thanks for reading, friends! 🙂

Miles this year: 259


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20 miles + sole sisters + adventures in canvassing

I can’t get enough of my little mountain. Rib Mountain is still a challenge! We park at the bottom, then run up, around some trails, and back down. Thanks for the miles, Carmel!  

 It was the first run with bare shoulders of the year. Liberation!

When I got home, I took a peek at the bottoms of my shoes, and even though I’m not at my typical 500 mile retirement, it is time. Shoes don’t wear themselves down. My sidepiece tattoo reads, “Turn dreams into reality,” and that’s what I’m doing. It’s intentional, not accidental. I had two new pairs of shoes waiting for me, just itching for the right moment to make their debut.Someone else in our home got some new duds… Abbie is a lucky girl- she got all new bling and a new collar. She lost all the tags she had when the ring stretched out, so I ran by the vet to get a new rabies tag, and the courthouse to get a new license tag, and I ordered her a new ID tag. For the record, we ordered from Boomerang Tags, and they’re awesome! Lots of choices, great prices, and fast, free shipping. I tried out my new shoes with these three runners…  

  We had a great hilly trail run together!For my twenty miler, these girls teamed up to run with me. Lydia took the first ten miles, and Carmel took the second ten. Lydia and I ran through town, and through the reserve, and looped over toward Sentry. We ran up their big ramp… …until their security guard came out and asked us to walk instead, for our safety. I’d never run up there, so it was funny that we got in trouble right away!

We stopped home after seven miles for fuel, water, to warm up, and to put on some gloves. It was SO cold and windy that our hands kind of froze into claw hands. We struggled to unwrap the Starburst at home! Ridiculous. The gloves helped, and we finished off the first half. Carmel was waiting for us, and they had a ceremonial changing of the guard. 🙂 I looked pretty curly good for halfway!  Carmel and I looped through a different part of the reserve……and it was every bit as cold as it looks! I love these boardwalks, though 🙂It was a great run, even though it was cold. It kind of felt like I never really warmed up and found my groove, but my girls kept me going by talking nonstop through the run. It is so much easier to run with the support of my sole sisters! 

As soon as I got home, I chugged a glass of water, grabbed my keys, and went to Starbucks for coffee. Next stop? Belts. Of course. Gosh, I so love sprinkles.

I ate my ice cream in a mustard bath, then grabbed my laptop and materials out of my office. The only thing that could make my day better than working from the couch with a cozy blanket was a visit from my best friend, Amy. I ordered her wedding invitations, and they’d come in. She drove down to pick them up, and surprised me with a cupcake! Doesn’t this just make your day?It sure made mine. Love you, girl!

So, that long run and visit was my Friday, and I spent Saturday canvassing for my friend, Mary. She ran for alderman in district 7, and I’m proud to announce that she won! It was the first time I’d ever knocked on doors for someone in an election. I was totally surprised at how many people don’t vote, don’t want to vote, don’t care about politics on any level, and, perhaps most surprising, how many people have no shame in telling me such. Luckily, most of the people we spoke with were interested in what is going on and were very receptive to Mary’s ideas. Well, I suppose that’s obvious since she’s the new alderman! 🙂  

Way to go, Mary!! 

Up next? Easter, and a week on the road. Thanks for sticking with me on my adventures!

Miles this year: 208.45

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18 miles + meetings in Minneapolis

As the weather warms up, each run feels a little different. I’m finally shedding my extra layers and running without feeling weighed down. Carmel and I have been having a grand old time running the mountain.  I also hosted an essential oil class with my mother-in-love. I swear by essential oils for multiple things, including helping me sleep. 🙂 After my class, I was feeling pretty tired, and I had my eighteen miler the next day, but The Lowest Pair was playing downtown at Guu’s. I first heard them when they opened for Trampled By Turtles in Green Bay last year, and I think they’re fabulous! I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to hear them in my backyard, so I went over there.

I’m having a little bit of a crisis of work intention, but I’ll go into that more in my next post or two, so going to a concert alone was certainly an interesting experience.

The next morning, I woke up with a stomachache and generally feeling crabby. I didn’t want to run, so I put it off, and put it off some more. I did some work, and cleaned the house, and finally, I convinced myself to bite the bullet. Since it was in the 20s, I headed into the gym for my run. Luckily, my crabby mood lifted about mile 9. I ate some Starbursts and drank my Nuun, and watched some The Boss on Netflix.

Now, for a bit of honesty. 🙂 

You would think that having dozens of double digit mile runs under my belt, that I would remember the basics. One of the most important rules to follow is that you shouldn’t try out new clothes because they can chafe you, or ride up, or restrict your breathing… ain’t nobody got time for that. Since I was in such a funk when I was getting ready, I must not have been thinking straight, but I picked out a super cute tank top that I’d never run in before. I’d worn it for yoga and strength training, but not running. In any event, about ten miles into a sweaty treadmill run, my arms were chafing so badly that I ended up running and swinging my arms away from my body for the final eight miles. That shirt also just soaked up all my sweat. Gross AND annoying. Alas, I have no idea what the f I was thinking lesson learned. 

As soon as I left the gym, I went straight to our local soft serve place, Belts, and ate my recovery lunch while sitting in a mustard bath.  I recovered with laundry and packing for my weekend- the Trout Unlimited Upper Midwest Regional meeting. I was so excited to see my Wisconsin TU guys, my Illinois TU friends (hi, Myra!), and, of course, the staff. Dont worry, I made sure to grab some Spotted Cow to share with the guys.

Brian had Friday off, so he helped me finish packing and loaded my car for me. Before I knew it, I was on the road. A couple hours into my drive, I looked in the backseat and realized I didn’t see my garment bag hanging there. I called Brian, who informed me that we’d forgotten to put it in the car, and it was still hanging on our bedroom door frame. I ended up making up for it by buying new meeting clothes (thanks for no sales tax on clothes, Minnesota!), and my WITU friends and I headed over to our friends’ house for a cookout.

 Thanks for hosting this rowdy bunch, Criqui family!

I enjoyed the meeting, especially learning about the plans that TU has for helping us protect and restore our beloved Great Lakes. I represented Wisconsin well by attending the “Women In TU” presentation… 

  And we got to catch up over dinner. Go Badgers! Linn and Mike, from WITU, worked with my friend, Kyle (remember Kyle, from Oregon?), to put on a presentation…


   …our CEO gave a talk of his own…



…and Matt (from TU AND the River Alliance) and Linn gave a presentation about advocacy.



 I took Kyle to the Mall of America to walk around for a bit, and I dropped him off at the airport on the way to visit the Weisses.  I got to meet baby Lexi!!  The Weisses are fabulous parents, and I just love watching my friends grow into their new role. Thanks for letting me spend the night and cuddle with your babe! I was on the road early on Monday, and headed home. I love seeing that “Welcome to Wisconsin” sign.

Thanks for reading!

Miles this year: 188.45

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WITU State Council Banquet + a fabulous loaf of bread

My very first volunteer opportunity for Trout Unlimited was helping to sell tickets for the raffles at our state council banquet. That was five years ago, and now I’m in charge of the raffle ticket sales. Times have changed! 

This year, while we started the day in a meeting, our council hosted the first WITU-sponsored women’s fly fishing seminar ever here in Wisconsin. We had some incredible women instructors come and teach our attendees about the sport that we love, protecting the resource, and connecting with the outdoors in a truly meaningful way. 

Here’s a couple of my favorite photos from this year- the awesome members who keep me coming back, our strong leaders who fight for the resource, the award winners, and all sorts of stuff. 🙂

This event was held in Oshkosh, and my best friends Amy and Nikki came out to help me sell tickets. We spent the night relaxing in the hot tub and drinking wine. It is a strange “girls’ night” but we love it. ❤

I returned home and prepared for our chapter’s fly tying night out at Clancey’s. We had great turnout, and a lot of fun! I invented a new pattern for the “Oberstadt sparkle dry fly” and I will let you know how it works ASAP. 🙂

We were in the middle of a cold spell, so I had to do the majority of my running indoors. When I had a 12 miler on the schedule, the high temperature didn’t get above zero. That meant I got used to this view:

I actually don’t mind running inside as much as you’d think- I can keep a water bottle and fuel (Starbursts, FTW) right nearby, and a sweat towel, of course. 🙂

Lucky me, I was busy carb loading with the subject of this week’s photo shoot- a loaf of Le Fruit, another Main Grain creation.

My view?

The finished product?

I lead a charmed life.

Up next? Our awesome Valentine’s weekend., including Jason Isbell in Chicago and my mom’s wedding!

Miles this year: 106

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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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Labor Day weekend pt 2…

As soon as we wrapped up Casi and Eric’s wedding, I headed to bed so I could get up early for the Just Run 1/2 marathon and the Riverfront Jazz Festival.
I ran over to the start line, and found Jenilee and George!

This is a great hometown race, with a half marathon and a 5K. It was a very hot and humid day- it was between 97-98% humidity. The race started nice and easily, on the bridge right above the dam. I found Ray, manning the 3 mile water station with the Boy Scouts.

It is a beautiful course, and this year, they switched it up with a little stretch through the Sculpture Park on the Green Circle.



One of my favorite things about running is meeting new people. The running community is so welcoming and friendly!

I crossed the finish line one sweaty woman, received my medal, and ran home, with 15 miles for the day.


I took a shower, packed a lunch, and we headed over to the Riverfront Jazz Festival. I spent a lot of time at the Jazz Festival, both on Saturday and Sunday. Once again, I was shooting for those guys, but I also got to hang out with my college friends and people that I love from the community!






My college friend, Matt, brought his sextet up from Illinois to play. In fact, his group, Old Style Sextet, just won second place at a competition in China, and are bringing home $20,000! Congratulations, Matt 🙂




















Brian and I spent some time dancing, and after a couple swing songs, we headed back to our spot to sit down. A lady I didn’t know chased after me and said that there were friends of mine in the water that wanted to say, “Hi!” Lo and behold…

My Wausau kayaking crew! 🙂 in a fun twist, I have danced with or learned to dance from many of these people. Missy and Jeff were my first ballroom dance instructors! Seeing them was a great surprise.



We crashed pretty hard on Sunday night, after chowing down some Bucky Badger jello jigglers! Way awesome.

Up next? Meeting Baby Lily Nowinski. ❤

Miles this year: 458.7

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Madison Marathon recap 2013

I’m skipping ahead chronologically because I want to tell you all about the fun that was the Madison Marathon this year.
When the marathon organizers changed the date from May to November, I was a little nervous about the cold, and I was right to be. Race morning, it was in the 30s, with a slight wind. The race starts and ends at the capital, which is exciting , but presents some problems… the first 1/2 mile is downhill (so people go too fast) and the last 1/2 mile is uphill, so you’re spending your last bit of energy struggling up a hill! Good thing we stopped for coffee before the race. That cup of steaming liquid magic got me through the wait for the gun to go off!

I started with the selfies around the first mile 🙂

I tried to catch photos that show how hilly the course was…


Here is my sexy shadow self, somewhere around mile 10, next to a stranger in a hat.


There is a big hill around mile 17, and once you make it to the top, there is a beautiful view!



How about this sign?

I know that some of you think I’m crazy for taking photos and tweeting while running, but here is proof that I’m not the only one…

I loved this little kid and I definitely touched that sign. You betcha.

Around mile 18, I started to feel a little jello-y in my legs, but nothing too serious. I felt like Gumby!

Brian was waiting for me right around mile 19, and caught me midfueling… Swedish fish FTW.



The course had a little loop, so I saw him again around mile 20…

I’m typically a hot runner, so cold races are kind of miserable because I want my gloves for the first two miles, then my hands get too warm. I ended up taking my gloves off and putting them back on a dozen times during this race. The wind got to me!
Amanda was volunteering at the mile 21 water station, so I was looking forward to seeing her! Even with the hills and the cold, I was feeling great.

I walked through the mile 22 aid station to drink my water, and when I tried to start running again, I noticed that my right quad had tightened up noticeably, and my gait changed dramatically. It’s almost like my right leg refused to land on a bent knee, so I had to land on an almost straight leg. How crazy. It changed the end of my race big time.
Luckily, Santa was there, coming to my rescue at the mile 23 aid station. If I didn’t have pictures of this, you would probably think I’d started hallucinating.


The last three miles of this race are basically an out-and-back on John Nolen Drive. It overlooks Lake Monona, right in Madison.

When you turn around to head back, you’re at about mile 24.5, but it feels (and looks!) like the Capitol is sooooooo far away.

Mile 26, starting the last uphill…

Brian was waiting right by the finish line for me…


And I did it. Marathon number seven, finished. It was a slow race, made worse by the last five miles (I was in my way to a PR until mile 20!), but I pulled my gimpy butt across the line in 4:54:36.

We ran back to our hotel in Middleton (the Extended Stay suites, highly recommend!), I took an ice bath, ate leftover Chinese food, and headed home. Oh, after a quick stop at CherryBerry to eat my weight in froyo. 🙂

Miles this year: 400.2


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Hello, strangers.

Hello, strangers!
I apologize for temporarily being MIA. Here in central Wisconsin, the fall colors have been at their peak, which means I am in the busiest photo season of the year!
Since I left you last time, Brian and I enjoyed a sushi date night.



We ate octopus for the first time! It was very chewy. All that rice was like carb-loading for Ashlee and Nick’s Plover wedding.















Their ceremony was held at the beautiful St. Bron’s in Plover and the fun reception was at the Elizabeth Inn. Congratulations, Ashlee and Nick!
Brian snapped this one of me… This is what a photog looks like at the end of a long day 🙂

Sunday was a wonderful day to meet our new neighbor.

Beautiful coloring, but I won’t be inviting her to a block party anytime soon.
Monday morning brought a pumpkin/kale smoothie and some fun photos of my friend, Randy. He owns Radio Kaos… You know I’m a fan.





The fall colors are beautiful for more than just photos… They make my runs even more enjoyable. Here’s my neighborhood!



After that beautiful run, Brian and I headed up to Rib Mountain to shoot the engagement portraits of Kim and Brad. It was a perfect day and we had a lot of fun!






I was a full-on giggle machine during this photo shoot. Thanks for laughing with me, Kim and Brad! 🙂

Tuesday was full of photo editing and the engagement portraits of Erika and Chad. Their wedding will be in Milwaukee, and they live in Appleton, but they took the day off to come visit us here in Stevens Point. We took them to Schmeekle Reserve, played around on campus, walked downtown, then finished up at O’so Brewing Company.






How cute are those?! Frankly, I love any photo shoot that ends with my Nikon in one hand and a Night Train in the other.

On Wednesday, I had a really fun shoot at a spa event over at Adventure 212. I haven’t edited those photos yet- but here’s an iPhone photo of the double use of some of our lighting.

On Thursday, I worked in our second bedroom and took several big storage containers to our storage unit. That is time-consuming work! I also went to my monthly TU board meeting and made mental notes for winter fishing projects. I’m going to do some revamping of our chapter website and tie more flies of my own. 🙂
Friday was a long run day. It was a very windy day, and it was a tough 20 mile run.
I encountered fresh tar…

…beautiful leaves…


…wind-blown hair…

…a banana peel…

…a beautiful bridge (recognize this from Ashlee and Nick’s wedding? I found this spot while running)…

…a tiny leaf stuck in my sock…

…a giant leaf stuck to my face…

…and part of the Green Circle.


The wind made this run a big challenge, and I was so happy to be home to take a warm shower before heading out to Waupaca to take photos of the adorable Bellile family.





Thanks for braving the cold for me, Belliles! You are adorable.
Brian and I warmed up with a fish fry at Point After, followed by homemade pumpkin shakes.




We hit the hay early so we’d be rested for meeting Karen and her girls at A Touch of Class salon at 7 am up in Wausau. Karen and Eric had a hilarious wedding party and we had a lot of fun working with them! Check out their day…






That’s the same handkerchief that Karen’s mom used on her wedding day!











Their ceremony was at St. Anne’s in Wausau, with photos at Leigh Yawkey and the 400 block. Their gorgeous reception was at Jefferson Street Inn, with some of the most beautiful floral work I’ve ever seen from Randy at Evolutions in Design. Simply incredible. I volunteered with Karen at Girl Scout camp, so I’ve known this beautiful bride for 15 years! Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Hansen!
We left their reception and headed straight to the end of the reception of our friends, Mary and Joe. Remember these guys? I did their engagement portraits earlier this year…


We made it just in time to hug all of our friends and take our token Delta Omicron wedding photo…

What a good looking group. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Nowinski!
We got home around 1:30 and peeled ourselves out of bed Sunday morning to shoot morning light engagement photos of Jen and Josh up in Wausau. They are a gorgeous couple and we’re looking forward to their beautiful wedding at the Milwaukee Art Museum.







We had a lot of fun with these guys, and made it home just in time to catch the Packer game. I slept soundly through halftime and crawled off the couch to teach dance on Sunday evening.


I tried to catch up on photo work and housework yesterday before heading out with my friend and fellow TU board member, Matt. He took me out to all the work sites of our chapter’s stream restoration projects. I am planning on doing some work with our projects, showing before-during-after shots as the projects move along, and I wanted to get some photos before winter sets in. Here’s a few of my favorites.





Our stream projects are taking wide, shallow, warm sections of the stream that have been washed out by erosion and other causes and narrowing them. Trout cannot live or breed in warm water, so they need narrow, cold water with places to hide. We don’t create habitat where it doesn’t belong, but we try to repair and restore the areas that have been damaged.
I’m off to finish the wedding of Rachel and Alex and dig into my gaggle of engagement images. I can’t wait for Brian to come home so we can go for a rainy day run followed by a warm bowl of homemade chili. 🙂

Miles this year: 550.85

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Cute babies, a 15-miler, Paul and Nikki, and a trip to Chicago

What a fun week!
I started off last Tuesday with two fun photo shoots.
The lovely and adorable baby Halle…








…and the fun staff over at Fehrman Orthodontics.



I made, quite possibly, my favorite salad so far the year, too! 🙂 …and it was accompanied by juice with fish ice cubes!!!!


Thursday’s 15 miler was a rough run. I started out with a hot quinoa breakfast. Quinoa, almond butter, unsweetened coconut flakes, chia seeds, a banana, and a drizzle of honey.

I had a pretty nasty stomachache during most of the run, and didn’t fuel, so I started to feel pretty wiped out near the end. Alas, I pushed forward and returned home, red and ready for an ice bath.

Thursday night involved a meeting with the DNR, discussing the individual components of their Environmental Impact Study (EIS) in Saratoga.

The research that they do as a part of that EIS helps determine whether it is legal for them to permit the CAFO to move in. I feel bad for some of those DNR employees- many citizens seem to be mistaken and think that the DNR is there to protect the environment against all evil. The reality is that the DNR can only protect the environment according to the laws that we have in place. If the CAFO will not damage any of the resources enough that it will violate the laws we have in place, then the DNR is powerless to stop them.
On Friday morning, we said goodbye to our love seat. Our living room is now much more spacious. We used that space right away for packing our bags, and we headed down to northern Illinois for the beautiful wedding of Paul and Nikki. A big Americano + a safe driver = a happy Heidi.


Paul and Nikki are a couple who are so in love that it shines through in all these photos. I’ll let the images speak for themselves…





















That one is of Paul with all the ladies from Adventure 212. That’s the club where I work out, and Paul was a (well-loved!) trainer before his recent move to Rochester.


Congratulations, Paul and Nikki!
On Sunday morning, we packed all of our stuff back in the car and headed south to Chicago, to visit my aunt, Maureen.

We stopped at my favorite store down there, Calumet, and looked through all their beautiful photo equipment.

Maureen was competing in the Chicago Triathlon, and my little cousin, Michael, competed in a kids’ triathlon. They are too cute with their medals!


We went to a late lunch at Burke’s to celebrate. My cousins, Brendan and Kevin, own that great place!

Congratulations, Maureen and Michael! We headed home Sunday evening, in the rain.

Stay tuned for info about this week’s pet portraits, senior portraits, and much more. 🙂

Miles this year: 437.45

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