In Her Shoes

Tackling my bucket list, one half marathon at a time.


To Run or Not To Run

I’m back to blog after another long hiatus. And I’m back to talk things out. I’ve recently had an itch to run another marathon. 4 months from now I’ll hate myself and I’ll hate running. But for now, I want to run. My wedding is next August so I keep thinking I should sign up for something to get myself motivated and in shape. What better time to run another marathon, right? Well, maybe. The problem? I’d be training in the dead of winter….a Wisconsin winter. There is nothing worse than that. The other problem? There are no marathons in the Madison area in the spring which means I’d have to travel. No, it’s not the end of the world but I sure do love sleeping in my own bed the night before a race.

My two options right now are the Oshkosh Marathon on April 19th or the Wisconsin Marathon in Kenosha on May 2nd. If anyone has other ideas, I’m all ears.

As I hem and haw over this idea, I keep asking myself, “why not just run another half.” Because I just want to do another marathon and I really don’t have a good reason why. We shall see. I have 2 months to decide.

Marathon Sign





I’m a disgrace. I haven’t blogged since May. But in my defense, my last post was the greatest post ever and I wanted that to be the most recent post forever and ever. If you didn’t read it, go back and please do so.

I will not bore you with excuses of why I haven’t written. I’ll just leave it at this:

Lake living


Besides lake living, I’ve been (attempting to) plan a wedding! I know we still have a year until the Big Day, but I get anxious when I think of all there is to be done. Because I like lists and they make me feel more accomplished, here we go:


  • Date (8/15/15)
  • Venue (Pleasant View Golf Course)
  • Photographer
  • Day-of Planner
  • Wedding dress!
  • Wedding party
  • Honeymoon (St. Lucia!!!!)

Big To-Dos

  • Videographer
  • DJ
  • Hotels for guests
  • Shuttles
  • Food!

Let me just say, if you live in the Madison area, I really, really welcome your suggestions for anything on the to-dos list. Especially a videographer.

I won’t bore you with wedding details so I’ll move onto another thing keeping me occupied: running.

I have my 2nd half of 2014 next weekend: the Madison Mini. I feel like a wimp compared to last year (6 half marathons, 1 full marathon). I hate that my priorities have changed, but I just didn’t find the time to travel for halves this year. I’d like to say maybe 2015?? However, 2015 will be the Year of Weddings amongst my friends and I. Oh well, I’m still getting the miles in, just not in official races.

*Break from writing*

I just started thinking, “I am rambling on about things people probably don’t care about. What did I used to post about?”

Well, running. So I went back and looked at my post about my marathon last November. After reading it, I have a minor inkling to sign up for the Madison Marathon in November. I said minor, people. Minor. We’ll see how I feel after the half next Saturday. And if I’m really crazy enough to sign up.

What a random blog post. See you again in another 3 months.



An Overdue Walk In My Kicks

It has been 1 month exactly since I last blogged. I deeply apologize for inhibiting you all from reading about my incredibly interesting life. But to be honest, I think I’m doing you a solid. There’s not much new here, I just feel obligated to write since it’s been so long. And because Emily is harassing me about it.

But what IS new? Well…

I’m training again! Thank god. I’ve amped it up to Hal Higdon’s Intermediate training schedule, which means I’ve added a day of running and track workouts. The best part of this round of training? The BF is doing it too! Bennet is an oober athlete. I’m not kidding…he’s done Ironman twice. But he hasn’t always been overly fond of running. So after much convincing, he signed up for the Madison Half Marathon with me! Even though we’re not training together (let’s be real, he’s a lot faster than I am), it’s still fun to plan our runs around the same time and talk about our struggles/accomplishments.

My niece. She’s still cute as ever. Proof:

My SIL took Mila's 10 month pictures yesterday. I can't handle how awesome she is.

My SIL took Mila’s 10 month pictures yesterday. I can’t handle how awesome she is.

But seriously? How adorable.

But seriously? How adorable.

Guys, this is sad, but I can’t think of anything else. My world revolves around work, running, obsessively watching HGTV and Mindy Project, mini traveling vacations on the weekends and just trying to stay sane. Which can be hard to do.

will share a quote my mom sent me not too long ago. It resonated a bit more than other quotes do. And yes, I printed this out and posted in my office, in hopes that it would resonate with others as well. Cough, cough.

I leave you with a lovely beat by one of the greatest bands on the planet.

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Social Media and Running

I belong to a group called Social Media Breakfast Madison (#smbmad). It’s where a bunch of awesome (and nerdy) social media people get together once a month and talk about…social media. Over the years it has grown A TON. When I started attending in 2010, there were only about 20 regular attendees. Now, each month there are about 200-250 attendees.

Anyway, our January speaker was supposed to be from Yumbutter, however, they got caught in Guatemala due to travel issues. SO, a few social media “experts” were asked to speak on a panel last minute, myself included. Yesterday morning I got to wake up, eat donuts, drink coffee, and sit in the front of the room talking about one of my favorite topics: social media. Here is a picture of our wonderful panel:

Photo cred: Paint Creek Photography

Photo cred: Paint Creek Photography

It was fun ‘ol stuff. I got to sit next to my sidekick Krista, talk AND learn about social media and people-watch for an hour. Muha, creepy. If you’re ever so inclined, here’s a quick overview of the event.  

I talk a lot

I talk a lot

Next to Krittabug

Morning view

Onto other things: running. Yes, I’m stilling doing it. But minimally. I get out when Krista (same one as above) texts me after work and asks me to go with her. But it’s getting increasingly hard to find motivation to get out and run in 10 degree weather. I don’t like selfies and I refuse to post pictures like this anywhere but on my blog, however, here is a picture I sent to my sister last night (thanks again for the gloves and neck gaiter!) before my run. This is how I have to dress EVERY TIME I go for a run lately. Not fun.

Running in a tundra

I seriously need to move south. Florida calls my name daily. But thankfully, I’m off to Arizona three weeks from yesterday for a 5-day vacation with the family.

Finally, here is your heartwarming story of the day. It’s a must-read, even if you don’t like the Seahawks.


2013 In a Nutshell

If I were to sum up 2013 with 3 descriptions, it would be the year of Mila (my niece), weddings and running. In honor of the last day in 2013, let’s recap.

Mila Moo

My beautiful niece was born on June 13th, 2013. Moo, as I call her, is the cutest little peanut on the planet. And I’m not being biased. To spare you, I’ll only post two recent photos. Our entire family is obsessed with her. She’s the constant center of attention, which she should be. It has been so fun to watch her grow over the last 6 months. I cannot wait until she’s old enough to run around and chat with.Stocking stuffer Mila Moo's first Christmas

 Weddings Galore

Earlier this year, it seemed as if I had a wedding every weekend. And I know this is only going to continue for a few more years. But I’m so grateful to be able to witness some of my favorite people get married.

Wedding Party

My best friend Gretchen’s wedding party, May 2013


In the past 12 months, I’ve run 6 half marathons and one full marathon:

  • Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon: January 20th
  • Iowa City Half Marathon: May 5th
  • Madison Half Marathon: May 26th
  • Rock ‘n’ Sole Half Marathon (Milwaukee): June 15th
  • Brewers Half Marathon: September 28th
  • Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon: October 20th
  • Madison Marathon: November 10th

I’d say that’s a pretty good year of running! But still not enough. I didn’t hit 1,000 miles in 2013 like I wanted. But maybe that’s what 2014 is for?

So which race was my favorite? Hands down, no doubt about it…Iowa City. Why? 2 reasons. I finally broke two hours and because I did this race with a few of my best friends…none of which had ever run a half marathon. I was so proud of these girls, not only for running the half, but enduring the training and my annoying encouragement. Now, let’s see if I can get them to do another in 2014?!

start of race

Half marathon finishers

This year was dominated by running and I loved it. Yes, there were times I hated it, but I didn’t get burned out. Even after marathon training for half of 2013, I still love going out for a quick run after work. However, I will admit…it’s nice not to have a strict schedule to follow.

I have yet to sign up for a race in 2014, but I plan on kicking out another handful of halves. I’d really like to cross Minnesota and Illinois off my “Half in Every State” bucket list item. And let’s be honest…I’ll do another marathon, even though I always say, “I’m never doing this crap again.”

So there is 2013 in a nutshell. The years come and go too quickly. Thank you to all my followers for reading over the past year. See you on the flip side.



Yes, I’m alive and well. I know you were all so worried. I know, I know. Miss Social Media hasn’t blogged in over a month. And it would have been longer if Emily hadn’t reminded me. So this post is for you, Wank.

But why haven’t I been blogging? Because I haven’t been running…much. Yes, I finished my marathon. And yes, I forgot to post about it. So here I am, finally remembering that miserable but successful day. The Madison Marathon was a month ago yesterday, so I’ve forgotten details except for these:

  • It was freezing at the start…absolutely freezing!
  • I was terrified at the start. I had the worst attitude ever and wanted to get these miserable hours over with. My friend Jen and I huddled in Starbucks until minutes before the gun went off and I ran into my running friends Cindy and Mike who gave me a brief pep talk.
  • Once I got going, I started feeling great. Miles 1-10 were awesome. I remember seeing my family around 5 and I jumped and ran towards them, hugging them all. Hugs subsided after that point.
  • Jen ran with me up until mile 8. We said our goodbyes right by Camp Randall where she told me she’d meet me at mile 22 to finish the last 4 miles with me. She, unfortunately, had to drop out of the run due to a IT band injury.
  • I saw so many of my wonderful Neckerman coworkers at mile 10. There was a long stretch of them on University Ave, waiting to take my picture. I remember I stopped and gave my friend Mel (the one I do most of my half marathons and training runs with) a hug here.
  • The rolling hills on Gorham (miles 11 & 12) were NOT fun.
  • My knee started killing me at mile 13. I saw my family around this time and asked for Ibuprofen. A few minutes later, my awesome brother comes running up to me with a bottle of pills and asks how many I want. Those were clutch. Pain went away within minutes.
  • I started really feeling the pain at mile 17ish. This was through the Maple Bluff neighborhood. The wonderful people of the Madison Marathon decided to put the largest hill in Madison at mile 17.5. I forever hold a grudge against them for that.
  • I saw my friend Mike at mile 19ish and told him I hated life. And that I was never doing a marathon again.
  • Miles 19-22 were a challenge. I wanted the run to be over, I was bored and knew I wasn’t going to see family or friends for awhile. I was aching to find Jen at 22.
  • Jen joins me at mile 22. The first thing I said? “You can talk to me…but I’m not talking back. I hurt. I hate this. I want to cry.” Jen was such a trooper. SUCH a trooper. She encouraged me, pushed me, motivated me, put up with my bad attitude, put up with me snapping at her (“YOU DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH I HURT JEN!!!”) Good God I owe her. So seriously, J, I love you. I could not have finished the way I did without you there.
  • We see my family again at 22.5. I yell at Lauren to stop taking pictures of me while running. (“SERIOUSLY…STOP. YOU HAVE ENOUGH.”)
  • I see Mel right after my parents. I stop. “Mel…I hurt.” She wouldn’t let me stop…and pushed me onward.
  • 23-26 were agony. My quads were pulsating. Jen was amazing. The view was gorgeous on John Nolan Drive. I hated life. Everything in the world was terrible.
  • My friend Amanda joined Jen and I for about .3 miles around 24. She’s a gem.
  • As we are coming up West Wash at mile 25ish (another HILL), I tell Jen I need to walk. WHO walks with .7 left of a marathon?! Well, me. A stranger and spectator (his name was Kevin) comes up and starts motivating me. He gets me running again. What an encouraging guy he was. He left with .2 miles to go. I saw him again at the finish and thanked and hugged him.
  • I crossed the finish line in 4:32. 2 minutes after my goal. 12 minutes after my stretch goal. Did I care? No. Because I was done.
  • The most important thing I remember? My family. They were EVERYWHERE. I think I saw them 14 times on the course. They would drive by me cheering, park the car up ahead of me, jump out, cheer me on again until I passed them, and repeat. It was so amazing. Before the marathon, I was not looking forward to seeing people I knew on the course. Once I was running, I couldn’t have been more thankful for anything else. So to my mom, dad, Lauren, Jeremy and Bennet: you guys were amazing. You kept me going.
  • On the topic of amazing support, I was overwhelmed by all the texts, phone calls, Facebook posts, tweets and verbal “good luck” wishes I received. Before, DURING, and after the marathon. I don’t know what else to say other than I am incredibly fortunate to have the people in my life that I do. I could not reiterate that enough.

Woah, now that I think about it…I remembered a lot. Phew. That’s a lot to post in my first blog back. I’ll be back more often, I promise. For now, here are some pics from my marathon…

Mel made this sign for the marathon. Our friend Krista loves Unicorns, I love the Hawkeyes. Perfection.

Mel made this sign for the marathon. Our friend Krista loves Unicorns, I love the Hawkeyes. Perfection.

The start was FREEEZING.

The start was FREEEZING.

right wrist

Right wrist motivation

Left wrist motivation

Left wrist motivation

Mile 10...I was so happy!

Mile 10…I was so happy!

Hugging Mel at Mile 10

Hugging Mel at Mile 10

My lovely boyfriend high fiving me. No idea what mile this is.

My lovely boyfriend, Bennet, high fiving me. No idea what mile this is.

Mom and Bennet at mile 18. I didn't enjoy this time period.

Mom and Bennet at mile 18. I didn’t enjoy this time period.

Crossing the finish

Crossing the finish

Jen, my savior, and I at the finish

Jen, my savior, and I at the finish

Mel and I at the finish

Mel and I at the finish

My amazing support group and family

My amazing support group and family


Flashbacks for Motivation

Thank god I blog. Why? Because I can look back at previous posts to remind myself why I signed up for a marathon.

I’m feeling really overwhelmed this week and I need an attitude adjustment. Fast. Yesterday I hit that point where the marathon just…consumes me. I didn’t think that would set in until Friday. It’s all the stupid race emails I’m getting from the Madison Marathon. The last two I’ve received…I started tearing up at my desk at work. Pathetic, I know.

So I’m writing to build some mental strength.

Background info: I’m running the Madison Marathon on Sunday. This will be my 2nd marathon. My first marathon was June, 2012 in San Diego.

Why did I sign up for the Madison Marathon back in April? “Because I Can.” That’s what I titled my blog post. “Because I’m fortunate enough to have the ability to run.” I signed up after the Boston Bombings because I was pissed. Pissed that two people would do something so foolish, inhumane and so full of hate. And to the running community. So I need to remember that on Sunday. How? “Because I Can” will be written on one wrist.

How did I feel days before my first marathon last June? Did I have the same nerves? All I can remember is being so excited to fly out to California and see my sister and cousins. Welp, once again, thank god I blog. I was actually FREAKING out 5 days before the marathon. HEY, just like yesterday…5 days before the marathon.

How prepared am I compared to last year? I think I’m a stronger runner this year. I’m faster at the long distances and I know my body more. I know when to slow down and when I can push myself a little harder. But was I religious about sticking to the training plan as much as last year? Nope. I skimped out on some mid-week runs due to an incredibly busy fall. HOWEVER, I was religious about my long runs. AND last year, I only did a 16, 18 and 20 mile run. This year I did a 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20 mile run. How I found time for that, I’ll never know {patting myself on that back for that one}.

Enjoy it. That’s what everyone keeps telling me. My response (to myself): How do you expect me to enjoy 26 miles of running? I barely drive that distance in a week. Once again, attitude adjustment. No, I might not enjoy the 26 miles. But I’ll enjoy everything about the experience afterward. After I completed my marathon in San Diego last year, I was the happiest person on the planet because it was over. And I did it. And I was so proud of myself for it. I can’t wait for that feeling again.

Lastly, whenever I’m in need of running motivation, I turn to Pinterest and search “marathon.” This is my favorite:

you're capable of so much more

Sayonara. See you on the flip side. Unless I need to vent through my blog one last time before Sunday, which may again, benefit me in the future.