Monthly Archives: May 2013

Mother’s Day Racing – QC Distance Classic Race Report

The Quad Cities Distance Classic is a race that is near and dear to my heart.  It was the first half marathon I ever ran (during training for my “first” half with Team in Training in 2009).  Although I have thought about running it every year since, I haven’t yet been able to.  First I was pregnant, then it was the week after another race, and then last year I was in the clutches of marathon training and unable to think about anything else.

Last week I ran a half marathon in Indianapolis (I promise someday I’ll write a race recap).  I think it was last Friday on the drive to Indy when I asked my husband if it would be crazy for me to run the QCDC the following weekend.  When he told me to go for it, I started seriously thinking about it.

After the Mini Marathon, I didn’t want to think about running another half in a week, so I told him to ask me again in a few days.  And sure enough, after I felt good on Sunday and normal on Monday, by Tuesday I was thinking seriously about running again.

So on Wednesday, I made an executive decision that I wanted to run on Mother’s Day this year.  I decided that running is something I love, and something that I wanted to spend part of “my” day doing.  So I registered late – and I am glad that I did.

I wasn’t sure how well I would run given I ran a half last weekend and ran 6 miles yesterday morning.  So I decided to just enjoy the run and not try and push the pace (yeah.  famous last words…)

When the race started, we hit Mile 1 and I looked down to see a sub-9 pace.  Yowza.  I knew that was not sustainable.  Then we turned to go up the biggest hill in the race (no lie, this one is a killer, but oddly enough I love it!).  We then spend a few miles up on top of the river bluff before coming back downhill to spend the remainder of the race pretty flat.

elevation qcdc

I’m not going to lie.  This race was tough.  I definitely could feel my tired legs!  Somewhere around mile 6 I took my only GU, it was one I hadn’t used last weekend (I am so thankful that I didn’t, or I would have been left fuel-less this weekend!).  I also packed a few Jolly Rancher candies to help get me through.  It’s amazing what a little sugar can do.

Right at about mile 8.5, I think I almost cried.  I had forgotten that the race has two separate out-and-backs.  Actually I knew that the race did, but for some reason as I went out on the first one, I thought blissfully that they had changed the course and I didn’t have to go out for the second one.  I know I said something inappropriate when I saw the runners doing the u-turn to head back down the second one.  It’s funny because I knew how long the race was, and I knew how many miles were left.  I even told myself, “you have to run the same distance whether you’re near the lake or on the bike path…”  But the fact that I still wasn’t going to leave the marina area just hit me hard, since I had convinced myself it was time to get up on the bike path.  But in actuality, this was probably the best part of the race because I was giving high fives and cheering for the other runners the whole time.

Double out-and-backs

Double out-and-backs 

The wind was pretty brutal in miles 9-10, as we ran back up the river bike path right into the wind.  It was a beautiful day (it still is) but that wind was vicious!  I think that those seem to be two of the worst miles in a half marathon, and to run them into a cold headwind was like torture!

Somewhere around mile 8, I turned off the Garmin pace display because I realized I was checking it way too often.  So I was pretty surprised when I finished around 2 hours – would have expected it to be a bit slower, especially considering that I walked a few times. Oh, well!

splits qcdc

So there it is:  My 8th half marathon, complete.  Now:  time to relax and do nothing the rest of the day.

Oh, wait. I’m a mom of three. I’m sure I will have to do something. 🙂



In fact, it’s time to go round up the little one for a nap he doesn’t want to take.  Wish me luck.


empowering innovation

Imagine you could mobilize 42 million grandmothers who are younger, healthier, better educated and more professionally experienced than grandmothers have ever been – all of whom want to make the world a better place for children. What would you ask them to do?

This was the last of the questions posed as an “idea” for the Grandmother Power campaign. And this is the one that got my mind racing.

What are the key words that jump out at me here?

better educated

professionally experienced

It took me a second, but then I realized. The 42 million grandmothers? Those aren’t my grandmas. Those are my mom. My mother-in-law. My friends.

The grandmothers of today are better educated and more professionally experienced. But do you know what? When I think of a grandmother, I still think of my maternal grandmother, cooking amazing meals in a tiny kitchen. I don’t think of a professional, business-oriented lady.

And I should.

And we all should.

Because if I could mobilize those grandmothers to do just one thing, it would be to empower the next generation of girls.

This is my passion. Remember a few weeks ago when I wasn’t quite ready to talk about what I am passionate about? This is part of the idea that was swirling around my head.

Too often girls and women settle.

They settle for something that they think is “good enough.”

They don’t set their expectations high.

I’m an engineer. A female engineer. A female electrical engineer. Some would say I’m a rarity. I certainly was while I was in school. I remember two other female electrical engineering students. Two. At a public university engineering college.

I became an engineer almost by default. A high school guidance counselor told me that since I was smart, I should consider engineering. I had no idea what engineering was. I guess I should be glad I decided to try it out. It’s been the most challenging and rewarding career I could have imagined. But I have no idea how I got here.

I want to change that. I truly believe every girl, and every student, should have a full STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education. And do you know how we change that? I’ll give you a hint: It’s not in the curriculum.

It’s not even really in the schools. Do you know what gets girls interested in pursuing STEM careers (and therefore STEM education)?

It’s who they have as role models. It’s having positive, real-world examples to look up to. It’s as easy as showing them examples of real women who are doing amazing work.

And do you know what?

If we train more women to be engineers, more scientists, more thinkers?

We change the world. Because these women will be the people who will come up with the innovations that will improve the world for our children, our children’s children, and their children too. These are the innovators. The bridge-builders. The CEO’s of tech companies. Women are already making a difference.

So if I could mobilize those 42 million grandmothers?

I’d have them share their stories. Tell their granddaughters what they did in their careers. Talk about the awards they received, the things they invented. How they changed the world.

Because by sharing their stories, they will do it again.

This is one of my favorite articles about this topic. I hope you have a few more minutes. It’s worth the time to read it.

You Matter: The Two Most Important Words in STEM

Coming Soon: Grandmother Power

A week or so ago I mentioned how I have been using Tara Mohr’s 10 Rules for Brilliant Women.  Also a few weeks ago, I subscribed to her email list.  In one of the first emails she sent, she challenged bloggers everywhere to join in to the “Grandmother Power” blogging campaign.

I didn’t really need much time to decide to join.  Let’s see…I have struggled to write, sometimes I need an idea for a post, and this gives me both a deadline and a topic.  Win-win!

And then I have put it off all week as the chaos of the kids’ sporting activities took over – we’ve had at least one activity every night this week, and when I get home and get the boys into bed, the last thing I’ve wanted to do was sit down and write.  Usually I want to eat some dinner and go to bed…yes, at 7:45 pm.

So today, during my youngest’s nap, after scrambling to address invitations for my oldest’s upcoming birthday party (they had to be mailed today), and going for a quick treadmill run and a shower, I am now sitting down to write my post.  Wish me luck.  I think I may have about 20 minutes before he wakes up…

I’ll come back and add a link to the post here when I get it written…here it is:


Sometimes when I have a few minutes free  log in to WordPress, I’m drawn to the “spam statistics” on the dashboard.  If you have a WordPress blog, you’ve probably seen them.

Wordpress Stats

I find this humorous.  Somehow I have 1314 spam comments, while only 169 real comments.  And a large percentage of those 169 are mine.  In reality I have more than 10 times the number of spam comments as “real” comments.  (I imagine that “real” bloggers have thousands more spam comments…)

But what’s really entertaining?  (yes, I admit, I’m easily entertained)  The actual spam comments.  I mean, does anyone really think these seem like actual comments?  Do these work on people? (if they were to get through the spam filter)?

Not the good spam

Not the good spam

I mean, really.

Someone called “Best Instant Camera” was referred to my blog by his cousin.  But he does say I’m incredible.  I’ll have to thank that cousin.

“How to win Bids on Quibids” is thanking me for all his support.  I’m so glad I could help with my post about running music.

This is really just random rambling.  I probably should be telling you all about my training for the half marathon that is (eep!) this weekend.  I probably should be talking about gear selection, the weather forecast, and what I am going to wear.  But, not tonight.  I’m tired and this is the most creative thing I can come up with.  Maybe I’ll post about the race another night.

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