Spring looks to have finally sprung in Marquette!


The temps have been slowly warming up, the sun has (mostly) been shining, and we are in the midst of a thunderstorm right now!!

I also was able to enjoy (simultaneously) my first long run AND outdoor run of the year yesterday.

I ran 6 miles in 1:01:08 and managed a negative split.  I should plug in my Garmin and download the stats, but I’d have to dig out the USB cord (where IS that USB cord, anyway…?)

I am definitely feeling the difference between treadmill running and outdoor running today.  My quads and bottom are quite sore!

I also had my first speed workout on Tuesday, which was a killer!  I ran a total of 3.5 miles and threw in 4 or 5 1-2 minute speed bursts throughout.  It was tough, but I was proud that I at least pushed myself to finish the run!

In general, my training is going pretty well.  I’ve been completing at least 3 of my 4 scheduled runs each week, and making sure to finish my long runs (which have built up from 4 miles to 5 and then 6 this week).

The upcoming week looks a little like this:

  • Monday:  Rest!  🙂
  • Tuesday:  3 mile hill workout
  • Wednesday:  Strength train
  • Thursday:  4 mile tempo run
  • Friday:  Strength train
  • Saturday:  3 miles
  • Sunday:  7 mile long run

The half marathon is only 5 weeks away!!

Kitchen Remodel Update

We have made a TON of progress on the kitchen!  We’ve got new and working electrical, the walls and trim are painted, and the flooring is completed.  All we are waiting for are the CABINETS and countertop!!!

We had planned on April 1st for our cabinet installation date, but the company had to push us back to “between April 5th and the 11th.”  On Wednesday, we still hadn’t heard anything from them, and when Keith called, they told us it would be this Monday or Tuesday at the earliest.

Not cool.

Keith called again yesterday for an update, and we are able to go in tomorrow (Monday) at 3:00 to take a look at the cabinets and decide on how much (or little) of a glaze/highlight we want.

Unfortunately, some people have to work at 3:00 on a Monday, so I am entrusting my husband to text me a decent picture for my approval.

Anyway, we still don’t have an actual date for the installation nailed down yet, but I’m hoping they will be in by the end of the week.  It’s frustrating, because the project isn’t delayed on our end.  We have been ready for cabinets for at least a week/week and a half already!

We’ve been without a kitchen since February 27th, and I am just dying to cook again.  I miss my kitchen!  I’m tired of take-out!

I cannot eat another bowl of microwave oatmeal!!!!


Today was my first official day of training for the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon!

The race is less than 8 weeks away (on May 15th!), which doesn’t seem all that far away!  I am using one of my older training plans for the last two half marathons I ran in 2009.  I may still do a little tweaking to it.

Half Marathon
Training Plan











Run 3 miles


Run 3.5 miles


Run 3 miles

Run 4 miles



Run 3 miles: hills


Run 3.5 miles


Run 3 miles

Run 5 miles



Run 3.5 miles: speed


Run 4 miles


Run 3 miles

Run 6.5 miles



Run 3 miles: hills


Run 4 miles: tempo


Run 3 miles Strength

Run 8 miles



Run 4 miles: speed


Run 4 miles: tempo


Run 3 miles

Run 9.5 miles



Run 5 miles: hills


Run 4 miles: tempo


Run 3 miles

Run 10 miles



Run 5 miles: speed


Run 5 miles: tempo


Run 3 miles

Run 12 miles



Run 5 miles: hills


Run 4.5 miles (tempo)

X-train or run 3 miles


Half marathon!

As you may notice, today should be a “rest” day, but I have a full day tomorrow, so I flopped days.

I ran 3 miles in 29:38 and managed a negative split.

I really don’t like running at night.  My legs feel like lead, my stomach often cramps from running after dinner, and I feel a little too wired afterwards to go to sleep right away.  Eventually, I’d like to knock out these Tuesday runs in the morning, but then there is the problem of waking up early… 🙂

In other news, we are on week 4 of our kitchen remodel.  I am so ready for this project to be over!  Keith is hoping to put a coat of primer on the walls tonight.  It looks like we are still on track for getting the cabinets and countertop installed on April 1st!

So happy it’s Friday right now!!  It’s actually only 8 o’clock, but I’m thinking about heading to bed with a book pretty soon.

On Sunday, I hit the treadmill for a run.  I told myself I would do 2.5 miles, but after I hit the 2 mile mark, I thought: Why can’t I do 3?

These last couple months, I have been trying to slowly build up a base before starting my half marathon training plan.  However, I’ve only been able to get myself on the treadmill once or twice a week.  I’ve been doing lots of 2 mile runs, but I kept telling myself that I probably wouldn’t be able to make it that extra mile to the magic number 3.

On Sunday, I decided to teach my brain who was boss, and it felt AWESOME!

I ran 3 miles in 30:32 and it felt so good.  Sometimes, all you need to do is stop the negative thoughts and tell yourself you are capable of pushing yourself.

Yesterday (Thursday), I was still riding on my high from Sunday’s run, and I hopped on the treadmill ready to pump out another 3 miles (blasting the same 3 songs I’m obsessed with on repeat, of course).

After just about an eighth of a mile, I got a horrible side stitch.

I dug my fingers in my side, trying to work it out—no change.

I tried the “breath through a straw” trick—didn’t help.

I stopped an walked a little and took a few sips of water—still hurting.

I put my arms over my head and tried stretching it out—nothin’.

I think I exhausted all of my usual tricks to get rid of side cramps, and it just felt like the pain got more severe.  I tried pushing myself to run further, and was able to finish 2 miles in a slightly hunched posture.

Isn’t it frustrating how a short, 2 mile run can be so hard to complete some days, when they “should” be easy??

I have to keep being positive, though.  Everyone has their crappy run days, and tomorrow is a clean slate!

How is this little guy already 6 months old?!?

KO003 copy

It’s insane, I tell you!  I feel like we were just getting his newborn pictures done when he was 2 weeks old:

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And now he’s 6 months!

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I’m so proud of our little handsome boy.  🙂

Lots of new things going on in my life, besides watching the little guy grow!

We are in the midst of a big kitchen renovation project.  Keith did all the demo earlier this week and we are “enjoying” our makeshift kitchen in our sunroom for the time being.  Our plan is to have the new cabinets and countertop installed on April 1st, if not earlier.  I cannot wait to have our brand new kitchen and show you guys the before and after shots!

I also registered for my first post-baby race:  the Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon on May 15th!  It’s already only 10 weeks away, but my “serious” training won’t start for another 2 weeks.

Now onto my HUGE announcement!

I registered to run the 2011 Chicago Marathon on October 9th!!!

Part of my brain thinks I’m all sorts of crazy to take on this challenge right now, but I’m super psyched!!

I will be running the marathon in support of the American Cancer Society.  I have a goal to raise at least $950.  If you are interested in donating, you may do so here.  Any donations are greatly appreciated!

I will be working on a few fundraising ideas for the future, too, so stay tuned!

I am very excited to have these upcoming races to look forward to and provide some good blogging material.  🙂

Let’s go back in time (wayyy back) to August 21, 2010, approximately 6:30pm.

The husband and I were at a friend’s house getting ready to eat dinner when my water broke!  Thankfully, our friends have 2 kids and were not grossed out at all.  Plus, since I wasn’t having contractions yet, they encouraged us to stay and eat before heading to the hospital (since sometimes they won’t let you eat, and we were hungry!!).

We ate, stopped at home to change out of my wet shorts and grab our packed hospital bag, and got to the hospital about 8 o’clock.  Still no contractions.

The doctor on call decided to wait overnight to see if contractions would start and intensify on their own.  I was barely 2 cm dilated at the time.  We occupied ourselves by watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on ABC Family.

Around 11:30/midnight, contractions finally started and continued throughout the night.  They started about 10-15 minutes apart, and slowly intensified and became around 5 minutes apart.  However, by the time late morning rolled around, they decreased in intensity and frequency.  Crap.

At 10:30am, they started me on Pitocin to help speed along labor.  Once my water broke, most physicians feel it is safer to deliver the baby within 24 hours to reduce the risk of infection, so at this point, the doctor felt my uterus needed a kick in the pants.

Well, the Pitocin worked!  Contractions intensified, and a few hours later I was 4-5 cm dilated.  About an hour after that, I decided to go ahead with an epidural.  I went into the labor experience pretty open-minded.  I had no idea what to expect, and didn’t want to pressure myself into thinking that I wouldn’t have a perfect birth if I felt I needed pain relief, but I also didn’t want to go in with the mindset that I wouldn’t be able to handle labor without it, either.

The anesthesiologist arrived about 30 minutes later, and I was already dilated to 8 cm!!  It was actually a relief to hear that I had progressed that far, and that’s why I was in so much pain!  However, the anesthesiologist deduced that there wasn’t really enough time for an epidural, but she was able to give me an interthecal instead (basically the same thing, but with an epidural they can continually add pain medication, while with the interthecal you receive one dose of medicine that lasts 2-3 hours).

At this point, the baby’s heart rate dropped from around 130 to in the 70s and 60s at one point.  The external heart rate monitor kept shifting around, so they placed an internal monitor on the baby.  The heart rate jumped into the 200s, and more chaos ensued for a few minutes.  They called in the operating room team in the event I would need an emergency c-section, but within a few minutes, thankfully, Baby’s heart rate returned to the 130s and remained that way for the rest of my labor.

Shortly afterwards, I was fully dilated to 10 cm and ready to push!  I pushed and pushed and pushed.  I pushed on my back.  I pushed on my side.  I pushed on my other side.  I pushed with a squatting bar.  I pushed on my knees.  I pushed for 2 hours.

Baby stayed at zero station and wouldn’t come down any further.

After the whole bradycardia issue, the doctor had the OR team on stand-by in case Baby’s heart rate decreased again.  Turns out, I ended up needing them anyway.

Yup, I ended up with a c-section. 

But after all the labor, the pushing, and the surgery, Keith and I ended up with the most wonderful miracle.

Kurt Allen 2

Kurt Allen O’Brien
August 22, 2010  5:32pm

6 lbs. 10 oz.
18 inches



Kurt Allen 5

Kurt Allen 3

Kurt Allen 7







So the last 3 1/2 weeks of my life have been filled with diaper changes, sleep-deprived nights, baby cries, 2 AM feedings (and 4 AM, and 5:30 AM, and 7 AM…), sore boobs, nursing frustrations, tears, spit-up, lots of laundry, and changing pee-soaked outfits.

But they have also been full of countless cuddles, kisses, and smiles.  Just knowing that he is ours makes everything worth it!  We are absolutely blessed!

P.S.  I was puked on twice while writing this post.  I am totally a mom!

The last few days have been  pretty busy.  I feel like it should be much later in the week than only Wednesday!

First, I finally found the cable for my camera that connects to my laptop, so I can post my most recent belly picture.

38 weeks

38 weeks…only about 2 more to go!  This was taken on Friday, the 13th, so it’s a few days old already.  We were on our way out for date night and a pre-birthday dinner (in case we ended up in the hospital on my actual birthday).

I know I’ve mentioned on the blog before that my husband is a terrible secret-keeper.  As soon as my birthday present arrived at our doorstep over a week early, he was asking me if I wanted to open it.  I would have waited until my birthday, but he gets pretty persistent!

He is an excellent gift selector.


Woot!  My very own Canon Rebel XSi!  Hooray!

This is an example of why I needed a nice camera (or maybe I should have just learned to use my point-and-shoot correctly…):


Blurry.  😦

My actual birthday was yesterday, the 17th.  Since I already received my birthday present, we already had my birthday dinner, and we had birthday cake with the family on Sunday night, yesterday didn’t feel much like a birthday at all.

I did manage to receive a little surprise.

Any guesses as to what the orange jug currently housed in my fridge is?  (Hint:  It’s not OJ!)


If you guessed that it was a jug filled with my urine, you would be correct!

Kinda gross, I know.

Yesterday afternoon I had a check-up with the OB.  My blood pressure is normally in the 106-110/68ish range, but at the start of my appointment it was 150/84.  She completed the rest of the visit and then took my BP again, which, thankfully, had lowered to 120/78.  However, she was a little concerned because it was still a bit higher than usual, so she wrote an order to have me complete some lab work.

The lab work consisted of 1) having my blood drawn (yuck) and 2) collecting my pee for 24 hours in this fancy, orange jug.  Tomorrow morning, I bring in the pee and I believe have my blood drawn again, and then I have to go back to the OB to have my blood pressure checked again.

So, this could be the signs of preeclampsia, or it could be a false alarm.  As much as I want this baby to come RIGHT NOW, I also don’t really love the idea of being induced.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for good news tomorrow!

By the way, it is super awkward to have to carry around a urine collection hat and a big jug of pee when you’re at work!

Yesterday morning I broke down and gave the husband permission to get a window air conditioner for the downstairs.  He had been wanting to pick one up for a while, but I was reluctant.  I figured we would only have a few really warm days, and then we’d be fine.  A month later, I had to give in!

I felt like a complete wreck Saturday morning.  My stomach was feeling a little off, I was having hot flashes even with the A/C on upstairs, I felt miserable in my maternity clothes that are just becoming too small, and I had to go into work for a couple hours (again!).  Throw my crazy pregnancy hormones on top of all that, and I turned into a bit of a sobbing mess.

Thankfully, I didn’t have wacky hormone-induced mood swings in the first or second trimesters.  I’ve really only had a handful of little breakdown moments where I feel so overwhelmed and flustered and just need to cry it out a little.

I was really hoping that I would be pretty relaxed during my last month of pregnancy, but I’ve also found that I am way too eager and anxious to meet our baby and everyday for the last week or so, I am wishing that the baby would come NOW.  I go to sleep and think, “Maybe it will be tonight!” and wake up thinking, “Well, maybe I’ll go into labor at work today…”  Obviously, it hasn’t happened yet.

My due date is less than 2 weeks away, but I could go up to 2 weeks overdue before the doctors may induce if needed.  So, I could be waiting for almost 4 more weeks.

I am going crazy!!

Today was a slightly better day.  I have pictures of my breakfast (pancakes) and a really refreshing green monster (which was downed following a nice, long walk) and a little family get-together for birthday cake this evening (my birthday is on Tuesday, the 17th).  I also have pictures of my birthday present from Keith, which I have been meaning to reveal.

However, my camera cord for the laptop is currently MIA (which means it’s probably in a really obvious spot that I have somehow ignored), so you will just have to wait a little longer!!

I am off to bed!  I had a horrible night’s sleep last night (I was up from 3:30am until 5:30 before I could fall back asleep!), and I probably have to work tomorrow, since there are no signs that baby’s arrival will be this evening.

Hope you all had a fun, relaxing weekend!!  🙂