Life Lately: CliffsNotes Version

September 18, 2017

Irma. That sure is a name I never want to hear again. Hurricane Irma devastated the southeastern United States and unleashed utter destruction everywhere she went. She knocked out power at every turn, and the lights have been out here on, too. Yes, the past two weeks were a whirlwind of evacuating, returning home and then trying to get back up to speed with normal life. But more than that, the accompanying radio silence here was simply because it wasn’t a time to talk about running or seemingly unimportant life adventures that paled in comparison to what so many people have faced during the past month. My own story could have ended very differently. My husband and I had accepted that we may not have a house to come home to as we watched Irma barrel toward Tampa in our Chicago hotel room. At the last moment, she made an easterly turn that saved the water-surrounded area where I live. Had she not adjusted her path, my community could have easily been decimated. And every time she takes a turn and saves one area, another area suffers. Another family has to rebuild their home or recover from destruction. It’s not really a happy ending, even for those of us who are safe and relatively unaffected.

With a still heavy heart, it’s time to remove the plywood covers here at rUnladylike HQ and dust off the cobwebs. Amidst the solemn moments of the past few weeks, there have been a lot of happy ones to highlight.

1. We survived Hurricane Irma.

Thankfully, we did not incur any damage to our home, and our families were also safe and unaffected. The only issue we all encountered was massive amounts of debris to clean up. We feel so fortunate and thankful and continue to think and pray for everyone whose lives this storm has turned upside-down. Thank you to all the readers who reached out to me with kind words and thoughtful check-ins.

Here are a few images from family and friends from the surrounding areas.

My dad cleaning up his yard
Trees down about 30 minutes east of us
Trees down in a friend’s neighborhood slightly east of us

2. We evacuated to Chicago to escape Hurricane Irma. Although the circumstances were unfavorable, we definitely made the most of it.

We caught a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. No, we were not intentionally trying to dress her as a boy. *wink*

We enjoyed Lincoln Park Zoo with Baby rUnladylike, including her first time on a carousel. (The pictures of her on the frog were taken after the ride stopped and was no longer moving.)

We took an architectural boat tour on the river. This is one of my favorite things to do in Chicago on a beautiful day. This was probably the fourth time I’ve done it and it gets better every time.

3. I ran three times in Chicago, my favorite running city.

My longest run was 8 miles, and they were all along the lakefront. I’ve continued to treat half marathon training as if I’m not really running a half marathon in November (Eek!). I’m still running three to four times per week without much structured speed work or a specific plan (what the what!?!) and I’m doing a lot of cross-training and strength workouts. I’m not where I thought I’d be with my running at eight months postpartum, but that has been a conscious choice to just do what feels right and is enjoyable.

4. I ran a 5K.

Although I may not be training the way I had anticipated, I ran the Thin Mint Sprint 5K hosted by the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida this past weekend and improved my time by one minute and 40 seconds since three months ago on the same course. I’m pleased with the progress, especially since it was an extremely hot and humid morning. The race was fantastic, and I’ll be sharing a detailed recap later this week.

5. While in Chicago, Baby rUnladylike turned 8 months old.

Yes, amidst all the chaos, we managed to remember to pack the sticker and blanket … can’t miss this girl’s monthly birthday! She enjoyed being a big city girl. Illinois was the seventh state she’s visited in her short little life!

Tell me what you have been up to the past few weeks? How is your training going? What interesting things are happening in your life? Who else loves running in Chicago?



So, so happy to hear you survived the storm and had no damage to your beautiful home. However, as you mentioned, there’s still so much suffering and clean up in your state and where one family rejoices, another is devastated.
Chicago is the best ever for running and that boat architecture tour was something I will never forget! So glad you were able to enjoy your time there.
And nice work with the improved time in the 5K!!…but I also love how you’re laid-back about training – as you should be!

Ash Diamond

I am so happy to hear you and your loved ones were unscathed. Tampa was so blessed as was so much of Florida and the Southeast versus the predictions. Congrats on the continued running progress and she continues to get cuter and cuter each day!


She is so smiley! I love the outtakes. We always do that too. The Thin Mint Sprint looks so fun! That medal is awesome.

The architectural boat ride was our favorite thing to do in Chicago too. You can see so much more than you do from the street!

Ya’ll stay safe. Glad to hear the good news that you and yours are okay.


Hello Jesica,
First, I’ve been quietly reading your blog since I found it only about 2 months ago. Second, I’m so glad your home in Florida is okay. Third, well…this is more of a question…I’m expecting b/g twins in November. I’m wondering where you buy the cute stickers that count your baby’s monthly “birthdays?” I’d like to get some of those!


Hi, Jesica,
We met at the Girl Scout run on Saturday (I am one of the moms/ co-leaders for the Super Hero girl troop) and I got the chance to surf over to your blog today. I love it! Chicago is my favorite city (I am from northwest Indiana and we used to make regular trips to Chicago and I fell in love). I am happy your family was spared from the brunt of the storm, as was ours, with little to no damage. My parents were without power for awhile but we were lucky enough to keep ours. Thank you for sharing your blog with us, it was very nice meeting you and I look forward to exploring the blog more!

Laura @ This Runner's Recipes

I am so happy to hear that you are all okay and that your house survived. Those downed trees are scary, even if they are far less disastrous than was expected.
Great job on your improved 5K time! It sounds like you had a fun trip in Chicago – I love how much Bella has traveled already!


Happy to see you and your neighbors made it out of the hurricane all in one piece! I’ve never run in Chicago (well, except for the Wrigley 5K earlier this year).. Looking forwards to running besides the lake this October when my husband and I celebrate our first anniversary up there!


So I think the internet ate my first comment, but I will try again!

I’m so glad that you and your family, and homes are safe and sound throughout irma. Like you said though, it’s so hard because that means others were impacted. The string of insane weather events the last few weeks has really been troubling to watch from afar, feeling helpless and being unable to fathom the anxiety and strain living in an area affected would bring.

I’m so glad that you were able to get to Chicago and also make the best of it! Happy 8 months to your little one, I agree I get so excited for each new month even though she is simply changing more and more by the day.

Chicago is a city I would love to experience more, the food and running specifically. I have only run a short shakeout there down by the river the day before the race, and then the marathon itself. I also have done a few runs in Arlington heights a little outside the city when my mom lived there which was nice. Regardless I want to get back and run more there!


So glad you guys are okay. What a crazy few weeks it’s been! And oh my goodness, her little smile is the best!! Happy 8 months!

Smitha FauxRunner

I’m so glad you are all ok!
Irma was one scary time. I had friends in both Tampa and Miami who were facing the threat. <3