A chance to “rethink”

By , September 17, 2014 6:52 am

What a fantastic idea – a local teenager is programming an add-on (pdf of the article here) for Google Chrome called “Rethink.” It provides a pop-up warning whenever someone tries to post a potentially harmful or offensive message on social media. 


Rethink is intended for teenagers, with the intention of cutting back on cyberbullying. The programmer, Trisha Prabhu, started the project after reading about a cyberbullyed teenager who committed suicide. Prabhu noticed that the more social media accounts someone has, the more likely they are to post offensive comments. She also made an interesting connection between brain development and age – the area of your brain that helps control impulses and consider outcomes is not fully developed until age 25. So younger people may post something cruel without thinking through the consequences. Rethink adds a step that allows you to, yeah, rethink, before posting. It simply asks, did you really want to post that potentially offensive comment?!

Prabhu tested Rethink on a group of 300 students and the results were successful – originally, 71% were willing to post the offensive message, but after they saw the pop-up warning, they decided not to post it, 93% of the time (the phrases used that trigger the pop-up are from the Cyberbullying Research Center). Next steps for Rethink – present it at the Google Science Fair!

Reading this article made me think about so many things:

  1. I hope none of the young people (or people, period) in my life have to deal with cyeberbullying. Or are cyberbullies. 
  2. Gosh, I am happy social media did not exist to the extent it does now, when I was in high school. It causes so much drama for adults; I can’t imagine what it’s like for kids. 
  3. I think this add-on is a great idea for teenagers… and could think of some adults who could use it, too. 
  4. I “rethink” a lot on my own – draft whole posts, never post them. Draft emails, never send them. Don’t comment on something. Highly edit comments. Add emoji to try to convey if I am joking or whatever. It’s so easy to misread online! Because of all that rethinking though, I never regret when I hit “send,” “post,” “comment” or whatever. 
  5. The brain development point is interesting – I am a highly compulsive person by nature, and I do think that my compulsiveness have improved a bit in some areas as I’ve gotten older. Ha. I hope. 
  6. These cyberbullying comments seem to be more directly insulting – “you’re ugly,” “that’s stupid,” etc. How about an add-on for the indirect judgy comments that adults throw at each other?

Do you think this add-on is a good idea? Do you feel like you are good at thinking things through before you post/comment?

Christina and Will’s Wedding: The Details

By , September 16, 2014 11:55 am

My snister has great artistic vision and she is a wonderful DIYer, so I just knew her wedding was going to be full of fantastic little details. Going in to the wedding, I didn’t know what they all would be (I asked her not to tell me everything because I like to be surprised!), so part of the magic of the day for me was seeing them for the first time!

Getting Ready
I was the first one to get to the room where all of the ladies were going to get ready, and I walked in to find these cute plastic mason jars! They were used for mimosas that morning (and have since been used for piña coladas, I mean smoothies)!


Christina gifted all of the bridesmaids wooden hangers with our names engraved on them! 


And of course, had one for herself, too!


I’ve seen this trend in other wedding photos and I am excited to have one of my own! I love the font on the hanger!

As everyone arrived for the ceremony they were handed a beautiful program printed on double sided kraft paper as well as wand to wave when Christina and Will walked down the aisle together!



And as you already know, our dad dropped her off in our mom’s 46 Chevy. It made for some really cool photo ops!


They also had an acoustic guitarist at their ceremony, which was a detail I loved!

I wish there was a way you could all see what the reception venue (Thompson Barn) was like! The pictures don’t do it justice. It’s a barn with wooden vaulting and brick walls mixed with a new “cooler” (meaning material warmth; metal, in this case) industrial vibe. I loved the material juxtaposition. The architect inside of me was very happy. 

The lower level (which you walked in to off of street parking) had a corridor with the guest book, presents and drinks, as well as bathrooms, the kitchen and buffet (and later, s’more bar and photo booth) line. You took stairs (or elevator) to the next level where the dining tables, DJ and dance floor were. 

Lower level
There was a metal wall walking in, where all of the table assignments were pinned with magnets, as well as a collage of parents’ and grandparents’ wedding photos:



This is also where the guest book was (Christina used a project life style book), and the gift table, and a fun wedding maze/crossword!




Also downstairs (later), was the S’More Bar. Our dad made the wooden trough and set up sterno cans to toast the marshmallows. 



There were a lot of chocolate options to choose from for roasting! And my snister even got vegan marshmallows and chocolate for me! What a sweetie!


Also mentioned, downstairs, was the photo booth. This is only the second wedding that I’ve attended that has had one of these, and I think they are a blast!


Upper level
Last, but not least, the upper level! When I arrived the Wednesday night before the wedding, Christina was preparing the centerpieces. They turned out so neat! Our dad, again, made the boxes, and Christina and our mom picked out the flowers to put in them. 


You can also see the party favors that she made in this photo – wine glasses with a chalkboard paint bottom!

Christina made the numbers (and the letters in “LOVE” above using her Silhouette Cameo paper cutting machine). She bought all of the white linens, made the polka dot ones, and rented the sequins. Check out the sequins on the dessert table!


And this is crazy, but I didn’t even notice this “just married” sign at the wedding! I saw it in the photos afterward! Christina purchased it at a craft store.


I was so impressed with the entire wedding. I knew she would have fantastic ideas, but seeing them all come together was breathtaking!

Training Week 256

By , September 14, 2014 12:02 pm

Highlight of the Week: The arrival of fall temperatures making my outdoor workouts more delightful. 


Monday | September 8, 2014: 4 m run (w/Kelly) + teaching strength class
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 55°/54°, Time: 39:54, Pace: 9:58 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: surprisingly good
Strength: Back to School 1200 rep workout, Difficulty: medium (mostly observing), Felt: stressed for the class
Tuesday | September 9, 2014: 7 m run (w/Kelly & Yvonne)
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 63°/63°, Time: 1:08:00, Pace: 9:43 avg, Difficulty: hard, Felt: okay, but worn down
Wednesday | September 10, 2014: rest
Thursday | September 11, 2014: 8 m run + 2 m run (to try new shoes)
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 52°/52°, Time: 1:21:27, Pace: 10:11 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great/might be last run in those shoes
Loc: hood, Temp: 52°, Time: 19:04, Pace: 9:31 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay

Friday | September 12, 2014: teaching strength class + 6 m run (w/Jen)
Strength: Modified Back to School 1200 rep workout, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine
Loc: Nippersink FP/town, Temp: 46°/51°, Time: 1:16:10, Pace: 12:41, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Saturday | September 13, 2014: 3 m run (w/new shoes)
Loc: Millenniuam Trail, Temp: 55°/56°, Time: 29:42, Pace: 9:54 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: out of breath
Sunday | September 14, 2014: 15.2 m run (w/Bobbi, Dawn & Kelly) + 12 m ride
Loc: Gurnee, Temp: 46°/48°, Time: 2:48:03, Pace: 11:03 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great (hungry at the end)
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 56°/59°, Time: 53:53, Pace: 13.4 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good


  • It was fun to try out my new lighter shoes this week. They felt fine for a 2 mile (and later on, 3 mile) run. I could feel the bottoms of my feet more toward the end, which I thought I would. I was surprised to feel the impact of each stride more up my legs. Makes sense though – they have less of a shock absorber than my heavier shoes!
  • Speaking of shoes, I also got out a new pair of Cumuluses to use for my long run on Sunday. They felt great! From time to time in August, I felt stiffness in my left knee. I figured it was from my softball sliding injury on July 31, then later running that knee in to a table on August 23 (as well as the fact that I supinate more on that foot and it twists my whole leg)… but when it didn’t go away after awhile, I started to wonder. Ha ha, looking at the wear on my shoes… I think I just need to add some new pairs in to the rotations!
  • Today marks three weeks until my first marathon of the year, and three months until my last! Next week will be my last 20-22 mile. I like to do a two week taper. Do you prefer a two or three (or something else) week taper for the marathon?

Link to Training Week 254 & 255

Race security

By , September 11, 2014 2:47 pm

I am not trying to be insensitive by posting about another terrorist act on 9/11. I was simply discussing this on Facebook with friends and wanted to share about it here. Please skip this post if the mention of Boston 2013 bothers you, especially today. 

Do you think heightened post Boston 2013 race security has affected you in any way? Have you noticed a difference?

Major and big-city races have understandably increased their security since the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. More security personnel on the course. More police officers. Restricted access for runners and spectators. Limits on how much you can bring in to baggage check, and what you bring it in. What you bring on to the course. And so on. 

The first race I did after Boston 2013* was the Salt Lake City Half Marathon, which was the Saturday after Boston Marathon Monday. A bomb dog came on to TRAX before we could get off to get to the race start line, and there was a bomb squad at the start line. I don’t recall there being baggage check limitations. It all made sense to me. It was a somber but also uplifting day. It felt right to be amongst runners at a big race right after that happened. 

Oops, off track a little bit with sappiness. 

So that was the only time I’ve really felt its effect. I’ve participated in races since then that have had the rule about only putting gear check items in a clear bag, but that wasn’t really a big deal to me (they usually give it to you at packet pickup).  

However… it recently came to my attention that the marathon Bobbi and I are running in October does not allow “back pack style hydration systems.” From their newsletter**:

As part of our runners’ security policy, the following was published in the previous August runners’ newsletter. It is being repeated here so that there is no misunderstanding-

No back pack style hydration systems of any kind are allowed on the shuttle buses to the start, in or around the Grafton High School facility, in the start area or worn in the race.

You may carry your own water in a waist belt system or a hand held water bottle carrier.  

Unfortunately, Bobbi and I both train with these and were planning to use them. I wore my Nathan vest for my last marathon and loved it. I ran through water stops (only stopped once to fill it), didn’t have to carry anything in my hand, could drink water whenever I wanted, and had tons of pockets. I know it’s dweeby, but it’s my preferred hydration system for long runs. 

Kicking arse with xaarlin

So… we’re a bit bummed we can’t use our backpacks. It’s what we train with, it’s what we prefer, and it makes something hard (the marathon) a bit more comfortable. 

Maybe they will change their mind like Marine Corps did (thanks for the link, Gina!)? Or, we can just quit being babies and use our hand helds. I know, I know, some of you rely completely on the water stops only. You rock! That does not work for me!

*Which makes it sound like I was there – I was not.
**We won’t even get it to the fact that it was very unclear in previous newsletters and that this rule does not appear to be on the official website (or as Bobbi said, that they told us about it with four weeks to go until the race). 

Random Thoughts Thursday 65

By , September 11, 2014 6:25 am
  • Drama at the playground! On Sunday, there were two boys (maybe 8 or 10 years old) with a girl of the same age when I showed up at our neighborhood playground. Then a group of girls arrived later. A girl from the later group spoke to the girl in the first group, telling her “I don’t want to play with you. Everything I do, you tell me to go away, you don’t like me.” Geesh. I felt proud of that girl for standing her ground, but dang, that sucks to have a “friend” saying those things to you. Eh. Learn it when you’re young, I guess. 


  • Ha ha, over three years ago we picked up a weight bench that someone was throwing out, and stored it in our garage because we didn’t have use for it at the time. Recently Steven started a workout DVD series so he pulled it out to use (and our neighbor Troy, in the photo below, helped him put it together). It’s a nice bench. I am still surprised someone was just throwing it out. And happy we are making use of it now! 


  • For the third year in a row, I will be an ambassador for the Wisconsin Marathon and Half Marathon! This was the first half I ever ran (with Steven!) in 2009, and I have run it every year since! I really love this race – it’s just the right size for me (not too small/not too big), well organized, has a great course by Lake Michigan, a fun after party, easy parking, it’s cheap, and a ton of my friends do it (so many that I am usually overwhelmed!)! This year the race is on Saturday May 2nd (in Kenosha, WI). Registration opens this Monday, the 15th! It looks like a 5K was added this year as well as a team challenge. I love to see this race growing! Let me know if you are running it, and use coupon code KIM2015 for $5 off! (note, I am provided free registration to this race, but I wouldn’t talk about it and keep running it if I didn’t love it)


  • Did you see this story about a woman who faked a trip to southeast Asia by manipulating photos and posting them on Facebook? She said she did it to “show people that we filter and manipulate what we show on social media, and that we create an online world which reality can no longer meet.” This story really interested me because I see how easy it would be to fake something like that. And because I’ve been thinking about social media and how people create stories about you based on what you post. We do have the ultimate control over what we share… but not how people interpret it. I feel like this is a good reminder to actually be involved in people’s lives, and not just rely on social media, if you want to be a true friend (something I sometimes fail at, hence reminding myself!). 

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 64

Commenting trend

By , September 10, 2014 6:58 am

Lately I have noticed that the posts I write off-the-cuff get more comments than the posts I have prepared in advance.

This actually makes total sense to me – the off-the-cuff posts are more passionate, more rushed, more “I am thinking about this now and I have to get it out there!” Maybe they’re more vibrant.

The planned posts are usually (but not always) documenting my life. And yeah, yawn. Ha ha!

Do you notice any sort of commenting trends on your blog? Do you prepare your posts in advance?

Back in the day, I would have posts prepared a few days in advance. For whatever reason, now I am less patient. It’s hard for me to keep a thought to myself if I want to talk about it! MUST POST RIGHT NOW!

This photo is NOT related to this post, but I ordered some low-drop, light running shoes to try! Exciting! Let’s ignore that they are Asics and I am wearing a Brooks shirt!


Summer Enders

By , September 9, 2014 6:24 am

It’s hard to believe that a week ago today I was on the beach! It feels like it was such a long time ago!


Gosh, we had a wonderful day on the river. Since it was a Tuesday, there was hardly anyone out. We had the beach to ourselves, and the water was super smooth – perfect for jet skiing (or if you are my husband… too boring for jet skiing without any waves to jump, ha ha)! The skies were clear and the air and water felt fantastic. I did NOT want to leave and go home. Hee hee – I never want to!


But it was really the perfect way to “end” summer. 

Do you have an event that feels like it marks the end of summer?

When we go to the Mississippi River for Labor Day, it feels that way to me. I know that after that, I probably won’t get in to a body of water again until the next year, and summer is all about swimming and the beach to me, so when I know I’ve had my last time in the water… I am ready for summer to be over. Bring on the cool temps!

Ha ha, when I saw my mom in July at the dragway, she was saying how excited she was for Gina and family to visit for Labor Day… but that she was sad at the same time, because that would mean summer is over. I told Gina that and she said “We’re the Summer Enders!” Ha ha. Then we would joke about how the “Summer Enders” were coming. Hey! They can end my summer each year, if they want!


Until next year!


Sleep drunkenness

By , September 8, 2014 12:29 pm

Hmm, being drunk on sleep sounds nice, right?

I stumbled (ha ha) on this article (pdf here) about sleep drunkenness hidden in yet ANOTHER article about how sedentary desk workers are and that they need to move more. 

WE GET IT! Sitting down is the devil!


What is sleep drunkenness?

Bouts of the condition involve waking up with extreme confusion, disorientation, and sometimes amnesia. If you’ve ever awaked and turned off your alarm without knowing it, you may have been in this state, technically known as a “confusional arousal.”

This state of “confusional arousal” usually occurs when you wake up somebody suddenly, and they don’t know what’s going on, or where they are. The condition can cause real problems, especially if it happens frequently; more than half of those who reported experiencing sleep drunkenness said it happened at least once per week.

According to this short article, it affects 15% of Americans, and it can last up to 15 minutes. I think it’s more than just hitting snooze because you don’t want to get up. It’s waking up and having no idea what the effity is going on.

Have you had any sleep drunkenness incidents?

Ha ha. Ha. I have one to share. It’s a story my family likes to tell time and time again, because it makes us all laugh. 

When I lived at home, my snister and I shared a bedroom. One night during my high school freshman year, I had gone to bed before her. She and my mom were at some event and got home late that night, around 11:00 pm. 

When they got back, they found me in the doorway to our bedroom, dressed in my school clothes. They asked what I was doing and I told them, matter-of-factly, “leaving for school.”

Apparently, I was so confused when I woke up, I thought it was time to go to school. I don’t remember putting my school clothes on. I just remember standing in the doorway, and them looking at me like I was cray cray. And I was so adamant that it was time to go to school. 

They gently told me to go back to bed (after laughing at me, I am sure).

The most recent time this happened, I lucked out! My alarm went off and I had no idea what day it was or why my alarm was going off and why I needed to get up. I was SUPER out of it. My first thought was that I was supposed to meet Kelly for a run. But when I looked at the alarm, it told me what to do. 


I am happy I named my alarms!

Slouchy McSloucherson

By , September 8, 2014 6:56 am

Sigh. I was disappointed when I looked at the photos from the half a week ago and saw my form:


I noticed how badly I was slouching forward at the Wisconsin Half in May and swore I would work on it over the summer. 


Oops! Someone did NOT do their summer homework!

It’s not the vest. The weight of the vest actually tends to keep me more upright! It’s just sloppy end-of-race form (and middle of race/run form, too). 

During most of my long run on Sunday I focused on having good form – pelvis forward, shoulders back, and core engaged. And I felt fantastic during the run. I wasn’t tired when I finished. It didn’t bother me as much to pick up and go (after waiting for lights, etc.). And hopefully I looked less goofy (ha ha, just kidding – I was still wearing the vest). I can’t tell if it was better form or the lower heat/humidity that made me feel so fantastic, but I am going to REALLY try to focus on my form now. REALLY. I swear, guys. 

Do you focus on form when you run (an associative runner)? Or do you daydream and lose track of it (dis-associative runner)? (Ha ha, yeah, I talked about this three years ago).

I am a completely dis-associative runner. I don’t think about m y form until my shoulders ache, or I am falling down, or I see a picture like this, later. And I definitely have a hard time talking to someone else and thinking about my form (no surprise there – I am not a good multi-tasker). 

Training Week 254 & 255

By , September 7, 2014 12:20 pm

Highlights of the Weeks: Running some speedy (for me!) miles with Yvonne | Getting a few runs in with Gina and Steve (and one with Dad)! | A stellar solo long run on the 7th


Monday | August 25, 2014: 3 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 81°/74°, Time: 29:02, Pace: 9:40 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: exhilarated
Strength: Lebert and 1 dumbbell, Difficulty: medium, Felt: sore in my knee from running in to a table
Tuesday | August 26, 2014: 5.2 m run (w/Yvonne) + 3.3 m run
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 68°/67°, Time: 50:13, Pace: 9:40 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: decent
Loc: hood, Temp: 66°/68°, Time: 34:35, Pace: 10:29 avg, Difficulty: hard, Felt: sluggish/ready for rest day
Wednesday | August 27, 2014: rest
Thursday | August 28, 2014: 5 m run (w/Yvonne)
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 59°/59°, Time: 47:42, Pace: 9:32 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good
Friday | August 29, 2014: teaching strength class + 5 m run (w/Adam & Dawn)
Strength: Lebert and 1 dumbbell, Difficulty: medium, Felt: decent but tired (sleepy)
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 69°/69°, Time: 54:37, Pace: 10:55, Difficulty: easy, Felt: mostly good
Saturday | August 30, 2014: 7 m run (w/Gina & Steve)
Loc: Guttenberg, Temp: 70°/71°, Time: 1:11:07, Pace: 10:09 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay
Sunday | August 31, 2014: 3 m run (w/Dad & Gina)
Loc: Guttenberg, Temp: 65°/67°, Time: 34:25, Pace: 11:28 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Monday | September 1, 2014: Benefit Classic Half Marathon (w/Gina & Steve)
Loc: Dubuque, Temp: 67°/73°, Time: 2:24:28, Pace: 11:04 avg, Difficulty: medium/hard, Felt: like my RPE was way too high
Tuesday | September 2, 2014: rest
Wednesday | September 3, 2014: rest
Thursday | September 4, 2014: 4.5 m run (first 3.5 w/Yvonne)
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 72°/71°, Time: 41:34, Pace: 9:17 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good enough!
Friday | September 5, 2014: teaching strength class + 4.15 m run (w/Dawn)
Strength: Lebert and 1 dumbbell, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: tired/out of it
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 74°/74°, Time: 44:38, Pace: 10:44, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Saturday | September 6, 2014: 12 m ride + 2.4 m walk (w/Steven TO SEE KITTENZZZZ!!!!)
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 59°/63°, Time: 57:38, Pace: 12.5 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: happy I rode and didn’t run
Sunday | September 7, 2014: 21 m run
Loc: Around town, Temp: 53°/72°, Time: 4:02:23, Pace: 11:32 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fantastic


  • Twice in this cycle I got caught in crazy storms! On August 25th, I got caught in the middle of a downpour and the route I took as part of my out and back flooded in 10 minutes! It was such a blast to run through the puddles! Then on September 4th a storm came in with hail and I got poured on, and beat down by hail for the last mile of my run. Exhilarating for sure! Have you ever run in the hail?
  • August was my highest mileage month so far this year! Woo hoo! Let’s hope I keep the mileage up since I am registered for marathons in October and December. Hee hee. One way to do that is to start the month with a race!I loved that I could run a half on September 1st! I always feel motivated when I run the first day of the month. 
  • Friday the 5th marked one year that I have been teaching the Friday 5:00 am class at Efit! Schweet! In that time I’ve only missed once class, when I was out of town for my snister’s wedding. That’s 51 4:00 am Friday wake-up calls! Ha ha. 
  • During my long run today, I stopped to buy water for my Nathan vest and the gas station clerk was asking me all of these questions about it – what is it, how does it work, where can he get one. I was like “Aww, he must workout, too!” Then he’s like, “I am going to buy one and fill it with beer!” Ha. Ha ha ha. 

Link to Training Week 253

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