The last home improvement…

By , November 24, 2015 6:23 am

… at this house

After hating our kitchen flooring for YEARS we finally had it replaced last Tuesday! YAY!


The new flooring doesn’t photograph well, unfortunately, but it’s a HUGE improvement from the original vinyl tile, that was full of nicks and dirty spots that wouldn’t go away, no matter how hard we cleaned. Our kitchen floor embarrassed me – I hated that it was the first thing most guests saw when they came in the house.




Flooring was the last change we were waiting to make to our townhome before we listed it for sale. But, we had everything else ready much earlier (it was a long wait for the luxury vinyl tile we ordered to arrive) so we ended up listing our house on Saturday, November 7th. We had a showing on Sunday and Monday, and two offers on Tuesday, and signed a contract on Wednesday, the 11th.

I guess the kitchen (and foyer) flooring wasn’t really that big of a deal, afterall*.

The inspection and appraisal went well, so… we really are selling our townhome! Wow. That went A LOT faster than we thought it would. Honestly, Steven and I thought the townhome would be on the market awhile. We thought we might have to take it off the market and list it again in the spring, since late fall and winter can be a slow season. We feel VERY lucky. And we’re happy that a couple is feeling excited about making the townhome their first home!

But where are Steven and I going?! We’ll rent a home for awhile. We’re under contract for a home we both love, also in Lake County. I really hope everything works out with that home, because we fell in love with it this summer, and haven’t seen anything else that we are both equally as excited about. Fingers crossed!

*We did leave a note out during the showing, explaining that new flooring would be installed in the kitchen and foyer.

Happy tears

By , November 23, 2015 1:25 pm

Have you ever cried because you felt happy for a complete stranger?

I witnessed that this weekend, and I have to say, as cheesy as this sounds, it was a touching, special moment.

My future sister-in-law, Alyssa, was in town this weekend with her mom, her best friend, and her best friend’s mom to look for a wedding dress in Chicago. My mom and I joined in on the search*.

Our first stop was Glamour Closet, a boutique that receives designer gowns that were showroom and runway samples, then sells them at an “outlet store” price. The gowns there were GORGEOUS** and they had such a variety. It was fun to watch other people try on dresses, and see how a style that you don’t like for you or someone you know would look perfect on someone else!


Oops, I digress.

The second dress Alyssa tried on was the one that started the waterworks for her, and us. She said that was the one that made it all (the wedding/getting married) feel so real. Then she loved the third dress even more, and tried on several gowns after that just to check them out. Not many people were in the shop for her waterworks dress, but by the time she tried the third one back on to make sure it was the one, there were a lot of people in the shop, watching their brides, or waiting for a dressing room.

Alyssa put the dress on and started crying and said “I can’t leave without this dress.” Most everyone there was watching her, and heard her, and starting tearing up themselves. A few people said “aww,” and “I can’t believe I am crying, I don’t even know you!” and someone started clapping, so everyone did.

I know, sounds super cheesy, right? But like I said, it was a really touching moment. Everyone was in the same situation, hoping their bride found their dream dress that day, too, and it was exciting to see someone else in theirs, and to see that person so happy. I am happy I got to be there to see Alyssa try on dresses and witness that moment. It kind of made me want to wait around and see what the other brides chose!

*Not that it matters to anyone but me, but the way I wrote this implies Alyssa came in to town with her family. She didn’t. She lives in Iowa now, and rode out to Illinois with my parents. Her family and friends flew in from Alaska for the weekend.
**We went to David’s Bridal after, and Mom and I both commented on how the gowns there looked blah compared to where we just were (note, my wedding gown was from there, so I am not knocking it, ha ha!).

Training Week 318

By , November 22, 2015 4:34 pm

Highlight of the Week: Two 5-milers at faster than 10K PR pace.


Monday | November 16, 2015: 10 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: Grant Woods to home, Temp: 56°/52°, Time: 1:27:50, Pace: 8:47 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Strength: Body Bars & Resistance Bands, Difficulty: medium, Felt: great

Tuesday | November 17, 2015: rest
Wednesday | November 18, 2015: 8.4 m run + 10 mins strength
Loc: hood, Temp: 54°/53°, Time: 1:20:55, Pace: 9:38 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Thursday | November 19, 2015: 5 m run (incl. 10×1:00)
Loc: hood, Temp: 38°/37°, Time: 39:17, Pace: 7:51 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: amazing
Friday | November 20, 2015: 7 m ride + teaching strength class + 5 m run
Indoor Ride Time: 30:02, Pace: 14.0 mph, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Strength: Body Bars & Resistance Bands, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 39°/38°, Time: 41:11, Pace: 8:14, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great

Saturday | November 21, 2015: 3 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 32°/33°, Time: 31:30, Pace: 10:29 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: very careful in the snow
Sunday | November 22, 2015: rest


  • Ugh, what a challenging week. I commuted to the city Wednesday-Saturday, which took away a lot of my training time. I was really looking forward to doing a long run on Sunday with my dad (who was visiting), but we got 17 inches of snow where I live, and then the temperature dropped in to the teens – and I didn’t want to make my dad ride his bike in that! So, no long run this week (I will do it tomorrow). And what a bummer I missed out on that time with my dad. Maybe when I see him again in January it will be nice enough out for him to ride his bike… ha ha, wishful thinking!
  • I was surprised to run two easy 5 milers this week, at faster than my average pace for my 10K PR (51:00). Maybe I’ll run a 10K on Thanksgiving Day! Are you doing a Thanksgiving Day race?

Link to Training Week 317

Full Moon Run Race Report

By , November 16, 2015 8:29 am

Friday the 13th is a good day to race – I set a new 5K personal record (PR) at the Zee Bee Run Squad Full Moon Run! My previous PR was 22:38, set way back in March of 2013. My new one is 50 seconds faster – 21:48!


Photo by Gibbie Buchholtz

On Friday, I wasn’t sure if I’d do the race. I had a stressful week, an especially crappy Friday, my stomach was having all sorts of odd cramps (like I’d already raced a 5K) and it was super windy. But I reminded myself that I got a massage on Wednesday specifically to be loose for this race, and that I had been training with it in mind for two months! My stomach stopped bugging me, and the wind died down to a barely noticeable 5 mph (phew), so (obviously), I went.

I laughed when I pulled in to the parking lot and saw a sliver of the moon – it made me wonder why it was called the Full Moon Run!

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Cute shirts this year!

I registered on site and did a short .6 mile warm up, during which I found out my headlamp was too loose and that I should run with gloves. It was 39°F out, so warm enough for shorts and a tank, but my fingers felt a bit chilly (and I thought it would be nice to have somewhere to wipe my nose!).

There were only a few other people dressed similarly to me. Everyone else was bundled up*, and I got some funny looks and comments, wearing a tank, ha ha. This race isn’t chipped time, so I started in the front. At the “go” mark a bunch of kids surged ahead, and were a bit of a tripping hazard for the first tenth of a mile, but I pulled around them and was surprised to find myself as first woman!


Photo by Gibbie Buchholtz

I felt great for the first mile, and ran it in 6:45. I continued to feel good in the second mile, until about 1.8 miles in, when my stomach started to hurt – typical! The second mile was 7:02.

I tried to keep my pace up, because I saw that the second woman was right behind me, but of course, she passed me at about 2.25. When she passed me, I noticed she only had one shoe on! I’ve seen barefoot runners at races, but never with one shoe on, and one sock on the other foot!**

I kept pumping, trying to keep pace with her, thinking just maybe I could catch her, but nope! Third mile in 7:17, last tenth in 00:35. She finished 9 seconds ahead of me! Ha! I was second overall, and first in my age group. I definitely would have slowed down more if she wasn’t in front of me, so I was happy she gave me someone to chase in the last mile.


Photo by Gibbie Buchholtz. Ha ha, I was hoping for a good finish line photo since I was at the race by myself. NOPE – major derpitty face!

I congratulated her when I crossed the finish line, then walked for a bit. I got that metallic taste in my mouth during the race and was spitting a lot. I thought about doing a cool down run, but decided getting more clothing on was a better idea***.

I didn’t go the race with anyone, or have any friends there from Efit, but saw a few guys I knew and hung out with them during the raffle and awards ceremony. They were very excited about my PR. One of them mentioned that I have lost a lot of weight and that helps for 5Ks – yep – that was the idea!

At this race you get a raffle ticket and there are a ton of door prizes. I was planning on giving my raffle ticket to one of the kids around me, if my number was called, but then I saw a someone pick out a running book, and there was still a copy when my name was called, so I grabbed one! Schweet!


I’m happy I decided to do the race, and got a PR. I’ve done speedwork once a week for the entire year, and it’s nice to see that pay off!

*This seems to be one of the more popular events in the Zee Bee Run Squad Series, with 157 finishers. And I think they encouraged children and parents from two schools to be there. The proceeds from this race benefit Nicasa Behavioral Health Systems.
**Turns out her shoe fell off a mile in to the race! And they weren’t even her shoes – she borrowed them from a friend! She planned to go find the shoe after the awards ceremony.
***I had a pretty serious cough after the race and for most of the weekend – I think my system was in a bit of shock.

Training Week 317

By , November 15, 2015 5:48 pm

Highlight of the Week: Working out with friends and a new 5K PR!


Monday | November 9, 2015: 1.7 m walk (w/Anne!) + 4 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 51°/49°, Time: 33:39, Pace: 8:24 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Strength: One Dumbbell and Bodyweight Stations, Difficulty: easy, Felt: so so

Tuesday | November 10, 2015: 11 m run + 3 m run (w/Bobbi!)
Loc: MT to Nippersink FP and back, Temp: 30°/39°, Time: 1:44:22, Pace: 9:29 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, once I woke up!
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 54°/54°, Time: 31:46, Pace: 10:35 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Wednesday | November 11, 2015: 15 m run
Loc: Around Round Lake, Temp: 47°/55°, Time: 2:26:48, Pace: 9:47 avg, Difficulty: medium/hard, Felt: out of it, annoyed in the wind – but too warm without it
Thursday | November 12, 2015: rest
Friday | November 13, 2015: teaching strength class + Full Moon 5K (incl. .6 m WU)
Strength: One Dumbbell and Bodyweight Stations, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Zion, Temp: 39°, Time: 21:49, Pace: 7:03, Difficulty: medium/hard, Felt: like I was working hard, but good

Saturday | November 14, 2015: 20 m run
Loc: Around Town, Temp: 26°/47°, Time: 3:30:13, Pace: 10:31 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: sore/tired from Friday, as expected
Sunday | November 15, 2015: 10 m ride + 10 mins strength + 3.3 m run
Indoor Ride Time: 46:02, Pace: 13.0 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 53°/57°, Time: 28:39, Pace: 8:39 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: good, side stitch, too warm


  • I really should have written that the highlight of the week was getting a sports massage on Wednesday, because the massage felt AMAZING. I got it in preparation for a 5K PR attempt, and have another one scheduled for next month, the week of the Dallas Marathon (if I decide to run it – I will probably get the massage either way, ha!).
  • This was a peak week in marathon training and my legs were a bit trashed for my two long runs. They didn’t hurt, I just didn’t have any pep in my step. Next week is a cutback week – phew!
  • On Saturday, I hit my goal of running 2000 miles for a year! It’s nuts! When I thought of this goal at the end of December last year, and that I’d have to average 40 mile weeks, it seemed like a lot, but actually… it really hasn’t been! I wonder how many miles I’ll end with for the year!

Link to Training Week 316

First house

By , November 12, 2015 6:36 pm

Yay! First house (I’ve seen) in our hood to turn their holiday lights on!


And the local radio station started playing holiday music today.

Ahhhh. They both put a smile on my face and calmed me down, which I really needed. I’ve had a highly anxious week and need to CHILL THE EFF OUT.

Frost & Fog

By , November 10, 2015 8:03 am

I had a bit of an eventful run this morning! As I was leaving one park to run to another, I saw a tire rolling down a hill toward me. Confused, I looked up and saw a truck skidding off the road, and, yeah – it was missing a front wheel and tire. Yikes! Luckily, the driver was okay. Not so sure about the truck…


Then on the way back through that park, toward home, I saw a coyote! I think it’s the first I’ve seen while running, this season.

Luckily, the rest of the run was uneventful – I was just ohhing and ahhing over the pretty frost and fog (and water and sun) and wondering when the hell I was gonna wake up (3 miles in).

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Training Week 316

By , November 8, 2015 6:44 pm

Highlight of the Week: A naturally fast finish long run!


Monday | November 2, 2015: 7 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: Round Lake loop, Temp: 71°/69°, Time: 1:00:49, Pace: 8:41 avg, Difficulty: mostly easy, Felt: good
Strength: One Dumbbell and Lebert Bodyweight Stations, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | November 3, 2015: 10 m run
Loc: MT to Nippersink FP, Temp: 46°/45°, Time: 1:36:46, Pace: 9:40 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: good, but tired and hungry
Wednesday | November 4, 2015: rest
Thursday | November 5, 2015: 10 mins kettlebells + 5 m run
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 70°/68°, Time: 43:06, Pace: 8:37 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: pissed about the wind and heat
Friday | November 6, 2015: teaching strength class + 5 m run (incl. 4×800) + 14 m ride
Strength: One Dumbbell and Bodyweight stations, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but not super awake
Loc: hood, Temp: 46°/49°, Time: 43:41, Pace: 8:44, Difficulty: medium, Felt: decent
Indoor Ride Time: 1:01:26, Pace: 13.7 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Saturday | November 7, 2015: teaching fitness boxing + 7 m run
Strength: body weight and boxing , Difficulty: easy (mostly observing), Felt: great
Loc: Around Grayslake, Temp: 44°/48°, Time: 1:04:25, Pace: 9:12 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, unlike me to say this, but the sun felt good

Sunday | November 8, 2015: 17 m run (first 4 virtual w/Kelly)
Loc: Around Round Lake, Temp: 31°/48°, Time: 2:45:37, Pace: 9:44 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: fantastic


  • My week started with the discovery of a black toenail on my left Morton’s toe! Luckily, it only held me back from doing mountain climbers Monday night, and by the end of the (work)week, it didn’t hurt anymore. Although it still looks hella bad!
  • My previous yearly personal distance record for running was 1915.1 miles, set in 2013. I passed that distance on my Thursday run this week and ended the week with 1945.7! My goal for the year is (was?) 2000 miles, so it seems like I am going to make it! I worry if I talk about it too much though, I will jinx it, ha ha.
  • Did everyone else have an off week from Daylight Saving Time ending? Gah, I felt so tired every night. And it didn’t help that we started off our week going to bed late Sunday because we were up watching the Royals win the World Series! Hopefully I finish adjusting to the time change this week!
  • I’ve been trying to switch things up in my strength classes to keep it fresh for my students, and really… fresh for me. It’s so much fun to research different ideas I have for strength moves, and see what the current industry trends and studies are!

Link to Training Week 315

Best $2.50 I’ve ever spent

By , November 7, 2015 3:51 pm

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I’m so happy our need for batteries took us near the clearance Halloween section at Target!

The difference a week makes

By , November 5, 2015 12:11 pm

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Mother Nature is saying “I hope you’re ready for a change!”

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