Training Week 435

By , February 18, 2018 6:05 pm

Highlight of the Week: All the workouts with Mom and Dad!

Monday | February 12, 2018: 6 m run (incl. 8 hill repeats) + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 16°/21°, Time: 58:25, Pace: 9:44 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, glad it was sunny
Strength: Leberts and dumbbells, Difficulty: mostly easy, Felt: good!

Tuesday | February 13, 2018: 20 m ride + 10 m run
Indoor Ride Time: 1:17:08, Pace: 15.6 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, sore butt at the end!
Loc: hood, Temp: 30°/30°, Time: 1:36:44, Pace: 9:40 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great

Wednesday | February 14, 2018: rest
Thursday | February 15, 2018: 10 m run (incl. 12×400) + 1,008 yd swim
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 39°/38°, Time: 1:38:38, Pace: 9:52 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: okay! held back by wind and legs (ha)
Loc: FitNation, Time: 19:51, Pace: 1:58 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, rushed for time

Friday | February 16, 2018: teaching strength class + 5 m run (w/Dad on bike)
Strength: Leberts and dumbbells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 31°/31°, Time: 49:45, Pace: 9:56, Difficulty: easy, Felt: decent

Saturday | February 17, 2018: teaching indoor cycling + teaching fitness boxing + 508 yd swim
Loc: Efit, Time: 54:42, Pace: 17.6 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good! surprised I wasn’t sweaty!
Strength: core, cardio, and boxing, Difficulty: easy (mostly observing), Felt: good!
Loc: FitNation, Time: 10:01, Pace: 1:59 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Sunday | February 18, 2018: 5 m run (w/Dad on bike)
Loc: hood, Temp: 22°/27°, Time: 49:34, Pace: 9:54 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, warm


  • Thursday was my last major speed workout before the Frosty Footrace on February 25th. Based on how it went, I’m guessing I’ll average between 7:20-7:30 minute miles for Frosty. And will definitely positive split the course (it’s got some inclines).
  • My parents were here Thursday night through Sunday morning and we did all the workouts together! Dad and I had an icy and windy run Friday morning. On Saturday, Dad came to Indoor Cyling, and Mom came to Fitness Boxing. Mom and I swam Saturday afternoon (mostly so we could use the hot tub), and Dad and I had one final run Sunday. I loved working out with them!!!
  • I was thinking about doing a double on Sunday because the weather got in to the 40s (!!!) but I was so exhausted from the weekend festivities, I took a nap instead. Ahh.

Link to Training Week 434

Surprise vegan donuts!

By , February 17, 2018 9:36 pm

We had a surprise stop on the vegan donut tour today!

Holcomb Hollow is a gluten free, vegan, and dairy free bakery that sells in a few retail locations in our county. Steven recently picked up some of their cookies and a muffin from a coffee shop, then happened to see they were having a grand opening (at their own location!) with free coffee, muffins, and an oatmeal bar this week. He didn’t have to tell me twice – I immediately put it on my calendar! I liked their muffin and cookies, and I knew Mom would love checking it out with me.

What I didn’t know until I got there was that they were going to have donuts too. WHUUUUUUUUUUT.

And, guys, you could take as many donuts as you wanted off of these trays to try.


Um, say whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut.

Each donut had a vanilla or chocolate base, and was baked. We tried the lemon frosting, berry frosting, and coffee frosting. We liked lemon the best!

Sigh, I have to report that the donuts didn’t really do it for me, though. The frosting flavors were well done, but the donut base was a bit too spongy and just not… donut-y enough. Fun to try though!

State Date Name Flavor Rating (0-4) Photo
Kansas 1/15/18 Mud Pie Cake Chocolate Frosted
Illinois 2/7/18 Do-Rite Chai Maple
Illinois 2/17/18 Holcomb Hollow Lemon Vanilla

Their muffins are AMAZING though. We tried chocolate, chocolate chip, banana, carrot cake, and blueberry lemon.

And came home with (purchased) berry crumble, blueberry lemon, and banana. Yummmmm. Their muffins are where it’s at! I’ll definitely be going back for those!

House Project: new glass for a few windows

By , February 16, 2018 7:03 am

We had glass replaced in five windows this week, and I’m STOKED about it! The seals between the double pane glass were broken in a few windows, so they were fogged over between the glass and appeared dirty all the time. It embarrassed me – especially because two of the windows were ones you see as you pull up to the house. I SWEAR I CLEAN MY WINDOWS.

But they look dirty no more!

It’s difficult to capture the fogginess (of course) but I think you can see it clearly (ha) here, in the dining room:


And these are the ones you could see driving in, in the guest bedroom:


Data cracks me up – when we first moved in and had people doing loud work in the house, he’d hide under the bed. Now? He sleeps through it on the couch while the work happens behind him! He’s a construction pro!

Of course, I wrote this, then the next day, Data and Khali were both scared out of their minds by the snow sliding off the roof. Funny that this guy doing loud work with a Dremel didn’t bother Data, but the snow does. 

More work needs to be done on the windows, and some other glass, but it feels good to have this done. Bit by bit!

Random Thoughts Thursday 168

By , February 15, 2018 8:45 am
  • I felt like I’d been holding it together this week with Snow’s passing… then the cats got a very sweet homemade Valentine’s Day card in the mail yesterday. It was for all of them. And I kind of lost it again. Sigh. Baby steps.

  • My parents are arriving today and staying through Sunday. I’m excited to see them! I hope all four of us have some “hang out” time together.
  • I’m impressed with how long my current manicure has lasted – almost three weeks! I’m getting a new one today, because it is starting to peel a bit, but the gel is still all intact!
  • I noticed my purse was super heavy and couldn’t figure out why. Then I took almost all the change out of my wallet and it felt so much lighter. DUH. TOWN. Now I’ve been emptying out the change on the regular.
  • Oh. Em. Gee. Polly Pockets are coming back! They aren’t as cool as mine, but they are still cool!

My very first Polly!

  • I had a longer bullet point written about how people present themselves on social media, but it all boils down to don’t be an (obnoxious) a**hole. Seriously. I can’t believe some of the things people write.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 167

Happy Gotcha Day, Khaleesi!

By , February 14, 2018 5:34 am

Khaleesi (Khali) has been living inside with us for one year today! Happy Anniversary, Khali! Fun fact: Data was “adopted” on Valentine’s Day, too!

We weren’t planning on Khaleesi becoming an indoor cat. We thought she’d convalesce inside after she got spayed last year, then go back outside when she healed. But she ended up getting an infection the day we were going to let her out, and when she went to the vet, they said she needed to stay inside much longer than we thought.

And then I couldn’t let her back outside. I mean, duh.

Could you let this face back outside? (Ha, this was before I realized I could pick those black boogers out of her nose – I didn’t know they were boogers at first!)

So, while she’s escaped outside (grrr) a few times over the year, she is definitely an indoor cat now! We love having her inside, and she seems to tolerate us, ha! It took her a while to get used to us, but every day (even now!), we can tell she’s more comfortable around us. Unfortunately, she still hides from most other people. We hope she stops hiding someday <— wishful thinking.

People are shocked when I tell them Data loves being a big brother (and that he didn’t mind Snow). Data is fifteen years old and can be grumpy and persnickety. Give him a break – he’s an old man! Because of his personality, people thought he’d be a jerk to Khali, but her being around has actually improved his behavior. He no longer hate poops outside his litter box or on the welcome mat, and instead of play attacking us, he plays with Khali. He seems more energetic and younger, and he’s nice to Khali (not counting their playful royal rumbles). Guess he was never meant to be an only child!!!

Ha, I swear I have photos of the cats NOT in bed too.

And we’re very happy having two cats inside!

My 10 Group Fitness Instructors “Dos”

By , February 13, 2018 6:27 am

When I’m reading the “Dos and Don’ts” for group fitness instructors in the magazines I receive from my personal training organization, I sometimes find myself on the “Don’t” list. Oopsie!

I shouldn’t be:

  • Talking about myself
  • Testing out so much music on my classes
  • Swearing or playing music with swear words
  • Overweight
  • Teasing
  • Giving unclear direction (I have word vomit/get words mixed up or together from time to time)

Like I said, “oopsie!” A lot of the work of being a fitness instructor is being “on,” and it’s hard to hide certain parts of my personality (telling bad stories/jokes, teasing, swearing, etc.). And besides, when else do I have people’s undivided attention to listen to me?! Ha, I kid, I kid… sorta.

could work on all of the things on that list though…

But I am not writing this post to be down on myself! I am writing it to share the list of group fitness instructor “Dos” that I live by:

  1. Plan safe workouts for all planes of motions/incorporate basic moves, and don’t get too crazy trying new stuff/combos
  3. Give adequate breaks
  4. Be encouraging
  5. Start and stop class on time
  6. Stretch before and after we work out
  7. Greet everyone when they arrive and say goodbye when they leave/give people my attention… until I am interrupted, then always follow up later
  8. Ask how people’s bodies are feeling and follow up on injuries
  9. Keep in touch with people after they stop taking my class
  10. MAKE IT FUN!!!

These are all important to me, but especially the last one. Everyone needs to strength train and not many people do it. So why not make it fun when we do?

I’m reusing an old photo because I don’t have many of myself teaching! I’ll have to retake this with my mom this weekend when she takes my fitness boxing class!!!!!

Is it Friday yet?!

By , February 12, 2018 6:29 am

Whoa, this weekend felt busy. Luckily I had Friday off, and had a chill day before the days of doing all the things!

On Friday night, Steven and I went to our neighbor’s restaurant for dinner and instagrammed drinks.

We watched some of the Winter Olympics opening ceremonies when we got home. I’m glad I had a drink before that – it helped me through what we did watch (the commentators talking over everything, just, ugh).

I slept horribly Friday night and was up at 4:30 am! Whut dafuq. Ugh. I cycled inside at home until it was gym opening time and I could go do my long run there.

When I got back we began a demolition project in our basement. My parents are coming to visit next weekend (!!!) and my dad is going to help install a new joist in the basement (part ii of this project). We were clearing as much out of the way as possible, before the visit. (The joist has to go above the ductwork below, hence taking all that wood off of it.)

Eventually we’ll remove all the wood paneling off the walls

Of course, in the process, we found a hot mess of construction under the landing for our first floor stair. Gah, there’s always something with this house. Every time we do a project, we have more questions about how our house came about – we think the house started as something much smaller that was added on to more than once. That’s one logical explanation to some of the things we’ve found, like frame outs for windows in interior walls.

We took a short work break to check out “Snow Daze” in Kenosha. The downtown area had over forty-five ice sculptures to check out! Most of the sculptures related to what the business (or sponsor, in the sponsor area) was. What a clever way to get people to walk all over downtown when it’s so cold!

It was in the teens, but we still stopped for ice cream!

Then we went home and got back to work. Which was really just more brainstorming and discussing how to install the new joist and rebuild the platform under the stair. Next weekend is going to be busy. I was hoping we’d actually have hang out time with both my parents, but it doesn’t sound like it.

On Saturday night I put together Valentine’s Day treats for my fitness boxing class then FINALLY chilled out. Woo hoo!

I woke up Sunday to more snow. It didn’t seem like much looking out the window, but when I got outside for a run and saw how deep the tire ruts were, I called my run short and went back to snow blow so I could get out of the driveway to go teach fitness boxing!

I taught, ran errands, came home, unloaded, finished shoveling, then finished my run.


After lunch, we went to the Chicago Auto Show. It’s been several years since we’ve gone and we thought it would be fun to see all the models in person. And I was excited to check out the F-PACE!

We walked around the show for about two and a half hours, then headed to Waterhouse to try the Impossible Burger.

Seen on the way to dinner!

We both liked it (and the buffalo cauliflower “wings” we got)! This burger is only available in certain restaurants, and I hope more add it. It’s great that regular (non vegetarian/vegan, I mean) restaurants are adding vegan options to the menu (like TGI Fridays adding the Beyond Meat burger) and I hope this trend continues!

We got home close to 9:00 pm! On a Sunday! I did the Sunday night chores and was beat. I woke up well before my alarm on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and felt exhausted. I might have to take a Monday afternoon nap after work!

Training Week 434

By , February 11, 2018 2:12 pm

Highlight of the Week: Being able to work out at home inside when we got so much snow / feeling great on a lot of runs and not wanting to stop!

Monday | February 5, 2018: 5 m run (incl. 10 hill repeats)
Treadmill Time: 51:52, Pace: 10:22 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: fine! anxious to run outside again
Tuesday | February 6, 2018: rest
Wednesday | February 7, 2018: 15 mins strength + 5 m run + 4 m run
Treadmill Time: 49:45, Pace: 9:57 avg, Difficulty: mostly easy, Felt: good
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 19°/19°, Time: 38:03, Pace: 9:30 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great! So happy to run outside!

Thursday | February 8, 2018: 10 m run (incl. 6×800, 8×1:00)
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 18°/18°, Time: 1:33:59, Pace: 9:24 avg, Difficulty: easy then medium then easy, Felt: really great
Friday | February 9, 2018: 30 mins strength + 16 m ride + 1.5 m walk + 3 m run
Indoor Ride Time: 57:02, Pace: 16.8 mph avg, Difficulty: mostly easy, Felt: good
Treadmill Time: 30:23, Pace: 10:07, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Saturday | February 10, 2018: 10 m ride + 14 m run
Indoor Ride Time: 41:16, Pace: 14.5 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Waukegan Field House, Time: 2:25:40, Pace: 10:24 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great

Sunday | February 11, 2018: 1.3 m run + teaching fitness boxing + 3 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 16°, Time: 13:33, Pace: 10:25  avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but like I should be snow blowing
Strength: dumbbells (core & cardio), and boxing, Difficulty: easy (mostly observing), Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 19°/20°, Time: 31:32, Pace: 10:30 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good to stretch out my legs

  • We got snow most days this week! Which altered my workouts, but made me so grateful for our indoor basement gym. I sure am sick of these indoor photos in my weekly training collage though. Ha!
  • I did Monday’s hill repeats inside since it was slippery out. I’ve realized easy runs on the treadmill are easy (duh) but speed and hills feel kind of impossible and dangerous (like I will fall off). Eh.
  • Class was canceled Monday night due to snow (commute times were tripled that night), and I should have used that time to do a strength workout at home, but I took a wonderful nap instead. Ahh.
  • I’m so glad I got to do this week’s speedwork outside. It feels so much easier to me outside, than on the treadmill <— broken record.
  • We canceled my Friday 5:00 am class too, due to weather! We got about six inches of snow over night, and weren’t sure how safe the roads would be in the morning. I drive quite a distance to teach, and am grateful my boss had my travel safety as his #1 concern. I hope I get to teach all my classes next week!
  • I actually practiced next weekend’s indoor cycling class a week and a day early, on Friday! Yay! Go me! (Last time I did it the day before and that was NOT a good idea.)
  • I was actually sore from Friday’s at home strength workout, on Saturday. Also yay!
  • I did not intend for Sunday’s “double.” I went out to run, realized we got way more snow than I thought on Saturday night (five inches?), and went back in to snow blow before I left to teach! Then I ran again later to “finish” my run.
  • I didn’t get to swim this week. The roads were bad during the time I usually go. Maybe I can double it up next week. But I swim for fun and exercise only, so it’s okay if I don’t.
  • I’ve decided to start my weekly tempos after the Frosty Footrace on February 25th.

Link to Training Week 433

Five Bebe Rexha songs I love

By , February 10, 2018 5:28 am

Do you ever hear an artist’s voice and know you’re going to like almost every song they perform? That’s how I was with Christina Aguilera back in the day! I could listen to her voice for hours while I was running. And I imagine that is how some people currently are with Ed Sheeran? (Although not me, ha!)

Bebe Rexha is that artist for me now. Although, funny thing, it took me a while to realize that!

A few years ago, another blogger posted her song “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy” (I wish I could remember who it was to give them credit!). I immediately loved Rexha’s voice and remembered her name and started noticing her in more songs after that. And noticing that many of those songs became “favorites” of mine.

What I didn’t make the connection on was that she was already singing smaller parts in some songs I loved, and her voice was what made me love the songs. I didn’t figure that out until I was putting this post together, and decided to listen to a lot of the songs she’s been featured on, and realized I liked her before I “thought” I did when I first heard “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy.”

Ha, I am not trying to be hipster on you! Just sharing that I’ve liked her before I even knew it.

Anyway, here are my current favorite five songs of hers (you may have to click through from your reader to see them), and some honorable mentions. Let me know your favorite, or if you’re already a fan (or if you don’t care for her music)!

Honorable mentions:

Second stop in the vegan donut tour

By , February 9, 2018 6:19 am

Silly me! In my 2018 quest to eat a vegan donut, I had somehow forgotten there is a Do-Rite Donuts (somewhat) near my office that I could pick one up from, if I took the time to walk there! WHUT?! Kim, you so sil. I know.

So on Tuesday, I swung by on my lunch walk to see if they had any vegan donuts left. Nope. Okay, got it. Go earlier in the day.

The next day, I lengthened my walk to work to stop by, and they had three vegan donuts to choose from. Horray! I went with Chai Maple and it did NOT disappoint.

The vegan flavors were in the top left shelf.  They have gluten free donuts too (in the cabinet on the counter).

What a treat!

I now feel better about how I accomplished my main goal for the year. It was purposeful and planned, and I did not rely on someone else (like I did when my snister took me to a vegan bakery in Kansas).

And I’m ready to expand on this goal for the rest of the calendar year, and make it my 2018 Vegan Donut Tour! Let’s see how many states I can eat a vegan donut in.

So far I’ve done:

State Date Name Flavor Rating (1-4) Photo
Kansas 1/15/18 Mud Pie Cake Chocolate Frosted
Illinois 2/7/18 Do-Rite Chai Maple

Potential states include: Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, Ohio, and California (we’re really hoping to get out there this year). Now, I just have to make sure I plan my travel around finding a vegan donut, ha!

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