Things I’m Excited about in December!

By , December 2, 2016 9:32 am


  1. Teaching four fitness boxing classes! My students have really been getting in to it, and that makes it so fun for me. And this month, my brother-in-law will attend one of my classes and two of the classes will be holiday themed (Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve)!
  2. Going to Dallas! It’s my third year going there marathon weekend (2015, 2014). Only this year, no marathon, ha. I can’t wait to see my otra familia, be silly, eats lots of good food, visit Luca’s school, and see Meb again!!!
  3. Steven’s family’s visit for the holiday (early)! That’s why we got the house all gussied up – for their visit. We usually don’t decorate when we won’t be here for the holiday (we’ll be in Iowa). Or maybe we would have this year since it’s our first holiday in the new home? Who knows! I love it all festive, so maybe we’ll start decorating every year.
  4. Making a tofurkey and mashed potatoes when Steven’s family is here. I’ve been craving them since Thanksgiving!
  5. Seeing the new Star Wars movie. I wonder if I’ll want to see this one several times in the theater like I did the last?
  6. Steven’s Birthday! Poor Steven has a December 22nd birthday. We gotta do something special to celebrate it away from the holiday!
  7. Being with my family on Christmas and watching them open their gifts!
  8. Seeing our house with snow on it – it just looks so pretty!
  9. Cold weather running – I love it… as long as I can take a hot bath after. Ha! Hopefully I’ll get lots of runs with family and friends this month during our visits!
  10. Getting one month closer to meeting Baby William!

This list could go on and on but I’ll stop at ten! What’s on your list?

Random Thoughts Thursday 118

By , December 1, 2016 6:44 am
  • Ha, when Steven and I were at Target on Sunday, I stopped in the cat food aisle to get the ONE flavor of wet cat food Data likes (Mariner’s Catch) and that Target only had three cans of it left. I had bought the last five cans at a different Target earlier that week. So I say to Steven “This must be really popular – it’s sold out at both locations!” And this lady walking by in the main aisle (not the cat food aisle) turns around and says “What’s so popular, I have to know?!” (not in a nosy way, but in a “is it so popular I need one too?” way). And I am like “this flavor of cat food…?” “Oh.” Ha ha ha. Ha.


  • We saw Arrival last night. Has anyone else seen it? It’s definitely a movie you want to discuss after seeing it. And a movie where I did not see the twist coming (but that’s why it’s called a plot twist, ha).


  • Gosh, our leisure schedule is so much different at the new house (as expected). We used to see movies much more frequently. The last time we saw a movie was five months ago!
  • Rihanna’s song “Love on the Brain” is my new “listen to it on repeat five-six times while running” song.  Anyone else digging it?


  • All of the new sets of balls we got to decorate the tree came with some glitter balls (first picture below). And we have a STRICT “no glitter in the house” rule (Steven HATES glitter). So… we have lots of glitter balls that won’t get used (second picture below). Maybe I should put them on the mailbox garland?

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  • Something strange happened at Starbucks the other day when I had them reload my card (in the store). They accidentally charged 20 cents instead of 20 dollars and there was no way to undo the transaction and fix it… but somehow, Starbucks still put 20 dollars on my card. They said it was like a Christmas present from Starbucks! I was using it to get someone holiday gifts, but had to add on the guy behind me in line’s drink too!
  • I think I can get to 2000 miles run this year if I don’t slack off this month! I am at 1845 miles right now, and I typically run 40 miles a week. So if I stick with that, I should be good! It’s going to be hard with all the travel and guests BUT the people I am spending time with run too/or understand that I run! I can make it happen!

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 117

All gussied up

By , November 30, 2016 6:11 am

Yay! All the holiday decorations are up! It’s not a lot, but I’m going to document it here so I can look back in the future if I want to set it any of it up the same way.

Living room:


Our Fraser Fir tree is eleven feet tall on its own, and a bit taller in the stand. It has 700 lights on it. We (expectedly) had to buy more lights and ornaments. I got the LED lights to try and those were a big NOPE – way too harsh of a white! We went back and bought conventional lights.

161129decoratedtree1 161129livingroomdecorations

As kids, we’d spend Christmas Eve at my mom’s parent’s home, and they always had metal “NOEL” letters that we’d rearrange to say “EL NO” or “LEON” and see how long it took an adult to find it. We thought it was really funny. I was happy when my mom gifted me my own “NOEL” set one year!

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A fire place with no mantel!


We’ll see how long it takes for Data to knock these down. He is getting in to ALL the decorations. And I don’t mean he’s “in to them” metaphorically. He is physically getting in to them and messing them up and knocking them around (and eating them and throwing them up).

Dining Room:


Steven said, “It looks like coffee = joy.” Ha!

Downstairs bathroom:


Upstairs hallway/stair:

Upstairs bathroom:


Front door:




And now… to put all those storage boxes back in the basement. Blah. Ha ha.

The best thing about work travel…

By , November 29, 2016 6:40 am

(Or any travel)

… is the opportunity to run someplace new!


I’m in Cincinnati for work and had time for a short run this morning. And bonus – I’ve never run in Ohio before so I get to add that to my “states run in” list (I also ran through Kentucky today, but I’d run there before, also on work travel).

I wasn’t sure how safe it would be to run alone, but I talked to the front desk about it, and they said it was safe, and then I saw A LOT of runners out – yay! I wish I would have had time to run farther!


Now, let’s hope my work day goes as fast (and is as enjoyable?) as this run did (was)!


Past my bedtime

By , November 28, 2016 7:12 am

Was anyone else up late last night/this morning buying their Rogue One: A Star Wars Story tickets? 

I was! And I’m not sure why because:

1. Fandango servers couldn’t handle it, like when The Force Awakens tickets went on sale. I was online at 11:01 pm cst, trying multiple browsers on multiple computers, my phone browser and the fandango app and it sat and span or said “site maintenance.” Chrome finally worked around 11:30 pm.

2. The showtime I’m getting tickets for (Sunday 4:00 pm) probably could have waited until this morning!

3. It feels like such a money grab and that bugs me. And it takes a lot for me to say that, because Star Wars are my favorite films.

But! I have four tickets and am looking forward to going with Steven and his dad and brother!

Training Week 371

By , November 27, 2016 8:36 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running a 5K with Steven and friends / people telling me how much they love fitness boxing class.


Monday | November 21, 2016: teaching strength class
Strength: Plyo box and one dumbbell, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, relieved my headache went away
Tuesday | November 22, 2016: 7 m run
Loc: VP Woods loop, Temp: 25°/26°, Time: 1:13:24, Pace: 10:29 avg, Difficulty: easy enough, Felt: good, but a bit tired and HUNGRY!
Wednesday | November 23, 2016: 5 m run (incl. 5 hill repeats) + 15 m ride
Loc: hood, Temp: 43°/43°, Time: 52:06, Pace: 10:25 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, annoyed with all the rocks in my shoes
Indoor Ride Time: 56:01, Pace: 16.1 mph avg, Difficulty: easy until the end, Felt: good, just a sore butt!

Thursday | November 24, 2016: Jon Callaghan Memorial Turkey Trot 5K (W/Steven, Eric & Abbie)
Loc: Gurnee, Temp: 36°/39°, Time: 36:13, Pace: 11:28 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Friday | November 25, 2016: teaching strength class + 1,008 yd swim
Strength: plyo box & one dumbbell, Difficulty: medium, Felt: so so, a bit barfy
Loc: FitNation, Time: 23:40, Pace: 2:21 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Saturday | November 26, 2016: 11.9 m run
Loc: DPRT, Temp: 38°/42°, Time: 2:10:04, Pace: 10:56 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good, just slow for me
Sunday | November 27, 2016: teaching fitness boxing
Strength: cardio, boxing mitts and pads, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good


  • I’ve had a headache on Monday the last two weeks, and consequently, haven’t run that day. Blah. I think last week’s was from being on the go all weekend with the baby shower, and this week’s was because our upstairs furnace kicked on in the morning and had a burning smell to it (which bothered my head). I hope next week starts out better!
  • Blah, I would think I’d learned this by now, but no – I HAVE to wear gaiters around here when it’s raining or after it’s rained. I do so much running on the shoulder that LOTS of rocks get in my shoes and socks if I don’t have gaiters on. Which is what happened on my Wednesday speed/hill session.
  • Eek, I did NOT manage my time well this week. I really need to get workouts in in the morning if I want to get them in – our days are too busy with chores and errands, and now, preppy for guests for the holidays. I hope I do better this week!
  • Gosh, I felt so good after teaching fitness boxing on Sunday. Quite a few people came up to me after to say how much they like the class – how nice of them! You can’t really go wrong with getting to punch (and sometimes kick!) other people, but I like to think the touches I add to class make it fun, too. Ha ha.

Link to Training Week 370

I’m not sure it’s big enough!

By , November 26, 2016 8:47 am

Just kidding.


It’s so big we had to call in reinforcements – we couldn’t get it aligned by ourselves! Thanks for your help, Bobbi!


We’re letting the branches settle, and we’re hoping to decorate it this weekend!


Jon Callaghan Memorial Turkey Trot Race Report

By , November 25, 2016 4:28 pm

Who else did a race on Thanksgiving?


Our friends that we (almost always!) spend Thanksgiving with – Eric and Abbie – emailed us in mid October asking if we wanted to do a 5K on Thanksgiving morning. I was surprised when Steven said yes!

We picked the Jon Callaghan Memorial Turkey Trot (a 5K) in Gurnee, IL. From their website:

Jon Callaghan was a student at O’Plaine School in Gurnee, who passed away in 1997 after a courageous battle with Neuroblastoma cancer. Per the Callaghan family, the funds raised have been used to help University of Chicago Neuroblastoma Cancer Research, School District 56 Program for Learning Disabled, and many others.

The race was casual and perfect for our crew (who just wanted to exercise on Thanksgiving morning) – it was non-timed and there were no bibs. There were mile markers each half mile and a few timers on course, and we received a comfortable cotton long-sleeved t-shirt (which I have already worn for a nap, and to keep me warm on the car ride home from the pool).


Steven invited some of his Fake Meats employees to join us, and one of them (and her boyfriend) was able to!


Eric, Abbie, Mark (Hanna’s boyfriend), Hannah (Fake Meats employee), Steven & Me

The course started on a quiet old downtown street, then went in to a crushed stone park, back to the street, through a neighborhood, and back to the street to finish. It seemed a bit crowded a times, but none of us cared!


It was in the high 30s with a slight wind – perfect running conditions. I ran in shorts, a t-shirt and arm warmers. Everyone else in my group was much more bundled up, but I run hot!

Steven, Eric, Abbie and I all started and finished (and mostly ran it) together! Hannah and her boyfriend finished behind us. We ran it in 36:13, averaging about 11:30 minute miles.

I am really proud of Steven – he thought he’d have to take more walk breaks, but he only took one, for two minutes at mile 2.5! He was enjoying talking to Eric and didn’t need the walk breaks.

I’d love for this to become a regular tradition for our Thanksgiving crew! Especially the after part – I went home and took a nap before we drove to our friends’ home for Thanksgiving dinner, hee hee.


Just wait, Data

By , November 21, 2016 6:23 am

Gosh, if he is going this nuts for the garland now, how is he gonna to react when we get a REAL tree on Saturday?!


I’m sure he’ll behave himself… right?! Ha ha.

It was fun to pick out garland for our stairs and (not up yet!) our mailbox. And it was easy to set it up. Now I just have to see how long it stays up, since Data already managed to undo the end of it once! What a stinker.

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This is all we have up for decorations so far! I plan to do more this upcoming weekend!

Training Week 370

By , November 20, 2016 10:07 pm

Highlight of the Week: Seeing Rachel after SIX (gasp!) months apart!


Monday | November 14, 2016: teaching strength class
Strength: medicine balls, cardio & core, Difficulty: easy, Felt: surprisingly good (was so tired during the day!)
Tuesday | November 15, 2016: 12 m run + 798 yd swim
Loc: DPRT/Kilbourne loop, Temp: 50°/49°, Time: 2:06:10, Pace: 10:31 avg, Difficulty: mostly easy, Felt: good
Loc: FitNation, Time: 19:53, Pace: 2:29 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: pissy about my goggles

Wednesday | November 16, 2016: rest
Thursday | November 17, 2016: 4 m run + 10 m ride
Loc: hood, Temp: 61°/65°, Time: 41:00, Pace: 10:14 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: oddly tired, dead legs
Indoor Ride Time: 37:50, Pace: 15.9 mph, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good, but so hungry!

Friday | November 18, 2016: teaching strength class + 2 m run (w/Anne) + 1,302 yd swim + 8 m run
Strength: plyo box and dumbbells, Difficulty: medium, Felt: hot
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 61°/60°, Time: 24:49, Pace: 12:23, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: FitNation, Time: 30:42, Pace: 2:17 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, tired shoulders from class
Loc: hood, Temp: 61°/62°, Time: 1:21:10, Pace: 10:10 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, after I warmed up!

Saturday | November 19, 2016: teaching strength class + 4 m run (incl. 5×400)
Strength: kettlebells and boxing, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 37°/36°, Time: 39:39, Pace: 9:55 avg, Difficulty: easy-ish, Felt: pushed around by the wind

Sunday | November 20, 2016: 10 m run (w/Rachel)
Loc: White River State Trail (WI), Temp: 23°/27°, Time: 1:38:28, Pace: 9:51 avg, Difficulty: easy (stomach off from cold), Felt: great after bathroom break


  • One of the nice things about buying a pool pass is that I don’t feel as bad if I go and don’t work out for that long – like this Tuesday, when I got so pissy about my foggy goggles that I just said “forget it” and left (I ordered new goggles for Friday’s swim – swimming is my zen time – I save pissy for running). Before I’d feel obliged to stay longer since I was paying per visit. Now I can go as much as I want during “open swim” times each month.
  • BLAH I need to quit putting off speedwork until the end of the week – it just makes me dread it, especially because I “have” to do it at that point to fit it in before the week is over. I don’t get to be choosy about the weather when I do that either. When I did my speedwork this week, there were 21 mph constant winds with 34 mph gusts! Eek!
  • My last two weekend long runs have been with people (my dad last week and Rachel this week) and WOW they really fly by and feel easier with another person! What wonderful treats those runs were!
  • Related to fitness – I thought this article (pdf here) detailing how a chess grandmaster uses physical fitness to keep his mental endurance up was interesting!

Link to Training Week 369

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