Training Week 258

By , September 28, 2014 8:27 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running around the monuments in DC on Friday morning!

Week258

Monday | September 22, 2014: 5 m run (w/Kelly) + 5 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 43°/42°, Time: 49:55, Pace: 9:59 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 59°, Time: 51:10, Pace: 10:13 avg, Difficulty: medium (hills), Felt: hot
Strength: Kettlebells and step, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good
Tuesday | September 23, 2014: 7.1 m run (w/Kelly & Yvonne)
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 48°/48°, Time: 1:10:23, Pace: 9:55 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Wednesday | September 24, 2014: 6 m run
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 72°/70°, Time: 1:05:50, Pace: 10:58 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: not as good as a morning run
Thursday | September 25, 2014: rest
Friday | September 26, 2014: 5.5 m run
Loc: DC, Temp: 63°/63°, Time: 57:43, Pace: 10:30, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Saturday | September 27, 2014: 6 m run 
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 66°/72°, Time: 1:02:45, Pace: 10:27 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: hot
Sunday | September 28, 2014: 12 m run (first 10 w/Bobbi) + 7.6 m ride (w/Steven)
Loc: Grant Woods FP, Temp: 52°/57°, Time: 2:10:09, Pace: 10:51 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: really good!
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 75°/71°, Time: 42:45, Pace: 10.7 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: happy

Notes:

  • I wasn’t even one minute in to my first run of the week when I saw a (live) skunk. Ha ha. They ARE everywhere! We turned around (after I freaked Kelly out, oops), so, no spraying or barfing. Yay!
  • I hit 1,000 running miles for the year during Sunday’s run! I haven’t been paying too much attention to my yearly mileage and it kind of snuck up on me. I am surprised I even hit that, this year! It’s been a chill running year, for sure. At least, the first seven months.  
  • It was such a treat to fit in a quick DC monuments run while I was there for a short work trip (some photos from the run below!). Aside from the awe of running by the monuments, I was in awe of how many people were out early, working out (just like any other major city, I suppose!). I ran across a November Project group using the FDR monument for plyo (ha ha) and I saw several military groups, some sort of tour running group, and lots and lots of individuals! It definitely left me feeling happy for the rest of my day. 
  • One week until my first marathon of the year! I am getting excited! This will be the first marathon I have ever run twice – that is how beautiful I thought Milwaukee was the first time I ran it. And Bobbi and I will run as much of it as possible together, so I am looking forward to all the chat time. Right now my goal is to maintain an 11:00 minute mile average. But eh, it’s me, I won’t be disappointed if I’m slower!

Continue reading 'Training Week 258'»

The Leaderboard

By , September 22, 2014 11:19 am

Do any of the fitness tracking sites you use feature a leaderboard to track your workouts in comparison to your friends’ workouts?

You know, to get some friendly encouragement/competition going?

I knew that Daily Mile and Strava did this, but I don’t use those. I only recently started using Garmin Connect to “connect” to my friends (thanks to Gina for explaining it) despite this feature being around f-o-r-e-v-e-r.

I originally just wanted to “connect” with Gina and my dad so I could see what they were up to (since Gina and I are training for similar races at times, and since I like to bug my dad) and when I went to send them requests I saw I had some other ones. Oops! No idea that feature was there!

And I had no idea that as soon as I started connecting with people, it would pit us all against each other on the leaderboard. 

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This is re-created, based on the Garmin Connect leaderboard. The real one shows your friend’s picture if they have one uploaded, and shows their username. 

I thought I wouldn’t like seeing this; that it would make me feel competitive, which is not me at all. 

But it actually does make me feel encouraged, when I see how much butt my friends are kicking (and makes me feel so proud of them!). And it is so much easier to track someone else’s training this way (then clicking through their runs all stalker-style). 

So I am surprised to say… I like this feature and find it fun! For now. Ha ha. I am also consciously keeping it off my dashboard so I am not seeing it every time I log on.

Training Week 257

By , September 21, 2014 2:33 pm

Highlight of the Week: Designing and teaching a sneaky-challenging strength workout. 

Week257

Monday | September 15, 2014: 3 m run (w/Kelly) + teaching strength class
Loc: Grrayslake, Temp: 51°/51°, Time: 30:35, Pace: 10:12 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: a bit stiff
Strength: Kettlebells and step, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good
Tuesday | September 16, 2014: 5 m run (w/Kelly)
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 45°/43°, Time: 49:57, Pace: 10:00 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: better than Monday
Wednesday | September 17, 2014: rest
Thursday | September 18, 2014: 7 m run (w/Kelly) + 4 m run
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 48°/49°, Time: 1:10:53, Pace: 10:07 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay, strangely hot
Loc: Ray Lake FP, Temp: 63°/61°, Time: 42:10, Pace: 10:32 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good then out of energy

Friday | September 19, 2014: teaching strength class + 2 m walk (w/Steven)
Strength: Kettlebells and step, Difficulty: medium, Felt: still stiff from Monday!
Saturday | September 20, 2014: 22 m run
Loc: Around town, Temp: 62°/72°, Time: 4:07:19, Pace: 11:14 avg, Difficulty: hard, Felt: challenged
Sunday | September 21, 2014: 4 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 56°/56°, Time: 42:01, Pace: 10:30 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Notes:

  • Sigh, after busting out a new pair of shoes last week, all of a sudden, my other pairs feel like they don’t have any support. Darnit, I specifically rotate shoes to try to avoid this! I guess I am not doing a very good job of that!
  • Whoa… last week’s long run was much easier than this one! Ha ha, let’s bring that cool weather and low humidity back! Or, let’s at least have it at the marathon!
  • I totally bonked at mile 16 of my long run. I think I need to eat some real food when I run, but I am not sure how the heck I can carry it since we aren’t allowed to wear our water vests. Might have to get creative… or ask someone to meet me on the course with food
  • The time during my solo runs this week were spent day-dreaming about a tropical vacation. But I still remembered to focus on my form! Gotta keep that up!

Link to Training Week 256

Well, that’s a first

By , September 20, 2014 12:44 pm

It seems like there is an influx of skunks in my area this year. Or, I am just noticing them more. Whatever it is, I have seen a few while running, and smelled the presence of them even more. 

Is there anyone who is NOT disgusted by the skunk spray odor? I have to say, the smell bothers me so much, that skunks are the animal I am least sad to see dead in the road. Sorry, skunkies! 

Sigh. Dead skunks in the road. So today I passed one. But I wasn’t in my car, I was on foot, and there was no way to avoid it. 

I saw it before I smelled it and immediately covered my nose. But that just made the smell fill my mouth and I started gagging. So I tried to hold my breath, but couldn’t for very long, and keep gasping and taking more of it in. 

Which was probably stupid, but it was instinct.

And then it happened – I keep gagging so much that I threw up. Threw up the last Clif gel I ate, through my mouth and nose. 

Have you ever thrown up during a run?

I’ve had a lot of people tell me they throw up during races, sometimes, often. But in my almost eight years of running, this is the first time it happened to me. I’ve reached the puke threshold during 5Ks, but never followed through ha ha. 

And strangely? I felt refreshed after it happened today and had my fastest miles of the run! Ha ha. I had just had a Clif gel flavor that’s been giving me trouble (just can’t do chocolate in the warm months) and I wonder if throwing that up was part of feeling better. 

Anyway. I guess I should still be happy it was a dead skunk I was so close to, and not a live one!

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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. 

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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)!

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

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And of course, had one for herself, too!

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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!

Ceremony
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!

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

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

Reception
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:

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140614christinawillweddingphotocollage2 

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!

140614christinawillweddingguestbook

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

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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!

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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!

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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. 

140614christinawillweddingcenterpieces

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!

140614christinawillweddingdesserttable

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.

140614christinawillweddingjustmarried

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. 

Week256

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

Notes:

  • 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. 

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  • 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! 

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  • 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)

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  • 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!

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