Random Thoughts Thursday 148

By , September 21, 2017 6:27 am
  • I signed up for the Wisconsin Half Marathon this week (the race is May 5th). This will be my 10th year in a row running it! This note in registration about refunds cracked me up:

  • I’m confused by the color of this pumpkin bath fizzy. Why is it blue?! And not pumpkin colored? Things that make you go hmm. Ha. I LOVE LOVE LOVE bath bombs. LOVE.

  • I decided to get away from a watch face with a step count emphasis… but then I found this fishing cat watch face… and the cat only “catches” the entire fish if you meet your step goal. And it kind of looks like Khali (if she was wearing a space suit). So yeah, totally didn’t get away from a step based watch face, oops!

  • I had a Grandma Level Cleaning inception moment Tuesday night – I talked to my Grandma on the phone while cleaning. Ha! Grandma is muchos excited about meeting the ducks during her visit this weekend (and told me what she’d be bringing to feed them). These two ducks showed up a few weeks ago. They like to hang out in the driveway (eyeroll). I don’t think we’ve seen them before which means… they need names!

Do you see Snow in the photo?

When I try to pull in to the driveway, or back out of the garage, I have to get out of the car and walk toward these guys so they’ll move – they are not afraid of the car

  • I love this photo of me and Xaarlin from Sunday’s race! (And am happy she pointed it out to me – I completely forgot to check the race photos!)

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 147

There’s something there…

By , September 19, 2017 6:16 am

Ahh, adventures in Grandma Level Cleaning.

The last time I cleaned the outside and inside of the house windows, I spent all day working on it, and was really proud of my effort… until the sun shone through the windows the next day and I saw streaks. Everywhere. WAH.

So this time, I googled how to prevent that, and the tips on this site worked great – I used their 1:1 hot water to vinegar ratio, and wiped the squeegee after each use (duh, Kim, why didn’t you think of that before?). I also made sure to adjust the squeegee handle length depending on clearance around the bottom of the windows (so I could pull it all the way down continuously and not hit anything). I spent a long time working on it, and again, was proud of my efforts.

Until yesterday.

I was working in the office when I heard a loud thud and immediately knew what it was. Khali ran from the office toward the noise.

Snow rushed out of his house to see what was up.

Data used this opportunity to finish Khali’s breakfast (that’s not different from any other day though, ha).

Yep, a bird hit the window.

This actually happened several times last week, before I cleaned the windows, but this was the first time the bird stunned itself and I saw where it landed. And how convenient that it landed on Snow’s porch. Not.

I immediately took Snow inside, then made a little box for the bird to recuperate in. I read that after they hit a window, they need a safe, dark, warm space to chillax and let their heart rate come down.

So I put the bird in the box, let Snow back outside, and put the box in the bathroom and closed the door. After an hour, I took the box outside and opened the lid. The bird was breathing, but didn’t fly away.

I was trying to be calm, but I was worried the bird was seriously hurt (broken wing?) and I was going to have to find a way to put him out of his misery. Then spend the rest of the day crying in bed.

Luckily it didn’t come to that. Another hour later, I took him back out, opened the lid again, and lifted the towel he was on a bit, and off he went! Phew!

I was so relieved!

I’m hoping this doesn’t happen again, but it probably will since our windows are so damn clean. My snister was telling me about stickers you could put on your windows so the birds can see them better, but… I don’t want stickers on my windows. I’ll have to look in to another solution.

Fox Valley Half Marathon Race Report

By , September 18, 2017 6:26 am

I’ve spectated the Fox Valley races (there’s a half marathon, twenty miler, and full marathon) in St. Charles, Illinois, a couple of times, but this was my first time being a racer! Xaarlin asked if I’d like to do a race for my birthday (back in July) and I said hells yes! I picked the Fox Valley Half Marathon because:

  1. The course looked neat (it runs up and down the Fox River)
  2. There was a chance the temperatures would be cool (HA! NOPE.)
  3. And THIS MEDAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay… I really picked it for the medal!!!

Xaarlin signed us up and did packet pickup for both of us in the city, making it SUPER easy for me. Thanks so much, Xaarlin – spending this time with you was a wonderful gift!

We weren’t running the race with a specific finish time in mind, just a goal to have fun and chat. Because of that, it was very low stress for me – I looked up the start time, start area, where to park, and went from there.

Traffic and parking was easy, and I met Xaarlin and her husband just after 6:00 am. We did all the pre-race business and got in to the corrals a few minutes before the 7:00 am start, and our group took off around 7:09. It was 64°, 93% humidity, with a 62° dew point when we started.

Right after the start!

Right away I felt icky sweaty because of the humidity, but I have a personal race rule where I don’t complain about the weather (at least not until the end!) because it puts me in a bad head space. Instead I thought about how grateful I was that the beginning of the course was mostly shaded!

I hadn’t looked at the course map, so I was surprised how much of the first half was on city streets. I was thinking the course jumped on the trail next to the river right away, but that didn’t happen until five miles in. It’s a smart course design to keep the beginning of the race on the streets and spread out the runners so it never gets too congested. I can’t imagine trying to fit all of those people on a trail!

The beginning of the course was neat – I liked seeing the town and some gorgeous houses – but the trail we ran on stole the show. It was simply gorgeous. Some leaves had already started to change colors and gave us a visual glimpse of fall to enjoy. And provided us some much needed shade.

There are public access points to the trail, so we still had plenty of spectators while running on it. Xaarlin and I liked one woman’s mantra of “you’re bad ass and beautiful!” We also appreciated the spectators around mile 12 who gave us mimosas. Who knew that would taste so awesome at mile 12?!

I was feeling great until around mile 8 when I could tell the humidity was getting to me. For the last five miles, I walked the aid stations to fill up my water bottle and started drinking Gatorade. Despite feeling like I was wearing down, I knew I was still fine because I was talking Xaarlin’s ear off. Ha.

The course went back on the roads just after mile 11. We saw Xaarlin’s husband again (a huge thanks to him for spectating and hanging out with us before and after!),

Ha, I didn’t want to lift my arms all the way up in case I was hella smelly

did some silly loop through a park (because I really want to turn away from the course and do a loop to fit in mileage when I am so close to the finish…), then finished in 2:26:53! I had so much fun running with Xaarlin and catching up, but I was happy to stop and get out of the sun – I was roasting.

The race had a fantastic food setup – cakes, donuts, cookies, bananas, chips, pizza, freezer pops, soda, and water. I think there was a place to pick up beer too, and there were several other tents (massages, etc.). We didn’t explore too much because we wanted to be in the shade (and I really wanted to change out of my drenched clothes – as soon as I stopped running I had sweat dripping down my arms and legs, eww).

We met up with Xaarlin’s husband, took our post race picture,

and headed out to get some breakfast. I didn’t have much of an appetite right after the race, or at breakfast, or when I got home. My stomach felt a bit messed up from the humidity. Hopefully I don’t have too many more runs like that this year (one can dream).

But hopefully I DO have more opportunities to run with Xaarlin this year! I don’t run with friends very often and it’s such a treat when I do. It’s much easier to catch up when we’re together, rather than using email and text (duh, right?). Thank you, Xaarlin!

Training Week 413

By , September 17, 2017 6:31 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running the Fox Valley Half Marathon with xaarlin!

Monday | September 11, 2017: teaching strength class
Strength: medicine balls and circuit, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine
Tuesday | September 12, 2017: 7 m run
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 71°/69°, Time: 1:20:05, Pace: 11:26 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: pissy about work
Wednesday | September 13, 2017: 2 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 68°/66°, Time: 19:45, Pace: 9:52 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Thursday | September 14, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 73°/73°, Time: 32:55, Pace: 10:58 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: blah, annoyed with the heat
Friday | September 15, 2017: teaching strength class + 714 yd swim
Strength: medicine balls and core/cardio circuit, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: FitNation, Time: 16:12, Pace: 2:16 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine, just bored

Saturday | September 16, 2017: 10 m ride + teaching fitness boxing
Indoor Bike Time: 40:44, Pace: 14.7 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine, but sweaty and sore butt!
Strength: boxing & cardio/core with weights, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Sunday | September 17, 2017: Fox Valley Half Marathon w/xaarlin!!!
Loc: St Charles, Temp: 64°/70°, Time: 2:26:53, Pace: 11:06 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: good, challenged by the humidity


  • I am completely over: running in the shoulder (repeat complaint, I know), carrying a water bottle, and wearing my running belt. I’ll have to drive to run to take care of my first complaint, but if cooler weather arrives, I can get by without a water bottle (bad, I know), and I can start wearing things with pockets and put my phone in that instead of my belt! Just another month or so, ha.
  • Yay, I was well enough to swim this week! When I was walking to the pool I started wondering when I signed up for my yearly pass and if I’d made it “worth” the cost (it’s a $6 drop in fee, and I wanted to go enough times that I was paying less than that with the pass)! I looked it up – I bought the pass October 28th last year and needed to use it 37 times to make even out. I’ve gone 56 times so far! Phew. Ha.
  • I taught fitness boxing this week. I hadn’t taught it in almost two months because of our weekend classes break. One student was trying it for the first time, and enjoyed it, which is always nice for me to hear!
  • On Sunday I ran a half marathon with xaarlin! It was a chance for us to chat and hang out and I had a great time. I’ll have a race report up this week!

Link to Training Week 412

Random Thoughts Thursday 147

By , September 14, 2017 6:26 am
  • One of the things I got my snister off of her birthday wishlist this year was a custom portrait of her cat, Dexter, from an etsy shop. I love how it turned out! I’ll have to get one of my kitties someday! This is not an ad, I paid for it myself.

(frame not included in my etsy order – I picked that up)

  • Our street was paved while we were out of town last weekend. Yay! I hope it doesn’t get torn apart this winter.

  • It might be time to calm down a bit on the Philippa Gregory books. When I was sick a few weeks ago, I was having Tudor-related dreams (really, nightmares). Ha. Like I mentioned last week though, it’s been fun reading fiction.

  • Sound the alarms! My parents and maternal grandma may be visiting next weekend which means I need to get the house Grandma Level Clean!!! Grandma Level Clean is the cleanest my house ever gets. We’ll see how much I can get done before she arrives!

  • I was trying to find posts where I’ve mentioned Grandma Level Clean before, and didn’t find what I expected – something detailing what that level of clean entails. But I did find this post, where the second bullet mentions it, and interestingly (to me only, ha) the first bullet mentions a major work disappointment, which is why I haven’t even mentioned (on here) some work news I may have.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 146

A surprise! And Star Wars Day at the K!

By , September 11, 2017 8:30 am

Part of my birthday gift (in July) from my father-in-law was plane tickets for me and Steven to go to Kansas City this past weekend to attend Star Wars Day at the K – a Star Wars themed Royals game (against the Twins). I’ve wanted to attend one of the Star Wars themed baseball games for awhile, and packed my Leia costume accordingly. Thank you, David!

We flew in Friday, and the game was on Sunday, so Saturday’s plan was to spend time with my snister and her family. I was surprised when I got there and saw my mom and dad were there too – I had NO idea they’d be there! My snister had been texting me and my mom that morning about a parade they were at and my mom was responding about how fun it looked, when she was actually there, with Christina. Those tricksters! What an awesome surprise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We spent the day chatting, eating, watching a movie in their home theater, and of course, baby snugging!!!

It’s so nice when we can all get together – I can’t wait to do it again!

My brother-in-law is missing from the pic because he had to leave for two different birthday parties. Popular guy!

It was hot on Sunday, so I opted to only wear the buns part of the Leia costume to the game. We had great seats on the third base line, but they were in the full sun with no shade until later innings and I didn’t want to make myself even more miserable in that hot costume! 

I was hoping to see more people in costume, but they probably were thinking the same thing as me – they didn’t want to be uncomfortable! We saw a few cool full costumes (on the field and by fans). A few droids were walking around, at times there were characters on the field, and there was a funny moment when the big screen showed Darth Vader clapping in one of the viewing boxes to honor a veteran. A few people had Star Wars shirts on. I got a lot of compliments on my “hair.” And one guy asks me “Is today Star Wars day or something? A lot of people have Star Wars stuff on.” Ha.

I was hoping they’d have Star Wars music and sound effects during the game, but there wasn’t much. But that’s all good, because it was a fun game to watch, with the Royals scoring 6 runs in the second inning, and 4 in the seventh! We only sat in our seats for the first, second, and seventh through ninth innings because we were too hot, so I was happy we got to see all the action from our seats (the final score was 11-3).

This will probably be my only Royals game of the year, and I’m glad it was festive, and a win, AND that I got to go with family! (Thanks for the tickets, Andrew!)

Training Week 412

By , September 10, 2017 9:34 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running with my brother-in-law Andrew, and starting to recover from last week’s cold!

Monday | September 4, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: Van Patten Woods, Temp: 74°/71, Time: 32:47, Pace: 10:55 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: hot but okay
Tuesday | September 5, 2017: 15 mins strength + 15 m ride
Indoor Ride Time: 57:50, Pace: 15.6 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: sweaty (always so sweaty when I work out when I’m sick)
Wednesday | September 6, 2017: 4.2 m run
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 61°/59°, Time: 43:12, Pace: 10:18 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great – the breeze felt SO good
Thursday | September 7, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 65°/65°, Time: 31:12, Pace: 10:23 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay, was planning on speedwork but lungs still congested
Friday | September 8, 2017: teaching strength class + 5 m run
Strength: medicine balls and circuit, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay, coughing a bit
Loc: hood, Temp: 61°/61°, Time: 51:54, Pace: 10:23, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Saturday | September 9, 2017: 4 m run (w/Andrew)
Loc: Line Creek Trail, Temp: 73°/73°, Time: 48:38, Pace: 12:09 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Sunday | September 10, 2017: 3 m run (incl. 5×1:00)
Loc: Line Creek Trail, Temp: 69°/69°, Time: 32:32, Pace: 10:49 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: okay – still pretty congested


  • Last Sunday night I slipped down the stairs and did a split squat landing, and tweaked my right knee. Monday’s run was to test it and my lungs out. It went okay! It was definitely a good thing it was Labor Day and my regular Monday night strength class was canceled for the night thought – I would have felt like garbage teaching.
  • I used our smith machine Tuesday night for my first at home strength workout in a looooong time. I liked being able to use heavier weights, especially using the bar for deadlifts!
  • I didn’t swim this week because I was congested (and would be blowing snot in to the water – gross town). I am looking forward to doing it next week!
  • We left behind beautifully cool Chicagoland weather to go to hot Kansas City this weekend. Ha! It was worth it – I got to run with my brother-in-law, and have fun with our families!

Link to Training Week 411

Random Thoughts Thursday 146

By , September 7, 2017 12:47 pm
  • Last weekend, Steven worked on clearing out more brush by the pond (not sure if I ever finished posting about the area we cleared last year, but we planted grass over it and it looks really nice now). I can’t believe how fast Steven cleared all that – he got it all done in about two and a half hours while I was out running errands. We have lots of ideas for what we’d like to do with the entire pond area, over the years!

  • We attempted to take Snow to the vet last week for a checkup. It didn’t happen. Sigh. He freaked the hell out each time we tried to put him in the carrier. Blood was drawn (Steven’s). It made me feel foolish – like I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. I may look for a vet that makes house calls. I want to make sure Snow’s healthy. And get him neutered (that obviously would not happen at home, ha!).

Bonus – he ran to the fireplace to hide and was so scared he peed all over

  • We celebrated our anniversary with dinner out in Milwaukee on Friday, and a boat ride on the Red Witch, followed by ice cream, in Kenosha on Saturday. We had fun, and I’d like to ride the Red Witch again when I don’t have a cold (and it’s not stormy, ha!).

  • I am so pumped about my favorite coworker returning to work from maternity leave next week. So. So. Pumped. (Which is probably the opposite of how she feels.) We already reserved seats next to each other for our office day next week! Yay!
  • Ha, speaking of our new office space, my boss is making little “name tags” for our lockers and asked (it wasn’t mandatory) for photos of ourselves. I sent her this one:

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 145

Training Week 411

By , September 3, 2017 10:21 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running in a new-to-me location on Tuesday.

Monday | August 28, 2017: brick (5 m bike + 2 m run) + teaching strength class
Indoor Ride Time: 19:33, Pace: 15.4 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 72°/70°, Time: 20:28, Pace: 10:14 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, enjoyed the rain
Strength: step and dumbbells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: meh

Tuesday | August 29, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: Pet, Temp: 71°/71°, Time: 33:18, Pace: 11:05 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good, challenged on the hill!
Wednesday | August 30, 2017: rest
Thursday | August 31, 2017: 7 m run
Loc: VP Woods loop, Temp: 67°/65°, Time: 1:18:12, Pace: 11:10 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, sick of running on the rocky shoulders
Friday | September 1, 2017: teaching strength class + 3 m run
Strength: step and dumbbells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine, happy to be done with that workout
Loc: hood, Temp: 64°/64°, Time: 33:17, Pace: 11:05, Difficulty: ???, Felt: don’t remember by the time I wrote this!

Saturday | September 2, 2017: rest (sick)
Sunday | September 3, 2017: rest (sick)


  • I wasn’t planning to do a brick workout on Monday, but when I got off work it was supposed to start thunderstorming, so I decided to ride inside instead of run outside. But while I was riding my bike I could see that it wasn’t raining at all, so I said eff it and went for a run. But only had time for two miles at that point! Ha.
  • On Tuesday I was running errands and decided to run at a park Steven and I picnicked at in June. It has a paved loop just under 2.5 miles with one really steep hill! I need to go back for repeats!
  • No swim this week because the pool was closed for cleaning.
  • I’ve been feeling really irritated about running in the shoulders on loose rocks again. Ugh. I just want to run on something flat and smooth. Even crushed rock would be fine! Wah wah wah.
  • I was pumped to have the long weekend to workout but got a sore throat/cold starting Friday night that ruined all those plans. Wah. Maybe I can workout tomorrow!
  • How is it already time for the monthly recap?! In August I ran 114.5 miles (22 runs), cycled 43.6 miles (2 outdoor rides, 2 indoor rides) and swam 5,166 yards (5 swims). My coldest run was 51°F and my warmest was 83°F. I taught 8 strength classes, and participated in the Efit Games. No Fitness Boxing classes taught in August, but I am teaching one in September.

Link to Training Week 410

Ten years married!!!

By , September 1, 2017 6:51 am

Today is our ten year wedding anniversary!


Steven and I met at Iowa State University (at a frat party – all the LOLz) in August 2002, starting dating in September 2002, and have been together since! Steven moved to Chicagoland in May 2003 and I moved in with him in May 2007. We got married that September, at the Cuneo Mansion (famous from My Best Friend’s Wedding). And ten years later, here we are!

We’ll celebrate with a night out this weekend, and a trip this winter.

I’m very proud to call Steven my partner. He inspires me daily with how hardworking and visionary he is, at home and with his business.

He also makes me laugh daily, which is very important to me (I only pretend to be serious on occasion, mostly at work).

And most importantly – he does all the cooking! Ha ha!

Here’s to more years of adventure together!

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