Random Thoughts Thursday 135

By , May 25, 2017 7:25 am
  • We finished the Rockefeller book! I will eventually post the long list of words I had to look up. There are only a few I recall without looking at my list: sobriquet, scion, and platitudinous, and only one I am using daily: scuttlebutt.
  • Next up in the “book club for two” rotation is Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time and if we like that, Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul.
  • Last weekend was our quick trip to Dallas! We had a great time with our otra familia, and got super pumped planning our next trip together (a week long summer vacation)! The Dallas trip almost didn’t happen though – our flight out of Milwaukee was canceled and there weren’t any other options out of there. Luckily American Airlines hooked me up with flights at the same times out of Chicago and back. American Airlines was so helpful and pleasant! I was stressing the eff out and they calmed me down. (Well, that, and a quick run.)

  • I mentioned I tried a spin style class at Gina’s gym on Saturday. What I didn’t mention is that a lady was sitting on the bike I reserved when I got there. You use an app to reserve a seat in advance, then all your bike data from class is linked to your account. Cool, right? Gina politely told the lady the seats are reserved and that if she sat there, all her hard work would be credited to someone else (me). The lady responded with “I’ll make your friend look good.” Ha. Ha ha ha. The lady had major beef with getting off the bike and finding another open one, even though there were other options, and we were helping her by looking at the app and telling her what was available. When we told her about the app (because Gina didn’t also didn’t know about it when she started taking the classes, and wanted to be helpful!) she said “I just work out, I don’t use computers.” OMG. It was so funny… but not really. She finally got off. She was probably annoyed she had to set up a new bike, and that I wanted to sit by my friend that I traveled 1,000 miles to see, but… sorry? I really did want to see my stats! Geesh.
  • I finally signed up for the Saturday RABGRAI ride yesterday. I am not sure what took me so long. I saw my dad this week and we discussed signing up, and when we looked at the website, we saw there is a June 1 registration deadline! Eek! I would have been so mad if I missed it. Dad and Gina signed up too!
  • Two of our kitties aren’t feeling well. Data has some strange eye booger leakage going on (I have a picture but I’ll spare ya) and Snow has a cut on his chin. Data is seeing the vet tomorrow, and I will ask them what to do about Snow. These kids. They just can’t stay out of trouble.

Data & Khali

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 134

Training Week 396

By , May 21, 2017 1:17 pm

Highlight of the Week: Trying two classes with my bestie!

Monday | May 15, 2017: 1,386 yd swim + 4.5 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: FitNation, Time: 30:19, Pace: 2:11/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but wondered if my form is bad for my neck
Loc: hood, Temp: 61°/59°, Time: 46:19, Pace: 10:18 avg, Difficulty: x, Felt: hot & sweaty (because of sun & sunscreen)
Strength: body bars and soft balls, Difficulty: easy, Felt: so sweaty! Still from the suncreen?!

Tuesday | May 16, 2017: 10 m run + 12 m ride
Loc: VP Woods Loop, Temp: 61°/64°, Time: 1:50:43, Pace: 11:04 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, just sweaty!
Indoor Bike Time: 40:05, Pace: 18.0 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, just need to keep my form in check!

Wednesday | May 17, 2017: 2.7 m run (w/Mike)
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 78°/82°, Time: 29:21, Pace: 10:53 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Thursday | May 18, 2017: 3.1 m run + 1 m walk (w/Steven)
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 70°/71°, Time: 30:53, Pace: 9:58 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine, just hot!
Friday | May 19, 2017: teaching strength class + 2 m run
Strength: body bars and soft balls, Difficulty: easy (half observing), Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 42°/42°, Time: 18:50, Pace: 9:24, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, needed to run off stress

Saturday | May 20, 2017: spin class (w/Gina) + water aerobics class (w/Gina) + 40 min walk (w/Gina)
Loc: Apex, Time: 47:49, Pace: 17.6 mph avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good, sweaty
Sunday | May 21, 2017: 3 m run (w/Steve, incl. 5×1:00) + 35 min walk (w/la otra familia)
Loc: McKinney, Temp: 61°/62°, Time: 27:53, Pace: 9:16 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: decent, a bit out of breath!

Notes:

  • Last September, I had soreness on the lateral side of my right knee that I attributed to spending the month of August working on our attic, and gaining weight. I rarely felt it while running, only while trying to bend that knee in funny positions. It’s been gone for a few months, but Monday night, I bumped that side of my knee hard in to my car and it hurt so bad – it seems like something is still quite tender there!
  • I ran with a coworker on Wednesday! We had a fun time AND I found a twenty dollar bill during our run. He must be good luck!
  • Our abnormally high temperatures this week were accompanied with crazy winds, which did a decent job of keeping me cool with it so warm! But also held me back from doing speedwork on my normal day.
  • I was in Texas this weekend and tried two classes with Gina – a Spivi cycling class, and a water aerobics class. The cycling class was similar intensity to the one I teach, just more fancy – there were screens showing “where” we were riding, and you could see your avatar on the screen, and stats from time to time. I enjoyed it! I was surprised by the water aerobics class. I thought it would be easy but some of the resistance stuff was challenging for me! The teacher could tell I was new and gave me a lot of help (in a nice way). She wanted to make sure I was coming back so she could help me improve, and when I told her I live in Illinois she teased me “well, I guess you can use this if when you take class in Illinois.” That would be a great class to take to help stretch a few times a week!
  • On Sunday I finally did my speedwork, and Steve joined me! It’s always a treat to run with him and/or Gina! Next time we’ll all get to run together will be in late July!

Link to Training Week 395

Random Thoughts Thursday 134

By , May 18, 2017 6:23 am
  • It would be inappropriate (and boring) to talk about the stuff at work that makes me nuts, but a lot of times, I make a list of it and imagine posting about it here. Ha. Doing that, along with venting with coworkers, helps!

Awesome picture, right?!

  • More vagueposting – it feels ironic, that as someone who shares personal information on the internet, there are people out there I don’t want knowing mundane information about my life. It’s not because of knowledge reasons, but what they do with the information – hold it against me, overreact, or gossip about it. It’s hard for me to NOT share things, but I know it’s better off in the long run, with certain people. Ugh. (Most of it’s harmless, just annoying. Example – somehow other people have information I only told YOU, that I would have liked to share with them myself.)
  • On to the mundane! Steven and I are always looking for a show to watch during our lunch breaks. We watched Parks and Recreation, then tried to watch Extant, then watched Big Little Lies. Now we’ve decided to rewatch Game of Thrones. We’re catching a lot more watching it the second time, which is fun! Sometimes Khaleesi watches the TV when her namesake is on, which always makes me laugh. I haven’t grabbed a photo of that, but here she is watching The Secret Life of Pets:

  • My parents are visiting in June and this will be their FIRST trip to our “new” home without an entire weekend of labor involved (they’ve been here twice but once was for the move and the other time was to help with the second floor attic work). I am looking forward to them being here with the house put together and having more “free” time… along with a few projects, of course. Ha ha.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 133

Training Week 395

By , May 14, 2017 3:36 pm

Highlight of the Week: Being able to swim twice!

Monday | May 8, 2017: 3 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 46°/46°, Time: 30:44, Pace: 10:14 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Strength: body bars and soft balls, Difficulty: seemed too easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | May 9, 2017: rest
Wednesday | May 10, 2017: 1,344 yd swim + 15 m ride + 5 m run
Loc: FitNation, Time: 30:35, Pace: 2:11 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, just had goggles on too tight!
Indoor Ride Time: 49:45, Pace: 18.1 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: butt so sore
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 57°/55°, Time: 53:12, Pace: 10:38 avg, Difficulty:  easy, Felt: good, the rain was refreshing!

Thursday | May 11, 2017: 5.5 m run (incl. 5×800)
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 48°/48°, Time: 54:51, Pace: 9:58 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: decent, too warm!
Friday | May 12, 2017: teaching strength class + 2 m run (w/Anne) + 1,029 yd swim + 3 m run
Strength: body bars, Difficulty: easy (half observing partner work), Felt: good
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 42°/45°, Time: 23:45, Pace: 11:51, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, so nice out!
Loc: FitNation, Time: 21:23, Pace: 1:57 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: sore shoulders at first but went away
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 62°/58°, Time: 29:21, Pace: 9:46, Difficulty: medium, Felt: tired, as expected

Saturday | May 13, 2017: 4 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 53°/57, Time: 43:02, Pace: 10:45 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: legs still a bit tired
Sunday | May 14, 2017: 12 m run + 10 m ride
Loc: DPRT/Kilbourne Loop, Temp: 48°/52°, Time: 2:16:07, Pace: 11:20 avg, Difficulty: easy-ish, Felt: good!
Indoor Ride Time: 33:40, Pace: 17.8 mph avg, Difficulty: easy enough!, Felt: fine (just hungry, sweaty, and a sore butt!)

Notes:

  • Awhile ago Anne recommended using baby shampoo to keep my goggles from fogging. I finally found a travel size bottle (not sure why I was so opposed to the big one) and was able to try it this Wednesday, and it worked! Yay! Thanks, Anne. However, I think I put my goggles on WAY too tight because I didn’t want to risk any water getting in and mixing with any shampoo I left on the goggles. Ouch. I used a different pair Friday and was fine.
  • I love doing partner work in my strength classes – I think it’s a lot of fun and makes class go faster (and people tend to push harder with a partner). But when we have even numbers, I don’t get to do anything! Ha!
  • Gah, during class Friday, a skunk outside sprayed really close to the studio and stunk the place up. Yuck!
  • I tend to swim faster when someone in the lane next to me at the pool is doing a similar speed to me. This happened Friday and was one of my speedier swims of the year.

Link to Training Week 394

All about the cat house!

By , May 12, 2017 7:24 am

A question I understandably get asked a lot is “what house projects are you guys working on now?”

All winter, my answer was “the cat house!”

Our fall ended harshly with below zero temperatures and lots of snow. The outdoor cats were doing okay – we had store-bought heated kitty houses (which Jen and Troy generously helped us purchase!) that we further insulated with moving blankets and insulation, then built a little platform over to block the wind, and covered with a tarp. It looked lovely.

What the set up looked like from inside the house…

But we wanted something more permanent that:

  • we could control the temperature in
  • was visually pleasing
  • we could see in to from our house
  • wouldn’t blow away (ha)

So, in December, Steven got to work building the cat house! We knew it would be costly, so we decided to have it be our Christmas gift to one another.

Steven used the cat house as an opportunity to learn about current house construction best practices. He already knew a lot, but this was his chance to try things out on a small scale! He spent a lot of time researching the best methods to build it, then sketched out the design.

And here is what he did! Get ready for LOTS of pictures!!! This is a loooooooooooooong post. But I want to document it all. I understand if you skim!

Continue reading 'All about the cat house!'»

Random Thoughts Thursday 133

By , May 11, 2017 7:45 am
  • I forgot to mention in my race report that I like the design on the Wisconsin Marathon/Half/5K shirt this year!

  • We’re having a generator installed in a few weeks! We’re mostly getting it for backup for the sump pumps, but I’m excited about the other things we’ll be able to continue using if the power goes out. Steven did a lot of work a few weeks ago moving the air conditioners (and putting down pea gravel underneath) to get the area ready for the generator!

  • I am loving the sun being up so early (today sunrise was 5:35 am)! Since we’ve been going to bed at a decent hour, some days, I can just let the sun wake me up. Okay, and these two:

  • I think this opinion article – “How I Learned to Shut Up About Running” (pdf here) – is not very well written or easy to follow (so how I read the whole thing I’m not sure) but I really like this statement: “But I’ve also made a realization: a lot of my pushing of others comes from the assumption that what’s good for me will also be good for everyone else, and also from my need to try to regulate or dictate other people’s lives.” YES. THIS. PEOPLE. Quit thinking you are the authority on how other people should live their lives. Gawd, if people would stop doing this, it would solve SO MANY problems. SO MANY.
  • The blogosphere has been dull lately, here included. It’s interesting how a lot of us have stepped back a bit, at the same time. I wonder if the bubble has burst and we’ll all get back to more story telling and connecting (as opposed to product shilling and “how to” lists). One can hope!

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 132

Wisconsin Half Marathon Race Report 2017

By , May 8, 2017 6:23 am

This was my ninth consecutive year running the Wisconsin Half Marathon, but the first year in several that I wasn’t trying to run it fast. That took a burden off my shoulders and made it stress free. I didn’t even check the weather until race morning (although several people told me it was supposed to be windy).

I ran this race in its inaugural year in 2009, as my first half marathon, and haven’t been able to quit the streak.

I did have a time goal in mind, though. I figured 10:00 minute miles would be an easy pace and wanted to finish around 2:10 overall.

We caravanned to the race (Rachel, Alicia, and Kim spent the night) and I was surprised that our normal parking spot had a “no parking” sign this year! Weird! We quickly found other parking and made our way to the race start.

BRRRR. There was a wind (from the north at 10 mph with 16 mph gusts, it was 14 mph with 20 mph gusts at the finish). And per usual, it was much cooler by the lake front (44° and feels like 37°, 49° and feels like 46° at the finish). We huddled in a tent until race start, and I even started the race with arm warmers on!

Me, Rachel, and Alicia

But with the wind at our back for the start, I quickly warmed up. I took the arm warmers off around mile 1 and tucked them in my belt, in case I wanted them again when we headed back north. I realized why we couldn’t park in our normal spot a few minutes in – that road is now part of the course. The race course changed quite a bit this year. The first half of the course was still in residential and downtown areas, just somewhat different ones (more on my opinions on the new course after the break – I had written way too much about it in the first draft of this, zzzzzzzzzzzz), and the second half still went out and back along the lake.

When I started the race, I had my watch screen showing me overall time, distance, and current pace. In the first few minutes I had already looked at it several times to make sure I wasn’t starting too fast, then thought to myself “What the heck Kim – you’re running this for FUN. You never run with your watch screen showing your pace – just time of day and overall time. Switch over to that.” So I did, and just looked at my pace when my watch beeped at each mile, and looked at my overall time when I got to the mile markers. That works out much better for me than watching current pace all the time.

Unfortunately, I felt bored during the race. I started without music, and wasn’t running with anyone. There weren’t many spectators in the first half of the course, especially in the new parts. I felt physically fine, but mentally bored. I was happy when I saw a friends on a new out and back around mile 4, and when I caught up with a group of friends pushing someone in a racing stroller a little after that. I guess I needed to talk to someone! I saw Bobbi and John around mile 6 and mentioned my boredom and John ran with me and told me some awesome dad jokes. Ha!

Things picked up after I saw Steven around mile 6.5. I talked to another runner for several minutes and that gave me energy. I also decided to put my headphones in around mile 8 to block out the wind. We had been running in to the northern wind on and off since we made the turnaround around mile 3.5, and we were about to go in to the more open (and even windier) lake area. That made a world of difference (even if I got a bit goofy and felt the need to tell Rachel “I just wanted to tell you I am bringing sexy back” when I saw her at the turnaround – any guess what I was listening to?).

I kept the pace going for the last two miles in to the wind, then at the turn around at 10, I had enough energy to finish with my fastest splits! Oh, and that push from the northern wind helped too, ha!

I was happy the part of the course along the lake is now re-paved – it had been full of pot holes the previous eight years. And I was also happy that changing the first half of the course to run more in that area meant we no longer had to pass the finish line then run a mile out and back to get to it – now we just ran right in to the finish!

I didn’t tangent well (13.21) but I finished close to my goal time of 2:10 – 2:10:45! I’m proud of my even-ish splits and faster last three miles!

I was relieved to finish. Even though the race was successful, I took me being bored as a sign I shouldn’t run long distance “for fun” unless it’s with a friend.

Rachel finished five minutes before me and Alicia finished right after me (Kim ran the 5K and placed third overall!). We hung out for a few minutes, and hung out with some Efit people too, then headed home.

Ha, on our way to the car, a guy stopped me and said “You’re a great racer – I was trying to catch you the whole time and couldn’t! Maybe next year!” I thought that was a nice thing to say.

Steven spectated and was our official photographer. I really appreciate him being there.

Ha, funny story – he said while he was spectating, four ducks managed to cross the street between runners!

This race used to be a lot bigger deal for me than it was this year. We used to have family come to town to spectate, and hang out for hours after the race watching people we know finish the marathon portion. I’m happy it’s become much more low key. Get there 45 minutes before, run, chat a bit, go home. Ha!

We’ll see if I am back next year… I have to go for ten years in a row, right?
Continue reading 'Wisconsin Half Marathon Race Report 2017'»

Training Week 394

By , May 7, 2017 7:02 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running a solid half marathon!

Monday | May 1, 2017: 17 m ride + 3 m run + teaching strength class
Indoor Ride Time: 54:20, Pace: 18.8 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, just icky
sweaty from my cold
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 56°/56°, Time: 30:53, Pace: 10:17 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good to be outside in the breeze
Strength: medicine balls, Difficulty: easy (mostly observing partner work), Felt: good

Tuesday | May 2, 2017: 4.5 m run
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 48°/48°, Time: 42:45, Pace: 9:30 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Wednesday | May 3, 2017: rest
Thursday | May 4, 2017: 4 m run (incl. 8×1:00) + massage!
Loc: hood, Temp: 44°/45°, Time: 39:42, Pace: 9:55 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Friday | May 5, 2017: teaching strength class + 32.45 m ride (w/Kim, Rich, Steve, & Jeffery)
Strength: medicine balls, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, taking it easy before the half marathon!
Loc: IL to WI and back, Temp: 41°/47°, Time: 2:12:18, Pace: 14.7 mph avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: as I expected – need to ride outside more!

Saturday | May 6, 2017: Wisconsin Half Marathon
Loc: Kenosha, Temp: 44°/49°, Time: 2:10:45, Pace: 9:59 avg, Difficulty: mostly easy, Felt: good, a bit bored
Sunday | May 7, 2017: 10 m ride + teaching fitness boxing + 3 m run (w/Anne & Tracy) + walk with Anne
Indoor Ride Time: 37:01, Pace: 16.2 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Strength: plyo box, pad, and gloves, Difficulty: easy (all observing), Felt: good
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 51°/50°, Time: 36:17, Pace: 12:05 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Notes:

  • Ha. I rode more miles this week than I did in the entire month of April. Oops? I was able to ride outside with a group on Friday, which was a treat, and also a reminder that I need to get outside more! And lose weight so I can ride faster. Ha. But really.
  • I am mostly over my cold! Yay! There is a lingering cough, but I am off medicine and only had to take one sick day this week. Progress.
  • The Wisconsin Half Marathon went really well. I even ran a faster second half! (The wind may have helped a bit.) Race report coming soon.
  • We’re starting to hit the time of year where I will be teaching weekend classes less and less because everyone’s calendars get so full and no one can make class. It’s a bummer, but my calendar also gets full as well. That yard work isn’t going to do itself, unfortunately!
  • I accidentally got a sunburn during my run and walk on Sunday. I’ve been keeping my sunscreen out on the bathroom counter at home so I remember to put it on. Now it seems like it’s time to put some in an obvious spot in my purse for when I am out and about.

Link to Training Week 393

Things I’m excited about in May!

By , May 2, 2017 6:22 am
  • Getting my car back from the shop
  • A pre-race massage!
  • Friends staying over before the Wisconsin Half
  • Two races
  • Actually riding my bike outside
  • Finishing Titan. Maybe I will post a list of all the words I had to look up. Most of them are words I’ve never heard before. Some of them are words being used in ways I am not familiar (example: “betray” to mean “reveal unconsciously”). And some of them are words I should know but don’t remember.
  • Writing about the outdoor cat house
  • Seeing baby goslings! First sighting yesterday:
  • The leaves filling out on the trees. They all started to fill out when I was in Dallas two weekends ago:
  • Another trip to Dallas!
  • Figuring out when we’ll see William next!
  • A graduation party for a friend’s kid
  • CPR class (it’s time to renew my certification)
  • Getting over this cold – I am feeling better today, yay!

What’s on your list?

Training Week 393

By , April 30, 2017 4:23 pm

Highlight of the Week: Making it through! I hope I feel better next week!

Monday | April 24, 2017: 4 m run (w/Gina) + teaching strength class
Loc: McKinney, Temp: 44°/48°, Time: 37:36, Pace: 9:23 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Strength: medicine balls, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | April 25, 2017: 5 m run
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 70°/67°, Time: 49:28, Pace: 9:53 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, thirsty
Wednesday | April 26, 2017: rest
Thursday | April 27, 2017: rest (sick)
Friday | April 28, 2017: teaching strength class + 1,008 yd swim + 5 m run (incl. 6×400)
Strength: medicine balls, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine, but “sick” hot
Loc: FitNation, Time: 22:01, Pace: 2:05 min/100 yd, Difficulty: good, Felt: smooth
Loc: hood, Temp: 52°/48°, Time: 50:21, Pace: 10:04 avg, Difficulty: hard, Felt: fine, just sick-ish

Saturday | April 29, 2017: bike/run brick (10 m bike & 2 m run)
Loc: indoor, Time: 31:18/20:07, Pace: 19.2 mph/10:03 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, sweaty

Sunday | April 30, 2017: teaching fitness boxing
Strength: kettlebells + core/cardio moves & boxing, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay, too hot

Notes:

  • I think Monday night was the first time in months that all of my students have been able to make it to class! Woo hoo! With summer just around the corner, that will happen less and less. Ha.
  • I took an unplanned rest day on Thursday because of a sore throat. Then I did my speedwork the next day. I had planned 6×400 with some hill repeats on tired legs but my legs and lungs said “NOPE! We need more rest!” so I called it short. On Saturday and Sunday the cold went to my head and chest, so I mostly rested over the weekend.
  • I am happy the cold hit this weekend and not next weekend – I am running a half marathon on Saturday! I’d like to run in under 2:10.
  • Monthly recap time! In April I ran 130.5 miles (25 runs), cycled 45 miles (4 indoor rides) and swam 4,263 yards (4 swims). My coldest run was 34°F and my warmest was 76°F. I taught 9 strength classes, and 3 fitness boxing classes.

Link to Training Week 392

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