Training Week 341

By , May 1, 2016 5:43 pm

Highlight of the Week: My BiL accompanying me on my long run!


Monday | April 25, 2016: rest
Tuesday | April 26, 2016: 4 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 41°/41°, Time: 33:14, Pace: 8:18 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay/tired (need more sleep)
Wednesday | April 27, 2016: 6 m run
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 46°/46°, Time: 50:18, Pace: 8:23 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Thursday | April 28, 2016: 12 m ride + 10 mins strength + 5 m run
Indoor Ride Time: 45:16, Pace: 15.9 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 43°/42°, Time: 45:07, Pace: 9:01 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: tired/stressed about getting things done

Friday | April 29, 2016: teaching strength class
Strength: Sandbags and slam balls, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good but so tired
Saturday | April 30, 2016: 10 m run (w/Will on bike)
Loc: DPRT, Temp: 44°/46°, Time: 1:28:03, Pace: 8:48 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Sunday | May 1, 2016: teaching fitness boxing3 m run (incl. 4×400) + 10 m ride
Strength: Boxing and body weight moves, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 47°/46°, Time: 26:14, Pace: 8:44 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: not so great
Indoor Ride Time: 40:09, Pace:14.9 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good


  • My sleep schedule was messed up this week because of flights (three nights with less than four hours of sleep) and it really threw me off. I am going to focus on getting better sleep this week!
  • My left knee felt fine last week, then on Friday at class, I tweaked it doing a side lunge. I only felt it then, but I am definitely keeping an eye on it!
  • April recap time! In April I ran 185 miles and cycled 114.4 miles. I taught 8 strength classes, 1 fitness boxing classes, and 1 outdoor cycling class. I rode my bike 7 times outside of class, and also did 5 strength sessions at home. My coldest outdoor run was 21°F and my warmest was 67°F.
  • It’s a bummer my April schedule only allowed me to teach fitness boxing once! I am on schedule to teach it three times in May and twice in June! That’s more like it, ha ha!

Link to Training Week 340


By , April 30, 2016 11:30 am

Today was my 100th run of the year!


And I got to do it with my brother-in-law, Will! Yay! I always love it when someone will ride slow with me while I run.

It’s hard to believe we’re one third through 2016! Craziness! I’m doing well on my few goals for the year:

  • a weekly (average) running mileage of 40 / 786 miles – averaging ~45 a week
  • speedwork once a week / 22 speed sessions – averaging 1.25 sessions a week
  • cycling at least once a week / 36 rides – averaging 2 rides a week
  • strength training outside of class once a week / 20 sessions – averaging 1.15 sessions a week

Hoping to keep it going!!!

Magic words…

By , April 29, 2016 6:34 am

… were said to me yesterday afternoon: “your shower will be ready to use in the morning.” (That’s when the grout will be dry.)


Yesssssssss. The bathroom’s not done, but it’s nice to have two working toilets and two working showers when we have guests (my snis and her husband) visiting!

I’ve been saying this a lot (if not on here, in person to friends) about how I can’t wait for the contracted construction to wrap up. I’m extremely grateful we could have this work done, but it’s wearing us out. We cleaned the house as much as we could for Christina and Will’s visit and it was so nice to have things not be super dusty… if only for the evening. Ha ha! We also put away as much as we could and it’s nice to have things tidier, again, if only for awhile (it’s hard to put things away when you have to shift them from room to room as work moves around). Anyway. Wah wah, be grateful, Kim. We’re getting there! And I plan to buy some epsom salts and soak* this weekend!!!

*We did have a different water treatement system installed Wednesday, which seems to work – so no sulfur smell!! I need to update you guys, and update this post!

Random Thoughts Thursday 97

By , April 28, 2016 6:29 am
  • Grrr. I haven’t updated on the bathroom work in awhile because work was mostly on hold while we waited for custom order bullnose (rounded) trim tile to come in. The tile finally came in. And… it was wrong. So we aren’t using it – we’ll do a metal trim piece instead. All that waiting for NOTHING. Ugh. The contractor is working on it again, and I HOPE it will be finished today* – I have house guests that arrive tonight!!!


This tile photo is pre-grout, so it will look different finished

  • Lame. My work announced a steps contest yesterday, but only “walking” steps count. No running. Boooo!!! Ha.
  • Sigh. They also had an announcement where they called the Chase Corporate Challenge a “marathon,” then immediately, a “5K.” It’s actually a 3.5 mile race. So… neither of those. Ha ha. Yeah, that would only bother runners.
  • Odd. I ran on the Chicago Lakefront Path during lunch break yesterday. Every time I run it, I am surprised how few people make eye contact, nod, or say hello to people going the opposite way. It feels so odd to me not to!


  • Oops. It was windy during my run yesterday, so I ran in to the wind for the start, with the wind at my back on the return. I wonder if I am going to regret doing this on race day – I almost always try to run in to the wind first, but it’s not like you can control that at a race! Maybe I should have done more of a purposeful mix to work on mental training (believe me though, I had plenty of runs that were all windy, or where the wind shifted to in my face on the way back, or there was no way avoiding it on the way back, etc.).
  • Aww. Dad’s kitten pics are getting cuter and cuter!



Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 96

*highly unlikely

Luca’s 5th Birthday!

By , April 27, 2016 6:13 am

We had such a great time in Dallas! It was too short (it always is) but it was awesome to get away and relax with family*!


We were on the go the first two days! We flew in on Saturday (it was a surprise and Luca didn’t know we were coming!), got lunch together (Pickle Store, aka Red Robin, ftw), then went to the city to ride the trolley and check out a park! We had a chill night and ordered in (pizza and pasta!).


On Sunday we got up early for a run, then went to meet Amy, had Starbucks and lunch, then checked out the Fort Worth Zoo!




I’d like to note, we had Mexican food for lunch and made fajitas for dinner. Ha ha. It makes me laugh when I have days like this on purpose, to think about how I got sick of Mexican food when we were in Mexico! What was that about?!

Sunday night we watched The Barkley Marathons documentary. Steven and I had seen it already (I have a few thoughts on it which maybe I’ll post at some point…? Zzzzz, like I’m the first blogger to do that, ha!) but it’s entertaining enough to watch several times, especially to see people’s reactions to it! So cray.

I was too tired to get up early and run Monday! Oops! We dropped Luca off at school (he goes a few hours a couple times a week) and he said to his teacher “you remember my Aunt Kim, right?” (I had gone with to drop him off when I visited in December). Aww, my heart melted!!! I hope he keeps calling me Aunt Kim, even when he realizes I am not his mom or dad’s sister!

We got donuts while Luca was at school (shhh), and started prepping his birthday fruit pizza! We ate lunch outside and hung out around the house (did a bit of RAGBRAI planning… and more fruit pizza prepping) and had a chill day. I love having the last day of a visit be like that – or at least, with some chill time. I feel like that’s when we really get to have the deeper conversations and connect!


The rest of the day was spent with Luca opening his presents and us playing with them (we got him clothes, a book, and a Star Wars toy), eating Chinese food for dinner, and eating the fruit pizza!!!

Then we got up super early for our flight back to Chicago on Tuesday. Sadness! But! We have our next two visits on the calendars, so that always makes me feel better.

I’m really grateful we got to see Luca for his birthday (which is actually today!) this year. We were able to go in 2013 and 2014, but missed last year and I felt horrible for it! I hope that doesn’t happen again.

I was a bit concerned about coming back to a nutso work inbox with a bunch of new project assignments but it wasn’t horrible! YAY! (knock on wood)

We did come back to a messy house with lots of contractors in it. Ha. But yay, house progress! More on that, later!

*If you’re a new reader, this may be confusing, ha. I call Gina, Steve and Luca family, but we aren’t related! They just feel like family. Gina and I met via blogging in 2006, and for the first time in person in 2010, and have visited each other a few times each year since then.


By , April 26, 2016 8:12 am

Amazingly, our timing for our Dallas trip coincided exactly with when Amy would be visiting from Belgium to see her family there! Amy’s family lives on the same side of Dallas as Gina and fam, so when Amy told us she and her sister were doing a local(ish) 5K Sunday morning, we decided to cheer them on at the finish, then get Starbucks after.


Me and Amy!

I had met Amy’s sister, Christy, and her mom, before*, but not Amy (we’ve been internet friends for at least four years)! Amy told me her estimated 5K finish time so we cheered on the runners while watching the clock and looking for her. She came in right at her estimated time (and got first in her age group, woot woot) but saw us (edited to add: Steven reminded me that she said she recognized his beard from far away, ha!) and waved enthusiastically well before she got to the finish line! Luca and I gave her high fives on her way in!

We cheered Christy in too, and chatted and hung out until the awards ceremony, then hit up Starbucks. It was a warm day, with a pleasant breeze that made it perfect for enjoying a hot or cold drink on the patio with friends!

Amy is sweet, kind (she brought us Belgian cookies and chocolate NOM NOM NOM!!!), and easy to talk to, so we all hung out and talked for a long time! Honestly, I had kind of forgotten about the joy and excitement in meeting other bloggers – it’s been such a long time since I’ve done any blogger meetups**. But it’s so cool to meet someone face to face that you feel like you already know – you often pick up as if you’re old friends. And it’s always fun (especially with Amy, since she lives outside the states) to hear about someone’s experiences and how they’re different AND the same as yours. Isn’t it amazing, that even when you feel like you have all the people you need in your life, you still meet people and think “how can I spend more time with this totally cool person?!” Ahh, the fluidity of life’s friendships.

It was a treat to see Amy in person, and I’m grateful it worked with all our schedules! Everyone hit it off well, so we decided our next outside the states vacation with Gina and family should be to Belgium. Hee hee. Belgium Marathon 2017?

Oh! The post title! When we sat down with our drinks at Starbucks, Amy said “smakelijk!,” which is Dutch for “bon appetite!” That would be a fun thing to start saying with drinks… if I could remember how to pronounce it. Ha!

*They recognized me at the Dallas Marathon in 2014!
**It’s interesting… I found my people, and stopped reaching out/interacting as much. It’s kind of like how I used the running club to find my people, then left it (only I’m still blogging… so kind of not like that? Ha.). 

It’s healthy cause FRUIT

By , April 25, 2016 6:09 pm

A special dessert


to celebrate a special fifth birthday!


We’ve had such a fun trip in Texas with our otra familia! More to come… when I am not eating fruit pizza, nom nom nom.

Training Week 340

By , April 24, 2016 9:20 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running while Steven rode his bike with me!


Monday | April 18, 2016: 10.5 m run + 10 m ride + teaching strength class
Loc: to VP woods, Temp: 51°/65°, Time: 1:40:58, Pace: 9:37 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Indoor Ride Time: 41:25, Pace: 14.5 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, sore sit bones!
Strength: sand bags, body bars and slam balls, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good/hot

Tuesday | April 19, 2016: 5.3 m run (w/xaarlin)
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 46°, Time: 51:10, Pace: 9:39 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Wednesday | April 20, 2016: 6.2 m run (incl. 4×400, 2×800, 1×1600)
Loc: hood, Temp: 53°/56°, Time: 51:39, Pace: 8:20 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good, held back by wind
Thursday | April 21, 2016: 20 mins strength + 10 m ride + 4.7 m run (w/Steven on bike!)
Indoor Ride Time: 39:55, Pace: 15.0 mph avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: good, shaky from strength training
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 64°/67°, Time: 41:17, Pace: 8:47 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: stronger as the run went on

Friday | April 22, 2016: teaching strength class
Strength: sand bags and slam balls, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good
Saturday | April 23, 2016: 6.3 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 40°/40°, Time: 56:27, Pace: 8:58 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: lazy
Sunday | April 24, 2016: 8 m run (w/Steve & Gina (on bike))
Loc: McKinney, Temp: 60°/66°, Time: 1:10:38, Pace: 8:49 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good


  • Blah, I felt lazy this week. The warmer weather does that to me! Looks like my mileage is already starting its summer decrease… quite a bit early. And it didn’t help that I skipped my long run this week. I had plans to do it Friday but my schedule was out of my control and by the time I could go, I was in such a bad mood I knew a windy run would make it worse. YES, sometimes running DOES make things worse. For me, anyway.
  • The good news is, my left knee (that was bugging me a bit last week) feels fine now. Awesome!
  • I ran an easy (just under) sub 9:00 pace in warmer/more humid (for me) conditions in Texas Sunday morning, which gives me hope that Wisconsin won’t feel super horrible if it’s warm. However… I am starting to really not care about the race, so who knows if I’ll even go for a PR! This happens to me each year with the race – I lose interest. Yet each year I think it will be different. Hmm… that’s dumb.
  • Let’s end on a high note – Gina got in to the Chicago Marathon! Yay! I am excited she gets to experience it! This will be my first time going down for the race (to spectate) since I ran it in 2010!

Link to Training Week 339

Well, that’s a bird I’ve never seen before

By , April 23, 2016 5:21 am

Definitely didn’t find this one in the bird books.


Happy Saturday!

The Force in the freezer

By , April 22, 2016 4:13 am

This is what your ice cubes look like, right?


Since we are still figuring out what is going on with our water (the aerated system is not working, so we’re going to get something new installed) and aren’t going to use the ice cubes our fridge makes from the water line, I decided to make ice cubes the old fashioned way with the store bought water we’ve been using, and with the only ice cube tray I have!


It’s a slow process, but totally worth it!!!

Data has this odd obsession with the sound of ice. I was reminded of it when I took the ice cube bin out to take that photo and he came dashing down the stairs, in to the kitchen.


He’s been like this since we adopted him in February of 2005! Whenever he hears someone getting ice, or the ice maker working, he comes running in from wherever he was, to see what’s going on.

We don’t know what that noise means to him. He’s not actually interested in the ice cubes if we give them to him! But it’s a good way to figure out where Data is if you can’t find him – shake the ice cube tray (or shake his food container… but then you better give him a treat!).

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