Too short

By , April 22, 2018 4:56 pm

Gawd, what was I thinking when I booked this trip to Dallas? Friday morning through Sunday afternoon?! That’s not much time. I suppose I was thinking “work,” and not about how I was not going to want to stop my vacation and go back to it Monday. Ha.

This was my annual April trip to Dallas to celebrate Luca’s birthday (early) and Gina’s Birthday (late). And while it was a quick trip, I feel like we did a lot!


I got in around 11:00 am on Friday. I won’t even go in to the mess that was getting to my terminal at O’Hare. All that matters is that my flight to Dallas was safe (and bonus, early!).

Gina and Steve picked me up and we got salads for lunch then did some shopping in downtown McKinney. Then we picked up Luca from school, and Gina and I ran while the boys cycled.

The sun felt so good!

Luca went to a painting class that night and Gina, Steve, and I got Thai food and adult beverages, woo hoo. We hung out at home after and the adults stayed up late talking. So much to catch up on!


I got eight hours of sleep Friday night for the first time in days!!! Gosh, that felt nice. It felt SO NICE, in general, to relax and be taken care of after such a stressful week.

We took a spin class at 9:30, and hung at Starbucks after. For lunch, we checked out Jeff’s Vegan. Gina had looked up a bunch of vegan friendly places for me, which I really appreciated!

Judging the menu, I was worried it was going to be “too healthy tasting” of vegan food but everything we got was delicious! We got Texas Fries and the Pan Fried Onion Cakes for appetizers. I got the Patty Melt as my main dish, and we tried Crispy Sesame Rice Balls and Oreo Cake for dessert.

We liked everything so much we took two more desserts home to try! Yay for vacation indulgences!

We went to Bath & Body Works for funsies after lunch, then went to Main Event to do some mini golf and play a few games for Luca’s Birthday.

Gina made us pasta primavera for dinner and Luca opened his gifts and played with them for a bit. After dinner, we went on a rainy walk, played Operation when we got back, and then the adults hung out!

Operation is JUST as stressful as I remember it!!!


Gina and I did a long run with three of her friends. We chatted with them at Starbucks after, then when I got back, it was basically time to pack and get lunch on the way to the airport! Ugh!

We went to a food hall in Plano that had a place that said they have one vegan donut each day (Gina researched and found it for me so I could do my nation wide donut tour there!). Steve actually tried to call the place before we went to confirm, but they had no phone number listed online, and their main location didn’t know the number. Huh?!

So, surprise! We get there and they tell us they rarely have vegan donuts there (and didn’t that day) and that the main place does. Sigh. How annoying that their website was misleading and we couldn’t check! Grrr.

But we hung at the food hall and got different dishes to try. Those places (overcrowded hipster food halls) make both me and Gina a bit anxious, but we survived!

Then we headed to the airport! Already! Wah! They all came in to wait with me, which was nice, because it took twenty-five minutes to drop my bag (I flew Spirit), then several more to get the ticket check area of getting in to security.

Then it felt like it took forever to get home. Ha, always. (I got to the airport at 3:00 pm and got home at 9:00 pm.)

I felt kind of bummed during the end of Saturday and some of Sunday that my vacation was coming to an end, but I tried to stay in the moment and enjoy what was going on! And be grateful it happened, not sad it’s over.

We take a family photo each visit

But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t considering Gina’s invite to Duluth in mid June when she and some friends (that I know) are running Grandma’s Marathon. If I don’t see her then, I won’t until the end of July. We shall see!

Steven was so sweet sending me cat pics all weekend (he couldn’t go on the trip because of work on Friday). I missed my babies. And Steven! I guess it is good to be home! (Just not back to work. Yuck.)

Training Week 444

By , April 22, 2018 4:42 pm

Highlight of the Week: Feeling awesome on my tempo / working out with Gina & Steve!!!

Monday | April 16, 2018: 6.2 m run (incl. 8 hill repeats) + 10 m ride + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 30°/30°, Time: 58:20, Pace: 9:24 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: strong
Indoor Ride Time: 38:04, Pace: 15.8 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Strength: medicine balls, and ball circuit, Felt: good! lots of work to set up and put away, ha

Tuesday | April 17, 2018: 4 m run
Loc: Treadmill, Time: 39:14, Pace: 9:48 avg, Difficulty: easy enough, Felt: a bit tight at first, then I warmed up
Wednesday | April 18, 2018: 10.3 m run (incl. 5 mile tempo)
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 28°/34°, Time: 1:32:56, Pace: 9:01 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Thursday | April 19, 2018: 12 m run
Loc: Lake Andrea/Outlet Mall Loop, Temp: 36°/44°, Time: 1:54:25, Pace: 9:32 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: surprisingly great
Friday | April 20, 2018: teaching strength class + 3 m run (w/Gina)
Strength: medicine balls and ball circuit, Felt: fine, took it easy because of sore neck
Loc: McKinney, Temp: 59°, Time: 26:57, Pace: 8:57, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great

Saturday | April 21, 2018: spin class (w/Gina & Steve)
Loc: Apex, Time: 47:17, Pace: 19.3 mph avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: decent
Sunday | April 22, 2018: 15 m run (w/Gina, Bob, Dave, and Denise)
Loc: McKinney, Temp: 52°/51°, Time: 2:22:45, Pace: 9:31 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great


  • During Monday’s run, a snowflake hit me in my eye and it stung so bad! I said “ow” out loud and had to hold that eye closed for a while. Ha ha, little killers.
  • Somehow I had forgotten how using the treadmill makes my calves feel tight. Duh, Kim. Hopefully my run on it Tuesday will be my last for a while.
  • Speaking of aches, each week when I ride the train, it makes my right piriformis hurt terribly. This Tuesday morning, it was bad enough that it sent a shock down my leg and made me feel sick to my stomach. It’s the train seats. Sigh. I need to sit on the left side (I avoid it the in the am because of the sun, and in the pm for the same reason) or bring a cushion.
  • I thought I hated tempos, but I kind of love them. Comfortably hard miles that don’t hurt my stomach and make me feel fast? Yes please!
  • I had to skip my swim this week because I didn’t have a way to get there, and my neck hurt anyway. Back at it next week!
  • But I got to do spin with Gina and Steve when I was in Texas! And do two runs with Gina! Gina’s friends joined us for the long run, and I realized I forgot how to run in a group, spacing wise – I had to remember not to get too close to anyone. One of her friends needed to finish out with a fast pace and that was fun! It was so nice to run in shorts and a t-shirt, and in wind that didn’t burn my face, with a touch of sun from time to time. Ahhh.

Link to Training Week 443

Random Thoughts Thursday 176

By , April 19, 2018 8:26 am
  • Thank you for the supportive comments on my last post! My week has actually gotten worse (ha!) but I am feeling okay!
  • Data and Khaleesi finished their roundworm medication, and to make sure it worked, we had to take in poop samples to the vet to be tested. The cats have two litter boxes, but while Khali only uses one, Data uses both. Sigh. So to make sure I knew whose poop I was scooping, I was super diligent about cleaning the litter boxes every time they were used, and watching to see who did what. I felt like the Poop Police. I didn’t think that was going to work, but I got a sample I know is from both of them! I was so excited and proud of myself. Ha. It’s the small (smell?) things, right? (Still waiting to hear back from the vet on the results.) Update: the vet called and said they’re both healthy and clear of worms!

  • I finished First Ladies of Running, and am now reading The Salt Line (which I picked up at the free library in the train station), a dystopian novel set in the future, where the world is segmented in to safe “zones” away from killer ticks. Ha, great description! The story is about some people who pay to go on an adventure outside of the safe zones. The book is an uncorrected advance proof copy, and says to check the final copy before reviewing or quoting it. Interesting – I wonder if much changed!

  • Runner’s World is still pushing advice to swish a sports drink and spit it out in their latest issue. Sigh. This time though, it’s not to avoid calories, but to get you mentally going for a run, OR if you don’t like the taste of it, but want to trick your brain in to thinking more carbs are on the way. WHY DOES THIS DUMB TIP MAKE ME SO ANGRY EACH TIME I SEE IT?!
  • I bought one of the new Starbucks mugs! I wanted to get the Iowa one, and finally found a location that was not sold out (even though they said that they were at first, then decided to check while we waited for our chai lattes, and found some)! We tried to buy them in Iowa two weekends ago but every Starbucks we checked (about six of them) didn’t have any! Nuts!

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 175

One of those weeks

By , April 17, 2018 7:48 am

I was a ball of nerves listening to the Boston Marathon yesterday. I attributed the nerves to DUH, my overall wish for an American to win and for my friends running it to survive the horrible weather, but also, that I was listening to it, and didn’t have any visuals.

After Desi won (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), I went on a run, feeling strong and happy, expecting all my nerves to go away.

They didn’t.

I guess it was more than the race, after all.

It’s just one of those weeks.

  • I’m in the office today, specifically for a meeting for a client to yell at me. Yay!
  • A family member is not doing well.
  • I’m nervous about catching a flight on time on Friday.

One of those weeks where the walk to the office makes me feel especially anxious. TOO MANY PEOPLE.

These are normal every day things that people deal with, yeah, every day, but it’s just one of those weeks where my anxiety is high and says “RUN TO THE KITCHEN AND STUFF YOUR FACE TO DEAL!” Ugh.

I tried that method yesterday and it did not help. Ha. Today I am on to journaling (here) and reaching out to my snis and friends for support. I imagine THAT will work much better!!!

What month is it anyway?

By , April 16, 2018 6:25 am

For a while, I haven’t kept straight what the month or date is (somehow I’ve been fine on day of week, though). I’m not sure why that’s happening, BUT THIS BIZARRO WEATHER SURE DOESN’T HELP (says almost everyone in the US this weekend)! Crazy winds, and rain, then freezing rain, and snow. Wheeeeeeeeee! It’s April, right?!

Our pond is VERY high. Luckily, when it gets high, it floods in the woods, and not toward the house!

It was a perfect weekend for horrible weather though – we didn’t have a lot planned, and we both have slight colds, so a reason to stay home and relax was welcomed.


But! Friday night I had plans, and yay, felt well enough to go out! I took Bobbi out for an early birthday celebration. We hit up HuHot, and saw Ready Player One in 3D.

We weren’t looking for 3D tickets, but the show time that worked was in 3D so that’s what we did. I usually don’t care for 3D, but am actually glad we saw this in 3D – it was well done and added a lot to the experience! Now, I just need to find a BuzzFeed article that explains ALL the pop culture references in the movie that I missed (probably a lot).

We had a fun evening and it was great to catch up. I say this EVERY TIME I spend one-on-one time with a girlfriend, but we don’t see each other that often, and it’s a real treat when we do. It’s like a long, intense (in a good way, ha) therapy session!

And… I didn’t do much else the rest of the weekend, but you can keep reading if you want!


On Saturday morning I did my long run at the track and skipped an outdoor charity event I wanted to attend, but was worried it would make my cold worse. Ugh.

We did however, venture out later in the day for groceries, and it was still miserable, with sideways rain from high winds. That, paired with Aldi being out of a few crucial items, and my cold, made me a bit moody. Ugh.


All night Saturday, we listened to freezing rain hit the house. I woke up worried the roads would be treacherous and I’d have to cancel fitness boxing, but the roads were okay! Phew!

After class I got a pedicure, in case it’s warm in Texas this upcoming weekend, and anyone has to witness seeing my exposed toes. Ha.

We had lunch then took naps! YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.

Then I ran on the treadmill. And took a bath. And helped make dinner. And did some chores.

Truly lazy day. Okay, weekend, whatever! I need them AT LEAST once a month!

Training Week 443

By , April 15, 2018 6:06 pm

Highlight of the Week: Feeling good enough to work out despite a slight cold. Woo hoo! 

Monday | April 9, 2018: 10 m run (incl. 6 hill repeats) + teaching strength class
Loc: VP Woods Loop, Temp: 30°/32°, Time: 1:39:59, Pace: 10:00 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine, legs tired though!
Strength: plyo box, kettlebells, & boxing, Felt: good, glad to have a full class

Tuesday | April 10, 2018: 4 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 43°/43°, Time: 38:41, Pace: 9:40 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, annoyed I ate so much during the day
Wednesday | April 11, 2018: rest!
Thursday | April 12, 2018: 10.2 m run
Loc: Kilbourne/DPRT loop, Temp: 56°/48°, Time: 1:37:58, Pace: 9:36 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: too cold at the end
Friday | April 13, 2018: teaching strength class + 1,008 yd swim + 6 m run (incl. 3.5 tempo)
Strength: plyo box, kettlebells, & boxing, Felt: good
Loc: FitNation, Time: 19:23, Pace: 1:55 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Loc: hood, Temp: 41°/40°, Time: 52:48, Pace: 8:48, Difficulty: mostly easy, Felt: extremely annoyed with the wind

Saturday | April 14, 2018: 15 m run
Loc: Waukegan Field House, Time: 2:31:16, Pace: 10:05 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: good! wondering if my cold caused my stomach issues
Sunday | April 15, 2018: 15 m ride + teaching fitness boxing + 4 m run
Indoor Ride Time: 59:06, Pace: 15.2 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Strength: whole body moves + boxing, Felt: great
Loc: Treadmill, Time: 37:39, Pace: 9:24 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great


  • I’m glad I made it to the pool this week. I had a slight cold and was worried it would feel horrible, but I felt great! And was able to do bilateral breathing again! Ha, I hate mentioning what other people are up to at the gym, but the guy in the lane next to me was quite the splasher! He smacked the water with each stroke and if I happened to be breathing on that side, I’d get a ton of water in my face. Ha ha, fun times.
  • No intervals this week, but I did do a short tempo. I want to gauge where my legs are at for the half I have in three weeks.
  • I was not planning an indoor long run on Saturday, but we had rain, temps in the 30s, and constant 20 mph winds with gusts in the 30 mph range. Eek! Since I was trying to get over a cold, I figured an indoor run would be better for me.
  • Then we had freezing rain Sunday morning which made me nervous about driving to class, but the roads were fine (phew) and all the students made it! Woo hoo! Then we all got home before the freezing rain turned to snow. This weather, I tell ya. I did a treadmill run and felt pretty great. Yay for that!

Link to Training Week 442

Random Thoughts Thursday 175

By , April 12, 2018 12:29 pm
  • I know you guys are DYING to see which Grease OPI nail polish color I got! I went with “You’re The Shade That I Want.” I think I am going to get “Tell Me About It Stud” on my toes. (Don’t worry, I will NOT be sharing a photo of my toes, ha!)

  • I finished Immortal Life and am now reading First Ladies of Running. I felt like I was on the wire to Immortal Life the day before it was due! Oopsie! First Ladies of Running is a much faster read. I want to read Deena Kastor’s new book, but doubt I will be able to get it from the library any time soon!

  • I was looking at the race director’s Facebook page for some information the day after the race, and came across the post that announced cash prizes, and it showed that I liked it! Huh, so why was I so surprised when I won a cash prize? That would be because of the part of the post I highlighted in yellow. I did more than 15 to 17 minutes of work, ha! Anyway, thanks, Ermin!

  • We have so much (fun stuff!) going on in May and June… eek. I am already feeling a bit overwhelmed, and making sure I am planning out quiet time, too! Summer will be here and over before we know it!

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 174

The rest of the weekend (family & food)!

By , April 9, 2018 12:42 pm

The 5K I did this weekend was in my hometown, so I got to see my parents, my brothers and their families, my grandma, my aunt, AND! my snister and her family because they came up from Kansas City for the weekend! Woo hoo!

We rented a house with Snis and her family (it was our first time doing that in our hometown), and it worked out well!

Us with Snis and fam


We got in around 6:00 pm on Friday and hung at the rental house with Snis, Will, William, and Mom and Dad. Christina (Snis) gave me this beautiful painting she had done of Snow. I’m looking forward to finding the purrfect spot to hang it.

Artwork by dimdi

She gave it to me at the same time I got a text from Bobbi, who was checking in on the cats for us, saying how strange it was not to see Snow at the house. Aww, sad face. It IS strange and we miss him so much. I still get choked up about him being gone, from time to time. Mostly now though, it’s just stories and me saying I miss him. I’ll really love having this painting of him to remind me of him each day. It’s such a thoughtful gesture from Christina and her family.

On Friday we began our culinary tour for the weekend, ha! Half of us got Thai food, and half of us got pizza. And Christina and I enjoyed vegan cupcakes Dad had picked up for us during the day!

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies & Cream from Scratch Cupcakery


Saturday was the race, but more importantly, it was my sister-in-law Alyssa’s birthday! I was pumped we were going to be in town to celebrate with her! After the race, we all hung out at Grandma’s and the kids did an Easter egg hunt, then we went out for lunch. Ha, again, it was a half and half split of pizza and Asian food (half went to The Other Place, and half went to HuHot).

There was a basket for us!

We came back to Grandma’s and had MOAR cupcakes!!!!

Christina, Alyssa, and me

And hung out together for a lot of the day.

Christina taught me a dance move I’ve been wanting to learn

We finished the night by going out for drinks (and bar food!) for Alyssa’s birthday, at a bar my uncle owns in town. Another aunt of mine was there working, so we got to see her too, yay!


On Sunday I ran with Dad,

William still doesn’t know what to think of my running outfits

then we packed up to go home! We stopped by Grandma’s and a few of us went out for Mexican food,

then we hit the road. My hometown was supposed to get 3-6 inches of snow, and the storm started while we were at lunch, so we wanted get ahead of it. We did, thankfully, but staying ahead of the storm meant we had to cancel meeting up with my other grandma. Bummer. Maybe next time I try to meet up with her in April there won’t be a snow storm?!?!!??!?!?!?!??!?! WTF.

The drive home is about five hours. We stopped at Aldi and I used the new Aldi keychain (that holds a quarter) my snis gave me. Love it!

Then we got home, I got a few cat cuddles, then immediately unpacked and did laundry, because I love that part of returning home.

So yeah, that was my weekend. Lots of driving, hanging out, and eating (and a little bit of running) – exactly what I expect from a weekend with the fam! And while we didn’t do much, I was worn out when we got back, so I am glad I took a half day today and could chill in the morning!

I could have used a million more William cuddles this weekend!!!

Training Week 442

By , April 8, 2018 9:59 am

Highlight of the Week: Breathing on my left side while swimming / having fun subbing (class) / winning money at the 5K/ running with Dad!

Monday | April 2, 2018: 8 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: VP Woods loop, Temp: 34°/36°, Time: 1:17:42, Pace: 9:42 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: decent, legs a bit tired
Strength: plyo box, kettlebells, and boxing, Felt: good

Tuesday | April 3, 2018: 1,302 yd swim + 2 m walk
Loc: FitNation, Time: 25:37, Pace: 1:58 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy enough, Felt: great
Wednesday | April 4, 2018: 3 m run
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 33°/30°, Time: 24:55, Pace: 8:17 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good to run the stress off
Thursday | April 5, 2018: 4 m run (incl. 6×1:00) + massage + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 22°/22°, Time: 37:15, Pace: 9:18 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Strength: body bars and resistance bands, Felt: great

Friday | April 6, 2018: 15 m ride + 3 m walk
Indoor Ride Time: 58:44, Pace: 15.3 mph, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Saturday | April 7, 2018: Fools 5K (+1.2 m WU & .7 m CD) + 30 min walk (w/Dad)
Loc: George Wyth State Park, Temp: 16°/20°, Time: 21:48, Pace: 7:01 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: like I was racing, ha
Sunday | April 8, 2018: 6 m run (w/Dad!)
Loc: Cedar Prairie Trail, Temp: 14°/22°, Time: 58:30, Pace: 9:45 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: a bit rough at first then fine


  • When I started my swim on Tuesday, I decided to try bilateral breathing to see if I could get back to that meditation, and it worked! And it somehow made me swim faster, overall (maybe since I was breathing every three strokes instead of two?!)!
  • I slept unusually well at the beginning of the week. For three nights in a row, I didn’t get up to use the bathroom, and when I did wake up, I fell back asleep. The next night, I did get up to use the bathroom, but again, fell right back asleep. I wonder if the lighter training load has anything to do with that?! The good sleep only lasted three days, but I enjoyed it!
  • The Thursday night instructor needed a sub so I taught her class and she taught my Friday am class which meant I got a bit more sleep the day before my race! Yay! And I had a lot of fun teaching her class.
  • Ha, I was feeling like I didn’t push myself hard enough at the 5K because my stomach and coughing weren’t that bad, but it hit that night (stomach), and I definitely felt it (legs) during the beginning of my Sunday run (and the coughing after)!
  • It was freaking cold on Sunday, but Dad still came out with me for a ride while I ran. Yay! I love our run/rides! We just chat the whole time, and I get to hear all these stories from my dad about his life, and what he’s up to now.

Link to Training Week 441

Fools 5K 2018 Race Report

By , April 7, 2018 5:12 pm

Ugh, guys! I was so close! I finished the Fools 5K in 21:48 – four seconds over what would have been a PR!


Ha ha.

It was 16°F with 8mph winds from the WNW when the race started at 9:00 (not super windy, yay!). We headed in the west, and I was glad to get the wind “out of the way” to start. I started out too fast, with a 6:40 mile, but was planning on positive splitting. I actually thought I had a buffer!

The pain wasn’t horrible, but I was definitely slowing down. I kept pumping my arms, repeating my mantras, and trying to keep my speed up. I felt like I had no “go.” The second mile was 7:01.

I slowed down even more in the third mile (even though the wind was “at my back”). The 180 turns got to me (in mile 2 and 3), and I would try to speed up coming out of them. I started doing bad “race math” like “well, if I have a 400 left and it takes me 2:00 mins to run a 400 at 8:00 pace and my watch says 19:45, I’m fine!” Ha. I focused hard on running the tangents (the road is curved), but, I didn’t (so my math failed). I finished the third mile in 7:07, and the last .15 (dammit!) in 1:01 (6:43 pace). It was 20° with 12 mph winds from the NNW when I finished.

Ugh. So close! I thought I’d have it, by a margin. Darnit!

But oh well!

I ended up being second woman overall, which came with a cash prize! That was a surprise – I won $75!

And I was first in the Athena division, so that’s cool! And 25th overall, out of 381 (very small turnout this year).

AND… a lot of my family came to spectate, and Steven of course, which I loved! It was not a warm morning to watch someone run and wait a while for awards. I appreciate them being there!

I don’t plan to race another 5K in April, or even May. I need to drop some more weight (I lost about 45 pounds for this attempt, geesh, but need to lose a bit more) and work on my pick-up and go (I was well rested this week, so that’s not why I didn’t have any – I think I need to work on turnover) before another attempt. But if the weather remains this cold, maybe I can find a 5K in thirty degree weather in June. HA!

Joanna – you were the closest guess at 21:44 – please email me your choice of $20 gift card or donation!

Other notes:

  • I did a 1.2 mile warm-up, and a short .7 cool-down.
  • This race is fantastically organized, and fun. There was an 80s theme and a costume contest. They had a PR bell (that I didn’t get to ring, ha ha), immediate results you could print or see online, and photos and video of the finish provided. Do this race if you’re within travel distance to Waterloo, Iowa!
  • I’m disappointed I was so close and didn’t make it, but it’s my fault for relying on my watch speed and not running the tangents that well. And for not pushing as hard as I could. That I don’t have a crazy upset stomach and a intense hacking cough after the race makes me think I didn’t push hard enough! Ha! It’s only a race though. On to the next thing!

Panorama Theme by Themocracy

52 ‘queries’.