Training Week 388

By , March 26, 2017 4:08 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running in new-to-me locations in Indiana.

Monday | March 20, 2017: 12.4 m bike + 3.3 m run + teaching strength class
Indoor Bike Time: 40:05, Pace: 18.6 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, fun doing intervals
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 50°/52°, Time: 32:39, Pace: 9:51 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: pissy
Strength: plates, Difficulty: easy (half observing), Felt: good, happy to have more students

Tuesday | March 21, 2017: 1,008 yd swim
Loc: FitNation, Time: 22:12, Pace: 2:01 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but frustrated I had a headache
Wednesday | March 22, 2017: 7 m run
Loc: Lakefront Trail, Temp: 28°/29°, Time: 1:11:26, Pace: 10:12 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: surprisingly good (after a morning fall)
Thursday | March 23, 2017: 3.6 m run (incl. 1.5 tempo miles)
Loc: Monon Trail, Temp: 52°/55°, Time: 33:59, Pace: 9:26 avg, Difficulty: easy-ish, Felt: good
Friday | March 24, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: Keystone, Temp: 49°/49°, Time: 31:42, Pace: 10:34 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Saturday | March 25, 2017: teaching fitness boxing + 2.5 m run
Strength: dumbbells and boxing, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Pine Dunes FP, Temp: 40°/40°, Time: 26:03, Pace: 10:25 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: sick to my stomach

Sunday | March 26, 2017: 10.6 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 45°/48°, Time: 1:53:09, Pace: 10:40 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great


  • I tried to plan ahead for being gone on a work trip this week, and do my Friday swim on Tuesday afternoon. I even took work leave so I could go swim! Then, I had a horrible headache and had to use some of that leave to try to nap it off. That didn’t work but I was determined to still swim. Um, yeah. The cap and goggles didn’t feel awesome on my pounding head. Lesson learned? Probably not.
  • I felt better the next day and took the earliest train to the city to get a run in before work. And then I completely wiped out (carrying all my luggage for my work trip) at the train station! Gah! I landed on my hands and knees and my knees were feeling it right away. But, they didn’t hurt during any run this week, and I still got to do my run before work and see a great sunrise!
  • And also, yay, I got to run twice while we were in Indiana! We had a really long (12 hour) workday our first day there, but I knew a run would be the only way to clear my head. And then a drink at dinner after. Ha.
  • I was completely wiped from my work trip and didn’t think I’d enjoy teaching Fitness Boxing, but duh, of course I did! I really enjoyed my long run the next day, too. I ended up running an errand (returning a movie) and that made it more of an adventure, somehow.
  • This week was really up and down for me, and I hope next week is more level!

Link to Training Week 387

Saddle time

By , March 20, 2017 6:23 am

The complete course for the day we’re riding of RAGBRAI (July 29) was published a week ago…

Look at those hills! Yowza!

I’m strangely excited about how challenging those climbs are going to be! To get ready for the hills, I’ll train in Wisconsin on somewhat hilly roads. I’m also riding with two blocks on the trainer at home, hoping that counts for something! Note: RAGBRAI is a giant party on wheels and pace doesn’t matter.

But… I’m also doing the bike portion of an international distance triathlon in June and need to work on my speed for that, while getting ready for those RAGBRAI hills! Luckily, the triathlon course is flat. I’ll keep doing intervals, sprints, and tempos on my trainer, and start riding outside in April! Woot woot! Can you tell I’m excited for more saddle time?

Training Week 387

By , March 19, 2017 3:50 pm

Highlight of the Week: My longest swim to date and a strong finish to my long run.

Monday | March 13, 2017: 5 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 28°/28°, Time: 53:09, Pace: 10:37 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine, annoyed with cars
Strength: plates, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay

Tuesday | March 14, 2017: 3 m run + 8 m bike
Loc: hood, Temp: 25°, Time: 30:48, Pace: 10:15 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Indoor Bike Time: 27:33, Pace: 17.4 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay

Wednesday | March 15, 2017: rest
Thursday | March 16, 2017: 5 m run (incl. 10×1:00)
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 35°/33°, Time: 50:48, Pace: 10:09 avg, Difficulty: hard, Felt: out of breath – lungs not over this cold yet?
Friday | March 17, 2017: teaching strength class + 1,806 yd swim + 4.4 m run
Strength: plates, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good
Loc: FitNation, Time: 41:21, Pace: 2:08 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great to be back in the water!
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 39°/43°, Time: 47:08, Pace: 10:43, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Saturday | March 18, 2017: 10 m run
Loc: to outlet mall and back, Temp: 37°/38°, Time: 1:50:24, Pace: 11:02 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: steady
Sunday | March 19, 2017: 15 m ride + 4 m run
Indoor Ride Time: 56:29, Pace: 15.9 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but hungry
Loc: hood, Temp: 36°/37°, Time: 41:58, Pace: 10:29 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, but hungry


  • We got ten inches of snow over Sunday night and in to Tuesday, so that meant Monday and Tuesday’s runs were on the boring, safer (less car traffic) routes. I was happy when the shoulders were clearer at the end of the week. And I am always happy that they plow the snow off of the trail where I do my speedwork on Thursdays!
  • Gosh, speedwork kicked my butt on Thursday! They were shorter intervals, which makes them harder because I go faster, but my breathing was crap. I hope it’s just that I am still getting over my cold…
  • But! On Friday I had my longest swim to date! I wasn’t planning on swimming that long, but I got to the pool early and was expecting a friend, and figured I would just keep swimming until they got there, then see how long I could go after they arrived.
  • Saturday was my first double digit run this month. Eek! I’ve been so lazy! The run went well, but in the last mile, I rolled my left ankle really hard and severely overcompensated with my right knee. My right knee and right ankle (weird) felt tender Sunday am, but I was okay to workout, which is great because it was a gorgeous day!

Link to Training Week 386

Cat tales

By , March 17, 2017 12:00 pm

Or should it be “tails”? Ha ha ha.

  • Khali still lives inside. Could she go back outside? Yeah, she’s probably fully recovered now. Do I want her to go back outside? No, I love having her little fluffy butt inside. Would Snow immediately try to have relations with her if she went out? Yep. We’ve let her out a few times and witnessed this.

Khali & Data

Khali & Snow during a sweet, non R-rated moment

  • Steven has been working on an AMAZING cat house and finished it last weekend! I need to do a full post on it, but here’s a sneak peek picture of it. And Snow started using it right away, yay!

  • I forgot what it’s like to live with a cat who eats human food. Data doesn’t. Khali does. We forgot about this, and Steven left half an enchilada on the counter Tuesday night. Hmm, guess who took a bite out of it and had salsa verde on her whiskers? And guess who pulled an eggroll out of the takeout bag last night? Ha. Also: we need to start cooking more at home again. Also: yum, the Chinese food leftovers are going to be awesome at lunch today.

  • Gah, Data had an epic barf accident on Tuesday. I heard him starting to throw up while he was on top of a floor vent under his tower of judgement. I didn’t want him to throw up on the vent, so I moved the tower and he freaked the hell out and ran in to the kitchen… barfing as he ran. His total barf trajectory was almost the complete length of the dining room. It was horrible to clean up, but also somewhat hilarious, so I took a photo to show Steven. Don’t worry, I won’t share it here!

Training Week 386

By , March 12, 2017 3:41 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running with Steve & Gina in KC!

Monday | March 6, 2017: 4 m run (w/Steve) + 2 m walk (w/Gina)
Loc: Line Creek Trail, Temp: 63°/64°, Time: 38:26, Pace: 9:36 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, out of breath on the short steep inclines!
Tuesday | March 7, 2017: 5 m run (w/Gina)
Loc: Line Creek Trail, Temp: 41°/42°, Time: 48:21, Pace: 9:40 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, a bit of chest congestion
Wednesday | March 8, 2017: rest
Thursday | March 9, 2017: 5 m run (incl. 4×800)
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 35°/35°, Time: 48:51, Pace: 9:46 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: strong, but challenged!
Friday | March 10, 2017: teaching strength class + 3.3 m run
Strength: dumbbells, plyo & boxing, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, relieved the headache didn’t set me back
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 26°/25°, Time: 34:28, Pace: 10:26, Difficulty: easy, Felt: steady & strong

Saturday | March 11, 2017: teaching fitness boxing + 2 m run (w/Anne)
Strength: body bars, pads and boxing, Difficulty: easy (all observing), Felt: fine
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 21°/22°, Time: 25:07 Pace: 12:34 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Sunday | March 12, 2017: 15 m ride
Indoor Ride Time: 55:24, Pace: 16.2 mph avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good, but sweaty and tired legs


  • I enjoyed getting so much walking in in Kansas City – both while we were out doing touristy things, and when going on purposeful walks. Sometimes I feel like all I do is sit around on vacation, and I am happy that wasn’t the case!
  • This is the first week in a long time I haven’t swum! I was planning on it, by my cold moved from my chest to my head and I had a hard time breathing out of my nose. I didn’t want to go to the pool in those conditions! I also skipped a Sunday long run due to my breathing and body temperature regulation issues. I didn’t want to push it. Wah. And Sunday was such a nice day for a long run! Hopefully next week will be too.

Link to Training Week 385

Spring break in KC!

By , March 11, 2017 5:40 pm

I’ve been to Kansas City every month this year! Craziness! In January we went to meet Baby William. In February I went with my parents and my maternal grandma, so my grandma could meet Baby William. And this month, we met Gina, Steve, and Luca there for the beginning of Luca’s spring break!

After all that, it feels odd not to have the next trip planned. Maybe we’ll go back for a Royals game this summer?!

We had a good mix of hanging out and being out and about on this trip. On Sunday, we went over to my snister’s to see her, Will, and William.

And on Monday and Tuesday, we played tourist! On Monday we rode the new streetcar,

and checked out the River Market, Crown Center, the Hallmark Visitor’s Center,

Showing off their Emmy for their show Steve & Steven

and Union Station. Luca loved the train exhibit at Union Station. And bonus – all of Monday’s activities were FREE! And surprisingly, after coming to Kansas City for years, I hadn’t been to any of them except the River Market.

Encouraging Luca to make the “honk” signal at the train conductors on Freight House Pedestrian Bridge

On Tuesday we went back downtown to go to the Liberty Memorial (there is a fee to go up in the tower),

View from the tower

to the Money Museum (free and they give out FREE (shredded) money),

and later in the day, to The Plaza.

We saw a lot! We also ate A LOT. A lot a lot. I think I should feel hungry again in a few weeks. Ha. Happily, we walked a lot when we were sightseeing, and we also went on walks from Steven’s dad’s house (where we all stayed), and went on a few runs. I was grateful to move so much – I feel like a slug if I sit around for too long!

It worked out that Steven’s brother, Andrew, got to hang out with us quite a bit on this trip, which was fun! And Steven’s dad was able to join us for everything (in case you were wondering who that guy was in the pictures, ha ha)! I love how our families blend together!

And I love spending time with my otra familia (Gina, Steve, and Luca). I’m happy they took time out of Luca’s break to go to Kansas City! Hopefully we’ll see them next month in Texas for Luca’s birthday!

Training Week 385

By , March 6, 2017 7:48 am

Highlight of the Week: A run in the pouring rain with Bobbi!

Monday | February 27, 2017: 4.6 m run + 12 m ride + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 39°/43°, Time: 45:31, Pace: 9:54 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: energetic, too warm at the end!
Indoor Ride Time: 38:11, Pace: 18.9 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good to be doing intervals & hills
Strength: Kettlebells and step, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | February 28, 2017: 3 m run (w/Bobbi)
Loc: Bobbi’s hood, Temp: 51°/51°, Time: 32:00, Pace: 10:39 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, got soaked!
Wednesday | March 1, 2017: rest
Thursday | March 2, 2017: 5 m run (incl. 8×400) + 10 m ride
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 31°/31°, Time: 50:55, Pace: 10:10 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: okay, but challenged
Indoor Ride Time: 35:02, Pace: 17.1 mph avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: tired

Friday | March 3, 2017: teaching strength class + 1,003 yd swim + 7.4 m run
Strength: bench and kettlebells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: FitNation, Time: 21:20, Pace: 2:07 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: strong once I warmed up!
Loc: VP Woods loop, Temp: 30°/29°, Time: 1:20:55, Pace: 10:56 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine, a bit cold!

Saturday | March 4, 2017: 5 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 30°/31°, Time: 52:33, Pace: 10:30 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Sunday | March 5, 2017: 5.5 m run + 2 m walk (w/Gina, Steve & Luca)
Loc: Line Creek Trail, Temp: 56°/57°, Time: 56:33, Pace: 10:17 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, happy to see a large running group on the trail!


  • My Monday night students have randomly had a lot of conflicts that have required missing classes in the past few weeks, and the low class numbers are discouraging! I tend to have more energy the more people that are there. However, lower numbers means I can watch people’s form even more, and that we get to chat a lot more during class!
  • I didn’t think I was going to get a run in on Tuesday – I had plans after work during the time I normally run. However, I had thrown my workout clothes in the car just in case, and I am happy I did – I was at Bobbi’s dropping off something and I mentioned I had my clothes and off we went! It was so nice to run and chat – we hadn’t done that in almost a year!
  • I started to feel a bit under the weather at the end of the week – I hope that doesn’t turn in to anything other than a nagging cough! I had bad post-race cough on Sunday and thought it was just that – I hope I am not getting sick!
  • Monthly recap time! In February I ran 129 miles (25 runs), cycled 116.8 miles (9 indoor rides) and swam 6,027 yards (5 swims). My coldest run was 20°F and my warmest was 61°F. I taught 8 strength classes, 3 fitness boxing classes, and 2 indoor cycling classes.

Link to Training Week 384

Frosty Footrace 2017 Race Report

By , February 28, 2017 6:23 am

Ugh. Change is hard. And not all change is good! (duh)

I won’t get in to the WHOLE whiny story, since I’ve posted about it before. I’ve done the Frosty Footrace 5K for nine years now, and it’s one of the few races I actually “race” for time, because I love running in cold weather. This year they changed it to a two-mile “all-terrain” course. Read: running on a rocky golf cart path.

I was bummed my yearly goal 5K was changed to two miles, and I was concerned about running on a rocky course in potential snow, ice and/or mud. I was on the fence about whether or not I’d do it, but I decided to when they called and asked me what shirt size I wanted – maybe I’d end up liking it?


Pre-race organization was efficient and organized. There was a heated shelter to hang out in pre race (the golf course headquarters). They mentioned there was a free (alcoholic) drink tab on my bib to use after the race. And I looked at my bib and it didn’t even have my name on it… huh? How are they gonna record my time? FORESHADOWING.

The course was fine – the rocks remind me of the shoulders I run on frequently now. Luckily, there wasn’t snow, ice or mud. It was a sunny, SUPER WINDY day (yay), with steady winds in the 20 mph range with gusts in the mid 30s. The temperature was in the mid 30s with a much lower “feels like.” (I had a hard time dressing for this, and also, deciding if I’d wear my trail shoes or run with music. I was content with all my choices (no trail shoes and music)).

The two mile loop was straight forward to follow – it was the one way golf cart course. The race was actually more than two miles – about two and a tenth. They even announced before the race “it’s around two.” Eyeroll.

Ricky and me – I used him as a rabbit last year at Frosty! Not this year though!

I pushed it. I wanted to finish averaging 8:00 minute miles. Of course, my first mile was my fastest, at 7:33. My stomach protested halfway through, but I knew there was only one woman ahead of me (the same woman who wins the race, overall, each year) and wanted to keep pushing.

And… I sort of did? We had been running straight in to the wind for quite a bit and I got to a turn that pushed that nasty wind right in to my face and saw my pace drop in to the mid 8:00s. I hoped I would get a push from the wind when I turned, but it wasn’t much (it usually isn’t, except at the Wisconsin Half last year, whoa!).

My second mile was 7:52, and a woman passed me right before the finish. Darn! But, expected with my dropping pace! I finished in 16:25 (which is an average 7:44 pace).

I was excited to finish third woman overall, but confused when I stopped and they didn’t take my bib stub and handed me a finisher’s medal. Um, what?

You can actually see the confused look on my face.


The advertising for this race was so screwed up. Sometimes it was listed as three miles, and sometimes two. But they always listed that there would be age group awards, which encouraged me to push it during the race. I WANT SOME AGE GROUP BLING!

Well, guess what? There wasn’t official timing or awards. What the eff. And I would have been first in my age group – I asked the woman who finished in front of me her age (ha), and she was older.

The marketing person came up to me after the race to ask what I thought of the change. I listed all my complaints, and shared some positives, too (like the organization at the event). I asked her why they changed it. She said after ten years they wanted to change it up and do something new and exciting (there’s gotta be more to it than that). Hmm. An “all-terrain” run/walk, though? In February? I told her I am disappointed the park district doesn’t offer a 5K anymore (they’ve all been shortened in distance). And that I couldn’t get the race distance confirmed before the race. And that they advertised age group awards and there weren’t any. I suggested bringing Frosty back and adding an all-terrain course in the spring or summer. But the golfers probably wouldn’t like that.

So, yeah. Change is hard. For me. Ha. This is not a big deal in the grand scheme of life AT ALL. I’m just sad they changed what was a favorite, challenging 5K of mine. Blah.

I did have fun though! I got to see some of my speedy friends and talked with them for quite a bit after the race. Steven and our friend Troy surprised me by showing up to see me off! And I ran faster than I thought I could, which is always encouraging!

But I doubt I will do this again if the format stays the same.

Training Week 384

By , February 26, 2017 5:10 pm

Highlight of the Week: Seeing an amazing sunset on my Tuesday run!

Monday | February 20, 2017: 4 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 53°/53°, Time: 39:45, Pace: 9:56 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fantastic
Strength: Bench & Kettlebells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, a bit out of it after a long day

Tuesday | February 21, 2017: 5 m run
Loc: Van Patten Woods, Temp: 60°/61°, Time: 53:04, Pace: 10:37 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: stiff, then loosed and energized!
Wednesday | February 22, 2017: rest
Thursday | February 23, 2017: 5 m run
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 36°, Time: 48:35, Pace: 9:43 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but like my chest was congested
Friday | February 24, 2017: teaching strength class + 1,260 yd swim + 7 m run + 10 m ride
Strength: Bench & Kettlebells, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good, despite being super tired!
Loc: FitNation, Time: 29:54, Pace: 2:17 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: VP Woods Loop, Temp: 37°, Time: 1:18:17, Pace: 11:14 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine, but sorta clunky
Indoor Ride Time: 32:00, Pace: 18.8 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Saturday | February 25, 2017: 3 m run + teaching fitness boxing + 10 m ride
Loc: hood, Temp: 20°/20°, Time: 28:54, Pace: 9:37 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Strength: Bodyweight & boxing, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Indoor Ride Time: 30:40, Pace: 19.6 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, sweaty!

Sunday | February 26, 2017: 1.1 m run (WU) then 2.1 m run (Frosty Footrace)
Loc: Round Lake, Temp: 34°/38°, Time: 16:25, Pace: 7:44 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good, but gassed half way through!


  • It was freeing to run in shorts and a tank at the beginning of the week but it’s too soon for 70 degree temps (I’m a sweaty gal). I’m happy it cooled down, but of course, that was a shock to the system (my run on Saturday was 40 degrees cooler than Tuesday’s)!
  • It felt weird to not do speedwork on Thursday, which is good – Thursday speedwork has become a habit!!! I didn’t do it because I decided to do the Frosty Footrace on Sunday, afterall. Sigh. I’ll post about that later this week.
  • I know CPR, but had a reminder in class this week that I should take a general first aid class. I’m going to see what my park district offers!

Link to Training Week 383

Not just the Mother of Dragons

By , February 22, 2017 11:02 am

Steven took Khaleesi to the veterinarian on Saturday. She had an infection around her incision but they gave her antibiotics and she’s already off them, and hasn’t had any issues since Saturday!*

The master of RBF

I was asking Steven more details about the vet visit when I got back from my Kansas City trip.

“Well, Dr. M said he was talking about Khaleesi the other day!”

“Oh, really?! Why?!”

“Because another cat came in with the calicivirus.”


So when we took Khali in the first time, they knew her name was from Game of Thrones. But they also informed me that Khaleesi is pronounced the same way as a feline virus – calici. So there I was, thinking the doctor was randomly thinking about Khaleesi, and maybe how sweet she is. But no. He thought of her because WE NAMED HER AFTER A VIRUS.

Ha ha.

I am not sure we’re going to want her to go back outside! She’s such a sweetie! Data has been teaching her the ways of the inside cat, including crying for food at 4:45 am. Good work, Data.

*Interestingly, they told Steven the earliest he should let Khali back outside was ten days after the surgery. We were going to let her out that weekend – good thing they told him!

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