Training Week 405

By , July 23, 2017 5:08 pm

Highlight of the Week: Doing an outdoor ride during my lunch break.

Monday | July 17, 2017: 5.5 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: to VP Woods north and back, Temp: 70°/72°, Time: 57:41, Pace: 10:29 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: surprisingly good
Strength: kettebells and cards (core), Difficulty: medium, Felt: good, so sweaty

Tuesday | July 18, 2017: rest
Wednesday | July 19, 2017: 5 m run
Loc: to Northerly Island and back, Temp: 74°/74°, Time: 53:19, Pace: 10:40 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: tired (legs)
Thursday | July 20, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 76°/76°, Time: 32:16, Pace: 10:44 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Friday | July 21, 2017: teaching strength class + 1,008 yd swim + 17 m ride + 4 m run (incl. 1/2/3/4/5 ladder)
Strength: kettlebells and cards (core), Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay, but a bit sore (left shoulder and right knee)
Loc: FitNation, Time: 21:57, Pace: 2:08 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: around Wadsworth loop, Temp: 78°/82°, Time: 1:00:54, Pace: 16.8 mph, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 76°/76°, Time: 38:38, Pace: 9:40, Difficulty: easy-ish, Felt: good, just hot face!

Saturday | July 22, 2017: 4.5 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 74°/78°, Time: 51:37, Pace: 11:28 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: legs so dead
Sunday | July 23, 2017: 18.55 m ride + 3 m run + teaching strength class + 18.4 m ride
Loc: home to Efit, Temp: 68°/71°, Time: 1:13:59, Pace: 15.0 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 71°/72°, Time: 30:34, Pace: 10:11 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: thirsty, but so much better than Sat!
Strength: core & boxing (pads & gloves), Difficulty: easy (mostly observing), Felt: good
Loc: Efit to home, Temp: 77°/80°, Time: 1:08:01, Pace: 16.2 mph avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: okay, but hot & thirsty & hungry


  • This week I realized I swim with my fingers spread. I concentrated on keeping them together when I swam and I felt like I was going smoother. I wonder how much I could improve if I actually knew what I was doing, ha!
  • I was about to start an interval at speedwork this week when a guy started to pass me and I sped up. I said to him, “I am not playing games, I am just doing speedwork!” I wonder if he got what I meant…
  • I love riding to the studio to teach. I’ve been lucky though – the two times I’ve done it, there have been even partners in boxing and I haven’t had to do as much (if there were uneven partners, I would be someone’s target mitts). And I still feel hungry on the ride home after not doing as much, which means I need to step up my game with that – I would be toast if I actually was someone’s punching bag in class!
  • I’ve never noticed this when driving (cause I wouldn’t) but sometimes when you are waiting for a light to change as a bike, if there isn’t a car on your side, only the other side will get a green… it’s really weird. If I go then, I am running a red!
  • Two things I forgot to note last week: 1. I woke up a few times with a cramp (not as bad as a charley horse, but similar) in my right leg. I am happy that’s stopped! 2. When I was on my long run last week I said hello to another runner and realized it’s the lady who runs the 5Ks in my town! I now know her name. I should have asked her for the schedule, ha. I’ve been trying to find it online!

Link to Training Week 404

Twelve Year Blogiversary!!!

By , July 21, 2017 7:07 am

Today is my twelve year blogiversary! Aww, my blog is almost a teenager. Although with how little I post now, it seems my blog is already going through the withdrawn angsty teen years. Ha.

The best thing about blogging is the connections you make, so thank you, readers! And thank you to the many of you that are “real-life” friends now.

And while I am posting less, I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. Just waiting for the itch to write more again!

Random Thoughts Thursday 141

By , July 20, 2017 11:58 am
  • Has anyone had luck with ShoeKicker lately? I haven’t received any price alerts in a long time, and the other day I found shoes on Amazon for cheaper than listed on ShoeKicker. Hmm.
  • I was pumped for the season premiere of Game of Thrones last Thursday, then found the episode to be slow and a bit disappointing. Oh well! That is more likely to happen when something gets way too hyped up. It was fun to look forward to! And I laughed that Khaleesi slept through the entire episode in her cube then popped her head out when her namesake showed up at the end of the show. Ha ha ha!

  • It’s always funny to me on social media when something is trending (like the new episode of Game of Thrones) and people post about how they don’t care about it and are annoyed that everyone is talking about it. Well, guess what? Now you are, too. Yes, it’s annoying when everyone seems to be talking about the same thing (thing being hobby or interest), but we don’t have to be negative and say how we don’t like that thing.
  • It bums me out when I’m riding my bike and greet another cyclist and they don’t wave/nod/say hello back. It feels so unnatural to me not to acknowledge someone else (related: I ran yesterday in the city and had to hold back from saying hello to everyone).
  • Work is making me nuts and I am looking forward to a short break from it in August! (I’d love to write about all the things making me nuts, but I think that’s highly inappropriate to do in a public forum… so it stays offline.)

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 140

Training Week 404

By , July 16, 2017 6:50 pm

Highlight of the Week: Being able to find alternative cycling/running routes despite the flooding.

Monday | July 10, 2017: 4 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 77°/76°, Time: 41:32, Pace: 10:23 avg, Difficulty: easy enough, Felt: good, strong (but hot, of course)
Strength: Arms of Summer workout, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | July 11, 2017: 2 m run
Loc: Downtown Chicago, Temp: 79°/79°, Time: 18:50, Pace: 9:24 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, just hot
Wednesday | July 12, 2017: rest
Thursday | July 13, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 80°/80°, Time: 29:36, Pace: 9:51 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Friday | July 14, 2017: teaching strength class + 925 m swim + 3.2 m run + 6.3 m run
Strength: kettlebell circuit and cards, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: good
Loc: Grayslake Pool, Outdoor Temp: 61°, Time: 22:04, Pace: 2:05 min/100 m, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 64°/64°, Time: 32:25 , Pace: 10:12 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but legs tired
Loc: to VP Woods entrance, Temp: 67°/67°, Time: 1:05:08, Pace: 10:20 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Saturday | July 15, 2017: 27 m ride + 3 m run (incl. 4×400) + 5 m ride
Loc: to Kenosha County Bike Trail, Temp: 63°/70°, Time: 1:49:46, Pace: 14.8 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 70°/70°, Time: 31:16, Pace: 10:26 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: decent, hot
Loc: Rec Plex to Home, Temp: 70°/72°, Time: 21:39, Pace: 13.9 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, getting worn out

Sunday | July 16, 2017: 10.5 m run + 8.47 m ride + 840 yd swim
Loc: around Zion, Temp: 67°/66°, Time: 1:58:23, Pace: 11:16 avg, Difficulty: mostly easy, Felt: great
Loc: to FitNation, Temp: 67°/68°, Time: 30:57, Pace: 16.4 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, nervous about traffic
Loc: FitNation, Time: 28:27, Pace: 2:05 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good


  • I was in the city for work training Tuesday through Thursday and didn’t make much time to work out, as is evident above. I am happy for what I could get in – two short runs during our lunch breaks!
  • Friday was my last swim with Anne (for now?) – she moved to Cleveland on Saturday. It’s going to be so odd not seeing her each week.
  • On Friday, the east/west roads immediately north and south of our house closed for river flooding, making my typical seven mile route and running on the trail impossible. I ran twice on Friday – once to each road – to see how bad it was. As I post this, the roads are still closed. And likely will be for a few more days.
  • I was planning to do a loop bike ride Saturday morning, but with so many roads closed for flooding, I did an out and back (which included a stop for speedwork in the middle).
  • We had extremely pleasant running weather on Sunday – mid 60s and overcast! Woot! What a treat! And bonus – I didn’t have to add two miles on to my route to avoid flooding because it was back to normal on that road, woot woot!
  • On Sunday night I rode my bike to meet a friend at the pool. I am thankful he drove and could give me a ride home – the riding route had way more cars on it than normal because of road closures due to flooding and it didn’t feel safe to ride on. Eek!

Link to Training Week 403

No outlet!

By , July 15, 2017 11:10 am

Apparently people don’t know what this means…

We live on a dead-end road (as seen above) that runs west from a main road. The roads north and south of us that run east/west are both closed to the west because of flooding from a local river.

The road north of us…

The road south of us…

So there are A LOT more people on the main road, trying to figure out where the hell to go, which is resulting in lots of cars FLYING down our street, only to get pissed off when they realize it goes no where.

Sigh. Calm down people. People live on this street. People run and bike on this street!!! (ha)

I hope the roads are clear soon, for everyone’s safety. And sanity.

15 days…

By , July 14, 2017 2:24 pm

… until we ride Day 7 of RAGBRAI!

The actual week long ride begins in nine days, on Sunday the 23rd. Some people doing the full week have already shipped their bikes to the start! And here I am, planning on getting a few more rides in (on the bike I’ll use at RAGBRAI) before the one day I ride, ha ha.

My bike band, wristband, and jersey came in the mail last Saturday. My team (Dad, Gina, Andrew, and me) will all be wearing this year’s jersey the day we ride. RAGBRAI is one of the few events I do and don’t feel silly for wearing this year’s “shirt”!

I’m excited to see “how bad” the hills are. And am wondering how much time, if any, I will have to spend out of the saddle (standing, not walking) to get up them.

I’m excited that Andrew is trying it for the first time, that Gina is doing it for the second, and that Dad is sticking with me for the fourth year in a row.

I’m excited that more riding has gotten rid of my weird inner elbow running tan lines (it obviously has made the shorts tan line, worse, ha)!

I’m excited that doing RAGRABI is associated with extended leave from work for me, Steven, and Gina and family. It’s going to be wonderful to spend all that time together.


Side notes:

  • Has anyone else watched the silly mockumentary on HBO, Tour de Pharmacy? It’s a mock documentary about the 1982 Tour de France, with a lot of famous actors in it. It’s so ridiculous – I laughed a lot.
  • And has anyone seen this video, The Backwards Brain Bicycle? We watched it in our work training this week. It’s about how this guy trained himself to ride a bike where turning the handlebars made the wheel go the opposite direction. Well, and about what that says about our brain and learning.

Random Thoughts Thursday 140

By , July 13, 2017 6:36 am
  • The county I live in has been pounded with rain over the last week (particularly Tuesday night) and there are lots of roads under water, and flooding in businesses and people’s homes. At least two cities (that I saw) have declared a state of local emergency. It’s horrible, and I feel so bad for the people dealing with property damage. I hope we get a break from the rain for awhile (it was supposed to rain last night AGAIN, but luckily, it didn’t!).

Rain we got at our house this week

  • Luckily, we didn’t have any issues at our house. We did get a lot of rain, and our power went out early Wednesday morning (12:30 am), but the generator kept the sump pumps running (for over twelve hours until the power came back). Steven and I both had interesting commutes, with all the flooding. The route I take to work had an intersection under water, and Steven had to completely reroute the way he normally goes (the town his warehouse is in is one of the towns that declared a state of emergency).
  • I’ve actually had stuff I wanted to write about this week, but I’ve been in training all day since Tuesday and haven’t made the time to post. I signed up for this leadership class at work and was hoping I’d learn some new skills and concepts, but so far, it’s been stuff I already know (ladder of inference, Myers Briggs, etc) and mostly activities I’ve done before (GAH, if I have to build a “tower” with my team again, my head will explode), The teacher is engaging and I like the people I am in class with, so there’s that! Maybe today is the day I will learn something new!
  • I had to turn off the screen on my Garmin app that shows how many steps I do per day and if I was reaching my “goal.” Seeing it made me kind of nuts about it, when it’s something I don’t care about. I turned it off and immediately stopped thinking about it.
  • Snow (our outdoor cat) is extremely lovey dovey and I like to spend time holding and petting him each day, but the mosquitoes have been SO horrible that I get eaten up when I go outside to see him. Snow is afraid of coming inside, but I’ve been bringing him in for little bouts so I can pet him and not get bit (by mosquitoes, ha). Last night I brought Snow in, and Steven got him all buttered petting him while he ate. After that, he was chill (for Snow) and stayed in the house for quite some time! When I opened the door to offer for him to go back outside, he didn’t bolt straight for it, but casually walked outside. Winning!

  • Who else is excited for the Game of Thrones season premiere on Sunday? I hope our HBO app doesn’t crash!!! (That’s been an issue in the past with so many people trying to stream it live – I hope they’ve figured that out.)

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 139

Training Week 403

By , July 9, 2017 5:14 pm

Highlight of the Week: Using my bike for transportation twice this week!

Monday | July 3, 2017: 7 m run
Loc: VP Woods loop, Temp: 72°/73°, Time: 1:17:52, Pace: 11:07 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: decent, just too hot at first
Tuesday | July 4, 2017: 12.7 m ride + 12.5 m ride + 3 m run
Loc: to Antioch, Temp: 63°/64°, Time: 49:02, Pace: 15.5 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: to Zion, Temp: 69°/69°, Time: 49:02, Pace: 15.3 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Spring Bluff FP/North Point Marina, Temp: 75°/76°, Time: 31:52, Pace: 10:37 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Wednesday | July 5, 2017: rest
Thursday | July 6, 2017: 4 m run (incl. 3 hill repeats)
Loc: hood, Temp: 84°/84°, Time: 45:24, Pace: 11:20 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: too hot
Friday | July 7, 2017: teaching strength class + 1,000 m swim + 3.2 m run
Strength: Arms of Summer, Difficulty: easy, Felt: meh (about teaching a workout that isn’t mine)
Loc: Grayslake Pool, Outdoor Temp: 67°, Time: 21:42, Pace: 2:04 min/100 m, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 72°/72°, Time: 35:22, Pace: 11:03 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: decent, legs tired

Saturday | July 8, 2017: 18.45 m ride + 2.4 m run + teaching fitness boxing + 18.4 m ride
Loc: home to Efit, Temp: 58°/62°, Time: 1:13:38, Pace: 15.0 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, happy
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 62°/62°, Time: 24:21, Pace: 10:08 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, thirsty
Strength: Core, Pads, & Boxing, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Efit to home, Temp: 66°/68°, Time: 1:13:44, Pace: 15.0 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great

Sunday | July 9, 2017: 12 m run (incl. 10×1:00)
Loc: DPRT, Temp: 65°/76°, Time: 2:13:09, Pace: 11:06 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good, just a bit hot and tired at the end


  • I loved riding my bike this week! On Tuesday I rode to spectate some friends at a race, and on Saturday I rode to work at Efit. Part of the route to Efit went through the neighborhood we lived in for two months between our town home and current home and it reminded me how much I loved running in that hood (I lived there in the winter and never rode there).
  • I am getting pumped for RAGBRAI! The day we ride is just under three weeks from today. This year I am riding with my dad, Gina, and my brother-in-law Andrew! We all got our packets this week (wrist band, bike band, etc., and shirts we ordered)!
  • Somehow, I had forgotten how my swollen mosquito bites feel stiff and odd during hot summer runs. Blah.
  • I forgot about speedwork until Sunday so I did it during my long run. Normally I’d do 10×1:00 in the last few miles but this time I did a minute fast at the top of each mile. Kind of shows you that you can still run “fast” when your legs are getting tired (… right?).

Link to Training Week 402

Miles on the Mississippi 5K Race Recap

By , July 3, 2017 6:58 am

The Miles on the Mississippi 5K was in Guttenberg, Iowa on July 1. Race proceeds will be used to provide clean drinking water to those in need through Childcare Worldwide.

I wasn’t planning on doing a 5K this weekend, but when I saw there was going to be one in the town we spend the Independence Day holiday weekend in, and that it was only $15 to enter, I though “Eh, why not?”

The race was small – forty-four participants! I was actually impressed we had real bibs (I’ve done races in this area where they just use index cards)!

Dad and I rode our bikes there (about 3.5 miles) and I registered thirty minutes before the race start. I lined up at the front of the pack for the race. And immediately felt like half of the group took off from in front of me.

Huh. I knew there was prizes for “top runners” and basically said goodbye to the idea of placing as I watched seven or eight women run off ahead of me (ha, not that I am fast, just that with such a small field, I thought I had a chance of placing due to lack of fast runners).

I felt good though – good enough to take a goofy selfie of myself and “my competition” and send it to Dad.

I saw my mom shortly after sending that text to my dad. Quick, Kim – act like you’re running and not screwing around! (It’s not like me to take photos and text during a 5K – I obviously was not taking the race very seriously).

A lot of the first mile was in the shade on city streets, which is probably why I felt good. I passed a few women in that mile (8:22).

Then we went up a short incline to run along the dike along the Mississippi River. Ahh, beautiful views. BUT SUNNY.

I passed another woman on the dike, and a young boy (who would eventually pass me back).

I still felt good, but the sun was making me feel hot (even though it was in the mid 60s). I felt encouraged to keep running strong though, since I could see my parents and nephew ahead! Mile 2 was in 8:05.

Mile 3 was mostly back on the city streets. There was a tiny incline and then it was flat. And somewhat shaded. By that point my face was dripping in sweat (maybe I shouldn’t have put sunscreen on for my bike ride) and I was ready to be done!

The last mile had a little loop past the finish line (on an adjacent street) and when we ran by the finish, I saw my parents waiting there, and tried to keep pumping my arms to finish strong so I wouldn’t look like a complete mess in front of them! Mile 3 was 8:20 (there was no .1 at the end – I’m guessing the course was short).

I finished in 24:41 and all I could think about was water (there was one water stop at mile 1 but I didn’t want to risk being passed again if I stopped) and shade. I was completely dripping in sweat. I wasn’t out of breath or anything, but my skin felt icky.

My parents and nephew and I all went back to the gazebo where registration was and I downed a bottle of water, and used paper towels to wipe off all the sweat, and started to feel better. I asked a volunteer about the age group awards, and she said they were first place awards for 13 and under, and 14 and above. Ha – that’s a big age group! My dad told me a few women finished in front of me, so I figured I didn’t place, but we stuck around to cheer on the winners (and for me to cool down).

When they did the awards, they gave out first place first and I expected that to be it, but they also had second and third, and I was very surprised to hear my name called for third place (in the 14 and above women’s age group). What a nice surprise!

I liked this course and running in the town I have been visiting since I was a child. I saw this was the third annual race and hope to run it again!

After the awards, we picked up some donuts in town, then dad and I rode our bikes back (mom took the donuts in the car, ha). I’m grateful my dad rode with me and waited around for over an hour and a half for all this, and that my mom came out and spectated, too! I bet I wouldn’t have finished at the time I did if “no one was watching”! Ha ha ha.

Training Week 402

By , July 2, 2017 8:45 pm

Highlight of the Week: Riding with Dad!

Monday | June 26, 2017: 1,008 yd swim + 4 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: FitNation, Time: 20:59, Pace: 2:05 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 66°/66°, Time: 42:34, Pace: 10:38 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Strength: plyo box, kettlebells, & boxing, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, just getting a bit tired

Tuesday | June 27, 2017: rest
Wednesday | June 28, 2017: 7 m run
Loc: VP Woods loop, Temp: 60°/63°, Time: 1:17:10, Pace: 11:01 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Thursday | June 29, 2017: 4 m run (3.2 w/Garett, incl. 2 tempo)
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 81°/78°, Time: 37:07, Pace: 9:16 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good, hot face
Friday | June 30, 2017: teaching strength class + 800 m swim (w/Joanne) + 3 m run
Strength: plyo box, kettlebells, & boxing, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Grayslake Pool, Outdoor Temp: 66°, Time: 19:10, Pace: 2:02 min/100 m, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 76°/76°, Time: 32:45, Pace: 10:55, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, just sweaty

Saturday | July 1, 2017: 3.63 ride (w/Dad) + Miles on the Mississippi 5K + 3.49 ride (w/Dad)
Loc: to downtown Guttenberg, Temp: 62°, Time: 18:10, Pace: 12.0 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Guttenberg, Temp: 65°, Time: 24:41, Pace: 8:14 avg, Difficulty: mostly easy, Felt: mostly good!
Loc: to Esmann Island, Temp: 65°, Time: 18:36, Pace: 11.3 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Sunday | July 2, 2017: 3 m run (last 1.15 w/Dad) + 13 m ride (w/Dad, incl. 2 hill repeats)
Loc: Esmann Island, Temp: 60°/62°, Time: 34:00, Pace: 11:19 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Guttenberg, Temp: 62°/70°, Time: 1:12:32, Pace: 10.8 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good


  • I seem to be a bit of a lazy swimmer and forget to kick my legs much when I swim. I remembered to Monday and could tell I was going faster (and that my heart rate was going up).
  • I happened to pull in to the forest preserve parking lot at the exact same time as my friend Garett on Thursday night. Garett runs 20:00 min 5Ks. Garett is fast. Garett wanted to run with me. I am counting that as a tempo run. Ha! We had a fun conversation (surprisingly I could still talk and run – sub 9:00s are fast for me now!).
  • My Chocoholic 5K 2nd place AG pin came in the mail this week!
  • The start of my Friday run was great – I saw a cyclist wearing the 2015 RAGBRAI shirt and a driver gave me a thumbs up! Then in the second half, a driver gave me NO space on the quiet country road I was on and I basically had to run in the ditch. They were driving down the middle of the road, then came right next to me. Um… GFY.
  • I ended up doing a 5K in Guttenberg, IA on Saturday! Which means… I will have something to write about later this week. Ha ha.
  • My dad and I rode our bikes to the race and back on Saturday. And on Sunday, we rode up a big hill in town (300′) twice to get some RAGBRAI hill training in. I had to go in to my lowest gears, but felt fine, so I hope the RAGBRAI hills aren’t much steeper than that one (Dad didn’t think they were).
  • Monthly recap time! In June I ran 117 miles (24 runs), cycled 119.2 miles (5 outdoor rides) and swam 7,497 yards (7 swims). My coldest run was 51°F and my warmest was 89°F. I taught 9 strength classes, and 3 fitness boxing classes.

Link to Training Week 401

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