Category: Running + Training

Training Week 306

By , August 30, 2015 6:45 pm

Highlight of the Week: Checking out Devil’s Lake State Park with Steven, Rachel and Kevin!


Monday | August 24, 2015: teaching strength class + 2 m run
Strength: soft balls, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 62°/61°, Time: 18:11, Pace: 9:04 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but tired and thirsty

Tuesday | August 25, 2015: rest (migraine)
Wednesday | August 26, 2015: 4 m run + 6 m run (incl. 6×400)
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 66°/65°, Time: 38:15, Pace: 9:33 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 64°/61°, Time: 55:24, Pace: 9:14 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but should have stopped at 4 repeats

Thursday | August 27, 2015: 10 m ride + 10 m run
Loc: Millennium Trail + hood, Temp: 65°/68°, Time: 43:42, Pace: 13.7 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 69°/68°, Time: 1:42:03, Pace: 10:12 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: spent

Friday | August 28, 2015: teaching strength class + 8.5 m run
Strength: soft balls, Difficulty: medium, Felt: okay
Loc: Des Plaines River Trail, Temp: 70°/72°, Time: 1:29:28, Pace: 10:31, Difficulty: easy, Felt: better than Thursday!

Saturday | August 29, 2015: 5.8 m run (w/Rachel) + 5.65 m hike (w/Rachel & Steven)
Loc: Devil’s Lake State Park, Temp: 60°, Time: 1:13:50, Pace: 12:45 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: tired
Loc: Devil’s Lake State Park, Temp: 60°, Time: 2:54:22, Difficulty: medium, Felt: decent

Sunday | August 30, 2015: 3.85 m hike (w/Rachel & Kevin)
Loc: Devil’s Lake State Park, Temp: 64°, Time: 1:45:47, Difficulty: medium/easy, Felt: good


  • I had planned a bit longer run on Monday, but I got this strange aura that spread across my eyes during the day and had to take a nap after work (before teaching) to try to get rid of it, so… no long run. Luckily, it went away! But it turned in to a migraine early Tuesday am. Grrrr.
  • I’ve been so lazy with riding my bike since RAGBRAI. I still ride once a week, and get about 10 miles in, but I’ve totally prioritized running over riding. I no longer ride to train, but to cross train. I still really enjoy it and hope I make some time to do one or two more long rides before it’s too cold to ride outside!
  • My legs were DEAD this week. It’s likely from two 50 mile running weeks in a row, then a leg intensive strength class on Monday. Needless to say… my runs and hikes were challenging this week!
  • But, hiking! And running! At Devil’s Lake State Park! We camped there this weekend and had a great time. What a beautiful place to visit! And I actually got to RUN with someone – Rachel! I hadn’t run with another runner since we did the Full Moon 5K together! Guess that’s what happens when your running partner moves and you’re kind of a loner runner as it is…

Link to Training Week 305

Training Week 305

By , August 23, 2015 10:11 pm

Highlight of the Week: Two runs accompanied by family on their bikes!


Monday | August 17, 2015: 5 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 81°/84°, Time: 10:42, Pace: 53:31 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: hot, but good
Strength: body bars and boxing bags, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | August 18, 2015: 5.5 m run (incl. 10×1:00) + 4.1 m run
Loc: Round Lake, Temp: 76°/76°, Time: 54:21, Pace: 9:53 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: pissy at work but intervals helped
Loc: to Gerber, Temp: 76°/75°, Time: 42:15, Pace: 10:19 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Wednesday | August 19, 2015: rest
Thursday | August 20, 2015: 8 m run
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 61°/60°, Time: 1:20:43, Pace: 10:05 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Friday | August 21, 2015: teaching strength class + 14.4 m run + 6.6 ride
Strength: body bars and boxing bags, Difficulty: easy (mostly observing), Felt: okay
Loc: Around Round Lake, Temp: 75°/80°, Time: 2:35:36, Pace: 10:48, Difficulty: easy, Felt: really good
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 80°, Time: 32:17, Pace: 12.3 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: so hungry

Saturday | August 22, 2015: 3 m run (2 w/Dad & Will)
Loc: Guttenberg, Temp: 78°/79°, Time: 30:31, Pace: 10:09 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay (bathroom emergency!)
Sunday | August 23, 2015: 10.6 m run (w/Dad on bike)
Loc: Guttenberg, Temp: 63°/60°, Time: 1:57:38, Pace: 11:06 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good


  • The last two Tuesdays I’ve been lucky enough to run errands… literally. Ha ha. Last week, I ran to the studio to train a personal client, and this week, I ran to the auto repair shop to pick up my car. It feels so purposeful to actually run somewhere to take care of something. And people’s reactions to it can be amusing. I was hoping to run another errand tomorrow, but it sounds like it won’t work out. Bummer!
  • The sample cool weather this week has me excited for fall running! Not that I don’t get excited about running now, but not being completely drenched in sweat sounds p-r-e-t-t-y amazing!
  • I feel so grateful that my family members are willing to ride their bike with me while I run – it’s a fantastic time to connect without (m)*any distractions. And I feel so grateful, in general, that they support that I workout at all, and don’t mind if I take a bit of time to do it when I am visiting them. It means a lot to me.

Link to Training Week 304

*There was that cute cat we stopped to pet today, but that was a welcome distraction.



By , August 20, 2015 7:24 am

60°F but feels like 58°F with winds? Overcast and gloomy?!


Feels like fall!



I could run in this all day.

(But not really – I had to get home and take a shower before the installers came to put in a new water heater. Ha ha, I could hear them banging on the old water heater to remove it when I finished my shower… good timing?!)

Training Week 304

By , August 16, 2015 12:21 pm

Highlight of the Week: Seeing an amazing rainbow on Monday’s run!


Monday | August 10, 2015: 8 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: Millennium Trail to Nippersink FP, Temp: 71°/73°, Time: 1:20:15 Pace: 10:02 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Strength: Body bars and boxing bags, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good

Tuesday | August 11, 2015: 7.2 m run + 2.9 m run
Loc: to Efit, Temp: 74°/73°, Time: 1:14:08, Pace: 10:18 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: tired
Loc: from Efit, Temp: 72°/72°, Time: 29:39, Pace: 10:13 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: better

Wednesday | August 12, 2015: rest
Thursday | August 13, 2015: 6 m run
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 65°/64°, Time: 1:02:48, Pace: 10:28 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Friday | August 14, 2015: teaching strength class + 20 m run
Strength: Body bars and boxing bags, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Round Lake/Grant Woods FP, Temp: 71°/77°, Time: 3:50:45, Pace: 11:32, Difficulty: easy/hard, Felt: steady (first 13)/soaked (last 7)

Saturday | August 15, 2015: 11 m ride
Loc: Round Lake, Temp: 81°/81°, Time: 49:02, Pace: 13.5 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: hot, but good
Sunday | August 16, 2015: 8 m run (virtual w/Kelly, incl. 2×800, 4×400, 1×800) + OWS
Loc: hood, Temp: 71°/71°, Time: 1:23:57, Pace: 10:29 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good!
Loc: Grays Lake, Temp (air): 75°/79°, Time: 22:00, Pace: 2:31 m/100 yd (est), Difficulty: easy, Felt: refreshing


  • My running pace typically gets much higher in the summer, and it hasn’t increased as much this year, but I’ve noticed I’m taking more pauses and walk breaks toward the ends of my runs than I normally do. Which means I am running too fast. So I slowed down this week, and ran much more consistently. I’d rather have that than a lower average pace (with a crazy huge time gap between elapsed and moving time)!
  • We’ve had a streak of oppressive, muggy days here. It was so bad during my long run that all the sweat from my legs dripped in to my socks, so that I was running with slippery bath water toes… which really hurts my Morton’s toe. Wah wah wah, I know. Ha. I think I will start carrying another pair of socks in my pack to see if switching them out helps at all. Can’t wait to see how the pedicure technician reacts to my toes on Tuesday!
  • The good thing about my long run is that I ran through some neighborhoods that I hadn’t before (to get to a forest preserve). I have a few long run routes I can take from my house that I really like, but I was just looking for something different, so that was a nice change.
  • This week someone commented on how me eating a burrito wasn’t healthy. I said “I’m going to run 12 miles today, I think I’m fine” (full disclosure – I only ended up with 10 because I got a much appreciated ride back on my run commute, but whatever). Sigh. Yeah, I shouldn’t eat a burrito every day (I don’t). I should lose weight (eh). But… people should also keep their mouth shut about what I eat! How about that?! Ha. Don’t worry, it didn’t bother me. I mostly thought it was funny.

Link to Training Week 303

Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon Relay Race Report (2015)

By , August 10, 2015 6:07 am

Sunday was my fourth year participating in the Iron Girl* sprint distance triathlon relay, my third time doing it as an Efit team, and my second time being on a team with Judy.


The two Efit teams – Efit Sophisticates and Efit Exquisites


Me and Judy

It was my first time being on a two-person relay time, and my first time time trying the swim portion of the event! Actually, it was my first time ever swimming in a “competitive” event (since middle school, anyway – ha!).

Sigh. When I told people I was doing a triathlon relay, and that I was swimming and running, so many people immediately asked why I wasn’t doing the whole thing. Told me they thought I should do the whole thing. Told me that I would regret not doing the whole thing. Told me they’d been thinking about it, and decided I should do a triathlon, on my own. (Then there was the very unique reaction my worrywart mother had, where she thought I would get a leg cramp and drown…)

Sigh again. I like doing these as a RELAY team. I do not have the interest now, in the logistics of doing a triathlon on my own. I just don’t. Could I do one? Yes, I could. Would I enjoy it? Probably not. That is what I determined during my swim Sunday morning.

So back to the race. It was a foggy day, with temps in the mid/high 60s but with high humidity. The water was at 79.5° and not wetsuit legal (although, Iron Girl did allow a wetsuit wave, so you could use it, you just couldn’t qualify for age group placements).

The water felt great to be in, and was smooth. It made me want to spend the day playing around in it, ha ha.

The race started at 7:00, and the relayers were in the 7:45 wave, with the 20-29 year olds. I felt excited to try the swim, and did not want to go out too fast and get out of breath, like I tend to in the pool.


I followed my friends’ advice to not be in the middle of the pack, and to stay to the side. I followed the announcer’s advice, for the less experienced swimmers to stay to the right (that is where the help was on the swim course – the bouys were to the left).


I felt good when I went out. I planned to do freestyle stroke for as long as possible, and use breaststroke to catch my breath, as I had practiced. But as soon as I did my first breaststroke break, I stayed in that “rest” mode way longer than I intended, and ended up doing mostly breaststroke, which I enjoy, but come on, we know freestyle is way faster! Ha ha.

I had a lot of oddly negative self talk during the swim, which is not like me, AT ALL. Just stuff like “you’re not so good at this,” and so on. Which, duh, yeah, why would I be a very “good” swimmer? It’s not really something I want to be – I want to swim for leisure and cross training. Why I’d like to have better form, I don’t really have a desire to be good at swimming.

On person bumped in to me during the swim, but apologized (I thought that was nice). Other than that, there wasn’t a ton of contact. When I saw two swimmers were about to collide, I would get out of their way. I kind of enjoyed the swim, but, I just didn’t DIG it. I didn’t immensely enjoy it, like I do with biking and running. And I know most people say that the swim is the least enjoyable part of the triathlon, but here’s the thing – if I am going to be mediocre at the athletic events I do, I want to ENJOY them. I do not see the point of doing a triathlon “because I can” when I don’t enjoy the first event. I can just do a duathlon. Or not. (<— probably not)

So, yeah. My goal was to finish the half mile swim in between 15 and 20 minutes, and my official time was 17:58.

My plan after the swim was to sprint like hell to Judy so she could get on her bike as fast as possible.

150809IronGirl-6 150809IronGirl-7

Success! Transition 1 was 00:46 seconds!


Gah, I was so incredibly out of breath from the rush of sprinting in. It took me awhile to calm down… and I am not sure I ever really did. I dried off as well as I could and changed in to my running clothes as quickly as possible. Judy was expecting the 12 mile ride to take her 35 minutes.

The 35 minutes went fast and I was getting pumped up, watching for Judy!


She came in at 39:25 (she later told me she felt great for the first half but low on energy for the second half),


and we had another awesome transition – transition 2 in 00:44.


I took off fast! I was hoping to get a 5K time between 24 and 25 minutes.


Right away, I did NOT like the feeling of water coming down from my wet hair. Or… was that the nasty humidity, affecting me THAT soon?! Either way, yuck. I know now I don’t like running with wet hair.


150809IronGirl-14 150809IronGirl-15

I could tell my timing chip was a bit loose and planned to adjust it later. Oops – guess I could have used more time in T2, for precision.

I focused on running the tangents as well as possible with passing so many people (because so many had started before me and were doing the full triathlon and had less energy than I did after resting after the swim). But I really messed up the tangents (and started my watch too early) and ended up running 3.3 miles, which screwed with my time.

Although… I would not be surprised if the course was not accurate. The bike course seems to be short. And Iron Girl has a poor 5K course design. I didn’t run the 5K portion in 2014, but people were telling me how part of it was an out and back on gravel and loose rocks (when I ran it in 2013 and previously, it was all paved). When I was talking to Dawn (an Efit friend on another team) about it on Saturday, she said she looked at the map and they took the gravel part out. Well, the map said that, but they seemed to use the 2014 map on race day, which are both linked to on their website… on the same page (the 2015 one under “participant guide” and the 2014 one under “triathlon course map”). They also added a 5K event this year, and that was supposed to stay off the gravel – I hope they at least got to, because an out and back on a narrow loose gravel path during a 5K is DANGEROUS. It slowed me WAY down and made me hella frustrated.  GRRRRRRRRR. I sent an inquiry to Iron Girl about this, because I don’t want to continue doing this race if it’s like that. It’s dumb. I can find other relays to do that don’t have part of the 5K course on BS gravel. I train on crushed limestone so I can go faster on PAVED 5K courses. This isn’t a “trail” race. /rant over

Back to the run. I had to pull over on the gravel part to re-adjust the timing chip (derr, Kim, pay attention next time!) and I stopped on the way out of that section to get a drink of water. I dislike an out and back course on a 5K, but was nice on Sunday because I saw my friend Julie (whom I didn’t know was doing the race) and got to give Dawn a high-five! (Kelly was also there too, and we got to chat a bit!)

I tried to keep my pace consistent to the end, and felt good enough, but I finished way over my goal in 26:28! Eek!


Judy ran me in for the finish and really pushed me!!!



Janky supination pic for ya

Our final time was 1:25:18, which was first in the two-person relay division! Woot woot!


The other Efit team finished shortly after us, in 1:35:ish! Everyone on the team did really well!

Last year when we did this, we had four teams and at least one person from our studio doing it solo… it was much quieter this year with two teams, which was nice. It was easier to stay together, and cheer each other on! (Not that more teams are BAD, this was just logistically easier.)

After we all finished, we got some of the post race food (bagels, fruit, burritos, coffee, chocolate milk). In past years I always thought you had to pay for the post-race food, but you didn’t this year. I wonder if I have been wrong all this time (probably)! It was nice to get some food right after. I wasn’t sure how to fuel for the two events, and did a decent job, but was hungry when we finished.

After that (well, and unsuccessfully trying to find our relay team placings anywhere onsite), we got the bikes out of transitions and headed out.

I know I complained a lot in this post, but I DO enjoy doing these sorts of events as a team, and was very happy to have Judy as a teammate. Iron Girl is logistically easy for me (location, familiarity, etc.). The atmosphere is great, and they are working at figuring some things out (like parking), and we really enjoyed the expo.


But I think I am getting close to being over doing this race each year. The bike and run course are meh, and, dang, it’s SO expensive. At least I really like the shirt this year!


So, we’ll see what I end up doing next year. I’d really like to do a half iron man relay again, with my brother-in-laws, and being on an Efit team for a smaller event would be cool, too!

(Thanks to Steven for all of the pictures and to Judy’s husband, Mike, for spectating! So nice to have our guys there!)

*The first time I participated, it was actually Danskin, still, but, eh, details.

Training Week 303

By , August 9, 2015 9:26 pm

Highlight of the Week: Competing in the Iron Girl relay triathlon with my Efit friends!


Monday | August 3, 2015: 5 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 75°/76°, Time: 49:38, Pace: 9:55 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: too hot
Strength: Body bars and boxing bags, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | August 4, 2015: 4 m run
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 80°/82°, Time: 36:40, Pace: 9:10 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, thirsty
Wednesday | August 5, 2015: 12 m run
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 74°/70°, Time: 2:05:11, Pace: 10:26 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Thursday | August 6, 2015: 8 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 74°/74°, Time: 1:20:57, Pace: 10:07 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: meh, pissy about work
Strength: Kettlbells & bench, Difficulty: easy, Felt: tired

Friday | August 7, 2015: teaching strength class + 10 m ride + open water swim (w/Jen & Michele)
Strength: Body bars and boxing bags, Difficulty: easy, Felt: tired
Loc: hood, Temp: 73°/76°, Time: 42:52, Pace: 14.0 mph, Difficulty: easy, Felt: annoyed by the wind (what’s new? ha ha)
Loc: Grays Lake, Difficulty: medium, Felt: like I couldn’t breathe well

Saturday | August 8, 2015: 8 m run (first 5 virtual w/ Kelly)
Loc: Millennium Trail to Nippersink FP, Temp: 66°/69°, Time: 1:25:45, Pace: 10:43 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: wrecked, better at the end

Sunday | August 9, 2015: Swim Leg Iron Girl (1/2 mile) + Run Leg Iron Girl (5K)
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp (water): 79.5°, Time: 17:58, Pace: 1:58/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: RecPlex, Temp: 65°/67°, Time: 26:28, Pace: 8:05 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good, but somewhat frustrated


  • Last Sunday, a tornado went through the outdoor pool where I swim laps! I was worried that meant the pool would be closed for some time, but they announced its reopening on Wednesday, and that they are extending lap swim (previously closing August 11) until August 28! Yay!
  • I messed up my schedule this week and didn’t get a full rest day. BAD IDEA! I will not be doing that on purpose any time soon. I was especially tired by the end of the week. Teaching an extra strength class probably didn’t help. Derrr.
  • Wearing shoes around the house for a day helped my PF! Yay! I am going to keep doing that – even though it feels odd to wear sneakers indoors.
  • My neighbor, Jen, let me try out her wet suit on Friday to see if I’d like to use it for Sunday’s race. While I LOVED how buoyant it made me feel, I couldn’t handle how tight it was on my chest. I am not sure if that’s something I would have gotten used to with more practice, or if it was a bit too short. But it didn’t feel good. I didn’t think the race would be wetsuit legal anyway (it wasn’t), but it was nice to try a wetsuit out!
  • I’ve been lazy, running later in the day, when the temps are higher but the humidity is lower. On Saturday, I ran earlier, when the humidity was almost 100%, and it definitely felt harder! Ha ha, I was surprised – I figured the cooler temps would have helped somewhat, but nope! The humidity seems to get to me more than the heat this summer (of course, the hottest I tend to run outside is in the mid 80s).
  • Kelly and I have been running “virtual” miles together (on the phone while we run) and it really feels like I am running with her – even the part where I tend to keep the pace up because I am running with someone. I’m really happy we’re able to do that. I really miss her.
  • I participated in the Iron Girl Pleasant Prairie relay today! More on that later this week!

Link to Training Week 302

Random Thoughts Thursday 75

By , August 6, 2015 6:23 am
  • When I was seeing Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Sunday night, the screen went blank (and of course, at the start of the movie’s climax!). Right away, I figured it had something to do with the weather – it had been nasty windy and hot all day, and my weather app kept telling me storms were coming. But I checked the app in the theater and it wouldn’t load. Huh. Then everyone’s emergency warnings started going off on their phones for a tornado warning! Yikes! We finished the movie (I was a bit distracted) then went outside and saw some ominous clouds and a crazy lightening show. Turns out an EF-1 tornado did go by – and according to the path of travel map, it started about two and a half miles east of my house. Nuts! I know a ton of people who live in the path of travel and I’m happy no one was hurt! (And after that, very happy my car was okay outside during the movie – I had just picked it up from the shop for body work the day before.) I wonder if this is the closest I’ve been to a tornado now, or if that one in 2005 was closer.


  • My summer flip flop wearing habits have caught up with me, and I have a bit of tenderness in my left heal upon waking up or after sitting down for awhile. Ahh, plantar fasciitis. I am not interested in dealing with that (I had it in opposite feet two summers in a row), so I’ve been wearing my boot at night and sneakers more often. Really, I should wear sneakers around the house, too. Maybe the ones I bought myself for my birthday? So preeeeeeeety.


  • Steven got me a Therapik for my birthday.  You place it over a bug bite, and a bulb inside heats up and neutralizes the bug venom, and makes the bite itch and swell less. Sounds completely hokey but I have been using it since he got it for me and it’s really making the bites NOT itch. AMAZING!!! And really, the heat on your skin provides enough relief from the itching, I don’t care how it works, ha ha.


  • Don’t worry, my sole gift wasn’t the bug bite zapper, ha ha! Steven also got me a fance new multisport watch that seems to do a million different things!


Ha ha, I only wore one watch that day.

150804Garmin920XTweatherwarning 150804Garmin920XTsnakegame

  • My mom got a smart phone this weekend. Yay! I’m super excited about this. Her dumb phone barely allowed her to receive texts, and the screen was so tiny she could barely see the photos we’d send her. Do your parents have smart phones? Are they on social media? I’ve heard a few people say that their parents shouldn’t have smart phones or be on social media, but I’ve always wanted mine to be – it’s easier to stay connected that way!
  • Ha ha, I had ALL the posts last week, and hardly any this week. Seems I have turned in to a mostly “event” blog for now – I mostly write when I do an event (and my training posts). That’s okay. I keep hoping the inspiration to write about thoughts/ideas will come back, but it hasn’t.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 74

Training Week 302

By , August 2, 2015 5:17 pm

Highlight of the Week: Racing in Madison with Rachel!


Monday | July 27, 2015: teaching strength class
Strength: Arms of Summer workout, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good
Tuesday | July 28, 2015: 10 m run
Loc: Millennium Trail / Nippersink FP, Temp: 81°/80°, Time: 1:41:11, Pace: 10:07 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: good
Wednesday | July 29, 2015: 3 m run
Loc: Millennium Trail, Temp: 82°/82°, Time: 27:48, Pace: 9:15 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good but thirsty (didn’t bring water)
Thursday | July 30, 2015: 5 m run + Full Moon 5K (w/Rachel)
Loc: hood, Temp: 77°/82°, Time: 48:52, Pace: 9:46 avg, Difficulty: hard, Felt: too hot / weak (hungry?)
Loc: Madison, Temp: 80°/76°, Time: 29:22, Pace: 9:27 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but thirsty!

Friday | July 31, 2015: teaching strength class + 1000 meter swim + 4 m run (incl. 10×1:00)
Strength: Arms of Summer Workout, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, got a second wind
Loc: Grayslake Pool, Time: 24:35, Pace: 2:28/100 m, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fluid, strong
Loc: hood, Temp: 84°/84°, Time: 9:42, Pace: 38:47 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: hot/pushed around by the wind
Saturday | August 1, 2015: rest!!!
Sunday | August 2, 2015: 16 m run (miles 2-7 virtual w/Kelly) + 10 m ride
Loc: around town, Temp: 75°, Time: 2:44:33, Pace: 10:17 avg, Difficulty: mostly easy, Felt: great, until last two miles (typical)
Loc: hood, Temp: 79°/82°, Time: 41:53, Pace: 14.3 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good but SO ANNOYED by the wind


  • Being on the go so much last week seemed to catch up with me this week! On Monday I slept in instead of running and took a nap after work before teaching! (Okay, that’s not too uncommon…)
  • I did something CRAZY on my Tuesday run. I ran by a deer and DIDN’T stop to take a photo. I know. Ca-razy!!!. I have this idea to do a little more running and less photo taking… we’ll see how that goes! It’s crazy when I look at my overall time vs moving time on some of my runs, eek! Get moving, Kim!
  • I am not signed up for any races past Labor Day! Woot woot, free schedule… for now!
  • Ha, so last week, when I got so much sun on RAGBRAI, my weirdo inner elbow runner tan lines went away. And all it took was three runs for it to come back. Darn! The dermatologist actually told me I have psoriasis there, so maybe I should get that looked at – it’s really itchy in the winter.


  • July recap time! I ran 178.3 miles, and cycled 187.7 – probably the first time ever I’ve cycled more than I’ve run in a month! I taught nine strength classes and swam laps three times! I hope I can keep swimming in August, but outdoor lap swim closes in early August at the local pool, so I will have to find a new place or do some open water swimming.

Link to Training Week 301

Full Moon 5K Race Report (2015)

By , August 1, 2015 12:27 pm

Thursday marked my third year in a row running the Full Moon 5K with Rachel in Madison… and third year in a row wearing the same Grumpy Cat shirts*!


Heh, also, third year in a row not caring about pace at all, and just running it for fun.

The date of this race changes each year – I’m assuming to be closer to the actual full moon? In 2013, it was on Thursday, July 25. Last year, it was on Wednesday, August 6. This year, it was back to Thursday, on July 30. And was very close to the full moon – and a special full moon – a blue moon**!


My awesome almost full moon picture, ha ha.

This was the first year that, running the race on a Thursday, I had to teach the Friday 5:00 am fitness class the next morning (back in Grayslake!). I would have asked someone else to teach it if I hadn’t already had a sub the week before, and if two of the four trainers weren’t out of town. Eek! It was funny to spend the same amount of time driving to Madison and back, that we were actually there, and not be able to spend the night at Rachel’s this time, but I still really wanted to do the race. It’s a lot of fun! (And I knew I could take a nap after teaching class on Friday, luckily!).

The race uses a shelter at Ollin Park for packet pickup and finish, and you walk about half a mile from there to get to the race start on the south side of Monona Bay. Then you run along the bay and part of Monona Lake and back to Ollin Park. There is a guy dressed up as a werewolf, and if you beat him, you get something… but this race is pretty competitive, so I have never even looked up to see what that “something” is!


View of the capitol from Ollin Park

It was a GORGEOUS night in Madison – in the high 70s with about 50% humidity and so clear! There was a nice breeze for the first mile or two of the race… then it felt pretty stuffy at the end.


With Rachel’s pub run friend’s Allie and Carley before race start

We didn’t have any sort of time goal, but when we ran our first mile in 9:42, and our second in 9:34 (that was with a stop to drink water), I was thinking “well, we gotta go for negative splits, now!” Our last mile was 8:52 and the last tenth was at a 7:30 pace for a 29:22 finish time.

As soon as we finished, the sweat started pouring down. It’s so funny – you think it’s nice and cool out, and that you feel pretty good, then when you stop moving, your body is like “What was that?! Are we done now?!”

We hung out for a bit, chatting with Rachel’s pub run friends and Linda, then headed out to meet our husbands at Ian’s Pizza! Ha, on the drive up, I told Steven I was going to order the largest pizza possible, so we could have leftovers at home, and whoa, he did get a HUGE pizza! One slice was the size of my head!


Yes, that pizza has tater tots AND sliced potatoes on it

So, last year, we were a little bummed that the place we picked to hang out after had live music and we couldn’t hear each other talking (the music was good, but we wanted to chat). So this year, Rachel made sure that place didn’t have music if we wanted to go back, but also suggested Ian’s, which she knew I would jump at, because I love their pizza (and all their vegan options).

Then right when we got there, this HORRIBLE stand-up comedy was starting. Gawd, it was painful. And we could barely hear each other again. We were laughing about it though. Hey, it got us out of their quicker – we all had to work (in some capacity) the next day!

But it was WAY too short of a trip. We got to the race a bit early and Rachel and I got to rapid-fire try to catch up on each other’s lives, but it felt too rushed (just by the nature of the schedule, not anyone’s actions). And of course, after the race, we were like “A 5K just isn’t that much time to chat!” Ha. Luckily, Rachel and I (and our husbands!) have a two-day camping trip planned in August, so I know we’ll get to catch up at a relaxed pace, then!

*I wasn’t sure if Grumpy Cat was still relevant, but we did get a few compliments on the shirts this year!
**Which I had to look up exactly what it means, but it’s when you have two full moons in one month. It happens about every three years, hence the saying “once in a blue moon.”

RAGBRAI Day 5 2015 – Ride Report

By , July 29, 2015 5:07 am

My dad never intended to ride RAGBRAI with me in 2014. I actually signed up to ride it with my snister’s husband, Will, but after we signed up, he found out he was going to be in a wedding that same day. We contemplated him trying to make both work for awhile (ha ha) then finally succumbed to reality – that no make sense. Luckily though, you can transfer your registration, so Dad took Will’s spot (and then Dad was hooked on RAGBRAI, HOOKED!!! <— slight sarcasm).

So this year, Will was really hoping he could ride, and was just as excited as me to see the course went through Cedar Falls (the town he went to college in, and where he and my sister lived for awhile). He decided to do Day 5, from Cedar Falls to Hiawatha. Later, when his sister, Julie, found out he was riding a day of RAGBRAI, she decided to sign up too. Schweet! The more, the merrier! (Plus, Will’s siblings are a lot of fun and I was looking forward to spending more time with Julie!)

We started at my dad’s mom’s house in Cedar Falls just before 8:00 am and cycled a few miles and joined up with the rest of the riders. It was 60°F with no cloud coverage when we started.


It seems like the starting points of the ride tend to be somewhat crowded, which is fine, because everyone communicates about what they are doing. I gave Will and Julie a little bit of a heads up about the different ways that riders signal what they are doing, and the warnings they give one another, but I mostly knew they’d figure it out from hearing/seeing it!


Rider signaling to her left that she is going to move to that spot


Dad and I noticed though, that Thursday’s ride seemed to be much more crowded, in general, than Wednesday’s. Not in a bad way, just many more riders out. Or maybe, we started at the same time as more people? Either way, there was always someone else on the road, near us!

We had seven pass-through towns on Thursday.


Image from here

I was excited to go through the first one, Hudson, because my uncle owns a bar there, and I thought maybe we’d see him! My dad actually saw my aunt there, and went over to say hi. Which apparently, I got a photo of, ha ha:


Many of the pass-through towns seem to have themes. On Wednesday, one town’s theme was about beavers, because they are along beaver highway (or something) and along a river with beaver in the name. Hence the beaver picture from Wednesday.

Hudson had a pirate theme – pirates are their high school’s logo. Right away when we got in to town, there was a place you could make a $1 donation and get a temporary pirate tattoo. Why not, right?

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You can’t quite make it out in the photo, but it says in small print on the sign that the money is for the AMVETS. It was nice to be supporting a local group. You hear a lot about the money that RAGBRAI brings to these small towns, but even riding on the Wednesday, I could see signs for vendors that I saw last year (and since it’s new towns each year, you wouldn’t think there’d be repeat vendors). And on Thursday, we saw many of the same vendors that we did on Wednesday. Obviously, people want to come in and make money off of this event. And it’s nice to have lots of options in these towns (for example, a group called “Carbo Hut” is usually in the midway pass-through town and is the only vendor I’ve seen with fake meats options – I got something from them both days), but… I hope these bigger companies that come in for the event don’t completely overshadow the local ones.


Hudson selfie

So, before the ride, I didn’t pay attention to the distance between stops. When we were leaving Hudson though, I heard someone say it was 20 miles to the next stop. Um… what?! I confirmed this with someone who was riding with the course map visible on his bike – “Yep! 19.9 miles!” Eek, that was a bit long for me. Even with stops in between, ha ha.

On Wednesday, I passed by a free post card booth too quickly to stop and send one. When I saw signs for it the next day, after the Hudson stop, I pulled over to send a postcard to Luca. And he actually already received it!



The postcard station was also next to a water and banana station. It’s so great that people set these stops up to support the riders!

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And actually, all the pass-through towns have water stations set up so you can get free water (usually by the fire station). You can also buy bottled, too. I did a mix of both.


The cell network was overloaded and I could no longer receive or send texts. Which was a bummer because I had enjoyed sending updates to a few people (especially Steven, since he couldn’t come) the day before as dad and I rode. I was luckily able to see an old message that Christina and Mom were near LaPorte City, so I called her to let her know we’d be there awhile.

Yay, they found us!

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By the time we got to LaPorte City, it was near midday and I was SUPER hungry. I was still eating and drinking on the ride, but man, was my body oh so confused when I was in Iowa last week – the entire five days. I’d have moments each day where I felt like I was starving. So odd. (Or not really – my schedule was all off and I was burning a ton of calories.)

I got a sandwich called a buca – which was a hollowed out end of a long bread bun stuffed with whatever you wanted – I got peanut butter and a banana. Not truly what I was craving, but I needed the calories! And I liked how easy it was to hold.


Dad and Will got breakfast pizza and Julie got a sandwich, fruit and cookies (a package lunch from a local church).

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This is how we’d stack our bikes when we stopped – Dad had a kickstand, which he’d put down, then we’d lean all our bikes on his. Thanks, Dad!

We hung out with Mom and Christina for a bit then faced the reality that we better get back on our bikes!

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We decided we’d see them again in Vinton – two stops away. And this is where I have to consult the GoPro pics to see what we did between LaPorte City and Vinton (beyond stop in Mt Auburn). I kind of forgot how people assume you are making a video when you wear a GoPro. Someone rode by me and said “Hi! Am I in your video?!” and waved. Ha. Nah, you aren’t. And it didn’t get a photo of you either.

I had it set to take a photo every minute. Which is A LOT of photos to go through, but I may set it for every 30 seconds next time. There are a few things I am wishing it would have taken photos of, like the time a plane flew really low over all the cyclists, or the funny fake crocodile and bike that someone put in a marshy area we passed.

Anyway, what did the GoPro say I did? Got my pickle!

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And rode a bit with everyone:

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We’d tend to ride in pairs throughout the day, me usually with Dad, and Will and Julie together, but sometimes, we’d end up switching it around. And we’d almost always get separated a bit, and simply pull off for awhile to wait for the rest of the crew.

Dad and I were both feeling a bit meh going in to Mt Auburn. I started to take my feet out of my shoes and ride with my feet (my left, more than my right) on top of my shoes, which actually really helped. And I’d put my hands on the top of the handlebar, closest to me, rather than further away, which helped with shoulder soreness.

But I have to say, I was really looking forward to getting to Vinton and having a bit longer of a stop!


Right away we stacked our bikes and split up to look for food. I got in line at the Carbo Hut for a bowl of rice, veggies and tofu. Christina found me waiting in line and gave me a Vitamin Water XXX! AHH! That was EXACTLY what I was craving! Love my snis.

I had just eaten that PB&B buca and pickle, but again, my stomach was asking me for real food. The dish was too hot (temperature not spiciness level), but hit the spot!

We hung out in the shade a bit, and watched people go over by our stack of bikes, to admire Will’s. Hee hee, he does have a really schweet bike!


A friend of Mom’s lives in Vinton and very kindly offered for us to come over and sit in her AC and use a real toilet, but I knew if I did that, I would never want to leave! We tried not to stand around too much (although I must have waited 15 minutes in the hot sun to get my food), but I bet we were there for 30-45 minutes.


After Vinton we had two more pass-through towns. I was starting to rally back and feel really energetic and chatty. But I definitely did say, in Shellsburg, that I would rather ride my bike through than get off and walk! Luckily, we were able to do just that, in Palo, our last pass-through town!

And after that, we were on our way to Hiawatha, which I had never been to before. I kind of enjoyed the ride more on Wednesday, and last year, knowing the town I was going to – that made it exciting, to watch out for when I would see familiar streets. But it was definitely still fun to FINALLY BE DONE! Even thought I felt really good at the end, I was spent!

But we still had to find Mom and Christina. And figure out where the thing actually ended. Ha ha, after we passed under the “Welcome to Hiawatha” banner, we still rode a mile or two to get to all the finish booths (where I wanted to buy an official RAGBRAI pin). And somehow we lost Dad. Oops. But we found him!



We called Mom and Christina to ask them to please try to get a little closer to the finish to pick us up. We finished with over 70 miles ridden (76 miles in 6:25, much longer elapsed time but don’t have the data) and riding a few more to get to the car seemed ludicrous. Ha ha!

It was 80°F when we finished around 4:00 pm and like I said, I was spent! We all rode back in my dad’s truck, and I was half out of it/half goofy.

When we got back to Cedar Falls, we made sure to take photos of our ombre tan lines:


And to compare skin shades, ha ha:


We all decided we had fun and would like to do it again, but that we were definitely worn out. It was a lot hotter on Thursday, than Wednesday. Most headwind on the bike was actually appreciated, to keep us cooler.


I did tell Dad I think we should do the final day again next year! He said he’ll train more this time. To prepare for this, I rode my bike every week this year (sometimes twice) to get my butt used to sitting on the seat. What got to me during the ride was my left toes going numb and my shoulders getting tight. Maybe I should try some aero bars? Hmm… we shall see!

A few random comments:

  • I was so frustrated when my watch died a few miles from the finish. And when my phone wouldn’t work. And I felt stupid for letting technology frustrate me. Sigh. I am not out there to be connected to people I am not with… but it does help when my phone works (I couldn’t even make calls, at points).
  • We didn’t see anyone wearing a pie on their helmet like last year! Nor, did any of us stop for pie.
  • We saw a jersey similar to the one we wore last year.
  • We saw a few interesting bike set-ups – one guy on a unicycle Wednesday, many recumbents and tandems. And we saw quite a few kids cycling as well, some on tandems and some on their own bikes!

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  • Christina and I liked this photo because Will’s shadow looks like a turtle and Julie’s looks like a squirrel. Ha ha.


  • I actually burned my lip so bad that I woke up Friday am with painful Kylie Jenner lips. They finally stopped being sensitive yesterday. Ouch!

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