Category: Running + Training

It’s not just me!

By , October 21, 2017 12:35 pm

Last weekend I was driving on the two-lane highway I live off of AND I SAW ANOTHER RUNNER.


I am not the only fool who runs on that road?! It’s not just me?!

I was so excited. I wanted to pull over and run over to them and say “I run on this road too! Isn’t the shoulder horrible?! What’s your name? Where do you live?”

Ha. I obviously didn’t do that, since that would be freaky and weird. And I am not that crazy.

But! Today when I was running, I saw this person again, also on foot! I stopped and said hello, asked where she lives (close to me), and she mentioned what she was training for, with her sister (who also lives close to me). Then we said goodbye.

And immediately I thought “I should have asked her name!” “I should have asked if she ever wants company on her runs!” “I missed my opportunity!”

And then I kept running and thinking about it… I used to run with people a lot more than I do now. I had standing running dates a couple of times a week. I got out of bed early for run dates. I was a morning runner.

I get more sleep now. I run whenever I feel like it. And I don’t run as hard as I do with another person, that’s for damn sure.

I was still thinking about it when we passed each other a second time (!!!). I could ask her name now, I thought. Ask if she’s ever looking for company…

She passed and said “See ya next time!” And I responded with an enthusiastic “yeah!”

So… yeah. Maybe next time.

But it does feel good to know I am not the only crazy running on these roads.

Training Week 417

By , October 15, 2017 5:34 pm

Highlight of the Week: Starting to see the leaves change colors (<— so basic)!!!

Monday | October 9, 2017: 10.2 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: DPRT/Kilbourne Loop, Temp: 57°/68°, Time: 1:58:44, Pace: 11:39 avg, Difficulty: medium/hard, Felt: a little tired, a lot fried by the sun
Strength: body bars, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | October 10, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 57°/58°, Time: 30:45, Pace: 10:15 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Wednesday | October 11, 2017: rest
Thursday | October 12, 2017: 4.5 m run
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 58°/58°, Time: 50:12, Pace: 11:12 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine
Friday | October 13, 2017: teaching strength class + 504 yd swim + 3 m run
Strength: body bars, Difficulty: medium, Felt: fine, just sore in the shoulders right away!
Loc: FitNation, Time: 11:09, Pace: 2:13 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 63°/63°, Time: 31:36, Pace: 10:31, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Saturday | October 14, 2017: 4.5 m run (incl. 4×800)
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 62°/62°, Time: 47:20, Pace: 10:31 avg, Difficulty: easy-ish, Felt: good, body tired at first
Sunday | October 15, 2017: 10 m ride + 20 mins strength
Indoor Ride Time: 37:16, Pace: 16.1 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good


  • Gosh, one bad night of sleep Monday night and I felt off most of the week (and wanted to nap instead of work out most days, ha). I hope that doesn’t happen again!
  • Bobbi drove by where I was working out on Saturday and text me that she saw me and was waving to me from her car. That made me smile! I love that we live so close to her and her family and “run” in to each other.

Link to Training Week 416

Training Week 416

By , October 8, 2017 4:25 pm

Highlight of the Week: Runs with friends!

Monday | October 2, 2017: 3 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 76°/80°, Time: 33:39, Pace: 11:12 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: a bit sluggish, annoyed with running on gravel
Strength: Lebert Equalizers and Kettlebells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | October 3, 2017: 2.1 m run (w/Anne)
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 67°/67°, Time: 24:21, Pace: 11:35 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Wednesday | October 4, 2017: rest
Thursday | October 5, 2017: 4.5 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 66°/66°, Time: 48:23, Pace: 10:45 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Friday | October 6, 2017: teaching strength class + 1,008 yd swim + 3 m run
Strength: body bars, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: FitNation, Time: 22:55, Pace: 2:16 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: relaxing
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 64°/64°, Time: 32:30, Pace: 10:49 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Saturday | October 7, 2017: teaching fitness boxing + 6 m run (w/Jen)
Strength: boxing and cardio/core, Difficulty: easy (mostly observing), Felt: good, but annoyed with the speaker not working
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 69°/74°, Time: 1:19:31, Pace: 13:15 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Sunday | October 8, 2017: 4.5 m run (incl. 6×400) + 10 m ride
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 54°/54°, Time: 47:02, Pace: 10:27 avg, Difficulty: easy then medium, Felt: great
Indoor Ride Time: 35:20, Pace: 17.0 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, just sore butt


  • Training week 416/52 weeks in a year = 8 years in a row I’ve been tracking my weekly training on this blog! As a hobby, obviously. Ha.
  • I got to run with friends twice this week! Anne on Tuesday, and Jen on Saturday. That’s a treat for me – I don’t run with other people often.
  • I couldn’t get the speakers in the studio to work on Saturday for fitness boxing and I almost lost it. That class is VERY music based (I pick songs to pump people up) and playing my phone on speaker wasn’t going to cut it. Luckily there was a portable speaker to plug my phone in to. I need to make sure that doesn’t happen again. I think that’s the one time I’ve left that class in a bad mood. Ugh.
  • No long run this week… what are the chances I will do it on Monday, on my day off?!

Link to Training Week 415

A tale of two neighbors

By , October 6, 2017 7:53 am

There’s a guy on our street who sometimes leaves or returns to his house as I am starting or finishing a run (I’ve written about him before). Every time he sees me, he slows way down and rolls down his window to talk/shout to/at me from his car.

He means well, he does.

But every single time, he mentions my weight.

“Wow, you’ve lost weight!”

“Looking good! How much weight have you lost now?!

And this week “You’re wasting away to nothing!” Ugh. I responded with “Not really!” and he said “I am being positive!”

Yeah, yeah, you are. But the truth is, I’ve gained weight since each time you’ve seen me. I run for stress release, not to lose weight. Just, ugh, CAN WE PLEASE TALK ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE? Or… could you not drive your car very slowly next to me while I run, which makes me super uncomfortable anyway? Blah.

Tale Two is much more cheerful! My next door neighbor rides his bike outside every day, year round. I knew his name, and see him often. I thought he knew mine and who I was. But apparently not!*

This week, I was leaving home to run as he was headed out. Later in my run he passed me, then turned around to say hi.

“You live next door to me? And you run?! Wow, what’s your name?!”

He was so excited to meet me!

Later this week we left at the same time for our run/ride and I got an enthusiastic, “Hi, Kim! Now don’t you pass me!” Ha ha.

*He lives with his brother and brother’s wife, whom we know, and they told me about him, and his name. Hence me knowing his but he now knowing mine.

Training Week 415

By , October 1, 2017 2:38 pm

Highlight of the Week: Seeing the sunrise over Lake Michigan on my Monday run.

Monday | September 25, 2017: 4.2 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 73°/73°, Time: 45:54, Pace: 10:56 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, happy to see the sunrise
Strength: Lebert Equalizer and Kettlebells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | September 26, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 90°/87°, Time: 32:21, Pace: 10:46 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay
Wednesday | September 27, 2017: 3.2 m run
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 69°/66°, Time: 34:45, Pace: 10:52 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: okay, legs a bit creaky
Thursday | September 28, 2017: rest
Friday | September 29, 2017: teaching strength class + 10 m ride
Strength: Lebert Equalizer and Kettlebells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Indoor Ride Time: 32:56, Pace: 18.2 mph, Difficulty: easy (tension off on the trainer), Felt: good

Saturday | September 30, 2017: 7.6 m run + 1,218 yd swim
Loc: VP Woods Loop, Temp: 57°/60°, Time: 1:28:44, Pace: 11:41 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: FitNation, Time: 25:33, Pace: 2:03 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, a bit annoyed

Sunday | October 1, 2017: 10 m run (incl. 10×1:00)
Loc: Kilbourne/DPRT Loop, Temp: 53°/60°, Time: 1:52:17, Pace: 11:14 avg, Difficulty: easy enough, Felt: pretty good


  • Friday morning was the first time I went to the pool and found it unexpectedly closed (for maintenance). Good thing it’s on my way home and I didn’t waste any time driving there. Unfortunately, the next available swim time was weekend open swim, which is more like family play time at the pool (understandably). Oh well! I still got a swim in Saturday, despite a few lane changes (when lanes opened) to avoid people walking in front of me while I was swimming laps.
  • Monthly recap time. September was a bit of a crap month (excuses: having a cold, travel, hot temps, work craziness, laziness). I am looking forward to a more productive October! In September I ran 80.4 miles (18 runs), cycled 62.2 miles (1 outdoor ride, 4 indoor rides) and swam 2,940 yards (3 swims). My coldest run was 59°F and my warmest was 90°F (hottest of the year!). I taught 8 strength classes, and 1 fitness boxing class. I actually did one strength session at home, too, woot woot!

Link to Training Week 414

Training Week 414

By , September 24, 2017 6:38 pm

Highlight of the Week: A bike ride with Dad!

Monday | September 18, 2017: 10 m ride + teaching strength class
Indoor Ride Time: 38:23, Pace: 15.6 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, just sore butt
Strength: medicine balls and core/cardio circuit, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | September 19, 2017: 5 m run
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 72°/70°, Time: 55:00, Pace: 11:00 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good BUT SO MAD ABOUT WORK
Wednesday | September 20, 2017: 4 m run (incl. 5×400)
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Path, Temp: 78°/84°, Time: 41:15, Pace: 10:19 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good, just SO HOT
Thursday | September 21, 2017: rest (but so. much. cleaning.)
Friday | September 22, 2017: teaching strength class + 1,008 yd swim + 3 m run
Strength: Lebert Equalizer & Kettlebells, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: good, hot in the studio
Loc: FitNation, Time: 20:30, Pace: 2:02 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy then medium, Felt: good!
Loc: hood, Temp: 72°/79°, Time: 30:42, Pace: 10:14 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: hot, but great

Saturday | September 23, 2017: rest
Sunday | September 24, 2017: 17.2 m ride (w/Dad!)
Loc: around town loop, Temp: 67°/67°, Time: 1:17:18, Pace: 13.3 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, so much better than inside!


  • I haven’t been running much this month, and weather in the high 80s/low 90s this week sure isn’t making me want to. I hope we don’t see any more of that in October (I know we still have a few more days of it left here).
  • I was sad on Saturday morning when I didn’t get to work out with Dad before the day started (we were all up too late to get up early, and he and Steven were starting an outside project early to beat the heat anyway), so I made sure we had plans for Sunday morning. We did a loop bike ride around my house and enjoyed chatting and riding on low traffic roads!

Thanks to everyone who entered the Starbucks giftcard giveaway! picked #3 (each entry and joke counted as two), which was Shelley!

Link to Training Week 413

Random Thoughts Thursday 148

By , September 21, 2017 6:27 am
  • I signed up for the Wisconsin Half Marathon this week (the race is May 5th). This will be my 10th year in a row running it! This note in registration about refunds cracked me up:

  • I’m confused by the color of this pumpkin bath fizzy. Why is it blue?! And not pumpkin colored? Things that make you go hmm. Ha. I LOVE LOVE LOVE bath bombs. LOVE.

  • I decided to get away from a watch face with a step count emphasis… but then I found this fishing cat watch face… and the cat only “catches” the entire fish if you meet your step goal. And it kind of looks like Khali (if she was wearing a space suit). So yeah, totally didn’t get away from a step based watch face, oops!

  • I had a Grandma Level Cleaning inception moment Tuesday night – I talked to my Grandma on the phone while cleaning. Ha! Grandma is muchos excited about meeting the ducks during her visit this weekend (and told me what she’d be bringing to feed them). These two ducks showed up a few weeks ago. They like to hang out in the driveway (eyeroll). I don’t think we’ve seen them before which means… they need names!

Do you see Snow in the photo?

When I try to pull in to the driveway, or back out of the garage, I have to get out of the car and walk toward these guys so they’ll move – they are not afraid of the car

  • I love this photo of me and Xaarlin from Sunday’s race! (And am happy she pointed it out to me – I completely forgot to check the race photos!)

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 147

Fox Valley Half Marathon Race Report

By , September 18, 2017 6:26 am

I’ve spectated the Fox Valley races (there’s a half marathon, twenty miler, and full marathon) in St. Charles, Illinois, a couple of times, but this was my first time being a racer! Xaarlin asked if I’d like to do a race for my birthday (back in July) and I said hells yes! I picked the Fox Valley Half Marathon because:

  1. The course looked neat (it runs up and down the Fox River)
  2. There was a chance the temperatures would be cool (HA! NOPE.)
  3. And THIS MEDAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay… I really picked it for the medal!!!

Xaarlin signed us up and did packet pickup for both of us in the city, making it SUPER easy for me. Thanks so much, Xaarlin – spending this time with you was a wonderful gift!

We weren’t running the race with a specific finish time in mind, just a goal to have fun and chat. Because of that, it was very low stress for me – I looked up the start time, start area, where to park, and went from there.

Traffic and parking was easy, and I met Xaarlin and her husband just after 6:00 am. We did all the pre-race business and got in to the corrals a few minutes before the 7:00 am start, and our group took off around 7:09. It was 64°, 93% humidity, with a 62° dew point when we started.

Right after the start!

Right away I felt icky sweaty because of the humidity, but I have a personal race rule where I don’t complain about the weather (at least not until the end!) because it puts me in a bad head space. Instead I thought about how grateful I was that the beginning of the course was mostly shaded!

I hadn’t looked at the course map, so I was surprised how much of the first half was on city streets. I was thinking the course jumped on the trail next to the river right away, but that didn’t happen until five miles in. It’s a smart course design to keep the beginning of the race on the streets and spread out the runners so it never gets too congested. I can’t imagine trying to fit all of those people on a trail!

The beginning of the course was neat – I liked seeing the town and some gorgeous houses – but the trail we ran on stole the show. It was simply gorgeous. Some leaves had already started to change colors and gave us a visual glimpse of fall to enjoy. And provided us some much needed shade.

There are public access points to the trail, so we still had plenty of spectators while running on it. Xaarlin and I liked one woman’s mantra of “you’re bad ass and beautiful!” We also appreciated the spectators around mile 12 who gave us mimosas. Who knew that would taste so awesome at mile 12?!

I was feeling great until around mile 8 when I could tell the humidity was getting to me. For the last five miles, I walked the aid stations to fill up my water bottle and started drinking Gatorade. Despite feeling like I was wearing down, I knew I was still fine because I was talking Xaarlin’s ear off. Ha.

The course went back on the roads just after mile 11. We saw Xaarlin’s husband again (a huge thanks to him for spectating and hanging out with us before and after!),

Ha, I didn’t want to lift my arms all the way up in case I was hella smelly

did some silly loop through a park (because I really want to turn away from the course and do a loop to fit in mileage when I am so close to the finish…), then finished in 2:26:53! I had so much fun running with Xaarlin and catching up, but I was happy to stop and get out of the sun – I was roasting.

The race had a fantastic food setup – cakes, donuts, cookies, bananas, chips, pizza, freezer pops, soda, and water. I think there was a place to pick up beer too, and there were several other tents (massages, etc.). We didn’t explore too much because we wanted to be in the shade (and I really wanted to change out of my drenched clothes – as soon as I stopped running I had sweat dripping down my arms and legs, eww).

We met up with Xaarlin’s husband, took our post race picture,

and headed out to get some breakfast. I didn’t have much of an appetite right after the race, or at breakfast, or when I got home. My stomach felt a bit messed up from the humidity. Hopefully I don’t have too many more runs like that this year (one can dream).

But hopefully I DO have more opportunities to run with Xaarlin this year! I don’t run with friends very often and it’s such a treat when I do. It’s much easier to catch up when we’re together, rather than using email and text (duh, right?). Thank you, Xaarlin!

Training Week 413

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By , September 17, 2017 6:31 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running the Fox Valley Half Marathon with xaarlin!

Monday | September 11, 2017: teaching strength class
Strength: medicine balls and circuit, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine
Tuesday | September 12, 2017: 7 m run
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 71°/69°, Time: 1:20:05, Pace: 11:26 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: pissy about work
Wednesday | September 13, 2017: 2 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 68°/66°, Time: 19:45, Pace: 9:52 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Thursday | September 14, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 73°/73°, Time: 32:55, Pace: 10:58 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: blah, annoyed with the heat
Friday | September 15, 2017: teaching strength class + 714 yd swim
Strength: medicine balls and core/cardio circuit, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: FitNation, Time: 16:12, Pace: 2:16 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine, just bored

Saturday | September 16, 2017: 10 m ride + teaching fitness boxing
Indoor Bike Time: 40:44, Pace: 14.7 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine, but sweaty and sore butt!
Strength: boxing & cardio/core with weights, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Sunday | September 17, 2017: Fox Valley Half Marathon w/xaarlin!!!
Loc: St Charles, Temp: 64°/70°, Time: 2:26:53, Pace: 11:06 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: good, challenged by the humidity


  • I am completely over: running in the shoulder (repeat complaint, I know), carrying a water bottle, and wearing my running belt. I’ll have to drive to run to take care of my first complaint, but if cooler weather arrives, I can get by without a water bottle (bad, I know), and I can start wearing things with pockets and put my phone in that instead of my belt! Just another month or so, ha.
  • Yay, I was well enough to swim this week! When I was walking to the pool I started wondering when I signed up for my yearly pass and if I’d made it “worth” the cost (it’s a $6 drop in fee, and I wanted to go enough times that I was paying less than that with the pass)! I looked it up – I bought the pass October 28th last year and needed to use it 37 times to make even out. I’ve gone 56 times so far! Phew. Ha.
  • I taught fitness boxing this week. I hadn’t taught it in almost two months because of our weekend classes break. One student was trying it for the first time, and enjoyed it, which is always nice for me to hear!
  • On Sunday I ran a half marathon with xaarlin! It was a chance for us to chat and hang out and I had a great time. I’ll have a race report up this week!

Link to Training Week 412

Training Week 412

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By , September 10, 2017 9:34 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running with my brother-in-law Andrew, and starting to recover from last week’s cold!

Monday | September 4, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: Van Patten Woods, Temp: 74°/71, Time: 32:47, Pace: 10:55 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: hot but okay
Tuesday | September 5, 2017: 15 mins strength + 15 m ride
Indoor Ride Time: 57:50, Pace: 15.6 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: sweaty (always so sweaty when I work out when I’m sick)
Wednesday | September 6, 2017: 4.2 m run
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 61°/59°, Time: 43:12, Pace: 10:18 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great – the breeze felt SO good
Thursday | September 7, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 65°/65°, Time: 31:12, Pace: 10:23 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay, was planning on speedwork but lungs still congested
Friday | September 8, 2017: teaching strength class + 5 m run
Strength: medicine balls and circuit, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay, coughing a bit
Loc: hood, Temp: 61°/61°, Time: 51:54, Pace: 10:23, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Saturday | September 9, 2017: 4 m run (w/Andrew)
Loc: Line Creek Trail, Temp: 73°/73°, Time: 48:38, Pace: 12:09 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Sunday | September 10, 2017: 3 m run (incl. 5×1:00)
Loc: Line Creek Trail, Temp: 69°/69°, Time: 32:32, Pace: 10:49 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: okay – still pretty congested


  • Last Sunday night I slipped down the stairs and did a split squat landing, and tweaked my right knee. Monday’s run was to test it and my lungs out. It went okay! It was definitely a good thing it was Labor Day and my regular Monday night strength class was canceled for the night thought – I would have felt like garbage teaching.
  • I used our smith machine Tuesday night for my first at home strength workout in a looooong time. I liked being able to use heavier weights, especially using the bar for deadlifts!
  • I didn’t swim this week because I was congested (and would be blowing snot in to the water – gross town). I am looking forward to doing it next week!
  • We left behind beautifully cool Chicagoland weather to go to hot Kansas City this weekend. Ha! It was worth it – I got to run with my brother-in-law, and have fun with our families!

Link to Training Week 411

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