Category: Running + Training

Training Week 425

By , December 11, 2017 8:14 am

Highlight of the Week: Goat yoga!

Monday | December 4, 2017: 4.5 m run (incl. 4 hill repeats) + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 59°/62°, Time: 48:30, Pace: 10:47 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Strength: step and kettlebells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good (hungry though!)

Tuesday | December 5, 2017: 10 m ride + 3 m run
Indoor Ride Time: 39:54, Pace: 15.0 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 30°/30°, Time: 30:51, Pace: 10:17 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great

Wednesday | December 6, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: Lakefront Trail, Temp: 35°/32°, Time: 31:25, Pace: 10:27 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but could tell the legs need a rest day
Thursday | December 7, 2017: rest
Friday | December 8, 2017: teaching strength class + 6.7 m run (incl. 10×1:00)
Strength: step and kettlebells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but really sweaty
Loc: VP Woods loop, Temp: 19°/20°, Time: 1:13:49, Pace: 11:01, Difficulty: easy then hard, Felt: great then blah

Saturday | December 9, 2017: 3 m run (w/Gina) + goat yoga (w/Gina)
Loc: McKinney, Temp: 27°, Time: 29:59, Pace: 9:59 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Sunday | December 10, 2017: 1.7 m walk (w/Gina, Steve, Luca, & Ginger)


  • The beginning of this week was all about the wind. Monday it was warm and windy (25 mph with gusts in the 30s) and I ran all my hill repeats in to the wind (why not?). Tuesday was my first dark run in awhile, and yeah, it was still windy (in the 20 mph range). And Wednesday, you guessed it, windy (high teens), but sunny, at least. Yay, wind.
  • My legs were tired on my Wednesday run. They hadn’t had a rest day in a week. I was trying to get as many runs as possible in before my trip to Dallas (so I could chill in Dallas!). I had originally planned to do a long run Thursday am (I even took time off from work!) but when I woke up Thursday am with only five hours of sleep, I decided to just use the time for sleep and rest. Eh, yolo.
  • So on Friday’s run I felt great for the first mile and was excited that my rest day paid off! Then after I did my repeats in to the wind, uphill, and some on the crushed limestone, I felt crappy. My legs were a bit tired and my lungs too. Ugh. I really hope this slight cough I have doesn’t turn in to something more! It was 20° when I finished my run and the area on the top of my inside knees was purple! I ordered some inexpensive fleece-lined tights from Amazon to try, but please let me know if you recommend a certain brand/style!!!
  • Saturday morning’s run in Texas was in the high 20s but felt so much warmer than back home (duh). It was nice to have a pleasant run! Especially with Gina!
  • We tried goat yoga after our run. It was hilarious. We were laughing the whole time, with the goats jumping on us and everyone else! I am not sure why I didn’t think about the fact that the goats would be going to the bathroom everywhere… ha ha ha.

Link to Training Week 424

Training Week 424

By , December 3, 2017 8:16 pm

Highlight of the Week: Feeling great for my long run Sunday, and naturally finishing the last half faster than the first!

Monday | November 27, 2017: 5.2 m run (incl. 6 hill repeats) + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 47°/47°, Time: 54:42, Pace: 10:31 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Strength: step and kettlebells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | November 28, 2017: 10 m run
Loc: VP Woods Loop, Temp: 52°/51°, Time: 1:52:14, Pace: 11:13 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, just annoyed with all the rocks in my shoes
Wednesday | November 29, 2017: rest
Thursday | November 30, 2017: 10 m ride + 4 m run (incl. 3×800)
Indoor Ride Time: 33:43, Pace: 17.8 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great – no sore butt!
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 52°/50°, Time: 38:40, Pace: 9:40 avg, Difficulty: mostly easy, Felt: great!

Friday | December 1, 2017: teaching strength class + 1,008 yd swim + 4 m run + 3.3 m run
Strength: step and kettlebells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: FitNation, Time: 22:03, Pace: 2:11 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Loc: hood, Temp: 45°/48°, Time: 40:34, Pace: 10:08 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine, but hungry
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 50°/47°, Time: 31:32, Pace: 9:33 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great!

Saturday | December 2, 2017: 6.7 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: VP Woods loop, Temp: 37°/37°, Time: 1:15:01, Pace: 11:12 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: sluggish (duh)
Strength: core, pads, and boxing, Difficulty: easy (mostly observing), Felt: good

Sunday | December 3, 2017: 11 m run
Loc: Outlet Mall Loop, Temp: 26°/42°, Time: 2:00:17, Pace: 10:56 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great


  • The combo of speedwork last Sunday then hills on Monday did a number on my legs – I was feeling it Monday night! I thought my long run Tuesday morning would be horrible, but it wasn’t – just all the rocks in my shoes were. Ha. I usually have a day or more between hills, speed, and the long run, but my schedule is going to be all out of whack this month as I try to fit my workouts in with holiday celebrations!
  • Steven came with me to speedwork again this week! And he got to see how hella windy it is at the lake I do it at. Makes sense – it’s an open lake with almost no tree protection. Doing my speedwork there will build mental toughness… right? It’s worth all the irritation?!
  • This was my highest mileage week this year at just over forty-four miles. Funny that I used to run over forty miles every week, last year, and the year before. I cut back on purpose this year. I think I’d like to start increasing my mileage again in 2018 though. I feel better (physically and mentally) when I run more.
  • Monthly recap time. In November I ran 134.8 miles (25 runs, and my highest mileage month of the year so far!), cycled 62 miles (6 indoor rides) and swam 3,822 yards (4 swims). My coldest run was 25°F and my warmest was 63°F. I did 4 hill sessions and 5 speed sessions. I taught 7 strength classes, and 3 fitness boxing class.

Link to Training Week 423

My legs are revolting

By , December 2, 2017 6:46 am

Ha ha ha, I meant “revolting against me” but “revolting” as an adjective works too!

It’s been in the 40s and 50s here lately and I’ve been enjoying wearing shorts for my runs!

My legs however, have not been.

What started as a tiny red spot on the inside of my right knee, has now spread to cover most of my entire lower legs. SEE PHOTO HERE (I did not want that photo to be what shows up on Facebook and in Feedly, ha).

It really itches, and is irritated if something touches it.

I am not sure if it’s windburn, dry skin, a reaction to chlorine (I swam yesterday), or a reaction to the stuff I put in my baths. Or a combination. I’ve had patches like this on my legs before, but never this much!

Whatever it is, OUCH!

I am going to wear tights for my run today. And maybe put vaseline on my legs. An obviously stop with the baths.

Unrelated photo of Khaleesi enjoying the fire with her mouse:

Training Week 423

By , November 26, 2017 7:48 pm

Highlight of the Week: Saying “Happy Thanksgiving” to people on the trail on Thursday’s run/running on a brand new portion of the Millennium Trail on Saturday.

Monday | November 20, 2017: 3.3 m run (incl. 4 hill repeats) + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 46°/49°, Time: 35:27, Pace: 10:45 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: annoyed with cars, still mad about something from Sunday
Strength: BOSUs and dumbbells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | November 21, 2017: 15 m ride
Indoor Ride Time: 52:01, Pace: 17.3 mph avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: good, just sore butt
Wednesday | November 22, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 32°/34°, Time: 31:22, Pace: 10:26 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: pretty good
Thursday | November 23, 2017: 7 m run
Loc: Kilbourne/VP Woods loop, Temp: 33°/32°, Time: 1:18:52, Pace: 11:16 avg, Difficulty: easy-ish, Felt: good, legs kind of tired
Friday | November 24, 2017: teaching strength class + 672 yd swim + 3 m run
Strength: ankle resistance bands, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but tired (sleepy)
Loc: FitNation, Time: 15:26, Pace: 2:18 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 63°/63°, Time: 30:50, Pace: 10:16 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, especially to run in shorts and a tank!

Saturday | November 25, 2017: 5 m run
Loc: Millennium Trail to Pine Dunes and back, Temp: 43°/44°, Time: 52:14, Pace: 10:26 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great!
Sunday | November 26, 2017: 10 m ride + teaching fitness boxing + 3 m run (incl. 4×400)
Indoor Ride Time: 37:58, Pace: 15.8 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, just sore butt
Strength: box and boxing, Difficulty: easy (all observing), Felt: good
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 49°/49°, Time: 29:09, Pace: 9:43 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: good!


  • The Holiday Mile Challenge started this week! I have to log a mile (walking, swimming, biking, running, whatever) each day from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day. So far, so good!
  • Whiny whine whine – I was excited to see how many steps I got on Thanksgiving after a seven mile run then being on my feet all day. But my watch goofed up, and my steps didn’t count from after my run until I reset my watch ten hours later. Annoying. I changed my watch to a new face that doesn’t show my steps, cause I don’t care when I don’t see them! <— so dumb
  • Speaking of Thanksgiving, it bums me out to see people so stressed about overeating on that day. Yeah, don’t eat yourself to the point you’re uncomfortable, but it’s a holiday! Indulge a bit! It’s just one day.
  • And on that note, I did NOT do a 5K on Saturday because I’m just a bit too heavy now to go push it and see where my fitness is. Maybe I’ll do one in December.
  • It’s been kind of gloomy for most of the month, so it was nice to have the sun out for all of this week’s runs (and to even wear shorts for my last three runs!). I would NEVER say that in the warm/hot months, ha!
  • The classes I teach at Essential Fitness feel like fun workouts with friends, so I forget, from time to time, that people pay to take the classes! Ha ha ha. I guess that’s a good thing… if the students feel that way too!
  • Steven came with me on my Sunday run, to walk. Knowing he was there and that the sooner I finished my run the sooner I got to walk with him made me go a lot faster! And of course, my fastest interval was the one where we were crossing paths.
  • Ugh, I need to get back to figuring out time in my weekend schedule for a long run! I feel so good when I do one!

Link to Training Week 422

Training Week 422

By , November 19, 2017 6:05 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running and visiting with Rachel!

Monday | November 13, 2017: 4 m run (incl. 6 hill repeats)
Loc: hood, Temp: 34°/38°, Time: 42:46, Pace: 10:41 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: great (overdressed at times though!)
Tuesday | November 14, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 47°/47°, Time: 30:04, Pace: 10:01 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fantastic
Wednesday | November 15, 2017: rest
Thursday | November 16, 2017: 4.5 m run (incl. 10×1:00)
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 34°/34°, Time: 47:57, Pace: 10:40 avg, Difficulty: easy-ish until the last few repeats, Felt: okay!
Friday | November 17, 2017: teaching strength class + 1,008 yd swim + 7 m run
Strength: ankle bands, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: good! worked hard
Loc: FitNation, Time: 22:03, Pace: 2:11 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, relaxed
Loc: Kilbourne/DPRT loop, Temp: 42°/40°, Time: 1:15:44, Pace: 10:49 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: awesome

Saturday | November 18, 2017: teaching fitness boxing + 3.3 m run
Strength: body weight moves & boxing gloves, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 39°/37°, Time: 37:02, Pace: 11:14 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: a bit tired

Sunday | November 19, 2017: 8 m run (w/Rachel)
Loc: Burlington, Temp: 25°/27°, Time: 1:25:13, Pace: 10:39 avg, Difficulty: easy-ish, Felt: good, but a bit tired


  • I didn’t get to exercise much in the beginning of the week because work was so absolutely INSANE this week (didn’t take lunch breaks and worked late). Gah. Friday was a bit quieter and I hope next week is more normal.
  • I thought my hill work and healthier eating was paying off because the inclines felt easy on my Friday run. Then a hill got to me at the end of my Sunday run. Ha! I’ll keep at it.
  • On Sunday I got to run with Rachel!!!!! What a treat. We just chatted the whole time. I hope we can do that again soon.
  • I am considering doing a 5K next Saturday to gauge my fitness. I’ll decide on Thursday (when I do or don’t do my speedwork that day!).

Link to Training Week 421

Who wants to be a spring chicken anyway?

By , November 13, 2017 12:20 pm

It amazes me how creaky my body sometimes feels when I wake in the morning. Come on, body! You just got many hours of sleep! You should be raring to go!

Ha, the logical part of my brain knows that some of my muscles tense up at night and need to be stretched out to feel good. And another logical part of me knows that as I get older, that feeling is probably only going to get worse.

You know, unless I take care of myself, like by stretching every day…

At least I do a good job with a monthly massage!

Wouldn’t it be amazing to be a sponsored elite athlete and get a massage every day? And have someone cook for you? And take naps every day? And only have to focus on running and not work…? Ha ha ha – I got a bit off track there.

Training Week 421

By , November 12, 2017 5:45 pm

Highlight of the Week: Getting all my runs in, and finishing off the week with a run with Jen!

Monday | November 6, 2017: 10 m ride + 4.5 m run (incl. 4 hill repeats) + teaching strength class
Indoor Ride Time: 38:27, Pace: 15.6 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine, just not positioned right (sore butt!)
Loc: hood, Temp: 39°/39°, Time: 11:06, Pace: 49:57 avg, Difficulty: easy-ish, Felt: good!
Strength: BOSU and two dumbbells, Difficulty: easy-ish, Felt: good, sweaty

Tuesday | November 7, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 47°/46°, Time: 30:08, Pace: 10:02 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, just hungry
Wednesday | November 8, 2017: rest
Thursday | November 9, 2017: 4 m run (incl. 3×800)
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 33°/33°, Time: 41:18, Pace: 10:20 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: pushed back by the wind
Friday | November 10, 2017: teaching strength class + 1,134 yd swim + 5 m run
Strength: BOSU and two dumbbells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but hard on the hips!
Loc: FitNation, Time: 25:00, Pace: 2:12 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Van Patten Woods, Temp: 28°/28°, Time: 55:05, Pace: 11:01 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: amazing

Saturday | November 11, 2017: 10 m run
Loc: DPRT/Kilbourne loop, Temp: 28°/30°, Time: 1:59:17, Pace: 11:56 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: sluggish (didn’t sleep well)
Sunday | November 12, 2017: 12 m ride + 7 m run (w/Jen)
Indoor Ride Time: 47:40, Pace: 15.1 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: DPRT, Temp: 36°/37°, Time: 1:28:54, Pace: 12:42 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good


  • I love that I work close to the Lakefront Trail and can run there during lunch break but MAN, there are so many stop lights just to get out there. That would make me nuts if I had to do it every day!
  • It was cold enough Thursday that my phone died during my run. Time to put that thing in a glove! (I remembered for Friday and Saturday’s runs, which were even colder.)
  • The BOSU workout we’re doing in class is challenging my hips. We’ve been doing a curtsy lunge (aka skaters) with two dumbbells down to the BOSU and I feel it immediately!
  • We had our first snowfall of the season Friday, and I had a peaceful, calm run on it on the trails. What a treat! The day before was warmer but windy, and felt a lot colder, so this lovely run was especially appreciated.
  • Then I ran again on the snow Saturday. It rained for all of Sunday’s run. ‘Tis the season!

Link to Training Week 420

Thanks to everyone who entered the 11 Year Runniversary Amazon giftcard giveaway! picked #8 (each entry and favorite movie counted as two), which was Christina!

[GIVEAWAY] 11 Year Runniversary!

By , November 10, 2017 8:29 am

Today is my eleven year runniversary – it’s eleven years since the day I started running!

The tattoo I got in 2014 to celebrate running

I started running to lose weight, like many do, and continued to do it for the enjoyment and stress release. Running is so ingrained in my life now – I feel grumpy if I don’t do it. Even if I am not racing, or running very long, far, or fast, I am still out there almost every day.

So let’s celebrate! I will be giving away an $11 Amazon giftcard (get it, a dollar for each year?) to one person! (not sponsored, this will be from my own cashola)

$11 Amazon Giftcard GIVEAWAY Rules

  1. One reader will receive a prize.
  2. REQUIRED to enter the giveaway: leave a comment telling me what you like to do for exercise.
  3. BONUS extra entry (can be in same comment as required entry): tell me your favorite new film from 2017.  
  4. This giveaway is open until 12:00 PM CST on Sunday November 12. I will announce the winners on Sunday November 12 (in the training recap post).
  5. will pick the the winner.
  6. This giveaway is open to all readers, in all locations.

Random Thoughts Thursday 155

By , November 9, 2017 6:28 am
  • Two years ago, I wrote about the ponytail rule my middle school track coach had –
    he didn’t want to see any lateral sway in our ponytails when we ran. The implication was that it meant you were running inefficiently. In the comments, we couldn’t figure out WHY. Well, guess what I saw in an article in the November/December issue of Chicago Athlete? A somewhat explanation. Ha! I am still going to wear my hair in a bun and not worry about it though.

  • Anyone who eats out with me knows that I LOVE Red Robin because they have a vegan and vegetarian burger option, and bottomless (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) fries. They are phasing out those burger options though, and replacing it with just one vegan* “ancient-grain-and-quinoa” (read: “trying to look healthy”) burger, and guess what? It’s gross (taste and texture). So gross I didn’t finish my burger last time I was there and I ALWAYS FINISH MY FOOD. Why Red Robin, why? Steven emailed them last month about the change and they sent some generic response. I emailed them again this week pleading they bring back the Boca burger (no response yet). That used to be my easy go to place with big groups of people, and I don’t think it will be anymore. Bummer.

  • A local station started playing holiday music on Tuesday. Yay! I love holiday music, and it’s fun when the season is over, because then I get to hear all the new tunes I missed when they came out because I was listening to holiday music.
  • Has anyone else started using the new google calendar? I like how it adds images to some of my events based on the title, like this one with swimming:

*They told us it was vegan on the phone, but we can’t confirm it on their website

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 154


By , November 7, 2017 6:34 am

I haven’t considered running another marathon since my last one in December 2015. I was elated with how it went, and haven’t wanted to allocate the time to train for another one. <— lazy

But, man, if your favorite runner winning one of the World Major Marathons doesn’t inspire you to do something epic… then something might be wrong with you. Ha ha. Hmm…

That time xaarlin and I both had a random gift for each other – and it turned out to be the exact same thing – a pin of Amy Cragg catching Shalane Flanagan as she finished the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials.

When xaarlin text me Sunday morning that Shalane Flanagan won the New York City Marathon, I immediately had tears of happiness (especially when I saw the photos and videos of Flanagan’s emotional finish). I’ve loved following Flanagan’s career, and have always rooted for her. To see her finally get this big win, on what she said would be her last race, was just amazing.

I selfishly hope she doesn’t retire though!

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