Category: Running + Training

Training Week 392

By , April 23, 2017 11:28 am

Highlight of the Week: Running with Steve and Gina in TX!

Monday | April 17, 2017: 1,008 yd swim + 5 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: FitNation, Time: 20:54, Pace: 2:04 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 51°/53°, Time: 49:16, Pace: 9:51 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Strength: kettlebell & cardio/core circuits, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | April 18, 2017: 25 min walk (w/Steven)
Wednesday | April 19, 2017: 4 m run
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 67°/61°, Time: 37:47, Pace: 9:26 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Thursday | April 20, 2017: 4.5 m run (incl. 3×800, 4×1:00) + 10 m ride + teaching strength class x2
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 42°/45°, Time: 43:57, Pace: 9:46 avg, Difficulty: hard, Felt: lungs great, legs dead
Indoor Ride Time: 31:59, Pace: 18.8 mph, Difficulty: easy, Felt: decent, but sore butt and hot!
Strength: medicine balls, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good for the first class, wiped by the second (forgot to fuel in between!)

Friday | April 21, 2017: 10 m run
Loc: VP Wood Loop, Temp: 44°/48°, Time: 1:51:29, Pace: 11:09, Difficulty: easy, Felt: decent, but sore
Saturday | April 22, 2017: 4 m run (w/Steve)
Loc: McKinney, Temp: 53°/53°, Time: 38:28, Pace: 9:36 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, once my legs warmed up!
Sunday | April 23, 2017: 3 m run & 35 min walk (w/Gina)
Loc: McKinney, Temp: 47°/49°, Time: 28:38, Pace: 9:31 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good


  • I heard through the grapevine that the Frosty Footrace will be going back to its original (5K) format next year, and a shorter race will be added at a different time of year. Hopefully it’s back at the same location and I can go for another course PR?!?!
  • Gosh, usually it’s my lungs that struggle with my speedwork, but this week it was my legs. They felt so tired during my 800s! It’s probably because I did the run first thing in the morning, and not after work, like I typically do.
  • I continued to destroy my legs Thursday night, when I taught back to back strength classes. They bugged me until I woke up Sunday. Blah!
  • I am in Texas this weekend for Luca’s birthday and cool weather followed me here! I had great, “barely breaking a sweat,” runs with Steve and Gina!

Link to Training Week 391

Training Week 391

By , April 16, 2017 11:20 am

Highlight of the Week: Running Bobbi’s speed sesh with her / my first double of the year!

Monday | April 10, 2017: 3 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 47°/42°, Time: 28:47, Pace: 9:35 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, energized by the rain and hail
Strength: kettlebell & circuit, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | April 11, 2017: rest
Wednesday | April 12, 2017: 7 m run
Loc: VP Woods Loop, Temp: 48°/49°, Time: 1:13:14, Pace: 10:28 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, happy I brought water!
Thursday | April 13, 2017: 10 m ride + 5 m run
Indoor Ride Time: 30:45, Pace: 19.5 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Raven Glen FP, Temp: 50°/49°, Time: 47:52, Pace: 9:34, Difficulty: easy, Felt: strong

Friday | April 14, 2017: teaching strength class + 1,218 yd swim + 6 m run (w/Bobbi, incl. 4×2:00 hills, 6×2:00)
Strength: kettlebell & circuit, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, warm
Loc: FitNation, Time: 26:0, Pace: 2:05 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, sore arms though!
Loc: hood, Temp: 48°/50°, Time: 1:03:42, Pace: 10:37, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Saturday | April 15, 2017: 3 m run + teaching fitness boxing + 2 m run (w/Anne, Joanne & Tracy)
Loc: hood, Temp: 65°/68°, Time: 30:26, Pace: 10:08 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: hot
Strength: cardio, pads, and mitts, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 73°/76°, Time: 25:28, Pace: 12:43 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: grateful for the breeze!

Sunday | April 16, 2017: 14 m run
Loc: DPRT/Kilbourne, Temp: 60°/63°, Time: 2:35:08, Pace: 11:05 avg, Difficulty: mostly easy, Felt: tired, but decent!


  • For the past few weeks I’ve had at least one run where it rained hard the entire time! I don’t mind running in the rain, but I hope I am not ruining my shoes!
  • On my Wednesday run, a safety pin (that I was using to hold my running belt in place) popped out, and when it did, it felt like someone tapped my hip with their hand. I stopped and chopped my arm back in defense. Then realized it was a safety pin. Ha.
  • I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I typically swim on Fridays right after I teach strength class and my arms are sometimes already sore from class! Swimming probably helps a bit with recovery!
  • It was so nice to run with Bobbi on Friday! She was asking me for recommendations for local hills for repeats and I happen to live very close to a five minute hill!
  • I got a sun burn on Friday though (and actually again on Saturday). Eek. I put all my sunscreen out on the counter so I will remember to use it (I did on Sunday!).
  • I brought treats to my fitness boxing class for Easter. My mom helped me put them together when I was visiting my home town earlier this month.
  • After fitness boxing I had plans to run with Anne, and two more people from class joined us. Yay! We had fun, and that was my first double (run) of the year! And this is the first week this year I’ve run 40 miles! That was my go to weekly mileage for the last two years, but I cut back to 30 per week this year.

Link to Training Week 390

Random Thoughts Thursday 131

By , April 13, 2017 6:28 am
  • I haven’t posted a William picture in a long time! Aww, I miss my sweet little nephew.

  • My mom sent me home from my early April trip with an Easter basket! How nice! I have fond memories of searching for baskets (and eggs) as a kid.

  • When I was in my hometown, my dad and I stopped by his mom’s as a surprise. She didn’t even know I was in town. Or so I thought. When we greeted her, she told me Facebook told her I’d be in town this weekend. Yeah, that’s the last time I say “yes” to a public event on Facebook (that was how she knew – it notified her in the morning I was going to a nearby race the next day). Of course, my grandmother can know where I am, but I don’t like to publicly advertise when I’m traveling.
  • I’ve been having some issues with sensitivity to light lately. I am monitoring it and will see the eye doc if I need to. I’ve made it this far without corrective lenses… I hope my eyes aren’t going to sh*t!
  • I am currently listening to this song on repeat. Give it a listen. I heard it on an episode of Girls, which means I can now say I actually got something out of watching that show.

  • Did Garmin users see the new “privacy zones” setting options? Privacy zones hide your start and end points on publicly shared workouts. You can see the exact route, but other viewers can’t. This is something I’ve thought Garmin should have for awhile, so I was excited to see they added it!

  • Speaking of Garmin, I get comments on my Garmin watch nearly every time I am in the office. Funny.
  • I had a lot of fun at my coworker’s baby shower last week in Wisconsin! It was fun to chat with all her friends and family she tells me about, and of course, see all the love and support the baby is going to have! Look at this amazing trail mix bar they had at the party, to make your own bag to go. I definitely snacked on mine on the way home.

  • Awhile ago someone told me they thought I’d be a good mom because I always have snacks with me. Ha ha. Okay…?
  • Also awhile ago, we were getting a house insurance quote and the agent asked what kind of cats we have. “Regular…?” I responded. They both laughed. “American shorthair”? I tried again. Ha. It’s not like with dogs where a breed is more common!

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 130

Training Week 390

By , April 9, 2017 9:31 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running through a giant puddle on my Thursday run!

Monday | April 3, 2017: 4 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 44°/46°, Time: 40:56, Pace: 10:14 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine, heavy quads, a little over the rain
Strength: braided bands and body bars, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | April 4, 2017: 5 m run
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 53°/53°, Time: 52:40, Pace: 10:32 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but ready for rest day!
Wednesday | April 5, 2017: rest
Thursday | April 6, 2017: 15 m ride + 5 m run
Indoor Ride Time: 49:07, Pace: 18.3 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 45°/45°, Time: 51:31, Pace: 10:18 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Friday | April 7, 2017: teaching strength class + 1,029 yd swim + 5 m run (incl. 6×400)
Strength: bands and body bars, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: FitNation, Time: 22:07, Pace: 2:04 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 49°/49°, Time: 42:31, Pace: 9:27 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, in control

Saturday | April 8, 2017: 4 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 45°/45°, Time: 42:39, Pace: 10:37 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: decent, a bit stiff to start
Sunday | April 9, 2017: 11.5 m run + teaching fitness boxing
Loc: around town, Temp: 59°/57°, Time: 2:04:01, Pace: 10:47 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Strength: boxing and step, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good


  • Speedwork felt great this week, which is promising, because I signed up for a 5K at the end of May. I’d like to run the May 5K faster than my last one. The race is an out and back on a trail though, so that could be crowded! We shall see!
  • I’m pleased I actually able to get out of bed early for my long run Sunday. I am out of the practice of that! Luckily, nature called at 4:20 am and I didn’t feel exhausted and out of it so I stayed up.
  • It was nice to get back to my normal teaching schedule this week and have more free evenings!!!

Link to Training Week 389

Random Thoughts Thursday 130

By , April 6, 2017 6:46 am
  • My mom loves to wrap gifts. I don’t, and am horrible at it, so when I was in my hometown last weekend, I brought my baby shower gift for her to wrap! Darn – looking back at it, I should have brought all those April birthday gifts for her to wrap, too!

  • I forgot to mention two things in my 5K race report. One, I forgot my headphones. Gah! I was so mad when I realized it, forty miles away from home. Then I remembered how fast Pete runs without them, and told myself to suck it up. Two, when I was telling my mom I forgot my headphones, I said “at least I didn’t forget my racing flats!” Then, once she realized I was racing on shoes with less support, she worried about it that night and until after the race when she asked me if my feet hurt from using them. Ha ha. No.
  • Woo hoo! I saw this sign at the nearby Van Patten Woods Forest Preserve last week. The Forest Preserve is making a wider shoulder to get to Van Patten Woods, and extending a trail from it to another preserve – Pine Dunes Forest Preserve. This all equals safer running for me! This small expansion is part of the Millennium Trail. Once that entire trail is completed, I’ll be able to run all the way to my old townhome (about twenty miles away) and even further beyond that!

  • Steven and I enjoyed our “book club for two” last summer and have been wanting to read another book together. We finally picked one out – Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. I like reading about real people, and Steven likes reading about businessmen, so I hope it’s another winner!
  • Blah. I’m so sick of seeing people trying to one-up each other online. Guys, we all live normal, mediocre lives. If you can’t say “good for you,” when someone shares something they’re excited about, just move along. Seriously.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 129

Fools 5K Race Report (2017)

By , April 3, 2017 6:53 am

Earlier in the year, my older brother asked me if I was coming to our hometown to run the Fools 5K on April 1. My brother is interested in running a 5K? Of course I’ll be there! I ended up signing up myself, him, his two kids, his wife, and our dad (after their consent of course!).

Chevy, Mom, me, Dad, Thomas, Nicky, Nick, and Alyssa

This race is fantastic. The race director is extremely organized, an excellent communicator, and works at improving the race each year. This year, they offered the option to pay less and not get a shirt*, had an app for the race, and had free finish line pictures/videos**. And they had the usual amazing atmosphere (including encouraging people to dress up for April Fool’s) and awesome finish line food.

This race is very competitive! A new course record was set this year – 14:58. The first and second overall women were in my age group and came in at 18:03 and 18:28! Since it’s so competitive, this time and the last time I ran it, I entered in the Athena Division, in hopes I could place there.

When I signed up at the end of January I thought maybe I could run a course PR – faster than 23:06. But pretty soon after that thought entered my head, it left it. Ha. I don’t feel like training (and mostly, eating) like that right now. So I decided to see if I could run even 8:00 minute mile splits for the race, and not feel like death at the finish from positive splitting like I usually do at 5Ks.

We had fantastic race morning weather – mid 30s at the start and high 30s at the end, sunny, and a wind of 4 mph! That was it for wind!!! It would have been a perfect day to PR!

I started out and ran my first mile in 7:57. Yay, right on pace!

I ran my second in 8:00 flat. I hoped not to slow down for the third mile, but felt that typical “racing” stomach pain at mile 2, even though I was taking it easy! Grrrrr.

But I ran the third mile in 7:58! Phew! And finished the last tenth (but actually more because this race is crowded and I didn’t run tangents properly, dammit) at a 7:41 pace! My official time was 25:08.

Despite not pushing myself too hard, I still felt like toast at the end!

I did a cool down run and saw my older brother and his youngest son. I kept running and saw his older son, and ran in with him and Mario (you know, from Super Mario Brothers). Then I spectated with my mom until my dad and my brother’s wife finished (they walked together).

Then we hit up the awesome food tent – breakfast burritos, cookies, bagels, donuts, yogurt, caramel corn, oranges, bananas, and chocolate milk! (After the race they gave away everything that was left over!)

I looked up my results in the food line and saw I placed first in the Athena Division so we stayed for the awards ceremony.

Everyone had a great time, and there’s already talk of wanting to do it again next year, yay! I’m in!

*Only my dad wanted a shirt, but for some reason, they had one for one of my nephews at packet pickup. So on race day, we went to buy a shirt for my other nephew (because you can’t only give one of them a shirt). Shirt exchange/purchasing was opened thirty minutes before the race, and when we got up there, they said that the shirts were free! So I ended up getting one after all, ha ha.
**I was all excited to see my free race photo, but the link on my page didn’t show me finishing. I watched my video to see my clock time and looked around at other photos for that time and still couldn’t find it – there was a ten second gap of missing photos around my clock time. Then I realized there was a big clue in the video I watched – it shows the photo guy moving in front of the video camera as I run in, and the video camera guy tells him to go back behind the camera. Ha. I don’t think photos exist for those ten seconds!

Training Week 389

By , April 2, 2017 5:54 pm

Highlight of the Week: Going on my first outdoor ride of the year with my dad!

Monday | March 27, 2017: 1,508 yd swim + 7 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: FitNation, Time: 31:47, Pace: 2:06 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, frustrated with lane partner
Loc: VP Woods loop, Temp: 45°/45°, Time: 1:10:04, Pace: 10:00 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: great
Strength: braided bands, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good – I love working with the bands!

Tuesday | March 28, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 39°/39°, Time: 31:06, Pace: 10:22 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Wednesday | March 29, 2017: 4 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 40°/42°, Time: 39:09, Pace: 9:47 avg, Difficulty: easy until I pushed on the last mile!, Felt: good
Strength: one dumbbell and BOSU, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay, but SUPER hot

Thursday | March 30, 2017: 4.4 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 40°/39°, Time: 42:30, Pace: 9:39 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great (just super soaked from the rain!)
trength: braided bands, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good – a bit loopy though!

Friday | March 31, 2017: teaching strength class + 714 yd swim + 26 m bike (w/Dad)
Strength: braided bands, Difficulty: easy (observing as much as possible), Felt: fine!
Loc: FitNation, Time: 14:39, Pace: 2:03 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Loc: Round trip Evansdale to Cedar Falls, Temp: 42°/43°, Time: 2:25:20, Pace: 10.7 mph, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, but a bit timid at first!

Saturday | April 1, 2017: Fools 5K (+ .5 WU & 1.4 CD)
Loc: George Wyth, Temp: 34°/39°, Time: 25:10, Pace: 7:58 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good
Sunday | April 2, 2017: 7 m run (w/Dad on bike)
Loc: Cedar Valley Nature Trail, Temp: 45°/46°, Time: 1:14:46, Pace: 10:40 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good


  • Monday mornings are busy at the pool! I got to the gym when it opened at 5:00 and all the pool lanes were immediately full. I had a lane to myself for about half my swim then shared it for part of my second half. That’s the first time I’ve ever had to share a lane. A lot of my friends say they have to share lanes every time they go (to other gyms) so I guess I’ve been lucky! Then the pool cleared out at 6:00… good to note – it’s may be better to arrive later!
  • This week ended up being a bit crazy with strength classes. I planned to teach an extra class on Wednesday but ended up teaching last minute Thursday night too! I was not at home any night this week! GAH SO TIRED.
  • I had a blast riding with my dad to packet pickup on Friday. It was my first outdoor ride of the year and I was surprisingly a bit timid! That will change soon. I LOVE that my hometown has paved trails all over town to ride/run/whatever on! It’s so nice to ride and not have to worry about car traffic.
  • My family had a lot of fun at the 5K on Saturday! My brother, his two kids, and I ran it, my dad and my brother’s wife walked, and my mom spectated. Race report coming this week!
  • Monthly recap time! In March I ran 122 miles (25 runs), cycled 86.4 miles (5 indoor rides, 1 outdoor ride) and swam 6,043 yards (5 swims). My coldest run was 21°F and my warmest was 64°F. I taught 9 strength classes, and 2 fitness boxing classes.

Link to Training Week 388

Random Thoughts Thursday 129

By , March 30, 2017 6:08 am
  • Ha, I started this Random Thought’s Thursday (RRT) draft weeks ago! I miss blogging, but don’t seem to have a lot to say for single topic posts, so RTT posts (and other list posts, like what I have for tomorrow) are perfect for me right meow.
  • The “On This Day”/Facebook Memories thing that pops up showing what I’ve posted sometimes makes me feel crappy because it’s a memory with someone I no longer spend time with. It’s normal and necessary for people to come and go in our lives, but I sometimes feel pained thinking about it. (I feel like this is also a reflection of how little I post on Facebook now, and how much less social I am.) Note, today’s “memory” does not fall in to that category!

  • Another social media comment – I’m surprised how much I like Instagram, and am happy I figured out how to make it work for me. I’m also surprised some of the email requests I get to post random crap (usually infographics or links) here now write “and I saw on your Instagram…” Um, no you didn’t. It’s private. Ha ha. (I’m considering making it public but not sure…)
  • Speaking of email requests to post random crap – I have a draft blog post listing all the things to NOT do in the email if you are trying to get me to post something. But the post is a bit snarky, even for me. So it’ll probably stay in the drafts folder.
  • We’ve been watching Parks and Recreation during lunch break (it’s my first time seeing the show) and I loved the first few seasons, but the last two are just bizzaro!
  • I’m such a grouch until I get my daily workout in. Which is a problem since I usually workout when I get off work at 4:00 pm. Ugh.
  • Look at this cool PR bell they are going to have at the 5K I am doing Saturday! I won’t be going near it, but I think it’s awesome they have it! (I was originally hoping for a course PR, but that won’t happen with how I’ve been training!)

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 128

Training Week 388

By , March 26, 2017 4:08 pm

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

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

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

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

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


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

Link to Training Week 387

Saddle time

By , March 20, 2017 6:23 am

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

Look at those hills! Yowza!

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

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

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