Category: Running + Training

The streak lives!

By , September 26, 2016 6:23 am


The two races I’ve been running each year since 2009 – the Frosty Footrace 5K and the Wisconsin Half Marathon – both decided to change their courses for 2017*. The Frosty course is a completely new location, and the Wisconsin course is in the same area, but tweaked. I am hoping the Frosty course won’t be as hilly, and that the Wisconsin course won’t have as many potholes. We shall see!

Frosty Footrace 5K Wisconsin Half Marathon
2009 27:53 1:57:47
2010 25:55 2:19:11
2011 25:00 2:05:21
2012 24:00 2:06:11
2013 23:27 1:51:15
2014 26:48 2:06:53
2015 22:58 2:06:16
2016 21:45 1:53:07

These are also the only two races I’ve done this year (I am signed up for one more race – a 5K in October)! It’s kind of nuts for me to be this far in to the year and to have only done two races. A few people have asked me if I am burned out on racing and running. I’m not, actually! I just don’t want to commit my time and money to doing races now, with all the house stuff we have going on. That’s it! Maybe my racing will ramp back up next year or in a few years… or around Thanksgiving when I get the racing bug. But I know I’ll be doing these two races for sure, next year – I already registered for the Wisconsin Half**!


*Thanks to Anne for the heads up re: the Frosty course changing!
**The past few years I’ve gotten a free entry to this race for getting ten people to use a $5 off code I had for the race. I am not doing that this year. It became too stressful because there were eventually so many codes out there that the people who’d normally use mine weren’t anymore.

Training Week 362

By , September 25, 2016 5:47 pm

Highlight of the Week: Building my freestyle swimming endurance.


Monday | September 19, 2016: 1,365 yd swim + 3 m run + 5 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: FitNation, Time: 37:59, Pace:  2:36 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Gurnee, Temp: 63°/63°, Time: 29:01, Pace: 9:39 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 82°/84°, Time: 48:48, Pace: 9:45 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, hot, but what’s new?
Strength: Lebert Equalizer and Kettlbells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | September 20, 2016: rest
Wednesday | September 21, 2016: 13.5 m ride + 5 m run
Indoor Ride Time: 49:58, Pace: 16.2 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Van Patten Woods, Temp: 73°/73°, Time: 49:07, Pace: 9:49 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Thursday | September 22, 2016: 5 m run (incl. 8×400)
Loc: hood, Temp: 72°/72°, Time: 47:51, Pace: 9:34 avg, Difficulty: hard, Felt: a bit like death
Friday | September 23, 2016: teaching strength class + 1,197 yd swim + 4 m run
Strength: body bars and soft balls, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: FitNation, Time: 33:11, Pace: 2:17 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, minus inhaling water a few times, Felt: great
Loc: Raven Glen FP, Temp: 69°/69°, Time: 40:01, Pace: 10:00 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: physically fine, but stomach hurt from lunch

Saturday | September 24, 2016: 6 m run + teaching fitness boxing
Loc: hood, Temp: 64°/65°, Time: 57:26, Pace: 9:34 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, minus last mile (bathroom ish)
Strength: boxing and core, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great

Sunday | September 25, 2016: 14 m run (last mile w/Bobbi!)
Loc: DPRT, Temp: 65°/69°, Time: 2:35:08, Pace: 11:05 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: okay, but worn out


  • Swimming was such a wonderful, calming way to start the week. That would be a great habit to get in to. I have been working on my freestyle swimming endurance and it’s going pretty well when I remember to go SLOW. And not try to inhale air when I am under water.
  • It was horribly muggy for my speedwork on Thursday. How appropriate for the first day of fall. Blah!
  • I typically run from my front door to save time, but lately I’ve been driving to trails to run once or twice a week. The runs from the house are getting a bit old, and I’ll be running those routes all winter when the trails are covered in snow – I should be running the trails now!
  • We had another fun fitness boxing class with great energy from the students! I love teaching that class. Although, man, I was SORE from it. We had an uneven amount of students which means I paired up using the target mitts and pad and I can ALWAYS feel that the next day! It definitely affected me on my long run.
  • I ran in to Bobbi at the last mile of my long run! I saw her car when I parked at the trail but figured there was little chance I’d see her, so it was a really nice surprise!

Link to Training Week 361

The worst kind of tan

By , September 23, 2016 8:45 am

Is the sunglasses tan. Sigh.


This isn’t even from running!


It’s from wearing my regular sunglasses while playing with my nephews in a bounce house over Labor Day weekend. Gah! Hopefully it goes away soon. I’ve had it for a few weeks now (and running mostly midday, wearing shades, probably doesn’t help it go away).

Remember my rant about Runner’s World and their stupid swish and spit advice? Here it is, again, in the October issue, as a way to “perk up” when you “hit the wall” during a run.


Seriously. Did whatever study make them want to continually give this advice say that your brain would not notice the presence of carbs and “perk up” if you swallow the beverage? Is anyone actually doing this?! It blows my mind to see this tip in their magazine over and over and over.

Chicago 2016

By , September 20, 2016 6:21 am

I’m so excited about Gina running the Chicago Marathon this year. I love hearing about her training (and doing some runs with her!), planning for their trip out here, getting ready to spectate, anticipating going to the expo, talking about what we are going to eat before and after the race… I can’t wait!


This will be the first time I’ve participated in Chicago Marathon activities since I ran it in 2010, and I am happy to be on the spectating side! Now, if we could get some actual fall weather going on for this race… Surely, the temperature could drop in the next eighteen days, right?!

Training Week 361

By , September 18, 2016 10:56 am

Highlight of the Week: Working out with Gina! A great long run!


Monday | September 12, 2016: 3.2 m run (w/Gina) + 17 m ride (w/Gina) + teaching strength class
Loc: Van Patten Woods, Temp: 71°/72°, Time: 29:47, Pace: 9:18 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great!
Loc: DPRT, Temp: 72°/75°, Time: 1:30:13, Pace: 11.3 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great!
Strength: dumbbell and cardio/core circuits, Difficulty: easy, Felt: sick of teaching that workout

Tuesday | September 13, 2016: 5 m run (w/Gina, incl. 2:00/1:00/:30 fast/faster/fastest x5)
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 70°/70°, Time: 47:25, Pace: 9:29 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good – liked the workout!
Wednesday | September 14, 2016: 840 yd swim (alt. breaststroke & freestyle)
Loc: FitNation, Time: 22:15, Pace: 2:24 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: strong
Thursday | September 15, 2016: 8.8 m run
Loc: ML loop, Temp: 72°/71°, Time: 1:27:26, Pace: 9:56 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: mostly good, minor stomach pain
Friday | September 16, 2016: teaching strength class + 5 m run + 10 m ride
Strength: Lebert & Kettlbell, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay, knee bugging on lateral moves
Loc: hood, Temp: 78°/79°, Time: 51:15, Pace: 10:14, Difficulty: x, Felt: heavy, hot, annoyed (w/bugs hitting me & the wind)
Indoor Ride Time: 32:36, Pace: 18.4 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Saturday | September 17, 2016: 7 m run (w/Kelly, on phone)
Loc: Pine Dunes FP, Temp: 69°/69°, Time: 1:12:00, Pace: 10:17 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Sunday | September 18, 2016: 12 m run
Loc: Kilbourne/DPRT Loop, Temp: 55°/67°, Time: 2:03:51, Pace: 10:19 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, even sped up at the end!


  • I liked the intervals Gina’s coach had her do for our Tuesday run. We ran a warm-up mile, then ran two minutes fast, one minute faster, and thirty seconds our fastest, with two minute recovery, five times. It sounded horrible when we were talking about it, but it went by so fast, and I didn’t mind it! I may have to try it again!
  • As of today, for the month, I have run one mile more than last month’s total mileage. I am happy to be getting back in to the groove!
  • Last Sunday, Steven’s aunt and uncle were and town, and they had dinner at our house with me and Steven and Gina. Steven’s aunt was talking about a local news anchor who was doing the Madison Ironman that day and how she was talking about “slacking off time,” when you’re done with all your peak training and getting close to the race. And took me and Gina a second, then we asked “Do you mean taper time?” “Oh yeah!” Ha! We all laughed at that! And now Gina and I are calling taper “slacking off time,” cause we like it better.
  • That knee pain from last week seems to be mostly gone. I wonder if it was just a deep bruise.
  • I have another update on those Champion Absolute Fusion shorts I’ve been trying. I’ve love the way they feel on runs, but unfortunately, they don’t seem to be constructed very well – the seams are coming apart after only a few wears (see pics below). I contacted Champion and they think it’s a “bad batch.” I hope so – I’d like these shorts to work out! I plan to return the bad ones and try new ones.

160916goodseams 160916badseams1 160916badseams2 160918wtf

Link to Training Week 360

Skamp 2016

By , September 14, 2016 9:52 am

Skamp 2016 was awesome! We fit in three runs (including one across state borders, and two by the cloud factory),

one bike ride,


a trip to the beach,


lots of yummy food and drinks (once, ha),


a few shopping trips and LOTS of relaxation time. It was such a nice break for me from work and house projects. The whole time I kept thinking how lucky I was that Gina was able to come and stay for three whole days – we were able to catch up and connect on so many things. What a treat and great chance to unplug! I can’t wait until she comes back, with the boys, for the Chicago Marathon!

Training Week 360

By , September 11, 2016 10:28 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running long with Gina! Swimming again! Teaching fitness boxing again!


Monday | September 5, 2016: 8 m run 
Loc: ML Loop, Temp: 78°/85°, Time: 1:21:41 Pace: 10:12 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good until the last mile THEN SO THIRSTY AND HOT
Tuesday | September 6, 2016: 4 m run
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 82°/88°, Time: 38:29, Pace: 9:37 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: surprisingly good, considering the weather
Wednesday | September 7, 2016: 1,071 yd swim (alt. breaststroke & freestyle) + 10 m ride + 3 m run
Loc: FitNation, Time: 2:36 min/100 yd, Pace: 30:02 avg, Difficulty:easy, Felt: good, happy to swim again!
Indoor Ride Time: 39:45, Pace: 15.1 mpg avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, annoyed with sensor
Loc: Pine Dunes FP, Temp: 88°/83°, Time: 29:29, Pace: 9:48 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Thursday | September 8, 2016: teaching strength class
Strength: dumbbell and cardio/core circuits, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but a bit sleepy and out of it
Friday | September 9, 2016: teaching strength class + 609 yd swim (alt., but mostly breaststroke) + 6 m run (incl. 1:00/2:00 x5)
Strength: dumbbell and cardio/core circuits, Difficulty: easy, Felt: tired from teaching the same workout <12 hours prior
Loc: FitNation, Time: 19:36, Pace: 2:58 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: weak, hungry, like I had bonked
Loc: hood, Temp: 77°/79°, Time: 59:03, Pace: 9:50, Difficulty: medium, Felt: decent, appreciated the breeze

Saturday | September 10, 2016: teaching fitness boxing + 3 m run
Strength: Step and boxing, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, energetic
Loc: hood, Temp: 70°, Time: 29:22, Pace: 9:46 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, minus bathroom emergency

Sunday | September 11, 2016: 13 m run (w/Gina)
Loc: In to WI loop, Temp: 58°/70°, Time: 2:07:48, Pace: 9:50 avg, Difficulty: mostly easy, Felt: good!


  • I was excited to start swimming laps again this week (the outdoor pool I use closed for open swim on the last Friday in August), and hope it’s something I keep doing. My swims this week were not without incident though! On the first one, I scrapped my knee on the bottom of the pool (it’s shallower than I am used to) and on the second, I felt like I was bonking – I was super low on energy. Next week should be better! (And then there was the lady also using the pool who cornered me in the locker room to talk to me about how awful it is that the pool is so short and hot, then lectured me about healthcare… luckily I saw her again the second time, ha.)
  • I had some interesting encounters on my runs this week, too – there was the person Monday who commented on how much I sweat, the person who bought my drink Tuesday, then there was another incident Saturday! A truck coming toward me on the street went to the center of the street to give me space (yay!) but then I noticed the passenger had their window down and was leaning out. Oh great, I was thinking. What is this going to be about? The person leaned out the window, and yelled at me “Have a great day, beautiful!” Ha. That was NOT what I was expecting!
  • We had a huge turnout for the first fitness boxing class in two months! It’s always fun when we have a big group – people feed off of each other’s energy.
  • Gina is here for Skamp!!! We did her long run today (it’s her last cutback week before peak week for Chicago, then she tapers) on the roads. I took her on a route through Wisconsin, cause I knew she’d get a kick out of running in a new state. I suspected my road routes might only be good for solo runners due to the shoulder widths, and parts of this run definitely confirmed that – it’s too narrow and rocky to be side by side. We’re gonna check out some of the trails while she is here, too. It’s such a treat for me to have her here and get to run together (and hang out all day!)!!!
  • My right knee is still feeling a bit odd – like it’s bruised on the kneecap or something. I am definitely keeping an eye on it. I am hoping it’s just something leftover from house construction work!

Link to Training Week 359

Random Thoughts Thursday 108

By , September 8, 2016 6:23 am
  • I was going through our mail and came across the county trail map and thought “I wonder when they’ll finish extending the Millennium Trail toward my house,” then looked at the map, and saw that more of the trail exists by me than I realized, and that it goes through a preserve with a 2.2 mile loop right by my house that I haven’t visited even though I’ve lived here seven months. AHHH!!! Must get there asap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I went the next day, ha!)

160907LCFPDmap 160907pinedunes

  • Last year, Anne told me about a local park district that has indoor lap swim, but neither of us ever checked it out. I’ve missed swimming, so I went there Wednesday am for their open swim. It’s a nice big gym that’s close to my house (!!!!) with a 21 yard pool where you can pay a $6 drop-in fee to swim. I actually didn’t mind the shorter lanes, since I am still working on my freestyle endurance. I’ll be back! (And bonus, it’s close to Starbucks!)
  • We were so eager to put holes in our newly painted walls, ha! We put up a new “smart” thermostat on Tuesday, as well as my jewelry holders. Yay! I can’t wait to put up the rest of (or most of) our art, framed prints, and my medal racks.


Steven’s “You really want me to put holes in this freshly painted wall?!” face.


  • For all that mention of our house inspection approval being held up because we didn’t have attic insulation, I don’t think I ever posted a picture of it installed! Here you go! So exciting!

160826insulatedattic1 160826insulatedattic2


Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 107

I sure do!

By , September 5, 2016 12:37 pm

During my run today, I stopped at a gas station to buy something to drink. As I was walking toward the counter to checkout, I went by a store employee and smiled. They stopped, looked me up and down and said “You sweat a lot.”

I responded right away, “that’s because I ran five miles to get here.”

Other appropriate responses:

  • Well, it’s midday and 85°, why wouldn’t I?”
  • I sure do!
  • GFY.
  • I hadn’t noticed (then brush a sweaty arm against them).

Ugh. What a weird thing to say. Thank you, Captain Obvious!


Training Week 359

By , September 4, 2016 9:48 pm

Highlight of the Week: Hitting my mileage goal for the second week in a row! Doing a double!


Monday | August 29, 2016: 10 m ride + teaching strength class
Indoor Ride Time: 42:30, Pace: 14.1 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Strength: Kettlebells and Lebert Equalizer, Difficulty: easy, Felt: surprisingly good (just so sleepy lately!)

Tuesday | August 30, 2016: 7 m run + 10 m ride
Loc: Van Patten loop, Temp: 79°/81°, Time: 1:12:31, Pace: 10:21 avg, Difficulty: hard, Felt: so hot, so tired
Indoor Ride Time: 39:05, Pace: 15.4 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, sore butt

Wednesday | August 31, 2016: 3 m run
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 77°/75°, Time: 29:16, Pace: 9:44 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: windy, but enjoyed the breeze
Thursday | September 1, 2016: 6 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 69°/69°, Time: 57:58, Pace: 9:39 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good (right knee a still bit tender at start)
Friday | September 2, 2016: teaching strength class + 4 m run (incl. 4×400) + 5 m run
Strength: Kettlebells and Lebert Equalizer, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 70°/71°, Time: 38:48, Pace: 9:42, Difficulty: easy-ish, Felt: best during the intervals!
Loc: hood, Temp: 71°/71°, Time: 51:13, Pace: 10:14 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, minus almost bathroom emergency

Saturday | September 3, 2016: 15 m run
Loc: DPRT, Temp: 54°/69°, Time: 2:45:26, Pace: 11:01 avg, Difficulty: hard, Felt: low on energy (hungry), tired (legs)
Sunday | September 4, 2016: 7 m ride
Indoor Ride Time: 28:19, Pace: 14.8 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good on the legs!


  • I’ve been lazy with water on my runs, choosing to run with my handheld and running by fountains or places where I can buy water. My 7/8 mile loop has a fountain, but the water tastes so bad – like iron. On Tuesday’s run, I stopped there to fill it up, and it tasted even worse – like iron, but rotting. I took three sips then dumped my water bottle out (with 2.5 miles to go) to make sure I didn’t drink anymore. And I survived!
  • Other stories from my runs this week:
    • It cracks me up when I run by fenced in dogs and they get all excited and run “with” me. I much prefer this to loose dogs!
    • During my Thursday run, I was leaving our neighborhood and someone was pulling out of their driveway, then stopped, and reversed when I ran by, to let me go by. I thought that was nice. Then he pulls up to me as I am running down the street and says “Did you see how I pulled back for you back there?” “Yeah, thanks!” I responded. “You know why I did that?” Oh geesh. Where is this going? “Why?” “Because people who exercise are A-OK with me!” Phew. Ha ha. Then he asked if I wanted to be a “skinny kid” and we had a short convo about how much we like food.
    • I was doing a u-turn in the grass on my second Friday run and almost stepped right on a snake (like this one in the picture)! I felt bad that I almost did!
    • I hate that some of the cyclists are so rude on the trails out here – mostly coming from behind and not calling out, then coming WAY to close to me (when I am running). During my run on Saturday, I had something new happen – I was running over on the right side of the trail, and a group of cyclists came toward, me around a corner, and decided to swarm on either side of me, instead of all go to my left – where there was PLENTY of space. They were all wearing matching jerseys and going FAST. That was a dick move. No other word for it.
  • Time for the August recap! In August I ran 107 miles, cycled 88.7 miles (8 indoor rides, 1 outdoor ride) and swam laps 4 times. My coldest outdoor run was 58°F and my warmest was 89°F. I taught 8 strength classes, and did 1 strength session at home. This was the first month of the year I didn’t teach any weekend classes (and with good timing, with all our house work). I’ll be back at it in September.

Link to Training Week 358

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