Category: Running + Training

Another state added!

By , June 24, 2016 2:32 pm

I’m happy I brought my trail shoes and gaiters to Alaska – I had a wonderfully rainy, muddy, cool run this morning.

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I could’ve run much longer! It was such a treat to run in comfortable weather, and in beautiful scenery.


And now I can add another state “run in” to my map!

We flew in to Anchorage yesterday. And by “we,” I mean myself and a ton of family/friends – twenty-one of us! We came in to the airport in waves and hung out with Alyssa’s family until everyone was in. Then we all caravanned to Sterling, where the wedding will be.

Oh my gosh. The drive around the Turnagain Arm from Anchorage was stunningly beautiful.

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And I’ll note – I took these photos around 10:00 pm! Nuts! It never really got dark!


I really hope we have a chance to stop and take more photos with Steven’s DSLR on the way back later this week! I can’t get over how beautiful it is here.

We’re all staying in cabins on the wedding site in Sterling. After being up for twenty-four hours it felt SO amazing to get in bed!

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The wedding site is right by a river (the “Funny River,” ha) and of course… it is beautiful! Ha ha. You’ll be seeing me use that word a lot to describe Alaska!

Click to see larger 

Training Week 348

By , June 19, 2016 4:51 pm

Highlight of the Week: Feeling good running in the sun and heat.


Monday | June 13, 2016: 5 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 69°/66°, Time: 47:27, Pace: 9:29 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: heavy
Strength: medicine balls and airex pads, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | June 14, 2016: 8 m run + 10 m ride + 10 mins strength
Loc: DPRT, Temp: 65°/70°, Time: 9:53, Pace: 1:19:07 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, legs still heavy for first 5
Indoor Ride Time: 36:15, Pace: 16.6 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good for the legs!

Wednesday | June 15, 2016: rest
Thursday | June 16, 2016: 5 m run (incl. 1/2/3/4/5 ladder)
Loc: hood, Temp: 68°/66°, Time: 44:44, Pace: 8:57 avg, Difficulty: medium/hard, Felt: great to start, tired at the end
Friday | June 17, 2016: teaching strength class + 7 m run
Strength: single dumbbell and boxing, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 74°/73°, Time: 1:05:09, Pace: 9:18, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Saturday | June 18, 2016: 12 m run
Loc: DPRT, Temp: 56°/71°, Time: 1:58:27, Pace: 9:52 avg, Difficulty: hard then easy, Felt: so tired (sleepy) then better!
Sunday | June 19, 2016: teaching fitness boxing + 3 m run
Strength: Boxing pads and gloves, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good – already sore at the end of class!
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 83°/83°, Time: 28:28, Pace: 9:28 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good


  • I’ve been taking my old running shoes to the Nike outlet – they have a program where they tun old shoes in to running track. Well, used to have a program that did that – I took my shoes there Tuesday night and they informed me they no longer do that! Bummer! I hate to just throw the shoes out (and not recycle them) but they don’t qualify for a reuse program – they’re too far gone. Maybe I’ll find something else.
  • The seed corn on my foot started hurting again this week. Ugh. I’ve used the pumice stone a few times since I first blogged about it, but I think I need to make sure I do it a few days a week! It helped when I used it after my Saturday long run. I also got some corn healer/remover bandages to try!
  • I’ve been stupid tired this week. I felt so sleepy and slow when I started my long run on Saturday I told myself I’d turn around at 3 miles if it didn’t get better. Luckily, I started to feel better and kept going, but decided to cut back my total weekly mileage and go home early and take a short nap. Ha. Sooooooo sleeeeeeeeeeepy.

Link to Training Week 347

Random Thoughts Thursday 103

By , June 16, 2016 6:08 am
  • My day job is in the design (interior architecture) industry. That means going to NeoCon, a several day design exposition and conference for commercial interiors at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago (I only went one day this year). All that intro is to tell you I saw this office jungle gym yesterday at NeoCon and ME LIKEY!!!! It’s called the BuzziJungle, by BuzziSpace. You basically climb in, and sit wherever! Don’t you think your office needs this?! Mine sure does!


  • I ended up completely starting over with the dishcloth I started Tuesday (I was only 14 rows in, so, no biggie d) so it would be more tightly knit. I thought I was going to finish it last night but I had to do work when I got home. Maybe I’ll finish it on this morning’s train ride! Or maybe I’ll nap. Ha.


  • Work has been frying my brain something serious lately. Pair that with days in training where I am trying to get my regular work done and pay attention to class, and I am SO brain dead. Blah. I can’t wait for vacation! I really need a reset.
  • It’s too hot out (for me) to wear pants or jeans to work (and not suffer from my sweatiness). Time to bust out some of the last few boxes I haven’t unpacked since February – summer skirts and dresses! Woo hoo! Let the legs breeeeeeeeeeeathe!


  • Ugh. The bugs out here. Those are NOT moles on my neck in my post run picture below. It’s not so much that the bugs gross me out, just that I wish they’d stay off my body/stop flying around my head. And summer hasn’t even started yet… muah ha ha.


Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 102


By , June 14, 2016 1:56 pm

I hit 1000 (well, 1003) miles run for the year, today!


Um, apparently, on the EXACT same day as last year. That was NOT planned. Ha.


I don’t have a goal for total miles run for the year, so consistency is fine with me!

What else happens on June 14th? My snister’s wedding anniversary! Happy Anniversary, snis! Pretty soon we’ll have another June anniversary in the family… my older brother’s wedding is coming up!

Training Week 347

By , June 12, 2016 10:30 pm

Highlight of the Week: An even effort on my long run!


Monday | June 6, 2016: 5 m run + 7 m ride + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 77°/78°, Time: 48:08, Pace: 9:37 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, ready for rest day!
Indoor Ride Time: 28:19 Pace: 14.9 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good (also frustrated with speed sensor, but fixed it after the ride)
Strength: medicine balls and airex pad, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | June 7, 2016: rest
Wednesday | June 8, 2016: 6 m run (incl. 10×400) + 20 mins strength + 5 m ride
Loc: hood, Temp: 59°/60°, Time: 53:36, Pace: 8:56 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: decent (eventually tired quads)
Indoor Ride Time: 19:23, Pace: 15.5 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: PISSED I couldn’t get the TV or my computer to work

Thursday | June 9, 2016:: 4 m run + 7 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 61°/65°, Time: 36:31, Pace: 9:07 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, enjoyed the clouds
Loc: to VP Woods, Temp: 63°/71°, Time: 1:06:03, Pace: 9:26 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good, getting tired toward end

Friday | June 10, 2016: teaching strength class + 4 m run + 1.75 m walk (w/Steven, Anne & Terry)
Strength: medicine balls and airex pad, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 89°/89°, Time: 37:48, Pace: 9:26, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good in heat, biggest problem was stomach

Saturday | June 11, 2016: 17 m run
Loc: DPRT, Temp: 70°/74°, Time: 2:54:22, Pace: 10:15 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Sunday | June 12, 2016: 3 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 64°/64°, Time: 27:54, Pace: 9:17 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but sore toes!


  • Blah, it’s that buggy time of year. For a few weeks, I’ve had bugs flying around my head during parts of my run. ANNOYING! Leave me alone!
  • I had my hottest run of the year (and hotter than any run last year) on Friday- 89°F! I actually didn’t feel horrible, which is great. (My stomach was another story – oops, too many Doritos.)
  • I had one of those awesome long runs this week where you want to keep going! I planned an out and back and was supposed to turn at 8 but felt so good I went to 8.5. Ha, I know, an extra mile isn’t that much, but it was encouraging to feel so good when it was really humid and gross out. I am not training for anything right now that requires that kind of mileage – I enjoy running it, so I do. And it helps with the Doritos mentioned above. And my sanity.
  • I was disappointed in the lack of (some) biker’s courtesy on the trails on Saturday. It’s so easy to warn someone you are coming up on their left. Do it. And don’t ride down the middle of the path and brush by them. Sigh.

Link to Training Week 346

The bad advice Runner’s World needs to stop giving 

By , June 11, 2016 9:55 am

A couple of years ago Runner’s World had a hot off the press tip for one of their “use running to lose weight” articles – during your runs, swish your sports drink in your mouth then spit it out to save calories! Recent studies show the sugars trick your brain in to giving you a boost without ingesting it!


Yes, let’s encourage disordered eating (drinking?). It’s not enough that you’re running – don’t you dare think of swallowing (ew)!

They’ve included this tip in their magazine every few months since then. Each time it makes me ragey. I can see encouraging skipping caloric beverages when not running, when not running for a long time, and spitting out during a run if your stomach is upset, but come on. I’m a runner who almost always needs to lose weight and I’m excited I finally found a caloric beverage that my stomach can handle on long runs – because it REALLY helps me get through my run. I’m swallowing it.


I drank and swallowed ALL of this Vitamin Water!


The funny thing is, the article in the July issue that made me think of this is actually an article I like, because it’s about a topic I wrote a draft post about a few months ago and never posted – decision overload (I’ll have to post that once this article is up on their website). And this time, they are giving the tip to do it for a boost of energy when you are NOT running, and to actually ingest the drink if you do need to replenish your glucose stores during a run. So… maybe progress?! I don’t know. I bet we’ll see it show up as a running “weight loss” tip again in a future issue – it seems to be a favorite of theirs.


The bad kind of corn

By , June 7, 2016 4:51 am

Until recently, the only issues my wonky supination had given me was the occasionally sore left side, shoes that didn’t last very long, and goofy race pictures:

Until recently. A few months ago I started getting a pain on the ball of my left foot around a hardened part of the skin, at what looked like a void. It took me until last week, but I finally figured out what it is – a seed corn.

I was finally inspired to figure out what it was because it hurt SO bad. I had to wear shoes/sandals all the time – pressure on it bare-footed caused a lot of pain on the ball of my foot. It was ridiculous to me how something so little could cause so much pain.

My normal method of cutting hurty things off my foot didn’t work. It keeps growing back. Grrr.

So the internets said to soak my foot and rub the seed corn with a pumice stone to relieve the pain, and – drumroll, please – it seemed to work! The pain went away after I did that. The corn is going to keep coming back, since that is where my left foot lands when I run, but at least now I have a way to deal with it – apart from completely changing my running style!

Training Week 346

By , June 5, 2016 2:23 pm

Highlight of the Week: Feeling energetic and being able to work out the amount I wanted to (and feeling better than last week, in the humidity)!


Monday | May 30, 2016: 5 m run
Loc: Van Patten Woods, Temp: 77°/78°, Time: 48:39, Pace: 9:44 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: hot, still getting used to it!
Tuesday | May 31, 2016: rest
Wednesday | June 1, 2016: 5 m run (incl. 400, 800, 400, 800, 400) + 15 mins strength
Loc: hood, Temp: 64°/64°, Time: 44:54, Pace: 8:59 avg, Difficulty: hard, Felt: hot, spent, but okay
Thursday | June 2, 2016: 11 m run + 3 m run
Loc: DPRT, Temp: 62°/69°, Time: 1:48:07, Pace: 9:50 avg, Difficulty: medium then easy, Felt: legs tired first half, fine for second!
Loc: hood, Temp: 78°/78°, Time: 27:29, Pace: 9:09 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Friday | June 3, 2016: teaching strength class + 6 m run + bike/run brick (w/Jack)
Strength: medicine balls and Airex pad, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good, felt it right away!
Loc: hood, Temp: 72°/75°, Time: 55:25, Pace: 9:14, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great!
Loc: Illinois Beach State Park, Temp: 73°/73°, Time: 34:31/8:37, Pace: 16.3 mph avg/8:37, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good!

Saturday | June 4, 2016: 14 m run
Loc: DPRT, Temp: 66°/73°, Time: 2:17:04, Pace: 9:47 avg, Difficulty:mostly easy, Felt: good, legs a bit tired
Sunday | June 5, 2016: 3 m run + 20 min bike + teaching fitness boxing
Loc: hood, Temp: 60°, Time: 29:25, Pace: 9:48 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: okay but tired
Indoor Ride Time: 20:00, Pace: 14.3 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: better
Strength: Boxing pads and gloves, Difficulty: easy (mostly observing), Felt: good


  • This week was so much better than last week… and the last month. I finally felt like I had some time to work out, work, AND get house stuff (and errands!) done too. Ha. It definitely helped that I had Monday and Friday off. Ha ha ha.
  • Geesh, the backs of my knees were so swollen from mosquito bites that it was affecting my run Thursday am – it made my legs feel a bit stiff, and well, swollen! Stupid effers!
  • I ran in to Bobbi and Dawn during my Thursday am run and that was a treat! And it gave me some energy to run a bit faster.
  • I’ve enjoyed my runs but been spending a lot of the time during them thinking about biking and swimming – things that keep me cool when I work out! I hope to hop in the pool a few times this summer, and to definitely get out for more rides.
  • I was able to ride outside this week! I was already thinking about asking Bobbi’s son if he wanted to join me, and it was perfect timing – he had his first tri today, but hadn’t ridden outside yet, or done a brick, so we did a small brick on Sunday. I enjoyed sharing my small amount of outdoor biking and tri knowledge with him.
  • During my long run on Saturday I ran across a race on the trail called “Outrun the Cops.” People were chasing the cops, and some of them ran in full uniform! That was fun to see, and it got me pumped up and made me pick up the pace a bit.


  • Monthly recap time! May has been my worst month of the year so far. Laziness and a busy schedule was not a great combination for me, and it definitely left me feeling crappy. Onward, though! In May I ran 115 miles and cycled 86.5 miles (5 indoor rides, 2 outdoor rides). I taught 8 strength classes and 3 fitness boxing classes. I only did 1 strength session at home. My coldest outdoor run was 41°F and my warmest was 83°F.

Link to Training Week 345

Random Thoughts Thursday 101

By , June 2, 2016 11:29 am
  • Freddie and Bill seem to be conditioned to the sound of the dump cart – they hear it coming and think I am coming with food! Which, I usually am, but last night I was actually using the dump cart to clear out logs and brush from around the pond. But they came running up, anyway. Sorry, guys! Luckily, I was able to empty out a feeder for them. They must be STARVING. Ha ha.



Not food


Also, not food (you can barely see the cart, ha!)

  • I was unprepared for how sad I would feel, cutting down a few trees, even though we talked about it, and we want a bigger clearing by the pond (and need it for some of the fountain equipment) … and have a LOT more trees on our property. Sigh. It’s the nature girl in me. I better get used to it though – we’ll have to take down more in the future to make our land a bit healthier (not enough light is getting to the forest floor).



Lots of trees

  • This year is the first time I’ve made time to run on “Global Running Day” (which is always the first Wednesday in June, and previously called “National Running Day”). For years, I’ve been in the office every Wednesday, and not made the time to run with the hours commuting. But my team switched our required office day this year (it changes every other week) and it was easier to fit a run in on the “holiday” this year, because I was working from home! I think these made up holidays are a bit hokey (National Donut day is tomorrow!), but I do like starting my month off with a run! May was crap (workout-wise) and I am determined to make June better.
  • Damn though, my June schedule is getting NUTSO. Someone asked me when I was free for a meeting (outside of work) and I had two dates to give them… out of the whole month. And now one of those is no longer available. Eek. How about July?
  • My ankles are sore from unclipping out of my bike pedals on their own from my fall. Ouch! You can’t see the bruise/swollen-ness too well in this photo… but you can see my ridic tan line! Ha!


Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 100

A reason to be cautious of puddles

By , May 30, 2016 10:06 am

It finally happened! I finally fell off my road bike!

I’ve had my road bike since the end of summer in 2013 and have said multiple times that I’m surprised I haven’t fallen off it yet. I figured my first fall off would be a slow motion, coming to stop and not unclipping fast enough sort of thing – because that seems to be when most of the people I know fall off their bike.

No, mine was riding my bike through what looked like a long shallow puddle of water, only to find out that underneath the water was a layer of slimy mud.


It was a very fast skid and fall with no time to unclip. My ankles seemed to do that on their own when I hit the ground (ouch).

I immediately got up because I heard my dad fall behind me – he fell when he hit the brakes so he wouldn’t hit me! Ugh! Luckily, Will saw it all in time to put his feet down (he was on a recumbent) and get off his bike to walk it.

Then, just walking through the water was a challenge because of the slimy mud. Dad fell again! And ended up with the most impressive road rash:


You can barely see the scrapes on my shoulder – my shirt (and bra) got the worst of it (and I woke up sore from it, today):


(Funny thing – whenever I pick a jersey to ride I almost always think “I should wear something with sleeves because it provides more protection in case I fall!” But wanting to be comfortable (heat-wise) and not wanting a farmer’s tan always seems to win. So yeah, I had a tank on when I fell).

And this all happened less than a mile in to our ride! Ha!

We were saying there should have been a sign out – there are signs all over the rest of the trail for MUCH smaller puddles. And lots of signs to dismount, too.


But really, if I saw that sign, and saw how low the water was, I would have had no idea it had a layer of slimy mud underneath and still probably tried to ride through. But we all know I won’t ever do that again! Ha! I was very cautious of puddles after that!

We continued on with our ride. I noticed my left handle bar was crooked from where I landed it on it (the guys helped me push it back in place), but my tires were spinning evenly and the gearing was all working, so I wanted to keep going! My hometown has a great paved trail system that is fantastic for road biking and I had really been looking forward to riding with Dad and Will!


The rest of the twenty miles were mostly without incident. We did come across a tree that was down on the trail (they had a nasty storm last week), but it was timed perfectly for Will to put in a bid on eBay, ha!


And then there was an incident where a goose thought I was riding too close to him and his family and flew in front of my bike and was flapping his wings in mid-air while I tried to ride forward… silly goose.

It was a fun ride, despite it starting with our falls! I can’t wait to ride a day of RAGBRAI with Dad and Will (and Will’s sister Julie, and Gina). Two months to go!

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