Category: Running + Training

Training Week 357

By , August 21, 2016 11:39 pm

Highlight of the Week: Getting to do a “long” run!


Monday | August 15, 2016: 6 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 77°/78, Time: 57:51, Pace: 9:38 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: good! grateful it was overcast
Strength: plates and cards, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | August 16, 2016: 5 m run + attic work
Loc: hood, Temp: 78°/80°, Time: 49:32, Pace: 9:54 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: tired, tender knees, hot
Wednesday | August 17, 2016: 4 m run + attic work
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 80°/85°, Time: 39:16, Pace: 9:49 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: okay, hot
Thursday | August 18, 2016: 6 m run (incl. 1,2,3,4,5 ladder) + attic work
Loc: hood, Temp: 79°/83°, Time: 58:49, Pace: 9:48 avg, Difficulty: hard, Felt: good then completely spent
Friday | August 19, 2016: teaching strength class + 850 m swim (breaststroke) + attic work
Strength: step, 1 DB and boxing, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Loc: Grayslake Pool, Temp (air): 70°, Time: 22:57, Pace: 2:42 min/100m Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, energetic!

Saturday | August 20, 2016: 7 m ride + attic work
Indoor Ride Time: 28;19, Pace: 14.8 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Sunday | August 21, 2016: 10 m run + attic work
Loc: DPRT to Kilbourne loop, Temp: 58°/63°, Time: 1:41:17, Pace: 10:07 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good


  • Someone new tried my Monday night class. Awesome! I later saw she posted the class picture on Facebook and someone commented about her trying “CrossFit.” Ha. Ha ha. My class is not CrossFit, but I can see how people think CrossFit and Bootcamp, etc., are synonymous for what we do!
  • Another instructor attended my class Friday morning, which was awesome, because it gave me some energy I didn’t know I had!
  • I felt really good at my swim this week, and didn’t need any breaks! That is probably because I didn’t go right after class (I had a meeting then went) and because I didn’t box in class, ha.
  • Yay, I did a “long” run this week! And the weather was decent – a glimpse of fall with temps in the low 60s!  I can’t wait to get back to running more. I feel so off and blah and generally miserable.
  • The new shorts worked well for the long run. They seem thicker than my old shorts though, and feel a bit hotter.

Link to Training Week 356

Run the World Book Review

By , August 20, 2016 6:28 am

For my birthday, Gina gave me a copy* of Run the World, the recently published memoir documenting elite athlete Becky Wade’s one-year post-college grant-funded journey across the world she took in 2012/2013 to study different running cultures.

How’s that for a mouthful? Ha.


After graduating from Rice University in 2012, and wanting some adventure before pursuing a professional running career, Becky Wade traveled to many different countries to experience their running culture. Her travels were funded by the Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, which is awarded each year to forty graduating college seniors to travel the world to do research in their field of interest.

Wade’s travels included:

  • England (during the 2012 Summer Olympics)
  • Ireland
  • Switzerland
  • Ethiopia
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Japan
  • Sweden
  • Finland
  • and more!

In each location, she housed with locals (some being local expats), sometimes staying for a long weekend, and sometimes staying for weeks. Overall, she stayed in seventy-two different beds! And, ran over 3,500 miles during her year of travels!

Her goal during the trip was to study the nuances of the training styles of the area she was in, and overall, to compare them all to one another (and ultimately, it seems, see what works best for her). For example, she learned that the Ethiopians (and some Kenyans she ran with in England) tend to do a very long warmup before their workout, rarely wear a watch, run on technical trails as much as possible, and have no idea how many miles they’ve run. The Japanese, in contrast, are very focused on running high mileage all of the time (and tracking it), but also take their recovery and relaxation process very seriously (with public baths and acupuncture).

Wade also focuses on food and shares a local recipe at the end of each chapter. She is surprised to learn that Ethiopians fare so well on a very high carb diet, when Americans are still in a “carbs are bad!!!” phase. One of her great pleasures during her travels is trying all of the local foods, which was interesting to read about.

Those are just small examples (that you were probably already aware of, ha), but the book really does give insight to the state of running where she is traveling, which I enjoyed. I’m not sure I’ll ever get to run in these places, so it was fun to imagine what it was like, as I was reading (and to look up the places she was talking about on google maps, and later, look at photos on her blog).

I did find some of the writing hard to focus on – her writing style didn’t always click for me, and I felt a bit distracted while reading this – but it got better as I got further in to it.

And man, she mentions the 2016 Summer Olympics a TON, which was awkward, knowing that she didn’t get to participate in them! But the book ends on a uplifting note – her marathon debut, and win, at the 2013 California International Marathon.

I love memoirs (because I am so nosy?) so I enjoyed reading this, and recommend it! Traveling the world for the year to explore running cultures sounds like a major treat, and reading about it was a treat, as well.

*This is my way of telling you that this is not a sponsored post

Random Thoughts Thursday 106

By , August 18, 2016 6:27 am
  • I hit a 700 day streak practicing Spanish on DuoLingo! I am practicing stuff I’ve already learned though, since I went through the entire Spanish course late 2014/early 2015. It would be awesome if they added more vocabulary and lessons. And if I practiced with a Spanish speaker!


  • My running uniform might be changing! I needed to replace the Champion’s Women’s Absolute Bike Shorts that I use to run in, but couldn’t find my size, so I ordered the Champion Women’s Absolute Fusion Shorts with SmoothTec™ Waistband to try. They’re the same inseam length as the other pair (7 inches), but a little bit different material (these are 87% Polyester/13% spandex vs. the old ones being 87% Spandex/13% Nylon), and they have a bit thicker waist band (the inside of it leaves funny marks on my skin, ha). The new shorts have been working for short runs and I am anxious to try them on a longer one! This is not sponsored, I bought these with my own money.

160816HanesAbsoluteFusion1 160816HanesAbsoluteFusion2

  • The ducks have stopped visiting. Wah! I haven’t seen them in a week. The pond must be too low for their interest. Sadness. But that’s okay because we have a new friend, Burt (see first picture, below). My mom found Burt when she was out cutting hosta leaves to put in these pretty flowers she picked up for us when she went to run errands. Steven does NOT like spiders. When I showed Burt to him, he jumped back and said “it’s time to get a shot gun.” Ha ha.  (Well, I am laughing – he may be serious.)

160814anewfriend 160814flowers

  • Besides helping with house projects, cooking for us, and surprising us with flowers, my mom also helped me out by wrapping some gifts for me. I am horrible at wrapping gifts, which is funny, because that is kind of what our Tuesday night house project was (more on that tomorrow).


Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 105

Training Week 356

By , August 14, 2016 8:36 pm

Highlight of the Week: A bike ride with my dad!


Monday | August 8, 2016: 5 m run + attic work + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 78°/79°, Time: 50:47, Pace: 10:09 avg, Difficulty: medium/hard, Felt: tired
Strength: plates and cards, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good!

Tuesday | August 9, 2016: 3 m run + attic work
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 83°/85°, Time: 29:23, Pace: 9:47 avg, Difficulty: hard, Felt: not good – too hot, headache, might throw up
Wednesday | August 10, 2016: 12 m ride + basement work
indoor Ride Time: 48:24, Pace: 14.9 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Thursday | August 11, 2016: 5 m run + basement work
Loc: hood, Temp: 84°/89°, Time: 50:44, Pace: 10:08 avg, Difficulty: hard, Felt: so hot, thankful for the breeze
Friday | August 12, 2016: teaching strength class + 700 m swim (breastroke, w/Anne) + 4 m run (incl. 5×400) + attic work
Strength: plates and cards, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good
Loc: Grayslake pool, Temp (outdoor): 75°, Time: 21:58, Pace: 2:40 min/100m, Difficulty: medium, Felt: okay! (but tired and hungry)
Loc: hood
, Temp: 79°/77°, Time: 38:56, Pace: 9:44 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: better than earlier in the week!
Saturday | August 13, 2016: 9.7 m ride (w/Dad) + attic work
Loc: DPRT, Temp: 75°/75°, Time: 53:01, Pace:11.0 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Sunday | August 14, 2016: rest (attic work)


  • After taking four days off running to work on house stuff last week, I thought my legs would be peppy on my first run back on Monday. Nope. They felt SO tired. Blah! I was standing on my feet and going up and down stairs and ladders, and in and out of the attic for days, so that explains it! Tuesday’s run was even worse – hotter and I felt headachey and like I might throw up. Oh joy. At least now I know what to expect next week!
  • My running mileage was ridiculous(ly low) again this week, and I think it will be again next week. Sigh. I need those runs – I am starting to lose it, a bit! (“It” being my mind, but also, my fitness level.) But, I did get to run more this week, than last (since I took lunch breaks at work, and worked out then) and I am grateful for that.
  • I am also grateful my dad and I could do a short bike ride on Saturday! We rode mountain bikes on a crushed trail by my house. It feels so different for me to ride a mountain bike when all I’ve been riding is a road bike!
  • We’re at that time of year when lots of people are missing strength class because of vacations/etc., and to be honest, it’s discouraging to instructors to have so many people not show up. Hopefully things will get back to “normal” in September!

Link to Training Week 355

RAGBRAI Day 7 2016 – Ride Report

By , August 10, 2016 6:59 am

RAGRBAI stands for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. It started in 1973 when two feature writers for the Des Moines Register decided to bike across Iowa, and invited readers to join them. The ride has grown ever since and is now in its forty-fourth year. The route always starts on the Missouri River on the west side of Iowa, ends on the Mississippi River on the east side of Iowa, and takes the last full week of July to do – but the course changes every year! You can register for the whole week, or for a single day, which is what I’ve done the last three years (2014 – Day 7, 2015 – Day 4 and 5, 2016 – Day 7). 

RAGBRAI was a bit more logistically challenging for us this year than in year’s past, but that did not stop us from having a bigger crew than ever before! Dad, Will (my snister’s husband) and Julie (Will’s sister) returned from last year, and we had two riders new to RAGBRAI – Gina (my bestie who lives in Texas) and Ashleigh (Julie’s daughter)!


Dad, Will, Me, Gina, Julie, Ashleigh – we’ll totes get matching jerseys next year! I think Fake Meats should sponsor us. Ha!

RAGBRAI was logistically trickier for us because the course went farther south, away from where we have places to stay for free, and ended in Muscatine, where no one lived nearby and could pick us up. And, we had four cars to figure out what to do with, and only two drivers! But we made it work – we got two hotel rooms (for four of the riders) in Coralville, which is thirty-five miles from the start in Washington, and took two cars to the finish the night before the ride, so we wouldn’t have cars stranded in Washington (HUGE thanks to the Muscatine RAGBRAI group for helping us with parking!). My dad and Will (Will had driven up the night before from Kansas City) stayed in the town my Dad lives in (seventy-five miles from the hotel), then drove to the hotel the morning of the ride, and we took two cars to the Washington. Then Steven and Steve took both cars to the finish, left one there, and consolidated to one car to come back and “spectate.” Phew. That’s a lot of work! (And after we finished, we all had two+ hour drives to our final destinations!) So. Much. Coordination. But it all worked out!


I just realized my dad skipped the group selfie (or did I cut him off?!)

The Day 7 Ride, you guessed it, started in Washington and ended in Muscatine. It was one of the shortest courses of the week at 49.7 miles, and had the least amount of climb, at 1,314 feet. This ride felt easy to me, especially compared to the days I rode the last two years of RAGBRAI. And an easy ride is fine by me!!!


Map from here

One of the awesome things about doing RAGBRAI is that it’s not a race, and you can start whenever you want! We got to Washington a bit after 8:00, got our bikes prepped, and hit the road at 8:41 am.
Continue reading 'RAGBRAI Day 7 2016 – Ride Report'»

Training Week 355

By , August 7, 2016 9:17 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running with Gina and Dad!


Monday | August 1, 2016: rest
Tuesday | August 2, 2016: 4 m run (w/Gina and Dad (on bike))
Loc: Guttenberg, Temp: 71°/74°, Time: 38:21, Pace: 9:35 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Wednesday | August 3, 2016: 5 m run (incl. 12×1:00) + 10 m ride + 10 mins strength
Loc: hood, Temp: 84°/84°, Time: 49:49, Pace: 9:58 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: hot and heavy
Indoor Ride Time: 42:01, Pace: 14.3 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Thursday | August 4, 2016: rest (ceiling demolition work)
Friday | August 5, 2016: teaching strength class + 800 m swim (25m breastroke/25m freestyle x16, w/Anne) + attic work
Strength: plates and cards, Difficulty: medium, Felt: okay
Loc: Grayslake Pool, Time: 22:04, Pace: 2:29 min/100m, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Saturday | August 6, 2016: rest (ceiling work)
Sunday | August 7, 2016: rest (ceiling work)


  • For a second I was excited to be in August and one month closer to September (and AUTUMN!) until I remembered that we have nasty humid days in to October sometimes. Ha. Hopefully some nice cooler days are peppered in with those.
  • Ugh, this week. I did house work for four days straight and did NOT have time to work out! I hope I have more free time next week.

Link to Training Week 354


By , August 3, 2016 12:48 pm

I seriously didn’t realize how bad my racerback tan lines were until I saw this photo my mom took on Monday:



It may be time to look in to a strapless running stop and bra… because I know sunscreen/running in the dark aren’t going to happen. Oh, or maybe just a racerback swimming suit?! Derrr…

And we won’t even talk about the horrible tan lines on my legs. Because booty running shorts are not for me.

Training Week 354

By , August 2, 2016 9:07 pm

Highlight of the Week: Riding Day 7 of RAGBRAI with my family!


Monday | July 25, 2016: 5 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 83°/83°, Time: 48:23, Pace: 9:40 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: good!
Strength: resistance bands and mixed mode, Difficulty: easy, Felt: goood

Tuesday | July 26, 2016: 5 m run (incl. 6×400) + 10 m ride
Loc: hood, Temp: 82°/81°, Time: 47:27, Pace: 9:29 avg, Difficulty: hard, Felt: hiccupy then okay then barfy
Indoor Bike Time: 36:24, Pace: 16.5 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great – bike just tuned up

Wednesday | July 27, 2016: rest
Thursday | July 28, 2016: 10 m ride + 5 m run
Indoor Ride Time: 38:38, Pace: 15.6 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 68°/72°, Time: 46:16, Pace: 9:15 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, knees a bit sore (odd)

Friday | July 29, 2016: teaching strength class + 800 m swim (25m breastroke/25m freestyle x16, w/Anne) + 2 m run
Strength: plates and cards (core), Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Grayslake Outdoor Pool, Temp (air): 70°/70°, Time: 21:11, Pace: 2:22 min/100 m, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 73°/74°, Time: 18:49, Pace: 9:24 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt:good, gross from chlorine sweat

Saturday | July 30, 2016: RABGRAI Day 7 (49.8 miles, w/Dad, Gina, Will, Julie & Ashleigh)
Loc: Washington, IA to Muscatine, IA, Temp: 70°/81°, Time: 3:50:00, Pace: 13.0 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Sunday | July 31, 2016: 5 m run (w/Steve)
Loc: Guttenberg, Temp: 64°/64°, Time: 47:12, Pace: 9:26 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good


  • I rode Day 7 of RAGBRAI with my dad, my brother-in-law, his sister and her daughter, and my bestie Gina, and it was SUCH a blast. We’re already talking about riding a day again next year. I can’t wait to go through all the photos and put my recap together! (I really hope I have time to do that this week – it’s going to be nuts catching up at work then tearing apart our second floor ceiling and doing all that work.)
  • Time for the July recap! In July I ran 155 miles, cycled 139.05 miles (9 indoor rides, 1 outdoor ride) and swam laps 5 times. I taught 9 strength classes and 1 fitness boxing class, and did 1 strength session at home. My coldest outdoor run was 56°F and my warmest was 87°F.
  • I am excited that I consistently swam every Friday in July. The pool has a punch card where after you pay for five swims you get a free one – that will be the next one I do!

Link to Training Week 353

En route to RAGBRAI

By , July 29, 2016 12:50 pm



The week felt so long even though I was really busy at work. It probably felt that way because I was watching the RAGBRAI Facebook page and getting all jacked up and excited about it! I can’t wait to see what Gina thinks of the ride!

Random Thoughts Thursday 104

By , July 28, 2016 6:23 am
  • Hummingbirds have been hanging out by the flowers growing out of the hastas! Exciting! I should put out a legit feeder for them. They’re so fun to watch. Here’s a super awesome photo I took of one (circled in red, in case you can’t find it, ha):


  • We had friends over last weekend and I was excited to use our new lawn furniture and eat lunch outside! Only, all you had to do was step outside to start dripping in sweat. So… we ate inside. Ha. But I am happy we got some outdoor seating. Hopefully we will have some opportunities to use it next month.


  • I finished knitting a bunch of wash cloths. I thought about saving them for housewarming gifts, but decided to mail them to my Grandma to sell at her church’s farmers market booth. The pattern is ZickZack.

160725knittedcloths2 160725knittedcloths1 160725zickzack

  • Shelley helped me pick out needles to start knitting socks! August is going to be busy with house projects, so I hope I can give it a try in September.
  • I’m sad to be missing the Movin’ Shoes Full Moon Run (5K) tonight in Madison with Rachel! We’ve run it the last three years together! But it just doesn’t make sense with my schedule this year. I hope she has a great race!!!

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 103

Panorama Theme by Themocracy

42 ‘queries’.