Random Thoughts Thursday 150

By , October 5, 2017 6:04 am

  • Anne was in town this week for a concert and stayed at our place a couple of nights. It felt so good to hang out and visit in person. I tend to isolate myself, and forget how good it feels to connect with a girlfriend.

  • A coworker in my new branch lives about five miles from me – that’s the closest of anyone I know in my company (of ~300 people in our Chicago office). And she’s friends with the people who live in the property that butts up to the north side of ours. And we think she lives on the same street as someone who works for Steven. What a small world.
  • Bath & Body Works is one of those stores you don’t shop at unless you have a coupon (or there’s a crazy sale). I like to shop there, and have been trying for a year or so to get on their email list, using multiple email addresses, but they wouldn’t send me ANYTHING! (Don’t even get me started about snail mail – they mail my mom and snis coupons all the time, but not me (it’s all good – mom and snis give them to me, ha)). Something finally clicked in September and I started getting emails. I’ve never been so happy to get so many ads and offers. Ha! And I’m not even annoyed they are being sent to my real email inbox, not my junk one!

  • Are Steven and I the only ones who didn’t realize you are supposed to bake store-bought crunchy taco shells to make them crisp? Steven and I have been on a taco kick lately, so we bought crunchy shells and wondered why they (always!) tasted stale… it’s because it says right on the box to bake them. Duh town. It’s made such a difference. Following instructions… who knew?!

  • NOT AN AD. Has anyone else tried an antiperspirant that you put on at night? Secret deodorant hasn’t been working for me lately, so I got the clinical strength antiperspirant/deodorant to try. I didn’t realize when I bought it (WITH MY OWN MONEY, NOT AN AD) that you put it on at night (and the changes in your body temperature are supposed to activate it), and technically don’t have to put anything else on in the morning. Hmm.

  • See that blister on the heel of my foot? That is what I got for wearing my work flats for the walk to the train station after work yesterday. I can’t wait to see how that feels on my next run…

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 149

Training Week 415

By , October 1, 2017 2:38 pm

Highlight of the Week: Seeing the sunrise over Lake Michigan on my Monday run.

Monday | September 25, 2017: 4.2 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 73°/73°, Time: 45:54, Pace: 10:56 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, happy to see the sunrise
Strength: Lebert Equalizer and Kettlebells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | September 26, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 90°/87°, Time: 32:21, Pace: 10:46 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay
Wednesday | September 27, 2017: 3.2 m run
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 69°/66°, Time: 34:45, Pace: 10:52 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: okay, legs a bit creaky
Thursday | September 28, 2017: rest
Friday | September 29, 2017: teaching strength class + 10 m ride
Strength: Lebert Equalizer and Kettlebells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Indoor Ride Time: 32:56, Pace: 18.2 mph, Difficulty: easy (tension off on the trainer), Felt: good

Saturday | September 30, 2017: 7.6 m run + 1,218 yd swim
Loc: VP Woods Loop, Temp: 57°/60°, Time: 1:28:44, Pace: 11:41 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: FitNation, Time: 25:33, Pace: 2:03 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, a bit annoyed

Sunday | October 1, 2017: 10 m run (incl. 10×1:00)
Loc: Kilbourne/DPRT Loop, Temp: 53°/60°, Time: 1:52:17, Pace: 11:14 avg, Difficulty: easy enough, Felt: pretty good


  • Friday morning was the first time I went to the pool and found it unexpectedly closed (for maintenance). Good thing it’s on my way home and I didn’t waste any time driving there. Unfortunately, the next available swim time was weekend open swim, which is more like family play time at the pool (understandably). Oh well! I still got a swim in Saturday, despite a few lane changes (when lanes opened) to avoid people walking in front of me while I was swimming laps.
  • Monthly recap time. September was a bit of a crap month (excuses: having a cold, travel, hot temps, work craziness, laziness). I am looking forward to a more productive October! In September I ran 80.4 miles (18 runs), cycled 62.2 miles (1 outdoor ride, 4 indoor rides) and swam 2,940 yards (3 swims). My coldest run was 59°F and my warmest was 90°F (hottest of the year!). I taught 8 strength classes, and 1 fitness boxing class. I actually did one strength session at home, too, woot woot!

Link to Training Week 414

Decisions and the escape artist

By , September 29, 2017 7:23 am

99% of the time it’s easy for me to make decisions*. I either go with my gut, or have lots of good research to go off of (thanks, Steven!).

So when I do have to stop and think about something, and actually make a pro/con list? Ugh.

*Now, whether they’re good or bad…

Oh, Khaleesi (Khali). Sometimes she’s a bit of an escape artist. We opened the door this morning to tell the chipmunks to STFU, and Khali ran right out. She does this from time to time, and always (so far) comes back, but it still makes me a bit nervous. (Also, Snow makes me BONKERS when she’s trying to come back, because he usually chases her off when she gets close to the house. What a dick.)

Edited to add: Khali returned home just before noon.

I had to provide my social security number to someone at work today and I asked if I could call to give it to them. They were like “sure, whatever makes you comfortable.” Ha. Maybe I am odd in that I didn’t want it in an email? I mean, email should be secure. Should

Random Thoughts Thursday 149

By , September 28, 2017 12:32 pm
  • I forgot to mention in the post about my family visit that Snow was being a complete lovebug around my dad, which made me so happy! Data hates my parents, and Khali hides under the bed when they (everyone) visit(s), so it’s nice to have one cat be social and sweet.

  • Besides expecting to find the MBP bracelet when my mom visits, she always leaves little notes for us to find too. I love it!

  • Since we moved a year and a half ago, we only had two of our nice knives out of storage (and a block of steak/random knives). Last week we got the rest of our knives out and hung the magnetic rack up. I am thrilled to have those two knives off the counter (where they lived while they waited for the magnetic rack to arrive), and the rest of them out to use! Hurrah!

  • I started a new position at work this week and had to get a mega laptop to run all the programs I’m using. It’s so much bigger than my old one that I have to move my watch way down my arm so it stops hitting the keyboard. Ha ha! Data had to check it out right away (and wasn’t impressed):

  • As a result of starting a new position, I am completely brain-dead and exhausted from learning so much this week!

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 148

A short search for something VERY important

By , September 27, 2017 6:42 am

We were hanging out in the living room Sunday night when Steven says to me “Did you just see something fall on Chewie?”

Chewie usually sits on the back of the loveseat

I didn’t see it. He went over to investigate, and returned with “umm, I think that’s for you.”

I grabbed a tissue, thinking his “that’s for you” meant it was a spider (Steven doesn’t deal with spiders).

But I didn’t need a tissue at all. It was just the MBP bracelet. It was wrapped around Chewie’s wrist, and the movement of it popping open made Steven think he saw something falling.

Ha ha ha. So, yes, three+ years* later, my mom, snister, and I are still pranking each other by hiding this bracelet somewhere when we see one another (see the story of how this started here).

I actually figured it was at my house, as my snister very recently pranked Mom with it, and I knew it would be fresh on Mom’s mind. I was searching for it after my parents left on Sunday. I’m happy it wasn’t somewhere completely obscure, and we found it quickly!

And now, it’s my turn. Muah ha ha.

*During the span of this three years, the original bracelet was lost. End of our fun, right? Not so fast… Dad bought a laptop bag at a garage sale, and lo and behold, what was randomly in the bottom of it? Another MBP bracelet. What are the odds?! I am not sure if this is the original (kind of looks like it, although an Alaska keychain was added to that one at some point), or the new one.

Family visit & trenching

By , September 25, 2017 12:36 pm

What a quick weekend (said everyone, after every weekend, ever)! We were on the go from the moment my parents and maternal grandmother arrived Friday night.

We started with dinner at El Famous (a must!!!),

Everyone loves El Famous!

then did the indoor portion of the house tour for Grandma when we came back.

Dad checking out our Smith Machine

We had divided activities planned for Saturday, which is pretty common for my parents’ visits. Steven usually has a project planned for himself and my dad to work on, and my mom and I do our own thing (sometimes something productive, sometimes not, ha!).

This weekend’s featured project was burying the sump pump and gutter drain pipe. Awhile ago, Steven connected them and installed a corrugated pipe to get the water away from the house and toward the pond.


Connected pipes

Headed toward the pond

The plan for this weekend was to install a new pipe and bury it. We upgraded to a rigid, smoother pipe so it’ll be easier to snake it if something gets stuck in there.

Steven and Dad started their day early – they left to rent a trencher and pick up a few more parts for the project. While they were doing that, I gave Grandma the outdoor part of the house tour. Then Grandma, Mom, and I headed out to check out some garage sales and passed Steven and Dad on their way back to the house.

When we came back for lunch, they’d gotten so much done!

They had a lot of the trench dug, and the catch basin installed (not pictured). They took a break to eat with us, then got back to work. And we continued our adventures – on to the Jelly Belly Warehouse Tour, and to check out Lake Michigan.

Then we stopped home again, to change for church. Steven and Dad were starting to wrap things up at this point, and had to go get a few last pieces and return the trencher.

When we returned from church they were basically done for the day – they’d covered most of the pipe up, and built a little wall at the end to hold back the earth around the end of the pipe. We still have to cover that part, and take care of some extra dirt in the yard. But it’s nice to have that pipe buried and out of the way! It was a bit of an annoyance, and definitely an eyesore.

Everyone was tired Saturday night, especially Steven and Dad! It was a hard day for them, and hot out (in the 90s). We ate dinner, played a couple of rounds of cards and called it a night.

Dad and I went on a bike ride Sunday morning (yay!). When I came back, I made pancakes for everyone, and we hung out and played a few more rounds of cards before it was time for them to take off!

It felt like such a quick visit. I think packed days do that to me! Hopefully we can have a bit more downtime the next time they visit. And I definitely need to make sure I take a nap anytime I have guests arriving on a Friday (I wake up at 3:45 am on Fridays and staying up past 10:00 pm without a nap just ruins me for Saturday).

It was nice to have my Grandma see our house for the first time. Even though I was joking around about “Grandma Level Cleaning” I really do enjoy cleaning our home and have a great amount of pride about it. Steven and I both do. We love our little cottage in the woods, and we love having visitors!

Training Week 414

By , September 24, 2017 6:38 pm

Highlight of the Week: A bike ride with Dad!

Monday | September 18, 2017: 10 m ride + teaching strength class
Indoor Ride Time: 38:23, Pace: 15.6 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, just sore butt
Strength: medicine balls and core/cardio circuit, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | September 19, 2017: 5 m run
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 72°/70°, Time: 55:00, Pace: 11:00 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good BUT SO MAD ABOUT WORK
Wednesday | September 20, 2017: 4 m run (incl. 5×400)
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Path, Temp: 78°/84°, Time: 41:15, Pace: 10:19 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good, just SO HOT
Thursday | September 21, 2017: rest (but so. much. cleaning.)
Friday | September 22, 2017: teaching strength class + 1,008 yd swim + 3 m run
Strength: Lebert Equalizer & Kettlebells, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: good, hot in the studio
Loc: FitNation, Time: 20:30, Pace: 2:02 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy then medium, Felt: good!
Loc: hood, Temp: 72°/79°, Time: 30:42, Pace: 10:14 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: hot, but great

Saturday | September 23, 2017: rest
Sunday | September 24, 2017: 17.2 m ride (w/Dad!)
Loc: around town loop, Temp: 67°/67°, Time: 1:17:18, Pace: 13.3 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, so much better than inside!


  • I haven’t been running much this month, and weather in the high 80s/low 90s this week sure isn’t making me want to. I hope we don’t see any more of that in October (I know we still have a few more days of it left here).
  • I was sad on Saturday morning when I didn’t get to work out with Dad before the day started (we were all up too late to get up early, and he and Steven were starting an outside project early to beat the heat anyway), so I made sure we had plans for Sunday morning. We did a loop bike ride around my house and enjoyed chatting and riding on low traffic roads!

Thanks to everyone who entered the Starbucks giftcard giveaway! Random.org picked #3 (each entry and joke counted as two), which was Shelley!

Link to Training Week 413

[GIVEAWAY] Even though it’s a million degrees outside…

By , September 22, 2017 8:09 am

… today is the first official day of fall and I am going to put out the few fall decorations I have, dammit!

Ha ha, yep, that’s it!

In celebration of everyone’s favorite season, I am giving away a $10 Starbucks giftcard, good for at least 1.75 PSLs (this is not sponsored, I bought it this morning with my own money).

$10 Starbucks Giftcard GIVEAWAY Rules

  1. One reader will receive a prize.
  2. REQUIRED to enter the giveaway: leave a comment telling me you want to enter.
  3. BONUS extra entry: tell me a funny joke.
  4. This giveaway is open until 12:00 PM CST on Sunday September 24. I will announce the winners on Sunday September 24 (in the training recap post).
  5. Random.org will pick the the winner.
  6. This giveaway is open to all readers, in all locations.

Random Thoughts Thursday 148

By , September 21, 2017 6:27 am
  • I signed up for the Wisconsin Half Marathon this week (the race is May 5th). This will be my 10th year in a row running it! This note in registration about refunds cracked me up:

  • I’m confused by the color of this pumpkin bath fizzy. Why is it blue?! And not pumpkin colored? Things that make you go hmm. Ha. I LOVE LOVE LOVE bath bombs. LOVE.

  • I decided to get away from a watch face with a step count emphasis… but then I found this fishing cat watch face… and the cat only “catches” the entire fish if you meet your step goal. And it kind of looks like Khali (if she was wearing a space suit). So yeah, totally didn’t get away from a step based watch face, oops!

  • I had a Grandma Level Cleaning inception moment Tuesday night – I talked to my Grandma on the phone while cleaning. Ha! Grandma is muchos excited about meeting the ducks during her visit this weekend (and told me what she’d be bringing to feed them). These two ducks showed up a few weeks ago. They like to hang out in the driveway (eyeroll). I don’t think we’ve seen them before which means… they need names!

Do you see Snow in the photo?

When I try to pull in to the driveway, or back out of the garage, I have to get out of the car and walk toward these guys so they’ll move – they are not afraid of the car

  • I love this photo of me and Xaarlin from Sunday’s race! (And am happy she pointed it out to me – I completely forgot to check the race photos!)

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 147

There’s something there…

By , September 19, 2017 6:16 am

Ahh, adventures in Grandma Level Cleaning.

The last time I cleaned the outside and inside of the house windows, I spent all day working on it, and was really proud of my effort… until the sun shone through the windows the next day and I saw streaks. Everywhere. WAH.

So this time, I googled how to prevent that, and the tips on this site worked great – I used their 1:1 hot water to vinegar ratio, and wiped the squeegee after each use (duh, Kim, why didn’t you think of that before?). I also made sure to adjust the squeegee handle length depending on clearance around the bottom of the windows (so I could pull it all the way down continuously and not hit anything). I spent a long time working on it, and again, was proud of my efforts.

Until yesterday.

I was working in the office when I heard a loud thud and immediately knew what it was. Khali ran from the office toward the noise.

Snow rushed out of his house to see what was up.

Data used this opportunity to finish Khali’s breakfast (that’s not different from any other day though, ha).

Yep, a bird hit the window.

This actually happened several times last week, before I cleaned the windows, but this was the first time the bird stunned itself and I saw where it landed. And how convenient that it landed on Snow’s porch. Not.

I immediately took Snow inside, then made a little box for the bird to recuperate in. I read that after they hit a window, they need a safe, dark, warm space to chillax and let their heart rate come down.

So I put the bird in the box, let Snow back outside, and put the box in the bathroom and closed the door. After an hour, I took the box outside and opened the lid. The bird was breathing, but didn’t fly away.

I was trying to be calm, but I was worried the bird was seriously hurt (broken wing?) and I was going to have to find a way to put him out of his misery. Then spend the rest of the day crying in bed.

Luckily it didn’t come to that. Another hour later, I took him back out, opened the lid again, and lifted the towel he was on a bit, and off he went! Phew!

I was so relieved!

I’m hoping this doesn’t happen again, but it probably will since our windows are so damn clean. My snister was telling me about stickers you could put on your windows so the birds can see them better, but… I don’t want stickers on my windows. I’ll have to look in to another solution.

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