Training Week 437

By , March 4, 2018 5:14 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running all the miles! / actually doing a tempo!

Monday | February 26, 2018: 7 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: VP Woods Loop, Temp: 48°/50°, Time: 1:08:52, Pace: 9:50 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, annoyed with the wind
Strength: plate circuit + oversized medicine balls, Difficulty: easy, Felt: annoyed

Tuesday | February 27, 2018: 10 m run
Loc: DPRT/Kilbourne Loop, Temp: 61°/59°, Time: 1:38:07, Pace: 9:48 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Wednesday | February 28, 2018: rest
Thursday | March 1, 2018: 4 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 43°/43°, Time: 37:36, Pace: 9:23 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Friday | March 2, 2018: teaching strength class + 1,134 swim + 6.5 m run (incl. 10×400) + 15 m ride
Strength: plates and oversized medicine balls, Difficulty: easy/medium (sore leg), Felt: good
Loc: FitNation, Time: 25:18, Pace: 2:14 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: hood, Temp: 43°/42°, Time: 59:11, Pace: 9:06 avg, Difficulty: easy/medium, Felt: great, like the wind was hitting me from all directions
Indoor Ride Time: 56:04, Pace: 16.1 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: bored

Saturday | March 3, 2018: 10 m run + teaching fitness boxing
Loc: DPRT/Kilbourne Loop, Temp: 33°/35°, Time: 1:42:27, Pace: 10:14 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: a bit tired!
Strength: Core/Cardio & Boxing, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great

Sunday | March 4, 2018: 13 m run (incl. tempo 2×1.5) + 12 m ride + 20 min walk (w/Steven)
Loc: Lake Andrea/Outlet Mall Loop, Temp: 35°/37°, Time: 2:02:19, Pace: 9:24 avg, Difficulty: mostly easy, Felt: great (even with the wind!)
Indoor Ride Time: 45:58, Pace: 15.7 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: SO HUNGRY OMFG


  • Some soreness developed in the area between my left knee and shin on Friday last week. I think it was caused by running on worn down shoes. I’m running on newer shoes only and monitoring it! (I’m also icing it, doing some heat treatment, and wearing a sleeve, at times.)
  • On Monday I normally run hills, but I skipped them this week due to running a hilly race the day before. I still run routes with hills Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday though!
  • During speedwork on Friday, a guy drove by in his truck with the window down, cheering me on. I later came across him again, and he cheered me on, then stopped so I chatted with him for a bit. He was super nice, and his encouragement helped me finish out my speedwork (I had been planning to stop at eight repeats but went to ten).
  • I actually did a tempo run this week, woo hoo – two sets of 1.5 mile intervals right at 7:40 pace. I had been planning on doing them at 8:00 pace, but 7:40 felt great – probably because of wind assistance!
  • This week was my highest weekly mileage of the year so far! I feel really good running this amount. Happy and healthy.
  • Monthly recap time! In February I ran 166.9 miles (26 runs), cycled 99 miles (7 indoor rides) and swam 3,826 yards (4 swims). My coldest run was 12°F and my warmest was 61°F. I did 3 hill sessions and 4 speed sessions. I ran one race – the Frosty Footrace 5K. I taught 6 strength classes, 3 fitness boxing classes, and 1 indoor cycling class. I did 2 strength workouts at home. I’m planning to run more miles this month, as I get ready for my April 7th 5K.

Link to Training Week 436

Random Thoughts Thursday 170

By , March 1, 2018 6:23 am
  • The Winter Olympics are over! I’m pleased with how much of them we got to watch, despite not being able to select what we were watching, and having to listen to annoying commentary. Ha. I wonder how much we’ll use the antenna now. Maybe for the Oscars this weekend? (We used to be super in to the Oscars and even had a viewing party once!)

Luca sent me these cute Team USA mittens!

  • I booked my April trip to Dallas for Luca’s birthday! Yay! I love the tradition of seeing him for his birthday. I wonder if I will get to try a Texan vegan donut while I am there…?
  • We both enjoyed Black Panther! (Although I still tend to get bored during the “three fights going on at once” scenes at Marvel movies.)
  • (NOT AN AD) Have you seen these bracelet helpers before? When I wear a bracelet with a lobster clasp, I have to have Steven help me put it on, but sometimes it’s too early in the morning to ask for help before I catch the train, so I got this thing and… IT WORKS! Yay! (You use the helper to hold one end of the bracelet steady while you use your free hand to secure the clasp.)

You use your other hand to clasp it, but I was using that hand to take the photo!

  • I had some funky website issues yesterday (that were likely ISP related) that made me want to throw the towel in on this thing. I don’t want to spend time figuring out code anymore. I just want stuff to work. But that’s not how it goes when I’m using an old wordpress theme and outdated plugins! I should look in to that at SOME point.
  • Speaking of frivolous blog stuff, I had a lot of draft blog posts – over one hundred and fifty, and recently deleted ninety-seven of them. So many of them were about healthy eating and weight loss. Gawd. Some were almost 10 years old! Delete. Delete. Delete!

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 169

Things I’m excited about in March!

By , February 28, 2018 6:08 am

February was BUSY and I hope March is QUIETER. Despite how it may seem, I don’t enjoy having a full calendar, but sometimes life is that way. My perfect weekend has one social activity, a few chores/errands, and A LOT of quiet time. Ha. Rarely happens. But maybe this month!

Here are a few things I am excited about in March:

  • My final month of 5K training! I’m excited to run ALL the miles and NOT eat all the food.
  • Teaching two fitness boxing classes, including a special Easter egg hunt themed one (so cheesy, but no shame).
  • Meeting Rachel for a run.
  • Dates with Steven.
  • Seeing Anne when she comes for the Shamrock Shuffle.
  • Finally starting that shawl from the kit and yarn Mica gave me!

Not much else is planned! Like I said, I am planning for a quiet, under the radar month.

What’s on your list?

Frosty Footrace 5K 2018 Race Report

By , February 27, 2018 6:33 am

After all my consternation about the Frosty Footrace, I was back this year. Having it on my calendar in previous years gave me a focus for winter training, and running in the colder temps (30s) is when I excel! I missed training for this 5K last year when it was changed to a “2 mile” untimed “fun” run. I was glad it was changed back to its original 5K course this year.

There definitely were not as many people there as years past though. Seventy-nine people did the 5K, compared to one hundred and sixty-eight in 2016. It felt sparse on the course. I was behind two people for the first two miles, but after I passed them, I spent the last mile with no one in my sights. And I am not that speedy! Usually there’d be more people in front of me. I wonder how next year will go.

We got to the race around 10:15 and easily did race day registration. One of the race organizers came up to me and asked if I was Kim, and thanked me for coming back. I thought that was nice! And I hope I didn’t come off as über b*tchy last year when I expressed my disappointment in the “two” mile race format.

I like the bag they handed out this year, and appreciate that they don’t do a shirt every year (in the past they’ve done buffs and hats).

Anne and I did a one mile warm up with a few strides. We also assessed the wind conditions to strategize for the race. We had constant 17mph winds from the WSW with 31 mph gusts (it was 37° when we started and 39° when we finished). Wheeeeeeeeeee! Ha. The race is somewhat of a loop, so we’d have the winds in our face to start, and in parts of the second and third mile, but at our back coming in for the last .4 miles, which was encouraging!

We timed our warmup well to finish it, go to the bathroom one more time, and head to the start!

Me, Ricky, and Anne, all representing Efit (where I teach strength classes)

I felt great at the start and my pace felt manageable and easy. I was actually somewhat glad that the wind and hills in the start kept me from going out too fast. My first mile was 7:15 (I was predicting my average pace would be between 7:20-7:30).

snapshot from two years ago, but same elevation

I passed one male in the beginning of the second mile (the first place female was way ahead of me – she comes every year and wins overall) and enjoyed the downhill portion of the race. I was shocked my second mile was not slower – it was 7:14!

And then the pain starts. Ha. Right after mile two (after I passed one more guy), you start a gradual incline that just burns (see elevation chart above). Steven is always at the start of this incline and I try to look smiley and happy, but the pain starts to show!

My pace dropped as I ran up that hill, which is typical, but annoying. I didn’t want to have wildly positive splits! So I rallied back after I got up the hill, and picked it back up, especially since part of the finish was a downhill with the wind at my back. My third mile was 7:36, and I finished the last .16 (oops) at a 6:43 pace.

My overall time was 23:08, with an average pace of 7:28 <— right where I thought I’d be!

Frosty Footrace Finish Time
2009 27:53
2010 25:55
2011 25:00
2012 24:00
2013 23:27
2014 26:48
2015 22:58
2016 21:45
2017 untimed 2 miler
2018 23:08

This year is my third fastest time on the course

Even though that is quite off of my PR (from this course) of 21:45, I feel confident about how 5K training is going. This is a tough course, with the inclines (and always with the wind) and I know I could have run faster on a flatter course. We shall see what the next six weeks of training brings!

After the race, I did a 1.5 mile cool down. I ran part of it out on the course with Ricky, to run Anne in and cheer her on. She wanted to get a course PR, but ended up with an overall PR since she started running again a few years ago! Amazing! I am proud of her! (I’ve been coaching her.)

Anne joined me for the rest of my cool down when she finished, then we hung out for awards. Because the race was so sparsely attended, I was 1st in my age group, 2nd woman, and 4th overall.

I’m glad I did the race! It was a confidence boost for my 5K training and left me pumped for my next 5K!

Our first escape room!

By , February 26, 2018 6:14 am

What a fun weekend we had!

Although, it didn’t quite start out that way for me. I was out of sorts Saturday morning since I wasn’t running long or teaching class (lack of endorphins!). I ran a few errands, and came back feeling dead tired (waking up for an hour in the middle of the night before probably didn’t help). I felt better after I took my planned nap but was still on edge, probably from 5K race nerves. I wasn’t very fun to be around most of Saturday. It was a funky day.

But Anne and Terry arrived early Saturday evening and the fun began! We hung out, then went out for dinner at TJI Fridays (FU Red Robin), where I got an adult beverage (a mojito with cotton candy in it!) that helped my funk. Then we came back and had s’mores and watched the bad movie I rented for us (The Snowman). Watching bad movies together was our thing when we all lived in Lake County (as was brainstorming plot lines for Kevin James movies). We’d get together once a month to do it (sometimes we’d watch a decent movie, ha).

Data and his new bestie

I woke up with a slight headache (oops) but we had plenty of time to sit around until it was time to leave for our 11:00 am 5K. Enough time to get rid of the headache, and have those 5K nerves come back in full force. Gah. Annoying.

But my nerves immediately went away when I started running. I felt in control and at ease, and enjoyed the race. Anne and I both had great races and appreciated the boys spectating,

and we ALL appreciated El Famous after. (Although I already had “post fast run upset stomach” and couldn’t eat much, wah.)

During lunch we decided to see if we could go to an escape room that night. All of us had heard of them, and were curious, but none of us had been. Terry found one in Zion (Edge of Escape), and we made a reservation to go in the early evening (after we finished The Snowman <— priorities).

The only thing I knew about escape rooms it that you have an hour to solve the clues and get out. I didn’t know that most have a maximum amount of people to go in the room, and that you might be “escaping” with people you don’t know (our room had a max of eight, but it was just the four of us). I didn’t know there were so many places, and plots (at some places) to choose from. I didn’t know it was kind of costly ($30 a person, we didn’t see any Groupons), but after going, I understand why. And I had heard how fun they were, but of course, didn’t get it until I did it!

Will we make it out?!

Edge of Escape was created by the same person who’s been running The Dungeon of Doom (an elaborate haunted house in Zion) for thirty-one years. I’ve never been to the haunted house, but now that I’ve seen how meticulously detailed and neat the escape room is, I want to go to the haunted house. I could not get over how cool everything was from the entrance,

to the waiting area, to, of course, the escape room itself.

Our “escape” was actually helping rescue someone who was stuck in time travel. His friend turned foe trapped him in the 1400s and we had to use clues to get a piece of equipment back to him to get home (and stop the foe from changing history as we know it!!!). When I imagined an escape room in my mind, I thought it would all be logic puzzle solving for some reason, but there was only a little of that. This room was set up so that there were a ton of real effects and different things you had to do and find. Lots of searching for stuff! (And we later found out there were a lot more “puzzles” in there that they do when they have more people in the room.)

We never would have gotten out in time without LOTS of clues from the owner over the microphone, ha! I thought it was challenging, but we enjoyed it, and the owner did an awesome job of maximizing our time in there, but also letting us “solve” it.

And I really thought it was cool that we got to go in the time machine and “travel” back in time and solve clues in another time period, too. It really felt like the time machine was moving, when we were in it (it was between the two rooms).

After we were done the owner showed us all around. We got to see the control room, the new escape rooms he’s building, and even behind the scenes stuff for the haunted house. You could tell he LOVED his job and is passionate about it, which I love seeing. And I was happy we could support a local business. I will definitely be back to try the new rooms when they open!

We had a healthy dinner planned after eating out for dinner and lunch – salads and this:

Ha. Steven’s been wanting to make this vegan pigs in a blanket with chili since he saw it in a Facebook video months ago and we finally did. And it was delicious.

After dinner we only had time to plan out three new Kevin James movie plot lines before calling it a night so Anne and Terry could get up early today to drive back to Cleveland. What a fun day and a half together though! I feel like we totally maximized it! And like we’ll all be tired this week, but what’s new there?

Training Week 436

By , February 25, 2018 10:25 pm

Highlight of the Week: Feeling so great on my runs/having my 5K go as planned!

Monday | February 19, 2018: 15 m run (incl. 5 hill repeats) + teaching strength class
Loc: Lake Andrea/Outlet Mall loop, Temp: 40°/40°, Time: 2:29:37, Pace: 9:58 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great!
Strength: Leberts and dumbbells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | February 20, 2018: 7 m run + 12 m bike
Loc: VP Woods loop, Temp: 53°/51°, Time: 1:06:51, Pace: 9:33 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: awesome!
Indoor Bike Time: 47:02, Pace: 15.3 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Wednesday | February 21, 2018: rest
Thursday | February 22, 2018: 10 m run (incl 6×1:00)
Loc: Dropping off a Redbox at Walmart Loop, Temp: 35°/36°, Time: 1:34:36, Pace: 9:27 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fantastic
Friday | February 23, 2018: teaching strength class + 1,008 yd swim + 8 m run + massage
Strength: Leberts and dumbbells, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good to stretch out the legs
Loc: FitNation, Time: 22:04, Pace: 2:11 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, relaxed
Loc: VP Woods Loop, Temp: 41°/42°, Time: 1:19:43, Pace: 9:58 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Saturday | February 24, 2018: 10 m ride + walk (w/Steven)
Indoor Bike Time: 44:48, Pace: 13.4 mph avg, Difficulty: taking it easy, Felt: fine
Sunday | February 25, 2018: 1 m WU (w/Anne) + Frosty Footrace 5K + 1.5 m CD (last .5 w/Anne)
Loc: Round Lake, Temp: 37°/39°, Time: 23:08, Pace: 7:28 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: strong!


  • There’s not much to say about this week – I felt great on all of my runs, and wanted to run more, but needed to rest for my Sunday race. So I did as much running as I could in the beginning of the week!
  • Friday was the first time I was brave enough to use my swimming headphones since one got stuck so far in my ear. I was really careful when I took them out, and one wanted to stay in, but I had my fingernail on it, so it came out. Phew!
  • My 5K went exactly how I thought it would Sunday (except I thought my final split would be a lot more positive than it was, so it’s good I was wrong there!). I feel like 5K training is on track! I will post more about the race this week!

Link to Training Week 435

Two years later…

By , February 24, 2018 11:55 am

I finally did something I’ve been meaning to do since we moved to Zion two years ago…

I got a library card!

I’ve been reading more, and it doesn’t make sense for me to buy everything I want to read. To the library I go!

5K Prep!

By , February 23, 2018 8:37 am

I’m running a 5K on Sunday to gauge my fitness level, not to set a personal record, but I’m still going to do my 5K Prep List:

1. Get a massage (this afternoon!)

2. Make a race playlist (will do that tomorrow; it will definitely feature “Get It”)

3. Take a nap the day before the race (tomorrow)

4. Don’t run the day before the race (err… this one may be hard… no promises…)

5. Paint my nails (already done last week!)

That’s it! Nice simple list! I’ll check the weather the morning of the race, and pick out my outfit then. It doesn’t start until 11:00 am, so I’ll have time.

Not on the list, because it’s impossible: quell 5K racing nerves. I feel like 5Ks are the hardest distance to race, and it’s the ONLY distance I get nervous energy about!!! AHH!!!!!

Random Thoughts Thursday 169

By , February 22, 2018 6:23 am
  • Has anyone seen “Black Panther”? We were going to go last weekend, but every theater was sold out (of seats we’d sit in, anyway)! We have tickets to see it next Tuesday. I’m looking forward to it!
  • I got a bit emotional yesterday at the end of the day with my detail coworkers hugging me and wishing me the best and telling me they didn’t want me to go! Thanks for reading my whining about work over the last few months. I know things will be fine, but I also need a place to express my frustration. So, thanks again!
  • I picked up Dietland by Sarai Walker in the discount bin at the bookstore last week and have been enjoying it! It’s fiction, the story of Plum Kettle, an obese woman biding her time until she can have weight loss surgery. But she ends up meeting some people who challenge the way she’s been living her life and lead her to question why SHE has to change. It’s not all “ra ra, everyone is beautiful,” but more “you don’t have to conform to society’s norms.”  There’s also a subplot of a “dangerous guerrilla group terrorizing the world that mistreats women.” <— overall awesome description from, me, per usual, ha. It’s not my typical read, but I’m glad I picked it up! I’ll read The Wild Truth next. And P.S. I should really get a library card.

  • How does March start next week? This month has flown by! I really need to focus on my nutrition and training in March to get ready for my April 7th 5K. I am looking forward to doing that!

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 168


By , February 21, 2018 7:09 am

Today is my last day in my work detail. I already have an intense project lined up for when I get back to my old job tomorrow. Yay.

I thought I was feeling this way about today,

image from here

but I must be nervous about something, because I’ve had bad dreams about work the last three nights. It’s probably the dread of going back to my old job. I need to either work hard at finding something positive and good in each work day, or work hard at not caring that I don’t like the work I do. I am not sure which would be more difficult.


My team is doing a presentation for our branch today at work, so I had my friend Maria make cookies of the sculpture in front of our building, to share at the meeting!

Hopefully munching on those will keep people awake while we present, ha!

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