That time I tried to rent Passengers

By , April 11, 2017 4:11 pm

Sigh. Guys, I am still figuring out Redbox. As you are about to see. Before we moved (the first time) in December of 2015, we used Netflix disk delivery and got two disks a week and watched them (and more!) each week. But moving and house projects means we watch movies a little less, so we ended that subscription and have started using Redbox (cause $). Which I kind of suck at. Case in point:

The week Passengers came out to Redbox, we tried to rent it the first day is was available, on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, we stopped at a Redbox we thought we had pre-checked to see if it the movie was there. It actually was not available there. We used the website wrong. Oops. We got Arrival instead and watched it again, knowing the big twist. (AHH! It was like watching a different movie. Let’s talk about this movie if you’ve seen it.)

On Friday, we figured it out and checked in advance! But when we got to the box, the guy using it before us was having some issues with it. He told us when he returned his disk, it just dropped to the bottom. Sure enough, we got an error screen when we tried to rent Passengers. Darn it.

We stopped at another Redbox and it didn’t have it. So we didn’t get a movie. Womp womp, grumpypants.

On Saturday, I thought I was being smart and reserved a rental on my phone. Yay! I went to pick it up, at a Redbox close to the studio where I teach. When I got to the Redbox, I realized I reserved it under Steven’s credit card. Not mine. Steven was not with me. I needed his card to retrieve the movie. I called Redbox and they couldn’t do anything but give me a refund. “You can’t put it on a different card?” “No, our systems don’t allow us to do that.” “You can’t release it from the box so I can rent it?” “No, our systems don’t allow us to do that.” MUTHA F*CKA. (Hey, it was nice they gave me a refund though!)

I went home pissy. Later I went to run errands and decided to reserve the rental with the right card and pick it up near where I was running errands. Yay! Me so smart. But wait a minute, why won’t this go through?!

Oh hellz no. I can’t rent it close to the house because of the other reservation? WTF?! I am not driving back to the spot that was only convenient to where I was in the morning!

I drove to the location near where I was running errands, knowing they had a copy, since it was going to let me reserve it. But did it show a copy when I physically went to the Redbox? No.


I then realized my phone was not going to let me reserve a copy anywhere, since I had one reserved for the night. So I decided to just give up.

But what if… I reserved a blu ray copy?! Would that work?

Yes! Bingo!


Gawd, I was so annoyed, I didn’t even want to see it anymore. Ha.

I swore I wouldn’t use Redbox again after this, but they sent me a few free rentals. So you know I went back. I just really pay attention to which credit card I put it on (you use that to pick up a free rental) and which location.

When did I get so old* that I can’t use technology right?!

This is NOT a sponsored post. 

*I actually saw part of this movie elsewhere, but couldn’t follow since the version I saw didn’t have closed captions. Yep. I watch everything with closed captions. I actually liked the movie more when I could follow what they were saying!

Why does my vocabulary suck?

By , April 10, 2017 12:58 pm

Yes, I am using the blog post title as an example. 

Guys. This book is going to take me FOREVER to read. What was I thinking?

And not because it’s boring. But because every paragraph has at least one word I have to look up, and that takes time. And they aren’t words I can figure out by context. They’re typically adjectives that if I don’t look up, I am really missing the point.

Sigh. Why me so dumb?

Seriously – when and where did people learn and remember all these “big words”? It definitely didn’t happen in architecture school (but I can throw a bunch of design jargon at ya!).

P.S. I still agree with this post from 2014.*

*ME MENTIONING AN OLD POST DOES NOT MEAN I WILL EDIT IT! Ha, I just got an email yesterday with someone asking me to edit a post from 2009 to include their link. Ha, as in, GFY.

Training Week 390

By , April 9, 2017 9:31 pm

Highlight of the Week: Running through a giant puddle on my Thursday run!

Monday | April 3, 2017: 4 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 44°/46°, Time: 40:56, Pace: 10:14 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: fine, heavy quads, a little over the rain
Strength: braided bands and body bars, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | April 4, 2017: 5 m run
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 53°/53°, Time: 52:40, Pace: 10:32 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, but ready for rest day!
Wednesday | April 5, 2017: rest
Thursday | April 6, 2017: 15 m ride + 5 m run
Indoor Ride Time: 49:07, Pace: 18.3 mph avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: VP Woods, Temp: 45°/45°, Time: 51:31, Pace: 10:18 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Friday | April 7, 2017: teaching strength class + 1,029 yd swim + 5 m run (incl. 6×400)
Strength: bands and body bars, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: FitNation, Time: 22:07, Pace: 2:04 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Lake Andrea, Temp: 49°/49°, Time: 42:31, Pace: 9:27 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, in control

Saturday | April 8, 2017: 4 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 45°/45°, Time: 42:39, Pace: 10:37 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: decent, a bit stiff to start
Sunday | April 9, 2017: 11.5 m run + teaching fitness boxing
Loc: around town, Temp: 59°/57°, Time: 2:04:01, Pace: 10:47 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Strength: boxing and step, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good


  • Speedwork felt great this week, which is promising, because I signed up for a 5K at the end of May. I’d like to run the May 5K faster than my last one. The race is an out and back on a trail though, so that could be crowded! We shall see!
  • I’m pleased I actually able to get out of bed early for my long run Sunday. I am out of the practice of that! Luckily, nature called at 4:20 am and I didn’t feel exhausted and out of it so I stayed up.
  • It was nice to get back to my normal teaching schedule this week and have more free evenings!!!

Link to Training Week 389

Random Thoughts Thursday 130

By , April 6, 2017 6:46 am
  • My mom loves to wrap gifts. I don’t, and am horrible at it, so when I was in my hometown last weekend, I brought my baby shower gift for her to wrap! Darn – looking back at it, I should have brought all those April birthday gifts for her to wrap, too!

  • I forgot to mention two things in my 5K race report. One, I forgot my headphones. Gah! I was so mad when I realized it, forty miles away from home. Then I remembered how fast Pete runs without them, and told myself to suck it up. Two, when I was telling my mom I forgot my headphones, I said “at least I didn’t forget my racing flats!” Then, once she realized I was racing on shoes with less support, she worried about it that night and until after the race when she asked me if my feet hurt from using them. Ha ha. No.
  • Woo hoo! I saw this sign at the nearby Van Patten Woods Forest Preserve last week. The Forest Preserve is making a wider shoulder to get to Van Patten Woods, and extending a trail from it to another preserve – Pine Dunes Forest Preserve. This all equals safer running for me! This small expansion is part of the Millennium Trail. Once that entire trail is completed, I’ll be able to run all the way to my old townhome (about twenty miles away) and even further beyond that!

  • Steven and I enjoyed our “book club for two” last summer and have been wanting to read another book together. We finally picked one out – Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. I like reading about real people, and Steven likes reading about businessmen, so I hope it’s another winner!
  • Blah. I’m so sick of seeing people trying to one-up each other online. Guys, we all live normal, mediocre lives. If you can’t say “good for you,” when someone shares something they’re excited about, just move along. Seriously.

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 129

Why I say no when you ask me to shill your product

By , April 4, 2017 11:31 am

Bloggers get all sorts of email requests to promote products and events, share links and infographics, and allow guest posts. I say no, 99.9% of the time, and here’s why:

  • You pretend to read my blog, as if linking to a current post and providing a generic comment proves you do
  • You provide a link to a current post as to why I should promote something of yours… that is completely unrelated to that post
  • Or better yet, you find a super old post and ask me to post again on that topic, including your links (sure, makes sense for me to post about weddings…)
  • Or worse, ask me to edit that old post to include your link
  • You pretend to flatter me
  • You ask me to promote things that aren’t close to my home… “we’ll provide a discount code for your readers!”
  • You ask me to promote a product that I clearly wouldn’t use, which is odd you don’t know, since you say you’ve been reading my blog…
  • You ask me to promote a product without offering me one to try
  • You offer me NOTHING (no, I don’t want you to share my content on another platform)
  • You’re rude
  • Your email is full of grammatical errors and/or your email address and links seem super spammy
  • You argue with me that I should do whatever you’re asking me to, because I have before

Most of these things irk me because they point out how insincere the person is. I realize you don’t read my blog. I know you were just doing a google search and found me. That’s fine. I’d rather have you say that, concisely:

I was searching for bloggers that talk about xyz and found your blog! Would you be interested in doing xyz for me? Thanks!

But I am probably still going to say no, because, most importantly:

  • This blog is my voice, not yours
  • I am not desperate for money
  • I am not desperate for content
  • I am not looking to have my content posted elsewhere

All of that being said, I have had some nice opportunities come along because I am a blogger, and have worked with some great people! Not everyone is like this!

And I am still waiting for Asics to sponsor me. HA!!!!!

Also, this does not apply to friends and family asking me to share links and information – I am referring to “companies” (really, random people) contacting me.

Here’s an infographic for ya!

Alright, bloggers, what did I miss?

Fools 5K Race Report (2017)

By , April 3, 2017 6:53 am

Earlier in the year, my older brother asked me if I was coming to our hometown to run the Fools 5K on April 1. My brother is interested in running a 5K? Of course I’ll be there! I ended up signing up myself, him, his two kids, his wife, and our dad (after their consent of course!).

Chevy, Mom, me, Dad, Thomas, Nicky, Nick, and Alyssa

This race is fantastic. The race director is extremely organized, an excellent communicator, and works at improving the race each year. This year, they offered the option to pay less and not get a shirt*, had an app for the race, and had free finish line pictures/videos**. And they had the usual amazing atmosphere (including encouraging people to dress up for April Fool’s) and awesome finish line food.

This race is very competitive! A new course record was set this year – 14:58. The first and second overall women were in my age group and came in at 18:03 and 18:28! Since it’s so competitive, this time and the last time I ran it, I entered in the Athena Division, in hopes I could place there.

When I signed up at the end of January I thought maybe I could run a course PR – faster than 23:06. But pretty soon after that thought entered my head, it left it. Ha. I don’t feel like training (and mostly, eating) like that right now. So I decided to see if I could run even 8:00 minute mile splits for the race, and not feel like death at the finish from positive splitting like I usually do at 5Ks.

We had fantastic race morning weather – mid 30s at the start and high 30s at the end, sunny, and a wind of 4 mph! That was it for wind!!! It would have been a perfect day to PR!

I started out and ran my first mile in 7:57. Yay, right on pace!

I ran my second in 8:00 flat. I hoped not to slow down for the third mile, but felt that typical “racing” stomach pain at mile 2, even though I was taking it easy! Grrrrr.

But I ran the third mile in 7:58! Phew! And finished the last tenth (but actually more because this race is crowded and I didn’t run tangents properly, dammit) at a 7:41 pace! My official time was 25:08.

Despite not pushing myself too hard, I still felt like toast at the end!

I did a cool down run and saw my older brother and his youngest son. I kept running and saw his older son, and ran in with him and Mario (you know, from Super Mario Brothers). Then I spectated with my mom until my dad and my brother’s wife finished (they walked together).

Then we hit up the awesome food tent – breakfast burritos, cookies, bagels, donuts, yogurt, caramel corn, oranges, bananas, and chocolate milk! (After the race they gave away everything that was left over!)

I looked up my results in the food line and saw I placed first in the Athena Division so we stayed for the awards ceremony.

Everyone had a great time, and there’s already talk of wanting to do it again next year, yay! I’m in!

*Only my dad wanted a shirt, but for some reason, they had one for one of my nephews at packet pickup. So on race day, we went to buy a shirt for my other nephew (because you can’t only give one of them a shirt). Shirt exchange/purchasing was opened thirty minutes before the race, and when we got up there, they said that the shirts were free! So I ended up getting one after all, ha ha.
**I was all excited to see my free race photo, but the link on my page didn’t show me finishing. I watched my video to see my clock time and looked around at other photos for that time and still couldn’t find it – there was a ten second gap of missing photos around my clock time. Then I realized there was a big clue in the video I watched – it shows the photo guy moving in front of the video camera as I run in, and the video camera guy tells him to go back behind the camera. Ha. I don’t think photos exist for those ten seconds!

Training Week 389

By , April 2, 2017 5:54 pm

Highlight of the Week: Going on my first outdoor ride of the year with my dad!

Monday | March 27, 2017: 1,508 yd swim + 7 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: FitNation, Time: 31:47, Pace: 2:06 min/100 yd avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, frustrated with lane partner
Loc: VP Woods loop, Temp: 45°/45°, Time: 1:10:04, Pace: 10:00 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: great
Strength: braided bands, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good – I love working with the bands!

Tuesday | March 28, 2017: 3 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 39°/39°, Time: 31:06, Pace: 10:22 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Wednesday | March 29, 2017: 4 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 40°/42°, Time: 39:09, Pace: 9:47 avg, Difficulty: easy until I pushed on the last mile!, Felt: good
Strength: one dumbbell and BOSU, Difficulty: easy, Felt: okay, but SUPER hot

Thursday | March 30, 2017: 4.4 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 40°/39°, Time: 42:30, Pace: 9:39 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great (just super soaked from the rain!)
trength: braided bands, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good – a bit loopy though!

Friday | March 31, 2017: teaching strength class + 714 yd swim + 26 m bike (w/Dad)
Strength: braided bands, Difficulty: easy (observing as much as possible), Felt: fine!
Loc: FitNation, Time: 14:39, Pace: 2:03 min/100 yd, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great
Loc: Round trip Evansdale to Cedar Falls, Temp: 42°/43°, Time: 2:25:20, Pace: 10.7 mph, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great, but a bit timid at first!

Saturday | April 1, 2017: Fools 5K (+ .5 WU & 1.4 CD)
Loc: George Wyth, Temp: 34°/39°, Time: 25:10, Pace: 7:58 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: good
Sunday | April 2, 2017: 7 m run (w/Dad on bike)
Loc: Cedar Valley Nature Trail, Temp: 45°/46°, Time: 1:14:46, Pace: 10:40 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good


  • Monday mornings are busy at the pool! I got to the gym when it opened at 5:00 and all the pool lanes were immediately full. I had a lane to myself for about half my swim then shared it for part of my second half. That’s the first time I’ve ever had to share a lane. A lot of my friends say they have to share lanes every time they go (to other gyms) so I guess I’ve been lucky! Then the pool cleared out at 6:00… good to note – it’s may be better to arrive later!
  • This week ended up being a bit crazy with strength classes. I planned to teach an extra class on Wednesday but ended up teaching last minute Thursday night too! I was not at home any night this week! GAH SO TIRED.
  • I had a blast riding with my dad to packet pickup on Friday. It was my first outdoor ride of the year and I was surprisingly a bit timid! That will change soon. I LOVE that my hometown has paved trails all over town to ride/run/whatever on! It’s so nice to ride and not have to worry about car traffic.
  • My family had a lot of fun at the 5K on Saturday! My brother, his two kids, and I ran it, my dad and my brother’s wife walked, and my mom spectated. Race report coming this week!
  • Monthly recap time! In March I ran 122 miles (25 runs), cycled 86.4 miles (5 indoor rides, 1 outdoor ride) and swam 6,043 yards (5 swims). My coldest run was 21°F and my warmest was 64°F. I taught 9 strength classes, and 2 fitness boxing classes.

Link to Training Week 388

Things I’m excited about in April!

By , March 31, 2017 7:51 am

  1. Riding my bike outside (starting in March, today, with a ride with my dad)!
  2. Seeing my family this weekend, and doing a 5K together.
  3. Sending out a new newsletter for Essential Fitness that I’ve been working on.
  4. Going to my coworker’s baby shower!
  5. Handing out the fun treats I got for the “Easter” (it’s the day before) fitness boxing class.
  6. Seeing Fate of the Furious with Steven (I bought our tickets this week)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  7. Going to Texas for Luca’s sixth birthday!
  8. Date nights with friends!
  9. Gifting several birthday/a few other special occasion gifts.
  10. Naps. Please. Let there be naps.

Ha, this list is almost always the same things, isn’t it?!

What’s on your list?

Random Thoughts Thursday 129

By , March 30, 2017 6:08 am
  • Ha, I started this Random Thought’s Thursday (RRT) draft weeks ago! I miss blogging, but don’t seem to have a lot to say for single topic posts, so RTT posts (and other list posts, like what I have for tomorrow) are perfect for me right meow.
  • The “On This Day”/Facebook Memories thing that pops up showing what I’ve posted sometimes makes me feel crappy because it’s a memory with someone I no longer spend time with. It’s normal and necessary for people to come and go in our lives, but I sometimes feel pained thinking about it. (I feel like this is also a reflection of how little I post on Facebook now, and how much less social I am.) Note, today’s “memory” does not fall in to that category!

  • Another social media comment – I’m surprised how much I like Instagram, and am happy I figured out how to make it work for me. I’m also surprised some of the email requests I get to post random crap (usually infographics or links) here now write “and I saw on your Instagram…” Um, no you didn’t. It’s private. Ha ha. (I’m considering making it public but not sure…)
  • Speaking of email requests to post random crap – I have a draft blog post listing all the things to NOT do in the email if you are trying to get me to post something. But the post is a bit snarky, even for me. So it’ll probably stay in the drafts folder.
  • We’ve been watching Parks and Recreation during lunch break (it’s my first time seeing the show) and I loved the first few seasons, but the last two are just bizzaro!
  • I’m such a grouch until I get my daily workout in. Which is a problem since I usually workout when I get off work at 4:00 pm. Ugh.
  • Look at this cool PR bell they are going to have at the 5K I am doing Saturday! I won’t be going near it, but I think it’s awesome they have it! (I was originally hoping for a course PR, but that won’t happen with how I’ve been training!)

Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 128


By , March 29, 2017 10:57 am

Last night I saw Journey in Madison with my fellow 80s music lover, Rachel!

Oh! And let’s not forget that Asia opened for them. Ha. I had actually completely forgotten. Bonus?

Kind of… we all know one Asia song – “Heat of the Moment.” They saved that for the end, naturally, so I spent most of the time wondering what I was listening to (I did get “Sole Survivor” stuck in my head) and hoping Journey didn’t sound as bad as them (mostly just the set up… and a little bit of the singing, ha).

But Journey came on and sounded AMAZING! They opened with “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” (here’s the complete set list) and played all their hits and only one song (“Chain Reaction”) I’d never heard before.

I’m someone who enjoys concerts the most if I know the music* so seeing my favorite “older” bands is perfect for me! And I also like that it means that the audience is older, and people are less likely to be on their phones the whole time! It was nice to look down at the audience and see only a few people recording/taking pictures the whole time, compared to Milky Chance, where almost EVERYONE was, and the musicians asked people to stop. At this concert, they actually asked us to bring our phones out for “Lights,” to use our flashlights in place of lighters. Ha. That was fun.

The whole thing was fun! There were three screens so you could see close-ups of the musicians, which I appreciated during the guitar solos. They also had some wacky 80s graphics they would overlay with the musicians on the screens, too, which made me laugh! Journey puts on a great show, and I would totally see them again! Although I do imagine Rachel and I will be keeping an eye out for the next 80s band to come by…

*it’s rare I like a song after hearing it just once, but if I do, it means it’s one I will be obsessed with and play on repeat for awhile!

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