Sunday, June 28, 2015

Weekend Round-Up

This week went by crazy fast and the weekend felt like it went by even faster!  Finding the time to blog this week was non-existent, but there's always time for workouts!

I took one of the hardest spin classes I've ever been at.  We did a lot of hill climbing and a lot of sprints.  My calves were sore for two days after! After spin I used a few of the weight machines and did lat pull downs, rows, and cable tricep presses.

Chris was home from work meaning I could run as soon as I got home! I fit in 6 miles while he watched the dogs.

6 miles

Wednesday was a rainy day so I stayed in and walked on the treadmill.  I fit in 3 miles while watching Orange is the New Black.  I also did bicep curls, shoulder presses, and tricep presses.  I'm trying to fit in strength training more consistently, so doing strength training twice this week is huge!

This was my fourth day of working and really wanted to run right after work.  I walked the dogs around the neighborhood and trustingly left them while I ran.

5 miles

When I got home the dogs had barely moved from the carpet.  While leaving them loose in the house will not happen again for some time, it's good to know they can behave while unsupervised!  Peyton and I took a short walk about the neighborhood after dinner, as well.

Flurries or snow showers? I think the Weather Channel was a little drunk on Thursday....

In between corraling two dogs and cleaning the house I managed to fit in a good run.

6 miles

After my run I spent the majority of the day on the couch watching True Blood on HBO Go with these two ladies.

Puppy cuddles are the best.

Peyton and I took advantage of the nice day and took a long walk.  We ended up walking just over 5 miles.  Chris and I went to one of our all time favorite restaurants for dinner: Rock Bottom.  I ordered my first ever stout! I love all different varieties of beers, though have never been a fan of stouts.  One of the best things about Rock Bottom is that they left you taste a beer before ordering a full glass.  The menu listed the stout with chocolate and coconut flavors and I had to have it.  Anything with coconut is good in my book!  I may have to try more stouts and darker beers in the future.

I really wanted to get a long run in today.  I went on my favorite 12 mile out and back path and committed to taking my time to make sure I finished the route.  My legs felt better than I had thought and I ended up only stopping for water breaks. Fun fact: that route has 4 water fountains. 4!

12 miles

Nothing like running past a farmer tending to his corn to make you feel like you live in the middle of nowhere.


I came home to this.

They love each other.

Last, but not least, a picture from the dog beach last weekend.  Peyton loved running in the sand and we will be going back soon!

How was your weekend?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thursday Rambles

Where has this week gone?  I worked Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and today.  I am sure glad I am off tomorrow.  Working inpatient acute rehab is exhausting.

Peyton feels the same way.

Augie is Peyton's shadow.  She does everything Peyton does.

My running has really fallen by the wayside.  I managed a 6 mile run (51:27)Tuesday and a 5 miler (40:37) today.  I am going to get back on track starting tomorrow.  This is my only 4 day work week this summer, so the extra time will give me the boost I need to get back to training.

Speaking of running, I have signed up for a 10K on July 18.  It will be the second 10K I have ever done.  Short races are not my favorite because 1. I don't like to pay for a distance I easily manage on a training run and 2. Short races are hella hard.  I have some speed work at the track planned for the next few weeks and I'm hoping to place in my age group.

What race are you running next?

What's the best part of your summer so far?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Saturday Things

Yesterday I was going non-stop to take care of things around the house and to run errands.

First things first, I had to get my most important part of the day done first: my run.

10 miles

It was the perfect temperature for a run with clear blue skies.  The 8:07 pace felt tough for the second half of the run, but I know I will get my endurance back once I'm training consistently again.  Nothing beats running a good long run.  I'm feeling ready to commit to a fall goal race.

Prairie plants are beautiful.

The water levels in the rivers and ponds around us are very high.  Parts of the trails were still flooded over from Monday's downpour.

My favorite part of the trail.  Look at all that shade.

The best/most random post run meal: cajun turkey meat, string cheese, sweet potato, and coconut LaCroix.

 The rest of my to do list included cleaning my house, making a Costco run, and taking Augie to get her shots.

I think the dogs were exhausted just watching me move around the house.

 Today is going to be a much slower paced day with fun things on my agenda: the dog beach and going to see Inside Out!

Have a great Saturday!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Thursday Rambles

I wasn't able to get out of work today, but my brother went down to the parade to see the Blackhawks.  I'm super jealous.

I have been so exhausted this week.  Thankfully I have a 3 day weekend.  I'm hoping to finally get some consistent running in as well.

I'm fresh out of Kombucha.  Time to make stop for a shopping spree for $3 bottles of tea.  I told Chris the cost of each bottle and his jaw dropped.  While it is pricey, it keeps my stomach happy.  I aim for one every other day.


I spy a puppy foot.

These three are the best of friends.

Tell me something random about your day.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What I Made

Eating and running go hand in hand.  Lucky for me (and Chris), I enjoy cooking and we eat 95% of our meals at home.  I also love to try new recipes.  I'm a bit of a Pinterest addict and I am always searching for new delicious foods to try.

Monday I made Chris' favorite soup: Cowboy Potato Chowder

I make this soup about once per month and it always hits the spot.

I started making homemade broth about a year ago and haven't purchased store bought broth since.  Homemade broth is incredibly easy to make and tastes fantastic.  I had mine boiling the same time I started the soup.

Homemade broth has a gorgeous brown color.

Cooking is always better with wine.  And puppies.

We served our soup topped with bacon and cheddar cheese.  We had corn bread on the side.

I've been walking both the dogs at the same time.  It's madness.

Peyton decided to roll in coyote poop while walking today.  I threw her in the tub when we got home and scrubbed her. Dogs.

Yesterday I wasn't in the mood to run.  I had to wait until Chris got home to watch the dogs, so it was later than I was used to.  If I sit on the couch when I get home I almost immediately get tired.  I left the house thinking that I'd turn around if I wasn't feeling the run.  I ended up taking is really easy and focusing on my form.  I ended up running 6 miles.  I changed my route a little as well.  I'm a creature of habit and I like to run near my usual route.  Running away from it made me run feel even easier.  I should probably change it up more often.

6 miles

Do you chance up your running route?

What is the favorite thing you've made this week?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Blackhawks Win! And Running News


The storms were horrible here yesterday and we weren't able to watch the game with friends.  Sheets of rain were coming down.

Spending the time inside and on the couch ended up being perfect.  We warmed up with a bowl of our favorite homemade potato soup and cuddled the dogs.  Now I'm looking forward to going to the parade to celebrate!

In running news...

Half Marathon finishers has increased by 575% since 1990.  That is an insane increase! I have not run a half in a while.  Now I feel like I'm overdue!

This man weighs in at 538 pounds and is training for a marathon.  He is currently working on the goal of one 5K a month and recently decided to train for a marathon in 6 months.  He has already lost over 86 pounds! That is some serious motivation to get up and start moving.

Brian Pilcher won Dispea Race.  Dispea is the older trail race in the US and was first held in 1905.  Dipsea has a handicapping system allowing the oldest and youngest runners to start first.

Have you ever run a trail run?

What's the best part of your summer so far?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Motivation Monday: 6/15

We had a crazy busy weekend and I'm glad it's Monday.  Time seems to slow a little on weekdays versus weekends and right now I am happy because of it.

Today I am planning on getting a run in between doing work around the house.  Having time off this summer means I can FINALLY work on painting the walls in our home.  We've been here 2.5 years and still have stark white walls.  I finished the powder room and now have our bedroom to tackle this week.



Happy Monday!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thursday Rambles

1. Augie has a UTI. Poor girl has been having it rough these past two days.

2.The two dogs have been getting along wonderfully. We've been making a point to spend time with each of them individually, especially Peyton.  We're trying to avoid any sort of jealousy.

3. We went to Benihana's for a friend's birthday on Tuesday and I ordered sushi.  Normally I get one of their dinners cooked on the hot grill, but sushi sounded amazing.  This was the Wow Sushi and it was fantastic.  Each one had different toppings but were each stuffed with crab meat.

4.  Blackhawks won Game 4 and the series is tied! Chris and I are considering spending a whole month's mortgage on Game 6 tickets at the United Center.  Something tells me that is not the best idea since I am working only 2 days a week now.


5. THERE IS A HARRY POTTER PREQUEL?!?!? This is the most important thing that has happened in my life (since I got married last October of course).  Eddie Radmayne is set to star in it.

In other news..... I've finally started running consistently again.  We've been having some beautiful weather here, making me want to spend a lot time outside. 

Tuesday I was able to get 10 miles in the morning.

10 miles

Today I got a shorter run in before taking Augie to the vet.

6 miles

Peyton has been loving it too and we've been going for a lot of walks together.

On top of the running and walking, I've been going to random spin classes and trying to keep up with my strength training. Apparently I really like to exercise.

What are you doing today?

Are you watching the Stanley Cup Finals?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Cost of a Marathon

I was really bummed when I didn’t get into the Chicago Marathon lottery for this year.  I had thought about possibly running for charity (and I still might if I can figure out this fundraising thing!).

I have been looking into many other options to fill my fall marathon void.  I have already signed up for a race for next year (DC!), but I like to keep my race schedule relatively full. 

In my race searching and lusting, I have learned one thing.  Holy shit, have marathons gotten expensive!

While it is true that running is one of the least expensive hobbies you can have, actually signing up for an organized race is quite the opposite.  The average fee for the Top 25 most popular marathons has increased by 35% since 2007.  

One of the races I have my eye on for this year is the Naperville Marathon.  I remember when the Naperville Marathon was in its inaugural year.  I was already signed up for Chicago but I thought that Naperville would be a fun race to finish out the year.  It cost $150.  $150.  This is a small town race located about 40 miles west of Chicago.  It is run on neighborhood streets, through Naperville’s downtown and through a forest preserve.  I couldn’t believe that number when I first saw it.  And I guess others couldn’t as well.  There was a huge social media uproar that cause the race organizers to then lower the entry fee to $105.  Now that sounds more like it.

Race organizers are reporting several key factors that are adding to the increased cost of putting on a race.  These include post race food and drinks, technical t-shirts included in race bags, and music playing at the post race party.  Not to mention the cost of closing city streets, city permits, the need to increased police patrol around the race course, timing chips, and finishing medals.  

When runners add in the cost of transportation to and from the race course and hotel stays, the cost for individual runners begins to sky rocket without including the cost of running gear such as clothes and shoes.

The ever increasing race fees are one of the reasons I tend to only pay for marathons and a select few half marathons.  Many other runners have found this is the way to go in order to afford to race, as well as choosing fewer races to run throughout the year.  

Are you looking to save money on racing fees? Sign up for smaller, less popular races.  Races with less bells and whistles also have lower registration fees.  You can splurge on one big city, popular race and run the rest of the year in races with smaller fields and less amenities.  Your bank account will thank you.

What big races must you sign up for?

How much do you like to spend on a race?

Do you prefer to run local or travel for a race?
What are you training for in 2015?