Tag Archives: Running

So far, in 2014…

I have run two miles so far in 2014. Yes, just two.

I live in Wisconsin, and in case you’ve been living under a rock, you should know about that thing called the Polar Vortex. We had some historically-record-low cold days in January. I already dislike running in any weather colder than 50 degrees… and even the most die-hard runners don’t run in sub-zero temps. I was able to escape the arctic weather in the beginning of the month. I was supposed to return to work for two days before taking off for our family vaca, but thanks to our Polar Vortex friend, my winter break was extended by those two days (and my resulting break was three and a half glorious weeks) and we headed south to the Caribbean. Our family went to Beaches Turks & Caicos, and it was amazing. My family had been before when I was in eighth grade, but the place was twice as big as the last time we were there. It was relaxing and beautiful and perfect.

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Any way, I packed my running gear with the intention to run at the resort. And I did. Once.

The fitness schedule at the resort had three different runs on it. All in the morning at 6:00. Two were “trail runs” and one was a beach run. I already knew I wasn’t cut out for beach runs. I don’t like the uneven terrain. I got out of bed for one of the two trail runs, though, and had high hopes. The unfortunate part was that the resort’s trainer runs a 10k in my average 5k pace. So he is literally twice as fast as me. There were only two other resort guests on the run, and they were able to keep up with him pretty well. And me? I lost them about a mile in, and I was ready to die– because I started way too fast.

I’m usually pretty good at amping up my speed when I’m running with people who are faster than me, but these people were way too fast. I finished the first 2-mile loop (at least I think I did… I had to guess what the second half of the loop was, since I lost the group), and I went back to the room to get breakfast with my boys. I didn’t get up for the second trail run.


Well- I returned to Chiberia, and rather than resign to the dreaded treadmill, I have been doing some Insanity workouts. They’re really challenging and I feel good when they’re over– just like running. So I’ve decided rather than do one of two things I despise– run in the cold or run on the treadmill– I’ll do Insanity (which really lives up to its name- FYI) for January and February, and then run in March when the weather gets nearer to the 40-degree mark. I’m making the determination now that 40-degrees is acceptable. (And after the winter we’ve been having, I’m sure that first run or two will feel downright tropical).

In related news, I have about ten pounds of post-baby weight hanging around. I had made it back to my pre-baby weight around Skip’s first birthday, but slowly over the course of the next year, by his second birthday, I had put ten back on. I’d like to lose at least half of that. It’s not necessary- I’m not overweight- but it’s a personal goal. For starters, I decided I’d log my calories every day. I use the My Fitness Pal app, which gives me a realistic calorie goal to healthfully reach my target weight. I haven’t done much to change my eating habits quite yet- they aren’t necessarily horrible to begin with- but awareness of what your food is actually “worth” towards your daily total is a fantastic place to start. I’ve already altered the way I approach certain meals, especially lunches, with the mindset of what I’m in the mood for at dinner. A la, “can I afford (calorie-wise) this?”


I’m making progress on my goals to be a #FitMom in 2014.

{Other than the four brownies I ate at our Marriage Retreat we went on this weekend… but those calories don’t count.}

I have already signed up for the Color Run, and I’m making a decision as to what my first 10k for the year will be– I’m debating a few. I look forward to the warmer weather (I’m sad that I’ve resigned to 40 degrees being acceptably “warm”) because I’m itching to run. Until then, I’m letting Shaun T. challenge and motivate me.

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Progress Update: June

We’re already well into July, so I figured I better get my June progress update up. Why has it taken a while? Well, for starters, I have been busy this month getting HIRED. Yep, that’s right. I got a job. I’ll be teaching third grade this fall, and I am super excited about it.

The other two reasons I have for lagging behind in getting this posted are:

1. We went on vacation at the beginning of the month.

2. It’s embarrassing, like usual, to admit that I didn’t meet my mileage goals.


There are 30 days in June, but I did not run 30 miles. I did, however, start training for a fall 10k. My friend and super-runner, Katie, wrote me a training plan to have me running 6.2 miles by November– and this helped me log some consistent miles at the end of the month. Alas, my total for June? 19 miles.


I’m starting to realize that I probably won’t meet my 365 goal, but I’m letting that realization sit in the back of my mind so that I don’t lose motivation to keep going, keep running. The goal of the 365 miles wasn’t just to log miles, but to get me running more often, and at that, I have succeeded so far. And I’m always getting better. So, even still, I am proud of myself.


So far in July, I’m doing well, just battling with the heat. Some of my runs have been hot with a capital H. It’s a tremendous advantage, though, to have someone sending me my runs for the week. It was something I was having a hard time recreating this year. Training for my first 5k was “easy” when I had an app telling me what to do on every run– the only mind game I had to play was getting myself out the door. The mind games doubled when I was no longer doing the program, because not only did I have to get myself out the door, but I had to give myself some sort of “objective” for each run, and that’s difficult when you’re struggling for the motivation to just DO IT in the first place. Katie has taken on this role for me and is the one telling me what to do every week, and it’s a big help.

{Thanks, Katie!}

Here’s to July, the heat, and adding some miles. Cheers!


2013 Miles Goal: 365

Miles Run So Far: 102 (three digits!)

Miles to Go: 263 (I’m pretending this isn’t real life.)

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5k Review: Dirty Girl Mud Run

In January, as a way of motivating myself to keep up with my mileage for the year, I made a list of 5ks that I wanted to do. One of the first races I put on my “list” was the Dirty Girl Mud Run. By the time I had learned of this race last year, it had already happened, and I was determined to do it the following year.


I made an event right away in January, invited everyone that I knew, and got excited. I figured I was giving everyone as much notice as possible (I mean, six months? That’s a lot of notice!) and since it was taking place the day after my birthday, I decided this would be my way of celebrating my birthday this year.


Well, you all are LAME because they only person who actually signed up to do it with me was my BFF, Katie. Boo to you all. Boo.


Any way… We signed up for the 4pm wave, because I prefer to run in the afternoons. The 4pm wave ended up being the very last wave of the day, and it was a very tiny wave! In addition to our 2-person team, there was a team of maybe 8 girls and another two teams of two. It was like having the entire course to ourselves.

Pre-Dirty Girl Mud Run

Before the race!

Katie and I made our way through slowly. We did a little jogging, but we mostly walked between obstacles. This was partially due to the fact that we didn’t know how much energy we should save for the obstacles and partially due to the fact that the race ground was entirely uneven. If we were to run between every obstacle, there were a few places where I am sure we could have twisted an ankle or something. I’m talking deep grooves in the mud, loose gravel, and running on an angle. I think the ground between obstacles was more dangerous than the obstacles themselves!


I was anticipating the obstacles being really difficult, but they weren’t. The first was an inflatable– no mud yet– and I was scared on the way down, but mostly my fear came from someone falling down on top of me. I was nervous that I’d really strain myself, because I have such limited upper body strength, but I didn’t struggle physically with any of the obstacles. Some of the mud pits were chilly– the day was chilly– and the muddy water was gravelly. I have a hard time with texture, so mentally, I struggled with the texture of some of the mud pits.


Also, there’s a big slide towards the end– I was pretty excited about this one. Since Katie and I had the course to ourselves, we had one half of the slide each to ourselves. I thought this was a good idea until we got to the top– then we were both terrified. The slide was really high up, and there was a muddy pit at the bottom that you couldn’t tell how deep it was. I counted really loudly to three and we slid down– that was probably the hardest, mentally, to do!

After shot!

After shot!

At the end of the race, your shoes are pretty trashed. I had planned all along to donate my shoes at the end. I wore a pair of shoes that are a half-size too small for me, and even though we didn’t run much, I definitely felt how snug they were. I’m glad they’ll go to a developing country somewhere– complete with my Sweat Pink shoelaces. 🙂


We had a great time and I’m so glad that I did it. It was a lot of fun. The pros to the experience are all wrapped up in getting muddy and having fun with a great friend! There were a few notable cons to the experience though. Here they are:

-They didn’t have any small t-shirts left– which is pretty lame, because they have you select a size when you sign up for the run. If they can’t guarantee the correct size, they shouldn’t even ask for you to specify. I got a medium and hopefully it shrinks.

-I don’t know how they screen their volunteers, but there was a creepy guy at one of the obstacles that asked each of us: “You like getting dirty, don’t you?” in a super pervy tone of voice. I could’ve done without that…

-It was pretty cold for a late June day. The weather was chilly for most of the day, but by the time we went, the sun was out for most of the course. It would’ve been a little better if the weather was warmer, but it wasn’t TOO cold. The worst part was rinsing off with the ice cold water in the rinsing tent afterwards.

-They promise a “festival vibe” but that’s not really what you get. Yes, there’s music and MC’s… but there’s just ONE station for food and drinks and not much else is going on.

-Finally, I thought the obstacles weren’t that creative. They promise 12 obstacles, but a few of them were repeats. There were quite a few mud pits– which is fine– but a few of them were just kind of out in the open, and Katie and I were like, “Ok… so what are we supposed to do? Walk through? Crawl through? Mud fight?” I would’ve loved a few more challenging obstacles.


So there it is.

I’d love to do this race again, but there are two major things I’d change for next time:

1. Do it with a larger group. Katie and I had a lot of fun, but the obstacles aren’t that creative or challenging– but I think they’d *feel* a little more challenging if you’re doing it with more people.

2. I wouldn’t do the final wave. When I signed up, they had waves after ours, but I’m assuming no one signed up past 4pm, so ours was the last wave. Being in the last wave was both awesome and kinda weird. It felt a tad like a ghost town, and even though some of the workers still had decent energy- you could tell they were just waiting for us to finish so that they could tear down. Which is kinda silly.


All in all, I had a muddy good time! It was great, and I’d do it again.

Up Next: MRTT Summer Virtual Race: Running Mad!


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5k Review: The Color Run

The last weekend in May, I crossed off a race on my Bucket List of Races: the Color Run!

First, I must talk about the SWAG.

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I have never participated in a race with this level of swag. Included with the race price, you get a t-shirt and a sweatband, but when you pick up your race packet, there are TONS of additional items to purchase. There are tons of different shirts (which are super cute, by the way), and socks, sunglasses, shorts, sweatshirts, tutus, etc! It’s all rather reasonably priced, too. I purchased a pair of sunglasses (I chose PINK because I’m a Sweat Pink Ambassador) and I also purchased a pair of plain white knee-high socks. They had two other pairs to choose from– a cute striped pattern and polka-dots, but I thought I’d stick with the plain white canvas. {I snuck in some #sweatpink with my sunglasses and shoelaces, though.}

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Thankfully, this race was held right in the town that I live in (well, technically, adjacent-to) so even though it was a morning race, which I hate, I didn’t have to drive far or get up way too early.

I always have anxiety the night before a race. The anxiety isn’t about anything other than the fact that I have to wake up early the next morning. I’m not nervous about the race, I’m not nervous about pace, I’m simply dreading the early wake up call. This is why I prefer to run in the afternoon/evenings.

This wasn’t too bad, though. My body woke me up at about 6am, and I decided that I could allow myself a small cup of coffee. I wasn’t racing for over two hours, so as long as I drank a bunch of water as well, I figured I was alright. I also drank one of my Bolthouse breakfast smoothies.

{Quick side note: I should probably buy stock in Bolthouse. I tend to clean out the grocery store’s supply of Chocolate and Breakfast Smoothie every few weeks.}

It was really nice to not wake up to an alarm that morning, and to have some time to myself to relax. I left about 40 minutes before it was line-up time. My friends live about two blocks away from the race start, but I didn’t show up early enough to park in front of their house, apparently. I ended up parking about six blocks away from the race start.

I realized I had to use the bathroom the minute I got out of my car. That’s another thing about racing in the mornings– I have to pee like ten times. Especially before a race. I have a nervous bladder, I guess. So I stopped at my friends’ house anyway to use their bathroom, then I headed off to meet my bff Katie. I knew quite a few other people running the race, but I didn’t think we’d be able to locate any of them. There were a LOT of people there! I was used to races with lots of people, but this was in my small town in Wisconsin! Plus, the fact that everyone was wearing crisp white clothing from head to toes made the mass of people look even bigger.

Surprisingly, I was able to locate two friends almost immediately! We jumped in line with Kelly & Ryne and waited. The race was released in a series of waves, and even though we were in the middle, but towards the front of the pack, we were in wave eight or nine! The event officially started at 8, but we didn’t start until closer to 8:40!

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Once we started, I understood why they only allowed so few people through at a time. The race took us through downtown Racine, and portions of the track were pretty narrow. It was an all-ages run, so there were tons of kids and lots of different people running who had either never run a race before or just didn’t care very much about protocols or anything. I say that because even though it had been said multiple times across multiple mediums, people just stopped in the middle of the street to walk. The majority of people in this race were walking– which is fine, of course– but the runners had to bob and weave through the masses of people walking because the walkers didn’t move to the sides of the street like you’re supposed to.

Given my bladder, I had to pee not even ½ a mile into the race. So that first mile or so was pretty painful. Katie was running the race drugged– she was on antibiotics for a sinus infection– so whenever she wanted to walk, we walked. We got through two color zones before we saw port-a-potties at the halfway point. I had to stop! There was a line. In a normal race, this would’ve been ridiculous, but given the nature of this race- it wasn’t a big deal.

Which brings me to this point: this isn’t a race. It’s just a fun way to travel 5 kilometers. You could walk the whole thing and still have a stellar time. It’s not timed, so you don’t feel pressured to finish within a certain time frame. You travel between color zones and get colored chalk powder thrown at you along the way. It’s a lot of fun!

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{I must’ve been having a great time, because my smile is obnoxiously cheesy in every picture we took.}

You don’t get very colorful during the race part itself. The real colorful part comes at the end. After you cross the finish line you head over to where they have a stage set up, where they’re playing music, people are dancing, they throw out a bunch more color packets, and periodically, they have one big moment where everyone throws color packets in the air. THIS is where you get drenched in color.

Pre-Harlem Shake

Pre-Harlem Shake

Post-Harlem Shake

Post-Harlem Shake

For our “big moment” we released our color packets during the Harlem Shake. It was pretty silly, but lots of fun. In that moment, you can’t see anything as you’re engulfed in the rainbow fog.

The only real negative was the temperature that day. It has been in the high 70’s for most of the week leading up to the race, but of course, race morning it was much chillier and cloudy. The wind coming off the lake was brutal, too. I definitely would’ve preferred a warmer race day! That’s really my only complaint, though. Even the walkers didn’t bother me THAT much. We walked quite a bit, too, so they didn’t really slow me down. It’s just the impoliteness of it that bothered me. Midwesterners should know better.

Customary Shaka Photo

Customary Shaka Photo

So is it the happiest 5k on the planet? I haven’t run all of the races on the planet, but I’d guess that the answer is probably yes! I’ll definitely do it again next year.

Up Next: Dirty Girl Mud Run on June 29th!


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Progress Update: April

Jet-lag is a cruel, cruel joke. It’s hard enough to leave Hawaii to come home to flat, boring Wisconsin. It’s another thing to feel incapacitated for three days trying to readjust to losing five hours. I recently read that for every time zone you cross, it takes one day to recover. I flew across five time zones to get back home, so… I suppose I shouldn’t be “adjusted” until Saturday. Which feels about right. My brain is like mush and all I want to do is lay around. I’m forcing myself to do otherwise, though, in the hopes that tomorrow I’ll feel somewhat “normal.”


In an attempt to distract myself from wanting to take a nap, I’ve decided to post an update on my progress for my 365 Goal.


As I’ve mentioned in my last two posts, the beginning of April was stellar. I wasn’t making up for lost miles, but I was at least keeping up with the “one mile a day” strategy. I wasn’t literally running a mile a day, but I was averaging the 7 miles per week by running three days a week.


Then the dreaded “still winter” season killed my outdoor running plans, I worked a lot, and all motivation was lost. I was really looking forward to going to Hawaii. I have a special love for running in Hawaii. Perhaps it is because that is where I first learned to run. Perhaps it is because it is paradise and any “normal” thing you do in paradise is just automatically twice as sweet. Any way, while I wasn’t motivated to run here, I was certainly motivated to get some miles in during my time in Hawaii– thinking that I still had some time to add to my mileage for April.


Well, we flew out on April 29th, and we didn’t run on the 30th, so all of my Hawaii runs count for May.


April’s totals are, therefore, disappointing. I ran just 16.5 miles. Boo.

That’s less than March, and I was really counting on having my totals go up from March through the summer. So it’s a tad discouraging.


{Are you sick of my failures yet? I sure am!}


I got pretty far ahead in May already, so I was able to have these few days to recover without needing to worry about making up for miles. Starting this weekend, though, I’m going to need to start working hard to keep up and hopefully get ahead again for the month.


The Color Run is at the end of this month, and I finally signed up for the Dirty Girl Mud Run in June. There’s a MRTT virtual 5k happening in July, and in August I’m planning on doing the Electric Run. Keeping the races coming in a steady stream gives me no excuse to not keep at it– which is kind of the point.


Even if I don’t make my mileage for the year (the year isn’t half over yet, and even though I’m incredibly behind, I’m choosing to not be pessimistic) I’m still proud of all that I’ll accomplish. I’ll have quite a few races under my belt, and I’ve already run quite a bit more than last year. “Slow and steady” doesn’t win timed races, but it wins a different kind of race: the one against your lazy self. So I’m not taking a nap today. I might even run.


Stay tuned!


2013 Miles Goal: 365

Miles Run So Far: 60.75

Miles to Go: 260

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Weather Setbacks

Well, we had a few nice days at the end of March and beginning of April. I was running outside! I was on track for miles for the month! It was glorious!


Then… THIS happened.


{TMJ4 Storm Team iContribute Photo Gallery}


I know, I know. “April showers bring May flowers.” Screw that, though. It’s not just rainy. It’s rainy, windy, and COLD. Spring in Wisconsin isn’t that beautiful, unless you’re talking the last few days/weeks of May and first few weeks of June. But barely a month of spring-type weather qualifies as Spring. They like to joke that the four seasons in Wisconsin are: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction.


We’re in “still winter.” As such, I lost the great start I had at the beginning of the month. If I weren’t such a baby, I’d run in the cold rain. I’m not that hardcore. I’d like to be, one day, but for now: I made a little bit of time to go run on the treadmill this week. It’s the much less convenient alternative, because I have to do it over Skip’s nap and I worked almost every day this week. So I was only able to run the one day I had off.


I’m behind for the month. I’m behind for the year, really, but I’m just focusing on months at a time.

{It’s a little less motivation-killing to do it that way.}


This just further solidifies the fact that we need to live somewhere that I can run outside year-round. This treadmill business is getting old, fast. It was fine for the beginning of the C25K program, because it varied and kept me interested, but just running for 25 minutes on the treadmill? Yeah, that sucks. Even if you are watching TV. The bouncing doesn’t help.


In any case, I’m still optimistic that the summer will yield better mileage for me. I find myself in the same kind of anticipation for summer that I experienced as a kid. Maybe it’s because I’m subbing, so I’m in the same environment I was as a kid, but I’ve HAD. IT. with this rain and cold. I’ve checked out of the present. I’m nostalgically longing for warmth, sunshine, and the ability to open my windows.


As I’m typing this, I glanced up and there are snow flurries fluttering around outside. Why do I live here?!


I just want to run.


Also:I would feel it remiss to not mention how much the city of Boston and the runners, spectators, and citizens there are in my heart and on my mind. I don’t have anything to say that hasn’t already been said, nor do I feel that I have any sort of adequate words to utter in response. I found Patton Oswalt’s and Stephen Colbert’s to be two of the more succinct and resonating responses. As someone who is slowly working her way up to running longer distances, I know that the chance of ever qualifying to run the Boston Marathon is far off and perhaps unreachable for me. It hasn’t stopped me from putting it on my Bucket List of Runs. My heart aches for those there for the first time. For those there for the last time. For those there to cheer on their loved ones. For those there that took years to qualify. Just to have their moment of accomplishment taken from them. It’s awful.


I texted my husband on Monday when I heard the news and asked, “What kind of world do we live in?!” That statement was one of disgust at the ugly and hate that exists, but in the aftermath, I know that the ugly and hateful are small in number, though their actions may have monumental consequences. The beautiful and kind and supportive are larger in number, as we’ve seen over the past week, and I’m grateful to live in a country that will be at odds with each other over an elected official but will come together when it matters.

Every step I run towards my goal this year will be a prayer for Boston and for the future, moving forward.


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5k Review: Jelly Bean Virtual 5k

So have you ever heard of a “Virtual 5k”?


I hadn’t either until I was invited to join some other ladies doing one. It’s a pretty cool concept, actually. What happens is that you sign up to be part of the virtual race, and then you can run (or bike, if that’s an option) the specified distance, keeping your own time, and you log your time online. Essentially, you’re running with a bunch of other people, but in different locations at different times.


{Am I explaining this well?}


I didn’t really know what to think about this concept, but in an effort to keep myself running, I like to consistently have a 5k that I’m training for. I had run the indoor 5k in January, it seemed like a pretty good idea to have one on the calendar for March. I considered running one of the St. Patrick’s Day 5ks around here… the Shamrock Shuffle or something… but seriously, 5ks can be pretty expensive. Plus, to do one of those, I’d have to travel to Chicago or Milwaukee, adding even more expenses. When I was invited to do the Jelly Bean Virtual 5k, and was told that it was only $11, I was sold!


A group of five of us signed up as a team to do this race. We met at a pretty popular running spot in our area, Lake Andrea, at the ungodly hour of 8am this past Saturday.


{I know, I know. 8am isn’t early when you’re a mom, but it’s early for running… especially when you prefer to run in the afternoons like I do…}


I had hoped it would be warming up by March, but alas, it has only gotten slightly above the 30’s this past week. I was only able to run outside once before the race; all other training was done on the treadmill. I had planned to just do the run I was on for the Couch-to-5k program (Week 3, Day 3) but one of the ladies, Corey, was on Week 7 or 8 of the program and asked if I was going to run the 25 minutes with her. I initially said no, but after running through the first two “walk” times for my program, I just abandoned it and kept running. I ran most of the race, which I hadn’t planned on doing– I hadn’t run more than 2 miles in a long time.


The funny thing about a Virtual 5k is that there isn’t a huge group of people doing it with you. The five of us had our race bibs on, but there were only five of us. There were plenty of other people out walking or running around the lake. So when I slowed to walk about halfway through and saw the other ladies getting pretty far ahead of me, I felt a little silly walking with a race bib on. By myself. So I ran the rest of it, and it felt great.


As with any good race, this one came with all the swag that $11 can buy. We got some adorable race bibs, gold medals, and a small bag of starburst jelly beans. (Small note: I finally discovered some jelly beans that I can actually enjoy. I’ve never cared for jelly beans– this is no longer the case! Thank you, Starburst, for making a jelly bean that I don’t hate.)

Jelly Bean 5k

When you enter in your run times online, you are also entered to win some various running-related prizes. It’s a random drawing, so it doesn’t matter how slow you are, you still have a shot at winning a prize, which I thought was pretty cool!


All that to say…

The verdict is: Virtual Races are a pretty cool idea– particularly if you have others to do it with you. It’s flexible, inexpensive, and although “everyone” isn’t doing it all at once, there is something pretty communal about it– especially when you go onto the Run with Jess Facebook page and see pictures of other runners and bikers posting their pictures, holding their medals and jelly beans, and sharing in the experience from miles away.

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Progress Update: March

March was a lot better than January and February for running. I could thank myself for making me accountable to the interwebs via starting this blog, but who wants to read about me patting myself on the back?


{Pat. Pat.}


In any case, I ran much more regularly in March than I had in the two previous months. I made trips to my mom’s to use the treadmill during Skip’s naptimes. I ran twice during my quick long-weekend trip to Florida. It might have had something to do with restarting the Couch-to-5k program {ok, it had a lot to do with that. Here’s some pats for my friends’  backs who are doing that with me}. It might have also  had something to do with training because I needed to run a 5k at the end of the month. (The review of which I’ll post either later this week or next week.)


The weather still sucked, so I ran most of the month on the treadmill. Running outside those two times in Florida was heavenly– and reminded me that I need to live somewhere where that is a reality year round. The end of March warmed up a bit, and I was able to run outside once before running the 5k, which was also outdoors. 40 degrees is not balmy, but it’s tolerable.


We really lucked out with the location of our new condo. There is a really nice little trail just across the street from our complex. It’s perfect to have something like that right out of our front door. The local high school girls’ track team was out there running when I went the first time. It was motivating to not look like a fool in front of teenage girls. Because we all know how judgmental teenage girls can be.


Still: running outside for the first time all winter was a little tough. My body had to re-acclimate. It was tough, and I was expecting the 5k just two days later to be just as tough, but surprisingly, it wasn’t bad at all. I guess I was able to acclimate pretty quickly. Good news!


I’m grateful that the weather is finally warming up. I’m crossing my fingers it doesn’t drop a foot of snow on us in the middle of April. {It could happen. This is Wisconsin, after all.}

I’m also pretty pleased with my mileage this month. This month I ran 21 miles. It’s not exactly on target, but it’s better than the two previous months. I’m only 10 miles behind for the month.  I’m hoping to focus on getting ahead over the warmer months so that I can have some leeway in the fall when it starts getting cold again.


{I don’t want to think about that right now, though.}


Stay tuned!



2013 Miles Goal: 365

Miles Run So Far: 44.25

Miles to Go: 320.75

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Progress Update: January & February

The goal I had set for myself seemed so easy. 365 miles is just a mile a day (or “about 10 miles per week” if you’re my husband. Yes, he did consider majoring in math. Go easy on him, though, he reserves his brain power for other, more brilliant things…) and I thought that should be simple enough. I shouldn’t have to run every day, because on the days that I do run, I average at least two miles.

Well, I underestimated just how cold winter is in Wisconsin. Let me tell you, it sucks to run outdoors in the cold and snow and wind. I bought some fancy Yaktrax (for a STEAL on Amazon!) but that didn’t motivate me, either. I had visions of slipping on ice and cracking my skull or breaking my legs.
Thankfully, I had access to a treadmill. My parents have one set up in their room, so during Skip’s naptime, I could run.

The only problem with that is Skip’s nap times tend to be the only time I can really get things done. It’s a precious two-hour window that I feel an insane pressure to squeeze in all of the things I need to do. Running and showering can take up a pretty decent chunk of that time. I know it’s important, but that pressure makes it difficult to stay motivated.



January was pretty decent. I ran the Warm Your Heart indoor 5k in Chicago at the beginning of the month, so that gave me some mileage. I’ll review and talk about that 5k more in a later blog, but the truth is, I didn’t do so well. Before that point, it had been quite a while since the last time I had run. I was not proud of the way I struggled through that 5k, so I was motivated to do better for my next one.
I was able to get in 18 miles in January on the treadmill. I found that watching episodes of Friends made it go by faster, because running on the treadmill kinda sucks. It turns out that 2 miles is about an episode and a half.

Still, there are 31 days in January and I only ran 18. So that left me 13 miles behind. This seemed easy enough to pick up again when it’s warmer out and I’m running more often.

Well, enter February.



February is a short month, and it was FULL of activity. If you look at my subbing schedule, it shows that I was only able to sub FOUR days out of the whole month! We moved into our new condo, went to Hawaii, I started an online course for TESOL, and Jonah started his new full-time job. A lot happened. With my online course, suddenly naptime became even more precious. Also, I now lived away from the treadmill, and it’s still too frigid and snowy and icy to run outside. (At least according to me. That’s probably something I’ll need to get over as long as I live here.)

I had lofty goals for running while we were in Hawaii. After all, it is my favorite place to run. Unfortunately, given that we were there for such a short amount of time (the shortest we had been before that was five weeks… so a week felt like torture to us!) and with how busy we were with the wedding stuff and trying to fit in everything we wanted to do, I only ran once. My lucky husband was able to squeeze in two runs.

I’m embarrassed to share my run total for February, but in the spirit of being transparent in order to keep myself motivated, here it is: 5.25
Yes, just over FIVE miles. For 28 days in the month, I am 22.75 miles behind for the month and 35.75 miles behind for the year.



Moving Forward

I’m trying not to dwell on that number and just focus on running more this month. Thankfully, I have a few friends who are training for races and we decided to train together. We won’t run together every time, but we will be following the same schedule and hopefully fit in a few runs together. I am much more likely to keep accountable to other people than I am to myself, so I’m glad we’re doing this together.

It’s now March, and it’s a new start. I’m still pretty sure I can recoup those miles I am behind. Stick around and find out!


2013 Miles Goal: 365
Miles Run So Far: 23.25
Miles to Go: 341.75

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So I started a running blog…

I’m a girl with a goal.

My name is Katie and there are two things I want to do more of: running and writing. I set a running goal for myself for this year, and at some point, it just seemed right for me to also write about it. I wish I could explain it better than that, but at this point, I can’t. I just feel compelled to start a running blog, and really, let’s be honest, there aren’t enough blogs out there.

{That was sarcasm.}

I’m also kind of struggling with my running goal for this year, so I’m hoping starting a running blog will help with some of that.

I’m Not A Runner… Yet
I have been running for almost two years, and I still wouldn’t consider myself a “runner.” Runners are those people who know what they’re talking about when they talk about running, think it’s “cute” that I’ve run a few 5ks, and belong to communities of other runners– whether it be a Run Club or online Runners’ Gossip Clique… I don’t really know, because I’m not a runner.

Maybe I’m a running enthusiast, or at the very least, I’m a “novice,” but I won’t call myself a “runner” yet, because if I were to do so now, I’d feel like a big, fat poser.

How I Got Started
Growing up, I didn’t enjoy running. When we ran “the mile” in gym class, I walked and was usually one of the last few to finish. I’d sprint maybe 10 feet every lap or so, but that was torture. I played soccer in High School but preferred defense because it required less running. When they’d put me in mid-field (which requires the most running), I’d be gasping for breath nearly two minutes into being put in the game, and I’d usually ask for a sub within ten minutes and collapse on the bench like I had severe asthma or something.

Yeah, I hated running.

I’d always admired runners, though. It seemed like such easy exercise! You don’t have to pay for a gym membership. You just… run. Even though I hated running and wasn’t very “good” at it, I kind of wanted to be a runner anyway.

I was never motivated to start, though, until I was almost ten months pregnant.
There I was: two weeks overdue, up 65 pounds, living in Hawaii (where people are ACTIVE: surfing, paddleboarding, running, walking, biking, hiking, etc. at all hours of the day), and I was swollen to the size of a blimp. I hated looking at myself in the mirror. I couldn’t remember the last time I had felt pretty. There was a moment when I was looking at my ankles (or, rather, the fat lump where my ankles were supposed to be) and suddenly I was bound and determined to do something about it. Motivation kind of slapped me in the face.
I had heard about the couch-to-5k program, which sounded exactly like me, because after all, I had been spending quite a lot of time on the couch eating chocolate-covered macadamia nuts in the last month or so of pregnancy. I figured if anything was going to work for me, this program would.

I wasn’t able to start the program immediately after giving birth (my son had some pretty serious health issues) but in order to motivate myself, I signed up for a 5k in August. At the time it was April, and I figured that I’d be able to complete the nine week Couch to 5k program in between that time. I just barely finished the program before my very first 5k, but I ran the entire thing in about 38 minutes… and I mean it, I ran! I couldn’t believe it.

Couch to 5k
I highly recommend the Couch to 5k for anyone who was like me: terrible with endurance and never ran for more than 30 seconds before. That’s where I started. The first week, you don’t run more than 60 second stretches at a time, and this was absolute torture… but eventually, I was running for three minutes at a time, and then five minutes, and then eight… until I was running for a full half hour! It probably helped that I began my running gig in Hawaii. There’s nothing better than an evening run in a tropical climate, with mountain views and fellow runners out and about. I’ll share more about running in Hawaii on this blog, I promise.

Completing the Couch to 5k program and running an actual 5k was probably the very first time in my life that I had set a fitness goal and actually kept it. I finally found something that I wouldn’t give up on. I have always aimed to be more active and live a healthier lifestyle, but rarely have I taken actual, concrete steps to doing so. I was so motivated to lose the baby weight that I actually did it, and once you meet such a big goal, you just want to keep doing it!

Which Brings me to Now
My goal now is to be a healthy and fit mama. I’ve learned that the best motivation is to have no excuses– which is why I’ve made attainable goals. First: to run 365 miles this year. I was inspired by my friend Kevin, who set a similar goal last year (500 miles, though!) and made it with weeks to spare! {See his story briefly told here.} My motivator to run those 365 miles is to run a few 5ks throughout the year– this will keep me running in between, for training purposes, and to have some fun experiences throughout the year, because running a 5k is a LOT of fun!
Second: my goal is to eat healthier. I’ve been learning a lot about how my body digests food, my tastes have been growing as I’ve tried different things, and above all, I’ve noticed how much more energy I have when I eat healthier, how much better I feel about myself, and really, I want to teach my son healthy habits from a young age.

So this blog will be my space for keeping accountable to my goals and updating on my progress, as well as posting our successes and failures with eating healthy (maybe share some recipes we love!) and to share whatever else is relevant to this place in my life. I am a writer, so it just makes sense to write about all of this. It’s almost a necessity to have a blog to accompany my goals.

I hope you’ll stay tuned.

Mango Days 5k . 2012

Mango Days 5k . 2012

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