Training Report {02/03 – 02/09}


Monday – Easy 9 miles on the treadmill (average pace – 8:33 min/mile)

Tuesday – 11 mile pyramid workout with intervals 400 m, 800 m, 1000 m, 1200 m, 1600 m, 1200 m, 1000 m, 800 m, 400 m at 5k race pace with 400 m recovery (average pace overall – 7:35 min/mile, interval pace – 6:39 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 2

Wednesday – Easy 9 miles on the treadmill (average pace – 8:28 min/mile)

Thursday – 30 Day Shred Level 2

Friday – 11 mile treadmill tempo with 7 miles at marathon pace (average pace – 7:54 min/mile, mp miles – 7:39 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 2

Saturday – Easy 8 miles on the treadmill (average pace – 8:30 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 2

Sunday – 15 mile long run OUTSIDE (average pace – 8:17 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 2

Totals -


  • I didn’t take many pictures this week because there are only so many gym selfies that I feel like I can subject you to. Surprisingly, I’m getting used to the treadmill but am starting to get concerned that my training will suffer because I’m not running outside. I’ve never used the treadmill this much! Hopefully, the weather will change in the next few weeks and I can do the majority (if not all) of my runs outside in March and April.
  • I need hair tie recommendations! I have really thick hair and its long right now and my usual hair ties are not holding my hair off my neck. Any suggestions?
  • I was absolutely dreading the pyramid run on Tuesday because it looks so difficult but it was actually fun and kept my mind occupied (mental math while running will do that). The 11 miles fleeeew by. My tempo run on Thursday dragged though and I usually love tempos.
  • Running outside on Sunday was amazing, even if it was only 15 degrees (feels like 5) and my butt was numb when I finished.
  • 30 Day Shred is still going! I had a crazy hectic week last week so I’m happy that I was able to do the shred five times. I’m over halfway done!

Training Report {1/27 – 02/02}

Monday – Easy 9 miles on the treadmill (average pace – 8:33 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 1

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Tuesday – 10 miles with 4 x 1200 m @ 5k race pace with 400 m recovery on the treadmill (average pace – 7:47 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 1

photo 2 (5)

Wednesday – Easy 8 miles on the treadmill (average pace – 8:33 min/mile)

Thursday – 30 Day Shred Level 1

Friday – 11 mile tempo run on the treadmill with 7 miles at marathon pace (average pace – 7:54 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 1

Saturday – 5 mile easy run OUTSIDE at 4 AM (average pace – 8:37 min/mile) + 5 mile easy run OUTSIDE in the afternoon (average pace – 8:35 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 1


Sunday – 14 mile long run OUTSIDE (average pace – 8:08 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 2


Totals -



  • I bet you’re all shocked to hear that I’m sick of the treadmill. It’s been a nice option for speed days when I’m unsure if it’s going to be icy outside and I will be running in the dark but I miss doing my easy runs outside. I’m hoping that this cold streak breaks soon but the 10 day forecast isn’t very promising. Until then, I’ll keep wearing my 3 layers on my short jog to the gym each morning.
  • Speaking of, do you guys run to the gym and do you count that mileage towards your run? I definitely do. The gym is about 0.4 miles from my apartment so most days I make sure to run back and forth and then count that 0.8 towards my total mileage. It makes the run faster (as opposed to walking) and then I have fewer miles to run on the treadmill.
  • By Saturday, I was determined to run outside… so much so that I woke up at 4 to squeeze in 5 miles before going to Evanston for early morning lab (I had to do two labs on Saturday to make up for the one I missed to run F^3). It seemed like a great idea and I was soooo happy to be outside but the early wake up left me exhausted the rest of the day and Sunday. I haven’t been prioritizing sleep lately like I did last summer and I need to be better about it. I’m unhappy when I’m super tired and my runs suffer (which is less important than the happiness point, but still…). I’m currently brainstorming about how to make this happen.
  • Given the above, on Sunday I woke up and didn’t want to do anything but lounge on the couch and eat all day long. Unfortunately, it was not in the cards. I procrastinated my run but had to be productive during the day and by the time I got outside, I’d eaten a bunch of food that is not generally run-safe for me. My run wasn’t as awful as I thought it’d be but it definitely wasn’t a “good” run.
  • I finished Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred this week and I’m still enjoying it. Although, I started level 2 on Sunday and it was a lot harder and involved a lot more shoulder stuff than level 1. It’s going to be more of a struggle to keep up with it for the next 10 days.

F^3 Lake Half Marathon Race Recap

I signed up for the F^3 Half shortly after the Chicago Marathon. I wasn’t sure what my spring race schedule was going to look like and I wanted to have a race on my calendar to look forward to. I picked the F^3 Half because it really is the ONLY half in January (and maybe February) in Chicago and I had such a blast spectating last year. It didn’t even cross my mind that the weather could be bad on race day. Fast forward to the awful January we’ve been having. Freezing cold temps, gusting wind, and lots of snow. I kept my fingers crossed it would be tolerable (this has been redefined to above 0 degrees) on race morning and it was… barely.

The F^3 Half starts at 10:00 AM which is a bit of a challenge for me because I’m an early riser and I like to get up, throw back some food, and run. I scheduled my morning so that I slept in a little, had time to make almond butter and banana toast, and to plan what I was going to wear. Thankfully, Ian offered to drive me so I didn’t need to worry about freezing on public transportation and packing stuff for gear check. We also didn’t have to leave super early – definitely a plus. Even still, deciding what to wear was a challenge. The forecast at the start was for 15 degrees with 20-25 mph winds with a feels like temperature of 0. Yikes. I opted to layer up with my thickest tights (still not warm enough), a tank top, a sweat-wicking top, my warmest jacket, two pairs of gloves, an ear band, and a hat and risk overheating. I also wore my neck gaiter and put Vaseline on the exposed portions of my face. I felt like a greasy marshmallow.

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One of the worst parts of the morning was definitely standing around waiting for the race to start. The wind had picked up and was whipping snow everywhere. The race provided hot chocolate so I had a small cup to warm me up, used a porta potty, and then lined up at the start. One of my only complaints about this race was the start situation. The start line was small and didn’t have any pace signs and runners were backed up pretty far. I started maybe a third of the way back and had no idea what pace anyone around me was planning to run. I ended up passing people by running through the deep snow for the first mile as a result.

An announcement was made that the course was changed at the last minute due to drifting snow and then we were off. The first mile and a half was really challenging. We headed straight into the wind and I was doing a ton of weaving around people. The ground was icy and slick and I could barely feel my fingers or toes. I ended up stopping briefly after the first mile marker to touch my toes and make sure they were okay because they felt so weird in my shoes. I even debating dropping out. [Miles 1 & 2: 7:28, 7:31 min/mile]

Going into this race, I had one goal, run at least 7 miles at marathon pace or faster. I was barely looking at my Garmin (it was under a ton of layers) so I decided to run the first 7 miles fast and then see how I felt for the remainder of the race. Miles 1.5 – 6.5ish were actually pretty tolerable. We turned south and had the wind at our backs and I actually got warm! I took my outer pair of gloves off and opened the armpit vents on my jacket. I debated taking off my hat but it seemed like way too much work and I had nowhere to put it. The ground was not very icy but we were running on packed snow and in some cases mud so I paid close attention to my footing. I took an espresso GU at mile 5ish. I knew I was running faster than marathon pace but I was surprised by how easy it felt. I wasn’t focused at all on my breathing or whether or not I could finish the race, I was battling the elements (overheating at this point) and that’s all I could think about. [Miles 3-7: 7:21, 7:18, 7:25, 7:24, 7:29 min/mile]

We hit the turnaround at mile 6.5 and headed north back into the wind. It was definitely brutal. The path wasn’t nearly as clear heading north as it had been running south and the wind was really cold. A man ran up next to me and commented that the race started at mile 7. He was right. My legs felt fine but at this point, I was mentally ready to give up. I consciously slowed my pace and figured I’d coast in to the finish. I’d put in my 7 faster miles already so I didn’t really care. I ran two slower miles until I caught up to the man I’d seen (and talked to earlier). He was a chatter and while I’m normally not during races, I was so ready to be done that I appreciated the distraction. Without realizing it, my pace picked up as we talked about running in Chicago and why we’d decided to run this race. Eventually, I felt myself start to lose steam and he ran ahead. [Miles 8-11: 8:01, 7:51, 7:36, 7:29 min/mile]

By this point, I was cold. I never run in sunglasses so I didn’t wear a pair during the race and my eyeballs were freezing. My legs felt numb in weird places and I put my second pair of gloves back on. I also started to feel myself bonk. I slowed up a bit, reminding myself that I just needed to finish when I saw an aid station with Clif gels. I grabbed a cup of mostly frozen Gatorade and a gel, drank some Gatorade and had about 1/4 of the gel and within a few minutes, I felt a lot better. I’m not sure if they actually helped or if it was a placebo effect but I felt awesome. We hit the northern part of the course, turned around and headed back south for the last mile, and I started to push the pace. The ground was icy again so I was careful but I was also so ready to be done and warm. During this point, I caught up to my friend and eventually passed him in the last stretch before I crossed the finish line. ¬†[Miles 12 & 13: 7:49, 6:58]

Official Finish Time – 1:36:52 (7:24 min/mile) for what I think is 10th female overall ( is being WEIRD with these results). Also, in full disclosure, my Garmin only logged 12.9 miles. Others had a full course though so I’m not sure if my Garmin screwed up or if the course was actually short.

photo 3 (2)

So, if this course was actually 13.1 miles long, this would be a PR for me and given that I ran in nasty conditions, I’ve decided to count it as a PR. I’m really proud of this race. I wanted to quit so many times but I didn’t and I ran a good time (for me). I also wasn’t too sore on Sunday and was able to log another double digit run. This means that my training is going well and I’m improving.

Overall, I’m glad I did this race… now that it’s over. It was pretty miserable while I was running but I definitely feel like a bad ass now. F^3 did a great job considering the conditions – the path was in decent condition and there were volunteers and aid stations throughout the course. I was also so surprised to see spectators out there. People in Chicago are crazy.

What are the worst conditions you’ve raced in?

Training Report {1/20 – 1/26}

Monday – Easy 9 miles (average pace – 8:40ish — Garmin issue) + 30 Day Shred Level 1


Tuesday – Treadmill speed work with 3.5 mile warm up, 5 x 1000 m at 5k pace with 400 m recovery, and a cool down for 10 miles total (average pace overall – 8:00 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 1


Wednesday – Easy 9 miles on the treadmill (average pace – 8:33 min/mile)

Thursday – 30 Day Shred Level 1

Friday – Easy 10 miles on the treadmill (average pace – 8:35 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 1


Saturday – F^3 Lake Half Marathon (average pace – 7:24 min/mile)

photo 3 (2)

Sunday – Easy 10.3 miles on the treadmill (average pace – 8:44 min/mile) + 30 Day Shred Level 1

Totals -



  • I started the 30 Day Shred this week and so far I’m loving it. It’s super short and easy to squeeze in after work while I’m making dinner. I usually just pop whatever I’m roasting into the oven and do the shred while it’s cooking. I’ve noticed more than anything that I have more energy in the evening afterwards too. Definitely an unexpected perk.
  • More treadmill running this week. I’m finding the only way I can get through them is by watching Netflix on my phone. I’ve even temporarily expanded my data plan to account for this. Unfortunately, I’m running out of things to watch. I finished season 3 of PLL and haven’t found anything else I really want to watch. I’ve been watching Arrested Development again and movies in the meantime – any other suggestions?
  • The F^3 Lake Half was pretty brutal on Saturday. The temperature wasn’t that low (15ish at the start) but the 22 mph gusting wind made it feel like less than 0. I almost bailed but decided to go through with it and I’m so glad I did, I ended up PR-ing, even with the nasty weather conditions. Recap to come next week!
  • Overall, I’m feeling pretty good right now. My hamstrings are a little tight from all the treadmill running and then the half on uneven snow but it’s nothing that a sports massage/foam rolling/stretching can’t handle.

Thursday Things {01-23-2013}

1. Last week, I made the most fabulous and easiest dinner ever, chicken and dumplings. The recipe was actually sent to me by a friend and it came highly recommended so I figured it would be pretty tasty but I was still completely blown away.

photo 1 (1)

Go make this now.

2. I finally got a pair of boots, just in time for the second round of crazy snow and cold weather. I honestly don’t know how I made it through the first polar vortex without a pair but I will tell you my feetsies were always cold and wet. I actually had a pair of boots that somehow got lost in my move last winter so I was looking for a similar pair to replace them and I could not find boots in my size that I liked anywhere. So frustrating. I ended up buying a pair of rain boots and convincing myself to layer up on socks. It’s working so far.


3. Last Sunday, Ian and I wanted to go out to a nice dinner to celebrate a few things including not having to work on Monday. We hadn’t been to Avec in a while and we know some of the waitstaff there so we decided to give it another go. We split a bunch of food like paella, a brussels sprout panzanella, a cauliflower polenta dish, and then these bacon wrapped chorizo stuffed dates.

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I’d honestly forgotten how good the food (AND wine) is at Avec. Props to any restaurant that serves each dish with a mini loaf of delicious crusty bread.

4. When I was on the treadmill last week (…actually, when wasn’t I running on the treadmill?) I started thinking about cross training and how I’d love to be able to fit 10-20 minutes of strength in almost every day. I originally thought of e-mailing a few people to ask for advice/plans but then I realized that I could actually figure it all out myself. Enter, the 30 Day Shred. I’ve attempted the shred before (I was in the middle of it when I started this blog many moons ago) but I’ve never completed it. So now I’m challenging myself to do so. I won’t be able to do it for 30 days straight unless I want to get up earlier on Wednesdays than I already do (and 4:15 is waaay too early already) but I’m going to do my best to complete 30 days of the workouts. The entire warm up, work out, and cool down takes less than 20 minutes so it’s completely doable and I’m hopeful that the habit of strength training will stick after I complete the 30 days.

5. Sonic got a new laser pointer for Christmas with a mouse shaped laser and he looooves it. It’s so much fun to watch him chase around a mini mouse or stalk it on the wall. I love that my cat (he’s almost 3) still likes to play like a kitten.

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That’s all I have for ya, Happy Thursday!

How do you fit strength training in?