Tag Archives: running

13 in 2013


The start of a new year always seems like such a great time to wipe the slate clean. New goals, new ambitions, fresh new calendar and planner. I look at it as a time to renew myself and forget about all the things I ‘failed’ at in the past year.

So, here are my 13 for 2013, along with a quick thought of how I’ll accomplish them.


1. Exercise at least 3 times every week (but aim for 5) – attend at least 1 fitness class in addition to my half marathon training

2. run a half marathon (my 4th!) – hopefully the Lincoln Presidential in April and/or the local one in May, using a training plan from Coach Jenny Hadfield

3. keep track of my miles run – I’m thinking I’ll just write them in my planner, the old-fashioned way, and probably do a weekly recap on the blog


4. Make eating 5 servings of fruits & veggies daily a habit – eat more salads and smoothies, track my Weight Watchers healthy checks

5. get to my “pre-living with a boy” weight – follow Weight Watchers 360 plan, track everything I eat (good, bad, & ugly), and see #1

6. try 2 new recipes a month – meal plan on the weekends, use my cookbooks more often

7. try to get at least 7 hours of sleep on school nights. that means getting to bed by 10ish.


8. blog 3 times a week – pre-write more often, spend more time writing instead of mindlessly watching TV, keep a blog journal to jot down ideas when I get them

9. read at least 2 books a month – this should be pretty easy with my new Nook. I’ll also be tracking my progress and books read on Goodreads.

10. finish knitting projects before starting new ones. I can think of at least 5 nearly finished projects off the top of my head, but there are probably more. Whoops.

11. talk to my parents and at least 1/3 siblings at least once a week – we’re pretty good about texting but it’s not the same.

12. become a better housekeeper – create a cleaning schedule and do laundry before it’s piled up 10 loads high

13. spend less, save more, and cut down on the ‘stuff’ – this is pretty straightforward. like most people I just have way too much stuff – clothes, shoes, bags, books, makeup, etc. I’m not a huge impulse buyer but I love a great deal. I need to use what I have before buying new, really think twice about new purchases, and get rid of what I no longer need/use/want.

So, there you have it. I hope to check in with these goals every month or two.

Have you made any New Years Resolutions? Share in the comments!

Monday Running


All day I’d planned on running after work, probably on the treadmill, and then going to Bodypump after. Then I made my to-do list and realized all the little chores I’d like to get done this week. I though about what I could get done if I went home and ran instead and then changed my plans.

After getting home from work I threw a load of laundry in the wash, changed into running clothes, and had a quick snack. When it was time to switch I put the clothes in the dryer and headed out the door for a run. I had another 10×1 min interval run today, so it would be just a little bit longer than the dry cycle. Sweet.

It was about 55 degrees when I started and just starting to get a little dark. Perfect running temp for me. I listened to the same Rock My Run mix as Saturdays run and it was just as awesome.

My legs felt pretty good, not too sore or tired, but the hills were killing me. I didn’t stop during the 10 minute running intervals even though there were several times I really, really, really wanted to. A few weeks ago I would have just given in and walked. It’s nice to know that I have a much better mindset today.

My mile splits were all about 11:30ish, which is right on track for a 2:30 half marathon (11:27/mile to be exact).

Speaking of half marathons, my goal race right now is the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon in Springfield, IL on April 6th. If you live in the area and are looking for a spring half you should definitely check it out. The course seems really cool, the entry fee is fairly cheap, and it’s a smallish field of just over 1,000 runners. I’m trying to convince the husband to train and run it with me but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

And since I’m on the racing front, I’ve got a 10 Turkey Trot this Thursday, which I’m really looking forward to. Running 6 miles will give the freedom, peace of mind, and extra burned calories to eat an extra piece of dessert!

Chicago Marathon

So, a year ago I ran my first (and only, so far) marathon in Chicago.

Somehow I never managed to finish my recap post. Maybe because I wasn’t entirely happy with the way the race went. Maybe because I needed some time to wrap my head around it. Maybe because I didn’t want to remember the struggles.

I’m a little bitter watching this years marathon, because they have absolutely perfect temperatures. Last year was, shall we say, absolutely imperfect. By the time I was finished temps were in the low 80s. Today? They’ll top out at about half that.

Watching this years marathon, broadcast live on NBC Chicago, has brought back a lot of memories.

Lakeview, Old Town, Little Italy, Near West Side, Pilsen, Chinatown, Bridgeport, Bronzeville, South Loop. Just a few of the 29 neighborhoods that the marathon course runs though and the most memorable for me.

Lakeview is one of the first neighborhoods you enter, and is possibly the most exciting. The streets are lined with spectators and roadside entertainment abounds.

Old Town is another exciting neighborhood to run through. The view is pretty darn beautiful as well, tons of historic homes and trees lining the streets. (This was pretty nice last year, as trees = shade!)

Little Italy smelled so delicious! The crowds here were awesome and brought the excitement.

The Near West Side is the halfway point, as you pass by Chicago’s Union Station. I was still feeling really good at this point in the race last year. I also got to see my mom (again), husband, and mom-in-law here. That was definitely a huge boost.


I was feeling pretty good up until about mile 15 or so, until the heat started to really get to me. My legs started cramping like crazy and I was just feeling totally depleted. I took a lot of walking breaks and pulled off to the side to stretch a few times as well. At that point in the course the runners are kind of alone as well, not too many (if any at all) spectators at this stretch, until mile 18ish.

Right around mile 18 you turn in the Pilsen neighborhood and things start feeling so much more exciting. It seems like everyone comes out of their homes to cheer on the runners. Pilsen is a Hispanic neighborhood, so imagine mariachi, colorful decorations, and delicious smells of cooking food.

Chinatown is after Pilsen, and is another amazing neighborhood to run through. You can hear it coming before you finally pass under the iconic sign welcoming visitors. I saw my cheering squad again as I ran though Chinatown. This was also where I realized I was actually going to run farther than I ever had before.



After Chinatown you head into the Bridgeport neighborhood, passing by U.S.Cellular Field, home of the White Sox.

After this the course goes across the Dan Ryan Expressway (via an overpass) into Bronzeville. My little bro happens to attend school in this neighborhood so he came out to cheer me on. He took it up a notch by not only cheering but actually jumping in to run with me for a bit. He had a nice, fresh, cold water bottle and fresh legs to keep me going for about a mile or so. He also made sure to tell me that he was officially scared of his big sister, since I was running a marathon.

After Bronzeville the course heads back into the city, eventually winding into the South Loop. When Grant Park is faintly visible in the distance, you know that you can make it. I started run/walking at this point, trying to run 3-4 minutes before walking for 1.

Coming back into Grant Park, there are a few crazy turns, including a hilly bridge which most people hate. Thankfully I ran most of my training runs on hills so I was able to power through and dominate it. Seeing my cheering squad again right before this bridge gave me the last little boost I needed.

Turning onto the final stretch your heart totally takes over. The finish line is visible, there are thousands of people cheering, and there is no turning back.

Crossing the finish line was probably the most emotional experience of my life. I’m not too proud to say that I cried after crossing and getting my medal. My sister happened to be volunteering at the finish line, so she found me and “assisted” me off the course.


I felt pretty good right after finishing. Sore & tired, but good. And there really is no better place to run than in the beautiful city of Chicago!

Long Run Fail

So, I tweeted Friday night that I was freaking out about a planned 16 mile long run Saturday morning.

Well, Saturday morning came and went, but I didn’t.

It was actually raining when I woke up for the run, and nothing is more miserable than running long distances in the rain. Plus, I had to work at 11 and rushing around after running is no fun.

So, I decided I’d head out Sunday morning. No biggie. Saturday actually turned out pretty nice – Matt and I went out to breakfast and picked up some apples and peaches from the Farmers Market.

Sunday morning I woke up around 7 am. The weather was looking pretty good – mid 70s, humidity not too high yet.

I got up, put on my running clothes, and made a small breakfast.

Then I sat down at my computer and lost track of the time. By the time I got out the door it was just after 9 o’clock and the temperatures and humidity were creeping higher. My plan was to run an 8 or 9 mile loop, come home for a water/snack break, then go back out and run the rest until I got to 14.

Fuel-wise, I brought along 2 Gu packets, some Gu Chomps, and a water bottle filled with Gatorade and water. I ate the Chomps after about 4 miles, then a Gu at about mile 7.

I ran a 9 mile loop and got home around 11. One tall glass of ice water and 2 clementines later I felt a lot better. Sitting down in the air conditioning didn’t hurt either Winking smile

Eventually I got my butt back outside and immediately knew I was not going to hit my mileage goal. It was hot, humid, and sunny. I went out about an mile and a half and knew I needed to turn around. My calves were starting to cramp, my hips ached, and my stomach was starting to growl. Ugh.

I run/walked the whole way home (less run, more walk) and was just feeling miserable. As soon as I walked in the door I drank some water and inhaled a turkey sandwich.

I felt defeated, tortured, and disappointed in myself.

Then I looked at my Garmin and realized I’d just traveled 12 miles.

No, it’s not the 14 or 16 I’d hoped to complete this week, but I still did a lot more than the old me would have.

There’s always next week – I’m planning on getting up and out much  earlier and bringing more fuel with me.

I’m also going to stretch and foam roll the night before so my muscles aren’t tight going into a long run.

Today I have a 4 mile run planned and I’m going to take it slow and easy. There’s just over a month left until the marathon and I’m starting to feel the panic setting in.

I know I can do this.  I just need to remember that preparation is key and keep pushing until the end.

Sorry for the rambly-ness of this post. I am just feeling kinda blah about running lately. Hope you are all having a better relationship with your workouts than I have been lately!

Getting Psyched


So, I’m getting pretty psyched for the weekend. This is probably my craziest running adventure yet – a 5k Friday night and then a half marathon Saturday morning. It’s gonna be legendary.

The following exchange went down on Facebook this afternoon, c/o my brother, his girlfriend, my sister, and myself:

friday fb status

Yup, we’re awesome.

I’ve also become an amateur meteorologist, obsessively checking Saturday’s weather forecast.

weather 1

Weather Underground

weather 2


weather 3


I currently have 11 hours worth of music in my half-marathon and 5k playlist. And I’m only in the I’s in my iTunes library. I need to learn to edit.

It’s 9:31 pm and most of the things I’m bringing this weekend are thrown in a laundry basket. My suitcase is still empty. And why do I feel like I’m packing for a 10 day trip instead of a 2 day trip? Oh yeah, because all my running gear/necessities are enough luggage for another person. Oops.

11:00 – packing is (mostly) finished. All that’s left are the things I need tomorrow morning – toothbrush, flat iron, makeup. The important stuff, you know? I’ve also whittled down my playlist into a reasonable length of music. I made a list of the few last-minute things I need to grab before hitting the road tomorrow, and the bed is calling my name. I can’t believe I’m almost a 2 time half-marathoner!