Talking About Weight Is Boring

Image from Etsy

I haven’t posted in a while. I ran my 1st Trail Ultra-Marathon in Oct, placed 4th female, and learned a lot. Yes, I plan on doing another haha, and another! It was a very different way to race and to train and an Ultra definitely changes you. Actually, it would be better to say an Ultra reveals a lot about yourself to yourself. It was a true confrontation with my heart and mind.
The last 6 months have brought a major lifestyle shift for me, its a quiet no frills life. No more Lululemon talk. Having raced all trail races this fall, there was no talk of “elite” corals and bib numbers. No circular discussions as to whether paleo or plant based diets are the secret to eternal youth, optimal digestive function and the best complexion. Did I need to move to a farm in the middle of “nowhere” to excuse myself from all that? No. Haha, but it did bring about a lot of change in perspective and I am grateful for it.

The world is beautiful, horrifying and constantly changing. There is nothing more mind numbing than listening to someone talk about their weight…ahem, NOT just women. Let’s not assume that weight and body image stress is unique to women.
Its not my intention to be insensitive. I am not talking about people who overhaul their lives to get healthy and get a new found freedom from that health. I am talking about the runner or fitness enthusiast that self obsesses over aesthetic minutia and lives bound by that obsession. Note- I did not say its wrong, just boring.
People are so interesting, I love to talk to other athletes about training, nutrition and ideas. Time spent perseverating over 5 pounds could be time spent petting a dog or cat and telling them you love them, reaching out to someone to say something nice, or heck take a nap.
I am actually embarrassed by my own past attachment to looking like a “runner”…haha and I run quite a bit and have for 25 years, so how could I not look like a runner? That was my small minded choice to be discontent and compare myself to others. What a complete waste of time. A complete waste of my own intelligence seeing a different person and thinking “to be better, I should look more like that”…absurd. Its quite nice to be able to admit that and be free of it.

My opinion is: If you want to be skinny be skinny. If you want to be big and strong be big and strong. If you don’t want to change, don’t change. As adults, we choose how we want to view ourselves. Happiness and contentment are choices. Why not choose love? If weight and body image has consumed someones life to the point their relationships, work and daily life are suffering, its time to consider getting help from a professional. I think that is choosing love.

I felt compelled to share my thoughts on this after seeing a lot of blog posts on body image from all sorts of athletes. Just my 2 cents, thats all! Be the love you want to see and feel.

Home is Where the Hay Bales Roll

Well I am here! I have not posted in a while haha. Z and I have moved to Southwest Michigan, where he grew up and where my family’s non-working flower farm is. He got a great job offer, and now was the time!
Anyone that really knows us, knows this move has been a daydream for quite some time. In April-Nov we barely are in the city outside of work. We enjoy things like shooting cans, water towers, trails, sitting on a porch and listening to Waylon, bugs, toads, and birds. Of course, I love running out here on the open road where it can change from hilly, to flat corn fields, to dirt road in the trees.

a good flat stretch

a good flat-ish stretch

It was really hard to say goodbye to my classes at ID  after all these years, I have worked with the owner Brent for over 10 years! So many friendships and good times there. The members are in good hands with the new instructors and schedule though! Sangeeta and I had our final lakefront run the day I left, we became instant friends back in ’10 when she started working at Universal Sole. That store has given me a small town run shop community that has meant so so much to me. Even though I was always exactly 3 minutes late for my shift. I will continue to run for Universal Sole/DWRunning. For me, that didn’t require much thought. I love my store and DW.

I love these fellas

I love these fellas

As far as training goes, I had a whopper of a knee injury in April that took me out of spring racing. It totally sucked. I am not going to drone on about my injury, boo hoo. Onward! I jumped in a trail race to get back in the game in June and had a 5k win on the 4th of July amidst a long run.
Now, feeling good and back to a normal training load and feeling pretty fit. I am training for my 1st ultra and am excited about the change and new ways to train! After the knee explosion, I realized I had really let my strength work go to s@#t over the fall/winter. I started a traditional olympic lifting strength program under Coach John Hugget (one of Z’s coaches) at Goose Island Crossfit  I have seen big results from it; its the 1st program that I have been able to really stick with in conjunction with my high volume of running (80+ miles per week). I will continue to work with John and do my workouts at Crossfit Tides where Z will be training. I will also be getting some yoga and endurance programming going there which I am super excited about!

Crossfit Tides

Crossfit Tides

I will begin teaching yoga at Yoga Life next week. Its a wonderful studio and space, I am so happy it worked out I could be a part of it!


I am keeping up with my ice baths, but will obviously miss that luxurious tub at Edge haha. Ice bathing with friends always is much better than this…

 (face scrunching up emoji)

(face scrunching up emoji)

So thats whats up. I haven’t posted about training mostly because when I am not training, I want to think about other things. I would like to keep this blog going though in our new adventure. We are so excited about this change of pace and lifestyle, but will miss Chicago friends a lot! Its just around the lake so no goodbyes. Thanks for reading!

Mistah B

Mistah B is free to retire in the country!




3 Half Marathons!

I haven’t updated in a while! Here’s what’s been up

3 Half Marathons in 3 months, each one very different and many lessons learned.
Cal City Mini Marathon-9/14- 1:28:17. 1st Female and 3rd Human overall. After the 1st quarter mile I ran this race entirely alone through the streets of Calumet. It was a simple no frills race. The course was open to traffic and I did get held up at a red light around 11.5 miles. My biggest take away from this race was that I needed to get my mental s@#t together again for racing. The barrage of thoughts and negotiating that went on in my head during these 13.1 miles was a mess and just not useful to me at all. It is hard to run alone in a race, and I read a lot of “boo hoo I ran alone ohhhh hoooo”. I run all my hard effort workouts and long runs alone…big deal. Its hard in a race setting, but that is not the scapegoat. Whether I was alone or not, or did not have that red traffic light womp, I would have still had the weakness in my mental game. It was so clear to me when I finished; I am grateful I was alone to really become aware that I needed to address that aspect of my racing. Z and Jose came out which was super nice :)  Here is my only pic from this event haha…a watch pic bah!

#garminpic #cliche

#garminpic #cliche

Next up was the Grand Rapids 1/2 Marathon on 10/19. This was a wildly different experience. I also spent a lot of time at Edge Athlete Lounge leading up to the race. Using the ice bath and Recovery Pump Boots. I teach a yoga class there and am psyched to be part of their team. It was a great fit right off the bat! Owner Robyn gave me a little good luck charm I kept on me for the race :)

Recovery Boots and June the irresistible Pug Princess

Recovery Boots and June, sadly, she was not the charm given to me

Race morning it was 29 degrees at the start, helloooo cold!  I had discussed how to keep my focus more positive and simple during the middle miles with Coach Hadley and also my friend and closest confidant Kristy. This was enormously helpful. I practiced mantras to keep my internal dialogue from growing too loud and broke the race up into segments with splits to hit for 3mi, 5mi, 8mi and 10mi then racing with what I had left. I was right on the splits. I lost a little time on the hilly portion but knew the last stretch would be fast and flat to make up time. I am not telling what my mantras were in this post but if you ask me in real life I am happy to tell!

I came upon another woman runner at mile 10 and passed her, and 10.5 she was back on my shoulder. I realized it was going to be a race to the finish. Something came over me at mile 12, I needed to drop her, and it needed to be enough of a surge to make her have to really fight. So I ran like hell, and finished 5-6 seconds ahead of her. I looked up and saw 1:26 on the clock and knew I had PR’d. I turned around, and my 2.5 mile nemesis and I hugged and became instant friends in that moment… and got a group hug from race director Don Kern. The best! I finished with an official time of 1:26:41 (1min PR), an age group win and 5th female.

watermarked photo

1:26:48 Gun time, 1:26:41 chip time OFFICIAL!!

The other MAJOR breakthrough was figuring out the side stitch issue that plagued me in races for a good year. In my usual night time text chat with Kristy I mentioned I just did NOT want a stupid stitch. She asked me how much water I drank before races…here it is…I said “at least a liter within the hour before”…



Then I thought back to races without stitches and all were long drives where I was not pre race nerve chugging water. So I decided NO fluids in the 30min before and no more than 16oz from wake up to race time. It worked! I did not use any gels during the race and took water from 2 stops, one was botched b/c I was handed a cup of gummy bears not water haha oh well.
It was a great day! I was really happy with my race, staying mentally tough during the middle miles and running a PR I had worked hard for.

Last weekend was the Naperville 1/2 Marathon 11/9. I have photos!!..Thanks to Z and Jose who biked the rolling course to cheer for me, they took some sweet pics and their support really made my day.

Jose makes the dark morning bright!

Jose makes the dark morning bright!

I have no splits for this race because my watch died in the 1st mile. Unlike Grand Rapids, I had never run this and did not know the course well. When I realized I was watchless, I tried to stay with a pack, then grew nervous that was the 2:50 marathon pack and it was early in the race to commit to a low 1:25.
I recently connected with Dan Walters and his wife Allie. I knew he was coaching a guy set to run 2:50 for the full. I saw Dan on the course and yelled “what is Brian wearing?!?!” He responded “That’s Brian!” oh hi Brian guy running right next to me. I hung with him a bit then let myself fall back a bit with the hope of using the super tall men behind me to break the wind. That didn’t really work, I don’t know where they went.

Oh Hi Brian on my right in blue!

Oh Hi Brian on my right in blue!

I learned a lot on running by feel. When I felt too relaxed I knew I had to be in the 6:40s and needed to pick it up. There were times I felt totally lost missing mile markers and having waves of doubt. One of those moments was broken when I saw Dan and Allie at mile 10 and he yelled “EYES UP!” it was like a slap in the face to bring me back in the race haha. It was a hard day, it was cold and windy and just a hard day. I was surprised and so happy when they announced I was 3rd overall female in the stretch to the finish with an official time of 1:26:58. Not far off my new PR and without a watch. I felt great! I was so grateful for Zack at the finish and all the support he gives me in my racing and training. I chatted a bit with men’s winner and family friend Jeff Purdom. Took some pics with Z and Jose and hustled over to Edge to celebrate in the ice bath haha and recover!

Thats a wrap!

Naperville used these jacket things instead of foil blankets, they were nice!

Z and I are both running the Niles/Buchanan Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day, then it will be more focused training without racing until early March. I have made so many new friends running in the last year and grown a lot. I am sad to see this season come to a close since it really has been fun and fulfilling in many ways. I’ve run 9 races so far in 2014; good, bad, meh and great ones! Spring seasons are determined by  winter training, so its back to the grind next week! Thanks for reading!
I will post again on winter training, its always interesting in the midwest haha.

New and Good!

Its already August! No! Wait! Slow down!


Mr and Mrs Brookes!

Z and I got hitched in June and honeymooned in Sedona AZ, it was wonderful! Such a wonderful time with our family,  friends, and each other.

My training has built back up to a solid foundation and am running around 75-80 miles a week. I have had a couple 5ks to stay engaged and get excited for fall, fun! Chinatown 5k 1st female in the rainstorm haha in 19:34 and last weekend Ready or Not 5k in Ostego 19:12 for 6th female and AG win. Man, those country high school XC girls are ready to rock!
Training will get more specific now since I have finally decided with Coach Hadley what I want to do this fall.


Mid 18 miles in 86 degree heat, Z drove out to help me with water and make sure I am ok out on the farm roads. I am very grateful!

I have made some changes that have helped me stay healthy, and am grateful for the support. One is a new sponsorship from Body Peace Massage, Jose is an awesome and intuitive clinical sports massage therapist and a great friend! He has a great sense of where problems or potential problems are. I always feel at home and comfortable with him even when the massage itself hurrrrrrrts!

Jose and I at the wedding!

Jose and I at the wedding!

Also, Rob Miller has taken me under his wing with my strength training. I am lifting heavier and focusing on functional strength and anti-rotational stability, to keep my form in tact in the late miles of racing and also to keep me strong enough to handle my running volume. I’ve learned with the help of a video Jose took at the end of the Lakefront 10mi race, that I lose my form and start rotating through my torso too much when I am tired. This can and should be fixed.

Rob is a dear friend, was a groomsman in our wedding and is hands down the best resource for safe kettle bell training and getting strong. We both have the same training philosophy…no short cuts, no hogwash. He trains and teaches classes out of ID Gym (of course! ). Its fun, I like strength training and Rob holds me accountable which I need.
I have found in my 30’s that I need heavier weight and lower reps to make real strength gains. Body weight is great for engaging and firing specific muscles but its not the same. Running itself if a high repetition body weight exercise, as is vinyasa yoga. I am happy with the results so far and will keep at it, its also a new skill and a new area to set goals.

Rob likes to do tricks, show off!

Rob likes to do tricks, show off!

So far that’s all for now folks! Thank you for reading!


Da, I stole your hat! Sorry, I’m not sorry!


Quick Catch Up & North Shore 1/2 Recap

A lot has happened since my last post! A loonnng training cycle that included a 40 min 10k win in ice and snow, a 30 min 8k PR in USATF 8K National Club Team Champs-Shamrock Shuffle, a solid Lakefront 10 Mile 1:06 , a NASTY flu, and my 9th place finish in the North Shore 1/2 Marathon- also my slowest ever and a fun morning (more on that in a sec). This Thurs my MOH Kristy comes for the rehearsal and dinner and run matching commences, Friday all my east coast family arrives, and Saturday Z and I tie the knot! My mom has 3 treatments left of chemotherapy and I am so grateful for her being here and her perseverance. It has been a long 6 months. Here we go, photo time… I want to keep the wording short and get to the quick recap, details in the captions:

Lisle Spring Sprint 10k!

Lisle Spring Sprint 10k! Fun times catching up with Granato Racing crew :)

Somewhere mile 2-3 of Shamrock, very cool photo by Ali Engin

Somewhere mile 2-3 of Shamrock, very cool photo by Ali Engin


Coming over the bridge while Joel is cheering for me (made me smile big!), a great race running with my friend and competitor Meg the whole way!

Coming over the bridge while Joel is cheering for me (made me smile big!), a great race running with my friend and competitor Meg the whole way! photo credit- Kevin Claffey


Staying warm before the start of the Lakefront 10 Mile with USole Teammate Spencer who was a bike marshal

Staying warm before the start of the Lakefront 10 Mile with USole Teammate Spencer who was a bike marshal

matchey long run with Kristy in town for my bridal shower!

matchey long run with maid of honor, Kristy in town for my bridal shower!


My matron of honor, Jen, hosted my bridal shower at her house and this was her nice!

My matron of honor, Jen, hosted my bridal shower at her house and this was her doing…so nice!


One bridesmaid, Jess, missing here, but this is the crew!

One bridesmaid, Jess, missing here, but this is the crew! Also, evidence that I wear real clothes on occasion.

The Palos 1/2 was my goal race May 4, I got a terrible flu and was sick for 10days and did not race. The North Shore Classic was an add on to keep me engaged in training up to the wedding week, now I am on a 2 week do whatever the heck I want break!

Yesterday was not my day to PR. I knew going in that this was a challenging course, that it would likely be hot and that the top 10 IL elite women were in the running for the large prize purse which always draws a competitive group. I did not think I would be in the money. I’ve been back and forth about headphones for various reasons, after them being in and out this race I prefer without. I usually don’t turn them on until things thin out after a couple miles, I realize its just noise at that point and a distraction…I am stubborn to let go of old habits haha but those gotta go. I was wearing my Team Usole singlet but ditched it 5 mins before the start as it was already pretty warm and ended up in a Jem inspired ensemble.
Miles 1-7 were all 6:33-44, then that steep hill btwn 7-8 I dropped a 7:16, I made up time in mile 8 with 6:46, something happened around 9 where I started to get very heavy feeling and sluggish. The last 3 miles are completely sun exposed (I also knew this from the get go). At 10 I started to cramp up and slow, I made the choice at this point to basically stop racing it was now running to the finish. Btwn mile 12-13 Jen (matron of honor) and her husband and their baby and dog were all cheering for me. I was looking for them and it gave me such a lift. It made my day. I also bumped into an old grade school friend Laurie, like no time had passed…Sacred Heart blood runs deep!
I placed 9th female overall with 1:31:58 and won 100$! It was a rough day, but I learned a lot about myself and had a great morning with Z and friends. I have NO complaints about this race, I would LOVE if it was run in the fall haha. It was well organized, a gorgeous course, and easy to get to. When you train in Chicago you know summer races are a weather risk and a course with any hills will be a challenge. Now we are in the race to the wedding this Saturday, then honeymoon in Sedona AZ! My summer and fall is well stocked with races so lots to look forward to!
Thanks for reading!

North Shore Classic 1:31:58 9th Female OA

North Shore Classic 1:31:58 9th Female OA


So Many Questions These Days

save this for the main event!

This doesn’t happen in practice!

Okay that picture may be an extreme example…but I love the Olympics!  I am reading lots of posts and starting to wonder…”why outrun a 1/2 marathon PR on a long or tempo run in the worst winter ever, 9 weeks out from a goal race?”. I felt compelled to mention this because I am a trainer myself and get asked a lot what I do, and I do not kill myself day after day. I work hard but there is a line not to be crossed.
I got burned by overtraining last year. Many many workouts ended triumphantly feeling like (see above pic)…and race day comes and what the heck? Where is all my awesomeness? Oh its on the lakefront path or the treadmill at ID Gym ohhhhh. Numbers do not lie . I have learned with Coach Hadley, and from talking with others others (Kristy, Kevin Granato, Verdo Gergory) you train from the fitness you are at, not where you think you should or want to be. 16-18 week cycles are fairly long, to peak too soon is a huge bummer. Its not just about the mileage, its how fast the runs are. Bummer is actually the best case scenario, more often than not, like in my case, a cycle spent overtraining leads to injury, no race and starting back at square one with a bruised ego and a lot of mental work to do.

Its been an interesting winter, I have been conservative on every single workout and have started to wonder “am I pushing myself enough?”. My overtraining also brought with it a mental toll, and a lot of self doubt. This week I did bring my hard runs down into the low end of my goal pace ranges, trusting my coach, but never ever faster than what was prescribed.

Here is how this week shook out:
69.5 miles

Mon- 1st day OFF running since Dec 12, haha whoa. Yoga and core routine. :)

Tues- 15 miles. morning 3 easy miles. afternoon- 2mile warm up, 10×800 meters with 2:30 jog btwn. 3:07, 3:05, 3:05, 3:05, 3:05, 3:04, 3:03, 3:03, 3:03, 3:03, 1.3 mile cool down. Core and yoga.

Weds- 9 easy miles, strength routine

Thurs- 13 miles, morning easy 5 and afternoon easy 8. yoga and core routine

Fri- 8.5 miles- 2 mile warm up, 4.5 mi Tempo (6:33,6:31,6:27,6:25, 3:11). 2 mile cool down. Core routine.

Sat- 10.25 miles. (weird distance haha) morning 6.75 and afternoon 3.5miles.

Sun- 13 mile steady state long run- 1:33 (7:09 average pace)- and a .5 mile jog and walk home cool down.
I ran the 1st mile in 7:40ish then started dropping down, the last 11 miles were 7:05 pace working down to 6:56. Felt good! I ran this on the treadmill, last Sunday I tweeked my knee on the 16 miler in the cold w/some patchy footing which is why I took Monday off. I didn’t want to risk anything today.
I took an evening hot yoga class which was nice :)


Obvious questions I get asked…Why do I run so much? To get better. What I am I running from? bah, every runner gets asked this by some snarky clever someone haha.
I have been running for 21 years. I am not running from my problems, and as someone who moved from coast to coast and back  home to the middle 4 times in one year a few years ago, I am fully aware you cannot run from your problems.
I CAN run THROUGH them, and I will. I probably will not write about this again…My mom is currently battling cancer. If I could carry her on my back every mile to lessen her burden I would do it, and hope some of her grace rubs off on me. Time spent training or running is not an escape from reality, it is a full commitment to the present and how I live in it. Its the most honest time I spend sorting through how I feel about my mom being sick, and the work and patience she endures on the road to beat this. Running has given me an emotional strength that I would not get from anything else; I hope that everyone has something they do, every day, that connects them to the present moment and themselves.

That’s whats up and whats real! Thanks for reading :)





Another week and Hoka thoughts! (oooooo)

Whatever this is...its awesome!

Whatever this is…its awesome!

I totally made fun of ice dancing. Actually watching it in the Olympics, its a favorite, up there with the carnage of those nordic ski races. I love the weird outfits and the crazy rules, athleticism, artistry, and commitment to an obscure sport!

I had a good week in training despite more effing snow storms and subzero days. Here is how it shook out:
73.5 miles.

Mon- 5 easy miles + core and yoga

Tues- 12.5 miles. Morning 3.5 easy. Evening- 9 miles on treadmill: 2mi warm up, 16×1:00 hills at 6:10 pace 3-4% incline with 1:30 jog btwn, 1mi cool down. + core and yoga

Weds- 9 easy treadmill miles +core and strength circuits

Thurs- morning 9 easy miles, afternoon 3 easy treadmill miles +core and yoga

Fri- 10 treadmill miles- 2mi warm up, 3 miles (6:32 pace) jog 3:00, 2mi (6:29 pace) 3:00 jog, 1mi (6:22 pace), 1.25 mi cool down.

Sat-  morning 6 miles easy, afternoon 3 miles easy on treadmill

Sunday- 16 miles easy  in 2:04 (7:45 pace), this got real cold.
The 1st and last 2 miles are very snowy and icy still to the path but the lakefront path itself was in great condition especially given the fact it snowed 12hrs yesterday!
I did notice I let myself get very dehydrated this week with higher mileage and more miles outside in the cold dry air where the fountains are turned off. 2hrs before this run I ate two gluten free waffles with peanut butter and honey. I will try to start running on less fuel for long runs when the weather changes…but for now its cold and I want my darn waffles first haha.



I have a fickle heart when it comes to shoes, haha I am always on the lookout for something else to try! (much to the amusement of the folks at Universal Sole). There are those people who have one shoe they love and its their one and only for many years, I am not one of those people. I love allllllll the shoes!

I wore the Hoka One One Kailua Tarmac shoes on all the shorter recovery runs and todays long run. They are great for recovery. The size of the sole is not noticeable while running at an easy pace for runs less than 10 miles. They are nothing like Sketchers Shape Ups or other grossness, despite the rocker sole. I can’t believe I just referred to Sketchers Shape Ups, but someone thought thats what they were when I had them on and I still feel a lingering sting of the shame.
I did notice today my ankles (which are sensitive in heavy shoes) starting to burn after the 1st hour in them. I think they are not the best fit for me for longer runs which I usually do in the Brooks Launch, but will stay in the rotation for shorter recovery runs. My primary shoes are the Saucony Ride 6 and Brooks Launch.
This year, I have moved away from “minimal” shoes because my lower legs just feel trashed in them
People LOVE their Hoka’s and I was skeptical at first and was made fun of by almost every single human that saw me in them, BUT they do what they say they do! If you want cushion…very easy on feet, knees, hips and back while still having a low heel to toe offset despite the oversized midsole. See screen shot of text convo with someone who stole a pic of my shoes, text it to me in mockery, then a week later bought them himself!
I found the heel cup to be stiff and Kristy found out from her shop that coffee cups in the heel for a few hours will remedy that. I tried it, it did the trick.


Fiesta ware is my favorite

Fiesta ware is my favorite

I hope we only have a few more weeks of funny winter memes. Have you tried Hokas? Any minimalists turned maximalist (is that a word?) ? Happy trails!

Still Going…


My fave from Kristy's post!

My fave from Kristy’s post!

January miles run 304.3

I swear I am not complaining about the weather, well I totally am. Every. Single. Day. Lately, a lot of people have been asking what I am doing about my running and how etc and what I eat. Shoes, well thats another post haha.
If I can get outside I do, I have managed 2-3 of my 9-10 runs a week outside the past 2 weeks due to the alternating snow storms and -20 windchill days.
La lala the treadmill is boring lalala the belt does some of the work oh wait there is an article that says thats not true oh wait there is another that says it is true and ping pong it goes lalala. As my friends and I agree…just don’t skip the run!
My interval workouts are not as fast as last winter, but my tempo , easy and long runs are faster, mileage higher and I am recovering quite well. When it comes to treadmill running I stay at the slow end of my pace ranges for most of my intervals, the 1st half of tempos and all easy runs. I have settled in very comfortably and happily with Coach Mark Hadley . I still check in for Graston and ART (Active Release Technique) with Dr. Ryan Verchota and massage therapy with Brian McGinnis. I remember in college running 70-80mpw and thinking a shower some twizzlers and a jack and coke was the ideal recovery combo. Sigh. Facepalm. haha.

Here is a run down on a couple weeks:
Monday- 6 outside miles . core circuit and yoga

Tues- 14 miles total. am 3 miles on tm …pm on 11 tm miles: 2mi warm up, 10x800m intervals all at 6:16 pace (3:08) w/2:00 jog recovery btwn, 1mi cool down, core and yoga

Weds- outside 8 miles, 8 degrees windchill of -9 this was really dumb haha, strength circuit

Thurs- 8 tm miles, core circuit and yoga

Fri- 13.5 miles total. am 3 miles, pm 10.5 tm miles: 2mi warm up, 3×2 mile intervals with 2 minute jog btwn- 13:00, 12:54, 12:52, 1.5 mi cool down
core circuit

Sat- 6 mi snow run, strength circuit

Sun- 16 mile treadmill run, this drove me a little nuts! Emotional support from Kristy, JBird and Z of course. 7:41 pace
71.5 miles week total

Mon- 6 tm miles, core and yoga

Tues- 13.5 miles total. am 3 miles, pm 10 tm miles: 2mi warm up, 5×1 mile interval w/ 3 min jog btwn each 6:18, 6:16, 6:15, 6:13, 6:09, 1.5 mi cool down, happy! core and yoga

Weds- outside again! 11 miles. am 5 miles, pm 6 miles, strength circuit

Thurs- annnnd back on the tm 8 miles, core

Fri- Outside attempt at tempo egghhh. 11 miles: 2 warm up, 7 @ 6:50, 2 cool down. The tempo was supposed to be 9. I got coooolld and colder so called it early and jogged home. In Hoka Kailua Tarmac shoes!??!!! oh yes. core

Sat- 9 miles total. Back on the tm am 6 miles, pm 3 miles

Sun- 13 fast finish long run 7:38 average pace- 8 outside, last 5 inside shedding all layers onto the handle bars of the tm. last 3 mi 6:58,6:53,6:44. 12 degrees did not feel as warm as twitter made it seem to me at least haha but 8 miles of unfiltered vitamin d was sweet.
71 miles total.
I feel great, healthy and inspired. The treadmill isn’t ideal but I am fortunate to have access to it and sometimes can bring Bear with me!

Another treadmill date with my loyal best buddy

Another treadmill date with my loyal best buddy

As for what I eat, I have a very sensitive stomach with running timing. I eat a LOT of carbs. I typically do not eat within 1:30-2hrs of a hard run and within 1 hr of an easy run. I am not a person that can run on an empty stomach, some people swear by it but it doesn’t work for me…makes me CRANKY!
I am 5’5 (that may or may not be true I could be 5’4 and lying since high school drivers license) and 117 lbs. I eat a lot of these items on a daily basis adding up to 2100-2500 calories: coconut greek style yogurt, different gluten free non-gmo cereals, bananas, baked or stir fried tofu, rice/quinoa, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts!!!! love!, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, carrots, bonk breakers, peanut butter, vans gluten free waffles, endangered species brand chocolate bars, glazed and infused gluten free donuts, pancakes made with- (pumpkin or banana,protein powder, chia seeds, gf pancake mix), french macaroons,Gu Recovery Brew, Hammer Recoverite, coconut water, peas, red wine, popcorn, gluten free pizza with veggies and no cheese, and thats pretty much it.

gluten free donuts made in the babycakes maker!

gluten free donuts made in the babycakes maker!

Do you run or workout on an empty stomach? How are you making the most of winter? Thanks for reading!
Next time shoes, my thoughts on the Hoka One One moon shoes…so far so good!

Love my new Brooks Utopia jack staff giftie from Universal Sole!

Love my new Brooks Utopia jack staff giftie from Universal Sole!


Did someone really say “Polar Vortex”?

Thank you Robert Horowitz for the photos of this week!

Thank you Robert Horowitz for the photos of this week!

Well its the talk of the midwest, its super cold and there is a ton of snow and other cold stuff like ice and wind! I can always count on Bob for a lakefront path update and photo from the morning that beautifies the often harsh conditions such as the one above…every day!
Last week, I had a high quality 70 mile week in spite of the snow and cold, this week I am on track for solid 65. There has been more treadmill running than I would like but spring PRs are earned by being disciplined in the winter. That said, injuries that knock you out of spring racing also occur as a result of being overzealous in winter. Haha. So, I am aware of that fine line and paying close attention.

Bear was my companion during the shut in on Monday. We braved the walk around the corner to use my parents treadmill. I always am warmed by his company :)

Bear was my companion during the shut in on Monday. We braved the walk around the corner to use my parents treadmill. I always am warmed by his company :)

After the insane lows on Monday and Tuesday and nearly a week of only treadmill running, I was able to get out to the lakefront on Wednesday morning when it was 4 degrees! I was joking w/fellow runners via facebook that I believe 4 degrees is the new 20 degrees haha. Yesterday was 11 and it felt even better! Despite the streets and sidewalks being treacherous the lakefront path its mostly clear and runnable. Another photo from Bob this week!

Scrambling, shuffling penguin walking and climbing over medians to get to this lovely site! Thanks for the photo (again) Robert Horowitz!

Scrambling, shuffling penguin walking and climbing over medians to get to this lovely site! Thanks for the photo (again) Robert Horowitz!

4 and 11 degree runs require some extra warm up and you 100% cannot think you are going to look fashionable haha. Ginger and cinnamon are spices that warm the body from the inside. I add cinnamon to my coffee and drink ginger tea right when I return. Throughout the day I try to drink hot drinks and keep moving.
I spend about 10 minutes doing a dynamic warm up AFTER I foam roll, before each and every run. Its tedious but it really helps and if I skip it, I feel the difference. After bundling up, I do a series of lunges and squats and leg swings before I head out the door; sometimes I will also vacuum to really get warm! I do not wear headphones in these conditions. There is not a ton of room for runners, cars, and the die hard cyclists. I need to be able to hear around me.
On the 4 degree run I wore (most of this available at Universal Sole– shameless plug don’t care)
1 pair liner smart wool socks
1 pair thick smart wool socks
1 pair Brooks tights
1 pair Saucony Nomad Pants
1 Patagonia merino base layer turtleneck (I have had this since 2008 I highly recommend)
1 Brooks utopia 1/2 zip
1 Sugoi insulated jacket
1 Craft balaclava (burglar mask thing)
1 Blackhawks pom pom beanie
1 Pair fleece gloves
1 Pair Brooks Utopia Mittens.
1 Pair Saucony Ride 6 shoes
Does that outfit make me look fat?
Free air! Lots of smiles from fellow crazies and hellos. The lakefront is cold and empty and its very peaceful and beautiful to experience the city in that way.

Keeping up with my yoga practice is extra important in the winter here. I took a class with Claire Mark last Friday at Yogaview which was quite nice. Generally, I practice on my own. A mindful vinyasa flow focusing on opening the front of the body and easing open the hips and hamstrings. While curling up on the couch is tempting, its better to create some heat from within and keep the frost out of muscles and joints. I came across this photo from when I practiced alone in my attic all winter in Maine, it reminds me I can have a strong practice on my own in the winter its just getting my mat out and working through the stiffness.


mat, space heater, towel, block, and a swim ring serves as a sturdier strap to help get myself into bound postures without an adjustment. Keith Bell tip!

I remember sitting down with Brent when I was moving back to Chicago from Maine in 2009. ID Gym was about to open but had not yet. He said “until we open you have a warm space to practice”. The studio at ID has been my respite for several years now. Its not fancy, there is no imported door from Bali or anything. But the windows let in the natural light and it gets very very warm. I watch the seasons change from snow to rain to hot sun and falling leaves on the rooftops behind the building. This warm place to practice is not just about the temperature of the room but the community we have built and the sense of home and warmth that comes with quality time spent.

Being shut in this week made me look around at what I am grateful for, and that helps warm things up! Thanks for reading!


Its About Time!

Its been a loooooong time since I updated on anything! Someone actually asked me if I “still run” hahaha haha I guess if I don’t document it on the internet it doesn’t happen? Fear not, I will not start instagram sharing my Garmin data and sweaty sports bras on every social media platform…
My coaching change in September and being busy with work are the reasons for my silence. Its been hard to shift into training NOT with my long time coach. Parting ways was necessary, things evolve and change and there are no hard feelings :) I have since tried a couple different methods of training and have settled on a system very similar to how I worked with Dennis and am really happy with how things are going! My late fall races were more about just keeping my head in the game and forging onward! Since my last post…

Grand Rapids 2013

Grand Rapids 2013

I ran a 1:27:38 in the Grand Rapids 1/2 Marathon as a member of the Granato Racing squad. This was a PR of 3 seconds haha and I was a happy girl. I placed 5th female overall and won my age group. I was psyched with this because it was off very low mileage and little speed work. It was a GREAT race experience. I love Grand Rapids. I lined up with Kylen and Wendy which eased my nerves and shared a couple miles with the female marathon winner Kylen who is a fellow Universal Sole teammate and she is tough! I am inspired by her work ethic and she is easy to talk to even not knowing her well. Kylen and Wendy are training partners and finished 1, 2 in the marathon. They have been very encouraging and invited me to join them for early morning speed sessions. Rabbit I would be (yikes), and that would make me RUN haha.
I did freak out in the race and think I missed the 1/2 marathon turn off and was like “oh sh$t! I am running the 26.2!”….but the turn off came at mile 7.5 and I was relieved. Woohoo!

F3 Turkey Chase 8k!

F3 Turkey Chase 8k!

On Thanksgiving morning I ran the F3 Turkey Chase 8k on a VERY COLD morning! This race I couldn’t decide to race or run as a tempo b/c of the strong wind and cold. I ran a 31:46 for 4th overall female and an age group win. The top 3 women won a pumpkin pie, I was sad about no pie haha but I had fun! After the 1st two miles I decided to race it…I wanted OUT of the cold! My mile splits were 6:37, 6:35, 6:20, 6:15, 5:57…super happy with the negative split :)
This race was extra fun because it was sponsored by my store Universal Sole. Joel (owner) opened up the store at 7:30am for people to warm up and get any last minute things for the race. Lots of people were there early and it was a fun way to start Thanksgiving, I LOVE that a store like this exists in such a big city and that I get to be a part of it.



That is the F3 Events mascot Barkley…can you even?!? He has since outgrown that fleece. He is fancy.

Currently, I am running 65 (ish) miles a week. This will be my first 70 mile week since the summer. The biggest change in my training is more structured long runs, longer, and always with a pace to hit. The winter weather has been a pain but I have only ever lived in places with extreme winter so I can deal. I limit my running on treadmills to extreme weather (windchill below 0 or crazy ice). Treadmills seem to exaggerate any ache or pain I have. That said, there are PLENTY of below 0 and icy days haha. I am lucky to have a running soul sister to send me pictures like this…

Still laughing at this, Kristy! You find the best pics :)

Still laughing at this, Kristy! You find the best pics :)

Christmas is coming! Christmas is my favorite. As a fitness professional people ask “how do you survive the holidays?” By being grateful and celebrating! I have the treats and I get my a$$ up to get my workouts in every day…not because I want to eat a lot but because thats what I do anyway every day. The time with family and friends is what I love most…not the Bailley’s or the cookies (although those are awesome) or buying a bunch of stuff. Getting hung up on all the food and drinks to stay away from only will make anyone want them more. Its science…right? Isn’t it? Yes, of course.
Thanks for reading! I have some waffle and pancake recipes to share next time. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas holiday!