Tag Archives: Catherine

CIM 2016 Training Week 1

Considering I haven’t blogged here in a few months, I haven’t told you all yet that I’m registered for the California International Marathon!  And with that, I obviously feel like I need to start this up again to document my training :)  So training “officially” started 2 weeks ago now, so week 1 was the week of 8/15 – 8/21.  In the next few days I’ll have Week 2 training and recaps of a few summer races, including the Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon.  But for now, let’s back track a bit to 2 weeks ago:

Monday – Off

Nailed it.  After running 22 of my 34 miles last week over Friday – Sunday, I decided Monday should be an off day.  So I very easily stuck to my first official day of my training plan.

Tuesday – 6.05 miles in 48:50 (8:04 avg pace)

Pretty typical run up and down the lakefront.  Nice and cool at first, but then got hotter/sunnier as it went on.

Wednesday – 8 miles in 1:04:30 (8:04 avg pace)

I was super nervous for this run since it’s a tad longer than my “normal” runs and it was hot and I have not been in the best mood lately and didn’t want to do this alone.  But I went and I got it done.  The first few miles were really hard and i was unsure I’d be able to finish, but the 2nd half felt way better.  Lately it seems like it takes me a long time to warm up.

And I need to call out my splits for this one because they were amazingly consistent: 8:22, 7:59, 8:03, 8:03, 8:03, 7:56, 8:00, 8:07

Hit exactly 8:03 for 3 miles in a row.  All 6 miles in the middle within 7 seconds of each other.

Thursday – 7 miles in 57:30 (8:12 avg pace)

I felt super efficient because of this run.  It was storming in the morning when I woke up, so I curled back up to sleep longer.  I had plans to meet Bethany for ice cream at Jeni’s up in Lakeview, so I brought my running backpack to work so I could run straight from work to Jeni’s.  I didn’t map this beforehand, but estimated it at about 6 miles…it ended up being 7 though so I was a little late.

Friday – 6 miles in 49:10 (8:11 avg pace)

Again, just another run up and down the lakefront but at least had some company for part of this one, so that made it go by more quickly than usual!

Saturday –  (AM) 12 miles in 1:39:00 (8:15 avg pace) & (PM) 3 miles without a watch

Ran with Catherine and the Elmhurst Running Club on the Prairie Path!  Cath and I did 10 miles with the group, then 2 on our own.  It was timed perfectly because we made it back to the car RIGHT as it started to downpour.  This run felt hard at the beginning, like I was racing to keep up with the group…but again, after I few miles I felt warmed up and much better.  But of course then the end was hard.  Still need to get used to the double digit runs again.

Later in the afternoon after the storms cleared up,  I was in a bad mood and needed to do something to make myself feel better and had to move my car anyways from where it was parked, so I ran around a bit to get my car.

Sunday – 6 miles without a watch

I really wasn’t sure if I’d run today or not because of how tired I felt after yesterday’s long run…and then figured the bonus 3 miles wouldn’t help that either.

But when you wake up and The Weather Channel app says it’s 60 degrees, you can’t not go for a run.  So I did just that right away when I woke up before I had the chance to talk myself out of it or for it to get any hotter.  I wanted to avoid the lakefront because of the Air & Water Show, so I ran my “normal” route north and then back south on the lakefront because I realized it actually was still early enough since the show wasn’t starting for another hour or so.

Later in the day, I ended up walking down the lakefront path on my way home from lunch with Erin and that was a huge mistake.  The Air and Water Show is a nightmare.

Total – 48 miles

So that was a lot of mileage (for me)…all within the same general pace.  This past week was another week of just “normal” mileage, then I’ll start getting into some speed workouts this week.  I also feel like I need to really slow down my easy runs.  I say that frequently though and then never end up going much slower.  Why is that so hard to do?

 Does it take you awhile to feel “warmed up” for runs?  It seems like it’s taking me a lot longer than usual lately…

How much does your pace vary both within a run and across runs each week?

Weekend in TWOs

This was quite the productive weekend for me… let’s break it down into sets of TWO:

TWO runs totaling almost 19 miles…

On Saturday morning, I needed to get in my long run of 12 miles for the week.  I was a little nervous for this because last week I didn’t do a long run since I was sick and the week before, my 10 mile run felt reallyyy hard at the end.  And I haven’t done any runs over 10.25 miles yet this training cycle…or actually since the Boston Marathon exactly 10 months ago.

But the face that it was a beautiful sunny & 55 degree day in February made it a lot easier to get my butt out the door.


See the people just out strolling with no jackets?!

Right before I was about to head out, my friend Jocelyn called and I told her I was about to run and she said “That’s exactly why I’m calling! I wanted to see if you want to run?”  So Jocelyn met me at my place and we headed towards the lakefront.  She ended up splitting off after just 2 miles, but it was great to have a friend to start with at least and chat for a bit!  Miles 1 & 2: 8:29, 8:46.

I continued on my merry way heading south. Miles 3& 4: 7:58, 7:57.  Downtown, a girl hopped on the path at an intersection and she was running maybe about 5-10 seconds ahead of me, going slightly faster than I was…so then I just started trying to not let the gap between us grow any further.  Miles 5 & 6: 7:44, 7:40.


That girl stopped shortly before I hit 6 miles/my turnaround point, but I managed to keep up that pace even without chasing her :) Miles 7 & 8: 7:38, 7:52.  Around this point, I was starting to think hmmm maybe I should’ve just been keeping it nice and easy.  Miles 9 & 10: 7:49, 8:14.  But then after slowing myself down a bit during the 10th mile, I felt refreshed.  Miles 11 & 12: 7:47, 7:42.  I had decided to add on an extra mile to my 12-mile run since Jocelyn and I took a bit of a walking break between our 1st and 2nd mile.  So, mile 13: 7:44.  And then some change til I arrived back home at 13.35 miles!

And run number TWO this weekend was 5.5 miles on Sunday in 42:30 for a 7:44 average pace.  Normally Sundays are my off day, but this week I took Friday off because my legs were very tired so I wanted to rest them to be sure I could get in the full long run on Saturday.  I think I was going faster-than-usual again because it was cold and windy and I needed to get back because my mom was waiting for me to continue on with the other big weekend activity:

TWO days of painting using TWO gallons of paint…

Ever since I moved into my condo just over 2 months ago, I’ve been needing to paint.  We did get the closet painted almost right after moving in, but have been delaying the rest because I wasn’t sure if my parents and I could do it or if I should hire someone.  My mom decided we could at least do the upstairs ourselves and that this weekend was the time to do it.

Before (or kinda in progress):


And after:


Not the best of pictures because it was already dark out when we finished, so the lighting is weird, but it used to be a dark beige and now it’s a lovely light mint green.

Despite the running and hard labor, I did get some fun in this weekend, TWO friends eating TWO tacos and seeing a comedy show

Catherine and I went to the #dateme comedy show at Second City.  It was hilarious and I’m glad enough other people also feel the pain/annoyances of the dating apps like I do that they made a whole show about it.  Beforehand, we got tacos at Buzz Bait in Old Town.  I’ve been to a lot of the restaurants/bars on Wells, but had not been there yet and wanted to try.  They definitely did not disappoint (I had 1 chicken and 1 shrimp) and I love tacos so I’ll definitely be back there for more in the near future I’m sure.

Speaking of food, my mom and I took a break from painting on Sunday and went to Happy Camper for TWO pizzas


So that was my weekend!  With some pockets of time doing some work, cleaning, and watching a bit of TV of course too.

Tell me TWO things about your weekend.  Did you have great weather too??

What is your favorite type of taco?  I think I have to go with shrimp.  Every time I get a shrimp taco, it’s always delish.

Past 2 Weeks of Workouts 11/16 – 11/29

Lucky you, you get 2 weeks worth of workout updates…

The week of 11/16 really failed in comparison to the previous week.  Ohh wells.  Trying not to be too beat up over it right now because I want to save the hard training for Jan – April and not get burnt out before I need to start that real training.

Monday: OFF

I drove home from St. Louis Monday morning, and then napped…and then it was dark out and I needed to catch up on work emails from being off for the day.

Since I really don’t have many relevant pictures to include in this post, here’s a craft Angela and I made in St. Louis:


We had a lovely Sunday of shopping, dinner at Whole Foods, crafting + ice cream + Christmas music.

Tuesday: 2.5 miles

A super busy day at work – just enough time to squeeze in a short run before taking the train home.

Wednesday: 6.4 miles @ 8:03 pace

Again, very busy day at work so I really needed to get a run in to let some energy out.  It was a wonderful night out and I was wearing shorts and a TV…little did I know it would be snowing soon enough.

Thursday: OFF

Friday: OFF

Really not wanting to do the treadmill…such a stressful work week.  Really no excuse other than that.

Saturday: 25 minutes on the bike training because this happened and I didn’t feel like leaving the house to go to the Y:


Sunday: Prospect Arlington Fall Haul 5k race (with a 1-mile warm-up before)

Total for the Week: 13 running miles + 25 minutes biking … yeah, that’s pathetic.


And then the week of 11/23 was better, as in I worked out 6 of the 7 days, but most were pretty short runs.

Monday: 7 miles @ 8:00 pace

This was one of the few runs on the treadmill that went by amazingly quickly.

Tuesday: 3 miles @ 8:10 pace

And this was one of the many runs on the treadmill that went by painfully slow and I just couldn’t take it any longer.

Wednesday: 3 miles @ 8:00

I intended to make this more of a speed workout, but it ended up being 2 miles of warm-up, followed by 1 mile @ 7 minute pace…and then that was the end of that.  I even felt great during the warm-up and was ready to have a strong workout, but then that 7 minute mile just killed me.

Thursday: 6 miles

Edison Park Turkey Trot!!  Catherine and I do this race together every year, but we never actually race it.  And this year we especially did not race it.  Cath and I met up early and got in about 3 miles, then met up with Therese and made our way to the start line for the 5k run.  I believe we were doing about 8:25 – 8:45 miles and just chatting and catching up the whole way which was very nice.  I wrote an actual recap of this race in 2013.

Friday: 5.75 miles

Nothing cray here and didn’t bring a watch.  Big meal at the casino on the schedule, so had to make sure I got out for a run before that!  Then I hit the jackpot at the casino and won $300, which made my Black Friday 55″ TV purchase a little easier to handle.


Saturday: Body PUMP class @ the Y

The madre and I went to the morning class before a quick trip to Target before an afternoon/evening/night of merriment with all of the Smith family.  I’m still in pain from the class. #soweak


Sunday: OFF

Total for the week: 24.75 running miles + 1 BodyPUMP Class

So that’s all I got for ya today.  Hope everyone is had a great Cyber Monday!!

Do you have any fitness equipment you can use at home when you don’t want to leave the house in a snowstorm?

What % of your treadmill runs would you say go by quickly?  I’m gonna go with 10-20%.

Did you do any Black Friday shopping?  I got the TV on Friday, then did some shopping on Sunday and got a few more things for myself…and 1 gift so far.

My Running Since Boston

Running has been fairly light in my world since the Boston Marathon.  Although at times it hasn’t felt light.  I realized that all the runs I did do were from my apartment, which means running on hilly routes.  Then when I finally did a run around the flat trail near my office, I felt like I could run for days.  I stopped myself at 5 miles though – no need to do more right now.

I’ve also been battling a weird spontaneous knee injury.  There was just one day that I couldn’t run due to it…the other days were at least manageable to run through.  It is still lingering, but doesn’t hurt much while running, just right after I stop.  I will consult all my PT friends on this.

I took one week completely off…no running, no fitness classes.  Then I was going to try to do a few weeks of light running combined with more fitness classes like spinning, yoga, or BodyPUMP, but I pretty much failed on that.  It was nice to just take some really easy time again though before I have to get into the next training cycle.

The past 4 weeks have looked like this:

4/27 – 5/3 – 15 miles + 1 spinning class

5/4 – 5/10 – 17.9 miles + 1 yoga class

5/11 – 5/17 – 21.8 miles

5/18 – 5/24 – 25.7 miles

I also went on some walks now that the weather is nicer.  When I was home this past weekend, I got to go on walks with my little Bailey.


Now it is 20 weeks until the Chicago Marathon.  I don’t plan to really start ramping up hard until about 16 weeks out, but for the next 4 weeks my goal is to do 30 miles a week with at least 1 run of 10 miles each week.  Gotta stay in the double digits to keep my confidence up.

Speaking of the double digit mileage runs, I had one this Saturday.

I had not run over 6 miles since Boston, but I was going to be home in Chicago this past weekend where it’s flat, so I figured I could aim for an easy long run.  Luckily, Catherine had the same goal so we met up Saturday morning to run and catch up on life.

We started at her house and ran the long way to the Prairie Path and then out and back along there for a bit, until we turned around and took the short way back home.  I loved that the path had water fountains every mile – that would be a lifesaver in the summer!

Catherine brought the Garmin, but she sets it so you can’t see pace or distance until you finish.  I like doing that so we don’t get stressed out.  We ended up with 10.1 miles at an 8:12 pace.  It didn’t feel hard, but also didn’t feel easy.  We talked the whole time, so that contributed to feeling hard to catch my breath at some points.

How much time do you take off/running easy in-between training cycles?

Search Phrases That Brought People to CSmith Run

This was probably one of my favorite posts to write.  I monitor my site stats through Google Analytics and one of the features is that you can see what search phrases brought a user to your site.  Some are normal-seeming like “colleen smith running blog” but others are interesting.  For most of the search terms, I am able to easily identify which post prompted my blog to come up in such a search, so I guess they aren’t totally obscure.  It is just weird to see what other people are searching for…and I hope I gave them what they wanted.

busse woods red loop – Busse Woods is the forest preserve in Schaumburg I ran at a lot when I was living at my parent’s house in the Chicago suburbs.  The red loop is 7.7 miles…might actually be slightly less now that they added a pedestrian bridge instead of making you wait at a stop light to cross a busy street.  (A biker’s death prompted this.)


4 mi progression run treadmill – Sounds terrible.  But if you’re looking for a sample treadmill progression run, here’s one I made up.  I enjoy making up workouts based on my music, because you know I’m listening to music on the treadmill.  Which brings me to:

running playlist 2014 – You can see a few playlists I have posted here, herehere, and here.  I’ll get you all my most recent playlist really soon!

adjectives for yesterday – Hmmm, it was humid, muggy, hot, sunny (weather forecast of Cincinnati, OH for 5/8/2015), relatively uneventful (during the day at least…hoping for a fun night as I write this before heading out with some friends!), Friday.  I don’t think that’s an adjective, more of a fact.

pennellwood resort The best place ever.


Chicago marathon taper – Tapering is my favorite part of marathon training because it means short, easy runs.  My friend Catherine wrote a guest post with tapering secrets!

m&m’s marathon – I wish I knew what this person was trying to find by Googling this phrase.  I LOVE M&M’s.  So if there is some type of M&M’s marathon event, I’d like to be involved.

fun and cabrewing – Definitely 2 things that go hand in hand.  I had a blast cabrewing and can’t wait to do it again this summer!


kyle c smith rollerblader – I just tried Googling this name too and didn’t find a rollerblader named Kyle C. Smith.  But I can tell you the reason you were directed to my blog is because I have a brother named Kyle, our last name is smith, and I like to rollerblade.

adjectives to describe a half marathon – I will describe my last half marathon for you: early, exciting (at the end at least), fast, painful (for the last few miles), well-executed, sweaty, crowded (but not overly crowded), flat.

how to make bottle stand with marbles – I don’t know what a bottle stand is, but here is a craft I made with marbles.


body pump before and after blog – I love BodyPump!  But I don’t do it enough on a regular basis to have before and after improvement stat, photos, etc.  It is for sure a solid workout and I hope to start doing it more regularly now.

There were a few more interesting ones, but I’ll save those for another time, as I’m sure more will keep trickling in.

How would you describe yesterday in adjectives?

Bloggers – what is the most obscure phrase that has brought someone to your site?

A Sore Week (18 Miles)

It’s Monday already.  And once again, a sub-par week, but I think the weather is finally getting better and I can only hope with warm weather will come better motivation.

So here’s a recap of how last week went:

Monday – 3.7 miles

Wednesday4 miles + Tabata Class

Thursday 6 miles

Friday – 4.25 miles

Total – 18 miles

For 4 days of running, I really should be doing more than 18 miles.   I felt so sore and sluggish all week, I’m thinking because of the Tabata class.  Those squats and lunges really get me.  I’m hoping the fact that I pulled the trigger and registered for a half marathon in 8 weeks will motivate me for that amount of time.

I think in the mix of the new blog site being launched, I never told you about Monday’s run.  But as you can see, it was only 3.7 miles.  I did it on the treadmill at the Y, while watching Wheel of Fortune.  I did do some core and arm weights afterwards as well, but nothing crazy.

And Friday I ran outside!  Wooo it was actually warm!  I believe the Weather Channel App told me it was “feels like 43 degrees” here in Chicago when I left for the run.  So that meant spandex capris and a long sleeve.

I brought my Garmin, but fought the urge to look at it for the entire run. The long sleeves really made that easy, especially because they had a thumbhole so I would’ve had to do even more work to check out the watch. There’s still quite a bit of snow and most sidewalks are still not clear, so I ran basically the same route I have been – only on side streets.

I finished the run at 4.25 miles with an average pace of 7:55.  Splits were: 7:51, 8:03, 7:53, 7:59, and 1:49 for that last .25.  I felt pretty good at the beginning, but towards the end my legs were really not feeling good.

Catherine came over Friday night so we could craft.  She started making a burlap wreath last week and brought her supplies over to finish it.  The end product turned out really good and she made the St. Patrick’s bow removable so she can update it for each holiday.


I wasn’t sure what I was going to make, so I decided to go to go to Goodwill to see if they had anything cheap I could use for crafting.  I ended up finding glass bowls and a short glass candlestick to make a make-up holder.  But I went a step further and bedazzled it all.


I was pretty happy with how it turned out, but not sure now if I’ll actually use it.  More of just something that was fun to make, but doesn’t really go with the bathroom décor.  I could use it in my bedroom though for holding random things or earrings.

Other than that, the weekend was pretty low key.  I did go to a trivia night with my parents and some of their friends on Saturday night.  Unfortunately, we did not win trivia or any of the raffle prizes.  On Sunday afternoon, we had some of my mom’s family over, which involved Portillo’s chopped salad.

And today marks Day 1 of my Indianapolis Mini-Marathon 8-week training, so stay tuned to hear about that!

What did you do this past weekend?

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