D2D Training Update

Look at that, two blog posts in one month?!  That is unheard of around here!  Not that anyone is probably checking this little space right now, but whatevs.

I’m currently in week 9 of 12 in training for the Dam to Dam Half Marathon here in Des Moines and wanted to do a a little recap of how things are going.  There really isn’t too much to say, but I felt like blogging!

For probably the first time EVER since I started running in 2007, I created a training plan and I’m actually sticking to it.  Surprised smile  I know, I’m shocked too! In 9 weeks I’ve only missed 6 planned runs – 3 because I was SUPER sick, 2 because it was too much with my teaching for the week, and one because I was massively hungover (#truth).  Not too shabby!! 

My plan has consisted of running 3 times per week -  two weekday runs and a weekend long run.  I was scheduled to teach 3-4 classes each of BodyPump and BodyAttack per week (plus helping with launch classes every weekend in April), so scheduling has been tricky, but cross-training is taken care of!  I’ve had to do quite a few double workout days, but I also make sure I always get a full day of rest each week, which is crucial for me. (Except last week, but I did a whole lot of nothing all afternoon Saturday & Sunday to make up for it!)  

Since my schedule has been so packed, I haven’t been training with any specific goal other than “get the miles in and don’t over do it”.  So far, so good!  The past week I’ve started to mix in a little speed work, mainly because I’ve had to do a few treadmill runs and I’m SO BORED!!  Speed work helps time go faster… or helps ME go faster which means I spend less time running… something like that.

The race is still 4 weeks out from this Saturday, but I’m already planning to run my one and only 12 miler this weekend.  I’m awesome at making plans to screw up other plans – like having a race and a trip out of town 3 and 2 weeks out from the race.  You know, the weeks you normally hit your peak mileage.  Annoyed OH WELL.  I’ve done well building up to this point, and I have a game plan for the next couple weeks to stay on track… then it will be race day before we know it!!

So really, there’s been no point to this post so far besides me rambling… are you even still reading?!

I would like to say I’ve felt very strong during these weeks of training.  Even if it isn’t the fastest or furthest I’ve ever run, I overall feel strong and that feels GOOD.  I don’t really have a goal in mind for race day yet, but I’m hoping I feel this strong then, too.

Dam to Dam has been my favorite local distance race since I started running.  Up until last year, it was a 20K – the biggest (and only?) one around!  It starts at the Saylorville Dam just north of the city and runner trek their way down through the streets of Des Moines to the dam along the river downtown (hence, Dam to Dam!).  The course starts in a pretty rural area, lots of trees, open space (but still lots of people out to cheer!) and then winds through the neighborhoods of the north side of town, which are always packed with spectators and fun.  Oh, there’s also lots of free beer at the finish line, that doesn’t suck. Winking smile

Last year, for many reasons I can’t even remember, they decided to change the race to a half marathon distance.  Sure, it’s less than a mile added on, but it made SUCH a big difference mentally!! Being at a spot on the course that you remember being mile 8 (or 9 or 10) and then realizing you’re only at mile 7 – it was discouraging! Confusing!  I didn’t like it!  I also hadn’t trained well, so that could be to blame too.  Hopefully this year between actually training and knowing what to expect for the 13.1 course, I’ll enjoy it a little more.

And, with that I’m done rambling!  I’ll be sure to blog again at some point about how the rest of training and the race go.



Already April?!

I’m sure a million people have already said this but, how the heck is it April already?!  HOW?!   I remember when I was little I would say things along the lines of:  "Ugh, it’s only April and summer break is still SO FAR AWAY!" and adults would respond with lines like: "Just wait until you’re older, the time will FLY by and you’ll wonder what happened!".  And yep, they were right.  Time flies when you’re getting old(er).   Winking smile

I’ve been meaning to write up some kind of blog post every week it seems, but like the Seal song says, “time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’…”  I’m currently at home battling the mother of all head cold viruses, so I figured now is a great time to put some words on the internet!  You know, while my head is all foggy with cold meds, nasal spray & steroids – I can use it as an excuse for anything stupid I say!  Seriously though, this virus… I’ve been miserable the past couple days!!

Anyway, let’s keep moving forward… by looking backward.  (See, it’s the cold meds.) Looking back at the past 3 months, I really can’t even figure out where the time has gone!  Let’s take a stab at it…

New Years: I was LAME. Lame isn’t even a strong enough word for it.  I wasn’t really feeling NYE this year (who am I?!) and even though some friends were having a chill in-house gathering, I opted to sit on my couch as watch Dexter on Netflix and go to bed before midnight.  See, LAME.  I taught both BodyPump and BodyAttack on NY Day, which was fun – but overall I rang the new year in like an 80 year old.

Work: I started my new job on January 5th!  I have to admit it’s been an adjustment for me BIG TIME.  It’s much more laid-back than any place I’ve ever worked at, and the project I was supposed to be hired to work on is actually behind schedule so the work itself isn’t as busy right now.  I’ve been so used to doing the work of 2-3 people that was due yesterday, it’s been hard for me at times to just go with the flow and realize it’s OK to do the work of ONE person and that this is a time to absorb and learn instead of just DO.  I’m too used to doing.  Overall the company is great, and the people are as well – I just need to keep telling myself to chill!

Fitness Classes: Teaching has been it’s usual fun, exhausting, craziness.  I currently only teach BodyPump (2-3x/wk) and BodyAttack(3-4x/wk) but they obviously keep me busy enough!  I went to PiYo training back in February, and I absolutely LOVE the format.  It’s kind of like yoga/pilates but much faster paced, and incorporates body weight work, and the music is great.  I do my learning dvds at home from time to time, but I have yet to find the time to learn them well enough to be comfortable teaching it.  I will eventually, just not yet.  I also still have my BodyStep and TurboKick just sitting on the shelf or in my brain.  Too many fun classes, not enough time!! 

I’m also going to BodyAttack AIM 1 (Advanced Instructor Module) this weekend.  I’ve been waiting over a year for this to come to the midwest for Attack (I’ve gone for BodyPump already), so I can’t wait!!  Fingers crossed the crud is out of my system by then.  The AIM modules focus a lot on technique and coaching, to help instructors become better role models up in front of the class.  Sometimes I feel like I talk A LOT in Attack, and I know this module helped me step it up a notch in Pump, so I’m curious to see what feedback I get!

Running: Was still pretty non-existent through the start of the year.  In March I started working it back into my routine semi-consistently (meaning 2-3x/week).  A couple friends and I have signed up for Dam to Dam at the end of May, so I’m currently in training for that.  I’ve done a 6 mile and a 7 mile long run already, and a handful of 3-4 milers.  All have felt ok, but slower than I’d like.  I know it’s because my running days are always after a day of teaching, but I can’t get around that right now so I’ll deal with it. 

Fun: I’ve been busy with work and teaching, but I’ve attempted to fit some fun into the weeks too!  Highlights would be..

Frying everything we can in wonton wrappers!  This would be a fried oreo wrapped in a wonton and topped with chocolate sauce, my fave. And an OJ Maragrita in the background. Another fave.


Painting and Drinking!


A drag show, which I’ve lost all pictures from because I had to restore my phone a couple weeks ago.  I actually had to steal those two pictures from screen grabs on my Instagram. WOMP WOMP. 

The boyfriend and I also celebrated our 2 year anniversary with a nice dinner out and lots of wine consumption.  Great times!

I know a few other fun things have happened, but since I lost my phone pictures, I seem to have lost my memory as well.  Go figure!  My “photographic memory” is lost in the cloud somewhere…

I’d still love to write up a very late post on our trip to Germany because it was amazing.  I’ll also probably recap AIM after this weekend too, if I survive it.  And in just 6 short weeks the boyfriend and I will be taking a little trip to Orlando – so maybe I can post about that too!  And half marathon training!  Oh goodness, look at all these things.  Maybe this little blog can come back to life if I can remember to type on it once in awhile… Winking smile

2014 Wrap Up

I posted on this blog three times in 2014.  THREE.  Well, now four if I decide to hit publish after this.  How sad is that?!  Not very actually, considering this was just my “hobby” – too many other things were going on this year!  But as 2014 winds down, I found myself sitting at my desk yesterday thinking, “Hmm, I wish I had a blog to write some random thoughts down on… or maybe I should just start a journal… ”  So, here I am tip-tap-typing away.

This past year was FULL of change and growth for me.  For starters, I bought a house!  Yep, biggest grow-up thing you can do pretty much, and I finally did it.  The boyfriend and I are loving it so far.  There are of course some things we want to change/upgrade eventually, but for now it’s great for us and our two furballs.

I also got a new car recently, upgraded to a compact SUV to help me drive safer through the Iowa winter – and of course we’ve had very little snow to-date.  You’re welcome, Iowa.

I also recently quit my job!!  That in itself is a loooooong story of frustration, but in short, I had an opportunity come up that I think will be great for me, and I start on January 5th!

Aside from those three things, this year was also full of some growth and learning with my group fitness certifications.  In March I attended one of the Les Mills MW Quarterlies, which was BEYOND amazing.  It again ignited a spark in me to do more, be better, help make my classes the best I can.  While I was there I was also introduced to the GFM for the Gold’s Gym in town and asked to come on as an instructor there.  Fun!  That decision helped me get my BODYSTEP certification this year!  I also went through BODYPUMP AIM 1 and have been working on my coaching A LOT.  I’m also signed up to go to AIM for BODYATTACK in April of 2015 and I cannot wait.

And probably the biggest thing that happened in 2014… WE WENT TO GERMANY!  WE RAN THE BERLIN MARATHON!

IMG_2143 IMG_2164 IMG_2247 IMG_2399I also ate all the pretzels I could find.

It.Was.Amazing.  Actually, amazing isn’t even a strong enough word for it, I don’t know what it.  I WILL do a full post on just our trip, but in short, we took 10 days and travelled first to Berlin for the race and sight-seeing, then the second half of the trip was spent in Munich sight-seeing and drinking as much beer as possible at Oktoberfest.  I’d do it all again tomorrow if I could!!  (Minus the marathon right now though, I haven’t run much since then!)

There is a ton more that happened in 2014 – friends getting engaged, married, having adorable babies, new adventures, lots of laughs… I really think overall 2014 wasn’t too shabby, for me and I have high hopes for 2015 as well!

There really is more I wanted to write about, but as it stands now I’m currently going to be close to running late for work, and even though it’s my second to last day and I really shouldn’t care, I do. Because I’m weird and too nice.  Some things never change!

Happy New Year!

Dinner Time!

So I was talking to my blogging bff Monica tonight and she made a comment that she misses the old Chandra Shenanigans days… when I’d post about eating tator tots for dinner.  I LOVE TOTS!!  Sadly, she made me crave them and I have none in the house.  (Note to self: put tots on the grocery list!)

BUT – I decided, hey, maybe it’d be fun to post about my dinner tonight!!  Then I made one of the lamest dinners ever.  #fail

Wednesdays are my looooooong days.  I teach BodyPump at 5:30AM, I work all day at my full-time job, and then I teach BodyAttack at 6:30PM.  LONG.DAY.  By the time I get home at 8:00PM I’m just hungry and want something in my belly ASAP.  Usually the bf is here to help me cook, but he’s out of town for work until late tonight, so I was on my own today!

Which brings us to the lame meal… Re-heated leftover grilled chicken with some guacamole.  Mircowave steamed asparagus covered in spray butter, garlic salt, and pepper.  Uncle Ben’s wild rice mix.




If you’re judging me for my spray butter, go right ahead.  I know it’s probably not even close to real butter (I refuse to look at the ingredients), but I love it.  Like my girl Erin would say, I like adding fake food to my real food! ;) Plus you know… that rice came from a heat-in-90-second bag…


Like I said, long day – quick food.  I have no shame.

I also had a little “fruit juice” with dinner…


My hand looks huge there… I swear it’s not really bigger than my face.


Don’t Call It A Comeback…

So, I’m thinking about taking another stab at this blogging thing for a little while.  Like, blogging more than once every three month… maybe once a week?  Twice a week?  I’m not sure yet, but we’re going to give it a try. 

Why now, you ask?  (I know you didn’t, but let’s pretend.)  Well… something exciting has come up!!  No it does not involve nuptials or a mini version of myself coming into the world (dear God please hope that never happens, the world doesn’t need two of me running around) – I’m going to be running the Berlin Marathon in September!!  EEK!!

Months and months ago the lottery for the 2014 Berlin Marathon opened and a few of my boyfriend’s friends thought it would be fun to sign up, mainly because it falls in line with Oktoberfest, and we love beer.  So a group of us entered and 3 people actually got in, one of which was my bf.   A group of 5 of us decided to go for it and take the trip.  3 of them had made the lottery, 2 of us hadn’t, but the other person who hadn’t bought an entry through a tour group.  I decided against it at first, unsure if I really want to spend the time/energy training for a marathon this summer (or ever again).  After a month or so of debate and realize I may never get this chance again, I bit the bullet and bought myself a (very pricey) race entry. 

Now here I sit, starting my pre-training training plan.  I’ve barely run since I had my over-use injury back in late August.  I’ve maybe run 15 times total since November?  I’ve been working into it the past few weeks though, slow & steady.  The good thing is, thanks to teaching my cardio endurance is in good standing.  My legs however, they don’t like the feeling of running so much right now.  We’ll get there though, just takes a little time!  Which unlike last year,  I’m now making.

Last year I was so busy teaching and subbing that I barely had time to run during the week, then I’d try to long run on the weekends, which was dumb and in the end caused my over-use injury.  There is NO way I’m letting that happen this time, I’m not wasting my money or hobbling around Germany in September.  I’ve still been teaching 5-7 classes a week, so I decided to let a couple go to give myself actual training time.  As of right now I’ll be on a 2-3 day a week running plan to get a small base back up before actual training starts.

Training, teaching, and holding down a full-time job all while staying sane and not gaining the marathon 10 I usually do will be interesting, so that’s why I’m thinking about blogging again.  To document the process, because you know, no one else on the internet has EVER done that.  :) 

So now that I’ve bored you with all of these words and details you probably don’t care about, I guess I’m going to start blogging about training again!  Maybe.  Hopefully. 

Hello New Year!

Hello, 2014!!

I don’t even know what to say about 2013… it definitely wasn’t a bad year, it was full of change, growth, and mostly fun moments.

It’s hard to believe a year ago I was getting ready to fly to Florida to run the Goofy Challenge at Disney.  It’s also hard to believe a little over a year ago I lost my Grandma to cancer, it seems like it was just yesterday.  2013 was a year of change, both good and bad… and some fun trips!  Here’s a bullet point recap:

  • I went to Disney and ran the Goofy Challenge! (long version here) I can’t believe I did that… especially since I’ve barely run in over 4 months now….
  • I lost my grandma to cancer. :(
  • I DROVE to New Orleans to party, run, eat, and repeat with Monica.  My original flight got cancelled and I figured, what the hell, you only live once…
  • I met my current boyfriend and quickly found I’d met someone super special.  “Awww…” *cue the so sweet you could puke moment* :)
  • We (the bf and I) went to San Francisco!
  • I ran Ragnar Wasatch Back in Utah!  This was a fun trip, despite some of the drama and challenges we endured along the way.
  • I turned 30!!
  • I became a certified Les Mills BodyAttack instructor.
  • I hurt my foot with an overuse injury and ended up backing out of the DSM Marathon
  • The bf and I went to Jamaica!
  • I took a big relationship step and merged lives with the bf.  As of the end of December we are “living in sin”.

I’m sure there was a LOT more that happened this year, but those are the stand out moments in my head.  At first thought, I didn’t think I even came close to accomplishing the goals I’d set for myself in 2013, but it turns out I mostly did!

  1. Save 10% of my salary.   – I did this!! As of the end of December I’d saved 10% of my current salary, which is even better than my original idea since I got a raise after setting that goal. :)
  2. Learn to ride a bike before my 30th birthday.I DID IT!! I learned to ride a bike!  I’m still not totally comfortable, I haven’t gone far or fast, but I learned and I want to keep getting better!
  3. Take a non-running related vacation.  Check!  Both San Francisco and Jamaica were non-running trips.  Although Jamaica was supposed to be a post-marathon reward…
  4. Become a better (friend/daughter/sister/worker/instructor) PERSON. – I think I did okay with this. I definitely became a better instructor through BodyAttack and BodyPump AIM training, I became the hardest worker on my team at work… but I think I struggled/am still struggling with being a better friend/daughter/sister… being busy with work and teaching has led to little time to see/talk to others in my life as often as I’d like. I’m a work in progress.
  5. Get my shit together, and keep it there. – For the most part, I think I got this one complete.  :)

As for 2014 goals… I honestly don’t know yet!!  I have so much on my mind right now I really need to sit down and think about what I want out of the next year of my life besides the generic “health and happiness!” goal. 


Happy 2014!!  As my friend Katie would say, “today is the first day of the rest of your life!  Make it a good one!” 

Back On

Guess what?  Running is HARD!

I said I was going to blog about getting back into running and whatnot, but I haven’t.  After about a 10 week hiatus I went for my run on November 5th.  Although I’ve still been active and doing lots of cardio, it has not been easy! 

In the month of November I ran the following distances: 3 miles, 1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles… all about a week apart from each other.  Each run was tough and each run made me SO sore after!  I may still have a decent cardio base, but my legs forgot what running was. 

I ran 2 miles on Sunday and then took a BodyPump class, something that used to be a walk in the park for me… my calves and hamstrings are so tight/sore today I had to skip my planned run to do some yoga and foam rolling instead.  Grr… I don’t remember running being this painful!

I’m sure part of it is that I’m not doing it extremely consistently, but I’m doing my best to be consistent and mix in running with my teaching schedule so I’m not over-doing it again.  I’m still teaching 5 classes a week right now, but they are better spaced out so I have a couple options each week for fitting in short runs to get back in the game.  I will find balance, I will!

I have a running decision to make soon too.  When the BF and I both ended up injured we said we’d find a new marathon to run in 2014.  He and I and a bunch of his friends entered the lottery for the Berlin Marathon in September (yes, Berlin, Germany).  He got in! As did one of our friends.  And now that friend’s husband found entries we can buy (for double the entry price) through a “tour” company.  I was starting to look forward to the idea of going to Germany to eat & drink while the bf had to run… but when else will I have a chance to say I ran the berlin Marathon?  Decisions, decisions…

On another note, I’ve been thinking about writing this post for weeks, but every time I go to blog I think, “Why am I even doing this? Who gives a shit if I’m running or not or even what I’m doing at all?”  So I haven’t blogged and I’ve thought about taking the blog down (again).  I don’t feel like I have anything to share that is really of substance and could help/teach/inspire anyone, I just come in here and ramble… kinda pointless, no?  I don’t know what to do with myself.


ANYWAY…. short version of this post: running is hard.  I’m going to keep trying. I might run around Berlin. I don’t know why I’m sharing any of this.  Happy Tuesday!