Chicago Marathon Training

Another week of marathon training is done!  This was a very low key week with just 2 thirty minute runs and then a 5 mile long run on Saturday.  Even though the mileage was reduced, it was still a hectic fitness week for me!

It was busy because I finally started working out with a personal trainer!!  I made it a goal for this year to cross train because I had not been doing a very good job at doing anything but running three days a week.  I loved going to yoga, but when I got my new job, it was unrealistic for me to drive 30 minutes to go to yoga L.  I know that in order to get to my under 5 hour marathon goal, I’m going to need a strong core.  Luckily for me, the cost of personal training is very reasonable since I work full time for a park district (all I have to pay is for the cost of the trainer… the park district is not making any money off me J)—so I’m going twice a week for 30 minutes a time.  My trainer is absolutely great!  She pushes me—we’ve done weights, lunges, squats, planks, bar exercises, and more.  After my first time last Monday, I was super sore on Tuesday… I could barely move (but I still managed to get the run in on Tuesday evening).  I’m planning on going for awhile, so I can do the exercises effectively so I do not injure myself.

On Saturday, I did my long run with the Tag Heur group that I won the marathon entry with in downtown Chicago.  Since I live in the suburbs, getting to the city is never an easy feet and I usually do not like to drive but I made an exception and headed downtown.  It was great to meet with the group and get to do a long run in Chicago where I normally do not run.  My only complaint was that it was SO HOT!!  I’m such a fair weather runner in the heat (I basically refuse to run in anything over 75 and it was at 80 degrees), so my pace definitely suffered.  I was so happy that I only had 5 on my schedule unlike the 12 that a bunch of others had.  I just kept saying… well, I ran 17 last week on a treadmill J.  I’ll have to go to Chicago again next month and in September too for continued meetups with the group.  Afterwards, I stopped at Sprinkles and Shack Shake for some greasy food before I headed back to the calmer lifestyle in the burbs 🙂



Weekly Recap


Sorry for only 1 blog post this past week!!  Unfortunately, it seems like a theme for us Benson sisters this summer L.  Seriously, between running an outdoor pool, doing my other work responsibilities, and training for the Chicago Marathon… I barely have time for anything else.

This past week, we started up our final set of evening swim lessons (I had three twelve hour workdays) and then I had to work at a triathlon at work (3:15 am wake up call on Sunday!). I commend anyone who does triathlons… swimming and biking just aren’t for me.

It was also a hectic week in training.  I had my normal runs during the week, but then on Saturday, I had a 17 mile run.  Of course, the forecast for this past weekend was miserable.  Heat advisories and the temperatures in the 90s.  Even if I got out early, it was 78 at 6 am—just awful.  So, I had to suck it up and do the mileage on the treadmill.  It’s never easy doing that many miles on the treadmill… especially when work keeps texting you and your phone only tracks so long (so I had to keep recharging my battery).  But I finished and I’m really hoping that we get some sort of relief in a few weeks when I start having my twenty milers start up!

I’m really looking forward to Saturday as it will be the first time that I get to meet up with the Chicago Marathon group that I won the entry to the marathon with.  This is really exciting to finally meet up with the 9 other people who also won the contest!  Depending on the time, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to make my first stop to Shake Shack in the city.  I’ve been to Shake Shack in NYC and DC, but I haven’t been able to make it to the Chicago location yet.  Hopefully that works out!

Have a great running week!


A Month Until SeaWheeze!


Yesterday marked a month until my friend Phu and I head over to Vancouver for the lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon! I am really looking forward to it, because we signed up last August and I swore it would never get here.

I thought since it was a month away from race day, I would do something every day until we leave to count down for it. So, since it is lululemon and they are primarily a yoga store (along with running of course), I will do at least 10 minutes of yoga every day. It will be good for me to get familiar with more yoga poses and I definitely need the extra stretch.

I also am really focusing on my running this next month. While I certainly won’t abandon all the cross-training I have been doing, I really want to zero in on my runs so that I have a chance of getting a new PR.

Is anyone else going to SeaWheeze? Anything special you are doing to prepare? Let me know!


Weekly Recap

weeklykathleenI love cutback weeks!  I finished Week 6 of my Chicago Marathon training with two thirty minute runs and a 3 mile weekend run.  This was my last week where the “long” run is only 3 miles.  Oh well, it was fun while it lasted!  Next weekend is 17 miles.. and the temps do not look friendly.

This past week, they released the medals for the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend!  I wish I could say I’m super stoked about them… but I cannot.

Here is the link to the photos:

I was a huge fan of the big “D” half marathon medal, but I knew since it was an anniversary year, they were probably going to change it and they did.  They made the medal a diamond shape for it’s 60th anniversary of Disneyland and a spinner (that is cool).  But the medal looks pretty small to me… I hope it’s bigger in person!

The 10k medal is just ok… not a huge fan of villains, but I guess it’s ok.

I love the 5k medal!!  I’m super glad I paid the extra money to run this race.  The medal is super cute and even though it’s plastic, I love it!

I also love the Dumbo medal!!  Some people were complaining about the red ribbon, but that’s not a huge concern in my book at all.

Also, I’ll be getting the Coast to Coast medal!  I love this medal!!

I’ll be leaving for Disneyland in 50 days… but who is counting?  I still have to get my hotel transportation and park tickets—which I’m planning on doing this week.  If you’ve been to Disneyland, do you think 2 day park hopper is enough for park tickets?  I’ll be getting in late on Wednesday,  thinking expo and park day on Thursday, 5k and park day Friday, 10k-Downtown Disney-relaxing on Saturday and then half marathon and home on Sunday!

I wish I could be joining Lauren in Vancouver in August, but the states are not going to finish themselves.


Weekly Recap


Monday, July 6th: Rest Day

Tuesday, July 7th: Shred415 Class

Wednesday, July 8th: 3.11 mile run

Thursday, July 9th: Rest Day

Friday, July 10th: Shred415 Class

Saturday, July 11th: 3 mile run

Sunday, July 12th: 8 mile run

As you can see, I had a pretty easy week of workouts. I got a lot in, but my highest running mileage was only 8 miles. That 8 miles though was ROUGH! The humidity was high and while I wasn’t out of breath by the end, I just felt so weak because the humidity sucked all the energy right out of me. I am SO happy I am not training for a marathon this summer. Anything over 13.1 miles in this weather would absolutely suck! Props to my sister and to all of you who are currently in marathon training mode!

I really feel like Shred415 is making me so much stronger! Just for fun, I went over to the pull-up bar at the park during my run on Saturday morning. I have never, in all of my 27 years, been able to do a pull-up. It was always my least favorite day in gym class because I hated feeling so incredibly weak! So on Saturday, I just decided to see if I could do one. I did one pretty easily and thought it must be some sort of fluke…but then I did another! I was so happy! I’m going to keep doing them at least once a week while on my runs and see how many I can get up to!

Also, on Sunday Justin and I went to the driving range to hit some golf balls. My drives were so much farther than I have ever hit them before! I am going to continue working on my strength because it really makes me feel much more confident in myself!

This week, I am going to do some longer midweek runs and my long run on the weekend will be 10 miles. I’ll have to wake up super early so I can try to get out there before the humidity really hits!

I hope everyone is having a great Monday!


Sorry, Sorry, Sorry!

Please forgive me! I know this has been a recurring theme, but I strongly apologize for the lack of blogging lately. As I spoke about in a previous post, Justin and I are in the process of moving, summer seems to always be a busier time, and I am just plain tired! It’s ridiculous, but some nights I fall asleep at 8PM! I really want to expand the blog and dive into new topics, so I need to put all of my ideas down and make them a reality! I’ll try not to let you all down 🙂

I ran in the Freedom 4 Miler last weekend on the 4th of July. I did over a minute better than last year, and finished in the top 10 for my age group! I would like to say there will be a recap shortly, but I can’t promise anything. I am planning to do one big recap of all my summer races at the end of the summer though 🙂

Now, my next race isn’t until lululemon SeaWheeze in August. I finally bought my plane tickets (holy crap they were expensive!), and am getting excited for the trip. I am sad Justin is no longer able to go, but with us buying a house, it just was too much of an expense. I am relieved I do not have a race until then because the humidity my past few races has been unbearable, and I ran in so many in such a short time, I really needed a break.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I am off today because I work tomorrow, but then I am off Sunday and Monday. I plan to do some packing, go on some long walks with my dog, and of course run. I also am going to hit up a couple Shred415 classes.


Weekly Recap


It was a hectic week as usual!  After last weekend getting to visit with Lauren, I had a busy week running and working.  This past week, I ran two 30 minute runs during the week and a 15 miler on the 4th of July!  The 15 miler was tough… I won’t lie!

The last two marathon cycles have been training in the winter months… I looked at my last 15 miler that I did while training for the Flying Pig and the temperature was 25 degrees!  Training during the summer is a different story.  I had to keep reminding myself of the quote I had heard all week “summer runners make fall marathoners”.  I had to wake up crazy early (5 am—that is very early for me), so I could beat the heat.  It was 60 degrees at the start but 90% humidity and by the end of the run it was 72 degrees.  I had to switch up my intervals a bit—walking and drinking water a bit more than normal.  I have a 17 miler in 2 weeks… I’m hoping for a cold front to come thru!

The one thing I am really enjoying is the fact that these “long long” runs do not come with a “long walk/run” the day beforehand.  When I did the Disney and the Flying Pig Marathon… the day beforehand, I did a half marathon the day beforehand!  Well, I had to train for doing that.  So the day before a “long long” run, I would have to do a “long walk/run” the day beforehand.  Before my previous two fifteen mile training runs, I did 7.5 miles the day beforehand.  It was so nice this time just to focus on the one long day!

Besides running, it was a busy week at work.  2 of my first 3 swim lesson sessions ended and then I ended up working on Friday and Saturday.  I was supposed to have Friday off, but since I didn’t have any plans, I decided to work and save the day for when I go to Disneyland!  That’s when I will really need the time off.

On a side note, I was getting fed up with my cable/internet service.  I have 2 boxes, HD, DVR, internet and basic cable including Showtime (I love Homeland, The Affair and the now cancelled Nurse Jackie) and I paid $185 a month!  That is just ridiculous in my book!  So, I called and explained that I was going to switch unless they lowered my bill.  They ended up lowering my bill $25 a month ($300 a year—that could be a flight to a new race for me!) and now I have HBO and all the other movie channels as well… this could be dangerous.  I’ve already watched 5 movies in the short few days I’ve gotten it.   So if you think you’re paying too much for your tv services, call your provider and maybe you’ll luck out like I did!

Have a great running week all!