Sorry for the lack of blog posts by us lately!  To say life hasn’t been hectic is an understatement.  In the summer, I am very busy at work running an outdoor pool… from Memorial Day to Labor Day, I’m usually at work or communicating with work every single day.  When you add training for a marathon, trying to plan out the rest of your 2015 races, being obsessed with your sister’s 2016 wedding… it leaves little time for anything else!

Chicago Marathon training is going well!  I had my first 20 miler on August 9 and it went pretty well.  It was going to be nasty hot here, so I ended up running 10 outside and then did 10 on the treadmill immediately afterwards… it really was a good decision!  I like my training schedule because when I do not have “huge” long runs, it’s just conditioning.  Therefore this past Saturday, I just had to do 6 miles.  Granted it was pretty hard because it was 70+ degrees and 90% humidity—I hate the heat.  I’m really hoping the marathon gods are good to me and have 40-50 degree temps on race day and I can achieve my sub 5 goal.

This weekend, I have to go back to downtown Chicago again to meet up with the marathon training group that I won the entry from.  I only have six on my schedule, so I will just do the six and then pick up my goodies before heading home.  They are giving all of us shorts, tech shirt, singlet, jacket and fitted Nike shoes!  Really I lucked out getting this opportunity and I’m glad I’ve been able to stick with the training for the big day.

I have my 17th state coming up in a few weeks and I’m excited to head out to California for a few days of fun and racing.


Chicago Marathon Training Weekly Recap

Another week is done of this marathon training session!

This week was pretty easy with just two thirty minute runs and a 6 mile long run on the weekend.  I also had two personal training workout sessions which went really well too.

This upcoming week is the start of the hard training.  I have my normal two thirty minute runs during the week and then on Saturday, I have my first twenty miler of this training season.  The high for Saturday is 77… so that should mean that when I start my run it will be a little cooler.  I’m going to keep tabs on the weather, get a good night sleep on Friday and then head out early early on Saturday morning.  My parents are coming up this weekend, so I won’t have to worry about my doggie at all during my long run!

In other news, it is now less than 30 days until I go to Disneyland!  Unfortunately, my flight got all screwed up on the way back, but it is what it is (my motto a lot now-a-days when things do not go your way).  I’m really looking forward to state #17!


Whirlwind of a Week!

Last week brought some major life changes. Justin and I moved out of our old apartment and into our new house! We both have WAY too much stuff, so the packing/moving seemed to take forever and who knows when the unpacking will be finished! It is so nice though to have more space, and I can’t wait until we get a fence so Lilli can play in the backyard.

And….. in the midst of moving, Justin proposed! I am very excited to be engaged and was so surprised when he asked! I was so tired from moving, that it almost felt like a dream! He is my best friend and the best person I know so I can’t wait to be married to him. But right now, I can’t even think about planning a wedding until everything is unpacked!


My beautiful ring Justin designed!


The fleur-de-lis symbol Justin put on the top and bottom. The flour-de-lis is a symbol for St. Louis and we have many decorations around the house with it because we both love it!

During my busy week, I was still able to get some runs in. I can’t believe SeaWheeze is less than 2 weeks away! I can’t lie, my training for this half hasn’t been that great, but hopefully somehow I can still pull out a PR in Vancouver.


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.