Five Goals for December

First, a check-in on November’s goals:

#1 – Settle into my new role at work. I’m feeling good about this. Things are going well. I’m making suggestions that people like, I’m presenting reports that are well-received. I still have a lot to learn, but I feel great about the direction things are going. (I moved from web/app content publishing to web/app analytics & testing.)

#2 – Start a half marathon training plan. I RAN 32 MILES LAST MONTH! The last time I ran more than 30 miles in a month was October 2014. Holy cow. AND … no pain. I’m not yet ready to commit to any races at this point, but I’m feeling good about how things are going.

#3 – Keep building strength. I haven’t been doing as much as I did in October – I only went to 4 classes in November that incorporated strength building. I don’t want to lose strength, because I worry about my knee – I’d rather skip a run in favor of getting in enough strength.

#4 – Yoga 8x. I made it to 7 classes … and maybe once for free yoga at the office. So I’ll consider this a success.

#5 – Keep bringing my lunch. I actually did really good at this! Looks like I only caved and ordered lunch twice during the month.

What else did I do in November?


Supported Open Books with friends at Make the Case


Spent time with my family (and my husband’s family). These are my brother’s kids and they are adorable and sweet and I love them so much. 


Helped launch Grateful 4 Her


Witnessed a Cubs World Series WIN. Let’s just pretend history stopped on 11/3. 

More run selfies

I also performed my Lullaby solo again (and had a minor costume snafu), taught a workshop at my sis-in-law’s studio, went to LUNAFEST, and started rehearsals for our Christmas show.

So, what do I want to accomplish in December?

#1 – Keep up with the run/yoga/strength. My goal each week is yoga 2x, strength 2x, run 3x. That’s a lot. But I can do 2 workouts in one day – yoga/run or yoga/strength. And I want to set my goal high, so if I skip a workout or two, I’m still getting in enough.

#2 – Keep up with bringing lunch. I’m worried I’m going to start getting sick of the same thing. Gotta keep my salads interesting. I need to do a better job of making bigger dinners (or … asking the Mr to make bigger dinners) so we can take leftovers for lunch.

#3 – Count calories again. I got out of this habit and as a result stopped making as many healthy choices. I at least want to continue to count calories during the weekdays.

#4 – Do fun Christmas stuff. Christkindlmarket. Zoo Lights. Ice skating. Look at Christmas trees. Perform in a holiday burlesque show.

#5 – Read a book. I started The Stargazers Sister in November, but I found it kind of boring so I stopped reading it when I realized I wouldn’t finish it by the book club meeting. I’d like to finish one more book before the end of the year. I only finished 6 books this year.

What do you want to accomplish in December? What do you make/bring to work for lunch? What’s your favorite Christmas movie? I love Christmas Vacation, Elf, The Holiday. My husband likes to agrue that Die Hard is one of the best Christmas movies. 

Training 11/21-11/27

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Power Vinyasa at Bare Feet Power Yoga

Wednesday: Flow at Yoga Six South Loop then crammed in the backseat of a truck for 5 hours (a very large pickup truck, NOT AN SUV)

Thursday: 4.5 mile run around La Crosse with my turkey

Friday: Rest/crammed in the backseat of a truck again

Saturday: Rehearsal, although I didn’t get my heart rate up enough to register anything

Sunday: 3.5 mile run


Thursday over the Mississippi River. So, funny tidbit. My husband’s sister lives in LaCrosse because … why, I don’t really know. But visiting her is fun for me because my dad’s parents grew up there, so it’s fun to look around the town and think of my late Gram and Gramps when they were young. 


Sunday in the West Loop. I have no family there. (Ukranian Village and Roscoe Village, yes.)

I wanted to do more workouts, but … I didn’t. Something something busy holidays. Also, I don’t want to overdo the running if I’m not balancing it with enough strength + yoga. I did enough yoga, just zero strength. I pretty certain that my recent focus on strength training is why I’ve been able to run pain-free these past three weeks.

And good news – no pains in my butt! (Other than, you know, the usual metaphoric pains in my butt …) (Also no pain in my knees or anywhere else for that matter.)

FitBit stats:

  • TOTAL STEPS: 56,225;  DAILY AVERAGE: 8,032 steps
  • TOTAL DISTANCE: 25.91 miles;  DAILY AVERAGE: 3.70 miles
  • TOTAL CALS BURNED: 14,909;  DAILY AVERAGE: 2,130 cals
  • AVG SLEEP DURATION: 7 hrs 41 min

Uhh … a cut back week, apparently.


Over the summer, I was invited by my friend Kelly to participate in her video project, Grateful4Her. It is a movement earthed in gratitude about the ways, achievements and impact of people who identify as women. A way to share her story and show your gratitude for her impact. A way to create our collective appreciation for the powerful influence of women across the world. You can learn more (and listen to lots of videos) at – and also upload a tribute video of your own!


With Kelly the day we shot my video

I’ve been so curious about the end result, and I’m so excited that it launched this week! Kelly hosted a wonderful launch party for everyone involved (and their loved ones), and we were able to preview some of the videos.

Bottom row: delicious boozy punch, Thank You note tree, more delicious boozy punch, one of the many cupcakes featuring one of the celebrity/historic women for whom we are thankful. 

It took me a minute to find my photo! I didn’t recognize myself. The quote says “Thank you for our community of acceptable, support, love and encouragement of each other.”

During my video, I shared my thoughts on women for whom I am grateful. The first, of course, is my amazing mother. I am grateful that she raised me to think for myself and use my voice without apology. That is something I’m still working on, but she has been an amazing example. The second woman is my burlesque teacher, and CEOh! of Vaudezilla, Red Hot Annie. She has not only given a stage to so many performers and students who have a point of view to share, but has introduced me to a wonderful, loving, supportive community where I can truly be myself not only without apology, but with an audience who appreciates it. You can listen to my tribute to Red Hot Annie. (Hopefully they will release more videos and I can share the one about my mom! I have a feeling they had a lot of videos about mothers, which is awesome!)

All attendees of the launch party received a Grateful4Her bracelet. I’ve been wearing mine ever since, but as you can image, Robert hasn’t worn his. So I would like to give it to one of you! You get the most entries by uploading a tribute video of your own, but you can also earn entries by commenting and following. I’ll pick a winner on Sunday, December 11th, so you have lots of time to make a video.

Enter via Rafflecopter!


Linking up with Erica Finds and Running with SD Mom for more giveaways!  

Workout Recap 11/14 – 11/20

Alternate Title: A Pain in My Butt

Monday: 3.29mi run, 34:03, 10:22 pace

Tuesday: AMPED at Studio Three (intervals of weights, body weight, rowing)

Wednesday: 3.5mi run, 38:07, 10:54 pace

Thursday: BX at Brick Chicago (intervals of weights, body weight, cardio – rowing, bike, treadmill)

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Yoga with Pilsen Yoga Tribe

I wanted to do a 4mi run over the weekend. I ended up skipping it partly because I didn’t make time for it, and partly because I was feeling some pain in my butt on Saturday and Sunday. Mostly when standing still or laying down to sleep. Seriously … what’s the deal with symptoms getting worse when you lay down? It’s like, oh! Bedtime! Sweet relief! Can’t. Get. Comfortable.

Anyway, when I described the location and sensation to my mother (an RN), she suggested it was my sciatic nerve.  I did some Googling, and it sounds like my piriformis muscle (in my glute) might have been inflamed and therefore irritating the nerve. Ibuprofen helped a lot, so signs point to muscle inflammation and not to herniated disc (also a cause of sciatic nerve pain). Also the fact that the pain didn’t travel elsewhere in my leg/foot is a good sign.

So, my knee is fine, which is what I was hoping for! I have never been so happy to have symmetrical minor soreness in my knees as I have been these past two weeks. But now I’m concerned about my glute (and it’s the same glute that would cause problems in the Emo Knee). The pain is gone now, so hopefully if I can keep up a good regimen of stretching (yoga) and not overexerting myself with the weights (may have done that at Brick on Thursday), and also stretching out after all workouts (I will admit that didn’t happen on Thursday), this won’t become a recurring problem.


Post work-out at Brick 


View of a sunset from our “roof deck” at the office. 


We hosted early Thanksgiving for my immediate family on Sunday. Hashtag Cool Aunt. 

FitBit Stats:

  • TOTAL STEPS: 74,422;  DAILY AVERAGE: 10,632 steps
  • TOTAL DISTANCE: 33.67 miles;  DAILY AVERAGE: 4.81 miles
  • TOTAL CALS BURNED: 16,557:  DAILY AVERAGE: 2,365 cals
  • AVG SLEEP DURATION: 8 hrs 1 min

I had a couple nights last week where I felt exhausted and went to bed early. I’m not sure if I’m overexerting myself or not fueling properly or if it was just an off week.

Hope y’all have a happy Thanksgiving!

Join me at LUNAFEST! #Giveaway


LUNAFEST®, the fundraising film festival dedicated to promoting awareness about women’s issues, highlighting women filmmakers, and bringing women together in their communities, is coming to the Chopin Theater in Chicago on Wednesday, November 30th.

This unique film festival highlights women as leaders in society, illustrated through nine short films by women filmmakers. The films range from animation to fictional drama, and cover topics such as women’s health, motherhood, body image, aging, cultural diversity and breaking barriers.

All proceeds from LUNAFEST will benefit the Breast Cancer Fund and ROW (Recovery on Water), Brave Initiatives, and Mission Propelle. Thus far, LUNAFEST has raised over $965,000 for Breast Cancer Fund and over $2,600,000 for other female non-profit organizations.

Tickets are $20 and include drinks and snacks followed by a screening of the nine short films. Save 25% with code MagMileRunner.

Or, enter for your chance to win a pair of tickets! I’ll pick two winners on Wednesday, November 23rd. Each winner will receive a pair of tickets to LUNAFEST Chicago.  Enter via Rafflecopter giveaway. 

Linking up with Running with SD Mom and Erica Finds

Alternatives to the Unlimited ClassPass Membership

If you’re a ClassPass member, you know by now that ClassPass is no longer offering their Unlimited membership. Obviously, this can create some challenges for members who are used to using ClassPass almost every day.

Luckily for me, even when I had the Unlimited membership (when that was the only plan CP offered and it costs $99 or $119/month), I typically only went to 10 classes per month, so the 10-class plan at $115/month works well for me. But if you’re used to group workouts 20-25 times per month, and your budget is $175/month (the cost of the Unlimited membership), what do you do? You can supplement the 5-class plan ($60/month) or the 10-class plan ($115/month) any number of ways …

Option 1: Stick to just ClassPass. The 10-class pack leaves you $60 to put towards additional classes. Once you hit 10 classes in a month, you can continue to sign up for classes – for a fee, which varies by studio. From what I’ve seen it’s anywhere from $10-25 per class. Which means you can take 12-16 classes per month via ClassPass and stay in your budget.

Option 2: ClassPass + DIY. There are tons of options out there for guided workouts on your own – YouTube videos, the Nike Training Club app (my personal favorite), on-demand videos through your cable provider, etc. It does take some extra motivation to stick to a plan, and you have to provide your own equipment (or pick a workout that doesn’t require equipment), but you can do it on your own schedule.

Option 3: ClassPass + running. This is the “plan” I’m on. My goal right now is to run 3x per week, and with the 10-class plan, I can do ClassPass workouts 2-3x per week, which rounds out a solid fitness plan.

Option 4: ClassPass + other cardio. Running is an option, or if you have a bike or Divvy bike share membership, you can start biking more, or sign up for a lap swim membership with the Chicago Park District ($40 every 3 months).

Option 5: ClassPass + cheap gym membership. Maybe you’re lucky enough that there is a gym or fitness center in your apartment/condo building and/or office building. If not, there are cheap, bare-bones gyms around Chicago, like Planet Fitness or Charter Fitness – both are $10/month for their basic membership or $20/month for additional options.

Option 6: ClassPass + Groupon. Before ClassPass, I got my group workout fix through a steady stream of Groupon and Gilt City deals.

Option 7: ClassPass + free workouts. It will take some digging and some patience, but there are options for free workouts around Chicago such as The North Face, November Project, Nike, LululemonPilsen Yoga Tribe. Many fitness studios also offer one free “community” class per week.

Option 8: ClassPass + packages at studios. If you found a studio you really love and can buy class packs directly through the studio, you can combine that with a ClassPass membership to continue working out as much as you’d like.

Option 9: ClassPass + combo of the above. 

Option 10: Quit ClassPass and do something else. Join a gym. Buy a membership at one of the fitness studios you discovered via ClassPass. Based on what I’ve seen, unlimited membership at a single fitness studio in Chicago will run you close to or over $200/month, and gym memberships vary (and of course they don’t disclose the regular pricing on their websites).


Were you a ClassPass Unlimited member? What’s your plan moving forward? 

Workout Recap 11/7 – 11/13

I’M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS POST. Spoiler alert: I ran THREE TIMES last week, for a total of 10 MILES! Might not sound like much, but this is the first time in a long time* that I’ve run more than 2x in a week and double-digit mileage in a week.

* I looked it up … the last time I ran 10 miles in one week was March 2015. Has it really been that long???????

AND!!! MY KNEE DOESN’T HURT. At least … not like it did last year. Now there’s some new weirdness on the inside of my right knee but it’s not while I’m running and only when I have my leg in certain positions and not every time, so let’s not think about that. (It’s also the opposite knee and a different kind of pain.) It’s not stopping me from running (or doing anything), so that’s cool.The thing that really clued me in on my previous knee pain was how it felt to walk down stairs after a run (later that day or the next day). I have been feeling none of that pain. I hope this sticks! My guess is all the strength I’ve built up over the past couple months paid off, so I need to keep it up.

Anywho, last week’s workouts:

Monday: 3.5mi run, 39:32, 11:16 pace

Tuesday: Core workout at ENERGI Fitness via ClassPass

Wednesday: I was exhausted. I bet you were too?

Thursday: 3.1mi run, 32:31, 10:23 pace

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Burlesque rehearsal and 3.5mi run, 35:54, 10:25 pace

Sunday: Flow at Yoga Six via ClassPass and I taught a burlesque workshop then spent time working on my own upcoming act


Thursday. Running around Logan Square. I’m the blur. 



Hashtag PROOF

Confession: I started an Instagram account for my cat. I regret nothing. 


FitBit Stats:

  • TOTAL STEPS: 79,810; DAILY AVERAGE: 11,401 steps
  • TOTAL DISTANCE (minus  biking): 36.63 miles; DAILY AVERAGE: 5.23 miles
  • TOTAL CALS BURNED: 16,390; DAILY AVERAGE: 2,341 cals
  • I didn’t keep up with tracking calories in
  • AVG SLEEP DURATION: 7 hrs 29 min


So! Week 1 of half marathon training is done. Let’s see how this goes!