Weekly Workouts 11/24-11/30

Happy last day of November! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and some time off work and are ready to take on December! I really like December, which I’ll tell you all about later this week, so I don’t mind at all that it’s on its way!

November ended with 165.6 miles for me, which is right about where I wanted to be, since I’m not training for anything just yet. Let’s take a look at how November’s final week of workouts looked like, shall we? Since I’m doing the Holiday Sweat challenge, I’ve got more pictures than usual. I should always have the chance to win prizes, and maybe I’d be better about taking pictures.


5 miles easy and some at-home strength training. And a plank. See?
photo 1 (10)


5 miles of “hill” repeats on the treadmill


My new training plan had indoor cycling intervals and strength training scheduled for Friday, but I’d be at my in-laws then, so I switched it and did cycling and strength at the gym.
photo 2 (12)


There’s a 5k Turkey Trot (with a one-mile walk option) in J’s hometown, and his family always participates in it. Because I’m an overachiever, I ran there (3.4 miles), ran the Turkey Trot (which my Garmin said was 3.25 miles), jogged back to find Jordan (1.3 miles), who was walking, and walked the rest of the course with him. So that’s a total of 8 miles running. I didn’t exactly race the Turkey Trot, as the streets were pretty icy and I was more concerned about getting in mileage, but it was still fun.
My sis-in-law took this picture of my backside as I passed them (they were walking the one-mile).
photo 3 (7)


5.4 easy miles and some bodyweight strength work in my in-laws’ basement.


Back home for a 6.2-miler in the gorgeous, almost-60-degree weather. This was the view for part of my run:
photo 4 (5)


As usual, Colorado couldn’t keep its seasons straight, so this morning’s run was in 18-feels-like-2-degree temps. It was not warm. Here’s the view from today, just up the road from yesterday’s:
photo 5
After 11 miles, I was a popsicle.

Total: 40.6 miles

Have a great week and a great December, friends!

What was the best part of your Thanksgiving?

I Mustache You Some Questions

I started to type “By …” here because our school newspaper also uses WordPress, and I spent over an hour posting articles (with kids’ bylines) in this little space today. Oops.

I’m sure you’re glad I told you that. Anyway… a while back, Kristin from Sweat Courage nominated me for this fun questionnaire that has been circulating the Internet machine lately. Since I don’t have to go to work tomorrow, I finally have time to do it!


Four names that people call me, other than my real name:

  1. J and I have a lot of intentionally ridiculous pet names for each other… none of which will be shared here. Sorry.
  2. Stinker. (Nickname from my big brother, of course.)
  3. Miss. (because Mrs. Sonnenberg is a mouthful)
  4. Cassonara (my college roommate made that up and still calls me that)

Four jobs I have had:

  1. Water girl at a nursery/garden center
  2. Receptionist
  3. I worked at the college visitor center. Once my roommate (the same one that calls me Cassonara) asked me what my job title was, and I said, “Um… girl?”
  4. Kohl’s customer service department. This was my last non-career job, and I was not sad when it ended. Customer service is rough.

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  1. A Few Good Men
  2. While You Were Sleeping
  3. Anchorman
  4. Shrek

Four books I’d recommend:

  1. Bossypants by Tina Fey
  2. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
  3. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  4. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Four places I have lived:
I’ve never lived outside Colorado because I’m a lame-o, so here are four Colorado places I’ve lived:

  1. Olathe
  2. Fort Collins
  3. Longmont
  4. Fort Morgan

Four places I have been:
(National Park theme)

  1. Yellowstone
  2. Yosemite
  3. Olympic/Rainier
  4. Haleakalā
Sunrise at Haleakala
Sunrise at Haleakala

Four places I’d rather be right now:
Well, my couch is pretty nice, but…

  1. In the sunshine
  2. The mountains. I’d always rather be in the mountains
    Picture 032
  3. The beach
  4. Bed

Four things I don’t eat:

  1. Most deep-fried food
  2. Doughnuts
  3. Bugs
  4. Twinkies

Four of my favorite foods:

  1. Bananas
  2. Chocolate
  3. Nuts of all kinds
  4. Soup/stew

Four TV shows that I watch:
a.k.a. my treadmill shows

  1. The Biggest Loser
  2. The Bachelor/Bachelorette
  3. New Girl
  4. About a Boy

Four things I am looking forward to this year:
I’m assuming “this year” means the rest of 2014…

  1. Time with my in-laws on Thanksgiving
  2. Seeing my family at Christmas, especially my grandparents, since I haven’t seen them since summer
  3. Christmas break = two full weeks!
  4. Decorating our house for Christmas (it’s always fun!)

Four things I’m always saying:
One of my students made a list of my common sayings for her propaganda project. I didn’t realize I said some of these so often.

  1. “Um…. no.”
  2. “If you would not do that, that would be perfect.”
  3. “Can’t you wait ten minutes?” (I wouldn’t say it so much if kids wouldn’t always ask to use the bathroom in the last ten minutes of class.)
  4. “It’s not my birthday.” (For a while, 0ne of my classes thought it was funny to say “Happy Birthday” every day when I walked into class.)

Four People I Tag:
A lot of people have already been tagged, and I’m not sure who has and hasn’t, because I had to do a bunch of “mark all as read” hitting recently. So if you haven’t been tagged, I tag you!

Even if you have been tagged, answer some of these in the comments!

Weekly Workouts 11/17-23

Remember when I used to blog more than once a week? And I commented on other people’s blogs? I miss those days. But I’m almost over the summit of Grading Mountain (for a minute), and we only have two days of work this week, so maaaaybe I’ll get in a little more blogging.

I hope you guys are actually interested in my workout recaps, since they’re the one post I’m consistent about. Here’s how this week’s workouts went. (Spoiler alert: there was again no gym-going).


6 miles of treadmill fartleks: warm-up, 4 x 4 minutes at 5k pace, 3 minutes of recovery, cooldown. Here’s a picture of my treadmill feet.
photo 1 (9)


Tuesday was not my best day at work, and when I got home, I was in a sour mood. So even though I should have run easy since I ran hard the day before, “easy” was not going to cut it. And even though I should have gone to the gym to lift, interacting with people sounded terrible. Instead, I hit my home treadmill and alternated speed intervals, hill intervals, and hopping off for strength intervals for a little over an hour and a total of 7 miles. And then I felt better about life.


I was grouchy again (can you tell it’s almost time for a break?), but I knew three days in a row of hard running would be stupid, especially since I’d be running again in less than 12 hours, so I forced myself to run 5 easy miles and do some abs.


I got in my harder run with 5 miles of treadmill hill repeats. Then, I hit a couple of rounds of Runner 360 and went to work. Here, more treadmill feet because every post needs pictures, right?
photo 2 (11)


5 easy miles and some abs. I went to a conference (the third segment of the one in Loveland that I’ve mentioned before) and was hoping I’d be able to hit a short run outside at the end of the day, but since it gets dark in the middle of the afternoon, I had to be content with the morning workout.


I toyed with the idea of running before the second day of the conference, but knew I wouldn’t have time for my long run and didn’t want to run seven days in a row. Instead, I hit the hotel gym for a quick strength workout combined with this beast that I found on the Fitfluential blog:
1000 Rep Workout

Holy sweatfest. It was awesome.


10-mile run. The Weather Channel app told me it “felt like” 19, but I think it was wrong. I overdressed, but it was still a nice run. And I tried out my new mittens. I think they’re going to work well for me. I put those hand-warmer things in them, and my hands ACTUALLY GOT HOT. This has never happened to me. I am so excited.

Totals: 38 miles, 2ish hours strength training.

This week, I WILL make it to the gym. I WILL. Maybe… we’re heading to the in-laws for a couple of days. And I WILL blog before next Sunday. I WILL. Those are my goals.

How much time do you get off this week? 

Any turkey trots planned? We’re doing one! My BIL and I are running and I think the rest of the family is walking.

Thanksgiving food you’re most looking forward to?

Weekly Workouts 11/10-16

The day  I dreaded has finally arrived: my students have discovered my blog. It’s my own fault, too. When we read Animal Farm every year, we talk about propaganda, and an option for their unit assessment is to plan a “class revolution.” They have to make propaganda and give a campaign speech about why they should be installed and I should be removed as leader. I love the project, but I feared it would lead them to my blog as they searched for pictures of me. And it did. Sigh. But it’s not like I post anything even kind of scandalous, and I’m sure most of them will forget about it once the project is done, so oh well.

Outside of my propaganda-filled classroom this week, Colorado decided to skip the late-fall cooldown and just leap right into winter. Last Sunday, when we ran Amy’s unofficial half, it was 65 degrees. Wednesday, we never made it over 10. That was abrupt, Colorado. Real abrupt.

Of course, during the week I run on the treadmill anyway because I’m scared of the dark. (I’m not scared of the dark, per se, but I’m scared of distracted drivers and potholes and ice and bad guys, all of which are made worse by darkness). This was a bit of a cutback week — not because I’d really planned it that way, but because it was a busy week and that’s just how it happened. Sometimes it’s nice  to not be training for anything, because unplanned cutback weeks are completely fine. Here’s how this one looked:


Easing back into tempo runs, I warmed up for 20 minutes, ran at tempo for 15 minutes, and cooled down until I hit 5.5 miles. Then I did some core work.


I intended to go to the gym to lift… but it was no degrees outside and I have a treadmill in my basement. So… I ran 5 easy miles while rocking out to the Backstreet Boys and watching The Biggest Loser, and then I did the Runner 360 workout.
photo 1 (1)


7.1 easy miles and some core


Again, I didn’t go lift because it was cold. Plus, this was a morning workout because I was judging an evening speaking contest at school, and scraping my windshield at 4:30 a.m. sounds pretty dumb to me. So I did another treadmill run (4 miles of hill repeats) and the Runner 360 again.


Another a.m. workout, as my parents came to visit Friday night. 7.2 miles on the treadmill made a good start to my day.
photo 2 (10)
I tried to be super cool and use the camera timer on my phone to take a mid-run picture. Clearly that worked well.


The ‘rents were in town and it was flipping cold, so I cranked out 3 reps of Runner 360 and called it good.


I was in dire need of sunshine and fresh air, regardless of how cold, so after my folks left, I checked the temperature:
photo 3
I layered up and went. I wore tights, pants, a warm top, a jacket, gloves and glove liners, ear warmers, and a neck warmer thing that I pulled up over my mouth. It wasn’t too bad, but I hope the running mittens I ordered come in soon and are warm. My hands are always freezing, and it makes winter running miserable.

I planned to go double-digits, but I decided that could wait until my gloves came in and I was a little more acclimated to this cold business.
photo 4 (4)

Total: 35.9 miles, 3 days of strength but none in the gym

This coming week, I really should get back to the gym. But my basement is so nice….

I’ll also try to be a little better at blogging and reading blogs this week, but it might be rough. I’m an idiot and assigned due dates so that my seniors are turning in essays Monday and my sophomores are turning in projects on Tuesday, so my evenings this week will likely be gradingfests. But Kristin tagged me for a fun little challenge, so I’ll try to at least get that one up. Because mustaches.

Also, if you haven’t signed up for the holiday challenge that Run to the Finish and Sweat Guru  are hosting, go check it out! And if you do sign up, make sure you mention me, because I want prizes. I won’t sugarcoat my desires.

Have a great week, friends!

Is it cold where you are? What’s your favorite piece of cold-weather running gear?

Weekly Workouts and the Denver Urban (Unofficial) Half Marathon

Raise your hand if you’re a little sad that the weekend is over already. Yes, me too. At least it was a fun one, as you’ll read later. But before I get to the fun stuff, let’s quickly chat about my training the rest of the week — which was, sadly, on the treadmill because I refuse to run in the dark. I don’t have any fun pictures until Saturday’s workout, because pictures of my sweaty face and my treadmill console just aren’t that interesting, so I’ll spare you.


6 x 3 minutes at 5k pace with equal recoveries. With warm-up and cool down, 6 miles. Followed by the Runner 360 workout that I talked about here.

Here, have a sweaty selfie after all. I wore this shirt because I was grumpy about the time change.
Here, have a sweaty selfie after all. I wore this shirt because I was grumpy about the time change.


5 miles easy and a strength workout in the gym.


6 miles easy and some core work


12 x 45-second “hill” repeats (in quotes because they were treadmill hills) with 1.5-minute recoveries, 5 miles total with warm-up and cool down, followed by 40ish minutes of weights. My legs were toast by the end of this.


5 easy miles and a fast core workout. This was an early morning workout, because I was heading to Denver that night. Jordan had a meeting, which meant a free-to-us hotel room, so hey… mini-vacation for Cassie!


Amy of Run Write Hike and her husband, who live in Denver, organized an unofficial half-marathon for Saturday. When I got Amy’s email a few weeks ago and realized it was the same date as Jordan’s meeting, I got really excited. I was right to be excited; I had a blast. You can read all about the course in Amy’s post (and you probably should because I have no sense of direction and am probably about to get  things out of order).

We met at Amy’s house at 1:00, on a day that was unbelievably warm for early November. See? We’re all wearing shorts and T-shirts/tank tops, and we all got pretty hot by the end of it!

I'm not putting names in this picture, because Amy's the only one I knew before this, so I'm pretty sure I'd name someone wrong.
I’m not putting names in this picture, because Amy’s the only one I knew before this, so I’m pretty sure I’d name someone wrong. Photo cred goes to Amy’s husband, David. 

Once we were all sunscreened and mapped up (Amy and David made a MapMyRun course AND printed directions. They’re pretty legit race organizers), we headed down to the start at Sloans Lake, which is right by Amy’s house. David and his friend Mark played bike crew, with David chalking arrows where we needed to turn and Mark riding along with us or going ahead to wait at crucial turns so we wouldn’t get lost. The two fast dudes (the bright blue shirts) took off, and I buddied up with Elizabeth (in the orange tank), with whom I hit it off right away. We ran the first couple of miles too fast (we both wanted to treat this as a long run, not a race) because we were jabbering too much and not paying attention. Since I’m kind of socially awkward, it’s nice to meet someone and click instead of being a weirdo. Running helps — clearly you’ve got something in common if you’re running together!

Anyway, back to the course. We left Sloans and headed up a long hill and into the Highlands, which is a trendy Denver neighborhood with lots of cute shops and restaurants. Elizabeth pointed out lots of places that I need to eat when I’m in Denver. Sometime in the Highlands, Josh and Kelsey caught up with us, and the four of us stuck together for a while. We made our way on to the Cherry Creek Trail, where we saw a man taking off his pants. Never a dull moment.

We stayed on the bike path for a while, then popped out and ran by the Art Museum (I took some pictures of that, but since I was running while photographing, they’re blurry. Always winning at the blog thing), then up the stairs at the Capitol building.

photo 1 (8)

We found out that David had a flat bike tire, so he wasn’t able to continue chalking, so we stopped at the top of the stairs to consult the map. Just kidding; Elizabeth consulted the map and I took pictures.

You're supposed to be able to see a bunch of the city. But you can't really, because I suck at iPhone photos.
You’re supposed to be able to see all of Civic Center Park and the surrounding area. But you can’t really, because I suck at iPhone photos. But you can see Kelsey’s shoulder, so that’s cool. 

Once Elizabeth had our course straightened out, we continued on our way. We ran past the Convention Center and through the legs of Denver’s famous Big Blue Bear statue:
photo 3 (6)

Here’s the zoomed-out version (that I stole from here because mine was super blurry. Again, don’t photo and run).

Then, we passed by Coors Field, back to the bike path (where we lost Kelsey and Josh again), and then up by Sports Authority at Mile High (where I was dismayed to learn that the porta-johns are locked when there is no football game). Then, we dropped back onto the Platte River Trail, then cruised back up to Sloans and the finish!

This run was a blast. Amy and David did an awesome job organizing this; since they had the maps done, no one got lost even when David’s tire went flat and he couldn’t finish chalking. I loved this whole run. And I really liked running with Elizabeth. I almost always run alone, so I couldn’t believe how quickly and easily 13 miles went by with a buddy!

If you’re ever visiting Denver and want to see the highlights of the city on a run, this route is a great way to do it! The parts in the Highlands and downtown were a little slow because of stoplights and lots of pedestrians, so if you’re wanting a fast and hard workout, this is not the place to do it. But if you want things to see and fun to have, do this route!

Awkward transition into finishing my workout recaps…


I did a 30-minute strength circuit in the hotel gym to keep the streak alive. Because it’d be pretty sad to kill the streak a week into it.

And while we’re on the topic of streaking/staying fit over the holidays: I joined the Holiday Sweat Challenge that SweatGuru and Run to the Finish are hosting (read about it here). It’s only $10, and there are lots of prizes and workouts and fun. Go check it out!

Totals: 40.1 miles, 2ish hours strength training

If you organized a run in your city, what must-sees would we run by? 

If you’re streaking with me… what did you do this week?

Blog Awards Are Fun

I’ve mentioned this before: I get quite a kick out of the blog awards and surveys that float around periodically. They remind me of those questionnaires that went around back when having an e-mail address was new and cool. Annnd I’m old. Since I enjoy these so much, I was excited when deutscherwanderwolf (whose life I kinda want… she’s a graduate student in literature studying abroad in Germany) nominated me for a Liebster.

Liebster Award

I did the Liebster thing a while back, but the fun thing about these awards is that they’re different every time. These are the rule for this one:

  • Post the award on your blog.
  • Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog. (whoever designed these rules wants to make sure that we have manners). Thanks!
  • Write 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 5-11 bloggers who you feel deserve this award and who have less than 200 followers.
  • Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 11 questions.

I’m not sure that I can come up with 11 random things that I haven’t already told you (and that I’m willing to share on the internet machine), so I’ll start by answering the questions and we’ll see where it goes from there.

  1. How much did you run from Oct. 13-19? 37.8 miles. Here’s a random fall picture that’s probably not from that week at all.
    Yay! Crunchy leaves!
  2. Do you have a set time you try to blog, or does it just “happen?”
    In my imaginary world, I blog on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. But honestly, blogging is not near the top of my priority list, so the weekday posts often get pushed aside in favor of grading or school activities. Or sleeping. But tonight’s Tuesday, and I’m blogging, so… go me!
  3. When you are ready to blog, do you make yourself a drink first? If so, what kind?
    I always have my nightly cup of tea (usually Sleepytime), whether I’m blogging or not.
  4. What is something you would like to accomplish before the end of 2014?
    I started writing work-related things here. No, Cassie, look at where you’re posting. In non-work-related life, I want to work out every day and also have some holiday-related fun.
  5. If you have children, which of your traits are you most happy that they picked up?
    I do not have children.If I do, I really hope they don’t pick up on my dislike of children.
    (Calm down. That’s a little joke. I don’t hate kids. At least not all of them.)
  6. Beach or trail run?
    Can I have both? I guess trail if I had to choose, but I only get to do beach runs once every couple of years, so they’re special.
    SC<– random beach picture from our trip to Myrtle Beach
  7. If you (and anyone else you with you) were given a travel stipend and a week off, where would you go?

    Oooooh. I want this to happen in real life. A week is not much time, but I’d pick Europe if it was on someone else’s dime! Specifically, probably England. Or Ireland. Or Italy. Or Switzerland. Making hypothetical choices is hard.

  8. Which language do you think sounds the most beautiful?
    I don’t know. I need to hear more languages.
  9. What kind of movie would you like to star in?
    Something about a B.A. runner. Not one of those unrealistic inspirational teacher flicks. All of those I’ve ever seen are fakey and make me feel like a failure for not turning everyone’s life around.
  10. (for the laundromat-savvy) If there was one machine almost done, and you needed to do a load, how long would you wait for the person to show up before you (nicely) took out their laundry so that you could do yours?
    Hmmm. 10 minutes? In college, I was super impatient and would take it out as soon as it was done, but I’d like to believe that I’m less of a jerk now.
  11. Do you blog with the hope that others read your blog, or do you really not care?
    I want readers. If I didn’t, I’d just keep a journal. Having an audience keeps me accountable for writing at least sometimes. Plus I’ve “met” (and sometimes real-life met) some really cool people (like my Chase the Moon team) through this little blog.

I think that’s enough random things without 11 more, don’t you?

Although some of these ladies did this a while back, I’m nominating Meg, Rachel, Amy, Brooke, and Kristen. And my questions…

1. What accomplishment from 2014 are you most proud of (so far)?

2. What’s the most awesome place you have ever run/biked/etc.? Bonus points for including a picture,

3. What’s your T.V. guilty pleasure? (I need a new treadmill show now that it’s dark always).

4. And your workout song guilty pleasure? (Mine’s anything Will Smith circa 1998ish)

5. If you had to switch careers, what would your next career be?

6. Describe your dream run.

7. Do you enjoy working out with your significant other, or would you rather work out alone?

8. If I came to visit you, what would we do? (Amy and Brooke, you have to play, too!)

9. What’s your favorite post-long-run/race food?

10. What is your typical breakfast? (I’m getting bored with mine. I need some ideas).

11. If you could time travel for a day, where would you spend it?

Answer one (or all) the questions in the comment, or snag them for your blog and answer them there!

Weekly Workouts and a Challenge

The end of Daylight Savings Time makes me sad. I hate getting out of work when it’s dark, and worse, the end of Daylight Savings means the start of Treadmill Season. Whomp whomp. At least I had some beautiful running weather for the last week of daily outdoor runs.

Farleks — 2 minutes at 5k pace, 2 minutes easy. 7.1 miles counting warm-up and cool down. Made some new friends:
photo 1 (7)


5.2 miles easy and 40 minutes of strength training at the gym. I hadn’t done in-the-gym stuff for nearly two weeks. It left me s-o-r-e.


6 slow and easy miles — slow thanks to some very sore legs. But my favorite loop at the park was pretty and sunny.
photo 2 (8)


7 miles with 15 30-second hill repeats in the middle. I actually enjoy hill repeats, and I was a little sad that I’ll be restricted to treadmill hills for the most part. But at least on the treadmill I can do longer repeats.

I thought about lifting again Thursday, but… I didn’t.


4 quick and easy miles before the trick-or-treaters started knocking.


11 miles easy for my “long” run. The weather was glorious — I ran in a T-shirt and skirt on November 1! It felt unusually hard for some reason, but I think I was just tired and run down from a couple of long and stressful weeks. I took an hour-long nap in the afternoon, and I rarely nap, so I think I was just tired all around. I hope so, because if 11 was hard, I’ll struggle with the unofficial half-marathon that Amy’s putting together for next weekend!

I haven't posted one of these pictures lately. Better get one up in case you've forgotten what my feet and watch look like.
I haven’t posted one of these pictures lately. Better get one up in case you’ve forgotten what my feet and watch look like.

We went bowling with friends Saturday night, which was not a workout but was embarrassing. I’m the worst at bowling.


I’d run 14 days in a row, so I took today off running. I didn’t want to take the day off completely, though (more on that in a minute), so I rode my bike to the gym and lifted for 40 minutes or so.

Totals: 40.3 miles, not much strength training

As you can see, my strength and core training took a digger this week (and last). I need to get back on that wagon. I also am making a challenge for myself: work out for at least 30 minutes a day, every day from November 1 to January 1. It’s not a run streak, just an exercise streak (brisk walks and yoga count) because I don’t want to flirt with injury, but I figure that committing to some sort of workout out daily will help balance the holiday indulgences, as well as keep the holiday/end-of-semester stress under control.

Who wants to streak with me?

If I were a good blogger, I’d have thought this out months ago, and made it some big bloggy challenge thing with sweet prizes and stuff. But that would mean that A. I were a good blogger and B. I’d thought about this before I was mid-run on November 1. But if you want to join in with me, do it! I could use the accountability, and it’s always fun to have friends.

The only prize you’ll get is being neither plumper nor grumpier this holiday season. That’s a pretty good prize, though, right?

Whether you streak with me or not, I hope November is treating you well thus far, and I hope you have a great week!

Wanna streak?

Are you a Daylight Savings fan or hater?

Can you bowl well, or do your scores stay in the (low) double-digits like mine?