Why I Love Running and Triathlon

1. That feeling of flow that you get when you’re in the groove.

2. The sense of accomplishment that you feel when you complete a major goal.

Ironman Wisconsin Finish

3. How it helps me to be a healthier person. I’m definitely getting my steps in while training & racing!

4. The cute clothes… love that Oiselle & Coeur!

FTP Testing Tips - LaurenRuns.com

5. The lessons that it teaches me. To persevere, to do something when you’re not motivated to, to listen to your body.


Thank you to Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for hosting the Friday Five link-up!

QOTD:  What do you love about triathlon or running? 

St. Patrick’s Day Running Traditions

Happy almost St. Paddy’s Day!  Despite being Irish, I feel like I don’t do a big thing for St. Patrick’s Day.  I’m not sure why!

I can think back on the following for the past few years:

  • 2016:  met up with some friends for Irish coffee, but dipped out before a Chicago brewery tour started.
  • 2015: It was right before, or the same weekend as Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico.  (Which is happening this weekend, BTW. I’m feeling the FOMO as so many Wellfitters are heading down there!) 

After that, I don’t really remember!

But… one green tradition that I have pretty seriously is my Shamrock Shuffle tradition! I’ve run the Shamrock Shuffle for the past seven years:


2009 – I registered but did not run in 2009 when there was a snowstorm that weekend and Mike had just gotten out of the hospital. No running for us.
2010 – I had not started this blog yet.  I do remember how cold it was! My finish time was: 59:11
2011 – The first warm year.  I’d run 20 miles the day before, and got a special finisher’s “gift” at the end!  Time: 53:19 2011 Recap
2012 – Just before our wedding! And I PR’ed Time: 45:21 2012 Recap
2013 – I achieved my long-standing goal of starting the race before Mike finished! Time: 45:25  2013 Recap
2014 – A new PR! 44:56 2014 Recap
2015 – I gave up hope and walked, and found out too late that I actually was not too far off of my PR. I finished up 90 seconds off my PR for a time of 46:22.  2015 Recap
2016 – I eeked out a 20 second PR! I was about 90 seconds slower than I’d hoped. 44:35  2016 Recap

I’m linking up the Tuesdays on the Run, hosted by PattyErika, and Marcia! Join in on the fun!

QOTD:  What was the best thing you did in January? 

Spring 2017 Fitness Trends

Happy Friday!  Coming to you today to share some of what I’m seeing on trends in the Chicago fitness community. I’d love to hear what’s new and exciting in your area!

Spring 2017 Fitness Trends

  1. High Intensity Interval classes – I recently tried Fit36, which is just now opening in Chicago (still have free classes through their Grand Opening Week of March 18!) I’m loving how HIIT classes are trending toward heavier weights.  That’s great as most of us need to build up strength and muscle mass!Spring 2017 Fitness Trends
  2. Triathlons – maybe it’s just me, but it seems like more and more people are doing them.  Not that I’m complaining. 🙂 You know I love to talk all things triathlon!Lake Zurich Triathlon
  3. Mindfulness. I’ve started seeing mindfulness classes showing up when I explore on MindBody for new classes in my area.  Not just mindfulness in yoga, but classes focused entirely on that aspect.  Whether or not you consider it a workout, I personally want to work more on my mindfulness and meditation practice.
  4. Women’s Focused Workouts.  Again, maybe it’s just me, but I’m loving seeing these!  Spring 2017 Fitness Trends
  5. Going Faster, not just further.  Along the same lines as HIIT,  instead of marathon training, getting faster overall.  I’m super proud to share that I ran an 8 minute mile last night… although with a 1 minute break at the half way point!  One step closer to one of my bucket list items for this year!

Linking up with Fairytales and Fitness and Running on Happy for the Friday Five. Happy Friday!

What are you seeing as fitness trends this spring?

The Case for Arguing for Yourself Medically

When I went to my doctor and told her that there was a problem, and I got a response of, “your labs are normal. Let me know if you have any more problems,” I knew I had a problem with my doctor. She wasn’t listening to me, or hearing my problems. I told myself I would not visit her again.

Every patient deserves to be heard.

Due to some insurance changes, I decided to focus my energies immediately after that on optimizing my diet. I worked with local metabolic efficiency coach Robyn LaLonde to work on improving my metabolism, and just through dietary changes was able to learn how to eat to support my metabolism, fight hunger cravings, and avoid blood sugar spikes and crashes. That was great, and worked well for my busy schedule as I was still training for Ironman Wisconsin.

So after switching insurance again, I decided to settle in and find a new primary provider for me. I still suspected I was having issues with my thyroid, and wanted to figure out what was going on. Around the same time, I met someone who also had hypothyroidism and she had shared that she was on Naturethroid and this medication had a great positive impact on her. I had never heard of Naturethroid before. I did some research, and found that many medical doctors are wary of the medication, which is dessicated pig thyroid. I decided to try and find someone who would be willing to prescribe it if they thought it might be better for me. I knew that, even if Naturethroid wasn’t right for me, that provider would at least be open to various types of treatment.

I found the Integrative Medicine department at Northwestern Medicine here in Chicago, and figured if anyone would be open, it would be this team focuses on holistic health. When I met with the Nurse Practitioner there, I had an experience I’ve never really had as an adult going to the doctor before. She spent a lot of time talking with me, asking me questions about what I eat, validating that it’s ok to be frustrated if you can’t lose weight, and that you shouldn’t have to feel like you’re always tired.

She explained to me how thyroid distinction works, and suggested that other hormones too may be out of whack based on how I’d been feeling. She shared with me a book to learn more about thyroid health.

We ran some blood tests, and determined that yes, my thyroid was not functioning quite as expected, and that the standard TSH test wasn’t showing my whole health picture. She set me up on the Naturethroid.

I felt a bit different right away. A bit more energy, a bit lighter in mood. But I was still tired and feeling very heavy despite clean eating and a decent amount of activity.
When we tested after having taken the Naturethroid for a few weeks/months, and we didn’t see the lab test improvements we should have, that was indicative of fatigued adrenal glands. Adrenal Fatigue is a condition that my symptoms and the tests indicated was likely going on, so she prescribed two supplements to help support and build up the adrenals. Another immediate effect felt.

What I want others struggling with potential hormonal issues to know:

  • You are not alone. If you do not have a medical practitioner who is interested in helping you, you should find someone who does want to help you feel your best.
  • There are more options than just Synthroid (if you are hypothyroid)
  • There are diet and lifestyle changes that can support your health. I learned the most from the Stop the Thyroid Madness book, but there are others out there.

Be patient.

It took a solid six months, but once I got to the right thyroid dosage, I started to see weight loss from a standard clean diet. Which is an amazing change from before, where I had to eat an incredibly strict clean and low-carb diet just to be able to not gain weight. It’s been mostly slow and steady progress.  With tweaks to my nutritional routine, I’m starting to see faster progress now on losing weight despite the hypothyroidism.

Connect with Others

I’ve found it helpful to talk with others who have similar experiences to me.  In particular with triathlon and running, I have found so little information on dealing with hypothyroidism and endurance training. I recently formed a Facebook Group to help people connect and share their issues and stories… let me know if you would like to be a part of it!


Two posts from other blogs that may be of help to you:

My Journey With Thyroid Doctors on Hypothyroid Mom

No Time to Waste in Helping More Patients on Patient Power Blog

I hope you find this helpful. I know it’s something that I wish I’d read about years ago.  If you need to talk with someone about your issues, please let me know and I’m happy to talk and help brainstorm ideas on how you can get the help you deserve! 

Hello March!

Hi there! So much for  my commitment to consistency in posting! February was a busy month, and unfortunately the blog sometimes fell to the wayside. I’m taking a moment to have a cup of tea with you, (coffee if you’d like!) and catch you up on things!  Join in on the fun by linking up with the monthly Coffee Date, hosted by Coco and Deborah!


If we were having tea, I’d share with you that I attended a few fun blog events this month! At the beginning of February I met up with the Windy City Bloggers at Native Foods Cafe on Milwaukee Avenue to sample their new menu.  I recapped the meal here on my blog.

The second blogger event was actually just last night, at an opening party for a new workout facility called Fit36.  Fit36’s concept is that you can get a full workout in just 36 minutes! Right now they are offering free classes to the public until their membership system officially launches later in March.  I’m excited because I also won a free month membership so I am kind of set until late April.

JuiceRx also sponsored the event and kept us well-hydrated and fed after our workout!

If we were having tea, I’d also tell you that I escaped the one cold weekend last month to visit family in Florida! It was a great trip, and I’m so glad I got to visit with my grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins!

If we were having tea, I’d also tell you about how my endeavors in triathlon coaching are getting busy!  I’m coaching at Wellfit and have been leading a Monday evening computrainer class. I’ll be helping to coach the Chicago Triathlon training program come April, and have also taken on to coach the Chicago Triathlon Club‘s Newbie Program.

We did coach headshots at Wellfit a few weeks ago!

If we were having tea, I’d share with you that I’m doing a nutritional cleanse and LOVING it! I’ve had a ton more energy, and have been working on my weight loss goals too.  I love how this system is not too restrictive, so I’m able to weave in a cheat meal here and there without feeling like I’m derailing my efforts.

If we were having tea, I’d ask you about how your training and healthy living efforts are going.  I love hearing about what you’re training for, what questions or challenges you’re having, and seeing if we can brainstorm ways to help get you out of those.  I love also hearing and celebrating with you those big wins!  If you ask me about my training, I’d say it’s going decently.  I ran a lot in the beginning of the month, and completed an FTP cycling test and a run test this month as well. I improved in both tests, which is good, but have lost a little focus mentally on training.  I’m hoping to get that back soon!  Gotta reconnect with the reason why we do this!

Anyway, I hope you’re doing well!  What’s new with you?!