Chicago Marathon 2019 Training Update

Yesterday, I ran EIGHTEEN MILES, which means we’re officially 5 weeks out from the marathon!

Part of me feels like this has lasted forever and part of me cannot believe I’m only a few weeks away from the marathon. It’s like one of my favorite podcasters (and fellow Kansas City native), Gretchen Rubin, says: “The days are long but the years are short.” Anyone else agree?

I’ve done so much traveling this summer, which means I’ve also run in a lot of different places: Colorado Springs, San Francisco, Dallas, Kansas City, Mequon, and of course all around Denver! I even have gotten almost to the end of each direction on the trail right next to my apartment - I had no idea where it went before and now I sure do!

As for the actual running, training is going fairly well. It has not been amazing but not bad either. Below is my training plan and, as for the runs, I’ve stuck to it fairly well. Although I switched out some runs in the first several weeks with HIIT workouts or Cycle classes (I needed the transition), I’m really hitting them all well right now.

However, my ambitious plans of keeping up strength training and HIIT work have not gone so well… I think I overestimated my mental and physical capacity to keep up with so much energy and time spent working out. Plus, with traveling, it made it very hard to stick to a real schedule. I’ve certainly made an effort to get in strength training 1-2 times per week, throwing in abs here and there, but I definitely did not get in what I had hoped. I cannot remember the last time I did leg strength for running… which I know is important!

I guess it can’t hurt to do it now as long as I don’t go crazy with it, right?

My other current struggle is that work is back to regular hours (7:30-4, leaving at 7:08 on the dot…) so I have considerably less time in the morning to fit things in, not to mention it’s pitch black until 6 am. I’ve been doing a lot of running in the dark! I’ve also consigned myself to the fact that I will simply be late on Wednesdays for the next few weeks… Good thing my job is a little flexible on that front. I would consider running in the evening but 1) I hate running in the evening and 2) it’s still so HOT!

I have to say though, taking in consideration that I had major surgery last Fall and wasn’t even running consistently before then, let alone in the months after (i.e. not at all), I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve come and been able to accomplish thus far.

In a perfect world, I would have done a LOT more strength training, done some speed work, and eaten a lot better… but this summer has been more about survival with training and saying yes to fun life experiences. I just have to be okay with that! I know, barring any injuries or something crazy (everyone, knock on wood), I’m capable of at least crossing the finish line and that was my main running goal from the start.

P.S. If you’d like to know WHY I’m running the marathon, check out THIS POST. If you’d like to donate to Team Julie and support my cousins and me, click HERE!

Are you training for anything?

What’s the longest distance you’ve ever ran?

Summer Tour: WI & KS & MO

My second big trip of the summer is complete! You may remember that back in June, I went to Dallas, TX and then various parts of California to visit friends. Well last week I went on another big trip to visit a friend in Milwaukee and then my family in Kansas City!

My friend Sarah, along with her husband and her dog, Bennett, moved to Milwaukee over the winter so I wanted to go visit her in her new habitat. Sarah and I met in a church small group back in Chicago became friends and quasi roommates at one point. Not really roommates… but we lived in the same building just two floors apart.

My first morning there, we went to a Cycle Bar class together and then headed out to kayak on the Milwaukee River! I was actually a little surprised, they just gave us our equipment and sent us off on the river! I guess there was very little likelihood of us being injured or lost or breaking the waterway laws?? We kayaked for almost an hour, stopped at a brewery for a snack and then headed back. It was a beautiful afternoon for being on the water and I have to say a lot more fun than I expected (I hated kayaking at summer camp!).

After kayaking, we walked around the 3rd Ward, which is a more trendy neighborhood in downtown Milwaukee. There were a ton of cute shops and I even got one of the best coffee drinks I think I’ve ever had from Colectivo. Sadly, the chain only exists in Wisconsin and Illinois… I need to figure out how to recreate their Iced Cardamom Honey Latte… For dinner, we went to a seafood restaurant in her neighborhood and I was too much of a chicken to order a whole lobster (has anyone else ever gotten one??) but Sarah went for it! I hope she loves that I threw this photo in here…

On our second day, I needed to run seven miles so I headed out on my own for a while and then Sarah met up with me and we ran the last bit together. She lives outside of the city and it was a beautiful little neighborhood to run in! The rest of the day was spent looking for a dress for her to wear to an upcoming wedding, getting our nails done and then making dinner (okay, she made dinner and I got out of the way after making a mess…) at her house.

For our last day, we checked out a new Barre studio, took our time showering and packing up (Sarah was also headed out for the weekend), and then drove to the lake because I just HAD to see it. As someone who lived by the lake in Chicago, I really missed it and couldn’t come out here without a glimpse. Then we drove to Sprecher Brewery, which makes both beer and root beer (and various other sodas and sparkling water) for a tasting and a tour. It was VERY German themed, haha but very cute and fun.

Sarah dropped me off at the airport on Thursday night and I was off to Kansas City! I have to say this was the most stressful leg of my trip because I had a 45 min layover in St. Louis and my flight was delayed… 40 minutes. Lucky for me, my second flight ended up being delayed about 30 minutes and then we waited another 30 minutes for several other connecting flights since we were the last flight to KC of the evening. I did a poll on my Instagram asking everyone if they’d rather leave on time or wait an hour and it came out to about 35% leave vs. 65% wait. I think I was biased because 1) I was almost one of those people and 2) I travel alone (i.e. without children) so what’s an extra hour of sitting around to save 15 people from being stuck in a random city overnight?

My lovely Dad came out to the airport to grab me and the next day was a fairly relaxing one. I attempted to sleep in, I went on a walk with my little brother (and saw his cat, Butters!), I caught up with my parents, did laundry, and we had steak and potatoes for dinner (extra large potato for me because of my long run in the morning).

Saturday morning was long-run time! It actually stormed all night long, which I miss SO MUCH! Midwestern thunderstorms are so much bigger than they are here in Denver and can last all day long. I absolutely love them. What I do not love, however, is when it’s lightening and cracking thunder at 6 am when I’m supposed to be heading out the door. I delayed about an hour and finally just started running in the rain since I knew it should clear up in the next hour.

The run turned out to go pretty well despite how hilly the neighborhoods were where I ran. I may or may not have run past a certain quarterback’s house… At least I didn’t stop or take a photo? Haha. The last two miles were ROUGH (aren’t they always? Is that just me?) but I made it! The rest of the day was fairly relaxing and then I watched most of the Chiefs preseason game with my mom. It wasn’t particularly thrilling though since our starters played for five minutes but oh well!

The next morning’s activity was the main reason I came to Kansas City for the weekend. My cousin put together a beautiful event in downtown Kansas City to celebrate her mother where we all did a Kalos Experience class and then enjoyed coffee and treats. It was really great to see family and chat with some new people I hadn’t met before.

After yoga, it was time to head home, pack and then off to the airport again! Getting back into a routine has been tough after the week away, especially with how busy things are at the beginning of the school year. Classes start Tuesday so things are on the move whether I’m ready or not!

Do you like kayaking? Do you have a favorite water sport?

Have you ever been to Milwaukee?

Did you take a trip this summer?

Beauty Should Be Good For You

Beautycounter’s 15% off Sale is happening NOW (Aug. 6th - 12th), so I don’t want you to miss out on this opportunity to test out some products. There is a 60-day return policy so there’s no risk to giving something a try.

In light of the current Friends and Family Sale happening at Beautycounter, I thought now would be a great time to share why I joined Beautycounter, why I believe in this company, why it’s different from others and, of course, my favorite products from their line.

I decided to try Beautycounter around the time of my 30th birthday because I thought it was about time I do more than just wash my face and put on the same lotion I’d been using for the past ten years. At the same time, I had started to become more environmentally conscious of both waste (plastic!!) and the products I was using, like switching to glass containers and more natural cleaning products. 

I’d seen Clare of Fitting It All In post about Beautycounter for a while and thought, if I’m going to make a change then I should go all in and choose a brand that seemed like a better choice for my health. I tried out two products (Dew Skin and Countermatch Adaptive Moisturizing Lotion) and absolutely loved them and the more I learned about the lack of regulation and potential harm from chemicals, the more I appreciated both Beautycounter’s self-regulation and mission to change our laws so every company has to use safer products. 

Chemicals and Regulation

I have assumed that products were generally safe but once I started reading a bit more, I discovered that the FDA hasn’t passed a major law on personal care products since 1983. Say WHAT?! Over 80,000 chemicals are used in products on the market today and most have never been tested for safety. However, the EU bans over 1,400 ingredients because they are either known to cause health issues or they could potentially do so. US companies don’t even have to list all of the ingredients in their products (for example “fragrance” contains many chemicals but is considered a trade secret). 

We put these products on our bodies and our families every day but most people have no idea that they could be harming their health. Some of these toxic chemicals can mess with your hormones, potentially causing infertility, and many of the ingredients in skin and beauty products have been linked to cancer.

Beautycounter has banned the use of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals through their “Never List” and are completely transparent about all the ingredients in their own products. 

Fighting For Change

Since Beautycounter launched in 2013, we have collectively sent over 135,000 emails, made over 10,000 calls, and held over 1,250 meetings with lawmakers. Advocating for better laws on both the Federal and State levels, Beautycounter has raised the profile of personal-care product legislation. In addition, education is key to Beautycounter and the more people know, the more they will support the passing new legislation and make safer choices for themselves and their families.

To learn more, check out Beautycounter’s Social Mission Report.

Performance of Products

Beautycounter’s mission is get high-performing products made with an industry-leading standard of safety into the hands of everyone. Safety AND performance are key to Beautycounter’s products. Raving reviews of Beautycounter have exploded in number in media outlets over the past year, so don’t just take it from me! I’ll include a blog post soon about my favorite Beautycounter products but, for now, here’s a simple list: Overnight Resurfacing Peel, Dew Skin, Countermatch Adaptive Moisturizer, Countermatch Recovery Sleep Cream, Countermatch Eye Rescue Cream, Countertime Tetrapeptide Supreme Cream (night cream), Countertime Antioxidant Soft Cream (daytime moisturizer), and Countertime Ultra Renewal Eye Cream.

To view my morning makeup routine, check out this IGTV video I made. Lastly, to get a lot more information and my own special deals, join my Facebook Group. You can also comment below or email me at

In The Press

If you’d like to read more reviews for yourself, here are several articles about Beautycounter that have come out in this past year. There were probably 100 I found, so here are just Beautycounter-specific ones rather than just ones where Beautycounter products appear: 

Refinery29: Why Beautycounter Is The #1 Trending Beauty Brand Of 2018

WWD Beauty Inc Awards: Beautycounter Wins Corporate Social Responsibility Award

Beautycounter on CBS This Morning

Fast Company: The government has no clue what’s in your beauty products. Beautycounter is finding out

The Zoe Report: The Best Beautycounter Products That Dermatologists Order, Too

Angeleno: Pacific Palisades-Based Gregg Renfrew On Her Personal Revolution For Safer Cosmetics

Business Insider: This $69 makeup-removing balm melts grime off my face...

The Zoe Report: Beautycounter’s New Brilliant Brow Gel Is Quickly Becoming A Cult-Fave

FORBES: Beautycounter Introduces Their Grooming Line Just for Guys, Counterman

Countertime In The Press

StyleCaster: Beautycounter’s New Retinol Alternative Is Already Getting Rave Reviews

Business Insider: Beautycounter developed a plant-based version of retinol for its new anti-aging skin-care line — here’s what it’s like to use and why the dupe may be a safer option

The Zoe Report: Beautycounter's New Countertime Line Features the Retinol Alternative You're Starting to See Everywhere

Have you tried any Beautycounter products? What do think?

Do you have any questions about Beautycounter or it's products?