Category: Monthly Review

May 2017 in Review

I cannot believe May is almost over.  Even more I cannot believe we are almost halfway through the year.  I have not done a monthly review in a long time so here is one for May.

Miles Ran/Last Month:  115.45/90.22.  I did 19 runs this month for a total of 23 hours, 21 minutes, and 41 seconds.  

Highest Mileage Week:  38.13.  This was during the second week this month and it took me 7 hours, 45 minutes, and 41 seconds.

Races Planned/Completed:  2/2.  The Cinco de Miler was for a friend to celebrate her getting a Master’s Degree in Counseling.  She did not attend commencement but instead asked her family and friends to run with her.  I also ran the Soldier Field 10 Mile which I signed up for back in November when it was $59.  I’ve run it in the past and have always enjoyed it.  This year was no exception.  The weather was perfect, plenty of parking and I felt great for most of the race.   

Current Ache/Pain:  Sometimes my knees hurt.  I need to do a better job of icing them.  On the positive side, my IT band does not hurt as much when I foam roll.

Current Challenge:  None.

Current Book:  None, but I need to get a copy of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck for book club next month.  Have you read that book?

Current Song:  Won’t Go Home Without You by Maroon 5.  I can listen to this all day.

Current Treat:  Cold Brew Coffee from Starbucks.     xSo good.

Next Race(s):  Utah Valley Half Marathon on June 10.

Current Excitement:  I am excited about my race in Utah.  I will be running with Holly, Marcia, Mary Beth, and Teresa and am looking forward to meeting them (I met Marcia in March 2015 at a race but have not seen her since that race).  My last half marathon was the Buffalo Half Marathon last year so it is time to do another one.  Also, in July I will be in Seattle for one day and then head out to Alaska for a running cruise in which I will also run a half marathon and cross off AK off my list for state #38.

Linking up with MarciaPatti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.


December and Year in Review 2014

Disclosure of Material Connection:  Some of the links in the post below are “affiliate links.”  This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 


In December I ran 90.71 miles compared to 69.82 in November.  Last year (December) I ran 142.39.  Big difference but I remember that I was training for my 50K in April.

Here is my 2014 running year in review:

# of Miles Run: 1001.48.  I did my last run yesterday morning.

Races Run: 17, 50K (1), marathons (1), half marathons (9), 10K (2), 8K (1), 4 milers (1), 5k (2).

Fun Race Destinations: All Disney races except the Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  Also, Des Moines and Tulsa (basically all races with Jaime).

Best Races: I had a great time at both the Shamrock Shuffle and the 4 on the 4th.  I felt really good in both races and definitely enjoyed them.  Also, I enjoyed the IMT Des Moines Half Marathon because I also felt great (besides some pain in my glutes) and did well despite my lack of running/training.

Worst Races: Chinatown 5K, ZOOMA Chicago Half Marathon, Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon and Route 66 Half Marathon.  I really hate running in the rain and hills.  However, I would like to run again Chinatown 5K and Route 66 Half Marathon.

Running Shoes: I started off the year running in Brooks PureConnect 2 (315.35 miles).  Then switched to the Brooks PureFlow 2 (346.28 miles) and then back again to Brooks PureConnect 2 (65.18 miles).  I then needed more support so I got a pair of Mizuno Sayonara.  There were OK.  I guess I was used to lightweight shoes and found the Sayonara too heavy.  I went back to Fleet Feet and was fitted with a pair of Newton’s Kismet. Wow!  I really loved those shoes.  Everything was going well until I experienced some toe numbness in my right foot.  I went to the podiatrist who diagnosed me with Morton’s neuroma.  I don’t think that’s accurate since I did not experience many of the symptoms. “Morton’s neuroma is a painful condition that affects the ball of your foot, most commonly the area between your third and fourth toes.  Morton’s neuroma may feel as if you are standing on a pebble in your shoe or on a fold in your sock.  Morton’s neuroma involves a thickening of the tissue around one of the nerves leading to your toes.  This can cause a sharp, burning pain in the ball of your foot.  Your toes also may sting, burn or feel numb.”

Luckily, I only experienced the numbness but it was enough to take me back to Fleet Feet for another pair of shoes and I walked out with the Brooks Ravenna.  Really comfortable shoes but somehow I experienced some discomfort on the right side of my right foot.  I really tried to make them work (because I did not want to buy more shoes) and used several different pairs of socks but no luck.  In November I bought my last pair, Saucony Ride.  My feet are happy and I am happy.

Star Sightings: I met Scott Jurek, Deena Kastor, and John Cox.  Plus, I got to see Bart Yasso again in Chicago and Tulsa.


Ambassadorships: Zooma Chicago Half Marathon and Fort2Base.  I did not run Fort2Base but instead volunteered at gear check which was fun but also exhausting.

Next year I will be am ambassador for Christmas in July and will be sponsored by Hammer Nutrition.

Register for any Christmas in July Race and use discount code AMBARROYO10 to save 10% off and code 228361 to save 15% off your first Hammer Nutrition order (affiliate link).

Personal Records (PRs): 2, Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle and Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th.  I am excited and looking forward to running them again this year.

Favorite Medals:

Top L to R: Tinker Bell Half Marathon and Disney Princess Half Marathon Bottom L to R: Dumbo Dare Challenge and Coast to Coast Challenge

Best New Running Product I Tried: Hammer Gel in Nocciola (Hazelnut-Chocolate).

My plans for next year?

  • Run 2,015 miles as part of Run 2,015 in 2015 Challenge.  The plan is to run them with three other friends but don’t think they’ve signed up.


July 2014 in Review

Miles Ran/Last Month:  98.83/75.34.  Another great month of training with Coach Sara.  Almost 100 miles and I would have reached it if I’d complete all of my runs.  I try to get them all done but I have good days and bad days.

Highest Mileage Week:  23.  I managed this despite completing only 12.5 miles instead of 14 on a long run.  

Races Planned/Completed:  3/3.  I ran the Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th, Chinatown 5k, and the Strike Out ALS 5k.  

Current Ache/Pain:  I ran in my Newton shoes but experienced an unusual amount of pain in my calves.  It was to the point that I had to stop (more than usual) during my runs.  The only thing I can think of that made this happen is that I did not transition properly into the shoes.  Well, I was told that since I already run in minimalist shoes, then I did not have to transition.  So now I am back to my Mizuno.  So far so good.  I have a half marathon tomorrow so hopefully I’ll have no problems.

Current Challenge:  A running challenge among friends using the Nike+ app.  The goal is to be the first one to run 50 miles.  Yes, my goal is to be that person.

50 miles

Current Book:  I’ve read The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith.  I want to read The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.  I just remembered that I need to pick up my copy (that is on hold at the library) of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz.  I am glad I’ve been reading so many books this summer and hopefully will continue to do once I go back to work.

Current Song:  Amor Mio No Te Vayas by Gilberto Santa Rosa.  Makes me want to dance!

Current Treat:  My coffee every morning.  


Next Race(s):  ZOOMA Half Marathon tomorrow,  Fort2Base on August 24, Disneyland Half Marathon on August 31.

Current Excitement:  For now I am soaking everything in and continuing to enjoy my summer break.  I’ve made plans to run a couple half marathons after the Chicago Marathon to continue on my quest to run in the 50 states.  So if all goes well then I will be at state #33 by December.

USA map

June 2014 in Review

Miles Ran/Last Month:  75.34/65.18.  Another great month of training with Coach Sara.  Yeah, I still don’t like tempo runs but I am enjoying 400s.  On Monday I ran 200s and I like those even more.

Highest Mileage Week:  21.  I did all of my workouts that week (speed, easy, tempo, and long).  

Races Planned/Completed:  1/0.  I won an entry to the Michelob Chicago 13.1 but ended up not finishing the race.  I did not even write anything about it because I was sad and disappointed about it. I know I made the right decision but I can’t help but feel that way.  Anyway, I did not finish the race because I got too hot as I was running.  I took a lot of walking breaks to cool down and would feel better but then would warm up once I began running again.

Current Ache/Pain:  My knees are better.  Last month I ran in my new shoes, the Mizuno Sayonara. They’re OK but I like the Brooks PureFlow 2 more than these.  On Tuesday I went to Fleet Feet and got a pair of Newton Kismet.  Wow, I did 5 miles today and they felt really good.

I’ve been foam rolling as much as possible.  I’ve set up my little gym area in the living room by the TV so I can stretch and foam roll.

photo (3)


Current Challenge:  None.  Thought about doing the planks challenge but I need to be realistic.  🙂

Current Book:  Where’s You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.  So far it is a really good book.  I finished Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins and Bossypants by Tina Fey.  I did like Mockingjay but am disappointed with the ending.  Yesterday I saw a preview for Part 1 of the movie and can’t wait till November to see it.

Current Song:  Bizarre Love Triangle by New Order.  This song takes me back to my high school days.

Current Treat:  Going back to the chocolates.   They’re delicious.


Next Race:  Elmhurst 4 on the 4th tomorrow.


Current Excitement:  Love summer break.  I’ve done a lot of reading and finished 2 seasons of House of Cards.  Holy frijoles!  Great show and I love Kevin Spacey.  Also, I’ve been able to watch many of the games of the World Cup.  Mexico’s loss on Sunday was disappointing but the game between Costa Rica and Greece was INTENSE.  Oh, and let’s not forget the game between USA and Belgium.  Tim Howard is HOT and I think he looks better without the beard.

summer break

May 2014 in Review

Miles Ran/Last Month: 65.18/61.64.  May was my first month working with Coach Sara.  Every Sunday she enters my workouts for that week.  I do various types of runs such as easy, tempo, and long.  I did my first ever speed workout on a track and loved it!  I’ve always done them on the treadmill so this was something new to me.

Highest Mileage Week: 19.

Races Planned/Completed: 3/0.  Sigh.  I had planned to run 2 half marathons and 1 5K this month. And I backed out of all of them.  Boo me.  Luckily, I had registered for only one race (and paid $19.72) so it wasn’t that much of a loss.  The reason I did not run it is because I went to the ZOOMA Training Kickoff.  It was another gorgeous day for a run!

photo (1)


Current Ache/Pain: My knees.  Just a slight pain when I walk.  Might be the shoes?

Current Challenge: None.  Last month was the 30-Day Plank Challenge and did not complete it. Need to think again how badly I want to do these challenges.

Current Book: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins.  I finished Catching Fire and loved it.  I finished the book on Monday and went to Redbox to get the movie.

I also read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes for my book club.  It is a great book and can’t wait to meet with the girls to talk about it.  And drink too.  🙂


Current Song: Feel this Moment by Pitbull and Christina Aguilera.  I love the beat and makes me want to run faster.  Sometimes I find myself listening to it towards the end of a run to keep on going.

Current Treat: All-in-Almond by Picky Bars.

picky bars

Next Race: Michelob ULTRA 13.1 Chicago on Saturday, June 7.  I am looking forward to this race. So far weather is looking good.

Screen shot 2014-05-31 at 12.07.39 PM

Current Excitement: Less than two weeks to go.

summer break