the mile report

tales of a running grad student

Mini-tour of Cincinnati and my almost-career


Hello and happy Friday!  I’m heading out for a run later today, so I’ll share this run pic from yesterday.

Olivia & Karen post-run

Running buddies reunited!

Look who visited!  Olivia, one of my best friends from college!   She was in town for a conference and drove in a few days early to hang out.  We jam-packed as much as we could into a few short days, mini-toured Cincinnati, and chatted for three days straight.

I was really happy that Liv wanted to run while she was here (we ran together on the club team back in college…reliving the good times through this flashback pic…)

Olivia & Karen running CMU

I introduced her to the “garage circuit” on Wednesday.  We did four strength sets in the garage with about a mile of running between each set.  Set one (did it twice): lunges, squat + press, push ups, plank, abs; Set two (did it twice): squat kicks, single leg glute bridges, abs, tri dips.

On Thursday morning, we went on a HILLY 5 mile run through part of the course that I ran almost every day back when I lived at home.  My neighborhood is hill after hill…it’s crazy how hills seem like no big deal when you’re used to them, but they feel like absolute torture when you’re not!  Luckily, friends make hills go by faster. 🙂

And then we drove around, walked around, sight-saw, movie-watched, train-watched, butterfly called, duck-called, ate (um a lot), and talked.

We saw Pitch Perfect 2 on Wednesday morning and thought it was really well done.  The original Pitch Perfect was so good that I wasn’t sure if a sequel could match it, but it did.  Hilarious, entertaining, and emotional.  I/we may have cried a little bit at the end, but I suppose that is not very surprising. #overlyempathetic.  We actually saw the movie in Kentucky…Cincinnati and Kentucky are right across the river from each other, so we spread our time between both states.

Purple People Bridge

Purple People Bridge connecting Newport, KY & Cincinnati


Cincinnati from the KY side

We continued our mini-tour of Cincinnati with the International Butterfly Show at Krohn Conservatory, where you hang out in a greenhouse surrounded by hundreds of BUTTERFLIES!  We were very excited for the butterflies to land on us and were determined to stay until they did.


Come here, little butterfly!

The "golden snitch" of butterflies

The blue one was the “golden snitch” of butterflies


It was SO COOL!  The blue butterfly on Olivia’s shirt befriended her right away and stayed on her shirt for almost the whole time.  We decided that next time we come, we are going to wear florescent shirts because the butterflies seemed to be attracted more to the people wearing bright clothing.  One woman said that butterflies like salt and that one of the best ways to attract them is to get run/get sweaty and then let the sweat dry on you.  So basically it sounds like we shouldn’t have showered or changed out of our neon running shirts.  Next time, right?

Speaking of cute living things, we also saw baby ducks while we were walking through Eden Park!

baby ducks

Mama duck and her little babies

And ducks weren’t the only kind of bird that we saw.  Meet Belle, the “peagle” (pink eagle).

Florence freedom

Florence Freedom minor league baseball game

The Cincinnati Reds were away, so we made the random decision to drive down to Florence, KY, for a minor league game.  It was crazy laid-back, pretty empty, and oh so fun!  We picked our favorite players based on how close their birthdays were to ours, bought $1 ice cream sandwiches, and enjoyed the atmosphere.

Belle the Peagle cheering on Florence Freedom

Belle the Peagle cheering on Florence Freedom

About my almost-career…

So I am not sure if I’ve ever shared this, but remember the career aptitude test that you probably had to take back in high school?  My first match was a cartoonist or children’s book illustrator, and my next match was a…minor league baseball mascot!  For real.  If I had followed this career track, I could have been the next Belle the Peagle or the next “Wally the Water Tower” (Wally was Florence’s other mascot…literally a blow-up water tower that says “Florence Y’all”).  High school sure taught me to reach for the stars!  Instead, I chose to become an audiologist.

And this wouldn’t be a true Cincinnati post without mention of Skyline Chili…of course I introduced Liv to Cincinnati Chili.  We also ate at Hofbrauhaus Newport and Mt. Adams Bar & Grill, and we filled in all of the gaps with Harvest Cheddar Sunchips.  We rallied hard for Greater’s ice cream but we were way too full.  Such a fun visit!

Liv & Karen

So this whole “summer break without a looming stack of journal articles to read” is off to a pretty great start!

Quick workout recap from the week:

Saturday (5/16): 12.5 miles, easy pace.  I was really tired the whole run felt difficult.  I drank 4 9-oz bottles during the run and still felt dehydrated (it was really humid).
Sunday (5/17): 1 hour strength/run circuit: 3 x (run 1 mile + strength)
Monday (5/18): 6.5 miles, easy pace
Tuesday (5/19): 2 miles warm-up, 4 miles @ 7:30-7:35 pace, 1 mile (7 miles total)
Wednesday (5/20): 1 hour strength/run circuit ( 4 x run 1 mile + strength)
Thursday (5/21): 5 miles, easy pace
Friday (5/22): Not sure what I feel like doing yet.  Either an easy run or a strength circuit

If you could hold/pet/see any animal, what would it be?
Have you taken a career aptitude test?  What did it say?


  1. That looks like soooooo much fun!!! I need to plan some summer activities before I start working FT in August 🙂 thank you for the inspiration.

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the summer break!

  2. This makes my heart happy. 🙂

  3. Man, I miss Skyline chili now that I no longer live in Cincinnati. Every once in a while my folks will send some up to me in Minnesota. I’ve discovered that if you ever meet someone from Cincinnati, the quickest way to be best friends with them is to give them one of those cans.

    Minor league baseball games are more entertaining for me that Major league games simply because there’s fewer strikeouts, and home runs. In other words, players get on the bases more often, which I just think is more interesting.

    As for aptitude tests, I remember that I consistently got labeled as a farmer. I guess both sides of the family are full of farmers so it’s in my blood. But being a computer programmer suits me just fine.

    • haha sharing cans of skyline sounds like a great way to make friends.

      I agree that minor league games are more entertaining because there is a lot more action. And it’s a lot less crowded, and there are no concession lines!

      I think our HS needs to reevaluate that aptitude test…

  4. you definitely should have taken the mascot route. really solid career path i hear 😉 Cincinnati looks so fun! i need to visit!

    • I’ll keep a minor league mascot in mind for a mid-life crisis.
      Yes, definitely visit cincy! It’s a cool place

  5. Hahaha you’re almost career!!! I’m sure your parents were happy when you told them you wanted to be an audiologist! So cute that you got to hang out with a college friend!

  6. Ahh you have to rally for Graeter’s!! I’m living in Cincinnati now too so we should totally meet up for some!!

  7. WHOAAA Cincinnati is just across a river from Kentucky?! you just blew my geographically-challenged mind. (also by typing this comment I just learned how to spell “Cincinnati”… double n’s?! really?!! double blown mind)

    • glad to teach you those fun facts about cincinnati! here’s a third: the cincinnati airport is actually in northern kentucky!

  8. Those butterflies are gorgeous!

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