Chutes & Ladders + Get Out of Routine

The other day my sister told me that her running lately feels like one big game of Chutes and Ladders.

This last week (ehhh month) kind of felt like one of those chutes times!  This past winter/spring I was out the door to do big workouts and seeing a lot of improvements and the last little bit it feels like I’m sliding back.  On Saturday, I left to do six mile repeats and I ended up doing just one.  Once school is back in session and the temperatures cool down I’ll get back to some bigger workouts but for Saturday, 1 mile repeat was all that I had in me.

Those ladder moments in our running game make the chutes totally worth it and if we stay consistent we luckily get more ladder moments than chutes!

Skye struggled each night Brooke was gone (it was so sad… she loves sharing a room with her and talking to her until they fall asleep each night) but I think during the day she enjoyed a little more one-on-one time while Beck was napping.

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Andrew and I got out for a fun date.  First, we needed fuel and I went with the steak rice bowl from 180 Tacos.

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We decided a bit ago that we wanted to try to up our dating game and try new things together and get out of our normal date routines.  I did not join Andrew for the part where he jumped in the river but I blamed that on washing my hair earlier that day ha.

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I rollerbladed and he skateboarded in the canyon.  My glutes were on fire by the end of this.  It felt so good to be outside together.

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Another highlight of the day was meeting up with Sarah.  She is that friend of mine that I went to Thailand and London with… She is the most adventurous human.  She currently lives in Switzerland and I NEED to visit her there because she says the trail running is incredible.

We met to go on a hike (and we never found the trail we were supposed to be on but we tend to always get lost when we are together) and then we grabbed some dinner at Sundance afterward.  This friendship has just gotten better and better with time… 21 years now!

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The best burger in the world is at Sundance IMO.  I don’t even look at the menu anymore because I just love this burger so much.  Their brussels are also a MUST if you ever go there.  We ate outside and felt that chill mountain air that makes you need a jacket and it was just what I needed.

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Blurry picture of one of my favorite spots in Utah.  Excited to get skiing again!

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A normal Sunday over at our house.

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Watching the leg turnover of the track Olympic athletes… Inspirational!

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Brooke came home which felt so so good.  My sister-in-law took Brooke to California this time because she has a sister there she was wanting to visit.  It was so nice of her and they had a great time together.

Shortly after we went to the doctor because we realized Beck could have an ear infection and the poor guys does?


Does running ever feel like you are playing chutes and ladders too?

DATE IDEAS… Give us some fun ideas, please!

If you could live anywhere in the world… Where would you go or would you stay where you are?

-Andrew and I want to move around once our kids are older (and we don’t share custody)!

What was the best thing you ate over the weekend?

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Okay this is a date idea I have for the guy I’m seeing. Which I know you want details so here’s a recap for you hehe. We talked for a week or two before our first date in June and have been talking consistently since! Even though he’s crazy busy with med school, we see each other at least once a week which is nice. We were supposed to go out Saturday night but he was in a groove with studying so he came over yesterday and made me breakfast instead. But here’s what I was going to have for us Saturday and is in my back pocket for next time. There’s a podcast called Good Job Brain! and it’s trivia. So I’m going to use a random number generator to pick a number and then that’s the episode we’ll listen to and compete with each other.


Maureen! I’ve been waiting for this recap:). This all makes me so happy, I am thrilled for you. I LOVE love love that he came over and made you breakfast. You better keep me updated with this:). And your date idea… I am going to use this one! Thanks for sharing and have the best day!


Ever since having Hope, running is a chute in the summer. I just plan for it now, and have my big running goal climax in May.
Fun date: stand up paddle boards.
Best thing I ate this weekend: Chocolate chip cookie bar with added in butterscotch chips.

Enjoy your Monday.


‘I just plan for it now’–> I am going to start doing this now each summer! Absolutely going to use that date idea and now I need one of those cookie bars. You too, friend!


Yes running feels like chutes and ladders to me too! What a great analogy. But if not for the chutes, we wouldn’t get to the ladders- so all about pushing through and keeping up the hard work.

Date ideas- museums, hike + picnic, going to a farmers market, cooking or art class.

Had the best pizza and tiramisu yesterday! It’s restaurant week in Baltimore so all these amazing places have awesome deals.


That is so so true… the chutes are just part of the process! THANK YOU for the date ideas, absolutely going to be using them. Pizza + tiramisu = perfection. Enjoy restaurant week and wish I could come join you!


Best thing I ate this weekend–Dole Whip at Disneyworld! :)
My running feels more like ladders and flats. If that makes sense. I totally get it though, we need to have the ups and downs to really get the big ups.
We rarely get out for dates, sadly. But I think one of my favorite ones was Top Golf! I love active dates too, and it’s fun to get competitive. :)
Oh that cool mountain air sounds so nice. I finally had hills to run on over vacation, about 800+ elevation gain on every run. Which is a ton for me. It was so nice. I want to move where there are mountains!!!


DISNEYWORLD! YAY! I am so glad you guys were able to go and that you enjoyed that Dole Whip! Ladders and flats totally makes sense too. Andrew was telling me he wants to do that asap, I can’t wait. I agree, it’s kind of flirty to be competitive for me for some reason haha. Way to get in those hills on your trip… move to Utah:). Have the best day!


Best thing I ate over the weekend. Poutine and deep fried pickles. So good.

We are on vacation on the Sunshine Coast and so definitely less running this week but we did rent a canoe and take puppy. That was a great family date. We are off to take another ferry today to a

With running I have been But I got up early and ran before we left on Saturday. I figure the running will balance itself out.

Have a great day Janae!


I have never tried Poutine or deep fried pickles, I need to asap. I am SO happy you guys are on vacation. We will have to copy your canoe idea. I agree with you, it will all balance out and our bodies need breaks. Thanks Kristine, keep enjoying your trip to the Sunshine Coast!


Good morning! Looks like you had such a great weekend (minus the ear infection part)!!
Running is like Chutes & Ladders = a great analogy. Right now I am in a ladder phase as I make my return to the sport. It’s like being a new runner all over again where even small improvements are a win and keep you coming back for more. I know from experience that the chutes will come. They do help you appreciate those ladders though!
Our best dates tend to be active (golf, kayaking, etc.), totally relaxing (couples massage), or BOTH :o)
Where would I live? Without a second thought, I would move to the Maine coast. I would be happy near any ocean, but prefer rocky coasts to sandy and Maine is just stunning.
Best food this weekend: spicy cauliflower tacos and sweet potato fries!!
Hope your week is off to a great start!!


Hey Janine! I am so so happy you are climbing that ladder and keep celebrating each and every improvement. Oh I totally agree, dates that are both active and relaxing are a total win. I hope that you get to Maine someday, that sounds perfect. Ummm I need those tacos! Thanks friend, you too!


Chutes and Ladders…. I love that analogy! Running does feel like that. I currently feel I’m at the bottom of a ladder, but consistently climbing ?
I love your date night! So fun! I need to start thinking of fun activities like that too, and then end with our favorite sushi.
Best thing I ate was dinner last night. My husband made his homemade beef dip (French dip) sandwiches… So good!
Poor Beck! But hopefully the ear infection heals quickly.
Have a good Monday!


Consistently climbing… that is awesome! Ending with sushi = a perfect date! We will have to get sushi next. Oh my goodness, I literally have my crockpot going for french dip sandwiches tonight, I can’t wait. Thank you so much! You too!


My dream is to move to Europe one day! My husband is actually applying for citizenship through ancestry right now, so we’re hoping that dream will become a reality in 5-10 years. Maybe Switzerland could be our new home :) I visited once and it was one of my most favorite places EVER! Will happily join you to visit your friend haha!


Wouldn’t that be amazing?! Keep me updated with it all! Let’s go visit together! Have a beautiful day, Gretchen!


YES! to the chutes and ladders. That’s a great metaphor for how things go for us on different days.
For years, I said I wanted to live in the desert southwest for some part of my life, but I keep dreaming of retiring in an east coast beach town now…even though it’s still at least 15 years from now.
I grilled chicken breasts (not thighs) with this cilantro lime marinade and it was so yummy! I didn’t even have fresh cilantro, but the dried did just fine.
Hope Beck starts to feel better fast from his ear infection!


An east coast beach town… now that sounds dreamy! I have a feeling you will do that. Ummm I love every recipe I have tried of hers so I really need to try this one too. Thank you Corey and I hope your Monday is a beautiful one!


Hi Janae! Chutes and ladders is a really good analogy. I feel like I’m constantly trying to push myself but not to the point where in injured. Anytime I feel any little thing I’m paranoid it will become an injury. I just got to remember the key is consistency over YEARS and not months or weeks.
Happy Monday!


I totally agree with you Amy! That consistency is really the biggest part of the training puzzle. Hoping that you don’t have any more injuries! You’ve got this. Happy Monday to you too.


I *wish* I could say that the best thing I ate this weekend was the half of a philly cheese steak or the fresh chocolate chip cookie I had from food stalls at a new area in West Midtown called The Works, but honestly? Before going to the movies on Saturday afternoon, Tom and I stopped at Taco Mac (imagine a local version of a ruby tuesdays or a chilis…) to get lunch and a drink. I insisted we got the chicken tinga nachos–they’re TOTALLY junk food, but they’re like crack. Ooey, gooey, cheesy, chickeny, savory addictive nachos-crack. I don’t eat them often–I don’t like for us to go to Taco Mac often because we leave feeling like salt licks–but they sure are delicious. And it feels like an enormous treat when we DO get those nachos!

Where would we like to live–SO MANY PLACES! I think I’ve written in your comments before that I am not totally sold on Atlanta as our forever-home. But, I will say, it’s a pretty cool city. I also love Kansas City, Louisville, Charlotte, Boston (which was home for MANY years–basically, all of my 20s…), and Portland ME. (I’ve never been to Oregon or the pacific northwest but I think I would love it!). If we could live internationally–many parts of Greece are always a good idea (especially a city in the northern part of the country, Thessaloniki, that I really love…)!!! :)

Date Ideas: I don’t know. Tom and I get to go out so little because of our schedules, and lately when he has taken weekends off of his part-time job it’s been for baby showers and other events. But this past weekend he did take off, and we had a blast! On Friday evening we decided to do appetizers for dinner at a restaurant we’d never been to. On Saturday we went to walk around in a part of the city–Virginia Highlands–we don’t really get to go to (so much traffic and our schedules can too easily prevent a random outing to a fun neighborhood…) and found a great independent bookstore that I am totally in love with, and then to lunch and a movie. Yesterday we decided to go to The Works that I mentioned above and try some of the food stalls and just check it out, and we wound up hanging out listening to live music at a brewery that’s at the place. And when we came home we watched one of the first movies we ever watched together (Steve Martin’s LA STORY). To me, that low-key stuff is fun. Not adventurous or super creative, but a good balance of just being together in environments where we can talk and experiencing something tangible.

YAY that Brooke is home!!!!!


My mouth started watering reading about those nachos! I am so happy that you and Tom went out for them. All of those spots for you guys to live sound amazing! I told Andrew I eventually just want to jump around from place to place for a year at a time. I’m really hoping that Greece is an option for you guys, that would be amazing! You guys had the best weekend together. I LOVE going to bookstores. Seriously, dream weekend. Thank you, friend! Happy Monday!


I would stay right where I am!! I have severe homesickness and the opposite of wanderlust – when I travel somewhere, even with my family, within 2-3 days I feel an intense pull to get back home. I never crave travel to exotic places or adventure. I’m pretty boring :P if I do travel it’s to somewhere like a resort where I put my feet up and do nothing!! We live on a big wide open property (can’t see any neighbours) and it’s so peaceful and soothing. Why would I wanna be anywhere else?! Hah

Best thing I ate all weekend – fresh berries and whipped cream, or maybe the ribs we BBQd!

P.s. I’m going to be induced this week !! I’ll keep yah posted on when baby arrives!!


THIS WEEK! ANDREA! I am so so happy to hear this news. I hope you get more of those berries and whipped cream! I loved reading about how much you love home, that is the coolest!


ok.. i need Skye’s outfit :) link please!


Hey Janae, came back to post here coz i needed to reread this post today. I had to call my tempo workout 2 reps in (3x20min) and i didnt have it in me to finish the alloted time either. I also ran my speed session this week slower than last week, so maybe I’m just due for a break? Or the weather? Or what??? (It might also be the vaccine messing a bit with my cycle haha but i am glad for me that I got the jabs)
Thanks for this reminder about the chutes.. I hope you get out there and crush your mile repeats soon!


You are not alone! We all go through weeks/months like this. It’s what makes those good runs/races/workouts feel so amazing…. because we know how hard the bad ones feel. I hope you are back to yourself asap. You’ve got this, Chloe!


I love the idea of switching up date nights. I think I’m going to bring this up to my hubs. We go to the same place.


Foundry Grill?! I LOVE hiking Stewart Falls! We take all of our visitors there! In the meantime you can trail run in Midway. It’s like a mini Switzerland! If you have not been to Back 40 in Heber City it is a must! My absolute favorite restaurant – I could go several times a week for lunch and dinner. And seriously BEST burgers ever!

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