Random things I see on the run + Andrew update!

Bangs friend wrote about her experience with mental illness in the Friend to Friend section HERE!  She is so amazing and I am so grateful for her sharing her experience with others.



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(Shoesleggingsshirt (it’s on sale and I love this shirt), watch)

I thought I would share a few random things I’ve seen on my runs over the last few months!

You never know when you are going to need a bagel or two during your drive.

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I see these types of rock piles all over the trails and they always make me happy.  I need to build my own one day.

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Not sure how this drinking fountain keeps running all winter long.

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A dad pulling his kids around on sleds… you could hear their giggles from a mile away.

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My footprints running in circles on my driveway because I was .04 away from hitting the mile when I got back!

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A cougar… okay, not so much random and mostly terrifying but I’m hoping I never see one on the run again.  (Cougar is not in this picture, but my friends looking at it were)

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Something I saw during my Peloton ride… Knox bringing me my helmet for safety:)

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I love it when I see this because it means I am at my favorite running spot!

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Hey everyone!

So Janae just asked if I could do a quick update on what is going on for me right now.  So I am 1 year into Nurse Practioner school.  It has been pretty tough to go to school and work full time at the hospital during a pandemic so my school gave me an opportunity to take a few months off before I dive back into school.  I have another year of classes then I will finish off the program with full-time clinicals.  Overall, I have 1.5 years left to go.

I was looking forward to kicking back for the next few months and just working my normal amounts of shifts and having a balanced life, then I received a random email saying that I signed up for a 25k trail running race in March haha.  First, I thought it was a mistake, but I know Janae better than that.  So we are running another race together which should be fun and she might kill me!

Thanks to all the readers who recommended the Peloton when Janae was injured, I absolutely love it when I can’t ride outside.  I have been loving building your powerzone programs and it kicks my butt every time.  I didn’t realize how competitive I was until we got the Peloton!! Let me know what classes are your favorite!!

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He is excited… don’t let him fool you;)


Another reminder of Bangs Friend’s post!


Tell me about any random things you’ve seen on the run lately….

Has anyone ever signed you up or convinced you to run a race?

Who is in school right now?

Bagel or donut… which is supreme in your opinion?!

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Kudos to Andrew for working in health care during a pandemic and going to school on top of that! My husband is also in school right now- he got his first undergraduate degree in Jazz Studies, taught music for years and toured as a bassist for about 15 years before deciding he wanted to switch things up. Now he is back in school finishing up his Civil Engineering degree (he’s taking math and science courses that I have no hope of understanding, lol) and still teaching music lessons on the side to pay his way so we don’t have student loans. It’s definitely hard to balance school, work, family, health, etc., so we can definitely relate to some of the craziness y’all are going through. Best of luck Andrew! Weirdest thing I’ve seen on a run is a gumbo stand last winter; kids selling cups of gumbo for $2 apiece. Only in Louisiana!


I’m in school too! Getting my MBA at night while working full time during the day. I slowed down during the pandemic, so I should have been done in December, but finishing this summer instead. Almost there! Great job doing work and school Andrew!! It will all be worth it in the end!

Bagel or donut is such a hard question! I’m gonna have to choose bagel though, way more versatile.


I want a good donut over a bagel any day of the week. But if the option is a donut from Dunkin’ or bagel then def a bagel. Which I have SO many questions for that person with all the bagels on their car.

The dad pulling his kids is genius! Also if he pulled adults I would totally want to go. Looks so fun.


Oh my gosh… The bagels on the car! Hilarious!!
Definitely bagels over donuts for me. I have never really been a donut fan.
When my boys and nephews were all little, my in-laws lived in a house that had 2 acres of land. My father-in-law had a tractor mower that he used to make a train for all the kids. He actually made little train cars to attach to the mower that the boys all sat in! He would drive them all around the property for hours! That dad pulling the kids made me remember that and brought back soooo many fun memories. Just awesome.
Still battling with this flu bug, but feeling much better! Not ready to run just yet, but I will get out for a walk again today, and will go longer.
Loved hearing from Andrew! And I can’t wait to see how awesome you both do in the 25K.
Have a good day Janae ?


Wendy, I am so so sorry that you are still sick but glad you are doing better. Okay, the tractor mower with your kids… how fun! Thanks friend, you too!


wow 25K trail race together! You guys are amazing! Running in the winter is very challenging for me, which is why I got a Peloton too. I am very new to cycling and so far the experience (indoor with Peloton) has been amazing! Did you guys swap the peloton pedals? Do you have a favorite cycling shoes/pedals?


YAY FOR A PELOTON! We did switch out our pedals but Andrew just told me they are basically the same thing as the Peloton pedals. We bought these shoes:
You will have to let me know what you think of the Peloton and your favorite classes etc. Have a wonderful day, Jing!


For a spin bike I would recommend dual sided pedals since you are not clipping in and out the entire ride like you do on the road. That way you (or anybody else who wants to use your bike) can hop on and and ride with regular shoes any time they want and you don’t have to worry about having special shoes. You don’t “have” to have a toe cage or clips to ride a spin bike, it just will work different muscle groups.

I personally use Time dual sided Mountain Bike pedals since I prefer the MTB style clips vs road clips. You can just google best dual sided pedals and find some great recommendations. Shimano is always a good brand to stick with as well as Crank Brothers and Time. I have these pedals https://www.amazon.com/Time-TF800-Link-ATAC-pedals/dp/B075M8WD92/ and these shoes https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-SH-XC300-Mountain-Shoes.


Bagel. And yes I have been persuaded to sign up for races lol.

I signed up for my first half because all my friends were ?

Random. Saw a guy running shirtless in sub zero temperatures in snow. I was cold looking at him lol.

Have a great day Janae! I read Bang Friends post..I know so many family and friends who have experienced challenges with mental health. Thanks for having her share her story !


I love my bagels! So many different ways to satisfy sweet or savory!

Just a heads up about the cairns (the rock piles) they have always been trail markers. Recently people decided they like to build them, but it then confuses trail users, and more importantly, it isn’t healthy for the environment. I know it seems like such a little thing but it violates the Leave No Trace principle that we all need so we can enjoy the trails for years to come.

Hope you have an amazing day!!!


I had no idea about this! Thank you so much friend for sharing! I definitely want to do what is best for our beautiful mountains and trails. Happy Wednesday, Amy!


Came here to say this. Cairns are really bad for trails/LNT.


Donuts!! Apple fritters from Bill’s Donut Shop are the best. This place has been around forever and hasn’t changed and was in People Magazine as the best donut shop in America or something along those lines and I swear it’s true. I live about 15 minutes away from it now but when I’m nearby we always stop. My kids’ dentist used to be right around the corner so we always stopped after those appointments haha! #balance ;)

We have a handful of NPs in our family. Does Andrew have his eye on a speciality/office for when he graduates?


Hey Jenny! Now I am craving a donut from Bill’s Donut Shop… sounds amazing! Haha that is convenient! He has nooooo idea yet and changes his mind often on it… any NPs in your family that absolutely love which area they are in? Hope your day is a fabulous one!


Various settings but one with young kids works at an office and the hours seem nice for that stage of life. Another worked with a surgeon group and another works at an urgent care. It’ll be interesting to see where he lands! One person I know works with a dermatologist and she said the doctor landing on that specialty because he noticed during med school that when patients were given advice to improve their health they’d sometimes listen but just as often they wouldn’t and it was frustrating to see patients ignore their advice and continue to struggle. But when their dermatologist gave advice about their skin patients always listened. I have always thought that was so interesting.

If I could go back in time I think that would be an amazing career choice. Best of luck to him over this next year. Thank goodness he has running and Peloton to get out the stress that must build working in a hospital during these times. Take care!!


I was wondering if you and Andrew did power zone training. I love it – its very similar to the training plans and workouts for running a race. You should join pzpack and do the next challenge!


I actually saw something random (and awesome!) this morning! I run a lot on the Erie Canal path, and the canal right now is frozen over. I glanced to my right, and there was a fox running the same speed as me on the frozen water. He stayed right with me for over a mile, and then stopped to pee or something. It was pitch dark and freezing cold, so it was nice to have a little companion with me.
Andrew, I love hearing your updates. All I can tell you is that NP school is 100% worth it in the end, but wow is it tough to juggle everything. You’ll get there when you get there. I struggled most with clinical. It was fun, but you also have to do a lot that you’re not terribly excited about, depending on what rotation you are in. Plus, it’s hard to work all day (or night), and then do more work during clinical (and not get paid!). I hope you have excellent instructors, because that made the difference for me.


I haven’t seen anything too random on my runs lately – they’ve mostly been indoors while Chicago is enjoying a cold snap! And I’m not currently brave enough to endure sub-freezing temps!!

I’m not currently in school right now but I’ll be going back part-time starting in May! I was accepted into my top family nurse practitioner program so I’ll be doing that part-time and working full-time until I can’t handle the workload and then I’ll probably drop down to PRN. That’s great that Andrews school is letting him take a break! It’s hard enough to juggle working with living right now but add kids and school on top? He’s a rockstar!

Also, bagels. Almost always. But I do love a good donut from time to time! There’s a place called Do Rite Donuts in Chicago and it’s my FAV local shop. And my hometown has an amazing shop if you have any readers from the Gurnee, IL area;)


Haha, that is a lot of bagels! Bagles over donuts!

My sister has convince me to sign up for several half marathons, a marathon and my first triathlon. I would have not tried any of them without her constant nagging;-).

I am not in school, but I ‘should’ get a portfolio together so I can get my teaching license. I have been teaching on variances for the past 6 years. I have to buckle down and start–although going back to school sounds way easier because someone would tell me what to do. The portfolio is on your own with very mucky guidelines. However, the portfolio way would only cost me around $500 and school would be about $18,000 (it would include my Masters), haha.

Have a fabulous Wednesday Janae!


Andrew, I have a feeling you could come in and crush that 25k with just some minimal running, especially with all the cross training on the bike. You’ve got this! My husband (who loves to mtn bike and more recently has gotten into gravel biking) got a Zwift bike a year ago and was also instantly hooked. It’s crazy how strong his outdoor riding in summer was after training on the Zwift all winter. I didn’t know how competitive he was either ;) Enjoy your “time off” from school and good luck with the rest of your program!

And I’m going to imagine that one running friend was leaving post-run bagels for another running friend as a surprise. That is one of the best seen-on-the-run ever!


Hey Andrew! I’m doing the Build Your Powerzone program right now (for the second time). . I love it. Tonight I did the second ride of Week 2 (Ben Alldis). How far along are you? What’s your username? If I see you I’ll definitely send you a high-five!


Bagels are good and all, but I am 100 % TEAM DONUT!

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