June 29, 2012

ca in pictures

Things have been rather non-stop since I got back from California on Monday evening, which is why I'm just getting around to posting some pictures and some high level info about my time there.

I seriously enjoyed everything about my trip and am still processing the 20+ hours of conference sessions that I went to. More to come! 

our view from the condo in redding

conference sessions

The conference ended Friday night and our flight back to Minnesota didn't leave until Monday afternoon so we packed up and headed to the northern California coast.

driving to the coast
After several hours of driving through winding mountain roads, we ended up in Eureka. It's a really interesting town...

the bay in eureka

After spending the night there, we drove just fifteen minutes north to Trinidad, California's smallest incorporated town known for it's beaches and offshore rocks, and spent much of the morning exploring the coastline. 

trinidad coast

on trinidad state beach

see that white thing?

it's a sunbathing seal!

more aquatic life

some rock climbing

view from the top (and luke's leg)
From there we headed south toward Sacramento, stopping only once more at the Avenue of the Giants. They have a marathon that I really want to run!

avenue of the giants

eel river

Enjoy your weekend!

June 22, 2012

an emerging theme

Today is the third and final day of the conference here at Bethel and a theme has been emerging for me. Before/during each session (there are three each day), we're asked to pray for the people around us. Three times now,  I've been told some variation of this: He's going to do so much more than you can ask or imagine.  

Just to clarify, "He" is God and what they're saying is a reference to Ephesians 3:20. Three different people telling me that my world is going to be rocked (in a good way) by God. I'm in.

In addition to some awesome speakers, there are incredible musicians that have been leading worship, like Jenn and Brian Johnson, Jeremy Riddle and Steffany Frizzell. They recently released their Loft Sessions album and I rarely listen to anything else. It's cool to hear them all live.

Anyway, this is one of my favorite songs on their album.

Wishing you Love as you head into your weekend.

June 20, 2012

stick to your bones breakfast

Can you tell I'm on a little sabbatical since I'm blogging about breakfast? (Keep in mind I'm on west coast time so this post isn't as late as it seems.) Let's just say the view inspired me. 

When we arrived yesterday in Redding it was HOT. And the condo we're staying in had been unoccupied for a couple weeks so the temperature inside was 96 degrees, just two shy of a boy band. This morning, though, there's an amazing breeze on the deck and thought that I'd enjoy a little blog reading/breakfast eating/coffee drinking out here.  

my mom paparazzied me

But anyway, back to breakfast. I'm a big of dessert so any time you can have something healthy that tastes like dessert for breakfast is a good thing in my book. Therefore, I give you this:

It might look like a hot mess of oatmeal but it tastes like warm banana bread and it fills you up without making you feel heavy and gross. I don't really measure anything but here's a rough look at what went into mine:
- rolled oats (1/4 cup)
- vanilla whey protein powder (1 scoop)
- water (enough to cover the dry ingredients)
- 1/2 banana

Microwave everything for about a minute and a half. If it's too dry, add more water. If it's soupy, pop it back in for 30 seconds. Then add:
- chia seeds (roughly 2 tbs)
- walnuts/almonds (optional)

What I love about oatmeal is you can pretty much add anything to it to suit your mood. For example, after tasting mine, my mom wanted me to make her some. I swapped the chia seeds and protein powder in hers for a heaping spoonful of almond butter (roughly the same amount of calories).  I think she liked it. 

June 19, 2012

the golden state

Greetings from Redding, California! I'm here for the week attending a conference at Bethel Church.

Guess who goes to church here? Ryan and Sara Hall. In fact, last week they did a Q & A session during one of the morning services and it's definitely worth listening to. Seriously, go listen to it. (The video that they watch just a few minutes into the audio is this one.)

I'm really looking forward to resting this week. (I mean that in the mental/emotional/spiritual sense, not physically. JP made sure I had a list of exercises and drills I could do sans weights!) And writing. And reading. And learning. More to come... 

Until then, please enjoy my view from the balcony of the condo we're staying in.



June 17, 2012

week in review

I think a lot of people assumed that I would be less busy after leaving my job. I was one of them. Well, we were all wrong. Without a doubt, the flexibility is greater but my day is still jammed with activity. 

One of the main reasons I did not take a full-time job was so that I could help my grandparents. My Grandpa is fully independent and my Grandma is the exact opposite. Because of her dementia, it's not really safe to leave her alone in the house for any period of time. I'll write a longer post about all of this some other day. 

Anyway, I've been spending a lot of my time over there. And we do a lot of this:
sitting on the driveway has become an art

In other news, I have never been so sore in my entire life, due to my workouts with JP. I was marathon sore two days after our leg workout. I literally could not go down stairs. After Shoulder Day, I had to give myself a pep talk before reaching my hand around my back to take off my bra. Or wash my hair. I know that with pain comes growth and I'm excited to see where I'm at in a couple weeks.

On the running side, I only hit 25 miles for the week, which is lower than where I wanted to be. JP dropped the "over-training" word on me when I wanted to run after the gym and I knew he was right. The humidity made it easier to talk myself out of it. I took this picture after a slow 5 miles on Friday.

The shirt I wore on the run was a nod to Grandma's Marathon. Yesterday Colleen and I left at 3 a.m. to drive up to watch friend compete in the USA Half Marathon Championship. We camped out at the finish line and saw Abdi Abdirahman zoom by. He was going so fast and we were so close that my camera made his head/body look really weird.

Then came Duluth native- and my fav- Kara Goucher, setting a new course record. Love her.

After the race, a few of our friends decided to take a post-run ice bath in Lake Superior. I stayed on dry land to lifeguard. It was a great day.

And today was all about Dad. And my little brothers' (Matt, 14 and Sam, 9) baseball games. It was wonderful.

Sammy was pitching

We'll talk more this week. 

June 15, 2012


First, this: Grandma's Marathon is tomorrow! In true Super Fan fashion, I'm getting up around 2:30 a.m. to drive to Duluth, watch the USA Half Marathon Championships, mingle for a bit, then head to Mile 20-ish to cheer for the marathoners. Expect my first-ever phone blog post (an attempt, at least).

Now, this: 
han·gry [han-gree]
  1. a state of anger caused by lack of food
  2. hunger causing a negative change in emotional state

Probably my all-time favorite someecard, followed closely by this one:


June 12, 2012

this guy tries to make me cry

Meet JP.
i had to steal this off his Facebook page because he wouldn't
let me take a picture of him tonight

I met JP through my sister, who met him in the gym. Obviously. 

Having recently lost my Lifetime membership (which was a benefit of working for TCM), I took this as an opportunity to join LA Fitness, where JP works out. He once told me that if I workout with him for 6 weeks, I'll be in the best shape of my life. Since I publicly declared that I wanted to get in awesome shape this year, I figured my newly flexible schedule left me without any excuses.

He told me that if I whined, he'd quit working out with me. I told him if he swears, it's a quarter in the Swear Jar.

Yesterday was our first workout together. It was Back Day. I didn't whine (but "exchanged information" as I gave him updates on my pain level). He, however, owes me $0.75.

Our text exchange this morning:
Me:  Think I pulled a muscle on my right side. Feels like a constant Charlie Horse. Not whining, just an information exchange. 

JP: Maybe go down to McDonald's and get a whah burger and some french cries. Chances are you didn't pull a muscle, it will hurt more tomorrow.

So comforting.

Tonight was Leg Day, and after having run 13.5 miles between two runs today, my legs were shaking before I even started the workout. I made it through the tough spots by thinking about the type of runner I want to be. Whining was minimal.

Swear Jar balance: $2.25 

June 8, 2012

two last days

It's my last day on blood thinners! Since my pulmonary embolism episode three months ago, I've been taking a daily dose of warfarin. Yes, the same medication your grandfather takes. So what's next? After a month of being drug-free, I get to have about a gallon of blood taken for additional testing and will then meet with a specialist to discuss the plan moving forward.

It's my last day at TCM... and I'm struggling to find the right words to mark such an occasion. After writing and deleting countless sentences, I'll sum it up with this:

I don't know what's around the corner for me but I've never been so fulfilled not knowing.

June 6, 2012

the pros and cons of running

It's National Running Day, a whole day to celebrate runners and how awesome we are. 

Anyone who devotes a significant time to training can tell you that there are so many upsides to pounding pavement. They can also tell you that it has a few downsides.

So here's my list of the pros and cons of running. I'll let you decide which is which. 

You can eat whatever you want and not gain weight.
Runger! (excessive hunger caused by running)
Stress relief.
Your legs are awesome.
A lot of showering.
Requires massive amounts of planning. 
Increased self-control. 
Long runs = lots of creative thinking/problem solving time. 
You become really skilled at guessing distances.
It makes it easier to say no to unhealthy things. Late night happy hour? No, thanks, I have a long run in the morning. 
Reduced risk of disease. 
Weird tan lines. 
It's a good way to meet like-minded people.
It feels so primitive. 
Loads of laundry. 
"Me" time.
Ice baths.

Once you've been running for a while, the cons have a funny way of becoming pros and the pros only get better. For these reasons- all of them- I know I'll be a lifelong runner.

with Amy earlier this year
Today not only marks a runner's holiday but it's also my sister Amy's sixteenth birthday. She is a talented actress, an incredible singer and is becoming such a beautiful, smart young woman. Happy Birthday, Amy! I love you!

And Happy National Running Day, friends! Stop by from 6-8 p.m. tonight and see me at the TCM water stop

June 3, 2012

race recap: Livestock 5K

The short version: I ran a 5K yesterday in 21:59, was somehow the first female (small towns ARE good for something!) and my splits were 6:46, 7:15, 7:20 and 7:03 for the last .1. Additionally, I think I have the stomach flu.

The long version: Yesterday I ran my slowest 5K in three years. Like I mentioned, I wanted to use this race as a basis for my training paces in the upcoming months. 

I decided to stay at my apartment on Friday night instead of driving down to stay at my mom's, mostly so I could run to Yogurt Lab for my typical pre-race bribe. Yes, run. I told myself that if I wanted the sweet deliciousness that is frozen yogurt, I'd have to get there on foot, which is roughly .8 miles away from my apartment. I jogged there, paid an ungodly amount of money for what was approximately a pound of sugar, and then walked (while eating it) home. 

 proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
The next morning I woke up with my stomach in knots. I thought it was just nerves and went to make coffee to encourage a little pre-race cleansing. Turns out I didn't even need coffee and spent the next half hour going over a list of everything I ate the day prior, trying to come up with an answer to what would make me so violently ill. I decided it was frozen yogurt or nerves, and hoped that whatever it was had worked it's way out.

I grabbed my coffee and a Larabar and hit the road for the hour+ drive to St. Peter. I didn't feel like eating anything but managed to choke down half a Larabar and a few sips of coffee. I just was not feeling well. When I got to the race site, I headed straight for the bathroom in attempt to quiet my rumbling stomach. (My friend Kat says that it's just a matter of time before every runner poops their pants and we're all just on borrowed time. I sincerely began to worry that my time might be up.)

the race
When the gun went off, I made an effort to not get swept up in the people speeding out and to just run my own race. I checked my watch about a quarter mile in and saw 7:13, which was what I had intended on running. 

The people that had started quickly began to slow and I picked them off, soon coming up on the first girl. I thought briefly about staying behind her but knew that if I slowed, it would defeat the entire purpose of this race, which was to determine where I'm at with my fitness. As I passed her, I could hear that her breathing was really labored.

When my watch beeped my mile split, I was shocked to see 6:46. I could feel the pain that is 5K agony but told myself to not worry about it and to just keep running. Mile two was 7:15, my old goal marathon pace.

At mile 2.5 the course began a long, slow climb and it took every ounce of energy to not walk up it. I knew that once I got to the top, it was pretty much a downhill to the finish. The descent, though, did little except tire out my shaky legs and I just hoped to hold on through the finish. I came through the third mile in 7:20

I crossed the line in 21:59, my slowest 5K in years. I did not feel great at all (though there was no barfing). I ran about a mile cool down, running back up the course to cheer on my mom, her friend Heather, and my siblings. My mom ended up running her fastest 5K!

I had  no idea that they gave awards out so I was pleasantly surprised when they gave me the absolutely cutest medal (a cowbell!), an entry into next year's race and a gift card to a local coffee shop. Very cool!

Here we all are post-race. My mom (left of me in the photo) is a big fan of pictures. Settle in, friends, I'm going to show them all.

L- R: mom, me, Heather, Jenny, Kyle, Whitney (sister), Johnny (brother)

and then my mom wanted one that was "closer"

and then she wanted one of our backs with our Joel pics

and then she wanted one of us together
here's one of the banner they got to put up because they were sponsors

After our marathon photo session was over, we went to River Rock and had breakfast. They make something called a Spanish Latte and I have no idea what is in it but it's really good. If you're ever in St. Peter, stop and get one.

I felt nauseous during breakfast, a feeling that didn't go away all day, even after a two hour nap at my parent's. I got up to try to drive home around 4 p.m. and ended up laying down on the kitchen floor because I was so light-headed. I finally left their house at 7 and fell asleep on my couch when I got home.

Today has been a little touch and go. I felt sick after eating breakfast and lunch. I just had dinner and I'm feeling okay. Knock on wood it was only a 24 hour thing. Busy week ahead...

June 1, 2012

the seven p's

Prior proper planning prevents piss-poor performance.

May was all about getting back into the swing of things and I'm running 25-30 mpw with little protest from my body. And so, my summer plan:

Get faster. Add in tempo runs, hill workouts and keep mileage around 35-40 per week. Be able to fit into pre-PE clothes. (Six months sans workouts put me up 7lbs and down a whole lot of muscle. It might not sound like a lot but it's approximately 5% of my body weight. Biggest Loser contestants don't even lose that in a week.) 

Begin to follow a 5K-specific workout plan- aka get even faster- while staying healthy and keeping weekend runs on the long-ish side. Here is a 5K plan that I found in an old issue of Running Times.

There's a 5K in early August that I'd really like to be the site of my new 5K PR. My old one is a little dusty. We'll call that my Goal Race for these next few months.

After August, I'll shift my focus to half marathon training and look for a race in November/December. Warm climate preferred. Suggestions? 

PS- I guest posted today over on I Think I Can Fitness. Head over there to read all my best tips for your first race.