October 26, 2012

i hate the elliptical but love this core workout

Today was the first day I ran since last Saturday. My right knee has been feeling like it's bruised (upper-outer knee cap) and it's a pain that gets worse when I run but eventually levels off. Because I didn't do anything to majorly injure it (no trauma), the internet tells me I'm just being a baby. Enter icing, ibuprofen, a brace I got from Target because I'm desperate, and six days off.

For the past week, I've been sticking to the elliptical or bike at the gym. And I hate them. Yes, hate

I'm confident that time moves at roughly half the speed it does while running. Thirty minutes on an elliptical, even with music and T.V to distract myself, feels like an eternity. I have to play mind games with myself to even stay on it. 

However, they are my only options for the times when running isn't an option (unless I'm looking to take a chemical bath in that which is the public pool).

Rant over. 

I've also taken time this week to create a game plan to strengthen my core, which evidently can keep you from getting injured in the first place. I found this ab burner featuring my two favorite girls. 

And finally, if you work out at LA Fitness (or know anyone that does) can you please suggest good yoga and cycling classes? I went to one yoga class at the Edina location and it was a joke. I'm hoping they're not all like that. Day/time/location, please!

October 22, 2012

61 years, a big night & knee pain: my weekend recap

4 mile progression run on a treadmill. My knee hurt.

Dinner with my mom at Number 4 in Mankato, a new-to-me place. I had a wholly healthy salad and then splurged on an amazing dessert. It was gone before I even thought to take a picture of it. 

Nearly 5 miles of trails through Hyland. My knee still hurt. 

Coffee with John, who as of late looks like he should be wielding an axe. He does have a huge dog named Blue, too. There's a Paul Bunyan tie in here somewhere.

Hung out with G & G to help facilitate a little 61st anniversary (!!) interaction. (Gramps gets too nervous to take her anywhere by himself.) After ensuring that they both showered, we went to church and then out to eat at the most romantic place my Grandpa could come up with: Perkins. And it was perfect.

After I got them settled in at home, I headed out for a Big Night. It’s rare that I go out with the intention of becoming That Girl but Saturday night was the exception. Chino Latino vodka-jitos are amazing. So is Mesa pizza. And taxis.  

Slept in. Drank a lot of water. Walked to get coffee. Struck a "sexy" pose in a pile of leaves.  (Colleen's idea.)

pretty sure i laid in dog poop

Then football. Because I care about stuff like that. No, wait, I don’t. I care about cute sleeping babies. 

This probably goes without saying but I didn’t run on Sunday. Or today. Because of knee pain.

October 18, 2012

running, rotted teeth, and candy

Yesterday: No run because Tuesday was a long and emotionally taxing day that made me want to throw my phone across the room when my alarm went off at 5:25. And I had an early dentist appointment.
Today: 7.55 miles, 59:17, 7:51 avp. Made up for sucking at life yesterday by busting out what felt like a solid, evenly paced run this morning. [splits 804, 757, 749, 755, 802, 749, 705 (fast last mile), 821 (.55 cool down)]
Back to yesterday: I went to the dentist for the first time in years. Years. (Gross, I know.) Why? No particular reason, other than it seems like going to the dentist is something very easy to procrastinate on. I'll do it next month turned into, well, me just going now.

So I went, imagining a worst-case scenario of them pulling all my teeth. I was terrified, which the dentist no doubt picked up on when he shook my clammy  hand. He was very nice, though, and I relaxed a little after they didn't gasp when they saw my teeth. 

Verdict: After 27 years with no cavities, my lack of consistent flossing caught up with me: three tiny ones, all on my upper left side. Pretty good, all things considered.
Back at the office, feeling rather exhausted from the lack of sleep- and both defeated (three cavities?!)  and exhilarated (I still have all my teeth!) by my dental visit- I did what any normal person would: Binged on candy. Yep, after 2.5 weeks of sticking to a diet of (mostly) unprocessed food, I ate approximately ten mini pb cups, three mini bags of Skittles and five two-piece packs of Starbursts. If anything, I'm under-estimating.
only three survivors
My body was pretty confused by the sudden rush of sodium aluminum phosphate, potassium sorbate, and butylated hydroxyanisole and wasted little time before making it clear that this type of behavior wouldn't be tolerated.
I gladly hopped back on the unprocessed food wagon today: A two-ingredient pancake for breakfast, and a sweet potato with almond butter and some slices of turkey for lunch. And water. So, so much water.
looks disgusting, tastes amazing
I'm avoiding the break room and its candy deathtrap at all costs.

October 16, 2012

meet my new roommates! (a life update)

Monday- No running. Yoga at LA Fitness. It's been so long since I've been to yoga that I forgot it's not a good idea to wear shorts. I was worried about flashing people the entire time. Not zen at all.

Today- 5.52 miles, 43:41, 7:55 avp. [splits 820, 750, 805, 738, 752, 739 (.52)] Even pacing obviously wasn't my goal here.

l to r: grams, vanna the dog, and gramps

It's funny how plans can change within a matter of weeks.

I gave a broad overview of what I was doing with my time in this post. What I left out (but alluded to at the end of it) was that I was planning on going to India for four months. Between that and the fact that I was kicking it with G & G on a pretty regular basis, I wasn't in the market to find another FT job and was making life work as a Professional Volunteer.

Then some stuff started to happen with Grams that indicated to all of us that things were getting worse fast. Gramps still isn't hot on in-home care and them moving into a facility is still off the table. While I was making it up there a couple times a week, it wasn't really enough to make a dent in what needed to be done.
At this same point in time, my dad's company began to look for a marketing manager.

You can see where this is going, I'm sure.
So long to my former plans and what I thought I'd be doing with my life right now. What I am doing is living with my grandparents (like full-on in their house) and working for my dad's company.

I'm only going to be living with my grandparents until early November, the goal being to help them transition to in-home care a few times a week and to purge the crap out of their house. I know their routines and habits better than most, and more importantly, I know what things to push (and how to push them) and what to let go.

Honestly, though, I love being there. They are the greatest people and I'm constantly entertained by them. Last night before dinner, Grandma wanted to pray but couldn't remember the standard Come, Lord Jesus prayer.

Jim, she said, start me out.  He paused for a second and then said Hello, Lord.

This might be one of those you-had-to-be-there moments but it was pretty hilarious. My Grandpa tells me I can't stay there forever because how will you ever meet anybody if you live here? I tell him that any man worth my time would love to hang out with them, too.

Salt of the earth, seriously.

October 15, 2012

a fall weekend

Recent runs:
Saturday: 5 miles with four 1/2 mile intervals at 6:45 pace, 1/4 mile RBI. Painful but thankfully I had Robert as bike support. He always knows when to talk to me and when to stay quiet. Best ever.

Sunday: A very awful run. Set out for 10 miles but made it only 7 before I called it. Cold, windy and terrible. 8:30 average pace. (And thanks, Robert, for suffering with me. And for rubbing my biceps mid-run.)

Weekly mileage total: 29


Friday was football back in my hometown where my little brother Petey is a senior. Go Giants!

While home, my mom tried to convince me to take this cat they found in a storm sewer. He's probably five weeks old and very adorable. I told her I'd consider it once I move into my apartment at the end of the month. I understand that accepting it would likely be accepting a lifetime pass into Cat Lady Land.

please love me

I was house/pet-sitting this weekend which involved monitoring some chickens, two cats and a dog. One of the perks was collecting eggs every day.

one egg? try harder, ladies.

I also couldn't get enough of the fall canopy.

this picture doesn't do it justice
Sunday was #MaeDay.

look at all her hair!
It was also my brother Matt's 15th birthday so I zipped up to my dad's for dinner and family QT. For some extra cardio, I jumped on the trampoline with my little brother Sammy (he's 9) and he told me I had "the moves" when I did a flip. I felt like that was a pretty big compliment coming from him. Or anyone, really, because I definitely do not have "the moves."

He also showed me three machine guns that he made himself out of paper.

do you feel lucky?

So that's my weekend.*

*Mostly. Some things I don't put on the internet.

October 12, 2012

get in the trailer

Recent runs:
Thursday: 4.38 miles, 34:58, 7:59 avp (my right quad protested a little)
Today: 4.4 miles, 37:19, 8:29 avp (an easy, no pain run. Ready for serious miles this weekend.)

It's Friday.

Do yourself a favor and go subscribe to The Trailer, the funniest, most irreverent blog about the sport of running I've ever read.

I'd suggest starting with this post:

and following that with the rebuttle post:
Shoe-mageddon: “Guess what, Dylan: Running store patrons hate you, too”

They also cover real news, like Matt Gabrielson's retirement and how awesome Andrew Carlson is. 

In short, they say the stuff everyone is thinking but no one will say out loud. It's refreshing. And hilarious. So get in the trailer.* You'll be glad you did.

PS- Follow them on Twitter and Instagram (@the_trailer) if you can handle profanity and aren't easily offended.

*Make sure all of your vaccinations are up-to-date and bring hand sanitizer. You never know what happens in there.

October 11, 2012

happy birthday bebe

Today is my sister Juli's 26th birthday.

We are two out of the original three (same parents) so we're alike but also very different.
she actually has pigment in her skin
Growing up, Juli and I were pretty close. We shared a room in the first house I remember living in and pushed our beds together.

Then we started to grow up and I immediately entered into the awkward phase of childhood. Juli, however, remained cute. That's why I had to become fluent in sarcasm; I couldn't rely on my looks.
thanks, glasses
Then we hit our teen years and things became more volatile, mostly because she got boobs before I did and being two years older, that was unacceptable.  

Really, though, Juli and I have very different personalities. She is outgoing and beautiful. Everyone who meets her is drawn to her and she gets her energy from being around people. 

she slays with her smile
And she's very brave. She went to Africa for two months when she was in college. She was gone for her birthday that year but I managed to take her out with me anyway. 

And Juli is way more fun than I am. While I'm busy worrying about consequences or making a pros/cons list in my head, Juli is diving right in.

i'm worried about it but juli is ready to kick its ass
 Even though she's an adult, my desire to protect her from everything and help her with anything is still crazy strong.

post 20 mile run because i didn't want her to do it alone
 We've done a lot of stuff together, too, like going to Europe for a few weeks with our Opa.

we louvre it
name that landmark
And we've had some pretty epic road trips up to Lutsen where our family spends Christmas.

 Even though I'm older, I find myself following her lead, like dying my hair brown.

she definitely looks better than i do with brown hair
 It didn't last long, though.

i need to be able to blame the dumb on the blonde

 Now we live far apart and I don't get to see her often. I miss her. I miss us.

from our recent chicago trip

Bebe, I wish I could be with you today so we could go for a run and eat chocolate. I love you so much!

October 10, 2012

race recap: medtronic twin cities marathon

Recent runs: 
Monday, 3.06 miles, 32:19, 10:33 avp (easy, easy run to shake out after Sunday)
Tuesday, 5.1 miles, 41:38, 8:10 avp (slightly faster to remind my legs that I own them)

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you pretty much know how this all went down. If you don't, settle in because I'm starting with The Day Before the Marathon.

The Day Before the Marathon kicked off with coffee and friends at Ann's!

runners make better friends (and really good gluten-free pumpkin bread!)

julia's dog. i almost put her in my purse
 From Ann's I went to the expo to pick up my packet and peruse the expo. I practiced restraint and only bought one shirt, mostly because it had Minnesota on it. 
run for it, twin cities '12

Saturday night is where things get crazy. I went to The Bachelor Farmer for dinner and decided to carb load with their gimlet (which is seriously the best I've found in this city) and popover with honey butter. Top 10 favorite foods. EVER.

this is one of my favorite places in minneapolis

one of two
 From dinner I went to an art party on Harriet Island and continued carb loading with wine and beer. Blame it on the mood of the party- or all the carbs I had- but I felt compelled to take a mirror self-portrait. Savor it, friends, because it doesn't happen often. 

I told myself I would stop imbibing at nine but it was probably more like ten. I was in bed by 11.

Sunday- RACE DAY!
 I woke up at 4am in a panic. I literally have never prepared so little for a marathon and the gravity of covering 26.2 miles (with a hangover) freaked me out.

I got out of bed, drank a ton of water, took ibuprofen, and started to assemble my race day outfit. Because obviously I wasn't going back to sleep.

I did manage to lay back down and rest but by six my alarm officially went off. Despite having been up mere half hour prior laying out an outfit, I found myself staring at my clothes on the floor, debating what I should actually put on.

The temp was 29 degrees and my pace was going to be slow. I bought running tights on a whim from Target the night before, but wearing them would be breaking the Cardinal Rule of marathoning: Don't try anything new on race day. Never one for rules, I put them on under my shorts.

My dad picked me up and we found ourselves in Corral 3 in no time.

hi, we're cold
 Roughly 10 minutes after the gun, we crossed the start line.

corral 3 is on the move
 The first miles flew by as we trotted along between a 11:30-12 minute pace. The course wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be and it gave us plenty of opportunity to talk (and take pictures).

dad approaching the walker hill

full uniform, with a pack. whoa.

water stop at mile 2.5. love those volunteers!

lake of the isles

dad, lake calhoun and the city
 I felt good and was happy to just be running with my dad. We'd chat with people as we passed them- or they passed us. Either way, we were at Mile 10 before we knew it. 

My decision to wear my new capris, though, was starting to wear on me. Literally. Chafe city. In the Worst Place possible. I pulled off into a porta potty at Lake Nokomis and took them off, which also involved removing my shoes. It was the fastest I've ever changed. 
I caught up with my dad just before the half and we continued moving along. We called my brother and sister and put them on speaker to give them an update on how things were going and I snapped this of my dad to prove he was still alive. 

We finally saw our family around mile 15.

yay for sisters!

I was definitely enjoying the fall colors along Minnehaha Parkway....

But then we came across this!

The BEST SPECTATORS EVER! Ann and Jay were out there for like 2.5 hours dancing their butts off. I had to stop to document this.

It was shortly after this that our pace started to slow even more and I noticed my dad grimacing. I asked what was up and he told me he had hernia. Furthermore, he's had it since JUNE and didn't want to get surgery because then he wouldn't have been able to run. Hats off, Bill. That takes guts. Literally.

we focused on scenery rather than pain. franklin bridge

wall schmall. we went right through it

finally on summit
Dad was starting to hurt big time and we were definitely doing more walking than running. I tweeted this picture with the caption Dad hates life. 23 because seriously, doesn't he look miserable?

But then we saw this and morale improved!

dad knocking one back. i already drank mine

Soon enough, this:
there's a finish line there somewhere
And then this happened:

my new fave picture. thanks, colleen!

So four years after our first marathon together, we did our last. Dad says he's done with marathons for good. 

We'll see.