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December 12, 2013

carl!

If we're friends on Facebook, you probably saw my post a few weeks ago about a kitten that had found it's way into my possession, but that I wasn't planning on keeping.



Well, a few things have happened since then:
  • No one stepped up to say they wanted her, which left me with two options: 1. Bring her to the Humane Society, even though they specifically ask that you NOT bring kittens, or 2. Keep her. I had sort of bonded with the little ball of fur so I decided to keep her "for a few more weeks."
  • John fell in love with her. He is a crazy cat man. So we decided to keep her indefinitely.
  • We found out she is actually a he. Balls.
  • We hadn't called him anything but Kitty (since it seems relatively gender-neutral) but decided a few nights ago that his name should be Carl.

So here's Carl, who has still not been to the vet, and has also lost a cat life when he was maimed (but survived!), his first meeting with Blue the dog.



In related news, if you know of anyone that is in the market for a 4 year-old cane corso that weighs 110lbs, likes the taste of kitties, and will stick like superglue to your side (seriously), let me know.

December 9, 2013

purging

Okay. Okay. Okaaaaayyyyy. 

So. Much. Happening. 

It is probably among the Worst Ideas to get married after an only four month engagement, right after the holiday season. Any other time of year and you'd be fine, but sprinkle in a little Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's action and it's basically a recipe for an anxiety disorder. 

Additionally, getting married in the winter also means moving in the winter, carting things down four flights of stairs from my apartment to John's van in sub-zero temps. Throw in some icy sidewalks and it's basically a party. Add Raynaud's and you might as well amputate your hands and feet. 

Seriously.

Honestly though, I love it all. It all feels very "us," if that makes any sense at all. Constant love within chaos, or something like that. 

On Saturday we went down to my mom's house to drop off furniture, pick up furniture, and begin to decorate our wedding space. On the way down we stopped and successfully picked out and purchased a couch and loveseat. We also got the stamp of approval on our impending nuptials from the sales lady. 


So after church yesterday we unloaded John's van filled with furniture and these huge boxes that held all of my elementary/high school/college "stuff." The notes, the cards, the pictures, the old journals, awards, mementos, etc. You know what I mean.

Going through it all was entertaining, and brought back so many memories, both good and bad. I ended up throwing most of it away (What would I do with my high school boyfriend's prom bowtie?). Then I came to my journals.

I've kept a journal most of my life, though reading through them, seemingly just in periods of turmoil or disruption. Writing has always been an outlet.

As I flipped through them, I giggled at the lists I had made of my junior high crushes, and how the "worst day of my life" had been when my dog Abby died. (If only that could have remained the lowpoint!)

Then I pulled out the last journal I kept and flipped to February 15, 2008, which just had two words: Joel died. My next entry in the journal was dated June.

I skimmed the rest of the entries in it, which carried me through a move to NC and back, in and out of relationships, and back and forth through the stages of grief. Reading through it now, over three years after my last entry, and I can only thank God that life did not turn out like I had wanted it to back then, and shake my head at the Hannah I was.

I thought about keeping them for my children, but then became horrified at the thought of them reading them and thinking that their mother's behavior would in anyway be acceptable. (I'm also in the camp of some memories are better forgotten!)

And so with almost zero remorse, I filled two garbage bags with mementos and memories of the last 28 years of my life, and carried them to the garbage outside the home where I'll begin to make memories for the next 28 years... and then some.  

November 22, 2013

happy weekend

Hi! Guess who's been setting her alarm for a time that begins with 4 and hauling her butt to the gym? Yes, me! After my semi-injured, semi-self induced running sabbatical, I'm logging miles and loving every minute of it. On Tuesday, though, I decided to give my legs a break and take a spin class instead, something I used to do with regularity.Getting back into it though.... Ouch.


This weekend is a break from early mornings, though, as I take off for #ChicksInTheSticks to celebrate Brady's 30th birthday with some of my favorite gals in one of my favorite places on earth. No lie.
brady's bday last year

Things I have packed: pants with elastic waistbands, sweatshirts, thick socks, DVDs, books I've been wanting to read, and the warmest winter running gear. (We're planning a pre-brunch run tomorrow morning, and this is the forecast...)


Things I have not packed: a hair dryer, "real" clothes, make-up.

It's going to be wonderful.

Anyway, LINKS!

This is officially my dream house.

Very cool: Turn your memorable quotes into wall art.

Helpful: How to make yarn dryer balls.

3 rules every runner should live by.

Can't wait to see this movie!

Chorizo Butternut Squash Hash. Say no more.

My favorite flower.

November 18, 2013

joel's heaven

Today would have been Joel's 9th birthday. 

Joel at RMH, a few months before he died- my fave pic

My mom and I were talking last night about how her friends with 9 year-olds say that it is a rambunctious age. 

It's hard for me to imagine him as rambunctious. He was unusually quiet for a baby, and not just because he was sick. You could speak to him and tell that he was thinking about what you were saying, that he was processing it in a way that seemed abnormal for a toddler. He understood things that should have been beyond him. He was so smart. Studious, even. Imaginative. I like to think that he would've grown into a little nerd that preferred reading over T.V, and being outside over any form of indoor entertainment (except maybe wrestling with his brothers). 

I wonder what heaven is like for him. (I imagine heaven in the way it's depicted in the movie What Dreams May Come, where everyone has their own little section that is unique to them).  I have a feeling his is an open field with blue and orange flowers, lots of bugs, the most colorful butterflies, with a kitten or two running around, and a space cleared for a basketball hoop. These were his favorite earthly things. 

And so it's more than fitting that when I went to our supply closet today to get more Kleenex (lots of tears today), the box I pulled out has this on it:



Until we see you again....
 
Loved with a love beyond all measure
Missed with a grief beyond all tears

November 8, 2013

happy weekend (hoarding links for weeks)

Hiiiiii! I haven't done a links post in weeks, mostly because I barely have time to go through Feedly, but I've been stashing them away for such a time as this.

My life currently consists of wedding planning, home renovation/decoration, list making, crying tears of stress and frustration, crying tears of joy, attending these classes, texting John to tell him I want to elope, and excel spreadsheets. 

Things missing from my life: running, sleep, healthy eating, and a wedding dress. 

I'm a work in progress these last few weeks. 

Tonight, a night devoid of all stress and planning; we're going to see this movie, one that I linked to back in August. It's finally out! 

Anyway, LINKS!

"Many have dreamed it. Few have attempted it." This Russian kid did it. 






Have a lovely weekend.

October 31, 2013

thursday things

1. Last night I did a leg workout, followed by bi's and tri's (which concluded with a 1 rep max/ burnout), and then wrapped things up with a little core work. The pain in my hammies is only overshadowed by the soreness in my lower back (side-eye, deadlifts). It's wonderful and terrible at the same time.

2. Yesterday I had a momentary meltdown on the way home from work where I called John and seriously suggested eloping. Then I got home and ate butternut squash, chocolate chips, and drank a glass of wine (all before going to workout- bad idea). Turns out I was just hungry, so our big, fat German wedding is back on. (But I still dislike wedding planning.)

3. Speaking of John and Germans, he sometimes does this ridiculous German accent that's hilarious! I keep trying to capture it on film but he's always on to me. I especially love it when he reads the marketing slogans for this restaurant.





Happy Thursday (and Halloween!).


October 28, 2013

race recap: team ortho monster dash half marathon

If there ever was a race that I had zero expectations for, this was it. First, I haven't been running that much these past two months, due to my Achilles, and just general complacency. I was severely concerned about my ability to even run 13.1 miles, much less do it at a respectable pace. 

Second, this was my first Team Ortho race. Having worked for TCM for a couple years, it's pretty safe to say that I know the good, the bad and the ugly of event planning, and I went in with a complete understanding of how Team Ortho "organizes" their races. Needless to say, my expectations were low, both for myself and the race in general. 

That's probably what saved me. 

I woke up on Saturday morning around 6:45, and didn't feel like eating breakfast, so I didn't. I hadn't charged my Garmin, and hadn't given any thought to race day apparel, so I threw on some tights and double layers on top and prayed for less wind than the forecast was predicting. 

We picked up friends Joy and Frida. Frida was running and Joy was going to navigate/spectate with John. Traffic was terrible, with everyone and their mom trying to get off at Kellog. We zoomed around and got off at the next exit with very little problem. As such, the race start was delayed 10 minutes, so Frida and I got to dance around in the cold. Brrrr. 

we're cold

My plan was run around 8:30s/9:00s because I didn't think there was any way I could run faster. Frida had said she wanted to run 8:00s and since we were together at the start, I went off with her. Because I wasn't running with a watch, the only way I had to gauge my pace were the pace gourps, and we were right around the 1:45 guy (an 8:01 pace). I figured I would stick with Frida for as long as possible, then drop back when I started to feel crappy. 

Long story short, that  crappy feeling never really hit, and I finished in 1:45:15. The last three miles were really painful, when both IT bands and my right hip made it feel like I was running through cement. The course was beautiful, and it turned out to be a lovely, sunny day, though the wind was brutal at times. 

we're basically celebrating surviving our walk to the car

A few thoughts on Team Ortho:
  • They have mile markers every half-mile, which was something I had never seen in a distance race. I kind of liked it, kind of hated it, because it was either, Oh, we've only gone a half mile!? or Sweet, we've already run a half-mile. 
  • They didn't have any splits or timing mats any where on the course, which is super weird. 1. It means you could cheat pretty easily by cutting out most of the course and 2. It's crappy for people who didn't have a chip time due to "human error" at the start. 
  • There was very little food/water at the finish. I saw some volunteers passing out cups of water, and someone handed me a banana, but it's nothing like what I was expecting on a chilly day after 13.1 miles. 
  • Team Ortho is known for their gear, but paying $75 for a sweatshirt and a gaudy medal is not more important than a well-organized race. I would run a Team Ortho event again, but not if I cared in the least about my time/race amenities. 
  • Finally, St. Paul sucks for parking. In case you didn't already know.
To sum it up, I'm pretty impressed with my body's ability to pull off an 8:03 pace, but in the days since, it's let me know it's not happy about it (SO MUCH hip rubbing). Running through St. Paul in the fall reminded me why I love running, and I should probably try to work some back into my crazy wedding-planning, house-renovating, moving, marriage schedule. 



October 24, 2013

this is for jilian

My sweet, Southern, tall friend Jilian complained this week about my lack of writing. So this update is for Jil. (Love you, Lump.)

My Best Friend's Wedding
My oldest friend (as in, known the longest) got married last weekend (remember her bachelorette party?). It was honestly the most fun I've had at a wedding. The next two days that I spent recovering from it, though... 



The Most Exciting Thing That Has Ever Happened at My Job (and you probably won't care)
My job is not terribly exciting.  (I'm a marketing manager for my family's manufacturing company. We make sanders for the woodworking and metalworking industries.) Earlier this week I took a call from a guy in Wisconsin that was interested in one of our sanders, and said that he would come pick it up from us because he'd be in the city for a concert.  So yesterday he stopped by to get it, and we started chatting about music and what concert he was going to (Bonnie Raitt). Then he says, My son knows her because he covered one of her songs, and it sort of went viral. And I'm all, Oh, that's pretty cool. Good for him.  He continues, Yeah, he met her when he went to the Grammys. And I'm like Wait, who is your son? Is he in a band? And he says, Well, he's in a few. Have you heard of Bon Iver? 

And my jaw drops. Your son is Justin Vernon?! And then we have an entire conversation about my favorite band in the history of the world. 

(I'm assuming most of you don't know who Bon Iver is, which is why this probably matters very little. You're missing out.)

The Time I Thought I Was Racing On Sunday
I registered for the Monster Dash Half Marathon back in August and promptly wrote it down on my calendar for October 27,  this coming Sunday, and have been planning my life around it since. Well, newsflash: The race is on Saturday, and I'm an idiot. Still running, not racing. Searching for a Green Giant costume.
(source)

So there it is. My very exciting life update.


October 16, 2013

i'm still here!

Hi friends! I'm still here, not doing much running (gulp) but doing a heckuva lot of wedding related things.

In addition to the wedding, I'm planning for the eventual combining of My Things and His Things to make Our Things, so my thoughts (and Pinterest boards) are mostly consumed with home decorating and organization. 

We took engagement pictures over the weekend. I'm not sure when engagement sessions became a real thing, especially since we have no intention of doing a newspaper announcement or anything of the sort. We mostly took them because we have almost no photos of us as a couple (because we both hate having our picture taken). And John hates smiling in pictures. (I, too, agree that this is among the worst things.) Anyway, while we did do some staged shots, my favorites would fall into the "outtake" category. Here's our attempt at creating the cliched piggyback shot, except with John on my back, because I wanted a leg workout.

Swoon.

October 11, 2013

happy weekend

Woof. It's been a busy week and I get zero reprieve this weekend. And I have a cold to boot. 

Enough whining. Since I haven't written all week, here's a glimpse at what I've been up to:
  • I haven't run much this week, but started going to a boot camp-type class that is kicking my butt. Every time I want to quit, the trainer chants "wedding arms" to me, which is probably the most motivating thing ever. 
  • I currently have three wedding dresses in my apartment (all returnable). I'm beginning to think I've put too much stock in the myth of The One and should go about this in a more pragmatic way. Problem is, I'm not sure what that is.
  • We registered at our first store, and I mistakenly thought that it would be a quick process. It's not. And I now know more than I ever wanted to know about kitchen knives. 
  • If you're wondering why there's a rush to accomplish so much, it's because we're planning on getting married in less than three months. No, I'm not pregnant. Our short engagement has to do with a) neither of us wanting a long engagement, b) my sister leaving for the Air Force in early January, and c) neither of us wanting a spring wedding (MN in March = gross). 
(source)

Enough wedding chatter, let's look at LINKS!

Funniest. Hashtag. Ever. #AddAWordRuinAChristianBook  

20 Things Every Twentysomething Should Know How to Do 

How to Choose a Red Wine

Healthy Skillet Meals

I kind of want this clutch.

Have a wonderful weekend!

October 4, 2013

happy weekend

TGIF! This week has flown by, and I can hardly believe it's October!

I'm writing this from my kitchen table, wrapped in a blanket and drinking coffee, while a very cool breeze blows through my window. (Life is rough.) My sister is in town this weekend so I'm taking the day off to spend a little QT with her (and do a little preliminary wedding dress shopping! I'm thinking something a little non-traditional...)

LINKS! 

White wine drinkers pour themselves the biggest glasses of wine

Watch your step 

A Guide to Being a Man (but a fun read for women, too) 

Fall is here, and it's awesome

This church has been under construction for 131 years, but is set to be completed in 2026. (I was there in 2004). Here's a 3D rendering of what it will look like.


Have a lovely weekend!

October 2, 2013

three things wednesday

1. I ran 4.85 miles this morning and my ankle felt okay. Not great, but okay. TC 10 Mile is still on!

2.  I got called miss instead of ma'am today when I was ordering lunch. I almost leapt across the counter to hug him. (For the record, I adore politeness, but I almost exclusively get called ma'am, so I must have crossed the age threshold at some point.)

i actually own this magnet

3. I've been buying bridal magazines with reckless abandon. Spoiler alert: They're all (basically) the same. Same ads, same content. Apparently there's only one way to plan a wedding, which is sort of disappointing for someone who considers themselves to be a non-conformist of sorts.  More on that another time...



September 30, 2013

6 days to tc 10

 It's safe to say that I've been focused on other things besides running this past week, but with the TC 10 Mile looming, it's time to seriously consider my options. 
 

I tried running yesterday for the first time in 10 days. Verdict: Not good. I ran 5 miles at a normal pace and felt pain in my Achilles for most of it, but kept thinking that it would loosen up. I iced when I got home, but in the hours post-run, even walking was painful. It feels okay today, but I think "racing' the TC 10 Mile on Sunday is out of the question. I would like to at least run it, but I'll see how the rest of the week plays out.

One thing I haven't tried yet is taping my ankle. I've used KT Tape in the past for knee pain, which seems to help, so I'm hoping that will be enough to at least get me to the start- and finish- next weekend. 


September 26, 2013

a sunday in september...

For those of you that I am not friends with on Facebook, and to those don't follow me on Twitter or Instagram, I have some news... 


Needless to say, I've been preoccupied with things other than running. Back to regular programming next week. ;)

September 20, 2013

happy weekend

Hello, friends, and welcome to the end of the work week! This has been a near run-less week for me, as I still am experiencing some pain in my Achilles. I tested it out again last night on the treadmill for 1.25 miles before I hit a yoga class. I can manage a slow jog without pain, but anything resembling a normal pace is just not going to happen. 

Because I have no idea how long I'll be out of my running shoes- and with this kind of big race coming up- I immediately went online and ordered a one-piece suit so I can start to log some pool time.


Bonus: The suit was on sale! 

(source)



And now a collection of the most random LINKS

Great resource! 6 trails to run in the Twin Cities.

Did you hear? Kara Goucher drops from NYC.

I love exploring abandoned buildings so I found this to be fascinating.

Hate public speaking? Try this trick.

Doing this:  How to cook bacon in the oven.

Cue the tears: Dad surprises his son at football game after 9 months in Afghanistan.  

Have a great weekend! 


September 18, 2013

psa: when testing out an injury...

Consider this my Public Service Announcement for the week: When testing out an injury that has kept you from running for several days, do NOT run an out-and-back. In accordance with Murphy's Law, your injury will not start to hurt until you are literally the farthest away from your starting point. (In my case last night, that was 2.5 miles away from my car.) 

Seriously. 





September 16, 2013

dns but set a new pr

I didn't race this weekend. 

On Friday night I went for a shakeout run, and my legs felt like lead during some pick-ups. Not a race-breaker, since it's not uncommon for my shakeout runs to feel horrible, only to have amazing races the next day. But still, it was a mental roadblock, and I resolved to get out of my head and let my body handle it.

Then, while jogging a cool down on the way home, I tweaked my ankle in some soft dirt. I ran the rest of the way home on it, but it definitely hurt while climbing the stairs to my apartment. My resolve to run was diminishing with every step. 

When my alarm went out at 5:45  the next morning, I shut it off and laid there weighing the pros and cons of running. 

And then I rolled over and continued to sleep until 8:45, a new sleeping in PR.

I didn't run the rest of the weekend, so instead of my highest mileage week this training cycle, it was my lowest, a whopping 15 miles total. I won't run today, either, but will likely try tomorrow, if everything feels okay. This weather is mocking me.

September 13, 2013

happy weekend

This week has flown by! Usually weekends mean sleeping late, lazy brunches, and relaxing. I was lying in bed this morning, trying to think of the last time I slept past 6:00 a.m., even on a weekend. It's been WEEKS. Unfortunately, this weekend won't cut me a break on that, with the 10k tomorrow and a long run for Sunday. Thankfully the cooler weather means I won't have to get up quite so early, but it's always nice to get it out of the way. 

Enough whining from me, let's look at LINKS!

This quote is very true for me. 
(source)

According to Jesus, in the hierarchy of spiritual acts and activities, love tops them all. Move over virginity, church attendance, group dating, morning devotions and crucifixion jewelry. Love is the new king of the mountain.


A really great obituary

Interesting: a fashion show with dresses made from Subway wrappers (FYI: this "healthy" fast food option puts azodicarbonamide in their bread. Eat real food instead.)

Hope you have a lovely, relaxing, and sleep-filled weekend! 


September 12, 2013

tc 10 mile training update

Sorry I've been MIA this week. I've been exhausted this week, coming home after work and crashing. This morning's run was my first time running since Sunday. I know!

Anyway, this came in the mail on Monday.


The TC 10 Mile is a mere 24 days away and I'm having a heck of a time gauging where my fitness is. There are days when maintaining and 8 min/mile on a long run feels so hard, and other times the pace on my watch reads 7:3x and I feel like I'm barely working. The weather has played a role, no doubt. I hit another forty mile week last week and this week will be my highest week- 45 miles- before beginning to ease back down.
So what's a person to do when they want to test their fitness without wearing themselves out? Enter a race of a shorter distance.
(source)

On Saturday I'm going to run the 10k at race effort (though without a taper) to see if my legs have a sub 1:12 in them for the 10 mile (meaning I need to run around a 7:10 pace). With that as my goal, the McMillan Running Calculator tells me I should be able to run a 10k at 43:05 (a 6:56 pace). Honestly, that sounds impossible to me right now, and it very well might be. But often times my head gets in the way of my legs, so I figure I'll give it a shot. 

No matter what, I'll likely walk away with a new 10k PR.

September 6, 2013

happy weekend

You guys. Here's the thing about Friday's during a short week: we're all happy it's Friday but our workload is like whoa whoa whoa, sister, there's still more work to do. Or maybe it's just me.

This weekend is filled with fun things, including a wedding on Saturday, followed by an early morning long run on Sunday so I can cheer for the runners in the City of Lakes 25k at 8am! Are you running it?

And PS- Thanks for all the wonderful advice on my last post! Super helpful!

Let's look at LINKS

I went to the Wednesday Workout this week and my quads are screaming! Join me next week?

Landscapes made out of food. I would live in 6, 7, or 15.



This article about running by feel was really helpful. 
But running by feel takes practice and experience, as you have to learn the proper feel of the workouts and races and how to judge how much you have left in the tank.  Staying in the moment becomes about pushing appropriately for the stage of the race or workout you are in, rather than nail a certain split. 




Have a wonderful weekend!

September 5, 2013

a big problem

ouch

This is what's happening every time I run: two extremely painful chafe marks underneath my sports bra. Notice that these marks are actually below where my sports bra lies, meaning my bra (and boobs) must be moving that much when I'm running. 

The bra I'm wearing is Moving Comfort's Juno bra and it's been my go-to bra for my last three purchases. Usually this type of chafing signals that it's time for a new one but I just bought this one. 

I've tried body glide, tightening the straps, loosening the straps, and finally resorted today to turning it inside out, which is a trick I read on Sarah OUaL's blog. Clearly it didn't help.   

I'm at a loss. Girls with girls, what bra do you run in? Has this ever happened to you?

ETA: If you're seeing this post twice, it's because I changed the title of it. I was getting a lot of traffic from Russian porn sites (true story) and it seems like this was a popular post. Sorry to disappoint, no porn here. 

September 4, 2013

so you want to be a runner

I have a few people in my life that have recently started running. This is my Favorite Thing. Because I love running and will talk about it any chance I get. Because runners are the greatest people ever. Because if everyone ran, the world would be a better place.

First, let's define run: 
Run: Move at a speed faster than a walk, never having both feet on the ground at the same time.

To be a runner doesn't mean you have to run a 6 minute mile or a marathon or own a Garmin. You're a runner if you move at a speed faster than a walk. Sounds easy enough, right? Right... Kind of.

bill and al love running
source

While I am a firm believer that anyone can be a runner, there are some things you can do to ease the transition from non-runner into runner:
 
Go to a real running store and get fitted for shoes. They'll look at your feet, have you roll up your pants and watch your ankles while you walk/run, all to figure out what shoe type to put you in. Running in the right shoe will lower your risk of injury by providing you with the right support for your foot/body.

Set a goal with a time frame. Is it to run a 5k in three months? A marathon next year? Generally, the loftier/longer the goal, the more time you'll need to (safely) achieve it. Whatever it is, write it down. This will serve as motivation when you hit the "why am I doing this?!" wall. 

Create a plan. Training to run a mile is a lot different than training to run a marathon. Use the internet, running books, or the runners in your life as resources for creating a plan. There is no shortage of training philosophies and plans out there. Do the research and find one that works the best for you.

Start slower than you think you need to. This applies to your pace, the distance you attempt your first run out the door, and the number of miles you think you need to run in a given week. Ease into it.

Find other runners.  It's easy to skip a run, or a week's worth of runs. Finding someone to stay accountable to can help give you the motivation to stick with it.

Improve your running by doing things that everyone else skips. Drills. Warming up and cooling down. Stretching. Just do it.

I sometimes go back and read my training journals from when I first started running, when I used to run with a stopwatch in my hand, then go back and drive my route for the mileage. Lots of things are different now (like not wearing cotton socks!) but the sense of accomplishment I feel after finishing a run hasn't changed. I sincerely wish the same for you.

Go run!



August 30, 2013

happy weekend, camping edition

Hi friends, and happy long weekend! I'm already out of town- and likely out of cell service range- for the next few days, enjoying some QT with the fam on a little camping/canoeing adventure.


We've been going to the same campground for the last 15 years and it's primitive. (This is not glamping!) Aside from contending with the spiders that live in the "outhouse" (read: hole in the ground surrounded by a plywood structure), I will also be on the lookout for wolves.

LINKS! 

Life hacks: Camping

If these pictures don't make you want to pitch a tent, I don't know what will.


This workout requires no equipment and looks hard as heck.


Have a wonderful and safe weekend!

August 28, 2013

state fair adventures, 2013

The Minnesota State Fair: It's one of my favorite things to do in Minnesota. I'm not one of those people that can go and walk around for 10 hours. I seriously just go for the food, the Miracle of Birth Center, and the horse barns. Four hours, in and out. Here's how I made that time count last Saturday:

breakfast

cheese curds

beer tasting for $8!

caramel apple sundae

my first time trying scotch eggs. not my fave.

crowds

It was pretty much the perfect day, so perfect that I'm actually considering going back on Labor Day, when MN is supposed to cool off.

One other thing: The Strib published this article about what to wear to the fair and I was slightly appalled at their suggestion of ballet flats! Bad idea jeans. Here's my guide on what to wear:
  • Shirt: A tank or loose, light colored shirt. Leave your polyester at home. 
  • Pants: Do you legs a favor and wear shorts/capris. It's too hot to wear jeans and a skirt will likely mean your thighs are rubbing together, which is at best generally uncomfortable. At worst, you're the mayor of Chafe City.
  • Underneath: Do not bring sexy back and leave your lace thong at home. Cotton briefs are more comfortable and will absorb some of that swass. (This is something the Strib did not address.)
  • Shoes: In blatant defiance to the Strib, I went ahead a wore my Chacos (and washed my feet when I got home). Running shoes would have been my second choice. In conclusion, supportive shoes.
  • Purse: As a fairly low-maintenance gal that rarely puts make-up on, let alone re-applies throughout the day, I left my purse at home. IDs, cash, credit cards and chapstick can all fit in pockets. Pull a man and leave your lady bag at home. Bonus: free hands and shoulders that don't hate you at the end of the day! 

August 26, 2013

the big 4-0

Last week I ran 40 miles!

source

I've been safely building up to that number for months (literally!). It feels great to finally reach this training milestone uninjured and more in love with running than I have been in a long, long time.

 Here's to the miles to come!

August 23, 2013

happy weekend

We made it to Friday, just in time for things to get ridiculously hot! Did you hear that next week is supposed to be the hottest week of the summer? Gross.  

Unfortunately, the heat also arrives during The Great Minnesota Get-Together, which I'll be eating my way through tomorrow. (Have you seen this list of new foods?) Don't worry, I'll be sweating out all those calories during my long run on Sunday.

source

LINKS!

54 smoothie recipes. I think I'll start with #19.

The right person myth (and why not to follow your heart).

I can't wait to see this movie.



The Michigan will make you faster (just don't puke).



Have a wonderful weekend!


August 21, 2013

this isn't a real post

What I mean is this isn't a real post because all I wanted to tell you is that I created an about page on my blog. Fancy, I know. 

For those in a reader, you'll actually have to click over to my blog to see it. 

And, because it's Wednesday.... this.


i will buy this for colleen because it's her fave commercial
source

August 19, 2013

how to survive a post-run ice bath

This weekend had two important milestones, the first being I successfully completed my longest training run in over a year- 17 miles! I ran with Brady, who was a doll and agreed to run with me at 6:30 on Sunday morning.

I only had 45 minutes by the time I got home to get out the door for church but I knew I needed an ice bath, which bring me to my second milestone: my first ice bath in 2+ years! 

Ice baths are like marathons in the way that you forget how much you hate them until you're actually doing it, at which point there's no turning back. But ice baths are said to speed recovery so they're kind of a necessary evil, IMO. Active.com says:
The general theory behind this cold therapy is that the exposure to cold helps to combat the microtrauma (small tears) in muscle fibers and resultant soreness caused by intense or repetitive exercise.
The ice bath is thought to constrict blood vessels, flush waste products and reduce swelling and tissue breakdown. Subsequently, as the tissue warms and the increased blood flow speeds circulation, the healing process is jump-started. The advantage of an ice bath submersion is that a large area of intertwined musculature can be treated, rather than limiting the cold therapy to a concentrated area with a localized ice pack.
So ice baths = good, or at least generally won't do any harm. Here are my tips on surviving one.


  • Keep your shorts on. Ain't nobody got time for frostbite on their nether regions. Plus, I feel like this counts as laundry.
  • Change out of your wet top/sports bra in favor of a long-sleeve shirt. May as well keep your top-half warm.
  • Brew coffee, tea or other hot beverage of choice and pour yourself a big old mug to be enjoyed while sitting in the tub.
  • Distraction. A book, magazine, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Bring something that will keep your mind off the cold.
  • This is probably the most important step: Fill the tub with cold water, get in, then add the ice. In my experience, if you add ice before you get in, the amount of discomfort increases by like 1000%. Getting into cold water is bad enough but ice water is agony. 

  • Google research tells me that the water temp should be between 50-59 degrees but short of getting a thermometer out, I don't know how you figure that out. Basically it should be uncomfortable (it's cold water!) but not painful. 
  • Chill out (total pun intended) for the next 10-20 minutes. 

So I want to know: Do you ice bath? If you do, any tips to share? If you don't, are you going to try? 

August 16, 2013

happy weekend

I feel like I fell off the face of the earth this week. It's been so busy and the days have felt incredibly long. I didn't even have plans plans every night, just a lot of stuff to do, if that makes any sense. But I accomplished things!

Like running an interval workout by myself!

2 mile wu, 6 x 800 w/ 400 RBI, 1 mile cd

And surviving a trip through IKEA.

ice cream to keep from screaming

And finding links for you!

Hello my old heart. 

Turns out the "Angel Priest" isn't an angel at all.

Stunning outdoor kitchens.

My friend Jilian sent me this pin on Pinterest. (Thanks, lady.)


Hey girl. Now you can change every picture on a website to Ryan Gosling. You're welcome.

Have a great weekend!

August 12, 2013

a bachelorette, a boat, and a bus

This past weekend I went down to southern MN for Emily's bachelorette weekend. Here are the internet appropriate pictures.

Saturday morning started with a really great run through hilly St. Peter...

mile splits: 8:26, 8:33, 7:50, 8:04, 7:27, 7:20, 7:14

... followed by a little morning yoga with fellow bridesmaid Sarah.



After getting pretty, we split up between two boats for a little booze cruise. Don't worry, we had sober drivers and enough life jackets in case this turned into a swim.



Then it was time to small-town bar hop on a party bus!



And we stopped at a lot of small town bars that had names like this...


... and decor like this. 


A few things to note, since this was my first official bachelorette party (I KNOW!):
  • A fair number of bachelorette games take a significant amount of alcohol to play. I wasn't drinking much, so I was red-faced the entire time. 
  • The type of people in a small town bar on a Saturday afternoon are either A) over 70 or B) under 12.
  • Though "Drink out of a straw shaped like a p#ni$" was never on my bucket list, that item can be forever crossed off. 
  • Gummy bears soaked in booze are a good idea in theory, but can give you a significant stomachache when consumed quickly or in large quantities.  
These are life lessons, friends. 

August 9, 2013

happy weekend

TGIF! Big plans this weekend?

My best friend from high school is getting married in October and we're having her bachelorette party this weekend. I've already roped a few girls into joining me for a Saturday morning run/ yoga session before the festivities begin.  I'm looking forward to relaxing and spending some time with some amazing women I see far too infrequently.

LINKS!

For real, this happens to me all the time.

I love stories like this! 'Angel' priest visits Missouri accident scene

An artist repaints signs for the homeless, then shares their stories on this blog. 


Fascinating! "Nail houses" in China are homes that people refuse to give up for construction. So contractors just build around them.

Have a great weekend!


August 7, 2013

fat girl

I met with a dietician yesterday morning at Life Time for my nutrition consultation. The good news: I'm doing a lot of things right.

I've been eating a pretty whole-foods based diet for a while now but am not super strict with it, especially when I go out to eat or am over at a friend's, which is relatively often. I break the rules for Sour Patch Kids in movie theaters, froyo after a particularly stressful day, and chocolate just because I want it. And I get Cravings with a capital C. 

The better news: She told me to eat more fat. Yep, FAT. She said that adding fat to my diet will boost my body's ability to burn fat and also really help with cravings. (The Gospel of Fat is something Dietician Cassie has been preaching for a while now!)

I haven't been eating much dairy or grains of any kind, especially when I was trying to cut out processed foods. We talked about a lot about good carbs, some of which I'm already eating, and about what changes I could make, e.g. swapping coconut milk for almond milk. She gave me the green light on oatmeal (NOT instant), quinoa (which is actually a seed) and told me to start eating full fat, plain Greek yogurt and to cook with butter.

HECK. YES.

Pretty much anyone who tells me that I can eat more butter is okay in my book! Let's give this a try!

August 6, 2013

slow going

I've just spent a ridiculous amount of time pouring over my training journals from the past few years. Back when I was running a 5k a good 30 seconds per mile faster than what I just ran. Back when I was comfortably running under eight minute miles. Back when I felt like a real runner.


I know fitness takes time to come back. But here we are in August, nearly two years from when I was shoved from the running wagon (and my subsequent PE). And I'm looking back thinking what the heck have I been doing? and feeling like I should be farther along.

It's hard to keep going when results are slow and even harder to see, when all you have to go on is a feeling, and dreams of what could be. So rather than looking at paces or miles, I'm looking at progress: Runs are getting easier. I'm uninjured. I'm happy to be running.

It's all reason enough to keep moving forward.


August 5, 2013

race report: pine tree apple classic 5k

I may have forgotten to mention that I ran a 5k yesterday. My original 2013 race plans had me heading to my hometown for a 5k this weekend, but instead I went up to White Bear Lake to raise money for children's cancer research.

Brady and I got up there early to register, and it was a good thing we did! There were tons of people wanting to register, and only a few people there to check us in. It was cold, too, and I found myself shivering while we waited in line, wishing I had brought a sweatshirt! Doesn't MN know it's August?

via @ChildrensMN
My goal for the race was to run hard and try to maintain an even effort. Story of my life, right?

The race starts at Lifetime Fitness and runs around Birch Lake, staying mostly on the sidewalks. Brady and I ran a warm up to get a preview of the course which was really scenic and relatively flat.

When it was time for the 5k to line up, we tried to position ourselves at the front so we wouldn't get stuck behind a bunch of people, even though the race was chip timed. I started my watch as soon as the horn sounded but then found myself at a standstill as the people in front of me trotted ahead across the timing mats. Apparently they weren't in a hurry. 

For the first 100 meters or so, I was stuck behind a few kids and blocked in by spectators. By the time I made it out of the pack, there were six women in front of me, and they had quite the gap. Rather than worry about it, I just stuck to my own race. 

The first mile was crowded, with a lot of dodging 5k people that had gone out too fast, and catching up with 10k people. Since we were on sidewalks, it was difficult to maneuver around them and I found myself slowing down more than once to wait for an opportunity to pass. I eventually passed two of the women and was within 10 meters of a third for the majority of the race.

I heard my watch beep mile splits but didn't look at it at all until the third mile. The course seemed to drag on forever and I started to develop a sharp side stitch. I just concentrated on staying relaxed and moving my feet as fast as possible until I crossed the finish line. 

My watch read 21:59 with a distance of 3.17 miles, a 6:56  average pace. I knew that my official time would be a little faster than that, since I started my watch prior to crossing the mat but I also knew that they would call the course 3.1 miles, making my average pace slower. Brady's Garmin said 3.27 miles so I'm pretty sure the course was a little long. My mile splits were 6:49, 7:05, 6:56 and 6:49 (for the last .17). My official time turned out to be 21:52. Still, all my mile splits were faster than the "5k" I ran in June.

The takeaway: I need to do more speedwork.

August 2, 2013

one of those weeks (but happy weekend)

(via daily dishonesty)

This week has been one of those weeks.

And tonight is one of those nights.

I promise that I'll (probably) be back next week with actual links.