July 31, 2013

long interval ladder workout (and having people to run with)

I'm embarrassed to say how long it's been since I've run an interval workout. Probably sometime in early spring. The ability to avoid running real, challenging workouts is a benefit (?) of not running with a team, but as we all know, detrimental to training overall. Enter my sole-mate Brady.

Brady runs with a team and therefore has prescribed workouts that she doesn't avoid. When we chatted about meeting for a run on Tuesday morning (Me: Easy 5 miles? Her: How about intervals?), I decided to up the ante with my training and log some more serious mileage.

And so we ran a long interval ladder: 2 mile warm up, 800, 1200, 1 mile, 1 mile, 1200, 800, and a 1 mile cool down. All the intervals were to be run at tempo pace (we settled for 7:30). After each interval, we jogged for a quarter mile. 

The workout felt really good, though we both worried during our warm up that we would have trouble with the back-to-back tempo miles. But the body follows where the mind leads and we  stayed on pace, even speeding up a bit for the final intervals.

Two things:
1. It's way easier to run harder workouts with someone alongside you.
okay, not really

2. A quarter-mile never feels so short as when it's sandwiched between two intervals!

Also, three cheers for running friends! If you're new to running, or typically run solo, I'd encourage you to connect with a group. I would assume it's as easy as Googling "running group (city name)" but for the internet-averse, pop into your local running store. They should have the lowdown on all things community running and be able to connect you with people.

i used to be a social runner...

Let's all stop avoiding tough workouts together, mmmk?

July 29, 2013

winning big in vegas

Vegas took it out of me.

And by "it" I mean "energy" which I'm counting as a win,  considering the things Vegas could take out of a person. 

Saturday was the last day of the show and the floor closed at 3pm. Then we had to teardown our booth and didn't get out of there until 9. Oh, and they shut the air off and open the huge doors to the convention center so it got warm fast.

I took the red-eye home on Sunday morning, leaving Las Vegas at 1 a.m. and getting back into Minneapolis at 6. After a few short hours of sleep, I met up with Brady for a long run, 14 miles of pure bliss, and my longest run since last summer! The weather was perfect. Absolutely amazing all around.

I was quickly brought down from my runner's high when I got home and found this in my mailbox:

can't wait to read about aging cats!
That's an issue of Cat Fancy magazine, addressed to "Hannah Kitty Cat Schroeder." Apparently my lovely friends have subscribed me and I will now receive monthly issues. With friends like this...

this cat understands my anguish
On a happier note, I managed to stick to a pretty healthy diet and maintained my running schedule while in Vegas, and as a payoff, I dropped a few pounds. It's amazing what consistency can do.

July 26, 2013

happy weekend (sin city edition)

You guys. It's Friday. I'm currently in Las Vegas at the AWFS Fair which is like a giant woodworking/furnishing supplier convention (are you asleep yet?) and the show goes through tomorrow. That means a solid 8 hours on my feet today, followed by 6 hours, plus booth teardown, tomorrow. Try not to envy my life. 


With this week being a mess of glorified Carnie life, I haven't spent much time perusing The Internet, so I thought I would tell you about life in Vegas. The good thing about having a tradeshow in Vegas is that it IS Vegas, so exciting things can happen....

Like finding a pretty decent German meal on Tuesday night.

dad/boss & coworkers at hofbrauhaus las vegas
german soft pretzel


 And like meeting Louie Anderson on Wednesday night before we went to his show. 

i found the one person paler than me
you so funny louie
But Thursday night was more of a bust. After spending all day on my feet in our booth, I was highly disappointed that the gym wanted to charge me an EXTRA $15 to use it after 6pm. (I'm already paying a "resort fee" of $13 for gym/internet access.) Boo, Vegas. Instead of cross-training, since my feet and lower back were balking at a run, I did this yoga video in my room, then ended with a few minutes of supported headstand. 
the second time on record i've used my webcam
I had every intention of running outside this morning but it's 5:20 and already it's 89 degrees. No thanks. I'll return to MN with a new appreciation for the Chain of Lakes and our easy access to  hydration. But now, the treadmill. 

Have a great weekend!

July 21, 2013

race recap: red, white & boom! tc half marathon relay

I can hardly believe that it's July 21! It feels like this race was just last weekend. Anyway, here's my recap for the Red, White & Boom! TC Half Marathon Relay (whew!).

A few things about this race: 
  • It's on the 4th of July every year, so if you have family in town and are looking to start some sort of healthy tradition, this is it. The relay portion makes it accessible to those that maybe aren't comfortable running the entire half. 
  • That being said, it's really flipping hot. They start the race at 6:30 to try to beat the heat, but it's July in Minnesota, so it's to be expected. I wouldn't really plan this race for a PR or anything.
  • Because it starts so early, don't expect a lot of spectators. They have course entertainment every so often but you're basically just running by a band for 30 seconds. 
  • It's a quiet course. The first half goes through the more industrial part of Northeast Minneapolis, and the latter half winds through the neighborhoods. Since it's a holiday, and so early, it can feel sort of desolate. (I actually like this about it.)
  • Regarding the relay, in my opinion, the first leg is the harder one. Yes, the second leg starts with Norwegian Hill, but it's literally all downhill from there. The first leg has three hills, all pretty steep. 
Okay, on to the race. So I ran with John, who has not run 6.5 miles in probably eight years. He'd only been training a few weeks, and his longest run was five miles. We toured part of the course earlier in the week and decided that he would run the first half, mostly so he could start with a larger group and sort of feed off that energy.

We drove to the start line and got there a little before 6:00 a.m. There was already a long line for the porta-potties, which was unfortunate for John who was experiencing his first case of "nervous bladder."

everybody pees
 Shortly after John got into the corral and I walked down the course so I could see everyone start.

and they're off!
blurry john
Rather than take the bus to the transition area, Colleen and Julie were the best friends ever and gave me a ride there so they could see John finish his first race. We got there with plenty of time to spare but I wasn't really in "race" mode so I chatted instead of warming up. At. All.

Soon enough I saw John coming and ran up to the transition area. Julie got this picture of him.

sweaty but still smiling

I wanted to make my first mile my slowest because it was the only one that had the gigantic hill but with the excitement of the race, that didn't really happen. Plus, immediately after you get to the top of it, you're rewarded with a long downhill. I didn't really look at my watch and  just ran on feel until the last two miles. I was getting pretty warm (but got chills- never a good sign) and just wanted to be done.

Soon enough, I was.

great view, horrible form

The best part of this race: Popsicles. And chocolate milk, hot dogs, and a bunch of other stuff that I didn't bother to eat. Instead, we walked down to Wilde Roast and had an amazing breakfast.

we love running!
And that's the story of our first race together (though probably not our last).

July 19, 2013

happy weekend

Is it just me or did this week feel like it was never-ending? All the sad news in the press just makes me want to give everyone a giant hug. We live in a weird world. Moving on to happier things...

Last night I had my first personal training session at Life Time Fitness, which I went to five minutes after I finished a 5-mile tempo run on the treadmill. Guess what we started with? Squats. My legs are feeling the burn today, especially after my very sweaty run with Brady this morning. 

This weekend, more running, a baseball game, yoga, a birthday party and a fish fry.

But first, LINKS!

Sweater weather.

Twin Cities friends, have you heard about this race?

A really adorable- and gender neutral- baby shower. (Because a handful of my friends are currently With Child.)

So helpful! Your Go-to Guide for Grains.

How wild is this?! Digitally-combined portraits of relatives. 

This video will change your (laundry) life.

Have a wonderful weekend! Now go practice folding shirts superfast!

July 17, 2013

midweek amazing

Just checking in midweek to tell you about some amazing things:

Nuun. I had completely forgotten about this snazzy way to stay hydrated until I found a nearly full tube of banana nuun in my “running junk” drawer. (Also in said drawer: Several chapsticks, arm warmers I’ve never worn, sunglasses, KT tape, one calf compression sleeve, and approximately 1000 safety pins). Between not running a ton last year, and then moving twice, I had little reason to access my secret stash. Nuun was by far my favorite find (though maybe the safety pins will come in handy).
so hydrated!

These shorts from lululemon. Holy crap, they're amazing! And the key pocket on the leg instead of the back? Genius. They’re long enough to not feel like I’m showing some cheek, loose enough to have full movement and the wide waistband is really comfortable. I've seriously been wearing them everywhere.

they do not look like this on me

The apparent 9 lives of my Garmin. I’ve had my Garmin for over four years, which is at least two years longer than anyone else I know. The band is being held together with Gorilla Glue and it’s now dying when it reaches 53% battery life, so I have to make sure it’s fully charged before I head out the door. It will be a sad day when it finally goes. 

not from today (obviously)

And finally, since it's Wednesday, this is for Colleen:

July 15, 2013

a country weekend reviewed


Kenny Chesney.  The weather was perfect and it was fun to be "on" Target Field. They turned the dugouts into bars, where they served over-priced beer, stale hotdogs and super salty pretzels. Perfect.

Below is my (step) sister Whitney and her husband Kyle. They got married in March. Tomorrow Kyle is being deployed to Afghanistan... for the next year. I can't imagine how hard/scary that is going to be for Whitney, and Kyle, for that matter. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers!


I had my meeting with the trainer from Life Time and we talked about everything from running to weight training to supplements. I have my first "real" training session with her on Thursday night, where we'll mostly be reviewing proper form. Maybe it will make me like weights more...

The big event on Saturday was a BBQ/"barn raising", which was really just a celebration of the renovation of an existing barn. It's still a work in progress but it's cool that they're trying to save it rather than just knocking it down.

the barn and life-size jenga

god bless beards


Sleeping in. Running. Re-arranging of furniture. Laundry. Errands. Cooking. 

Seriously an A+ weekend.

July 12, 2013

happy weekend

This week has been crazy (I’m so busy) but it did make it go by really fast. Tonight, believe it or not, I’ll be at the Kenny Chesney concert. I am not necessarily a big fan of country music, or Kenny Chesney, but my uncle had 8 tickets that he needed to offload so me, a couple of my sibs and our signifs are heading to what will be amazing people watching, if nothing else.

Tomorrow is a busy day, too. Despite my concert adventure, I still plan to get up and run before heading to my new gym to the fitness consultation. It's also my grandma's 85th birthday so I'll swing by their house to drop off a present and a card. She knows that her birthday is coming up, but is only reminded what day it is when she looks at the calendar in the kitchen, so we'll see if she remembers the day-of. Then it’s off to game 1 of 3 for my little brother’s state baseball tourney, then a BBQ that’s rumored to have life-size jenga! We’ll see how I’m feeling come Sunday


This song sums up how I feel about love.

A cool print (and good reminder!) with a part of my favorite quote.

Food can be as addictive as drugs. 

Make your own flavored water.

It's not often I think of my job as "cool" but this video is pretty awesome. (I work for a company that makes sanders for woodworking/metalworking industries.)

Have a lovely weekend!

July 11, 2013

what matters in a gym

Last night I made the moderately impulsive decision to re-join Life Time Fitness. If you’re keeping track, I technically belong to three health facilities (LTF, Core Power Yoga, and LA Fitness) but that’s just until my month runs out with both CPY and LAF. And it’s re-joining because I had a membership there when I worked for TCM.

Don’t get me wrong, I have been loving CPY. But at $124/month, I need to get there at least 4-5 times a week to make it worthwhile, and that hasn’t been happening. I’ve also been paying $40/month at LAF- even though I haven’t been there forever- but have kept it to use a treadmill for when it’s too hot/stormy/late to run outside. Fortunately (or unfortunately for my bank account), I’ve only had to go there once in the last few months.

In short, I'll be paying less than half of what I was per month for my membership at Life Time. As part of a promotion they were offering, I had my sign-up fees waived (like $179 or something) and got $150 myLTbucks (fake money you can use for LTF club services) for an extra $49 of my real money. You can use myLTbucks on pretty much anything, but I decided to go with a personal training session and a nutrition consultation. I’m meeting someone for a “fitness consultation” on Saturday morning to discuss my goals and develop a plan to reach my goals, which (I think) they do with every new member. It sounds a little “rah-rah” to me but I guess everyone could use a cheerleader in their corner.

So why go back to Life Time, and not just stay at LA Fitness? Aren’t all gyms created equal.

Um, no.

In no particular order, here’s what I love about Life Time:
  • Hours: 4am – midnight at most locations. LAF was not that flexible, and the earliest class at CPY was 6, making it nearly impossible to take a morning class.
  • Facilities: They have a ton of the latest equipment and spaces within the club dedicated to core work, drills, etc.  And it’s clean, like really, really clean. That will be a nice change. 
  • Classes: They have a class for everything. When I was a member before, I loved their studio cycle classes and went to Intro to Yoga a few times.  I noticed the number of yoga classes has increased significantly, no doubt in response to all the CPY’s popping up all over the place. I’m excited to try their yoga classes now that I actually know how to do it. 
  • Amenities: Free towels in the locker room. Access to every court and pool. In-club child-care (not that I'm using it). Cafe. Salon/spa. You could probably pull a Tom Hanks a la The Terminal and just move in.
The biggest con with LFT is that it’s further away from my house. And some of the locations can get a little “meat market-y” during certain times e.g. Hey Tan Girl, you’re “working out” in full make-up with your hair down, and you hardly have clothes on. The only thing that’s getting a workout is your ego.

That aside, though, I’m excited to be back.

July 9, 2013

germany, day 2

You thought I forgot, didn't you?

It's true, I totally did. I was just beginning to recap my trip to Germany (that I took several weeks ago) and then promptly forgot about it and started writing about other super important things, like losing power and fun family time. But better late than never, so here's what we did on our second day in Germany.

Garmish-Partenkirchen is surrounded by mountains, so we knew that we definitely wanted to do some hiking. On Day 2, our plan was to take a cable car to the top of a mountain, then hike down through the Partnach Gorge. Sounds easy enough, right?

The cars only fit two people, so Mom graciously volunteered to brave the trip alone. 

mom hanging in the car behind us

my "this could be my last picture alive" face

going up

Juli and I decided that if our car fell, we would be better bracing ourselves in the car and hope to roll than trying to jump out. It's good to have a plan. And take selfies.

nailed it

actually nailed it
The views were amazing! The green of the trees and grass is not normal green, it's like green on crack/mountain air. This picture hardly does it justice.

Once we got to the top, we waited for my mom to make her way up.

the hills are alive and so are we!

We knew that there was a restaurant somewhere up here so we followed the trails....

... and found a spot that will forever put Minneapolis rooftop patios to shame.

Clearly we were thirsty after our death-defying ride up so my mom and I both got Radlers, which is the German version of a shandy. They. Are. Good.  We didn't get any food, though they had a German menu we could've chanced.

i did not try the wiener art

mom, sister, me, mountains

After a radler and some sun, I had the genius idea of trying yoga on uneven ground.

this is as good as it got for crow

juli more successful in tree

mom nails it with star
After yoga, we started walking down, thinking that we were heading toward the gorge. (The signs were all in German.)
i should probably live here

Despite how beautiful it was, it didn't take us long to figure out that we were not walking into a gorge, but rather down the WRONG SIDE of the mountain. Our options were 1) hike back up (probably a good 1/2 hour climb) or 2) continue on our path and see where we ended up.

we went with option 2, but this is what we thought of it

It wasn't all bad, though. On our inadvertent adventure, we stumbled upon the town of Wamberg, which is Germany's highest-altitude town . It's only accessible by a tiny tractor road, which we continued to hike down, wondering how the heck people got to the town in the winter. (Answer: They usually don't.)

mom and juli jog ahead to the little town of wamberg

one of many snails
When we finally got to the bottom of the mountain, we happily discovered that we were less than a mile from where we had taken the cable car up. We also found out that we could hike up to the gorge, and it was more of a meandering path, rather than a climb. Still, we decided to save it for another day. Our knees, quads and feet were all really sore from the constant descent. Both my mom and Juli had on Garmins, which said that we had covered over 6 miles! 

Day 3 to come...