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.


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:


cheese curds

beer tasting for $8!

caramel apple sundae

my first time trying scotch eggs. not my fave.


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!


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.



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

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. 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.


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.


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 recap: 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.