Friday, July 31, 2015

Fitness Friday

Well, here we are at another Friday. I'm still in rest/recovery mode due to my leg/shin injury. It's feeling much better, so I'm hopeful that things will work out and I can still train well for the marathon. I've kind of decided that I'm going to do it, even if I have to walk a lot of it. This week has been a really good lesson in patience and learning to adjust expectations.

Saturday - Rest. Play outside. Enjoy our baby pool. Live life.

Sunday - Easy 3 mile run. Easy easy easy; slow slow slow. I mentioned my run on Monday, but it was really great! No pain, although there was some residual achiness afterward. But I took a minimal amount of ibuprofen today as well, because at this point I don't want to mask it. I want to know what's really going on down there.

Monday - 5 miles on the bike, averaging about 13 mph. I was a little nervous about this on Sunday night, but Monday morning I think I literally bounced out of bed. I was excited! I got ready to go, strapped on my helmet, and took off. It was actually pretty funny to have my Garmin beep 1 mile at me around 4:00 minutes. Fastest mile ever! If only I could run that fast! This was kind of a short test ride for me. I forgot how to shift gears, so I became reacquainted with that, as well as drinking on the bike. Remember "no hands!" when you were little? Well, one handed is kind of tricky at the moment. Also? My quads were like jelly when I hopped off at the end. I'd call that a success!

Tuesday - A less than stellar easy 3 miles. Had some stiffness and discomfort in my lower leg, on both inside and outside, for the first 1.5 miles accompanied by uncomfortable twinges under my kneecap. Both went away after that first 1.5 miles. Then I had a glorious mile where I felt like I could conquer the world. Then the last .50 mile, I started getting some discomfort over my shin. Again, all discomfort - never actual pain. But I was really hoping to feel back to normal. Not exactly how I wanted things to go this morning. :o( It could have been because I sped up a bit. My splits were 10:03, 9:56, 9:47.

Wednesday - Rest. I was planning on taking the bike out again this morning, but it was super windy in the AM. Like, 20mph gusts of wind. I was a little nervous about getting blown off the bike!

I managed to get in at 8am to see my doctor for a follow-up on the leg. It's not as bad as it was, but it's still not quite right. She was pretty confident that it is not a stress fracture, and she thinks that switching shoes could have altered the way some of the ligaments & tendons move, which is causing the discomfort now. So I have an appointment with an orthopedic doctor on Monday. Fingers crossed that it just keeps getting better!

Thursday - Another easy 3 miles. I wore my compression socks on this run, and I think that really helped. I still had some discomfort, but it was intermittent and in various areas like lower inner soleus muscle, then over my shin, then outer shin muscle (whatever that's called). So I'm feeling pretty positive about this. One of my coaches suggested that I get in for a deep tissue sports medicine massage. I was able to get an appointment to do so on my lunch break, but not until Tuesday. :o( So, we'll just keep trucking along, slow and steady, until then. Paces were 10:18, 9:59, 9:57.

Friday - 6 miles on the bike! I woke up with a really annoying sinus headache, but that didn't stop me. I averaged about 14.5mph, but my quads were definitely working! Pedaling the bike doesn't seem to aggravate my lower leg, so I think this will work out really nice as a cross training tool.

My doctor helped me come to the decision not to run the half marathon tomorrow. Her exact words were "". Ha! So we're still going to the to Twin Cities to enjoy our "adult weekend", and I may end up doing 5 or 6 slow & easy miles Saturday morning instead. Happy Friday!

Do you deal well with change? How do you adapt when your goals change?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Training for Tuesday: a link-up

I'm linking up again with Tracy & Alyssa to talk about training, running, and all that jazz.

A Change of Pace

I'm smack in the middle of marathon training, and training is kind of at a stand still because of my weird injury/non-injury in my leg. I did another easy 3 miles today, and it was a little disheartening. The first 1.5 miles I had some discomfort on the inside and outside of my leg, right below my calf. Plus some twinges under my kneecap. But it all went away after that 1.5 miles. Then in the last .50 mile I started to get some discomfort over my lower shin. 

So....yea. I still don't know where I stand.

In other news, they released the medal for the race this year. 

...I am not a fan. 

I know Detroit is the "Motor City", and that statue guy is iconic Detroit, but...I think it's kind of ugly. In the end, who cares about the medal, right? It's all about the hard work, effort, and miles put in to get it. But I will admit that I'd like it to be pretty, too. Because I am vain.

I'm supposed to be running the Minnesota Half Marathon in St. Paul this weekend. That's still very up in the air. A good runner friend of mine (interviewed here after his Hardrock 100 race) said "Eh, just go run it. I run all the time with pains and aches. They go away after a couple of miles". Considering that he runs 50k's for breakfast, I suppose a half marathon is a drop in the bucket for him. 

Speaking of medals, the MN Half medal is quite attractive:

Not that I want to injure myself further just for a piece of metal...

So anyway, I'm kind of in no-man's land of training. Rest world. Reevaluating world. Rambling world...

How's your training going? What are you looking forward to in the next few months? 

Link up with us and chat about it! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Weekend Recap: Who turned up the heat?

Good Monday morning to you! At the moment, I am enjoying the air conditioning at my office. Shhh, don't tell anyone that I'm also blogging.

We're in the middle of a heat wave here in the Northland. Today's high is 89. Oofdah! When you don't have A/C...that's hot. Thankfully we're supposedly getting rain tomorrow that will cool things down by about 10 degrees.

So this weekend, we stayed outside as much as possible. It's actually cooler out there with the breeze then it is in the house. We also took full advantage of our backyard pool, and the lake.

Our homemade waterpark, complete with a "beach", aka an outdoor rug.
Sunday we went up to McCarthy's Beach. We got there around 11:30, but it wasn't very busy yet so we had prime pick of the spots. I took this picture from my towel. The water was pretty warm, and it was hot enough at 88 degrees to get all the way in! Also, Emily started to do some swimming! She's finally learning how to do a doggy paddle. Hooray Emily!

Catching minnows.
On Saturday, we also got our bikes down from the garage rafters. Since I'm mid-injury (or whatever we're calling the issue with my leg), I decided to start biking as cross training.

It needed a bath. 
I mean, I paid a lot of money for this thing...I might as well use it, right? I actually took it out this morning for a test spin. 5 miles in 22 minutes, averaging 13mph. Not speed lightning, but ok for my first time out. Actually, any faster kind of scares me. It's getting darker in the mornings, so I wrapped my headlamp around the handle bars for some extra light. That worked pretty well! Hopefully this is the first of many good rides.

Emily wanted to get in on the action, so she pumped up her bike tires. She doesn't really like riding on her bike yet. It's a "balance" bike, which teaches them to balance on the 2 wheels without training wheels. She's still learning. 

Sunday morning I went on a short, slow, 3 mile jog to test out my leg. It went really well. Almost no pain at all, just a twinge over my shin for one step near the end of mile 2. It was a little achy throughout the day, but this is typical. No pain while I run, some soreness/ache afterward. So...we're still waiting it out. It is feeling much, much better today though!

When I came home, Travis had a pot of freshly ground coffee going. I accidentally told him to buy the "big" bag, which is whole beans instead of grounds. So he also bought a grinder. And now we're addicted.

C'est la vie.

How was your weekend? Are you a fan of bike riding?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fitness Friday

Sunday - The epic long run. 15 miles. I was so nervous about this run! Seriously, I was dreaming that I missed getting up at my normal time, so I had to run at like 10 am on a really hot day. Thankfully, that did not happen! I got started around 6:30 am, and the weather was beautiful for the entire run. 60's, sunny, and breezy. Couldn't ask for anything better! I took this nice and slow, listened to a couple of podcasts, and had an average pace of 9:51. My body held up pretty well until about mile 13; that's when the fatigue really started to kick in. So, I think anything longer and I'll be taking an extra gel with me to add a little pep to my step.

Monday - Resting. I ran 15 miles yesterday! I deserve it!

Tuesday  - VO2max workout at the track. I'm either going to have to start doing these in the afternoon, or bring my headlamp. The sun was just starting to peek out when I got to the track at 5am. This workout was 12 x 400m intervals at 7:40-7:50 pace with 2 minutes of rest in between, along with 1 mile warm up/cool down. I brought a baggy with 12 popcorn seeds in it to count out the intervals. There was no way I could keep track of which one I was on, along with the rest periods! I need a better watch that I can program the workouts...

Anyway, my splits broke down like this:
9:58 warm up mile
7:44, 7:51, 7:44, 7:45, 7:48, 7:40, 7:41, 7:48, 7:40, 7:41, 7:41, 7:43
10:01 cool down plus .08 at 10:28 to round the mileage up to 7 miles.

Bam! How's that for a Tuesday morning? The intervals were comfortably hard, and I really liked doing 400m repeats instead of 800m. Long enough to find my pace, but short enough that I didn't have to hold it for so long.

Wednesday - Rest day. I made an appointment yesterday to see my doctor and get some x-rays done because of the nagging pain that I've had in my leg. Oddly enough, this morning the pain shifted from my soleus muscle along side the shin bone, below the calf, to the actual shin bone. No bueno.

We took x-rays, and my doctor had a sneaky suspicion that I had a stress fracture.

Que freak out.

She said she'd send it to the radiologist though, because the line she was looking at was so faint in my films. But, she showed me, and even I could see what she was talking about. So, I went home that night to cry my eyes out to my husband, drink more wine that I should have, and have a lot of pity popcorn.

Thursday - Woke up feeling less than stellar about life. My leg was still kind of achy. But I'd decided on a plan. I'd rest, hopefully do the Detroit half instead of the full, start cross training on my bike, and register for the Fargo Marathon on May 21st. Which means a lot of treadmill and winter training. Sucky, but I'm not waiting another year for my shot at the full.

Then I get a call from my doctor's nurse. Radiologist said it's not a stress fracture. Say what!??! She didn't say what it actually was though, but that I should just rest & ice for 2-3 days. Call back if the pain continues. So...there's hope?

Friday - Rest. My leg is feeling better, but definitely not 100%. I waver back and forth between thinking my doctor and the radiologist are wrong, to thinking I'll be just fine, and back again. My coaches said to let it rest for another day, then do a light 30 minute jog on Sunday to test it out. If that goes well, I'll probably do 2 more days next week of light jogging. The big question is: do I run the half marathon I'm registered for next weekend? I can treat it as a training run and just go easy rather than "race" it. But it all depends on how I'm feeling between now and then. I guess only time will tell?

How's your training going? Have you ever been sidelined by a significant injury?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Weekend Recap - Birthdays!

Hello! I hope your Monday is treating you well. I will admit, I'm a little tired this morning. We had a weekend full of celebrating birthdays. It didn't seem like we did that much, but it all adds up!

Friday night we went to my in-law's house to celebrate my sister-in-law's 22nd birthday. They have an above ground pool in their backyard, so we took advantage of that! It was pretty warm here, almost 85. Emily really enjoyed swimming with her aunts, or more like hanging on to them for dear life.

There was an incident with a floating pool chair in which Emily flipped over and ended up in the water. Although she didn't cry or anything, it's probably safe to say that she won't be putting her head under the water any time soon.

Other than that, the evening was great! Grilled chicken, ice cream cake, and lots of good laughs!

Saturday we started harvesting some of our garden crop. Mostly carrots right now, but also a couple green onions. I need green onions like I need a hole in my head, seriously. We've also been getting them from our CSA, and I can't ever seem to find a way to use them!

Sunday was the epic long run of 15 miles. I'll tell you more about it in my Friday post. I survived, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. 

After lots of R&R (and a forced nap time for Emily. Sorry kiddo, mom needs a nap too), we had my other sister-in-law and her boyfriend over for dinner. It was his 27th birthday, and he doesn't have any family in town so I thought it would be nice to have them over. I made BBQ pulled pork sandwiches in the crock pot, baked beans, and homemade coleslaw. We had carrot cake for dinner, although it was store bought. I ran out of ambition. Sorrynotsorry.

Speaking of the coleslaw, I seriously love my food processor. It has an attachment to shred lettuce (and other veggies). It made short work of my head of cabbage. head of cabbage makes a lot of shredded cabbage.

A lot of that went into the coleslaw, but I have a good amount left over too. I think we're going to make spring rolls with it in a few days. Along with shredded kohlrabi. 

Do you know what the heck kohlrabi is? I didn't until we got one in our CSA on Friday. I had to google it. Apparently it is in the cabbage family. 

Yea...kind of weird looking. You can also cut them up into wedges and make "fries" out of them. And probably a lot of other things that I don't even know about. Baby steps. 

How was your weekend? Have you ever used kohlrabi before?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Fitness Friday

Another Friday is upon us, which means another recap of my training. This week was supposed to be a rest week, but I have a half marathon in two weeks on 8/1, which meant that I had to swap the 15 mile long run from the weekend before that race to this weekend instead of a nice, easy 8 miles. Which means that my "rest" week turned into 30 miles...ugh.

Saturday - The Red Ore Run! See my recap here.

Sunday - Rest. We had some storms roll through that really messed with my sinuses. So I was kind of in lala land for much of the day.

Monday - Another rest day, although I did do some hip strength exercises.

Tuesday - Basic tempo run. 2 mile warm up, 4 miles @ 8:40-8:50 pace, 1 mile cool down. The weather on this morning was coolish, but super muggy. I came home dripping in sweat. Ick. But those tempo miles were pretty good. My splits were 9:18, 9:37, 8:44, 8:44, 8:44, 8:41, 9:41. Also, who's a superstar for getting 7 miles in before breakfast? Oh yea, that's me!

Wednesday - Rest and some core work.

Thursday - 3 easy miles averaging 9:48. Another humid morning, but thankfully I didn't have to be out long. The best thing that happened today? I snagged a pair of Speed Tights from Lululemon in their online warehouse sale for 1/2 price! See? It pays to wake up before the crack of dawn! They only had the camo print left in my size, but I don't think it's that noticeable. Rambling...

I also did the "general strength" circuit plan that my training has. I kind of love it, because it's a lot of upper body like push-ups, reverse dips, pike push-ups, but also squats and stuff. Grow muscles, grow!

Friday - Easy 5 miles. This morning I noticed that it is getting darker in the mornings. How can we already be on the back half of summer already? Ugh, I am so not ready to break out the headlamp again. Anyway, this turned into a little cutdown run with my negative splits: 9:45, 9:44, 9:41, 9:35, 9:39. My legs felt a little tired and achy, so I'm looking forward to a rest day tomorrow. Then the big 15 miler on Sunday. Gulp!

Do you love Lulu like I do? What is your favorite brand of running gear?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wednesday Ramblings

I would be excited about Wednesday, since it's hump day and all, but I keep thinking it's Thursday. Then I'm disappointed that we're only at Wednesday. Does this happen to anyone else?

There's some pictures from my race up on Facebook. This one isn't super great since my face is in shadow, but hooray for being on the podium!

In literary news, Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee came out yesterday. I pre-ordered it through Amazon, so my copy arrived yesterday. Unfortunately, I have 2 books on tap before I get to it. I really want to reread To Kill a Mockingbird before I read this one. 

If only I could read all day...that's the life. Can I just retire now? Anyway...

There's been a ton of controversy over this novel, just in case you had no clue. Basically, it was "discovered" by some of Lee's family, and pushed into publication. The controversy mainly surrounds whether Lee actually wanted this to be published, since she's older now and maybe not of sound mind at this point to be making decisions.

Also, the infamous Atticus, known and loved by many, is maybe actually a racist in this novel. While some are calling this a sequel, we do know that Watchman was written before Mockingbird. Some say that Lee's editors made her do a major re-write, and that's where Mockingbird came from. So maybe Lee meant for him to be that way all along? I'm not sure we'll ever know. My plan is to read both and compare the two as individual texts; not prequel/sequel style.

Have you heard this song yet? (Completely switching gears here...I told you I was rambling) you live under a rock?

Anyway, it is quite catchy, and I've been known to break into song at random. This one has been at the top of my list for a few weeks. Proof positive that Emily is my daughter: she has started singing this at random, too. Except her version goes:

"Oh yea, honey I'm good...cuz I am in the woooooods!"

Haha! Kids say the darnedest things, don't they? 

How is your week going? Are you planning on reading Go Set a Watchman?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Red Ore Run 10k Recap

Hello friends! How was your weekend? We had a steamy, humid, warm weekend here in the Northwoods. This kind of weather is not too common for us, so everyone is complaining. Myself included. Add that to AC trouble in the office, and yea...

So here'a something a little positive for you!

This Saturday I ran the Red Ore Run 10k for the third year in a row. This race is special to me, because the 5k was my very first race ever, 4 years ago. I've come a long way, baby!

2nd Place in the 30-39 Females Division
Woot! Look at that! This is the only race I run that doesn't give out finisher medals. I joked this year about wanting some hardware. Well, there you go! 

The race started at 8am, and since I had an 11 mile run on the books for this weekend, I had to run 2.7 miles there, run the race, and then run 2.1 miles home. I left my house around 7:15, and took it nice and slow. It was only in the high 60's at this point, but the humidity was sweltering. I got to the start line with about 10 minutes to go, which was just perfect. I said some hello's to fellow runners, and made my way to the starting line.

When the gun went off, I started off too fast, of course. But this time, I was pretty good and reeling it back to my goal pace within that first mile. I saw a woman in my running club who tends to run about my same pace, so I caught up with her and asked her what she was aiming for. She said 8:40 min/mi, and I wanted to be closer to 8:30. So I pulled away from her and continued on. 

There's one really big hill in the second mile, but for the most part the course is just rolling and flat. By mile 3 I was starting to fatigue, but I took a gel and kept things going. We run through a residential neighborhood, and this year there were two houses with sprinklers set out for us to run through. Huzzah! That was just great, and gave me a little boost. I picked off another 2 runners at this point, and by the time I hit mile 4, I couldn't really see anyone in front of me. I knew the leaders were well ahead of my pace, so I just aimed at being steady.

At mile 5, I started to pick up the pace. I hit the last water station, grabbed a cup and doused myself with water. It was hot! Thankfully, once you start getting closer to the finish line in the park, there's a lot more shade. Once I rounded the last corner and could see the finish line, I took off like a rocket. 

My splits were 8:36, 8:26, 8:36, 8:37, 8:29, 8:11, 7:39 (.20). My finishing time was 52:52, which is a PR for me, and good enough for 2nd place in my division! I couldn't be happier with the results on such a hot, humid day. 

I ended up sticking around for the awards ceremony, since I won an award and all. Then we took a group photo with my running group, or the members who were still there. I am so pleased with how things are going with the running club, and how supportive everyone is. We took home a lot of hardware! 

There's me in the middle-left, one of the only ones not wearing a club shirt. Whoops!

After a short run home, a shower, and a long nap, we went out to dinner to celebrate. Well, it was really a belated Mother's Day/Father's Day gift to my in-laws, but I celebrated with beignets. Yay beignets!

How was your weekend? Have you ever had beignets? 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Fitness Friday

Hello and Happy Friday! This week really dragged at times, but I can't believe it's Friday already. Weird how that happens sometimes! This was kind of a rough training week, mainly due to shoe issues.

Saturday - 14 mile run, easy pace. I was supposed to do this on Sunday, but I knew I would be tired after the 4th of July and wanted to be able to eat what I wanted at the BBQ rather than being super careful (sticking to veggies, lean meats). That's no fun. So I got this done on Saturday morning instead. It was actually pretty pleasant, despite being on the warmer side. For the last two miles, I kept thinking about how an ice bath sounded really great. I've never done an ice bath before, but I know they're supposed to be really good for your legs post-run. When I got home, I tried it out with just cold water in my bath tub. Holy cow was that painful! I lasted all of 5 seconds...don't think I'll be doing that again any time soon!

I ran in my new shoes, and had almost no knee pain. Hooray! The left shoe of this new pair (Brooks Adrenaline) slips a little at my heel, so then I have to tie it up higher. But then it pinches a little at my ankle. So I'm not sure if I just need to break the shoe in a little more, or if it just isn't the right shoe for me. I'll run in it a few more times before making my mind up. Average pace: 9:39

Sunday - R&R.

Monday - Hip & lower leg strengthening exercises.

Tuesday - Hills. Oh hills! Love hate relationship, let me tell you. The workout was 1 mile warm up, 6 x (30 sec @ 7:10, jog down rest, 75 sec @ 7:50, walk down rest), 1 mile cool down. My paces were kind of all over the place, and definitely did not hit those prescribed paces. But they make a huge note that you should run this by effort, and it's ok if you don't hit those paces. I really tried though. I found a good hill, recommended by another local RC friend, than had that 6-7% grade we're supposed to aim for.

It doesn't look steep, but this was a KILLAH HILL. My paces were anywhere between 7:02 and 8:13 for the 30 sec repeats, and 8:03-8:23 for the 75 sec repeats. Then my legs were jello.

Wednesday - So sore. That sums up today. I was feeling ok yesterday, but sometime over the night my hips, glutes, and shins started letting me know that they didn't like that awesome hill workout yesterday. Uh, sorry body - get over it. I went for an easy 5 miles. Hey, I had to shake things out a bit. Average pace was around 9:43. Also? Not loving my new shoes. I think I'm going to keep them for easy days, though. I ordered a pair of Saucony Guides for long runs, workouts and races, even though they are still a support shoe. Hopefully switching back and forth will make for a stronger foot and lower leg. That's the idea, anyway.

Thursday - rest and a few core strength exercises in the evening. Still walking like a duck, but slightly better.

Friday - Easy 3 miles, average pace of 9:44. Hips and glutes are feeling much better, although my shins are still a little sore. I concentrated on having "floppy feet" by relaxing the foot a bit, so hopefully that didn't add more strain to the area. It was a beautiful morning though, and still under 50 degrees. Which is why I am a morning runner #4life.

Tomorrow I'm running a local 10k, as part of my planned 11 mile long run. So I'm going to run 3ish miles there, do the race, and run 2 miles home. That should be interesting!

Do you have shoe issues? How do you feel about hill workouts?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wednesday Confessions

Did you know that yesterday was National Tell the Truth Day?

Huh. I guess they'll make a holiday out of anything now. Mainly, this makes me think "are people lying all the time? Enough that we need a truth day?" Maybe it's not exactly lying, but I'm sure there there are plenty of omissions out there.

In honor of that, I thought I'd spread a little truth here on my blog. A la confession style.

1. I'm exhausted. Marathon training is no joke, and I feel like I'm not even in the peak yet. I would like an entire day to just sleep. Pleaseandthankyou.

2. I kind of love cottage cheese. I hated this for a long time, but recently came around to the goodness that is chunky cheese. Gross, right? I don't know what it is about cottage cheese, but I love it.

3. I think that if your son died while lighting fireworks off his head, that that is not the government's fault. Not one little bit. I'm judging you pretty hard, Mrs. Kathleen Staples. Perhaps better parenting would have led to your adult son knowing better? Also, I don't buy that he thought it was a dud. I think he was a drunk idiot that did something extremely stupid.

4. I need to get my spending under control. I'm equally "I want to save all our money!" and "I want all the things!" lately. Case in point: $200 spent on new running shoes. Also, I recently tried to convince Travis to buy a riding lawn mower, which he declined to do so several times. Fine, then we're having some new windows installed. It's an investment!

5. I'm bailing on the idea of throwing Emily a birthday party this year. I am a horrible mom, ok? I know. But our family has things going on both the weekend before and the weekend after (well, I have a race the weekend after in Minneapolis). Trying to do a small party on a week night is almost physically painful. So, we're going to a petting zoo that's having an event on the night of her birthday, and will follow up with cake & presents at Grandma's house. Good enough.

That's all I've got for you at the moment. Can't load you down with too much truth in one day!

You can't handle the truth!

...Yes. I did just go there.

Did you know there was a National Tell the Truth Day? What kind of truth are you putting out there?

Monday, July 6, 2015

Weekend Recap - 4th of July Edition

Another Monday has rolled around, and while I drink copious amounts of coffee I will update you on our little life. 

Friday we drove down to Duluth, as mentioned in my last post. While I was trying on 17 different pair of running shoes, Travis and Emily walked across the street to play at the Lakewalk and dip their toes in Lake Superior.

Explaining things about rocks and lakes...

Unfortunately for Emily, Lake Superior had something else in mind. A big wave came along and soaked her bottom half. Thankfully we were going to a restaurant that had outdoor seating, so she was able to air dry a little before we went home. 

I came home with these pretty girls. They worked ok for my 14 mile run on Saturday, but I don't think they're my marathon shoe. They pinch a little on my left ankle, but also slip in the heel so need to be laced up higher.  

After my epic long run that morning, we got ready for 4th of July festivities. Emily has been asking "is it July yet?" for about a week, mainly because she wanted to play with the "sparkles" (sparklers) I bought at Walmart. So yay for it finally being July!

So patriotic!

We were blessed with beautiful weather. Breezy, warm but not hot, and no rain! Everyone met up at my in-laws for a cookout, and we mainly just hung out in the backyard all afternoon. We set up a small pool for Emily, had tents up for shade, and lots of good food. It was so nice!

Since it doesn't get dark here until really late, we typically do not do fireworks. Seriously - they don't start until 10pm. That's way past everyone's bedtime! So we just had sparklers, and a few small fireworks at home. 

Very serious business.

Despite being told not to to touch it multiple times, Emily still touched the burned part after hers went out and had a small burn on her finger. It turned into a little blister, and she's 100% ok. There's always got to be one casualty at a family get-together!

On Sunday, the three of us just stayed home and recuperated from all that sun and fresh air on Saturday. We had some things to do around the house, grocery shopping to do, etc. But it was too nice of a day to spend inside, so I made Travis fill Emily's pool up and we spend a few hours playing in the pool.

Well, Emily played. We sat in lawn chairs with our feet in the water. Rough life! 

How was your weekend? Did you survive the holiday fireworks?

Friday, July 3, 2015

Fitness Friday

Hello, and Happy (early) 4th of July!

I was very tempted to run a local race today, the Firecracker 5K, but decided to save my money. Good thing too, because my coach changed my training plan to bump up a 3 mile run to a 5 mile run, so that 5K wouldn't have really fit. July is looking like a pretty hefty mileage month so far! My first 15 mile run in a few weeks, plus a 7 mile workout in the middle of the week.

"Dear boss: I will be late to work this morning because I have to run. Kthnksbye."

Saturday - Saturday was a rest day. We went to the beach instead and met up with one of Emily's best friends from daycare. Technically, they are second cousins once removed, or whatever that relation is. Her Dad and Travis are second cousins. It was a fun day! We had a semi-shady spot on the beach, so none of us got too much sun. When we got home, I made this salad:

Spring Mix Steak Salad with Roasted Carrots, Beets, & Bleu Cheese
Big mistake. 20 minutes after eating this, my stomach started to revolt. Uh oh. I don't know what exactly didn't agree with me, but something in here upset my tummy.

Sunday - I woke up Sunday morning pleasantly surprised that it wasn't raining. It was pretty muggy out, but I had 11 miles on tap and a new tank top to try out, so I set off determined to get my run in. My stomach was feeling much better, and the first 5 miles were pretty good. Then I got a stomach cramp that just wouldn't quit for TWO miles. I tried all kinds of breathing techniques, some massaging, but the sucker just wouldn't go away. Of course, if I had stopped running it might have, but stopping is for babies. "Pain is weakness leaving the body" blah blah blah. Whatever. I didn't want to stop! Thankfully it did go away at mile 7, but for the rest of the day and night, it felt like I had pulled a stomach muscle. Fun. Anyway, got the run done at an average pace of 9:45.

Monday - another rest day, and working on some hip strength exercises. Good thing too, because they were a little sore after Sunday's run.

Tuesday - Combo workout: 1 mile warm up, 2 miles at tempo pace (8:40-8:50), 4 min rest, then 4 x 1 min at 7:20-7:30 pace w/3 min rests, 1 mile cool down. This workout went pretty well, except I was slightly off the interval paces. I'd start off too fast, slow down too much, then the minute was up before I could correct it more. Also, my right knee started to bug me during the intervals. I think it's time for new shoes. Paces were 9:40, 8:41, 8:43, 7:32, 7:34, 7:42, 7:34 (intervals), 9:48.

Wednesday - typically a rest day, but I'm trying to rearrange thing so I can run on Sat morning instead of Sunday. Plus, I wanted to test out my knee. Typical runner, right? "I've got some pain in X, I think I'll run on it and see how it feels." I just did an easy 3 miles, and the knee was much better. But then I started getting some kind of ache in my other leg on the outside of my shin. Definitely time for new shoes! Paces: 9:50, 9:41, 9:35.

Thursday - Totally supposed to be a rest day but...such is life. I didn't want to run 5 miles the day before I run 14 which is definitely happening on Saturday now. So Thursday it is. Easy pace, nothing extraordinary to report. My knee felt ok, but still not 100%. Probably because it needs rest. The weird ache in my other leg made itself known, but wasn't painful. Again, hopefully new shoes are the answer. Average pace: 9:38.

Friday - Rest day! For real! We're off to Duluth to buy those new shoes at the fancy running store that does gait evaluations. Then hopefully a little lunch and maybe visiting the lakewalk to burn off a little of Em's energy before heading home.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July!

What are your plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Wine on the Mississippi

Did you know that the Mississippi River starts in Minnesota? True fact!

Here it is! Promise!

A little town to the west of us ("little" is relative - it's larger than where we live, but smaller than a city) has the ol'Miss running right through it. At the beginning of May, I magically got invited to an event called "Wine on the Mississippi" on Facebook. I have no idea how this happened, as none of my friends invited me to it. I think Facebook is just starting to get a little too "intelligent".

Anyway, we couldn't go that month, but luckily it's a monthly event throughout the summer. I marked it down for June, and when the date came up we happily made our way over to check it out.

The event is held at an outdoor amphitheater right on the banks of the Mississippi. They had wine, wood-fired pizzas, and some live music. It was relatively inexpensive too. The wine was $5, the pizzas were $8.50. The music was jazzy, kind of slow, but relaxing. Emily enjoyed dancing and garnering some attention from other patrons.

Say cheese!

The weather was overcast and kind of humid, as you can tell by our frizzy hair. Emily's just gets wild in the humidity.

Someone was tired of taking pictures.

It was about 2 hours long, which felt just right. We were probably there for about an hour and a half. Unfortunately, the pizzas weren't very filling, so we ended up going out to dinner anyway - which made the evening a little more expensive than planned, but oh well. Next time, we'll maybe bring some of our own snacks.

We called this our "family date night". Looking forward to the next one!