Finding a Balance

Learning to live a healthy, balanced life.


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New Garmin + 18 miles

I’m so excited, I just ordered a new Garmin!!

Let me clarify – I’m not excited that my old Garmin died and that I had to pay money for a new one; rather, I’m excited about getting a super cute new one that seems like it will be pretty nice. I did a lot of research and have been waiting for this one to be released. It’s SUPER basic, but seems to have just the right amount of features for me. I’ll be sure to write a review once I receive it in 2-3 WEEKS!

I think I may have had a turning point in my “feeling sorry for myself” marathon training. This week has been especially tiring and busy, so the last thing I wanted to do after work yesterday was go lead a training clinic. Plus, it’s gotten hot out again all of a sudden. However, the run plus my group’s enthusiasm and progress made me feel amazing! I’m co-leading the first-time 10K-ers group (10+ min/mi). This was only the third week of training, but my group ran 4 miles without stopping and did it with smiles on their faces! It’s so refreshing running with “new” runners, too J Plus, it was fun talking about marathon training with them and having them be so in awe of what I’ve started to take for granted.

I have my marketing committee meeting for Girls on the Run tonight after work and then plan to get a run in after. Then, I plan to cross train tomorrow and take Friday completely off in preparation for 18 MILES ON SATURDAY!!! AHHHH!!

In preparation for the 18 miles I am doing the following:

1)      Trying to map a good route (any suggestions?)

2)      Scheduling a post-18 mile massage

3)      Forcing myself to be semi-“good” at the State Fair on Friday so I’m not sick to my stomach the entire run on Saturday morning

I’m a little bummed that my package has run out for the Barre classes I was taking. I’m thinking of creating my own little Barre studio in my basement! I feel like the core and glute strengthening especially was really benefitting my running.


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Weddings are fun. Puking dogs are not.

Side note: I’m LOVING this post on my friend Erin’s blog right now.

So the weekend started off interesting — my husband was up all night with my dog who kept throwing up on Friday night/Saturday morning 😦 So I skipped my long run to watch my dog to decide whether or not we needed to bring him into the vet. (He’s much better now!)

So yesterday ended up being a rest day. I ran some errands and then my friends came over and split a cab with my husband and I to my good friend’s wedding. And what an AMAZING wedding it ended up being! I knew it was going to be pretty fabulous, but it seriously was one of the best weddings I’ve ever been to.

The gorgeous couple.

They are so cool.

My table number with my Twitter handle!

After an epic night of dancing and a few too many glasses of wine and whiskey, we hit up Mesa Pizza (I felt like I was in college again!) and then, get this…TEXTED to order a cab to get home! I’ve been hearing about texting for cabs from my friend who lives in L.A., but I had no idea we had this service in the Twin Cities. It worked like a charm.

This morning was NOT fun but I finally got my butt out the door around 9 a.m. to meet a friend for 12 miles. We have been both plagued with annoying injuries lately so we took it pretty slow with some walk breaks but both felt pretty happy about how it went! Gotta be cautious since I have 18 miles next weekend and then I signed up for a 20 mile race the weekend after.

Beautiful scenery!

My friend that I ran with this morning lives right next to one of the big farmer’s markets in the Cities, so we hit that up after our run. (sorry to the farmers market-goers who had to deal with our sweatiness!) I got this amazingly delicious bad decision:

(bacon-wrapped hot dog with BBQ sauce and coleslaw)

..and a Cherry coke. Don’t fight the cravings!

I made a quick trip to the grocery store to get the rest of the stuff I  needed to make my CSA-inspired tomatillo salsa chicken enchiladas. Delicious! Recipe here if you want to try it.

Now off to dread Mondays as I typically do.


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When you need some motivation…

…join a group run! With my runs majorly sucking lately, I decided that a group run might just be the motivation I needed. I saw this run advertised in a local running store’s newsletter. It was sponsored by Brooks and promised free beer/pizza post-run and some raffles and a chance to try out Brooks shoes on the run. My knee was feeling better so I decided to go.

I ran with a MUCH faster friend (did not try the Brooks shoes — wish I would have!) and rocked out a pretty impressive pace! There was some miscommunication somewhere because we were supposed to run 4 miles total, but didn’t even go 3.5. Our average pace was 8:36!

*My new sweet Brooks koozy*

I’m a little concerned because my shins have been bothering me on my last couple of runs. This came out of nowhere — I haven’t been increasing my mileage drastically and my shoes aren’t old. I iced tonight and will be stretching and maybe taking a couple of days off. If tomorrow is as beautiful out as today was, a morning bike ride might be in order 🙂


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Uncharted territory.

I ran 15 miles on Saturday. I almost can’t even believe it!

My friend Jen and I set out at 7 a.m. Since I’ve never run this far before, I did my best to map out a route for us. We ended up having to run a little past our starting point, but it worked out pretty well.

I had taken the past two days off from running and my legs felt refreshed! I took a half of my GU at mile 3, the other half at mile 6, another half at 10 and then the rest at 12. There were also plenty of places to refill my fuel belt along the way. I never really felt tired or sluggish at any point. However, the last mile of this run was r-o-u-g-h. My knees were bothering me and my feel were falling asleep/burning — at the same time! But we made it.

I intended for the rest of the day to include an ice bath and napping. However, I forgot that our bathroom is under construction, so no bathtub. And I started getting so sore that I was actually unable to sleep. So it was compression sleeves, ice packs, a Drumstick ice cream cone and the couch instead.

Yesterday, I got up early (trying to do this on a consistent basis) to watch the men’s marathon and then went with a friend to watch and cheer on the YWCA triathletes! It was a dreary day for a race — but really, pretty perfect racing weather.

Also, my parents made the 5 1/2 hour trip from my hometown of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin up to Minnesota to celebrate my brother’s (8/11) and my (Thursday!) birthdays. We went to the restaurant that my brother works at and had the most amazing meal.

In other [weird] news, I’m on our wellness committee at work and won the “Leading with Style” award for helping my colleagues get more activity into their workdays and for getting involved even though I’m a new member. I also got volunteered (again) for co-leading a group for the training clinic my company does for the Twin Cities 5K and 10K. The first practice is tonight!

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!


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Rough week

Happy Friday!

Man, this week has been a struggle. I need another vacation ASAP.

I came down with something immediately after returning from Boston and still don’t feel 100%. I’ve also started experiencing some weird leg pains in parts of my legs that have never hurt before. My husband is also experiencing this — maybe from all of the walking on cobblestone roads in Boston???? Work has been extremely busy, as has Girls on the Run! What I’m basically saying is that I’m making excuses for not getting as many miles in as I should have this week.

But I have 15 miles to look forward to tomorrow morning! And surprisingly, I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’m going to get in a good meal tonight and get to bed early. I haven’t had any alcohol this week, except for one drink at the Desaparecidos show I went to last night (oh Conor Obest, how I love you). I plan to keep an easy pace and just get it done!

Sunday I’m hoping to cheer on the YWCA triathlon racers and then my parents are coming into town for dinner to celebrate my brother’s and my birthdays!


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Boston is wicked awesome

I’m barely alive, but back in good ‘ol Minnesota.

Boston was amazing. It’s one of those cities where I felt like I could actually live there for awhile. I loved the city and the people — the trip was just too much fun.

Since this is a fitness blog, I suppose I can tell you about that! We departed MSP at 7:20 a.m. Thursday morning and got into Boston right around 11 a.m. local time. We checked in at the hotel, got some lunch (yum — Legal Seafood), hit up the Harpoon Brewery mini-tasting and then headed back to the hotel where my husband and our two friends got ready for dinner and I headed to the hotel gym.

We stayed at the Westin which to me seems like it’s doing a pretty good job of staying ahead of the curve in terms of hotel/travel fitness. There were signs all over the hotel that advertised for $5 you could get workout clothes and shoes so you didn’t have to worry about packing stuff! (has anyone ever done this? it’s SO cool but kind of creeps me out. And what if they don’t have my shoe size????) The facility itself was pretty nice, too. Standard eliptical, stationary bikes and treadmills, but also a pretty impressive selection of free weights, bosu balls, foam rollers, yoga mats, etc etc. Because we had dinner reservations, I just did a quick three miles on the treadmill (after accidentally hitting the stop button AGAIN after two miles) and headed up to my room to shower quick and get to dinner.

I could go on and on (and on) about how amazing dinner was, but I won’t. I’ll just say that this restaurant, a tiny Italian place in the North End, came highly recommended and did not disappoint. Our first day in Boston ended on a high note with wine and gnocchi and then relaxing in the jacuzzi back at the hotel.

Day 2 started with a 5.4 mile run around the city! I got up and asked for a running map from the concierge (thanks to those of you who suggested asking for one!) and it had an easy-to-follow 5 mile route. I ran past the Boston Public Gardens, the Cheers bar, some amazing houses, etc. While on my run, I got not only a fist bump but a “nice pace!” from people who didn’t seem to see a lot of people running the streets of Boston at times other than during the marathon. The rest of the day consisted of the rest of our friends getting into town, eating the most amazing cannoli I’ve ever experienced, a VIP behind-the-scenes private tasting at the Samuel Adams Brewery, and taking in the Twins game at Fenway!

On Saturday, I knew we were going to do the bulk of our sightseeing, so I took a day off from running and just did some strength training work. I enjoyed settling in between two beefy dudes (with terrible forms) and rocking out some reps. I think I surprised them 😉 The highlight of Saturday, besides seeing a lot of the amazing history of the city, was another fantastic meal in the North End and then the Twins big win! (Even though I was not there to witness it.)

I did not get a workout in on our last day due to not enough sleep and a few too many glasses of wine and Harpoon UFOs the night before, but the rest day was wonderful. We did some shopping and watched the Twins game in a cool, old bar before heading to the airport to grab dinner. One delayed flight and a few tired travelers later and we were back in Minnesota.

(oyster shooters before flying is not a good idea.)

Now I’m off to the gym to get some miles in and then to enjoy the rest of my day off. Happy Monday!