Finding a Balance

Learning to live a healthy, balanced life.


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Race recap: Runner’s Knees Virtual 10 Miler

The Runner’s Knees Virtual 10 Miler was race #12 on the year and was also a PR for me!

It all started with this tweet:

tweetfromdanielle

A chance to run the same race (kind of) with DanielleAmy and Rachel?!?! OK — sign me up!

My training schedule called for a four mile slow run on Saturday and a 10 mile steady run (9:20-9:40 pace) on Sunday. I decided to just flip flop the two workouts and then be OK with running the ten a bit slower if necessary.

By the time I went to bed on Friday night, I had kind of already gotten it in my head that I was going to do this race on the treadmill. After Thursday’s awful run, I wanted to avoid having anything about this run feel similar to that.

So I woke up around 6:30 on Saturday morning and had a baked breakfast cookie and some coffee. Around 7:30 I headed to the gym and jumped on one of my favorite treadmills. I was crossing my fingers for something nice and distracting to watch to get me through the ten miles. And I lucked out — Wimbledon! (I miss tennis. Thinking of starting on another women’s singles league if I ever stop training for marathons.)

I felt pretty sluggish from the start — again with the heavy legs. I could feel my tight calves and my left shin was also bothering me a bit, but I wore my PRO compression socks (because it’s cool to wear compression socks indoors on a treadmill) so the discomfort was much more bearable than on Thursday. I had my water bottle full of Cola flavored Nuun (LOVE this flavor. Thanks, Maria, for giving me a sample!) and I also had a Huckleberry flavored Hammer Gel (I took half at mile 5 and the other half at 8).

Finally — somewhere past the halfway point, I started feeling warmed up and increased the speed a bit. For the rest of the run I kept increasing the speed and finished the last mile at a 9:13 pace.

Total time – 1:37:56 (old PR was 1:39:02) I did hit the 10 mile mark at 1:28:16 during my most recent half marathon so I know I can keep improving on my 10 mile time!

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Congratulations to the rest of the Virtual 10 Miler participants and thanks to Runner’s Knees for putting it on! (check out this awesome recap that Runner’s Knees put together.)

I can’t wait to get my medal!


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2013 Grandma’s Marathon: spectating recap

I woke up at my sister-in-law’s around 4:30 a.m., ate a Picky Bar and then drove J and his brother-in-law to the shuttle in Proctor to take them to the Grandma’s start line. Once I dropped them off at the shuttle I headed up to St. Scholastica where my friend, KK, was staying.

(We had decided, the night before, that we weren’t going to attempt to bike the course as we had originally planned. Quite a few of the locals had advised against it — especially with my road bike and we didn’t want to risk not seeing our boys at all so we decided we’d shoot for seeing them during the second half of the course.)

It was ridiculously foggy when we headed out for a run which made it hard to see where we were going. This made things pretty interesting considering neither of us were familiar with the area and ended up having a very hilly run.

elevation

After our run we quickly showered at the dorms and then headed to as close to Canal Park as we could to get a good parking spot for after the race. KK and I then made the 2+ mile walk (all uphill, NBD) to meet up with her bf’s support crew and get some food at Sara’s Table. Right after we ordered (KK and I split a greek omelet and a specialty pancake stuffed with blueberries and homemade granola) I got another update on J’s progress and realized we’d have to book it to make sure I didn’t miss him at the mile marker I wanted to see him at! So I don’t have any photos of our beautiful (and I think it was delicious) breakfast. I definitely want to go back to Sara’s Table sometime.

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(I’m so happy that J upgraded to RunKeeper Elite. I was able to live track him throughout the entire race, so I knew where he was the whole time.)

We shoveled the food in and then KK’s boyfriend’s life-saving crew dropped us off near Lake and Superior (right between mile 24-25) and waited for J run by. We had our cameras ready (even though by this point, they were getting rained on) and I was getting pretty emotional just thinking about how close he was to accomplishing his goal. His BQ time was well within reach, as long as nothing horrible happened during the last three-ish miles.

Finally, we saw him coming towards us and to my relief, he looked amazing! So strong and just FLYING. KK and I started  jumping up and down, screaming his name and snapping as many photos as we could.

Here he comes..

Here he comes..

jesse

 

He sees us!

He sees us!

Then, we sprinted to get to mile 26 to see him again.

https://vine.co/v/hutrM00pgqM/embed/postcard//platform.vine.co/static/scripts/embed.js

After that KK headed back to cheer her bf on and I headed to meet up with J and the family at the finish line.

So much fun.

So much fun.

J’s final time: 3:04:06. Time needed to qualify for Boston: 3:10. (Since it’s going to be so difficult to get in for 2014, J was shooting for a 3:05 to increase his chances of being able to register.)

After reuniting with J, we headed back to the finish to see Tim, our brother-in-law cross the finish line in 3:34:06 — AMAZING! Tim has run Grandma’s over a dozen times — and this was a PR for him!

The rest of the day included napping, eating and then we went to a party that evening in Cloquet, where I swear all of the attendees ran the race that day. Was pretty fun going to a party that only runners attend 🙂

So what’s next for my husband, besides hopefully Boston 2014? He’s also running TCM with me (well, not with me) so after taking a few weeks off, he’ll be back at it, training for another marathon!


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FAB Fitness: weekly workouts 6/17 – 6/23

Started the week on Sunday by doing a big meal prep for the week

  • Roasted one spaghetti squash
  • Made a big batch of quinoa in the rice cooker
  • Hard boiled a half a dozen eggs
  • Roasted two sweet potatoes
  • Baked a batch of breakfast cookies

Monday: Strength training session with Andrea!

Did a combination of Gina’s #summershapeup weeks two and three. Arms were burning by the end!

Tuesday: 4.2 miles. 9:33, 9:15, 9:09, 9:17

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Day one of marathon training! Alarm went off at 5:40 and I was out of the house by 6. I was just ever so slightly chilly in shorts and a T-shirt, but warmed up quickly. Ran to the gym, checked in, drank some water and did a little rolling. More water and then was on my way back home. Still a little unsure of what pace I should be doing my “slow” runs at.

After work I headed to the new Cossetta’s rooftop, Louis, and met up with Mellissa and Lee for a lovely happy hour! The rooftop was packed due to the amazing weather, but luckily Mellissa had scored a pretty sweet table. No idea why I didn’t think of having someone take our photo.

Wednesday: Rest day

Although I probably would’ve been happy to start the day with a workout, I opted to sleep in to rest up for the long day ahead of me. After work I picked up the CSA share my friends let us have this week while they were on vacation. When I got home I made the carbonara sauce and added in the spaghetti squash I had already roasted and shredded on Sunday. All I had to do was mix it in and heat it up for an easy and quick dinner for the hubs and lunch for me the next day!

Then I jumped on a quick phone call with a company that I am excited to be partnering with soon After the call, I met my friend at the Good Earth where we scored a table on the patio and celebrated her new job (a pretty sweet gig) over peach sangria and wine.

Side note: I’ve been having really terrible service at restaurants lately. So frustrating.

Aaaand if that wasn’t enough to cram into my evening, I did a grocery shopping trip after dinner.

Thursday: 4.01 miles. 9:34, 9:47, 10:02, 9:32

Good run. Tried to force myself not to push my pace too much. Also, my calves are really starting to annoy me. They’ve been incredibly tight, so while watching the USA Track and Field Championships Thursday night, I foam rolled, iced and used a tennis ball for more targeting therapy. Ouch.

Friday: Hour long strength training session (with personal trainer)

I’m so excited to be working with my friend/mentor, Dawn, over the summer for semi-private personal training. We’re going to be meeting once per week and the focus will really be cross training and doing upper body/core/and glute and hamstring strengthening.

Today we warmed up for ten minutes on the KrankCycles, then we did lats/triceps/biceps using dumbells. We also did some TRX suspension work, some kettlebell swings and a fun core workout and myofasical release combo. I was definitely sore the next day!

Saturday: 8.02 miles. 9:27, 9:23, 10:07, 9:13, 9:53, 9:37, 10:55, 10:25

Holy crap, Duluth is hilly. More on this run in my Grandma’s spectating recap that will follow soon, but all I will say is I got my fair share of hills in on Saturday. The photo below was taken after my run:

PicFrame

 

And then I ended the day with walking/running 30,863 steps and climbing 128 floors.

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Sunday: walk/ran 4.01 miles. 11:21, 11:05, 13:03, 14:59

To make a long story short, the Twin Cities got hit by a few rounds of bad storms Thursday-Saturday nights. We were in Duluth for Grandma’s for Friday/Saturday nights’ storms and missed the massive power outages (my neighbor said we lost power for almost 24 hours). We did, however, return home to a flooded basement but luckily no downed trees in our yard/on our house/on my car. Our neighbors were not so lucky and we were met with quite a few obstacles on my normal running route today.

tree

 

treedown

a block from my house…

Unfortunately, the relaxing afternoon/evening my husband had in mind post-marathon (btw he BQ’ed at Grandma’s marathon this weekend — but more on that later) didn’t exactly work out. Instead, spent the rest of the day trying to dry out the basement and salvage things that got wet. I did, however, volunteer to do most of the running up and down the basement stairs so he could give his legs a little bit of a rest 🙂

Week one of marathon training is done! Total miles: 20.30. My Tuesday and Thursday morning runs were done without any breakfast/fuel but I’m thinking that once those runs get longer, I may want to eat something first. Post-run breakfasts this week were baked breakfast cookies. I also brought my lunch every day this week and they were generally a combination of the foods I prepped on Sunday.  Mashed sweet potatoes with black beans and goat cheese, hard boiled eggs for some protein and quinoa with a little salt and pepper. Satisfying and clean lunches!

Did you get bad storms where you live?
http://vzw-badge.comblu.com/Health-Fitness.htm
Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.


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Here we go again: what I learned from marathon training

This morning I ran 4 “slow” miles and with that I kicked off training for my second marathon.

As I’ve been enjoying some lazy days the past couple of weeks, I’ve given some thought to how I plan to approach this training cycle and what I plan to do differently from the first time:

Stick to the plan

Looking back at my DailyMile entries and blog posts last summer I saw a lot of “ended up taking a rest day” or “ended up only doing three miles instead of five.” Now I’m not going to go as far as my husband has (he hasn’t missed ONE workout this training cycle or cut any runs short) and I’ll continue to listen to my body/be flexible, but unless I have a really good reason, I’ll be sticking to my training schedule — no excuses.

Cross train but also don’t train for a triathlon at the same time

For the first month of my marathon training, I was also training for my first ever triathlon. In order to fit in all of the biking and swimming, I would sometimes skip or shorten a run. I think I missed out on valuable mileage base building in that month. This time around I plan to get in plenty of cross training activities, but not let it get in the way of my running.

Have a goal in mind

I went into my first marathon like a lot of other people do — with a goal of just finishing. This made it extremely hard (for me) to stay focused during training and on race day. With a sub-4:00 goal to work towards, I think it’ll help me stay focused and motivated throughout the summer and come October 6.

Some things I plan to keep the same

Clean diet (for the most part): I will not be doing any Whole30s or anything during this training cycle, but my diet needs some cleaning up and marathon training is a great reason to do so. However, I do plan to let myself reap the benefits (in moderation) of burning a ton of calories on long run days (read: Izzy’s ice cream and Blue Door Pub burgers).

Do yoga: planning to take advantage of some free outdoor yoga this summer!

Consistent massage: Now that I’ve found a new massage therapist that I like, I hope that consistent massage will help keep me injury free!

Have you approached training cycles differently based on what you learned the first time around?

 

 


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FAB Fitness: weekly workouts 6/10 – 6/16

Well this week was a little bit better than last week but still low on the run mileage.

Monday

Thanks to Carrie Tollefson for this workout. I’ve never been a fan of the elliptical but this keeps it interesting and gets your heart rate up there! I made it more challenging by not holding onto the handlebars.

10 min warm up – level 8

4 min interval – level 10 / 2 min recovery – level 8

2 min interval – level 10 / 1 min recovery – level 8 ( I skipped the 3 min interval/1.5 minute recovery due to lack of time)

1 min interval – level 10 / 30 sec recovery – level 8

Repeated

10 min cool down – level 8

Tuesday: 2 mile run. Run time – 20:15. Average pace of 10:08.

I had a 13 hour work day ahead of me so I got this one out of the way before work. Shin pain was gone but my calves were still really tight. Thanks for everyone’s thoughts on The Stick! My friend texted me that she has an extra one that I can have for marathon training!

Wednesday: Upper body/core circuit

Nothing too exciting here. Although I can tell that I’m getting stronger. It’s easier to get through my reps and I’m less fatigued at the end of those reps.

Thursday: Rest day. Loooooong day at work and still not recovered from the long day at work on Tuesday that started with a run before work.

Friday: Upper body/core circuit and 1.10 mile walk.

Threw in a few extra planks. I might start working towards trying to hold a 5 minute plank

Saturday: Elliptical workout again. This time I had time for the 3 minute interval/1.5 minute recovery.

10 min warm up and cool down at level 8.

4, 3, 2, 1 min intervals at level 10 with 2, 1.5, 1, 30 sec recovery at level 8 and repeated. Avg Hr = 151

After the gym the hubs and I headed up to his dad and stepmom’s for their neighbor’s son’s graduation party. It’s about an hour drive to his parents’ house and I thought it’d be a good time to get some studying done. I officially take the certification exam on November 22 and I have a lot to do before then! ACE has some really great videos that supplement the textbook but I needed an internet connection to watch the one I needed to. No problem! I brought my iPad along and then used the hot spot on my Droid Razr HD to get my studying done in the car.

Sunday: 3 mile run/15 minute swim. Run time – 20:56. Average pace of 9:39. Swim was approximately 1/3 mile.

Lovely Sunday. Met my friend at her gym for a workout and then some relaxation. We both belong to Lifetime Fitness but the similarities end there. She belongs to a seriously fancy Lifetime Fitness. Check it out:

(Photo courtesy of Lifetime Fitness)

(Photo courtesy of Lifetime Fitness)

(Photo courtesy of Lifetime Fitness)

(Photo courtesy of Lifetime Fitness)

First, we hopped on treadmills to get a quick run in.
ltf
Then I got some laps in before lounging by the pool. It was a gorgeous day out — 80 and sunny!
pool
This Lifetime has an outdoor Life Cafe, in addition to their regular one inside of the club, so you can order food poolside. We ordered turkey wraps (yummy chunks of turkey instead of deli meat and was served in a sprouted grain tortilla — delicious!) Then I headed home and got some things done around the yard with the hubs.

Since it was so nice out we decided to get Sea Salt but when we got there we realized that everyone else in Minneapolis had the same idea. (I’ve seen long lines there before, but nothing like this.) Plus, the skies were turning stormy, so we decided to head to my favorite Vietnamese restaurant, Quang, instead. Perfect!

Mmm, bubble tea.

Mmm, bubble tea.

Marathon training kicks off tomorrow and I can’t wait!

How were your workouts this past week? Do you belong to or have you worked out at a fancy gym?

http://vzw-badge.comblu.com/Health-Fitness.htmDisclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.


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Whirlwind week + Running as a SoleMate

So far this week I…

      • Got up early on a consistent basis.  I woke up before my alarm went off three of the days this week!
      • Ran once (without shin pain), kicked my booty with an intense elliptical session (didn’t realize those two things went together — intense + elliptical) and did some serious upper body and core strength training
      • Put my Saucony Boston Strong lace medallions on my shoes

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    • Failed at making a Fitnessista breakfast cookie. I don’t know why it always turns out mushy on the bottom.
    • Finalized my part time job schedule for the summer — I start in less than two weeks!
    • Worked two 13 hour days and then took an afternoon off to make up for those long days 🙂
    • Volunteered at Feed My Starving Children with the hubs
    • Went to the dentist – no cavities!
    • Officially made it one month without taking ANY elevator! Yesterday I took the elevator with a co-worker to help her with a giant cart full of stuff we needed to put in our cars for an event we were putting on. But I may start up another month today.
    • Had a fantastic lunch with my mentee. I am always so inspired after meeting with her!

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  • Passed the halfway mark to my fundraising goal for Girls on the Run (in less than two weeks!) – more details on that below.
  • Caught up with a friend over wine and started planning our Ragnar team shirts!

Tonight: date night with J and then I’m looking forward to a relaxing weekend. It’s likely to only be semi-relaxing but I’m still looking forward to it!

Happy Friday, everyone!! What’s everyone doing this weekend? Did anyone see Spirit of the Marathon II?

Show your support and make a difference in the lives of young girls

As most of you who read my blog know, Girls on the Run Twin Cities (GOTR) inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident. Some of you know that while I used to sit on the Board of Directors, I’m no longer able to make the time commitment. So as part of my efforts to find other ways to stay involved, I’ve decided to run the Twin Cities Marathon as a Girls on the Run Sole Mate to raise money to help make a difference in the lives of young girls across the Twin Cities!

As most of you also know, I’ve decided to set a pretty ambitious goal for myself for TCM. I’m training to complete the marathon in less than 4 hours, which would mean shaving 50 minutes off of my previous marathon time.

If anyone would like to donate, please visit my fundraising page. My goal is to raise $1,000 by October 6. And if you’re in the area or want to take a little vacation, please come support me on race day! You can also sign up to get text message tracking for my progress the day of the race if you can’t be there. If you know anyone else who’d like to support this cause, please forward on!


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Extreme spectating + workouts for the week

I’m skipping my formal recap of last week’s workouts. It was pretty boring. Here, I’ll sum it up: I ran two miles on National Running Day, did some strength training a couple of days and ran a 5K. Once I kick off marathon training on June 17, it’ll hopefully get more interesting!

So remember how I didn’t get into the Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon?

And then the Women's Half got canceled :(

And then the Women’s Half got canceled 😦

Well I softened the blow by psyching myself up to go spectate and cheer on my husband (who is trying to qualify for Boston). Then it got even better when I found out my friend Kris didn’t get into the lottery either and her boyfriend was also running the full!

So Kris and I met Sunday morning for coffee and we started planning out our spectating adventure. I’m getting so excited! So far, the plan is something like this: on race day we’re going to meet bright and early in downtown Duluth. We’ll have our bikes with us and will park our cars downtown. Then we’re going to get a  short run in before getting some food, grabbing our bikes and biking to somewhere around mile 7 before the guys get there.

Jesse still hasn’t quite decided what kind of support he’s going to want. But I figured I’ll make sure to have the standard stuff (vaseline, nutrition, etc) and be there in case he wants to hand me anything.

We also need to start thinking about what our signs are going to say!  Any ideas for a super amazing sign?

Has anyone ever spectated Grandma’s Marathon? Any advice?