Finding a Balance

Learning to live a healthy, balanced life.


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Race Recap: 2014 Building Strength 5k

This past Saturday, I ran the Building Strength 5k for the third year in a row. My recaps from 2013 and 2012 are here and here. The race benefits South Metro Human Services. The funds supported South Metro’s programs that benefit their clients (people who have mental illnesses or chemical dependencies).

It was warm at race start, and sunny. Because I received my Oiselle shimmel when I was already pretty pregnant and didn’t like the way it looked on me, I still hadn’t worn it for a race. This seemed like the perfect opportunity! I paired it with my fresh green Distance Shorts that Oiselle sent me along with the shimmel, my Superfly cap and new Mizuno Wave Inspire 10s. (Because a race is great way to break in a pair of new shoes, right?)

I didn’t run early in the week because I was pretty sore after last weekend’s race. Then, I was even more sore after sprinting the bases at softball on Thursday night and had Pilates the next morning, so I didn’t run on Friday — the day before the race. So I felt a bit creaky when we took off.

Right before the race, I decided that my goal would be to beat last weekend’s time, but my more ambitious goal would be to break 30 minutes. I wanted to prove to myself that I could, since I mentioned in my last recap that I felt like I could’ve if I wouldn’t have stopped for a beer.

We didn’t start right up front, but it’s a small enough race that we started closer to the front than we might have usually done. I wore my Garmin this time, so I could focus on my pace to hopefully achieve at least one of my goals.

I found myself getting pretty winded already just a mile into the race and not feeling quite as confident at the 1.5 mile mark. The race course makes two loops around a park and after finishing the first loop, I was ready to be done. But somehow I finished, and ended up achieving both goals! As I’m writing this on Sunday, the official results haven’t been posted yet (pet peeve of mine), but according to my Garmin and Runkeeper (averaged the two times), I finished in 29:22. EDITED TO ADD: results are up and official time was 29:18!

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This race was also fun because some of my coworkers came out and walk/ran, too! And the course was GORGEOUS — the fall colors are really getting to be pretty amazing.

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It’s hard to believe that my 5k PR is almost five minutes faster than I finished this past weekend. It feels almost impossible that I’ll ever run that fast again. But, I’m hoping to not only run that fast again, but faster. I still hope to break 24 minutes sometime in the near future, so I guess it’s time to get to work!

Did you race this past weekend?

Have you gotten out to enjoy the fall colors?


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Race Recap: 2014 Blubber Run + Flock Meetup

This past Saturday, J and I ran the Blubber Run, the inaugural 5k that’s a part of the Stevens Point Brewery’s Pointoberfest. I had no plan going into this — all I could think about was that the day I decided to stray from my Couch to 5k app and run a straight .5 miles on my own, it felt really, really hard. I barely made it through and the next day I went back to Couch to 5k. I had considered doing a Couch to 5k workout for the race, but instead decided just to run on feel and see how it went would go.

After over four hours in the car and not the best pre-race fuel, we arrived at the Stevens Point Brewery. J and I got our race bibs and went on a walk to loosen up. It was quite warm — 75 degrees and sunny. At 2:55 p.m., we lined up (I positioned myself towards the back) and waited for the race to start.

I didn’t wear my Garmin and had my phone, with Runkeeper going, in my pocket (yay for Distance Shorts!) so I never really knew what my current pace was. The first quarter mile felt awful — my legs felt like they weighed a ton and my tight calves were really bugging me. But as I warmed up, I felt a little better and settled into some sort of groove.

I was expecting a beer stop at the halfway mark, but it was actually at the 2 mile mark. Since I wasn’t technically “racing” and I didn’t dress up for the race, I decided that it would be fun to actually stop and “enjoy” a beer. Most people stopped, so it was pretty fun!

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I finished my beer and set back out. (This is the part where I realized I’d be happy to never do another beer run again as there was a nice chorus of burping and belching going on around me. Gross.)

For the last mile, I concentrated on sticking close to the other runners around me and trying not to get passed. It worked well and I even passed a few runners near the finish. I crossed the finish line and saw 31:58 on the clock. It’s nice to know that if I wouldn’t have stopped for that beer (no regrets, though!) that I would have likely broken 30 minutes, especially since race wasn’t chip timed and I started near the back of the group. I still have a ways to go to get back to my pre-pregnancy 5k time, but this race was a definite confidence booster!

As soon as I saw my in-laws, I asked them how J had done and they told me that he came in first — with no one even close to him! He finished somewhere around 18:5X.

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During the awards ceremony, they asked J if he had stopped for a beer. His “no” reply was met with a deafening “booooooo,” which was pretty funny. He’s determined to win next year AND stop for a beer.

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We celebrated post race with some Point beer (the Chai tea porter was the most interesting one I tried) and some Mexican food. Perfection.

After we got home on Sunday, I dusted off my yoga mat and met up with some of the Midwest Oiselle birds for some yoga and sushi. After getting my butt kicked in yoga (seriously glad we decided on a c1 class), we grabbed some drinks and sushi — it was a lot of fun getting to know everyone. I’m reminded again of how lucky I am to be a part of such an amazing team.

IMG_2349This weekend I have another race but haven’t decided if I’m going to run the entire thing or take it easy instead. I also started my six week Pilates Reformer sessions this week. Feeling good and happy to be back into a workout routine!

Have you ever done a beer run?

What fall races do you have planned?

Have you tried Pilates on the Reformer?


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September 13, 2014

It’s a date that I’ll remember the rest of my life. My due date. In the past weeks, as J and I would think about how much we’ve been through, it seemed almost impossible that my due date still hadn’t come and gone. And now that I’m feeling almost back to normal physically, after my c-section, it’s so strange that other women with due dates around the same time as me are now having their babies or are still pregnant.

I think what’s throwing everything off is that (sometimes unconsciously) I’m constantly thinking about how my life is supposed to look really different right now. My maternity leave at work was in place — at this time I should already be on maternity leave or counting down the days. We were looking forward to going home for the holidays with a new addition to our family. We had a plan for daycare. But instead, I celebrated my birthday this year with an alcoholic drink in hand. I’ve been spending way too much time unsubscribing to emails from Babies R Us and The Bump and recycling all of the coupons and registry reminders we get in the mail. I’m back to work. And what was supposed to be the nursery has been turned back into a guest bedroom.

The hardest part of the grieving process for me right now is that I can never predict how I’m going to feel at any given day or moment. Some days seem impossible to get through and some days I feel almost “back to normal” — whatever that means. Some days, things that remind me of being pregnant or make me think of Charlie can be comforting and other days those same things can catch me off guard and make me sad. Danielle from Against All Grain said it really well:

There’s both painful and joyful reminders of her surrounding me daily – pregnant women, babies being born, my closet of maternity clothes, her empty room in our new house, and even Asher’s little nose that looks identical to hers. Some days I’m grateful for those reminders. So the dream aspect is brought to reality; I can be reminded that she really was here and I’m not just imagining. But other days, the days where I’d rather just push forward with life and not be in tears all day, I’m resentful of those reminders.

But we continue to be patient with ourselves and find comfort in knowing that on September 13 this year, we’ll be with family celebrating my cousin getting married. And I know that other dates will be tough as well but we’re going to just have to take them one by one as they come.

Thanks again for all of your support and love, everyone.


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Workouts + Whole30 Prep

Just a couple of quick workout recaps since my last one:

Wednesday: 2.29 miles (12:14 min/mi pace)

Felt great! Started a new week of Couch to 5K workouts. Today’s looked like this:

Brisk warm up walk for five minutes

Run one minute, 30 seconds

Walk one minute, 30 seconds

Run three minutes

Walk three minutes

Repeat

Five minute cool down

Thursday: REST DAY

Friday: 2.18 miles (12:51 min/mi pace)

As they say in Minnesota, “oofta!” My legs were heavy, I felt sluggish and it definitely showed in my pace.

This past weekend, I started prepping to embark on my third Whole30 journey. I’ll be honest right up front that I’m treating this as a Whole30 but I won’t be reading every label, etc like I did with my past Whole30s, so maybe I shouldn’t really call it a Whole30, but it’s just easier to. My first two Whole30s were about determining my food sensitivities and slaying my “sugar demon(s).” This time around it’s really more about eating healthier overall and getting back into a routine of cooking meals again. Ever since we got Charlie’s diagnosis, just over three months ago, I’ve probably cooked five times. We need to stop going out to eat so often.

So on Saturday I went to the grocery store and spent a couple of hours on Pinterest and flipping through Well Fed and Well Fed 2, flagging recipes. On Sunday, I went to Mandy’s house to drink wine and do some cooking, because food prepping is more fun with a friend and wine. #truth

We made some good progress! Here’s what our food prep looked like:

-Roasted sweet potatoes

-Made a batch of Whole30 tuna salad for work lunches (Canned tuna packed in olive oil, onion, parsley, cayenne, chives, homemade olive oil mayo, salt and pepper. Eaten with cucumber slices.)

-Roasted spaghetti squash (will be serving this for dinner this week with the shrimp scampi recipe from Well Fed 2)

-Hard boiled eggs (for snacks)

-Made breakfast hash (sweet potatoes, ground turkey and chicken, apple, onion and spinach — in the mornings all I have to do is fry up an egg in some coconut oil and throw it on top!)

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-Made a batch of olive oil mayo (extra light olive oil, one egg, ground mustard, lemon juice and salt)

-Slow cooked a pork roast for Monday’s dinner (rub consisted of chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, onion powder, parsley and cayenne)

Then on Sunday evening, the hubs and I took advantage of the perfect weather to have a lovely dinner on the W.A. Frost patio. The cheese plate was to die for. And in typical day-before-Whole30 fashion, I went ahead and had bread, dairy, alcohol (sangria) and dessert.

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How was your weekend?

What would be the hardest thing to “give up” if you did a Whole30?

Congratulations to Erin who had an amazing race at Ironman Wisconsin this past weekend!


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FAB Fitness: Cabin Workouts

After a minor setback (more about that, later), my return to running has been going really well. I’m still doing the Couch to 5K program since I’m terrified about doing too much, too soon. I looked at my calendar the other day and realized that my first postpartum race is less than 2.5 weeks away! I know I won’t be racing it at that point, but it’d be cool if I could run the entire thing without stopping. And for extra motivation, my new Oiselle singlet arrived this week!

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Here are my workouts from this past weekend.

Saturday: 2.42 mile run (12:49 min/mi pace)

Labor Day weekend, we headed to the cabin for some relaxation and time with family. The weather wasn’t fantastic (oh, except for on Monday when it was time to come home) but the mornings were cool and perfect for running. Jesse’s sister and brother-in-law are training for a half and TCM so they had a long run on Saturday morning and J had four miles fast on his training plan (he’s training for a 5K right now) so we headed to the nearby trailhead.

I used the gift certificate to Mill City Running that I had received for my birthday to purchase a Stunt Puppy running leash and Cole and I broke it in Saturday morning. It worked great!

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Before heading out for our run. Sporting my new Oiselle superfly cap and my not-so-new Distance Shorts and Winona Tank.

Looking back at my first postpartum run, it’s been great to see improvement in my pace. The speed seems to be coming back easily and my legs feel good. This run was a five minute warm up walk, 1 minute, 30 second run and 2 minute walk for 21 minutes and then a five minute cool down walk. I felt awesome but my shins were really sore after the run was over.

Sunday: 1.07 mile walk

Sunday was a pretty low key day. J had a 60 minute run on his training plan, but I decided not to run two days in a row. Instead, I took the pup for a walk.

Monday: 2.42 mile run (12:49 min/mi pace)IMG_2193

Monday was the most beautiful day of the long weekend so I laced up my running shoes and Jesse and I headed out to get in a run before our drive back to the Cities. I ran with the pup again and broke in my new Oiselle Off the Grid knickers. LOVE THEM!

So about that setback I alluded to earlier…the week prior to last week was a little rough. I had been dealing with all-day lightheadedness and I ended up getting dizzy during a run which caused me to lose my balance and fall pretty hard. I was pretty close to home, but was still so dizzy that I accepted a ride home from a nice stranger lady. I didn’t get badly hurt (just some road rash, scrapes and bruises) but it shook me up pretty badly. I made a doctor’s appointment for the next day and it took about a week for me to get the courage up to run again. I’m feeling much, much better now, but it was scary!

On a random note, I’m getting so excited for it to be full-fledged fall. Bring on the cooler weather, boots and scarves!

Do you run while on vacation?

What are your fall racing plans?

Summer or fall?