Finding a Balance

Learning to live a healthy, balanced life.


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Random workout update + post-partum weight loss update

I haven’t done a workout recap in awhile, because my workouts were kind of all over the place. But now that I have Pilates on Tuesdays and Fridays, and a couple of weekly standing running dates with friends, I’m feeling like I’m finally getting back into the swing of things, workout-wise. I also took my first spin class in TEN MONTHS! It was quite hard, but I am so happy to be spinning again.

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At work, we’ve also been making a team effort to be more active. I talked about how we all have Fitbits and some coworkers ran the 5k a couple of weekends ago. I also try and take the stairs (up to the seventh floor) at least once a day and we have been doing walking meetings where I usually get in a one mile walk at the same time!

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I have to say that as soon as winter hits, I’m going to be sad that I didn’t do more running outside. Fall is my favorite time of the year to run outdoors and this year, fall in MN has been particularly outstanding!

I did, however, recently get out for a fun run with Andrea that took us around the Mill City and St. Anthony Main area. Love this part of Minneapolis:

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Related to my weekly workouts, I am officially able to zip and button my tightest pair of pre-pregnancy jeans and my favorite leather skirt! At my first post-partum checkup I was down 27 pounds from the 40 I gained while pregnant. I wanted to lose the additional 13 to get to pre-pregnancy weight and then an additional two pounds to my comfortable weight. As of the last time I weighed myself (last week) I have just over three pounds to go to my pre-pregnancy weight. However, more important than the number on the scale, I’m hoping to start incorporating more strength training into my workout routine. I’m not feeling strong at all these days so I definitely need to hit the weights!

 What’s your favorite time of the year to run? Why?


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Fun weekend + St. Peter Fun Run Recap

What a fun and busy weekend!

On Friday, J and I went to my dear friend and marathon buddy’s wedding. It was an absolutely beautiful wedding and my friend looked gorgeous!

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Plus, it was like a mini reunion with some of my former co-workers.

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Early Saturday morning (which, let me tell you, felt great the morning after a late and wine-filled night), Andrea, Mandy and I drove down to St Peter to meet up with Jen to run the St. Peter Fun Run!

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St. Peter is a small-ish city just outside of Mankato, Minnesota. This was the 11th year they’ve held this Halloween Fun Run and it’s a pretty course with some hills and a surprisingly good amount of crowd support! I took it super easy and just enjoyed the lovely weather and all of the fun costumes. After the race, we grabbed some snacks and checked out the little festival that was set up. They really went all out! For all of you Parks and Rec fans, I seriously felt like I was at the Harvest Festival!

On our way back to the Cities, we made a quick pit stop here:

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I left with a nice little haul.

The rest of the weekend was busy busy. We went out for yummy drinks for Andrea’s birthday. I was having so much fun, I forgot to take photos! But my drink was delicious. I had “The Greek God:” Skinos Masitha Spirits, House-made Sour, Muddled Cucumber & Seltzer Water. So refreshing. I also ordered the lefse nachos which consisted of smoked salmon, cucumbers, finely sliced radish, pistachio guacamole & crème fraiche. Awesome.

Sunday morning, I met up with Andrea again and we took Cole for a 2.5 mile walk. The weather was too amazing not to get out and enjoy it.

For the rest of the weekend, my time was consumed by working on this “little” project we have going on:

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We bought our house five years ago and have been renovating each room ever since. This is by far the biggest project yet. It’s not like I’ve been cooking a ton lately anyways, but now that my kitchen is in my living room and we don’t have access to a stove/oven, it doesn’t look like I’ll be starting anytime soon!

On the running front, I’m looking forward to what is most likely my last race of 2014 (but who knows) — a turkey trot the weekend before Thanksgiving. And I believe I almost have my next big race locked down. I’m SUPER excited about it and hope to announce it very soon!

What kind of home improvement projects have you done?

Have you ever dressed up for a race?

What food should I make while I’m without an oven/stove?


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Link-Up: Best and Worst of Racing

Best (or Worst) of My Racing History

Linking up with Jessie over at The Right Fits today! I thought this was a fun idea. Can you believe I’ve posted three days in a row?!

Best finisher’s shirt?

I love the TCM race shirts and even though it’s too big on me, I loved the 2012 TCM shirt.

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Worst finisher’s shirt?

2012 Chisago Tri (agree with Erin)

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Best finish line

Twin Cities Marathon. Hands down. There’s something about coming over that last hill and seeing the capitol and all of the people. And as you get closer, it gets louder and louder. It’s amazing.

Best overall swag/gear

Point Bock Run – a beer mug and all you can drink beer. Does that count?

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Best crowd support

Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago or TCM! I’m always amazed at how many people come out (even super early in the case of TCM) to cheer the runners on!

Hottest race

Torchlight 5K – It’s always mid-late July and HOT. It’s actually been canceled a couple of times because of excessive heat warnings.

Coldest race

Reindeer Run – I used to run this race every year and it was one of the first races I ever ran! It’s always the first weekend of December and the course is a 5k around Lake Harriet. Two years in a row, it was blizzard-ing out and snow froze to my face.

This was one of the more bearable years:

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Most beautiful course

I know I haven’t experienced many different landscapes, but I think parts of Ragnar and TCM are quite beautiful.

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Hilliest course

Ragnar Relay Great River – Oof, no matter how many hills I include in my training leading up to Ragnar, I’m never prepared quite enough.

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Race that took the most mental strength

Chisago Triathlon 2012 – Although I was well-trained for my first ever triathlon, I had a panic attack in the water, the minute we started swimming. Note to self: make sure your training includes open-water swims. It took everything I had to finish the swim portion of the race, and although it took a looooong time, I did it. I went on to get through the bike and run to officially become a triathlete!

Most disappointing finish

Twin Cities Marathon 2013 – after a strong start, my hip started seizing up right around mile 16 and by mile 19, the pain had also spread to my knee. I had to alternate walking and running for the last six or so miles. I’m smiling in the photo, but I was not happy and was in a lot of pain. Then, a trip to the medical tent capped off a disappointing race.

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Most organized

Shamrock Shuffle – For a race this big (33,000+ runners), the ease of packet pick up, gear drop off and pick up and getting into corrals amazes me. Also, it’s surprisingly not crowded, even right from the beginning!

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Coolest medal

Big Ten 10K

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Most emotional finish

Twin Cities Marathon 2012 – TCM 2012 was my first marathon ever and holy cow, I wasn’t prepared for the tears that came as I came over the last hill down to the finish line. Once I crossed, I completely broke down to the point that race volunteers were asking me if I was okay. I was crying out of pure happiness and amazement at what I had just accomplished.

What are your “bests” and “worsts?” 

Check out Erin’s best and worst of racing post here.


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Skechers and the American Cancer Society

Disclaimer: Thanks to Skechers for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.

To be completely honest, Skechers shoes have always had a pretty poor reputation in my mind. I remember having Skechers when I was younger, and to me, the shoes always felt bulky, heavy and unattractive – especially as I got older. So the fact that Skechers made running shoes wasn’t even on my radar, until Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon wearing Skechers and Kara Goucher recently announced her sponsorship. I started to become curious. And then, Skechers reached out with the opportunity to try out a pair and to help spread the word about how they’re supporting the American Cancer Association. I had to see for myself and I was able to get on board with helping to support a good cause — especially because unfortunately, my family is all too familiar with cancer.

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Unfortunately, they were out of the GOrun3 shoe that I had originally requested to try, so I was sent the GOrun Sprint shoes, instead. My first impression of the shoes was that they were way lighter than I had anticipated, but still supportive. They felt good, but just like the other shoes I’ve tried that promote a midfoot strike, these will take some getting used to. My calves were already protesting after the short jog I did in them. Also, the shoes do seem to run a bit big. I’m definitely in between sizes in my running shoes, but I had quite a bit of extra room in these.

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Now I realize that Meb and Kara aren’t running in the GOrun Sprint’s or any shoe in this line and I wish that I would have been able to give the GOrun3 shoes a try instead, but it was still nice to put on a pair of Skechers that look and feel way better than the ones I wore back in the nineties. Related thought: I also think the GOwalk shoes in the line are really cute, especially after I saw Katie’s post. Sockless walking shoes — brilliant!

Here’s some more information about the GOrun Sprints that I tried out:

One piece knit mesh upper in a lightweight athletic running sneaker with Resalyte cushioning and midfoot strike design. Features a soft, heather grey and pale pink colorway, as well as the pink breast cancer awareness ribbon.

• One piece knit mesh fabric upper
• Lightweight, breathable mesh with stabilizing knit panels
• Resalyte cushioning midsole
• M Strike midfoot strike engineered design
• Ortholite insole
• Larger tongue for added cushioning and support
• Weight: 5.7 oz. in a women’s size 8

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Skechers Performance Division is also donating to American Cancer Society, and all of the Skechers Performance Division Awareness apparel and footwear features the ACS logo and messaging.

So if you’re curious like me, visit the Skechers website to read more about how they are supporting the cause! If you purchase at a Skechers retail store and donate $5 or more, you will receive 20 percent off your next visit. Which style would you pick?


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October 22

One year ago today, we found out we were pregnant for the first time. We were about to go out for dinner for our anniversary so I thought I’d better take a HPT before drinking one (or two) glasses of wine. I ended up miscarrying a couple of weeks later, but we found ourselves pregnant again less than two months after that.

One year later, so much has changed, yet so much hasn’t. I’ve been pregnant, given birth, we met our son and said goodbye to him. But I’m still madly in love with my husband and I wouldn’t have made it through the past year without him.

So, happy anniversary, J! Here’s to many more.

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