Category Archives: Girls on the Run

Fun Run Recap: Girls on the Run Twin Cities 5K

I had been crossing my fingers for no rain so I was thrilled to wake up to dry skies and a zero percent chance of precipitation for the next few hours. For my outfit, I settled on capris, my Oiselle singlet and arm warmers and a headband. After a Picky Bar and some coffee, I drove to Mandy’s house and we walked to go get our packets.

In terms of positive energy and all-around “warmandfuzziness,” there’s nothing quite like a Girls on the Run 5K and I noticed that this year, it was even more overwhelming because the program has grown so much here in the Twin Cities! I remember being a running buddy at the first 5K where there were just the girls from the two schools, the coaches and their running buddies. Now, the program has expanded to five sites and the 5K was open to community runners for the first time ever.

We got our packets and then met up with Amanda and Kristen before heading out for warm-up stretches!

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The four of us ran together and I tried to keep us at a pace that could keep us warm — OK, maybe keep me warm. The wind + my bare shoulders wasn’t pleasant at all. Once we finished (which was awesome because people were cheering so loudly….for the GOTR girls behind us!) we cheered on the girls who were coming across the finish line.

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Then, we went inside to warm up — my Oiselle Happy Hoodie never felt so good!

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It was fun morning — seriously, if you’ve never been to a Girls on the Run 5K — try and check one out!

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Setting some goals

Soooooo now that the marathon is over, what’s next? I’ve decided to set some goals to keep me motivated over the next few months:

Run 20 races in 2013

As part of my #13in2013 challenge, I’m up to 17 races for the year and would love to make it 20 total by the time we ring in the New Year. Next up? The Girls on the Run Twin Cities 5K.

Set some new PRs

No marathons for me in 2014, so I’m planning to shift my focus to improving my 5K time and build up to a spring half marathon. Although, a recent email from a friend may have shifted my plans to running a half as soon as February 🙂

Quality cross training 

No more excuses. Since I’m not running for hours on end every week anymore, I am planning to make cross training a priority to get strong and keep myself healthy. I’m planning to focus on weight training, swimming, spinning and yoga.

Get certified

My personal training certification test is a little over a month away. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t been able to devote as much time to studying as I should be…but I’m buckling down over the next month and will go into the test as prepared as I can!

What are your fall/winter goals?

Here we go!

Earlier today, the hubs and I headed to the TCM Expo with KK and Corry and picked up our race packets. If you don’t already know, I absolutely LOVE race expos and the Twin Cities one doesen’t disappoint. However, I didn’t feel like there wasn’t anything TOO exciting this year, but I did get this super cute necklace:

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Oh, and I had to talk myself out of buying a really expensive/cute zip-up with the TCM logo on it.

Since we got home from the expo we’ve been relaxing and are planning on stroganoff (my traditional pre-race meal) for dinner. I started laying out my gear for tomorrow and read this oldie, but goodie blog post (a breakdown of the TCM course, mile by mile) and then will probably try and get to bed early.

Game plan for tomorrow is to be up by 5:30, arrive to the start by 7:15 a.m., drop my bag with the Girls on the Run SoleMates and then meet up with the 4:00 pace group. (Still going to try my best for sub-4 hours, but not feeling overly optimistic about it.)

Here’s what I’ll be wearing:

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Still deciding between Stride shorts or Rogas….

If you want to track me tomorrow, you can sign up using this link.

What should be my post-marathon meal? I’m thinking Mexican food…

Side note: This week my athlete profile went up on the Oiselle website! I can’t wait to get my photo switched out to one of me in my racing kit.

Girls on the Run Twin Cities 5K giveaway!

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If you’re not familiar with Girls on the Run, it was founded in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1996 by Molly Barker. The mission of the organization is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. (Can you see why I’m obsessed with GOTR?) The impressive 20-lesson curricula (over the course of 10 weeks) was developed to empower the girls with a greater sense of self-awareness, a sense of achievement, a foundation in team building and a commitment to enhancing their communities, all in order to help them become strong, content, healthy, confident women.

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I’ve had the opportunity to attend a few “practices” and to see these lessons first-hand. The lessons are delivered by trained female coaches through interactive activities such as running, playing games, and discussing important issues and include topics like dealing with body image and the media, resisting peer pressure, making healthy decisions and contributing to the community. After the ten weeks are over, the program concludes with all of the girls, along with running buddies, walking or running a 5K!

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Locally, Girls on the Run Twin Cities is an independent 501c3 youth development program that was founded by Mary Uran and Kori Fitschen in 2011.

For the first time ever, Girls on the Run Twin Cities has opened their 5K race up to community runners!! If you’re interested, you can register here. The race is taking place on Saturday, November 16th at 9 a.m. — nearly 100 girls and their running buddies, as well as 300 community runners will be running.

Race details:

  • The run starts and ends near the Nokomis Community Center at Lake Nokomis.
  • There will be a fun group warm-up before the race and food and festivities after the race.
  • Registrants receive a race t-shirt.
  • This is a fun run and will not be chipped or timed.

I have one free race entry to give away! To enter, leave a comment below telling me why you think programs like Girls on Run are important. Good luck!

(I will choose a winner on Thursday and announce who won on Friday, 9/27.)

And sign up to find out about other events like this or to learn about volunteering opportunities at gotrtwincities.org. You can also like them on Facebook or follow on Twitter.

#HLS13 recap: day two + a GymPact giveaway!

If you missed my recap from day one that was all about our behind the scenes tour of the Wild Harvest test kitchens, check it out here.

Highlights of day two:

  • From Blog to Job panel with Lauren, Gretchen and Cassie — their panel was SO interesting and got me thinking about all sorts of things from writing a book someday (OK I admit, I’ve thought about that for many years!) to filing my business as an LLC.
  • The Organized Blogger with superstars Heather and Julie — I knew some of the tips that they shared but I loved how the presentation was….organized (ha!). I also have since added Boomerang to my Gmail and have scheduled time to build out my editorial calendar this weekend.
  • Lunch — I loved the fajita bar and the yummy churros. Oh, and the fact that they went to the trouble of labeling things really well so we knew what was gluten-free, etc. But maybe they got a little carried away:

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After lunch I really enjoyed the Using your Platform for a Cause: Philanthropy & Blogging planel (with Mary from Girls on the Run Twin Cities (!!!) and Katie formerly from Sweet Tater Blog and now Honeystuck). Of course, I loved hearing all about GOTR but was also super inspired by the concept of PlateShare and really want to take the 30-day challenge! (Oh and I got a pretty sweet shout out during the presentation because of my guest post on Healthy Tipping Point!)

Photo credit: Megan Orcholski

Reunited with Jessica and Stephanie from the night before!
Photo credit: Megan Orcholski

The rest of the day was spent wrapping up and checking out vendor’s booths where I purchased my first Bama + Ry necklace!

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Oh, and check out this deluxe swag bag — fave things so far have been the Kona Kase and the Wild Harvest goodies!

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Although there was a lot of anxiety around this weekend, it ended up being a lot of fun and I got to see lots of fabulous ladies who I don’t get to see very often. It also made me really appreciate what blogging has done for my life.

It was fun catching up with Kammie who I had originally met in Chicago when I was there for the big Verizon Voices weekend! I had lunch with one of my local faves, Lee and I met new blends — the lovely Casey, ElizabethGretchen and Cassie. It was also fun to get to know Amanda who recently moved the Twin Cities and is also running as a Girls on the Run SoleMate!

Thanks so, so, so much to GymPact who sponsored me to attend Healthy Living Summit. I loved attending on your behalf and spreading the GymPact love!

Also, try GymPact risk-free with my code “FindingaBalance.” It allows you to try it out without having to enter in any payment information AND you will earn $5 right off the bat after completing your first pact! Use the code “FindingaBalance” (case sensitive without the quotes) when you sign up.

If you didn’t get a chance to get a GymPact shirt from me before they were all gone, GymPact is giving one away to one lucky person! Oh, and they’re throwing in a water bottle, too! (I love mine and bring it everywhere! Even to my trip this past winter to Grand Cayman and Cancun)

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ahhh, I miss you white sandy beaches!

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below telling me what a typical week of workouts looks like for you! If you tweet about the giveaway (include a link to this post and tag @Gympact) you earn an extra entry! Giveaway closes this Friday at 4 p.m. CST. Good luck!

Putting the whole “Finding a Balance” thing to the test.

As the title of this post suggests, I feel like I’m about to be put to the test. And here is why:

  • The busy season at work is in full swing and likely won’t slow down until mid-October.
  • I started my part time job on Sunday and it left me absolutely exhausted by the end of the day. I think I’m too old to have two jobs (and as Carly put it, one that’s so physical!)
  • I plan to buy a new car this fall so need to start researching and test driving cars!
  • I just finished week 2 of marathon training and this week speed work gets incorporated into my training plan.
  • I started working with a personal trainer a couple of weeks ago and will be meeting with her on a weekly basis.
  • I signed up for my own personal training certification test which is scheduled for November 22. Need to fit in study time somehow…
  • We’ve been talking about starting our kitchen remodel project (completely gutting and re-doing the kitchen) in a couple of months.
  • I’m the captain of our Ragnar team and there’s still a lot to do before the race! Oh and I got roped into captaining the team at work, too….
  • Although my friends and family have been AMAZING and I’m about 75% of the way to my fundraising goal, I will still need to do some work to hit that $1,000 mark for Girls on the Run Twin Cities.

How I plan to find and keep a balance:

Learn to say no/ hold my “me time” sacred. I have a tendency to feel guilty when I have “white space” on my personal calendar and feel like if someone wants to make plans, I should just fill up that time. I’m going to work on spacing things out and not being afraid to say no when I need to.

Take care of myself: eating healthy, getting as much sleep as possible, etc. Meal planning and prepping will be crucial to make sure I don’t just opt for convenience food or make unhealthy choices. Getting a decent amount of sleep might be tricky but I’ve been doing a good job so far of getting around 7 hours of sleep a night, even with getting up earlier. I’m also still getting regular massages, which has been fantastic.

Continue seeing my therapist: sometimes you just need the help of a professional

Enjoy and savor the relaxing time at the cabin I have coming up in a few days! Our cabin is one of my favorite places on earth to be. I plan to be lazy and catch up on some reading I’ve been meaning to do 😉

Keep my eye on the prize(s): I find it’s good to keep perspective when things get tough. Eg. why am I working a part time job? I want to buy a nice brand new car in the fall. Also, I always think about the things I have to look forward to:

  • The Basilica Block Party with Mandy!
  • Chicago weekend with Andrea (and Hillary!)
  • Um, hello Minnesota State Fair?! I hear there’s some pretty sweet new foods debuting this year.
  • The marathon!
  • I feel like the cabin deserves another mention 🙂

There’s a lot of  “me” talk going on (which normally would make me uncomfortable) but if I’ve learned anything recently, it’s that I have to give myself permission to put myself first sometimes so that I can be the best employee/wife/friend/pup and cat mom I can be.

How do you maintain balance in your life?

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!