Finding a Balance

Learning to live a healthy, balanced life.


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Whistlestop Half Marathon Training: Less Than Seven Weeks to Go!

Monday: 20 minute swim + legs/glutes

A week out of the pool and the remnants of a cold made this a bit rough, but I still saw improvement in the time it took me to complete my time — I’m getting faster!

Tuesday: 3.52 miles (9:35 pace) + abs

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That afternoon, I headed the new and shiny U.S. Bank Stadium for a VIP BiPro Protein Water launch event. It was cool to see the new stadium and the BiPro folks even introduced me to pro runner Jordan Hasay and former pro (and Minnesota Vikings) NFL player Ben Leber! They were super nice and it was fun to chat running, nutrition and recovery. I’m hoping to have an event recap (with a sweet discount code!) up tomorrow.

Wednesday: Arms/back + Jasyoga

Thursday: 3.18 miles (9:35 pace) + abs

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Tired after abs

Friday: Total body strength training

Saturday: 1.62 mile walk + abs

Probably should’ve gotten my run in on Saturday, but my hip and knee were bothering me so I took an extra rest day. And I knew I was going to be at the State Fair walking around a lot, so I didn’t want to overdo it.

The Dixie Chicks were amazing. I’ve loved them for forever and had given up on my dream of seeing them live, so I was thrilled when they announced their world tour, with a stop in MN!

On top of everything, we had the BEST SEATS EVER!

Photo credit: @mlswenson

Photo credit: @mlswenson

Since I’ll be going back to the fair with the fam, I kept my eating relatively under control while I was there — a Pronto Pup, some wine and a beer, some Chicago Mix popcorn and a salmon and shrimp slider (DELICIOUS), and I called it good.

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Sunday: 4.18 miles (10 min pace)

Oh boy, this was rough. I already knew I wasn’t going to run as far as I should, seven weeks out from a half because my hip was bothering me, but once I got out there, it was hard to even make it four miles! It was hot (I didn’t get out until around 2) and I obviously didn’t have enough water for a warm day (and all of the adult beverages the night before). My first mile was around 10:40 — I wanted to go out easy, but I couldn’t have gone faster if I wanted to. I did pick up the pace a little and finished my last mile in 9:45.

This week is all about continuing my strength training and coming up with a plan with my PT to get me through the half.

Have you been to the/a State Fair this year? What’d you eat?

I’m linking up today with Jess and Jess!


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My fall half marathon plans + Team MwM

I’ve already mentioned that I’m doing the Whistlestop Half Marathon in some social media posts and last week’s workout recap, but I still wanted to write a post about how I chose the race. I spent a good few days SUPER bummed about not getting into the TC 10 Mile and the quit feeling sorry for myself (because, really, there are much more important things to be upset about) and started looking into other fall races. Around the same time, I saw a video that Faith’s Lodge posted on Facebook about a non-profit organization, Miles with Maeve, that works with athletes to raise money to support families who’ve experienced infant or pregnancy loss. I reached out to the organization and Garrett (Maeve’s dad) got back to me right away with more information about them and how we could work together. Almost immediately I agreed to join the team and shortly after, decided on the Whistlestop Half Marathon in Ashland, WI. I set a fundraising goal of $1,000, with some of the funds going to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and some to Faith’s Lodge. Well, less than a week later, to my surprise, I surpassed my goal! That said, if you’d still like to donate, I’d be THRILLED to be able to donate even more to these amazing organizations.

Re:  The race — I was hoping to PR, but with my nagging hip issues, breaking two hours would be just fine and something I’d feel really good about. I just want to enjoy this race and am looking forward to a little getaway with Jesse!

After last weekend’s 5K, I came down with a wicked summer cold and it took all week to get over it. I didn’t run (or work out at all) until Saturday.In addition to running, I’m finally incorporating strength and stretching into my routine on a consistent basis. I’m still doing my Jasyoga every day and lifting and doing core work about 3x/week.

I was also sick on my birthday — BOO — but I still made the most of a nice date night with the husband:

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I didn’t have much of an appetite, but I had a bite (or two) of the birthday gelato they sent out — with a cute, handwritten card! Thanks, Italian Eatery!

Also, because I’m obsessed with how these turned out, here are a few shots from Calvin’s one-year photo shoot. Megan Grommes of Megan Crown Photography is incredible!

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Whistlestop Half Marathon: Week ???? (oh, and it’s my birthday today!)

The Right Fits

I’m linking up today with Jess and Jess!

 

 

I’ve mentioned it on social media, but I’m officially registered for the Whistlestop Half Marathon in Ashland, WI on October 15. I had hoped to get into the TC 10 Mile, but no such luck. I’m finally getting excited about Whistlestop though, and even though I’m sure I’ll be a bit jealous come TCM weekend, I’m looking forward to being a super spectator!

I’ve been dealing with setback after setback since Garry Bjorklund. After my hip, it was my hamstring and most recently, a bad summer cold/sore throat. But I’m working with Coach to train conservatively, I’ve been upping my cross training (oh, how I’ve missed the pool) and sticking with PT. Here’s what last week’s training looked like:

Monday: 20 minutes in the pool
Swimming after not swimming for awhile is quite humbling. Woof.
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Tuesday: 20 minutes easy (9:53 pace). No pain, but felt off balance. Went to PT and got new exercises.
Wednesday: 30 minutes (9:41 pace) followed by 20 minutes in the pool. Similar to Tuesday — no pain, but felt off balance through my hips.
Took my run indoors today

Took my run indoors today

 
Thursday: 20 minutes in the pool
I definitely could feel it in my arms — I probably wasn’t ready to swim two days in a row.
 
Friday: 20 minutes, (10:21 pace)
I decided to do daycare drop with off with the stroller to ensure an easy pace and it worked!
Saw this baby bird on my run today. Yay #nature

Saw this baby bird on my run today. Yay #nature

Saturday: Gopher to Badger 5K – 26:28, 8th in AG
Started out at around a 9:20-9:30 pace and picked it up every half mile, down to around 7:55 at the end. I felt good! Left hamstring was a little twinge-y, but felt good afterwards. I had a sore throat starting and that bothered me more than anything. Andrea also had a great race!

Coffee + carbs, post race

Coffee + carbs, post race

Sunday: 7.5 miles on my bike and 1.72 mile walk
Since I sold my road bike last year, I dusted off the ol’ Huffy and biked to Lake Nokomis to cheer on some friends at the YWCA Women’s Tri. It was a gorgeous day for it and was fun to see all of the athletes. It ALMOST made me want to do another tri 😉 I made it home just in time to see the first women finish the marathon.
Later that day, I rounded up the baby and the pup for a walk to see if it’d help Little C’s bad mood. And, it did!

This week’s focus is increasing my mileage again (slightly) and more cross training. Hoping for less humidity!


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Race Recap: 2016 Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon

On Friday we left the Cities around noon and took a small detour to avoid some slow downs on I-35. We got to my sister-in-law’s around 3:15 (after a stop at the grocery and liquor store). Since my brother-in-law was running his 16th!!!!! Grandma’s Marathon and had to go pick up his race packet, they picked up mine as well. It was nice not having to deal with the expo once we got into town.

Andrea and I stopped by the Oiselle meet up that was hosted at Tammy’s gorgeous house off of London Road! It was great to chat with some other birds and put names to faces, finally 🙂

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After the meet up, we had our traditional pre-race meal of spaghetti and garlic toast. (And Andrea’s famous s’more bars.)

I decided to sleep on the couch since I still wake up if Calvin makes even the slightest noise. Even though I slept pretty restlessly, when the alarm went off at 3 a.m. I got up without hitting snooze. I ate my breakfast cookie and drank a half a cup of coffee, along with about 16 oz. of water. After throwing a few “in case of emergency”-type supplies in my gear bag (poncho, sunglasses vaseline, etc.), John, Andrea and I were out the door at 4 a.m. sharp and en route to Duluth.

We arrived and parked at the Edgewater Hotel around 4:30 and were able to get on the second shuttle. Once we arrived to the start, we sat alongside the road with a stunning view of Lake Superior. While sitting there, I ate a half a banana and my Gen UCAN snack bar.

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We got in line for a final porta potty stop and were headed to the start corral shortly after 6 a.m. The corral was crowded and as I worked my way towards the 2:00 area, the gun went off and we were on our way!

Miles 1-6 – 8:59, 8:49, 8:48, 8:45, 8:46, 8:49

The first mile went by quickly and was pretty uneventful. The weather felt nice and cool still and my legs felt pretty fresh — I didn’t notice any of the fatigue I was feeling over the past week.

I had to do a fair share of weaving at the beginning, but the nice, wide roads made it a lot less frustrating than in other races in the Cities. Around mile two or three, all of a sudden I noticed that it felt significantly warmer than it did at the start. The first few miles ticked by and I tried to enjoy them by taking in the scenery.

Right around mile five, I noticed a little twinge in my left hip. I didn’t think too much of it, but by the time I was approaching the seven mile marker, it had gone from a ‘twinge’ to dull pain. My left foot was also starting to bother me and I felt the heat getting to me — I started to feel my pace slipping a bit.

Miles 7-13.1 -8:53, 9:06, 8:51, 8:40, 8:45, 8:43, 8:24

The next couple of miles were my slowest. I walked through the water stops and it took a lot of effort to pick the pace back up after walking. I tried to focus on my form and to do my best to keep a sub-9:00 pace. Lemon Drop hill came and went and like the last time I ran it, I used it as motivation that I only had 1/4 of the race ahead of me.

Right around mile 10, my friends Kate and Brian appeared and it helped me pick my pace back up! The crowds started to thicken as we made our way down Superior Street.

Between miles 11 and 12, I saw Jesse, Sara (my SIL) and Calvin! I was feeling awful by then, but I plastered a smile on my face and focused on getting the race over with.

Trying to harness my fast-finish training runs, I gave the last mile all I had left (which wasn’t much) and crossed the finish line not able to push any harder.

Official finish time: 1:55:46

Poll: Worth buying this?

Poll: Worth buying this? (let’s just ignore the poor form, mmkay?)

I collected my medal and shirt (not a fan) and beelined to the gear bag area. There was only one person in front of me! I promptly took off my shoes and slipped on my birkies. Ahhh, relief.

I was feeling a little woozy, so I sat down in the finishers area for a little while before heading over to the family meeting area. I got a text from Andrea that she had finished already — MAJOR PR for that girl!

Shortly after I got to the finishers area, Andrea and John and Sara, Jesse and Calvin arrived. The moment I squeezed my little guy was one I’ll never forget!! ❤ ❤ ❤

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Since we found out our car was basically being held hostage at Edgewater until the marathon was over the roads reopened, we took the shuttle to Proctor where Jesse picked us up. After a short nap, some lunch and an amazing shower, we drove back to Duluth later in the day to pick up the car. Once we arrived back to my sister-in-law’s, we celebrated with some champagne, a beer or two and juicy lucys!

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Grill master

Final thoughts

I went into this race hoping to break two hours. My 10 mile race a few weeks back gave me the confidence that I should be able to do that relatively easily, but given my low weekly mileage totals and the crappy runs I’d had recently, there was not one part of me that thought a PR was a possibility. This was a wake up call that I’m probably not training at the proper paces and was further validation that working with a coach is the right call for me. (I’ve already started working with my new coach and I’m SO EXCITED!)

Fuel: I felt like I fueled properly for this one. I took water at every stop except for the first and last one. I also took a second cup to pour over my head at a few stops and I know that helped keep me cool. I took a total of four Shot Bloks starting at mile 6 and through the end of the race. I probably could have had an entire package, but I didn’t train much with them and didn’t want to upset my stomach.

Gear: I went with Stride shorts and my Oiselle singlet as well as compression socks. I felt a bit warm with the socks, but I’m still happy I decided to run in them. My Stride shorts stayed put the entire race ❤ I could’ve used sunglasses, but was fine without.

I’m so grateful I had such a great place to stay with the best hospitality (thanks, Tim and Sara!) and great training partners throughout this cycle (s/o Andrea, Kate and Kristen!) and a huge congrats to Tim for completing his 20th marathon, all of the amazing Oiselle women who raced over the weekend and to everyone else who raced!

This week is all about recovery and I’m already feeling much better after the race. I did some major foam rolling and saw my chiropractor for an adjustment. As long as my hip feels OK when I run on Saturday, I’m considering myself as good as new!

So what’s next? Not 100 percent sure, but talking it over with my coach and thinking that it’ll be a fall 10 mile or half.

What’s up next for you? Any fall races planned?


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Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Training: Week Eleven

It’s officially race week! Last week was a very “meh” week of running:

Monday: REST

Neck was still sore so I skipped lifting and just stretched and foam rolled

Tuesday: 5 miles (9:24 pace)

AKA New Garmin Day! The wrist band on my old Garmin came apart and since it’s still under warranty, Garmin offered to send a replacement band. In the meantime, I’ve been wanting to upgrade, so it was the perfect justification 😉 I headed to Mill City Running over my lunch hour and met up with Sara and left with a brand new Garmin!

(and a few other goodies)

(and a few other goodies)

The run later that evening was just OK. Legs continue to feel tired.

Wednesday: REST

Thursday: REST

We decided to make the 5.5 drive to my parents’ house at Calvin’s bedtime so he’d sleep in the car, so we left Minneapolis around 6 p.m. It worked great minus the fact that it was midnight by the time we got there and I was SO TIRED!

Friday: 3 miles (8:50 pace)

Calvin woke up at his grandparents’ house, bright and early at 5:40 a.m. so I got up and get ready to run once Jesse got up. I headed out around 7:30 and it was already hot and sticky (the temp eventually rose to over 90 degrees later in the day!). I love running in my hometown — it’s a great change of scenery and you can usually run (no sidewalks) down the road for awhile before meeting any cars. The only downside is pretty hilly terrain. My legs were feeling this one for the next day or so!

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Saturday: REST

I gave my legs the next day off and we continued to relax at my parents’ house. We headed to my aunt and uncle’s place in the afternoon. They live on my grandparents’ farm and Calvin and Cole got to meet goats, baby chicks, a large dog and some cats. They were both pretty tired afterwards from all the excitement and all the fresh air and all the grass and trees and nature!!!!

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I caught up with some high school friends over a beer and a brat (because, Wisconsin) later that evening.

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Sunday: 6 miles (9:05 pace)

I decided to wait until we got back to Minneapolis to get my “long run” in. We left Wisconsin around 9 a.m. and got back to MN around 3. It was a stressful ride back with traffic and Calvin being pretty unhappy about being in his carseat.

Once we got Calvin down to bed, Kate and I headed out for our run. There was a breeze and the temperature had cooled from the previous two days, but it still felt sticky and I never felt like I ever warmed up. The entire run was hard. Not the run I was hoping for less than a week out from the half, but that’s what happens!

Focusing this week on rest and eating right. I’m not off to a great start since I haven’t been sleeping well, but I’ve been eating pretty well and cutting back on the mileage in a big way. Next update will be post-Garry Bjorklund Half!


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Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Training: Week Ten

Monday: REST

20 minute arm toning circuit and some stretching and foam rolling

Tuesday: 5 miles (9:30 pace)

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Wednesday: REST

Did my PT exercises and some pushups and planks.

Thursday: REST

Did this, instead of running:

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(Not pictured: A couple of delicious glasses of wine.)

Friday: 5 miles (9:20 pace)

Got a free pair of Fitsoks and tested out my new Oiselle stride shorts

Got a free pair of Fitsoks and tested out my new Oiselle stride shorts

Even though the forecast called for morning thunderstorms, I woke up to clear skies. I decided to hit up Flapjack Friday again and had a lovely five mile run with Sara! Bummer though, not even a half a mile into the run, I felt a sharp pain shoot through my neck and shoulders. It was uncomfortable through the rest of the run, but it wasn’t until I stopped running that the pain really set in. I’d experienced something like this a few times in the past, moving wrong in the shower, etc. but this was by far the worst pain. So I found a chiropractor with an opening and carefully drove (without being able to turn my head) to his office for an adjustment. I left still in pain, but slightly looser.

I spent the next 24+ hours laying in bed, icing on and off. Thank goodness for J who took the lead on Calvin duties, especially since Calvin is in a “crawl all over mommy” stage.

Saturday: REST (still in a lot of pain)

Much of Saturday was spent in bed, icing on and off, but I did make it to C’s last swimming lesson (he LOVES the water now!), which made me decide I NEED to get back in the pool to do some lap swimming again.

Sunday: 11 miles (9:29 pace)

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This was rough, but we powered through! Andrea and I met at Lake Harriet and ran the three lakes. It loosened up quite a bit, but my neck/left shoulder bothered me the entire time. Also, was feeling some soreness in my knees.

I need to find a better water bottle to run with. Any suggestions? Luckily, there are plenty of water stops around this route, but I’d still like to hydrate more regularly on warm days.

After we finished, we hit up the Rose Street Patisserie. I tried their chocolate chip cookie (it was OK, I think this batch was overdone) and an unpictured feta and spinach croissant (YUM).

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I’m getting anxious for race day to get here already! I’m still not setting any goals — if everything falls into place like it did on the day of my 10-mile race, I could be looking at a really solid half, but if it’s like my day on Sunday, it could be a struggle. We will wait and see!

Favorite post-run treat?


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Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon Training: Week Nine

Monday: REST

I did a 20-minute arm workout (Thanks, Minneapolis Running!), my PT exercises, stretched and foam rolled

Tuesday: 5 miles (9:40 pace)

Pretty much everything was working against me for this one — my calves were in knots still from mowing the lawn over the weekend and I was SO HUNGRY after a busy day of meetings that I scarfed down some food 45 minutes before we headed out on our run. But after a slow and sloggy start, I felt a bit better and then started to hit a wall with around a mile left. The heat and humidity didn’t help.

Friday: 4 miles (9:30 pace)

Andrea and I finally checked out Mill City Running’s Flapjack Fridays! The run starts from Mill City Running in Northeast Minneapolis at 6:30 and there are 2.5, 5 and 7 mile loop routes. We only wanted to go about four miles, so we did an out and back. I never get sick of running across the Stone Arch Bridge. Once we got back to the store, we got in line for pancakes. There were a variety of toppings (um, hello Nutella), but I opted for good ol’ maple syrup and butter.

The rain started just as we dug into our pancakes. It actually felt pretty good after a slightly humid run.

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I headed home to shower and get ready for the day. Since I was working from home, it was pretty easy to ease into the work day!

That night, J and I met up with my co-workers to see Tracy Morgan at Mystic Lake:

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It was a great show and felt good to laugh. SUPER inappropriate, but funny.

Saturday: REST

We hit up Sea Salt for lunch (Calvin’s first trip there!)

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Afterwards, I went with Andrea to see Book of Mormon (erm, for my fourth time). I might have a problem.

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Sunday: MDRA Mississippi 10 Miler (1:29:55)

Hooray for a new 10 mile PR!

I knew I was going to like this race, when I realized the start line was in the middle of a downhill. It was a small field, but I still lined up middle-back of the pack. I made a rookie move by not starting my Garmin until I was about to cross the start line — it took almost three miles for it to finally catch up and find my location.

The race starts on the trails in Crosby Regional Park and as you come up to Shepard Road, you hit the first water stop — around 2.5 miles. I took water, but soon after that, while I was still feeling good, I started to feel kind of chilled and realized I had stopped sweating. The next water stop wasn’t until five miles, but I took two cups of water and also had half my GU. I started feeling a little better, but was still looking forward to the next water stop at mile 7.5. This could have ended up as a disaster, but since it didn’t, I’m just going to learn from it and make sure to better hydrate pre-race next time.

I think my favorite thing about this race was that since it’s an out and back, we got to see the leaders on their way back to the finish. And I’m not kidding, 90% of them actually smiled and said things like “great job” and “keep it up” as they passed us mortals who hadn’t even hit the turnaround point.

I started to pick up the pace around mile five and was keeping it right in the 8:40s. There were some challenging hills on the course, but the downhills made them worth it. I was still feeling good after mile 9, so I decided to try to go sub-8:00 for the last mile. I crossed the finish line and couldn’t stop smiling for the next 24 hours. Everything fell into place and I was really happy how this went. I also learned a lot about where my training has brought me and how I should approach the half in just a few weeks.

I’d definitely recommend this race! It’s well organized, small and a great course (even though it’s an out and back).

Pre-race fuel: Breakfast cookie

Race day outfit: Distance shorts and Oiselle shimmel

Splits: 9:45, 9:04, 9:20, 9:17, 8:40, 8:45, 8:45, 8:42, 8:10, 7:59

28th female, 13th AG