Category Archives: Travel

Weekly workouts: 1/8 – 1/14

Monday, January 8: REST

Life got in the way and I opted to skip Monday’s run for my own sanity’s sake.

Tuesday, January 9: Strength

Hit up a weight training class at Northeast Fitness. It was a straightforward workout starting with cut downs (15, 12, 10) to warm up (bicep curls, tricep extensions, chest press and fly). Then a three round circuit of walking lunges with weighted rotation, wall ball, plank, barbell row, ab roll outs and kettlebell sumo deadlifts.

Wednesday, January 10: Run*

Easy 3.5 miles after work. I definitely overdressed for this one – it was 36 degrees, but very damp, so I opted for flow tights, long sleeve lux, vigor vest, headband and gloves, but I took the gloves off just two minutes in and could have definitely gone without the vest.

Thursday, January 11: Run*

Oh, where to start? After some nice, mild weather, Thursday brought a plunge in temperature and snow. My only window for a run was before the paths were cleared, so I strapped on the Yaktrax and headed out. After a rough first mile, I finally kind of warmed up and figured out my footing, but as soon as I turned around at 1.5 miles, I found myself running directly into the wind.

I am happy to report that my new flyout jacket kept me nice and toasty — definitely was a smart investment for Minnesota winter running!

Friday, January 12: Kettlebells and Krankcycle class + PT exercises

I got in some strength work with a lunch hour Northeast Fitness class, spending half the time on the Krankcycle and half the time on the floor. The floor workout was three rounds of kettlebell swings, catch and press (1 min.), gunslingers (1 min.), half Turkish get ups left side (1 min.), half turkish get ups right side (1 min.). We finished with some core work.

Saturday, January 13: Hot yoga

The room felt hotter than usual, so it was a nice, hour-long extra sweaty session.

Sunday, January 14: Run* + strength circuit, PT exercises

Finally, a good run! Despite the below-zero temperatures, this run felt effortless (in fact, I may have seen some 8:xx’s on my watch from time to time) and I have to admit, my layering game was on point.

After I got home, I did a strength circuit from BlondePonytail’s Train Like an Athlete plan.

The rest of the day included eating a gigantic, amazing salad, meal prepping for the week and being lazy and watching football. We opted for ordering pizzas (a gf and vegan cheeze one for me!) and it was an excellent decision. And HOLY THE MOST AMAZING GAME EVER! Go Vikings! I’m going to be on an airplane during the next game – so I might need wi-fi for that flight.

*While I’m still being cautious with my hamstring, all of my runs have been at easy pace

This week I gave Stephanie Meyer’s Project Vibrancy Meals a shot. Give your free week a try!

I also made a loaf of Danielle Walker’s grain-free sandwich bread and ate that with almond butter for breakfasts, and mostly had dinner leftovers for lunches.

On the schedule this week:

  • Leaving my number of run days at three, but continuing to add on the total mileage
  • Drink more water!
  • Start of the Whole Life Challenge!

Do you meal prep on Sundays? What does it typically look like?

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Festive Fitness

Since our house got hit by strep right before Christmas, and I took about a week off from working out, I wanted to take advantage of working from home and the long holiday weekends off from work to make up for it. Mission accomplished!

Thursday, December 28: Spin

I was looking forward to this workout but I never really felt like I hit a stride and my heart rate was really high throughout the entire thing. I chalked it up to still recovering from strep.

Friday, December 29: KrankCycle and Kettlebells at Northeast Fitness

How I missed the KrankCycle! Felt good to get in a quick 50-minute lunch hour strength session.

Saturday, December 30: Climbing

Since my mom was in town, J and I took advantage of having a built-in babysitter and went climbing at Vertical Endeavors. It was really busy (hello, holiday weekend), but we still got in some solid climbing time.

Sunday, December 31: Hot Yoga

Since the temperature high was a whopping -5 degrees, hot yoga seemed like a good idea.

Monday, Jan. 1: Alchemy A20

Since I’m old and went to bed before midnight on New Years Eve, I was easily able to take advantage of Alchemy’s free New Years Day classes with a 9 a.m. A20 and my first Alchemy class ever. It was a tough workout, but I loved it! This was the workout:

Tuesday, Jan. 2: Run*; PT exercises

33 minutes with the Oiselle MN Volee ladies. It was so cold that even after being good and remembering to do a dynamic warm up, I tightened up again. The hamstring was definitely “off” during this, but didn’t seem to feel any worse, post-run. And even for as cold as it was, remarkably, the weather felt warm compared to the previous few days.

Wednesday, Jan. 3: Alchemy A10

I hit up the Edina studio after work. The workout, while tough, was much different than the A20 – it seemed to be over so quickly!

Workout (10 minutes):

10 2xTorpedo Deadlifts (15# each)
10 Box Jumps
10 Push-ups

Thursday, Jan. 4: REST (PT exercises)

A busy day at work meant a forced rest day for me, but had a great, relaxing happy hour with friends that made it totally worth it.

Friday, Jan. 5: Alchemy A20

4:30 a.m. alarm was rough but the 5:30 A20 class at Alchemy was packed. It was a really fun workout, with a lot of variety. Like for many, pull-ups are my enemy, but I’m determined to get stronger and maybe even do an unassisted one someday in the not-too-distant future.

Workout (20 minutes):

5 Pull-ups
7 Push-ups
9 Muscle Snatch (alternating arms every rep) (15#)
12 Abmat Sit-ups
15 Air Squats

Saturday: REST

We took a weekend trip with family to Eau Claire for some waterpark fun for the kids. I was extremely sore from Friday’s workout, so a rest day was definitely welcome. And, let’s be honest, chasing after a two-year-old means I don’t actually get to rest.

Sunday: Run*; PT exercises

It was a great day for a run, weather wise. Met up with Andrea for a few miles (and brought the dog). It was a good transition from getting back into town to the long night of laundry and meal prepping (Instacart to the rescue – use my referral link for $10 off!) I had ahead of me. And bonus: No hamstring pain!

*While I’m still being cautious with my hamstring, all of my runs have been at easy pace

For many reasons that I may or may not get into in a separate post, my start to AIP has been slightly delayed. Meals for the past week and a half had been pretty clean, but with the weekend away, I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was and I paid for it.

Breakfasts: AIP breakfast sausage and golden sweet potato and cauliflower hash from the Essential Thyroid Cookbook.

Lunches: mostly some combination of a protein (proscuitto, sardines) paired with a fermented food (typically sauerkraut), and a green veggie (broccoli or a kale salad).

Dinners: Well Fed carnitas, spaghetti sauce with zoodles, lemon garlic shrimp with spinach saute from the Essential Thyroid Cookbook.

On the schedule this week:

  • Hoping to increase the number of run days to three total
  • Two days of strength training (taking a week off from Alchemy to decide if I’m going to invest in a membership or not)
  • Three days of PT exercises (mostly lateral band walks, single leg deadlifts, etc.)
  • One day of yoga (of the hot variety)
  • One cardio cross training day (spin)
  • Cleaning up my diet even more – working to get fully on board with my Sugar-Free January and limit my portions of grains to only a couple times per week.

Do you cross train? What are your favorite activities?

Are you a hot weather or cold weather runner?

Stillwater Babymoon

Even though we didn’t even travel an hour away and only stayed one night, it was great to get away and do a mini babymoon this past weekend.

We left after work on Friday, getting to Stillwater just before 6 and went to check into our hotel. Per a suggestion from a friend, we stayed at the Lowell Inn, a classic hotel that was built in 1927 — what a cool building!

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We got settled in and then walked the half mile to The Green Room for dinner. It was a gorgeous night out and lots of people were out and about.

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We’ve been meaning to try this place for a few years now — J’s friend’s brother is one of the co-owners. It was the perfect opportunity to give it a try! The menu is super interesting — a blend of American and globally-influenced cuisine. We started with the (unpictured) lamb tacos. They were incredible. For my entree, I decided on the mushroom gnocchi. Because, well…gnocchi.

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I certainly didn’t hate it, but it was a bit too salty for me. Next time, I definitely want to give one of their curry dishes a try. The table’s food next to us smelled amazing.

After dinner, we took a walk along the river. I had to take an obligatory picture of the lift bridge.

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The next morning, we got up and walked to The Oasis Cafe for some breakfast. It recently reopened after having some renovations done, and it sure was busy! We got the last two seats at the counter.

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I branched out from my usual scrambled eggs and wheat toast and got french toast and bacon. YUM. French toast is so good. I ordered water so we could stop at Tin Bins, a cute coffee shop that was on our walk back to the hotel.

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Since it was another gorgeous day, so I got my first iced (decaf) of the year. We also stumbled upon the Stillwater Feed Store on our walk back and they had some cute farm animals outside of the store. They also had fresh eggs, so we picked up a dozen! It was almost 11 a.m., so we headed back to our room, packed up the car and checked out.

 

While this was a lovely getaway, I’d be lying if I said it was totally carefree and relaxing. It was too easy to draw parallels between this babymoon and our getaway that was supposed to be a babymoon while I was pregnant with Charlie. But, overall, it was a great time and we’re lucky to have been able to getaway for a night.

Favorite things to do in Stillwater?

Roommate Reunion #BritneyInVegas

Last Thursday night, I went to the first out of 11 shows that Garth Brooks is playing here in Minneapolis and it was hands down one of the best arena shows (and one of my favorite shows, EVER) I’ve ever been to. Then, bright and early Friday morning, two of my BFFs/college roommates and I headed to Vegas for a quick girls’ weekend.

With the time change, we arrived in Vegas at 9:30 a.m. and by the time we dropped our bags at the hotel and found a bar with a patio, it was about 11:30 a.m. We promptly ordered this when the waitress suggested it:

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While we knew the 100 ounces of margarita wasn’t a good idea, it did seem like a very Vegas way to start our trip. But yeah, bad idea. After the bar, we headed back to the hotel where our fourth roommate, who drove from LA, met us. We got ready, went out for dinner and then it was time for BRITNEY!

She. was. terrible. And I loved every minute of it.

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Post-Britney, we did a little gambling, had a few more beverages and found some cheese fries. But then, all of a sudden, I hit a wall and was EXHAUSTED. It was then that I remembered it was almost 4 a.m. Minnesota-time. We headed back up to the room where I promptly passed out.

On Saturday, I woke up earlier than I would’ve liked, but really couldn’t sleep anymore. We found some breakfast and Starbucks and then made our way down to the pool where we stayed for the next four hours. I think those four hours were among my top moments of 2014. It was so amazingly relaxing. The weather was a perfect 75+ degrees and oh so sunny. Perfection.

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Eventually it was time to leave the pool and get ready for dinner. We headed to the Cromwell where we had reservations to try Giada’s new-ish restaurant. The entire menu looked pretty delicious, but we opted for the tasting menu experience which ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

It was four courses with the highlights being the bacon-wrapped dates, the Sicilian roasted lamb and the amaretto chocolate cake complete with edible 24 karat gold. We got sent home with a cool “souvenir” that included recipes for the dishes that were a part of the tasting menu, and to my husband’s delight — a signed Giada headshot. lmao.

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We had an early flight Sunday morning and came back to 30 degree weather and snow. Lame.

Post-running fall update: Walking around Vegas wasn’t good for my ankle/knee and definitely slowed my recovery. I now haven’t run in over a week which is a major bummer.

What’s your favorite Britney song?

Getting away

Thanks, everyone, for your kind words — it was overwhelming (in a good way!) to see everyone’s messages offering support. This past weekend, we were supposed to go on our babymoon, but after finding out the news, I canceled our appointments and reservations. But then at the last minute, we decided to get away and spend some time together in a place where we could relax and find comfort in nature.

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We stayed at the Thimbleberry Inn in Bayfield, WI with a lovely room that had an incredible view of Lake Superior. The innkeeper, Sharon, was so friendly and chatty which was a nice distraction. But she also gave us the right amount of space and privacy, which was much appreciated. It was my first B&B experience and I really enjoyed it.

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We got in late Friday afternoon and went out for a Bayfield local favorite — a whitefish dinner. When we got back to our room, Sharon delivered made-from-scratch Texas Sheet Cake (made with three sticks of butter total — yikes! But so worth it) with vanilla bean ice cream and glasses of milk. Amazing.

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Saturday morning, we awoke to a gorgeous, sunny day and freshly baked muffins and decaf coffee delivered to our door at 8 a.m. Then, we headed upstairs to the dining area for the most incredible breakfast — panakuken with a complete spread of topping options! Sharon had strawberries and maple syrup, lemon wedges and powdered sugar, whipped cream and apples from their apple tree.

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After breakfast, we took the ferry over to Madeline Island and did a little exploring in the nice weather.

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Ice that’s left on Lake Superior. It was no match for the ferry.

After we got back to Bayfield, we headed to Enso for a couples massage, which was fantastic. I may have fallen asleep 🙂

Dinner on Saturday was at the cutest place called Ethel’s at 250 where we were greeted by one of the owners, Sally. I had spaghetti and meatballs which totally hit the spot. We took a little walk after dinner and then headed back to the Inn. Sharon had homemade lemon cookies waiting for us. We enjoyed our cookies while we played some cribbage and then headed to bed.

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A collection of some of the amazing food from the weekend.

After one more delicious breakfast, Sharon packed up some muffins and decaf coffee to go for us. We said our goodbyes and then hit the road and headed back to reality.

Have you ever stayed in a bed and breakfast?

Top Five: Boston

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Boston was such a whirlwind trip and we did so much that I thought it would be hard (and really long) to write a full recap, so I decided to do a top five list instead!

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5. The food!

I don’t think I ate anything on this trip that blew me away, but cannolis from Mike’s always hit the spot (I may have gone there twice), I also had a pretty incredible fresh mozzarella grilled cheese and lobster bisque soup from Anthem and the bite of my dad’s clam chowder soup was quite tasty.

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4. Being tourists

It wasn’t my first trip to Boston, but it was the first trip for some people in our group so it was fun to do some new sight-seeing and some that we’ve done before.

Of COURSE we went to Fenway!

Of COURSE we went to Fenway!

3. Meet-ups galore!

It all started when our flight to ATL was canceled (on our way to the airport at 4 a.m.) and we got put on a different flight that connected in Chicago. We ended up on the same flight as Coach, Chanthana and Angela! It was fun to finally meet in person. Then, when I ran into them again a few days later, I finally got to meet Jenny!

On Sunday night I navigated (OK, Uber navigated) my way out to Winchester for a fun Oiselle team meetup. Runner parties are awesome because Nuun is one of the offered beverages and you never run out of things to talk about. It was great to see Tracy again and meet other Oiselle team birds! And even though I had to leave early and didn’t get to chat with her, it’s always pretty cool when Kara Goucher shows up to a party you’re at.

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2. Alllll of the love

In total, and not counting myself, 12 people made the trip to Boston to support Jesse and just thinking about that alone makes me tear up.

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1. The marathon

I think this goes without saying, but marathon day was pretty magical. Seeing the elites fly by was pretty awesome:

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But seeing my husband run by, looking SO strong, was the #1 moment of the entire trip. So proud of him!

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I can’t wait to go back!

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Also, congratulations to Mel for winning the Bellabeat giveaway! Thanks to everyone who entered.

Race Recap: 2014 Shamrock Shuffle 8K

Saturday

Andrea and I got into Chicago around 10:30 a.m. and were able to check into our hotel early once we arrived. We stayed at the Hotel Allegro and while I’m totally a Kimpton gal, I was disappointed with our overall experience here. I would be willing to give their other hotel property (the Palomar) a try but would likely just stick with the Hotel Monaco in the future.

After getting situated, we braved the chilly weather and walked to have brunch at Frontera Grill. I was so excited to be back at one of my “happy places.” Frontera did not disappoint — we shared the chips and salsa (I love Frontera’s tomatillo salsa) and I had gorditas for my entree. Delicious!

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After brunch, we burned off some calories walking to the Expo. As much as I love big race expos, I absolutely loathe this expo. Mainly, because of the location. Last year, I learned my lesson and took a shortcut to the Festival Hall, but with all of the construction at Navy Pier, we were forced to deal with the crowds and chaos. Once we finally made it, it was so much fun to meet up with fellow Oiselle teammates, Kim and Kelly and to meet their adorable wee birds. It made me even more excited to have one of my own 🙂

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After the Expo, my feet were feeling pretty sore so we headed back to the hotel to rest for a bit. We cancelled our dinner reservations and carb loaded at the Corner Bakery instead. Exhausted (and full), we turned on the NCAA tourney when we got back to the room and I passed out before 9:30 p.m.

Sunday (Race Day)

On Sunday morning our alarms went off around 6:30. We got up and started getting ready — I decided my race day outfit would be my Oiselle singlet, arm warmers, Flow Tights, and sunglasses. I also threw on my Oiselle Trials Hoodie for the walk to the start. Before we left, I drank some water and ate a granola bar — I realized I’m so out of practice when it comes to race morning preparation!

A mile walk to the start from our hotel was a nice warm up and we arrived around 7:45 a.m. My corral closed at 8:20, so Andrea and I made a quick bathroom stop and checked our gear bags before parting ways. Once I entered Corral B, I remembered how much I love this race. The corrals give you plenty of space and the staggered start minimizes the congestion at the beginning of the race. There were a few announcements, the singing of the National Anthem and then the elites and Corral A were off — Corral B was next!

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As soon as we started running, I knew I had a long five-ish miles ahead of me. For starters, I had to pee (like, really bad) the entire time. In fact, my biggest victory of the race might have been that I didn’t pee. My feet and legs were tired from walking around the day before, my hamstrings felt tight and the ankle I sprained earlier in the week was starting to act up again. But I did my best to ignore all of that and just get to the finish line. Mile one passed fairly quickly and before I knew it, I heard the vuvuzela so I knew I was nearing mile 2. (That’s where I saw Jenny and crew — they spectate like nobody’s business!) Mile three was probably the toughest, I was getting passed by people in Corral C and two miles seemed like a really long ways to go. But once I knew I only had a mile left I started to feel better, mentally, and that helped me feel better, physically. Plus, the crowds thicken again and running down Michigan Ave. is pretty fun. We rounded the bend into Grant Park and up the last uphill (which wasn’t as bad as I remember it) and I knew the finish would be in sight shortly. I crossed the finish line feeling pretty good but happy to be done!

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16 weeks pregnant. An experience I won’t forget!

After the race, I met up with some of the other Oiselle ladies for a quick photo.

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Andrea finished shortly after that (congrats again on the PR!) and we grabbed some DD coffee (decaf for me) before heading to brunch at Theory with Kim and Kim and Kim’s husband, Joel.

mmm, waffles.

mmm, waffles.

I always love meeting other Oiselle birds — ladies, seriously YOU ARE SO INSPIRATIONAL! Not only did they put up some amazing times (PRs that right now I can only dream of and finishes in the top 20 of 30,000+ runners?!?) but everyone was also so friendly and fun!

That afternoon, Andrea and I spent a couple of hours at Eataly Chicago. It was hard not to buy (and taste) everything in sight, but somehow I managed to leave only having purchased one foccacia with proscuitto, two (very small) cannolis, and some pasta. It would be amazing to have a place like Eataly in Minneapolis.

A nap was in order and then we got ready for our 9:30 p.m. dinner reservations at Girl and the Goat. I realize that I’m getting old, but I couldn’t believe how packed it was and that people kept getting seated, even after us! I ordered the most delicious mocktail (they called it “Happy Juice”) that consisted of some mix of ginger beer, lime, soda and cranberry juice. And then, Andrea and I accomplished the difficult task of narrowing down the amazing menu to just a handful of things to try.

My favorite dishes were the roasted beets (green beans . white anchovy . avocado creme fraiche . bread crumb) and the goat empanadas (marinated sheep feta . pickled golden beets . tzatziki)

My favorite dishes were the roasted beets (green beans . white anchovy . avocado creme fraiche . bread crumb) and the goat empanadas (marinated sheep feta . pickled golden beets . tzatziki)

We also had the pork shank (buttermilk dressing . grilled spring onion kimchee . naan) wood-grilled broccoli and squash wontons with mushroom ragout

We also had the pork shank (buttermilk dressing . grilled spring onion kimchee . naan) wood-grilled broccoli and squash wontons with mushroom ragout

We didn’t have room for dessert, so I’ll be back!

Monday

Monday morning we hit up Wildberry (my fave!) for brunch and got some Chicago Mix at Garrett’s before heading to the airport.

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Wildberry crepes and an Intelligentsia decaf latte!

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Chicago — I miss you already!

What are your must-dos in Chicago?

What’s your race day/morning ritual?

Any tips for saving your feet while walking around all day?