Category Archives: Twin Cities

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.


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!


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:


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?


Healthy Living Summit: less than a month away!

Hello from Atlanta! Yup — my flight was delayed and I got put on a new flight leaving at 3:30 today….

Anyways, does anyone know where the summer went? Healthy Living Summit is less than one month away! HLS will be my first blogging conference and I can’t wait. It’s nice that it’s being held in Minneapolis so I didn’t have to worry about traveling or taking off too much time from work. I do have to fit a 20 mile run in sometime that weekend which should be interesting.

There will be some mini-mingles and fit-mingles held throughout the weekend and I’m currently looking into hosting one. So if you’re going to be attending, make sure to RSVP for my mini-mingle!

Also, I’m super excited to announce that I’m attending the conference on behalf of GymPact. For anyone that has been reading FAB for awhile, you know that I love GymPact and will sing its praises to any who’ll listen. I’m up to 354 workouts and have put my GymPact funds (About $235 to date) for fun stuff like registering for races and buying new workout clothes! For me, I’m not looking to GymPact to make a bunch of money (you only make $1-2 typically per week) but rather it’s about the motivation not to be charged for missing a workout. And that’s really motivating to me.

There will be some fun stuff coming up through this partnership, but for now, if you’ve been thinking about giving GymPact a try, you can do it using a special code the GP folks set up for me. It allows you to try it out risk free 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.

Happy Friday!

If you have any questions about GymPact — just ask!

FAB Fitness: weekly workouts 8/5 – 8/11

Life and stress won this week. Running/training did not. Oh well — it happens, and this week I’ll try again.

Monday: Planned rest day

Tuesday: Run fail. 2 miles in 25 minutes.

What was supposed to be 12x400s turned into the longest two miles of my life. Ended up walking/running them because of the knee pain and shooting pain up my leg.

After my crappy run, J and I had committed to making an appearance at National Night Out. We’ve successfully avoided any NNO since we bought our house in 2009, since for introverts, like me, NNO can be pretty much the worst thing ever. However, we’ve decided to make a commitment to getting to know at least some of our neighbors better and one of the newest couples to the neighborhood spent a lot of time organizing the NNO festivities, so we wanted to show support and attend. It ended up being pretty painless and actually quite the adventure since a big storm rolled through and we all had to head inside of one of the houses. But there was good (not too terribly awkward) conversation and yummy food!

Wednesday: Quick 2 miles over my lunch hour. 8:41, 8:34

Knee pain was gone! Hooray. After work, I worked the second job and luckily we were B-U-S-Y. If we were slow, I probably would have fallen asleep standing up.

Thursday: Rest day

Didn’t get up early to work out since I was up pretty late after getting home from work the night before. I was planning a quick run after work and before my dinner plans, but I got stuck at work late and wasn’t able to squeeze anything in. A delusional part of me also thought maybe I could eat light at dinner and then go workout after dinner. HA! (um yeah, that didn’t happen)

Friday: 3 miles and one hour personal training session

Redemption! The alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. and I was up to eat a breakfast cookie and drink a cup of coffee before meeting the lovely Portia for a run. Portia and her family were passing through Minneapolis on their way to their new home in Seattle, from Boston. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning to take one of my new Oiselle teammates on a mini-tour of Minneapolis!

My new Flyte tank. Thanks mom -- happy early bday to me!

My new Flyte tank. Thanks, Mom — happy early bday to me!



After our run I headed to Revolution Cycle and Fitness for my weekly personal training session. OH MAN did we work today. We only did light leg work on the Pilates Reformer since I was racing the next day and spent the rest of the hour on arms and abs. My arms were jelly by the end.

Saturday: Race #14 of the year and first race as part of the Oiselle Voleé team! Gopher to Badger 5K (race recap to follow). 24:37 (5 second PR!)

My parents were in town over the weekend so my mom went with me to the race and my dad stayed home with J to do some kitchen remodeling planning. After the race, my mom and I met my dad, J, my brother, my cousin, her husband, her three kids and my aunt and uncle (phew!) for  lunch at Sandcastle! It was a gorgeous day for sitting outside and I finally tried the much raved about BLT. It tasted great with a cold beer and a few cheese curds.


After lunch, I started to feel sick. My stomach tends to be off after long runs and races, so I didn’t think much of it. I was also getting a headache, so I laid down for an hour or so before I had to start getting ready for dinner. We went to Burch, the restaurant that my brother cooks at to celebrate our birthdays (my brother’s birthday was yesterday and mine is on Friday!)

I can’t wait to go back when I’m feeling better! Everything was AMAZING, I just wasn’t feeling like my normal self. But I loved the atmosphere in there (the building used to be a drug store and they totally gutted the whole place, including the basement).

Also, I think they like my brother because the kitchen kept sending out dishes we didn’t order to try. Glad my brother told us to order light!

I started with a Cucumber Press to drink — cucumber water, vodka and lime. Super refreshing!

We ended up all sharing each others’ food. We tried the Lamb Tartare, Endive Salad, the Barramundi and Marlin Crudo, the prawns, bone marrow dumplings, rapini risotto, broccolini, and of course — the steak. My mom also got the salmon.




My favorite thing about the menu is that they have 25 cent “small treats” for dessert.


They’re the perfect little bit of sweet that I crave after meals. I had the chocolate dipped coconut macaroon and the chocolate chili truffle.



Sunday: I felt sick all day and opted to move my long run to Monday since I had to work the second job. Pretty much laid in bed all day after my parents left and until I had to leave for work. Bah.

This week = RAGNAR! I’m in Van 1 and we leave for Winona bright and early Friday morning!

Do you participate in National Night Out? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Both?

Not your typical running store: Mill City Running

A few weeks back, I posted about checking out a new local running store, Mill City Running.


I fell in love with the store immediately just by the way I felt when I walked in the door. Everything just looks so pretty. You almost don’t want to touch anything, but then again, you really want to touch everything. My friend and I were greeted by the owners, Jeff and Bekah (husband and wife duo) who are awesome.

Gorgeous store.

Gorgeous store.

I took a look around  at their inventory and was thrilled to see that they carry Picky Bars! They also carry GU, Nuun, Honey Stinger and my other fave brands.


Then, I noticed this on the wall:

MCR really is all about the community.

MCR really is all about the community.

These organized events are just one example of how they’re not just “talking the talk” when it comes to their mission statement (which I love):

Welcome: Newbies and veterans, tortoises and hares, clueless and proficient, old dogs and young bucks, champions and injured, realists and dreamers. We want everyone to feel welcome: walkers, runners, yogis, cross fitters, cyclists, and human beings. Our aim is to support each person we encounter and to help them achieve their goals in whatever way we can; shoes, clothing accessories or camaraderie.

Even though their staff is made up of experienced runners, including collegiate and elite athletes, everyone is so friendly, welcoming and helpful. It’s definitely not always that way at other running stores.

And they carry Oiselle!

Oh! And did I mention that they carry Oiselle?

If you’re in the market for a new pair of running shoes, they have a treadmill set up and use an iPad to video you running and whatever app they use lets them slow the recording down, speed it up, run it backwards, etc. It’s very cool.



I really like that they have an awesome 30 day return policy (and you can actually wear the shoes on the surface you usually run on — not just on a treadmill!) and a loyalty program to earn store credit.

If you live in the Twin Cities, you should def check out Mill City Running.

Do you have a favorite local running store? What about it makes it your favorite?

My #FavoriteRun

I saw this idea on Miss Zippy and Marcia’s Healthy Slice blogs and decided to give it a shot 🙂 So — join me on my favorite run!

My favorite run is first thing in the morning — before the rest of the world is awake.

I step out of my front door, start my Garmin (and RunKeeper), leave the music at home and head towards the river.

My run is just under six miles in total and takes me through both St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The first couple of miles are on walking/running paths and take me alongside the Mississippi River.


I cross the bridge and am treated to a beautiful sight:

Frozen river.

Frozen river.

Now I make my way alongside the river again — this time on the St. Paul side. There’s a hill that at one time I used to dread and now (depending on the day) I barely notice it.

On many days, there is a slight cooling breeze that always makes me feel so alive as I cross another bridge. I notice this usually makes me pick up the pace too 🙂


I’m back in Minneapolis now, almost home, and climb the stairs back up to the main running path:



The post-run feeling I get from my #favoriterun is perhaps just as great as while I’m running. It feels so good to get to my desk at work knowing that I started my day doing something that I love to do.

Running in Boston, Chicago, South Carolina and other “exotic places” were unforgettable experiences, but this run, one I do so often, is familiar and comforting to me.

What’s your favorite run?


FAB Fitness: weekly workouts 6/17 – 6/23

Started the week on Sunday by doing a big meal prep for the week

  • Roasted one spaghetti squash
  • Made a big batch of quinoa in the rice cooker
  • Hard boiled a half a dozen eggs
  • Roasted two sweet potatoes
  • Baked a batch of breakfast cookies

Monday: Strength training session with Andrea!

Did a combination of Gina’s #summershapeup weeks two and three. Arms were burning by the end!

Tuesday: 4.2 miles. 9:33, 9:15, 9:09, 9:17


Day one of marathon training! Alarm went off at 5:40 and I was out of the house by 6. I was just ever so slightly chilly in shorts and a T-shirt, but warmed up quickly. Ran to the gym, checked in, drank some water and did a little rolling. More water and then was on my way back home. Still a little unsure of what pace I should be doing my “slow” runs at.

After work I headed to the new Cossetta’s rooftop, Louis, and met up with Mellissa and Lee for a lovely happy hour! The rooftop was packed due to the amazing weather, but luckily Mellissa had scored a pretty sweet table. No idea why I didn’t think of having someone take our photo.

Wednesday: Rest day

Although I probably would’ve been happy to start the day with a workout, I opted to sleep in to rest up for the long day ahead of me. After work I picked up the CSA share my friends let us have this week while they were on vacation. When I got home I made the carbonara sauce and added in the spaghetti squash I had already roasted and shredded on Sunday. All I had to do was mix it in and heat it up for an easy and quick dinner for the hubs and lunch for me the next day!

Then I jumped on a quick phone call with a company that I am excited to be partnering with soon After the call, I met my friend at the Good Earth where we scored a table on the patio and celebrated her new job (a pretty sweet gig) over peach sangria and wine.

Side note: I’ve been having really terrible service at restaurants lately. So frustrating.

Aaaand if that wasn’t enough to cram into my evening, I did a grocery shopping trip after dinner.

Thursday: 4.01 miles. 9:34, 9:47, 10:02, 9:32

Good run. Tried to force myself not to push my pace too much. Also, my calves are really starting to annoy me. They’ve been incredibly tight, so while watching the USA Track and Field Championships Thursday night, I foam rolled, iced and used a tennis ball for more targeting therapy. Ouch.

Friday: Hour long strength training session (with personal trainer)

I’m so excited to be working with my friend/mentor, Dawn, over the summer for semi-private personal training. We’re going to be meeting once per week and the focus will really be cross training and doing upper body/core/and glute and hamstring strengthening.

Today we warmed up for ten minutes on the KrankCycles, then we did lats/triceps/biceps using dumbells. We also did some TRX suspension work, some kettlebell swings and a fun core workout and myofasical release combo. I was definitely sore the next day!

Saturday: 8.02 miles. 9:27, 9:23, 10:07, 9:13, 9:53, 9:37, 10:55, 10:25

Holy crap, Duluth is hilly. More on this run in my Grandma’s spectating recap that will follow soon, but all I will say is I got my fair share of hills in on Saturday. The photo below was taken after my run:



And then I ended the day with walking/running 30,863 steps and climbing 128 floors.


Sunday: walk/ran 4.01 miles. 11:21, 11:05, 13:03, 14:59

To make a long story short, the Twin Cities got hit by a few rounds of bad storms Thursday-Saturday nights. We were in Duluth for Grandma’s for Friday/Saturday nights’ storms and missed the massive power outages (my neighbor said we lost power for almost 24 hours). We did, however, return home to a flooded basement but luckily no downed trees in our yard/on our house/on my car. Our neighbors were not so lucky and we were met with quite a few obstacles on my normal running route today.




a block from my house…

Unfortunately, the relaxing afternoon/evening my husband had in mind post-marathon (btw he BQ’ed at Grandma’s marathon this weekend — but more on that later) didn’t exactly work out. Instead, spent the rest of the day trying to dry out the basement and salvage things that got wet. I did, however, volunteer to do most of the running up and down the basement stairs so he could give his legs a little bit of a rest 🙂

Week one of marathon training is done! Total miles: 20.30. My Tuesday and Thursday morning runs were done without any breakfast/fuel but I’m thinking that once those runs get longer, I may want to eat something first. Post-run breakfasts this week were baked breakfast cookies. I also brought my lunch every day this week and they were generally a combination of the foods I prepped on Sunday.  Mashed sweet potatoes with black beans and goat cheese, hard boiled eggs for some protein and quinoa with a little salt and pepper. Satisfying and clean lunches!

Did you get bad storms where you live?
Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Health and Fitness Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

Healthy Living Summit 2013 and #NoElevatorMonth

So…have you heard? The Healthy Living Summit is going to be in the Twin Cities this year! I’m super excited — I’ve wanted to go in years past (it’s been previously held in Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago) and now I can!  If you haven’t heard of HLS, it’s a weekend conference for bloggers and blog readers interested in all aspects of healthy living and was founded by these ladies.

Is anyone else planning to attend? I’m really excited to meet some blog friends in September!

If you’re interested, they just posted some answers to FAQs.

So my new “thing” at work to make sure I’m getting in my steps is swearing off the elevator. And I’m going to try and keep is up for as long as possible — aiming for one month. (My Fitbit it SO excited about this.) And I have to admit, I’m not missing the awkward elevator encounters that usually take place.

familiar sight.

I see a lot of this each day.

I sit on the fifth floor and for awhile I used to take the stairs when I first got to work in the morning, but usually didn’t take them many other times, unless meetings were on the fourth or sixth floors. But now that I’m taking the stairs all of the time, I’m definitely noticing that I’m not as winded when I get to my desk in the morning! So I’ll let you know how long I last. Today marks day 9 of #noelevatormonth. I did, out of habit, almost take the elevator yesterday, but caught myself just in time.

Oh — and  I’m officially registered for the Twin Cities Marathon!



I’m super excited to be running as a Girls on the Run Twin Cities Sole Mate this year. Training kicks off June 17. Perfect timing for me to take a little time off after my half marathon on June 2.

Are you going to the Healthy Living Summit?

Do you take the stairs? Do you avoid elevator awkwardness?