Finding a Balance

Learning to live a healthy, balanced life.


9 Comments

Recap: Fall Great Lakes Bird Camp (AKA the greatest weekend ever)

Man, I’m coming down off of my bird camp high and it’s not pretty. So I stayed up late last night to write this and relive #allthememories. Sorry in advance that this is so long:

Friday

I rushed around all morning finishing up some last minute work, dropping off the little guy at daycare and packing and unpacking and changing my mind on everything I packed. Before I knew it, Amanda texted that she was out front! We headed to the airport to meet up with the other drivers and birds who had flown in from out of town.

Not even an hour into the trip and Courtney found some birds

Not even an hour into the trip and Courtney found some birds

We made a quick stop for lunch and then I had the privilege of getting to know Courtney and Amanda (who are both so lovely and wonderful) better in the car on the way up. After we arrived and checked in, we headed out for a short group run. It felt good to shake out the legs after a few hours in the car.

img_3429

The rest of the evening was a lot of fun reconnecting with the other Minnesota birds who I already knew (including my roommates: Megan, Jessy, Ali and Lisa) and making introductions with some new faces at the welcome reception! Next up was dinner and then we gathered for our two sessions that evening.

The first session was super timely since I’ve been really focusing on cleaning up my diet as of late: Rasa Troup, Olympian and Minnesota Vikings nutritionist spoke about fueling for runs (and life).  Next, Oiselle Haute Volee Anna Weber talked about how your dreams don’t need to have prerequisites and/or deadlines. She talked about her story of putting a hold on her “regular life” to train full time to work towards qualifying for the Olympic trials in the marathon. It was cool to hear about her ups and downs, what her training looks like and then spend the rest of the weekend with her, getting to know her better.

img_3436

Rasa, talking nutrition

Next it was bonfire time! I stayed awake longer than I thought I’d be able to, chatting with other birds and then headed to bed to rest up for another jam-packed day.

29575839161_41171460da_k

In case you were wondering, this is how you do a beer fridge

In case you were wondering, this is how you do a beer fridge

Saturday

We got up and headed to breakfast bright and early. Afterwards, the rest of the group headed out for a short run. I wasn’t planning to run (because of my hip), so I grabbed my Kindle, a blanket and a coffee and curled up on a bench outside of my cabin. It was a crisp morning, but sunny, so it was super relaxing to do some reading by the lake.

img_3447

Once everyone got back, we reconvened at our meeting place — a blue ox statue near the main resort lodge to walk over to the high ropes course at Clearwater Forest. This was one of the activities I was most excited about. I hadn’t done anything like this since maybe sixth grade (?) and I had no idea if I was going to get up there and freak out, but I was hoping I’d be able to complete the course. I was one of the last to go, and I found myself getting more excited after watching everyone else having so much fun! I was so impressed — even a few birds who were nervous, they still made their way up the course. Once you got up there, the most fun way down was to zipline! It made me want to try it again!

img_1565

img_3453

img_1595

Once we got back to the resort, we had lunch and then walked over to the leaders’ cabin area for a bootcamp class. Amanda led us through an intense two rounds of lunges, squats, jumping jacks, commandos, sprinting, etc. etc. I was definitely feeling it afterwards.

img_3456

Next on the agenda was mini golfing, human foosball and froyo, but first things first, we took a team photo by a leaping deer, because…Deerwood.

29662953635_6bb6328a2b_o

Roommate photo!

Roommate photo!

Traditions Mini Golf is the CUTEST place and they also are one of (I think, four) places in the country with a human foosball arena. AND they have froyo!

29038159353_d01e798b28_o

29627315076_b1019b137f_o

Human foosball. I wasn’t wearing the right shoes to participate 😦

After dinner, we all gathered for a Oiselle trunk show where Heather showed off some current pieces AND some sneak peeks of things coming soon. I swear I could hear my bank account crying while she was showing a gorgeous new vest and winter jacket.

img_3467

New lux glovessss

We ended the night with another bonfire party!

img_3444

Sunday

I woke up to an amazing sunrise, which made it a bit easier to get my butt out of bed. The long run was taking place at the Cuyuna State Park, which was about 25 minutes away, so we all piled into a few cars to drive over.

img_3475

I was only planning to run about five miles, so I ran with Jessy for the first half of her run and then I headed back to the parking lot to take in the views for awhile with Laura and Carrie while waiting for everyone else to finish.

img_3474

img_3482

Once we got back to the resort, I took a quick shower and then we headed to the bonfire area for a group yoga session and it felt SO GOOD. My sore muscles were practically saying “ahhhhhhh” out loud as Rachel guided us through a lovely, restorative 45 minutes in the sunshine, with the lake just a few feet away.

29627255046_7bfbc67156_o

Next was lunch and then we had some down time. It was a bit chilly and windy, so I opted out of the water recreation activities to take a power nap. Once I woke up, I took a shower and got ready. I went to find caffeine and then sat with some other birds, overlooking the lake.

29551782122_d7f1a0d40b_o

At 5 p.m. we gathered at the bonfire area/leaders’ cabin for core work and form drills, led by one of the Haute Volee, the hilarious Becki Spellman.

We also filmed our second #DiscoDanceOff

29581492641_9050eef6bd_o

Form drills are one of those things I know I should be doing, but I never knew if I was doing them quite right, so this was super helpful! And the core session was awesome because it was interesting to see the kinds of core work an elite does, and it was also informative because Becki really explained HOW to do the exercises to get the most out of them.

After dinner, Jungle Chicken (AKA my friend and former St. Paul neighbor, Erin Ward) gave her talk: I get knocked down…do I get up again? It kicked off with dancing to Chumbawumba. Because, of course it did.

29662959945_0752e8b359_o

Somehow, Erin managed to be funny and inspirational and self deprecating all at the same time. I appreciated her openness and honesty — it was the perfect last “talk” of the weekend.

After that heaviness, were all feelin’ the need to dance party and so we did — to JT and 90s hip hop.

img_3496

So much fun that this photo turned out blurry

Then, we ordered pizza:

img_3505

Monday

Even though breakfast was moved back to 8 a.m., I woke up around 6:15 naturally, but forced myself to go back to sleep until 7. Luckily, when I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I had the foresight to down a bottle of water and take ibuprofen as a precautionary measure. So besides being tired, I woke up feeling fantastic.

After breakfast, we all met at the blue ox for a last group photo and to say some goodbyes (sniff).
img_3515

Then, most of the group headed out for a short run, while the rest of us set out to find caffeine. Our plans were thwarted due to the on-site coffee shop’s fall off-season hours, so we drove to Holiday for coffee. While we were there, chocolate donuts were calling our name.

img_3514

We enjoyed our donuts and then everyone finished packing up. Before we knew it, it was time to check out and say the rest of our goodbyes.

HUGE THANK YOUS TO:

  • Oiselle – Sally, you and the team have built something incredible. And to Feather, who is the nicest, cutest person and represented HQ well.
  • Leaders: Sheila, Darci, Jana and Tracy – from the first email that went out about camp, I knew this was going to be an amazing experience. It was so well organized and there was a lot of care that went into making sure that every. single. person. had an unforgettable time.
  • Elites: Anna and Becki – Unlike others I’ve met, Becki and Anna were friendly and treated everyone the same, whether they run 7-minute miles or 11-minute miles. Plus, they’re both really funny. And I got some great insight and perspective around my injury issues from Becki during dinner.
  • All of the educational and inspirational speakers!
  • Last, but definitely not least, the amazing women who make up this team. I’m so lucky to call you teammates and friends!

Head up, wings out!

img_3518


2 Comments

Race Recap: Red, White and Boom! Half Marathon RELAY

IMG_2425

Race morning was early. Calvin woke up at 3 and finally went back down around 3:30. I tossed and turned until 4:30 when my alarm went off. I ate the breakfast cookie I made the night before and drank a cup of coffee and glass of water.

I wasn’t feeling my stride shorts for some reason, so I decided on trying out my new pair of holepunch distance shorts (even though you’re not supposed to do anything new on race day? What can I say, I was feeling daring!), along with my singlet, Title Nine bra and Injinji socks.

I was out the door by 5:30 and realized once I was already well on my way that I forgot the Picky Bar I was planning to eat since I was Runner 2 and wouldn’t start running for a couple of hours. I was hoping they’d have some food at the start line or something (they didn’t). I was surprised that all of the street parking was snatched up by the time I got to the St. Anthony Main area around 5:50 a.m.! I ended up parking in a lot and walked down to Father Hennepin Park to meet up with some of the Oiselle Volee team for a photo. Great to meet so many new birds!

IMG_2427

Suzy, Jessy and I (other Minnesota volee) got on a shuttle to take us to the half marathon halfway point to wait for Tracy, Jana and Beth. I chatted with a friendly runner (and GOTR coach!) on the way. Once we got there (uh, after a slight detour — I think the driver may have gotten lost?) we got in line for the porta potties and all of a sudden, the first runners were already coming through!

Since Tracy is speedy speedy, it wasn’t long before I saw her pop-colored shorts in the distance and I got ready to tag in. She slapped my hand and I was off!

It took awhile for me to feel comfortable because everyone around me was running somewhere around a 7:30-7:45 pace, so I was being passed left and right. My hip felt fine, but I was still trying to take it relatively easy, but getting passed by EVERYONE can be kind of discouraging, and I realized I was running 7:55 for longer than I would have liked. I put the brakes on and slowed myself wayyyyy down. Eventually, I settled into a groove and enjoyed running on this new route.

A slight twinge in my knee and hamstring was all that bothered me during this race. I felt hungry almost immediately and longed for the Picky Bar that was sitting on my kitchen counter. I felt plenty hydrated from the day before and took water at a couple of the stops (nice to see the MCR crew around mile 12)!

I miscalculated how much I had left in the tank and started picking up the pace slightly too early. I kind of ran out of gas before I even got to the Stone Arch Bridge, so was running on pure adrenaline from the crowd lining the bridge, but wasn’t able to kick it in at the end. I crossed the finish line feeling slightly nauseated, but still devoured a red, white and blue popsicle a volunteer handed me with no issues. (But the grilled hotdogs they were also handing out? I decided to pass on that one.)

We all gathered for another photo…

IMG_2431

Then we headed to Wilde Roast Cafe for coffee and brunch. I was on a tight time schedule, so I savored ordered an almond milk chai and chatted for as long as I could before having to head out.

IMG_2434

After I got home, I was thrilled to have a leftover spring roll and coconut macaroon from our trip to the Midtown Global Market waiting for me. Calvin was sleeping, so I got to take a shower AND blow dry my hair. Heaven. When he woke up, he wanted to play with my medal:
IMG_2442

We finished the day out by cooking out with friends and I enjoyed a beer (or two) in my new pint glass ❤

IMG_2453

I was so happy that my hip held up and I felt mostly recovered from Grandma’s weekend. Oh, and I LOVE my holepunch distance shorts — SO lightweight and breathable! I hit up PT yesterday and I’m close to being discharged! He did more Graston work on my IT band and hamstring and I’ll do another week of exercises and fairly easy running and then hopefully I can dive into my next training cycle!

Have you ever done a relay? 

What’d you do to celebrate the Fourth?


7 Comments

Race Recap: 2014 Blubber Run + Flock Meetup

This past Saturday, J and I ran the Blubber Run, the inaugural 5k that’s a part of the Stevens Point Brewery’s Pointoberfest. I had no plan going into this — all I could think about was that the day I decided to stray from my Couch to 5k app and run a straight .5 miles on my own, it felt really, really hard. I barely made it through and the next day I went back to Couch to 5k. I had considered doing a Couch to 5k workout for the race, but instead decided just to run on feel and see how it went would go.

After over four hours in the car and not the best pre-race fuel, we arrived at the Stevens Point Brewery. J and I got our race bibs and went on a walk to loosen up. It was quite warm — 75 degrees and sunny. At 2:55 p.m., we lined up (I positioned myself towards the back) and waited for the race to start.

I didn’t wear my Garmin and had my phone, with Runkeeper going, in my pocket (yay for Distance Shorts!) so I never really knew what my current pace was. The first quarter mile felt awful — my legs felt like they weighed a ton and my tight calves were really bugging me. But as I warmed up, I felt a little better and settled into some sort of groove.

I was expecting a beer stop at the halfway mark, but it was actually at the 2 mile mark. Since I wasn’t technically “racing” and I didn’t dress up for the race, I decided that it would be fun to actually stop and “enjoy” a beer. Most people stopped, so it was pretty fun!

IMG_2308

 

I finished my beer and set back out. (This is the part where I realized I’d be happy to never do another beer run again as there was a nice chorus of burping and belching going on around me. Gross.)

For the last mile, I concentrated on sticking close to the other runners around me and trying not to get passed. It worked well and I even passed a few runners near the finish. I crossed the finish line and saw 31:58 on the clock. It’s nice to know that if I wouldn’t have stopped for that beer (no regrets, though!) that I would have likely broken 30 minutes, especially since race wasn’t chip timed and I started near the back of the group. I still have a ways to go to get back to my pre-pregnancy 5k time, but this race was a definite confidence booster!

As soon as I saw my in-laws, I asked them how J had done and they told me that he came in first — with no one even close to him! He finished somewhere around 18:5X.

IMG_2315

 

During the awards ceremony, they asked J if he had stopped for a beer. His “no” reply was met with a deafening “booooooo,” which was pretty funny. He’s determined to win next year AND stop for a beer.

IMG_2327

We celebrated post race with some Point beer (the Chai tea porter was the most interesting one I tried) and some Mexican food. Perfection.

After we got home on Sunday, I dusted off my yoga mat and met up with some of the Midwest Oiselle birds for some yoga and sushi. After getting my butt kicked in yoga (seriously glad we decided on a c1 class), we grabbed some drinks and sushi — it was a lot of fun getting to know everyone. I’m reminded again of how lucky I am to be a part of such an amazing team.

IMG_2349This weekend I have another race but haven’t decided if I’m going to run the entire thing or take it easy instead. I also started my six week Pilates Reformer sessions this week. Feeling good and happy to be back into a workout routine!

Have you ever done a beer run?

What fall races do you have planned?

Have you tried Pilates on the Reformer?


7 Comments

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!

IMG_0149

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.

IMG_0152

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

IMG_0158

IMG_0160

IMG_0150

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