Tag Archives: oiselle

Race Recap: 2017 Twin Cities 10 Mile

I ran with a charity bib, in honor of my dad and Charlie and to represent team Miles with Maeve

This was my 7th 10 mile and 2nd TC 10 Mile. And was a great reminder why I love the distance and this race, specifically! Even though this training cycle included a stress reaction and a hamstring strain, it showed me just how effective cross training can be.

My alarm off at 4:15. Breakfast was two scrambled eggs, a cassava tortilla and a cup of tea. I could hear it raining outside, so I threw on my Oiselle wallace jacket over my race outfit, along with lux track pants. I left the house at 5:20. Easily found parking in the neighborhood near the Lexington light rain station and met Alicia to walk to the train. Once we got to US Bank Stadium, we got off the train and headed promptly to the porta potty line.

It was a relatively fast-moving porta potty line so we were still doing OK on time. We found Jason and Laura and then headed to find gear check. After going in the wrong direction at first, we finally made it to gear check and while I was tying my bag, the gear bag broke. All of a sudden, we had very little time to spare to get into our corrals, so I just handed the bag to the gear check guy, pointed out the broken bag and crossed my fingers. (Luckily, when I got my bag back at the finish, nothing was missing.)

Even though I was technically assigned to Corral A, with my lack of training, I knew I had no business starting there. So we started near-ish to the front of Corral B. Right around 7:09 a.m., Corral B took off. It took a good mile to shake out the nerves and then the rain started picking up, which was actually a good distraction. We sailed along pretty uneventfully until about mile 5.5, when my legs started complaining just a touch. I knew this would likely happen – my longest training run was eight miles and I hadn’t run in two weeks.

Somewhere around mile 7ish, we came across ice little downhill and I wasn’t quite paying attention. I overextended a bit and tweaked my hip flexor and all of a sudden, I got real nervous about the last few miles. But luckily Laura talked me down and reminded me to focus on my form. So I focused on shortening my stride and picking up my knees (things I slack on when I get tired) and it eventually worked itself out.

Right before mile 9, I made up my mind that I was ready to be done racing. So, I picked up the pace until I got to the downhill. I eased up to avoid overextending again.

My splits were all over the place (not typical for me), but probably to be expected with a lack of training and the weather/course. It’s my second fasted 10 mile to date (I’ve only raced a few). Super proud of Alicia, Laura and Jason for their PRs! I was so thankful to Laura and Jason for letting me run with them during the race. They had done both the 5k and 10k the day before, but still were running strong and kept me going!

Splits: 8:58, 9:08, 9:26, 9:03, 9:26, 9:22, 9:25, 9:03, 9:17, 8:13

Official time: 1:32:36

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Weekly Workouts: 8/28 – 9/3

I came off of two weekends of more running than my body was probably ready for (Ragnar and Bird Camp), so I took the past week easy. I’m feeling re-energized about my running, getting strong again and getting my symptoms under control and my Hashis into remission. Here’s the first of many shout outs to Coach Becki for all of the support!

Monday – 2.39 mile walk

This walk took way longer than it should have, which was the direct result of bringing C along and him refusing to ride in the stroller. Oh, hey, toddlers walk really slow. Regardless, Andrea and I had a nice walk and chat and refueled with Sonora Grill tacos afterwards ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Tuesday 3 miles, 9:34 pace

Oh, happy day! NEW SHOES! I made a trip to Mill City Running to see the lovely Sara and then promptly took my new shoes for an easy three-miler.

Just like at camp, they felt great. I just might be a Hoka convert.

Wednesday – Busy day, didn’t end up working out. Did have a fun evening with some friends and their kids at a nearby park though!

Thursday – Took the day as a rest day and spent four hours in the car, but a trip to the Minnesota State Fair helped me still end up with more than 13,000 steps.

Random side note: OK so this is going to sound dramatic, but I had been preparing myself for weeks for how my fair (eating) experience was going to be different from year’s past, given that I’m avoiding certain foods (mainly gluten and dairy). But it was WAY easier and more enjoyable that I was anticipating. I printed out a gluten-free foods list from the fair website, and was surprised by all of the options. I ended up getting the french fries which I’d never gotten before (!!!!), a hard cider, the mini sconuts from French Meadow, kettle corn and a Chicago-style hot dog on a gluten free bun.

C loved the food and the animals. He didn’t love being in the stroller or having to hold our hands. Sounds about right for a two year old!

We all ended up taking naps in the afternoon and then left for the cabin that evening. Long day, for sure!

Friday 3.01 miles, 9:04 pace

I worked from the cabin in the morning and then we had errands to run, but it was still nice and cool out by the time I got out for this three mile easy run. Besides getting cat-called by some construction workers (WTF), the run was uneventful and felt pretty good. And running on the country roads totally reminded me of Ragnar!

Saturday – 8 miles, 9:23 pace

J and I headed to the Mesabi trail head near the cabin. I ran towards Grand Rapids and he ran towards Coleraine. We figured we’d finish running right around the same time since I was running 8 miles (figured around a 10 min/mi pace) and he was going to run 10 (and was trying for a slower 8 min pace).

tbh I felt pretty awful from the moment I woke up Saturday morning – I ended the night before with a couple too many gluten-free beers, hard ciders, handfuls of kettle corn, etc. I was feeling the imflammation and my stomach wasn’t too happy, either.

But even though it took a bit longer than usual to feel warmed up, I was pleasantly surprised to eventually settle into a nice groove. Miles 4-6 felt pretty effortless (minus a moment of panic where I thought I had to use the bathroom and the porta potties I came across were padlocked). The hills started to take their toll during mile 7 and I think I actually tweaked my hamstring at one point. I picked the pace back up for the last mile, but I was pretty tired.

Saturday afternoon we decided (on a whim) to hit up Bovey Farmer Days and specifically, the cribbage tournament that was taking place in the basement of city hall. To say we were out of place would be an understatement. I’m pretty used to getting stared at (hello, growing up in rural Wisconsin with white parents), but this definitely was an experience that pushed me out of my comfort zone. J and I were among the second youngest people there (by a lot) and the youngest person was our thirteen-year-old nephew!

We didn’t really know what to expect, but when we got there, it wasn’t exactly the warmest welcome. And I could feel myself getting nervous when the person who was running the tournament started reading the rules.

I’ll save you the details of what took place over the next three hours, but the TL;DR version: We didn’t win, most people were very friendly, some were not and were quite impatient with us, but we still had a good time. Ask me about it the next time you see me. Trust me – it’s quite the story.

Sunday – 11.7 mile bike

Legs felt tired, but it was a nice day on the Iron Range, so I was happy just to enjoy the ride and took it nice and easy.

Looking forward to the cool, fall-like weather we’re expecting in MN this coming week!

Race Recap: 2017 Ragnar Great River

My alarm went off at 1:45 a.m. and I was out the door by 2:30 a.m. We met at Volee teammate Kaitlin’s place and was on the road to Winona by 3 freaking a.m.

After a slight detour due to road construction and missing our 5:45 a.m. start time, we finally made it to the start line. Alicia headed out with the 6 a.m. crew and then my third Ragnar experience was officially underway!

Leg 1: 6.6 miles, 9:16 pace

Thank goodness this leg went well because I felt like it set a good tone for my Ragnar experience overall. I felt pretty strong (legs were fresh after a few unintentional rest days prior). I had 15 “road kills” — mostly on the hills, where I felt the strongest and was able to pass some walkers.

Splits were: 9:30, 9:28, 9:21, 9:21, 9:08, 9:03. I was, however, SO happy to see the “one mile to go” sign and even happier to see my teammate Jacenta waiting for me at the exchange.

After our van was done with our first legs, we stopped in Nelson, Wisconsin at the Nelson Creamery for sandwiches. I was pleasantly surprised they had gluten-free wraps! It was raining by this point and everyone was starting to feel the effects from our early start, so we pulled off at Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum and Park to get in a quick nap. Half of the team snoozed in the van and Laura, Alicia and I found a pavilion to stretch out under. I slept a solid 40 minutes and felt like a brand new person when I woke up.

We got a text from van 2 that they were ahead of pace, so we drove a few miles down the road to the next exchange. Rachel, runner 12, came flying into the exchange and then Alicia was off! Van 1 was back on the clock.

Leg 2: 3.4 miles, 9:27 pace

Dressed in all black, ready for my night run

At 7:11 p.m. I headed out on my second leg. My body felt tired and the first mile (9:39 pace) was pretty rough. The hills were steeper than in my first leg and my legs just didn’t want to turn over. I managed to pick up the pace just slightly as the elevation evened out slightly, but it was tough (9:34 and 9:19).

Elevation map for my second leg

Our entire van was feeling pretty loopy from lack of sleep, so naturally we cranked up the music, ate PB&J sandwiches and then set out to find a place to crash for a couple hours.

Have glow sticks, will van rave

We decided to throw our sleeping bags down on the grass and sleep under the stars at Stillwater High School, the location of the next exchange.

Unfortunately the foot traffic near our sleeping location kept me from being able to sleep much more than 30 minutes or so and I woke up feeling worse than when I had gone to bed. But before we knew it, it was time to meet van 2 at the next exchange and run our third and final legs.

Leg 3: 2.7 miles, 8:41 pace
My final leg was at 5:38 a.m. and boy, was I ready to be done. So, following Alicia, Laura and Kaitlin’s examples, I gave this one all I had left. The lack of hills and cool weather made this run feel pretty effortless, even on tired legs.

Once Jacenta and Rachel rocked their final legs, van 2 headed out to bring it home!

van 1 – done!

The next priority was real food and for some of us…..a bloody mary.


Soon it was time to meet up with van 2 and cross the finish line together!

I think most of us were surprised when the final results were posted and we finished in less than 30 hours, and were the second place women’s team overall!

Final results:

2017 Great Lakes Bird Camp (WI) Recap

HELLO!! I took almost one year off from blogging (my last blog post was a recap from Bird Camp last year). I’ll go into this more in a future post, but I’m in a much different place these days when it comes to my running, diet and overall health, so I’ve decided to start blogging again, but just for fun and when I feel like it. And I’ve renamed the blog. So as part of that new outlook, I surrendered my findingabalanceblog.com fancy paid account and I’m back to good ol’ wordpress.com. Oh, and when I imported my site back to wordpress.com, a bunch of photos disappeared and the formatting got screwy, but I don’t really care.

Aaaaaanyways, this past weekend was Bird Camp! This won’t be as long of a recap as last year, but here are some of the highlights 🙂

Thursday

Alicia and I left the Cities around 10 a.m. and swung through Hudson to pick up fellow Volée member, Trisha. Then, we were on our way! We stopped in Eau Claire for glorious Chipotle and then headed to Camp Timber-Lee in East Troy, WI.

When we arrived, it was so fun to see so many familiar faces! We checked in, got our swag bags…..


And filled out our bios/got our pictures taken. Then, we headed down to the lake to do some ice breaker activities. It was so much fun to hear what others were training for and to put faces with social media names!

We ate a quick dinner and then all gathered for a viewing of the Birdstrike film. We were lucky enough that Nora, part of the Birdstrike team, was able to join us for the evening and answered questions following the film. Nora is such a badass (and all around super awesome woman).

Next up was a fashion show where we got to preview the Oiselle Fall 2017 line. I didn’t take any photos of this because a lot of the items aren’t officially released yet, but let me tell you, and trust me, I’ve gotta start saving up!

What made the fashion show portion even better was that Steph and Alisoune from Oiselle HQ also attended camp, so we got to ask questions about fit, material, etc.

Steph and Alisoune!

Another fun addition to this year’s camp was that Haute Volée Anna Weber brought her massage therapist, Melody, and we all had the option to schedule massages with her. So I ended day one of camp with an incredible massage. Melody was also kind enough to share some self care tips!

Friday

Even though I had grand plans to sleep in, I was awake by 6:30 — boooooooo. After breakfast, Haute Volée (and my coach!) Becki Spellman gave her talk about mental toughness and running.

Next up was the Hoka Prediction Run! This was probably the part of camp I was most looking forward to. I’ve always been curious about Hoka shoes, so it was awesome to be given the opportunity to run three miles in a pair and have the Hoka rep there to answer questions.

For the prediction run part of it, we had to guess how long it’d take us to run three miles and then take off our watches before heading out. I was a solid one-minute+ off of my actual finishing time, but it was a fun experiment.

I was so excited when I saw Anna Weber was going to be attending camp and speaking again this year! I feel like we have a lot in common, plus Anna is sweet and hilarious. Her talk did NOT disappoint!

With the long run the next morning and having just done the prediction run a couple of hours prior, I sat out the running portion of the next activity — a team “Minute-To-Win-It” challenge. But the ridiculous challenges that we had to do in between running were just as fun. Like this one:

After the challenge, we had some much-needed down time. I opted for heading to the beach and swimming around a bit and playing cribbage with Laura.

After dinner, physical therapist and fellow Volée member Lauren Hogan gave us some super helpful tips to help stay injury free during her “Things Your PT Wants You to Know About Running” presentation.

The last talk of the evening was 2x Olympic race walker, Maria Michta Coffey! It was really cool to hear about Maria’s Olympic experiences, her journey to getting to the Olympics and race walking, in general. It was fun to get to know Maria over the weekend as well!

Saturday

It was a nearly perfect morning for our long run. What made it even more perfect was opting to head out a bit later than others in the group (since our group was only running seven miles), and then we got to sleep in a bit.

I’m obsessed with these compression socks

The long run location was at Lapham Peak Unit part of Kettle Moraine State Forest. My legs were not happy about this run and I have to admit that even with the fantastic company, I was ready for this one to be over.

After the run, we were all pretty much desperate for coffee, so we found a cute shop called Mama D’s and then we were all human again. Especially, Alicia.

so happy rn

On our way back to camp, we noticed there were llamas and farm animals, so of course we stopped for photos. Because, Instagram or it didn’t happen.

After showers, everyone piled back into their cars and headed to Lake Geneva for the rest of the day. We grabbed lunch at Simple, one of my favorite places to eat.

Then it was time for a boat tour of part of the lake! Fun fact: The Lake Geneva mail boat jumpers were once featured on NBC Nightly News!

After the boat tour, we hit up Studio Winery for some wine (duh) and then ended the evening with dinner and drinks at Gordy’s. They took great care of us and we had fun harassing the band that was playing.

There was something a bit strange about two of my worlds colliding (where I grew up + my running community), but it was also kind of cool. We even paid my mom a surprise visit!

Sunday

I successfully slept in until past 7 a.m. (which may or may not have had something to do with the number of drinks the night before). We all got up and started packing our bags. The rain was coming down pretty hard and I have to admit that I was starting to miss my boys, so we decided to hit the road for the long drive ahead of us.

Quick stop in the Dells on the way home

Thanks so much to leaders Sheila, Taylor, Jana and Tracy for all of your work putting on an incredible weekend! And of course, a huge thanks to Oiselle! I’m excited to help with next year’s camp 🙂

I still miss the snack table..

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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New lux glovessss

We ended the night with another bonfire party!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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So much fun that this photo turned out blurry

Then, we ordered pizza:

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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).
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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.

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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!

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

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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!

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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…

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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.

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

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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?

Title Nine Bravangelists to the rescue + a giveaway!

Disclosure: I received a free bra — all opinions are my own.

It probably goes without saying that a post about sports bras might venture into TMI territory. But I’ll say it anyways: This might venture into TMI territory.

I’ve always felt very lucky that I’ve never had to worry about having a large chest that got in the way of running, playing sports, etc. I’m sure I’ve also taken it for granted at times, but I recently found myself in a new situation: I love my Oiselle bras (they’re comfortable and cute), but now I need to wear two of them when running or a weird combination of one sports bra + a tank with a built in shelf bra. I guess having two back-to-back pregnancies and then nursing Calvin for 10+ months did a number on me.

So when I had the opportunity to attend the Title Nine Fit Fest Media Night to have an expert ‘Bravangelist‘ fit me for a sports bra, I couldn’t wait.

Ahead of the event, our Title Nine contact, Jessica, emailed and asked that we provide our current bra size and I was like “Uhhhh.” To be completely honest, I’m still wearing nursing bras and tanks because all of my old bras fit weird. Jessica assured me that it wasn’t a problem and they’d be able to find me the perfect bra.

After hitting up Tilia for a quick dinner (um, of fries and a lobster roll — the ideal meal before trying on bras in front of other people) courtesy of my bro (it’s fun to sit and harass the chef), I arrived to Title Nine Edina at 50th and France. Julia, the store manager, greeted me by name! Shortly after, Erin, Jessie, Bert, Samara and Anna arrived. So great to meet some of the other bloggers I follow, in person!

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We met Molly, Title Nine’s head Bravangelist (and bra buyer) who fit us each individually. She took a few really quick measurements (and if it matters to you — you can even keep your top on) and brought me a few different options to try on. Easy peasy!

Bloggers + Molly!

Bloggers + Molly!

She told me I was a 32C and in some of the bras that run small, a 32D, so it’s pretty obvious that I’ve likely been wearing the incorrect size for many years. In fact, while the majority of American women wear a 36C bra, most sports bras are made for A or B-cup women.

I tried on the 3-reasons Brooks/Moving Comfort bra (similar to the Moving Comfort best-selling Fiona bra) and the Tech Athena. Both felt very supportive and comfortable, but not quite right.

Yep, 10 months postpartum and my stomach still looks weird

Yep, 10 months postpartum and my stomach still looks weird

The third bra I tried was the one I ended up deciding on — the Fits-to-a-T sports bra, made by Brooks/Moving Comfort. I love everything about this bra — it’s comfortable and extremely supportive and the racerback cut shouldn’t lead to any chafing or rubbing on long runs. OH and the straps are adjustable for just the right fit (with velcro — perfect for a nursing mom).

The winner!

The winner!

What I loved about all of the options I tried was that they were “band and cup”-style, which I’ve never worn before. They felt much more supportive than the typical S, M, L-type bras I’ve always worn in the past. This got me thinking that I don’t think I’ve ever worn the proper sports bra. Ever. In my life.

We also participated in a “bounceathon” in our bras where we tested out how the bras handled jumping rope, bouncing on a ball or hoola hooping. It felt a little awkward, but it was a good way to really put them to the test!

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The best part of all of this? There’s a public Title Nine Fit Fest on Wednesday, June 29 and Thursday, June 30 at Title Nine in Edina! RSVP here to sign up for your personalized bra fit with a Title Nine Bravangelist expert. It’s a super quick process, but seriously life changing. And the staff at the Edina location is super friendly and knowledgeable (btw, good luck with your half marathon, Angela!) and they’ve got a carefully curated selection of awesome clothing and gear in addition to sports bras (for example: they carry Oiselle items, some designed specifically for T9)!

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Enter to win a Title Nine bra of your choice! The giveaway is open to anyone in the U.S. Along with the bra, you’ll get a personalized fitting, either in-store or by-phone, depending on your location.

(Note that if you’re a winner that’s located within driving distance of a Title Nine store you’ll be asked to redeem your prize at the closest/preferred retail location.)

To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below about ANYTHING to do with sports bras! For an additional entry, tweet about the Title Nine Fit Fest using the @TitleNine handle and#T9FitFest hashtag. Then let me know you tweeted, with a separate comment and link to the tweet. Good luck! Enter by the end of the day on Monday and I’ll pick a winner Tuesday morning.

Stay tuned for my full bra review (once I start running again!)