Merry Christmas!

From our home to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas!

I hope you all make it an amazing Christmas or Holiday! Safe travels, indulge a bit, and enjoy your day! 

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No Regrets

Tis the season to want to shovel in a lot of tasty food, and resort to the couch due to the fact that I would have to be rolled onto the treadmill, or bike, or the gym.  Each December I try to change up my workouts, run a few less miles, increase the strength training, and workout a little more than normal, simply because I have a difficult time resisting all the goodies at family Christmas get togethers and all the treats at work.  The treats started a little early this year with many thanks to an amazing co-worker of mine who thinks I run too much. She likes to challenge my ability to run off what she feeds me at work 🙂 Aaannd….since it is night shift, of course I eat a little more to stay awake, or boredom. One of the two. Here are some Thanksgiving treats she brought me…

Amazing cupcakes with a cream filled center!
Amazing cupcakes with a cream filled center!

I have to disclose that  I only ate 1/2 of one…and am very proud of myself for that!

Gingerbread Men!
Gingerbread Men!

I also resisted eating these little guys. Basically because they are hard cookies, and I prefer mine soft, chewy, and a little undercooked (just a little heads up if any of you want to send me any cookies ;)). And…they are so cute I couldn’t eat them!

You little turkey
You little turkey

AND…I did NOT eat the contents of this little turkey! But I sure wanted too…what is wrong with me? I think if something is decorated so cute I don’t want to ruin it by eating it?!

Anyhow….I have started trying hard to get my workouts done right when I wake up so my body can move but my mind hasn’t quite figured out what I’m doing yet (with NO coffee yet). Tuesday I really procrastinated.  I was tired from the previous work week(end), and my email was bombarded with all of the amazing Christmas shopping deals…so, I had to scope them out. Anyhow…I didn’t get off the couch to workout until about noon. I know right?! But I did score some amazing deals 😉 I was debating on just jumping in the shower, eating lunch, and skipping a workout. But, my little trick that I did when I rolled out of bed worked…I got dressed right away for a workout. It just took me a few hours to actually do the workout. I figured I was already dressed to workout so I might as well just do it. And…am I glad I did! I tried another new spin sculpt class that was 65 minutes long and I loved every second of it! No regrets!!!! I felt so much better after I got my sweat on!

Do you ever regret a workout? Do you ever regret NOT working out?

Do you tend to eat more during the holidays and workout more, or do you try to keep track of what you eat?

Counting Stars

A whole lot of homework, work, and life stuff happening over here in my little part of the world. Rest assured, I have been cross training and strength training, a little bit of running, and not much for yogaing…I need to work on that part. My left foot is still a little iffy. Honestly, it felt better when I was just running. Cycling and circuit training with Jillian is tough work! Talk about stepping outside of your comfort zone…

One of my favorite sayings from Jillian Michaels is, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable!” I find myself repeating that when it gets tough. I might swear at her too…just saying’ 😉  Speaking of getting uncomfortable, an hour was spent on this beaut this morning!

Trainer Trainer!!
Trainer Trainer!!

Ok, so this is not my bike, in fact this picture is from last year when I borrowed a friend’s bike and trainer.  I am just too lazy (and my legs still hurt) to go upstairs to get the cord to download the photo of Lexa on my NEW trainer! Last year I downloaded a couple of spin videos from http://www.studiosweatondemand.com and I LOVED them.  I about died (or least I felt like I was going to), but they are killer spin workouts.  This year, I caved and bought the all access pass and now I can do any video I want whenever I want!

Animal!
Animal!

These trainers are no joke.  They are tough. They push you (well, me at least) WAY out of my comfort zone.  My legs feel like jello 5 minutes in and my heart rate feels like it’s through the roof.  These workouts are usually an hour long, but they do include an amazing stretch for the last few minutes.  If you have a bike trainer, and you just hop on and go, seriously you need to try these videos! I have tried a few different instructors and I love them all.

And, to be totally random, the new One Republic song, Counting StarsYeah, I cannot get it out of my head! Love love love it!

 

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I must ask everyone, what are you most thankful for?!

I am thankful for too many things to mention! However, I have been counting my blessings a little more lately 🙂

Has anyone tried Studio Sweat On Demand or any other type of online workout? Any suggestions for an online yoga class?

Run Happy

These happened.
These happened.

So I mentioned in a few posts that I may be trying something new to me.  As a huge Saucony lover, I have been faithful to the Saucony Hurricanes for a couple of years now.  I usually have two pairs in rotation. I have a brand spankin new pair of the 15’s sitting in my closet. I have tried the Mizuno’s and my legs (primarily my knee…see this post) did not really adjust well to them. I really wanted to love them, but I just didn’t.  No hard feelings. I still wear them at work and for walking.  I went back to alternating with the Hurricanes. I have also realized I need to work hard on my running form and my foot strike. I want to do more mid foot striking and less heel striking. Like every other good runner. I have heard and read nothing but great things regarding Brooks.  Hub’s first pair of running shoes were Brooks and he refused to get new ones for years. Enter, the Pure Cadence.

So. Pretty.
So. Pretty.

Race Swag

They also took me through this half mary…

Brooks, Run Happy!
Brooks, Run Happy!

I love them.  We have a great time at the track. They are light and encourage the proper foot strike. My feet felt great after the Women Rock half.  I enjoy having these shoes in my rotation. I think my legs enjoy them as well. I plan on keeping them in rotation for the next round of marathon training. However, my go to shoe really is the Saucony Hurricanes. I just love them. I love everything about them.  I really want to try Newton running shoes…anyone want to send me $$$$ to buy them??!!

Now you know my thoughts on shoes, and my favorite running shoes. I am never opposed to trying new shoes or brands…I just really love Saucony.  Anyhow…to liven this post up just a bit…I saw this the other day…

Um... really?
Um… really?

Look closely at the gentleman in the orange shirt. Do you see what I see? If not…I will tell you. If you ask. Nicely.

What are your favorite running shoes?

Have you tried a new brand lately?

Do you rotate running shoes?

Women Rock Race Recap

Almost two moths later, I finally have a Women Rock half mary race recap and review for you! Half Mary #6 is in the books.

Women Rock 2013

Thankfully this race was located about a two hour drive away. I booked a hotel room through one of the sponsoring hotels and Hubs was crazy tired when we arrived so I went to the expo while he napped.  The expo was smaller than I expected!

Welcome to the Expo
Welcome to the Expo

I walked around, bought a couple of things and headed over to pick up my race packet.  The goodies for this race were pretty much the reason I signed up! They gave us a Women Rock jacket and a necklace with a tiny diamond and a ruby on it. This went pretty smooth.  I walked back to the hotel and checked out our view of the Mississippi River and Harriet Island.

Hotel room view
Hotel room view. I am an amazing photographer.

We walked downtown for supper and a little carb loading…

Pre Run hydration
Pre Run hydration

After supper we went back to the hotel to relax and I could get ready for the morning.

Start Line
Start Line

I never ever run a race with my phone, so consider this a treat that you actually get a picture of a starting line. I should tell you why I do not run with my phone except when I’m on a long run in BFE…this girl sweats. A.LOT. Like so much that I have actually ruined iPods due to moisture from my sweatiness.  I do no need to ruin my phone due to me being a Sweaty Betty.  However, during this race I made an exception for three reasons. First, I decided to run with my handheld water bottle and I had a place to store the phone (which is also a first during a race). Second, it was HOT. The start wasn’t bad, but my mile 8 and full sun, it was hot. I figured IF something were to happen to me or I wasn’t able to finish or crawl to the finish, I could call Hubs.  Or 911. Whichever was appropriate.  Lastly, there wasn’t really a great way to find Hubs afterwards so if I needed to call him, I could’ve.  Anyhow…moving on.

Aside from my very first half marathon experience, this was my toughest.  Mentally and physically. I do not run well in the heat.  I have avoided the treadmill because I knew I was running this race and wanted to run in the heat (Wait, what?!). I was also taking it easy because I wasn’t sure how my left foot would do with the distance and I had different shoes on (more on that later). I had two goals for this race. A. I wanted to finish under 2 hours and B. I wanted to finish! Lofty goals huh?!  Here is a look at how the miles went down:

 1.8:21.6
 2.8:14.1
 3.8:05.8
 4.8:27.7
 5.8:24.2
 6.8:27.1
 7.8:54.7
 8.8:58.9
 9.8:58.1
 10.8:38.3
 11.9:15.8
 12.9:20.3
 13.8:15.8
 14.1:11.1
Finisher gem!
Finisher gem!

 

Official time was 1:53:14.  Yikes. Look at those splits!! Way to positive split like a pro! However I reached both goals and finished. And, I got handed the necklace above by a spicy, shirtless young man.

Since it was two months ago, I can’t recall what went down mile by mile. Except I didn’t go down. Thankfully.  All I know is that I was so glad to see the finish line. As far as how well the race was organized, I THINK (do not quote me as I really have no idea what I’m talking about) I read that this is only the 2nd year for the race. However, it is put on by Team Ortho, which also organizes a series of races in the Twin Cities area throughout the year. It wasn’t bad, but what do I know, I haven’t been to very many. The only thing I didn’t care for was the lack of water stops and volunteers at the water stops.  They announced on their website they would have two extra stops, and I did not see them. I didn’t bag drop so I’m not sure how smoothly that went, but it looked well organized.  The half marathoners were shuttled to the starting line, but the hike to the shuttles was a little far. However, it was a nice little warm up. There were plenty of porta johns and water at the start.

After I finished we went back to the room so I could shower and change.  We checked out and headed to the Great MN Get Together aka the MN State Fair (for all of you non-Minnesotans).   I had to celebrate finishing the half in proper style…

Post half mary rehydration
Post half mary rehydration

Yes, I do have a plastic beer cup koozie. Be jealous. It’s amazing.

The BEST strawberries with real whipped cream
The BEST strawberries with real whipped cream

These strawberries and real cream are the whole reason I go to the fair. (That isn’t true, I go because Hubs goes every single year). But I do have to eat these every year. Except my cream was starting to melt before I could finish the strawberries. Lovely.  But tasty. Very tasty.

So, finally, a Women Rock half mary recap! Not my best time, but not my slowest.  It was a fun atmosphere and next year I would love to make it a girls’ weekend!!!

Another upcoming event…

Guess what I signed up for?? On August 31st, I will be running my 6th half marathon in St. Paul, MN!!

I signed up for the Women Rock Half marathon. I am from MN so I love somewhat local races. I love the Twin Cities, especially downtown St. Paul, so what better way to see the big city!! AND….it might be my birthday weekend, so I must celebrate! And since we are up there, we are going to the Great MN Get Together (aka..the MN State Fair!) after I run the half. A little crazy. I know. Who wants to run a half marathon and then walk around fairgrounds with 200,000 other people? At least I won’t feel guilty about eating the fair food and rehydrating with Blue Moon and Miller Lite. Just a little fun fact…I’m only allowed to drink 2 Blue Moon beers and then I get cut off. Miller Lite or Premium Light are safe afterwards, but apparently if I have more Blue Moon I get a little sassy.

Anyhow…I’m not sure if I want to make this a PR race, or just for fun. I have no idea what the elevation chart looks like (because it is not on the website!!), but I do know there are a few hills in St. Paul. Either way, I will have fun and I might even run with my phone for once. I’m not sure yet.

And because I think you need a little humor…

The underwear create the muffintop?
The underwear create the muffintop?

If I would’ve known it was the underwear this whole time, I would’ve bought these a LONG time ago.

Who else is running the Women Rock series in MN??!!!!

Is anyone else going to the MN State Fair?!

 

All you have to do is tri. A Recap.

I am now officially a triathlete. Ok ok. I really don’t consider myself an athlete, much less a triathlete just because I finished one triathlon. I did it. It’s in the books. And I will probably do the same one next year (but only if they keep the swim part in the pool). I say that only because the lake here is NASTY. I don’t mind swimming in open water. I grew up swimming in MN lakes. Green lakes scare me.I don’t even have any cool pictures yet! The race photographers I believe are working on putting the photos in an album online. The race was the inaugural race and things went very smoothly from the participants point of view.

I got there a little later than I wanted too, but that’s my fault. I guess I thought living 1.5 miles from the start would give me a little advantage. Not so. I should’ve gotten there a little earlier. I wasn’t late by any means, but I like to be ready and set well before the start of things. We got there, put our bikes on the rack, got numbered,went to the biff, and stood in line for the swim to start.

Tri transition area
Tri transition area

The swim started and they had 5 lanes open, one person per lane. They started a new person as one completed the swim. The pool water was warm, and it took awhile for my time to come. However you don’t cross the timing mat until you start the swim. It was a short distance, I think 175 yards. 3.5 laps. Done.

My swim to bike transition took a little longer than I wanted. I had a hard time getting my socks on. I also took my time, but now I know what to do differently next time. The bike was 12.7 miles roughly. And windy. I am really glad we rode the same route a few days before. We had even stronger winds that day so race day it didn’t seem as challenging. I was really impressed by how encouraging all of the participants were!! Everyone kept saying “good job!” “Looking strong” and “Keep it up”. It really created a positive, fun race.

I finished the bike, changed my shoes and off to run the 5k. YIKES. My legs felt.like.jello. I started out way too fast, but I couldn’t help it! The legs just kept going. I saw a couple of my friends that were volunteering (THANK YOU!!) and they snapped a couple of photos for me. One of them I twirled for them 🙂

A little tri twirl
A little tri twirl

Almost done!

I finished the whole thing in 1:16:25 (give or take a few seconds). I wasn’t in it for time, I just wanted to finish! I wasn’t going to do this race, but I am so glad I did. Right after the finish I felt like I never wanted to do another triathlon. Now, I would like to do a few more 🙂
And, since I am usually the most unlucky person when it comes to raffles and random prize drawings, I almost fell over when I heard my name announced in the random prize drawing that I won!!! Check this out!

 

Look what I won!
Look what I won!

Another Trek bike!!! I was super excited because I never win anything!

As far as the race goes, like I said earlier I think the whole thing went really well. The volunteers were very good, the bike portion was directed by volunteers, and there was plenty to eat and drink afterwards. The guys did a great job and I sure hope they host it again next year!

Have you done any triathlons?

What distance?

Would you ever want to do one?