Friday, August 30, 2013

Fitness Friday- Training Update

I'm taking a little break from recapping my vacation today so that I can write an update on marathon training.  After all, it is Health & Fitness Friday and I missed it last week, so there is a lot to catch up on!  I'm going to break it into workouts, food, and thoughts!


First of all, I did my long run right before leaving for vacation 2 weeks ago now!  I did 15 miles in the morning and it was tough!  My route is pretty hilly (which is good because the TC Marathon has plenty of hills) but hills also tend to make my hip hurt.  Hills and running fast seem to be the main triggers, so I have been walking up a lot of the hills.

While we were on vacation, I did some running, but mostly was just super active in other ways.  I think I only ran 3-4 times, and the altitude really killed me!  You never think the altitude will make such a difference, then BAM!  Oh well, it was nice to take a week "off" and instead I just thought of it as a cross-training week.

Since we've been back, I did another long run of 15 miles.  I was supposed to go 17, but it has been in the 90s with super high humidity all week and I just couldn't make it.  I got at up 5 to beat the heat, but it didn't make much of a difference.  It also didn't help that I had been up all night with a sick puppy who was throwing up everywhere- gross.  He's fine now, just a weird 1 night thing.

I don't have a long run this weekend since I have to do my next one on Wednesday next week.  I work all next weekend, so doing it on my day off, Wednesday, is my only option.  It sure gets hard trying to schedule these runs, especially when I work 2 more weekends before the race.


Well, obviously I've been on vacation and eating has been a bit more indulgent.  I stocked up on fruits and veggies when we got home though and I've really been craving all that fresh produce.  We were going to go to the state fair this weekend, and eat ourselves silly, but other things have come up.  Our car ended up needing 2000$ in repairs yesterday, so I have declared a "fiscal freeze" for the long weekend- no spending money on anything, so no state fair.  Also, no grocery shopping, so this is going to be interesting as I try to create meals with only things we already have.  I am kind of excited about this actually, I just don't know how "healthy" they will be.


Wow, I really need to crack the 15 mile barrier.  This distance has been my most challenging in the last 2 marathons I've trained for also.  I know that you don't actually hit "the wall" until mile 19, but it sure feels like my wall is around mile 15.  Next week I really have to make it all 18 miles, I will totally psyche myself out if I don't make it.  Also, I am nervous about running so slow.  I know that my hip is way more important than getting a good time, but I just don't want to put all this work in and run a terrible (for me) time.  I know I won't PR and I am fine with that, but I'd still like a respectable time.  Is that so bad?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

First 2 days in Vail

I hope no one gets sick of reading vacation recaps, because that is just about all that I have to talk about right now, so I'm drawing this out...

...We finally arrived in Vail on Sunday afternoon and immediately hit up the Vail farmer's market.

It was such a cool farmer's market!  Not only was there a lot of good food, but there were tons of artists with booth's set up.  There was SO much to look at!  We also went into a few stores and I bought the hat I'm wearing below, I love it- I just need to learn to wear hats more often.

It started to rain while we were walking around, so we took shelter at a Mexican restaurant and ordered a pitcher of margaritas, naturally.  That night we were still pretty tired from the drive, so we picked up some pizzas and hung out at the condo.  We stayed at the Arrowhead resort at the Country Club of the Rockies and it was SO nice!  I'm sure buying a place there is ridiculously expensive, but it has been added to the bucket list for sure.

The next morning we were up for a short and pretty run near this creek.  Running at high altitude sucks, but the scenery helps a lot!

Later that morning, we took the gondola up Vail mountain and started the hike around up there, eventually working our way back down to the base.  Hiking downhill is awesome, but it does not do awesome things to your calf muscles, ouch!  

Tree pose, obvs.  And my dad's tree pose with his walking sticks. 

As if our day hadn't already been active enough, we went golfing that afternoon.  We played Sonnenalp, which was gorgeous!!  It was also a course that much better suited my ability than the course we usually play at home too, so it was really fun.  

I hit some really good shots, and one of my drives actually landed a few feet from the hole, which NEVER happens to me.  Of course, I had to celebrate with an aperol spritz!

After golf, we went to another Mexican restaurant.  It's just a little hole in the wall in Edwards, but it's one of my dad's favorite places to eat.  There may have been another pitcher of margaritas.  That's all I'm going to say about that.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Boulder and Red Rocks

Mark and I were still on the road to vail on Sunday and had planned to drive through Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park on the way, but we decided that we'd rather get to  Vail earlier to catch the farmer's market.  So we drove through Boulder instead and looked around the University of Colorado campus a bit.

It was a pretty neat campus, I can definitely see why so many people I know have gone there (including my dad for 1 year before deciding it was "too fun").  My aunt and uncle used to live in Boulder, but I haven't been there for quite some time, so it was fun to see the town again.

We continued on our drive through Denver and stopped at Red Rocks to look around for about an hour.  It was gorgeous!  I would love to see a concert here someday, what a cool place!

There were SO MANY people working out there!  I didn't realize that it is basically like a huge outdoor gym for the locals.  As you can see, there was also a yoga class going on, so cool!

Obviously, I had to do some yoga of my own here!

After leaving Red Rocks, we continued on our way and finally made it to Vail!  Stay tuned :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Our night in Fort Collins

Hello again!  We are back from our week in Vail and I am missing the mountains so much already!   We had a great time and I have so much to share, so I am just starting with our drive out and our night in Fort Collins.

We left on Friday afternoon for Omaha, where we spent the night after dropping Shay off with Mark's parents.  Definitely not the most exciting drive to make, but leaving for a road trip is always so much fun! Here is Omaha looking pretty as we rolled into town:

We could have definitely gotten further that night, but my legs were really sore from my run that morning.  Plus, Mark used to live in Omaha and wanted to take me to one of his old hangout spots.

We were on the road early the next morning and headed for Fort Collins.  We got in pretty early in the afternoon and had plenty of time to check out a few breweries.  We started with O'Dell which has a really laid-back tasting room with plenty of cool things to look at, good beer too!

After O'Dells we headed to New Belgium for the tour we had signed up for.  It was a 90 minute tour, which I thought seemed long, but it was one of the best brewery tours I've ever been on.  It was definitely more of a "production" than O'Dell, but really informative and down to earth.  We bought a growler of one of our favorites that we tasted, the Yuzu Berlinerweisse.  It was really yummy and I've never seen it around MN.  If you see it, tell me and then buy it!

We ended the night at Ft. Collins Brewery.  This was the perfect end to our day because in addition to their tasting room, they also serve food there.  We had a really good dinner and one of our favorite beers, Red Banshee.  We discovered this beer on our last trip to CO, and had been looking forward to having it again for a long time!

Fort Collins has lots of other breweries that we would have loved to check out, but these 3 are all in a row and are super convenient to visit all at once.  

After all that beer drinking, we were pretty worn out.  We hit the hay early and were up with the sun the next morning to finish the drive to Vail.

More to come later...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Health and Fitness Friday!

Excuse me for missing this last week! After posting my half marathon recap, I really had nothing fitness related to talk about!

Marathon training has still been going pretty well.  My hip has been a little bit sore for the last few days which is worrisome, but I think I have finally figured it out.  I think my hip gets aggravated every time I try to run fast.  As long as I run slow, like really slow, it seems ok though.  It's a little frustrating because I feel like I'm going to run a 6 hour marathon (ok hopefully not that slow...then again, maybe), when 2 years ago I was shooting for 4:40 or better.  I just have to keep reminding myself that I didn't even think this would be possible after having hip surgery and I should be happy just getting this far.

I ran 14 miles last Thursday which seemed fine.  I have started taking epsom salt baths which really helps get the soreness out, plus they feel amazing!  I got in a few days of running this week and today I have 16 miles to go.

I'll be on vacation all week next week, so I don't want to put a ton of pressure on myself to get in another 16 miler, but I know that I will be doing at least 10 miles while I'm there.  We also have a ton of active stuff planned, so I think its going to be a serious cross-training week for me, which is probably great for my hip. I built this week into my training plan, so I'm not too worried about fitting in a bunch of running.

I've been doing lots of yoga too, and taking time to rest my body!

Have a happy health and fitness Friday!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

It's vacation time!

I feel like I've been a bad blogger lately.  I've been so busy with work, yoga, running, and FUN stuff that I just haven't had time to spend on the computer.

It's not going to be getting any better in the next week though since we are leaving for vacation tomorrow!

We are leaving tomorrow afternoon (after my long run) for Colorado!  Well really, we are leaving for Omaha tomorrow.  Then on Saturday, we are going on to stay in Fort Collins and touring the New Belgium brewery (so excited for that part!)  Sunday morning we are going to take the scenic route through Estes Park to Vail, where we will be staying for the week.

We have a bunch of fun plans including lots of hiking, golf, biking, eating, and relaxing.  This is the 2nd vacation Mark and I have taken to Colorado during the late summer, so I guess its becoming sort of a tradition...and I'm not complaining, I love it out there so much!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Another 2 Year Anniversary!

Happy 2 year anniversary to my sister and brother in law today!  I love watching this video and remembering the day, plus I think I gave a pretty great speech.  Not to toot my own horn or anything, but the crowd actually laughed....twice.



Monday, August 12, 2013

Decorah Weekend!

As expected, this weekend was amazing!  My friends and I all drove down to Iowa after work on Friday to spend the weekend in our college town, Decorah.  We had the best time and packed so much fun stuff into the weekend!

Friday night, we went to one of our favorite restaurants for burgers and ended up staying there for quite awhile.  We ran into a couple friends there who still live in the town and had a grand old time!

We were up Saturday morning for a little yoga class that I taught for the group.  We wanted to spend a little time on campus, so we ended up doing it on the library lawn, which was funny and so much fun!

We spent a few hours shopping around town, eating at our favorite pizza place, and getting some ice cream from our beloved Whippy Dip.

We spent the rest of the afternoon parked on the patio of the brewery in town, Toppling Goliath.  We brought Cards Against Humanity with us, which was hilarious.  It was such a great way to spend the afternoon!

We got ourselves spruced up for dinner and went out for a really good meal at one of the nicer restaurants in town.  It was so yummy and such a good time.  To be honest, the rest of the night is sort of a blur, but we had a total blast!


I'm so glad that we've been dedicated to making this trip every year, it's always one of my highlights of the summer!

Already looking forward to next year when we get to do it all again!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa.

This weekend I am going to one of my very favorite places on Earth...Iowa!  Not just anywhere in Iowa though- my alma mater, Luther College in Decorah, IA.

Every year, my best friends from college go back to our little college town for a weekend of shenanigans and tom foolery.  Or shopping and drinking, and maybe getting hit on by 19 year olds.

I love going back to Decorah SO much.  I could easily move back to this town and be perfectly happy. In fact, I've tried to convince Mark a few times to move there.  He isn't sold on Iowa, but would move if he found a job at the college- still holding out on that one.

My friends and I have been able to make our reunion happen pretty much every year since we graduated, some trips have been combined with other events, but we've been pretty dedicated to it!  Here's a little walk down memory lane...

I don't have a shot of the whole group, but this was from 2007, a few months after we graduated.

All of us in Decorah for Andrea's wedding in July,  2008.

2009, in front the sign for our favorite restaurant, T-Bocks!

I don't believe we made it to Decorah in 2010, but we made up for it by a rendezvous  in Coronado, CA.  I was living out there for school and the girls all came out for Katie's bachelorette party!

Here we are in front of our senior year town home for my bachelorette party in 2011!  We brought a few non-Luther friends with, but they got into the Decorah spirit!

Only 3 of us could make it last year in 2012, but we had one of the best weekends ever!

I am sooo excited to get down there!  We are leaving after work today and coming back on Sunday.

Happy Friday!  Happy Weekend!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Take Care of Your Best Friend!

I had an interesting experience yesterday morning.  I had the day off from work, but I taught a yoga class at 7am, and when I came home decided to take Shay for a run.  It was about 10 when we were approaching our street and I saw a dog walking in the middle of the road without an owner.  My first instinct was to turn down a different road to keep Shay from seeing him, but I felt bad for the little guy and tried to approach slowly so I could see if he had a collar on.  Sure enough he did, but there wasn't anything I could do for him as long as I had Shay with me, so I decided to run home quick and drop Shay off before trying to help the lost dog who was approaching a pretty busy street.  It crossed my mind that trying to approach an unknown dog isn't necessarily the best idea, but I just kept thinking that if it were Shay, I hope someone would stop to help him!

I got in my car and drove back down to where I last saw the dog, and I spotted him walking down the sidewalk of a busy street! I slowed down, but he ran off, so I followed him, parked, grabbed Shay's leash and got out of the car.  I approached him and talked to him, and he was friendly and I could see that there were tags on his collar.  I got close to him without any grrr-ing or threatening looking behavior, and finally was able to peek at his dog tags, but it was just a rabies vaccination tag and his registration, no address, phone number, or name!

At this point, the dog was really friendly with me, so I put Shay's leash on him and walked him back to my car, where he just hopped right in.  I felt weird having some stranger's dog in my car, but I couldn't just leave him there!  After calling the phone number for the vet on his rabies tag, they were able to look him up by the ID # on the tag and tell me the house where he lives.  Turns out the dog lives on my street, just on the opposite end of it.  I took him back and knocked on their door....and knocked again...finally someone came.

This guy answered the door, looked at me, looked at the dog, and mumbled ", thanks.." and pretty much closed the door in my face.  What?!  I barely got 2 words out to explain what had happened! I was shocked, I feel like I would pretty much do anything for a person who rescued Shay!  I certainly didn't expect anything in return, but I thought he might at least want to know what had happened!

Anyway, take this as a lesson to protect your furry friends!  First of all, make sure they stay in your yard- duh!  But things happen and I get that, so make sure he has the proper identification.  Luckily the owner had a rabies tag on him, but it would have been smart to also put some information about where he lives/his owner's phone number on his tag!

Here is a picture of the little guy in my backseat.  I really doubt my neighbor reads this, but if by chance this is your dog, you're welcome.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

MN Half Marathon Recap

This race was a bit of a whirlwind.  I signed up only about a week in advance and didn't really have time to prepare myself mentally for it.  That might sound silly, but if you have ever run a longer-distance race, you know that preparing mentally is actually just as/more important than the physical part.

I won't lie, I didn't love this race.  I am glad I did it, but I probably won't ever do it again.  Here is my play by play:

Friday Race Expo:  Totally lame.  They made me drive all the way to St. Paul, pay for parking, and wander through a hotel just to get my race number and t-shirt.  I was expecting some booths set up with  swag, no such luck.  Normally I wouldn't expect anything, but given that they called it an "Expo"  I thought there would be more than a couple tables set up with registration info on them.

Saturday morning 6am:  Wake up, get dressed, eat English muffin with PB.

7:00-7:45:  The race was sort of a mess with all these different events going on.  3 different inline events, a half marathon, duathon, 5k, and half marathon relay all using the same course...meh.  My event started at 7:45, and actually the start line was well organized thanks to the pacers.  I was complaining to Mark before the race that my stomach hurt...I guess that was a forewarning of what was to come at mile 10...

Miles 1-5: Feeling just ok, I was struck right away by how bright and sunny the course was, no shade at all anywhere.  I was keeping a good pace though and feeling pretty positive.  Mark was waiting for me around mile 4 and he actually jumped into the race and ran until mile 6 with me.  There were a lot of fun and positive runners around me which was exciting.

Miles 6-10:  Feeling really tired.  I was surprised how tired I was, given that I ran 8 miles the week before barely breaking a sweat.  I think the sun was getting to me and the course was getting pretty lonely.  By this point, the runners had really spread out and there were NO spectators anywhere to be seen.  Just a lot of pavement.  Also, I stopped to hurl at mile 10.  Another thing, there were several long steady hills during these miles.  I for sure didn't expect that!

Miles 10-13.1:  Nothing pretty happened during these miles, I will say that much.  My hip started to really hurt somewhere around here, something that I have been praying would hold off.  I also made the mistake of thinking about how I have to run 14 miles later this week.  Mark met me at mile 12 and ran most of the last mile with me again.  I really needed it to because I wanted to walk sooo bad at this point.  Somehow I kept going and finally could see the finish line!  It is the BEST feeling, even if you are in terrible pain!  I finished in 2:24, which is not a very good time for me, but I really don't think I could have done anything different or better that day.

After finishing the race, we stumbled around a little bit and got some water.  I didn't get any of the snacks offered because the line was so long.  Then the cruelest joke, I had to climb all of these stairs to get back up to the street!

By the way, this was taken after already walking up one flight, geeeeze!  For real, who's idea was this?!

Wow, I guess I sound kind of negative about the whole thing.  I don't really mean to, I am happy I did it and glad that I gave it my best shot.  I just didn't love the course and had sort of an off day.

I am basically recovered now, I ran a few miles earlier today and could tell me legs and feet were tired because they were cramping up early on, but I think I will be fine by tomorrow :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

a BIG weekend!

YOU GUYS.  Today is my last day working at HCMC!  It feels so weird.  I keep thinking about how it's the last time parking in my ramp, getting coffee from the lobby coffee shop, sitting in rounds, ever interacting with most of these patients...weird.  I'll miss a few of my co-workers, definitely the doctors, and a couple patients.  I've been here for 3 years, and in the world of mental health, we have a lot of "frequent flyer" patients, so I know several of them really well at this point.  But I am so happy that I am moving on.  I am ready to dedicate my work to eating disorders and teaching ready.

Speaking of which, I taught my first yoga class at my new studio yesterday!  But let's back up to Friday for a proper weekend recap, alright?

Friday evening consisted of one thing and one thing only- carbo loading.  It really is the best part of racing.  I made a big batch of spaghetti, meatballs, and garlic bread to enjoy for the pre-race dinner.  We laid low that evening and continued watching Harry Potter.  I think I was in bed around 9:30.

Saturday was the Minnesota Half Marathon!  I am planning on doing a full recap of that later in the week, so stay tuned.  I hope the race photos are posted soon, because I didn't take any until after the race!  I finished the race, not as fast as I had hoped, but I feel pretty good about it.  I may have pushed myself a bit harder if I didn't have to run 14 miles later this week.

As soon as the race finished, we stayed in St. Paul and headed to my friend Katie's house for her birthday celebration!  She decided to host a brunch and bloody Mary bar for her birthday- what a fun idea!!  It was great to see some of my good friends after running, but I felt terrible about showing up so sweaty and gross!

I tried to rest and took an epsom salt bath that afternoon to work out some of the soreness.  Mark and I headed out to Lake Minnetonka to get a burger at Lord Fletcher's for dinner.  There was a pretty good band playing and the weather was perfect to be on the lake.  I love going out to Lord Fletcher's and it will always be a special place for us since we had our rehearsal dinner there the night before our wedding!

Sunday morning was another early one for me, because I taught the 9:00 donation class at the Yoga Sanctuary!  I had 4 students in this class- 2 regular students, the studio owner, and a fellow teacher from the studio.  It was a little intimidating at first to be teaching 2 more experienced teachers, but the whole group was so friendly and welcoming.  They gave me great feedback at the end of class too, which made me feel great! The owner also asked me to sub for a class later this week, so I must have done alright :)  I got the best massage ever right afterward, which was so lovely!

Whew!  Well, I am tired just writing all of that.  Is it Friday yet?!

Sami's Shenanigans

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Half Marathon Preview

Eeeek, only one day until the Minnesota Half Marathon!  The race starts at 7:45 Saturday morning and I hope to be done right around 10!  I get so nervous before races, and I am feeling especially nervous since this is my first distance race since having hip surgery last spring.  This is also the first one I am running without Mark.  Well, he was technically in the same race as me for my 2nd one, but we didn't stay together.  Because he placed 17th...overall.  And I placed 1990th...out of 2429 people.  Right.

But anywho, here we are running the Minneapolis Half Marathon in 2010.  Mark was nice enough to stick with me through the whole race for this one, which meant a lot considering that it was my first one.  It probably had something to do with the fact that he proposed later that day too.

And here we are after the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon in 2011.  He looks pretty awesome for running 13.1 miles in 1:24, doesn't he?  Also, it was snowing the morning of the race.  In May. Also, we got married 6 days later :)

(You can read my recap of this race from my old blog here.)

The Minnesota Half Marathon is a new race for me.  It also has a 5k event and a roller blade half marathon, which I think is actually really weird.  The course is out-and-back along the Mississippi River in St. Paul.  If you are in the around the area, come cheer me on!!

Tomorrow I'll go to the expo after work to get my packet.  Then it's eating pasta and trying to sleep for the rest of the night...EEK I am SO nervous!  For some reason, I feel really under-prepared for this.  Maybe it's because I just signed up a week ago, but I've also been so focused on the full marathon this fall, so I haven't put any speed work in to my training for a race of this distance.  I guess we'll see what happens :)

Wish me luck!
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