Friday, September 19, 2014

Five Things Friday

It's been quite some time since I've done one of these.

1. The mornings around here are really starting to feel like fall. Early morning runs or dog walks require a long sleeve and I'm starting to lean toward my fall wardrobe slowly but surely.

I really loved this spread last week from the LOFT with several fun fall combinations. It kind of reminds me of a capsule wardrobe. My favorite looks are the cream pants with camel sweater and the short skirt with sweater and jean jacket. I always like the way short booties look on others, but am not sure I could pull them off.

But scarves? Scarves I can do.

Thank goodness for scarf season.

2. I finally cooked beets for the first time. For whatever reason (the color or the texture?), I've always been a little freaked out by beets, but have recently had a few bites of them in potluck salads. Well, this week our CSA included a few beets, so I followed the farm's recipe and roasted them with a little olive oil, sea salt, paprika, cumin and chile powder.

3. Speed work is hard. I've missed a few weeks of the Thursday night speed group and boy does it show! Last night's workout included some challenging mile-pace repeats: 6 x 400, 6 x 300, 6 x 200m. The 400s were definitely the hardest. And on that note, I should probably foam roll...

4. Fall term starts in just over a week and I'm already terrified for the difficulty of Organic Chemistry. The instructor required us to purchase about five different things between the book, a modeling set, a lab instruction manual, lab workbook, and a study guide.

5. I am super excited for a girls trip to San Francisco next weekend with blogger friends Amber, Leigh, Lisa and Kyria. Exploring a city I love + catching up with good friends + running a half marathon = close to perfection.

What food has always freaked you out just a little bit? Are there any pieces you're planning to add to your wardrobe this fall?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Weekend on the Run

Last weekend I got reacquainted with a few of my favorite run spots. It's crazy how you go a month or two without running a specific route or part of a trail and all of a sudden, BAM! it feels brand new.

Saturday morning I ventured up the Ridgeline for some glute/hamstring work before yoga (did I mention next weekend's half has 2,800 ft of climbing?!).

Insert cheesey life metaphor here (because I sure did)

And yup, I took the UP trail before heading down. 

And on Sunday, I kept it flat and peaceful with 9 sunrise miles, ending with a stop for syrup. I was the crazy girl running a mile home with a glass bottle of maple syrup in her hand. #thethingsyoudoforpancakes

Probably the only time my legs will be a mile long

And only occasionally ventured off the beaten path 

...or stopped to stare.

Eventually, all roads lead to home and after a weekend of fresh air and fun miles, the proper way to close it out is by biking to your favorite patisserie for dessert.

It was a good weekend indeed and I'm feeling recovered from the 50K thanks to my easy effort and a gentle return to running.

For some crazy reason, I decided to go balls to the wall on lower body Monday morning, so I'm experiencing DOMS like nobody's business. This morning I have another at-home weight training session planned and the jury's still out on whether or not I'll do more squats and lunges. Because you know weight training a week and a half before your race is really going to make up for the lack of hill training you've been doing. ;)

How's your week going? What one thing are you looking forward to the rest of this week or weekend?

Mine's crazy busy, but I'm trying to crank through the to-do list and take deep breaths. Because waking up at 3:30 a.m. to fret about your list doesn't solve much of anything.

And big congrats to Emily who conquered her 100 miler! Serious accomplishment right there. I can't even imagine.

Friday, September 12, 2014

One Year of Marriage

I have been thinking about this topic for a few months now. The Europe trip pushed it back a bit as we were enjoying our one year anniversary at the Tour de France. But as Pete and I are just two months beyond our anniversary, I thought it would be fun to reflect on what one year of marriage has looked like, what I expected, and how it is different or the same.

This is still one of my favorite photos. 

For starters, the past year really flew by. Between work, school, training for races and preparing for our Europe trip, there wasn't a lot of time to just soak in where we were at in life: our first year of marriage.

Don't get me wrong, we were enjoying life, but it wasn't exactly a blissful, relaxing year. Those two things don't seem to come together too often in my lifestyle. ;)

Looking Back on Our Wedding
Over the past year when I've thought about our wedding I've had a lot of happy thoughts as well as a few regrets.

Relief. I've been both relieved that our wedding day is behind us (planning was pretty stressful) and thoughts about how I would change things if I were to go back. It was an awesome, pretty, blur of a day and I wish I could just bottle up those sights, sounds and feelings.

Capturing the moment. With so many friends and family members in town from all over the country, I wish we had given a more specific shot list to our photographers. They were amazing, but I didn't expect not to have the opportunity to take photos with certain family members or friends. Luckily, I have the memories imprinted in my head.

Saying thank you. I still wonder if we were able to show our love and appreciation to all of our family and friends who came to our wedding. Did they understand deep down that we would not have been there without them?

There still remain a few thank you's that never got sent. I should have given myself only a month to do them all, but as the thank you's trickled out, there were certain gifts I lost track of who they were from, or whether or not I had sent so and so a thank you. I feel bad about it and hope they know that we are truly thankful for everything we received.

Taking a breather. I am really glad we didn't head off on a big honeymoon immediately following the wedding. It was a great opportunity to spend extra time with family and just relax. Heck, I spent half of that next week just taking naps!

On Marriage
I think I expected our first year of marriage to feel like an extension of our dating relationship. Since 2009, we've learned a lot about each other and have continued to grow as individuals, work on our relationship, and face new challenges together. While things didn't change dramatically, I definitely feel like we are more a team now than ever. 

What surprised me the most was the way the manfriend took a bit more ownership in the relationship after marriage. In his words, he said he felt more responsible as a married man, which showed up in a number of ways.

What shouldn't have surprised me, but did is just how supportive he has been. It feels pretty awesome to have someone who always has your back, through the good times and the not so good. 

On the other side, I have surprised myself a bit in that I seem to want to be more domestic. I can't help but want to work hard to keep the house fairly clean and organized, cook tasty, healthy meals, while still maintaining a life full of fitness and other adventures. There's something about officially being a team that makes it more enticing to want to say vacuum the floors or organize the closet. #callmecrazy

Growing as a couple
I have always been very independent and have consistently struggled with letting others do things for me or help me out. Although I'm no longer that single girl, I find myself making plans on occasion assuming the manfriend will be fine with it, whether they involve him or not. One area that I will continue to work on is figuring out how to think more about the "us" in these situations than the "I."

While this is only year one, I'm excited about the future and to see how our communication skills and relationship grow over time. A strong marriage isn't easy, but it is something I am committed to fighting for daily.

I love you, manfriend. Happy one year and two months!

Of possible interest: Premarital Counseling: the low down

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Race Recap: McKenzie River 50K, Part III

Well, I did it! I'm sure you thought I would, but honestly, I had no idea what would happen. After all, I started training back in May doing some longish runs on the trail and then I went to Europe for three weeks and barely ran. 

Upon my return, I ran two 12 and 13 milers, fell on Brice Creek Trail and spent the next week and a half recovering with five stitches in my knee. Then I did a whopping three more long runs of 3 hours, 4+ hours and 1 hour before tapering for a week. A strong training plan does not that make. 

So, let's get on with the race report, shall we? 

Friday night I had a work event until about 8:30 p.m. I got home, gathered all my stuff, made my breakfast (overnight oats + pbj toast) and went to bed. 

When the alarm went off at 4:15 I was groggy, but up and at 'em to change, put on the body glide and fill up my water. The manfriend kindly decided to head out there with me and go on his own mountain bike adventure while I ran. It's always nice to have a driving buddy at that hour and then even more so when you can't really move your legs after running 31 miles. 

It was a beautiful morning at Carmen Reservoir where the race started. I picked up my packet, said hi to my mom who woke up at 4 a.m. to come to the race, and said goodbye to the manfriend. We lined up and were ready to go by 7 a.m.

The first mile or so up to Sahalie Falls is always a lot of hiking with 200 runners heading UPhill all at once. 

My friend Chloe was right in front of me and had an awesome first 50K. She and I ran together and chatted for the first eight or so miles, which was nice.

The race photographer was kind enough to allow us to download our photos with his logo on them for free. That isn't always kosher at bigger races, so it was nice of him to offer this. I'm still thinking of buying one and getting it printed though. 

I'm pretty sure this is what photographers refer to as "the golden hour."

Saturday was supposed to get pretty hot (94F), but luckily, the first few hours of the race were perfect running weather: cool and fairly shady. 

Because of my lack of training and the heat, I had opted to run with a borrowed hydration pack so I could have plenty of water. While it was a bit heavier than my handheld, I think it was a good decision. 

No idea what kind of weird face/smile I'm trying to make here, but hi, mom! Thanks for being out on the course to cheer me on and take photos!

Loving the new Oiselle distance shorts

After hiking up the falls, the course takes you around Clear Lake, which is always so peaceful. For the first few hours I had some great mantras going in my head that I had hoped to hang onto for the entire race. Essentially, I was saying variations on "You're running easy, free (watchless), fast and strong." 

If you've ever entered a serious pain cave during a race or long run, you know how important a good attitude can be. My mantra worked for several hours, but eventually, the happy thoughts just didn't do much.

Clear Lake, you're kinda wonderful.

I want to grab a cup of coffee and sit here every morning.

After several more miles of flat with a few ups and downs, we got to the most technical part of the course that contains a LOT of lava rock. 

And because I've fallen plenty on lava rocks, I walked through every section with any amount of lava rock. Overkill? Probably, but I didn't want to bust up my knee again and I had no intentions of placing. 

Blue pool is one of many gems on the McKenzie River Trail. I've yet to jump in, but someday I will. 

Where the trail meets the river are always pretty incredible moments. It was honestly hard not to stop and look at all the beauty around me.

About 3-4 hours in, racers started getting more spread out, so I listened to a few podcasts to just keep my mind focused on something other than the pain. My brain was pretty fuzzy at this point and my body was exhausted, so it helped a bit. 

Aid stations were spaced at miles 8, 11, 17, 22, 25, and 29.5. My stomach was a little iffy, but I managed to take in about 500 calories throughout the race. It's probably not ideal, but I didn't want to barf. 

My favorite food at the aid stations were: BBQ pringles, an Oreo and orange slices. I also ate a Picky Bar that I had with me. I also had the volunteers fill up my water a few times. 


At the final aid station (29.5), I could have sworn I should have already been at the finish, but likely my snail paced jog and exhaustion skewed my perception of how fast I was moving. One of the volunteers dumped icy cold water on my head, which felt pretty great as it was pretty warm by this point.

And finally, about a half mile from the finish, I saw several funny signs that the race directors put out. This was my favorite.

And finally, another very serious running photo as I sprinted to the finish line. I was so relieved to be done.

And I had a little dirt on my legs (and face) to show for it. 

I promptly told the manfriend as we headed back to the car never to let me sign up for one of these 50Ks again. I may already be reconsidering that statement. 

This finisher's shirt definitely wins as the best race shirt I've ever received.

And finally, the stats. They may not be pretty, but it is what it is. For reference, in 2011 I ran a 6:23 and in 2012 a 5:32.

Overall time: 6:22: 48
Pace: 12:19
Female Place: 40/71
Overall place: 128/183
*The fastest woman finished in 4:02 and didn't even carry a handheld water bottle! 

I'm happy I survived without a big fall, but I'm also a bit disappointed knowing what I could have done with better training. This week, I've felt sore, but not super sore like I am when I really RACE a course.  Now it's time to rest up and get ready for a hilly adventure at the end of the month! 

Of possible interest: 2011 MRTR Race Recap & 2012 MRTR Race Recap

Friday, September 5, 2014

Summer's Gone So Fast

Just like that it feels like summer comes and goes. I know we have a good month of nice weather left here in Oregon, but the mornings are definitely starting to feel like fall. I even had to wear a long sleeve this week for one of my morning runs!

A few weeks ago, I was feeling like we had a lot I wanted to experience before the end of summer. So naturally, I wrote out a summer bucket list

On the summer bucket list are things like: camping, adventure weekend in Bend, wood fired pizza, Em's baseball game, drinks at a few places in town, etc. With a little effort, we were able to knock out several of those things in just a few weeks. 

Still dreaming about this pizza

After checking off a few things on the list, I feel a little better about summer coming to an end. 

Eats as of late
I realized it's been a while since I've posted about what's on our plate these days. It's safe to say, there are a LOT of veggies and easy eats going on over here. 

Our summer CSA delivery still comes every Friday and then it seems like a race to try to eat as many veggies as possible before the next Friday. But I'm not complaining.

I even tried out one of the recipes the farmer sent with one of our deliveries, kale sausage veggie pasta. We thought it could have used a bit more POP (like more fresh cherry tomatoes), but it was still fun to try a new recipe.

What I'm reading
More on this soon, but it's safe to say I love the overall tone of The Fire Starter Sessions. What I like about it so far is that she really gives you ownership of your future and goals, so if you're feeling stuck and as though this is what you "have to do," Danielle argues that's not the case. It's a fun read that can be digested in a few pages or a chapter or two at a time. 

Fashion Friday
Still wearing lots of skirts. Already cringing at the thought of wearing full length pants soon. If you're a shortie with good pant recommendations, send 'em my way. 

Top: H&M in Barcelona, skirt: LOFT, flats: Naturalizer

And finally, tomorrow I'll be running my third 50K on the McKenzie River!

I've tried to keep it pretty easy this week as I've had many a long race where I showed up at the start line decently sore. Tomorrow shouldn't be the case.

This week I've done three easy runs and a few yoga sessions at home. I've also ditched the weights and speed work this week, which I hope results in me able to hobble my way to mile 31. 

Stay tuned...

Happy weekend to you!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Where life seems to go a bit slower

Happy Sunday! I hope you've been up to something fun this Labor Day weekend.

After taking Friday off of work, I packed up early that morning and hit the road by 6:15 am with my car bound for my grandparents' cabin on the Puget Sound. It's a requirement to visit at least on e a summer and because of our Europe trip, we haven't had many opportunities so I made sure to squeeze it in.

Five hours and a few stops later, I arrived in the middle of nowhere, WA on the Puget Sound. 

Where life seems to go just a little slower for everyone and the views aren't so bad.

And reading, naps and beach time are necessity.

Where sunsets make you ponder all of the deep stuff in your life.

Where you go on a row boat "adventure" just to check out the seals hanging out on a neighbor's raft. And the water looks like a mirror.

Where family time fills your soul.

Where you're just close enough to the city to meet up with a long time blogging friend for the first time in six years. So fun to see you, Heather!

I head home tomorrow and already feel more relaxed than when I got here Friday afternoon. 

Anyway, I hope you're having a fantastic weekend! One week 'til the 50K. Time to taper... If I can remember how that works.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

What I'm Listening To

After our return from Europe, I was inspired to keep up the reading habit and utilize our library. So, one afternoon I reserved about five books I had been wanting to read, one of which happened to be in cd format. I've also been listening to a few fun podcasts lately that I thought you might like.

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
You may have heard of this book before and I'll admit it's a little cheesey, but if you're married or planning to be, there is some valuable content here. Through Gary's research and work with couples, he defines the five love language in which he believes everyone identifies closely with one of in their relationship. The five love languages are: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch.

Essentially, once you determine what your and your spouse's love languages are, you'll be able to show each other love in the way that means the most to them. So if your spouse's love language is acts of service, doing something like painting the bedroom or doing the laundry might be the best way to show them your love.

Podcasts for motivation
Lately I've found that I really enjoy listening to podcasts on occasion while I'm running or walking the dog. For some reason, this training cycle I've just felt pretty bored with running solo, so the podcasts help me get through those slog fests just a bit easier.

Honestly, I miss the days where I blissfully floated through a few hours with just my thoughts and the trail, but it's clear that I'm feeling a little burnt out and simply want some training buddies for those long runs.

While running, these are a few of the podcasts that have kept me entertained and focused while running. Just a tip: download a few podcasts before you leave the house so you're not using data while you listen.

The Lively Show
I have followed Jess Lively since her days of owning the JessLC jewelry company and then through her current venture helping people design a life with intention, whether it's in business or whatever big goals they may have. I have enjoyed all of the podcasts I've listened to because they typically feature entrepreneurs who have really taken some big risks and had some great results. One of my favorites is Jess's interview of Kendi Skeen, a Texan fashion blogger I follow.

Running on Om
I first found host Julia Hanlon on Instagram through some rabbit trail of Oiselle stalking I was doing. Julia interviews a wide range of runners young and old, yogis, and other health focused individuals. Here you'll find plenty of inspiration from other athletes and a wide range of thinking styles whether it  be about their training, nutrition needs or beyond.

The Jillian Michael's Show
Not everyone is a fan of Jillian Michaels, I know. However, I have been a fan of hers for a long time and believe the person you see on Biggest Loser is a bit skewed. Plus, the girl makes a mean workout routine!

This is the podcast in which I laugh out loud to on the trail or on a walk. Jillian and her co-host Janice are hilarious and are willing to talk about anything and everything. While there is some health focus to the show, I love that there isn't strict editing and they are just being real.

Do you have a favorite podcast? Spill the beans. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Week in Photos

Lately, it seems that I haven't found the time to write as much. I suppose it's a good thing. The sun is out and all I want to do is take advantage of it. I've also challenged the manfriend to check off some of my summer bucket list, so that keeps our evenings pretty full.

What's happening this week? A whole lot of everything.

After a few weeks of talking about running (but my whole knee thing getting in the way), Sweaty Emily and I finally ran up to Spencer's Butte for sunrise on Monday morning. Next time, Laurel!

Monday morning sure came quick with a 6 a.m. run time, but when you're greeted with a view like this, all thoughts of tiredness sort of fade away... until approx. 3 p.m. at which point you want to face plant on your desk. 

Pear, blue cheese, walnut pizza is all kinds of amazing. Checking off that summer bucket list! 

If you're a Eugenian, you need to check out Hideaway Bakery on Tues nights

I don't know about you, but I often say silly things over and over again in my head that just make sense. For example, every single morning that I wake up at 6 a.m., lace up my running shoes and step outside, I think "this at 6 a.m. is never a bad decision." And as the sun rises and turns all kinds of crazy colors, I just repeat that mantra again.

6 a.m., never a bad decision

Twice this week I busted out my CSA goodies to enjoy a fresh caprese salad. I mean, how can you go wrong? This entire plate and some chips and salsa was my dinner Monday night. 

With my funky knee, I've been wearing skirts and dresses nearly every day to work. I am already starting to dread dressing for cold weather. 

Also, is everyone else so indecisive about their hair? One minute I want to grow it out super long and the next I just want to have a fun, shoulder length 'do. 

The view from the end of tonight's bike ride was pretty sweet. My good friend from high school Annie came down to Eugene so we could ride tonight. She lives in Seattle and is on vacation visiting her parents, so it was great to catch up. 

I've also been back in the yoga swing of things, which feels really good. Even 10 minutes this morning reminded me that any stretching > no stretching.

Looking forward to: my friend Taylor's baby shower this weekend in Portland. An opportunity to catch up with several of our good high school friends and celebrate a baby on the way makes my heart happy.

Wondering:  how Sunday's long run will go. With a social Saturday planned, I hope my body is up to running a solid 3-4 hours on Sunday. Ready or not!

Do you have a bucket list you're chipping away at?