Friday, March 30, 2012

Five Things Friday


  1. My hip hurts. A lot. I'm 90% sure that I won't be running in my 15K tomorrow. I'm on the fast train to frustrationville today.
  2. I booked a deep massage for tomorrow morning. A bunch of people have suggested that I might have some underlying muscle soreness/tightness deep in my hip, which is hard to reach via regular stretching. I do like a massage, although I'm pretty sure this will be painful & not relaxing.
  3. I apparently have a deep love affair with purple clothes. Outfit of the day today:

    Yeah, I know - the awesome bathroom lighting makes it hard to tell, but my shirt today is purple. Purple love also on display here, here, and also here, here, and here. There were more, but I figured that was embarrassing enough. :-) The things you learn when you start tracking your outfits on your blog. . .
    4. I'm tired today. Why, you ask? Well, let me tell you. We live very close to a major construction project. When I say "very close", I mean that the lights from the crane shine into our bedroom at night - our back yard is about 5 feet from the start of the work. And, the construction project is on a major road, so most work takes place from 8 pm- 4am. The construction project also has a noise complaint variance, which means that they are as loud as they want/need to be. For the last three nights, the volume has been unbearable. It's woken all of us up (and, dealing with tired kids at 3:00 am is no fun), and the entire house shakes. All.night.long. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be addicted to Advil PM by the time this thing is over. They are "lidding" the freeway, so basically adding a road on top of the existing freeway, so this is no small (or quiet) project. Save me!
    5. I'm having a fun lunch date today with Michael! I need it - it's been a crazy week. I love lunch dates!
Weekend plans! What are you up to this weekend? Here's what we have on the agenda:
  • A massage!
  • Hopefully some (non-run) workouts
  • Two kids birthday parties
  • Swimming lessons (kids, not me)
  • Baseball practice (ditto above)
  • Wine drinking, or possibly margarita-drinking, if the weather improves
  • A much belated birthday lunch with my friend (finally!) & a girls pedicure outing. Two of my toenails are about to fall off, so let's hope I don't frighten the nail person too much.
Should be a fun weekend! I'm going to focus on all of the awesome, & healing up my leg so I can get back into my training for my Mother's Day Half!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Bright & early

That's right, I got up at 5:00 am & did my 4 mile run today. Woo!!!!! So excited. I know that I need to get adjusted to the early morning workout & find ways to make it work for me, & I feel like I'm finally on the right track. I still need to figure out how to hydrate myself & I also would love to get our TV hooked up again so I can not just stare at the wall while I run. I do have a tiny bit of hip pain, but I'm continuing to stretch, foam roll, and take aspirin. Fingers crossed that things limber up by Saturday's race.

I decided to rock the tights with a dress look again.

You can't tell (because the color & photography are so awesome), but the dress is purple. I put the dress in the donation pile when I got home from work, because I felt like it hit me oddly. This is what happens when you shop on a girls weekend in Las Vegas after a few glasses of champagne. . . :-)

Black sweater - Jcrew
Purple dress - Forever 21
Black pants as tights - lululemon
Black boots - Macy's Anne Klein


Navy & white striped jacket - Arden B
Blue tank with beading - Gap
Jeans - Rock & Republic
Black flats - Macy's Anne Klein
Double chin - my BFF, always around :-)

I made a yummy breakfast this morning after my run. Basically, it was a knock off Egg McMuffin. One egg with a little bit of colby cheese melted on top + 1/2 a piece of ham on a whole wheat English muffin. YUM. I'll definitely be making that again.

Workout Plan:
My plan is to have a relatively light week to give my hip a chance to feel better, but still do enough running so I feel prepared for my 15K on Saturday.

  • Wednesday - 4.25 on the treadmill (done) + arms/foam rolling/stretching (tonight)
  • Thursday - 4.5 miles on the treadmill in the early morning + a 2-3 mile run in the afternoon during baseball practice - assuming it doesn't get rained out.
  • Friday - 3 mile run + arms/foam rolling/stretching.
  • Saturday - 15K!
  • Sunday - some sort of light recover run + strength
In fantastic news, Michael accepted a new job offer! I can't tell you how exciting it is to have a solid plan in place for the future, rather than taking it day by day. Yeah!! :-)

And, one thing I'm really looking forward to over the next few weeks is . . . spring break! We're finally heading to the beach, & I can't wait. What is one thing that you're really looking forward to?

Monday, March 26, 2012

It's feeling like spring

First off, thank you all for your kind words on my melt down post last week. I appreciate the support SO much.

I did manage to get in three miles of interval runs/loops while the kids were at baseball practice on Thursday. It was my youngest guy's first time at a drop off practice, so I would run a mile, circle back to check on him, & then keep going. It worked great & I will definitely plan to run during the practices - they are an hour and 45 minutes, so at least it will give me something to do. :-)

And, a picture from this weekend (we were headed to baseball pictures). Check out my cute boys!

Sam also took my picture on Saturday, and Nick decided he wanted in too:

The picture is at an awkward angle, because Sam is only 6, but he did a better job than I do most days. :-)

Most importantly, this happened over the weekend:
Yes, that's right. It was sunny & 62 on Saturday. Life was pretty darn good. I've been waiting *a long* time to see the sun!

I ran 5 miles on Saturday, & had 10 miles on the schedule for Sunday. The weather was perfect, I had new headphones for my tunes, & life was good. But, my hip! Oh, the hip pain. It started out as a nagging pain, but the further I went, the more it hurt. Knowing that I'd have to turn around & finish the run home, I called it at around 3 miles, for a total of 6.25 or so. I was really, really disappointed. I've never had to bail on a long run, & it felt like such a waste to turn around early on a gorgeous day, but the throbbing in my leg told me in no uncertain terms that running wasn't in the cards. I ended up walking/hobbling the last mile or so to my car. I have a 15K on Saturday, so I'm hopeful that some rest, foam rolling, & stretching will do the trick.

I pretended like the weather was still nice today, although it's really a little drizzly in Seattle.

Coral sweater - Nordstrom
Coral & white striped tshirt - Loft
Dark trouser wash jeans - Loft
Brown wedge sandals - AE

Although it's making me very nervous to have another light running week, I'm going to commit to taking it easy & listening to my leg/hip & not pushing too hard until after the race. After the weekend, I'm going to rejoin my half training plan (I've deviated for a variety of reasons, but mostly because of my interim races) at week 4 (it's an 8 week plan) so I can start getting ready for my half in May!!!! Can't believe how quickly it's coming up. :-)

What did you do this weekend? Anything fun & fabulous? Have you had hip pain? Any good tips?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

On being superwoman

Lately, I've been struggling with this feeling that I can't quite fit everything into my life - time with the kids, time with Michael, time to myself to see friends, running, work, the random things like doctor's appointments, & just the miscellany of life. I'm a perfectionist. Completely a Type A person. I have a color-coded, highly trackable, and measurable list of priorities for each month, & the year. I create reports for myself based on how I'm progressing against the month. The goals for the month vary, but typically include: financial goals, spending goals, work goals, fitness goals, getting together with friends, & a date night with Michael. It seems silly to create goals for such personal things, but if I don't have those items on my list, despite their priority in my life, I find it hard to make it happen.

We are in a phase of transition in our house, & I'm having a hard time feeling successful - like superwoman who can single handledly manage a household, a family, work, & a training plan. I'm exhausted, stressed, & probably not the best mother/wife/employee I could be. Michael is in the midst of a job switch, which comes with its own stresses. I am hopeful that after his work situation is ironed out, I can figure out my own job, because my work is getting less flexible by the day. And my life? It needs maximum flexibility. As my job gets less flexible, & my hours increase, I feel this huge weight - can I leave in enough time to pick up the boys and take them to baseball practice? When will I see Michael? He's home for one day before he leaves again. What about running? What about just 30 minutes to myself? Who am I disappointing today?

I know this is a hugely long & rambling post, so please forgive me. I'm really trying to come to terms with not being able to accomplish all that I want in my life right now, & that's a very foreign feeling for me. And, not something that I'm handling terribly gracefully at the moment. So, my apologies to my lovely & fabulous husband & kids, because I am working on it. And, I'm also working on being kinder to myself on days when I feel like a failure, because those days happen more often than I care to admit, & it doesn't do me any favors to reflect back on them & get angry with myself all over again.

At the end of the day, I know that I have to make time for me - time to work out, time to run, time to treat myself well. I'm in a period of adjustment & change, & I will get through & adjust to waking up at 5:00 am & running, or squeezing in a run during baseball practice, or at 8:00 pm, or whatever works that day. I'm trying to remember that I just finished a race on Sunday, & having a few lighter running days (okay, honestly - days when I'm not really running) is not going to kill me as I try to find creative ways to make this work. It's just not. But, eating like crap compounds the problem & only makes me feel worse. Let's hope I remember that tonight. ;-)

I thought my outfit looked cute when I left the house, but I'm pretty sure the trouser cut jeans + flats just doesn't work, so I'm skipping the full body shot. I promise that you're not missing out.
Navy ruffle front sweater - Loft
Striped tank - Forever 21
Blue drop necklace - Tiffany & Co
Transformer phone - courtesy of my kiddos

My goal? To figure out a way to manage our household & our lives differently, so everyone has less stress. That plan is still in motion, but I'm strongly considering cutting back my hours at work. I've always been a very career driven person, so this has been a hard thing for me to wrap my head around. But at the end of the day, if there aren't enough hours in the day for all of your priorities to happen, something has to give.

And now, please share: your best stress relieving tips. I need them. :-) Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to put it all out there, because it is so helpful. I promise that my next post will be more inspirational! :-)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

That time I sat on the sofa

Slacking (also known as . . . the best laid plans):
I had all of these grand plans of putting in five miles on the treadmill last night after the kids went to bed. Of course, I forgot to take into account that bed time takes quite a bit longer when I'm handling it solo (Michael's traveling). . . I first tried to con Sam (my six year old) into going to bed without a story, so I could hurry things up & get my run on. Not only did he pout, but I felt like a terrible mom (and, that's probably a valid feeling, since rushing their bed time so I can work out is a recipe for mom guilt). I ended up reading two stories ("Cobras" & "Time for kids: Snakes!" - his choices, of course), & after that, I was ready to crash. I made a deal with myself that I would get up at 5 this morning, & squeeze in a run before the boys woke up. And, I did!

Running Schedule:
If you know me, you'll know that I'm not a morning person. So, just getting out of bed was a huge accomplishment. I only did 2 miles, but need to tweak a few things to make morning workouts happen (most importantly, I need a fan blowing on the treadmill, because I was sweating like an animal after half a mile). I also need to figure out hydration & eating (after the run?) so I can put in real miles. I'm thinking that morning workouts are going to be much more doable for me than the evening runs. 1) evening runs disrupt my extremely limited window of time with Michael when he is around. 2) I'm exhausted in the evenings & come up with a million reasons to bail. 3) My sofa is extremely comfortable. 4) Working out in the mornings makes me feel accomplished.

Figuring out this new workout schedule is super critical, because Michael is inches away from taking a new job with lots of travel. I NEED to make this work, so I can continue to run. My plan is to put in 20-25 miles this week, so I have a lot of ground to cover. Ha ha. ;-)

Here's my plan for the week:
  • Wednesday am workouts - 2 miles.
  • Wednesday evening workout - 3 miles + arms + foam rolling/stretching.
  • Thursday - 5 mile interval
  • Friday - 4 mile hills + abs/legs
  • Saturday - need to squeeze running in around boys baseball pictures, a birthday party, & a million other activities. 5 miles.
  • Sunday - long run. 10 miles.
And, I wore heels today! Mostly so I could wear a pair of jeans that didn't require flats.

Black sweater- Nordstrom. One of my favorites!
Coral top - Forever 21
Cream tank - Loft
Boot cut jeans - Nordstrom BP - Vigoss
Black heels - Style & Co - Macy's

Dorky face up close. And yes, that is a Transformer sticker on the back of my phone. So chic. :-)
When do you work out? Why did you choose that particular time? What are the challenges & what are your solutions?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tights as pants

First up, I wore my running tights as pants today. At work. Kind of. Luckily, all butt cheeks are covered. :-) No corneas were seared at the office.

It looked a lot like this. . .

Or not, but I'm sick & tired of jeans & boots, so in honor of the first day of spring, I decided to pull out a summery dress, & pair it with my lululemon running tights. Those bad boys are expensive, so may as well get maximum mileage (ha ha) from them.

A better picture of the dress, last summer:

I figure, if I have to wait for warm weather to bust out my summer clothes, I have a long road ahead.

In other news, did you hear that I ran a 15K on Sunday? ;-) I may have registered for another 15K on 3/31. I am so excited! I have to skip the 10K I was registered for this weekend (Michael's out of town, & the logistics are too much with the kids solo). The race I registered for (Birch Bay 15K) is described as "Scenic, Flat, & Fun". . . music to my ears after the wild & crazy hills in Portland last weekend. I'm very curious to see my pace when I'm running by myself, and on a flat course. I hope I don't find it too boring to run the entire thing by myself. I will definitely be bringing music. My ear buds failed me at mile 1 at the race on Sunday, and I spent at least a mile fiddling with them, and the rest of the time pretending that I could hear my tunes. :-) I was annoyed, but c'est la vie.

In other news, I'm really not sore from the run. Can't believe it - I feel like my training was really effective, & I had enough juice to finish hard. I'm still kind of floating from the race, as I'm sure you can tell. Whenever I see that medal, I get a little misty. :-)

(lifted from the run FB page) Why yes, that is a bottle opener!

As for the running, my plan is to continue to build my base (I need to revisit a week in my half marathon training plan, because I didn't put in enough miles last week), and manage that only in the evenings, on the treadmill. Michael is traveling a bunch this week, & I just need to commit to either morning (5:00 am) or evening (8:00 pm) workouts. It's got to happen, & I've slacked on putting any real mileage at either of those times. They are not my favorite, but I need to suck it up. That's mostly why I registered for another race - forcing myself to adjust to my new schedule & put in the miles on the 'mill, even when it's not my best personal time to run.

I love black & white pictures, so I had Michael convert my favorite picture of me with the birthday boy on Saturday.

Questions for you: Do you wear tights as pants? Have you ever run a race by yourself? Tips/tricks? How do you motivate yourself for long(er) treadmill runs?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I think I've found a new hobby

Because, this running races thing is A BLAST. :-) Finished the Portland Shamrock 15K & hit my first goal (just finishing), second goal (under 1:50), third goal (under 1:40). . . I came in at 1:39 & change & felt amazing. I ran with my sister's boyfriend, & the two of us were a good team - he was pushing me on the hills, & I was doing the motivating in the final stretch.

The course was much hillier than I'd expected. . . see below

Let's just say that the incline was solid & lasted for miles between 3 & 6, I think. Although, honestly, that part is a blur. It's like child birth - I've already blocked out the super difficult part, because it was all 100% worth it in the end. The great news? once we peaked, it was downhill for the final miles & I felt like a million bucks. The smile on my face when I crossed the finish line lasted *all day*. :-)

Before the race:
Backing up a bit, I woke up at five to eat a package of oatmeal mixed with almond butter that I'd brought (surprisingly good), a package of Starbucks VIA  instant coffee (not so good, but did the trick) & hydrate, as the race started at 7:45 am. Well, it was supposed to. Unfortunately, a train was running behind, & the course goes over the train tracks, so we had to wait. It was incredibly cold, so the 40 minute delay was sad times. My fingers were swollen, & my lips were purple until about two hours after the race.

During the run:
I took a couple of shot blocks during the run, & only walked through the water stops, making this by far the best run I've ever had. Ever. Talk about bringing it on the right day. The weather sucked - it was raining/snowing/sleeting for about 75% of the race, and the sun came out right as we started heading downhill. All of the stars aligned for that final stretch to be amazing, & it was!

Post run:
We met up with my sister, mom & nephews, who were doing a 5K walk. We walked about another 3-4 miles total hooking up with the crew & retrieving the car, so that served as a nice cool down.

Don't ask why I have that awesome look on my face. I know, super cute. And no, I didn't run the 5K in that outfit. I took a "car shower" (baby wipes) & changed before we met the larger crew.

I may have possibly cried in the bathroom at Deschutes Brewery, because I was just so happy & thrilled with finishing. A year ago, I was trying to complete a 5K, & today was such a milestone. I'm thrilled. I've never considered myself a runner, so this just feels like I'm in new territory. . . And, I'm trying to convince Michael that I should sign up for another 15K at the end of the month. Just because it sounds so fun. :-)

The lunch at Deschutes was amazing - beer, a slice of walnut/pear/goat cheese pizza, part of a cheeseburger, & a little salad, just to health things up a bit. Again, the beer. Yum. Just what was needed after the race.

And, because I can't resist a couple of pictures of Nick's 5th birthday party yesterday . . .

Sam & Nick - brotherly love :-)

The birthday boy, giddy with anticipation for his party:

Me with my crazy boys

Mommy & the birthday boy

All in all, this weekend rocked!

Now, questions. . . I'm really not sore yet, but my abs are crazy sore? I've never gotten sore abs from running before? I also got a side ache about half way through the race? Is that generally caused by gulping water too quickly?

How was your St. Patrick's Day??

Friday, March 16, 2012

Nervous for my race!

I've had a pretty easy running schedule this week (ran 4 miles on Monday, two days of cross train, & running 4-5 easy miles today). My 15K is on Sunday, & I'm nervous. The weather is making me crazy. Looks like it's going to be between 34-36 degrees, with a snow/rain mix. Fun times. :-)

The good news is that I've had a few long runs that had similar weather, so at least I'll know what to expect. As long as it's also not windy, I think I can survive. Maybe the cold weather will be my motivation to finish as quickly as possible, and have that nice steamy bowl of clam chowder. . . I kid - there will be no clam chowder consumption at 10:00 am, after my run. Guaranteed.

The weather has sucked in Seattle, so I'm back to boots & sweaters. So jealous of all of you with warm weather! I miss sandal season.

Wine colored sweater - Gap
Purple/wine paisley tank - Gap
Skinny jeans - AE
Boots - Anne Klein

And, today, with bad hair, because I'm hoping to run soon:
Camel sweater - Loft
Pearl necklace - Jcrew outlet
Pearl earrings - gift from my grandmother
Cream tank - Loft
Skinny jeans - Gap
Cognac boots - Vince Camuto, gift from Michael

Nutrition has been pretty good, with some chocolate mixed in. One of my coworkers brought in 12 pounds of chocolate earlier in the week, to celebrate his 12 year anniversary. Yum . .. chocolate.

And, my baby is turning five tomorrow! Can't believe it. The time has gone way, way too fast. Nick is a ridiculous ham, & the funniest person I know.

We'll be having a big birthday celebration for this cutie tomorrow.
What about you? Anyone racing? Running? Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with green beer? :-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ten things I learned on my long run

I ran 10 miles this weekend, & it was definitely a learning experience. ;-) I'm considering it that, & not getting hung up on some of the details. I have my first distance race on Sunday!! So excited/nervous. I'm doing the Portland Shamrock 15K. Can't wait. :-) Anyone else in Portland?

  1. Just because you see someone else leaving their car at the same time as you, and feel oddly compelled to not look like a slow dork, DO NOT match their pace. They will turn back after 1.5 miles, & you'll still have 5 times that to go. Only, you'll be tired, because you didn't pace yourself & acted like a fool.
  2. When you see the one lonely bathroom opportunity on the trail, take it. Even if you're convinced you don't need it, by the time you circle back & see it again, it will be too late. I promise.
  3. Shot blocks are easier on your stomach than the Power Bar version. I swear I've learned this lesson before, but forgot.
  4. When you're at mile 4 & have already hit the wall, you'll start hearing your football-coach-father's voice in your head, "Suck it up, (LastName)," and "Pour it on, (LastName)".
  5. Running in the wind, rain, & 38 degree weather, despite how much it blows, will make you feel kind of badass. No one needs to know that you're rocking out to Miley Cyrus, "Party in the USA".
  6. And, speaking of tunes, Kelly Clarkson - preach it, sister. What doesn't kill you will in fact make you stronger. It's just me, myself, & I.
  7. You will not be hungry after a long run, so no need to bring snacks or worry about what to eat after your race this weekend. Perhaps just a fresh pair of pants. See #2. The fact that clam chowder is offered as one of the post-race options is hurl-inducing.
  8. When you see that portapotty coming back on the return, even though you feel like you don't need it because bad things have already happened & you couldn't possibly go, ummmmm, try it. See #2. Again.
  9. A year ago, you ran your first 5K, & now you're doing 10 mile runs on the weekend. You're officially a runner. It's okay to be slow.
  10. I know you thought the run sucked major big time, but there were no cross walks or potty breaks to stop the Garmin, so this was actually your true time. And, it was a PR. So, there's that. ;-) Wet pants aside. 10 miles, 1:44. Slow, but steady.
So, so, so excited & nervous for this weekend!

Here are a few scary bathroom pictures!

I think this was Friday?
Violet sweater - Jcrew
White tank - Loft
Skinny jeans - Gap, Always Skinny
Wedges - Tory Burch

Black sweater - Nordstrom
Coral tshirt - Loft
Skinny jeans - AE
Black wedges - Tory Burch (yes, I kind of love the shoes ;-))

Bad hair - courtesy of my run
Black sweater - Express
Black & white striped tshirt - Gap
Skinny jeans - AE
Black wedges - you guessed it, Tory Burch

And, today! I got the tshirt at the Gap over the weekend, & I'm kind of obsessed with the bright coral color. It was $7 or so - a steal, and just the pop of spring color that I need.

Black sweater (sense a pattern? ;-) - Nordstrom
Coral tshirt - Gap
Skinny jeans - AE
Black wedges - shockingly, Tory Burch

I'm starting to notice a trend in my outfits. Maybe I should change things up a bit. . . :-)

Give me your best race tips!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Best treadmill run & giveaway results!

Lots to say this week! First up, I had my 11 mile run on Friday, & there was a minor shoe problem. It turns out the my shoes were too small, and after I warmed up & my feet expanded, my toes were bumping against the shoes. Three toes on each foot are bruised, swollen, & so mother freaking painful, it's unbelievable. The good news is that I finally went to a running store & got fitted. They bumped me up a size, and I waited a few days for the swelling to go down. (No running after the crippling 11 miles on Friday).

I ran 5 miles on the treadmill today (without stopping - which is HUGE for me!) & it was like running on cotton candy & sunshine, compared to the pain of Friday. A great workout on the treadmill, people! Life is so dang good! :-)

In other news, my 15K race is next Sunday (the 18th). Can't wait! I'm a super slow runner, so I always hesitate to set time goals. That said, here's what I'm thinking:
  1. Only goal that I really care about - finishing the race.
  2. Second goal - finish in under 1:50. This shouldn't be hard, barring a really horrific run, as I did 11 last week in just under that.
  3. Third goal - finish in under 1:40. Maybe?
  4. Fourth goal, and probably unlikely - finish in under 1:30.
I know, I'm slow. Feel free to giggle at my times. :-)

My nutrition has been . . . okay. Yesterday sucked. There has been a bunch of work drama on both sides (me + Michael) & that always causes me stress. I stuffed my face with a bunch of random crap yesterday, & guess what? It only made me more stressed. I need to find a better stress reliever.

Ugly bathroom photos make their return! I can't get my picture from today to upload, but it's just more of the same - boots, skinny jeans, & a sweater. It was snowing this morning. Groan. :-)

And, I have to recap my fabulous day on Sunday. We've been taking the boys (almost 5, and 6) skiing all season. There were potty accidents (being half way up a lift when someone tells you they have to go potty "urgently" is always fun), tears, days when we paid a boat load of money to ski one run, etc. It's a ton of work to go - all of the gear, the packing, the driving to the mountain, the MONEY. . . :-) But on Sunday, it all paid off. It was a gorgeous, sunny day. The boys were sun burned by the end of the day. And, everyone was on their best behavior. They listened, and my little guy skied a blue run without falling! And then, he skied it again & again. Sam, my six year old, bumped into a school buddy, and pretty soon I see them skiing over jumps & between trees. It was comical. He wanted me to take a video, but I'm sure I would have ended up on the snow if I had tried. Both of my kids are now officially way better & faster skiers than I am. At the beginning of this season, my youngest (Nick) wouldn't even ride the magic carpet or put his skis on, so this is serious progress.

This was the car ride home. :-)

Skiing is tiring for little boys. Check out the rosy cheeks, after a day in the sun.

Christy, at My Dirt Road Anthem, you're the winner! Send me an email at & I'll get you hooked up. :-)