Sunday, June 30, 2013

weekend happenings

The past 3 days have been so. Much. Fun. That, combined with the fact that's its only a 4-day work week anyway, has left me feeling completely unenthusiastic about that work thing tomorrow. 

Oh, and given that the weather has been in the high 80's the past few days doesn't help my motivation either. We don't get this sort of sun in June! We're blessed with "Juneuary" until July 5th, and then summer is on. 

This is exactly the reason why we were hesitant about planning our annual bocce ball tournament on a June Saturday. We knew there was a nice chance of it raining all over our bocce balls, but also knew that everyone would adapt just fine if that happened since rain is what we've evolved to manage. 

Amazingly enough, the sun, oh sweet sweet sun, decided to do is a big one and but out loud and clear Friday and hasn't left us since. It made for an awesome lawn game day, as well as some sweet tan lines. 

That little pool brought back so many memories. When I saw this I immediately imagined my dad doing the same thing 15 years ago. He probably had the same excited look on his fave, too. 

Scott won one trophy and a good friend won the other after a long, heated (literally) fight for the gold. We now have a total of 3 bocce trophies in our household. It feels pretty good to be winning at life. 

Sunday was an incredibly easy day for me while my husband spent 6 hours doing homework. He did, however, manage to sneak in a softball game and scored an awesome win. 

I had ran there, and quickly realized .5 mile on that this body is not cool with running in this hot heat. I had froze a 16 oz plastic water bottle beforehand, which was completely warm by the time I had trekked the 3 miles to he field. I think I'm going to stick with morning and evening runs whenever possible. 

We were both pretty ravenous when we got home, and while I really didn't feel like turning on any heat I settled on making fajitas since it only used one element on the stove. Oh, and the microwave but THAT I can handle. 

How was your weekend? Any tips for exercising in the heat?

Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, June 28, 2013

Blog Lovin'

 While I am not a huge fan of the name, I believe Blog Lovin' wins over Feedly as my new blog follower. While nothing can compare to the good ole Reader, it's demise comes Monday so I figured I better get all this figured out. I'm such an adult.

Anyways, I would be honored if you wanted to follow me over on Blog Lovin' (yeah...I officially can't stand the name.) Here's the link! I'll try to make it a worthwhile endeavor for your precious time. :) See you over on BL (that's a little better..?)

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Poulsbo Beer Run | race recap

In the past few years, breweries have cropped up out of nowhere here in Kitsap County, to my great pleasure. While I'm never the biggest beer drinker of a bunch, (unless I'm with my husband - he'll just have water, thanks) I love the atmosphere of breweries. Everyone is having a good time (and if you're not, you might want to think about just leaving because there is no un-fun allowed) and not only is the beer unique and interesting, the food is typically off the chain as well.

For whatever reason, three of these brew masters decided to build their small empire within miles of each other to make the perfect tri-beer-fecta. That is to say, perfect until you are to drink a rather high-quality beer at each while intermittently running amongst them.

Homegirl, we need some breakfast. And lunch.

Wait, it's not fair for me to start at the end of the show. It really was perfect for the first 3 hours.  My sister, Brooke, and I arrived at the first brewery, Volholl, at 8:45am. We luckily started at the brewery that happens to be right in downtown Poulsbo, which also means we got to end there (=more post-race food and fun choices). The sun was shining, it was 70 degrees, and the Pacific Northwest could not have been in a better mood. (Sidenote: This was also the day of Seattle's Rock and Roll marathon, so you know they were singing praises.) The registration was great - quick and easy. We each got our bibs and a green dot, displayed prominently on our cheeks, which meant that we were to start in the 9:15am wave.

I can't remember what beers we got, but they were bomb. My brain was absent when I said I wanted an amber though, should have stuck to something a leetle lighter.
We ran the first mile to Sound Brewery, which was a nice downhill trek that seemed to go by in a minute. This palce had a nice set-up, with a small beer garden and some picnic tables posted up. You would think that we would have taken that as nature's gesture to say "here, sit down, stay awhile. Please. Nurse your beer." But we didn't. We were finished within 15 minutes and outta there.

Third stop was the Slippery Pig Brewery, which is down a little dirt road on a farm. It's my favorite brewery by far, which a cute outdoor seating area complete with comfy couches and a sweet wooden bar. The beers were right my alley, too - fruity and light. I went with a rhubarb-flavored one while Brooke chose kiwi. Oh, and a plate of chocolate covered strawberries was passed around, which could also be 4th reason this place was my fave.

At this point, we knew the rest of our day was screwed. It was only 11:00, two hours after we had our first beer, and we were three beers deep. I realize this isn't a lot for many people, but for two girls who don't drink a ton this got us in a solid way.

Oh, and I didn't have breakfast (which never happens except for when I run myself drunk, naturally.)

Oh, and we kept forgetting to drink water while sweating buckets in that gorgeous sunshine.

So essentially, we screwed our own selves over but WHATEVER, it's a beer run.

Oh, lookey there, two sunburned drunk girls. I can't even remember what's sticking out of my bra. That's a sign of a good time.

No, but really, we had a fantastic time. What's not to love about beer, sun and run - and combined, at that?

We ate lunch at The Loft, and ohmygosh it was so incredibly delicious. It may have just been the ravaged state we were in, but that quinoa pita thing Brooke got was the best food I've tasted in weeks. I got a roasted veggie wrap that was also super good.

We too our time eating and downed the jug of water before walking back to my car...and then deciding to instead take a giant, 2-hour nap in the park o the waterfront.

What I'm trying to say in this post is I'm a total goal-completer. I completed a race, was drunk before noon on a sunny Saturday, and had some quality time with mi hermana. That's all I wanted to accomplish that morning, and I'm pretty proud of myself for being so productive.

However, there are a few things I would change next year:

1. Eat breakfast
2. Wear sunscreen
3. Drink water, at least within the first 3 hours I'm beering

I'll leave you with a little advice on how to be a better friend (good thing all my friends are evil and are happy to let me drink sissy beer ;) ).

What has been the most fun race you've ever ran? Do you have a "fun run" coming up soon?

Monday, June 24, 2013

the weekly rundown

This week left me feeling pretty drained, which I couldn't quite figure out because my mileage wasn't super high. I think physical therapy might be leaving me a little fatigued, which is funny because I don't do a whole lot of strength training. There are some squats and some booty/quad work, but nothing strenuous. Most of PT has been reconditioning my muscles and stretching, which leaves me feeling really refreshed. Stretching has never been my thing - it's so boring. Luckily I've learned that it's the peanut butter to running's jelly, so I need to stick with it.

Monday: 4 miles, 8:55 pace
Tuesday: 6.5, 8:46 pace
Wednesday: 3 miles, 8.54 pace
Saturday:4 miles, 2 beers an hour pace ;)
Sunday: 4 miles, 8:53 pace

*Sidenote: The picture above was taken Saturday at the beer run in downtown Poulsbo. It's a city that is filled to the brim with Norwegian heritage, and its downtown streets totally reflect that.  You guy buy frozen lutefisk TV dinners, all the black licorice your heart desires, and Uff-Da shirts. I mean, what else did you ever want to own in your life?

Have a great start to your week!

weekend happenings

Friday night my sister came over and we made vegan pizza. It was ahhhmazing. We topped it with cashew "cheese" and pesto, along with the required tomatoes and onions. 

Saturday was the great Poulsbo Beer Run! I will give a more in-depth description this week, but lets just say it was so fun that we had to take a three hour nap in the park promptly after our forth and final brew. 

Sunday we took on the outrageously fun role of babysitters for my sweet little niece. This girl is a trip, and not to be taken lightly. She's the only person I know who chooses just one topping for her FroYo. And the only one who makes me laugh when she plays s fun game of "let's scream really loud in the house for hours!!!" 

What, your hometown doesn't have a museum dedicated to insects? There was also a tortoise present...and a boa constrictor. Pretty solid Sunday!

What is the strangest thing/place in your town?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

the doctor said...

that I have a fiiiiiine looking left knee! I went back for my follow-up appointment today and got the A-OK on my knee. He said my x-rays are perfect and that he can't feel any swelling or such negative things around it. While I knew that the pain was "just" inflammation and that physical therapy has helped heaps and bounds, it was nice to hear the good news from a professional.

So, what does this mean for my future running endeavors? I was thinking about it on tonight's run, and I'm not sure how I"m going to proceed. I'm definitely going to take it easy and limit my mileage, which should be easy since summer is here (!!!) and that always means fun, non-running activities are in the works.

I'm still on for Ragnar Northwest Passage, which I could not be more excited for. My sister-in-law just booked us our hotel room for the night before, seeing as how we have a 3am wake-up call the morning it all begins. My legs are on the shorter end (3.1 | 4.8 | 5.8), which I'm hoping will be nice for the old knees of mine.

Seattle has some great 5 and 10k's in the summer and fall, so those are definitely in my future. I was also thinking it would be sweet to run a race in Europe, where we will be traveling a good chunk of August. I could totally set aside my pride to run a race in Greece and get beaten by thousands of people who have hailed from the land of the marathon birthplace. Has anyone ever ran a race internationally? I need the deets!

Alright, thanks to Netflix I'm off to drown myself in season 3 of "Parenthood" (why oh why did I allow myself to get sucked in a sitcom that so does not jive with my lifestyle? Is that what makes it so appealing?). To accompany me, I have these tasty treats:

Only 12 of these squares are supposed to go to the potluck tomorrow. Trust me...the other 4 weren't invited.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Poulsbo Beer Run: +2, please

After dealing with the slight depression I felt after having to drop out of the North Olympic DIscovery Marathon, and then feeling the highs that have come with recuperating, I decided that it's time for me to get back out on the road to manage all these feelings. makes sense. We're rolling with it.

Tonight, I successfully ran 6.5 miles, which is the longest distance I've covered since the 8 miles I did at the marathon. There was hardly a squeak from ye olde knee, so I feel like this is a huge success story. Granted, it wasn't 8 miles, but seeing as how I've been running 11 out of the past 12 days (and pain-free, might I add) I believe that if there was going to be pain at all, it would have already taken me down.

To celebrate this milestone, I did something selfish. I forced my sister to run (or, stagger/swagger/crawl) this fancy race: Poulsbo's Hopstock Beer Run. It's 4 miles total, but you stop at 3 different breweries along the way for beers and breaks, which will nicely chop up the mileage. I think my knee can handle this kind of race.

When I first informed my sister of our plans, she was hesitant. She's not a runner, she would be the slowest person there, she would make a drunken fool out of herself (oh wait, that was my worry). It took a mere 3 seconds for me to reassure her that this is a beer run, and that "run" is most likely (100%) not the accurate description for what this whole event will consist of.

Unless it's to the bathroom. Or the pretzel guy. Those sort of runs will definitely be in the books.

And they used to be such sweet, charming girls...

Monday, June 17, 2013

the weekly rundown

Since marathon training is currently over and I've been dealing with this stinkin' injury, I haven't been posting my workouts of the week lately. This has bummed me out, not only because it means I haven't been running but because they're my favorite posts to pull together.

So, I decided it's time to bring them back, rundown style. My physical therapist has me running very consistently now (bless her heart), so it makes even more since now that I have some actual logging to do. They have all been pain-free, too, which sort of just makes me want to scream "weak hips don't rule your life" from the top of Mount Rainier. At least not anymore.

Sunday: 1 mile, 8:27 pace
Monday: 2.84 miles, 9:04 pace
Tuesday: 2 miles, 9:00 pace
Wednesday: 2 miles, 9:06 pace
Thursday: 3 miles, 8:55 pace
Saturday: 3 miles, 8:57 pace

All my runs have been much slower than what I'm used to, which is just fine. I realize I'm coming off both an injury and a long period of severely decreased mileage, so I remind myself that this is the safe way to creep my miles back up.

And of course it feels damn good to be running again.

Sidenote: The picture above was taken Saturday morning while I was at breakfast with a friend. It's a little secret treasure of a cafe, all tucked away on the Puget Sound where it takes a good 30 minute drive to reach. I got 2 incredibly large pancakes (all gone) and my friend got the seafood omelete = to die for.

If you live anywhere in the Seattle area, you really should grab your honey, your homie, or your hound and make a fun morning of coming out for this breakfast. It's a beautiful drive, and there's a state park right down the way. Your taste buds will thank you...your thighs probably won't, but who cares about them, anyway?

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

on why physical therapy does a body good

I admit that I was a little skeptical on going to physical therapy when it was prescribed to me. Why? I'm really not sure. Maybe because it's something new to me and I feel like why partake in something that I've lived without these past 27.5 years? And to be honest, it made me feel weak, which I wasn't expecting. I WAS weak - my knee was screaming like a mother at me - and yet, I couldn't come to terms with that fact that I was injured.

Sure, I got by those first 27.5 years...but these past 4 months of knee pain? Yeah, I can do without that. And if (since) I want to continue pounding pavement these next 3 decades, I decided it was time to really get down to serious, real-runner business and figure out this body of mine.

And I am so glad I did. Because my physical therapist? Is the bomb. I've only been twice and already I feel like a new, better runner.

At my first appointment, she had me show her the strength-training exercises I do at home. Now, that was a tad embarrassing given that I've done a little number called "The Mini-Skirt Workout" since it came out in, ohhh, 2009. (Maybe. Maybe it was actually 2007. The fact is, it works! Mini-skirts are like magnets to these thighs.)

As soon as I got to the lunge part, she was like WHOA, girl, there you go. That's your problem. Your knees are sneaking inward, when they should be going in a straight line downwards.

The oh-so-accurate diagnosis? Weak hips. Which I really should have known, since my hips are constantly telling me they're weak and my hips don't lie. She also magically determined that my right tibalis anterior (ohh, fancy name) was "stuck" so to speak, and that it needs to be worked out a little more.

She gave me exercises for both my hips and for me tibalis, and va-voom, 5 days in and I feel great, albeit sore. It's weird to feel my muscles and form shifting after just a few short days of trying a new routine. It's sort of weird to imagine all the different things the body secretly does underneath all this skin and stuff we carry around. And with that, how easy it is to modify those by certaian exercises - who knew ankle circle could un-stick a stubborn tibalis?

My physical therapist-gone-goddess  has me steadily increasing my mileage (so long as it doesn't hurt anything), by instructing me to run one mile/day for three days, then two miles/day the next three days, then three miles/day the next three days, etc. If my knee does start acting up like the attention-seeking child it is, then I am to divide that day's mileage in half and run that. Pretty doable, I say!

I hereby dedicate this lovely Tuesday to weak hips! Oh, and for coming in third (cough, out of four teams) in Beer Olympics 2013 this weekend. Now there is an athletic accolade worth boasting about.

Cheers for beers!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

thoughtsday :: 6.6.2013

1. First and foremost, can we all just agree that these shorts are the bomb? I don't know if it's the reusable grocery bag material or the serious creases, but I need to buy these in bulk like Hanes socks.

I sported those at the doctor's office yesterday, where I got an actual diagnosis for this knee biz. After having zero pain with all the pulling, pushing, (hit it! Bop it!), the doctor seemed pleased to say that it's just inflammation. SCORE.

I'm going to have two weeks of physical therapy, followed by another doctor's visit, followed by rest, followed Yeah, let's hope so.

2. In the meantime, I'm trying to adhere somewhat to the "anti-inflammatory diet" to try and heal up from the inside out. This has involved a large amount of smoothies, cherry juice, almonds, and dark chocolate.

Yes, there's a hunk of life-changing bread in there. Carb me up, baby.

Something you might already know that I wish I had known when green smoothies were first born into the universe as nature's cure-all: tart cherry juice 100% cancels out all vegetable taste, making your smoothie taste like dessert, and sometimes almost too sweet. The first time I got a little heavy-handed with it and ended up not using any milk, which was a little too much for me. I get mine at Trader Joe's every week and drink it pretty much every day.

3.  I'm the co-co-chair of a little event my friends (AKA my fellow co-chairs) and I are hosting on Saturday called BEER OLYMPICS. So what if this makes me sound like I'm still a sophomore in college - there's beer and sports and sun involved! Bring on the debauchery!

Oh, and I plan on bringing this little guy to really get the party going. There's nothing like a good fruity shark to get everyone wanting that W.

Watermelon Shark Recipe
Courtesy of Taste of Home

What do you typically put in your smoothies to make them oh-so-delectable?

Monday, June 3, 2013

North Olympic Discovery (cough, Disappointment) Marathon Recap

First off, let me warn you that this post will be brief and succinct due to the fact that I'm still in mopey, frustrated phase of "failing."

I had to drop out at mile 8 of the marathon yesterday, due to another flare up of "runner's knee." It was (and still is) really discouraging, and I'm angry with myself for letting me get so worked up about it. As my sweet husband said, there's nothing you can do about injuries. I mentally prepared myself for a potential disaster, but there was definitely a feeling of denial that I could still be dealing with this knee of mine.

With the obvious knee issues being the poignant source of my frustration about having to quit, it was also incredibly annoying that I had such a good pace and felt great in every other aspect. I was going about 7:50/mile, kept a good eye on my form, and it was a beautiful day. Seriously, 68 degrees and gloriously sunny. It was one of those times that I felt like I could go on forever. With someone else's knee.

The past 20 hours have been filled with me trying not to mope, making the best of the situation (meaning going out for two lunches and having a nice walk in the sun) and reminding myself that there are always worse things. In this case, much worse.

I made a doctor's appointment with a local sports medicine provider, and will do what needs to be done to fully recuperate. While I have 7 weeks until Ragnar, I highly doubt this issue will be resolved by then. And I will come to terms with that, hopefully sooner than later. What I really need to do is stop being so stubborn and commit to the fact that I'm injured and that appropriate steps need to be taken in order to properly heal.

Nope, no fun. But here are some pretty shots I took yesterday in the first 8 miles - I'll get miles 9-26 another year. ;)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

the day before a marathon

Before my first marathon, I was surprised to feel all the emotions that come with the preparation of running 26.2 miles. My nerves were shaking, my adrenaline was pumping, I had dreams about running the course that was etched into my mind...I didn't expect this. It's just running. It had been a daily activity for the past 18 weeks.

And now, I'm getting those same feelings. The excitement surrounding the packet pick-up, the finish line events, even waking up at 5:45am on a Sunday. All of these things with the common denominator of running four hours (crossing fingers I get less than that tomorrow) straight! It's a crazy time we live in.

I spent Friday trying to drink every last bit of water in my line of sight. The problem is...I strongly cannot stand drinking water. The only exceptions to this statement are when I just ran a bunch of miles and feel like I will die without it right then and there, or when it's all frozen in cube-form and floating in my cocktail.

So, to honor my body and try to show it a little respect for the upcoming torture I'm going to put it through (I'm only saying torture because I haven't ran more than 6 miles in 7 weeks. It might freak out on me a little), I bought 3 different kinds of coconut water: peach mango, pineapple, and orange. Peach mango was definitely my favey, with orange coming in second and pineapple being a far behind "yeaaah, maybe never again."

The said thing is, as much as I love fruit, I love chocolate much more, which is why chocolate coconut water will always beat all other flavors. No contest.

I've also been loading up on lentils, fruits, veggies and Mexican food so my energy stores can be in tip-top shape come tomorrow. There have also been some chocolate squares in there as well, no duh.

The above e-mail I sent to myself and Scott to make sure we're both on the same page. The race is about an hour away and we won't have time to get over there today to pick up my race packet, so I want to make sure we get there nice and early to get all my ducks in a row (line? How does that saying go?).

And yes, McDonald's coffee is an absolute must, with its badass $1 any size price.

As I've mentioned, my #1 goal is to finish this race, free of pain. With my training being so rudely interrupted I don't have any PR hopes. All I want is for this knee of mine to behave so I can enjoy the b-a-a-Utiful trail that connects Sequim to Port Angeles. Oh, and to celebrate over a hearty carby meal with my people!

Have a great weekend!