Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Strava/Lululemon Challenge

I am on Strava and log all of my mileage and workouts there. I have been on it for several years now, and a premium member for around 2. It is a platform that I have enjoyed being a part of for a while now. I like the social and team aspect that it has, and the challenges add something to my thoughts around running and goal setting.

But in two weeks this January, Strava reached a new level as far as challenges and awesome go... They partnered up with Lululemon. The Lululemon 40|80 Challenge.

So they had badges at 40K and 80K over a two week period. Above, you can see that I earned both of them. I heard there were going to be prizes. I was thinking socks. A headband. Maybe some apparel based on a random draw or for the most mileage or something.

Because you only earn mileage toward this with data to back it up, I only made it JUST BARELY to the 80K. Any treadmill miles I ran during this two week period did not count. But I hit 80, and I am glad. 

When the challenge was over, I got an email from Strava/lulu congratulating me for completing the challenge and saying to go into your local store to collect your prize. 

For 40K...

And for 80K you would get the shirt, but add on...
Speed shorts. Basic black.

So yeah... that is $128 worth of Lulu gear that they gave to anyone who completed their challenge. Yes, you had to select black, but WHO CARES? I own almost zero pair of black shorts because those are consistently kept season to season, so they never go on sale!


Thanks Lululemon and Strava for the AWESOME opportunity! Keep partnering up!

This post was not sponsored by strava or lululemon in any way. I earned this outfit through completing the challenge. Check out strava at www.strava.com or Lululemon at www.lululemon.com.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Training Update: Week of January 23

Somehow, in the blink of an eye, I am left with only 11 weeks of training. 11 weeks until Boston, and just under 12 until Glass City.
This past week was a down week, which I was feeling like I needed more than ever. And that is super weird considering my paces are not up to par with where I want them to be in 11 weeks. Hopefully taking this week lightly will help me have a solid week this week.

Monday: 6 miles with 4x30s strides. 6.57 miles total. Pure Barre. Core.
Tuesday: 50 minute walk. Pure Barre. Core.
Wednesday: 5 mile run, 9:04 pace.  Core.
Thursday: 5 mile run, 8:40 pace.
Friday: 5 mile run, 9:00 pace. Pure Barre. Core.
Saturday: OFF (prehab stuff)
Sunday: 9 miles. Core.

Overall, this was not a bad week. I felt pretty good, got outside most of the time (thank goodness), and just ran relaxed every day. At first Thursday felt like a bit of a let down, because I was not actively trying to slow down (like I was on Wednesday and Friday), but at the same time, it was 4 am and I was not awake yet. My first mile was 9:14. That kind of mile is going to drag an average down.

Anyway, starting to crank it up again this week. Cross your fingers that the 4 am workouts get easier, that the legs start to turn over faster, and things start to feel solid now that we are getting into that heavy mileage stuff.

Friday, January 27, 2017

NuGo Dark - A review

I received an opportunity as a BibRave Pro to review NuGo Dark Nutrition Bars. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I was told that I was going to receive a mixed box of twelve bars. All of them would be dark chocolate.
I received the box in mid-December and opened it right away. I was greeted with the following flavors (you can also see them above): Chocolate chocolate chip, Chocolate pretzel with sea salt, Mint chocolate chip, and chocolate coconut. I had three of each of those flavors. Just looking at them, I really felt like J would enjoy them, and I was right.

J and I each sampled the 4 flavors over the next few weeks.
I ate one for a pre-long run breakfast.
J took one to work for breakfast.
I brought one to the office as a snack (in case I needed it) and ended up eating it right after I finished lunch. The pretzel one was my favorite, I am definitely more of a salty person than a sweet, but I did like all of the bars. J preferred the coconut, that is definitely his favorite trendy thing right now. All of the coconut things. Even Addie had a few bites of one and liked it (she likes anything chocolate - as you might expect of a kid, but she enjoys dark chocolate, which is something!) and so I would say that they were a hit with the whole family.

We have since purchased a few full boxes from Thrive Market as we definitely were able to use this opportunity with Bibrave to discover something that really works for our family. And I am grateful for that.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Addie's "big girl" room

This past Saturday night, Addie stayed at her Gramma's house, allowing J and I to get out and do something that we had wanted to do for a long time, check out a new brewery. Granted, at this point, the brewery is actually not that new anymore, but we did take the time to go all the way across town, finally.

But that was only a small portion of the reason we were taking a date day. We had big plans. We had plans to convert the nursery to Addie's big girl room.

And we did. And it took forever, it was super hard, and I know something that we will never attempt again, Princess Wallpaper. It is kind of a cross between wallpaper and a fathead. But we did have to wet the back of the paper and carefully unroll to get the whole thing wet (activating the paste) and then hold the paper up in the air (all unrolled) while the paste did whatever it needed to do. That was the tough part for me, because I did the holding, while J did all of the smoothing.

While it was far more of a nightmare to get squared away than we thought it was going to be, but in the end, we got the room finished up around quarter to 10 and were able to head to bed.






Based on that silly smile, I would say we nailed it?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A bad workout

Everyone has a bad workout every once in a while, right? I know that I have before, but it still stings pretty much every time it happens. It can destroy your confidence a bit and force you to rethink your goals, even when you shouldn't.

I want to write a post specifically about last Thursday's workout. I feel like I need to, because it was a rough one, and it was mostly rough because I mentally struggled through it. Not physically.

So the scheduled workout was 7 miles. 3 of them were supposed to be "all-out" as a fitness check. Now, outside of a race, Coach Jen has never given me something all-out, and so I was lost. Completely confused. Unsure of what I am capable of running (and maintaining for three miles), as well as what to expect for what I "should be able to run."

Here are my splits for this run, which shows that I was in a better place than I am sure I expected to be. Or maybe not, but regardless, this definitely does not tell the full story.

I overthought this run. Not knowing what pace I was supposed to run gave me high levels of anxiety rather than allowing me to enjoy it. I basically freaked myself out, ended up taking a bunch of breaks telling myself I was going to fall, that my legs were dead, that I was in terrible shape, etc. I was texting Jen, texting Charlie, freaking out. And eventually, once I gave myself permission to NOT do that workout, I was able to finish it. And finish it strong.

It is weird the way that these things happen. By the time I was back at my office, I was definitely in a better mood about the whole thing. Mile 6 did include a little walking at first in order to best get my heart rate back down. I was a bit worked up, even though I was able to finish out the faster miles (I ran that last full mile with no stops, unlike the first two.)

I don't know if this is a workout that I will attempt again, but I am hopeful that if I am given it, I can go into it without stress. I am hoping that I can just go out, run fast, and forget all of the other things. I am hopeful... I got this. Right?

Monday, January 23, 2017

Training Update: Week of January 16

Another week of training is in the books! Hooray! I always feel good turning the page in my Believe journal, making progress toward the goals that I set for April.
There are 12 weeks until Boston, and just over that for Glass City. 12 weeks is not very long at all, but I know that it is enough time to really get everything tuned up, barring any disaster.

Monday: 8 miles with 4x 30s strides. 8.55 miles. Pure Barre. Core.
Tuesday: 60 minute walk. Pure Barre. Core.
Wednesday: 7 miles, easy pace. Pure Barre. Core.
Thursday: 7 miles, a workout (which needs it's own post). Core.
Friday: 6 miles, easy. Pure Barre. Core.
Saturday: 14 miles, comfortable pace.
Sunday: OFF

42.55 miles run.
4xPure Barre
5x Core
Some foam rolling and a few jasyoga videos in there too.

Overall, I think things are coming together, and I am feeling pretty good.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday Five XLIII

Sorry for missing a million posts over the last two weeks. Completely NOT my intention, but I am dealing with year end in the office. So here we go with a Friday Five!
1. Although I had a short week (off Monday), it was a tough one. It was the first week without my boss, Rick, whose last day was last Friday. I started writing a post on that last week, but honestly, I was pretty emotional over the whole thing. I tried to talk to him, but ended up bursting into tears in his office. He gave me a hug, which is unusual for him. Coworkers don't hug. :) I really miss him and he taught me a lot over the two and a half years we were together, and I definitely wish him well.

2. J and I are putting together Addie's "big girl room" tomorrow. Yes, at age three she is still in a crib. Yes, we know she COULD be in a bed at this point, we just have been lazy getting it done. This weekend. Pics to come.

3. Oiselle's spring line dropped. Initially, I was like, "hmm... I love the color palette, but nothing that I NEED. I still feel that I don't need anything, but it is definitely growing on me. All.The.Plum. We will see how long I resist ordering.

4. Even more than the line colors, I really like the concept behind the newest collection. Read the story here. It is unreal.

5. I have 14 miles tomorrow. Cross your fingers for me!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Training Update: Week of January 9

Last week was another week back in the grind of training. I am trying extra hard this year to make sure to do all of the extra things that need doing. Foam rolling. Core. Strength training (ok, let's be real... pure barre is my strength training these days). All of these things because I have my eyes set on a race that I worked so hard to get to. Followed by another a week later...  Back to back marathons...

First, Boston... and next:
So let's take a look at how the week shook out.

Monday: 8 miles with 4x30s strides. 8.55 total. Pure Barre. Foam rolling.
Tuesday: 60 minute walk. Pure Barre. Foam rolling. Core.
Wednesday: 7 miles easy. Foam rolling. Core.
Thursday: 7 miles with 3 at HMP. Pure Barre. Foam rolling. Core.
Friday: 6 miles, easy. Foam rolling.
Saturday: Foam rolling.
Sunday: 12 miles with 5 at MP effort (around 7:57 average). Foam rolling.

All in all, not a bad week, even though I did not do quite as much as I wanted to, especially in the pure barre department. Only 3 classes (yes, I know to some people that will seem pretty good, but my weekly goal is 5 classes.)and so there is always this week to step it up. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Goals. And thoughts.

I have set myself goals this year. I know I talked about that last week. I wanted to be able to make continuous forward progress and writing/blogging consistently was one of them. Unfortunately, I am definitely in a struggle right now with ideas and motivation. I feel pretty sad that I have managed to lack motivation day 10 into the new year. But, I guess I am just going to have to work at it and try and find ways to motivate myself to get writing.

My friend Alisha started a facebook group for goals and encouraging each other to reach them. I joined the group and introduced myself to it last week, fearful to express some goals, even though I know that they are long term goals and not likely to be anything that I am achieving within the next twelve months. No one would expect me to do that. And as a result, I am not sure why I am so scared to put it out there. But I think it might be time.

I want to find a way to make a living doing things that make me happy.


I think part of the reason I have not put this out there into words is because that is a pretty undefined goal. People talk all the time about making SMART goals, and this fits none of those categories. And the truth is, I am not sure how to make it fit those at this time. So I just have to leave it at that right now. I am dreaming big, because it  all that I have right now.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Some different thinking...

I am struggling. I had a weird moment when I was grocery shopping with Addie this weekend, and it is something that has never happened to me before, not even close. I talked to my friend/coworker Lauren about it, because I thought she might have some thoughts… and she did, but I am still not sure how to handle it.

So, we shopped at Jungle Jim’s this weekend, which is a HUGE grocery store with awesome beer, organic produce, and an absolutely MASSIVE foreign foods market. Just about anything that you could want, they will have as far as foreign foods. Usually when we go there as a family, we stop at the bar first, Jason nearly always gets a beer in a solo cup for travelling around the store. Sometimes I do too. This week, we had come from the movies and went to the grocery store which was right next door afterward (FYI – if you have a kid, Moana is a much better movie than Sing, we have seen both).
 Addie in the Mexican food section.
A beer for each of us during a Rhinegeist tap takeover.

As we were walking around the store, J left to go get something specific and Addie wanted to see the fish and lobsters. They have live seafood so you can purchase it and get as fresh as possible from the fish counter. So I walked her over there. And as we were standing at these big tanks, looking at some tilapia swimming around, I had a thought…

“That’s an animal… and people are going to eat it.”

So let me state here… I have never really thought about this before. I have toyed with “meatless Monday” and things like that, but only the IDEA of them, never actually doing it. And these things always came from a “health/eat more vegetables” place, rather than an animal welfare place. This has just not been the kind of thing that really has been an influencing factor in my life ever. But suddenly, standing in front of a tank of fish, my heart hurt a little…


Lauren said the same thing happened to her, and that was when she decided to stop eating meat. And her whole family (including her daughter who is Addie’s age) are now vegetarians. It was similar in that it was not the animal that you would expect to create a reaction (a cow, at least, that is what I would expect). For her, it was deer during hunting season. And for me, thinking about fish, I feel like there are tons of people who “don’t eat red meat” or “only eat fish” so it seems strange that a big white tilapia created a reaction. Maybe it’s the fact that we have watched Nemo several times recently (fish are friends, not food), or maybe I just have even more of a heart than I thought, but I think I am going to sit with this for a while, contemplate it, and decide what to do.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Training Update: Week of January 2

The first week of January has come and gone. It was my first "official" week of training, at least that is the way that I am seeing it. Coach Jen might disagree (in fact, I know she does based on the conversation that she and I had mid-week last week), but I had a workout this week, so I am calling training started.
So here is the second of two marathons that I will be running this Spring. The first is my true goal race and is Boston, but I am trying to remain focused and not distracted on my goals relating to that.

So let's just take a look at this first week of training.

Monday: 7 miles with 4x30s strides. 7.66 total miles, fast. 8:02 average pace. Core.
Tuesday: 60 minute walk. Pure Barre. Core.
Wednesday: 7 miles, easy (8:58 pace). Pure barre. Core. Foam rolling.
Thursday: 7.52 miles - fartlek ladder. 7:45 average pace. Core. Foam rolling.
Friday: 6 miles, easy pace. Core.
Saturday: 10 miles.
Sunday: OFF

38.18 total miles
5x core
3x pure barre
2x foam rolling
1x XT

Overall, it was a pretty good week. Onward to the next!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Friday Five XLII

Welcome to the first Friday of 2017!
1. I checked off the first book of my reading for 2017 goal this week. I read 26.2 miles to Boston, which was a Christmas gift from J. I am trying to decide what is the next item on my list to read.

2. Yesterday I worked from my couch with a three year old next to me. I had zero interest in being on the road in snow with loads of traffic for MANY hours, which is likely what would have happened. Better to work at home and actually get some stuff done than sit in my car all day!

3. I am just trying to ensure that I am working toward goals, constantly. I feel like while this is totally normal in the first week of January to feel very focused on this stuff, I am also wondering how I can keep the drive going (but not obsessively) for the rest of the year. Any thoughts?

4. This weekend I need to spend a little bit more time cleaning up all of the Christmas things that are still set up all over our house. Luckily, putting things away that are village related is much easier than getting them out and set up. Because I don't have to worry about fishing power cords or anything like that. Yahoo.

5. J promised Addie we would take her to a movie tomorrow if she is a good girl. We will see if she pulls that off because we have had a few tough days recently. She has been super grumpy in the evenings and we have STRUGGLED at getting her to go to bed. Fingers crossed that she does well tonight. IF she does and we do get to go to a movie, we are going to see Sing, as we have already seen Moana.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Holiday Update

I know that my goals post yesterday was probably a little bit boring. It mostly just covered the very high level things, but I felt like that was probably best because that will allow me to have some flexibility to add more depth (or not) depending on my needs this year.

Regardless, sorry for a boring post.

So this will be a quick Christmas recap from my family. These pictures are kind of in reverse order, but that is ok.
 Post present gazing up at the tree. Still in her "Chippey" pajamas (Chippey is her elf on a shelf).
 Checking out Elana of Avalor. Her current favorite princess.
 Me & the Roo.
 Our beautiful tree. I loved this one.
 Addie, upon first inspection of her big Christmas gift from Santa, a dollhouse.
After Santa came to the house and before Addie woke up. The calm before the storm.
Getting cookies and milk (and carrots for reindeer, of course!) She is apparently getting to that age where they want to smile silly ALL THE TIME. We will see how it plays out when she gets pictures taken this spring.
Merry Christmas from my family of elves to yours!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Looking ahead: 2017 Goals

So, lots of parts of 2016 were successful, but there were some others that did not turn out the way that I wanted. But, a woman needs to move on, and move forward, working toward new goals and new plans.

So I want to take this entry to roughly lay out what I want to get done in 2017. Some goals are going to be more conservative than 2016, but others I am hopeful will push me further than I have before. We will see how it goes. First off, one of my big goals is to keep better track of how I am doing with these goals.

1. 150 blog posts.
2. 150 pure barre classes.
3. Write an outline and start to draft a book.
4. Run 2200 miles.
5. Run 3 marathons (Boston, Glass City, Chicago)
6. Travel somewhere new
7. Take a family vacation
8. Work on yo-yo quilt: 50 circles
9. Read 24 books (2 per month, average) and TRACK them all 
10. Take Jason on an overnight trip for his birthday

10 goals seem like a pretty good number to have set up for the year. In the back of my mind, there are a few other things that I would LOVE to check off, but I feel like this is a good place to start.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Reflections on 2016

I wanted to write a post where I reflected on my goals that I set myself from 2016, but at the same time, as the year went on things really changed. Goals shifted. Plans move around. In general, priorities can shift a little. So rather than looking at the list of goals that I set for myself way back whenever, I am just going to talk about the things I did this year, in relation to the original goals I set, if that is even applicable.

1. Blogging
I wrote over 100 posts, but definitely did not hit the 200 that were my original goal. BUT I was more consistent in 2016 than I was in 2015, and that was the first big step, right?

2. Run the Year
This one gets a big fat check mark. I ran (and walked - with intention) 2,107 miles in 2016. I am going to call this NAILING IT!

3. Reading
No where CLOSE to 52 books. In fact, I stopped tracking in like March... but it is ok. I read with intention. I started lots of books. I think this one is going to be on the 2017 list again, and even if I only TRACK for the full year, it will be a win.

4. Self care
Nailed it. Nothing else to say here.

5. Travel.
I went to San Antonio AND Asheville. 2 new places!

6. Taking Addie to Bronners.
DONEZO.

7. Team Development.
Made strides, then stepped back again. Will probably not actually CALL this a goal in 2017 unless I can come up with a tangible measurement.

8. Cook
I said I wanted to cook a new recipe every month, and I am pretty sure that I did it. I cannot name everything, but if I wasn't there already by the time it was August, once Run Fast Eat Slow arrived in my mailbox I definitely did it.

I had two more goals for 2016, but they are not really applicable and there is not a good way to really talk about meeting these goals. (Or not?)

Anyway... There are parts of 2016 that I totally crushed. And there were some things that I definitely did not... So let's move on!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Training Update: Week of December 26

I had a down week this past week, that was kind of a nice way to close out the year and it was also good with all of the holiday celebrations. I didn't have crazy miles to log over the holidays!

So let's take a look at my mileage and workouts from this past week.

Monday: 5 miles and 4x30s strides. 5.56 total miles. Core
Tuesday: 50 minute walk. Core.
Wednesday: 5 miles, easy. Pure Barre. Core.
Thursday: 5 miles, 8:20 pace. Pure Barre. Core.
Friday: 4 miles easy, Pure Barre.
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: 8.61 miles with friends.

Overall, a great week, although I am definitely looking forward to being back into high gear. It is really time to start training for Boston now, and I cannot wait. 16 weeks until the race. Officially, it is time to ROLL.