Thursday, January 30, 2014

Liebster Blog Award!

I started this blog as a way to keep myself accountable for my 365-day challenge.  Since then, however, I have made some really amazing blog friends who motivate me and keep me entertained.  I honestly feel as though these people are truly my friends and if we met in real life, we'd have endless topics for conversation.  That being said, one of my favorite, most motivating blogs that I read is Heather at Girl Goes Running.  She recently nominated me for the Liebster award, and I am truly honored.

From her blog, "[The] Liebster Award is an award to help promote new bloggers. The word Liebster is German and has a few different meanings such as dearest, lovely, and valued.
There are a few simple rules that you need to follow:
  • Mention the person who nominated you with a link in their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions provided by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
  • Create a new set of 11 questions for your nominees to answer."
Here are her questions for me:

1. What is your favourite distance to run? I really love the half marathon distance.  It feels long while you're in it, but once it's completed, it feels absolutely perfect.  I also really liked the 15k.  That was a great distance.

2. When did you start running? I started really running in September of 2007.  I had a school assignment that required us to do at least 30 minutes of activity a day for the entire semester in order to get an A.  I got an A and lost 10 lbs.

October 2007.

3. What is  your favourite brand of running shoe?  My heart is with Asics, but I have a new found love for Mizunos.  I adore the pair I received for my birthday.

4. Solo Runner or Buddy Runner? Lately I have been a solo runner.  But my best runs and races have been with my beautiful running partner.

5. Favourite post-run snack? I always snack on grapes, carrots, bell peppers, and eggs after a good run.

6. What made you start blogging? I have been blogging since I was 15-years-old, if you can believe it.  My first blog was on Xanga and it was a bunch of whiny teenage rants with a whole lot of random quotes I found.  Back then I read quote blogs like I read running blogs now.

7. Do you have a pet? If so what kind? Of course I have Milo (who's been with his dad for way too long) and Moe.  Then boyfriend just recently added to our dog collection with the puppy.  

There are a few extras in this photo...

8. What is something not related to fitness that you think others don't know about you? My dream is to teach my own Special Day Classroom.  My heart is with the moderate to severe population of Special Ed students.  Since this is a fitness blog and not an education blog, that part of me doesn't come out very often. 

9. What is your favourite TV show? Friends.  Hands down.  I've seen each episode so many times I can quote it.  It's the same with Sex and the City.

10. What do  you do with your race bibs? Right now they are all currently stuck under a desk in my room.  I have big plans for them to be put up somewhere.  

11. What is a pre-race ritual you have? I always seem to eat Pho the night before a race.  But that might be because I always eat Pho.

All of the blogs that I read who have less than 200 followers have already been tagged, I believe, so I am not going to tag anyone.  I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about me.  And another huge thanks to Heather!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Busy Bee

I feel like the past few days have been a whirl wind since the race on Saturday. I am having trouble believing it is only Tuesday. I feel like it should be Thursday already. On Saturday night, the ladies and I got together and we made sushi. I'm slightly obsessed with sushi, so this was fantastic. We also celebrated a very big accomplishment of one of the ladies.

Sunday, of course, was family day. We slept in and then eventually headed south to the boyfriend's mom's house. He's a country boy, through and through, so there's always a new animal to play with. This week it was a lamb. I fell in love.

Then I travelled back to my dad's house for Long Run Sunday. Since I had raced the day before, I needed a nice slow run. And that's exactly what I did. I have incredible difficulty controlling my pace when I am running outside, so I hit the 'mill, which is a good thing I did because the weather is finally changing! I told myself I would walk or take as many breaks as I needed or stop if my body felt tired. Well, I actually felt really great.

This was waiting for me inside when I was done. Probably the best thing to find after a long run is food already prepared for you.

On Monday, it was back to my placement. I received a very nice email from my previous mentor teacher congratulating me on my race. News certainly does travel fast when you are on the local news. It was so good to hear from him and I always feel a little more at peace when we catch up. My new placement is quickly becoming my second favorite home. I adore everybody and all of the kids are so wonderful. I realized at the gym that I hadn't taken any weird selfies in the weight room for awhile, so I made sure to do that.

Today in the weight room, I got my first piece of unsolicited advice from a man. I was the only woman in the weight room and he came up to me to tell me to keep my back straighter. Which is good advice, but I didn't ask for it and I am almost positive he didn't give advice to the men in the squat rack doing half squats. I was a little perturbed. 

Tomorrow is finally Wednesday, even though I feel like it should've been Wednesday two days ago. I'm so confused.

Ever received unwanted advice?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Race That Started It All

Last year, at the beginning of January, my running partner asked me if I would run the 8 3/4 mile local race that happens every year. At that point in my life, I hadn't run more than 3 miles in probably 6 or 7 months. I begrudgingly agreed and we ran it together in 1:13. She kept me sane through the entire thing and kept me running. This sparked a love of running long distances in me. Yesterday, I ran the same race again. In 1:03. I shave ten minutes off last year's time!

The morning started with coffee and Greek yogurt with berries and peanut butter. Boyfriend got off work at 8am, and as soon as he got home, we were off to catch the shuttle.

It's a really small local race with only about 450 people running. When we got to the start line, I waited in line for the porta potties. They were the shortest lines ever, so I was in and out in 5 minutes and spent the rest of the time waiting for the start by staring at this view.

I mean, really, it was awful. 

We all lined up at the race started at 10am promptly. The 8.75 and 3 milers started together and the 5.75 mile race started an hour later. The race is an extremely hilly course with big hill climbs and steep downhills. There is a river crossing at mile 6 and you get to finish on the beach with soggy shoes.

I made the mistake of being right up front with all of the local cross country boys. I started way too fast, with my first mile clocking in under 7 minutes. With massive hills. Boyfriend kept up with me until mile two when he fell behind. For awhile, I was running with some really nice boys from the team. They broke away from me and I, again, found myself alone for most of the race. When I got to the beach, my legs were absolutely dead. I was desperately trying to stay under 8 minute miles, and I did. I kicked it into high gear when I saw the finish line, wanting to make it before 1:04. My Garmin said 8.55 miles, so being Type A, I cooled down to get it to say 8.75.

Boyfriend and my mom had completely missed my finish because they were walking down the beach, but they found me.

I waited at the finish line for my friend who completely surprised me by finishing her race in under an hour!!! She just started running again at the end of last month and she ran the 5.75 mile race in 54 minutes. She's amazing!!

Then, the best part of my whole day happened when my running partner came up to me and gave me a huge hug! She had her baby 7 weeks ago and she ran the whole 5.75 mile race WITHOUT walking. She didn't tell anyone she was doing it because she thought she was just going to walk it. This is why she's my partner in running crime. Because she's just as crazy as I am.

The college band was on the beach playing for the runners, and I joined in in the dancing.

I was also interviewed for the local news, so that was weird.

I was rungry by the time I got to the car, so we stopped at our local sandwich shop for a lettuce wrap.

When I checked the official times, I was very surprised to learn that I was first in my age group by 2 minutes. I was shocked. Boyfriend came in first in his as well! I won't tell you that he was the only one. :-D All in all, it was a pretty fantastic day. Followed by homemade sushi with the ladies at night.

How was your Saturday??

Friday, January 24, 2014

Back At It

I am right back at it. And by it, I mean classes. Yesterday we had a three hour class and today we were in class for 6 hours. 

Sitting for that long kills me. My hips start hurting and I get antsy. Last semester I went to the gym before class, but this semester I am driving way too much to justify going to the gym before hand. So, I came home and did two T25 videos. I also bonded with this guy.

Notice I didn't run today? That's because after my workout, my mom and I headed to our local Red Lion for a very important task.

That's right. I'm racing. Again. Twice in one month?! Who am I? This time I convinced boyfriend to run the three mile. Actually, he offered to run it. This race is what started my race obsession last year, so I'm excited to run it again, even though it's extremely hilly and the last two miles is on the beach.

I feel incredibly underprepared. Especially considering there is a river crossing, so I'm going to have to run with heavy, wet shoes. But, I'm going to finish and that's all that matters. It's 8 3/4 miles of rolling hills. I've been incorporating hills Ito my workouts, and the last race I did was all uphill the second half, so I should be okay. Racing always makes me nervous, though. I have the promise of sushi with my best friends tomorrow evening to look forward to, also.

The girl in the grey with the scarf is also running the 5 3/4 mile race! I am very excited for her, as she has just found a love of running again. She's amazing. Now I'm off to eat a lot of carbs and rest.

Who's racing soon??

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


School is back in session. We only have one class on Tuesdays and one class on Thursdays, unlike last semester when we had two. We have two classes on Friday, just like last semester. And now I have two online classes that I have to keep reminding myself that they exist. I am already wondering how I went to the gym, worked all day, and then sat in class for four hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays last semester. My two hour class knocked the life out of me last night!

Wednesdays are my split day for lifting, so I always try to figure out a way to mix things up. I read way too many blogs in the morning, and I saw this workout the other day, so I really wanted to try it. I started with 50 minutes of running.

I had written it all down on a post-it. By the time I got in the weight room, I realized I wouldn't be doing many of the leg reps, due to yesterday's leg workout. Instead of the power cleans, I did bicep curls. Instead of the hop overs, I did hammer curls, and instead of the squat jumps, I did a 50 second plank. It was a great workout and I am already feeling the effects of the 50 reps of each.

Just don't do what I did and get so into the push presses that you slam the barbell into your nose and freak out that you broke it (my nose, not the barbell). Yeah. That happened. I swear a post on how horribly accident prone I am is on its way.

Any good workouts that you think I should try?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Getting Lost

Thank you all for your tips on buying a wedding dress!  They were super helpful!!!  I am so appreciative of each and every one of you.

Yesterday was Long Run Sunday. My friend had to go teach Sunday school at her church and my sister had to bathe the baby, so I figured that would be the perfect opportunity to explore the college town by foot. My friend's fiancé (who has completed a half Iron Man!!) very kindly mapped out a nice long run for me to follow. I wrote the directions on my phone, downloaded some podcasts, and took off.

About 3 miles in, I came to the end of the first road and realized that I hadn't turned like I was supposed to.  So I went back and found the road I was supposed to have turned down and turned right when I should've turned left.  Needless to say, I did not follow his route at all. But I got a great long run done. And I got to explore my friend's college campus, which was really fun.

This was the weather that I ran in.

That is our usual nightly low, so I was cold.  Luckily, I had my running tights and the awesome jacket that I received in my goodie bag from the Hot Chocolate run last weekend.  I did have to borrow cold weather clothes from my friend.

When everyone got home, we made a delicious lunch of stir fry.

This little one was very helpful.

We had another appointment where she said yes to the dress! We celebrated with froyo. 

We had a potluck to go to, so we stopped by the store to get veggies. I found this interesting fruit. Has anyone heard of it?

I made a gorgeous salad, if I do say so myself.

I was stuck in the car all day, so I hit up the treadmill as soon I got home.

Tomorrow school starts again. It's been a lovely month off.

Ever gotten lost on a run?

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Here's a fun fact about me: before I began dating boyfriend, I had been to Hawaii more times than I had been to Oregon. And Oregon is literally a 1.5 hour drive from me. Then I met boyfriend, and we began visiting the San Juan islands in Washington State each summer, which forces us to drive through Oregon. Now one of my closest friends lives here, so my sister, the babe, and I all travelled up here for the long weekend.

We stopped at a pretty well known rest stop (that is still in California) on the way up and got a picture of Paul Bunyan and Babe. Do you have a massive statue of a blue bull? Don't be jealous.

The drive was very uneventful and we got here safely. We spent the evening learning how to work on our terrible posture. Apparently you can stand up against a wall and tuck your chin in and do some arm exercises. It's a great look for everyone.

This morning was very laid back. I did a T25 video and then we went to the store for groceries. After breakfast, we headed to Portland to find a dress. We went to a nonprofit first which has used dresses that you pay what you can for and al proceeds go to the fight against human trafficking. We almost went with this one....

But we decided to leave it on the rack for someone else, because we are kind. The next stop was lunch. It was Pho, because it's been way, way too long since I'd had it.

Then we wandered around Portland because none of us had ever spent any time in that city. It's super adorable and I love it.

She had an appointment at a regular bridal shop at four.

Unfortunately, we didn't find the one, but it was really fun to feel like we were on Say Yes to the Dress for an hour and a half. We left Portland after that and then we went to a massive outlet mall where I was tempted to spend way too much at the Under Armour store. Tomorrow I am hoping to get a long run in around her town for a little exploring.

Have you been wedding dress shopping? Any tips?