Epic Fail

I had an epic fail of a day, which all started with a nasty migraine that still hasn’t gone away completely. I had grand aspirations of getting a ton done today, both work and personal stuff. I still worked but from home, and at a slower pace as my brain was not keeping up with me. I got stuff done but not as much as I had wanted.

I did get outside though, hoping the very fresh, cold air would help. It didn’t. But it made Kippy happy.

Oh Kippy Oh Kippy Oh Kippy

Afterward I went right for my new favorite tea – the spiced chai from Trader Joes. Add a splash of milk and agave nectar and it makes for a wonderful treat.

One of my favorite treats during the winter.

Add I’m giving this a try since my skin has exploded lately. I’ve always suffered from hormonal acne and it seems to be getting worse. 😦 hopefully this helps. I shot it today (about 1 Tbs) followed by a whole bunch of water because it was horrible, but I might try deluting the same amount in 8 ounces of water for tomorrow.

Does the skin good...we hope.

Do you get migraines? Any at home remedies I should know about?

This butt is pretty awesome!

Last month when I was at the Autumn Woods 10k Classic, I was walking through the race village after the race and was struck by the shadow out in front of me.

This butt.

I thought to myself, man that girl’s got a big butt! I was a little dismayed at that thought, especially since I’ve upped my running considerably as I train for my first half marathon. With all that running you’d think my butt would have gotten at least a little smaller…

On the ride home, I got to thinking – while I may have a larger than your average size bear butt, this butt of mine has done some pretty cool things in its lifetime.

This butt has taken me to Ireland, England, Germany, Italy, France, Austria, Switzerland, and tons of awesome places here at home in the US.

This butt likes to travel. This butt likes to travel. This butt likes to travel.

This butt has gotten me through undergrad and is now carrying me through grad school.

This butt is smart.

This butt has helped me through a pretty rough knee surgery recovery and now pushes me through countless miles in my attempt at becoming a half marathoner.

This butt can run 8 miles.

This butt has found its butt soul mate and thanks God everyday that we’re together.

This butt loves that butt.

And this butt will continue to carry me through life just as it has in the past. And for that, I am grateful.

And just like that, it’s winter.

I know Minnesota is referred to as Minne-snow-ta, but come on! It’s November 11th and we already have snow on the ground, and a good amount at that. I’m not ready for this…stuff….

It's winter! It's winter!

But at least Kippy is happy. I’ve never met another dog who loves the snow as much as Kipper does.

I reorganized my office over the weekend. It was much needed as paperwork tends to pile up on me. I then get so fed up with it that I do a mass cleaning. This time I added cleaning out the closet to my to-do list, and purchasing a cute side table for extra storage.

My reorganized home office. My reorganized home office. My reorganized home office.

I was inspired by a new blogger/vlogger I found on YouTube – Organized Like Jen. She has some great videos about getting and staying organized. After watching a few of these I was ready to reorganize our entire apartment. Dan was thrilled…

In PHM training news, I’m still feeling a bit sore from my 8 miler on Sunday. I took yesterday off (minus the 3, 1-2 mile walks in the snow with Kipper). I was then scheduled to do a 30 minute run this morning. I lasted 20 minutes before I had to jump off the treadmill and move on to strength training. I’m terrified of getting burned out now that I’m in full training mode with little room for modifications before the race in February. If I’m not feeling one of my shorter runs I’ve decided that it’s OK to sub in strength training or some other cross training so as to stay motivated for my weekly long runs as those are more important at this point.

99 DAYS!

And something very odd happened to Kippy and I while we were on our last walk of the night yesterday. It was about 11pm and we were walking through the park near our home and from a distance Kippy and I noticed an animal walking around the pond. As it got nearer, I realized that it was an adult coyote, approx. 40 lbs. Since Kippy is only 35 lbs I thought it best to just walk away. The coyote proceeded to stalk us through the park so I was forced to walk all the way around the rec center since I couldn’t go back through the park. As I passed over the path that goes back into the park I glanced down the path and saw the coyote just sitting under a street lamp staring at us. To say I was shaken is an understatment. I always carry my cell phone and a knife while on my walks, especially at night but I’m not sure what I would have done if he came after us. I don’t really want to think about that.

Have you ever been in a hairy situation with a wild animal? What did you do?

Princess Half Marathon Training Update and a Cute Dog in a Cute Hat

I ran 8 miles today, 8 MILES!!!! This is the furthest I’ve gone in one run since having knee surgery in 2010. And the best part, it didn’t feel too bad. Granted, because of my Garmin/treadmill issues last weekend, I’m pretty sure I went closer to 8 miles then too. This probably helped with my run today.

8 miles, yo!

But still…8 miles! I’m really proud of myself. 🙂 It was a cold run, but really beautiful out. And since apparently winter is coming tomorrow, I had to do this run outside instead of on the treadmill.

A cold run today! But beautiful

In other happenings, we bought this hat for Kippy but I’m not sure he’s sold on the whole idea. He likes the jacket grandpa got him for Christmas last year but the hat will take some getting used to.

Kippy his new winter hat. Kippy in his new winter hat.

I purcahsed some new work shoes today. I hate the pain of breaking in new heels so I’m trying something I think I saw on Pinterest (of course I can’t find it now that I need the info).

Breaking in my new work heels.

But the idea is to fill sandwich baggies with water, put them in the toebox of new shoes, put the shoes in the freezer and when the water freezes it will expand and stretch the leather slowly. We will see…

Today’s run taught me…

I am constantly amazed by the things my body can do. I may not look like a typical runner but I’m a runner regardless. Bring on that half marathon!

If you’re a pet parent, do you make your pets wear cold weather gear during the winter? 

I never thought I would but man is he cute in his little jacket and hat!

Princess Half Marathon Trip Planning

Hi everyone! I hope your week is going well…only one more day to go until the weekend!

Since my mind has been on all things Princess Half Marathon lately, I thought I’d take today to talk about plans for our upcoming trip to Walt Disney World, our itinerary, and my thoughts as the date quickly approaches.

104 days to go!

The Plan

As I mentioned earlier this week, I purchased our airfare last week. Man, am I happy that’s out of the way. I never feel like things are official until the plane tickets are purchased. We fly out Thursday, 2/19 at 7:30 am and will be returning Thursday, 2/26. I can’t even explain how excited I am to spend an entire week in WDW. The cost of a Walt Disney World trip is no joke so we’ve been working really hard to make this happen.

The Itinerary

Thursday, 2/19:

  • Fly to Orlando
  • Check-in
  • Race Expo to pick up bib and official merch
  • Downtown Disney

Friday, 2/20:

  • Magic Kingdom

Saturday, 2/21:

  • Typhoon Lagoon
  • Dinner ressie at Boma
  • Early bedtime

Sunday, 2/22:

  • Epcot

Monday, 2/23:

  • Breakfast ressie at Tusker House
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Disney’s Boardwalk

Tuesday, 2/24:

  • Hollywood Studios
  • Downtown Disney

Wednesday, 2/25:

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Dinner ressie at Be Our Guest

Thursday, 2/26:

  • Pool in the AM
  • Magical Express back to the airport

My Thoughts So Far

At first I went crazy with dining reservations but when Disney announced their specials last month, I jumped at the Quick Service dining plan so as to take some of the hassle out of budgeting and running around. I really wanted to have dinner at Be Our Guest and Boma, plus Donald is the hubby’s favorite character so I couldn’t cancel our character breakfast at Tusker House, so decided to keep these three reservations and pay out-of-pocket. I think they all work out well considering our itinerary.

We opted for Typhoon Lagoon on Saturday hoping it will help keep me off my feet the day before the half marathon. So long as I stay out of the sun and drink lots o’ water, I think I’ll be fine. Plus, I made our dinning reservation for super early (to us, anyway) so that we can get back to the hotel and relax.

I’m also a little nervous about tackling Epcot after running a half marathon. I think I’m going to be dead tired so we’ll see how that goes. Perhaps we can break it into two sections. Run, go back to the hotel to shower/stretch, go to the park, back to the hotel in the early afternoon for a rest, and then back to the park in the later afternoon/evening. This might be the best way to do it.

If you’re running in the 2015 PHM, what is your race-day itinerary?

I got me a new ‘do!

Hi, how’s your day going? I feel like I’m already behind this week and it’s only Tuesday (insert sad trombone sound). My to-do list continues to grow but despite the fact that I’m always busy, I never seem to accomplish anything of significance. Now, I know that’s not true but it feels that way sometimes. Anyone else feel like this???

Less than 4 months to go until the PHM!

I’m especially feeling the heat as we grow closer to the Princess Half Marathon (under four months, ladies!). I did however check off a major to-do item last week – I bought our airfare! I scored a pretty good deal on Delta; they were even $40 cheaper than Spirit airlines, which I’ve never flown on but have heard horror stories. The trip somehow feels more official now.

I also added the Disney Dining Plan, also new to us since we’ve never stayed on property. I’m not excited about the added upfront expense but happy that I won’t have to worry about paying for food and snacks while in the World.

Training Update

After a major lack of motivation, I’m finally feeling back to my normal running self. It took long enough…. This past Saturday I had a 7 mile run scheduled. It was 24 degrees outside when I was planning to run and I’m not yet ready for winter running so I opted for the dreadmill, I mean treadmill. *Side note, I hate running on the treadmill – it’s too hard and I get bored really easily.

The best runDisny podcast out there!

This time around I came prepared. I brought my iPhone stocked with new podcasts to listen to, and my iPad. I spent the first 4 miles at a really slow pace but longer intervals (8 minute run/2 minute walk). After mile four I started getting bored so I played with the pace a little. I always hate how I concentrate on the pace that’s listed on the treadmill screen more so than listening to my body so I put my iPad in front of the screen so I would be forced to go by feel. I think this helped a lot.

One major issue during this run – my Garmin footpod and the treadmill were constantly 2-3 minutes per mile off on pace. This meant the end result was drastically different between my Garmin and the treadmill. I knew I had to reach 7 miles so I went by my Garmin, which was way behind the treadmill, so I think in the end I completed closer to 7.5 miles than 7 miles. Win-win I guess since I have to up my mileage this weekend.

Afterward we headed to a winery and two breweries with friends. It was a pretty great day!

I run for beer. I run for beer.

In other news…

I got a haircut last night! My sis-in-law is an amazing hair stylist (if you’re looking for a new stylist in the Twin Cities area, JC at Hair Expressions in Arden Hills is your gal!) and did a wonderful job cutting my hair short. I had this crazy idea to grow it out long but I just can’t do long hair. Plus, I think it’s easier to run with short hair, especially if you’re anything like me and have crazy thick hair.

What do ya think?

New do! New do!

Autumn Woods 10k Classic, 10/11/2014 Race Recap

A few weeks ago the hubs and I ran in the Autumn Woods 10k Classic. It was his first 10k race (he’s ran numerous 5k races), and a return to my first 10k course. Despite the fact that we had a late night out the night before, we both were up and at ’em early so that we could make the 10am race start.

The race is an annual one and takes place in the Elm Creek Park Reserve and is managed by the Three Rivers Park District. To date, it’s one of the most well run races I’ve ever participated in. Everything is clearly marked and it’s easy to get from packit pick-up to the race start. The course is absolutely beautiful, especially in the fall.


The hubs and I lined up with the agreement that if one of us fell behind, the other would keep going. I was running this race as my corral qualifying time for the Princess Half Marathon in February so I was looking for the best time possible. I was hoping for a 1:15:00 finish, but knew that was a huge jump from my current PR of 1:21:00.

Autumn Woods 10k Classic Race Start

We started off and being the slower of the two, I fell behind within the first mile. But I was able to stay within eyesight for most of the race. Thinking back to this race last year I remember the horrible shin cramps I experienced in the first few miles. This time I was prepared with KT tape so was able to keep the cramps at bay, for the most part.

The biggest takeaway from this race – I felt strong!!!!! I hadn’t been training as much and my diet was less than desireable so I was expecting to have a lot harder time. This certainly isn’t the norm so don’t get comfy, Jewell!

Look how excited he is to be running his first 10k!

As I made my way through the hilly course I was struck by how consistant my miles were. I was in the 11:00 minute mile for most of the race until the last mile and a half when I slammed into a wall. I had fuel, I was staying hydrated but my lack of training finally caught up with me.

The finish was merely a fight to get it over with. My intervals were nonexistant and I walked when I felt the need (which was far more often than I would have liked). I came up the last hill and saw the giant race clock ahead. I was in the 1:19:00 finish time and was in jeapardy of falling into the 1:20:00 finish time frame so I kicked it into gear and finished in 1:19:57, making my overall mile minute 12:52.

Post Race - Autumn Woods 10k Classic image

Final thoughts on this race: it is still my favorite 10k crouse, despite the hills. I love the venue and how the race village is managed. If I had been more on top of my training I’m confident that I could have had a better time, but I’m still happy to have a shiny new PR. Sometimes you just have to take what you can get!

This race taught me….

You’re getting stronger and faster. Keep with it and you’ll breeze through that half marathon!

Do you have a race that you return to every year?

Wow, where did the last two and a half weeks go?

I feel like I’ve been in a daze for the last two and a half weeks! I had a grad school class wrap up last Saturday and am closing in on the end of a very intense contract with Boston Scientific. It kind of feels like I’ve lost a few weeks of my life – papers, deadlines….I’m ready for a break. Unfortunately, that’s not in the stars for me as I start my next grad class tonight – Cultural Policy and Leadership, should be a good one.

So much has happened in the last few weeks but I’ll spare you the long blog post and go right to the pictures.:)

Three years, yo! Because of my crazy work and school schedule along with the fact that hubby travels for work, we spent our wedding anniversary apart, which made me really sad. But after I finished class on Saturday we headed down to Mankato and New Ulm for a night away. We stopped by the Mankato Brewery and the Schells Brewery, both great stops. We stayed at the Hilton and had a fantastic dinner at the hotel restaraunt. It was a great little getaway.

It’s no surprise that my motivation has been almost non existent so I was pumped to wake up Sunday morning to the sounds of a race going on. We watched as half marathoners finished their race; the look of complete elation on their faces made me really excited for my own half marathon (exactly four months from today!!!).

Also because of a crazy schedule I haven’t been cooking as much at home as I usually do, and it’s been sorely missed. On Monday I got back to it with a healthy quinoa pesto pasta with roasted asparagus, tomatoes and onions. It was wonderful.

I’ve also seen an increase in my motivation this week, as I’ve been able to stick to my training plan. Plus, I’ve done two of them in the wee hours of the day – a big win for this night owl. 

Also helping – my new FitBit. I love this thing!!!

I completed my half marathon corral placement 10k race and even scored a PR despite my lack of training. Race recap coming soon!

Fall is in full bloom and I couldn’t be happier.

Happy fall everyone!

What is your favorite fall activity?


Finding Balance

Hello, how’s your week going so far? This week has been a long one. With 6 major deadlines at work and the colder temps outside, my motivation continues to elude me. Despite this, I’ve been able to fit in an elliptical and upper body strength session, as well as a two mile run with my favorite little buddy. 

It was cold. It was wet. It was dark. And it all made me a little sad that summer is officially over. Sure, there may still be some warmer days ahead, but let’s face it…winter is imminent. 

My plan for tonight is to throw the lasagna in the over and head to the gym while the hubs watches the Vikings game. Perhaps looking forward to garlicy, cheesy amazingness will power me through my workout and maybe even prompt me to go just a little longer (after all, that extra piece of garlic bread isn’t going to work itself off). 

This week has made me realize one thing – I need to find better balance in my life. If you’re anything like me, the first thing you do in the AM is check your work email, and the last thing you do at night is again, check your work email. I’m so bad at this, it feels like I never take time off. As a contractor, that’s sometimes part of the deal but by no means necessary. It’s just who I am. If I can get something done at 11:30pm, then I’ll get it done so I don’t have to worry about it in the morning.

I’m working on it. 

But that’s life, I guess. Always trying to find balance. Last week was bad, this week is a little better (despite cra cra deadlines). It’s progress that matters, not perfection, as perfection is fleeting. 

Enough with the philosophy, what is your favorite season?

Hey motivation, where’d ya’ go?

Ugh, I think that title says it all…I have absolutely no motivation lately. Not just for half marathon training, but for everything – work (crap, I have multiple deadlines this week), grad school (what paper?), home (if you turn your underwear inside out, that counts as a fresh pair, right? #ineedtodolaundry).

I don’t know what’s going on but all I want to do is sleep. And eat.

My hubby snapped this picture of Kippy and I getting our nap on. Lovely.

At least yesterday we got out and did something. We went to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival with some friends and had a blast! It’s one of my absolute favorite summer/early fall activities and I look forward to it every year. 

I’ve had my eye on this beautiful piece for a few years now and we finally purchased it. I can’t wait to hang it in our bedroom. 

One of the actor/workers is this incredibly funny “pickle guy” – he basically makes selling dill pickles cool. For as many years as I can remember we’ve been getting a pickle from him. This year was no different. 

And yes, this picture may not be suitable for the kiddos. What can I say, I love me some pickles.

Happy Sunday Funday!

Help me – what do you do when you’re at a loss for motivation? That half marathon training isn’t going to do itself…