Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Overdoing It?

While things are getting a bit loco around here with the flurry of work, holidays and my own personal expectations for this time of year, I'm having to remember to take a step back and relax a bit.

My daily expectation is to do a specific workout on a specific day. While Wednesday is usually Lifeforce Fitness night, I told myself this morning "Relax, Lauren. You aren't tied to your self-imposed schedule."

And yesterday on my way into work, I said "I really need to get to the gym today." But then I took a step back and said, "No, you will workout if Michelle wants to do something active. But you won't just workout because you 'have to.'" Michelle and I did hang out and opted to do a low key run followed by hot cider, which was JUST what I needed.

While many people struggle with just getting themselves to the gym or heading out in the cold/wet for a run, I'm often quite the opposite. I have to talk myself down from the ledge of overdoing it both mentally and physically.

This time of year, I think it's much too easy in our society to overdo it in all aspects - overshop, overeat, overplan, overobsess, overthink, overexercise, overrelax.

Anyway, in the attempt to do what I wanted today, I started the morning off with a little workout I ripped out of my recent Glamour. I'm not necessarily looking for flat belly, sexy arms, toned butt or lean thighs, but this was a rare workout that I noticed I actually liked the exercises they included.

And tonight I went to the gym and enjoyed a cardio mish mash of whatever I felt like: 10 min stairmaster, 13 min bike, 15 min weights and 11 min elliptical. Just like that, a fun 50 minutes of sweat cranked out!

Are there aspects of your life you're feeling "over somethinged ?"

Just watched Michael Buble sing "Silver Bells" on Christmas in Rockefeller Center. His voice is pretty impressive.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sweat, Wine and Babies

So back to the never ending weekend (or so it seemed)...

Saturday started with more sweat! It was a BEAUTIFUL day. I know I keep saying that, but I guess I'm expecting them to go away so each time it's not rainy and the fall leaves are still out, I take notice.

I took the ole road bike and rode to hard core yoga where I was challenged. There's no much flow, but more rather a series of challenging poses or holding a pose for a bit. And then I rode back home for food and a shower.

Next up, I met the girls at the wineries for a little tasting. We even ventured to a vineyard that's rarely open, Iris Hill Winery, where the wine was tasty and the prices were right. I brought home two bottles of Pinot varieties.

Wine tasting is one of those things I could do regularly and not get tired of. So many good tastes, fun chatter and enjoyable bites. 

Sunday morning, I set off on an 8 miler along the river in Eugene. It was a beautiful crisp fall morning and the leaves are still hanging on some of the trees. It was a rare run where I brought my ipod and enjoyed my favorite country songs for an hour straight.

I want to keep my long runs going on the weekends because I'm signed up for the Hagg Lake 25K in February. I guess that means I also need to get myself out on some muddy trail in the next few months. NOT looking forward to that...

After the run and some foam rolling, the manfriend and I headed up to Portland for a little gathering of my high school friends and their spouses/babies/dogs.

Now that Jessica has a baby (Evelyn), gatherings are even more exciting - or just in a different way. Who doesn't like to stare at a baby and make funny faces and noises at it for hours on end?

It was great to see the gang and Evie now that she's more active and babbling.

The drive back to Eugene wasn't so hot with pouring rain and Thanksgiving traffic, but we managed.  I'm easily entertained by the manfriend's antics.

This weekend was busy for sure, but also had it's relaxing moments. It's baffling to me how many times I was reminded how THANKFUL I am of things over the weekend. When really, I should be actively thankful for these things all. the. time.

Did anyone else notice this? Any creative ideas for hanging stockings when you don't have a mantel or a stairway?

Tip of the week: Head straight to your local Trader Joe's. Do not pass go before purchasing Peppermint Joe Joe's, Peanut Butter Tracks ice cream (seriously addictive) and Cookie Butter. Then promptly join Kristin's 20 Day Workout Challenge.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thankful for Sure

It was a weekend to be thankful for sure. Isn't it crazy how two extra days off always feels like an eternity? 

Our Thanksgiving started off with a little trot. The manfriend joined me for four miles around the neighborhood - 1 mi warm up and then 3.1 miles a little harder for our mock Turkey Trot. 

My hamstrings and rear were really feeling the Wednesday night Lifeforce class and all the squats Jay made us do. Ouch! It hurt to run a 7:40 pace, but with the manfriend gliding easily next to me, it was all I could do to keep up. 

Vega Sport protein bar for fuel post run and pre ride.

We got home and quickly changed into cycling gear (because we're crazy and because no day of massive eating starts without some serious sweat) to ride a few miles and meet up with his cycling team before heading back home and off to Thanksgiving dinner!

4.1 miles run + 12 miles cycling = two happy campers

Then it was off to the Oregon coast to see my family and eat the delicious feast my grandma makes every year. No photos, but it was all delicious. 

Our Friday started early - we had debated staying up for the midnight shopping madness, but opted to sleep instead. By 7:30 am, we were at the mall. By 10 am we were recovering at Starbucks. 

My favorite deal was 50% off at LOFT. I'm never in the holiday shopping mode by Thanksgiving so the deals I tend to snag are ones for myself. :/

Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake - recipe 

After a few hours of shopping, we needed some rest, pumpkin cheesecake baking and finally some exercise. We managed to head out for 4.5 miles on the trail. Loved every moment of it. 

Post run, we both agreed we wanted to go out for dinner, but my rule was that we had to order salads. And it worked. We both ordered big salads at Turtles and then headed to the 5th St Market for a little holiday entertainment and drinks. 

Date night look :

I don't even recognize this guy anymore. 

I think this is getting plenty long so I'll recap Saturday and Sunday next. I don't often recap my entire weekend or days in detail, but sometimes it's just fun to do. And I managed to snap a lot of photos over the last few days, so why not?

Mondays are often difficult, but after having four days off, it's just that much harder to catch up on the inbox and get into the swing of things again. I hope your day is going well and you're not stressing too much about the things on your to do list. They will either get done, or priorities will shift and they won't need to be tackled.

Breathe in...breathe out...(repeat)...

Did you snag any good deals this weekend? Get your sweat on? 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

And the Winner is...

Happy Thanksgiving you turkeys! I wanted to pop in and do a quick Thankful Thursday post. 

It's likely that by the time you're reading this, I'm somwhere in the midst of watching a little of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, running my own Turkey Day 5K and cycling with the manfriend. Oh I love the holidays!

Last Saturday we did an early Thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family. And today we'll go to my dad's side of the fam. 

Grandpa read a family poem and we sang a song and then feasted on a delicious brunch. I didn't have to eat again until 4 pm! 

After hanging out with my family and bantering with my younger brothers, I was reminded how nice it is to be around family.

This Thursday I'm Thankful For:

1. Family - because no one knows (and loves you) like family.

2. Younger brothers - because they're just fun to be around.

3. Morning runs - I don't run often before work, but this week I cranked out a seven miler on Tues morning and it kept me sane all day long knowing I wasn't missing my workout because I already finished it.

4. And four day weekends - halleluiah. Some extra down time is just what I needed.

And the Winner of the Shabby Apple Giveaway is...

Jen is Green! Congratulations, Jen. I'll be in touch. Winner chosen by

Jen @ Jen is Green said...
I love that necklace! my favorite accessories are probably my scarves, headbands and of course my jewelry!

I just followed them on FB!

Jen and I met at Healthy Living Summit this year!

I'm glad you guys liked the Shabby Apple giveaway! It's fun to be able to offer gifts to my readers. 
For  those who didn't win, Shabby Apple is also offering 10% off any purchases for the next month. Use Code: justcallmesassy10off Expires 12/17/11

What's the best thing you've ever won? Favorite Black Friday commercial?Are you doing any fun pre-turkey exercise?  I won a $50 Gap gift card from a blogger giveaway, which was pretty exciting. Kohls and Target commercials are tied for me.

Monday, November 21, 2011

EWEB Half Marathon Recap

Sunday morning, we fueled and then headed down to EWEB (Eugene Water and Electric Board) to get the manfriend signed up for the race and pick up my bib. 

Proceeds from the race go to help families who can't afford to pay their heating and electric bills. And the race is super cheap ($30) so it's a win-win!

It was a chilly morning so a lot of runners were staying warm inside before the race. 

Eventually, it was time to head out in the cold, get rid of our extra layers and do a little warm up jog. There's nothin' like 35 deg temps to keep you moving!

This is a fun race because so many of our running friends did the race so you get to chat with several familiar faces before and after. 

I didn't talk about it here, but my goal for this race was to run strong with no plans to PR. And that's exactly what I did. 

I took the first few miles getting comfortable with my pace 7:50-8:05 and then just kept it steady making sure I could hold the pace the entire race. The course follows the bike path along the river so it's fairly flat and fast. 

By mile 7, my legs (and hammys) were feeling tired and I was just feeling the speed. At a few water stops I would slow down to a 8:15ish pace and have a hard time cranking it back up to a ~7:50. It's weird how 7:50 and 8:15 felt like identical paces to my body at times. 

When I hit mile 9, I said "Okay, I can do ANYTHING for four miles." I continued to use that motto the rest of the race. The last few miles flew by and I was starting to pass a few people so that felt good. In the last few miles, I pushed it a bit harder into the finish line. 

I finished just a minute slower than my PR about a year and a half ago. My 9th half marathon is in the bucket. 1:43:35

Do you see that? The manfriend blew his 1:37 goal out of the water! 1:34:04!

The manfriend said he felt pretty steady the entire race. You'll be proud that he opted to drink a bit of water when he could choke it down at aid stations and he had a chocolate Hammer Gel for fuel.

After Sunday's performance, he thinks he can run a sub 1:30 in the future. And yes, there WILL be another half marathon for this guy.

Final Stats:

Overall time: 1:34: 04
Avg pace: 7:12
Div/tot: 13/33

Overall time: 1:43:35
Avg pace: 7:56
Div/tot: 8/48

P.S. My hamstrings hurt. I gave them today off and opted to do a little yoga this morning and an easy spin on the trainer after work.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Date Night

Last night the manfriend and I decided to take advantage of a Living Social deal (like Groupon) I had purchased almost a year ago for a little Friday date night. We headed to June for drinks and dinner. 

To drink, I had a brandy Manhattan and the manfriend enjoyed a Black Butte Porter. For an appetizer, soy sauce and chile green beans. And for dinner, we both opted for the local beef burger. 

Someone is taking part in Movember, whether he knows it or not.

The burgers were pretty good, the fries a bit too salty and the green beans were tasty, but swimming in soy sauce. I was chugging water to try to make up for all that salt!

We ended the night by visiting Ninkasi Brewery that has a great indoor and outdoor space for visitors. I had a glass of the Maiden the Shade and the mountain man manfriend had the Sleigher. 

While we can't go out like this very often, it's definitely appreciated when we do. We've both been good about selectively going out to dinner so we can stretch our $ a bit further. It makes these date nights feel that much more special.

Let's just call this my belated "Thankful Thursday" post for the week. This week I'm thankful for weekends and date nights.

And just like that, my Oregon Ducks lost in a gut wrenching game against USC (35-38). Yes, we were screaming at the tv and I was practicing deep breathing. And tomorrow, the manfriend runs his first half marathon!

What's your favorite winter mixed drink? The manfriend and his family introduced me to the delightful brandy manhattan. Gin & tonics however, are my standard favorite.

Pssst...Have you entered the Shabby Apple giveaway It ends tomorrow at 5 PM PST.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wish List for Your Favorite Runner

In light of the upcoming shopping holidays (Black Friday and Cyber Monday), I thought it would be fun to put together a Christmas/gift list of running related items I'm eyeing or appreciate as a runner. Plus, it's fun to dream.

Lululemon Run: Inspire Crop II- Pursian Purple/Black

Scoop Neck Tank - Heathered Smoky Rose

Day of the Week Rundies!

Running Shoes: How can you ever go wrong giving running shoes to a runner? I go through a pair every 3-4 months so it adds up. Brooks Adrenaline size 8.5 wide. Please and thank you.

Compression Sleeves or Socks: Zensah, 2XU

Road ID: Because your safety is worth it. I bought one for the manfriend last Christmas and finally bought the shoe version and a wrist band to use when I'm cycling about a month ago.

Foam Roller: to roll out the knots. I have a black dense foam roller and recently got this one with the trigger points on it. Both are great for their own reasons.

And finally, a massage! Because who doesn't looove a massage?

Stocking stuffer ideas: ear covering headband, Smartwool socks, gu's, Shot Bloks, Clif/Luna/Larabars, $ for race entries, Nathan handheld water bottle

Let's be honest, once you really get into running, it's no longer a cheap sport.

I'm looking forward to an early Thanksgiving with the manfriend and my family this weekend. Holiday food and traditions just make me overly happy and comforted in the best way possible. And then Sunday, the manfriend and I will be racing our buns off at the Half Marathon!

What are you wishing and hoping for from Santa?

Have you entered the Shabby Apple necklace giveaway? Do it! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shabby Apple Giveaway!

Happy RAINY Thursday evening! We're listening to the downpour as we watch the oh so dramatic Private Practice two hour special. And now onto the fun stuff. 

Shabby Apple contacted me to offer a giveaway to you guys so I picked out this Light as a Feather necklace just for you. This would be the perfect necklace paired with jewel tone sweater worn at your upcoming holiday party. Don't you think?

There are two ways to enter (2 entries max per person). U.S. residents only - sorry international readers!

1. Tell me what your favorite accessory you own is AND Like Shabby Apple on Facebook (and leave a comment that you did)
2. Tell me what your favorite Turkey Day dish is AND Follow Shabby Apple on Twitter (and leave a comment saying that you did)

Deadline to enter is 5PM PST on Sunday, Nov. 22.

For those who don't win (or just can't wait), Shabby Apple is also offering 10% off any purchases for the next month. Use Code: justcallmesassy10off Expires 12/17/11

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Manfriend Preps to Run 13.1

I thought it would be fun to have the manfriend talk a little about his training for the EWEB Half Marathon we're running this Sunday. Enjoy!

How long have you been training for the EWEB Half Marathon? And why did you decide to run the half marathon? 

I've been training for about six weeks. After watching my lady friend train all summer and run the ultramarathon, I was inspired to do something I hadn't done before. Plus, I've been thinking about doing a half marathon for a while now. Remember when the manfriend and I ran a 10K in Michigan and he beat me by 6 minutes with little training?

What was your training like? How many miles a week did you run? How often?

In the beginning my training was pretty inconsistent. When I started running, I didn't have a weekly run schedule. Rather, I was just trying to build a bit more each week. It might not have been the best idea, but my body never got super sore so I continued upping the mileage. I usually run about three days a week with one of them being a "long run."

Weekly Mileage
Week 1: 5
Week 2: 22
Week 3: 8
Week 4: 0
Week 5: 21
Week 6: 19

How did your long runs feel? 

I did long runs of: 8, 8, 11 and 9 miles. The mental aspect of just going out for 1- 1.5 hrs wasn't too bad from all my time on the bike. It wasn't usually until the last few miles of the runs where I'd feel good. The hard part with long runs for me is trying to pace myself and not go out too hard so I have some left for the rest of the run. 

What has been the biggest difference between running and cycling race preparation?

The simplicity of running makes it much easier to do. You can just go outside and do your workout in a short amount of time rather than having to spend 2-3 hours on the bike to get a good workout. 

What do you do for fuel? What do you plan to do on Sunday during the half marathon? 

That's a good question. I didn't do any type of fueling on any of my runs unless Lauren brought fuel to share. My plan is to bring a gel to take at the halfway point. I'm not sure how much I'll hydrate during the race since I didn't drink anything on the runs. Sassy will be hydrating throughout the race, fyi. 

What are your goals for Sunday (time, feeling, how hard you want to push)?

After doing an 11 miler in 1:37 with Lauren, I think I could run the entire half in that same time since the long run had a few hills and Sunday's course is flat and fast. 

What advice do you have for the manfriend during his first half marathon? How many of you think he should train for a marathon next?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fresh Air

This morning was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of this great part of the country I live in. The sun was out, the skies were blue and scent of wood fires wafted through the air.

I meant to get out of the house earlier to get in a nice trail run before yoga, but I let emails, tea and dog walking consume me for a while. After all, that's what weekends are all about.

Luckily, I still managed to get downtown about 45 minutes before yoga so I set out to run Skinner's Butte - the only hill near downtown and the yoga studio.

I cranked out 30 minutes of running through the beautiful leaves and up the hills until I had a bird's eye view of the city.

Did I mention I'm a little smitten with the fall leaves around here?

After my little jaunt up and around the butte, I went to Kira's power yoga class (always challenging in a sneaky way) and got my butt kicked. Then it was back home to grab the pooch and take her on a little hike/run, followed by a bath at the local "suds 'em yourself" place.

I'm now laying on the couch with Michigan vs. Illinois football on in the background. As much as a morning outside energizes me, it also wipes me out! While I don't really pay attention to games I'm not interested in, it's a calming noise to listen to.

Plans for the evening are to hit up a local coffee stout festival (hoping the coffee wakes me up) and then watch the Oregon Ducks take on the Stanford Cardinal. Goooo Ducks!

Need a tasty treat? I made these vegan rice krispies w/ peanut butter and dark chocolate on top last night for Lindsey and her boyfriend who came over for dinner. They didn't turn out super sticky (or nearly as beautiful as Spa Bettie's), but man they taste good.

I hope you're having an awesome weekend.