Thursday, August 29, 2013

Summer Bucket List

Is it odd that I'm scheming about summer plans when summer is practically over? And the weekend college football kicks off? I think not. Let's just say, summer basically started for me on July 13 (the day after our wedding), so we've only had about six weeks of it by my calculations.

We've already had a few decently rainy days here, but I'm crossing my fingers we have about a month of nearly summer weather left around here.

In my scheming, this is what's on my to do list: 

  • Spend a day at the coast walking on the beach, eating seafood, living the slow live - Life on any body of water always seems slower, ya know?
  • Go camping - We've yet to even camp once this summer!
  • Back to Bend - Hike around Smith Rock, visit some new-to-us breweries, eat good food
  • Drive down to the Redwoods - Camp, sight see and run among the BIG trees
  • Afternoon spent wine tasting - We live within 25 minutes of several awesome wineries, but most weekend days, we're spent after a few hours of exercise. Napping somehow sounds better than wine drinking. 
I know a few of these will be fairly easy to tackle so here's to hoping we can squeeze them in. Now all we need is a few extra vacation days...

For your viewing pleasure, this may be the worst 'selfie' ever... P.S. I hate the word 'selfie.'

Too bright! Too bright! Prior to an easy run with the manfriend on Tuesday.

Back to School
After taking a little hiatus from school for my sanity's sake (wedding planning & a busy time at work), it's time to get back on the wagon! This term I'll be taking Anatomy & Physiology (the second of a three class series) and Chemistry (the first of three), while working about 31 hrs/wk. A&P will be from 6-9 pm on Mon and Wed nights, so wish me luck! I see lots of pb&j or larabar dinners in my future. 

The current plan is to take all the prerequisites for nutrition in order to apply for a nutrition and public health combined program. But my mind is always spinning. My dream would be to do some mix of personal training, health writing and nutrition planning for clients. How that all works, I don't know, but I'm taking baby steps. 

I also often wonder about staying in the marketing field and launching into the outdoor or athletic industries. While I enjoy marketing, I worry that if I forgo this opportunity to head back to school, I'll always wonder if I could have done it and how it would be. As a 'play it safe' girl, I'm sort of ready to head down the path unknown, even if it means I'll be shuffling my feet the whole way trying to determine what's around the next corner. 

One thing I know for sure is that doing the same thing doesn't bring about change. Kinda like running one pace all the time doesn't make you any faster...

Do you have any last summer bucket list wishes? What's your dream career or the one you always wonder if you would enjoy?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Marathon Monday

As I sit here writing this, it's raining outside. Now, as a lifelong Oregonian, this shouldn't be in any way shocking. However, I've told myself it would be summer around these parts for at least the next four weeks, meaning most of our long training runs for Chicago would be in the 60-70s with partial or full sun.

Today (Sunday) we had 20 miles on the docket. As I sit inside listening to the rain, 20 miles is not the number of miles I want to run, without an umbrella clad bike riding friend next to me.

Anywho, let's get on with last week's training recap, shall we?

Monday - Emily Sweats arrived in Eugene (she moved from D.C. to run and work in Tracktown, USA) and we met up after work for a little run run (in the sun sun). Before I knew it, 7.25 sweaty miles done. Running with someone faster pushes you to run harder (even when you should be running recovery pace).

Tuesday - Rest day! 30 min yoga flow before work

Wednesday - 6 speedy miles before work; I know I mentioned this last week, but this run was so perfect. The first half I was running toward the full moon and clocking 8:00 min pace miles (warm up mile was somehow 7:41) and when I turned around, I was greeted by a fiery sunrise. After work: Barre3 class, quads heavy

Thursday - Short little yoga stretch before work, 6+ miles SPEED work. The workout: 2 miles warm up, drills, 4.5 laps sprinting straights and jogging the curves, 800m at 5k pace, 4 x 400m at mile pace, 2 x 200m at FAST pace, cool down. It was muggy out. I felt tired during this workout, but a running buddy pushed me to keep up with him. Running alone I wouldn't have gone nearly as fast on the 400 and 200m's. 

Friday - 15 min easy running (with glowing shoes), 20 min Fitnessista strength circuit

It's strange to be running in the dark on these early mornings. 

Saturday - 8.5 miles along the river path, power yoga. I was supposed to get in a 10 miler, but didn't make enough time for it prior to yoga. 

The rest of our day was filled with an adventure of hanging out with high school friends to celebrate Annie's birthday and going to see Foreigner at a free concert in Albany.

The birthday girl gets her dance on!

Pete is a Foreigner fan and knew all of their songs. Granted, he's a pretty big music buff. While I didn't know Foreigner, I definitely recognized a lot of the songs. Some of the songs you might know are "Feels Like the First Time," "Cold as Ice," "Juke Box Hero," and "I Want to Know What Love Is."

Sunday - Long run day, 20 miles

I woke up a little tired after our long Saturday, but ate a bit bowl of cereal and waited for run time. Just as I was getting my fuel out, it started to rain and then pour for the next hour or two. Eventually, the rain let up a bit and we geared up to head out.

I was less than thrilled about the idea of 20 miles in drizzle and rain...

By a little luck, we managed to run during the few hours of dry weather. This week's long run was challenging, but overall I felt stronger than last weekend. 2 hours and 52 min after leaving the house, that first 20 miler of the training cycle was done!

Pete and I both did the same route, which actually motivated me to keep my pace up when my body was telling me otherwise. I would look up and see him a bit ahead and just keep plugging along. 

Before our long run and then later last night, we watched NBC Sports' coverage of the 2012 Ironman Kona. Honestly, it is so impressive to hear these athletes stories. Makes me kinda want to do an Ironman. But then I think about the amount of time it takes me to train for a marathon... 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Lindsey & Sonny's Wedding

At the end of our mini moon, was Lindsey and Sonny's wedding! Lindsey and I had both got engaged around the same time and spent the past year talking wedding planning, among other things after yoga class most Saturdays. 

Because I always love reading about weddings, and theirs was beautiful, I wanted to share it with you. Lindsey recently started a new blog, btw. 

The morning of her wedding, I met Lindsey and her cousin for a 4 mile run along the river path to get the day started. That afternoon, I met the bride, her mom and a few other girls at Gervais salon as she was getting her makeup and hair done. She was gorgeous and look at those blue eyes pop!

Their wedding was held at Domaine Meriwether in Veneta, about 20 minutes from Eugene. I always love wineries as venues with the backdrop of the rows upon rows of grapes. 

A handsome husband

As we arrived, guests were invited to grab a drink before sitting down. I grabbed a sparkling wine, which was very tasty and much appreciated on a hot day!

So happy for these two! 

I love how Lindsey did the table seating sign. I wish I had made time to do something creative like this. 

After a little mingling and some photo opps for Lindsey and Sonny, we grabbed dinner and sat down. Dinner was a variety of salad, chicken, grilled tofu and quinoa salad if I remember correctly.

Pete and I enjoyed simply being guests at a wedding. 

After speeches, it was time for cake and pie from Sweet Life! I tried both, which were super yum.

I stole our table mates' recently adopted baby Maryellis for a few minutes to get my baby fix. Thank you, Matt and Emily! Isn't she just a doll? And that dress!

As it got darker and the music faster, we pulled folks on to the dance floor and got our dance on.

Lindsey's brother stealing the show

So there you have it, Lindsey and Sonny's wedding was a great success! 

On the workout front: 
I went to Barre3 yesterday after work and while it definitely had my legs shaking at times with all those pulsing lunges/squats/plies, I didn't drip a drop of sweat. While not all workouts have to be rigorous, I like when my heartbeat gets up (even just a bit) and I perspire. 

Yesterday morning made up for the evenings' lack of sweat. I started the day with an epic 6 mile run. First I found myself running toward a glowing full moon and on the way back, a fiery red sunrise. Great way to start the day, I tell ya. 

How's your week going? I am trying to soak up these last few weeks of summer. Meanwhile, everyone around here seems to be counting down the days (9) until Duck football kicks off...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Marathon Monday

Where are we at? Schedule says we've reached week 10 of 18. The rough plan we're following (and by following I mean only the weekend mileage), is my tried and true Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide by Hal Higdon. We're following the intermediate-advanced plans, which has us getting up to 20 mile runs earlier than others.

But as we both had pretty decent fitness and running bases, I figured it would be just fine. Last week's runs were just so-so as I personally felt pretty crappy most days with being dizzy or off balance a lot. 

Monday - Lifeforce Fitness after work (box jumps are always so hard for me with having such tight hamstrings and weaker glutes - ugh), then ran 3.5 miles home from class. Talk about lead legs. But I took it easy and made it home just fine. 

Tuesday - Rest day, super dizzy, took a few hours sick time from work and rested. I did manage a 48 min yogaglo flow class because I was going crazy from sitting for so long. 

My little yogi candle

Wednesday - 2 miles easy in the am, 3 miles on the Ridgeline Trail after work

Thursday - Oregon Track Club 5K (free for members) at Dorris Ranch. It was pretty muggy out, but I tried to push it a bit running a 7:26 pace through the orchards. Ran another 3 miles for warm up/cool down. 

Friday - Took it easy: 20 min am strength

Saturday - 9.5 miles along the river path (supposed to be at marathon pace, but the legs weren't having it), followed by 30 min yogaglo flow

Humble warrior, yo

Sunday - Long run fun: 18.5 miles around Eugene. Ran half of the mileage on bark, ran slow, but completed it. Refueled with eggs, waffles and a cappuccino at Off the Waffle. Yum.

Other than the bark dust on his ankles, you can hardly tell this guy ran 19 miles. That's why you're getting a pic of him and not me. I did not look fresh as a daisy post run. He also naps better than I do. 

Yoga and Fitness Classes
For the last few months, I haven't gone to a yoga class other than Kira's on Saturdays and my at home YogaGlo sessions. I just don't love any of our studios here. But I've been getting the itch to take a few classes here and there. Instead, a Living Social deal came up for our local Barre3, so I'm going to take the four classes and see what I think. Sometimes, you just need a little change. 

I always enjoy Lifeforce Fitness, but it doesn't always fit into my schedule, so I go when I'm able. At $85 for a 10 class pass, it's by far one of the most affordable fitness classes in town and a great bang for your buck! If you haven't heard me talk about Lifeforce before, it's essentially a great overall strength workout that includes a yoga warm up and cool down, with a mix of strength and cardio exercises in between. I classify it as a bootcamp style workout.

How was your weekend? Have you tried a new-to-you fitness class lately?
I was in an unusually grumpy mood yesterday afternoon when I realized it was 3 p.m. and all we had done was finish a long run and eat. That impending feeling of the weekend slipping away from you isn't always easy to swallow. Oh well, five more days 'til the next one!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Early Bird Strength Training

TGIF! I hope your weekend is off to a great start. My Friday hasn't been too shabby. I started it with a quick 20 min strength workout at my home gym (AKA our dining room).

While I'm a little tired at 6 a.m., it helps that I usually set out my sports bra, tank, shorts and socks on the dresser the night before. When the alarm goes off I don't have to think too much about what I need.

Lately, I've been just enjoying pulling up YouTube and choosing a few fun follow along workouts from some of my favorite fitness bloggers.

This morning I selected:
Then I took the dog for a quick walk/jog. Even on the mornings I'm running a bit behind, I feel like I owe it to Jonah Bell to get her outside for a few minutes of fresh air and exercise before she hangs out at home alone for the day.

 During an 8 mile hike on our mini moon

Because my current goal is simply to stay strong overall throughout this marathon training cycle, it's been nice to be a little more lenient with my strength workouts and mix it up a lot. In fact, that has probably been my key to rarely getting bored with exercise. Even if I'm running a lot, I mix in cross training and change up the locations, types and distances of my runs often.

I've also been inspired by Peanut Butter Runner's smoothies as of late and made a fruit, almond and spinach smoothie this morning. Ingredients included: 1 frozen banana, 1/4 cup frozen blue berries, 3 ice cubes, 1 cup almond milk, 1 scoop Sun Warrior vanilla protein powder, handful of almonds, a handful of spinach and a little splash of vanilla and cinnamon. It kept me full for several hours!

Fashion Friday
I'm trying to get a little more wear out of some of my favorite warm weather duds as fall slowly starts to creep in. This week was super humid around the northwest so I was all about the skirts and dresses. Keeps it easy and comfortable!

A combo you've seen before...

 Please notice Jonah Bell to the right of me. She's not a fan of me leaving for work.

Love the colors and stripes of this dress and happy that my bridal shower dress has been multipurpose. Almost everything from these two outfits is LOFT.

In Other News
I'm still trying to kick this dizziness and possible sinus infection, but it seems to be getting a bit better. Oddly enough, I feel less dizzy when I'm running, jumping or sweating in general.

On deck this weekend I have: 9 miles at marathon goal pace (Sat) and 18-19 mile long run (Sun). Let's hope this week's long run is better than last week's sufferfest.

Do you have any favorite Youtubers you follow? Any favorite smoothie combos? I have to say, my favorite smoothies are when I dump in a nice glob of peanut butter. It just adds a little somethin' somethin'.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Mini Moon

While our actual honeymoon will be next summer (Europe!), it was really nice to have a week long vacation after the wedding to simply let the idea of being married sink in. That and unwind from a few stressful months of planning.

Pete's parents stayed in Oregon for the next week, so we wanted to visit a few beautiful parts of Oregon they hadn't seen before. First up was Crater Lake! I had been there once before for a quick glance, but never spent any serious time there and Pete had never been. 

Sunday morning, two days after the wedding, we drove about 2 1/2 hours to Crater Lake, where you pay $10 to enter the park and then are able to drive around the entire 33 mile rim of the lake (during the summer) and stop at multiple viewing points and even hiking trails.

We stopped at several spots around the rim to take photos and simply stare. 

Pete's parents: Tom and Jane

A few interesting facts about Crater Lake:
  • The lake is a volcanic caldera - a hole made by the collapse of a volcano
  • It is 1,943 feet deep - the deepest lake in the United States!
  • You can swim in the lake by taking a specific steep hiking trail down to the water
  • The water averages 38 deg. F (brrr)
  • An average of 482,000 people visit the park each year
  • They hold a marathon here every year in August (as well as a 6.7 and 13 miler)

Talk about some blue water...


It was around 2 p.m. by the time we headed into the lodge for lunch. We all had a drink while waiting for our table and then ordered food, which was just so-so. The lodge was pretty impressive inside however.

It books up about a year in advance so if you ever want to stay there... plan ahead!

Looking like tourists...

About halfway around the rim, we decided to stop for a short hike (2-3 miles roundtrip) to Plaikni Falls. It felt good to get out of the car and stretch the legs a bit. 

Then back in the car we went for more sights.

Around 4:30 or so, it was time to get moving on to our humble abode for the evening, Jo's Motel. Because I hadn't planned a year in advance, Crater Lake Lodge was booked up by the time I started looking into it. 

Jo's was an interesting experience to say the least, but we had a place to stay and the motel has a small organic grocery store. It was about 30 minutes from the rim, which is saying something for being in the middle of pretty much nowhere. 

The next morning, we got on the road early to head toward Southern Oregon for some wine tasting and a night at a B&B in Jacksonville, OR. 

First stop was breakfast in Ashland and then on to Lithia Park for some pretty scenery (and crooked trees)! Ashland, OR is known for its Shakespeare Festival.

That afternoon we took Pete's parents to RoxyAnn Winery where we'd been a few years ago. A few glasses of wine, some cheese and salami later, we were happy campers.

The B&B we stayed at was very pretty with an impressive kitchen, but it was really hot at night, which made sleeping difficult. The next morning, I woke up pretty early and pulled on my running clothes. 

After a few days hiatus from any kind of running, I needed to pound the pavement. 

Country roads, take me home...

I ran all around the little town of Jacksonville, said hi to a family of deer and cranked out 6 or 7 miles sans Garmin. 

After breakfast on the porch of our B&B (poached pear, eggs, rosemary potatoes, peach scone w/ clotted cream) on Tuesday morning, the manfriend and I dozed in the hammock on the property. I could seriously go for one of these in our back yard. Relaxing x 10. 

And then it was back to Eugene! We met his parents for dinner and then they headed back to Bend for a few more days, while we just enjoyed not going to work. 

We even managed to go on an 8 mile hike with the dog and see a movie - two things we rarely do.  

I couldn't have imagined going right back to work after the wedding. This week was so needed for our sanity. It also showed me that "staycations" or "stay close to home vacations" aren't all that bad. 

What's the natural landmark/place you've ever visited? What did you or would you do for your honeymoon?

I highly recommend visiting Crater Lake if you come to Oregon. By far one of the most beautiful places in the state, although there are MANY!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Marathon Monday

Hello again, Monday. Last week's training was supposed to be a lighter one, and it felt like it effort wise, but mileage wise, it wasn't really.

Monday - rest day, 20 min of easy stretching with YogaGlo

Tuesday - double day: 3.5 morning miles w/ 15 min of tempo, 4.5 miles in the heat after work

Wednesday - morning strength circuit, 5 miles run post work + arms and abs

Thursday - 25 min YogaGlo focusing on building upper body strength for inversions, SPEED work on the bark trail. Workout: warm up mile, drills, 5 x 1000m with 600m at 5K pace, 200m easy, 200m 5K pace and then a cool down. 

Friday - morning fun = 25 min spin on the road bike + 25 min of sweaty circuit strength
* I love getting my workout completed all in the mornings on Fridays so I can go out and play after work. This also works well because I usually take it easier on Fridays to prepare for a big weekend. 

Saturday - 8.5 miles w/ 7 miles at marathon goal pace (but all of them were well below it!) followed by 15 min of yoga stretching

Don't mind the awkward angle of this, which makes my waist look freakishly small.

Sunday - 12 miles of sufferfest. The manfriend and I ran long together yesterday and I felt pretty terrible for the last three miles especially. I think I have some inner ear thing going on because Saturday afternoon through today, my head feels floaty, my balance is off and I've had several dizzy spells. Fun fun!

Total miles: 38

Finally, a note about the Slug Queen Competition
So, Eugene and all of its quirkiness has this thing called Slug Queen where people run to basically be the arts & culture ambassador to the city for the year. This person gets the privilege of being invited to a lot of events, festivals, parades, etc.

Well, my coworker, known on Friday as "Gloria Slimem" ran this year so we went down to watch the festivities on Friday night.

The coronation of the annual Slug Queen requires a fashion show, which she nailed, a talent show and then answering of random questions. There were five slugs running in total this year and Gloria Slimem was by far one of the top runners. 

Slimem even got on stage with a dance crew and got the entire audience (and former Slug Queens) off their feet and groovin'. 

I'll admit that before attending this year's coronation I thought the Slug Queen was just some weird person who liked to feel important, but apparently they actually do some great things for the community! Anyway, like everything else, the judging is silly and Shannon aka Gloria didn't end up the queen. 

Alas, I thought you'd enjoy reading about the whole Slug Queen thing.  

Hope you're off to a happy Monday! Any training highlights (or lowlights this week)?

Congrats to Amber for finishing her first 50K! It sounded like a beast, elevation wise especially. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Finding the Dress

I thought it would be fun to show you guys a few of the dresses I tried on when going to find my wedding dress. Originally, I thought I would need to go to Portland with my mom to dress shop at several different places.

Eugene is fairly small in that respect and I didn't want to go to David's Bridal. Instead, I invited friends Lindsey and Stefanie and my mom to go down to a small, quaint dress shop south of Eugene for my first time trying on dresses.

While I didn't find any dresses there I particularly liked, it did help me realize what I didn't want. Going into the process, I thought I would want something simple, yet interesting, NOT strapless (because I thought it might make me look like a football player) and without too much bling.

Turns out, I found a dress quite the opposite! But first, the dresses that that I didn't say YES to.

Liked the floral one strap aspect of this one...

I liked the fit and champagne color of this one, but I felt like Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

This dress was simple and light and much more like what I originally thought I would like. I don't look too thrilled about it...

Thanks to these lovely ladies, it was a fun day. Wedding dress shopping is pretty exhausting and after a while you stop knowing what you like and don't like. I think I tried on 20+ dresses that day.

The next time I went dress shopping, I decided to go alone, on a week day to Blush Bridal in Eugene. Blush Bridal was much more my style with dresses in my size, contemporary looks, big ball gowns, lacy vintagey styles, fit and flare, etc.

It was fun just walking around the store pulling out dresses I wanted to try on, even if they might not work (ball gowns and fitted lace dresses). And the customer service at Blush was great as I had one person helping me the entire time.

While I'd intended to just be looking, I found THE dress that day. When I put it on, it just made me really happy. But I didn't bite the bullet until my mom was able to come down and see it on me first.

This just proves you don't always know what you're looking for until you find it. My dress was strapless, blingy, and a bit dramatic with the flower thing going on at the bottom, BUT I loved it. Even better, the dress came in under the budget I'd set for myself, even after alterations!

Morning after our wedding - wishing I could wear it to breakfast

I ordered the dress at the end of December and it didn't arrive until mid May. So when people tell you to start shopping early, it's so true!

Wedding dress shopping totally changed my perspective on finding the perfect dress for your wedding. I could have kept looking and driven to Portland to try on another 50 or so beautiful dresses, but I knew that the more dresses I fell in love with, the harder it would be to just pick one. As long as you feel beautiful and confident in the dress, it doesn't have to be perfect. 

If you've gotten married, was it tough to find the right dress? Was it what you had expected to pick?