Sunday, July 28, 2013

Let's Talk About Running

Because it's been a while.

As you may remember, the manfriend and I are both training for the Chicago Marathon on October 13. Overall, training has gone well. I managed to fit in a few 40 mile weeks prior to our wedding.

During our wedding week, I was lucky to fit in 16 miles and the following week bump it back up to a 38'er. The challenge however, is that my long runs haven't been what they probably should be.

Recycled pic post speed workout

When I look at the few training plans I've loosely followed in the past, my long runs should be up to 16-17 miles. However, I barely eeked out a 12 miler last week and had to walk a few times. It was painful. The only thing that forced me to hit 12 was the fact that my reward was brunch with the manfriend at the Original House of Pancakes afterward.

And none of the other 10-12 milers I have completed have felt necessarily stellar. I suppose that's part of getting back into the long runs.

As I looked over my various training plans, I was also reminded that I need to really settle on a rest day that fits best in my week and likely one day that's an easier run with a little cross training thrown in. Yoga, I'm getting back on the train!

Experimenting with Heat
We've had some pretty hot weeks in Eugene recently, which has been nice, but also a challenge for running. Because the weather on marathon day could literally be anything (hot, cold, perfect running weather), I figure it can't hurt to run both in the morning when it's cool and after work when it's 90-95!

What's also interesting, is that after a week or so of running in hot weather I noticed that 90 degrees didn't feel that bad anymore.

Not much has changed in that realm. I should be working a lot harder at glute strength (a challenge for most runners whose quads are stronger than their back side), stretching more and foam rolling. The weaknesses come very apparent in those last few miles of a long run: the hamstrings remind me just how tight they are and the right I.T. band and leg start talking to me.

Today, I settled on 15 miles for our long run. The manfriend isn't necessarily following a training plan, but he likes to do his long runs with me. We ran a four mile loop on the river path and then headed out Pre's Trail to one of my favorite spots, Dorris Ranch. The last few miles were painful, but not as bad as last week.

After running a few errands (Trader Joe's and REI), we enjoyed a little kiddie pool foot soak in the back yard.


Running with the Manfriend
For runs longer than five miles, I find it hard to run with him because his long legs and athleticism make him faster than me. On a long run, I want to set the pace and not worry about keeping up with someone else, especially when sh*t hits the fan.

The way we've compromised on the long runs is that we'll start the run together with the same intended route and after a mile or so, he'll go ahead. I have a feeling this may not work for all long runs as I do typically like to do a few 20 milers where I basically run all over the city with no intended route.

When the distance is really far, sometimes it helps mentally to not know where you're going and JUST RUN. 

I think I've volunteered for a race maybe one or two other times (Sorry, I just prefer the racing side). But the manfriend and I both decided to volunteer to help at the Rolf Prima Tri at the Grove triathlon on Saturday and had a great time.

We both volunteered on the bike portion. He drove the car for the sprint racers and I directed the sprint and olympic distance athletes the correct directions at one of the intersections.

It was one of those mornings that reminded me that we kinda live in a pretty place.

 Cottage Grove Lake

Seen just down from where I was standing on the course...

It also showed me that volunteering can be rewarding too and is something I will consider doing more often. 

On another semi comical note, the manfriend got roped into running Cascade Lakes Relay this coming weekend on an ULTRA team - hello 30+ miles in less than 24 hours on no sleep! It will be a ton of fun, but I'm guessing a bit painful too. Good luck, buddy!

Do you prefer to do your long runs solo or with a friend? Highlight of your weekend?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Our Wedding Day

Sit down. Grab a cup of coffee. Relax. This could take a while. 

Friday, July 13, 2013 was our BIG day

We picked a busy, but fun weekend in Bend, OR to get married - Summer Fest was going on downtown Bend along with triathlons and running races and the nearby town of Sisters had it's annual Quilt Festival (trust me, it's a big deal). 

We originally chose a Friday in hopes that our family and friends could enjoy a long weekend celebrating at our wedding and then soak up all that Central Oregon has to offer. Our plan seemed to work as most people, even those coming from just a few hours away (Portland or Eugene), stayed until Sunday. 

Friday morning, I woke up after about 2.5 hours of shut eye and never could get back to sleep. Boil it down to excitement for the day, worry about the details, and hopes that our guests would have a great time.

At 7 am a few of the ladies gathered in front of my hotel for what was supposed to be an easy run. I nixed the idea and opted to walk knowing I'd need every ounce of energy left in me for the remainder of the day.

Walking in Drake Park - Kristin, Jessica, Jenn

Jessica always makes something crafty so for my wedding run/walk she made this cute bride shirt for me to wear. The front upper left said "bride" and the back said "I'm getting married today."

The walk was a relaxing and fun way to start the morning. After a quick breakfast at the hotel, the girls, moms and I were off to hair and makeup appointments.

Barely holding it together

Mom lacing up the dress

Megan DeWilde of Blue Star Salon did my hair and I think she did an amazing job. I was so in love with my hair I didn't want to take it out at the end of the night. 

My makeup appointment with Annie of Lemon Drop Salon was at 11 am. By then, I was still feeling a little stressed, so I happily obliged when she offered me a glass of wine. Bye, bye stress!

Meanwhile, we had a great team of friends and family who helped to make my detailed setup instructions a reality. It was so nice to have it in trustworthy hands and taken care of. 

Jenn, my friend and former coworker acted as our day of coordinator and helped me stay calm and really made our reception happen. Seriously, I understand why people hire a day of coordinator if they can. Jenn is a rockstar and made my job {of being a happy bride} easy. 

Post ceremony, family pics and marriage license signing - Jenn put a few drinks in our hands.

Back at the hotel, we grabbed some food, chatted and waited for our photographer, Kimberly Kay to arrive. Then it was time to put on the ivory dress and get things rolling. {The guys were just starting to get ready at this point.}

The bridesmaid dresses were from JCrew. I had a really hard time picking them because JCrew just didn't have what I would call "summer" colors for the season, but I do LOVE this shade and knew it would be beautiful on the girls regardless. 

I personally love JCrew dresses because of their classic and flattering cuts so hopefully, this is a dress they can truly wear again. Jessica is about 7 months pregnant here and looks fantastic in her dress.

After a few photos in the hotel and my dad seeing me all dressed up, it was off to Aspen Hall {where we would get married} for our first look photos. 

I'll be honest. At this point, I was feeling a little low on energy, sick to my stomach (not nerves, just the enormity of the day) and hot. We did our first look on this cool covered bridge in the woods.

Seeing Pete definitely made me relax a bit. It was just nice to finally see him and chat a bit.

Photo thanks to our awesome photographer Kimberly Kay

Shortly after, we headed across the street to Aspen Hall for some shots near the pond.

Aspen Hall

The natural beauty of this location really sold us on it. The pond, the bridges, the trees, the exposed wood inside the hall. Most of the other locations we looked at with similar qualities would have cost us a few thousand more just to rent the space. 

We also got some shots with the bridal party - Jessica (high school running friend), Jolyn (friends since kindergarten) and Kristin (met in Eugene when she was at UO for law school), Jon (Pete's older brother) and Jeff (Pete's cycling teammate and friend).

My childhood/high school group after the ceremony

About an hour before the ceremony, we were done. In hindsight, we should have taken more photos to keep my mind occupied. The next hour or so was pretty stressful being at the location with all the catering/bar/DJ setup going on, while trying to stay hidden. The girls were great about doing what they could to help me stay relaxed.

And finally, it was go time!

The oldest of my younger brothers, Kyle walked my mom down the aisle. She looked beautiful!

And the youngster Max walked Pete's mom Jane down the aisle. Behind them is Pete's dad Tom.

After everyone else was in place, my dad and I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel's Canon in D.

Thank you Jackie and mom for these great photos!

Pete and I each did short personal vows in addition to traditional vows and an exchange of rings. While it feels a bit vulnerable, I'm really glad we had a chance to speak personal vows to each other in front of our family and friends. 

We also had two readings done by our friends Kristin and Teresa. The first, which Kristin read was The Traditional Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May God be with you and bless you;
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.

May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.

The second reading was Corinthians 13: 4-8, which you've probably heard before... Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud...

And finally, we were pronounced husband and wife!

Officially Mr. and Mrs. Moe!

This is getting pretty long, so I'm going to do a Part II of our wedding day recap shortly. It should encompass the reception and other fun details!

Professional Wedding Photos
To see more photos from the wedding, check out our photographer's sneak peek of the shots she took. There are some great ones! I can't wait to get the entire dvd of all our photos. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Wedding: The Before

I thought I'd catch you up on all things wedding. Short story is: we did it! The manfriend and I are married!

First up: pre wedding prep. Last Wednesday, Pete and I both had guests coming to town. His older brother Jon flew in from Chicago and my friend Kristin flew in from Nashville. 

It was a whirlwind morning for me - run and short strength session, mani/pedi and facial. The facial was a total last minute decision, but Tuesday afternoon I figured I could use some relaxation and my skin could use some love. Luckily, Gervais was able to squeeze me in just before I needed to pick up Kristin at the airport.

Hello, luxurious robe

It was hands down the most relaxing thing I did to get ready for the wedding, and I'm so glad I did. Not to mention the fact that a lot of the redness in my face was totally gone after that hour. 

One of the hardest parts about planning our wedding was worrying about every last detail and our guests having a good time. Because of those details, I didn't sleep well the few weeks leading up to the wedding. On an average night, I'd get 4-5 hours whereas 7-8 is my preferred range. 

By the time Wednesday before the wedding hit, I was pretty exhausted, but I knew I just had to pull it together and enjoy the ride. That afternoon, Kristin graciously ran around doing errands with me - Kinkos, ring cleaning, picking up the dress, dropping it off at Lindsey's house for safe keeping overnight, etc. 

The Day Before
Thursday morning, we packed up the car and headed over to Bend (about a 3 hour drive) to get the wedding weekend rolling. To maintain my sanity, I got a short 3 miler in before hitting the road. 

This is the crazy hair face of exhaustion

We stopped to take a peak at Sahalie Falls on our way over.

It never ceases to amaze me how pretty (and green) it is. This also happens to be part of the 50K McKenzie River Trail race that I've run the last two years.

When we got to Bend, we had to pick up flameless candles from the fire department. Then it was off to check into hotels and do a bit of reception set up before the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

My dad, brothers and Pete set up the lights and tables Thursday evening, while the girls brought in all the decorations. Friday, we had a fabulous crew of friends and family who helped to decorate the hall and make all the details come to life.

I had always dreamed of my grandfather marrying me, so I felt honored that he was willing and able to be our officiant. Grandpa Art lead us through a few rounds of the ceremony so we could get a feel for the order and movement of it all.

Soon enough, it was on to dinner at Greg's Grill where we had the back room to ourselves. It was really nice to have some time to chat with friends and family before the big day arrived.

I chose the salmon with green beans, mashed potatoes and pineapple for my entree. Delicious.

Left to right: grandma Jean, Jenn (and wedding coordinator extraordinaire), Kristin, Scott, Jessica and Evelyn (flower girl).

A few of us also went out for a drink afterward to meet up with other family and friends who had traveled from North Carolina, Maryland and Michigan to celebrate with us before calling it a night.

Because I know you guys like these tidbits, my rehearsal dinner dress was from none other than Tar-get.

For months, I had searched high and low for a great dress and never found one I liked, but I found this one the week of the wedding and liked it enough to buy. 

Next up: the BIG day! 

I won't have the professional photos back for another 5-6 weeks so you'll have to get by with those I've managed to gather from friends and family. Anything in particular you want details on? 

I hope your weekend is going well. Our friends Lindsey and Sonny are getting married today and I'm so excited to celebrate with them!

Monday, July 8, 2013

On Getting Married

The process is pretty surreal. I think I've told you that before.

Little girls and eventually grown up ones, dream, talk, and read magazines about what their wedding day might be like. And with our girlfriends or our journals, we disclose what we're looking for in a soul mate, life partner, husband/wife. For essentially two and a half decades, I did that very same thing.

I never dreamed necessarily of what my wedding might be like because I knew it would be something my future husband and I would choose together. But I dreamed about the qualities I wanted to find in him.

By some small bit of luck, I managed to find the manfriend (well, he actually found me) who pretty much has almost every quality I was looking for. So, that's how we got to where we are today.

Wedding Planning
In the last few months, it's increasingly become more real that "hello, THIS is your wedding." While just one day, it's kind of a monumental day. It's weird to go to so many weddings and wedding related events to finally find yourself planning it all for you and your spouse.

Over the last year, I've moved from one school of thought to another in planning our wedding. At first, I wanted this perfectly manicured (but not stuffy) event. Then, I wanted this precisely executed, Pinterested, rustic barn wedding. And somewhere along the way, I settled on being happy with an outdoor, casual chic and a little rustic wedding.

While I did get some ideas from Pinterest, they haven't all been executed to a Martha Stewart quality. And that's okay. My type A self had to let go of the fact that it wouldn't all look perfectly coordinated. BUT it would be: a meaningful and personal event, pretty (It doesn't get much prettier than Bend, OR), FUN and well planned.

Buying vs. DIYing
About four months ago, I also came to the realization that I kind of dislike detailed crafting AND that for the most part, buying what I wanted was likely worth MORE to me than spending the agonizing hours attempting to make something turn out the way I wanted it. {Thank god for Etsy and Amazon.}

It's amazing how freeing it has been to just let go of some of my expectations. This has added a little more fun to the process and will likely lend me to be a bit more relaxed this Friday. Ultimately, I know things will go wrong on our big day, but it will be okay because we will get married, we will enjoy the food, and we will have a great time celebrating with friends and family.

 One of the few things we DIY'd - burlap table runners

The little talked about piece of this whole wedding. Especially in the last few weeks, Pete and I both have talked and thought a lot more about us as a married couple. While not a ton should change in our relationship, being married will feel slightly different.

Over the last year of being engaged, we've thought a lot more about how to maintain our relationship forever. Premarital counseling last winter also helped us prepare for the challenges ahead and learn how to communicate better on issues. I know it won't always be easy, but I'm ready and willing to work for it.

And finally, wedding planning and going to my bridal shower and bachelorette parties has overwhelmed me with the love and support of friends and family. At times, it's hard to imagine we deserve it, but it has been a good reminder on how great people are. Not to mention the fact that a number of people will be flying across country and staying in hotels just to be here with us!

On the running front: Somehow, I have still managed to get in two 40 mile weeks in a row. The manfriend is doing great on his marathon training and forces me to run faster when we do run together. I've also been caught running in a sports bra and shorts only lately with all the warm weather we've been having. Working on that ab confidence one run at a time...

I hope to pop in once more this week, but we'll see how things go! We have a few guests coming to town on Wednesday and then we head over to Bend on Thursday. If you want to follow on twitter or Instagram, I will likely be posting some photos and such leading up to Friday's wedding!

Have a great week! Tell me one thing you're looking forward to this week or month. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

What I'm Loving Lately

It feels like it's been years since I've done one of these posts. I guess wedding planning and part time school + work put me in a pretty serious state of being. Without further ado, here's what I'm loving...

1. These shorts - It's hot as Hades in Eugene. And when it's 80+ degrees in your house at bedtime, the shorter, the better, which is why these are so great. Shorty shorts = my favorite kind of pajamas.

2. Cool showers and wet hair - Again, it's hot and these two things help keep the body temp down.

3. Making a decision I don't hem and haw over - This is rare, but much appreciated, especially in the last week and a half of wedding crunch time!

4. Lorac Unzipped eyeshadow palette - All of these colors make up the perfect color palette (brownish pinks) for my eyes. I was really excited to find this a few weekends ago at the Urban Beauty Bar in Portland, along with some lipstick for the wedding.

5. Lumineers' Pandora station - So many happy-inducing songs and new discoveries.

What about you? Any new favorite things or aspects of life you're enjoying?

I had my final dress fitting on Saturday. It is hard to imagine that in just a week and a half Pete and I will be getting hitched. The good thing is, I don't have a single fear about it.

There are just so. many. details. when organizing a celebration for 100. Whew! We will get it all done and if we don't, it probably wasn't that important. 

Engagement Photos
For those of you who aren't connected with me on Facebook, here is a peek at our engagement photos we had taken a few weeks ago {better late than never?!}. I love how our photographers captured us and can't wait to see our wedding photos. Photography was one of my priorities in the wedding planning process and I'm so happy with our choice.

Interesting Read
26 year old Zoe Romano is RUNNING the entire Tour de France course and will finish one day prior to the cyclists in Paris. Talk about hardcore.

So when you think you're in pain cranking out a training run, just imagine running a marathon and then some every day for 63 days. #ouch