Monday, January 27, 2014

Weekend Beautiful

If I were to choose one word to sum up this weekend, it would no doubt be beautiful. We had some rare sunshine and warmer temperatures in the valley and I took advantage of it.

I meant to do Fashion Friday last week, but well, I had a chemistry test on Friday morning and I just couldn't pull it together. So here you go, the only decent outfit from last week.

I was going to a Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration lunch so I tried to pull together something cute and professional. Also tried layering necklaces, which sort of worked.

Sweater: JCrew Factory, collared shirt: Gap (old), pants: LOFT, heels: Tahari

Now on to that beauty I was talking about...

My Friday night kicked off with a 20 minute run just long enough to get some endorphins and see the sun set over the Willamette River.

Saturday morning, I went out early seeking the sun and ran up Spencer's Butte {yes, again} before heading to yoga.

Early morning = worth it

I know I jam pack my days and nights full, but when they're filled with views like this once in a while, I'm reminded just how lucky we are just to freaking BE wherever we are. I find myself in awe of the magic of a moment, especially when other parts of life are hectic. 

Ironically, our theme for yoga class Saturday was magic with a few simple reminders on how kids see the world and how they find the magic in the simplest things. Bring on the magic. 

Saturday was also filled with a few hours of studying, some house cleaning and a fun night with friends, but that didn't mean our Sunday was lazy!

Off to the Oregon Coast we go
Several Eugene friends have headed to the coast lately in seek of some warmer weather and I was really feeling the need to escape the valley.

After pancakes, the manfriend and I packed up Jonah Bell and drove the hour to Florence for some fresh air and a beautiful beach.

Seriously, these are unfiltered. The colors were amazing.

Jonah loved sprinting up and down the beach off leash and running through the brush. 

It was about 60 degrees out, but I finally had to pull off my shoes and dip my toes into the ocean, which was freezing. It just seems wrong to be at the beach and not dip your toes in, know what I mean? 

While the weekend was a little less study heavy, it was much needed. I think I am sufficiently fueled with Vitamin D for the next week or so. 

Week in workouts: 17 miles run, 3 yoga classes (1 at home), 2 strength training circuits, 1 spinning workout

My goals for this week are: to have a blast at girls night and fit in 20+ miles of running.

How was your weekend? 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Where I've Been Running

Whew, time flies with all this studying!

The last two weeks we were studying the respiratory system and understanding all the functioning, pressures in all the various areas (pulmonary, pleural, veins, arteries, etc), and things like "what happens to the bronchioles if you introduce epinephrine, histamine, edema?" It's a lot. And now we're moving on to digestion!

Thankfully, I've been able to stay on top of my homework and studying a bit more so far. I am still fitting in runs, yoga and strength work where I can, but they are fewer and shorter the first part of the week and then get a bit longer and more exciting around the end of the week. When I haven't had time to do a run and shower before work, I've fit in little 20 min yoga flows just to get my body moving. 

Where and What I've Been Running
Last weekend, I made my way up to the top of Spencer's Butte again thanks to a runner friend who was having a birthday run. Only crazy runners celebrate by running hilly trail on their birthday. I'm okay with it. 

Kinda stormy up top, but exhilarating at the same time

We even found a rainbow...

Monday, I did 2.5 flat miles on my lunch break, where I saw the sun and just tried to soak in the rays. With all this fog lately, it's a treat to see some sun.

Thursday, I bundled up for our weekly track workout and met an unlit, foggy track full of lots of other crazy runners. After we all told coach Ian we were still up for the challenge {the city forgot to turn on the lights}, we set out for 3 x 1 mile repeats. My body was cold and not really having the whole speed thing, but surprisingly, 6.5 miles later, I felt pretty dang good other than some mid workout hyperventilation.

Yesterday before yoga class, I pounded out four foggy miles in honor of Meg Menzies who was killed by a drunk driver on her morning run in Virginia earlier this week. I think she would have been honored that we were all thinking of her and getting in some miles.

 This running community is strong. I don't know Meg, but I shed a few tears 
on this run thinking of what her family has lost. 

And finally today, after Lindsey's yoga class {she's getting certified to teach}, I headed back out to the Ridgeline Trail for more hills. Honestly, it's been nice to meet these hills weekly, as I often will go weeks between running the Ridgeline and end up feeling so out of shape every time I do.

But now it's becoming routine. This morning I promised myself I wouldn't run to the top of Spencer's Butte (about an 8 mile out and back run from where I park). But somehow, the sun just lured me up to the top.

And once I was up there, I stripped off my layers and sat in the sunshine in a tank top for 10 minutes. It was glorious. I never regret making that hike, even if my hammies hate me later.

I'm pretty much back on track after all of the holiday indulging, but I'll admit that there is a little extra love hanging around my hips. It's probably only visible to me, but I am working on being a little easier on myself and being okay with not  having a perfectly flat and tight core like I do when I'm marathon training.

Sure, I'd like it to stick around all the time, but it's not realistic and frankly, I'm not sure women's bodies were really meant to be that way. One thing I've realized about my thirties so far, is that there is beauty in imperfection and I'm learning to embrace things as they are.

What We've Been Watching
Last weekend we sat down to find something on Netflix to watch and came across Alaska: The Last Frontier, a reality show about the Kilcher family who has lived in a very rural part of Alaska and subsisted off the land for several generations.

The family raises their own cattle, fishes, has chickens for eggs, builds everything from what they have around them, doesn't have plumbing, and uses wood as their heat source. Oh, and all of their "work" more or less has to happen during the three months of summer when there isn't snow on the ground. The rest of the year, there are about 3+ feet of snow everywhere. It's been pretty fun to watch, but it definitely makes me appreciate modern conveniences.

Finally, I'll leave you with a little tea wisdom. Thank you for the inspiration, Yogi Teas.

Greatness is measured by your gifts, not your possessions. 

Easier said than done when companies like Oiselle keep coming up with such cute and comfy running clothes I want to get my paws on! ;)

Have you watched any good movies or shows lately? Is there an area of your life where you're being easier on yourself lately?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Every Little Bit Helps

With the first week of winter term under way, I'm reminding myself that even the small things make a difference in my health and happiness. This week, I've already found myself making steps to set good habits for the next 10 weeks and not just give up because my stress level is at the max.

For example, I've done the following that I know might not seem like much, but add up over time:

1. Parking a bit further away from the door in our parking garage for the extra movement

2. Always take the stairs (up or down), even when I have a few bags in my hands

3. Do things in separate steps - go to the bathroom {return to desk}, shred a piece of paper {return to desk}, fill up my water {return to desk}, rather than doing multiple tasks at once. While it may save some seconds to multitask, it doesn't get me moving as much.

4. Bringing plenty of snacks or meals. Being hungry stresses me out. Learning and being active makes me hungry. In order to be effective with my time, be healthy, stay more relaxed, and stay on budget, bringing my lunch bag from home stocked with good food makes a lot of sense. I don't understand the people who say they forgot to eat breakfast or lunch... What?!

5. Exercise {no matter much or little time I have}. Monday morning, I did a short run + strength workout, Tuesday eve I met up with friends Stef and Danielle at a local group run, and Wednesday I only had time for 15 minute strength work video and a short walk with the dog. Sore muscles make me happy. Enough said.

6. Prioritizing sleep. While I could always use a little more sleep, I try to remind myself that staying up an extra hour to study or read won't do me as much good as that extra hour of sleep would. I've also found myself turning off my early alarm {to exercise or study} to snag an extra 30 min of shut eye.

Extra credit: Have you watched the video from this young woman who made her health a priority and kept a video diary of it for 100 days? Definitely inspiring. I think it's a great example how someone can make noticeable changes on their own with a little bit of motivation.

Do you have any 'stay healthy' tricks you utilize on a regular basis? What are you looking forward to this weekend? I've been craving a good burger and sweet potato fries. I may just need to seek it out.

    Sunday, January 5, 2014

    Birthday Surprise & Right Now

    Welp, winter term starts tomorrow. I haven't read the chapters I told myself I'd read just to freshen up, but oh well. I figure 10 weeks of studying and classes are enough stress that I don't need to start earlier than I have to.

    The manfriend's birthday surprise...

    I told you on Friday that the manfriend had something up his sleeve for my birthday. Well, he had made  dinner reservations at King Estate winery about 30 minutes out of town, which has a gorgeous facility, tasty wines and a nice restaurant.

    Early last week he had told me to keep my Saturday evening free and be "dressed to impress" and ready to go by 4:45 p.m. You don't have to ask me twice!

    My attempt at showing you my outfit {and my attempt at curling my hair}. Small things blog has the best hair tutorials. However, she can't help user error. ;)

    When we first sat down at King Estate, we ordered a cheese plate and a bottle of the 2011 Estate Pinot Noir. Honestly, I would go back and have the cheese plate just for me as my dinner. It was SO good. 

    All three cheeses were from Oregon and I believe the fruit and preserves were as well. 

    Next, we both ordered salads. I had the kale, pear, walnut salad, while the manfriend had the mesclun green salad. 

    Handsome date with a freshly shaven face

    Blurry us

    For dinner, the manfriend had the filet of beef with potatoes and Brussels sprouts, while I had the braised chicken in a sauce of pinot noir, veggies, pancetta and pasta. Next time, I'm definitely trying their burger. 

    And finally, the molten chocolate cake with peppermint ice cream on top! #yum

    Perfect excuse to wear the new LOFT dress I snagged during holiday sales

    We came home pleasantly stuffed, but it was oh so worth it. We agreed that this was probably the best meal we've ever eaten. Thank you for the fun birthday surprise, manfriend!

    Hardest workout {of the week}
    After a few months of shorter mileage, a snow storm, and the holiday festivities, it had been a while since I had a really hard workout. Don't get me wrong, I believe we should have times in life where we go a little easier on ourselves - mentally & physically, but I was due for a challenge.

    After yoga at Lindsey's this morning, I went searching for some sun {we've been fogged in lately} and some hilly miles on the Ridgeline Trail.

    In seek of sun. Looks like it's there, just above the fog. 

     Life above the clouds & fog ain't so bad...

    Four heart-pounding miles later, there it was. Bright, beautiful sunshine. It was chilly at the top, but I snapped a few photos and just stood there breathing in the fresh air and thinking about the year ahead. It's amazing how much nature is a place of peace and head clearing.

    What I'm proud of {right now}

    • Prepping food - This helped me a lot last term both mentally, time wise and nutritionally. It was so nice to have some lunches/dinners and snacks premade for the week. Today I made some healthy pumpkin, banana muffins for snacks roughly based on this recipe. Of course, I added other goodies in like shredded zucchini and a few frozen berries. My crockpot is also doing some work on a batch of veggie chili, which will be not only easy to heat up, but filling too. 
    • Headstand/handstand - Slowly, but surely I'm getting more comfortable moving away from the wall. At home, and during yoga class I've been a little more daring and am seeing the results as I'm closer and closer to being able to hold these poses for longer than a few seconds. Someday, it will come.
    • Organizing - After buying a metal bathroom caddy at Tar-get, I got inspired to clean and organize all of my bathroom shelves on New Year's Day. It felt very much like a cleansing for 2014. I'd like to pick one area of the house to deep clean once a month. We'll see what happens...
    Favorite snack/lunch {right now}

    Egg over easy on top of Dave's Killer Bread toasted with yellow mustard and avocado smashed on top. Seriously, try it. I think Jenna of Eat Live Run gave me the idea in one of her posts. 

    What was your best meal ever? And what are you proud of right now? 

    Friday, January 3, 2014

    New Year & 31

    Happy Friday! Well, the holidays are officially over, but I think you'll agree that it's always nice to turn that calendar over to a fresh, new, sparkling year. There are so many goals, dreams and possibility available to us in a year. 

    I thought I'd check in real quick on our new year and my birthday. 

    I kicked off the new year with a haircut on Tuesday afternoon. I wanted to cut off a bit of length, but my hair stylist ended up cutting it a bit shorter than I anticipated. Oh well, it will grow fast and I'm enjoying its much shorter drying time!

    New 'do. New you?

    New Year's Eve, I did a quick and dirty Lifeforce workout with lots of squats and weight work. I came home and showered before the manfriend and I got to work on an easy Thai red curry recipe. Next time, I'll add some lemongrass and full fat coconut milk to make it a little bit more flavorful.

    It's important to note that I "dressed up" for NYE by putting on skinny jeans, a tank, sweater and a necklace to celebrate with just the two of us. After all, it doesn't feel like a holiday to me with out a special outfit. ;)

    We popped a bottle of bubbly, the manfriend sipped on some whiskey, and we enjoyed watching the NBC New Year's broadcast from our couch. #wildnight

    New Year's Day meant no work, which called for a serious celebration of pancakes and eggs at our favorite breakfast place, Original Pancake House. But first, I hopped out of bed for a speedy 4 miler to earn my pancakes!

    I'm obsessed with their buckwheat pancakes
    And finally, Jan. 2 was my birthday! I celebrated with lunch with my mom {who got me a new yoga mat and other yoga goodies}, a track party workout, and dinner and cake with the runners.

    So, this is what 31 looks like... {on me anyway}

    Do jazz hands make the restroom look any better? Doubtful. 

    Thank you LOFT for being my go to wardrobe consultant. Top, necklace and pants are all LOFT. Flats are Gap. Everything was purchased on serious sale, just how I like it.

    Bust a move
    I'm happy to report that I feel so much better after a week of much cleaner eats, tons of water, and lots of exercise! Last night's track workout was tiring, but felt so good. I even managed to fit in 3 strength training sessions this week and several smaller yoga flows at home.

    Any plans for your weekend? 

    The manfriend has a surprise planned for Saturday night and winter term starts on Monday, so I'm going to soak in these last few hours of semi-relaxation. Happy weekend!