Much Needed Vacation

I got to spend a week in my favorite place – Myrtle Beach! It was a much needed vacation full of relaxation, sun bathing, family, food, and fun.

MB

I did manage to squeeze in some good workouts. The weather on the first morning kept me inside on the treadmill for a 3 mile run, but luckily the workout room has a nice view!

workout room 1

workout room 2

On Saturday, I went for a 4.42 mile walk on the beach with the family. I got in a long run on the beach on Sunday with 5 hot, sweaty miles.

beach run

The rain decided to hang around all day on Monday, so I hit the workout room for 5 miles on the stationary bike. I got back outside for a 3.5 mile run on the beach on Tuesday. Finished the week with walks on the beach and around the neighborhood with the family. On one of our walks, we saw dolphins!

dolphins

But the workouts were only a small part of the vacation. It mostly looked like this:

beach relaxing

And we spent the evenings eating really good food, shopping, and exploring.

barefoot
My sis and I

I also managed to check off one of my summer bucket list items: mini golf! We played on a course that actually hosts The Masters of professional mini golf.

mini golf

All in all, a really good vacation! It took everything I had to walk on the plane to come home – especially since I left 88 degree weather for 50 degree weather. Apparently fall has arrived in MN.

What’s your favorite vacation spot? Did you know you could be a professional mini golfer?

Getting my running groove back

Well, I’ve alluded to it a little on here, but my shin has been bugging me for several weeks. I took a solid 3 weeks off of running after the Big Ten 10K, but that still didn’t get rid of it. I finally went to the doc last Friday because I was getting worried it was something bad like a stress fracture. Luckily, the doc diagnosed it as shin splints. Still a bummer, but he gave me the green light to keep running and they gave me some strengthening exercises which I’ve started doing every day.

shin

I’ve gotten in a few runs in the last couple weeks and have felt good for the most part. I ran 3.75 miles on Monday. Sadly, that’s the farthest I’ve run in weeks. It wasn’t my best run. Made it through, but my legs felt tired and heavy. Still getting my running groove back. Hoping to slowly build up my mileage and be at least somewhat prepared for the TC Looney Challenge in October. I know I won’t be as well trained as I had hoped, but I think I can at least get to a point where I can complete all three races.

In other news…I’ve been working on that summer bucket list! Last week, I ventured over to Minnehaha Falls for a walk and to check off, “Go see a show or movie at one of the Minneapolis Music & Movies in the park locations.” The website said it was supposed to be a jazz quartet, but it ended up just being a guy playing the drums. (I actually think he was part of the quartet, but the rest of his group wasn’t there yet for some reason.) So, I sat and watched for a little bit anyway. He was actually pretty good and it was a really nice night.

Minnehaha falls  music in the park

On Sunday I headed to the “Great Minnesota Get Together” a.k.a. the MN State Fair.

state fair

I met up with my sister and some friends to explore the fair and most importantly get some food!

Blueberry Lemonade
Blueberry Lemonade
Chicken in a Waffle
Chicken in a Waffle
Pretzel Curds
Pretzel Curds
Pickle on a Stick!
Pickle on a Stick!

The pickle on a stick helped me cross off, “Eat something on a stick at the MN State Fair.”

Kind of wish I could’ve tried more food, but there’s always next year!

What’s your favorite fair food? Have you ever had to get your running groove back?

 

Weekend in Review and Running Update

It was a busy but fun weekend! This pic pretty much sums it up…

8.15 to 8.17 weekend

Middle pic – It started off on Friday night when Hyedi and I headed to Heavy Table’s North Coast Nosh – an event where you get to taste some yummy food and drink from local purveyors. It was hosted at Open Arms Minnesota and a portion of the proceeds went to them.  Just to name a few: cheese from Faribault Dairy, jerk chicken from Homegrown foods, BBQ sauce from Triple Crown BBQ Sauce, ice cream from Sweet Science, ice pops from Saint Pops, beer from Tin Whiskers and Badger Hill. And I tried my first ceviche that was made in the Open Arms kitchen – delicious!

Bottom right pic – I got up on Saturday morning and headed to exchange 35 of Ragnar Relay Great River to volunteer. I ran Ragnar last year (and had a great time!), but decided to take this year off. I enjoyed volunteering, and hope that I can make it more of a habit to volunteer for a couple races each year. It’s easy to forget that the races we do wouldn’t be possible without volunteers!

Top right pic – Birthday drinks (not mine) at Rabbit Hole!

Top left pic – I got up to drive my sister to a 5K in downtown Minneapolis. While I waited for her to finish, I headed over to the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market to get some veggies. Picked up some colorful peppers, zucchini, and a bag of jalapeno, bacon, cheddar popcorn (couldn’t resist). Can officially cross that item off my summer bucket list!

Bottom left pic – My sister and I headed to the Twins game. It was supposed to start at 1 p.m. but they had a 40 minute “weather delay” even though it wasn’t raining. They finally started the game, but it wasn’t long until the rain actually did move in. We stuck around through about 4 innings (taking cover from the rain once) and then the game went into a rain delay. We decided to head out at that point. Oh well, we tried.

In running news, I haven’t been doing much lately. My shin has still been giving me some issues. But, I did hop on the treadmill for a 20 minute run on Sunday and felt pretty good. It was a nice evening on Monday, so I ventured out to the trail and tested things out again. I made it for 2.4 miles with no pain! Felt a little soreness afterwards, so I guess it’s not totally better. Gonna have to keep an eye on it, but I have to say it felt sooooo good to run again! I’ve missed that runner’s high.

How was your weekend? 

One Year Blogiversary!

One year ago today, I published my first blog post! On that day I started documenting my running journey and shared some information about living with Ulcerative Colitis that up until that point only a handful of people really knew about. It was a big step for me and I think a really important one. Sharing my story helped me learn that I’m not alone by opening up conversations and friendships that have been very valuable to me. Starting this blog has also connected me with some amazing runners and bloggers. It’s fun to look back and see everything I’ve accomplished in a year. And, as you may have noticed, a new year called for a new theme/background for the blog. Felt like a good time to change things up. :)

Here’s a look at year 1 by the numbers:

96 blog posts

60 food pictures –> yes, I counted

13 races/race recaps

4 PRs

4 5Ks

3 half marathons

2 8Ks/5 miles

2 10Ks

1 Ragnar Relay

Unlimited memories –> cheesy, I know.

Here are just a few photo highlights:

After Ragnar Relay 2013
After Ragnar Relay 2013
Beach. Run. Love.
Beach. Run. Love.
Photo credit: Hyedi :)
My first half marathon! Photo credit: Hyedi
My second half - Las Vegas with Team Challenge!
My second half – Las Vegas with Team Challenge!
Food photo ;)
Food photo ;)
Words of wisdom on a morning run.
Words of wisdom on a morning run.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’ll continue to join me on this fun run!

Big Ten 10K Race Recap

Well, I’m a week late with this, but it’s been a busy week because I moved! Yes, I’m in my new apartment, but I’ll share more on that later once I’m a bit more settled.

Last Friday morning my alarm went off around 4:30 a.m. so my sister and I could get to the airport for an early flight to Chicago. My sis did the race too, but was staying with another friend of ours in Chicago.

When we got to the airport we split up to meet up with our friends. I found Liz and Holly at baggage claim (not easy since we flew into different terminals) and we got on the train to head downtown to our friend Priscilla’s work. P had to work on Friday, so we stashed our suitcases at her office and took off to find food and shopping. First, we stopped by Wildberry hoping to get brunch, but there was an hour wait, so we decided to just wander up Michigan Ave. and see what we found. As we were preparing to cross the street to head to another restaurant, I realized we were right in front of Purple Pig! I had eaten there last summer with Hyedi after the Big Ten 10K and had been dying to go back. It was about 11:15 a.m. and the gate was on the door. We quickly looked at their website and realized they open at 11:30. We were tired of walking so decided to wait. So worth it!

You know it's good when there's a line waiting for it to open!
You know it’s good when there’s a line waiting for it to open!

After lunch we did some more walking and shopping before meeting up with P again to head to her house. For dinner, we carbo-loaded on some Lou Malnati’s deep dish pizza. When in Chicago…

pizza

In the morning, it was another early alarm. We all got up around 5 a.m. and requested an Uber car to get us to the race about 6 a.m. We thought we’d need 2 cars because there were 6 of us heading to the race, but a mini van showed up for the first car, so we were set! We got to the race right at 6 a.m. It was the perfect amount of time to head to the restroom, get a drink of water and just relax for a few minutes before heading to the corrals. It was cloudy and fairly cool (I can’t remember the exact temp, but I think in the high 60s). Nice weather for running.

I was in corral G this year (an improvement from corral I last year!). I’ve been wanting to break an hour on my 10K time for awhile now. That was my goal for this race, but my left shin has been giving me some issues lately (I think shin splints). So, I told myself that if at any point it hurt, I’d slow down. If it still hurt, I’d walk. I wanted a PR, but I also didn’t want to do anything stupid.

This race had just over 15,000 participants, so it did take a little time after the gun went off at 7 a.m. before I crossed the start line. But, as soon as I did, I worked on finding a comfy 9:30-9:40 pace.

start line

My legs were a little tired and heavy at first – probably from lots of walking the day before. But, they warmed up after a couple miles and I wasn’t feeling any pain in my shin. I kept my pace and continued on feeling pretty good. One other thing that went really well for this race were the water stops. I felt like I finally figured out a good way to grab water, drink it, and toss the cup without slowing down too much. Pro tip: pinch the top of the cup to help funnel the water into your mouth while running/walking so it doesn’t get all over you!

It’s an out and back course. We were on a main road going out and then on the lakefront paths coming back. After the turnaround, I could feel the humidity getting a little higher, but the temp still wasn’t too bad and there was no direct sun. Around mile 5.5, I knew I was on pace for a PR. I started to feel a little tightness in my shin at that point, so I even slowed up a tad and didn’t kick like I normally would at the end of a race. Even with that, I crossed the finish line in 59:31 – a PR!!

bus

medal

After the race, we hung out at the post-race tailgate party for awhile to get our free food and relax. Once we made it back to P’s it was left over deep dish pizza (perfect post race meal too!), showers, and naps. In the evening, we headed to Jeff Fest – an art and music festival. We got some yummy food from food trucks including an unbelievable cookie dough cupcake. It’s basically a cheesecake cupcake. We checked out some of the vendors and listened to music before heading back to crash after a long day.

jeff fest

On Sunday, I met up with my sister and our friend for brunch in Wicker Park. We went to The Bongo Room and I had a ginormous omelette filled with mushrooms, spinach, and goat cheese. Yum.

bongo room

From there, it was off to the airport and home. Overall a great weekend away and a really great race!

I took this last week off from running, though moving didn’t really allow me to get total rest for my shin. I’ll see how next week goes. Hoping it shapes up soon because TC Looney Challenge training is underway, and I want to be ready!

Life Updates

Sorry for the radio blog silence. Feels like life has been really busy lately, but needed a break from blogging. So, here are a five highlights to catch you up:

1. Still running! I actually have a race on Saturday – the Big Ten 10K. I’m hoping for a PR, but have been having some soreness in my shin lately. Recently got new shoes and am hoping that and some rest will help. So, we’ll see what my legs will let me do. I don’t want to overdo it because…

2. TC Looney Challenge training has officially begun! I’ve got a couple other races on the docket after Big Ten, but gearing up for the challenge is my main goal for the rest of the summer/fall.

3. Speaking of summer, I’m not doing too hot on my summer bucket list. I’ve checked a few things off, but I’m gonna have to kick it in high gear to get to all of them before Minnesota winter rears its ugly head. This rooftop happy hour was one thing I got to check off recently!

20140724-215702-79022403.jpg

4. I found a new apartment! Getting ready to move has definitely been a big part of my busy life lately. Hate all the packing, cleaning, etc but I’m so excited to get in my new place!

5. Got a haircut to get ready for the second half of summer. :)

20140724-220144-79304625.jpg

What have you been up to lately?

Weekend Recap and Summer Bucket List Update

It was a busy and fun weekend! I got home from work on Friday and went for a quick run (3.28 miles at 10:04 avg pace). Then I came back and got ready for a night out on the town. I met up with some friends at Masu for sushi.

Old Fashioned
Old Fashioned

masu1

masu2

This was actually the first time I’ve had a meal of just sushi. It was delicious! I’m definitely on the sushi bandwagon and can’t wait to try more.

After we filled up on sushi, we headed over to Honey to dance the night away. It was a party that was part of Pride Weekend in the Twin Cities. The DJs played some great dance music and kept us on the dance floor all night. Great way to work off the sushi. My feet hurt and I pretty much lost my voice, so you know it was a good night!

I slept in a little on Saturday morning and went for a short walk. I headed out to run some errands and saw some lovely dark clouds rolling in (please note my sarcasm). Normally I love a thunderstorm, but on Saturday night I wanted nothing to do with rain because I had plans to meet up with friends for the TC Jazz Festival. It was one of the things on my summer bucket list and I was really excited about it.

Unfortunately the rain and wind and lightning did roll in and cancelled the outdoor shows that night. :( There were a couple of venues that had indoor stages and we made our way to one of them, but by that time we wanted food and there was nowhere to sit. So, we listened to about 5 minutes of jazz and headed out to another nearby restaurant for some food.

Technically, I did make it to jazz fest, so I’m checking that off my summer bucket list, but I’ll be putting back on my list for next year so I can hopefully get the full experience!

On Sunday morning I went for a 5.79 mile run (10:23 avg pace). The sun was out, and I was concerned it would be too hot, but a breeze actually made it pretty comfortable to run for an hour. In the afternoon I ran a couple errands and couldn’t resist getting a mini s’mores blizzard for a sweet treat.

smoresblizzard

For my summer bucket list, I’ve crossed off the TC Jazz Festival and I’ve made it to the St. Paul Farmer’s Market.

stpaulfm

Still gotta make it over to the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market. I can’t believe July is here! I gotta get going on the rest of my list!

How was your weekend? Did any of your plans get rained out?