Friday Things - Chicago Here I Come!

Aaaaaieeeeee!  I can't believe I just pulled the trigger on a lil' Chi-town visit.  It's my High School 20 year reunion at the end of September.  I hadn't planned on going because we really don't have access to an overnight sitter for the kids and I'm not paying to schlep our whole family out for my reunion.  (Disney one day?  Mexico?  Yes. Reunion? No.)  Also, it's the weekend of our 10 year wedding anniversary and my husband and I had plans for a nice dinner, since our ploy to get my sister in law out here to babysit while we escaped for a night or two didn't pan out.  However, my bestest friends in the world (who are all in the Chicago 'burbs, waaah) decided on making it a girls night and are going to leave their husbands at home.  Well that changes thing considerably; I ADORE all their husbands, but I'm very much on board with a single airline ticket, hours alone on a plane to read, and one awesome weekend of girl time!  I'm planning my Kindle content now and moving our anniversary plans back a week: it'll just be our 9 years and 358 day anniversary dinner. 

Also, the runner in me is contemplating the idea of doing a race while I'm at home...  Anyone have a good Chicago race suggestion for the morning of September 29th?

Um, what else is going on...  I'm having a hard time concentrating on anything else.  Oh, this was distracting me the other morning. 

Mexican Eggs Benedict with Chorizo Biscuits and Chipotle Hollandaise .psd
Photo from this post at www.wearnotmartha.com

I'm really glad that Eggs Benedict is a pain in the ass to make because I'd probably gain 20 pounds if I had the patience to make it for myself.  I found this gem through the Foodlush Blog's weekly recipe roundup.  You should check it out.  Yes, I'm a huge fan of weekly recipe posts

If you'll be at the Super Jock n' Jill Labor Day Run on Monday please say hello!  I should be running the Half Marathon as a training run, but I think I'd rather skip my long run this week (gasp! crazy for me, the type-A rule follower) and do the 4 miler with my friend and have more time to drink beer and chat.  Happy Labor Day weekend!

Song I'm loving right now: Space Invaders by Mark Norman.

Beautiful People - Chris Brown feat. Benny Benassi (8/23/12)
Ass Back Home - Gym Class Heroes (8/23/12)
The Veldt - Cover Pop tribute to Deadmau5 & Chris James (8/23/12)
Without You - David Guetta feat. Usher (8/23/12)
Good Time - Owl City feat. Carly Rae Jepsen (8/17/12)
Addiction - Medina (8/3/12)
We Run the Night - Havana Brown feat. Pitbull (7/27/12)
The Night Out - Martin Solveig (7/20/12)
Tell 'Em - Sleigh Bells (7/13/12)
Sun is Up - Two Times (7/06/12)
Steam Machine - Daft Punk (6/29/12)
Arguru - Deadmau5 (6/22/12)
Now or Never - Outasight (6/15/12)
Major Tom - Shiny Toy Guns Remix (6/08/12)
Young Blood - The Naked and Famous remixed by Tiesto (5/18/12)
Call me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen (4/6/12)


Lazy Day in Picutres

Our beloved Y closes one week every year for maintenance, and it's always the week before school starts.  Blargh.  We've gone over to another Y a few times, but it isn't in a good neighborhood for running; plus I don't think they have the same lenient policy about leaving the building as our Y does.  So, yeah, I'm sick of the treadmill and my legs are, too.  Therefore, I'm declaring it an easy week and took an extra rest day today to be lazy with the kids before the early morning alarm days of school start next week...

After a late wake up around 7:30, we lounged on the couch with cartoons until 8:30 and I made pancakes (usually a weekend only deal).  And we finally ventured out of the house by 10am - crazy late for us!

First a trip to the library.


Then we hit our favorite lunch spot: Jimmy John's headquartered in Champaign, IL - the hometown of my Alma Mater, fyi. Go Illini!

Fed some crazy ducks.

Got dessert.

And then we spotted a tall ship at the marina that was giving free tours.  WIN.

Never know what fun might be lurking on an unplanned rest day, perhaps the Lady Washington and hopefully fresh legs...


One Word Wednesday - Overwhelming!


Hike with the Kids - Big Four Ice Caves

This is a hike that my husband and son have done together for the last two summers and it was finally time for me and baby girl to join in the fun.  It's a perfect hike with little ones: just two miles round trip and only 200 feet of elevation gain.  I would say that it's also nice that a good portion of the trail is made up of boardwalks, but boardwalks on trails tend to make my kids go sloooooow.  They either peer down through the slats as they walk or make a game of walking on each board without touching the gaps.  Also slowing us down: there are TONS of dogs on this trail.  But, since it is such a short hike, we weren't in any kind of rush and we all love to stop and pet cute dogs.

Once we wound our way through the forest, the view that opens up on Big Four Mountain is pretty cool.  You can walk down to the rocky flats and feel freezing cold breezes coming from the caves, which is nice on a warm summer day.  It's also fun for the kids to play with snow in the middle of August. 

It should go without saying, but if you go on this hike - don't go in the caves or walk on top of them.  Lots of idiots, FAMILIES even, going inside.  GAH. 

We found a nice flat rock for our special 'hiking snack' (which I recommend bringing to keep the kids happy) and then we headed back toward the trailhead.  The views of Mount Dickerman and Devils Peak are pretty stunning as you turn away from the ice caves.

Devils Peak on the left, Mt. Dickerman on the right

Right by the parking lot is a nice picnic area with bathrooms, lots of picnic tables and space to spread out a blanket for a post hike lunch.  Perfect summer outing with kids, just over an hour away from Seattle.  Highly recommend.

Here's the official info from the Washington Trails Association.


This Weeks Eats

This week is riddled with back to school meetings.  Hard to believe that in just nine days I'll be bringing my oldest to the bus stop for the first time.  I'm a weeee bit excited about the kids getting back to school, but I'm unsure how I'll feel emotionally on that first day of, what is essentially, the rest of his life.  Saw this on Facebook today and it gave me a chuckle.

  • Monday - Pizza
  • Tuesday - I have my first meeting for baby girl's co-op preschool - a potluck.  I'm assigned a dip appetizer, so I thought it'd be a perfect way to try one of those sinful recipes that always make the rounds on Pinterest - like this one or this one...
  • Wednesday - Paninis with turkey, mozzarella, spinach and artichoke (ANOTHER school meeting, this one for big brother who's starting Kindergarten (!), so we're gonna break out the old panini press for a favorite combo I can wolf down before the meeting.)
  • Thursday - grilled chicken with spicy honey marinade (equal parts honey/olive oil, hot sauce to taste), rice and salad
  • Friday - stovetop mac and cheese I've been in the mood for comfort foods, as the weather is starting to change and thought it'd be fun to try a stovetop version
  • Saturday - Top sirloin steaks with herb butter, baked potatoes and wedge salads (iceberg lettuce, blue cheese, tomatoes, red onion and bacon).  This was moved back from last week because we forgot to order the steaks in a timely fashion and surprised the kids with a trip to Red Robin for burgers instead.  Mmmmmm - how I love the Blue Ribbon Burger!
  • Sunday - tequila lime turkey chili yep, another comfort food dinner, and Sunday is always chili or some sort of 'couch food' for football viewing.


Friday Things

Well, I managed to get 8.6 of the 9 miles I had planned on today; as I was finishing up my run I got a call from the coach at my son's sports camp.  I freaked out, naturally, only to have them tell me that he left his backpack open and his snack was taken by a crow.  Um, okaaaay...  He was rather upset about it (yes, he's five) and they were wondering if I was close enough to bring him a new snack.  Er, I'm out on a run and could be there in less than twenty minutes, but can you maybe ask the other kids to share?  Or something?  PEOPLE. It's three hours - I think he'll live!  This is not Defcon 1 here.  I'm thinking they probably could have handled it without me.  But as I hung up, I hemmed and hawed about what a bad mother I am, that I shouldn't have been more than 10 minutes away, that my kid was probably having an epic fit, and, and, and...  So my head just wasn't in it anymore and I cut my run a tad short, only to pick up a very contented boy who snagged a Cliff Kid's Z Bar (which was what the crow took, by the way) and some baby carrots off the other kids.  I should send him to camp sans snack more often!

Here's some random fun from the internets this week.  Via Whoorl's facebook page: someone has added a recipe for ICE on Food.com.  The comments are fantastic fun.

I think we might have to finally trek down to Point Defiance Zoo!  Lauren shared this on Twitter the other day and I just about died - watch to the end.

As many folks are aware it's Hood to Coast weekend and if you want to follow some of the action, check out #NuunHTC on Twitter - many great gals are running for Nuun

Since I shared quite a few songs yesterday, instead of adding a new one today, I thought I'd compile my list and just add to it every Friday so it's all together in one place.  I linked to Amazon because I have an Android phone and that's how I buy/listen to my music.  Hope it helps if you're looking to change up your playlist.  Happy Weekend!

Beautiful People - Chris Brown feat. Benny Benassi (8/23/12)
Ass Back Home - Gym Class Heroes (8/23/12)
The Veldt - Cover Pop tribute to Deadmau5 & Chris James (8/23/12)
Without You - David Guetta feat. Usher (8/23/12)
Good Time - Owl City feat. Carly Rae Jepsen (8/17/12)
Addiction - Medina (8/3/12)
We Run the Night - Havana Brown feat. Pitbull (7/27/12)
The Night Out - Martin Solveig (7/20/12)
Tell 'Em - Sleigh Bells (7/13/12)
Sun is Up - Two Times (7/06/12)
Steam Machine - Daft Punk (6/29/12)
Arguru - Deadmau5 (6/22/12)
Now or Never - Outasight (6/15/12)
Major Tom - Shiny Toy Guns Remix (6/08/12)
Young Blood - The Naked and Famous remixed by Tiesto (5/18/12)
Call me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen (4/6/12) ok, I never knew this song would get so out of hand - it was my first Friday Things!


On the subject of music...

I usually save my talk of music for Friday Things, but I was just thinking: does anyone else associate a particular song with a race?  Even though I have dozens of songs queued up for each of my races, and they're on random (I'm not to the level of creating the perfect play list for each moment of a race, YET), only one song stands out to me after the race is done.  And it's not always the finish line song; just one that stood out and now every time I hear it on the radio, I can't help but think of the race.

Most times, it's the song that lifted me up when I needed it most, or was playing at a great moment.  A few examples:

Yes, I know it's Chris Brown, please forgive me!  This song always makes me think of the Captain Jack 8K because it was blaring as I finally got done with first uphill half of the race and I was FLYING down a nice big hill when this came on.

This was a two-fer, it came on when I needed it most and it carried me over the finish line for my second half marathon and current PR at the Lake Sammamish Half Marathon.

This song was playing at the start of the See Jane Run half marathon, it's a good easing into a race song, when I got my Oiselle side fives: my favorite part of that day.

And this will always make me think of my first half marathon, the Seattle Half Marathon when we were running through the streets of downtown Seattle and seeing that sea of SO MANY PEOPLE.  It had been a long time since I'd done such a big race and that's always such a fun feeling being a part of something so huge.  Reminded me a bit of the old Shamrock Shuffle days...

Anyhoo, you get the idea.  I know these are not highfalutin songs, by any means.  They're not what I turn to while I just want to sit and listen to music (David Gray or The Shins usually win out in that category), but they sure make me smile and give me much needed energy.  I hate when I see those judgemental posts (usually on Facebook) where songs lyrics of past decades are compared to today's Bieber song "Like Baby Baby Baby" and oh, where has creativity gone, blah blah.  Well, is anyone criticizing The Beatles for "she loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah?" (blasphemy!) or one of my favorite songs of all time, The Jackson Five singing "ABC, easy as 123?"  And sometimes it's not about the lyrics: "Ho Hey" by the Lumineers is so simple and yet one of the most sublime songs I've heard in decades.  I'm just gonna go ahead and embed that one, in case you haven't heard it yet:

I think there are plenty of great artists, and lyrics, out there right now (I almost lost my voice singing Colbie Caillat's version of "Breakeven" when I was in the car ALONE last week) and they're just as relevant as the fun pop songs on the radio today.  Well, in my opinion anyway.  I'll get off my soapbox now...


(Almost) One Word Wednesday - Relay Humor

(I can identify with both sides of this conversation - haven't run one, it sounds crazy, but I want to!)


Mom's Day Off

Every summer my husband takes a handful of days off from work to go hiking, do fun family stuff, and (my favorite) to give me a 'vacation day' or two.  Not that he doesn't take the kids on his own quite a bit on the weekends, but I'm talking about a FULL day all to myself.  This summer is getting particularly trying for me and the kids; we're really ready for school to start around here.  The boy-child and I are kiiiind of at our limit with each other.  He's even asked, "When do I get to go back to school, mommy?"  INDEED.  So, I claimed a vacation day last week and didn't exchange a word with anyone under four feet tall ALL DAY.  Well, until at least 5:30 pm.  Here's what my perfect day looks like:

Wake up at 7am and leave the house by 7:30am (juuuust before the kids get up) for a long run.  I put in 11 rather enjoyable miles, maybe it's because I had a lovely solo day ahead of me to look forward to...

Come home to an EMPTY house around 9:45am (husband took kids to the Children's museum) to stretch, have a frozen banana/peanut butter/chocolate milk smoothie, and a long shower.

Sit on the couch in my compression gear, with my feet up from 10:30am until about noon checking email, twitter and writing.

Go out for late lunch to eat one of my favorite meals: eggs Benedict and hash browns.  Particularly, the eggs Benedict from Hectors with crab cakes in lieu of ham.  Mmmmmm...

Walk off lunch with some retail therapy utilizing birthday gift cards until about 3:30pm.

Sit with my Kindle and coffee (iced, it was the hottest day of the year) until 5pm.

The one itty bitty thing that was missing from the perfect day off was a pedicure, but I got some inexplicable blisters on that long run, so I didn't think that was a wise option.  Regardless, it was a perfect day.  Funny how this would just be called 'Saturday' fifteen years ago and not some major EVENT of 'me time.'  Back then, I would have pushed everything back by at least an hour or two to sleep in, probably would have gone to a class at the gym instead of running that far and taken a nap at 5pm so I could go out until 3am....  But, having these kind of days so infrequently makes them all the sweeter.

What does your perfect day look like? 


This Week's Eats

There's something to be said for doing a whole lotta nothing over the weekend.  I'm sitting here trying to think of anything interesting that happened over the last two days to share with y'all and I can't come up with ANYTHING.  The weather finally cooled off and it was so lovely to open the windows, get the house really clean, and spend lots of time in the backyard.  As much as I get antsy not having a schedule during the summer, I'll certainly miss the leisurely pace of it all.  Without further ado...

  • Monday - Pizza, yes, Pizza
  • Tuesday - Mediterranean chicken pasta
  • Wednesday - turkey burgers (1/2 pound of ground turkey with a little egg, breadcrumbs, cilantro, chopped garlic, jalapeno and onion, along with a ton of southwest spices: chili powder, cumin, oregano and cayenne and throw 'em on the grill and add sliced pepperjack cheese)
  • Thursday - Pioneer Woman's spicy pulled pork
  • Friday - skillet lasagna (moved this back from last week, it just felt too hot to sit down to a lasagna dinner, so we just made sandwiches)
  • Saturday - Top sirloin steaks with herb butter, baked potatoes and wedge salads (iceberg lettuce, blue cheese, tomatoes, red onion and bacon).  We did steak last Saturday; I thought we might enjoy the flatiron cut and it just wasn't that great, so we're having a bit of a do-over with our beloved Omaha Steaks!
  • Sunday - 'Autumn' Chopped Salad it's not quite Autumn, but since preseason football is on TV already, I think we can sit down to watch it eating this salad I found on Pinterest...


Friday Things

Man, just when I think all is well and healthy with my running, something new and crazy happens.  I did 11 strong miles yesterday and had/have very little soreness, no muscles were tweaked, nothing's tight - WAHOO!  But, I got these horrifying blisters under my big right toe.  Wha-huh?  My shoes have about 250 mile on them, but I just ran 13.1 in them a month ago with no issues.  I'm hoping it was due to the heat, being my warmest long run EVER with temps already in the 70s by 7:30 am and I was rather sweaty.  Or I just ran TOO fast.  Yep, that's what I'll tell myself.

On that note, I must say that every summer there comes a time I am so grateful that we decided to install central air conditioning in our home.  I do not miss the days of reading the thermostat and having it tell me it's 85 degrees INSIDE my house.  Seattle peeps, hang in there, I hear it'll be over soon.  Or just give me a shout and, if I'm home, you can sit inside my house.

This video made the rounds on Twitter the other day and it just killed me; I have to share:

I think I used to talk like this when I was in college and still like to let those F bombs fly when the kiddos aren't around.  We even started saying 'jackrabbit' in the car, instead of our favorite: 'jackass.'  But, for awhile there, my son was calling people jackrabbits in a rather unfriendly manner.  Errrrr, dunno if that's really a good thing.  Now we just suffer in silence at jackasses on the road.  I digress...

Here's a fun Friday Thing: I won Oiselle's Fast Friday contest today!  Wooo hooo!  Soon this shirt, modeled by the very lovely (and lovely in real life) Kate Grace, will be all mine.  Check out her latest post on the Oiselle blog.

photo from www.oiselle.com

You, too can get in on the action and follow @oiselle on Twitter for a new #fastfriday contest every Friday morning. 

Oh, Carly Rae Jepsen, you've done it again.  Isn't everybody nodding their head along to this song now?  It's the perfect summer weekend song - hope everyone has a GOOD TIME.


Stroller Running

Baby girl had a bit of a fever on Sunday and she felt fine the next morning, but I wanted to play it safe and not bring her to the Y daycare.  We had some mommy and me time available, since big brother was at camp for a few hours, so I thought it'd be nice to dust off the ol' jogging stroller and take it out for a few miles.  And when I say dust, I mean I haven't used it in over a YEAR.  Here's the last time we used the jogger:

May 2011

And Monday:

August 2012 - Just over a year later and she's GINORMOUS

I don't even know if you could call what I was doing with the stroller on Monday 'running.'  MAN, I forgot how HARD it is to jog with a stroller.  I do remember getting used to it, and it's not necessarily about pushing the weight (not that pushing those pounds makes running any easier), but not being able to freely swing your arms takes away so much momentum.  It's like an entirely different sport.

We had fun, though and it's always nice to get extra time outside.  She even spotted some bunnies on the side of the trail as I was almost done, so we got out to say hello.

Until I saw their beady red eyes and told her to back away from the bunnies; I had visions of Watership Down flashing through my head and hightailed it outta there STAT.

I was planning on consigning the stroller and I'm glad I hadn't yet.  It was nice to have for a little play date at Greenlake during which I remembered what a great receptacle it is for carrying a bunch of crap - towels, toys a change of clothes, etc.  I may just keep it around for another year or so for emergency situations or trying to change things up.  But I'm SO VERY GLAD that it's not something I have to rely on anymore.  Mad props to my teammate Jen and of course, the queen of TRIPLE STROLLER running: Dorothy.  I was proud that I got a 9:27 minute mile amongst the four craptastic miles I put in with just a single stroller (with reaaaally low tires, I might add).  She can run triple stroller miles in the 7 minute mile range.  There should be some sort of award for that.  If you see someone out pushing that stroller on a run, I highly encourage you to give them a shout out for a job well done.


One Word Wednesday - Playdate!


Liebster Blog Award

Thank you so much to Paulette for nominating me for a Liebster Blog award!  The Liebster is meant to honor up-and-coming blogs with smaller followings that you really like. I'm excited to be a part of it to share my story and to nominate other bloggers you should check out.

The Liebster Blog award asks the blogger to do the following:
1. Answer 11 questions posted by the person who nominated you.
2. List 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Nominate 11 blogs.
4. Write 11 questions for the blogs you nominate.

Here are Paulette's questions/my answers:

1. What is your favorite race?
As far as race distance, I loved doing a 15K this spring - long, but not too long.  (And everyone had better run Hot Chocolate 15K with me on March 3!) Favorite race specifically? I really love the smaller hometown races that are easy to get to, involve the kids, hopefully a beer, etc.  A perfect example is the Can Do 5K or the upcoming Labor Day Half/4 Miler.

2. What is your least favorite race?
I'm not a fan of the 10K distance - it's hard for me to pace that one right; it seems like a long time at a pretty hard effort.  Not a fan, but I want to try one again soon!  I'd hate to call out any specific race as a least favorite; although, there was one race last year that allowed dogs on leashes and I got clotheslined by a dude trying to PR with his dog in tow - not cool.  AND, it was a 10K.

3. Do you have pets, and if so what kind?
I grew up with dogs, mostly golden retrievers but always wanted a Pug and that's what my husband and I got after we bought our first home/condo in Chicago.  Peeps misses the city, too.  He's the perfect city dog, but loves the temperate weather here in Seattle as much as we do.  We also like to torture him with costumes from time to time...


4. Where did you go to school?
The home of the Fighting Illini - Go Chief!

5. What is your favorite long run fuel?
Clif Shot Bloks or Gu

6. Name one thing on your running bucket list.
Hood to Coast!

7. If you could vacation anywhere for a week, where would you go?
I've been to many countries and travelled quite a bit; but these days, all I ask is for the beaches of Mexico, chips, guacamole, margaritas and a book.  Specifically Cabo so that I could go to Edith's for dinner.  One of the best meals of my life so far.

8. Coffee, tea, or none of the above?

9. What sparked your commitment to healthy living and fitness?
I grew up in an environment of an active and healthy family, so I really never knew any different. 

10. What hobbies do you have outside of running & fitness?
I love to read and cook (BO-RING, I know, but the rest of my free time is spent raising two humans)

11. Why did you start blogging?
I sorta spoke to this question not too long ago.  My initial aim was to become more connected to my Oiselle and running tweeps, as well as keeping my oh-so-far-away family up to date. 

My 11 Random Facts:

1. I hate being barefoot.  Even on a hot day.  Once I'm inside, I kick off my flip flops and usually put on socks.  So, yes, I wear socks to bed.

2. I'm left handed, that means I'm in my right mind.

3. When I learned my first child was a boy, I was SO happy because I have an older brother.  I wanted whatever child that came afterwards to have the same awesome experience of having a big brother.  I never had the OMG puhleeeeeez let it be a girl feelings with either kid.

4. My big brother is a captain (manager) of a Trader Joes and whenever people tell him how much they love it/love favorite items he says "thanks for feeding my kids!" This cracks me up.  Oh, and go feed my nieces and nephew!

5.  When I learned my second child was a girl, I was ECSTATIC and PETRIFIED at the same time.  Still am.

6. I've had two c-sections and the worst part for both of them was getting the IV: major abdominal surgery and I fainted for both IVs and had constant pain at the IV site both times.

7. My favorite day of the week is Saturday: it's my 'sleep in' day (until around 9am), we usually do fun family things, we clean house, sit down to dinner together after the kids go to bed, and watch a movie with after dinner cocktails in our nice and clean living room.

8. I like rituals, structure, cleanliness and organization. (SHOCKER!)

9. I used to be totally against the idea of 3D movies until we watched Tron Legacy in the comfort of our own home in 3D.  There ARE films that are made for this medium and are amazing.  Highly recommend.

10. I also used to be against the idea of e-books until my mom got me a Kindle.  I'm a big supporter of the library and not paying for books.  But because King County Library System is SO awesome, I've been able to check out 95% of my books on my Kindle.  Also, putting the Kindle app on my phone has given me so much more time to read on the go whenever I have a few extra minutes throughout the day.  WIN.

11. My random fact I use every time I've had to play 'getting to know you bingo' (since having kids, I've been inexplicably faced with this icebreaker several times...) and it's also on the getting to know me page: I went to Space Camp in Huntsville, AL when I was twelve.  It was pretty awesome and, yes, I got to sit in that spinning thing with concentric circles.  Although, the hand control was mounted there as a prop for the movie (fyi for anyone that actually SAW the movie) and it doesn't do anything.

Here are 11 blogs/bloggers I really admire and 11 questions for them if they feel like playing along!

The Local Elite
Meghan's Wanderings
Daily Sweat
Running Kellometers
Yo Momma Runs
Moveable Mom
Super Runner Mom
Lindsay on the Go
Ricole Runs
Marathon Lar
Skipping in Seattle

1. What's your current running/fitness goal?
2. What's your guilty pleasure running song?
3. Do you have a favorite post race meal/restaurant?
4. Do you have siblings?
5. Are you right or left handed?
6. Best meal of your life? 
7. Where would you want to retire?
8. Favorite day of the week?
9. What did you want to be when you were little?
10. Cat or dog person?
11. Ever have major surgery?


This Week's Eats

I hope everyone had an excellent weekend!  My poor baby girl decidedly did NOT.  She is having one of the worst weeks in her two years of existence...  Wednesday she got tackled repeatedly by a couple of three year old boys: a game of chase gone awry.  I was able to rescue her before they jumped on her a third time.  On Friday, another toddler took a bite out of her arm; thankfully, the skin wasn't broken - but it wasn't pretty:

And on Saturday, she tripped while running onto our back deck and lost half a fingernail and half a toenail.  She is just an accident waiting to happen.  I always thought my boy would be the one with all the bruises, scrapes, bumps and eventually stitches and broken bones.  Now I'm thinking otherwise.

I really don't have any good segue... so here's this week's eats with some attempts at some Chicago favorites:
  • Monday - Pizza!
  • Tuesday - Waldorf Salad (pushed back from last week because we decided to have a lazy night and went out for dinner)
  • Wednesday - Angel Hair pasta with tomatoes, peas, fresh herbs (basil/oregano/chives/parsley) and fresh mozzarella
  • Thursday - Garbage Salad (this is my attempt at an old Chicago favorite salad they used to make at Blackies with hard boiled egg, artichoke hearts, bacon bits, hearts of palm, onions and tomato with ceasar dressing)
  • Friday - Skillet Lasagna (from How Sweet Eats) with hot italian turkey sausage
  • Saturday - Flat Iron Steak with jerk seasoning, twice baked potatoes and roasted Parmesan green beans (pinterest experiment)
  • Sunday - Fajitas - my husband couldn't help but grab this at the grocery store, another attempt at the tastes of home:

I'm SURE it's gonna taste like Rick Bayless whipped it up in our own home!


Friday Things

Oof, I wonder if there's such a thing as 'delayed tiredness onset' - much like 'delayed muscle soreness onset.'  I felt just fine all day yesterday after taking my first crack at an early run, even during a nearly two hour park playdate running around after my kids.  In many ways, that felt more exhausting than running ten miles.  But today I broke into my morning coffee stash instead of drinking my usual decaf in the afternoon and I'm just starting to perk up a bit...

If you like reading Young Adult books, I highly recommend checking out the list NPR has just compiled.  I've checked off 32 and have one ebook on hold from the list.  Also, this was a great one that Not Martha shared awhile back, if you liked the Hunger Games, here's a cool little flowchart for your enjoyment:

Although a glaring omission from both lists, and a MUST read in my opinion, are the City of Ember books by Jeanne DuPrau.  At nearly ten years old, I think this series set the stage for many books to follow.  Not in the same way as Ray Bradbury or Lois Lowry, per se, but still worth recognition.

Moving on, I have to share the latest funny or die because it stars one of my favorite entertainers of all time: Simon Pegg.  And you've probably already seen the other Olympic funny goin' round: McKayla's not impressed.  (Just in case you haven't, check out the fun the Oiselle HQ ladies had with it here.)

My Friday song really helped light a fire under me on my long run.  The Rockstarr album by Taio Cruz is really fun, but this remix of Dynamite is one of my favorite tunes.

Happy weekend!


I Ran 10 Miles before 7:15 AM (and want to talk at length about it)

I love to sleep - a lot: normally nine hours (yes NINE) a night.  Maybe it was having kids that made me relish every sweet second all the more... But, when I think about it, I've always gravitated towards going to bed around 10:30pm.  And when the kids were babies up at all hours of the night, I'd go to bed at 8pm if it meant getting eight or more hours of sleep, albeit interrupted. 

So, it was a rather big thing for me to set my alarm for 4:45am to get a long run done this morning.  Sure, I'll lose sleep for a race, a trip, a night out, etc.  But this was the first time I chose to get up at such a ridiculous hour even though I have alternatives.  I could get up around 7am on the weekends to get in a long run; but I relish our family time and my little time to 'sleep in.'  And, certainly my husband can take the kids during the day so I can run; he does that quite a bit, too. However, much of the time I don't want to miss out on what they're up to! 

I got out the door by 5:20am and chose to take a short drive to the downtown business area/lakefront path in our town because it's nice and busy with commuters, coffee shops that were gearing up to open, and it's a relatively flat run.  I had to do and out and back TWICE, but it felt busy, safe and familiar.  I wasn't the only one with this idea, I passed woman after woman getting out there and gettin' it done.  It was pretty cool to nod at all of these crazy people with the same affliction of actually enjoying running.  I even ran into a fellow bootcamp mama!

5:38am start time, sheeesh

Now, I don't plan to do a 10+ miler every time I get up at the crack of dawn since I only got about 6 hours of sleep (eegads!), and we all know how important good sleep is for running.  But, it's nice to know it's an option that 1) didn't make me want to die 2) I could keep the right pace and not feel rushed by the ticking clock of the Y daycare and 3) it sure felt nice having it done for the day!

Not too bad of a view either...


(Sorta) One Word Wednesday - Hilarious


Fitness Bucket List

I have an ever-changing list of fitness goals on my mind that I want to accomplish; some are in the near future, and some are true 'bucket list' items.  It was a lot of fun to finally get around to my task as a Fitfluential ambassador to make the list more concrete and put them all together in a Pinterest board.  Yes, many things are running related, but I got on a roll thinking about other fun things I'd like to take on...

Short term, I think it's no secret my first goal is to run a half marathon in less than two hours

Snohomish River Run
Source: http://snohomishriverrun.com/

I'd also like to do my next 5K in less than 25 minutes.

By this time next year I had better be on a Ragnar or (dare to dream?) a Hood to Coast Team!  I probably could have strong-armed my way on to a Ragnar team of bloggers who had an injured runner at the last minute; alas, it was the same weekend as our little family road trip.  DAMMMMMMIT.  And I rilly, rilly hope that a plan comes together so that I can run one of these with my fabulous Oiselle teammates. 

(I think they like this idea as well..)

I'd also like to get in more trail running, but it's sort of hard with the kids being so young.  Since there aren't any real trails right outside the doors of the Y, the only time I'd be able to trail run is in the wee early hours, and that's just not safe in my opinion.  When baby girl starts preschool, I'll have one day a week with a kid-free hour or so during the day and I'll be near a state park with trails.  Hopefully I'll be able to get in some training and try a trail race next year.

There are lots of little things I want to do soon-ish, like stand up paddle boarding, have at least one Crossfit experience, do some more yoga and hike Mount Pilchuck again with my husband.

Six years is too long between visits to this glorious trail

As far a long term goals, the first thing I thought of was to run a 5K with my kids when they are old enough.  Maybe big brother will be good to go next year when he turns six; he already LOVES kids dashes and usually wins.

ACTUALLY paying attention!

I'd love to do a destination race like Big Sur or the Nike Women's Marathon/Half Marathon in San Francisco.  And, yeah, it'd be cool to score a Tiffany necklace at the finish.  The ultimate destination, though, would be to go home for a race.  The idea of the Soldier Field 10 miler is really appealing: the time of year (late April), the distance, and finishing on the home of the Bears.

Getting back into swimming is always in the back of my mind and I'll definitely join the masters team practices one day at the Y, and maybe even compete with them.  Watching Olympics swimming coverage gets me itching to get back into the pool and race.

maybe I'm even faster than this girl here?

Whenever I tell people I swam competitively growing up and love the water, inevitably I get asked when/if I'm doing a triathlon.  Maybe in the next few years I'll try some open water swimming, perhaps the Islander Aquathon, and yes, one day I will break down and get on a bike.  It's the bike part that's terrifying to me.  I feel so out of control when I get going too fast and it's so easy to get badly injured - like fall down and break something/get stitches kind of injured...

What's less terrifying than racing on a bike?  Running a marathon.  And, well, that may be closer to the near future than long term... 

Eugene Marathon
Source: http://www.eugenemarathon.com/

But, I'll talk more on that subject another day.  It deserves it's own post.


This Week's Eats - 100th Post!

So this is my 100th post!  I suppose I should have something profound to say, but all I can think of right now is that I simultaneously love and loathe tempo running.  Today I only had to do two miles after one mile of warmup time, yet I felt like I might hurl just a weeee bit in those two measly miles.  On the flip side, I love it when I'm done, because I'm DONE and it's fun to see what pace I maintained: extra bonus points when I'm exactly where the McMillan calculator tells me I should be (8:27-8:41 min miles) for my goal of running a sub two hour half marathon.  With the plan I'm following, I'm going to be working up to a FIVE mile tempo run.  Maintaining that pace for that long is making me feel a little queasy...  Welp, guess I shall distract myself from thinking about THAT and think about food instead - that's always a good plan.

  • Monday - Pizza: I found out about this 50% off promotion that Papa John's has going on via Thrifty Northwest Mom, so we might just have to take advantage of it tonight...
  • TuesdaySpicy Avocado Enchiladas (awesome recipe found via Pinterest)
  • Wednesday - stuffed flounder filets from Trader Joes, sauteed green beans and brown rice
  • Thursday - spicy chicken sausages on the grill and baked potato salad (typical potato salad recipe with lite mayo/sour cream and then shredded cheddar, bacon and green onion)
  • Friday - veggie and chicken stir fry with Trader Joes Red Curry sauce
  • Saturday - Spaghetti with turkey ragu (1/2 lb ground turkey, onion, garlic, 28oz can crushed tomatoes, 8oz can tomato sauce and 1/2 can of tomato paste)
  • Sunday - Waldorf salad with chicken - an old Alton Brown recipe and, as he would tell you, a traditional Waldorf salad does not include chicken.  But, we add it anyway.


Friday Things - Birthday Edition

My birthday was earlier this week, and I turned... 38.  Thirty eight.  Thirty-freaking-eight.  I think most people around my age would agree that we all feel like we're still somewhere between 28-32 on the inside.  I'm probably in the best shape of my life and in a really happy place, so I don't mind it too much really; it's just seeing it spelled out or saying it out loud feels strange... 

By a happy coincidence, a girls night out plan came together that night.  There aren't many things that are better than margaritas, lots of full belly laughs and being one of the last tables to leave a restaurant with a group of friends.  I was reminded at dinner that they actually read this blog and, I must admit, it felt a bit weird! HI FRIENDS!  Haha.  I suppose that when I started this thing, my aim was to become more connected to my Oiselle and running tweeps, as well as keeping my oh-so-far-away family up to date.  Sure, I let my friends know about it; but, for whatever reason, I just assumed they'd stop reading at some point.  I've always enjoyed writing: rhetoric was one of my best subjects in high school and the first major I declared in college, before switching to a more 'practical' major of communications.  It made me realize that I'm rather enjoying the writing for writing's sake, as it's rather therapeutic.  I guess it's a nice side effect that someone else might connect with me or enjoy reading what I write.

Besides having a fun dinner with friends, a lovely dinner with my husband, moolah from my MIL and mom, I went on a major Oiselle shopping spree and pestered all my Twitter friends with a mini fashion show. 

Here's the list of loot: Bum Wrap in black, Go Fast V Neck Tee in orange, Stripey Long Sleeve in Indigo AND Violet, and the Happy Hoodie in orange.  Never in my life did I think I'd buy a running skirt.  I suppose, technically, I haven't: it's a Bum Wrap!  It's so comfortable, flattering (I'm just not ready for the Stride short), didn't ride up, and I really like that feeling of being shrink-wrapped (in a good way) into my running bottoms.  I was wary of this purchase and it turned out to be my favorite of the bunch.  Of course, as soon as the package arrived at my door, a new Fall 2012 item became available online and I'm not sure which color to choose - the green or violet Mesh Tank??  I'm leaning towards green, I could totally wear that with jeans, too...


BTW, how beautiful are these two ladies?  Love.

Moving on...  Thankfully my long run this week (from the Train Like a Mother plan) was 'only' eight miles and I was able to get it done while at the Y yesterday.  Ahhh, I'm gonna sleep in tomorrow!  On that note, I wish you a happy weekend and here's a favorite long run song: "Addiction" by Medina.