Spartan Race Giveaway and Discount Code!

Updated - Winner Chosen!

Doing an obstacle race was high on my radar a few years ago when I was really getting into my bootcamp classes.  But, since I became primarily focused on running, the idea sort of fell by the wayside.  Now that I've tried my first trail race, and put the half marathon distance on the back burner for awhile, it would be the perfect time to try one out, if I could get over my fear of slipping and falling... hmmm.

As it happens, the folks at Spartan Race reached out to me with a free race entry to give away and I was pretty bummed to learn that I already have a commitment and wouldn't be able to check out my local Spartan Race which is this weekend.  However, if you would like to take part in a Spartan Race near you, or near somewhere you'd love to travel, I have a free entry to give away.  They even have international races and one in Chicago - this could be your excuse to visit!  

What seems pretty cool about the Spartan Races, is that they have different levels/distances to choose from throughout the year and it’s been voted the #1 obstacle race by Outside Magazine.  Also pretty cool, Joe De Sena, founder of Spartan Race and members of his team are hitting the road and leading free Spartan Workouts across the country.  Go here to find one near you. 

To enter, just leave me a comment below.  I'd love to hear your feedback on obstacle races: tell me if you've never tried one, or if you have - what did you think?  Which race did you do?  A Spartan Race?  I'll choose a winner via random.org next Tuesday, August 6th.  And if you just can't wait to see if you've won, or are signing up for this weekend's race in Washington, click HERE for a discount code for 15% off any Spartan Race!  The code will work one time for any open heat in any 2013-2104 Spartan Race in the continental US.


This Weeks Eats (with Major Love for Veggie Grill) 7.28.13

OK, so I lied about my next post being 'How to Survive Childrens Hospital for Five Days with Your Six Year Old.'  That one might take a while to pull together...  Rest assured that big brother is 100% back to his regularly scheduled programming of being in constant motion, a nonstop chatterbox, and is fighting like cats and dogs with his sister - yay.  Thanks so much for all the good juju and support y'all. 

Anyhoo, after two weeks of chaos with the week leading up to Ragnar and our subsequent hospital stay, it's time to get back into the routine - including meal planning and REAL food.  I am so very sick of sandwiches and, dare I say, Starbucks.  There are two inside Seattle Children's and I think my gold status should be secure for at least five more years.  I must give a big thumbs up to their Chicken BLT Salad Sandwich, though.  And I finally had the opportunity to try Veggie Grill!  There's one nearby at University Village and when my husband and I would do a 'changing of the guard' at the hospital, I'd take my daughter there and we'd grab lunch or dinner, depending upon the time of day.  I am by no means a vegetarian, but I can certainly appreciate a vegetarian meal.  My daughter loved her mac and cheese, sweet potato fries and pudding cup.  I tried the 'steak' tacos (awesome!), crispy chickin' plate with steamed kale and cauli-mashed potatoes (ermagherd, yummmm), and this fantastic salad - the Savory Kale Ceasar (I die).  It's got marinated kale, romaine hearts, chopped Tempeh Bacon, chunky avocado, cucumber, croutons, veggie Parmesan and I got grilled chickin' on top.  

I never knew 'fake' meats could taste so delicious, even the 'bacon' was good.  Now, I'm not about to become a vegetarian, but I will certainly eat at this fine establishment every. chance. I. get.  I even tried to recreate this salad for dinner tonight with real bacon and chicken.  Pretty tasty, but I couldn't recreate Veggie Grill's kale, plus I do not have an unending supply of iced teas.  That was the kicker - I could happily float on a river of their self serve iced pomegranate green tea and ginger hibiscus tea; and my daughter was pretty stoked about the fresh strawberry lemonade.  I foresee many trips to the one that's opening soon on the Eastside in Bellevue.

So after all that, here's my not quite as exciting as Veggie Grill menu for the week.  But, man, I'm sure excited about it and having our routine back - PLUS it's my birthday this week, which means Saturday date night!
Linking up again with Mommy Run Fast and Jill Conyers (who has great vegetarian menus, by the way), as well as Rachel at In No Simple Language - be sure to check out all the great weekly menus!


Ragnar Northwest Passage - The Epic Race Recap

It's been a bit silent here on the blog, and part of that is due to the fact that Ragnar is SO EPIC that it took me awhile to compress all I have to say about it into a manageable post.  Also, life at home has been a bit topsy-turvy; but, I'll get to that later...

OK then, I left off with the team introductions here.  On Thursday night we all met up at Oiselle's Greenlake HQ to decorate our vans while eating some dinner.  I must say I was super impressed that Sarah and Paulette found parking for both vans together within two blocks from the office.  Well done ladies!

The whole gang and then some!

I'll never look at a 15 passenger van the same way again - our home for nearly 36 hours.

We finished up around 9pm and I tried to hurry home to finish packing and get to sleep for a lovely wake up time of 4am, but I hardly slept because I was so excited and, yes, nervous.  Ragnar began rather early for those of us in van one, with a 9:30 start time - which meant getting on the road around 5:30 so we could be there for an 8:30 check in.  We all met up near Sarah's place in South Lake Union, parked our cars, got our Starbucks and hit the road for Blaine - basically the Canadian border.  Any cars on the road at this time of day on a Saturday were mostly Ragnar vans and it was fun waving to all the other folks (including our friends from Nuun with team #Nuunsense) along the way.  The party and camaraderie begins even before you get to the start line!

Yes, we're still waking up... Morena, Sarah, Nolana, Me, Lauren, Becky

We made it up there in plenty of time for the mandatory safety briefing and gear check: teams must have a reflective vest for each member to wear whenever outside the van at night, two headlamps and two LED lights available for those running during night hours.  So we had time to hang out with our runner friends doing Northwest Passage as an ultra: Six Pack With Racks!

You can check out Lauren, Rebecca, Robyn, Bethany or Ria's blog for the amazing feat that these gals pulled off running an ultra.

Being the first runner, I was getting nervous - but in a weird way.  I've never felt worried about letting other people down when I run a race and I think we were all feeling a bit of worry or guilt about our upcoming legs.  I was getting over a head cold and I never train in the heat (it was HOT, heat indexes in the low 90s that day), Lauren was just getting a cold, and Becky was coming back from injury.  Not only that, but we were all nervous about the course and running on the roads - this was the first relay experience for our entire team, save Paulette.  Would we get lost?  Would punk ass teens switch the signs?  Would we get run over by a truck? Would we run out of water?  Would we make it to the exchange in time?  Would all the port-a-pottys be out of toilet paper? Spoiler: none of these things happened and all those Honey Buckets were stocked full of paper AND hand sanitizer the whole way through.


Yessss! Running! First leg was 6.3 miles. This is Bethany from the Six Pack team, you can read more about her here.

About two miles in, I began to really understand what Ragnar is all about.  My teammates passed by, hollering and cowbell-ing from the van as I started passing vans lining the side of the road full of group after group of awesome people cheering everyone on.  Including a team dressed as girl and boy scouts, princesses, Santa Claus, guys dancing in tutus, hot pants, or even a diaper...

I don't even want to think about the chafing...

I couldn't help but smile and definitely couldn't help but cheer when I saw my team by the side of the road and was positively giddy to run up to Nolana at the first exchange and give her the slap bracelet.  By the way, a good tip for the handoff - get the bracelet straight and hand it off like a baton so that your next runner can slap it on their own wrist. 

I so love this picture!  Thank you Sarah for being such a great team photographer.  It looks like I'm waving, but I am indicating my four 'kills.'

I took it pretty conservatively, finishing in just under 57 minutes for about a 9min pace, because of the heat and knowing I still had two more legs to run before it was all over.  One great thing about being Runner One (among many other things) was being done with everything first.  My nerves were gone and I was able to really get into this whole crazy, crazy experience. 

Checking off each leg really resonated with my list-making soul.

After Nolana ran,

Go Nolana!

Lauren had a very hilly and hot unsupported leg - meaning we couldn't get out to cheer or give her water (they had aid stations), so we cheered from inside the van and met her at the exchange.  
All smiles!
Then it was time for Morena to run; as she was out on her quick four mile leg, the VAN STALLED.  We were all charging our phones and left them plugged in while the van was off, that's the only thing we could think of that would have drained the battery.  So we unplugged closed all the doors and tried a few more times.  At that point we screamed at Sarah, our next runner, to see if she could get a ride in another van while we looked for someone with jumper cables.  Wouldn't ya know, right as she was about to get a ride, the van started. 

We made it!
Needless to say, we were very cautious about battery consumption after that and Sarah rocked her leg with 11 kills!  I think I had this many kills total for all my legs; kills = number of runners you pass. 

Sarah racking up the most kills in the van!
We had a discussion going as to whether it counted if you pass someone and they end up passing you back before you're done with your leg.  We decided that it counted and it only happened to me once anyway!  Before we knew it, Becky was finishing up our van's last run and handing it off to Natty at the first major exchange.

Van two, waiting for us to come in. Paulette, Laurel, Julie, Sophia, Natty and Ashley
Becky running in the hot sun

Quick team picture after Becky handed off to Natty.

There wasn't a lot of time during this break, maybe 3-4 hours based on our projections.  Although, time not spent running, driving, and cheering went by a LOT slower.  We couldn't believe we'd been in the van for more than 10 hours at this point. 

Visiting with teammate Megan (far left) at the Nuun tent.

Someone caught sight of a Jimmy John's nearby and we decided that would be a good and easy meal before starting our next leg, since we wouldn't have a ton of time to digest, or at least I wouldn't have!  This was one disadvantage of being in van one: dinner time wasn't really at a normal dinner hour.  When we started back up around 7:30, it was perfect chow down time for van two.  But at 4pm... meh.  After we ate, we drove about a half an hour to exchange 12 where we'd start the process all over again and rested. 

Meanwhile, here are some of the shenanigans that van two was up to...
Julie gettin' her six pack abs.
Sophia kickin' ass.  I think this is my favorite picture from the whole race - LOVE.
This girl! She is just incredible, and I think her van mates would agree.  Natty's the epitome of speed and strength - even pacing on other's legs when she'd already run over 20 miles.  MVP award right here. 


It was fun to wait for someone to run in to start my next leg and take the bracelet from Sophia!

Yeah, I was a bit delirious.

Getting to slap on the bracelet for the first time after Sophia rolled in with her six pack abs.

This was my favorite run.  I started out very tired and groggy and was really worried about how I'd fare.  But, we all discovered that running totally re-energized us and definitely brought on the endorphins.  I borrowed Morena's Garmin and didn't look at it the whole time, just went by feel and enjoyed running through the streets of Burlington, watching my shadow grow longer as we approached the magical hour of dusk and seeing the runners silhouettes against the setting sun.  I was 100% in the moment and it was just really cool.  The Garmin read 42 minutes for 4.5 miles, but I logged it in Dailymile as 40 minutes (because I had to wait at a stoplight for at least two minutes, I ain't countin those!) and kept it under a 9min pace. 

Love that we met people along the way - this was taken by Oiselle friend Deidre.  Thanks Deidre!

After this run I used one of Sarah's Shower Pills in the back of the van and changed into my cozy time-out sweats and trials hoodie as the temps were going down quickly.  My memories of this second leg were hazy, other than being the most popular girls at exchange 15 because Sarah remembered to bring insect repellent.  The word got out that we had some and we were spritzing people left and right to ward off the major mosquito invasion.  And at exchange 16 we got Snow Goose ice cream!  After this exchange my favorite memories came from the quiet night hours and 'whisper cheering.'  Ragnar wanted us to be very conscientious of the neighborhoods we were running at night - so no honking, loud cheering, etc. during designated 'shhhhhh' legs.  During Sarah's run we pulled over to the side of the road by some houses and whisper-cheered (Alexi Pappas style, of course) "yooou looook greaaaaat! yooooou're soooo smaaart aaaand preeeetty!  I beeeeelieve iiiiin yooooou!" and cracked ourselves up.  Yes, the slap-happy hours were setting in - not as many pictures from these legs. 

Pretty soon it was time for our big break and a little sleep.  Once Becky brought it in at the next major exchange, we chatted with van two, borrowed a few sleeping bags and hit the road to get some sleep.  Of course, I made Lauren get lost on our way to La Conner.  Oh State Route 20, why must you have a 'spur'???  That goddamn 'spur' is freaking confusing and we drove in circles for about a half an hour trying to get on the right track to Oak Harbor High.  We finally settled in around 2am and I was projected to start us off for our last legs around 5:30am.  Half of us slept in the van (one bench seat each) and the other half went into the high school gym to sleep.  I passed out in the van by about 2:15am and we woke to a text from van two around 4am, getting about two hours of sleep.  Side note, I brought a sleep mask and it was really helpful to block out parking lot lights, and would probably be even more helpful when trying to sleep in a school gymnasium.  I tried to rest for about a half an hour, willing myself to get up and put on my final set of running clothes and try to wake up. 


This was by FAR the hardest, and thankfully it was the shortest of my legs at 3.1 miles.  Yes, another benefit of being runner one was low mileage that decreased with each leg.  By this point, I didn't even bother using a GPS.  Another thing I learned about Ragnar is that, for most teams, it's not at all about pace.  At each exchange, we had a rough idea as to when a runner was supposed to come in and then we got out and waited.  We had no idea if someone ran 11 minute miles or 8 minute miles, really.  So I just tried to enjoy the scenery, and keep from passing out.  Success!


Beautiful views of Oak Harbor and a nice downhill perked me right up, though.

Again, after my run, things are fuzzy but I do remember the hills from hell that were part of Morena's last leg. 

Omigod, no thank you.  Especially this being her last leg on the least amount of sleep.  Man.  Just... man.

Once we were all done, half of us waited in a verrrrry long line for showers at the last major exchange, Coupeville High School, and then drove to the finish to get some grub.  OK people, so the last main meal we ate was at 4pm the day prior and it was a simple sandwich.  We. Were. Dying.  Thank God for the supply of Pickybars from Laurel, otherwise we really might not have made it.

SCORE. Without these and our vast supply of Nuun, we'd have been worse for wear

Of course all runners were hitting the one coffee shop in Langley that served breakfast food and not five minutes after we got in line they announced that they were done serving breakfast.  I seriously almost had a breakdown, and I had other reasons to completely lose it.  OK, the life being topsy-turvy comment above... 


On Friday night, sometime after my second run, my husband jokingly texts me that my son is puking and isn't that funny because someone usually gets sick when I have plans.  But on Saturday morning, as we're trying to find food, I get a text that they're at the hospital.  Um, I'm a generally weepy person when I'm tired and this was beyond tired.  Beyond hungry.  And now my boy was in the hospital.  Long story short (too late?), I was receiving texts on his progress while stuck on Whidbey Island, a good couple of hours away.  My teammates were ready to drive home and miss the finish, but my husband said there wasn't anything I could do at that point.  If we got home in 3 hours versus 5 hours, what's the difference?  Yeah, that's where my head was at as we finally found some food - gyros and fries which tasted heavenly.

Once we got to the finish line, we were on fire quickly cleaning up the van, washing off the paint and taking down lights so that we could get going as soon as possible.  I was feeling so bad that we couldn't hang out with van two and eat our free pizzas (they hand out two large pizzas to every team after the finish) while watching teams finish and share stories.  At least I got everyone to their nap and shower faster...?  After we dotted all of our i's and crossed our t's, we waited for Sophia to come in so that we could all run through the finish chute together. 
almost done! Laurel pacing Sophia to the finish.
Could these two BE any cuter??

It was great to see Laurel helping pace her in for our finish, it just embodied this whole experience of friendship, team, and how awesome it is that Oiselle brought all of us together. Our finish time of 28:11:15 was good for 3rd place in the women's open division!  Imagine if we were all healthy and really worried about our pace??

Anyhow, we took lots of pictures, got our bottle opener medals and headed towards the ferry.  The whole time I'm checking my phone for texts and getting random updates from my husband.  When I learned that my son was being moved to Childrens Hospital, likely to get an operation (it's kidney related - a narrowing in his ureter that we discovered when he was an infant that he supposedly grew out of, guess not!) I started keening like a dying cat and I'm sure everyone at Ragnar was like, whoa! She must be really moved by the Ragnar experience!  Ha.  So, yeah, after so much love and support from my amazing teammates, I finally made it to my car and white knuckled it to Childrens. 

Yeah, this was the picture text I got after our big finish.  Grrrrreat!

The amount of sleep I've had since then is a post for another day, and dealing with all of this coming off a 200 mile relay is a definite out-of-body experience.  But, I can now look back on it and smile and write about it (while I'm stuck in a tiny hospital room with nuthin' but time) because we're all okay and life will resume it's blessed normalcy and routine tomorrow.

Last night reading bedtime stories. We're being sprung today!

For now, I'm writing this up as big brother sleeps in his hospital bed for the fifth and likely last night.  Thanks for all the good juju sent our way when we needed it and, don't worry, it was a pretty routine procedure and he's doing great.  It was just an integral part of my Ragnar story, so I had to share.

I think I'm the last to write up my recap, so that way, I have links to my other blogging teammates recaps - yay!  Check it:


Next post: How to Survive Seattle Childrens for Five Days with Your Six Year Old


Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Coupon Code for 2013-14 (UPDATED for 2019)

**UPDATE FOR 2019: I'm not sure what it will be, but you can start using SEAANDREA19 for next year's free item!**

I'll have a post up with more details soon.

I'm so excited to report that I'll be a Chambassador again (that's a chocolate ambassador) for the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K race series!  

Yummmm - so freakin' good.

This year's fun swag is a travel mug you can get with your registration for ANY of the races in the series with the code SEAMUG1.

So if you are near, or want to run in the following cities:

  • Atlanta
  • Chicago
  • Columbus
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Minneapolis
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix
  • San Diego
  • Seattle
  • St. Louis
  • Nashville
  • Los Angeles (new Frozen Hot Chocolate 5K/10K race!)
From the Hot Chocolate FB page - go like 'em
Edited to add San Francisco!!  Hot Chocolate's rolling into the Bay Area on January 12, 2014 and registration is OPEN.

Register here and use the code above to get yer shiny new mug at packet pickup.  This race is so much fun and you don't just have to take my word for it, check out Rachelle's, Zoe's, and Tasha's race reports, too.  


Flockstars, Meet the Flockstars!

Ahhhh, Ragnar week is HERE!  I feel that I must introduce y'all to these fabulous sisters in sport, complete with Twitter handles so that you can follow along with all of our shenanigans this Friday and Saturday.

Let's start with Van 1 - hey, I'M in van one and, wouldn't ya know, I'm also runner one!  I'm freaking out that I'll be starting this party, kickin' it off at 9:30AM with 6.3 miles.  If you're curious about all the legs/maps you can check those out here.  My second leg will be 4.5 miles around 6:45pm and my last leg will be 3.1 miles around 4:45AM - YIKES.  

OK, on to the introductions!  Runner two is the super awesome Nolana, and hopefully she'll be sharing her PT skillz with us along the journey as well as makin' us laugh; I love her sense of humor.

From the Valentine's Day Dash with our fab team manager Kristin
Since I have this awesome picture with both, I'm skipping over to runner four- Morena, who makes up the other half of the Newton sisters - yep, Morena and Nolana are sisters and I always want to say 'the twins' even though they are not!  As the moms of the group, Morena, Nolana and I might annoy the hell out of everyone in the van with talk of our chilluns (to make matters worse, Nolana and I both have a 3 and 6 year old) but we'll reel them all back in with book lover talk!

Runner three is none other than my Eugene guardian angel (and our runner representin' Oiselle HQ) Lauren.  This girl and I have already established that we can hang in tight quarters for extended periods of time, and we have a lot in common, especially our love of SLEEEEEEP - so BEWARE y'all.

From Lauren's Oiselle Blog post on the Paris Marathon - yes, Paris.

Runner five is the always smiling Sarah with the unflappable sunny disposition.  I think we're all going to be relying heavily on her to keep us going when the going gets tough.  That and we'll be borrowing any Oiselle items we might need, because she has them ALL.

One of my favorite pics ever - Sarah at the Oiselle sample sale! (from Oiselle's Instagram)
Runner six is the comeback kid Becky who's returning from injury like a conquering hero.  Like Sarah, she's always has a smile and apparently only gets 3-4 hours of sleep a night anyway, so she'll be the brains of the operation, I'm sure.  I think I speak for everyone when I say that I reaaaally wish we could bring her dog Yogi along as our mascot.  You should follow his Instagram account here.

From Becky's Instagram: sidelined at Eugene, but there to support us all - including her BFF Sarah running in the Oiselle bridal dress just weeks before her wedding!
And in van 2, runner seven is one of the most encouraging and awesome cheerleaders of the Oiselle team - Natty.  I'm sure she'll keep Van 2 chatting away, she's a great car companion; I was lucky enough to be her race sherpa for when she won the Snohomish River Run. Yeah, this girl is FAST.

With her award for winning the Snohomish River Run Half Marathon in 1:24:59!

Runner eight is our Hail Mary, Julie, who acquiesced to our last minute begging to join the team and we're so lucky to have her.  She's a teacher at an all girls school, so I'm guessing she's got some tricks up her sleeves to keep everyone in line and on task.

With teammates Sarah and Lauren at Jasyoga wine night! from JJ's Instagram

Runner nine is the one person on our Ragnar team who I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet!  Ashley, a fellow momma, is a run coach who made the top ten for the much coveted Run Westin concierge gig which you can read more about here.  Very cool beans.

from her Oiselle profile

Runner ten is our resident Pickybird Laurel!  Laurel's livin' the dream, working for some pretty cool bosses at Pickybars.  She's half of the coolest run BFFs that were brought together by Oiselle - the other being...

One of many Oiselle Lookbook pics these two put together!

Sophia who is runner twelve (yes I'm skipping again) who I was so glad to hang out with in Eugene.  She is so sweet and cool, as is her boyfriend who will also be part of van 2 as the driver - lucky ladies!

And last, but certainly not least, is runner eleven: our fearless leader Paulette!  We would not be doing this without her energy and organizational powers.  I mean, I thought I was an organized person!  Clearly I'm in a completely different league.  Is this what happens when you work at Google?  By the by, you can spot her (and her car, apparently) making the cut as an extra in The Intern.  Thank you, thank you, thank you Paulette for getting this ragtag bunch together and keeping us all organized.
One of my favorite pics from Eugene - yep, that's Sophia again and teammate Patty who had to drop out of the team.  Next time Patty!
Here's the great big Twitter list in runner order:

  1. Me (@mrshallberg)
  2. Nolana (@N2PT)
  3. Lauren (@laurenefries)
  4. Morena (@MNinSeattle)
  5. Sarah (@SarahChan)
  6. Becky (@BLeung)
  7. Natty (@Natty_Plunkett)
  8. Julie (@JKShultz)
  9. Ashley (@sherunsstrong)
  10. Laurel (@laurelmathiesen)
  11. Paulette (@paulettezf)
  12. Sophia (@trails4life)

So follow along, give us a tweet if you're up late on Friday night and follow hashtag #PartyLikeAFlockstar for updates on the hilarity.  Oh, and in the meantime, here's this oldie but goodie:

Also!  Be on the lookout for our Seattle runner buddies doing Ragnar Northwest Passage as an ULTRA.  Six Pack with Racks!  


I Have The Sads Today

It would probably seem to anyone perusing this blog that I'm a happy person and that life is pretty darn good.  And, well, that'd be a 100% correct assumption.  I have a superawesome husband, two kids (one of each!) that are currently being fun and (mostly) behaved, we have a roof (a brand new one, in fact) over our much loved home, plenty of (yummy) food to put on the table and our future looks bright (hubs just got a promotion!).  And, yet...

Some days, I'm just prone to The Sads.  It's almost as if my body has this toxin that it just has to let out, with a frequency that has waned a great deal over the years, thankfully - but rears it's ugly head every now and again.  I've NEVER been the kind of person to notice any change in my disposition each month, but dayum.  As I age, I really feel that I'm dealing with PMS on a whole new level.  The most random thing can be a trigger: today it was seeing a Facebook picture of a dear friend mid-laugh.  I could literally hear her guffaw as I looked at the computer screen and I just lost it and began to cry for missing her.  Then I think about how much I miss my mom, of course, and my brother...  And there goes my day!  I've had that itchy eyeball, tingling nose feeling nonstop.  It mostly comes down to a central theme of missing family, friends and sweet home Chicago.

big happy laughing smiles (from my reunion weekend)

Summer is also a big trigger, not only because I'm going a wee bit stir crazy with the kids, but because summer days make me think of my childhood.  My thoughts veer towards riding my bike to the pool daily, or taking the train to the zoo.  And then I get The Sads about my kids not having the same experiences I did growing up.  No field trips to the Art Institute, spending all day/every day at the pool, endless bike riding sidewalks, eating real hot dogs, sledding all day in the winter...  Okay that last one wasn't summer, but that's how my mind starts to spiral and within minutes I'm lamenting the fact that they might not get to have the experience of living in the city (sorry Seattle, you're like a big suburb) in those quintessential post collegiate days.  And, of course, that's when I reign it in and remind myself that they are not here for me to live vicariously.  They will lead their own life and it will not be better or worse than mine, just different.  Because on the flip side, I would lament an existence without the mountains, the sweet clean air, being active and outside all year round and really appreciating a snow day.

But the missing feeling lingers.  I've mentioned before, that mom friends and my runner friends help fill a really big part of the void.  Yet there's just no replacing family, let alone friends who's laugh you know so well that you can conjure it in seconds from a picture.  I know I'll visit with them again soon.  Some days I just want them in my life every day, and we can't always have everything we want - total first world problems over here, I admit it.  However, if you're in the opposite situation and your parents are always in your business or your family is driving you nuts - think of how it could be different.  Yes, we think about moving home one day; but at this point, any money we'd potentially make on our house in this market would be gone by the time we paid realtor and moving fees.  

Anyhow, I thought that writing this down might help me feel better and it has.  I thought about not even publishing it, but what a waste of a post, right?  So, if you're bummed out about something right now - hey!  I get The Sads, too!  I must remind myself to dwell in positivity today (just like I did when that damn roof started leaking) and keep my life philosophy in mind - everything happens for a reason.

from Oiselle's Pinterest

Also!  Little programming note here - I ain't doing This Week's Eats because we're moving tonight's salad to tomorrow (cuz I ain't hungry today, blah) then it's pizza and a crockpot meal before all the Ragnar shenanigans start on Thursday!


Friday Things

From Ragnar's Instagram 

Yep, in exactly one week, I'll be on my way up to Blaine for a little 200 mile relay!  OMG.  The reality is setting in: Will I get cranky on so little (or no) sleep?  Will I pass out from running three times in less than 24 hours?  Will I fall on my face while running with a headlamp (which will be an entirely new experience for me)?  Will I freak out from lack of showering?  I'm guessing the answer will be a resounding NO to all of these questions, and I'm SO SO excited!

Also exciting?    

Sarah, Sally, Bob, Kristin & JJ at US T&F Championship (pic from Competitor article quoted below)
SO MUCH AWESOME going on with Oiselle right now with Project Little Wing, a training group for elite runners in Bend, OR.  This article from Competitor gives a great overview and just fills me with pride to be part of the flock.

"Oiselle is more than just an apparel brand trying to get more women to wear their clothes, even though they’re doing a pretty good job of that too. It’s a passionate, forward-thinking movement that isn’t afraid to take risks, speak out against and generally disrupt the order of the archaic establishment that is the running industry. They’ve encouraged women to feel empowered, energized and enthusiastic about themselves and their chosen sport. As runners, regardless of our gender, ability or experience level (and brand or team affiliations), we would all be better off if we could adopt this line of thinking."

OK, so not quite as exciting, but I'm stoked to have another great raspberry haul for our 3rd annual pickin' and playin' trip to Remlinger Farms today.  So much fun and so many yummy smoothies will be had this summer.

Here's the latest ditty I've added to my playlist, Take You Higher by Goodwill and Hook N Sling.

Happy Weekend!

2013 Playlist
Justice and Independence by John Mellencamp
Glowing by Nikki Williams
Easy  by Porter Robinson (and Matt Zo).
I Could be the One by Avicii featuring Nicky Romero
Pair of Dice by Tiesto
Ain't No Stoppin' by Ferry Corsten (featuring Ben Hague)
Come and Get It by Selena Gomez
Apollo by Hardwell featuring Amba Shepherd
This Head I Hold by Electric Guest
Castles in the Sky by Ian Van Dahl
Feel this Moment by Pitbull, featuring Christina Aguilera
Into Your Arms by the Lemonheads
Just Give me a Reason by Pink
I Love It by Icona Pop
Little Secrets Passion Pit
Sovereign Light Cafe by Keane, remixed by Afrojack
Clarity by Zedd
Years by Alesso
Something Good Can Work by Two Door Cinema Club
She Wolf by David Guetta, featuring Sia
Alive by Krewella
Illmerica by Wolfgang Garnter
Drowning by Armin van Buren
Give Me Your Hand by The Ready Set
Language by Porter Robinson
Cry for You by September
You Are My Diamond by Tiesto - featuring Kianna
Arguru - Deadmau5
We Are by Jus Jack & Oza, featuring Aeone