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Friday, January 30, 2015

I got a new attitude!

You may have noticed a theme in some of my Instagram posts recently. If not, these two posts should clue you in:

Earlier this week, I was thinking about how hard all my runs seem lately and how heavy my legs seem. Then again during one of my runs, I noticed I was focusing on how hard it felt and how tired I was and how much I wanted to have a nice, easy run. I had a little a-ha moment and realized I was never going to have a good run if I spent all my time dreading my next one, expecting it to be bad, or focusing on any negative parts of the run (tired legs, cold fingers, feeling hungry, etc.).

I reminded myself that I actually DO love to run and decided to start remembering why. I have gone into each run since with a whole new attitude, focused on making it good. I push aside any negative thoughts and instead spend my runs focusing on the purpose of the run, thinking about my past accomplishments and what I'm working toward, and just being grateful I am healthy and able to train for Boston the way I want this year!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Birthday means "food" in some language, right?

The slow cooker has been a lifesaver lately. Between both girls being sick over the past week and a half and having taken on additional work responsibilities myself, being able to make dinner early in the day and have it ready when we are has made life a little easier and has helped us avoid grabbing less healthy options.

One of the biggest hits last week was this Quinoa Chicken Chili. I have this strange aversion to eating chicken when I've seen it raw, and I usually fight a super strong gag reflex when attempting to prepare raw chicken. But this chili uses frozen chicken breasts, which are the lesser of the raw chicken evils. Plus, I buy individually wrapped frozen chicken breasts at Costco, so I can cut off the top of the plastic and dump the chicken in the slow cooker without ever touching it.

I kind of go to my happy place while doing it and the next time I see the chicken it is cooked, so this recipe is a winner for many reasons. You can find it HERE on my Pinterest Food & Recipes board.

We ate it with our new favorite Artisan French Bread, which Megan introduced me to and the recipe for which can also be found on my Pinterest Board.

These moments. They make the ones that are the extreme opposite more bearable.

And I discovered this. Which is absolutely worth sharing. I bought the Cookie & Cocoa Swirl butter last time I went to Trader Joe's. Then I got home and wasn't sure how to best enjoy it. My first experiment was in oatmeal. Fail. So I read the side of the jar, which suggests pretzels. For a reason. And that reason is that it is delicious.

Sunday was Scott's birthday so we celebrated all weekend. On Saturday, we went skiing. Ellie Bean finally had the courage to go down next to one of us rather than between our legs!

Grace got to be my ski buddy and showed me her ever-improving skills.

We also went bowling. It isn't Scott's birthday until we've gone bowling. I won. Not to brag. It's just a rare thing, so it must be noted for posterity. There was also dinner and cupcakes involved.

Then Sunday I made it the birthday of food. There has to be some language in which birthday translates as food. Because we had French Puff Muffins for brunch and one of Scott's favorite dinners (which involved handling raw chicken and was thus a true expression of my love) and chocolate cheesecake for dessert.

Yes. This made me laugh. Gluten might be one of my favorite things in this world. See above food images for confirmation.

And yes, there is a difference. I'm so glad the BYU indoor track is smart enough to acknowledge that there is indeed a difference between joggers and runners. 

Marathon training is well underway. I took it a little easier last week and did only the four runs on my training plan. I am still struggling with my piriformis in my right leg, so I took Saturday and Sunday off to give it a little time to recover and heal. Two consecutive rest days are a rare thing during marathon training but I can already tell it was worth it!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cupcake deliciousness and croup

Sunday night, Ellie woke up about two hours after going to bed with a barky cough, barely able to talk. So off to the pediatrician's after hours office we went.

Since I don't have any games on my phone, we kept ourselves busy Snapchatting the hubs and Megan.

The diagnosis: croup. It is unusual for a 6-year-old to get croup, but my Bean is tiny so apparently her airway is too. A dose of steroids and we were headed home. Three days later, she's still fighting a fever and her nose is like a faucet that won't turn off. Here's hoping Thursday is the day things finally turn around (I distinctly remember saying those same words last night about Wednesday).

The hubs was home Monday so I got in a good run outside. Yesterday was a treadmill kind of day while Ellie hung out watching Barbie & Her Sisters in A Pony Tale. I was shooting for seven miles and was going to knock out my speedwork for the week since it's easier to hit my paces without thinking on the treadmill, but there is a nerve in my glute/hamstring that decided to be uncooperative.

I've been fighting the same pain for a while, but it comes and goes. And it rarely bothers me when I run. This time was different though. I'm pretty sure it is Piriformis syndrome, so I've been stretching, icing and heating it like crazy.

The five miles I did get in were made easier by Serial. After Janae recommended it and then seeing it mentioned several other places, I decided to give it a try. It made the miles fly and could have gotten me through all seven if my booty had cooperated.

To finish off the day, Scott knew exactly what I needed and came home with this cupcake deliciousness after he took Grace to gymnastics. He's pretty stellar.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Three things and why you should take a nap

We went skiing on Wednesday. Ellie was my ski buddy all day. While helping her stay upright, I used muscles I apparently regularly neglect because the insides of my arms are seriously sore. Like where they bend. When we took a little break to warm up our toes, she didn't want me to take her picture. Until I told her it was for her scrapbook. Cue smile.

I finally tried the Peanut Butter Cookies and Cream at Yogurtland. I might start a petition for it to become a new regular.

And this just made me laugh. That very first question...

Now for why you should be getting enough sleep. I love my sleep and am a lot nicer person with eight hours of sleep fueling me. I'm also a better wife, mom, runner, employee, etc. when my brain has had sufficient sleep. This infographic backs up my need for some solid zzzzzs!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Do you know what today is?!?

First things first. Marathon training begins TODAY. The actual race is 14 weeks from TODAY. Which is also 98 days from TODAY. When the countdown gets under that 100 day mark, things start to get real.

Friday I had lunch with some fabulous ladies. The food was good, but the conversation is always the best part.

Then Friday night we took our girls to the BYU gymnastics meet. Grace was mesmerized. She already loves gymnastics so much and looks forward to her lessons every week, but this really upped her excitement and enthusiasm level. She decided she wants to be on the BYU gymnastics team and be in the Olympics. She laid out her whole life plan for us Saturday. One of my favorite parts is that through it all, she says she is always living at home.

No evening is complete without dessert, so we hit up Chic-fil-a for ice "dream" cones. Grace got a large, and they aren't kidding when it comes to their large!

I originally planned on doing my long run Friday, but I knew just a few miles into my run (with Megan!) that 16 wasn't going to happen. My legs were still feeling the progressive run I did on Thursday, so I pushed out eight and rescheduled my 16 for Saturday. Luckily Janae and Josse let me tag along on their long run. Part of our conversation was about how tired we all felt. In spite of all our heavy legs, we got the 16 done. We are all training for Boston, so it was nice to feel each other's pain, knowing we are all in the same boat and there are better long runs ahead.

Janae, always one to think to take incredible pictures, paused to take this. And it was at this moment when I realized I no longer had someone running next to me.

And this is how tired we were after our run. Let's be honest. It was how we felt most of the run.

Now for some random entertainment.

I would ride it...

And this might not be able to be true for the next few months, and I'm not THAT old..

Friday, January 9, 2015

A sore toe and a split lip won't stop me

I had a great run today, which was very nice after several very sluggish runs the past week. It was even great in spite of the fact that I was reminded I was a girl mid-run. I should have known based on how much I felt like a bloated cow yesterday and have been eating chocolate like its the fifth food group the past few days. But apparently I'm a slow learner when it comes to certain things. Or maybe there's a degree of denial involved.

Luckily this hasn't been affecting my runs (and yes my toenails need a new paint job):


My first run after it happened last week (a result of my toe acting as a doorstop) wasn't fun. Especially the first several miles before it went sort of numb. Now it's mostly just really un-pretty (I just made that a real word) and only hurts when I wear narrow shoes all day or it gets stepped on (which happens more than I like around my two little people).

After today's run, I decided to start marathon training next week. I was going to do a 12 week plan that would start at the end of the month, but I feel like beginning a plan now will help me get focused and make my runs more fun. Yes, I think crossing my runs off on a training plan is fun. And I like having structure. I may be a little crazy, but aren't all runners?

Speaking of crazy, this recently hit home:


Only for me, when I got out of my vehicle yesterday while sucking on the straw of my water bottle, I mis-judged the distance between the end of the bottle and the wall and the straw split the inside of my lip. It bled a lot.

Some things take talent.



Tuesday, January 6, 2015

GOALS! And a challenge to kickstart 2015.

I can't start a new year without talking about goals. It just wouldn't be right. So as 2015 begins, here are a few things I want to accomplish as far as running is concerned this year:
  • Set a race PR at Boston
  • Stay injury free 
  • Focus on quality, not quantity
  • Race all 4 distances (5k, 10k, half, marathon, full marathon)
  • Cross train at least 1x each week and strength train 3+ times each week
To help jumpstart the cross training, I kicked off a challenge on Instagram with @TeamRunnerd. It's not too late to join the group of us getting our challenge on! Here's what the challenge is all about:

And here's this week's workout:

I also posted these tips the other day because the challenge is about getting moving, doing something active you don't normally do, and challenging yourself:

It shouldn't be so difficult that you quit after a few days or make you so sore that you have to skip every other day. They key is to make it work for you. For example, today I did squat and lunge pulses in place of regular squats and lunges because my knees have been a little sore. Not sticking to the exact workout does not mean you failed or that it doesn't count. The idea is to get moving and have a little fun. Knowing others are doing it "with" you makes it even more fun and if you choose to make yourself accountable on IG, you are qualified for a prize at the end of the month.

In addition to the specific running goals I have set, I have other things in my little world of running that I'm looking forward to, but I have set some bigger goals in my personal life this year, so I want to be able to focus on really enjoying my running and allowing it to be a time when I can get refocused.
Something I think is important to remember whenever setting new goals is they don't have to be BIG. This can sometimes be hard to remember, especially with the pressure we put on ourselves as we compare what we do to what everyone else is doing. Your goals should be focused around what is most important to YOU. And while reaching your goals should challenge and push you, it is important to remember that they should be reachable.

And now some things that made me smile this week:

You can't tell me that isn't funny.
And because I think The Bachelor is a waste of brain cells but dearly love my friends in spite of their obsession with it, I couldn't resist sharing this (which of course I also Snapchatted to them while The Bachelor was on last night):

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