Sunday: Ride on.

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Yep-still have a blog and I still remember the password. So hello there two readers and mom!

But the bigger news is: I think spring might finally be here (ignoring next three days in the forecast…). That meant – when I felt the urge to dust of the ol’ bike and take her out yesterday I did just that. Before I could talk myself out of it and into a nap (which is never difficult).

So I did just that. After pumping up my tires and ensuring I still knew how to clip in and not fall over.

bike pump

one of my more useful birthday gifts. (husband appreciates not having to us my tiny hand pump anymore)

20 glorious, somewhat windy miles. 

photo 4

post ride photo in my fancy new “don’t hit me please jersey”. photobombed by one cute lab named Lucy.

And for some crazy reason, every time I crawl back on my bike, I feel the need to sign up for a triathlon. Granted, that’s usually in miles 1-5, but it lasted most of yesterday’s ride…there’s a local mini tri at the end of the month I may jump into if the weather isn’t as sucktacular as it was last year. Spring in SoDak is so variably – 50’s one day, snowing the next!

And of course, deep thoughts from yesterday’s ride:

  • hey, I do still remember how to ride.
  • man is it every windy-should have packed tissues, sorry gloves!
  • happy I overdressed. winter running tights and Nike pro gear FTW (would have melted on a run, was just right for a ride)
  • climbs are kind of fun when the wind is to your back.
  • the 1.5 miles I take to and from my house to the roads I ride on are the most technical, challenging and most likely to result in a fall or embarrassing moment.
  • riding with minimal traffic is truly a benefit to living in the middle of nowhere. (have no fear though, I’m equipped with a bright-as-ever jersey scored while scouring racks of clearance Lulu items in Vancouver. check back later in the season to see me as a twin with this girl)
  • should I do a triathlon? yes, I should. oh wait, that means training consistently…let’s start with getting back in the pool.
  • hmmm…now I’m excited to swim laps outside this summer.
  • why is it so WINDY?
  • probably should have packed a water bottle. rookie mistake.
  • oooh, I love wind and downhills! look at me in aero going 24mph!
  • holy crap I think I can pull out a 20 mile ride.
  • whoop, whoop – negative split! thank you wind. although my legs feeling surprisingly awesome and loose – more miles? nah, I’m hungry.
  • aaaand happy to be home with no flats, falls or close calls.

It felt great to get back out there and ride even if I’m not training for anything. I’m currently in the mode of “just get out there and do something” since I’m not really training for anything specific. Now the goal is to carry the momentum through the week.

Refueling included using up some Bountiful Basket produce:

took this pineapple on and made him into a smoothie with his red buddies to the left.

took this pineapple on and made him into a smoothie with his red buddies to the left.

And this super mondo batch of homemade fajitas which included cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, many tiny bell peppers, a whole onion, chicken and homemade seasoning (not hard, who knew!?):

get in my belly.

get in my belly.

Super easy recipe available for anyone who wants it.

And because I like to go back in time (and like to document things), this was my reward on Saturday for working all day (spring is here in the seed-selling business!) and I’m quite sure I will be re-reading this book because I’m one chapter in and loving it, laughing and hungry for more.

Kelly Oxford you slay me.

Kelly Oxford you slay me.

Stay tuned for the ongoing saga: will Megan ever race again.

Along with – will she blog more than once a year now? Goals-I haz ’em.

{run smart.run strong.}

Coming back.

Sometimes all you need is a nice little weekend to bring you back to life. Low key Friday evening followed by a fun Saturday hanging out at Megan’s Salon (super cute btw-she decorated it all!) keeping her company and chatting the day away. I managed to sneak in a little bike + strength workout – somebody likes to keep me company will I spin in place 🙂

We then scooted down to Sioux Falls to help celebrate by bestie’s 28th b-day!

You can’t beat yummy wings, beer + olive + tomato juice and some cosmic bowling. Just like to point out that I broke 100 on my second game-I was on fire!

Friends since middle school-we’re probably just as goofy now as we were then. Just missing our NYC girl-Dani and it would have been a perfect photo! (thanks for the photo Kelly!)

A great night, but a late night. We hurried home though because an early morning awaited us with first service church and singing in the choir. Love being part of the choir but it sure makes for early mornings! Follow that with a little grocery shopping-because what else do you do after church?

Next up – a fabulous 7+ mile run with none other than my new running buddy, Megan. We decided to head out on the trails and to the nature park (read: old landfill!) for a little change of scenery and some trails. It’s not mountain running but we’ll take what we can get!

The trees kept the wind manageable and a favorable winter made most of the trails pretty clear and easy to pass. Hopping off the pavement every now and then definitely breaks things up and keeps training interesting. I still can’t get over how fabulous this winter has been for outside running – go figure it’s the first time in the last 3 years I’m NOT training for a March marathon! Oh well-I’ll take it! You can’t argue with a bike path that looks like this in the middle of February:

Today made for an easier day with a little strength workout. I’m looking forward showing running some love tomorrow with some speed tomorrow-interval run on tap. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a focused speed effort so I’m kind of looking forward to it. Big question is though – treadmill or dark morning run outside…the treadmill is appealing only because timing the intervals is so much easier than trying to look at my Garmin in the streetlights while attempting to not trip (sadly this has happened). Ah decisions!

 

A Change of Pace

You’ve probably noticed this blog has been silent for quite some time (I apologize to all 6 of my readers). Everyone has their excuses – I’m as busy as anyone else, kind of lazy sometimes and was actually in a running funk. Blah, blah, blah. But my New Year’s “goal” was to be more intentional. In everything. So less thinking about blogging, more actual blogging!

My Running Lovlies

The quick story – I ran the Philadelphia Marathon at the end of November with this lovely lady and this lovely lady. It was as much fun as a marathon can be while running with your running besties. A perfect race weekend spent with some of my most favorite people. It couldn’t have been better – I PR’d the crap out of that race, ran the entire thing (!!!) and felt awesome doing it (well, until those last 3 miles). Injury-free running for the win! We did a short training cycle (only 8 weeks) and I ran a lot, felt great, cleaned up my eating and everything came together for a successful race. Except the build up was so great, followed by the perfect weekend and then the post-marathon blues set in. womp womp.

We clean up nicely. And like to match. Deal with it.

Much like the post-wedding blues – you spend so much time planning, working and thinking about it and then combined with a successful event, you’re unbelievably sad when it’s over. This was not helped by the fact that Jenn had to go back to a far away land the very next morning after the marathon. Color me sad.

So—here we are. December was a great month. Just not for running. I couldn’t find the drive to get back to it. I knew I needed to focus on triathlon training (1/2 IM in July-eek!) and I thought the variety would keep me going. It didn’t. Combine that with a pretty crappy diet (it WAS my birthday/Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years/etc.) (Vegetables? What are those??) during the holidays and I was a hot mess. I did however get to spend some quality time with Jenn when she and the Mr. came home for the holidays – we even ran twice!

Ooops-more matching. But they're all my clothes so...

So things were good other than the whole training thing. I also can’t complain about the seriously awesome winter we’ve had – hardly ANY snow, amazingly warm temps for our SD winter and a serious lack of ice – should be a winter runner’s paradise. Again no dice. What is my deal!?!

I knew I needed to get with it if I was going to ever run a marathon in May. I then found out that my coach was having a weekend running clinic in Estes Park at the end of January – perfect! This would for sure get me back on track, light my fire and kick me into gear. The weekend was fabulous (more on that later!) and it did get me revved up.

ahh, mountains I love you.

For about two days. Seriously, Megan, get it together. I was getting unbelievably frustrated with myself. Why, oh why, was I making this so difficult.

After doing some soul-searching (read: whining and being mopey to the husband and one of my other favorite people-you know who you are!) and taking a hard look at everything that affects my training I finally came up with an answer.

  1. I’m still figuring out my new job (which I’m loving) but our busy season is about to kick it into some seriously fast-paced and long days. How the heck was I going to fit in training? Insert an already stressed Megan about something that hadn’t even happened yet. No shocker there.
  2. Besides the marathon in November-I haven’t had a successful, injury-free race in what seems like forever. My PR’s are moldy oldies and I don’t feel like I have any speed.
  3. I’m wearing totally different shoes – hey AltrasI love you!! AND working on a

    We love Natural Running.

    completely new form (see also: correct. Ugh.). Two new things=some frustrating runs and lots of “thinking” while running. For someone who likes to zone out this is different for sure.

  4. I don’t like my gym. I’m only there for the pool. I left a place I LOVED only because I needed pool access. I told myself it would be ok and so far my feelings haven’t changed L
  5. I need to find/rediscover my love and passion for running. I love to compete. I haven’t done this in quite some time – gotta change that. (and by compete I mean beat my own times – definitely not an Olympian (I’ll leave that to the speedsters) or age-group winner. Yet!?)
  6. This is something I CHOOSE to do. Why am I making this so hard/not fun/stressful? That’s just silly.

Conclusion: no marathon in May. I was planning to run my local race and shoot for a sub-4. Um, yeah. I already stressed myself out about this for all of the above reasons and had sucked the fun right out of that goal. There’s always next year. And so many more races – I’ve got time.

New plan: start over.

Find my passion.
Work on form.
Run some 5ks and 10ks.
Enjoy my workouts again.
Possibly go back to my old gym (I might have a pool alternative).
Get in crazy good shape.
Clean up my eating/sleeping habits.
Love training again!

Love. Coffee. Running. Life.

 

 

A big thanks to Coach Jeff for not firing me and let me flounder around while I came to this conclusion. He’s excited. I’m excited.

This will be good.

I'm out of fun photos-but this was Christmas Day. No snow. In SD. Pretty Sweet. As are my husband and puppies.

{run smart.run strong.}

I have a new running buddy.

This post is long overdue (marathon training+life=busy girl!) but there’s a new running buddy in my life. Meet him:

Who’s that you ask? Why, it’s my 1BandID Ray! As part of Team PRS Fit I was hooked up with this sweet wearable ID. This is an item that I have meant to add to my running gear collection for quite some time but just never got it done-don’t ask why, just lazy? So I was pumped when our team was generously given a chance to try them out.

Fits so nice and snug.

The best thing about the 1BandID is that it’s just that – one band. I don’t have to strap anything extra on or worry about switching it when I switch shoes – basically I can’t lose it! I wear my Garmin for every outside workout and race I do so it’s always with me.

Red+Orange=my running buddies!

It handily velcros around the strap of my Garmin. I thought at first it would be bulky and bother me but I haven’t even noticed. I think Monte (my Garmin-what? you don’t name your electronics?) would actually look a bit naked now without Ray!

You can also customize your color and exactly what it says on there. So I of course put my basic info along with the husband’s number and my daddy’s – I figure one of them will answer in the event something happens

Ray in action!

! And bonus-I had room to put my little running mantra on there to remind myself to run smart and strong (something I have to remind myself a lot of when doing hard/long workouts and races!).

I was also happy to see our team name on there as well-a nice surprise!

If you’re looking for a no hassle way to be safe when you’re outside running, biking, hiking (or anything with your Garmin!) this is the ID for you. I feel silly for not having gotten something like this sooner but feel a bit safer when running in the dark and know that if something DID happen I wouldn’t be the anonymous girl!

So check ’em out: 1BandID.com or on Twitter or Facebook.
And because they’re awesome and I love a good deal you can save with this discount:
“FromMegan53268”

Christmas is coming so maybe this is the perfect gift for the athlete in your life! (or a present to yourself-I love those!)

{run smart.run strong.}

*I was given my 1BandID as part of Team PRS Fit. I just wanted to share an awesome product and give come love-all thoughts are mine*

Favorite Foods: Roasted Veggies

If you hang around long enough you will realize that I love food. I spend most of my day thinking about food and when I can eat again. Hence, the reason I need to keep running or risk becoming a candidate for the Biggest Loser (although the chance to work with amazing personal trainers IS tempting).

While I love food with a great passion, I am trying to eat a more natural diet and cut out some of the “less-than-good-for-me” foods. A more detailed post on this is in the works. But the short version is-I’m trying to eat even more veggies than I did before. One of my favorite ways to sneak in as many veggies as possible is to cut up whatever I have in the fridge, mix them all together, season and roast!

A few nights ago I posted my handiwork and had some questions on just how I made them! One of my secrets is that while things I make might look fancy, I truly only make things that I can dump together, require few ingredients or have easy recipes. I love food but don’t necessarily love cooking in my teeny, weeny kitchen!

So without further ado, my super easy roasted veggie recipe:


Step one – choose your veggies (usually whatever is in my fridge!)
– In this mix: red baby potatoes, yellow zucchini, baby carrots and red onion
Step two – chop everything up into similar-sized pieces for even roasting (the smaller the better-roasts faster!)
Step three – throw them all in the bowl and drizzle with olive oil
Step four – choose your seasoning. I usually just go with what I think will go well with what I’m serving. In this case, I used the Tastefully Simple Dried Tomato and Garlic Pesto Mix sprinkled very liberally. Mix everything together.

Perfect on Veggies!

Step five – Toss everything on a cookie sheet lined with tin foil (for easy clean-up!). Keeping things in a thin layer also speeds up your roasting time.
Step six – Roast! I usually stick them in at 400 for about 30-40 minutes or when evertyhing looks tender. I like mine pretty roasted so I cut the pieces small and roast extra if I have time.
Step seven – Enjoy! I love making huges batches so I have leftovers for lunch.

That’s just one of my “creations” and I usually just go with whatever I’m feeling that day. Or whatever I see in the spice cabinet first…Another tasty combo I use alot with potatoes is olive oil with green onions, chives and garlic. Super simple to put together and lots of flavor. Even better if you’re cool enough to grow your own herbs (I was not this year, gardening and I are not in a good place. Yet. Next summer I will conquer it!)

I’m no Rachel Ray, but I do have fun with the challenge of coming up with new and interesting combinations in an effort to eat clean. Stay tuned for other cooking adventures and disaters!

What’s your favorite (easy) veggie recipe?

{run smart.run strong.}

 

I’ve got a need for speed…

It just occurred to me today that my workouts this week have been heavily speed-based. And I like it. After being the injured kid for almost two years (with one ailment or another or a bad attitude due to the first) it’s pretty sweet to actually be able to challenge myself instead of just try to “get through” a workout.

Post-half workouts:
Sunday was not about speed and my legs didn’t care – they weren’t interested in doing much of anything. Goal: 2.5 hours. Accomplished: 5 miles.

Better than nothing and definitely more than I would have pushed myself to do normally. And I hurt worse after that then the race! (May have had something to do with the dancing that evening…perfect race recovery to keep the legs loose, am I right?)

Monday and Tuesday turned into strength and abs. No running involved-I had HUGE knots in the legs and had several hot dates with the foam roller that just about left in tears. However, all worth it-legs were ready to go for their next run.

Wednesday was a morning to eat intervals for breakfast. And I did – 5x7minutes @ 8:00/mile pace with 2 minute recoveries. Happy to report I did not die. Nor did I puke. Felt strong most of the way less a strange twinge in the right shin area. Left after the workout-so odd. Oh, and this? All on a treadmill, I like a constant pace when attempting to be speedy. Plowed through an episode of Parenthood and part of Glee-Hulu on the phone is such a treat and becoming a necessity to fight the monotony. Although, watching the older gentlemen of the gym play their man-on-man basketball is a bit humorous 🙂

Thursday was a rest day. I love them 🙂 And thank goodness for that, because today brought some more speeeeeed. Except this one I tackled, wait for it…on the TRACK.

Track

Track workout essentials: your workout + giant water bottle (and in this case, pants!)

Boy, does that take you back-I was not a track star. Forced into running hurdles I never got to show my star potential in the 400 or 800. Rude. The intervals today were progressive 😛 2×600, 2×800, 2×1000 – with instructions to run FAST. Too bad the wind was a brat and made the back half of the track a bit tougher than necessary. I ran this workout in mostly dark which was a good test of pacing myself. Although, when you’re running at an “am-I-going-to-die?” kind of pace you just kind of push. Happy to report that all intervals came in mid-7’s. Could I have gone faster? Maybe. I blame the drag from my ponytail and my pants 🙂 Pants, you say? Yes-my warm-up included going back to my car to grab some lounge pants I had packed for the weekend and wouldn’t have normally been in there because I wore shorts. Apparently 47 and windy is CHILLY. Loving the temps though-just need to adjust the wardrobe!

I’m trying to learn to recover more efficiently and quickly. Enter: the fruit smoothie.

Don't worry mom-I was at a stop sign. And yes, it was still dark when I finished my workout.

Still experimenting with my favorites but whipped this one up last night: frozen strawberries, frozen blueberries (yu-um!), a pear, banana and a crap ton of almond milk (my new favorite). I’m thinking pears don’t like smoothies because they refuse to breakdown thus leaving a few chunks 😛 Experimenting will continue…

And because everybody loves self-portraits, proof of the baggy pants.

These pants are awesome. For yoga and lounging. Not running fast. Lesson learned.

Notice the super awesome arm crease sweat marks. Yep, 47 degrees and I’m still sweating-jealous? (P.S. the tank top underneath was just as you’d suspect-super awesome in all things sweaty). I will say I was sporting a new headband from here-love the bright color and it stayed on through wind and my super speediness (ha!). Cute colors (which are different from when I ordered), not insanely priced, probably going to need more. (Thanks Purpleshoe for the recommendation!)

I’m off to a sweet weekend with some fabulous ladies and wine. Happy Friday!

{run smart.run strong.}