Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Runner-d Holiday Wishlist

First off, where the heck did November go.

'Holiday gift guides' are everywhere right now and it's semi overwhelming. BUT. If you’re like me, you fall in love with every gift you see in holiday magazine issues because after all – it’s in a magazine right? Someone did their research in which case I can sit back and just click.

I’ve searched through Women’s Running, Runners World, Triathlete, Competitor and a few others to see what I really need... want... to get stronger. After my last half marathon in Victoria I’ve been taking a running hiatus, setting down my training log and mixing up my running routine.

This is where the strength part kicks in. I signed up for a few workout classes, ordered a foam roller to grow my PT corner (skinny and sad at the moment), and threw in a few funning runs to keep things interesting. But my wish list has a few gizmos, cozies and nicknacks that would make great gifts for any runner.

1. Free weights... which google tells me are called neoprene dumbbells. I must say buh bye to chicken arms in 2014. Said it in 2013 and that didn't happen, so here's to round two. 5 pounders and 8 pounders (maybeee 10 pounders) should do it. 

2. Randies. How I haven't purchased these yet is beyond me. Seamless and wicking, and a little ris-kay. Love them. 

3. Iron Gym pull up bar. If I have it I would have to use it. 

4. Feetures socks. I saw these at Fleet Feet Tacoma for ladies night. The merino wool is rid-i-cu-lous. Super soft and lightweight. 

5. Lux Pant. As Oiselle calls it, the live-in-all-winter pant. Or as I call them, the sassy-butt-pant. Perfect for pre race warm ups and lounging around. The length option for regular or long is key. 

6. High 10 Shimmel. My new workout classes are calling for this top. Yes it's winter, but it is ideal for any Pure Barre, boot camp, Tabata, yoga... you name it. This one comes with removable cups which I love. And it would be perfect for my December vacay.

7. Self defense spray. Self explanatory. This looked like a good one from Road Runners. I've been getting nervous lately going out in the dark - so instead of spooking myself I choose to just stay in. I miss my early morning runs but need to feel secure first. 

And for my non-runner guilty pleasure.

8. Hibiscus Teakwood Anthropologie Candle. $28 dollars, and worth every penny. The teal color brings summer to the freezing winter and can burn for 85 hours. Hot damn.  

Happy Turkey Day. Good luck to all trotters racing tomorrow. I'll be out there with ya!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Souper Easy Fall Recipe

A little bit of this and a little bit of that... voila.

Soup deserves it's own cooking category for being so dang easy to put together. It takes max 15 minutes to make and is like an abstract art where you can throw in any ingredient feel like. Today was all about shrooms.

I wandered aimlessly through Trader Joe's and threw in a hodge podge of veggies, beans, chicken broth and impulse orange-cranberry cookies forced upon me at the register... they getcha every time. Surprisingly it turned out souper tasty so I'm writing it down for an even better batch the next go around.

1 bag of kale
1/2 bag white mushrooms
1 pack dried mushrooms
1 onion diced
2 cups diced celery
1 (15 ounce) can white beans
20 or so small tomatoes quartered
2 boxes of chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
Thyme, salt and pep

Heat butter in a deep pot over medium high heat. Add butter, onions and celery. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Then add kale and white beans...

Toss in the rest of the goods. Mushrooms, tomatoes, thyme, salt, pepper, chicken broth. I cut up basil and added it but don't think it did much. Too fancy.

After it boils, reduce to simmer for at least 10 minutes. And enjoy :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Seattle #RunForBoston.

April 22, 2013

Tonight was one for the books :)

#RunForBoston groups gathered all over the country today and Seattle was a city not to be missed. We may be nearly 3.1 thousand miles away, but from West to East Coast there was a common thread among many tonight. Runners spirits were high, camaraderie was felt, hearts were touched, all in honor of courageous men and women at Boston Marathon who are continually in our thoughts and prayers. 

Today was simply gorgeous. To say the least, it was an empowering day trying to create balance from last week. I'm starting to realize it now that todays run was one that will be talked about year after year. One of those unique runs that you instinctually remember. 

Hats off to every runner who has dedicated miles either today or in the future to uplift the spirits of Boston and give them the strength they need to recover. Thank you to Seattle's top running store Super Jock n' Jill for hosting us all, and to everyone who helped bring our community together. And of course to Oiselle Team for coming out so I could see you all! Every night is a memorable night when spent with my one and only family who will go the distance to create positive change, no matter how far.

Photos from the day. 

Short walk to the big event. @katronbomb, @blackeyedpeanut, Amy, Leaven, and Troop-myster! (Oiselle's undercover mascot)

#RunForBoston Seattle style, Green Lake Park. 

A sea of 200+ runners is a sight to be seen.

Where did you #RunForBoston? I'de love to see your photos + hear your story.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Taking each run as a gift. #RunForBoston

No matter how you heard about the event at Copley Square this Monday, if you're a runner, you undoubtedly felt nothing but heartache and pain - that your most supportive community and family had been attacked. That is exactly how I felt trying to comprehend the situation from afar. Confusion, disbelief, and pure sadness for those affected in Boston. Being on twitter at 11:50am, following the accomplishment of where months of training leads to, and yet that joy and celebration disappeared. A sudden light switched off and everything went dark. Over 50 tweets almost simultaneously within two seconds read the same message. Hundreds of tweets folllowed, some with questions and others with live footage leaving those outside Boston to feel the scare and panic of what was happening. 

I know I can speak for many saying that my physical presence was in a different city, simply viewing tweets and commentary of destruction and chaos through thin air. But my heart and identity as a runner felt completely present in the fright that blanketed over thousands in Boston. 

Without getting into further details how that day played out, I think there is a bigger picture that is shedding a positive light on such a dark and painful story. It's only been a few days since the event took place, but even being on twitter the last few days has been uplifting in so many ways. Crowds of runners all around the country are gathering in group runs to commemorate and honor not only the victims, but the passion and dedication each of those individuals put into their running careers. Running communities, families, businesses, and random meet-ups are taking action to find strength together and it's leading to amazing mobilization for a faster recovery.

While the swell of emotions from Monday will hardly be forgotten, I decided to take these positive vibes and try to run with it. 

The best thing I knew to do was to treat Tuesday's run as a gift.

I ran around Lake Union and was positively overwhelmed by the sense of belonging and unity that came from every runner I passed, many of whom wore Boston Marathon shirts and gave me a smiling nod, like a secret code of a larger community. I was a bobbing sea of emotions the entire way. Vibrantly smiling at times from the gorgeous weather. Being rushed with frustration and questions of why bad things happen to good people. Feeling my eyes flood with water passing silly things that reminded me of Boston. And stopping to breathe to just be in the moment. 

Taking this day and reflecting on the positives is a lot easier for me than those directly affected. Our running communities all around the world are such a strong force when put together that I have no doubt if we keep spirits high, there is no measure or maximum for donations, relief funds, and ultimate recovery that can be reached. I'm overly anxious to see and read about where everyone will #RunForBoston this week and next. The blogs, recaps, and stories I have been reading are touching my heart and motivating me to continually help in all ways I can. 

At the end of the day and after all that's happened this week, I feel appreciative and blessed to have the simple ability to run - and more importantly to know that the 20 plus runners I felt directly connected to, women and men who put their soul into training for Boston this year, are safe and all returning home. Its puts things into perspective, helping me recognize each time I step out my door it's a given gift that makes me stronger and allows me to put my best self forward. A gift that may not always be there, but also one that fills me up a small percentage each day propelling me to to go out and create peace in a complicated world. 

If you're in Seattle, don't miss the run this coming Monday 4/22. Oiselle and many others will be meeting at Super Jock 'N Jill, all details listed here.

Monday, April 8, 2013

March, all wrapped up.

I think I blinked and March was gone – but, lots of good things happened in that peculiar month.

St. Patty’s Day 5K got my butt back into race mode, getting second female in 20:08. I ran the hilly course with Kristin and Julie, finally racing again with my loved trio. The race was up in Snoqualmie Ridge, which in my mind was not far off from mini Pleasantville. The cutest little town, but just straight up bizarre.

Winter quarter at UW wrapped up. Finals week turned my brain to mush but my 3.7 quarter GPA was well worth a straining seven day headache. Yes… 3.7! Excuse my bragging moment, I worked hard for that sucker :)

Spring break was the perfect week well spent. Started off as a snow bunny for three days with the fam in Sun Valley - skiing, running, dining, bar hopping, outdoor hot tubbing… embracing the ski bum lifestyle and playing the role of serious dedicated tourists. I captured some gorgeous photos from my birds eye view over the Cascade range on our way there.

Almost a 3 hour flight Seattle to Sun Valley, up and over the Cascade Mountain range.
Sister, Dad, Me.

Then from Sun Valley to Yakima Valley for spring wine tasting with my man! Started out by online booking the “Ho Jo” only to pull up to the hotel (more like motel 69) and tell him we are NOT staying here – booked the Hilton for a spendy $10 more. Lesson learned. 

The first winery we visited: Cultura Wine, Yakima Valley. 
Second winery: Silver Lake Winery
Third stop: Portteus Winery, Zillah. 
And my fave of them all: Two Mountain Winery. I bought a bottle of their 2011 Rose, so incredibly good. 

We had so many laughs on this trip, it was such a great time - one of those vacations you never want to end. We ventured out into the wine country and met some of the most humble people and wine makers. Their pace of life is vastly different than city living and it was awesome to experience - slow down my one speed motor brain and unplug for 48 hours. And of course the camera never stopped clicking.

Now, it's April! Back to focusing on running, finally. Time for my body and mind to get back into training mode simply because I haven’t felt fully complete lately. Who knew: avoiding the track slowssss you down.

April 1 started my new training plan – no fools here. Next post will tell the story: new race plan + my next race.

What are you April goals? Are you marathoning for April’s #marathonmonth?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Smoothie adapted from Jasyoga

You have to believe I've flipped through many smoothie recipes in my day, but somehow every time I go to make one I never ever follow the recipe exactly. Smoothies are like abstract art: it doesn't matter what goes into making them as long as it tastes scrumptious when it's finished.

This morning wasn't any different. But after being inspired (if you can get inspired over a smoothie) from Jasyoga's blog yesterday, "Blend up Recovery After Bringing Your A-Game" I added some key players to this magical blend that I'm patting myself on the back for this morning: avocado + spinach.

4 tbsp nonfat vanilla yogurt (or greek, plain etc)
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup carrot juice
1/2  frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup spinach
1/2 of an avacado

Fits perfectly in the Magic Bullet, but a blender works well too. Thanks for the kick Jasyoga!

What's your go-to smoothie recipe?  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Concept of a 5K

That little race that’s five kilometers long and often called a holiday fun run, community race, or the ever popular “5K” has got me thinking lately. Whether it’s for a charity your company partakes in or a simple excuse to throw on some outrageous costume and run balls to the wall, 5Ks are overly important for our sport because they invite anyone and everyone to the partake in the fun we as runners have all year round.

Memorable 5K with my best running bud Julie... before I knew what the heck a Roga was!
I think this is why I love them so much. It’s a race that can be what ever I want it to be. Full throttle guts out, a slogging start, a pivotal race, the perfect training marker, or the final hump to proving I’m injury free, 5Ks take the cake for me.

My last 5K was on Halloween, a training marker for the Seattle Half that I ran in late November. My sub-20 finish was all I wanted to prove that my training since college was slowly but surely kicking back into gear. After being injured for the month of December and learning to make friends with those I hate (hello operation elliptical), I swallowed my pride, cross trained when I could, began lifting weights and kept a positive attitude as much as my broken little heart could handle.

January marked new training: round 2. For the past few weeks building a base has been back in action, a plan drunkenly mapped out in my training log to the tune of 2 miles here, 8 miles there, and ½ a mile for good measure. You get the picture, I believe they call it inconsistency at its finest.

Sure it feels like square one all over again but sometimes that square just comes at the right time and you don’t even know it. What do I want. Why am I training. What are my goals. What are my miles building up to? It sounds like a hot pot boiling in my brain but in reality, building a new base is bringing me relaxation that I need right now, and I am peacefully okay with it.

This weekend a whole flock of Oiselle birds are coming to our backyard and racing a 5K. Community run, Love em’ or Leave em’, Valentines Day Dash, fun-run, what ever I wanna call it, this race is to prove to myself that I’m injury free, back on the rocker, and ready to get this lovey dovey relationship with running all hot and bothered. And of course, another sub-20 finish wouldn't be too shabby either. 

What is a 5K to you? Are you running one this weekend to tell running how much you love it JIT for Valentines Day? Good Luck J