Hey Shorty, It’s Your Birthday

Yesterday I turned the big 3-0.

Some people freak out over this milestone, but it didn’t bother me at all. It was actually a lovely day from start to finish.

It started with participating in the Crazylegs two-mile walk with my friend Jena. We made shirts – people loved them!
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We walked along with my former coworker Brad and his wife Jess. They had their baby girl, Hadley, about two and a half months ago. The four of us talked baby stuff (I love hearing people’s birth stories) while Hadley slept.
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We made out way into Camp Randall and posed at the finish line. Both of us got a wee but jealous of all of the red-faced runners. I miss the adrenaline, exhaustion, and sweat of finishing a good run. This summer, hopefully, I’ll be back at it.

It’s crazy (no pun intended) that a year ago I ran 14 miles, with the last five being the Crazylegs race. How things can change in a year!

At 1pm, I scheduled a prenatal massage at The Wellness Room – happy birthday to myself. She didn’t have a table for me to lie on my stomach, but it still felt amazing. Because of my self-diagnosed supine hypotensive syndrome (have I mentioned this before?), I was unable to stay on my back the whole time, even at an angle. I still felt super relaxed afterwards as obvious by my manly voice for the next couple hours.

Up until this point Brody had been absent from my birthday due to a hockey tournament. He had a game at 4:30pm, so I got to the rink and watched his team shut out the other team, 9-0. Brody scored one goal (which I missed because I was in the bathroom – story of my life) and one assist. Unfortunately they didn’t make the finals. Fortunately, this meant we got to go to dinner for my birthday.

Last week I told Brody I wanted to go to the Tornado Room for steak. He was surprised because normally I choose funkier or more ethnic restaurants. This pregnant lady wanted beef, which, interestingly enough, is also what I requested for my birthday dinner last year.

I basically knew exactly what I wanted when we sat down – baked french onion soup, petit filet (medium rare), and a green vegetable (I went with asparagus). Their steak is SO good, and I love the onion ring they serve on top of the steak. I failed to take any food pics, but if you live around Madison or are visiting and you want the best steak in town, go here and you will not regret it.

At home, I had a few bites of Chocolate Shoppe peanut butter cup ice cream and then went to bed. We were asleep by 10pm. Party animals around here.

As for presents, my sweet husband got me a ten classes at my favorite yoga studio, Inner Fire Yoga, so that post-birth, I can get in the routine of going once a week on Saturday or Sunday while he stays home with our little one. He also got me a fabulous diaper bag.
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I had planned on just using his (the Diaper Dude), but this one is way cuter and looks more like an over-sized purse. He’s so good at gifts!

Like I said – a very good day.

Questions:
Are you a “birthday” person?
What would your perfect birthday be like?

Good Eats from the Weekend

Welcome to Monday (evening) people! (Do you ever wish there was a punctuation mark of the intensity between a period and an exclamation mark? I do.)

My day felt a little off today because I took off of work on Friday. If you are a teacher, you understand the disarray you can come back to after a sub, even if the sub is great, the lesson plans go accordingly, and the kids behave. When I first started teaching, I would think about school the whole day; I would even call or email teacher-friends to check in on my room. Now I am able to let go and trust that everything will be fine.

Thinking back over my weekend, I realized how much amazing (and kind of unhealthy) food I ate. With friends in town and it being my birthday weekend, I didn’t show much restraint. Plus, running gives me good reason to take in a few more calories.

1. Dairy Queen Butterfinger Blizzard
Once my friend Rena, her mom, and her sister were all in town, I suggested Dairy Queen. Luckily, they all agreed! I saw Kathleen’s Butterfinger Blizzard sometime last week and it stayed with me. It was the perfect birthday treat.

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source
*still not good about bringing my camera places…will get better, I swear

2. Scrambler at Bluephies
After Crazylegs, my grumpiness was soon cured with a coffee, a horseradish Bloody Mary, and an egg scrambler. I ordered the Popeye (spinach, tomato, and feta) with Egg Beaters; it came with wheat toast and shredded potatoes. They let me in despite all of my sweatiness, stinkiness, and saltiness (although I did have a wardrobe change in the bathroom of the vodkatorium).

3. Bibimbap at Graze
Brody has gotten this dish many times before and raves about it. It includes crispy rice, sautéed spinach, winter vegetables, bean sprouts, sunny-side up egg, chili paste, and marinated tofu or pork. Mmmm…this was so good! I ate it all but saved room for dessert. My friend Rena and I chose the chocolate peanut butter cheesecake for the table to split, but after everyone else (four other people) took a bite, Rena and I polished it off. Oh, and my drink! While I don’t drink a lot of liquor, I do enjoy anything with gin and grapefruit juice. I ordered the Marquez Collins which obviously had those two liquids but then topped with red wine, all over ice. It was a lovely dinner experience, as it always is at Graze.

4. Steak and pie at home
Brody was MIA for most of the weekend eating due a hockey tournament, but he made up for it Sunday night. I requested steak for my birthday dinner and the best place around us is Jacobson Bros (they also make killer potato salad). We picked up two bacon-wrapped filets before swinging by Market Street Diner for a sweet treat (Brody doesn’t bake). I chose a slice of turtle pie and Brody got carrot cake. When we ate around 7:30, we accompanied the steak with roasted veggies (potatoes, sweet potato, onion, and fennel).

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After a weekend of indulgences, it is time to clean things up a little. Fortunately I have frozen mango in the freezer, which as I’ve said, helps me avoid chocolate at night.

See you again soon!

Questions:
What were some of your yummy eats from this weekend?
What tricks or strategies do you have for cleaning up after an indulgent weekend?

Crazylegs Recap and Grumpy Pants

Howdy folks! After a busy morning and afternoon, I am finally on my couch relaxing, and it feels amazing. Let’s start with the running…

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Pre-running supplies (although I didn’t wear the cotton shirt for obvious reasons)

If you’ve read any of my posts from this week, you know how bummed I was about the weather. In all honesty, it wasn’t that bad! The rain held off for most of our pre-Crazylegs run, and when it was coming down, it felt good. Besides running through a puddle once on State Street, my feet stayed dry and I had no weird chaffing. One benefit of running in the rain – it rinses away the salt crystals!

Mel, Tim, and I all felt pretty good early on, but we were careful not to start out too fast. We got a little nervous that we were going to miss our waves for the race, so we ended up running the last two and a half miles from our cars by Trader Joe’s to the capitol with a 9:30 pace. Running up State, we dodged all of the walkers going in the opposite direction. This made it feel like an obstacle course. Luckily we made it in time, met up with my high school friend Rena, and waited for a few minutes for our wave.

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While Tim took off to be Mr. Speedy, us three ladies set off just to enjoy the experience. Observatory was kind of a beast, but we pushed through and didn’t stop to walk. The rest of the course stays fairly flat. Although I don’t know our official time because my Garmin included the nine before, I would estimate we ran the 8K in about 47-48 minutes. We probably averaged a 9:30-9:40 pace, but then we all ran the last mile in under 9:00.

Two complaints about the race (and both deal with people):
1) Rena almost got spit on. This girl turned her head, didn’t look behind her, and spit. Nasty! How do people not have the common sense to look first?
2) People just stopped in the middle of the course and walked. Okay – I get that this is not a race that many people really race, but if you have to walk (which I am not poo-pooing), please move to the sides. Crazylegs had approximately 20,000 participants (not sure how many were walkers), and it was crowded the whole time. You bump elbows with people, need to dodge groups, etc.

I have come to a realization: I am crabby after long runs. This made me curious, so I did a little “research.” Some forums said it could be low blood sugar or glycogen (is that the same thing?) or dehydration. This may have been the case with previous runs, but today I was grumpy immediately after running into Camp Randall because the crowd was overwhelming and my right ankle hurt.

What if I hurt myself? I have only a month until the marathon, and I have so far remained physically intact. My ankle isn’t painful but it’s tweaky. I took Advil and have been icing it. Hopefully after a couple days of rest, it will be back to normal. I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t scared or nervous though.

I hope everyone out there who ran or walked Crazylegs, participated in a different race, or did absolutely nothing had a great day!

Questions:
What are your biggest pet peeves related to running?
Do you ever feel grumpy after working out?

Two “Yah”s and Two “Boo”s

Yah for four miles and ready to go by 6:30!

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Now that the light from the rising sun starts to shine by 5:20am, I want to try getting my runs in before school outside (instead of on the treadmill). A neighbor is running the Monona 20K and the Chicago Marathon, so she is working on building her running base. We set out for four miles this morning and finished in under forty minutes. I didn’t wear my Garmin, but according to Teresa’s watch, our first mile was under nine minutes. Holy speedy! When it is dark out, I always thought I ran faster, and I guess I was right. Why is that? This weekend, Mel’s husband, Tim, said it’s because you lose some of your senses, which makes sense. Slight pun there with the two meanings of sense. Sorry, I couldn’t stop the English teacher in me from not taking advantage of a teachable moment. My secret to getting ready so quickly involves a lot of night before prepping, a headband, and a shower cap.

Yah for overnight oats in Brody’s almost done peanut butter jar!

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Although I prefer Trader Joe’s nut butters, I will not willingly let a peanut butter jar be recycled without an overnight oat treatment. I threw in another small scoop of peanut butter as it was almost completely clean. Another great part about OAIJ? No dishes to add to the pile in my sink.

Boo for the hole in my favorite khakis

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    I cannot recall when this happened, but I noticed it on my drive to school. You may also notice the discoloration, which makes me think bleach ate through it. This is odd because I never bleach my clothes and only use it on towels and sheets occasionally. I have a $10 Gap gift certificate that has been waiting patiently to be used, and I also have a $10 gift card to Kohl’s that expires Saturday. Mid-week shopping?

    Boo for rain and cold temps forecasted on Saturday
    Sunday afternoon, I checked the weather and this Saturday looked good. Sunday night I checked again and it showed clouds and rain. This morning I checked (obsessed much?) and it now says 30% of rain and a high of only 43. Booooo! Lots of people I know are running Crazylegs Saturday morning, including my high school friend Rena. I was hoping for nice temps and sun, but I guess I’ve been too lucky with nice weather for my Saturday mornings runs. The bright side? Running in the rain would prep me for rain on the day of the marathon. The dark side? Goosebumps, chaffing, and squishy socks and shoes.

    Question:
    What is one “yah” and one “boo” for you today?

    I Survived 18 Miles (and have no t-shirt to show for it)

    *I loosely based this title off of Mel’s posting on Dailymile
    Three hours and seven minutes of my day were spent running this morning. That’s a lot of time, and while I wish I could say I loved all of it, I can’t. This run kicked my butt. No, literally – my butt hurts, as do other parts of my body. It metaphorically kicked my butt mentally too, and if it hadn’t been for a two breaks at the car and a few short walk breaks, I wouldn’t have made it.

    Doing multiple loops through the Arboretum lacks the landscape variety I need. I love seeing so many runners, bikers, and walkers in there, but going past the same even beautiful scenery two or more times mentally frustrates me. Next week we’ll likely not loop anywhere, as Mel, Tim, and I plan to run nine before Crazylegs (which is an 8K).

    Running that far is very stressful on my body, and my IT bands need some rolling love tonight and tomorrow. As another way to help my body heal, I took a wimpy ice bath to help reduce the inflammation.

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    If you recall, my first attempt at the dreaded ice bath did not go so well (tears and about two minutes in the water). Tim, who has lots of medical background knowledge, shared with me a better way somewhere during the first six miles:
    1. Take off sweaty clothes and put on a warm top (for me, swimsuit bottoms and hoodie)
    2. Make something warm to sip on (black mango tea with honey)
    3. Fill a tub with cold water
    4. Sit for a bit (unintentional rhyme) and then add eight cups of ice
    5. Stay in the tub for 15 minutes (while reading blogs on your iPad…that was my addition to the steps)
    I didn’t add a ton of ice, and I may have had both the hot and cold water going into the tub in the beginning. Goosebumps covered my legs, though, once I added the ice, but they melted (which is why you see none in the photo above). Brody came home from Crossfit in the midst of my ice bath, and as I expected, he scolded me for my use of an expensive electronic device in a bathtub. Thanks, Mom.

    I had grand plans to do absolutely nothing for the rest of the day, but Brody persuaded me otherwise. Because we had no food to compose a lunch of substance, we drove to Chipotle and I demolished a burrito salad bowl. Paying extra for guacamole is totally worth it when they put an entire avocado on top of the salad creation. Our next adventure involved the dog park; two SLOW laps ensued as I felt like an old woman and Brody’s legs were shot from Crossfit.

    The laps obviously depleted my energy, so I convinced Brody to take me to Dairy Queen. The sweet and salty combo of vanilla soft serve and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups makes me happy.

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    Hmmm…this position looks familiar.

    I am currently lying on our new patio furniture while Brody mows the lawn. I am being a good helper, although I did complain initially when asked, by taking the grass clippings to an empty lot whenever the bag fills up.

    A nap sounds good about now…on this outdoor couch.

    Have a great Saturday!

    Questions:
    Do you have any ice bath or recovery tips for me?
    What is your favorite blizzard from Dairy Queen?