Sunday, July 17, 2016

Training Week 2: Free Week + Compression Wear

July is CRAZY! Seriously, July has got it going on. I feel very thankful for that.... and slightly frazzled.

The week itself has been rainy but the kids and I did sneak in some gardening time. Our spinach was ready for its first harvest and the garden was a jungle in need of weeding. E said he wants to be a "master gardener" when he grows up!

Spinach fresh from the garden just tastes SO much better...

On Friday, we hit the road for a camping and wedding adventure and, honestly, marathon training had to go on pause.

So, yes, this was a "free week" for training. With all of the wedding stuff going on and not having a super safe route to run on, I thought it was best to put things (mainly a 16-mile run) on hold for the weekend.

The wedding was beautiful and truly God-centered. Marriage is under heavy attack in our country and I feel so blessed and encouraged to see godly marriages beginning and then being lived out for God's glory!
"Love must be God-centered or it is not the greatest love; it leaves people without their deepest need and only hope." John Piper, Taste and See
The wedding weekend as a whole felt long but everything went smoothly. We didn't have any major meltdowns (that I recall), RV camping with Grandma was a blast and the kids both hung in there at the wedding dance until 10 pm. Pretty good for a one-year-old and three-year-old!

P.S. I love dressing our little ones in matching outfits :) #cheesymomproblems

Starting tomorrow, training for the Wild Hog is back on track and I want to introduce you to the FXC Butterfly Compression Socks sent to me by SLS3!

Compression socks are one of my tricks for speeding up recovery after a hard/long effort. They increase blood flow and help my post-long run lead legs return to their more lively normal state.

I wear my compression socks on running days and on non-running days (I'm actually wearing them as I write this!). The fit is nice and snug plus the nylon/spandex material is very breathable.

Don't you love the butterfly design?! This compression sock line comes in some wild colors, too. Might as well keep it fun!

Check them out! The FXC Butterfly Compression Socks by SLS3 are available on Amazon for $29.90 (as of 7/14/16).

Do you use compression clothing for recovery or during workouts?


Wild Hog Marathon Training Week 2:

Monday, July 11


Tuesday, July 12

Easy-Effort 7 mi, 01:02 @ 08:51 avg pace.

Wednesday, July 13

Speedwork: 4.1 mi, 00:31 @ 07:40 avg pace. 4 x 1k @ 7:05, 7:05, 7:08, 7:09
Strength: Planks, hip hikes, leg raises, bridges. And "ball wars" in the basement with the toddlers (which means throwing every ball we have back and forth across room).

Thursday, July 14

Packing for our camping/wedding trip.

Friday, July 15

Tempo with double stroller: 6.25 mi, 00:53, 08:26 avg pace. WU, 5 miles @ 8:24/mile, CD

I took the kids out for a run before loading up the van and leaving on our camping weekend! Rehearsal dinner for the wedding was that night followed by the groom's supper. We ALL slept well that night!

Saturday, July 16

I decided to skip the long run this weekend and just enjoy the morning playing with Grandma (my mom) and the kids while Daddy was away for wedding party pictures. We were off to the wedding that evening and then the dance. It was another long day but very fun!

Sunday, July 17

Headed back home and resumed normal life.

Total Mileage:  17.35 miles

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up and Faith's Mommy Moments.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Taste and See Devotional by John Piper {Book Review}

This is my favorite view in the morning—Bible cracked open, hot coffee with cream and the Taste and See devotional by John Piper. (Don't get me wrong, I love waking up to the faces of my family but I do my best to be up before the party starts!)

The Taste and See devotional is written by respected author and theologian, John Piper. He has been the Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota since 1980. I really have admired his messages and writing in the past and this book certainly followed suit.

In the preface of this book, Piper states, "The best writers intensify our taste of the Bible, and especially for God himself." He was referring to John Edwards' effect on his life and I find that to be true of this book as well.

Through the sharing of experiences, anecdotes and references to Scripture, Taste and See allows the reader to savor God's omnipotence, the beauty of His Word and the sweetness of His promises.
"God's omnipotent exuberance to do us good is one of the most freeing discoveries a human can make. Oh, that we might believe it and savor it and bring it to mind again and again, until it is our very nature to feel the truth that the godly are designed for inconceivable happiness." John Piper
The Taste and See 125-day devotional is available for purchase as a hardcover, paperback and ebook.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Training Week 1: First/Last 5k for 2016

This past week felt extraordinarily long even though it was "short" with the 4th of July on Monday. Lots of fun but I'm okay with the week being over and a new one beginning.

One surprise for the week was that I raced a 5k on Saturday! The original plan was to walk/run the 1-mile with our 3 year old but he ditched me to ride in the Kiddie Parade later that day instead.

For the first time in 3 years, my husband was able to be home for our town's yearly festival! It was great to enjoy the weekend with him; he cheered me on in the race and I was able to race without the double stroller. Having him here with the kids, Grandma and I was the best.
Here goes the world's shortest race recap: I had no plan except to run hard and spend most of the 3.1 miles in the anaerobic pain cave. The morning was a little warm and humid (for MN) and I was very thankful for the early start of the race.

Per my watch, the mile/pace breakdown happened like so:
Mile 1 - 6:30
Mile 2 - 6:47
Mile 3 - 6:48
Mile .14 - 6:27

My official finish time was 20:55 and that was a new 5k PR for me! Some day I would like to make my way to the 19's but that goal will have to wait for another year. I have one more race left for the year and that's the marathon at the end of September.

Oh I love my cheering section! And Grandma is such a wonderful photographer :)

And here's what happened to my running partner. E led the Kiddie Parade as "American Spidey"! He's currently way more into tractors than he is into running :)

Wild Hog Marathon Training Week 1:

Monday, July 4

Hills w/ double stroller: 6.25 mi, 00:56 @ 08:58 avg pace.

First day of Wild Hog training on the hilly bike trail near our campground! Warm and humid but the trails were beautiful. I ran with the double stroller "half loaded" because E road in the kid seat on my mom's bike.

Tuesday, July 5

Easy-Effort w/ double stroller: 3.5 mi, 00:32 @ 09:11 avg pace.

"Ran" errands with the kids. Bank, grocery store, lumberyard. No success in our quest to find a toddler-sized fishing rod!

Wednesday, July 6

Three loads of laundry, sandbox playing and a tractor ride. No running for me.

Thursday, July 7

Tempo w/ double stroller: 6.06 mi, 00:51 with 4 miles @ 8:09/mile.

Ran with the kids and then mowed the lawn before the rain came.

Friday, July 8

Rest because I decided to run the Sizzler 5k!

Saturday, July 9

5k: 3.14 mi, 00:21 @ 06:40 avg pace. (20:55 official time)

6:30, 6:47, 6:48, 6:27 (for the last .14) followed by a mini yoga class in the grass post-race. That yoga class made me take the time to stretch!

Sunday, July 10

Long Run: 14 mi, 02:07 @ 09:02 avg pace.

Total Mileage: 32.95 miles

How many races are on your calendar this year?

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up and Faith's Mommy Moments.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

How Far Would You Run For Ice Cream?

I hope you had an amazing Fourth of July! 

We are blessed with so much freedom in this country and it is truly something that shouldn't be taken for granted. I am proud to be an American—one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all!

Today has been somewhat of a "recovery day" from our camping trip and a jump back into normal life. Before I share a few adventure pictures I have to ask...

How far would you run for ice cream?

I am SO thankful to have an active family! Seriously, watching our herd fly down the bike path brought me so much joy. With three long boarders, three bikers, one jogging stroller pusher and two little passengers, we were like a mini parade.

After a 10-mile long run on Saturday, we headed out on one more trek, this time to stop at the ice cream shop. We were all pretty well spent by that point but we covered the 2.6 miles there to get that ice cream.

The ice cream was well worth it! So maybe our gigantic chocolate chip cookie + ice cream sandwiches were over the top but I guess we "earned them" in a way. E had his own cup of birthday cake ice cream and W slept through the whole ice cream stop.

After the ice cream (yes, I ate the entire sandwich with a little help from a brother), we stopped by the Headwaters of the Mississippi River for a family photo opp and then travelled the 2.6 miles back to our campsite.

Yes, I would run 5 miles after running 10 miles to get an ice cream sandwich! 

Two Quick Sidenotes: We made an epic sandcastle on the beach and there is a slight chance the adults enjoyed building it more than the toddler did. Then we let the toddlers destroy it.

AND, while I didn't run any races this weekend, I did set a fishing PR. This is the biggest fish I have ever caught! Don't ask me how much it weighs or how long it is... I think it's a perch. I'm definitely not a regular fisherwoman but my husband loves fishing and I was excited to actually catch something edible-sized.

How far would you run for ice cream?
Any special ice cream requirements? What kind would it be?

Here's to my last week of "non-training" and on to training for the Wild Hog 26.2 coming up in September!

Monday, June 27

Walk: 1.75 miles to the park and the grocery store with the double stroller.

Tuesday, June 28

Double Stroller Run: 7.01 mi, 01:01 @ 08:46 avg pace.

Ran with the kids in the morning, then Teeny Ball practice after their quick nap, a tractor ride with Daddy and E's last night of swimming lessons. We ALL slept well that night!

Wednesday, June 29

Strength: 6 x 1:00 planks and 20 reps of side leg raises.

Thursday, June 30

Speed Intervals: 6.21 mi, 00:50 @ 07:59 avg pace. 6 x 400m with 400m jog in between - 7:59, 7:16, 6:54, 7:30, 7:05, 6:38
Strength: Push mowing the lawn while watching the kids. That was a first since W was born!

Last run of June 2016! This morning was windy and cool. 50 degrees felt great compared to heat and humidity! Perfect race day temperature.

Friday, July 1

Double Stroller Run: 1.07 mi, 00:10:54 @ 10:11 avg pace.

After arriving at our family's campsite, I went for a quick run on the board walk to help the 1 year old nap.

Saturday, July 2

Long Run: 10.08 mi, 01:24 08:21 pace.
More Long Run: 5.08 mi, 00:53 @ 10:23 pace with double stroller.

First 5.15 miles with double stroller and then dropped kids off at the camp site and finished the 10 miles without the stroller. Then the extra 5 long run miles were part of the ice cream run! The huge cookie ice cream sandwich was worth it.

Sunday, July 3

REST! Enjoying more camping fun and definitely not running.

Total Running Mileage: 29.45 miles

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up and Faith's Mommy Moments.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Everything You Want to Know About Feeding Your Kids! {Book Review}

No matter how much we wish it was so, babies do not arrive with their own personal how-to manuals and Google isn't a guaranteed reliable resource for parenting questions.

Oh, how I wish they did come with at least a FAQ booklet!

When it comes to food, The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers is the FAQ book I have been looking for. Written by Anthony Porto, MD, and Dina DiMaggio, MD, this book covers nearly every feeding-related question that I have had since the births of our two children.

Information on different feeding options are covered in detail, from breastfeeding to formula to choosing the right bottle for your baby. The pediatric team gives very helpful information on milk storage for moms who plan to pump and a breakdown of the types of formula for moms who plan to formula-feed.

As a breastfeeding mom, I greatly appreciate a resource that shares the benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby to remind me why I'm still nursing him past the one year mark. I have been asked at least 5 times now when we are going to wean him. My answer? When he's ready. Porto and DiMaggio stand by the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation to breastfeed until baby is one year old or for as long as desired.

The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers also contains a wealth of information on food allergies, when and what foods to introduce to your child, recipes that fit each developmental stage and many other helpful resources.

Personally, I learned so much from this book! For instance, male infants have higher caloric needs than female infants. Giving your child more food at night is not proven to help them sleep longer. And, no, you should not pre-chew food for your baby (wait, people do that?!).

Overall, I highly recommend this book and I know it will be a well-used resource in our home!

The Pediatrician’s Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers is available for $18.99 at various retailers.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own. 

Making a New "Home"

Well, it's officially summer now—we made it to our first parade of the summer!

Watching the parade and seeing all of the people there made me miss my family and my own small town. The small town I call "home" is about 2,000 people larger than this one and I was blessed to grow up with most of my family and friends nearby. It is so easy to take that closeness for granted until it's gone!

"Home" is cozy and knowing everyone is comfortable. I miss that.

Being the new person, the outsider, means meeting new people often (which is fun), trying to remember a list of new names (which is hard!), who's related to who and lots of small talk to build new relationships. I know it's been good for me, for all of us, but starting over again and again is frustrating. I even can't imagine how career military families feel!!!

As the years pass and more memories are made, I know this new town will become home. 

That is, if we stay here. The Lord has blessed us with so many new friendships in the past 2.5 years. To our kids, this is all they know. For my husband and I, feeling like we "belong" here will be a process. Now if only all of our families would move here too... ;)

My prayer is that we will be hospitable and mission-minded for the outsiders in this community even years from now. Becoming too comfortable and inwardly-focused  is dangerous because it can lead to stagnation.

She Reads Truth has an amazing devotional series on biblical hospitality and it defined so well the hospitality Jesus lived out when He invited us into fellowship with Him. Jesus is the great Inviter and now it is our job to reach out to others with His love.
As followers of Jesus, it is our privilege, our responsibility, our JOY to invite people to the Gospel." She Reads
I don't want to get so comfortable in our little life that my eyes turn inward rather than reaching out to others. As Jesus said, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (Matthew 9:35-38)

So that's where we are now: making memories, building relationships and reaching out to others.

On Saturday, we went on a mother+sons date to a local parade and enjoyed Superman ice cream (it was like a sherbet mixed with vanilla) and I had an iced latte. E ate most of the ice cream because W doesn't appreciate ice cream quite yet.

We waited and watched for a while after finishing our treats. Then the parade came through and we collected way more candy than necessary!

I love watching these boys grow up and being together as a family in our "new home"!

Every day is a new memory-making opportunity and I wouldn't trade these moments for the world.

What's your story? Have you felt like an outsider?
What is your favorite parade candy?! - fruity tootsie rolls :)

Monday, June 20

Easy-Effort: 5.01 mi, 00:46 @ 09:16 pace
Strength: 6 x 1:00 planks

Tuesday, June 21

Walk: 3 miles to swimming lessons and teeny ball.
Strength: 3 sets of 15 reps w/ 10 lb dumbbells - thrusters, bicep curls, rows, tricep kickbacks, lateral raises, running arms, 10 reps of lunges.

Wednesday, June 22

Intervals with double stroller: 4.55 mi, 00:38 @ 08:24 pace. Started as fartlek intervals of 1:00 on, 1:00 off... then I pushed a button and goofed up my watch, ending the workout. I ran the rest of the workout on the "cool-down" mode.
Strength: 20 reps of side leg raises, bridges, side hip raises, lunges.

Thursday, June 23

Walking: 1.5 miles to swimming lessons.
Strength: 6 x 1:00 planks.

Friday, June 24

Kinda Speedwork: 3.39 mi, 00:28 @ 08:15 pace.

Did some medium-effort speed work this morning to shake things up a bit with one more week until training starts for the Wild Hog.

I ran across some people stranded and out of gas on my usual gravel route this morning... eventually we got them to the gas station and moving again. The country roads are pretty quiet in the morning so I was surprised to see them.

4 x 400m with 400m jog between sets @ 7:14, 7:24, 7:32, 7:33.

Saturday, June 25

The little ones and I went to our first parade of the year while daddy was at work. We collected wayyy too much candy and hopefully I won't eat all of the colorful tootsie rolls. The grape and strawberry ones are my favorite!

Sunday, June 26

Long Run: 6.2 mi, 00:51 @ 08:17 pace.
Strength: 6 x 1:00 planks.

Training for the next marathon starts in a couple weeks so I'm switching over to run long on Sunday mornings. During the farming busy season, this works much better because my husband usually works Saturdays when the weather is decent. The schedule just needs to stay flexible because agriculture certainly isn't a regular 9-5 job!

Total Running Mileage: 19.15 miles

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up and Faith's

Monday, June 20, 2016

Keeping the Habit

Currently, I'm in that awkward space of "time off" between two marathons. I have had plenty of time to recover from the Fargo Marathon yet it's not quite time to jump into training for the Wild Hog Marathon.

Not a huge dilemma here. It just feels weird to run without a training plan. Like I was in the groove and now I'm breaking a good habit. (Uh, not good!)

British educator Charlotte Mason has written a lot on the formation of habits in ourselves and our children as well. The below quote sums up the habit:
The fact is, that the things we do a good many times over leave some sort of impression in the very substance of our brain; and this impression, the more often it is repeated, makes it the easier for us to do the thing the next time. - Charlotte Mason (Vol. 4, Book 1, p. 208).
The more often we repeat something, the easier it is to do the next time. Making time to run the training miles has formed a habit; turning running into something I enjoy rather than a burden.

Taking a "break" from a habit makes the day feel like it's missing something. I have noticed that with other habits as well - if I miss my usual time of Bible reading and prayer, I know I need to get creative to make it happen. My day without time in God's Word feels empty!

Though it takes discipline to get through the early weeks of forming a new habit, reaping the benefits of a good habit is worth the efforts.

Here are a few daily habits that are important to me:
  1. Prayer and Bible reading. Using index cards to remember daily prayer concerns. Remembering is my biggest struggle! 
  2. Exercise. Running, strength training, cross training or stretching. 
  3. Flossing. I like flossing :) 
  4. Cleaning. Working on a "focus zone" each day to keep things from piling up (i.e. Tuesday = bathroom cleaning day... oh yay!).
  5. Projects. Make time to work on a card or letter to family/friends, pray for someone, design something, encourage someone, actually write in the kids' baby books.
What is a habit you are maintaining or working to form?

Monday, June 13

Easy-Effort: 5.25 mi, 00:48 @ 09:03 pace. 1:00 x 6 plank variations.

Tuesday, June 14

Progression Run: 4 mi, 00:32 @ 07:55 avg pace. 8:45, 8:17, 7:38, 7:04,
Walk: 1.25 miles to E's first Teeny Ball practice and back home again.

I ran early in the morning and then had a blast watching E at his first Teeny Ball practice! There were so many kids that showed up and watching toddlers run is a mix of adorable and hilarious :)


Wednesday, June 15

1:00 x 6 plank series.

Thursday, June 16

??? I can't remember but I know it wore me out. Likely lots of walking AND s'mores!!!

Friday, June 17

Warm-Up:  0.67 mi,  00:05:33 @ 08:17 pace. Strength training circuit x 3 with 10# DBs.

I did my morning warm-up lap and ran home because the downpour was starting. The lightning was beautiful but a little too close for comfort! And them started the hard rain, totaling at 1.4 inches in one hour.

Saturday, June 18

Long Run: 8.1 mi, 01:09 @ 08:28 pace.
Walk: 1.5 mi (or so) while visiting with a friend.

I debated on running 10 miles but talked myself out of it. Remember, no training yet!

Sunday, June 19

Happy Father's Day!!!

Total Running Mileage: 18.02 miles

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up and Faith's Mommy Moments.