Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Week of the Couchathon

Looking back on the week, my most prized accomplishment was bleaching the bathroom Monday night after the kids started feeling well again.

Other than that, I didn't really get much else done.

Both of the littles had a "cold" (or so I thought) for a few days last week and I was sure that I had escaped sickness' grasp. Turns out I was quite incorrect in that assumption!


The exhaustion and fever continued for five days, affectionately dubbing this week my "couchathon". I don't remember the last time I've laid around so much!

I did my best to keep the kids busy with little activities here and there while I laid around like a vegetable sipping Alka-Seltzer Plus.


Cold sweats, hot flashes, gunky coughing, wheezing, body aches, major fatigue. I don't like to self-diagnose but I bet you a batch of cookie bars that this wasn't just a cold!

The very-flu-like sickness took a run through our household and I'm ever thankful that our kids get the flu shot. Their bout hardly slowed them down. As for me, my body had a really hard time fighting this and I'm still recovering.

I did a few rounds of yoga this week and the calm stretching helped relieve the body aches. By Saturday, I was feeling antsy enough to try running but my trip with the pup proved to be very short. My lungs just aren't there yet.

I think he was annoyed by the brevity of our run!


My Workout Weekly Wrap: 01/23-01/29


01/23 MON: Started coming down with a "chest cold" over the weekend and had a slight fever (99). The kids and I played outside in the morning and I did the Vinyasa Yoga Flow video (17:55) in the evening.

01/24 TUES: Went to the library in the morning because I thought I was feeling better and by evening I had a 101.7 fever. Woops.

01/25 WED: Vegged out on the couch. We watched the "Minions" movie in the morning and I basically supervised their playing while laying down... Hot flashes, cold sweat, dizzy and totally wiped with the fever moving down to 101.2.

01/26 THURS: We watched the "Minions" movie again this morning! (I must be out of my mind) Feeling better and I did have enough energy for a relaxing Hatha yoga video (34:06).

01/27 FRI: The fever is gone - Hallelujah! - but I still feel like a zombie walking around. Went for a <2 mile walk/run with the dog and, while the fresh air was wonderful, I'm not ready for any cardio for a while.

01/28 SAT: We took the kids sledding in the neighborhood. Very fun, though the cold air makes me cough up a lung! Kids are feeling quite peppy. In the evening I did a round of Runner's Yoga (25:29),

01/29 SUN: Rest

Have you been sick this winter?
Tell me something exciting about your week!



Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Taking Performance (and Recovery!) to the Next Level | Legend Compression Review

Disclaimer: I received Legend Compression Leg Sleeves to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I'm a rather simplistic runner — grab my running shoes, appropriate clothing for the weather, my Garmin (or not, some days) and I'm good. Over my years of running, I have added an item or two to my gear list because they truly make a difference in my performance — compression wear is at the top of the list.

Running in compression wear makes my legs feel lighter and less fatigued, even at mile 20 of a marathon. I used to think it was all in my head but the proof is in the pudding. Compression really works!

As a BibRave Pro, I received the Legend Compression Leg Sleeves to review and I put them to the test this month. I have used compression socks for training, racing and recovery in the past but this was my first time using leg sleeves.


I found that the leg sleeves are great for indoor workouts (or hot weather runs this summer). The material is breathable and I didn't overheat like I do when wearing full compression socks.

When wearing these on a chilly winter run, I layered them under (and even over) my running tights. Layering with the leg sleeves was a cinch and I was able to put them on/took them off with ease.


Besides looking super cool, Legend Compression Leg Sleeves offer many performance benefits:

Compression Done Right (Not Tight!)

Legend Compression Leg Sleeves aren't as "tight" as other compression wear, being 15-20 mmHG vs the usual 20-30 mmHG. This means they are easier to get on and off without sacrificing the support and performance benefits! Based on their experience and understanding of medical compression, Legend Compression Wear has found the right amount of compression that is most effective for training and recovery.

This #rightnottight fit has many benefits including increased athletic performance, increased oxygen levels and blood circulation, reduced muscle fatigue, exertion and soreness and faster recovery time!

My leg sleeves are easy to slide off even after a sweaty workout, which I appreciate. Some other compression brands feel like they might as well rip off a layer of my skin as I peel off the sock!

Durable Power Band

The power band on the top of these leg sleeves makes them easier to roll on and off and, once on, the sleeve STAYS PUT! I didn't have to worry about them sliding down in the middle of my run. The durable power band also protects the sleeve from rips and tears during daily usage.

Lightweight and Breathable Construction

Legend's Leg Sleeves are lightweight and made with an open stitch in the back for ultimate breathability. They are moisture wicking and work great for layering up during a winter run. For summer long runs, these sleeves are also UV protective.


What I LOVED about Legend's compression leg sleeves is their high quality material, #rightnottight fit and that they are proudly made in the USA! Now I think it would be fun to have a collection of Legend's compression leg sleeves in every color assortment and then mix and match :)

Check out Legend Compression Leg Sleeves here and take 20% off your order using the code "rave20"!

Be sure to join us for #BibChat on Twitter on Tuesday, FEB 7 at 8PM CST to talk all about compression and for a chance to win Legend Compressionwear for yourself!

My Workout Weekly Wrap: 01/16-01/22


01/16 MON: 4 mi, 00:35 @ 08:50 pace. Lots of snow and slick roads but overall it was a beautiful morning. The above zero temps feel GREAT! Our dog joined me for the last mile and he was a big fan. I think he gets a little depressed when it's too cold for us all to play outside.


01/17 TUES: Runner's Yoga (25:28)

01/18 WED: 5 mi, 00:43 @ 08:41 pace. This morning was gorgeous! 20 degrees and a little wind. Just a perfect morning after such a cold snap. The dog joined me for the last two miles and he was just as excited as me.

01/19 THURS: Vinyasa Yoga Flow (17:55) and Bowflex plank/push-up video on Youtube.


01/20 FRI: 7.68 mi, 01:01 @ 07:58 pace. Slushy & warm outside. It's so nice to be above 0 degrees! My Yaktrax are now officially broken and the right one slipped off like 4 times during the run :(

01/21 SAT: Run/Walk with the dog, 3.1 mi, 00:36 @ 11:34 pace. Testing out the Stunt Puppy hands-free leash! More on that later.

01/22 SUN: Stayed home from church with sick kiddos and my getting-sick self! Hope this is a short-lived cold and cough.

Do you use compression wear in training or recovery?



Linking up with Wild Workout WednesdayHolly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up and Mommy Moments.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Who's Got Goals? I Do, I Do!

Three weeks into January and I'm finally sitting down to write out goals for 2017.

Yes, I'm going to DO THIS! I'm a goal-happy kind of person but this year it has been harder to articulate them and to narrow it down to what is most important.


1. Live Confidently in My Calling


I turn 30 this year and this new decade will be one of living boldly, confidently and unapologetically in my God-given calling. The 20's decade was crazy! So much change — single college student, grad, career woman, new wife, first-time homeowners, first-time mom, stay-at-home mom, moving to a new town and mom to two — I hardly recognize my 20-year-old self. My twenties were full of newness and huge life changes.

This year I am sharing more about my struggles in person and in writing on this blog. Sharing opens up a door to encourage and band together with others who are riding the same struggle bus. (Sidenote: I love to say "struggle bus". Got it from my youngest brother!)

It's easy to feel like "I'm the only one that struggles with _____" but it's never true.

The exhausting months of raising a tremendously sweet but very high-need baby, making time for God's Word and prayer in unpredictable life seasons, judgement of homebirthing and extended breastfeeding, worries of a new homeschooling parent, victories and crazies of toddler parenting, uncertainties of TTC (trying to conceive), the unique challenges of a marathon running mom, the balancing act that is life. Those are a few of the topics I haven't been able to put to words over the last couple years.

This year, I will share more in hopes of spurring on those who are wearing similar shoes.


2. Find a Routine That Works for Now


What I'm learning in life with little ones is that a certain routine works for a while and then something (or someone) changes and the routine needs to adjust accordingly. I think it should be call "season fluidity".

For example, now that our youngest is 19 months old and IS sleeping through the night — finally, praise the Lord! — the early morning wake-ups are getting easier and the kids are both becoming more predictable. My body still feels so tired but I know it's time to establish a stronger morning routine again. It's like I have a "tired hangover" from being so sleep deprived for the past year and a half!

The goal is a 10:00 p.m. bedtime and 6:00 a.m. wake-up. I have done it before in past seasons (actually 5:30) but it's a habit I need to re-form. Funny thing... now that I have a smartphone again, it even tells me when to go to bed. A tad bit ridiculous but effective as well :)


3. Build My Lifetime Running Base


Last year I ran three full marathons and this year I have zero on the year's schedule. I have dropped obvious hints in past posts and since I'm becoming more vulnerable officially today (see Goal #1), I will tell you that babies are on my mind, not marathons.

While I really enjoy training and especially racing, I'm exercising for now to maintain basic fitness and add bricks to build up my "lifetime running base". Greg McMillan explains that we all experience seasons in life when we need to take a planned or unplanned break from training. The key is to do what you can in your current season.

After my past pregnancy and postpartum experiences, my thoughts about these "slow down" periods have changed. Though I may not run as fast or as much mileage as I do during training periods, I am still gaining running experience and knowledge... and I may pick up a few spontaneous races here and there.

Each workout is a "penny" added to my lifetime fitness "piggy bank".

"You (Only Faster)" by Greg McMillan, p.252

That's a wrap! I'm already loving this new year and look forward with excitement for the year ahead.

And I can't wait to break in my new journal — I'm kind of a journal-writing fanatic :)

Weekly Wrap: 01/09-01/15


01/09 MON: (Treadmill) 4 mi, 00:36 @ 09:05 pace.

01/10 TUES: Runner's Yoga (25:28)

01/11 WED: (Treadmill) 4 mi, 00:31 @ 07:51 pace. 400m speed intervals.


01/12 THURS: Vinyasa Yoga Flow (17:55) and Bowflex plank/push-up video on Youtube.

01/13 FRI: (Treadmill) 7.22 mi, 01:00 @ 08:18 pace. If the weather stays like this, I'm never going outside again!


01/14 SAT: Out of town with my parents and siblings. We stayed in a hotel the night before and pretty much everyone slept terrible. Felt like a zombie the rest of the weekend!

01/15 SUN: Off.

What is one goal you are working toward for 2017?



Linking up with Wild Workout WednesdayHolly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up and Mommy Moments.

Monday, January 9, 2017

A Quick California Catch-Up

Last week was a nice catch-up week after being gone for so long.

Catching up on the house, laundry and big-time catching up on the time zone change! Even the kids slept in til 9:00 am on numerous mornings last week - which was fine, but getting to bed before 11:00 pm was tough. We were all about two hours off our usual but this week has been much better.

To keep myself from going all picture crazy on this post, here are just a few memories from our two weeks in California.

For the first part of our trip, we traveled to Newport Beach, California via a smooth (a.k.a. happy kids) flight to Las Vegas followed by a VERY LONG drive to the beach. It was a Sunday night and the Las Vegas to Las Angeles traffic was insane.

Once we arrived at the beach, the weather was perfect for us - around the 60-70's during the day - and the ocean water was SO cold. This must be the off season for beach goers because we had the place nearly to ourselves all day.

My sister-in-law and I discovered that the "Eat Chow" restaurant made the BEST espresso! Their espresso con panna (espresso with cream) was absolutely delicious!


We spent a lot of time at the beach building sand castles, running, watching the kids and searching for shells. I walked in the water only up to the tops of my feet (yes, I'm a baby). The brave ones boogie boarded in the chilly waters and drew the attention of a few dolphins. And a sea lion!



We stopped by a tide pool in Corona Del Mar and explored for a while before hitting the road back to Vegas.


The shore was loaded with beautiful sea shells!


The drive back to Vegas took 7 hours (instead of 4) because of a fatal car accident and crazy traffic. Surely, the city life is NOT the life for me!

My parents and siblings flew home the next day and we flew on to Oregon, making our way to the most northern parts of California, which strangely feels a lot like northern Minnesota (minus the mountains). I was so happy to be back to small town life again.


It snows there but the snow easily melts in the sunshine and the temps were in the 30's and 40's. I love the California sun!


And I love the view of Mount Shasta. Someday, just maybe, my husband and I will climb that mountain. It's funny how close the mountains seem, when in actuality it is over an hours drive away.


For now, I'm content with watching it while I run by.


After enjoying a week with my in-laws, we took the three flights and an hour drive to get us home. It felt good to be home in this flat, cold tundra-like place! Just in time for another blizzard.

Home sweet home!

{Weekly Wrap: 01/02-01/08}


01/02 MON: 2 mi, 00:19 @ 09:30 pace. It wasn't THAT cold but the wind made the blowing snow feel like needles piercing my face. Then the storm later that day. Brr!

01/03 TUES: Vinyasa Yoga Flow (17:55)

01/04 WED: (Treadmill) 4 mi, 00:33 @ 08:13 pace. 400m speed intervals

01/05 THURS: Runner's Yoga (25:28)

01/06 FRI: (Treadmill) 3 mi, 00:26 @ 08:37 pace.

01/07 SAT: 6.26 mi, 00:52 @ 08:19 pace. 0 degrees and sunny.

A photo posted by Amy W (@creativeaim87) on

01/08 SUN: 6 x 1:00 planks.

Did you travel over the holidays?



Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 Running Year Review

Happy New Year!!!

As I was just getting the hang of writing "2016" at the end of the date, we're switching to 2017.

I can't believe how this year has blown by. The past twelve months have been full of memories, lessons learned and lots of pictures. I looove pictures (in case you can't tell).

We've been off in California beachin' it and visiting family in the northern parts so I'm behind in the blogging world. More on our travels will be coming next week!


In the meantime, here are my 2016 running year highlights to follow up on last year's running review:

Best Race Experience

Running 2 marathons in 2 weeks. Finishing first female was an extra perk! "Breaking" (or running through) the tape was an addicting experience and I hope this won't be my first and last time doing it! Running two marathons so close together was actually a great experience. Two races for one training cycle. Definitely going to try that again!


Best Run

With the Fargo Marathon being my worst run of the year, my best run followed soon after at our local 5k. This race was redemption of some sort after the trouble in Fargo and I ended up setting a new 5k PR of 20:55!

I didn't realize I could maintain a 6:41/mile pace until that race and it is a glimmer of hope that I can break into the 19:xx's someday.


Best New Piece of Running Gear

Same thing as last year. My Scott T2 Palani shoes! I loved my last pair (and their Amazon price) so much that I bought the same shoe style again.


Most Inspirational Runner

It's too hard to pick just one. From runners in the blogosphere - especially all of the #WeeklyWrappers - to those that I have raced with this year, each one has their own story and it is truly inspirational. Thank you, Tricia and Holly, for bringing together such a great group!

Favorite Picture from a 2016 Run or Race

High-fiving my cheering section at the Grand Forks Marathon. My husband, kids, brothers, sis-in-law and parents were all there to cheer me on. It was the best!


Race Experience I Would Love to Repeat

I would love to run through the finish line tape at the Blue Ox Marathon again... and keep my eyes open this time!

The local paper interviewed me after this race and they published a really nice interview that didn't water down my faith in God, my "why" for everything I do. That's what really made the experience the best!


This Year in Three Words

MOM'S - MENTAL - BREAK. Long runs have never been as enjoyable as this year's.

Though it's tempting to stay in bed, heading out to run early on Sunday mornings was wonderful. It went from being a "chore" to an enjoyable reset. Our youngest is such a sweet boy but was very umm... "high need"... for his first 18 months of life. Running on my own was a lovely break.


Best 2016 Running Advice Received

Run with purpose. I have been running marathons since 2010 and it took six years for this concept to take hold. My workouts blurred together and lacked specificity in the past but after reading Greg McMillan's book, "You (Only Faster)", I'm seeing much more improvement.

Easy runs need to be easy (that's seriously the hardest for me!) and each run should have a goal in mind. Once I'm back in racing and training mode again, I'm excited to see how much time I can cut off with this method.
"You must know exactly what the purpose of each type of workout is and exactly what pace range and effort level is appropriate for you." (p. 98)


Looking Forward To Most in 2017

New memories and the adventures to come! I may race here and there this year but nothing is on the calendar as of yet. I really should be honest and just tell you that my brain is on babies right now. Yep, there you have it.

Here's to the new year! I'm excited to see what God has in store.


What is a highlight of your 2016?



Linking up with Wild Workout Wednesday and Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.