Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Little Lion Man

So my husband's favorite song of the moment is "Little Lion Man" - check out the video, if you don't know the song:

Little Lion Man - Mumford and Sons

So, I took this picture of my Nolan man, pretty fitting, right?

(Yes, this is just a lame attempt at a blog post to shamelessly put up a picture of my little guy.)

I think I am going to swap my Thursday run for a little time on the elliptical.  Ugh.  I am SUCH a baby about the elliptical, and I haven't done it in years.  My shins are bad today though, so I think that'll be better.  We'll see.  And big old 10 miler with my best buddy Rachel and a night away this weekend!!  Woo!

Hope you had a great Wednesday!

Track Workout: Wisconsin Style

 Hey, good morning! 

We had our first Tuesday Track Workout of the season last night... wooo!  Because we go on the track nearest to my house, I am responsible for making sure that there isn't a conflict for our workout (track workout, band practice, etc)...   So I diligently checked the school's website, and the calendar was clear for last night, so we all headed over to the track.  Smart girl that I am, I didn't even think about the 4 inches of snow the Wisconsin Weather Gods dumped on us... and here's the entrance to the track:


I was totally bummed, but then saw a glimmer of hope...

One single lane was shoveled around the track.  SOLD!  Good enough for me!!
But, upon closer inspection we realized that the lane only went about two-thirds around the track.  Shoot.
So we headed back to the parking lot and ran in circles like a bunch of crazies until we were warm.  I had originally planned a 1 mile warm-up, and 4 x 400m repeats with 200m recoveries.  (That's running once around the track fast, and jogging half a lap to recover, four times)  We switched it up and did 6 x 200m repeats, with good old standing around as a recovery. 

 I was SUPER impressed with my group - everyone did really well, especially Hillary who is a new runner, and FAST!  First track workout ever and she was running 45-50 second repeats.  Very very cool. 

Here's our happy little group (I'm hiding behind the camera)  Two of the three of them are running their very first half marathon on in May - the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon.. they rock!  We have a few more in our group that couldn't make it that are also training for the Cellcom.

OK, just wanted to share a quick photo of the birthday boy, my handsome husband Nick

Also, quick tip for those of you contemplating having a photo printed onto a cake...  Don't put pictures of anything super cute (puppies, adorable twin boys) because no one will eat them, seriously.

This is all that was left of Nick's delicious cake, and five days later, it's still sitting on my counter.  Just can't bring myself to eat my babies.  :-)

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Quick Update

Hey, happy Tuesday everyone!  Man, I have SO MUCH to update on here... here's a quick recap of the last few days:

On Thursday, I had a pretty crappy 2 mile tempo run on the treadmill at the gym... I swear, they turned up the heat in that place - it felt like it was 90 degrees!  Then to rehydrate (very important), I went to a German bar with my girlfriend Nikki and enjoyed a couple of glasses of beer whose description emphasized the "yeasty banana notes"... sounded totally gross, had to try it.  DELICIOUS!!!  I'm going to try to find the name of this beer. 

Saturday, I did my nine-miler with Mattie, and it was awful.  Awful, awful, awful.  It was like 15 degrees and steady winds, and the trails were ice-covered in a lot of places.  It was treacherous, slow, miserable going.  After the run, I wished we could look at a video highlight reel of the past couple of hours... we must have said "Oh man, this sucks", and "Why are we doing this?" about a million times.  Ugh.  Awful.  But hey, we made it!

After that I soaked in my mama's whirlpool tub, and she put on spa music and lit candles and gave me a fluffy robe and socks... yes, I am completely babied by my mom, and I love it.  She started this "Spa Mama" thing when I was a few weeks post-partum and losing my sanity... she took the babies for a few hours and let me relax (read: pass out instantly) in her soft warm bed.  mmmm delightful.

Next up - surprise birthday party for my husband-o.  (Spanish is one of my many talents, as you can see)  He was SURPRISED.  Holy man.  He walked in the bar where 20 of his favorite people were waiting.... and walked right out!  Ahhh.  It took him a minute, but he regrouped and returned to enjoy the festivities.  Pictures to follow.

OK, my little Nolan is calling for me.  OH!  And I have super fun video I am going to put up here later too.  Hope you all have a wonderful day!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Utensil Attack

Cheese grater = 1

Me= 0

I inadvertently removed my knuckle yesterday while I shredded carrots for my healthy pasta salad.  If you know me, you probably know that I abhor band aids (which I think makes me tough, but maybe it's just laziness... or lack of hygiene...), so that picture might give you some indication of the severity of my wound. Hey, it's a high-quality cheese grater!

So, Tuesday night was an AWESOME speed workout on the treadmill.  I haven't done too much in the way of speed since I had the kids, but I love me a good track workout.  We had one planned for Tuesday, but the Wisconsin Weather Gods dumped a billion inches of snow/ice on us, so we took our run inside.  It was one of these where you run a slow pace for 1/4 mile, and then fast for 1/4, progressively getting faster and faster up to 10mph... and I felt super good.  It was such a relief - maybe this half I have in THREE WEEKS won't be so terrible!!

Tonight is a three mile tempo run... and a big niner on Saturday morning. 

I hope you all have an awesome day!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sunday #2

Today feels like another Sunday because my handsome hubby is taking the day off to hang out with the kids.  I have a lunch date with my former coworkers at a Chinese buffet... and then I'm going to hang out with my brother!  It's going to be a fabulous day.  :)  Plus - I am having a super awesome breakfast:

Yup, that's a big cup o' joe and a homemade chocolate chunk mint chip cookie... mmm.  I figure since I am going to eat 10,000 calories at lunch, I might as well prep my body for the assault with some high-quality breakfast. 

I got my eight miler in on Saturday - it was great.  The weather was perfect... it was one of those runs where I just kept thinking how the weather couldn't be any better.  It was bout 40 degrees, light breeze, clear sunny skies... ahhhh.  It really felt like spring is coming!

Shins are still bothering me, but I'm trying a multi-faceted approach now:  icing twice a day, stretching, foam rolling, and using the Stick in the shower and after runs.  I am so ready to get out on the track and try some speedwork that I am giving my shins extra love so they don't fall apart when I run faster.

That's all I've got for now guys, have a great Monday!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Birthday Boys!

Hope everyone had a great weekend.. we've been BUSY in our house!  We celebrated Alex and Nolan's birthday on Friday by going to the Building for Kids.  It was so fun - they have tons of themed areas for kids; science projects, play areas, firetrucks, water wheels, and a HUGE treehouse. 

Nolan and Momma in the treehouse
The feature exhibit at the museum was all about Japan.  We, like everyone else, are stunned by what's happening in Japan right now, and it was ironic to have this little room exhibiting some of the sillier things of Japanese culture.  The kids loved the huge fuzzy buses.
Daddy and his boys

Their favorite thing was this puzzle on the wall where they could move colorful knobs through a maze cut-out in the wood, and wooden beads on a curved wires:

And, finally, the creepiest chair in the world:

We had a great weekend.. I'll post more tomorrow!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Morning everyone!  Hope you are having a super St. Paddy's Day!

Today is a special one for me because one year ago today was the last day I was pregnant.  Although I was bummed that the kids came on the 18th instead of the 17th because I didn't get to have my green beer, I did have a great time as it was my first full day with zero bedrest.  After being on modified and then strict bedrest for 14 weeks, I was ready to get moving!

The weather has been great here this week, and yesterday I decided to put together the trikes that my mother-in-law got the kids.  It came in about a million pieces.. and I am not what you'd call "handy":

Oh, and excuse the food on the floor.. it was right after snack time.  Or maybe I forgot to clean up the floor after dinner last night.  hmmm.

Anyway, one hour and a few swear words later, here's Nolan enjoying the fruits of my labor:
I had a few pieces left over, and I couldn't figure out how to install the basket, the steering thing for the parent, or the sunshade, but what I did put together felt sturdy enough for the kiddos.  I'm hoping the next one goes better.  That's the great thing about twins - everyone gets them presents in twos, so I get double the practice assembling things!

I got my three miler in on Tuesday - and it was awesome.  Ran with Mattie on a hilly route averaging about 9:30 miles.. I felt great cardiovascularly, but I can tell I need to start hill workouts... my quads were on FIRE!  And, my stupid shins are worse than ever.  I've decided that after the Oshkosh half marathon (on Apr 16th) I'll take it easy for as long as necessary, even if that means skipping the GB half in May.  Which would make me cry. 

I think my hot hubby is coming to the gym with me tonight!  My momma offered to come twin-sit, and I'm really excited to pump some iron with my love.  May skip my Thurs tempo again depending on my shins.  Then maybe I'll bust out a beer and my green food coloring... it's only 10am and I hear it calling me..

Monday, March 14, 2011

Baby Tornadoes

I would like to preface this blog post with a disclaimer:

***DISCLAIMER - I love my children more than anything, and I am so lucky to be a stay at home mom.***

That being said, my kids and I are SICK of each other today!  Today, my friend Matt asked me why, and not wanting to look like a bad mama, I told him, "Oh, I don't know.  Probably just cabin fever."

Well, that's not entirely true.  I know EXACTLY why we're sick of each other today.

1)  They have pooped a total of 7 times today.  Seven.  And there are still hours left in the day.
2)  I let them loose in the kitchen so I could change over the laundry (okay, and check my email), and they systematically unscrewed all of the knobs from my kitchen drawers. 
3)  They have started this thing where they scream like banshees if you take something away from them.  God forbid your mother take an electrical cord or drywall screw away from you, you little monsters.
4) I went to kiss Nolan and he burped in my face.  Yes, I know he doesn't know what he was doing.  Yes, I was thoroughly disgusted.

Ha!  I feel much better already.  And, in fairness, I should tell you they are sick of me too:

1) Their normally engaged and interactive mom has been reduced to a daddy's t-shirt wearing Frowny-pants McGee who would rather lie on the floor with a blanket over her then come up with fun activities.  Well, at least they still had fun scaling Mt. Mama.
2)  They have been cooped up all winter long because Mom is scared of having sick babies.

I know there are a lot more examples in my section up there, but hey, I'm not a mind-reader.  :)

We're going to get out of the house tomorrow... it is supposed to be a balmy 47 degrees here in Northeast Wisconsin!  I'd like to take them out for a run (something I haven't done since August), but I have a group run with my buddies at night.  Maybe we'll walk instead.

Here are my little monsters today:

(That's Alex, with Nolan over his shoulder.)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Crunchy Trails

OK, I know I've had you on the edge of your seat, and I'm sure you've been losing sleep over it... :)

The Stick came!  On Friday, and I like it.  I used it to roll out my hamstrings, quads, calves, and shins and I was surprised at how many large knots I had in my calves.  I am not one of these limber, never-forget-to-stretch runners... in fact, the only time I've been able to touch my toes is when I had a few too many beers in college and asked my roomate to push down on my back until I could...  Anyway - yeah, I'm stiff as a board, so I guess it's no surprise I've had this injury for so long. 

My shins aren't magically better, but I was able to do my seven miler relatively shin-pain free.  But, the big benefit is I've started to look at my whole body a bit more closely and I'm going to try to treat it to stretching and massages and (I can't believe I'm even going to write this..) ice baths.  Oh! the horror....  I hate ice. The thought of an ice bath makes me shudder.

So I had that seven miler yesterday with two of my buddies from my running group, plus one girl's dad, and it was an adventure!  32 degrees, 35 mph sustained winds, and wise running guide that I am, I directed us onto a trail covered with three inches of crunchy snow.  I can't think of much harder running than that - a mile trudging through the snow with the winds gusting at our face.. at one point I looked down at my Garmin, saw a 14:30 mile, and laughed out loud.  It was an awesome workout though, and I'm feeling it today!  I was so proud of everyone.. we averaged around 10:15 miles, busted out a 9:00 minute mile at the end and finished with a few hundred yard all-out run.  It was fun. 

Happy Sunday!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Too Good to be True?

I was at the grocery store last night, and saw this:
It says it is free of sugar, carbs, gluten, fat, cholesterol, and CALORIE FREE!  What now? 
I expected to see a bunch of weird artificial sweeteners and stuff on the label, but I didn't, so I gave it a try on my yummy salad:

Verdict:  Decent.  It's really spicy, but creamy and thick and overall, pretty good!  I feel super satisfied and this GIANT bowl had about 275 calories.  Love it.  More calories for cookies later. :)

And, a shameless brag picture of my super cute boys this morning:

Still waiting on my miracle Stick.  :(

It's Coming!

The Stick comes today!  The Stick comes today!  Hi-ho-the dairy-o, the Stick comes today.

I'm psyched, can you tell?  :)

I did skip my run last night and felt really edgy.. but was able to burn off some energy on the weights.  I did strip-downs on the bench press:  started at 65lbs, did ten reps, took 10 lbs off, did 10 reps, etc etc.  It's a really awesome workout. 

I'm really banking on this miracle device fixing my legs.  I've had shin splints before, but never this long and never this painful.  I am secretly worried it's stress fractures, but I get anxious even thinking about that possibility. 

I've got my seven miler on the trail tomorrow... keeping my hopes up for a great, pain-free run.

Have a super day everyone!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Mmmmm... Chicken breast, fresh steamed broccoli, and the world's BEST quinoa.  Quinoa is one of my top five favorite foods... delicious light nutty flavor, super good for you (hello protein!), good hot or cold, pretty, and fun to cook with!  Ahhh I love it.  Here's my favorite recipe:

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups vegetable broth

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 dash fresh lemon juice


  1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the quinoa, and toast, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes, or until quinoa is tender.
  2. In a bowl, toss quinoa together with garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, and onion. Sprinkle with lemon juice, and serve.
Don't forget to rinse the quinoa before you use it, or you'll taste the soapy resin that Incans used to wash their clothes. 

My kiddos even got in on the action:

They had the same lunch as me, only with a little sharp cheddar melted on the chicken as an incentive.  That's Nolan on the left and Alex on the right.

I have a two mile tempo run on the schedule for tonight, but my lower legs are definitely protesting.  I might skip it and do a hard upper-body workout instead to make sure my long run is doable on Saturday.  Have a super day!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Retail and Shin Therapy!

Look what I bought!!

I have had shin splints for more than three months, and I am getting so frustrated with them.  I just want to run pain free.  I've read a lot about The Stick, and it seems pretty pricey for a couple of PVC rings around a dowel, but hey, I'm ready to try anything.  I get it on Friday... maybe I'll be pain-free by this time next week!  Or maybe I'll just be thirty dollars poorer...

Self-confidence, what self-confidence?

I had a crappy crappy (almost) three miler last night with my new running buddy.  Weather was fine, the company was nice, but the run kicked my butt.  We had planned to go 3-4 at an easy 10 min/mile pace... but wound up suffering through 2.5 miles in 27 minutes.  Ugh.

As my friend and fellow runner pointed out when I called to lament my awful run, "You have to have these bad runs to have good runs".  I suppose, but man are they demoralizing when they happen. 

I'm currently running Tuesday easy, Thursdays tempo, and Saturdays long,  and I've got a half marathon in five weeks.  And another one in nine weeks.  On the schedule this week is a quickie two mile tempo to get my body used to speed work again, and seven on Saturday on my peaceful trail.  Can't wait.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Here we go....

Hello out there!  Helloooo....  I feel like one of those crazy Swiss men from a Ricola commercial, yodeling from the moutaintops...
I guess that's why I've never written a blog before - the uncertainty of my writing being sucked into the big black hole that is the Internet.  Well, that, and seriously, I feel like I'm being pretty self-important thinking strangers (and worse still, friends) will be interested in the minutae of my little life.  But, here we go...
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