{Friday Fab 5-Best Burgers Ever, Trail Running Shoes, Grilled Veggies, …}

{#1-Peppercorn-Crusted BBQ-Ranch Burgers with Chili-Lime Crunchies}
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Shocker alert! I have another recipe from Iowa Girl Eats to recommend. Memorial Day is one of those days that conjures up thoughts of sunshine, American pride and grilling. I came across this recipe last week and knew we HAD to make it Monday. These burgers were amazing. Since I’m the only person in the world who hates ranch dressing I did not mix mine with BBQ. For those ranch lovers out there i.e. everyone else on the planet, you’ll love the BBQ-Ranch combo. Add this recipe to your next grill out plans.

{#2-Grilled Veggies}
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Since the focus of our meal was these burgers, and they seemed super filling, I wanted something light and yummy to go with. I love roasting veggies on the grill during the summer and peppers in four colors seemed like the best choice. It was.

{#3-Must complete this mile!}
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This was me Wednesday night. I got back to my house from my hilly run and was not quite to seven miles yet. I did what any number/Garmin obsessed runner does and ran around little loops by my house until I heard the comfort of the familiar chirp and felt the mile vibration on my wrist. Now I could be done. Does anyone else do this? I tend to waiver back and forth between obsessed and run free.

{#4-Trail Running Shoes…err not!}

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The other day I sort of just realized I don’t own trail running shoes and my first 50k is oh, next week! I think it is a little too late for that, but I don’t even know where to begin. I will be wearing my trusty old Mizuno Wave Riders, but am a bit nervous about this. I know the trails I’m going to be running are not too technical so they should work. Anyone have recommendations on trail running shoes? I read reviews in Trail Runner magazine last weekend, but feel overwhelmed. Where to start?

{#5-I’ll take the running gear}
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For a sport that really requires so little gear, how can I need so much running gear? I do mean need, too! My birthday wish lists sure have changed over the past few years since running my first marathon. Forget the romantic stuff, I want Body Glide and tech material gear. I can’t be alone on this can I?

Happy Friday!

{Friday Fab 5-St. Paul Edition}

For those of you who noticed, I haven’t posted a Motivation Monday post in a couple of weeks. With work being super busy and lots of races on deck I need time to write about those topics. I also have some other really fun stuff going on in real-life that seems more important. I am still posting motivation Monday on Instagram so check me out there and I will continue my Fab 5 posts.

This finally brings me to this week.
{#1-Lady Gaga}
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I took a personal day this week to attend a Lady Gaga concert with friends. I’ve always liked her, but after attending her concert, I love her. She put on an amazing show and was extremely personal with her fans. She is awesome!

{#2-The Liffey Bar}

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After Lady Gaga the girls and I headed to The Liffey Bar for a snack and drinks on the rooftop bar. It was beautiful up there and awesome to be outside and not be freezing at night.

{#3-The Buttered Tin}

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After a night on the town it was brunch the next day at this adorable and yummy place. I only wish I felt well enough to eat what the others did. My hash towns were tasty though. Definitely check them out if you are ever in St. Paul!

{#4-Spring Walks}

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After brunch we went for a pretty spring walk.

{#5-Med City Half}

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This weekend we are off to Rochester to run the half marathon with a group of friends!

Anyone running a Memorial Day weekend race? Enjoy your holiday weekend everyone!

Happy Friday!

{Friday Fab… #100happydays}

This week has been crazy.  It is a true testiment to what #100happydays is all about.  When life gets stressful, frustrating, overwhelming, and just irritating we HAVE to find little things in our day to enjoy, celebrate and love or else the day is marked with negativity.  I reached day 50 this week.  While I wouldn’t say my thinking has totally changed, I’m starting to see myself appreciate small and little details in each day that ultimately make me feel happy and often become the big things.  The final goal is still a work in progress.

Below I’m posting a 50 day #100happydays check in.  What are you happy about today?  What could you be happy about?  It really is a mind set.

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Happy Weekend! Look for the little things and the big things that make you happy this weekend!

SS

{Friday Fab 5-Milwaukee Style}

After the marathon last Saturday (see this post Wisconsin Marathon Race Report for more details) Ryan had the following planned out: drinks at the Clear Bar in the InterContinental where we were saying, …then the…

{#1-River Walk}

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{#2-German Beer Hall}

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{#3-Water Street Brewery}

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{#4-Yummy Food at WSB}

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{#5-Clear Bar & Lounge}

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Awesome birthday surprise by a super thoughtful hubby!! Thanks to those who came!

Happy Weekend!

{Friday Fab 5-AJ Bombers, Fancy Fit Boutique, Race attire, cheese the day…

{#1-Fancy Fit Boutique}

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Last week on Instagram a hard working momma blogger I follow, Skinny Meg, posted the cutest workout tank possibly ever. I love chevron; just the sight of the pattern makes me feel happy inside. What made me even happier was the price tag. While on the website I also found the pink tank and polka dot headband ($24 total) that came with it. Both arrived in the mail in days and fit great. I’ve run in the pink tank already and while it is not wicking fabric, it is too cute not to love on the run. I’ve yet to wear the chevron tank as of today as mother nature is extremely confused on what her job description includes these days. If it wears as well as it is cute, then we have a steal my friends. Check them out for some other great workout gear.

{#2-AJ Bombers}

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Saturday after some skydiving fun it was time to celebrate punching fear in the face and try out a new place to eat. A couple years ago AJ Bombers and Sobelman’s were matched against each other on the Food War’s. While AJ Bombers won the Food War’s, Sobelman’s consistently wins the local Milwaukee vote. We checked out AJ Bombers this time and will decide on our own food war at Sobelman’s the next time we visit Milwaukee. We enjoyed some local craft brews, frickles (fried pickles-yum), and organic grassfed beef burgers. Everything was delicious and the atmosphere made it even more fun. With peanuts on the floor, customer writing everywhere, bombers flying across tracks on the ceiling, bloody mary meals, and a laminated menu card that you check off what you want to eat-this place was fun.

{#3-Race Outfit}

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I’ll be sporting this bright and spring-like outfit on Saturday at the Wisconsin Marathon aka my husband’s first marathon ever! So proud if him!

{#4-Starbucks quotes}

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I loved this quote on my Starbucks treat yesterday. Fits my current mindset perfectly. Oh, and I have had only one diet dew this week with no caffeine in the afternoons or nights. Progress!

{#5-Cheese the Day}

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Guys, it’s the Wisconsin Marathon so I had to-cheese the day because the cheese is in the fridge. We’ve put in our training, worked hard, and there’s no last minute magic workout to improve where we are at so it’s time to trust the training and enjoy race day!

Happy Weekend!

{Friday Fab 5-Punch Fear in the Face, Bear Trax 20k, Oiselle, Lululemon,…}

{#1-Oiselle Distance Short}
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Now that the weather is getting nicer outside my legs are loving the freeing feeling on runs. I’m also loving the Distance Shorts from Oiselle. The fit is comfortable, loose, but flattering and they come with three (3!!) pockets which are handy for storing needed items on the run. The back pocket is great for a phone, GU’s or identification/credit card. The side pocket is great for GU’s or keys as is the inside pocket. These shorts come in several colors and sizes and are only 39 bucks. I bought the pink color a few months ago and added the red to the rotation in the last week. I’m sure more will be in my future. If you don’t love the fit of Nike Tempo shorts like me, then definitely consider these shorts instead. I feel less restricted in these and I wear a small. Right now you can purchase the pink for $29 on clearance (only size small is left-sorry!).

{#2-Lululemon Scuba Hoodie ii}
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While I’m talking gear I’m loving these days, I have to tell you how much I love the Scuba Hoodie I recently purchased. I’ve eyed this baby up for over a year watching different colors and prints come and go. The cost seemed too steep for a hoodie, but I kept coming back to its cute, flattering look and wanted another sweatshirt/jacket to take on our vacation this summer for cool mornings/nights. I finally decided to go for it AND I love this thing. Seriously! I’ve worn it after work EVERY night this week and I’m not a change-into-comfy-clothes person. It is fleecy soft on the inside, comfortable fit, flattering, and more stylish than most hoodies. If you want a wear anywhere hoodie and can part with the dollars, this is really worth the investment.

{#3-Sierra Nevada Summerfest}
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Remember that list of 30 things to do/complete before and during my 30th year? Well I haven’t forgotten about it at all. I’m consistently working on drinking my 30 new to me beers (rough job 🙂 Sierra Nevada Summerfest was the new choice for this week. Summer beers are one of my favorites and this one will now be added to the rotation.

{#4-Bear Trax 20k}
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My first race of 2014 is this Sunday. I can’t believe the year is nearly 1/3 of the way over and I haven’t run a race…time to take care of that! It is a trail race on some hilly and single track trail so I am not going to lie-I’m nervous. After spraining my ankle during the Dances with Dirt Half Marathon nine months ago, I’m a bit freaked. My ankle is not 100% and I’m not sure if it ever will be. It has improved immensely, but this weekend I face my fears and hope it will end in a better way.

{#5-Punch Fear In the Face}
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And so this weekend, I will punch fear in the face! I will go after the goals and hopes I have. Lately, I just can’t get the lyrics from Ben Howard’s song The Fear out of my head “I’ve been worryin’ that we all, live our lives, in the confines of fear.” I tend to agree that we all live in fear of this or that or whatever. So this weekend I won’t. I’m going to not be afraid! Let’s not live our lives in the confines of fear. Set that goal. Run that race. Go after that bucket list item. This might also mostly have to do with the fact I’m scheduled (and already paid for) to jump out of an airplane tomorrow provided the weather cooperates.

Happy Weekend! Punch fear in the face!

{Friday Fab 5-Easter Baskets for Runners, Run This Town, NYC Marathon, Apple Cheddar Chicken, }

Today’s post is later than usual due to a relaxing pancake breakfast made by the husband followed by some a.m. reading in bed with coffee.

{#1-Apple Cheddar Chicken}

Another great recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. I seriously love so many of her eats. From dinners to treats they are all delicious. Check her out if you haven’t!

{#2-Run This Town}
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I have had the opportunity to run in some great cities over the past few years. When planning upcoming trips one of the first things I plan is the routes I hope to run. I often struggle to find information on running routes in specific cities in advance and usually wish there was a resource I could use when planning my next vacation. I’ve decided to create my own resource, found under the Run This Town tab, that will highlight favorite running routes in specific cities. The posts about each city will include descriptions about sights on the run, terrain of routes, distances, where to park, and of course photos. Hopefully this will benefit other runners the next time they have a chance to travel

{#3-New York City Marathon}
20140418-092704.jpgI’ve always dreamed of one day running the NYC Marathon.  Don’t get too excited…I don’t have a surprise announcement about running this dream race.  This past week while grading papers I found Run For Your Life was on Netflix streaming along with other great running movies like Spirit of the Marathon.  Run For Your Life is a documentary about the NYC Marathon.  The documentary follows the race’s director from its first year with hardly any runners to the grand race it has become.  Of course watching the history and nostalgia of the race that runs through all five boroughs made me want to run it even more, so I decided to look up the race online and was really disappointed to see that they are changing how you can receive guaranteed entry.

The NYC Marathon is currently a lottery system unless you run for charity, qualify at specific local races, have run 15 consecutive NYC Marathons, or have applied for the lottery three years in a row and have not been accepted.  I had been counting on the last option as the charities require you to raise signficant dollars that I’m just not sure I could.  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to count on that option as this is the last year they are guaranteeing entry for runners who were denied entry after applying to the lottery for three consecutive years.  Also ending next year is guaranteed entry for runners who have run the NYC Marathon the last 15 years or more in a row.  I’m bummed for those people, too.

Now I’m curious about what future entry options will look like (qualifying times like Boston?), or if it will solely rely on lottery entry and if you don’t ever get in, then you don’t get in.   The Houston Marathon has had a lottery system for a couple of years now, but also has a guaranteed option if you run a qualifying time that allows you to register before the lottery opens to other runners.  Since this is bucket list race for me and the race I plan on running for my New York state race, I will definitely be keeping an eye on this.  Some of you NY readers, do you know any other details?

{#4-My poor husband}

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I do this to my husband ALL the time!  Usually it goes something like I don’t want to pick where we eat, you pick.   Well, I don’t really want to eat there.  I’m not feeling there either.  And so on!

{#5-Happy Easter}

20140418-102905.jpg Have a runner in your life?  Want to send some Easter love their way?  Make a runner basket for them!  I filled this basket with some of my favorite running gear items.  You could go big or choose just a few items to include in their runner basket.  Starting from the top left items include-1. Runner’s World Magazine, 2. My Life On the Run by Bart Yasso, 3. Spirit of the Marathon DVD,  4. Bic Bands headband, 5. Body Glide, 6. Nuun, 7. GU, 8. Bearded Brothers bar, and 8. Pro Compression compression socks.

Happy weekend everyone!

 

{Friday Fab 5-BKT Pizza, Trail Runs, PR’s, Tattoos, and…}

Spring weather was here all week…and it was amazing.  My love for running came back stronger, I felt happier, and I had a greater desire to eat healthier foods.

{#1-BBQ BKT Pizza}

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I made this pizza Sunday night and it was amazing AND easy, too.  Make your own dough.  While it is rising cut your tomatoes and kale, cook the bacon, and get your BBQ sauce and cheese ready.  Roll out the dough, put BBQ on top, then kale, tomatoes, and bacon, before finally adding cheese to your liking.  So yummy and kale is way healthier than lettuce.

{#2-PR in 10k, but does it count?}

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I’ve never tried to run a PR in a 5k or 10k race.  I’ve only trained for a PR in a half marathon once.  Having only ran two 10k races I got to thinking, do PR’s on training runs count.  Wednesday I ran a little over seven miles, and my 10k time was the fastest 10k I’ve ran (and that my watched noticed).  I may have ran this fast or faster before and not thought about it or noticed it.  My new Garmin let me know it was my fastest 10k afterall.  The time wasn’t part of a race though so does it count?  What are your thoughts?

{#3-Trail Runs}

20140410-212619.jpg Here is a glimpse at this week’s Wisconsin Marathon Training post.  It involved some great trail running!

{#4-Running Tattoo}

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Many people who know me or have read about my 30 things during 30 know I have wanted a running related tattoo for a long time.  I want it to be beautiful, timeless, and represent what I love.  I want it to happen sooner rather than later, but I’m feeling kind of stuck.  Above are some locations and designs I like, but I feel like I can’t decide/commit to one.  Have any of you seen a cool running tattoo you’d recommend.  Anyone have a tattoo you love, hate,  or regret?

{#5-Running Magazines}

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I love reading running magazines for the motivational stories, gear suggestions, and beautiful places to run.  I feel like I learn something new about running each month I read an issue.  I now subscribe to Runner’s World (for all types of runners-still my favorite), Women’s Running (light reading geared at women), Running Times (in depth for the serious runner), and Trail Runner (for the trail runner or ultra runner).  Each offers a slightly different take on running and brings different perspectives and focus to the same sport.  Anyone have a different running/fitness magazine they suggest?

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Happy Weekend!   Mine will involve lots of s(miles)!

 

{Friday Fab 5-Good Food, Fan Signs, Daydreaming, Run to Start Your Weekend…}

This week I’ve cooked no new recipes or done anything exceptional or interesting AND that is totally ok. With quarter grades due and being sick, this week has not allowed for a lot of outside fun. Thankfully I’m busy working on my #100happydays challenge. It’s helping me appreciate the simple things in life more.

{#1-Good Food}
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I did accomplish meal planning and grocery shopping (I try to follow these grocery shopping tips) on Sunday because I know the above is too true. Case in point, sitting on our counter we had some left over cookies used in a recipe I made for a friend’s baby shower. I don’t even like this particular sweet treat and would never buy it in the store for myself, yet I found myself eating these stupid cookies this week just because they were there and the only sweets in our house. Anyone else ever done this too?

{#2-Run to Start Your Weekend}
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With warmer temps in the forecast, an almost entirely feeling better foot, and hoping this awful cold clears out, I have some serious miles on the docket for the weekend. Just as I thought I’d make it through this winter without getting a cold, I’m run down with congested lungs, a nose like Rudolph and farmer blowing green lugies on runs. Sexy!

{#3-Fan Signs}
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After a rough long run for both Ryan and I last Sunday we both felt the message in this sign when thinking about the Wisconsin Marathon (only a month away-eek!). Here’s to hoping we feel differently this weekend.

{#4-Daydreaming}
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As winter hangs on like no other, I find myself daydreaming of our road trip more and more. Anyone been West and have a must see location, must take hike route, or other necessary details to share?

{#5-Sandy Beaches}
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No kidding! I can’t wait for spring and summer to be here. Like really be here. Not according to the calendar, but the weather. Until then I’ll be daydreaming away.

What are you daydreaming about?

Happy Weekend!

{Friday Fab 5-Juicing, Bear Trax 20k, Go Badgers, Oiselle, Trampled by Turtles}

Another crazy week, another day closer to spring weather.  Or so we better be! Those of you living in the midwest and northeast I know you know exactly what I’m talking about.

{#1-Bear Trax 20k}
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Even though I’ve been resting my foot for this past week I desperately felt the need to get a race on the calendar this spring.  Last year at this point in the year I had already ran two marathons, a half marathon, and was about to run a couple more half marathons.  This year I had a much more consistent training throughout the winter, but have had the nagging foot issue and have ran no races yet.  I guess the positive is I bought more shoes that are flat.  🙂 Shoes make things better!  Since I will be running my first 50k in early summer, I wanted to make sure I have several trail races on my training calendar.  This will be the first one! Oh, and I’m scheduled to go skydiving the day before. AHHH…so excited!

{#2-Juicing}
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I have been busy eating Easter candy in place of fruits and vegetable this week, so I had an overwhelming craving for fruits and veggies later in the week.  Juicing is a great way to get a fast dose of lots of the good stuff.  The recipes in this book are great, and I felt better immediately after…almost as if I had eaten a few less chocolate eggs.  And we had been doing so well with keeping candy out of the house.

{#3-Trampled by Turtles…I know again}
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Last Friday we went to our first Trampled by Turtles concert.  Now I know I posted about this band last week, but they blew my mind.  This is a band who is great on a recording, but phenomenal live.  Ryan couldn’t believe how great they were live, too.  Check them out!

{#4-Oiselle}
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Through other bloggers I was introduced to this brand.  I love the brands spirit, message and their running gear.  This postcard came with an order from earlier this winter and its message (head up, wings out) has been following me around in my work planner.  This year has been filled with so many new opportunities, challenges, and rewards.  I’ve been carrying the postcard around to remind myself to keep my head up through the rough parts and keep my wings out to embrace the opportunities.  I need the reminder sometimes (ok, who am I kidding…very often. I might as well tape the damn postcard to my shirt!) that even though new things can be scary and challenging, they can be so rewarding afterwards.  BUT in order to get to the rewards, we have to have our wings out and head up and accept the challenges, not shy away.  Being comfortable doesn’t usually take you as far as you could go with those wings! Trust me! Get those wings out.

{#5-Go Badgers}
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Love my Badgers! Elite Eight baby! After last nights win we are moving on for the first time since 2005. Oh, and all my final four teams are still in the running! I probably just jinxed myself, but I’m excited (and Ryan only has two left). Go BuckY!

Happy Weekend!

I do plan to do some running this weekend…especially in the 60 degree weather on Sunday.