{Friday Fab 5-Cross Country, Katy Perry, Chip Free Nachos, Shalane Flanagan…}

You all probably thought I disappeared on you.  And, I guess I sort of did.  With back to school and coaching high school cross country, these 60-65 hour weeks are leaving me with little time to blog or do much else.  Add to it that my iPhone 4s is officially full on the memory front and will no longer take photos…as in ANY, and you don’ t have a good recipe for blogging.  I’ve still been catching up on the blogs I read (drastically behind, but getting there) and today’s day off from school is giving me some time to finally update this here blog.

While I don’t plan to do a Friday Fab 5 every week as I’m just too busy, I do plan to pop in here or there with updates and of course will be posting race reports or anything I feel I want to write about.

So what have I been up to lately…

{#1-Cross Country}
At the end of August I was contacted by an organizer for David Kuhn to see if I or someone I knew would be able to help David out in reaching his goal or running 11,000 miles around the United States to raise awareness about Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic condition his granddaughter has.  Why would David need people’s help?  David is a blind.  David was in an accident caused by a drunk driver that left him without his vision.  David runs on city trails and tracks and relies on people in the communities he visits to guide him.  I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for our cross country team to learn some valuable lessons about perseverance, determination and overcoming challenges.  The team also learned about Cystic Fibrosis.

One morning before practice I picked David up at his hotel, took him to get breakfast and brought him to join our cross country team. Members of the team took turns guiding David on our 5.5. mile run.  We all ran one mile on the track and then 4.5 miles around our city trail.  The kids had to hold a rope that David held and let him know when dips, bumps or curbs were coming and when upcoming stops were near.  It was a great day for our entire team with many lessons being taken from the experience.  You can learn more about David and his journey on his blog or in this Runner’s World article.

{#2-Kacey Musgraves and Katy Perry Concert}
Lets just say they were amazing.  I’ve always liked them both, but after hearing them live I’m a much bigger fan!

{#3-Color Run Fun}
A full post is coming about the second Color Run I did a few weeks ago.

{#4-Shalane Flanagan and Sauvie Island}
I saw this advertisement in the August edition of Runner’s World and it instantly brought back memories of running the Foot Traffic Flat Marathon in Oregon this summer as one of my race all 50 states. I can’t believe Shalane (notice we are on a first name basis 😉 ) often trains on the same route as the marathon. So cool to think I ran in her training grounds. Little things like this remind me of how awesome running a marathon in all 50 states is. The places it takes me and the adventures I get to have!

{#5-Healthier Chip Free Nachos}
I made these for dinner for the husband and I a few nights ago. Football food made healthier. As I try to keep eating clean as much as possible, I’m on the lookout for new recipes all the time and ways to make foods I love healthier. This dish was perfect for that. My photos do not look near as good as the original recipe creator’s, but I made mine in a glass dish with the intention of eating mine with a fork so it was less messy. The bottom photo shows the bottom of the pan (zucchini alternating with red and yellow peppers.) Some recipe modification I made: I added green onions, onions and jalapenos, made a pound of turkey instead of 3/4 and used an entire zucchini instead of half. This was awesome and would be the perfect healthy take on tailgating food this football season.

Happy Friday!


{Friday Fab 5}

This was perhaps the craziest week of the school year so far! Cross country meets, parent-teacher conferences, VB and FB concessions, observations, oh, my! But…I still found time to get in some great miles with the cross country kids. I swear I like these kids more and more everyday. They are a good group to coach.

{#1-I LOVE fall}

Ryan and I spent some time together enjoying the gorgeous fall weather last Sunday. We walked, talked about next summer’s road trip, got pumpkins, apples, and mums, and simply enjoyed the wonderful sunshine.

{#2-Great hill workout with CC kids}

We hit the hills outside of town for runs of 5.5 to 7 miles Tuesday.

{#3-Cross Country in La Crosse}

The CC team traveled to La Crosse for a meet…AND IT WAS CANCELLED. This is the first time in the history of, well, cross country that a meet was cancelled. CRAZY! After the rain stopped I snapped a photo of fall in the bluffs; I just can’t get enough!

{#4-Case of Wanderlust}
Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 9.56.46 PM
So, this next statement I’m going to make is truly a testament to how lucky I am, but… For the first time in 2.5 years I don’t have a plane ticket booked to somewhere. AND it is driving me crazy. I’ve got a major case of wanderlust going on. See one of the things I’ve learned about myself in the last five years is I love to travel, explore new places, and have a trip to look forward to even if it is only a weekend long. There is no feeling like the moment the wheels lift off the ground and you know you are headed somewhere unexplored. There is only one cure for wanderlust…travel!

{#5-Temporary Cure for Wanderlust}
Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 10.18.18 PM
Check out the world’s 15 toughest marathons. More than one of these is on my run bucket list.

Happy Weekend! Enjoy fall and get out and explore!

{Friday Fab 5}

Labor Day weekend was spent as it should be with great people,
{#1-Great fun!}

My first time on a tractor!

{#2-Great food!}

Taste of Madison is a MUST if you live anywhere near Madison. Above we’re my favorites from the day!

{#3-Cross Country}

This is where I’ve been for over 15 hours this week. I’m loving coaching high school, but am glad we don’t have a Saturday meet because I’m tired!
{#4-Football Season is here}

Go Badgers and Packers! And my fantasy football team. I’m excited to see how my team plays this weekend.

Being in Madison last weekend reminded me of all the great trails we have in our beautiful state. I can’t wait to keep exploring!

Happy Weekend!

{Motivation Monday-New Shoes}

One of the best motivators to workout is new workout gear. With running, a new pair of shoes makes me smile each time I put one foot in front if the other and am looking down. My knees also thank me and always let me know when a new pair is needed. This is by the way the ONLY time my knees ever bother me for all those people out there that use this as a reason not to run!

Each new pair of running shoes comes with the new running shoe smell that I’ve come to associate with hope, excitement, and butterflies in my stomach. Yes, I spend time sniffing my new running shoes often those first days because we know they won’t smell like that for long!

My new running shoes!

Why am I smelling my running shoes? The smell of new running shoes takes me back to my high school cross country and track days when new shoe smell meant a new season was about to begin. Hard work in the form of hill repeats, tempo runs, intervals, and repeats was all before you. New goals were being written down and imagined in that new shoe smell. Dreams of races, new PR’s, and conference championships were all waiting in that new shoe smell. That smell was both crazy exciting and nerve wracking at the same time! Today one whiff of that new running shoe smell and I am 16 again, butterflies in my stomach, about to start a new season of cross country.

Today new shoe smell brings with its new laces the promise of great runs in the future. Perhaps a new PR will happen in these shoes, a beautiful new trail discovered and explored, or a new favorite race ran. The hope in the new shoe smell is only limited by where your feet take them. Who knows where these new shoes will take me?
Where will your shoes take you?

Happy Monday!