Currently

Thursday, October 30th, 2014 | Posted under Currently

86e3cfa0be8651a3a6783b0dcc1c0975Writing… my midterm essays for Developmental Psychology. Well, okay, technically I’m writing this blog post, but then I’ll be back at it! That’s part of the reason why it’s been quiet around these parts lately. Grad school + two jobs + husband = Busy!

Happy… that I got an A on my midterm essays for Theories of Personality!

Annoyed… that our next door neighbors are doing construction on their house. Don’t they realize I’m a student who is trying to study?! So inconsiderate. (I’m just kidding.)

Eating… gluten free. I’ll probably do a longer recap next month when my gluten free challenge is over, but I thought I’d mention it briefly here. Basically I’ve been having tummy troubles for the past three or four months that haven’t really made any sense, so I decided to investigate gluten since it appears to be a leading cause of a lot of digestive issues. So far it seems to be helping, although it’s not perfect. I’m suspecting that dairy may also be an issue, or at least, certain amounts of dairy, but that will be another challenge for another time! I’m not happy that I might have a gluten intolerance, but I have found a few gluten-free replacements for pasta and bread that I like, and there are just so many resources. Plus, having gone Paleo — which is completely grain-free — I feel almost lucky that I can still eat some grains!

Planning… my next semester. Registration is next Wednesday!

Wondering…  if I should change my emphasis in school. I’m contemplating getting my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy because it’s a little more specific. There are a few different requirements but the core classes are the same. I have to take Intro to Family Therapy anyway, so I’ll decide after that if I want to switch.

Excited… that we are going to Oregon for Christmas! I haven’t been to Oregon since May 2012 and Erik hasn’t been to Oregon since we got married in July 2011. It’s been a long time for both of us! December in Oregon is dreary and rainy, but there are a lot of fun things to do in Portland during the holidays. There are a lot of things that I haven’t done in a long time, and I’m excited to share some of my childhood traditions with my husband.

Worried… about my knee. Now my right one is hurting! I hope I don’t start developing knee problems from running. I really like running!

Researching… other half marathons I could do next year. I have learned my lesson and I know I need to sign up for a half marathon soon or I will not be motivated to train for one!

Shocked… that it’s almost November! We’ve been in Minnesota for almost a year! Holy crap!

Loving… yoga, Orangetheory Fitness, sunny fall days, leaves changing colors, snuggly cats, tiny babies, coffee, the fact that popcorn is gluten-free, a new mattress, crossing the finish line

 

No Comments »

Race Recap: My First Half Marathon!

Monday, October 27th, 2014 | Posted under Health + Fitness

So I ran the Monster Dash half marathon on Saturday.

I know, I know. I didn’t really tell that many people that I was going to run a half marathon (although I did mention it here after I signed up), mostly because I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to go through with it. I had a couple false starts this summer with saying I was going to do a half marathon before signing up for it, and then chickening out and not signing up for it because “I wasn’t ready yet.” Well, let me tell you, nothing gets your butt in gear to be ready like actually being signed up for the race! Lesson learned.

Of course, a couple weeks ago I was nervous I might still not go through with it because I kinda injured my knee. I think it’s something to do with my IT band because that’s what Dr. Google says, but I haven’t actually seen a real doctor, so I’m not sure yet. Needless to say, I was in a lot of pain. I bought a CEP compression knee sleeve, but I still had only a couple good, pain-free runs that were pretty short, but most runs still hurt. Although not as much as that initial run, so that was good.

On Friday, I went to the expo and met a chiropractor. I gave him the run down of my problem, he felt my knee and the IT band, I winced and grimaced and he basically said that he thought it was either the IT band or the actual knee cap having some issues with tracking. Basically that it’s out of alignment due to a muscle imbalance — tight muscles on the outside, weak muscles on the inside. And guess where all my knots are! On the outside! It definitely made sense. He recommend the RockTape kinesio tape, which I always thought was kind of gimmicky, but he offered to put some around my knee based on what he thought might help. I figured, what the heck? If it works, awesome, and if it doesn’t work, well, I won’t really be out anything because I’m likely going to be in pain if I don’t do anything.

You guys. It was amazing. I had ZERO knee pain the entire 13.36 miles (because no one runs the exact distance of a race, I mean, come on). I did have some pain in my left arch, but I think that’s probably because to run quickly, I have to mid foot strike and my arch isn’t flexible enough. If I heel strike, then I’m not as fast even if it’s comfortable. Sigh.

The morning of the race, I woke up with a lower end of normal blood sugar. Nothing terrible, but not really where I wanted it. I had a piece of gluten-free toast (more on that another day) with some chocolate peanut butter, and some coffee. When we arrive in St. Paul at the start, my blood sugar hasn’t budged. Ugh. So I chug a juice and head for the port-a-potty line. Except it’s really long and I’m nervous about missing the start, so I skip it and head over to the corral. Side note: I totally had time to pee. Ugh. Whatever.

I started out toward the back of the corral because I knew I was going to be pretty slow. Most of my recent runs had still been between a 13:30/mile and a 14:30/mile (that was mostly in the summer, I’ve been getting faster as the weather is cooling). And that’s just my average pace. I actually run faster (about a 11:30/mile), I just don’t have very good endurance so I take walk breaks. That’s what slows my pace down.

Anyway, the entire race was Halloween themed, of course, so it was super fun looking at all the fun costumes. I was focused on just running so I was wearing normal running clothes: my tried-and-true Nike capris, a Nike t-shirt, Moving Comfort bra, Brooks Adrenalines and Feetures socks. Gold standard stuff.

Sidenote: I wasn’t too happy with my choice of shoes. I have been wearing New Balance 1260s for the last year or so, and I was pretty convinced I had enough mileage on them. But with my knee acting up, I got suspicious, and I think I must have worn them more than I was tracking, because the tread is pretty much gone in my mid foot! No wonder it hurt so much. But I didn’t have enough time (or money) to buy and break in another pair of shoes, so I used my Brooks Adrenalines from last year even though I don’t find them as comfortable.

I finally take off running and keep up a good pace for about two and a half miles. I spot a line of port-a-potties and make a beeline for it. I’m back in actual in like 30 seconds because there was no line. I keep on grooving, feeling really good. Then I heard a familiar buzzing sound. It was my insulin pump. My insulin delivery has stopped. Now, this has happened before and I had prepared for it to happen, but my method of backup ended up not working so I quickly called Erik and he was able to meet me at our designated meeting spot halfway. You see, I wasn’t planning on carrying my glucose meter with me during the race but I knew I would need to test, so we had planned to meet quickly at one of the water stops.

Of course, the diabetes drama didn’t end there. Right after the pod failed, I ended up with a low blood sugar. It was a little early for fueling, I was at mile 3 and was planning on having HoneyStinger at Mile 4. But I figured it was close enough so I took one then and kept on rolling. I really didn’t feel low at all I kept up a good pace throughout all of that.

Erik was able to get home and back with a new insulin pod, but didn’t have time to drive and park at the meeting spot. In fact, I had just past him when he called me. I wasn’t too far away and I was walking because my Dexcom told me I was still low, so I was eating another HoneyStinger. Erik sprinted to catch up with me! We pulled over, I did a pod change and a blood sugar check (I was not low, either, Dexcom was a liar, proving why I wanted to test during the run) and then I was on my way.

Diabetes didn’t bother me the rest of the run, which is good because I still had plenty to deal with. I was under the impression the race was downhill… it wasn’t! In fact, other than a fairly steep decline around Mile 5, there were plenty — plenty! – of hills throughout the second half the course, which is exactly when you don’t want them. The last two miles of the race were really boring too. Hardly anything to look at, so that was pretty painful. Although I wasn’t really in any pain I could feel my pace dropping, especially since I was heel striking to compensate for my arch pain. Finally I decided to get back up onto my midfoot and I immediately noticed a huge difference.

I took another HoneyStinger at Mile 10, but took water at every water stop since I wasn’t carry a water bottle with me. The last mile was a killer. I tried to run more of that, but I definitely was starting to feel more and more burned out, having trouble sustaining the energy. I continued my 2:1 run / walk plan through the whole race, although after Mile 10 I definitely wanted to do a lot more walking! Mentally I had to just keep telling myself to run, and that any amount of running, no matter how slow, was still faster than walking.

When I could see (and hear) the finish line, I just ran. I just felt like I couldn’t walk with the finish line in sight. As I got closer, I saw Erik, who waved and cheered, and I waved back. Getting over the finish line was super hard because I suddenly had this wave of nausea come over me, and I was so happy to be done.

B0z0cM_IgAAaVbB

My final time? 3:05:34. The first half of the race projected me at a sub-3 hour half marathon, but I think between the diabetes mishap and the hills, there just wasn’t any way I could make up that lost time. If it had been more of a down hill or flatter race, I might have been able to make up for those lost minutes, but I just didn’t have it in me this time.

I definitely learned a lot about racing, about training (uh, do more of it), about my diabetes, and just about what I’m capable of.

Although I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t make it under 3 hours, I’m still happy that I finished, which is the most important thing when running your first race!

But there is one number I’m very, very happy to see:

IMG_5999 I’m back in Onederland baby!!

9 Comments »

Around Here…

Monday, October 20th, 2014 | Posted under About Me

Things have been a little bit quiet around here because I’m in full on grad student mode right now. My Theories of Personality take-home midterm, which involved writing two essays, is due tomorrow and on Wednesday I have a huge presentation in my Developmental Psychology class on the effects of chronic illness on self-esteem and peer relationships in adolescents. Yikes! I kinda bit off more than I can chew with that one, but I’m try to pull something together so I sound somewhat intelligent!

On top of all that, I’m starting another job! Winter is the slow season at the running store (apparently Minnesotans aren’t quite so keen on running in three feet of snow in negative twenty degree weather with a negative forty degree windchill!) so I decided to pick up another job — at Pier 1 Imports! As you may remember, I worked there last year for six months and enjoyed it pretty well so I’m heading back. I might be there just for the holidays, maybe longer. We’ll see how things shake out with hours and whatnot.

I’m also babysitting pretty regularly for this little boy with diabetes and his older sister. They are cute kids. It’s nice to have a family to work for regularly again. They also live in a really nice part of Minneapolis!

Oh, and I have a half marathon coming up this Saturday. I’m not quite sure how prepared I’ll be. I ran a really great 2.64 miles on Saturday. My fastest pace ever! But my quad was killing me, which I suppose is better than my knee. I haven’t been able to do quite the mileage I wanted, but I’m just going to head out on Saturday and try to have a good time even if I have to walk. I mean, it’s my first, so it’s a PR (personal record) no matter how fast I am! Haha.

And now I’m off to see Cheryl Strayed speak at Concordia University! I’m skipping math class to do it (but I turned in the homework via email so I’m still okay). I will take notes and report back soon on what she says!

One comment »

Our House: The Downstairs

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 | Posted under Home Life

Remember the time we bought a house? Well, we bought the last few pieces for our living room and now I’m finally ready to share some photos of our new home!

Our house was built in 1937, so it has a lot of historical charm and character. While a few updates have been made over the years, there are still a few upgrades that we would like to eventually make. Although, isn’t that how it always is?

I thought I would start off showing the downstairs of the house, and then next week I’ll show you the upstairs. We have a basement, but it’s pretty much storage along with the laundry so there’s not really anything to show off. Maybe someday!

We don’t have a front foyer, so when you walk into the house you’re pretty much in the living room.

photo 1-6

 

The living room is on the left, dining room is on the right, and the stair case is straight ahead. (You can see a portion of the kitchen too)

With more living room space in the new house, we were able to buy a couple new chairs at Pier 1 Imports. I saw the floral chair when I was working there last year, so I knew I wanted to buy that one. We thought about getting another chair, just in a different patter, but Erik picked this chair out when we went shopping. Natasha just loves sitting on it! She also loves to sit on the radiators throughout the house.

photo 1-5

I love the built in shelving and the arch between the dining room and living room. And you see that little wood square by the front door, under the mirror? That’s our mailbox! Isn’t that cool?

photo 2-5

 Our dining room was already painted a really beautiful brick red, which was reminiscent of the red wall we had in our New York apartment.  It also came with a gorgeous chandelier, although I’m not sure if it’s original. Either way, it looks vintage and fit the feel of the house really well. The dining room also has a beautiful built-in buffet, although we hardly have anything in it! I’m sure we’ll find things to fill it with, but so far it’s home to our cookbooks, our two sets of china, and some vases and extra wine glasses.

photo 3-3

Right now, our kitchen is probably my least favorite room in the house. It’s a big space, but the cupboards, counters and floors are all pretty ugly. I would love to make some changes but kitchen remodels are incredibly expensive.

photo 4-3

One perk of the kitchen is our “spice closet.” It’s probably Erik’s favorite feature of the house since he cooks so much. It originally was used to house the ironing board, but one of the owners installed shelving and now it’s a perfect place to house spices!

photo-5

 

Now we move on to the guest bedroom, which is also where the downstairs bathroom is. If you were standing at the base of the stairs, on your left is a short hallway with a closet and the door to the guest bedroom. On your right would be another doorway to the kitchen (the architect really likes his doors!).

I really hate the color of the guest bedroom, but I was exhausted after painting the living room, our bedroom and my office, so I haven’t tackled the guest bedroom. Possibly over winter break when I’m not as busy.

photo 3-4

The world’s smallest bathroom. You have to sort of angle yourself properly to, well, you know. It’s kind of funny. It works just fine though and we’ve actually gotten used to it. When we first moved in, I thought it was going to aggravate me so much. But it turns out that there are other things I’d rather change first. Kind of funny how that works, huh? I definitely think that it helps to live with things for a little bit before making changes, especially if you can’t do everything all at once!

photo 2-6

So that is the tour of the downstairs! Any questions? I’ll have pictures of the upstairs next week!

3 Comments »

Tuesday Wisdom

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 | Posted under Tuesday Wisdom

b71e4fe4469dcde07b72c5df5049d0d3

No Comments »

Friday Finds + Weekly Recap

Friday, October 10th, 2014 | Posted under Friday Finds

2a2fa101166454ad28cf8d01f26c6d7e10 useful websites for bloggers

Really, stop worrying about finding the G-spot

An insightful look at why we marry the wrong people

The changing world of plus sized fashion

Why “All About That Bass” really isn’t all that

This is why you shouldn’t make assumptions about others

How a sub-2 hour marathon can happen

The cutest story about an autistic girl and her cat

More people drink tomato juice on planes than on land

The power of self-talk

 

On Monday, my big goal was to run 12 miles. And that totally didn’t happen. Around mile 4, after I had taken a quick break to test my blood sugar and eat a HoneyStinger. Then right after I started running again, I had a pain in my left knee. It kept getting worse, and after about a half a mile I could barely run. It was so painful, but I was on a huge loop through the Twin Cities and so I still had to find my way back home. I managed to run / walk my way back to my house. I ended up covering about ten miles, but it hardly was any kind of training run. Even though the run sucked, I did snap an awesome picture of the Mississippi River and the view of Minneapolis.

photo(9)

I had a massage on Tuesday (I get them once a month at Massage Envy) and I told my therapist that I thought I had a knot in my IT band. She thought that was probably unlikely, but we did find out that in addition to a tight IT band, I had three knots surrounding my IT band! Ouch! I also had a knot on my right leg too. It was probably the most painful massage I’ve ever had. My therapist told me to try Biofreeze, which is basically like Icy/Hot but without the Hot part. I think it’s helping! I went for a three mile run today and didn’t really have any pain, so that was a relief. I never thought I’d be the kind of girl to get regular massages but I have so many knots that I think it’s really helping me! I just wish it wasn’t so expensive, but I think it’s a good investment.

Wednesday was packed. I had class in the morning, followed by a shift at our St. Paul store. Then I immediately skiddadled to a Junior League meeting, grabbing a spiced apple cider at Trader Joe’s on my way there since my group was responsible for providing beverages. Nobody drank it though, so more for us!

I normally do Orangetheory on Tuesday and Thursday, but I skipped it on Tuesday because of my knee. But I decided to brave it Thursday morning and just take it easy. It was sort of miserable. I didn’t like any of the strength training moves. Everything felt really hard, although my abs are killing me so clearly I got something out of it! And I used the elliptical instead of the treadmill, and while it felt good for my knee, I could not figure out how the heck to go faster! I felt like I was going so slow. Later in the afternoon I did some stuff for the store’s website, and I had a call with one of my editors at a diabetes magazine. Later that night, Lisa and her boyfriend Phil came over for dinner. We had a lot of fun chatting about everything from work to where we grew up (Erik and Phil went to the same high school, but just 2 years apart) to local breweries and restaurants. We have a lot more stuff on our to do list now!

How was your week?

3 Comments »

The Perks of Being a Shy Extrovert

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 | Posted under Personal Essays, School

shyIn grad school, I’m taking a class called Theories of Personality. We’re talking a lot about different ways people have tried to figure out how we as people tick. So we’re talking about Freud, Jung, and a bunch of other psychologists that you probably haven’t heard of.

A couple weeks ago, the topic of extroversion and introversion came up. I’ve heard a lot of people use introversion as sort of this catch all for anyone who isn’t loud and outgoing.  I asked my professor to clarify, and she said that introversion really is how you gain energy. People who are introverts need to recharge by being alone, whereas extroverts feel recharged when they are with other people.

I decided that if this is the case, I am an extrovert. I prefer to be around people, and I prefer spending time with close friends or my husband to having to do anything alone. But this didn’t seem to fully encompass me. While I love to be around people, I don’t love being around all people. Obviously there are the kinds of people who just rub me the wrong way and with whom I don’t get a long. That’s obvious.

There are also these situations where I’m around a lot of people that I’m not as close with, and I get… uncomfortable. I don’t feel like I’m on my A game and I struggle to figure out my place. For the longest time, I couldn’t figure it out. Everyone I know thinks I’m pretty outgoing and friendly. And I know I’m not an introvert because being alone doesn’t usually recharge me. In fact, I usually feel bored and restless. So what’s going on?

After my professor explained her view of the differences between extroversion and introversion, I then asked, “Well, what’s shyness?”

She explained that shyness is more related to an anxiety that develops around other people. It’s not necessarily a preference to being alone, it’s an anxiety about being around other people, especially those you don’t know. You can be an introvert who is fine public-speaking or going to networking events, but then you want to recharge by being alone. You can also be an introvert who has major anxiety public speaking (stage fright) or meeting people (shyness).

And that’s when I figured it out: I am a shy extrovert.

It crystalized for me when I was at Junior League meeting last month. I was sitting in the ballroom at the Minnikahda Country Club, surrounded by women, none of whom I knew, and I basically thought I was in hell. This isn’t even an exaggeration. I sat at a table, sipping on my Diet Coke with grenadine (because I didn’t bring cash and couldn’t drown my misery with alcohol) and it hit me: I’m shy. Actually legitimately, completely and totally shy.

It explains everything. I absolutely love having friends, but making them is torture.

When I think about how I’ve met friends over the years, almost all of them have been out of circumstances. Most of my good friends are either classmates or coworkers. A few friends are people I met online — so I was able to vet them for compatibility from the safety of my couch. It explains why I rarely have clicked with any meet-ups I’ve gone to… except for the Young Professional Couples group that — wait for it — Erik and I were a part of in New York. I was comfortable and less shy because I had my safety net, my husband, with me for each event. It’s why I felt comfortable and open at our church group. Because I wasn’t alone.

I always felt like my personality was sort of split when it came to socializing, and I think this really explains it. For a long time I thought I was an introvert, because I preferred people I knew to people I don’t know. But that’s really not it, because I realized that I don’t really feel recharged being alone. I mean, there are certain social situations that I don’t care for. You’ll never catch me at a loud club dancing the night away. I can’t hear anything and yelling rubs my throat raw. But I love having people over to our house and I actually don’t mind being out in crowds. I suppose it’s a good thing I’m married! I never have to worry about having someone to hang out with.

So remember, being an introvert does not mean you’re shy. Because extroverts can be shy too. And it sucks!

 

2 Comments »

Tuesday Wisdom

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 | Posted under Tuesday Wisdom

de0a38594e6b6a9f8d8d5f15f06a3d49

No Comments »

The Weekend: Gone Girl + Staying Home Girl

Monday, October 6th, 2014 | Posted under The Weekend

gone_girl_movie_poster_1Having read the book two years ago and absolutely loving it, I really wanted to see the new Gone Girl movie on Friday night. We didn’t have time to get a real dinner between when I got home from work and when the movie stared, so we had “theater dinner” which is when we eat really horrible concession stand food as our meal. The movie, however, was amazing! If you loved the book, you’ll love the movie. And if you didn’t like the book, you’ll still like the movie (although you still won’t like what happens). However, if you haven’t read the book: the movie will ruin everything. It is incredibly faithful to the book, because the author wrote the screenplay, and she only made some very minor tweaks. She only cut minor characters and eliminated some unnecessary (for a movie) backstory. Everything that you loved and hated about the book is still there. And it’s awesome!

Gone Girl pretty much is the weirdest, creepiest, uncomfortablist movie ever but it is soooo good. The acting, the direction, everything was amazing. I definitely think there will be some Oscar nominations — possibly even wins — for this movie. Okay, I’m done gushing.

I had to work on Saturday, and when I got home Saturday night, Erik and I just stayed home and relaxed. We had dinner and then watched the season premiere of The Vampire Diaries, my guilty pleasure. (The Originals is tonight! Eep!) Then we watched one of the Harry Potter movies on television before hitting the sack.

Sunday morning we slept in super late, so we didn’t really get going until almost noon. We had brunch at a little diner in our neighborhood called Ideal Diner. Erik had their Nordeast omelet and I had a stack of pancakes with some bacon. I loved their pancakes but they had really crispy bacon, and I prefer chewier bacon. Oh well. Bacon is bacon. The rest of Sunday afternoon was spent doing housework. It takes a lot longer now, obviously, since now we have a house. Erik did the manly outdoorsy work like raking the leaves, mowing the lawn, and cleaning the gutters, while I stayed inside (where it was a nice and warm) to vacuum, mop and dust the downstairs and some of the upstairs.

We were pretty tired by Sunday night, so Erik made salmon and veggies for dinner (to make up for our horrendously unhealthy brunch) and then we watched a little television and I did some reading for school before going to bed.

 

If you saw Gone Girl this weekend, what did you think? If you didn’t, will you? 

2 Comments »

Friday Finds + Weekly Review

Friday, October 3rd, 2014 | Posted under Friday Finds

Kinder Scout, Derbyshire, EnglandDoctors suffer one of the highest rates of suicide — yikes!

What farts reveal about your health

A fun interview with Lena Dunham

The coolest way to change clothes without getting nekkid

An open letter to a pastor’s future gay child

Whole Foods is getting cheaper?

25 Struggles on ENFPs Will Understand (I think I’m ENFJ, but still. Pretty close.)

How the poor afford NYC

 

 

This week went by both really quickly and really slowly. Not that much happened, but I’m still really surprised that it’s already Friday! On Monday, I ran six miles as part of me getting for my first half. My hips were so sore at the end. I need to work on how to have less hip pain. One of the girls at work recommend working on my glutes, hamstrings and quads, so I guess I’ll be doing a lot of lunges!

Tuesday and Wednesday are sort of a blur. Tuesday was pretty much going to school and then coming home to work on homework, and then I watched TV in the evening while Erik was out for the evening. Wednesday was pretty absorbed with class in the morning and then work all afternoon and evening!

The exciting thing on Thursday was a blogger dinner that I went to with three Minneapolis bloggers, Jennifer, Christina and Deepta. They were super fun, and we had a great time chatting about marriage, Minneapolis, careers, and babies… all that good girl stuff! We went to Cafe Ena in South Minneapolis and it was a really nice restaurant. I got scallops, which I love. It was a really fun evening and I’m glad I had a chance to meet more ladies in the area.

 

How was your week? 

 

One comment »

With Faith & Grace All rights reserved © 2012-2014

I am a HowJoyful Design by Joy Kelley