Thursday, May 30, 2013

Keizer Iris Festival 10k

So last Sunday I "ran" a 10k.  It's been planned for a while, since before I kind of stopped running, but I didn't want to advertise it since I figured I'd be walking it.  This is a race that Rachael and I ran in 2011 (Rachael's half marathon PR race actually!).

At 31 weeks I've started having some pretty horrible rib / ab pain which the internet tells me is totally normal (unlike my doctor, who says she's "never heard of it before" and that I should go to the emergency room.  Um, you're crazy lady.)  Anyway, the internet tells me that it's likely my actual ab muscle slowly tearing apart.  Fun times.  Thanks, Rudiger.

Also, don't judge, I'm not saying that I trust the internet more than my doctor.  If it's an emergency, I'll go to the emergency room. 

Anyway, so my running has kind of come to a halt.  But we were due to hang out with some of our favorite friends anyway so we headed down to Salem, enjoying some lovely (though rainy) rainbow views along the way:

We had a blast all weekend, some much needed R&R, strawberry freezer-jam making, delicious-food eating, card-playing fun.  And Sunday morning's alarm came way too quick.  The good news was, though, that I finally got to take my new shoes for a spin:

Oh wait, can't see my feet?!?!  Ha.  Neither can I!

Aw, there they are, you beautiful Ravenna's you.  As I've mentioned before, my shins and calves have been suffering recently when running and it seems to be pregnancy related.  Although it's probably all the Relaxin coursing through my body, I thought maybe the minimalistic Brooks Pure Connects couldn't take my exponentially growing weight so I might need some more support, so I picked up some Ravenna 3's.  The 4's did feel a little bit better but I couldn't resist saving $40.

I started on the Ravenna's years ago so it's funny that I'm back with them again after all this time.  Honestly, I don't think it really matters what shoes I wear, it's just that I weigh a freaking million pounds! 

Of course it was raining (our summer came for one glorious week and now winter is back) for the first half of the race or so, and I was cursing my clothing choices and wearing a visor instead of a hat.  But what can you do?  We were off.  

This is a small race, and part of the Keizer Iris Festival, so of course we ran past a bunch of different iris fields, which were gorgeous!

And SHOCKINGLY enough, I pretty much ran the whole time.  I walked a few times, but for very brief periods, and I actually felt pretty freaking good, considering!  The lesson here is that apparently if I want to get some runs in, I MUST do so as part of races.  When I go out to run alone, I start walking right away.  When I'm part of a race, I feel fine and my pride or something keeps me from walking. 

And then I finished!  I was last out of our group, obviously, but not last in the race like I feared!  I had JMan wear my Garmin so I don't know detailed splits but it appears the course was a bit short: around 5.8 miles or so instead of 6.2, which explains why I was able to surprisingly squeak in under an hour, in 59:39.

Also, the lesson here is that the mile markers were DEFINITELY off:

Um yeah, so apparently my splits were: 11:21, 9:48, 11:32, 7:59, 7:06, 10:16

I completely believe mile #1, #2, #3, and #6.  #4 and #5???  Um, HECK NO.  There's where the mileage was lacking, clearly. 

JMan dominated with a PR of 45:xx (remember it was a short course though - but that's still DEFINITELY a sub 50 10k for him!  He's getting so fast and I'm so proud of him!).  And a lady told me I was impressive when I passed her, and that made me feel good.  :-)  At least until I walked 10 seconds later and she passed me back.  HA!

And what's a race without a little Voodoo Donuts treat afterwards??

And did you know JMan ACTUALLY SERIOUSLY FOR REAL said to me: "Should I do a marathon?"!!!!!!!!!!!  Can you believe it??????????

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hey Mackelmore! Can we go thrift shopping??

Mackelmore and I have something in common: we know something about wearing a fur fox.  It's definitely true that one man's trash is another man's come-up treasure (I'm still not sure what come-up means.  Please forgive me if it's bad!)

I've been going crazy with the thrift shopping for Rudiger.  Buying stuff new for a baby that's going to wear / use it for only a few months just seems like crazy talk.  I LOVE hand-me-downs, and most of the time the quality is pretty good because again, the baby only used it for a little while!

So here's a few of the places I recommend for finding deals:

1)  Value Village.  It's pretty much Goodwill on steroids.  

Just one of the many books I scored at Value Village for Rudiger.

First, have you ever seen a cuter onesie?  Second, I'm not sure who exactly I bought Brave Heart for, but all I know is, when you see a Care Bear Cousin in pristine condition for $1, you buy it.

2)  Goodwill.  Goodwill was having a sale where all of their donated clothes (because apparently they have some clothes from Target and such that are new) were 50% off.  I was able to score 18 pieces of baby clothes plus 4 pairs of maternity pants for me for $30.  I'll call that a win alright.

3)  Craigslist.

The beloved BOB!!  I have one of my very own!  I stalked and stalked these puppies on Craigslist for forever, made a ton of lowball offers that got rejected or ignored, until finally somebody bit.  I scored this puppy for $100 and the quality seems good.  Considering these sell new for $300 (without any accessories, and don't forget tax!), I felt good about this deal. 

The only downfall was that it didn't come with the infant car seat adapter, and since it's a 2008 the new adapters sold at REI don't fit it, but a few more offers on Craigslist and I got not only the infant car seat adapter (which retail for $60 new) but ALSO a rain shield (definitely a necessity in Seattle!) for an additional $50.  So now I have NOTHING else for taking care of a baby (including the car seat that attaches to the car seat adapter!) but I can push it around the neighborhood in style.  :-)  Typical me.  

I could write a whole freaking book about my controversy over getting a BOB Revolution versus a BOB Ironman.  According to my research (i.e., please interpret with caution!), the Revolution has smaller wheels and lower-quality shocks, but the front wheel has the option of being locked for running or swivel for general use.  The swivel is apparently nice for just walking or using in a store.  The Ironman, on the other hand, is designed pretty much exclusively for running, therefore has larger wheels, better shocks, and the front wheel is permanently locked.

I actually seriously couldn't decide, and even now I'm not 100% sure about my decision.  I made offers on both, and it just so happened that this is the one that someone finally accepted.  I can always sell this one later and get the Revolution if I so choose, but it kind of came down to - WHY am I wanting this?  Oh, I'm wanting it for RUNNING.  Therefore I should get the stroller actually best suited for RUNNING.  I'll let you know when I change my mind in 2 days...

4)  Craigslist again.

So I've been looking on Craigslist for a glider / ottoman combo for a long time.  I wasn't sure that we really needed one, since we already have a recliner in our living room that will probably be adequate (do I really need a glider?  Be honest!), so didn't want to spend much on one if I got it.  Like the BOB, I had made a few low-ball offers on some on Craigslist but no bites.  So I was excited when I finally got one for $40.

It was a bit dingier in person though than it appeared online, which was disappointing.  No problem  though - all of the cushions come off with either ties or snaps so I'll just throw them in the washing machine to clean them up!  Um NO.  Do NOT do this.  I hadn't owned this glider for more than a few hours when I had already RUINED IT.  All of the cushions came out frayed and torn apart.  MISTAKE!

See the armrests?  That's NOT what they looked like when I brought it home!  I'm hoping my Mom can help me recover the cushions or do something with it.  It'll be a good summer project... :-)

5)  Consignment Sales.

I made my first appearance at a consignment sale recently - a chain called Just Between Friends.  My friend had RAVED about consignment sales and how great they were and so my hopes were high.  They did have a MILLION things, it was in a warehouse after all, and that was awesome.  But I found it to be rather disappointingly overpriced.  Craigslist and garage sales (especially since you can haggle at these) are much cheaper.

But, I guess since I got a JJ Cole diaper bag, an Infantino baby carrier (though I still think I want the Ergo since it seems to be best, but we'll try this one for now), 4 onesies, and 2 pairs of pajamas all for $20, I'm not exactly sure why I'm complaining???

My Dad's an engineer so I had to buy the "Little Engineer" onesie for 50 cents! 

Aw, he got the velcros.  Anyone else love thrift shopping?  Tell me all your tricks!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Rice a Roni: The San Francisco Treat

A few weekends ago (I'm a bit behind in my recapping - alright?!?  You did just finally get Paris after all!) I headed to SAN FRANCISCO for a conference and it was lovely.  While we've had some absolutely FABULOUS weather here (though that seems to be long gone now?!), at the time that I went there our weather had still been cold and rainy so I was VERY appreciative of the sunny days.  

While the days were quite busy with conference-attending, staying on top of my work still going on back home, and prepping / doing my presentation, I still managed to get in a little fun!  Somehow I convinced Jordanne to come with me (hope she doesn't regret it!) which made the trip about a BILLION times more fun than it would have been alone.  

We made it down to Pier 39 to see the spectacle, tourists, sea lions, and views of Alcatraz. I had a crab cake sandwich which I had high hopes for but it was just okay.

We made it to Lombard Street - the "windiest street in the world" (or something like that!).  We even climbed to the very top despite the very steep stairs - hiking up that hill was quite the workout for this pregnant lady.

We went out to dinner at a nice French restaurant where we indulged in dessert, and then still had cupcakes for second dessert an hour later!

We made it out to see the Golden Gate bridge and the Palace of Fine Arts.

And finally, the BIG ADVENTURE involved walk / running to Golden Gate Park, which was a good 5-6 miles away, plus the park itself is 3 miles long!  But it did not disappoint.  

This park is AWESOME and I wish I could run there everyday.  It is huge, apparently bigger than Central Park, with TONS of trails and fun things to look at.  There's windmills, bison (supposedly - we didn't see them, which was a huge disappointment!), botanical gardens, flowers everywhere, waterfalls, and the park even dumps you out at the beach.  Pure loveliness.

We were starting to get a little worried though when we'd walk / run 8 miles + and were still VERY far from our hotel in a slightly shady area and it was starting to get cold and dusk was coming.  Then PERFECT timing a taxi pulls up and saves the day.  Whew.  

It was a lovely trip and San Francisco was a lovely city, but I was definitely ready to come home to JMan and Cooper and my own bed. 

How was your weekend?  Do anything fun?  What San Francisco fun did I miss?  I'm sure a lot.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

All You Need in Life is Nutella Banana Crepes

So, you've seen our 3 quick, cold days in London.  Then we were off on the CHUNNEL to Paris!  I definitely definitely recommend taking the chunnel.  It was the same price as flying, but soooo much less hassle.  The train station is right in the city and easy to get to (unlike the airports), there's little waiting / lines / security, and it's just so freaking easy.  Paris was a bit warmer than London, in the 30's now instead of the 20's, which was a relief despite it still being so cold.

Paris' metro stations are a bit more difficult to navigate than the Tube, partially because they're in French but mostly just because there's SO many different lines and the coverage of the city is so thorough, but we were able to easily navigate ourselves to our new hotel.  We didn't waste any time and were IMMEDIATELY out sight-seeing that night!

So here they are, the top must-see's and do's of Paris. Especially if again, you only have 3 days.  And you may or may not be pregnant. 

1.  The Eiffel Tower.  DUH!  You ARE in Paris after all!  You must go during the Day AND Night.

2.  Arc de Triomphe.  Again, during the day AND at night.  You can climb to the top for a fee, but it was so smoggy and hazy while we were there that this seemed like a waste of money. 

3.  Walk down Champs-Elysses - shop if you like to shop (which I don't) - or just get a feel for the atmosphere and more great Arc de Triomphe pictures!

4.  Notre Dame Cathedral.  Just plain gorgeous and impressive, it's one of the most well-known churches in the WORLD, and construction on it started in 1163.  It's OLD people.  You MUST go inside - it's worth the line (which moves quickly) and is free.  We actually planned on climbing to the top of this (you have to pay a fee to do so) but the line was CRAZY LONG and moving incredibly slowly, so we missed out on seeing the hunchback and the famous gargoyles. 

5.  Climb Something.  You can climb seriously EVERYTHING in Paris.  The Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, etc.  Most everything you have to pay to climb though.  We chose Sacre Coeur Basilica.  An impressive structure already on a hill, it definitely has gorgeous views of the city, and at 6 Euros the cost is small.  It was pretty smoggy / hazy the entire time we were there or else I probably would have made us climb more buildings. 

At 25 weeks pregnant I huffed and puffed up all 340 steps to the top and it was well worth it!  Too bad it was so smoggy / cloudy every day that we were in Paris. 

6.  Eat Pastries.  Don't discriminate - you must try them all!  Croissants, baguettes, nutella banana crepes, oh my!  We had an amazing nutella-filled donut and another awesome donut with strawberry jam inside.  Pretty much just keep your eye out for the "Patisserie". 

7.  The Louvre.  Duh.  Even if you're not into art (which we really aren't) you still MUST go.  It's expensive but worth it.  It's also VERY busy, but worth it, even if just to ogle the crowds and how impressive the inside of the Louvre itself is. 

I'm classy.

The famous Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo

8.  Roland Garros.  But only if you're a tennis fan.  Originally this trip was supposed to coincide with one of the Grand Slams, since both JMan and I are tennis fans (we both played in college), but again, Rudiger made that impossible!  We intended to go to Wimbledon as well but that didn't end up happening in London so we knew we HAD to go see Roland Garros at least!

The interview room

Centre Court!  Did you know they replace the clay every year?

9.  Eat delicious food.  French food, unlike British food (sorry London), is delicious and amazing.  The first night we were there we made a HUGE mistake and walked around without dinner until nearly midnight and had to grab crappy sub-par pizza - wasting one of our few dinner opportunities.  The dinners we had were all STELLAR.  Like regular Joe food there compares to our fancy meals here. 

10.  Do a self-guided walking tour.  Paris is very compact and really easy to walk around and see most everything.  Well, by "easy" you'll need to expect to walk 4-8 miles a day!  There's tons to see but very helpful if you have a map and a plan of what streets to walk on, because it's not that intuitive even though everything is fairly close.

Here are just a few of the things we saw on our walking tour:

Again, I can't say enough how much more fun this trip would have been if a) I wasn't pregnant, and b) it was the summer.  Although I felt like we were able to see the city in 3 days, there was NO downtime and I found myself feeling quite tired by the end of the week after walking probably 5-8 miles every day of the trip, being out in the cold all day every day, etc. 

Further, obviously in France you're supposed to drink wine!  And eat soft cheeses!  And I couldn't do either.  It's also a bit difficult to find quick food in both London and Paris when you're pregnant - as they seem to very much like prepared sandwiches (with deli meat of course) rather than ready-to-order sandwiches (with chicken!) like we have here.  So that made finding food to eat difficult at times.  But really, who needs real food when you can just eat nutella banana crepes all the time anyway?!?!?!

Have you been to Paris?  Have anything to add to this list?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

That's How Every Weekend Should Be

This weekend was AMAZING.  A weekend for the record books.  Just positively lovely.  Every weekend should be so fabulous.  

On Friday night JMan and I went to see Iron Man 3.  Gotta get out to the movies while we still can!  It was pretty good, kind of long and I'm not a huge fan of those movies, but it was entertaining enough.  

On Saturday morning I headed out bright and early for another Skipping in Seattle Miles & Margs event in West Seattle!  Last year was the first time meeting many of these lovely ladies and I'm so lucky I've gotten to know them better!  The morning was GORGEOUS, just picture perfect views of the Space Needle and the Sound.  

I started off with a 5 mile run, mostly alone (the downfall of being a slow pregnant lady) but Rebecca entertained me for a bit.  Becky didn't waste any time pointing out that I was the "slow one" and that she didn't want to run with me.  Thanks Becky! 
We followed it up with margaritas (for those of us not "with child") and brunch at Cactus, and oh my gosh, though I wavered back and forth on what to get the french toast was THE BEST THING EVER.  Run, don't walk, there and eat it immediately.  

Of course the pregnant lady orders the only dish on the menu with "rum" in the description!

Karla & I: Preggo runners unite!

After some cleaning and chores, I then headed over to the gracious Becky's house for a slumber party with Robyn.  She made up for her earlier comment by being the best hostess ever - cooking us delicious chicken tacos and very impressive homemade nutella brownie bites; letting her adorable dog Ada smother us in doggie kisses (and bites!), and putting us up at her house.  The reason we stayed the night was because bright and early Sunday morning... we were volunteering at the Tacoma City Marathon!

 As you recall Becky and I volunteered at this race last year, but last year we became professional water-hander-outers.  This year we got assigned the "half marathon medal station" at the finish line.  It's always interesting to view a race from a different angle, and this was no different.  People are definitely "interesting" at the finish line and there's definitely an "art" to medaling people. Some like it draped, some just want to grab it, some walk right past and almost leave without it!  
Lindsay - demonstrating the "true" way to get a medal - draped of course!
The weather in Seattle the whole weekend was just plain AMAZING, it would be considered awesome by August's standards so for early May it's just phenomenal.  After working up a sweat all morning handing out medals I came home and did a ton of yardwork (definitely my workout for the day), and ended the weekend with a lovely BBQ with JMan, complete with virgin margaritas.  
As a side note, we also watched Silver Linings Playbook, and I can't even begin to describe to you how dissapointed with it I was.  I know everyone else loves it and it was nominated for best picture and blah blah blah, but having just read the book and LOVED the book, I really hated the changes they made to the plot and I really just thought the movie was SUPER BORING.  End rant. 

Seriously, best weekend EVER.  Love love love love love.  

What did you do?  How are you enjoying the sun???