Did y’all know that lululemon has a women’s cycling team?

I didn’t, until I walked into Aaron’s favorite bike shop and gasped when I saw a female mannequin rocking a Specialized-lululemon jersey and helmet — the same ones worn by the cycling team members. So cute!

Aaron was amazed, too. Apparently, he’d been secretly trying to find the jersey for me for months (I’ve never found a jersey I liked enough to buy), but it was sold out at lululemon and hard to find on Ebay.

The bike shop had one jersey that was randomly returned by someone, and it was my size — clearly destined to be mine. : ) Thank you for the early Christmas present, A!!

I had to get the helmet, too, because… matching. Pretty colors. Or something. What was the question?

Cute jersey = motivation to take my bike out for a spin this weekend. Silly, I know, but I’m a girl.

Obviously you don’t need fancy clothes and accessories to cycle — I’ve ridden quite a bit in regular running tops/tanks and my old helmet from Target; here is what I do recommend you get to start cycling — but it’s fun to add new stuff to the mix once in a while.

I’ve found, in both running and cycling, that it’s better to invest in a few quality pieces that are comfortable and will last a long time rather than buy an array of cheap items that’ll fall apart/be uncomfortable/etc.

Anyway, that’s all I have. It’s a rest day. Happy Friday!

Exciting news!

Sorry, not that kind of exciting news. I just had to trick y’all for a second. : )

The diamonds in this ring have been passed down through my family on my mother’s side. A family friend, Mrs. Mandry, gave them to my great-grandmother in the form of earrings. The Mandrys had no children, so great-g got the bling!

She passed them on to my grandmother, who didn’t have pierced ears, so she had them set in this ring. My mother inherited it when she passed away, and it’s too big for either of us to wear/not our style, so it’s been sitting in a drawer for years.

I came across it recently and asked my mom if I could turn the diamonds into earrings again. She said yes, and Aaron has a family connection at a jewelry store (a really good connection to have, don’t you think?), so I got a great deal and a nice, shiny set of earrings!

I’ve always worn cheap, fake earrings from Claire’s that turn green and gross after awhile, so it’s really great to have some legit jewelry that also has family meaning. It has nothing to do with running, but I was excited to get them from the jeweler today and I wanted to share. : )

Now, for the running! I’ve stuck with my training plan and had a great couple of runs since I last posted.

Yesterday, speed intervals:

– 1 mile warmup
– 0.25 mile fast
– 0.12 mile walk/jog recovery (x7)
– 0.41 cool-down run home


I wasn’t trying to hit any particular pace for my sprints; I just tried to settle into a pace I could maintain for a quarter-mile while pushing myself. I’m happy to see that I got down to the mid 8:00 range! Haven’t been there for a whiiiile.

Tonight, a tempo run:

– 1 mile warmup
– 1 mile comfortably hard
– 1 mile cool down

I’m noticing huge improvements in my endurance. I’m now running these miles straight through and just stopping at water fountains and crosswalks. This is my first run since I sprained my ankle that’s been under a 10:00 minute/mile average pace.

Maybe that sub-30 5K really is in reach.

Legs are very tired after three straight days of running. Very excited to rest tomorrow!

Comeback 5K training plan

The last run I blogged about was a two-miler a week ago, but I didn’t comment on the pain in my right knee that I felt at the end and that lingered through the following day.

I decided to take a day off from running to be safe. That, of course, turned into five days… and then I got a strange 24-hour cold over the weekend… and finally, today, I felt totally back to normal and ready to run.

No pain!

Today, my chiropractor said the knee pain could have been caused by my hips being out of alignment. Good to know.

I also decided to stop being lazy and created an actual training plan for the comeback 5K I’m running in just under four weeks.

My main goal for the 5K is to pace myself well and be able to run the whole 3.1 miles, and my secondary goal is to break 30 minutes. At my current fitness level, I won’t be running sub-30, but we’ll see what happens with consistent speed work, tempos and weight lifting!

Obviously you don’t need to lift weights as part of 5K training, but I really think it added a lot to my marathon training, and I miss looking and feeling strong.

Side note: I documented my marathon training with detailed weekly recaps and a reflection on my overall training after I nailed my 4:15 goal; you can find all those posts HERE if you’re interested!

On top of wanting to have a great race next month, I’m also excited to dive into this training plan because I’d still like to have my 10-pounds-lighter body back and I’ve so far failed at committing to regular exercise. I know from experience that nothing motivates me like an upcoming race!

I’m newly back on the Paleo bandwagon as well. I saw and felt great results after my month of Paleo eating in June, but I just flat-out failed to maintain good eating habits. I’ve got this to motivate me on that front:

Oh, yes. You are looking at just over two weeks in Italy starting at the end of September.

We’ll be visiting Milan, Rapallo, Cinque Terre, Pisa, Florence, Siena, Orvieto, Rome, Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Aaron wins for planning our itinerary in excellent detail! (I’m sick of travel planning.)

Make no mistake — we will not be eating Paleo in Italy! I plan to indulge in everything Italy has to offer, but I want to make my best effort to shed a little extra weight beforehand. I may just put it right back on, thanks to pasta, pizza and gelato, but I’ll give it a shot anyway.

Yummm… pizza, pasta, gelato… I’m sorry I even mentioned them!

Wishing my dad a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY today!

We had dinner in Kirkland last night with my brother and Aaron (who snapped these pics) to celebrate.

My dad has had painful back issues lately but is doing much better — it was so nice to see him out and about. He’s already hopped back on his bike for a few short rides to enjoy these last days of summer.

See those leaves on the ground? I’m so excited for fall!

I’ve got my dad to thank for my inherent silliness and penchant for puns, but he’s also great to have long talks with about happiness, work, love, the future — you name it. I feel very lucky to have such a close relationship with my dad. He also makes me laugh a lot. : )

Here’s to another great year, Daddio!

Thoughts from the uphill

Fitness is a lot like money — it takes a long time to build up a good amount, and a fraction of that time to lose it.

Every bit of it must be re-earned.

I thought about this as I slogged uphill tonight in my mom’s neighborhood.

I kept thinking about how I used to be able to run five times as far with what felt like a fraction of the effort. Hills like the ones I ran up tonight were no big deal. I had this weird, self-righteous thought that since I used to be so fit, I deserve to be that way again.

And I do. Everyone deserves to be healthy. But I don’t deserve to have it handed to me. I need to work for it, just like I did the first time around.

When it comes to rebuilding fitness, you get out of it what you put in. Sweat. Miles. Healthy choices. I need some more of all of ‘em.

I’ve got about a month left before my first post-injury 5K. Here’s to earning it!

The old run-and-lift

Does anyone else have the need to feel that your running shoes are tied just tightly as each other before you can run?

Sometimes I get it right the first time and don’t think twice; other times, like this morning, I start running and have to stop a few times to re-tie my shoes until they feel just right.

I’ve been known to tie and re-tie my shoes about a million times before races. Really, really weird.

I tried to keep my pace at about 10:00 min/mi this morning, since that’s how fast I can run without feeling like I’m going too slowly or like I’m going to die.

My problem is that I want to go faster, but my endurance isn’t there yet and I get burned out. I’m happy with how I was able to keep a fairly even pace on this run. : )

I returned to Aaron’s place to find him snuggled up in head-to-toe lululemon man-sweats and catching up on Breaking Bad.

I’m desperate to rebuild my upper-body strength, so I took advantage of his sweet Bowflex dumbbells, which allow you to adjust the weight of each dumbbell by turning a dial. They go up to 90 pounds each!

I only use the 10-, 15- and 20-pound settings.

Looks like I’m using a pair of Shake Weights. Ha!

During marathon training last fall, I was really good about lifting weights 2-3 times a week at the gym and really felt/saw progress in my arm muscles.

I’m excited to get into a lifting routine again, and now I don’t even have to go to the gym. Woo-hoo!

You know the feeling

…when you’ve been putting off running and just dread it for no particular reason?

And then as soon as you take that first step, you realize, “Ahh, yes, this is great! Why was I putting this off?”

Yeah. Me. Today.

It’s been very hot by Seattle standards (mid 90s) these past few days and I just couldn’t wake myself up in time to run early in the morning. Today is mercifully cloudy and cool, but I still wore myself out and got very sweaty with just a 2.5-mile run!

I passed out in front of a high-powered fan. Delight.

Thank you to everyone who has “liked” Aaron’s contest entry on Facebook so far! He is just slightly behind another finalist with 471 “likes” to the other guy’s 478!

I don’t know what kind of dark magic the other guy is working, but I don’t like this race being so close — it would stink if Aaron lost by just a few votes. If you can spare a few seconds, please lend your Facebook “likes”


AND HERE (Finalist #3 — Aaron Pass) EDIT: Contest is now closed.

Both “likes” count toward the total!

We really ‘preciate it. And very soon we’re going to a BBQ and we can stop obsessively refreshing those Facebook pages.

And I will get to hold Aaron’s baby nephew. I’m a little obsessed with babies lately, so I will probably die of happiness.