Back home again

Our vacation in the rain shadow east of the Cascades was lovely — just two hours away from Seattle, yet it gets 300 days of sunshine a year, WHAT — but now it’s back to the west, to rain, to cold temps, and to pants, goddamn it.

Sunshine and shorts are everything. Pants are the worst.

But my lungs are glad to be closer to sea level again, as evidenced by tonight’s run:


Oh, word. I’ll take this over huffing and puffing through majestic mountains at a few thousand feet of elevation any day (not really, but I’m trying to make myself feel better about having to wear pants again).

Let’s reminisce. Shorts in downtown Leavenworth (see how even the Bank of America is Bavarian-themed? Love it):


Shorts in Waterfront Park:


Creepy how similar those pictures are. Can you tell that Aaron’s favorite way to Instagram is to say, “Hey, turn around!” as I’m walking away?

Shorts in the SNOW:


Because even in the snow, it’s still warmer than Seattle! What does that even mean! I need to reevaluate my life!

Here are my final vacation mileage stats, all while wearing shorts:



  • 4 mile hike, easy prancing-in-the-snow pace



  • Food food food, fast-as-I-can-eat pace

Oh, shorts, we had fun together. I’ll see you again in July.

17 miles along country roads in and around everyone’s favorite Bavarian village – done.

I looped back around to the hotel after 11 miles to refill my Nuun, reapply sunscreen, and snag some orange slices from the breakfast buffet (heaven).

I was nervous about this run, but the 9:04 average pace is right on track with my training so far.

Super happy right now. Back to vacation mode!

Nothing like a steep-as-eff five-mile hike to relax the legs. The 360-degree view at the top of Icicle Ridge was more than worth it, though!

Later, we thought we’d soothe our sore legs with a natural ice bath in the freezing river. I quickly said NOPE to this idea, but Aaron made it five whole minutes… and showed off his cute buns.

A lazy, sunny stroll along the river capped off a lovely day. Delight.

Vacation time!

I’m done with my two-day work week and am officially on vacation until next Monday! Yayyyyy!

I celebrated by running four miles of hills tonight, as one does.

My goal was to find a steeper, longer, tougher hill than usual to challenge myself, but what looked like a steeper, longer, tougher hill wasn’t at all. Big fat fail.

You can see that I started with one hill and then changed my mind and went to another hill; that was due to sketchy people in the vicinity of the first hill, which was sort of secluded in a neighborhood. I don’t hang around for sketchiness.

The second hill was along a busy, major street, so that at least if someone tried to kidnap or stab me (legit concern), everyone else would see it and… do something, hopefully.

Anyway, I made it through the run un-kidnapped and un-stabbed, but I didn’t feel like I got a tough hill workout in. I’ll make an effort to find a really disgusting hill next week, and then run it until I feel like I’m going to puke or die. That is called success, people.

Now it’s time to pack for vacaaaation!!! I will need a ridiculous amount of workout gear, since I have two runs on my schedule (6 miles Thursday, 17 miles Saturday) and we plan to hike quite a bit. There’s not much else to do in the small town where we’re staying, so we might as well get all up in the wilderness.

I may post a photo here and there, but I’m not planning on blogging extensively while we’re away. I’m going to make an effort to seriously limit my screen time — I’m even bringing an actual, paper book to put in front of my face and read.

See you when I see you!


Aaron and I met up with a bunch of other runners at Green Lake tonight to do a little run in honor of Boston.

The run started at 6:15, and I got home at 5:55, so I did a lightning-fast change into running clothes and we ran a little over a mile to the lake just in time.

There were a ton of people — probably between 150 and 200. Most were dressed in blue and yellow, and many sported Boston Marathon jackets or shirts. Tonight was the first time I’d seen a Boston jacket in person. I want one. : )

Of all the people gathered at the lake, we somehow found ourselves right next to Vicki! We only had a minute to say hi before the run began and we went our separate ways (by the way Vicki, I looooved your capris!).

Just a few minutes into the run, Aaron spotted a former co-worker of ours, Quinn, and we ran with him for a little bit and chatted. It’s a small world when so many people you know are runners! 

Somehow Aaron and I kept up a consistently fast-ish pace, even though my legs still felt tired from Flywheel. One mile and change to the lake, 2.8 miles around, and one mile and change back home put us at six miles for the day (I had four on my plan… whoops).

Quinn snapped a pic for us after the run. Thanks, Quinn!

I almost always run alone, so it was just nice to run with a big group of people who all share a love of running and find solace in it during tough times.

And for once, we couldn’t have had nicer weather.

Good job, Seattle.

Six weeks of Paleo: (Belated) April 15 weigh-in

I was going to post this weigh-in during my lunch break on Monday, April 15, but then the Boston Marathon bombings happened, and this seemed like an incredibly silly thing to post after that tragedy.

It may still be silly, but we have to move on with our lives, silly or not.

For those of you who are just tuning in and wondering what this weigh-in is all about, here’s the low-down:

I was in the best shape of my life in late 2011, when I ran my first marathon at 138 pounds (I’m 5’6"). Then I traveled abroad by myself from February-May 2012 and gained about 17 pounds from enjoying lots of new foods, but also from emotional eating due to loneliness and homesickness. I’m talking about eating entire packages of cookies in one sitting, alone in my hostel — no good.

I realized that my weight was getting out of control when I saw this photo that was taken on April 16, 2012 — the day I completed my advanced scuba diving certification on Ko Tao, Thailand.


“Whoa, I’m looking puffy,” I thought. “And what are those dents between my eyebrows?” They were dimples that formed in my newly chubby face when I smiled.

That night, I took a photo using the self-timer on my camera to get an honest look at my weight gain. Here’s what I saw.

I understand that this photo can be considered quite average for women in the U.S., but this was 17 pounds up from where I started just a few months earlier; it was a big change for me, and a scary one, considering the reasons why I gained the weight and how quickly it happened.

I stopped my emotional eating right then and there, and was in the low 150s by the time I got back to the States in early May. I wasn’t able to exercise when I got home due to a sprained ankle, but I did a pretty dedicated month on the Paleo diet and went from 151 pounds at the end of May to 147 pounds at the end of June. Progress! I was able to start running again in late June and expected the rest of my extra weight to melt off.

Not so much. Aaron and I went to Hawaii and ate our faces off in July, then spent two weeks in Italy in October and ate bread, pasta, and gelato almost exclusively as we celebrated our engagement.

Despite running often, particularly starting a half-marathon training plan in late November, my weight stayed in the mid to high 140s because I pretty much ate whatever I wanted.

Then, at the beginning of March of this year, I finally decided to clean up my eating and go mostly Paleo again. Boom — seven pounds melted off in just a few weeks.

That weight loss helped me run a 1:55 half-marathon PR, fit back into my pre-travel jeans and other clothes, and generally feel like myself again. I have more energy, feel better, and am running faster than ever as I train for my second marathon.

I’m still documenting my weight and snapping a photo twice a month for the time being just to stay on track, but I’m definitely not trying to lose any more weight! At this point, I’m just finding it interesting how my body continues to change due to a (mostly) clean diet and marathon training even though my weight is staying relatively the same.

Anyway, here’s my April 15 weigh-in:


March 31: 138.0

April 15: 137.6

Loss: 0.4 pound

Total loss since Feb. 28: 8 pounds

I see a bit of a change from March 31:


And definitely a big change from the end of February:


And let’s not fail to note the change from April of last year, which I consider to be my real starting point:

So, that’s my story so far. I’ve just gotten a request from a reader for more information about how to get started with Paleo eating, so I’ll write about that soon. It can be a tough change at first, but the differences in the way I look and (more importantly) feel are very, very worth it!

Sunday spin and eat

Aaron and I started off the day with our first-ever spin class: an hour of sweat and torture paradise at Flywheel in South Lake Union.


I’m wayyy too cheap to pay for a gym membership or fitness classes when I can just run outside and ride my own bike at no cost, but I’ll certainly try something new when the first class is free!

My boss is a Flywheel regular, and she thought I’d enjoy it since I like to push myself and I’m… slightly competitive (there’s a big-screen leaderboard that ranks everyone in the class by performance). Aaron is the same way, so of course he was down to try it.

The staff was super-friendly and did a great job showing us around the beautiful, modern-chic facility and helping us adjust our bikes since it was our first visit. The 46 bikes were set up on stadium-style levels around the instructor; Aaron and I had #13 and #14.


The instructor, Aina, welcomed us all, then turned down the lights, pumped up the music, and radiated nonstop energy as she called out instructions, sang along to the songs, and motivated us to push hard for the entire hour. It was like working out in a nightclub, except everyone is sweating from spinning instead of dancing. I loooooved the music — particularly the Rihanna song Lost In Paradise, which I’d never heard before — since I don’t usually work out with music and forgot how motivating it can be!

I can tell this is a tough workout normally, but Aaron’s legs were extra-tired from eight hours (!) of mountain biking on Saturday, and mine were extra-tired from my 13-mile long run.

I coped by going a little easier on my legs than I otherwise would have, and Aaron coped by, uh, pushing himself even harder. This is why he wins all those mountain bike races, and why he was constantly at the top of the Flywheel leaderboard! I was somewhere in the bottom third… heh.

Regardless, I got a GREAT workout, and I love being able to see my stats from the class in my Flywheel account.


Maybe this is standard for spin classes, but I’m still impressed by all this fancy shiz!

Perhaps this is why the classes are $25 a pop, or a little less if you buy a package or monthly unlimited membership. At that price, Flywheel is not going to be a regular thing for me, but I enjoyed the experience and it was fun to try something new with Aaron! Plus, it was nice to get my cross-training done first thing in the morning and burn some calories in preparation for Aaron’s belated birthday dinner.

He didn’t get enough cycling in for the day, apparently, and took his vintage penny-farthing for a spin around the neighborhood before dinner.


Ha! This has been taking up space in our condo for a while, so we brought it over to his parents’ house to store for a few years until we get a bigger place. They are so nice. : )

It was a total Paleo cheat night. We had grilled cheeseburgers with buns and all the fixings, corn on the cob, and an epic birthday cake that Aaron’s mom made from scratch.


That would be a three-layer chocolate cake with Oreo-buttercream filling and regular buttercream frosting on the outside. Plus, a bike and more Oreos on top!


Notice Grandpa O being awesomely happy in the background. FYI: He is 87 and swims laps three times a week. He’s the healthiest, most spry octogenarian I’ve ever met.


WHAT. Oh, it was good, y’all.


Greta and I were matching, and I demanded we take this photo to document it.


Aaron, Greta, and Grandpa O being all cute.

Now it’s time to get back on the healthy eating train after a weekend of indulging. We went out for pizza Friday night and the leftovers stretched into Saturday and Sunday… urgh.

I loved this blog post I read today called I Eat Whatever I Want about Paleo eating and cheating:

“Sometimes, I really do ‘want’ a delicious drink and some Mexican food that maybe isn’t totally paleo-compliant. And so I have it. And I don’t fret over it, mentally beat the crap out of myself or otherwise wise have a personal breakdown. I eat it, have fun, and then steer the paleo truck back onto the road again. And if I realize, with some post-fun regret, that maybe that wasn’t *really* what I ‘wanted’ for the long-term, I chalk it up to a learning experience and drive the fuck on.”

Everything I ate this weekend tasted amazing, and I don’t regret it, but I don’t like how bloated I feel after eating processed carbs, how gross my mouth tastes after eating lots of sugar, and how… umm… unpleasant some other things are after eating dairy. It just reminds me how much better I feel while eating Paleo and really look forward to going back to feeling that way.

Aaaaanyway, I’m excited to get back on track and start week 10 of marathon training tomorrow!