body aches

Lavish & Lovely

Our weekend started pretty well. Daycare had a “date night” for parents and held a Halloween party for the kiddos so Michael and I got to go out to dinner just us. I think the last date night at daycare was back in June. Michael made the reservations for Laurelhurst Market a month ago and we were both really excited!

The place was packed. Glad we had reservations! We had a drink in the bar area while we waited for our table. The wait wasn’t very long. It was a cool space. We’ve been to Laurelhurst Market a few times but it’s been years for me. So this was a nice treat.

Laurelhurst Market is a very nice restaurant with a meat market attached to it. One of these days I’d like to get some stuff from the market.

Okay–the food. SO GOOD! We started with a few appetizers. The first was the bone marrow. Michael has been raving about it–he had it a few months ago when he was there for a work dinner and has been talking about it ever since. I’ve never had it before.

It arrived on a plate with a horseradish sauce (I usually hate horseradish but this was really good). It also came with a pretzel cut in half to share. The bone marrow was in the bone and there were some pickled radishes and celery on the side.

You used a tiny fork to get the bone marrow out and spread it on the pretzels. The flavor was really rich. If it sounds creepy, I understand and I can see where someone would be apprehensive. But it wasn’t creepy. It wasn’t amazing, but it was flavorful and went well with the other things on the plate.

The winner for me was the deviled egg appetizers. They were topped with thin slices of prosciutto. These babies were soooo good and I could have eaten a dozen of them.

I got a second glass of the delicious Sauvignon Blanc wine and then our entrees arrived

Michael got the Rib Eye steak with avocado puree and cowboy candy (I love cowboy candy!). I had a few bites of his steak and it was fantastic. Perfectly seared with a little crunch and rare in the middle. The flavors were outstanding.

I got the seared scallops. It came with raw fennel and caramelized onions, plus an egg yolk that you were supposed to swirl around in everything on the plate to kind of “cook” it. So the menu had said the dish came with some sausage. I kind of forgot about it and then realized that they made the sausage to look exactly like the scallops!

So there were two “scallops” in there that were actually sausage. The (real) scallops were absolutely perfect. I love scallops and haven’t had them in ages. So this was a really great dish for me. I loved my meal. It was so unique. I also had Brussels Sprouts on the side.

The sprouts were sautéed and a little crispy with jalapeños, maple syrup and radishes on top. It was slightly too sweet but I still loved the sprouts.

After our meal, we had some time before we had to pick up Logan from the party so we stopped at Papa Haydn’s to get some dessert to go. It was that time of year–pumpkin pie cheesecake! I really wanted to get that but Michael wasn’t into the idea (his loss). Boo! We ended up with a slice of New York cheesecake to go.

How good do these desserts look, though? Yum!

Our cheesecake was amazing, as usual. Papa Haydn’s never disappoints.

We picked up a very sleepy Logan who had had a fabulous night! Pizza, cupcakes and Halloween games. His face and fingers were stained blue from decorating cupcakes. So adorable!

The next day we went for a family hike.

It was a nice fall day, almost 60+ degrees pretty early and by noon it was about 70. The sun was out, it wasn’t foggy or cold like it usually is early in the morning. We decided to do Saltzman Road. It’s close to the city, so not too far to drive to. We needed something closer in town, so this was it.

We’ve done this hike a bunch of times. It’s a deceptive workout. It doesn’t feel all that strenuous and sometimes I kind of think it’s not worth a hike because the calories won’t be in there. But sometimes it surprises you and you do get a decent workout from it.

There were beautiful fall colors everywhere. It was a nice day for a hike. The trail wasn’t too busy, which was nice. Logan was doing well so we kept going past where we usually turn around.

We ended up doing the whole hike! I’ve never done it before–Michael did it once before without me. It was just under 6 miles round trip. Towards the end of the hike we let Logan out of the pack and he “hiked” for almost a mile. 😉

So we ended up hiking 5.75 miles! It might be the longest hike we’ve done in a long time. Like I said–this was deceptively hard. I ended up burning a pretty good calorie number.

My shins and calves were SO SORE afterwards.

After the hike we headed home for lunch, naps and showers. Logan was wiped out and fell asleep in the car on the way home. Unfortunately, when he woke up from his nap he was sick and we ended up spending a few hours at urgent care. 🙁 He’s ok, it’s just a virus, but it made for a bummer for the rest of the weekend. We left urgent care at like 8pm and got drive-thru burgers for dinner. Boo–so much for the diet for that day.

Things That Have Helped My Running

I was talking to a friend recently who is training for Hood To Coast and she was talking about how she hates running. Or at least, hates it until she gets out there and is actually doing it. Two things: 1) I think part of the reason I think a lot of people hate running* (*but want to do it anyways) is because it’s HARD and sometimes it HURTS….and 2) I love running. Love it. It’s hard. Sometimes it hurts. But I love it.

I’ve loved it since I started running 10 years ago. I started running because I was getting pretty close to my goal weight and I was full of ENERGY. Tons of it. Going from being obese and not very active to suddenly being athletic, I had tons of energy and it was just a natural progression for me to start running.   Some of my favorite running memories are the places I’ve run.

#1 – Hawaii! The below photo was from a run in Kona I did years ago. I absolutely loved running from our condo to downtown Kona, partially along the coast, and seeing the sights on foot. Whenever we go on vacation, my desire is to go for a run and see my new environment that way. Also, running with Michael in Maui on our honeymoon is one of my favorite memories of our trip, too. (And it started his interest in running!) The scenery was so gorgeous and the weather was perfect…and running along the ocean is amazing. It cannot be beat!

#2 – Vegas! I’ve run in Vegas many times and it’s so fun. You can see parts of the Strip that you don’t normally visit, a little off-the-beaten-path. The nice thing about running in Vegas is that you aren’t stuck in the Casino gym, you can people watch, and you are usually up early enough that it’s not as crowded. #3 – Santa Monica When we went to LA and Santa Monica a few years ago, I didn’t run in LA/Hollywood but I did run in Santa Monica on Muscle Beach. There was a boardwalk and path so you can run “on” the beach. 🙂 It was gorgeous. I seriously need to live somewhere with warm weather and beaches. 😉

#4 – Bend Back in May, we took a family trip to Bend for the time not in winter! It was so nice to be in the high desert in the summer time, with the sunshine and warm weather. And being in the desert, my body aches and pains vanished. I clearly need to move the desert. Basically somewhere warm where my body doesn’t hurt. #5 – Arizona Lastly, Arizona. I’ve been to Arizona a few times now and went for runs. The first time was with my dad. It was fun running with him (even though my 60+ year old dad was a faster runner than I was!) and we saw this snake: Obviously running with my dad was a fun memory. I also ran by myself the last time I was in Tucson for a friend’s wedding. It was nice just being out on the road with me, my music, the sunshine and the desert.

Running Injuries

This post is about tools and tricks that have helped me start running, become a better runner, and get over running injuries I’ve had in the past. It’s no secret that I am The Queen of Running Injuries. I think I’ve had most of them. Whomp whomp.

Runner’s Knee was the worst of them because it really sucked, it hurt even to walk during the worst of it, and it took forever to get over it. I think what makes me LOVE running so much is that for awhile there, I couldn’t do it. Not being able to run when you really want to makes you want it more. At least, it did for me.

Now on to the list!  

Knee Straps

For awhile there I was using K-Tape. I know a lot of people swear by it and I used it for a long time to help with my runner’s knee injury (that lasted several years) but the tape really did awful things to my skin. It ripped my skin, made it red, made my skin itch really badly…it looked terrible and if you were really sweaty, the K-Tape wouldn’t stay on. So, I did some research and found runner straps for my knees. CUE ANGELS SINGING. Thank goodness I found these “jumpers knee” straps on Amazon because they were seriously a life saver. They worked like magic with my runner’s knee and didn’t irritate my skin! I swear by these and still use them when I run, mostly out of habit now–not sure I still need them but slightly nervous to try running without them.

Garmin Watch/Heart Rate Monitor

When Michael got me a Polar Heart Rate monitor 8 years ago, I’d never used one before, didn’t really know much about them and didn’t understand why I needed one…until I started using it. It was like a light-bulb went off. I was suddenly able to see how inefficient I was at running and I used the heart rate monitor to help me train better and pay more attention to my heart rate in relation to pacing. Also? I was able to get a more accurate number of calories burned from each activity I did, instead of just guessing based on an internet website calculator. This REALLY helped me with my weight loss goals! I’ve recently switched over to a Garmin watch and absolutely love it. Check out my review here.

Foam Roller We now have a collection of foam rollers in our house and Michael uses them religiously every night. I use the foam rollers after running or some activity that I can tell I will be sore from (lower body weight lifting, for example). I seriously suggest anyone who is even sort of interested in running, or who does a lot of working out, to invest in your own foam roller at home. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a kink somewhere in my body that it fixed.

Strength Training and PT Exercises  A lot of things helped me become a better runner and get over my various injuries but I would have to say the most important has been strength training problem areas that are causing the issues. According to my physical therapist, runner’s knee is due to weak glutes. So I do a lot of focused work on that area and I’ve noticed a difference when I do it on a regular basis.

Check out these old posts about that:

Favorite Lower Body Workouts

Physical Therapy exercises

Oddly enough, what really seemed to help a lot with my Runner’s Knee issues was having a baby. After I had Logan and started getting back into running, I didn’t seem to have the same issues I had pre-baby. (Knock on wood!) One things I did have? Hip issues and low back issues after having a baby. Basically, I had no core. I’ve been working so hard for the last year to strengthen my core and get back into running shape. PT and core exercises have done wonders.  

Regular Massages/Chiropractor Visits Thank goodness for insurance! I can get 1 massage a month covered by insurance so I only pay $25 a visit in order to get a massage or see the chiropractor. In the past I could only get a massage a few times a year. Doing it monthly really has helped a lot to keep injuries from becoming worse. Check with your insurance company to see if they cover any of that “alternative care” options (sometimes they do but don’t tell you) and take advantage of it.

Runner’s Up: I wanted to add a few things to the end of this list. I think it’s really important to get fitted for running shoes at a running store, by a professional. It made a HUGE difference in the early days of my running. It’s often free, too, so what do you have to lose? Go get fitted! And don’t forget to replace your running shoes a few times a year.

QUESTION: What has been the biggest help in your running?