Sleep Over

Over the weekend I had the pleasure to help a friend celebrate her upcoming wedding! My friend, Samantha, is getting married in August and we had her bachelorette party over the weekend.

I’ve known Sam for over 11 years. We worked together in my last job. She was the “floater” who would cover the people on vacation or leave so we met one day when she was covering for someone in my unit. We became friends right away. Sam is an awesome, funny, smart, strong lady who is the QUEEN of PUNS. 😀

On Saturday a group of people got together for lunch to start the party! We met at Matador–one of my favorite restaurants (and where we had our rehearsal dinner!).

I got the street tacos and the brussels sprouts. The sprouts were AMAZING! So delicious! I got a Mojito (they usually have Boneyard on tap but not this time, bummer!). There were 12 of us there to celebrate this awesome lady.

After lunch we had some time to kill before we could check in at the AirBnB so we stopped for gelato:

After that we all headed to the house that was rented. It was in Sandy, so not far from Mount Hood. I was the first one there and got to poke around before everyone else saw it. WOWZA. That house was stunning! There were several rooms with king sized beds and then a few rooms with bunk beds. But that view…words cannot describe how gorgeous it was.

Oh and…there were a lot of animals heads. LOL

And a fire pit:

We were pretty high up but the view was stunning and we could still hear the Sandy River below.

Every body else arrived and we unpacked and unloaded the beverages and picked out our sleeping arrangements. Then settled in for the evening. There was a lot of just hanging out, especially on that deck. I mean, how could you not?

Sam made everyone dinner, despite numerous and frequent requests from guests to help or do it for her. But she wanted to cook everyone a meal to show her gratitude and love. I mean, what an awesome person, right! She made a tofu curry that was absolutely delicious!

There was some wine and some of the ladies brought whisky and tequila (no thanks!!).

Group shot!

Then the fire and roasting marshmallows and making s’mores.

As the sun started to set, Mount Hood poked out of the clouds for the first time. It was breathtaking. There were bats flying around, it was a warm summer night and no one was in a hurry to do much of anything. Before we knew it, it was dark.

We had this gorgeous cake for dessert:

And just hung around around the campfire. My favorite summer activity! I think we all went to bed around 11:30 (party animals!) and it was a nice, quiet house for sleeping. I slept pretty good with my bunkmate in the king bed. She joked that we had the same bedtime routine: eye masks and ear plugs!! I woke up a few times kind of early in the morning because I could smell someone downstairs making coffee. It wafted through the house but I was so sleepy and lazy feeling I just kept going back to sleep. Then up for breakfast with the ladies.

Fresh fruit, granola, yogurt, coffee and mimosas for whoever wanted them) and someone made a “buckle” coffeecake. I’d never heard of it before but it was SO GOOD! It was basically coffeecake with a ton of fruit in it. It was a pretty slow morning. I enjoyed some coffee out on the deck in the sun. It was already a pretty hot day. Then it was time to pack up and say our goodbyes.

I had SO much fun celebrating my friend! She’s an awesome person and I’m so excited for her wedding. And I got to widen my friend circle and made some cool new friends. It was a very fun, relaxing, empowering weekend of ladies!

After leaving I went swimming and then home to my boys!

Running Challenges

I am so glad I am back to being able to run on a regular basis! I LOVE it. Swimming is my #1 happy place–that is where I feel the most relaxed and happy but running is a close second. Running makes me feel strong, powerful, and happy. It boosts my mood. It reduces my stress level. It helps me manage my anxiety. It really is the best thing for healthy living, in my opinion.

Recently there was some guy on twitter, I can’t remember who–I think he was a professional runner or coach–who said that if you weren’t running less than a 10 minute mile, you weren’t a runner. There was a huge backlash, rightly so, and I hate to admit that his asinine comment has stuck with me since I read it.

I was very offended by that comment. I’ve never been a fast runner. Back in the day when I was about 20 pounds lighter and 10 years younger, I was running between a 9.5-10 minute mile and I felt pretty good. Then I had a series of running injuries. THEN I had a baby.

I was slow getting back to running after having Logan. I was working on strengthening my core and my pelvic floor. I was sleep deprived. I was breastfeeding…so I started slow. I’d go for long walks with Logan in the stroller and eventually I’d start jogging intervals. Eventually I built it back up.

But guess what? I’m still slow. I’m REALLY slow by most people’s standards. I take walk breaks. I don’t push myself to over-exert myself. WHY? Because I would rather be a SLOW RUNNER than an INJURED RUNNER who can’t run.

There are a lot of challenges with being a runner. One of them should NOT be the offensive, negative comments of “elite runners” judging us slow runners.

Anyway, I currently run twice a week during my lunch break at work. I’m back to running the waterfront loop in downtown Portland, which is around 3-3.5 miles long. If the weather is crappy, I use the treadmill. Not my favorite but it’s better than nothing. Right now I am sticking with twice a week but maybe by the end of summer with try 3 days a week.

Running Challenges

Being Slow

Does it matter? Like I stated above, is it THAT important to be fast? Or is it more important to just being able to do it at all?

One of the things I’ve noticed most about when I’m feeling extra slow, I look to my diet. When I was trying to limit the amount of carbs I ate to lose some weight, my runs were AWFUL. I was slow and tired and lethargic. My legs felt like lead. But I’d eat carbs and have a better run.

 

Being Sore

I would cross-train before I even knew it was a word. I think it’s really important for your body to do DIFFERENT types of workouts and vary it up a lot. It’s especially important mentally, too. I don’t know about you but I get bored doing the same thing over and over.

My current routine is – 

Sunday – Swim

Monday – Run

Tuesday – Rest Day

Wednesday – Weight lifting & Elliptical

Thursday – Rest Day

Friday – Run

Saturday – Big weight lifting day & cardio (bike, elliptical or stair-master)

I switch things up according to schedule stuff and if the weather is nice, I will run outside. If it’s bad, treadmill. Also, in the summer we usually do a lot of hiking. We’ll see if we do that this summer!

I also think including weightlifting in your routine is really important. Don’t skip it and just do cardio! Lifting weights has made me stronger and healthier and has kept me from getting injured running. Rest days are crucial as well, and I also space out my runs. I never run two days in a row. Having at least one day in between my running has been very beneficial for me.

 

Boredom

Sometimes running is really boring. Especially when you do the same routine all the time. Before I had my baby, I went to the gym after work and had a similar routine. One day I’d lift weights and the next day I’d run on the treadmill. After having Logan, I stopped going to the gym after work so I could spend time with him. Now I work out during my lunch break at work. It’s helped a lot and gives me more time for fun stuff after work plus it breaks up the work day!

The downside? I get bored doing the same thing. Running the water front is great, especially in summer! It’s sunny and warm and pretty. But the same route can be a snooze. So I switch it up each time. Since I do a loop, I go a different way each time. I’m basically doing the same run each time, but changing where I do it and I how I get to the waterfront. Sometimes I run on different bridges, or go a different direction. Whatever works to break up the routine.

Other tips are to run to a destination (which can be hard if you are on limited time), doing intervals, trail running, hill repeats, or run with a friend. I’m too slow right now to run with my friends, but I USED to run the waterfront with coworkers. It was fun! And they always pushed me to go a little faster than what I usually did.

 

Treadmill Boredom

The treadmill sucks. There’s no way around it. But sometimes that’s your only option. My suggestion? NETFLIX.

When I run on the treadmill during my lunch break I watch Netflix on my phone. I rarely have time to really watch TV these days, so it’s a nice thing! I recently watched the newest season of Bosch on Amazon Prime. I watched “The Five” on Netflix (outstanding!) and currently working through “Safe” (Dexter with a bad British accent but it’s pretty good). That’s really the only suggestion I have. Because the treadmill sucks.

QUESTION: What are some running challenges you face? Any other suggestions?