Sunday, March 27, 2011

Life Is Full Of Tough Choices.

The last few times that Rural Alberta Advantage have come to Minnesota I have missed seeing them, due to tickets being sold out before I had a chance to buy them.  So back in December when it was announced that they would be playing a show on March 25th, I bought tickets immediately.  Here is where the tough choice comes in.. Later down the road it was also announced that Sims and Volcano Choir were also playing shows the same night.  I could be fine with not seeing Sims, since I just saw him a month ago and he is from MN, so he plays a lot of shows here.  But, I would not be ok with missing Volcano Choir, after all it was their very first US tour date EVER and they only had one other show scheduled.  So we had to decide if we wanted to skip out early of RAA to be able to catch Volcano Choir.  Then I had the thought that we could skip RAA and be able to catch Sims' full set and Volcano Choir, and the Sims and Volcano Choir shows were right down the road from one another, so it would be easier to get from point A to point B (see picture)

I went on craigslist and found an ad that someone was looking to purchase 2 tix to RAA for $70.  Face value of the tix was $12, but I paid quite a bit more than this since I purchased them through TicketMaster.  I sold my RAA tix and bought tix for Sims and Volcano Choir.  So Friday night we were off to the Triple Rock to see Sims... I was pretty disappointed when I discovered that he was playing 3rd that night, not 2nd like we had thought.  We did catch sets by Mally and Astronautalis though, which were both pretty cool.  Sims did do one song with Astronautalis though, which was pretty awesome!  I also got to see almost the entire Doomtree crew hanging out at the Triple Rock!  At about 11:00 we decided to ditch out of the Triple Rock to head over to The Cedar for Volcano Choir.

We had a good view of the stage at The Cedar.  Joe and I both really enjoyed the Volcano Choir set.  I am pretty sure I could watch Justin Vernon sing for hours and hours on end.  The people behind us were pretty hilarious - I think they thought they were there for a Bon Iver concert, which it was not.  They made quite a few comments that I was laughing at.... ah silly kids! A video from the show, not my video, or my view of the stage... just a video I found on youtube!

Anyway, it was awesome to be able to see Volcano Choir's first ever US show - that, we will never be able to do again, but we will be able to catch Sims and Rural Alberta Advantage again.

Next tough choice...... making a decision on whether I want to run a 10k on April 30th... well, the decision has just been made, I just registered for a 10k!!  Someone save me!!!  I hope I can survive.  I think it would be a wise decision to start my training immediately!  Anyone want to go for a run??

When you are two the tough choices you have to face are things such as:

  • Deciding if mommy should be the big bad wolf, a monster, a dinosaur, a baby puppy or a ghost. 
  • To eat your waffles with blueberries and whipped cream, or just eat the blueberries and whipped cream
  • Should I watch Monster, Inc, Yo Gabba Gabba or Meet the Robinsons?
Oh the joys of being two, huh?  I wish life could stay that simple! 

One last note - my new favorite band is The Head and The Heart.  Check out this video of them and fall in love with them!

That's all for now!  Peace out.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Get Lucky 7K

February 10th, 2010 was the day that I registered for my very first 5k, which was due to some extreme pure pressure and lots of wine consumption.  When I registered for this race I had no running experience, and hated the idea of trying to run.  I tried to start out with the C25K program, but I wasn't very good at following it.  I remember going to the gym and trying to run, and I really had to push myself hard to run 60 seconds, like I had to push really, really hard.  I still have never completed the C25K program, but in the last year I have completed four 5ks and now a 7k.  I can now run over a mile straight, sometimes longer if I really push myself, my longest distance of running with no walk breaks is 2.5 miles... pretty good considering a year ago I could barely run for 60 seconds!

The race day plan was to drop Kara off at my mom's house around 8 and have Emily meet me at my mom's by 8:30.  I was wide awake around 6:45 in the morning, turned my alarm off on my phone and laid back down.... and then I woke up, looked at the clock and realized it was 8!  My mom lives 30 miles away from me, so yeah, I was running a little behind.  I got ready real quick, woke Kara up and we were off.  We ended up getting to my mom's around 8:50, luckily the race wasn't too far from her house.  Emily and I took off, made it to the parking ramp around 9:30 and then had a nice 15 minute walk to the starting line.

There were a ton of people at the race, but we somehow we managed to run into Carly, Kathy, and Kathy's brother and cousin - it always amazes me that we are able to find our friends in the swarms of people at the starting line!
Emily and I pre-race:

Me, Carly and Kathy pre-race:  I look like I just rolled out of bed... 

Emily, Carly and I kept together throughout the race, Kathy bolted off and she was gone (she is crazy fast!).  The air was cold, the temp was somewhere around 25-30.  We really had no expectations for this run, none of us had trained for this distance, and I had previously only run this distance once... which was 2 days prior to the race.  The last few months had been really difficult for me when it came to running, I had horrible shin splints in January, and had some really terrible runs in February - where I couldn't even run a quarter mile.  It's so easy to get discouraged when training for a run, but you are not able to run.

We ran the first 1.3 miles straight and then took a quick walk break.  They had flags posted for each kilometer, which was kind of nice, since a kilometer is less than a mile, so the flags came up quicker than if they had been mile markers.  We alternated running/walking throughout the rest of the race, but overall did more running than walking.  We hit the 5k mark right around 38 minutes, which is pretty average for us - I think it was about this point when we all got really hot, it's amazing how hot you can get when running in 25-30 degree weather.  The course covered some of the same ground that was covered when we ran the Torchlight 5k back in July, we were reminded of the brutal 90 degree, super humid, ridiculously hot day when we ran that race... I would choose to run in the cold winter over the hot summer heat any day!  

I was really worried that I would want to collapse at the 5k mark, I am always dragging my ass over the finish line at 5k's so I was really dreading the extra 1.25 miles we had to run.  Amazingly we just kept on running!  I was tracking our run using Runkeeper on my phone, it's really cool cause it will randomly tell you your distance, time and average pace - so I just listened for my little updates and we were pretty much pacing at 12 mins per mile, which is normal for us, and it was nice to hear that we were keeping on our pace and not falling behind.  At the 4 mile mark we knew we were getting close to the end, I was so ready to take a walk break, but I knew I could push through - so we kept on running.  It seemed like the finish line was nowhere ahead of us, we couldn't see it anywhere!  When it finally came into view Emily and I both booked it to the end!  Our official run time was 53:15, which I am very proud of!!  Here is our race results from Runkeeper.

Here is us with our medals post-race.  We Survived!!

A shot of my race number and medal:

And here is a shot of the hooded sweatshirt we got for running the race:

These are some typical comments we make while running:

  • Why are we doing this?
  • Whose idea was this?
  • Why do people think running is fun?
  • How do people really enjoy running?
  • I hate people that make running look so effortless.
  • Are we done yet!?
These are some typical comments we make after running (I think runner's high is to blame):
  • OMG, that was awesome!
  • We did so good!
  • I am so proud of us!
  • We totally kicked ass!
  • Let's do another race

I think the next logical step in my future as a runner is to run a 10k (6.2 miles).  Get in Gear has a 10k coming up on April 30th, the Get in Gear 5k was my first ever 5k, how perfect of a running anniversary would that be to go from a 5k to a 10k in a year?  I still haven't signed up for Get in Gear... but I am considering running the 10k.  I think a 10k wouldn't be so intimidating if I could consistently have good runs, but it's hard to have consistently good runs when you only run a few times a month.  I am going to work on running more regularly, and  I will keep you posted on my training and my decision to run the 10k!

Friday, March 18, 2011

2 posts in one day, what!?

Good evening, I am back with yet another blog post today.  The previous post really should have been posted 2.5 months ago, so it's not like I am really blogging twice in one day... kinda.. right?

My dad came down from Bemidji for a little visit a few weeks ago.  Kara was so cute when he got to our house, she went running up the stairs saying "Grandpa Wayne is here!!"  Kara generally takes awhile to warm up to everyone, so that was really cute to see.  While Grandma Wayne was here him, Jayla and Kara started a family band.. they have some pretty rocking songs!

Jayden didn't want to be in the band, but he did want to be a robot!

On Saturday, March 12th we had a surprise 50th birthday party for Becky, it was lots of fun!  We got to see some old friends, and some family members who live out of state/out of the Twin Cities area.  I think everyone had a really good time!  The day before the party I asked Kara what she wanted to get for Grandma Becky and she said "a hula-hoop" so off to Wal-Mart we went, and we actually found a hula-hoop.  I am pretty sure that Becky loves it!  I am having some serious issues getting pictures to upload to my blog, so checkout my facebook page for all the pics from Becky's party! 

Here is Becky and I at her party:

And Kara and Becky while Becky's siblings were singing her an original song about being 50.  I loved watching Kara while she was watching them sing, it was so cute!  

I taught everyone about 'Tranny Arms'.... Michelle and I were doing this one night and Joe meant to say "T-Rex arms", but it came out "Tranny Arms", so yeah, this is us doing Tranny Arms

Onto other things.  I am running the Team Ortho Get Lucky 7k tomorrow, which is 4.35 miles.  I have done absolutely nothing to prepare myself for this race, so yesterday I decided to go for a run.  I ran around Colby Lake in Woodbury twice, which totaled 4.55 miles - the longest distance I have ever run!!  See my running results here via Runkeeper. My total time was about 57 minutes, but I did stop at my car for a water break after my first trip around the lake.  After my second trip around the lake I decided to stay on the path that goes straight to the parking (there is a split in the trail where it either goes straight to the parking lot, or around the playground - the first time I took the way that went around the playground).... I wish I would have taken the other way!  I ended up going through this mega flooded path, basically a small lake in the road.  I tried walking through the snow, but the snow was just slush with a ton of water under it, my shoes were SOAKED!  So today my shoes got a bath and are all sparkling clean and ready for the 7k tomorrow!  

I will be sure to post a full race recap tomorrow, or Sunday.  I ate a Dove chocolate a few weeks ago, and this is what the message on the inside read:

I think this is trying to tell me that I should just run the 7k and have no time expectations.  Although, the way I see it I will be setting a personal best time record since I have never raced in a 7k before.  

And this is my race number, it's almost evil.....

Wish us luck tomorrow!!  It will be our usual running crew of me, Emily, Carly and Kathy!  I hope we kick this thing's ass!  Oh, and we get a free beer after!!

A Look Back: Polar Dash 5k

I realized the other day that I never blogged about my first 5k of 2011, which happened to be on the very first day of 2011!  That's right, no time for a New Year's Day hangover for this lady, although I do remember the morning of the race I wasn't quite sure if I was still drunk, or hungover, thankfully Emily handled the driving that morning!  We headed over to Carly's house where we met up with Carly and Kathy and then we all headed to the race together.  

Race Number!

Emily and I pre-race:

January 1st, 2011 was a very, very cold winter day, I believe the temperature was about -9 before the windchill!    Emily, Carly, Kathy and myself loaded on the layers and got ready to run, I even put handwarmers in my shoes hoping they would keep my feet warm, they didn't, they just made my shoes extra uncomfortable.  Emily and I had not prepared for this race at all, neither one of us had been running much since our last 5k on Thanksgiving.  So we were not trying to set any new personal records, all we wanted to do was finish!  With the frigid temperature and the lack of training all we cared about was finishing the race.  We ran our normal, slow pace, but of course there were plenty of large hills on the course, which always slow me down.  On the way to the race I had downloaded the Runkeeper app on my phone, which tracks your distance/pace/elevation, etc by GPS.  I think it was around the 2.25 mile mark that Emily and I realized that we were setting a really good pace for ourselves, and could possibly beat our previous best time of 37:41(which I had set on the very first 5k I had ever done).  Neither one of us acknowledged this aloud, as we didn't want to curse ourselves, so we just kept on running!  When we crossed the finish line I looked at the race clock and realized that we had probably just set a new personal record - also upon crossing the finish line we got these really sweet Polar Dash 5k finisher medals, with all this excitement I totally forgot to stop my running activity on my phone, when I finally got around to it I realized that our time was 37:46.  This race was chipped timed, so we were very anxious to see what our actual time was... it ended up being 37:01!!  Whoop Whoop!  So we went from only hoping to cross the finish line, with absolutely no time expectations, to setting a new personal record for the both of us!  The Polar Dash was very well organized and a super fun run!  I think we might have to do it every year.  It was pretty funny seeing all the guys with beards post-race, as there beards were covered in icicles!

If you follow this link you can view our race data (map, pace, mile markers, elevation) via runkeeper, it's pretty cool!

And we're Done!!  

And a shot of our group post-race:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thirsty Thursday

My sister always gives me crap for drinking multiple beverages at the same time, I have been known to have 3-5 beverages sitting in front of me at the dinner table.  So I thought I would share my beverages of choice today, and yes, they all have liquid in them, and I am drinking them all. 

Cup of coffee from home, an Americano from Caribou, a cup of coffee from a retirement party at work and a water (and yes, that is Edward in the background):

I would also like to take a moment to wish my Mother in Law, Becky a very happy 50th birthday!! 

I hope you get spoiled and have an absolutely fabulous day!! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happy March!!

It's pretty amazing to think that I haven't posted a blog for 2 months, it must be the crazy, busy, amazing lifestyle I have... there is just no time between the parties, spa treatments, shopping trips, vacations and all the other glorious details of my life to find time for blogging...   :) 

Back to reality:  Let's start with me.  I pretty much lost track of everything in February, there was no exercising, no healthy eating, no blogging, lots of stress and blah, blah, blah... so now that it is March I am really trying to focus on regular exercise and healthier eating habits (now that it's in writing I have to stick to it).  I went and signed up for a free 30-day pass to Snap Fitness last night, it is $10 less a month than my current gym membership, smaller facility, and much less people.  I tried out the treadmill last night and their equipment is definitely not the same quality as at Gold's, but I guess I can't really expect it to be, right?  The treadmill worked just fine, it turned on, tracked my distance, told me how many calories I burned, which is what matters.  I am going to try it out a few more times before I decide what to do.  I was also thinking about checking out Anytime Fitness to see what they are all about.  If I am going to go through the hassle of finding a new gym I might as well check out all my options. 

I am also trying to do more regular workouts at home using my lovely collection of workout dvds.  I had to buy a new copy of The Biggest Loser Cardiomax cause mine quit working, and that is really the only dvd I enjoy doing lately. 

I am signed up to run the Team Ortho Get Lucky 7k on March 19th... 9 days from now!  I'm doing it with my regular running buddies.. Emily, Carly and Kathy.  I am sure it will be a grand old time, although I am still scared of the distance, it's 4.35 miles and I usually only ever go 3.1... so that extra 1.25 could really kill me.  I had plenty of time to prepare myself for this race, but of course I didn't... so wish me luck! 

One last note about me.. I have officially lost 14 pounds this year, whoop whoop!

Let's move onto Kara.  She is absolutely, by far the most dramatic child in the history of dramatic children.  She will cry and cry and cry over the littlest things and there is no settling her down!  Our daycare provider has also commented on her dramatic nature.  She said that most kids will cry for a minute, then move on with their lives.. not my little Kara, she just doesn't quit.  On top of being dramatic, she is also incredibly smart, silly, loving and absolutely hilarious!  It's so fun to watch her personality grow, and see how similar she is to Joe and I, she really is the perfect mix of the two of us. 

Kara is and has been potty trained for quite awhile now, she wears big girl undies and rarely ever has accidents.  The only funny thing is that she absolutely refuses to poop on the potty chair, so when it's time to go #2 she asks for a diaper, then goes and hides in a corner and tells us not to look at her... it's pretty hilarious! 

We are also working on breaking Kara and her sucky (pacifier) apart.  She is absolutely 100% addicted to that thing, and I just want it gone!  I, of course and the softy parent and give in and give it to her even when I know I shouldn't.  It's just so much easier to give it to her than listen to her cry and whine about it!  She was doing really good without it for awhile, but now that she is sick(poor baby girl has strep), I just feel bad and give it to her... I am an enabler... 

Things that I think Kara might be when she grows up:
Musician - she loves playing her guitar, drums, recorder, xylophone, she just loves music!
Songwriter - when she plays her guitar she is constantly making up her own adorable songs about random things
Baseball player - she is obsessed with her Twins baseball shirt
Brew master - she recently told me that I need to buy her a beer t-shirt so that she can make beer with daddy!

She can also identify the following bands within seconds of their songs starting:  Trampled by Turtles, Mumford and Sons, and Jeremy Messersmith.  I can't wait until we can bring her along to some concerts.  I have a feeling that she is going to love music just as much as her mommy and daddy do!  If Joe and I are headed out to a concert and we are dropping Kara off with Grandma/Grandpa to babysit we try not to tell her where we are going, cause she wants to come with us!

Here is a pic of Kara with her guitar and new guitar strap that I made for her, notice that she is wearing her Twins shirt and her baseball hat, she thinks she's a boy:

Finishing touches of the guitar strap:

Shall we talk about Joe for awhile?  Where do I start?  Joe is currently laid off, and has been since the end of November.  He has been picking up hours at his part time job, but I just want him to get back to his full time job!!  We have had to cut back on how often Kara is in daycare, so she currently is going 2-3 days a week, depending on which days Joe works.  When they are home together they are typically busy cleaning the house, doing laundry, cooking dinner for mom watching cartoons?  Yeah, I guess I'm not really sure what they are busy doing... haha!  Hopefully Joe doesn't read this, he will probably kill me :)  Joe and his friends have continued brewing beer, there are currently 4 or 5 batches sitting in our bathroom waiting to be bottled, which I believe is happening this weekend.

Joe and I have been to quite a few concerts this year, and they have all been pretty awesome...  I'm not going to go into much detail, but here is what we have been to:

January:  Cash Only - A Tribute to the Man in Black, The Current's 6th Birthday Party with Trampled by Turtles, Roma di Luna, Jeremy Messersmith, Brother Ali and Free Energy

February:  Justin Townes Earle (This was on Valentine's day, and it was a really great show!) and the cd release party for Sims of Doomtree, where we also got to see Mike Mictlan, POS, Cecil Otter and Dessa... again, another really great show!

March - Gayngs Affilyated Showcase - ok, I have to talk about this one a little bit.  Gayngs basically took over First Ave and brought along all of their friends, and it was amazing!  Gayngs has somewhere around 23 people in the group, most of those people belong to other bands, and just about all of the other bands were on the bill to play that night.  They took over the mainroom, the Record Room and 7th Street Entry, it was pretty much like being at a music festival inside of First Ave, we will not be forgetting that night anytime soon! 

This is a bad picture, but this is how close we were to POS when we saw him in the Record Room, it was the coolest thing EVER!

Upcoming Shows:  The Rural Alberta Advantage on March 25th, and also possibly Volcano Choir the same day, and then Bright Eyes on April 4th (an early bday present to me!)

I can tell that this is going to be a great year for concerts!! 

So I think that is all for now!  Happy March everyone!!