Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Hills Part 3: over the hills, through the woods

I have one week till my first official trail race, the Chester Woods 10 mile!! 

Friday morning I ventured out with my buddy Shannon (who I met once and then became FB buddies!) & her friend Paul for a 7-8 mile trail run at Lebanon Hills park in a suburb of Minneapolis. Just a few weeks ago, I ran some trails at an Urban park, but Lebanon Hills is definitely suburban which lends itself to trail running done right!!  

I wore my Pearl Izumi Syncro Fuel XC trail shoes which I love coupled with my recovery socks for compression to reduce fatigue and to protect from any wayward plants, burrs, bugs or what not's crowding the trails! 

Action Shot! 

Shannon is a spin instructor at a metro YMCA and a great runner, she has a half marathon coming up and loves running trails to prep! Isn't the visitor center wonderful with the plants on the roof? It was a beautiful park and a great morning! 

More beautiful action shots of our trails, not all were this wide, but we were cookin' right along and I didn't want to lose my groove by taking pics! After running with these two I am inspired to amp up my pace and really challenge myself!  Word up fanny pack! 

There were a few really picturesque clearings like the one below!

Do you run alone or with others? I have been really blessed lately to get some running in with a few small groups! I think there are definite advantages to running with others: 

Safety: running in remote areas, at night or in unfamiliar place in groups is safer than alone

Pace: Gives yourself a chance to challenge your pace if you run with people who are faster

Conversation:  as much as I love running and thinking, I also love talking to friends, you can pass the time and a ton of miles with good conversation! 

Change: Just mixing up where you run and who you run with can keep your workouts fresh and both groups can expand their route repertoire

Have a GREAT holiday weekend and be safe with your festivities!! 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Getting Motivated!

My week has been SO busy, I can't believe it's Friday and I have not posted as much as I have wanted too!! There is too much to say! 

Wednesday I had the chance to attend a GET Motivated business seminar in downtown at Minneapolis's Target Center. It was a day filled with amazing speakers, motivating messages and fun with my friend James a fantastic personal trainer I met at my internship! 

James and I in the Target Center! I really like talking with James because we both have big visions and big goals, we are well on our way to being rockstars in our own way. 

The speakers I REALLY enjoyed were: General Colin Powell, Tamera Lowe (who started the conference), Rudy Gulianni and the big gun of motivation: Zig Ziglar!! 

Apparently a few years back, Zig took a fall and has developed some memory issues because of it, but he and his daughter ran through a Q & A which was classic Ziglar and very inspiring to watch. It was an honor to just be in the same arena with someone like Zig, knowing all the people he has influenced and all the positive messages he has delivered.   

Tiny Zig on a stage! 

We had lunch at a pizza joint in downtown where we both rocked YUMMY salads and tweeted and talked. James is addicted to his Crack-berry!  Caught red handed!

I LOVE their garden salad, it's huge and healthy! 
I used to spend more time in downtown Minneapolis, especially when I worked there. The Target Center is across the street from First Avenue, the club where Prince filmed Purple Rain. Many a concert has been enjoyed there, it's a hoppin' place! 

Speaking of my internship, (I am careful not to name places by name!) I had been spending time there, even after my internship hours were logged and my certification arrived in the mail. I wanted to show up and step out the process. I put in an application to work there and in conjunction with that, there has been a lot of ACTION goin' on! 

Most training jobs are part-time gigs, so as I wait, I am also networking, meeting and speaking with others about more opportunities for the kind of work I want to move into-- my life's work!  I have so many options that are coming up, I almost don't know what do think--I KNOW it's blessings being poured over me! My Hot Action file though is overflowing with things to do and people to connect with! WELL, in some wonderful news, I was hired at my internship!! OFFICIALLY! 

I am SO happy, I feel like I am at home there, I love the people already and know that they will help me learn, grow and give me many more opportunities that fit who I am. The best part is working somewhere where we share the same vision! Tomorrow is actually my first shift! I will let you know how it goes. Thanks for reading you guys and Happy Friday! My POM Recipe for this week will be posted over the weekend! 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


It is official: I want a lap top! It was official before, but now I feel that it's logical!! I went for an early morning run with friends Jen, Alexa and Meghan!  The accountability of meeting someone for a run at 5:45 am is awesome: there was NO traffic, Minneapolis was quiet and the lake was beautiful!  I ran 6.75 miles and grabbed a coffee before 7am! 

I had dropped my stuff off right at the gym which is about a half a mile from the lake, so I took my coffee there, stretched out and started reading! I had an hour and a half till I had to teach my Group Fitness class! It was about this time I realized if I had a lap top I could be writing, working, scheduling... more productive. Hm. 

I am thinking something like this: A little pink laptop with a make-up kit USB! 

There is something to be said for taking a break, doing some real reading and unplugging, but there is something to really using my downtime between classes and meetings to check more off. 

I decided that it was a double run day, so instead of taking a huge chunk of time to do a long run, I did 2 medium length runs! I really liked it, the first run was so early,  and the longer of the two. Around 6pm I headed out and ran another 4 miles around the lake and home which seemed so short! 

  • Break up workouts
  • Help you train at a faster pace
  • Speeds recovery
  • Can be done on speedwork days as recovery runs
  • Ideal when you are running very high milage (50 or more miles a week (which I am NOT!)) 

I am giving them a try to get some more miles under my belt and have some fun. Run #2 was slower and shorter and ended with a trip to the grocery store--a spinach run!

I JUST missed the storm clouds rolling in! (quit flashin' that duck face!!)
When I got home I made a gigantic Green Monster with huge spinach leaves! It was not kale, but they were huge! It was SUPER thick. 

3 Cups huge prehistoric spinach
1T. cashew butter
One banana
1.5-2 Cups Soy milk (added more to thin it out!)
1/4 C. Chia Seeds--oops! I over measured, but it ROCKED. I think the Chia contributed to the thickness, you know how those little suckers hold liquid! 

Behold, The CHIA Machine! 

In a new glass and all! 
I know some people I follow like Shelly at It's just one foot in front of the other do 2-a-days, Do you? If you do, what do you like about them? 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Hills Part 2: Struggles

Without realizing it, I live by some pretty hefty urban hills, most of them long and some of them long and steep!  The first being the hill I live on, go figure as I am searching for hills to run, my road is a big long hill on each side of a main drag. Here is the view up one side: 

I took off down the hill and then up it and headed into the residential area following more long hills around to behind the Walker Art Center. 

The Walker is of course, a nationally known Modern Art Museum and this pic is me trying to squish the blue walking bridge that leads from the park to their fantastic sculpture gardens! 

I bet even you non midwesterners know our famous spoon and cherry :

Enough goofing, I took off up the steep hills behind the art center and worked on my running form: Fore foot to mid foot strike (SUPER easy on a hill), pumping arms, leaning into the hill, light quick steps. I ran 3 miles total of some pretty urban hills! 

Turns out, I really like hills, because I don't like to give up on challenges. 

I was talking with a friend of mine, also a blogger and I confided in her that I don't talk about ALL my challenges and struggles here on my blog. I am sure you can ALL relate, there are somethings we just keep to ourselves, things that are personal challenges. 

You guys have heard me talk about my feeling mediocre in the past, about being a trainer and not being a superwoman, about being a fitness instructor and not being the fittest in the class, about my not feeling smart. 

There are many other things I struggle with that I don't share, some of them because the blog isn't the place to talk about them and some of them because as universal as they are, they are still personal. I struggle with some fears of my future-- being so positive about it just helps to boost me up and although I have complete faith in God's promise to cover me with his wing, the unknown can be a bit daunting. I talk my way through it! 

I am single, but desire so much to be married with kids. It can be discouraging to always be in a waiting place and there are sometimes when that gets the best of me and I cry. BUT I can either see this as a waiting time or as prep time. I have talked a lot in the blog about preparation. When opportunity comes, it's too late to prepare! And I have learned to be selective and specific and now know that I am not waiting for an IF, I am waiting for a WHEN. 

Also, leaving my job was a huge leap and very exciting, but it was also a gigantic change. I think sometimes I make it seem like a big warm fuzzy everyday when I wake up, but it was a long and painful journey as I fought to discover who I really was and where I belonged. 

Being in jobs that didn't fit with my desires or even talents at times was NO fun, draining and left me many, many nights in tears. The leap was as about following my dreams, but it was about honoring myself too and what I deserved. 

This journey of mine, losing weight, getting sober, learning to find my value in Christ and my talents, reaching out and taking hold of my "Dream Job" with so many odds against me, but the most important supporter behind me,'s a journey that I had to go on. And it's no where near done. The thing about universal struggles and challenges is that despite being so universal they are often so close to our hearts that we don't open them up wide for everyone to see too often. 

 We are all at the bottom of our own hill: Steep, long, slippery and it can appear HUGE. 

They are probably bigger than the outward struggles we have, the points we count, the workouts we blog about.  Many of us are facing significant struggles hills ahead of us. Don't give up on your hills, your challenges! Tackle them one step at a time and look around you, there are others there to help you and to cheer you on!  Psalms 37:23-24 says "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand." You have more supporters than you realize!

See you at the TOP!

Monday, May 24, 2010

2 Blog events, one HOT weekend

Does Thursday count as the weekend? It does for me! My weekend and start to the week has been a whirlwind--I can't believe Monday is gone!! Anyway, I am going to appease you with just a few pictures before I hit the hay and meet up with a lovely group of Bloggers in the morning for a run and then teach! 

Thursday night a group of Minnesota Bloggers gathered at Nye's Polonaise Room in Nordeast Minneapolis for a food drive, fun, gabbing and of! 

Sam, Cindy and Jen

It was SO fun, thanks to Molly for organizing it and for working so hard to combat child hunger! You can read her recap and check out more MN blogger events here at The Snyder Five!

Saturday, a few of the same group of amazing bloggers got together for a networking event where we had professional head-shots taken by the wonderful Little Bean Photography Studio! I will post mine as soon as I get it! 

There was food and drink and it was a great time to talk and meet new bloggers and see some old friends!! 

Laurianna, Sally and me! 
What a fun afternoon! 

I went to two graduation open houses this weekend too, including my niece, Mandy (red dress in the middle) who graduated from high school!! 

Niece Marissa, Mom, Niece Mandy, Sister Bobbie & Me--the girls of the family, on a VERY windy day!! 

The weekend was just that, HOT and windy. I got in a good hilly run (blog to come) on Saturday before all my graduation madness.  But today was 95 degree's with 80% humidity and the whole week is supposed to be like that! Yikes--it's what MN is like in the summer! 

Hot and on a hill. Yep. 

Sorry for my lack of posts since Friday! 
Here are some coming attractions for this week: 

JOB update
NEW Green Monster Glasses
How my Career Change really started and 
The running hills part 2 & 3

It will be as riveting as a certain series finale, I promise.  

Friday, May 21, 2010

Spring Cleaner: A POM green monster

Happy Friday! I hope your week was wonderful, I had a great one and will be sharing some important news early next week and doing something a little fun on the blog! 
Here in Minnesota it has been nice and warm, so I know SPRING is well on the way out the door, but that doesn't mean we can't do a little last minute Spiring Cleaning!

This POM wonderful juice recipe is a variation of a juice that my co-op makes! 
I am calling this one: 

The Spring Cleaner


  • 1.5 C. Spinach
  • 1/4 C. Fresh Cilantro
  • 1/3 (to 1/2) Banana
  • 1T. Agave Sweetner
  • 3/4 C. POM wonderful Pomegranate Juice
  • 1/4 C. Lemon Juice

The Key ingredient: Fresh Cilantro! 

BLEND Away! The finished Product is a refreshing, tangy, light Green Monster with just a hint of sweetness. 

My first taste of the spring cleaner!! 
PERFECTION! I love this, it will leave you feeling refreshed and energized!
It's a great way to kick start the weekend!  

Rooftop Yoga and love


Yesterday I took a big brunch up to the roof to read, relax, eat and do a little movement--rooftop yoga! 

Greek yogurt, chia, strawberries, muffin top, toast, eggs, salssssa, COFFEE!

The Sun was Gorgeous, and look how BLUE the sky is, it was beyond lovely and a great way to relax. I took a book my Mom gave me called "You're All That" on our confidence in who we are, but ended up reading the Bible instead. People in the old testament made gods out of gold and brass, lugged them around, carried them from camp to camp to and they were a "burden for the weary". But Isaiah 46 tells us that God sustains us, carries US and rescues US. He takes our burdens and his yoke is easy!

I have little sprouts of spinach and zucchini in the mini renegade garden too!! I had a bit of a concern with Minneapolis squirrels, but not anymore! Grow, grow, grow little greens! 

Do you have a place outside that you can relax? Do you ever do yoga outside? I am thinking of getting people together for some rooftop yoga, but need a leader!! 

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