Training Recap


Hi y’all – I finished up another week of training for the Richmond Half Marathon this fall. This was my second full week working nights, and I had lots of wedding stuff to do, so I didn’t get as much sleep this week as I probably should have.

This was a step-back week for me, so my mileage was down.

Monday: Rest Day – Mondays are always tough because I’m coming off a Sunday with little sleep. My day ends at 7:30/8:00am, so you can imagine what that feels like! I was super tired, and tried to go to sleep as soon as I got home. It was a bit of a struggle because I was so tired. (Does that ever happen to anyone else?)

Tuesday: 2.5 mile warm up with 3 miles at 8:20 pace, .5 mile cool down. This was actually my best run of the week. I did it in the morning when I got home from work. (I needed to stay up “late” for a hair appointment.) It’s amazing when 8:20 per mile starts feeling easy. I don’t think I would have thought that a year ago.

Wednesday: Easy 3 miles – As predicted, I did not get enough sleep on Tuesday, so this three miles felt like a bit of a slog. Overnight blahs.

Thursday: 4 miles + strides for a total of 4.6 miles. This run felt slightly better, although I struggled with sleep again. I woke up about 2 hours early for me. In any case, that meant I could get this run in early, but it also meant that after I felt like I needed a nap. I didn’t get that nap because I had stuff I needed to do!

Friday: [solidcore] class – At the beginning of class, the instructor reminded me that she always makes Monday and Friday classes tough. She said that on Fridays she knows what we’ll be doing over the weekend and on Mondays she knows what we did over the weekend. I tried to assure her that I wouldn’t be doing anything bad, but it was no use. The class was tough, but exactly what I needed. I’ve been neglecting strength training for too long! I also had a handful of wedding related calls, plus an appointment for a massage. We worked on my hip (OW) which has been a consistent weak point for me.


Saturday: Easy 3 miles + strides for a total of 3.5 miles. I did this midday because J and I went to Old Town Alexandria to pick up my wedding band! That was super exciting! It fits my unique (read: vintage) engagement ring perfectly. We had to go with a custom design, which I love. I can not wait to wear it. Only 41 more days! (Oh and I might have done some yarn shopping too!)


Sunday: Ran Leesburg 20K. This is one of my favorite races, even though it is always super hot! I saw Oiselle teamie Pam, who was there to support her boyfriend (she gets the ultimate girlfriend award in my book). She even snapped this photo of me at the end.


I probably haven’t run outside enough in this humidity this year, so this run was a test of mental strength for me. Also I was just feeling really, really tired. I think that a general lack of sleep throughout the week caught up to me! Still, I was proud that I finished, even if it was quite a bit slower than I normally run for an easy run. Afterwards, J and I picked up donuts for my fam and hung out with my nephew. He’s cruising all over the place and he’s really quick. I’m thinking there might be another runner in the family ūüėČ

Total Weekly Mileage: 29.5

Miles for August: 97.7

I felt pretty good about this week’s running. One of the most important lessons I have learned working nights is that I have to cut myself some slack. I feel like I sound like a broken record when I say this, but rest is elusive! Your body just doesn’t like to sleep for more than a handful of hours at a time during the day.

Highlight of the week? Seeing Kate Grace run in the Finals of the Women’s 800m. Not only is Kate an amazing athlete, she’s also an incredibly kind and amazing human being. Not going to lie, seeing her get to semis and then finals AND running a PR made me shed more than a few tears. Oiselle ‚̧ԳŹFast Kate! Also 8th in the world ain’t too shabby for anything.


I’ve had three solid weeks of running¬†and I’m really grateful when I can get a run in. It really improves my mental outlook, and it probably makes me a less grumpy colleague!

 

 

Friday Links!

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Happy Friday y’all! My favorite day of the week – because I get extra sleep! Yee haw!

Here’s a collection of stuff that’s caught my eye over the past week:

I’m always on the lookout for easy breakfast options, and somehow I always forget about toad in the hole. I’ll have to put this in my regular rotation.

Slow Cooker Jambalaya? I am so there!

This is an amazing list of protein ball recipes. I keep meaning to try my hand at making protein balls – perhaps something for this Sunday’s food prep.

I absolutely have to try this recipe for mini polenta pizzas.

I love chickpeas and I love corn soup – so how could I not love Naturally Ella’s recipe for chickpea dumplings in curried sweet corn soup

I wish my bedroom looked like this.

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. There’s a new Urban Decay palette? There goes part of my paycheck.

Have you ever seen the movie Heavy Metal Parking Lot? I loved it (and not just because it took place at the venue where I used to go see hockey growing up). This update is really neat.

Make It and Love It had a great post with 40 sewing projects you can make with a half of yard of fabric or less.

The Collete blog explains why a tracing wheel is an essential tool for any sewing basket.

Emma Coburn bringing home the bronze in the steeplechase was amazing for so many reasons. Here’s why her victory lap was also noteworthy.

I knew I wasn’t the only one who was getting all fidgety about swimmers hopping up on the lane lines.

Can we all just give Andy Murray a big hug?

 

As usual, I’ll be back Monday with my training recap for the week! Happy weekend!

 

 

Training Recap


Hi y’all – I’m in half marathon base-building mode right now, just trying to get my mileage up into the 40s so that I’ll be ready to run that regularly for training for my half marathon.

I’ve decided to run Richmond again. It’s well-organized, it’s a late half marathon (although there are complications because it’s the weekend AFTER the election- bad for my job) AND its where I set my PR 3 years ago, so I’m looking forward to busting that open!

Here’s how my last week looked:

Monday: OFF. I used this day to adjust back to working nights. It was my first night back, and as predicted I got pretty bad sleep. I had to wake up early for a wedding related meeting. Sleep 1, EmO 0

Tuesday: 9 miles with a ladder workout in there pushing past half marathon goal pace. My goal pace is somewhere between 8:00-7:55 for this half marathon. So I pushed a little beyond this. I got it done, despite more poor sleep AND having to wake up early for my  wedding dress fitting.

Wednesday: 5 miles easy – I finally got better sleep, so I started to feel a little more human, my running though was still not the best.

Thursday: 7 miles + strides. I was finally starting to feel more like myself. Phew.

Friday: Off. I took this as a full on rest day to get some extra sleep. I did some foam rolling and stretching.

Saturday: 14 mile long run with the last 60 minutes alternating pushes. I am not going to lie – this was tough. I kind of wanted to cry and die at the same time? It was SO hot.

Sunday: A forced rest day as I had a horrible migraine. I was supposed to run 5 bringing my mileage to 40, but I just couldn’t ¬†do it AND get enough sleep for work to sleep off my migraine.

So I ended the week with 35.6 miles on the books. Not ideal, but not bad.

 

Friday Round-up


Happy Friday, y’all!

This week I’m pulling together some of my favorite links – things that got me thinking, things that inspired me, and things I’m adding to my wishlist!

Let’s go!

How the Arab World Came Apart – I so want to read this epic (and I mean epic) piece in the New York Times Magazine. I find the Middle East to be so fascinating and perplexing. I devour any article talking about the origins of conflict there.

North Korea Vintage Architecture– Fubiz has a collection of photographs from North Korea, and they are simply stunning. It’s always interesting to get a peek into a country that is so shut off from much of the world.

Masters of Love – This Atlantic piece suggests that successful relationships rely on kindness and generosity. This engaged gal couldn’t agree more.

Parents on Planes Don’t Owe You a Bribe – The Cut responds to a NYTimes piece on parents who hand out goodie bags to airplane passengers.

Vilifying the Russian Swimmer – I had so many emotions when Lilly King won her gold, but as this piece points out why it might not be wise to rush to vilify Efimova.

21 Times Simone Biles Was the Most Relateable Olympian Ever – Digging this Buzzfeed listicle so much. I’ve become a bit of a perfume person ever since my last trip to France. It was for work, and I arguably smelled my very worst.

Simone Manuel’s medal ceremony – I want to watch this over and over and over again. This is what the Olympics are about in my book.

The women’s Olympic Marathon is this weekend. Who is excited? (Me! Me!)

This twisted crown braid tutorial seems like it would be perfect for the summer heat!

Really curious about the new Elizabeth & James Nirvana Bourbon. The black Nirvana is my go-to special occasion scent.

I kind of love this leather bag. Who would have thought that I’d find it on Amazon?

A colleague turned me on to this site – which is making me thing I ought to start collecting enamel pins.

Also – I am a firm believer in “Team Eat More Tacos

Happy weekend to you all! I’ll post a training recap for the week on Sunday!

 

How I Handle Working Nights

I have a job that requires me to work nights for considerable parts of the year. My schedule varies – but usually I come in around 11pm and I leave around 7am.

There’s a lot about this shift that can be tough. It is hard to sleep during the day. It can be hard to make appointments during hours when you are awake. Sometimes friends will go long periods of time without seeing you.

But there are some upsides too – the gym is way less crowded at 9pm than it is at 9am. I almost never have to wait in line at the grocery store late at night. And I can attend off-peak fitness classes.

I have a couple of tips of how to make working nights a little less taxing. I should say from the outset that I am not an expert in anything – so please take what I say with a grain of salt!

SLEEP

Prioritize your sleep. You have to guard this with your life. On days when you don’t need to make an appointment at 11:30am, don’t. Tell friends and family that you will need your rest, and stick to your sleep plan. A couple of things that make sleeping easier? Blackout shades, a good sleep mask, and a white noise machine. I bought this one, and it’s eliminated my need to use earplugs. Having some way to block out the noise is essential, because there are so many noises during the day.

EAT AND DRINK

my lunch bag, from Blue Q

I really try to focus on my nutrition while I’m working nights. I plan meals out in advance, and try to keep them balanced. My stomach is a little funny at night, so I try to keep things simple. I usually have a small sandwich and some sort of fruit when I get in. Then, around 6am, I grab a pot of overnight oats. I love overnight oats, and I have a couple of recipes I rotate through. One constant?¬†Big Spoon Roasters . I think that they simply make the best nut butters out there. ¬†I am a bit of a nut butter freak, but once I had Big Spoon Roasters there was no looking back.

We got this little pot of nut butter at Bird Camp, and since then I’ve bought many more jars!

My favorite flavos is Chai Spice. If you like the spices of chai, this is AMAZING. I keep my cupboard stocked, and I use the little pot we got at Southern Bird Camp to keep at my desk at work. Sometimes, I will just dip my spoon in for a little sweet treat.

Hydro Flask and yes, I once got to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for work!

I also like to keep a big bottle of water with me. My Picky Bars Hydro Flask is great, because it keeps water cool for a LONG time. I’m often sitting at my desk for awhile, and I love having cold water. The Hydro Flasks will also keep your water cold even in a hot car. I’ve used mine at the beach, at the track after a hot run – they’re amazing. Fair warning, they’re¬†little spendy upfront, but definitely worth the investment in my opinion.

MAKE TIME FOR EXERCISE

Oiselle spandos for the win

This is something I have to constantly remind myself to do. Working nights has a way of making me feel¬†off, I often say I feel like a slug – dragging my body along. I realize it’s not the prettiest picture, but I don’t know how else to describe it. When the weather is cooler, I like to go for a run in the morning after work. When it’s hot, I’ll usually go to sleep right after work. Occasionally I’ll go to an early morning yoga class or a strength training class. I’ve become a huge fan of [solidcore] which is a workout that TOTALLY kicks my butt and gets me ready for sleep.

I like to try new studios, and new workouts when I’m working nights, too. It really gives me something to look forward to, and it feels like a bit of an indulgence. These aren’t always classes at a studio, sometimes I’ll just pull a workout off of my pinterest board or find a workout video on YouTube.

When working nights, I like to keep¬†a set of workout clothes with me, just in case I am inspired to workout and I don’t have a workout planned.

TAKE CARE

Having a little personal care ritual is key to making me feel a little more with it. I don’t wear makeup when working nights, and I don’t usually dress up. So having little things like face masks and good lip balm help me feel with it.


This is just what I have on hand in my work bag, but I’m a big fan of self-care rituals that feel like little pampering moments. This cooling eye stick so so soothing for me at night. And though the Sugar lip balm is pricey, it’s a little luxury I always allow myself. Another ritual I love is hydrating gel masks. I’ll use one per week while I’m working nights. I justify it by saying I’m saving money by not eating out for lunch, and each mask costs about the same as a lunch out.My favorites right now are the Boscia Tsubaki Oil Deep Hydrating Hydrogel Mask¬†and the Farmacy Hydrating Coconut gel mask.

I do suffer from migraines, so I always try to keep some pain relievers on hand. This small travel Advil bottle holds some advil, as well as a couple of my migraine pills (just in case). I find that if I’m able to nip my migraines in the bud, sometimes I can keep them at bay.

HAVE A CREATIVE OUTLET

One thing that is hugely important for me is having a little creative outlet I can turn to. Sometimes I feel really isolated, like I haven’t left my house but to go to work. I have found that when my “maker” instinct is appeased, I felt much better.

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Current WIP (work in progress) is Hei by my very talented friend, Olga. 

For me, I love turning to knitting. It’s portable, and something I can do in downtime. I usually schedule projects that are easy to put down and pick up again. I’ve also enjoyed learning to sew a lot lately. I can think of so many things that would be relaxing – learning a new skill, practicing an old one…anything that gets those creative juices flowing. Staying inspired is so important.

Those are some of the things I do to help making working nights a little easier! I hope this is helpful for those of you who might also work nights, or have a friend/family member who works nights!

 

**All of the links above are to products I have purchased with my own money. There are no sponsors of this post. 

 

 

 

 

Half Crazy & Bullet Journaling

So I had made this deal with myself that I wouldn’t really train for a race this fall because I’m getting married.

And mind you, I’m not one of those crazy bridezilla types (or at least I don’t think I am) but I was simply taking in what all of my friends who are married told me: planning a wedding could be a job in and of itself.

They were so right.

We’re not planning on a having a large wedding (fewer than 100 people) and yet there are so many decisions that have to be made – from table linens to first dances.

BUT I cannot help myself – I signed up for the Richmond Half Marathon. It’s the course where I set my half marathon PR back in 2013, and I would like to bust through that PR again.

There are, of course, challenges. I’ll be working nights for the foreseeable future (read: till the end of the year). That has taken a toll on my training in the past.

I’ll be getting married – and going on a mini-moon after our wedding.

But for the most part, I am doing my best to build a nice base right now. My mileage is in the mid-30s and hoping to get it into the 40s for a majority of my training period. I ran my best half when I ran a lot of 13 mile runs. It made such a difference when I was used to that distance.

I’ve been doing a bit of fun stuff too – I’ve plotted out some sewing projects and I’ve got a knitting project going, and another queued up. I’ve found that crafting and reading have been tremendous stress relievers for me when I start to feel¬†overwhelmed.

I’ve been keeping organized with my bullet journal. I’m not sure I’ve talked about bullet journaling on the blog before, but I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful in keeping myself organized. If you do any sort of search for “bullet journaling” (or BuJo) you will go down an amazing rabbit hole. And, as someone who is already inclined to collect office supplies, finding ways to keep myself organized and on track has been fun.

One of the things I love about the bullet journal is that it is¬†yours to customize. If something isn’t working for you – you can change it up. This is something I always struggled with in my previous planners/calendars. I was stuck with the format of the calendar for a whole year.¬†Here’s a peek at my spread this week – you’ll see a lot of running related stuff on there. I started using this “rolling week” where one half of one page is dedicated to a weekly layout- that way you can see your entire week in one glance.¬†

I’ve been in the practice of continually tracking some habits that I’m trying to form (taking my daily multi-vitamin, probiotic, keeping up with my allergy meds) and I’ve been using a habit tracker for that. I know it looks tedious, but it totally works for me.

I also use my bullet journal to jot down notes and to curate lists. I’ve got lots of lists for the wedding – of who needs to be paid and when. I also have lists for books to read, recipes to try, goals for the year, and strength training routines.

It’s become more of an indispensible tool when I am working nights. I tend to be quite forgetful, so ¬†you’ll see that I even jot down simple things – like what I am planning to eat for dinner. It’s one less thing I will have to think about when my mind is super tired.

What do you use to help keep yourself organized? 

Have you ever tried bullet journaling? 

 

 

 

 

Running + Wedding + Making

So much has been going on lately.

I’ve been on the move a bunch with work, running and a new hobby: sewing.

For work I was preparing for coverage of the Democratic National Convention. I’m a producer, so I had a lot of reading up to do, a lot of phone calls, a lot of meetings. This pretty much consumed my thoughts and time for the last several months. I was in Philadelphia for a little over a week, and working as a journalist during a convention equates to no sleep. I’m getting better about functioning for days at a time with minimal sleep. (We got about 2-3 hrs per day. I maxed out at 5 one day, which felt luxurious.) Needless to say there wasn’t much running either.


On the running front, training has been up and down. My goal race is the Richmond Half Marathon in November. I am aiming for a sub 1:45, we will see how that goes. It would be a big improvement for me. My PR is 1:49:29 – and that’s several years old. Right now I am just working on getting my mileage up into the high 30s low 40s. It’s been a bit of a struggle the last several weeks, but I’m trying not to let that get me down.

Oh and I’m still planning our wedding! I am in the “a million little things to do” phase. I’ve been uying gifts for our wedding party, renting chairs for the reception, filling out questionnaires for our photographers, finding just the right “unplugged ceremony” sign, sorting RSVPs, trying on the prototype for my custom wedding band … it’s an adventure to plan a wedding. I haven’t felt super stressed about it, yet. I expect that will come, but I think work has kept me busy enough that I don’t seem to have the time to stress. Plus, there are some things I just didn’t want to stress about. For example – I didn’t want to have to stress about a seating chart, so we tossed the idea of a seating chart. One of the great things about weddings is that you can do them your way. Everyone won’t be happy, but I figure that’s a great exercise in preparing you for the rest of your life as a family. I hear letting things roll off your shoulders is an excellent life skill.

I have surprised myself with how excited I am to have my first fitting for my wedding gown in a couple of weeks. If there ever was a dress that is so totally me, this is it and I am beyond excited to wear it.

Speaking of  dresses, and clothes … and amazing new make space opened near my home. Stitch Sew Shop is in Old Town Alexandria, and it has everything a maker could dream of. There are gorgeously patterned fabrics, notions, fashion forward patterns – and they’ve got a set of sewing machines you can rent to work on your own creations. Plus, they offer classes. I started with a sewing primer (it had been years since I turned on a machine). Since then, I’ve taken 2 more classes. The first was for the Wiksten tank which I made out of a woven cotton ikat. I loved the drape I with the fabric.

 Since I made this tank, I made a Wiksten dress as well out of a very lightweight hand printed cotton from India. I took that dress with me to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention and I was glad I did! The lightweight fabric, plus loose shape of the dress was the perfect antidote to the hot, humid heat we experienced up there.


 

Just yesterday I took my second class (it gave me something to look forward to while I was working long days!) and we made this super cute clutch.

 

I was so excited that I took this out last night on my mini-date night with Josh.

 

Needless to say, I’ve fallen in love with Stitch – it’s such a beautiful space, and the people who work there are the FRIENDLIEST. They are so invested in you having a positive experience. If you ever find yourself in DC, I highly recommend checking out their classes, or just visiting the space and getting inspired by the shop!