Friday, September 27, 2013

Fall Friday: I'm so Glad/Five Fun Things

Fall is definitely in the air. Even when it is warm {we've been having days in the 80's} you can feel the crispness in the air. The nights are chillier and the leaves are beginning to turn. School is in full swing and harvest is underway. 
^^Yes, Yes!

5 Fun Fall Activities:

1. Run a Race: Fall really is the best time to run. The weather is great 
and the scenery is pretty {if you pick the right race that is}
Scenery from the Crazy Horse Half Marathon in 2011
2. Plan a Fall/Harvest Party complete with a bonfire. We used to have
a lot of bonfires but haven't in years {read since having kids} In fact we got 
engaged by a bonfire {complete with a candle walkway, peanut butter
m&ms, and sparkling grape juice.}

3. Visit the pumpkin patch. Whether or not you have kids, the 
pumpkin patch can be a blast.
Pumpkin Patch 2012

4. Learn to knit. There is something comforting about yarn in cool weather.
I love knitting, but haven't done much since I've had kids {sensing a trend here?}. 
If you want to learn check out your local yarn shop. There are usually classes
and there is something so nice about high quality yarn. {Hi, my name
is Renee and I am a yarn snob.} And if you knit a scarf you are ready for winter.

5. Make all of those pumpkin and apple recipes that you've pinned on Pinterest!
I definitely need to try This, This, This, and This!

What's on your To Do list this fall?
Any pumpkin and/or apples recipes I should try?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Person Behind the Words

I was so excited to start blogging, but I very quickly realized that it did not come as easily to me as I had hoped. The words did not come easily and I found that like in real life, it is easier for me to not say anything.  It's hard to put myself out there to let anybody and everybody to be privy to my life. But as I think about the blogs I like best, I realized that my favorites are the ones that I feel like I know them even though I have never met them. I want you to get to know me a little better and to start seeing glimpses of the person behind the words.

1. I can be very opinionated, but I most likely will not share it with you. I struggle to articulate my opinion and don't like disagreeing. I'm working on articulating my opinions in a practical way--writing product reviews for things I buy! I find nothing more valuable when choosing a product than a well written review.

2. I want to know the right answer. I hate how one study will show something is good and another will show the same thing is bad. Who is right?!

3. It's hard for me to express extreme emotion--hurt/sorrow or joy. I don't like to process the things that hurt and I can stay in denial {just a tip: this doesn't really work} and I also struggle to be extremely joyful over things. I tend to just hold it all inside.

4. I am an introvert. I don't do small talk well, but there isn't much better than good friends that I can really, really go deep with.

5. I have lists all over my house--grocery lists, to do lists, gift lists etc. And if I have written it down, even if I forget my list, I can usually remember most of it.

6. I didn't start drinking coffee until after my second child and that was because my friends drank coffee and I didn't want to be left out. I quit during pregnancy with #3 because it didn't taste good anymore, but now I drink coffee almost every day {with cream! I can't do it black}. I find it comforting and my husband and I have been trying to get up a little earlier together and spend a few minutes together {with our coffee!} before he goes to work.

7. I get extremely obsessive over researching things, especially if I don't know the answer. {It's back to #2!} You should have seen me researching running shoes and running injuries. It was just a wee tad bit ridiculous. Roadrunnersports is one of my top 6 most visited sites and I've never even bought anything from them.

8. I am not an independent person. I went from living in the dorms at college to married. Looking back, I wish I would have had to be independent. I never had to do things on my own and doing certain things on my own still scare me--I am getting a little better. I so admire people that are.

9. I can't stand the smell of cold tomato sauce.

10. My favorite nuts are almonds--I can eat way too many of them.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Coffee drinker? If so, what's your favorite way to drink it?
Tell me something about you.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fall Fridays: Beef Barley Soup

I absolutely love fall. It is by far my favorite season and the Nebraska weather is giving us glimpses of fall and it makes me so happy. I love the crispness in the air, the changing leaves, the cornfields turning brown. While spring, I think, celebrates new life, fall celebrates the culmination. It celebrates all of life. Running is just better too with the cooler temps and faster paces.

Well, any pace right now is faster for me after time off. I'm getting better. My IT Bands, while they still get sore, are not constantly painful and my feet for the most part feel good. I have been diligent with the strengthening exercising my chiropractor gave me and {started last Wednesday} I am going to do a full strength training routine 2 days a week. I back to running 3-4 days a week averaging about 30 minutes total with about three 1-2 minute walking breaks {per my training plan}. I find the walk breaks help me from getting so fatigued that my form suffers and bad form=injuries. I am definitely out of shape and it is discouraging sometimes. I fight myself daily over whether it is worth it--and it is so I keep going.

Anyway, in honor of my favorite season, each Friday I am going to post something fall related and I going to start with a SOUP recipe. I have a hard time eating soup when it's hot outside, but about the second the temperatures drop, I'm in the mood for soup again. Beef Barley Soup is one of my favorites. It is hearty, filling, cheap, and easy. It makes great leftovers and to top it all off, even my boys will eat it.

Beef Barley Soup

1 pound hamburger, browned and drained
5 cups beef broth
1-14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups sliced carrots
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup quick-cooking barley

In a large pan, combine hamburger, broth, tomatoes carrots and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add barley, return to a boil, cover and cook until barley is tender--about 10 minutes.

What is your favorite season?
Favorite soup recipe? I'd love to try it.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I'm still here.

Wow, I haven't been around for awhile. Honestly, haven't really wanted to write about running when I'm not running much. But my hips are starting to feel stronger and I have an occasional decent run.

I ending up having four appointments with my sports chiropractor. At the first appointment he gave me 4 different exercises and at the second appointment he added an abdominal exercise. The third, he gave me a harder exercise that worked the same muscles as the first. And the fourth, he told me I didn't have to come back again unless I wanted to :) Each appointment he did ART on my IT Bands, hip flexors and feet.

I have also found that a tennis ball in my hip flexors, hips and IT bands after a run has helped significantly as well {instead of a foam roller--the foam roller didn't help much.}

I left the first appointment feeling so encouraged, because I finally knew what the problem was and how to fix it. But the lack of running and the slow recovery have me feeling pretty down sometimes. I've had the little voice in my head questioning, "Is this really worth it?" and "Maybe you should just quit." I keep reminding myself over and over that I love running and I hate not running and I want to run for a long time. So I keep plugging along.

I have major race envy right now. I really thought that I would be in good shape by now and that I would be able to get some good races in this fall.

Well at least the temps are dropping!

How's your running going?
Any races on your calendar?
How do you quiet the voices that tell you to quit?