Family Vacation in Minnesota + My Sister’s Wedding

Craig, Cullen, and I are back from our week vacation in Minnesota where we spent time seeing family and celebrating my sister’s wedding.

Kristy and Nick

Photo taken by Rochelle Louise Photography

I forgot my phone in Anchorage while we were there, so I didn’t update Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook with anything last week. While it was kind of nice to be disconnected, it was also kind of annoying, but now we can catch up on everything we did while we were there!

Craig and Cullen actually flew out a weekend early, so I had threes days to myself in Anchorage. This was the first time I had left Cullen for more than 24 hours since he was born 22 months ago! It was so strange! I definitely missed them, but I was so busy I didn’t have time to think about it that much. It was nice to have time to myself and not have to pick up the house 10 times every day.

I stayed busy with working at the expo for the Run Fest races, watching one of my athletes, Sam, run the Run Fest Marathon, taking Sadie to the dog park, packing, cleaning, organizing, and getting the house in order, so I could come back to a clean house. (Isn’t that the best?)

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Sam running the Moose’s Tooth Marathon.

After the craziest time with my flights to Minneapolis, but I finally arrived Monday afternoon. We then ventured down to my parent’s in Waseca, MN for the wedding week.

Tuesday I had a hair appointment, and then that evening we met up with friends from the camp we used to work at. Wednesday morning Craig and I had a coffee date while the grandmas watched Cullen. We then had lunch at Out-to-Lunch in Waseca and then in the afternoon I went to a couple of pre-wedding appointments with my sister.

Thursday morning Craig, my mother in-law, and father in-law left at 6:15 a.m. for the Minnesota State Fair (a.k.a. ‘The Great Minnesota Get-Together’). Craig and his parents had never been to a state fair of this caliber as the Alaska State Fair is probably just a little bigger than most county fairs. I tried to explain the endless amounts of food, people, animals, vendors, and things to do, but I think they were pretty shocked when they arrived.

We were at the fair from about 8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and still didn’t see everything. We saw all of the animals, we almost saw a calf be born, and of course several different foods were tried. It is very common and popular to try and put as many foods ‘on a stick’ at the Minnesota State Fair. I even had a ‘salad on a stick’ which is in Craig’s left hand in the photo above. It was a bed of spring greens at the bottom with a scoop of a wild rice salad in the middle. The two skewers were a caprese salad: a grape tomato, mozzarella ball, a basil leaf, and then everything was drizzled with a balsamic reduction–it was awesome!

Friday was filled with decorating the reception venue, nail appointments, and the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

Then Saturday was the big day. We started out with an easy 3 mile run in the rain. Then it was off for hair and make-up appointments.

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The bride getting her hair done.

Then we all got into our dresses for pictures.

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Before too long it was ‘go’ time.

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The reception was held at a beautiful venue in Waseca. We, of course, had pork to eat (since my parents were/are pig farmers), and the dance was full of people dancing all night.

It was such a fun day, and I can’t believe my little sister is now married! It is so weird to think since I played mom to her as a baby feeding her her bottle, changing her diaper, and pulling her teeth as a kid.

I am so happy for Kristy and Nick, and I can’t wait to spend more time with them! (Now I just have to work on getting us back to Minnesota!)

Oiselle Lux Layer

I was introduced to the Oiselle clothing line after I started working at Skinny Raven. After I started following their athletes on social media and learning more about the company, I became drawn to the company’s compassion for their athletes and “club” members known as the Oiselle Volee team, which anyone can be on. They support their athletes unlike any other running company, while they simultaneously strive to make awesome apparel for women of many shapes and sizes.

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Now that we are approaching fall, I’ve started to wear more long sleeve shirts, and this Oiselle Lux Layer is pulled out of my drawer frequently.

I actually came by this Oiselle piece accidentally. I had called the company to place an order and was telling the Oiselle employee that I was looking for a warmer long sleeve shirt to wear during cooler spring and fall mornings when temps are around 40 degrees. The gal said the lux layer is perfect for that, and I couldn’t agree more.

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I have worn this shirt multiple times in temps between 40 and 50 degrees, and it is the perfect amount of thickness for those temps. It wicks the sweat and keeps me comfortable when the temps start to dip.

This shirt is made with the lux fabric, and is extremely soft and does not pill. The material has retained its shape, and I’ve put it in the dryer with no problems of it shrinking.

The cut of the shirt is very flattering. It is not too tight like a compression top but instead cut for a fitted look. The sleeve length is perfect for me-not too short and yes, there are thumbholes.

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The length of the body of the shirt is not super long as it hits right at the hips. I liked this shirt so much, I know own it in two colors (a gray color and this purple one), and I wear both of them often.

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Note: When I first started composing this blog post about a week ago, this shirt was still available for purchase on their website, but I no longer see it as an option. I sure hope they haven’t discontinued it! I apologize that I have just talked up a product and gave a review of something that no longer exists. So sorry.

Catching Up

I feel like I have a lot of randomness to catch you up on, so let’s get to it.

Featured Blog

I was featured as one of the ‘50 Women’s Running Blogs To Start Reading Now,’ and I am beyond flattered. I’ve been blogging since 2010, and this is the time something like this has happened.

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Hip Flexor Tendonitis

I haven’t had progress with my hip. I tried running again today for 10 minutes, and while it didn’t hurt when running, it bothered me afterwards. It bothered me in a different way than it has in the past though, which was strange. Usually the hip flexor tendonitis bothers me when I bring my leg forward (i.e. when my hip flexor muscle engages), but after the run today, my hip would hurt periodically when I would put weight on that leg.

My appointment with the physical therapist on Monday was very productive. It seems as though my hip is bothering me because other muscles in my hip/glute area are very tight, and those muscles are tight because muscles in my upper back are tight. (The area of pain is never where the real problem is!) I’ve been foam rolling and stretching several times throughout the day in hopes I can get back to running soon!

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Coaching

If you are thinking about running a fall race, now is the perfect time for you to get a solid training plan together. I have availability to take on more athletes, so if you are interested in online coaching, send me an e-mail! Check out my coaching page for more information. I love helping people of all abilities, and it is amazing how much people can improve with a specific training plan tailored towards them.

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Hiking

With my more relaxed training, I’ve been able to get out and do some hiking this summer.

Last week, Craig, Cullen, Sadie, and I drove to Eagle River after work, to hike Mt. Baldy. I did hike part of it last year, so I wanted to take Craig there this summer.

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Cullen prefers to walk, so it takes some coaxing to get him to go in the backpack. However, once he’s in, he’s a happy camper.

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It took us a couple hours to hike (most of the way) up and back down with a stop towards the top to pick some blueberries. They were too tart for me, so Craig and Cullen enjoyed most of them. Cullen was obsessed with them.

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I love this picture I captured of the two of them. I could have stayed up there all evening.

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New Recipe

This Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddah Bowl by Minimalist Baker is my new favorite dinner to make. I made it a couple weeks ago, and I plan on making it again this week.

The flavors blend so well together and everything came together rather quickly. I love one-dish meals like this.

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Hip Flexor Tendonitis

Injuries suck.

And I don’t really remember how much I hate them until I’m going through them.

Usually as time passes, I forget about something less and less, but with running, I think about it more and more as time goes by when I can’t run. And cross training is NOT the same. Nothing gives me the full body workout and leaves by body feeling refreshed and renewed like a good run.

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For 6 weeks now I haven’t been able to train. I’ve run here and there to test out my hip to see if it was better, I raced a half marathon, but there has been many more days of cross training than anything else.

I know one day I’ll be back out there pounding the pavement every morning, but it is going to take some time. I’m not sure how I injured the tendon in my hip flexor. I ran the marathon in June, took a week off, and then when I started running again my hip hasn’t felt the same since. I’ve gone to the physical therapist and the chiropractor. The physical therapist gave me one eccentric contraction of the hip flexor to do, the chiropractor said to stretch and ice.

I have been cross training nearly every day with the elliptical (until my feet fall asleep), the arc trainer (which doesn’t use my arms, so it is harder to get my heart rate as high), the stationary bike and my road bike (that has left my butt permanently sore), walking at an incline on the treadmill, and the stair stepper (which is the hardest workout of all of them). However, these things are not running and will never leave me feeling as fit and strong as I do with running.

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I know I reinjured my hip racing the half marathon 2 weeks ago but even since then I don’t feel like I’ve made any progress in getting better. At its worst, my hip hurts even when I walk, and I can feel it tweak when doing random things throughout the day.

I will continue to do whatever it takes to heal and get healthy again. These periods of time help me remember how much running means to me and how much I love it.

There were two other times I struggled with “injuries.” The first was in college when for 1.5 years I struggled with running. I ran, but it was not fun. I couldn’t run very far and every run left me completely winded. It turned out I was anemic. I started taking a multi-vitamin with iron and within a couple weeks I was back to new.

The second injury I had was pain in my “horizontal butt crack” as I like to say. There was one area where I would get a dull ache on my upper hamstring/low glute every time I ran. The pain was never unbearable, and I even ran a marathon with it, but I still knew something was wrong. Turned out I had a weak glute, so the two strengthening exercises from the physical therapist took care of it.

I know I have been very fortunate to have only a few (relatively minor) injuries over the years, and maybe I won’t even remember this injury 10 years from now. So for the meantime, I will do my best to keep my chin up and remember that these trials are when we grow and become stronger.

Oiselle Mac Roga Shorts – Review

Oiselle (pronounced: “wa-zell”) is a women’s running clothing company based in Seattle. I didn’t know anything about the brand until I started working at Skinny Raven Sports. Around that same time, Kara Goucher signed with them, which also peaked my interest.

IMG_3648 When browsing the website and after following their professional athletes on Instagram, you can tell this company is not your standard running clothing company. One thing that sets them apart from other companies is that the models on the website wearing their clothes are actual Oiselle employees. You can also see other photos of “real” people wearing their clothing in their #flystyle feed on the website when figuring out how something will fit different body types. Since discovering this line of clothing, I’ve purchased several items from the company and have grown to love many of the items they sell.

Top: Lux Layer ~ color: storm

Bottoms: Mac Roga Shorts ~ color: pop

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These Mac Roga Shorts were one of my first purchases and have quickly become a favorite of mine.

I heard from several of my coworkers the Roga Shorts are very comfortable to run in and a go-to pair for many of them. When I found out the company made a pair of Rogas with a shorter inseam called the Mac Roga, I was sold.

For comparison:

Mac Roga Shorts – 1.75 inch inseam

Roga Shorts – 4 inch inseam

Long Roga Shorts – 6 inch inseam

The Roga shorts are the quintessential Oiselle shorts, so whatever inseam length you prefer to run in, you can find something to fit your level of comfort and body type.

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The shorts have a 4-way stretch that makes them extremely comfortable and allows the shorts to move with you when you move.

I love the wide waistband on the shorts and the fact they sit lower on my hips. (I don’t care for a rise that comes near my belly button.) There is a drawstring in the waistband, but I rarely ever use it as the elastic in the shorts is enough to keep them up.

I also appreciate that the waistband doesn’t ride up when I run. In addition, the material doesn’t ride up in between my legs, which can be extremely annoying. (We all know, there is nothing worse than having to tug at your shorts every couple of minutes during a run.) I’ve never have to readjust these shorts during a run–everything is comfortable and stays in place.

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The cut and fit are flattering, and the shorts are long enough to keep your booty covered while running. (You can always opt for a longer length if you are worried about it.)

The zippered pocket on the back is nice for a key or energy gels. The fact the pocket isn’t centered might bother some people, but I don’t carry anything big or bulky, so this isn’t a problem for me.

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After running several hundred miles in the Mac Roga Shorts, they are still a go-to pair for me. The shorts are super comfortable, practical, and I’ve purchased multiple pairs of these shorts.