Falling into the Weekend

Really trying to keep these titles clever. It’s realllllllll tough. Also, I just painted my nails and am trying supes hard not to smudge them…also real tough.

Had the day off today so of course I’m trying to pack as much stuff in as humanly possibly. Woke up at 6am to Sam’s alarm, drank some coffee, did some strict presses at the local gym, then hit up the doctor for an annual check-up. What a super fun morning OMG **flips hair.* JK, that was weird. To reward myself for a clean check-up, I stopped at Target to grab a fall scented candle. I stood in the candle aisle for about 5 minutes sniffing all the different pumpkin and pine flavored scents (side note, why in the world do they have a candle flavored like flannel sheets? That’s just odd) and finally chose a pumpkin vanilla candle. Go team fall!

After Target I made a little stop at Chuck and Don’s for some dog food for little Ruthie before taking an A20 at Alchemy. The workout was a blast and a half per usual. For some reason, I have been getting super duper sweaty lately and it’s annoying to very annoying but whatever, I guess I’m just a sweaty human? It’s like I hit 25 and my sweat increased 2 fold (IDK what that even means it just sounded scientific) and now that I’m a day away from turning 28, I’m really curious to see what happens to my bodily functions. Anyway, I hit up a local hill post A20 for some hill sprints to conclude the days work. The hill is about .20 miles long and is right along the river in Minneapolis. I did 6 sprints with a nice jog down for recovery and loved every minute.

The rest of the afternoon was filled with vacuuming, dusting, toilet scrubbing, laundry-ing, and a little meal preppage. Oh yeah, and one more glass of iced coffee.

Now for part 2 of this post. Last weekend. OMG I can’t even begin to describe how fun/enjoyable/relaxing/exciting/FUN it was. Sam and I borrowed his mom’s mustang (I don’t remember what kind it is but it’s old and COOL and has red interior!) and met up with my parents for a weekend fall drive.

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My cute little parents
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Our ride for the weekend

The trip started from Hudson then drove down the Mississippi River road through towns like Maiden Rock, Pepin, Alma, La Crosse, Winona, Prairie du Chen, Ferryville…and many more. We took our time, stopped about every hour, and saw some really beautiful scenery. The road wound through all these tiny towns and followed the river tightly.

In Alma, we had lunch at Pier 4. I had the ribs and pulled pork plate and thought it was tasty! The baked beans were insane.

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Sup foo

The weather was super shitty on Saturday and it rained pretty much all day but it was actually v relaxing and made the drive super cool.

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Rain in the distance

After driving for about 5 hours on Saturday, we made it to Iowa. We stopped at a neat little park called Pike’s Peak in McGregor and boy oh boy was the view beautiful. I’m always amazed by the things in the Midwest. The Mississippi River blows my mind.

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View from Pike’s Peak

After stopping at the overlook, we were on to our final destination, Dubuque, Iowa. I probably never would have traveled to this city but I’m glad we did. It has the most amazing supper club I’ve even been to in my life. The place…Timmerman’s. It’s situated up on this cliff and overlooks the water. It’s gorgeous and the food/service was the best. I walked in and instantly wanted to stay forever. There’s a big bar in the dining room where we started off with a lovely glass of vino, then made our way to our table next to the window (if you even come here, ask for a window seat, totes worth the extra wait).

Our meal started off with stuffed mushrooms (Sam picked out all the stuffing and left the mushroom cap LOL), then headed into the main course. I went with the duck and my mom instantly said, “aww, you’re eating Ducky.” Yes, she was referring to the little duckling on Land Before Time. Thanks mom. I ate it anyway and LOVED it. Duck really does taste a bit like chicken but this one was so moist and had a delicious cranberry sauce on top. My dad let me pick out birthday dessert so I obvi went with the decadent chocolate cake and it did not disappoint. I’m so happy just thinking about this meal/time with my fam. The best.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel (which was attached to a casino) and played a few slots. My dad and I were unlucky but Sam and my mom won like $50! Go team!

Sunday was a little stressful as our car started having some trouble but we still made the most of it. We had a nice walk in the morning before heading off to the town of Galena. Oh gosh I fell in love with this town. It felt like I was back in the colonial times. The sidewalks were brick and many of the buildings were made out of that beautiful red brick as well. GO TO GALENA.

Our trip came to a close at 9:30 pm last night after about 600 miles of driving in 2 days. It was so fun to get out and explore our beautiful country. The US has so much to offer. Get out and explore. Make memories. See the land people. It’s lovely out there. PS, I’m still not on insta (virtual high fives) so here’s some more pics from the weekend. And yes, those are chickens in a yard…the things ya find in Iowa.

Cheers world/nature. I love ya.

-Hales

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Insta Bye

Big news people. I deleted my Instagram. There. The news is out. Like full on deleted it. You can now call me “Insta Gramless.” Cool. It happened last Friday and I’ve never been happier. JK, I have. But it feels amazing. I feel like I have a whole new world in front of me…a dazzling place I never knew (name that movie).

So, why delete the gram? I’ll tell you. I was getting drug down a deep dark hole of comparing my life to picture perfect grammers. The girls with perfect hair, perfect bodies, perfect smiles…Yep. Not gonna lie, I compared myself to those girls daily and it was getting annoyingly annoying. I compared my life to people who travel more than I do and started to feel bad for myself. I’d ask myself, why can’t you travel more? In the end, I’d always feel bad about myself. I was also spending wayyyyyyy to much time with my eyes glued to my phone. I spend 8 hours a day staring at a computer screen…I don’t need to stare at a phone screen as well. Sam would also feel sad becuase I’d be on the Gram almost always which meant I was not present with him or Ruthie or whoever else was around me.

So, almost a week down and I am feeling so much better. It’s really nice not worrying about what I’m missing out on if I don’t scroll the gram every 10 minutes. It’s really nice taking in the my surroundings instead of constantly IG storying or snapping pics. I will still take pictures and I still have Facebook (only for the puppy vids), but I feel so fucking free. Here’s to spending the rest of my life Insta Gramless and appreciating the things around me and living in the moment.

Moving on. This past Saturday, I was fortunate enough to volunteer with a local organization called My Team Triumph. My running pals and I pushed chairs in the Twin Cities 10K and it was probably one of my most amazing experiences ever. Seeing the smiles on the riders faces was the best. Hearing cheers from other runners literally brought tears to my eyes. The course was beautiful and it was the perfect morning for a run. I highly suggest getting involved in the community if you are able. Together, we can help bring joy to other’s lives and make a difference.

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Runners!

My sis, her bf, and their pup were in town last weekend also so that was a blast. Saturday afternoon we all piled into my sister’s car and drove to Stillwater, MN for some window shopping and lunch. Lunch was below average, but the company and laughs made up for it. I also forgot my leftovers which I guess was alright because I wasn’t super attached to my pork chunks. The candy store across the street from where we ate really satisfied my sugar craving and I left with a bag of Chewy Sprees and Sour warheads…my mouth waters thinking about eating those babies.

After lunch we headed over to the Lift Bridge brewery. Now, that was funsies 2.0. I chugged a mango blonde then my sister and I proceeded to call my mom, dad, and brother and sing them voicemails.  I wish someone would call me and leave drunken vmails…JK don’t.

Saturday night, my super awesome dad built a very large bonfire in our backyard. I mean it felt like the flames shot up to the sky (they didn’t obvi but that’s how big it felt). It was a lovely day full of fresh air, family, and love. The best kind of Saturday.

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Fire to the sky

This week has been busy coaching Middle School Cross Country, meal prepping, and exploring a new park! Our CC meet was at the Lake Elmo Park Reserve yesterday and feeling inspired by all the runners, I decided to hang around after and hop on one of the many trails (side note, the park has free entry every first Tuesday of the month…go!). It was a 3.8 mile loop around a pond/lake body of water, through the woods, and around some prairies. It was hilly to v hilly but a blast. Like I’ve been saying, trail running is the best. It just makes me so happy. Try it!

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After the run I rushed home to make a lovely dinner of pork chops, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, and cranberries…yes, the kind that come from a can. Let me tell you, this was one stinky meal. My bum was like a firecracker after but w/e, it’s just a natural thing ya know? Everyone loves a tooter. Tooter, that’s a funny word…yes, I know I’m weird. Live your best life. Be weird, be you.

Das ist alles. Auf weidersehn (apparently the pork chops turned me German).

-Hales McGales

Ya Want the Wine? Drink the Wine.

Oh hi there (say that in your most minnesotan accent ya). Tonight’s post is brought to you from my front stoop. Call me stoop girl. Not stoopid girl becuase that’s mean and I don’t like mean people. But yes, it’s 65 degrees out in MN and Ruthie and I are soaking up as much fall as we possibly can.

Continuing on the trail of fall, I FRIGGING LOVE FALL. A. October is the best month (for many reasons other than my birthday month).

B. APPLES. I usually eat an apple a day but they are so much better when you get to pick them yourself from the actual orchard. That is exactly what I did with my parents last weekend. The apples this year rock. They’re big, flavorful, and beautiful. Of course, when you pick the apples, you must bake with the apples. After cleaning and peeling about 12 apples (my wrist felt like it was broke mind you), I whipped up a delicious batch of homemade apple sauce. I also tried my hand at my mom’s famous apple crisp recipe. Hesitant to even try because her’s is literally the best thing on the planet, I gave it a whirl. And you know what? It turned out. I was pretty shocked but also excited and may have already consumed over half the 9×13 pan. Balance, right?

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My First Apple Crisp

C. CROCKPOTS. Hello buffalo chicken chili, pot roast, soup, tummy warming goodness. I also found a recipe for crockpot banana bread I’m curious about…if there’s time in the next week, I’ll give it a try. PS, when the recipe calls for 1/2 cup Frank’s Red hot, you should probably listen…my mouth is on fire RN.

D. HIKING. If you have read my blog before, you probably know I’m mighty obsessed with the beauty that Mother Nature has given us. It’s really insane how beautiful the good ole Midwest can be. Last weekend I visited 2 of the most lovely state parks in the area. One day consisted of a grand 6 mile run, the other of a lovely 5 mile hike with my parents and pup. I normally wake up in the 5’s on the weekend so I can get going by the time the sun starts to rise. It’s my favorite part of the day. Usually I am the only one out…on a rare occasion I’ll run into another human hiker friend. Fall doesn’t last long, get out and enjoy the beauty.

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The willow
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Trail Run forever
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Don’t Go Chasin waterfalls

Lastly, non-running workouts. Now that I’m not training for 26.2 miles (still so over road running after the Erie Marathon), I’ve been trying to do some fun workouts to keep things exciting. Here’s a little doozy I did yesterday. The 10 minutes made my lungs burn, the squats made my legs burn. Funsies.

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I also got on the stairmaster today for 18 minutes and forgot how fun that little bugger is. I tried to do front steps, side steps, and skip steps (skip every other step) to keep things adventurous.

Now, for the title of this post. Since the temperatures are getting cooler, I am no longer craving margaritas and Bud Light Limes. I’m craving mother-freaking wine. Red Red wine bitches. It just feels right in the fall. As the sun goes down, sip some wine. During “This Is Us”, sip some wine. You get it. It’s wine time.

My thing is, if you want something, have it. I used to be super freaky about anything I put in my mouth. If it had sugar, no-go. If it had more than 3 grams of fat, no-go. Like tonight-I had some paleo chili thing but tossed some cheese curds in it for added flavor. Years ago I would have never done that.

Sometimes these thoughts creep back up but I’ve gotten pretty good at telling them to go eff themselves. Balance is key. If you want the wine, drink the wine because YOLO. Do what you want because in the end, who really cares if you get a little bloated from consuming a bottle of wine (jk a couple glasses). No one should. And if they do, tell them to drink some wine too. Because wine makes everything better, and the world a happier place.

Goodbye and Goodnight

-Haley

Marathon #6

First off, let me give a big ol HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my one and only sister Molly. She probably doesn’t even read my blog (that’s how much she loves me) but just in case, happy b-day sis, I love ya.

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Sssssscute

Now something fun-this time last week my running pals and I were eating dinner at a restaurant in Erie, PA. I was probably just about to finish my sweet potato tots. They were real good.

Now, why the heck would one travel to Erie, PA you ask? Or maybe you didn’t but I’m going to tell you anyway (also, if you read the title of this post which I’m hopeful you did, that might give you a hint)…for a marathon, doi. Not a Netflix one either. HAHAHAHA I’m hilarious. No, we were there to run 26.2 freaking miles. Saying that outloud right now really sounds insane. Anywho, today’s post is all about Marathon #6.

Like I said we got to Erie on Friday around 4 pm. Eating was item #1 on the list. Finding a grocery store was item # 2. If you’ve been to Erie before, I’d love to hear what you think. I personally would probably never go back. It seemed very industrial. There was a YMCA, zoo, and golf course all next to each other but that seemed to be their top attractions. The peninsula where we ran was incredibly beautiful, but other than that, I didn’t find it that lovely (sorry, just being honest)…besides the neighborhood we stayed in that was cute and adorable.

Moving on. After we found a grocery store (whadup wegman’s!) we settled in for a night of homemade nachos (did you know you can get a scoop of Carnitas at Chipotle for less than $3) and Anchorman. Twas a lovely eve. Even better, I got to sleep in a room that had a sign on the door saying “The Princess Sleeps Here.” So cuteeeee.

Saturday came and it was time for a little shakeout run before the marathon Sunday. It was real hilly by our Air B&B so ended up doing 2 slow and steady miles. A speedy breakfast and we were off to packet pick-up.

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Bib Babies
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Fresh Arm Pit Grab

The packet pick up was super small considering there would only be 2,200 humans running so we didn’t hang out too long…just long enough to snap some super cute photos, drive the course, and become hangry.

For lunch we visited a tiny diner about 20 minutes away that was old enough to be on like some national registry of buildings or something. The food was aight, but the waitress was a hoot. I’d give them 3.5 out of 5 stars.

The remainder of Saturday was spent eating, lounging, reading (HARRY POTTER IS LIFE TO ME CURRENTLY), laying out our outfits for the run, eating, and eating some more. Dinner consisted of the most delicious fish tacos, a solid sweet potato, and loads of H2O. Then we capped the evening off with the Hunger Games and headed to the royal bed chambers for a good night’s sleep. Except I couldn’t fall asleep because silly Harry Potter kept enticing me to read more. That darn J.K. Rowling sure knows her shit.

Fast forward to 5am Sunday morning and we were ready to roll. I consumed one cinnamon raisin bagel with almond butter pre-race. Everything felt pretty great except the fact I hadn’t gone #2 yet. That’s always a bummer. It’s actually pretty silly how stressed out you can become from not pooping before a race. Anyhow it didn’t matter because there were pots along the course.

Now, lets talk about the course. 2 laps around the peninsula. Flat. I mean flat. One side ran along Lake Erie, the other around a bay. Port-o-potties every mile (THANK YOU LORD) and hydration stations ever mile. Sounds like a pretty swell set-up if you ask me.

Fast forward to 7am. 3-2-1 and we’re off. I was pretty confident I could keep my desired pace for 26.2 miles. I just needed to run the following to get myself a 3:45 PR:

Miles 1-3: 8:40 pace
Miles 3-13: 8:35 pace

Miles 13-23: 8:30 pace

Miles 23-26.2 AS FAST AS POSSIBLE

Miles 1-3 felt pretty good. My watch told me I was keeping between an 8:40-8:41 pace and all felt right in the world. Then suddenly I looked down at my watch and it had me at an 8:03, an 8:19, and 8:07…SHIT. Either I was going too fast, or my watch was being taken over by wizards and I couldn’t gain control.

Here’s how the remainder of the story goes…by mile 13, I was crashing. My legs were getting tired, and my watch now had me at a 9 minute pace. I was confused, sad, distraught, disappointed, mad, tired…all the emotions. At that halfway point, I literally thought about giving up. But us Fletcher’s, we don’t give up. As much as it sucked, I told myself, “stop worrying about pace. You are going to finish this race. Just give it what you got, have fun, and don’t cry.” At mile 15 or 18 (I don’t remember) I shut my watch off and told myself to let go of the 3:45 goal. Sadness but also relief.

Miles 20-26.2 were the hardest miles of my life. I have never walked in a marathon before but I had to this time. I don’t know why but at first I felt ashamed of walking. I felt like people might look at me and see a loser. Someone who couldn’t run the entire race. My legs and hips started cramping, my left knee went numb, and my freaking toes hurt. But I kept walk-running and crossed the finish line in 4 hours and 7 minutes. A time I’m still very proud of.

I learned a lot on this run. I also cannot figure out why the eff my entire body failed me (yes, I’m being dramatic). Could it have been too flat? Did I not drink enough water the day before? Should I have eaten a donut sometime before the run?

I can critique every part about the run, every part about myself, but when it comes down to it, I still finished a marathon. Yes, I might not want to run another one for a very long time, or maybe even ever, but I can still check marathon #6 off my list.

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Finisher

So here’s to all the runners-may you never give up. Do not be ashamed for walking, and know that even if you don’t hit your goals, you’re still freaking amazing. Also, it’s OK if you have to poop 2x on the course. Don’t be ashamed.

As fall rolls around, I am so incredibly excited to get back into trail running and cannot wait to run my first trail half marathon in October.

Until them, I’ll be drinking all the red wine and eating all the pumpkin bread.

Cheers to you.

-Hales

Race Week

I asked Sam how I should start my post this week…he suggested the following:

Hi my name is Haley. I am weird. I love my dog more than my husband. I like twerking.

That was fun, I need to ask Sam for advice more often.

Super exciting stuff…The Erie Marathon is less than a week away. Our plane leaves Friday and the race is actually Sunday which gives us all Saturday to relax, hydrate, and prepare for the big day. I usually like eating…a lot. And keeping my feet up. Oh and drinking. Not alcohol yah sillies…water duh. The weather is supposed to be prime for a marathon…mid-60’s and refreshing. So here’s hoping for a fun race, maybe a PR, and celebratory donuts after.

Now before we talk any more about race week, lets talk about last week. Top things that happened. 1. I finished a book. The Good Girl. It was real good (he he). A thriller that kept me turning page after page (but I guess that’s how you read a book right?). I finished it in like 2 weeks which is pretty fast for me…I get distracted real easy. Now, on to Harry Potter.

2. Sam and I went to the state fair with his fam and it rocked…again. This time around I tested out the beer-ga-rita (aye yi yi), the lobster roll (yum!), the Mango Blonde beer from Liftbridge (highly suggest), french fries, Lingonberry ice cream and Nitro Ice Cream (OK, this stuff was literally insane-SO CREAMY DREAMY DREAM), and I think that’s it.

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Beer me ‘Rita

3. I did a last longish run Saturday morning with my Erie pals Kit and Brie and it was great. The run had 2 huge hills and me legs felt tired but also nice. The run was immediately followed by a salt bath (whadup Dr. Teal) and a really nice brunch made by my really nice and loving husband Sam. He pulled out all the stops with waffles, bacon, and eggs. Ok, I could eat this meal every breakfast…probably.

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Yes, I’m wearing pants.

4. Saturday night I went to a Pizza farm in River Falls with my friend Katie and it was so fun. Each person paid $25 then you wrote down the toppings/sauces you wanted on you ‘za and the really nice owner man freshly baked it up for you in his fancy brick oven. Everyone shares but there was always plenty of slices. All the ingredients were fresh-right from the farm. They even had home-made wine and sangria. They had a huge bonfire once it got dark and had stuff for smores. I’d highly recommend something like this if you have one near you.

5. Saturday’s pizza extravaganza was all in preparation for a gorgi 6 mile hike early Sunday morning. Myself and the Pitsburgher (my new nickname for Ruthie-Sam hates it), got up at 5:30 to hit the trail at one of my fave places on earth. Armed with dog treats and water, we set out. It was about 55 degrees-perfect for shorts, socks, and a sweatshirt. Best weather. Hey fall, we love you and we’re ready for you.

Anyway, we were hiking along when we turned a corner to the most amazing view of the sunrise. People tell me I’m crazy when I tell them how early I get up to do things like hike…but I got to see the sun come up with my best pal…I’d call that winning. Also, we never saw another hiker out…it’s like we had the entire park to ourselves. Ruthie loved it then proceeded to sleep the next 48 hours.

6. I learned how to mow the lawn diagonally on Labor Day. Talk about laboring. But I’m a fancy mower now so if you’re looking for some diagonal lines in your yard, call me…maybe.

Ok, back to race week. I’m trying to take it easy workout-wise but it’s hard. Yesterday I took an Alchemy class with my BFFLs Sam and Lauren and I think we did like 200 air squats so hey butt, what’sup? I then did 3×1 mile repeats. Hey-if you want to make yourself run faster, head out 10 minutes before a large down pour of rain begins…I bet that’ll make you run like you’re being chased by a herd of bears…or a thunderstorm. I kept my pace around 7:20 per mile so that was neat. I felt fast for the first time in like 3 months. Holler.

Today I did some Thrusters and bench press and bar bell side bends. Hey side abs, see you tomorrow. Tomorrow I’m hoping to do my last run of 4 miles. At an easy pace. I’m also planning on eating a donut…or 2. Because raceweek=carb-loading.

So, this was a long, rambly post but thanks for hanging out and taking time to read about my life. Until next time friends.

Bye!

-Hales

2x

Hey. Last week I blogged on Thursday. I told myself it might be cool to blog once a week…every Thursday would be my day. My signature move. MJ had the moon walk. I’d have Thursday’s (and no, I did not just compare myself to MJ). But then Tuesday rolled around and it’s a beautiful day and I just really wanted to blog. So here I am, keeping it exciting. Throwing curve balls from right field. Holler.

Lots of cool stuff has happened since Thursday anyway. You might be interested, you might not. IDK. IDC. LOL. JK.

Lets start with running since that is the main topic of this blog. Friday morning I met up with the ARUNfam for a nice, easy, 12 miles…or so I thought. An easy 12 miler turned into a super-soaked, but kickass 13 miler. Here’s how it went down:

Start with 2 easy-ish paced miles (I think these were somewhere around 9 minute miles)

Miles 2-6 @ marathon pace

Miles 6-10 @ a little faster than marathon pace

 

Miles 10-12 (in this case 13) easy cool down.

I did my best to keep these paces and the run went by super fast. Now it’s less than 2 weeks from race day and I just can’t wait to show up in Erie, PA with cool people, fun shoes, and a positive attitude.

Moving on. I took a video of myself doing some squats at the gym. A) I had the place to myself and thought “eh, loosen up wouldja?” B) I actually wanted to check myself out…JK check my form out. So here you are to witness my first ever BLOG VIDEO. I hope you’re as excited as me. PS don’t mind the crotch shot at the end…I’m an amateur.

Moving on again. Over the weekend my favorite sister and her BF came to visit. The lot of us visited IKEA on Saturday (I LOVE THAT PLACE), then went to the most magical place(OK 2nd most magical behind Disney world)…the MN STATE FAIR. It just makes me happy thinking about all the fried foods, drinks, beer, dog shows, animals, cheese, rides, and stuff. So, the day started with a delicious, creamy, dreamy Vietnamese coffee (shoutout to my girl ASPEN for telling me about this. I also know she’s a super loyal reader so hey girl hey). I also tried a sip of the Maple Nitro Coldpress…to die for.  To accompany my drank, I took some bites of my dad’s bacon-wrapped-bacon-drizzled-bacon-bacon-bacon corn dog…probably the best item at the fair IMO.

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Vietnamese Coffee

I drank some dranks (mini-donut beer, hellooooo nurse), went down a giant slide, ate some cookies, cinnamon bread stuff, pork mole tamale (INSANE), and more but I can tell you probably don’t care…about the fair. Sam didn’t get to go because he was watching some fight or drafting a football team or something so we’re going this weekend and I’m fully prepared to eat more, go on more rides, and live it up.

Lastly, last post I talked about having trouble with balance. One thing that helps me is writing stuff in my planner and putting in one full rest day a week. Having that visual really keeps me accountable and gives me a little “reward” to look forward to. Here’s a peek into a week of my planner:

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Always make room for Happy Hour with the gals

Cool eh? So that’s about all the exciting things going on in this part of MN. Maybe we’ll chat Thursday, maybe we won’t. Either way, have a great day (I only said that because it  rhymed).

-Peace, love, and puppies.

-Hales

Brainfart

Got ya with that title didn’t I eh? For sure for sure. It’s like man I love blogging but sometimes I just have too many thoughts to blog about. My mind gets jumbled, and then I lose everything. That is happening right now so who actually knows where this post is going to go. It’ll be an adventure!

A lot of my blog posts come about based on pictures I’ve taken over the last week. Looking through my gallery this morning, I can say last week was a dandy of a time. Highlights include a Twins game with my cool parents:

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My mom says I have wrinkles because I don’t wear polarized sunglasses. LOL.

a boat cruise on Lake Minnetonka with my BFFLs to see Zac Brown Band (which I have not stopped listening to since):

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and a super slow paced-yet-super-fun 20 mile run followed by a day at the pool:

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Post Run hydration

Lets continue chatting about this 20 mile run for a sec…I woke up bright and early at 5AM Saturday morning, packed my fuel belt with 1 mini reeses pb cup, a handful of sour gummies, and 2 mini bottles of cucumber-lime gatorade (Only sports drink I will willingly drink), then set off to catch the sunrise. My favorite thing is waking up early for a run. There’s nobody out, you get the entire side-walk to yourself, and if you have to poop, you can kind of go anyplace that’s convenient.

I did a really fun loop through a park, past some lakes, up some hills, around a neighborhood, through some stop lights, past a gas-station, through a dog-park, and made it home in 3 hours and 4 minutes or something like that. The route was actually really great and I had a blast with myself. I don’t listen to music or anything so I use this time to make up jokes, write poems, think about people, dreams, life, dogs, and blogging.

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Just a trail through a park

One of the topics that regularly pops into my mind on these long runs is balance. Balance between working out and running…resting and eating. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have a really hard time taking rest days. I was getting better at it but now that I sit at a desk for 8 hours of my day, I feel like I have to do some form of physical activity every single day. That’s normal right? Running, lifting, biking, hiking…all things I do to keep active. But when is too much to much? Tell-tale signs for me are pain in my knees, sleepiness, and sore throats. Any time I am pushing myself too hard, all of these things set in and I know it’s time to cool it.

I do aim for 1 complete rest day each week but even that is tough. I get restless leg syndrome-it’s incredibly difficult for me to just sit. Unless it’s raining out of course, then I can sit all day long. But it’s also annoying to me sometimes. LIKE HALEY CHILL THE EFF OUT. YOU’RE NOT GOING TO RUIN YOURSELF IF YOU TAKE A DAY OR THREE OFF (yes, I shout at myself). So here’s a goal I’m making…after the Erie Marathon, I am going to take one entire week off of working out and running. Some people would probably be super duper excited about this…to me, it freaks me out. I always make rest a goal and then get 3 days past race day and am like okay lazy butt, get moving. This time, I’m going to try even harder. I’ll let you know how it goes.

On that note, Sam and I tried out a new gym last night and had a blast (well IDK if he did but I sure did). It’s called The Athlete Lab and yes, it is a Crossfit gym (IDK if I can say that but I am so there). I’ve never done Crossfit, I am not crossfitty, but I think I might want to. First off, we got to do our warm-up outside which legit made me want to pee with excitement. Second, we got to use the rowing machines which has been a dream of mine since 2015. Thirdly, I miss feeling like a High School athlete and I feel like this will bring me back to the good ole days of High School track. GOD DO I MISS TRACK. So yes, maybe we will become a Crossfit fam, maybe we will not…but I’m sure I’ll keep you posted. Also, I’m super bummed I don’t have a photo to share of our first workout experience together but Sam said, “Can’t you just enjoy a moment and take a picture with your mind?” Truer words have never been spoken to me.

There you have it, one super spazzy, brain-fart of a post. Thanks for sticking it out with me. Next week will be better…actually it probably won’t but you’ll only find out if you come back to read that post…see what I did there? OMG A little puppy just walked by my window. Okay, bye!

XOXO

-Haley

Life/Run Update 8.16.17

Yo. Here I sat in my home office, sipping fancy coffee, and dreaming about adopting all the puppies. Actually I’m sitting on the floor of my living room drinking coffee mixed with sweetened condensed milk (so good for you) and playing tug of war with my little baby Ruth.

It’s gloomy out which is making me super happy right now. A) I don’t feel bad for being lazy. B) I can get inside chores done…after I finish being lazy. C) I’ll drink all the coffee and write some stuff.

 

So lets get something straight. A while back, I talked about my goals to run a fast enough time at my next marathon to qualify for the Boston Marathon. After a couple months of speedwork, strength training, hill and long runs, I found myself feeling super stressed. Those feelings of failure crept into my mind and kept telling me I am not made to run that fast. I cannot run a 3:30 marathon…blah blah you get it. Instead of giving up, or building up more stress, I just told myself to go out there, have fun, and not put any more pressure on myself. Instead of trying to run my fastest 10 miles, I’ve been going at a steady, comfy pace. It’s been a lot more enjoyable since this “head chat” went down and I’m once again excited for the Erie Marathon in September.

So lets chat recent training runs…over the past month I’ve gotten in a couple 16 milers (one included that nasty loop of hills from my previous post), a really great 10 miler, some shorter sprints and some mile repeats. They’ve been a little on the slow side but like I said above, that’s OK! Shoutout to the 20 miler I’m supposed to run on Saturday…it might turn into an 18 miler but that’s alright with me.

Plus, I found a new long run snack…sour gummies. Not sure why I did not think of these before. I’ve had a knack for sour candies since I was a tot, so these snacks fulfill my needs to still act like a child. Oh and the best part about running…post run brunching, doi. Get all sweaty and tired and then shovel in some carbs, protein, and chocolate milk. Laugh until your abdominals cry, then go home, hop in a salt bath, and wash away any soreness that might try creeping in.

Other than running, I’ve been working on eating more vegetables. I learned how to roast vegetables the other week (yeah I know I’m a helpless 27 year old), and it’s been life-changing. My faves are sweet potatoes, onion, zucchini, and peppers. And I’m weird. I top my roasted veggies with ketchup which probably defeats the purpose of a veggie but I’m an adult and can do as I please.

Also, my gal pals and I tried out this new place in South Minneapolis called F45 Training. It’s been a blast! It’s 45 minutes of fun and tough movements but goes by super fast. It actually makes me feel like I’m back in high school sports which brings me great joy. The workouts are different every time as are the time domains you are working/resting for.

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In a nutshell, it seems like all I do is run, workout, eat, and talk/dream/think about dogs. But you gotta find your passions and you gotta chase them. It’s like why would I spend my time doing things I do not enjoy…nope not a chance.

Happy rainy day my friends.

-Hales

Running through the Hills

Here I sit on my couch…crying. You see Sam works overnights every other weekend and I oftentimes find myself browsing on the computer while he’s gone. Usually it’s for houses in our hometown…or puppies. Well, I’m crying because I just came across a pup at the Humane Society that looks identical to my Ruthie. It says she’s 5 years old and was just given to the Humane Society because she “no longer fits in to her families lifestyle.” Not sure how anyone could ever give away a dog. The poor thing is probably so sad and so scared. I wish I could save them all but that’s not a possibility.

Maybe Sam will let us get another dog one of these days. I think I’d want to just walk in and say…”show me your dog that’s been here the longest. We want that one.” It would be great to save another dog and give them a loving home.

Lets carry on before I start crying again. Back to running. It’s been a while since I’ve reported back on my runs but things seem to be going smoothly as of the last week and a half. Last weekend I did a lovely, HILLY, 8 mile run at my aunt and uncles in Wausau, WI. They live in a series of Mountains in the area called Rib Mountain so it’s really beautiful but HOLY HILLS. 8 miles felt like 2000 miles (OK, exaggerating). Things were actually going pretty great til about mile 5.5 when suddenly I had to go #2. I was about ready to jump behind a pile of brush when lo-and-behold, I came around a corner and there sat a lovely, blue, port-o-potty. Thank heavens because I would not have made it home otherwise.

This week I did a shorter sprint workout and a super great hill repeat workout. The shorter sprint workout was done Tuesday morning and went well. It was a bit cooler and less humid and I actually felt like I could breath outside. I always forget how sweet morning runs are. Nobody else is awake. Just you, the birds, and the rising sun. It’s also really nice to get done before work since I sit at a desk for 8 hours of the day.

Now, Tuesday night I was fortunate enough to get together with my in-laws (they rock). It was restaurant week here in the Twin Cities so we went Herbies in St. Paul for a lovely 3 course meal (and a few glasses of wine). I started off with a tasty Caesar salad (my jam lately), followed by the most amazing piece of roast chicken ever. It was moist, flavorful, and just SO FRICKEN GOOD. For dessert, I went with the lavender tart but that was gone so I had to resort to the Chocolate Butterscotch cake (boo hoo). JK. IT WAS divine. Everything about this place rocked. Highly, highly suggest this if you are in the area.

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That chicken though.

Glad Sam was driving because 2 glasses of wine now-a-days really get to me. I got home, brushed my teeth, and feel fast asleep.

The other running workout of the week came on Thursday morning. After visiting my trusty Chiropractor Dr. Andy at Well Adjusted. *Shoutout to you for keeping my ankles strong!* I headed out for what I thought would be an easy 3 mile run. About a mile in, I came down a hill and what do you know, my running friends were just about to begin hill sprints. I obviously couldn’t pass up the opportunity. It was hot, humid, and man I did not feel like doing hill repeats but with Kit and Andrea cheering me on, we got it done. 6 repeats turned into 8 which turned into 12. At the end I looked at my watch and was like shit, we just did 3 miles of hill repeats. Way better than a boring 3 mile run. Post hills I chugged about a gallon of Vietnamese coffee and washed my stinky, sweaty hair.

After a much needed rest day yesterday, I woke up bright and early today at 5:43 (thanks to my trusty alarm clock named Ruthie) and headed over to Stillwater, MN to meet my pal Katie for a run. What started out as hopes of a 10 miler turned into a 12 miler and ended as a 13 miler. See that’s the thing with Katie…we chat the entire way and before you know it, the run is done. It’s fantastic. The run we did is all uphill the first 6.5 miles and then all downhill on the second half. It’s a really nice paved trail that starts in downtown Stillwater and goes for miles and miles towards St. Paul.

Post run we obviously got breakfast at one of the best local cafes, The Oasis. I went with a tall glass of chocolate milk and pancakes…yes, I’m a child.

We kept a really nice pace considering the heat that was building. When we started we were both contemplating a nice, easy, over 9 minute mile pace so I think we were pretty happy/surprised when we kept it in the 8’s!

This coming week I really hope to dial in the nutrition (more salads, less ice cream…maybe) and get in a couple shorter sprint workouts before a nice 16-18 miler next weekend.

Cheers to a Saturday spent with friends, family, good food, and cucumber basil margaritas.

Peace, love, and running.

-Hales

Running Update 7.11.17

What the heck. We’re already almost halfway through July. The weather we’re currently having is Minnesota is super great if you have a swimming pool or hose…not ideal for running. I’m trying to convince myself running in the heat is fun and is actually going to make me faster…so far it’s just made me tired, disappointed, thirsty, and ready for a cold bath.

Yes, I’ve been so hot post the last 2 runs I’ve taken cold salt baths…not even sure if this does anything for me but it feels good AF and I’m convinced it’s recovering my legs faster than no bath at all.

So lets chat all things running related happening since last week.

Last Thursday I ran some 1/4 mile repeats and it felt aight. I did these after working out and at 5:30 pm so obviously it was hot. My brain lately has been really awful at picking good times to run but sometimes you gotta squeeze it in while you can. I went home, ate some tacos, watched Big Brother, and went to bed.

Friday morning at 9AM I got a really big craving for something sour and walked to the Walgreens to peruse the candy aisle. Low and behold one of my fave candies just jumped into my hand and next thing I knew I was burning the roof of my mouth on an entire bag of chewy sour Sweet Tarts. At about noon I got a stomach ache but who cares. My heart was happy with my morning decision.

I’ve also been enjoying these protein bars (I’m not usually a protein bar type gal but I’ve been in a pinch for time lately and these do the trick). My mom gave them to Sam and I and they almost (key word ALMOST) remind me of those Little Debbie peanut butter wafer snacks I used to down as a child. Anyway, these bars fill me up and hold me over until lunch. I’ve also been living on Vietnamese coffee. Especially in the heat. Nothing like a big glass of sweet, iced coffee.

All you do is brew 12 cups of extra strong coffee. Then toss in some espresso powder and 1 can of sweetened condensed milk. Stir and store in the fridge. GAH. I want some now. This coffee has kicked my cream habit but turned me on to sweetened condensed milk. Not sure which is a better option but again, I don’t care.

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Over the weekend I got to run with my fave run friends and it was glorious and awful all at the same time. I think we did about 8 miles which included some of the toughest hills you can run in MN (in my opinion). It’s such a great, challenging course and it felt good after…but during…I just wanted to toss my cookies. I was also thinking of good lines during the run to keep my mind busy and came up with this…”the neighborhood where the houses are as big as the hills.” Yes, these are the thoughts that pop into my head during training runs.

Anyway, this would have been a much better run (feeling wise) had I not stayed out until about 12:30 the night before celebrating a good friends wedding. I NEVER stay awake later than 9:30 so this was a big deal for me…and worth the “hangover” feeling the next day. SO WORTH it. One of the most fun nights in quite some time. Congrats Sam and Matt!

Now today, I just ran 4 miles at an 8 minute mile pace. That was super fun. Again, I took off around 5:30PM when it was 87 degrees and HUMID. But I’m trying to train myself to like the heat remember? I mean I actually do like the heat it just makes me feel like a slug. But the 4 miles felt pretty decent. My legs felt strong (even after Squatting yesterday), my mind got clear, and it felt good to hold a consistent pace.

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Shoutout to my husband Sam for this really good post-run picture

I plan to recover tonight with some pizza, chocolate milk, and salad. My fave TV show America’s Got Talent is on tonight so I’ll probably put me feet up, watch for a while, then crawl into bed around 9. I’m trying really hard to limit screen time before bed and get at least 7 hours of sleep and so far…on a scale of 1 to 10…I’m at about a 5. Room for improvement.

The rest of the week will consist of a sprint running workout, one more big day of squatting, a 16 mile run on Saturday (pray for us…it’s gonna be hot), and swimming…lots and lots of swimming.

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That’s my girl.

Peace, Love, and Puppies.

-Hales