Archive | August, 2012

Still here!

28 Aug


Hey friends. Sorry I’ve been so MIA lately. I promise that my posting will pick back up soon.

This week, I’m trying to get lots done before I fly to Minnesota on Thursday for Labor Day weekend. And my work computer for some reason refuses to load any and all WordPress blogs so even though I haven’t been commenting on your blogs, I have been reading what I can! It has been more than a little frustrating to not be able to read Mel’s race report or congratulate my friend B on her first home. Hopefully it’ll get back to normal soon!

As far as running and other workouts are going, I’ve been lazier than I like to admit. I went for my first run in weeks on Sunday morning and it was awesome. Definitely the motivation I needed to be more diligent about getting out there (which I did again last night)! Relaxation is good but I definitely feel better when I’m active.

Anyway, I’m so pumped to be going to Minnesota. Of course to see my family and celebrate my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary, but also to get out on the lake. We haven’t been on the lake ONCE this year. That better not happen ever again!

Have a great holiday weekend friends and I will be back next week! Promise.

A Mini Backpacking Trip

21 Aug

Last weekend, Travis and I headed up to White Ranch near Golden – a mere 30 minutes from our house – for a mini backpacking trip with some good friends from church and their 2 kids. I say mini backpacking trip because it was only 1 mile to our campsite and we only stayed 1 night.

But it was still a lot of fun! Since we were so close to Denver, we could see the city from the hill we were on, and at night, we could see all of the city lights.

Since it was a mile to the campsite, we packed everything like we would’ve for a longer backpacking trip. And then we saw people with rolling suitcases and wagons and armloads of stuff. I didn’t feel so sheepish about bringing my travel pillow along then (which actually worked great).

We set up camp, ate dinner and then roasted marshmallows for s’mores. The kids were obsessed with poking long sticks into the fire.


The next morning, pooches were wide awake by 5:30. At 6:45, I finally decided to get up and let them out.  This was the beautiful site I saw as I got out of the tent:

It was jaw-dropping beautiful. I just stood there for a bit looking at it. The picture does not do it justice.

After using the restrooms, pooches and I went on a little walk down the trail in the opposite direction of where we had come up the night before. When we got a little way from the campsites, I let them off their leashes and they ran around like idiots. They love being outdoors and exploring. It would be a shame if we went camping and they didn’t get to do that.

Everything was so amazingly gorgeous in that early morning light and as I hiked around, I felt so in awe of God and His creation. The heavens and earth truly do declare His praise.

After my meditative hike, pooches and I went back to the campsite and waited for everyone else to get up. I fed the dogs, ate a couple of clementines and laid down on the picnic bench, looking up at blue sky and pine boughs.

People finally got up and we ate breakfast, played on the big rocks, went on another little walk/hike, and then packed up camp. The mile back to the cars went by quickly and then Travis and I headed to Which Wich to have lunch. It was my first time eating there and while I really loved all of the options, it made it difficult to choose what to get! I ended up not being overly crazy about what I ordered but I would definitely go back. They serve breakfast sandwiches all day. Mmmm…

Travis and I are hoping to go camping once more before it snows in the high country, hopefully sometime in September.




Garmin 210 Review

15 Aug

I got the Garmin Forerunner 210 this year from my parents for my birthday. I was going to get the Forerunner 405 but discovered at REI that they no longer made that model. I wasn’t a fan of the square, bulky screen of the 310 and the 610 and 910 were too much watch for me. I just wanted the basics of distance, pace, time and heart rate. So the 210 it was.

I have to admit, the first couple of times I tried out my Garmin, I was kind of disappointed. One of the main things I was looking forward to was knowing what my pace was at any given moment. It didn’t take me long to discover, though, that the pace jumped all over the place – all the way from 7:30 to 13:00 within just a few minutes. Which made me doubt the accuracy of any pace I saw displayed. I lamented this to Travis and he suggested that the Garmin was just too accurate. Well, as much as I’d like to believe I could run a 7:30 pace, let’s be honest – never gonna happen.

Another aspect of the Garmin I didn’t take into account before getting it was that it calculates the distance you actually run (duh). So if you cut a corner a little tighter than normal, ‘Mile 1’ (as previously mapped online) is that much farther away. No longer was Mile 1 simply 1 mile away. Sometimes, it was only .85 mile; other times, 1.15 miles. Of course, I realize my Garmin is more accurate than my mapping routes and corner cuts but still. Getting to what I knew was Mile 1 and not having it be Mile 1 was annoying.

Add to that the fact that I had pretty much every running route I’d ever need mapped out already and I thought long and hard about returning the Garmin. I just didn’t know if it was worth the money (despite the fact that it was a present). But then… I tried setting the Garmin to show my average pace overall, for the entire run. From my first run, I knew that was a setting I could get behind. In fact, that’s what I used during my marathon and I found it really helpful. So I decided to keep the watch.

Plus, I know that just because I have a store of already-mapped-out routes, that doesn’t mean I will never want to just wing it. As far as I can tell, the mileage is accurate and it’s fun to see the ‘playback’ of my workout on Garmin Connect.

The heart rate monitor works well. The watch and strap both fit well. The watch is not waterproof, which is the only drawback besides the too-accurate pace IMO, but I knew about that before I bought it. Oh, and that whole ‘remembering to charge it’ thing – that’s definitely going to take some getting used to.

So is it worth it? I would say overall, yes. Especially for someone just getting into running and wanting to save precious hours of their life by not painstakingly mapping their running routes out online. Or someone who frequently likes to shake things up at the spur of the moment but still wants their distance and pace stats. Or for someone like me who wants the option of switching things up at the spur of the moment, while still knowing exactly how far you ran.

All that said, I fully expect that my satisfaction with the Garmin will only go up from here, the more I use it instead of trusty old MapMyRun.

Just be aware that the “current pace” isn’t as helpful as you might think…

Do you have a Garmin watch? What’s your experience been?

Worth noting.

13 Aug

Even though I’m really enjoying my relaxing weekends, it really doesn’t bode well for the blog. I mean, you guys don’t want to hear about how much I didn’t do every single post. But here are a couple of things that are {somewhat} notable:

1) Watched the entire first season of Downton Abbey. I had heard how awesome this show was from fellow bloggers and friends so when I saw it in Redbox, I snagged it. And I really enjoyed it. Now I’m scheming on how to watch Season 2.

2) Watched Drop Dead Diva on Lifetime. It is one of my absolute favorite shows of all time. And I am so thankful that it’s on during the summer when Bones and NCIS aren’t. I don’t know how I would survive the summer without at least one weekly show that I die for.


3) Veered from my cleaner eating habits. I ate Taco Bell for dinner Friday, Chinese for dinner Saturday and McDonald’s for lunch Sunday. But enough’s enough. Back on the horse today.

4) I went on my first bike ride since the beginning of marathon training. Travis and I got caught in a downpour and hid under a tree. At first, it was an adventure. Then, when the tree got saturated and stopped protecting us, it was just kind of irritating. But it was fun to ride home through all the puddles!

5) Got really sad watching the men’s Olympic marathon. (Spoiler alert) Ryan Hall seems like a such a great, down-to-earth guy and I really respect the way he involves God in his training, so seeing him have to drop out so soon was really sad. It’s also sad that Abdi Abdirahman had to drop out, but I know less about him so it didn’t affect me as much. But YAY MEB KEFLEZIGHI!!! I was SO excited to see that he came back from being in something like 10th place to being 4th. I told Travis that if the course had been longer, I think Meb would’ve been able to come in 3rd. But alas, no medals for Americans in the marathon this year.

6) I got ambitious yesterday and deep-cleaned my bathroom. Even though I really dislike cleaning, I love things being clean. If I ever have extra income burning a hole in my pocket, I would consider hiring a maid. (And I’ve already suggested to Travis that when we try to sell our house, we have a cleaning service come clean the house for me.)

And that’s all that’s worth telling you about!

I realized last week that I haven’t posted my thoughts on my new Garmin yet so stay tuned for that sometime soon…

God’s will, right now

7 Aug

I’m reading a really good book right now called He Leadeth Me, written by Walter Ciszek, an American Jesuit Father who was captured by the Russians during WWII, convicted of being a Vatican spy and spent 23 years in Soviet prisons and labor camps of Siberia. I wanted to share this passage from his book because it is so good.

Background: Teplaya-Gora was the labor camp Walter and a friend, also a Jesuit priest, had gone to in Russia, with the hopes that they could minister to the workers who were also migrating from Poland. But they soon discovered that no one would talk to them about religion at all because they were too scared of the Soviets.


Be encouraged to embrace This Day Now, whatever it entails, knowing that God is at work always for your ultimate and eternal good.

Cleaning It Up…

6 Aug

Since I’ve cut back quite a bit on my activity levels (hello 4 rest days last week!) and I have a Labor Day weekend on the lake in Minnesota looming, I’ve decided that I need to clean up my eating habits a bit. Any runner knows that it’s a little too easy to justify eating a cookie here, some chocolate there, because “Hey, I just ran xx miles.” Well, I no longer have that excuse. (Though I did run a full 6.75 miles last week.)

There’s a reason why I said I’m cleaning up my eating “a bit.” I don’t know about you but when I read about a “clean diet” that includes protein brownies, or look at eating plans that specify every piece of food that can pass your lips, I get overwhelmed. I don’t want to have to figure out how to make my brownies healthy with brown rice flour, agave nectar and greek yogurt. I don’t want to weigh and measure every thing I eat. (Some people do, and more power to them.) For me, food freedom is where I’m happiest. I’m a big fan of Intuitive Eating, if you can’t tell.

So the main thing I’ve done to clean my eating habits up is to be mindful of what I eat. No eating food just because it’s there and it’s free. I can get into a habit at work of eating whatever someone brings in – donuts, cookies, cake, etc. – just because it’s available. But I want everything I eat to be intentional chosen – it should be either nutritious and filling, or amazingly delicious.

Balanced with that, I’m also focusing on getting the majority (like 95%) of my daily calories from actual good-for-me food. I’m not specifically focused on cutting out sugar, refined flour, saturated fat, sodium or what have you. I just want to get more bang for my buck.

The main result of these two ideas taken together has been a severe decrease in my consumption of ice cream, cookies, chocolate, wine, etc. And I’m down a couple of pounds. Maybe it’s because my appetite has decreased from not working out as much, or maybe this whole ‘clean eating’ thing actually works (note the sarcasm), but I’m not complaining.

Do you “eat clean”? What does it look like for you?


2 Aug

For the past week or so, I’ve been encouraged to pray like Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane: honest, vulnerable, submissive.

Jesus asked his Father, “If you are willing, let this cup pass from me.” Even in making this raw, human request borne of fear and pain, Jesus did not sin.

Because he immediately followed it with, “Nevertheless, not my will but Yours be done.”

It’s in that ‘Nevertheless’ that the Lord has been calling me to live lately. He’s shown me that being submissive to His will doesn’t mean not having desires and plans of my own. It means submitting to His will over mine. He’s also shown me that often, I don’t want to have desires and plans of my own because I wonder, “What if they don’t happen? I don’t want to get my hopes up.”

Praying like Jesus means letting my desires, passions, dreams, and longings burn without being stifled. Living raw and vulnerable, knowing that I could get hurt and things could turn out differently than I request. Asking anyway. Trusting that no matter what happens, God always brings good out of bad, nothing can quench His love for me and He is more than sufficient for every need.

It’s actually a good thing that God doesn’t always grant us our requests. If He had granted Jesus his request, we would not have a Savior. It’s a comforting thought that even if I pray these prayers of desire and surrender and am left with God’s will instead of my own, even if His will looks horrible and hurtful and filled with pain, He has a purpose. God bends all of this world’s fallenness and all of Satan’s moves into His own purposes. He wins.

“My God in his steadfast love will meet me. He will let look in triumph upon my enemies.”

“This God, his way is perfect – the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield to all those who take refuge in him.”

Master Bedroom Update

1 Aug

This was a house project that I’ve been meaning to do for over a year. Our master bedroom used to have shelves on the walls, like in this picture:

But I was getting tired of the knick-knacks and then one of the shelves fell off the wall at least twice and ended up breaking. Time to replace them (12 months later).

I made my anniversary map project with the plan to hang it up in the master bedroom eventually. Last summer, I found a bunch of plain wooden frames at a garage sale for 25 cents each and this summer, I bought a can of off-white spray paint to redo them. With some other cute wall decorations on sale at Kohl’s and Hobby Lobby, it came together.

On the left side:

(Obviously, I still need to replace one picture but I haven’t been able to find a vertical picture for it yet.)

On the right side:


The ivory frames in this picture are the ones I spray-painted.

Also since the time when the first picture of this post was taken, we have painted 2 of the walls in our bedroom blue (because we replaced the windows) and installed dual rods, so that we could still have the sheer curtains but also have heavier ones to block out the light in the morning:

It felt good to get that project done! One down, 100 to go.