Lost and found

25 Jun

For the past two and a half months I’ve been MIA from my blog. Well, not missing…just lost. After I got back from Virginia, I was so excited to update you all on my trip and my first 10K experience. But then my motivation disappeared.

Not only did my motivation to blog vanish, but my motivation to run slowly slipped away. I went for more than three weeks without running. Okay, so maybe life got in the way (work, oral surgery, adult responsibilities, etc.). But that’s not an excuse.

Today I am happy to announce that my motivation has been found. After two months of not writing about myself (narcissistic much?) and three weeks of not running, I’ve finally decided that’s not who I am. I’m not someone who sloughs off just because “I don’t have time.” And I’m not someone who doesn’t go out for a run just because “I don’t feel like it.” That person is no longer here. From today on, the excuses will stop and the motivation will continue.

When I started this blog, I had a personal goal to update frequently. And now that I think about it, that was a bad goal. Instead, my new goal is to update occasionally. When a race comes and goes, I’ll post a race recap. If I experience an amazing recipe, I’ll share it. And if something awesome (in my opinion) happens in my life, I’ll write about it. But I’m not going to make requirements for myself. I’m just going to be realistic.

As for running, I’ve got a goal to work toward. (Don’t worry, I’ll share in a few days!) My motivation to run has picked back up and I’m slowly (and sometimes painfully) working toward that goal.

So here’s to no more excuses. I’ll stop saying “I don’t have time” or “I don’t want to,” and I’ll start saying “I can.”

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Three more days…

10 Apr

The countdown is really on now. In just three days I’ll be running my first 10K.

For the past few months I’ve been training for this race, and after falling off the wagon a few times here and there, I really feel like I’m ready. At this point, there’s nothing else I can do to prepare myself any more than I already have. It’s kind of like studying for a test…there comes a point when you just have to stop and trust that you can pass.

This week has been a bit frustrating for me in my training process. I had a 4.5 mile run Monday, and about 2.5 miles in I started experiencing some knee pain. I’m not sure what caused it, but based on the highly reliable internet, I am self-diagnosing myself with Runner’s Knee. (Logical, right?) Plus, anything you read from Runner’s World has GOT to be legit – I love that magazine. Anyway, after walking a bit and then finishing strong, I felt great until I got home.

Feeling awesome post 4.5 miles.

Feeling awesome post 4.5 miles. (Jeez…my face is red!)

The past few nights I’ve been stretching and icing, and the icing really seems to have helped. The pain is down considerably from Monday, and now I’m just hoping it stays down through Saturday.

Not the most exciting thing to be doing...

I’m so grateful my husband is such a good ice bag filler and wrapper!

Last night I felt like I needed to run, but knew I shouldn’t, so I went to the gym and rode the bike for 40 minutes instead.

Riding and reading...it's the best way to get through 40 minutes!

Riding and reading…two things I can successfully do at once!

I love biking. It’s such a calming, thoughtless workout that still burns calories and gets your heart rate up. I am done working out for the rest of the week – no running, no biking, no strength training, NOTHING! I think the break will help, and I know I won’t lose any of my stamina or endurance in just three days.

There’s one other little thing that has me really motivated this weekend: I get to see my sister and her family! My mom and I fly out tomorrow for the big trip, and I am so excited to see my sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephews. My sister has so willingly created an itinerary for our weekend, and every time I look at it I get more excited! I can’t wait to share pictures next week and fill you all in on our weekend.

Here’s to a successful first 10K…and hopefully it won’t be my last!

With all of this said, I will not be blogging until next week (shocker, right?). If you want to stay updated with what’s happening, follow me on Instagram (@jheidebrecht)!

Something old is new again

5 Apr

Every day after work this week I’ve been outside – either running or walking Maya. I have been waiting for weather like this since November, and I am so glad to be off the treadmill and on the sidewalk.

After hill repeats on Monday, and too many days of not running, my legs were aching for a nice long run. So I packed my running clothes and took them to work with me on Tuesday, that way I didn’t have any excuses not to run. After work, I headed to Lake Zorinsky. This lake has two sides – one is 3.1 miles and the other is 4.2 miles – and is perfect for short or long runs.

After a little more than one hour of running, I was done. My watch showed 7.37 miles. The furthest I have ever run. I was surprised that my body didn’t hate me – I wasn’t experiencing a lot of pain or exhaustion. As I walked around the parking lot to cool down, I realized just how far I’ve come since day one. When 3.1 miles seemed like an eternity. And when 12-minutes/mile was a good pace.

The longest I have ever run!

The longest I have ever run, AND under my newest goal of 10:00/mile.

During every run – including this one – there’s a point where I tell myself to stop. I tell myself that I’m tired, and I just want to go home. And that’s when I have to talk myself back into reality, because what’s the point in stopping? Where would I be if I quit and went home?

The mantra I live by is: “Keep pushing…always.” And every time I start to convince myself to quit, I find myself pushing harder. That internal battle I have is motivation enough for me to keep going.

As I sat down to stretch, overlooking the lake, my eyes started to tear up. My emotions were going crazy – I was relieved, excited, tired, and in disbelief. I started thinking back to my middle school track days, and I couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of the fact that now I actually enjoy running. I remembered those days, where we had to run one mile to warm up. ONE WHOLE MILE!! And oh, that was the most dreaded mile every single day. But now? One mile seems like nothing to me.

And as I sat thinking about the journey I’ve been on, I couldn’t help but smile at the uncertainty of what’s ahead. If you’d have asked me 12 years ago to run a 10K (6.2 miles), I would have laughed in your face, then went and got some pizza. But now, in less than one week, I’ll be running exactly that distance. (Okay, and I still like pizza!) But I don’t plan on stopping there. I have every intention to keep going, even further than I think I can. Because without goals in life, what are we working toward?

I’m so relieved that my “old” way of running (a.k.a. outside) is “new” again. And I’ll be embracing the opportunity to run outside as much as I can, ecstatically trading in my view from the treadmill. And I’ll never stop pushing.

My view from the treadmill...

My view from the treadmill…

...and my view from the sidewalk.

…and my view from the sidewalk.

The weekend that flew by

2 Apr

Last weekend sped right on by – and we weren’t even busy. Tyson and I had a nice, quiet weekend at home…not really accomplishing anything. It was perfect.

On Friday I took Maya for a walk. We went two miles (the furthest she’s ever walked before), and she was very curious the entire time.

So curious about EVERYTHING!

So curious about EVERYTHING!

After getting home she was completely parched. So much so that she thought it’d be a great idea to cool off her paws in her water dish. Genius.

Too cute to be mad at.

Too cute to be mad at.

The rest of the evening was spent watching the KU basketball game and listening to Tyson yell at the TV. Let me just say that Maya hated every second of that game, and spent the whole time hiding on my lap.

___________________________

Saturday was a day I’d been looking forward to because Ohio State played. If you don’t already know, they’re my favorite team, hands down. They were playing another team I “like”…Wichita State. Growing up in Kansas, Wichita State was one of those teams you root for, but they aren’t a powerhouse like KU or K-State. And they don’t have a football program, so they lose a little bit of credit there. I digress.

My heart was with Ohio State. Unfortunately, the team didn’t really seem present. They looked sloppy and tired. And they lost. And they deserved that loss, and Wichita State definitely deserved the win. Before the game, my cousin and I made a bet (she’s a WSU alum) that whoever lost had to take a picture in the winning team’s shirt and make it their profile picture on Facebook for a week. My shirt should be here tomorrow.

___________________________

As well all know, Sunday was the big Easter holiday. Tyson and I aren’t super religious. We don’t have a church here yet, but we’re believers and we say a prayer every night and before every meal. But Easter is kind of a reason to celebrate. And if you recall, I’m a firm believer that celebrations require food. Tyson and I have been planning our Easter meal for well over a week. And we perfected every single bit of it.

One of the things I really wanted was deviled eggs. I had never made them before, but Tyson assured me he knew what he was doing.

He surprises me every single day.

He surprises me every single day.

And I must admit, they were actually really good!

Definitely hit the spot.

Definitely hit the spot.

Since we had SO MUCH FOOD, I’m just going to list everything we had and link you to the recipe we used:

– Brown Sugar Spiral Ham – followed directions on the ham
– Green Bean Casserole – click here
– Overnight Potatoes (aka Heart Attack in a Pan) – family recipe
– Sweet Potato Casserole – click here
– Stuffing – click here
– Deviled Eggs – Tyson’s head
– Chocolate Pudding Pie – side of the Jello box

Yep, that's a graham cracker crust. Best pie ever.

Yep, that’s a graham cracker crust. Best pie ever.

Let me just say we’re still eating leftovers. And will continue to be for at least the rest of the week.

After a weekend full of basketball games and too much food, we were all wiped out by the end of Sunday.

Tired girl.

Tired girl.

Happy Tuesday!

19 hours of basketball

28 Mar

Last weekend my husband and I spent 19 hours in the Sprint Center watching the NCAA tournament.

It. Was. Awesome.

Let me back up…

Selection Sunday is a big deal in our house, and we sat in anticipation as the brackets were decided. When we saw who was going to be in Kansas City, I grabbed the computer and we bought tickets and booked a hotel. The next four days crawled by as the excitement of heading to the tournament grew. We took off early Friday morning, after leaving Maya at camp the night before.

Maya Lorraine LOVES camp!

Maya Lorraine LOVES camp!

The two of us in the car, early in the morning, made for some great conversations. If someone had bugged our car and then listened to our conversation, they’d have thought we were bat shit crazy.

An hour into our drive, I looked at Tyson – wide-eyed – and said, “You grabbed your t-shirts, right?” His response after hitting the steering wheel? “Oh, shit!” You see, he so intelligently decided to leave his shirts (all four of them) on hangers in the closet. You know, so they wouldn’t get wrinkled. And then we left and went on our merry way and forgot them. Luckily I remembered there was a mall we drove right by as we got into KC, so we were able to stop at Dick’s and get him new shirts. And he better wear them a LOT.

This is his "sad face".

This is his “sad face”.

We got to Kansas City with about an hour to spare before the game, so we parked and headed to the Sprint Center. After clearing security and the uneasiness that arises when you’re not sure if your ticket is actually going to let you in or not, we found our seats and settled in for some excitement. Game one was Wisconsin vs. Ole Miss, and we were rooting for the Rebels. Watching Marshall Henderson in person was so much cooler than watching him on TV – even if we were quite a few rows up!

After enjoying that game (and the disappointment from the Badger fans around us), we decided to grab some food from the concession stand. We ate more salty food last weekend than I remember eating in my entire life.

Delicious salt mines.

Delicious salt mines.

Next up was K-State vs. La Salle. Heading into this game, we were certain K-State would win (unfortunately). But fortunately they lost. The game was awesome, and the Explorers (lame) fought through to the end. When the buzzer signaled the end of the game, I had mixed emotions. I wanted to stand up and clap and yell and cheer, but I was terrified of all the K-State fans around us. So I kept quite.

K-State vs. La Salle

K-State vs. La Salle

The first two games were the “first session”, and we had to clear out the arena before “session two” started a few hours later. This worked out perfectly for us since we needed to check in at our hotel. We stayed about six or seven blocks from the Sprint Center, so we headed back to check in. After getting up to our room and taking bathroom breaks, Tyson walked out of the bathroom and said, “Umm…look at this.” I looked at what he was holding and innocently thought it was a shaver. Tyson must have read the confusion on my face, and he said, “It’s a hand gun.”

Enough to scare me into the shakes.

Enough to scare me into the shakes.

My response? “Oh my god. Are you sure?”

So I called the front desk and the manager on duty came up and disposed of the gun. My heart was beating a thousand beats a minute and Tyson kept reassuring me that it was OK.

After that excitement, we headed back to the gym for North Carolina vs. Villanova, and the game we’d been waiting for all day – KU vs. Western Kentucky. It was awesome to be able to see these guys in action live. It brings forth a whole new attitude about the game. After each team won we were rooting for (NC and KU), we were already pumped for Sunday since they’d be playing each other – which was guaranteed to be a great game.

KU vs. Western Kentucky

KU vs. Western Kentucky

Saturday was a lot more relaxing and low-key. We slept until 10:30 (how do people do that every day?!) and then went out for BBQ and bowling. Then we headed back to the hotel to watch more basketball and had pizza delivered for dinner. (I know this probably sounds like a lame day/night, but we’re not partyers, so we didn’t want to hit up Power and Light on a Saturday night.)

Amazing pizza from some place in downtown KC.

Amazing pizza from some place in downtown KC.

On Sunday we were up and had to check out of the hotel by 11 a.m. However, the KU/NC game didn’t start until 4:15 p.m. That left about four hours until doors opened, so we headed to a bar at Power and Light and grabbed lunch. Lucky for us, the Iowa State/Ohio State game was on every TV in the bar. Unlucky for me, everyone in the bar was rooting for Iowa State. Fortunately, my boys pulled off a last-second win and I was the one clapping and cheering as they all sat in disbelief. Boo yah.

Sporting my Buckeye apparel! Tyson's red shirt was for KU...so he says.

Sporting my Buckeye apparel! Tyson’s red shirt was for KU…so he says.

After nine drinks (total, not each), we headed out to watch the KU pep rally. Let me just say, I have a new-found respect for college cheerleaders and dancers. The amount of work they do during the game is insane. You know those TV timeouts they’re forced to take? The dancers and cheerleaders spend the entire time on the court. It’s amazing.

KU pep rally. That place was LOUD!

KU pep rally. That place was LOUD!

Finally the doors opened and we stood in line as they slowly let people in. The game was (as we expected), nerve-wracking and awesome. Luckily things looked up in the second half and KU took a decent enough lead that I could stop holding my breath.

Like little ants roaming around.

Like little ants roaming around.

Here we go 'Hawks!

Here we go ‘Hawks!

After that win, it was time for more concession stand food. As well as a line at the men’s room. This shit cracks me up!

This line is for the potty, not the food!

This line is for the potty, not the food!

As more than half the arena left, we settled in for the La Salle vs. Ole Miss game. I didn’t care who won this game, but thought it would be cool if the Explorers (still lame) could pull it off. And they did! At one point in the second half Tyson leaned over and said, “Let’s go at the next time out.” I BEG YOUR PARDON?! I kindly told him we would not be leaving until the game was over. After all, we didn’t pay for those tickets just to leave!

As soon as the buzzer sounded, we were out of our seats and headed to the car. It was about 9:15 p.m. and at midnight:45, we pulled into our driveway and were in bed by 1 a.m.

Monday was a wretched day for both of us – we just wanted to sleep! But I wouldn’t trade that exhaustion for anything after the weekend we had. I’m so grateful I have a husband who wants to take me to these kind of events with him. And he’s pretty damned lucky to have a wife who will go with him and enjoy herself.

Second and third round 2014 in St. Louis – here we come!

RCJH go KU!

RCJH go KU!

50 and a recipe: Bierrock Casserole

21 Mar

Today’s post is my 50th. Which is pretty exciting, considering I typically start things and never finish them. And today I’d like to celebrate the same way I celebrate everything in life…with food.

Growing up, my great grandma made bierrocks pretty regularly. They were amazing, but so time consuming. Which is why I have never made them in my life. My sister occasionally makes them, but now that she’s in Virginia, it’s hard for me to enjoy them. In a wild event that brought this whole dilemma full circle, my husband introduced this recipe to me. We’ve made it several times, and I love how easy it is, yet how similar it replicates an actual bierrock. So without any more discussion, here are the ingredients and directions (with pictures!):

Bierrock Casserole

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground hamburger, cooked and drained
1 small onion, chopped
2 c. cabbage, chopped
Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cans crescent rolls (We like the seamless sheet ones the best.)
8×8 or 9×9 pan, greased (This recipe can easily be doubled for a 9×13 pan.)

Everything you need (minus the hamburger).

Everything you need, minus the hamburger…and the pan…

Directions:
1. After  cooking the hamburger, return to heat and add onion and cabbage. Cook until onions are transparent and cabbage is soft.

Hamburger, onion, cabbage combination.

Hamburger, onion, cabbage combination.

2. Press one can of crescent rolls into an 8×8 pan and spoon hamburger/vegetable mixture on top.

Pressed crescents. All those seams are so ugly...that's why I like the sheets better.

All those seams are so ugly…that’s why I like the sheets better.

3. Sprinkle cheese on top of hamburger mixture.

4. Cover with the rest of the crescent rolls.

5. Cook at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until top crust is brown. (You may need to increase this time for a 9×13 pan. We typically place foil over the top for the last 10 minutes so it doesn’t burn.)

This is what it should look like when you pull it from the oven.

This is what it should look like when you pull it from the oven.

6. Enjoy!

We always eat this with corn. But not always on styrofoam plates.

We always eat this with corn. But not always on styrofoam plates.

And with that, I say goodbye for the weekend. My husband and I are headed to Kansas City for rounds two and three of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Full recap next week!

#12: An enormous amount of estrogen

18 Mar

March 9 marked my first 5K of the year, and the 12th in my self-imposed 25 by 25 challenge.

12 of 25!

12 of 25!

It was a cool, rainy morning and I was confident the rain would stop just in time for our race, and pick up again just as we were driving home. Unfortunately, my confidence was a bit off track and it was drizzly all morning – before, during and after the race. The wetness, combined with the slight wind, created a chill that swarmed through the air – cool enough that you needed a jacket, but not so nipply that gloves were required.

It would have been a perfect day to stay home in bed.

It would have been a perfect day to stay home in bed.

My mom and I decided to make the Diva Dash 5K our first race of the year. We were excited when we signed up because it’s a women’s only race. That excitement quickly turned to bemusement for me as we were standing around waiting for the race to begin. I don’t really like people – let alone other women – so why would I subject myself to participating in an event where estrogen was flowing through the air thicker than the scent from the pink porta potties? I don’t have enough digits to count the number of times I rolled my eyes as I stood around listening to some of the IQ-deflating conversations going on.

As the race was starting, our cousin from town showed up. She signed up for the race that week when she  found out my mom and I were participating, and it was nice to see at least two friendly, familiar faces in the crowd (three if you count our support system – my dad).

Pre-race and fairly dry!

Pre-race and fairly dry!

My dad is one of the best supporters there is!

My dad is one of the best supporters out there!

As the MC announced the race would be beginning in five minutes, all the tutus scurried their way to the front of the pack. (You’ll notice in the above pictures that I was not wearing one of these.) I’m more of a middle-of-the-pack runner, not too slow and not too fast. Plus, when you’re in the middle you can pass people, which always results in a burst of energy.

We took off through the damp air – all 489 of us – fighting for space on the sidewalk. I’m not one to stay back and let others move in slow motion ahead of me (that defeats the purpose of a race), so I navigated my way around the walkers and the strollers, and through the puddles and muddy grass. After separating myself from the pack a little bit, I got into my groove and by the time I hit one mile, I was all but running alone. The scenery was beautiful – we ran next to a lake, through a tree-lined area and around a residential neighborhood. The only downfall was trying to dodge all the goose poop. After about 1/4 mile in, I said screw it and just trudged right through it – my shoes were wet and dirty already anyway.

About 2.5 miles of the way through, the rain and the wind picked up. But after noticing that my time was good and I was going to meet my goal of under 30 minutes, I kept pushing through as the rain slapped against my face. I knew I was on the downside of the course, so I kicked up my pace and started passing people right and left. It was such a rewarding feeling – knowing that I could pass people if I wanted to. Last year that didn’t happen much, so it helped reinforce that my hard work during training really is paying off.

As I rounded the last turn and saw the finish line in sight, I picked up my knees and hauled ass to the end. (Proof: My last .1 mile split was a 7:11, which is a lot faster than I typically run!)

Not bad for my first race OFF the treadmill.

Not bad for my first race OFF the treadmill.

After taking my timing chip off, grabbing a bottle of water and throwing a finisher’s medal around my neck, I found my dad and we waited for my mom and cousin to come across the finish line.

At that point in time, I really started noticing my surroundings. And I was experiencing a change of heart. I was no longer seeing materialistic women clad in tutus and too much makeup. And their conversations had shifted to encouraging words and congratulatory hugs.

To see such a large gathering of women in one place, fighting for the same cause, was beyond powerful. These weren’t just high-maintenance females gathered for a relaxing day at the spa. These were fighters, coming out in the rain and cold to run their asses off.

And that’s when it hit me: Women rock.

Post-race...nice and wet!

Post-race…nice and wet!

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