SBRR Half Marathon Training {Weeks 4 and 5}

Hello, friends!

I still can’t believe I a) registered for a half marathon and b) have completed all of my scheduled runs.

Don’t get me wrong – I love running, but I also have a very full plate (new baby, active toddler, full-time job). In the back of my mind, I think I halfway expected to fail.

Exhibit A: As I type this post on my iPhone, we just finished tucking both girls into bed. I fill the kitchen sink with warm soapy dishwater and begin gathering a day’s worth of bottles and pump parts while Tim straightens up the living room, tripping over and setting off a cacaphony of toys in the process.

On a good day, we both fall into bed feeling incredibly blessed, yet completely exhausted. On a bad day, well – let’s just say we give ourselves and each other the grace and space we need to survive (even if it means consuming a glass of sweet red wine while scrolling Facebook in the pantry).

As it turns out, running has provided me a physical outlet and an emotional escape – a release from life where I can channel all of my tension and aggression and set new, healthier intentions.

Yes, waking at 5 am after a long, sleepless night spent desperately trying to cajole a teething infant to sleep sucks. But the feeling of sweet satisfaction after completing that early morning run makes it all worth it (even if my under-eye bags do scare my coworkers). Plus, watching the sun rise over our pond works wonders for my soul.


With that said, here’s a look at the past two weeks:

Week 4 Workouts

  • Monday, August 12 – 3.62 miles
  • Wednesday, August 14 – 3.5 miles
  • Friday, August 16 – 5.2 miles

Week 5 Workouts

  • Monday, August 19 – 4.25 miles
  • Wednesday, August 21 – 4.25 miles
  • Friday, August 23 – 6.15 miles

Finally, I will leave you with a quote:



SBRR Half Marathon Training {Weeks 2 and 3}

Hello, friends!

As the month flies by and my weekly mileage continues to slowly increase, I have fallen into a rather pleasant running routine. Overall, as long as I remain fairly flexible, I usually have no trouble completing my scheduled runs. My training routine looks something like this:

  • Monday mornings I roll out of bed at 5:30 am, pump Sophie’s morning bottle, and down a quick cup of coffee before going for a short jog through our neighborhood.
  • Depending on my schedule, I go for another shorter run again on Tuesday or Wednesday evening/night.
  • Every Friday, my employer lets everyone out early, so a coworker and I head out for a brief jog together before I continue on by myself to complete my long run.

Surprisingly, my family life seems pretty unaffected by my training schedule. My biggest hurdle when it comes to balancing work, kids, and running actually involves breastfeeding and making sure I pump within at least two or three hours of working out so that the girls don’t get too full. Let’s just say I already need all the support I can get these days, and any extra weight up top has my maximum control sports bra begging for mercy. Ha. (Sorry. TMI alert.)

Anyway, here’s a quick recap of the past two weeks.

Week 2 Workouts

  • Monday, July 29 – 3.41 miles outside before work
  • Tuesday, July 30 – 3.1 miles on gym treadmill
  • Friday, August 2 – 4.25 miles on work trail
I used this late-night treadmill run to watch the season 3 finale of Stranger Things. So good!

Week 3 Workouts

  • Monday, August 5 – 3.62 miles outside before work
  • Wednesday, August 7 – 3.75 miles outside after work
  • Friday, August 9 – 5.2 miles on work trail
Yes, this is one of the first Garmins ever made. And yes, I realize this 2006 gadget makes me officially old. My technologically challenged mom even suggested I upgrade to an Apple Watch.

So there you have it. Next week I plan on incorporating some strength training into my routine. And who knows – I may even go crazy and add some yoga to the mix. Fun times!



SBRR Half Marathon Training {Week 1}

Hello, friends! Guess who just completed week one of half marathon training? This girl! (Both thumbs pointing at myself.)

Side bar (fair warning, I have a lot of these): Jogging is my jam. I am convinced there is nothing in life a quick run can’t cure, or at the very least, make more manageable. It’s pretty much the only form of exercise that has remained consistent in my life since college. I don’t go for speed, or distance, and especially not fashion. (Hello, my favorite Nike running shorts have logged more miles than some commercial airliners.) During both of my pregnancies, I took a quick break from high-impact exercise to focus on baking my babes and providing the best womb service possible. But as of last month, I’m officially back to pounding the pavement. An average jog for me ranges anywhere from three to five miles at a 9-9:45 mph pace. Slow and steady finishes the race.

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently registered for the Scenic Byway River Run Half Marathon (my third half marathon in my lifetime). After giving birth to Sophie in March, I slowly started exercising (jogging, elliptical, Beach Body workouts, Jillian Michaels DVDs, YouTube videos) again. Running a strong 5k back in June gave me the motivation and confidence I needed to sign up for a longer race. Ideally, I wanted to run a 10k or 10 miler, but this race caught my eye for two reasons 1) It’s super close to home (major convenience factor) and 2) It gave me a bit of time to build up a nice base before diving into a 12-week training plan.

My favorite fan club and the wind in my sails (pictured at the 2016 and 2017 Women Run the Cities events in Minneapolis). Now we just need to add sweet Sophie to the mix.

The mid-October race date means I have exactly 11 weeks from today to get my rear in gear. I plan on following Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 training plan, which I plan on modifying to fit my schedule as needed. For example, I’d like to substitute some strength training or cross training exercises for one of the mid-week runs. And, while I will do my best to complete all of my runs (especially the long ones), I hereby promise not to judge myself too harshly for missing a workout or two when life gets too busy.

Mama bought a new pair of shoes to celebrate my return to running!

Week 1 Workouts

So here’s how week one of half training went:

  • Monday, July 22 – 3.28 miles outside before work
  • Tuesday, July 24 – 3.3 miles outside after work
  • Friday, July 26 – 4.15 miles on a regional trail near my work

Overall, it feels great to run again. Cheers to a happy, healthy training schedule!

Five Things Friday

[Tap, tap, tap. Is this thing on? Ahem. Obnoxious mic screech/nails on chalkboard sound here.]

First of all, welcome back!

Thanks for bearing with me as I took a brief blogging break to do some adult things like get pregnant, have baby #1, move into a new house, get pregnant again, land a new job, and have baby #2.

Life, while insanely awesome, is also incredibly busy these days. Why does time seem to just speed up the older you get?

Anyway, let’s see…where did we leave off? Last time I blogged, the Obamas still lived in the White House.

Tim and I went from being a couple of kids (photo taken right before date night – circa 2013):

To having a couple of kids (photos taken during family fun day somewhere between nap time and supper time and right before two total meltdowns – circa 2019):

Well, friends – it seems we have some catching up to do. How about a quick Five Things Friday post to help us get reacquainted?

  1. As you can tell from the photo, Tim and I now have two adorable daughters: Emma Kate (3.5 years) and Sophie Ann (4 months). Tim already dreads their teenage years. You would, too, if you saw the way Emma drives tears through the neighborhood in her cherry red battery-powered Mustang convertible.
  2. At this very moment (Thursday night), I am sipping an adult beverage, indulging in some reality television, and enjoying a few minutes of peace and quiet after surviving a very long work week during the dreaded four-month sleep regression. #workingmom
  3. The other day, Sophie chuckled for the first time. I literally thought my heart would explode.
  4. The other week, I asked Emma if she liked the smell of my perfume. She kindly responded, “Yes. It smells like hand sanitizer.” (I still can’t figure out if that’s a compliment? Also, I should really do an entire post of Emma-isms.)
  5. Last month, I participated in a Wounded Warrior 5k Fun Run organized by my employer (my first race since giving birth to Sophie). While I didn’t shatter any world records, I did finish strong, which encouraged me to register for a half marathon in October. Of course I signed up at a time when Sophie just began sleeping through the night and I felt well rested. I started training this week, right as she entered a fussy, sleepless phase. Between 2 am wake-up calls and 7 am work meetings, I feel pretty exhausted. I made a deal with myself that in terms of running, I will simply do the best I can and only continue training as long as it energizes, not exhausts me. Wish me luck!

(On a side note, I couldn’t wait to start exercising again after having Sophie. As soon as I felt I could safely jog three miles, I jumped at the chance to run a 5k at work. Well, between recently returning to work after maternity leave and enduring nearly three months of extreme sleep deprivation known only to new moms and Navy Seals, I somehow got the date wrong and arrived a day early for the race. Womp. Womp. Dressed and ready to rock and roll in my retro Nike Tempo shorts and practically obsolete antique Garmin Forerunner, I showed up [utterly alone, totally confused, and slightly embarrassed] to the starting line just in time to realize my mistake and do a walk of shame back to my desk. Oh, well – at least I gave my team a good chuckle. #brightside)

So there you have it: my life in bullet points. Please visit again soon for more stories!


Capturing South Dakota {Cabin Life}

Tim and I feel so fortunate to have families with lake homes. We love spending our weekends boating, fishing, and relaxing with loved ones. A few weeks ago, we loaded up the dogs and headed west to my Mom’s cabin in northeastern South Dakota to celebrate the art of doing absolutely nothing.

Mom and Erica

I love the location of my mom’s lake home – about a hundred miles from nowhere.

South Daktoa

Well, not exactly nowhere. To be more precise, her cabin is nestled in the middle of a large cattle ranch. We awoke each morning to the cows (quite literally) coming home to feed.


Luckily, Mother Nature cooperated and blessed us with a warm, sunny weekend. We took advantage of the blue skies to do some exploring.

Tim and Tucker

My mom’s friends, LaVern and Linda, own a hobby farm down the road, so we stopped by one day to say hello to the donkeys…


…and the horses…


…who begged us for a few biscuits.


It felt great to unplug from reality and breathe in the fresh air.


We didn’t do any fishing, but we did enjoy our time near the lake.

Tim and Erica

And despite encountering a garter snake or two, our weekend was nothing short of wonderful.

Tucker and Erica
~ Erica


Photo Shoot Oops

Every year around late November, I frantically search my photos folder for a decent Christmas card pic. The other night, feeling unusually ambitious, I begged convinced my husband to throw on a polo shirt and join me for a quick photo shoot in a nearby office park.

We set up the tripod and managed to snap a few shots before a nice security guard kindly informed us we needed a photography permit. Oops.

Tim and Erica 1 Tim and Erica 2 Tim and Erica 3 Tim and Erica 4