Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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å-loppet number three

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2016 marks my third go at Å-varvet. 2015 I was unable to run because of a shoulder injury. This year though, I was so there!

The woman who won this year, Tigist Jabore, ran the quarter marathon in 35:34. I’m going to tell you right now, my time was nowhere near that. I’m also going to tell you right now I did not train for the race this year.

Bear with me. (If there had been maybe I would have run faster.)

I had actually not really planned to run. I hadn’t been able to train since the birth of my wonderful and amazing baby, you know the one. So I was thinking I’d skip this year, and go big next year. Then at the last minute I found out that my place of employment would be footing the bill (a whopping $50, so we’re not talking ridiculous sums here) for all those who wanted to run or walk. GREAT! I shouted. Alone in the break room. I signed myself up then and there.

Mind you, this was a week and a half before race day. Do you think I went out and got a jump start on my training? Nope. Come race day, I just went for it. So did Ryan. As you recall he was here visiting, and thought: WHY NOT?! He ran bandit, because what else would he do? It was the natural course of things.

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I’m not extremely familiar with running road races, so I was super excited to see that you can log on to the race’s website and see all previous times!

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As was to be expected I ran considerably slower than my previous times, and those most observant of my readers will already have noticed the downward trend that is my finishing times. Not to worry, I will complete number 13 on my 30 before 30 list! Training for 2017 commences now.

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an ode to elizabeth

Otherwise entitled: Ode on Intimations of Running Immortality from Recollections of a Time When I Ran a Lot

There was a time when pavement, field and track,
Came up to meet my stomping feet.
Now looking back,
I’d not have survived without this treat.
Rip-stick thy name, carried via knapsack.
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Received one summer’s eve, I believeth,
Amazing healing powers,
Disencumbers.
A true friend helping me to run, Elizabeth.

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Inspired by Elizabeth, her amazing gift of the rip-stick, and William Wordsworth’s Ode on Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood. You know, the important things: friends, presents and William Wordsworth.

Seriously though, Elizabeth, that rip-stick you bestowed upon me but three years ago has been put to some seriously good use. Not only did it help me with my recovery when I did all that running that one time, but it’s also been used for the past three hockey seasons. This past season in particular it not only aided Evelina and I in our recovery, but also the rest of the team. So, thank you Elizabeth. SSK/Linden dam also thanks you. You’re so generous.

If you don’t already know what a rip-stick is, it’s this:

rip stick

You roll it along your aching muscles and it’s like giving yourself a massage. Also helpful in these efforts is a foam roller. This thing:

Foam roller

Both of these items aid in recovery. Or that’s what they’re said to do. And I tend to believe it. Another recovery/injury aid I use often, which Elizabeth also introduced to me, is KT tape. Or kinesiology tape.

Now’s as good a time as any to inform you all that I injured my shoulder in the last hockey game of the season. Without going too much into the dirty details, things are healing, but could also be better. The up side: I get to be professionally KT taped! Up until now I’ve been applying the tape myself, or relying on my kind teammates to tape me up. I’ve been pretty successful in these endeavors actually, but it doesn’t quite compare to a professional taping. My physio taped me up on Tuesday, alleviating a good amount of pain, and the tape is still sitting right where it should be! That’s quality care.

#mirrorselfie #shameless #killinit

#mirrorselfie #shameless #killinit

I know, I make this look good. Think good thoughts for my shoulder recovery!

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the land of ice

After the wedding comes the honeymoon!

Evelina and I traveled to Iceland this past August to celebrate our love for one another. Also all the adventure!

We were in Iceland for five days, and while there we stayed in Reykjavik. It’s a beautiful city, our hotel was very central, so everything was within walking distance.

On the first day, after landing, getting ourselves into Reykjavik, and checking in to the hotel, Evelina and I walked up to the Church of Hallgrímur. Or as they say in Icelandic Hallgrímskirkja. OR as they say in Swedish Hallgrímurs kyrka.

Side bar: there are clear similarities between Icelandic and the other Scandinavian languages (not Finnish), however since they’re all on their lonesome on that island out in the middle of the Atlantic, Icelandic developed more as an outsider. This means I understand zero Icelandic. To be fair, my Danish and Norwegian are not good either.

Anywho! You can ride the elevator to the top, take the stairs up a few more floors, and get a great view. Evelina and I enjoyed wonderful views of, basically the entire city from the top of the church.

Iceland church

On the second day we did a bus tour of the Golden Circle. We rode to see the national park Þingvellir, the waterfall Gullfoss, and the geothermally active valley of Haukadalur.

Golden Circle

We even saw huge glaciers and volcanoes from afar. In Haukadalur we visited The Great Geysir, as in the geyser who named all geysers. Seeing as Geysir is so great he graces us with his presence quite infrequently. Strokkur on the other hand was also in the valley and erupted something like every 7 minutes. It only took about a million tries to get this photo.

Geyser

And lots of patients. Seven minutes is a long time. Since we were so good at keeping time we got to see an extra waterfall at the end.

Day three we took it easy. We walked around Reykjavik and did a little shopping. By a little shopping i mean I bought a scarf and Evelina bought a hat. It is cold in Iceland, even in the summer.

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Can you see the puffin on Evelina’s hat?

 

We ate lunch at a super great little café which I recommend to all of you. Get the soup of the day with grilled cheese, you will not regret it. We liked the place so much we returned there for another meal later in the week. The soup of the day was tomato both times. If you do go, please let me know if they ever change the soup of the day. I suspect they do not.

Mmm, noodle soup

We also ate here on our first day. It was tomato then too.

 

We then tried to go on a whale watch. Okay we did go on a whale watch, and tried to see whales. Unfortunately we did not see any. We did see some puffins though! Since we didn’t get to see any whales we got a free tour which is good for up to a year. If you know anyone going to Iceland, we’ve got whale watching tickets, as we were unable to try a second attempt.

We were litterally wearing all of the clothes we had packed, so it was really great they had these jump suits for us to keep warm.

We were literally wearing all of the clothes we had packed, so it was really great they had these jump suits to help us keep warm as we patiently awaited the whales.

Dinner was eaten at a local Icelandic style restaurant. I say Icelandic style because they served some traditional Icelandic food (fish and lamb – though not in the same dish), but also because it was cold as hell in there. The Icelandic people apparently think their summers are warm, and therefore do not require indoor heating. I do beg to differ.

Dinner Iceland

On the fourth day we got to do what we came to Iceland to do. Or at least what one of the big reasons was why we chose Iceland. We went on a helicopter ride. Even before we had planned the wedding Evelina had seen an information pamphlet about helicopter rides over Iceland. We had decided we wanted to do this before we had picked a wedding local, or dresses, or pretty much everything. So it was a dream come true to have the opportunity to go on that private helicopter ride. Oh man was it cool! We got cool headgear to wear. We got to see ridiculously amazing views of Iceland from above. And we had a great pilot who made the experience even better than we had imagined.

This was such an incredible experience. Plus, my aviators got to be used for their original purpose. Win-win.

This was such an incredible experience. Plus, my aviators got to be used for their original purpose. Win-win.

Our fifth and final day was spent a very long and relaxing day at the Blue Lagoon. You can buy tickets from Reykjavik to the Blue Lagoon and then to the airport, which is exactly what we did. After checking out of the hotel we bussed our way out there. The weather was unbelievable, and the water was oh so warm. There are massages to be had, facials to be gotten, and a world of relaxation. We had dinner at the restaurant there after an exhausting day of relaxing in the sunshine. The food was quite good. We left the Blue Lagoon very satisfied with our choice to visit, and made our way home to Sweden.

Views from in the lagoon and atop the viewing deck.

Views from in the lagoon and atop the viewing deck.

Iceland was the perfect honeymoon spot. I can’t wait to go back.

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precision nutrition

So I made the plunge. After years of reading the PN blog and getting all their free information – I finally did it. I’ve written about PN philosophies before, and now I’ve finally signed up for their coaching program for women. It would have been difficult to sign up for the men’s program, as I am not a man.

PN go time

Today officially concludes day 11, and I had an idea.

I’d like to share my journey with you readers. The ups and downs of this next year with the PN team will hopefully make for some fun stories, and keep you all entertained. Check out the new page at the top entitled “PN” (stands for Precision Nutrition – but you guys are smart enough to know that). I’ll be updating it from time to time with new posts about my journey. Whether or not they’ll be amusing remains to be seen, but I’m definitely expecting some change. So, keep tabs on that tab if you’re interested in my thoughts on the program from now on.

Hope to see you there!

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#iworkout

Do you know how tired my legs are? Probably not, because I haven’t told you yet. They’re super tired.

As I mentioned (in 2012) I’ve been working out of late. Alright, to be honest, I haven’t been working out straight from 2012 up to now. But it has been a pretty good run! Sometimes even literally! (Oh, wow, I’m so funny.)

Anywho! On my 25 before 25 list I wanted to get fit! And on June 6th I deemed this goal complete. However, the road was long, and continues on.

Up until this point I’ve pretty much exclusively written about the nutrition side of getting fit (discounting the running posts here and here). The nutrition posts can be viewed here, here, and my post from the other day. But now I’d like to turn to the working out side of things.

As I’m sure you’re well aware, and if you’re not that’s okay too, I play ice hockey. I have played for 13 seasons, plus this past one, which makes 14. (For all you math lovers out there). As part of playing hockey at varying levels over the years I have gained some experience in the weight room. At university I got my first real taste of personally modified, consistent, scheduled training in the weight room. I really liked it. Since leaving I have continued with these workouts, especially during the summer months.

The summer workouts were a bit of a thing to dread when I was in school, especially when they required up to 5 hours of gym time. That summer you could not say what I was doing was efficient training. But, that was what it took for me to complete the scheduled workouts. Since that particular summer an absolutely amazing Strength & Conditioning coach was hired, and started fine tuning our workouts. Since moving to Sweden, every summer, like clock work, Evelina and i have followed this workout regime. I love these work outs — but it does bring us to why my legs hurt so much.

We’re well into Phase III of the workout, and this is where things start getting exciting. By exciting I mean heavy. There are four phases to the summer work out. Starting in May and ending in August, the phases are three and four weeks long, odd numbered phases are three weeks, even are four. Phase III is kicking my butt. Literally. Not only are my legs sore my butt is sore. To the point where it’s uncomfortable to sit down. It’s actually just pretty uncomfortable all the time.

However, it’s a whole different kind of pain than the soreness of my running legs. Funny how that is.

I love lifting, and doing hockey specific workouts. I do also love running, which I think is a great form of exercise. This spring injured myself running, but before that I had kept pretty good track of my runs and workouts. Unfortunately I didn’t keep perfect track of them, but I did open up that old spread sheet yesterday and update it to include my summer workouts.

lifting should alwasy be in pink. lifting is for girls.

lifting should always be in pink. lifting is for girls.

This isn’t something I’ve ever done, keep track of my workouts in this way. I have my workouts scheduled on my iCal and the lift program is printed out, so I can look back and see the days I’ve completed, but I’ve never had everything in one place like this. It’s pretty fun! I’m even more excited about the possibility of continuing to keep track and seeing what I can change and improve upon to make even better strides in the future. Imagine!

Like I said though, I haven’t been working out straight since 2012, every day all day. Sometimes the motivation wanes. That’s when I turn to technology to provide me with inspiring quotes matched with motivating pictures. (Although that was said sarcastically in my mind, it really is the reality of things).

workitout

pictures from google, instagram, etc. found with search words such as #fit #fitness #workout #run #lift you get the idea

Ever in need of a little extra motivation? Save that picture and read some of the quotes. It just might help. If you’re game, you can also keep track of your workouts. I know I will.

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spreadsheets and triple contractions – with a side of running

Don't be fooled by the rosy filter, it is cold in there.

Don’t be fooled by the rosy filter, it is cold in there.

After starting my marathon training I did what any sensible person would do. I made a spreadsheet. Okay, to be honest the absolute first thing I did was take an ice bath, because man my legs were not pleased with my decisions. Then I made a spread sheet.

I love spreadsheets. I almost considered being an accountant once, because I heard they get to make a lot of spreadsheets, and I want that to be my job. Nothing came out of that, so that’s neither here nor there, but it does emphasize my point that I love spreadsheets.

My spreadsheet is beautiful and catalogues the training I have completed and the training I plan to complete. For now, our ice times and schedule only come out one week in advance, so I haven’t planned very far into the future as of yet. Once the hockey season ends, and I am better able to gauge what I am capable of, I’ll be able to plan farther in advance.

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This is what I’m talking about:

Training Schedule Pic

You may notice a gap there in the training. I got sick at the end of January, and wasn’t up to training. I feel I should take something away from my getting sick so soon after starting my training. However, it’s still unclear if I jumped into too much training at once, or if I should focus on abstaining from allowing three year olds to cough directly into my air passages. Definitely one of the two.

I’m excited to see what will come of the spreadsheet in the future as I complete more training. Y’all’ll just have to wait and see! (Why isn’t a triple contraction acceptable in the English language? Triple contractions are another thing I love.)

Cheers!

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what have i done?!

Do you ever ask yourself, in a panicked squeak, what have I done?

I keep asking myself this. In a panicked squeak in my mind. Why am I repetitively asking myself this? Because I have done something. Something I am not so sure about.

Yes, I question my motives. I question my decision making skills. My sanity.

I have signed up for a marathon. A long marathon. I’ve heard they’re 26.2 miles. That’s 42.2 kilometers. That’s far.

In preparation for my training I have turned to the internet. The internet can solve all your problems. I have learned this. I am here to pass on the knowledge. Surprisingly enough I have not found the perfectly tailored marathon training program to fit all my personal and individual needs. As previously mentioned on this blog I am an active hockey player. This means a schedule of three ice practices and two games per week, starting this week and continuing until the end of February. However, the fact of the matter is, today marks 140 days until the ASICS Stockholm Marathon. So it is training time. Time to go. It was time to go yesterday.

pre-marathon training

I got this t-shirt for marathon training activities. Hopefully I’ll look fitter once the training commences. (Yes, I was paid less for this photo since my face is cropped out.)

I just don’t know how to swing it.

Balancing hockey training and marathon training is going to be quite the act.

Tune in to see how I handle it.

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