Half Marathon Training

Around the time that Henry & Emily began taking their first steps, I realized it was time to tackle a few new steps of my own. That was both the plan and promise I made to myself after delivering my two cutiepies; “Baby steps, before Babies’ Steps“. So once it was time to take “The Next Step” for my fitness goals I registered for the 2017 Route 66 Half-Marathon!

Continue reading Half Marathon Training

Early to Rise 

It wasn’t going well; the whole – wake up to the sound of my twins on the monitor then hit the ground running – thing. I’d been thinking about about waking up earlier for a while to sneak in some me-time/prep-time, but it’s not easy when you have twin toddlers and you just.want.your.sleeeeep. Right?!

Continue reading Early to Rise 

The Next Step

The days of my two little bugs walking independently, running, and cartwheeling through life are seemingly minutes away. Both Henry and Emily surprise me and Sean daily at how quickly their balance improves, how fearless they are, and how joyful they become with every new discovery. It’s truly an honor to watch these two souls grow.

Continue reading The Next Step

Review: StudiOne’s Fit Camp {from home}

So remember when I told y’all about that 12 week remote fit camp that I signed up for in Feb? Here’s that original post: Fit Camp! {from home}. Well…I DID IT! I completely loved it, needed it, and desperately want it back in my life again. It was the first time in far too long that I felt like I got my strength back, and then some.

Continue reading Review: StudiOne’s Fit Camp {from home}

Fit Camp! {from home}

Since Henry & Emily are gonna be crawling, walking, and running all over creation soon, keeping fitness a priority this year is so important to me. Mama Kath’s gotta keep up!

picmonkey-photoI go to StudiOne Tulsa once a week for their bootcamp class and I recently learned about their 12 week fit camp that I can sign up for and do from home. This is PERFECT for me! Having 3 home workouts a week sent to me from Coach Sprenkel (co-owner of StudiOne Tulsa) is exactly what I need. It fits right in line with my goals for 2017 (My 2017)!

Anyone wanna join meeee? I hope you will! I’d love to have more friends do this with me along the way. I plan on posting frequent updates on Instagram (@OK.Kath) and once a month on the blog to stay accountable. Here are the details:

What:

Fit Camp (remotely) through StudiOne Tulsa

How:

3 days of strength circuits are sent to participants each week. Circuits are less than 30 minutes and they can be broken up into 3 smaller circuits throughout the day. There’s even a Facebook community group that we get to join to help stay motivated!

$75 covers all 12 weeks. Otherwise, all you need are dumbbells/weights (I’m usin’ my babies!), a mat, and something to step on & off.

Where:

Wherever I want! Living room, nursery, backyard/park (weather-willing). If you’re thinking of doing it (yay!!!) you don’t have to be in the Tulsa area. Anyone can sign up. East coast, west coast, midwest friends: y’all should seriously do this with me!

When:

It starts on Monday, Jan 16 & lasts for 12 weeks. This is the best way to make sure my goals won’t be just a Jan/Feb thing. This sets the tone for the entire year, and by the time Spring running races roll around – I’ll be ready!

Who:

Register by emailing Coach Jessica Sprenkel at: fitness@studionetulsa.com

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Comment below or message me on IG/FB if you’re thinking about joining me. The more friends doing this with me the better!

I’m so pumped 🙂

Big hugs,

Katherine

 

Baby Steps before Babies’ Steps

I ran a 5k (Tulsa Run) on Saturday! It was a big deal for me. Huge. It was the first time that I tackled a race, let alone 3.1 miles, in well over a year.

 

In my pre-preggo/pre-mama life I ran 5k’s, a couple of 10 mile races, a half marathon and 2 Ragnar races. I wasn’t a phenomenal runner by any means, but I loved the challenge and how it kept me healthy. I’m my best self when I keep moving and stay challenged. But for the past year my body barely remembered those days.

My twin pregnancy was a doozy. I was on modified bed rest for months and as the belly weight double-timed in its intensity, so did the stress on my joints. But here I am nearly 5 months later looking at my sweet bib from Saturday and I’m already getting pumped for another 5K in Owasso this weekend! I’m gonna be bold and say it:

I’m proud of myself!

I don’t think we say that about ourselves enough, especially when we’re often our own worst critic.

Why are those 4 words so hard to say?!

For me, I often set the bar way too high, then get frustrated and exhausted when I can’t reach it in record time. That’s basically how I’ve felt about this race until recently. I wanted to reach 3 miles in my training over a month ago but I just wasn’t there. I had to learn to pace my body slower than my mind wanted me to, especially with so few windows of time to fit in a run each week. Saturday’s 5K was incredibly slow for me, but as I was reminded before the race: everyone has their own goal. For me, I just have to remember to take baby steps…before my babies take their first steps!

“Baby Steps before Babies’ Steps” is my own reminder to keep exercising regularly as I have been, but not push myself too far too soon. When the day comes for Henry & Emily to take their first steps it will be a HUGE milestone. I’ll watch as they push their own boundaries and break out of their own comfort zones to put one foot after the other. We’re in this together, so from that point on I will feel ready to push the boundary on my own fitness goals, home workouts, longer runs, etc. I’m loving this plan so far!

It’s been painful, exhausting and challenging to get back to some sort of fitness routine but…I’m DOING it! I’ve got two precious babies, a supportive hubby, friends & family, the world’s best dog, a flight of stairs, double stroller walks, occasional weekly runs, an amazing sitter and an incredible weekly boot camp class with StudiOne Tulsa to thank for my renewed strength and progress. I’ve got this.

You know what else? I’ve got a pretty rad playlist. Here are a few of my favorites:

Can’t Stop the Feeling – Justin Timberlake

Demons – Imagine Dragons

Greenlight – Pitbull

I Bet My Life – Imagine Dragons

Renegades – X Ambassadors

Sit Still, Look Pretty – Daya

Sugar – Maroon 5

Team – Lorde

And what about you?! What are you proud of? Time to celebrate yourself 🙂

Big hugs,

Katherine

Postpartum Fitness Struggles

At first I titled this post just “Postpartum Fitness”. Silly Katherine. I quickly remembered the reality of my life right now, and that adding one word would make this a much more accurate title. Postpartum fitness is totally a struggle, am I right? Instagram and Facebook pictures may make it look like a breeze when you see friends all smiley and hashtag-ie…until your joints and weak muscles start yelling at you mid-work out.

11899629_413323558859114_1028898289_nIt’s been nearly 3 months since I gave birth to my fraternal twins, Henry & Emily. Before that I was on modified bed rest for months. A part of me desperately wants to dive right back into running with ease, while the more intelligent part of me remembers very well that my body has been through SO MUCH in the past year. It’s like my mind sees a running path and goes “Yaaay let’s do this!” and my body’s all “Woooo! Okay, Kath! Let’s go!” and for the first couple of minutes they’re both like “This is GREAT!” – adorably in unison. But then, 5-10 minutes into the run both my mind and my body are like “AHHHHH this is awful!” Annnnd that’s when I get frustrated. The struggle is real, but I can’t just give up. I’ve got precious twins, personal goals, and a happy little life to keep up with!

Shortness of breath and a sore back are my latest complaints when working out, so I consulted my friend Jessica, a fitness coach and co-owner of StudiOne in downtown Tulsa, on what she recommends. Fun fact about Jessica: she was my very first friend when I moved to Tulsa two years ago! She’s also a fellow blogger and you should absolutely check out her blog: Sprenkeled. She showed me a super helpful stretch to support my lower back after workouts.

That got me thinking…and us chatting. I asked her if she’d be willing to listen to my and YOUR postpartum workout concerns and she’d love to help! When it comes to strengthening and stretching our bodies properly, she’s happy to offer some advice. Yaaay!

So…what questions, concerns, and problem areas do you fellow mamas have for her? We’re all in this journey together. Comment below and I’ll have her address it in a follow up post!

Big hugs!

Katherine

 

Evening walk.

Sights and sounds from my evening walk:

2 cows. 3 horses. 3 roosters. 4 chickens. 2 dragonflies. 1 siberian pony. 1 orange sherbert colored sunset. 3 sets of couples sitting on their front porches. 1 father + his 2 daughters racing each other on go-carts & laughing hysterically. 6 dogs. The synchronized repetition of roughly 349,294,303 crickets…..or so. Gorgeously manicured lawns next to perfectly untouched fields. Stella happily panting with an occasional look up at me as if she’s saying “yaaaay!” Dozens of antiques out front on an older man’s yard. Beautiful American flags.

It’s the ultimate “me time” when I decide to walk. I absolutely love running, but then there are nights like these when the season is starting to turn and the air is full of new adventure…and I just want to slow time down a bit in order to take it all in. Tons to see. Plenty to be inspired by. T.V., books, and computers can wait.

What do you see on your walk?

Seriously though…comment and share what you’re view is from here in Oklahoma, out there in Montana…or D.C….or California…or England.

Happy walking.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Sean and I have been eating much healthier these days. Ever since we booked our flights and hotel for our week-long Key West vacation (t-minus 2 weeks ’til we’re there!) we buckled down and vowed to do this whole “beach ready” thing as a team. Sean’s determination has totally impressed me, y’all. Seriously. The man has lost over 20 pounds!!! I’m so proud of him. It has inspired me to choose healthier options and for that reason……I gotta be honest…..I miss baking. I really truly miss it. The butter, the sugar, the flour, there’s a lot of deliciousness in there that will neither help him, nor me on this healthy track. I’m so glad we’ve worked to keep most buttery, sugary foods out of our diet (for the most part). But, what’s a baking lover pursuing healthy foods to doooooo?

Thank goodness for healthy alternatives.

And Googling recipes.

And frozen bluuuuueberries…

DSC02822

This morning I had the baking fever in me and had to do something about it. I researched a few healthy blueberry muffin recipes to consider some good alternatives to butter, egg yolks, and sugar. Check out my new favorite blueberry muffin recipe below! It’s pretty darn delish.

After breakfast and a little relaxing this morning, my awesome friend & fellow Tulsa-area blogger, Jessica Sprenkel, came over to run around my little country neighborhood here in Owasso, OK. Part of my favorite route was cut short because of the crazy over flooded creeks we’ve had from the non-stop rain here in Oklahoma lately, but we made it work!IMG_9922

She lives in Tulsa and is a fitness trainer who has really inspired me to stay focused with my running and overall healthy living. Venture on over to her blog, Sprenkled, to get yourself inspired as well on this glorious Memorial Day! We finished our workout with a smoothie: frozen bananas, spinach (never tried it in a smoothie before…and LOVED it!), frozen blueberries, milk, and ice. Highly recommended ‘lil post workout refreshment.

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I sent her home with some blueberry oatmeal muffins. Enjoy, Jess! Some of you on Instagram asked for the recipe. Here it is!

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

1 & 1/2 cups Quaker Quick Oatmeal
1 cup Milk (skim or almond milk if you have it)
1/2 cup Brown Sugar, packed
2 Tbsp Honey
1/2 cup Applesauce (or the puree from 1 Apple)
2 Egg Whites
1 Tbps Oil
1/2 tps Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 cup White Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 cup Blueberries (I used frozen)
Baking Spray

Mis 'en place

Step 1

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Step 2

Place the oats in a food processor & pulse 5-7 times. Remove from food processor and mix with milk. Let the chopped oats soak in the milk for at least 20 min.DSC02834

Step 3

If making sauce from 1 apple, remove peel & core, and slice into cubes. Puree until it looks juuuust like apple sauce 😉 Easy peezy!

Step 4

Combine the applesauce with the brown sugar, vanilla extract, honey, oil, and egg whites in one bowlDSC02841

Step 5

Mix the salt, cinnamon, baking soda, and baking powder into the flour in a separate bowl.DSC02831

Step 6

Once the oats are soaked well (like, 20+ minutes well) add in everything but the dry ingredients. Soooo basically just your saucy little applesauce mixture 🙂

Step 7

Add half of the dry mixture to the sauce mixture, stir slowly, then add the other half of the dry mixture until it’s blended.DSC02866

Step 8

My favorite step! Add in those beautiful blueberries. I prefer frozen, but if you have some delicious durable fresh berries – go for it. Fun fact – did you know that Target sells some DELICOUS fresh blueberries? I ate all of them at work but luckily I had these frozen bad boys ready on stand-by. Fold them in to your mixture – mine turned blue like…immediately. I think that’s perfectly fine. If it doesn’t, even better.DSC02873

Step 9

Divvy up the mixture evenly into a muffin tin for exactly 12.

Step 10

Into the oven @ 400 degrees it goes! Keep a close eye on it. I set my timer for 24 minutes and that was PERFECT! Wanna see?DSC02894

Ragnar SoCal – 6 Days To Go

There’s a moment when we realize we’re pushing ourselves way past comfortable and we’ve reached a fearful uncertainty. We all know that feeling when pushing ourselves in a workout, a new job, or simply trying to balance a million responsibilities. It happens from time to time, right about when my adrenaline has whittled away into reality and my nerves begin to spike from thoughts like, “Can I really do this?”

This time next week I’m faced with a physical challenge that I’m about to do for a 2nd time. It usually hits me when my feet and legs start aching, my breathing goes from on-point to playing catch up, I look around at totally new surroundings, and fear tries to take over. That’s when I think to myself:

What am I dooooooooing!?!

And juuuust as I start to over think it, I hear a distant sound of cowbells ringing, the van’s horn honking, and my teammates cheering me on.

Oh yeah! Right. I can do this. I’ve totally go this! Just keep going…

Ragnar.

It’s a team oriented running race unlike any other I’ve attempted before. Ragnar Relays are races with teams made up of 12 runners split up into 2 vans. Each runner will take on 3 legs over the course of 30+ hours. Each team, through a rotation of 36 legs, will run approximately 200 miles. Ragnar Relays are held all over the nation in and around various cities from East to West, North to South. Here’s a perfect (and quick) video explaining what happens:

In October 2013 I ran my 1st Ragnar Relay with my fellow Washington College alumnae (shout out to my GEORGE’S GIRLS!) from Chattanooga, TN to Nashville, TN. It was freezing. We were exhausted and sleep deprived. I lost feeling in my toes. But…we loved every minute of it! Why? Because it pushed us WAY out of our comfort zones; along streets we’d never traveled, air we’d never breathed, and sights we had never seen in our beautiful nation. It forced us to trust in ourselves, our teammates, and to have faith that the journey we signed up for was the journey itself.

Here’s a quick slideshow of my favorite memories the 1st time I did this amazing journey:

For some runners, 15 miles in 30 hours is no biggie. For others…like me…it’s kiiiiiind of a big deal. Because, I’m not just running 3+, then 5+, then 4+ miles per leg…the race packs in little to no sleep. But I’m tellin ya’ll…please believe me when I say: it’s worth it 🙂

I’m so excited! I can’t wait to see these incredible girls again, to decorate our vans, run along side the Pacific Ocean in Southern Cali at all hours of the day and night, laugh uncontrollably, absorb new senses along the coast, take about a million photos, and of course – push myself into a new journey.

Will you follow along and cheer for us!? We would LOVE that! Our team name is “George’s Girls” ’cause good ‘ol George Washington co-founded our beautiful alma mater, Washington College. He’s the man. You can follow us on instagram, twitter, and facebook via #georgesgirls between Thursday – Saturday. We’ll keep you in the loop with how we’re doing! 😉

Thirty One

It’s my 31st birthday today! I’m spending the day with my hubby. He’s my favorite person 🙂 We’re exploring Austin, TX all weekend and are having the time of our lives!

A weekend getaway to a new place often heightens my senses to the world around me. The air, sights, and sounds all stand out a bit stronger because it’s new and different. That got me thinking – I hope I take enough time to appreciate the little things that I adore in life. I used to be better at that.

Throughout high school and college I’d escape for a few minutes (or hours) and add to a list of what I loved. Totally random things…like…how people tilt their head when they eat a taco, or a much needed outburst of laughter after something has gone horribly wrong and that poor moment needs some comedic relief. Before I knew it, my list had exceeded 1,400 things. The sad truth is that I have no idea where that book is now. But the idea of doing that, of writing down the little things that I love about life, well I think today’s a brilliant day to bring it back.

So, in honor of my 31st, here are 31 little random things that I love:

  1. Snuggling with my yellow lab, Stella.
  2. Stovetop popcorn.
  3. The entire experience of walking around an Anthropologie store.
  4. Slowly sipping red wine on a cold night.
  5. The 1st cup of coffee in the morning.
  6. Finishing a long run.
  7. Writing.
  8. Star gazing.
  9. Small town America.
  10. Getting positive results from using little pockets of time wisely.
  11. Country music.
  12. Cowgirl boots.
  13. An unforgettable culinary experience.
  14. Dark chocolate.
  15. Laughter from my favorite people.
  16. The distant smell of a campfire.
  17. Swivel chairs.
  18. HGTV & The Food Network.
  19. Needed hugs.
  20. A new dress.
  21. Baking.
  22. Stained glass windows.
  23. Coffee shops.
  24. Windows open, kinda weather.
  25. Sushi.
  26. Getting asked to take strangers’ group photos.
  27. When a baby smiles or yawns.
  28. Zumba. 
  29. Hearing perfectly beautiful harmony sung a cappella.
  30. People who don’t complain, appreciate life, and embrace each day.
  31. Choosing happiness.

More than any of these, more than anything in the world in fact, I love and adore my family and friends over all. I’m a very lucky lady to have such joy surrounding me all the time. Not quite sure how I got so lucky, but I thank God everyday for y’all.

So…what’s on your list?!

Happy day, friends!

My Fit Mix – 15 for ’15

A new year calls for a new line up of tunes, so I’m sharing 15 of my favorites for 2015! Some of these are recycled from the past few years, and that’s fine. No need to trash perfectly good inspiration!

I’m determined to keep my fitness efforts consistent this winter.

Now, when the weather warms and becomes more bearable, I think it’s safe to say that we’re all easily inspired again to run, squat, bike, cartwheel, walk, and jumping jack outside. But this is January, and next month is February, and I hate to state the obvious, but we’re far from that envious scene of heavily breathing outside in tanks, shorts, and sunshine. It’s crucial to keep the new year, new girl, and “newlie” mentality spinning as I’ve intended (despite the freezing wind outside). Lucky for these tunes – I’ve got new inspiration practically screaming at me with positivity (or in some lyrical cases…more fun beats than positivity, hehe) for every minute of  my workout.

I love love LOVE the way these songs keep me moving, and hope they inspire any of you to throw together your new 15 for ’15 too:

Demons - Imagine Dragons
Shake It Off - Taylor Swift
Roar - Katy Perry
Team - Lorde
Turn Down For What - DJ Snake & Lil Jon
One Life - James Morrison
On Top of the World - Imagine Dragons
I Lived - OneRepublic
I Bet My Life - Imagine Dragons
Problem - Ariana Grande & Iggy Azalea
Shut Up and Dance - Walk The Moon
Pompeii - Bastille
Uptown Funk - Bruno Mars
Bang Bang - Jessie J, Ariana Grande, & Nicki Minaj
Life Is Short - Butterfly Boucher

So, what are your songs? Got any recommendations for me? What gets you “newlie” rejuvenated mid-workout when you’re ready to quit (or hurl) but know you need to keep pushing through?  I’d love to hear your favs.

Happy fit mixin!

Go get it.

stella eos m (1 of 1)We can learn a lot from dogs like Stella. She’s ambitious, loving, fearless, hilarious, grateful, trusting, and protective when necessary. I’m convinced this girl is made purely of heart…and high jumps. When we first got her, I don’t think I realized just how much she would teach me. Yes, though this little “being” doesn’t talk, she teaches me every day.

“Go get it.” we’ll often say to her with both command and excitement in our voice as we play fetch. But before we can get to “it” she’s off like a bullet out of a gun. Those of you who have spent some time with her and have seen her run/jump – y’all know. She’s in the ZONE. No holding her back. In her incredible mind there are no plans later in the day, no concerns for how long we’ll be playing, or if she’ll get injured…she’s fully committed. This girl could play fetch for HOURS. I especially love it when she also tells us that she’s done. She’s her own little lady who knows when it’s time to stop and rest.

Yesterday afternoon around 5:30 p.m., I took her to the end of our street where there’s a big ‘ol field. We LOVE our new neighborhood by the way. I love everything about Oklahoma. Anyway, I took her over there for what I call “Stella’s Happy Hour” where she gleefully accepts every stick/frisbee/ball challenge I throw past her. Below is a quick iPhone video I took just to give you a precious little peak into her happy hour. Sorry in advance for the vertical-length filming!

It’s nothing fancy. You’re probably like, “…mmkay…it’s a dog playing fetch. That’s…great, Kath.” Yes, I know. But she’s MY dog playing fetch! But more importantly, while we all have these little inner struggles/excuses/fears – there’s inspiration staring us in the face, just WAITING for us to “go get it.”

What’s there to get?

It’s different for everyone. For me: it’s a long, consistent run where I don’t give in to walking the last 2 miles. It’s those magazines and publishing companies I want to work for as a freelance writer but am sometimes too shy to put myself out there. It’s the terrifying feeling I sometimes get when I hit “Publish” on this little blog in fear of someone not liking it, or that someone’s annoyed that I write about my dog playing fetch, or they’re annoyed that I’m a genuinely happy person who wants to share some happiness with the world. That last one gets me every time. Those Negative Nancys out there spark fear of judgment and insignificance sometimes.

What the…what on EARTH?! Those are the silliest fears I’ve ever heard. Funny though…because they’re fears and excuses that cloud my judgment. I’m human, and I know I’m not alone. What are your fears? What’s holding you back? It’s helpful to get ’em out there in the open and own up to the fact that they’re holding you back. You deserve to be successful in whatever form of success you define.

So, go get it.

This morning, Sean and I woke up around 5:45 and went for a run with Stella around our neighborhood. It was awesome!!! Yes, we were tired, but we were fine and knew when it was time to stop. When we stopped running it was awesome….because we stopped running…haha. BUT also because we got it. We broke the excuses and started a new routine in our new town.

Now, go get it!

Will Run For Corndogs

packageGraphicYou read that correctly. Living Social recently promoted the Corndog Classic 5K in Tulsa this month! It took all of 30 seconds for me to think about it, check out the details, and register.

This Living Social deal takes 50% off the original registration fee of $30…AND offers a few other goodies like a beer/lemonade mid-run (one guess what this country girl’s gonna choose), a t-shirt, and free admission to the upcoming Tulsa State Fair this fall!

Jealous? Live near Tulsa?!

Don’t you worry. You can register here to get the same deal of $15: Living Social Deal for Corndog Classic 5K

If y’all end up running this let me know! Pre-Corndog Classic race photo? I believe it must happen 🙂

Happy running!

Katherine

 

Good morning!

I went for a walk this morning with Stella. It’s kinda becoming “our thing” lately as I keep up with my daily attempt to stay healthy and get out of the house/office at least twice a day. I had a fabulous time on our walk. Nothing remarkable or unexpected happened…but it was just peaceful and I wanna write about it.

There’s just something about going for a walk in early June when all the scents of spring are alive, the sun blissfully rises before the rest of the world does, and people are extra precious. That last one…let’s talk about how adorable people are in the morning for just a minute.

Walking around my neighborhood at 6:45 a.m. while the sun is shining and the breeze carries all the gorgeous scents of spring, I saw people slowly stumble out of their homes to reluctantly take out the trash, wander over to their cars for a dreaded commute, and some of them even saw me and mustered up a tired little smile following my overzealous greeting: “Hehe! GOOD MOOORNING!”…which was probably a little much for them. But before they get cranky and need their coffee, they are quiet and somber…just waiting patiently for their 1st cup of joy (coffee/tea I’m assuming) will kick in. I think it’s quite cute.

People aren’t always adorable. I totally get it. Life between Monday – Friday forces the seemingly endless cycle of home to work…work work work…work to home – and that’s hard to look forward to. But perhaps, this morning you’ll take a moment to look up on the metro…or on the bus…or in the car at the driver in the lane over who begrudgingly also sits parked in traffic…and smile at them. Try not to be creepy about it, but just keep it sincere. After all, you’re in the same boat as them and you both share something similar: despite how hard the commute and daily grind can be…you value your life and the income that your work provides you. It’s a gift that you and all those people work so hard for.

Meanwhile…check out that sunshine! Eh? It’s totally bursting with joy this morning! And what the heck…go order yourself another cup of coffee. Make sure it’s delicious. Get the caffeine going if that’s what it takes, and go share your smile and “Good morning!”‘s with your coworkers. And while I have your attention still…why not finish off your attention to this post with one of the greatest new songs:

So there we have it. Lots of reasons to enjoy this morning right smack dab in the middle of the week. Enjoy your day, friends.

I’ll get to work now 🙂