Running, Eating and Life: What I'm Looking Forward to This Fall

After a week of summer weather coming back, it’s looking like fall is back in Minnesota and hopefully staying! Fall is probably one of my favorite seasons so I’m hoping it stays around for a little bit so I get to enjoy it. And the reason it’s one of my favorite seasons? Let’s dive into what I love about fall.

Fall Running

20180908_084335.jpg

Yes, I’ve already done a whole post about why I love fall running. In short, ideal running weather, fall colors and running anniversaries! I cannot wait to run on some trails and see how gorgeous they are in the fall.

Leaves

20171023_102526.jpg

Even last week, the trees were starting to change colors and I am loving it. Minnesota gets so vibrant and bright in the fall, which makes it so pretty. And it kind of makes up for the shorter days and rainy weather when the trees are so gorgeous. Although when they start to fall off, it’s sad again since I know winter is coming.

Everything Pumpkin/Apple

20180908_142318.jpg

Fall flavors are some of my favorite things, especially pumpkin and apple. I’ve been on a pumpkin kick with what I’m pumpkin (pumpkin oatmeal and soon to come pumpkin muffins and maybe pumpkin protein bowl) but I’m just waiting for the apple harvest to come in so we get delicious, cheap, local apples. I love Minnesota apples and buying Honeycrisp and SweeTango apples (and hopefully in the next couple of years, First Kiss) is a fall highlight.

Handknit Sweaters

20180906_065753.jpg

I’ve been waiting all summer to pull out my handknit sweaters again! I even finished a sweater over the summer and pulled it out on the first cool-ish day of September. My handknit sweaters (and socks and shawls and hats) are so comfy and it’s just a confidence boost to be wearing something I’ve made. Plus I’ve got another cardigan I’m excited to be working on!

What are your favorite parts of fall? Let me know in the comments!


Running, Eating and Life_ What I'm Looking Forward to This Fall Pinterst.jpg

Three Ways Daily Meditation Has Improved My Life

I’ve been meditating daily since January 1st and the longer I keep on my streak, the more benefits I am finding from it. In the over 255 days I’ve been meditating, here are the three biggest benefits I have seen.

Increased Focus

I can tell that it’s a lot easier for me to stay focused on a single task now than at the beginning of the year and I’m not letting random thoughts distract me from what I am doing. I’m more likely to acknowledge them (and if it’s a task I need to do, add it to my to-do list) than to switch what I’m doing to whatever thought just came into my mind.

I know for sure that daily meditation has caused this change since you focus on clearing your mind for the time you meditate. At first, it was hard to keep my thoughts from taking over while I meditated but slowly, it’s been getting easier to let them just float past. And I’m finding this to be easier to do outside of meditation as well!


Better Sleep

In the last couple of months, I’ve changed up my nighttime routine (which I’ll detail in an upcoming post) and part of that was moving my meditation time from first thing in the morning to right before bed. Not only do I feel less rushed in the morning but it’s helped me get to sleep faster and have better sleep. I no longer have a million things running through my head as I try to go to sleep and I’m not waking up in the middle of the night. And if I do, I get back to sleep pretty quickly (within 10 minutes or less based on my Garmin’s sleep tracking).

Reduced Anxiety

Continuing the theme, doing a daily clearing of my thoughts has also helped reduce my anxiety during the day and has given me some coping skills to deal with things that make me anxious. We’re working on some major life changes and, of course, this doesn’t help with my anxiety. But I’m working on not burying myself in my thoughts and taking the time to breathe when I start feeling the anxiety coming on.


Three Ways Daily Meditation Has Improved My Life Pinterest 2.jpg

Reading and Listening to: Summer 2018

Since I always listen to podcasts and have been on a reading spree this year, I wanted to introduce a new quarterly post about what I have enjoyed listening and reading to. This is by no means everything i’ve read and listened to but some of my favorites. Don’t forget to share your favorite summer reads and listens in the comments!

Podcasts

  • Ologies - Kalology (BEAUTY STANDARDS) with Renee Engeln: Ologies has been a summer favorite of mine in general but I loved listening to this frank discussion of beauty standards. I’ve put Renee’s book Beauty Sick on hold at the library and can’t wait ot dig in.

  • Friends at the Table - Twilight Mirage: I’ve been listening to this season of Friends at the Table since Summer 2017 as it came out in real time. It’s a gorgeous example of storytelling through an actual play podcast. Be prepared for long episodes but it’s so worth it!

  • Go Fact Yourself: We love (and support) the Maximum Fun Network and Go Fact Yourself has been a great podcast to listen to. Mainly because I listen to this like I watch Jeopardy and try to play along.

Books

  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer: I read this in four days, mostly over our camping trip to Cascade River State Park. It’s along the same vein as Gregory Maguire’s Wicked Years series but with the Queen of Hearts. So if you loved Wicked, I’d suggest picking up Heartless.

  • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan: I picked out this book without even realizing there was a movie coming out. I’m trying to expand my reading outside of white authors and decided to give it a try. I loved it and cannot wait to see the movie (plus read the rest of the series). I listened to the audiobook version and it had a great narrator (I’ve stopped listening to audiobooks solely due to the narrator before).

  • The Alice Network by Kate Quinn: Another example of me trying to get out of my normal reading habits, this time adventuring into a different genre with World War I/World War II spy mystery. I loved the intertwining timelines and again, I listened to this and the narrator is awesome.

Reading and Listening to_ Summer 2018 Pinterest.jpg

August Faves

The Minnesota State Fair has started which means it’s almost the end of summer! Before August is over, let’s take a look at some of my favorite things from this month.

Prospero’s War series by Jaye Well

Screenshot_20180820-074127_RBdigital.jpg

I don’t read a ton of urban fantasy but when I saw this in the RBDigital audiobook app, I decided to give it a shot. I loved it and I’ve almost finished books two and three in August! Of course, it looks like I’ll have to find a non-audio version of book four because my library doesn’t have it in audiobook form.

Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Tea

20180711_184514.jpg

Lately, I’ve been trying to not have coffee except for breakfast because I’ve found that it’s really affecting my sleep. In the past, I’ve taken melatonin to help with my sleep but I’m also trying to cut that out too so I wanted to find something else to help me wind down. Enter Sleepytime Tea from Celestial Seasonings. It’s the perfect thing to wind me down before bed and it’s become a nightly ritual (that sometime Mike joins me in too).

State Parks

20180817_152910.jpg

Since getting our Minnesota state park sticker back in June, I’ve really wanted to visit some of the state parks around us. There’s several within an hour or so drive but we’ve been so busy that we haven't’ had the time. But this month I had the time to visit two in one weekend! I took Vinnie on a walk at Fort Snelling and then did a trail run at Afton. I’m so lucky to live in a state with such amazing parks.

August Faves Pinterest.jpg

Oatmeal Runner is Taking a Vacation!

I originally was going to get some blog posts pre-written before heading north for a family camping trip but that didn’t happen. Instead of trying to get them written quickly, I’m taking a short vacation from the blog instead! There won’t be any new posts over the weekend but look for a new Training Tips Tuesday (on Monday!) along with the Weekly Running Report on Tuesday.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and treat yourself, whatever that may mean. And look for what was going to be this weekend’s posts (warming up for a run and my favorite brinner meals) coming soon! After over a year of consistent blogging (even while on vacation and my honeymoon), I’m looking forward to a short break to recharge and come back with some great new posts for all of you.