Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Goals Post

I have a few more hours left on the beach and had to make sure I got in one last run wear I could wear shorts this morning! I ran with my mom for 3 miles today and it felt great. I got in an awesome 8 miler yesterday too. I guess those lead legs really did have something to do with all that traveling.. Good thing I got in a run this morning because I get to spend the rest of today in a car and on a plane.

Great news though! Today is not just a traveling day it’s New Years Eve! Are you all aware of this? I’m sure you are considering everyone and their uncle has been making goal and resolution posts for 2012. Well, I decided to jump on that train too! Why not? I love making goals 🙂

That being said I think it’s time I set a few goals for myself. Pretty positive I made some new years resolutions for 2011 but I never wrote them down and well I forgot what they were.

1.) Consistently Blog: This doesn’t mean everyday but at least a few times a week. Something that I am most excited about with this whole blogging thing is being able to go back and recap an entire year! I’ve been having so much fun reading everyone’s 2011 recaps and can’t wait until this time next year to be able to give my own. The good times and the bad times I want to remember them all and have pictures to go along with them!

2.) Keep a running schedule: I’ve signed up for the Rock the Parkway half marathon in Kansas City in April so that will help me to stay on track with my running. I have no idea what my last half marathon time was so my goal time is going to be under 2 hours.

3.) Run a 2nd marathon: In 2011 I ran the Chicago Marathon and it was the best experience of my life. I loved the training and I loved the whole marathon experience. It was amazing. I haven’t decided which marathon I want to run but I do want to shoot for a 4:45 time. My Chicago time was 5:07 and while I know that is kind of a significant amount of time to shave off I sprinted the end of that marathon. My whole goal for that race was just to finish and finish strong. I didn’t know how well I had trained and I feared more than anything hitting a wall and having to drag myself through the final miles. Lucky for me the exact opposite happened and I felt like I could keep running a few more miles! So, that being said a 4:45 time is my goal for 2012!

4.) Be a GOTR Coach: I plan on being a GOTR coach in my college town this next semester and I am so excited. I have had so much fun being apart of GOTR for the last year and I am even more excited to be a coach for the girls. Being apart of the GOTR 5k in November and watching all of the girls finish the race with smiles on their faces was a feeling unlike any other. Such a great organization. If you haven’t heard of it before I strongly encourage you to check it out: Girls on the Run

5.) Save money: I have a certain number that I want to get to in the ol’ bank account by this time next year. With a little saving and self control pretty sure this is very doable. While shopping yesterday I fell in love with quite a few dresses but I walked away and left the store with nothing in hand. That my friends is self control. It was hard but I did it. Now only if I could do that at the grocery store. That is where I need to work on my saving! Extreme couponing anyone? I need to get on that train too.

I love the idea of doing month goals that I read about in the Happiness Project and on Ashley’s blog. I’m thinking each month I’ll write down a few things that I want to work on along with these 5  year long ones. Seems much more attainable to me.

Alright, time to jump in the car and head to San Antonio and then to Chicago and then back up to Michigan. Oh wow.. long day ahead.

Are you a month to month goal setter or are you a fan of year long resolutions?

Plans for New Years Eve? 

Anyone racing a New Years Eve Run?

 

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Opposite Ends of the Spectrum

Kind of crazy to think that not even a week ago I was running in this..

And this morning I ran in this..

Bright, beautiful, sunshiny beach weather!

Granted I am in the complete opposite end of the country than I was a few days ago but still! The bright sunshine and 80 degree weather makes me miss Texas winters..

These last few days have been super busy catching up with my Texas family in San Antonio and then Corpus Christi. We’re only here for a few short days and then it’s back to the midwest for my family!

Yesterday, I was able to get in a much needed 5 mile run + a 3 mile walk later in the afternoon. After sitting on a plane and in a car for hours on end my legs needed some movement! My legs felt like lead for the first few miles but they loosened up eventually and I ended up having a pretty good run.

This morning I set out with my mom for a 3 miler and it went pretty much the same way. I don’t know what it is! Maybe I need to stretch more? It took my legs the first 1.5 miles to get loose and then I was fine but boy that first half mile my legs were stiff! I’m blaming being all cramped up in a car and plane over the last few days days… Hopefully my run tomorrow will be better!

After our run we stopped by the cutest coffee shop downtown called The Daily Grind to pick up some coffees to go.

Cute right? I loved it and they had the best pecan flavored coffee. It was awesome. I’m such a sucker for flavored coffee. I just can’t turn it down!

As far as my running has gone this week it’s been kind of crazy. I haven’t been running with much of a plan which I am not a fan of. Normally, I like to make sure I get in a certain amount of milage and am not running too much two days in a row but lately I’ve just been kind of winging it.. Maybe that’s why my legs are feeling so crumby? Hmm

I’m thinking a good stretching session will be in my near future along with some green tea. I need some caffeine! I feel like I hit a wall this afternoon!

On the bright side there is carrot cake waiting for me after dinner! Yumm

Do you ever have lead legs during runs? If you don’t what is your secret?!

What do you do for an afternoon pick me up?

I need some suggestions! I always feel like I drag starting at 2pm 

What is your favorite dessert? 

Tough question I know.. but my aunt made the best carrot cake with cream cheese frosting that I can not get out of my head! 

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Superfood

Happy Tuesday Everyone! I am currently en route to Texas to visit some family for a few days so I thought I would do a quick post and share one of my favorite recipes from this weekend!

Last week I was reading over at Lee’s blog and saw what I thought looked like a genius way to eat your greens!

Source

Yum right?? My thoughts exactly!

I had never had quinoa before and thought it was about time I jumped on that train. And boy am I glad I did! Quinoa is not only delicious but after doing a little bit of research found out that it is jam packed with some pretty good stuff!

Quinoa is such a superfood when it comes to protein that it contains all of the necessary 9 amino acids that are needed to build and repair muscle tissues. And (bonus) because the protein content is so rockin it can be an easy replacement for meat! Repairs muscles? Meat replacement? How am I just now learning about this?  Anyways, quinoa is loaded with antioxidants, magnesium, and is even gluten free! (source)

I think it is safe to say that quinoa will be making a more regular occurrence into my meals.

You should definitely jump on over to Lee’s blog to check out the recipe. It’s super simple and you can make it your own. I toasted some walnuts to add to all of the other flavors.

Perfect side dish to a perfectly wonderful Christmas Eve dinner.

What was your favorite recipe from this weekend?

Other than the cookies and this quinoa would probably have to be the salmon my mom made. Yumm

Have you ever tried quinoa? 

Please someone tell me that I am not the last person here!

What is one food that you have been meaning to try?

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Home for the Holidays

Whew! This weekend came and went didn’t it? All last week was filled with so much getting ready and prep work and then the big day is here and then well it’s over! Crazy how fast time flies nowadays isn’t it?

I had a convo with my mom the other day about how it becomes harder and harder to get into the Christmas spirit because we all stay so busy until a few days before and then all of a sudden we’re just supposed to switch over to Christmas mode. BUT when you’re a kid you spend a whole month getting ready for christmas, doing christmas activities, having little christmas parties and even doing christmas plays in school. After you have been thoroughly all hyped up on Christmas you get a week off from school to anticipate all of the excitement even more! No wonder Christmas is so magical for little ones! 

All I have to say is thank goodness I’m going to be an elementary teacher! I miss the month long Christmas extravaganzas!

Despite not being 8 years old anymore Christmas was still pretty magical in this neck of the woods. To start off the celebrations my mom and I decided to knock out our Home for the Holidays Virtual 10k first thing on Christmas Eve.

We got dressed up in our best holiday gear, (i.e. I bribed my mom with santa socks) and headed out to a trail not too far from the house.

It had snowed the night before so it really was a real Holiday Run! My mom ran the first 1.5 miles with me making her run a 5k. She rocked it and was it was awesome. I ran the remaining milage out and back finishing up my run in about 52ish minutes.  After my mom left me I was probably one of 5 other people on the trail. It was quite peaceful actually.

It took me awhile to get warmed up but once I hit the half way mark I really felt like I was flying. I felt great for the remaining 3.1 miles and finished strong. I walked around for a bit and then met my mom at the cutest coffee shop downtown and took a Holiday 10k finishing piccha.

I know, I know one day I will learn to open my eyes during pictures and to stand up straight.. maybe.

Overall, a great run! We did some last minute grocery shopping directly after our run and it is safe to say that I was beyond ready to shower, put on some xmas pajamas and bake some cookies.

Which is exactly what I did. 🙂

The peppermint bark was a huge hit and so were these cookies! I swear I put them on the plate, took their picture and then the next time I turned around they were gone! These guys will definitely be going into my recipe book! Thank you to  Two Peas! for their crazy delicious recipes!

The rest of the day involved making and eating hot chocolate cupcakes with the fam while watching A Christmas Story. Can you believe my parents had never seen that movie before?? I couldn’t believe it! It’s a classic!

We may have been having a little too much fun taking these pictures. 

We did eat real food too at some point during the day involving delicious veggies and seafood. Mmm I loved it but that’s a post for another time.

Off to run and get some yoga time in with my mom! Love it when everyone’s home on break with me 🙂

Did you do the Home for the Holidays Virtual 10k?

What was your favorite dessert you made/ate this weekend?

Probably the peppermint crunch cookies

Random Question: Is it warm where you are running? It’s crazy warm all over the country right now! 

The high today is 44! Which is insane for Michigan. I feel like I’m back in Texas for Christmas. Kind of nice 🙂

 

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Merry Christmas Eve!

Good Morning! This is what I woke up to this morning: 

and on that note.. Merry Christmas Eve! Remember yesterday when I was all I don’t feel the Christmas cheer what the heck is wrong with me?! Yea.. lame right?

Welp, not anymore! Call it the snow, call it all of the christmas cookies that I plan on bakingeating this morning or the gifts that I am just about to start wrapping. Christmas is here people and I am ready for it!

No this is not recent but yes I do catch stop to catch snow in my mouth every time theirs a blizzard. That's why there's a picture so we have documentation of how I revert back to my childlike tendencies around christmas time.

So let me give you a low down of how this day is going to go. How many miles I plan on running in the snow! Still not good at that… And of course what is on the baking menu for the day.

First and foremost let’s get down to the dirty details on this whole running thang I love so much. Since I’ve signed up for the ole Home for the Holidays Virtual 10k I’ve got 6 miles to knock out along with mi madre who hopefully will go halvies with me and knock out 3 of those miles before I fly solo for the last 3. I’ve bribed her with penguin toe socks to wear whilst running. How can you say no to penguin toe socks?!

My thoughts exactly.

Now, as far as the menu goes I have only made 1 batch.. yes that’s right only 1 batch of Christmas cookies so far! Who am I?! I know this shouldn’t be real but it is the sad truth. Fortunately, this can be fixed quite easily and I plan on taking the necessary steps to fix this minor mega situation.

The rest of today will be filled with:

Classic peppermint bark which can then be turned right around into peppermint bark cookies 🙂 Double win

I have not been able to get these guys out of my head.

The best hot chocolate recipe I have ever laid my eyes on.

I also have a mega hard time saying no to anyone who puts banana bread in front of me..

Oh and how can you not make these cookies? Holy Yum.

I do have to remember that I have only 4 other mouths to feed this Christmas.. I might need to pace myself with these cookie recipes. But honesty who says you can only make Christmas cookies on Christmas anyways?

Get ready family you are about to have very full and happy bellies 🙂

What are you baking today?!

Every cookie imaginable!

Do you plan on running today? If so how far?

6 miles 🙂

Any tips on running in the snow??

I have none! But I will take as many tips as you all are willing to dish out! Let’s hear em!

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Christmas Cheer This Year?!

Well, good morning running friendss how’s your Friday going? Good? Great? Fabulous! How could it not be going great there are so very many things to be excited about. So put a smile on yo face it’s Friday and the weekend, and christmas is in 2 days!

Here’s what I’m excited about lately or just how my days have been going.. or I just felt like making a list of things that make me happy or possibly just a combination of all of the above 🙂

 

 

  • Christmas is in 2 days! Are you aware of this? I’m sure you are but if not I’m very happy to have just informed you. Sad news though I’m not exactly feeling the holiday spirit. I mean I am excited and all and have been participating in all of the holiday festivities but I’m just not feeling the majestical feeling that usually CONSUMES me at this time…What the heck?!  I know! It makes me sad too..
  • I’ve been done with my shopping since Tuesday. This makes me happy. Roads are crazy. Drivers are crazier. Malls are even crazier with screaming babies and loud noises that do not make me happy or fill me with holiday cheer.
  • Eat Bake Christmas cookies for special people back at school 😉
Thank you  to pbfingers for yet another delicious and beyond simple recipe 🙂
  • Get in a workout while listening to some seriously rockin jams. (This is not christmasy I know.. but still a part of my day that fills me with endorphins.. which make you happy which should contribute to holiday joy! Right?!)
  • Favorites of late include:
        – Basshunter: 
– Rihanna: 
If you haven’t listened to them do it now. You will start running and you will not stop and it will be magical. 🙂
  • Wrote a few Christmas cards/letters. I did this last year and mailed them out to special people. It was nice and it makes me feel good and I hope they enjoy getting letters from me. If not that’s okay they will continue to get them every year until I decide I’m not in a letter writing mood around Christmas time. Not sure what year that will be so if you are special to me expect a letter for many years to come 🙂
  • Listen to christmas music whilst baking cookies: For whatever reason I’m a fan of instrumental Carol Of the Bells type songs whilst baking but when I’m driving it’s all about Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You. Yes, this song does qualify as a classic in my book and I will continue to sing that every year in my head multiple times a day along with Bruce Springsteen’s Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

So you see I’m going through the Christmas motions: baking cookies, listening to christmas music and even writing christmas letters! So why in the world does it not feel like Christmas? Hmm I’m on a quest to get out of this funk.

How do you get into the Christmas spirit?

I need some ideas!

What is your favorite Christmas song?

Mariah Carey or Bruce Springsteen

Are you running in the Home for the Holidays Virtual 10k?!

Yep Yep! And I got some sweet sock to run in too! Watch out!

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Winter Break Wednesdays

Wow, this has been such a sleepy day! I was feeling a tad exhausted after lunch so I grabbed my new book and headed up to read in bed. It was glorious for a solid 5 minutes.. and then I passed out! I woke up 1.5 hrs later and now it’s almost 4 o’clock! How did that happen?!

I guess that’s what vacays are for though right? I can’t even tell you the last time I had an afternoon nap. Possibly sometimes last summer? It was long overdue and apparently very much needed. I had some crazy deep sleep dreams and woke up with drool all over my pillow.. lovely. I’ll spare you a picture of that though.

I will however let you all in on the first half of my day which was mildly productive!

I finished up making those yummy christmas crackers for the neighbors

They still need some serious holiday decor but one step at a time! Words to the Wise:  If you ever decide to make these lovelies I highly suggest buying much smaller mason jars. These mongous ones were the only ones we could find so I improvised and stuffed the bottoms with tissue paper. I still had to make 5 batches of the dough! It’s not a hard process but when you gotta fill monster mason jars it becomes quite the process!

My plan was to go on a walk after I finished up with the crackers, come back, make lunch and then get some reading in before I started my afternoon to do list. But as I began my walk there were 2 very large dogs at the bottom of the hill just waiting for me! In my head these dogs are massive and they were ready to tear my body to shreds so I back peddled up my hill and got into my running shoes to drive over to the trail. This is irrational I know and as I was driving to the trail of course the dogs weren’t there. I didn’t imagine them though.. I swear.

I headed over to one of my favorite trails in Grand Rapids that my mom discovered a few months ago. My plan was to do an easy 3 miles and then come back to the house to do some pilates or yoga to stretch out. The stretching portion should have happened well before my run began because boy did my legs feel dead! It was also super foggy and slightly hilly.. or at least it felt hilly today!

Probably averaged a solid 15 minute mile.. that’s a lie I’m sure it was more like 9-10 minute pace but I really was dragging! Not to mention I was wearing my old shoes during my run. Darnit! I put them on to go on my walk and then realized I was still wearing them when I made it to the trail. Oh well.

So, there ya go I give full responsibility to my bum 3 miler  to 1.) scary dogs 2.) fog 3.) hills 4.) large mason jars (if we’re giving excuses..)

I did however start reading this book last night and am so excited about it!

 

and am all signed up for Home for the Holidays Virtual 10k!

Phew! What a day.. it’s 4pm and I’m ready to curl back in bed with my book! Good thing it’s winter break because I just might do that 🙂

Are you a napper?!

Not normally but today I couldn’t fight it

Did you run today??

Hope yours went better than mine!

What book are you reading right now?

 

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