Category Archives: Fun!

The Big One

You know what makes a Monday better after you’ve spilled coffee all over yourself and sat through the most boring 2.5 hour lecture?

A killer leg workout and a killer salad.

Am I the only one that craves salad?

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mmmm chickpeas, tuna, tomato, bell pepper, spring greens, and tarragon vinaigrette. 

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paired with carrot sticks, cucumber, and Trader Joes Chipotle Hummus.  Man did that baby have spice!  Whew 🙂

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Perfect lunch….wait…did you say “too many vegetables”!?!  Blasphemy!

I’m actually considering buying this shirt:

If you are weird like me, then you should click on the image and purchase one.  :)  They have special sizes for your pets as well, and a fun tote.  Christmas present ideas PEOPLE!!! Your welcome

So,  you’re probably wondering….what’s “The Big One”?

Well, since March 2009, I have raced 5 half marathons.  After a horrible fall out from training with my first marathon (helloooo MONO), I have decided to give the Full Marathon another shot.

Enter:

May 15, 2011 is the set date for my first marathon.  I have run the half marathon in Pittsburgh the past 2 years.

I PR’ed this past year: 2:00:31…that 2 hour time mark is elusive to me 😦

So, as I get ready, I’ll share my training plan…I’ll probably use a Hal Higdon plan (very doable). 

You’re probably wondering about the knee/IT Band?  Well it’s getting better!  Slowly but surely.  I did some strength training on it today, and I ran on Saturday (3 miles). 

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Oh and I ice it a lot.  Yep that’s a bag of frozen corn.  Trust me, for 99 cents, you have instant therapy.

 

Are you a runner? 

If so, what’s your favorite race?


Oats and a Visitor

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This morning started out great!  I got up early (thought I had to be in lab only to find out that lab was cancelled), and made a delicious breakfast to kick start my Saturday 🙂

No Bake Cookie Oatmeal

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 tsp flax meal
  • 1 tsp cocoa
  • 1 Tbsp raisins
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • toppings: coconut, peanut butter and crumbled graham crackers

Cook oatmeal according to package with milk instead of water on the stovetop. I have found that oatmeal tastes better and has a much more appealing texture when cooked on the stovetop.  Once you add the oats, add flax meal, cocoa, raisins, and brown sugar.  Continue to cook.  Then add toppings.  Enjoy. 

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This only serves 1 person, so you can double, triple, quadruple as needed.  I wouldn’t recommend making more than 4 servings at once.

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A lot of you  might already know that I have a cat.  But not just any cat, THE BEST CAT EVER!

Charlie Chronicles Part II

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He waits for me to come home…and usually he will tell me everything that he did that day.  Sleep…eat….sleep….eat 

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He likes tissue paper.  For a mellow cat, he loves to play!

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His favorite spot in the apartment is the sliding glass door.  He’s got a comfy rug to lay on and watch all the squirrels in the back yard.

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His most playful time is night.  Sometimes he brings Mr. Mouse to bed.  I usually hide it under my pillow to get him to sleep. 

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He is fascinated by the tub.  It makes gurgly noises when it drains, so he will get in and just stare it….for hours.

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He’s very cuddly.  I like to say that Charlie and I are watching Greys Anatomy, but really I’m watching Greys and Charlie is snoozing.

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I call this “The Superman”.  He likes to sleep with his arms stretched out. 

Today, Charlie went crazy!  Because, we had a visitor:

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I believe its a Penn State squirrel 🙂

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Charlie didn’t budge.  He was going to make sure that this little guy knew his place, hehe.

 

Hope everyone is having a beautiful weekend!  Only one more weekend until Thanksgiving!


Instant Motivation

I believe that music is instant motivation.  It can pick you up when you’re dragging during a workout.  It can cheer you up when you’ve had a bad day.  So I’m here to provide you with some “Instant Motivation” through music and quotes (I love quotes).

I’d love for you to comment and leave your favorite quote  🙂

Cycling Playlist 11/11/10

cycling 11-11

Quotes:

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.”

-Michelangelo

“Age wrinkles the body, but quitting wrinkles the soul”

-Douglas MacArthur

“There is something you must always remember: you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

-Winnie the Pooh 😉

 

Instant motivation for a runner:

Signing up for a race….more news to come about this!

Hint:

 

 

So what’s your favorite quote or favorite motivational workout song???


Shoes…OMG Shoes…

So, I won’t be that girl to show you the new heels I bought this weekend.  Nor will I be the girl to show you the new pair of Jeggings that I’m wearing (maybe I will…still on the fence about these).

Nope, I’m the girl to show you the new running shoes that I just got (for a steal!)

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The new are on the left, the old on the right…see a little difference?

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how about now?

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Or now?  Yep those are the same exact shoes (different colors) just the pink ones are done-zo! I can’t believe how different they look, nor how different they feel.  When I got them, I almost thought I bought the wrong shoes!!

I believe that my old shoes may have had a hand in my IT Band issues.  I’m stretching now every night thanks to a plan from Runner’s World. Plus I’m foam rolling.

IT Band ReliefYou should be able to click the picture and make it bigger  (I couldn’t find it in the RW archives, but it was printed in RW April 2010)

Also, last week, I got myself a pair of cycling shoes.

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I really recommend getting a pair if you’re a dedicated cycling class participant!  They have really changed my workout.  I bought them from Hodson’s Bay here in town (Lafayette, IN).  The staff was super nice and informative and even put my clips in for me.  Thanks!

LuLu

Last, when I went to Chicago, I made Chris trek across town to find Lulu 🙂 I didn’t shop otherwise, because I was determined to splurge on something from Lululemon.

In case you don’t know what Lulu is, it’s an athletic apparel store specializing in yoga, dance, and running wear (or in their words “any sweaty pursuit”).  I’m usually a Nike fanatic, but Lulu is winning over my heart with their fashionable and female specific styling. 

My splurge:

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The Define Jacket

This jacket was exactly what I was looking for.  A stylish and super comfy way to get myself to and from the gym, and also a great layering piece (which isn’t too heavy) for colder outdoor runs. 

I found that Lulu products run smaller (I usually wear an XS or S and I actually bought an 8 in the jacket-for extra room for layering)

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I highly recommend Lulu products, but I also highly recommend going to a Lulu store.  The staff at the Michigan Ave store in Chicago was very friendly and helpful and willing to look for whatever I needed in the size I wanted.  Although I’ll have to do some buying from the internet, I’ll be making a trip every once in a while to my nearest store 🙂

Still on my wishlist though:

  

The Run Speed Short in Oasis Plaid…

Although the Run: Dash Tight is obviously more practical for this time of year

A girl can dream though.  😉

 

 

What workout gear has got you motivated to workout recently?

Do you love Lulu too?


‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the season to be thankful 🙂

Today was All Saints Day at church.  Not all of us may be Christian, nor religious, but I believe that most of us find the importance of remembering those who have positively impacted our lives and being thankful for them.  In this way, they have acted as a “saint”.

I love that this religious celebration comes at a time when the whole country is preparing for Thanksgiving and the Holidays.  This time of year is for being with family and friends, and being thankful.  So why not be thankful for our family and friends? 

My family has supported me, cheered me on, taught me right from wrong, led me on a successful path, and loved me with every ounce of their being.  For this I am thankful, and I love them with every ounce of my being. 

I hope today you will reflect on those who have positively impacted your life (alive or passed away) and show thanks.  Gratitude opens up so many doors 🙂

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‘Tis the Season to be Merry 🙂

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I love coffee, tea, hot chocolate, you name it, if it’s cold outside and the drink is warm, its in my mug.  So ‘Tis the season to bargain shop!  I found these two winter mugs for $3.99/each!  The snowman is from Target (one of my favorite stores!) and the red and white one is from Homegoods/TJMaxx (a bargain shoppers heaven for cooking/decorating stuff).  I love to bargain hunt!  Do you?

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Sur la Table usually is not the place to bargain hunt, so I bought $1 cookie cutters to make sugar cookies for Christmas.  A snowflake, a tree, and a snowman will be so much fun to decorate!  Do you bake your own, or eat everyone else’s cookies??

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$1 ornaments!  Total steal :)  I decided to redo my decor for my Christmas tree (it’s been blue white and silver for 4 years – Penn State tree), but my living room is deep orange, so I’m going with the metallics – gold, silver, and bronze.  I think it will make a classy tree!  How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

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I found “Miracle on 34th Street” at Target today for $8.99!  I haven’t seen the original, so I figured for that price, I can watch it and rewatch it, and rewatch it.  But I have to say that “It’s a Wonderful Life” is my favorite all time Christmas movie, but the claymations (ie Rudolph and The Year Without A Santa) always make me read for Christmas.  What’s your favorite Christmas movie?

Sorry if you’re not ready for the holidays yet, but it’s coming fast and I just want to enjoy it for as along as possible….2 months isn’t too much right?  That’s still only 1/6 of the year!

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Tis the Season to Eat GOOOOODDDD Food !

Caprese Panini ala Great Harvest

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Ina Garten totally inspired my latest creation.  I had these sandwiches A LOT while I was in Italy and it reminds me of a caprese salad on a sandwich. 

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You need:

  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • pesto
  • provolone or mozzarella cheese (I like provolone better)
  • your favorite bread
  • butter

I used Virginia Savory bread from Great Harvest and it was perfect!  Do you have a Great Harvest near you?

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Spread pesto on both sides, layer with tomatoes and cheese.  Butter the outer sides of your sandwich.

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Use your panini maker and squish and cook until the outside is golden and crusty!  (Squish is a technical Panini term that only the best Panini makers in Italy use 😉 )

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Serve with your fav veggie!  I ate broccolini for the first time with it.  Come back for that recipe later (regular broccoli can be subsituted).

 

HELP !!!

So my running lately has been on hold.  I hurt my knee last week and then ran my half marathon…and it still hurts!  It hurts on the outside and only when I run on it!  Do you know what I did to it?  Can you help me solve the puzzle??  If so leave a comment or email me (you can find my email under About >>Contact Me )


I Love . . .

I have a confession to make: 

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I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER, probably more than any other food. 

If the end of the world were to come tomorrow, I would want to spend the rest of the day eating peanut butter. 

I love peanut butter on sandwiches.

I love it with fruit

I love it as a savory topping

and I love it straight out of the jar. 

I love cheap peanut butter, I love all natural peanut butter, I love flavored peanut butter…

To conclude I love Peanut Butter.  Which is why when I saw this today, I kind of freaked out

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The last jar of Wegmans creamy peanut butter peaking out of the pantry.  THE LAST JAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Wegmans Creamy Peanut Butter is by far my favorite.  What is the difference between this jar and Jif or Skippy or Peter Pan?  I think for me its just creamier and maybe a little thicker in flavor.  So thank you Wegmans, for making a cheap and delicious version of my favorite food :) 

Note:  I do not have a Wegmans near me anymore, so I send a request to my Mom to package this peanut butter, along with other Wegmans items that I LOVE.  Thanks Mom, love ya!

Snack of the Day:

Of course it has peanut butter!

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Half an Arnold’s Sandwich Thin, Wegmans Creamy Peanut Butter, Pumpkin Butter (also purchased at Wegmans), and raisins.  I think this combination of foods needs to be repeated again.  It was delicious, but gone too fast.

 

Something else the I love:

Cookbooks!

I think looking through cookbooks for recipes is more fun that surfing the net, however, it is not friendly for my student budget, as they can cost $25 a pop!  So how does one get themselves out of this?  A library of course.

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I brought these two home yesterday.  Ina Garten, you are my culinary role model!  Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan is another I picked up (great reviews on Amazon).  I thought it would strike a great balance with the chocolate peanut butter cupcakes I’ll make from the Barefoot Contessa hehe

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Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwiches….mmmm

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Vegetables!  Yes please

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oooooo yummy…this is actually from the Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.  Ina Garten would be proud 🙂

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I cant’ wait to start!  Tomato, Mozzarella and Pesto Panini’s will be made this evening.  I bought Virginia Savory Bread from Great Harvest yesterday that is begging to be eaten. 

 

Hope everyone is gearing up for a wonderful weekend!  I’m Christmas shopping tomorrow.  Tis’ the season ya’ll!

 

Christmas Countdown:  50 more days!

 

“As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.”

– Donald E. Westlake


Recovery and Questions from #FitBlog

I want to extend a big thank you to my legs for running the 13.1 miles even during times of extreme pain.  Thank you for walking my butt around Chicago that afternoon, and then getting me around campus the next day.  I’m sorry that you’re still sore and achy. 

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So I’m taking a few days off from running, teaching spin to work out the kinks, and foam rolling.  Later on this week I’m going to pay homage to one of my favorite recovery tools 🙂

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What is #FitBlog chat?:  it is a Twitter chat, set up by Katy Widrick on Tuesday evenings at 9pm.  You don’t have to have a blog to participate. 

Every week someone new will moderate the questions, and the community will respond.  Here’s a list of this weeks questions and my responses….

1) When it comes to the holidays, how do you strike a balance between moderation and celebration?

I usually will indulge in what is special during that time of year.  If it’s pumpkin rolls during Thanksgiving or my mom’s chicken parm on Christmas Eve.  If there is a food I see regularly, like chocolate chip cookies, I’m less likely to indulge.  Try to decide what you really want to try and enjoy and what is going on your plate just to fill space.

1.1) What is your favorite October – December Holiday?

I love Thanksgiving because its all about being with family.  It’s not about the gifts or anything, just family and friends.  That’s the best kind of holiday you could ask for.

2) How has social media changed the way you respond to people that say/do something negative toward you or others?

Social media has made me more aware of our differences to be open minded and smart about how I choose to communicate .  I know that people read my blogs, my tweets, and my facebook updates.  Even if I’m only affecting one person, that is still one person, and I want to influence that person in a positive way.  I think I’ve also grown more immune to others negativity as a result.  Being involved in social media, you see a lot of bashing and complaining.  We need to use these tools to help people, share our knowledge, and spread hope.

3) Define beauty — what does it mean to you in 140 characters or less?

Beauty is appreciating who you are now.  Right now.  Not who you want to be or what you want to look like.  Learn to love who you are now.  Life won’t wait.

3.1) Do you consider yourself beautiful?

I do now.  I didn’t for a very long time.  But, now I’m meeting so many of my health goals…eating well, exercising regularly, and managing my stress levels.  When I’m doing all three of these things I feel beautiful, and I’m therefore motivated to stick with those habits.

4) Look back at the last 10 months of 2010.  What’s your headline?

Goodbye Undergrad…Hello PhD! 

 

Choose one of these questions and let me know how you would respond 🙂