Running while Snowing

Happy Monday!!

Hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was perfectly relaxing, which was just how I wanted it to be!

On Saturday, I had a running “first”.

It’s a little crazy that I’ve lived in New England for the past 4 years and it was my first time to do this, but I actually got up the courage(?) to¬†run in the snow.

It actually wasn’t my intention, but accuweather sort of blew it.

You see, when I woke up Saturday morning (side note: no alarm for the first time in weeks – felt AMAZING) I checked the hour-by-hour forecast on my phone.

I knew it was supposed to snow, but it appeared that from the hours of 10am-12pm I would be in the clear. Perfect! I took my time foam rolling beforehand and getting ready, only to discover it was coming down hard as I was about to walk out the door.

Instead of waiting it out, I decided to put on a few extra layers and just go for it.

snowrun12/1/12

Here’s what I ended up wearing…

  • Nike Long-Sleeved Dri-Fit Turtleneck
  • Columbia rain jacket
  • Under Armour tights
  • Nike Windbreaker Pants (mine are old, so I don’t think this is the exact type I have, but similar)
  • Spi Belt (to hold keys and phone/headphones – see note below!)
  • Waterproof gloves

    <Side note: I really want a hat like this. Simplest idea, but so genius.>

So, how was it? Not bad at all! The snow actually made for very enjoyable scenery. ūüôā

The whole snow in my face thing was a little annoying at first, but I got over it pretty quickly.

I was actually pretty hot with all those layers about 2 miles in…but I think it was better than being all wet? I’m not sure.

From what the news has been telling us, I might have some time to experiment with my snow running attire this season (we had very little snow last year).

Note about spi belt:

First of all, let me just say how much I love my spi belt. I’ve had it for about 2 1/2 years and it is the BEST for carrying things on runs…phone, keys, money, energy gels…it really expands to fit a LOT and it doesn’t bounce around at all!!

Anyway, I pretty much never listen to music while running,¬†except for on long runs. This is partly for entertainment, and partly because I feel safer having some mode of communication available when I’m out running for an extended period of time.

This was my first time I put my phone in the spi belt and then left a little opening for my headphones.

Why have I never done this before?! It was so much easier than holding my phone. I think I liked it better too because it was less tempting to constantly change the song ūüėČ

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Sorghum Flour Birthday Cake!

Hi friends!

Hope you are having a nice weekend!

I am currently blogging from my grandparents house, because my family is in town. They arrived in Boston late last night and are renting a lake house in NH for a week starting tomorrow, but came to good ole’ Dartmouth for today/tonight. My aunt and other cousin also drove over for the day, so we had a nice little family reunion.

Dad & Tracy

This was an especially exciting trip because my step-sister and her cousin came and,¬†neither of them had ever been to New England or on a plane before! I am so excited for them to see this area of the country – I know they’re going to love it ūüėČ

It was actually two of my cousin’s birthdays this weekend, so I capitalized the opportunity to bake them a cake. I had quite a few things going on for this cake: one cousin requested vanilla with chocolate icing. The other has an egg allergy. I wanted it to be gluten free. Thanks to some quick googling I found a cake¬†recipe that suited all needs!

Fresh out of the oven

Frosted

I used this really easy recipe for the frosting.VERY chocolatey ūüôā

Decorated

Candled

Singing

And cut! Mmm!

The cake turned out pretty well! It was a little gummy, but I’m thinking it may be because I couldn’t work quickly enough because I was making two batches of the recipe at the same time¬†to be able to make it a 2-layer cake (I read in the comments that doubling the recipe would have messed up the proportions for it being gluten-free).

This recipe called for sorghum flour, which I have never used before. Tracy (step-mom) and I were both curious of what it actually is, which lead to some more googling later tonight. Apparently, it is a grain that is primarily grown in Africa and India, and now also the U.S., as it has become an increasingly appealing alternative grain.

Running Stuff 

Interesting stuff. Tomorrow, I am attempting a 9-mile run. Last weekend I ran 7, and although it was slow, I recovered okay and feel pretty good about trying for 9. This is a good thing because my race is only 3 weeks away!!! Where is the summer going!?!

I’m off to bed…fingers crossed the rain we’re having clears up by the morning…I’m looking forward to a run near the water! ūüôā

Beach Lovin’ & 5 mile success

Hello all!

Sorry it has been a rather long time since I last checked in. This is kind of going to be a random post, just FYI.

I have been busy with/ exhausted from camp, but am really happy that it is going great this summer. I LOVE my group and the other counselor I am working with, and things are just a lot less stressful compared to last summer.

I have been to the beach the past 2 weekends in a row, which I am super happy about because as close as I am, beach opportunities just don’t happen that often!

Last weekend, I headed down to the Cape to visit some of my family. It was an excellent beach day!

Cousins!

Today, I went to Crane Beach (North Shore) with a friend. The water was COLD, but very refreshing because today was super hot!!

In other news, running has been going pretty well! For the past couple of weeks, I’ve run a few times (just 2-3 miles at a time). Although my pace is super¬†slow, I’ve felt very little pain in my knee!

Today, I made it my goal to run 5 miles…I figure I do need to start doing a few longer runs if I’m going to attempt my race in August. Well…….It was slow, it was hot, but it WAS 5 miles. Fingers crossed my knee feels a-ok tomorrow!

Also, recently made Mama Pea’s¬† Thai Crunch Veggie Burgers and they were delish! Highly recommend – great flavor and texture. I got the recipe from her cookbook, but I’ve seen it posted here.

Ingredients

Processed

Pre-flip

Done!

Goodnightttttt!

Why Home (Can Be) Awesome

I got back late last night from an awesome week in Texas! Here are a few of the reasons why my week was so great….

…..I was reunited with these weirdos…I miss them so much!!

….I was able to enjoy outdoor lap swimming ¬†in a pool all to MYSELF! Holla early a.m adult lap swim!

…..I caught up with a couple of friends who I hadn’t seen in ages!

….I made a couple of¬†recipes and discovered a couple of new foods that were a hit with my family! Post on that to come tomorrow ūüôā

…..I went shopping.¬†I’m actually such a bad shopper because I get overwhelmed really easily and end up leaving with nothing. This time I am happy to report that I got a few new tops, some earrings, and some awesome new minimalist shoes!¬†I’m going to wear them for camp.¬†

Love the neon.

….. I spent Friday and Saturday them both in the sun, in the water, and on boats!

My aunt and uncle ironically purchased a boat and lake house around the same time that my family got our boat, so my mom and made the trip to go check it out. The lake was beautiful! It’s was located in East Texas and was much smaller lake than¬†Texoma, but different in that it was very peaceful and heavily wooded.


…..I went¬†waterskiing!¬†On Saturday, my dad, step-mom, and I headed out on our own boat…we had a great time just the 3 of us!!¬†

They recently got the skis, so this was my first time out on them. I was a little nervous because I haven’t waterskiied in a couple of years, but I was excited that it came right back to me! It probably helped that the skis were made for very beginners – they were super wide. At one point I tried to drop to one ski, but I didn’t quite get there. Next time!¬†

So fun!

Driving the boat….Yeah, right

Lounging

That’s all folks! I’ll be back tomorrow with the new recipes/food finds!

Goodnight!

So much “Friends”

***I mentioned on my last post that I thought a post had been deleted by mistake, but actually the mistake was that I accidentally published a post from a couple of weeks ago as a page! It is fixed now…click here! ūüôā ***

Hi everyone!

I feel like I was just writing about last weekend, and now here we are with the weekend again! Not that I’m complaining, though…

I’ve had a very relaxing weekend so far! Watching an embarrassing amount of ‘Friends’ has contributed to the relaxation.
Weekend Recap

Yesterday, one of my teammates had a pool party. It was the perfect day for it and we stayed for hours chatting away and sunbathing. And quoting Bridesmaids (which I really want to rent again, pronto!) I also got to play with this adorable dog, whom I may have tried to kidnap.

Today, I walked around on Newbury Street with my aunt and cousin. Highlights included new Lululemon purchases (!) and frozen yogurt at Pinkberry. I had been craving froyo for a while, and this fit the bill perfectly. After a lot of debating about style and color, I ended up with these shorts (except my trim is white instead of black).

This was my first pair of shorts to buy from Lululemon, and I am so excited to wear them next weekend! They fit like a dream and are soooo comfortable. Now I know why so many of my teammates have been raving ūüėČ
Running Update

Still haven’t been running, still have been FREAKING OUT. I am so so so nervous about how my knee is going to act. I just want to get through the race!

Current plan of action:

  1. Ice and stretch at least 2x per day
  2. Chiropractor (Tuesday)
  3. Sports massage (Wednesday)
  4. Try to get knee KT taped at race expo on Saturday
    *Optional Required: 1 episode of ‘Friends’ per stretch sesh

I’m hoping that these combination of things will keep the knee feeling happy, and while I am hopeful, I am also trying to mentally prepare myself for the possibility of having to quit if it becomes necessary.
Recent Eats 

Earlier this week, I made Mama Pea’s Coconut Curry Kale Stew¬†in the crock-pot. It felt a bit unseasonable to be using it, especially with the warmer weather we’ve been having. I just really wanted soup, I guess. It came out tasty, but definitely needed a lot more spice added to it.


I also recently made this Vegan Cheeze Sauce with brown rice penne pasta. I left out the onion powder because I didn’t have any, but added a bit extra garlic powder and pepper. Love how quick and easy this recipe was!!


I wanted to bring something to the pool party, and have had this box of gluten-free choco chip cookie mix in my cabinet FOREVER, so I thought it was a great time to use it up!


I pretty much never buy boxed mixes because I enjoy the process of baking from scratch, but I had gotten this from a friend who wasn’t going to use it.

I was super impressed by a) how few the ingredients the actual mix had , and b) how well these cookies came out! I didn’t have high expectations, but they tasted great and no one could tell that they were GF at all!

COOKIE DOUGH!

Two thumbs up for the finished product!

Finally, a few weeks ago I attempted to make mashed cauliflower. I read a few recipes online first, and then decided to just wing it.

Mashed Cauliflower


Ingredients:

1 Head cauliflower
1-2 cloves garlic
Almond milk (unsweetened/unflavored), or any other neutral milk
Salt & pepper

Directions:

1. Chop cauliflower into bite-sized florets.
2. Steam cauliflower in microwave or on stove.
3. Combine cauliflower with rest of ingredients in food processor, until desired consistency is reached.

NOT potatoes!

I really loved the texture and taste of these, but I definitely added a disproportionate amount of garlic. Just use your best judgment based on how big your head and cloves are…you can always add more!

Ok, that was a LOT of food at once. I think my work here is done.

Off to watch more Friends sleep! Hoping for yoga in the am ūüôā

Goodnight!

Let’s Play Catch-Up!

Once again, it has been 103189 years since I last blogged.

I do have a LOT to catch up on, so I’ll just dive into it!

Running / Knee Status 

Apparently, the last time we chatted was¬†before¬†my longest run. The¬†good news¬†is that it went well! I didn’t have much pain until the last few miles.

The¬†bad news¬†is that my run this past weekend (about 10.5 miles) was TERRIBLE. My knee felt awful beginning at mile 4 and lasting until the end. I stopped and stretched several times, and almost threw in the towel, but no one was available to pick me up at the moment. I stretched and iced, and then tried running again today. It started to bother me pretty quickly…not a terrible pain, but definitely noticeable.

Needless to say, I am really discouraged and totally freaking out about the fact that the marathon is in 12 DAYS!

Weekend Highs 

One of the reasons I haven’t written in so long is that I was at home this past weekend…I was having way too much fun to be tied down to the computer!

The trip was actually planned a while ago Рmainly around going to the Dave Matthews Concert! 

But, let’s start from the beginning of the trip. I arrived on Friday night, and was picked up by my aunt and mom (thanks guys!). We went straight to get our nails done, which was a belated b-day gift. I got the gel nails, which I was super excited about, as I had never had them done before. They came out great! ūüôā

On Saturday, I was up bright and early to run, then I headed to the lake for a couple of hours to ride around on the boat with the fam. Enter: sunburn. Whoops! 

After that, I went home and got ready for the concert! I went with my friend Matt, his older sister, and brother-in-law, who are all huge DMB fans. We arrived a couple of hours early to tailgate, which was a great time.

Then came time for the actual concert, which was just as amazing as I expected it to be.

Braid twins!

Overall, this was definitely¬†the most fun night I’ve had in months!¬†Totally¬†carefree and happy.¬†With a side of grape vodka¬†ūüôā¬†

I think I’ll leave it at that for now – I promise to return later this week! Cross my heart.

Have a great night! 

Great Weekend, Bad Day

Hello everyone! Happy Monday!!

Did you have a¬†good weekend?? Mine was very nice, even though I wasn’t able celebrate¬†Mother’s Day¬†with my mom.

Long Run Recap 

The¬†Saturday’s run¬†went somewhat better than I expected! First of all,¬†18 miles¬†is my longest distance to run – ever – which is¬†awesome¬†to begin with! It was also the longest run before the marathon (June 3).¬†Taper time!

It was¬†warm¬†outside. Much warmer than we’re used to, but not terribly hot.¬†Probably good practice for¬†San Diego weather!¬†¬†¬†Salty!!! Wow…I was covered like never before.¬†¬†The last 3 miles were HARD. More because my¬†knee hurt¬†than lack of endurance. This gives me¬†mixed feelings¬†– I’m worried my knee will act up the day of if it started to bother me after only 15 miles. However, since the mileage will be a lot lower the next two weeks, maybe it will be okay by then…? Also, it’s good to know that I¬†didn’t hit a mental block¬†after this long.

I’m actually feeling pretty good today. I can feel¬†some twinge in my knee, but not as bad as I thought it would be considering how I felt on Saturday. I got a¬†massage¬†yesterday and have been¬†stretching like crazy, so I’m sure both of those factors have contributed to how I feel now.

Fun Fundraiser!

Most of day Saturday was spent recovering (icing, eating, sleeping) but by the evening I was ready for some time out with some fun people!

One of my teammates had an¬†AWESOME fundraiser¬†in Boston. She really did an amazing job coordinating the event and seeking out items to raffle/auction. I was so glad I was able to go, especially because I haven’t really been able to make it to any of the other social outings (which I’m even more bummed about now after having had hung out with these great people all night).

YAYYY TNT!

It was a lot of fun, but boy was I ready to crash by the time the night ended!!

Sunday

I had a very relaxing day, which was just what I needed. As I mentioned, I had a massage (thanks, Groupon!) which was nice, except not what I was expecting. I had scheduled a sports massage with the hope of loosening up my knotted muscles, but I guess there was some type of error, so it ended up being more of a regular massage.

Monday (a.k.a. Bad Day)

Today was not great. It actually wasn’t terrible overall, but it was one of those “one thing ruins your whole day” situations. It’s kind of a long story, but basically my travel plans for the marathon are all sorts of messed up. A¬†few months ago,¬†I put in a request to have the Friday before and Monday after off, because I¬†intended to travel with the team. The days weren’t approved by HR. My supervisor and principal had no problem with the request, so I spent a few weeks going back and forth with different people trying to figure out if there was any way they could make an exception. I was told that if I didn’t show up on the two days, my¬†contract would be terminated. Eventually, I talked to the person who is the ¬†head of the union¬†at our school, and she got me the final answer today that there is¬†no way it is going to¬†happen.

Obviously,¬†I¬†feel like an idiot¬†for not having cleared this sooner. In my defense, I really had no idea that TWO DAYS would be that big of a deal. Lesson learned. Regardless, the whole situation is¬†ridiculous. Mostly¬†because now¬†in addition¬†to all of the extra money I’m going to have to pay to¬†cover the difference of my fundraising minimum, I’m going to have to¬†pay out of pocket to book different (EXPENSIVE!) flights¬†that will allow me to be present at school on Friday & Monday.

It¬†further¬†irritates me that they¬†aren’t even considering the needs of the child! There is no way they would hire a new person for him for the last 2 weeks of school, and a sub would be incredibly expensive for that amount of time.¬†UGH!!!¬†

Ok. end rant.

By the way, if you are able, both myself and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society would appreciate any donation you can make! Find my fundraising page here! 

Ending on a Good Note 

One nice thing that happened today was that my babysitting gig got canceled (sick kid), so I had an unexpected  night off. After I calmed down from a very emotional afternoon, I spent time finding some jobs to apply to for the fall, as well as doing one of my favorite things: baking!

I had some¬†yeast¬†that I bought a while back to make something with (don’t even remember what now?), and¬†randomly I came across it today. I looked through my bookmarked recipes, and found one that sounded like a good idea to try!

I made¬†these english muffins. Yum! I was impressed that they came out well – baking with yeast always seems so daunting ūüėČ

Do you ever bake with yeast? If so, what do you like to make?

Andddd now I’m off to¬†foam roll and¬†hit the hay!¬†Goodnight!