Friday, June 27, 2014

Food Lovin' Friday: lots of leftovers edition

I'm not going to lie, the heat really kills my appetite.  It get's even worse when I run in this weather!  Some days I want to eat everything in sight, but more often I am eating whatever I made ahead because I know I have to eat something.

Saturday night I went to Brixx and had this totally amazing sandwich and fruit.

We went to see a movie but skipped the popcorn because we were stuffed and had this delicious cheesecake waiting at home.

The rest of the week I mostly stuck with leftovers. With a pbj or two thrown in.

Plus I found this at Big Lots and couldn't resist. Very delicious snacking!

As efficient as it is to just eat leftovers all week it sure doesn't make for very fun recaps!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thankful Thursday: Hank Edition

As much as I talk about Hank on here I figured it was only right that I share his story. He will always be one of the best things to happen to me so I couldn't think of a better place time to share than on a Thankful Thursday. (Sorry in advance for the picture overload.  Be glad my phone blew up or I would have many more haha)

I have wanted a dog for pretty much forever.  My family always had dogs and I knew I would always have them.  After college I got a cat because I wasn't really situated in a permanent location and cats are (supposedly) lower maintenance. 

A little over a year ago I moved into a house and could finally have a dog! My boyfriend was deployed at the time so I was a little nervous about how it would play out when he got back, but that did not stop me from dragging my friends to every PetSmart adoption event or make me spend any less time looking at rescue websites.

I knew I wanted a big dog who was friendly and energetic enough to go on my runs with me.  I wanted a girl dog because I had heard horror stories about boy dogs peeing on everything.  Realistically I wanted a newfie...but I live in the hottest part of North Carolina so that option wasn't really an option.

I struck out several times but then I saw this face

I wandered down the rest of the row to be fair, but I came right back to him.  He was a two-year-old English pointer/lab mix. He had no name and he was clearly a rescue and you could see he was dirty and skinny at about 70 pounds.  But he was the happiest and most loving dog I had ever seen.
I got to walk around PetSmart and play with him for a bit and all he wanted was to be loved on.  My friend had her 10 month old with her and he was obsessed with the baby (in a good way) and, despite being a bit uncoordinated and clumsy, totally stole my heart from that moment.  We found out that he had been found on the side of the road covered in green paint like he had been shot with a paintball gun.  How someone can do that to any dog, let alone a dog this sweet I will never know.

I wasn't able to take him home that day because he still had to be neutered so I had a while to get everything I needed and to pick out a name.  I kept staring at the picture of this big goofy dog and saying names until I came across one that sounded right.  As soon as I said Hank my friend and I agreed that it was perfect.

I couldn't wait to bring him home!  The first night I had him, we sat on the floor and Skyped my boyfriend so they could "meet"  Then the poor dog had to tolerate me hugging him and crying for an extended period of time...which he handled like a champ.  I have to admit it was the first of numerous times that dog was been my shoulder to cry on!

As soon as he got his stitches out we went on our first big roadtrip down to Atlanta, GA.  He handled over six hours in the car like a champ and was rewarded with a super awesome weekend of hiking adventures.
He also got his backpack that weekend which he LOVED from the first time he wore it!  I thought there would be some adjusting but our first attempt he happily went for a three mile walk!

A few weeks later we went on another adventure and got to see a waterfall

We have been on so many other adventures since then and they have been great.  But the real reason I am thankful for this amazing dog is that he makes sure I always have a reason to get up in the morning.

And he makes me go out and do things.  He makes it much easier to meet people too! As much as I love typing about my life, I actually don't have an easy time meeting new people.  Hank does not have that problem and has made it so much easier for me to talk to people I don't know!

He makes exericise much more fun as well

So even when he steals the chicken off the counter and even when he steals the entire bed, I will never be able to love this darn dog any less.  He is by far one of the best things in my life and I am thankful for him every day!  I only hope I am half as good to him as he is to me.

P.S. He is totally obsessed with his dad now that they have met in person..and his dad loves him just as much!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Wishful Wednesday: bowl full of cherries

Nearly seven years ago I packed up my life and moved 3,000 miles away from my friends and family to go to college.  YOLO wasn't a thing then, but I think the guiding principle behind my move as similar.  This was the big defining moment everyone talks about all your life and I wasn't going to waste it.  I was throwing caution to the wind, following my dreams, and making a big jump.

Well I've graduated college and been in the real world a while now and I have to admit to a little disappointment.  I didn't get fabulously homesick, I didn't magically become a proper southern belle.  Sure the whole town essentially shuts down if there is any hint of snow and sometimes this humidity stuff gets so thick I'm not sure I will be able to breathe.  But life in North Carolina really isn't so different from life at home.

What I really miss is all the awesome produce from home. I got lucky and was able to visit during asparagus season. But as much as I love watermelon, I am wishing from a huge bowl of fresh off the tree cherries today!

What is your favorite food that's hard to find away from home?

Ten Things Tuesday: morning run edition

I got up and ran before work today...I think this qualifies as a genuine miracle so I am dedicating this post to my morning run!

1) I overslept. No surprise there really.

2) I got to run with my favorite running buddy and we practiced running selfies.

3) Morning is still way hotter than I realized. The "feels like" temperature is already 83!

4) Looking at my selfie attempts made me realize I wore my shirt backwards. Classy.

5) I tried out the "Running to Rock" Spotify playlist and really liked it.

6) Hank was worn out!

7) A banana after a run is great. Nora agrees.

8) Iced coffee is even better than a banana.

9) I'm still sucking at hydrating. I could really feel it this morning.

10) I know they are called ballerina buns for good reason, but I'd like petition to have them renamed "post morning run showered and don't want to blow dry m hair buns." Wordy I know, but so much more inclusive

Question: Are you a fan of running in the morning? How do you get motivated?

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mega-planning Monday

I suppose it is only fitting that I procrastinated my post about planning.  Go figure!
Confession: I originally wanted it to be Meal Prep Monday but I realized I spend about half the year traveling and not cooking for myself. So that seemed silly.  I think it can still be part of my Mega Planning though :)

Food for the week: (this is vital because when I don't plan ahead I end up eating very large quantities of leftover cheesecake for lunch lol)

This week I made a sausage and rice combo to pack for lunch.  The inspiration was dirty rice...but I know this is far from accurate so please don't judge me too harshly!
I cooked up this rice and these sausages:

And mixed them together with some tomato sauce:

I was actually impressed with the results and I am excited to have lots of leftovers to pack for lunch!

I also boiled a bunch of eggs for a high protein snack:

Of course to supplement all this I also have bread, bananas, and snacks left and right. (to be highlighted on Friday of course!)  Oh and cheesecake of course:

Workouts: (because going out without a plan has not been working for me)
The plan this week is for 3 miles Tuesday, 5 miles Wednesday, 3 miles Thursday, and 10 miles Saturday.  The weather has been nuts so I am going to get up and run before work this week.  For reals this time.  Typing this is like an official announcement so I have to be accountable now haha. Monday and Friday are scheduled rest days (yay) and Sunday is supposed to be cross training.  I am still searching for better ideas of what to do for this, but right now I am planning to bike again. Perhaps if I get up for my runs all week I will reward myself with a hot yoga class on Sunday.

Blog: I won't tell you what I have planned for this week, but this important part is that I have made plans for every day this week and even started rough drafting a few things!  Woah!

Question for you:
Do you plan ahead or do things on the fly?
I have to admit to being a great planner in the abstract way but struggle more to make concrete plans and carry them out.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sum-it-up Saturday: dead phone edition

It seems to be a theme this week that any and all posts I plan will not turn out the way they are meant to!  I had a great time taking pictures before and during my run today but my poor iphone totally died.  It turns on but it will not charge.  At all.  I got a new phone (yay!) but all my pictures (and contacts) seem to be a lost cause for now.  Perhaps the phone will change it's mind and work again eventually!

Now to get down to business.  Maybe half the reason I started this blog was so I would have a way to keep track of my training and to remember what worked and did not work for me...and of course to let readers adventure with me and learn from my mistakes :)

So here is my weekly fitness recap and my long run recap:

This week:

I was bad. Really bad.  I ran a total of two times for a total distance of 12.5 miles.  I did ride my bike on Sunday for cross training.  End of story.  It wasn't pretty!

Long run today: 11 miles at 7 am

Pre-run hydration- yesterday I drank an ok amount of water but it needed to be more.  Next week I will aim to fill my cup at work at least 5 times.  I felt thirsty the whole run.

Dinner - had a big salad with fruits and veggies. No problem this morning

Sleep - Pretty good.  Got 8 hours last night but still making up from earlier this week.

Breakfast - a slice of whole wheat bread with apricot preserves.  Just enough to keep my tummy happy.

Fueling - I had one Jet Blackberry GU around 5 miles/50 minutes.  The GU was pretty good and I didn't have any problems with it.  I could feel it kick in a lot more than I am used to with the chews.  Taste and texture didn't bother me at all. Given the heat I would probably have been better off if I had carried at least one more.

Hydration - used the Nathan triangle belt, ran out of water again so I'm going to need to work on this part for longer training runs. I do like the belt pretty well though.

Wore - Merrel mix master shoes, random running socks, Reebok compression shorts, Champion compression sports bra, Seahawks shirt, and my Adidas hat. It might be time to start looking for new shoes. Love love love these ones but they are too snug in the summer months. The shirt was also not practical and showed every drop of sweat.....but I knew that going in and just really wanted to wear it haha!

Where - the roads near my house. This part went well. Very little traffic, pretty flat, occasional shade.

Overall-  I started the run too late again and paid for it with the heat. Nothing really hurt but my mind and body both felt tired. Goal this week is to get more sleep and go out earlier!

Sorry again for lack of pictures. I am trying to take as many as I can so my phone doesn't feel so empty.

How was your weekend run?

Friday, June 20, 2014


It's been a long week y'all. So here is Food Lovin' Friday with as many pictures and as few words as I can manage!
Garbanzo beans baked with taco seasoning

Leftover pizza for lunch
Still one of the best salads I have ever had
Tried a new flavor. Ok, but not my favorite

Pop and popcorn, the snack of champions! Right?
Delicious and nutritious...
With no chewing required :)
Finally the last of the chicken!
And one last tortilla for good measure
Another salad with apple, cucumber, kale and an egg...yummm
There might also be a cheesecake setting up for tomorrow :)
And last but not least, I am puggle sitting for the weekend!
Add caption
And that was my week in food pictures. I hope you are all having an amazing start to your weekend! Long run first thing in the morning if the lightning doesn't get me first.

What is your favorite thing you ate this week?
 Mine would have to be the pizza

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The thing about life

Well y'all it's Thankful Thursday! 
My plan was to tell you all about Hank and how amazing he is and how much better he makes every day.

One other thing I wanted to incorporate into Thankful Thursday was an act of kindness. I find that I appreciate things so much more and generally feel happiest when I am doing things for others.

Well it all changed for this week. My friend's grandma is in ICU on the other side of the country and the friend's husband is away until tomorrow so I am going to have dinner with her.
I might sneak in a run tonight if I have time, but I am not going to let myself feel guilty if not.

Before you think I'm totally selfless (which would be awesome but probably not totally true) I also get to see my boyfriend.

So I suppose they are the ones I am thankful for today. Amazing relationships are priceless and I have been so lucky!

Tomorrow will be back to regularly scheduled plans (I hope!)

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Burn Out

Today I made it out to run, but it was not nearly the run I planned.  My initial plan (made ages ago) was to do 5 miles.  As I walked laps in the parking lot to warm up I debated between 3 and 5 miles...primarily based on the argument that it was (is) hot humid and I was (am) tired.  Really really tired.  And I forgot my hat.
Conflicted parking lot selfie.
 I finally came to a compromise and decided to run 3 miles at a highly optimistic race pace of 9 min/mile.  The first mile I was pouring sweat and working hard but felt pretty good.  I finished it in 9:18 which I figured was good given the conditions.  Then my Nike+ app crashed.
Now usually when it crashed it just stops the workout and you lose the distance and time while it was crashed.  Oh no, not this time though.  This time it added 3 miles to what I had already done.  It said I had run a km in 00:00.  My average min/mile was less than 3.  Apparently Nike wants me to go to the Olympics.
After this fiasco, I restarted the run and told myself I would just do 2 more miles.  About half a mile in I lost the last of the teeny tiny bit of resolve I had started with and decided I would just walk back to my car.
I stopped by the lake and sat on a bench.  I watched the turtles and fishes playing in the water. Or eating, but I like to think of it as playing.  I watched some squirrels running in circles and leaping through trees.
The little guy on the back of the bench only had half a tail!

I watched the sun set over the lake. 
More than anything I gave myself permission to sit and do nothing.  I was surprised by how difficult it was; I wanted to constantly be doing something. Anything.  There were things to write, people to talk to and information to look up.  My cell phone connects me to everything in the word at a moments notice...what they don't tell you is how hard it becomes to disconnect.  When I did, however, I was able to do a lot of reflection on my life in general.
Today I did not discover the meaning of life, but I was reminded that my life has meaning.

Tomorrow I'll try again and hopefully my love for running will return :)

Dream Big...or dream of big group runs

I love doing Wishful Wednesday because it really gives me a chance to think about my goals and dreams and where I want to go with my running. I am not the type of person who can just run because it is fun. I am totally hooked on running races and I have always been competitive and goal motivated!

My wish for today is that I lived somewhere with a larger and more active population. This is definitely not somewhere I see myself living forever and the next place I live I would love to be able to join a running club or at least see other people out running! In this little town I get strange looks for running/walking/riding my bike. I stated blogging and getting involved in social media because I enjoy talking about my running and fitness adventures and hearing about what other people are doing (aka living vicariously through their cool experiences) but it's hard to find people in real life to talk to!
Forever my favorite workout buddy of course!

The good news is that it's only 11 weeks until my travel season for work starts and I can usually find a travel buddy or two who would also like to be my gym buddy! Today I am just wishing for a point in my life when I can find a workout buddy that's a little more long term!

If weather cooperates I'll hopefully be back later with a workout update!

My questions for you:
Are you in a running group or do you have a running buddy? Is it all it's cracked up to be or am I just wishing for what I can't have? Do you live in a fitness friendly town?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Netflix= the anti-workout

I have no run to recap (for several reasons that will follow) so it is time for Ten Things Tuesday!

1)  I have been slacking on blogging lately in part because Netflix put up the second season of Orange is the New Black.  Seriously, if you haven't watched it you totally should.  Except when you find yourself avoiding all other activities because you just want to find out what happens next...I was not the one to make the recommendation ;)

2) The weather here is getting crazy.  The high at the end of the week is over 100.  Plus 100% humidity. Plus thunder storms that are shaking the walls.  This is a large part of why I didn't run Netflix...

3) I had this amazing salad for lunch.  I need to eat salad more often.

4) I knew soda cans could explode from freezing but I didn't know heat could do the same thing.  Is anyone else guilty of keeping a case of soda in their car so it's not really cold and easy to get to, but you can get one if you really crave it?  I am a total caffeine junkie!

5) I am an over-planner.  I have a couple trips coming up and I spent my lunch break looking up the best places to go running.

6) Summers in North Carolina make me a little bit homesick.  I miss cherry season and gardening and dry heat.  I miss all the fun things we got to do as a family.

7) North Carolina has it's perks though.  The beach is much closer and warmer!

8) This wasp had me trapped in my office when I was trying to leave for the day.  I am not allergic or all that scared.  I just have a natural desire to avoid pain...and it was huge!

9) This weekend we made baked garbanzo beans while the pizza was in the oven.  They taste great but I don't think I cooked them long enough because they weren't really crunchy.  Anyone with experience want to weigh in on what the texture should be?
10) Hank might sit in his crate all day practicing this.  He certainly has the judgey face down to an art form!

Alright yall.  It is time for me to head to bed.  By which I mean time to finish the last episode (already?!) of Orange is the New Black then eventually fall asleep.

Tell me a thing (or ten!) about your Tuesday :)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Brunch

I love brunch.  It is probably my favorite meal of all time.  You get awesome breakfast food plus lunch food if you want it.  And it usually happens late enough in the day to actually be awake and enjoy it!
I also love that it is laid back and a great time to get together with friends to talk about your lives.
So Sundays are now for sitting down with a cup of coffee and writing about a week of life in general.

Yesterday was my long run for the week. I overslept so it was getting really hot by the time I was getting to the last couple miles.  A lot of times I think a lot during my runs, but yesterday I just zoned out and thought about running and it was nice.  I had a few life chats with wild animals (a deer and a squirrel specifically) trying to coach them in how to cross the road and live to tell about it.  "Fancy" also came up on my playlist right as I started the last half mile and was convinced I was going to die.  So that was convenient and gave me a good push.

My favorite pre-run breakfast!

KT Tape is also my favorite.  My foot was the only thing that wasn't sore at the end of the run!

I had a life talk with this deer about how to cross the road safely.
I tried the Gatorade energy chews on my long run.  I bought them because they were on sale but I am not a fan at all!  I also disliked the GU Chomps when I tried those.  I have a GU pouch to try yet.  Hopefully I like those but if not I am going back to Clif Shot Bloks.  I also want to try the energy beans from Jelly Belly though!

I tried the new Ben & Jerry's Core ice cream too.  Holy cow yall.  It is life changing!  I am a little lactose intolerant but it was totally worth it.

I also had this delicious salad.  I am on a salad kick again :)

I am usually not hungry at all for a while after a run, but when the hungry feeling kicks in I eat everything I can find.  It's almost awkward to go out in public after because I don't know if I am going to get hungry two hours after a run or if it will wait and kick in much later  Sometimes it isn't until the next day.  I stuff my purse with every kind of snack and never let myself run out because I will turn into a bit of a monster until I find food.

I finished yesterday with a Cookie Dough iced coffee from Dunkin'.  I had a coupon for a free donut so that was a great breakfast this morning.  But seriously..I am obsessed with that coffee!

This morning the plan was to "sleep in." Of course this actually meant I was up and on my bike headed to get a newspaper by 7:30.  Then I crawled back in bed with a vanilla chai (from powder because Starbucks is way too far away) and watched That Awkward Moment.  It was pretty cute and funny and not nearly as chick-flick-y as I thought it was going to be. The boyfriend came over later and we watched Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. we both enjoyed it but it wasn't quite what I was expecting.  Neither one are getting added to the DVD collection any time soon.

We also made a pizza...with left-over taco chicken.  It was delicious and I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow! I love leftovers.

Biking about 2.5 miles today was what I counted as my "cross-training." I realized yesterday on my run that I need to get more serious about cross-training but I have no idea what to do.  I might try making Sundays hot yoga days for the summer.  I do not have access to a gym so swimming/stationary bike are out.  And other than that I really have no idea what is supposed to count as cross-training. Help?

In another help category: does anyone listen to podcasts while running? If so do you have any recommendations?  I have never actually listened to a podcast in my life and I am curious to see if I would enjoy it but the options are a little overwhelming.  I considered audio books then tried it out and realized I am not good enough at paying attention to really get what is happening after about fifteen minutes.

Tomorrow it is back to the real world for another five days!  Have an amazing week y'all!

How was your weekend?  What is your favorite cross-training option?! (I am desperate clearly lol)