Oh My Mint

Morning!

How was everyone’s weekend? Pretty peachy over here 🙂

Yesterday morning I had a change in plans, client-wise- and thusly, running-wise, and all of the sudden I was getting ready for a 6.5 mile run.

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As I mentioned earlier, my next race in the Frank Lloyd Wright 10k in Oak Park. My goal for time is around a 9:00 minute mile, but I actually might need to revise it, because today I finished 6.5 miles with an average pace of 9:02…and it was somewhat hilly!

1 – 9:23

2 – 9:03

3 – 9:05

4 – 8:55

5 – 9:01

6 – 9:03

6-6.4 – 8:14

Whoop whoop! I think now my goal will be around an 8:45 min mile.

After stretching and showering, my muscles were craving some protein + carbs. My favorite post-run fuel is smoothies – and lately, of the chocolate + spinach variety using Chocolate Vega Shake and Go protein powder, frozen bananas, almond milk + spinach. Today, however, I was out of spinach (*gasp*) so I got creative…

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this is some mint from my flower bed. But it’s not just any mint…it’s a chocolate mint plant!

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Oh…my…mint, this warps a smoothie from an 8 to a 10. A hard 10!!! (She’s Out of My League, anyone?) I sprinkled some Trader Joe’s Pecan Praline granola on top for some crunch – yum!

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However, I still maintain that Ezekiel granola is hands down the best granola to top smoothies.

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Perfect post-run fuel!

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Saturday Shane and I drove up to the Chicagoland area to visit a few of our favorite stores. Actually, this was “the main reason” we took the 1 hr 45 minute drive up:

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but stops were also taken here:

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and here:IMG_0303

Shane was almost as excited as I was…

 

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Haha

We also made the obligatory stop at the WF cafe for some lunch. I basically got every vegetarian option available, in a paper basket.

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They weren’t exactly on the way, but the husband knows how much I crave Whole Foods and Lululemon. Maaaajor haulage ensued. Poor wallet, heh heh 🙂 But it’d been a while since I’ve been to either to be fair. 😉

Anyway, back to the “main reason” for the mini roadtrip. A while back, if you remember, I left the house in a fury and broke a few things in my path of destruction. It left our entry way bare. Finally, FINALLY we got a replacement that Shane “didn’t need any help with” 😉 putting together. One hour later…

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He got it!

 

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We also got two square, woven baskets to put in two cubbie holes, and a cat to put…wait a second!

 

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LOL. This is Clarabelle’s favorite new hang out spot. No loitering in the cubbie holes, Ceeb! 😛

We also got some new flatware and dishes:

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I’m guessing I totally butchered the correct way to place these (sorry, Sabrina!! 😉 )

Don’t they look good with food in them?

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Chipotle vegetarian burrito bowl was the way to go after a day of driving 😉

The dishes we had previously were from my college years, so I’d say we were due for a new set 😉

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Well I’m off to train a couple clients (a new one today 😀 ) and get my workout on. Catch ya’ll later!

What’s your favorite home furnishing store? I love IKEA, but Crate and Barrel probably takes the cake. And can you believe I’ve never bought anything from William Sonoma? The closest one is two hours away, and we just haven’t happened to buy anything from there! It feels like WS is very popular in the blog world.

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Time’s a Changin’ and a PDR!

Morning all! Happy Daylight Savings Time! Remember to set your clocks ahead?

So how was everyones’ weekends? Mine’s been filled with good fun and good company!

One Friday a month I get together with a group of girlfriends for wine, shenanigans, and bunco, and this Friday was one of those nights! It was such a blast. Like I said in my previous post, it was one of the girl’s birthdays, so it gotta little more crazy than usual 😉

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Oh, and everyone loved the balls I brought 😀

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Birthday cake…that I never got a chance to try! Oh but don’t worry, there were other goodies sampled 😉
I didn’t end up winning anything, but it was a great time, nonetheless!

After a night of indulgence (i.e. glasses of wine and an abundance of sugar) I had a nice, stabilizing breakfast:

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Oat (bran) in a jar!


In the jar of goodness was:

-1/2 c. oat bran
-1/2 c. water
-1/2 c. almond milk
-1 packet of Purevia
-1 T. hemp powder
-1 banana
-About a T. of almond butter

Then it was time to get ready for a long run. The weather was rainy and about 45 degrees, so it was a bit of an internal debate on whether it was happening inside on the dreadmill or outside on the road. During the couple hours it took to digest breakfast, while I was majorly indecisive as to whether I’d run in or outdoors, I received THREE packages!

Here’s a couple of em:

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Birthday Lulu’s!

My mom got me some of the new Wunder Groove crops, and I am in LURVE with them. Two best styles combined into one, if ya ask me!

Another package was from Ryan at POM Wonderful, who sent me a case of their 100% pure pomegranate juice to sample:

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Review and experimentations coming soon 😉

After tearing into my packages, I finally decided on manning up and hitting the open road.

I used map my run to determine my route, but ended up getting a little more than I bargained for…

At what should have been the half way mark, I was already at 5 miles, and around mile 6, I ate to Clif Shot Bloks I packed in the bottom of my water bottle:

 

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And got back to my house after 8.5 miles total, 1:22:46 later I got back to my house not feeling too shabby aside from my right hip being a little tight.
Stats n Splits:

Mile 1: 9:39
Mile 2: 9:46
Mile 3: 9:57
Mile 4: 10:06
Mile 5: 9:43
Mile 6: 9:48
Mile 7: 9:38
Mile 8: 9:29
Mile 8.5: 9:02

Woot! Average pace was 9:44. Not too shabby!

And that, my friends, is a personal distance record for this girl!  Yep, the farthest I’ve run is 8 miles. This…is was 8.5 miles felt like:

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It also finally feels like running season has officially started for me. I came back with blisters and a wound (warning)

 

IMG_5896Ouuchie!
Let the race season begin! 😉

After a quick shower, I made a delicious refueling Green Monster:

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This GM contained a little more ingredients than the ushe:
-1 frozen banana
-1/2 c. frozen cherries (which are natural anti-inflammatories)
-1 T. maca
-1 T. chia seeds (great for joint lubrication)
-1/2 scoop of choc. protein powder
-1 T. almond butter
-Almond milk
-2 handfuls of spinach

So good, and kept me full for a good few hours, even after a long run!

After a little laziness, the hubski and I headed out and braved the rain to do some runnin’ around town. We were on the hunt for a nice centerpiece for our kitchen table! We seriously went to about six stores looking for the right centerpiece, and finally settled on this beaute from Pier One:

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Whatdya think? Doesn’t it go perfectly with the painting behind it?! I love, love, love it:D She’s a keeper.

While we were out, I polished off this lovely bar:

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Quite the fantastic bar, if I do say so myself!

Also sipped on this as we were bumming around:

 

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Around 5, we picked up a couple Papa Murphy’s pizzas and headed home!

 

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These pizzas were for the company we had over last night! My brother and sister-in-law came down for some pizza, movie, and family time and it was a blast! While the pizzas were cooking, we just hung out in the kitchen for a while talkin’ up a storm, munching on some snacks, and sippin’ on some drinks:
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My SIL loooves Kahlua, so I knew she’d join me in an after dinner drink of decaf and Kahula + cream:

 

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We sipped on this while watching Couples Retreat. It was a pretty good movie! Kinda hokey at times, but overall, a good flick, in my opinion! It was so nice to see them – seems like it’s far and few between that we get together like this. Wish I woulda gotten a picture!

Well it’s already almost noon! The time’s a changin’ and it’s catching up with me! On the agenda for today:

  • gym with Heidi for a run and legs
  • grocery shopping
  • going through LLC and other self-employed business
  • laundry
  • floors

Yikes! It’s a busy one!! Better get crackin’ 😀

Have a beautiful Sunday, everyone!!

Which daylight savings do you prefer more? Springing ahead or falling back? I’m a HUGE fan of springing ahead. I hate when it gets dark so early! When it stays lighter later, it reminds me of barbeques, long evening walks, and SUMMER!

Weekend Wedding Wecap

Hey hey everyone! I’m finally home and FINALLY relaxing.

The husband and I had a VERY long day of travel today, starting at 8:00 a.m. when our ride to the airport came to pick us up. But let me rewind to last night – the wedding recap!!

As soon as I got done posting yesterday, I got ready and glammed up for the big event. I’m still so glad you all gave me great suggestions on what to wear.

I went with these two looks for wedding and then for reception:

 

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It was perfect! And I didn’t have to spend a dime 😀

Luckily, I found a ride to the wedding with some of the other spouses of the groomsmen, and when we arrived there, all the guys were standing outside with a beer. I don’t blame em – those tuxes looked like they’d be SO warm. Plus a beer is always great to calm pre-wedding nerves, whether it’s your own or you’re just in the bridal party 😉

Finally, the music started playing and the procession began…

My hunky groomsmen of a husband:

 

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He cleans up well, don’tcha think? 😉

Her colors were black and red, and there were roses every where. The decor was so very pretty:

IMG_1678Cake!

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Candy Bar!

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After the wedding, everyone was instructed to go downstairs for cocktails and hour devourers:

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Yummy, yummy shiraz

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Pecan/cranberry sauce cracker of some sort. Delish!

Had a couple glasses of wine and some delicious fruit and cheese, and when we all went back upstairs, they had transferred the wedding area into a reception area. It was an added bonus that we didn’t have to drive to get from the wedding to the reception.

Right after the wedding party was announced, it was time to cut the cake!

 

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Fortunately, there were so many more veggie options than at the rehearsal dinner. I ended up getting a HUGE salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing and an abundance of grilled veggies, a big hunk of bread, and some risotto:

 

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Yum yum 😀 Oh, and the wine continued to flow.

After Steve and Amanda’s first dance, and several other dances, it was time to boogy down! The husband and I spent the whole night on the dance floor! He really impressed me because he wasn’t drinking much at all – usually it takes him quite  a few beers to cut a rug 😉

 

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Around midnight the party wore down, and we took a cab back to the hotel and called it a night. It was such a fun wedding, and I am so so so happy for Amanda and Steve!                                          

This morning, albeit having countless  numerous glasses of wine, I didn’t feel too shabby! The shiraz I was drinking must have been pretty good quality 😉 Nevertheless, the early a.m. wakeup call was enough to make me grouchy, but a little before 8:00 another couple and we piled into yet another limo with our lattes and hightailed it to the airport.

Why a limo for four people you ask? Well…that’s just how we roll! I kid I kid 😉 My friend meant to ask for a car and accidentally got a limo! Doh! haha

When we got to the airport, my hunger really kicked in. I had hankering for a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, but couldn’t find any, so I settled on this:

 

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Minus the chemical-laden ranch, thankya! 🙂 Did the job perfectly.

Gotta love the fact that our flight was only an hour long. Gave us plenty of time to drive into the city!

 

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We drove into the city, because the husband wanted to take me to Lululemon for Valentine’s Day! Score!

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Got the groove crops and a cute stocking cap. Love ❤ Unfortunately, though, the trip to Lulu caused us to get stuck in the middle of a HUGE traffic jam. We were in stand still traffic for a good hour because of a wreck:

 

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Yuck! We originally planned to stop off in a suburb for a nice Valentine’s Day lunch, but we didn’t get a move on from the jam until about 2:30. Thus our lunch plans were foiled, and instead, lunch was eaten in-lap:

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Not so balanced, but oh-so delicious 😉

After we got out of the traffic jam, it was smooth sailing until we got home. Got home, unpacked, and met my friend Heidi at the gym for a run. I had a 3 mile easy run on my training plan, and she was starting day one of the couch to 5 K plan (YAY!!! A new running buddy!! :D) I wanted to get in some strength training, but I was WAY too excited to go and pick Niko up. I missed her so much for only being gone three days, haha. You all understand, right??

Obviously after this, I was starving, considering I hadn’t really eaten a real meal all day. I think my stomach was about to eat my back bone when I scarffed down this plate of Monical’s Pizza and a breadstick:

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Wow…this turned out to be a supah long post! If you’re still with me, I commend you! I’m gonna go settle in with the hubski and watch a movie to round out V-day. I hope you all had a great Sunday 😀

Happy Valentine’s Day, all!! How did your day shape up? Regardless of when I had a Valentine or not, I’ve always liked to eat chocolate and watch a sappy romantic movie 😀

KC Bound!

Hi there bloggies! Hope you’re having a wonderful Friday night so far. I’ve had a long, but fun, day of travel, and am now relaxing in the hotel before going out to a comedy club and some bars. Figured I’d blog now since the only thing I’m likely to want to do when returning is being horizontal in this lovely lush hotel bed!

This morning at 5:00, I woke up so I could head to the gym before the husband and I headed to the airport to travel to a wedding Shane is in this weekend.

I had an easy 3 mile run planned, which actually wasn’t so easy. I’m not sure what was up with me, but my heart rate was SO high. I’m thinking it might be because I didn’t have a full 24 hours to recover from my last workout. I went to a pretty intense yoga class last night, then turned around and cranked out a run less than 10 hours later. Woops. After the run, I did some back, bi’s, and core work. Left feeling pretty darn good.

Came home and started to finished packing:

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Two carry-on’s and a suitcase. For a weekend. I can’t help it!

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Love Lululemon layers 😀 Seriously, lulu gear is amazing for travel. Got my wonder unders, a sleeper tank and a jacket on to ensure a comfy yet put together ensemble 😉

Finally all packed, and we were off…to Kansas City. Yep. We flew from Illinois to Missouri. It’s a seven hour drive, and we scored some super inexpensive tickets, so why not fly?

Travel drinky:

 

IMG_1612 Gingerade Kombucha

 

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Over Night Oats. 1/3 c. oats, 1.5 T chia seeds, 1 T. PB2, 1 T. flax, 1/4 c. plain Greek yogurt, stevia all mixed together and chillin’ overnight, then come morning Mix My Granola, Barney Butter, and TJ’s pumpkin butter joined the party.

Shane’s travel eats differed just slightly from mine:

 

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Burger King (blech)  IMG_1615 

He was so excited for this biscuit he was shaking bahaha

We were running about half an hour ahead of schedule (can you believe it?!) for our flight, so I threw out the idea of having the husband take me to the nearest Trader Joes, and was ecstatic when he agreed!!

Into the city we went:

 

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And found the Trader Joe’s nearest Midway (La Grange, if anyone is familiar with the area.) Numerous jars of raw unsalted almond butter, roasted pepper and tomato bisque soup, chocolate, and other items later…

 

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…and we were back to being behind schedule. Phew, I was feeling out of my element! 😉

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We got to Midway to find that our flight was delayed, so took advantage of the extra time by grabbing some lunch at Harry Carry’s:

 

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All I wanted was an ice water (I was parched!)

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But after a few minutes, I also ordered a draft beer 😀

 

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There’s something about draft beer in airports that make them oh-so-good!

 

And after having a few of Shane’s fries..

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…I finally decided just to get something for myself, too. I ordered the Tuscan salad, which was phenomenal!

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Romaine, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, red peppers and more. SO good!

Finally, our gate was called, and our plane took off to Kansas City!

We literally got to the hotel, changed, and went directly to the rehearsal dinner. Talk about a busy schedule!

Unfortunately, the rehearsal dinner featured a slew of meat/bbq:

 

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Even the beans had meat in them! I basically had a pickle sandwich and some coleslaw. Obviously not photo worthy.

Nevertheless, it was a good time catching up with everyone and talking wedding 😀

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 Yikes! Someone looks like she’s been traveling all day!

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My dinner when we got back to the room:

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I went all out 😉

Well it’s time to head back down to the lobby to go to the comedy club! I’m pretty stoked – we’re getting a Hummer limo for the ride there and back. Ballin’ 😎

Gotta behave though, I’m planning to get in my 5.5 mile run tomorrow in the hotel gym before the wedding festivities start! I’ll catch up with you hopefully tomorrow before the wedding begins!

Crown me the Snow Queen

Hi bloggies 😀

How was your hump day? Mine sped by! However, on my lunch break, I ventured over to the dentist for a routine cleaning, and at the end found out I need to get a crown 😦 HUGE bummer. I have one of those porcelain fillings, and it’s begun to leak. Alas, a cavity has formed. Booo to crowns!

 

On a brighter note, today was the warmest day here in Central Illinois that it has been in WEEKS! And when I say warm, I mean it got to a scorching 34 degrees! I never thought I’d be saying how happy I was that it got to the 30’s.

Alas, it did get above freezing. Do you know what that means?! Time to run OUTSIDE!! Woo hoo!

Even though 30’s is SO much better than the bone-chilling cold it has been lately, I still was a little leery about running in the cold and the snow.

 

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I definitely layered up. On bottom were Lulu Wunder Unders, and up top was a skim singlet tank, lululemon long sleeved running shirt, and lulu run track n field jacket. And of course a headband. (Can you tell I have an obsession? Yes, my name is Paige, and I’m addicted to Lululemon.)I was reeaaaddy to go!

After taking Niko for a quick walk as a warm up, I turned on the Garmin (first time since November, baby! Holler!) and was on my way. Nothing could stop me! Nothing except huge snow banks where the sidewalk should be :/ Doesn’t anyone shovel their sidewalks anymore? Even the sidewalk in front of the school was filled with snow. At first, I tried tromping through it but soon after I ended up with wet shoes and ankles.

Instead of giving up, I decided to make the best of the situation, and headed back to my subdivision where I ran in the street. Now even though it got above freezing today, the snow most certainly did not melt. And let me tell ya – running in the snow is like running in the sand, except harder because you have to watch out for ice and slick spots. I’m actually thankful my iPod was dead, because I seriously had to pay super close attention to where I placed my feet. For a while it’d be OK – powdery snow, and then all the sudden there would be ice!

One trip through my subdivision is about 1.5 miles, so I made two loops, and finished 3.11 miles in 33:10. Not too bad considering I was dodging and dashing my way around the street!

Luckily, I made it back in one piece, and felt wonderful. I think a nice outdoor run was exactly what I needed…Well, this, and talking to my bestie, Destiny, on the phone earlier (who can pretty much naturally cheer up anyone she talks to) 😀

After kicking it with the husband for a while, we got started on dinner.

Since I’m currently on a HUGE salad kick I didn’t have many veggies today aside from a green monster and a carrot, apple, almond butter wrap in an Ezekiel tortilla (while eating that, someone asked if I was pregnant LOL) I decided to have a huge house salad!

 

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Spinach, romaine, zuke, brock, tomatoes, eggplant, and Tofurkey Italian Sausage (which is amazing and contains 29 grams of protein, btw.)

Along side some Cheeeeeetahs:

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Schmillley 😀

 

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Tonight was Wednesday night TV night with the husband, so we settled in, popped some popcorn, and watched the Modern Family (love!) and in the Middle.

 

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Air popped in a brown bag w/ carob chips, nutritional yeast (does anyone have a yummier name for this stuff, btw??)….

Used these carob chips:

 

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And washed it all down with a Sunset Wheat I found in the fridge:

 

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Got a busy one tomorrow! Working a little overtime, then heading straight to power yoga 😀 Still so excited about finding a decent power yoga class here in town.

What’s the norm where you live when it snows? Do people typically clear the roads and sidewalks fairly well? Not here! The streets are still snow covered (although they were plowed the first day it snowed,) and sidewalks are a mess! It’s crazy dangerous for pedestrians.

And if it doesn’t snow where you live, well…then…I envy you ;)  

LuLu, Trip to my Lu

Happy Thanksgiving week! I’m super pumped, because my work week only goes to Wednesday, and each word day is an hour shorter for me! The only thing is, I have a deadline at work of Wednesday at 3:00, so I’ll be working as hard as I can to get everything done by then.

Yesterday I woke up with an insane craving to drive to Oakbrook to go to their Lululemon. As I said yesterday, I found out our cruise ship has aerobics classes and a gym, so naturally, I wanted to buy new work out clothes for it 😉 I finally convinced my mom to ride along with me to keep me company for the 1 hr 45 minute drive 😀 Woo hoo! (I can’t stand driving, let alone driving by myself, btw – random tidbit.)

I wanted to get in a 5 mile run, so soon after I finished my breakfast, I was out the door for a beautifully quick five miles. I haven’t had a good 5+ mile run in a while – I’ve always come back tired and not feeling great, but I felt like I zipped through this one! Maybe it was the nice weather we were having, or perhaps it was the thoughts of Lululemons dancing in my head…

Anyway, I came home, showered, and got lunch and snacks packed before my mom got to my house.

Two veggie sandwiches – one with pesto, one with hummus:IMG_2248 IMG_2249 IMG_2250 Bars, V chips, and snack mixes:

IMG_2251 We ended up eating everything except the bars!

And we’re off:

 

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Per usual, I found and wanted about everything in the store:

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But then finally narrowed it down…

IMG_2254 Weellll…kind of narrowed it down 😉 IMG_2257 IMG_2262

And then since I found out there was a Trader Joes about four miles down the road and on our way home, of course I had to stop:

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IMG_2260    TJ goodies!!! Plus some meatless balls, European yogurt, and a TJ insulated bag.

We got home at a decent hour, which was good, because I had a birthday dinner to attend to! My friend’s birthday was this weekend, and we celebrated by going to Flat Top. Speaking of which, I haven’t been to Flat Top in for-ev-er, but I kinda am obsessed with it after last night!! Hellloo options for vegetarians!! Anyway, it ended up being a double celebration, because said-friend’s boyfriend proposed to her Saturday night!!! 😀 She was so cute and giddy, haha.

Well now it’s off to make that dough for a while! Have a great start to your Thanksgiving week!

When you go on vacation, do you feel compelled to buy new clothes for it?? It’s horrible, but I always do!! haha

Personal Distance Record, Baby!

This morning I ran the farthest I’ve ever run in my entire life. My goal was 6.5 miles, and I was determined.

To fuel myself before the run, I had a banana dog with almond butter.


And since I don’t have a Garmin or any accessory for measuring distance while I run, I jumped in my car and drove the distance to find my 6.5 mile route. Since it was a bit chilly, I wore my new Lululemon Jacket!

It’s so pretty! I love, love, love it.

After my distance-measuring trip, I strapped on the iPod and headed out. The first mile was the hardest. I looked down and saw that I was almost at 11 minutes for my first mile!! I knew I had to kick up the speed, so I made sure my next mile, and all the subsequent miles were under 10 minutes. At about half way point, I noticed that one direction took me on said-planned route, but the other route went right through my old campus (ISU)! I was feeling pretty good, so I took a trip down memory lane.

Highlights:

  • I saw Fell Hall, the building I spent my first two years at day in and day out pretty much. As a broadcast journalism major, I spent many early mornings and late nights in the basement of this building, producing newscasts. So many great memories.
  • I also saw my old dorm hall, Dunn-Barton or what used to be, and which has since been torn down. It was so old haha.
  • Then I ran by the ISU baseball field and got a glimpse an ISU boys baseball practice 😉

That added a wee bit over a half mile to my run I would guess. After getting back on track, I felt great throughout the rest of my run. I ended up completing the seven mile run in:

  • 1 hour, 2 minutes and 40 seconds
  • Burned 750 calories
  • Max HR=180
  • Avg HR=165

I couldn’t believe it. It was like nothing could stop me!! When I finally got home, Shane took one look at me and knew I needed fuel LOL. so he started cooking up breakfast. In 10 minutes I was devouring:

Eggs; he burnt them a wee bit (which was fine, they were still wondeful!)

And two pieces of toast – one with preserves and one with nutbutter.


and washed it all down with some sweet nector of the gods…

My metabolism must have been still on high, because not too much longer I was hungry again, and fed the beast with some fage, blueberries, and Kashi.


I love this combination! ❤

It was a glorious feast. But then… I hit a wall. Hard. I was exhuasted. I felt like crap and just lay on the couch for a good hour. I believe this was partly because I didn’t drink enough water yesterday at Six Flags. The other reason being this is the most I’ve ever physically exerted myself (except while playing volleyball probably.)

I’m not sure if I pushed myself too hard or not during the run, but I know I’m super proud of myself. I also know tomorrow will definitely be an easy re-coup day, heh. In the future, I might not go for runs longer than 6 miles. It’s not like I’m training for a marathon. The only races I have coming up are my 5k this Saturday (whoop whoop!) and my 10k in September. Why risk it, right?

Do you think doing long runs (more than 6 miles) should be limited unless training to run for a distance that long? I guess there’s always a chance I could decide to run in a half-marathon later this year or early next year, but I wonder if I should finish these short-distanced runs before I even start to think about training for a marathon. What are your thoughts?