Choose Your Shoes

Morning! 🙂 Happy Thursday! What makes today exciting for you? I’m pumped up because I get to go to my favorite power yoga class tonight that I haven’t been to in AGES! Woo hoo!!

It sounds like a lot of us have to deal with cooking for those who live with us and have different appetites. I’m glad I’m not alone, and you guys offered some great tips! The commonality was compromise – work with what we’ve got 🙂

That’s exactly what I did last night for dinner. The meal I cooked up involved both paige-food qualities and husband-food qualities.

Whole wheat pasta (Paige – I)


Insane amount of cheese (Shane – I…ok Paige I, too)


Veggies (Paige – II)



Rich flavors (Shane – II)


…So how’d it go?




We came out even! And both thoroughly enjoyed this delicious pasta that I put under the broiler as a bake so the cheese would get all golden 🙂 mmmm



A delicious meal all around – for both of us!



Choose Your Shoes

While discussing running the other day with my cube mates (who, me?) the topic quickly turned to injuries. I was very surprised to hear that two of my cubies have experienced plantar fasciitis, the issue I’m currently dealing with. That’s when the only male of the group was quick to say that women get plantar fasciitis because they all wear high heels and this shortens the calf muscle. I won’t get into that entire statement (hello, generalization) but he did make a good point – that the shoes we wear can have a huge impact on our feet.

However, wearing flat shoes with no support can have just as detrimental of an effect on our feet as super high heels can. This is actually what put my feet over the edge. During the Healthy Living Summit, I trucked around Chicago in my $10 Target flats, which killed my feet.



I know that being female is sometimes synonomous with being a shoe lover. But for me, I’m not a shoe girl. A jeans, jacket, or purse girl – sure! But stick me in a shoe department and you’ll find me covertly making my way to the least grandma-ish grandma shoes. I choose comfort over cuteness.

These are actually some of the favorite shoes I own:


Dansko’s, baby. Protecting my feet since 2007.

These are some faves, too, but only make it out of the closet if I’ll be wearing them 3 hours or less.




How about you? Are you a shoe person? What ranks higher when picking out a shoe, fashion or function? I wish I could wear super cute and edgy shoes, but I’d rather have pain free feet, too. And that trumps the situation.

Have a great Thursday, everyone!! 🙂


The Quarter-Mile Long-Run

Hi guuuys 🙂 Have a good Halloween? I sure did! It was quite the relaxing, yet productive day. After getting everything done for the day, Shane and I kicked off the holiday season (which starts on October 31st, didn’tchaknow?) with a bottle of spiced [spiked] cider and some Wii! For some reason, the Wii goes untouched until November hits, and then we’re all about it 🙂 I guess it’s our way staying sane during winter hibernation 😉

Speaking of the changing seasons, did you know that next weekend Day Light Savings Time ends? (I hear all you foodie photographers crying! 😦 ) Taking advantage of the last weekend with an extra hour of light, I did the ultimate act of summer – and grilled out! Or I should say the husband did the grilling.



I made Angela’s chickpea bites to go alongside brussels, broccoli, and fries I baked all in the oven.






Everything was delicious, but I really overcooked those chickpea bites. They were crispy all right. And crumbly. And dry 😦 The taste was spot on, but trust when Angela says to only leave them in for 35 minutes. Don’t accidentally leave them in for 50 minutes. Just sayin’…


Now, on a much more serious note, I have to tell you guys something. I did something yesterday I’ve never done before. I skipped my long run. But not just any long run – the last long run before THE race.

OK. Skipped might be the wrong word. Because I was there. I gave it an attempt.

Let me back up.

Saturday night after I cleaned the entire kitchen, I told the husband I wasn’t cooking because I didn’t want to dirty it up again (hello!) so we drove on over to Q’doba.



As soon as I stepped out of the car, I knew something wasn’t right. I walked it off until we were standing in line, where I turned to say, “Shane, my heel is really in pain right now. It hurts to stand here.” I almost shed a tear in line in fear of what was coming.




Maybe it’s just a spur, I thought as I ate. It won’t get in the way of my running. I’ll just start out on the treadmill tomorrow before taking it outside.

Low and behold, yesterday morning as I stepped onto the treadmill and started to run, I had to stop at .25 miles and was nearly in tears out of frustration and pain. What?! A week before the race? I stepped off the treadmill, called my mom to gain a little sympathy (thanks for dishing it out, mom!) and retreated to the bike and the weights room.

So what does that mean for running? I’m not sure. I’m sure I’ll attempt to run a short run around the neighborhood to see how it feels. Or perhaps I should rest it in anticipation of this Saturday’s race? Will this Saturday’s race even happen?

I’ll be sure to let you know when I know 😉

Have a great Monday everyone! I hope it’s a good one for you!!

How do you stay sane during winter hibernation??



I’ve updated this week’s seasonal recipes in the “seasonal recipes” tab! I found some good recipes this week! Like Allie’s 2 Minute Pumpkin Pie, Averie’s Pumpkin Honey Tofu, and much more! And be sure to let me know if I missed any good ones from your blog or another blog you saw this week so I can include it, too 😀

Tight Hip and Plantar Fasciitis

Congrats to all the Chicago Marathoners!!! 😀

Yesterday’s run may have been inspired by the Chicago Marathon, but I’m pretty sure it was the last leg of it. This week, my training planned called for taking it light. Yesterday’s run was only eight miles instead of the usual nine or ten. I felt fine. It was my body parts that were holding me back.

I felt like I was running eight miles after already running eight. My Plantar Fasciitis was acting up again, and around mile seven, my right hip’s “tightness” turned into a sharp pain. I had to walk, which is fine. I was just worried about the pain.

After showering and refueling,



With some crumbled pine nut bar and pumpkin cookie on top.

…my parents came over for lunch. But before lunch, I had to get one thing out of the way. I’ve kept my Mizuno Wave Creations for far too long.




I immediately visited the local running store to get new kicks. Luckily, the owner was there, so for about 45 minutes I tried on shoes and run while he analyzed my gait.

There were two that felt great:


And I got ‘em both! I had planned on only getting one, but my mom has always told me to have two pairs of running shoes to rotate to help avoid injury. Thanks to her, I have a second pair to rotate. 🙂

Once that business was taken care of, we walked down the street to get some lunch from a vegetarian cafe called the Coffee House. I’ve been there quite a few times, and it’s delicious every time!

IMG_0545Falafel pita! Falafel pita!


And some of my mom’s sandwich:


Good times!



We made a couple other stops and by the time we got home, relaxation was in order:)


+ Snacks


Right now it’s unseasonably warm in Illinois. It’s typically in the 50’s in mid October and yesterday it reached 88 degrees! I, for one, LOVE it 😀


Breakin’ open a beer and breakin’ in the new shoes 😉

As you can see, the husband didn’t partake in our Sunday lunch + happy hour. As I mentioned yesterday, he’s worked far more than he’s slept this weekend. Well finally a little after noon, I found him crashed – hard


awww hehe. Apparently Niko was pretty wiped out too from…being so darn cute! It’s a full time job 😉

After a couple brewski’s, we said our good byes and I retreated to the basement for a foam rolling session, per orders of aforementioned running store owner.

That hip pain really scared me today, so I plan on foam rolling nightly – and really focusing on stretching. Also, I didn’t realize until after my run, that I had also run Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. That’s five days in a row, and I try not to run more than three days in a row! Big mistake on my part.

Hm, now that I write about it, I did quite a bit yesterday, but somehow I also managed to watch two Gossip Girl episodes, one One Tree Hill, and a Big Bang Theory episode! I think that’s a great mix of activity + relaxation for a Sunday, don’t you? 🙂

Well I’m off to do a light workout of some elliptical upstairs along with a little upper body weights. Laying off the running for a couple days.

Have a marvelous Monday, friends!! 😀

What preventative measures do you take to make sure your fitness doesn’t hinder you instead of help you? I generally make sure I get 1-2 rest days per week, I try not to run more than three- four days in a row, I make sure to get in at least two days of strength training on non-heavy cardio days, I stretch thoroughly, and now I’ll use my foam roller more. I also make sure I’m getting adequate food intake and adequate nutrition. Gotta have all your bases covered!

***Running Around Normal is going to be self-hosted! To make the switch, it can take anywhere from 4-36 hours, so you may have some trouble accessing the blog. Don’t fret, and check back again soon!

Go Ahead and Tri(set) Me

Happy Friday, friends!! How was your week? It went by pretty dang fast for me. Thank you SO much for all of your advice on Plantar Fasciitis. I was especially thankful for these additional tips that I hadn’t known about:

Beth and a couple others mentioned freezing a water bottle – it doubles as ice and a massage all in one!

Kasey who works at a running store mentioned wearing socks or boots to keep foot at a 90 degree ankle would help

Niki who is a physical therapist, said to stretch the plantar fascia before getting out of bed to ease it into a stretched position.

Thanks for the tips, guys!:D


I just got back from training an early morning client, and it was a great session! In fact, I plan on going back to the gym here in a bit to do the exact same workout myself. I would have done it right after training, but I didn’t get a breakfast in before I left, and there was no way I was going to lift for an hour on a completely empty stomach.

So instead, I came home and tried the fitnessista’s breakfast cookie dough cereal!




I made mine more fall-like by adding a 1/4 c. pumpkin, some golden raisins, and a little pumpkin pie spice.



After that digests (and after Niko’s morning walk,) I’ll be heading back to the gym to pump some iron. But, I love this workout so much that I just have to share it with you.




Confession: I love quick-paced, hard hitting, triset workouts.

disclaimer: before trying any of these exercises or beginning any exercise program, please check with your physician.

Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Behind Neck Press 3 10 w/ 20 lb. barbell
1b. Long Arm Pullover 3 10 w/ 15 lb. dumbbell
1c. Barbell side lunge 3 on each leg 10 w/ 20 lb. barbell

Go through exercises  a-c three times for the first three sets of exercises, resting for 30-60 seconds between each triset

Exercise Sets Reps
2a. Single Arm Twisting Seated Row 3 on each arm 10
2b. Pushup 3 10
2c. Dumbbell Deadlift 3 10 w/ 15 lb. dumbbells


Exercise Sets Reps
3a. O/H tricep cable extension 3 10 w/ 20 lbs.
3b. Lat pulldown 3 10 w/25 lbs.
3c. Step ups 3 on each leg 10 w/ 15 lb. dumbbells


Exercise Sets Reps
Plank on medicine ball 3 60 seconds each
Back extension on ball 3 10 w/ 10 lb. plate


The entire workout should take you about an hour to complete. I will also be posting this workout over on Fitconomy.


Sahale Snacks Anniversary Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the Sahale Snacks giveaway is Cynthia from Pretend Cook! Congrats, girl:) Send me your info and I’ll forward it on to Debby to get you your goods 😀

Well I’m off to go do Friday! Bring it on:) Hopes are that by the end of the day, my car will be cleaned out and my house will be spotless. I also have plans for a Bloomington/Normal blogger run this afternoon that I’m really looking forward to 😀

But before I go, I have to show you this hot and steamy picture…




haha. Shane and I went out for Mexican the other night, and my veggie fajitas were so sizzling hot that they wouldn’t stop steaming for like 5 minutes!! I could barely see my date on the other side of the table for a minute!

Also – today kicks off 30 days of Vitamix meals on the blog! So far I’ve only made smoothies, so I’mma have to get creative up in here 🙂

Ok…off I go!

What’s your favorite breakfast of the moment? If you guys are like me, you’ll get stuck on one breakfast for a while before moving on to the next. Lately, mine is smooothies, but I have a feeling the cookie dough cereal could stick around for a while.


Have a fantabulous Friday, everyone!