A Break from Running

What a busy day yesterday turned out to be! Although I took the week off from working at the BIC, between clients, appointments, blog stuff, shopping, cooking, and movie night hosting the day and night filled up FAST. Anyone else never fail to overestimate the amount of time you have? I’m the queen of this!!


Before even changing out of my pajamas, I began baking. Well, I began to start baking. I cut up all the butter for my pies.



Don’t mind the wine, that’s for the last section 😉

I’m making THREE pies and one cake this year for our two Thanksgivings. I’m pretty excited, but I just need one full day!! And more butter…




First stop of the day – the groomer’s! After dropping the frightful (makes my heart hurt) little girl off at the reliable groomers, I was a woman on a mission.


But she sure left the groomers purrrrty 😀


Between Target, Fresh Market, and Hobby Lobby. I think I’m set for Thanksgiving.


At least my table is 😉IMG_0413

It’s nothing fancy, but I’m proud of it 😀IMG_0414


But I’m sure I’ll notice I’m out of an ingredient just as it’s supposed to go into the recipe. Never Fails 😉


After this excitement, I had to pound out some nerves. I ran 3.5 miles of intervals on the treadmill. Bad news Bears, my right hip gave me pain. I think the best thing to do at this point is cut my running days down to once a week, or even worse, 0 times a week. But that’s OK, there’s always spin, power yoga, and strength training 😀

Blog Stuff


Some very exciting things happening to Running Around Normal soon!! I’m working with a web developer to clean ‘er up and give ‘er a face lift. I can’t wait!! This will hopefully happen within the next few days 🙂


Girls Night!!

My friend, Kristin’s birthday was on Monday, so I had a few girls over to sip win, much on snacks, and watch Eat Pray Love. For the girls, I made some caramel popcorn:



And I actually liked Eat, Pray, Love!! It’s been a good three years since I read the book, which I enjoyed thoroughly, but I really enjoyed the movie, too. I know it got a lot of “meh” reviews.

Another busy one today! But first, I’m off to some power yoga! No running before or after. I’m giving this hip some rest!

Have a fantastic one, guys!!

What dish are you most looking forward to for Thanksgiving? What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dessert??


It Happened…

It happened. Last night, around 7:30 pm, the inevitable came true. It snowed. OK, maybe flurried is a better word, but still!! The wet rain transformed into solid drops, and it happened. And I was just warming up (ha) to the idea of fall!!!

And I’m not the only one who’s not a fan of the cold, wet, snow you know.



What the bark, mom?! It’s barking cold out there!   

So that picture was from last winter, but ya get the point 😉 You’d think after 25 years of living in the Midwest you’d get used to it by now, right? I’m still waiting for that to happen.

One thing frigid temps are good for? Nice, hot, comforting breakfasts🙂 After I got back from training a client in the wee hours this morning, I wanted nothing but a hot breakfast to warm my soul. Waffles sounded nice, actually, but I needed to keep it a little lighter than waffles.




Hot spiced oatmeal in a Jif jar? Don’t mind if I do!




On top there? That’s my newest oatmeal topping obsession – Greek yogurt mixed with a bit of pumpkin butter. Unbelievable!

I had to keep it light because after I finish this post, I’m off to a spin class at my new old gym! I’m pretty amped up about this class. The energy is pretty intense from what I remember, and it’s a blast! And it’s inside 😉

Luckily, the temps are supposed to warm back up this weekend, though, so hopefully tomorrow I can get in a run (maybe? provided body parts cooperate with me?!) 🙂

That said, I have to tell you guys something.

I’m sure you’ve guessed by now, but I won’t be running in this weekend’s Hot Chocolate 15k.

Ouch. It hurt to write that 😦

I won’t be running for several reasons:

Number 1. My heel/arch of my left foot hates me.

Number 2. My right hip hates me too

Number 3. My cousin, who I was going to run it with, had to back out because of family obligations.

Number 4. One of my best friends is hosting a benefit for her mom because she has breast cancer, and there’s no way in hell that I’ll miss it.

So there. Call me a quitter, or not. I figured four reasons telling me not to drive to Chicago and run this race is a pretty big sign that I should cut my losses and fold my cards. So instead of wallowing, I’ll be proud of my decision, and proud of friends who are running the race, too! You girls have FUN! And good luck. Sorry I won’t be able to meet up…

Onward and upward -  I’m off to spin it out! Watch out nah!

Does it snow where you live? When do you usually have the first snow? There was no accumulation or anything last night, so I’m not sure if we Illinoisans can call it the “first snow.” Usually our first big snow happens in late November or early December!

**Makeup Brush Washing Tutorial coming in this afternoon’s post!!

Planning a Marathon

Marathon Planning at work??

The other day when I was working at the BIC, I attended a workshop for 2011 planning. The first hour was classroom style, and the second hour was putting what we learned to practice. I can’t go into details, because the Big Insurance Company doesn’t like its employees sharing information 😉 but we were split up into two groups and told to come up with a goal.

Goal? That’s a buzz word for me! 😉 So you know I piped up and offered my idea.

Group: “so..what’s a goal we can use?”

Me: “How about running a marathon?”

Group: “Good one! Are you going to run a marathon?”

Me: Hesitates…ask myself if I really am going to run a marathon and then reply, “yes, yes I’m going to run a marathon.”

And so the planning session began.

By the time the planning session was over, I was going to run the 2011 Chicago Marathon in under 4 hours and 30 minutes, begin my training plan on 2/1/10 and hit 15 miles by August!

And you know what? I am going to run the 2011 Chicago Marathon. After seeing the energy, determination, and courage of those who ran in this year’s Chicago marathon – and hearing and reading about their race recaps, I must experience it first hand. I’ll leave it at that, because I need a couple months off of so much running after my last race of the year on 11/14, especially with the problems I’ve been having in my ankle and hip. But come next spring, this blog will tell the story of a girl with an already packed schedule, fitting in marathon training. I’ve seen many of you do it with full time jobs, blogging, and other things like being awesome, so I know I can do it too!


Now on to fun things in the kitchen. Like basmati rice! Who doesn’t love basmati rice? Who?!



I’ve been craving Indian something fierce lately. I have a couple more packs of Tasty Bite – Indian selections left in the pantry and last night was the perfect night to put one to use.




I used this simmer sauce for the base of the dish – and the ingredients were both recognizable and pronouncable. Double bonus!

I simmered a block of cubed extra firm tofu in the said sauce before topping the basmati.




I was actually a little dissatisfied with this sauce. Very corriandery (corriandery?) and not much zing. But it did the job.

What does one do when one doesn’t have any garlic tandoori naan to compliment an Indian meal?


Why, they use garlic toast, of course! This was Alexia’s brand – all natural and all good!


Something’s missing here… ah yes. Vegetables. Woops! Good thing we get a “tomorrow” to fit more of them in, right? 🙂


Have a good Wednesday, 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 😀

Guerilla Warfare Guilt

Good morning 😀 I know I mentioned the crazy tornadic winds going on in Illinois yesterday (I was afraid Niko would blow away!) but it seems like there’s crazy weather all over the place based on everyone’s comments! And did you all see that there’s snow already around Janetha’s neck of the woods?! Cra-zay.

Yesterday’s good decision to log an extra hour of sleep proved to hold true. After training at the gym, I just hopped on the treadmill and cranked out a 5 mile tempo run. It worked out great because I was already at the gym, and my body was much more rested and healthy to get it done.

After the tempo run, I was starved!

Makeshift Pizzas for Two – His and Hers Style


Look who made an appearance agaaain 🙂 I used the last two pieces of naan for the husband’s makeshift pizza by spreading a little olive oil, tomato sauce, and cheeses on one piece, and then garlic, butter, and cheeses on the other.


And for mine, I took some whole wheat pita, spread on a little olive oil, sauce, tempeh, cheese, and tomatoes, and baked them all in the oven at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes. So easy!


Overdone (sometimes the tastiest way!) veggies – roasted cauliflower and brussels on the side.


This was a fantastic meal. But it didn’t keep me from taking a couple bites of this coconut ice cream.


OK. A couple bites turned into a whole serving, which turned into a half serving.


Truth be told, I felt pretty guilty when I put this back in the freezer. That hasn’t happened in a while! Typically I think it’s good for us all to practice not giving into guilt when indulging, but for some reason I really felt it. And that’s totally wrong! It really isn’t that much ice cream any how. Additionally, it’s OK to indulge (and even over indulge accidentally) sometimes. And honestly, I didn’t snap out of this guilt-ridden frame of mind until I woke up this morning. Guilt attacks when you’re not looking, right?!


Hope everyone has a good day!

How do you deal with unnecessary guilt about over-indulging?

When does guilt do a surprise attack on you most? I know it’s rare for me to feel guilty after overindulging much anymore because I usually know when it’s going to rear its ugly head. If we can ID why and when guilt is most likely to occur, we can typically absorb and then reflect the feeling. So for me, I know I used to feel a ton of guilt after eating ice cream because I was never able to stop at one or two servings! This way, as soon as I start eating ice cream, I know it’s very well possible that I could eat 2 or 3 bowls going in!

Best Decision All Week

Hey guys! Have a good Tuesday? For being such a long day, it went by extremely quick. I’m not quite sure what happened to my afternoon post yesterday, but it’s somewhere…out there…and it’s about needing coffee in a bad way and pumpkin rice pudding!

This morning I made the best decision I’ve made all week. My alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. as planned so I could bounce on over to the gym and get in a 45 minute tempo run before working at the BIC. I got up, immediately put on running clothes:



face showing is not allowed before 6 a.m. – fyi 😉

and even went so far as to pour a cup of coffee. But then I did a body check. I was really tired. And not the usual “ugh it’s 5:00 in the morning tired,” but the “your body definitely needed more time to recharge tired.” So I put down the cup of coffee, told my husband to try to be quiet, and I got back in bed –donning my running clothes – and snuggled with Niko for another hour.


Definitely the best decision I’ve made all week. Now instead of rushing around this morning trying to get from the gym to the shower to breakfast to work, I’m leisurely eating a hot, delicious bowl of oats.


And my run will just have to wait until tonight. Nothing wrong with that.



OK. Who am I kidding…I’m still late. It wouldn’t be me if I weren’t! 😉

Gotta go! 🙂 See you this afternoon with a back to basics workout – and how I made spaghetti simple and fancy for dinner last night!


Is it hard for you to tell the difference between laziness and actually truly needing that extra hour of sleep/rest? It’s hard to tell sometimes, but it’s usually mental if you’re just lacking motivation. If I really need the rest, my body tells me I do in the form of lethargy, moodiness, and even threatening to get sick! Learn to listen to yo bod!

I Blame Indian Food

Turns out Friday night’s drinkies didn’t hinder Saturday morning’s long run at all! I’m giving credit to chugging water, eating a pretty decent portion of veggie pizza for dinner, and downing a cup or two of coconut water before bed:)

What the run was is beautifall.



I picked up my friend Amber about 5 miles from our starting point, as she had only planned on doing 5 miles. So that way, when we reached 5 miles, she simply went to her car, and I ran the 5 miles back to the starting point. However, we misjudged the mileage, and the half way point was only 4.5 miles, so my entire run ended up being nine miles instead of ten.

Total time: 1:21:45

Avg pace: 9:05

It’s just as well, because my hip started to nag at me and I had to get to work.

Which is just what I did after a good foam rolling session, shower, and a smoothie.



This smoothie’s too much for a glass! Good thing, because that granola crunch munch is sooo good!




But I’m afraid to say that I’m smoothie’d out? At least this flavor. This saddens me because it makes for SUCH a good post-run snack! The body can absorb nutrients much easier when in liquid form. I’ll just have to get more creative with the ol’ new Vita-Mix. Like I’ve said before, I become obsessed with things, get too much of it, and then need a nice long break.

After smoothie-ing it up, I had to hurry up and shower and get to the gym to work. While there, I devoured the prior night’s veggie pizza leftovers:


Cold pizza in Tupperware. Class 😉

Truth be told, by the time I left work, I was wearing down. I had plans to drive to Peoria to meet my friends Jessica and Clint, but I slept through it. Literally!

I blame Indian Food.


Baigann Bharta, basmati rice, and whole wheat naan.


SO delicious and SO spicy. Mmmm:)


But for some reason, Indian food always makes me suuper tired. More tired than a Niko on a Sunday morning!


I took a “quick” nap, that lasted about an hour too long. Probably a sign I needed to stay home anyhow.

Upon waking, I watched three episodes of Gossip Girl and called it a night. Par-tay animal, yo.

But for now…it’s breakfast time! I had planned on running 4 miles at an easy pace, but I also woke up with some residual hip pain from yesterday’s long run. Looks like that run won’t be happening! Sometimes plans just don’t work out!

Shane and I are going out for breakfast this morning…which rarely happens anymore! I honestly can’t remember the last time. Breakfast is probably my least favorite meal to eat out – but every once in a while it’s fun! 🙂


Hope you all have a supah dupah Sunday!!

Did you get outside and enjoy the beautiful fall colors this weekend? What outdoor activities did you do?