Thank you all so much for your wonderful words on my last post!! I really appreciate you guys taking time out of your day to congratulate me!
Now I promised a recap, and so here it is! Enjoy!
One thing I have decided, 3:30 is way to early to get up. Especially if you were so excited the night before that you could hardly sleep and then realize that you finally were asleep when the blazing alarm takes away your dreams and shoves reality in you face. And then when you see the e-mail that says that despite the rain and wind the marathon is still on, you wonder why on earth you are no longer tucked away in your comfy little bed sound asleep. And then it finally hits you - you have trained three months for this morning so you better get moving or you just might miss it! So by 4:30, I had finished my typical pre-run breakfast (bread+banana+peanut butter), and my brother and I were off! (Yes, he took me at 4:30 in the morning. Do I not have the best brother ever?!)
Once we arrived at the finish line (where the packet pickup was), and once I had gotten my packet (not a good sign when you're soaked before you even get to the start line...), we ventured to the start about 20 minutes away. It was kind of sketch getting there because it was foggy/rainy/windy and we were surrounded by forest, but there were no souls in sight. But we did eventually find it with plenty of time to spare. My stomach felt a little wonky which worried me, but after a quick trip to the restroom (taking advantage of the fact that there was no line), I felt fine and ready to run! That was, until I made my way to the start line and found that I was literally shaking and my teeth were chattering. Again that question of why did I get out of bed?! creeped in. But it also made me more excited to run because I just wanted to get moving so I could get warm! Since it was rainy, I wore my rain jacket. I though I might get hot, but I stayed comfortable the whole way!
My number! Loved the "I can do this"!
Ready to take it on.
Waiting by the start line!
Since it was raining quite a bit, I made the decision to not bring my phone with me, aka no music and no way to know my pace. I admit that this make me a bit nervous. Two hours seemed like a long time with no music, and I wasn't sure how I was going to know what my pace was - I had an idea in my head of a good pace to keep to ensure that I was able to finish and not burn out too quickly. But in the end, I think not having my phone was a blessing in disguise. No music allowed me to focus on the beautiful scenery, and not knowing my pace forced me to listen to my body and let it tell me my comfortable pace (which ended up being much lower than I would have expected!).
We were set out in waves, and I hung back until the fourth or fifth wave (there were probably about 20 waves total, but that included the walkers). The first two miles were the quickest two miles I think I've ever run. Except for a big uphill at first, it was pretty much all a good downhill on the road. The only trouble was that it was slippery so I couldn't fly down like I wanted too. After about 1.5 miles on the road, we were one the trail and weaving around curves through the most gorgeous forest - ferns, moss covered trees, little streams. It was picturesque to the max! Even once I hit mile 4 (where I took my second round of Clif shot blocks, the first being about five minutes before I started), I still felt very fresh and couldn't believe how quickly this whole experience was going. Was I really almost a third of the way done?!
I didn't have anything to drink at the first aid station, but at the second one, I was thirsty. I took what they gave me only to realize that it had a pink tint, but it was too late - down the hatch it went. After one gulp, I threw the rest out. Had I known it was the electrolyte drink, I would have avoided because I read about how if you're not used to a specific brand, it can upset your stomach if you try it for the first time while on a long run/race. But thankfully, it didn't seem to have an effect. It did cause me to avoid the next couple water stations though! However, I did manage some water at the last two stations.
Mile five and six didn't fly by, but they were steady. Around mile six, we crossed a really long board-walk like bridge, and I would run the whole thing again simply to go over that bridge once more! It was almost like running over a tropical forest.
About half way through the half marathon, the trail turned from gradual downhill curves to being straight and flat. After this point, every mile got increasingly longer. We were no longer running through the forest, but first across a wide field and then along side the road. Luckily, thanks to the thick foliage, I couldn't actually see the road, but the trail didn't hold my attention like it did in the forest. (Though I did get distracted by the apples and blackberries growing on the sides of the trail and several times considered stopping for a re-fueling snack...).
At about mile 8 (where I had my final round of shot blocks), my body still felt okay, but it had begun to turn into a mind game. I fought pretty much the rest of the way to the finish line. At about mile 11, I could feel it in my entire body. Now, I was battling my mind and body, but I was determined to win. I knew that I could do it, I just had to convince myself continually that that was the case.
We made it into town pretty soon after mile 11, and that gave me hope that I was almost there. It also changed up the scenery which was nice! My body wanted to slow, but I wouldn't let it. People driving by in cars would roll down their windows to cheer which was so nice and really did help me to keep my motivation. I remember being in sort of a trance at this point where I was just running at the same speed as if I was a robot and not really going anywhere but like the scenery was being pulled by around me. But I could have sworn the miles were getting longer! At one point I thought that they had neglected to put up the 12 mile marker so that it would seem like more of a relief when you finished (or something like that), so it was a bit depressing when I found that was not the case, and the 12 mile marker gleamed before me. One part of me said, "oh you only have one more mile!" wile the other part said, "you still have one more mile?!" And let me tell you what, that last mile was the longest. of. my. life.
There were so many turns around corners that it was like the course was teasing me. And the officials/volunteers kept saying that we were almost there making me feel like it was around the next corner but nope! I remember thinking, "come on, where is it?! I just want to be done!" Finally, I saw the park, but of course, I had to make a lap around the park first haha. When I finally turned the final corner and was only about a tenth of a mile from the finish line, I saw that the time was just over one hour and fifty minutes. "I'm going to finish in under two hours!" flashed through my mind (that was going to be my goal for my next half if I did one!). And then, I ran. I mean ran, as in sprinted. I was going to finish this strong. And in the process, I managed to pass several other runners! Nothing felt better than crossing that finish line. It was over, I had done it.
After literally stumbling once I tried walking, I was handed my medal and found my brother (who was in fact standing right in front of me, I just felt a bit delirious at first haha). We headed to the tent to get out of the rain and wind, and they had rows of subway sandwiches, bananas, oranges, and a bunch of Sunripe fruit strips. I had a piece of orange as it sounded refreshing and later had half of a veggie sandwich that they had portioned in the bags (plus an extra one and a bunch of bananas and fruit strips to take back to the dorm) even though I really wasn't very hungry yet - I just figured I should eat something after running that far! It took a while (read: a LONG time) to get official results as the computers weren't working, but once we finally got them (they actually ended up changing - the time they first gave me was about 3.5 minutes higher than my official time) we headed off. My official time, in case you didn't see it last week, was 1:51:35, I placed first in my age group, and placed 24/260 females which I was pretty excited about!
We sopped at Whole Foods because by this time I was starving, and I got exactly what I wanted - pizza!!! And let me tell you what, it never tasted so good.
Side of broccoli and strawberries.
Re-hydrated with a carrot, apple, cucumber juice.
I know that this is already a monster long post, but I want to take a minute to reflect on this whole experience. First off, it was one of the best and most rewarding experiences of my life. That might sound cheesy, but it is entirely true. At the beginning of the summer, I could barely run 2 miles without feeling like I was going to die, yet in the following three months, I took on the challenge to do something that at one time seemed impossible, and I conquered it. I've worked hard for grades in school, but I don' think I have ever worked as hard as I did for the ability to cross that finish line. Further, this experience has really added a new kind of appreciation for my body. I put it through so much over the past few months, so much intense training, and on the day of the half marathon, it carried me through with a time I didn't know was possible. I continually feel proud of it for what it did, and I haven't ceased to marvel at the things our bodies can do. So if you don't think you can do, you just might surprise yourself.
And finally, it's time for a bit of recognition. First, I have to thank my parents. They have shown me so much love and support throughout this whole experience, and although they couldn't personally be at my half marathon, I know they were cheering me on from a far. I'm so lucky to have parents who support me in everything I do. I don't know what I would do without them. Second, I've got to recognize my brother because any fellow who drives his sister to a half marathon in the rain at 4:30 in the morning deserves to be recognized. Having him there meant so much to me! Third, I have to thank Brittany
, once again, for showing me that this experience was not a fantasy but could be reality. I probably would not have had this experience without her. And finally, I would like to thank each and everyone of YOU!! You have offered me so much advice and encouragement throughout this experience, and it meant so much to know that you guys were there for me. Thank you so much for allowing me to share this experience with you. Love you guys!
Well, that was a long one, but I hope you enjoyed the recap of one of the most incredible experiences of my life! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and a good week to come!
P.S. I've almost finished week one of training for my second half marathon. Yep, it's happening again. I think I'm addicted.
I'll be writing a more in-depth post on a future date, but for now, I just wanted to let you know that it's official - I'm a half marathoner!!!
Official time: 1:51:35
First for females ages 15-19!
First off, I greatly appreciate all your heartfelt comments on my last post when I ranted a bit about my stress levels. It really helped to read through your suggestions and personal experiences with stress, so thank you!!
But today, I have something on my mind, and it's not stress - it's pure excitement!!!
Yep, my half marathon is only a week away! I'm literally about to bubble over with excitement (is it wierd that I'm referencing oatmeal to convey my excitement?). As you might know or have guessed, the last week (or sometimes longer) of training before a marathon/half marathon is extra special. So I thought I would share my plan of action for the next seven days, including my fueling plan during the half marathon.
In terms of running, I'm planning on doing my final long run tomorrow (the actual distance I go will depend on how I'm feeling, but I'm thinking 10 or 11 miles). I definitely will try very hard not to push myself too much on this run so I don't ware myself out. That's the last thing I want! Monday will be off from running as always, and then Tuesday: 4 miles, Wednesday: 3 miles, and Thursday: 2 miles. All of these runs will hopefully be light, slower runs - again, just to keep me in shape and not tire me out. I have my core body class Monday and Wednesday, but I've already talked to my instructor, and I'm going to be extra careful to not push myself when we do our legs portion of the workout. (Side note: I'm super sore from our intense leg workout this past Wednesday, and I'm kind of loving it. Maybe I could get into strength workouts if I was able to always do them with other people?! Funny, I though I was an introvert exerciser
Now the food aspect of next week is where this bad boy starts to get interesting. First, starting today, I am embarking on a week long caffeine fast. The reason for this is that it is supposed to enhance the effect of caffeine come race day. Now I'm not a coffee drinker, so this isn't a huge deal for me, but I will be avoiding chocolate which, I'm not going to lie, is kind of going to suck. Oh the things I put myself through for the sake of running... Seriously, it is going to be the hardest part of training. Ten mile runs? No big deal. No chocolate? What am I doing with my life?!
The second big change is that beginning tomorrow after my long run, I will attempt a five day fat load. I say attempt because it is recommended that you do a three day fat loading trial run earlier in your training to see if your body can handle it, but I never got around to doing that. I know, I know, shame on me! So I'll be easing myself into it and see how it goes. I'm supposed to get 65% of my calories from fat so maybe I'll start with about 50% and see how it goes, or even just be conscious of eating extra amounts of fat. It's just an experiment after all! Supposedly, fat loading increases the body's use of fat as fuel and decreases its reliance on carbs. That way the day of carb loading before the race has more effect because your body won't immediately use the carbs, will save more for the next day, and won't deplete you glycerin stores as quickly during the actual run. Or something to that effect. Foods recommended for the fat load that I will be consuming are Greek yogurt, avocados, nuts, and cheese. Obviously my diet will include other things as well, but these are foods with a large number of their calories coming from fat. The most exciting part was that I had to go to the grocery store to get some avocados and yogurt - I was reunited with my love once more. And obviously couldn't stick to just the avocados and yogurt...
Bananas (the were only 19 cents each so I had to stock up!), carrots, avocados, cucumber, coconut oil spray, all-purpose seasoning, olives (another food that gets a lot of its calories from fat), egg whites, Greek Yogurt (I tub of full fat and a tub of 2% as well as some flavored ones for after the fat load), eggplant hummus, tomato and basil hummus, whole grain bread, and dried cranberries.
The day before the half marathon is going to be all about the carbs. It is recommended to have 10g per kg of body weight so I will need to consume over 500g of carbs. I'm going to lie, I don't think this will be easy. With the fat load, I'm not too worried if I can't reach the full 65%, but I know that carbs really do enhance running performance from personal experience, so I'm really going to try to get in as much as I can. I already get a fair amount of carbs on a day-to-day basis, and I have no fear of them, but I don't think I ever come close to that much! I'm thinking of supplementing a couple meal with orange juice and having bananas as snacks in addition to carb heavy meals. Any tips on how to get extra carbs would be appreciated!
My pre-run dinner, however, I know exactly what it's going to be. It's the same meal that I've had before my previous two long runs, and so far it's given me lots of energy and settled well. Here's the name of the game:
White rice + corn + chickpeas + soy sauce (because I've also read positive things about sodium loading), broccoli, and an orange or orange juice depending on what's available.
There are a few reasons for this meal. Most importantly, high carbs. It is also recommended to have low fiber and protein in pre-run meals, but I find that I need both of those for my food to settle properly. The other is that due to being at the mercy of the cafeteria, I need to be sure that I have a meal I know they will have every night so that I can be confident in my food choice pre-race night. Best to stick to the tried and true!
Breakfast will be another tried and true classic - bread with peanut butter and a banana. Again, pre-run meals are suggested to be low in fiber and protein, but this breakfast has a great record of sitting well in my stomach and fueling me through runs. If it ain't broken, don't fix it.
During the race, I will be fueling with these:
These were recommended to me by Brittany
, and I love them! They're soooo tasty, and I do notice a little difference when I use them. I will be starting the half with half a pack and then having another half pack every four miles (except for possibly at mile 12 since I'll almost be finished). At leas that's my plan. I'm willing to deviate if necessary! But it worked well in my simulator run. Supposedly you need at least 30g of carbs per hour to get any effect from them so this will give me at least 36g per hour (if I don't do anything at mile 12). I mostly just wanted to make sure I did them at an even mile number because there will only be water stations every two miles.
Now, let's talk about times. Honestly, I have now time "goal." My only goal is to finish it, which I really don't think will be a problems as my longer runs have gone pretty well. That being said, I think I can finish in 2:15. Again if it takes me two and a half hours, so be it! But I think the 2:15 is reasonable.
Note: the information about the food aspects of the final week come from Matt Fitzgerald's The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition.
If you have actually managed to stick with me through this, congrats! I think that was the longest post I have every written! But writing it has made even more excited. I still can't get over the notion that in a week, I will be a half marathoner! At the same time, I'm also a bit sad that it's almost ever... but then I can start training for another one. ;-)
Thank you all for your love and support through this experience! It truly means the world to me. <3
Hello everyone! I just wanted to check in with you all! I hope you are all doing wonderful. Overall, I'm doing pretty good, though to be perfectly honest, I am stressing out about school already. The first bit is always so rough because you don't know what to expect from tests and other assignments, how the teachers grade, etc. I really want to believe that everything will be okay not let it get to me, but that is so hard for me to do, and I'm kind of failing at it. I think I'm doing a fairly descent job with squeezing some fun things in there though! Take for example labor day weekend. Instead of spending the entire time studying, I actually had some fun with my friends! I felt a little guilty about not studying, but I was trying my best to embrace the extra day off, and you know what? It all worked out - I had fun and I got all of my studying done, with time to spare. It can be done.
So what exactly did I do? I think a little weekend recap is in order! Saturday began with a bit of homework, but after a couple hours, I forwent that in favor of paying my horse a visit. As I was heading bach, my friend texted me asking if I wanted to go to the coast. Even though I wanted to say yes right away, it did take some time for me to realize that I could go and not do homework the rest of the day. Luckily my parents helped me see that I could, and in the end, I just couldn't turn down the thought of such a great time! So I had a quick lunch, and my three friends and I were off! We hit terrible traffic on the way, but we eventually caught some awesome views:
Even though it was gorgeously sunny at our school, the coast had a mind of its own with all that fog! There were several sightseeing areas that we wanted to stop at, but it was so foggy that we couldn't even see the water. In all of the areas but one...
I thought this bridge looked like it was out of some fantasy movie!
We also found this adorable little souvenir shop!
We drove along the coast for a ways, stopped at a Fred Meyer because a couple of my friends desperately needed a few things, and then we turned to the most important topic: dinner. We all decided that we wanted pizza so we turned to our phones because what else was there to do? ;-) We found one that sounded good, but it was on the way back to school so we hopped in the car and headed out, our mouths watering in anticipation of the pizza we were now craving. I tracked the path on the GPS on my phone, and as we neared, we began to get excited. Then we were met with: CLOSED. What?!? All of that excitement for nothing??? Our hearts sank. We were too set on pizza to take defeat though. So back to the phones it was. Of course, there were more pizza places, so I routed us to another one. But our eyes mate the same tragic sight as we neared. Darn-it, we wanted our pizza!!!
Not sure what to do, we just kept driving trying to decide if we should head back to school and find something there. Obviously we weren't meant to have pizza. But then, like magic, it appeared: a pizza shack that was open! "Look!" I shouted as I pointed to the magnificent site. We veered to the left and were soon in the parking lot. It was quite cold inside as the doors were kept open, and we had to clear our own table to get one (that place was packed), but it was all worth it. I mean, just look at that gorgeous pie!! (Mine was obviously the veggie side.)
With happy tummies, we headed back to school, and our adventure came to an end. And the best part about the day? I didn't feel anxious like I have in the past when I pass up studying for something fun. I was able to just relax and enjoy the time spent with my friends!
The majority of Sunday was devoted to studying, but I took a bit of time off on Monday to hang out with my brother for a bit and also satisfy my intense froyo craving.
Peach/tart swirl, strawberry, peanut butter cup, and toasted coconut topped with blueberries, strawberries, chocolate chunks, chocolate sprinkles, and a few mini peanut butter cups!
I went with my roommate, and since I just met her this year (I was going to room with a friend from last year, but through the whole room change thing, we weren't able to stay in the same room) so it was great to chat and get to know her better! And guess what? She's a chocolate lover too! (Obviously we were discussing the important things in life.) I think we're going to get along juuuuust fine. ;-)
I wish I had three day weekends every week so that I could just repeat above every week! At least it happened once and hopefully will happen again!
What did you do for Labor Day weekend?
Any tips on handling stress?
Well, I'm off to go conquer a ten mile run! See you all next time!!!
Hey guys!! I feel like it's been ages since I last blogged. I guess it hasn't really been that long, but it sure feels like it. College has already gotten in the way - how could it do such a thing?! Well luckily, it's off to a pretty decent start.
First off, important things: my room. Thought you were going to say food, didn't you? ;-) Well food IS most important, but a good room comes pretty close. Who wants a room that is small, dirty, and you hardly feel comfortable even walking into? Not me, but when I walked onto campus to move in, that is exactly what I was faced with. I'm not normally a complainer - I just try to suck it up and deal with it. BUT I was not staying in that room, plain and simple. After several rounds, they finally moved me to a new room in a different dorm that pretty much just rocks my socks off. Pool? Check. Cafeteria (that serves mostly awesome Asian food)? Check. Spacious kitchen [for community use]? Check. Private bathroom? Check. Spacious, CLEAN room? Check, check. Needless to say, I'm more that pleased with my current living arrangements.
Second, classes. Wait, not food? I promise, it's coming! I'm just saving the best for last. ;-) First quarter isn't too bad - just organic chemistry, costume history, art history, and core body. Second semester though, I just might die because I'll also have calc 3. Ew. So far though, my classes seem all right! I like all of my teachers, though O-chem is, well, O-chem so we'll see how that goes, and I'm not big on history classes (though I love history itself) but the topics are at least interesting to me so that should help!
Oh and really quickly on the running front - the big day is only 4 weeks from tomorrow!!!! There is a great park to run in near my school so it's been fun to explore that and all the beautiful scenery.
And at last, the FOOD!!! Not all of these are cafeteria meals but a compilation of food I've had since I got here.
Vegetable enchiladas with steamed vegetables (at a Mexican restaurant with my parents).
Fresh picked blackberries.
Had to throw this in there because I am FINALLY near one again!!!
Tofu and broccoli stir-fry from my dorm cafeteria.
Caramel macadamia nut froyo from the Tillamook cheese factory.
Cheese sampling at Tillamook, aka heaven on earth.
Vegetable omelet and fresh pineapple.
Fish, kale, squash, fresh tomatoes, cucumber salad, watermelon.
Salad with goat cheese bruschetta (from a restaurant with my parents).
Creamy carrot ginger soup to accompany the salad.
Whole grain bagel with peanut butter+watermelon.
Oatmeal that I cooked in the dorm kitchen (sooo excited about that!!) with blackberry fruit spread, flax peanut butter, pretzels, and sea salt.
Mushrooms, kale, broccoli (that is honey mustard on them - yes, I did bring a [ahem, three] bottles with me... essentials, people), roasted carrots, and quinoa cakes.
I want to do a recap of the road trip here at some point so be on the lookout for that! I'm not sure when I'll have it up, but hopefully it won't be too long!
I hope all of you guys are doing well!!! I miss you all. <3
Hey guys! Just popping in to let you know that I made it!! Thankfully we spent the night halfway so it wasn’t too bad, but there was lots of Lost watching, sleeping, and filling out surveys, including this one that Arman
tagged me with! It was a lot of fun to fill out and definitely helped the time to pass. Thanks, Arman!
Oh and I’m now on Instagram @ alexvegginout! It’s probably going to take me a while to figure out how to use it seeing as my battle with technology is never ending, so bare with me. But if you’re on Instagram too, be sure to tell me your username!
Okay, survey time! LAST 5 PEOPLE I TALKED TO ON THE PHONE
1. My Dad to see if he was on his way to pick my Mom and I up (we had to take one of our cars into the shop).
2. Residential services at my college to see what day I could move into my dorm.
3. My horse’s farrier to confirm our appointment to have my horse’s shoes pulled and feet trimmed.
4. My work to let them know that I was stuck at a train and might be a few minutes late (ah trains, they can be such a pain!).
5. Microsoft support because I was born in the wrong era (i.e. amongst all my tech savvy friends and my brother, I feel like I have two left feet when I touch anything with an on/off button). LAST 5 MEALS I ATE
1. Breakfast of green tea, apple, Kashi go lean cereal with almonds, cashews, and blueberries.
2. Dinner of steamed broccoli with honey mustard, sesame kale, tortilla, veggie dip, cottage cheese – one of those “eat whatever’s in the fridge including the fridge” meals.
3. Lunch of baked sweet potato with cinnamon, broccoli with honey mustard (can you tell I had a lot of broccoli to eat up?), baked tofu, and a chocolate mint drink.
4. Breakfast of apple, Chobani peachy pistachio flip, and a tortilla with pb crave cookie nookie.
5. Dinner of steamed broccoli with, you guessed it, honey mustard (bet you didn’t see that coming ;) ), pizza quesadilla, and a baked sweet potato with cinnamon. Did anyone notice a slight similarity between meals 3 and 5? Or is it 5 and 3? Yeah, that pretty much explains it. LAST 5 PLACES I'VE TRAVELLED
1. Currently en route to Oregon, soooo Oregon. (And Oregon last year and a trip back home at the end of the school year, but I’m not counting all that.)
2. Bermuda with my awesome grandparents (they usually take my brother and I on a trip every year! Oh and my grandpa is broccoli obsessed too.)
3. Newfoundland (again, with my grandparents).
4. Europe, including Greece, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, and technically Germany. (We had an eight hour layover there, got our passports stamped, and walked outside for about five minutes, but that’s literally it. Call it what you want, but I think I need to go back because I don’t really consider that seeing Germany!)
5. East coast. Virginia (for waterskiing – one of my favorite things ever to do), Maryland, and NYC for seven hours. My grandparents, brother, and I randomly decided to go to NYC for the day so we hopped in the car and went! It was my first time there, and I must say, it was a pretty fantastic place. We packed a LOT in, but I really think I need to go back. I feel like I could spend weeks there and never get bored. On the bucket list!! NEXT 5 PLACES I WILL GO
1. Subway. Need. food, now.
2. Gas station to refuel the cars and give my horse water+hay.
3. Likely another gas station.
4. Horsey hotel. Yes, they do exist.
5. People hotel because, well, we kind of need to sleep. While my family and I have done our fair share of 24 hour driving trips, we’ve decided not to punish ourselves like that this round. LAST 5 WORKOUTS
1. Weed spraying (come on, hauling the sprayer around for an hour is totally a workout).
2. 4.67 mile run
3. 10 mile bike ride con mi mama.
4. Nature walk (or let’s call it a nature hike because that sounds like more of a workout).
5. 4.5 mile run FIVE THINGS MAKING ME HAPPY RIGHT NOW
1. My schedule. I worked it out, and I think the first half of the semester is going to go pretty well! I only have three classes (plus core body) first quarter so that will be sooo nice. Though second quarter is going to be kind of awful… hello calc 3!
2. My Subway sandwich (yeah, Subway has come and gone). Anyway, it was goooood!
3. Hanging out with my dad. We spent about an hour chatting about the 50s and how awesome it would have been to live then.
4. My horse. He ALWAYS makes me happy.
5. Napkins. Like seriously, what would we do without them? I mean food is awesome, but it’s also messy. Some of my worst nightmares involve picnics with no napkins. (Um, can you tell I’ve been in the car for a bit too long?) TAG 5 PEOPLE TO DO THIS SURVEY-
I wish I could tag all of you!! Oh well, rules are rules. I’m really not sure who has or hasn’t done this, so if you haven’t feel free to do it (it’s lots of fun!), and if you’ve already done it, well feel extra special that you were tagged again. ;)
1. Katherine @ Peanut Putter Lover
2. Tara @ Food and Other Things
3. P @ Will Study for Food
4. Courtney @ Courtney Em
5. Leigha @ Minou Girl
I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!!
Good morning! Yep, it has started. As of yesterday, I have officially begun packing for my sophomore year at college. Friday, my family and I will begin the 20+ hour road trip to get there, so if anyone has any tips on making time fly (besides a time machine which, despite my greatest efforts, I have yet to find), I'd love to hear them!!
I am excited for school start because I do love to learn, I have my half marathon coming up (and a 10k in October), I have a great, relaxing job at my school working in the garden/greenhouse, I'll have my horse, and of course, my friends. The only think I don't like about school is, obviously, all the studying that comes with it. It's not that I mind studying too much, but with me, it tends to take over my life. Here's how it goes: I'm already way ahead in my studies, but I think if I did a little more, well then I'll really be ahead and wouldn't that be great? Um yeah, it sounds great, but when it leaves you feeling like you must spend every waking moment studying and feel guilty when you're not studying? Not so great. College is an experience, and that experience Includes hanging out with friends, going to cool events on campus, and NOT studying 24/7. My goal this school year is to actually listen to myself and live life a little more.
So, what's my plan to do this? Well, part of my 20 hour car ride is going involve me creating a "master plan." It's not going to be a rigid "this is what I have to do when" type thing, but I want to know that I can get enough studying done and still have time for other fun things. I'm going to be sure to block out specific
time in my schedule just for hanging out with my friends. No more of this "I've already studied for six hours today, why not a few hours more?" Nope. I'll have my set time for studying, and when I'm done with it, I'm done with it. That's the plan anyway, and I think it will help if I start with that mindset so I don't get myself into a big hole before I even begin.
You might be wondering while I'm sharing all of this. First off, and most importantly, I know that i'm not the only who struggles with this, so hopefully if my plan works out, it will also help others. Secondly, I'm hoping that blogging can be another outlet to take me away from extra studying. I was originally thinking that blogging might drop on the wayside during school, but I really don't want that to happen. I love blogging and the people I've met through it. The blog world has such a positive, inspiring attitude, and I really don't want to leave it. I'll probably be around less than I am currently, but I'll try my best not to disappear completely.
Okay, enough talk. Let's get this WIAW
Yesterday morning started with a couple of energy bites
followed by a glorious 4.5 mile run. My pace was quite a bit faster than my 9.25 mile run - an average of 9:07/mile. I felt good and strong and loved every minute of it! I came back starving and had a rather random breakfast. Since we're leaving soon, I've been trying to eat up random foods in the fridge. I started with a huge glass of water + a pink lady apple (best apple type ever!) and followed it with plain 2% greek yogurt with Kind blueberry clusters granola (eaten of the yogurt container because I'm classy like that) and an ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla with cookie nookie pb crave. Oh my goodness, I just can't get over how awesome that stuff is!!!
A little later in the morning, my mom and I went on a nature walk! We may or may not have gotten lost several times, but we still had a great time.
Does this bridge look sturdy to you? It sure did to us, but we both just about jumped five feet when we started across and found ourselves rocking like we were on a sailboat. And of course my lovely mom made me walk across first haha. ;-)
It was really quite pretty!
Although at times we felt like we were trekking across the U.S. to Oregon like pioneers... we will be doing that soon, but we don't plan on using a covered wagon.
See anything wrong with this sign?
We came back ready for lunch! I totally forgot to take a picture (#bloggerfail), but I had a mountain of broccoli with a bucket load of honey mustard, a cinnamon roll scone
, baked tofu
, Kashi hummus crisps, and some chocolate milk. Oh and a couple of pretzel M&Ms before lunch and a ginger chew after. Don't you guys have appetizers and desserts for lunch? ;-)
After lunch, I hit the packing. Oh the joy. And then a little later in the afternoon, my mom and I went to run some errands and pick up some things for college. Of course, we had to stop by Whole Foods which is where my afternoon snacking took place. They had samples of crab salad with crackers, white cheddar, and parmesan crisps. I can first-hand tell you that they were all fantastic. I also picked up these apple chips and of course had to try them out. Delicious!
For dinner, I was craving something sweet (when am I not craving something sweet?!). Oatmeal it was!
Steel cut oats topped with grape jelly, flax peanut butter, and, of course, pretzels.
A quick word on the jelly: My dad brought this back from a little vineyard he visited in Michigan! (EDIT: The vineyard is in Florida, not
Michigan. My dad travels so much, he's hard to keep track of! :) ) He brought back three varieties, two grape ones and a peach honey butter. They're all very yummy and flavorful, but the peach honey butter is especially awesome! They're also all very smooth and would be perfect for "melting" and glazing (or just spreading on toast, pancakes, waffles or, in my case, oatmeal!). You can learn more about the vineyard here
To accompany my sweet and salty goodness, I had some sesame kale from Whole Foods and lima beans. Oh and a lavender kombucha (my favorite flavor!).
Aaaaand for dessert, a HUGE slice of watermelon and some chocolate chips because no day is complete without chocolate.
Does anyone else find themselves over-studying? If so, how have you combatted it?
Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!
Marvelous is.... my frist MIMM
! For some reason, I've never joined the link-up before, but I've always loved the idea - to focus on the little things that make life (and the often dreaded Mondays) a bit better.
Marvelous is... my 9.25 mile run yesterday! It was only going to be 8, but then I just had to see what was around the corner, and I couldn't skimp on running through the little community garden... and before I knew it, I was at 4.6 miles and still had to run back! My pace ended up being a bit slower than usual with an average pace of about 10:00/mile, but I ran 9.25 miles so who cares?! And besides, I think that pace is going to be pretty close to my pace come the actual half marathon.
Marvelous is... a new running tank! While I have pretty good self-control around regular clothes, when it comes to running gear? Um yeah, that self-control goes out the window... hey, at least running clothes are more practical. Okay, maybe everyday clothes are actually more practical, but I have more fewer running clothes so that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
The lightning kind of makes me look like I have a cold or am crying... promise neither is the case! ;-)
Marvelous is... my last day of work! I will miss the people I work with, but I've made enough pizzas to last me a lifetime. Still haven't gotten tired of eating them though, and I don't think that could ever change.
Marvelous is... a homegrown tomato! A bird got some of them, but the ones that survived? Oh man, talk about deliciousness! I will be guarding the rest of these with my magic wand. What, you didn't know I had one? (And yes, I am a huge Harry Potter nerd.)
Marvelous is... these pancakes
. I had (more like inhaled) them when I returned from my glorious run above, and all I can say is they make they are best post-run fuel ever.
Marvelous is... Starbucks. Cool lime refreshers - my summer in three words. And apparently my name is Alice. It was actually pretty funny because he asked my name and then wrote it down and said, "Well, it doesn't really look like Alice, but you know who you are." I didn't have the heart to tell him otherwise so I just smiled... smile and wave boys, smile and wave. (Please tell me you get the reference!)
What's been marvelous in your life lately?
Well, we've got a lot to get through today so lets get rollin', shall we? And I think we'll work backwards from what the title suggests because forward is overrated.
So first up: Dorm Necessities. What's it all about? It's going to be a new (or, um, only? so far anyway...) series here on Veggin' Out showcasing some items that I constantly keep in my dorm room and that I pretty much can't live without. Now, I don't go back to school for another eight days, but of course, I need to start getting ready! And what better place to start than with the upmost important necessity? Yep, I'm talking food. More importantly, chocolate. Last year, anyone who visited my dorm room quickly found out that I had quite the food stash and that an entire box of that was dedicated to chocolate. I started early this year when I picked up this lot:
Sea salt and dark chocolate because sweet+salty is the best combo ever, plain dark because sometime some simplicity is needed, chipotle chili dark for that extra kick during those hard study sessions, and strawberry and champagne so I don't feel bad about being in the group of college kids that chooses not to drink. (Really, who wants to drink when you can have chocolate? Exactly.)
Another good portion of my food stash was dedicated to nut butter, and I'm sure this year will be no different. I haven't made quite as much progress as I have with the chocolate, but I did pick up this. I mean, cookie nookie?! That was just too hard to pass up.
I think this jar will be lucky to ever see my dorm room....
I'll be sure to share other dorm room necessities as they come!
Now, onto the running update. I did my longest run of 7.5 miles (!!!!) this past Sunday! And, thanks to some recently purchased knee bands, my knees were much happier. Just to think, only 5.6 miles more and I could have completed a half marathon. ;-) Speaking of which, I will be running my half in these:
Does anyone else find buying running shoes better that buying fasion shoes? Come on, I know the other runners out there would agree with me. No? Well, okay then. I don't mind being the odd ball. ;-)
After trying on several different brands (including some that the guy who helped me called "the watermelons" - and for a good reason because they really did look like watermelons which made want to buy them solely because of that), I went with Brooks. And I love them! They feel quite a bit lighter than my Nikes (which I did also love) and a little firmer but in a good way if that makes any sense. Anyway, I've been loving running in them! Running is always so much more fun with new gear. :)
Yes, now what you've really been waiting for. I teased you with some pictures in my last post, and it's time to redeem my meanness with the recipe! Remember how I said they were protein-packed? Well, I wasn't kidding. These babies pack in roughly 40g of protein. Not bad for pancakes, eh? Actually, not bad for any type of breakfast. And they say vegetarians have a hard time getting their protein.... Psh, obviously they never met these pancakes!
Salted Chocolate Peanut Pretzel Pancakes
Pancake recipe based on Christina's All-Natural Protein Pancakes
Serves 1For the pancakes
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup peanut flour
1/2 cup cottage cheese
5 drops stevia (or other sweetener)
A handful of chocolate chipsFor the rest
About 2 tbsp chocolate syrup (I used Walden Farms)
About 8 pretzels, broken into pieces (I used Newman's Owns spelt pretzels)
Several pinches large grain sea salt ( I used pink Hawaiian sea salt)
1. Blend the oats, flour, cottage cheese, egg, and stevia in a blender.
2. Pour the batter onto a heated skillet to make four pancakes (or more or less - it really doesn't matter!) and then sprinkle the chocolate chips onto the pancakes. Cook for a few minutes, flip, and cook another minute or so. I think you all know how to cook pancakes!
3. Stack the pancakes on a plate, drizzle with the chocolate syrup, top with the pretzels, and sprinkle with the salt.
4. Dig in to the best plate of pancakes you've ever had!
The sea salt really takes it over the top - I recommend you make sure you have at least a few granules in every bite. I can't even begin to explain how delicious it is. I know the recipe is really just a simple spin off of Christina's version (which is delicious on it's own), but trust me, they're worth making.
Well, I guess it wasn't all that long, but we covered all the important things in life - chocolate, peanut butter, pancakes, running - what more could you want?
Have a great day and a fabulous weekend, everyone!
Confession time. I don't know about you, but I have so many recipes bookmarked that if I started making one new recipe every day, it would probably take me at least two years to get through all of them. Actually, I'm not sure I would ever get through all of them because by the time I'd made all of my current bookmarked recipes, I'm sure I would have accumulated at least that many more. It's a never ending cycle, and I must say that I blame you guys. You all just come up with too many amazing looking dishes! ;)
But I'm trying my best to work through at least some of them, and this past week, I made a dent. Well actually, more like a tiny nick as in you can't even tell it's there, BUT that's not the point. The point is that I tried, and I must say that overall, it was a smashing success! So let's take a look, shall we? Happy WIAW
First up, we have Christine's Cinnamon Roll Scones
. Unfortunately, my pictures didn't turn out half as good as Christine's gorgeous photos, but don't let that fool you. These little guys are awesome! I used all spelt flour instead of half all-purpose/whole wheat so I will admit that they tasted a bit more grainy-y, but I happen to love that wholesome taste so I sure wasn't complaining! The scones were super, super moist and rather biscuit-like and the topping was sweet, cinnamon-y, and crunchy! It was my first time making scones, but I don't know why seeing as they were so easy and tasty, and my whole family loved them!
Next up, I made Arman's Baked Tofu
. Even before I went vegetarian, I loved tofu - in any shape and form, pretty much. But one of my favorite places to enjoy it is at Asian restaurants. They sure do know how to do tofu! So when I saw Arman's recipe that included some of my favorite Asian ingredients such as sesame oil and soy sauce, I knew I must try it! Well my friends, I'm already on my second batch, and I can assure you that I will be making it again at least once again before I head back to school (less than two weeks... WHERE did summer go?!?). I love broiling the tofu for about 5-10 minutes after baking to get it extra crispy. There it is below with edamame, peas+lima beans with buffalo sauce, and amaranth. It was my first time trying that cute little grain, and while I loved the texture, there wasn't a whole lot of flavor. Oh well, nothing a little siracha can't fix! Anyway, I highly, highly recommend Arman's recipe!!
Ever since I saw Hannah's Squash Crust Pizzas
, I knew I had to make them. I've seen lots of veggie pizza crusts in the blog sphere (particularly ones made with cauliflower, which I still need to try), so I thought I would give it a go. And I'm glad I did! I'm not going to say these tasted like regular pizza because they didn't, but I wasn't expecting them to either. I mean they didn't have pizza sauce or cheese so how could they?! Traditional pizza or not, they were delicious! I think I should have baked them a bit longer as they were still pretty soft, and my favorite parts were the crispy edges, but I still greatly enjoyed the soft inside. I topped one with BBQ sauce as the recipe suggested and one with buffalo sauce. I think I preferred the BBQ sauce, but both were tasty. Next time, I want to try pizza sauce+mozzarella on the squash crusts just for fun!
For breakfast one morning, I made Davida's Mango Matcha Green Tea Smoothie
. I happen to love green tea (I drink it every morning!), and my amazing mom recently bought me some matcha green tea powder. I think I went a little crazy with it (I seem to always add extra powdered stuff like spices, protein powder, baking powder... it's just so easy to make the measurements extra heaping!) because the green tea flavor was a bit overpowering. I think I ended up using at leas two teaspoons of it... whoops... Haha but it was still super refreshing, had a lovely mango flavor, and I loved how thick it was! I'll definitely have to try it again, but I'll scale the matcha back to one teaspoon - you see, I can
You see those pancakes picking in above? Those would be Christina's All-Natural Protein Pancakes
. Aka my new go-to pancakes! They're super easy to make and wonderful in the taste department as well. They're not your typical, fluffy pancakes, but who wants typical anyways? They're denser, but I personally like denser pancakes because you don't feel like you're eating fluff!
Topped with Walden Farms blueberry syrup.
I even made my own variation on Christina's pancakes...
The name of the game is Protein Packed Salted Chocolate Peanut Pretzel Pancakes. A mouthful, I know, but trust me, it's one delicious mouthful. After my baked oatmeal
, I knew I had to do more with that flavor combination, and these turned out to be one of the best stack of pancakes I've ever had. Even better than the oatmeal so if you want that flavor combination and are trying to decide between the oatmeal and these pancakes, I'm going to have to recommend you go with the pancakes. I'm going to be a mean-y here though and postpone the recipe until next time, seeing as there are already more than enough words in this post. But be sure to check back Friday or Saturday for the recipe! You don't want to miss it! Do you have more recipes bookmarked than you know what to do with?What new recipes have you tried lately?
Have a lovely rest of the week, friends!