Sunday, September 30, 2012

Friday Monkey

My current workouts are based around Hal Higdons Intermediate 10K Training plan. The plan calls for a 5K race in the middle of it. This means that there is only one more week until my first race since I broke my foot. I'm realllly anxious but trying not to get too excited. While I am shooting for a certain time, I'm not going to push through any pain in that foot.

My training this week has looked like this:
Monday: 3 mile run + strength  (45 minute Chiseled Physique class)
Tuesday: 4 mile run + 45 minute yoga class
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 4 mile run
Friday: Cross Training (45 min interval spin class)
Saturday: 40 minute tempo run
Sunday: 6 mile run

This time my tempo run went a little bit better. I was able to gradually build up speed. My first mile was 8:35, the second was 8:15. I only have one mile markers on the path I run, and my Nike App is not too accurate, so I simply picked up the speed for three minutes then turned around at the 20 min mark and ran back to mile marker two (getting there at 22:40 so my pace back was faster). Then I attempted to take it back down. ...I hit another 8:30 mile, but the last one was 8:20. Not too shabby for a tempo run but it should have been more like 8:40.

Today's 6 miles were a bit different. I ran with NO music or time keeping device. My daughter was biking next to me the entire way and the weather was a perfect 65 degrees and sunny. We had a great time and I was ok with not knowing my pace or having music blaring in my ears. The happiest thing though, was seeing her bike an entire 6 miles and how proud she was of herself!

Along with these workouts, I had an amazing weekend in Maryland with my boyfriend and our kids.

Friday afternoon called for a little monkey business....

 I'm not going to lie. For a wine with a twist top (that's what you get when you said your Bud Light loving boyfriend to grab the booze...JK) It was pretty damn tasty.

Especially with some grilled pork tenderloin, a baked sweet potato and grilled asparagus.....

Saturday morning we headed out for some Fall Festivities at Bowles Farm.

The biggest corn maize EVER! I'm sure of it. This is the view from one of the lookout bridges. It was my first time doing a corn maize and the four of us ROCKED it. I would say it took us about 45 minutes, but I read that it takes people 1-2 hours.

Then we played in a straw pit and a corn box!

The kids got to pet some animals, ride a train and in a "barrel ride". It was $10 a person well spent.

One the way home we stopped and grabbed a pumpkin because I have been dying to bake one!

Chopped, peeled and roasted with brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Life Changing. I'm telling you.

I'm attempting to roast the seeds tonight! We'll see how it goes! 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Randomness: Potatoes, Pumpkins and Tic Tacs,

I have to say, last weekend was one of the best running weekends I've had since I came back from that broken foot. After my succesful repeats on Saturday, I made sure I got to bed early (read - 9 PM on a Saturday night) so I would be up bright and early for my 5 mile run on Sunday. It was wonderful and I finished in 42:53. A nice, comfortable pace around 8:30 (which seems to be my "natural" pace these days).

After all that, it was time for some more Redskins fun.

My dad has awesome seats! We tailgated before AND after the game so you know that we ate and drank. ALL.DAY.

Before I knew it. Monday morning was here and my alarm clock was blaring.

It's been a good week of training though. Monday I ran 3 miles and took a Chiseled Physique class. Tuesday I did 4 miles and took a yoga class.

Yesterday was a glorious rest day.

This is last night's dinner. I obviously rested on the cooking front yesterday too. It was seriously a good salad.  Baby spinach, red onion, cucumber, tomato, sweet potatoes, roasted okra and broccoli, baked chicken and avocado. The chicken was simply seasoned and baked the night before and was soooooo good cold.

Don't judge me for putting potatoes in my salad.

 I had originally packed it up for lunch but forgot my wonderful boyfriend was taking me out, so I ate it for dinner. I was obviously resting away from the kitchen along with the treadmill. I find that I have WAY less energy on my rest days. Anybody else get this?

That's Kaitlyn's dinner. I have to say, I'm so proud of my little girl. She picked carrot sticks/roma tomatoes and hummus, a yogurt and a grilled cheese on honey oat bran bread. Even when we have "easy dinner" night she makes good decesions.

(My boyfriend and I are constantly competing to make the "best grilled cheese" for my daughter. He always wins. I don't get it. That grilled cheese looks SO good I almost didn't give it to her)

This last picture is totally random but I love it.

She's in her workout clothes because we had just gotten done with some quality mother-daughter, running-biking. She's smiling ear-to-ear, high off endorphins just like her mother, and she's holding the best thing about Fall.

Please believe pumpkins will be purchased and roasted this weekend.

 I am loving my Tic Tac and freezing cold water together as I type. Anybody else do this?

If the custodian at the gym tells me one more time that "I think you look great even though you took all your hair off like that. Don't worry about what everybody else is saying, you just look great". I might just say something.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Running Repeats for the First Time

I was anxious for my Saturday workout. 8 x 400 at 5K Pace. Not only does
speed work scare the crap out of me but I don't know what my "5K pace
is". The only 5K I have raced was over 2 years ago and I have made vast
improvements since then. At that time I got 25:11, for a pace of 8:06
per mile.

Not knowing where to really shot for I decided to just run the first 400
at a pace I believed I could maintain for all 8 laps and see what it was
at. I left my house, with my daughter biking next to me, and we made the
1 mile trip to the middle school near our house. Upon arriving, I
stretched for 10 minutes and turned on my iPod, trying to get into it

As I set off for my first 400 I felt slow. Seriously sluggish (maybe it
was all the beer tasting from the night before....oops!). I looked down
at my step watch as I stepped across the line was pleasantly surprised
to see a 1:45. For starting out conservatively, I was really impressed.
I grabbed a swig of my water and lined up for the next one.....again,
about a 1:47:-)

I ran all eight between 1:44 and 1:48! (Unfortunately, I was keeping
track under "notes" on my iPhone and forgot to save it but I still know
the range). As I ran back to the house (don't worry, I remembered
Kaitlyn!) I thought about how tired I wasn't. While I'm happy with the
fact I had a feeling for my pace, I want more! I want to feel like I
gave all that I could.

For the next one, my goal is to decrease time between the laps. Maybe to
30 seconds? I didn't measure it this time but I will the next time. I
don't think I want to go faster right away. My hip (prone to injury) was
a bit sore that night.

I'm more excited about running than I have been since I did my marathon
last March. It is a wonderful feeling!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Bread and Pizza.

My training plan called for a rest day yesterday. Usually, rest days kill me mentally. One this particular day, my quads and calfs were spent and it was welcomed. Kaitlyn and I didn't have too much to do that afternoon though, so we made it an active one. We walked to a nearby school, walked some laps around the track and fields and headed home, equaling about 40 minutes.

Some were more active than others......

I think she did more cartwheels than actually walking.

A well deserved break with a bright red face!

I stretched out quite a bit when we got home. Good move.

Today's workout was awesome and kicked my rear!

First, I geared up and headed outside for my 4 mile run  It was around 75 degrees but I was chilly and wore a long sleeve over my short sleeve. About a mile into the run I was regretting it but too in the zone to stop and take it off.... Seeing as though I was running in DC, and all things in DC confuse me, I ended up doing 4.5 hot sweaty miles at an average pace of 8:15. Job well done in my book.

**Can I just say how excited I am about running these days. My old "comfortable" pace about a year ago was 9:00-9:30 a mile! Huge improvements!**

Returning from my run, I went to the Chiseled Physique class to get my second day of weight lifting in. While we didn't do as much leg work as I like (read SQUATS baby!) we killed the shoulders and biceps. 45 minutes of that and I was spent and felt quite accomplished!

Needless to say I devoured my salad for lunch.

Upon getting home (6:00, later than usual!!) we decided it was time to test out the Wheat Free, Gluten Free Pizza Dough Mix I grabbed at Trader Joes.

Another good move.

It was really easy to make and got nice and toasty! Piled with veggies of course:-)
A couple pieces of that and a couple beers and I convinced myself it was Friday night.....sadly, it's not yet.

While I'm talking about wheat-free, gluten free products. I grabbed these french rolls last week and had one last night. These suckers aren't bad at all! They tasted just like a biscuit!

I will definitely be heading to Trader Joe's again in the near future!

Beach Body Workouts

Let me preface this post by saying that I am a fan of every Beach Body workout that I have done so when I was contact by them to take a look at their upcoming DVDs I was more than interested.

First, let's talk about the ones that I currently have:
Insanity: The name of this workout does it justice. It is intense. Just what a girl needsJ I especially love it because you don’t need any other equipment. It was very easy for me to throw in my laptop case and pop on when I was at my boyfriends for the weekend or traveling somewhere. Don’t think this takes away from it at all. If done properly you will be in pain (in a good way of course!). You will be drenched in sweat. You will know that you got a kickass workout.

 Let me just add this picture from the Beach Body website.....Do you see the instructor? I don't think it's possible to "waste" your time looking at him sweat  :-)

Brazilian Butt Lift:  It’s rather apparent that I don’t have a cute little frame.  I was given a whole lot of junk in my trunk, which will easily get out-of-control if I don’t keep up with it. It’s always been one of my “trouble spots”. So I bought this DVD set. It is definitely a lower intensity than Insanity but still delivers a punch. If I want a quicker than usual workout, or I really want to focus on toning, I go here. I love that some days you do 2 different DVDs a day so you can break it up. Only have 30 minutes before work? No problem. I’ll get the other 20 in after. 
The only thing that took me a bit of adapting was that the cardio workout was that it's dancing. Normally, I wouldn’t count dancing as a form of exercise. When I exercise, I go for sweat in my eyes. It doesn’t have the same amount of intensity but hey, sometimes we need to take it down a notch, and my daughter begs me to put it on so she can join in. So maybe I don't need to take myself so seriously all the time?
P90X: The most popular of all the Beach body Workouts. I believe that its popularity is well deserved. It really helps you learn different techniques for weights, cardio and stretching. It will leave your body guessing and sore.

My only issue is that I have never completed an entire 60-90 days with any of them. I attribute this to the fact that:

1. My passion is running and I always end up going back to it.
2. I find it hard to find the motivation to workout at home. I wake up at 4:30 every day and get home around 5:30. I am pooped. Once my daughter and I walk in the door we have homework, dinner, bath, reading, cleaning, etc. that all need to be done before her 8:00 bedtime.
3.  I’m ADD. Self-diagnosed.  I can’t keep my mind on track. I get 4 weeks into the program and get interested in another one.

That all being said, I don’t think it’s even necessary to complete the programs as a whole (Excellent and rewarding, YES).  I find that on rainy days, or days when I can’t find a sitter while I run, or when I just don't feel like running (true story, it happens sometimes) these workouts work great! I pick whichever one sparks my interest and go to town.

This covers the ones I’ve done. I’ll go on to what I think the new ones look like in my next post.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Alopecia Areata: Why I Lost My Hair

Some of you may have noticed (or maybe not, who knows) but I am
bald. At the ripe age of 25 I have lost approximately 70% of the
hair on my head. Not just my head though. My entire body is rejecting hair. My eyebrows, my legs, ooooother parts. You know......

The reason for this excess shedding? My body hates hair. Literally. It
thinks it's the enemy.

**For comparision purposes here is me about two years ago.

LOTS of curly, thick hair.

This picture was taken less than a year ago....My hair lost it's curl but was still very thick......

When I was training for my marathon last year I noticed a red/pinkish
ring on the front of my hair line. A couple of weeks later, all the
hair covering that discolored portion feel out. I went to the doctor,
was told it was probably ring worm and given some antibacterial cream
to put on it. Anybody who knows me knows I HATE germs. I don't share
chapstick, drinks, eat after people, use water fountains, etc. I was

I diligently applied the cream and waited for the big salmon spot to
disappear. It did but I noticed that the hair continued to fall out and
it picked up some serious speed. I lost my hair by the handfuls in the
shower. This is NO exaggeration and I cannot explain the feelings that go along with something like that. To say it was traumatizing does not
even begin to explain how I felt. I went to a dermatologist and she
was very matter-of-fact with me. "That's Alopecia Areata. I can tell.
I'll give you a shot". She handed me an explanatory paper and stuck me
in the scalp with a big ass needle about 10 times. I looked like a
damn pin cushion. Since then my hair has continued to shed. Coming
back in sometimes, very fine, thin and white. Then it falls back out.

Do you want to know the real pisser about all of this? There is NO
reason for it. Apparently, this is one of those rare diseases that
doctor's know nothing about. It seems as though not much research can
be done because it's not properly funded. It's symptoms are considered
"purely cosmetic" and it receives no precedent. Hell, my insurance
won't even cover a dime of the appointment or treatment costs.

I have had my blood taken to test every hormone/vitamin level,
allergy testing done, cut back on working out (I broke my foot so I
was forced to), cut back on drinking, got more sleep. The hair just
kept on falling out....

Here is what my hair looks like today:

**Excuse the lame iPhone pictures and messy room. I haven't taken a picture sans hat since last March so I had to take some to write this**

For a better explanation to this disease (and not just somebody who has it and wants to bitch about it...) you can read about it at:

At this point I have lost much hope that I will ever have a full head
of hair again. It has taught me a few things though.


I am thankful that I have such an amazing support system. I have a boyfriend who tells me how beautiful I am every single day. I have a family who, while we joke with each other, would do anything for me. I have an amazing daughter who needs me to be strong and basically show her that shit happens and we just have to keep on chugging, roll with the punches and do the best we can with what we are given.

I am thankful that despite the fact that every body who passes me on the streets thinks I'm sick, I am a very physically strong person. I've lost my hair, not my strength. I continue to run and workout and push myself as hard as I can, because I can. I will not allow this disease to define me.

I will no longer judge people by the way the look. I will not assume that they are old, sick, unhealthy or incapable because they look so. I've learned that their are other factors that play into such things and some things are honestly out of our control.

Don't think that I am "ok" with this situation. It sucks and I would give up almost anything just to look feminine again. I have to accept it though and the least I can do is bring awareness to a disease that many people may be unfamiliar with.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Failed Attempt at a Tempo Run and Desserts

Saturday's tempo run was.....well it happened. Seeing as though this was my first tempo run and I don't have a reliable way to track my pace while running I had to kind of just feel it out.

**Side note: I have the Nike App built into my iPod. It's very weird how it works. If I hit it while I am running it will tell me my pace, distance and time. The only kicker is the pace is NEVER right while I am running. It will say "6:45" one second (way too fast for me) and anywhere from 20:00 to 55:00. It is always right at the end of my workout though when it tells me my average pace. I just use the time and go to to verify the distance. Always right.

So I started slow and I think I nailed the first mile around 9:00, which is what I wanted. Then I started my gradual increase. I don't think I was too gradual. I burnt myself out by the 17 minute mark. I took a couple minute stretch break and went back too it. I started out faster than usual and went to a slower pace, but it was reallllly hard for me to not finish strong. It's just kind of what I do. I'll need to learn how to do this.

After the run, it was time for the fun! (rhyming IS cool)

I went to Kerfuffle with my family and friends.

Tailgating ensued. (We are on the DC101 website!)

While we were enjoying the tunes of Anberlin, Garbage, Sublime and The Offspring my brother got THIS for me.

Now I will die happy.

Sunday morning I woke up NOT in any condition to run. Little too much Bud Light and no water for 10 hours Saturday night. As I replenished my levels I got my legs going by walking to the Farmer's Market.

Check out the awesome colors. I love Fall.


I got a few things there (Okra! First time ever and I'm excited to try it) then walked to the grocery store and got a few more things for a day of baking/cooking.

Black bean soup. Looks like crap but it was delicious. I even used the dry beans and soaked beforehand, then let it cook for 4 hours. So domesticated.

I made my sister this pistachio cake with honey butter cream icing. Most labor intensive cake I have ever made and it was just alright....I made Chili Brownies too. Also mediocre.

During the midst of all the domesticated behavior I went on a 4 mile trail run. It was absolutely amazing! SUPER hilly and according to the Nike App I kept the same pace I do while running on the road. This just proves that I have SO much more in me than I really use. I need to push my body longer and further.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

This Girl Knows How to Party

Last night I found myself in a very unfamiliar place. No daughter and no boyfriend.

What's a 25-year old girl to do in such a situation?

First, I missed my optometrist appointment because I couldn't find the office. How does this even happen? I have lived in this tiny little town my ENTIRE life.

Then I did something even cooler and went grocery shopping. Since I was feeling CRAZY I made the 20 minute drive to Trader Joes!

These aren't all the purchases but they are definitely my favorites!

Sunflower Butter = My addiction
Fig Jam = New to me. We'll see.
Hummus = I couldn't decide which flavor then saw this quartet! Effing sold. Amazing.
Lentil Chips = To dip in aforementioned quartet of goodness.
Nuts = This girl loooooves nuts (insert inappropriate giggle. Seriously though, I do. They are a few dollars cheaper per bag at TJs. I got pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds (my daughter's addiction) and pine nuts)
Green Thai Curry Sauce = No need to explain the goodness there
Wine = Again, a few dollars cheaper per bottle. Can't wait to pop those open!

This one I was really excited to try....

Gluten, wheat and oat free bread. It's made from rice flour. It was MUCH softer than any other wheat free breads so I grabbed it. At $3.50 for 4 rolls, I won't be eating them TOO much.

I don't know if I've mentioned my food sensitives. Wheat, Corn, Soy and Peanuts. Peanuts being the worst. I usually eat them anyways, because the "symptoms" aren't terrible but this pas weekend it got pretty bad. So I'm back to cutting them out....

**I've been meaning to write a post about all those food sensitivities, a holistic practitioner (is that the right term?) that I've been speaking with and why I'm bald (not just my head hair is gone either....)....It's just not as fun as posts like this. I'll get to it soon**

I got home, ate one of those rolls w/tuna and some lentil chips with hummus while watching "Remember the Titans". That's how I roll.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Race for Grace and a New Brussel Sprout Addiction

This past Saturday night my daughter and I headed down to Orange County to see the twin. (Yes, she lives in the middle of nowhere. Near nothing. Please pressure her to move).

On the way we stopped in at Bravo for a little bit of grub.

This salad was an awesome starter. It had dried cranberries which I am really loving in salads these days. It had more apples but my daughter's little hands went right for them as they sat it down.

I had this avocado and turkey panini for my main dish. Pretty awesome. I felt like it was missing a little something but I didn't leave any on the plate!

Look at that face! How could I NOT let her get dessert. She was just carb-loading....

The reason for our visit, The Race for Grace.

While I wasn't running, this little girl was and she was more than excited!

Everybody warms up in different ways!

I was also there to support Becca, who was running the 5K.

Look at them all ready to go!
As jealous as I was that I wasn't running, I was seriously excited for them and ready to cheer. Becca's 5K was up first. The course was basically an out and in. As I stood at the finish line, watching all the people run to finish, I saw a flash of purple booking it and picking off basically everybody she could see! She nailed the strong finish!

Then it was Kaitlyn's turn. The run for the kids was really cute. It was a "1-Mile Fireman Chase", so the firefighter's got in their gear and the kids chased them. It was a mile (in and out also) and I was a bit nervous because she has never run that far in a continuous manner. (Like most 6 year olds, she tends to go all out as soon as she starts running) The first half of the mile was on a small, yet steady, hill. It wasn't too bad though because it made finishing easier.

With that red face you can tell she put all her effort into it. She was pretty excited about her medal also. This is her second one and she's already talking about how many more than me she is going to have when she's my age:-)

That night when we got back from the middle-of-nowhere we did a little grocery shopping. I decided to try a vegetable that I have avoided since I was a kid. Brussel Sprouts. I see so many people eating them on the blogs that I read and I'd never had them roasted (which is how I do all my veggies these days) so I tossed them, along with some fresh green beans and broccoli, in a bit of olive oil, seasoned to taste and baked at 450 for 20 minutes.

Whole lot of greens! They were awesome! Kaitlyn ate all my green beans, but she did also say the brussel sprouts were good. I see a new obsession forming.

I swear there are spinach and kale under all those roasted veggies and smoked beef sausage. That salad was memorable.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I'm Cheating on my Brooks with my Asics.

Last Friday I skipped my lunch time workout and headed home early. Comcast (man, do I loathe them) were coming to my house. I figured I could fit a short run in before or after. They came early and I headed out.

Now usually, heat doesn't really bother me. (I am such a wuss for the cold weather though). Friday it was about 90 degrees when I left my house. The issue was the humidity. 96% humidity. Not a joke. I felt like everything was off. My legs felt like lead. My breathing was off. I was thirsty the entire time. I really should have brought water with me. Lesson learned. Humidity is NOT to be messed with.  I cranked out 5.5 laborous miles.

This made up for it.

Tuna is SO good after a run. I don't know why. (Hell, it's good ALL the time). Put it on bagel with some Colby and Muenster cheese. Plus all that Cholula. Heaven.

I've been meaning to talk about my switch in shoes recently.

Running does not make my foot hurt. It does feel weird though. Like I am aware of the soles of my feet. Like I can feel the road under them. Not a great thing. The Brooks GTS that I'm wearing were brand new so I knew it wasn't because their mileage was too high. Perhaps they just aren't going to do it for me anymore. (I don't see why they are always changing them. Why fix something that isn't broken?? Ugh.)

I went into VA Runner and told them my issues. These are what I left with.

So far, so good. I still get a tad bit achy the night of run, but it does feel like I have more cushioning during my run. They are prettttty squishy:-)

 For the meantime, I'm not just getting rid of my Brooks. I have always been an avid Brooks girl. Their shoes, their gear. They are just great. For the time being, I am rotating the two pairs of shoes. I'm making note of how I feel in them in regards to different lengths and different surfaces. I may be able to wear my Brooks for trail runs still, saving miles on my new Asics.

VA Runner also reccomended Saucony shoes. I have never worn these either. I might try them out as well when I get some extra money. The more shoes, the better!

I am an overpronator. (Making my stride less-than attractive or athletic looking, but hey, you work with what you got) Anybody else overpronate and have a good pair of support shoes?

I love to hear about all the shoes people are wearing. You can even tell me about your socks if you're feeling extra giving.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Training for my First Race Since "The Break"

As the clock started to inch towards my "lunch time" on Thursday I found myself antsy. I've been experiencing this a lot recently. I WANT to workout. I just don't know what I want to do, and that is slightly a motivation killer.

I headed to the gym telling myself that I was going to go to my circuit training class.....I left the locker room after changing into my workout gear and walked the other way. I figured that I would start on the elliptical with some intervals and just take it from there. During the elliptical, I caught the high. After 20 minutes of them I reverted back to my favorite workout, I just wanted to run!

So I hopped on the treadmill and decided to try out some speed. See how my foot felt since I haven't gone too fast on it since "the incident". I started out on a slower sprint, about 8.5 mph, and it felt awesome. I immediately cranked it up to 9.5 and kept on chugging. I ran this for .7 miles, then walked the other .3 at 3.8. Then I did it again! and then once even more. I felt fabulous and was drenched in sweat by the end of it. Pair those 2 cardio sessions with 20 minutes of weights and stretching and Thursday brought a hell of a workout.

It also brought the realization that I need direction in my training. I am the kind of person who craves structure and am purpose driven. I already have my mind made up that I am running Rock N' Roll DC again this year. I want to beat last year's time (hell, I want to blow it out of the water who am I kidding....). However, training for that starts on November 16. That seems REALLY far away.

Seeing as though my weakness with running is my speed, I decided to pick a shorter distance and practice getting faster. I've decided that I am going to run Rockville 10K on November 4 (unless I can find a smaller run or one closer to home that weekend....). This means that training will start on Monday, September 10. It worked out SO perfectly!

Wish me luck.

Do you find it easier to get the workout done when you have a goal or direction?

Food Talk: Can I just tell you about my new addiction (which I found from my new addiction to blogs). Hummus with my scrambled eggs. Holy crap. I toast whole wheat bread, spread some Athenos Spicy Chipotle Hummus on them, top with a scrambled egg and a ton of salsa. Amazing breakfast. Try it

Have you tried eggs and hummus? Any other breakfast favorites?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fall is Officially Here (and the BEST Season)

It's been a busy last few weeks. I have sucked as a blogger. I've still kept up on all my workouts. I've been doing them at least 6x a week. I've continued to mix it up by doing different things. A few of this past weeks highlights:
1. Interval/Circuit Workouts. I have taken these from one of my favorite blogs, Peanut Butter Fingers. This girls knows how to put together a GREAT workout! The 10-to-6 Workout especially kicked my ass! If you are in a rut, or just looking for a challenging workout, please try it. The only thing I changed was that I went to 5.
2. 7 mile run. This past Saturday I asked the boy "how much am I running today?". He said "7" without hesitation. I delivered. I didn't time it because it is my longest run since coming back from my broken foot but it was awesome!
3. Trail Running! Last Monday I went to Leesylvania State Park to find a trail to run. I got JUST what I asked for. I found a 2 mile trail that was tough! More hills than I have ever experienced during a trail run. I did it twice (coming out for water before returning for the second one. What a hot, humid day!) and then finished the last two miles on a dirt/gravel path that went along the shore line of the Potomac River. I think I've found a new favorite place to run:-)

On a non-workout related note, Labor Day weekend has passed and (in my mind at least) Fall is officially here. My all-time favorite season!! The weather, the food, the activities, the clothes, the colors. It's just perfect. Here are a few of my favorite things:


I am a pumpkin freak. Everything that has pumpkin in it and is put in front of me, I will try. I was SUPER excited to find this number at the grocery store.

I am a fan of Blue Moons. They are just a fabulous, refreshing beer. When I spotted this, I had high expectations. Blue Moon delivered. Try it now.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes. Made my moi. Delicious goodness. Spread a little bit of almond butter, or go for plain old butter and syrup. You won't be disappointed.


Now I should say "Football" but I can't fake it. I'm not a huge fan of watching a football game on TV. If the boy happens to have one on, then I'll watch it and I won't complain. It's just not something I'd put on if I was home alone. Going to the games though. Totally different story.

The first preseason game was especially fun because this little girl asked if she could come with me. I obliged and boy was I glad that I did. We had a blast!

Warming up while my dad cooked the food. Representing of course.

Hmmm.....junk food:-)

I made my pesto for the first time. Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto. It was awesome. Thrown on some brown rice noodles with fresh peppers. So good. It was eaten with homemade turkey burgers and a fresh cucumber and tomato salad.

Once we were done stuffing our faces,, we headed to our seats.

Thanks to my Dad for the awesome tickets! (He was with us too!)

The day after Labor Day also brought an exciting change for our little family. Somebody started first grade. Holy crap. Where has the time gone??

She looked so beautiful and grown up and she is going to do great!

I absolutely LOVE this age. Seeing her grow and learn and form her own personality, opinions, etc. It's so awesome to watch and be a part of.

I'm sure the busy times will continue but I'm going to try to make sure I post more.