Tag Archives: Musings

Catching Up

You guys.  What a whirlwind of a past week or so.  I can’t believe it’s been 2 weeks since I last posted.  Instead of diving right in to some topics / recaps I have planned for you all, I thought that 2 weeks is a long time to be away.  So, let’s ease back in slowly and start by catching up.  Shall we?

  
July 4th weekend was crazy fun and crazy relaxing.  It was one of those weekends where I got off the couch a few times, but mostly just relaxed a lot.  The weekend started by catching up with a good friend at the brand new Nine Giant Brewery (good beer and great food).  We shared the spicy peppers and the fried pickles.  So good.  Other exciting eats from July 4th weekend include an old favorite, the Silverton Donut Shop!  It had been ages since I’d been, and I enjoyed every bite.  Not pictured:  the TO DIE FOR apple fritter I wolfed down in the car.  It was that good.  Tried a bite of the other donuts before going into a sugar coma and calling it quits.  Gosh do I love donuts.

 
July 4th I whipped up this super simple and tasty frittata (similar to this recipe), by cleaning out the veggie drawer in my fridge.  Cooked up broccoli, sweet potatoes and bacon in a pan and mixed in the eggs + cheddar and baked until finished.  Easy as pie!  Took the frittata over to my parents house and they had some patriotic berries waiting to serve on the side.  Perfect, light summer meal.  Non traditional for the 4th?  Sure.  But it certainly hit the spot.   

   
July 4th also involved running the Rocket Man 15K in Loveland, Ohio.  To be completely honest, I went into this one to just have extra motivation to run the 9.3 miles.  I wasn’t pushing it at PR pace and I certainly had no goal finish time in mind.  Plus, it was pouring rain (giving me major flashbacks to the Derby Festival Marathon) and the course was looped, so we ran 3 5k distance laps.  Oof.  Overall, glad I got up and at it on a rainy morning.

  
Last week was my third radio show with WRBI.  I did a segment on “Satisfying Your Summer Sweet Tooth.”  If you guys are interested, I can turn that same information into a blog post!

I think the most exciting thing I did over these last 2 weeks was the Indiana Spartan Sprint on Saturday.  It was touch, muddy, and included too many burpees.  I’ll have a full recap coming ‘atcha on Friday!  For now, here’s a before pic and a muddy pic of the group at the finish.

   
 Other notable eats from the last 2 weeks include:

This super tasty meal of BBQ baked panko chicken + salad + fries.

  
Snack night at Braxton with Queen City Running Club.  After 5 sweaty miles, an icy cold beer plus lots of snacking was in order.

   
 Pizza at Cork and Cap Hyde Park.  This was seriously amazing.

  
One of Anne’s banana pancakes topped with candied pecans, peanut butter, plain Greek yogurt, and strawberries.  Almost felt like dessert!  

Some amazing desk lunches at work–leftover pulled pork salad + potatoes and lemon cod + kale salad + tomatoes.  DELISH.

   
  

Tell me, what have you been up to recently? 

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Thursday Thoughts

Why did I just discover that my local Whole Foods has the 7.99 “Meatless Monday” special?  I filled that plate to the max with veggies, tofu and other vegetarian staples and got a Monday dinner + Tuesday lunch out of it.  Such a mega bargain.  I’ll be back.

  
I’m becoming marathon obsessed.  I thought I was hasty signing up for my second marathon 2 weeks after my first, but I broke a new record Monday.  I signed up for marathon #4 just 2 days after my less than desired experience at marathon #3.  Redemption + a new PR?  Yes please!

  
I’m traveling to Redondo Beach, California for a work conference in September.  It ends Friday but I’m not flying back until Sunday.  I need ALL THE SUGGESTIONS for food, fitness and travel activities I should experience.  Should I rent a car?  Where should I go?  What should I do?  Where should I stay?  I’ll be traveling solo.  Help!!!

  
Looking for a good cookie recipe.  I’ve recently made this one about a dozen and a half times (totally exaggerating but still).  Cookie requirements:  must have a chewy center and crisp exterior.

  
I’m pedal wagoning this weekend.  I’ve never done it.  I’m excited.

  
Happy Cinco De Mayo!  To celebrate, I’m going on my first post marathon run.  Hope the ankle holds up.  TBD.  If it doesn’t, there will certainly be a margarita in my future.

  
I take beautiful race photos.  Case and point below.  

  

What are you guys doing to celebrate Cinco De Mayo?

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The Power of Positivity [during physical activity]

It’s taken me a while to discover, but I think Saturday was when the idea hit home.  Positive thinking, or in my case, lack of negative thoughts, can have a major impact on how a workout goes.  Case and point:  my 20 mile long run.  Ask any of my running buddies, they’ll tell you I have the worst habit of of complaining the entire long run making comments like “This sucks,” “I’m not running another marathon again,” “F*** this hill,” and “I give up.”  While most of the time I’m being slightly sarcastic, there is a hint of truth and honesty coming out when I say these things.  I don’t usually say things that I don’t believe; I consider myself to be incredibly terrible at lying.

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Saturday 20 miles was on the agenda.  We received an email from our training coach suggesting we change our frame of mind during these runs.  My running buddy Mary and I bet at the start of the run that I should be positive the entire time.  A challenge for me, sure, but I was up for it.  20 miles is around 3 hours of running, which is a long time, seemingly longer if you are having a negative experience.  I started to think about the run in more manageable chunks; in addition to the sunshine and lack of my negative comments, I cannot emphasize how incredibly well this run went for me.

Our training run was set up along the Flying Pig Marathon course.  This helped to chunk up the run.  The first 3-4 miles flew by because I knew there’d be a water stop halfway up one of the most brutal elevation climbs of the run.  I knew the hydration would be refreshing and then realizing we were almost 25% through the run was a helpful thought.  I then started thinking about how our next water stop was by Owls Nest park, again, something that felt like a very short distance away in a neighborhood I am familiar with.  It was also helpful to tell myself the major hill climbs for the run would be over when we got to the next water stop.  I had some incredibly refreshing margarita shot blocks to eat for fuel and kept going.  This next chunk of the run was even easier to think positively about.  We ran through the neighborhood I live in, by many friends houses, and then the next water stop was around the block from my parents house.  The sun was completely out and the day felt great.  I had been taking it easy and still thinking positively.  I realized at this point we were over half way to 20.  I then started thinking about where the next water stop was–about a 5k away.  Obviously that felt manageable to think about that distance and we had a nice downhill to lead us there.  My pace got a little faster, I was feeling great!  Before I knew it, we were at the next water stop.  Seeing one of our training coaches passing out water, in addition to the realization we only had 3-4 miles until the final water stop motivated me to continue to increase my pace.  It was flat the rest of the way, and the views of the Ohio River only helped with the positive experience of the run.  We reached the final water stop at the Purple People Bridge and I realized we were a 5k away from 20 miles.  Amazing!  I picked up the pace a little bit more and powered my way to the finish.

Compartmentalizing this run into manageable bits and pieces, in addition to lack of negative comments are reasons I am sure this run went so flawlessly.  Most long runs don’t go well for me and I can’t pinpoint anything other than the power of positivity as the only difference.  I ate the same breakfast before, I fueled during the run the same way, and I wore the same clothes I always wear.  I replaced my negative comments with positive ones, like “We got this guys,” and “We’re killing it, almost there.”  Good conversation helps too.

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What I’ve realized is that the way you frame your mind before, during, and after a tough challenge, in my case it’s usually a long run or race, can really make all the difference in how the experience goes.  It’s something that I’ve taken a long time to notice and didn’t truly hit home until Saturday, but I’m glad that it has.  It are these types of realizations that are impacting the way I view yoga as well.  I used to say I hate it.  I haven’t grown to love it yet, but I can certainly appreciate it.  It’s a time that forces me to slow down and focus on stretching and forget everything else.  While I sometimes find myself getting bored during a yoga class, I am realizing what I might view as boredom could really just be a sign I need to take time to sit with my thoughts and be more mindful.  The day I decide I like or even love yoga, I’ll certainly tell you all about it.

I am looking forward to a great weekend in DC next week.  I’ve heard the cherry blossoms are already out and  I’ll be joining the FAnnetastic-Cabot Cherry Blossom Team with my running buddy Mary for a #CabotFit filled weekend.  I can’t wait to try these new positive thinking practices during the 10 mile race.  I plan to study to course map and am hoping to have quick legs and a great time.  It’ll be a good practice race in preparation for the Kentucky Derby Marathon April 3oth!

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Five: A Random Blog Survey

It’s Wednesday (aka hump day) and I need some randomness to make it through the rest of my week.  Who else agrees?  This post is inspired by a “five” themed blog survey started by Julie over at Peanut Butter Fingers and I thought it would fun to participate.  Other bloggers (like Anne over at Fannetastic Food) have been participating as well.  I’d love to hear some of your responses too!  Post in the comments below or on your own blogs!

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FIVE:  A RANDOM BLOG SURVEY

5 Talents I Wish I Had:
1.  Photography
2.  Sprinting (opposed to long distance running)
3.  Singing
4.  Painting
5.  Gift wrapping

5 of My Favorite Foods:
1.  Donuts (obviously)
2.  Goldfish
3.  Berries
4.  Dark chocolate
5.  Chips and guac

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5 Foods I Eat Almost Every Single Day:
1.  Coffee (does that count as a food?!)
2.  Nut butter (with breakfast, as part of a snack, etc.)
3.  Eggs (the entire egg – yolk + white? yes please!)
4.  Spinach (mixed into eggs, a smoothie, on a sandwich, or wilted into recipes)
5.  Goldfish (RDs have to satisfy cravings too, and for me, Goldfish satisfy my salty crunchy cravings)

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5 Places I’m Dying to Travel To:
1.  Ireland (take me on ALL the adventures here!)
2.  Seattle (hiking, Pikes Place, Starbucks? yes, please!)
3.  Hawaii (again, all the adventures)
4.  Maine and Arcadia National Park
5.  New England (I want to eat my way through this area in general)

5 of my Favorite Food Blogs:
1.  How Sweet Eats
2.  Yeah…Immaeatthat
3.  Spicy Southern Kitchen
4.  Thug Kitchen
5.  Kath Eats Real Food

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5 of My Favorite Races:
1.  The Flying Pig Marathon
2.  The Columbus Marathon
3.  The Iron Horse Half Marathon
4.  The Hyde Park Blast
5.  Cincinnati Redlegs Run

5 Random Things I’ve Eaten This Week:
1.  Jose Cuervo Light Peach Margaritas (had to celebrate margarita day, even if it was a day late)
2.  Ovaltine (mixed in my coffee for some chocolatey goodness!)
3.  Tater Tot Poutine (at #YelpEatsPoutineWeek!)
4.  Sweedish Fish
5.  Reeses Egg

Ready, set, go… your turn!

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Yes, I Post A Lot About Running. No, I’m Not Sorry.

Happy Friday everyone!  I wanted to share my thoughts on a seemingly controversial issue with you all.  Posting about food and fitness on social media.  Many of us have done it (or observed our social network doing it).  I’m obviously guilty!

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Let’s think of it like this:  we all have hobbies in life; things that make us happy.  So often, I find myself wanting to filter my posts on social media to avoid annoying my friends, family, and loyal followers.  Does this ever happen to you?  Thoughts race through my head such as, “I posted a picture of a meal I ate yesterday, I don’t need to today,” or “Nobody really cares that I ran 13 miles.”  All of those may be true, but today is the day WE stop worrying about whatever people think, and focus on OURSELVES.  I recently came across this article which essentially says many things out loud I never have (and also inspired me to write this post).  When I share a run, or a great meal I prepared, I am not doing it to brag.  I am not trying to say I’m a better cook than  you, or superior to you because I ran a marathon.  I am simply sharing the things that make me smile throughout my day; things I am proud of.  Maybe, just maybe, we’ll even connect over love for a recipe, a favorite place to workout or even become running buddies (<which has happened).

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My life consists of two main things, food and fitness.  You might post a lot of cat pictures, because besides your work, your cats are your true pride and joy.  Someone else might post tons of photos of the canvasses they paint, because that is their hobby.  I’m fine with that.  We don’t ever go, “How annoying that their good at painting.”  The normal response is usually, “Wow, they are certainly a talented artist.”   Besides work, the things that make me happy are food and running.  These are the things that I choose to share.  My point is though, that more often than not, we look at the things people post and see them in a negative light, coming to assumptions that the individual is an egotistical, attention seeking person, when in reality, we should applaud them for being open enough to share the things they are excited about and proud of.  So as I get in to sharing my food + fitness highlights, I want to be clear that I’m not sorry to be sharing them with you.  I’m excited to share the things that made me smile this week, and maybe even inspire you to smile from being more active too.

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Monday was a nice relaxing day off work.  There was still tons of snow on the ground from Sunday evening’s snowstorm, but with the temperatures climbing, it wasn’t too cold for a nice, peaceful snow walk (hike).  After, I hit up CrossFit and did this workout.  It was actually a lot of fun.  I took it easy on weight to avoid upsetting the twitch in my back, but I realized after I took it too easy.  Reminder to self:  push harder next time.  Photos above!

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Tuesday evening was my Queen City Running Club workout.  However since I had a non traditional weekend (I had Tuesday off too!) I decided that I would treat myself to some lunchtime yoga at Body Alive to stretch out before.  I was really disappointed with this class.  The heated element of the room wasn’t working, which helps relax your muscles to get a really deep stretch.  The instructor was also trying out odd sequences with us, and none of them were really great for stretching from a running perspective, and most were skills too advanced for me to truly participate in.  Such a bummer.  However, I had a really great time running Tuesday evening.  We did about two miles to warm up, and then did mile repeats around the triangle by the Bengals stadium.  I felt as if I could push faster, but I really enjoy the company of the group, so I stuck with them.  After, we had a beer + pizza happy hour (pictured above).  6.6 miles on a Tuesday?   2nd beer earned!

Wednesday
‘s workout doesn’t leave much to say.  I had a Greater Cincinnati Dietetics Association event after work so the only time to squeeze in a run was 5am.  Ooof!  I got 3 quick and easy miles in and was definitely glad I did.  The event was totally worth the early wakeup call.  The speaker was the Cincinnati Reds RD, Michelle Macedonio, who is well known for her work in sports dietetics.  It was a great lecture!

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Thursday, my work friend and I hit up 6am CrossFit.  Never any regrets from these early morning workouts!  This one was tough.  I was definitely feeling it later.  We even worked on deadlifts again, and guess what?!  My form definitely improved because my back is not sore this morning.  🙂

Today, the plan is to put off my run as long as possible before I have to head off to work.  I wanna make sure I get to enjoy some of that 50 degree weather!  For breakfast, I ate one of these No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars with some fruit.  It’ll make some great pre-run fuel!  Tomorrow is my long run, but since it’s a down week, we only have 9 miles on the agenda.  Plus, I can’t wait for the predicted sunshine 🙂

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Who else plans to spend some time outside this weekend?  Tell me!

 

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