Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wanted: East Coast Hobbies

I wasn’t feeling even the slightest bit weird yesterday to write a Weird Wednesday Post.
 Not even a little bit.

My day started with a half-assed workout at the gym… a slow, dragging day at work… and a run that fell into that same category as the rest of my day.

Word of the day for yesterday? Blah. It was a very stagnant day.

sad kait.
 However I must say that yesterday evening was splendid. Andrew and I headed down to Annapolis to have dinner with his mom who is in visiting from Colorado. His aunt and uncle directed us to an awesome restaurant called Levels in downtown Annapolis, where we indulged in some kind of amazing cucumber gin & tonic type drink to start, that had egg white foam on top, or so I’m told?

Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

However, seeing that Annapolis is not necessarily a quick drive for us, last night resulted in a much later than normal bedtime, which has resulted in a tired Kait today. So tired in fact, that I nearly teared up when seeing this picture on Facebook this morning:

Mary Jane, Winter Park
The mountains are starting to get snow.

It was around this time of the year, two years ago, when Andrew and I bought our season passes for skiing. When we would start planning days to play hooky take off from work to spend a day shredding powder up in the mountains…  get back to Fort Collins in the evenings, exhausted and still de-thawing, and I would lay in front of the fireplace and eat pizza.

he may not want his face on here, but dammit i will show his skis. 
I can’t let myself reminisce too much about that time period or I will literally become depressed. So, what winter hobby can I find out here on the East Coast to look forward too? (and please don’t tell me skiing, because although I’m willing to try the Apps out here, nothing will beat out my beautiful Rockies)

Ice Fishing?
All ideas welcome.

In other news, I got a gig writing for the Examiner online. I don’t really know how to explain what it is… but to quote the website:

" is the inside source for everything local. We are powered by Examiners, the largest pool of passionate contributors in the world."

So apparently I’m now one of those 'contributors', labeled the “Baltimore Healthy Living Examiner”. You can check it out here.

I have a quick, killer track workout on tap after work, followed by a Barre Fusion class  with a coworker. Then bed, then Friday! HURRAY!!!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Bad Samples, Good Weekend

I had every intention of writing a new post yesterday. And then laziness set in... and I sat. And watched football. And ate. And stretched. And watched more football.

I wore this ensemble all day long, including errand-running. 

 Overall, solid weekend. Uneventful, not exceptionally productive but solid.

I made a trip to a local apple orchard with my roommate, where I managed to get a variety of things that made me unreasonably excited. For example:

Which I slathered onto a slice of pumpkin bread this morning. DOUBLE PUMPKIN GREATNESS.

I also got three mini pumpkins, one which I gave to Andrew, and two which now sit in my room.

Let’s see, what else…

I knocked out 20 miles on Sunday, which actually went pretty well. It was a cool morning, and an old man complimented me on my ‘cool green socks’. Believe me, at mile 16 I’ll take any compliment I can get. 

Since the Philly Half my coach Amanda has lowered my long-run pace to the 8:20-8:30 range, so like an obedient student I managed to hold a steady 8:24 pace… in contrast to my 8:40’s the past couple few weeks. By the time I got home from the run it was already 11:30, and time to go to Costco.


Cliff note: typically I’m able to literally feed myself lunch from Costco samples alone. Sadly, yesterday the sample people really let me down, and Andrew and I left having to immediately tear into the massive bag of veggie straws that he bought. Bad samples literally have the ability to ruin my day. Thank goodness for veggie straws.

I also bought this:

That, my friends, is 10 lbs of oatmeal. Which will hopefully get me through the winter. Maybe?

And here we are, Monday afternoon.  My left hip is strangely sore, which of course calls for some foam rolling tonight... maybe even the hot tub?

With New York only 6 weeks out, I plan to be overly proactive with injury prevention. This means foam rolling, foot stretching, heating/icing, etc. Yet Just to be clear, it DOES NOT mean omitting froyo from my diet. Not possible.

Last but certainly not least, congrats to a dear friend of mine, Miss Hode, for a massive marathon PR this weekend out in Omaha- You rock!

I'll leave you with this my friends. And don't forget it.


Friday, September 21, 2012

The Fall of Summer

Clever title huh? Thank you, thank you.

With the 'official' start of autumn - AKA Autumnal Equinox - being tomorrow, I've been doing a little bit of reflecting on the summer.

What's that Kait?! You've been doing other things outside of making pumpkin foods? Shocking, I know.

Saying goodbye to summer weather has not/is not going to be hard at all for me. Let me reemphasize - NOT HARD AT ALL. I can't tell you how pumped I am to go run and not sweat out every fluid in my body. Yet although the weather was stifling for most of the past few months, and I would have rather lived in a greenhouse than be outside that’s not to say I didn’t collect some awesome memories and firsts along the way.

Let’s discuss a few, shall we? Some of my summer ‘firsts’, in review:

- The first time training through an extremely hot, humid summer. Don't get me wrong, it got hot out in Colorado, but I would say the humidity has been a significant game changer. So much in fact, that I would compare training through East Coast humidity to training at altitude out in CO.

- I was a bridesmaid, for the first time ever. Actually I think I was a junior bridesmaid once, but this was my first time being a full blown, grown-up bridesmaid. Although I by no means acted grown- up:

wave your flip flops and run around barefoot at the reception. good call kait. 
-I ran my first 10 mile race; I had never ran that distance before Annapolis. I also ran my first sub 90 minute half marathon, as you all know if you have read within the past week. If you haven't shame on you. Kidding, kidding.

-I'm going to contribute part of that PR to having a running coach for the first time.. and therefore running track workouts/intervals for the first time. Ever. In my life.

really my shadow, i promise.

- I tried fresh crabs for the first time ever when my mom and sister were out to visit, attempting to embrace Maryland culture. I didn't love them, I didn't hate them. Whatever. Long hair.

my face while eating the crabs.
-I also tried an 'orange crush' for the first time... apparently these crush drinks are an East Coast thing, I had never heard of them before. Essentially just fresh squeezed oranges and vodka. I liked it more than I liked the crabs.

- Hmmm let's see.. I went to a PGA tournament for the first time ever. Saw Mr. Woods win the whole thing. Cool stuff.

-Lastly, and perhaps most importantly. I believe it is safe to say that I may be slowly conquering my phobia of dancing. I danced a lot within the month of August and September, and I slowly may be finding my groove again. Even if it sucks.

Sucky groove > No groove.

dancing at Bethany Beach with a great hat I found on the wall. 

dancing at the wedding with the sis. love the passion.
Things are certainly looking up. TTFN summer, it's been fun. But I've got a hot date with fall. And when I say hot, I mean cold.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Big Foot

Disclaimer: If you are not a feet person, and images of perfectly normal feet gross you out then it’s recommended that you stop reading.

Did I ever tell you guys that my first love was soccer? I played from about the age of 5 up through my freshman year of high school.
Rocking the soccer uniforms
Due to my growth spurt in late elementary school, not only was I tall, but I had pretty big long feet. Still do actually. And somewhere along the course of my soccer career and growth spurt… I developed the nickname ‘Big Foot.’

I actually forgot about it until this past weekend, while running the race.

Do these socks/shoes make my feet look big? I mean, I am a size 10.5… but do they look extra big? Or am I just being weird?

Two guys approached me shortly after crossing the finishing line and started talking with me about the race, saying that they “Remembered me passing them around mile 10 with my crazy bright shoes.”

Side note – this was my first time ever wearing compression socks. I literally bought them last Wednesday, and pulled them on Sunday morning trusting that I was going to like them. I did. They rock. Officially a compression sock convert.

i realized this picture is not mine. just needed a visual for you guys. 
Anyways, back on topic. It’s not like I’m particularly self-conscious of my big feet anymore… it’s a part of me I’ve come to embrace, along with my hairier than normal arms. I actually realized while brainstorming for this post that I’m a pretty big fan of my feet; I’ve posted enough pictures of them on instagram to wallpaper my bedroom.

just to list off a few...

Weird random thought #2 – Does anyone else name their alarms on their iphones? I just did it last night, and had an immense amount of fun doing so.

find the typo
Weird random fact of the day – these flowers were on the counter in my gym’s locker room while I was getting ready for work this morning. And they made me so happy. Just a beautiful, fall bouquet.

The end. Anyone else have a love/hate relationship with their feet? Or their alarms?


Monday, September 17, 2012

Philly Half Recap

The week before big races, I normally get this intense wave of competiveness come over me. Not surprising as I've always been an athlete, and I've always loved competition. But as a runner, I've found it hard to harness and direct my competitiveness.

let's just say I have way more leg muscles than arm muscles
I find myself talking sh*t in my head to myself, about how I'm going to dominate the course, so on and so forth, and often feel stupid afterwards... as it is after all, a course... a route through paved streets... a thing, not a person. Does it make sense to be competitive with a thing?

So then I find myself getting all worked up over the other females I'll be racing against. Every woman that I saw at our hotel I assumed to be an enemy, and much faster than myself. But really, enemy isn't the right wording, and certainly isn't true. Because the other women I'm racing against are just as much my fellow comrades, running the same race that I am.

at the expo
I realized this when I crossed the finish line neck and neck with a girl who I had stayed with almost the entire 13.1... and she immediately turned around, shook my hand and congratulated me on a race well run.

And that it was:

for the record, that's also a 10k PR

My goal was to PR. I managed that by about 4 minutes. My in-the-moment race goal come mile 5 or 6 was to continue holding the absurd sub-7 minute pace that I've never managed to hold for more than a couple miles in a row.


I still don't know how I managed such a solid race, I'm serious. This is coming from the girl who can't hold a pace to save her life.

 Let's just say that the stars aligned.

The course was as flat as flat comes... flatter than my chest, excuse the term. The weather was the definition of perfect.

6 AM, race day. 55 degrees.
And of course, I have to give credit to my boy. Race morning for me is typically one of extreme nerves, and racing thoughts. But with Andrew cracking jokes almost the entire walk to the starting line, I didn't really have time to give the race much of a thought...

Me: "So what's your goal for the race?"
Andrew: "To win the first mile. And then find someone to draft off of for the next 12."

gotta love him.

In all seriousness, I have to give him mad props for killing his first ever half marathon, coming in at 1:52. For the low amount of miles that he trained, I was super impressed. And even more pumped that he enjoyed it.

However, I have a sneaking suspicion he may have enjoyed the decadent, authentic Philly Chessesteak that we had post-race even more. I may have too. It was pretty amazing.

no words.
All in all, Philadelphia treated us well. And I walked away from the race realizing that it isn't necessarily the race, or the people in the race who I am competing against... that really it's myself. Every day, no matter what form my workout takes, I'm competing against myself and pushing my own limits, with a strong healthy body that I am super blessed to have.

Anyone else race this weekend? Or even better... has anyone else ever had a REAL Philly Cheesesteak? Those things are mind blowing.

Hope your Monday treated you well, cheers!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Fit in the Fall - Guest Post

So when Kait asked me to write a guest post this weekend, I was PUMPED! I read the blog religiously and honestly, we have a ton in common. We are kindred spirits in so many ways.

For example, we both have excellent fashion sense….


And we both love to run!

Sadly, I am not built to run, at all. I have to fight my build (daughter of a man who blocks out the sun and looks like The Fridge), crappy joints and rowing background (great way to add bulk, not so much speed). Another difference between my girl Kait and I, is that I do NOT have a natural passion for the healthiest of foods. I enjoy eating healthily and being in shape, but I do so because I love how it makes me feel. There have been weeks where I’ve thought, screw this I am dominating some pizza, oreos and peanut butter.

We also share a obsession with Fall! The cool crisp days that allow me to trapse around in jeans and my favorite MSU hoodie while picking apples and chugging apple cider? Running past trees losing leaves and not in 80% humidity? *sigh* I’m in love.

I’ve also noticed, however, that once the leaves start to change, my healthy diet becomes undoubtedly harder to stick by. Between tailgates and pumpkin spice lattes, I tend to start slipping slowly but surely. I’ve learned to cut myself some slack, and look up “skinny” versions of my favorite recipes!

Let’s be real, I will not give up my buffalo chicken dip or pumpkin flavored everything. I think I would become depressed if I sat down to kale chips and spinach while watching my Spartans blow out everyone else in the Big Ten. It’s just not the same!

So instead of sacrifice my waistline entirely (and only fit into sweatpants my boyfriend owns by November 1st) I search to the ends of the internet for healthier versions of my favorite treats, or trick myself into eating veggies at half time. Pinterest is a great place to start, and move onto google if necessary. It’s my little attempt at sanity, and not wanting to look like Charlie Weis come Christmas (not so jolly Santa Claus).

I hope this inspired a few people to look for delicious recipes, and I also hope/know that Kait and Andrew will straight whoop butt in the race this weekend!

So I leave you, clearly missing Kait’s witty(er) repartee, with one of my favorite game day noms. Enjoy, Bear Down and Go Green!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sweatpants Swag

It’s really not any big secret that I’m no fashion guru. In fact I consider myself to be about as far from a “fashionista” as you can get. If you’ve been reading this blog in hopes of seeing me post pictures of cute outfits I buy/wear and my favorite stores to shop at, I’ll save you some time and tell you to stop reading right about… now.

I’m not bashing that interest/passion, don’t get me wrong. However, I did happen to stumble upon a hilarious post today poking a bit of fun at the topic, if you’re interested.

As I’ve mentioned before I’m poor and the reality is, a new pair of running shoes or a new sports bra tend to make me a lot happier than a new pair of heels. That's just me - to each their own.

And since we are currently in a taper week and I have nothing to report, it is a Wednesday, and the Bears play the Packers tomorrow… here’s what I shall present you with.

My all-time favorite clothes that I currently own.

Exhibit A. 

Possibly one of the oldest of my t-shirts still standing, I stole borrowed this t-shirt from the lost and found at a club volleyball tournament back at the prime age of 16, and forgot to return it. Why do I love it? Not only because it makes people think that I’m from the modest city of Laguna Beach, but because over the years of wear and tear it has turned into that perfect, soft kind of fabric. Do you know what I mean?

The holes in the armpit only add character.

Exhibit B

So when I went on that rant about fall, and said that I wear sweats ANY CHANCE POSSIBLE, I meant it.

These gems were given to me during my first ever collegiate volleyball season – fall of 2006.  To find sweats long enough for this 5’11’’ crazy is hard enough, but to find ones that are comfortable, and I love? Hallelujah. I will literally wear these pants to shreds.

I’m pretty confident Andrew has problems with me wearing them in public. I’m also confident he has tried to hide them from me a couple times now.

I’ve worn them to parties, out on errands, and to bed at night. If these pants were a human, they would be one of my best friends. Have I made my point?

 Don't mind me, just doing the macarena in my fav pants, balla style.

Last but not least, one of my most prized possessions:

 This has been hanging on my door since I took it off on Sunday night. And it will hang there until tomorrow after work, when I put it back on and cheer those Bad News Bears to another victory against the unmentionables… (cough cough) Packers.

Don’t even get me started on a rant about my feelings on the Packers.

Do any of you guys have favorite clothes – sweats or non-sweats – that you have a special attachment to? Or am I the only weird one raving about non-designer clothes? 

Cheers to an epic football game tomorrow night!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Taper Weeks Are Boring

Today marks the start of a ‘taper week’ as I have the Philly Half this upcoming Sunday.

Want to know a secret? I hate tapering. It’s very, very hard for me to taper. Especially when my legs are feeling as great as there are. However, I will obey and go to the gym tonight and do a spin class instead of pounding the pavement. Maybe I’ll even pump some iron if I’m feeling precarious.(great word usage kait)

I have a rant all ready in regards to my race this coming weekend, but I think I’m going to save that for later this week. I have some other things to address first.

1. The Bears dominated last night. My good luck sunglasses clearly did the trick.

      2. On Saturday evening, post-long run, Andrew treated me to a pizza dinner at Unos. While we were walking in, a storm had recently gone through and the sky was doing crazy cool things. 

i promise i did not photoshop these pictures.

           3. Also on Saturday, I tried to make a Mighty Chocolate Stuft Microwave Muffin from Stuft Mama’s Blog (have I mention I LOVE her recipes) and had a bit of a fail…

clearly I need a bigger mug.
  However, I did manage to salvage what stayed within the mug, and let me tell you - it was scrumptious.

And last, but not least… what I’ve been promising you guys…. Duh duh DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Almond Pumpkin Smoothie:
-1 banana 
-1/2 cup van. yogurt - greek yogurt or regular
- 1/2 cup pumpkin (I used a bit more, but I'm a huge pumpkin fan)
- 1 heaping TB of almond butter - this is key.
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- splash of vanilla abstract
- 1/2 cup milk of choice - or more depending on how thick you prefer
-Ice to thicken it up
- handful of chia seeds (also thickens it up)
-flax seed
-sweeter (I've used maple syrup or agave nectar)

Throw it all in a blender, and enjoy!

Hope you guys aren't pumpkin-ed out yet, because I just bought a HUGE can this past weekend. Fall is just getting started people.

However, another great fall food I love are cranberries - maybe I'll dabble in that next. Hope everyone has a fantastic week.. anyone have anything awesome on tap?