Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pumpkin Parties... & A Beach Bonanza


I'm actually not sure if that title makes any sense? Oh well, it's my blog.

Anyone who already follows me on Twitter or Instagram may already know this, but I have a confession to make. I have pumpkin fever.

what's that? i've used this picture before? i know.
Today consisted of pumpkin oatmeal for breakfast as well as a pumpkin smoothie as an afternoon snack. The day before started with some banana pumpkin overnight oats.

AND, because I’m a lover not a hater, I’m going to share how to make it:


Pumpkin-Banana-Dark Chocolate Overnight Oats:
The night before, combine the following:
-1/2 cup of rolled oats (or however much you want)
-1/2 cup of pumpkin
-1/2 or 1 full banana
-cinnamon
-squirt of honey (however much sweetness you enjoy)
(optional: chunks of dark chocolate, flax, chia seeds, dash of vanilla extract)

Mix/smash all in bowl with enough milk of choice (I use almond milk) to cover the ingredients. Let soak overnight. Enjoy in the morning!

For a warm version, basically combine the same ingredients in the morning and heat that puppy up for about 2 minutes in the microwave. Voila! So good, I was literally licking the spoon in the parking lot before walking into work.



OHHH, you're sick of these weird self-portraits of myself? Lately, have you found yourself thinking:


That's unfortunate, because I'm not going to stop.

On to more exciting things: Labor Day Weekend!

Late tonight, three starry-eyed Colorado babes who I like to refer to as my wolf pack will arrive at BWI Airport. I do believe I’ve mentioned them before but just in case you wanted another visual… here’s an example of our semi-daily roll call, where we literally stop whatever we are doing and send out a pic of ourselves in that very moment to our on-going group text. Because that’s how long distance friendships operate, right?

Kar

Les
Sarah

and of course, me. 
Following my killer fabulicious 18 mile run tomorrow morning, we are headed to Bethany Beach along with Andrew and a group of his hooligan friends. We rented a house, and plan to do very little aside from lounge, soak up some sun, play in the ocean, catch up on life, grill… enjoy some beverages… you know the deal. Just an All-American weekend.

Hope your Labor Day weekend is absolutely fantastic, take some time for yourself, whatever that may look like!

Cheers!




Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It Returns

It's been a few weeks (three to be exact) since writing a Weird Wednesday post. That's too long, if you ask me.

But first, I have a story. Only because I always feel it's necessary to share my failures just as often as I share my successes. So real quick, let's talk about my date with the track last night.

tweet prior to run.

My assignment was to run six 800's (half miles), each around 2:50-2:55, with a slow 400 in between each 800.

I didn't think it would be an issue, I even made it sound like NBD in yesterday's post, as well as on Twitter.


Oh, it most definitely was NOT NBD. The results are as follows:

3:14
3:04
2:59
3:08
3:04
2:58

and I almost died fighting for those times under 3 mins. died.


oh kait, you look so sad. and tired. that's because i am.
Oh well, I suppose without failure there wouldn't be success. Or anything to work towards.

On to a little weirdness. just a little bit.

I really like cleaning my car. It's possibly one of my favorite things to do, and it's typically on my weekly to-do list.

her name is Shannon in case you were wondering.
Speaking of to-do lists, that's another one of my favorite past-times. I would say, on average, I have about 4-5 lists going on a daily basis. Is that weird?


blurred out, of course. because that's my business, not yours.
I also enjoy spending massive amounts of time making playlists. Music is a huge passion of mine, as you can see from my iTunes library...

you read that correctly. 4686 songs and counting.


I've been told, by multiple people, that my playlist making ability is a gift. I can't really argue that. However, if I told you the amount of time that I just spent making playlists for the beach this weekend, I'm pretty confident you would think less of me.

not 1, but 2 playlists.

"Kait, you didn't tell us you are going to the beach this weekend!" Patience my friends, patience. The time will come for my beach story.

Anyone else love playlists/making lists/cleaning their car? Please, share a (weird) little passion you may have.

Cheers!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Turning the Corner


Is anyone else absolutely blown away by the fact that September is right around the corner?  IT’S THIS SATURDAY!

I’ve never been one to go by official dates when it comes to the seasons. I know that there is an ‘official day’ that fall begins on, etc., but in my mind, September = fall. Something I am very excited about.

Last Fall in Vail
What am I excited about? 
  • Football games
  • Crisp cool days, coinciding with long runs
  • Changing leaves
  • Fall brews
  • Bowls of chili
  • Wearing sweats any time I’m not at work… the list goes on and on.

Maryland football!!!

my daily attire.
pretty leaves.
I'm so excited, in fact, I’m going to share my most recent smoothie recipe with you guys. I whipped this bad boy up on Saturday afternoon, and it hit the spot. Hard.

-1 bannana
-1/2 cucumber
-1 kiwi
-1/2 apple
-splash of lime juice
-splash of tart cherry concentrate



As you can see, I proceeded to eat the other half of the apple with peanut butter. One of my favorite combos ever.

Another exciting development: I hit my #plankaday goal last night. Actually topped it – check it out!


Hope everyone is having a splendid Tuesday. I’m off to run the following on the track:

2 mile warm-up
6 x 800 (2:50 pace)
400 between each 800
Couple miles cool down.

Holllaaaaaaa – cheers!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Keeping Pace

Remember that one post, where I talked about having trouble slowing down?

Well today during the 10 mile race that I ran with Andrew, I realized that concept applies to running {at times} as well.

But before diving into that issue, let me give you all a quick race recap. Because I know you're just dying for one.

on the way to the race, 6 AM
Side note, check out how nicely my collection is coming along. It's the only reason I actually run races. (kidding)



The Annapolis 10 Miler was an out and back course, starting and ending in the Naval Academy Football Stadium, which was pretty neat. The course took you over a couple of the bridges throughout the city, one which had a pretty brutal incline.

My goal for the race was to stay with Andrew, and keep a good pace. Although he refused to set any other goal aside from finishing and getting the zip-up shirt (this was his longest race to date), I had in the back of my head to stay under a 9 minute pace which would bring us across the finish line under 90 minutes.

the zip-up race shirts we got, which also match my shoes. had to show you guys. you're welcome.
Our final time? 1:29:56. With some encouragement from me, we both hauled ass the last 200 meters or so, resulting in a fantastic finish and even some dry heaving from Andrew afterwards. I'm super, super proud of him, he absolutely rocked it.


The course was hilly, and it down-poured on us the first 2-3 miles. And when I say downpour, I mean put your head down and blindly run, shirt sopping wet kind of run. Similar to the weather that we drove to the race in.



All in all, we both agreed that we really enjoyed the race, that it was a good experience.... and that we probably wouldn't run a race together again, for awhile at least. And when I say together, I mean like side by side.

Andrew enjoys running races simply to run, and to challenge himself. I enjoy races to compete. Every woman that I see ahead of me, I want to pass. And with every single woman that passed me along the route this morning, a small piece of my soul died.

However, on paper today was just another training run en route to 26.2 in New York (I had 6 more miles to complete after the race) and the pace that Andrew ran was actually pretty close to being on par with what I should be doing my long runs in. Moral of the story? It's ok to slow down, sometimes. Even when it comes to running.


And now? Now I'm sitting here trying to warm my cold, wet feet up, writing to you people and baking pumpkin bread. Very, very solid Sunday evening.

Anyone else run any races today, or go for a rainy run in general? How was everyone's weekend?

Cheers!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

In Limbo

Late August always puts me in a very strange mood. It's definitely the end of summer.. with hints of fall. Fall is definitely one of, if not my favorite season of the four. Yet it's always bittersweet to say goodbye to summer, no matter how hot it's been.

couldn't resist another CO pic
Fall always reminds me of my college days, being a college athlete, and living the life in a house full of best friends.



that's me, hanging on the BU sign. miss you girls.

I honestly feel like the slow weather change is contributing to my weird, moodiness. I feel super "in limbo."

Because of that, runs have been alright, not great. I'm honestly not going to sweat it too much until we hit September, which will be about two months out from NYC.

Remember in my August Goals post when I ran my mouth about wanting to do a 5 min. plank? My best plank so far looks like this:

fail.
So, to quickly revise that goal with about a week left in August, I'm going to cut it in half and make it 2:30. Talk about overestimating.

If I recall correctly, I also joined the Run to the Finish Clean Eating Challenge. Now I didn't have super high hopes for this, knowing we had a 10 day trip planned. But even after getting back this week it's been a bit of a struggle, especially since I tend to make food one of my best friends when I'm sad.

I may or may not have stuffed a cupcake down my throat in the midst of a panic attack at work on Thursday.

I will say, I'm proud that my Friday Treat to myself at lunch yesterday was a Chipotle Salad. That's pretty clean, right?

yum.
 Another high point of yesterday was the fact that although I considered, I did not eat the rest of the guacamole out of the little cup, with my fingers. I used a spoon instead.


my tweet yesterday
So there's some more thoughts and emotions for ya. And if you think these sentimental, gooey posts are exhausting, imagine how my boyfriend feels.

Speaking of him, we are running the Annapolis 10 Mile race together tomorrow. That will be the longest distance he has ever run, so shoot him some love, or leave him some below for encouragement. I'll relay it on.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, I'll leave you with some awesomeness that I stumbled upon on Pinterest last night. Because only the cool kids go to bed at 10 on Friday nights.


Cheers!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Confessions

It's been a hard week.

I had every intention to write a post today about general updates. About the new shoes I've been slowly transitioning into running in, about the beautiful wedding I was part of this past weekend, and about the crazy fartlek run I did earlier this week.




the run actually required two watches.
Possibly even something about the new Taylor Swift song that I love.

Lucky for you guys, I'm pretty adamant about being honest on here. So I will confess....

Today was shit. One of the worst days I've had for quite awhile. It was a combination of a lot of things really, most that I don't even feel like reflecting upon.

For one, I hit a pretty yellow bird with my car, that's currently still stuck under the hood, feathers sticking out.

I feel so thrown off that I don't even feel like going for a run. In attempt to cheer myself up, I stopped at Target on the way home from work and bought a few necessities, along with some fall things to make me happy:


I somehow refrained from buying this:



I'll say it again; it's been a hard week. I haven't felt great physically, work has been insane and in general I just feel incredibly lonely.

So there's some truth for all of you. I just wanted to keep you all in the loop as to why I've been on the quiet(er) side. Hoping to bounce back and have a great weekend, tomorrow is Friday after all.

Cheers!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Aftermath

I have trouble slowing down.


I’m typically not one for naps, and I almost constantly have a list of 10-15 things that I need to get done each day.

Not this past week.
The Rocky Mountains have a reputation for melting my heart. If I told you that while doing my 14 mile run last weekend in the heart of the mountains, that tears of joy welled up in my eyes…would you believe me?

Because that’s the truth. I’m pretty sure I had a half grin on my face most of the run, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. My lungs burning from the altitude, but my body slowly recalling why it is that I love this sport in the first place. Back in the place where my running love initially bloomed.

There’s just something about the mountains. Waking up not to an alarm, but to silence. Starting your day as slowly as you see fit, on the porch, coffee in hand, staring face to face with God’s beautiful creation.


I believe that nothing rivals that.

Not having an agenda, taking naps at will and getting more fresh mountain air than you could ever bargain for.  


Paddling down miles of Class 3 Rapids and not feeling fear, but a combination of exhaustion and elation. Finishing the day with sunburnt cheeks, and a cold beer in hand. Spending three plus hours hiking up to an elevation of over 12,000 feet and sucking air like it’s your job, yet standing in awe of the miles of mountains laid out before you at the top.

the three brothers, youngest to oldest by coincidence. And of course Lori :)



When I originally wrote this post, wrapped in a blanket on the front porch of the cabin, letting the coolness of the morning envelope me (something I had not felt in months) humming birds were zipping to and from the nearby flowers to grab some nectar. And I couldn’t hear anything but the faint sound of cars, and the chirping birds and chipmunks.

I would say that the week in general made me want to chirp along. Because it’s days like I just described, sacred places like that which remind me how necessary it is to slow down. To listen, to smile. To think, reflect and be so darn thankful.

me and my main man. 12,200 feet.

Yet as of now, it's a week later and I’m back on the East Coast. And I can say that I'm glad to be back. 9 days is a long time to travel, and although we made some awesome memories, I was more than ready to get back into a routine.



More thoughts later.  For now, Cheers!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tying the Knot


One of my favorite things to do is to look back to when a friendship first started. The first day of school, summer camp, at a new internship...

Danielle, the sis and myself.
I first met Danielle right around 5 years of age. My family had recently moved to a new neighborhood, and I was desperately on the hunt for some friends. When my young eyes spotted another brown haired girl moving into the house across the street, I may have peed my pants from excitement.



We became instant pals, sharing more memories than I can write on here.  And, as I’ve mentioned before, I am so blessed to say that almost 20 years later, our friendship stands strong.

I am so honored to have been asked to stand up on the altar today as a bridesmaid as Danielle and Jeff say “I do.” I can’t think of a more romantic, beautiful celebration than marrying your best friend, and I wish them nothing but happily ever after for years and years to come.

the lovebirds.
It will happen in real life tonight, in the heart of the greatest city in the world (the Chi) but for now I will virtually raise my glass and propose a toast to the beautiful bride and groom. To Danielle and Jeff –

Cheers!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bria.

So last week Kait asked me to write a guest blog post for her. My immediate response was, "No, I have nothing to write about." Next thing I know she texts me the following:





So just because she's coming into town this weekend and I don't want her to be pouty with me, here it goes.

I am the younger, less fit, more rowdy version of Kait. Yes, I run. No, I do not have the same level of obsession. I ran my first half marathon back in April with a time of 1:56. Not to shabby considering it was smack dab in the middle of my senior year at the University of Illinois. 

Which consisted of a lot of this:

and these:

donut burgers....
Clearly offsetting a potentially healthy lifestyle with an extremely unhealthy one. 

Now, as a depressed recent grad living at home I don't run nearly as much as I should. This is because 

A) while not at work I spend the majority of my time commuting on the Metra and 

B) my only workout buddy in Crystal Lake is my mother who has brainwashed me into thinking nightly walks with her are an ample amount of exercise. I don't hate it one bit. 

Rewind to the fact that I spend the MAJORITY of my free time on the Metra everyday. I found myself depressed reading [keeping off the lbs post] and realizing that I was probably getting thicker by the minute due to sitting on my ass all day at work/Metra. 

THEN Kait quoted that some study say that sitting is now comparable to smoking? No thanks. So then I was like "hey! maybe I'll start small and try this healthy lifestyle thing again now that the college days have come and gone!!". Wait what? The Metra is too poor to have workout cars?! Weird. Okay, I will just stand instead of sit the hour long train ride and call it a success. 

So since June I have been that awkward girl who stands in between cars where people exit and enter the train. Better than nothing right? Until...

I was minding my own business the other day in my little nook when some 40-something man was like, "girl, no way you want to stand in this area, we call it the drunk cab." I ignored the stranger, as my mother always taught me to do, put on my headphones and blasted some Three Dog Night, naturally. 

Sooner rather than later I am sharing a Miller Light 6-pack with a nice 20-something, exchanging movie reviews with a 40-something chugging wine, and discussing property in Wicker Park with a 60-something drinking a Whiskey Coke. Did the drunk cab initiate me as one of their own? Maybe. It is a beautiful place on the 5:16 NW line, 3 entrances down from the front, where a fabulous daily drinking gathering takes place. Some of the crew has been riding the Metra over 30 YEARS - with wonderful stories to share.

 I [usually] still stand daily, but I feel as if something is now hindering it from being classified as a healthy lifestyle activity.



Whelp, I tried. 

Can't wait to pour lots of calories down Kait's throat this weekend!!

Cheers, 
Bria