Friday, May 31, 2013

Hello Humid

Well hello there humid, I missed you...

It's been a pretty heated week here in Maryland, with temps breaking 90 every day since I've been back from CO. This weekend also marked my first 90+ degree runs of the year, something I was oddly excited about...

sweaty kait = happy kait

Do you want to know a secret? Sometimes, on my way home from Trader Joe's when I'm particularly hungry, I will eat my produce without washing it. Exhibit A:


Oh Kait that's so bad, blah blah blah there could be pesticides on it blah blah blahhhhhh. Save it. We're all gonna die of something, if it's because I didn't wash my strawberries because I was hungry, so be it.

It's been a pretty solid week as far as food goes, as I've made efforts to keep it pretty clean post-Colorado craziness. Of course I snapped some oat pics for ya'll, in case you're looking for some new summer oatmeal ideas...

Peanut butter pear oatmeal:

I've made this in smoothie form before as well...
 Overnight mixed berry almond oats:


The berry oats could have used a splash of agave or maybe even vanilla... both were quite appetizing. 
#Oats4Lyfe

What was the last thing I wanted to write about today.... OH YEAH. So every year the ACSM American Fitness Index releases a list of the 'Healthiest Cities' in America. This year got me pretty pumped because not only is my favorite place ever - Denver - ranked #5, and another favorite - Boston - ranked #6... but my soon to be city of residence, Baltimore, slide in with an impressive #17 out of 50 cities ranked. Holllaaaaa.



I'm moving there in 2 weeks. We have a rooftop deck. It gon' be siiiiiiick.

That's all I got peeps. Go do something, it's F-R-I-D-A-Y. I'm off to an O's game... fingers crossed for a beach day tomorrow. 

Cheers!


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

3:15


3:15 AM.

The time we finally landed in Denver this past Friday morning to start off our weekend. The same time we left Fort Collins for the airport this Tuesday morning to fly back to Baltimore, and end our weekend. Our Thursday night 5 hour flight delay out was super brutal  but lucky for us we had this little dog to entertain for awhile...



Weekends like this always wreck me. Not because of the pounds of pizza and froyo and beers and wings – I mean sure, those physically ruin me for a week or so. But I’m talking emotionally.

I’ve realized, more over the past year and a half just how important a present community is to me. Like probably top 5 things in my life kind of important. And I don't think community necessary equates out to just the word friends, although friends are awesome don’t get me wrong. I'm talking community. Your crew, who puts their arms around you and are like no matter what stupid ass crap you decide to pull, they are going to call you stupid but still love the heck out of you.





Side note: this trail we ran in Fort Collins will continue to forever and always break my heart


I have a lot going on in life right now, in a couple of different areas. And if we are being straight up honest, I've found myself saying over the past couple months... maybe I don’t want to write on here anymore? Posts lately have felt a little bit flat, a little bit pointless. I’m not looking to waste anyone’s time, and I’m certainly not looking to waste my own.

Looking forward, I'm seeing some changes and trials coming up this next month or so, and to say I’m currently facing them with stark confidence would be a bold face lie. Don't make me a liar people. The problem is, until today my mindset was ‘Welp I’m just going to worry about it/figure it out/deal about it post-Memorial Day.'

Word on the street is, Memorial Day is over (hope yours was awesome as well). Last time I checked my calendar, June is three days away.

Holy hell.

I have to apologize, this post is bouncing all over the place. It's kind of how I want it - it’s a rant and it’s my emotions. It’s a blatant, unmasked combination of fear and joy. And as I stand here and pound away at my keyboard, I remember why I started writing in the first place. To share this crazy-ass journey with you guys.

the trail of my life.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m pumped for summer. Super pumped. I think it’s going to be chock-full of some straight up awesomeness. But I also foresee a couple handfuls of tears. So there’s your vague disclaimer.

Love you guys, thanks for listening.

Cheers!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Westward

Is Westward even a word? I'm not sure I care...

I realized lately that I haven’t been writing as much, and I couldn’t quite lay my finger on why. Then I realized this morning that in the midst of my busy couple weeks, I haven’t been taking as many pictures as I typically do. Pictures are what helps to remind me what I want to write about and tell you guys.

Shame on me.

To make up for it, I snapped some pictures at the gym this morning mid-workout.



I’m back up around 4 minute planks on my good days, which is nice. I strongly believe planks are a crucial part of core-work, and contribute greatly towards keeping a tight mid-section, if that's what you're looking for. I don’t really have any strong research to back this up, these are just my general feelings and observations of my own body.

Also, please check out my badass shot from the Warrior Dash that I stole:

Do not copy? Ok sorryyyyy
I’ve been running a lot on my lunch breaks. As long as it isn’t too hot, I don’t sweat much, and love being able to get in 3-4 miles mid-afternoon. It’s an awesome way to break up the day. Body spray post-run is usually necessary in order to not smell up the office...

Hey, quick question… did you know that we fly out to Colorado today? Also, did know that Monday AKA Memorial Day, is Andrew’s birthday? I got him the best birthday gift a crazy runner girl can give…





Yup, I got him a pair of Brook’s Cadences, the same beauts that I run in. Mutual Brooks love.

I had a little chat with Fort Collins and was like hey, can you give me the best weather ever this weekend? And Fort Collins was like well I love you a lot and miss having you around, so sure...



I wouldn’t expect to hear from me this weekend. It’s mountain/boyfriend/friend/family/Colorado time.

Hope you all have a fabulous weekend! Any Memorial Day plans?

Cheers to the red white & blue!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Warriors

Happy Monday! Wow did this weekend fly by. I honestly feel like I blinked and it was gone.

A couple of milestones this weekend for me. I know you’re DYING to hear them.

Saturday morning I hit my 7 mile goal that I have ever so slowly been working up towards. It took me just about an hour to complete… my Garmin wasn’t working great so I don’t have an official pace, but I would guess right around 8:30.


I took this on Saturday. Pretty huh?
Afterwards, I stretched it out, jumped in the shower, pulled on my cowboy boots and headed off to my first ever Preakness Stakes with the boy. I don’t have a particular affinity towards horse racing… I actually have zero interest if we are being bluntly honest. However two of my favorite artists – Florida Georgia Line (yes, again) and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were both playing that afternoon in the infield before the race itself.

So we said sure, why not? It was a good time – the infield is a crazzzzyyy atmosphere – but a lot of fun to be a part of.  We took a ton of hilarious pictures but since Andrew’s blog-shy, I’ll just share one of my favorite mug shots.


The third milestone of the weekend? Running my first ever ‘adventure’ type race. One of our good friends from college works for Red Frog Events, and flew out from Chicago to help put on the Maryland Warrior Dash. A chance to get super muddy and see an awesome friend? Duh.




We were the noon wave on Sunday, so the course was extra muddy and torn up. Just how I like it. So muddy in fact, that my shoe literally came off in the mud two times, and I lost a sock. I felt like a true warrior.

I took a second to glance at the finisher results last night out of curiosity and had to laugh when I saw that I finished 13th in my age group. All thanks to Andrew, who screamed at me to sprint up the final hill and pick up my measly jog.




I also had to laugh when I saw this on our drive home:

Chicken Necks. Yes.
Southern Maryland. Gotta love it.

Cheers to trying new things!

Friday, May 17, 2013

There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things


Happy Friday!

It’s a beautiful day here in Columbia Maryland. The sun is out and the flowers sure do seem to be happy...


 I snapped this on the way out of the gym this morning. I hit up my favorite Friday Morning spin class, followed by some weights. I kind of like lifting in the morning more since the weight room tends to be pretty empty.



Along with the sun and warmer temperatures comes the wonderful East Coast humidity that changed my life last summer. I was definitely feeling it last night after my run, and BELIEVE ME this is not me complaining. There’s never anything wrong with working up a nice sweat. Bring on summer.

Last night also entailed me crying for two hours over the Office Series finale. I wish I was exaggerating… but I would be lying if I said I was. Pretty sure there were tears in my eyes for at least 50% of the finale.



That might sound a bit absurd, crying over a television show? Maybe it is; that’s fine. And as a disclaimer, I’m not a huge TV girl at all. I actually sometimes resent watching too much TV, and loved my time spent in CO when my townhouse didn’t have cable at all. I strongly feel as a country we sit on our asses way too often, and excessive time in front of the tube detracts from so many beautiful areas of life. Don’t get me wrong, Andrew and I have our movie nights and all that jazz. But I guess I’ve just grown to believe that mindlessly sitting in front of the TV with your friends, or significant others takes away from real interactions and conversations that could be happening.

That’s my rant on T.V. But yes, I was and probably always will be an AVID Office fan, starting in the Fall of 2009 when I decided to bring myself up to speed on all of the seasons… just in time to bawl myself through Jim & Pam’s wedding.

WHY am I devoting almost an entire post to a television series? Hear me out.  In short, I feel like this was a real series. It had a point. It was funny, hysterical at times, but it just held so much freaking truth.  And it was about life. It made me want to live a real, hard, fought-for love like Jim and Pam.  And to hold on tightly to friendships like Phyllis and Stanley had.


The title of this post comes from my favorite quote from the finale last night, when Pam AKA Jenna Fischer eloquently summed up the show by simply saying:

“There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things...isn’t that the point?”

Amen sister. Beauty in what may seem like just a normal office job. Beauty in the flowers you walk by every day, and the relationships you hold, no matter how big or small. Stop and find that beauty.

Thanks to The Office for many beautiful years together. I have my doubts that a television series will ever hit the spot like this one. It was quite the ride.

That’s what she said.

Cheers :)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Memory Foam

Two things I want to talk about; two of my favorite things actually.

Running, and food.

Yes, I have a delicious recipe to share. I know, I've been slacking in that department.

I've been slacking at life in general, but hey May will do that to ya.

I did this on Sunday, and it was super encouraging:



My Garmin was pumped to be used again. Speaking of, I tied my ribbons on it from that Boston run that I did in Baltimore, to remind myself every time that I run never to take it for granted...

I like it.


I didn't think that I had sub-8's in me yet. I haven't been running many miles at all, and this past Sunday was the first time that I decided to push the pace a little bit. I'm happy to report that the run actually was actually semi-easy... and I definitely wanted to keep going.

It got me to thinking about out bodies, and how crazy they are. Once I found my stride everything kind of fell into place.. and my legs arms and lungs were all like, Oh Yeah I remember this, we used to do this all the time. Kind of like a memory-foam type effect.

On to the food? Thought so...



Trader Joe's did it again on Sunday. I grabbed a bag of red quinoa off the shelf and happened to glance at the back of the package.

Quinoa salad? Sounded simple enough. So I found the ingredients, mixed it all up, and literally fed myself for four days. Some days I added shrimp on top for a bit more substance.



Because I'm too lazy to type this all up:




























It truly was delicious and I have enjoyed it for lunch every day this week. Quinoa is high in protein so it helped me to stay full.

One last thing. My coworker made me aware of this organization last week, and it seems like a pretty great cause. Athletes Serving Athletes is based in the Baltimore area, and all about serving athletes of all shapes and sizes... and helping them reach their goals no matter what they may be. Check out their link here if you're interested....


That's all folks. Cheers to some good eats!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

For the girls

It isn't too often that the competitor inside of me is able to take a step back before a race and say, "Hey Kait, chill out."

Saturday morning, that happened at the Central Maryland Girls on the Run 5k. Because, although it was hard to wrap my athlete-crazed mind around, those 3.1 miles weren't about the times, or the places everyone finished in. It was about just accomplishing something awesome, and proving that it could be done.




About two months ago I wrote about how I became involved with Girls on the Run as an assistant coach. It's been a crazy, fun and challenging two months with our 3rd- 5th grade girls. They are awesome, full of energy and completely unfiltered.


It was so awesome to see them compete against themselves yesterday. In particular, I ran with Ana, a feisty ball of fire who immediately let me know that she "didn't like when people passed us." Our pacing shot back and forth from a dead on sprint to a shuffle of a jog, but that didn't matter. She did an awesome job, only walked twice, and came in right over the 27 minute mark.

"Hey Ana, run ahead of me and I'll take your picture!"

After the race called for breakfast at Eggspectations, which blew my mind as always...



Rain speckled the area yesterday, with some occasional sun making an appearance. Andrew and I went to the evening service for church, and met up with some friends for dinner afterwards. It was a solid Saturday.

In other news, apparently it's National Runner's Month? Sounds good to me, I'll celebrate that with 6 miles today. It's borderline inappropriate how excited I am to put on some good music and pound some pavement after I publish this bad boy.

Thanks for the heads up Dicks Sporting Goods.
And of course, this post wouldn't be complete without a shout out to my wonderful mother. She's amazing in so many ways, and I can't wait to see her again when I head home in June. Miss you mom!



Cheers to all the awesome moms out there!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thanks


I’ve been letting things get to me lately. Things small and large. It’s stupid, and the buck stops here.

Thankful things Thursday. My pretend friend Ali over at Ali On The Run does it often, and she has inspired me in so many different ways. So, Let’s get thankful people.

I’m thankful that today started off foggy as crap, and ended up sunny. Sun makes me so happy lately. I wished my office had a retractable roof on days like today


AM

PM

I’m thankful for my honest friends, who always say it like it is.


If I’m not mistaken, I believe I’ve referenced this before…. But I’m super thankful for dry shampoo. On days like today when my morning workout consists of a quick jaunt on the elliptical and minimal sweat, dry shampoo is the way to rock it. No shame here.



To avoid obsessive music babbling on here like I resorted to last week, I’ll keep this topic to the minimum. It was hard to pick a favorite, but I’m definitely thankful for Scotty McCreery’s new single, See You Tonight.

HIS VOICE. Enough said.

Let’s get materialist, for just one sec. I’m thankful for my new purse from Target. It was on sale for $8 people. Can you say deal?


Giraffe's make me feel thankful too: 


I’m thankful for my awesome boyfriend, who puts up with a lot from me. And when I text him in the mornings to ‘Have a good day!’… I typically get some kind of abnormal response such as this...



Apparently I’m a bird? A lucky bird at that. I haven’t yet mentioned this on here, but he’s peacing out this summer for a while. So of course he wanted to fly home to Colorado to see family and friends before he leaves. And of course he wanted to bring me along for the ride… and bought my plane ticket without hesitation, or even really discussing it.



Love him. Colorado-bound for memorial day weekend in two weeks. Can’t wait!

I think you should tell me something you’re thankful for. Ready, go.

Cheers!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Perfection

I've got to start off this post by giving a huge shout out to the perfect Maryland weather this weekend - without 3 consecutive days of 65 and sunny, my weekend would have been far less fun.

First Sun Sesh of the year!
Secondly, in order of importance, I just got back from running five miles. It felt so great. Not like, hey that was super easy kind of great. But hey, I am continuing to have more and more confidence in my foot, and it feels so good to be running again kind of great.

I wanted to push it and do six, but I think I'll save that for next weekend. I did push to hold an 8(ish) minute pace, and I stuck to it pretty well. 8 minute miles certainly don't come as easily as the did last September but hey, I'll get there again. My body knows how to do it, it's just a matter of re-training. Right?

As alluded to above, Andrew and I spent a large amount of time outdoors this past weekend. We did some frisbee golfing Friday evening, during which for some reason during it I felt super tired and kept whining and sitting down on the course. He loved that.


I think it's because I hadn't eaten enough protein that day? Maybe?

Late Saturday morning we headed down to Great Fall, Virginia, for some pretty beautiful hiking. The weather was once again awesome, and the trails that we hiked offer some grand scenes.



We also saw a large amount of caterpillars while out on the trail, which I hated, because I was convinced I was going to step on one. Andrew kept assuring me that half of the things I was pointing out weren't caterpillars, that they were centipedes, but I stuck to my guns and continued calling every bug we saw from there on out caterpillars.

Sounds about right, doesn't it?

Mr. Grillmaster threw some veggie burgers on the grill upon returning home, and I did the essential by whipping up some margaritas. We had an awesome dinner on the patio, enjoying the last of the warmth that the day had to offer.

Here we are, another Sunday. Another busy week ahead of me. I have this sneaking suspicion that May is going to fly by - the rest of our month is packed with activities and travels and shenanigans. Just how I like it. 

Any racers this weekend? I know there were a lot offered this weekend. I have a small 5k next Saturday with my Girls on the Run team that should be fun for all.

I'm off to throw some weights around, strong is the new sexy after all :)

Cheers!