A Visit from Vicki

I’m finally getting around to recapping last weekend and it’s already almost time for another! Whoops. (But TGIAF [thank gawd it’s almost Friday]).

This past weekend was full of fun activities thanks to a visit from my friend Vicki who came up from Charlottesville!

Since it was raining on Saturday morning, we decided do some yoga before our long run. I am so lucky that I actually still have friends when I constantly make them take awkward photos of me.

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I was excited to run with Vic because she is a super runner (she’s done two Tough Mudders and two marathons – cray) and I knew she would push the pace a little bit.

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Success! The run flew by since we were chattin’ away.

The rest of the weekend consisted of multiple restaurant trips where we spent too much moolah and shoveled our faces with delish eats.

On Sunday afternoon we went to Chinatown before Vicki had to catch her train back home.

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We went to Matchbox, which we both love. Matchbox has pretty big portions and not-too-painful prices.

Vicki was craving a burger all weekend and was determined to get it.

I got an awesome Bloody Mary. I actually tried a Bloody Mary for the first time with Vicki a few years ago at a brunch in Georgetown.

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bloodymary3

Vicki got her burger! Aren’t these the coolest onion rings you’ve ever seen? I stole one and devoured it.

vicki'sburger

New food alert: the onion rings were sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and I liked it! Tuna will be thrilled (I always veto Parmesan on anything).

I ordered the chopped salad. When I ordered, I made sure to ask our server if it came with lettuce. It didn’t specify, so I was confused. I didn’t know if it’s base was made of the diced tomato.

His response: “Obviously.”

Oh.

choppedsalad

Mmmm. I’m going to have to try to re-create this one at home.

What did you do last weekend? Any plans for this weekend?

Are you a difficult order-er at restaurants? I always am. Sometimes it gets me into trouble with the people I’m with! 🙂 

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Maple Pecan Granola

granola5You know I love to complain about how expensive granola is.

Ever since I started eating clean, I have been a granola fiend. Granola makes me super happy – but my wallet? Not so much.

My fam has been telling me for months that I should make my own, but since granola-making seemed like a foreign art to me, I stuck with buying a bag a week from Whole Paycheck Foods for seven bucks a pop.

But I finally gave in last week and forced my brother to send me the recipe for homemade granola that he and his gf use.

I changed it around a teensy bit and love the results! It tastes just as good as the store-bought stuff, but at half the price.

Yay for cost efficient granola!

granolaingreds

granolastep1

twotraysgranola1Ingredients:
3 cups rolled oats
3 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup milled flaxseed
1/4 cup prunes

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300F.

Stir together oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Add canola oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.

Mix everything up with your hands.

Spread the mixture in a thin, even layer on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and pour back into the mixing bowl. Stir in pecans and flaxseed, then put back in oven for 15 minutes.

Take the baking sheets out of the oven and stir in prunes.

granola3Thanks as always to the newly preggers Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

This Is Me

I am not a happy camper right now.

This is me:

During a run on the treadmill in the middle of the week last week, I felt a sharp twinge on the left side of my back.

It didn’t really bother me any more last week except for a dull ache every now and then.

On Monday, I woke up with a sore-ass back. I don’t think I pulled a muscle and I don’t think it was because of my long run or new shoes, but I doubt my first 10-miler ever was good for it.

Therefore, I am being a “good girl,” as my friend Vicki put it, and sat on the couch for the past two days instead of going to the gym. It was very hard not be able to fill in my pretty training chart, but I know it’s for the best not to aggravate a baby injury that could be made a lot worse.

The Shamrock Half is only 23 days away and I want to make sure I am 100% for the last few weeks of training.

Whatever – it’s a step back week anyway, so I’m trying to make myself feel more legit that my mileage for this week is going to be zilch.

At least I’ve had time to catch up on my girly shows and stare longingly at my new running shoes.

What do you do when you can’t run – what are some ways you cope/distract yourself? I’m coping by watching ridiculous amounts of trashy TV.

New Running Gear and 18 mph Wind

If you follow me on twitter, you’ll know that I went on a running store shopping spree this weekend.

runningstoretweet1I tried to keep my purchases to a minimum, but it was hard to once I kept spotting more and more running related things that I needed. 

My plan was to go to Pacers for some new shoes. I still love my minimalist shoes, but as I get into longer distances, they just weren’t cutting it [for me]. I am continuing to explore the barefoot running trend, but I’m starting to realize that they might be for super serious runners that weigh forty-five pounds.

I don’t weigh forty-five pounds, so my left arch was not too happy.

But I’ll definitely wear them for shorter workouts, and for races like 5K’s and 10Ks.

I did buy some shoes, but I ended up getting a little sidetracked first. Whoops.

gearcollageFuel galore, body glide, and sports laundry detergent.

I won’t elaborate on the body glide – but I am really starting to need it! I haven’t noticed a difference yet, but hopefully I will as I continue to use it.

And thank goodness I stumbled upon this detergent, as my 3 sets of running fashion outfits are growing quite janky. I feared I would have to invest in an entirely new running wardrobe due to people switching from the treadmills next to me because of stank, but I’m crossing my fingers that this will solve that problem.

Thanks for the fuel advice, guys! I took you up on all of your suggestions.

fuel2 I am particularly excited to try the margarita shot bloks.

And finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…..

brooksshoesThe most beautiful, gorgeous shoes I’ve ever seen.

They are Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 and are amazing so far. I’ll do a review on them once I break them in more.

lovebrooksWith all of my cool new gear, I was determined to finish my long run on Sunday, despite my slow-ass-self almost freezing to death.

LongRun10milesSee that 18mph wind? Not my kind of fun.

What shoes do you run in? Do you have a favorite?

No-Bake Cookie Dough Bites

Though I was totally down for some “dirty eating” on girl’s night last Friday [insert Ben and Jerry’s pint here], my BFF Nancy steered me back in the right direction. 🙂 I’m glad she did, because these no-bake cookie dough balls were just as tasty as any ‘real’ junk food.

Thanks for inspiring this clean eating recipe, Nance! (And for making most of it….)

cookiedoughballs3

nobakecookiedoughballsThis recipe was adapted from Averie Cooks.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 C cashews
  • 1/3 C oats
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 C dark chocolate chips

Yields approximately 14 cookie dough balls

Directions:

Pour cashews and oats in to blender and blend into a flour-like consistency.

Add the agave nectar and vanilla extract.

Blend again.

Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.

Transfer dough into a medium bowl and roll into balls.

cookiedoughballs5

I’m totes bringing a second batch of these babies to book club! Get excited, ladies.

Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Time to Run

Life is busy.

Between work, day to day chores, and trying to have somewhat of a social life, there isn’t much time left for running. 

When I first signed up for the Shamrock Half Marathon, I thought it would be no big deal to get my butt to the gym three or four (or five!) times a week for my scheduled training runs.

Early on in training, runs were 2-3 miles with long runs being 4-5 miles.

Half an hour at the gym and I’d be done with the shorter during-the-week runs. I’d be home in time for long hot shower, dinner, vegging on the couch, and all of the above listed life obligations.

Once the long runs started getting longer and longer (for me they’re long!) I started getting confused.

I have to not drink 5 glasses of wine on Friday night so that I can squeeze in my long run on Saturday morning? But…..

Not only do you have to dedicate the time to actually run, you have sacrifice time prepping, traveling, and recovering.

Better safe than sorry.

Instead of going out late night on the weekend, you have to go to bed earlier.

Driving to and from a trail or the gym can take easily take an hour out of your day.

Passenger

And you have to make sure you have enough time to stretch, foam roll, and ice afterwards.

foamroller

Not to mention showering after a run and attempting to make yourself presentable as a functioning member of society.

The whole process of running takes a lot of time. A shit ton more time than I initially expected.

For those that have been running for years and have children, or extra challenges – I seriously applaud you.

It may seem like I’m complaining about how running can be inconvenient.  Ok, I am. But I’m also trying to remind myself that it’s worth it.  It’s worth driving to the gym on a dark night in the winter when I’d rather be at home, snuggling on my couch.

It’s worth it because of the way I feel after a run or a race is better than having that extra glass of wine and hour(s) to sleep in [most of the time]. I definitely think that with running, you get out of it what you put into it.

So I’m going to keep lacin’ up my sneakers for the time being – even if I don’t always feel like it.

Recipe Roundup

I had something fun in the works for you today for What I Ate Wednesday, but it didn’t end up happening.

Since I don’t have a cool new recipe to post, I figured I’d go old school and roundup my past recipes for you!

I promise to eventually add these to a page at the top of the blog for easy access.

Maybe it will give you something new to make this week. 😉

Breakfast

Breakfast Burrito
Overnight Oats

Entrees

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Cheat Day Chili
Crabby Summer Salad
End of Summer Pasta Salad
Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Pesto Pasta Salad with Chicken
Quinoa Sliders

quinoaburgers2 Shrimp Paella
Spinach Burgers

Sides

Cajun Sweet Potato Fries

sweetpotatofries1Cinnamon Baked Apples

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Old Bay Zucchini Chips

oldbayzucchips

Quinoa Pizza Bites
Red Potatoes

Snacks/Dessert

Blueberry Bread

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Scones
Chocolate Covered Apple Wedges
Dark Chocolate Turtles
No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites

chocpboatmealbites

Pumpkin Protein Bars

Smoothies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
Homemade Green Machine