Weekend in Photos

So I’ve been sucking as a blogger lately. On the flip side, that probably means I’ve been succeeding as a productive employee ūüėČ

I’ve got an extremely busy workweek ahead of me, but I wanted to pop in and say hello, yes I’m alive, and here are some pictures from my weekend to prove it! Continue reading

What My {Teacher} Mom Has Taught Me

Today, and this past week, mark two very important (Hallmark-created) holidays for which I’d like to take a minute to commemorate.

Teacher Appreciation Week and Mother’s Day.

I am fortunate to have been blessed with a wonderful mother, who just so happens to also be a teacher. Continue reading

Treat Yourself Tuesday: Back on Track

Today, I’m linking up with my favorite lady Becky (who I get to see in 1 month minus 1 day at BLEND!!!) ¬†for Treat Yourself Tuesday. As Becky puts it, Treat Yourself Tuesday is a way to reflect on the ways you’ve treated yourself lately:

“Do whatever feels best for you. Do something that will make you feel relaxed and loved and happy.¬†Treat yourself well and treat yourself often so that you will become the best¬†you¬†possible and in turn be your best for others in your life!”

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With things as busy as they’ve been lately (as I mentioned on Friday), it’s been more important than ever for me to remember to slow down and take care of myself. Now, while that often includes indulging in comfort food (or dranks), sometimes the best way for me to treat myself is by treating my body AND soul well…and that is just what I did this Sunday! It was a great way to start my week on the right foot and get back on track.

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It all started with a nice early morning bike ride¬†to the Farmers Market. Tulips, rainbow chard, sweet potatoes, portobello mushrooms, medjool dates, and sugar snap peas…all for about $20. Win. I don’t do it all the time, but I love¬†treating myself to flowers!

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Next up was a longggg overdue pedicure. I hadn’t gotten one since December (due to the whole being on a budget thing), but I decided my poor feet couldn’t go any longer without! I calculated it out, and I had run over¬†300 miles since my last pedi. DANG. My feet are much happier now!

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After bringing home my loot, I changed into gym clothes and checked out the brand new California Family Fitness (CalFit) on K Street. This crazy ab machine has had my core in a world of hurt ever since I took it on!

The gym literally just opened on Friday, when my friends and I went over to look at the facilities:

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Ummm yeah, that’s a ROOFTOP basketball court. There will also be a bar with wine & beer. Needless to say, I was sold! I now have my first actual gym membership for the first time in almost 3 years! I am really excited about it and am pumped to try out some group fitness classes and switch up my routine a bit.¬†Did I mention the gym is only 3 blocks away from my office? There was really no downside to joining!

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After a good stair master & core workout, I headed home to be even more productive! I prepped some food for the week- made more curry patties (this time with white beans instead of chickpeas), chopped up broccoli and bell pepper, made snap pea baggies to bring to work for snacks, and par-cooked a couple of sweet potatoes.

I did this all in about 1 hours time while I chatted¬†on the phone with my mom. Easy peasy, and it feels good to know I won’t be eating out or skipping any lunches this week!

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And to top off a seriously perfect day…we arrived at the dodgeball gym only to be greeted by FREE BEER. The gym is located in a German cultural center and they had leftovers from a fundraiser. Twist my arm, why don’t ya.

I felt so energized, healthy and productive on Sunday that it really put me in a perfect place to start the week off right. I had 3 good meals yesterday thanks to meal prepping (OK, and the fact that Yvette hosted ladies Dance Central night and made spaghetti ūüėČ ), and I woke up bright and early for a quick¬†work out at my new gym this morning before work. Happy body = Happy Katie!

What are your favorite ways to treat yourself?

How do you get back on track after days/weeks/months of slackin’ off?

Five Word Friday: Life Lately

I’ve been MIA. Here’s why: IMG_5158 You already know my Sundays. IMG_5539 My weekdays are fun¬†too! IMG_5206 Wednesday morning weights. The usual. IMG_5362 COURTSIDE¬†seats: Kings versus OKC newdesk Moved up front at work. IMG_5555 Food Should Taste Good RULES! IMG_5478 West Sacramento Caturday Bike Gang IMG_5415 Spring weather + spring clothes = Love. IMG_5628 Easter church selfies with Mom IMG_5662 Feed fish, check. Next: abs.

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My job has its perks ūüėÄ

(for non-Californians, that’s Gov. Jerry Brown)

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Describe your life lately in 5 words!

Mango-Macadamia Granola Bars

So it’s no secret that since I’ve started eating “healthy” – or whatever – I’ve become a breakfast eater.

My breakfast game was at its all time peak during my couple of months of unemployment late last year when I got to make breakfast at home every morning. Toast, eggs, cheese and salsa, yessssss #allthethings

HOWEVER, that’s unfortunately not the norm. I usually eat Greek yogurt and a little somethin’ somethin’ on the side. What that somethin’ somethin’ entails changes from week to week… I have made skinny muffins. I’ve made protein muffins. I love muesli…and I even made muesli bars.

For this week’s What I Ate Wednesday, I’m sharing what I’ve been eating for breakfast lately:

The past few weeks, I’ve been eating homemade¬†granola bars!

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You’ll notice that, unlike my other breakfast muffins and bars, there¬†is no “skinny” or “protein” in the title of this recipe.

That’s not to say they aren’t healthy! Made primarily of oats, uncooked quinoa, and flaxseed, they’re leaps and bounds better than any processed bar you’ll find in the supermarket. Plus they have a LOT less added sugar (only 3 tbsp of honey for the entire batch!).

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But they’ve also got a fair amount of nut butter…and chocolate.

The point of these granola bars isn’t that they’re low cal, or fat free. It’s that they are full of nutrient dense foods¬†that are good for you, and some healthy fats that make them DELICIOUS.

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Plus, mango + macadamia nuts + coconut = tropical summer vacation. Am I right?

Mango-Macadamia Granola Bars
adapted from Cooking Light’s Cranberry-Pistachio Energy Bars
makes 9 bars

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/4 cup dried mango, chopped
1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded or flaked
1/4 cup flaxseed meal (or just grind up flaxseed!)
1 oz chocolate (chips or chunks)
1/4 cup almond butter or peanut butter
3 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp coconut oil

Note: This is an extremely flexible recipe. I’ve also made it with pepitas and dried cranberries. Use whatever kind of dried fruit, nuts, nut butter, or oil you want!

Preheat oven to 350* F. Arrange oats and uncooked quinoa on a baking sheet and bake until slightly toasted and starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, combine mango, macadamia nuts, coconut, chocolate and flaxseed meal. Once cooled, add oats and quinoa.

In a stovepot, mix nut butter, honey, and coconut oil. Heat to a boil, whisking constantly. Boil for 1 minute and add to oat/nut/coconut mixture. Add to a greased 8×8 inch pan and bake at 350*F for 12 minutes, or until starting to brown.

Let cool before cutting into 9 squares. Eat at room temperature or cooled…the squares will keep for 1 week in the fridge!

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What is your breakfast go-to?

Personalized Workout Outfits from Fabletics

Happy Friday everyone!!

I have some awesome goodies to share with you all today, but I need to start off with a completely unrelated story.

So as I was finishing up work yesterday, I was feeling focused and productive and made myself a little To-Do list for when I got home. It’s nice¬†having Thursday nights free now that I’m taking a break from dodgeball! The list included “write¬†blog post”, “clean room”, “prep lunch”,¬†“look into plane tickets for BLEND“, “re-arrange Pinterest boards”, etc etc.

Anyway, it was a beautiful Spring day (the recorded high was 84 degrees!) and I was wearing a new brightly colored dress and blazer, walking home, listening to music on my headphones and feeling like a pretty fortunate SOB.

Wanting to keep that good feeling going, I arrived home, promptly poured myself a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, then went to turn on my computer to bump some more feel good tunes…ONLY TO SEE A GIANT COCKROACH SCURRY ACROSS THE FLOOR¬†UNDER THE COUCH.

In the two years we’ve been living in our apartment, Hanna and I have come across a handful (maybe 5?) of these guys, and it never gets easier having to deal with them!

Hanna arrived home about 10 minutes later to find me standing Рpetrified Рon a chair in the living room and we tag teamed the crap out of killing the guy. Special shout out to RAID and a large heavy pot.

ANYWAY, it goes¬†without saying I decided to pour myself an extra glass of wine and push aside the To-Do list till another night! However, I did manage to re-organize all of my Pinterest boards and start writing this blog post…. #priorities

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Now, on to the subject at hand: workout clothes!

Does anyone else pretty much live in workout clothes? My days pretty much go like this: 1) sleep in workout clothes. 2) wake up and run…in workout clothes. 3) go to work in business casual. 4) come home and IMMEDIATELY change back into workout/lounge clothes.

It’s a tough, yet extremely comfortable, life I lead! ūüėČ

A few weeks ago, I shared with you all that I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of my first Fabletics outfit. When you sign up for a VIP membership, you get your first outfit for only $25.99! Holla!

Spoiler alert: I loved my first outfit! However, sista is on a budget, and can’t drop $50 on a new outfit every month.

Thus the beauty of the Fabletics VIP program: even though you get an e-mail each month with a list of outfits, you can opt out and not have to pay a dime! All it takes is one click. So I opted out for March and got another outfit in April. Let me show you what I’ve scored!

OUTFIT 1: Bridge

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IMG_4582Bridge came with the Norwalk Tank, Moro Shorts, and a Headband

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I love these shorts. They’re basically like leggings (which I live in during the colder months), but more appropriate for warm weather! The material is soft and breathable, and there’s a hidden pocket in the waistline. I was slightly worried about the quality when I noticed some unraveling strings, but they¬†have definitely held up through quite a few washes and workouts.

The top is a lot like one I got from Target last year (kinda like this), except BETTER because it has an adjustable drawstring at the bottom. I never have to adjust this shirt while I’m running!

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I tested out the shirt the next day – I had to color coordinate! The bra part of the shirt provides support, but the rest of it is nice and airy. Perfect!

I actually wore the shorts and headband for my half marathon:

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Don’t worry, that face is not me reacting to a wedgie! They¬†actually don’t ride up too much while running. They do, but it’s not at a level that feels uncomfortable. I only adjusted them a few times during the race, mostly for vanity reasons (shorts riding up on your inner thigh = sausage legs. not a good look!) and I knew the cameras were watching! ūüėČ

Total price (separately) –: $69.85

Total VIP price (separately) — $55.85

Total VIP price (as an outfit) (first time buyer) —¬†$29.99! (and FREE shipping)

OUTFIT 2: Lateral

I bought my next outfit exactly as pictured on the site. I splurged a little because I realized I didn’t have any waterproof clothing for running in the rain, so I decided on an outfit that came with a windbreaker. I figured if it was something I needed anyway, I might as well get it affordably priced through Fabletics!

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IMG_5387Lateral came with the Oula Tank, Suki Shorts, and the Yalu Jacket

I’m still on the fence about the tank – the material is extremely soft and thin, but it’s also pretty staticky and it’s stretchy and oversized. However, I haven’t worked out in it yet, and I think it will be perfect for running on hot days!

IMG_5392The shorts are very similar to the other ones, except they’re technically bike shorts and are a bit longer. I’m cool with this. Both¬†legs have that semi inconspicuous pocket!

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The jacket is very lightweight and looks super cool… It has tons of pockets with zippers, plus a hood and thumbholes!! (2 of my favorite things!)

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Total price (separately) –: $99.85

Total VIP price (separately) — $79.85

Total VIP price (as an outfit) —¬†$69.95! (free shipping)

This was probably a little more than I would have liked to pay, but as you can see, the VIP membership gets you a pretty good discount. Plus, for what you get it’s a steal! A windbreaker plus a good¬†quality tank top and shorts?

Overall, I am happy with the Fabletics service and will definitely be sticking with it! I think it’s really worth it if you are (like me) someone who has lots of workout clothes! Plus, you can get your first outfit for only $25.99 and see if you like it. What’s there to lose?

Click here to check out Fabletics!

 

(Note: I wasn’t compensated to write this post. I’m just a girl who likes workout clothes! All opinions are my own!)

 

Do you live in workout attire too?

Ever tried any online subscription services? What’s your favorite?

Spring Weekend in Photos

Spring has frickin’ sprung, people!

In true Sacramento fashion, we went from 2 straight weeks of rain and chilly winter-like weather…to pretty much SUMMER¬†overnight.

You won’t hear (m)any complaints from me, because I’m a sun-lover through and through. I had a nice¬†mix of relaxation and exertion this weekend, and lots of it was spent outside. Perfection!

On Friday evening, I¬†decided to grab a glass of wine (thus ending my 5-day alcohol “cleanse” lol) with colleagues¬†at a wine bar right by our office. I can’t think of a more¬†perfect way to cap off a tiring week: with a nice glass of Sangiovese and hilarious conversation!

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I headed home soon after to have dinner and wind down from the week. It was still¬†breezy and a little chilly at this point, so I spent the evening in fuzzy slippers doing things aroudn the house.. My¬†brother FaceTimed me later on in the evening and I played him a few ditties on my keyboard. “Hold on Andrew, don’t hang up yet! I have the sheet music to Let it Go too!!!” ¬†— his annoyed face says it all ūüėõ

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After a few weeks of frequenting¬†the giant Sunday Farmers Market, I revisited my favorite (smaller, more close by) Midtown Farmers Market on Saturday morning. I bought some gorgeous rainbow chard, carrots, and beets, and then splurged on a mason jar of kombucha. The kombucha stand that originally got me hooked on the delicious rotten tea drink was selling re-purposed mason jars from Discarded Designs…I couldn’t resist.

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I hurried home and stashed the ‘buch in the fridge for later, because I had a long run planned! I very quickly regretted having waited until 11:30am to start my 8.5 mile run, because it was H-O-T. It only reached about 70 degrees on Saturday, but I was feeling it by the end. Check out the before and (sweaty) after! It was a beautiful day on the river as you can see, so I can’t really complain too much!

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I lounged around for the rest of the day. I painted my nails and needed something to “watch” AKA listen to in the background, so I threw on RENT. Classic! After a quick grocery trip, I caught¬†a Lyft over to my friend Fresh’s house where we played games and celebrated Yvette’s birthday a few days early! We played King’s Cup, Mad Gab, and Taboo…such good times!

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To cancel out all the lounging I did on Saturday (minus the 8.5 mile run ūüėõ ) I had a seriously active day on Sunday. I corralled a few friends together to join up with other XOSO players and play Ultimate Frisbee for the cameras- we were on Good Day Sacramento! You can check out video #1 and video #2 online.

As soon as we finished, I saw¬†a text from Chris saying he saw me on TV dropping the frisbee. D’OH! Of course of all the moments they could have captured…

Next up, we went to Pour House for brunch. No mimosas for me (shocker, I know) but I did taste Stone Brewing’s¬†EnjoyBy 4/20 IPA. They come out with a new “Enjoy By” every few months and I’ve loved all the ones I’ve tasted!

Next on the schedule was another Ultimate Frisbee session with my team. CJ, Matt and I were pooped from playing earlier, so we were a pretty sad sight scrimmaging against Mikhail, Landai and Chris. Plus the temps had risen to almost 80 degrees by the afternoon!

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We cooled off afterward on the patio at Beach Hut Deli while I killed some time before my dodgeball game.

We won our game 7-2 (the usual!) and I was POOPED by the end of it. My Fitbit said I only logged 12,000 steps, which seems low… Regardless, it was an action-packed day! And the best part was…no sunburns! Woo hoo! #palepersonproblems

Have a fantastic week!

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods?

Team sports- love em or hate em? What’s your favorite?

Chocolate Flax Muffins

As much as I know you all love lurking on my weekend fun…I did not have it in me to bust out a weekend recap post this week! I knew that I probably wouldn’t have time to put up¬†my normal post¬†yesterday, because I have been insanely.busy at work. I was hoping to bring back¬†Meatless Mondays, but didn’t get a chance to work out a shareable recipe in time…

However, if you really must know what I did this weekend… ūüėČ We had a couple of GORGEOUS 75-80 degree days and I took full advantage!

If you follow me on Facebook then you already know that, even though I’m no longer in half marathon training mode, I still¬†did my usual¬†long Saturday morning run:

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It was weird — but GOOD — to be running less than 10 miles. I got in a great workout, but didn’t feel like I was suffering the rest of the day, which was nice!

And if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know that I followed up that run with some frisbee:

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I’m hanging up the Thursday night dodgeball knee socks for a season or two and putting together an Ultimate Frisbee team…Chris is pretty much a pro (he played competitively in college) and spent over an hour imparting his knowledge and showing me all his tricks. It was lots¬†of fun! Slightly draining though, and much harder than it looks ūüėČ

Moving on….I am happy to report that even though I don’t have a Meatless Monday recipe, I do have a recipe to share!! It’s been a while, eh?

It all started last week when I went to my beloved Grocery Outlet and snagged a boatload of good deals for less than $30.

As if finding¬†that 6 pack of Luna bars for like $2.99, Greek yogurt for .60c a pop and a bottle of wine for $5 wasn’t enough, I was extremely excited to find a bag of organic milled flaxseed¬†(aka flaxseed meal) for $2.99. Generally, healthy living¬†blogger¬†‘essentials’ like flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp, and other such random gluten free shtuff cost a fortune! So I snagged the bag and looked for ways to incorporate it into a healthy, yet yummy, girl-on-the-go recipe.

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ENTER: chocolate muffins.

Every flax muffin recipe I found had some kind of weird combination of gluten free flours/meals, xanthan gum, non-sugar sweeteners, or other various products that most regular people on a budget don’t keep in their pantry. So I was largely on my own testing out this recipe and, after a few months of very little baking, was thrilled to realize that not only were these not terrible

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They’re actually really frickin good. Although I can’t call them “skinny” like my nearly fat free¬†lemon poppyseed muffins…They do have less added fat than your standard muffin recipe (the majority of the fat comes from the Omega 3-rich flaxseed), not too much sugar (1/3 cup), and have a texture that’s not only incredibly moist, but has a little bit of chew in it from the flaxseed meal.

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I’ve been eating 1-2 in the morning with Chobani for a breakfast that’s packed with both protein and fiber. They are actually pretty healthy, at about 160¬†calories a pop. They have 8 grams of healthy fat (from the flax!), 3.5 grams of fiber, and almost 5 grams of protein.

But¬†I won’t tell anyone if you slather peanut butter all over them.

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Chocolate Flax Muffins
Makes 9 muffins

1/3 cup (white) whole wheat flour
2/3 cup flax seed meal (or just grind up flaxseed in a food processor/coffee grinder/etc)
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (chocolate chips/chocolate square/whatever you can find!)
1 extra ripe banana
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tablespoons oil

Preheat oven to 325F and grease a muffin pan. Don’t use paper liners- these guys are low enough in fat that they will stick to them!

In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients (flour through baking powder). In a separate microwave-safe bowl, melt¬†the chocolate in 30 second intervals (or over a double boiler), being careful not to burn it. When it’s done, vigorously mix in the banana and mash until it’s fully incorporated. Add in sugar, eggs and oil and mix to combine.

Add wet ingredients to dry and distribute into ~9 muffin tins.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops are set and a toothpick comes out clean. Use a butter knife to help release the muffins from the tin.

Eat fresh out of the oven or soon after. If you can’t, keep muffins in the fridge. Heat ’em up in the microwave briefly before eating if desired!

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Have you ever cooked or baked with flaxseed? What’s your favorite use for it?

What’s your favorite recent grocery store discovery?

Shamrock’n Half Marathon Recap

Well, my first half marathon has come and gone!

I have felt such a wide range of emotions throughout the past 3 months, in particular these last couple of weeks, and it’s kind of hard to put it all into words.

But here’s my attempt!

Pre-Race

As I said on Monday, I drank bottomless mimosas the day before my race………..don’t act surprised.

As much as I wish I could blame someone else for convincing me, or peer pressure, I just really love brunch and I really love mimosas. I definitely paced myself and alternated with water and food, but it was still probably not what all the fitness experts would recommend!

One piece of advice I read repeatedly was to not try anything new the day before/of your race. I’m pretty sure I had at least 1 drink the night before 80% of my Saturday morning training runs these past ~14 weeks. Sometimes you just need to unwind on Friday night! This may have been one fact I used to rationalize our brunch fun the day before. ūüėČ

Another reason why I not only forgive myself for letting loose the day before, but also am kind of glad I am, is because I was seriously psyching myself out the week leading up to the race. Every night from Sunday til Friday, I had interrupted nights of sleep with crazy anxiety-induced dreams. Some were unrelated to the race (for example, about my personal life or work), some were race-related. I was getting serious pre-race jitters…I think the fact that I wanted to show Tyler a good time during his visit was a good thing, because it distracted me from the fact that all of my hard work and training for 3+ months was coming to a head on Sunday morning. If we hadn’t gone out with my friends, I would have been way too focused on the race and, knowing me, I would have been a mess the night before/morning of the race.

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We ended up going to sleep around 11 the night before with a 6:45 wake up call. I woke up at 6am and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I just laid in bed and thought about how excited I was haha. Once our alarms went off, I jumped out of bed, yelled at Tyler to wake up, and started getting ready. We had toast and peanut butter and a banana, I took some of my fitmixer Clean Energy, and around 7:15, Chris arrived and we were on our way!

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pre-race essentials

I forgot that a ton of streets would be blocked off for the race, but we luckily got on the road before the first wave shot off, and were able to get waved across 13th Street even though it was barricaded. We found parking close to Raley Field and as we walked out of the car and I sighed, “PHEW THAT WASN’T AS STRESSFUL AS I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE”, the boys looked at me like I was crazy for expecting parking at 7:30am on a Sunday morning to be stressful. Apparently I was a little on edge!

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do i look nervous? BECAUSE I WAS.

The Race

About 7,000 people ran in the (10th annual!) Shamrock’n Half Marathon, and we were in Wave 2 of 4, scheduled for 8am. After the gun shot off, we didn’t actually cross the starting line for almost 10 minutes. Everyone was basically bottle necking into the starting line.

Chris and Tyler don’t like to know how far they’ve gone, whereas I am pretty anal about knowing exactly how far I’ve gone and how fast I’m going. So when MapMyRun told me how fast we were going, I kept the distance to myself but let the guys know occasionally what our pace was. I made sure that we stayed slow for the first 3-4 miles because I did not want to go out too fast.

The¬†entire¬†race was packed. I felt like we were passing people up the¬†entire¬†time. This ended up being a good thing, as passing people up requires you to¬†speed up¬†a bit. Also, Chris, Tyler & I totally worked as an awesome team. We didn’t even have to¬†say¬†anything- one of us would make a move to pass up whoever was in front of us, and the other 2 would just silently follow.

 

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picture from a training run- this is the narrow path all 7,000 of us had to fit through!

The first 5 miles were all flat through Downtown, we were running around 9:15 min/mile,¬†and I felt comfortable the whole time.¬†We hit the bike trail in the middle of mile 5 and I hit my stride- that’s where I trained every week! We picked up our pace, but I was still feeling good.

Around mile 8, Chris got in a zone and darted ahead. I knew that a big hill was coming up and that we wouldn’t be able to catch up with him on/after that hill, so Tyler and I took some of my PROBAR energy chews (AKA LIFESAVERS!) and sprinted to catch up. That mile was my second fastest mile. (My fastest mile was Mile 13…but we’ll get to that later ūüėČ ) We got over the hill and, according to MapMyRun, stayed around 9 minute miles¬†or faster the rest of the race.

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JACKIE’S TRAIN usually greeted me around mile 7 or 8 of my training runs… i didn’t reach her until mile 11 on race day.

After that, mile 10 was rough. It was on a section of the course with the most hills. From 11 on, I didn’t know how I was going to finish. I knew I was going to…but I was pretty sure I would need a wheelchair for at least 2 weeks after. I was lucky to have no side cramps, no knee pain, no nothing. But starting around 10 or 11, my feet/toes were killing me and my legs felt like jelly.

There were 5 water/electrolyte stations, and I stopped at the last 3…One of the times I just took whatever liquid they gave me and dumped it over my head. Little did I know, it was electrolytes. Gatorade is so totally the new preferred hair gel of all the cool girls…

Our plan all along was to run together for the majority of the race, but it was every man for himself once we reached the last mile. Knowing that both of my partners were fit dudes upwards of 6 feet tall, I figured my chances of keeping up with them in a full on sprint was slim to none…which made me nervous for Mile 12 to arrive, because I knew we’d be splitting…

I started feeling terrible around mile 11. After having been the smiling face who sang out loud (and even did a little jumping leap to Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’ at one point) through most of the race, I had become silent and started taking¬†really deep breaths. I think it was apparent that I was feeling it. Mile 11.5 ish was the point where I felt like I could cry of exhaustion and pain.

Chris (who had already run two 13 milers on the dreadmill) turned to me and told me a few things that I won’t forget:¬†“This is what you trained for!”;¬†“That’s 12! You’ve already ran 12 before, what’s one more?”; and¬†“Finish strong!”

About 30 seconds later, he darted ahead lol…however, his words definitely helped. Also, the fact that he was wearing a bright blue shirt in a sea of green made him easy to chase spot! ūüėČ About half a mile from the finish line on the Tower Bridge, I saw my dad with his camera and my mom cheering and I couldn’t help but smile and give my mom a huge high five. If Chris got me through 12-12.5, my mom’s super charged high five definitely got me through 12.5-13.1. According to MapMyRun, I ran mile 13 in 8:14. DAMN! No wonder I felt like crap!

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my dad snapped this pic right as i picked up the pace to give my mom a GIANT high five

The finish line was on the 3rd baseline of Raley Field, and I was so excited to finish that I was leaping over orange cones on the side of the dirt path so I could pass people up. I finished, found Chris, grabbed my medal, and turned around to hug Tyler as he finished. WE DID IT!

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Post-Race

Whoever planned this run had a seriously sick sense of humor. We knew we’d finish on the baseball field, but we didn’t realize this meant we were going to have to CLIMB UP THE STAIRS to get to the food/beer/results stations. It took us a while (maybe because I made the boys pose for the above selfie….) but we got there eventually.

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We saw my parents and took some pictures, then found Yvette and Lisa who had come to cheer me on. Then we hightailed it to the concession stands to get our free snack bags that consisted of KIND bars, bananas, goldfish crackers, and Oreos. Everything tasted like the best thing I had ever eaten.

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After checking out our official times and rejoicing in the fact that we all finished under 2 hours (!!!), we were going to check out the Massage Envy station, but realized we weren’t the only ones with that idea, and headed for beer instead.

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Everyone told me what a great sense of accomplishment I would feel after my first half marathon. I knew it was going to be awesome, but nothing could have prepared me for the wide range of emotions I felt all day  Sunday. I have a feeling it will rank up there as a day I will definitely never forget.

I felt pretty weak the hours after the race, probably because I was subsisting on bananas and KIND bars, but once I soaked my legs in Chris’s freezing cold pool and got some food in me at our barbecue, it was smooth sailing from there.

I have [not surprisingly] been super sore the past 2 days. Lower back, hips, quads, shins, calves…all of the muscles!!! I walked to and from work on Monday to loosen everything up, and I’ve been doin alright ever since. I’m going to go for a quick 3-4 mile run this morning and I am excited to pound the pavement again.

After a rough year or two that has been defined by injury, health problems, a bad break up, and losing my job…it feels incredible to know that I really can accomplish anything I put my mind to.

Thanks for sticking with me and supporting me through this journey, dear readers! With how well my first half marathon went, I don’t know how another one could go any better…but if there’s any chance that finishing another will lead to me feeling like I did after this one, then sign. me. UP.

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What I Ate Wednesday: NYC Edition

Today I’m coming to you (a week late) to share what I ate during my weekend in NYC!

Hosted by Jenn over at Peas & Crayons, What I Ate Wednesday is an opportunity for wannabe-foodies-slash-voyeurs like me to see what other bloggers eat. Such an awesome way to think of ideas to get you out of a food rut.

Unfortunately, I totally chose the wrong week to display for Love your Veggies Month (as you’ll see, not many veggies were consumed during my mini vacation!). However, y’all know I’m a veggie lover the rest of the time! If all my pictures of stir fry and produce on Instagram are any indication… ūüėČ

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I had a long day of travel ahead of me (starting at 4:30am Cali time, and I didn’t arrive at Arielle’s apt in NYC until after 6pm!) So I made sure to load up on lots of healthy snacks for the trip. I ate pretty much everything except the Detour SMART bar, which I saved for a pre workout snack the next day, and the Ring Pop (LOL waaait…how’d that get in there?!)

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During my layover in Chicago, I also found a healthy (albeit pricey) chickpea salad at Starbucks, which I paired with a Dirty Chai Latte..bc sista was workin on 3 hours of sleep!

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Then, I arrived in NYC, surprised my best friend, danced the night away, and came home to her apartment w/her roommate and ate half of this cheese pizza from 7/11. People, I am not exaggerating. Alex only had one slice of what you see gone above. You’ll also notice I decided I wasn’t going to eat the crust…probably so I could fit more cheese and tomato sauce into my stomach.

Needless to say, my New York family was extremely disappointed in me for eating pizza from 7/11 when I was in NYC, which boasts some of the best and cheapest pizza in the world. I am also disappointed in myself, but I REGRET NOTHING. #zerofucks

The next evening, Alex and I enjoyed dinner at Butterfly in Tribeca, where I got bratwurst sliders and a side of some of THE BEST brussels sprouts I’ve ever had. (Hey look at that! Veggies!)

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Alex was still hungry after his ravioli, so we ordered some fries. I have become something of a fry connoisseur recently and have been trying them EVERYWHERE I go. These thick cut steak fries were perfectly cooked- nice and crispy on the outside and actually cooked all the way through. I was definitely a fan!

After dinner, we stopped at Whole Foods and I picked up a variety of cookies, including the famous Black & White cookie. It was so good. I am a sucker for frosting ūüėČ

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Speaking of french fries…We went to Sixth Ward in the Lower East Side for brunch on Joanna’s actual birthday, and they were out of homefries, so we all got french fries with our breakfasts instead. No complaining here!

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In fact, because Rebecca & I were still hungry, we ordered more….

I’m telling you guys. I have a problem. And it involves deep fried potatoes.

For dinner/dessert, we went to the famous Max Brenner’s in the Village. We weren’t particularly hungry for dinner, but hadn’t eaten anything since brunch and didn’t want our dinner to be just chocolate, so Joanna & I split a chicken panini. Oh and again…french fries. You can never go wrong with waffle cut!

The real reason to go to Max Brenners, however, is not the dinner food (which was just so-so), but the CHOCOLATE.

We ordered 2 different kinds of fondue: the classic european (white chocolate, milk chocolate, & caramel, which came with fruit, brownie & cookie bites, and marshmallows) and the churro fondue (white chocolate, milk chocolate, some kind of raspberry sauce, and churros of course!)

Oh my god you guys.

I don’t think this amazingness requires any more explanation.

The next day was my last, and I was super excited that I was able to meet up with my Aunt Jeanne and her husband Mike. I had heard about Eataly and suggested it to them for lunch, and everyone jumped at the opportunity (Joanna included)!

Eataly is basically a giant Italian market/group of restaurants/shop/cafe/PLANET in the Flatiron District. We decided on the Pizza & Pasta restaurant (they also have a wine bar, a couple of really high end restaurants, and like 5 other assorted restaurants).

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We started with a formaggio misti, which was a cheese plate. There was goat cheese, some kind of parmesan, and a cheese made from cow/sheeps milk (? i think?) alongside some kind of chutney.. I don’t think I’ve ever met a cheese I didn’t like, so you can guess how I felt about this part of the lunch ūüėČ

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We also ordered 2 pizzas and I finally got to make up for the 7-11 incident! Both were margherita-type pizzas, and sooooo so good. Love the thin crust!

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To finish, the 4 of us shared gnocchi with lamb. I don’t know if I’ve ever had gnocchi with a texture so light and fluffy. The lamb was super tender as well.

Overall, an AMAZING meal!

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We spent a lot of time looking through the whole complex, which had a bakery, grocery store/farmers market, kitchenware section…

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AND GELATO! I was trying to choose between salted caramel and hazelnut…The salted caramel had an amazingly creamy texture, but the hazelnut tasted too much like Nutella to say no!

And that was that! Luckily for me I got in a good work out and 3 of my 4 days were 10,000+ step days, because if not I probably would have returned home with a bit more meat on my bones than I’d like! Either way, it was worth it!

Have you ever been to New York City?

What is your favorite style of pizza? I love anything thin crust, so New York style is right up my alley!