Weekly Recap and Happy Saturday!

Hi there, friendly faces!  Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend so far. 🙂

Phew!  Sure has been a busy week around here…getting back into the swing of things at school, increasing my running mileage, and kicking off the club running season (!!!!).  Not to mention lots of fun along the way!

Yesterday evening, we had the inaugural run for the club running season – and it was awesome!  Well, everything except for the heat…we ran at 6 p.m. and it was miserable.  By the time we finished, I looked like this:

Aaaand that is why I like to run in the mornings! 😀

After we got back to campus, I drank ALL the water from the water fountain and then headed over to one of the restaurants on campus to grab a really late dinner.  See, the issue with a 6 p.m. run time is that since I don’t like to eat a meal before I run (and I’m glad I didn’t with that heat yesterday!), by the time I sat down to eat it was already after 8.  But I got a delicious spinach + kale + romaine salad with beets, cucumbers, chickpeas, and grilled chicken. 🙂  I was super excited to see sliced beets on the salad bar – I almost never see them in the dining hall…and they definitely are never that tasty!

Today is my off day and I am heading to the gym in a little bit with a friend to do some easy cardio, just to stretch out my legs, and then we are grabbing breakfast after.  After that, it will be time to start digging myself out of the homework hole and trying to get ahead on readings and classwork for the week!  Wish me luck. 😛

At least I have fun plans for later tonight – MOVIE NIGHT!  My roommate, our next-door neighbor, L, and I are planning to watch this gem:

Classic.  Apparently my roomie AND our next-door neighbor haven't seen it, so obviously it was a must!

Classic. Apparently my roomie AND our next-door neighbor haven’t seen it, so obviously it was a must!

I’m sure there will be lots of laughs (and probably popcorn too!). 🙂

Lastly, to fill you guys in on my running since I didn’t post very much this week, here is a little recap:

Sunday: 4.01 miles (9:02 pace)

…this run was a struggle.  It was hot and I felt really sluggish and slow.

Monday: Cross-training (elliptical + core work + arms)

Tuesday: 5.04 miles (9:08 pace)

…longest run since surgery!!  Woooo!

Wednesday: Cross-training (spin + core work + legs)

Thursday: 4.05 miles (8:59 pace)

…something was weird with my first mile or my watch or maybe it was the fact that I had to stop for bikers on the sidewalk two separate times, because my mile splits were 10:04, 8:35, 8:42, 8:38.  Whatever.  All I know is that this run felt really good!

Friday: 4.46 miles – running club run (8:55 pace)

…my mile splits were kind of all over the board, but that’s what happens when you run with a group and have to stop for stoplights in the city! 😀

Saturday (today): Rest day (super easy spinning)

So that is that!  It was a pretty great week of runs and cross-training and I am really happy with how my ankle feels!  For this coming week, I am only ramping up my mileage a little bit to be extra careful, so I have a week of 4.5, 5.5, 4.5, and 4 miles planned.

I hope that everyone is having a great weekend, and thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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What is your favorite cross-training activity?

Do you work out on your rest days from running?  Only sometimes…and at a ridiculously light intensity to just loosen my muscles up.

A Weekend of Runs, Fun, and Good Eats!

The older sister left to go back to college yesterday afternoon, so we spent Friday evening/night as a family…which meant a delicious dinner of gnocchi (zoodles for me!) + sausage + sauce with fresh basil AND a fire and s’mores later.  Perfect summer night!

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Speaking of zoodles and zucchini…

My grandparents have a, uh, THRIVING vegetable garden so operation eat-all-the-zucchini was in full force this weekend.  Zoodles on Friday, zucchini crust pizza for dinner last night, zucchini in eggs this morning…

Zucchini crust + sauce + a little bit of shredded mozzarella + leftover sausage + olives + mushrooms = perfection.

Zucchini crust + sauce + a little bit of shredded mozzarella + leftover sausage + olives + mushrooms = perfection.

…what can I say?  I am happy to eat ALL the zucchini.  You know, just doing my civic duties, eating my veggies, all that jazz.  (Also, they were delicious, so there’s that.)

And we should probably talk about these gorgeous roasted veggies from Thursday night:

Pre-roasting...

Pre-roasting…

...and the finished product!

…and the finished product!

Baby golden potatoes + pixie eggplant + onion + pepper + zucchini (What did I tell you?  ALL the zukes.  In everything.) tossed in olive oil and a little bit of sea salt.  So good!!

While we’re still talking about food, I have discovered that Larabars are fantastic.  Where have you been all my life, Larabar?

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I loved this flavor and I have a Peanut Butter & Jelly one sitting upstairs that will probably be eaten tomorrow.  Oh, and I ordered 16-packs of three different flavors today to take back to school with me.  Needless to say, I was immediately sold!

…And I finally tried out a new breakfast recipe that I have seen floating around on the internet for a while.  I was pretty skeptical about it because it seemed too easy, but I tried it out…BANANA PANCAKES!

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Easiest recipe ever: 1 banana + 2 eggs + pinch of baking powder + cinnamon, vanilla to taste.  You could sweeten them if you wanted to, but I didn’t and don’t think they needed sweetened at all.  Basically, you mush up the banana (I used a fork), whisk in the eggs, baking powder, cinnamon, and vanilla…then cook like normal pancakes!  They have more of a crepe-y texture than normal pancakes but I thought it was nice that they were filling but didn’t sit heavy in my stomach.  A single batch makes four large pancakes, and I topped mine with strawberry jam. 🙂

So much good food this weekend!

…But I promise I do other things besides eating…like running!

My runs this weekend were great.  I felt like I was running slow both days but when I looked at my Garmin, I was surprised to find that I was running much faster than expected.  What a nice surprise!  Friday’s run was 3.55 miles at 8:38/mi pace and today’s run was 3.60 miles at 8:21/mi pace.  I am slowly (and carefully) picking up speed!  I am itching to get back on the track to work on my speed and stride length.  One step at a time!  (And yes, my ankle is still feeling fantastic.  I am so thankful!)

Whew.  Busy weekend!  Hope you guys enjoyed your weekend as much as I enjoyed mine. 🙂

Tell me about your weekend!  What did you do?

Did you run this weekend?  Any races?  Tell me all about it. 🙂

FIRST POST-OP RUN!!!

Oh hey everyone.  Happy Tuesday!  Today is a super happy day for me because, first of all, tomorrow is my birthday (!!!!) and second of all (and most importantly), I RAN YESTERDAY!!!

Yes, you read that correctly.  My first post-op run is in the books, and it felt FANTASTIC.  No ankle pain, minimal soreness today (and actually just in my hips/upper quad area), and no problems to report!  I decided not to take my phone with me during my run and ran without music so that I could really listen and pay attention to my body.  The running program that my PT has me on is a walk/run interval progression program so it was not all running, but it was running nonetheless!

Sweaty, frizzy, tired, HAPPY post-run selfie.

Sweaty, frizzy, tired, HAPPY post-run selfie.

The beautiful park where I run.  It was very overcast yesterday morning (but I'm not complaining) so it doesn't look as pretty as usual...but still nice!

The beautiful park where I run. It was very overcast yesterday morning (but I’m not complaining) so it doesn’t look as pretty as usual…but still nice!

During my run, I noticed several things:

1. My ankle felt really strong.  I am so glad that I took my time getting to this point and followed my PT’s directions carefully, doing my exercises frequently and with the correct form, because my ankle felt awesome.  And today, I don’t have ANY soreness whatsoever in my ankle or calf!

2. I am in excellent cardiovascular shape.  Thaaaaank youuuu, cross-training.  As much as I hate to admit it, the elliptical/spin bike were helpful.  Bah.

3. Increasing my strength training during recovery was the greatest idea ever.  Remember how I said that I have minimal soreness today?  Yeah, I attribute that to lifting and strength training.  I felt stronger than I ever (EVER) have while running, even stronger than soccer season during high school.  I was never really coached on the importance of strength training until the past few years, and I did not know what I was missing.  Stronger legs and body = better running form = less fatigue = stronger, faster running.

4. Nothing feels better than the first run after time off for injury.  I almost cried in the car after my run, it felt that good (and I am not a crier).

My next scheduled run is tomorrow morning.  Can you say BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER?!  Oh and perks of being a Starbucks addict (a.k.a. Gold card member): free drink on my birthday.  Birthday + morning run + post-run Starbucks trip = PERFECTION.  I’m beyond excited!

I hope everyone has a fantastic Tuesday! 🙂

When was your last run?  Yesterday.  (I’m so excited to be able to say that!)

Favorite drink at Starbucks?  Peppermint mocha in the winter and vanilla latte basically the rest of the year.

Oh Hi. Remember Me? (And Some BIG NEWS!!!!)

Oops…

Obviously, I have taken a little blogging hiatus for the past two weeks.  Things got busy, and I’m at a point of transition right now.  All good things, don’t worry. 🙂  And I have some BIG NEWS for you at the end of this post, so if you’re in a rush, just scoot your boot to the bottom of the page and check it out!  But first, here’s what I’ve been up to while I was away.

There has been a lot of baking, cooking, and eating…

Trying out Vega protein powder to go in my smoothie bowls on strength training days.  Full review to come, but spoiler alert: I like it a lot!

Trying out Vega protein powder to go in my post-workout smoothie bowls on strength training days. Full review to come, but spoiler alert: I like it a lot!

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Sandwiches.  All the sandwiches.

Sandwiches. All the sandwiches.

I BAKED CHOCOLATE-ALMOND BISCOTTI AND IT IS WONDERFUL AND DELICIOUS.  That is all.

I BAKED CHOCOLATE-ALMOND BISCOTTI AND IT IS WONDERFUL AND DELICIOUS. That is all.

…camping…

What would I do without my best friend?  Love that girl (and we're just precious).

What would I do without my best friend? Love that girl (and we’re just precious).

…and lots of workouts.  I was inspired by Megan‘s post a few weeks ago and have been incorporating a deck of cards workout once a week.  Absolutely loving them! 🙂

And now on to the BIG NEWS…

I HAVE BEEN CLEARED BY MY PHYSICAL THERAPIST TO START A RUNNING PROGRAM!!!!!!!!  Of course, it starts slow and the progression is going to be slow.  I have not been able to run for a long time and my ankle is basically brand new, so I have to be careful.  But as of Monday, I AM OFFICIALLY BACK IN THE RUNNING GAME!!!!

Words cannot describe how excited I am.  I’ve already been planning where I’m going to go Monday morning to do my workout, what I’m going to wear, and what I need to take with me.  Can you tell I’m ecstatic?!?  It’s been a long road to get to this point and I am so glad that I was patient and gave myself the time to get healthy and focused on my recovery.  Muffins is about to enter a whole new phase!

I will be taking a complete (NOT active) rest day on Sunday to make sure my legs are prepped for Monday’s workout.  I rarely do full rest days (because I’m antsy and I hate sitting around) but I think it will be the best thing for my body to prepare for my running program.

Speaking of Muffins‘ new phase, you will probably see some changes around here over the next few days/week.  I’m working on getting a banner in place, updating/adding pages, and changing some formatting.  I welcome your feedback and I hope you like the updates!

Have a wonderful Thursday (heyoo, best day of the week), everyone! 🙂

You Know You’re a Runner When…

You know you’re a runner when… you have so much athletic clothing that you have it mentally sorted into categories: running clothes, gym clothes, workout clothes that are acceptable to wear to social functions, ALL THE LEGGINGS, ratty workout clothes that should never be worn for anything other than home workouts…

You know you’re a runner when… foam rolling is simultaneously the best thing ever and the bane of your existence.

Check out that sexy sock tan...

Check out that sexy sock tan…

You know you’re a runner when… your hunger has two settings: hungry and EAT ALL THE THINGS.

Lovely brunch from yesterday, courtesy of my lovely dad!

Lovely brunch from yesterday, courtesy of my dad! (Get real, I totally went back for more. How could I not?)

You know you’re a runner when… running has become a part of your life that is not only important but NECESSARY.

You know you’re a runner when… injuries that sideline you from running force you to reenter normal society.  (What do you mean, there’s life outside of running??)  Oh, and eat lots of ice cream.

You know you’re a runner when… that first run after coming back from an injury makes you feel like you’re on top of the world.

You know you’re a runner when… your closest friends also happen to be your running buddies/other runners.  They just understand you.

You know you’re a runner when… you know that it takes not only a strong body but also a strong mind to push through a tough run.

You know you’re a runner when… no matter how difficult yesterday’s run was, you still lace up and try again today.

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Can you tell that I miss running? 😉  I’m feeling strong and I’m nearly ready to run again.  I can’t imagine how great it will feel to lace up my shoes and hit the pavement for the first time in months!

What is your favorite part of being a runner?

Tell me your most fulfilling running experience.  Running in the first snow of the year – right in the midst of college applications – last winter.  Calling that run therapeutic doesn’t even begin to describe how great it felt.

They Were Just Made For Each Other

I’m baaaaack! 🙂

What a crazy few days.  On Monday, I picked one of my friends up from school (she’s taking summer classes) and she spent Memorial Day with us, then she stayed overnight and I took her back to DC on Tuesday morning.  We had so much fun!  We hung out in Frederick after I picked her up, then came home and had burgers and cookout food with my family for dinner.  Later, we watched a movie and just hung out and talked for a long time.  I already miss my friends from school, and it hasn’t even been a month since school ended!

Tuesday night, my mom and I stayed over at my grandma’s house so that we could take her to the hospital for her cataract surgery yesterday morning.  She is SO funny and such a trooper – the surgery was easy and went smoothly!  (My favorite part was when her surgeon came and talked to her when she was in recovery because when he left, she told him, “Bye, love ya!”  Oh anesthesia, you are hilarious.)  My uncle stayed with her last night and said that she is doing great today as well.

But have no fear!  The food fun still continued during my internet absence.  My elliptical and I are BESTEST friends as I’m trying desperately to be ready to run once I get cleared.  And, over the last few days, I have discovered a few combinations that I am just absolutely LOVING.  These things were just made for each other:

1. Elliptical + Grey’s Anatomy

I admit, I am a Grey’s addict.  And lately, an elliptical addict (by default).  So why not put them together?  McDreamy makes the elliptical a little less boring. 🙂

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2. Pear + Almond Butter

Apparently I’m already weird because I like my pears straight out of the fridge (most people like to eat them room temperature I guess…?), so I have no inhibitions when it comes to trying strange food combinations.  But seriously, try it right now.  SO TASTY.

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3. Ice Pack + ACE Bandage

Maybe I’m just waaaay behind the learning curve on this one, but…uh…the ACE bandage is so helpful for keeping my ice pack from falling off.  I’m not going to comment any more on this topic in fear of embarrassing myself further.

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4. TV Time + Maggie

Because how could I resist snuggle time when I see this face?

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I seriously just can’t.

5. Coffee + Ginger Snaps

Ginger snaps are perfect for dunking!  Bonus: these ones are gluten free.  One of the many reasons that Trader Joe’s wins at life.

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6. Sweet Potatoes + MAH BELLY

Because sweet potatoes.  Enough said.

Cubed and ready to be roasted!  (From tonight's dinner.)

Cubed and ready to be roasted! (From tonight’s dinner.)

Oh, and HAPPY BEST DAY OF THE WEEK!  Did you think I would forget? 🙂

How do you eat your pears: cold or room temp?

Any Grey’s fans?  I wonder how long the show’s going to last now that Christina is gone.  She was my favorite. 😦

What combination(s) are you loving right now?

When Life Gives You Ripe Bananas…

…bake muffins!  Does anyone else get excited when they see a super ripe banana sitting on their counter?  For me, ripe bananas automatically mean 1) banana bread or 2) muffins.

Before I got into baking mode, I made PANCAKES.  (I know, I’m really going to town on the cooking.  Since I can’t run, I have lots of free time to fill, okay?)  I wanted a recipe that used oat flour and I sure did happen upon a good one.  GF flours often give pancakes a weird texture or make them super dense so I was hoping that oat flour would work better…and it sure did!  Just look at these beautiful pancakes. 🙂

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I topped mine with jam and had raspberries on the side…

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…and my mom made the cutest little ricotta cheese and raspberry shortcakes with hers!

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No funky flavor, no funky texture.  Win-win.  Looks like I found a new go-to GF pancake recipe! 🙂

After breakfast, it was time to get a workout in.  Today, it was upper body on the Total Gym + 30 minutes elliptical + NTC legs.  I’m sure I’ll be feeling the DOMS in a couple days from that one!  And of course, I did my PT exercises, which kick my butt every time.  Why is getting back to running so difficult?!  So close yet so far…

Then, finally, it was muffin time!  I have made these almond butter chocolate chip muffins before and liked them a lot so why mess with a good thing?  Again, they turned out moist and chocolate-y and delicious. 🙂

The seventh muffin mysteriously disappeared soon after I took this picture...

The seventh muffin mysteriously disappeared soon after I took this picture…

Sadly, it was time to get back to reality after my morning spent in baking-land…all of my college shtuff cluttered in my bedroom was calling to me to be cleaned up.  Not fun, but I got it done and I can finally see my floor again!  No longer is getting from my door to my bed an acrobatic affair. 😀

Hope everyone had a great BEST DAY OF THE WEEK! 🙂

What do you do with overripe bananas?  Bananaaaaa bread!