Hermano’s 15th Birthday

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The only thing sure to make you feel older than getting older yourself, is seeing people you’ve known their entire lives get older! How is my brother 15?!?!?!

This is the face of a 15 year old. A 15 year old who needs a hair cut.

To celebrate, Hermano, Steve, my dad and I all went to Dave & Busters. My family is huge on games, and honestly we could mostly care less about tickets and prizes–we just want to play everything all day long! We started with the electronic jump rope.

Look at my dad's face. Priceless.

We also played air hockey.

I am serious about my air hockey. I do not like to lose.

Did that game where you try to get your ball into the “run” section and not the “move a micro inch” sections.

We spent the larger part of the afternoon there hanging out and having fun before coming back to my house for dessert. Today is Hermano’s actual birthday, but he is living it up in California with his mom and their fancy birthday trip. Thanks for the invite. Some brother you are ;)

I feel really lucky to have this guy in my life. There is something really cool about the sibling relationship when you have a wide age gap. Most of the time, I’d rather hang out with him than most people my age. Hermano is hilarious, smart (even when he pretends not to be), kind, and patient. Kinda the opposite of what you’d expect from a super talented, well liked teenager. I couldn’t be prouder of the young man (weird–I still think of him as a toddler) he’s become! Feliz cuplianos Hermano!!

Work It Out 4/23-4/29

I can’t believe how quickly the last few months have gone by. This was my last real training week before I brave the Whiskey Row half marathon, and the 1700 foot climb over the first 6.5 miles. Shit. Sorry for cursing, but honestly, shit. Not to mention this course starts at 5300 ft and Phoenix is what like 2 ft? I’m excited, though. Totally nervous, but excited. I’ve been training hard, and this is not my goal race. Not for time, anyway. It’s my goal to take on a new challenge and finish strong. Only race day will be able to show what that will mean.

I’m most looking forward to running with Lisa again. And margaritas, naturally.  So here’s how I worked it out this week.

  • Monday: 5 miles with Jason. We ran. Jason PDR’d. We breakfast’d. It was awesome.
  • Tuesday: Linda’s Spin. This class wasridiculous. Linda came in, and told us we were going to do something different. We all did warm up like normal, cleared our bikes then started over together. She split the class into 4 groups based off where we were sitting and told us we were competing to see which team could complete the most miles while maintaining our individual “flat roads” and keeping up with all of the hills. She even walked around to make sure people weren’t cheating. Once the term competition was involved, I spun my little heart out faster than I knew possible. I was a hot mess. Unfortunately, my group came in third, but I had the highest mileage in my group, and was in the top 5 in the class with 19.7 miles in 43 minutes, with a flat road of 10.
  • Wednesday: Tempo run. 6 miles with 4 tempo miles @ 9:07. Ran with speed Ashley and ended up with 1 mile warm up, then 9:05, 9:05, 9:07, 8:49, 1 mile cool down. This run was tough, but good.
  • Thursday: Rest. Welllll, I did walk 2 miles around the duck pond with Kara. Does that count?
  • Friday: “Long” run. Ran just over 6 miles with Stacey. This run felt great, but my legs are definitely happy for the break they’re getting right now.
  • Saturday: Bike ride. Not the most ideal circumstances, but my legs felt great, and honestly I felt like if I had brought food along (I got super hungry at the end!), I could have just kept going. Also, if I hadn’t gotten a flat and had to stop, but you know…
  • Sunday: Rest. That’s two in one week friends. And it was lovely.
Let the taper begin continue!!

How did you work it out this week?

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

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So the thing is, we are definitely not perfect, but Steve and I have learned a bit about photography (him), food presentation (me), and composition (both of us) since starting this little blog. Whenever I go through my old recipe posts, I cringe and hope the people visiting my blog don’t look at them and run away forever. I keep them because the recipes are good, but I have this grand plan to recreate everything I love and get some good quality pictures so that everything on here looks cohesive. And not like a 5 year old made it. The problem is, I get excited and creative and want to make new recipes! However, these I love. Like a to the depths of my heart kind of love.

They were actually pretty popular around the internet too. I mean seriously, peanut butter, chocolate, and pretzels. It’s kind of a sure thing.

My favorite thing about these cookies is all of the contrasting flavors and textures.

Sweet & salty.

Crunchy & soft.

Perfect balance.

I may not always achieve perfect balance with my personal, professional, and health goals, but the most important thing is that I can accomplish it in a cookie, right?

Okay, good. As long as we’re all on the same page. Since we’re going with balance, I even made these slightly healthier this time around, and you know what? They were equally delicious. So to balance out the healthy, I ate about 7 of them in one day. It was awesome.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies

yield approx 2 dozen

  • 1 1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 5 tbs packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (preferably PB & Co White Chocolate Wonderful)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate chips
  • approx 24 pretzels (one per cookie)

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat apple butter, sugars, and peanut butter until smooth.
  3. Add egg and vanilla. Mix well.
  4. Slowly stir the dry ingredients.
  5. Fold in chips. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  7. Roll dough into small 1″ balls, or use a cookie scoop and drop on prepared cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 7 minutes, then press a pretzel into each cookie. Cook for an additional 7 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.

Skinnified Sunday: “Fettuccine” Alfredo

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My family loves Italian food. In fact, our birthday celebration of choice happens every year at Avanti–the best Italian restaurant in Phoenix, in my humble opinion. They have a 3 way pasta combination that is ridiculous. There is always a set 3 things on it, but they always let us modify it and order it however we want. My pasta plate of choice: gnocchi cardinale, angel hair fried diablo, and of course fettuccine alfredo. Their alfredo sauce is thick, creamy and buttery. It sticks to the fettuccine perfectly so in every bite you get maximum sauce, and a little bit of heaven.

There are some things I just don’t eat these days, regardless of the occasion. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t. I’m just saying, for me, it doesn’t seem worth it. But you know what does seem worth it? Recreating my own that is just as delicious (seriously!) with a fraction of the calories.

Okay, seriously. I did not expect my first go at this to be a success. I kept tasting the sauce as I was cooking and shouting to Steve “Oh my gosh!!! It tastes like alfredo sauce!!!!!”

“Isn’t that the point?” He didn’t seem to get my amazement that it actually worked. I made legit tasting fettuccine alfredo. My days of drooling over creamy alfredo sauce are back my friends and they don’t leave me feeling the gross heaviness in my stomach!

Also, did I mention it’s gluten free? Carolyn, wanna come over for dinner?

 

Skinnified “Fettuccine” Alfredo’

yield 4 servings

  • 1 large spaghetti squash, split lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3-4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2-1 tbs light whipped butter
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup white wine (optional, otherwise sub more almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Drizzle the center of each half of split and seeded spaghetti squash with 1 tsp olive oil. Using your fingers, rub oil evenly into squash. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place spaghetti squash in a large baking dish center down, and bake for 1 hour.
  3. About 40 minutes into baking, begin your sauce. Place minced garlic and butter in a large pan with fairly high edges over medium heat. Cook for 3 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add cream cheese, milk, wine, and parmesan cheese. Using a whisk, stir constantly. Add salt and pepper.
  4. When spaghetti squash is finished (center should be tender and come apart when scraped lightly with a fork), use a fork to scrape out the insides. They will come out looking just like spaghetti.
  5. Make sure all sauce ingredients are thoroughly combined, and transfer the squash “noodles” to your sauce. Use cooking tongs to toss and coat squash thoroughly.
  6. When thoroughly combined, serve and top with fresh parsley.

Mostly Happy Things

Yes, Winston is laying directly on top of Clementine. He is so rude!

Hi friends, happy weekend! The past few days have been filled with lots of things. Mostly happy things. And a few annoying things. I’ve been posting lots of recipes lately, and I kinda miss the whole writing about little things in my life just because they’re important to me thing, so that’s what I’m going to do today. :)

Annoying Things:

There are less of these and they’re less fun. Let’s get them out of the way first. shall we?

  1. Yesterday, Steve, Dan and I set out for a 30 mile bike loop this morning. Around mile 10, Steve got a flat that he fixed, then broke the new tube, then patched. At mile 15, his tire went flat again. I was the only one that had their phone, so we called my step dad (Thanks Hank!! You’re awesome!!) to come get him, and Dan and I set back to finish the loop. At mile 25ish, I got a flat tire. No joke. Dan went back to the house, and Hank came back to get me too. It was not so fun, but it could have been a lot worse. I have a whole list of people that would come rescue me in an emergency, so I’m just gonna try to count my blessings.
  2. Friday I had to stop and use the bathroom mid run at this really sketchy dry cleaners. The toilet had no lid and no flusher, so I had to reach into the open top to flush, but then there wasn’t enough water and so I had to use the hose that went into the toilet. The whole thing was so odd.
  3. The fro yo place is not open at 9:30 am. In fact, they don’t open until 11am. Now, if you ask me, that is just ridiculous.

Happy Things:
So many happy things! It’s been a pretty great week, in fact!

  1. I got some really great news from my amazing friend Emily that totally blew me away. I feel so honored and lucky to be working in such a supportive environment with some truly amazing friends.
  2. I got all of my fundraising letter sent out! I’m still waiting on some addresses (by the way if I asked for your address and you thought you were getting a super awesome present, I’m sorry about that…), and I have a lot of work to do in terms of getting business donations, but I spent hours (with the help, of course, of my super amazing husband) writing, addressing, labeling, stamping, and stuffing envelopes. I actually kind of enjoyed the whole process. Don’t forget, if you’d like to donate, you can visit my page here :)
  3. I found out I won’t be running alone for those 4.5 hours. I can’t say more than that until a very special person gives her own news, but I am beyond excited!
  4. I had a super awesome taper week “long” run with Stacey on Friday! She did a legit long run, and accomplished her first double digit run at a pretty quick pace! I love running with her, and I am so proud of her! PS, she is running her first half marathon next Sunday. Be sure to head over to her blog and wish her good luck!
  5. I ran with Jason on Monday while he accomplished a new PDR of 5 miles! Remember back in February when our runs consisted of a max running time of 3 minutes before taking a walk break? Now he runs 5 miles with no breaks. Think you can’t run? This guy’s progress could inspire anyone to get out there and give it a shot! 3 minutes to 5 miles in 2 months? Ummm, OKAY!
  6. Monday is Hermano’s birthday! He’s turning 15, and is kinda my favorite person on Earth. This also means he is only one year away from being able to drive me around all the time. It’s going to be awesome. “Hermano, take me to the store.” “Hermano, bring me some Dutch Brothers!” We celebrated yesterday. I’ll be writing about it soon.
  7. Last night I went to a fancy gaala! I drank wine, ate food, and pretended I was rich enough to bid on items. Molly and I really wanted the pop corn machine, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. My favorite part was that they described it as “A popping good time!” Yes, I would like a popping good time. How did you know??
  8. MY BFFFF Heather got my subscription to Eating Well magazinefor the holidays/my birthday/running, and the first one came in the mail this week! Thanks Heath!!! Love you!!
  9. I got 3 walks in with the duckies this week with Nicole and Kara. Duck lake is especially pretty these days. It looks like fall and there are all sorts of purple leaves:

    DUCKIES!!!!


  10. This happened:

    Yes, Winston is laying directly on top of Clementine. He is so rude!

  11. Friday I went to work and received these:

    My favorite part is where she writes "Don't worry if you cry. I actually cried too." Obviously these kids know me well, and just how sentimental I am. I totally cried.

Now if that doesn’t make you smile, I don’t even know what to tell you!

What made you happy this week??

White Chocolate Cake Batter Cups

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I’m sorry for this.

You see the thing is, you will have to make these. They are ridiculous.

I will never buy a Reese’s peanut butter cup again. I mean, these aren’t peanut butter, but in case you didn’t notice, I’m on a bit of a kick here with the home made candy cup business.

The cake batter dip in the center is the perfect soft and silky consistency covered in the delicious white chocolate shell.

I made these as a going away gift for my wonderful, amazing friend Kara. You know my very favorite running and spinning buddy? Yeah, life as I know it is over, and no I don’t want to talk about it. I just want to drown my sorrow in white chocolate and cake batter. IS THAT SO WRONG????

I know, you’re probably devastated as well. Care to join me in this sorrow drowning?

It may not be healthy, but I will say, it’s far less unhealthy than it sounds…

White Chocolate Cake Batter Cups

yield 26-30 cups

  • 2 10 oz bags white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tbs coconut oil
  • approx 1/2 cup cake batter dip (I used Cinnamon Spice, but you could also use the original)

Directions:

  1. Line 24 mini muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, melt white chocolate and coconut oil in the microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted.
  3. Spoon enough white chocolate to cover the bottom of each baking cup.
  4. Add 1-2 tsp Cake Batter Dip.
  5. Fill with chocolate until Cookie Butter is completely covered and top is smooth.
  6. Freeze to set. Keep in freezer or fridge.

Work It Out 4/16-4/22

First of all, perhaps you notice something different about the way the blog looks today?? For all like 4 of you who read this through google reader, you should head on over to the site and see what the amazing Liz of Sweet Simplicity Designs set up for me! There’s still a few things I need to do, but I have lots of new pages and fun things for you guys to look at. It’s not all ready just yet, but soon…! I’m so excited to have a custom design that is so me!

Anyway, in work out land, lots of great things happened last week!

I set a new record for miles I’ve run in one week. Last week I ran 25 miles, which may not sound like a lot to you marathoners, but as a 3x a week trying not to avoid injury at all costs runner, it was a new milestone, with my previous highest mileage at 22.

I ran the fastest mile I have ever run without stopping. I used to stop a lot to “stretch” during hard miles when I wanted to run faster. I didn’t really get speed work, I just knew that I wanted times like I saw on other blogs. It wasn’t helpful, and I felt like a big cheater. This week I ran a mile in 8:23, and it was the 3rd mile of my speed work session. I feel great about that. My 7:59 is on the horizon.

I got all of my workouts in. It wasn’t easy. Sometimes it’s hard to juggle things like races, and spin class that aren’t exactly a part of my training plan, but I made it work.

Some not so great things happened, but I’ll get to that.

  • Monday: 4 miles with Jason. Fun friend running time. Love.
  • Tuesday: Linda’s Spin. Sweaty love.
  • Wednesday: 3x1600s @ 8:35 with 800 recovery jogs. I ran with Speedy Ashley. 1 mile warm up, then I ran the 1600s in 8:32, 8:30, 8:23, then cool down to total 6 miles. I kind of thought I was going to die, but every time I go into speed work, I doubt myself and think I can’t do it, then end up exceeding my expectations. It’s difficult to get used to being that uncomfortable, but it’s helping, and it’s probably my favorite type of training run right now.
  • Thursday: 13 mile bike ride with Steve. Rode to coffee, nice and easy.
  • Friday: Long Run. 11 super not fun miles. If you want the details, you can link back, but really I was just proud of myself for finishing with some pretty crappy circumstances.
  • Saturday: Pat’s Run. Way more unpleasant than Friday. Miserable, stomach flu feeling filled race. But I didn’t give up, and that’s what I need to focus on. This weekend taught me a lot about how persistent I am. Sometimes making it through a bad race is so much harder than setting a PR or having a great race.
  • Sunday: Total rest. Like actual rest. I called in sick. To my own rehearsal. Ummm, I don’t do that. But I was so sick on Saturday, and I knew that if I wanted to actually get better, rest was not only a good idea, but necessary. It’s amazing, if you actually do rest and take care of yourself, that you feel mostly better pretty quickly! Who knew, right? So even though today I still don’t feel 100%, I feel a whole lot better than Friday and Saturday, and I don’t regret taking the time to myself one bit. I came back today feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the week.

How did you work it out last week?? Learn anything life changing? How did you take care of yourself?

Buffalo Deviled Eggs

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You know what food I really missed when I stopped eating deep fried food? Buffalo wings. Those things are freaking delicious! But really, it is not the breaded deep fried chicken that has anything to do with this deliciousness. The chicken is purely the vehicle to get to the delicious, bold, spicy, flavorful buffalo sauce.

And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love deviled eggs??? Crazies. Weird people. Humans with defective taste buds.

Wanna know something strange about me? I don’t love mayonnaise. In fact, if I am going to eat it, I’m one of those freaks that only really likes the light Miracle Whip with a million fake ingredients. It’s strange, but I’ll own up to it. I mean, if you put some creamy potato salad in my face, I will eat it, don’t get me wrong. But like when I see people slather it on a sandwich, I just kind of don’t get it. Good thing there are much healthier and tastier solutions to getting that mayo consistency, like Greek yogurt!

I know many of you are skeptical. “What can someone who doesn’t like mayo know about finding a suitable replacement?!?!” Well, I may not love mayo, but I do love food, and trust me, you won’t be missing anything!

These, along with the super popular cake batter dip, were also made last weekend for Deann’s bridal shower. I think I made close to 20 eggs, and not a single one was left over.

On a random note, I apparently need to work on my drizzling height because the red sauce coming from seemingly no where freaks me out a little bit in this next picture. I promise, these are deviled eggs, not scenes out of a vampire movie.

Because, honestly, who doesn’t want their eggs to be spicier?

 

Buffalo Deviled Eggs

inspired by Baked By Rachel

yield 1 dozen

  • 6 hard boiled eggs, shelled
  • 3 tbs nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbs light miracle whip (or light mayo, or whatever you like)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • garlic pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot (or buffalo sauce of choice, but we all know Frank’s is the best)
  • 1-2 stalks celery, minced
  • paprika for dusting
  • extra buffalo sauce for drizzling (optional)
  • crumbled bleu cheese for topping (optional–I LOVE it with bleu cheese, but not everyone shares my sentiment)

Directions:

  1. Slice eggs length wise. Scoop out yolks into a medium mixing bowl and set whites aside.
  2. Add yogurt, mayo, avocado, pepper and buffalo sauce to the yolks and mix well. Then use an immersion blender to smooth completely.
  3. Transfer yolk mixture to a piping bag or plastic bag with the tip cut off and divide evenly between the egg whites (I used the star tip because I thought it made them pretty ;) ).
  4. Sprinkle lightly with paprika, then top with celery.
  5. Add any desired optional ingredients, and serve immediately.

 

 

Pat’s Run 4.2 Race Recap

If I never talk about it, then it’s like it never happened, right?

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Today was not a good day. Well, it’s only 1:44pm, so I will say that the first 8 hours of today have not been good. Remember yesterday’s craptastic run? Well today, I woke up feeling worse than when I woke up yesterday. Even though by yesterday afternoon I thought I felt better? Or maybe with how busy I was, I just didn’t notice that my body was still off? I’m not sure. But I woke up, my achilles were so sore that it hurt to flex my feet in bed, and used the bathroom 5 times in the 45 minutes before Nicole came to pick me up. Not a great start.

We got to the race and I was trying to meet up with Jason, and we had planned to meet up with several ladies from the AZ Bloggers Network, but we forgot Jason’s bib in the car, had to run back and were scrambling for time at the last minute. And when I say run back to the car, that’s literally what we did and I can tell you, it did not feel good. I felt nauseous and totally out of breath and I knew I was going to have a rough race, but I was determined to try to keep up with Nicole anyway. We barely found Jason, and scrambled to our corrals.

The National Anthem was played so beautifully, and as I stood there in a crowd filled with energy, I never really found any of my own. I wanted to run fast purely for the satisfaction of seeing a number on my garmin at the end of the race, but really emotionally and physically, I just felt tapped out. I tried to stick with Nicole and Julie as we went through the starting line, but I looked down at my Garmin as they were getting further away around a quarter of a mile in and it said 7:17. I waved Nicole ahead and tried my best to keep trucking along.

I finished mile 1 in 8:40 (my only decent mile in the entire race), grabbed water at the first water station, and within a minute, my stomach began to feel like someone was sticking a knife into it. I tried to keep going, but I felt absolutely miserable and shortly into mile 2, I stopped to walk and contemplating dropping out of the race all together. I have never thought about. Walking was less painful than running, so I told myself that worst case scenario, I could keep walking and still finish.

I kept trying to start running again, and it seemed like every time I picked up my pace, I got a sharp pain digging in my stomach and an urgent need to find the closest restroom, which of course there were none of along the course. Where are all the porta potties, huh Pat??? That was rude. I should be honoring him, not yelling at him about porta potties. Anyway, eventually after walking for what felt like forever, I was able to at least get back to a walk/run combo.

I spent a lot of the next 2 miles beating myself up, and trying to figure out ways to make up time. I was frustrated and not enjoying myself in the least, but I just wanted to finish so I could be done. Mile 2 was 10:41, and somehow with my walk/run combo, I managed to keep miles 3 and 4 just under 10 min. As soon as I saw the finish, I still wanted to finish strong. I mustered up everything I had left and sprinted like I don’t think I’ve ever sprinted before. My legs had a surprising amount still left in them (hey stomach, try as you might, you can’t bring my legs down!!) and at one point (probably for like a milisecond) hit a 5:10 pace according to Garmi!

I finished with an official time of 40:02. I was surrounded my swarms of people, I felt awful, I needed to get to a bathroom stat, I couldn’t see the way to get out and I was starting to panic. I struggled not to just start crying in the middle of the stadium. And did I mention that it was HOT?? Like in the 80s with a high today of over 100.

I finally made it out, and luckily Nicole spotted me really quickly. She rocked the race and finished in something ridiculous like 35 minutes!! But I’m a really awesome running friend and didn’t even asked. I just started crying about how I felt awful. I’m a real gem. You can fill out applications to be my friend, but be warned, there are so many of them because of my winning personality. I’m pickier than the moderators on Taste Spotting.

Everyone else I knew at the race today totally rocked it. Jason did it without taking a single walk break and much faster than we ran the distance just on Monday! Stacey kicked butt, and Emily even came over and said hi in the middle of her last mile! I’m so proud of my friends for their successful races!! And I know that things happen, and I will have better races.

Honestly, right now I’m running a fever and very clearly have something wrong that I’m guessing is the stomach flu, so I truly am proud that I made it through and finished. It doesn’t change that it’s frustrating, but I’m trying to stay positive. I tend to get overly emotional and sensetive when I’m sick, so it’s proving to be a challenge right now, but I’m sure I will wake up tomorrow with some renewed positivity. Or you all are going to have to slap some into me. Sound like a plan?

PLEASE TELL ME HAPPY THINGS!!!! Good race? Good things at work? Pictures of puppies being cute? You bought me my own fro yo machine and are having it delivered immediately?? I need some sunshine today!

No Excuses

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A few years ago I was the *queen* of excuses.

“Everyone else just eats what they want. My body just sucks. Wahhh.”

“I can’t run. I have really short achilles. Waaahhh.”

“I can’t, I can’t, I can’t…”

This morning I had every single excuse to bail on my long run. Some of them were even legit.

I have a race tomorrow
   Pretty legit reason right? Tomorrow, I’m running Pat’s run with some of my favorite ladies, and I really want to kick ass and run fast. Scheduling a long run the day before was not my brightest move, but there wasn’t really an other time.

My body feels…off.
   I don’t know if that makes sense, but yesterday I woke up with every single muscle in my body feeling tired and sore. Chances are, that just means I’ve worked hard this week, but I just kinda felt like I needed a break, even though all I did yesterday was an easy bike ride.

But many of them were BS, and I knew it.

I have no one to go with.
   Suck it up.

I’m tired.
   Again, suck it up. Try not staying up til midnight all week when you know you have your alarm set for 6am.

I have a long day ahead of me.
   Which will only seem longer if I spend the entire time regretting my laziness.

It’s 5:45am and already 70 degrees.
   It will only get hotter later.

I’ve stopped for the bathroom 4 times in the last hour and my stomach is still tied in knots.
   Okay, this was almost legit. I woke up with my stomach feeling off, and then proceeded to have the most unpleasant first hour of a run ever.

The first five miles of this run were ridiculously mentally challenging. I came back home after the first half a mile for a good 20 minutes (sorry, I’m trying to keep this not toooo descriptive) before heading back out, had to stop at Cindy and Jacob’s (because stopping at someone’s house and begging to use their bathroom because it’s an emergency isn’t at all embarrassing), then again not even half a mile later. I came up with every reason I should just go home, or ways I could cut my run short, or the minimum amount of mileage I was okay with for that day. The truth is, the minimum amount I was okay with, was the amount freaking scheduled.

11 miles done. No excuses.

The thing is, it came down to 2 things.

  1. This is my last long training run before Whiskey Row. As much as I want to keep up with Nicole tomorrow and run super fast, training for my half marathon is more important and has to come first. I’m feeling a little under trained. I took like a month off from long runs after the Lost Dutchman, and this is only my 3rd double digit run this training cycle.
  2. I needed to run for my sanity. That’s dramatic. But seriously. If I skipped on a planned workout, especially an important one, I would feel guilty and bad about myself. And maybe that’s not the world’s healthiest mindset. I can accept that. However, it’s where I personally am at right now, and I would rather feel good mentally.

All that being said, please know that if I felt injured or like running was really going to cause more harm than good, I wouldn’t have done it. Maybe I’m overly confident, but I feel like I know my body. I’m proud of myself for getting to the point where no excuse can bring me down, and knowing what I need in order to feel good. A lot has changed.

After my run, I was thrilled to be back at home and have some time to stretch everything out.

To the man who found my blog by searching "hot wife stretching legs", perhaps that lead you to something like this? I am very sweaty and I am stretching, but somehow I don't get the feeling this is quite what you were looking for....

Clementine is the best helper. If you need help stretching, or foam rolling, or licking sweat off your face, she is your girl.

And lastly, because I need some positive quote-age today, I leave you with this.

 

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What excuses have you kicked to the curb lately?? What motivates you when your brain is full of reasons why not??

 

Cinnamon Chip Granola Cookies

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I love chips. Chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, kale chips, you name it. It’s kind of like my love affair with all things named ______ butter (peanut, cookie, fig, apple…). Cinnamon chips are hard to find, so if you happen to catch them, I suggest stocking up, because they are ridiculously delicious. Way back around Christmastime, Nicole made some pretty awesome cinnamon chip cookies, and ever since I’ve been thinking about my own cinnamon chips burning a hole in my pantry.

Cinnamon chips and granola. Does that make you as excited as it makes me???

It kind of made me skip around the kitchen, patting myself on the back, declaring myself a genius, and certain I need to start getting patents for all my great ideas. Don’t burst my bubble, okay? It’s my blog, so let’s just all agree to pretend I’m brilliant. I don’t take rejection well. It’s bad for my self esteem.

Thanks for sticking with me through that. You guys are awesome.

That’s why I made you this present.

From me to you.

Except I may have eaten them all.

At least I wrapped them up first, right?

I couldn’t help it. They outsides were crunchy, and so was the granola, and the insides were gooey with melty cinnamon chips. Can you blame me for eating an entire batch of cookies??? Okay, this guy helped. You have to feed your photographer right? Anyway, you should make some. You don’t have to tie your own cookies in a bow, and you can eat them all yourself and refuse to feel guilty about it, just like me.

Cinnamon Chip Granola Cookies

yield 15 cookies

  • 1/4 cup apple butter
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • dash salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup granola of choice (I used this one, and it is ridiculously good)
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Lightly spray a large cookie sheet with nonstick spray, and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat apple butter, brown sugar and Splenda together until combined. Beat in egg substitute, vanilla and almond.
  3. Add cinnamon, baking soda and salt, and beat until combined. Beat in flour.
  4. Fold in oats, followed by cinnamon chips and granola.
  5. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to portion out tablespoon sized cookie dough balls on prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with greased parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 9-11 minutes, turning half way through to ensure even cooking.
  7. Let stand for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

**Note: I made the glaze for fun. The cookies are equally delicious without it, but if you’re sitting there thinking “I WANT THAT GLAZE ON MY COOKIES!!!” I took about 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 2 tbs hot water and a dash of almond extract and just mixed it together ;)