The First Frost is the Coldest {and a Tangent Tuesday}

So I was ready for a bit of a change…


And a rich new fall hair color!  After rocking my natural color for a good 10 years, it was time to have some fun!


I had a super busy Monday…the gym, a lunch date (tacos and guac), shopping, crockpotting, and then a hair appointment.  I got home after sun down but even the BOY noticed my new hair color.  Unlike when I got bangs and it took him 3 days to notice, this week he approved right away.  We had leftovers for dinner.  Our friends are amazing and sent us home with ribs, mashed potatoes, and cake : ) 

We have an exciting week ahead…our 1 month anniversary (is today!) and the BOY’s birthday…so lots to celebrate!

And celebrations require sweets!


This weekend, I made the most amazing Monster Bars and Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  Both are disappearing quickly.


This morning, I took my new tennies for a test drive. 


It was about 30 degrees and way too cold.  Well, I’m sure in a few weeks, I’ll be wishing it was that warm, but it got me thinking…Brrr…that first frost is the coldest (and toughest)!


I ran about 5 miles and although I LOVED my new shoes, my fingers didn’t warm up until 3 patients into my day : )

I’ve ran out of tangents so I am off to bed…

What’s your Tuesday tangent?


Meal Planning 11/09/15

Monday: Leftovers

Tuesday: Crockpot Chicken Curry

Wednesday: Sushi for the BOY’s Birthday Dinner

Thursday: Tacos


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

From Two Peas and Their Pod


1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup of raisins


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small bowl add the raisins and cover with water. Let them sit for five minutes. This will help plump them up.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth and creamy. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture. Blend until combined. Stir in the oats and raisins.

Spoon about a tablespoon of dough into a round ball, leaving space between each cookie. They will spread a little. Bake them for 10 to 12 minutes. Take them out when they are golden at the edges but still a little under baked in the middle. Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to cooling rack.

Five for Friday XXXVI

1. Look at me getting back into the blogging groove.  Too bad I have absolutely no idea how to do Roman numerals and am totally winging it on these posts.  Please…no judgment, it’s Friday!


2. Yesterday, the BOY and I went to the gym before work.  He ran on the treadmill while I ran on the track.  I don’t have any pictures, but I can tell you that I learned that it takes him a good half hour to get out the door in the morning (where as I am ready to go in about 10 minutes) so our workouts were rather short.  I did an adapted version of long intervals and then came home to an old favorite for breakfast…the Pumpkin Dough Boy Smoothie.  Next Thursday, I will be setting our alarm earlier!


Ps The post for this recipe is such a blast from the past…it’s over 4 years old!


3. Speaking of running, check out what arrived in the mail today!  New shoes!  So, the truth is that I have been running in Brooks since like 2004.  In the haste of wedding prep and in an attempt to save some money, I bought a super sale pair of Mizuno’s.  For whatever reason, they have never worked great with my feet. I was able to make them last, but it was definitely time for a new pair and I didn’t even hesitate to go back to my favorite Pure Cadence!




4. Tomorrow we have tickets to see the new James Bond movie.  In prep, we’ve been watching the previous 3 Daniel Craig movies this week.  Is anyone else going to see Spectre?  And from James Bond, I digress to Adele (who sings one of his theme songs).  How excited are you for her new album?  I can’t wait to hear her new stuff!


5. I had a rather stressful week and needed to unwind tonight with a few glasses of delicious red wine.  Since the BOY and I have another workout planned early tomorrow morning,  I am off to bed.  With my furry friend…of course!



How is your Friday going???  What are you doing this weekend?

Five for Friday XXXII

1. My full speed ahead approach to this sinus infection failed me as I was forced to call in sick to work today.  I was coughing non stop yesterday and woke up today unrested, with the sweats, and a wicked headache.  I hated to make the call, but it was clear that I made the right decision when I crashed on the couch wondering if I had the flu.  Ugh!



2. Cooper and I took a 2 hour nap today!  He is a pretty good nurse.  And by 4:00, I finally started to feel like a person again.




3. Cooper and I also watched 3 hours of Scandal today, but we didn’t catch up on any Grey’s.  I did finish my book though…which by the way was AWESOME!  I highly recommend both of Kimberly McCreight’s books.


4. I bought new running shoes.  I’ve never worn Mizuno before, so fingers crossed that I will be feeling well enough to take them for a test drive soon, and I’m hoping that they will work.  Especially since they look so cool!  Do you wear Mizuno’s?




5. The BOY made dinner tonight (homemade pizza) and luckily I was feeling better (after a nap and some Advil) enough to eat.  I impressed him by making a fancy dessert.  Ha ha!  Actually I kind of messed up my dessert in a box, but it was still tasty.




Tell me about your Friday…

Rain Rain Go Away…

Don’t come back on Saturday!


So the plan this morning was to take my new shoes out for a 5 mile pace run.  At 6:30am when we woke up to thunder and lightening, it didn’t look good for a run.  But by 8:00am, when the alarm sounded the rain seemed to have stopped.


I have a shoe dilemma…

My awesome purple shoes that I have been training in since May have too many miles.  I started feeling the effects during some recent long runs and wasn’t exactly sure what to do.  I ended up ordering some new shoes (awesome black and blue color) and an adorable long sleeved tshirt.  I paid the extra $5 on top of my free shipping to expedite the shipment.  My shoes arrived last night and as soon as I slipped my foot in this morning, I knew that the extra support was exactly what I needed.




I took the shoes for a test drive with an aggressive morning pace run.  During which I began to think about my plan to get these shoes ready for the marathon in just a few weeks.  Ugghh!  So my dilemma…which shoes do I wear for Saturday’s 20 miler?  I fear that wearing my old (purple) shoes will cause unnecessary aches and pains, but I’m not sure the new (black) shoes are ready for 20 miles.  Ideally, I’d love to wear the new ones for the first 12 miles or so, and then switch, but that’s not an option.  So help me…what should I do???  Do I wear the shoes with too many miles or too few?




The saddest part about this new shoe situation is that I picked out my neon green socks to go with my purple shoes (I love green and purple together) and I’m not sure how good they will look with the black and blue shoes.  Ok, back to more important things than my race day outfit…this morning’s run.  It appeared that the rain was done and that I would only be joined only by fog and humidity, but with a little over a mile left to go, the skies opened and the rain came pouring down.  I was in the perfect place to take a short cut home and after some debate, and another gust of rain as I rounded the corner on to my street, I decided to cut my run a little short.  Even with a slower last mile, I finished my 4.6 mile run below race pace averaging 8:33 min/miles.  It was tough to maintain that pace, but I’m happy I pushed through this morning.




I didn’t eat breakfast before my run, which may have made that last mile tougher.  I had a fantastic plan for my post run recovery snack…Summer Sander’s Post-Run Smoothie!  I discovered this in Women’s Running magazine while reading it last night.  It’s definitely different than my usual smoothie and I LOVED every sip!




I’m sure it feels like the majority of my posts have been about running lately.  This is mostly because the majority of my life has been about running lately.  With a side of work, eating, and maybe some sleeping.  If you’re not into the running stuff, then you’ll be happy to know that my last long run is this weekend and then the taper begins!  Wish me luck on Saturday’s 20 miler and cross your fingers for a rain free day!


One last thing…

Did you know tomorrow is Run at Work Day?

Love it!


celebrate run at work day, brooks running run at work day, when is run at work day, run at work day 2013




Ok seriously…which shoes should I wear this weekend? 

Is three weeks enough time to get new shoes ready for 26.2 miles?



Summer Sander’s Post Run Smoothie

From Women’s Running Magazine

Serves 2



1 cup ice

1 cup almond milk

2 tbsp peanut butter (I used almond butter)

1 ripe banana

1 tbsp honey (I used 1/2 tbsp agave)

4 pitted dates



Add all ingredients into blender.  Mix until smooth. Enjoy!

Five for Friday IV

1. Thanks for your amazing comments on my Why I Love Triathlons Post.  That was such an easy and fun post to write, and I hope that I inspired at least one person to give the sport a tri!



2.  The BOY made turkey burgers on the grill for dinner tonight.  Can I tell you how awesome it is to walk in the door after a long week of work (and a bad commute) and have him heading out to the grill to make us dinner?!





3. Things have been a little crazy around here, and I currently have a pile of clothes from turtlenecks to shorts and tanks on our guest bed that needs to be addressed this weekend.  The BOY and I have a day of closet cleaning and clothing donation ahead of us.  Sounds like fun…right?



4. This week in workouts, I went swimming for 30 minutes on Tuesday (then sat in the hot tub for a good 10 minutes) and continued to break in my new running shoes with a 40 minute run on Thursday.  Weather permitted, I have a BRICK planned for tomorrow.  I am digging my new shoes and hoping they are ready for the Soldier Field 10 Miler next weekend.





5.  I booked our next trip to Door County (in August), and I seriously can’t wait!  We enjoyed our dinner with some wine from our favorite winery in DC.  It was soo smooth and delicious!  We need to get back and restock!





Tell me something about your Friday!

Hills and Heat

A day like this is meant to be spent in air conditioning!!!  With a cold drink and a Law&Order marathon : )

Instead, my mom and I signed up for a race! 


I debated back and forth whether or not I wanted to get up early on my day off and brave the heat for a run.




But I figured that I would be getting up early to exercise anyways (since the weathermen had predicted a scorcher).




And, I remembered how much I LOVE local community races (and it’s not just because of the free tshirts!)




So yesterday, I signed my mom up for the 5k and myself up for the 10k Run for the Arts in Barrington at 7:30AM on Forth of July morning.  My Dad decided to tag along and keep us company.  He made a wonderful photographer!




We arrived really early to pick up our packets and tshirts.  I decided to use my newer running shoes (this would be the longest distance I’ve run in them), and my Mom was sporting some bright shoes too.


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My Saturday running buddies were racing this morning as well, and we all made our way to the start line.  My thought for the race was to get in a fun run at a little faster pace than usual.  This is a REALLY hilly course and it was a HOT morning!


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I took off towards the first of the never ending hills finding an easy stride.  Before I hit mile 1, my legs were already feeling yesterday’s 7 mile run.  But I found a steady pace and took the hills one at a time.  I used my watch for splits, but I didn’t really look at them.  I just wanted to run a comfortable pace throughout.




Around mile 2, the leader group was well ahead.  What surprised me was that very few of them fell back as the hills got longer and steeper.  They had trained well!  I found myself a pacing buddy (a nice man) who pushed me through some of the tougher hills.  And those hills were TOUGH, and they kept on coming.  I drank as much water as I could, and even begged a few kids to squirt me with their water guns.  As we rounded out the last mile, we caught up with some of the 5k-ers.  I didn’t see my Mom, so I knew she had run a solid race.


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She ran the entire time, hills and all, and finished in under 45 minutes.  Just when I thought the hills were over, there was one last charge to the finish.


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I had no idea what my time was, but I kicked it in sprinting towards the cold water and a juice box!


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It was great to see my family cheering me across the finish line!




There was a nice showing for such a hot morning, maybe 300 or so.  I was a little tight and really thirsty after the run.  My shoes held up great, and I truly loved running in them.  We gathered with our friends and hung around for the awards ceremony.  The 5k was announced first and we were all impressed to see my Mom finish in the top 3 of her age group.


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When they got around to the 10k, our group racked up a few medals.  They initially forgot my age group, but I when they finally announced it, I was super excited to see that I had finished in 3rd.  You know how I love myself a medal!




We made quite the crew!




10k Splits

Mile 1 7:31

Mile 2 7:56

Mile 3 8:22

Mile 4 8:21

Mile 5 8:29

Mile 6 8:42

Final Time: 50:58


The parade crowd was just arriving as we made our way back to the car.  But we stopped for one last festive picture!




I was back home in the air conditioning before 10AM, sitting on the couch with a cold beverage, which is exactly where we should all be spending this ridiculously hot day!  But, I had a super fun morning, and I’m so happy that I ran the 10k.  We are already planning to run again next year in an attempt to beat our times (and rack up some more medals).


But before I can plan that, I need a serious nap to recharge before tonight’s White Sox game and fireworks.



Happy 4th of July!


How are you spending your holiday?


Right before my trip, I was tagged in a post called ‘7 things’ by Food&Fitness.  Because I am still considered a ‘new’ blogger, I get super excited for things like this.  So what does this mean?  I have to share with you 7 things that I am super excited about at the moment and then tag 7 more friends to do the same.  It will be so hard to pick only 7 things, but I will give it a try. 

Here is what I am digging this very moment…


1. Fishs Eddy




I discovered this housewares store online, and was so excited to finally make it to the NYC to check it out for real!  The store did not disappoint.  They have the cutest cups, dishes, bowls, towels etc.  It is a good thing that I was carrying on or I would have bought the entire store!  You should definitely check out their website.  They have great gift ideas!


2. Weekends in NYC




NYC is one of my all time favorite cities for SO MANY reasons.  The street pretzel is just one of them ; ).  Just like these fabulous days spent shopping on black Friday and exploring the High Line, this past weekend was exceptional.  One real reason is my wonderful family.  I always enjoy exploring the city while we catch up on our busy lives.


3. Starbucks Green Tea Lattes




Order this treat with soy milk and sugar-free vanilla syrup.  Hot or cold, this is one of the BEST tasting drinks on the Starbucks menu, and my new favorite!


4. Pure Cadence Running Shoes




I am the girl who gets more excited about buying running shoes than heels.

These beauties are light weight and super fast!  They get me psyched for a run!


5. KitchenAid Mixer




If you know anything about me, you know that I have been obsessed with this mixer forever.  And now that I have one of my very own (thanks Mom and Dad!), I can make the most delicious sweets.


6. Picky Bars




I have been using these vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free bars for my training since the start of the year.  They are tasty and perfect for long training runs.  The Smooth Caffeinater is my favorite of all 4, but I usually buy the multi-pack.


7. Farmer’s Markets




‘Tis the season to hit the Farmer’s Market, and I just found out that one of my favorite markets is coming back to our town.  I can’t wait to browse the produce and search for new seasonal recipes!




Ok Now it’s your turn…have some fun with it!


Rachel at the Avid Appetite

Renee at Bendiful

Rebecca at Blueberry Smiles

Sheri at Sugar Coated Chef

Emily at A Nutritionist Eats

Mercedes at Satisfy my Sweet Tooth

Anne of FANNEtastic Food

May Madness

I can’t believe that this month is coming to a close.  It has been such a fun and exciting few weeks filled with races, biking, BBQ, family, food, and friends.  If it weren’t for the 80 degree weather, I wouldn’t believe that June was right around the corner.  My game plan was to put together an elaborate May Recap for my goals this month, sharing some of my favorite recipes and posts.  However, I spent last night packing for this weekend’s trip to NY, then sat down to play on my computer when it overeheated and shut down.  Considering it was late and I was exhausted, I left my computer to rest and headed up to bed myself.


I am still planning on doing a May Madness Recap, but it will have to wait until I am back in town next month.  Because this morning, I had last minute packing to do.  Let’s be honest, packing for a weekend trip is not so bad, but because I am traveling with my parents (who live much closer to work then I do), I am staying there tonight and Monday night and I made a running date with some friends after work, so once you count in my lunch bag, I have at least 9 separate bags that need to make it to my car this morning.  Yes, that takes me more than one trip (and it’s drizzling…yuck!).   On top of that, I took my new shoes for break in run #2 this morning before the rain, a 3 miler leaving me no time to put together my May Madness post.  Sorry guys!




I can tell you that I started this month with some back pain and a BONK, leaving me time to ponder my summer racing schedule.  But a few weeks later, I am pain free and feeling stronger, both mentally and physically.  After a refreshing trip to NY to visit my family this weekend, I know that I will be in the perfect place to revisit May’s goals and decide what the rest of this summer will hold.


What are your goals for June???

Note: LWYD is on vacation Smile  I’ll be back next week with adventures to share although I’m not sure anything can top our funny Florida afternoon.  If you haven’t seen this…it’s pretty funny!  Be warned…I may attempt a post from my phone (how 2012 of me!), but success is not guaranteed.  Have a great weekend!

2 Miler

With a weekend as active as this one, it would have been okay to take the day off from exercise today and sleep in.  However, these shoes were calling my name. 




Not literally calling my name, but these beautiful new runners were just quietly hanging out in their box waiting to get outside and hit the pavement. 




The salesman at the running store suggested breaking into this shoes lightly, starting with low miles and alternating them with another pair of shoes.  With the 10 Miler on Saturday, I didn’t have time this past week for low miles, so this morning was my first chance. 




Plus, it was a gorgeous spring day (the kind that makes you want to call in sick and play outside all day).




So, I worked out an compromise…I would do an Active Recovery!  This way I could sleep in before getting up and running a short 2 mile run in my new shoes.  I didn’t know exactly what to expect from a light weight shoe as I have been wearing the same Brooks Adrenaline style for 8 years!  I definitely felt a difference wearing a lighter shoe (this is 8.3 oz compared with the Adrenaline which is 9.4 oz).  Although my legs were tired and not so fast, I could tell that they shoes were fast.  They had a strong spring to them, which made them feel like they’d be more efficient on a longer run.  The Pure Cadence is the more supportive of the Brooks Pure Project line and therefore a great place to start.  I took a little time to stretch out my tight calves after my run and enjoy the beautiful day.




And then headed inside for breakfast.  In honor of our Fiesta weekend, I made a simple egg wrap with avocado.  Crazy though…we are all out of salsa which I LOVE on my eggs.  If I had more time, I thought about making a Mexican style breakfast pizza, but this wrap totally hit the spot!




We still have a few things leftover from this weekend’s BBQ which I took for lunch today.  One thing was this salad from Allyson Kramer’s book Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats. 




I thought that Wendi’s Black Eyed Pea Salad (picture on the cover) would be a healthy salad to support our Mexican themed BBQ.  Per the book, this salad is potluck friendly and I was able to throw together the salad ingredients on Saturday.  I used canned corn and black eyed peas along with a frozen bag of steamed rice for ease, but you could always use fresher ingredients if you wanted.  I also omitted the jalapeno.  Why…you ask?  Because I forgot that I had two in the fridge. 





On Saturday, I was able to whisk together my salad dressing, add it to the salad to chill a few hours before serving.





I will tell you that I LOVED this combination of textures and flavors even before adding the dressing.  The celery adds the right amount of crunch and the corn creates a little bit of sweetness.  With whole grain brown rice, this salad is very filling and can be eaten as a side or a meal of its own.  Today, I had it atop leafy greens with a few multigrain tortilla chips sprinkled across the top.




I did feel that there was a little too much dressing for this fresh tasting salad.  Now, this could have been because of my lack of detail when measuring out salad ingredients, but the next time I make this, I will go lighter on the dressing. 


On another note, I find this cookbook to be jam packed with bright and colorful pictures.  The recipes are creative and many of them are practical.  They give you measurements in cups and in grams which I always like for easy measuring on my food scale.  You don’t have to eat gluten-free or vegan to appreciate the recipes!  However, if you are baking gluten-free (like with any gluten-free cookbook), you will need to have some unique and different flours on hand. 


This salad recipe is a good find and a compliment to any BBQ!



Wendi’s Zesty Black Eyed Pea Salad

From Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats by Allyson Kramer


For Salad:

2 1/2 cups cooked black eyed peas (I used one can rinsed and drained)

2 cups cooked brown rice

2 cups thinly sliced celery

1 3/4 cups cooked sweet corn (I used one can rinsed and drained)

1 cup diced red bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped cliantro

1 tbsp minced jalapeno (remove seeds if you want less heat)

1/2 cup chopped scallions


For Dressing:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tsp cumin

1 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbs sugar or agave nectar

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tsp sea salt


To Make the Salad:

Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and chill until cold, at least 1 hour.


To Make the Dressing:

In separate smaller bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients.


Toss salad with dressing until well combined.  Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the flavors meld.  Serve cold or at room temperature.



***Note: I would consider using half of the agave and less olive oil for a lighter dressing.

You can prepare the salad up to two days in advance and store in the fridge.  Just toss before serving.

Pasta for Dinner

You know what this means…




Tomorrow is race day!




Rewind to Thursday…I was able to get in another run in my new shoes before work.




They are super comfortable, and I am excited to take them out for the 10 miler tomorrow.  I am just hoping that it doesn’t rain!




After my run, I packed up the Chocolate Covered Cake Batter Popcorn to bring to work.  It was WAY TOO addicting to keep around the house!  One thing that I learned is that you have to wait for everything to cool before packaging or you will end up with soggy popcorn.  It still tastes great, but you lose that popcorn crunch!




The popcorn was delicious, but I needed something healthier to fuel my race tomorrow.

I was craving my typical pre-race pasta with olive oil.  I picked up some veggies at Costco on my way home from work, and the BOY threw them on the grill with some shrimp.




He used our new Herbs de Provence olive oil on the veggies which was fantastic!




I tossed in some grilled shrimp…




And whole wheat pasta




I drizzled on a little olive oil and a sprinkle of aged parmesan cheese.


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Dinner was incredible!  Even the BOY was raving about how good it was (he had the same thing, but with regular pasta).  He did such an amazing job seasoning the veggies and the Herbs de Provence is our new favorite olive oil.  If pasta always tasted this good, I would make it more often!




Now that I am loaded up with carbs, I am off to bed early.  The race starts at 7AM, so we will be up before the sun!

Wish me luck!  Not that I need it…tomorrow’s race is ALL ABOUT FUN!