Lately.

Standard

Someone give me a bad blogger award, because that’s exactly what I’ve been the past two weeks — a “bad” blogger.

I do have somewhat of an excuse — I was on one epic road trip with 14 other church friends and leaders last week to Birmingham, Alabama! We went to Church of the Highlands for their annual GROW leader conference. It was an awesome learning experience, and although I could have done without the 15-hour car ride (twice in four days!), it was fun hanging out with friends and growing together!

The highlight of the trip was definitely this video…

GROWOur church was one of the fastest growing GROW-network churches in America, and a film crew came a few months ago to capture a few services and talk with our staff. It was so awesome (and humbling!) to have our video shown at the conference last week…I love my church!

After getting back from Alabama, it was time to restock our cabinets and get back on track. (Even though I packed healthy snacks, there was a lot of not-so-healthy eats as well!) I decided to try out a local farmer’s market for the first time, and wow, was it awesome!

Farmer's market

I scored…

  • 2 lbs. bananas
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Four Braeburn apples
  • 1 lb. Brussels Sprouts
  • White onion
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 lbs. strawberries
  • 1 lb. blueberries
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 2 avocados
  • Cherry tomatoes

…all for $19.50!

I did have to pick through the produce to find what was fresh, but overall I did pretty well! Honestly, I wasn’t impressed with the strawberries (they were fine to eat, but a little flavorless) or the cucumbers (they were both mushy when I went to cut them), but overall, I’ve been pretty happy! I think I’ll be making this a weekly occurrence.

Although I haven’t done much blogging about my workouts lately, my half marathon training for Rock N Roll Philly is in full swing!

8 milesYesterday, I got out for an early morning run, and it was amazing! Finally, the weather was cool (only 62 degrees when I started running at 5:45 am!), and it definitely worked in my favor. I mastered the art of the progression run — my first mile was 8:59 and my last mile was 7:59. Perfection! I am finally learning to pace myself and start off slow (it’s never been my strong suit).

That’s what’s been happening here lately! Catch ya’ll later!

 

 

 

An unconventional Easter

Standard

So, I’m sorry it’s a few days late, but things have been crazy busy since Saturday night and I’m just now getting the chance to write! How was your Easter? I hope it was great!

My Easter was unconventional for many reasons, the first being that I spent the entire thing here in Delaware! Although I’ve been down here for school for the past four years, I’ve always taken the two-hour trek home to PA for the holiday. With my church having five services this weekend + a special guest (I’ll get there in a minute!), I wasn’t able to make it home for the holiday.

However, it was still a pretty awesome weekend! Sunday morning, I woke up and did Level 3 of Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred (forgot how hard it was!) and then enjoyed a delicious bowl of banana egg white oats…

2013-03-31 08.39.33

Banana Egg White Oats:

  • 1/2 c. quick oats
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1/3 c. milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 egg white
  1. In a small saucepan, combine oats, water, and milk, and heat until oats begin to thicken. 
  2. Next, add your egg white and continue mixing until egg cooks through.
  3. Finally, add your banana and chia seeds and whip until everything is mixed.
  4. Enjoy your big fluffy bowl of oats with your favorite toppings! (For me, a small scoop of natural peanut butter + roasted peanuts.)

How to level up this recipe:

  • To up the protein count, use two egg whites instead of just one for flufflier oats.

How to level down this recipe:

  • For more flavor, add 2/3 c. total of milk and no water. 

I knew I had a long morning ahead, so this was the perfect fuel to get me through! After I got ready, Andy and I headed into church where I soon met up with a reporter and photographer from the state’s newspaper, The News Journal. They did a cover story about The Journey’s new campus and Easter services, which was printed in yesterday’s paper! It’s so awesome to see how God is working throughout our community.

The Journey newspaper

I knew it’d be almost 2 until we got out of church, which was much to late to head to PA to spend the day with our families, so I figured that Andy and I would just make something for dinner to eat together. (We considered ham, but realized there was NO way we were going to come close to eating a whole ham ourselves. Coupled with the fact that I’m not a huge ham fan anyways, I planned to make some hamburgers, potatoes, and asparagus. So classy!)

Thankfully, friends from our church invited us over to spend the afternoon with them, which was so sweet of them…and so much fun! I purposely didn’t take a picture of my plate (or my double dose of dessert), but trust me when I say it was delicious. Ham, salad, brussell sprouts with pears and pearl onions (amazing), roasted asparagus, mac n cheese, rolls, baked beans, dirty rice…we had quite the spread!

For my contribution, I brought over these Parmesan Roasted Potatoes…I came up with a recipe on the fly, and they turned out great! Be on the lookout for the recipe coming your way later this week.

2013-03-31 15.09.07

 

That’s it for now! I am heading into my final weeks of marathon training, which is definitely wearing on me (and my body). I keep telling myself I only need to hold my body together for 34 more days, and once I cross that finish line of my 26.2, I can take a much-needed break. Here’s to hoping I make it that long!

Side note: Last week, I had the opportunity to post on My Food n Fitness Diaries, the fabulous blog written by Miss Ashley. Ashley gave birth to her son Hunter last weekend, but he is currently in the NICU. Even in this difficult time, Ashley and her husband are holding on to their faith, and it’s amazing to see how they’re lifting little Hunter up to God! Say a prayer for them this week and ask for God to heal Hunter completely.

Race Recap: (Sham)rockin’ & rollin’ to a 5K PR!

Standard

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, all! I hope you’re sporting your green and celebrating in style today! My St. Patty’s festivities began yesterday morning…

Yesterday started off with a yummy pre-race breakfast of 1/2 c. oats, 1/4 c. water, 1/4 c. organic skim milk, 1/2 banana, 1 Tbsp. flax seed, and 1 egg white topped with natural peanut butter and flax. Mmm!

WIAW1.30 breakfastThen it was off to meet up with my lovely “Miles & Meals” running group for our Shamrock n Roll 5K!

The race didn’t start until 10 a.m. which was great! I set my alarm for 8, woke up and had some breakfast, did my devotionals,  got dressed, and still managed to watch a few minutes of Downton Abbey before I had to head out. Pretty relaxing morning!

I was pretty nervous because the Weather Channel kept calling for a mixture of rain and snow with temps around 39 degrees. Blah. It started sprinkling as soon as we got to the registration table and continued throughout the morning; however, it was nothing major. (It hailed later that afternoon!) Overall, we had pretty good conditions for our race!

My big goal for the day was to run a sub-24 minute race (although I was secretly hoping to run a sub-23!). Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my watch to pick up a GPS signal again, so I didn’t get any accurate splits during my race. However, at the mile 1 marker, I was running about 7:18, which I knew could set me up for a sub-23 PR!!! (Yes, that realization deserved three exclamation points.)

The course was overall flat, and it’s one that I’ve run plenty of times before. It was an out-and-back (with a turnaround point), so the trail got a little congested at points, but I enjoyed the familiarity and the flatness. By the time I spotted the mile 3 sign, my watch said 22:30, so I knew I’d have to book it to get under 23 minutes. Unfortunately, it just didn’t seem like I had it in me, and I ended the race in 23:20.

Although I was a bit disappointed, I had to remember — that’s the fastest I’ve ever run! My splits ended up being 7:29/mile, and that’s certainly something since I’ve been concentrating on LSD (long slow distance, that is) for my marathon training. I ended up 5th out of 59 in my age group and 37th of 248 overall, so that’s nothing to be ashamed about!

Picture 1

Afterwards, we went to a restaurant on Main Street in Newark called Mojo Main and enjoyed the post-race festivities and food! It was an awesome way to enjoy the end of the race as a group.

Shamrock & Roll 5K

Post-race fun with my group co-leader Julie!

I spent the rest of the day getting ready for our first weekend of gatherings at The Journey (with a quick break for fro-yo with a friend!), which ended up being amazing! I. love. my. church.

First weekend at TJ

Today’s agenda: an eight mile run, more gatherings at The Journey, a trip to Trader Joe’s, dinner with friends, and some food prep for the week. Let’s do this!

Shake, Shake, Shake Senora…all the way to sixteen miles!

Standard

I have Pitbull to thank for getting me through my run today. Shake Senora — which was the song my sister and I listened to non-stop during our vacay to Punta Cana last summer — came on during the last mile of today’s run and helped me push through. Hey, whatever works!

I decided to get my long run in this afternoon since this weekend is already quite busy! It’s opening weekend at my church’s new location, so I plan to be there as much as possible. We had an open house last evening followed by a mini rally to get pumped up for this weekend, and it was amazing! Here was our band rocking it on on our brand new stage…

TJ Open House

In addition to opening weekend, I’m all signed up to run the ShamRock ‘n’ Roll 5K with my running group on Saturday morning!

Unfortunately, the weather looks really awful (they’re calling for a combination of rain and snow), but I’m still hoping to achieve my 2013 goal of a sub-24 minute PR!

I’m also hoping to get in a dinner & fro-yo date with my friend Alyssa and a trip to Trader Joe’s! I need some more almond flour, almond butter, and almond milk stat… #cleaneatingproblems

So, since I’ve got a busy weekend ahead of me, I decided to take time this afternoon to get in my long run. I had originally intended to do it outside, but after checking the weather this morning, I threw in another set of clothes in my bag in case I decided to do my run inside.

I ran out over my lunch break, and it was incredibly windy and almost bitterly cold — so inside it was! I’ve never done more than seven miles on the treadmill, so I wasn’t quite sure how it would go, but decided to give it a shot.

The treadmills at my gym only let you go for 60 minutes, so I decided I’d split my run in to three parts — two seven milers and one two miler. I don’t have an exact time since the time restarted, but I finished in about 2:16, and kept a steady pace between 8:34 and 8:17.

After the first seven miles, I took a break, ate one gel (still not a fan), took a quick bathroom break, and came back for another seven miles. Although these were definitely harder than the first seven, I still felt pretty good. I did a quick stretch, refilled my water, and jumped (okay, more like hobbled at this point) back on to the ‘mill for another two miles. Done!

I came home, took a quick shower, and made a nice recovery dinner…

Sweet potato and aspargusA steamed sweet potato topped with two cooked egg whites and a side of grilled asparagus — so good!

I’m currently on my couch where I’ve been since I sat down for dinner. I am very tight, so my big goal for the evening is to watch Grey’s Anatomy and fold a load of laundry…although I’m not making any promises.

Have a great Friday!

Three five milers & a very busy weekend!

Standard

I can’t believe it’s already Sunday night — this weekend flew by! (I guess that’s inevitable when you lose an hour, right? I wish we could lose an hour on a Monday morning rather than a Saturday night though — anyone else with me?)

Yesterday, I woke up early and headed straight to church. As I mentioned, our church is opening at a new location this coming weekend and we have a lot of work to do yet! I spent the day directing people on different projects, vacuuming and steaming carpets, cleaning up outside, packing, and much more. If you’re in the Newark area, be sure you check out The Journey, opening on Route 4, this weekend! 

The Journey

This morning, I wanted to wake up early so that I could head back to church to help more this afternoon. Therefore, I set my alarm for 7:45 (really 6:45!), rolled out of bed, and immediately ate my pre-run snack: a whole wheat english muffin topped with some peanut butter and ground flaxseed. After working on some emails (and watching an episode of Modern Family — I’m not going to lie!), I got ready to head out for 15 miles!

I’ve been having some major blister problems, so after talking to an athletic trainer this week (a perk of working at a physical therapy company!), I decided to try and wrap my foot before heading out. I’m happy to report that it really, really worked! I also wore a different pair of shoes (my new Mizunos, which are the same as the older ones I’ve been wearing), which may have helped.

The weather was absolutely amazing, but unfortunately, my watch wouldn’t pick up a signal this morning. When it finally did pick something up, it told me I ran a 6:49 mile on my first mile. I felt like I was keeping a good pace, but not that good of a pace. Instead of getting too frustrated, I turned off my watch and decided to just run! I was running at a trail that I know is 2.5 miles around, so I knew I needed to do about six laps to make 15 miles. Easy peasy, right?!

I stopped at mile 5 and then again at mile 10.5 to get some water, stretch, and refuel. I brought along gels for the first time ever, but only ate about 1/2 of one at mile 10. I didn’t really feel like I needed it, but I decided I should try it. Is it possible to do a marathon without any fuel?? I just never feel hungry or like I really need it…

Anyways, around mile 7, I decided to try my watch again and it came back on and told me I was running around 8:35, which is a target time for me. I finished the 15 miles with my watch, but absolutely savored those first few miles without it! It’s awesome to just run without worrying about miles, splits, etc.

So, I did it, and I felt great! I’ve never run longer than a half-marathon distance, so today was a huge win for me — the longest I’ve ever run. Thumbs up for that!

15 mile finish

After my run, I took a quick shower and then whipped up this post-run breakfast: a banana egg pancake topped with peanut butter, TJ’s maple agave syrup, and flax seed with a honeycrisp apple on the side.

15 miler post-runThe rest of the day was spent cleaning at church. I finally went grocery shopping around 7 on my way home, then came back to do some major food prep for the week. I made a batch of steel cut oats, spicy sweet potato & black bean soup, an avocado lime salsa, and lots of veggies!

Have a great week!