Cars, Backpacks, and Running – in Other Words – the Weekend

Goooood Morning! How was your weekend? I hope you did something fun like watch basketball or go to a party, or try a fabulous new restaurant or recipe!

Things were great in these parts. The proof? The fact that I took a total of two pictures. I swear, the less pictures I take, the better the day.

After tuning into some March Madness Friday night, Saturday morning, I was up far earlier than I planned (ahem, thanks body) for my planed 10 mile run. I ended up eating breakfast, waiting for the sun to rise before heading out. I had no goal in mind other than to run at what felt like a comfortably challenging pace. There must have been a track meet at N.C. State this weekend because the greenway was filled with colligate runners shaking out there legs!


Those speedsters must have inspired me because a 7:31 average pace felt challenging but fabulous! This was a huge confidence booster after having to miss two workouts last week!

After my run, I had to keep the momentum going, hustling to get ready to head up to the International Raceway in Alton Va. One of my lifelong friend’s boyfriend was racing in a 12 hour endurance race…. just like an ultra!

The cars cannot be purchased for more than $500, and it is up to the teams to turn them into champion vehicles. The closest town to the race was actually my mom’s hometown, and the county the race was in was where my dad grew up! You know you are in small town Virginia when your mom doesn’t know it exists and it’s 15 minutes from her home, and your dad is from a county not town haha.

IMG_0521[1]Layers upon layer despite the fact that it’s almost April

Ya’ll it was so great to see these girls, and I cannot wait to follow-through on our plans for a girls weekend in the mountains!

After making the 1.5 hour drive back to Raleigh, I made myself a quick salad an pope myself on the couch researching Peru… it’s getting so close!

Sunday morning, I was hoping to run a very light and easy (Ha!) 10 miles.

Yup, that didn’t happen. After another early wake up, I eked out an easy 5 miles and called it a morning. I spent the remainder of the day meal prepping for a crazy week and deal hunting for Peru!

When we hike out west, we usually split our packs between two backpacks for 4-5 people. I love carrying one because it gives me a place to put my hands. When you are walking for a few hours, the blood pools in your hands and I find it very uncomfortable. Heading to the Amazon and Machu Picchu, I knew it was finally time to buy my own day pack…. man I’m getting old! I was excited to pick out a pack I knew I’d have for years an form an attachment to because well…. I’m cool like that.


After hunting around on the internet, I had an idea of what I wanted and what I was looking to spend, aka, not much. I was looking for a major deal. At my second REI stop, I found two perfect packs, both on clearance! I chose the North Face Pinyon, a steal at $38 (Even if it is a men’s color… whatever, it looks like the Utah desert:) )! I only wish I could use it as my bag all over Peru! Silly pick pockets! I als pickets up two pairs of Columbia pants perfect for the Amazon at Marshalls an TJ Maxx! From what I have read, my go-to black spandex is precisely what mosquitoes love, so these light color, an lightweight pants should fit the bill.

An now it’s time for the real world. Have a great week!

What items do you get attached to?

Have you ever heard of endurance car races?

Five Things Friday

Yeyyyyyyyy it’s Friday! Ya’ll I am so ready for the weekend, how about you? This week was great, but seemed to last forever. I am pretty sure my stress level was tweaked in each aspect of my life this week but almost all of it was in a positive manner. Stress is not always bad after all.

There is no better word to use for how I feel about this weekend other than stoked! Tomorrow I am off to the amature race tracks (I know right!) to spend time with an old friend and can’t wait. I am sure it will be quite the experience :)  Let’s get this Friday moving with Five Things Friday!


First, OUch…

That is what my wallet is saying after registering last minute for Raleigh’s Rock n Roll Half Marathon this week.

RnR Source

Unfortunately races seem to be getting more an more expensive these days, and the Rock n Roll series is certainly  no exception. Waiting until two and a half weeks before the race doesn’t help either ;) Ouch is also what my legs are saying in anticipation of Raleigh’s inevitable hills. Even though the course has been re-routed from last year so be less hilly, they are one feature you just can’t escape in this city. In spite of all of my complaining, I am excited an so grateful to be healthy and have the opportunity to run!

Second, Crap.

Ok, so that’s not exactly my reaction, but I confess, when I realized this week that our trip to Peru was 60 days away, my palms started sweating a bit. Thanks to Julie’s recommendation, we chose to use Samay Adventures to help us arrange the logistics of our trip.

It is wonderful to know that Dayanna has our trip ready to go, Eric and I realized this week, there are still so many details of our itinerary we don’t have a grasp on and packing….. ohhhhh the packing! Our trip has us experiencing temperatures from freezing to 90 degrees with complete humidity (and mosquitoes!) making packing well, a challenge.

If anyone has experience with Peru or travel agents, I would love to hear your tips an advice. Both are new to us!

Third,Another Cooking Light Success…Yes Another

Monday night, I whipped up Cooking Light’s Sweet and Sour Tofu Veggie Stirfry, served over boiled turnip noodles in lieu of rice, and Cackalacky Sauce instead of chili an it was oh so yummy! After my first bite, I realized I haven’t opted for a sweet and sour dish since my Lean Cuisine (Ew) days Sophomore year of college.


The leftovers were perfect for a quick Tuesday night dinner! While sweet an sour may not be my go-to, it was a nice change up to my usual flavor rotation.

Fourth, Links I loved

How To Balance Lots Of Running And Strength Training

on leaving yourself an out

Welp… That just about sums me up…

My Journey to Become a Registered Dietitian

I love hearing how people came into their careers, no matter what industry!

The Jungle Marathon

Maybe after I get back from Peru, I’ll finally be motivated to run a marathon…

5-Ingredient Honey Mustard Salmon

Dear Slow Runners


Finally, The Week In Fitness

Friday: Skipped

I planned for the routine procedure that squelched my planes for an afternoon run on Tuesday to be healed by Thursday and certainly by Friday for mile repeats. My body had other plans.

Thursday: Skipped


Wednesday: Off

Tuesday: Am: 5 miles easy @ 8:19, Body Pump PM: Fail

I planned to meet up with the Big Boss Run Club now that the time has changed for an easy three miles and well, beer (Big Boss is a local brewery) but  life got in the way of my after-work jaunt

Monday: 5 miles easy

Sunday: 10 miles @ 7:48 average pace

Saturday: 12 miles total

How did you come into your career? Please share!

Do you ever spontaneously sign up for races?

It’s pretty much the only way I do it… for better or worse!

Maybe I Should Have Listened to Greg McMillan’s Advice…

So Ya’ll, I feel kind of spoiled. After having literally the perfect weekend last weekend (A trip home, race PR, family) it seems a bit unfair to have such an Instagram worthy weekend yet again. I guess it’s a good thing then that I took a whopping 7 pictures… in the same place :)

I am debating (and by debating meaning I 99% most likely am) running the Rock n Roll Raleigh half next weekend. I am not a big fan of the RnR organization, and all of the hoopla is frankly ridiculous, but I don’t have another half on the horizon in the coming months so I figure I should take advantage of the opportunity and set my divaness aside for the sake of running. Good idea Anne.

Anyways, the point of that little Negative Nancy tangent is to say, I needed to make sure I fit in a longer run this weekend as the race is only three weeks away.

Friday night, I took it easy and curled up on my couch with the NCAA Tournament – totally killing my brackets by the way #takethatboys and froyo, which yes, I gave up for Lent, and yes, failed on after three weeks. It was just what I needed, according to my Fitbit, I slept a whopping 8 hours and 21 minutes, can I get an amen!

Saturday morning, I awoke to my alarm to fit in a quick 7 miles the moment the sun was up. I snuck in my miles at an average 7:48 pace an promptly hopped in my car, and scooted off to, to meet a friend for an 8:30 am event at Raleigh Running Company. We ran 5 miles, making it 12 for the day, and reconvened at the store to hear a special guest speak.

Legendary coach Greg McMillan  along with Generation UCAN  spoke about the importance rest and recovery in training. A message we as runners can’t hear enough!

Greg Mcmillan Photo from RRO’s Twitter, That’s me rocking the pink headband :)

Greg took the time to ask each of us what our struggles were, what we were struggling with. I said that I probably don’t push myself as far as I could. I don’t like to hurt, and allow that to hold me back in my training. Greg acknowledged that the mind is one of the most challenging aspects of running, and that for many of us (and I think I fall into thus category) the most important aspect.

After Greg’s talk, I quickly took care of an errand an scooted home to get ready to finally check out the NC Museum of Art with a friend!

I live 2.53 miles from the museum which I have repeatedly been told is fabulous, and have been “meaning” to get to for mmmmm 1.5 years now. The museum was abuzz for it’s Art in Bloom  exhibit which was only showing for the weekend. I overheard that over 3,000 visitors attended Friday alone!


The flowers arrangements were lovely, but I was far more blown away by my neighborhood museum that I had been neglecting. Full disclosure- I am a major history nerd – the museum was comprised of European artists dating back to the 15th century and held Ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Nigerian exhibits! I cannot wait to return and spend more time exploring!


The theme of exploration local spots that should have been explored by now continued as we made it to B. Good for the first time for salads and catch-up. B. Good’s concept  is built around, “Real Food Real Fast” with a focus on locally source ingredients.  I can’t wait to go back and try the White Bean Rosemary Kale bowl!

After a quick trip to Lululemon, I saved opening my wallet for my next stop, that glorious American classic Costco, and yes, more froyo before finishing the night with basketball. Oh. My. N.C. State!

Sunday morning was everything a Sunday morning should be, running, bread baking and church. As my family will attest, there is literally only one thing on the planet I love more than the scent of rising yeast bread on a Sunday morning, and that is returning to the scent of rising yeast bread after a long run.

Sunday’s run was my favorite kind of run, spontaneous.  I set out for my traditional 5 recovery miles, and 10 miles later, I was hauling booty to get out the door to church on time! Something I failed at. I don’t think following a 12 mile run with a 10 miler for someone at my level is what Coach McMillan was referring to with honoring our rest cycles but at the time…. it certainly seemed that way :)

Later that day, I set to Challah braiding and baking, (I followed this video) My stands did not roll as smoothly as they should have, I don’t believe I kneaded my dough long enough prior to rising, but considering, I was pleased with the result!

As I finish this post, I am lying on the ground watching Duke kill San Diego State and attempting to motivate myself to shower for the first time in 22 miles.

Have a great week!

Does anyone else measure their hair washings in miles?

Favorite thing to bake?

Bread, Bread, Bread!

Five Things Friday

Happy first day of Spring, and March Madness Friday! Did you make a bracket this year? If so, how are you doing after the first two days of play? Me…. well let’s just say I am down and out. Ahhhh well, after the past two years, I should have expected the craziness that would ensue this year per the trend. Since it is Friday, how about a little, Five Things Friday?


First, MArch Madness!

I grew up in a basketball family. Literally from birth, my dad raised my siblings and I to be hardcore ACC basketball fans. Growing up we were in enemy territory, the SEC. When I attended college at one of those forbidden schools (Go Gators!) my loyalties shifted, but I never lost  my basketball fan status.

Sadly, my Gators who were in the Final Four last year did not even make the tournament this year for the first time since 2008…. whomp. At least I can enjoy the tournament and focus on my brackets this year! When UF plays, I can’t get myself to create one out of fear of jinxing us.

I have four bracket  with various groups and they are all not looking so hot! If you need some help completing your (a touch late) check out Links I Loved!

Second, Post-Race BLiss

Does anyone else love the week following a race? I always use it as a perfectly legitimate excuse to take my runs super easy, and have exactly zero expectations for my runs. I know that some people have a hard time tapering for runs. I wonder if an equal number of people have a hard time taking it easy after a tough mid-distance race. I would think it would be pretty darn easy to take it easy after a marathon as I assume your boy gives you no choice… not that I would know :)


Racing is H.A.R.D. but man does it feel good to know you worked hard, and that feeling usually stays for a good week. All the more motivation to give our all when we are hurting!

Third,Another Cooking Light Success

Any reader of CCR knows that there are a few things I adore, running, froyo, and Cooking Light recipes. Flipping through the March issue, the moment I saw their Quick and Easy feature of Asian recipe’s, I quickly dog eared 4 out of 5!


First up, was Minced Beef with Bok Choy and Fried Egg. I Didn’t have any Thai Chili Paste on hand, so I subbed 1 tsp Green Curry Paste an 1 tsp Cackalacky Sauce and it worked wonderfully! Not only was the recipe delicious, but it truly came together in 25 minutes, just as promised.

Fourth, Links I loved

25 Ways to Wear a Scarf

I recently discovered Wendy’s blog and am obsessed!

The Madness Machine

Chickpea and Pasta Soup (Pasta e Ceci)

Mom, this is right up your ally

Sunset Prints :: Structured skirt & Leo pumps

This. Coat. And from Forever – who knew?!

Finally, The Week In Fitness

Friday: 6 miles easy @ 8:19, abs

Thursday: 7 miles hills @ 7:48 average pace

Wednesday: Off

Tuesday: Off

Monday: 5 miles easy

Sunday: 5 miles recovery walk/run

Saturday: Gate River Run 15k

What Recipes are you loving right now?

Di you make a bracket? How are you doing?

Gate River Run Race Recap

What. A. Race!

Last weekend, I traveled home to St. Augustine, Fl, to race Gate River Run, the 15k National Championship. Not that I was contending with the Olympians for the title ;)

As I described last week, this was the first race that I had explicate, public goals for. My A goal was to run a 7:20 pace. My B goal was to finish in the top 10% of the women to receive a Top 10% Finisher hat. Due to two weeks of being iced in, I did not feel I was in shape to achieve my goal, and honestly was pretty bummed about that. This race holds a very special place in my heart. Not only is Gate the National Championship, where the likes of Meb an Shalane took the titles last year, but the race is fun and I would be running it with my mom and brother.

In lieu of a traditional race recap post, I thought it would be far more fun to share my recap of the race the way I experienced it. With that warning, here is a glimpse into my brain during the race.


Miles 1-2 (6:43, 6:54)

Man, these runners are quiet. Why is no one talking? Maybe people will be more chatty once we settle into our pace.”

“This feels pretty good. I am also definitely running faster than I should be.  I definitely cannot hold this pace for 9 miles.”

“Isn’t going out too fast runner rookie mistake #1?” “Whatever. “

Miles 3-6 (7:03, 7:02, 7:05, 7:11)

“Sweet, I’m 1/3 of the way done! If I can only get to 5 miles, I’ll be over half-way done.”

“Ahh – these houses on the river with the Range Rovers parked out front giving away free beer are totally fabulous, I could totally live here. Why did we live in St. Augustine?”

“Man, this is really hard I can definitely slow own and be fine. ”

“I love San Marco, it looks like 1950’s Hollywood.”

“I hate this. It’s so hard. I don’t want to be doing this anymore.”

Finally, 6 miles, that was the longest mile ever! 2/3 of the way done”

Miles 7-8 (7:06, 7:21)

Um that looks precarious” (To the guy  with one hand on his bike handle the other trying to take pictures with a really expensive camera.)

“Holy Shiz!” “Oh my gosh are you ok!?!” “I can’t believe he just ate it and smashed his, like, $1,000 camera!” “I feel bad for not stopping.”

Ok, there was definitely no sign for mile 7. Holy crap it’s hot, my face feels like a swollen red balloon.”

“Crap I totally have no choice but to gut it out, I mean there are only 2 miles left.”

“Dang, those girls are definitely in my age group, man they look strong! Get it yall!” “Her sports bra is super cute, I totally want to get it.”

“Yes! Finally the bridge, ok, now were on my territory – suck it Floridians.”

“Y.E.S. It’s all own hill from here! Literally . Woah! That guy ran faster than me this whole time pushing a stroller!”

“Common girl, lets get it and finish strong!” (Internally) Yes! Finally someone who wants to chat weeeee

Mile 9-9.3 (6:50)

“Ummmm my watch says I ran 9. 3 miles. Can I stop now?”

“Yesssss the finish!!!!!!”

Hats, Hats, Where are the hats?”

“Dang it! Did it again! ONE of these races I’m going to remember to stop my watch.”

“Yeyyyyy all done, that was awesome, I hope mom and Eric are killing it!”

Official Time: 1:05:49 Pace: 7:04

The Takeaway:

Oh. My. Word. Ya’ll, I cannot believe this race. I was hard, it was hot, and it was fun.  Apparently I seriously underestimated myself by setting an A goal of a 7:20 pace and thinking it was far out of reach. With every race we learn something about ourselves and our running. We learn how to pace, strategize, fuel, recover, etc. What I learned last week was when it comes to flat races (something I am not used to) don’t underestimate myself.

This is more than a ra-ra- self esteem take away. What it means is that I can make changes to my weekly running. I can handle quicker speed work. That thought is intimidating. What I do now feels intimidating, but now I know that I am short changing myself. If I choose not to up my pace, then I am making the choice not to reach my potential.

We shall see where that goes…. I really don’t like hurting :)


What I do like is food, friends, family, and running when those four things come together in one race, I can’t ask for more.

IMG_0491[1] Don’t Even try to tell me I don’t have the best Dad in the world when this is what greets my mom, brother and I when we got home from the race….

Have you ever race a 15k?

Do you ever think you underestimate yourself?

Gate River Run Check-In

Goooood Monday Morning to you friends! I hope your day is off to a fabulous start!

I just wanted to pop in quickly to say hello and share a few highlights from this weekend’s Gate River Run 15K. I’ll be back later this week with a full recap.

The race it’s self was fun, hot, and wonderful, if for no other reason than all of the special people I got to see.


As I mentioned, Wednesday evening I headed home to St. Augustine, Florida to spend the weekend with my family. Seriously, I will have visited home more in the first 6 months of 2015 then I did the entire first 3 years I moved away from home! (How awesome is that?!) I worked from home Thursday and took Friday off. My mom an brother were running as well, we and my sister headed to the Expo Friday after noon where we racked up sweet free swag and I got the chance to meet one of my all time favorite bloggers!

IMG_0490[1] Stolen from Jenn’s Instagram

Ya’ll, ask any one of my friends an they will tell you that I am a huge fan of Jenn from Runs with Pugs. This fellow 904’er inspires me each and every week t be a more committed runner! It was such a treat to meet her even if we were only able to say a quick hello!

Saturday morning was race day! We arrived just after 7am for an 8:30 start. We hung out around the porter pottys because we are classy like that I danced the whole time as I am prone to doing, embarrassing my brother. With 30 minutes to race time, we headed to our corrals. We were each in different corrals but I made Eric stand at the front of his, and I at the back of mine so I could further embarrass him an entertain me :)

I’ll save the recap for another post, but I ran a 1:05:49, got my hat, and was purely and utterly thrilled! Not only did I get my hat, so id Eric an our mom Weeeee!

At the post-race, I was able to see my best friend in the whole wide world.


Girl has been sick for over a week and rocked it! Seeing Regina and her sister Angie was absolutely a highlight of my whole trip!

Mom, Dad, brother, sister, best friend and new blogging friend, even without a killer race, that is one great weekend.

Thank you to everyone who made it so special!

Have a great week!

Have you ever met a fellow blogger in real life?

When did you last see your best friend?