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Will Run For Cupcakes

4 Apr

Yesterday’s 6.6 mile morning run featured a yummy treat at the end:  yummy cupcakes from one of my group mates!

Yummy lemon cupcake

The day before our running group received the following email from Lauren:

 I made 24 lemon cupcakes last night (lemon cupcake w/lemon cream frosting). 20 of which have not yet been eaten by me as of this moment but will be if I leave them in my house. A hypothesis I am trying not to test. Would anyone be interested in such a thing first thing in the morning? Perhaps a post-6 miler treat? They will be in my car tomorrow morning 😉

Immediately the replies started coming:

“We have been known to eat such delicious treats following a run.” – Sue

“That’s the whole reason we run!!!” – Rachelle

“Is this a trick question? I believe I am available to assist with this… ” – Beth

“I have never been known to turn down a cupcake…” – Me

I see shirts…’We never met a cupcake we didn’t like.'” – Sue

The replies continued and I couldn’t help but smile and be thankful.

Surely you can see why I absolutely love these ladies. Three times a week we get together and run. We are women (and our token one man) of all different ages, sizes and income brackets. We fare from all over our country (and some from abroad) and can’t seem to agree on our favorite breakfast joint. But for all the differences, we share our love for laughter… and most certainly our love for cupcakes.

As for loving running, that’s only on the good days. I’m pretty sure it’s the laughter and cupcakes that gets us out of bed in the morning.

Here’s to the ladies of Sue and Emily’s 5:00 pace group… the fairest ladies of them all!

Now off to yoga!

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I Heart Doritos (Part Deux)

2 Apr

A little over a month ago, Jill from JoggingJeans.com notified me of some great news: Taco Bell was introducing a taco served within a giant Doritos shell! I was happier than a pig in mud. I even blogged about how excited I was here.

This news was enough to make me end my forever long Taco Bell hiatus. I counted down the days until I would get to try such amazingness. However, when March 8th came and the Dorito Taco was introduced, I encountered a major problem: getting someone to go to Taco Bell with me.

No one would go. Not Donnie. Not my friends. Not my co-workers. Not even my Mom! I know what you’re thinking: Why didn’t she just go by herself? The answer to that is easy… I consider eating Taco Bell by yourself to be much like drinking by yourself. If you find yourself doing it alone, then you have a problem.

So for the last month, I’ve been talking about this taco and begging those around me to go try it with me. And for a month, those around me have shut me done, crushing my little heart to broken pieces… much like the crumbs you’d find at the bottom of a Doritos bag.

But finally today a miracle… my co-workers agreed to go to Taco Bell! They realized that this would be the only way to shut me up. When they agreed, I proudly proclaimed, “This is going to be the best day ever!”

At Taco Bell I ordered two Doritos Taco Supremes. I could hardly contain my excitement as we drove to the park, where we would be dining al fresco. Finally I sat down and unwrapped my first taco:

At first it just tasted like a regular Taco Supreme from Taco Bell. But with each new bite, the Nacho cheesy flavor got stronger and my mouth got happier and happier. Hooray!

Afterwards I licked the nacho cheesiness from my fingers, enjoying the moment as I knew I would not be returning to Taco Bell anytime soon. It was good once, but their meat still makes me nervous… even if they did stop using ‘pink slime‘ in their beef.

Have you tried the Taco Bell Doritos Taco? What did you think? 

I’ll leave you with the video my co-worker shared with me after I started linking my fingers.

A Strong Fourteen Miles

1 Apr

Earlier today I posted my April Fool’s blog for the day, announcing that I was going to quit running. If you read down to the bottom, you caught that I would denounce this decision by Tuesday morning, when my next run is scheduled. Hee hee.

And while the reasons were quite honest (I really do hate waking up early and I miss sleeping in on Saturday mornings), I do believe that the benefits of running far outweigh these cons. Besides, running keeps me from going cray cray. 🙂

Since yesterday’s long training run was to be 10 to 14 miles, I set out for our run at 6 AM with the intent to run 10 miles. This is what happens when you give me a range… I mentally commit to the lowest mileage.

However, the stars were aligned yesterday and I felt so good that I ran just over 14 miles. Aside from the bug that stalked me for two blocks, I thoroughly enjoyed the run. Maybe it was my new favorite yummy running snack, the Vanilla Organic Stinger Waffle, that put a pep in my step. Or maybe it was the Mexican food I had for dinner the night before. Whatever it was, it worked!

Around mile 13 I convinced my wonderful Marathonfest group leaders to pose for this pic with me. I’m pretty sure they were welcoming the sit down break. 🙂

My group leaders, Emily and Sue, and I cheesin' at 13 miles

It really was the perfect day for a run! And with the Flying Pig Marathon only five weeks away, it was good to have a positive run!

Afterwards, one of my group mates and I doubled back to Panera. We wanted coffee badly.

Here were my run stats:

  • Distance: 14.29 miles
  • Time: 03:18:01
  • Avg Pace: 13:51/mile
Afterwards I headed home to begin a weekend of much needed rest.
Did you get your sweat on outside this weekend? 


My ‘Welcome Back to Normal Life’ Run

27 Mar

Since almost two weeks ago, my life has been total chaos, in the most amazing kind of way. The week leading up to my birthday, I was super busy, but still able to fit in my training runs.

I thought the week after my birthday would ease up, but I ended up being just as busy (or perhaps busier), and by this time too exhausted to keep up my running. Around Wednesday I decided that rather than stress about it, I was going to take the time off and enjoy it. Once I made that decision, it took so much weight off my shoulders!

After an amazing weekend road trip to North Carolina to visit my best friend and her husband and their beautiful new baby girl (which I will write about later), I had a little trouble getting out of bed this morning. But my body was craving a run so I dragged myself out of bed, threw on some running clothes and was out the door by 4:45 AM.

This morning was a short run, full of great conversation and lots of laughter. We spent a good portion of our run  discussing a book that a friend recommended I read: Bringing Up Bebe. Before you jump to crazy conclusions, NO… I AM NOT EXPECTING and neither is the friend who recommended it. It’s a fascinating look at the differences in American and French culture and definitely worth picking up.

Afterwards we continued our laughter over Starbucks coffee and our chicken sausage breakfast wraps (which are delish by the way). As I drove away this morning smiling, I realized how much I’ve missed the ladies the last couple of weeks.

Here are this mornings stats:

  • Distance: 4.12 miles
  • Time: 49:21.03
  • Avg Pace: 11:58/mile

Are you reading any good books? Let me know. I’ll be ready for a new one soon! 🙂

Here’s a pic of the double rainbow we caught on our drive to North Carolina. This was in North Georgia, near the North Carolina border. I saw this and squealed and yelled “WHAT DOES IT MEAN? WHAT DOES IT MEEEAAANNN??”

If you don’t know what YouTube video I’m referencing, then you must watch this video now.

My Food Obsession: Strawberries

6 Mar

Strawberries… Mmmmmmm…

I’m a big fan of strawberries and purchase these year round, but I certainly tend to increase my intake when they are in peak season. With my local grocery store having strawberries on sale, I’ve been buying strawberries in bulk.  This means I have to find ways to consume them before they go bad.

Lucky for me, only a few strawberries have been wasted this season. Here are my favorite ways to consume them:

Smoothie

Being a runner in the almost-always hot and humid Orlando, there’s nothing more that I enjoy post-run than a cold, delicious smoothie… and a cold shower. In fact, I’m in enjoying one right now! A smoothie that is (I’ve already taken my post-run shower).

Here’s what’s in today’s smoothie:

  • fresh strawberries
  • half a banana
  • blueberries
  • vanilla yogurt
  • honey
  • vanilla soy milk
  • oatmeal

I have heard that adding spinach or kale to smoothies are great added sources of calcium and vitamin C, and I’m toying with the idea. I’ve been told you can’t taste this odd addition, especially in any smoothie that includes bananas. However,  I think I’m having the hardest time saying goodbye to my pretty pink smoothie and welcoming a green smoothie.

Salad

One of my favorite salads is super easy to make:

  • spinach or spring mix salad
  • goat cheese
  • sliced fresh strawberries
  • sliced almonds
  • grilled chicken breast (or if you’re in a hurry, buy a rotisserie chicken from the store and add pieces of chicken to your salad)
  • raspberry vinaigrette

For Donnie’s salad he skipped the cheese so I added garbanzo beans instead.

Fruit Salad

Sunday we made our all-time favorite fruit salad, including mango, strawberries, kiwi and blueberries. Mmm…

Yogurt Parfait

Donkey: Have you ever met a person, you say, “Let’s get some parfait,” they say, “Hell no, I don’t like no parfait”? Parfaits are delicious! — Shrek

Just layer granola, yogurt, strawberries (and other berries) and go! Best paired with half of a Whole Foods bran muffin. 🙂

Pancakes

Topping my pancakes with whipped cream and fresh strawberries might be one of my favorite ways to consume strawberries, but definitely the least enjoyed. This is a rare, but delicious treat for me. Hmmm… my birthday is coming up…

Party Snack

I recently went to a bridal shower where one of the hostesses served finger sandwiches made with Nutella and strawberry slices. For a week after I was eating wheat bagels with Nutella and strawberries for breakfast. Raise your pinky while eating and I promise you’ll feel like such a lady while eating them.

And of course, you can always just wash a strawberry and pop it in your mouth. Mmmm…

How do you eat your strawberries?

I Heart Doritos

28 Feb

In a recent post, I admitted my love for slipping Doritos into my food.

Here are some of my favorite uses for my beloved Doritos:

  • Doritos make a delicious salad topper. Must use ranch or bleu cheese dressing.
  • Out of cheese? That’s okay, just slip some Doritos into your sandwich. Wait, you already have cheese on your sandwich? That’s okay, add Doritos anyways!
  • Want to spice up that cheap 99-cent frozen dinner chicken alfredo? Just add Doritos!

I think you get the point.

I like the good old original nacho cheese flavored. Sure, the ranch and pizza flavored ones are yummy too, but why try to mess with cheesy tortilla perfection?

As I got older I cleaned up my diet I started to top my salads with (gasp) veggies and stopped purchasing those cheap pasta frozen dinners. And subs are fewer and further between these days. And I purposely avoid the chip aisle at the grocery store. It’s really quite sad.

In reading of my love for Doritos, Jill from JoggingJeans.com shared the most fantastic news with me:

Naturally, I had to Google what this was about. Lo and behold, it’s true! On March 8, 2012 Taco Bell is introducing a taco served within a giant Dorito shell! I haven’t had Taco Bell in over a year,  but I think I might have to break the hiatus for this special occasion. Thanks, Jill, for the best news ever (I’m easy to please). I cannot wait to try this cheesy, deliciously bad for me treat!

With that, I leave you with my most favorite commercial. Having two pugs and a boyfriend that is forever teasing them might have made me biased.

Twelve and Long

26 Feb

Yesterday’s training run for the Flying Pig Marathon was supposed to be an 18-miler. However, one of my running mates had prior engagements so we swapped out our long run this week for next week and only did 12 miles this week. I was totally onboard with this decision since I’m still feeling a little wiped out from last week’s double hill run.

I met my group at 5:30 am for a quick two miles, before we swung back around to get the rest of the ladies for 10 more miles. I thought I started my watch for the first two, but I didn’t (one of the hazards of running before coffee) so I only have stats for the final 10 miles. Here they are:

  • Distance: 10 miles
  • Time: 02:11:14
  • Avg Pace: 13:07/mile

Afterwards I came home, did my slacker minimalist strength training and then Donnie and I headed out to enjoy a delicious breakfast from Brian’s Restuarant in Ivanhoe Village. I had my usual one egg, bacon and cheese sandwich on an everything bagel:

It was delicious, as always.

Only ten weeks until the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati, OH!

Do you have any recommendations on where to visit while in Cinci?