Abridged – My Niece is fun, hills and wind are not.

Today was supposed to be weigh in day. I didn’t weigh myself. I’ve been sick, tired, and eating terribly. That doesn’t mean I was completely inactive though! Most of my exercise these past few days have been in the form of child chasing.

Thursday night I worked for a few hours at my church. Every other Thursday night I watch a bunch of 2-5 year olds there while their moms enjoy MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers). I was dreading going because I had sat on the couch all day feeling sick and sorry for myself, but I didn’t want to cancel because I cancelled a few weeks ago when I was sick (because I get sick every dang time I start a new job). So I went and vowed to myself that I would find a quiet, shy kid to cuddle with all night. Ha! What a joke. I got there and the kids immediately asked if we could play “the money game”. The game where they pretend they have money and I chase them around trying to get it. I couldn’t say no, so I ran circles around a table for at least 25 minutes.┬áSurprisingly, I felt better after I ran around!

Most of the day Friday, I felt sickly again. I knew that activity would help, and the weather was absolute perfection (70 and sunny with hardly a breeze!) for the first time in I can’t even remember how long. So I called up my sister (who’s about to start Couch to 5K next week!) and we met up at the park to walk and play with my niece on the playground. Our walk was nice, but the playground was so. much. FUN!

My niece is just about 2 and a half and we were a little worried that she would get pushed around by the bigger kids. When we first parked the stroller, she looked a little nervous. There were tons of kids out playing. I went onto the playground with her and showed her how to climb up the steps, get across the bridge, and crawl through the tunnel. Then we tried a slide. It was actually two slides next to each other so we each sat on one and held hands as we slid down. She was smiling, so we tried a bigger slide and she sat on my lap. A little giggle that time. We tried a covered slide together and after that she was off on her own climbing up the stairs and sliding down the big slide all by herself. It made me a little sad seeing how grown up she’s getting – she’s not a baby anymore! But it was so fun to see her so independent, excited, and brave.

Big girl climbing up the stairs!

Big girl climbing up the stairs!

Yelling "go!" and sprinting down the walkway.

Yelling “go!” and sprinting down the walkway.

On the big slide all by herself!

On the big slide all by herself!

A little over a mile of faster paced walking, and then a half hour of climbing on the playground equipment with the niece, and another hour of walking/running around watching her play. I was exhausted by the time I got home! (The niece, on the other hand was not. My sister said she was full on swimming on her belly in the bath tub when she got home!)

This morning was running group. I felt a little better so I went and my husband woke up on time so he came too. The weather was pretty nice, and there was a big group this time. 27 people ran this morning! I did 4 miles in the neighborhood by our church where we’re currently meeting. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stick with my normal minimum of 3 miles or not, but I decided a mile into the run to do 4. I hadn’t really workout much this week and I knew I didn’t have much else to do today if it really burned me out. 2 miles in I still felt great. One of my favorite songs came on my Pandora shuffle and I was flying.

Then I turned the corner.

Mount Dyer

Mount Dyer

Between 10mph head winds and 3 blocks of a fair sized hill we’ve lovingly deemed “Mount Dyer”, I had the hardest time keeping up my pace. In fact, I walked a couple times. My overall time and average pace weren’t bad, 36 minutes 21 seconds with an average pace of 9 minutes 6 seconds per mile, but my splits were terrible! I’m really trying to work on starting slow so I’ll be able to run the entire marathon, so I’ve been keeping better track of my split times. This route is just hard to run, you have to force yourself to run slow going downhill at the beginning to have energy to run uphill at the end.

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Next week begins base training for the marathon. I’m already past that point really, but it’s kind of the start of committing to this for me. Also, I’ll be running with my sister as she works herself through the Couch to 5K program. Running season is officially here! Bring it on!


Short and (“Sickly”) Sweet

I had a whole bunch of thoughts and even a weekly meal plan I wanted to share this week, but I have a head cold so bad that I can’t really think straight. I actually drove myself to Walgreens to get Gatorade today and forgot what I was there for when I got there. I spent a few minutes wandering the store and eventually got my Gatorade. And two bags of Jellybeans… So please forgive me for the lack of content this week.

I don’t have much energy to type out our meal plan this week (it’s a lot of linking and picture loading), but I’ve made a couple meals that were so good I have to share. For breakfast, I made this AMAZING baked oatmeal from Family Fresh Cooking:

Peanut Butter and Jelly Backed Oatmeal from Family Fresh Cooking

The oatmeal is actually peanut butter flavored and it’s the best baked oatmeal I’ve ever made. No joke. I will note that I used only 2 cups of almond milk. I also omitted the Uncle Sam cereal but used 4 cups of oatmeal. I used honey instead of Stevia too. Even the whipped cream I was totally skeptical about was incredible. I’m going to make this quite often and try it with some different toppings. I’m thinking a s’mores version, apple cinnamon, banana walnut… What really doesn’t go well with peanut butter!?

Another recipe that turned out really well was a baked potato soup from Skinnytaste. When I made this last night, I thought its seemed a little bland. I threw in some garlic salt and it tasted great when I had it for lunch today with some Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar and crumbled bacon. It was cheap and easy to make so I’m sure I’ll be making this again soon!

Baked Potato Soup from Skinnytaste

Another thing I didn’t have energy for today was exercise. The weather is finally warming up so I wanted to go for a longer run today, but there was just no way that was going to happen. The ability to breathe is pretty essential to being able to run. Luckily, I was able to get in a short-ish run on Tuesday. It was 25 and sunny so it felt a little like 30. Which still isn’t warm, but it’s warmer than the typical 5-10 degree highs we’ve been living with since Thanksgiving. Since the sun was higher and everything was melting, it really felt like spring. I got in 3.5 miles in my neighborhood, dodging cars and puddles since the sidewalks were still covered in a foot or more of snow in some areas. My pace was 9 minutes, 40 seconds per mile. Not bad for my first “home” run in months.

After I got done running, I made myself a little salad using a couple chicken wings that were leftover from dinner Sunday night, spring mix greens, matchstick carrots, a chopped cipollini onion, some diced avocado, sliced almonds, and a little bit of ranch. I know ranch and wings weren’t my very best options, but if I’m going to have something not so great for me, at least it was in a salad!

Post Winter Run Salad

Post Winter Run Salad

That’s about all the updating I’ve got in me tonight. It’s time for a little more Airborne and Gatorade. Anyone else getting anxious for Spring!?