Tuesday, August 23, 2011

chicago recap!

My body clock is (very) slowly getting back on school time. My creative juices are slowly flowing again, but until I'm back in full blogger mode, I thought this would be a perfect time to recap my Chicago trip.

The night I got in, Ashley, Laura, and I wanted to go to Big Star in Bucktown, but the wait was insane. So, we ended up at Feast, and it was amazing! I had a fantastic turkey burger with sweet potato fries. Yum.
 What's a trip without an iconic tourist picture?
 We then took an architecture boat tour on the Chicago River. This is the Trump Tower in Chicago, and the funniest thing to me is that no retailers will go into this building. It's been there about a year.
 Wrigley Building. Laura told me all the numbers on the clock aren't Roman Numerals at all, but they're all W's. If you look at the picture you can tell.
 We had SO much fun. Laura and Ashley were two of my closest friends in college, so it was amazing to catch up on life now and reminisce about life at Emory.


 That night we went to a concert in Millenium Park. While the concert was great, I'm sure, the best was was packing a picnic and sitting with friends and people watching. We had a ball watching everyone around us.
 Being silly...I don't wear my tennis shoes with jeans normally...my feet were just killing me and none of my shoes were agreeing.
On Saturday morning I met Meghan for a run along the Lakefront, which was beautiful. I ran 7 miles without even realizing how far it was. Oh you Chicago runners, how jealous I am of you and your temperatures and views. Aside for the beauty of the run, it was so motivational to see everyone running and training for different races along the path. There were hundreds of people.

 On Saturday we ate lunch at the top of the Hancock Building. It's free to go up, and lunch is soo reasonably priced. It's not overly-amazing, but the views are.
 And on Saturday night we went out on the town. We went to a few bars and ended up at an 80's place called Innjoy. We danced to 80's music I had long forgotten about. 
I had such a great time visiting, and I can't wait to see more of my friends in the coming year. I loved college so so much, but it's also wonderful to see how well everyone is doing as post-college people (I refrain from saying adult here, because I like to pretend...). 

Monday, August 22, 2011

vegan.

Sorry I've been MIA. Last week was teacher in-service and the kids came back today. It's been a whirlwind getting ready and I'm getting back into the swing of things. But something happened with blogger and reader and my last post on running didn't seem to update. In case you didn't see it, check out my half marathon training update.

This weekend I was talking to someone that was explaining the benefits of veganism. I read Skinny B*tch a few months ago, and I already made a few lifestyle changes because of what was in the book. I decided yesterday that this was as good of a week as any to dive in head first and see the positive benefits myself.

I mentioned to Tim that I wanted to do this, and after a few minutes of talking and convincing, he decided he would give it a shot too.

The first step for me was talking to him about what we would eat this week and what he would snack on during the work day. He's a big yogurt eater, so that was one of the hardest parts. 

Here is our menu for the week:

Monday: Vegan Enchiladas with Cilantro Avocado Cream

Tuesday: Homemade Black Bean Burgers

Wednesday: Tacos using Tofu Crumble to replace ground beef (apparently it cooks and seasons just like meat)

Thursday: Veggie Stir Fry over Brown Rice

Friday: I'm out...

Saturday: Hummus and Grilled Vegetable Pizza

I want to do this to cleanse my body and lose weight.

Breakfast will include Barbara's cereal, Van's waffles, fruit, and almond milk
Snacks consist of fruit with peanut butter, edamame, and peanuts
I didn't buy dessert items, but I'm headed to Whole Foods tomorrow to check out their selection...

For all your vegans out there, what else can I snack on, eat for breakfast, and make for dinner? Also, what tips do you have on supplements for a vegan diet?
 Tim is sick of vegetables and I felt badly for the grocery checker as he exercised his memory thinking of all of the numbers for the produce I purchased.
For everyone else, have you ever tried a vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free diet? When did it go from hard work to becoming a lifestyle?
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Training Tuesday


As I've mentioned before, I'm training for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon October 1st. It's a night race, and the course goes through Animal Kingdom, MGM, and ends at Epcot for a runner's party at the Food and Wine Festival. I'm thrilled about the race, but it's been even more exciting to grow to love running.

My history in athletics, for those of you interested, began when I was 6 or 7 years old. I started summer swimming, and then started year round swimming when I was 9 or 10. I swam in middle school and high school with 5:45 AM practices three days a week and practice every day after school until 6. I looked to swim in college, and then I decided I didn't want my life to revolve around swimming like it did for those years. I played club water polo for two years in college, and then I got out of it to focus on my other activities and academics in school.

From the point of stopping water polo until this year, I really have been excited about "working out" or cared much about "being healthy" aside from trying to lose weight. Getting in shape wasn't something that I cared about, again, unless it related to losing weight. And for the record, I always hated running. 

This changed in March. I started the Couch to 5k program, and I credit it with changing my mentality. It started me off small and build up my stamina, instead of me trying to get out and just run and get disappointed by my limited distances. I remember my first 5 minutes straight running, and I remember thinking I was going to die.

And then a month or two later I remember stopping the Couch to 5k program because I was over the walking.

And then, I thought...I really love this! And I loved it so much that I decided I wanted to register for a half marathon. I've never run a race before (although I'm going to run a 5k and 10k before I run the half), but I'm so thrilled and can't wait to register for more. I'm loving this training.

Before I started the training, I was wavering between the Hal Higdon plan and this one below.
Week
Sun.
Mon.
Tue.
Wed.
Th.
Fri.
Sat.
1
Off
Fartlek
(4M)
4M
4M
Off
3M
6M
2
Off
Fartlek
(4M)
5M
3M
Off
3M
7M
3
Off
4-5 Hills
5K-10K pace
5M
3M
Off
3M
6M
4
Off
3-4 Long Hills
5K-10K pace
3M
4M
Off
3M
8M
5
Off
5-6 Hills
5K-10K pace
3M
4M
Off
3M
7M
6
Off
3 x Mile
5K-10K pace
4M
6M
Off
5M
9M
7
Off
3 x Mile
5K-10K pace
3M
5M
Off
3M
7M
8
Off
6 x 880s
5K-10K pace
5M
6M
Off
5M
10M
9
Off
6 x 880s
5K-10K pace
4M
7M
Off
3M
10K Race
(Or 8M run)
10M
Off
4 x Mile
5K-10K pace
6M
7M
Off
6M
12M
11
Off
5M
5M
8M
Off
3M
8M
12
Off
5M
5M
8M
Off
3M
RACE DAY

This one is a bit more than necessary for a beginner like me, but I didn't love the exactness of the Hal Higdon plan. I've come to combine the two and do what feels best for me. I'm following this long run pattern and most of the distances, but I'm not doing the longer runs in the middle of the week and definitely don't plan on running 8 miles the week of the race. 

I've seen such growth in myself and so much improvement in my running since I started, and it's been so exciting! I did my 3 miles today (I'm on week 6) with an 8:57/mile pace. That was super super fast for me (my fastest run yet by far), but I love pushing myself! This past weekend I did my 7 miles in Chicago; I never before would have worked out while on vacation. 


After running with Meghan for a while (which was amazing), I ran up to Wrigley field and asked someone to take a picture of me with the Wrigley sign!

So, if you have dailymile, let's be friends! It motivates me to interact with people I know in this way. 

PS Thanks for making it all the way through this post...I know it's a long one. 

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And I'm keeping a side blog with two other girls solely about running if you're interested (we don't post all the time, but it's fun to post only about running).