I Run for…

peace of mind, that “runner’s high”, my love for the outdoors, fitness…the list goes on and on.

Today is national running day and I fully intend to hit the pavement after work today to get in a few miles.  I also thought I would share a little bit of my running story.

It all started in elementary school, when I would race all the boys at recess.  Yes, I was that girl who would challenge the boys to race…and usually beat them all.  I was also that girl that hit her growth spurt early, so I had a little bit of a leg length advantage. So, you could say I have always loved to run.

In middle school I ran cross country and track, but always enjoyed being out on the cross country course or running though neighborhoods for practice rather than on the track.  The track stressed me out.

In high school I ran track during my freshman and sophomore years.  I would always run the starting leg or anchor leg of the 4 x 800.  I also ran the open 400 and occasionally ran the 4 x 400.  I was definitely a middle distance track runner.  My sophomore year I joined the cross country team and remained on the team through my Senior year.  Again I say, there was just something about being on the trails or running in the neighborhoods around our high school.

During college my running pretty much took a back seat..that was until my friend Hawley and I decided to train for a half marathon.  We would hit the sidewalks of Athens or go to the botanical garden and run the trails…it was so much fun and a great way to form a friendship.  Unfortunately, I injured myself (stress fracture in the hip) just before the half and had to cheer Hawley on from the sidelines.  She did amazing and I was so proud of her..and so thankful we were able to bond through our training.

Post college, running has been a semi-constant in my life.  I don’t run every day..and I definitely have periods of time that I don’t run at all.  However, I always find that I am happier with life if I am running a few times a week.  I don’t necessarily have a goal I am aiming towards, I just get out there for my health and well being.  I’ll do a fun run 5k here and there, but nothing competitive.  Sure, I would love to run a half marathon some day…and heck, maybe even a full…but right now I am satisfied for running for me, for my health, for my happiness, for my peace of mind, and so much more.

Some pictures from the past year of running:

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Franklin Classic 5K with Mom

Trail running - challenging but beautiful.

Trail running – challenging but beautiful.

My running shoes when they were brand new - they look nothing like this anymore.  In fact, it's probably time for a new pair.

My running shoes when they were brand new – they look nothing like this anymore. In fact, it’s probably time for a new pair.

Before and After: Bridge to Bridge 4 miler.  1 bridge per mile, love this tradition with mom!

Before and After: Bridge to Bridge 4 miler. 1 bridge per mile, love this tradition with mom!

Morning run down my street.  Country running is the best!

Morning run down my street. Country running is the best!

Edwin Warner Park - where I ran cross country meets in middle and high school.

Edwin Warner Park – where I ran cross country meets in middle and high school.

Around the Web Wednesday

Here’s what I’ve been loving this week:

1) Teacup Candle tutorial on Cupcakes and Cashmere

Elegant, right?

2) Herb Vinaigrette Recipe from Cuisine du Monde

I’ve been craving fresh food a lot lately and I had a really great Cobb Salad from Panera earlier this week.  Well, I was craving another salad with a light dressing for last night’s dinner and this dressing did the trick!  It was so tasty and light.  I sat down with a big bowl of salad had that “I’m so proud of myself” moment because it tasted that good.

The Panera salad that got it all started.

3) I love a good public arts project and Honestly WTF posted a really cool Brazilian project for phone booths.

Who wouldn’t want to make a call from inside a disco ball? (Photos from Call Parade website)

This one reminds me of a 3D Kandinsky…or even Dr. Seuss

They are all pretty amazing.  Check out the others here.

4) Still in love with this DIY Bride Kit from Oh Happy Day

The great thing about this tutorial is you can really manipulate it for other occasions.  You would have to create the wording for the box, but it’s definitely adaptable for other occasions.

I actually did a little bachelorette box based on the above box for a friend and it twas a big hit. (Post to come on that soon)

A little green goes a long way

I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately and I think it stems from not spending enough time outside.  I’ve been neglecting my workouts or choosing to workout at the gym instead of outside.  I find joy in being outside.  I love being in God’s creation and I’m almost always in a better mood after taking a walk or run.  Even a drive through the country lifts my spirits. I put an end to that lack of outdoor activity yesterday.  The above pictures is a view of the field next door before I left for work.  Beautiful, right?  I love walking to my car and seeing that pretty long grass every morning.  It’s great.

Stairs at Percy Warner Park. I have fond (or not so fond) memories of track trips to those stairs during high school. We were forced to run them, suicide style. Trust me…it was hard, and I was in super shape at the time!

After work I met up with a friend and ran through Percy Warner.  We stayed on the road and hit some awesomely steep hills, but it really helped me re-energize and renew focus on health and fitness.  So thankful for accountability of a friend to keep me motivated.  Sometimes I find it hard to stay committed on my own.  I need someone there beside me to keep me going and push me to work harder…or even to workout at all.

I think part of this funk is also related to my spiritual life.  I haven’t been very committed to reading the Word or to prayer.  Prayer and the Bible are essential to a good relationship with Christ, and I haven’t been as devoted to that relationship as I would like to be.  I need to find a good independent study to do.  I want to dive deeper into the Bible.  Any suggestions?

Delicious Dessert

I’ve posted about galettes before (see fall 2011), but I finally made one of my own. I will tell you the short and easy way to make this deliciously fresh dessert.

Leftover galette we had as a late night snack

So, for this beauty I used:

  • a Pillsbury pie crust. They are excellent staples for those who don’t have the time to make pie crust from scratch!
  • 3 skinned and thinly sliced peaches
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp apricot preserves

Directions:

  1. Roll out the pie crust on a foil covered baking sheet
  2. Mix peaches, blueberries and sugar
  3. Place fruit mixture at center of pie crust
  4. Fold pie crust inward to cover edge of fruit mixture
  5. Melt apricot preserves and brush over fruit center and edges of pie crust
  6. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes
  7. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 20 minutes

Remove from oven. Slice and enjoy!  Super simple and absolutely delicious.  The only step that takes some time is skinning the peaches.

Mother’s Day Weekend

This weekend was full of fun activities.  Friday night we went to dinner with Josh’s parents at Las Palmas.  They had just gotten back from the beach, where they consumed lots and lots of fresh seafood and were left craving some Mexican (envious of their week of seafood).  After a delicious meal (fajitas for me) and a good margarita, we headed to downtown Franklin for some Sweet CeCe’s.  They have a pretty good take on frozen yogurt and the inside looks like an old candy shop.  Not sure that I like it better that Yumilicious in Dallas (I miss the avocado yogurt!)..but it was pretty tasty.

Josh’s cup o’ yogurt. Fruity Pebbles is our staple for fro-yo. They also had sour gummy worms!! Love how colorful his yogurt is.

Saturday I had a hair appointment, followed by a wedding shower for Josh’s cousin.  It was a really nice, relaxing afternoon chatting with family and their friends and enjoying some delicious shower food.  Oh..and we played a game (which was really cute and fun).  We had to write the bride and groom’s names vertically on our piece of paper and then use each letter for a wedding word or phrase.  This can be much harder than you might think!

Me and Mom-in-law at the shower
(hot rolled hair went flat due to humidity..ick!)

After the shower we got to see the soon-to-be bride’s new home!  It’s perfect for them and in just the perfect spot!  Looking forward to seeing the finished product after all the renovations.

Sunday was spent preparing dinner for the family.  We had Josh’s grandmother and grandfather, aunt and cousin over to his parent’s house for a Mother’s Day dinner.  We had a great day preparing.  Mom-in-law and I did the grocery shopping and then went to work chopping everything up in the kitchen.  It was a group effort for this meal, which was part of the fun.  I made a batch of Sunset Sangria (my first time making it) and was very happy with the result.  I found the recipe on allrecipes.com but have provided it for you below.  Josh was in charge of the steaks and he did an AMAZING job.  They were super tender and had some great flavor.  He always uses Worcestershire sauce as part of the marinating process…but this time they were really really good.  We also had baked potatoes with all the fixins’ and my favorite strawberry and blue cheese salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette and sweet and spicy pecans.  I’ll have to share this recipe another time.  It’s one of my go-to sides for all occasions.  For dessert, we had angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream, which is my dad-in-law’s specialty. It was SO good!

Friday night Josh and I finished up Season for of Mad Men. Now we just have to catch up to this season’s episodes.  We’ve loved the series and the only bad part about catching up is not having one (or 3) to watch every night.

What did you do this Mother’s Day?  I know there are a lot out there who are NEW moms..or moms-to-be, what was your favorite part of the day?

Breakfast Smoothie

Looking for a quick and easy, not to mention delicious and healthy, breakfast option?

Well, I’ve got just the thing for you today.  I don’t know about you, but I am always rushing to get out the door on time.  I’ve loved making smoothies this spring and if you have everything ready (I keep my strawberries cut up in tupperware), it takes no time to make.  I generally pair the smoothie with some peanut butter toast to give some substance to my breakfast (also quick and easy).  If I only had the smoothie, I would be hungry before getting to work.

I haven’t altered my ingredients much…creature of habit, I suppose!  BUT, I do want to try it with peaches this summer.  The handful of spinach was a new ingredient this morning.  I was a little wary to try this at first..but you can’t even taste it and it’s such a healthy addition!  I’ll be upping the handful size tomorrow morning.

The other great thing?  This makes enough for 2 people, so I have something healthy for both of us in less than 5 minutes.

What is your staple quick breakfast?

Cut ’em all up

I don’t know about you…but often times some of my produce doesn’t get used before it goes bad.  Yesterday I took a trip to the grocery to stock up on a bunch of veggies for the week but I wanted to be sure not to OVER buy, which can be hard when all of the produce looks AMAZING!

I’ve learned that if I go right home, cut everything up and put it in containers, I tend to use it up before it goes bad.  Last night I sliced a bunch of red and yellow peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, strawberries, and a cucumber.

Some of the peppers, zucchini and squash were used right away for dinner last night, but some were put back in the refrigerator to use later this week.  I put the extra zucchini and squash in a ziplock with some marinade to serve up with some chicken tomorrow and packed the strawberries and cucumber in easily accessible tupperware.  This morning, all I had to do was throw some of each in ziplocks and toss them in my bag for work.  So easy when the prep work is already done!

I also reorganized the refrigerator, putting all the newly chopped veggies right where I can easily get to them.  I am pretty proud of all the healthy stuff in our fridge right now!  Please disregard the leftover mellow mushroom pizza and the jello pudding (hiding behind all those veggies on the top shelf).  At least the pudding is fat free…right??

Last night we grilled some chicken and roasted some of the veggies for dinner.  We even had leftovers for lunch today..so good!

How do you use up all your fruits and veggies before they go bad?