A Little Bit Of Everything

Just want to forewarn y’all, this is gonna be a totally random post. It’s before 10am on a Saturday morning, so my brain is not fully awake yet. And I’m hungry…but, sadly, I already ate my lunch. I know, I just couldn’t help myself. So, clearly, it’s a random kind of day, so you’re gonna get a random kind of post.

First, I started the morning with a yummy Drink Click caramel latte! I don’t have a pic because I was in a hurry this morning and barely had time to make coffee, let alone snap a photo of it. I do have this photo, though.

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If you haven’t tried Drink Click, you totally should! It’s a protein powder with espresso! What? You mean I can get my protein and my coffee in 1 drink?? That’s right! Super easy, super tasty! Each serving has the equivalent of 2 shots of espresso, 15 grams of protein and 23 vitamins and minerals. I first tried Drink Click when I won a contest from the lovely, Sara, at Loving on the Run. She gave away a canister of vanilla Drink Click, samples of the mocha and decaf mocha, and a blender bottle. I was hooked at first sip! When I ran out of the vanilla, I ordered a canister of mocha. Both are really good, but I like the vanilla a bit better, I think. Drink Click recently came out with a new caramel flavor, so I decided it was time to stock up again. This time, I ordered an canister of caramel Drink Click and one of vanilla on Wednesday and they arrived on Friday. What?? You heard right, they arrived 2 days after I ordered them! And that was regular shipping, not something fancy-smancy. I was impressed…and excited!! So, I got to try the caramel this morning. It was really good – probably ties with vanilla as my favorite flavor.

Another tasty treat I’ve been hooked on this week are these babies…

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Who has heard of Belly Flops?? I never knew these existed until I was browsing the candy aisle at my local discount grocery store. I LOVE Jelly Bellies, especially in the springtime and around Easter – they just seem like an Easter treat to me. They can get really expensive, though, so I don’t buy them much. When I saw these, and that they were discounted because they’re shaped funny, I HAD to throw them in my shopping cart….then when I ate them all, I had to go back and buy another bag. Oops! 

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This is the king of all Belly Flops! And he was tasty.

Brandon stopped by my work today and brought me this pretty daffodil. He’s so sweet!

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And, to round out my randomness, an adorable photo of Brandon and Lucy snuggling. 

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Aren’t they cute together? When we got a cat, I knew that we were getting it primarily because I wanted one. I knew Brandon would be nice to her and maybe pet her every once and awhile, but he didn’t seem all that interested in actually being a cat owner. He totally loves her, though. It’s so cute! He plays with her and snuggles her and misses her when we’re gone. He even sends me pictures of her when I’m at work and she does something cute. Such a sap! I love him!

Tell me something random. I can’t be the only one whose brain is all over the place today!

Anybody else tried Belly Flops before?

What’s your fave spring/Easter candy?? I also really love Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs!

Sunriver Adventures

Remember when I said we went on a mini vacay, but you’d have to wait to hear about it? Well, the suspense is over! I shall tell you about it now!

Over the weekend, Brandon and I spent a few nights in Sunriver with our friends, Erik and Erica (yes, those are really their names – so cute!). Sunriver is one of my favorite places in the world. It’s in Central Oregon, where the climate is dry (I abhor the rain, so this is my paradise), it’s sunny 300+ days a year, with mountains and rivers and a crystal-blue sky. I love visiting Sunriver, so I was excited when we decided to plan a weekend trip with friends.

We left Friday evening and stopped for dinner in the little town of Sisters, 30-40 miles from Sunriver. By the time we rolled into Sunriver, it was after 10pm, so we just unpacked and went to bed. Saturday morning we got up and, after breakfast, went for a bike ride. Sunriver has endless bike trails and I love riding there because you don’t have to worry as much about getting whacked by a car because there are designated bike paths all through the town…and the speed limit is, like 25 mph. Fortunately, we had 4 bikes at the house, so we all got to ride together.

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The weather was beautiful!! It was sunny and around 50 degrees both days we were there. Our bike ride on Saturday was a bit on the shorter side, then we came home to make lunch.  After lunch, we went into Bend, a nearby city, for a little shopping and dinner. 

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(Instagram)

Sunday, we went on a longer bike ride around along the river. 

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Clearly, I didn’t actually get any pictures of the river (doh!) and, clearly, I’m always in the back.

Towards the end of our ride, we decided it was time to take a coffee break. We stopped at Bellatazza, my favorite coffee shop in Central Oregon. It was so beautiful out that we decided to sit at a little table outside.  

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It was so relaxing to get away for the weekend and just do nothing. I mean, we did stuff…like bike riding and cooking… but it’s different when you’re not at home, ya know. And it was totally nice to have a dishwasher, cable, and a couch…and rooms. Studio living gets old after a bit, so it was nice to have some space to stretch out. I did miss my little kitten, though. *tear* My in-laws were super nice to take care of her. They came by on Saturday and Sunday to feed her and snuggle her and sent me pictures each day. Check out this gem of Lucy sitting on my father-in-law’s lap.

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She looks like she’s in heaven. Even with all the attention she got while we were gone, she must have missed us a little bit because the minute we walked in the front door she jumped on Brandon.

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Reunited and it feels so good!

 

Workout Week

Uh oh, I’ve been slacking on blogging this last week. Gotta keep up my New Year’s resolution to blog more consistently.

You’re in luck because there’s actually quite a bit to catch up on. 🙂 I ran the Shamrock Run 15k 2 Sundays ago and am just now feeling back to normal. I was beat after that run! It felt good to run it and to actually finish the whole thing, but my body was not pleased with me the days after. Monday, the day after the Shamrock, I had to teach Cardio30. I hobbled to work a half hour early to foam roll before class. It felt so good! I mean, it hurt like crazy…but then it felt good! My quads were on fire and my left food hurt quite a bit too. I looked ridiculous limping up and down the stairs at work!

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Actually, teaching felt good. It was nice to get my muscles moving in a more low-impact way than running. I figured I’d teach Monday and take a rest day Tuesday since my body was so sore, but I forgot that for our weekly work meeting we decided to take a group training class together. *face palm* So Tuesday, with my foot hurting and my quads still killing, I did an hour-long training class. Wednesday, I taught Cardio30 again and then quickly changed workout tops and slipped off my ride shoes to sub a Group Centergy class directly after (sidenote: I filmed my video for my GC certification!! Woo!!). Thursday, I planned to take a rest day, but I forgot that the whole company was going to take a new group exercise class together (clearly, I need to use a planner). Our club decided we needed to outshine the other clubs by dressing as a theme – we chose to rock some 80’s-wear.

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Back in the day, I used to rock some serious “mall bangs.” In high school, I promised my mom I’d never wear them again, but I had to bring ’em back for our 80’s look. Sorry, mom! They had kinda died down by this point from all the sweating and jumping around.

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Some of our crew getting ready before the workout. I wish I had a pic of my whole outfit – neon yellow leggings covered by bright pink shorts. Oh yes, I did!

I finally got a rest day on Friday! Whew! I love love love my job for the fact that there are so many active things that I get to do. I mean, I get paid to workout. Sweet, right?? I just kinda wish it wasn’t all packed into the week after the Shamrock. Oh well, I survived! I took Friday as a rest day and was back to cycling Saturday and Sunday… Outdoor cycling this time! We went on a mini vacay last weekend and we took advantage of some great bike trails – but that’s a post for another day, so you’ll just have to wait to hear about it. ;p

 

Shamrock Run Recap

I did it! I conquered the Shamrock Run 15k in all it’s hilly, rainy glory! The run was yesterday in downtown Portland. Brandon and I got up at 4:30am to get ready to meet some friends at 5:30am. We car pooled to a parking garage in Portland, then took the MAX transportation system to the riverfront where the race started in downtown Portland. 

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Me and my friend, Erica, with our buddy, Tyler, photobombing in the background.

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I spy Tyler again.

We arrived at the race just as the sun was coming up. It was beautiful and energy was high… Then I realized I left my race bib in the car, a 40 minute MAX ride away. *facepalm* My sweet, supportive husband (who was not running) took the MAX all the way back to the car to retrieve my race bib. He didn’t even need to be asked – I just turned to him with a panicked look and gasped, “I left my race bib in the car!” He held out his palm and said, “Give me the keys,” and he was off. What a stud! Sadly, he wasn’t able to get back before the race started, so I ran bib-less. Not ideal, but at least I got it in time to get my finisher medal and free beer!

Now, I should note, this isn’t the first stressful start to the Shamrock Run. Nope. The Shamrock Run seems to hold the record for least organized race for me personally (not that the race isn’t organized – it totally is!! I’m not organized). I ran the Shamrock 5k 3 years ago. It was my first ever race and I had no clue what to expect. I didn’t go to the expo to get my bib early and I didn’t research suggested parking. Let me tell you, the Shamrock Run is HUGE. There were 35,000 runners this year. So, parking and getting where you need to go is a chore. I was clueless – We planned to get there about 45 minutes before the race started, to give us time to park and me time to get my race bib (oy, how naive I was!). Long story short (because it is a looooong story and I’m sure will bore you to tears), we got stuck at a traffic light a half hour before the race started, I hopped out of the car to get my bib, got halfway to the tent where my bib was and realized I lost my driver’s license somewhere between there and the car, frantically scanned the ground for my driver’s license all the way back to the traffic light we had stopped at, realized Brandon was STILL waiting at the light, found my license in the car, booked it back to the tent, grabbed my race bib, looked wildly around for the race start as the 5 minute warning was called, realized Brandon was not going to make it before I started the race (I had planned on him holding my water bottle and jacket),  stashed my water bottle next to a porta potty and crossed my fingers that it’d still be there when I was done (It was, and I washed it REALLY well before using it again),  tied my jacket around my waist, and found the swarm of 5k runners at the start line just as the gun went off. Whew! I was exhausted just getting to the start line! Brandon ended up getting through the traffic light and finding a parking spot just in time to jog the last 1/4 mile with me. 

That was my first experience with the Shamrock and running races in general. So, it didn’t surprise me at all when I realized I left my race bib in the car. I like to think I’m organized, but I’m really not. 

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The group

We had a good sized group – some ran the 15k and some did the 5k. I gathered with the 15kers and we eagerly awaited the start. Most of the 15k runners in our group were guys, so I figured they’d pull ahead of my not too far out of the gate and I’d be on my own from there. No biggie…I enjoy running by myself and the people watching at Shamrock is excellent. The first 2 miles felt great. It was the perfect temperature and my legs felt alright. As we started up the hill at mile 3 (4 miles of uphill, ugh!), I noticed my buddy, Erik walking a little ways ahead of my. I high-fived him on my way by and kept going. About halfway into mile 3, I started to feel a little lightheaded, so I slowed to a walk for a bit. Erik had started running again and caught up with me. From there, we decided to run together. It was nice to have someone to run with. We were a pretty even pace and bonding over the need for a porta potty and aid station made the time go a little faster.

After we found the much needed aid station and restroom stop, we continued trudging up the hill. Longest 4 miles of my life!! I’ve never been much into running with someone else – I like going my own pace and not feeling like I need to keep up with or slow down for someone else – but I will forever be grateful for Erik running with me. Chatting with him made the time go so much faster, and there were definitely times that we both needed encouragement from one another. By mile 7, we were talking about all our body parts that hurt and wondering why on earth we weren’t sitting in a coffee shop with Brandon (clearly he was the smart one). Mile 8 had one last aid station and a group of enthusiastic supporters handing out beer and fresh, hot bacon. My stomach was growling by this point and that bacon was soooo good! I seriously debated ending the race right then and there and hanging out with the bacon crowd. YUM! 

But we kept on going. The finish line was in sight, a mere 1/4 mile away. It felt like thousands of miles. My feet and ankles hurt and my knee was sore, but we kept on. Finally, pretty much exactly 2 hours after we started, we crossed the finish line! I was so relieved. Brandon was at the finish line with my race bib and, fortunately, Erik and I started together and crossed the finish line together so I just bummed his time. 🙂 

Sore and triumphant, we waited in line for our medals. Aren’t they sweet?! They’re bottle openers! 

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(Instagram)

Then we waited in line for our cup of salmon chowder….then we waited in line for our beer.

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Erica and I celebrating our victories! She finished the 5k around the same time Erik and I finished the 15k. Yes, I’m ashamed to admit, that is my hubby creeping in the background. :p

One thing I mulled over as I was limping to the finish line – even though I was sore and tired, I felt WAY better while running the 15k than I did running my half marathon. Don’t misunderstand me, I could NOT have run another 4 miles, but I also didn’t wanna throw up and die at the end. I chalk that up to a win. I was actually really satisfied with my performance during the run. Ideally, my goal was to run the entire thing, but I knew I’d probably walk some. I walked roughly a mile total, which is quite a bit less than I figured I would. Looking back, I’m pretty proud of myself and really glad I completed the run. 

Our group went to lunch at Red Robin after we were all finished and let me tell you, fries have never tasted so good! It was a great way to end our Shamrock Run experience and soak in our success over food and sharing our race stories. 

Note: All the pictures, aside from the one of the race medal, were stolen from my friend, Erica because I suck at remembering to take pictures.

Gearing Up For A Busy Week

The Shamrock Run is exactly 1 week away, so I decided to paint my nails to keep me inspired throughout the week….and maybe it’ll make me run faster! No? Ok, well a girl can wish. 

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(Instagram)

I had the whole weekend off, so I got in a run on Friday and Saturday morning. Friday was beautiful, but Saturday I barely finished my run before it started to rain. 

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(Instagram)

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I’m excited for the Shamrock Run coming up on Sunday but before I rush to Sunday, there are a few other fun things coming up this week. First, tomorrow I’m teaching my very first full Group Centergy class. I’ve team taught before, but never done the full hour-long class all on my own. I was asked to sub for a class that starts right after my Cardio30 class ends, so I’ll be running from one class to another. I’m a litttttttle nervous, but mostly excited. I know that I know the songs and moves, but there are always a few nerves when you do something new.

Second, Girls on the Run starts this week. A few weeks ago, I talked about a new volunteer opportunity I’m taking on. I’m coaching for an after school running program for elementary school girls. The program meets twice a week for 10 weeks and culminates in a end of the season celebratory 5k run. Our first meeting is this coming Tuesday and I’m excited….but kinda nervous too. Again, one of those new-experience-nerves things again. I think it’ll be fun, but I’m in charge of keeping track of 12 girls. Oy! I have an assistant coach who will be there one practice a week and a parent volunteer, so I won’t be totally on my own. Still a little daunting, though, ya know? But I’m still looking forward to it. 

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So that’s what my upcoming week looks like. Lots of fun stuff! Gotta go finish making dinner – the hubs is getting hungry- and run through my Centergy release and a new Cardio30 release for tomorrow morning.

Has anyone else had experience with Girls on the Run?

Anyone running a St. Patrick’s Day themed race this weekend?

Weekend Recap and Healthy Cookie Recipe

Happy Monday!!

I love starting my week by teaching Cardio30. It gets me out of bed and into the gym, and sets a great tone for the week! Now that I’m done, I’m enjoying an early-afternoon cup of coffee and catching up on my blog before work.

Before I get too far into the week, I’ll recap the weekend. Friday, I ran 4 miles. It wasn’t fun and it wasn’t pretty, but I did it. Shamrock Run, I’m comin’ for you! With the 15k only 13 days away, I’m really trying to work the hills in my neighborhood to prepare for the 4 1/2 mile uphill part of the Shamrock. I hear that when you get to the top and see the view of Portland as the sun comes up, it’s all worth it. We’ll see. ;p At least the last 2 miles are downhill.

Brandon and I were quite the social butterflies this weekend. Friday night, we went out with a couple friend of ours to bar in McMinnville. We split a huge order of Cajun tater tots and enjoyed some beer. Saturday, we drove up to Vancouver with another set of friends to eat at Joe’s Crab Shack. We ordered 5 appetizers and split them all between us. Sunday, after church, I went out for pizza with my parents, and Sunday night Brandon and I went to see the Lego Movie. Whew! We don’t usually do that much in a month, let alone in 1 weekend. Okay, probably a slight exaggeration, but we really are more homebody’s than social butterflies…I am, anyways. Brandon just stays home to keep me company. 🙂 It was a lot of fun, though.

As you can see, we ate a ton of junk over the weekend; the only downside to going out. My goal for this week is to focus back in on eating clean and limiting the fried and processed junk. I have a huge sweet tooth, though, and was craving cookies yesterday. I knew I hadn’t eaten well all weekend and really didn’t want to add to that, so I made a healthier cookie-type snack that satisfied my sweet tooth without adding a bunch of unnecessary sugar and fat. Basically, I made No Bake Energy Bites from Chef in Training, but with some variations. The original recipe is pinned on my Pinterest page, but I kinda just used it for inspiration and did my own thing.

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This is what I ended up using:

1 c. Old Fashioned Oats

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/2 t. cinnamon

1 T chia seeds

1/3 c. Peanut Butter

2 t. agave

1 t vanilla

3/4 c. mixed dark chocolate chips and cinnamon chips.

Water to hold the mixture together

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I mixed it all in a big bowl. I really just added the cinnamon chips because I had them on hand. They’re great with just dark chocolate chips too.

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Once mixed, I formed them into balls and put them in an airtight container in the refrigerator to harden. Voila! Taste just like cookies, but without all the bad stuff! They’re actually rather filling too because they have oats, peanut butter and protein powder. I like to eat them as a little afternoon snack to keep my energy up until dinner time. Speaking of dinner, I need to go pack a dinner to take to work tonight. 

Have a great week!

Is anyone else running in the Shamrock Run? Which distance?

Any other healthy treat recipes I need to try? Please share!