I Love Training. And Racing. Sign me UP.

So last night I bit the bullet…broke out my credit card…and signed up for the Richmond Half Marathon on November 10th! 

I figured I might only be in Richmond one year SO if there was anytime to do this race, it would be now. 

Did I mention I moved to Richmond?  …. No? …. I did.


7 weeks till race day is not the “ideal” training period but I have been running 2-3 times a week (for 30-60 minutes) so I can start adding on those miles quick for a jump start.   


The training plan will be better than this summer when I signed up for a half marathon only 5 days away on a whim.  Yes that was fun.


Tin Cup Challenge 1/2 Marathon in Driggs Idaho

My current training will involve three days of running…two days of shorter/speed work runs and one long run.  It will go something like this…

Week 1 (last week) – 7 mile long run

Week 2 (starting todayish) – 4 miles – 4 miles – 8 miles

Week 3 – 4 miles – 5 miles – 9 miles

Week 4 – 4 miles – 4 miles – 10 miles

Week 5 – 4 miles – 5 miles – 11 or 12 miles

Week 6 – 3 miles – 4 miles – 6 miles

Week 7 – 4 miles – 2 miles – RACE DAY.


And let’s be honest I’m not one to stress and stick to training plans 100% so don’t be surprised if there are deviations.  And I may have just made that training plan up 5 seconds ago soo let’s hope it works!

I toyed with the idea of signing up for the Richmond Marathon.  But I may be crazy but I’m not stupid.  7 weeks is not enough time to properly train for a marathon so 1/2 it is. 

Let’s do it.

I have no doubt I can fit in the runs in-between my full-time dietetic internship which I started in August.


…Did I mention I started my Dietetic Internship?….No?….I did. 

I also will keep busy trying to finish an “Ironman Distance Traithlon” held at my local gym.  I have 9 weeks to ‘finish’ an Ironman Triathlon (swim 2.4 miles bike 113 miles and run 26.2).  I report my distances weekly and if I finish I get a free t-shirt…hoorah…free stuff for working out!  I am in the second week of it and will be able to finish the distances no problem.  It forced me to get into the pool this weekend (I hadn’t been in since my triathlon in July ouf!).  The best part about not swimming for a while is getting back in the pool, I loved it.

Things might get a little more complicated when I’m trying to work in the weight program I’ve been following for about 6 weeks so far.  It’s a 12 program by James Wilson which I paid for earlier in the year but never followed through with until now.  Unfortunately I can’t share my workouts (since I paid some mollah for it) but its an awesome program.  I’m on 5 days of weight lifting currently and have already seen gains in how much I can lift.  Strong = beautiful. 


Okay so maybe now is a good time to recognize the fact that I haven’t blogged in almost 3 months!  HOLY ROTTEN BANANA so much for being a blogger.  Thanks to everyone who bugged me about putting posts back up.  I hope to be blogging a couple times a week in between my internship and training (which I will go into more details about don’t you worry).  I figured this is enough/way too much information for you to absorb in one post already. 


So what is the BEST Thing that happened to you since I left off? 

Me?  Hard to say with so many changes but I did turn 26.  Did I mention that?…No?…I did.  26 rocks.


❤ banana.

Race Recap: Jamestown International (Tri)Duathlon

Last Sunday I had the privilege of racing in my first duathlon…originally known as the Jamestown International Triathlon!  Of course the fact that it was a duathlon was a fluke but the racing and weather gods spoke and a swim was not possible.

I made the drive to Richmond the night before the race to avoid waking up in the middle of the night to get to Jamestown.  My Dad was in the area for meetings so he let me camp out on the pull-out sofa for the night.  We had an excellent pre-race dinner at Bonefish…one of my favorite chain/seafood restaurants hands-down.  (I had the Grilled Salmon with the Pan Asian sauce…highly recommend it…and of course tons of their delicious bread…carb loading, right?!)

Unfortunately the night in the hotel was not very restful as kids played outside and I tossed and turned on the lumpy mattress.  It’s always the night before that I start to get nervous and doubt why I do this to myself.  Ugh.  4:30 AM came sooner than I wanted as my alarm blazed and I rolled off the sofa.

Rise and Shine athlete. Again, do I really want to do this?

Thankfully the little voice in the back of  my head always says YES.

In the car I chowed on a peanut butter and banana on Ezekiel bread and I was on my way.  Sort of.  Directions were a little off…  (wrong turn here, reroute there) Okay, now I was on my way. Not the best way to start a race morning. 

As I got closer to Williamsburg, later then intended, I saw the lightning bolts ahead.  We had some bad storms in Virginia last weekend and they were sticking around Jamestown. This could be interesting.

I finally made it to the long packet pick-up line at 6:30.  Race start was 7:00.  This was not good.  As a ‘seasoned’ triathlete I should know to get there early to prep my transition area and prep my mind.  As I waited in line I quickly caught wind that the race was not starting till 7:30.  Shew, I had more time.  Now about that lightning…?

After finally getting my packet (but no shirt, they ran out!) I set up my bike in the transition area, got my timing chip, and body marked #120.  A little after 7:00 they announced a final change in plans: the storms/lightning were keeping staff from getting on the water safely to replace the race course buoys.  Due to the heat the race couldn’t be pushed back any longer, a duathlon it is!

So how does a duathlon work?

Instead of swimming 1 mile, the race starts with running 1 mile…then biking 40K….then running 10K.  Here we go!

The race staff did a great job of getting everything together at the last minute.  Wave times started like normal to keep a good flow of racers in/out of the transition area.  I was in the second wave, officially starting at 7:34 AM.  The first mile run went well and I just wanted to keep a steady pace to warm-up.  I knew I had miles ahead of me to push it.

I clocked in my first mile at 8:22.

I quickly grabbed my bike and made it out on the road for an out-and-back course.  It was a fairly flat and shaded along local roads but about 15 minutes in I knew something was off with my bike seat and my left hip/glute started bothering me.  Unfortunately it didn’t let up during the ride regardless of my constant wiggling and shifting.  I should have just stopped and readjusted my seat but in the moment, I felt the need to keep going.  Lesson learned: next time just stop and readjust!

I completed the bike in 1:22:40.

I was relieved to see the transition area and I just prayed my hip wouldn’t bother me during the run.  I was feeling tired and hot so I put down a chocolate espresso gel pack which perked me right up.  Thankfully it was definitely just the bike bothering my hip and my legs felt strong and re-energized as I began my favorite part of the tri: the run.  It was a flat course along a paved bike/packed gravel path through the woods.  The course was fairly shaded but the heat still was already beating down.  I took along my packet of Sharkies from my Foodie Penpal gift and chewed on one every half mile or so.  They were awesome!

I completed the run in 49:32.

The crowd was great and stuck around to eat pizza, watermelon, and other snacks at the post-race party.  I ate the Do More Bars from my Foodie Penpal package…I loved the Raisin Peanut Cereal flavor!  I stuck around for a bit but decided to get back on the road.  I wish I would have stuck around for the awards ceremony though…

I finished the race in 2:23:24…3rd in my age group. woop woop!

It definitely was not my ‘best’ race because of the bike, lack of sleep, and change in swim plans.  I respect each tri for the learning experience and adventure they offer and do not regret participating!  I AM disappointed because I didn’t get any pictures during the event (bad blogger)!  I was too stressed out before the race and too tired after.  Excuses, excuses.  If they post any from the race, I’ll add them 🙂

I don’t have triathlons or races scheduled but I’ll be traveling for the month and then moving to Richmond in August so I’m gonna lie low on the training front until I get settled.

In other news: I am done waitressing (forever?!), enjoyed a great 4th of July with friends, got my hair chopped off, and moved out of Harrisonburg!  I’ll be traveling to Montana and Yellowstone the next couple of weeks and hope to post about my adventures!

So what is new with you?!  Name the best thing you did so far this weekend….for me, I enjoyed roaming the Farmer’s Market…fresh corn and peaches, yum!



June Foodie Penpal Reveal

Can you believe June has come and is almost gone?!

Me neither.

The end of June brings a big event here at AAH….Foodie Penpal Reveal!

I participated last month, but in case you forgot or missed it, Foodie Penpals is a program set up by Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean.  You are randomly paired with another blogger or reader and send them $15 worth of food goodies.  Then at the end of the month you reveal your awesome gifts!  You can find out more about the program at the Lean Green Bean.

This month, I had the privilege of having another Lindsey as my penpal – a reader Lindsey! – but just because she isn’t a blogger doesn’t mean she doesn’t send great gifts.

I actually got back from the beach to have the package waiting for me and couldn’t wait to dig into it.  I knew it was going to be good when the first thing I saw was chocolate.

She sent the cutest card and then had notes on each item explaining why she picked them!  Love.

In the stash:

Green & Black Organic Milk Chocolate Bar this might already be gone 🙂

Pacific Sea Salt Somersaults also gone – I’ve never tried these before but they interestingly delicious.  They reminded me of those little sesame stick snacks.  My sister tried them to and we both agreed that at first they aren’t crazy good but then the taste kind of grows on you.  The Somersault snacks are vegan, contain no nuts, but are made with sunflower seeds, whole wheat flour, and sesame seeds with 6g of protein, 3g of fiber, only 1 g of sugar and 150 calories per serving.   I’d love to try the other flavors they have like Cinnamon Crunch, Dutch Cocoa, or Santa Fe Salsa.

Crispy Green Crispy Pineapple – FUN! Freeze dried fruit.  They remind me of the astronaut food you could buy in science museum gift shops.  Anyone used to buy that like me?! Definitely a low-calorie sweet treat (30 per bag/serving!) if you want something crunchy.  They have so many kinds of fruit too: strawberry, mango, banana, peaches.  I want it all.

Sharkies  Organic Energy Sports Chews in Berry Blast – niccccee.  I have never tried Sharkies chews before but Lindsey said they were perfect fuel for long runs!  They are a ‘natural source of electrolytes with no trans fat or high fructose corn syrup.’  I am going to use them in my triathlon on Sunday so I’ll let you know how they are!

Do More Bars in Raisin Peanut Cereal Bar and Orange Cranberry Pecan Cereal Bar – These are made right down the street from Lindsey!  They are gluten-free with about 140 calories per bar made with organic ingredients.  I’m going to bring them along with me on my road trip to my tri.  You can check out their website here if you want to try some yourself!

Mountain Wildflowers Haw Creek Honey – again this is a local food find near Lindsey.  This will be great in tea and on toast! Peanut butter banana honey sandwiches anyone?

Barney Butter Almond Butter and Justin’s Hazelnut Butter Blend – hoorah…love trying new peanut butters!  She said Justin’s Hazelnut Butter Blend tastes like nutella!  Oh baby.  Not to sound like a broken record, but I’m packing these for my trip to my triathlon.

I loved the variety of products Lindsey sent, especially since they were all new-to-me products.  I never realized how much I love trying new products till joining the Foodie Penpals!

Thanks so much for all the goodies Lindsey!  I encourage all foodies to participate next month 🙂


As I mentioned I have a triathlon tomorrow…Jamestown International Triathlon.  Not going to lie, I’m a little nervous about this one with my lack of hard-core training.  I’m just going into it to have fun and ‘enjoy the ride’ as opposed to get a certain time.  I’ll be up early tomorrow for the 7 AM start!  It will be fun to be racing in historic Williamsburg though and I’m looking forward to time off work and seeing friends this weekend.

By the way, did you all have those crazy storms last night?!  We did and it was scary driving home from work last night but thankfully the power did not go out here!  My cable is out though, bummer, no Saturday morning cartoons for me.

What is your favorite snack from childhood?  Astronaut food?!  Mine was probably goldfish or cheez-its.

five things friday

Happy Friday!  So many exciting things happening…

It is National Flip Flop Day!  Break out that summer footwear.

This Sunday is Father’s Day.  Be sure to send a card, get a present, or at least make a phone call.

I am going home today and going to the beach tomorrow. boo yah.

I have also been the worst blogger this week.

None the less, Here are 5 things for thought this Friday:

1. I finished Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron in about 3 days, a  fictional story about a young runner in Rwanda  It is amazingly good.  It is the first book I’ve ever read that I am already thinking about reading it again.

Go buy one to read and 5 others for your friends, especially if they are athletes, interested in Rwanda, or just love a good story.

2. This is my favorite jam of the week: Wavin’ Flag by K’naan

3. Pending my upcoming vacation, I made this gem that has been in my freezer all summer for dinner last night.

Amy’s Indian Mattar Tofu.

Doesn’t look that exciting, does it?

Insert fresh ingredients.

I steamed some summer squash and added it to the mix.  Perfect.   The sauce had a nice flavor and there was plenty to add extra vegetables.

Much better.  ‘Twas delicious.

4. I swam for 45 minutes yesterday!  The longest since sometime last year?  Good thing since I have a tri in a few weeks!

After I ate this salad.

Lettuce, tomato, carrots, and leftover Barley Chickpea Feta Salad with a side of corn on the cob.

Barley Chickpea Feta Salad.


-1 cup pearl barley

-1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

-1/4 cup feta

-4 T Italian vinaigrette of choice

-1/2 cup chopped cucumber


1. Cook pearl barley by adding 1 cup barley into 2 cups boiling water.  Cover and simmer for about 35-45 minutes.

2. Once cooked, add in chickpeas, cucumber, feta, and dressing.  Stir to combine.

3.  Done and delicious

This would also be really good with tomatoes, olives, or artichokes.

5. It’s Breakfast Food Friday!

Head on over to Claire’s blog, Live and Love to Eat to check it out.

I finally restocked my cabinet with some unsweetened cocoa powder and have made my Chocolate Almond Joy Oatmeal 3 days in a row this week.  Hey folks, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Yum.  Go make this now.


I am hitting up Interval Fitness at noon and then hitting the road. See you at the beach!


So tell me 1 thing!  What are you excited about this weekend?!

beginnings, endings, and big blonde moments

Hi everyone!

A day free…a day off work…no waitressing today….hoorah! 

I’ve worked the past 6 days straight (boo hoo woah is me) and I’m excited to have the day/night off.  My friend Rachel is coming over for drink before we head downtown to meet more friends for more fun.  I’m sorry I haven’t been blogging any since this past weekend…I have been busy with work but I really don’t have that much of an excuse…I haven’t been that busy!  I guess just a bit unmotivated?  It happens.

So what have I been doing besides work?  Oh you know, hanging out.  Farmer’s market trips, lunches with friends, a little pool time, a little shopping, and some gym time too.

I feel in love on Friday with this “Interval Training” class Gold’s Gym offers.  Have you tried it?  It reminds me of a less-hardcore Crossfit (not that I’ve ever tried Crossfit) but its a combination of cardio with weights in intervals…yup, like interval training 🙂  Its only 45 minutes but its the perfect quick workout with weights and cardio (think running around the track, burpees, push-ups, lunges, etc).  It kicks your butt and the class flies.

I’ve also been swimming/biking/running…Jamestown International TRI in a few weeks (July 1st)!  Not much outside though unfortunately.  The weather was crummy the past couple of days.  I hope to get lots of outside-working-out-time at the beach soon.

Did I say the beach?!  YES.  YES I DID.  My family and I will all leave for the beach Saturday. OMGIAMSOEXCITEDIAMFREAKINGOUT.  My sister and her husband planned the trip and I get to see some of his family, who I haven’t seen in years!, and also my niece!!! Who I haven’t seen since December…she is almost 14 months and getting to be such a big girl.

Any who, only a few more days.  Until then, I had hoped to be continuing my dieting adventures, finishing up with raw eating.  But, it’s not going to happen.  Womp womp.  Lack of motivation and planning have left me ending the dieting adventures early.  I’ll be posting my thoughts on the challenge and reasons to end early tomorrow. Stay tuned.

By the way, did you all see my tweet on Tuesday?  (no, then follow me on twitter) But I had the biggest blonde moment of my life when I discovered that this blog email address was not forwarding to my  other email, as I had thought for months.  what?!!?!  Yep, I spent all morning sorting through 500+ emails (mostly automatic notifications/spamish stuff) but a few heartfelt wonderful emails and questions from readers alike.  holy moly.  I have never felt more ridiculous.  I emailed most people back with huge apologies but if I missed you, please email me back and I WILL respond!!  I love hearing from readers.  and I will be getting back to you now!


So enough about me, what is the best thing that has happened to you this week?  For me, definitely the great emails I discovered Tuesday.

Ever had an epic blonde moment like mine?!





Breakfast Food Friday and Paleo Pancakes

Woo Hoo…It is Breakfast Food Friday.  Claire over at Live and Love to Eat is hosting this awesome day.

I love me some breakfast food although as I mentioned, I didn’t always love it so much.  I don’t think I could pick a favorite breakfast food if I had too…  I love both the sweet and hearty…waffles and omelets…oatmeal and eggs.  Get in my belly.

This morning I had a bowl of banana oatmeal but yesterday I tried a new Paleo breakfast recipe Silver Dollar Pancakes from Elana’s Pantry.

I cut the recipe in 1/3 with a few changes.

Paleo Almond Meal Pancakes


1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 T unsweetened almond milk

1/3 cup almond meal

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup blueberries (optional)


1. Mix egg, vanilla, and almond milk in a bowl.

2. Add almond meal, cinnamon, and baking powder.  Stir to combine.  Add more milk if needed for smoother consistency.

3. Mix in blueberries if using.

4. Spray skillet with non-stick spray and pour on batter, cooking until bubbles form.  Flip. Cook until golden brown.

After I was done cooking the pancakes, I threw a sliced banana on the pan to top my pancakes.  This is seriously the best way to eat bananas. Do it now.

The pancakes turned out pretty good!  The flavor was spot on but the texture was a bit spongy to be honest.

So, since these are paleo am I sticking with my paleo diet adventure?  Well, no, not really.  I tried again yesterday morning but ended up getting that headache and ate some toast in the morning…much better.  For the rest of the day I was mostly following a paleo diet though!

I had a salad with chicken and a sweet potato for lunch but also munched on some carrots and hummus.  Hummus isn’t paleo though because it’s from chickpeas and they don’t think beans are ‘optimal foods’  (I know, that is crazy to me.)

Before work I had some chicken breast with broccoli slaw and during my shift I ate a KIND bar (the one Mariell sent me, I loved the flavor, not sure if it is paleo) and ordered a side salad with broccoli when the bar just wasn’t going to cut it.

Maybe if I start my day with some carbs, like my oatmeal this morning, I will be able to follow a Paleo diet throughout the day?  Maybe.  But don’t hold your breath 😉

I’ve got some breakfast foods to make!

What is your favorite breakfast food?!  Favorite place to eat breakfast? I couldn’t pick my favorite food but my favorite breakfast restaurant is the Little Grill in Harrisonburg or Cassett’s in Clarendon VA.

the day that was (almost) paleo

Well yesterday was Paleo Day #2 in my eating adventures.

It had a promising start…

Eggs with leftover mushrooms and broccoli.

Then I went to our local Gold’s Gym and got a gym membership for the month!  I can’t use my school gym anymore (boo!) and I just decided to bite the bullet and join Gold’s.  I need access to a pool with Jamestown Triathlon right around the corner – July 1st – and I’ll admit, I like having access to the classes and weights.  I think I could survive without a gym, but it does make working out a lot easier.

Anyway, I did their spin class (already making use of that membership!) and came home to whip up breakfast #2.

Tina’s “Oatmeal Minus the Oats” from Carrots ‘N’ Cake!

I’ve made it once before but thought I would make it again…perfectly paleo.

I followed her recipe almost exactly and topped mine with shredded coconut and more cinnamon.

It tastes pretty good with the cinnamon and banana, but is definitely no bowl of oatmeal.  It has a bit of a spongy texture and I think I would prefer it without the chopped walnuts.

An hour or so later and nothing would satisfy my hunger.  (Why? Oh, because my body was wanting carbs!)  I tried to hold out longer but ended up making an early lunch with leftover Coconut Almond Chicken and a sweet potato!

I was hoping the sweet potato would satisfy my need for carbs.

A couple of hours later…hungry again!

I threw together a random ‘snack’ or late lunch.  A salad with chicken breast, avocado, and lots of vegetables.


But ravenous hunger still ensued.  Enter a leftover Ezekiel Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin.

Yup.  I gave in.  I ate carbs.  I felt much better.

Sometimes at night if I am hungry, I can get headaches which is how I felt yesterday afternoon.  I’m all about trying new things, etc etc BUT I’m not going to totally deprive my body or make myself sick just to try new things.

So back on the paleo bandwagon (seriously have you noticed everyone is doing it?) and I had a workout date with my friend Rachel at BodyPump!  I haven’t done BodyPump in years but it was a fun switch up to my weight routine.  I used to do BodyPump religiously twice a week 3 or 4 years ago before I branched out into doing my own weight routines.  We pumped it hard and I am sore today!

I packed my dinner to take back to her place and it included broccoli slaw with canned salmon, avocado, topped with spicy mustard and some Bragg’s Amino Acids.

Sorry no picture but it was good!

We also snacked on some pistachios and watched CMT’s Country Music Awards although we only half payed attention, gabbing away the whole time.

This morning I work up ravenous again with a headache.  I am not going to go full-force Paleo today to make sure I am giving my body the nutrients it needs.  I guess for some people Paleo really works but my body/mind just doesn’t seem happy with it…We’ll see what the day brings!


Have you had to give up on something to listen to your body? 

Have you gone without a gym membership?  Did you like it or hate it?!


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