Turkey Time

Thanksgiving might be my favorite holiday. It’s less stressful than Christmas, and is a perfect combination family, fun, and relaxation. And of course having the day after off doesn’t hurt either. I know I greatly enjoyed my four day weekend!

I wish I had some photos to post, but to be quite honest, they’re all really unflattering. So I’m going to make the executive decision and never allow them to grace the internet.

Backing up to Wednesday, I started the holiday weekend off with a blown out tire. On 95. Half mile from my exit. A few hundred dollars later, I now have four new tires. Safety first my friends.

I met up with my best friends from high school (we go back all the way to 4th grade) and went to our schools alumni bar night. It was fun to catch up with old classmates and especially old teachers. Especially my fifth grade math teacher who had absolutely no idea who I was for the entire conversation. Fabulous.

Turkey Day is and always about the trot. 5 mile road race to start the day. I hope to do a recap once race photos are available online (that I can steal). Long story short, 5.01 miles, 33:08, 6’39” pace. Felt good to be done – my legs are still sore as of today.

Dinner at Wills was delicious, and as always a glorious time. Especially how I shamelessly fell asleep in his living room at 730PM. Party hard.

In other news, I slept a massive amount on Friday and have been catching up on all the sleep I’ve desperately been needing. I coaxed my mom into treating me to a pedicure which was so, so needed.

To keep this post somewhat short, especially because I have no fun pictures to look at, the rest of the weekend was spent relaxing, cooking, adulting (i.e. errands) and of course movies!

Hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving and a marvelous weekend! xo

Linking up with Erin for Weekend RecapTara for Weekend Update, and Katie for Marvelous Monday to start this week off right.

MiMM

What’s your favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner?

Anyone else run a Thanksgiving morning race?

Adulting

It’s been a long time since I cooked a meal that required preparation, and more than one step. I.E. something other than spaghetti squash. It’s whatever.

Since the cold weather hit, I’ve been totally vibing on warm lunches. And in order to not eat oatmeal for every meal every day, I decided I’d be ambitious and cook one of my most favoritest fall dishes – butternut squash lasagna. I make this recipe vegan (since sometimes cheese is not my friend), but I will give you the original recipe as I just sub out regular cheese for the vegan kind.
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And as always, thanks Jenn for hosting!

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Photo cred to my coworker because I share and don’t take pictures of my own food. 

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (1 1/2 to 2 lbs) butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt / Black pepper
1/2 cup water
3 amaretti cookies, crumbled [I omit these]
1/4 cup butter [I use Earth balance, soy free vegan butter]
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk [I use almond milk]
3/4 cups (lightly packed) fresh basil leaves
12 no-boil lasagna noodles
Pinch nutmeg
2 1/2 cups shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese [I use vega Diaya cheese]
1/3 grated parmesan [Again, I use vega Diaya cheese… they have everything]

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large skilled over medium-high heat. Add the squash and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the water into the skillet and cover. Simmer over medium heat until squash is tender – usually takes about 20 minutes.

Cool slightly, then transfer the squash to the food processor – I use my Vitamix (love). Add amaretti cookies and blend until smooth. I omit the cookies and instead add a dash of nutmeg for flavor. Season squash puree with salt and pepper to taste.

Melt butter in medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually add in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens. About 5 minutes. This is important! I did not do this the first time I made the recipe and the lasagna just kinda slid out of the pan. Still tasted delicious but did not look pretty. Whisk in nutmeg and basil. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Position rack in center of the over – preheat to 375 degrees.

Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2 inch glass baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup of the sauce over the prepared dish. Arrange 3 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/3 of the squash puree over the noodles. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Drizzle 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles. Repeat layering 3 more times.

Tightly cover baking dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese over lasagna. Continue baking uncovered until the sauce bubbles and top is golden. Roughly about 15 minutes longer.

And there you have it – one of my favorite fall/winter recipes! If you try it out, please let me know what you think! Even my meat loving family loves it : )

What’s your favorite fall recipe?

Do you find that you sub out a lot of ingredients and use recipes more as a framework when cooking? 

 

Holiday Season?

And another Monday is upon us. Usually this would give me the sads, and I’d be lying if I said the Sunday scaries didn’t hit me HARD yesterday, but it’s a short work week, and I have lots to look forward to! So let’s link up with Erin for Weekend RecapTara for Weekend Update, and Katie for Marvelous Monday to see what I’ve been doing and what we have to look forward to.

MiMM

First things first. If you follow me on Instagram you might recognize this sad face. My favorites pup got absolutely dominated by a skunk. It wasn’t a passing spay, more like a full frontal assault.

So ashamed

This past weekend seemed whiz right on by. I’m distraught with the fact that my #TGIT Shonda Rhimes line-up is on winter break… what am I supposed to do for the next MONTH+?!?!?! Ugh.

The Leftovers.. if you watch the show and are up to date, wtf was with last nights episode? Can someone please inform me. I thought it was by far the weirdest, most bizarre episode I’ve ever watched. If you have some brilliant insight, please share!

Speaking of other HBO series… I’m far behind on Homeland, and plan on rectifying this over the next few days. I’m still addicted even though Carries #cryface is so offensive.

If you’re looking for a fabulous Netflix series… watch Master of None. It has my boy Aziz in it and it is a wonderful combination of comedy and real-life satire. Perfect show to binge.

I also watched Selfless… interesting. And went to see The Night Before. Which was exactly what you’d expect from a Seth Rogen film. Mindless entertainment. No complaints fro this girl.

So as you can see, I spent the majority of my weekend sitting. Or laying. Which I’m fine with.

Side note – my step-dad went shark diving in an aquarium in Long Island. It was fabulous. Like a kid in a candy store.

Greetings

 I did make my butternut squash lasagna this weekend – and am currently writing up a post for Wednesday about it. It’s delicious and by far my best one yet : ) It’s vegetarian, but can be made vegan and it’s fabulous and filling. Keep your eyes peeled!

I know this week is going to fly on by with my step-dad’s birthday tomorrow, high school alumni pub night Wednesday, Thanksgiving Thursday, and of course no work Friday.

Now if people could chill with the Christmas music and decorations for the next four days I’d be one happy camper….

And not that I’m complaining but 55 degrees on Thanksgiving Day…. global warming anyone?

Hope you have a fabulous Monday! xo

What was the best part of your weekend??

Any exciting plans for the holiday??

Wishing it was TOLF…

But it’s not Friday, it’s Thursday… And I’m not one for intros, so let’s get to it. Thank you Amanda for letting me be as inarticulate, scatterbrained, and random as I want : )

Thinking-Out-Loud

I was in desperate need of a winter coat. And when I say desperate, I mean I have one. Or two. But the fact is they are both kinda ugly. Warm as can be, but maybe not the cutest thing to wear out… especially my Mountain Hard Gear jacket which in college dubbed me as the Michelin Man. So when I just HAPPENED to be at the mall this past weekend I spied with my little eye this coat. Which one of my best friends already has. So I tried it on. And I looked like an adorable eskimo. Which then led me to one of the hardest decisions of all time… red… or grey?

Leggings. All. The. Time

Meep.

After going back and forth, texting, emailing, SnapChatting the world, I decided on grey. I loved the red, but I suppose it could get old. And grey matches everything. And it’s professional, like me ..so with grey I went.

One of the reasons I love J.Crew so much, and truly 90% of why I actually just bought the coat with my own money instead of begging my mom, is because all outerwear was 40% off. And while shamelessly using my student ID, I got an additionally 15% off. Therefore I saved a grand total of 51%. And if you know anything about shopping and math, that actually means I saved money instead of spending $200.

Without any transition that makes sense, I give you this…

I have no idea why, or how I found this really, but it is amazing. Not only does the person “assumes” this is a pet (how could you tell – maybe the leash?) or that they clearly have never seen, read, or heard about a ferret before, but the pure fact that they say it “smells weird”, is incredible. I saved this on my phone because it brings me great joy. Also, the ferret’s face just screams”wtf”.

And because this is a health and fitness blog of sorts… I want to mention the ketogenic diet I discussed before. Ellie brought to my attention some of the negative benefits this diet has on women, hormone’s, etc. I am definitely going to do a bit more investigating before committing to this type of eating, and I do plan on composing a post as to what a ketogenic diet actually is. Keep an eye out next week..ish.

This week has seemed to drag on and on, but when I really think about it, I feel like it was just August. I can’t believe the holiday season is upon us… a week from today I will be trotting (of the turkey sort) and feasting on all things sweet potato and green bean.

I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday, it is almost the weekend! Catch y’all on Monday. xo

What the most creative gift you’ve given your significant other… I’m totally stuck on what to get Will this year.. (sorry babe xo)

Would you have gotten the red or the grey coat?

Faux fur – yay or nay?

Am I also the only 27 (almost 28 year old) who still makes Christmas lists?

 

Hot Oil 5K Recap & Running Things

Sometimes I just really impress myself by being able to post twice in one week. It’s the little things yeah?

Like I said, I have taken some serious time off of running since the marathon. I think I struggled so much and unfortunately did not run the race I was trained for because I was overtrained. OTS (Overtraining Syndrome) is something Will brought to my attention a few months ago through this article. It’s a fabulous read, and REALLY scary, especially for someone who plans to run until the end of time. It’s when an athlete trains to such a level that fatigue and underperformance become common. And to be honest, I think that is part of the problem I had during NYC.

I trained well, and I trained properly, but my body didn’t have a break from running for the past 18 months. And because of that, I think I was just too freaking tired. And reflecting on the race, I was just as, if not more, mentally tired, than physically tired.

In June, I signed up for a 5K a week after NYCM. I figured I would have had a fabulous race, I would have been feeling good, and I was going to race and win the 5K. Because who needs more motivation than a year of free pizza? Well with the way I felt after the marathon I figured I would still run, but run on feel and enjoy the fact I was out running.

The 5K is a local race of about 1650 runners and it sells out within the first week of signups in June. Free pizza and beer post-race. A year of free pizza to the male and female winner. Who wouldn’t want to sign up?

“She doesn’t go here” … You’re right, I don’t.

Race morning was beautiful, unseasonably warm as I was able to run in shorts and a tank top. I didn’t hate it. Although I ran with my watch, I flipped it upside down so I wouldn’t be concerned about pace. I ran the first mile in 6’48”, the second in 6’45”, and the third mile in 6’25”. As we turned the corner for the last 0.1 mile, I kicked it past two women, who then approximately 10 seconds later passed me right before the finish. I thought I had it, but when I saw them go by me I said LOL K BAI and just cruised on in. I placed 8th woman over all, 1st in my age group, and got a sweet trophy. It may not be all the pizza I can eat, but that’s probably a good thing.

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I’m happy with how the race went. If you asked me in June, I would’ve said I will run sub 19, but I didn’t and I’m totally fine with that. Since the 5K I’ve run approximately 4 times, topping out at 6.5 miles. Two months ago, my minimal running and low milage would have given me a heart attack and serious anxiety, but I’m feeling pretty good about it right now. I’ve been doing a ton of cross training, a lot of SoulCycle (sorry wallet) and even more stretching. Who am I?

My appetite has returned from “constantly ravenous” to “normal human being”, and my cravings have shifted from “all things carbohydrates and sugar” to “good fats and vegetables”.

If you want to learn more about Overtraining Syndrome, this article outlines some signs and symptoms. And like I said before, this article, Running On Empty, chronicles a professional endurance athlete fall from elite competition. It’s inspiring, sad, and downright eye opening towards the importance of proper rest and recovery. It’s easy to say “I didn’t have a good race so I’m going to train harder”, what’s the more difficult is to take the rest your body needs to recover.


Have you ever experienced OTS? I burned out after swimming competitively for 13 years. I would really hate for that to happen with running.

Is taking a break from running hard for you? This is the first time I’ve consciously told myself I cannot run.

Good Tidings

Well hello there. It’s been a hot minute. I guess life got even crazier than I expected. But I think I have finally found a balance. I feel somewhat caught up with work, relaxing with minimal training, and finally all settled into my new apartment. I’m going to give you a quick and dirty of what’s been going on over the last few weeks, and then get into more details throughout the week. Yes – I do have posts planned (GASP!).
MiMM

So here I am, Monday morning, linking up with Erin for Weekend RecapTara for Weekend Update, and Katie for Marvelous Monday…. It’s good to be back.

So where have I been? I’ve moved in, I ran the NYCM, and I have been recovering ever since. I have often felt overwhelmed in the last few weeks and had to remind myself it’s okay to not blog. Blogging is something I truly enjoy, and 100% wish it was my career, but it’s not. And if it effects my mental health and stress levels, welp, it’s not worth it. No matter how much I love writing and connecting with all you amazing bloggers out there.

So after NYCM, I decided my body needed a serious break. I’ve run twice since then. That’s right… going from 60ish miles a week to about hmmmm 8. It’s been glorious. I love to run, and I’m not going to lie, this perfect fall weather is giving me the running itch, but I think I needed to give my body (and my mind) a much needed break. I broke down totally. Rest is something that I’ve really been enjoying. Sleeping in – what’s that? And cross training? Who knew there were weights in the gym…

I’ve run three times since New York. I’ve cross trained some days, and rested most. I took a full 6 days off from exercising. I think the most stressful thing I did was shower. About three days post race my body was feeling back to normal, but I plan to write a post as to why I took/am taking so much time off. And shock – I haven’t been to SoulCycle yet (post written Friday, probably going to go tonight….)

One side effect I’ve noticed – my appetite. This is the first time in a very long time I haven’t been insatiable. Being satisfied after a portioned size meal was such a distant memory, that I think I had been eating just to eat. But now, I eat and find myself full for HOURS! It’s quite nice… and it makes my tummy and wallet happy.


Other random life happenings:

I ran a local 5K exactly a week after my marathon. It was the first time I ran, and I felt decent. Finished with a time of 20:18 and I was okay with that. I was no means rested, and I somewhat felt like Gumby during the majority of the race but I did something I haven’t done in a really long time – I just ran for fun.

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Me running

My car broke down, so that was cool. Cue an unplanned personal day from work, a few hundred dollars later, I now have a new and improved starter and ignition. #Foreverpoor


I saw Spectre. Do yourself a favor and go see it. Awesome. I loved it, although Will says it wasn’t his favorite.

Ketogenesis. I’m learning lots about it (thanks podcasts) and I’m really interested in modifying my diet to be more ketogenic. Not completely because LOL but it would be interesting to see how I respond to eating more fat.

Making pizza in my new apartment is proving to be quite difficult. Last weekend we were on a mission to make pizza, and that we did. While setting the fire alarm off, four times. Yes. And I burned three of fingers. My life is such a struggle.

And I know there’s more (I swear my life is cool and busy), but that’s all my brain can handle for the moment. I miss you guys, and I can’t wait to catch up on everything! Have a fabulous start to the week! xo


What is the most important thing I’ve missed in the last few weeks?

Best movie you’ve seen recently? I’d really like to see the Peanuts…

What’s the craziest “fad diet” you’ve tried? I don’t really diet, but I think it’s interesting to see how different macro counts can effect personal satiation, athletic performance, and of course Crohn’s.

NYCM Thoughts

I figured I should probably write this recap sooner rather than later. I don’t know how detailed I’ll get, but if you’re looking to skip over the (mostly) ugly details, I didn’t have the race I was hoping for. I finished in 3:31:12…. over 13 minutes slower than my PR, and over 20 minutes slower than my goal. But that’s okay. Because honestly, I haven’t had a shitty (no pun intended) race in a really long time.

Overwhelmed. So. Many. People.

Let’s start off with some things I loved about the race:

  • An AMAZING course. It was really cool to run through all five boroughs. I saw some really awesome parts of NYC that I’ve never seen before.
  • My friends and family coming into the city to support me. My boyfriend, one of his fraternity brothers, and his sister waiting for me at Mile 17. You have no idea how bad I needed that. My mom, step dad, and family friends at mile 22.5. They are honestly the only reason I didn’t DNF at the Mile 18 medical tent. And of course Will at mile 24 (he made moves across the course), although I didn’t see him (I was actually dying) it means the world to me he saw me there and met me at the finish. So much love to my family, friends, and Will. You all got me through one of the toughest races of my life.
Standing. In a forever long line. Contemplating that Manhattan looks a bit further than 26.2 miles.

And maybe not my favorite things about this race:

  • The logistics of getting to the start are an absolute nightmare. Although the transportation went rather seamlessly, it took forever. I was on my feet for far longer than I would have liked.
  • I hate late starts. That is all.
  • People taking SnapChat videos/Instagraming/Texting/FB posting WHILE running. Please move yourself to a later corral if you’re here to just photo document and weave uncontrollably in and out of peoples paths.
  • When the hell did NYC become hilly?
  • The forever walk after the finish. Although seamless and holy cow is the post race poncho the warmest thing ever – I was really not about walking an additional half mile to get it after I finished. Maybe if I felt better I wouldn’t of minded, but all I wanted to do was collapse.
  • Also… note to NYRR… please have more porta-potties during the exit route. Like you did a great job throughout the race, but now that I’m done… I’d really like to use another bathroom. TMI?

So what happened?

As I’ve mentioned before, I run fasted. It’s what works best for me. My stomach had been feeling fine before the race, I had a good pre-race dinner and crashed early. When I got up in the morning I went about my normal routine. I woke up at about 530, left Will’s sisters apartment at 6, and was on Staten Island by 830. I was lucky and in the first wave, unlike Boston when I started at 11AM, I was off at 950. However, with the time change, I guess it was really 1050. I don’t know how those things work…

Anyways… I spent far too much time standing – waiting for the ferry, on the ferry, waiting for the bus… I did get to sit on the bus so that was nice… and then I found myself standing waiting to go through security, and then of course waiting for the start… Not ideal.

The weather was surprisingly warm, which may or may not have affected my race. We’ll never know, but I just know I was absolutely drenched in sweat within the first three miles. AKA I will not be posting any race photos because they’re all ew.

My legs felt great and stomach felt fine, and for the first 9(ish) miles I felt phenomenal. I was on pace to hit my goal, my legs felt loose and I really thought New York was going to be my day. Although a bit warm (and somewhat humid) I figured it wouldn’t affect me too badly, I had packed my Gu which I planned to take around 11/12 and there were plenty of water and Gatorade stations throughout the race.

FYI – this post is about to get REAL so if you’re not into the details as to why my race went downhill faster than Bodie Miller at the Olympics then skip ahead towards the end. Or just like stop reading… whichever.

When I hit 9 miles, my stomach started cramping. I felt the potential need to use a bathroom. I figured I’d keep going and if need be, I’d stop and use a restroom when I was taking in fuel. Multi-tasking. I started taking in my fuel around 11.5-12.5 and walked through the water station to take water with it. At this point I was still on pace (around a 7’12” mile) and was happy with how my legs were feeling. However, the second that water and Gu hit my stomach, I knew I was about to be ill. Naturally on the Pulaski bridge there were no porta potties so I had to hop the jersey barrier and well… you get it. My stomach completely seized up on me from there on out. I don’t think there was a mile after that where I didn’t have to walk for part of it. Anytime I tried to take in Gu/Gatorade/Water, my stomach would seize, I was unable to keep anything down and I would vomit it right back up.

This was the first race where I have struggled so severely with stomach issues. Who knows what caused it, but it happened. Part of me was so beyond pissed off that this was happening, while part of me was grateful that this had never happened before. I don’t think there has ever been a time where I have hated racing so much. My legs started fatiguing quickly as I was now about 18 hours without any food in my body. I had nothing left and nothing to work off of.

And this is why I cannot thank my friends and family enough. I thought about succumbing to my first DNF around mile 18/19. I was miserable, I wasn’t going to hit my goal, so in my mind, why should I keep caring about this race? But Will sent me a text that morning which reminded me about the important things in life. It’s just a race, and no matter what happened, I was running the biggest and greatest marathon in the world. It’s a special race to run so I might as well enjoy it. And I did…. as much as I could. I was lucky to get the opportunity to run the NYCM, and regardless of my time, I know my family is proud of me, so I should be proud of myself.

I finished and that metal means more to me than you can even imagine. I was in pain. I was mentally exhausted. And I was upset with my stomach, and frustrated that this happened to me. But we all have bad races, and not every race can be a win. It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially for someone who is as competitive as I am. I had a great training cycle – I hit my peak milage, I PR’ed unexpectedly on a hilly half marathon course (hi sub 1:30) and I had some really stellar runs. But NYCM wasn’t my day and that’s okay.  Boston is my redemption and I am even more motivated to train and run Boston hard. And as Will said last year – make it my bitch.

I do it for the bling.

However to get there, I think my body needs some serious time off. I trained hard. I’ve been lucky enough to PR in every marathon I’ve run since October 2013 and I’ve been in a constant training cycle since July 2014. It’s time to rest. November is now No Running November. Obviously not completely, because I’d go insane, but I’m looking at maybe four or five casual runs over the next three weeks. My body needs the rest if I want to perform my best in April.

Here’s to keeping things in perspective, not being too hard on ourselves, and remembering what’s really important in life.

Like $100+ pedicab rides… but that’s a story for another time.

Thank God I took a picture because I will never be in a pedicab again.

Thank you everyone for such kind thoughts and well wishes! It really means the world to me xo


Has anyone else run NYCM? Did you think the course was as surprisingly hill as I did??

What is the hardest race you’ve ever run?