Highlights!

I know, I haven’t posted in a week… I’ve been too crazy this week to even breathe. Catching up after a conference can be difficult- I’m not looking forward to March when I travel almost back-to-back.  I’ll just catch up with week highlights:

Monday

Got rear-ended- Happy Monday to me!  The Nissan was just scratched up a bit, but the 4-runner that hit me wasn’t in great shape.

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Tuesday:

Was a sickly girl.  Did end up booking my plane tickets to Portland for January. Found out if I want to have a “comfort seat” in economy (i.e. a seat in the first 3 rows), it’ll cost me an extra $80.  Really, Delta? Really.

It was also the only day I skipped my #RWRunStreak 1-mile.  I just couldn’t get myself out the door with the way I felt. Luckily my coordinator picked up my slack, so I counted it!

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Wednesday:

Felt so much better Wednesday morning, and wanted to make up for missing my mile the day before.  I rocked out 5 like a champ, and set a new PR:

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At work, one of my staffers brought me a soy latte- Jordan, you’re the best!! 

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That night, my “work wife” and I had our weekly wife date (for the first time in 3 weeks…).  We made great friends with the bartender too, which definitely has its perks!

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Thursday:

I broke into my new flavor of Spark- Mango strawberry.  Delicousness in powder-form.

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At work: Present from my doggie-sitter:  cookie butter!  My extreme weakness

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Lunch was outstanding- Syd and I went to Salad Creations- they make amazing chopped salads.  

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That night, we had a dinner with the construction crew that built our building.  It was so much fun, and we enjoyed conversation, wine, and great food at Mozaik.  Highly recommend this restaurant- it does have veggie and vegan options too!

Friday: 

By far my busiest work day.  I barely had time to squeeze in my mile and a quick TRX circuit in between meetings. 

After work, some of the staff headed out to check out one of my Building Supervisors’ art work. Demi is very talented and I’m so proud that they put her piece on display during the First Friday event.  The pro staff all met at Fermentation Lounge for a quick drink before we went to check out the art.  Kellie brought angel paws with:

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Afterwards, Demi with her artwork:

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Saturday:

Kellie and I met for a distance run.  We started off with the two of us and the two Lauren’s, but they were both going to a class at 11 and only did the first few miles with us.  Kellie and I knocked out 9- it was a PR for me, but with the hills, the pace, and a few other elements like my left quad hurting and the onset of congestion, the run was one of the worst ones I’ve done in awhile.  Kellie too- she rubbed her ankle so raw she was bleeding when we were done.  

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Now I’m just being lazy, sitting on my couch, really not moving- yet.  I need to bake my green beans and get into an ugly sweater before my staff holiday party tonight.  I’m sure that’ll happen- eventually.  🙂

My Legs Hate Me.

2 days after a long run is always the worst in terms of soreness- I’m not sure what compelled me to run Doak Stadiums today, but I sure did.  And my legs definitely hate me for it.  

I had trouble getting time or motivation to eat lunch today for some reason.  I got caught up in work, Supervisor evals, etc and just wasn’t motivated to hunt/gather food :).  I ended up with an apple before stadiums for energy and an apple after.

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I got to experience the cleaning of the stadium after a huge game- it took a 11-man team.  So crazy.

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Had to check in on Dave today- he had lost a bet with some friends at UF and sure enough… he wasn’t thrilled about his attire today. I had to see for myself.  Good sport!

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I finally got home today and couldn’t bring myself for another mile- too tired and not enough energy.  I headed straight for food.  Dinner was a steam-in-bag meal: Couscous with spinach and lemon/olive oil light sauce.  I added avocado and egg because I was craving calories, fat, and protein. 

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Got to work writing a publication for one of the organization’s I hold a leadership role in.  My best work is done 1) with candlelight and 2) with a glass of wine.  True story.  And the candle smells like christmas cookie.  Lovely! 

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All finished with my first draft, completely exhausted, and trying to mentally prepare myself for early-morning training sesh tomorrow (first one after Thanksgiving is going to be ridiculous I’m sure- and… my personal trainer told me that on my way out of the gym today). Time for bed! 

 

Proof: Why I Avoid Black Friday Shopping Like the Plague

I really didn’t feel like blogging about my life yesterday.  Just one of those days, so I’ll do a quick recap:

Took off early to meet a friend in Gainesville for breakfast.  We ate at the Flying Biscuit Cafe and I ate like it was my last meal.  Seriously.  Omelette, pumpkin pancake and their famous biscuits.  Worth it.  And it was the only meal I ate yesterday.  It was also wonderful to catch up with a good friend.

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I got back on the road and made it back to get laundry done (I leave for a conference on Wednesday) and set up my own Christmas decorations. 

I got in my quick #RWRunStreak run last night:

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Afterwards, set about decorating.  I have angel decorations that my mom and grandma made and gave to me, so angel tree it was.  Had to have a glass of wine while decorating- although I ended up forgetting about it often…

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As a wine conneiuseur, I keep my corks but never really have anything to do with them.  I decided ot make ornaments out of the ones that were still pliable enough.  Crafty, eh?  Sometimes I can be.

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The afterproduct:

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My morning has been uneventful- an apple for breakfast (wasn’t that hungry for some reason), got to work and had yoga mats in!  We keep adding equipment, love it.  I need to push out an article for one of the organizations I’m part of… I just need to find that motivation today! 

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And saw this video online- just a reminder to myself why I typically steer clear of malls, Walmarts, Targets, etc on Black Friday:

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Sports Fandom is a Tough Road…

Sports rivalries can help make friends or split them; and it seems this complete devotion to sports (specifically college football, and mostly in the south…) is even worse Thanksgiving (rivalry) weekend.  Crazy some of the things I’ve seen on facebook.  Anyway, we had a house divided today.   OK, not even divided- I was a lone wolf, a one-man wolfpack.  Which made it worse when we lost, but I’m still proud of the Noles 🙂

Kellie checks on my attire from afar.  Glad I have a friend with a similar sense of humor as me!

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Even the puppies get in on the rivalry action…

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This morning felt like a long run day, and what a beautiful place to do that.  While I did have to dodge golf carts for 10 miles, the scenery was breathtaking along the golf courses this morning.

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Breakfast afterwards was hearty- oatmeal, banana, peanut butter, honey.

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Before we could go watch the game, we had to decorate for Christmas:

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Chan, Dad and I decorate with champagne:

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Some of our decorations:

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I’m excited to get Laney and I a tree tomorrow when we get home.  Usually I don’t decorate or want to decorate but I had some good ideas for a tree…we’ll have to try them tomorrow!

Black Friday: #thanksgivinginthevillages

Happy Black Friday from the villages.

This morning marked the 2nd day of the Running Streak Challenge.  Laney and I whipped out 3 miles around the golf course.

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Breakfast was oatmeal, apples, pie spice (very holiday-ish), honey and protein flakes.

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Mom and I made a quick run to use one of her discounts to the village stores.  They were busy, but I’m sure not even close to what the malls, etc outside “The Bubble” were today.  I scored $130 Bass boots for $30.  And they are cuteness.

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Mom, Dad, Justin and I continued our holiday golf theme with our 11:30 tee time this morning.

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I cracked open a La Croix sparkling water for refreshment- still not a huge fan of soda water but I’m getting more used to it.

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Afterwards we went to the Havana Country Club (beautiful by the way) for beer and pizza. 

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Ran back to the house to grab Chan and then went to play bocce ball and cornhole.  We’re a pretty competitive family, but Chantel is the one who really doesn’t like to lose…

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Don’t make her mad!  🙂 These two are my heart. 

Trying to figure out dinner and when we can go into the villages for drinks 😉 Adios! 

 

Happy Turkey Day! (Villages Style…)

Happy Thanksgiving!  I’m so thankful for all my friends and family.  It’s been an interesting year but I’ve always had great support from so many people. 

I was traveling yesterday and had a difficult time posting, so recap:

Tuesday night I drove to Jacksonville to stay with Syd’s family.  We rushed to make it in time to yoga- which was awesome.  And I’m definitely out of yoga-shape. But the instructor helped push us into poses and used eucalyptus oil to massage our necks and backs.  Heaven.  Afterwards, Sydney, her dad and I went to grab a flight of beer at a local brewery.

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Syd’s family is awesome- they’re so nice and her mom is my new idol.  She runs a food bank- and uses the govn’t My Plate to assist people who can come in to “shop” with a volunteer.  They make sure that people are taking food based on the recommendations from My Plate, and color-code their food that way.  They are also in the process of building a garden to help produce fresh fruits/veggies for the food bank.  What an amazing job!

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Sydney and I then went to meet some friends and tour University of North Florida’s new Wellness Center

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It’s a beautiful building and it was nice to see Justin again. We all went to lunch afterwards (I’ve been terrible about photographing my meals while away…) – and I got a veggie burger and tomato bisque soup (delicious!).  Then it was time to hit the road again and battle traffic all the way to the Villages. 

It’s nice to be around my family again.  Mom, Dad, Chantel and I went to the square for live band and drinks last night.

Chantel finds all the unique architecture features of the Villages…

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When we got home, we decided we needed to watch “Honey Boo Boo Child”- we were discussing this show in the car and I’ve never seen it before.  My dad wasn’t thrilled with this choice (but Chan and I thought it was highly entertaining).

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Needed some fuel this morning:

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This morning I wanted to do a family turkey trot, but everyone bailed on me after I took Laney on her “attempt to expend energy” run (which doesn’t work like I wish it would- homegirl has SO. MUCH. ENERGY). 

This was also the first day of the Runners World Running Streak- holiday edition!  Don’t forget to play along and track your 1+ miles every day now through New Year’s Day! 

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When I got back in from my run, I found my adorable bro snoozin away…

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…and my sis making Thanksgiving breakfast (something pumpkin shaped…we’ll find out soon!).

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Currently watching Macy’s Day parade with the dogs and my brother and THIS is in my future for later today (before the food coma of course):

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Happy Thanksgiving!  I’ll take pics of all the wonderful food (promise) 🙂 

10-Mile Trail Run and Spoonfuls of Peanut Butter

Breakfast this morning was a fallback- oatmeal, a scoop of peanut butter, banana, and muesli.  Microwave for one minute.

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I told Kellie I wanted to run with her this morning.  She’s been good about mixing up my running experiences.  She took me to Miccosukee Trail this morning.  It was absolutely beautiful.  Mostly wooded trail.  And the miles flew by as we ran through the woods.  

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Stats: 10 miles

Avg pace: 9:54 min mile

Calories expended: 1188

We were super inconsistent this morning, some miles were 10:30, some were 8:40.  When we ran St. Marks trail a few weeks ago, we were so consistent in pace each mile was only a few seconds off (for 9 miles).  I’m guessing it was the hills and varied terrain at Miccosukee. 

My hips and knees were screaming at me after Ultimate yesterday and 10 miles today.  

When I got home, this text was waiting for me.  Kellie and I are two peas in a pod (only she’s the more in-shape, competitive pea).  

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I eat peanut butter out of the jar.  All the time. 

I needed to make lunch and something for our staff holiday potluck tomorrow.  Lunch was fettucine, broccoli, pesto, avocado, and egg.  Was delicious after my run. 

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For the potluck, I’m making a pumpkin cheesecake pie:

1 package of sugar free cheescake flavored jello

1 can of pure pumpkin

1 graham cracker crust

Pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon to taste

Lite whipped cream and pecans

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1.  Follow the directions on the box.  I substitute water for milk though (it tastes and mixes exactly the same).

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2.  Add the pumpkin to the mix.

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3.  Add pie spice and cinnamon to taste

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4.  Spread evenly in crust, then pop in fridge to set. 

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I’ll add these tomorrow. 

Hope it sets!  If not, we’ll all be spooning out pumpkin-cheesecake mush with graham cracker crust mixed in.  At least it’ll taste good…

 

Welcome To My Life: Obesity Reports, Getting Lost, & “Don’t Let That Bear Getcha!”

My high school track coach- Coach Evans- was famous for this one-liner.  Especially when running the 400.  I hated the 400.  Give me a 200.  Give me a 800 (hell, I went to State in the 800)… but the 400 was a whole other kind of race.  Coach would say this to us when we were 3/4 around that lap at an all-out sprint, lungs burning, just ready to quit.  I hated that line almost as much as I hated the race itself.  

However, now that I’m all grown, that phrase has whole new meaning to me.  Tackling a hard sprint workout, taking on a tough spot during an endurance run…even just in everyday life sometimes I remember good ole Coach Evans standing on the far corner of the track: “April- don’t let that bear get on your back!”  

Needed that line today!

Today was the start of the “next” 14 days of the 24-Day Challenge. I’m done with the cleanse and now have preset strips of supplements/vitamins for the next 14 days. It’s even blonde-proof…tells me exactly when to take each set.  Ha.  

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Breakfast was oatmeal, a spoonful of peanut butter and a pear

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Sunday mornings are typically lazy and my chance to catch up on any current events, research, etc.  Today I stumbled across the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Issue Report: “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2011”.  

The report tackles the issue head-on: ” Obesity is one of the most challenging health crises the country has ever faced. Two-thirds of adults and nearly one-third of children and teens are currently obese or overweight, putting them at increased risk for more than 20 major diseases, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It’s not just our health that is suffering: obesity-related medical costs and a less productive workforce are hampering America’s ability to compete in the global economy.”

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The report identifies and focuses on policy as a change-agent for this problem in America… specifically 6 policies that will help people choose health — by strengthening their ability to make healthy decisions, by removing obstacles to healthy choices, and by creating more opportunities to be healthy — particularly for those groups of people whose options have been most limited.

While I found this report extremely interesting and informative, it could be a bit of a dry read if you are looking for entertainment or strictly shock value.  However, to my colleagues in the field, this is yet another worthwhile document to take into consideration with the work we do everyday. 

And so on with my day…

I met my friend Jen for a long run this morning.  When I got to her house I thanked my lucky stars I always carry Body Glide in my purse (who does that?!).

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Jen and I ran about 5 miles together and I decided to keep going for a few more.  Unfortunately, I was in her neighborhood (which I’m not as familiar with) and I have a tendency to get lost easily.  Like, very easily.  And get lost I did. 

I had no idea where I was around mile 6 but just kept going.  I made it to mile 7.5 before I started channeling Coach Evans – that bear was on my back in the form of dehydration and lost-ness (yeah, I make up my own words.  So what?).  Pushed through 8 miles of non-stop running and finally had to break.  Then walked/ran back to the house for probably another 1.5 miles and back to a worried Jen and Gabe (sorry guys!!!).  

Showers never feel so good as either a) after a long camping and/or lake trip or b) after a very long run.  My shower today was amazing.  

Lunch was leftover salad from yesterday’s party + supplements, then was off to spend the afternoon with one of my friends that moved south from Wisconsin.  Different world down here for sure!  We drank some New Glarus then made our way to BWW where I had a black bean burger (minus cheese, heavy dressings and the bun) and a salad.  

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Yum… New Glarus is always good balance 🙂

Half Marathon Planning…

Love Hal Higdon’s marathon and half training plans.  I decided to start with Novice 2.  Intermediate is possible, but I’m pretty far removed from last year’s half and I’m not sure I’m up for the speedwork, etc yet.  Next one, next one.

Gearing up for the Tallahassee Half– February 3, 2013- who’s with me?!

I was ravenous by 12:30pm today- even after breakfast, an apple and an orange.  5 miles made me starving! Lunch was salad with tomato, carrots, green peppers, apple, and smoky tomato vinaigrette.

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My poor Coordinator agreed to help out in a bind and teach her second spin class at 12:30 today since no one else could do it.  She had a tough time walking down the stairs…  The best part was Starbucks was full so we had to go right back up the stairs to go back to my office to meet.  Poor Syd 🙂

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Got home and checked the mail- latest issue or Runners World!  It’s like Christmas once a month.

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The nightly Laney-April run was a COLD one tonight.  I suited up like Catwoman!

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Meow!  I do amuse myself.  And I do feel like Catwoman in that outfit.

Laney and I had a more eventful run than most nights- halfway through she stopped to throw up Lamb Chop (I thought that saga was over… apparently not).  She clearly felt better and started in on acorns until a deer crossed in front of us.  And… Laney now has a new, bigger goal.

Dinner tonight was leftovers- rice, peas, onions, and chickpea blend.  I’m too tired to get creative with food tonight…

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Sustainable Running

Yesterday’s conference call really sparked my thought process on what sustainability means to me- not just environmentally, but in everyday life.  On my run this morning, I thought about the past few days and my struggle to get in a “good” run and what made this morning different.  I had a few thoughts I’ll throw in throughout the post.

Pre-Run Energy

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Half a banana and half a glass of Spark was perfect fuel for a distance run this morning (and lots of water, of course).  Adding a small amount of food to my morning runs helps tremendously.

Sustainable Pace

I’m not always good at this.  But I know- I start off too fast and I can’t finish my run, or I push too hard and get injured.  In the first 2 – 2.5 miles I have to conscientiously remind myself to keep my pace steady.  Having the Garmin helps:

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I try for negative splits, although today was fast 1st mile, slower 2, 3, and 4 and fast 5 mile again.  Not sure what type of training that’s called (or just:  “hills kicked April’s ass this morning” training plan).

Mental Ability

Or ambition, or positive energy, or berating/shaming yourself into finishing out a run.  Whatever works.  I use all three methods depending on my mood.  There is a certain part of distance running that relies on consistent training, but there’s also part of it that relies on how you tell yourself you’re going to make it through.

External Influences (aka, Music)

I live for music.  If I have a bad day, I pop in earphones and go for a quick run.  Love it.  Added new songs to my playlist:

Cash Out: Cashin Out

I Cry: Flo Rida

Somewhere with You: Kenny Chesney

Hall of Fame: The Script (this one is extra motivational- I love it!)

Your Body: Christina Aguilera

Afterwards:  Stretching, Showering, Re-fueling

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Yummy: Apple, banana, muesli, soy milk. Good refuel. 

When I got into work I had a gift from Bob (our sweet accountant).  He knows me so well.

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I already devoured the apple (hey!  5 miles will make a girl hungry!)