Weekend Roundup

Guess who’s back, back again, Monday’s back, tell a friend…sorry, had to! 🙂 Time for a whole new week of opportunities to be the best me (and you)!

My hubby and I had a great weekend participating in the Brewers 10k run in Milwaukee. Look for the recap tomorrow, but let’s just tease it by saying we got to run on the field of Miller Park for the last .5 mile. #awesomesauce

After I uploaded my race information on Garmin Connect this weekend, I noticed that I have run 176 miles since July 18th. I’ve really surprised myself this year. So proud!

brewerscollageI’m sure you saw “National Coffee Day” floating around the twitter world on Sunday.  Before I joined twitter, I likely would’ve never heard of this “day.” I happened to stop at Dunkin Donuts on our way to Milwaukee Friday and saw the display for K-Cups. I drink K-Cups regularly, usually one a day, so when I saw $7.99 for a pack of K-Cups on sale for “National Coffee Day” I grabbed some. The manager mentioned they don’t offer this kind of deal even for Black Friday. Score! I have yet to try their pumpkin spice K-Cup, but I bet it’s just as good (if not better) than Green Mountain’s version.

2013-09-27 16.32.35

Like most bloggers, I’m a fall/pumpkin girl all the way. On our way back from Milwaukee on Saturday we stopped at the Outlet Mall in Oshkosh. One of my favorite stores there is Le Gourmet Chef because hello, they have so many samples to try! I found a little niche of “all things pumpkin” including this Spiced Maple Pumpkin Dip. The clerk recommended spreading the dip on english muffins or mixing it in greek yogurt with granola. We picked up cinnamon honey pretzels to dip with it and let me tell you, amazing.

2013-09-28 15.21.35

One of my first blog posts was a DIY race medal holder (pictured below, right). Confession: I just hung it up yesterday. I picked up a Half Marathon poster last weekend at the Fox Cities Marathon expo (made by BlueSkyRun) and they naturally make perfect wall partners. So, where did I decide to hang them? Right in my dining room, of course! Our house has an open concept so I can also see them from our living room and kitchen. They’re such great reminders of our accomplishments. Love them 🙂

medalholder

Hope you had a great weekend! Stay tuned for my Brewers 10k recap tomorrow! Enjoy your week and remember every day is a new day!

How did your run go this weekend? Anyone else race? What’s your favorite kind of K-Cup?

I’ll Be Running & Smiling

tumblr_mcb8rvYV051r87fh4

Yah! We made it to Friday! What a long freakin’ week. Sometimes I am seriously jealous of my dog who gets to lay around all day. Although I wouldn’t want to be in a crate all day, I think there would be some definite perks to the life of a pup. Especially a cute one that I shower with kisses all the time.

marathon

We will be heading out of town to Milwaukee today for our 10K run. We got a hotel for tonight since the race starts at 7am tomorrow. This is my first time traveling for a race, so I’m hoping everything goes well (food, sleep, etc). We have to pick up our packets tonight, so we really didn’t have a choice. I’m hoping there’s an expo to check out! The run finishes on the warning track inside Miller Park which is pretty sweet for a couple of Brewer fans like my husband and me!

2013-09-26 17.58.56

2013-09-26 17.59.14

I’ve been participating in some twitter chats lately (something I never thought I’d do!) and look what I won! Designer Whey sponsored the Fit Fluential chat and I was selected to receive a free tshirt! I was thinking they would send an oversized large tshirt, but it’s a M and actually fits me well! Score!

I didn’t take any protein supplements or load up on protein of other artificial forms when training for my half marathon this summer. If anyone has any insight into protein supplements for runners, I’d love to hear it! I know Designer Whey is popular among bloggers, but I’m not sure if it’s something I need. I would consider it if I started lifting weights regularly. Not sure if it’s necessary right now, though some of those protein shakes out in blogland look delicious!!!

My workouts this week have been shorter and less frequent following my half marathon last Sunday. I went to Centergy Tuesday night which felt AMAZING for my hips. On Thursday, I ran at an easy pace for a couple miles and went to Group Core afterwards. My hip is still hurting slightly when I increase my speed, so I’m trying to take it easy. It doesn’t hurt anymore when I’m just walking, so I’ll take that as a good sign. 🙂 Crossing my fingers for the best on the Brewers 10k, but predicting I probably won’t hit a new PR (previous 10K PR: 53:22).

2013-09-14 09.30.54Honestly, I’m just excited and blessed to be able to run this much. I try my best to be a well-rounded runner by incorporating yoga and core with regular running. I’m considering taking up Group Power classes to build more muscle as well. I used to go to Body Pump at my previous gym and enjoyed it. I do mostly body weight strength training right now, but I’d love to commit to weight training regularly and see if my body would change even more. Gettin’ buff over here, errr trying, watch out 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend! Enjoy the weather, take time to breathe, and enjoy the people around you. 

I’ll be running and smiling. 🙂

Have you ever won anything? Do you run and lift weights? Running plans this weekend?

What I’m Loving Lately {Food Edition}

Hope everyone is having a great week! I’ve been crazy busy with meetings at work. No breaks for this SLPeep. I wish I could spend all my time with my kiddos doing speech therapy rather than sitting in meetings. Just a part of the job though. I try to remind myself how much I love what I do and it puts things in perspective. 🙂

I missed the “official” What I Ate Wednesday yesterday because I posted the recap of the half marathon. Instead I’m highlighting some of my favorite eats lately!

oatscollageI have and will always love oatmeal. I get pretty excited when my peanut butter containers get low so that I can make oatmeal in a jar. Some blogs feature overnight oats, but I’m not a fan of cold oatmeal. I like my oatmeal nice and warm any time of the year. It goes perfectly with a hot cup of coffee. My favorite way to eat oatmeal is with 1 TB of chia seeds and a scoop of peanut butter mixed in (and pumpkin butter, but I ran out :().

kindbar

Festival Foods recently had Kind bars on sale for 99¢ so I snatched up a bunch. I’ve tried the peanut butter dark chocolate and dark chocolate cherry varieties in the past, but this gave me the opportunity to try a bunch of new flavors. My favorites have been pomegranate blueberry pistachio and blueberry vanilla & cashew. I snack on one of these between breakfast and lunch most days.

sub

I celebrated my half marathon finish last Sunday with a sub from Quiznos. I ordered the bacon club with veggies and honey mustard. It was not quite as tasty as the sweet taste of victory, but a close second. 🙂 It definitely hit the spot after the race.

sandwich

I’ve been majorly slacking with meal planning. I really need to devote time each week to making a plan because more often than not lately we’ve just been eating “whatever.” When these nights happen I usually make an egg white sandwich on a bagel thin with bacon or ham and a wedge of laughing cow. It’s easy, quick and satisfying!

crackerscreamcheese

One of my favorite snacks lately has been Back to Nature’s Sweet Potato and Cinnamon crackers with a wedge of cinnamon cream cheese spread from the Laughing Cow.

applechips

Another favorite snack is my homemade apple chips with cinnamon. I dehydrate fruits and/or veggies a couple times a week. I’ve saved SO much more produce since we bought the dehydrator. I used to throw away produce when it went bad. Now I either freeze it or dehydrate it if I think we won’t eat it before it goes bad. Yah for saving money!

cookiesCan’t forget about desserts, can we? I have some type of dessert usually with every dinner. My favorites lately have been these Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon cookies from Festival Foods {hey, they have an “Eat Well” label, so healthy right?}. OMG. These are so good. They are soft, chewy, and dense just like a cookie should be.

icecream

Do I need to say much more than there are mini marshmallows in the ice cream!!! You know how much I love mini things! If I had to pick one ice cream to eat for the rest of my life, this would be it.

On the food front, I’ve been feeling good lately. I haven’t discovered any new foods that give my stomach trouble. I still watch portion sizes for some potentially problematic foods like apples and almonds (I follow a most low-FODMAP diet). I try to limit the amount of bread I eat. I’ve drastically cut out a lot of bread at meals. For the most part my breakfast is usually oatmeal, lunch a spinach & quinoa salad, and dinner chicken/veggies. This is what is making me feel good at the moment.

Hope you have a wonderful Thursday, friends! After this busy week I am ready to head out of town for the Brewers 10K race in Milwaukee. It will be much needed.

Do you eat the same thing for most meals or mix it up? What’s your favorite dessert? Do you believe in indulging a little everyday or a lot one day?

Fox Cities Half Marathon Recap Part 2

Time to recap the best part of the race-the actual run!

2013-09-22 06.51.44

It was a chilly start to the half marathon last Sunday, as the temps were in the low 40s. I shivered up until a couple miles into the race. I was really happy with what I decided to wear because as I warmed up I didn’t get hot.

Running Gear for Race Day

  • Mizuno Wave Elixir 8s
  • Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watch
  • Pro Compression socks
  • Nike Filament Dri Fit compression shorts
  • Flipbelt
  • Champion long sleeve semi-fitted shirt
  • Koss FitClips
  • Fingerless gloves from Dollar Tree (bigger spender, I know)
  • BandIt Headband (Etsy)

One mistake I realized right away was that I should’ve worn my sunglasses. The sun was so blindingly bright it threw me off a bit in the beginning. It was difficult to see too much in front of me. I guess that happens at 7am on a fall morning.

I tried my best of remember information I learned at the Good Form Running clinic over the summer; namely to keep my upper body loose and use quick, short steps. I felt comfortable right out of the gate and settled into my race pace. I hit about a 9:00 min/mile pace for the first 8 miles. Before the race, I was guessing that’s the pace I would keep as I always run faster on race day (I train at 9:30 min/mile usually). I also attribute my quicker speed to all those fabulous signs out there! My favorite of the run: “Running is a pain in the butt, but you guys sure do have nice butts!” 🙂

My splits:

  • Mile 1: 8:53
  • Mile 2: 9:01
  • Mile 3: 8:46
  • Mile 4: 8:52
  • Mile 5: 9:06
  • Mile 6: 8:59
  • Mile 7: 9:07
  • Mile 8: 9:20
  • Mile 9: 9:37
  • Mile 10: 9:50
  • Mile 11: 10:13
  • Mile 12: 9:43
  • Mile 13: 9:39
  • Total time: 2:02:46

As you’ll notice my pace slowed as I got deeper into the race. This was because I began to feel my right hip tighten and begin to hurt. I was fighting through some pain, however, it was a blip on the radar compared to the pain I was in last year. As I passed mile 8, I thought of the debacle that was last year’s half marathon. I thought to myself, I’m not that same girl anymore. I’m a fighter. I also happened to see a sign that said, “Pain is only temporary.” Yep, keep truckin’ Nik. At mile 11 my music decided to stop and I could’ve reset it, but thought, why bother? I could see the park where the finish line was by then and decided to run the last 1.5 miles without music; just body and mind pushing myself to the end. I never realized the mental battle that goes on with runners before I called myself one. Yes, running is physical, but it’s also very mental. That’s one of the {many} beautiful things about running; it gives you confidence, that I can do anything mindset. And that’s why I love running.

As I rounded the corner into the park at mile 13, it rushed over me that I was about to finish. I was about to reach my goal. You work so hard for 5 months and then….it’s over. It’s bittersweet really. I loved training and I loved racing. My excitement radiated as I saw my dad waiting for me at the finish line. I couldn’t help but feel elated and emotional. Running will be forever tied to the loss of my mom. It has been a form of therapy for me. To see my dad and know the support he gives me; it’s hard to describe how much that means to me in words. My mom was always my biggest cheerleader with my dad being a close second. In some way, I feel that even though she’s gone, I can still make her proud.

2013-09-22 09.37.29

I was adorned with my finishers medal, grabbed my shirt, and headed to the finish line to wait for my hubby. My dad was sent text messages with our ETAs so we had an idea of when hubs would finish. I was amazed to see him cross right around his predicted time, a very respectable 2:29:59. I am SO proud of my husband. I’m the one who has pushed us to pursue races and luckily he’s always right by my side. I’m a pretty lucky girl, I know. 🙂

finishcollage

Many runners get that “now what?” feeling after a race. I am of course looking forward to the Brewers 10K this Saturday, but also enjoying the accomplishment that was my second half marathon. I proved to myself that I can do anything if I set my mind to it. Honestly, I felt defeated after last year’s half, but without that struggle this half marathon would not have been as sweet as it is.

And how sweet it is. 🙂

afterrace

Fox Cities Half Marathon Recap Part 1

There is so much to awesome running stuff to share that I am breaking up the weekend into two posts!

2013-09-21 12.07.12

Last Sunday my hubby and I ran the Fox Cities half marathon in Appleton, WI. This was our second half marathon, the first being Fox Cities half marathon ’12. It was an exciting, exhilarating experience that I will not soon forget. I had a personal best of 2:02:46 which was 52 minutes faster than last year (yep, it was that bad). What made the difference this year was figuring out the puzzle that is my digestive system. I FINALLY feel like I have control over my body and how I feel during running. Being regular has helped stave off stomach pains and the need for a restroom stop during the run. After the run my stomach felt great! I believe it was a combination of eating and hydrating properly before and during the run that led to my success.

The day before the race hubby and I picked up our packets and checked out the expo.

expo2

Some of the notable booths included a pole dancing exercise program (pole and everything…), Bondibands headbands, Fleet Feet, Run Away Shoes, and Blue Sky Run. Blue Sky Run is a relatively new company that sells headbands, posters, jewelry, and medal hangers related to running. I love the half marathon word collage posters they put together. They will even create a personalized poster with your race/finishing time! Check out the poster I picked up at the expo here.

expo3

I stopped at the a chiropractor booth to check the alignment of my spine. Apparently, the bones in my neck are misaligned (?). Not sure if I agree with that. I also checked out “the stick” roller which felt really good on my calves.

prerace2

The night before the race I laid out all the running gear I needed. I ate a stir fry of chicken & veggies over spinach and quinoa for dinner. I don’t believe in consuming large amounts of pasta and meatballs the night before. That just doesn’t work for me. The thought alone would slow me down on race day. I ate something I would normally eat to ensure no “surprises” on race day. Do what works for you, right?

racemorning

One of my favorite parts of race morning is the excitement from my husband. He blasts “pump up” music at 5am and it really does help wake me up and get me ready to run! The morning was a cold one is the low 40s, so I kept my jacket on as long as I could. The atmosphere was electric and corrals were packed. 5,000 fellow runners took to the roads on Sunday in either the half marathon, full marathon, or relay.

sunrise

It was an absolute beautiful morning with blasting sunshine coming over the horizon (didn’t wear my sunglasses=newbie mistake). I reminded myself frequently that I put in the training and did everything I could have done to physically and mentally prepare. The community support for this race is amazing, with people lined on almost every street. It makes a huge difference to hear someone call out your name with encouragement!

I will be recapping the actual running in an upcoming post. Stay tuned, friends! 🙂

What’s your favorite running mantra? What’s your perfect race temperature? 

An Ultra Marvelous Monday

Feeling ultra marvelous today because my half marathon was yesterday! I’m still in the post-race glow; in awe of what I accomplished. I feel so blessed to have the body and mind to complete 13.1 miles. Surprisingly, I felt like 13.1? No problem. It doesn’t seem that far to me anymore because it’s obtainable. I finished in 2:02:46! A whopping 52 minutes and 10 seconds faster than last year’s half marathon. I’d call that progress. 🙂 And no stomach issues to report! High five!

I will do a more in depth recap of the race this week, but for now just a snipet of the excitement I felt yesterday!

FCM13

Other marvelous things that happened this week…

Marvelous is…new Mizunos! Sara at LovingOnTheRun mentioned this great deal on Mizuno Wave Ronins from Running Warehouse. Because I’m also a PaceSetters member (local running club) I got an extra 15% off! The shoes came to a total of $24.88, not bad for a pair of Mizunos. They’re a little stiffer than my Wave Elixirs, but I think they’ll be good for speed work.

shoes

Marvelous is…the energy I get from exercising. I can feel a significant difference at night if I haven’t worked out during the day. In the past, I would’ve assumed exercising would make me more tired at night, but I find when I’m eating nutritious foods and running I have much more energy. Besides running, I have continued to attend my favorite classes at the gym including Group Core and Group Centergy. These classes complement running beautifully, as Core helps to strengthen problem areas (i.e., glutes/hips) and Centergy builds strength while stretching out my tight muscles. Because I attend core regularly, I went on Saturday before my half marathon without feeling sore for the race.

watch

core

centergy

Marvelous is…seeing this face after running 13.1 miles. He makes me smile. 🙂 I am definitely one of those obsessive dog owners who takes way too many pictures of her dog. #SorryImNotSorry

Murphy

Marvelous is…fall shows started! I am a huge fan of New Girl and The Mindy Project. Morgan on the Mindy Project is my favorite character on TV. So many good one liners. In fact, someone put together “27 Reasons Morgan from The Mindy Project Is the Best“. My favorite is “He Loves to Work Out.” I also love that we have Hulu Plus and can watch episodes anytime we want!

tumblr_mgp9g1wNvZ1qzw6dco2_500

What a glorious weekend! It was much needed after a hectic week. I’m definitely back into the swing of things with speech therapy and IEPs. Oh joy 🙂

Hope everyone has a great week! I am already looking ahead to our next race which is the Brewers 10K in Milwaukee this Saturday! It’s like Christmas around here with all the races going on!

Anyone have a fall race still to come? Which one? What is your favorite fall TV show? 

Half Marathon Playlist

Happy Friday! Finally the weekend! And not just any old weekend…race weekend! Half marathon is finally {almost} here 🙂

In training for the half marathon this Sunday, a key motivator to my training over the past 5 months was new music. I used to measure my success in the number of songs I could run through and I hated running to a song that wasn’t motivating. Now, I measure my runs in miles/time, but still find that running to music I love makes a huge difference in the numbers I see on my garmin.

I love perusing other running blogs for new music. It’s something I frequently do to keep new music cycling through my playlist. As far as music service goes, I use google music. We had a free 30 day trial and then I decided to continue with it. It’s $8/month and completely worth it in my opinion. I can add pretty much any song I can think of to my playlist. My playlist automatically updates on any other device I use (i.e., my phone for running). I’m undecided whether I want to keep paying for it after the half marathon. I’m thinking yes because I would really miss the great music I’ve added. I used to buy each song from iTunes, but that gets expensive or boring if I bought a limited number of songs each month.

This is the playlist I will be running to during my half marathon this Sunday. Music tends to be very personal, so you may or may not have similar taste in music. I tend to like pop/current songs the most. Oh, and rap music. I’m that girl out there, running and singing to my favorite songs on race day. I really don’t care who hears me. When I’m “in the zone” my body and mind are focused on the race. I sometimes feel like I’m flying; body and mind being pushed by the music pumping through my earbuds. It’s such a exhilarating feeling. Just writing this is getting me pumped for that experience on Sunday!

HalfplaylistMy favorite songs are “Wake Me Up”, “Shawty Got Moves”, “We Own the Night”, and “Magic.” They are guaranteed to pump me up when running! It also helps that I know the words and can sing along. I figure that singing while running is helpful because I take deeper breaths and if I can hold a “conversation” (i.e., sing to myself) then I know I’m not pushing myself too hard. I have to remember to pace myself when I start!

Now, if you’re next to me on race day and hear me, I apologize because it more than likely will not sound good. If this bothers you, speed up or slow down because I can’t promise you I’ll care and stop singing to be nice. When you’re in the zone, you’re in the zone. 

Have a wonderful weekend! I am looking forward to recapping a great half marathon next week. Fingers crossed!

P.S. GYK got a little facelift 🙂

Your turn amigo! What are your favorite songs to run to? Do you like new music you’re unfamiliar with or oldie but goodies?

Easiest Pumpkin Muffins on the Planet

Well, it’s almost fall as we all know. 🙂 Seems like you are either on the pumpkin train or you’re not. Guess what? I AM! 

2013-09-15 16.36.30

I look forward to making these muffins every fall and while I could make them at any time of the year, there’s something extra special about pumpkin muffins in fall. It’s the ambiance of the season that makes these taste so much better. Another plus, they really are the easiest muffins to make besides going out and buying your own.

I originally found these muffins on Hungry Girl’s website. There are many possible variations (i.e., spice cake mix, devil’s food cake, etc), so if you’ve tried a different version with good results, let me know!

Carrot Cake Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 box carrot cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 a bag of mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Do not add anything else. Spray mini muffin pan with non-stick spray liberally. Fill mini muffin tin 3/4 full with batter. Bake in the oven for 16 minutes. Let cool.

2013-09-15 16.37.04

I make mini muffins because then I can have two and still think in my head, “It’s like having one big muffin.” I love mini things; mini candy bars, mini chocolate chips, mini muffins. No research behind this, but I definitely think they taste better than those regular size muffins.

Because these muffins are actually made with cake mix, I try to think of them more like eating a piece of “cake”; meaning, I eat them as a dessert rather than a muffin the morning. However, if chocolate chips and pumpkin are your thing in the morning, by all means eat them as a muffin for breakfast. 🙂

Have a great Thursday friends! So close to the weekend 🙂

What’s your favorite kind of muffin?

WIAW: Crabby Patties, PSC, & Hi I’m Skinny

Happy Wednesday! I’m excited to share my weekly eats with you via What I Ate Wednesday at Peas and Crayons! But first, cute puppy alert!

2013-09-15 13.31.21Meet Murphy. He’s a year and a half now and just brightens any less than stellar day I have. I love coming home to him. He’s always so excited to see us. It’s hard to leave that face in the morning, let me tell you.2013-09-15 14.34.28We also like to cuddle. Errr, I like to lay on him.

2013-09-09 14.58.38And we may or may not treat him like our child. I think my hubby’s trying to tell me something….

Yep, those boys are all mine. And no, you can’t steal either one.

On to the eats for this week.

I’m definitely a lover of pumpkin, however, I’m not a fan of the pumpkin spiced latte. I tried one a few years ago from Starbucks and was really disappointed with the taste. Blah. I tried it mainly because I love pumpkin spice coffee k-cups from Green Mountain. This weekend I busted out PSC (can I make that an acronym?) and it was just as delicious as I remember. I bought a big box off Amazon last year because I knew it would be gone from the store before I knew it. I’m glad I did!

2013-09-15 07.15.33

One of my favorite snacks lately has been Hi I’m Skinny Sticks in the sweet potato variety. They are crunchy, sweet, and full of cinnamon flavor. My hubby’s favorite kind is the Multigrain Sweet Onion. There’s a lot more to them than some of those “veggie” sticks I’ve seen at the grocery store.

2013-09-06 16.30.57

When I lived in Stevens Point, my grad school town, one of my favorite restaurants was the Wooden Chair. They make a delicious opened face crab sandwich called the “Crabby Guy” on an english muffin. I’ve recreated my own version which I’ve deemed “crabby patties“. It’s one of those meals I forget about for a while and then make all the time once I remember how good it is!

2013-09-12 18.09.03

2013-09-12 18.11.15

Some dinners don’t always look the prettiest, but are very tasty. I picked up fresh produce at the farmer’s market this weekend, including cucumbers and red peppers. We also received veggies from family/friends. So, since I’m getting better at actually eating all the produce in my fridge, I threw together a chicken sausage stir fry for dinner.

2013-09-15 18.38.04

It included carrots, red and green pepper, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and spinach artichoke chicken sausages. To plate it, I laid down a bed of spinach and red quinoa and topped it with the chicken stir fry. I mixed in a wedge of Laughing Cow White Cheddar. Omg guys, it’s sooo good. Great way to use up my veggies!

2013-09-15 18.40.34

Sad news…I’m getting to the end of my pumpkin butter I bought in Door County. I need to start checking pinterest for some DIY pumpkin butter recipes. Hopefully it will be as good as the kind I bought!

2013-08-16 14.33.52-1

Have a great Wednesday! I’m happy it’s Wednesday because that means only 4 more days til my half marathon! 🙂

What’s the best pinterest recipe you’ve discovered? Do you have a hard time leaving your pet during the day?

Last Long Run & Fall Fest {MIMM}

What a beautiful Saturday! The weather here was finally more bearable for running. This weekend was my last “long” run in preparation for the half marathon on September 22nd. I decided not to run with the group since it was only 6 miles. I slept in an extra half hour and then hit the pavement.

sep14I felt great during the run. It was nice to break out my running tights for once. It was in the low 40s when I left, but in sun it definitely felt warmer. I took the run at an easy pace, trying to practice my goal pace of 9:30 min/mile for the half and not start too fast. At the end of the run I felt I could’ve gone farther. High five because I’m feeling mentally and physically prepped for next weekend! Bring it on half marathon!

2013-09-14 09.30.54After my run, I headed to the gym for group core. After I learned of my weak glutes, I am making more of an effort to attend core regularly like I used to. I love that the class is only 30 minutes and it’s always a great workout!

fallfestThe rest of Saturday was spent at Fall Fest, which is an amped up version of the usual Saturday farmer’s market. The market had lots of handmade crafts, music, veggies, and some delicious Caramel Apple kettle corn (pictured above). Where did half the bag disappear to already? No idea 🙂 . I first thought it was “Packer” popcorn because of the colors, but happy to discover it’s a new kind of kettle corn!

2013-09-14 12.24.27I picked up this cute, crocheted hat from Fall Fest for $5! Not quite cold enough to wear it yet, but I know that weather will be here before we know it.

2013-09-14 10.42.39

Hubby ordered this pizza from a local vendor, Firefly Woodfired Pizza, at the farmer’s market.

Firefly Woodfired Pizza is a mobile wood-fired brick oven that serves fresh, made-to-order pizzas at private catering events, festivals and farmers’ markets. Ingredients are from local sources.

He chose the breakfast pizza with scrambled eggs, bacon, green pepper, and cheese. Within 5 minutes of waiting the pizza was ready. I stole a piece and it was so good! Loved the eggs and cheese on a crispy crust.

For lunch we headed out by the mall and stopped at Panera. It’s one of our favorite lunch places, but unfortunately there’s not one too close to our house (about 20 minutes). I’m still on my salad kick and decided on the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad. I’ve previously tried the Thai Chicken Salad, which I love. I still on a mostly low-FODMAP diet (read more about the diet here), so I try to limit the amount of apple I consume in a sitting (apples are high in fructose). This salad went over fine, but I have felt stomachaches after eating too many dehydrated apple chips at one time.

2013-09-14 13.27.45The salad was lightly dressed with apple vinaigrette, which I appreciate. There’s nothing I hate more than when a restaurant douses a salad with too much dressing. I prefer my veggies with dressing, not my dressing with veggies swimming in it. After trying both salads now, I prefer the Thai Chicken Salad because it’s something so different that I wouldn’t make at home. I might throw something together at home that is similar to the Fuji Apple Chicken Salad. It was still really tasty though!

2013-09-14 13.29.22

After lunch we stopped at TJ Maxx and JanSport Factory Store. I love the JanSport Factory Store because they have super cheap tshirts and sweatshirts. The clothes are technically “misprint” items, but usually you can never tell!2013-09-15 09.37.26

I bought this off-the-shoulder sweatshirt from JanSport for $10 (anyone know where the U of Richmond is? Love that their mascot is the spiders!) and I picked up these comfy, cotton lounge leggings from TJ Maxx for $13. I just had to get the leggings because of this sign in the dressing room…

2013-09-14 14.25.32

Talk about suggestive retail.

Centergy2

Sunday was mostly a rainy, dreary day. I started the day with Centergy (yoga+pilates class) with my favorite instructor. I’ve been doing this release since July so I’ve memorized pretty much the whole thing. I loved that the instructor gave us new suggestions to make it more difficult. This class feels so wonderful after running! I hope to get certified soon, just waiting on the gym to host another training weekend. 🙂 Rest of the day we watched the pack take home a win!

Hope everyone else had a great weekend! I’m looking ahead to a marvelous week (check out other lovely ladies marvelous Mondays here) and trying not to fret about the half marathon this coming Sunday too much. I put in the work over the last 5 months, now it’s time to just get out there and enjoy it!

What’s your favorite food/drink to order at Panera? How was your run this weekend? Anyone racing soon? What’s your favorite local festival?