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Miami Beach!

First — Happy Birthday to my sister Megan! She’s 24 today!!

Since we last talked… I went to Miami Beach! I know what you’re thinking, “but Erin… didn’t you just get back from Florida?!” YES! I did. This whole being unemployed thing, aside from my diminishing checking account, is actually kind of nice because I can take off whenever I want to. Okay, not really, but after years of hard work in class, the internship, and studying for my exam, I’ve earned a vacation! Or two.

So anyway. My mom went to Miami Beach last year and went again this year for 8 days. I decided to join her for a few of those days for some sun, sand, and salt (water). South Beach is a very… interesting… place. Colorful. Yea, that’s the right word. While in Miami, I got some sunburn (the downside to being Irish!), some fun runs in, and ate some really good food.

Day 1 (Saturday):

Not much to report since I wasn’t feeling too great but a memorable points: I made it to O’Hare just in time to board my flight, the weather was HOT and SUNNY, I read (and finished a book!) by the pool, and my mom and I made salads for dinner (it was a good salad… and I hate homemade salads).

Day 2 (Sunday):

I was up and out early to catch the sunrise with my mom and a 10K on the boardwalk before the crowds struck. (It was Pride Weekend in South Beach so there were people EVERYWHERE! So many crowds.) Along the boardwalk are all the super nice hotels you see in music videos & movies so it was fun to run along those on one side and the beach on the other. Here’s a photo of the beach and a doofus-selfie.

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Day 3 (Monday):

Aside from the usual morning run + beach/pool day, mom & I walked over to South Point Pier where we watched a cruise ship embark. THAT was pretty cool. I knew cruise ships were huge but seeing one in person? Ginormous. We also had a late/lunch early dinner at an Italian restaurant.

Day 4 (Tuesday):

Our last full day! I took the morning off from running and instead went for a walk along the beach. I tried, as hard as I could, to spend time with my mom in the sun but ugh, I was sun burnt and being out hurt. But I made it a few hours! After our day on the beach, we headed to Naked Taco for dinner. The reviews on Yelp do not do this place justice! We sat outside on the porch and were welcomed with a (complimentary) tequila & pineapple juice shot. From there, we ordered the chips and guacamole (so creamy!), mom got lobster tacos & I got an assortment of taco-lettuce-wraps.

Day 5 (Wednesday):

Our last day! I got up early and while my mom was cleaning up the Air BnB, I went out for a quick 3 miles. Afterwards, we (and by we, I mean she. She’s a cleaning machine) cleaned up a little more, packed up, and we were on our way home! I got the airport fairly early for my flight and was in and out of security within 5 minutes – if only O’Hare was that quick!

And now? I’m on my flight home, watching the season (series? is it a series?) premiere of Real Housewives of Dallas! (I’m a sucker for reality tv.) I’ll admit I’m ready to be home – I have a few interviews lined up for the next few days and I need to get back into my running routine. The half is 2 1/2 weeks away!

 

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Thoughts Per Mile

Luckily for me, the weather today was much better than yesterday. The sun was out, the temps were up slightly, and the wind wasn’t as strong. So I laced up my shoes and went out for my first(!) double digit run in this training cycle.

Mile 1: Woo, okay feeling good. Going a little fast but I should be able to keep this pace for the next 9 miles.

Mile 2: Ooh! The lake looks pretty. I should snap a picture (it’s a little blurry…)

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Mile 3: Where is this trail? It’s supposed to be right here. Pace still feeling good, running about 15s off race pace.

Mile 4: Found the trail. Geese are the enemy. Almost halfway.

Mile 5: …I’m only halfway.

Mile 6: Geese are still the enemy. Make it to 7 miles and you can have a piece of gum.

Mile 7: I wish I brought my chapstick.

Mile 8: Less than 25 minutes of running left.

Mile 9: How am I still not done?!

Mile 10: *dies*

By the time I finished, my pace per mile was about 30s off of anticipated race pace so I’m feeling pretty good about myself. I cooled down with a quarter mile walk/dynamic stretch before heading inside.

Once home, my post-long run routine is to grab some Gatorade, a blueberry muffin (I’m on the hunt to find my favorite!), stretch, and sit with my legs up the wall. So I turned on the Kardashians (judge me.) and did just that. Until I realized how sweaty & cold I was and it was time to shower.

What’s your post-run routine like? Do you have the same snack after every run or do you switch it up? 

How do you feel about geese? 

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April (Snow) Showers & Meez Meals!

Here is a picture of my dog, a dog I saw while driving, and a water bottle my dad and Lynn got me. There are no pictures the rest of this post so… sorry.

Oh, happy Monday. I’m currently out of work so… today really is a happy Monday.

I woke up super early (no really, I did – 5:45am) and was able to have two cups of hot coffee, a delicious and easy breakfast (1 maple + brown sugar oatmeal packet + 1/2 cinnamon coffee cake muffin from Target and a clementine), and I caught up on the shows I missed last night because I went to the Bulls game!

After I let my food digest, I decided to brave the weather and head out for my first double digit training run. Well, I was brave until I actually got outside. And it was 34F, windy, and flurrying (IN APRIL!!!!). “I can do this…” I thought as I turned my Garmin on.

Nearly 3 miles in and I had had enough. The wind was blowing from every direction, the snow picked up a bit, I couldn’t feel my ankles (I wore ankle tights), and I was frustrated (I’m a baby, get over it). “This sucks,” and “OMG how much longer?!” kept running through my mind. I turned around and ended up with just over 5 1/2 miles on the day. Not bad but… well, you know. I’m hoping the weather tomorrow is a little

But after my disappointing run, I made a grocery run and a trip to my dermatologist to hopefully clear up this skin infection/reaction I’m going through right now. Ya know, because being on Accutane wasn’t enough, my skin decides 7 months post-treatment to react to something.

Tonight will be better though! I’m cooking my first dinner courtesy of Meez Meals – I’ve got a chicken, sweet potato, kale, and rice bowl with peanut sauce on the menu. I’m very excited to try this as I’ve never done a meal prep service before! And more importantly, Southern Charm is back on! I’m a sucker for Bravo.

 

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Exciting News – Sprang Break

Hi, everyone! I hope you all had a ham and chocolate-filled Easter Sunday. I DID! My mom made a copycat Portillos Chocolate Cake and it was delicious (though the secret ingredient really grossed me out and I really doubt I’ll be eating it again).

I have one really exciting thing to share — I PASSED MY RDN EXAM! — I’m officially a Registered Dietitian! I’ll be sharing all of the details (well, the details I can share) about the exam, the school-work, and the dietetic internship in a series of posts at a later date. I want to make sure I get all of the important stuff in there without glossing over anything. So stay tuned for that if you’re interested in becoming an RD.

So after passing the exam, I packed up and headed to Ft Myers Beach for some much needed spring break action with my family. The weather was hot for the most part and although the sun wanted to play hide + seek the few days I was there, the heat and relaxation was really great.

I managed to hit all of my training runs (3mi on Tues, 4.5mi Weds, 3mi Thurs) while gone and an additional 3 miles on the beach my last full day because why not?

On Wednesday, I ran up to the Tuckaway Bagel & Wafel Cafe where I met my sisters, Megan & Caitlin, and Megan’s boyfriend Kyle – if you’re ever on the beach and if you love bagel sandwiches as much as I do, GO THERE. It was amazing. The bagels were big and cheesy, the iced coffee is a perfect post-run pick-me-up (the coffee is locally roasted), and the atmosphere was really fun (see tree below + Bob Marley/Sublime songs the entire time). They also serve waffles (wafels? I’m unsure) which I’ve read are great and fresh smoothies which are perfect for a hot morning!

Aside from delicious bagels, Gulf-side dinners, and HM training runs, I didn’t really do a whole lot. It was great to get away but I was ready to come home and start applying for jobs and get back into the swing of things.

Saturday was full of traveling home – our flight was delayed an hour thanks to storms in northern FL – and dinner with Matt that evening so no long-run on Saturday. With Sunday being Easter, I missed (as in, didn’t plan for enough time) a long-run then but managed to get in a 10K in under 1h10m (nearly 20m faster than my B1G10K time in Summer 2015!!) and did 9mi this morning (Monday AM). The half is so soon!!

Well, that’s it for now. This post was kind of all over the place so… sorry for that! I’ll be publishing a post about my course-work required to start the RD process this week so be sure to comment if you have anything you’d like me to touch on in that post.

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Thanksgiving in March & HM Training

Where, oh where should I begin? Should I talk about the amazing Thanksgiving brinner I made last week or training first? I’m gonna go with training because then we can get to the good stuff.

Training Recap:

In the past 2 weeks, I’ve done two long runs and a handful of smaller, quicker runs. Last weekend I completed, what felt like, an easy 7 miles (actually more! closer to 7 1/2) throughout my neighborhood(s). The shorter runs were fairly routine: 4 miles here and there. Today though. Today was tough. I had an 8 miler scheduled so I went to one of the local forest preserves to do it. I don’t have a lot to add about it except it was really difficult. There was no walking but I stopped to tie my shoes around mile 6 1/2 and when I got up, I had a really bad stomach cramp. Like, bad. Was I dehydrated? Probably. Did I fuel properly? Maybe, maybe not. But did I do it? Yes.

Now let’s get to the good stuff… a Sweet Potato Breakfast Skillet. It’s loaded with fall/winter veggies that make a great breakfast all year long. As you’ll see below, the picture quality is terrible but pictures wouldn’t do this meal justice! The apples with the sausage and sweet potatoes are AMAZING. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped small
  • Brussels sprouts, quartered (as much/little as you want)
  • 1/4 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 Gala apples, chopped small (approx. same size as potatoes)
  • 6oz (uncooked) turkey sausage
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic cloves or seasoning
  • 4-6 eggs

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400* – while preheating, mix olive oil + sweet potatoes in a bowl and lay flat on baking sheet. Do the same for brussels sprouts.
  • Bake sweet potatoes for 20 minutes, throw around a bit midway. Do the same for brussels sprouts but cook for 15 minutes.
  • While sweet potatoes + brussels sprouts are baking, saute onion while browning turkey sausage.
  • Once turkey sausage is browned, add in apples & cook up until slightly mushy and brown in color.
  • After all is done – throw everything into a large mixing bowl and then back into a large oven-safe skillet.
  • Crack 4-6 eggs throughout and bake until eggs are desired doneness.
  • Season with salt + pepper as needed.
  • Eat.

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Catching Up

Hello, hello! It’s been like… two weeks(?) since I last posted. And one of my goals for the new year was to post at least once a week. So, I fail. But I’ve really been so busy and this just fell by the wayside. Sorry.

With all that said, we have a lot of catching up to do! I’ll break it down bit-by-bit. Read on if you’re interested or don’t if you’re not!

RD2Be Stuff:

I’ve been studying and applying to jobs like a mad-woman. The other day I applied to close to 20 jobs, which may not seem like a lot (I’ve never had to really apply for jobs before so this is new to me) but I had to write a ton of cover letters. I’ve applied for anything and everything in the hopes that I’ll catch somebody’s eye. If you’re the praying type, please pray for me! And if you’re not, well, uh, just have hope for me!

Running Stuff:

I feel like I’m not running as much as I should be but in reality, I’ve only missed one run in 2 weeks and that was due to a major stomach issue I was having. I’m still not picking up a lot of speed but that’s okay. On the schedule this weekend is a 7 miler that I’m going to do today since I won’t have time on Saturday or Sunday. The distances aren’t difficult but the fact that it takes me so long is a bit discouraging. It is what it is, though, and all I can do is run. And run. And run.

CrossFit Stuff:

I don’t have a lot to say other than I love going! It’s very refreshing (is that the right word?) to go into the gym and already have the workout planned for you. No thinking! It’s great. This week, I hit a deadlift 5RM of 205 and a 3RM of 215. My current 1RM is 255 belted. I also tried rope climbs for the first time since… middle school. And I’m still terrified of heights. So, that’s nice! Depending on how I feel after my run, I’m going to go try a scaled 16.3 (not officially, though).

Other Stuff:

Matt and I are watching Thor again (we love him so much) and he’s so fun to have! We’re able to let him off of his leash and watch him run around but he listens when we call him back to us and doesn’t disturb others.

Last week, when I was sick with my stomach thing, Matt went to visit his brother in Chicago and got me a cupcake! It was… okay… might have been better if it was fresh.

I also got a grill last week! Sorta. My dad had a charcoal grill that he wasn’t using so he gave it to me! I’m still trying to figure it out but I managed to successfully grill some chicken the other day, yay!

Next week, I’ll be presenting to a local girls’ lacrosse program about nutrition and the female athlete! It’s my first presentation to a group of non-classmates so it’s a bit intimidating but I’m very excited!

I think that’s really it for now – an exciting life, I know! I’m going to attempt to post more regularly, though. Even if it is only once per week.

 

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A Long Run & … CrossFit?

Happy Monday & Happy Leap Year! I am officially done with my dietetic internship so I’ve got the next few weeks off to study, apply for jobs, and relax before I take my exam.

On Saturday, I said I ran 6 miles before work. Well… that was a lie. I wrote the post on Friday night and set it to post at 11:00am and then just forgot about it. The truth is, I slept in on Saturday because I was tired and was going to be working all day/night so I put the run off until Sunday evening and I gotta say, I’m kinda glad I did. The weather was perfect (except for the wind…) and I did 6 miles in just over an hour. I stopped to snap this picture on a trail near my neighborhood – to the left is a golf course and to the right is marshy area.

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After our run (Matt did 10!!), we made steaks, mashed potatoes and asparagus while we watched The Oscars. I typically don’t care about award shows but LEO WON! HE DID IT! HE WON AN OSCAR! THIS IS HOW I FELT :2016-02-28 22.58.45.gif

This morning I woke up around 7, walked Thor (we are watching him again for a few weeks!!), and then went to my 2nd ~official~ CrossFit workout. My first day was just an assessment to make sure I knew how to do the lifts and with proper form. My first official workout was a modified 16.1 (I can’t do pull-ups or 65# OH lunges yet) and that wiped me. This mornings workout was challenging, for sure, but I was able to do most of it RX’d (4rds of 20 wall balls @ 14# and 20 power-cleans @ 65# with a 20min time-cap). I had to drop my cleans to 45# for the last round since my form was starting to suffer but otherwise it was a pretty good workout! I’ve decided to try out CF (again) because there was a really great Groupon deal for a gym in my area and I wanted to do something different. I fell into a rut working out on my own & wasn’t progressing. Enter CF.

The rest of the day will be spent studying (2 hours in so far!), job applications, nannying and the Teen Mom OG Reunion (since I’ve already finished Fuller House!). Tomorrow’s an early day (4:15am wakeup) since I’ve picked up some shifts at the pool for the next few weeks, WOOF.

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HM Training – Week 3 Recap + Week 4 Preview

I know, I know. It’s been a while since I’ve made an actual post about running. Traveling + being in DC made posting tougher than I thought it would be so I wasn’t able to write up a Week 3 preview and am instead left to recap the week.

The past week, in terms of running, has been okay. I haven’t stuck to the plan 100% and while I normally wouldn’t use travel as an excuse, this week is a bit different.

Week 3 Recap:

  • Sunday – No run, lots & lots of walking
  • 2016-02-22 10.01.26Monday – 3mi run around the monuments, more walking but not as much as Friday-Sunday – the run was actually very easy since I had a ton to look at
  • Tuesday – No run, more walking around (3 mile was planned for this day but I did it on Monday instead)
  • Wednesday – 3mi treadmill run + chest workout, if you can call it that, in the gym
  • Thursday – 3mi run + CrossFit – I just purchased a really good Groupon & I get a month unlimited. More on that later
  • Friday – No run, CF
  • Saturday – 6mi run before work – Normally, I like to run after work but I had to get the run in before this week since I’ve got 11 hours at the pool to look forward to.

So, as you can see, I did all of the runs planned for the week but it felt weird because they were all done at different times of the day.

Week 4 Preview

  • Sunday – total rest day but will probably do some light yoga because I am SORE! Will also be doing some self-care stuff: face + hair masks, maybe a mani/pedi (done by myself), preparing a big dinner (enough for leftovers)
  • Monday – No run, will be going to CF
  • Tuesday – 3mi run, CF
  • Wednesday – 4mi run, CF
  • Thursday – 3.5mi run, CF
  • Friday – Active rest day — yoga, maybe a walk
  • Saturday – 7mi run

I’ve been working on a running nutrition post for a little while now so that will be posted soon. Is there anything you’d like to read about? Let me know in the comments!

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Running, Walking & Eating in DC

If you’ve been keeping up, you’ll know Matt and I were in DC for a few days recently – we went because we’ve been wanting to go on a trip (anywhere, really) and flights when we booked were so ridiculously cheap we thought, “why not?!” So we went. And had so much fun.

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First things first, we walked everywhere. We actually rented a car because I got a pretty good rate but when we found out parking at our hotel (our hotel that was paid for…) was $41 a day (but Valet was $49 – what a steal!), we returned the car and just decided we’d walk, Uber, or figure out public transportation.

Day 1: On the first day, since we got started pretty late (the whole car debacle), we checked out the area and went to see some monuments: The White House, Washington Monument and a bunch of important buildings. We also got ice cream from this cute little shop and while the ice cream was good, paying $6 for a scoop is not worth it. No ice cream is that good. For dinner, we went to The Matchbox near U Street. AMAZING. I highly recommend it; I got an amazing salad while Matt got one of the most beautiful burgers I’ve ever seen and the french fries are good too. Also, the U Street area is so cute, fun, and urban. It kind of reminds me of Lincoln Park but also… not.

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Day 2: We went to The Founding Farmers for brunch – GO THERE (but don’t get the chicken sausage if you have stomach issues… or do but make sure you take some Bean-o with you…). It’s the fun little (well, actually not little) farm-to-table restaurant with a fantastic brunch menu. I got the Founding Farmers breakfast which included two eggs, a choice of meat (bacon, sausage, chicken sausage), a bread, and a side. I opted for a small salad instead of bread and my side was hash browns. It was all sooo good. Matt got the Hangover Hash and between us, we split a maple waffle that literally flaked apart in your mouth. After brunch, we walked over to Georgetown and I started to feel really, really sick (shoutout to you, chicken sausage). Sick to the point where I couldn’t walk anymore so I went back to the hotel while Matt continued exploring. When he got back, he took a nap and I was eventually feeling well enough to get some dinner so we went to a place called CIRCA in Dupont Circle. Also, very very good. I got another salad because I wanted something light and easy so as not to disrupt my stomach.

Day 3: That morning, we both hit the gym for some running and some lifting. Not exciting, whatever. Since I wasn’t able to explore much of Georgetown, Matt and I went back! After brunch at Uncommon Ground (we both highly recommend the steak & eggs), we walked back over to Georgetown where we did some shopping (by shopping I mean just looked around and didn’t buy anything BUT I did buy a Georgetown quarter-zip). We also did a self-tour of the campus (so. many. hills.) before heading back to the town of Georgetown. We were going to get Georgetown Cupcake but the line was too long so we went to Sprinkles instead. The cupcakes were good, but compared to the cupcakes we got on Day 4… OOH!

Day 4: I finally went for a run!! It seems like everyone in DC runs so I was really glad to get out on the road. I went for 3 and just ran around ALL of the monuments – past the White House, Washington Memorial, around the WW2, Vietnam, and Korean War Memorials, next to the Reflection Pond (it’s empty right now…) and up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I’ll include my pictures from the run between Days 4 and 5! Post-run food was a bagel sammy from Bethesda Bagel – the bagels were HUGE and fluffy and so so good. Day 4 was tour day for us – the American History Museum, the Air & Space Museum, the Holocaust Museum, more monuments (Matt didn’t get to see while I was running!), and more cupcakes. Highly, highly recommend The Sweet Lobby for cupcakes. My favorite? The Strawberry Champagne cupcake.

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Day 5: We had scheduled tours for the Library of Congress and the Capitol building for day 5. We got to see a lot of things and it was very fun but if you’re going to schedule a tour for the Capitol, make sure you speak with someone that works for your local representative because they can get you gallery passes to see Senate and Congress. We thought we had done that but… I guess not? So we just got a tour of the building. Dinner that night was at a restaurant (Libations) near Baltimore because we had dinner with my uncle that night. We also stayed with my uncle because 1) family and 2) he lives 20 minutes from the airport!

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All in all we had a great time and we will definitely be going back. Matt loved it so much that he would even consider moving there. Mission: Accomplished. And now we’re back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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HM Training – Week 2 & I’m Sick

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Happy Thursday! I hope all of you are enjoying the warmer weather (assuming you’re getting it) and sunshine!

For me, I was really hoping this week would be a great week for training. The temperatures are up and the sun is staying out longer so running should be better, right? Wrong. Well, for me anyway. Here’s a recap of my runs thus far:

  • Sunday – Off
  • Monday – Off
  • Tuesday – 4 miles, outside. It snowed the day before but temps were up so most of the snow was slushy by the time I go out. I was in good spirits and running a good pace. And then the wind hit me. Woof. The wind is brutal. And it was one of those winds that blows in your face no matter your direction. So, that was pleasant! But it was done and I felt good afterwards.
  • Wednesday – 3.87 miles, treadmill. Was supposed to hit 4 but I needed (needed!) to go to the bathroom so I just called it a day at nearly 4.
  • Thursday (today!) – I’m actually home sick today. I’ve got a cough and a sore throat but I’m hoping that goes away/gets better soon because I have 4 miles scheduled for today. I’d push it to tomorrow but I’m traveling to DC (a 6am check-in, woof)! YAY!
  • Friday – No run scheduled but there will be lots of walking – through the airport(s), around DC(!!!!!!!!). Maybe, maybe I’ll get a lift in Friday night at the hotel but no promises.
  • Saturday – 5 1/2 miles scheduled & I can’t WAIT! to run along the Potomac and to see all of the monuments during my run. I’m most excited for the fun running routes + all of the food I’m going to eat!

That’s all I’ve got for you today. No photos, no exciting stories. This week has been pretty low-key and ordinary. Keep your eyes peeled for my next post about traveling, packing, and working out!