September 19, 2013

Instant Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal

I am really making an effort to eat breakfast every morning. Now that I am back on my workout kick, I am working hard on my nutrition too. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It can provide the nutrients and energy that you need to get through the day.

I like to sleep until the last possible moment so it doesn't leave much time to prepare breakfast. I've been eating granola bars, bagels, and oatmeal, but I've started getting bored with those options. I worked from home yesterday and since I had some extra time in the morning I got

creative with the few ingredients I had laying around my kitchen.

Instant Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Here’s What You Need:
2 packets of instant oatmeal
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter
1 cup of milk
A little bit of sweetener (I used Splenda – 1 packet)

Here’s What You Do:
Combine all of the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl
Microwave for 2 minutes

It’s super simple and tastes like a no bake cookie. It’s a quick, delicious, filling, and mostly healthy breakfast. 

September 10, 2013

Copycat & Perfect Timing

The new trend on the blogs I read is posting a weekly workout recap. I have every intention of being a copycat because I think it’s a wonderful idea. It’s a great way for me to keep track of my workouts and hold myself accountable to keep up with my workouts.

A few notes:
  • I was a bit of a slacker last week. I had class three days and I skipped my run on Friday to go to Happy Hour.
  • I've been trying to include arms in my workout rotation this month, but don't really know what I'm doing

Since it was Labor Day, I could run in the morning which is my favorite time to run!
4 mile run in 39:00 flat
Bicep curls
Tricep dips
Lateral raises
1:00 plank

3 mile run

5 mile run in 47:54 (2013 PR!)
Bicep curls
Tricep dips
Lateral raises
1:00 plank

I've been struggling with figuring out the best way to keep up with running this semester while juggling everything else. It's really been bumming me out. Last Sunday (perfect timing), Janae posted this article, Maximize Your Training,  and it was exactly what I needed to get out of my funk. While my goal isn't necessarily to run fast on limited miles, it is to run on limited miles. Since I only have 4 days a week, I want to make those 4 days count.

Goals for this week:
  • Run all 4 days – don’t skip Friday!
  • Figure out how to fit in a small workout (or some kind of physical activity) on days that I have l class. I’m thinking of walking on my lunch hour on Tuesday & Thursday. I hate running at lunch, but I can definitely fit in a 2-3 mile walk and still have time to eat. 

I’m hitting my 15 day mark this week and I think I want yurbuds.
Does anybody out there own a pair?
Are they worth the investment?

September 8, 2013

Fantasy Football & What's a 4th Down?

When football season kicked off last year (pun intended!), I reminded you all just how much little I know about football. Here we at the start of another season and I could not be happier that Peyton Manning is back in my life.  He was really busy in the off season...
Shooting Rap Videos


and NFL Promos


but we are now back to our regularly scheduled, weekly dates :)

You are not going to believe this, but I am playing fantasy football this year - my cousin needed more players in his league and I volunteered! I think Justin was more excited than I was. He printed off worksheets and forced me against my will planned time to sit down and explain the ins and outs of football to the girl who barely understands what a 4th down is. That lasted about 5 minutes (when Justin realized how little I actually knew and I realized that the website listed player rankings).

It turns out, I actually learned something by listening to all Justin’s football talk :) When draft time rolled around, I was really surprised at how many players I had heard of…I was even more surprised that I knew things about them!

Check out my awesome team…

I didn’t get Peyton (and I cried for 18 minutes), but I am still pretty sure I’m going to win the league with this hard working group of players. I called each of them this morning to give them a pep talk. Even though we have a bye week this week, there is no reason for them to take it easy. Justin and I have a bet on who has the better fantasy football team and every point counts!

Prepare yourself for 6 months of football talk…and watch these Peyton Manning Commercials.

Are you in a fantasy football league?
Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a fantasy running league?
What’s your favorite Peyton commercial? 

September 6, 2013

Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies

Although fall is my favorite season, I am always a little sad when summer is over. A friend gave me a recipe for Strawberry Cheesecake Cookies earlier this summer and I never had a chance to make them. I didn't want to miss my chance, so I ran down to the Giant Eagle last weekend to try and find a decent looking bunch of strawberries (insanely difficult task in case you were wondering).

Here’s What You Need:
¾ cup of butter
½ cup of brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 ¼ cups of flour
4 ounces of instant cheesecake pudding mix
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 pack of crushed graham crackers

Here’s What You Do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Mix the butter and both sugars until fluffy
Add the eggs
Bet in the vanilla
Add the cheesecake pudding mix
Add in the baking soda, flour, and salt
Mix, mix, mix!
Fold in the strawberries
Roll the cookies in the graham cracker crumbs

*This is where I got a little crazy. My cookie batter was a gooey mess :( I am not savvy in the kitchen so I have no tips or tricks for you. I ended up dumping the crushed graham crackers into the batter and mixing them in. That helped a bit. Then I added more flour until I could get control of the batter.

Once you get your batter onto the baking sheet, bake for 12-15 minutes
This recipe makes 18-24 cookies
Let cool and store in the refrigerator for best results.

Since I added the extra flour, my cookies were a bit floury (shocking). They still tasted pretty good (aka I ate 5 as soon as they came out of the oven because I have no self-control when it comes to fresh baked cookies) although they weren't near as delicious as the sample I had (from the person who gave me the recipe).  I sent her a HELP ME e-mail to try and figure out where I went wrong. By next summer, we will have this recipe perfected!

Why was my batter so gooey?
(I think it might have been the strawberries)

What is your favorite season?

What will you miss most about summer?

September 2, 2013

Chuck's 5K & I've got some work to do

First things first – Happy Labor Day! I spent the morning doing homework and will be spending the afternoon the same way. I really hope you are doing something more exciting!!

I’m two weeks late with this post, but hey, better late than never. I ran my first race of the year on August 17th – Chuck’s 5K. My friend Chuck puts on the race and it benefits my high school team, the one I ran on and the one I coached for three years. It was good to be back running with my running community. I had forgotten that feeling of being surrounded by hundreds of your closest friends.

I wore my new green shorts and looked like a watermelon

Justin was still training for his triathlon at that point, so he made the race a brick workout. While he was on his 18 mile bike ride, I was catching up with friends and did a quick half mile warm up.


The adrenaline when the gun goes off, the thrill of passing the person in front of you, knowing at mile 2.5 that you have just enough strength left for a kick….I LOVE RACING.

Post-race "we're so awesome" picture

I ran WAY faster than I expected. I was planning on a 9:00 pace and taking it easy. It turns out running with my friends motivated me.

Chuck's 5K Splits
Mile 1: 8:04
Mile 2: 8:42
Mile 3: 8:25
.1:       0:46

Time: 25:57 – my fastest 5K of the year! The first mile has a lot of downhill and was pretty fast in general. Mile 2 has all of the hills. I also recognized that 8:04 was waaaay too fast so I slowed it down. I rarely have a kick, but when I turned the last corner and saw the time on the clock, I found that kick. I wanted to break 26:00 so bad, and I did!

The race is known for unusual awards..monkey's in a barrel this year!

I was 11th place for women (there were no age group awards) and Justin was 21st for the guys. I can’t remember his time, but even after getting off the bike, he ran faster than he thought he would. It was a good running day for both of us.

I don’t have another race on the calendar until November. It’s a 5 Miler on Thanksgiving and I have a big goal: I have to place in the Top 500. This will be my 11th year running this race (and Justin's first year!). The Top 500 finishers get their name on the back of the T-shirt and I would hate to break that tradition. Last year I was 176th with a time of 38:31. To make the Top 500, I have to beat last year’s 500th place time of 46:06. I ran 5 miles yesterday in 49:46…I have some work to do before November :)