about me

Sunday, September 27, 2015

"recovery" week

Since this was the week after the half, decided it was best to take it easy. Sort of.

~5 mile hike through Lockett Meadow to Inner Basin.  Trailhead was at 8600 feet, Inner Basin was at 9400 feet.  This was a struggle coming the day after the half.  However, it was gorgeous.  Can't wait to come up here again in a few weeks.

Pretending I have a dog.  Don't tell Ollie.

So candid.

Rest/Treadmill until 10k steps.
Sunset on my way over to the grocery store.  Which is a daily thing by the way.

Full body strength training at 4a because I'm weird. I regretted this around 2p when I started crashing.

4 mi run before work/the sun rise.  Honestly had no idea this was the first day of fall.  But it made sense: once I stepped outside the door, I could see my breath..so bundling up happened. It's always great to get a run done in the morning if possible. 

Negative splits.  Elevation loss helps. Also: I didn't want to miss the Pope's arrival..

3 mi treadmill run during lunch.  This was not as easy as recent experiences as the treadmill.. probably because I was awake and realized how super boring it was.


Full body strength before work. Took a half day and went down with a friend to West Fork Trail in Oak Creek Canyon and hiked for ~7 miles.  This is one of the most popular trails in the area and you can easily see why. 

And we finished off the night with peach mint pizza and Echosmith.

Definitely recommend Pizzicletta in Flagstaff!

Concert was done by 10 - I was too happy about this.

The plan was to run 6 miles but my body was not having it due to the prior day's activities.  Ended up around 4.4 miles and got some time on a few long hills. 

The struggle was so real.

Now, I got my 6.2 miles in this morning, and decided to make it a road day.  Had a pretty good pace but need to work on negative splits next time.

Technically my fastest 10k yet though!

I may have lied about my next race.  May or may not be signing up for another half in late November - this time in Phoenix.  I am very set on this sub-2 even though I feel like going down to Phoenix for it is slightly cheating.  More to come.

blue apron review

This past week, I tried out Blue Apron for the first time..

First: Fresh Gnocchi and Maitake Mushrooms.

This was by far the easiest of the three recipes - and it was delicious.  I've never cut corn off the ear before so that was kind of fun. I love, love, love gnocchi so it was inevitable that I loved the dish.  However, the gnocchi never really turned that yellow color...ended up being grey even after cooking it.  I'm thinking I waited too long on making the recipe. But hey, I didn't get sick!  This is one I could definitely replicate on my own.

The alien gnocchi. Still tasted good.

Second: Summer Pepper Shakshuka.

Definitely my favorite, probably because I have never made anything like this before and it involved eggs and pita bread, as well as using ingredients I have never used before (sweet pepper, fingerling potatoes). So this is a North African dish with poached eggs in tomato, and pepper sauce.  Basically I used it as a dip with the pita bread and it was fantastic. I want more ASAP.


Third: Cajun Tofu and Dirty Rice.

As I'm back to vegetarian, this was my first tofu dish in almost two years.  This kindly reminded me how much I hate tofu.  Tofu's texture is funky, and you can easily screw up the cooking of it.  I was probably swayed by the terrible tofu, but this dish was definitely lacking something.  When I had the leftovers of it last night, I put some cheddar jack cheese on top and that made it bearable.  Usually I'm a big fan of rice...but not this time.

Also, made okra for the first time here.  I think I needed to let it cook longer..

Now, off on a road run. Couldn't get too many miles in yesterday thanks to lifting and hiking on Friday, so today should be better.

The hike was pretty gorgeous.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


The past two weeks have been in taper mode - thanks to the half marathon I had yesterday.

Spoiler alert: I finished. :P

I mistakenly spent too much time on running on the treadmill within these past two weeks, but I am pleased to see I can at least run on that thing again even if it's boring as heck.

Easy way to start off the morning.

Last weekend was spent in Columbus for a wedding and I was able to get a 6 mile run in there.  Which was supposed to be done the day prior, but I think Jeni's didn't want that to happen.

The Olentangy River Trail was packed (this picture is not evidence)! So awesome to see people being active early on a Sunday.

Bourbon salted pecans and salted peanut butter with chocolate flecks. So.. heaven.

Hung out with my favorite niece and the fam at the Columbus Zoo too.

Her hair is so long and curly!

Visited the best university around. No bias.

Been trying to have healthier snacks at work.  Greek yogurt and hummus have been helpful in that cause.

Sriracha causes me to eat a tiny bit slower, which is a win.

Yesterday was the Flagstaff Half Marathon.  My goal was to finish under 2 hours.  This was a bit ambitious for a few reasons:
1. I finished my first half marathon last month in 2:14.
2. This was incredibly hilly: 1000 feet elevation gain.
3. Also, running at 1000ft higher than the usual 7000ft here in town.

So much gear.

So, around the first mile, I completely ate it. Completely. But I bounced right back up and kept going. Wasn't going to let that mess up the rest of the run.  

I didn't actually look at my scratches until halfway in.  Couldn't really feel too much..

Until after. So much burning. 

Mentally, I really struggled with this race and I think that is due to reason #2 above. If I would have trained on more hills within the past month, I think the sub 2 would have happened. However, I finished in 2:05:04.  Really not that bad! Got my first medal! 

The middle spins!

Also, the shirt is my favorite so far. 
Just noticed the detail on the back this morning. Love!

Now.. I want to keep up my running so I'm consistently running 4 times per week. And focus on more strength training. 

However, Ollie would much rather I focus on cuddling.

Next races? Rock and Roll Half in Phoenix in January, and then the Paris Marathon in April..

Monday, September 7, 2015

adventures in zion

Saturday started with a muddy trail run.

I really wanted to cut it short the first few miles but powered through.

Then off to Zion!

Gorgeous views!

So, the thing with Zion is that you have to rely on shuttle busses to get you to the popular trails.  They do not run 24/7 obviously.. so the fact that we left Flag at 11 (and Utah is an hour ahead), was cutting it a bit close, or so we thought, as far as getting our first hike done before the last shuttle left.  Turns out, we were had more than enough time.

The beginning of the trail to Angel's Landing.

We started Angel's Landing around 5:15.  Our goal was to get to the top under 2 hours, my personal goal was an 1hr and 45 mins.  We made it up in 1hr and 20mins.

This was close to the top..but not quite there.

Many people stop prior to this point.  However the Landing is up on top of this here mountain.

Then.. we made it!

Typically, going down a trail is much more difficult for me, but this one, shockingly wasn't bad at all. I think this is due to the fact that the crowds managed to disappear by the time we started coming back down, so we didn't have to awkwardly wait here and there while staring down a 1000 foot drop off (like we did when we were heading up). 

The next morning, we slept in a bit and walked over to Meme's Cafe in Springdale and ate incredible crepes.

Crepes with a view.

However, we learned waking up late did not work to our advantage as far as parking and traffic.  Zion is very limited inside the park grounds as far as parking and then it didn't help that it was a holiday weekend.  Regardless, we got to the Narrows at noon and headed off into the waters with the holiday crowds.

I did not see the tip to bring a hiking pole. Luckily someone gave me their stick when they were leaving and it saved me from falling many times.

We have no idea how far we went but we hiked for around 4.5 hours.  The shuttle line was so long when we got back that we hiked over a mile to the next stop to get on a shuttle.

As far as the Narrows, I would recommend looking at other hikes in Zion before this one. It was painful to walk in the river since it was rocky on the bottom (and I was wearing Teva water shoes) and since you had to constantly be vigilant of where you were walking, you couldn't take in the sights without stopping.  It was definitely one of the most unique hikes I've done but I was so incredibly happy to get out of that river.  I should mention that I hate water.

Sun going down on the drive out..

Regardless, we had a great time on two of the most strenuous hikes in Zion.. and I would definitely recommend going to Zion.  Yosemite is still my favorite national park, but Zion is up there at #2.

Happiness on the way down from Angel's Landing - an absolute must hike in Zion!

Friday, September 4, 2015

give me food or give me food

This week has a been little crazy! 

Since Tuesday was packed with activities after work, I had to fit in my run at 430a.  Whatever works. First time I've ever gotten a run before the sunrise.

Attention deprived as you can tell.

I expressed my sorrow to coworkers about my Pinterest fail last weekend.  One of them was very kind to lend me a book about high altitude baking and left me two banana chocolate chip muffins! Which I devoured within 5 minutes.

AKA: My second breakfast.  (Which is slowly becoming normal)

I scored all of this zucchini from a coworker as well.  The food gods have been treating me well.  Not pictured: Basil and Catnip. Real.

Wednesday I had 6.5 fartlek planned along with our softball doubleheader.  I actually cut it pretty close as far as getting my run done in time, and I also really felt like I was moving at a glacial pace the entire run even when I was supposed to be going quicker, but I managed a 9:20 pace.

I had a quick sandwich picnic after outside the library.

Also.. even though it was around 75 degrees out during our softball games, I was FREEZING right when I got there and it lasted until the second game.  I've noticed this before after running and decided to research what the cause may be.  Turns out I just my lose my body heat quicker than normal.

I treated myself to a $1 hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup.  Best dollar I have spent in a long time.

Thursday was a solid 4 mile tempo run at Buffalo Park.  

My arms are gorilla-esque, I know.

Finally, resting today before a long run early tomorrow morning.  After that, I'm headed out with a friend to Zion for the first time ever! 

Go Buckeyes!!!