Fact Friday!

Today is going to be extremely nervewracking…I have an oral exam for my PhD program that you have to pass in order to move forward in the program.  The examiners don’t know me or my work and I don’t know them, so there is no way to prepare for the kind of questions they might ask.  I’ve obviously had mock sessions with my supervisors and such, but even they can’t predict what the examiners might want because every examiner is different and wants to see you prove your knowledge in different ways.  I’m a little stressed.  Yesterdays hard interval session helped a ton (and I slept like a baby despite the nerves!) so the plan is to give you a light little post (what better day for a Fact Friday!?) and take a nice relaxing easy pace run before I shower and head to campus.  Hoping 8 miles will do the trick because I’m not sure I have time for longer 😉

 

Without further ado, some facts you probably didn’t know about me!

 

1. I ice skated competitively for a few years when I was a kid/tween.  You will eventually learn that I’m just a weirdly athletic person and I did pretty much every sport for at least a few years but the Olympics always have me thinking about when I was a figure skater.  I was also not nearly girly enough for a lot of it and hated spangly costumes.  And perennially annoyed that girls wear white/tan figure skates and the boys get to wear black.  I wanted black.  My last competition was in early 1998, aka 3 months after Titanic came out.  Every single girl in my category wanted to dance to My Heart Will Go On but you can’t share the same music.  I changed mine to Southampton from the Titanic soundtrack (what a switch, I know…) and it turns out everyone else had the same plan.  It was a bunch of 12-15 year old girls and every single one of us picked a different song from Titanic.  If you hadn’t seen the movie, at least you caught the whole soundtrack at our competition.  I won gold, and that was more than enough for me so I never skated again after that day.  I probably would have kept going a few more years until I won gold in a major event if it hadn’t happened that day because I’m a competitive weirdo. 

 

2. During my master’s program, I lived in university apartment housing.  I had 2 completely awesome girls from Thailand who lived in the same hallway as me and they cooked every.single.day.  Lunch and dinner.  Amazing, elaborate, home cooked Thai food.  And they were the sweetest girls in the world and always invited me to dinner so I have been royally spoiled for great Thai food and love it so much.  I have learned that the local place does not make it half as well as those girls and I’m also super excited to go to Thailand one day and eat all the yumminess.  One of the girls gave me a list of things to order or not order if I see them on menus when I go to Thailand someday so I don’t accidentally order live squid (which is a thing).  Further proof she’s the best?  She went to London on a layover to fly home to Bangkok and brought me back a cupcake from their best cupcake bakery so I could compare it to Georgetown Cupcake. 

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3. I was a very competitive soccer player for a looooooooong time.  College long.  When I met Joe, he had played one season at age 8 or something and hated it.  You’ll be pleased to know I’ve converted him to a lover of watching and playing fantastic soccer but not without some issues.  In what was probably a bid to impress me, we had been together for all of 2 weeks when he asked me to take him to the fields and teach him to play goalie.  Well, he very quickly learned the concept of a “brave save.”  I charged the goal, he came out to defend and brave save grab the ball, which I wasn’t expecting from someone who had played for a grand total of 10 minutes, I go to jump over him and underestimate his size compared to the girls I had always gone up against.  My knee goes through his head.  Actually.  You could see skull.  I have to give him my shirt to staunch the bleeding and drive him to the hospital to get stitches, which had to be done in 2 layers because they went so deep.  I saw my now husband’s skull within 2 weeks of dating him.  And I had to take him home and explain to his parents that I had never met that I had broken their son.  Whoops.  He still has a scar. 

 

4.  I have a freakish love for Sour Patch Kids. Not only are they awesome, they also aren’t chocolate like every other freaking candy.  I hate chocolate.  But, I can’t eat sour patch kids like a normal human being.  The green ones HAVE to be eaten last, all at once.  I can eat the other 3 colors in any combination but no greens until the end.  Picture 8 year old me in a movie theater, holding each one up in the air to discern the color in a dark movie theater because I was so against eating a green early.  Obviously, it accidentally happened a time or two in the movies when it is easy to mistake a green for a yellow.  Irrationally upset.  The best roommate ever (hi, Mallory!) I lived with in Philly, once gave me a gift of Sour Patch Kids.  She had taken multiple bags, dumped them all out, and pre-sorted them for me into Green/Not-Green.  She underestimated how much it meant to me 🙂  You know someone really gets you when…

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5. As a former English major, now English literature PhD student, I obviously have some pet peeves with the way people use and abuse the English language.  I’m actually entirely okay with colloquial language (well, to an extent anyway) and don’t get finicky about perfect grammar and I write differently on my blog or personal emails or whatnot from how I write professionally but there are some things I REALLY cannot get past.  If you say “intensive purposes” I am sorry but we cannot be friends.  How does that even make sense to people?  Intents and purposes.  Not that hard.  I almost cried when I was searching something on google and this came up:

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Please see result #3.  There are people out there who think it’s “lack toast and tolerant.”  I don’t judge people for not having perfect grammar but this kind of stuff is just ridiculous.  No.

 

 

You just learned far more than you ever wanted to know about me, huh?

 

Random fact about you!

Are there any sports you wish you had tried and never did?

Favorite candy?

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I found something magical

If you read my blog then you know I don’t have trouble getting enough calories or carbs or struggle with treating myself to pizza, ice cream, or any other delicious foods.  But I definitely struggle with getting enough veggies.  I’ve talked about the veggie box I have delivered, but even that only forces me to make veggies once a day.  So my day is literally carbs for breakfast, carbs and protein for lunch, carbs, protein, and veggie for dinner.  Maybe even 2 veggies for dinner if I’m feeling frisky.  Basically, I don’t get anywhere near enough of my 5 a day.  I also don’t get enough protein, which is why I drink protein shakes after hard workouts.  And because I’m in love with dessert, I have cookies and cream flavored protein shakes for afternoon workouts and coffee flavored for morning ones.  It definitely helps me get enough, but I heard a while ago about Vega One, which provides protein, half of your daily required nutrients and vitamins (bye bye multivitamin!), and multiple servings of veggies in each shake.  Lucky me, my friend RunEmz sent me some to test out!  PSA: If you have instagram and you don’t follow her (@RunEmz), you should.  She’s a total badass (just finished 3rd in a 100 mile ultra!) and does most of her training on a treadmill.  She’s just beyond awesome. 

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Let’s get first impressions out of the way.  I have been very curious to try this but figured I’d be most likely to enjoy Vanilla or Natural because I could easily mix them with strong tasting ingredients like banana and peanut butter or berries if I needed to mask a very green flavor.  I pretty much thought this would go one of two ways: a) I’d hate it and the green taste would be overwhelming and disgusting and I couldn’t choke it down (I’ve had this from just standard protein shakes in the past so not a stretch) or b) It would taste too plant-like but be bearable so if I mixed it with tastier stuff, it could be a go-to shake and I would order some to help my veggie intake.  There’s a reason I don’t eat enough veggies and it’s because I can’t stand the taste of most of them so a plant-based shake is just a scary proposition.

I mean, how could it not taste gross when you look at the ingredients:

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Emz sent me the vanilla chai flavor to try and I will be very honest, I do not like chai as a general flavor, I don’t order it at Starbucks and I just think the spice level is too much when I want some dumb coffee or tea so I was downright terrified opening the packet. 

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I opened it and stuck my face in and smelled the powder, obviously.  Not a good start, let me tell you.  But, I wanted an honest opinion so I blended it with nothing but water and sucked it up for my first sip.  It was good.  Not in the “good enough to keep going” way, like actually good.  I drank the whole thing with no need to add anything to my shake.  Honestly?  I’m completely shocked.  I had mentally prepared to hate it since I learned about it, I was just planning to tough it out because I’m so desperately in need of nutrients.  Chai still isn’t my thing, but I’m absolutely going to buy a tub of the vanilla.  If you can make a flavor I don’t even like taste delicious and keep me healthier, I’m sold. 

 

I feel a little awkward writing a review and wasn’t necessarily planning on it but I looked everywhere for them when I started thinking about VegaOne and it seemed like all the opinions were from super healthy people or vegans (VegaOne is completely vegan) who didn’t struggle with picky eating or hatred of healthy food, in fact they just enjoyed having everything they ate be healthy and so they wanted their protein shakes the same.  Well, I was happy with my artificially-sweetened cookie dough shakes and couldn’t possibly imagine that they had the same opinion of cookies>veggies so I thought I’d put this out there for the rest of the picky eater club.  It truly is magical, something this healthy for you that tastes this freaking good.  I actually can’t wait until my vanilla comes in and I can start drinking it every day.  Maybe being a little more on top of my fruit and veggie intake will improve my running 🙂

 

Speaking of running, intervals today.  Doing a ladder set of 400-800-1200-1600-1200-800-400 with 1.5 mile warm up and 1.5 mile cooldown.  I sort of love this workout 🙂  Bring on the pain!

 

Do you drink protein shakes? What kind?

How many of your 5 a day do you typically get?

 

A fresh new look

Yesterday was a crazy day for me but luckily, it was also my rest day.  I was gone all day and also managed to get a few things done for myself that I’ve been putting off so I’m glad I got it all knocked out at once.

 

Sunday I did a 12 mile run on the treadmill (NOT my favorite).  The treadmill at my gym looks at nothing, the tv is overhead so you can’t see it without falling off.  The treadmills aren’t across from the mirrors either, they’re facing the wall.  Because that’s normal.  So poor runners have to really work on their mental toughness and run staring at nothing but a blank wall.  Let’s just say 12 miles of that was an exercise in mental strength and it’ll be really really hard to get me down anytime I’m running outside. 

I came home and obviously needed pancakes for a Sunday brunch.

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If you don’t add vanilla extract, lemon, and sugar to your pancake batter, you’re doing it wrong.  But I’m also weird and don’t put maple syrup on my pancakes, I like them with flavor on their own and then eat them plain.  With my hands, if you needed a fuller picture.  Yes, it’s abnormal.  But they taste just as good with syrup I’m told by my husband. 

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I like to crumple bacon into my last pancake of the bunch.  It’s delicious.  Salty sweet 🙂

 

That was 80% of my Sunday…run, pancakes, get plenty of “rest.”  a.k.a. sit on the couch and watch True Detective. 

 

Back to yesterday, no run, but I did get a fun haircut before my meeting!

My hair was super long to start, went all the way to my lower back. It’s actually really thick and naturally wavy too, but I have to straighten it before I go to get it cut.

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Please ignore the pajama-sweatpants.  I’m cold all the time, I wear layers of sweats as my pajamas.

 

After:

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Obviously, a gigantic change.  It’s still pretty long obviously for most people, but I lost 6ish inches and so it was pretty drastic!  I love it though.  It feels so light and I can actually wear it in a ponytail now (I have very thick hair and ponytails hurt when my hair was really long, I had to tie it in a low knot). 

 

Not very exciting to anyone but me 😉  Strangely pumped to do my run today with like half as much hair.  I should shave a few seconds off my times now, right?! 

 

What’s the most drastic haircut you’ve ever had?  I once cut my hair from my waist to my ears.  Ill-informed. 

Favorite food after a long run?

Sisterhood

I’m about to head out for 12 miles (though still undecided as to whether I’d like to run in rain and serious headwind or tough out 12 on the treadmill. Leaning towards calling it “practicing my mental toughness” and sucking it up indoors).  I was going to post a little recap of week 2 of Insanity and some running nonsense but let’s face it, Insanity week 2 was not much different than week 1 except I’m less sore.  But, I was tagged by the lovely Abi and Sara (thanks girls!) so here we go with a light Q&A on this Sunday morning instead!

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The Rules:

1. Post the logo on your blog.

2. Thank the person who nominated you.

3. Answer the questions.

4. Choose other ladies who blog as your nominees

5. Post the links to the nominees’ blogs and notify them on their blog.

 

So, let’s begin:

 

Questions

1. What is your favorite color? 
Red!! Like a true red.  Our wedding colors were red and gold because red red red everywhere.  Except I don’t wear enough of it, most of my clothes are grey or blue.

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2. Favorite animal?

Oh man, I have several.  It’s definitely dogs overall but I like to have “favorite animals” that aren’t in my own home.  We’ll call it favorite wild animals, and it’s tigers, rhinos, and elephants.  Aside: I was like feet from a rhino in the pitch black on a night safari drive in South Africa.  Incredible and scary. 

But then also dogs because this:

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3. Favorite non-alcoholic drink?

This is going to sound weird…Limeade.  Not only did I order it at restaurants as a kid, but my friend Brenda and I used to have “parties” where we made our own (which naturally had to be accompanied by fresh baked snickerdoodles).  Even when I’m being lazy I take a lime and squeeze it in my fizzy water over dinner.

4. Facebook or Twitter.

Facebook easily, I don’t really “get” twitter.  Though in reality, neither, because the only reason I have Facebook is because I’ve attended so many schools and lived so many places that it’s the only place to keep all my old friends organized and in touch. 

5. Favorite pattern?

This is a weird question…  Um well for winter, I love fair isle but I guess overall argyle?  I don’t really wear patterns.  I have argyle compression socks and an argyle headband so I suppose that’s the winner. Oh, and I have argyle patterned KT tape! Winner for sure.

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The actual tape/socks I own.

6. What is your passion?

I would say that I have a lot.  Running, obviously, which has given me passion, determination, ambition, desire, and peace a thousand times over in the last few years.  Animals, which sounds so broad but I’m so passionate about animals and rescuing and it’s a dream of mine and Joe’s to open our own rescue organization someday.  And writing/reading, which sometimes manifests itself in my PhD work and sometimes in creative endeavors but I love discovering new books, new writers, new stories and doing my best to contribute to the narrative.  That last one is a little book nerd-y but sorry, I’m a literature student 😉

 

My nominees:

I know there are a bunch of people who have probably been tagged already and I just don’t know that so I’m sorry if I get you a second time (or third, fourth, etc)! 

 

Heather @ Girl Goes Running

Heather is a badass runner who is always posting pics of running in ridiculous snow/wind/ice/etc and she’s also the nicest person ever and I totally want to move to Nova Scotia just to run with her and Heidi (and give our dogs playdates)

Cori @ She’s Going The Distance

Cori is awesome and funny and if I hadn’t moved away from the DC area a year and a half ago, we would have been best friends (and we would have hosted wine drinking parties complete with mario kart tournaments)

Carson @ Running Southern

I love Carson and her crazy FOUR furbaby life and I secretly love her even more because we have just discovered an equally creepy passion for 90s ice skating. 

Heidi @ IdleHide

Heidi probably won’t get around to doing this survey for a while because she literally JUST HAD A BABY.  And she was at the gym just hours before.  She is a rock star and a total sweetheart. 

Jenn @ Runnderlust

Jenn is all super speedy (her 1/2 PR is where I’d like to be!) and a former collegiate runner and has a great perspective on running.  And another Virginia runner, I wish I had found all of you before I moved!!

Thanks guys!

First, I just want to say thank you thank you thank you to everyone for all the awesome biking advice.  I know next to nothing about biking (hilarious that I’ve competed in a triathlon, right?) and I definitely didn’t know that thing about keeping your rpm around 90 and probably just would have stuck to grinding out hills or something.  I’m not going to be replacing much run mileage, just moving one short shakeout run to an easy bike instead and cutting a medium-long run of 8 or 9 to more like 5 or 6 midweek and finishing the rest on the bike.  The plan is to increase bike mileage for the next 6 weeks or so while keeping run mileage more or less around the same, then start subbing in some extra run mileage and cutting back on the bike in March when I’m fully adjusted and ready for a higher mileage training cycle for the half marathon.  This means 5 miles today and 12 tomorrow then biking on Monday to kick off the process.  You guys were such a huge help and also so encouraging so THANK YOU 🙂 

 

I’m going to tell you all a little about my dinner last night because it was basically the yummiest thing ever.  I forgot to thaw chicken but then I remembered that I have shrimp and those thaw super easily so I thought I’d make some quesadillas.  I seasoned the shrimp with garlic, ancho chile, cumin, and ghost pepper salt, sauteed an onion, and seasoned black beans with garlic, lime, and the ancho chile.

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Threw the mixture into some garlic and herb tortillas and covered with a decent amount of cheese.

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Finish them off in the pan to melt the cheese and then cut and smother in hot sauce and avocado, obviously!

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And I went to go blog and found the little girl in my spot like this:

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I’ll be running a bit later than usual today because I have to watch some FA cup action in a few minutes 🙂  But really excited for an easy one today, I’m craving some miles but really just feel like heading out without a watch and enjoying myself and taking it easy.  And I think I may make some brunch pancakes after 😉

 

What’s your workout today?

I’m getting absurdly excited for the Olympics…what’s your favorite winter Olympic event?

A little advice from my friends?

So I pretty much completely forgot that I have to read an academic monograph and write a review for publication and it’s due in a few weeks.  Oops.  At least I remembered today and not the day before, right?  Right.  So I’m working on that.

 

Yesterday was a nice sunny day and I did 7 miles with the middle 4 at tempo.  My shin muscles are a little sore today which is bizarre but it’s not pain, just a little bit of soreness.  I’m doing 5 miles today and then Insanity upper body. 

Yesterday’s run followed by my favorite lunch:

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I got English muffins to put them on because I haven’t baked bread in a few weeks.  I thought I was being fancy but really, the homemade bread tastes much better so when these muffins are gone, back to the same old habits.

 

And I promise this isn’t all I ate for dinner but the soup and chicken was entirely uneventful.

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If you can believe it, this was my very first time trying butternut squash.  I’m very unadventurous when it comes to vegetables, I’m just sure I’m going to hate everything that isn’t broccoli basically.  I was wrong, this is delicious.  Or at least, when you make it with olive oil, rosemary, and parmigiano, it’s delicious.  I’m going to be making it again later this week. 

 

And I had nothing better to do last night (seriously…Scandal, please come back) so I took another stupid quiz.

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a) Ridiculously obvious I was going to get her.  b) You’re correct quiz master, it’s so not my fault that I’m always right 😉

Back to running for a second:  I’m feeling a bit weird in my legs lately and I’d like to replace a day or two of running each week with biking for 6 weeks or so while I work on extra strength training and then switch back to running for my next training cycle in March.  For anyone with a lot of experience, how does this work?  How do I replace say 10 miles a week of running with biking (aka how much bike mileage should I put in to replace 10-15 miles of running)?  I know it will be good for me as cross-training but how will it work when I transition back, will I suffer from the 10 miles less running when I try to increase my running load in the next training cycle?  How does it translate to running fitness/speed and am I better off trying to run more and bike less when I feel able?  I’d love to hear from some of you ex-college runners or you super fast higher mileage gals because my end goal is higher mileage as the year goes on. 

 

Who would you be in the Harry Potter series?

Favorite kind of cross-training?

Just a brief one today!

Sorry to keep this so short today, I waited to run until after the Federer match (who else is excited that it seems like his heart is way more in it lately?!) and now I’m trying to make a new tab with a bunch of wedding pics for you guys and it turns out, that takes FOREVER. 

Yesterday was a crazy hard interval workout, mostly because 800s are my devil workout.  I hate running 800s more than I hate any other distance on earth.  I don’t get how anyone could run them competitively, they hurt so freaking bad and I’m not even racing one.  I think I’d have a heart attack if I tried to race one.  Or I’d just screw up the pacing entirely and sit down on the track at 600 meters. 

 

And if you saw my Instagram post (EmmelineRuns if you don’t know how to find me!), you know I really wanted some freaking strawberry poptarts after that workout.  I got some a few hours later because I just couldn’t help myself.

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And we got noodles for dinner but I forgot to take pictures of the delicious dumplings and eggrolls before I could finish them all.  I get very very hungry on hard workout days.  Forgive me.

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These egg noodles and chicken were really yummy though.

 

And I just finished a 4.5 mile recovery run!  Insanity scheduled in a few hours 🙂 I really like winter running because I can run in all my colorful capris.

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Look for wedding pics this afternoon or tomorrow when they finally get up there 😉

 

 

What’s your favorite thing to wear while running?  I know some people are “as little as possible” but I’d rather run in the 40s and wear comfy capris and shirt than run in 80 and wear tiny clothes. 

How do you feel about 800s? 

What’s your favorite interval workout?

Slider has expensive taste

Easy run=not much to chat about.  But it was sunny and beautiful and I’m glad I got such nice weather because it’s getting COLD today.  Yuck.  I used to be such a warm weather fan but after I became a runner, I dreaded the 80 and 90 degree temps because they just suck to run in.  I’d take cold over hot now but I’d keep it right in that 55-70 range for the most part.  50 on race day 😉  Today is interval day which creates this weird thing in my head where I get SO PUMPED to run intervals because my brain tries to tell me that since I only run for a few minutes at a time, it’ll be easy and go more quickly than my other workouts.  I believe this for some reason every single week, until my first stupid interval when I remember that I hate intervals and spend every single interval after the first one convincing myself to stick it out.  Then I finish, and come home like “oh my gosh, intervals are the best! I feel so awesome!” and the cycle repeats.  Even typing this, I’m looking forward to my intervals.  Then you see me on the track and I want to punch someone, except I don’t have the energy.  Wish me luck haha. 

 

I made mac and cheese last night.  I was going to make butternut squash mac and cheese and be a bit healthier but then Joe freaked out and demanded normal mac and cheese.  I’m not going to say no to excess cheese and fewer veggies, ever.  Oh well, I tried to be healthy, right?  It’s all his fault.

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I sort of hate making the roux but it makes the best cheese sauce.

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I don’t hate the giant amounts of cheese.

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Obviously I was too busy eating to put on a light or a flash.  Oops.  It was delicious though, trust me.  My lurking puppy agrees.

 

And I made my own creamer today because I usually use the International Delight stuff but I’d like to limit my preservatives and fake sugars and stuff.  It’s so easy and I can make it taste however I want.  This one is vanilla almond flavored 🙂  I just had some in my morning latte and it was delicious.

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My husband decided to try a little experiment with the pups while he was snacking on some cheese.  We once offered Slider a choice between his favorite dog treat and a small piece of steak.  He must seriously think that treat is the greatest thing ever because he picked it over steak.  Dummy 😉  So Joe put a chunk of fancy Manchego in one hand and some crappy generic grated pizza cheese (one of those 1$ baggies from the grocery store) in his other hand and let them sniff both before offering them a choice.

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Slider went directly for the Manchego.  Obviously a terribly designed experiment so we repeated with switched hands, and with offering him the pizza cheese first.  Nope, every single time he only wanted the Manchego.  Fancy dog 😉

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Stevie went for the cheap cheese.  Obviously.  Apparently, she’s a cheap date.  She’s seriously indiscriminate and wants a piece of everything we eat but I still thought given the choice, she’d go for the smellier/yummier one. 

 

 

What’s your least favorite run of the week? Or the one you dread the most?

Favorite creamer? 

Favorite cheese?

A perfect day for risotto

As usual, Sunday was a very relaxed kind of day.  It was thankfully sunny for my early run and it is again today so I get to do my 4 mile recovery run outside today before coming back home to do the Insanity cardio power and resistance workout.  Works out nicely because even with the double workout, it takes less than 90 minutes so it’s not like it’s my whole morning. 

 

After my run yesterday, I showered and changed into pajamas because that’s what I do, even though it was still early.  Joe teases me because I go from pajamas to running clothes to pajamas.  I only wear real clothes if I’m going out and we just don’t do that more than once every week or two.  Usually, I’m sitting at my computer writing up my dissertation or on the couch reading endless books as part of my research.  Pajamas are the most comfortable 🙂  Yesterday, I broke in a new pair I got for Christmas.

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My awesome mother-in-law sent them, she obviously knows I live in pajamas.  They’re super cute.  If you couldn’t tell, this is what they say:

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Clearly you wanted to know all about my pjs.  Ok, moving on.

 

Because it was Sunday and I actually had the hour to spare it requires to make risotto, I made beet risotto for dinner.

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Just getting started.

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Starting to plump.

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After adding the beets.

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Finished product, my dinner 🙂

 

And I spent the rest of the evening reading my magazine and watching tv with my boy and my pups.

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About to head out for my recovery run right now to enjoy this sun 🙂

 

What did you have for dinner last night?

What do your favorite pajamas look like? I like silly ones, I have cows, bunnies, turtles, etc.

Fact (not) Friday

I was going to post this Friday but then Friday was all super busy and Fact Sunday sounds ridiculous.  But I did 10 miles this morning and was obviously dehydrated because I have a post-run headache so rather than come up with something new and save this for next Friday, I’m going to post it today. 

First, though, a little roundup of the first week of Insanity: I’m skipping the cardio recovery days in the program, but doing the rest.  I like the Plyo workout the best, even if it makes my butt hurt like crazy for the next 2 days.  In general, it’s hard without being so hard that I need to take extra breaks and it’s definitely working on areas I need to improve strength-wise, so I think it’s a good fit for getting me into strength training and making me stronger before my spring races.  I’ll definitely update you all with actual statistics on how much I’ve improved when I reach the end of the 60 days.

 

So 5 more random facts about me!

1.  I’m known to some as a picky eater, mostly because I have certain foods I’ll never touch (hotdogs, mushrooms, formerly Chinese and burgers though now I eat those sometimes).  BUT, I’m also a relatively adventurous eater.  Some of the “unique” foods I’ve eaten are alligator, kangaroo (in Australia), bear (in Estonia), wild boar, emu, kudu (in South Africa) and ox.  I bet you’re wondering how these things taste… kangaroo stew was excellent, our kudu was prepared by an amazing chef (hi Ian, you’re the best) and was SO FREAKING GOOD, and fried alligator is awesome but also a lot like popcorn chicken.  Those were my favorites, emu is by far my least favorite and I couldn’t even finish it.

 

2.  I’m a HUGE soccer fan and even though I’m American, because the best soccer is European (duh), I grew up watching the EPL and Italian soccer on the weird channels and have considered myself a Liverpool fan since I was about 7 years old.  I converted my husband to the cause when we met (and lucky him, his first season as a fan saw us win the Champions League, which is the biggest deal ever).  If you ever wondered why our youngest pup, a girl, is named Stevie, it’s because we named her after this superhero:

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He’s the captain of both Liverpool and England and his name is Steven Gerrard, but they call him Stevie G, which is now the name of our little girl.  Our backup name if she didn’t look like a Stevie?  Carragher.  We would have called her Carra for short.  He was a central defender for Liverpool his entire career.

 

3. I have an irrational fear of sharks.  What is irrational about fearing a terrifyingly large creature that can kill you, you ask?  Well, I’m so convinced they want to eat me that I don’t get in water I can’t see through…including lakes and rivers.  Yes, I know there are no sharks in lakes.  But because I’m a genius, I’ve watched every episode of River Monsters and now I know that fish want to kill me too so I’m sorry, there’s just no way I’m getting there.  Clear bodies of water as can be seen in Jamaica and Hawaii only, and very close to shore. 

 

4. Stevie isn’t the only dog with a name that wasn’t just pulled out of a hat of “dog-sounding” names.  Our 7 year old is Slider and I get asked all the time where that comes from.  Despite one or two guesses that he was named after the baseball pitch (ha, no, I hate baseball), a shocking number of people between 25-40 guess this correctly.  Any thoughts, fellow 80s movie lovers? 

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I’ve seen this movie WAYYYYY too many times.  Love it love it love it.  Slider is the name of Iceman’s co-pilot.  He’s most famous for this scene:

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Slider is our little co-pilot in life.  We were going to name our next dog Goose if it was a boy so they would be named after both co-pilots in the movie.  We’re still saving both Goose and Maverick for future pups.  Not sure Iceman is ever gunna happen 😉 

 

5. I love France.  I fell in love with it the first time I went at age 15 and studied abroad there in college in a tiny town in the Alps (I love Paris to death but I’m soooo not a city girl, I couldn’t have spent extended time living in one).  When it came to picking a wedding location, we knew it would be France.  We had an amazing wedding in rural France and spent 10 days there between the lead-up and the wedding before going on our honeymoon.  Best. Decision. Ever.  Here are some pictures I took in the week before the wedding:

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Pet owners: Why did you choose your pet’s name?

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