Thanksgiving day adventures!

Thanksgiving morning started off nice & relaxed around here. How could it not with a view like this:

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After enjoying a walk with my mom, and some eggs + fruit for breakfast, we settled in to watch the BEST parade of the year! One year, my family actually went to the parade, and it was a great experience. I have to confirm though, watching under blankets with coffee and food… much better!

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Surprisingly we got a little busy throughout the day and didn’t actually get to watch the whole parade. But one thing I know for sure– when Santa comes though at the end of that parade, Christmas season has officially begun!!

Dinner wasn’t until 6:30, so mid-afternoon, I snuck a workout in, and I felt great. 3 mile run + 30 minutes of strength training. Have to keep those legs strong for running.

After a snack and shower, we piled into the car to head off to Grandma Vivi’s (my Uncle’s amazing  mom who had us all over) for the big Thanksgiving meal.

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^^on the menu: turkey, mixed vegetables, spinach with pine nuts and grapes, stuffing (rice and mushrooms — not your typical stuffing), and sweet potatoes with apples.^^

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Dinner was traditional Grandma Vivi, but not 100% typical for every family. I was so happy because I could eat everything except the rolls and the desserts- not too shabby. Overall, it was a pretty ‘light’ version of a Thanksgiving meal, but just as delicious. The best of both worlds I would say.

We arrived home a few hours later after lots of conversation and laughter, and promptly all collapsed into our cozy beds!

Questions of the day:

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

Are you a parade fan?!

lately.

This weekend was the perfect mix of homework, work, and fun time with friends. After finishing a big test this morning, I am back to focusing on ‘long term’ projects for the semester, and my applications. First, though, I wanted to stop by and share some recents eats & my new workout schedule with you guys!

Eats:

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^I made some more paleo pumpkin bread, and it’s delicious. with 1 fried egg and some spaghetti squash. And coffee. Always coffee.^

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^my simplest breakfast. 2(+) ingredient pancake. Banana, egg and the optional additions of cinnamon, vanilla, maybe nuts? I usually keep it simple and just top this with almond butter.^

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^lunches during a busy week mean trying to pack a lot of nutrition + energy into one quick meal. this salad was a mountain of veggies, topped with harbored eggs, blue cheese, craisins, and some chips + salsa to finish it off.^

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^leftovers for the weekend. crunchy chopped salad  with some apple cider vinegar and cheddar cheese.^

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^a girl’s dinner date at Everyday Organic. chips and salsa + turkey pesto sandwich (on gf bread) for me.^

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^my roommates and I went on a date to Coffee to a Tea, a local coffee shop that focuses on all natural ingredients. I’ve been there twice now and besides having delicious coffee, their baked goods are spectacular– not to mention the extensive gluten free options they have– basically, heaven. Above^^ is the gluten free pumpkin spice cake that we split. Not only was the cake amazing, but they magically made the icing take so pumpkin-y. If you are local, you HAVE to go there!^

Workout Updates:

In the past ~3 weeks, the boy and I have began semi-training for a half marathon. I say ‘semi’ because we haven’t actually signed up for a race- we are doing about 2 months of building up mileage first before we commit to all the travel/race fees etc. It’s been fun so far, and I can’t wait to see how it goes.

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^5 mile run this weekend, the second ‘long’ run of the weekend^

I’ll share my training plan on here if you guys would like!

Questions of the day:

What’s your most delicious eat as of late?!

What does your training plan look like right now?

My First Half Marathon

Well here it is– the race recap for my first half marathon!

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Sunday morning was an earrrrrrrly morning. I woke up at 3:15, and hopped out of bed about 5 minutes later. I showered the night before, put together all my things {basically nothing– an ID, room key, and money!}, and laid out my outfit. I literally had to jump out of bed, put my outfit on, and stick the ID/money/key in my handy little zip-up pocket in the back of my leggings.

I drank a tiny bit of coffee, and ate a rice cake and banana. I wanted some peanut butter, but I didn’t bring any with me. My friend was actually supposed to bring the pb to complement the bananas and rice cakes but…. I guess I forgive her.

We then hopped on a bus and headed over to the race. Getting into the race was easy, but we did have to walk quite a while from the entrance to the bag check, and then even farther to the corrals. Luckily, we were there early enough to way 30 minutes on the bathroom line before heading over to our corrals.

This was the first half marathon that Krista and I have ever run, so we weren’t able to submit a time from a previous race. Unfortunately, that meant we were placed in – the last corral. By the time our corral took off, it was 6:40 {the first corral went at 5:30}, so we were standing around for quite a while.

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That just gave us time for pictures! Two girls from my school were also at the race, and in our corral as well, so it was fun to hang out with them while we all waited.

Then- boom! We were off. Krista and I ran the first two miles together, but she decided to take a walking break at 2 miles. I didn’t train with a run-walk mentality, so I kept trucking on. It was unfortunate that we didn’t get to run the entire race together, but I think it was better for both of us in the end!

The first 8 miles were awesome. I did have to go to the bathroom though {after standing around for 70 minutes, these things happen} but I held off until mile 6, when we passed real bathrooms in Magic Kingdom. Around mile 9, I started to really struggle. My legs were not feeling it, and the idea of 4 more miles… that sounded pretty daunting. I chewed another energy gel {I also ate one at miles 3 & 6} and got as much water as possible. I was not about to start walking– I knew I wouldn’t start again. Plus, I am a little competitive with myself, and I really wanted to finish under a 10 min/mile pace. At first I was just going to see what happened, and I was actually doing perfectly– about 9:56/mile. Then around mile 9-10 I got held up but a lot of crowding, and added time by trying to weave around people. My pace went up to an average of 10:01/mile! Well, I couldn’t let myself get that close and not make it! When I got to mile 11, I picked it up a little bit, until we hit a huge hill which almost killed me. When I saw the mile 12 sign… it was too good to be true! I held in there. When the volunteers shouted out to us that we were in the last .5 mile… I was ecstatic. I picked it up and crossed the finish line with the HUGEST smile across my face. I got in with a 9:55 pace and was completely satisfied with that.

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The race started off going down a road {one of the highways that run through Disney}. We then passed through the Magic Kingdom, back on the roads for a few more miles, and finally mile 12-13.1 took us through and behind Epcot.

The setup of this race was absolutely amazing. Water/powerade stations, bathrooms, and medical tents every few miles.  There were volunteers all over the place, characters dressed up, and lots of people cheering on the sidelines. For my first half marathon, I would definitely say this was a great choice! The constant encouragement and sights really helped me through.

The only negative was the crowding. There were about 20,000 people running this race, and the roads were packed. I assumed it would thin out a little after the first few miles, but it never did. I spent a lot of effort moving around people or just trying not to trip over anyone. My MapMyRun actually said that I had run 13.84 miles!

Highlights from the rest of the day:

1. Lunch {/really breakfast…}: Salad and french fries.

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2. Sporting our medals in Downtown Disney.

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3. Ice cream was the perfect treat.

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4. Dinner, delicious. ALso- not pictured are the block of fudge Krista and I shared, and the chocolate covered pineapple wedge. Delicious!

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The Disney Princess Life

This weekend was a total whirlwind, of good + amazing things! Saturday morning I was up before 7, and I took advantage of the coffee maker in our room to help me wake up! Not the highest quality coffee, but it did the trick!

I then headed out for a walk all around the resorts– The Polynesian, the Grand Floridian, and my hotel, Shades of Green, are all right across from one another, so there were plenty of side walks and walking paths for me. I spent the first half hour on the phone with my mom, and the last 45 minutes listening to the Underground Wellness Podcast. It’s an awesome podcast about real food, healthy living, and any questions you’ve ever had!

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^^some sights along the way. It was already 80 out at 8 am! Oh, Florida^^

I quickly showered and got ready before Krista arrived at the hotel. After she got there, we walked around for a while and caught up. Unfortunately, I had to do an online MCAT class from 1-3, but fortunately Krista’s cousins live in Orlando, so she headed off with them while I buckled down for 2 hours of MCAT strategy. I love the Kaplan course I am taking, but it is a lot of work.

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After Krista got back, we ran off to the expo to pick up our race numbers and some other goodies! We made it there for the last 20 minutes of the expo, and ran around like mad trying to get everything in and see all the cute shops.

Then it was off to Downtown Disney to say hi to Krista’s family one more time. Between the buses and the family time, we didn’t make it over to the Pasta in the Parks dinner until 8:26 {plus we had to run back to our hotel to grab the tickets!}. As we walked in we were told, only 4 minutes left to get food! Oops… The staff was so kind though, and they brought me out a plate of gluten free pasta, despite how late we were. Thank goodness! I wanted carbs but I definitely didn’t want to eat gluten the night before my half marathon.

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^^yum! gluten free noodles + a plate of salad and green beans on the side.^^

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The pasta party was in Epcot, so I made sure to snap a picture of this iconic site on the way out.

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As soon as we got back from the pasta dinner, I showered and set up my outfit for the next morning. I wanted to have everything ready so I literally had to jump out of bed and go.

And….the race recap to come soon!

The Happiest Place On Earth

Yesterday morning was the beginning of an exciting weekend for me! I spent the morning packing things up and doing some homework. Before I knew it, it was time to get on my way. A friend drove me to the airport, so I didn’t have to worry about parking or leaving my car there.

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^^I went for comfy on this trip. I wore my favorite GapFit gFlex pants— they are super comfortable + flattering {always a bonus!} with the shirt for my boyfriend’s Semi-Formal this weekend. I am so sad to be missing it 😥 but he is so supportive and happy for me to be running the half marathon. We’ll still have formal!^^

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^^breakfast before getting on the road. I never know how healthy I’ll be able to eat when traveling {and I try not to worry about it so much} so I like to eat a healthy meal before I leave.^^

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After my first flight {to Atlanta} I grabbed some lunch. I had packed a salad, but I ended up checking my bigger bag plane side due to a super full flight. And my salad was in that bag! Oops. But I ended up with a salad that was delicious. Blue cheese, almond slivers, apple, spinach, and salmon. Not shabby for an airport {although it definitely didn’t come cheaply!

My flight was then delayed an hour. Boo! But, I took advantage of that and walked ~2.5 miles around the airport for some good activity! It felt awesome to move around before sitting on another flight.

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Then…. it was Orlando time! I arrived and picked up my bag with no problem. I had booked a shuttle before arriving, so the driver met me outside and we were on our way. My friend Krista was supposed to meet me at the airport but her flight was cancelled due to fog on Long Island. So sad! But she was able to fly in this morning, so it all worked out.

I arrived at my hotel, Shades of Green and checked in. Shades of Green is a Disney hotel {right across the street from the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian Resort} specifically for members and families of the US Military. My dad is a retired Navy officer, so Krista and I are able to stay here. It’s more reasonably priced and it is still a wonderful hotel. I’ll share some pictures of our room and around the hotel!

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Waiting in my room, was an awesome gift basket. My amazing mom, and Krista’s mom, sent us a gift basket with cheese, water, strawberries, bananas, and apples! It was so sweet and thoughtful of them! I brought my own rice cakes as well, so I can’t wait to spread some cheese on those for a snack.

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^^For dinner, I went down to the hotel restaurant for a solo date. I’ve actually never eaten in a restaurant by myself before… it felt so odd! But I texted, read some on my phone, and looked at Instagram. For dinner I went with the grilled salmon. It came with risotto, but I opted for 2x the vegetable sides. The salmon was delicious, especially because I was so starving by that point. The side salad was great too, with balsamic dressing.^^

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^^After dinner, I charged my phone in the room for a while before heading out for a quick workout. I hopped on an elliptical-type thing for 20 minutes and did an incline walk on the treadmill for another 10. I wasn’t really feeling the workout, so I called it a day. Travel makes me tired y’all!^^

Back in my room, I snacked on some of the strawberries and settled in. Early bedtime for me– because I need to be well rested for tomorrow. Not mention we have to leave the hotel before 4:30 am. AH!

Question of the day:

What are your plans this weekend?

What is the earliest you’ve had to get up for a flight/race/event?

Week in Reivew + Weekend Adventures {to come!}

 This week has been awesome. Busy, but awesome. I have had a lot of work to do in preparation for my trip this weekend. I’m leaving this morning for Orlando, and my half marathon! I cannot wait to share that experience with all of you!

Here are my eat highlights from this week-

Breakfasts:

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^^Who said you can’t have veggies for breakfast? with a side of hummus. This was awesome.^^

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^^I have this Bob’s Red Mill muesli that I have been eating all week. With almond milk, and apples or bananas- it’s the perfect morning combination!^^

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^^I love my salads. Anything and everything is game– leftovers are my favorite to throw on top of lettuce and call it a day.^^

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^^Curry, dining hall style.^^

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^^Salad from Moe’s. Rice and beans, don’t mind if I do!^^

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^^A little dessert, dining hall style. Corn flakes, gluten free granola, and pineapple chunks under it all!^^

Workouts:

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Workouts this week were simple– Tuesday and Wednesday I went on some interval runs, to get my legs moving and in race mode! Yesterday, I stuck with a class 40 minutes on the Arc Trainer, just an easy stretch out. I’m hoping to get a workout in at the hotel tonight, but we’ll see where the day takes us!

Activities:

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^^All dressed up, nowhere to go. Actually, this was the last semi-chilly day we had this week {and it still got up to 65 midday.} The temperatures have been around 70 all week. Unreal! And now I’m off to Florida. One lucky girl!^^

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^^I had a big interview yesterday, which is part of the reason this week has been so crazy! I get so nervous for these sort of things. I went with simple, all black, and a blue sweater for a little pop. I will hear back in a couple of weeks, so keep your fingers crossed for me!!^^

And now- I am off to throw a couple more things into my suitcase and head off to the airport! I am so excited for this weekend. My first half marathon is almost here!

Saturday, Run Day!

Doesn’t exactly have the same ring as “Sunday Runday”..but hey! That’s what I’ve got 😉

Yesterday was my long run– actually my last one before my half marathon. My morning was spent making breakfast for the boy + myself, doing some studying, and getting ready for the run. Breakfast was so yummy even if it wasn’t the healthiest! Trail mix and greek yogurt + some more trail mix and almond butter before I headed out to run.

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The run was absolutely gorgeous. It was 55-60 degrees out, and felt so so awesome. I haven’t been able to do a lot of my runs outside {because of cold//rain}, so it felt good to get this one done on the road. I am lucky to have the beautiful Swamp Rabbit Trail right behind our campus, so I just headed out there and barely had to think, except for crossing the streets. It was fun to see all the other people out too! It makes me even more excited for race day, when all the other people are around and the adrenaline will be pumping.

After the run, I showered, relaxed, stretched, ate {trail mix + chips and salsa} and drank lots lots lots of water.

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^^Dinner– a giant salad with fish, peppers, and rice. Eaten with plenty of chips + salsa.^^

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I spent the rest of the evening cleaning {and procrastinating homework} and organizing my room. It felt so good to look through the boxes {and boxes…} of stuff I have under my bed. I love to throw things out//give things away! I even moved my bookcases and rearranged my decorations. It was a BIG Saturday night over here ;).

Questions of the day:

Did you have a fun Saturday night?

Anyone else like to procrastinate homework/work with other “chores’?

I am notorious of this one! It feels productive, but I still put off the work I actually need to do!

Lately– eats and workouts.

Sorry for the MIA this week! Yesterday I had my first Physics test of the semester, so I have been studying away all week. Have to keep my priorities in line during the semester, and unfortunately, blogging gets pushed down the list when school work/tests are piling up!

Anyway, here are some pictures since I’ve been absent!

Eats:

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^^breakfasts, eating up my gluten free quinoa flakes! with yogurt, and banana//apple!^^

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^^salads, salads, and more salads for lunch. I love mix and match– feta + goat cheese are my “go to” for some fats, plus hummus, and gluten free chips.^^

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^^a couple of dinners from the week– a hummus//gluten free sandwich, a grilled chicken breast, and a monster salad to-go {on a class night!}^^

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^^treats! I made some awesome Almond Butter brownies from Paleo Grub. They are addicting and delicious. And paleo {aka gluten/grain/refined sugar free!}. Try them. You’ll thank me.^^

Workouts:

Tuesday- 2 mile run outside + BodyFit class +25 minute cardio {to do my Armour39 Assesment! plus a little extra.}

Wednesday- 30 minute Arc + 10 minute Elliptical.

Thursday- 25 minute run + 20 minute Arc workout.

Friday- Walk with the boy + 35 minute Arc HIIT workout.

TODAY- 12 miles … I’m procrastinating. It’s just a run but… nerves get the best of me!

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FUN 🙂

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Question of the day:

What are your workouts for the weekend?

Weekender- 3 words.

Saturday:

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First miles outside.

It started raining.

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Time limit treadmills 😦

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I’m not fast.

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11 miles DONE champion.

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Refuel with chocolate.

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Also, fried rice.

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My mom loves me.

Monogrammed running headband.

Sunday:

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Breakfast on tortillas.

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Walk with besties :).

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Jumbo dinner salad.

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Recovery day shake-out.

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Smiles and scarves.

Questions of the day?

Three words to describe your weekend?

How do you refuel from a run?

Cold and cornflakes.

Hey y’all! It’s been a few days! Things are crazy here. For the South at least. It started Tuesday afternoon, with snow, then a snow day Wednesday, and now..it’s Thursday morning and a balmy 17 degrees out. Oof! This New York girl has gone week, and this weather is too cold for me! Anywho.. let’s back up and recap the past few days.

Monday

Monday was pretty straight forward– these are the highlights.

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^Breakfast- apple + coffe to start. Followed by greek yogurt, frozen berries, and gluten free flakes.^

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^My workout was a 30 minute Arc HIIT, and 10 minutes on the bike to cool down.^

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^Dinner to go, eaten during my Kaplan class. Chicken, guacamole, pico de gallo, and sweet potato fries. Noms on noms on noms.^

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Later Monday night, I chilled with the boys and watched some Game of Thrones.. not the hugest fan so far! Although they did start me on episode 9, so there was a lot of confusion and catching up.

Tuesday:

Tuesday began normally enough- greek yogurt, banana, and gf flakes for breakfast {a staple lately…}. Following breakfast, I worked on setting up my new Armour39 Heart Rate Monitor.. can’t wait to tell y’all about it!

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^I got my workout done early, because there were rumors of snow, and I wanted to workout before the gym closed! I was decked out in Under Armour from head to toe, except for my favorite Brooks running shoes! I had to capture it. Also, I don’t know how to color coordinate…especially with workout clothes. Don’t judge.^

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^3 mile run. 9 min pace. Not speedy for you racers out there, but speedy for a novice like me! I do most of my runs at a 9:40-10:00 pace, so it felt awesome to really push myself and rock it for a shorter run. I think I’m going to start doing “faster” runs on Tuesdays and then slower on Thursdays to save up for my long run on Saturday. Unless I’m doing my long run on Sunday. So, we’ll see.^

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^26 more minutes on the Elliptical… time I was waiting for the boy to come pick me up, so I didn’t have to walk outside in the freezing/snowy weather.^

Lunch was eaten dining hall style with my roommates and the boy. Salad, and chips + hummus. Simple, delicious.

Around 3:30, we all received a text message that campus would be closing at 5 pm, due to inclement weather. At this point it was already snowing, but very lightly. So the boy ordered a pizza for himself and his roomies {because the dining services were all going to close..} and we drove to pick it up. So scary! The roads were insane, people sliding everywhere, and accidents every mile. I am so thankful that Nathan has 4 wheel drive and we were alright. I was shocked though, and am praying for the people who were in accidents, injured, or affected in any way by the storm. The south is just not prepared for this kind of thing.

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^Dinner, made in the apartment. Onions, spinach, and salmon.^

I doodled around my apartment for a while, doing some ‘homework’ aka watching TV and playing on Pinterest. Finally, at 9:30, we received a text that classes were cancelled for Wednesday. Snow day!!! My first full one in 3 years at Furman.

Questions:

Do you like Game of Thrones?

Do you love snow days?!