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?!

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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?

The little runner that could.

On Friday morning, I woke up 2 hours before class and studied/finished up some last minute homework. It’s nice to have a 9:30 class because it’s just late enough that I can have 30 min-1 hour {depending on when I wake up} to cook, blog, or do any homework I haven’t finished.

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^For breakfast, I noshed on some Roasted Red Pepper soup, with Udi’s Gluten Free toast and some egg whites on the side.^

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^Lunch was eaten in the Dining Hall– salad, followed by some fruit, greek yogurt and cereal. It was pretty delicious, especially because I was starving by the time I ate it. I think I need to get some bigger breakfasts in..^

My afternoon was toiled away in the Research Lab, working on our video, and learning how to use all the fancy lab tools. I am so excited to start our real research this coming week!

After finishing up in the lab, I headed over to the gym for a quick workout- 35 minutes on the Arc Trainer and 20 on the Elliptical

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A quick shower and change later, and we were all off to dinner. My roommate’s boyfriend is in town so a whole group on us went out to Whole Foods and noshed hard on their salad bar. I love getting anything I want– I usually get a bite of almost everything- how could you resist?

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^Some Zevia. Delicious!^

Saturday:

On Saturday morning, I woke up much earlier than I had planned, but I just rolled with it. I worked on emails and such for a while, before putting on some Downton Abbey and starting breakfast.

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^I made pancakes for myself and the boy. Whole wheat. It was a little experiment for my gluten free life. The boy has been reading some things about how processed gluten is what really usually bothers people , as opposed to more natural foods like whole wheat flour, or just the plain grains. I used whole wheat flour, and ate a couple of them. I didn’t feel too bad afterward, but I don’t know if I necessarily felt amazing.^

A little homework, and some cleaning, then it was off to the gym for the 10 mile run! I usually do my long runs on Sundays, but I wanted to get it done for the weekend, especially because I have a lot of homework that I need to be working on today.

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Unfortunately, because of the cold {freezing} weather I had to run inside. Ugh! I plan to do most of my runs outside for the last month of training, but I just hope it warms up a bit! I stopped about halfway to refill my water, and go to the bathroom. Then restarted for the rest of the run. I wasn’t running fast by any means. It’s so odd to me how one run can be great {like my 9.5 last weekend}


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My amazing boyfriend showed up and ended up running the last 2.5 miles next to me. It was such a treat, and great encouragement to have him there smiling, and telling me that I could do it! I was also texting my mom the entire time.. she always makes me feel better!

After my run, I headed back and ate a banana, and chugged lots of water. I did laundry, and then proceeded to lay on my bed until I began to feel nauseous. I realized that I hadn’t really refueled after my run, and that was probably why. I drank some water + Nuun and ate another banana + some trail mix. After laying down a little more, I felt much better. I’m upset with myself that I didn’t refuel better!

The rest of the evening was Mexican food {I had tilapia, and LOTS of chips + salsa, plus the rice + beans from NMK’s fajitas. Score!}, and then hanging and playing games with the friends. We played Head’s Up {Ellen Degeneres’ App!} and then just talked. I headed to bed around midnight.

 

Weekend Warrior.

So I’m not entirely sure, but I think at college people use the term ‘weekend warrior’ for people who study hard during the week, but go hard on the weekends. I enjoy hanging out with friends on the weekends…but I’m definitely not someone who ‘goes hard‘. My version of weekend warrior is… working out, getting food prep done for the week, and cleaning the mess I’ve made during the week. Some may call me crazy ;). I do also enjoy using the weekends to catch up with friends who I don’t see during the week.

Saturday

On Saturday morning, I woke up super early- like 6 am early. I don’t know why but.. I felt really well rested, so I just rolled with it. No one else in my apartment was awake yet, so I chilled on the couch for a while, {ok I was on pinterest} before moving our table out of the way and doing a quick 10 minute circuit. It felt good to get in some movement first thing in the morning. And even better to not have to go outside to do it! I watched some Kardashians while doing my workout/chilling. Guilty pleasure TV.

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^A little bit later, I sipped on some Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup. Kind of weird breakfast choice..but it was a nice way to get some vegetables in first thing!^

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After the soup, I roasted some spaghetti squash and some sweet potatoes, before whipping up some Gluten Free Banana Bread {recipe to come!}. I obviously proceeded to snack on some of that before putting it in the fridge {so I didn’t inevitably finish off the entire thing}.

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After organizing my room and doing some laundry, I ran out to grab groceries for the week + grab some decorations from TJ Maxx. I spent more than planned, but it is so fun to add cute items to our apartment! After the errands, I headed over to the gym for a little workout. I didn’t want to do anything crazy because I knew I had a long run on Sunday, and my legs were still a little sore from my circuit workout Friday. I did 50 minutes on the Arc Trainer. Have to keep that endurance up for my long runs! #halfmarathonhereIcome

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After the workout, I showered, changed, and threw together a quick dinner. Spaghetti squash, green pepper, hummus, tomato sauce, and tilapia. Quick + easy. I threw an apple in my bag and ran out to go babysit.

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Babysitting was so much fun. Most people at school are busy with Greek Recruitment this weekend, but I was free! My roommates are all independents as well, so we were still able to have some fun. Anyway, babysitting was great. This little nugget was too cute, and we played kitchen, matching games, and danced for a couple of hours. I put her to bed around 9 and had an hour to chill by myself before her parents came home. I don’t really love being alone in someone else’s house {hello– creepy?!} but Pinterest and Netflix kept me happy and distracted :).

After babysitting, I spent the rest of the night hanging out with my boy. We just chatted and he tried to roll a knot out of my leg! So painful but awesome- definitely helped for my run! We also snacked on some Brie and hummus. I love me some cheese.

Sunday:

Sunday morning, the boy and I headed off to church together. Church wasn’t until 11, so I had planned on getting some work done beforehand. Instead, I slept in until 9:30 and then got ready for church. Between getting ready and leaving early to get there {and pick up the boy} I didn’t have time for much breakfast, so I just grabbed a slice of my GF banana bread, and headed out the door.

By the time we got out of church at 12:30, I was pretty hungry and NMK was getting super hungry. It was real. {I kid.} We tried to go to Everyday Organic, my favorite local restaurant but they were all full, and we were not in the mood to wait. Since it was 1 pm by this time, we decided lunch fare would be acceptable. Thai food it was! I got some Red Curry with rice, which turned out to be awesome fuel for my long run!

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After digesting and cleaning for about an hour, I headed over to the gym for my run. I try to run outside as often as possible, but I just wasn’t prepared for it yesterday. I don’t know.. I have to be in the right mental place- you know? I did my 9.5 miles, without stopping, and in a 9:40+ pace. I know– I’m not fast! But it felt great to get through, and I was speedy for me! I aim to finish my long runs under 10 min/mile. Nothing too crazy or ambitious for my first half! The run felt awesome, and I was so so happy! The middle miles were definitely a little boring, but I never felt like I needed to die. That’s a win!

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After the run, I showered and cleaned up our apartment some. I also CHUGGED water. I filled three bottles and told myself to finish them before doing anything else. I wanted to make sure I hydrated. It makes such a difference in how I feel the next day, and I am definitely thankful for that today. I also had some greek yogurt mixed with protein powder. My muscles need that protein!

After resting for a while, my friend Sarah came over to join my roommates and I for a fun Girls’ Night! We had hummus, brie, goat cheese, guacamole, chips, crackers, and salsa. Tapas, delicious style. After chatting, painting our nails, and chowing down, we flipped on Revenge. I love love love Revenge. It is taking some crazy twists and turns this season- y’all should check it out! I am so sad it won’t be back on till March. At least I’ll have the Olympics to distract me.

A little later, we split some Half Baked ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s. It was amazing. Perfect treat after that long run!

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Questions of the day:

Do you ever struggle with running outside? Do you prefer road or treadmill?

What is your favorite treat/trashy TV indulgence?

Behind Schedule//Settling In

Hey all! If you haven’t noticed, I’m running a bit behind schedule with the posts this week. Settling back in to a class/work/study schedule has been a little hectic. Not to mention catching up with friends! Busy busy , but so wonderful to be back and getting into the swing of the semester. Here are some highlights from Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday:

Workouts:

Wednesday– A quick 41 min workout on the Arc Trainer. I love this machine- easy on my body, but still allows me to challenge myself!

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^Since starting school, I’ve been getting shorter, more efficient workouts in– I walk a mile {one way} to class, so it adds a lot of activity to my day {in addition to running around campus all day long}.^

Thursday– on Thursday my workout was a little all over the place. I had about 30 minutes before a meeting with a professor, so I dropped my bags off and went for a 2 mile run outside. So refreshing! I often spend very little time outside during the school week, and it makes me sad. I have to take more advantage of my gorgeous campus.

Later on after dinner I ran 2 more miles on the treadmill {it had gotten dark + freezing outside} and then walked another 10 minutes on an incline for a good cool down.

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Friday– Friday was another jumbled workout. I wasn’t sure if I would have free time in the afternoon, so I between my first class and lunch/my second class, I  did a quick 15 minutes on the Elliptical, followed by a 15 minute circuit from the Nike Training Club App.

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After being in the lab all afternoon, I still had some time before I was meeting up with friends, so I hopped back on the Elliptical for 20 minutes, before walking the mile back to my apartment.

Eats:

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^Breakfast– oats, apple, greek yogurt. Delicious. And coffee…necessary.^

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^These are all salads, Dining Hall style. Usually it’s lettuce/spinach, lots of toppings, feta cheese, some sort of protein {beans or tofu–the meat is sketchy, and since I just started eating meat…I’m not that adventurous yet}. A couple of corn chips if I feel like it- but I try not to get them too often/too many because I’m not sure if they are 100% gluten free.^

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^Kind bar snacking. This flavor was amazing. Try it ASAP!^

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^Curry Soup, dining hall style^

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^Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Soup, from Trader Joe’s. It’s so good. I actually just had some for breakfast… veggies first thing in the morning? I have to keep this soup around..^

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^green peppers and hummus. Perfect snack. Did you know green peppers are full of potassium?^

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^A little dessert- rice chez, greek yogurt, and a bit of granola.^

Scenes:

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^waiting for my meeting on Thursday. I was checking to see if I was too sweaty/red from my run…^

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^On Wednesday afternoon, I went for a coffee date with a friend.  I had the most delicious cappuccino and 2 hours of great conversation. There is nothing in the world like chatting with a wonderful Christian friend about the ups and downs of our lives!^

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My new Fitbit!! I can’t wait to share the review with you guys.

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Last but not least. I took a Buzzfeed quiz last night and found out that I should actually be living in Barcelona! I was so so so happy to hear that- I love Spain and Barcelona is absolutely my favorite city I have ever visited in Europe. Guess I have a new life plan 😉

Questions of the day:

What city should you live in? Find out here!

What is going on with your weekend?!