See you 2013

I feel like I was just writing this post about 2012 and here we are doing this again.  Each year just gets a little faster than the year before.

I would say this was as successful of a fitness year as I could ever have imagined, though there is always room for improvement.  After tomorrow I will have run 310 days of this year and logged 1650 miles.  My goal was 1500 so I blew that out of the water!  I ran the Charleston and Lehigh Valley Health Network Marathons and the Folly Beach and Atlanta Half marathons.  I also qualified for Boston which was not just a goal for this year but for my LIFE.

My fitness goals from last year were:

1.  Run 1500 miles (have to beat out last year): Check

2.  Work on strengthening; I hate that this goal isn’t really quantifiable, but if i am going to continue running I really need to put more effort here or injuries are bound to follow: Sporadically (sounds like a goal for this year)

3.  Do yoga once a week: Did really well for the first half of the year then fell off the wagon

4.  Eat at least 5 servings of fruits/veggies and drink 8 cups of water a day: With the exception of these holiday weeks

My non-fitness goals were:

1.  Finish my last year of class room education: Check

2.  Pass the comp (written comprehensive) exam: Check

3.  Pass the OSCE (practical comprehensive exam): Check

4.  Slow down and smell the roses during this whirl wind of life!: Improving!

So with much success and off course room for improvement I sit here and set out goals for 2014 (the year I become a real adult…maybe).

Fitness Goals

1.  Run Boston

2.  Run 1700 miles

3.  Strength 2x/week

4.  Yoga 1x/week

5.  2 marathons, 2 halves

6.  Water and freggies again!

7.  Start logging my workouts again (not sure when I fell off of doing that at the end of November…whoops)

Non-Fitness Goals

1.  PASS BOARDS!

2.  Graduate

3.  Get a big girl job

Do you have any goals for the year?

Bad Leaver

I have never been good at leaving places whether it is for a week, a month, a year it doesn’t matter.  Even when I would come home for Christmas for a week I would get choked up pulling out of the drive way in Charleston.  So whatever part of my brain decided that moving away for 4 months (2 of those months without Casey and Scarlett) it officially broken.

Don’t get me wrong, it is good to be home but no matter where I am going the leaving is always the worst.  I will go through this whole thing again leaving Philadelphia to go to Atlanta; it is just my nature.  But as a friend told me yesterday, if it was easy to leave that would mean wherever I was leaving didn’t mean that much to me.  So I can say with confidence my home in Charleston and all of my friend there mean the world to me!

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Now that I am home I am enjoying running my old roads (5 miler today in the beautiful weather) eating at some of my favorite places ever.  I am having a wonderful time hanging out with my mom doing ordinary things and just hanging around in the house I grew up in.

Last night when I got in I was also able to surprise my brother for his 15th birthday.  My mom and I had planned it so that they would go to dinner and I would just walk in and sit down with them.  He was shocked, it was pretty priceless and I was glad I got to make it there for his day.

So while I try to enjoy all the time I have here and the experiences I am having, in the back of my head I have the count down to return to Charleston already clicking…55 days and counting!

New Christmas Traditions

This is the first year of my life I haven’t been home for Christmas and I have been having the hardest time getting in the spirit no matter what I do.  But today I decided to start some new traditions so that this time next year I can feel all ooey-gooey-christmasy!

Casey, Scarlett and I went for a Christmas Eve run once it got dark out to see all the Christmas lights down town.  We went very slow and easy and just enjoyed the time together as a family (especially since I will be leaving in a few days).  I was so bummed about the sparse decorations around the beautiful homes on the battery but we made the best of it and I soaked up every mile.

When we got home Casey had been begging for some gingerbread cookies so I whipped up some of those.  I don’t think they were exactly what he was looking for but I had never made them before and was really winging it. I don’t really know what they are supposed to taste like so I thought they were pretty good.

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I also made up a pecan pie for tomorrow.  This was something else I have never made so we will see tomorrow how that turns out.  He had been asking for this for Thanksgiving but I made pumpkin and apple so I figured I should probably do this for Christmas.

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Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas Eve with your families!!

Last Charleston Weekend

Well I can’t believe I am actually saying this but this was my last weekend in Charleston until at least late February and I won’t be living here again until early May!  I won’t be leaving until Friday but with Christmas this was my last time to see most of our friends for quite a while.  We made the absolute most of it though I have to say.

Side Note: I forgot to share my picture that I found from the Angel Tree at the pet store the other day.  Totally blew it, but better late than never.  I couldn’t believe how much the dog looked like Scarlett and I really just wanted to take her home with me!

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Friday we did a BYOB painting class and I had a ball.  It was so much fun and the place we went was fantastic.  I can’t believe this woman had the ability to teach me to paint as well as I did because I am really, really, terribly, god awful at these kind of things.  My picture turned out amazing and we had such a great time.  We went to For the Love of Art in West Ashley.  They ran a groupon a few months ago and I bought it for the 4 of us and would do it again in a heart beat!

Me painting

Me painting

Finished product

Finished product

I loved Nicole's snowman!

I loved Nicole’s snowman!

My picture all done!

My picture all done!

Saturday Casey and I went for a run in the 80 degree weather on the first day of winter (seriously, I hate to whine to any of you having snow, but I can’t listen to Christmas music with my windows down and its bumming me out).  I am sure I will be eating these words when I am in Philly and am in head to toe under armor every day.  After that we bummed around, went to the Early Bird Diner for dinner, where I had shrimp and grits (needing to stuff as much of the south in me as I can the next few days).  Then we met Lindsey and Clay to see American Hustle which was so great.  I have a ridiculous girl crush on Jennifer Lawrence and she had me in stitches the whole time.  My only complaint was that there wasn’t more of her.  The movie was much longer than I though but it was really good and entertaining!

We capped off the night at our friends house just hanging out, watching the dogs play and I was savoring my last night with friends for a while.  I am trying so hard to just enjoy my time and not get the oh-my-gosh-I’m-leaving-in-four-days panic that I often get but its hard.  I find that time is like sand, the harder you grab onto it, the faster it slips out of your hands.

So for now I will sit with Casey, watch the Eagles hopefully to keep playing the best I have ever seen them play and enjoy the time I have right now!!

Baking Day 2013

Yesterday was the official baking day of 2013 and since I was not able to go home and have one with my mom this year, this one was a doosey.  I started at 10 am and wasn’t done until 5:30.  Best part, I got to watch all three of my favorite Christmas movies: Elf, The Holiday and Love Actually!  I pulled my last treats (dog treats actually) from the oven Natalie was jumping into the prime ministers arms in the airport…perfect timing!  The final list included: white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, peppermint bark, cinnamon chip scones and dog treats for the pups!

Today will bring the assembly of baskets which I just didn’t have in me yesterday.  I was so tired and sore afterward it didn’t even seem right.

Nice Clean Kitchen to Start

Nice Clean Kitchen to Start

My pretty new bowl from Lindsey!

My pretty new bowl from Lindsey!

Command Central

Command Central

So many ingredients!!

So many ingredients!!

In the midst...

In the midst…

 

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Starting to see results...Oatmeal Creme Pies!

Starting to see results…Oatmeal Creme Pies!

Finished product

Finished product

 

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I am waiting on one last part of my baskets to get here today in the mail (fingers crossed).  Once they are all assembled I will share these for sure!

Life of Leisure

On my first day of not having to go to work I got a serious amount of stuff done.

The day started with a leisurely morning, catching up on Runner’s World and enjoying some breakfast and coffee with Casey.  Then I headed out for my run, the beginning of trying to get ready to really be ready to train for Boston.  I did 3 1/4 mile hill repeats and they kicked my butt.  I felt so out of shape.  I could tell I hadn’t done them in a while and went to compare them to my splits from the last time I did them.  In July I did 7 reps of this with my slowest rep faster than my fastest today, PATHETIC!  Just shows me it is a good thing I am taking some cushion time to start getting my speed work back up before hitting training hard.

When I got home, I hit some Runner’s World Yoga I had read about this morning.  It was a good series if you have 25 minutes to dedicate.  Runner’s World Yoga

After freshening up, I headed out to do a ton of errands I have been putting off.  First stop was the dry cleaners, which conveniently was near Starbucks and the library.  The book I had been reading had been taken by the library elves last night off my kindle and it was already reserved by someone else so I headed in to get the good old fashioned hard copy version before stopping in Starbucks for a Skinny Peppermint Mocha!

Drink in hand, I headed to Towne Center to check for a few last minute Christmas things.  I ended up doing an adopt a dog tree gift at a cute little pet boutique called Harry Winston.  They took a picture of me with the items I bought to put on their facebook page.  I will try to get my hands on it when they post it.  Casey is just lucky I didn’t come home with another dog, she looked just like Scarlett and she melted my heart!

After that I headed for my final stop at Target to get all the necessary items for my big baking day.  I won’t be home to do it with my mom this year but I will still have my smaller scale (well sort of) version here in Charleston for our family and friends.

After leaving my poor girl at home all day I rushed in an stole her away to the dog park for an hour to make up for it.

I know I am a little biased, but she is the sweetest girl!

I know I am a little biased, but she is the sweetest girl!

 

When we got home she helped me finally finish getting my tree decorated!  So glad to be sitting next to it all completed.

Christmas tree pictures never do them justice!

Christmas tree pictures never do them justice!

Half Way

Yesterday was my last day of my second rotation (and now I am half way through my rotations).  It is crazy how fast 8 weeks of your life can fly by.  I feel like I just started there and now I am already getting close to heading to Philadelphia.

Leaving the patients that were still being seen was the worst part.  One lady started coming there on my first day and she is still there and I absolutely adored her.  To make it even harder, she brought me a parting gift.  She makes soaps so she had made me a bunch of soaps and the fizzy bath bubble things that are so amazing.  I set out the cranberry scented one today and it made my bathroom smell heavenly.

I think this is one of the most amazing parts of physical therapy; the connection you get to make with patients.  Unlike pretty much any other profession in the medical field, you really get to know every patient.  You spend 2-3 hours a week with them.  You learn who their football team is, how many kids they have, their kids little quirks and eccentricities, their hobbies, even difficult times these patients may be going through at home and in their lives.  We aren’t just physical therapists, we are friends and councilors and co-conspirators at times.  I have loved so many of my patients through this time and am very sad to have to part with them.

As for the less sad part of the day, we had a pot luck lunch for my last day and I took my cinnamon chip scones in and everyone in the office was literally begging for the recipe.  I hadn’t made them in a while and I can not for the life of me remember why.  They are simply to die for!!

Unfortunately I had a few too many yesterday and it was pouring down rain all day today so I found myself trudging it out on the treadmill for another 3:1 run.  An hour and 20 minutes with 60 minutes easy, 20 minutes at goal marathon pace.  It actually went well with the help of Fred Claus to distract me from my misery.

Hope you are having a fabulous weekend!!

The only good thing about darkness

At this point in the year I pretty much run in the dark no matter if it is in the morning or at night (womp, womp).  Just add that to the list of reasons I hate winter.  The only reason for winter is Christmas which is luckily the light (pun intended) of my runs.

I love getting to see the lights and they are lit in the morning at the evening so I get to enjoy them at all times!  I tried to snap a few pictures of my beautiful sights but I only had an ipod camera so they are shaky at best.

Marion Square

Marion Square

 

The colors here were indescribable and the picture doesn't do it justice but I had to try to capture it!

The colors here were indescribable and the picture doesn’t do it justice but I had to try to capture it!

 

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IMG_0504I hope you are able to find some light in a dark situation (man I am cracking myself up with terrible humor tonight).  13 days till Christmas!!

Veggie Flatbreads

After a full day of work and a quick run with my sweet puppy Scarlett I came home and felt inspired to make a little something new and different for dinner.  I didn’t feel like looking up a recipe so I decided to wing it with some veggie flatbreads.

I hit the grocery store and picked up a few missing ingredients but almost everything I used I found right in my refrigerator.

What you need…

~A Naan (I got garlic for some extra flavor)

~2 TBSP Pesto (we used sundried tomato, but regular is good too)

~1-2 TBSP Ricotta

~1-2 TBSP Feta

~Sprinkle of Mozzarella

~All or any of: red onions, artichokes, mushrooms, peppers, roma tomatoes (I used all of them of course)

~Optional topping: Balsamic Glaze

How to Make it:

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2.  Spread pesto on Naan.

3.  Place dabs of Ricotta around the flat bread.

4.  Add sliced ingredients with tomatoes added last.

5.  Sprinkle feta and mozzarella on top

6.  Drizzle with balsamic glaze.

7.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Before hitting the tanning bed…

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After becoming an 8 (Friends reference anyone)…

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The one I made for Casey is on the right sans mushrooms or balsamic glaze (clearly the inferior of the two).

Hope you enjoy this!