Big Fun Before Race Weekend

This past weekend we went to our first Clemson game.  Timing that the weekend before a marathon may not have been my best life choice but we had an absolute blast.  The weekend is best described in pictures so rather than hitting you with all the words as per usual, here come thousands and thousands of words!

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Cassie's lovely husband

Cassie’s lovely husband

Trying to get whatever ridiculous photo/video he just took back from him

Trying to get whatever ridiculous photo/video he just took back from him

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Decent seats

Pretty awesome seats

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We had such a fantastic time at the game and an overall wonderful weekend with friends (and lots of new ones at that).  Weekends like this one are what life is really about; it makes working so hard during the week worth it!

Now I am getting it together, mostly diet wise, to get ready for Raleigh on Sunday!

Darn You Nike and Your Sneaky Ways

So someone from Wells Fargo called up someone at Nike and informed them that I have financially recovered from not working for 3 months and should immediately receive their Holiday 2014 Style Guide.  Y’all, I think I want one of everything in there!

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Of course my absolute favorite thing they have to offer is the FIVE-HUNDRED DOLLAR running jacket!  Is that even real?!  My eyes almost fell out of my head when I saw the price.  However, it is pretty amazing.  In a dream world where I had a money tree in the back yard I would absolutely get it for all the super awesome features it has…

http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pd/shield-flash-max-running-jacket/pid-1527246/pgid-10223517

Nike Shield Flash Max Women's Running Jacket

Nike Shield Flash Max Women's Running Jacket

The most important part I love about it is that you would literally be glow in the dark which is great with daylight savings time rapidly approaching.

The less expensive alternative, though still ridiculously expensive if that makes sense are the glow in the dark tights…

http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pd/printed-reflective-running-tights/pid-1527227/pgid-1527228

Nike Printed Reflective Women's Running Tights

These along with about 34 other items scattered throughout started calling my name.  I am not sure why but winter running apparel is so much more exciting to me than summer.  I love wearing tights and a good tech pull over.  I love 30-40 degree runs (without wind).  I love those runs when there is such crispness in the air but the sun is shinning bright (or I’m always in for some light snow)!!  They are on their way my friends, just a matter of time!

Butternut Squash and Sausage Pasta

I have been dying to share this recipe since I made it Wednesday night but have been super busy.  I got the inspiration from the Postrun Pasta article in Runner’s World September issue.  The “recipes” they provided pretty much just had a list of ingredients with no directions so I winged it.  I really did not expect Casey to have anything good to say about it when it was all said and done, but low and behold, he LOVED it!  As did I.  This one will definitely be part of our regular meals from now on.

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Ingredients

8 oz Bow Tie Pasta

3 Cups Butternut Squash (I buy the precut, so much easier)

2 Links of your favorite sausage (I used Turkey)

10 oz Portobello Mushrooms

1/4 cup Dried Cranberries

4 tablespoons Olive Oil

2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar

1 tablespoon Minced Garlic

Black Pepper to taste

Red Pepper Flakes to taste

Goat Cheese for topping

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Place butternut squash on cookie sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil.  Roast for 30 minutes.  Squash should still be slightly firm when removing from oven.

2.  While butternut squash is roasting, prepare pasta.

3.  In large skillet over medium heat add 1 tbsp oil and mushrooms, allow to brown 1-2 minutes.

4.  Slice sausage and add to skillet, allowing to brown.

5.  Add butternut squash and dried cranberries and drizzle with remaining olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Add black pepper and red pepper flakes.  Stir well and cover for 5 minutes.

6.  Add pasta to skillet and toss.  Cover for 2-3 minutes.

7.  Serve with goat cheese sprinkled on top to taste.

I love the combination of flavors in this.  You get a little spicy and a little sweet.  I love that it is a delicious pasta without red sauce (not that I don’t love red sauce), just something a little different.

Serve this up after your long run tomorrow (or today if you are me)!!

More Pumpkin and Domesticity

Mondays are tough and require an obligatory pumpkin spice latte to get started.

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This particular Monday I couldn’t get my butt in gear.  Normal things that take me 3 minutes to do were taking twice that and just throwing off my juju.  I never really felt like I hit my stride today, but that’s life.  Every day can’t be perfect, especially not at work.  I’m lucky to think that most of my days are pretty awesome.  I am coming to realize that is not the norm.

Once I finally plugged through my day I came home to run my final hill repeats.  My splits weren’t bad, though my first rep said I was running a 6:55 pace which I know is bologna, I was hauling butt and it was my first one and I was feeling good, so thanks Garmin for that fun error!  Other wise the reps were right around 6:00 pace or better up the bridge, can’t argue with that.

The rest of the night held me in the kitchen.  For dinner we had Mahi fish tacos.  I love tacos with all their beautiful colors and fresh ingredients.

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As if that wasn’t enough, we are having a pot luck for Therapy month tomorrow at work which meant busting out some Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip cookies for the first time this season.  I forgot how awesome they are.  I keep having to herd Casey out of the kitchen so I actually have some left to take to work.

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For what is left of the night I am praying for a fantasy football miracle of 9 more points from the 49ers kicker so I can somehow manage a win.  It is very unlikely to happen but I am remaining optimistic!

All Good Things

This was a great week for this girl.  One particular good thing will be a great thing for recharging my blog.

1.  I FINALLY got a new phone.  I can actually see the screen and more importantly take pictures.  I have music again while I run and can actually send and receive texts in real time.  It’s a Christmas miracle.

2.  I finished my last hard week of training.  20 miles in yesterday, 52 miles this week.  I didn’t feel amazing on my 20 miler but I was having a big toe issue so getting it in was a success.  I did forget to start my watch after stopping at a red light which was annoying but luckily I knew how far it was so I could just add it on when I got home.  What a silly thing to do.

I managed to do yoga before and after my run leaving me feeling really invigorated during my “shake out” run today.  So now I head in to my taper feeling pretty great and ready to take on this next race.

3.  We went to dinner last night at the Craftsman (one of our absolute favorites) and it was delicious as always.  Plus we made new friends.  We sat at the bar and ended up talking to the people on either side of us and had a blast.  When we were leaving I told Case, I have never had so much fun with people I didn’t know before.  Crazy what happens when people are just nice to each other, we all have a lot more in common than we think.

4.  I was able to lock in coverage to take my first paid time off (PTO).  One for two weeks from now so we can go to Clemson with friends and more around Thanksgiving so we can go to Casey’s home.  Just more exciting parts of being a big girl and so glad I am fortunate enough to have people willing to work around the holidays.

I am so excited to have my phone back and be able to get back to blogging much more regularly.  Hope you had a great weekend.  Now I am out to go watch the Birds take down the Giants (knock on wood).

Great Weekend and Bloggers Block

I have finally identified my bloggers block.  I feel that a post does not exist without a picture, which isn’t true but I still feel like it is.  My phone is my primary means of picture taking and my phone is absolutely shot.  It’s an iPhone 3 people, yes, that is still a really (semi)usable thing.  The backlight works about 10% of the time, the battery lasts ~20 minutes with use and it get to about 124 degrees while not using it.  Yes I realize these are very first world problems, but they are responsible for my blogger’s block!

Weekend:

1.  Friday night was fun filled with a girls night dinner and a movie.  We went to Zia’s, a wonderful taco/mexican place and had a delicious meal before devouring an awesome move.  We saw Gone Girl and I was NOT disappointed.  The movie actually stays true to the book and the acting was a little too perfect if you ask me.  Spoiler Alert (sorta): They both play their parts so freaky and true to the characters in the book its almost insane.  Well it is insane if we are being honest about it!

2.  College football was ridiculous.  I hardly pay very much attention to college football, my big day is Sunday.  After getting my long run in and finally spending an hour cleaning out my car I sat down on the couch, without my kindle, and watched upset after upset and was actually riveted.

3.  Sunday was amazing, the weather finally feels like football and we made our first true “football food.”  We made an easy crock pot beef stew.  I love eating real stick to your bones food, especially when I am training pretty hard and not feeling too terrible about it.

Last big week:

This is my last big training week before my taper.  I had 8×800 Yasso intervals in 3:25 today and nailed them, even feeling pretty good after dreading them all day!  I have 5 easy tomorrow, 40 minute tempo Wednesday, Rest Thursday, 10 miles pace Friday, 20 miles Saturday then immediately commence taper!!  I feel energized after my hard run today going so well and ready to finish out this week hard heading into taper.

Moral of this story: This girl needs a new phone, if anyone out there has an old iPhone on AT&T, help a sister out and I will finally return to semi-regular blogging!

Happy Monday y’all!