What a Week

I didn’t mean to go radio silent there but this week has been crazy. And not in a good way.

Monday I was baking a batch of a new recipe creation for Andrew’s 1st birthday party next week (HOW is my baby boy almost 1?!).  I finally nailed the recipe and as I was cleaning up I went to gently put our large pyrex mixing bowl on the counter and it literally shattered in my face. It went off like a bomb and I had miniature cuts all over my hands and arms. One sharp managed to hit my eye, which I felt immediately. A trip to the ER ensued where sure enough the glass had minorly scratched my cornea. It was a crazy experience, scary as hell but so much better than it could have been. I’m grateful Andrew was napping instead of in his exersaucer next to me which is usually how he hangs while I bake and that Jackson wasn’t helping me bake today like he was the day before. I don’t know what I’d have done if they had gotten hurt. Apparently exploding pyrex is a thing though. It develops microcracks over the years that eventually even the slightest touch at just the right place can set off into a bomb like explosion which is exactly what happened. Rest assured all our Pyrex is being replaced with stainless steel ASAP. At least the cupcakes were good.

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Tuesday was actually a really good day! We met up with friends at the local kids library and the boys had a blast playing with the giant train table and other toys. Andrew especially loved standing at it and playing with the big kids. Afterwards we picked up cupcakes and Jackson and his girlfriend, Layla, had a date! Jax even paid :)

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I started to feel kind of sick with chest congestion on Tuesday but Tuesday night it was much worse. By Wednesday morning I had a wheezing cough and my mom insisted on watching the boys so I could get checked out. I argued it was just a cold but I went in and it turns out it was the beginning of a bronchitis/pneumonia/chest infection. I was prescribed an inhaler and Amoxicillin (which I’ve used a million times growing up for constant ear infections and strep).

Well, yesterday I woke up with a rash on my shoulder. I thought “what the hell is happening?” And almost immediately my entire head started to itch. I thought “no way I’m getting shingles!” My mom and MIL both recently had shingles and my MIL’s was on her scalp. The more I scratched, the more white dots appeared and then I thought “LICE!” I called my mom and she said it sounded like an allergic reaction. She saved the day yet again and took over the boys at 5am so I could head over to the ER (as advised by my doctor). By the time I got there my entire body was covered in bumps and rashes and itched like crazy. They gave me epinephrine, prednisone and Benadryl and an hour or so later I was feeling so much better, albeit exhausted while wired (Benadryl depresses and causes fatigue and epinephrine speeds the heart).

I’m feeling better now though the itchiness and hives came back last night and I was up most of the night until I could take more prednisone at 2am (the Benadryl isn’t helping at all).

It’s been one hell of a crazy week over here but I’m glad to be on the mend, happy the kids were spared and excited for a fun weekend and week ahead including a trip to the circus tomorrow, Andrew’s 1st birthday!!! and my in-laws coming into town for a week of fun and finally some Spring sunshine! Have a great weekend!

Weekend Recap (+ Last Week’s Workouts)

My storage space on my phone is completely used up which has made transferring photos from it to the computer (and thus to the blog) nearly impossible. But enough excuses. This weekend was a fun one jam packed with lots of stuff.

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Friday was relatively nice so we had a playdate at our house. Our closest friends came over and we went for a long walk to the park with the kids. The kids had a blast playing at the playground and the littlest ones enjoyed swinging together.

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nora and andrew swinging

Friday night we made a romantic trip to home depot for some paint. So at 3am Saturday morning I was up with coffee brewing to start priming our living room bathroom. We stripped off all the wallpaper Friday night. Here’s the before:

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And after: Bye bye 80’s wallpaper.

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Bry worked Saturday so aside from painting the bathroom solo I managed to make a trip to Home Depot (we needed more paint), the grocery store and Target by myself with both kids in the pouring rain. I felt like super mom. I have mad respect for single parents or those whose spouses travel a lot.

The rest of the day was rainy so we just did chores around the house. We ended up grabbing Papa John’s for dinner which is always a winner in my book. And some cupcakes because cupcakes are always a good idea.

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Sunday morning I headed off to my favorite trail to tackle my long run. It was a wonderful run and so refreshing to be outside. 8 miles done!

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I came home to shower, change and quickly switch gears to get to Andrew’s best friend’s 1st birthday party. It was an adorable party for the most gorgeous 1 year old in all the land. And the food was ample and delicious! More cupcakes were had. I cannot get enough these days.

Happy Birthday Nora!

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Sunday evening we went for a long walk around the neighbhorhood and Skyped with Bry’s parents. We called it a night by 7pm to get enough shut eye for a 2am wake up call.

And here’s last week’s workout recap:

Monday: 7mi treadmill run (9:08/pace)
Tuesday: 60m yoga class
Wednesday: 4mi treadmill run (9:03 pace)
Thursday: Walk
Friday: Walk
Saturday: Off/painted bathroom
Sunday: 8mi outdoor run (8:31 pace)

Current Running Facts

What I’m Wearing:

-Top: I have 4 Reebok tanks that I really liked for awhile and even wore from the Baltimore half. They were all $9.99 at Dicks Sporting Goods (I can’t find it online anymore). What’s not to love? But they’ve been causing chafing like crazy lately and have all majorly stretched out. Major bummer. I just invested in the Brooks Bring It Racerback tank and I may never go back to cheap workout clothes again. You guys! This tank feels like butter. It is incredible! I’ve been wearing it daily: to the park, for walks, around the house and even for Sunday’s long run. It is so comfortable and cute to boot! It’s also long and doesn’t ride up. It’s loose without being baggy which is a major win in my book.

-Bottoms: For indoor runs I overheat incredibly fast so I wear shorts. My favorite are the Nike 3″ Tempo shorts but I have my eye on trying some of Brooks. They make some incredible clothes. For outdoor runs, if it’s below freezing I wear my Brooks Infiniti Tights and if it’s between freezing and 50 degrees I wear my Brooks Infiniti Capris. I cannot give enough rave reviews about either. The thick waist band with drawstring and moisture protected back pocket, durability and quality of fabric and suction tape at the bottom of the legs to ensure they don’t ride up during a run make them the perfect running pants. I’ve had the same tights for 3 years and they’re the only pair I wear for winter running. They’re still in great condition! (I’m not affiliated with Brooks in any way besides loving their products)

-Shoes: Brooks Ghost 7’s. I used to be an Asics runner but always had knee problems. I switched to the Ghosts during my last training cycle and have never looked back. I love them and the neutral shoe has been the cure to my knee problems. Who knew?!

Currently Fueling With: I add a scoop of Ultima to my water bottle for runs or long/hard classes. It’s delicious, isn’t fizzy which is something I cannot stand about Nuun and some of the other electrolyte drinks, all natural and really works! I actually stock up on it as a substitute for pedialyte for the boys as well because it’s all natural, sugar free and overall better for them. Gus have never gelled with me (see what I did there?). If I’m going for a long run I use Gu Chomps or Shot Bloks. This last run I had neither so I took a packet of Annie’s Organic Gummy Bunnies and they were incredible!

Current Long Run: 8 glorious outdoor miles on my favorite trail. I didn’t even mind that it was 38 degrees, overcast and inclusive of 25mph winds.

Current Pace: Around 9 minute/miles for indoor runs and 8:30 for outdoor miles.

Training For: Cherry Blossom 10 miler. 20 days to go!

Best Running Moment From the Past Week: During yesterday’s long run I met two really inspiring people. The first was at mile 3. He was a fast runner who I somehow caught up to. He said “wow you’re really fast!” which totally motivated me and put an extra pep in my stride. We ended up running a mile together during which he told me he’s 51, training for a marathon and will keep running until he qualifies and runs Boston. Holy inspiration! At mile 6.5 there’s an enormous hill in the middle of the 4 mile incline. As I was running up it I started to pass a man with snow white hair. He looked over at me and started to pick up his pace so we ended up running together. Then he said “I’ll race you to the top!” and he took off! He’ll be 75 in 2 days and was still a solid runner. We stayed in stride and when we got to the top he said “I yield to you”. He ended up catching back up to me before he split off the trail but that man was an animal! He pushed me to push myself and left me feeling grateful once again for my sport: for the ability to run, for the privilege to train and race and for the amazingness of the running community that words can’t quite describe.

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Blueberry Banana Carrot Muffins (Vegan!)

We had a play date this morning. I had grand plans for picking up our favorite local cupcakes but it totally slipped my mind yesterday and Bry took the car into work today. So this morning I decided to use what we had and make something that was delicious and nutritious. Our friends have two girls that are the same ages as Jackson and Andrew so we always have a ton of fun together. It also makes it a lot easier to know how to feed the kids. Muffins were a great way to feed all four little ones and provided an ample vessel to hide some nutrients.

i was a little nervous that the muffins might turn out a bit dry from the mix of flours but they turned out perfectly. Both boys devoured two before our guests even arrived! They’re perfect size for tiny hands and yummy enough to keep them going back for more.

Blueberry Banana Carrot Muffins

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  • 1c whole wheat flour
  • 1/2c Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour
  • 1/2c organic cane sugar (or any sugar)
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp kosher salt
  • A generous sprinkle of ground cinnamon (~1/8tsp)
  • 3 ripe banana smashed
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsp ground flaxseed + 1/4c water
  • 1/2c almond milk (or any milk)
  • 2 large carrots peeled and grated
  • 1c frozen blueberries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix all dry ingredients. In a separate bowl mix flaxseed and water. Let sit.

3. In another bowl smash bananas until moist. Add vanilla, milk and carrots.

4. Mix wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Once combined, fold in blueberries.

5. In greased muffin pan, pour mix evenly into 12 muffin tins.

6. Bake 35 minutes or until cooked through. Enjoy!

Idle Chitchat

Both kids are soundly sleeping. At the same time. Insert confetti dropping, fireworks going off, the whole nine yards! I’ve realized I don’t actually know what to do with myself now. I’d take a nap right along side them but they have this sixth sense that alerts them when I close my eyes. The moment I do, theirs spring open and all hell lets loose. So instead I’m sitting here sipping a reheated cup of this morning’s coffee (it’s actually not as bad as it sounds) and chatting with you guys.

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I’m really proud of my workouts this week so far. Monday I got my long run in which I find I really like getting out of the way at the beginning of the week. I covered 7 miles at just over a 9 minute pace with a quarter mile warm up and quarter mile cooldown. Thanks to Veronica Mars streaming on Amazon Prime I survived it all on the treadmill. My longest indoor run to date. It wasn’t as terrible as I thought but it definitely wasn’t easy. If nothing else come race day I’ll be faster just from pure excitement to be running on pavement again! Right?

Yesterday I decided to drop into the Tuesday yoga class at my gym. It turns out that one of my favorite instructors teaches it. It was an awesome workout and a wonderful stretch. I really want to add this into my weekly routine. I had to cut the 90 minute practice to 60 minutes to get the boys to gymnastics on time so from now on I’m not scheduling gymnastics on Tuesdays so I can experience the full class. Plus I think it’s rude to leave part way through.

Today I conquered my planned 4 miler. I increased my warm up and cooldowns to a half mile each for a total of 5 miles. My knees are starting to ache a little on the outside so I’m trying to be proactive. I know it’s from increasing my mileage too fast so I’m trying to stretch and give my body good recovery time in order to avoid any real injuries. After my run I did some post run power exercises (20 reps each and 1 total set) plus 20 minutes of good stretching. I hope to stop by the running store on the way home today to see if I’m in need of new shoes again. I have a sneaking suspicion I might have already worn out the wear of my current ones.

While there I hope to pick out a new running tank! I’m in desperate need of one and what better reason than an upcoming race?

I’m debating between this R- Gear camo one:

camo tank

Or this Brooks Bring It Racerback tank:

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I just purchased these this morning (they’re on clearance on the Brooks Running website) because I don’t have a single pair of running capris that fit and I absolutely love the tights version for winter running. Race day will most likely be in the 40s so I’m thinking of wearing the capris with a new tank (I overheat extremely fast).

So that’s what’s going on over here. What are you up to?

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler: Training Update

With a little under 5 weeks to go until race day I’m feeling rather under prepared. Winter brought with it a slew of reasons to not train. The biggest one was the fact that we were bombarded with illnesses. The kids seemed to get a new cold every week. Just as one was on it’s way out, a new one would hit. With them sick, the gym childcare wasn’t an option and with the temperatures in the low single digits, outside runs with the double BOB weren’t an option either. Top it all off with Winter being prime time for Bry’s job (he’s been working crazy overtime, like 25+ hours of just overtime in the past 2 weeks), I’ve majorly fallen off the fitness wagon.

For awhile there I was getting one run in a week. That’s it. I wasn’t too worried because somehow I had it in my mind that there was an option to defer and I figured I’d make up my mind closer to April. Well, 5 weeks out and I finally got around to reading about the rules on when and how to defer last weekend. Lo and behold, you can’t. I started hyperventilating a little bit and then quickly realized I need to kick my own @$$ and just get back out there. 5 weeks really isn’t that short of a time considering I haven’t been completely sedentary (just very very close).

For most of January I was averaging 3 runs a week with the longest being 6 miles and most being 4 milers. Come February, I totaled 5 runs. For the entire month. Between constant illnesses and a pelvic infection, running and exercise just fell by the wayside. My longest run was a 5miler plus two 4 milers and two 2 milers. Read: not much.

Last week I buckled down and with two relatively healthy kids I got back out there. Monday I covered 4 treadmill miles plus a quarter mile warm up and a quarter mile cool-down for 4.5 total miles. I felt really bad this day from antibiotics so I kept it short and slow. Tuesday I spent 3 hours in Ikea pushing around 734lbs of unassembled furniture in the world’s hardest to turn cart while carrying Andrew in the Ergo and attempting to keep Jackson from breaking every glass object we passed. Then we spent 3 hours that evening assembling everything. It was exhausting but well worth it. Wednesday I got in my long run for the week: 6 miles + 1/2 mi warm up and cool-down. I felt solid the entire time and finished with a 9:00 pace. Thursday we were dumped with snow which happened to be my favorite running weather. When Bry got home from work I strapped on my yaktrax and covered 3.5 gorgeous snowy miles at a 9:33 pace. The weekend was spent cleaning and running errands but no real fitness.

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So that’s where I am now. Trying desperately to smartly train and avoid injury. Come April 12th my first goal is to just make it to the starting line. Here goes nothing!

Blueberry Carrot Protein Pancakes

After last week’s storm, temperatures dropped on Friday to the single digits and everything was covered in a layer of ice. So we stayed inside admiring the beauty from the warmth of our house. Jackson’s been busy painting up a storm.

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Andrew took his first few steps!!! And I spent a lot of time in the kitchen! Pancakes for breakfast were desperately needed. I switched things up namely because we got snowed in before grocery shopping so our fridge was bare. These were a huge hit and both boys ended up downing 4 cakes each. I felt good that healthy nutrients were filling their tiny bellies. They are packed with protein from cottage cheese and greek yogurt, healthy fats and omega 3s from walnuts, flaxseed and macadamia nut flour and awesome vitamins from banana, blueberries and carrots. Don’t take my word for it, whip up a batch of your own! You won’t be disappointed.

Blueberry Carrot Protein Pancakes

blueberry carrot pancakes

  • 1/3c whole wheat flour
  • 1/3c all purpose flour
  • 1/2c Bob’s Red Mill macadamia nut flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2c cottage cheese, puréed until smooth
  • 3tbsp strawberry greek yogurt
  • 1 smashed banana
  • 1tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2c milk (I used 1%)
  • 3 packets of SweetLeaf Organic Stevia Sweetener
  • 1/4c crushed walnuts
  • 1c frozen blueberries
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and grated

Directions:

  1. Blend together milk, yogurt & cottage cheese until smooth.
  2. In a medium bowl combine flours, baking powder and flaxseed.
  3. Add smashed banana, vanilla, cottage cheese mix, carrots and egg. Blend until smooth.
  4. Fold in stevia, walnuts and blueberries.
  5. Heat a nonstick pan on low. Once hot, pour desired size pancake mix onto pan. Once the mix begins to bubble a bit, flip (about 3 minutes). Remove once cooked through and repeat.
  6. I highly recommend dousing them in syrup and Earth Balance and topping with as many berries as you can fit! Enjoy.