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I still plan to blog here from time to time but with Jackson’s mobility through the roof, I find myself with even less time to hop on here and publish a quick post. Tumblr is much faster for quick updates, etc. so I’ve been over there a bit more. Feel free to follow me there!

 

http://mamawifehecticlife.tumblr.com/

 

I’ll try to post here as well. Thank you for following my life! Have a great weekend 🙂

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Gear for the Active Mom (or Dad)

We are a very active family.  We used to take off at the drop of a hat and drive 13 miles to the tallest peak in Texas for a random weekend of hiking. We’d run for miles around the nearby lake, spend hours at the gym and bike ride during pouring rain through muddy trails.  When we became pregnant we knew some of that stuff wouldn’t be possible anymore (at least for awhile) but we knew we’d always stay active even as parents. It’s part of who we are and part of what we hope to be as a family.  We want our kids to be active, to choose sports over television, running over remote controls.  But we want them to choose an active lifestyle and the best way to do that is to lead by example.  Jack may only be 7 months old but he’s done quite a few things in those few months and we are so excited to share our loves of nature and the outdoors with our greatest love, our son.  Here’s some of the gear that we absolutely love that helps us stay active even with an immobile baby 🙂

 

BOB Revolution SE jogging stroller.

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The mother of jogging strollers. Hefty price tag but worth every cent. It’s lightweight, easy to maneuver, has a large shade to keep the sun out of baby’s eyes, huge undercarriage for storage and extremely durable (trust me. We trained for our entire half marathon with this thing and put it through wind, rain, sleet and snow. It’s awesome). It also has a hand break which is great! We use it a lot when we stop and don’t want Jack drifting away or on the metro.

Deuter Kid Comfort II Child Carrier

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As with most nice quality, active gear this is also pretty pricey.  We love how reliable it is, quality wise.  It has great shoulder and back support so while you’re hiking with a large, wiggly weight, you aren’t in pain for hours.  The waist strap helps evenly distribute the weight so it feels even lighter and more comfortable.  The back leg comes out so you can sit the pack on the ground without it falling over.  It also has a ton of storage space for toys, bottles, food, etc.

Ergo Baby Carrier

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We originally had a Baby Bjourn that was a hand-me-down from a family friend but after reading reviews about the dangers of the Bjourn, and similar carriers, for baby’s developing hips, I spent our walks holding Jax in my arms. It got heavy fast and while it was a great upper body workout it wasn’t realistic for long walks or outings.  After a lot of research I decided to bite the bullet and buy the Ergo.  It’s been AMAZING.  First, it takes all the weight off your shoulders and back and, like the Deuter, evenly distributes it using a thick waist band that is extremely comfortable. You can see the difference in baby’s comfort as well.  Jackson’s legs aren’t awkwardly shoved into a straight position but the carrier but rather are allowed in their more natural position of what I call “the frog”.  Much better for his hip development as well and this carrier is much more comfortable for mama too. It also has 2 pockets in the front that you can easily carry a bottle, wallet, cell phone, etc. in.  It has a thin hood too to cover baby from nosy strangers, sunlight, germs, etc.  It’s very easy to put on one handed too! I use this constantly from traveling through airports to grocery shopping to walks around the neighborhood.  It’s easy, convenient, comfortable for me and Jack and allows me use of both of my hands (which is a rarity these days). (I also have the moby that I used when Jax was a newborn but it was SO hard to put on without help, impossible to do one-handed and hurt my back after walking just 2 miles).

 

Believe me, I know just how expensive baby gear is (and babies are in general) and how the price tags alone could leave your jaw dropping.  However, I thoroughly believe we’ve gotten our money’s worth out of every single one of these items and they are well worth their (hefty) pricetags.  We’re a one income family and I’m very frugal to begin with so that’s a lot coming from me.  I highly suggest scouring Craigslist and Ebay before buying anything brand new.  We got our Ergo from Ebay for $50, our BOB from a family friend for $50 and our Deuter from Craigslist for $75.  Look and shop around but even if we did it all over again, it was worth the money for the convenience, quality and comfort.  If you’re anything like us, that time enjoying a passion of yours and experiencing it with your loved ones is worth the cost. 

 

*Disclaimer: We own and use all items listed above and receive no compensation for this post.  All thoughts and opinions are our own and we are in no way associated with any of the products listed above.  We’re just very happy customers 🙂 *

7 Months Old

2 days late but on Tuesday our little man (can’t say that for much longer) turned 7 months old! Closer to a toddler than a newborn. Closer to 1 than to birth. Where has the time gone?

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I feel like each month flies by a little quicker and each month Jack adds more cool things to his resume. This month he mastered sitting up all by himself.

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He went hiking for the first time.

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He learned even more vowels and consonants to his ever growing repertoire (and utilizes them nonstop in his constant babble).

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He began eating fruit (so far just apples, banana and pears. I mix the apples and pear with vegetables and give him banana in a mesh feeder to feed himself). His favorite combinations so far are broccoli/pear/peas and apple/sweet potato/carrots.  He especially loves avocado.

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He takes naps about every 2-3 hours still and they only last about 30 minutes (unless Lily barks and ruins it all). He goes to bed about 6pm and sleeps until 6am.  He’s still waking up once during the night at about 3:30am for a feeding and changing.

He loves the outdoors whether in the Ergo or stroller. He stares out the window in the kitchen while he sits in his highchair.  He’s becoming more and more independent and would rather sit in the grocery cart than the Ergo to grocery shop. He still loves to smile and flirt with strangers and when they interact with him he gives his big ol’ smile and feigns shyness by burying his head into my chest.

He has 2 teeth: is bottom two front ones. He loves to chew on any and everything, especially my fingers which has become extremely painful because, well, he’s STRONG and his teeth are hard. Ouch.

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He’s 19.6lbs (probably over 20 by now) ant 28.5″ tall according to his last appointment.  He’s getting BIG like his daddy.

He hasn’t mastered crawling yet but he sure loves to fly (AKA practice the locust position). He’s got great form and is destined to be a future yogi like his mama.

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I’ve started taking him to Cuddleups at our local library where librarians read and sing to kids from 0-24 months.  Jack isn’t old enough to pay attention but he loves to interact with the people there and it’s a great way for him to socialize since he isn’t in daycare.

Lily has become one of his new best friends. He loves to let her kiss him, laughs uncontrollably at her shaking her toys and likes to pull out her whiskers.

IMG_4851“No mama, she likes it when I pull her by the collar”

My favorite thing in the world are the rare moments when he settles down enough and rests his head on my chest. It never lasts more than a few seconds but those seconds melt my heart. I love the rare occasions he sleeps in my arms but watching him sleep at all is memorizing. Sometimes I stand over his crib and just rest my hand on his chest. I take a moment to watch my peaceful, beautiful baby boy and feel his chest rise and fall. It’s in those moments I cannot believe I created something so perfect and realize yet again the miracle that he is and just how lucky we are to have him in our life.

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Six Inches

Before Jackson was born I was itching to cut my hair.  But with a big ol’ baby belly I didn’t want to chop it off and look even bigger.

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I told myself I’d wait until Jax was born and we got adjusted to becoming a family of 3.5, then I’d cut my hair.

Well, I chickened out.  With my hair getting so darn long I started looking up ways to donate it and the requirements in length to do so.  I found one place that would take it under 11 inches but even at the required 9 I was pretty far off (without cutting ALL my hair off).

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A few weeks ago I went back and forth about cutting my hair.  I decided to wait until after our half marathon.  I don’t know why it was such a huge deal for me. Probably because I chopped it all off a few years ago and it took me 4 years to grow it out again. 

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It’s a lot easier to chop off than to grow back.

So instead of cutting my hair, I cut my own bangs. I took a pair of kitchen scissors, pulled some hair in the front of my face and chopped.

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For a few weeks it was a big enough change that I felt content. I loved my long hair and I loved the ability to let it air dry in natural loose waves. But then….the itch came back and I wanted a bigger change again.

So today, after asking every friend available whether I should take the plunge or not, I drove to the hair salon. I even turned around once on the way there because I freaked out. I was literally hyperventilating when I walked through the door. It was very unlike me. I just remembered my friend Sarah who cut her hair awhile back and how adorable it looked afterward. What was the worst that could happen? It’s only hair right? It’ll grow back. Eventually.

So I sat in the seat, got a smock (Jack sat in my lap and got his own little smock too! Adorable). And 45 minutes later I walked out 6+ inches lighter and feeling like a whole new woman.

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Now let’s see if Bry recognizes me when I pick him up from work tonight 😉 (And let’s hope the itch to cut it even shorter stays at bay)

Rock N Roll USA Race Recap

Well.  We did it! We not only made it to the starting line of our first half marathon but we finished the entire thing and crossed the finish line still on our feet, smiles on our faces, holding hands 🙂 Going into this race I had no idea what to expect. I had a lot of goals I wanted to achieve but wanted to approach it without pressure so I never voiced them.  I just went out there, gave it my all and whatdoyaknow.  I did it! And 12 minutes faster than my reach goal too!

Our alarms were set for 4am.  After a 2am wakeup to snuggle and feed Jack I didn’t think I’d be able to get back to sleep. But I did. At 3:40am my eyes opened and I was wide awake.  I turned over and kissed Bry and cuddled him “are you readddddddddddy?!”  We got up, got dressed (thankfully we set everything out the night before so we could dress very quietly as to not disturb the baby). However, he sensed something was happened and when I passed his crib he opened his eyes, smiled at me and started kicking his legs in excitement. Poor baby thought it was morning.  I kissed him on his forehead, gave him a bottle and painfully walked away to make breakfast. It was the hardest part of the morning.

We had our usual pre-run breakfast of powered up oatmeal.  It was really hard to choke it down.  A mixture of it being way too early in the morning and pre-race jitters probably.  But I managed it. We left the house at about 4:30am.  At the last minute the night before we decided to drive instead of metro to the race. I am so glad we did!

My favorite song came on the radio as soon as we turned on the car and I knew it was going to be a good day. It took us 30 minutes to drive the 10 miles to the garage I found near the race start.  DC is a constantly moving city with never ending traffic.  But at night, the city sleeps.  Bry has never seen this part of the beautiful, historic city that is our Nation’s Capital and I was excited to show him why I love it so darn much.  The monuments, White House and Capital are lit up and all is quiet in the city streets.  I think he fell in love with it that morning 🙂 He finally got to see my favorite part of living here, while we are here (which certainly won’t be forever).  We parked by 5:15am and sat in the car talking.

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At 6am we decided to head to our corral, walk a bit and hopefully catch the sunrise.  We walked 6 blocked back and forth, used the port-a-potty and just people watched and talked.  It was really nice but pretty darn cold.  I was glad I brought my big mammoth heater with me 😉 You could see the Washington Monument from our corral and as the sun began to rise the sky took on a beautiful shade of blue. It made me so grateful for the ability to run in such a beautiful place.

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At 7:30am the race officially began but since we were in corral 26 and there were 30,000 runners our corral didn’t begin until close to 8:30am.  It was hard waiting that long and slowwwwwwwly making our way to the start line.

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Once we were counted down, the gun went off and we ran.  It was really frustrating in the beginning because there were a lot of runners and most were much slower than we were.  We had to dodge people left and right.  Somehow Bry and I never lost one another.  He’d go one way, I’d go the other and we’d meet in the middle 🙂  We ended up dodging and passing people the entire race but in the beginning it was the most difficult because everyone was so packed together.

At mile 2 I had to pee and it wasn’t going away so we pulled over and I waited for 10 minutes in a long line.  Bry took the opportunity to stretch out his back and grab some water.  10 minutes later, we were back on the road and itching to pass the 2:45 pacer that ran past as we were detouring.

We passed him right before the 3 mile marker and by mile 4 we’d passed the 2:30 pacer as well.  We never did find the 2:20 or 2:15 pacer.

We had trained running intervals (1 mile run, 4 minute walk, repeat) for all of our runs except 2-3 3 milers that we ran consistently for.  For the race we had planned to race like we trained.  Maybe it was the excitement in the air or the race jitters, but clearly that didn’t happen.  We ran along, mile 1 ticked by, then mile 2.  At mile 4 Bry asked what I was doing and I said “I dunno, I feel strong and don’t wanna stop” and he said “me too”.  We agreed to speak up if one or the other of us needed a break.

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By mile 6 I was still feeling extremely fresh and thought “maybe we’ll actually RUN the whole thing!”  It’s amazing how much easier it is to run sans baby + baby accessories.  There was a massive hill right after the 6 mile marker but we didn’t even walk on that! I just kept thinking “you’ve done bigger hills WITH 75+lbs of baby and accessories.  You’ve got this!! It helped to have Bry right by my side.  We ground it out together and made it to the top.

I took a Shot Blok at miles 4, 6 and 8 (before I felt I needed them and I think that helped a lot too—I had the energy all ready workin’ before I was past the point of needing it) and drank propel enhanced water from a water bottle I brought with me along the way (especially at the beginning of every hill and when I couldn’t find a water station). I took water at every water station but the first one (since I was too busy tinkling). I bypassed the Gaterade and GUs they were handing out along the course though in fear they’d ruin my sensitive tummy.

By mile 8 I was determined to make it to the finish without stopping. 5 miles?! I got this! There were sooo many amazing spectators that really helped pump us up.  There were hilarious signs and tons of great energy.  I loved running a Rock N Roll race because there was music every 2 or so miles.  Neither Bry nor I run with music so it was fun to get to a new stage and hear some music as we passed.  At the end of the race though the spectators thinned and the music disappeared.  It contributed to making the last few miles a bit harder.

Miles 11 and 12 were soooooooooo slow.  There was no music along this part of the course, no water and very little spectators.  My knee was dying by mile 12 but there was no way we were stopping. I’d never run more than 11 miles in my life and mentally, I felt the wall come as soon as we passed the 11 mile marker.  But I ignored it and kept on keeping on.

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We passed mile 12 and mile 12.5 on my Garmin.  Then we turned a corner and another huge hill awaited us.  We kept going along and along and there were all these lines in the road.  We couldn’t figure out which was was the END. My Garmin was already at 13.2 miles and I was ready to be done. Finally, we saw the finish line, grabbed each other’s hands, gave each other a big kiss and went off.  Bry said “go as fast as you want” and so we did.

Just as quickly as it started, before we knew it, we were crossing the finish line of our very first half marathon having run the whole thing! Talk about a huge achievement.  As soon as we stopped running my body decided to tell me just what it thought about my spur of the moment decision.  It wasn’t happy. But I was 🙂 Just very very sore.  Honestly I can’t even remember most of the course.  It feels like a blur.  We just got into a groove and autopiloted.

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I have to say that I couldn’t have done any of it without my husband.  He’s seriously the best friend and training partner a girl could ask for.  We started the race with a kiss, running side by side.  We ran the entire 13.4 miles (.3 extra for passing people according to my Garmin) side by side, laughing, smiling and smacking each other’s bootays as encouragement.  And 2:13:26 later, we finished holding hands. We even got our official splits and they’re IDENTICAL. How’s that for sticking together 🙂

I honestly wouldn’t have changed a thing about our training or the run we had.  We kicked arse!

IMG_20130316_105655We crossed the finish line in 2:16:31 (our time for 13.1 miles was 2:13:26)

I redefined my impossible.  I realized once again that I am stronger than I think.  I pushed my body beyond my mental limits and succeeded!  I couldn’t be happier! The best part? Sharing the amazing experience with my incredible husband.  He’s been my partner in every walk of life from the very beginning of our relationship. I didn’t think it was possible to love that man any more but after experiencing something like running a half marathon together, when it’d be so easy to get into fights about an acceptable pace, injuries, pain, etc., I love him even more.  We never argued, we never fought, we were happy and just enjoyed the entire thing.  Like in most things in our relationship, we just fell in sync, worked together and became stronger for it.  I motivated him when he was hurting and he gave me the extra pushes when he knew I needed them (like on that gigantic hill at mile 6).  He’s one of my biggest motivators and I know today wouldn’t have happened without him ❤

Just Another Manic Monday

After our half marathon Saturday we went out to refuel at a local diner.  We spent the rest of the day in a horizontal position with ice bags over various parts of our body.  We took turns massaging topical anti-inflammatory cream on our most painful areas (ie my knees and Bry’s back).  We were out like lights by 7pm.  It was glorious.

However, Bry didn’t get his Sunday off like he was supposed to.  He had to cover someone’s shift and was up at 4:15am Sunday getting ready for work.  As if it wasn’t bad enough that Jax and I lost an entire day with daddy and one we planned to spend in the pool/hot tub, we didn’t have the usual day off to get everything in order for the following week. Bry takes the car on weekends that he works since the metro doesn’t start running until 7am on the weekends and he has to be in work at 6am.  I opened up the fridge yesterday and realized it was bare and I had no way to correct the problem.  Since I couldn’t remedy the situation I spent the day looking up more half marathons to run (I got the bug), hung out with Jack and tried to remain as horizontal as possible.

Today I really realized just how much those days off mean, not just in terms of spending time with my hubs (which is obviously the best part) and spending time as a family.  But trying to do everything for the week solo with a baby is HARD.  Big props to single parents.  Since 6am this morning it’s been go go go. It’s 3pm and so far I’ve:

-Ate breakfast
-Payed bills
-Fed & changed Jax. Times 2384091834091834031
-Played with Jax

IMG_20130314_151507Don’t mind me Jack. The important thing is you’ve discovered, and can reach, the toy basket



-4 loads of laundry washed, dried and folded
-Ironed all of Bry’s work clothes
-Cleaned the kitchen
-Cleaned our bedroom and even made the bed
-Made a week’s batch of baby food for Jack

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-Ate lunch
-Cleaned the living room and straightened up Jack’s toys
-Meal planned, grocery shopped & put all the groceries away
-Cleaned the nursery
-Did the dishes
-Took out the trash

And all with just two 30 minute naps from Jackson.  Whew. I’m exhausted.  It’s SO much harder when you’re trying to do everything while entertaining a 7 month old. I need a nap. And a massage. And a bubble bath please.  I’ll settle for a glass of wine 😉

Hope you’re having a productive Monday!!

Race Prep: Food & Fitness Week Before

I’m going to come back with a race recap as soon as I get the pictures back! But in clifnotes: it was awesome! We kicked arse and we ran the. entire. thing. Since we had such a great race I thought I’d share what I ate and worked out the week leading up to our first 13.1

Monday:

  • Breakfast: 4 egg whites, 1/2c low fat mozzarella cheese and 1/2 a Field Roast apple sage sausage <—- SOOOO goood.  A fresh green juice on the side (orange, kale, celery, cucumber<— not so good)
  • Lunch: Sushi (8 massive pieces with salmon, tuna, crab, avocado and cucumber) + seaweed salad
  • Dinner: Tilapia topped with avocado, brown rice and steamed mixed veggies
  • Snacks: Wheat thins + string cheese, walnuts + dark chocolate chips, apple and 3 giant cookies
  • Fitness: Yoga Meltdown (30 minutes)

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Tuesday:

  • Breakfast: 1/4c old fashioned oats, 1c almond milk, 1/2c frozen blueberries, 1 tsp chia seeds, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • Lunch: Whole foods hot bar (sweet + sour tofu, beyond meat curry chicken salad, garlic broccoli, brown rice, sweet potatoes)
  • Dinner: Homemade orange teryaki tofu with brown rice & quinoa and steamed mixed veggies
  • Snacks: 2 massive cookies, fresh juice (kale, apple, carrots, celery and cucumber<— my fave, go-to combo), apple, walnuts + dark chocolate chips
  • Fitness: 6 Week 6 Pack (35 minutes)

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Wednesday:

  • Breakfast: 1/4c old fashioned oats, 1c almond milk, 1/2c frozen blueberries, 1 tsp chia seeds, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • Lunch: 4 egg whites, 1/2c low fat mozzarella cheese, 1/2 apple sage Field Roast sausage, fresh juice (apple, celery, kale, carrots, cucumber)
  • Dinner: Sweet potato and carrot curried lentils (Recipe HERE).  I added cauliflower and kale to ours and served it over a brown rice + quinoa mixture (excuse the horrible lighting. That’s what happens when your hubby’s schedule is changed so he doesn’t get home until 8pm!)
  • Snacks: Wheat thins + string cheese, 2 massive cookies
  • Fitness: REST

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Thursday:

  • Breakfast: Breakfast: 1/4c old fashioned oats, 1c almond milk, 1/2c frozen blueberries, 1 tsp chia seeds, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • Lunch: Whole foods hot bar (sweet & sour tofu, brown rice, garlic kale, green beans, beyond meat chicken curry salad, mushrooms)
  • Dinner: Teryaki salmon, brown rice & quinoa, steamed broccoli
  • Snacks: 2 massive cookies + a piece of a Think Thin bar at the expo
  • Fitness: 2 mile walk to/from Expo

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Friday:

  • Breakfast: Breakfast: 1/4c old fashioned oats, 1c almond milk, 1/2c frozen blueberries, 1 tsp chia seeds, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • Lunch: 4 egg whites, 1/2c low fat mozzarella cheese, 1/2 apple sage Field Roast sausage, fresh juice (apple, celery, kale, carrots, cucumber)
  • Dinner: Homemade vegetarian lasagna (lasagna noodles, zucchini, garlic powder + salt, tomato sauce, Uptons’ vegan Italian sausage and mozzarella cheese)
  • Snacks: 2 large cookies
  • Fitness: Light stretching

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Saturday:

Before the race we had our usual pre-run breakfast: 1/4c old fashioned oats (1/2c for Bry), 1c almond milk (whole milk for Bry), 1/2c frozen blueberries, 1/2 scoop protein powder, 1 tbsp ground cinnamon

I started really focusing on my water intake on Monday and made sure I consumed at least 2 of my water bottles a day (50.7oz per bottle).  I was sooo thirsty on Friday and had no appetite I managed to drink 3.5 of them!  Unintentionally Bry and I also ate all vegetarian this week which isn’t usually the case.  Seemed to work though and it was delicious! On Friday I took it veryyyyyyyy easy and iced my knees for 20 minutes during the day since they’ve been giving me problems on my runs lately.  We didn’t run for 6 days before the race (our last training run was Saturday March 9th and was 8 miles long). The cookies aren’t a usual thing either but we bought a 20 pack at Whole Foods as part of last week’s date night and they. were. addictive.  We actually ended up buying another box during the week we were so hooked.  Hey! They seemed to help the fueling 😉 Everyone deserves a treat now and then.

Hope this helps anyone wondering what I did. Obviously I am not an expert.  I only know what worked for me for the one and only half marathon I’ve completed so far.