Blog Hiatus

Hi Friends!  Guess what?? I GOT A JOB! It's my dream job, *kindergarten teacher*, in a dream school with a dream staff.  Everyone is great and I'm so looking forward to beginning teaching on Monday.  I've been going in early and staying until 8 these past few nights prepping my classroom for my students.  I'm going to take a week or 2 off from the blog so I can focus my energies on my  new class!  I haven't run at all this week either...eeek!  Hoping to get in 22 miles on Sunday though.  Well, I'll be back soon.  I'll miss you all <3 xoxoxo


20 Miles + Plenty of Candy Corn

20 miles is a long time to run by yourself.  Back when I was training for my first marathon, I was lucky enough to be a part of Team in Training.  

 While fundraising for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and running my little heart out, I had the opportunity to meet a group of amazing people.  We would meet each weekend to conquer our long runs, and boy was it fun!  Chatting about running, life, and the cause we were running for made the miles fly by. 

 This time around I'm training by myself.  Although one day I see myself joining back up with Team in Training, for now I am training sans a team.  But training for a marathon with out running buddies can get monotonous and can even be dangerous.  During a 17-miler I ran out of water and was super thirsty when I got home.  Sure I made it home, but what if it had been hotter?  After hearing this my mom promptly got online, looked up a local running group, and signed me up.  Thanks Mom!

Saturday night, after carbo loading with sweet potatoes, I got all my running gear together in preparation for my big day.  This running group is very organized and has routes posted online, so I figured I'd run the 10 mile loop with everyone, and then do the other 10 by myself.  Due to some events going on, the turn out was small, and only one other person was doing the 10 mile loop + a 6 mile loop.  It was so great!  About 15 minutes before we started I ate a banana, then we all started out together, and at mile 3, 2 runners split off to finish the 6 mile loop, while Barbara and I continued on to complete 10.  We arrived back at our cars in 1:46:39!  

When running with a buddy, your mind doesn't have time to second guess itself and the thought "I can't do this" never surfaced.  Instead we talked about our love of running, how awesome it was that we had the same running pace, and just got to know each other.  Mentally it was also easier to think of this as two separate 10 mile runs.  After hydrating we set out again, and Barbara split off at 3 miles, which left me only 7 miles by myself.    My second 10 was run in 1:51:51, slower than my first 10 but I was just happy to cover the distance with no ankle pain!!!

Refueling wise I took some of your advice and tried new GU flavors.  Espresso Love at mile 7 and Chocolate at mile 14.  It was like eating dessert while running!  Really enjoyed the flavors and so happy I'm over my non-fruity GU fear. 

When I got home Shane had an ice bath waiting for me, and I soaked for 20 minutes.  I really feel a difference in my recovery when I use an ice bath!  It may be hard getting in, but it's totally worth it for me!  And then I enjoyed a recovery shake. (recycled this picture...they all look the same!)

2 medium bananas
large handful spinach
1 1/2 cups soy milk
1 packet chocolate Amazing Meal

After a long run all I want to do is nap, eat, repeat.  I filled my body with lots of nutritious eats, but I also indulged in my favorite fall candy...CANDY CORN!

Yea, I'm pretty much obsessed with candy corn.  Shane and I first started dating in the fall, and one day he surprised me with flowers...and a bag of candy corn.  He knew the way into my heart even then <3

And if you ever want to show your love of candy corn through the art of baking, make these cupcakes!  Instead of water I used Candy Corn flavored soda from Target.  They were so cute and tasty!

One more candy corn related note, mix dry roasted peanuts with the autumn candy corns (white, orange, brown) and the sweet/salty flavor is the bomb.com!

Do you prefer to run by yourself or with a group? A lot of days, I find running to be my "me" time and enjoy running alone.  However long runs are wonderful with a group!  And although I haven't done it myself, I've heard having a friend to do speed work is super fun and is really helpful motivation wise.

What's your favorite fall candy?


Family Time

Before moving to California, I guess you could say I took my family and friends for granted.  You can basically drive from the top of NJ to the bottom in about 4ish hours.  

It's not that big.
But with my fam in north Jersey, and friends spreading out all over NJ after college, I didn't always make the time for them.

 Before I left for Cali I met up with fam and friends who I hadn't seen in ages.  All because there was never time or they were "too far away".  When I left I questioned myself, why did it take moving 3,000 miles away to start making coffee dates to see the people I love?

Friendships take work.  And when I got back from Cali, a state so large it takes up most of the west coastline, I made a decision to make the effort.  The effort to drive to see family.  The effort to call up an old friend. The effort to get over my tiredness on a Friday night and be social.  

This weekend I went home and spent some quality time with my 9 year old brother and the rest of the fam.  
I had never been to this park, but we had a blast!

Matt and Dusty had fun exploring.  Matt even found a salamander, the highlight of our hike!

This place has a lot of history.

The American Studies major in me just loves it!  During the Revolutionary War, Washington used this rock to watch for the British; you can see as far as 30 miles out!

After we got home we enjoyed sugar cookies that had been baked with Grandma earlier!

Sure, it's not always fun driving 2 hours up the Turnpike...but it's worth it :)

Do you live close to your family?

Do you get to see your friends as often as you'd like?