Did You Miss Me?

I’m back! Did you miss me? 😀

I’m feeling better today than I have in the past couple of days. My fever’s gone, my body doesn’t feel like I’m going to die, and my throats better.

However, I’m still coughing, have a bit of a headache, and my appetite is missing.

Running…

According to my Marathon Training Plan I should be running 14.0 miles tomorrow. Obviously, doing this is probably not the best idea ever. I am going to meet up with the girls for a run, but I’m going with no expectations and if I feel bad, I’m stopping.

I don’t want to push it too hard, and end up getting sick again. It’s not worth it. I can always try to run 14.0 on Sunday, or even wait until next week. It’s SO hard to listen to my body sometimes but I have to remember that is for the best.

When you absolutely LOVE running, it is really hard to take so much time off. Sometimes I feel like EVERYTHING is against me. In the last three weeks, I missed several runs due to an almost-shin-injury, tests, and now being sick.

A couple days ago, I tweeted that “running is the only thing making me happy”. I’ve been in a bit of a slump lately, and it’s about time I pulled myself out of it. I’ve recently had to remind myself that my life is more than just running. Sickness happens. Injuries happen. It’s important to stay positive and realize that there are other things in my life that should be making me happy! 😀

A perfect examples is: Brielle, my sister, is here to keep me company! 😀 Last night we made some homemade chocolate chip cookies, and watched endless amounts of TV!

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(Don’t worry, she pretty much did all the work so that I wouldn’t germify everything!)

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(Brielle makes me LOL)

I also taught her how to make oatmeal “not from a packet”. Love the glob of PB?

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I love spending time with my sister. Since she lives so far away from me, I only see her once or twice a year! I’m thankful that she’s here because she cracks me up!!

I know that I can get through this little slump! I just need to keep a positive attitude. Missing a couple runs is just a little speed bump on the journey.

I can do this.

❤ MegaNerd

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Guest Post: Tracey on Goal Setting

Hi Everyone! I am so incredibly honored to be Guest Blogging on Megan’s blog.

My name is Tracey & I just started my own blog a few weeks ago at TropicalHappiness.com. I have been reading Megan’s blog for quite a few months now, and I have to admit that although I keep adding new blogs to my Google Reader, Megan’s blog is one of the four that have a special spot on my BookMark Bar for easy access! 🙂 What can I say, I’m addicted!

I decided to write about something that I think a lot of people might relate to. I have been reading healthy living blogs for quite a while, and I amazed at all of these athletes who run several times a week, sometimes 8, 10 or 13 miles (or more!) at a time. I like to think of myself as healthy & fit, but I certainly couldn’t do that!

I think that it is important, in a world full of runners’ blogs, to remember to not compare yourself to these other bloggers. These inspirational runners have been training for quite a while, and they have worked very, very hard to get up to their current mileage. You can’t expect to get there overnight, and you can’t expect to get there without a lot of effort and determination on your part. Although it is great to read these blogs for inspiration, you should not be down on yourself if you can’t run as far and as long. What you can do, though, is set up a plan to help you accomplish your goals. That is exactly what I have done.

I ran a 5k race a little over two weeks ago. I did not train for it due to getting sick, but I decided to go ahead and run it anyway. I created my own system of the Galloway method, where I ran for most of it, but walked where I needed it to recover.

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Since I didn’t train at all, I knew I’d have to walk, and I was happy to just finish the rae at all! Now, after running my first 5k, I think I’ve caught the bug! That afternoon, I scoured the internet for upcoming races. I found quite a few, since it is currently “race season” in South Florida. So I decided to set up a plan. This won’t make me run 15 miles overnight, but it might help me get to the point where I can run 15 miles in a week! And as I progress, I can change my goals.

There are four steps to my plan:

1- Define your goal

2- Layout a detailed plan of exactly what you are going to do to accomplish this goal.

3- Commit yourself to this goal

4- Decide on a reward for this accomplishment.

First, I picked two upcoming 5 k races. The first one is November 21st, which is five weeks from this weekend. The second race is January 30th, which is 10 weeks after the first race. I have set a goal for each race, but for this post, I will focus on my goal for Race #1.

STEP ONE: Define your goal

For Race #1 on November 21st, my goal is to run the 5k in under 33 minutes. Remember that this goal should be something very detailed and very specific. Do not set a goal for anyone other than yourself. Although I know that many out there could run a 5k backwards in under 33 minutes, this is a great goal for me, at this stage in my fitness training. I have not been running at all recently. I want to run more, but I know that I cannot compare myself to others. I can only compare myself to myself, and therefore I have set a goal that is reasonable for me! It was actually a little difficult for me to put this goal in writing out in the blogosphere, because I know that for so many people, this is such an easy accomplishment that they do most days without even thinking about it. But I’m not a runner. I ran my first 5k in about 36 minutes, with walking breaks. So I keep reminding myself that this is a reasonable goal for myself.

STEP TWO: Layout a detailed plan

I have set up a weekly plan that outlines exactly how many times and how many miles I will run each week. I can’t run every day, as it aggravates my knees, so plan incorporates cross-training on the elliptical machine, which will help increase my cardiovascular capabilities and my fitness level.

To me, this is the most important part of my goal-setting process. I cannot simply say “In order to accomplish my goal, I will work out more.” or “In order to accomplish my goal, I will run three times per week.” That is not enough. I must establish exactly when, where, and how much I will do to accomplish my goals. By laying out my plan in writing, I have specific things that I must accomplish each day. This allows me to stay on track, and it helps me set small goals for myself that I can check off each and every day. I am also determining, ahead of time, exactly when I will work out. I know that “life” will pop up here and there, and I will take things as they come, but by being so detailed ahead of time, I am making my plan a priority in my life, which will help me stay on track.

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STEP THREE: Commit yourself to your goal

I have just put together my plan in the last day, so I will be committing myself to this goal. I am doing this by telling all of you, and by posting it on my blog. I am also going to tell my husband, who is a big supporter of mine, and my parents. By telling others, I have created accountability. Accountability is very important when I commit to a goal. If I keep the goal to myself, it is very easy to give up on it when things don’t go my way. But if I have told others, it really pushes me to keep working towards my goal. So, right here, right now, I am committing myself to spending the next five weeks training to run a 5k in under 33 minutes.

STEP FOUR: Decide on a reward

I have thought long and hard about what my reward will be for this challenge. Although there are many benefits, liking becoming healthier and more fit, I wanted a specific, tangible reward. I’ve been thinking of several things, like a 90 minute massage at my favorite spa, a little shopping spree (dollar amount set prior to the spree, of course!), or a new purse. But what I really, really want is a GARMIN. I’m not sure that I will use that reward for this race. But I am thinking ahead to my second 5K that I mentioned above. I would like to run that 5K in under 30 minutes. To accomplish that, I would need to run faster than a 9:22 per mile pace. I think that is a HUGE goal for me, and therefore it would deserve a huge reward. So for now, I’ll save the Garmin as the reward for my second 5k. I am open to suggestions for a reward for my first 5K… any ideas????


Before I go, I’d like to thank Megan for this opportunity to do a guest post on her blog. I can’t wait to hear all about the goals that you are setting for yourselves. I hope this step-by-step process helps you!

Let’s hear it, MegaNerd readers- what goal are you currently working towards?

Guest Post: Pumpkin Please!

This guest post is by one of my favorite bloggers, Taylor! All the pumpkin-y goodness makes me drool at my computer screen. Too bad I can’t get out of bed to make any of it yet. 😦

Enjoy!!

❤ MegaNerd

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Hey girls (& guys?).  It’s Tay here from Taydor Tott!

Pumpkin.  You hear the word, you think Fall.  You think Halloween.  But do you think deliciousness? 

I do!  Pumpkin is one of my favorite flavors year round, and come Fall, I’m so excited for all the wonderful pumpkin flavors! 

Here are a few of my favorite seasonal pumpkin things or recipes:

 

Pumpkin Smoothie

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  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2-2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • Cinnamon and/or pumpkin pie spice to taste
  • Ice
  • Sweetener of choice (optional)
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Blend milk, pumpkin, spices, ice, and sweetener in a blender. Top with whipped cream if desired. Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin Oats

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Cook oats on the stove as you normally would.  (I add 1 egg or 2 egg whites while cooking to make my oats creamier).  Towards the end, stir in 1/2 cup pumpkin, maple syrup, and bit of pumpkin pie spice.  Cook a bit longer to heat it all up. 

Top oats with desired toppings (I love cereals, granolas, and any type of nut butter!  Above picture also topped with pumpkin cream cheese).

 

Pumpkin Pancakes

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Ingredients
Makes 16-18 pancakes

2 cups WW flour
1 cup oats
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 T brown sugar
1 T sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 banana, sliced

In a mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine eggs, vanilla, milk, water, and pumpkin. Add liquid to dry ingredients. Stir mixture until well blended.

Pour 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto griddle. Place 2-3 banana slices on the uncooked side of each pancake. Once each side is cooked, banana will carmelize.

Top with desired toppings (such as vanilla chobani & strawberry jam as shown above).

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Food Network)

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups (12-ounce bag) milk chocolate chips, not semisweet
Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

Directions
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick spray or line them with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the white and brown sugars, a little at a time, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, then mix in the vanilla and pumpkin puree. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Slowly beat the flour mixture into the batter in thirds. Stir in the chips. Scoop the cookie dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are browned around the edges. Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and let them rest for 2 minutes. Take the cookies off with a spatula and cool them on wire racks.

Other seasonal pumpkin delights to take advantage of:

  • Pumpkin spice lattes (not only from Starbucks – but most coffee shops serve them!)
  • Pumpkin flavored coffee beans
  • Pumpkin bagels and cream cheese
  • Pumpkin ice cream and frozen yogurt (Ben & Jerry’s, Dreyers/Edy’s, and most ice cream shops!)
  • Pumpkin pies (duh!)
  • Pumpkin scones, cookies and muffins

I hope you all enjoyed my spicy pumpkin post.  Be sure to check me out at my own blog: Taydor Tott!  Just a college girl who’s interested in food, health, fitness, and FUN!  Oh, and pumpkin, of course 😉

– Taylor