Epic Twenty Miles

 Twenty Miles… I did it!

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When the alarm went off at 5:00 am this morning… I jumped out of bed. I was actually really pumped up for this run.

 

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I had a few different outfit choices ready to go. The weather is cooler than usual, and I wasn’t sure what I would need.

 

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I ended up layering my clothing, and lost the excess as the run went on.

Layer 1: Layer 2: Layer 3:
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Before I left, I warmed up with a cup of black tea:  

 

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…and fueled up with half a bagel with almond butter and raspberry jam.

 

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I picked up Caitlin and we headed to a more scenic area to get our run in. It’s getting pretty boring running around our apartments.

 

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Once we got started on our run, things were going great! We were trying to take minimal walking breaks and maintain around a 10:30 min/mile pace.

 

I fueled up with a pack of Black Cherry Shot Bloks:

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…and once my stomach started growling (since my breakfast was small) I broke off chunks of CLIF bar. It didn’t bother my stomach at all because I’m used to eating the entire thing before a long run.

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The first 10 miles seemed to be dragging, mostly from anticipating how much farther we had to go.

My Garmin battery died around mile 15 and  by that point I was just ready for it to be OVER.

I challenged Caitlin to see if we could finish the last 5 miles under a 10:00 min/mile pace, making our total time under 3.5 hours. She accepted, and it was game on from there.

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(Stolen from Caitlin… )

  • Distance: 20.0 miles
  • Duration: 3:27:58
  • Mile 1:10:54
  • Mile 2: 10:39
  • Mile 3: 10:43
  • Mile 4: 10:47
  • Mile 5: 10:23
  • Mile 6: 10:21
  • Mile 7: 10:22
  • Mile 8: 10:35
  • Mile 9: 10:47
  • Mile 10: 10:47
  • Mile 11: 10:43
  • Mile 12: 10:38
  • Mile 13: 10:35
  • Mile 14: 11:26 (walking break)
  • Mile 15: 10:32
  • Mile 16: 9:57
  • Mile 17: 9:29
  • Mile 18: 9:33
  • Mile 19: 9:16
  • Mile 20: 8:44 (BOOOYAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!)

 

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I was so incredibly proud of us!

I remember thinking this summer that running 20.0 miles a week was a lot. Here I am now running 20 miles in one morning! Such an improvement!

 

With my toe surgery stuff, I thought that I was going to be out of running, and the marathon goal was shot. I was so wrong! It was a minor setback, and if anything made me more determined to run strong.

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Most entertainment of my weekend: Caitlin the Ninja…

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I’m not going to lie… we were soooo happy to be done. I have never been so happy to see my car.

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As soon as we were done with our run, we headed to Panera Bread to fill our bottomless pit stomachs.

 

I had a gingerbread bagel with hazelnut cream cheese. 😀

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Caitlin finished an entire egg soufle + 3/4 of bagel in the time I finished half a bagel. She is a speedy eater! LOL.

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Once we got back to Caitlin’s… we were already hungry again. Can you believe it?

 

Caitlin made us some delicious mac n’ cheese. We joked on our run that we didn’t want the healthy version, we were going for velveeta. You only live once!

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We iced our knees and watched ELF (the Christmas movie). It was the best way to spend the day after our long run.

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Later, we took Wheatgrass Shots…

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…made a snack platter

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  • Triscuits
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Trail Mix
  • Apple slices

 

…and had a few slices of the chocolate orange:

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I’m now home and extremely sore! I need to do some stretching and ice my knees again.

 

Today is the very first time since I started marathon training that I can actually say that I think a marathon is attainable. I seriously NEVER believed that I could do it. I’m really excited, and I know I could do a full marathon!

❤ MegaNerd

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Casseroles and Cocoa

One of the best things about Thanksgiving (in my opinion) is the leftovers!

 

Unfortunately, I didn’t get any leftovers this year. I was craving stuffing for some reason, and decided to make a “leftovers casserole”.

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If you had leftover turkey, you could just use that. Since we didn’t have any, I boiled a chicken breast and pulled it apart into small chunks.

I mixed the chicken with about a head of cut up broccoli.

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Once in the pan, I added 1 small can of cream of chicken soup, 1 cup of milk, and 1.5 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. Clearly a vegan nightmare.

 

I topped the casserole with stuffing on the stove using whole wheat bread crumbs, celery, carrots, and yellow onion.

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I baked it in the oven for 30 minutes, uncovered at 400 degrees.

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I ate about a quarter of the casserole (2 servings):

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It was delicious, and reminded me of Thanksgiving. 😀

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After dinner, I decided to make hot cocoa! I bought the hot chocolate packets last time, and really hated the taste. It seemed fake to me, and I didn’t really enjoy it.

 

I went with the basic “perfectly chocolate” Hot cocoa recipe on the side of the cocoa box:

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I thought it would taste sickeningly sweet, but it was really good! We only had 2% milk (Jason’s) so it was really rich!

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I made enough for Jason and I both to have a mug:

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I’m off to bed early tonight. I’m meeting Caitlin bright and early for our long run tomorrow!

20 miles… here we come!

 

What do you usually do with your Thanksgiving leftovers? Any fun recipes?

❤ MegaNerd

First Watch and Pet Sitting

I’ve been truly lazy this holiday weekend.

I randomly took the day off of blogging yesterday, mainly because I just needed a mental break. I ate boring stuff like mac n cheese, anyways.

Jason and I slept in pretty late, and decided to head out for brunch this morning. I’ve really been wanting to try First Watch, so we headed there around 11:00 am.

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There was about a twenty minute wait for a table so I grabbed a cup of free coffee…

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I had a really hard time deciding on what to order. I was pretty hungry, and really craving eggs. I decided to get something that sounded super filling and calorie-filled since I’ve been slacking in the fueling department.

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I ordered the Power Wrap which was basically an omelet all wrapped up.

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On the side, it came with a fresh fruit cup:

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It was a lot of food! I got pretty full after eating 3/4 of it, but since I’m running 20 miles tomorrow, I packed it all in there.

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After brunch, we headed out on pet duty!

I’m pet-sitting Ryan’s kitten, Harvey, this weekend. He’s so adorable and I want to steal him. 😀

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He’s really playful! We hung out for a while just to keep him company.

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Jason and I were so impressed by Evan’s popsicle stick construction. Are you sure he isn’t a civil engineer?

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Next up, we went to let out Caitlin’s dogs.

Maggie was SUPER hyper.

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I played with her a bit inside, while Jason took [her other dog] James for a short walk.

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I realized it’s REALLY hard to take cute pet pictures. It doesn’t stop me from wanting them, though. 😀

I’m not really hungry, but its’ 5:00pm and I need to get with this whole carb-loading before my long run.

This is my first time trying the PBJ CLIF Mojo bar, and I have to say I really like it!

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I didn’t like the PBJ Larabar very much because of the dense texture. I really like this one because its crunchy and sweet. It tastes amazing!

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I’m also snacking on [Clementines] x 10^n

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I’m trying two new recipes tonight! I can’t wait to test them out!

I’ll be back tonight with a recap. In the meantime, I’ll be trying to wrap my head around 20 miles…

❤ Meganerd

New Traditions: Thanksgiving

 

I spent this Thanksgiving in Tampa with a little blend of everyone! (I didn’t get a picture of everyone though)

 

My aunts and grandma from Tampa…

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…my little sister, Lexie, and me…

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…and Jason’s family!

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That’s right. Jason’s mom and brother spent Thanksgiving with us! Our parents had never met before, and everyone was anxious about how the meeting would go. I think it went really well! Everyone seemed to get along great. 😀

 

Did I ever mention that my 9-year old sister, Lexie, has had a major crush on Jason for two years…

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…she clings on like a leech. Poor Jason.

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Cute, but odd.

 

There was PLENTY of food!

 

We started off with an appetizer of brie cheese, crackers and a warm apple/cranberry/almond/brown sugar glaze.

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It was a surprisingly great combination of flavors.

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I also dug my hands into the puppy chow a zillion times. I think one of the ingredients is crack…

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This is the first year we have had Thanksgiving dinner at my dad’s house. We used to always have it at my grandparents, but after he passed away last year, the tradition passed to my dad.

 

My stepmom did a great job putting the meal together, and made it look so easy!

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I started out with several glasses of vino:

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I loaded up my plate with a bit of everything.

 

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My plate included:

  • turkey
  • cranberry sauce
  • squash casserole
  • green bean casserole
  • stuffing
  • mashed potatoes and gravy
  • sweet potato ball
  • corn

 

I believe Thanksgiving is a time to enjoy food. I would never think of depriving myself on the best food holiday of the year.

 

My favorite was the mashed potatoes and stuffing. 😀

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After dinner, we had planned on going for a walk, but we ended up all just sitting around.

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The kids did manage to find a few things to keep us entertained:

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After playing around for a while, we came inside for dessert… Pumpkin Pie and Pecan pie! I can’t decide which one I like better!

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My stepmom decided to start another new family tradition this year. We each took a cut out of a turkey/leaf and wrote our names, the year, and one thing we are thankful for.

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After a few years, she is going to take the leaves and make a wreath of everything we are thankful for.

I said I am thankful for my family! 😀

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It’s been a great Turkey Day!

 

I’m stuffed! I hope that you had a happy and safe Thanksgiving as well.

 

What are you thankful for today?

 

❤ MegaNerd

Turkey Trot 10k

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today was a great morning to race on the Gulf Coast! The weather was slightly cool, and the sun was shining! I was really thankful to be outside!

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The race started a lot later than I am used to, at 8:45 am. I didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn, but I did anyways. I was excited!

 

I fueled up with a plain bagel topped with Peanut Butter on the drive over:

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Once I got there, I went ahead and stretched out and warmed up. I find that jogging for a few minutes really helps me get in the race spirit.

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I searched everywhere for Anne! There were thousands of people there, I thought I would never find her!

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For the first mile of the race, it looked a bit like a game of tetris (stealing Anne’s phrase). It was really crowded and hard to get any speed.

 

I had a strategy in my head that I would run the first two miles slower, second two miles faster, and the last 2.2 miles the fastest!

 

Everything was going well until the 3.0 mile marker, when I felt like my stomach was going to explode! My legs felt great, and it was disappointing that my stomach ache was holding me back. I felt like I could have given more to the race, but it still went well!

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I finished the 10k race in 51:07! A new Personal Record! 😀

My average pace ended up being 8:15 min/mile, which I was really happy with!

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Check out my insanely high heart rate… 188 bpm!! CRAZY!

 

After the race, I met up with Anne:

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We were obviously proud of our race times…

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Racing on Thanksgiving Day might just be a new tradition! It was a great way to kick of turkey day!

 

Did you race today? How did you do?

 

I’m off to spend time with my family! Have a great evening!

❤ MegaNerd

Thanksgiving Eve

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! I can’t believe it. The year is flying by!

 

My plans for Thanksgiving include:

  • 10k Turkey Trot with Anne P and Ashley 
  • Family dinner in Tampa

 

I’m excited!

 

Breakfast

I had a lot to get done for school today before I left for Tampa. I have been putting blogging on the back burner and I fully intend to get back into the swing of things soon!

I started my morning with the best and most filling bowl of oatmeal I have ever had:

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My oatmeal included:

  • 1/2 cup Oats
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk
  • pumpkin butter
  • 1 TBL flax
  • 2 TBL soynuts
  • 2 TBL pumpkin seeds
  • craisins
  • apple

Yeah. It was glorious.

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Somehow that was the only meal that I photographed. No worries, I got my pre-race carbs in.

 

Back in Tampa

It took twice as long to get to Tampa this afternoon with rain, traffic, and fog. I’m spending time with my family tonight, but I will be back in the late morning with a turkey trot recap! 😀

 

Have a great thanksgiving!

 

❤ MegaNerd

13 Hours of Sleep Later…

I pulled an all-nighter on Sunday night-Monday morning.

 

After a full weekend of fun, and a day trip to NYC on Sunday, I had no time to study for Monday afternoon’s test.

 

I had to leave for the airport Monday morning at 4:30 am, and since we got home around midnight, I figured I should just stay up and study.

 

It wasn’t too hard. I had a playlist going of upbeat songs, munchies, and some tea. I thought I would pass out on the plane, but it never happened.

 

After my class last night, I came home, skipped dinner and dove straight into bed. I was out by 6:20 pm. I slept through the night and woke up around 7:00 am. 13 hours of sleep! I need it!

 

I had been awake for 36 hours!

Breakfast

I woke up feeling a bit groggy, but for the most part better. We were completely out of fruit, so I had to make do with what I had:

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I say make do like it was bad. It was delicious.

  • vanilla Oikos
  • Kashi H2H
  • Pumpkin spice granola

 

 

Run

I had a 7.0 miler on the schedule for today, but it just was NOT going to happen. I felt groggy and it’s disgusting outside.

 

Instead, I did a 4.0 mile run!

 

I did the first 3.0 miles at about a 9:00 min/mile pace, and then decided to go all out on the last mile. I finished the last mile in 7:03!

 

I feel like I might have actually GAINED some speed from my two week break from running! I’m ready for Thursday’s Turkey Trot!

 

 

Lunch

I was really craving Peanut butter around lunch time, so I made a grown up version of a PBJ sandwich.

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I used:

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
  • granny smith apple slices
  • 2 TBL peanut butter (it was globbed on there)
  • Organic Blackberry preserves

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I then toasted it on the GF grill and pressed it like a panini.

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It was warm and delicious. I could eat five more if I wasn’t stuffed.

I also ate the rest of the apple slices on the side.

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To add some more calories, I had a glass of vanilla soymilk to go with it:

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This meal made me feel like a big kid!

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I have quite a bit of school work and house work to do before Thursday! I better get to it! I don’t want to have to pull any more all-nighters.

 

❤ MegaNerd