My EPIC Friend, Caitlin “Awesome” HTP.

This weekend was fun and sad, all at the same time.

 

Yet another Orlando BFF is moving away. It feels like just yesterday I met Caitlin at the crappy 80’s themed bowling alley.

 

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In our year of friendship, Caitlin has become one of the best friends I have ever had!

 

Wednesday morning, I convinced her to come on one last run with me before moving to NC. We ran 5.0 miles and gossiped the entire time, as usual.

 

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I will miss  running together. Peeing in bushes (or being the lookout), singing Lady Gaga, and waking up before dawn to run 22 miles after celebrating will never be the same without my friend!

 

Friday night after work, the Orlando chapter of the “CaitlinHTP fan club” met at her favorite downtown spot, Relax Cafe at Lake Eola.

 

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The outdoor music, cool night air, and the company of good friends made for a wonderful evening!

 

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After my dinner of beer and french fries…

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…we went for a quick walk around beautiful lake Eola.

 

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Ashley used her camera’s self-timer for a photo shoot!

 

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Good times, great friends. 😀

 

I sure will miss Caitlin, but I will definitely be visiting her! In fact, I already have a trip planned to Charlotte to see her!

 

Thanks for being an EPIC friend, Caitlin!!

 

❤ MegaNerd

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The Final Final.

Wow, talk about anticlimactic.

 

This afternoon I took my very last final exam. Ever. Unless I go to graduate school, in which case, that doesn’t count. I couldn’t ever really get focused to study today, even though I tried. Hmph.

 

I went to class, took the exam, handed it in, and walked out. That’s it? I’m done? No, not exactly. I still have a few weeks left, a project, a presentation, and a few speeches to make. Other than that, I’m study free! 

 

I came home and whipped up a quick dinner of Italian chicken sausage, peppers, and onions stir-fry.

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I ate a bunch of snacks while “studying”, and I wasn’t all that hungry. It was the perfect amount!

 

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I had to make it quick, because my pals Meghann and Caitlin were over!

 

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Meghann had never seen my new (now 5 month old) apartment, and Caitlin leaves on Sunday for Charlotte. We decided getting together at my apartment would be a fun way to spend the evening.

 

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Meghann brought a summer ale beer (from Michigan, I believe?) for celebrating.

 

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Caitlin and Meghann have been out of college for a couple years now, so I asked them about their experiences/feelings approaching graduation. It was really interesting to hear their perspectives.

 

They assured me that everything would work out okay, I won’t always have to be so strict on my budget (aka… i can’t buy fruit some weeks), and that I will eventually find a job, and settle into my new life post-grad. That’s what friends are for, right?

 

 

I’m scared to death, but so excited for what my future holds. Sit back, buckle up, and hang on!

 

😀

 

❤ MegaNerd

Starbucks Stability

Do you ever have those days where you feel like you are watching your life unfold, but not actually living in it? I feel like I’m watching a movie of my life in which I have absolutely no control over what will happen. Strange.

 

Anyways… I am completely out of dairy and fruit. This made breakfast a bit tricky. I took out two frozen waffles and covered them in peanut butter and honey.

 

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I attempted to go on a run after I ate, but everything about that run just felt all wrong. It was so hot out, I didn’t sleep well, and I felt dehydrated. I ran 0.8 miles and then walked home. Defeated. Perhaps I will try again later.

 

My dad called me a few minutes later to let me know that he was two blocks from my apartment, and to meet him at Starbucks! He’s been doing a lot of work in Orlando, and he just happened to be close by!

 

I arrived at Starbucks with an iced nonfat caramel macchiato waiting for me. I was happy to see my dad, and my favorite coffee drink.

 

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Dad and I talked about my future plans (or lack thereof.) My life feels so unstable right now – I’m worried I might burst any second.

 

As my dad gave me his words of wisdom, and assured me that everything will be ok, I tore off a little chunk of our shared blueberry scone.

 

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Starbucks is my stability.

 

I took the day off work to study for my very last engineering test. EVER. I have a major project and a presentation to do, but this is the last time I will ever be studying formulas for my undergraduate degree. Gulp.

 

Studying isn’t going all that well… I took a break for lunch. Amy’s Organic pesto pizza (plus one more slice) and broccoli.

 

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I need of even more caffeine… I busted out my last Peach Oo-la-long Honest Tea.

 

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Clearly I am craving carbs.

 

I’m off to study. It’s hard to focus when I have a million other things going on in my head. Wish me luck!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Try a Tri?

Remember this?

 

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Swim. Bike. Run. Blog.

 

Last summer, I participated in the Moss Park Olympic triathlon relay with Ryan and Caitlin. I did the biking portion of the race, or 24 miles, which turned out to be really fun!

 

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Ever since last summer, I have been considering doing a triathlon on my own. The cost of doing a triathlon has always scared me away. They can be almost twice as much as a running race! Let’s be honest. It’s also that open water swim that REALLY freaks me out.

 

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A few weeks ago, I volunteered at another triathlon. I signed up for the Race for Free program, which basically lets you earn money towards a race of your own.

 

I received my free-race voucher in the mail last week, and it’s been sitting on my desk ever since. I’m nervous to sign up for a race!

 

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Considering the fact that I have absolutely NO idea where my life will lead me post graduation… as in I could be living in California for all I know… I decided it’s now or never to get this race out of the way.

 

So here it is:

 

 

I’m officially signed up for this year’s Moss Park Sprint Triathlon. Hopefully things will go as well as they did last year!

 

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I have exactly 26 days to get into triathlon shape! I need to be able to comfortably complete (back-to-back):

  • 750 meter open water swim
  • 20 km bike ride
  • 2.8 mile run

 

I’m a little nervous! Can I do it?!

 

I guess we will find out. Training plan to follow.

 

Have you completed a triathlon? Do you have any training tips for a first-timer?

 

❤ MegaNerd

Meal of Dad’s Favorites

Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

 

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I love you! (I need a newer photo of me and dad… this one is from May 2008!)

 

This weekend, I headed to Tampa to visit my dad. Luckily, my dad only lives about 1.5 hours away from me, so it’s easy to drive over for the day or weekend. I went to Tampa last Father’s day too!

 

I started my morning with a HOT run. According to my 10 Percent Increase each week plan, I was supposed to run 6.0 miles today to make it a full 15.0 this week. I got started a bit later than I would have liked, forgot water, and ended up only running 5.0 miles (total of 14.0 miles this week.) 

I finished in 52 minutes feeling extremely dehydrated. Note to self: BRING WATER!

 

Breakfast was delicious!

 

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Blueberry Pancakes with maple syrup:

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Shot glass worth of Orange Juice

 

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After my run, I showered up, and met my family at their church. Once we returned home, we were all starving and ready for a delicious lunch of all dad’s favorites!

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We started off with cheese pizza triangles.

 

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Green beans with butter and spicy pepper

 

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Baked beans with Bacon

 

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Homemade Pasta Salad

 

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Chicken on the grill

 

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My plate:  a bit of each

 

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I thought dessert was just mini cupcakes. I grabbed one of each:

 

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They were BETTER than regular cupcakes. The white one was raspberry cheesecake, and the chocolate one was mousse!

 

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These tiny little things were so rich! I savored every tiny bite of them.

 

I definitely have a sweet tooth! I love dessert!

 

Don’t forget to wish your dad a happy father’s day!

 

❤ MegaNerd

Five Minutes

I think it’s safe to say that my life plans change every five minutes or so.

 

One minute, I think I have things all figured out. Then five minutes later, a new opportunity presents itself, and another door is closed. My life is a bit all over the place right now as I’m currently throwing around the some ideas:

 

  • Should I stay in Orlando?
  • If so… I need roommates. Living alone is $$$$$$$$$$$$.
  • Should I go to graduate school? ($$$$)
  • If so, how can I afford it? ($$$$)
  • If not… can I find a job?
  • Where is this job going to be?
  • Should I move back to Tampa with my dad?
  • Should I move to NC with my mom?
  • Blah, blah… you get the idea.

 

Too bad everything revolves around $$$ or my choices would be much easier.

 

I’m trying to be as flexible as possible since everything is so un-planned right now. I have a back-up plan, but I’m waiting for my “plan A” to unfold. Does that make any sense?

 

I’ve been on a salad kick lately, I think it has something to do with my desire to stuff as many fruits and vegetables into my body as it will allow. I have been feeling a little down about this whole, “my-life-is-so-unstable” thing — maintaining my healthy habits provides some sort of normalcy.

 

My newest favorite: The Five minute salad.

 

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I call it this because even if I change my mind every five minutes, there is something in this salad that will appeal to me at all times.

 

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It includes:

  • spinach
  • romaine
  • leftover chicken
  • leftover Trader Joes’s Grain Blend
  • corn
  • snap peas
  • broccoli
  • red pepper
  • carrots

 

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No salad is complete without amazing dressing. That is why Trader Joe’s Tuscan Italian makes its way onto almost every salad. Unless I use the beloved poppy seed. Sorry Poppy, Tuscan Italian won this battle.

 

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There are so many ways to make a salad, and usually it always turns out well! I’m kind of feeling that way about life right now. I have so many choices, and they all seem so great!

 

Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one graduating “without a plan.” I know this cannot possibly be the case.

 

❤ MegaNerd

10 Percent

I think it’s safe to say that my knee has completely recovered! I haven’t felt any pain since I started running regularly again two weeks ago.

 

Taking several months completely off of running was not easy. Running has always been my time to clear my head, exercise, and enjoy the outdoors. I’m currently working to build back up to my normal base of 20 miles per week!

 

My goal for the summer is to increase my weekly mileage by about 10% each week. By the end of July, I should be back to my base! It’s really important to me to take it slow and not rush back into an injury. That would be dumb of me!

 

Last week, I totaled 14 miles. The week before last, 12 miles. My goal for this week (today through next Sunday) is 15 miles.

 

I started my week of with an easy 2.0 mile run. I forgot to mention that I wore my awesome new Lululemon shorts:

 

After my run, I literally went straight to the pool! Not for a swim, but to cool off. It’s HOT out, even at 7:30pm. I didn’t even change my clothes, I just dove right in. Kind of like the time Caitlin and I jumped in the public fountain. Oops.

 

 

After my dip in the pool, I came back to a quick and easy meal:

 

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  • Trader Joe’s Grain mix
  • corn
  • green beans
  • chicken marinated in balsamic

I love the trader joe’s mix because you can add it to so many different meals! It’s a nice change from plain couscous or pasta!

 

Off to finish some homework! (I almost forgot that I am still in school… the end is so close!)

 

❤ MegaNerd