Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend.

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Mine was filled with lots of domestic and grown up things.

The hubs and I sat down and went through our budget for the rest of the month, grocery shopped, did some meal planning, garage organizing, yard work, furniture rearranging…real exciting things happening over here!

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Before all of our Saturday fun, I started the day with a 9-miler (my longest run outside, to date). Started with cloudy skies, my favorite running weather.

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The run itself was good, right on my goal marathon pace.

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Finished it off with some kitchen-floor-selfie-dying time.

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Then we got our bedroom set up for our new bed delivery!

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And then it came!

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Painting will come next weekend, and we DEFINITELY need to figure out what we’re doing for a headboard. But we love it! So does Wilson.

IMG_1430We moved some pictures around in the house and moved our old bed into the guest bedroom.

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We were in need of some fun times after all this adult housework-ness (go with it). So we headed out to one of our favorite places, Stout Brothers Beer Market. They have over 20 beers on tap that change all the time. And each beer is color coded so you know all the pink beers are IPA’s, green beers are Belgian, you get it. You get 5 baby beer samples in each flight.

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One stop wasn’t enough. We headed to Schoolhouse and got another flight over there!

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Sunday we headed over to Granny’s house and picked up a jar of homemade salsa. Drool-worthy.

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And then we headed to Sam’s to stock up on some chicken for the next two weeks. Our Tupperware supply has severely diminished over the past few months – aka the hubs leaves it at work and it gets thrown away. We saw this 62-piece set for $19.99 and had to have it.

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Anyone who packs their lunch every day for work knows how valuable Tupperware is. We’re fully stocked once again. And then, because we are a really cool/hip/fun couple…we bought…

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A vacuum cleaner! I know, you’re jealous right? Our old one crapped out on us, so it was time. This bad boy should last us forever, and will do anything we want it to (and it should – do y’all know how expensive vacuum cleaners are?!).

We celebrated a successful weekend of adulthood with some pizza and a little golf.

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Last week’s running recap 8/10 – 8/16

Monday – rest / Tuesday – 6mi / Wednesday – 3.1mi / Thursday – rest / Friday – 4mi / Saturday – 9mi / Sunday – 2mi (I felt really weird/dizzy during this run so I cut it short)

Total – 24.1mi = August goals still going strong!

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Let’s rewind again to last week where I told you I was making these Lasagna Roll Ups for a new dinner recipe. And we have another crowd favorite! The hubs and I love our Italian food and these were a big hit!

I did end up adding 1lb of ground beef to ours which made them extra delicious (thoroughly enjoyed by my meat-loving hubby). I browned the ground beef first and added 1/2 the jar of spaghetti sauce to the meat and let it cool while the noodles were cooking. Then I mixed the meat/sauce filling with the ricotta/spinach filling in a big bowl so it was all combined when I added it to the lasagna noodles and rolled them up. Delicious. Highly recommend. They take a little prep time and are definitely one of the more labor-intensive meals, but well worth it.

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How was your weekend? Did you have a long run?

Last grown up purchase you made?

What’s your favorite kind of food? Any recipes in particular you’d like me to try and share with you?

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Five Friday Facts College Theme and My Little Bro

This week’s Five Friday Facts are college themed. You’ll see why, just keep reading.

  1. I finished college in 3.5 years. And graduated before I turned 21. I did a program called Joint Enrollment which allowed me to simultaneously complete my senior year of high school and freshman year of college.

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2. Kennesaw State University, my Alma Mater, recently acquired (I’m not sure if that’s the technical term, but speaking in legal terms, that’s what happened) Southern Polytechnic State University, and the new KSU will be one of the 50 largest public universities in the United States. It wasn’t that big when I was there.

kennesaw-state-football3. 2015 will be KSU’s inaugural football season. Until now, the school sold shirts that said “KSU Football: Still Undefeated” – get it? Because we never had a team?

1936363_1149813741815_7966234_n4. I was in a sorority in college. I was a Phi Mu (that’s me, on the end on the right on the bottom row), and I was a legacy – my mom was a Phi Mu in college too!

uga*750xx4368-2457-0-2285. My favorite college (even though I didn’t attend) is the University of Georgia. The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported last week that this year’s incoming freshman class at the University of Georgia is the smartest class it’s ever had. The average GPA of the freshman class is 3.91, and the average SAT score is 1301. LOTS of geniuses over there. Go Dawgs!

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So, why all these college facts? Because, dear friends, this little brother of mine is starting college in just one week.

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The just grow up so fast! So Andy is the middle of my three brothers. He’s goofy, hilarious, artistic, musically gifted, smart smart smart, kind, and just the sweetest. I really can’t believe he’s going off to college.

Before I get sappy, I scrolled back through my Facebook history and found some pictures of me from college. Ah, memories.

10400755_548075914543_7114_n 1934618_573667299203_331901_n 1930142_538426861323_5414_n 1930899_555931716453_601_nThroughout college, I lived at home and worked part-time as a life guard and swim lesson teacher. I had a great time in my sorority and made some amazing friends. I kicked butt at school and got great grades. I started out as an English Education major but changed my mind and switched to a Communications / Public Relations major. I didn’t have the typical “college” experience, and that was by my own choice. Now that Andy is off to college, I wanted to give him some advice, share some things I’m grateful I did, and some things I’d do differently.1935526_117578337774_6813623_n

  • Do NOT pick a major based on projected economic success. Money is great, but there’s nothing, I repeat, NOTHING, worse than not following your passion in your career. Pick a major you love. And also remember, you can still change your mind at this point in life. Spend time really finding what you love.
  • Along that same route, take courses that interest you. Colleges offer so many different classes. Take at least one class that randomly interests you outside of your major. I love musicals, so my last year I took a “From Broadway to Hollywood” class. It was in the drama department, no where close to my major. But it was one of my favorite classes I ever took. Take advantage of the choices you have.
  • DO A STUDY ABROAD! Did you hear me? DO A STUDY ABROAD! Part of your tuition – part of every student’s tuition – goes toward scholarships for those students smart enough to do a study abroad. You’re guaranteed to get at least a little financial help. But even still, please please please, go see another country and learn. I missed the boat on this one, and it’s one of my biggest regrets.
  • Don’t rush through college. I know you’re beyond excited to move into the city and become your own person. Embrace this time before you have responsibilities. Mom and dad are helping you and giving you a very nice cushion while you’re in school. Please embrace this lack of responsibility and continue to explore every avenue of yourself and your creativity.
  • Be nice to people, especially your teachers. Your fellow classmates and your professors have their own stories to tell, have fought their own battles, and all have something you can learn from. Be kind to them. Oh, and your roommates.  Be extra kind to them. And be a good roommate.
  • Do your homework. Don’t slack off just because you can, just because no one is taking attendance. Your parents are helping you pay for this education. Don’t disrespect them by not doing your absolute best.
  • Call (text) your parents, and come home for the holidays. Be grateful and remember to thank them, and everyone else who offers you help (this includes bus drivers, dining hall workers, professors, counselors), thank everyone.
  • Have fun Andy. Please, have the time of your life. Enjoy the city life, eat the food, see the sites, and enjoy every second. Even the struggles. These are NOT the hardest struggles you will face, by any means. Remember when it feels really hard, really bad, you have so many people who love you and who will help you. Don’t forget about us!

18590_10200849301192877_6203932912166718096_n 65892_438893572774_5474505_n 964314_10151837663057775_573097966_o 1456659_10100945129100733_39163462_n 1063682_10151532475272775_320800350_o 1909627_507239296453_7925_n 1929406_522360713013_6443_nI hope you really do have the absolute best time in college. I can’t wait to watch you grow and celebrate all your successes with you! I’m always here, no matter what. If you run out of bacon, I’ll take you out to lunch.

1781811_10152938447637775_2531008347764581756_oI love you buddy, and I’m so terribly proud of you!

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Tell me about your college experience!
Do you have any advice for my little bro?

Fantasy Football Poll and Date Night Ideas

I need to take a poll: what should my fantasy football team name be this season? Background – last year I was “Matty Ice Ice Baby” (Matt Ryan, Matty Ice, get it?)

1. Samuel L. Jackson’s Choir (just watch this Falcon’s hype video)

2. Julio’s Your Daddy

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3. Roddy’s White Knights

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My fantasy football draft is coming up in a few weeks so I’ll be asking for some input on player selections soon. Very important stuff going on around here at SSR.

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Public Service Announcement – the Maple BBQ Salmon recipe I posted on Monday…yea, that was a fan favorite. I was concerned when I was preparing it, it sounds like such a strange combination of ingredients (lemon juice and maple syrup? Cumin and red pepper?) But y’all, it was amazing. Definitely keeping that one in the recipe book for use, eh, every other week.

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If you read yesterday’s post you know I’m intentionally planning two date nights this months. Since the hubs and I are rolling on a tight budget these days, I wanted to share some inexpensive date night ideas. These are things we do pretty regularly that help us stay connected while not breaking the bank!

– Go to the movies – I know what you’re thinking. “The price of movie tickets is outrageous!” I completely get that. The theater closest to our house is relatively decent with their prices, $11 for a student ticket. Yes, we both still pass off as students (insider tip to saving money, keep your student ID’s after graduating!). But another way we fit movie dates into our budget is by going to a later movie and eating dinner at home. Most movie date nights are preceded by a dinner date. We like to cook dinner at home and go to an 8:00 ish movie so we skip the pricey dinner!Cover_finEXHighly recommend this one, Southpaw. We saw it last weekend – I give it an A+.

– Go on a walk – Obviously this one is free, but this is one we enjoy a lot. If you have dogs, grab them and bring them with you. The hubs and I find all kinds of things to talk about on our walks and we always come home feeling reconnected and like we know everything going on in each other’s lives, which sometimes falls to the wayside when we start spending too much time in front of the computer, TV, or on our phones.

– Cook dinner together  – Start to finish, the whole deal. Spend 10 minutes browsing Pinterest or some cookbooks you have and find a meal that you both agree on and are both excited to eat! Then take a family trip to the grocery store and buy all the ingredients you need (tip: include dessert, it’s a great way to end the night). Come home and map out who is doing what and get cooking! This is a great way to judge how well you work together as a team if you’re early in your dating relationship, and if you’re an old married couple, it’s a fun way to reconnect and even be a little silly with each other. Then sit down with a nice glass of red wine and enjoy the fruits of your labor!

-Make a fort in the living room and have an at-home movie night – Perhaps after you’ve cooked a nice dinner together? Don’t underestimate the romanticality (not a word, go with it) of a nice pallet of blankets on the floor right in front of the TV watching your favorite rom-com and a bowl of popcorn! May I suggest a classic like When Harry Met Sally? Or perhaps one a little more current, Hitch? Both are two of my favorites.

The hubs and I are homebodies. We work really hard so we love coming home and relaxing together. We are also movie buffs, clearly. These are just some things we enjoy doing together that don’t cost us an arm and a leg, and also keep up connected and laughing with (and at) one another!

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This week’s workouts so far have been pretty quality. Monday was 4 miles of tempo running, 37:58. I also did some upper body weights before I started my run so I got through my whole 54-minute Serial podcast. Sorry, I’m obsessed!

Tuesday was a good 5 mile speed workout. I feel like I could have pushed harder and gone faster but my goal was to maintain my confidence and see how I did with this particular set. Next time I’ll increase my speed and go through three sets instead of two sets of the drill.

10 minute warm-up / 5 minutes at 6.4, 2 minutes at 6.8, 5 minutes at 6.4, 2 minutes at 6.8, 2 minutes at 6.4, 2 minutes at 6.1 (repeat set) / 0.5 miles cool-down

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Today will include 4 miles of hills. I can’t decide if I want to stick to the treadmill or just do some hill repeats outside in my neighborhood. We shall see how I feel after work.

I’m pretty close to deciding what race I want to register for this month. Hopefully I’ll have that for you by the end of the week. I’m so picky!

Good morning runs make me happy. And they also make me feel like I want candy, so this happened…

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The best candy. Ever.

Hope you have a great hump day!

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Do you have any good affordable date night ideas?

How are your workouts going so far this week? Any exceptionally good runs or other workouts?

Favorite candy?

Favorites, August Goals, and Some Light Reading

It’s been a minute since I’ve shared some of my favorite things! In the spirit of The Sound of Music (you know the song…) here are a few things I’m loving right now!

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Jeans day at the office! They only come once a month, but I take them very seriously.

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Just found this bag of deliciousness on my Sunday grocery trip. So good and healthy!

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I started listening to the Serial Podcasts during my runs. I wasn’t sure how it would go, I typically listen to angry/motivational/fast music to keep me going. But I thought I’d try something that would keep my mind working – trying to follow the story instead of thinking about how far I had left in my run. And you know what? It worked! The podcasts are made up of 14 episodes that follow a murder mystery and each episode builds on the last. The first episode is 54 minutes long and my run flew by! I’m really glad I branched out and tried something new. Here’s the Serial website if you want to read more about the story, and you can download the podcasts in the App store!

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Really, is there any better snack on the planet? I think not.

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So I was over browsing The Freckled Runner and got some motivation from Jackie to put together some August goals. What better way to hold myself accountable than to share these goals with the world (okay let’s be honest, probably 50 people, half of which are probably related to me…minor details). So here are some goals I’m going to try to accomplish this month – I’ll do a recap at the end of the month and see how I did!

1. Run at least 80 miles this month

2. Register for at least 1 race through the end of the year

3. Spend less than $200 on miscellaneous things to stay within the budget

4. Have 2 pre-planned date nights

5. Make (successfully) risotto

6. Read 1 book

It’s quite a plethora of goals to reach for – running, cooking, money, family…but if I have a goal for each area of my life that’s important to me then hopefully I’ll be able to strike a good balance. Making each of these areas of my life a priority takes planning and deliberate action. August is a balancing month, hopefully all parts of my life will feel the love!

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I’m pretty sure I know what book I want to read this month –

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Emily Giffin is one of my favorite authors. I love the style of her writing and the way she develops characters that are so relatable, you can’t help fall in love with them. Her new book, “The One and Only” has been calling my name and I’m excited to dive in!

Some other things I’ve enjoyed reading (on the internet, not in hard copy)-

The Finance Girl – It’s Better to Want than to Owe

Ronda Rousey is a Badass

This Article my sweet Granddaddy sent me – 20 Crucial Pieces of Life Advice, As Told By People Over 60

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Have you ever listened to podcasts or audio books while you run? Any suggestions?

What are some goals you have this month?

Any good book or article suggestions? 

My Weekly Calendar and Recipes

Happy Monday!

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I hope your weekend was great! We had some pool fun with friends on Saturday, and Sunday the boys played golf and Blondie and I had our date at the Fox to see The Sound of Music! We stopped for lunch at Publik Draft House right next door to the Fox. I got a delicious pesto chicken sandwich with a side salad – hello yum!

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Sunday’s 5 miles felt okay – did them outside so that’s progress I guess. I think I’m pulling myself out of my running slump. Better hurry up – only 1 month until real training starts <insert scared face>!!!

Weekend summary – good times, good friends, good run!

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I spent a good bit of my Saturday morning planning out our week – meal plans, social events, bills, cleaning, and my running schedule. I’m such a planner, I always feel better when I have something written down that maps out any parts of my week that are within my control.

Obviously many many things can drop in and rearrange our schedules, but just knowing I have most things laid out it makes it so much easier to come home and relax and just follow the plan and not have to think!

I use a weekly calendar that Corey over at Tiny Sidekick has available for a free download. She’s got a lot of other free printables too, super cute! I’m working on making my own downloads for you guys (grocery lists, weekly / monthly calendars / budgets / workouts) so stay tuned for more of those!

Click here to see my calendar for this week! I usually print this out and stick it on the refrigerator so that the hubs can see what all we have planned for the week too.

We’ve got a pretty calm week. I have two dinner recipes on there that I’m particularly excited about…

Monday: Maple BBQ Salmon

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Elizabeth at Three Beans on a String posted this recipe and I’m super excited to try it out tonight!

Friday: Crock Pot Garlic Bacon Chicken

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This recipe from Recipes That Crock (ps how cute is that website name?!) sounds so easy and delicious! Friday is our crock pot day this week because of Wilson’s vet visit. I don’t want to have to worry about dealing with him and his issues wit the vet and then turn around and have to make dinner right after. Crock pot to the rescue!

Sides for these dinners will include a salad and then a veggie of some kind. At the store this week I bought zucchini squash and broccoli for my fresh veggies and then a few bags of mixed frozen veggies and also a southwest blend to cook with our fajitas.

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How I felt after my run yesterday –

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Do you make a weekly calendar? What kinds of things are on there? 

Do you like cooking with a crockpot? 

How was your weekend?!

Weekend Rewind and I’ve Decided

The weekend literally kicked my butt. I’m not sure how I was able to function on Monday but – as was evident by my lack of post – it was basically a wash. Here’s why…

image4Some pool day fun with Blondie and her hubby  on Saturday afternoon.

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We brought the dogs over to have a play date with their friends Luke and Lacey and also to try to get Mila to swim around in the pool. We already know Wilson doesn’t like water, but Mila is part lab so we were hopeful that she would be a championship swimmer (like her mom…haha!).

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They were worn out, but Mila loved the pool! Her fly dog training has commenced, the hubs is excited. Have you seen those dogs that jump over the lake to try to catch the toy and see how far they get?

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That’s what he wants Mila to do. Craziness.

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And then we had a yummy cookout to end the night.

Sunday we went to the Kid Rock concert. We had such a blast, but man, Sunday concerts make for a very difficult Monday!

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Started with a little tailgate action…

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Then made our way in to the amphitheater with 50,000 of our closest friends. I love Lakewood. Concerts there are what southern summers are made for.

11722588_10101034862499518_2670523330450488069_o image4Needless to say, we had a great time! We didn’t get home until about 1 am on Monday so I was basically a zombie all day yesterday. Definitely worth it.

Epic weekend.

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I’ve decided to hold off on detailed posts on my runs or workouts until my actual marathon training starts in September. I think taking the pressure off of myself to publish or share my runs on a regular basis will help me enjoy the runs more. I don’t want to feel like I’m on a strict schedule yet since I don’t technically have a running schedule to follow. So before it becomes something that’s penciled in on my calendar every day, I’ll just be giving periodic updates on how my running is going. More details will come when I actually get into my training – hopefully this will keep running fun and enjoyable until then!

Thanks for understanding, but don’t worry – I’ll still be posting some other workouts and periodic updates!

My coach has me doing some exercises to strengthen my IT band.

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I’ve always affectionately referred to this part of my body as my “saddle bags” but apparently they are a real muscle and have a real scientific name. You’re welcome. Here are some exercises he’s had me do.

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The Clam with Leg Extension – This picture is a perfect demonstration. Except I don’t use the resistance band just yet. And Coach said to hold my supporting hand on my top hip and act like there’s a cup of coffee in there. Don’t open your legs up so much that you spill that cup of coffee because then you’r not using the right muscle. Hold for 5 seconds in each position x10 on each side. Feel the burn.

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Fire Hydrant – These were pretty familiar to me already, but Coach has me do them a little differently that I was used to. Instead of doing a lot of reps extending my leg in and out, he wants me to focus on holding my leg in both positions B and C. So I’m supposed to work up to a 30-second hold in each position. Currently, I’m at 10 seconds. Hold in each position for 10 seconds, 2x on each side.

I can definitely tell that this muscle hasn’t been worked, um, ever? I’m glad it’s finally coming out of it’s shell and I’m excited to see how it helps me in my running!

Happy Tuesday!

Was your weekend epic? What did you do?

If you could go to any concert, what would it be?

Are there any muscles you’ve started working more in your exercising or running? 

Discouraging and Five Friday Facts

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to tell you about yesterday’s run. I was supposed to do 5 miles outside. That didn’t happen. What did happen was 4 slow miles of heat, humidity, and total exhaustion. I’m not sure what’s up with the heaviness in my legs lately when I do my outside runs, but it’s definitely discouraging me. I’m probably going to stick to treadmill runs for the next few weeks just to build my confidence back up. Here’s what the run consisted of:

thumb_IMG_1153_1024I pass this lake on the last mile of my run home. I contemplated jumping in to cool off.

thumb_IMG_1154_1024Conveniently located at the entrance to my neighborhood so I made a pit stop.

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I know it does’t look like it, but these are the last two hills leading up to my house in the last .4 miles of my run. They were especially terrible yesterday.

thumb_IMG_1155_1024You know it’s hot when I wear a hat when I run. I was trying to keep the sun off my face. I can’t wear sunglasses when I run – is that weird?

Today is my 4th run day in a row. I don’t typically go that many days without a rest day or a cross training day. But I’m struggling to increase my miles each week so I feel like I need an extra run day since my runs have all been shorter distances this week. The good news is my foam roller should be waiting on my doorstep when I get home from work tonight so that will be happening, for sure.

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Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Do you ever have those weeks that just…suck? Whether it’s your diet, your exercise, work, anything. It just feels like the thing you’re trying to focus on and improve on just all goes out the window for one week. That’s been this week for me. All of my miles have hurt, and I’m just feeling a little discouraged. I know this will pass and sucking it up and pushing through it will just make me mentally tougher. So I’m going to let this past week go and move on to a better week next week –

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Moving on to Five Friday Facts:

Fact 1: I love alliterations. Just kidding – but for real, I think they’re fun and they let people know what you’re talking about in a fun creative way. In that same light, I love writing. Part of the reason for starting this blog is to give me an outlet for creative writing. English was my favorite subject throughout my scholastic years, and I love to read.

Fact 2: This week, my favorite post-run snack has been watermelon. If you check out my About Me page, I said I don’t like watermelon. I don’t know if the heat has been getting to me, but it just sounded so good when I was at the grocery store this week and it has been so delicious to eat after a long, hot run!

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Fact 3: I absolutely love stripes (see my picture above, yea, favorite sweater). I’d say 90% of my wardrobe is stripes. I’m easy to shop for.

Fact 4:  I wear a size 11 running shoe. I have giant feet.

Fact 5: I have been to Disney World so many times, it’s a little outrageous. It’s the place my family has always vacationed so to me, it’s a place filled with so many fun memories. It never gets old to me, I literally turn into a much nicer/happier/more relaxed person right after we drive under the Walt Disney World arches. That’s part of the reason I chose to do my first marathon in Disney. At least if I feel like I’m dying at any point during the race, I’m in my favorite place on earth…hoping that gives me some extra adrenaline. Some throwbacks, circa 2007 –

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My little brothers and I always take pictures together in the same places at Disney. We literally have 7 or 8 years worth of pictures of the 4 of us in front of the entrance to the Polynesian Hotel. Family traditions, gotta love them!

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7 miles this weekend, happy running!

What do you do when you feel like you’re in a running rut?

Tell me some Friday Facts!