Run Now, Wine Later

Shamrock’n Half Marathon Round 2 Training Update

4 days until my 4th half marathon! …This is seriously the last thing I ever thought I’d be blogging about when I first started blogging and had to ask my readers whether they thought I could possibly train for a 3 mile run.

As of now, I’m feeling pretty prepared…and a little like I just want to get it over with, to be honest 😉 But that could be because on Monday morning after race day, we’re leaving for Maui! I can see it now…I finish the race, devour a delicious brunch, treat myself to a much needed pedicure, then wake up the next morning and slide my pedicured toesies into some flippy floppys, get on a plane, and head to the beach!

Anyway, when I last checked in, I had two general goals for my last month or so of training.

  1. Keep on track (obvi :) ) and
  2. Make a conscious effort to get to sleep earlier during the week so that I’m rested enough to wake up on time and get more than 3 miles in.

Let’s see how I did, shall we?

Continue reading

The Weekend I Ran a Half Marathon and Went to the ER

Well folks, another half marathon has come and gone, but this post is not like my other half marathon recap posts.

That post may show its face eventually, but the days after Saturday’s American River Parkway Half Marathon have gone a little differently than my post-race experiences in the past.

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Because of an incident totally unrelated to my race, I was taken to the hospital Sunday night via ambulance for treatment of a head injury and a lot of pretty bad cuts and scrapes.

Buuuut let’s step back a second and go back to Saturday morning. Continue reading

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Fitness Friday – Half Marathon Training Check-in #3

It’s crunch time, folks. One week from tomorrow I’ll be running the American River Parkway Half Marathon!

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it before, but all proceeds of the race will be donated to benefit the American River Parkway, which is is a 23 mile long bike path that winds along the American River here in Sacramento. It is also the path where the race will take place, and it is where I have run pretty much every single one of my long runs, nearly every weekend for the last year and a half.

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Crossing over the American River at Discovery Park around mile 6 is always one of the highlights of my runs!

Check out my first two half marathon training updates here and here to see how far I’ve come in my training plan!

Continue reading

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Fitness Friday – Half Marathon Training Check-in #2

Hello all, and welcome to another edition of “Read About How Katie’s Torturing Herself This Week” :) (Also known as my half marathon training check-in)

When I last checked in about 3 weeks ago, I was stoked because I was running far and fast. I was increasing mileage on my long runs faster than I laid out in my training plan, and I had quickly gained back the speed I lost when I didn’t run in January.

You’d think that I’d have learned by now that things don’t quite come that easily without consequence, especially when you couple 15+ miles per week with kickball, softball, gym trips, and riding my bike a mile to and from work every day. Continue reading

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On Coming Back Stronger

Today, I’m sharing thoughts on something I’ve been struggling with lately. I’m sharing because sometimes I feel like it feels good to get things out of your system, and maybe someone reading can relate to what I’m feeling. I also don’t believe that I should only post when I have an awesome weekend or run a crazy long race…I’ve been struggling, and in the spirit of full disclosure, I am going to talk about it. The main reason, though, why I’m writing about this is that I’m hoping that in a few months, I can look back on this post and feel proud about how far I’ve come. [Also, future me will probably laugh at current me for being so dramatic. Whatever, screw future me!]

Anyway, I digress.

This morning, I ran for the first time in 2015. Continue reading

Weekend in Photos

Welp, another summer weekend come and gone! Sorry for the brief hiatus. I was on quite the emotional roller coaster last week, given last Friday’s events at my alma mater, UC Santa Barbara.

I’m really glad I made the decision to invite a few other Sacramento-area UCSB alumnae to join me at a candlelight vigil at UC Davis honoring the victims of the shooting in Isla Vista on Thursday. It was seriously touching to see one of our sister campuses showing their support and solidarity for the community of which we have so many fond memories. Continue reading

Shamrock’n Half Marathon Recap

Well, my first half marathon has come and gone!

I have felt such a wide range of emotions throughout the past 3 months, in particular these last couple of weeks, and it’s kind of hard to put it all into words.

But here’s my attempt!

Pre-Race

As I said on Monday, I drank bottomless mimosas the day before my race………..don’t act surprised.

As much as I wish I could blame someone else for convincing me, or peer pressure, I just really love brunch and I really love mimosas. I definitely paced myself and alternated with water and food, but it was still probably not what all the fitness experts would recommend!

One piece of advice I read repeatedly was to not try anything new the day before/of your race. I’m pretty sure I had at least 1 drink the night before 80% of my Saturday morning training runs these past ~14 weeks. Sometimes you just need to unwind on Friday night! This may have been one fact I used to rationalize our brunch fun the day before. 😉

Another reason why I not only forgive myself for letting loose the day before, but also am kind of glad I am, is because I was seriously psyching myself out the week leading up to the race. Every night from Sunday til Friday, I had interrupted nights of sleep with crazy anxiety-induced dreams. Some were unrelated to the race (for example, about my personal life or work), some were race-related. I was getting serious pre-race jitters…I think the fact that I wanted to show Tyler a good time during his visit was a good thing, because it distracted me from the fact that all of my hard work and training for 3+ months was coming to a head on Sunday morning. If we hadn’t gone out with my friends, I would have been way too focused on the race and, knowing me, I would have been a mess the night before/morning of the race.

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We ended up going to sleep around 11 the night before with a 6:45 wake up call. I woke up at 6am and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I just laid in bed and thought about how excited I was haha. Once our alarms went off, I jumped out of bed, yelled at Tyler to wake up, and started getting ready. We had toast and peanut butter and a banana, I took some of my fitmixer Clean Energy, and around 7:15, Chris arrived and we were on our way!

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pre-race essentials

I forgot that a ton of streets would be blocked off for the race, but we luckily got on the road before the first wave shot off, and were able to get waved across 13th Street even though it was barricaded. We found parking close to Raley Field and as we walked out of the car and I sighed, “PHEW THAT WASN’T AS STRESSFUL AS I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE”, the boys looked at me like I was crazy for expecting parking at 7:30am on a Sunday morning to be stressful. Apparently I was a little on edge!

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do i look nervous? BECAUSE I WAS.

The Race

About 7,000 people ran in the (10th annual!) Shamrock’n Half Marathon, and we were in Wave 2 of 4, scheduled for 8am. After the gun shot off, we didn’t actually cross the starting line for almost 10 minutes. Everyone was basically bottle necking into the starting line.

Chris and Tyler don’t like to know how far they’ve gone, whereas I am pretty anal about knowing exactly how far I’ve gone and how fast I’m going. So when MapMyRun told me how fast we were going, I kept the distance to myself but let the guys know occasionally what our pace was. I made sure that we stayed slow for the first 3-4 miles because I did not want to go out too fast.

The entire race was packed. I felt like we were passing people up the entire time. This ended up being a good thing, as passing people up requires you to speed up a bit. Also, Chris, Tyler & I totally worked as an awesome team. We didn’t even have to say anything- one of us would make a move to pass up whoever was in front of us, and the other 2 would just silently follow.

 

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picture from a training run- this is the narrow path all 7,000 of us had to fit through!

The first 5 miles were all flat through Downtown, we were running around 9:15 min/mile, and I felt comfortable the whole time. We hit the bike trail in the middle of mile 5 and I hit my stride- that’s where I trained every week! We picked up our pace, but I was still feeling good.

Around mile 8, Chris got in a zone and darted ahead. I knew that a big hill was coming up and that we wouldn’t be able to catch up with him on/after that hill, so Tyler and I took some of my PROBAR energy chews (AKA LIFESAVERS!) and sprinted to catch up. That mile was my second fastest mile. (My fastest mile was Mile 13…but we’ll get to that later 😉 ) We got over the hill and, according to MapMyRun, stayed around 9 minute miles or faster the rest of the race.

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JACKIE’S TRAIN usually greeted me around mile 7 or 8 of my training runs… i didn’t reach her until mile 11 on race day.

After that, mile 10 was rough. It was on a section of the course with the most hills. From 11 on, I didn’t know how I was going to finish. I knew I was going to…but I was pretty sure I would need a wheelchair for at least 2 weeks after. I was lucky to have no side cramps, no knee pain, no nothing. But starting around 10 or 11, my feet/toes were killing me and my legs felt like jelly.

There were 5 water/electrolyte stations, and I stopped at the last 3…One of the times I just took whatever liquid they gave me and dumped it over my head. Little did I know, it was electrolytes. Gatorade is so totally the new preferred hair gel of all the cool girls…

Our plan all along was to run together for the majority of the race, but it was every man for himself once we reached the last mile. Knowing that both of my partners were fit dudes upwards of 6 feet tall, I figured my chances of keeping up with them in a full on sprint was slim to none…which made me nervous for Mile 12 to arrive, because I knew we’d be splitting…

I started feeling terrible around mile 11. After having been the smiling face who sang out loud (and even did a little jumping leap to Frozen’s ‘Let It Go’ at one point) through most of the race, I had become silent and started taking really deep breaths. I think it was apparent that I was feeling it. Mile 11.5 ish was the point where I felt like I could cry of exhaustion and pain.

Chris (who had already run two 13 milers on the dreadmill) turned to me and told me a few things that I won’t forget: “This is what you trained for!”; “That’s 12! You’ve already ran 12 before, what’s one more?”; and “Finish strong!”

About 30 seconds later, he darted ahead lol…however, his words definitely helped. Also, the fact that he was wearing a bright blue shirt in a sea of green made him easy to chase spot! 😉 About half a mile from the finish line on the Tower Bridge, I saw my dad with his camera and my mom cheering and I couldn’t help but smile and give my mom a huge high five. If Chris got me through 12-12.5, my mom’s super charged high five definitely got me through 12.5-13.1. According to MapMyRun, I ran mile 13 in 8:14. DAMN! No wonder I felt like crap!

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my dad snapped this pic right as i picked up the pace to give my mom a GIANT high five

The finish line was on the 3rd baseline of Raley Field, and I was so excited to finish that I was leaping over orange cones on the side of the dirt path so I could pass people up. I finished, found Chris, grabbed my medal, and turned around to hug Tyler as he finished. WE DID IT!

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Post-Race

Whoever planned this run had a seriously sick sense of humor. We knew we’d finish on the baseball field, but we didn’t realize this meant we were going to have to CLIMB UP THE STAIRS to get to the food/beer/results stations. It took us a while (maybe because I made the boys pose for the above selfie….) but we got there eventually.

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We saw my parents and took some pictures, then found Yvette and Lisa who had come to cheer me on. Then we hightailed it to the concession stands to get our free snack bags that consisted of KIND bars, bananas, goldfish crackers, and Oreos. Everything tasted like the best thing I had ever eaten.

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After checking out our official times and rejoicing in the fact that we all finished under 2 hours (!!!), we were going to check out the Massage Envy station, but realized we weren’t the only ones with that idea, and headed for beer instead.

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Everyone told me what a great sense of accomplishment I would feel after my first half marathon. I knew it was going to be awesome, but nothing could have prepared me for the wide range of emotions I felt all day  Sunday. I have a feeling it will rank up there as a day I will definitely never forget.

I felt pretty weak the hours after the race, probably because I was subsisting on bananas and KIND bars, but once I soaked my legs in Chris’s freezing cold pool and got some food in me at our barbecue, it was smooth sailing from there.

I have [not surprisingly] been super sore the past 2 days. Lower back, hips, quads, shins, calves…all of the muscles!!! I walked to and from work on Monday to loosen everything up, and I’ve been doin alright ever since. I’m going to go for a quick 3-4 mile run this morning and I am excited to pound the pavement again.

After a rough year or two that has been defined by injury, health problems, a bad break up, and losing my job…it feels incredible to know that I really can accomplish anything I put my mind to.

Thanks for sticking with me and supporting me through this journey, dear readers! With how well my first half marathon went, I don’t know how another one could go any better…but if there’s any chance that finishing another will lead to me feeling like I did after this one, then sign. me. UP.

<3

 

Fitness Friday — Half Marathon Training Update #2

Hello everyone and happy Friday!

First of all, thank you for all your sweet comments on Tuesday! My first few days at work have been great. There hasn’t been lots of substantial work for me to do yet, but I absolutely love being in a young, energetic office whose work I find extremely interesting and exciting! I’ve basically been spending my days reading news headlines about our clients’ areas of interest, which is totally up my alley. #newsjunkie for life over here!

It’s also been good to get back into a routine, which includes a “regular” sleep schedule and eating better (read: 3 real meals, and not snacks all.day.long). Well that is, besides last night…

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My after work dinner consisted of an entire basket of French fries (“I’m not even angry, that is impressive!”) and a few Jameson & Gingers at the dodgeball bar… I think I deserved it after almost 4 days of good, healthy eats! 80-20 people, 80-20… Ya can’t be perfect all the time!

Anyway, without further ado, here is my update on my Half Marathon training!

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My last update was 3 weeks ago, when I was nearing the end of week 4 of my training. I’m chugging right along at week 7 right now and have made awesome progress!

The Hal Higdon training plan I used to model my plan after suggests that you do 5K and 10K races at some point during your training. I was originally hoping to run the Hot Chocolate 5K in San Francisco last weekend, but I have pretty much decided that 2 more races (and all the $$$ fees associated) are probably not going to be possible with the tight budget I have allowed myself for the next 6 months.

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So you’ll see there were a few lapses in my training – that I’m TOTALLY okay with. When we were in Oregon, we stayed super active (I logged 12,000+ steps for 3 days in a row!) but I only made it out for one short, slow 2 mile run on New Years Eve day. I didn’t actually do the Hot Chocolate 5K like I said, but I still made progress and ran 8.7 miles with Chris that weekend instead. I’m on the lookout for a new course for us to run tomorrow and the goal will be 9 miles!

Thoughts After 7 Weeks:

aches & pains

Since my last update about experiencing knee pain, virtually ALL of that knee pain has disappeared. I attribute this to 1) getting used to my new shoes and inserts, 2) stretching well, and 3) running on a hilly course that isn’t 100% pavement. The only time I feel pain is usually during the week when I’m doing my shorter runs on the sidewalk.

Wearing heels to work probably doesn’t help the goal of avoiding aches and pains! Beauty is pain Running 16 miles a week is pain.

I also tweaked my ankle last night when I was carrying my bike up my stairs in heeled boots…And I totally brought my ice pack to work today when I woke up and it still hurt. Is it too soon to ice my ankle in front of my new coworkers? #noshame

the course

I’m still running on the grid during the week for my 3-5 mile runs and on the bike trail for my long runs. I have run on the half marathon course every week since my last update, and like I said I have been happy with my results. 7+ miles go by faster when you have a nice view and aren’t just running the same loop over and over! I’ve been training on the back end of the course, and am thinking about switching to the front end this weekend.

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the Half Marathon course!

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the course we ran last weekend!

I’m starting to wonder with these long runs if I should be hydrating or bringing some kind of fuel. Any insight? A couple of weeks ago, I brought some energy chews to get in the habit of eating while I run & see if it agreed with me…it went fine, but I didn’t feel too much of a difference energy wise during or after the run.

lifestyle changes

I have definitely been a lot better in recent weeks about alcohol consumption, especially on Friday nights before my long runs, as well as Saturday afterwards. I wouldn’t say I’m drinking less frequently (I am definitely a glass-of-wine-at-day’s-end kinda girl), but the amount I’m drinking when I do drink has gone down. Mission accomplished! My budgetary restrictions are helping on that front too 😉

This week, I had a pretty drastic change in routine when I started work. I woke up at 6:30am on Wednesday to do a light workout before work! This is crazy talk for me, because I am NOTORIOUS for sleeping late, and sleeping for a longgggg time. Needless to say, I was in bed by 10 and asleep by 10:30 on Wednesday night…just to wake up at 6am yesterday morning to fit in my 5 mile run. Strangely enough, I really like this new routine and I hope I can stick with it. I feel more productive and successful than I have in years! It’s also easier to find the motivation to work out when you’re fresh and awake in the morning, rather than after a long day at work.

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my first sunrise in… who knows how long!

That’s it for now! Hope you all have a great weekend (especially if you get Monday off for MLK Jr. Day!)

Do you fuel or hydrate during long runs? Any tips or advice?

When do you work out: during the morning, at noon, or at night?

Fitness Friday – 10K Edition!

Three posts in 1 week, look at me go!

I’ve VERY excited about what I’m sharing today! It’s been in the making for a while and a little over a week ago I finally made the plunge and registered…

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For my first 10K!

At the beginning of this year, I set a few fitness goals for myself. They were pretty simple ones, like registering to run a 5K and running 25 miles in one month. I ran my first 5K in March, and as long as I run 3.5+ miles tomorrow, my second goal will be realized!

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Kinda funny that I’ve only gone for 6 runs this month and I’m set to have my best mileage ever!

As some of you know, my boyfriend and I broke up a little over two months ago.  Soon after, I suppose in what can be considered a coping mechanism, I began making a habit of going on long Saturday morning runs followed by a trip to the Farmer’s Market. For the last 3 years, I’ve pretty much regularly run 2-3 miles, only exceeding 3 miles a handful of times…But when I started running on Saturday mornings, I realized I could extend that distance, since I wasn’t held back by time like I usually am when I go for runs on my lunch break.

On August 1st, my furthest ever run was 3.4 miles. I was already contemplating running the 10k, but wanted to play it by ear…so I started running. But what started off as “let’s see if I can run 3.4 again” turned into one of my best runs ever…..

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Not just in the distance, but check out my split times! I have been doing much better at pacing myself for my first mile and saving my energy for the end. I think that has been key in increasing my distance.

After this run, I went to New York for a week and decided to see how my workouts went there before making a decision about the 10K. I tried to work out when I was there and stayed somewhat active…and when I came back, I kept up with the long Saturday morning runs:

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I decided to go for it and create a loose training plan for the 10K on September 8th. Because I decided to register only 3 weeks before the race, I knew I’d have a challenge ahead of me, increasing from 4 miles to 6.2 miles in such a short amount of time. My training schedule looked something like this:

Week 1: two 3-4 mile runs during the week, 4.75 mi run on Saturday

Week 2: two 3-4 mile runs during the week, 5.25 mi run on Saturday

Week 3: two 3-4 mile runs during the week, 6.2 mi run on Sunday

Seems kind of quick, right? I asked a few friends, who all assured me I can totally do it. So I’m doin it!

Of course, I haven’t really stuck with my plan… instead of two short runs during the week, I’ve just been running twice a week and increasing my mileage by at least .25 every time I run. I went from 4 miles to 4.85 over the course of a week! I’ve also been keeping my pace very slow, I usually average slower than 9:30 min miles.

In addition to my runs, I’ve been keeping up with “cross training” AKA sorority girl elliptical + abs workouts. I also played kickball with my cast. I know I know, bad Katie…I didn’t actually play in the field, I just kicked and ran! I think sprinting around the bases has actually improved my running form :-)

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The Straw-ber-ritas help too :)

By the way, my cast came off on Wednesday and my orthopedist said that my bone healed beautifully!!! I was extremely nervous, given my history of low bone density and how long it took last year’s break to heal. But I am extremely thankful that my calcium regimen served me well this time around! With the help of the above thumb brace, I may have even played dodgeball last night….shhh don’t tell my doctor 😉

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Last summer, I really found myself in a funk when I broke my hand. This time around, without that boyfriend support system, I was really worried that would happen again…but thanks to a consistent work out “regimen” I stayed the same happy and perky Katie that I usually am. Yay exercise!

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone! If you have Monday off like me, I’m sure it will be a good one :)

What’s the longest race you’ve done? Did you follow a training plan?

Do you find that your happiness + activity level are linked?

Cast Off + Sunshine Award

Today is a good day in my world, because today I get my cast off!

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Today is also a good day because I’m finally sharing that I was nominated (several times…aww you guys) for the Sunshine Award! I decided to do the questions that one of my best blends Becky over at Olives n’ Wine picked out for me. Thank you for nominating me, Becky, and more importantly thank you for being a great friend!

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The Rules:

  1. Include award logo in a post or on your blog.
  2. Link to the person who nominated you.
  3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award.

Onward!

1. What is your first memory in life?

The first thing I can remember is living in Washington. We moved there when my mom was pregnant with my brother and stayed until we moved to Sacramento and I started Kindergarten at age 5. I don’t remember much of anything before Andrew was born, since I wasn’t even 2 when he showed up :-P. Some vivid memories that stick out are Christmas morning in our living room when I got my first bike, playing toy guitars in the basement, and barfing on the floor in my parent’s room. Haha. Sorry, parents!

i totally remember this favorite activity ;)

i totally remember this favorite activity ;)

2. What has been the best vacation you have ever been on and what vacation are you looking forward to in the future?

I don’t know if it counts since I technically lived there, but studying abroad in France was the best decision I ever made and probably made me feel more “me” than anything else I’ve ever done. My favorite cities I visited that year were Barcelona, Prague, and Marseille. I don’t have any vacations planned, but I’m hoping to visit Becky sometime this year in Chicago, her new home!!

me at Chateau d’If in Marseille

3. What is your preferred type/brand of coffee?

No coffee for me! Even though I actually do love the taste, my stomach can’t handle the acidity of coffee, so I usually drink green tea. If I’m out at a coffee shop, I’ll sometimes get flavored iced coffee or a chai latte. I also really like Starbucks tea+lemonade drinks, and their Refreshers!

4. Flowers or chocolate?

Chocolate, hands down. Can I eat flowers? NO! That being said, I do like to buy myself flowers because they really help brighten up my apartment :-)

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5. What is your normal bedtime and wake up time?

Generally, I try to be in bed before 11:30 and I set my alarm for 7:30. On the weekend, I will sleep for 9-10 hours if I have nothing scheduled to wake up for 😀 I love sleep!!!

6. When going out, do you wear your hair up in a pony tail or down?

Don’t have much of a choice, since my hair is pretty short- down! Even when I had long hair, though, it was always down…I think I was brainwashed by my mom, who has total blonde hair envy, and has always ordered me to “Wear your hair down! I don’t know why you’d hide it, it’s so pretty!”

7. Favorite form of exercise?

Gawd I never thought I’d say this, but running! You can do it anywhere, and it makes you feel awesome afterward. I also find it really encouraging to regularly engage in an activity that forces me to say “You can do this. You’re strong. You got this!” over and over in my head.

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8. Favorite place to shop?

I love H&M, but there are none close by.. So probably Macy’s? I also get a lot of work clothes from Express.

9. Do you have a favorite cuisine to eat when dining out? What is it?

Anything that is considered foodie-approved, I would probably like haha. I also love all kinds of ethnic food. So the short answer is: no. I don’t have a favorite!

10. Broccoli. Yay or nay?

Generally yay. Though soggy frozen broccoli is not the business :-(

My 10 questions:

  1. What 3 items are must-haves in your grocery cart every week?
  2. If you could live in any city, no questions asked, which one would you choose?
  3. Do you spend more money on food or clothes?
  4. Have you ever broken any bones?
  5. Fad diets: yay or nay?
  6. Knowing what you know now, what is one piece of advice you’d give to 18-year old you?
  7. What is your dream career? (Props if you currently have it :-P)
  8. If you could choose one type of cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  9. What is your favorite part of your body?
  10. What is the “signature dish” that you cook best?

My nominees: (I’m pretty sure a bunch of you were already nominated- oops! Just know I think you’re fabulous!)

  1. Emily at Have Your Cake And…
  2. Sara at Fitcupcaker
  3. Alisha at Alisha’s Appetite
  4. Courtney at Courtney Em
  5. Deb at It’s All About Me Fitness
  6. Kate at Quarter Century Southern Living
  7. Julianne at Life Off Leash
  8. Kelli at Made in Sonoma
  9. Carly at Snack Therapy
  10. Arlene at Adventures in Cooking, Weight Loss & Life

Wish me luck at the Orthopedics department today! I don’t exactly have the best track record there… 😛