Friend Makin’ Monday

After a fairly uneventful weekend, I am glad to say that I started the first week of my workout schedule I created for myself for the rest of the fall semester, and it largely a success. Despite some trepidation about going back into the big kids’s weight room to use the squat rack and then accidentally doing 3 sets of 10 squats instead of 2 sets of 15 squats, it went fine. In fact, it went much better than my first day 1 attempt at lifting, where I was slow confused and slow and half-assing my workout that I didn’t even think it was a real workout. Today I was sweating, especially after all of those squats! Anyway, I hadn’t done a Friend Makin’ Monday in awhile, so I thought I’d participate again 🙂

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If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

What If?

1.  If you had something in your teeth would you want someone to tell you, or would you prefer to figure it out on your own?  Oh man I would really really want them to tell me. I don’t know why some people think it is more embarrassing for one person to notice and tell you than for everyone to notice and not tell you and then like, laugh about it later.

2.  If you had to listen to one song on repeat all day today, which song would you choose?  Oh dear, I’m so bad at music and pop culture and stuff I don’t really know. Possibly “3rd Planet” by Modest Mouse?

3.  If you could trade places with someone famous, with whom would you trade?  Again, bad at pop culture. Do politicians count? Also, can I pick time period. Like, can I be Hillary Clinton, but only while she was Secretary of State and not during her husband’s presidency?

4.  If you could speak another language fluently, which one would you speak?  Probably Spanish because it would be most useful.

5.  If you could read one person’s mind right now whose would you choose?  I’m going to cheat and choose a non-person: Belle (my dog). I hate that she suffers so much from anxiety and that I can’t understand what exactly is wrong so that I can help her.

6. If you were forced to go back in time, which period of your life would you choose? Well, if I had to go back there, I would want it to be something good. The problem with a question like this is that you think certain parts of your life were more appealing until you really think about them. Like, I was going to say back when I first started dating Kris, but I had no free time, no freedom (lived at home) and no money. Then, if I picked when we first moved out, I had more freedom, but still no money. All of the other times are when I was a kid or in grad school, so just no. I guess I’ll go with the first option – when I first started dating Kris, so I can enjoy being 18 and all of the fun things we did that summer again.

7.  If you had to be trapped in a TV show for a month, which show would you choose?  Parks and Rec. Remember: it is already basically my life. No, really. I’m a politics-obsessed feminist lady who lives in Indiana and I’m married to a nerdy guy who does data crunching for the government and wears plaid shirts and skinny ties everyday. I’m not sure I’d notice the difference, to be honest. I guess all my friends would be funnier?

8.  If you had to give up twitter or Facebook, which would you choose? Hasn’t this been a question before? I’d give up Twitter because I barely use it anywa.

9.  If you could have a present today, what would you want?  How can I choose just one? I guess a plane ticket to go see Kris 🙂

10.  If you had to choose between celebrating Halloween or Christmas, which would you choose?  THIS QUESTION IS TOO HARD. Seriously, these are like, the best two holidays. I know Christmas is supposed to be more important and all, but Halloween was like the most important holiday in my household growing up. Kids get scared to come to our house! I guess I’d still say Christmas, though, because I like giving presents and spending time with family and the food is better (pumpkin Reeses < Grandma’s homemade turtles and fudge).

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions!  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments!  Happy Monday!

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Food Friday

Lots of food to talk about today! Fall is one of my favorite times for food. Speaking of fall, the weather was MUCH improved today. It was 50 and sunny for my run this afternoon instead of freezing and wet. Yay!

I tried two new fall recipes this week. First, black bean quinoa chili. Being me, I pretty much completely messed around with the recipe.  It took me like 70 hours because I used dry black beans. Also, I didn’t add any onions or peppers. I also used this chili seasoning kit thing instead of all the seasoning they called for. I actually really liked that – I think the brand was Shelby’s? I bought it at Target. It had all the seasonings pre-measured and separate so you could adjust spiciness, sodium levels, and thickness. Oh, and I used ground cinnamon instead of a cinnamon stick. And I served it with sour cream and cheese instead of avocado. Because apparently I hate recipes. Anyway, it still turned out great!

All of my ingredients instead of those silly things the recipe called for.

 

Cooking! I did follow the cooking instructions.

The finished product. Very thick and yummy! And you would only need to add an additional tablespoon of chili powder if you were me, so disregard that.

My other new fall recipe was going to be pumpkin overnight oats in a jar. Due to the cold weather, however, I decided that the oats needed to be warm (and I may have forgotten to put the oats in the fridge before bed), so I googled around for some regular pumpkin oatmeal recipes to get some inspiration then did my own thing. Here was what I used:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • some nutmeg (like, a dash)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white chocolate chips

I cooked everything but the pumpkin and chocolate for 2 minutes in the microwave then added the pumpkin and cooked one more minute. I topped with the chocolate when I was done cooking. Next time, I would reduce the amount of pumpkin a bit, because I prefer thicker oatmeal. This would also taste very good with raisins, nuts, and more brown sugar.

Tada!

 

I also tried all of the foods I received in my goodie bag from my half marathon this week. The biscoff cookies and trail mix were disappointing. To be fair, neither were that bad, I simply had higher expectations. I expected biscoff cookies to taste more like cookie butter, but they weren’t as sweet. And the trail mix had dried apples that were way too small for me. They were basically so tiny I couldn’t taste them! Oh, and speaking of foods that disappoint me, why does everyone love bagel thins?? When Thomas’s came out with fall flavors (WHICH I STILL CAN’T FIND THANKS WALMART) I was so excited for them. Even though I couldn’t find the amazing sounding pumpkin or cranberry ones, I got a huge craving for bagels and bought cinnamon raisin ones. Maybe I just toasted them too much, but they were WAY too crunchy for my liking. I will try toasting them less and reevaluate. They taste fine – I just like my bagels a little softer.

What I did end up liking from my race goodie bag may surprise you, though. It surprised me, at least. You may recall my confusion at a product called corn thins. I speculated to my roommate that they would be a bit like very thin plain rice cakes and I could use them as a conduit to get other things (like cheese) into my mouth. I assumed they would taste a bit like cardboard. Well, it turns out that I was wrong. These things are the best. I want to know where to go buy 1,000 more! They were actually far more like like highly condensed popcorn than rice cakes light. I had a couple with peanut butter and I was sold!

Even River approves! Look at the pain I am causing her by not allowing her to eat these!

One final thing – I may have mentioned this before, but, if I haven’t, I heartily endorse Edy’s slow churned pumpkin patch ice cream. 90 calories and it tastes amazing! A perfect fall treat 🙂

New Workout Plan?

Let’s start with one of my most common complaints: I am not a fan of our current weather. I think mother nature heard me begging for fall to begin and overreacted, because it is basically winter. I had to wear a wool coat and a scarf today! The biggest problem is the cold rain. Ever since my half marathon it has basically been 40 degrees and kind of rainy all day every day. It got a little better this afternoon and stopped raining, allowing me to go for a somewhat pleasant walk, but the weather for my run was sort of miserable due to it being 35 and raining. Yuck. At least my new shoes were very comfortable outside. Glad I gave them a chance beyond the funky treadmill that made my shin hurt, because they felt VERY different out there and I really liked them.

Anyway, the last time I posted, I complained that my workouts have no structure to them. I have since tried to come up with a plan that incorporates everything I was thinking about and goes through finals week:

Monday – Stretch (due to long run previous day) and lift

Tuesday – Medium length (4-6 mile) run or longish (~10-15 mile) bike ride

Wednesday – REST

Thursday – 3 mile run and lift

Friday – Medium length run

Saturday – Long bike ride and lift

Sunday – Long run (8-10 miles?)

I like that this plan incorporates everything I want. It has at least one day of dedicated biking, and hopefully at first I will be able to continue bike commuting. As long as it isn’t rainy every day (I’m not a wimp but I have to teach in what I’m wearing, so I can’t get super soaked) or super icy out I can handle cold temperatures – I do heat up on the bike, after all. I will probably switch to the long bike ride on Tuesdays after commuting becomes impossible.  It also lets me try New Rules of Lifting for Women again while keeping a decent amount of running mileage (at the least 15 miles per week, and at the most 25). I am mildly concerned about the existence of only one rest day, though. Each of the days on their own doesn’t seem like that difficult of a workout, and I can’t really decide what to cut, but I worry that with such a plan I will get burnt out. I guess that Monday (lifting only) is not a super strenuous day, so that might help. I will just try to remember that the only “end goal” of this workout plan is to not be lazy over the rest of the semester so its not like if I miss a day anything bad will happen. In fact, I expect to completely mess up the week of Thanksgiving, for example. I guess I will just start this plan next week and see how it goes!

Trial and Error

Today I went back to working out for the “first” time since my half marathon (I bike commuted yesterday, but quite weakly). Last time, I tried to “loosen up” by running for 20 minutes the day after. That sucked, so this time I instead tried to do it 2 days later, which worked much better (I did take a leisurely 1 mile walk the day after). My workout today was so random. I just messed around on some weight machines in our apartment complex gym (mostly to see what they were like) then did 20 minutes at an easy pace on the treadmill. I never like this period right after a race where I don’t really have a workout plan – I have no idea what I want to do for my workout that day so it makes me procrastinate and then I never know what to eat (because I don’t know how many calories I will be burning/when I will be working out). I need to come up with a workout plan so that I am not in the weird limbo I am in this week – I am apparently a person that needs structure. Here are a few of the options I am entertaining:

  • Re-attempting NROLFW. I tried it before, but kind of half-assed it and decided I didn’t like it. With it being cold and rainy outside everyday, though, this might be a good option.
  • Biking: I know I can bike on the stationary bike trainers on campus regardless of weather. Also, Kris and I are planning to take some major rides (50+ miles) next summer so it would be nice to catch up to his ability level before that. I would need to find a somewhat structured plan, though, because I don’t really like stationary bikes and I’d probably slack off if I was just doing it whenever I felt like it. Maybe I can read the Game of Thrones books while I ride?
  • Running: I will definitely run during the winter so I don’t completely lose my base. I’m pretty hardcore about running in the winter actually – I went out and bought tons of gear last year and only stayed indoors if it was raining, blizzarding, or under 10 degrees (F). Though, speaking of cold weather gear, why do they not make more athletic tights for guys? I tried looking at cheap places where I usually find my stuff (i.e. Old Navy, JCP, Target) for Kris to wear on his bike and all I can find is sweatpants, which are a no-go for biking. I can check the Under Armour outlet when I’m back home in PA, but I’m a cheapskate, so I’d prefer somewhere else.

I also tried my new shoes out today (full disclosure, that is a referral link). They were…interesting. I could feel the arch support in them like I have never felt before. I seriously can feel the shoe pushing my foot back when my ankle tries to collapse in. Super weird feeling. This was interesting to me because the other shoes I have used in the past (Brooks Adrenaline; Mizuno Wave Inspire) seem like highly recommended shoes for over-pronators (people with flat feet) so I expected them to have the best support out there. I would say these shoes have about the cushioning and weight of the Brooks shoes – I had liked that the Mizuno’s had less, but they just aren’t going to be warm enough for winter (I needed to get rid of them anyway – they are completely worn through in several places and I can visibly see the degradation of the cushioning). At first the shoes felt really really weird because of the additional cushioning, but I got used to it during my run. I was also thinking that they made my right shin feel a little funny but then I realized it was just the way I was running on the weird treadmill we have in this gym, and correcting my gait on the treadmill helped (some other dude was on the good treadmill).

One final new thing I tried today. I am currently working on reducing meat in my diet (not going full vegetarian, just trying to not eat meat every single day) and today I managed an entire day without meat! Well, technically the day isn’t over, but I only plan on having some pumpkin ice cream with a pumpkin muffin, and those don’t have meat. I am fairly proud of this accomplishment, especially considering past me – one of the meals I ate was penne with marinara sauce (I put a ton of veggies in it) and I remember literally getting into fights with Kris because pasta “requires” meat or I won’t eat it (I used to be this way with pizza, too, and my favorite pizzas are now often 4 cheese or veggies). It’s an even more impressive feat if you know that as a child, I ate no vegetables except white mushrooms or baby carrots. MAYBE iceberg lettuce. Look forward to at least one meatless recipe for Food Friday 🙂


One final thing – and I have separated this because it has nothing to do with the rest of the post, but I don’t really want to see it as an afterthought – remember that there are several things about your body that fitness cannot change. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse, here, but after seeing two posts on Reddit yesterday from super skinny ladies about hip dip (I feel ok with declaring them super skinny because their hips were as small as mine), I realize that not everyone knows this yet: THERE ARE NUMEROUS THINGS ABOUT YOUR BODY YOU JUST CAN NEVER CHANGE. These include:

  • Thigh gap (the idea that your thighs should at no point touch)
  • Hip dip (aka violin hips; the dip between where your hip bones are and where your femur points out)
  • Cellulite
  • I’m sure there are more things the internet will invent that I haven’t thought of yet. Fat ears, perhaps?

Technically, there are things you can do to slightly alter each of these.

You could reduce fat or muscle mass and see if that allows you to have a thigh gap. This probably won’t work unless your thighs are really muscular or you are very overweight, though – my thigh gap appears when I am a size 12. It depends almost entirely on your bone structure, and trying to lower your body fat enough to obtain it can be dangerous, mostly because for many people, their body fat will NEVER be low enough for it to appear, or it would have appeared already when they were at a healthy/slightly overweight weight.

Hip dip is sort of the opposite – you can only really see it if you are thin, because otherwise your hipbone and femur won’t be jutting out of your skin. So thin girls: if you want to rid yourself of hip dip, gain weight. I thought mine looked weird at first, but then I realized everyone had one, so I decided I was ok. Then I learned that there is some craze to try to lose weight and rid yourself of it, when that will only make it worse.

Cellulite is less of a modern internet problem – ladies have been worrying about this for decades. Remember, ladies: 90% of you have cellulite. It is just the way that women’s bodies (or bodies with low testosterone in general, if I remember correctly) store fat. Unless you have an extremely low body fat percentage (like, figure competition level – and even they don’t stay in that kind of shape for long), it’s probably going to show up. The “treatments” for it have limited effectiveness – sure, super cream X may work randomly for one person, but there is not really any evidence that any of them work (if you have a ton of money, I think that I heard that certain surgeries work – that’s it). It’s probably best to just remember that everyone has it. Go Kaleo has a great post where she shows a picture of Scarlett Johansson’s, and actually talks about all the sciencey stuff  behind all this with sources unlike me, because I’m lazy and just sending a reminder, not reinventing a wheel. I know that doesn’t make you feel better in your skin tight outfit, but hey, that is why Spanx exist*. They are cheaper than 80,000 creams and less effort than massaging your skin for hours. Note: I’m a super-weirdo and I’m fine with my cellulite showing in say, shorts, but I just HATE when it breaks up the line of a skin tight dress so I wear them sometimes. Remember: I wear size 2, and I have cellulite (and also loose skin, which is the primary reason for the Spanx). WE ALL HAVE IT.

*I know I should be like “completely embrace your body” instead of advocating shapewear, but I’m realistic, and trying to take baby steps here, ok?

Holidays and Family Fun!

First, I’d like to complain about the fact that I am still feeling sore from my half yesterday – that cold weather REALLY made my legs stiff. I was even limping a bit last night! It’s slowly feeling better as I move around, though. All in all, I had a pretty good day yesterday after my half, though. I had an awesome lunch and dinner (Irish for lunch; Mexican for dinner); accidentally stumbled on a preview day at the Sephora that is opening in our town next week (I exhibited great self control, purchasing only things I actually needed); and my roommate bought an awesome new car!

Today I am enjoying a Sunday where I don’t have to dedicate 2 hours+ of the morning to running. I’m making some chili, planning out some DIY Christmas present ideas, and “getting some work done” (hey, I downloaded some PDFs).  Side note: the accidental sexism of crafting websites is baffling. All of the generic “Christmas sewing project idea” type lists are full of nothing but women’s clothing and purses; in order to get anything else, you have to add “for men” to that search query, and then you end up with the actual generic presents, like coasters, wallets, lunchboxes, etc. I can see why some are lumped into a “for guys” category (i.e. stuff for sports like golf, which are male dominated – the sexism problem is related to the sport itself, not the crafting websites), but there are some things categorized as “for men only” that are just ridiculous. For example, this keychain was on a list as a “man keychain:”

I’m so feminine that I can’t see the manly details, apparently, because all I see is a fairly generic looking keychain.


Ok, I’ll end my rant and move on to my post now.

A few months ago, I started to think about how I should run a Thanksgiving 5K this year. I thought it would be fun to run in a big, just for fun race and a good way to get in some exercise over the break. To top it all off, I am spending Thanksgiving in South Carolina this year (my in-laws live there), so it won’t be freezing cold. This means that not only do I get to do a fun race, but that I get to have nice fall-like weather instead of freezing cold conditions (well, at least there is a chance) and that I get to do a race in a new city! Yay! In order to make this plan come to fruition, I started Googling to see if there were any good 5Ks near them and came across the Charlotte Turkey Trot*. This looked like a great race to do just for fun – a large number of participants, the timing is not competitive (they are having a competitive 8K), and costumes are encouraged!

I asked Kris if he would mind if I did this as part of our trip down there, and half-jokingly suggested that he do it with me. Now, I didn’t really expect him to say yes, because he hates running, but he mainly hates running because I am an asshole. I’m just way too hardcore for him. I am just doing this race for fun, though, so I should be able to refrain from yelling at him the whole time (only a slight exaggeration of how us running together has gone in the past). I have been super excited to do this with him ever since, but I hadn’t posted about it yet because I was afraid it wouldn’t work out. You see, he didn’t own any running shoes (in fact, he owned no athletic shoes at all!) and he hast gone running maybe twice since the last time I tried to make him do it (over a year ago). He has finally purchased the shoes and promised to run at least a little bit, and we have discussed whether he seriously wants to do it enough that I believe him, so I finally registered us for the race today! I’m super excited! We have also discussed doing some lengthy bike rides and some other local charity-type walk/runs (for example, the 5K run for the Bullies they have in Harrisburg) together, so you can probably look forward to more posts about joint ventures into fitness with my husband 🙂

Note: we want to wear Thanksgiving themed costumes so I need ideas, pronto! Don’t make me spend 15 hours on Pinterest trying to learn how to make a DIY pilgrim hat!

*To all of you who are suddenly panicking for me because I am going to South Carolina but have mistakenly chosen a race in North Carolina, don’t worry, I am well aware. Kris’s parents live on the border. His dad works in Charlotte! I promise it is nearby!

Purdue Boilermaker Half Marathon Race Report

I’ll start with the good news: I finished in 1:57:34, which is a 15 second PR! It’s not really that big of an improvement, but considering that I was afraid I wouldn’t even break 2 hours with all of my inconsistent paces while training, I am very happy with this time.

Now on to the bad, which is basically everything else. Ok, that is a lie. There were a few other good things. The race was adequately organized: hey had plenty of police present (important later); lots of volunteers; tons of water/gel/bathroom stations; the course was clearly marked; and they had plenty of food afterwards (though the selections were limited). Also, check out my awesome train medal:

Bathroom potato selife.

Close-Up!

So, what was so terrible, then?

Earlier this week, I realized it might be rainy today. What I didn’t realize was that it was going to be dark, 40 degrees, and raining. This caused the majority of my problems. I switched at the last minute from a tee shirt to a long-sleeved tee, at least. I made two poor attire choices, however. First of all, I left my gloves at home. Second, I decided to put my raincoat in my bag at gear check since I would be “too warm” if I wore it in the race. Also, all my money was in the bag that I checked, so when I finally ventured into a store that was selling Purdue gear at the starting area to stay warm, I couldn’t even buy gloves or a hat there, like many of the people were doing (most were just stretching or sitting around). My hands were numb until  mile 4, and then the numbness set back in around mile 8. By the time I was done, my hands were so numb that I couldn’t manage to open my water bottle (used my mouth) or turn the key in the ignition to start my car. I just had to sit there in the car until I warmed up. In general, being cold really hindered me. I was only “warm” for the middle of the race, and the whole time that I was cold, I was really having trouble pushing myself, because I was just really sore and stiff, especially towards the end. My left leg basically never loosened up and now my knee hurts quite a bit, though it has felt better as I have moved around throughout the day. At least this time, there weren’t any people attempting to haul barns through the race, though one person did drive out into the middle of it. Thankfully they were immediately intercepted by a cop!

Look how pleasant the weather was! And yes, it was still this dark when the race started 20 minutes later.

A few other interesting comments about the race:

  • I got a high five from a toddler who was spectating. He had tiny mittens! Squee!
  • When we saw the leader go past after the turnaround, a guy near me said something like “I couldn’t even bike as fast as that lead bike and that guy is running that fast!” This was true for me as well – I don’t know if I could keep up 5:00 miles on a bike for 13.1 miles!
  • The course was FAR less hilly than I expected – even the biggest hills were not very steep, so it wasn’t so bad. I will have to rub this in the face of the friend who was whining about how hilly the race was going to be earlier this week (especially if he still thinks it was hilly).

 

Food Friday/Race Prep

Before I begin with my discussion of this week’s food, I have a story to tell.

Yesterday, I was driving home from the store, when I got into my FIFTH car wreck. Yes, that is right, FIVE – and only 1.5 have been my fault (I once legit ran into a tree because young and wreckless; the 1/2 time I backed into someone who was driving too fast and texting). Don’t worry, it was very minor – I was rear-ended at a red light and everyone is ok! I also have a knack for being run into/running into people who are completely inexperienced with wrecks. So, I guess I should consider myself “lucky” to have had collisions as minor as the ones I have had and to be experienced at wrecks so I can help to calm the others involved. I felt so bad for the woman who hit me. My roommate (who was in the car) and I had basically had the reaction of “sigh, not again,” which I have a feeling is not normal. Also, I at least know where to get it fixed in town, now! My only complaint: this is a brand new bumper (replaced last time I was rear-ended) and it is like destroyed while I couldn’t even see a scratch on the other person’s late 90s Pontiac. I’m not surprised – my old Pontiac sucked up all my money (15 mpg), but at least it was a beast! Side note: nothing will ever compare to the tank-like nature of my first car: a Buick Skylark that was older than me. RIP Buick 😥

My poor little car. Perhaps people are attracted to the orange paint?


So where was I? Oh yeah, food! This week I actually cooked somethings, so I actually have something to talk about!

First of all, remember the cinnamon quinoa I made a couple of weeks ago? I made it again, so that I could eat it for breakfast before my race, but I substituted splenda for syrup this time. I much preferred this, as it made the cake-thing drier and it held together better. I’ve been eating it this week with fruit preserves and my cocoa almonds. I highly recommend this mixture of foods!

I also tried a new experiment with butternut squash: serving it with peanut sauce. I grilled a piece of salmon and sauteed the squash in oil, then added the peanut sauce after it started to get tender. There were a couple of problems with this meal, though. First, I did not make the peanut sauce liquidy enough, even though I used WAY more soy sauce than the motivating recipe (not posted because I changed a lot of things and it is not really a good recipe) called for, so it was sort of sticky. Second, the salmon, which the recipe said to just grill in some oil, was kind of bland due to the lack of other seasonings (I did add pepper and garlic salt). It didn’t help that my rice was too dry :/ I will probably try an experiment with butternut squash again tonight for dinner.

The butternut squash with peanut sauce did taste pretty good in the end, though!

I also finally made something pumpkin! My mom sent me a recipe for pumpkin muffins a couple of weeks ago, and I of course altered it. The original was apparently the “National Honey Board” which is somewhat ironic because I (accidentally) left out the honey. She only sent me a document with it, though, so I can’t link it. I will instead post the recipe as I did it for your enjoyment, though:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 c butter, softened
  • 3/4 c sugar substitute (or honey?)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin
  • 1 c white chocolate chips (it called for walnuts, which I am sure would be good)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside. Mix butter, sweetener, egg, and pumpkin. Add flour mixture slowly and mix. Mix in chocolate chips. Spoon into muffin cups. Bake for about 25 minutes. Makes 12. Mine are about 180 calories each.

Note: the original recipe called for honey, walnuts, and only 1 cup of pumpkin, so I really messed up and they turned out great!

Yummmmm!


Finally, I want to talk a bit about my race prep, since my race is tomorrow!!

My plan for this afternoon for the race was to go to the “expo,” which turned out to just be the two running stores selling some stuff and packet pick up; go for a long walk to stretch out my legs; and then prep my race clothes and equipment. I have accomplished all three!

Here is the “swag” I accrued at the “expo:”

The shirts are at least pretty nice – they are long-sleeved tech tees. I’m also fairly excited for my finisher’s medal, as I believe it is going to be a train (school mascot)! I don’t know how I feel about this food. The trail mix stuff looks good, but I am baffled by the cookie (I imagine it will taste great, though it seems like an unhealthy choice for a race bag) and I have no clue WTF corn thins are – I just hope they don’t suck. All of the other stuff in our packets was just coupons and ads. The ads did remind me that I need to sign up for the Indy Mini this year, though – I want to run on the Indy 500 track before I move away from this state that basically has nothing else exciting to offer.

You also may notice something new in the t-shirt photo…is that a new pair of running shoes? YES IT IS. I  knew I needed to buy new shoes after the half (don’t worry, still wearing old ones for half) because my old ones have holes in them, but I was going to put it off as long as possible because $$$. Then I found these Saucony Omni 11’s at TJ Maxx for $50. Yes, that is right: less than half of their original retail price ($120). By the way, if you need new running shoes, TJ Maxx had like 5 different styles of Saucony shoes for $50, so I’d advise going there. I am mildly nervous that I will have to return them, so I think I’ll take them to the gym for a very short workout to test them (so they don’t get too dirty and gross) but they should be fine as they are highly rated stability shoes (which is what I tend to wear). They aren’t as flashy as my Mizuno’s, but I’m ok with that (I’ll provide a thorough comparison of all three types I have tried in a later post).

In terms of other preparation activities, River and I went for a 2 mile walk in the beautiful fall weather. I am still kind of working on the last portion (packing up). I have all the clothes I am going to wear during the race laid out, and I have a bag with the race tee shirt and some extra leggings to wear after the race, but I am not sure what else to pack. Luckily, this race has a bag check, so I can take a few things, but I don’t want to make the bag too huge. I am thinking the tee and leggings, a water bottle, and my rainjacket. I will also probably leave my phone and keys in there so that all I have on me during the race is some Shot Bloks in my zipper pocket and my GPS watch (don’t worry, they will have water every 1.5 miles, and 3 or 4 powerade stations, as well as additional Shot Bloks at the turnaround, so I am not too worried about anything else). The only thing I am debating is whether I should put a luggage tag on it or not – I will probably leave my ID in there, but I don’t want it to get misplaced with all that valuable stuff in it!