Category Archives: Friday Favorites

5 Happy Things (for Friday)

Whoa, whoa…what? A post that isn’t a training recap or a race report?

Remember way back in the day when I would do Friday Favorites religiously every week? Well, somewhere in there I got busier and/or ran out of things to talk about. But since it’s been a little while, and since I’m desperate to help move this Friday along, let’s talk about some things that are making me happy recently. I’ve been in the midst of an upswing in terms of both running and health, and while I’m still proceeding with caution, it’s really been great to break through the clouds and let a little sunshine in. And I mean this both literally and metaphorically. Because…Colorado, obviously.

Colorado

photo 1

This really is a beautiful state. When I grew up here, I never really appreciated just how splendid and unique Colorado’s geography really is. When I moved to Washington, I realized that maybe I shouldn’t have taken all those years of being in the sun and near the mountains for granted. Low and behold, here I am again, and I’m trying to take in every beautiful view and day that comes my way. I’m anxious for adventures aplenty this summer, and I’m looking forward to experiencing this beautiful place to the fullest.

New Shoes

I spy...pretty blue running shoes!

I spy…pretty blue running shoes!

So, I’ve had shoe issues since last summer or so. I’ve been able to get by on rotating between a few suitable pairs, but I’ve been missing that running shoe magic. Since the few I’ve been using have been mostly getting the job done, I kind of gave up on my quest for a new shoe. That is…until one came to me. I’d had a few running friends mention to me (and by mention I mean rave about) the Adidas Energy Boost.

At first I was all…Adidas? Really? Pretty sure I wore their sneakers once in 5th grade and that’s because I liked the color. I’d never heard them in running shoe conversations before, so I was skeptical.

(Sidenote: never mind the fact that Adidas is the athletic sponsor of everything at the Boston Marathon…minor detail.)

Nevertheless, after 5 minutes of convincing in the shoe store and an A+ first run in them, I was a changed woman. I love these shoes. Everything about them. The cushion, the weight, the support, etc. They’re a bit of a change from the lower drop shoes I’ve been wearing for the past two years, but I don’t feel at all like my foot strike or stride is compromised. On the contrary, my feet feel way better than they have in a while. Not to mention the fact that these shoes are currently the best-sellers at just about every running store, and allegedly they last up to 700-800 miles. Wins all around, I love these blue beauties.

Moscow Mules

Change out of my running clothes for day-drinking? Nah.

Change out of my running clothes for day-drinking? Nah.

I’m a beer girl all the way. In fact, cocktails are the lowest on my preference list of alcoholic beverages. BUT, that’s changed a little bit recently, all for the sake of this yummy concoction. I know I’m late to the party, and essentially everyone’s known about this drink forever, but it’s still new-to-me and I’m crushing on it hard. Ginger beer, lime, and vodka-y goodness. Additionally, I think the concentration of sugar and carbonation in beer is a little rougher on my stomach than other libations, so this seems to be the safer route nowadays. Pro tip: try it with whiskey.

The November Project

988473_2084308347287_2540536291066377341_n

If you’re a regular Runner’s World reader, you may remember back in December a group called “The November Project” featured on the cover. It took a while for me to connect the dots myself, but the originally Boston-based group of running and fitness buffs has expanded their reach and grown to 17 different “tribes” throughout the country. One of those tribes is in Denver, and thanks to the encouragement and enthusiasm of this girl, I decided to try going a month ago.

Basically, the November Project is a free, twice-a-week group who meet up at local parks, city centers, etc. to get in a workout. I’ve gone four times now, and let’s just say I’m not only drinking the Kool-Aid, I’m close to injecting it into my veins. I love it.

Sorry for the drug joke, but seriously…the November Project is a game changer. I’m planning to do a whole post about it at some point, but essentially this group is exactly the kind of shake-up I’ve needed in my exercise and running routine.

I spy again...shoes!!! Also, I'm still sore from these.

I spy again…shoes!!! Also, I’m still sore from these.

This Weekend

Guess what! My best friend Anna is running HER FIRST MARATHON this fall!!!

(Anna, I’m sorry for telling everyone. This is a safe space, don’t worry.)

Senior year? Junior year? Either way this is a very sober picture. Maybe I should wear my hair curly again?

Senior year? Junior year? Either way this is a very sober picture. Maybe I should wear my hair curly again?

I think that I might be a little more excited about it at this point than she is, but regardless…she’s already killing it in terms of preparation. Case in point: this weekend, she’s signed up to run the Happy Girls Half-Marathon in Bend, OR. Which is all well and good, and then I realized that she was running it alone. As in…driving from Boise to Bend by herself, running the race, and then driving back.

Well that won’t do!

So in what was perhaps the quickest text-based planning session, we orchestrated the best Memorial Day weekend plan ever. This afternoon, I’ll be flying to Boise, tomorrow we’re driving the 5 hours to Bend, Sunday we’re running the race together then enjoying all the wonders (beer) Bend has to offer, and then on Monday I’ll be flying back to Colorado. The best, amiright? I’ll be running the race entirely with Anna, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

There you have it! Five Friday things. I’m so proud of myself for being so blogging-savvy today.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Tell me something you like!

Advertisements

Friday Favorites for Friday

I couldn’t think of another title. Forgive me.

Welcome to Friday, folks. It’s pretty safe to say that no one has ever been as jazzed about their rest day as I am right now. Pat me on the back people, and remember to tell your friends—yes, Robyn Broker is loving her rest days.

I was obviously super high on running in yesterday’s post. I was feeling particularly existential after an incredibly satisfying naked 10 miler. No watch, no music. And let me tell you…running without a watch after having used your Garmin for months is SO refreshing. I loved pacing according to how I felt rather than reaching a certain number. If only my “by feel” approach yielded faster times than when I use my Garmin 😉

Today, I’m still floating on running cloud 9, but let’s get real…yesterday’s post was a bit serious, and Fridays aren’t for seriousness. They are for big bowls of oatmeal (yes…every Friday, religiously), TGIF picture texts to people, and Favorite Things.

Onward and upward, or something:

Claussen Pickles

I realize this is a debatable topic in which there are normally two very divided sides of those who do and those who definitely don’t like pickles.

I am definitely the former, always have been always will be. I’ve started trying to integrate pickles into other things I eat…hey, isn’t the sodium good for runners? One time when I was little I ate so many pickles in one day I actually got sick the next day…but my love continues.

One of the best parts about dating BF is that he doesn’t like pickles, so not only do I get jars to myself—I always get his at restaurants.

Compression Socks

20120817-092311.jpg

I did it you guys. I finally resolved that spending over $50 on a pair of socks would outweigh the consequences of injuries due to calf tightness. My own issues with my calves has gone down a lot since starting to wear the Pure Connects, but lingering tightness is imminent…as was buying a pair of these babies.

Admittedly, I wanted a white pair (I have a thing about things that are bright and white) but these are kinda B.A. looking and I’m into them. I hounded the dudes at my running store for if they *really* work and both of them crossed their fingers and hoped to die that the socks really do help. Okya, they didn’t really do that…but I wish I’d made them.

*Update* When I went in the running store, I finally claimed my prize for my AG win at the Float Dodger 5k. I told the staff all about how two ladies had screwed me over for a 3rd place finish…but they still seemed to think it was my fault. Whatever.

Unfortunately, it’s been way too hot in Seattle to wear these babies regularly yet…but I have a feeling they will slowly start becoming a staple in my wardrobe.

Golf

Just kidding! I hate golf.

BUT on Monday, my new fancy employers are having a department-wide golf tournament for everyone. I read the “Come Join Us For Golf!” invitation as: “Skip a day of work and drink free mimosas in the sun!”

Obviously, I agreed. Luckily, one of the people in my “foursome” is a lady who sits across from me and we’re buddies…and she is self-proclaimed “bad at golf” too, so we’ll get to giggle in our shittiness together.

Fun fact: My ENTIRE family loves golf. My dad teaches a golf science class at the University he works for, my sister was captain of the varsity golf team in high school, and my uncle puts on a golf tournament/tv show every year. I’m really not kidding when I say my whole family is obsessive over this boring stupid country club sport.

So why not me? It’s simple. I don’t like golf because I suck at it. It’s childish really, but I don’t like being bad at things…particularly things where I can’t avoid people waiting for me and watching me. So while you’re all concerned with your pars and birdies and whatever, this birdie is more concerned with actually getting the ball off the tee…let along getting it to the hole.

Give me a pick up bball game, softball, capture the flag, or football game anyday. Golf…not so much. And actually no tennis either. Maybe I am just bound to never join a country club.

But, I’m glad that this sport is the reason for my freebie no-work Monday.

Strawberry ChapStick

The most wonderful ChapStick of all. Eternal love right here people.

Eat and Run

I know, I know… I just talked about this book yesterday. I’ll spare you a book review, but I really really enjoyed this book—and I recommend it. I got a lot more out of it than I thought I would, and it did a really good job of humanizing someone who the rest of the world sees as invincible. Ultramarathoners, specifically those as accomplished as Scott Jurek, seem so superior to those of us who run a few “big” races a year. And they are indeed very impressive…but Scott shows that even he deals with burnout, fatigue, and even plantar faciitis.

Next on my running reading list…Lore of Running, which I’m jazzed about.

And don’t worry, I have another non-running book in my current rotation too.

As for this weekend…I’m considering talking to the shoe store about the possibility of integrating the Pure Flows or Cadences into my routine. I love the Pure Connects, but I’m questioning if they’re best for distance?

Also, there’s a little tiny thing called a 20 miler tomorrow morning. I’m actually feeling good about it…hoping to settle into an 8:30 average and try out a new route for some entertainment. Some more paddleboarding will happen as well…I’m obsessed. More on that to come.

Til Monday…

Have a great weekend!!

Play my game! What are your favorite things? What’s your plan for the weekend? Do you know anything about the Pure Flow vs. Cadence vs. Connect? Do you love or hate golf? Love or hate pickles?

Wakeboarding Hamsters

Remember how I talk about Favorite things on Fridays?

Yes, me too.

Let’s do it!

A random aside…I realized I go back and forth between calling this activity “Friday Favorites” and “Favorite Things.” What do you think? I realized AFTER I started doing this that Friday Favorites is a blogging world standard…but I kind of dig the tribute to Sound of Music in saying Favorite Things.

So what should it be? Standard Friday Favorites? Favorite Things for Fridays? Does anyone actually care?

Yea, me neither.

Here are things I like that I am going to tell you about. There, that’s simpler.

Thorlo Pad running socks

 

 

 

 

Never have my toes and feet been more happy than in these fluffy little socks. I was given a pair as a Christmas present (fyi…any present related to running will upgrade your RB status immediately), and since then I’ve added another pair to my collection, because I can’t wear any other socks now.

Yes, this means that my socks are re-worn more often and smell a bit more, but it’s worth it. I actually think these socks helped me get over some plantar faciitis that I was dealing with earlier this year.

Another aside, because apparently the theme of this post is making random side notes. I just realized my feet don’t actually smell bad post running. Weird, because just about everything else is nasty, but I’ve never actually had smelly feet. Now you know about which of my body parts smell when I run, so you’re welcome for that.

pb&j rice cakes

Nope, couldn’t take a picture of the whole thing. Too hungry.

There are few combinations I love more than peanut butter and jam. Strawberry jam, to be specific, however if need be raspberry works too…sometimes. With that said, sometimes I don’t want a whole sandwich, or…I am still digesting one from the night before.  Since it’s difficult to eat peanut butter and jelly without any kind of platform to put them on (a knife and a finger don’t work so well…) I have developed an alternative, which is…in my opinion…the best snack ever.

PB and J on a plain rice cake. It’s a little salty, a little sweet, and it’s the perfect amount for just a snack.

There have been weeks on end where I think I’ve had one of these when I got off work every single day, including right now, and I so look forward to this snacktime. And yes, I do have a snacktime much like many of us had when we got home from school. I’m an adult.

TJ Maxx

This place is the best. Okay, it’s not the best (Target gets that all-powerful title) but in the grand scheme of places to shop, TJ Maxx is up there. When you walk in, an endless amount of opportunities present themselves to you, and suddenly your budget and better reason is thrown out the window because…obviously you need new placemats, a new painting, and 27 new shirts.

However, thanks to a little thing called markdowns, TJ Maxx doesn’t break the bank while still providing a great selection of products.

I do not, however, like nor care to be called a “Maxxonista.”

the hampster Kia commercials

This is strange…because honestly this is the type of commercial that would drive me nuts because it’s so overplayed/contains annoying music (which is already overplayed on the radio). But I LOVE THE HAMSTERS. They are dancing like humans, but they are hamsters!! It’s hilarious!!! And they are so synchronized!! Why aren’t they performing for me right now?!?!

I actually had to look up what car the commercial was actually for when I wrote this, because all I care about is the hamsters. I don’t know if that speaks to my attention for detail or their lack of creative marketing. Either way, giggles ensue when this super lame commercial plays…I can’t help it.

wakeboarding

I get to do this this weekend! I love wakeboarding, and I can’t wait to tear up some waves this weekend.

Fun story for you now: The last time I wakeboarded last summer, it attacked me. It hit me in the face with it’s sharp front edge, threw out some curse words, and threatened my first-born, which eventually resulted in 5 stitches and a scar.

Okay, that’s not really the right story line. Surprising, I know.

I was getting all cocky with the bumps outside of the wake, thinking I could skip right over them, and I ended up catching my board, falling OUT of the boots in front of the board, and as I emerged from underwater the board was still skidding along and went KERTHUNK when it hit my face. I didn’t even realize how bad it was until my little cousin from the boat yelled, “YOU’RE BLEEDING!” and everyone’s faces were horror struck.

Needless to say…I need to get back on that horse.

Here is proof:

Wakeboard accident or Dexter slice? If you got that reference then we must be friends. Hit me up.

Friday! Weekend! Opening Ceremonies!!!

I’ll be in Oregon this weekend playing with my family and BF—I can’t wait. I’ve been every summer since I was TWO and it’s my favorite place in the whole world to be. Let’s just hope my face survives this time.

Are you watching the opening ceremonies tonight? What are you doing this weekend? What are your favorite things? Am I alone in liking the hamster commercials? Do you have a race? A long run? A bar crawl? So many questions! Answer them all!

July 4th, Friday Favorites, and Really Attractive Photos

Favorites? You betcha.

But also, some 4th of July fun!

The day started off in (my version of) the best way possible at the First Annual 4th of July Mimosa 10k Fun Run! Also known as the longest hash tag of all time, or one of the best last minute ideas ever.

Thanks to the stellar organizational skillz of Nicole and the enthusiasm of lady runners/bloggers, the logistics came together in a flash and the results were excellent.

After doing a perfectly precise 10k, everyone enjoyed the sun, food, and mimosas. The best kind of 4th of July morning.

Runners are neat. Runners who eat and bring delicious food to social gatherings are even neater.

Literally everything was delicious, and I realized that learning to legit cook would probably make me more friends. See the cut up watermelon in the middle? That was the extend of my contributions.

Runners!

I think the best idea would be to make this a weekly thing. Sound good girls?

Afterward, BF and I were intent on doing some sort of outdoor activity. In Seattle, you enter into a panic mode when it’s sunny, and all previously made plans are altered to include being outside.

Contrary to what you might be thinking, I am not wearing a huge yellow diaper.

Kayaking it was! We decided to actually take advantage of the geographic location we live in for once and rent a boat to take out on the sound.

I am dating a 24 year old, not a toddler, as this picture might imply.

BF please don’t hate me for posting this picture

It was a little scary, but super fun, although I am disappointed a dolphin or killer whale didn’t majestically leap over our boat. Next time.

A little running, a little boating, a lot of watermelon eating, a little baseball catch, and I had myself one fun tribute to the US of A.

The one glitch in the day was forgetting that when you are out in the sun for 8 hours wearing a tank top, there is a very popular lotion recommended to prevent the sun from eating your flesh. Yea, oversight.

Yes, I have a degree.

What kind of rookie am I??? I admit, I am not a chronic sunscreen latherer, but I certainly know better than this bs. On the shoulders no less—seriously the most painful spot to have a sunburn.

Considering the fact that my mom has had skin cancer more than once due to her teenage baby oil tanning habits and has furthermore ingrained the sunscreen mantra into my brain, I really need to get my act together.

Mom, I hope it’s cool I’m telling the Internet about our family medical history. 


TGFAloe, and for the love of your skin, don’t be as dumb as me.

Now, let’s do something I haven’t done in forever and talk about some favorite things.

My Juicer

I’m just gonna go ahead and overshare by telling you (again) about how my digestive system is a bitch and hates me sometimes. I try to treat her right, but sometimes it doesn’t really matter what I do and my stomach is a wreck. Due to this chronic issue, getting enough F and V is really important for me and can make a world of difference.

This little device which was GIVEN to me by a dear friend has made my stomach and my wallet very happy. I love getting juices, but they are oh-so-expensive at all the legit juicing/smoothie places. This baby allows for some speedy F and V consumption that my stomach really agrees with. The only downside is how long it takes to clean…but otherwise I’m a big fan.

BF is still warming to them. Liquid vegetables are scary for him.

Cam Wow

I know, I know. The whole “Photo Booth,” distorting photos thing is so freshman year of college, but I still can’t get enough of this app! I can actually make myself laugh out loud, yes literally L-O-L, when I do this.

(Note: The purpose of these pictures is mainly to send them to family members or friends. I’m not actually that weird that I sit alone taking weird pictures of myself. Oh, I am? Shit.)

Anyways, enjoy my demonstration of shamelessness, and maybe you will be inspired to download this app.

While at intermission at the sophisticated Seattle Symphony.

While waiting in the car when picking up a friend.

While responding to your sister when she asks how your day is going.

What I’m really trying to say is…I’m really, really pretty.

That last one is probably the worst picture of me ever taken. Which, trust me, is saying something.


Franz Cinnamon Swirl Bread

For lack of any eloquence, this bread is the bees knees. What does that even mean? Are bees knees special? I don’t really think they even have “knees” so to say.

I digress. Run to the store and buy yourself a loaf, toast it up, coat in butter or whatever “version of butter” you use, and consume.

This is actually my first, baby-step attempt at pre-long run fueling. I’ve decided to be normal and smart and try eating something before my long runs. My handful of cereal isn’t going to cut it anymore, and so I’m going to grow up and wake up a little earlier beforehand to get down something real. A delicious slice of this is sure to help in the process.

High Guy Meme

I admittedly have been a meme follower/fan for a while, and I can pretty safely say that “High Guy” takes the cake (and the cookies, brownies, french fries, etc.) for being the funniest.

Seriously, again with the L-O-L. Check out some of the best ones here for a fun Friday chuckle.

Organix Cherry Blossom Ginseng Shampoo/Conditioner

I want to coat my entire life in this stuff and roll around in all its good smelling wonderment.

Does that make sense?

This stuff smells so good, and although I fell off the Organix wagon for a while, a few BOGO deals later and I’m back on track.

Oh, and I think this stuff is good for your hair? I’m really more concerned with the smell and the pretty pink bottle.

Wham bam Friday Favorites in the bag.

Have a wonderful, sunshine-filled, sunscreen-coated, sweaty weekend!

What are your favorite things right now? 

What’s your favorite meme?

What are your plans for this weekend?

Friday Favorites, Celine Dion, and Puppy Creeping.

Welcome to my blog, friends.

Happy Friday!

How are you?

In this week’s edition of “Robyn is creepy and takes pictures of other people’s dogs without them knowing,” I present to you…Mr. Newfoundland.

“Oh, you want to take my photo? Okay, I’ll just put on my most adorable face for you. Did you notice how fluffy I am?”

Oh, you wanted to see him closer up? Don’t worry, here he is again.

LOOK AT THAT FACE.

I tried really hard to look at his tag for his (her?) name, but the owner came out of Bartell’s and I had to pretend like I wasn’t just about to kiss his pooch on his big fluffy head.

I basically love everything today. My mood is impeccable for some reason, meaning that Friday Favorites is not only necessary, but it might include one too many exclamation points, attempts at humor, and use of caps lock. SORRY I’M NOT SORRY.

When you’re an injured runner, and you come across an A+ mood, you squeeze every ounce of happiness from it you can.

And this is no ordinary good mood, this is like smile-at-everyone, plan exciting events two years from now, channel happy thoughts to everyone you know kind of mood.

There is a chance it is residual from a little celebration I got to have yesterday with BF…

cue “aweee” track

Yesterday marked 4 years of dating! There was another “gray zone” year in there as well (I was abroad, etc.) but technically we have been gf and bf for FOUR years. Crazy. Tomorrow we’ll be officially celebrating by climbing Mt. Si (weather permitting) and going to a nice dinner downtown.

For your viewing pleasure, us then…and now:

Babies. First month of dating, and really sober too.

We have grown up so much. And changed a lot.

Dating your best friend is fun. Photobooth is also fun.

Moving on, let’s talk about some sweet things, yes?

Friday Favorites!

Cherry (regular flavor?) Blow-Pops

I’m into painting my nails again, don’t ask why. Also, this is an incredibly close-up look at my hand.

My sweets preferences are normally geared toward chocolate, ice cream, and things like that. Candy isn’t high on the list, but when I see one of these babies in the 25 cent bin at a gas station, I can’t resist.

It’s probably a nostalgia thing, because I think we got them in first grade on some special day or something. But to this very day, I think they are delicious.

Also, are these “cherry” flavor? I don’t actually know, I just know by the wrapper color. The gum is always so satisfying to bite into— and for that 5 minutes it actually stays a chewable consistency.

Our Garden!

Thriving! Greens! Growth! Life!

Way back when, I told you about our gardening endeavors, and I only halfway believed the whole venture would work. Sure, I know it’s pretty straight-forward, but it’s hard to believe that some little green plants and seeds could actually amount to any real food—particularly given the lackluster gardening skills of the caretakers.

Lucky for us, Washington weather is essentially a Mecca for new gardens. Alternating days of sun and days of rain treated our little square of dirt very well, and we currently have kale, spinach, chard (the winning grower, in my book), snow peas, pansies, beets, radishes, and various herbs growing.

I love it, and I’m obsessed with the fact that I can walk outside and pick a few leaves of greenery to add to my eggs in the morning. The Earth is amazing. Why haven’t people figured this out?

Oh, that’s what the whole “eat local” preaching is about? Oh yea…I forgot. Good work, progressive peeps.

My Garmin!

You have totally never, ever seen this picture on anyone’s blog ever.

Okay. This is kind of a lie. I’ve only been able to use this new beauty running twice given the whole “I can’t run right now” thing. And yes, it was purchased in my subconscious money-spending spree on running devices.

BUT, I have needed one for a long time, and I already understand why everyone is so in love with these. I think it’s going to be really helpful, as demonstrated when I was accidentally doing a 7:45 pace in the first mile of a “slow, don’t-aggrevate-your injury” run.

Whoops….thanks, G.

PSYCHED to use this gadget for reals.

“It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” by Celine Dion/Glee

Okay, first of all…that video.

You guys, Celine is a goddess.

And okay…the Glee version is sort of magical as well.

I’m obsessed with this song right now, and I’ve decided that it’s going to be my “coming back to running” anthem. And if you think I’m not capable into turning my runs into Broadway-status, epic solo performances, think again. You can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be blasting this fabulous love song in honor of my real return to my running shoes.

Annie reference there…speaking of musicals. Did you catch it?

Just so you know, also, you can really turn most love songs into being about running—particularly heart ache songs when you’re injured. Lame/weird? Maybs.

But, next time you’re injured and you hear Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up On Us” on the radio, I challenge you to not relate it to running.

You’re welcome for potentially ruining any real-life relationship meaning that song had for you.

Medal Hanger!

Running! These are for that!

Way back when, my sister got my this for me off Etsy for my birthday. 6 weeks later, it arrived, and I LOVE it! Really beats hanging medals off of a curtain rail…and all those hooks make me eager to do a lot more racing…

And speaking of racing, I thought I’d share this humorous/ironic little tidbit of info I learned today.

So we’ve all heard me bitch carefully describe how hilly the Tacoma Marathon course is. I’m not one to make excuses, but truly it was part of the reason for my less-than-stellar finale to that race. Yada yada, been there done that…if you’ve read my blog for a bit, you know that story.

So, imagine my reaction when I learn that they have announced their “BRAND NEW!” course…which is described as “a scenic point-to-point NET DOWNHILL course.”

Those assholes.

Not only have the killer hills been taken out, but the course is absolutely spectacular now. Like, so spectacular— that I really want to do it, spectacular. And I’m sure you know that me saying that means it’s really pretty awesome—given the whole, “I fell over and almost passed out” thing. Check it out if you’re so inclined…I just thought the whole thing was amusing. Don’t worry, that BQ totally wouldn’t have been no problem on this fantastically easier and prettier course.

It’s fine.

No, no…no bitterness today. Today is about exclamation points and giggles.

God did I just say that? Wow…clearly, there is an invisible endorphin-filled syringe in me right now.

And that comment really sounded druggy. I don’t do drugs, I swear. Only caffeine and Aleve.

Rambling done, post done. Have a wonderful weekend everyone! And please let me know…

What is your favorite childhood candy? Do you think it’s acceptable to fawn over other people’s pets? What are your weekend plans? What are your favorite things this week??

Running(!), Bridesmaids, and Doughnuts

Greetings friends, strangers, and family members who lovingly check in on my life.

How’s it going?

It’s JUNE. How did that happen?! I seriously feel like I was just bundling up every day and cranking my heater on a regular basis. Spring flew by, and while I know each year everyone seems to talk about how fast the time goes, for real this year seems even speedier. I’m just hoping this isn’t a sign of getting older…24 is ripe, I’ll tell you.

But let’s celebrate the time instead of commiserate its passing, shall we?

Plus, I have THINGS TO TELL YOU.

Friday Faves (obvs), AND I have some encouraging news. It’s not exclamation point encouraging, but exciting nonetheless.

;

I RAN. Well, ran-walked. And unlike Sunday’s fail of a walk-run attempt, I can confidently say that this excursion went well! Let’s back track a bit though and do a little lack-of-running recap.

Since doomsday the Tacoma Marathon, I haven’t been running at all. I tried a few times, realized very quickly that my IT band is shot, and since then I’ve been desperately trying to massage and ice and exorcise the stubborn demons out of my leg. It has been a month, which is pretty hard to believe—since it seems like only a little bit ago I felt fully recovered. Pathetic.

And no, I haven’t really been performing exorcisms on body parts. Yet.

Anyway, I have been sad, you have heard a lot about it, I have become a grumpy injured runner, etc. Whine whine whine.

Despite being peeved at anyone and everyone with fully-functioning legs, I actually have been more okay with this running leave-of-absence than I thought. After getting myself back together after that race, I realized that taking a step back was probably just what I needed. Although I’m sad it took an injury to fully solidify my “rest period,” the timing is without question the universe telling me to slow down. And slowing I have been.

Cue, Wednesday afternoon. I wanted to try walk/running again. I was/am tired of being inside on a spin bike while everyone in the entire world is out running.

(By the way, when you all of a sudden can’t run, every single person and their puppy seems to start running.)

It only took about 2 minutes in for my knee to seize in that all-too-familiar way, and so I started to walk, per run/walk standard procedure. After a minute, I started to run again, and after another two minutes…I realized my knee felt better. Not great, but not bad. While I am always hoping that one day I’ll wake up and the running gods will have waved their wands (the Stick) and made my ailments completely go away, at this point…I’ll take what I can get.

And guess what? I was out on my favorite route for 45 minutes!! 32 of which were running, and the others were spent stretching/walking. I didn’t even really care that I was having to walk at some points when I otherwise would have been flying by other people. It felt so good to be outside, by the water, and actually sweating from running. I know I had a big smile on my face the whole time, and I felt better after each spurt of running.

;

;

It would be a lie to say that my knee didn’t hurt afterwards, because it did. However, although the running is bringing on the IT band flare, it doesn’t seem to be making it worse, does that make sense? As in, the pain is there…but it’s not getting any more significant through movement.

The next day, I was sore but still pleased that for the first time in a month, I can say that I covered over 4.5 miles.

You cannot see my sweat, but it’s there!! And it’s from running!!

YAY

I’m going to try again perhaps Sunday, and with any luck this next attempt will be even better. Wednesday’s run was the first time I’ve actually felt hopeful about my running endeavors in a while, and that’s a good feeling.

ALSO. In other news regarding feeling like a runner…remember back when how I told you about my two dead toenails holding on for dear life? Yes, well, they have been hanging around, black and beautiful. I figured since I haven’t been running, they would calm themselves down and return to a semi-normal look.

So I go to cut my toenails last night, and I realize that one of my black nails is COMING OFF. Like, I could easily pick it up.

I’ll spare you details, you get it, but I am officially toenail-less. Which is nasty, no doubt, but it’s also a friendly little reminder that I am, in fact, a runner…injury or not.

Also, writing about cutting my toenails feels really TMI, so… sorry. Strange, because apparantly I have no qualms with talking about peeing my pants while running.

Moving on…let’s get onto some Friday favorites eh? I’ve been slacking recently, sorry, but I’m back and ready to deliver the goods. And by “goods,” I mean “random shit that I like that I’m going to tell you about because this is my blog and you are reading it.”

It’s fine.

Christian The Lion

If you have not seen this video, STOP what you are doing, no I don’t care if your boss can see, and watch this video. It is almost certain that everyone has seen it, but if not…you will not be disappointed.

This never fails to bring a smile to my face and actual tears to my eyes. I don’t cry from movies people, ever. But this is perfect. Animals really have the whole unconditional love thing figured out…if only we could catch on.

How much do you want to hug a lion after watching this? Also, Whitney is crucial to building the anticipation.

(Side note: When I say I don’t cry in movies, I’m really not kidding. However I need to inform you that no matter how immune to tv/movie crying you may be, if you watch the Glee season finale from this year while on a foam roller you WILL burst into heavy uncontrollable tears. Seriously, SOBS.)

Dixie Cup Ice Massages

Every runner should know about this contraption. Oh wait, I was the only runner who wasn’t doing it? Dang.

BUT I have made a few discoveries regarding the usefulness of freezing a Dixie cup full of water.

1) The functionality of icing your leg is highly improved by using this method as opposed to holding individual ice cubes and pointlessly running them along your leg.

2) This shit hurts. Due to increased grippage (thanks Dixie people), you can really dig into your muscles with this baby. Ice AND massage= two for one special! The concentration of a huge hunk of ice on a knotty IT band yields a good deal of pain, and with enough effort, this can be as brutal as the foam roller.

*Question for anyone who has done this…is it normal for me to be sore the next day from doing this last night?? I think I might be bruising.

Pink Lady Apples

I cannot believe I haven’t done this one before, but I actually don’t think this favorite has been on my list.

I can safely say that I eat an apple every single day. I love them, they are easily transportable, and they accent other things so well. With that said, I have made the rounds in terms of trying all different kinds of apples.

My key components are: crispiness, tartness, and size.

I love me a huge apple, which often times dictates which ones I pick up. Also lucky I live in WA, where the big apples are ample.

Through all my experimentation, Pink Lady apples are the winners in terms of consistency and appeasing all my apple must-haves. The are always hard, tart with a subtle sweetness, and they are generally big.

Galas and honeycrisps suffice when my favorite PLs are absent, but otherwise I will be a Pink Lady lover for life.

Bridesmaids

I know, I know. Old news, everyone has already ranted and quoted on and on about this movie.

Don’t care, it’s on the favorites.

This movie gets funnier every time I watch it, and so far I haven’t gotten sick of quoting or rewatching it. There are SO many funny things that aren’t even that obvious at first, and I credit it to the brilliance of Kristin Wiig and the probable ad-libbing that went on. Megan is obviously the best character, with Annie’s (K. Wiig) female roommate as a close second.

This is not going to be interesting whatsoever, but in case you are as obsessed as me and can identify these nuances, I’ll share some of my favorite lines which frequently make their way into my daily vocabulary. If you’re over this movie, just go ahead and skip ahead:

“Oh that’s prickly.”

“I’m glad he’s single cause I’m gonna climb that like a tree.”

“No it’s not… me.”

“Yea oh shit. Yea oh shit.”

“I’m just gonna snowball off of that and say Fight Club. Female Fight Club.”

“Well only because I’ve never had a drink!”

OK. Done.

National Food Holidays

I love food. I love when everyone else loves food, too. I don’t always participate, admittedly, but I think it’s a hoot when everyone’s all of a sudden buying grilled cheeses or cupcakes or eating peanut butter by the spoonful—which is super fun, any day of the year.

With that said…

Today is National Doughnut Day.

Celebrate accordingly.

I don’t really need an excuse for most things, but doughnuts are something I rarely have…so why not today, right?

PLAY WITH ME! What are your favorite things? What kind of apples do you like? Favorite Bridesmaids lines? Is my post-ice massage soreness kosher? Are you kosher? Is anyone really kosher? I’m done I’m done.

Friday Favorites: Massages, Wanderlust, and Metabolism Overload

Good morning! I hope everyone’s excited for their weekend endeavors—I for sure am. Some upcoming highlights will include seeing one of my best friends perform in Footloose, lots of spinning, trying some local brews, and (hopefully) painting my new garage sale purchased dresser.

I rage. That’s what I’m really trying to tell you.

No running in there, but it’s okay…

I had my first experience with a sports massage yesterday, and although I went into it expecting to shriek in pain and hobble out crying, it really wasn’t so bad. Sure, it wasn’t necessarily pleasant, but homegirl masseuse (Nancy) definitely knew her stuff and she worked the crap out of my IT band and other muscles I don’t remember the names of. I’m wonderfully sore today, and she said with rest and icing and rolling and all that jazz —she gives me a quick recovery time.

Note to everyone: If you give me these kind of diagnoses, I will love you forever and we will be BFF. Even if you don’t have a PhD, that is overlooked for the sake of positivity.

She was fairly certain that standard IT band tightness is my issue, and she was pretty quick to blame the hills during the marathon for igniting all these leg problems. INTERESTING NANCY, ME TOO. In fact, I plan on blaming those hills for every problem that has and will ever happen to me from now on.

….kidding. But only kind of.

Let’s stop all this injury rubbish though, shall we? Injuries go away, running will return, and right now it’s Friday.

Friday Favorites have been gone for far too long, so let’s hop to it eh?

-The Pandora App

For those of you with a smart phone, who do not currently have this app, I highly recommend it. It’s probably my most used one (with the exception of my email and probably Scramble with Friends), and ever since I got it I’ve had a lot more music going on in my life. My favorite new habit is playing it while I’m in the shower—making cleaning time all the more enjoyable.

Although it’s already pretty enjoyable, seeing as it doesn’t happen as often as it probably should.

I have a very specific routine of listening to the Glee Cast radio while in the shower (songs from musicals and Disney movies are clearly the most belting-worthy), and then I switch to some country crooners for the rest of my preening process.

By preening, I mean getting dressed and putting my wet hair in a bun.

And by country crooners, I mean holy hell I am completely a country music person how did this happen and will it ever stop?

And speaking of musicals…

-Spring Awakening

No matter who you are—Broadway fan or no—if you get the chance to see this show, GO. You may have heard all the hype behind it that took NYC by storm a few years ago, and I can assure you that the actual show delivers. I saw it for the second time a few weeks ago, and I was even more impressed than the first time—which never happens.

It’s wildly scandalous, in the best kind of way. It’s not really a family show—so don’t say I didn’t warn you—but I think it would be hard to find another stage production that gets more  passionately real than this coming-of-age story.

– This Quinoa Creation

Remember when I said that recently I’m doing things I don’t normally do? Well I’m about to do something else…give you all a recipe!

Now, the “cooking” that goes on in our household normally consists of either rotating between the same 4 meals, making green smoothies and pb&j on rice cakes, and going to our local grocery store for pre-made food. There’s rarely something new and exciting, however there is one thing we consistently have that is one of my absolute favorite meals. It’s easy, it’s great for runners/athletes, and it makes me think that I have a bit more of a culinary repertoire than steaming vegetables and cooking rice. Which sometimes doesn’t even work.

Anyways…lots of protein, lots of different flavors, and LOTS of leftovers.

1 cup quinoa

1 can black beans

1 can corn

steamed greens- we usually do kale or spinach

1 zucchini, sauteed or steamed

dried cranberries

sunflower seeds

Instructions: Put all ingredients in bowl. Mix. Serve! BF and I normally put this mixture in some tortillas for a quinoa taco concotion, but it can easily be done in a bowl. Also, I recommend some sort of dressing—we use the Goddess dressing from Trader Joe’s, but it’s up to your preference. Also, there will be a lot of leftovers—which is one of the best parts.

-Garage Sale purchases

This is the aforementioned dresser that I bought last weekend. West Seattle was having 360 garage sales on Saturday, yes you read that number right, and some of the proceeds were going to various worthy causes. In other words, there was mayhem all over my neighborhood in the form of crazy people scuttling around in search for other people’s junk. I really didn’t want to be one of these people, however there was one item I was in some desperate need of and had been putting off for far too long.

My current dresser from IKEA is about one loose screw away from completely dismantling and falling apart. The bottom drawer is completely dysfunctional, I can only open one drawer at a time or else it will fall over—standard, “I only wanted to pay $100 for this and didn’t even put it together right” first-world problems.

So, off I went into the garage sale inferno, coffee and neighborhood map in hand.

Not kidding, the THIRD house I drove by had the above dresser sitting right in front, and about 3 minutes between seeing it and making sure it was use-able, cash was exchanged and now she’s mine.

Suggestions for a paint color?? I’m thinking of getting all Pinterest-creative with this endeavor. Something not too girly, but something that will dress up a nearly all-white room.

-Traveling

Now, I’m adding this to my favorites list with some bittersweet-ness. Does that even make sense? I don’t know, go with it.

I love to travel, and when asked what my favorite things are—it is definitely high on my list. In fact, next to running…traveling may be a contender for the top spot in my favorite things.

However, this is making the list this week specifically because I am experiencing some big time nostalgia for Europe and intense wanderlust. I made the mistake (was it a mistake? maybe just a tease?) of reading one of my friend’s blogs this morning—and she happens to be living, traveling, and experiencing Europe completely independently, and it all sang to a deep yearning within me.

Honestly, if I were single and without a job, I have a very strong feeling that I would be far out of the U.S. When I was abroad, I was close to the happiest I’ve ever been, and I promised then myself that I would see more of the world. I loved the feeling of being self-reliant, navigating my way through new places without knowledge of the language, all by myself. It was liberating, it gave me a whole new appreciation for just how wonderful this world is, and it’s something I dearly miss.

Truthfully, no one really wants to hear about abroad experience…with perhaps the exception of your grandparents and other people who visited the same places as you. So I’ll spare you the details. However, I’m making you look at some of my favorite photos from Europe—hey, I needed an excuse to look at all my old photos.  I’m really gunning to get the opportunity to scratch this itch before too much time passes. I feel like part of me is missing, and while I am so appreciative of all that I have here, I do know that there is a lot more I want to see.

Trevi Fountain, with gelato in hand. Apparently I painted my nails then also?

In Prague—my 21st birthday. Splendor.

Santorini, Greece. DONKEY RIDE!

The best beer, the best chocolate, and the best roommates. And Mean Girls.

my backyard in Prague, NBD

Ferry boat off of Athens.

On a Greek island, drink in hand, broke as crap, and in love with life.

 

That’s all for today! I would also like to state that I had one of those unending hunger streaks last night when I got home, and it still hasn’t let up. After snack after snack after dinner after frozen yogurt, I’m still a bottomless pit. Which is kind of fun, but a little daunting. A massage effect maybe? I took today off from any activity in hopes of slowing down my appetite…but this feels like a very belated post-marathon insatiability. GIVE ME ALL THE FOOD.

NOW YOU! What are your favorite things this week? What are the best places you’ve traveled to? Paint color recommendations for my dresser?  Fun weekend plans? If you have a long run, just don’t tell me. Or lie.