Run Streak: Weeks 8 & 9

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Ahhh! I am so behind on my run streak recaps! Kevin and are both still streaking, but we were on vacation on the west coast last week. Anyone with a toddler knows that vacations are pretty much the opposite of relaxing, so I didn’t have any time to blog while I was there. I had an amazing time and have so much to share, which I will do in a separate post later this week. But first, here’s my recap of week 8 and 9 of our running streak!  Brace yourself, this is a long one!

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*WEEK 8*

Katie’s Miles (7/14 – 7/20)

  • Monday: 2 miles @ ?. I met my friend Gina for sprints at the track again! I ran a couple laps before she got there, then we sprinted the long sides and walked the short sides. After that we did some killer bench step-ups and the first 3 tracks of the new CXWorx release so she could practice for the launch the next day- love having a fitness instructor as a friend and workout buddy :) While we were working out our boys played in the middle of the track. It was a great and very sweaty morning!
  • Tuesday: 3 miles @ 9:31. Kevin warned me when I got in from my run that it was super humid out and he wasn’t kidding. Wow, this run was tough! I felt like I was running through the thickest air. Afterwards I was very much looking forward to going to Oregon on Thursday and running where it’s cooler and much less humid!
  • Wednesday: 3 miles @ 8:55. We were flying to Oregon early the next day so I spent all day running errands and packing. I didn’t get out to run until after 5 p.m. and I was expecting it to be tough, but it was actually amazing outside! Even though it was warm out the humidity was only 48% and I could actually run semi-fast again! I was so happy- what a nice gift :)
  • Thursday: 1 mile @ 10:07. Wow you guys. We almost broke the streak today. We woke up at 2:30 a.m. and caught a super early flight out of DC to San Francisco, and then another flight to Portland, Oregon. It was a long day, and flying with an almost 2 year old made it 1000x more difficult. On the way to our hotel we stopped to see my aunt at her house, and by the time we got to where we were staying it was 3:30 (6:30 eastern time), we were exhausted and starving. But we headed out to do just 1 mile for the streak and it was the hardest mile I have run in a LONG time. It was super slow but we got it done. I couldn’t wait to get some rest and get out again the next day when I could actually enjoy it!
  • Friday: 5 miles @ 10:04. One of my favorite runs so far in the streak! I ran 5 miles along the path that goes along the river and across the bridges in Portland with my sister. It felt amazing outside, temperatures in the low 60s with no humidity- pretty much perfect! The views were beautiful and the miles flew by pretty effortlessly.
  • Saturday: 11 miles @ 9:33. Another great one. I left the hotel at 6:30 a.m. to do a long run and didn’t really know how long I would go, I just wanted to do at least 8 miles. One of my favorite parts of traveling is exploring new places by running, so I just kept going and before I knew it I was at 11 miles! One of the coolest parts of Portland is how you can go from the city straight into nature in no time. I feel like I got my own special tour today.
  • Sunday: 5 miles @ 9:35. After attending my cousin’s beautiful wedding the night before, I wasn’t sure how much I would feel like running the next morning. I went out thinking I would do 2 or 3 but running just felt so easy in Portland! I ended up doing 5 easy miles and took a bunch of photo breaks to help me document and remember my time here. The next day we were headed to Bend, Oregon (probably my favorite place in the U.S.) for the second part of our trip and I couldn’t wait!
  • Total Miles This Week: 30
  • Total Miles So Far: 236
  • Total Days Streaking: 58

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Kevin’s Miles (7/14 – 7/20)

  • Monday: 1 mile @ 8:04.
  • Tuesday: 2 miles @ 8:40.
  • Wednesday: 2 miles @ 7:18.
  • Thursday: 1 mile @ 10:07. (Traveled to Oregon)
  • Friday: 3 miles @ 8:42.
  • Saturday: 3 miles @ 9:48.
  • Sunday: 1 mile @ 9:10.
  • Total Miles This Week: 13
  • Total Miles So Far: 110.8
  • Total Days Streaking: 57

Rather that write about each of my runs (because they’re so short they aren’t really memorable most of the time), I am going to write a few sentences about my week in general. It was really great to be able to go to a different place and run after always running in the same place over and over again. It was fun running in the city but I especially liked being by the water where I could zone out and not worry about traffic lights.

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*WEEK 9*

Katie’s Miles (7/21 – 7/27)

  • Monday: 3 miles @ 9:29. Bend, Oregon is one of my favorite places ever! Although it’s harder to run there due to being at 4,000 feet elevation, the scenery just can’t be beat! It just doesn’t get more beautiful than this. I was so happy to be able to run there for a few days.
  • Tuesday: 2 miles @ 9:32. This is reason #273846 why I love Bend. On a random Tuesday night they had a “Float Run” event, where we were going to run from the local running store to the river, floated down it on rafts, then had root beer & Deschutes brewery Black Butte Porter floats. Unfortunately it was raining with some lightning so we couldn’t float down the river, but Kevin, my sister and I still did our run and had ice cream floats. It was so much fun!!!
  • Wednesday: 6 miles @ 9:10. I had been itching to get out for a longer morning run since we got to Bend, and I was finally able to on this day! It was a beautiful and cool morning, and I ran from my aunt’s house down to the river trail and came back. It was a LOT of uphill on the way back but I felt surprisingly good. I didn’t feel as out of breath due to the altitude as I did on my last few runs. On this run I decided we need to move here :).
  • Thursday: 3 miles @ 9:14. was a lot of fun! The whole family wanted to walk on the river trail, so my sister, husband and I decided to run and meet them there. It was about 2.5 miles from my aunt and uncle’s house, but I went a little farther to make it 3. After the run we did a 3 mile walking loop on the trail alongside the beautiful Deschutes River. It felt great to do something active with the entire family!
  • Friday: 2 miles @ 8:43. I only had time for a quick run before we left for the airport early that day to go back to Virginia. It was a beautiful, crisp and clear morning- only 44 degrees which actually felt amazing! I ran around my aunt and uncle’s neighborhood and took in one of my favorite views- the river that runs behind their house. I wish I had more time to run on our last day. Really going to miss the beautiful state of Oregon and all of my family that lives here!
  • Saturday: 2 miles @ 9:39. Hello Virginia and all of your heat and humidity! Really did not miss that while I was on the west coast! After more than 15 hours of traveling that included a 4 hour car ride and 2 flights we finally got home at 2 am Saturday morning. Needless to say we are all exhausted the rest of the day! A slow 2 miler was all we could handle, and was definitely enough!
  • Sunday: 9 miles @ 10:39. I had a long run with my running group planned this morning and then woke up to heavy rain. There was a thunderstorm in the forecast, so we pushed our start time back a little bit. That was a good choice because when we got started the rain had stopped and it ended up being a great run! Kevin came and did 4 with Kev in the stroller, one of my friends cut the loop we were running a little short and did 7, and I ran 9 with another friend. It felt good to be with my running buddies and helped me not notice the humidity as much :)
  • Total Miles This Week: 27
  • Total Miles So Far: 263
  • Total Days Streaking: 65

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Kevin’s Miles (7/21 – 7/27)

  • Monday: 2 miles @ 8:40.
  • Tuesday: 2 miles @ 9:34. (Float run!!!)
  • Wednesday: 3 miles @ 9:37.
  • Thursday: 2.5 miles @ 9:15.
  • Friday: 1 mile @ 7:51.
  • Saturday: 2 miles @ 9:40.
  • Sunday: 4 miles @ ?. (Ran back after running 2 miles with Katie and her girls and she had the Garmin).
  • Total Miles This Week: 16.5 
  • Total Miles So Far: 127.3
  • Total Days Streaking: 64

It was fun running in Bend, another new place. It was quiet, amazing weather and I got to do things like run and drink beer floats afterwards. Then I got sad because I had to come back to this hot hellhole. Boo!

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And that wraps up week 8 & 9! I’m excited for this week because I have 3 runs planned with friends! I am seriously LOVING running with other people lately. It makes me happy :) Onto week 10! Hard to believe we are entering double digits!

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Previous Updates

Mom & Baby: 22 Months

Rather than write the type of update that I’ve been writing for the last 21 months I decided to do things a bit differently this time. Much of what I wrote about last time is still true, so instead of repeating myself I’m going to describe Kevin’s amazing little toddler personality at 22 months using words and pictures. Here we go!

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22 months is…

…Independent

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…Attached

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…Excited

…Angry

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…Fearless

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…Afraid

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…Defiant

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…Loving

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…Talkative

…Happy

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…Sad

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…Sleepy

…Not Sleepy

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…Ticklish

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…Hungry

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…Sweet

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…Messy

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…Really Messy

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…Wet

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…Loud

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…Generous

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…Mischievous

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…Moody

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…Rough

rough

…Snuggly

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…Attitude

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…Adventurous

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…Bruised

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…Silly

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…Grown up

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…Learning

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…Active

active

…Too cool

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…Just like daddy

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…Just like mommy

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…Helpful

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…Elmo

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…Time Out

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…Naked

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…Sweet tooth

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….Social

social

…Perfect

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Previous Mom & Baby posts:

Run Streak: Week 7

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I have officially changed the name of these posts from Runner’s World Run Streak recaps to just Run Streak recaps, since the Runner’s World challenge is officially over. Kevin and I will be keeping up the streak until hopefully Labor Day, and I will continue to write weekly updates to document our runs. Here is a recap of how my week went, followed by Kevin’s account of his week.

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Katie’s Miles (7/7 – 7/13)

  • Monday: 2 miles @ 9:09. I was supposed to have a date at the track with my friend Gina again this morning, but we didn’t get home from the beach until close to 1 a.m. due to traffic (ugh!). I was exhausted and just couldn’t bring myself to wake the baby up early to take him to the track and force myself through a tough workout. Instead we took it easy all day and rested and I ran 2 quick miles in the evening after dinner. Despite having some bad heartburn from my black bean tacos it was a good run, and I felt great in my new shirt from Old Navy (see above photo!).
  • Tuesday: 4 miles @ 9:11. I went out in the morning not knowing how far I was going to run, and after a minute or so I figured it would be another short one because I felt pretty stiff and tired. Eventually I got into a good groove and the rest of the run felt awesome. It felt nice outside with lower humidity and some breeze. I ended up doing 4 miles and came home to a delicious smoothie that Kevin had made for me :) Great morning!
  • Wednesday: 4 miles @ 9:23. I didn’t have time to run in the morning because I had to leave the house super early for a work training. The baby was at daycare so I ran after my training was over before I picked him up. It was about 90 degrees (!!), but it actually didn’t feel terrible until I turned around at the 2 mile mark. At that point I was wishing I had turned around at 1.5 and just done 3 miles! I ended up walking twice during the second half but left my watch going while I did. I really do believe that taking walking breaks can make you faster overall, especially in the summer. I felt better once I walked for a minute or so and was able to pick it up again afterwards more easily. I was very happy to be done once I hit 4 miles!
  • Thursday: 5 miles @ 9:22. What a perfect morning for running. Cooler, breezy and lower humidity than we have been having here. It felt so good that I decided to go a little farther than I have been during my weekday runs. It was a beautiful route, and I felt strong on the (many) hills. Lots of other friendly runners out this morning too. Great way to start the day!
  • Friday: 3 miles @ 9:16. I am getting spoiled with this beautiful mornings! Again, it was cooler with lower humidity and I felt great. I usually take a short wooded trail that takes me from my neighborhood to a commuter lot and the main road when I run, but the day before I was walking with little Kev and a snake slithered right in front of us on the trail! I got really scared, picked up Kev and ran. So needless to say, I wanted to do a different route this morning. The way I went was definitely more hilly but I felt strong on the hills again. So happy my body seems to be acclimating more to the summer weather!
  • Saturday: 12 miles @ 10:28. This was a special day for a couple reasons. #1, it was day 50 of my streak! #2, I had an amazing run with some wonderful people. I ran with Amanda and two new friends that I met through a local mommy running group, and we did 10 miles together in the shaded, beautiful Fredericksburg Battlefield. We talked the entire time and the miles really flew by, except toward the end when I REALLY had to pee. The only drawback to running in the battlefield is that there are no bathrooms nearby! Once I finished with the ladies I went in the woods to pee (LOL) then I met my boys who were also there with my husband’s running group. It worked out perfectly, and I was able to meet them as Kevin was finishing his run. I ended up doing 2 more miles, bringing me to 12 miles for the day. Then I went home and we all napped for 2 hours. Perfection!
  • Sunday: 2 miles @ 9:23. Whew, it was hot out there on this day! I ran to the gym to take Body Pump and then back home, a mile each way. It was my first time doing Body Pump 90 and WOW. My whole body was shaking at the end. It was tough but I loved it!
  • Total Miles This Week: 32
  • Total Miles So Far: 206
  • Total Days Streaking: 51
View on Thursday's run!

View on Thursday’s run!

Kevin’s Miles (7/7 – 7/13)

  • Monday: 1 mile @ 8:56. This was the day after we got home late from our vacation and I couldn’t get up in the morning to run after only a few hours of sleep. Running in the evening in the summer really sucks, but I did it anyway because I wanted to get back on track.
  • Tuesday: 2 miles @ 8:24. Back to running in the morning and it felt great!
  • Wednesday: 2 miles @ 8:49. I waited until after dinner to run and all I could do was taste my dinner. Kinda made me feel like I wanted to throw up. You’d think I would have learned my lesson from Monday’s evening run but I didn’t.
  • Thursday: 2 miles @ 8:50. Another nice morning.
  • Friday: 2 miles @ 8:35. It felt good outside this morning, but I’m getting ready for some new routes. I keep going back to the same ones because they’re easy and I can just walk out the door and run, but it’s getting boring!
  • Saturday: 5 miles @ ?. I ran with my running group at the Battlefield and pushed Kev in the stroller. This was the farthest distance I have pushed him in a while and it was tough but good. Katie had the Garmin so I don’t know how long it took me. I just asked someone in my group to let me know when we hit mile 2.5 and then I turned around.
  • Sunday: 2 miles @ 8:10. Quick 2 miles to end my weekend. I did it after Katie got back from Body Pump and it was pretty hot mid-morning.
  • Total Miles This Week: 16
  • Total Miles So Far: 97.8
  • Total Days Streaking: 50

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Next week will be exciting, because we’ll be traveling to the west coast! We will be in Oregon to see family and attend my cousin’s wedding. Oregon is probably my favorite place to run and I can’t wait! We’ll be in Portland for about 4 days and then Bend for 4 days, so if anyone has any running recommendations for those areas let me know.

Previous Updates

Food We’ve Been Loving Lately!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a “recipe round-up” style post where I share some of the vegetarian meals we have made and enjoyed lately. Since I have been on summer break I’ve had more time to look for new recipes, and there’s nothing like fresh summer produce. Here are some of our recent favorites!

Pasta with Spicy Zucchini-Tomato SauceWe started a garden this year and now have an over abundance of zucchini! I was looking for ways to use it and found this recipe which sounded really good, and it was. The best part is that it was super simple. It wasn’t too spicy either, even little Kev ate it! We did add some cannellini beans for protein.

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Greek Orzo Salad with Mustard-Dill Vinaigrette. I found this recipe when I was randomly watching Bobby Flay on the Food Network and knew we had to try it. It was delicious and perfect for summer! I added chickpeas for extra protein and avocado because why not?  My husband declared that this recipe is definitely a keeper!

Crispy Quinoa Cakes with Roasted Red Pepper SauceThis recipe is from Vegetarian Times, which I love, but I did modify it a bit. I didn’t use any tahini (not a big fan of it) and added another egg instead to help bind it together since I left the tahini out. I also used mashed sweet potato instead of grated, again for binding purposes. I used all of the other ingredients except for the optional nuts. I also made the roasted red pepper sauce that is linked in the recipe. So good and surprisingly very filling! I had the leftovers the next day on top of a salad and it was delicious too!

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Veggie, Cashew & Pineapple Stir Fry. This stir fry has the yummiest sauce ever! Here is the recipe: Whisk together juice from a 20 oz. can of pineapple chunks, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of corn starch (to thicken it up). Add sauce to sautéed vegetables of your choice and chickpeas (or meat) and bring to boil for a couple minutes until it thickens, then add the pineapple. Serve over rice, top with some cashews and enjoy! This sauce made our dinner taste like Chinese take-out. YUM!

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Pasta with Lemon Basil Butter SauceThis dinner was ridiculously amazing!!! We used regular pasta rather than ravioli like the recipe calls for to lighten it up a bit, because we didn’t want it to be too heavy with the butter sauce. I do think ravioli or tortellini would have been delicious though! This meal tasted like something from a restaurant and the lemon and basil flavors are perfect for summer. You just cannot go wrong with Two Peas and Their Pod, definitely bookmarked this recipe for the future!

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Black Bean & Corn Tacos. I don’t really have a recipe for this one because it’s so easy. This is one of our quick meals that we like to make in a pinch or if we are low on groceries. We always keep a box of tortilla shells and cans of black beans and corn in our pantry, and we have frozen peppers and onions in the freezer. All we do is sautee the peppers and onions, add the beans and corn, then add some seasoning to it (chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, paprika, salt- basically everything in taco seasoning). We put that into taco shells and top with some salsa and avocado. My husband also likes cheese on his. Simple and delicious!

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Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread & Muffins. What to do with even more zucchini? Make chocolate chip zucchini bread of course! My friend passed this recipe along to me and it is seriously amazing. She healthified it a bit and I used her modifications, using 1.5 cups of regular flour and 1.5 cups of whole wheat flour. I also cut the sugar to 1.25 cups. Other than that I followed the recipe the way it is and it turned out perfectly. I made a double batch and STILL have a ton of zucchini to use! Ideas?!

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While I like to make a lot of our food, the reality is that life is busy and we also have some prepackaged food that we love that is convenient and delicious. Here are some of our recent favorites.

Kodiak Cakes Pancake Mix. We LOVE pancakes around here, but who has time to make pancake batter from scratch? Not me, at least not at this point in my life with a toddler and husband who wake up hungry in the morning! This mix is great because it only contains a few ingredients and all you have to do is add water. Somehow it tastes delicious though, and we love it!

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Saturday morning pancake breakfasts are the best!

Saturday morning pancake breakfasts are the best!

Lemonade Coconut Water. I’ve been drinking Vita Coco coconut water for a while now, but they recently came out with a new lemonade flavor that is amazing! It tastes like regular lemonade while still providing all the benefits of coconut water. So refreshing after a hot and sweaty summer run!

PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter. My husband discovered this powdered peanut butter when he stopped at Target to pick up some groceries. We put peanut or almond butter in our smoothies every morning, and he thought it was a good alternative to try. It has less calories and fat but it still has a decent amount of protein to keep us full and a great flavor. Our diet is pretty heavy in nuts/nut butter so it’s nice to incorporate something different occasionally to lighten it up. It does have a small amount of added sugar in it, but only 1 gram per 2 tbsp, so not bad. The other ingredients include roasted peanuts and salt- that’s it! You can read more about it here!

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Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew KIND Bar. I’ve been loving KIND bars for a while now, but this one has become my absolute favorite. So delicious! The only drawback is that it’s messy to eat in the warmer summer temperatures.

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Go Macro Bar. I don’t eat these too often because they are expensive ($2.50 each!), but oh my gosh they are so good! They’re very dense- this one has 290 calories and 12 grams of protein- so I like to have them on hand if I know I will be out somewhere for a while or if I am traveling and not sure if I’ll have access to vegetarian food. I love them!

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What are some recipes or other foods that you have been loving lately? I’m always looking for new things to try! Let me know!

Myrtle Beach Mini-Vacation

On Wednesday, July 2nd we packed up and went to the beach for the holiday weekend! My in-laws live in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and we go there a few times a year to visit them. This year our big summer vacation is to the west coast (leaving on Thursday- our first flight with Kev, ahhh!), so my husband is using up his leave for that. We knew we wanted to take a trip to the beach still, so we decided to do a mini-vacation over the 4th of July long weekend.

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We left after my husband got home from work, around 6:00 p.m. It’s about a 6 1/2 hour drive from where we live, and we hoped that Kevin would sleep on the way. After fighting it for a while, he finally did and we had a pretty smooth trip without much traffic. We only had to make one stop, and we arrived around 12:30 a.m. and pretty much fell into bed.

At a rest stop on our way to the beach!

At a rest stop on our way to the beach!

The next morning Kevin of course woke up at 6 a.m. He never gets the vacation memo! We got up with him and noticed that it was looking pretty stormy outside. Hurricane Arthur was on it’s way up the coast and the weather was expected to be pretty bad, but was supposed to clear out by the next day, which was the 4th of July. While we were looking outside we noticed that our car had a flat tire, so we went outside and found a nail in it :(.

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My husband and his mom made some phone calls so we could get it taken care of, and then went to drop the car off at the shop. When he got back we quickly changed into our running clothes to squeeze our run for the streak in before the storm got bad.

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The rest of the day was spent hanging out inside due to the weather. We went to the grocery store, picked up the car, and went to Mellow Mushroom (our favorite!) for dinner. It’s become our little tradition the day before we have a race. Kev enjoyed some grandma time and lemons (which he loves, weird0), and I enjoyed $1 wine night :).

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The next day was the 4th of July, and we started it off with our race. I already blogged about it, but it was basically AWESOME! The storm had passed through and it was a really nice morning, despite the humidity.

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After the race we went home and got ready to go to the beach. I was so happy to be able to have a good beach day, and I was excited to see how Kevin would react to it. Last summer he LOVED the beach, but I wasn’t sure he’d still feel the same way this year.

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To be expected on a holiday, the beach was totally packed, but we were loving being there in the sunshine next to the ocean. Kevin had an absolute blast and wanted to stay in the ocean all day. It was so much fun!

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Eventually we left to go home, shower, and BBQ up some dinner. We had cheeseburgers, black bean burgers, corn, grilled veggies, tortilla chips (my fave!) and more. We also had a beer tasting with different craft beer that my husband brought with him.  It was a great way to spend the 4th of July.

Passed out from all the fun

Passed out from all the fun

The next morning, Saturday, I got up early and headed to the beach to run. I’d been dying to do a morning run on the beach and it was the perfect day for it.

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After 4 1/2 blissful miles I headed to meet my friend Chanda for a bootcamp class that her niece goes to often. It was so awesome that Chanda and her family were also in Myrtle Beach, because I got to workout with her a few days in a row. Bootcamp basically killed me, especially after running beforehand!

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Once I got home we packed up for the beach again. It wasn’t as nice outside as the day before, overcast and pretty windy, but we wanted to make the most of it.

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Once again, Kevin loved the water and couldn’t get enough. We took turns going with him in the water, then he made some friends and played with them, while we enjoyed some drinks and I read one of my favorite books.

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We didn’t stay super long because we had to go back home to get ready for date night! Kevin and I have a tradition to go on a special date night whenever we visit Myrtle Beach. Over the years it’s changed some since we became parents, but it’s always nice to have time together as just the two of us.

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We started by walking around Broadway at the Beach, which is a large touristy shopping area that we love. It was really crowded, but we scored a table at Margaritaville outside on the patio where there was no wait. We were excited because the indoor tables were an hour and a half to two hour wait! No thank you! We ate a delicious meal and drank some delicious drinks and enjoyed ourselves :).

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After dinner we wanted to get away from the crowds so we headed back towards where his parents live and went to play mini-golf. We are always pretty competitive with each other (see the above 5K), and last year when we played we TIED. Kevin was determined to beat me this year, however by hole 2 I had a hole in one and by hole 5 Kevin’s ball was in the water… :)

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It ended up being a close competition though, and we actually tied AGAIN! What are the chances?

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I was up bright and early again on Sunday morning (no sleeping in for me on vacation!) to meet Chanda for a long run. Our legs were pretty tired from bootcamp the day before, but time always flies when I run with her and we had beautiful scenery to look at too!

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We were leaving that afternoon, but we took our time because we knew we’d sit in traffic. We hung out with family, took a nap, and enjoyed our last day there.

Naptime!

Naptime!

Kevin had fun playing video games with my husband’s little brother Matt and playing in a baby pool with their puppy Dexter.

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We had an amazing time and were definitely sad to leave. We’ve made a lot of great memories in Myrtle Beach over the years. Here is a cool picture of us from 2011 and now. Same tree, 3 years, 1 baby and a little bit of aging later… life has never been sweeter!

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And a few more pictures from our mini-vacation!

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Rocked to sleep by Papaw

Kevin's new trick- caught the birdie!

Kevin’s new trick- caught the birdie!

Gummy worm snack

Gummy worm snack

Changed into dry clothes and warm again before we left the beach

Changed into dry clothes and warm again before we left the beach

Eating breakfast while mommy & daddy run!

Eating breakfast while mommy & daddy run!

Dead stopped traffic on the way home... at 12:30 a.m. Ready to move to Myrtle! :)

Dead stopped traffic on the way home… at 12:30 a.m. Ready to move far away from northern Virginia :)

Previous Myrtle Beach posts:

Independence Day 5K

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The Independence Day 5K was the perfect way to end the Runner’s World Summer Running Streak. It was a great race for many reasons- it was in Myrtle Beach, it was on a holiday with lots of patriotism in the air, I scored an unexpected PR, and last but definitely NOT least, I finally beat my hubby in a competitive 5K!

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The last time I raced in Myrtle Beach it did not end well.  I really wanted to have a strong performance in this race, so I could start replacing the memories of my marathon DNF back in February with some positive ones. However, I wasn’t sure how this race would go. I knew I had the flat terrain in my favor since I am so used to running hills, but it is HOT and very humid in South Carolina in July, so I knew that would be a big factor. Luckily, the weather where I live in Virginia has been pretty brutal since before summer even officially started, so I think my body has had a lot of time to acclimate to it. I figured I would go out hard and see what happened!

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This race was also special because months ago Kevin challenged me in a 5K, claiming I couldn’t beat him. This was going to be our day to compete and he was feeling pretty confident. Here were the facts going into this race:

  • The last 5K that Kevin raced was on 5/31/14 and he finished in 24:29 (7:53 pace). His current PR is 21:28 (6:54 pace) and that was on 10/22/11. 
  • The last 5K that I raced was on 5/26/14 and I finished in 22:59 (7:24 pace). My current PR is 22:07 (7:07 pace) and that was on 3/23/14.
  • We’ve both been participating in the Runner’s World Summer Run Streak and the day of the race is day 42 for me, day 41 for him. His runs during the streak have been in the 7:30 – 8:45 pace range and mine have been in the 8:30 – 9:45 range. Neither of us have done much speedwork during this time since it’s been so hot.
  • He has been averaging 13 miles a week and I’ve been averaging 25.
  • In the last two months he’s lost 20 pounds and I have lost 5.

Interesting, right?! I knew it was going to be a tough one, but I was ready and willing to fight for it.

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We arrived at the start around 6:15 before the 7 a.m. start. I jumped into the porta-potty line and Kevin went to pick up our race materials. It was kind of a crazy scene, since they had to cancel packet pickup the day before the race due to Hurricane Arthur that came through. After waiting in our respective lines for a while we were finally ready to run. It was a beautiful morning and didn’t feel too warm at all yet, which was great! We also ran into our friends James and Chanda, who happened to be visiting family like we were and were running the 8K race.

 

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We made our way around the lake to the start line and tried to get towards the front. I didn’t want to have to fight through the crowd before getting into my running groove.

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Before I knew it we were off and running. Kevin quickly got ahead of me but was only about 10 feet in front of me. My goal was to stick as close to him as I could. I knew his strength is speed over endurance and mine is endurance over speed, so I was hoping if I hung on long enough I could catch and overtake him.

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Right before the start!

The first mile felt pretty good. I was running a pace in the low 7 minute mile range and holding there didn’t feel too difficult. I made a conscious effort to try to keep my body relaxed and not expend too much energy too early in the race, since I always make that mistake even in short races like 5Ks. I believe my first mile beeped in at 7:06, and I was really happy with that since my current PR was at a 7:07 pace. I started to wonder if I could possibly get a new one today.

As I began the second mile I began to really feel how thick the air was. Even though it wasn’t super hot yet it was REALLY humid. The humidity made it hard to breathe deeply and my body started to get tired quickly.  I started to worry that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with Kevin and the pace he was going, but around the halfway point he slowed down and started walking. As I passed him he told me he wasn’t feeling well and the humidity was making it worse. For a (very) brief second I considered slowing down and running with him because I felt bad, but my competitive side got the best of me and I went ahead. He tried his best to pick it back up but eventually he fell too far behind. My second mile beeped at a slower pace than the first, but being in front of Kevin gave me a boost of energy that I needed badly!

Once I realized that I was most likely going to accomplish my goal of beating Kevin I started wondering again if I could accomplish another goal of getting a new 5K PR. I tried as hard as I could to pick it up a little for the last mile and I did, until I got a bad cramp and had to walk around mile 2.5. I was so frustrated!! After about 30 seconds I started running again and tried to finish strong. When I rounded the bend and saw that the clock said 21 minutes I was shocked. I hadn’t been looking at my Garmin very much because I didn’t want to waste energy. My old PR was 22:07, and I made it my mission to get to that finish line in under 22 minutes.

I finished in 21:55. Average pace of 7:04. 3rd female overall. What!?!?!

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After chugging down a whole bottle of water and trying to catch my breath, I went back to the finish line to wait for Kevin. He came through a little over 24 minutes.

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He was pretty disappointed, not that I beat him but more that he thought he would be able to perform better. He has been working on building up his running base again after not running much this past year. He has done awesome with the running streak and was feeling stronger than ever after losing 20 pounds, but he just wasn’t feeling great on this day. I told him not to be discouraged and to think of it as motivation to train hard for his goal 5K race this fall. I know he will do amazing and be back to his naturally speedy self :)

After recovering for a few minutes we walked across a bridge to where the 8K runners were coming through to see James and Chanda. As I was watching everyone struggle in the heat I was SO GLAD we did the 5K instead of the 8K. Temperatures and humidity were both rising quickly and I could tell a lot of people were having a hard time. James ran by first and Chanda was just about a minute behind him. We cheered them on and then went back across the bridge to wait for them by the finish line.

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They both came in at under 50 minutes, which was awesome! James and Chanda have come so far in their running since they started last year. They both did their first half marathons this past February in Myrtle Beach while we were there, and they are now training for another half in the fall. Did I mention they did the running streak too? Yay for fellow streakers! I’m very proud of both of them!

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After hanging out and chatting for a while I went to receive my award for being the 3rd overall female. I’ve won some awards at super small races before but never in one of this size (about 700 runners). It was very exciting :)

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The Independence Day 5K was an awesome experience that allowed me to accomplish not just one, but two of my big goals – beating my hubby and running a 5K in under 22 minutes. Two things I never thought were possible!

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And just for fun- here is a picture from our 4th of July races, 2012 vs. 2014. Two years ago I was 28 weeks pregnant and ran a 5K in 31:39, a 10:12 average pace. Running while pregnant felt great and made me happy no matter what the pace was, but I always wondered if I would ever get my speed back after having a baby. This year I ran a 5K in 21:55, a 7:04 pace and almost 10 minutes faster than two years ago. It took a LOT of hard work, patience, and time, but I have gotten my speed back and then some. I have learned many lessons throughout the past two years of parenthood but one of the biggest ones is never to doubt myself and what I am capable of, and believe that I have the strength to accomplish whatever I set my mind to- as a runner, mommy, wife, teacher, coach, and any other role I take on in life.

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Now the big question is… what’s next? :)

 

Runner’s World Run Streak: Week 6

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Week 6 was the final official week of the Runner’s World Summer Run Streak, and it was a great one. I had a lot of memorable runs, including a few on vacation at the beach, and an amazing 5K that gave me a new PR (and I finally beat my hubby!).

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Here is a recap of how my week went, followed by Kevin’s account of his week. Brace yourself, it’s a long one! I have a lot to share!

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Katie’s Miles (6/30 – 7/6)

  • Monday: 4 miles @ 9:11. It felt so good outside this morning, which was a great way to start a new week. I wanted to do a route I hadn’t done in a while even though I knew it was a little challenging. The first 2 miles were mostly uphill, which really pushed me, but the views coming back down made it worth it.
  • Tuesday: 3 miles @ ?. I met my friend Gina at the track for a fun workout on this day! After warming up a few times around the track, we sprinted the long sides and walked the curves. We really pushed ourselves to the limits on our short sprints. It was tough! Afterwards we did a mini-Tabata style workout using body weight and some resistance bands. Gina is actually the instructor who teaches the Tabata Bootcamp class that I’ve been loving at the gym, so it was so fun to get to do our own little session. After that we did bench step-ups- 10 step ups on the bench, run across the grass to the bench on the other side of the track, and repeat until we did 3 on each side. I finished off by running around the track to cool down. Whew!!! I left my Garmin running and when we were done I was at almost 3 miles, so I ran back to my car to round it out since I’m OCD with numbers like that. The whole workout lasted a little over an hour and was tons of fun. Can’t wait until next time!
  • Wednesday: 4 miles @ 9:09. That moment when you realize the trash truck is running the same route you are… That’s all I have to say about this run.
  • Thursday: 3 miles @ 8:41. We traveled to Myrtle Beach late on Wednesday night and didn’t end up going to bed until 1:30 a.m. Of course little Kev was up at 6 a.m., and then we realized when we went outside that we had a nail in one of our tires and it was totally flat. Thankfully it didn’t happen while we were on the road in the middle of nowhere! The icing on the cake is that there was a hurricane making it’s way up the coast, so after dropping the car off at the shop my husband and I did a quick run before the storm got worse. I ran a mile with him and two on my own. It was raining and windy and we felt pretty badass. It was a great way to relieve some stress from the morning!
  • Friday: 3.4 miles @ 7:40. The last official day of the streak! I celebrated by running the Independence Day 5K in Myrtle Beach in 21:55, a new PR for me (7:04 average pace!), ahead of Kevin and good enough for 3rd place overall female. I still have to write my recap, but it was a super humid morning and I’m not sure where I found the strength to push so hard, but I did and I’m super proud of my effort. Also proud of my husband, and our friends Chanda and James who ran the 8K. After we were done I ran a little extra alongside Chanda before she finished. All 4 of us were participating in the streak. It was definitely a day for celebration.
  • Saturday: 4.6 miles @ 8:45 + 1 mile @ Bootcamp. I started my Saturday on vacation by running 4.6 beautiful miles along the beach, which never ever gets old. It was perfect. I felt like I was in a movie- it was so magical! I ran down to the beach, then out and back on the hard packed sand near the water. It felt great going out and was a little tougher coming back due to the wind, but really how can I complain about anything when I’m running on a beautiful beach?! After my beach run I went to Bootcamp with Chanda and her niece. OMG, what a workout. It was an hour long and after a cardio warmup we rotated through 8 stations with 10 sprints outside in between each one, then we did it all again with lunge jumps between. Followed by abs and a cool down. Chanda wore her Garmin and said we ended up running a mile total with all of our sprints! My whole body hurt later that night, including muscles I never knew I had!
  • Sunday: 10 miles @ 10:24. Today’s run was spent with Chanda again. I love this girl! I’m so happy we ended up going on vacation to the same place at the same time. We were able to run and workout together 3 days in a row! This morning we ran 10 miles around Myrtle Beach and on part of the race course from back in February. Our bodies were tired from Bootcamp yesterday so we kept our pace nice and easy, but we got it done! I’m really glad to be able to replace the memories of my marathon DNF in Myrtle Beach with some good ones.
  • Total Miles This Week: 33
  • Total Miles So Far: 174
  • Total Days Streaking: 44

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Kevin’s Miles (6/30 – 7/6)

  • Monday: 2 miles @ 9:16. It felt amazing outside and I felt great!
  • Tuesday: 1.5 miles @ 8:25. I was planning to do 2 but I got 3/4 of a  mile in and I started prairie-dogging it, so I turned around early and ran back (Note from Katie- He insisted on writing this. Sorry if it’s TMI- I tried! LOL).
  • Wednesday: 2 miles @ 8:11. It was good to get a run in before a long day of work followed by a long road trip.
  • Thursday: 1 mile @ 8:39. It was fun running with Katie in the rain. I took it easy because I had the race the next day.
  • Friday: 3.1 miles @ 7:59. Independence Day 5K. It was humid and I didn’t feel good so I ended up having to walk more than I wanted to. I was defeated by my wife :(.
  • Saturday: 1 mile @ ?. Good short recovery run after the 5K.
  • Sunday: 4 miles @ 8:06. I started running and realized I felt good so I pushed myself hard and ended up running a 5K 20 seconds faster than I did on Friday. It’s amazing how two runs can be so different in only a matter of a few days. After the 5K I ran slower to cool down until I got to 4 miles.
  • Total Miles This Week: 14.6
  • Total Miles So Far: 81.8
  • Total Days Streaking: 43

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As you can see, even though the streak officially ended on Friday, the 4th of July, we kept going. Kevin and I enjoyed the streak so much that we decided to continue streaking until Labor Day, which will end up being about 100 days. Woo hoo! Anyone want to join us?

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