Weekend Roundup

Get ready for better quality photos– I finally have my own iPhone! Now my own photos won’t be taken with a dinky iPod 4, but with an iPhone 5c.  Whoop whoop!

photo 3-6

Selfies on the new phone…I enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather and riding with the windows down!

This weekend was fun.   We had a fast workout on Friday afternoon; I won’t explain all the confusing logistics but basically we did a never-ending relay and everyone ended up running 3×800 with about 1:20 rest.  It was kind of a competition between three 3-person teams. My splits were: 2:35 (what!), 2:48, 2:45.  Afterwards, we did 4×150 meter strides.  The temperature reached the high 50s or low 60s, which was ridiculously warm after two months of 20 and below.  We optimistically ran in just sports bras during the strides– it was a little chilly but a great respite from the cold.

Saturday was spent going to the gym and getting my phone.   One last lifting session before states!

I was really excited for breakfast on Sunday because we had a new flavor of oatmeal!

photo 4-6

It was so good! I think I have a new favorite breakfast…maybe?  It’s definitely up there, but maybe not quite toast-with-almond-butter level.

Nutrition facts (one serving):

  • 160 calories
  • Fat calories: 20
  • 12 grams sugar
  • 4 grams protein
  • Ingredients: whole grain rolled oats, sugar, dehydrated apples (treated with sodium sulfite to promote color retention), cranberries, salt, natural flavor.

I was impressed with the ingredients list.  Even though sugar is numero dos (the first three ingredients listed generally make up 97% of that food), every ingredient on the list is familiar, simple, and pronounceable! Unlike some of the other Quaker flavors…

For an early lunch, I made a delicious omelet.

photo 3-7

One egg, two egg whites, a handful of spinach leaves, and two tablespoons of Boursin cheese later, I was fueled up for three hours of running errands.  I got two pairs of new shoes! What girl doesn’t love new shoes?

photo 2-7

photo 1-4We also bought lots of food, including a big (like, family-size) bag of sugar snap peas.  I think I have a problem…I’ve eaten a third of the bag already.

For dinner, I decided to experiment and make chicken breasts stuffed with spinach, goat cheese, lemon, and garlic.  Considering that my cooking was kind of a disaster (the chicken would not cook! I had to extend the cooking time and redo the oil and cut up the chicken), it tasted really good.  I learned some tricks for a successful stuffed chicken breast next time.

All in all, it was a satisfying weekend.  I ran in spandex yesterday!  It was great.

Advertisements

Regionals!

Regionals! I’ll jump right in.  We left school at 12:45 and got to the sports complex around 1:30.  My race wasn’t until 7, so-lucky me- I got to sit around for five hours.

Everybody’s events were before my race, so some highlights from my team include:

  • my friend won the girls’ mile in 4:56! and another friend ran her season best time
  • our boys’ 4×8 unexpectedly qualified for states by finishing second after being seeded something like tenth
  • another friend ran a season best time in the 1000
  • our lone regional-qualifying freshman toughed it out and raced the 500 while nauseous/sick

There were 22 people seeded in my race; I was the first seed in the slower section.  But the rules stated that if 20 or fewer people checked in, they’d combine the heats.  Exactly 20 people checked in, so we thought there would be one heat.  That would have been great for me because I’d have girls ahead of me, but as we walked to the starting line, the race official went, “There’s too many of you for one heat.  We’re sticking with two.”

Arghhhhhhh.

1901180_606040616151536_51517799_n

After we found out I was the first seed in the slow section, my coach told me that my super-duper-complicated race strategy was to “go for it.” As in, literally go crazy the first mile.  He wanted me to aim for the state auto (which was  11:13 and, oh, only 23 seconds faster than my PR…)

(This is when I tell you I miraculously got the state auto time, right? Spoiler alert: Nope.  Not even close. But I’m not unhappy at all about that because I knew I wouldn’t get it anyway.)

My personal strategy would’ve been to go out around 5:45 for the first mile because that’s 11:30 pace. But no.

Coach: “Just go for it.  Go out in 5:30 or 5:35.”
Me: “Wha-?”
Coach: “Yeah! 5:35 or faster, that sounds good.
Me: “Eh-?!”
Coach: “Have fun with it! See what you can do.”
Me: “But-“

So, being a dutiful runner student and against my better judgment, I went to the front after 400 meters and went through the mile in 5:35… (fun fact: it was faster than the fast heat’s mile split would end up being!)

k-1

I was ridiculously relaxed through the first mile; my arms were low, I had my game face on, I could see and hear everything, and I felt good.

Snapshot 2014-02-20 20-42-34

The second mile was hell.  I felt the effects of that 5:35 hit me immediately after I passed with eight laps to go, and I knew that I was in for a rough time.

To make matters worse, I had to lead for the entirety of the race, which was both physically exhausting and mentally ridiculously difficult.  I. Hate. Leading. It’s so much easier when you can just latch on to the person in front of you and coast off of them until outkicking them at the line!

Too bad I was the person that this happened to…

The bell lap sounded and I tried, tried, tried to kick, but with no one in front of me I had zero incentive.  I focused on my turnover and powered down the backstretch.  I rounded the final curve and….heard a girl come up beside me.

Shit.

After leading for fourteen laps, I had simultaneous thoughts of “This is so unfair” and “Oh hell no!”  I sped up and gave it everything I had; we were neck and neck all the way down the home stretch.

photo 1

photo 4-1

I ended up losing by three hundredths of a second, but that’s okay.  I had PRed by 8 seconds and finished in 11:28!!  (I only missed the state auto by 15 seconds….hahaha)

My second mile had been a 5:53.  Lesson learned: I can’t go out 10 seconds faster than goal pace……

Birthday roundup: Food, running, and being one year closer to joining a gym!

This post is way delayed… (my birthday was six days ago!)

While most teenagers celebrate their birthdays as “one year closer to the legal drinking age!”, that’s not me.  Instead, I came to the realization on my birthday that I only have one more year until I can join a gym without my parents!

Yayyyy!

What is wrong with me? 😉

Anyway, my seventeenth birthday was pretty uneventful.  It was a snow day, so I didn’t see any of my friends, and I pretty much couldn’t go anywhere.  I went for a short run (surprise!) at the local community center, watched Psych for much of the afternoon, and went out to dinner with my family at Silver Diner.

I waited all day for my Chunky Monkey milkshake; needless to say, I was pretty excited when I finally got it.

photo 4-5

photo 2-4

photo 3-5I had a huge craving for salmon, but the restaurant I really wanted to go to was booked because (duh) it was Valentine’s Day.  So I “settled” for Silver Diner, which had both salmon and chunky monkey milkshakes.

My dog was not cooperative when I asked to take a birthday selfie with him.  He was more interested in the squirrels hanging out in the tree outside.

photo 2-5

photo 1-3

Sunday was my actual celebration; a few friends and I went to The Melting Pot for fondue and then came back to my house to have a baking party!

photo 2-6

See, I can dress in non-running clothes and look pretty sometimes… (I’m in the middle)
We made mini cheesecakes, dark chocolate raspberry truffles, and macaroons.  These girls can cook!
 
It took four hours and I was stuffed.  In preparation for this eating-fest, I’d eaten healthy the day before, and the morning of it was simply toast, yogurt, and an orange.  After the baking party, I recovered with a salad.
Other birthday highlights included: I went to the dentist, and the lady cleaning my teeth basically interrogated me about my weight (!??!?!?) which I’m pretty sure you’re not socially supposed to do… Also, I bought two dresses and didn’t realize one of them was a swim coverup until I got home….oops.
I’ll do my regionals roundup for the next post! I’m excited about it.

Snow day take 5

This morning dawned snowy and…also rainy.  With eight to ten inches of fresh powder trapping everyone in their homes, temperatures decided to rocket up to 37 degrees, causing still-falling snow to turn to cold rain and generally making for a miserable atmosphere.

What did I do about this, you may be wondering? Well, first I went running.

photo-1

“Help, I’ve frozen and I can’t get up.”

It was disgusting.  I was only required to run for 15-20 minutes, but it ended up being a 25-minute “run-stop-step in a melted snow puddle-run-avoid a car” type of slog.

After that, I made food! Surprise!

photo 3-3First, I made brownies.  Decadent, gooey, undercooked brownies made from  the Baker’s bar recipe, not healthy in the slightest.  They were amazing, and I confess to eating more than necessary.

I didn’t, however, go as crazy as my younger brother and his friend.  They ate three. Each.  They’re both nine and not particularly big, either.

photo 4-3After brownies, it was time for snickerdoodles.  I’d never actually made snickerdoodles before, so I wasn’t sure how they would turn out/if I’d even like them.

photo 4-4

Oh my god.

So good.

I used a recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie (“Skinny Snickerdoodles”) but accidentally made them double the size they were supposed to be, I think.  Oh, well.  Double the deliciousness in each cookie!!

photo 3-4

I wonder what would happen if you combined them to make a snickerdoodle brownie cake! 

photo 2-3

We’ve got another snow day tomorrow (man! I didn’t actually want a snow day on my birthday!) which means it is officially a five-day weekend. Yes/no! While I’m enjoying the prospect of not being forced to do homework, I’ve come to semi-dread these breaks because I’m always incredibly bored.

I kind of want to spend part of my birthday at the gym, to be honest.  Does that make me crazy?

On the schedule for tomorrow is a short-ish run and some foam rolling.  I’ll try to eat healthy even though it’s my birthday/a holiday notorious for chocolate/I have a preposterous quantity of dessert in my house.  I’m a little worried because of the regionals postponement; we’re doing some extreme tapering.  A 15-minute run the week before?? Whaaat?  I know it’s not like we lose a ton of fitness in a week when we’re still running, but I don’t want to let myself go or anything and end up feeling like I’m running through mud during the two mile.  We’ll see what happens.

 

 

 

 

Regionals!!…or not

I thought I’d be writing a triumphant (or maybe not) post tonight about my two mile, but…nope!  Instead, I hope you’ll enjoy this anecdote from my day at school today after regionals was postponed.

To give you context, I didn’t finish preparing for my English oral on the assumption that I would not be in class today because of regionals.

(English starts at 12:04 pm.)

Me, walking down hall, 11 am: “Hi, teammate!”
Teammate, 11 am: “Did you hear the meet was postponed because of the incoming snowstorm?”
Me, 11:02 am: “Wait, really? That’s annoying.  Do you know when- *stomach drops*….OHHHHHH…….SHIT.”
Teammate, 11:03 am: “What?”
Me: “THAT MEANS I HAVE TO GO TO ENGLISH CLASS TODAY AND I DIDN’T FINISH PREPARING FOR MY ORAL OH NO OH SHIT OHMYGODI’MGOINGTODIE.”
Teammate:

[See, if I were anyone else, I would’ve just skipped class.  But being the goody-two-shoes that I am, the thought didn’t even cross my mind.]

Me, 11:05: *runs to computer lab*
Me, 11:10: *realizes I didn’t attach the actual document when I emailed my work-in-progress presentation outline to myself a few days ago, and school computers reset everything daily, so it is now lost forever in cyberspace*
Me, 11:11: *shoots self*
Me, 11:20: *decides “yolo” and uses the old outline that is not an outline so much as a 3,000-word script*
Me, 11:45: *begins BS-ing a conclusion to my presentation*
Me, 12:04: *Oookayyyyy*

Obviously, I didn’t have a chance to rehearse at all, so I had absolutely no idea how long it’d be.  I stood in front of the class, talked for 22 minutes, answered questions, was briefly interrupted by a singing valentine, and sat down.

I barely have a clue what I talked about.

And you know what?  I was honestly way less nervous than I was for the oral a few months ago (when I knew the day I was presenting and actually rehearsed).  Hmm….

Our county decided not to be a beeyotch and wait to cancel school at 5 in the morning like they usually do, so I already know that I don’t have school tomorrow.  I’m excited to spend the day making chocolatey desserts in preparation for the holiday that occurs on Friday.

(Ew, not Valentine’s Day.  My birthday!)

Chocolate is greater than homework (and everything else)

I have lots of physics homework.  I have a math quiz tomorrow.  Most importantly, I have a 25-minute oral presentation for English that may happen tomorrow.

But am I currently working on any of this?

Nope.

photo 1

photo 2

To be fair, I was doing my homework.  I’ve typed up five pages of a script outline for my presentation, but I can never concentrate for more than an hour without eating.

So…chocolate!

On Friday, I really, really wanted brownies.  I arrived home from school at 1 pm (it was an early release day) and opened the baking cabinet to find…

No chocolate chips.

No baker’s bars.

No unsweetened chocolate.

Gahhhhh!!!

I did, however, find a cup of vanilla Greek yogurt in the refrigerator.  I can’t stand vanilla Greek yogurt by itself, but then I thought: “Can I use this in brownies?”  I found a recipe online (granted, it called for stuff that I didn’t have), made a few tweaks, and waited to see what would result.

photo 3

photo 4

Success! A fudgey yet cakey brownie (sans chocolate chips) made with vanilla Greek yogurt!

Recipe:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
*Optional: 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. In a mixer, combine butter and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs, egg whites, and vanilla; mix until incorporated.  Slowly add flour mixture, followed by yogurt.  *Add chocolate chips if using.  Spread into an 8×8 pan and bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

I would have preferred if they didn’t have butter and whatnot, but they were definitely not as unhealthy as they could have been.  They turned out delicious and I probably could have taken them out of the oven a couple minutes earlier, because they did continue to bake while cooling.  Leaving them be (in a sealed container) for a day makes them much sweeter and gooier.  Yay!

This weekend has been a mixture of chocolate, boredom, exercise, and schoolwork-related death.

Today, I decided to make hot chocolate truffle cookies, after failing at making these last week.  This time, it was a success!!

photo 3-2

photo 4-2

photo 2-1

photo 3-1

They aren’t very photogenic… but they taste amazing!  Another plus is that they have zero added sugar.  (They have dates in them)

Yes, I did take pictures of cookies on a windowsill.  But I think their truffle-like decadence makes up for it.  Seriously.  They are so good.

I’ll admit they’re a tiny bit dry, but that makes them all the better for dipping in milk! Yum! Or even better– eating with vanilla ice cream!!

All this chocolate consumption has me worried for regionals on Wednesday…… I’ve officially decided to run the 2 mile! Eek!

 

 

World Nutella Day meets health…who will win?

If you hadn’t already figured it out, I’m addicted to chocolate.  Actually, I’m addicted to dessert. Actually, just food in general…

photo-10day-after-Thanksgiving leftovers bliss

But my food addiction is beside the point.  The point is that World Nutella Day is in two days, and I used to be a hardcore Nutella addict until last August when I randomly decided that I would never eat Nutella again take a break from the chocolatey hazelnut heaven in a jar.  This has ultimately turned into me not touching the stuff since then.

(Chocolatey is a word, Spell Check!)

Last year, I was freakin’ on point with this holiday.

69281_391714977591058_944606833_n

I made banana Nutella cupcakes with extremely sugary Nutella frosting.  I advertised the holiday to my friends, making sure that everyone participated and indulged in scooping the stuff out of a jar with a spoon.  I must have eaten 3,000 calories of Nutella in one day.

Oh, how times have changed…

Nowadays, the very thought of so much sugar/fat/yuckiness disgusts me.  I’m just picturing spoonfuls of Nutella slithering down into my stomach and…just sitting there, making me feel lethargic and tired and depressed.

Cold Hard Nutella Facts: (Source: Nutella USA)

  • Ingredients: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor.
  • Each serving of Nutella contains 200 calories (110 from fat)
  • There are 21 grams of sugar per serving (and only 2g of protein!)
  • One serving of Nutella is 20% of your recommended daily saturated fat intake

0520_nutella_630x420They look so innocent…

You can see why I have absolutely no desire to break my unofficial “Thou-shalt-not-partake-in-the-consumption-of-Nutella” pact that I didn’t realize I was making last August.

Now that I’ve decided to maintain my Nutella abstinence, my options for celebrating the holiday have actually expanded! Some of my choices:

  • Eat the rest of the brownie batter dip that I made the other day.  I got the recipe from Chocolate-Covered Katie and it’s basically an extremely healthy Nutella.  Surprise: It contains garbanzo beans!!  (Yes, the kind you use to make hummus.) But it tastes amazing and is super-nutritious. You can’t taste the beans.
  • Make “Healthy Nutella.” (also from Chocolate-Covered Katie)
  • Eat salads and vegetables and lean proteins all day without chocolate. Somehow I don’t think I’ll choose this option… 😉

Have a good World Nutella Day!  No matter how you celebrate, whether sticking to carrots and snap peas or digging into a Ferrero jar with your fingers, I hope you have a blast.  Food is meant to be enjoyed!! Why not holidays to emphasize that?

PS: On another note, I turn seventeen in eleven days! (Yes, Valentine’s Day. I don’t like the holiday, but I do like my birthday. Does that make any sense?)

WHAT!

 

Guess what!! My mile time is officially less than a minute slower than Mary Cain’s!

I’m sorry for post after post of race results.  I didn’t mean for that to occur, but I get especially excited to write a post after a race because it gives me something to write about.  I’m sorry if it’s boring.

I’ll admit it.  I’m a little terrified.

I haven’t had a bad race this season.

My races have ranged from “Wow, I did better than I thought I would” to “Holy shizzz that felt freakin’ INCREDIBLE!”

The mile yesterday tipped the latter end of the scale.

46039_593804757375122_1874007021_n

Warming up

Top six move on to regionals, and I was seeded sixth.   I had no time goal.  I didn’t even have a place goal because I’d already qualified for regionals in the 2 mile and this was just an “extra.”  My coach’s plan for me was to have me latch onto the back of the top group and hold on.

My sub-5-minute-miler friend was in this race, along with several other girls (most of them my teammates) who are super speedy, so I expected the race to go out fast.

It didn’t.

200-40, 400- 1:20

Huh!?

Two girls from other schools went right to the front, and the rest of us bunched together in an aggressive, elbowing-and-spiking-each-other pack.  We caught up to and passed the eager beavers in the front by the 800 (2:41).  The pace subtly increased, and there were still probably 10 people in the pack, so we were all feeling pretty antsy.

With 400 to go, it was clear that this would be a “kicker’s race.”  I’ve had mixed results from my kick in the past, but I felt fantastic at this point.

I passed one girl.

I passed another girl.

My kick didn’t fail me.

I flew down the final straightaway and…

1623607_593808834041381_560139855_n

 …crossed the finish line in fourth at 5:19!

Overall splits: 80, 81, 82, 76

Needless to say, I’m thrilled.

I’m also thrilled because my grades for second quarter were better than I expected. Remember how a couple weeks ago I was drowning in schoolwork? My quarter GPA was a 4.78 (That’s not a typo). I’m pretty proud of that.

I have a ton of work this weekend.  Should I get started on that? Or should I make some more healthy chocolate peanut butter frosting?

🙂