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Relishing in Rest

January 17, 2018

It was January 1, the first day of the new year and also Monday. Two days notorious for new beginnings and resolutions for hitting the gym. I woke up, poured myself a cup of coffee, read a devotional, browsed the internet for new recipes, and just relaxed before the rest of the family woke up. This seemed like odd behavior because I almost always get out of bed early to start my day off with exercise. It also seemed a little odd because this day marked day one of an 18 week training plan for Flying Pig. The plan was to rest and to delight in rest. Which also happened to be my “resolution,” or word for the New Year.

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REST. It seemed to be the reoccurring theme I found myself reading about, hearing about, or contemplating towards the end of 2017. In the midst of a year long bible study in Romans I kept finding myself thinking “This is a beautiful truth I can rest in.” It seemed like a strange conclusion given the first few chapters on wrath and sin would appear to be anything but restful at a glimpse.

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Shortly after I discovered a great podcast Sorta Awesome  and was so intrigued and motivated by the episode on Seeking Rest and Finding Delight. I would highly encourage any and everyone to listen to it. The episode is about practicing Sabbath, but not in the traditional strict “though shalt not do anything fun on Sunday” kind of way I know I used to think of Sabbath as. It talks about taking time for rest, renewal, and restoration. Whatever that means to you.

I have always found it hard to rest. I am an on-the-go kind of person; I have two modes: sleeping or moving. I not only forget (choose not) to take rest days from exercising, but I also have trouble just being and being present. I always find myself cleaning something or just walking stir crazy circles around the house feeling like theres something I should be doing something. So, it’s not surprising the word REST was brought to my attention so much.

This year I want to put rest into practice and truly relish in it. I plan to set aside time to put away my to-do or should-do lists and do whatever it is that sounds delightful that day. Naturally, whatever feels restoring to me in a particular moment may be ever-changing. It could be spending time with family, or spending time in solitude, reading a book, or taking a walk, making a nice meal, or having dinner with a friend, spending time in nature, or curling up indoors, doing some yoga or taking a complete rest day.

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I think putting rest into practice and  actually enjoying it will be a learning process. So far this January we have had a lot of snow and very cold weather in Ohio which has given me an opportunity to practice taking pleasure in rest. I have used this as an opportunity to just enjoy being at home indoors with my son and being present. We haven’t had a lot going on around us besides playing trucks, reading books, and venturing out to throw some snowballs. It actually feels really great to give myself permission to relax and relish in relaxation.

I have a feeling each season will bring its own definition of delight and rest and that sometimes I may have full days to devote to resting and sometimes I may only have few hours. We would all benefit from taking time to rest and just be present. We all need time to purposely refresh, cherish and celebrate the simple things in life.

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Things I’m Digging this Thursday

January 4, 2018

I woke up this morning thinking it was Friday for a hot minute and thinking the week just blew by. We got back from our Christmas trip to Texas last Friday which made the weekend of unpacking and organizing seem more like a Monday. Then New Years day felt more like a weekend than a Monday and THEN it felt like we had another Monday on Tuesday. Phew!

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Snow

It has been downright cold. It was in the 30s&40s when we visited Texas and I kept looking at the Columbus forecast calling for temps below zero and was feeling a little weary about going back home to temperatures I’d never experienced in my 32 years.  I kept saying out loud, “I don’t even know what negative 4 feels like!” Well, it feels freakin cold. Before we moved to Columbus I claimed that once you get below 20 degrees it all probably feels the same- cold is cold. Well I was wrong, the colder it is the colder it feels and it can keep feeling colder. Imagine that.

Another thing I’ve never experienced in my 32 years is all the SNOW! I am loving the snow. We got about 5-6 inches on Saturday. I’ve never seen that much snow in person. My little Texas soul was giddy to watch it coming down.  We played outside and I made my first snow angel ever and a pretty good sized snowman. Because it’s been so frigid, the snow has stayed on the ground all week. I love it!

Emergen-C Gummies

We had about a month where someone (or everyone) in our house was sick. It’s that tough time of year where you want to get out of the house to keep from going stir crazy, but there are so many germs out there because of cold and flu season. I have always been a fan of the Emergen-c Drink mixes, but discovered the gummies a few weeks ago.  The gummies are a great and actually pretty tasty way to get an extra dose of vitamins for cold and flu season. I’ve kept pretty healthy since I’ve been taking them and they’re a nice little afternoon pick me up that surprisingly curb an afternoon sweet tooth.

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Franklin Park Conservatory

This has been on our list of places to visit in Columbus since we moved here. Franklin Park is a conservatory and botanical garden with various plant and flower exhibits and artwork. A friend of mine texted me on Tuesday and asked if I wanted to go walk around the conservatory in the afternoon with our boys to get a little exercise and I jumped at the opportunity. It was truly beautiful and such a great place to get glimpse of greenery in the dead of winter. They still had their poinsettias, Christmas trees, and gingerbread houses on display so it was nice see one last sprinkle of Christmas.  We will definitely be going back to check out some of their activities and spring events.

Organizing

I don’t know if it’s from being indoors all day or just finally getting around to decluttering a bit after the holiday season, but I’ve been feeling the need for some organizing this week. Particularly the pantry and kitchen cabinets. Our pantry had been feeling messy and it was hard to see what was in there so I rearranged some of the larger items to the cabinets to make more room and parted with dishes  we weren’t  frequently using. If you know me, you know I don’t like to keep a lot of stuff we don’t use; I consider myself a bit of a minimalist around the house. I also quite enjoy putting a podcast in my earbuds and cleaning/organizing so I’ve been digging it this week.

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What things are making your world a little happier this week?

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I Used to Write a Blog

January 2, 2018

So I used to write a little blog here, but let’s just say it’s been a little while (6 years <—- WHOA, but who’s counting?) I did not realize it’d been so long until I just thought about it and counted the YEARS.

So let’s just cut to the chase and catch up. I started this blog shortly after I was a newlywed and over the last 6 years I’ve celebrated 7 years of marriage to my wonderful husband and we had the most amazing baby boy, Witten, who is not so much of a baby anymore at 2.5 years old. My husband and I bought our first house in our hometown of Houston and then a few years later we sold it to make a big move across (and very north of) the country in Columbus, OH.

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It has been almost a year that we’ve called Columbus home. I have absolutely loved living here and exploring a new city. Both JJ and I were born and raised in Houston and went to college there, so 2017 has truly been a year of adventure for our family. I am blessed to get to stay at home with my son and this city  had proved to be a great place to do so.

On the running front I’ve ran too many races to recount in the 6 years since I stopped blogging. I finally qualified for and ran Boston in 2014 which was AMAZING and I hope to one day run it again so I can soak in the experience more. Since having Witten in 2015 I’ve completed a couple half marathons, 5k’s and a series of 10 mile races. Beyond running I’ve found a passion for strength training, hiking, and yoga. This past year in 2017 I’d been dealing with a nagging injury which opened up the door even more to exploring different kinds of exercising which I’ve actually really enjoyed.

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I’m not really sure what my intentions are with the revival of my blog or how often/what I’ll post, but I thought it might be fun to pop in with an update and see what I might feel like writing.

Hope your New Year is off to a great start!

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Three Things Thursday Marathon Edition

January 19, 2012

First thing here, I finally FINALLY got a good marathon finisher photo except what is that big glop- sweat? snot? smack in the middle of my forehead?! Brightroom you are no better than Raceshots.

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Second thing, Being the math nerd I am I love the marathon finish stats the Houston Marathon provides. Way. too. cool.

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I felt like I was moving like molasses the last few miles, but I guess I wasn’t doing so bad.

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and just for kicks….

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Lastly, I owe a big big big thank you to Rachael. Rachael I don’t think I would have even made it through marathon training without you. You always seemed to be there for me when I needed someone to run with or complain about training to. I’m so glad we got to experience most of the marathon together Smile YOU ARE THE BEST!!

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That’s all I got! Goodnight,

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Chevron Houston Marathon 2012 Recap

January 18, 2012

Marathon #2 in the books!

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I’d say that’s a success.

I woke up Saturday morning to no alarm clock. I really debated going downtown early to watch Meb and Shalane kill it in the time trials, but I decided it’d be in my best interest to not make an early 45-minute trek downtown, sleep in, and walk as little as possible the day before the marathon.

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Rachael and I headed to the expo around 10 am and picked up our packets and some goodies. By goodies I mean ridiculously expensive headbands. Oh and Rachael’s 26.2 sticker Smile

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We had lunch at Panera Bread and chatted about how nervous/excited we were about the marathon. I don’t really recall what I did for the rest of Saturday besides finalize my marathon playlist on my iPod and make homemade pizza (my go-to pre race dinner).

Surprisingly I slept really well Saturday night. I almost forgot I was running a marathon until all my alarms when off at 4:15. I was so paranoid about waking up on time I set 3 alarms, anyone else do that?

I had no problems waking up due to my excitement and race-day adrenaline. I had my usual coffee, PB toast, and put on my carefully picked out race outfit.

I arrived at the George R. Brown at about 5:45 and promptly found Rachael. We checked our bags, found the port-a-potties, and headed to our corral. We ended up being able to line up at the very front of corral 2 which worked out in our favor. The weather was perfect and I was able to ditch my throw away sweats and gloves before the race even started.

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Everything went by in a blur and before we knew it the National Anthem was sung, the gun went off, and it was our corrals turn to go.

Pre-race Rachael and I had a race plan to try to maintain an 8:30 pace for the first 6 miles and see if we could increase our pace from there. I was all smiles (except for a slight mishap with the race course being mismarked and runners being unsure where to go) for the first few miles as the realization that I was finally here running the marathon I trained for for the last several months.

With some weaving and a few elbows here and there we were able to maintain an 8:30 pace for the first 6 miles pretty painlessly. My garmin was being kind of weird placing my pace all over the place from 7:45-9:30/mile, but at each mile marker I could gauge we were on target with pace. At mile 4 I spotted my Hubby which was a nice surprise I wasn’t expecting until mile 6.

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Miles just ticked by so quickly and I, pretty rapidly, determined I was feeling awesome (must have been the iPod playlist). I kept feeling myself speed up from miles 10-on once the half marathons had split from the full and just went with it. Rachael and I trucked along listening to our iPods (I’m probably the worst running companion as I made no conversation and didn’t want waste my energy talking- Sorry Rachael!).

The half mark came up pretty quick in around 1:50:27. Close to my PR-Woo!.  I saw hubby again at mile 14 and the worst hill of the course came (not many hills in Houston)which was pretty challenging. Once I passed that point I was still feeling great. I kept trekking along. Around mile 15 Rachael and I started getting a little farther apart and eventually we split up.

I was still feeling awesome through miles 16, 17 and 18. I was taking fuel (clif shot gels) every 4 miles and a cup of water from every aid station. 402093_10100440706497737_29608258_49894532_1192627195_n[1]

Around mile 19 the distance started to hit me. There were all of these random signs (I think they were advertisements for some supplements?) along the course that said “Welcome to the Wall” and “Are you Tired” which psychologically made me realize, um yes I was tired. I started to struggle to keep my pace up and mile 19 I slowed down to an 8:40 pace. I realized I was hot and tired around mile 20 and started to bargain with myself that I could certainly finish a 10k in 55 minutes (that seemed like an eternity). My stomach starting rejecting the sports gels after mile 16’s gel, and I grabbed some frozen grapes from a spectator at mile 20. Best. Thing. Ever.

Mile 20 is the part of the course where you start to see people fall apart. People begin to walk and cramp up and things can get scary. I told myself there was no way I was going to walk. My quads knees, ankles, toes, everything just didn’t want to move. I focused on just keeping a 9:00/mile pace and looked forward to seeing my Mother and Father in law waiting for me at mile 22. Let me tell you, seeing them was a boost I really really needed. Thank you guys for coming out to support me! Having family along the course is so encouraging and truly motivates you to keep going. 

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Someone handed me a bottle of water around mile 23 which was such a blessing (bless you whoever you are). I kept my 9 minute pace and at this point was just ready to be done.

I started thinking about all the people from home, friends, and family that had been cheering for me through Facebook, text messages, phones calls, and twitter and I used them as encouragement to not budge from my pace. I never walked once.

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Once I hit mile 25 and started to see the buildings of downtown approaching I started to get excited. Marathon #2- you are mine! I tried to pick up the pace but my legs felt like molasses from holding such a quick pace (for me) for the first 20 miles (8:25). I sure felt like I was sprinting.

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Making that left turn to face the finish line was just as exciting as the first time. In the final stretch I couldn’t see him, but I could hear my hubby yelling my name. I felt so accomplished and so relieved approaching that finish line. All that hard work: tempo runs, stress,  long runs, blood, sweat, tears, races that had disappointed me in the past, were behind me. No matter how hard it got approaching that finish line I never ever gave up.

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My final finishing time was 3:45:56! I beat my first marathon time by nearly 9 minutes. I left feeling like I couldn’t wait to run another marathon and motivated to improve my time even more!

Thanks for listening to my lengthy recap and thank you all of you who read my blog who always provide me with encouraging words of support and advice. You are all greatly appreciated and I don’t think I’d be as motivated without your support.

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Healthy-ish Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

January 8, 2012

Hey Friends!! I hope you have been enjoying the last month and the holiday season that comes with it! I had a wonderful Christmas spending time with family and friends. Between hubby and I we have a lot of family. We made the rounds Christmas Eve and Christmas day and by the third Christmas meal I was ready to put my stretchy pants footie pajamas on.

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Yes…. I got fiesta ware AND footie pajamas for Christmas…. Smile

Another wonderful thing I enjoy about the holiday season is that several of my friends whom live out of state are in town. We did our annual Christmas cookie exchange party, painted cute Christmas pictures at Painting With a Twist, and had fun salsa dancing while ringing in the new year.

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While I love the holidays, this weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year. It’s the first weekend in a long time where there are no plans and no places to be. We get to relax and wind down and get everything back in order. Lord knows my house is screaming for some attention and I slept a near 10 hours last night! It was glorious.

I have a great recipe for you this morning! Healthy banana muffins that contain no oil and no  butter. And you know what that means?

There’s room for chocolate Smile

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and of course black bananas are the best for healthy baking. My in-laws think I’m crazy for always wanting to take home their old bananas.

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Here what you’ll need:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda

 

pink_cartoon_bird_or_chick_0515-1003-1906-0318_SMUFitChickBritt Eat Well Tip: For an even healthier muffin simply omit the chocolate chips or substitute with orange zest or walnuts for extra flavor.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or line 12 muffin cups. In a medium bowl, mash bananas well. Combine eggs and bananas. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, salt, sugar and baking soda. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups. Fill about 3/4’s of the muffin cup with mixture. Bake in oven for 11 to 13 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

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Enjoy!

Hope you are having a relaxing weekend like me. Tell me one thing you did this holiday season!

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I met Neil Patrick Harris

December 7, 2011

Oh hi there! Hope you didn’t think I fell off the face of the earth Winking smile I took a little unplanned time off from blogging and it was wonderful. Just what I needed for Namaste November. I spent some quality time with my family for the Thanksgiving Holiday and enjoyed my birthday at the end of the month.

Dinner and drinks with family and friends and Neil Patrick Harris is always fun.

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Ok. Not really, but I swear that it was Barney Stinson.

So what’s going on in my world?

I’m still Marathon training. I had a confidence boosting 18 miler a few weeks ago. So confidence boosting that I went out and ran 20 miles at an 8:50 pace in 20mph winds the next week. It was a little ambitious to say the least and I was feeling it after! This weekend I did an easy 14 miler with Rachael as my company. It felt like the quickest 14 miler I’ve ever ran. I swear we could probably chit chat all day about nothing and everything at the same time.

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I’m running a 30k race this weekend. That’s 18.6 mile my friends. IPods are not allowed. I have no idea what I was thinking signing up for this.

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I got a Kindle Fire for my birthday and I love it! You can watch Netflix, download all kinds of apps, play music, browse the web, read books…. it’s awesome! Definitely comparable to an Ipad and way less in price. If you’re wondering what to get a special someone for Christmas it’s a great deal!

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With my free time I’ve been cooking a lot more lately. Thanks to Pinterest it’s been pretty easy to keep tabs on recipes I want to try and it’s been an easy place to come back to when I’m trying to meal plan for the week.

I’ve made this.

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and some of this.

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and one of these.

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Oh yes and this. Yum.

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But I especially can’t forget these. These are flourless and they are the bomb.

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I ❤ cooking. and I ❤ pinterest.

So tell me, what have you been up to?

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