Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Life Lately

Forgive me, I'm just trying to unbury myself from the mounds of reading and assignments that I need to catch up on and/or are due this Friday, in addition to one of my midterms! It's incredible just. how. much. work can be assigned from one class.

Honestly, I'm not sure we'll use our dining room table for dining any time soon. It just works so well for holding stacks of books and binders...

On a more exciting note, here are a few highlights of life lately.

What I'm Thankful For...

Heat - we finally turned our furnace on for the first time this fall and I can tell you that 68 feels like a world of difference from the 61 degrees we were enduring lsat week. We were trying to hold out until Nov. 1, but no dice!

Dry morning walks - I take Jonah Bell out every morning rain or shine, so I really appreciate the mornings that are dry with just a slight fall breeze. I hate having to towel her off after she's soaking wet!

Seeing friends - Last week I had at least three planned social events, which really does something for the soul. It's so easy to get caught up in your own life and feel like you have time for no one else. The opposite is actually true. When you're the most frazzled, you likely need some social contact more than ever.

What I Need Right Now...

This yoga class. I tried it for the first time this morning after running hilly trails on Sunday and running 5 miles last night and it really helped stretch out my tight legs. I highly recommend it (and yogaglo in general)!

What We're Eating...

The manfriend has really stepped up and has been making dinner several nights a week when I've been too busy or have to stay at work late, study or do homework. But when I do have the time to cook, I'm still making some of my favorites.

Dinner last night was stacked enchiladas! Someday, I'll remember to buy the big tortillas for real enchiladas, but this version a little less tedious and a bit healthier.

This is one of those recipes that is great because it's super flexible and allows you to use whatever you have on hand as far as veggies or protein goes. First I saute my veggies and boil the chicken (or leave it out). Then, I tear up a few small white corn tortillas (I used 4 mini ones) alternating veggie protein mix with tortillas and then topping it all with a bit of cheese. Bake at 375 for 20-30 min or until cheese is melty and bubbling.

Ingredients: sauteed veggies, including onion, corn, and red pepper, black refried beans, shredded chicken, a little taco seasoning, avocado slices, a few dollops plain yogurt, 1/4 cup or so of enchilada sauce, and 1/4 cup shredded white cheddar cheese.

What I'm Reading... {beyond thrilling textbooks}

75-Year Study That Found The Secrets to a Fulfilling Life - It's really no surprise that relationships/love are key to a happy and fulfilling life, but it's nice to read it all the same.

How is your week going? Pick one of the above topics and tell me what's going on in your life regarding that topic.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall, what fall?

Thank goodness for weekends! I definitely needed this one to recover and recharge from a cold and a few big work events last week. 

The weekend was spent doing yoga, studying for a few tests I have this week, going out to breakfast, and heading out to our favorite local farm for pumpkins and tasty, affordable apples.

It was our first time out to Thistledown Farm this season and I was surprised to realize they're only open for two more weeks. Glad we fit in one trip anyway!

Manfriend picking out a few good ones for our porch.

Crunchy apples of all varieties for $1.29/lb? You don't have to tell me twice!

And no trip to the farm is complete without a few apple cider donuts. YUM.

Also, can we talk about how it's not really fall here? The entire weekend was 75 and sunny!

First run in five days = happiness. 

With a sunrise like this to boot!

And finally, Sunday afternoon was spent soaking up some Vitamin D because who knows when my legs will see sun again.

How was your weekend? Anyone experiencing fall weather yet?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bittersweet Goodbye

It feels kind of surreal to know that I'm in the last few days of employment at the place I have worked (and my alma mater)  for the last nine years. Where does the time go? I went from a lost 20-something to a more sure 30-something. I have planned a lot of big {and small} events, carried out numerous marketing campaigns, developed my project management skills, given 110 percent, and utilized my creativity here.

While it's bittersweet to say goodbye, I feel like a weight is soon to be lifted from my shoulders. I'll admit that I know I could not keep up my current schedule of a full class load + 20 hrs of office work and do well in my classes. Organic chemistry and microbiology - oy vey!

A colleague brought me this yesterday...

Excuse me while I hide the good stuff from the manfriend.

On the other hand, I have this weird sense of impending meaninglessness. Yes, I'll be going to school and working toward a bigger goal, but it doesn't seem quite as important as going to an office every day. Anyway, I'm sure I'll figure it out as I go. It'll just take some time to adjust to my new purpose and focus as a full time student.

I've been under the weather the last few days, but am determined to still get some movement in. Monday night, I put on my running shoes to walk a few miles near work and catch some daylight.

Never mind the highly unfashionable look. #keepinitcomfy

Random thoughts:
  • My wedding dress is still hanging on the closet door of our spare bedroom where I can see it daily. I just can't bring myself to put it away...
  • My macbook pro purchased in January 2008 is still kicking (for now)
  • I may just love my new Brooks Ravennas more than I loved the Addictions.
  • I'm so excited for Christmas. We'll be heading back to the midwest to visit Pete's family and I can't wait to see the newest family member born yesterday and our one year old niece (oh, and everyone else of course)!
How's your Wednesday treating you? 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

All the Things

I don't know where the time goes. Scratch that. I do know. The time goes into all the things I'm doing. Studying, working out, eating, going to work, going to class, sleeping, and homework.

As life get a bit more hectic around here, I'm trying to remember that I can only do my best with the time available to me. That means that I'm not caught up on my reading for all five classes or completely understanding it all, but I'm doing what needs to get done. And I'm trying to not get caught up in the stress that's so easy to assign to times like these.

And that's easier to do when my mind keeps wandering to upcoming fun things like all things pumpkin, Honeycrisp apples, crisp mornings and get-togethers with family and friends.

Honeycrisps - no apple compares

And runs through crunchy leaves

Now on to other fun topics like sweat and more sweat!

Last night I headed out to yoga at Hardcore Yoga in town to practice to the beat of DJ HyFi. These kinds of fun opportunities in the yoga world are limited here in Eugene, so I signed up for class as soon as it was announced.

Sweating and flowing to the beat was really fun and the hour flew by. I was kind of in shock when Chelsea said we were on our last vinyasa, but my mat was getting a little slippery so I was okay with it. ;)

I'm trying to keep exercise a regular thing even with all the commitments I have. This week has included a few sanity saving runs.

Sunday morning I set out for 7 sunny miles on Pre's Trail because weekends seem to require a "long" run whether or not you're training for something. I got my Vitamin D and then it was straight to the books I went.

Tuesday morning, Laurel and I had planned to meet at 6:15 a.m. for a run. While it was seriously dark at first requiring headlamps and a little bit of confidence, it was pretty awesome from our turn around point on.

Hello, sunrise.

And finally, pizza night. Because pizza night always sounds good. And the week's end should be celebrated with pizza.

This one included caramelized onions, spinach, basil, kalamata olives, heirloom tomatoes and mozarella. Yum.

What's keeping you sane {or extra happy} these days? Anything you're especially looking forward to this fall? 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Adventures in San Francisco

Thank you for all the kind comments on my last post. I am more than ready for this next chapter!

This trip to San Francisco technically marked the fourth time some of us had met up for a race and weekend of fun, and at least six years that some of us have known each other. Amber, Kyria, Leigh, Lisa and I chose the Berkeley Trail Adventure race to plan our trip around, offering everyone the distance of their choice.

I flew in on Thursday and met up with Lisa who was in early for a work meeting. Kyria (who lives in the Bay Area) was an awesome hostess and let us crash at her place Thursday night and took us to an amazing Korean place. 

I've never had Korean food, but they brought out a ton of pickled items and then our meals, which were huge and included soup, rice and a few varieties of meat, which was cooked at our table. I was glad to have done it because it probably isn't something I would have seeked out on my own and the food was delicious.

Friday morning, Lisa and I left Kyria's to head into the city. We hauled our bags around for quite a while until we found a good spot for breakfast (The Grove). Note to self: buy a good carry on roller bag. My duffle was not so awesome to lug around (hello, infrequent traveler).

After brunch, we made our way to the Mission District where he apartment was that we had rented through airbnb. We unloaded our bags and relaxed on the couch a bit before heading over to Dolores Park for some relaxation in the sun.

Soon enough, Amber and Leigh arrived from the airport!

Leigh, Amber, Lisa

That evening, we ventured out to pick up supplies for a simple pasta dinner at one of the local 'hipster' markets. 

We happened upon this incredible mural on the way there.

Trail Adventure
Saturday morning, we were up early to head to Berkeley to run/hike some hills.

If you ever get the chance to run a trail race in a new area, I highly recommend it. Trail races tend to be much more relaxed than road, a lot of fun and have beautiful scenery!

The Berkeley Trail Adventure offered a 5/10K, 21K (half marathon), 35K and 50K. Amber, Lisa and I chose the half marathon and Kyria went for the 35K as she's running a 50 miler in a few weeks. For the first time, I shocked myself by NOT registering for one of the longest distances. But 13 miles of trail ended up being plenty!

Ready to race some hilly miles (minus the preggo Leigh)

Kyria, Amber, Lisa, me and Leigh

The Berkeley Trail Adventure race started at Tilden Park next to this beautiful little lake. The half marathon distance had 2,800 ft of climbing and the 35K about 3,500 ft.

The race start was casual, friendly and informative with helpful course instructions.

At 9 a.m. we were off. Let the hiking begin!

And oh did we hike. I can't even tell you the number of times I switched from running to hiking, but it definitely made a lot of sense on this course.

But at least we were rewarded with some gorgeous views.

The second half was much more downhill than up, which made it fun to speed along when I could.

I finished the race in 2:30, which was what I had estimated I might run it in. I felt like I raced strong, but didn't go ALL out. Still, I ran hard enough to give myself decently sore quads two days later.

After the race, we headed to this little log cabin restaurant for an awesome brunch.  Then it was back to the city for showers and some down time. 

Eat all the food 
The dinner plan that night was Mission Street burritos and whoa, were they good. These were street style burritos with freshly grilled meat and packed to the brim.

And just when we thought we couldn't eat any more... We walked to get ice cream at Mitchell's. No wonder I gained a few lbs on this trip. ;)

Biking to Sausalito
Our final adventure (before I left) was a bike ride over the Golden Gate Bridge ending with brunch in Sausalito.

We rented bikes for $25 for the day from the Sports Basement, which is right near the bridge. The bikes were well maintained and included a helmet and lock.

With the number of times I've been to the Bay Area, I'm a little surprised I had never done this as it was a ton of fun. Luckily, we started our adventure early so that we were really the only tourist cyclists on the bridge. The others we saw were legit cyclists.

The ride over was maybe 6 miles in total. We locked our bikes up downtown Sausalito and walked to Fred's Place (yelp recommendation) for this delicious meal!

Because of my flight time and the logistics of city life, we had to haul it back to the ferry after brunch. We got there just in time and hopped on with our bikes.

And back to the city we went.

We got off at Fisherman's and I sadly said my goodbyes and rode off to return my bike. The rest of the group stayed until Monday, but I had to be back for class.

As trips like these do, I was reminded of how important traveling, trying new things, and hanging out with girlfriends is and how thankful I am for these friendships. 

What's your favorite city to visit? Do you consider yourself a country mouse or city mouse?

While I love visiting most big cities, I think I really am most at ease when I have mountains and country roads at my fingertips. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014


When I graduated with my B.S. in journalism in 2005, I always knew I would be headed back to school someday. I thought I might go back for an MBA, a masters in journalism and communications or marketing, or possibly human physiology.

After a few years of full time work, I knew I wanted something more, but wasn't sure exactly what. Meanwhile, I watched many blogger friends or acquaintances chase their dreams or power through a degree they were passionate about.

And finally, around age 28 I decided that I could keep on waiting and always wonder "what if" OR I could just do the damn thing already. The damn thing being something, anything I was passionate about. While I know I'm a skilled marketer and event planner, I have also known that health and wellness is where my passion lies. On top of that, there isn't a lot of room for growth in marketing in the Eugene area, which has been tough.

Back in the day, I used to watch Oprah religiously and fully embraced her idea that we were meant to do and be something. I knew I had something big to offer, but I just wasn't sure what.

Well, with some soul searching, some research and some serious thinking about what kind of lifestyle I want, I decided that a focus in nutrition would be my goal with a little side of personal training and health writing on the side. It might sound a little lofty or in the clouds, but after sitting at a desk in an office for 8 1/2 years, I'm ready to tell the universe what I want. No, I'm not 100% positive that this is the thing I was meant to do, but I want to help people, I want to help make my community a little bit healthier, and I want to move.

{This is not to say that all 8 to 5 office jobs are bad. It's just that I personally feel a little trapped sitting at a desk all day. Heck, telecommuting one day a week sounds like a dream to me.}

For the past two years, I have been working full time (or nearly that) and going to school part time during the day or at night. I have been slogging through (and sometimes even enjoying) classes I thought I could never succeed at, like chemistry and anatomy & physiology.

This has been a long time coming now, but a few weeks ago I put in my notice at work that I would be leaving my first (and only) place of employment since college to head back to school full time. As I still have another year of full time, challenging pre-requisites (2+ if I continued going part time), it just seemed like the time to jump in with both feet.

See? Both feet. 

After a year of pre-reqs, the program will be two years + an internship. Will I be old? Yes, but I'm over sitting and waiting for something to happen. Will I have to take out student loans? Yes, but hopefully not too much. I am also hoping to do some kind of part time work starting winter term.

While I have been fortunate to work for my alma mater (the University of Oregon) and have had many awesome opportunities, I am so excited for this next step. Starting Monday, I head back to school, but will also be working half time at my office for the next three weeks.

A calming image because I'm going to need a bit of this in the next month 

So, what's on the schedule?

I am dually enrolled at the local community college and the UO's rival University up the road, so I will be driving a bit, but only one day per week for now. My classes include: organic chemistry, microbiology, human nutrition and orientation to nutrition & food management (where they bring nutrition professionals in to talk to us).

Finally, I have to say that this wouldn't have been possible without the support of the manfriend. He has encouraged me to continue down this path when I would have given up on myself a while ago.

My mantra these past two years has literally been "Just. Keep. Going."

Have you ever made a life decision that terrified you? How did you grow or benefit from it? 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week(s) in Workouts

It's been a while since I've done a recap of my weekly workouts. Because this weekend is the Berkeley Trail Adventure half, I figured I would catch you up on my workouts since the 50K.

Week of 9/8 to 9/14

Monday - Since the race was Saturday, I took Sunday and Monday off from cardio and stuck to an easy 30 min upper body strength session and a little yoga stretching.

Body was still a little sore, but not nearly as bad as when I race a marathon.

Tuesday - 20 min spin on the trainer, 3 mile run/walk on Pre's Trail to ease back into this whole running thing

Wednesday - a.m. strength {abs, arms, squats}, 4 mile easy run w/ Laurel

Thursday - 3.2 easy a.m. miles, vinyasa yoga

Big fan of the open back on this Under Armour top

Friday - a.m. strength/cardio session including: sweeping + vacuuming as a warm up {Pete was out of town, I wanted to clean}, spin on the bike and a short strength circuit

Saturday - up early to run 6 miles of hilly trail + Lindsey's vinyasa class {legs and hamstrings, the more the better}

Sunday - 9.25 miles on the bike path {+ a pit stop for syrup}

My bum left knee was pretty cranky through the second half of this run making me think I should actually go see a PT.

Miles run: 26

Week of 9/15 to 9/21

Monday - a.m. strength: squat & lunge focus, leisurely bike ride with the manfriend

Tuesday - 20 min yoga flow + 5 mile Tap & Growler group run @ 7:50 pace

I was already sore from Monday's strength session. Guess I need to do squats and lunges a bit more. Also, 7:50 pace seems very doable when I'm running and chatting with friends, but nearly impossible on my own. Crazy.

Wednesday - 30 min strength circuit fun via Sarah Fit + 7 miles post work hilly trail

Seriously, you need to try this arm workout and the booty burner.

Thursday - 30 min yogaglo flow + SPEED workout {warm up, 6 x 400m, 6 x 300m, 6 x 200m, cool down}

My first speed workout in weeks and it really challenged me. As always, I wanted to stop early, but I didn't.

Friday - 20 min total body Barre strength via Fitnessista

New shoes, I love you

Saturday - 7.5 mile trail run + Lindsey's yoga flow

 Can't complain about starting my day like this

Sunday - 9 mile river loop run + yoga streeeetch &relax class

Miles run: 34

A note about Fridays
I love how making Friday an easy workout day for me makes the day feel more exciting. Yes, I get my workout in, but I don't overdo it because I know I'll be doing plenty over the weekend.

This week, I don't really have a plan other than taking it easy and forcing myself not to run too much.

Next week, classes start so I'm trying not to think about that too much. Life's about to get really hectic again, but I'm trying not to panic.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Five Things Friday

It's been quite some time since I've done one of these.

1. The mornings around here are really starting to feel like fall. Early morning runs or dog walks require a long sleeve and I'm starting to lean toward my fall wardrobe slowly but surely.

I really loved this spread last week from the LOFT with several fun fall combinations. It kind of reminds me of a capsule wardrobe. My favorite looks are the cream pants with camel sweater and the short skirt with sweater and jean jacket. I always like the way short booties look on others, but am not sure I could pull them off.

But scarves? Scarves I can do.

Thank goodness for scarf season.

2. I finally cooked beets for the first time. For whatever reason (the color or the texture?), I've always been a little freaked out by beets, but have recently had a few bites of them in potluck salads. Well, this week our CSA included a few beets, so I followed the farm's recipe and roasted them with a little olive oil, sea salt, paprika, cumin and chile powder.

3. Speed work is hard. I've missed a few weeks of the Thursday night speed group and boy does it show! Last night's workout included some challenging mile-pace repeats: 6 x 400, 6 x 300, 6 x 200m. The 400s were definitely the hardest. And on that note, I should probably foam roll...

4. Fall term starts in just over a week and I'm already terrified for the difficulty of Organic Chemistry. The instructor required us to purchase about five different things between the book, a modeling set, a lab instruction manual, lab workbook, and a study guide.

5. I am super excited for a girls trip to San Francisco next weekend with blogger friends Amber, Leigh, Lisa and Kyria. Exploring a city I love + catching up with good friends + running a half marathon = close to perfection.

What food has always freaked you out just a little bit? Are there any pieces you're planning to add to your wardrobe this fall?