Running is…

Running is…

Me time

Hard

Heaven (and sometimes hell)

Running is…

Power

Strength

Freedom

Running is…

Cheaper than therapy

The best high

Time to daydream

Running is…

Exercise

Fitness

Heart pumping awesomeness

Running is…

Puddle hopping on a sunny spring day (at least in MN)

Sweaty fun

Sun on your face, wind in your hair

Running is…

Stress relief

Procrastination from doing housework

Setting goals (and crushing them)

Running is…

Lovely

Quiet

Serene

Running is…

Layering up on a cold day cause you’ve got to get outside

Being one with nature…and sometimes being one with the treadmill, both can be good

Exploring new places

Running is…

Addicting

Pushing your limits

Achieving more than you thought possible

Running is…

Fun

Love

Everything

Get out and run

I know there are other lists like this out there, but this is mine. Now it’s your turn. Running is…

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Outdoor Hockey and Other Weekend Fun

Last Friday some friends and I braved the single-digit temperatures to cheer on the Golden Gophers in an outdoor hockey game against Ohio State. It was the 2014 Hockey City Classic and the first outdoor college hockey game in Minnesota in about 80 years.

Hockey City Classic
Hockey City Classic

I was worried I’d be freezing during the game, but I was actually okay for the vast majority of it. I had on LOTS of layers.

Ready for outdoor hockey!
Ready for outdoor hockey!

We didn’t have wind hitting us which helped. My feet were really cold by the third period, but we made it through the whole game. Lots of fun to watch the Gophers play and see them win!

I started my Saturday off with this awesome bowl of fruit and yogurt. I added some  multi-grain cheerios for a little crunch too. A yummy breakfast that I’m going to be making more often.

Fruit and yogurt

Saturday’s workout was 30 minutes on the elliptical. Then I watched Duke play NC State while doing some cleaning and other stuff around my apartment. I’m a huge Duke basketball fan! Chances are if they’re playing I’m watching.

On Saturday night, a few friends and I got together for an old-fashioned slumber party. We hung out in our sweat pants; ate pizza, popcorn, and ice cream; watched Sex and the City; and chatted — perfection. 🙂

Sunday was about relaxing and running. It was sunny and 32 degrees, so I knew I wanted to get outside for my run. The weather was perfect and a good section of the path near me was clear, so I got in a great 5.44 mile run (avg. pace of 10:09). Sounds like the cold temps are coming back, so I’m glad I got to get outside before they arrive.

run 1.19

Then it was an afternoon of football and relaxing. Had to see who’s going to be playing in the Super Bowl! I love watching the Super Bowl. I’m usually watching just as much for the halftime show and commercials as the actual game, but it’s always a great sporting event to watch.

Have you ever watched an outdoor hockey game? Are you excited for the Super Bowl?

Let’s Get Cooking

One of my goals for 2014 is to make at least one new recipe a month so that I can learn to cook better. Last Thursday, I started with something pretty easy: Garlic Mashed Cauliflower.

I had some mashed cauliflower around the holidays so I wanted to try making it myself. That recipe had cream cheese and Parmesan cheese, and that’s probably why it tasted so good. But, I’ve been trying to keep my eating in check after not eating so well during the holidays, so I looked for a mashed cauliflower recipe that was a little lighter. I realized I had pinned this recipe a while back, so I gave it a shot. It turned out pretty good. Not as creamy as the holiday version, but I love garlic so bringing out that flavor was good with me. I did need to add a little salt and pepper. I realized later that adding a couple sprays of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter would also probably be good on these for just a little extra flavor without adding calories.

mashed cauliflower

The recipe makes four, one-cup servings and is pretty low in calories, so it was a great side dish with some marinated pork loin I had cooked up.

mashed cauliflower2

I’m calling recipe #1 of 2014 a success. Not sure what my next recipe will be, but I have a Pinterest board FULL of options!

What new recipes have you tried recently?

Outdoor Run = Happy Girl

Like a lot of the country, the so-called ‘Polar Vortex’ brought some seriously cold weather our way recently. The cold temps and snowy trails kept me inside for the last couple months, but today I emerged into the fresh air for an outdoor run. Temps were in the mid-30s and the sun was peeking through the clouds. Perfect.

I knew I missed running outside, but I don’t think I realized how much until my feet hit the pavement.

outdoor run 1.14

The path was mostly clear. There were some slushy areas where I slowed down a little, but nothing I couldn’t run through. (Though, I can feel a little soreness in my ankles tonight, and I think it’s from the slush – worth it.) I got in a solid 4.5 mile run. My RunKeeper was apparently mad that I hadn’t used it in a while because it was way off, particularly for the first mile. Then, I think it warmed up. But, my trusty Garmin was ready to go after being awaken from hibernation.

outdoor run 1.14 (2)

 

I hope the winter running gear doesn’t have to stay packed away too much more this year, but it is Minnesota, so who knows!

Did you get to run outside today?

Current Obsessions – January

I tend to go through phases with things: music, food, TV shows, etc. I’ll find something I like, be obsessed with it for awhile and then either get sick of it or find something else to be obsessed with. (Anyone else do this?)

So, I figured I’d start sharing some of the things that I’m currently obsessed with each month. Who knows, maybe you’ll find something new you want to try! And I hope you’ll share some of your current obsessions with me.

Fat free cottage cheese and grapes. This is my current snack time obsession. I’ve always loved pairing cheese with grapes. I hadn’t had cottage cheese in a really long time, but when I had a coupon for it recently, I decided to give it another try. Pairing it with grapes makes for the perfect afternoon snack at work or after a run. It’s got lots of protein and fills me up.

jan obs 1

Special K Oats & Honey. My mom had this at home over the holidays, so I gave it a try. So yummy! I can eat it straight out of the box like chips.

jan obs 2

Hot chocolate. I never used to be a huge hot chocolate fan, but this winter I’ve been having it a lot more. I found this fat free one that tastes good and lets me enjoy it guilt free. And, of course, I top it with a few mini marshmallows.

jan obs 3

The West Wing. I first became obsessed with this show last winter when I watched the whole series on Netflix. (I never watched it when it was on TV.) I got in the mood to watch it again, so I’m currently making my way through the series and fighting the urge to move to D.C. and start applying for jobs at the White House.

My Team Challenge jacket. It’s cold. This jacket keeps me warm while I watch TV and sip on something warm (see previous two obsessions)

tc jacket

“Come & Get It” by Selena Gomez. I’ve had this song on repeat recently. I can’t help it. It’s perfect on my running playlist and a great song to belt out in my car. Give it a listen:

Think it’s time for a cup of hot chocolate 😉

What are some of your current obsessions?

New Year, New Experiences, New Goals

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a fantastic NYE. I definitely did!

I’ve spent time reflecting on 2013, but now I’m looking ahead to 2014 and what goals I have for the new year. I settled on 3 goals – very manageable.

2014 Goals:

1. 2 PR’s

I had a great year of running in 2013. I surprised myself at the progress I made, and I want to keep the momentum going. I can be a little competitive at times,  and running lets me be competitive with myself — I think that’s part of why I’ve fallen in love with it. I’d love to beat my time in at least 2 races this year.

2. Make 1 new recipe a month

I’ve been saying I want to be a better cook for a long time. So, I’m setting this measurable goal for myself so I have some motivation to try some new recipes and improve my cooking skills. I think trying out 12 new recipes this year is a great way to dig in to the cookbooks I have and finally make some of the yummy recipes I keep pinning on Pinterest!

3. Get more comfortable with change

This goal isn’t necessarily measurable, but it’s still something I want to work on. I tend to like my routines and traditions. I’m a planner. I like to know what to expect. This means I’m not always very spontaneous and often stay inside my comfort zone. I’d like to start saying “yes” more and try out things that scare me. When I’ve done that in the past, it typically pays off and leaves me with great memories and fun times with friends, so I just need to remember that as I get ready to take on 2014.

What are your 2014 goals? Are you a planner, or do you go with the flow?