Mountains To Main Half Marathon – Race Recap

If this camera man didn’t catch such an epic finish….I don’t know her but I think we’d be fast friends!

IMG_0253IMG_0254IMG_0255IMG_0256IMG_0257IMG_0258IMG_0259

 

This past weekend was mine and Adam’s last long race of the season (we’ll probably do some 5k’s over the summer but nothing over that). The fact that I had just run the Diva’s Half two weekends ago and that it was going to be literally so so hot, we threw the goal of a PR out the window and set out to just have a good time.

There were 400 runners, which is a relatively small half. I believe this was only the second year of this race. There was a triathlon on Sunday as well for this event, but I heard it was cancelled due to rain.

 

The Expo:

The expo was Friday from 2-6 (though I think you could pick up your bib race morning), which was kind of inconvenient. I like to usually go during my lunch hour and spend some time perusing the vendors. However, I just popped over at 2 to grab our numbers and shirts. Let me just say I LOVE the shirts we got.

There were a lot of vendors set up outside of where packet pickup was, but since it was pushing 90 degrees that afternoon, I skirted out pretty quickly. It wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before.

 

The Race:

The course itself was nothing we hadn’t seen before. It started in Travelers Rest and did about a two mile loop before heading down the Swamp Rabbit Trail towards downtown Greenville. The only difference between this course and the Swamp Rabbit Half we did back in February was the beginning loop and this race did a loop around the Furman Lake, which included a massive hill but it was a nice change of pace from the Trail. Otherwise, it was a pretty familiar run for Adam and I. It was no surprise around mile 11 when we ran head on into a snake making its way across the trail. They are out in full force right now so I was half expecting it. Luckily there were a handful of people around and it was right by an aid station so I felt better than if it were just Adam and I. It was probably just a harmless black snake but honestly we didn’t stick around to find out. Adam handled it like a champ (despite snakes being his biggest fear) and led a group of lady runners across the threshold. He picked up the pace a little after that ;).

We gel’d twice, once at mile 5.5 and then we split a gel at mile 9.5. There were also aid stations about every mile/mile and a half. I think there may have been more setup than the race website originally said, which was good for the heat. They also served gatorade and water at everyone and the website said there would only be water. We got water at every stop to make sure we didn’t dehydrate and like I said, we weren’t going for time.  

The sky stayed pretty overcast most of the race but by mile 11.5 the sun was out in full force. We pushed through the last leg. At the finish shoot we saw a couple in front of us and I looked at Adam and said “let’s beat ‘em!”. So we ran ahead and the woman decided she didn’t want to go out without a fight so she kicked it into gear also. We raced across the line neck and neck hearing the crowd cheer us on. We crossed with huge smiles on our faces, laughing and gave a big high five and congratulations. That is why we run.

 

Post Race:

Post race was awesome. They handed out waters at the finish line along with our medals and then it was just a short step over to the fuel tent. There were plenty of post-race recovery options, along with a ton of food and BEER! Each runner had a food ticket and a drink ticket and everything was also available for sale for spectators. We didn’t use our food ticket because we had planned to eat afterwards but we used our drink ticket!

 

I think we’d be interested in doing this one again next year. As long as you’re prepared for the heat, it’s a fun run and it was well supported (logistically, not so much crowds). But that’s the good thing about running with Adam. We don’t necessarily need the crowd support because we have each other. This was my 8th half marathon and my 6th medal this year #irunforthebling. It was a great finish to the season, especially after starting the year not really knowing where running was going to take us. I am proud of how much we’ve accomplished already this year and am excited to find out what miles are next!

 

IMG_0251

Cruising to the finish!

 

IMG_0243

Adam’s 5th half!

 

IMG_0239

My 8th half!

 

IMG_0238IMG_0245IMG_0244

IMG_0249

My 2017


 

WEEK 4 – CLEAN EATING MEAL PLAN

My life!  It's pms time but I'm staying on track,  meal prepping my snacks and lunches so I don't veer away from my goal.  2 weeks until family camping trip and I intend on looking and FEELING my best.  :-):

TGIF, y’all! I am glad this week is over, it’s been a crazy one. We have our last half of the season tomorrow morning and I’m not mad about it. It starts at 8 (I’m not thrilled about) and therefore it will probably be warm…and sunny and humid. Oh well, it gives us an excuse to head strait to the Greek Festival that’ll be going on downtown and eat all the not clean eating foods!! I’ll have deserved it, right?

 

This week’s meals were pretty basic. Because of the race I wanted to stick close to home and not shock my body with anything crazy, and still make sure I was getting enough calories to sustain my training. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the apple pie oats. I have never used apple pie spice before but it gave me a weird taste and I wasn’t fond of it. Maybe next time I’ll use cinnamon or a different sweetener. Otherwise, the quinoa and balsamic steak are definite keepers!

 

Slide1

Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups diced onion
  • 1 1/4 cups diced bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 can reduced sodium tomatoes with green chilies, drained
  • 1 can organic tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 can reduced sodium, organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can sodium, organic pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn

Directions:

  1. Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper and saute 3 minutes. Pour into a slow cooker.
  2. Stir in quinoa, vegetable broth & water, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans and taco seasoning. Cover and cook on HIGH heat about 2 hours 45 minutes – 3 hours 15 minutes (cook time can vary because all slow cookers cook a little differently so just keep an eye on it near the end to make sure it’s neither getting soggy or drying out near the edges).
  3. Add corn and toss mixture. Cover and cook until heated through about 10 – 15 minutes longer. Serve warm with desired toppings.
  4. Optional: Top with avocado, green onion or diced tomatoes

 

Ground Turkey, Broccoli & Brown Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • Dicecd onions
  • Black pepper, cayenne pepper
  • 1 can green chilis
  • 2 bags Frozen broccoli
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Basil & Oregano
  • Brown Rice 

Directions:

  1. Brown ground turkey, saute with diced onions, chilis, and spices to your liking
  2. Place broccoli in an oven safe dish and toss with olive oil, black pepper and italian spices.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
  4. Cook brown rice according to package instructions.

 

Balsamic Steak & Arugula Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 1-2 lb sirloin steak
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Rosemary, sage, basil
  • Arugula
  • Cherry Tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl or blender and pour over the steak. Marinate overnight.
  2. Combine the cherry tomatoes with salt. Stir in the vinegar, garlic and olive oil.
  3. Heat the grill over high heat, spray the grates and grill a few minutes on each side, until cooked to your taste. Let it rest a few minutes before slicing.
  4. Toss the arugula with the tomato mixture.
  5. Slice the grilled skirt steak into thin slices and place on a platter, scatter the arugula-tomato salad over the steak and serve right away.

 

Overnight Oats: Apple Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp apple pie spice
  • 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add the rolled oats to a mason jar or other lidded container.
  2. Add the almond milk, applesauce and spices to the oats.
  3. If you would like, add chopped walnuts and/or apple pieces.
  4. Stir until completely mixed, seal the container and refrigerate for 6-8 hours. Serve cold. This recipe will keep for several days in the refrigerator.

 

Baked Tortillas & Salsa

Ingredients:

  • Low sodium, organic salsa
  • Corn tortillas

Directions:

  1. 6″ corn tortillas and spread some sort of oil on them
  2. Cut the tortillas in half then in thirds. This will give you 6 chips per tortilla.
  3. Place on a cooking sheet that has been sprayed. Making sure they do not touch or they won’t get as crispy. Place in a 350º oven for 12-15 minutes.
  4. Serve with a side of low sodium, organic salsa.

 

Celery Sticks & Almond Butter

Ingredients:

  • Almond Butter
  • Celery Sticks

 

Girls Trip to NYC – 5 Must Do’s

Okay so I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday. I am feeling like I’m being stretched very thin and it caused a bit of a moment. I have so many things coming up and honestly I can’t do them all, as much as I wish I could. Time-wise, money-wise, mental space-wise. I just can’t. And it’s becoming frustrating trying to pick and choose while not making people upset. Adam and I try to make everyone happy but there’s honestly not enough hours in the day to always.

We have our last half marathon of the season this weekend and I’m excited to use those miles to spend quality time with Adam. I think it will be super hot so I’m not expecting to PR (though Adam is), but it will be my 3rd half on the year so far and my overall 8th half. I’m planning to get to at least 9 or 10 by the end of this year.

 

On another note, spring is a fabulous time to visit New York and I wanted to share some must-do’s if you’re planning a girls trip. Really these are activities you can do year around (well, I guess if you’re me since I love cold weather), but they’re especially fun when everything is in bloom, the sun is out and the air is crisp.


Central Park – Especially in the spring, Central Park is a must. With everything in bloom, there is no place I would rather spend an afternoon. It is such a magical, peaceful place tucked into one of the busiest cities in the world. There are also plenty of activities like row boating and various sports, always a “street performance” to watch, and plenty of street vendors and restaurants for eats, drinks, and souvenirs.

Rooftop Happy Hour – It doesn’t matter where in the city you go for this, a rooftop happy hour guarantees the best seat in the house. Whether it’s midtown, looking over the East River, or a view on to Central Park…New York is a place that must be seen from up above.

Brunch/Lunch at The Plaza – I really think this is going to be a staple for my trips going forward. This was one of the most magical mornings I’ve ever had. Obviously I was raised on Home Alone 2 and I can remember my very first time in NYC when I was 10. My dad took me to see The Plaza and I was hooked. One day I will stay there (even if for just one night) but for now, Sunday brunch certainly does just fine.    

Shop on Madison Ave & 5th Ave – Duh. This is just about as obvious as it gets. Even if it’s just window shopping, channeling your inner Serena & Blair Gossip Girl style is a can’t miss for a girl’s weekend in a NYC. Some of the stores carry one-of-a-kind items and they make fashion and retail an art.

Chelsea High Line – Full of gardens and spectacular West Side views, the High Line is such a fun place to explore with girlfriends and a coffee in hand. I personally don’t usually spend a bunch of time on the West Side when I’m in the city but I think this may become a staple of mine. I love the views of the Hudson and Chelsea and the all around different perspective the High Line provides.

I’m already thinking about when I’ll get to NYC again 😉


WEEK 3 – CLEAN EATING MEAL PLAN

Deidra Penrose, fitness tips, metabolism, fitness challenge, fitness motivation…:

 

TGIF!! *Insert cliche complaint about the DMV* I was off work Monday but my week started out at the DMV an the county tax office, so there’s that. Luckily, it went relatively smoothly (though, I was trying to resolve an issue that’s been ongoing for 5+ months at this point).

This week kind of was crazy but kind of flew by. Having Monday off made for a quick week, but being out of town last weekend for the Divas Half Marathon made the week a bit nutty. I knew we were heading to Myrtle Beach when I made my meal plans so I tried to make this weeks easier and quicker because I knew I wouldn’t have a whole lot of meal prep time before the start of the week. We’re heading out of town again this Saturday for a graduation dinner for two of my cousins. It should be a pretty quick trip though. Hopefully I’ll get to see my brother who I haven’t seen in – embarrassingly too long because neither of us could remember the last time we saw each other!

If you’re looking for quick and easy, this week’s meals are it. The grocery bill was cheap and the prep time was minimal. Adam has been loving the wraps (he’s good with any excuse to eat a sandwich or wrap) and I have been eating most of the quinoa salad. Instead of a wheat wrap, we’ve grown to like an olive oil tortilla that’s high in fiber and protein.  Also, the original recipe I found for the quinoa salad didn’t call for Frank’s red hot, but I couldn’t resist!

 

week 2

 

 

Chicken & Avocado Ranch Wraps

Ingredients:

  • Flax Seed Wraps/Whole wheat wraps
  • Chicken tenderloins
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Tomatos
  • Acovado
  • Homemade ranch

Directions:

  1. Boil chicken until cooked. Shred.
  2. Top wrap with chicken, sliced avocado, tomatoes, salt & pepper and homemade clean eating ranch.

 

Slow Cooker Steak & Broccoli (with brown rice – even though we nixed the rice this week!)

Ingredients:

  • 1-½ lbs sirloin steak
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 1/4 cup low sodium Soy Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 bags frozen broccoli florets
  • Brown Rice

Directions:

  1. Spray inside of 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Stir together 3/4 cup water, soy sauce and brown sugar in slow cooker. Add beef; sprinkle with black pepper to taste and turn to coat with soy sauce mixture.
  2. Add in two packs of frozen broccoli florets.
  3. Cover; cook on LOW 7-1/2 hours or on HIGH 3-1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Remove beef from slow cooker.
  4. *Option: Cook brown rice according to package and serve under beef and broccoli.

 

Southwest Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa cooked
  • 2 can reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can reduced sodium corn, drained
  • Tomato paste
  • 1/2 of a large green bell pepper
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup Franks Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Spinach

Directions:

  1. Cook 1 cup quinoa according to package directions. I like to cook my quinoa in either vegetable stock or chicken stock to add a little flavor. I also like to rinse it before I cook it. To do this, just place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse it under water for a few minutes.
  2. When the quinoa is done cooking, fluff it with a fork, transfer it to a large bowl and allow it to cool completely (about 15 minutes).
  3. Add spinach to warm quinoa to allow it time to wilt down.
  4. In a small bowl whisk together hot sauce, olive oil and black pepper.
  5. When the quinoa has cooled, add in black beans, corn, red bell pepper and chopped green onions.
  6. Stir in dressing and toss to coat.

 

Wheat Toast with Almond Butter & Banana

Ingredients:

  • Wheat toast
  • Almond Butter
  • Banana

 

Low Sodium Pickles

 

Clementines


 

Divas Half Marathon N. Myrtle Beach – Race Recap

IMG_0185IMG_0187IMG_0189IMG_0191IMG_0193IMG_0195IMG_0197IMG_0198IMG_0199IMG_0200

This weekend was one for the books. I love this race so much, and I would definitely love to experience some of their other event locations at some point. Maybe wine country of DC or Puerto Rico! Regardless, this event is about women supporting other women, achieving an amazing goal, and having fun! It is full of pink and tutus and I hope that me and my mother can do it again sometime sooner rather than later.

Mom had a bit of a confidence struggle mid-race, which we knew she would. Hopefully I talked her off the ledge when she was feeling down on herself. She was afraid she would disappoint us, even though we all told her that she got to the start line so no matter how the race went, she was NOT a disappointment. I am so proud of how she persevered. She’s had so much going on the past few weeks and it would have been easy to call a quits. I know it wasn’t easy on her having to get up and run, work a full day and then run across town to the hospital for a visit. But she put in the miles and we all knew that. We had no doubt that she’d finish, and she did and she did it running across that finish line!

In terms of weather, I couldn’t have asked for a better morning. The race starts at 7am which helps when it comes to the May beach heat. But it was mid-50s and breezy when we started and I don’t think it really got above 60.

 

The Expo

The expo was pretty big, as I remember it was two years ago. It was not well marked in terms of bibs were at the back of one room, and shirt pickup was in a different room. But there was a lot of merchandise to look at vendors so visit. I ended up buying a singlet for BOGO, so mom got one too. The one I bought two years ago is one of my favorite running tops to wear so it’s wearing thin and I needed a new one. Plus you really can’t beat $11 for a tank. Other than the shirt I bought, I didn’t see a whole lot of “Divas” merch that I loved. A lot of their stuff seemed to be heavier, cotton-type material that I do not prefer to run in.

There was a Fleet Feet table set up and we were able to buy our Huma gels at buy 3, get 1 so we stocked up since they are so hard to find. We snapped a few pics but really didn’t stay too long.

 

The Event

Parking was easy. The race sends out acceptable parking lots and we were able to find one just a few blocks from the start and finish with an easy exit to the interstate. There was a buzz before we started and everyone seemed genuinely excited to be out on such a beautiful day.

The 5k event went off at 7am and the half started shortly after at 7:10. There are no corrals but there are pacers and timing markers at the start line.There were ample water and aid stations and the course was pretty well supported.

This race was pretty easy for me in terms of actually running the miles. By the end of it, I honestly felt like I could have done it again. It was a confidence boost in terms of my physical fitness and for next week’s half that I have mentioned before, the one where Adam is really hoping for a PR…I love the fact that I can go out and run 13 miles while barely breaking a sweat ;). I loved that I got to wear my tutu the whole race. I thought to myself that if there was ever a time, that was it. It was so fun to just be carefree and enjoy the moment. My dad and Adam said they had a great time and they were awesome support. We saw them at the start and finish and then three other times throughout the race. It was nice to have extra encouragement out on the course. 

We came in at 2:31:53…two seconds off from our time two years ago. If that isn’t a testament to my mom that she can do it, then I don’t know what is! I am so proud and will cherish these memories forever!

IMG_2227

TBT: April 2015 to mom’s first half and our first Divas experience!