A Few Days in Chicago

We just got back from a few days in Chicago for a fun family vacation. My son’s last day of kindergarten (!) was the week before Memorial Day, so we decided to spend the week out of town and took a road trip to the Windy City. Unlike last year, where I was doing my running streak and had to get in a run each day, this year, I was looking forward to taking a few days off, but also running a few days while I was there. And that’s exactly what I did! I was able to get in a a few runs on my trip, but on the days I didn’t get out, I instead took long walks with the family and still got in my step goal. 

I love getting in runs in new cities. It helps to break up the boredom of running the same route(s) day in and day out, but it’s also a great way to explore.  

Here’s what the week looked like:

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Recovery and Whatever I Want

For those of you that missed it, my half marathon/5k races came and went! Here is a recap of how they went last weekend.

Spoiler alert – I had a great time! FB_IMG_1653142410577

So, that meant this week I was going to do whatever I wanted. Sleep in? Sure, why not. Run a little? Yes! I didn’t have any plans, and it felt GREAT. Here’s what the week entailed:

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2022 Cleveland Marathon Challenge Series – Race Recap

Was it really only just a few days ago that I was running through the streets of Cleveland with thousands of others, in my first in-person Cleveland half marathon since 2019? 

Okay, okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. But yes, just a few day ago, I completed the Cleveland 5k/half marathon challenge series, running a 5k on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday. As a race ambassador, I was able to take advantage of some amazing perks. Even nearly a week later, I’m still feeling proud and grateful for the whole experience — so here it is.

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One week to go …

Oh my goodness. It is ONE WEEK until race day! That’s right, the countdown is here – next weekend, I’ll be spending my Saturday and Sunday running the Cleveland Marathon Challenge Series.

I can’t believe how fast the training cycle went – it seems like only yesterday I was starting out with my long runs of 6-7 miles. But here we are, last week I ran 11 miles and I’m hopefully ready to pound out 13 miles on the pavement.

This week was a little different with training. I was out of my routine, because I was traveling for work. This was my first work trip in three years and it meant a few early mornings, long days, and some uncomfortable shoes. But. I was still able to get in some runs most days. I didn’t follow my typical training plan, but I wasn’t beating myself up too much – at this point, I’m not sure how much of a difference it makes in my performance next week.

Here’s how the week looked:

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Tired and Ready

I have one more long run left until the Cleveland half marathon, and to be honest? I’m ready. I’ve been feeling tired lately, and fitting in my long runs has been harder this training cycle than usual.

I have typically liked doing my long runs on Saturdays, but FW has track meets Saturdays now. B is also training for the half marathon, and he does his long runs on Sundays, so I need to be home to watch the kids. I’ve been fitting all of them in so far on weekdays, which means a lot of EARLY mornings (meaning waking up at 3:30 a.m. this week), but also not the ideal conditions. Almost all of my runs have been done before sunrise, with 30-40 degree temps. Race day, I imagine will be sunny and a lot warmer, and I’m in no way prepared for that!

That’s a long way of saying, I’m looking forward to taking a few days off and not waking up before 4 a.m. Here’s to hoping for an uneventful, injury-free rest of training!

Here’s what this week looked like:

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Technically Springtime

While it is technically spring, this week’s weather was once again wonky. Most of my runs are in the morning, and they were in the 30s or even upper 20s one day! But Sunday was nearly 80 degrees. Oh well, just another week in half marathon training for a spring race right? (I can’t believe the Cleveland half marathon is less than a month away!!) Here’s what this week’s training looked like:

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One Month Until Race Day

We’re ONE MONTH until Cleveland half marathon race day! Ahh! The weeks are going by so fast, and it hardly feels like we’re less than 30 days away from the race weekend.

That is probably partially because earlier this week it felt – and looked – like winter. Sunday and Monday I ran outside in 30 degree temps. Tuesday I woke up to rain/ice overnight that had turned into snow so I hit up the treadmill. It hardly feels like it should be almost May and halfway through spring!

Here’s what the week looked like for training:

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Double Digits

And just like that, I’m back at double digits this week! I can’t remember the last time I ran 10 miles at once, but it’s been some time, and it feels good to be back. With a little over a month until Cleveland half marathon trace day, I’m just hoping to keep it up, and stay healthy and uninjured. Is that so hard? (Don’t answer that, it is!)

This week threw some wrenches into plans, but also included some positives. GM was exposed to COVID at daycare, and had to stay home while the class was closed for the week (he tested negative thankfully). On a positive note, FW was on spring break, which meant I could sleep a little later because there was no early school bus to catch. Even just sleeping in 40 more minutes has made such a difference. It gives me hope for summertime!

Here’s what the week looked like – all outdoor runs!

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POWER Muffins (a.k.a. Sweet Potato, White Bean, Spinach + Banana Muffins)

Those of you who aren’t new around here know that my kids love muffins. In fact, when my oldest was a toddler, we called him the Muffin Man, because he ate so many of them. So since then, I’m always looking for a good muffin recipe that is healthy, easy to make, and kid approved. And now that he’s in school and taking nut-free snacks, I am making more muffins that are nut free so he can bring them in. 

These muffins have protein, fiber and vegetables. Oh, and chocolate! What’s not to like? That’s why we call them POWER muffins! 

Power muffins - i crashed the web

POWER Muffins

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup sweet potato, cooked and mashed
  • 1/2 banana (about 1/3 cup mashed)
  • 1/3 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup avocado oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs  
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon  
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup flour (I’ve used white whole wheat and all purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare your muffin tin – I use silicone reusable baking cups and spray them with non-stick cooking spray.  
  2. In a food processor, combine sweet potato, banana, beans, eggs, oil and syrup.
  3. Add cinnamon, oats and flaxseed and mix well.
  4. Add in flour and baking soda and pulse a few times until combined.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
  6. Bake muffins for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the muffin comes out clean. 
  7. Cool muffins and then enjoy! I like to keep 6 out and then freeze 6 so I have individual muffins ready to go whenever. I simply take one out of the freezer and defrost overnight OR in the microwave. 

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Seeking a non-healthy muffin? Give these a try instead!

Some questions for you:

  • What do you do with spinach? We just bought a big tub of it at Costco!
  • What’s a healthy-ish recipe you made recently?

Cleveland Half Marathon Training + Giveaway

Finally – a good week of half marathon training! After a few off weeks (being sick, etc.) I finally got in a few short runs and my long run, making this week’s Cleveland half marathon training a relative success. Which is good, because we’re just a little over a month from race day!

Here’s what the week entailed:

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