Freebies & Friday-Eve

It’s Thursday.  That means I’m officially drained from the first half of the week.  Scenario:  Sitting on the edge of a weight bench at the gym about to do 3 sets of tricep dips this morning.  I’m clearly staring off into space and have clearly been in this position for a bit too long.  A gym “buddy” (you know, the ones you see every day for years, make small talk and have laughs with, but don’t know their name or story…yeah, that kind) came up behind me and said “Oh, come on! It can’t be that bad!”.  I sleepily looked up at him and said “I’m so tired…it’s Thursday…”  I just haven’t had any “oomph” today.  I must be drained from last night’s Student Awards Reception that I was 50% in charge of – I was on stage the whole time and presented several awards.  I don’t have any fears of public speaking, but just being up in front of hundreds (in heels…) is a little draining for this little introvert.

Ok, ok, enough complaining about how tired I am.  Aren’t we all?!

FANTASTIC NEWS!  My sweet little girl is doing fine and is more ornery than ever!  PLUS, she has been sleeping allllllllll night and I have found a vet that actually cares and knows a thing or two.  This dog momma is ecstatic and feels a huge sense of relief.  Isn’t it a hoot how quickly we can get attached to those little boogers?  And since her recent illness was potentially due to her “first sleep over away from Mom”, they obviously become attached quickly too.  She is now on several tummy medicines for 10 days and a beef-flavored pro-biotic for the next month.  Ridiculous.  She has a tummy just like her dog-mom, unfortunately.

Isn’t this post exciting?!?!

Wanna know what else is great about today?!  Our campus held their annual Employee Benefits Fair.  You know what that means?  FREE samples of BIOFREEZE!  AWESOME!  I made a bee-line for the Physical Therapy table with the good stuff.  And I just might give them business by scheduling a “runners assessment”.  I’m sure they’ll extend that appointment and want me to come in for physical therapy and exercises, which I will politely decline (duh, I’m so sap!), but it will be interesting to hear what they say.

Typical Thursday workout today: 45 minutes of intervals on the bike (even thought my legs were toast from yesterday’s workout), reclined chest press, seated rows, tricep dips, planks, horizontal chop, 100 kettle bell swings, and 20 minutes of intervals on the elliptical to cool down.  It was a good workout, although it was on of those mornings when I could have easily been convinced to stay in bed.  But like they say, you never regret a workout, you always regret skipping a workout (unless you’re sick or injured, of course!  NO over-use injuries here, please!).

Dinner tonight is technically part left-overs.  Last week I made healthy stuffed peppers and the “stuffing” is abundant. So Efficient Me scooped it up to save for another QUICK stuffed peppers night.  All I have to do is “stuff” and steam everything.  Easy enough.

Happy Almost Weekend, friends!  The end of each day should be a celebration.  We’ve survived another day of successes and challenges.  GO US!

Weekend Recap & Dog Love

Ok, I hate to start a post on my soap box, but here’s a great post from Greatist about frozen vs. fresh vegetables.  And I love it.  Seriously people, DON’T buy canned veggies.  I saw on NBC news last night that there’s no nutritional different between canned & fresh/frozen veggies. Wrong, wrong wrong.  Check out the sodium amounts on the side of that can.  ICK!  Processed = bad news.  [Stepping down from my soap box]

WHEW!  Well, now that’s out of my system I can recap on my life recently.

Saturday was a blast.  I LOVE it when my Crazy 8s come to town.  It really just makes me feel all warm & fuzzy when I get to spend time with them.  We just fall right back into our own silliness with each other.  We started the events with a wonderful & classy bridal shower at my friend’s parents’ home (gorgeous, btw).  Then we traveled up the River Road to Grafton, IL for the FUN!  On the agenda: Grafton Winery from some drinks (which turned into delicious food too!), back to Al’s aunt’s condo for drinks & games (pictionary…hilariousness ensued), and wrapping it up at The Loading Dock.    I love spending time in Grafton.  I just feel like I’m right at home among the bluffs and river.  Ok, corny, but I DO get a strange sense of calm when I’m there.  Some people never feel “at home” where they were born/raised and are constantly searching.  I, on the other hand, was born in the exact area I’m glad I call home.

Great River Road. Is that gorgeous or what?!

Crazy 8s minus 1. Love these girls!


All the ladies at the shower.


After our weekend of fun, I came home to a very, very sick puppy.  I rushed to the store to buy yogurt, pedialite, and a syringe so I could get fluids in her every hour.  I truly nursed her back to health.  Syringe, water/electrolytes, yogurt/rice, potty breaks, every hour (how’s that for love?!).  After a few servings she perked up some, but was still just so lethargic and depressed.  After an emergency call to the vet, he seems to think she may have contracted parvo.  After a few days of racking my brain on how in the world she was exposed to it when I don’t take her around other dogs, my only guess is from her Parvovirus vaccine last Monday.  I did a little research and found that it’s a modified live virus vaccine, similar to our flu shots.  You know how some people swear they develop flu-like symptoms?  Hmm…who knows. The good news is that she finally drank on her own this morning.  I’ve had volunteer dog-sitters since yesterday at noon to be there to give her the syringes filled with water & electrolytes until she would voluntarily drink.  HOORAY!


Aside from that, my life hasn’t consisted of much.  Today’s workout was a typical Tuesday workout.  “Circuit” training on the bike for an hour, followed by pushups, lat pull downs, and ab work.  Did I mention my hamstrings are STILL sore from my Gospel Workout on Saturday?  I love weight training…but my muscles?  Not so much…  I just hope they are completely healed before tomorrow’s 4:30am 1-hour speed-work session…that could be unpleasant.

Chalk Murals, T-shirts, & Puppy Dog Tails

WOOF!  What a WEEK!  It’s been one of those weeks that zaps me from my blog creativity and my blogging time.  Our campus held it’s Springfest activities this week.  The theme was “I Love the 90s” and it was a hit.  And it was nostalgic for me too!  The 90s Karaoke contest and chalk mural contest were my favorites (I had to judge them) and I regret not taking pictures of the chalk murals.  I’m always impressed with the artistic ability that goes into sidewalk chalking…Here’s one example from last week’s Greek Week Chalk Mural contest (theme:  Greek games):

Isn’t that cool?!  I thought so anyway…

Even the back of the Springfest t-shirts brought back AWESOME childhood memories:


My workouts were a little scaled back this week to allow a hip flexor strain to heal.  Ice and advil, ice and advil.  It is feeling much better (not COMPLETELY better) but I plan to hit the weight lifting workouts harder next week and I also plan to cash in on a new boot camp voucher.  Pretty pumped!  Here’s the one I plan on using first: 

I’m still “5K training” with lots of speedwork, hill runs, and “long” runs.  But I’ll be honest, by the time it’s “hill run day” by legs/body/brain are so tired and sore that it’s a pretty weak hill run.  Speedwork just tanks my calves, which are screaming at me the next day on the hills.  Obviously I need to do some rearranging with my schedule (duh, Sarah).

Speaking of pain, here’s a cool post by Greatist about swearing to reduce pain.  Since I have the mouth of a sailor, especially after a quick jab of pain (bumping into a door frame, paper cuts, stubbing my toe, getting a puppy bite to the nose, etc.), this article made me happy to know I’m doing the right thing! 🙂  Tell my mother that…

Awesome Friday Accomplishment(s): my laundry is already done (2nd load is currently drying), my dishes are being cleaned (dishwasher…machine, not person), and I’ve already hit up lots of Target deals all before coming into work. Cool, huh?  My weekend is a little hectic with my friend Allison’s bridal shower/bachelorette weekend: the Gospel Workout is being bumped to Saturday morning, I’m swinging by campus for an event hosted by one of the student orgs I advise, I’m dropping Scout off at her grandma’s, then it’s Crazy 8s reunion time! (all occurring before 1pm on Saturday..Gah!).

Speaking of Scout:

I bought a "print" frame kit to document the size of her puppy fit and then her feet once she's a big girl.


Not so good at hide & seek...

Amended Wish List

Remember my old Wish List from September?  Well, apparently a lot happens in 7 months and I need to update my list.  For several reasons:

  • Someone awesome bought me a shiny new laptop for Christmas. And it’s fabulous. And fast. And I love it.
  • I treated myself to a smartphone after I survived the Spring Break Service Trip.
  • My best friend, my iPod Nano (8gb, 2nd generation), kicked the bucket.  So THAT got added and quickly removed from my wish list.  Give me some credit, though.  I DID run two 12-mile runs and a few maintenance runs without it.  All on a treadmill.  Mental toughness at its finest!
  • I deservedly bought myself 2 pairs of GOOD flats. Yes, they are from Naturalizer, and I feel old when I say that.  But ya know what? I haven’t had Achilles issues when I run since I’ve worn these flats instead of the cheaptastic flats I used to wear.  Invest in GOOD shoes, friends.
  • A puppy wonderfully graced my life with hers.  And I adore her. And she’s a big wiggly ball of happy, all the time.

My favorite picture of Scout. She's my buddy and has to be touching me ALLLLL the time.

So here I go…Update Wish List:

  1. New bike:  I still want a road bike so I can start training for duathlons next year.  Notice I didn’t say THIS year.  My race calendar is booked with 5Ks through June.  Marathon training will start in July and end in October.  Hence, I’ll miss the outside cycling season.  Darn… 🙂
  2. New GPS/HRM: Yep, still want a GPS gadget that works when I need it to.  Clouds, bluffs, Granite City, and all!
  3. New running clothes:  I’ve had the same workout clothes for at least 3 years.  And anyone that sweats as much and as often as I do knows that, eventually, sweat & deodorant just doesn’t want to come out.  Target is usually my main stop for workout clothes…I refuse to spend $90 on a pair of Nike shorts just because they say “Nike” on the tag.  No thanks.
  4. New car:  This is still on the list only because of a “what if” situation.  I recently replaced the rear left blinker.  I felt so BA.  I walked into AutoZone, picked up the book, found what I needed, unscrewed the tail light, and after a fight with a major design flaw, all drivers behind me will now know I’m turning left.  How funny that I only drove with that obnoxious fast “your blinker’s out” for a few days, but feel SO much better just knowing it’s fixed.  Can you tell I’m Type A?
  5. eReader: I know, I know…I’m a book purist.  I LOVE holding, smelling, and flipping through books.  Yes, I said smelling.  There’s just something about picking up a book, flipping to the bookmarked page, seeing your progress (or lack thereof..HA!), and eagerly holding on to the next page because you are so anxious to see what happens next.  However, after a recent purchase through Barnes & Noble, I realized there was nothing I wanted to add to my “cart” to get to the “spend $25, get free shipping” amount that I couldn’t find for free through an eReader device.  For me, it just seems more fiscally responsible to bite the bullet and stop fighting society and their endless quest to unending technology creations.  So there. I said it.  And I hate to admit it.

Any additions will be included in future posts! 🙂

Chocolate, Coffee, & Running Cure All

GOOD MORNING!  Why am I so chipper, you ask?  I had a stellar run this morning.  My speed work run is usually scheduled for Wednesdays, but puppy and I had a restless night.  When the alarm blared at 4:15am, I got up to put my contacts in, and thought, “Ugh, I just can’t”.  This is also a huge breakthrough for me.  The old me would say “No, Sarah. You HAVE to do it TODAY.”  The new me said “screw it, me needs sleep”.  This morning played out much better and my 5-miler was really strong and faster than last week’s interval speed work.  I averaged SLIGHTLY over 10-minute miles, BUT several of my.20-mile intervals were done at a 7:30-min pace.  My run was quickly followed by a “legs” day with the weights (squats, lunges, bridges, etc.) and a 20-minute interval bike ride for “muscle recovery”.  WHEW!  Awesome workout!

A great post from about superfoods:

On the list:

  • Blueberries
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Almonds
  • Green tea
  • Broccoli
  • Quinoa
  • Yogurt
  • Beans
  • Dark Chocolate

Do YOU eat these foods frequently/daily?  I eat everything on the list daily with the exception of green tea, quinoa, and beans.  I frequently eat quinoa and beans, just not everyday.  And dark chocolate?  Um, more like 3 times a day.  I try to eat some dark chocolate with my morning coffee.  If I start my day with dark chocolate, I’ve found I crave sweets MUCH less throughout the day.  Seriously, I go to bed thinking “OOOO I can’t wait for my coffee and dark chocolate in the morning!”.  It’s the little things…

All of the foods on that list DO make me feel great AND they keep me full (big bonus!).


Happy Thursday, everyone!  1 day until the weekend!  Although, my upcoming weekends are packed and NOT relaxing, so I’m not exactly that pumped for the weekend.  I need some major down-time and just time to catch up on life (groceries, replacing my left tail light, bridal shower gift-shopping, etc.).  Yay.

Easter Recovery

Is anyone else still full from Easter brunch/lunch/dinner/dessert/bed-time snack of leftovers?  Me too…UGH!  I scarfed down 3 of the last yeast featherbed rolls this morning with apple butter.  My poor belly is the poster child for “carb belly” right now.  HA.  Oh well…while I hate to “gorge myself”, I eat so strictly and don’t treat myself nearly enough that I can justify a day or two of indulging with family.   Our typical Easter/Christmas menu: ham, Texas potatoes (cheez wiz…YUM!), candied sweet potatoes, 7 layer salad (w/REAL cheese and REAL mayo, and REAL bacon), Grandma’s featherbed rolls, and green beans (veggies…what are those?).  Oh, and dessert.  Remember that healthy peach cake?  Amazing.  It was up against my mom’s strawberry rhubarb oatmeal crumb topping “thing”, so it wasn’t THE hit, but it was a hit.

Yesterday started out bright and early at 5am for a solid Sunday workout.  It was slightly humorous to me to see the non-church people (myself included) sweating away.  Sunday isn’t usually too crowded at the gym (some weeks more than others), but yesterday left the gym a ghost town made of non-church or Saturday evening church folks.  Or just people that didn’t have Easter Mass/services until later…always a possibility.  Hm…I digress.

Sunday Gospel workout: 7-mile run, 30-minutes of 1-minute bike intervals, squats galore, lunges (gross), 1-legged lifts/seated squats (don’t know what these are actually called), bridges, and very little ab work.  Since my half-marathon, my left lower oblique has felt sore after workouts (any kind), but especially after running.  I’ve been hitting the foam roller pretty hard (I really like claiming this to be part of my running success) in hopes that this helps resolve the issue.  The whole “rest” component in healing doesn’t really bode well in my mind as an option.  I know, I know…rest is the best healer for the body.  Whatevs.

I thoroughly enjoyed my 3-day weekend.  We took Friday off.  I haven’t ever worked or gone to school on Good Friday since Day 1 so why should now, at a public state university be any different?  Ok, fine…I was planning to take Friday off ANYWAY so we could catch an uncrowded matinee of The Hunger Games, when Easter Weekend/Triduum just sneaked up on me.  I wish I could say “WOW! Easter is early this year, that’s why it came up so fast”.  But, no.  I can’t.  My brain is just mush.  I had a few moments last week where I forgot we were already into April.  Gosh life flies by doesn’t it?

More Scout pics…Since she is so young and still so adorable, I can’t pass up the opportunity to take/post pictures of her…so just be patient for the first few months!


Too much Easter fun...

She passed out 2 hours before bedtime...I did everything in my power to wake her up so she would sleep through the luck.

Best friends already and sharing toys

Puppy Breakthroughs & Healthy Sweet Peach Cake

Whew!  So sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  I’ve been so wiped out from new mommy-hood!  Waking up every few hours to take out my tiny pup really took it out of me.  To be fair, I wake up several times throughout the night to go to the bathroom (darn bladder), but lately I haven’t been able to fall back asleep in a timely matter after we venture out for a grass squat (her not me…obviously!).  So instead of allotting 8 hours for sleep, I adjusted our schedule to allot for 10 hours of “bed time” in case it takes me a while to fall back asleep.  Regardless of the adjustment, I was SO sleep deprived.

BUT, we had 2 HUGE puppy breakthroughs last night.  As I was getting things ready before bed, I moved Scout’s kennel back in my bedroom.  I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth when I hear her walk into her kennel and lay down ALL BY HERSELF!  I didn’t have to shove her in there and listen to her whine for 10 minutes.  This is huge for crate-training! The other breakthrough left me ecstatic.  I heard her rustling a bit after 2-hours post-bedtime so I get myself up to take her outside.  She hasn’t been whining at night any more to tell me she has to go out (another breakthrough) but when I hear her moving around, I know she needs to go out.  I open her kennel door, and instead of BUSTING out, she just laid there and said “What?  I’m good…”.  I took her out anyway just to be safe (glad I did…).  I guide her back to her kennel where she gladly walks in, lays down, and doesn’t whine.  THEN, I easily fall back asleep, wake up, check my phone and see that it’s 6AM!  WHAT?!  We went 6 whole hours without a potty break?!??!  Holy smokes.  This dog-mom loved a solid 6 hours of sleep.  She didn’t even whine to wake me up.  She waited patiently until I let her out.  Such a good girl 🙂  Fingers crossed that this progress continues!

Ok, enough of my dog-mom-gushing!

I started going back to Conditioning Boot Camp (not just the weight-training on Fridays, but the circuit training conditioning) this week and started my 5k training plan for my May-June 5Ks.  Wednesday is “speed day”, Thursday is biking and a hill-run, and not sure yet about Friday.  Lesson learned from this week: speed work with super sore/tired calves is never a good idea (stupid jumping in boot camp kills my calves and arches every time).

I had a major breakthrough myself on Thursday during my 2-mile hill run.  I hit the 1.75 mark when I decided, “Eh, I’m good…” and I stopped running.  Yes. BEFORE my 2-mile goal.  I’m a little OCD and HATE stopping before a mile-marker.  I had already completed my 4X 1-minute hill repeats and was tired of running.  Why is this so “big”?  It’s really important to NOT run junk miles for the sake of running.  This is an important lesson I learned during my “stress fracture rehab” and my recent half-marathon training.  Junk miles cause you to get hurt.  So instead, I’m running a little below the suggested mileage and supplementing with cross-training (cycling, cross-training, circuit training, hot yoga, and weights) to enhance my performance instead of just logging miles & hours in my running shoes.  And it feels great, mentally & physically.  HOORAY for mental breakthroughs!

After hot yoga today, I made a healthy version of Giada’s Sweet Peach Cake.  How did I make it healthy, you ask?  Splenda, applesauce, and whole wheat flour.  Splenda for sugar (duh), applesauce for oil (yucky stuff), and whole wheat flour for white flour (also yucky).  Each substitution was an equal substitution:  3/4 cup applesauce for 3/4 cup oil, 1 1/2 cups Splenda for 1 1/2 cup sugar, etc.  The whole wheat flour did make it more of a “bread cake” than a “dessert cake” with a crunchy top-layer, but it tastes amazing!  The chopped peaches keep the cake moist & gooey.  Let’s see if my relatives enjoy it…we’ll see.

A few Scout pictures for your viewing pleasure:

A little early-morning play time before hot yoga.

I love how she always ends up touching me some how when she’s playing or lounging.

My co-pilot!

She really isn’t a fan of the camera.  The attitude in her expression shows that…HA! Her personality really is a perfect match to mine.

Pups McGee

So…BIG NEWS!  There is a new addition to my small family of one.  May I proudly introduce my sweet little girl, Scout:

Her first nap at her new home!

Her first trip to Fazoli's was just too exhausting.

After a 5am bathroom outing...she decided to play, then quickly got this sleepy look on her face.

Spoiled much...?

"I like your toes" her blurry wagging tail 🙂

"I love my Chilly Bone!"

We’ve already become inseparable in just 6 short days.  Ok, they haven’t FELT short with the lack of sleep I’m dealing with from middle-of-the-night potty breaks.

She’s one tough little girl (hence the name ‘Scout’, from To Kill a Mockingbird).  Until you tell her “NO!”.  Then she finds the next available person to snuggle with while she looks at you with much disdain.  Her ‘tude fits mine perfectly.