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BIG NEWS!!!

December 28, 2010

thesingingrunner.com is now LIVE!!!! Go check it out now! ๐Ÿ™‚

Please? ๐Ÿ™‚

Technological Meltdown

December 28, 2010
tags: ,

Houston, we have a problem…

Ugh! That’s the best way I can describe the remainder of my day. I try to keep things pretty positive on here, but I can’t lie and say today was a bowl of cherries. Because it wasn’t.

I spent over ten hours glued to the computer.ย Yes, you read that correctly… TEN hours! And I have nothing to show for it. Except for this lovely screen…

Here’s the deal…moving from a hosted site on wordpress.com to a self- hosted on wordpress.org is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. I am pretty sure I am doing things correctly, but I kept getting kicked out of wordpress.org and back to this default screen. And it’s not just my computer. It’s doing the same thing on my Dad and Mom’s laptop and I have tried three different browsers (Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer 8). I believe part of the issue may be with BlueHost, my web host. It’s really frustrating and I’m concerned that it will be a continuous problem- and of course, tech support was no help. Thank goodness for a 30 day money back guarantee! Has anyone had experience with BlueHost? They came highly recommended, but if the problem is on their end, I want to get my money back and find a different host immediately!

Remember that “to-do” list I had to do? I only accomplished half of it. I never got to meet up with my friends because of this headache of a problem. Sure, I could have taken a few hours away from the computer, but I am such a perfectionist that I couldn’t peel myself away from the screen. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ok, enough of me complaining, because I’m sure that is the last thing you want to read at close to midnight! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This afternoon I went on a 3.0 mile run around the neighborhood (23:26, 7:49 pace). It was a little chilly and gusty, but nothing compared to the chill I was running in up in Maryland. I kept a pretty steady pace throughout the run, but I had to stop at around mile 2 because I developed a stitch in my side. I don’t get these too often, but I guess I was pretty dehydrated. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I will admit that I haven’t been drinking as much water as I should since returning to Florida.

The highlight of my day came in the form of this little guy…

Meet Sam. This little guy was wandering loose around the neighborhood and decided to follow me home on my run. I didn’t see his owners around anywhere, but lucky for us (and him) he had a collar with a microchip number. A quick call to the 1-800 number and we were able to get Sam’s home information and get him back to his owner. Apparently Sam likes to wander the neighborhood often because the customer service representative says they get a call about him at least once a week. Sam is quite the adventurer. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lunch this afternoon was light with a mixed green salad with sesame garlic tempeh and a whole lemon for a dressing. ๐Ÿ™‚

After lunch, I spent most of my time hitting, crying over, yelling at, staring at the computer. When dinner time came around, I really wasn’t too hungry, so I opted to eat a little later and made another salad.

I don’t know if this is my body’s way of detoxing from the goodies of Christmas because all I have wanted recently is veggies, fruit, and peanut butter (random, I know). My eyes proved to be more hungry than my stomach because I only ate about half of this.

Such a shame too because it’s a pretty salad. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Off to bed. My eyes and brain hurt!

Night everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

Making a List…

December 27, 2010

“Your life is your message to the world. Make it inspiring.” -Lorrin L. Lee

I have a lot to do today! Is it just me or does it seem like we do more on a “break” verses when we are not? While I will admit that I like to constantly be “on the go,” sometimes it’s just nice to kick back and relax.

No matter though, a lot of what I have to do relates to some big changes on here! ๐Ÿ™‚

This morning, while it may be a little cooler outside, I was in a yogurt mood (when am I not?).

I grilled up some bananas for some heat and combined it with Chobani, oats, and 2 T peanut flour. It was like eating a PB and Banana sandwich, sans the bread. Elvis would have been proud. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve already checked off a few items on my to-do list, so I’m off for a run! “To-do” lists don’t do themselves- although sometimes we wished they did.

Have a wonderful day! ๐Ÿ™‚

P.S.- Follow me on Twitter for up-to-date information about this site. It may or may not be down at some points during the day. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m a Dummy?

December 27, 2010

What a day! ย A day spent reading this…

How’s that for light reading? ๐Ÿ˜‰

As you may have guessed it, I am looking to move to a self- hosted site by moving from wordpress.com to wordpress.org. This book, while dry and boring, has been pretty helpful. Expect some changes this week! ๐Ÿ™‚

While at the bookstore, I stumbled upon some some other interesting finds:

Guess I better start thinking about the GRE soon…

And more graduate programs…

Hope someone buys the book soon! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sometime in the not so distant future. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I had fun skimming through this book. I literally laughed out loud at some points. Here are a few of my favorites:

One of my pet- peeves…

And my favorite…

But remember ๐Ÿ˜‰ …

I highly recommend you buy The Runner’s Rule Book. It is absolutely hilarious! ๐Ÿ™‚

After a few hours of light reading, I made a filling lunch at around 2:00.

2 egg whites on top of Ezekiel bread…

With two carrots…

And a salad…

At around 6 my parents and I headed to our neighbor’s house for a get together. Usually we have a Christmas Eve party but we had to push the celebration to tonight. We had a simple dinner of homemade soup and sweets…

(Sorry for the horrible photos. I forgot my camera and had to use my phone)

Acorn squash bisque…

Along with a salad and grapefruit.

We talked for awhile about school, my training, and events going on in the neighborhood. Overall, a good celebration. ๐Ÿ™‚

After dinner, I hoped on the stationary bike at my house for a 12.2 mile 45:00 workout. I am starting my taper this week so my running mileage is decreasing. Disney is less than two weeks away! The nerves will start to kick in any day now!

Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive

December 26, 2010

“The journey is the reward.” – Chinese Proverb

Recapping last night:

As per tradition, my parents and I went to a local Chinese restaurant for dinner. I special ordered steamed veggies which was served with white rice.

I devoured the veggies and ate about 2/3 of the rice. And of course had a fortune cookie.

Hmmmmm…okay then. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I also left an Operation Beautiful note:

After dinner we started to drive around town looking at Christmas lights, but our plans were cut short due to the rain. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Once at the house I wanted to makeย dough balls but didn’t have flour! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Fear not, my father braved the rain and bought flour for me! ๐Ÿ™‚ -Thanks Dad!

With near disaster avoided I made dough balls…

Lots and lots of dough balls…

I made classic chocolate chip, peppermint chocolate chip, and a chocolate chip made with whole wheat flour (recipe coming soon! It came out pretty good!).

All that baking and my 10 miler earlier in the day really wore on me, so I crashed soon after.

This morning I woke up just before 9am.

In the mix:

  • 1 container Chobani plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c. multi-grain oats
  • Handful of blackberries
  • 8 almonds
  • 1 T TJ’s Cranberry Apple Butter

Today we are meeting with our neighbors for a get-together. Then I will be hitting the bookstore looking for this lovely book…

(Source)

Is there self-hosting in The Singing Runner‘s future? You’ll just have to wait and see. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a great day everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

A Very Merry 10 Miles

December 25, 2010

“You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.” – Billy Wilder

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying their day and soaking in all of the holiday cheer!

This morning I started Christmas a little early, with a 10 mile run. This is my last longer run before Disney in 2 WEEKS! I can’t believe the race is coming up so soon!

I woke up at 6:30 and ate my usual pre- run fuel:

I packed up my fuel belt, hopped into my car and headed over to the University of Florida to do a loop around campus. My original plan was to do a 5-mile loop back to my car to rehydrate and fuel up, but I later changed my mind (which I will elaborate on in a minute.)

It was around 7:15 when I arrived on campus. The roads were DEAD! By dead I mean I only passed four cars on the way and they were all police cruisers. Guess no one goes out before the sun on Christmas. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Once I arrived on campus, I made a “hydration station” in my trunk- basically I poured two paper cups of water to make drinking a little easier and quicker for me. As I was doing this a police officer pulled up beside me (uh oh!). He asked me if I was lost to which I politely answered no, but that I was going out for a run. He looked a little taken aback and wished me a Merry Christmas. What, you don’t do a 10 mile run at 7:30 Christmas morning? ๐Ÿ˜‰

I started off on my 5 mile loop around campus. The UF campus is actually pretty hilly, which kicked my butt. During the entire first 5 mile loop I couldn’t seem to get a good tempo and pace. It was pretty frustrating. After the first loop I hydrated and took a GU.

I’ve never had GU on a run before, but I wanted to test it before my race. I know some people who say GU can be rough on their stomach, which concerned me. But I didn’t have any problems! ๐Ÿ™‚ The strawberry banana flavor was pretty good! My only issue with the gel (and I figure this will go with any brand) is the texture. I felt like I was swallowing mucus! (Sorry to be gross.) I downed it with a cup of water and took it like a champ. ๐Ÿ˜‰

As I started on my second loop, I decided that I REALLY did not want to go through the entire loop again. At the 4 mile mark of the course, there is a pretty steep hill that is difficult on my knees. So I decided to run 7.5 miles out and then turn around and head back to my car. This proved to be a good decision since my knees started to hurt a little at the 9.5 mile mark. My knees have actually held up pretty good this week and my knee pain has reduced as the day progresses! ๐Ÿ™‚

Overall I am pleased with the run. I came in 2 minutes slower than my previous 10 miler but this run had a lot more hills and inclines, whereas my other 10 miler was completely flat.

Splits:

Mile 1: 8:12
Mile 2: 8:26
Mile 3: 8:31
Mile 4: 8:36
Mile 5: 9:05 <—GU and rehydration
Mile 6: 8:52
Mile 7: 9:10
Mile 8: 9:06
Mile 9: 9:24
Mile 10: 9:07
TOTAL: 1:28:35 (8:51 pace)

Lot’s of 9:00 miles in there which is not like me at all, but I still came in under 90 minutes so I’ll take it. ๐Ÿ™‚

After stretching and showering, I made a Christmas inspired breakfast:

In the mix:

  • 1 container plain Chobani yogurt
  • 1/4 c. multi-grain oats
  • 1 T cocoa powder
  • 1 crushed mini candy cane

I also had a fruit burrito with blueberries, blackberries, TJ’s Cranberry Apple Butter, and half of a whole wheat wrap.

After breakfast my parents and I opened presents! I had already recieved my two big presents- my Garmin and a food processor, but I got a few smaller, running related items. I’ll share them in the next post. ๐Ÿ™‚

The rest of the day has been spent relaxing and eating a small lunch:

A PB and Grilled Banana Sandwich ( 1 slice Ezekiel bread, 1/2 banana, and 2 T TJ’s Peanut Flour mixed with water) with carrots and celery.

So yummy!

Later my parents and I are going to get Chinese food (a family tradition) and then look at the Christmas lights around town!

I hope everyone has had a lovely and blessed Christmas! ๐Ÿ™‚

Taste The Rainbow

December 24, 2010
tags: ,

No, no…not Skittles.

The rainbow of the healthy kind. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After my quick run this afternoon (more about that in a minute), I wasn’t too hungry. I waited about an hour to see if my appetite would return.

I opted for a colorful light lunch!

Red tomatoes…

Orange carrots…

Green celery…

Blue blueberries…

Purple blackberries (haha)…

And white mushrooms…

I also had it with a humus and yogurt dip I made. ๐Ÿ™‚

A few hours before lunch, I went on a quick 2.55 mile run around the neighborhood, which took me 20:12 (7:55 pace) to do. My legs felt a little heavy, but I think it’s from sitting in a car for 14+ hours yesterday.

Usually on Christmas Eve we have a get together with our neighbors. This year we had to postpone it until the 26th, so tonight’s dinner was a simple one.

A mixed green salad with tempeh and a mug of candy cane tea. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been working hard on changing the layout of this website. I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I like the way it’s looking. I can’t wait to reveal it within the next week. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’m off to catch up on my blog reading and hit the sack! I have 10 miles to tackle early in the morning before the Christmas festivities!

Have a wonderful Christmas! ๐Ÿ™‚

Blogger Gift Exchange

December 24, 2010

“There is nothing impossible to him who will try.” -Alexander the Great

Merry Christmas Eve!

I apologize for only having one post yesterday. We were on the road all day and didn’t make it back to Florida until close to one this morning! Needless to say, my mom and I were exhausted!

On the way home last night, my mom and I made a quick stop in Jacksonville to pick up a package! I signed up for the blogger gift exchange hosted by Tina and was super excited to get my package! And my secret blogger was…….

Jen at Canoe of Life!!!

I was so excited to get the package that I opened it in the car (but took better pictures this morning of the contents)

In the box:

Homemade Peanut Butter…

A box of…

Candy Cane Hershey’s Kisses! (My Favorite!)

My very own copy of the Operation Beautiful Book…

A pen and two pads of Post-It Notes to spread the love. ๐Ÿ™‚

Jen, you absolutely NAILED it! Thank you so much! The gifts were perfect! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a wonderful Christmas and I can’t wait to read your blog more! (I’ve added you to my Google Reader!) ๐Ÿ™‚

Go check outย Jen’s blog! Also, go check out Mary at Fit This, Girl! She was MY gift recipient!

Oh, and here’s a “backstage picture”

I slept in for the first time in awhile! I was exhausted from my trip! I rolled out of bed just before 9:30 and went down to make breakfast. We didn’t have any yogurt so I had to improvise with what we did have. I found some fat-free cottage cheese in the fridge and made do:

In the mix:

  • 1/2 c. fat-free cottage cheese
  • 2 T TJ’s Pecan Praline Granola
  • 1/2 T. Jen’s Homemade Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 T. TJ’s Cranberry Apple Butter
  • 1 TJ’s Cat Cookie

With a grapefruit on the side…

Ginger Cat Cookie says “Have a wonderful Christmas Eve!” ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a great day everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cupcake Wars and Road Trips

December 23, 2010

(FYI: Donโ€™t advertise โ€œfree wi-fiโ€ if you donโ€™t have it. I cannot tell you how many places we stopped at with this so called โ€œfree wi-fiโ€ until I finally got it! Thatโ€™s like a 24-hour gym being closedโ€ฆ. Oh wait. ;))

Happy Christmas Eve Eve! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope everyone is getting ready for the holiday weekend. I am currently en route back home to Florida, just in time to spend Christmas with my dad. ๐Ÿ™‚

Letโ€™s recap to last night shall we?

Dinner last night was made by my aunt. She made three lovely quiches (which I couldnโ€™t get pictures of because my family already cut them!). One was a spinach, bacon, and onion, another was a mushroom and bacon, and the third was crab. Normally Iโ€™m not a big quiche person (not a fan of the texture), but I figured I should try the crab one- besides, I am not one to turn down crab. ๐Ÿ˜‰

The quiche was delicious! My aunt truly outdid herself. ๐Ÿ™‚ She also made some roasted veggies which were to die for (I came back for seconds!)

Yesterday while I was out I picked up six cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcakes in the Georgetown District of Washington, DC. I brought them back to the house and they were all cute in their pink packing box:

But when I opened the box I was shocked!

Cupcake meltdown! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I donโ€™t blame the bakery for the mess. I blame it on the mile long walk back to the Metro station, the stop at Trader Joes, the two train transfers, and the hour-long train-commute for the mess.

Besides messy and all they still taste the same right?

(From L-R: Top row- Cookies and Crรจme, Lemon Berry, Gingerbread.ย Bottom row- Chocolate Ganache, White Chocolate Peppermint, Rudolph Red Velvet)

I set up a tasting plate and we had our own โ€œcupcake warsโ€ to determine which one we liked the best:

I read out a description of each flavor as we tested it.

The competition was stiff, but only one flavor could reign supreme!

The winner was Lemon Berry! We didnโ€™t have a second place but a three-way tie for third- Gingerbread, Cookies and Crรจme, and Rudolph Red Velvet.

My favorite was the Lemon Berry, then Cookies and Crรจme, with Gingerbread coming in third.

I was disappointed with the red velvet since that is what they are famous for. It was a bit dry for my taste (maybe I got a โ€œbadโ€ one?). Overall the cupcakes were delicious!

Also during the evening festivities we opened some more gifts. The only reason why we are opening gifts early is because we wonโ€™t be around each other on Christmas day and we wanted to see each otherโ€™s reactions!

I gave my cousin a very special book that I hold near and dear to my heart, Operation Beautiful.

In the book, I put a few notes for my cousin to find when she reads it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I wish I had this book in high school because I think it really would have helped me. I am so glad that I was able to give it to her, especially since she had never heard of it! Once I explained it to her, she couldnโ€™t wait to read the book and start leaving notes around her school. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and P.S.- I havenโ€™t forgotten about my challenge! Iโ€™ve taken most of the photos on my phone and need to transfer the pictures to my computer.

The evening was a perfect way to spend my last night in Maryland. ๐Ÿ™‚

This morning my mom and I woke up at 7:15 to pack up and hit the road. I had a quick breakfast with what I could find.

In the mix:

  • 1 container TJโ€™s Plain Greek Yogurt (TJโ€™s was great but I canโ€™t wait for my Chobani again!)
  • 1/4 c. pomegranate arils
  • 1/4 c. multi-grain oats
  • 1 heaping T of Tjโ€™s Cranberry Apple Butter

This fueled me until we stopped for lunch at Ruby Tuesday in North Carolina. I was seriously CRAVING a salad and I love their salad bar. I helped myself to not oneโ€ฆ

But two salads. ๐Ÿ™‚

Half a biscuit.

And a heaping spoonful of PB in the car.

On the road againโ€ฆ.

A Day in Washington DC

December 22, 2010

Do you have a place where you feel perfectly comfortable and completely in your element? For some people it may be their hometown; for others it is doing an activity they love to do.

My place is Washington, DC.

No matter how many times I come here (I’ve been here 3 times this year alone!), I never get tired of it. I know how to get around the city without a Metro train map. I know many of the shortcuts to get places and every single time I come here, I get lost less and less (actually I didn’t get lost at all today!).

This is my happy place. My home away from home. My city. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ok, anyway, enough with being all dramatic! I can’t wait to tell you about my day!

I made it to The Mall just after 10 am, having NO idea what I wanted to do. I walked around for a little (The Mall was dead! I’ve never seen it so quiet- usually I’m having to weave through people!) and took in the scenery.

I eventually stumbled my way into the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. This is a favorite of mine, but I haven’t gone in awhile.

I mostly looked around the space exhibits, since I am a space nerd. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I stuck around for a little less than an hour and a half. The museum hasn’t changed too much since I came a few years ago.

My tummy started growling, so it was time for lunch! Lucky for me, as I was looking on my phone for a place to go, I received a comment from Faith suggesting I check out a place called Busboys and Poets. After a quick glance at their website, I decided it was the perfect place for me!

Before I headed out of the museum I checked out the junk museum store for some souvenirs, but found nothing.

Anyone ever buy this as a kid? I used to be addicted to the stuff!!!

I hopped on the Metro and made my way to the restaurant. Of course, I WOULD pick one of the worst stops to get off on. (Word of advice, if you go to DC, avoid the Chinatown Metro stop. The area isn’t the best. ๐Ÿ˜‰ There was a better Metro stop I should have gotten off on, but I didn’t. Oh well, it was an experience. ;))

Busboys and Poets is a restaurant like no other I have ever gone to! The place was hip and cool and had a very vegetarian and vegan friendly menu! Everything looked DELICIOUS! ๐Ÿ™‚

After much deliberation, I decided to get the Tempeh Panini with a salad. There are only four words to describe this sandwich…

OH.

MY.

GOODNESS.

YUM.

I think it’s safe to say that I liked it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Busboys and Poets has three different locations in the area, so if you are up in DC, go check them out! It’s amazing! I will be going again on my next visit! Thank you Faith for making such a great suggestion! I owe you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, and my favorite part of the day came during my visit at Busboys and Poets. I was sitting at the bar ๐Ÿ˜‰ and taking pictures of my lunch when the Maitre D’ comes over and asks if I am a food critic for The Washington Post. I smiled at him and said no, that it is for my own personal blog, but maybe one day I will be. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I wish I had a business card to give him with my website on it (must get on this!).

After lunch I made my way over to the Georgetown District to do some shopping! ๐Ÿ™‚

I love Georgetown! It’s a pretty area with TONS of great shopping. I headed over to H&M (one of my favorite stores!) to look for some new clothes.

I didn’t really like anything. Nothing was hitting me right. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Oh well, I got a cute hat for $5. ๐Ÿ™‚

One of my favorite parts of the day was buying cupcakes!!! If you watch TLC there is a show called DC Cupcakes. The show is about two women and their cupcake shop in the Georgetown District of DC. I love the show and I find it funny! Anyway, since I was in the neighborhood, I decided to stop by Georgetown Cupcake and see what all the hype was about!

Apparently the hype is big because I had to wait outside in line for 20 minutes!!!

The shop is absolutely ADORABLE and the cupcakes look so perfect in the display case! The atmosphere was lively and happy! I ended up getting six different flavors of cupcakes to share with my family. Tonight we are going to have a “cupcake war” and decide which one we like best! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ll have a full recap later of which cupcake tops them all! ๐Ÿ˜‰

What a great day! I don’t want to head back to Florida tomorrow! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ