Monday, October 28, 2013

MIMM #2 - Pear-fection

Hellloooo friends! I had such a fun time writing my first first MIMM post that I think I'll try to stick with it.

Marvelous is.....extra sleep (and coffffeee)!

The first half of Saturday was eat, sleep, eat again, sleep again. I woke up at 8:45, which was as late as I could make it!! Sunday I woke up at 8 but forced myself to stay in my warm, cozy bed until 9.

Marvelous is...breakfast in my PJ's, in front of the television, on my couch.

Need I say more?

Marvelous is....pear 4 ways!

Pear season is upon us, and I have jumped in full-force. Mom grabbed a bag of organic bartlett pears from Trader Joe's, and I therefore proceeded to make 3 consecutive breakfasts from them, and one freaking delicious dessert (one day I'll put up the recipe, promise!).

Marvelous is...fall is finally here!!

Marvelous clothes!

Granted, they aren't fall-fashion clothes yet, but Mom went out and picked me out a couple of cold-weather running outfits! A) So cute. B) I won't have to re-wear the same pair of yoga pants every day. C) They made the rest days a wee bit harder to get through! Thanks, Ma.

Marvelous is....fall activities.

Saturday evening, Mom took us to the corn maze where we met up with my sweet friend!

Marvelous is....gathering around the campfire to keep warm.

We all cuddled up by the campfire in the freezing cold (seriously, its was in the 30s), roasted marshmallows and hot dogs (for the boys) and made s'mores. 'Twas a wonderful night indeed!

Adios, amigos!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Heading towards a burnout

I think the title explains it all. So does this post and this post.

I've been hinting for couple of weeks about how tired I've been - lately, my school work has been vamped up, bedtimes are non-existent, and our workout intensity had been greatly increased in preparation for leading into tapering. I've been able to push through my runs, will my bleary-eyed self to work into the wee hours of the morning (okay, more like 11, but that's equivalent to 3am for me), and just overall ignore my tiredness.

This week was caught up to me. I HATE when this happens, because I'm practically a zombie for a week, and it smacks me out of nowhere. I've known what my body was trying to tell me for a while, but partly with my runner's mindset and partly just out of my own personality, I let my what my head was telling me prevail.

After literally the crappiest day/practice I had all week, I decided it was a time for a little research. Granted, I already pretty much knew what was going on, but my stubborn self needed some legit answers before making a decision. Was I actually run-down? Or did I just have a bad week? Should I push through? Is it actual tiredness, or just my mentality? (Based on my decision-making skills, don't take me to Starbucks or Whole Foods.)

I did a little surfing the web for some answers, and after coming across this article I decided that I was heading towards the dreaded runner's burnout.(Not a technical medical term, but an accurate description.)

Here's some red-flags that hit home for me: (source)

1. Decreased performance

This was an early indicator for me. Starting with my last race, I knew that something was up. Practices have...well, they've just sucked. My speed work was always tough, but not that tough. And easy runs have been way too hard for me to get through. Yesterday, we had an easy 4-mile run, during which my legs felt like lead, my calves felt like they were tearing apart, and I was utterly winded. No bueno!!

2. Disinterest in exercise

It happens to the best of us, but when you dread something that you love? For the past 2 weeks, all I've wanted is to go home and sleep forever. At practice, I just did not. want. to. run. You all know how much I adore running, and how excited and amazing it makes me feel, but lately, I have wanted nothing to do with it.

3. Delayed recovery time

My calf/thigh exhaustion has been lasting for over a week, which apparently is a problem. Who knew.

4. Fatigue

Again, one of the more obvious signs. At school, I felt like a zombie. I've been falling asleep in classes. I've had a serious lack of motivation to do schoolwork simply because I've been too groggy to focus. Obviously, running on low energy sucks.

5. Diminished appetite

Except the exact opposite - I have been a bottomless pit. My body obviously needs more energy, because it's been begging for more for the past few days!

6. Moodiness

I really think this is a result of the combination of everything. Lack of sleep, mental (school) stress, physical stress, all make me moody. I almost cried during a really hard workout on Monday. Yes, cried. For no reason other than I was tired and didn't want to run. Case in point?

(After reading this, I don't want you all to get all worried about me - recovering from a burnout is 100% possible, and I don't have any medical complications as a result to worry about.)

Like most athletes, taking rest days are less than ideal. I know so many girls on my team who would keep on running, even after a doctor's orders. Even though my body was blaring signals at me, resting, or even just admitting how crap-tastic I felt, made me feel weak. It hurt my pride. I came up with excuses such as, "We're already tapering, so I don't need to rest," or, "It's not like I'm training for a marathon!" Taking a rest day made me feel like I had failed at being a good runner.

Obviously, I had to swallow my pride and realize that this is utter nonsense. Our bodies are so intelligent, much more intelligent than our emotions and thoughts. I know what my body needs more than anyone. So here's my game plan for the weekend:

1. Take the entire weekend off from running. No exceptions. NO running.

2. Ice my thighs/knee/calves.

3. Hydrate.

4. Eat more protein.

5. Sleep, sleep, sleep.

6. Enjoy relaxing.

Hopefully by Monday, I'll be back to my energy-filled, run-loving self! :)

Have a woooonnnddeerrrfffuuulll weekend!! 

Monday, October 21, 2013


Hullooooooo and welcome to Monday!

This marks my very first MIMM, which I've been meaning to participate in for a while. I love the idea of starting off the week with a positive note! Here we go!

Marvelous is....gorgeous fall weather. 

I can't get enough of this. weather. We've been blessed with clear blue skies, white fluffy clouds, crisp air, cool temps, and low humidity. I'm outside as much as possible!

Marvelous books to read!

Okay, this wasn't entirely my personal decision, but in lit we're doing a huge book report on an AP novel. I LOVE reading, and we get frequent "reading days" in class. I chose to read Persuasion by Jane Austen...¡quĂ© romancĂ©! 

Marvelous is....Hi Ho Cherry-O!

Childhood memory alert! Reibs and I used to play this all the time as kids, and when I saw that our church had it where I was babysitting, I pretty much forced the kid I was babysitting to play with me. Okay, not forced because he actually wanted to play too, but I don't think I would have given him much of a choice...ha.

Speaking of which, marvelous is.....babysitting this kiddo!

I mean, look at that face.

Marvelous is....pancaaaakkkkeeesss!

I made a batch of Kodiak Cakes with warm apples and peanut butter Saturday morning. This was super delicious (per usual), but I think I need to start adding a third pancake to my stack - this only kept me satisfied for an hour and a half!

Forgive the messy table ;)

Sorry for the terrible picture, but I had to share that even Juan Carlos liked  them - they were declared "super yummy." He also knows they're whole grain. This is monumental, people!

Marvelous is....chilly runs!!

Disclaimer: ignore the cals because A. they're most likely inaccurate B. they don't matter, duh.

Sunday was sOoOoOoOo chilly! So naturally, after my 3 hour nap (oh yes), I laced up my shoes and went for a little run. I was wanting to get some more mileage in because I did absolutely nothing Saturday, and I got in a beautiful 6-miler. 

Marvelous is...chia seeds!

YouguysIdiditIboughtchiaseedsI'mofficiallyafoodbloggersoha. I've been wanting to try out these teensy gems of nutrition for a while, and scored them for $6 at Target - I can't wait to see their magical powers at work!

Marvelous is....this evening snack.

This already looks freaking delicious without me having to describe it, but my oh my this late-night morsel brought me more autumnal heavenly delight than the humble pear could think to provide. See how poetic I get just thinking about it?!

So there you have it - my very first MIMM! Have a fantastic day!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Next Level

I am

the next




Like seriously. I don't know how people do it. Some people train for freaking marathons, have a job, take their work home, have to run errands, and even have families to take care of - how, people, how?!

The past few days have seriously sapped my energy, and I'm trying really hard not to go crazy while attempting to catch up on rest - a lot of it is my own irresponsibility (erm...late bed times...), but a lot of it is the amount of......STUFF...I've been having to do! I feel like with school, practice, and other commitments I have, there are not enough hours in the day.

I'm also feeling a bit of a writer's block. I mean, right now my life is basically school, food, run, homework, and sleep, and that gets a wee bit redundant on the blog. I also have lots of ideas for "themed" or "discussion" posts, but I don't even have the time or energy to write them!

I suppose I'm just writing to apologize for the repetitive nature of the blog, and I'm trying to come up with ways to amp up the variety. I blog about my life, and that's what my life is about right now! I hope ya'll don't mind. ;)

So without further adooooo......I might as well tell you guys the workouts we've been doing that are tuckering me out so much. We're about to run our county meet this Saturday (!!), so the workouts have amped up in length and intensity. Oh joy - but I'm getting stronger mentally and physically.

Monday: Mile warm up; 4x1mi. w/ 3 min cool down; 7 min abs; mile cool down

Tuesday: 7 mile run - LOTS of hills. So many hills. HillsHillsHills.

Wednesday: Mile warm up; 4 sets of 5x200, with 1 min rest on set 1, 45 sec rest on set 2, 30 sec rest on set 3, and 15 sec rest on set 4; 7 min abs; .25 mile cool down

Thursday: 10 min warm up; 3x400 with 400 cool down; 30 min run; 4 strides

Friday: 10 min warm up; 6x200 with 200 cool down in between; 1 mile cool down

Saturday: Race! After many weeks of pretty good times and races, I officially had a bad race. My head was not in it, I was not feeling competitive or motivated, it was freezing, and my legs felt like jello lead from all the hard core practices this week. Luckily I had a lot of moral support from my team (and Mommy :))who cheered me on all 27 and a half minutes!

In other non-running news, I've just been doing school stuff and babysitting awesome kiddos. I'm loving all of my classes, and I think my favorites are a tie between Nursing Essentials, Human A&P, and Spanish 4. All have proved pretty challenging, and I look forward to them!

Hullo, pseudostratified columnar cells!

Some of the chicks I babysit:

In case you were wondering, I intentionally made a crazy face...

And my favorite breakfast lately, because my blog post would not be complete without a mention of my most favorite meal.

Mmmm....should I tell you the combo for this batch of baked oats? Yes? Okay!

Blueberry-Pear-Ginger Baked Oats. A bomb diggity combo - ahhh, I love autumn flavors.

Now it's off to the world of Target, babysitting, and then a sleepover! Peace.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Buenos dias! Are you all ready for Wednesday?! It's pretty rainy around here, so snuggling under my blankets seems a lot more appealing than heading off to school...ah well, gotta do whatcha gotta do.

This weekend marked my one and only overnight meet of the season - down south in Albany, Georgia.

I started Friday (a loonngg day) off right with a big, fluffy bowl of pumpkin oats and Justin's Maple Almond Buttttteeerrr!

I also packed quite a bit of food, because that's just what I do. 

(I don't have any pics of any food on the trip, because, well, it was mediocre at best. Picture Subway, granola bars, bananas, and pizza. :P)

We met at the school around 9, and then the road trip commenced - two coaches and three girls all crammed into a small car for four hours. Excellent.

Ignore the turban...

Once we arrived at the hotel, we all took naps and then headed out for an easy run on the course - and can I just say - it was beautiful!! I sadly slacked majorly on the photography front, but imagine something like this:

We ran at a middle school with a pecan orchard near the campus as a part of our course, and it was just amazing. The course was flat with little to no incline, curvy, and with lots of shade - pretty much anything a racer could want!

After our light run (~35 minutes), we headed back to the hotel, showered, ate, and then went for our little "excursion" at a mini-putt-putting place. :) We actually rode go-karts, mini-golfed, and played in the arcade for 2 hours! The things that will entertain a big group of teenagers....

I'd like to say my roommates and I got a long night's sleep, but, well, ya least it was sufficient.

The next morning we were up at 6:30, got our grab-n-go breakfast (although I just ate my half a banana and peanut butter I brought), and were off to the race.

Fast-forward to 9:45 and that's when the JV girls ran. Peeps, it was HOT. But luckily we were under a lot of beautiful trees and foliage, so shade was aplenty. Again, the course was flat with little incline, and lots of curves. We were told by my coach to "racecar" it. :)

I PRd (dudes this was my fourth PR) with a time of...25:57! I was aiming for 25:30, but hey, I was actually just aiming to get out of the 26 times. It felt so crazy accomplishing to tell people I ran "25-something" rather than "26-something." I know that for some people (hem hem most of my team and V runners), this is a kind of slow time, but this is my first cross country season ever, and I just started running this summer, so pshyes, I felt great. :)

Plus, my crazy talented team (we're talking sub-20 PRs at this race) were all still super proud that I pushed out of the 26 times. I love those girls!!

I don't have any other pics, but my grandparents actually live 10 minutes away from where we were staying, and my grandfather picked me up after the race for an early lunch at Moe's.

New PR + fajitas in tummy + quality time with Papa = happy Jess.

My friends and I slept the entire 4 hours home, and then the rest of the weekend was low-key - just how I like it. That night I watched the new movie Epic - if you haven't seen it, I really recommend it! I thought it was hilarious and the designs/concepts were really cool and beautiful.

Sunday I woke up to a lovely bowl of my favorite version of overnight oats: chai-spiced pear, Sunbutter, and, of course, coffee. Even better after 2 days of blah eating.

After volunteering at church, I ate food, slept, ate some more food, and was supposed to go on a long run, but that ended up not happening. To make up for it, Reibs and I went on a long, sloooww walk. :)

Oh! And one more thing. I got a huge baking urge because we had 3 really ripe bananas and a bag of chocolate chips, so obviously that means I make:

Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins - possibly one of my favorite muffin recipes ever. They're so moist, chewy, chocolatey, and healthy - just the way I like 'em.

Have an awesome rest of the week!!!