Running Forward

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is here, which means Hocus Pocus, candy, and the official start of the holiday season! Have a great one!

 

 

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Fall Break Came and Went

Fall break flew by this year! I drove home after class Wednesday to get home in time for a phone interview. Thankfully, my car, Alex, made it home with no incidences and I was calm and collected by the time I spoke with the company. It went really well, and I’ll be flying up to my favorite city next month! Woo!

While at home I did some baking (banana bread, pumpkin cream cheese coffee cake, brownies, etc.), worked on homework, had lunch with my mom at her office, watched lots of football, and got in some good workouts. Fun times all around!

On Thursday my mom and I did some suit shopping after body pump class, but had no luck. Does anyone know where I can get a really small suit? Nothing fits me. At least we had some success at Kroger. By the way, the candy corn M&Ms are freaking awesome!

 

On Friday I began the day with a nice run, then had lunch with my mom and her coworkers. They’re so funny, and have such great stories. AND…..I got to play with one of the babies! She works at the OB/GYN, so it’s normal to have babies coming and going with their moms. Afterwards, our new ovens were installed at home, I did homework, and got ready for my brother’s football game! ESPNU came to the game and broadcast it nationally, which was pretty cool. It’s too bad they didn’t win, but whatever.

 

 

I woke up early on Saturday to make it to spin class at the gym, then hung around the house and watch the UGA game. Go Dawgs! I went with my parents to a family friend’s birthday party Saturday where I ate lots of delicious food. 40th birthday parties can be quite fun, I must say.

Now I’m back at school and ready for Thanksgiving break. Let’s just forget this whole “going to class” thing and get on with the diploma. Have a great Halloween!

 

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The Power of Carbs

 

Last night two of my friends (also running the half marathon) came over for a pre-race feast. Christian brought Korean yams to be roasted, Molly brought delicious banana bread, and I prepared roasted veggies, pumpkin bread, and a tomato/cucumber plate. Obviously, we were pumped to be carbing it up.

After dinner we chatted, laughed, and kind of watched the football game. We parted at around 10 pm in hopes of getting enough sleep for Sunday’s 13.1 miles.

At 5:45 am I rolled out of bed to the sound of my alarm. I promptly changed into my race day attire, brushed my teeth, and prepared a quick breakfast of toast topped with PB2 and banana slices. Some dry cereal and pumpkin bread chased it all down. Our group of 6 met up near the finish line and attempted to stay warm in the chilly autumn air.

Molly and I stayed together the whole time as the miles flew by. Literally, it felt like I ran for maybe 45 minutes, not two hours! On that note, we finished just under two hours! Not bad for only being able to run on weekends this semester. The course improved dramatically (less hills!), and we ran through Sanford Stadium at the very end!

I ran into other friends and even one of my favorite professors near all the food stations which was fun. Overall, it was a wonderful race.

I promptly showered and ate lunch before attending an alum./senior networking event at my sorority house. I ended up getting some good tips and enjoyed getting to sit for a while. It all ended with a big pot of vegetable soup and some good TV watching. What a fantastic weekend!

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Race Weekend

Race weekend is here! Tomorrow I’m waking up before the sun to run 13 miles around Athens with around 2,000 other dedicated runners. Surprisingly, I’m not nervous, just excited. Since I made my goal time last year I’m simply going to focus on having fun and enjoying the new course (no more crazy hills!). I realized that I haven’t taken many pictures this week, so I’ll post what I do have.

I made a big pot of vegetable soup while I was home on Saturday and brought the few leftovers back to Athens with me. For dinner on Tuesday I bulked it up with some more veggies and broth. Note to self: make more soup.

I picked up my graduation tickets on Tuesday- so weird! Luckily the job hunt is starting to make some progress. I’m so ready to get the show on the road.

This little gem was given to me in my human sexuality class. Makes me laugh!

Overall, this week ended up being one of the best I’ve had in a long time. I received good news on the job front, cooked some good meals (and pumpkin bread!), and watched plenty of “How I Met Your Mother”. Addicted to that show. Today I’m running errands before heading to the runners expo, then having some friends over for a Hocus Pocus viewing. I’ll post tomorrow after the race. Wish me luck!

 

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Initiation and Dinner Club

 

 

I packed a lot of action into the past two days. Friday night and Saturday morning were consumed with my sorority’s initiation festivities. Here are a few pics from the dinner on Friday:

 

 

 

 

 

I drove home after initiation Saturday morning and spent the afternoon running errands with my parents, running 7 miles, and cooking! My parents’ dinner club was that night, so my dad spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen too. They were in charge of bringing the appetizers, so my dad made three different little treats. Here’s a sample he made for me before they left:

 

 

First, he made the cheese crisp cups and the two fillings. One was filled with a marinated shrimp and mango mixture while the other was a venison meatball. Lastly, he made mini tacos with venison, roasted red peppers, and some other delicious ingredients. So good! The shrimp was my favorite, though.

I got to work making a big pot of vegetable soup. It was fun trying to use ingredients we had on hand. I’ll list the ingredients in the order that I added them. I always start by sauteeing the veggies, then adding the last components before simmering for a few minutes.

 

1 onion

carrots

celery

frozen okra

mushrooms

chicken broth

diced tomatoes

1 small can hominy

corn

spices

 

Soup is probably my favorite food because you can use the same technique to make endless variations. This version was quite tasty.

I used the remainder of my evening to bake pumpkin bread and banana bread and watch Tangled. On Sunday I ran errands, watched football (Falcons and Giants won!!!!), and lounged around with the family before returning to school. Now I’m ready for the week and can’t wait for the half marathon next weekend!

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Ups and Downs

Being in Athens is always full of ups and downs for me. Of course, having my friends so close is the highlight of living here, but the city itself has never felt like “home”. Don’t get me wrong, college has been an amazing experience and I can’t even fathom how different I am now than when I first moved into Russell Hall as a freshman. I joined an amazing sorority, took interesting classes, spent a Maymester in France, became a half marathoner, went on an alternative spring break trip, played violin in a UGA orchestra, and had two incredible summer internships. So much good stuff!

Thankfully, I have a good number of distractions to keep me from breaking down over the stress of finding my first “real-person” job. I’ve been applying and networking all throughout the semester, but the hiring process seems to move pretty slowly in my industry. A few weeks ago I really started freaking out- If I graduate without a job, without a boyfriend, and have to move back home, does that make me a failure? I tend to be introverted, so these negative thoughts built up inside of me until I finally cracked. Funny enough, the last straw came when I got pulled over for the first time ever. The tears came effortlessly and I think I might have scared the police officer a bit. Oops. At least he felt bad for me and let me go with just a warning. Since that week passed, I’ve been re-evaluating my expectations and giving myself some slack. I work hard at the activities I’m passionate about and I know that a job will come along soon enough. For now, I’m going to continue talking with prospective companies while still enjoying my last couple of months as a student. My perfectionist-tendencies brought me trouble in the past, so I’m not letting them get the best of me this time. At least I have a restaurant job waiting for me at home and my back-up plan of culinary school. Until then, I’ll be savoring my last moments in college.

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A Taste of Atlanta

Saturday turned out to be a blast and completely wore me out. I could barely hold my eyes open to watch the UGA game, which turned out to be pretty embarrassing. Hopefully, they can pull themselves together for the next game. Anyway, let’s back up a bit. I woke up at 5:45 am to complete the 11.5 mile group training run for the Athens half, which is in two weeks! Since my training has been so sparse this semester I was definitely worried. Luckily, Christian came with me and we also met some nice runners along the way. I even fist-bumped one of my favorite professors a few times! I quickly headed home to eat breakfast and shower before going to the Taste of Atlanta with Colleen. I didn’t really know what to expect since I don’t go to Atlanta often, and the only other Taste events I’ve ever been to were in Chicago and Alpharetta. I must say, the Atlanta restaurants in attendance were great! Colleen and I were satisfied with all of our samples and felt like we tasted a lot for the amount of tickets we bought.

I started with the roasted beet salad with local goat cheese from The Shed.

Next, I finally got the opportunity to try Ethiopian food. I wish there were more Ethiopian restaurants near me, but I guess I’ll have to wait until I make it back up to NYC. Anyway, my veggie plate from Desta was delicious, and consisted of chickpea stew and split pea stew served with Injera.

I got a mini bananas foster pancake from Another Broken Egg Cafe. Putting bananas in pancake batter is one of the best things ever.

Colleen and I were both eyeing a Pecan Bourbon creme brulee with sweet potato mousse and pecan crumble from Eleven, but decided against it  at the last minute. However, she got a slider from the same restaurant so the chef gave us one for free. It was good, but had too much of a sweet potato after-taste and was missing the burnt sugar topping typical of creme brulee.

Colleen and I needed a break from food, so we strolled around a bit to explore everything. That’s when I found Jenna from Eat Live Run! So cool to meet her, and Colleen and I were pretty much in love with her outfit. Such a cute dress!

My second to last sample was a shrimp ceviche with mango and jicama from Mi Cocina.

 Lastly, I got a mini scoop of Pumpkin Spice Caramel Pecan Ice Cream from Morelli’s. I never eat ice cream, so this was the perfect treat to end the day with. And, you have to take advantage of fall flavors while they’re still here.

Overall, I had an amazing Saturday! I would recommend The Taste of Atlanta to anyone because of how affordable it was and the large variety of restaurants that participated. Great idea, Colleen!

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October

My favorite month, October, is upon us in all its glory! I rang in the Halloween season with plenty of pumpkin and cinnamon this past week. I’ve made over 15 loaves of pumpkin bread so far!

But, I have to say, my cooking has been a bit lazy this week. Just simple veggie dishes, hummus plates, and scrambled egg whites. So, tomorrow I’ll be making butternut squash soup to summon cooler weather. I have an 11 mile group run on Saturday morning, so I’ll have plenty of time to work on the soup while relaxing tomorrow. Another fun weekend activity: The Taste of Atlanta with my best friend! We purchased the tickets, so it’s official. I can’t wait for the weekend!

 

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