Long Run Reset: 20 Miler

I love the long run. No matter what has happened the previous week with work, my diet, or my workouts, it acts as a reset button to say, "The rest of your life begins now." I feel drained, but accomplished.

And let's be honest, nothing like burning 2,000 calories in one pop to make you feel good in your jeans.

Every time we start getting up into the 20s I get nervous. Hales starts getting the texts late Saturday night:

"Dude. Tomorrow is going to suck."

"I'm dreading the 20..."

I get nervous and forget to fuel and hydrate properly the day before. And this is just training, people-- not even a race!

Last training cycle it was our 21 miler. I was SO nervous for the entire week leading up to it! But that ended up being an incredible run! Energy levels were great start to finish. I was still rebounding from an injury a few weeks before; still, everything went so great.

Except when my Clif Bar wrapper started blowing away after the run. I couldn't move to chase after it. Nobody likes a litterbug.

{Our reaction to finishing: "We just ran 21 miles...who are we??"}

This time around, it was our 20 miler that got me. Since I don't really count pain in the foot, knee, or hip flexor as making a bad run (Miss Injury Prone, here), this weekend was a fantastic run as well!

So...the more nervous I am, the better the run will be? Weird.

For me, my long runs are a dress rehearsal for my fueling strategy. I know as long as I give my body what it needs when it needs it, it will take me the 26.2.

Good fuel = good energy = good run.

{Thank you, Tyson Park for having working water fountains in the winter.}

5 1/2 weeks until the marathon!

The Great Paleo Pancake-Off!

One of the first paleo recipes I tried was paleo pancakes. When PaleOMG tantalized my tastebuds with a delicious looking paleo pancake picture, I decided to venture out and try another recipe. Just for kicks.

{PaleOMG- Banana Vanilla Bean Pancakes with Mixed Berry Compote}

Recipe 1

My original go-to was this recipe adapted from Carrots n' Cake.

5-Ingredient Paleo Pancakes

1 banana
1 heaping tbsp almond butter
1 egg
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
sprinkle of cinnamon

Mix all ingredients in a food processor.
(I've now started using my Magic Bullet-- Holla, 2002!)

Pour 1/3 of the batter into a pan preheated on the stove over medium heat.

When the pancake starts to bubble...flip!

Makes 3 pancakes.


Recipe 2

I got adventurous when tempted by PaleOMG's mouth-watering picture that popped up in my facebook feed.

I adapted the recipe by cutting it in half. And removing the vanilla bean because I'm poor:

PaleOMG Pancakes (adapted)

1 banana
1 egg
1 1/2 tbsp almond flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp baking soda
sprinkle cinnamon
pinch of salt

Juli suggested making them half dollar pancakes so that they are easier to flip.

Mine still went every which way including up half the wall, so I decided in the future I'd rather just make a mess three times as opposed to nine.


Makes 9 - 3 inch pancakes.


The verdict: 

The PaleOMG pancakes may have had a slightly lighter texture, more traditional pancake-like. The downside was the added ingredients. Even though it was only a few more, it took me about twice as long to prep. The taste and texture difference between the two recipes wasn't significant enough for me to switch from my super easy go-to recipe. 

Stickin' with the oldie but goodie. 

If I ever decide to get fancy I'll try out the vanilla bean and mixed-berry compote. In an evening gown. Because that would be fancy,

Freddy Krueger + MMA?

Highlight reel:

Soooo...dressed like Freddy Krueger today. Never thought my aversion to scary movies (read: I plug my ears and sing "la la la la la" anytime a scary movie trailer comes on TV) would affect my daily life. Wrong. Fellow Starbucks patrons, I apologize. I'm not crazy. Just a pussy that's never seen Nightmare on Elm Street.

{Yes, I had to Google him to see what he looked like.}
Luckily, my fabulous co-workers filled me in on my nightmare inducing attire and proceeded to call me Freddy without missing a beat. Love them.

- - - -
Daily Workout:

I woke up this morning bright and early to meet Hales for hill repeat since we haven't run together in FOREVER. Unfortunately, due to my sore and swollen throat, Momma Hales forbade me from running outside in the cold and rain, so I headed to the gym to hit the treadmill.

I hate treadmills. With a passion. And I'm a passionate person, y'all.

Hill repeats on treadmills- not so bad! I warmed up with a mile at a 9:00 pace then bumped my incline up to 6.0 at a 8:00 pace for 5 repeats of 0.3 miles. I finished it out with a cool down mile at 9:00 with a 6:40 kick at the end. There's nothing like digging deep and finding that kick at the end of a killer run.

Aaaand then I took our kickboxing class. Because I wanted more.


I should probably start by apologizing for the break between posts because life happened. But I won't. Because life didn't happen. VEGAS happened.

{The girls at Pure in Caesar's Palace. Yes, that is Cags's bling blinding you from the far left.}

It was seriously the most amazing epic Vegas weekend I could ever imagine. No, I didn't end up on the roof of Caesar's Palace, but I did party with T-Pain and floor safely drive a brand new Ford Mustang on the Las Vegas Freeway. (I'm sure that's not the proper name for said interstate, but I like it. So I'm sticking with it.)

For the most part: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. You know this, people.

{"I mean whatchu think this is? A gaaame??" - T-Pain}

But two things (three if you count T-Pain) can transcend those glittery neon streets: Running and Food.

On running:

I ran the Las Vegas Strip!! Cross this sucker off my bucket list. I don't have any pictures for you because no one else was crazy enough to wake up at 6am on our last day in Vegas to run off a hangover take a nice run as the sun rose over the Strip. I'd heard tales of how great this run has been for people. Best run ever? Maaaaybe not. But still note worthy! I ended up skipping my long run altogether this week and subbed with 3.5 miles on the strip...I mean, Vegas itself is endurance training anyway, right?

Where camaraderie had been found in sequins and vodka for the first part of the weekend, I now found myself giving that familiar head nod to my fellow crazy 6am Vegas runner friends. It was 40 degrees in the desert, and I had to detour through a casino, but the view of the sun rising between Treasure Island and the Wynn was an incredible way to cap off the best weekend of my life. It was one of those moments that make you stop in the middle of a run and think, "I. LOVE. LIFE."

And then I turned around and ran back through the Flamingo as a delightful drunken fellow wished me a fantastic day. And to you, sir.

On Food:

I should preface-- This trip was planned way before I ventured into the paleo world. You better believe if I have some of the world's best chefs at my finger tips, there will be no restrictions on my palette.

Friday Dinner: Gordon Ramsey, BURGR

I ordered the Euro Burger which had goat cheese, arugula, and some other tasty stuff. It was amazing. Another friend ordered the Farm Burger that had duck and bacon on it, among other things. He called it a transformative experience. It was THAT GOOD.

We all split an order of Truffle Parmesan Fries and Beer Battered Maui Onion Rings. And by split, I mean I ate most of the fries solo until I begged the waiter to take them away. This parmesan was unreal.

{Not sure who's more excited-- me or Gordon?}

Gordon, if you're reading this... "Marry me?" Or cook me dinner. I'm not picky.

Saturday Brunch: Bobby Flay, MESA

A friend had told me how great Flay's sweet potato hash was last time he ate at MESA, so I couldn't wait to try it!

{Spicy Chicken Sweet Potato Hash}

I also had to get the mango glazed bacon.

Dinner Sunday: Mario Batali, B & B Ristorante

Unfortunately, I don't have pictures from this dinner. This was the type of place I would've felt super awkward whipping out my Otterbox sheathed iPhone to Instagram my food. This was the type of place where they give you so many different options for water you end up just saying, "Um, tap water please?"

{Our last night in VEGAS}

That said, it was delicious. We had an appetizer of chickpea bruschetta with a bottle of Prosecco. I ordered the Bone Marrow Ravioli, Cags ordered the Goat Cheese Tortellini, and our other friend ordered the Ravioli Dolci di Ricotta with Lamb Ragu. Drooling yet?

These three meals will make up my happy thoughts from hence forth.

Other food included some random sandwich shops and a bag of surprising appropriately priced trail mix from Valley of Fire State Park.

We eventually arrived back in Tennessee, grateful to finally be headed back to our own beds but sad to leave this amazing weekend behind.

{One for the books, my friends.}