Motivational Monday #6 & post-collegiate running

Good afternoon friends and happy Monday!  🙂 For those of you who have not run yet, but are planning to (myself included) I have some Monday running motivation coming your way!

Before starting this post, I had just gotten back from 3.5 hours of nutrition classes and as I laid out all my human anatomy notes to start a study session I thought to myself “I wish I was running now instead of studying, I feel unfocused anyway”. Now, I was planning for today to be a rest day as lately my goal has been at least 3 days of running per week with 1-2 days of cross training and rest days as needed. After yesterday’s run I thought I’d need a rest day, but today my body is telling me just the opposite. I am craving a good, mind clearing run down by the lake and through some crunchy leaves. So I am going to listen to my body today! I know that I will not have a productive study session unless I run first. This quote I found on Pinterest shares what I am feeling today more eloquently than what I just said above. Maybe it will also inspire some of you wanting to run right now to just get up and GO! I will be doing that as soon as this post publishes. 🙂


what running is like for me now after 4 years of collegiate XC running

It has been so weird this year to not have a college cross country season to train for and instead of running 50+ miles per week I am lucky to run 15-20 miles per week now. I’m in such a different place than last year with harder classes, a commute to and from class, and a part time job, but I will always be a runner. I think I just thought I would continue to run a lot of races post college and have more time to train than I do right now. In college I just had to attend class, study, go to mandatory cross country practices, and work 10-15 hours per week (but it was on campus work study so I could do my homework). Also, I was not expecting to get such a nasty case of IT Band tendonitis after my first half marathon in June. Since my injury healed in August, I feel like I have been struggling to get back into long distance shape for the last two months (but again this is coming from a girl who was used to running 5-10+ miles at 6-8 min/mile pace nearly everyday in college).

I have so many running goals that I have yet to achieve and I do not want college to have been my prime running years! In fact, yesterday, my boyfriend and I were even talking about how we’d like to run the Chicago Marathon next year if possible even though we will both probably still be working part time jobs and still in school. I think since we are volunteering at the Chicago Marathon this Sunday and watching his mom run that will really inspire us to pursue the goal of running it in 2015! It would be my first marathon and my boyfriend’s second. Regardless I cannot wait for Sunday!

Right now, though, I just want to stay healthy and IT band tendonitis free. I had four wonderful years of injury free DI college cross country running (although track is an entirely different story- a lot of injuries there) and for that I am grateful! For now my running goals are simpler and that is ok. I just want to get out there as much as possible. Currently, I run for the stress relief,  a break from studying,  beautiful scenery, and the fresh air. I will jump back into the racing scene later this fall or next spring at the latest.  Well, have a great Monday everyone. It’s time for me to lace up my shoes and run. 🙂

What are your current motivations for running (or working out in general)?


I’m BACK :), World Vegetarian Day, and sweet potato bites

Whoa, can you believe it’s already October 1st?!  I cannot believe how fast September was. I blinked and it was over! Well, now I want to apologize first hand by saying I am sorry for epically failing on updating this blog. My last post was over three weeks ago and I said I’d try to post at least once a week. Whoops… Work, school, and life got in the way. Plus I am almost done with my first round of nutrition exams- after this upcoming Friday I will be officially done with round one. Thankfully, my job reduced my hours since 20-30 hours per week was way too much for this full time nutrition student! Now  that I have less hours at work I am now in more of a routine for studying, running/working out, commuting to class, and I know what is expected out of me in my classes. Even though I was a cross country athlete in undergrad and had a part time job, I still had to relearn this last month just how important time management is!  Regardless, I promise I am now going to try to update more often. I have thought of so many potential ideas for topics on this blog in the last month- I just haven’t posted them!

Well, I thought what better day to resume more regular updates on my blog than on world vegetarian day!  I hope you all celebrate today by eating a plant based dinner even if you aren’t vegetarian or vegan. 🙂 I plan to make homemade minestrone soup (I’ll share the recipe in a future post)! Not only is Oct. 1st world vegetarian day, but to me it also means fall time.  Nothing screams fall to me like apples, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, soup, crunchy leaves, crisp autumn runs, cozy sweaters, and hot beverages.

In honor of fall and world vegetarian day, I wanted to share a sweet potato recipe with all of you. It is basically just a healthier and bite sized version of sweet potato fries. Sweet potatoes, which are nutrient superstars, have more potassium than bananas, a healthy does of fiber, and a good source of vitamins A and C.  The following recipe is easy, makes a perfect snack or side dish, and is made with heart healthy olive oil.


Sweet Potato Bites


2-3 sweet potatoes

1  Tablespoon olive oil

dash of salt

dash of pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray or use a non stick baking sheet and do not grease it.

3. Chop the sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces. Do not worry about the shape of the pieces.


4. Put the sweet potatoes in a medium mixing bowl and add the olive oil. Mix the potatoes and oil with your hands. Then, add the salt and pepper to the oil and potato mixture.


6. Place the potatoes on the baking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes or more turning the potatoes often and checking regularly to see if they are done. You may want to cook them longer than 35 minutes for crisper bites.


I hope all of you enjoy this recipe and have great nights!

What is your favorite thing about fall? I personally love apple and pumpkin picking. 🙂