Monday, August 31, 2009

Wastin’ away again in Margarita(cupcake!)ville…

What a weekend!  It went soooo fast!  I’m sad that it’s Monday, but I’ve got some exciting things coming up!  Let’s rewind a bit:

Saturday was BBQ day!  My roommate like to entertain, so she invited a bunch of her work/church/high school friends over for a BBQ, and I invited the Rocket Scientist’s grad school friends to venture over to Pennsylvania for a good time.  We had TONS of food (and beer…), and it was generally a good time.  Mainly people sat around and chatted while eating food, but there was some volleyball playing, which the Rocket Scientist always enjoys.  I think I spent more time avoiding the volleyball than actually bump/set/spiking it, but with a little practice I don’t think I’ll be half bad.

Although my volleyball skills leave much to be desired, my baking skills never seem to fail me.  (Knock on wood!)  If you’ve been around for awhile, you may remember the fantastic cruise that the Rocket Scientist and I took in January.  (Towel animals, anyone??)  Anyway, while on the cruise, we took a trip to Margaritaville in Grand Turk, where we took pictures with a giant parrot:

Grand Turk 019 
And sipped margs by the pool:

Grand Turk 020Grand Turk 024 
What does this have to do with this weekend, you ask?  Well, this was my baking inspiration!  I’ve always wanted to try margarita cupcakes since I like venturing out and baking new things.  I searched the internet and decided on this recipe from the Hostess with the Mostess.

Margarita Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Frosting


1 box white cake mix
8 oz margarita mix (liquid)
2 oz tequila
1 oz Grand Marnier
3 egg whites
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp grated lime zest

Lime Buttercream Icing:
8 Tbsp butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp lime juice (approx 2 fresh limes)
1 Tbsp margarita mix
1 tsp lime zest
5 cups powdered (confectioners’) sugar
cane sugar & fresh limes (for garnish)


1. Preheat oven to 350º and prepare muffin pans.

2. Combine margarita mix, tequila, and Grand Marnier in a large glass and stir well.

3. In large bowl, combine cake mix, egg whites, lime zest, vegetable oil, and margarita mixture from step one. Stir ingredients together, then beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for approximately 2-3 minutes.

4. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin pans. Fill each cup/liner about 2/3 full.

5. Bake at recommended temperature on cake mix box (usually 325º – 350º) for 20 – 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.


6. In a large bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, lime juice, margarita mix, and lime zest. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

7. Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and continue beating until smooth. If icing is too thin, add more powdered sugar, a couple tablespoons at a time.

8. Spread icing generously on each cooled cupcake* or use a pastry bag to frost. Sprinkle cane sugar around the edges of the cupcake for a “salt rimmed” look and garnish with lime wheels & wedges.

*Make sure to remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely before frosting.

Tip: Leftover frosting makes a great dip for fruit!


Here’s how they turned out:

Margarita Cupcakes 002 Complete with sugar “salt” rim!

Margarita Cupcakes 004 I get a C- for presentation, but I really like the straws.  :)

Margarita Cupcakes 008Margarita cupcake and a Corona?  What an excellent pairing, especially when I put that lime garnish to good use!

While I prefer super sweet desserts (I have a huuuuge sweet tooth), this was definitely something different and fun for a party!  I might try strawberry margarita cupcakes next time…


With all the cupcakes and BBQ food I ate on Saturday, it’s definitely a good thing I like to run!  I headed out for a short four miles on Saturday before the baking craziness began.  Nothing too exciting, just a little recovery-get-in-the-miles run.

Saturday, August 29
4.05 miles in 33:30, avg pace of 8:16

Sunday..a cut-back week “long” run.  Twelve miles doesn’t really seem that far, especially since we’ll start doing that during the week now!  However, I was just not feeling it yesterday.  It was a little warm by the time we got out the door since the Rocket Scientist is usually a pretty good alarm clock (waking up around 8-ish no matter what), but we didn’t get out of bed until 10:30.  Oops.  My legs felt heavy, and I definitely suggested walking back when we were six miles out.  Luckily the time difference between running and walking was definitely a motivator in making me run back.

Sunday, August 30
12.05 miles in 1:39:03, avg pace of 8:13

I’m messing with my schedule in order to minimize the running I have to do when I’m at home next weekend.  (!!!)  I’ll have to do 20 miles when I’m home, but I don’t want to spend all my time running…I want to be with my family and friends!  Therefore, I’ll be cutting out a rest day this week in an attempt to move everything up a day.  We’ll see how my legs like that…haha.  Starting easy with a four mile recovery run…

Monday, August 31
4.02 miles in 33:14, avg pace of 8:15

It was 60 when I woke up this morning!!  I had to close the window a little because I was chilly.  This should make for some good running weather this week, but I was hoping for a little more pool/deck time.  I have a love/hate relationship with summer because it’s amazing for everything except long distance running.

Back to work today…I’m supposed to work five days this week, but the big question is how much I’ll get cancelled or pulled to another floor…

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Pulled…and some good eats!

I had my ninety day review at work on Wednesday, which meant that my “trial period” is officially over.  My manager went over the official checklist, which I personally think is a bunch of administrative mumbo-jumbo, but whatever.  My feedback was basically that I asked lots of pertinent questions (mainly because I have NO CLUE what I’m doing…shhh!), and that I’m progressing well.  I’m “where I should be or a little bit ahead, even,” per my manager.  Soooo I guess that’s a good thing?  Of course I would love to be light years ahead of where I am at the moment, but it’s only been three months, so I still need some time.

Since my ninety days is up, I can officially be “pulled” to another floor.  Basically, this means that if my floor is overstaffed and another floor is understaffed, we can be sent to a different floor to work.  While this is better than being cancelled (and therefore not being paid), it still isn’t so fun.  Annnnnd guess what?  I got pulled on my first day!  Of course. 

I was sent to a telemetry floor, so most of the patients are on heart monitors.  (We don’t have anything of that sort on my floor!)  Overall, it was fine.  But naturally I freaked out when I got there and I had to draw blood right away and I was convinced that someone was going to throw a crazy rhythm or something.  Obviously I was overreacting, but I had finally gotten to a certain comfort level on my floor, and then I was ripped out of it.  I don’t do well with that in any situation.

I broke down at the beginning of the shift, which I hate doing because I hate crying, especially in public.  One of the nurses pulled me into a supply room and told me that she wasn’t going to let anything to happen to me or any of my patients, and that I could ask her all the questions that I needed to.  Half of my anxiety is in not knowing anyone and not knowing who to go to for help, so that calmed me down.  The rest of the night was smooth sailing, and I thanked the nurse who helped me throughout the night.  She reminded me that what I’m feeling is totally normal for the first six months to a year (or two…or three…as one of the other nurses pointed out!), and that I did great and will make it with time.

I just hoped I don’t get pulled tonight!


As promised yesterday, I have some good eats to share!  I really do love to cook and bake, especially new, tasty things!  On Monday I asked the Rocket Scientist what he wanted for dinner on Tuesday (since I had off!), and he said pesto.  The only time I’ve made pesto was when I studied abroad in Italy one summer and we received cooking lessons.  I looked up a recipe online, which turned out fantastic!  (Not that I can find it now…boo!)  I cooked up some pasta, added some asparagus, grape tomatoes, and chicken, threw on the pesto, and voila!  Tasty tasty:

082809 Pesto and Cookies 002 Yum!  Definitely a keeper.

Post-dinner coma, it was time to cook up some dessert!  I wanted some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, so I did some googling and came up with this recipe from Tammy’s Recipes

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 cup shortening or softened butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick oats
12 ounces (2 cups) chocolate chips


1. Cream butters and sugars in a large bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, stirring until smooth.

2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, soda, salt, and oats. Add to creamed mixture and stir to make a thick cookie dough. Add chocolate chips, mixing with hands if necessary.

3. Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and place on greased cookie sheets. Press to flatten tops. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until cookies are browned and cooked to your liking.

SO GOOD!!!  And it’s healthy because there’s whole wheat flour and oatmeal…right??  Baking in progress:

082809 Pesto and Cookies 005 Mmmmm cookie dough!!  I may have had a few samples…

082809 Pesto and Cookies 008Ready for the oven!

082809 Pesto and Cookies 009Final product!!  I may have eaten this entire plate that night.

Okay, I didn’t eat the entire plate in one sitting, but I could have because they were so good!!  I definitely recommend them if you need a new cookie recipe to try.  I thought that the oatmeal + chocolate chips + peanut butter would be too much of a flavor combination, but it was quite tasty.  Enjoy!

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

TiaRT: Pre-Long Run Fuel

I haven’t participated in Runners Lounge’s Take It and Run Thursday in awhile, but I just remembered it was Thursday and popped over to see what the topic is:

It's the morning of your weekly long run... what do you eat and why?

I’ve tried various foods (or lack of foods!) over the years, and I’ve pretty much settled on what I think works best for me.  In my high school summer running years (6 am practice!), I would often show up without having eaten anything, or I would eat some Frosted Mini Wheats if I needed a little boost.  Our long runs probably only got up to around ten-ish miles, so in the scheme of things, it wasn’t that far and I was able to get by without fueling pre-run. 

This whole marathon business is a little bit different.  For runs of eight miles or less (maybe even up to ten?), I can get by without eating anything, especially if I’m in some sort of a time crunch and just need to get out the door.  However, with my current schedule (hello, evening shift!), I’m never really pressed for time.  My go-to pre-long run breakfast is pretty simple and very similar (if not the same) as what many runners eat.  Toast with peanut butter and a banana.  Sometimes the toast (usually whole wheat) is traded out for an English Muffin, but English Muffins tend to sit a little heavier in my stomach.  Not a good feeling, but it depends on the day.

For beverages, I usually stick with water, although I did have coffee before my eight mile run today.  Before my 17-miler on Monday, I sipped on some Gatorade prior to heading out the door since I knew it was going to be a little on the warmer side.  I have yet to achieve a perfect hydration plan, but I’m working on it!


This week is a cut-back week in the great Pfitz 18/55 plan, which is very welcome!  I think I hit 47 miles last week, which may be small for some people, but for me and my 40+ hours on my feet job, my legs a little tired!  However, I just looked my Sport Tracks and since I did my 17 miles on Monday, then jumped right back on schedule without a rest day, I’ve done 38 miles in the past four days…that’s nothing to sneeze at!  Definitely looking forward to my rest day tomorrow!

Tuesday was an evening run in Princeton with the Rocket Scientist and his marathoning friends.  They run a tad bit faster than me (especially faster than I’ve been running!), so I was a little worried about keeping up, but it ended up being fine.  No worries!  Strides afterwards were quite funny since I have no leg speed whatsoever and came in a few seconds after everyone else, but at least I had good form??  Haha.

Tuesday, August 25
8.27 miles in 1:03:09, avg pace of 7:38

I drove home on Wednesday and headed to the dentist, where they cleaned my teeth with water…it was basically like they were power washing my teeth and it took about a minute.  Does anyone else have a dentist who does this?  It was the actual dentist who did the power washing, not the dental hygienist, and I kind of miss the feeling of my teeth being all scraped and the gunk removed.  I’m not sure how I feel about this dentist…I have to go back in a couple weeks to get some cavities filled (boo!), but I might try someone else for my next go-around.

Anyway!  That was quite the tangent.  I had a relaxed five mile run after I got back from the dentist.  Didn’t push the pace at all, and it felt good.  Go recovery!

Wednesday, August 26
5.22 miles in 43:42, avg pace of 8:22

I woke up this morning and I did NOT feeling like running…at all!  However, like a good marathoner in training, I headed out the door anyway.  Why is it that you have some of the best runs when it is the hardest to get out the door?  My legs felt light and springy…almost too much!  Should have kept the pace down a little, but too late now.

Thursday, August 27
8.00 miles in 1:03:19, avg pace of 7:50

I think part of the pacing problem was because I picked it up as I ran by a prison area.  The trail I run on goes by a fence with signs that say “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections:  Keep Out”…or something like that.  The Rocket Scientist says it’s the fence to keep people like me out versus keeping prisoners in.  Anyway, as I got to this part of the trail, I heard lots of gun shots…or what sounded like gun shots to me!  Maybe a shooting range is around there somewhere…but you never know!

Off to get ready for work…stay tuned tomorrow for some more of my good eats this week!

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Mind reader

I survived the weekend!!  It actually wasn’t bad at all.  We only had fourteen patients on the floor on Saturday (we can take up to 38 when we are completely full), and then on Sunday we only had eight when I showed up at 3pm.  I guess people aren’t getting sick or are deciding not to come to the hospital.  It doesn’t help that there are no scheduled surgeries on the weekend.  (A surgeon is on call for emergencies, but no planned surgeries occur on the weekend.)  My patients were fairly easy as well, except one of my patients was a bit different . 

She was old old…there’s old, and then there’d “old old,” which is people 85 years old and older.  Although hard of hearing, she was totally with it.  I walked into her room to check on her, and she had been throwing tissues on the floor and exclaimed, “Where have you been??  I’ve been yelling all this time!”  Maybe I just didn’t hear her, but I’m fairly certain she wasn’t yelling.  Also, she had been using her call bell throughout the day, so if she needed something, she most likely would have used the call bell.  I asked her what was wrong, and she just kept saying, “You’re the nurse, you’re supposed to know!” I explained that I can’t help her unless she tells me what is wrong, but she repeatedly told me that I just needed to know.  After going through a series of questions (Are you in pain?  Having trouble breathing?  Do you need to go to the bathroom?  Are you uncomfortable in bed?  Are you nauseated?  etc etc), examining her, and checking her vital signs, I ended up repositioning her and she thanked me for my help.  And then continued to throw tissues on the ground.

I have no clue what any of that was about, but I’m apparently supposed to be a mind reader.  However, she later told me that one of her friends was blind, and she prayed for her and then she could see.  I’m not really much of a religious person (but if you are, more power to you), but that seemed a bit of a reach for me.  Interesting people in this world, let me tell you.


Since I switched my running schedule around, I had my 17 mile long run this morning.  The nice part about working evening shift is that I can get long runs in before work without waking up at 4am!  I ended up getting off work around 1am  last night (we had two admissions and a transfer between nine and ten…yikes), so I woke up at nine and was on the road at ten.  The run was really nothing to write home about.  I carried water with me and was able to refill, but it wasn’t even that hot so it was a nice run.  Lots of people said hi back to me as well.  :)  Nine miles to go after 17…woo!

Monday, August 24
17.1 miles in 2:20:53, avg pace of 8:14
Splits:  8:17, 8:23, 8:36, 8:14, 8:21, 8:10, 8:08, 8:17, 8:41, 7:48 (oops?), 8:12, 8:35, 7:57, 8:03, 8:07, 8:05, 0:46 (7:36)

Garmin got a little crazy in the middle (it was telling me I was running a 4:30 mile…ummm no), but I was kind of consistent overall and able to drop the pace a little at the end.  I should probably still be going slower, but overall I’m pretty happy with this run.

I got cancelled from work today, so I’m off to work on my to do list and then head to Princeton until Wednesday…yay!  Mondays aren’t so bad sometimes.  :)

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cooking up a storm…literally

After my ten mile run yesterday, I set to work doing some cooking!  It’s been awhile since I really cooked something (instead of like…scrambled eggs on toast or mac and cheese), so it was fun!  I really do like cooking, especially trying new things.  It’s just hard to put all the work into cooking just to sit and eat by myself.  But it sure tastes good and I really only have to cook one-two times per week since leftovers are my best friend.  (Unless it’s pizza…I hate leftover pizza!)

For my first meal, I did some searching for a good recipe for quinoa.  I’ve heard about this grain before and always wanted to try it.  After searching (your best friend and mine), I went with this Quinoa and Black Beans recipe, mainly because I love black beans and the reviews said that it is very easy to customize.  I added a red pepper and zucchini to make the dish complete, and it was quite fantastic.  Easy recipe, although I left out the cayenne pepper (realized we didn’t have any) and used red pepper flakes instead…and I left out the corn because I’m not the biggest fan of corn when it’s in things.  Anyway, it was tasty…and I’m eating leftovers now.  Check it out:

082209 Random Food 006 Yum!  Sorry about the quality…I’m no food blogger!

Next up was this “Bean Concoction” as seen on Heather at Run Lean Green.  It looked like a good dinner alternative to my usual turkey sandwich, which isn’t my favorite, but it’s quick and easy so I fall back on it.  Simple recipe:

  • One can cannellini beans
  • Lemon juice
  • Minced garlic (sautéed in olive oil with red pepper flakes)
  • Sliced grape tomatoes
  • Cilantro (leftover from the quinoa recipe)…my own addition

Mash up the beans and add everything else and you’re good to go!  Simple and tasty.  I wrapped it up in a whole wheat wrap with some spinach…I was going to add avocado, but it was rotten!  $2 down the drain!  Oh well.

082209 Random Food 002Mixed up and ready to eat!

Some other good stuff that I picked up at the grocery store:

I’ve seen this peanut butter on some blogs, and I’ve thought about buying it before, but it’s $5+/jar.  I saw it on sale for $4-something, so I went ahead and bought it.  I have yet to taste it, but I’m excited.

082209 Random Food 003 Peanut butter AND white chocolate??  This has to be good

The Rocket Scientist thought I was crazy when I was excited for Chobani yogurt 10/$10.  That’s cheap for Greek yogurt, but let’s face it…that’s still expensive yogurt!  I stocked up anyway, and I’m excited to try new flavors like pomegranate!  I’m not a huge fan of fruit on the bottom, but we’ll make it work.

082209 Random Food 004

  Yogurt taking over the fridge!

After my cookfest yesterday, I headed to work.  Storms were on the way, as it was really windy as I climbed into my car.  I was hoping to beat the rain, but just as I pulled into the parking lot, it DOWNPOURED.  Like monsoon.  I had no umbrella.  Being late for work isn’t much of an option, so I made a run for it…annnnd got soaked.  We hunted for an extra scrub top in the closet at work, and we found a white one that was giant (even though it was a size small…), so I wore that with my wet pants.  FUN.


Easy recovery run today.  Cloudy and 78-ish, MUCH less humid than it’s been.  Awesome.

Saturday, August 22
5.23 miles in 44:04, avg pace of 8:25

Working this weekend…hopefully it goes better than my first weekend!

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Friday, August 21, 2009

It’s like breathing water…

I don’t know about where you live, but it is obscenely HUMID here!  And hot.  We’re talking in the 90’s here.  Yes, yes, I know you crazy Texans and Floridians are roasting as well, but there’s no denying the heat here.  Of course, I’m crazy enough to try to run in it.  Not overly successfully, mind you.

Yesterday I finally got in my nine miles with four at lactate threshold pace.  Well…sort of.  I headed out and did about 2.75 miles as a warm up, then geared up for speedwork.  I nailed the LT miles last time, but the weather was much more forgiving at that point in time.  I pounded my miles out for the first 2.5…thennnn I took a break.  I was breathing wayyyy too heavy and I felt terrible.  Took a break, moved on.  Half a mile later (at LT pace), I still felt awful.  Stopped and took another break.  It’s hot out here, I thought to myself.  My miles were in the low 7:00’s, which is about where I was last time.  My target range is something like 7:00-7:15.  I told myself I only had one more mile to go, and that I was going to NAIL 7:15 pace.  And that I did.

Here’s how it went down:

Thursday, August 20
9.02 miles in 1:11:23, avg pace of 7:55
Warm-up:  2.76 miles in 23:31, avg pace of 8:32
LT Miles:  4.00 miles in 28:30, avg pace of 7:08
               Splits:  7:06, 7:03, 7:06, 7:15  (With breaks…oops)
Cool down:  2.26 miles in 19:19, avg pace of 8:32

I think my mistake in doing this LT runs is that mentally I think that these runs should feel super hard and that I should be pushing the pace the entire time.  LT pace is somewhere between 15k-half marathon pace (or a pace you can hold for about an hour), and that’s still a long way to go!  I shouldn’t feel dead at the end of this workout.  In the first two miles, garmin told me I was dropping under seven minute pace, so I had to pull back.  I think I need to remind myself to run comfortably hard.  For me, 7:15 isn’t crazy fast.  While I’m sure the heat didn’t help, I can definitely improve on my pacing for these runs.

Onto today!  Another scorcher.  I checked when I got home, and it said “Feels like 97”…yikes!!  It’s a flashback to the 2007 Chicago Marathon…you know, minus 16 miles.  I managed a ten mile run thanks to:

  1. Carrying water with me.  Little sips make all the difference.
  2. Keep pace in check.  No records were broken today!
  3. Running on the more-shaded direction of the trail.
  4. Taking some breaks.  This direction on the trail has many more street crossing, so forced breaks were worked in.
  5. Cool shower upon returning home.  So refreshing!

Some high school boys yelled some highly inappropriate comments at me (…thanks?), but other than that it was fairly uneventful.

Friday, August 21
10.05 miles in 1:24:41, avg pace of 8:25


I had an extremely productive day off yesterday.  I located doctors around here in order to get a dentist and dermatologist appointment, went grocery shopping, bought a calendar so I can stop writing my schedule on scraps of paper, researched bridesmaids dresses for a wedding I’m in, got a package ready to mail, and did some laundry.  I feel accomplished.

Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we didn’t have to work??  I certainly think it would be.

On that note…off to work!  I hope everyone has a good weekend, I’ll be working.  :)

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Healthy Living Summit Recap!

I promised I would get to it today three days ago…whatever…so here’s my recap of the Healthy Living Summit

Friday Night – Cocktail Party!

I was SO nervous going into the cocktail party…I am an incredibly shy person, so walking into a large group of girls where I didn’t know anyone was a huge deal for me.  I ordered a beer (Sam Adams Summer!) when I got there to try and calm my nerves, although I’m not sure how much it helped…at least it tasted good!  Heading into the party, I thought that I would recognize more people.  Of course I knew who the organizers were, but I honestly didn’t know anyone else!  I’m more into the running blog world than the food blog world, so that’s probably why.  It was a good test for my social anxiety, and I think I passed with flying colors.

I mingled around a few groups and eventually met Heather from Running Leaner and Greener.  We chatted for most of the night and sampled some of the wonderful eats that were out.  It was so funny to see all the food bloggers taking pictures, and now I wish I had snapped some too!  Oh well.  Here’s Heather and I the next day at the Summit!

Healthy Living Summit 2009 039

It was really fun to meet other bloggers, especially those who share my interests in healthy living…and good food!

Saturday – The Summit!!

Healthy Living Summit 2009 040
As noted earlier, I ran with Sarah on Saturday morning, so I was hungry when it was time for breakfast.  Breakfast did not disappoint!  I jumped in with all the food bloggers and snapped a picture of my breakfast:

Healthy Living Summit 2009 016 Stonyfield yogurt, Mix My Granola, blueberry muffin, and pineapple!  I tried the smoothie because I hadn’t had one before and snagged the Kashi TLC bar for later.

Healthy Living Summit 2009 025 Let the Summit begin!!


First up was Janel Ovrut, a dietitian in the Boston area.  She gave us basic tips on healthy eating, provided examples from her own life, and answered questions from the crowd.  Having a degree in dietetics, nothing that she said was too surprising to me.  In general, I believe that healthy eating is common sense, but hard to follow.  Most people could tell you that you should eat more fruits and veggies than burgers and fries, but it’s difficult to put that into action.  (Especially when someone thinks that fries = vegetables because it’s a potato!)

Blog World

Next on the list was Blogging 101 with Zesty Cook.  I learned a lot about the blog world that I didn’t know before.  For example:

- People make money off of blogs…I had no clue!

- Self-hosted is the way to go.  Sadly, I think nurseontherun is already taken (probably should have looked into that prior to picking that name…oops?), but I convert to self-hosted sometime soon.

- Have a logo that people recognize as you.  I like my self-made header at the top…I’m sure no one else has it!

- USE WINDOWS LIVE WRITER.  It is a life changer.  Why didn’t I know about this before??

Stonyfield – Go Organic!

After lunch, Regina Beidler, an organic dairy farmer, spoke to us about her farm and what it means to be organic.  I haven’t spent too much time looking into organic foods, so this was an interesting session for me.  It seems obvious that allowing animals to graze and be fed naturally will result in more nutritious food.  That may be why I bought Stonyfield milk at the grocery store today!  I would buy more organic food, but it’s just so expensive, and let’s face it…I’m a cheap girl.

POM Wonderful

Healthy Living Summit 2009 037
Gatsby came out for the juice!!  We had a POM juice bar as an afternoon snack.  After seeing POM juice on many blogs, I was excited to try it.  Like many reviews I’ve seen, I’m not so sure I would drink this straight…I’m not a juice person to begin with, and it’s a bit tart.  It would definitely be amazing when mixed with seltzer water…or vodka.  (Oops?)

Fitness for Everyone

The main gist of this part of the Summit was for all the headlining bloggers to talk about how they workout, demonstrating that there is something out there for everyone, and that what works for one person may not work for you…and that’s okay!  Some people are runners, some people are not.  You may love yoga, others may think it’s crazy.  Being a runner, I can’t imagine NOT liking running (okay…maybe I can).

The only part that bothered me about this presentation was when the presenters talked about marathon training.  Not an exact quote, but it was presented that you don’t necessarily have to do high mileage to train for a marathon.  While there are plans out there for running fewer miles (like the FIRST program), I don’t think it’s the best idea to advocate low mileage programs.  For my first two marathons, I did Hal Higdon’s Beginner program, which peaked at 40 miles per week, and I think that was a little low, at least for me.  I definitely didn’t feel like I was overexerting myself, but I did get to the starting line and finish line without injury.  While I understand that cross training can complement marathon training quite well, I also think that it’s important to realize that marathon training is not for everyone.  If you are injury prone and your body can’t handle the higher mileage, maybe marathoning isn’t for you.  There’s nothing wrong with that at all!  I’m not coordinated and would break my neck doing gymnastics, so I stay away.  Same idea.  (Maybe.)

Okay, I hope that didn’t come across as mean…or something.  It’s just my opinion.  I get a bit bug-eyed when people run long distances on little training.  Moving on.

Saturday Night – Tastes of Boston!

After the Summit, I headed out to the North End with the Rocket Scientist and our friend from college who lives in Boston.  I had intentions of meeting up with bloggers at the Fisherman’s Feast, but it didn’t happen…oh well!  We headed to this place:

Healthy Living Summit 2009 002 SO GOOD!  And super crowded.

Healthy Living Summit 2009 006 Holy Cannoli Sampler!  My chocolate mousse one was the best.  :)

Healthy Living Summit 2009 052Rocket Scientist post-cannoli.  Awesome.

We then wandered around Boston and I got some good photo ops:

Healthy Living Summit 2009 063

Don’t mess.

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They mean business.  I do not.

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Boston is such a pretty city.

Healthy Living Summit 2009 076 
I am in LOVE.  Oatmeal cookie hard yogurt.  SO GOOD.

My thoughts

The Summit was an awesome experience and I would highly recommend going to it next year…if you can get a ticket!  It was great to be around so many health-minded people and to get so much free swag.  The presenters opened my eyes to things I didn’t know before, and I learned much more about organic farming. 

As a non-food blogger, it felt like I was in a different world.  Food bloggers are so dedicated!  While I could make the time to have a food blog, I don’t necessarily want to.  Nor do you all want to see the ice cream and Sour Patch Kids I down on a daily basis.  I love food blogs because I get ideas for recipes from them and they inspire me to cook more.  I’ve been a bit down lately (related to my job/moving/new life), so I’ve been less motivated to cook/bake, which is something I love to do.  Being at the Summit helped bring back some of that motivation, and I have a whole list of new blogs to get ideas from!

In the blog world, I realize that I am quite small, although I do have readers that return day after day.  It blows my mind that some of the bloggers have thousands of people who read their blog every day!  I like the connection that I have with the readers who comment and who have blogs that I read, although it would be crazy to be big one day!  I think that it would be awesome to do a running version of the Healthy Living Summit, or maybe just a blogger meet-up race??  I like the idea that Kristin from ChasRunner has about a blogger relay race (which some have already done!).  I’d be in…

The Summit made me think about where I would like to take this blog in the future, as well as where I want my life to head.  My blog is very focused on what has already happened…my runs, how work went, and I would like to incorporate more content about healthy lifestyles.  I have a few ideas in my head, so look for some upcoming posts!  In my real life, I’m not sure where I want to head.  I like nursing (really, I promise!), but I like the idea of focusing on preventative health and health promotion.  On the drive home, the Rocket Scientist and I came up with the idea of being some sort of health/wellness consultant.  Grocery store tours, kitchen makeovers, cooking classes, exercise tips!  I want to go to grad school at some point, and I’m torn between becoming a nurse practitioner (because I really do like medicine/nursing/health) and doing some sort of MPH/Health Promotion degree.  This could be a totally different post in itself!  It probably will be…haha.

I hope you enjoyed my recap of the Summit and my ramblings.  The Summit was a fantastic opportunity to meet other bloggers (I mean…I don’t really know any in my real life!), to get free swag, and to make me think.  What more could you ask for?


Never fear, I will post about my MISERABLE lactate threshold run tomorrow…

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

You spin me right round, baby, right round

…like a record, baby, right round round round.

What odd lyrics…I never thought of that until I just typed them out!  Anyway, they totally describe me this morning.  I woke up and just felt…off*.  I was quite thirsty of the world was spinning just a tad bit.  Being a stubborn runner, I still had hopes of getting in my nine miles (with four at LT!), so I consumed a breakfast of an English muffin + PB + banana.  And loooooots of water.  Of course, I did circles down the stairs, but nevermind that.  Still feeling a little queasy after breakfast, I figured dehydration might be the culprit, so I grabbed some gatorade and laid back down in bed.  I ended up sleeping for another hour and a half (oops?), but the world isn’t doing flip flops anymore, so victory is mine.

My past two runs have been in the crazy heat…about 88 degrees on both days, and even though I took water with me, I probably wasn’t drinking enough.  Sometimes I don’t drink AT ALL during work, so a combo of all these factors probably led to the turntable effect this morning.  I need to make a conscious effort to drink more water and gatorade (electrolytes…11 miles in the heat/sun definitely requires some replacing!) in these final weeks of summer.

Lo and behold, no nine miles for me.  By the time I felt better, it was 88 degrees, and I’m not THAT stubborn.  I have the day off tomorrow so I’ll just do some shifting of my runs.  Hopefully I can pull myself out of bed before the heat hits…this evening schedule will be much nicer in the cooler temps, at least running-wise!

HLS Recap coming tomorrow…I promise.  It’s my day off…no excuses!


Awesome night at work last night…I started off with four patients, one who was getting on the elevator to go home as I was arriving, and another patient who was discharged before I even got report!  Another patient was off the floor for tests for almost four hours, and my last patient was basically independent and just in the hospital for monitoring and IV antibiotics.  AWESOME.  I needed a day like this.  I ended up getting an admission later in the day, but I still couldn’t have asked for much better.

Another nurse poked her head into the room that I was in and said that someone was outside looking for me.  That normally makes me nervous because I thought it was a family member with crazy questions or something.  It ended up being a patient that I had last week, and he wanted to thank me specifically for all the care I gave him when he was here.  He brought me (and the other nurses!) a huge plate of assorted chocolates…so good!  This was the same patient that bought me a Diet Coke last week.  This job can be soooo hard sometimes most of the time, but the little recognitions every now and then really remind me that I do something right from time to time!


* I love when patients tell me “something just doesn’t feel right.”  While that can be a good indication of something, it also doesn’t help much. 

“Do you have a headache?”  No.
”Are you nauseated?”  No.
”Are you in pain?”  No.
”Can you tell me what feels wrong?”  No, but something isn’t right.

Hmmmmm.  Doctors don’t like that description much.  At least it’s better than “Can’t you just switch my pain medication?”  Yessss, I obviously have the prescription authority to switch your dilaudid to morphine.  Hmmmm.  Gotta love it.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Shoe Love

Sooo I have yet to do my recap of the Healthy Living Summit, but I figured I should at least post about my runs!  As soon as I sit down to blog, I realize that I don’t have enough time to do my recap justice.  Tomorrow, I promise!

Friday was a rest day…driving to Boston + the cocktail party!  Woo!  I will say that I got extremely excited when we drove past a sign for Hopkinton.  I can’t wait for the Boston Marathon next year!!

On Saturday, I woke up bright and early for a run with Sarah from ghost world.  We agreed to meet at 6am to get in a run before the Summit, and when I told the Rocket Scientist this, he looked at me like I was nuts!  Since I work the evening shift, I haven’t seen 6am since I started on evenings.  I consider waking up before nine “early.”  Therefore, I took a picture to prove that yes, I can wake up before six.

Healthy Living Summit 2009 011

Take that!

I had an awesome run with Sarah, and we actually did the first fifteen-ish minutes with Caitlin, Meghann, and Kath!  They were heading out just as we were, so we all headed to the Charles together.  We took it slow (as I promised I would!), and it was an awesome run!  It was cool and the scenery was BEAUTIFUL.  It felt awesome to be running along the Charles in Boston…I could totally move there.  The five of us ran together until the three planners headed back, and then it was just Sarah and me!  We decided on doing eight miles, which led us along the Charles and then back through Boston University.  My garmin didn’t end up picking up signal, but Sarah had a Polar foot pod, so we were good to go!  It was so much fun to run with her…I felt like I knew her even though we’d never met before!

Saturday, August 15
8 miles in 1:12:00-ish, avg pace of about 9:00

Sunday was another rest day, visiting with my friend from college and then driving back home.  Since we did eight miles on Saturday, and I was scheduled for 4 with a long run of 15 on Sunday (which I obviously didn’t do), I decided to just get the miles in and do 11 on Monday.  It was TOASTY.  I decided to carry a water bottle with me, which turned out to be a good plan.  The water fountain was about at the halfway point, so I filled it up when I got there.  Worked out perfect!  Carrying a water bottle didn’t bother me nearly as much as I thought it would, so I’ll definitely be doing this in our final days of summer when it’s hot out!

Monday, August 17
11.04 miles in 1:30:13, avg pace of 8:10

I really didn’t want to do a tempo run (as scheduled) the day after a long-ish run, so I was just going to take today as a rest day and do my long run next Monday or something.  I’m working this weekend, so it doesn’t really matter which day I do the long run since I won’t have a day off until Tuesday.  However, I realized at about 11 that I could do my recovery run today and do my tempo run tomorrow…excellent!  Off to run.  Of course, it was almost 90 degrees when I decided this.  I figured it couldn’t be any worse than yesterday, so I grabbed a water bottle and headed out.  It actually wasn’t too bad…I think I do okay running in the heat, especially when I’m not trying to set any records!

Tuesday, August 18
5.20 miles in 43:55, avg pace of 8:26

Recovery runs should probably still be slower…working on it!

This run was awesome because I was able to take out my new pair of Brooks Adrenalines!  I bought two new pairs (one yellow, one blue!) at Sports Authority, as they were half price, so now I should be all set for marathon training.  I might need a new pair closer to the race, but I should be good for the next few months.

Adrenalines 001Adrenalines 002

Love them!  They look so pretty…I really like the yellow.

Off to work…I promise I will post my recap tomorrow!

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Holy Cannoli!!

After leaving on Thursday, I’m officially back from Boston and the Healthy Living Summit!!  It was an awesome, awesome weekend, and I’m so glad I made the trip up to Boston for it.  I’m running short on time to do a full recap before I head to work, but I can sum up the weekend with the following picture:

Healthy Living Summit 2009 048

This weekend gets a thumbs up!  Not necessarily because of the cannoli (although it was quite fabulous), but because I was able to meet so many people and be around people who share my interests in healthy living.  It was also great to learn about organic farming and more about blogging.  It’s made me think about this blog and where I would like to take it in the future.  In the coming days, I will post a recap of the weekend and my thoughts about the Summit, especially as a blogger who is more focused on blogging about running than blogging about food.

Off to work!

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Thursday, August 13, 2009


I totally jinxed myself yesterday. Work was not easy at all! All of my patients had pain control issues, and a couple of them were having trouble with their pain either made them very nauseated or they didn't like the way it made them feel. I could go into the really annoying stuff that happened (if you have to go to the bathroom and it takes ten minutes to get you there, don't wait to call me until you can't hold it any longer!), but I'll contain myself.

I will say one thing though...if you are three-four times my size, I cannot pull you out of bed. I like my back and would like to keep it.

To end work on a good note, one of my patients bought me a Diet Coke. He really wanted one, and I told him that if I went down and bought myself one, I'd get him one. He ended up walking to the vending machine himself and came back with two...he said it was the least he could do for putting up with him! Fantastic.

Although I got off work around 1:30 last night, I dragged myself out of bed at nine and hit the road for ten miles. It actually cooled down a little bit and was cloudy, so the weather conditions were quite nice for ten miles. It rained a bit overnight so the trail was wet, which usually means that fewer people are on I didn't see too many people. However, I did pass two guys going the opposite direction right before my turnaround point, so I was about a minute behind them then when I turned. I could see them ahead of when I turned around, and I really wanted to catch them, but I knew I shouldn't sprint or anything. I held my pace and slowly caught them a little over a mile later. It happened to be right at the top of a hill, and the one guy took of his head phones and we had the following conversation:

Him: Now you're embarrassing me!
Me: Haha I do what I can! (or something equally dumb)
Him: Are you a school teacher? (I mean...not many young people are running at 11am on a Thursday)
Me: No, I'm a nurse.
Him: I may need you in ten minutes!
Me: Keep me posted!

And then I continued on my way. Looking back, maybe I should have tried to stay with them for a little bit...they were probably running 8:45-9:00 miles, and if they were out running now (teachers?), maybe I could have a running buddy? They didn't look too old (30's?), so it could have worked. I'm shy so I'm not one to do that, but I'll have to remember if I see them again.

Thursday, August 13
10.04 miles in 1:22:08, avg pace of 8:11

Time for some final packing and then off to work...and of course Boston tomorrow for the Healthy Living Summit!! Sarah and I (and maybe a few others?) are meeting for a run on Saturday morning, which should make for a great start to Saturday! I'll definitely be blogging about everything when I get home...I hope everyone has an awesome weekend!
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy birthday, Dad!

You know, Wednesday doesn't seem so bad when you didn't work on Monday and you're not working on Friday! That probably means that I'm going to have a terrible night at work since I just jinxed myself...we shall see. Twelve hour shifts seem like a pretty good idea most of the time...

I started packing for the Healthy Living exciting!! I think I way overpacked...and I'm not even done yet! Oh well. I'm leaving after work tomorrow to head to Princeton, and then the Rocket Scientist and I will drive up to Boston on Friday...woo! I'm extremely pumped to check out Mike's Pastry and JP Licks, both of which I hear are fantastic! I've been to Mike's before, so a return trip is definitely necessary. (What? This is a Healthy Living Summit? Oh dear.)

Five mile recovery run today...with half the run uphill, of course! Hills never feel like recovery, but I did a good job keeping the run slow slower...that is, um, until I REALLY had to go to the bathroom. Like pronto. But even then I didn't break an eight minute mile. Woo. My legs felt tired today...I think a little left over from my long run this weekend (which I should have run time, I promise). Either way, nice recovery run, even though I returned dripping in sweat. I miss runs like this in the winter, I promise.

Wednesday, August 12
5.15 miles in 43:49, avg pace of 8:31

Last, but not least...HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my dad! He's a young 62 today. Here's a picture from his birthday two years ago...

We went to Chevy's and they gave him a hat since it was his birthday...nice! I called him to wish him a happy birthday, and he said that they're having a "Lunch and Learn" at work today, so he didn't have to make his own birthday lunch...but he doubted they would have cake. I might have to have some for him...haha. Anyway, my dad is officially better than your dad (I will fight you on that one), so hopefully he gets cake one way or another. Read More......

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Philadelphia, Here I Come!

Last night I officially registered for the Philadelphia Marathon, so there's no turning back now! I just hope it doesn't snow or something on race day. Who else is going to be there??

Week four of marathon training is under way, with eight miles on the charts for today. It was another hot day! August is not a fun month for running. Luckily it wasn't too toasty, but I really think the world needs to invest in more water fountains. The exciting part today was that most people waved back to me! Some even initiated! Eastern Pennsylvania is slowly becoming more friendly...I don't think it will ever get up to my friendly Midwest standard, but I'm seeing improvement.

Tuesday, August 11
8.06 miles in 1:06:27, avg pace of 8:14

I skipped the strides because...well...I just didn't feel like doing them. It was hot. Excuses, excuses...but I think I'll make it.

In other news, I got a monstrosity of a hair cut yesterday. I'm VERY picky about how I like my hair, so testing the waters with a new stylist is a big deal. Looking back, I should have waited until I'm going home in about a month and just had it cut with my tried and true stylist, but hindsight is 20/20. The cut itself isn't too terrible, it's just not at all what I asked for! It's about two inches shorter and has zero layers in it. I pointed to how long I wanted it to be and then said "with long I have now." Gah. After telling her that I've always parted my hair down the middle, she attempts to style it with a side part. Then charged me extra because my hair was long. Well, it's not anymore!

I'm debating between attempting to damage control and get it fixed somewhere (my layers would be way least for me) or just let it grow out and then deal with it. I wear my hair up five days out of the week (thanks, nursing!), but it's still annoying.

Okay, end rant. Hair grows, life will go on.
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Monday, August 10, 2009

I'm alive, I promise

Don't worry blog world, I'm still here! You were obviously all fearful about the week-long hiatus, but I'm back now. My parents were here all last week (yay!), so I did fun things like...

...touring Philadelphia!

...eating cheesesteaks!

...checking out Valley Forge!

...touring Princeton!

...and finding crazy squirrels in Princeton who let you get close and take their picture!

Among other things, we also baked chocolate chip cupcakes (SO GOOD), went to a wedding shower, and played cards. My parents entertained themselves once I went to work by going to quilt shops, going to a Phillies game, and having dinner with the Rocket Scientist's parents. My dad waited up for me to get home from work each night, which was nice because I usually come home to a dark house. We ate cupcakes and watched Conan O'Brien until he was falling asleep. I don't really see people during the week because of the hours I work, so I really enjoyed having my parents here...and I really like my parents, so that helps as well.

My parents left on Friday and I headed to Princeton after work. Saturday was a PERFECT beach day, so we got some sun and I (finally!) learned how to throw a football. Luckily we watched Shark Week on demand AFTER we got back from the beach. Sunday was a rainy shopping day, where all I ended up with was two new pairs of Brooks Adrenalines. Exciting, yes, but I had high hopes for a new dress! I guess I'll make it...

I got canceled from work again today, which is exciting because I'm sitting here writing this, but sad because that's the second time in a week and a half! I hope this doesn't keep happening...once in a while might be nice, but consistently is not a good sign. No work = no money! We can choose to use vacation days to get paid for our canceled days, but I only have one vacation day so far! I'm looking around for new jobs anyway.

Miles Upon Miles

I've done LOTS of running in the past week! They've been pretty good too. Here's the wrap up:

Sunday, August 2 - My first lactate threshold run!
Warm- up: 2.15 miles in 18:26, avg pace of 8:36

Lactate Threshold: 4.03 miles in 28:37, avg pace of 7:06
LT Splits: 7:16, 7:09, 7:00, 6:58
Cooldown: 2.07 miles in 17:05, avg pace of 8:16

I was really nervous about this workout because I haven't done ANY sort of speedwork in a longggg time! The first mile at LT pace was a bit nerve-wracking because I didn't want to go TOO fast and burn out, but I didn't want to take it too easy. The run ended up going really well and I felt good the entire way. The plan was to average somewhere between 7:05-7:15 (paced on a 3:20 marathon goal...that's just a guess for a marathon goal, by the way!), and I did quite well with that. We'll see how these workouts go as they get longer!

Monday, August 3
4.03 miles in 34:12, avg pace of 8:30

Recovery run...nothing too exciting.

I then took off Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to do things with my parents. Priorities!

Friday, August 7
10.02 miles in 1:20:08, avg pace of 8:00

General miles after my parents left, which was an emotional experience. I'm sure people thought I was weird as I cried running along the trail, but whatever. Despite running at 11:30 after my parents left, it was surprisingly cool and felt really good. Glad I could squeeze it in before work!

Saturday, August 8
4.21 miles in 34:58, avg pace of 8.18

Post beach run! Worst idea ever. The last thing you want to do after laying on the beach is go for a run. However, four miles is four miles so we made it. Obviously.

Sunday, August 9
14.03 miles in 1:52:48, avg pace of 8:01
Splits: 8:04, 8:03, 8:04, 8:15, 7:56, 7:58, 8:35, 8:28, 8:08, 8:06, 7:48, 7:46, 7:39, 7:31

The Rocket Scientist and I met up with his two marathoing friends for our long run. It POURED for the first two miles of the run. Like, soaked to the bone pouring. At least it wasn't hot, right? The Rocket Scientist didn't exactly know the route, so we ended up on the wrong side of a park and then adding on miles on a trail (like...through the woods! haha.) which ended up adding in those slower miles. A bit of a speed up at the end, but it felt good to know that I could still move that fast after so many miles. We were soakeddd when we got back, but I had a good run. The Rocket Scientist not so much. Fifteen weeks to go!

So that was my quick wrap up from running this week. I got canceled from work AGAIN today. Good for a day off, bad because I could have stayed in Princeton another day if I found out sooner. Oh well. I don't think it's a good sign that I've already been canceled twice in the three weeks I've been allowed to be canceled...I'm keeping my eye out for other jobs, but I still think it's a little soon to call myself "experienced."

Only three days of work this week, then off to Boston for the Healthy Living Summit!! I'm so excited for the weekend and to meet Sarah and other bloggers! It's going to be awesome. :)

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