{Friday Fab 5}

With the loss and tragedy in Oklahoma all of these photos seem trivial. Sometimes it is the small things that keep us moving forward. Thoughts and prayers to those in Oklahoma.


What will your next salad include?

What will your next salad include?

I have a new love for experimenting and creating new types of salad. I love fruit on my salad, which I know is often a very personal taste. The possibilities are endless! The above beauty was my dinner several nights this week. The dressing is great; it is all natural, gluten and allergen free, and free from high fructose corn syrup. When dining out I love Wendy’s Berry Almond Chicken Salad (now back for summer) and their Apple Pecan Chicken Salad (minus the nuts-ick). I also LOVE Panera’s Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad finally back for summer, too!


I can just smell them!

I can just smell them!

One of the best things about spring are the lilacs blooming. I’ve loved the smell since childhood and think they are beautiful, too. They were in full bloom when Ry and I went for a walk last Sunday past a park where we snapped these shots.

{#3-Cowboy Caviar/Pinto Bean Salsa}
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At a coworkers get together last Friday, she had this AMAZING Pinto Bean Salsa, so of course I got the recipe to share with you. I’m going to use fresh vegetables to go with my clean eating.

In a small saucepan combine the following:
1 cup of veggie oil (I would sub for a healthier oil)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cool.

In a large bowl combine the following:
15 oz of pinto beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)
15 oz of black eyed peas (drained and rinsed if using canned)
11 oz of white shoepeg corn
1 small jar of pimento, drained
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup of chopped white onion

Pour marinade over bean mixture. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight or 24 hours. Drain and serve with chips. Enjoy!

{#4-Outdoor Eating}
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I love eating out in the sunshine. Add a body of water and you have the perfect relaxing setting! Bonus points if you make a fresh salad or cowboy caviar and eat it outside. Heaven!

{#5-Streaking in Progress}

Yes, you heard me. Leave it to Runner’s World to make running even more fun and crazy. It is simple. Run 1 mile everyday starting on Memorial Day (Monday, May 27) until the Fourth of July (Thursday, July 4th-duh). Share your challenge with the world by posting this photo to your Facebook account. Make a public commitment like I did with my summer training plan. I’m going to modify my streaking since with my training plan I will NEED those rest days. On my rest days I’m going to commit to walk a mile to keep the streak going. So join me…and pardon my streaking!

Happy Weekend!

{Friday Fab 5}

Amen, it is the weekend!

{#1-Beautiful Sunsets}
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With three track meets and working one night at GR, it was all about the little things this week.

{#2-Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich}
And what better way to relax for a few minutes after getting home and before going to bed during a crazy week where you can’t workout, than a guilt free treat.

{#3-Tulips are blooming!}


This week our tulips bloomed and the peonies are coming along. Love spring!

{#4-Green Grass and New Shoes}
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For a few weeks now I’ve been needing a new pair of running shoes so I can alternate shoes between runs. I liked my old Mizuno Wave Riders and decided to get the same ones, but an updated version. I love them. Not sure what I like most about them though-how comfortable they are or how happy the colors make me when I look down at my feet? Either way they are awesome!

Also awesome is this green grass! I just can’t get enough of all this green everywhere. Doesn’t it just put a pep in your step!

{#5-Thank you nurses and teachers!}

I had some wonderful teachers that inspired me over the years and still do. I work with amazing teachers who inspire me everyday! My coworkers are the best! I’ve been lucky to be treated by very kind nurses. There are some special nurses near and dear to me whom I see their kindness and compassion in all they do. When I was little I used to want to be a nurse because my aunt’s a nurse. Then I realized I don’t love blood. Fellow teachers and nurses, YOU make the world a better place. Thanks for all you do.

{Friday Fab 5}

{#1-Awesome weather coming up!}

Fond memories of being at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Fond memories of being at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

Go visit a favorite park, walk around town, or head somewhere to hike and run like Ry and I plan to do this weekend. Last weekend we visited this park; I spent many childhood hours here while visiting my Grandma and Grandpa. The park always reminds me of flying an eagle kite on a windy afternoon. Anyone have any must hike spots in Wisconsin?

{#2-Wheat Tortilla Quesadillas}
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I can’t write or say the word quesadilla without thinking about how Grandma says it in Napolean Dynomite. So go make yourself a dang quesadilla, with wheat tortillas and jalapenos, unless you are too busy training to be a cage fighter! Wheat tortillas are sooo good!

{#3-Go Brewers}
2013-04-20 22.06.06
Thumbs up to the Brewers on sweeping the Cubs and Giants and 2/3 with the Padres. I have even more faith in you now. Oh, and I’m really looking forward to getting these stitches out next week. Running with them isn’t my favorite.

{#4-Goals In Your Shoes}

Love this!

Love this!

Kara Goucher, an Olympic marathoner, posted this photo on Facebook of her and Shalane Flanagan’s and Joan Benoit Samuelson’s shoes before the Boston Marathon. I love how they have their goals printed on the insides of their racing shoes. I’m so doing this before my next race. What will you be writing in your workout shoes?

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Sorry! I’m just so excited to get out there and hike and run and hike and run!

Happy Weekend!

{Friday Fab 5}

{#1} Chicken Bruschetta

Yum!  Fast and easy, too!

Yum! Fast and easy, too!

This one is first on the list this week because it was awesome. The husband loved it! Easy to make and healthy, too.

{#2} Run Happy
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This week was another terrible, unspring-like week in the Badger state. I put on my fun colored, blue run happy hat in the sleet for my run last night and repeated that mantra in my head. Run happy. Run happy. I thought of Team Hoyt that I posted about on Monday’s Motivation and realized I had a lot to run happy about.

{#3} Unspring Spring
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As I’d hinted about in the previous, this is the scene around the state. I’m standing on ice by the way.

{#4} Coping Mechanisms
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These are a few of the coping tools used to deal with the weather this week. I took a hot shower with my Beach in Hawaii Pandora station playing after my cold-to-the-bone run last night. I used this shower gel and lotion to enhance the beach experience. The only thing missing was my Bahama Mama or margarita sitting on the side of the tub. I thought that might be taking this whole thing a bit far. I mean I’m not losing it or anything…yet! We’re jammin’!

{#5} Pet Love



And if all else falls, happy or sad, we always have our pets. I love our cat to the moon and back. I know, I am that person. And by our cat, I mean my cat. He is the best cat ever. Like a dog he greets you at the door, loves to snuggle, talk, and watch out the window. He knows just what to say when you’ve had a bad day and is there to cheer when you have something to celebrate. I can’t imagine our world without pets. Give some love to your pets!

Happy Weekend and Run Happy! We’re Jammin’!

{Trailbreaker Half Marathon}

2013-03-14 22.01.17
On Saturday my husband and I had a surprise party to attend in Milwaukee. After RSVPing yes to the party a few weeks ago, I checked http://www.runningintheusa.com to see if there were any races to run on the way and there was!

The Trailbreaker Half Marathon was Saturday morning in Waukesha. The weather was not supposed to be so great. When I went to bed the night before the forecast said there was an 80% chance of rain and 20 mph winds on the docket for race time. Lets just say I had about ten outfit combinations ready to go!

Ryan and I got up early and headed east. The weather was cloudy and windy, but luckily rain was no longer in the forecast. I wore my only wind repellent jacket which was great for blocking the wind that morning. Per the usual, we arrived at packet pickup and the race three minutes before the start of the race. Ryan dropped me off and headed to find a place to park and nap. With windy, cool weather and no great places to view me running by, we had decided he might as well catch up on some sleep while I ran. I hurried to get my race bib and shirt, and was still pinning on my bib when the race began. I took the shirt with me and hid it behind a column of a restroom in the nearby park when we ran by. I was disappointed to risk losing the shirt, but did not want to run with it for 13.1 miles. I hoped it would be there after the race.

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The first mile of the race I was crabby about running behind, having to hide my shirt, and not having time to get ready before the race. It was also hard to get around people because I didn’t arrive early enough to move ahead. I felt frazzled!

All that thinking and talking in my head, made the first mile fly by. The first mile took us through a park in town on some bike trails and then headed to the Glacial Drumlin Trail. A couple miles in a light rain began. I was not too disappointed by the rain because it wasn’t raining hard and it enhanced the experience by making it smell like SPRING! I’ve been soooooo looking forward to winter ending, and I’d really missed that smell. This brightened my spirits and made me forget all about being late.

mile 1-9:34

mile 2-9:10

Miles 1-2 on course.

Miles 1-2 on course.

mile 3-8:50

mile 4-8:48

Glacial Drumlin Trail

Glacial Drumlin Trail

The bike trail was fun to run on. I love being out in nature and enjoy both big city races and runs on trails away from it all. This race was perfect for letting the mind wander and enjoying outside after months of being trapped indoors (except for running). The course was an out and back route with a turnaround at mile 7. This threw me off and made me scared thinking that the race might end up being 14 miles. I pictured the course map in my head and thought I might have remembered seeing this longer out part, but it was concerning.
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mile 5-8:33

mile 6-8:34

mile 7-8:32

On the Glacial Drumlin Trail

On the Glacial Drumlin Trail

Once I’d reached the turn around point, I decided to pick up the pace a bit. I couldn’t believe how good my legs felt considering I’d felt terrible on all of my runs last week. My legs wanted to go faster which was an awesome feeling. I love how once the weather warms up it seems the legs want to go faster.

mile 8-8:19

mile 9-8:06

mile 10-8:23
I hadn’t been doing much running this past six weeks, and the runs I did go on were not long. I ran just short of 7 miles a week ago, which was my longest run since my double weekend in mid-February. I felt good considering this. I had some major muscle memory action going on. Despite this, I did start feeling tired during the last three miles. By the finish line, I was glad to be done.

mile 11-8:17

mile 12-7:59

mile 13-8:07

mile 13.1-7:24

I loved this race. The city and trails were beautiful. The packet pickup, race, aid stations, and finish were so organized and easy for runners. Running near the river and the parks were great with spring finally here.* I’d highly recommend adding this race to your spring calendar. It is always hard to find races early in spring and this one was great. They also have a full marathon which goes off the paved paths. I’d love to try that one someday. Visit http://www.runthetrailbreaker.com/ for more information!
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Trailbreaker Half Marathon
Time: 1:52:27
Pace: 8:35
Overall: 158/588
Gender: 40/329
Age Group: 18/91

The supportive husband and I.

The supportive husband and I.

*I wrote this post on Sunday after grilling out. I thought spring was here. The Weather Channel forecast has made me rescind my previous comment about spring being here. I guess the word is still out on that.