Monday, June 27, 2011


Since half-marathon training begins next week (eeeee!), I've started writing down my work out goals for each week. Last week was the first, and it was a success!

I wanted to make sure that I was on track for my first training long run, so I've been building back up the running mileage/routine since I've been focusing on strength training this past month.

My first training long run will be 8 miles, so even though I consistently run 4 miles as my go-to run, I chose 5 miles as Sunday's long run.

I woke up at 7am on a Sunday, which at first felt awful, but as I previously mentioned, was worth every lost minute of sleep.

Here's how last week's goals panned out:
Monday: 3.8 miles
Tuesday: HEAT Beach Body (60 min. intervals + strength training)
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: HEAT (60 min. intervals + strength training) + 4 miles
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 2.3 miles intervals + jog
Sunday: 5 miles + HEAT

Total = 22.63 miles + 3 hrs strength training

Sweeeeeet. No wonder my body is hurting today. Three days of strength at HEAT Studios is the ultimate success in my book for last week. It's such a kick-butt workout that involves sprinting on the treadmill mixed with strength training in 60 minutes. Results produce quickly with that kind of workout. I feel so much stronger since I've incorporated more strength training into my routine, and thankfully, it actually does reward with some toning.

Tonight was supposed to be 3 miles with the nOg Run club, but work kept me late and I wasn't able to make it. Tear face.

My shins could use a break as it is, so I'm going to substitute the run with 3 miles on the elliptical. Not my favorite machine, but once I turn on my '80s Pandora station, it will be all good!

How are you preparing for fall races? Do you feel like you're training to train?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Funday

Or maybe more like Sunday Exercise day.

I woke up this morning around 7am for my long run of the week...5 miles.

Even at 7am it was still about 71 degrees. It felt cool, but I was still wiping sweat out of my eyes for over half the run.

But it was so worth it because it turned out to be a great run! My strategy lately for running has been to take my Garmin with me, but not look at my pace until after I finish the run. I do this for a couple reasons: I'm hard on myself if I see a pace that in my mind feels slower than I'm running or I'm hard on myself to run faster. By not looking at the watch, I can run based on how my body feels and then after the run, look at how I did.

The funny thing is that when I don't look at my watch, I'm consistent in my pace and feel like I actually run better. I usually always run the first mile as a warmup, which ends up being 10ish minutes (usually 10:10) and then after that I run a consistent 9:20ish (give or take) pace.

However, this morning, I thought my legs were moving the same 10:10 pace in the first mile, but actually did 9:49. Then, instead of the usual 9:20ish pace, I ran a 9:19, 9:15, 9:12, 8:57! Average pace = 9:18. Yayyy!!

I gueesssssss that was worth waking up early for :)

I was contemplating during my run if I was actually going to attend the 60 minute HEAT class (intervals and strength training) after my run and ended up doing it! It was just as sweaty as it always is...and by 10:30am on a Sunday, I completed almost two hours of intense working out. Great way to end the week!

Also, I'm happy to announce that I am a proud mamma to my first babies....a tomato plant and basil plant!

I found them a nice sunny spot by my patio.

The basil smells amazinggggggg...

And I'm loving my darling baby tomatoes.

Can't wait for those lil pups to turn into some big, juicy, red tomatoes. I'll be watering them every day after work :)

Now I need a delicious basil recipe. I thought about making pesto but kinda want to make something that doesn't involve pasta. I found a couple delicious looking recipes for either Baked Zucchini and Basil or a Lemon Basil Pork recipe. Decisions, decisions!

What are your thoughts. How do you use your basil?? Any favorite recipes? Anything a newbie like me should know?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Perfect Saturday Morning

I've been waiting alllll week for this morning.

And it went just as planned.

- Sleep in until I felt ready to get up.
- Make my sweetie breakfast.
- Be lazy.

Check. Check. and Check.

Sleeping in lasted until 9:30ish am. It felt perfect. While the honey slept, I snuck out to the grocery store to make breakfast.

I love cooking in my kitchen...

Especially when I have a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my main squeeze...

Then to top it off...I served delicious blueberry pancakes in bed :)

I love, love, LOVED these! They're actually whole wheat blueberry pancakes with only 178 calories for 2 pancakes. Add sugar free syrup and it's right around 200ish. Yummmmmm! I found this recipe at Gina's Skinny Recipes website.

Here's her directions:

Basic Whole Wheat Pancake Recipe

Nutrition Facts:
Servings: 4 • Size: 2 pancakes
Calories: 178.4 • Fat: 3.4 g • Carbs: 29.1 g • Fiber: 3.7 g • Protein: 9.1 g

* 1 cup whole wheat flour
* 2 tsp baking powder
* 1/4 tsp salt
* 1 cup 1% milk
* 3 large egg whites
* 2 tsp oil
* 1 tbsp sugar or honey
* 1/4 tsp cinnamon
* 1 tsp vanilla
* butter flavor cooking spray

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add wet ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix well with a spoon until there are no more dry spots. Don't over-mix.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Spray oil to lightly coat and pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter. When the pancake starts to bubble, you may add your fruit if you wish. When the bubbles settle and the edges begin to set, flip the pancakes. Repeat with the remainder of the batter.


I could taste a hint of the cinnamon in the pancake batter but not so much after they were made. I think next time I'll add some more cinnamon for an extra touch ;)

I feel really antsy to work up some kind of sweat today since yesterday was my rest day. I'm on track to finish my 15+ running miles for the week tomorrow. I've completed my two strength training classes and really all I should do is rest...but I think I'm going to at least fit in a short run or some interval training.

Self posted a strength and interval workout from Tone It Up and I think I'm just going to do the interval part :)

It's 18 minutes of interval training which consists of speed walking for 2 minutes and then 1 minute of sprinting. Repeat 5 times.

The fact that it's only 18 minutes makes me feel like I have to do it. Soooooo I guess I'm off to do that now! Then it's poolside for some vitamin D....while wearing 30 SPF :)

How are you enjoying your weekend? Ever feel like you should rest but really want to workout?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Secret Pleasure

Sooooo I know I'm not married or engaged, BUT I have this little guilty pleasure....which is to look through wedding photography blogs :)

I guess it's not really a secret anymore since I'm telling you this, but I just can't help but share one photographer's blog with you. Her name is Lucy Parker and her blog is called Photography for Happy People. I guess I was destined to like it since my blog is after all Smiles from I guess that makes me a happy person :)

I met Lucy briefly at my friend Caroline's wedding last August, and I've stalked her blog ever since because her engagement photos and wedding photos were that spectacular. Please check out her bridal and wedding shots. They're breathtaking.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures from Lucy:

I love the way she's so creative with her photographs. She has a way of capturing intimate moments in such a precious light.

So even though I'm still "single", I guess I know who I'll be calling once the wedding bells start ringing ;)

What about you...are there any blogs that you love to sift through as guilty pleasure?

Monday, June 20, 2011


“Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous.”
- Sex and the City

I am one happy girl. I'm not sure if it's because my endorphins are bouncing off the wall after my steamy run or if it's because I'm that happy with where I'm at in life.

I can't help but feel that the only reason to explain this happiness is because I've put myself first, loved myself for who I am, and in turn have been surrounded by the things that make me happy.

This road to happiness hasn't been easy. I had to follow my heart based on what felt right or more often what didn't feel right. I left my first job out of college for one that brings true satisfaction and enjoyment. I've put myself first by feeding my body the right way and in turn letting it run it's little heart out because after all we are "Born to Run" as McDougall says.

One of the greatest relationships outside of family, boyfriend and friends is the one I have with myself. I get to have this relationship every day because I make the time for me. Every time I run, I'm having a conversation with myself in my head whether it's about the day, life or how I just need to grunt out what I think is misery. But in the end, I'm always so happy. I may not have had the best run, but afterward, I seem to forget that I had "lead legs" and am just so happy I did something I didn't think I could finish at the time.

One of my favorite motivators during a run is to look down at my running shoes (usually during a tough hill) and see my feet moving, which somehow inspires me to keep going. I love looking at my used to be hot pink shoe bright teal blue...and thinking..."I got this." I love feeling like I can't take one more more quarter mile...and then finishing...and feeling like you're on top of the world.

Running in itself is an amazing relationship. Who else would I wake up for on a consistent basis at 5am for? Who else would I sweat and groan for during 90 degree weather?

I once read about one woman's tip for always getting her exercise in, which is to treat it like a date. If she makes plans with her treadmill that evening and then somebody wants to get dinner, she'd say well first I have to run and then maybe after. She said, "I wouldn't cancel a date with a friend, so why should I cancel a date with my treadmill?"

I've really taken this to heart because this has helped me form a strong, consistent relationship with running. If I plan to run 3 miles that day, than someone is going to have to wait 30 minutes.

Overall, me and my new Brooks are one happy couple right now :)

In the spirit of loving myself, here's some quotes from my favorite book, "When I Loved Myself Enough."

"When I loved myself enough, I quit settling for too little."

"When I loved myself enough, I came to know my own goodness."

"When I loved myself enough, I redefined success, and life became simple. Oh, the pleasure in that."

"When I loved myself enough, I learned to meet my own needs and not call it selfish."

How do you put yourself first? What makes you feel on top of the world with life?

Smile of the day:
My sister has started her own blog and it's already AWESOME!!!!! She's vegan so I'm excited to see what interesting/exciting recipes she shares plus she loves exercise and is super interesting! Check her out...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I'm Alive!

Soooooooooo I haven't been the most dedicated blogger lately...if you haven't noticed...but I'm back. Or will try to be :)

What have I been doing with all my free time?

Hmmm... Cooking...

(Yes that is a paper plate in the above picture. We were at the beach and trying to cut down on washing plates by hand. Classy.)

Love the cake pops I made for Justin's graduation! I was so excited to finally have the chance to make them.

Speaking of Justin's graduation...I was busy with both his and my sister's graduations in May. How exciting!

Justin's Graduation Cocktail!

Congrats baby sister!!

I've also been staying busy with my exercise routine, which lately has consisted of less running, but more strength training. Eeeee! I gave Jillian Michaels a shot with her Ripped in 30 dvd, which was awesome. I loved how it was only 30 minutes and flew by thanks to the intensity of it. I managed to fit running in to my routine, but it's been a little sporadic lately.

Now that it's almost time to start training for my fall half-marathons, I'm switching gears and going to maintain strength training for 2 days at week at HEAT Studios and then run 4 days a week. The plan for now is to maintain at least 15 to 20ish miles a week. I know that seems kind of low, but it's not training season just yet :)

I've also started going to a local running club that meets every Monday night with my running buddy Stacey. So excited!

The nOg Run Club is located downtown and has an average of 200 to 300 people attend every Monday. Afterward, there's $1 beer and $1 pasta. Yum!

So that is the plan and kind of everything I've been up to :) I love staying busy! Now I'm off to clean the apartment and maybe catch some rays by the pool.

How are you spending your week and weekends? What's your weekly workout routine?