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4th of July Traditions

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Hello all!  I hope that your mid-week vacations are off to a fun start.

This morning, Brian and I woke up nice and early.  5am to be exact.  We needed to be up and refreshed with food in our tummies to fuel us through our little 4th of July tradition.

Breakfast for me was half of a baked oatmeal mixed with some Greek yogurt, topped with raspberries, and almond butter….yum!  I let it sit in the fridge overnight so that the baked oatmeal gets nice and soggy while sitting in the Greek yogurt.

After breakfast Brian and I headed downtown to run our 2nd annual Firecracker 6 6 mile race.

Pre-race last year

We started the tradition last year, and after having such a great time training together and running together we had to make it an annual event!

Next year, this will be the day before our wedding (crazy!!!) so we plan on having all of our family members and people in the wedding party either walk or run the race with us.  I can’t wait!

Pre-Race Smiles!

We finished!

Last year, Brian and I made a point to stick together throughout the entire race, but this year Brian said that I could go off on my own 😉  He ended up finishing in under an hour (woo!) and I ended up finishing in the top 75 females with a pace of 8 minutes and 5 seconds and a finishing time of about 48 minutes…a personal best for me!

Brian and I were reading about the awards a couple of weeks ago, and when we read that the top 75 females and males each got a glass goblet, I immediately decided that was a goal that I had to strive for.  Did I mention that I am slightly competitive???

I started of in the 8 min/mile bracket, and as I ran, I kept my pace around 7 minutes and 40 seconds for the first 4.7 miles…I was completely shocked because it didn’t feel like I was going any faster than usual…but I just kept chugging along.  Needless to say, I am very happy with my results and I needed that little confidence boost!

I got a fancy goblet for finishing in the top 75!!

After the race, Brian and I decided to walk around the City Market to see the various food stands that were open.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have any money so we were just window shopping.

U-Relish Farm

As we were window shopping, I saw a cute little station with a ton of neatly packed crock pot meals.  If you are a regular reader, then you know that I have been searching for little ways to save time by preparing meals on the weekends, and even using the crock pot…I was very intrigued by this little shop.

I started talking with the shop owner, Cara, and she was so personable and knowledgable about the ingredients in her crock pot meals.  She owns the U-Relish Farm, where she creates and sells pre-packaged dehydrated meals containing fresh ingredients from her own farm that you simply pour in the crock pot, add a little water, and let the crock pot do it’s thing.  How amazing does that sound!!?

We hit it off right away, and I informed her of my little blog and that I would love to write a review of her products.  She sent me home with some goodies and I was on my way!  I can’t wait to try these little goodies out.

Now, we are at our friends’ (Caitlin and Dave) apartment for the day just hanging out…but before I have a chance to hang by the pool, I have to practice a little bit of Body Pump (and eat some snacks…meal number 2:  broccoli, hummus, egg muffins, and a quarter of a peach!)

Happy 4th of July!

What are your 4th of July traditions??

  • Growing up, we would always go camping and watch the fireworks at a large baseball field near the campground.  At the time, I hated fireworks and would spend most of the time hiding under my blankie crying….I was a really fun kid 😉  Now, I love to play a little game where we guess what color the next firework will be!  It keeps things interesting.

Cutting a Rug

Chelsea’s wedding yesterday was beautiful and amazing and I am so happy that I was able to be apart of it!

We had a great time at the reception, and we had lot’s of fun “cutting a rug.”  My partner in the wedding party said that we were going to cut up so many rugs that they would have to bring in extra.  It was funny at the time…

I had the honor of singing during the lighting of the unity candle

This would be the groom and I "cutting a rug" in a conga line

All of our high school girls back together again

Chelsea and I...Mom didn't like the posed pictures

So we decided to spice it up!


Rewind to Saturday Morning

Mom and I woke up bright and early on Saturday to get ready for the 10k Fort 4 Fitness run/walk.  We headed there around 7am so that Mom could volunteer (and get a good parking spot) and I could do a little pre-race warmup run with my running buddy that I met when I rand the Fort 4 Fitness course.

I started off really strong and actually felt like I was running faster than I usually do.  I was going strong until mile 5 when my right knee started to hurt all of a sudden on the lateral (outside) portion.  I definitely had to slow down my pace and didn’t stop running even though it hurt.  I made sure to take some anti-inflammatory medicine and ice it while we were getting our hair ready for the wedding, and I am going to make sure to rest it for another day before heading out to run again.


Brian and I slept in nice and late today…I woke up at 9:49am….that is like majorly sleeping in for me!  After packing everything up, showering, and getting ready Mom made us lunch.  Weird…I didn’t eat breakfast because I woke up so late…I always eat breakfast.

Mom told me about what she was going to make us for lunch about a week ago because she was so excited.

She put lettuce, red pepper, carrot, red onion, pepperoncini, hummus, and cucumbers on an Thomas Everything Bagel Thin.  These little sandwiches were so delicious!  I loved how the hummus complemented all of the different vegetables and the pepperoncini gave the whole sandwich a little tang.  I am going to have to replicate them sometime soon.


We then went to the Valencia Parade of Homes which is in a neighborhood that is right down the road from my parents.  Brian loves watching House Hunters and just about everything else on HGTV so this event was right up his alley.

Brian was loving this outdoor seating

Couch in my closet? Don't mind if I do!

Some of the houses seemed more like mazes, some of the decorations were not practical at all, but it was overall a great fun way to spend the afternoon!


Off to watch the premiere of the FINAL season of Desperate Housewives…I can’t believe that show started 7 years ago, I was only 15!  Time flies.



Race Day Recap


I survived my first half marathon!  And so did Lauren (my friend who did it with me).  It was a great experience and a fun accomplishment to check off the the ole to-do list.  Here is a recap of the entire day.

Yesterday, Jenna, Lauren, and I walked downtown to the Hilton Garden Inn to register for the race and pick up our t-shirts.  The shirts were so nice!  Dry-Fit long sleeved shirts…too bad it was literally 98 degrees outside today.  It will be good to have for fall though.  Since the race is women’s only, Paul Mitchell The School Indianapolis was one of the sponsors and gave out free manicures!  Of course the three of us took advantage of that.

This morning, my mom, Brian, and I all met up with Lauren bright and early so that we could walk to the race together.  We were all ready to go along with 1,998 other women.  This was the first annual Indianapolis Women’s Half Marathon, and if I were the judge, I would say it was a success.

Can you spot me in the crowd waiting to start!?

Mom and Brian waited for me at miles 4 and 12.  This was at mile 4…still going strong!

I like to make strange faces while I run…

There is Lauren!

In between mile 12 Brian gave Mom a little tour of downtown.  He showed her the Sheraton, which is our reception venue, the church we hope to get married in, and a little area with cute shops, bars, and restaurants called Mass Ave.

By mile 12, my little hand held water bottle was empty and really annoying me…so this is a picture of me tossing the bottle to Mom.

About to cross the finish line!

I ended up finishing in 2 hours and 7 minutes in 291st place overall and 26th in my age group out of 107.

Everyone got medals at the end.  I felt so accomplished at the end of the race, but for some reason as soon as I saw the finish line I wanted to cry!! I cry for a lot of silly reasons, but I have never cried at the end of a run.  As soon as I saw my Mom and Brian, the tears just started flowing.  Then, I basically shoved a banana in my face.

Brian had my Tervis full of ice water for me at the end and I literally chugged the entire thing so fast.  I never knew I could drink so much water without going to the bathroom (I am notorious for having the world’s smallest bladder).

This is my sign for 13.1…it was hard to do by myself so it looks more like 4.

They had bloody marys and mimosas waiting at the finish line too.  I usually LOVE bloody mary’s, so I was really excited to have one at the end.  Unfortunately, they tasted like straight vodka….not my cup of tea.  So, I just ate the two celery sticks out of it instead.

They also had little sandwich wraps, shrimp, and a chocolate fountain to dip strawberries in.  That strawberry tasted so amazing, and I think Brian really enjoyed the wraps and shrimp ;).

Then, Maelyn (she was a little sick so she switch to the 5K race this morning) and I spotted the massage station.  We waited in line for an hour…but it was soooo worth it!  I am only wearing one shoe in the picture because it literally felt like a knife was in my toe for about half of the race because of a callus on the bottom of my big toe.  Don’t worry, it’s better now!

I did a little pre-massage stretching.

Once I was on the table I had no idea what I even wanted done.  I just told him to work his magic, and he started rubbing on muscles that I didn’t even know were sore!

Maelyn enjoyed her massage too!

This was such a fun thing to do with friends!  I can’t wait for the next one 🙂

I then came home to eat lunch.  I had left over caprese salad from last night, cheese, veggies and dip, and unpictured trail mix.  I find that when I do these long runs, it is better for me to eat little bits throughout the day rather than one giant meal.

After lunch, I then soaked in the bath and watched the season finale from Desperate Housewives as a refresher since the season starts back up in a couple of weeks!

All in all it was an amazing experience.  I will go into more detail about my training schedule tomorrow 🙂

Firecracker 6

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Happy 4th of July!

Last night, Brian and I had every intention of going to bed early until this happened

We thought we would put in a movie to get us ready for bed, and we were both in the mood for a thriller rather than a comedy.  This movie was certainly a thriller, and had us both scared and tensed up the entire time!  After the movie, I was unable to fall asleep and tossed and turned the majority of the night which made me a little worried for the race today since I was hoping to get a full night’s rest.

I woke up bright and early and made his and hers smoothies for Brian and I before we left for our run.

We had initially planned on walking to the race start as a warmup, but it was raining!  So we put our game faces on and drove to the race.

Ready to run

Because we drove we needed a spot to put our key and our tokens for free beer afterward, so I brought along my handy-dandy spibelt!  My mom bought it for me last year when I lived in Washington DC because she thought it was safer for me to put a phone and keys in there rather than run through the city with a bunch of things in my hands.  I must say, it is so comfortable and light weight that most of the time I have to check to make sure that I still have it on.

The black thing around my waist is the discrete!

Luckily, the rain stopped by the time the race began.  I made sure to stay with Brian (it’s the least I could do for making him do this for me!) and although it was not walk in the park, all in all I think we both had a good time.  After the 6 mile run, Brian declared that he wanted to be a runner and really enjoyed training for this race together 🙂  I wonder when we will sign up for our next one!  At the end of the race they had water, bananas, EAS Myoplex, Power bar bites (not that tasty), and OREOS!  I thought the oreos were a bit weird to eat as a refuel after a long run, but that’s just me.

We finished in 58:47!!

At the end of the race they announced everyone’s name as they crossed the finish line, and they gave us all American flags to wave on the home stretch.  Very patriotic!

After resting, stretching, and walking around for a minute Brian and I went upstairs to get our free beer.  I am not much of a beer drinker, but I will say that these beers were probably the most tolerable I have tried.  Brian enjoyed them both 🙂  They were both Indiana brews, one being a lighter called “Upland Wheat” with a slightly fruity taste and the other being a darker stout that I can’t remember the name for.

After being extremely sweaty, we both thought it would be a good idea to come home and shower before partaking in any other 4th of July Festivities.  We also refueled with a yummy and nutritious lunch.  I had salad with Boston lettuce, broccoli, carrots, artichoke hearts, and topped with a homemade salsa recipe that I made for when some friends come over tonight for the fireworks.  Don’t worry, I’ll share that recipe later.  I also had a date bar for dessert 😉

Hope you are all having a happy happy 4th!