Movin’ On Up!

First things first, happy Friday! I celebrated this mild achievement (making it to Friday is always an achievement) by having a super awesome breakfast. TJ’s waffles, small smear of almond butter in between, plain Greek yogurt sweetened with honey, and warm blackberries. Good breakfasts like this always make my day better.

After I entered the blogging world back in December 2011, I never thought that I would enjoy it as much as I do. I’ve learned so much from other bloggers and I’ve discovered new blogs every week. I enjoy connecting with my readers and I continually think of ways to write interesting posts for everyone. Now, after a little over 4 months into blogging, I’ve decided to take it to the next level…

I’ve decided to move my blog over to self hosted! It was a big decision, and a somewhat costly one at that, but I think it’s what’s right. I want to grow the blog as much as I can, and I’m the type of person who doesn’t do anything half-assed. I want to be able to make my blog more tailored and customized, and the only way to do that is to by self hosting.

So as the blog is transferred over, Blonde Bostonian will down starting Saturday and will most likely be back up early next week. It will have a new design that will hopefully be cleaner, more robust, and more tailored to what I want to bring to my readers. Also, be on the look out for a recap of the Boston Marathon, the Marathon expo, and the B.A.A. 5k!!!

I promise not to be gone too long! While I’m gone, I’d like to wish the best of luck to all the people running The Boston Marathon on Monday! You guys inspire me so much and I can’t wait to cheer you all on!! If you’re running the race, let me know when you think you’ll be running through Cleveland Circle/Washington Square – that’s where I’ll be, cheering you all on! Maybe I’ll see you at the race expo on Saturday or the 5k on Sunday!

Also, I’ll be live tweeting from the Expo on Saturday, the B.A.A 5k on Sunday, and the Marathon on Monday. To get updates throughout the weekend Follow me!

Have a great weekend!

Bloggers: Any tips for self-hosting? When did you make the decision to switch over to self-hosted? Anyone running the B.A.A 5k on Sunday? My roommate Steph and I will be there!

Three Things

Thursday is here and I’m starting to see the end of the work-week tunnel!

We all experience set-backs in life, and lately I feel like I’ve experienced set-back after set-back. I hurt my foot a few weeks ago after spending a whole weekend painting. I stressed over my injury and forced myself to rest and not run, which for a runner, is a very stressful experience. I’m not a good injured person. I get frustrated, angry, and antsier than a two-year old in church. But it seemed to pay off, because I returned to running last Friday and haven’t looked back. I’ve experienced no pain during the run, after the run, and my foot usually feels better in the hours after I’m finished. I do experience a LITTLE tightness in the morning, but after walking around for a few minutes, it disappears. Yay! Looks like I’ll definitely be able to run the 5k this weekend!

After running a couple of times this past weekend, I decided to take it to the streets on Tuesday. I geared up, compression sleeves and all – I felt legit, I felt strong, I felt psyched.

Then my Garmin couldn’t get a signal. Seriously Garmin? I know it’s been a while since I’ve used you, but COME ON! After giving up with my useless technology, I said screw it and just kept going. Everything was great, but then around mile two, I had another incident; one even more annoying than the first. I’m going to spare you the details, but let’s just say my intestines hated me. I’ve had GI issues before while running, and it’s a pretty common experience that most runners have at some point in their running career. After cutting out a lot of dairy (specifically milk) from my diet, the problem was diminished drastically. But on this day, during this run, it decided to make an appearance. I ended up walking a mile home and spent the rest of the night back and forth between the bathroom. Not fun.

I felt so defeated. Why was my body acting this way? What did I eat that day that made me feel this way? Why can’t my mind and my body sync up?

Flash forward to last night. It was a new day – I was going to try this again!

I suited up, and made my way out. I waited for my Garmin to crap out on me again, but it didn’t! Signal was reached and I was on my way. It was the best 4.5 miles I’ve run in recent memory. I wanted to go slow and strong and I did! No speed intervals. No tempo or threshold run. Just plain running. I finished at a 9:12 mi/mil pace and didn’t have any GI issues! Success all around!

I can’t get down about these frustrations. In the grand scheme of life and my running career, a couple bonked runs are not a big deal. Two weeks of rest because of a funky foot is not a big deal. There are much worst things in life, and sometimes I have to remind myself of that. I was made ever more aware of that yesterday morning after finding out that they found the body of the missing BC student, Franco Garcia, floating in the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. I run around that Reservoir all the time. I’ve seen his family handing out flyers. I’ve seen the ‘Missing Student’ signs all over light posts. It breaks my heart to know that his family is going through something like this. In the days and weeks moving forward we’ll find out what happened to him, but for now, I’m thankful that everyone in my life is safe and sound. His family is in my thoughts, and I wish that you include him and his family in yours.

So on that note – today, I am thankful for many things, but three in particular are:

  1. Healed foot = 5K is a go on Sunday!
  2. I got to Skype chat yesterday with one of my best friends and old roommate from college, Gabby. She’s in Rome, Italy right now working on her Master’s in Architecture. I miss her dearly, so it was awesome to get to talk to her for a little while.
  3. The health and safety of my family and friends. Anything can happen anywhere and it’s been made more and more apparent to me lately with what happened. Hug your loved ones!

I miss you, Gabby!

Have you ever experienced GI problems on a run? Any tips for combating them? Foods to cut out? How do you deal with frustrating and disappointing runs?

WIAW #3: Veggie Couscous Mix {What I Ate Wednesday}

It’s Wednesday – happy Hump Day!

It’s also What I Ate Wednesday! Head over to Peas and Crayons to check it out! Thanks to Jen for hosting, as always!

Breakfast

Honey flavored Chobani, ground flax, blackberries, and granola; the breakfast staple.

Lunch

Lunch was a bit more exciting. As I stood in front of my open cabinets and refrigerator last night, attempting to get creative for dinner,  I came up with this recipe. I had already put two chicken breasts in the slow cooker that morning so I would have some pulled chicken for the week (I add it to salads, dinners, etc.). I thought it would be nice to make a sort of couscous salad to get my greens, chicken, and starches together in a meal.

Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potato Couscous mix

Serves 2 as a main dish, or 4 as a side dish. The chicken is always optional if you want to make it vegetarian.

ingredients:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • one can of chicken broth (preferably low sodium)
  • 1 box of couscous (I used a box of Near East garlic and olive oil pearled couscous)
  • 2 cups of brussels sprouts
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese

Chicken directions:

The morning before you make dinner, place the chicken breast in the crock pot and add enough chicken broth to cover the meat. Set to low for about 8 hours.

Dinner directions:

  • Set your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut up the sweet potato in small 1-inch chunks. Place them in a mixing bowl.
  • Trim the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half. Add them to the mixing bowl.
  • Toss the Brussels and ptotato pieces with some olive oil (enough to lightly coat) and add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Put the veggies on a sheet pan and roast for 20 minutes, tossing the veggies every 5 minutes or so while they’re in the oven.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the couscous according to the box instructions.
  • Once the couscous is finished, add the roasted veggies and mix together. Add as much or as little of the chicken as you like.
  • Then add 1-ladle of the leftover chicken broth from the crock pot. This has all the yummy chicken juices. Mix together.
  • Top it off with some parm cheese and you’re ready for dinner. Easy peasy!

Snacks

Two unpictured Samoas girl scout cookies, because I wanted something sweet and I love it when they’re frozen. I also beat off hunger between the gym and dinner with a banana.

Dinner

Bernie had three chicken breasts in his fridge that were on their last days – it was time to use them or toss them. I agreed to help him cook them, but I wanted a recipe that was a little more interesting than just plain chicken. I found a recipe for broccoli and cheese stuffed chicken on Skinny Taste. I always have broccoli in my fridge and I had some left over taco cheese, so these chickens were a little more zesty.

I can’t say enough about this recipe – it was so good! Gina never seems to let me down. I paired it with some leftover broccoli for added veggies. Only change I would make – add more cheese!

What new recipes have you tried lately? Any creative cooks in the kitchen out there – share one of your easy weekday meal recipes. I need ideas!

Travel Tuesday Takeover: Japan Prelude

Today I have some exciting news to share with you guys! Since I started the blog, Tuesdays have been all about my traveling experiences, specifically my experiences in Europe this past summer. Since I want to keep sharing traveling adventures, I decided to begin “Travel Tuesday Takeover” – guest posts from other people sharing their travel stories. So I asked my good friend Rebekah to guest post for the next few weeks. She recently returned from Japan and will be sharing her experiences every Tuesday on the blog. If you have any questions or comments for Rebekah, be sure to leave a comment (as always)! Enjoy!

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Adventures in the Land of the Rising Sun: Prelude

My boyfriend and I moderately enjoy Anthony Bourdain. We watch his shows, read his books, lust after his trips, adore his arid brand of sarcasm, and we’d like to spend a night at a bar with him. Ok, fanboys really.

Perhaps subconsciously inspired by his jet-setting life and autumn Sundays spent watching him on the tube, we decided we wanted to travel out of the country. But the proverbial trip to Europe didn’t seem to strike a chord with my other half—myself either to be honest. I have been lucky enough to visit a good number of beautiful countries in Europe, and while “been there, done that” is far from my feelings on mainland Europe, the thought of going again didn’t tickle me. Ideas were tossed around, nothing stuck.

One night, likely after a few too many beers and far too many episodes of “No Reservations,” I received an off-the-cuff text message from my boyfriend: “Let’s go to Japan.” It was half suggestion, half question—but across town I squealed and immediately began looking up flights.

He should know better.

Because with that we were off to Japan. Everyone asked, “Why Japan?” We answered, “Why not?”

Not long after, we stopped calling the trip a vacation. It became clear that we were embarking on something of an adventure—12 days, 3 cities, countless things to do and see.

For the next few Travel Tuesdays, I’ll be walking willing readers through my time (read: adventures) in Japan. What I expected, what I did not expect, what I learned, and what I got myself into.

-Rebekah

Weekend in Review: Photo Edition

Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone had a great Easter/Passover weekend! I spent this weekend doing many things including running for the first time since I injured my foot (so far, so good!), celebrating Steph’s 24th birthday, Easter at Bernie’s parents’ house, and putting a few unwanted holes in walls. Here’s some pictures from the weekend to catch you up a bit.

Photos of Easter in New York via my sister. Missed them!

My Easter in MA with Bernie:

 

How did you spend this weekend? Do anything fun? Share!

Friday Link Love

Happy Friday everyone!

Work has been busy, busy, busy and blogging has taken a back seat over the last 24 hours – so today, I leave you a couple of links that I’m loving/have come across lately for your Friday enjoyment.

1. This weekend I’m FINALLY going out! It’s my roommate’s birthday, so we’re getting gussied up and hitting the bars. It’s the first time I’ve gone out like this since January (?) and I can’t wait.

I hope it involves a lot of arm raises like this:

This gif from #whatshouldwecallme sums it up.

“When I start getting ready to go out”

2. Did you know Titanic is out in theaters in 3D?!

Did you know Titanic had an alternate ending?!?!?! WHAT?!?!

I’m so glad James Cameron didn’t use this. Talk about a horrible way to end the movie! Bernie and I always catch Titanic on TBS every now and again, and he always says, “I hate Rose! I can’t believe she threw the diamond in the water. It’s the worst movie ending ever.” But after showing this to him, I’m pretty sure he thinks the real ending is the best ending ever. Yikes – so bad.

3. Speaking of Titanic, check out this hilarious writer from Jezebel who summarizes the movie for you – so you don’t have to see it.

Happy weekend! Any fun plans for the weekend?

Boston Fever

Boston has been hit with marathon fever!

Every April, the city begins to develop a certain buzz around the famous marathon. Television channels have been running commercials about their upcoming marathon coverage, blog posts and articles are showing up in the local papers, and my neighborhood is FILLED with runners every weekend mornings.

Every year, I seem to miss the marathon for various reasons. The Boston Marathon always falls on Patriot’s Day, a Massachusetts state holiday that commemorates the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Schools are closed, city businesses are closed, and some offices are closed. When I was in college, we always had Patriot’s Day off. I always wanted to spend it by making my way to Copley Square to watch the race, but I never made it. School work, part time jobs, and other things always got in my way.

There’s something about the marathon that’s really special to the city. The marathon is such a storied race with a rich history of marathon stories – it’s the world’s oldest annual race, the challenges of Heartbreak Hill, the “scream tunnel” at Wellesley College, team Hoyt (who actually ran the New Bedford Half with me – and I saw them!!), Rosie Ruiz, and much more. It’s awe inspiring to watch the runners push themselves to the limit, both mentally and physically.

This year, my roommate Steph and I are going to watch the marathon for the first time ever! We’ll be watching from the Brookline area of the race. I feel like it’s the perfect location. The runners will have just finished going through Heartbreak Hill, and at the Brookline point of the race, they have about 4 miles left. The runners are going to need all the support that they can get – and we’re going to give it to them!

Steph and I are also running the B.A.A 5k the day before the race and will be attending the Marathon race expo. I’m super excited!! Running races always gets me super pumped about running more, and I can’t wait to be inspired to keep running.

Another story that is part of the famous Boston lore is the story of the first female runner ever to enter the marathon: Kathrine Switzer. In 1967, Kathrine entered the race using the name K.V. Switzer. Not realizing the name was that of a woman, no one noticed and Kathrine ran the race and finished. I saw this NPR quick story and video about Kathrine and learned something I had never known – she was almost physically pushed off the course by a race organizer. Check it out – it’s a pretty amazing story. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been 40 or so years since women were allowed to run marathons. It seems that women dominate at running races as much as men these days – it’s definitely an equalizing sport and I love it!

 

Are you running Boston this year or know someone who is? Would you ever want to run Boston?  Have you ever watched the marathon in person? What do you find most inspiring about running?