Apr 29, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 4/29/2013
I had vegan whole wheat pancakes topped with blueberry compote and Greek yogurt for breakfast this morning. I love making pancakes for breakfast, but I don't want to make a whole batch every time if I'm just making them for myself. The problem with pancake recipes is that they usually call for a whole egg, and the recipe serves at least 2, so it's awkward to halve the recipe. Vegan pancakes are simple to scale up or down, since I don't have to worry about using half an egg.

Apr 28, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 4/28/2013
Run- 6.75 mi
Time- 56 mins
Pace- 8:17 min/mi

I went hiking at Weldon Spring Clark Trail today. It was a beautiful hike, and it was nice to get out to the forest, especially now that green things are growing back. The hike was a loop about 5 miles long, and was pretty easy and relaxing.

It rained quite a bit the past week, so the trails were really muddy. Thank goodness for my waterproof Keens. There were a few bluffs that overlooked the Missouri River. We took a few detours to enjoy the view. Too bad it was overcast.

Every good hike needs a stream crossing. There wasn't really a shallow area to cross, and a lot of people got their shoes soaked. I hate wet feet, and I somehow managed to stay dry by sheer willpower.

Oh hey, spring happened. 

 I saw a field full of yellow flowers off to the side of the trail. I really wanted to frolick in flowers. So I did.

The field was so vibrant and yellow! It made me so happy :)

I didn't know what these plants were at the time, but I knew it was some kind of cover crop for the field. I looked it up, and it's yellow sweet clover.

The hike only took us until about 1pm, so we had lunch at the parking lot, and then headed back home. I really wanted to go for a run this weekend, so I ended up going out for a 6.75 mile run. The weather felt really good today, cloudy and cool. It's going to get a lot warmer this week.

Posted by Jo W. 4/28/2013
Crosstraining- Insanity Pure Cardio

Friday was the last day of (undergrad) classes forever. I am elated, a little sad, but mostly happy. I made it through four years of college. Now it's done. Which means, party-time ;)

The last day of classes always ends with a concert at my school. This year, the Yeasayers, Mat Kearney, and Atmosphere played. I wasn't familiar with any of these artists, but that wasn't a big deal. I go mainly for the fun of being with my friends and dancing. Let's just say a lot of day drinking was involved.

And this happened. Yes, that's a Mickey Mouse beach cake that says "Happy WILD" (Walk in Lay Down)

And some blurry pics when I remembered to take pictures only after it got too dark. I don't even know who was on stage at this point.

It was a fun night, and the next day, I just bummed in bed, got some froyo with friends, and went to a game night party. Today, I'm going on a day hike. It should be beautiful.

Apr 26, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 4/26/2013

Last night my friends and I went to Crown Candy Kitchen in Old North St. Louis. Crown Candy Kitchen is St. Louis establishment since 1913. It's a charming, old-fashioned soda fountain that's famous for their sundaes and malts. They also have homemade candy and diner food.

Decisions, decisions... Do I want a malt? or a sundae? Make that a deluxe sundae!

This corner is where the candy's at. There were chocolates, jaw breakers, licorice, chocolate covered-goodies, etc.

Going to Crown Candy Kitchen was on my "Senior year bucket list". My friends and I went just for the ice cream. I don't think I could have handled diner food + ice cream for dessert. I almost never get dessert at a restaurant, since I'm usually too full. Sad face :(

I decided on splitting a sundae with a friend, and got the Crown Sundae: Vanilla ice cream with hot fudge and caramel sauce topped with lots of buttered roasted pecans.

This was a very good decision.

Under that cloud of whipped cream was sweet, thick fudge and caramel sauce. I'm a huge fan of pecans in my ice cream. Butter roasted pecans. omg.

Two of my other friends both got chocolate malts. I might have stolen a few bites... They were huge! I don't think I've ever had a malt, before. I personally prefer eating solid ice cream with a spoon versus drinking it through a straw, so if there's ice cream on the menu, I always choose that over a milk shake.

They have this ridiculous challenge of drinking five of these malts in 30 minutes, and you get them for free. FIVE. That's 120 ounces of rich, creamy milk shake. Adam Richman from Man v Food attempted this challenge and lost. My friends couldn't even finish one. I think my belly would freeze if I drank five. Or explode. That's more likely to happen. 

Apr 25, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 4/25/2013

Run- 6.8 mi
Time- 59 mins
Pace- 8:40 min/mi

Cross train- Insanity Power and Resistance

I haven't worked out since Sunday, and just sat on my bum Monday through Wednesday. Just kidding, I just didn't have time since I was busy studying for my last orgo midterm of the semester. I took the exam last night, and now I can breath a sigh of relief (until finals in two weeks!). One more day of class left, whoo!

I don't have class today, so I had a leisurely morning. Made some whole wheat pancakes with cold-brewed iced coffee, did an Insanity workout, and went out for a 7-ish mile run around Forest Park. At first, my calves felt tight and my legs felt a bit fatigued (no sh*t, I just did Insanity), but a few miles into the run, I was feeling pretty good. I also took a Clif Shot before my run, and that really helped keep my energy levels up.

I tried the mocha flavor, with caffeine, for the first time. It was meh tasting. The taste doesn't bother me, though, and I just suck it down for the energy.

Vegan whole wheat pancakes, which I ate with a blueberry "compote". I took this picture last weekend, when I topped it with sliced banana and agave nectar. The "compote" was super easy; I just microwaved frozen blueberries with a bit of agave nectar until it's all bubbly. And boom, you've got a delicious blueberry syrup to pour atop your delicious, fluffy pancakes. 

I am eating this as I type this:

I make a huge kale salad with a bunch of different veggies every week, throw it in a Tupperware, and it keeps really well in the fridge. This one has: green kale, carrots, radishes, celery, green onion, avocado, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, roasted beets, broccoli, tossed in a homemade balsamic vinaigrette. I also made a green smoothie with cantaloupe, and orange, and kale. So much greeness, I love it. 


Apr 21, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 4/21/2013
Run- 3.7 mi tempo + 4.3 mi= 8 mi total

Run- 4 mi easy

On Saturday morning, I attended the Unity run for Boston held at Forest Park. There were actually two runs, each organized by different organizations, so it was nice to have two starting times. The earlier one was at 8am and I went to the 10 am one. I planned on running a bit before the start, so I ran about 3.7 miles about an 8 mi/min pace. Then I headed to the visitors center where people were gathering. I tried to get some friends to join me, but no such luck (10am is early for most college students, apparently), so I went alone and see anyone I recognized there. The St. Louis Track Club was even selling shirts to raise money. I didn't have money on me though, and there were only large and XL left.

There was a long line to buy the shirts. The St. Louis Track Club ended up raising $3,777.40 to contribute to the One Fund!

There was a great turn out and it was amazing to see so many people coming out to show their support. There were a few speeches, a prayer, and then we were off for a 3-ish mile loop.

The weather was perfect for the run, blue skies, a slight breeze, cool temperatures. I went at an easy pace and picked it up near the end. There were some walkers, people with strollers ( who took a group picture together, so cute!), families running with their kids. It was just fun seeing everyone run together, people who I normally see passing by on my runs.

Afterwards, I ran home, so my total miles was around 8. Then I spent the rest of my day sneezing my head off due to spring allergies.

Apr 19, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 4/19/2013
Cross training- Insanity Core Cardio and Balance

Yesterday was a very wet day. Thunderstorms woke me up early in the morning, and continued throughout the day. I had to go grocery shopping, though. I think I hauled back my body weight in groceries! I seriously buy way too much food for one person. My pantry and fridge are very well-stocked at the moment, and simple things like that make me happy :)

I also had to go to campus for a few meetings, so I donned my rain jacket and wellies, and swam walked to campus.
Trying to stay dry...

It's Friday, and I only have a week left of school! Four years of being an undergrad went by craaazayyy fast. Although it's kind of scary, getting near the end, I actually can't wait to graduate. I just need to tackle one more midterm, write a paper, and take three final exams. Then boom, I'm done. 20 more days.

This weekend, I am planning on participating in a local Unity Run to pay tribute to those who were affected by the tragedy at Boston. In St. Louis, there is a run held by the St. Louis Track Club at Forest Park Visitor's Center at 10am on Saturday. There is a ceremony and then a three-mile run.

Here is a link to the Facebook event page.

Apr 17, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 4/17/2013
I've been waiting until today to say something about the events that occurred on Marathon Monday because I simply didn't know what I say. I found out at 3:30pm on Monday, and was completely shocked, speechless. I kept praying that this wasn't an act of terror, just a gas pipe explosion, an accident. Knowing that would at least provide some solace that there wasn't an evil person out there who premeditated this. But my heart sank when I found out that it was a bomb. Although I didn't know anyone running in the marathon personally, I knew a few people that I have gotten to "know" on the internet, through their blogs. Thankfully, they were all safe.

But many weren't. I can't imagine being among those who had to experience the tragedy so close. I was thousands of miles away, and it still hurt. It hurt to see so many people's lives shattered in the milliseconds after the bomb exploded. It hurt to see members of what I consider my own community, the running community, to be attacked by a nameless enemy. It hurt to see the "Holy Grail" of running, the Boston Marathon, that so many runners aspire to, become the site of a tragedy.

Every time I see more pictures and read more articles in the news, I feel myself breaking down. I have also found a lot of encouraging words and support from running blogs, as well as an overwhelming response across the nation to help the victims in any way possible. This just proves that the goodness in the world can overpower the evil. It takes a short amount of time to destroy our sense of peace and security, but after every tragedy, we slowly rise out of the damage and find ways to heal.

"If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon." 
- Kathrine Switzer, first woman to run the Boston Marathon
Posted by Jo W. 4/17/2013
Run- 5.5 mi
Time- 48 mins
Pace- 8:43 min/mi

Cross training- Insanity Core Cardio and Balance

Apr 14, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 4/14/2013
Run- 6.75 miles
Time- 57 mins
Pace- 8:45 min/mi
Cross training- Insanity Power Cardio and Resistance

The weather was gorgeous this morning, and I ran a lap around Forest Park after doing an Insanity workout. There is a 6 mile bike path around the perimeter of the park, and that is my usual running route. I have done it many times, but haven't gotten tired of it yet! There are always many runners and bikers on the weekends.

I felt like running more when I got back home, since the weather was so nice, but my legs were pretty fatigued (Insanity is tough!) and I knew I should take it easy.

Yesterday was a rest day, and I went down to Soulard to visit the Anheuser-Busch brewery. I took the tour, since it's on my bucket list before I graduate. The tour lasted over an hour, longer than I anticipated. It was pretty fun, and the 2 free beer samples at the end was the highlight ;)

Seeing the Clydesdales was one of my favorite parts. Their stables were so fancy and clean, living the good life :D They are enormous, and adorable! 

 We learned about the steps in brewing beer, and got to see parts of the factory. The scale of production is massive.

 A view from the outside. The brewery grounds were rather pretty and there were a lot of historical buildings and such.

In the "hospitality room" at the end of the tour, we got a bag of pretzels and free beer samples. I tried 312, a wheat beer that I've never heard of. Apparently it's distributed mainly in Chicago. It was pretty drinkable and I enjoyed it. We were allowed 2 samples, but we were running short on time (and I was driving), so we left after trying one beer.

I want to go on more brewery tours while I'm in St. Louis, so I plan on visiting Schafly Bottleworks next. Schlafly is a craft brewery and produces beer on a much smaller scale than AB, only distributing it locally. I'm a big fan of their beer, and will definitely miss it when I move back to the east coast. You know what that means; I'll just have to drink as much of it as I can while I can ;)

Yea, I like beer.

Apr 12, 2013

Posted by Jo W. 4/12/2013
Run- 4.5 miles
Time- 38 mins
Pace- 8:27 min/mi

I have been running in these Puma Faas 300 shoes since last August. They were basically my only pair of running shoes, so I've logged quite a few miles in them.
I got them mostly because they were onsale, but also because they are very lightweight and more of a minimalist shoe. I loved the feel of these, and I felt quick and nimble on my feet.

I decided it was time to retire my Pumas, and I started researching for my next pair. It was so hard to decide! I knew I wanted a minimal shoe, something light, non-traditional. I went to a few running stores, tried on some shoes, didn't buy any, and just felt really indecisive. Spending ~$100 is a pretty big investment! 

At REI, I decided to try on some Merrell Road Gloves, and I immediately knew that these were the type of shoes I was looking for. They are zero drop, and only about 6oz per shoe. And they came in bright blue/green! Love<3

I ended up ordering them online and using my member discount. They arrived yesterday, and I couldn't wait to try them on! I ran 4.5 miles in them today, and really liked the feel of them. Such a good purchase, I am a happy customer :) 

I am just wondering how they will hold up on a really long run. I know I need to get used to these slowly, since they have very little cushion, and I need to rely on strong calf and feet muscles to adapt to "barefoot" running. I do tend to get a little knee pain when I increase my mileage, so I'll have to see if these cause any problems. If they do, I'll probably look for a more cushioned shoe to switch out with these as I am training for my marathon.
Posted by Jo W. 4/12/2013
So, I have ran three races in my entire life:

1) Rock n' Roll St. Louis Half Marathon (2:14)
2) Turkey Chase 10k (52:10)
3) GO! St. Louis Half Marathon (1:52:53)

It's been almost a year since I have started running consistently, and becoming obsessed with this sport. I have gone so far, from being barely able to run a mile, to running longer and longer distances. Before, a 5 mile "long run" was a great effort, and now, I consider a 4 mile run to be short.

I definitely am looking forward to running more races, so I have been planning my fall races. I took advantage of a Rock n' Roll discount, so I signed up for RnR Philly earlier this year. So I will be going to Philly on September


This was a huge decision for me.

I was looking into some races in the DC area, and I happened to check out the Marine Corps Marathon on October 27th. Registration was coming up soon, so I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to try to register for it! Last year, the race sold out in a record 2.5-something hours, so I knew that I had to be ready at 11:59:59EST sharp.

At noon, there was a mad dash to register, as thousands of hopeful marathoners tried to register for this popular race. Active.com was overloaded by all the traffic, and everyone was getting error messages. I got to the registration page a few times, entered my info even got to the page where you pay, only to get booted out. It was stressful trying to refresh the page every few seconds, watching Facebook updates on how fast the spots were being taken.

I struggled for an hour. An entire hour of sitting in front of my computer, getting more and more frustrated. I probably entered my information at least 10 times. But I got in. I REGISTERED FOR MY FIRST FULL MARATHON. I was relieved that I got in. But then it sinked it; I am going to run a full 26.2 miles! I am so excited for this, but equally scared!

I am so excited and honored to be a part of this race, and finally get to race in DC!

Posted by Jo W. 4/12/2013
I have ignored my poor blog since my last half marathon, back in October. Well, I did it again. I PR'ed in the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon this past Sunday, with a time of 1:52:53. I reached my goals of 1) a sub-2hr time and 2) beating my brother's PR

I got to the start pretty early, around 6:15am. The sun was just starting to rise. I checked my bag and walked around. It was a bit chilly, but not too bad. I was planning on doing the plastic trash bag thing, but felt that I didn't need it.

 Haha, taking a selfie by myself. I was going to meet up with a friend later in the corrals.

The weather conditions were nearly perfect. Slightly cool, just a slight breeze, partly cloudy. I had fueled pretty well, my stomach was feeling fine, but I did start feeling thirsty as I was waiting for the race to start. By the time I got to the first water station at mile 2, I was getting pretty thirsty and I knew I was slightly dehydrated. I still kept a pretty good pace, and was well under my goal pace of 8:30 min/mile.

Mile 6-8 is called Holy Hill; as the name suggests, it is the hilliest part of the course, and we receive separate times for this leg of the race. At this point, I was feeling really good and seeing my friends cheering for my at mile 7 gave me a huge boost of energy. I waved and shouted at them, with a huge grin on my face. As I was going up the hill, a man came up from behind me, and said, "if you pull me up this hill, I'll pull you up the next one". That gave me the encouragement to really push myself up the hill, even though I felt I was going too fast. I was quite flattered that he said that to me, and we huffed up the hill together. As we crested the hill, I sped ahead and lost him, as I like to take advantage of the downhill and go as fast as I can without expending extra effort.

Mile 9 was the turnaround, and that is when things turned for the worse. I was having a great race so far, and wasn't feeling too fatigued. Just before I got to the turnaround, however, I started getting a cramp on the left side of my rib cage. It started hurting so badly, I wanted to start walking. My face definitely was not pretty at this point. I didn't let myself walk, and just kept pushing through the pain. The cramp lasted for about 1 mile, and made me slow down a lot. I was just glad that my first 9 miles were faster than I anticipated, so I wasn't too worried about not making my sub-2hr goal. The pain took a lot out of me, so the last 2 miles was a real struggle. My feet were getting really hot, and I just felt low on energy. The last quarter mile or so was up hill, and I swear it seemed like someone kept moving the finish line back. When I finally made it, I was relieved to see 1:55 on the clock, so I was well below 2 hrs. It felt amazing, and I was also so relieved to finish the race! I was pretty dehydrated at that point, so I grabbed my medal, guzzled a bottle of water, two cups of gatorade, and grabbed food.

This is probably my last race in St. Louis for a long time, since I will be graduating and moving back to the east coast. I am glad to have ran my first two half marathons in this city, and I definitely would like to come back to run the GO! marathon (maybe even tackle the full...)

Celebrating a great race with my friend. Sorry I ditched you at the very beginning! Haha, I usually run alone, so I'm not very good at keeping pace with people. It's kind of stressful to have to match your pace with a partner!

I have some exciting news to share, but I'll save that for later!


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