My High Flying Life

As I am sitting in the Pittsburgh airport for the umteenth time this year, it’s safe to say that over the past 10 months, I have been on more planes than I had previously over my entire life!

Beautiful clouds outside of my window!

Getting close to Houston in August

I have spent countless hours at the airport pulling out my laptop and Bluetooth. I really never thought I would be one of those people, let alone at the age of 23/24! Sometimes I get funny looks from people, I’m pretty sure it’s because they think I couldn’t be older than 18. {Oh well, when I’m 40, I’ll look 35! Or at least I’m hoping that how this works :)} Needless to say, it has been a busy, fun, high flying year! Here are my flight stats to date:

January
– Fly to Pittsburgh {one way for the move}
– Fly to Houston for Aarmco Half Marathon
February
– Fly to Houston for work Sales Conference
– Fly to Orlando for Disney Princesses Half Marathon
March
– NO FLIGHTS!
April
– Fly to Houston for work
May
– Fly to Houston for Nikki’s shower and Emily’s ring ceremony
June
– Fly to Houston for Alison’s bachelorette party
– Fly to Chicago for cousin Nick’s wedding
July
– July to Houston for Alison and Philip’s wedding and CRUISE!
August
Fly to Las Vegas for Kate’s birthday
– Fly to Houston for work
September
– Fly to Chicago for Packers game!!!
October
– NO FLIGHTS {Unless you count the fact that I’m flying home from Chicago on October 3rd}
November (Planned)
– Fly to San Antonio for Rock ‘n Roll San Antonio Half Marathon
– Fly to Houston for Thanksgiving, house hunting and Travis and Hanna Jo’s wedding
December (Planned)
– Fly to Houston for Christmas

Whew, it wears me out just thinking about all of these flights. I’ve officially become an expert at packing, making it through the security check line and navigating airports everywhere! I will say, being a savvy flier really isn’t a bad thing. I’m even looking forward to my lunch time flight today! I’ll spend the afternoon working at Chicago Midway waiting for Daddy and Matt to get in about 4 hours after me! Can’t wait to see my dad and brother as well as the Sycamore, IL Timmer family! Then we’re headed up to Green Bay on Saturday and Packers game on Sunday! It’s going to be a busy and fun filled weekend. Recap to come on Monday!

Until next time…
With love and God bless,

Pumpkin Cookie Heaven

Fall brings: Changing leaves, pumpkins, Halloween, pumpkin muffins, rustic colors, Pumpkin Spice Lattes, cooler temps, pumpkin cookies, boots, pumpkin bread, Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie, warm sweaters, pumpkin…noticing a trend? The start of fall is the start of everything PUMPKIN! You know you’re on the pumpkin craze! I’m proud to say that I’ve still only had one pumpkin spice latte {I’m trying to pace myself so I don’t get sick of them!}, but I did buy pumpkin spice coffee creamer and it is amazing {and fewer calories}.
I will admit, I have jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon. However, I have always loved everything pumpkin, so I have no shame 🙂 This week I have a new healthy pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe for everyone to enjoy!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup Splenda sugar blend {Increase to 1 cup if using regular white sugar}
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Directions
    1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, apple sauce, milk and egg white.
    2. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
    3. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
    4. Add in vanilla and chocolate chips.
    5. Drop spoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes until the bottoms are firm and a light brown color.
    6. Eat and Enjoy! {You should probably let them cool down first so you don’t burn your tonge!
    I know there are a million other recipes out there, but I promise this one is completely worth a shot! And come on…they’re healthy! They have a fluffier, cake like consistency and taste like fall!
    Take a look below at some other yummy pumpkin flavored goodies to enjoy during this amazing season of change! 
     

    Recipe

    

    Pumpkin Pie Snickerdoodle Bars: Recipe

    Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins: Recipe

    Nutella Pumpkin Bread: Recipe

    I’m heading up to Green Bay, WI tomorrow and will be spending a good chunk of time at the airport! Maybe I’ll get a post in while I’m hanging out at Chicago Midway 🙂

    Until next time…
    With love and God bless,

    What I’m Loving Wednesday: Birthday Edition

    Happy, happy Wednesday! I generally love Wednesdays of every week, but I’m not going to lie, this one is my favorite because, it’s my BIRTHDAY!!! In honor of the day of my birthday 24 years ago, I’m going to do a Birthday Edition of What I’m Loving Wednesday! I’ll show you some of the awesome gifts and cards I’ve received from friends and family as well as what I plan to purchase with my birthday cash!!! So, now I’m linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I’m loving Wednesday!

    I’m loving this awesome birthday card from Mommy and Daddy Gougler!

    Front

    Inside: how funny is that?!?

    I’m loving the most amazing gift from my wonderful husband! I’ve been wanting this for over a year now!

    Opening my big present from JP!

    Just what I always wanted!!! A pink Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer!!!

    Love, love, LOVE! New recipe posts coming soon!

     I’m loving  this delicious new Coach perfume from Andrea! It smells amazing and it’s PINK!
    

      I’m loving the work out gear that Nikki bought me! These are the CUTEST workout pants from Victoria’s Secret! Pink lace waist fold over yoga pants and it says PINK on the back in sequins! These also came with a matching bra top and water bottle. Nikki, you know me too well!
    

      I’m loving the fact that I’m going to buy my very 1st pair of real UGGs with my birthday money from Mommy and Daddy Gougler! I live up north and I’m about to endure another winter, so these are perfect!

    

    
    I’m loving these Tory Burch flats. I’ve been wanting some for a while now. You can dress them up or down. Wear them to work or out. I mean how versatile can you get? These will be joining my closet shortly.

    I have been dying for a pair of these!

    I’m loving this Reese’s Blizzard cake! After 5 days, it’s over half way gone…ooops. I’ve had some friends to share it with though 🙂

    Mmmm…Reese’s Blizzard Cake!

     
    I’m loving that I’ll be at the Packers vs. Broncos this Sunday in Green Bay! Can’t wait to be there with my daddy and brother, Matt!

    

    I’m loving a few things on Pinterest! Okay, more than a few, but here are just some of my DIY obsessions that I intend to recreate as soon as I find some free time!
    Love this frame!

    This is a great idea! I would do mine in red, yellow and brown to match my kitchen. It would help so much with meal planning and grocery shopping!

    Beautiful!

     Most of all, I’m loving ALL of my friends and family that have supported me over the past 24 years of my life! I am so thankful and blessed to have y’all. Thanks for making every year better and better!

    Now that I have officially bombarded you with pictures, I hope that you have a wonderful Wednesday. Remember to focus on the things and ones you love, even when life is getting you down. As silly as it seems, posting about this every week has really helped me to keep a positive outlook even when things are keeping me down! There are always people out there who love you to pieces and hopefully things will make you smile!

    What are you loving this Wednesday?
    Until next time…
    With love and God bless,

    Speechless

    Ever have those days when you just don’t know what to say? You have a lot on your mind, but you just feel kind of off? Today is one of those days. Things have been interesting lately. So since I really don’t have much to say, I thought I would entertain everyone with some of the latest pictures of Miss Maggie. She always knows how to make me smile when I’m feeling a little funky! I hope she can make you smile too! {Warning: these are mostly iPhone pics! My camera was out of commission for a while!}

    She likes to get really close to the camera

    She wishes that she could sit in my lap when I’m working

    Inside out ears and alien eyes!

    Rub my belly please!!!

    Doesn’t look like she wants to take a picture with her momma.

    Okay, I took a picture. Can I have a treat now?

    Baby girl is getting sleepy
    So serious yet so funny

    I hope everyone is having a great Tuesday. I’m hoping a trip to the gym after work and maybe some shopping to follow will shake me out of my funk!

    What makes you smile when you’re feeling off?

    Until next time…
    With love and God bless,

    Friday, Saturday and Sunday Things

    Hello friends! Here we are again, another Monday has found us and another weekend has passed. Each weekend truly does get shorter and shorter! It makes you wonder where the time goes. Not to mention…IT’S ALMOST OCTOBER! How did that happen? September has pretty much come and gone and here we are heading quickly into holiday season. Anywho, enough rambling. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! This weekend was an interesting one for me. It was full of emotions, fun events, laying around, football and fun with friends!

    Friday evening JP and I went out to a nice dinner. We were hoping to use our free lettuce wrap coupon at P.F.Changs, but when we got there at 6:30 p.m. there was an hour and a half wait! No thank you. We decided to have some yummy Italian food {which is amazing in Pittsburgh} and headed to BRAVO! I enjoyed the grilled salmon and JP had chicken parmigiana. We also both enjoyed a glass of wine to help us wind down from the busy week. After dinner, we went back home where Maria and Matt met up with us for birthday cake and a drink before we headed to Carson Street to celebrate my birthday! We had a great time and met up with a bunch of friends!

    Ready for a night out!

    Maria – My best friend in Pittsburgh!!!

    With Julie and Maria!

    Julie, Kelly, Maria, me and Cara! It was smokey in there from a fog machine! Better than cigarette smoke!

    Cara, Maria, JP and Matt! Love my friends!

    With Matt and Maria once we got home. JP was an awesome DD for my birthday celebration!

    Love my hubs 🙂

    Saturday was a little rough. I’ll admit, I don’t go out much anymore. Pretty much never. A drink or two when going out to dinner or a glass of wine in the evening is really about it these days. Needless to say, after my birthday celebration, Saturday was rough. I was determined to face the day and started by making these delicious cinnamon roll pancakes for breakfast!

    Just starting to cook!

    Pretty swirl!

    Taken from Pinterest. Recipe found here!

    Breakfast was followed by watching some college game day on the couch {wishing it had been in College Station}. Since I had a 3 miler on my training schedule, I was determined to get out to the trail and conquer what should have been a quick and easy run. It was not particularly quick and it was far from easy. A solid combination of going out Friday night plus sore, jello legs from Thursday’s killer Body Works class made for a challenging workout. My legs didn’t want to go and my tummy was doing back handsprings, but I pushed through and felt okay after about 2.5 miles 🙂 Later Saturday afternoon, JP and I ventured out to a new side of town to meet up with the Pittsburgh A&M Club to watch the A&M vs. Oklahoma State game! As most of us know, this did not end so well for the Ags even after a stellar first half. We were bummed about the loss, but JP was well behaved and didn’t yell or curse {probably only because of the little kids but I’ll take it!} We met a lot of fun people and it looks like we’ve made some new friends.

    Go Aggies!

    There were about 20 people there at once! Since we’re about 1,350 miles away from College Station, I would say that is impressive!

    Once we made it back home it was a little after 8:00 p.m. and by 9:30 p.m., JP and I were in bed. I had been an emotionally and physically exhausting day for many, many reasons and our bodies just needed to rest.

    Going to bed early worked out for me because when my alarm went off Sunday morning at 6:30a.m., I was ready to hit the trail and knock out my 7 miler. You can read more about that here! My morning run was followed by flag football with my friends! We have such a fun and energetic team. JP and I look forward to it now on Sunday mornings! This was our third game of the season and our 2nd win! It was a close game finishing at 19-18. I love winning 🙂 Hopefully I’ll be able to get my camera out there and take some action shots sooner or later! After football, JP and I actually had an afternoon tee time to use a Groupon for 18 holes of golf at a Pittsburgh country club. I wasn’t feeling mentally prepared to golf this weekend, so we decided to postpone the outing to mid-October. My friend Matt said that I should still be okay {temperature wise} and that October is still golfing season up here. Can you tell that I’m getting worried and trying to prepare myself for dropping temperatures? Since we didn’t golf, we spent the rest of the day watching football {GO PACKERS!!!}, baking and heading to Matt’s to watch the Steelers game.

    All in all, I would say that it was a good weekend. There was a lot going on to keep me pretty busy which is what I needed! I’m REALLY looking forward to next weekend because Dad, Matt {youngest brother} and I are heading up north to Green Bay to watch the Packers take on the Broncos!!! Coolest birthday present ever 🙂 Do you have any fun trips coming up this fall? What’s your favorite football team {college or pro}?

    Until next time..
    With love and God bless,

    Sunday Run Day: Understanding Your Feet

    Happy first Sunday of fall everyone! Fall is the best time for running and I’m looking forward to sleeping in a little bit longer and still enjoying great running temps!

    This morning I jumped out of bed at 6:30 a.m. ready to go for a nice 7 miler. This was a much needed run for me. I started my run with a heavy heart and a lot on my mind. It was nice to have the hour for mediation and to think things through. So much has been going on in my life the past week and it’s nice to have running as a release. This is one reason why I love it so much! The first half of my run was a little bit challenging due to sore quads, but I picked up the pace the second half and finished my 7 miles in 59:03. Not too shabby I must say!

    So today’s topic is about understanding your feet. It’s really important to know how high {or low} your arches are as well as how much you pronate…or don’t pronate.

    Source

    Pronation is the rotational movement of the foot at the subtalar joint. Normal pronation is when the foot rolls inward by about 15% which is the ideal amount of pronation for your joints. This allows your entire foot to come in contact with the ground and has the optimal amount of dispersed impact. Overpronation is when the foot rolls inward more than 15%. This causes you to land on the front of your foot where you would then push off using primarily your big toe and second toe. It’s usually common for flat-footed runners to overpronate {unless you’re me of course}.  Under-pronation is when the outside of your heel strikes the ground, your foot rotates less than 15% and your outside toes are doing the most work. Want to know what types of shoes to buy for your foot type and pronation level? Take a look at this Runner’s World article, Pronation Explained!

    Last weekend at the RnR Philly Race Expo, I did an alignment test with Aline. Aline is an insole that corrects the positioning of your foot and allows it to function at your optimum level while reducing wear and tear on your body. Follow the link to learn more! Before going into the alignment test, I knew that I had high arches and that my feet were a bit messed up. During the alignment, I realized just how bad it was! I wish that I had pictures! For the test, you put your foot between these two metal rods. You ankle is supposed to fall down the middle when bending your knees. My left ankle rolled in a little and was slightly over the desired amount of pronation. However, my right foot was a hot mess! My inside ankle bone actually touched the metal rod. Like I said before, I have high arches which would usually mean that I would under-pronate. However, my outer quads are significantly stronger than my inner thighs causing my foot to roll in…severely. I had been talking to JP about getting an alignment test done, so the one at the expo was incredibly convenient!

    I ended up buying the insoles and have been trying them out this week. First, I just started out walking around in them. Then I did a 3 miler yesterday and I wore then again on my 7 miler today! So far, so good. As of right now, my feet are a little sore and it’s going to take some more getting used to, but I know that in the future this is going to be the best thing for me. Having you feet properly aligned helps the wear and tear on your body and prevents injury. Now that my alignment is more ideal, my feet will strike the ground at the proper angel with the right amount of force which will help my knees, hips and legs over all. I also now know that I need to work on my inner thigh strength. Once I get this back up to normal, my foot strike will also improve.

    Do you know how high or low your arches are? Have you had an alignment test to determine your pronation? You can have alignment test done at running specialty stores, race expos and some shoe stores as well! I highly recommend having a test done to make sure your protecting your body. The better your form, the longer you’ll be able to run {distance and age!}. Also, let me know what you think! Are we liking these topics? Yay, nay? I would love some new post ideas!

    Sources:
    Runner’s World: Pronation, Explained
    Wikipedia: Foot type
    Natural Running Center: Pronation and Supination

    Until next time…
    With love and God bless,

    I Dig Your Blog Award

    Lia Joy at Life is aMAYESing was super sweet and honored me with my FIRST ever blogging award! I am very excited and honored! I didn’t even know these existed, but it’s great recognized and even better to know that people are out there and they enjoy my ramblings! Be sure to check out Lia Joy’s blog!  🙂

    Here are the rules for the award:

    Thank the person who gave you the award.

    Thank you so much LJ!!
    Lia Joy {the beautiful bride} and I at her wedding August 2010!
    Share three random facts about yourself.

    1. I married the love of my life in April 2010. We actually met in February 2006 {I was 18 and he was 19} when we were chosen as fish camp counselors in the same camp. For all you non-Aggies out there, fish camp is a freshman orientation program that introduces our newest Aggies to A&M traditions, new friends and mentors! JP and I started out just as good friends. While we were both struggling with relationship issues, we were there for each other and quickly became best friends. We started dating in October and made it official November 14th. Two years later, he proposed to me at the location of our first date and the rest is history! I am beyond blessed to have him in my life. While dating,we had our ups and downs especially since we started dating so young! We have taught each other so much over the past 5 years and I’m so thankful that we have grown together and are in the place we are now.
    2. I have done dance, gymnastics or cheerleading since I was able to walk! As a toddler, my mom enrolled me in dance and gymnastics to help me with my social skills and coordination. I did dance and tumbling until I was in 6th grade when I switched over to cheerleading full time. I cheered competitively for a team called Victory Vipers through 11th grade. My sophomore through senior years in high school I also cheered for my high school team. We also competed competitively and we got to go to Disney World for nationals my senior year! I also cheered in college for A&M’s competitive cheerleading squad that few people even know about! I stayed with the squad my first two years of college before school and other activities took me away from the squad. Though I wasn’t cheering anymore, I stayed with my passion and taught preschool gymnastics at Brazos Valley Gymnastics. The gym became my family in College Station!
    After Vipers cheer camp summer before 6th grade!
    Victory Vipers Cheer 8th Grade 
    Stephen F. Austin High School cheer 11th grade

    Mid-full during high school cheer competition 10th grade

    3. 
    I broke my arm in 5th grade while roller blading in my cul-de-sac with all of the other kids in my neighborhood. I broke both my ulna and my radius {both bones in your forearm}. One bone came through my skin and the other one completely shattered. I had to have a metal plate and 6 screws in my arm in order for it to stay together! The metal was removed in 6th grade, but to this day, you can still feel the holes in my bone!
    Pass it on to five other bloggers.


    Lauren at Fun, Fit and Fabulous

    Andrea at Suite. Play. Grub.

    Tricia at The Keierbeler Characters

    Erin at Erin’s Crawfish Tales

    Meg at Henning Love

    Thanks again Lia Joy!!! I hope everyone is having an amazing weekend! Plus it’s the first weekend of fall! I’m off to play flag football, but check back later today for this Sunday’s edition of Sunday Run Day 🙂
    Until next time…
    With love and God bless,

    The City of Brotherly Love

    I considered this trip to Philadelphia my first though this is not true. I actually lived in the Philly suburbs near Valley Forge when I was little. Mom said that she used to take me downtown to play at the historic parks; however, sadly, I was too young to remember this. Due to make lack of memory, I have dubbed last weekend my first trip to Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love.

    The weekend started on Thursday night when Andrea’s flight arrived in Pittsburgh around 10:00 pm. I would like to point out that this is probably the ONLY flight that has not been changed, postponed or cancelled when Andrea has tried to come see me! Let’s just say we saw this as a good sign that we had an awesome weekend ahead of us! Friday was a crazy day. I still had to work and I was completely SWAMPED!!! I’m pretty sure the phone didn’t leave my ear {okay I really had on a headset, but you get the picture} for at least 4 hours straight! Luckily, I was able to get everything taken care of and JP made it home early so we were able to get on the road by 3:00 pm.Thank goodness because we had a long drive ahead of us!

    Pretty much straight across the state! People tend to forget how big Pennsylvania is since it’s in the Northeast! That blue line represents 315 miles!

    Needless to say, the trip was a LONG one! Luckily for me, a package made it to my front door before we left and it happened to be one of my birthday presents. JP decided to give it to me early since it would be perfect for a long car ride. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Lambou Cheese.

    Yes, he is a Green Bay Packers pillow pet!

    Checking out the road ahead!

    When I first saw him, I got so excited and I said, “I love him! And I will call him…Cheese.” Andrea and JP immediately were wondering what I was smoking. I clearly need a filter…or a faster thinking brain, I can’t decide which. In my head it made sense since Packer fans are called Cheeseheads. Well, I don’t like cheese. Seriously, I don’t so this name was silly. I immediately retracted my statement and renamed him Lambou. Well, since my two best friends love to remind me of dumb things I say, the name Cheese stuck and we referred to him as Lambou Cheese the rest of the weekend.

    And we’re off!!!!

    Anne chillin’ in the backseat!

    Me and Lambou Cheese playing navigator for JP!

    The trip ended up being a blast. We stopped about 4 times, once for gas, once for dinner and 2 other potty breaks. We decided that we were in no rush to get there and took our time, so we even decided to grab a nice sit down dinner to get out of the car. This was especially nice for JP since he drove the whole way.

    We made it to Philly around 9:30 pm. This meant that we were on the road for about 6.5 hours, but at least 45 minutes of that was spent at the restaurant for dinner. Once we got our rooms, we all hung out for a little while watching movies on t.v. until Andrea and I were pretty much falling asleep. We had a long weekend ahead of us, so we weren’t against going to bed at 11pm on a Friday 🙂

    Saturday we woke up and had breakfast in the lobby. I love Hampton Inn free breakfast! We all had super yummy waffles and our tummies were satisfied. Once we finished getting ready, we headed downtown (we stayed out by the airport) to go to the expo!!!

    We’re ready to Rock ‘n Roll!

    I saw this mirror and about died laughing. It clearly needed a picture!

    We got to play ski ball! Obviously not us though. We played against each other. JP and I suck.

    I love Andrea’s awesome awkward face 🙂

    The expo was so much fun and we got lots of freebies and some future race ideas! I always love wandering around race expos; they get me super pumped about running! I also did an alignment test and bought some insoles for my shoes! I pronate…bad…due to my high arches. I’m testing out the insoles right now and I’ll update y’all on how I like them and talk a bit about pronating in my Sunday Run Day post this week! I promise it will be interesting 🙂

    After the expo, it was time to wander around town. Since we parked in a garage and were good to go all day, we walked all around town!

    And we’re off to explore the city!

    We stumbled upon an amazing market where I picked up some fresh bananas for my pre-race breakfast!

    Liberty Hall!

    The Liberty Bell! We viewed it from outside it’s little home because we didn’t feel like waiting in line just to get a little bit closer…the line was LONG

    Anne and I posing in front of some statue lookin’ pretty 🙂

    Then we headed towards the Tomb of the Unknown Solider

    Tomb and the Eternal Flame

    Cool skyline pic from inside the city itself!

    The famous LOVE sign! JP was too tall to fit underneath 🙂

    L.O.V.E. my best frannn!!! We fit just fine 🙂

    The city itself is just so neat and so…old. There are tons of beautiful parks and historical buildings. If we had more time and didn’t need to rest out feet (we were running 13.1 miles the following day), then we would have waited and done some of the tours, but our true mission was to run!

    We found our car after exploring most of the city and headed back to our hotel to rest our feet. Luckily it was Saturday, so we were able to chill and watch an hour of college football before heading out to dinner! Lucky for us there was a Ruby Tuesday within walking distance from our hotel. Now Ruby Tuesday isn’t somewhere that I usually pick to dine, in fact, prior to this weekend, I honestly don’t remember the last time I went. This will now change because the food was delish! I would also like to point out that they include nutritional information right there on their menu, so you know what you’re getting yourself into before you put your fork in your mouth! I personally think this is AWESOME and that all restaurants should jump on the bandwagon. They also have a plethora of sides with tons of healthy options. Roasted spaghetti squash? Grilled zucchini? Yummmm! Seriously, these types of sides are not found on the menu at every restaurant and I appreciated the variety.

    After watching more football, enjoying a drink and dinner, we wandered back over to our hotel! Anne and I decided that our feet needed the star treatment, so we soaked them in a super hot bath and scrubbed them down! They needed to be in tip top shape for the race!

    Yes, this is totally staged. I asked JP to take this picture for us. P.S. my hair is getting super long!

    Pretty ladies pampering our feetsies!

    Well, you know what happens the following day. Lots of running, cheering, celebrating, eating and driving back to Pittsburgh. Didn’t get a chance to read about the race? Take a look at my Rock ‘n Roll Philly recap! Has anyone else ever been to Philly? Is there something that I missed out on during my visit? {I’m sure there was, we didn’t get to spend enough time there!}

    Until next time…
    With love and God bless,

    What I’m Loving Wednesday

    Hello, hello friends and Happy Wednesday! As usual, I’m linking up with Jamie at This Kind of Love for What I’m Loving Wednesday!

    I’m loving that my birthday is exactly 1 week from today!!!

    I’m loving this weekend is the start of fall and that JP and I have awesome plans. We’re going out downtown with friends to celebrate my birthday on Friday. {Wednesdays are definitely not going out nights :)} We’ll be watching the Ags BTHO Okie Lite with the Pittsburgh A&M club on Saturday! Sunday we have our flag football game followed by a round of golf! Thank you Groupon for our super cheap golf outing at an awesome course!

    I’m loving that pumpkin spice creamer is now at the grocery store!

    I’m loving the fact that I’m still on a running high from my awesome PR at Rock ‘n Roll Philly half this weekend!

    I’m loving all of the new goodies I got at the race expo last Saturday! You can see that we went by the Larabar booth a few times 🙂 There are Larabars underneath the Larabars!

    I’m loving a few {okay, way more than a few} things on Pinterest!

    This is just different types of dried beans glued around pumpkins and candles!

    Loving ALL of this especially the jacket and Tori Burch flats! I want some so bad!

    I’m thinking I need that top. I love it paired with the navy!

    Lamp made out of a colander! Look at the design on the ceiling! Pinterest makes me wish I owned a home…

    Great organization/space for all of your girly essentials!

    Enough said.

    Pumpkin pull apart bread: Recipe

    Safe to eat cookie dough dips! Now, I just to be invited to or throw a party…guess this will have to wait until I’m back in Texas 🙂  Recipe

    I’m loving my silly, submissive puppy. She always rolls onto her back whenever we start to pet her!

    As always, I’m loving my rock, my training buddy, my best friend and my husband.

    We’re champs 🙂

    That’s all for this edition of What I’m Loving Wednesday! I hope you’ve enjoyed hearting what on my heart and checking out my latest Pinterest obsessions! Next week will be my super special birthday edition of WILW!!!

    What are you loving this Wednesday?
    Until next time…
    With love and God bless,
    Amy

    Post Race Training Reflection

    First off, it can’t believe the race is already over! JP and I started training back in July and what a training season it has been! This has {by far} been the best and most disciplined I’ve been during training. I must say it feels good! I meant to post this on Friday as a pre-race training reflection, but I am now editing what I started last week and sending you my thoughts today.

    I went on my final training run Thursday around 5pm. It was a cool 58 degrees with sunshine and blue skies for miles which was amazing considering it had been raining all day! I was actually headed to the gym to run until I realized that the weather took such a drastic turn…for the best! I decided to go for a “naked” run in order to reflect on the past few months of training. By “naked” I mean, no Garmin watch, no iPod, just me, my shoes and the trail {and of course my clothes!}. Running without being so focused on pace or music blaring in your ears really allows you reach those deeper thoughts circling around your head. I thought about the past few months of training and how much I have grown as a runner! Here are a few things that I learned:

    1. It’s great to have a set training plan. Your plan keeps you on track so you know what you need to do each day. I printed out calendars for JP and I to hang in our kitchen. Highlighting each workout gives you a true sense of accomplishment. We also wrote down our times for the mileage runs and distance for the timed runs to see how our pace improved week to week!
    2. You don’t have to follow the plan exactly. Sometimes your body needs a break. Sometimes your sick or sleepy or injured or just plain exhausted from the work week. Listen to what your body is telling you and take a break if you need to. You can always eliminate a work out or move it to another day.
    3. Training buddies are great! This is the first time I had someone to actually train with! I loved having JP by my side the whole way. Having someone else makes you more accountable for your workouts. For the competitive type {both JP and I are super competitive if no one has noticed}, this gives you a reason to try harder each time to “show off” if you will.
    4. Just because you ran, doesn’t mean you can eat your entire pantry. Being a runner = being hungry. It’s that simple. You’re metabolism is revved up which makes you hungry. If you are a morning runner like me, that means your metabolism is going even earlier! It’s easy to gain weight as a runner because you think you “deserve” that larger portion or extra treat since you worked out. This is not the case. You still need to be reasonable and stick to a healthy diet that can sustain a runners busy lifestyle.
    5. Training up north really does make you a better runner. Okay well maybe that’s not exactly the case, but it feels like it. Escaping the Texas heat this summer was AMAZING! Especially since it turned out to be quite the doozie. I have found that the lower humidity levels and lower temps have improved my pace. I think the hills are another big contributor! Those will will knock the wind out of you, but the benefits on your performance outweigh the negatives.
    6. I improved my pace immensely! Previously my pace was roughly around 8:50 min/mile and now I’m at a solid 8:25 min/mile. {This obviously showed during the actual race!}
    7. I enjoy running more than I did before. It has become more of a stress reliever and a time for me to focus on me. I also feel so strong and accomplished after a run. There are few feelings greater than this.
    8. I can’t wait to continue training for San Antonio!

    That’s about all I can think of right now. This has been the best training for me and I will continue to follow this plan for my other half marathons. I love the sense of accomplishment I feel as each day progresses. It makes me feel healthier, more fit and as happy as can be! Let me know if you want to see what my training schedule looks like, I’m more than happy to share!
    Does anyone have a specific training plan they follow? Do you like running alone or with a running buddy?

    Until next time…
    With love and God bless,
    Amy