Archives for February 2014

WIAW #42 – Veggie Love

Welcome to another WIAWTuesday! Thanks to Jenn from Peas & Crayons for hosting the link party.

My Tuesday started off with a 45 minute run and a shower. After feeding the cats, I made breakfast. Of course I wanted yogurt with papaya, but running + dairy do not mix for me. I am only sensitive to dairy after I run. Instead, I opted for some eggs with spinach, and black beans topped with salsa, and a bowl of raspberries.

breakfast-eggs-blackbeans-raspberriesThis kept me full for quite some time, so when lunch time came, I wasn’t very hungry. However, Alicia and I had an appointment with the florist for the wedding, so I had to eat something. My plan was to have yogurt and when I got hungry a couple of hours later, I could have last night’s leftovers.

yogurt with banana, granola, and cashews


Four p.m. came around and I was just a little hungry, so I had a snack instead of a full-sized lunch. My fiancé and I went grocery shopping yesterday, and I got some new hummus that I wanted to try out. It was a little spicy but good :)

carrots and hummusWhen it was time to make dinner, I realized that I’d forgot to go to some Mexican markets to find dried ancho chiles for last night’s dinner. My fiancé said he would just make himself some ham and cheese sandwiches, and I said I would have Monday night’s tilapia that was left over. Plain tilapia didn’t appeal to me yesterday, so I opted for simple fish tacos instead.

tilapia tacos and green beansI cut up the tilapia, put it in a bowl with some avocado and lime juice and mixed them all together. I split the mixture into two tortillas and topped it with salsa. Steamed green beans with lime juice butter rounded out my dinner. It was delicious and super quick to make.

I hope you enjoyed my eats!

Do you have any food intolerances that only affect you at certain times?

As I mentioned, my body can’t handle dairy after a run.



Race Recap: 2014 Austin Half Marathon

Christi and I trained for our first marathon in downtown Austin, instead of Cedar Park because we wanted James as our coach. Aside from the increased mileage, the training was more challenging because downtown Austin has a lot of hills. We talked about possibly running the Austin half marathon as we didn’t want our hill training to go to waste (the Houston marathon is pretty flat).

After our marathon, we weren’t so sure we wanted to run it. I kept going back and forth in my head, especially after my first post-marathon run; it wasn’t pretty. I was pretty slow and I was struggling. After a few more runs, my speed was increasing and my runs felt a lot better. I decided to sign up for the Austin Half about 10 days before the race.

Alicia and I went to the expo on Friday, and when I got home, my fiancé told me he had to go out of town for a relative’s funeral; we decided it would be best if I stayed and met with the wedding cake baker on Saturday and ran the half marathon on Sunday. The night before the half marathon, I was really nervous; this was the first time I was running a half marathon on my own. Two years ago, I ran my first half marathon, but my fiancé was also running it, although we weren’t running it together. While waiting to start the race, I saw a girl from our training program, and I ran almost half of it with her. Last year, I ran the 3M marathon with my 3 running buddies (recap), and I ran the Austin half with Christi (recap).

The morning of the half, I was still feeling really nervous. Alicia, C, and I went downtown the morning of.

Us before the race

They started walking to mile 2 – the first place where they were going to cheer me on, and I went to say hi to my coach and his wife who were the 4:25 pacers. He told me I could do this on my own, and I had already run some of the marathon of my own. I felt a little better, and I went to the 4:55 pacers. My plan was to start with the pacers for the first mile or two, and then go on my own.

Miles 0-6
The race started, and when we all started moving toward the start line, more people moved between me and the pacers. I could kind of see them, but lost them. Once I crossed the start line, I felt a little better. As I approached mile 2, I was on the lookout for Alicia and C. I saw them, and gave Alicia a high 5. It started to warm up, and going uphill on Congress was a  little rough. I was going a bit slower than I was hoping to be going.

Miles 6-9
As I went to go downhill on South 1st Street, I picked up the speed. I knew this was where I had to pick up the pace and make up the time from my earlier miles. I saw a couple of ladies from the marathon training program; they were running the full marathon. They congratulated me on my marathon, and I wished them luck on their race. I saw Alicia and C close to mile 9, and Alicia ran with me for a little bit; she asked how I was doing, and I told her I was bored. She went back to C, and I walked my first water stop; I had Gatorade and grabbed water for my wash towel. It was really humid at this point.

Miles 9-12
When I did the half marathon the last 2 years, mile 9 was the LIVESTRONG Yellow Mile; However, this year, the marathon and half marathon were sponsored by Freescale, so the Yellow Mile was replaced by a little bit of orange tents and a few people cheering, but it was nothing compared to the Yellow Mile. I greatly missed it. I passed the 4:40 pacers around this time.

Once we were approaching mile 10, we started going up the MoPac on-ramp; it got hard again. I had slowed down again, but I kept running. The 4:40 pacers passed me.

Another hill came and right after, there was a water stop; I barely made it to that water stop, so I walked it. As we approached Enfield and mile 11, the marathoners turned left, and we turned right. I remembered having a hard time after mile 11 last year, but I wouldn’t let myself walk for the rest of the race; I had to try to get the best time possible. I spotted the awful hill on Enfield. When you drive down the hill on Enfield, it feels like your stomach drops like on a roller coaster. As you get closer to it, however, it looks like it’s flatter than it actually is. Last year, I tried to ignore the fact that it was a hill and tried to run up it. My legs were exhausted and I had to push on my quads just to WALK up the hill. This year, I told myself that I was going to run it. So I started up the hill, and I kept going; I repeated “don’t quit” over and over until I made it over the hill. I was so proud of myself for having run it for the first time!

Miles 12+
I knew the hardest part was behind me, and it was time to pick up the pace. I was still tired and hot, but I knew that I had to keep going. Alicia had texted me that she wouldn’t be there at mile 13 (another tough spot), but then she texted me once I turned the corner onto San Jacinto and I wasn’t sure where she was exactly (she had said she was “around the corner” but didn’t specify which corner). She yelled out my name when she saw me, and I waved. The last two weeks, I had been training to sprint to the end, and on San Jacinto, I sped up. As I turned on 11th street I increased the speed even more, and kept going down Congress and across the finish line.

My time was 2:17:52, which was 3 minutes and 29 seconds faster than my half marathon PR (2013 3M Half Marathon), and 5 minutes and 9 seconds faster than last year’s Austin Half time. I was very proud of myself for being able to do so well despite the 94% humidity. This year, I find that I have more discipline, and I’m able to keep pushing myself.

Before getting my medal and with my friends

Before getting my medal and with my friends

I met up with Alicia and C after I picked up my medal, some food, and my finisher shirt. After talking to my mom on the phone, I took a photo with my cheerleaders! I can’t wait to return the favor next month.

The finisher shirt and medal

The finisher shirt and medal

Next year, I’m planning on doing the Austin marathon; I’ve already signed up for it!

WIAW #41 – Changing it up

Hello, all. I hope you’re having a great week! Thanks to Jenn from Peas and Crayons for hosting the link party !

The last week has been a rather busy one which included wedding cake tasting and running the Austin Half Marathon. I’ll post about the Half later on this week (probably tomorrow). But you guys are here for my eats, so here are yesterday’s eats!


strawberry smoothieFirst thing in the morning, I went to see my dietitian/personal trainer for a PT session. It was a tough one, so I had a strawberry smoothie for breakfast.

For lunch, I didn’t like my protein options, so I chose black beans with goat cheese and had a bowl of grilled red bell peppers.

black beans and vegetablesI had a dentist appointment in the afternoon, so when I got home, I was starrrving! My fiancé was just getting home from work and a trip to Target where he picked up some cat food and yogurt.


For dinner, I made Halibut with Bacony Corn Sauté from Cooking Light and steamed asparagus. The Bacony Corn Sauté was really good! It didn’t take too long to make.

tilapia, corn saute, asparagus

I will definitely be making this again!

What’s the last recipe you tried?


WIAW #40 – Back again

Thanks to Jenn from Peas and Crayons for hosting the link party :)

I realize it’s been a while since I last posted one of these. Because I was training for a marathon, which I’d never done before, I started working with a dietitian I met through my coach a while back. Since September, I’ve lost almost 20 lbs. I’ve been eating clean, and not rewarding myself with foods after long runs. Now that the marathon is done with, it’s crunch time until the wedding. The wedding is creeping up fast and will be here in less than 2 months!

Yesterday morning, it was a little chilly, so I was craving something warm. I mixed a packet of Gluten Freeda apple cinnamon oatmeal with milk and popped it in the microwave. I added a banana and some almond butter.

breakfast - oats

For lunch, I had last night’s leftovers: Spicy Thai Turkey Wraps. I also made some quinoa with vegetables.

lunch thai turkey wrapsFor my afternoon snack, I was craving yogurt with papaya, but it’s not ripe yet. Instead, I settled for almond butter apple “sandwiches” with milk.

snack - apple slices with almond butterFor dinner, I made some shrimp and broccoli stir fry (I can’t remember which magazine the recipe came from), with some quinoa. I was glad my fiancé finished his plate, despite broccoli not being his favourite.

dinner - shrimp stir fry

And that wraps up another WIAW! Hope you’ve been good while I’ve been away :)

I did it! First Marathon Recap

When I last left you guys, I was one month into marathon training, struggling with running in the heat, but making the most of it.

After many weeks and many long runs, the day of the marathon finally came… Sunday, January 19th.

That morning was an early one. My running buddies (C, Alicia, and Christi who was running with me), my fiancé, my running buddy’s mom and friend (who was running the half) were also there.


We walked to the convention center to wait until we could head to the start line. We went to the bathroom, and patiently waited until it was time to head out.

We made our way to our corral, and  we had some time to kill. It was a bit chilly, and I felt like I had to go to the bathroom (despite having JUST gone), but I tried to ignore the feeling.  We reminded each other “it’s just a long run with a bunch of other people;” our mantra for every race. As we waited, I prayed for strength, the ability to do this, for my legs to not feel heavy, to finish this with a smile, and be able to finish it strong.

waiting to start

When people finally started moving, it had almost been 20 minutes since the start gun had gone off.  Our plan was to stick with the 11:30 pacers for at least 5 miles, and then go on our own. 

MIles 0-7: We started the race about 21 minutes after the gun went off, and during the first mile, my knee hurt a little bit. It went away on its own shortly there after. I kept seeing the kilometer markers and I was annoyed.. I knew there would be 42 of them, and it would be a LOT worse to see those go by one by one, than the mile markers. I finally decided to make a pit stop around mile 4, and Christi was to keep going with the pacer so I would be able to find her. As always, I chose the wrong line, and had to wait to use the porta-potty. I felt like it took me forever to catch up to them. There were turns and I just couldn’t see the pacer at all…  Until I finally did about a mile later and rejoined my friend. We hit the 10K mark at about 1h 10min, and it felt like we were going a bit slow, but I had to remind myself that we weren’t running a 10K, but a marathon. I was in contact with my fiancé and my sister via text messages (I had Siri read the messages and I dictated my replies), so I had asked for my hand towel as it was getting hot. I’d brought the hand towel because a wet hand towel had really helped me during those 100°F runs, and I knew it would warm up.

Miles 7-14: We saw our cheer squad around mile 7;  my fiancé handed me my hand towel as I ran by.


It was such an adrenaline rush to see them. I was VERY excited. We sped up a little bit and passed the pacers. At the next water stop, I soaked the hand towel with water, and placed around my neck.  Around mile 8, the course divided up, and the half marathoners went a different way. At some point, Christi had to go to the bathroom, while I ran on. By this point, there weren’t nearly as many people lining up at the porta-potties. We hit the 13.1 mark at 2:28:something (I knew because I started getting texts about where I was.. unbeknownst to me, my mom had accidentally signed me up to receive them), and while we were ahead of our 5 hour pace goal, we didn’t have a big cushion.  My sister texted me and I laughed at how Siri interpreted her text “You’re doing great! Half way!! Green heart, green heart, party popper, party popper, party popper, confetti ball

Miles 14-19: I started to recognize the galleria area, and I knew our cheer squad would be there. I saw my fiancé, who was holding a sign, but he was alone. he was running in with me to get a photo; it was so cute.

running together

We were starting to get tired, but we kept marching on. As it got closer to 30K, it felt like it would NEVER happen. I was feeling so tired, and my body was screaming at me to walk; I said to Christi, “I don’t know how we’re still running!” We finally saw the 30K sign, and the text notification told me 3:32:something. Which meant that I had beat my time for the 30K two weeks earlier by about 8 minutes. I was very stoked! We hit a water stop, and we walked it. I was breathing a little heavy, but once I caught my breath, I felt energized, even though my quads were getting sore.

Miles 19-23: The next place we were meeting our cheer squad came up rather quickly. We were planning on meeting them at mile 20, but they couldn’t drive into Memorial Park. My fiancé texted me, “we’re just past I-610” as we saw the sign for I-610, so they were just on the other side of the highway. They had stuff with them for us to eat (a cutie orange and some pretzels for me). This was our planned stop to eat; our coach told us we could eat something then, and we’d be okay to finish the race; he also said it would help mentally.  I told my fiancé also that I didn’t know how we were still running, and I wanted to cry. Alicia ran with us for a little bit—she was such a welcome distraction. We saw the 32K mark, and I said, “we GOT THIS. We’ve only got 10K to go!” Alicia left us to go back, and we kept marching on. It started to get hot, we were getting more tired. We walked a little bit, took longer at the water stops.

Miles 23+: It felt like the kilometers were dragging on… I saw the 37K marker, and I told Christi that we had 35 minutes to do a 5K, that we HAD to pick up the pace if we were going to meet our goal. So we were re-energized, and kept going. My mom texted me to tell me they were watching it on TV and they would be looking for me at the end. Around 38K, Christi was like “you’re so strong. I can’t do this” and I said “yes you can!” and we kept going… for a few more steps, then she said “no I can’t” and I turned to see her, and she had slowed down to walk. And I thought “i gotta go…” I HAD to try my hardest to meet my big goal.. to make it under 5 hours. I don’t know where I got the energy from, but I started moving faster than I had been. It was quite noticeable around all the people who were walking, and people were calling my name and commenting on my pace. It felt like I was never going to make it to the finish line. I approached mile 25, and I got a text from my sister “you’re so close! one more to go!!” followed by another text asking me to wave at the camera when I got to the finish line. I told myself, “you can do this!” So I kept digging and digging from somewhere, and praying “please give me strength!” and I would clench my teeth and move forward. The last long stretch downtown (on Lamar), it felt like there would never be a turn toward the finish line. I saw the 1/2 mile marker, and I complained to myself, but kept running. I kept checking my Garmin; it was going to be tight. I was picturing the end of our runs, where we are when we’re coming up to the store. I saw the next sign “1/4 mile” and I was like, “what was only a quarter-mile???” and then I made a slight turn and saw my cousins cheering for me. I was sooo excited because I didn’t think they were going to make it—they never texted me. They were cheering so loud, and I waved at them.


I also knew that at the bleachers, our cheer squad would be there, and I saw them going crazy! I waved and started sprinting. I kept running until I had crossed both of the markers.

Finish line

strong finish with a smile on my face!

I looked down at my Garmin. 4:59:40. I then saw the cameras and waved as my sister had asked. I got the text and my unofficial time was 4:59:37. I got my medal and started crying. I couldn’t believe it. Not only had I completed the marathon, but I had also done it under 5 hours. I waited for Christi.. it didn’t take her long to come. I’m so incredibly proud of the both of us… I never thought I would actually be able to run a marathon, and do it so well.

With our medals


We were hoping we wouldn’t get picked up for going too slow. My second goal was to beat my dietitian’s time for her first marathon (she told me to); her time 5:01:15. My big goal was to do it under 5 hours; definitely not fast… 73% of the finishers did so before me. However, according to the stats, I passed 814 runners in the second half, and 10 passed me (compared to over the first half where I passed 379 runners, and 199 passed me).

My family :)

My family :)

I definitely want to run more marathons in the future, perhaps one as early as this December!

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