Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas 2015: Baby Fish's first Christmas!

Hey, everyone!  I've been living up winter break from school to the fullest--getting things done around the house, traveling for Christmas, and enjoying time with my family!!  Now that things have settled after a great Christmas holiday, let's recap what we did!

First, I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!  We wish you a Happy New Year, as well.
Our Christmas card photo
I spent last Monday through Wednesday getting my last-minute shopping done, as well as hanging out with this little girl.
I dropped her off at day care for a few hours each day, which made shopping and errand-running A LOT easier.  I missed being with her all day, though!

On Christmas Eve, we woke up and got ready to head to the airport to fly up to Virginia for Christmas at my grandparents' house.  My mom called as they were leaving the house, saying that our flight was delayed about two hours.  

We hung around the house and continued to check the flight status as our plane got further and further delayed before Delta ultimately cancelled it.  Certainly not ideal!  When I called to try and change our flight, we weren't able to get anything until Christmas day, since the issue was bad weather in Atlanta.  Needless to say, we were frustrated and disappointed, but the customer service agents I spoke with were very helpful in getting us booked to leave as soon as possible.  Thank you, Delta customer service!

Our change in travel plans meant that we spent Christmas Eve day watching Christmas movies on TV. In the evening, I cooked a beef tenderloin roast (yum!) and we attended Christmas Eve service at our church.
Christmas Eve dinner
She loved the candle holder!
When we got home from church, we opened our stockings.  Baby Fish loved looking into the stocking to see if there was anything else!
Her first stocking
By the way, Baby Fish's name is Meredith (in case you couldn't tell from her stocking and her shirt in the first picture)!  I'll keep calling her Baby Fish on the blog though ;)

Pablo the cat even got a present, and he loved it!
Sitting in his little cube
Christmas Day was spent driving to Jacksonville for our flight, flying to Atlanta, and getting delayed for about 3 hours in Atlanta before we finally made it to my grandparents' house!  I don't think I've ever been so happy to arrive somewhere!
That evening, we ate dinner together with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, my aunt and uncle, and my grandparents.
So tired after a long day of travel
Then, we opened presents!  Baby Fish wasn't much for tearing the wrapping paper, but she did enjoy playing with everything BUT her gifts.  Silly girl!
Paper, galore!
The next day, we went over to my dad's mom's house and had our Christmas celebration over there.  It was great to see my grandmother, aunt, uncle, and cousins play with our little girl.  I was enjoying the time so much, I forgot to take pictures!

We went back over to my mom's parents' house and spent the evening watching the Virginia Tech bowl game.  It was our head coach Frank Beamer's last game, so it was quite emotional to watch!  Luckily, the Hokies pulled out a victory and everyone was happy.
Go Hokies!
Fun fact: I was born the year that Frank Beamer started coaching at VT, and Baby Fish was born before his last year.  I love that when my mom took the picture above,  Frank Beamer just happened to be on the screen!

On the 27th, we flew back to Jacksonville before driving to Joe's grandparents' house to spend some time with his family.  It was so fun to watch all of the little ones together!
Playing with her cousin
We enjoyed catching up with his aunts, uncles, cousins, and brother that we haven't seen in a while!

Since then, Baby Fish and I have been hanging out at home during the day while Joe goes to work.  It's kind of nice to be home for the week with very little to do!

I hope you had a great Christmas with your family.  I'll be back tomorrow with a reflection of the year 2015, as well as check-in with my goals for the year!

Question for you: How did you spend Christmas this year?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Turkey Trot 10K Race Recap

Since I started running and blogging back in September of 2012 (has it really been that long?!), I've recapped each race I've run (well, almost all of them).  I haven't run that many races in 2015 thanks to having a baby, but I did complete one race recently that I have yet to recap!

On Thanksgiving morning, I ran my first Turkey Trot race!  I love that these races have popped up all over the country to encourage people to get moving first thing on a day dedicated to eating lots of delicious food.
The sign welcoming runners on race morning
We were in Gainesville with Joe's family for Thanksgiving this year, so I signed up for their Turkey Trot 10K.  The race is run on the campus of Tacachale, a residential facility for mentally handicapped people, and the proceeds of the race went to support their work.  Exercise for a good cause?  Sounds good to me!

The course was a mixture of trails, grass, and roads, which made things a bit challenging.  I am not much of a trail runner, so navigating the tree roots and soft ground slowed me down a little bit.
Entering one of the trail sections
One thing's for sure, though, such a course kept me from getting bored!  I was constantly on my toes and wasn't paying too much attention to my distance or time.  It made the race seem to go by faster!

I ran/walked the race, since it was my longest run since the Peachtree Road Race in July.  I felt pretty strong throughout the whole race and seemed to be making good time.  I had splits around 10:30-11:00 pace at first, but I wound up slowing down in the last two miles.

Because the course wound through some trails, there were not that many water stops.  I wish they had them a little closer together or provided that information beforehand so that I could have brought my handheld water bottle along.

Overall, though, I was able to finish strong!  For a lack of training for this distance, I was pretty pleased with how I did during this race.
Finish Line Selfie
My time, according to my RunKeeper app was:
My RunKeepr stats
Just a few seconds slower than my Peachtree time.  Considering the terrain I was navigating, I'm pretty pleased with this time.  I thought to myself that if it was a complete road race, I could have easily shaved off 2-3 minutes, which would have been really good for me!

This race has me excited to keep training for the Glass Slipper Challenge in February!  Based on these results with little training, I think that I can continue to push myself to increase my speed at the 10K distance (and beyond!).

(Check out yesterday's post for a review of MealEnders and enter my giveaway to win yourself 4 packages!)

Question for you: Did you run a Turkey Trot race this year?  What are your thoughts on running on trails?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Time for #FitHolidays with MealEnders! (Review + GIVEAWAY)

Disclaimer: Through my status as a Sweat Pink Ambassador through Fit Approach, I received MealEnders in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Confession: I have a hard time with self-control when it comes to food cravings.  When I get a taste for something, I have to have it, often to the point of over-indulgence.  I'm also a serial bored-eater, particularly when I get home from work in the afternoons and over the weekends.

I'm working on changing my mindset when it comes to food, which is a bit of a process.  That's why when I heard about MealEnders, I jumped at the chance to try them!  

MealEnders is a brand of signaling lozenges designed to curb over-eating and teach portion control.  The company designed these lozenges using a combination of behavioral psychology and sensory science.
The four tasty flavors of MealEnders
Each MealEnders lozenge contains two components: the outer sweet layer provides a dose of "dessert" associated with the end of the meal, and the inner core engages the trigeminal nerve (which senses taste) to cleanse the palate with long-lasting cooling sensations.

Simply suck on one MealEnders lozenge when you know you've eaten enough but are having trouble stopping.  The lozenge is designed to occupy your mouth during the 20 minutes it takes your stomach to signal to your brain that it's full.

As the holidays approached, I knew I needed something to help myself avoid over-indulging.  My sweet tooth is in overdrive during the holidays, so I was interested to see if MealEnders would actually work.  
I tried my first MealEnders after dinner one night when I really wanted some dessert.  Each flavor is sweet at first, which definitely satisfied my sweet tooth.  Then, as I finished letting the lozenge dissolve, I realized that I really wasn't hungry anymore and focused on things other than eating.

I also used MealEnders in the afternoons.  Once I ate my afternoon snack, I had a MealEnders lozenge to prevent myself from eating just because I was bored.  Worked like a charm!

While I'm sure there is a mental component to this product, I was really pleased with how much they helped me reduce my over- and bored-eating.  It was just what I needed as I work to break myself of these bad habits.  

Plus, the flavors are delicious!  When I originally saw the four flavors, I thought Mocha and Chocolate Mint would be my favorites.

After trying all four, though, I actually the Cinnamon and Citrus flavors!  All of the outer layers have a great sweet taste, though.  The inner core tastes a little different in each of them, so just be aware of that once the outer layer is gone.

Are you interested in trying MealEnders for yourself to help you have #FitHolidays?  Here are two options for you:
  • Purchase MealEnders from their website!  Enter the code "FitHolidays20" at checkout for 20% off your purchase!
  • WIN four packages of MealEnders (one package of each flavor)!  MealEnders is offering this to one lucky Run with Perseverance reader.  Simply enter the giveaway using this Rafflecopter widget before 11:59 PM on Friday, December 18th.
Giveaway is open to US residents only.  One prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from MealEnders through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so I can choose another winner.  Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on Friday, December 18th.

Question for you: What strategies do you use to prevent over-indulging or bored-eating?

Meal/Workout Plan 12/14

Hey guys!  How's everyone doing?  We had a pretty fun weekend attending a wedding and visiting Joe's mom!

The wedding was just south of Tampa, FL so we got enjoy some beautiful December weather in Florida!
The wedding was so nice, and we all enjoyed catching up with some friends from Joe's chiropractic school.  Baby Fish also seemed to enjoy her very first wedding!
On our way back home, we stopped through Gainesville and visited with Joe's mom before coming home on Sunday.  While in Gainesville, I got some baby snuggles that were just awesome.
Gotta enjoy them while I can!

Meal/Workout Plan 12/14
It's hard to get back in to the work week after a great weekend like we had, but here we are on Monday once again.  As I normally (try to) do, I wanted to share my meal and workout plan for this week!  I've found that when I actually do this, I'm much more likely to stick to it.

So, here are my planned dinners and workouts for each day:
Monday: Broccoli-stuffed Chicken / Strength workout (probably the Dirty 30 workout from 21 Day Fix)
Tuesday: Chicken 'n Dumplings / 3 miles of speedwork
Wednesday: Take-out from our favorite Mexican restaurant / rest day
Thursday: Grilled Salmon and veggies / 3 miles
Friday: Southwestern Qunioa / rest day
Saturday: Dinner Out / BodyPUMP + 1.5 miles
Sunday: /6 miles
Breakfasts for the week will be oatmeal with a spoonful of peanut butter.  Lunches will be a salad topped with veggies, black beans, and quinoa (sides of fruit and yogurt).

I'm in the middle of training for the Princess Half Marathon in February, so it's really important for me to get in my scheduled runs!  My training has been a bit sporadic, but I'm making a commitment to myself starting this week to stick to it so that I can be confident for my first postpartum half marathon!

Question for you: What's your healthy meal plan this week?  What are your planned workouts?