Five Things Friday: 2.9.2018

It's been a busy week, and I wondered if I'd hit my goal of at least one blog post or not, but here we go! 

1. I've decided to switch from the full marathon to the half for Pittsburgh. Training has been nonexistent the past few months, and the pressure to try and catch up at this point just isn't worth it. I'm looking forward to adjusting my training schedule on my calendar and building a great base for what will be my 11th half marathon! [Click HERE to learn more about my fundraising efforts and to make a donation!]

2. I'm speaking at a student leadership conference on saturday on the topic of time management and ironically, I'm finishing the presentation prep somewhat last minute. Leave me your best time management tips in the comments below! 

3. My nutrition company just launched a brand new app that I'm pretty stoked for. As someone who loves fitness trackers and checklists, this app is everything I've been dreaming of! It's a great way to track your health and wellness goals all in one place, and it's also (obviously) designed to help people stay on track with using the products. I'll be attending my company's national celebration event in Nashville in August, and I'm SO excited to connect with my team, receive training, and of course, enjoy some southern food (#thebalancedlife). If you're interested in learning about what the heck these products are, or what the app's like, drop me a line in the comments or send me a message on the Contact page. 

4. My dear friend Nik wrote a blog post a few weeks ago about airport travel. I think Nik is great, and his opinions are great, and this post was no exception. Check it out and subscribe! 

5. If you aren't following Jessie over at 15Minutes_Late, you are missing out. Not only is her Instagram feed chock full of gorgeous and wanderlust-inducing travel photos, she also gives great tips and advice on how she uses meal planning and meal prep to save money (so she can fund those amazing trips!). I look forward to her weekly grocery haul pics each week, and to all of her recipe ideas! 

GROCERY HAUL! 🥑🥦🍊 $61.63 at @aldiusa this week! Bonus points and a gold star to whoever can tell me how many 🥑 are in this grocery haul! ⭐️ . Still working to clean some things out of the freezer this week - but still managed to spend plenty of $$$. . Both the “recipes” for our lunches are in my STORIES right now! So go check it out. . And if you peep my grocery list you’ll notice a few things on the list, but not in my haul, and a few things in my haul that weren’t on my list. It was WAYYYY cheaper to buy guacamole than to make my own. REAL TALK. 😳 And those lobster & crab ravioli are amazing. So when I saw them I couldn’t resist. 😍 . 👇🏼Here’s what’s on the menu this week! . BREAKFAST 🍯 Overnight oats for me 👉🏼 1 x strawberry chocolate, 2 x chocolate covered blueberry + 1 x chocolate coconut 👉🏼 AKA cleaning out some frozen fruit. 🍳 Eggs + avocado for him. . LUNCH 🥡 Egg roll in a bowl 👉🏼 verified amazing, I had a few bites to make sure. 🥘 Chicken curry w/ rice & broccoli. . DINNER 🍕Homemade pizza w/ 2️⃣ ingredient dough. 🍤 Bang bang shrimp pasta w/ mushrooms & broccoli. 🐟 “Mystery” fish (I can’t remember what kind is in the freezer) + rice & broccoli. 🌭 Sausage hoagies w/ peppers & onions + sweet & sour cabbage. 🌮 Tacos 😍 . Is anyone eating anything tasty for the Super Bowl tonight? Well probably end up Netflix binging instead, but I’m using it as an excuse to eat pizza. 🏈🍕🤷🏼‍♀️ . . . . . #eatrealfood #mealplanning #mealprepmadesimple #healthycooking #foodforfuel #foodforthought #mealprepsociety #healthyfoodshare #mealprepideas #howtomealprep #mealprepdaily #mealideas #foodisfuel #mealpreponfleek #foodgram #mealprepping #freshproduce #eatyourveggies #healthyeating #balanceddiet #groceryshopping #groceryhaul #grocerybudget #easymeals #budgetmeals #forkyeah #fooddiary #ALDIgram #eattherainbow #cookingfortwo

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Hope everyone has a great weekend! OVER TO YOU: What are your best time management tips and tricks for college students? Share in the comments below! 

Five Things Friday: 1.26.2018

First things first, if you're new to my blog, WELCOME! 

It's my first Five Things Friday of the year! Here goes...

1. Marathon training has been completely on hold this month due to work travel and illness (and the ridiculously cold temperatures we've had this month - I just don't handle the cold well). I'm hoping to get back into a better routine (or any routine) next week. I'm grateful I've been able to keep my nutrition on track thanks to some amazing products that get delivered to my door and I use every single day.

2. I'm on the Partners Board at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and we had our first meeting last week. The Trust is embarking on a new strategic plan and we've got a TON of fun things planned for 2018. Now is a better time than ever to consider becoming a member - there are SO many benefits. Mark your calendars now for Cultured Cocktails, coming April 28!

3. Anybody else check their credit score every week? Just me? I have a standing reminder on my calendar to log in to Credit Karma and get my free updated score each week! It is one of my many great tools I use to keep track of my financial picture. I'm planning to do a longer blog post on this soon!

4. My new Instagram BFFs are Little Miss Lola Doodle and The Cutest Clementine. Seriously, how can you not love these two?!?! 

5. I'm not planning much travel for 2018 (because I'm saving for a Eurotrip!) but I am thinking about squeezing in a trip to Chicago in March (thank you, free hotel nights!). Send me your restaurant recommendations! 

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Happy Friday everyone! 

My Marathon Training Plan!

Today's post is dedicated to marathon training - my plan, my gear, etc. 

In the fall, I followed Hal Hidgon's Half Marathon Training Plan to train for the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon, which was my goal race for the fall. While I ended up not being able to race that day due to injury, I NAILED training with that cycle. Part of it was the weather, part of it was my light travel schedule, but most of it was just things finally coming together for me. It was pretty upsetting and disappointing to not get to see all of my hard work pay off with a new half marathon PR at Buffalo Creek (or ANY race time that day), but I still came away from that training cycle with new 5k and 10k PRs. 

For the Pittsburgh Marathon, I'm sticking with Hal Higdon as I like that he gives set mileage to run each week. I also use the Gymboss timer app on my phone so I can use the Run-Walk-Run method. I use MapMyRun to log all of my training runs (and walks). 

So far, training has been going...ok. Coming back from an injury sucks. Coming back from an injury when you have activity-induced asthma and your lungs forget how to work while running sucks even more. But I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things and hoping I can keep up with the weekly mileage as it continues to increase (and as I get back out on the road for work). 

I've had my first sub-20 degree run of the season and my face hurt just as much as I thought it would. I've got a fleece neck gaiter that is awesome, but I feel like I'm suffocating when I put it over my mouth and nose, so I may need to look into a different face mask/gaiter (comment below if you've got suggestions!). 

A few months ago, I won a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 12s in a Twitter contest sponsored by Fitfluential. I have been running in Mizuno Wave Inspire 10s for a little over a year now, so I was excited to try out the latest model. As it turns out, I like the 12s so much I've all but stopped running in my last pair of 10s. I'll be using my Elite Runners and Walkers Marathon Training Group discount to purchase another pair of 12s in the near future so I can rotate shoes. I LOVE that MapMyRun has a Gear Tracker that tracks how many miles I've put on each pair of shoes. 

Do you have tips/suggestions? Do you have a favorite training plan? Comment below!

Want to join me at the Pittsburgh Marathon? Or Half Marathon? Or 5k? Use code HOPKINS2016 for $10 off your registration! You can also use that code for 15% off in the P3R Gear Store

Exciting News! #GameOnPGH

I am THRILLED to announce that I've been selected as an official blogger for the Pittsburgh Marathon! I was selected among an amazing group of runners (shoutout to my friends Chelsea, Brandi, and Lynne in particular!). I'm excited blog about my experience as I train for and run my first marathon! By the way, do you know much running is involved with that?! A lot. What did I sign myself up for?! 

You can use code 'HOPKINS2016' to take $10 off race registration and 15% off at the P3R Store

I also announced this on social media, but I wanted to share here that I've been selected as an ambassador for two companies that I really love! 

Nuun Hydration is the maker of a line of hydration products for athletes as well as everyday life. The drink tabs dissolve in water, taste great, and add electrolytes and a little effervescence to an otherwise plain glass/bottle of water! They have tabs made from all-natural flavorings, tabs that contain caffeine for an extra boost of energy, and tabs that give you energy through easy to digest carbohydrates. I've been using Nuun tabs for about a year now and love them!  My favorite flavor is Cherry Limeade - check them out! 

I've also been selected as an Ambassador for Honey Stinger, maker of a line of different fueling products for athletes. I am proud to represent a brand that I use all the time! 

The pink lemonade chews are my favorite!

 I've tried several different fueling options for my long runs, including gels and beans. Some I found to be ineffective, others were difficult to open and eat while running, and some upset my stomach. Someone suggested Honey Stinger chews and I am so glad they did! My favorite are the pink lemonade chews, and I've had their waffles before, but I'm excited to try out their gels and other products as well! As you would hope and expect, Honey Stinger even sells honey! 

I'm working on a year end wrap up post that will hopefully be published soon! 

26 until 26.2!

The countdown is on! It's the 26th of the month and there are 26 weeks until I run my first 26.2! I'd like to kick off this countdown by reaching 26% of my $1000 fundraising goal! If 21 people donated just $10, I'll reach my goal! 

I appreciate every dollar that is donated and it all goes directly to fund the Western PA/WV chapter of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.