12 Races in 12 Months: May Double Header

We’re almost halfway through this year and my 12(+) races in 12 months! So far its been such a rewarding experience to see my running progress from month to month and participate in some fun new races. Its been really helpful to have always have a race on the horizon to keep me running consistently. 

This month I did two races in one day. I planned to run a 1 mile relay with my husband and friends, but I also wanted to get in a 5K for the month. 

Up first, was the Turkey Creek 5K. It was a small race with only about 300 people. It was pretty close to home, so it was easy to roll out of bed and head to the race. 

turkey creek 5k

The course was not my friend though… it was way hillier than I expected and already a humid 70 degrees at the start time. I knew pretty quick in it wasn’t going to be a PR course for me, but some races are just about getting out there and putting one foot in front of the other. The final mile was straight into a strong wind. I was just happy to finish at a normal time for me and head home for a shower and a nap. 

Race two of the day was the Martini Mile, a 4-person one mile relay in Union Hill where drinking is strongly encouraged. We did this one two years ago. We missed last year’s because the husband was graduating from Basic Training.

martini mile 2015

We actually had two teams and had a blast. I was feeling very refreshed from a long nap and ready to run another mile. I ran the third leg for our team.

martini mile 2015

Unfortunately, the course wasn’t very well marked so I took a wrong turn and ended up running an extra tenth of a mile. Good thing we were in it for the drinks! The houses we ran past were gorgeous and other than one brutal hill, the course was fairly easy. I ran my fastest mile so far this year! The rest of our team finished without a hitch and it was on to the post race celebration which is really the reason to do this race. There’s awesome Mexican food to be eaten at Sol Cantina and amazing whiskey to be drank at Barrel 31. This is by far one of my favorite races in Kansas City and I can’t wait for next year. 

 

Next month::: The Midnight Run 

Last month::: The Trolley Run

April

Hey May! We all agree this is the month when summer starts, right? I know it technically doesn’t start until June, but to me, Memorial Day signals the start of summer and I am just so excited for all kinds of summer fun! 

April was all about that green. The farmer’s market opened, I got my garden in and tons (and tons) of yardwork was done. I feel like we packed in a great balance of fun and relaxation combined with necessary tasks and had a great month!

Here’s what April found me… 

currently april

Designing:::  A rain garden! We recently expanded our rain barrel collection from 1 barrel to 3 barrels. While the one clear barrel blended in fairly well with the side of the house, two more bright blue barrels really stick out. So I’m painting all the barrels and also putting in some native Kansas plants that don’t require a lot of water around the barrels. I’m really excited to show you how it all comes out!

Enjoying::: Having my husband home from military training. Its so nice to get back in to somewhat normalcy.

Ordering::: Pretty much nothing. We had a big garage sale last weekend and I’m am so over clutter. I realize we have too much stuff and am trying to be really careful that what I bring in to the house is truly a need. 

Celebrating::: Getting the rest of the garden put in! I’m perpetually late with this one, so it feels good to have everything in the ground pretty much on time this year. I went above and beyond my garden plan for this year and I’ll be sharing the finished product with you soon.

Tasting::: Wine! Our wine supply has dwindled critically low, so we’ve been doing lots of tastings and restocking our supply. We’re all about Cooper’s Hawk wines these days. 

Blogging::: In April, I talked about my first 4 mile race and created a yummy clean peanut butter chocolate chip blondie.

What have you been celebrating, tasting and ordering lately??

12 Races in 12 Months: April

I’m 1/3 of the way through my 12 races in 2015 challenge! I can’t believe how fast this year is flying by. Having a race to “train” for each month makes each month seem shorter than usual.

This month I went for a little extra challenge and did the Trolley Run, which is a 4 mile race. I can’t remember the last time I ran that far since college (7! years ago). I was spending a lot of time at barre class this month, so I didn’t get a lot of runs in. In fact, I only ran three times since last month’s race.

The Trolley Run is one of those iconic Kansas City races that draws a huge crowd. There ended up being almost 7000 people in Sunday’s race. Since they have been doing this race for 24 years now, they have organization down to a science. We parked on the Plaza and were bussed to 75th and Wornall for the start. We ran through some of the coolest neighborhoods in KC… Waldo, Brookside and the Plaza. There were plenty of gorgeous houses to look at along the way to take my mind off how cold it was. Seriously, its almost May… aren’t we past the overly chilly race start yet?

Even though I was struggling to stay warm at the start, I had a great race. The course was advertised as fast and flat, and it was just that. There were very few small uphills and the rest was an easy coast to the finish. Even though it was the longest race I’ve run yet, I was surprised by how fast each mile passed. I was only about 20 seconds per mile slower than my 5K PR pace and mentally, it was one of my best races. This race gave me the confidence to go for a 10K soon. 

trolley run 2015

May brings a new challenge… I’m running two races in one day. I’ll be running a 5K in the morning and a team relay in the afternoon. Wish my quads luck!

 

Next month::: Turkey Creek 5K and the Martini Mile on May 16th

Last month::: The Diva Dash 

Peanut butter blondies

I have been fighting a losing battle for a long time. That battle is to create a clean brownie recipe that actually tastes good. Once you start trying to make them healthy, you start to lose all the things that make them fudgey, gooey and delicious. And can we agree that the thought of black beans in brownies is kinda crazy?! Someday, I will conquer the clean brownie, but for today, I’ve mastered the clean blondie. Or to be more specific, the clean peanut butter chocolate chip blondie.

These are just so good… I tried (and failed) not to eat them for breakfast. Peanut butter, maple syrup… they’re basically a breakfast food, right? The key is not to overbake them so they’ll stay soft and melty. 

clean peanut butter chocolate chip blondies

Clean peanut butter blondies
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  2. 3/4 cup natural peanut butter
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  7. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  8. pinch of salt
  9. 1 cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine the butter and peanut butter until blended
  3. Mix in the eggs, maple syrup and vanilla
  4. Mix in the flour, baking powder and salt until just combined
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips
  6. Spread the batter into a greased (with butter or coconut oil) 8 in. square pan
  7. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Make sure not to overbake them!
  8. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. These are best warm, so I like to store them in the fridge and warm them up for about 20 seconds before eating.
Adapted from Eating Well
Adapted from Eating Well
The Clean Project http://clean-project.com/
 Now I have breakfast all week 😉

March

Hey friends… I am super late with this month’s recap. I don’t talk about it much here because of safety reasons, but my husband was recently gone for 4 months for training with the Air Force. He just got home at the end of March so we’ve been crazy busy since he got home having date nights, doing house and yard work and catching with family and friend. The first week of April flew by! But more on April later, in March I was…

march

Wearing::: Only one layer!! There were a few cold stretches, but March brought some gorgeous weather to Kansas. It felt like such a novelty to leave the house without a sweatshirt, coat and several shirts on.

Wishlisting::: A pair of Chuck Taylors. I feel like its definitely time to add these babies to my wardrobe, I’m just stuck between these double tongue gray ones and classic black.

Sipping::: I’m on a crazy Kombucha kick. Every since I discovered GT’s trilogy flavor, I’ve been diligently drinking one a day. Kombucha is definitely an acquired taste, but the trilogy flavor, made up of raspberry, lemon and ginger, is delicious! 

Exploring::: Now that the husband is home, I’ve got a long wishlist of new restaurants I want to try in KC. I can’t wait to hit them up and share my favorite finds with y’all. 

Writing::: I covered a lot in March. From the amazing food we ate in San Antonio to my fun experience with classpass. I also started planning my 2015 garden and ran my best race so far this year! 

What are you currently wishlisting, wearing and exploring??

 

Post contains affiliate links, which do not affect the purchase price, but do help support TCP

12 Races in 12 Months: March

diva dash kc 2015

I almost didn’t write this post. Because I almost didn’t run this run. For three days prior to the Diva Dash 5K, I had a really bad pain in my neck that made it hard to turn my head and really hard to get decent sleep. I was 90% sure Friday night that I wasn’t going to run, but figured I’d decide in the morning. I was so sure I wasn’t going to run, I didn’t stress about getting right to bed. I spent a little too much time on bloglovin before going to sleep…

I woke up with my neck feeling much better, probably thanks to my heating pad, and decided to go for it. 

It was chilly, about 40 degrees, so I had to dig out some of my winter running gear that I had hoped to permanently ditch until next fall. 

diva dash kc 2015

I really wasn’t expecting to do that well, since I was tired and not really mentally prepared. Apparently that’s the formula for success for me, because I ran a PR. By 3 minutes and 10 seconds! I’m still so elated about it. It has taken me so long to get my running fitness back, but I’m getting faster all the time and I now have hope that I can get back to the pace I ran in my prime. 

As far as the race goes, it was an all female race on a great course. There were a few short hills, but overall the course was pretty flat. 

Next month is my first 4 miler, so I’ll be trying to up my mileage a little bit to prepare. I’ve made lots of progress in just three months, so I’m excited to see what the next 9 bring!

Next month::: Trolley Run on April 26th 

Last month::: Mardi Gras 5k

Garden planning 2015

Its that time again!! Or even a little past time if you live where I do… Its time to plan your garden! I’m actually a little behind on this one, but that’s basically the story of my (gardening) life. I finally got down to business this weekend and solidified my garden plan. I actually already have a few plants in containers, since my mom was on her game and started a few plants for me. 

If you are thinking of starting a garden for the first time this year, I thought I’d walk through the garden planning steps I use every year. 

container garden

Check your frost dates

The seed packet will tell you how many weeks before or after the average last frost to plant your seeds or when to start them indoors. Check the farmer’s almanac site to see when the last  in your area. Mine is April 9th. 

Start indoors or start outdoors?

Some plants do much better when they are started from seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the average last frost. Some plants do not do well being transplanted. The seed packet will tell you which is better, but this will help you plan ahead if you need to start seeds indoors a couple months early. 

Container or bed?

If you saw my garden last year, I went with an all container garden because we got into our new house mid-Spring. It worked out really well, but there are definitely some things you can’t grow in a container. Check out this list of 66 things you can grow in containers. 

I’m also getting a real garden bed this year! I’m pretty excited to grow cantaloupe, watermelon and sunflowers, things that definitely can’t be grown in containers.

How much space do you need?

The seed packet will tell you how far apart to plant your seeds or plants. Decide how many plants you want and plan the needed space out accordingly. 

One easy way is to use a square foot garden, where each square foot has a different plant. I love these plans from Williams-Sonoma. How cool would it be to have a designated salsa garden or a salad garden?

Those are the four things I look at when I’m planning out my garden each year.

container garden kale

 

I already have some kale and lettuce in containers since they can handle cold temperatures, but the rest of my tentative garden plan is:

March 26th

Baby carrots

April 2nd

Cherry tomatoes (container)

Bush tomatoes (container)

Potatoes

April 23rd

Watermelon

Cantaloupe

Bell peppers (container)

Chilis (container)

 

Are you planning on growing anything this year? If so, what?

Trying New Things with ClassPass

Its so easy for me to get into a rut with fitness and get a little bored. Since my work schedule is often unpredictable, I have to be diligent about scheduling in workout times and that has led to a pretty familiar routine. Right now I take krav maga once a week, run two times and try to do something else on at least on other day, but that 4th/5th day doesn’t always happen. While my routine has been working for me, its always good to mix things up and get my body working in different ways. 

That’s why I’m excited to tell you about something I’ve been trying lately: Classpass. Classpass is a new kind of “gym” membership that allows you to access a network of studios in your city. You pay a flat fee per month (no long-term commitment) and can try any of the classes from barre to crossfit to yoga to pilates to bootcamp to boxing to rowing and more up to three times a month at each studio. Today alone there are over 180 different classes available in Kansas City! 

I tried 5 different classes over the course of 2 weeks and I’m so happy I pushed myself out of my fitness comfort zone. I tried some things I’ve been wanting to try forever as well as some old favorites in new formats.  

class pass kansas city

Barre @ The Bar Method This was by far my favorite class I tried. I loved the combination of small, muscle shaking movements and counter stretches. While it focused largely on legs, it also hit arms and there was plenty of core work. I loved it so much I just purchased a month of classes through them and I’m excited for the shake-up in my routine. 

Pure Barre This class was hard for a barre beginner. There was far less stretching than at The Bar Method and very few breaks in movements. If you’ve been doing barre for a while and need a challenge, this would be your class. The loud and upbeat music definitely motivated me to work harder. 

Vinyasa Yoga @ Fit Formula This studio was so energizing. The floor to ceiling windows on two sides filled the room with light. I have missed having a regular yoga practice and this was a great class to take. It was challenging, but also relaxing, yet energizing… Yoga is the best. 

Intro to Crossfit @ Crossfit I35 I was so excited and completely terrified to finally try a crossfit class. Its something I’ve been wanting to do forever, but have always been intimidated by. I’m so glad I tried it. It was a really hard workout, but I felt so great when it was done. I was the only one who showed up for the class, so I ended up getting a one-on-one, totally personalized session. I’ll definitely be doing some crossfit again soon. As soon as my poor legs recover…

Hatha Yoga @ Tranquil Mind + Body I loved this class. After crossfit and another intense workout this weekend, my legs were destroyed and I desperately needed some serious stretching. This class moved fairly quickly which I appreciated. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a hard pose for way too long!  

class pass kansas city

If you also need to mix up your fitness routine or just want the chance to try out a new class that might normally be cost prohibitive, try ClassPass! See what cities they are currently in here. If you sign up before March 24th, you can get $25 off next month by signing up here

What have you done out of you comfort zone lately?

 

I was given a free month of ClassPass, but was not required to blog about it. I really loved my experience and wanted to share it with y’all. 

Eat Local: San Antonio

As I mentioned in my monthly recaps for the last several months, I was looking forward to February because it brought a weekend trip to Texas. My husband was stationed in San Antonio for several months, so I headed down to see him for a couple days. I was so excited to escape the bitter Kansas cold and enjoy some warm, sunshiney Texas weather. Unfortunately, that is not what I got, but at least I got to spend some quality time with the husband without curfews and such like I did last time I visited him in S.A. Since the weather changed some of our plans, we basically ate our way through the city over the course of 2 and a half days. 

Friday night we hit The Cove, which was easily one of my favorite experiences of the visit. The Cove is a combination restaurant-car wash-laundromat-bar that focuses on sustainable, organic, local food. My kind of place.

the cove san antonio

They mainly have two different dishes: burgers and fish tacos, with several different variations of each. I went with The Real Burger, a classic grass-fed cheeseburger on a whole wheat bun. It was so perfect in its simplicity. When I’m eating good grass-fed beef, I don’t want a lot of extras, because the meat is so good. 

the cove's real burgerThe husband went with the Blue Bison, a bison burger with bacon, blue cheese and chipotle mayo. I adore bison burgers, but this one was a little spicy for me. 

We took our food into the bar/dining area where you sit family style and enjoy Texas beer and live music. It was the perfect relaxing Friday night date in a unique place.

The Cove on Urbanspoon

Saturday morning we braved the rain and cold and headed to Pearl Brewery where the farmer’s market was set up. Before we browsed, we ate breakfast at Cured. 

cured san antonio

 We chose to sit at the counter and watch the chefs prepare everyone’s food. I loved the coffee setup.

coffee at cured

They brought us out a little starter. It was so delicious, I wish I could remember what was in it! I do know there was bacon and you can’t go wrong with bacon…

cured san antonioWe both went with the Cured Breakfast with eggs, praline bacon, grits and cathead biscuits. The eggs were clearly farm fresh, the bacon was crispy and sweet, the biscuits were crunchy on the outside with a little honey on top and I discovered I’m not a grits fan. 

cured breakfast

Cured on Urbanspoon

After brunch, we grabbed hot drinks at Local Coffee and browsed the farmer’s market so I could pick up some homemade soaps. 

Since it was rainy and cold, we, of course, found the nearest winery and did a wine tasting. Would you expect anything else? 

Dinner was at The Esquire Tavern right on the River Walk. I don’t have any food pictures here because the lighting was so low, but just trust me, their presentation was great.

the esquire tavern san antonio

We went with an appetizer of chalupitas- small crispy corn tortillas topped with chicken, refried beans, chimichurri sauce, cheddar, sour cream and salsa verde. These were phenomenal. You better believe I will be attempting to recreate these at home soon!

For entrees, I went with the short rib empanada, which was decent. The husband went with the shepard’s pie made with lamb. The last time we tried lamb, on our honeymoon, we were not fans at all, but I’m glad we tried it again, because it was great in this dish. 

You know I love seeing this on a menu…

the esquire tavern

The husband ordered a fried apple pie for dessert, mostly so I could eat the vanilla ice cream with bourbon caramel sauce off the top. Someone send me a bourbon caramel sauce recipe ASAP. 

And a special shoutout to the French 75 cocktail. This is my new jam. I will be making these at home all the time now. Champagne Fridays Sundays. 

The Esquire Tavern on Urbanspoon

Sunday brunch was at Stella Public House, a restaurant we heard multiple recommendations for while we were in town. It was in a hip little area called the Blue Star Arts Complex, which we were told is an up and coming area of S.A. It was advertised as “farm-to-pizza”. My favorite food + supporting local farmers? Done. 

We started with their fantastic oven fresh bread sprinkled with olive oil and fresh herbs and then devoured a (very) spicy Italian fennel sausage pizza with house-made sausage and house-made organic mozzarella. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was probably the best cheese I’ve ever eaten.  

spicy fennel sausage pizza

Plus I loved that they listed where they sourced each specific ingredient from the area.

Stella Public House on Urbanspoon

On our way out, we grabbed drinks next door at Halcyon, the coolest coffee shop/bar I’ve ever been to. I was so happy to get a chai latte with ALMOND MILK. I’m pumped whenever I find one of the very few coffee places that use almond milk since I don’t drink milk and I try to limit my soy intake. 

Even though it was still cold and rainy, we had to get outside, so we wandered through the San Antonio Botanical Gardens. It reminded me how much I miss green and blooms and color and all things Spring!

san antonio botanical gardens san antonio botanical gardens san antonio botanical gardens

I would totally have a succulent garden like this ^ if I thought I could keep it alive. 

We were dying for some authentic Mexican food for our last meal so we got a recommendation from the ladies working at the botanical garden to head to La Gloria back at the Pearl Brewery. 

la gloria san antonio

I can still taste their amazing Sangria that I started out with. 

Their menu is somewhat different as its all “street foods” that you pick a la carte. I went with the Tlayuda, which is like a Mexican pizza with black beans, shredded chicken, cheese, tomatoes and lettuce. I was definitely not anticipating how large it would be!

tlayudas la gloria

It was way too much for me to eat, but that didn’t stop me from trying… those black beans were so tasty.

Whenever we’re in San Antonio (or Mexico), we have to find tres leches cake. We knew this would probably be a good place to score some. 

la gloria tres leches

 La Gloria on Urbanspoon

 

So tell me, what’s your favorite city to eat in?

February

Hey friends! Are you as happy as I am that February is over? I’m a big fan of February but I’m looking forward to so many things this Spring and Summer that I’m happy March has arrived. 

February was packed with lots of fun things that made it fly by: my birthday and the husband’s birthday (which unfortunately we celebrated long distance), The Go Blog Social Workshop and a visit to San Antonio to see my husband! I’m so excited to share all the amazing food we ate while I was there, but first, let’s talk about what else was happening in February…

Febuary recap

Dreaming::: Still dreaming of Spring. Forever and ever.

Baking::: I haven’t been baking much lately, but I’m currently working on a muffin recipe to share with y’all soon.

Reading::: I just finished Food Rules, which my sweet sister-in-law got me for Christmas. It was a short, quick read that covers how we should be eating in broad, easy to follow terms; things like “don’t get your fuel from the place your car does” and “If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t”. If you’re looking to eat better, this is a great place to start. It certainly got me re-motivated. 

Planning::: A blog design refresh! Nothing too crazy, but I’m actually getting a little professional help with the layout and design of my blog. I’m very excited to debut a new look soon. 

Watching::: Parenthood. I’m late to this party, but I love being able to watch something all or mostly all the way through on Netflix. Remember when we had to watch shows once a week and only when they were actually on?!

Blogging::: In February I shared a fragrant way to make your shower better, a recap of my 2nd race of 2015 and an easy breakfast quesadilla recipe.

 

What are you currently watching, planning and reading?

 

Post contains affiliate links, which do not affect the purchase price, but do help support TCP