5 tips for new runners and setting goals!

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I feel like I have been a new runner so many times. I started as a new runner playing high school sports, a new runner that started running again in my 20’s after years of limited physical activity, a new runner after health/surgery issues and a new runner after having babies. I made plenty of mistakes and some of them…. more than once. I really wanted to compile a list of my top 5 tips to help new runners. These are practical tips that are easy to follow and I know will help. Here you go!

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What’s for dinner? What’s for dinner? Week of 3/11/18

Another week down and another meal plan ready to share! Here is what I am looking to make this week:

meal plan Mar 11

I am really excited about the buffalo chicken quesadillas. I will be using my versatile crock pot chicken recipe to cook a few pounds of chicken.  I will use some for quesadilla night and freeze the rest for other meals. I will also be using my crock pot on Tuesday for the stew because we may have another snow storm coming our way. It is so much easier having a crock pot dinner cooking when we are busy shoveling all day long! I use this recipe from Food Network and it is a hit with everyone in the house. Super D and I don’t care for Italian sausage so our bowls are filled with white beans, tomatoes, and pasta. Dan and Si-Guy love the sausage so everyone wins. It is a super simple recipe.

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What’s for dinner? What’s for dinner? Week of 3/4/18

Hey Everyone! I’m starting off with this week’s meal plan then I will give you a Nor’easter update and some running news!

meal plan 3-4-18

During my “power hour prep” for the week, I will be making some extra snacks. I will be making lemon garlic hummus and no bake peanut butter protein balls so I can keep my snacking on track all week long. I might have to make a double batch of the protein balls because I’m sure the kiddos will love them too!

The Nor’easter on Friday was pretty crazy. The wind and snow were insane. Dan was outside and heard a loud crack and then this happened:


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Unintentionally losing weight- why healthy snacking is important!

Hi everyone! Let’s talk about healthy snacking because I have been neglecting my snacks! Yes, I have unintentionally lost some weight recently and I don’t consider that a good thing. It really hit me this past week when my pants were noticeably looser. In the past, this has been a good thing because if I wanted to lose weight, I tried hard to do it by how my clothes felt rather than obsessively weighing myself. Now, I am happy with my weight and I want to get stronger and have more muscle definition, but I don’t want to be lighter. This is a first for me because I have spent almost my entire life wanting to be lighter. I wrote about my weight struggle and how I no longer run just for weight loss here.

I really had to stop and think, how did I drop some weight? I eat a lot of food everyday, especially on days when I have a hard run or work-out. I wasn’t feeling unusually hungry during the day…..hmmm. It hit me – I have not been snacking the way I have in the past and there’s a reason. When I worked my corporate office job, I did my runs after work in the early evening so I was sure to snack during the day to have the energy for a work-out. My meals used look like this:

8:30am – yogurt and mini bagel

10:30am – snack time: cheese wheel and crackers

12:00pm – large lunch of sandwich w/a side or a big salad w/a side

3:30pm – snack time: almonds and popcorn or granola bar

6:30pm – small dinner

See? Lots of snacks and a big lunch. Since I no longer work at the corporate office job, I run in the morning and for a while my eating plan was about the same until for some reason a month or so ago, it changed. My meals have been like this:

8:30am – bigger breakfast of 2 eggs and a mini bagel

12:00pm – large lunch of sandwich w/a side or a big salad w/a side or left-overs

6:30pm – dinner

I’m not a rocket scientist, but I think I see the problem! 🙂 Somehow I completely eliminated 2 snacks. A couple of nights I did some late night snacking which I haven’t done in a very long time so this was another way of body telling me it needs more food. So, this week I have been having snacks again. I have been having an afternoon smoothie with Greek yogurt (love all of the protein), bananas, strawberries and blueberries and I’m back in love with almonds again! I’m also stocking back up on granola bars and looking to make some new protein bars that I have been eyeing on Pinterest.

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I finished the week with a strong run and a quick trip to NYC!

Another good week over here! I had some good short runs and strength training earlier in the week and I finished up with 4.5 miles on Friday. I feel like I have been hovering around the 3-4  mile distance for a while because of time and focusing more on strength training so I wanted to go a little further on Friday.

Headed to the gym:


I did some ab work and headed up to watch Rocky IV and run. I ran 4.5 miles at about an average 6.2 mph and the last .35 was a walking cool down. A few months ago, the thought of running more than 3.5 miles didn’t sound likely and I think it’s because I was getting so used to stopping at 3 miles and not pushing myself a little harder. I have been strong and consistent with running so running 4-5 miles is reasonable, but I had a little bit of a mental block. Sometimes you just need to believe you can do it and then actually do it! Maybe your mental block is attempting to run a 1/4 mile, but if you are out and walking consistently or throwing in a few seconds of running, then you can do it. If your mental block is trying to walk more than a mile at a time, know you can build up to it and do it. Take it slow and listen to your body. You will know if you are pushing too hard, but you won’t know how to push yourself at all unless you try.


Earlier in the week, I spent a few hours volunteering at Super D’s school for the annual book fair and I got to meet some friends for drinks and snacks Thursday night. I used to work with them and it’s not often we get together so it was fun to see them. For local readers, Paula’s Public House is a great place for drinks and food!

For someone that doesn’t get out often, I also made it to NYC on Saturday to meet my cousin for the day. Going out 2 days in one week….. I’m pretty wild! She is pregnant with her first baby and I am so excited! It was so good to see her and catch up.

My girl!


I decided to drive into the city instead of taking the train since it was Saturday and I lucked out because the traffic wasn’t bad at all. Look, I grew up learning how to drive in the DC metro area so I can hold my own driving through Times Square in NYC. Honk your horn at me, I have one that works too! Although, the big delivery truck trying to move me out of the way wasn’t picking up what I was putting down so I let him by. Big trucks win. Once I got there, I was starving and ready to eat! It seems to be all about the food! We found a great place a block away from the hotel. We split a veggie wrap and a braised short rib grilled cheese sandwich. So good and picture worthy, but they had that whole cool vibe, dim lighting thing going on so hard to capture it.


We spent the next several hours just hanging out in the hotel talking and catching up. It’s hard when you live so far away from the important people in your life. I am so grateful for the chance to get together and the cold, windy day didn’t bother me because it meant we could just stay in and talk. It’s what we do best!

Now, it’s on to meal planning for the week which I will be sharing tomorrow. It will be a day later than normal, but I figure everyone is busy eating Super Bowl party food anyway! We will be watching the Puppy Bowl. 🙂

Super Bowl or Puppy Bowl?

Have a favorite party dip recipe you want to share?