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I’m only running for the pancakes.

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Please think of me on Sunday morning, when I’m hauling my sleepy ass from my cozy bed at 4am. Why would I wake up at o-dark-GIVEMECOFFEE-thirty? Oh, just to go run a half marathon. Voluntarily, mind you.

Damn, I’ve come a long way in a year.  This used to be my attitude towards running:

phoebe

And then, I had to go and get all motivated to get healthy. Silly me.

This whole running thing started when my big brother convinced me to run a 5K in April of last year. That was my first 5K since ohhhhh, 1997. I’d just started working with a trainer and was maybe 3 weeks smoke-free. Yay me, but my lungs and my body were still utterly shit a far cry from healthy.

I was SO SLOW. Hated every second of it. I was exhausted after 2 miles. At 2.5 I remember that my face was on fire and just wanted it to be OVER already. I mean, my linebacker-sized brother and my 8 year old nephew were both WAY far ahead of me if not already done. And it was starting to rain, and WHAT THE FUCK is this hill doing right before the finish line? It sucked. My time was something embarrassing… my brother finished in 32, my nephew in 34 and me? 38 something. Or more. I don’t know, I blocked it out.

But since then, I ditched the trainer and the globo-gym, started and stuck with CrossFit, kept my diet clean and healthy and Paleo-ish. I’ve put on muscle, remained a non-smoker, and have tackled a few other runs since then. They got better. I got better. So I did a few more 5Ks, a 10K in July,  a relay in a tutu!, a 15K in January, and now… a half marathon.

Yep, this weekend I’ll be tromping through Atlanta for 13.1 miles until I either a) reach the finish line or b) have to be scraped off the pavement with a pooper-scooper. Hopefully not c) both.

survived

My only goal. Finish.

Is this ambitious progress in under a year? Uhhhhh… I’m either the most motivated amateur runner ever or I’m just flat-out DUMB. But I really think I can do it. My body is in the best shape of my life, thanks to CrossFit, yoga and running. But my concern with the half is my endurance. I’ve never run that far or that long at once and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I thought about joining one of the free pacing groups they offer, but I think I’ll do better going at my own speed with my running playlist blasting in my ears.

I have my trusty Brooks Ghosts that I wore for the 15K, so they’re broken in. I’ll be hydrated and fueled beforehand. I’ll get enough sleep the night before. It will be warm but not hot: high 50s are the low that morning, creeping up to 70 by mid-day, so extra layers won’t be needed.

As for the run, all I can think to do is adopt my approach to the 15K – running an easy pace for 2 miles, have a few sips of water and 1-2 energy beans, then repeat until done. That plan kept my pace steady and the 9.something miles were very doable. I didn’t feel like I ran out of gas anywhere along the route. I was a little stiff for a day afterward, but it really wasn’t awful. Why wouldn’t 13.1 be as doable? At least… that’s the theory.

Hopefully I’ll run with grace and elegance, and not like this:

bassets

But even if I finish dead last, there will be none of this.


Jlaw

Because you best believe that afterward there will be piles upon piles of pancakes and pints and pints of BEER for St.Patty’s!  Pancakes make me sooooo happy.

Finally, I’m way grateful that I’ll have excellent company for the race in the lovely Bertie: a gorgeous Crossfit badass,  running inspiration, yoga buddy, brunch/coffee partner and fashion advisor.  That last one? Seriously, she should have a fashion blog. Like, yesterday. 🙂 But on race days, her self-proclaimed propensity to run like her favorite hashtag cracks me up: #wilddogontheloose.

As if keeping me motivated to run and preventing me from dressing like a homeless person wasn’t enough, Bertie gave me the coolest good luck gift for the half. My very own Lululemon Bang Buster in a gorgeous reversible minty-polka-dot/kelly green!  Check out the awesome card she gave me, too… snifffff…. she is the most thoughtful, sweetest friend ever.

IMG_2583

IMG_2584

no pinching allowed!

IMG_2585

polka dots and shamrocks

That minty fresh baby will be worn on race day as my good luck charm, my green for St. Patty’s, and to keep my *#)&%#@*ing bangs off my face while I run. Not that I’m salty about the bangs… Wait. I am. Don’t get bangs, people. Not if you work out all the time. Better choices have been made, Peach.

But can y’all help a girl out?!

What say you,  fellow runners and athletes? Do you have any advice for me, the half-newbie? (Newbie-halfer? Newfer? Halfbie? What do you call me?)  Am I crazy? 

…don’t answer that last one.

I don’t trip up the stairs while collecting an Oscar, but I do drop shit.

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Has anyone ever fallen so elegantly? EVER? I think not. Stop saying shit about my GirlCrush.

jennifer-lawrence-falls

Moving on. But I’ve still got my eye on you.

A few posts ago I wrote about my fat ass FoodWars and my evolved attitude towards Paleo vs. Clean Eating. Fortunately I can report that clean eating is working WAY better for me. I’m happy. And when momma’s happy, everybody’s happy.

I still cook all of my staples and I’m forever on the lookout for new recipes to try. For instance, Peach’s Vegetable Saute is always awesome.

saute

But it’s fun to experiment with new mini-quiche flavor combos.

quicheWM

Bacon and Veggie Mini-Quiches

  • 2 whole cage-free, organic eggs*
  • 3/4C egg whites (approx 4 egg whites)
  • 1/4 sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small yellow squash
  • heaping handful of baby spinach
  • 6-8 slices of COOKED bacon
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Cook the bacon in a large skillet. Reserve a little of the grease for greasing the muffin pan. Whisk all your eggs in a big bowl. In a food processor throw in the onion, pepper, squash, zucchini and process until finely chopped but not liquified.  Add this mixture to your eggs.  Put spinach into the processor and finely chop and also add to your eggs. Mix the egg mixture well and using a 1/4 measuring cup, fill the greased muffin pan. This recipe makes one 12-muffin pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are set in the middle.  *You can use 6 whole eggs, or all egg whites, or any combo of whole/whites you wish.

Oh, and here’s what happens when I have a klutz moment – I bring salad fixings to a gathering and when I try to leave with the uneaten, wind up with 3 pounds of spring mix lettuce in my tote bag. Transportation FAIL. I swear I only had 2 glasses of wine. Sheesh. At least my aim is awesome. JLaw, I am not.

have roughage, will travel.

have roughage, will travel.

My workout routine hasn’t changed: 1 or 2 short runs, 1 day of yoga and CrossFit 3-4 times a week. I take my rest days when my body tells me to, and even when it doesn’t.

p.s. – Lululemon is the devil. I have NO willpower.

luluWM

in my defense, I’ve lusted after this jacket since December. And it was on sale. And I LOVE IT.

I’ve resisted the invasion of the tiny humans bearing crack-in-a-box-Thin-Mints.

girlscoutsWM

avoid all eye contact. keep walking.

But instead, I made (and sampled) my own cookies. Sorry, no recipe for these… the owner would hunt me down and noogie me to death.

cookiesWM

All these sweets, just in time for my CrossFit gym to do a 30-day Ladies-Only Challenge! All of us participating were weighed and had our body fat measured with calipers on day 1. Then we all had to do the baseline WOD, which we will do again in 30 days to see our progress.  Some of the ladies are doing strict 100% Paleo. I would not be one of those ladies, but I am going to make an effort to continue clean eating and sweets/booze only in moderation. Peach is going to be lean and mean, dammit!

wodWM

I was shocked to hit a personal best with my deadlift that day! Yay, me! But I’m not going to lie, this WOD had me wheezing, gasping, cramping and wishing burpees would go straight to fucking hell. It sucked, but I got three rounds plus 10 cleans. And then I played “dead starfish”and made a “sweat angel”. Gross. But cool.  But gross. Kinda.

angelWM

So tell me:

What diets/eating styles work best for you/your body? What’s your “food philosophy”?

Where She Belonged

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WingWM

The turbulence made the plane’s wings seesaw drunkenly upon landing in Newark. Even the weather knew something different was blowing into town.

She was so very frightened to return to this place that hadn’t been kind to her. It was a good thing she’d left before the damage was irreparable. Otherwise, it may have been impossible for the South to heal those broken emotional bones.

Now that she was returned and seated in the car they’d hired to bring her to the office, she took in the familiar vibe. Urban sprawl. Frigid winds that viciously stole her breath. Aggressive traffic. She remembered this unsettling feeling that she was conspicuous – a shock of red amidst endless grey.

Would anyone see a difference in her? Did they even remember her after a year away? Would they think she’d lost her edge?

Suddenly very unsure, she took evaluation of the ensemble she’d carefully chosen. The vivid turquoise wrap dress, sheer tights and nude patent pumps were purposefully a far cry from her typical grey shirt/black pants work ensemble. The severe blond bun had been replaced with long, loosely flowing strands of red. Where her tall frame was previously starved for nourishment it was now vital, strong and feminine. At least there was that.

dressyWM

Entering the office, conversations halted when she walked past. Whispers followed her strides as if they’d seen a ghost. In truth, they had. And that morning, her smile grew exponentially with each joyful exclamation of recognition, each hug received and each stunned remark about her appearance. Most couldn’t quite put their finger on it. Those who knew her best used the words, “bright”, “alive”, “glowing” and “radiant”.

They got it. They saw it.

It wasn’t the clothes or the hair color. She was different.

The job was executed with her usual style of fiery panache, making easy the complicated and making organized the complex. Confidence and self-assurance leapt from her every action and statement. She didn’t just complete the assignment. She soared.

When the big meeting ended, she needed a respite from the emotions stomping over one other in her mind. She waved to the still-familiar doormen on the way out of the building, then made her way to the railing at the water. And standing there, cursing the freezing wind, she finally let her mind relax and inhaled a breath of cold that made her lungs tingle in protest.

Freedom2WM

Everything was so different, but yet so much was still the same here. Most of all, she was so relieved to discover that her fears had been unfounded. Her coworkers had certainly missed her, based on the office buzz and number of baby pictures her male coworkers proudly offered for oohing and ahhhing.  She definitely didn’t miss these bitter temps or this frantic pace of life, but at least no one could possibly question her professional achievements after today. If anything, they’d say she’s better than she used to be. And the reason was simple: She left this place. This brave new woman that everyone wanted to see, talk to, and be around? She wouldn’t be this person if she still lived here. That same woman lifted her face, gazed at the Freedom Tower and told herself that it’s okay to miss the people and not miss the place. After all, she’d found her self, her happy, her dreams and her future in a place that had nothing to do with subways and snowstorms.

Her lips curved into a secretive smile. She’d do what she needed to do while she was here, and she’d do it more than well. But she couldn’t wait to go home.

And with that last thought, any lingering doubts of where she belonged sailed off with that icy wind over the Hudson. With one last glance at that magnificent view, she turned on one of those pretty heels and headed towards the building entrance.

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Sunday Style Share: Lands’ End Love and Peach’s Winter Addictions

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I’ve been a style junkie lately. I don’t know if it was hearing AB Chao’s talk at Camp Mighty, or reading Maggie’s post about it, or if I’m just giddy that my favorite style season is back, but so much fun has been had lately with my wardrobe!

Going all Vanna White on her VERY good points!

Going all Vanna White on her VERY good points!

First up, Lands’ End was a huge sponsor for Camp Mighty and part of their amazing generosity that weekend included gifting us a dress!!! Mine arrived yesterday and looklooklooklooklooklookie!!!

LEWM

it's perfect!

it’s perfect!

I cannot recommend this dress enough. It’s a faux wrap dress, pullover style, with 3/4 sleeves and an attached belt. One common design flaw with wrap-styles are that the tatas come flying out if you move around too much, but this dress stays put! Plus, the material is very soft but with enough weight to 1. drape well and 2. be thick enough that you don’t feel like all of God and creation is staring at your VPL*. As for sizes, what you see above is a size Small. In my opinion, LE runs a tad on the larger size, so I felt okay getting a Small and I’m glad I did. I definitely wouldn’t want it much tighter than this, but I still have enough breathing room and can move freely in it!  Thank you so much to Lands’ End for my new go-to LBD! If you’re looking for an affordable, flattering and comfortable dress, get this one (and they’re on sale right now!). GO!

*(Visible Panty Line)

Onto other styles I’ve rocked lately.

It helps that am a big fan of Fall and Winter in the South. Not only for the big F word (FOOTBALL), but also for the fact that it means the reappearance of the tall leather boots, the fuzzy hats, the bright scarves, and the cozy sweaters. Yes, please!! While I certainly don’t have the budget for the clothes I REALLY want, I’ve managed to come to a happy balance of quality pieces with inexpensive but cute basics.  Because … well, when you feel good, you look good.  And when you look good, you feel good! They’re like peas n carrots. 🙂

laid-back layers

Casual lunch: Laid-back layers

  • Sweater hoodie, burnout long sleeved tee, cami: Express
  • Skinny jeans: Target Mossimo Denim (they come in long lengths!)
  • Flats: Adidas
Cozy with a pop of color

Coffee Shop: Cozy with a pop of color

  • Sweater: Ann Taylor
  • Skinny jeans: Express Skyscraper Denim (long lengths here too!)
  • Scarf: Express
  • Boots: Frye Campus
Dinner: Leather it up!

Dinner: Leather it up!

  • Boots: DSW

I am not a huge makeup wearer or fanatic, but I do appreciate the good stuff. I’ve got MAC next to Cetaphil next to NARS next to Neutrogena in my arsenal. If I love it and it works, that’s what matters. When my generous and lovely roommate at Camp Mighty gifted me this Naked2 palette from Urban Decay, I had no idea how much I’d fall in love with it!

paletteWM

palette2WM

These colors are perfect for my complexion and eye color! The 2-sided brush is fabulous quality and I’m having so much fun experimenting with color combos. Thank you, my fellow innie! 🙂

What I lack in my makeup prowess, I compensate with my addiction to winter hats.

the new lovelies

the new lovelies

  • Hats: Target. I kid you not. Get on my head!

I can’t post about style and not mention a huge key portion of my wardrobe – workout clothing. Uuuuuggggh, I finally caved and bought myself some Lululemon WunderUnders. If you haven’t read my post about how asscracks are a bad thing in CrossFit, go now. Trust me, these were a worthy investment and I have practically lived in them since I got them.

Lulus and fuzzy slippers = seksay!

Lulus and fuzzy slippers = seksay!

Now, who’s going to stop me from buying this for myself for Christmas? Oh, the temptation.

*drooooooooooool.

*drooooooooooool.