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Running, running, running


Remember this post? The one where I told you I was running a half marathon in March? Well, guess what? It’s March. Our run is 12 short days from now and in the past week I’ve ranged all over the spectrum from terrified to excited to terrified to slightly less terrified to resigned. The run is in 12 days and at this point, the only thing I can do about it is run. Today, tomorrow, the next day, and every day until I take a few days off right before the race itself.

And I have been running. In 2011, I took about a month and trained for a 10K. It was a lot of fun and I ran it in under an hour which I was really pleased about. And as soon as it ended, I stopped running. Not completely, I guess, but I stopped running consistently because I was tired of treadmills, I accomplished my goal and I had just met a really fun boy. But if you’ve followed my various attempts at blogging (visit here or here for past iterations of this blog, don’t be fooled by the top post being the same, they are two different blogs!) you’ve read my words “I want to run a half marathon” on and off since summer of 2010. As terrified of the prospect as I am, I’m excited that I’m finally accomplishing something I’ve thought about for so long. Ultimately, I know that just finishing will be a huge success and I don’t care AT ALL about the time that I finish with (just as long as I don’t get picked up by the sag wagon along the way).

I ran 7.5 miles yesterday. It hurt. 13 miles is going to REALLY hurt. But we’ve been training on the trails near our house, and our run yesterday had 1000 feet of vertical gain. Our race is along the Colorado River with a slight downhill trajectory the whole way. That will be nice. I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to walk at all for the rest of the weekend. But I’m excited. It’s a strange mix of emotions. I’ll keep you updated.

Here's the summary of my run yesterday. Like I said, I'm not gunning for time...

Here’s the summary of my run yesterday. Like I said, I’m not gunning for time…

Also, wanna see something pretty? This was my prize after running 5.5 miles on the treadmill last Sunday. My grand plan was to run while watching the Oscars to distract myself from the pain and mind numbing boredom of running on a treadmill (we randomly got 3 inches of snow the night before) and I wanted to run 7 miles. Around mile 5 I started having some annoying pain in my right foot. If you know me, you know the right side of my body is a disaster, so this wasn’t really a huge cause for concern. But it got more and more annoying. Finally, at 5.5 miles, I stopped and pulled off my shoe. What a nice surprise! Not.

Nasty little blood blister. I guess I need to invest in some fancier socks.

Nasty little blood blister. I guess I need to invest in some fancier socks. Sorry for the gross picture of my foot…

But it’s starting to clear up and I’ve been wearing my trail running shoes on every run since then, so hopefully by race day I’ll be healed and happy!

In other news, I had my first advising appointment for Montana State University today. My adviser called to talk about my class schedule this summer and start sketching out what my 4 semester science extravaganza will look like. Yet another thing to be terrified of. Seriously, in all 4 years of college I (grudgingly) took 3 science classes (5 if you count those I did during study abroad programs – I don’t count them). And now I’m going to be taking 3/semester. My schedule is looking very packed full of lecture and lab hours, with little time to do anything other than eat, sleep, study, and play with my parents and my dog. That’s ok, there’s not much else to do in Bozeman, MT. Oh wait…

Take a look at my schedule this summer…yes, that’s right, two labs…

Ah, science classes. Whitman wouldn't recognize me!

Ah, science classes. Whitman wouldn’t recognize me!

For those of you who don’t speak Registration lingo, those classes are Intro Chemistry and Intro Physics. Two semesters of classes crammed into 2.5 months. Sounds lovely, no? Here’s the funny thing: most of the PA schools I’m looking at don’t require Physics, but because some PA schools out there do, I’m hedging my bets and taking it anyway. This is one of the most frustrating aspects to PA school: they don’t all have the same requirements. Not even close. Some schools require 16 hours of biology and 4000 hours of paid experience (ahem, University of Washington, ahem), some require 9 specific science classes with 1000 hours of paid experience, but your experience MUST BE FINISHED by the time you apply in October (to start school in June), some require the GRE, some don’t. Is your head spinning yet? Mine has been for the last 9 months. So my strategy is to take as many required classes that seem to be consistent from school to school, then add in the ones that are specific to the places I’d really like to go, and try to squeeze more in during a second summer semester at MSU. We’ll see how it goes!


An attempt.


I’ve been reading a lot of this blog lately and really enjoying Jenna’s adventures in cooking and exploring California. She recently posted a recipe that, as a mint chocolate lover, simply had to try. Of course, mine didn’t turn out nearly as pretty as hers (she did go to culinary school after all) but I’m excited to see how it tastes at my work Christmas party tomorrow. Here’s my attempt at Mint Chocolate Candy Cane Cake

Unfortunately, our entire town is out of peppermint extract, so I melted down a candy cane instead. It worked, but it certainly isn't perfect.

Here's the final product. Like I said, Jenna's is way prettier than mine, but I think it's going to taste good!

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So this is happening in our house…


We’ve all heard about the hype of the Paleo diet. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to jump on board when (after several years as a vegetarian) I found out the Paleo diet doesn’t include beans. Beans were one of my go-to foods for a quick protein boost during my veggie days, so naturally I was a little concerned. But the Paleo diet is all about eating real, natural foods that have not been processed which we do so much of anyway that we decided to make the jump. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. Sadly, it means my favorite morning smoothie is no longer in the rotation 😦 but I’m hoping to find a replacement soon! If any of you have good paleo smoothie ideas (does that even exist?), let me know! Last night we feasted on sauteed shrimp with onions and cherry tomatoes. It was delicious and very filling. This morning Kyle got up early to throw a delicious looking beef stew into the crock pot. The shallots and broth are already filling the house with delicious odors!

Did I mention that I love fall?


Because it’s my absolute favorite season. I love everything about it: crisp morning air, crunchy leaves underfoot, warm spicy drinks, red, orange and yellow leaves, fresh veggies straight out of the garden, cuddly scarves and sweaters. Snuggling on the couch under a blanket with my boyfriend watching football, baseball or movies. Here are some images to compliment my love of fall!

Lovely little chalkboards like this pop up all over town! Warm, spicy drinks fit the bill for chilly mornings.

While I live in a place with mostly evergreen trees, I love watching leaves change on the deciduous ones.

The Maroon Bells are one of the most iconic images in Colorado. Especially in the fall.

Fresh veggies straight out of the garden are one of my favorite things about fall. Colorful and delicious!

Cowl scarves and cozy sweaters make the chilliness almost enjoyable and certainly tolerable.

Fall in my favorite place in the world, Lee VIning, CA.

These, and many other things, make fall my favorite season of the year. I live in one of the most productive agricultural areas in the west (outside of California, of course) so in addition to beautiful fall colors and warm, cozy clothes, we get a wonderful selection of fresh produce at the five(!!!) different farmers markets that happen each week. From peaches to melons to tomatoes to chilis, this place makes eating local easy!