Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Challenge Recap

I finally completed my first 10k this past weekend!  The 12th Annual MVP Great Pumpkin Challenge in Saratoga was a great success and I couldn't be happier with how it went.  I finished the race in 54:40 (estimate) and came in 5th out of 22 for my age grouping (20-29).  The race itself was beautiful--it wove in and around the state park, not to mention we had great weather!  I had convinced my mom to run the 5k along with me since the routes went together for the first 3 miles of my race and she ended up beating her time as well! 

Prepping for the race I had a fulfilling dinner the night before at a local restaurant, Chianti, which is right downtown off of Broadway street.  They had some amazing dishes and an "early bird" special that I had to take advantage of.  Local field green salad to start followed with an eggplant, tomato, mozzarella and sausage GF pasta dish and then finished the night off with a dish of strawberry sorbet and decaf americano (but was it really decaf?).

We returned to the hotel which was brand new and really nice so that I could catch up on some real world stuff (aka searching for jobs/ writing resumes) and I attempted to fall asleep after watching part of A Little Princess, great movie by the way! I am also convinced that the decaf americano was NOT decaf since I ended up not falling asleep until 2am. The bright and early wake up call at 7:30 was not as bad as I thought it would be but I definitely needed the complimentary coffee!

Before the race there was coffee, doughnuts (which I didn't attempt) and a fire pit that was roaring and keeping me warm. Pure bliss if you ask me. Bonfire BEFORE a race at 9:30am? Yes Please!

The course itself was beautiful, as mentioned before. Mostly flat until the end (about miles 4-6) where we hit two big hills.  To be honest I was a bit nervous for these hills and made sure to take a slower pace for the .5 mile leading up to them and snagged the water, of course. There were so many spectators and fellow 5kers cheering us on and telling us that we were so close that it flew by and before I knew it I was approaching the final hill at mile 6 then it was home free to the finish line!

It is amazing how much of a mental game running is.  I have now identified that it takes me about 1 1/2-2 miles to get past the mental barriers, then from 3-4 I'm in the zone, 4 can sometimes be a challenge and then 5 and beyond is great!  I always feel happy and accomplished when I finish which is an amazing feeling!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Announcement: Honduras!

Many of you may know that I spent this past summer in Cape Town, South Africa working in local community health clinics.  The six weeks I spent working with local communities and individuals changed me in more ways than I could ever begin to explain.  I know that it may sound cliche, but it was the most rewarding experience I have had thus far--but eye opening and humbling.  The members of the communities had compassion, pride and humility for their culture and people.  Please see the link above (South Africa 2012) if you would like more info.

Before I left Cape Town I knew that I wanted to continue my service work back home at Rochester.  I had heard of Global Water Brigades through my friend, Bridget, who is also in Alpha Phi.  I immediately messaged her requesting more information and knew that it was something I would pursue during my senior year.

Well folks, it is official! I am happy to announce that I am going to spend a week in Honduras this coming January working as a member of Global Water Brigades, Rochester.  I cannot wait to share more information with you and share what GWB is all about along with the brigade itself.  There is so much to be done in the coming months with preparations, fundraising and spreading the word about GWB and I hope that you will follow the journey with me and the other brigaders (there is a group of about 20!)

I will give more information on the trip in the coming weeks regarding what exactly GWB does in Honduras, so keep reading!

Please feel free to read up on Global Water Brigades HERE!
Donations/ sponsorship can be located at where you can donate towards either my personal goal or the entire group.

**All donations/ sponsorship goes towards supplies to build sustainable water systems (including pipes, tools etc), 24/7 guards, travel expenses and our personal labor**

Thank you,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

So Not Me, A Rant

I have been struggling. Legitimately.  I was told that going abroad would help hone in my focus with school and life in general but I am finding that I am only focused on life rather the assignments for class that are necessary for me to graduate and actually have a life.  Does that seem weird?  I am sure that this is normal for a senior in college who is burnt out from writing paper after paper, taking test after test...I am sure that you are all with me when I say sometimes I just want to curl up on the couch and not leave.  Not do any work.

This has been going pretty well for me thus far but I have hit the point in the semester when I start getting grades back from papers and tests and am finding myself sincerely dissatisfied with my performance and outcome. I procrastinated the paper that I finishing up for class today until yesterday--since when do I ever do that?  I curled up at Panera all afternoon yesterday and wrote away and ended up sleeping at 2am, woke up at 7 and am still not happy with the final product.  

I found myself reading motivational quotes to get through the daunting last hours and even splurged on nutella and pretzels.  Don't get me wrong, I love writing and I love what I am taking but what gives?  I was able to go and run 5.5 miles yesterday (Yes, I actually did it!) which felt beyond amazing and was able to get some work done but I am now beating myself up over the lack of focus.  Maybe that will straighten me out and focus me.

I apologize for this rant and hope that you are better of than I am on this dreary Tuesday morning.  All will be fine by the end of the day. Enjoy.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Review: Zico Coconut Water

I just finished my last long run of my 10k training for the Great Pumpkin Challenge.  It was difficult but worth it--a day later than I had planned to run it, but I still made it out of bed and ran it.  The air is much crisper than a few weeks ago which makes it easier to run but I definitely need to remember my inhaler the next time I go (I better make sure to pack it for this weekend!)

I had found ZICO products in Wegmans last year and then later found them on campus and decided to splurge and test them out.  Last week I picked up another one thinking that it would be a great post-workout replenisher especially for days that reach above 5 miles. 

Was it right? Well it sure tastes great!  However, I am not sure that it is all it is hyped up to be.  20grams of sugar in one bottle and the third main ingredient is cane sugar--hmmm, skeptical?  I am thinking I need to investigate the natural flavor and then maybe look into VitaCoca as well.  The rest of it is made from cocnut cream, conconut water, natural flavor etc.  The good thing is that it contains 600mg potassium and 140mg sodium, which you actually need a bit of after a long workout.  it also contains iron and magnesium but not in the same quatities as some other brands.

all in all? 
Zico makes a great tasting product though I am not sure how great it actually is for you post-workout.  Any takers? Any suggestions? For now I think I will have this once in a while but mainy stick to water and my usual dose of eggs/ protein afterwards :)

more on the 10k and an exciting travel/ service update later on!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Dance To The Beat

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get music? Please, I am in desperate need to actually own music (not necessarily by buying it for $1 or $2 a song) and not only listen to Pandora for the rest of my life.

Last night I discovered three new stations on Pandora that you need to check out:
1. Bon Iver - Thanks to my friend Emily from Cape Town, this guy is one of my new favorites 
2. Trevor Hall - Special thanks to Clare for always playing his CD in her car
3. Dance Cardio- Please just listen to this while on the treadmill or at the gym
4. Classical Piano Radio- They play nothing but the best and it helps with writing papers (I promise)

Today I worked for a few hours and then had a great mid-week workout at the gym.  I beasted 30 minutes and a little over 3 miles on the treadmill, which I am convinced was more, and hit up some stretching and abs.  I am so astonished by how much my body can transform itself in 6 short weeks--the race is only a few weeks away but I am already so much stronger and will definitely be ready!

Monday, October 1, 2012


The first of October has officially passed but we are now quickly approaching the heart of fall and with that comes so many exciting and new plans/ recipes and activities.  I love fall, which is probably why I have been having some serious obsessions with pumpkins, apples and cinnamon. Who is going to judge me? Hopefully no one.

September was a great month of getting back to school, adjusting to a new living arrangement in a super awesome senior suite along with getting into the swing of doing schoolwork again.  I have finally found a good balance between exercise, school, friends and every other aspect of life--at least for now.  My priorities aren't as focused on school this semester for some reason and I am having difficulties pinpointing why--I hope that it isn't a case of senioritis quite yet but I have a feeling that I am starting to get burnt out from the daily hassles of reading and paper writing which is why most of my efforts have been going towards future planning, goals, job searches and other activities that I am passionate about.

My newest endeavor? Global Water Brigades!  Much more to come on this soon but for a general overview, GWB is an international group that is part of a larger global initiative brigade organization that gives groups and individuals the opportunity to visit an area and make a difference. Rochester GWB plans a brigade each spring semester to Honduras where they spend the week digging trenches to provide water to communities that would otherwise not have access.  I am currently in the application process to go on the brigade but will still be in the club if I am not chosen--there is so much to be done here at school and in Rochester.

Are you having trouble getting into school this year? If so, do you have any suggestions on how to stay out of a rut?

Friday, September 28, 2012

GF Pumpkin Loaf

GF Pumpkin Loaf
*also dairy free*
adapted from: Book of Yum

2 cups GF baking flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 brown sugar
1/4 white sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp pumpkin spice
1/4 tsp all spice
1/4 tsp clove (didn't have this!)
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup applesauce (or olive oil)

preheat oven to 370 degrees!
1. mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl and create a well
2. beat eggs and blend in wet ingredients (including pumpkin and apple sauce
3. fold in wet ingredients into the large bowl of dry ingredients
4. once combined place in loaf pan ( i used two and made two smaller loafs, one for me and one for emily!)
5. bake in oven for approx. 45 minutes

also, note to self and all other protein pow users...mixing it with just almond milk and berries creates so weird texture and almost curdled on me? ew! any suggestions?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...