29 Questions Survey

The other day I was came across a cute little survey on the Carrots ‘N’ Cake blog. As I’ve been gone so long, it feels like a good place to start to get reacquainted. Like I’ve said, much is different and much is the same. I want to share a bit about my life with you all and am excited to see where how I’ve changed will direct this site. Enjoy!

1. Who are you named after? No one.

2. Last time you cried? I’m not much of a crier, but I got all choked up watching the Season 3 Finale of the Great British Baking Show (the winner was really deserving!)

3. Do you like your handwriting? Yes, especially when I write in cursive.

4. What is your favorite lunch meat? This last year I’ve pretty much cut out eating any land animal, so I don’t eat lunch meat anymore. I do crave prosciutto every now and again though, does that count?

5. Do you still have your tonsils? Yes, unfortunately.

6. Would you bungee jump? The thought scares the crap out of me. Instant anxiety. But, in the right moment, I think I just might?

7. What is your favorite kind of cereal? Frosted Mini Wheats, all day, every day.

8. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? I don’t own many shoes with laces, but I rarely untie my running shoes.

9. Do you think you’re strong? Most of the time.

10. Favorite ice cream? Specifically, the Black Raspberry chocolate chip ice cream that I had years and years ago from Trail’s End in New Hampshire. Besides that, anything with Oreos.

11. What is the first thing you notice about a person? Eyes

12. Football or baseball? Football. Bear Down.

13. What color pants are you wearing? Red plaid PJ pants

14. Last thing you ate? A handful of almond slivers.

15. What are you listening to? Traffic on the street outside.

17. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Slate.

17. Favorite smell? Sara Lee’s Butter Streusel Coffee Cake baking in the oven on a weekend morning at my parent’s house. It brings back wonderful childhood memories.

18. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone? My mom.

19. Married? Single AF.

20. Hair color? Bronde?

21. Eye color? Green-grey-blue

22. Favorite food to eat? Plum preserve tarts that my mom bakes.

23. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings.

24. Last movie you watched? Jurassic Park

25. What color shirt are you wearing? Black and white

26. Favorite Holiday? Christmas.

27. Beer or Wine? Both? Wine, if I had to choose, but just barely.

28. Night owl or morning person? Morning person all the way.

29. Favorite day of the week? Thursday.



Much the same, but loads has changed.

Why hello again. It’s been quite a while…

For a long time, I grew disinterested in writing on the blog. My life started moving in a direction where time to write was sparse, and there wasn’t too much for me to write about, so I didn’t.

Fast forward several years. Life has changed. Here’s what’s different:

  • “20-something teacher” is now more like “almost 30 year old school administrator.”
  • I’m getting excited to train for marathon #5, in Chicago again. And maybe, just maybe, getting to the other side of 4:30.
  • I’ve also got my sights set on a faster half marathon (sub 2 hours or bust).
  • New place, new roommate. Or a repeat roommate, if you count us growing up in the same house. Hey sis.
  • Finally added a new continent to my list of places to go!
  • And I’ve got a new best friend now. People like him more than they like me, usually.


Huckleberry Finn

Loads of the same though, too.

  • I still love working out.
  • I still don’t do it as much as I want to.
  • I still love food, and am always trying the perfect balance of eating and exercising.
  • I still am looking for my way to connect with people, create something meaningful, and make an impact.

I’m honestly not quite sure what will come of writing for this blog again. Today, it was a means to express myself. I also think I need to get back on the bandwagon of broadcasting my lifestyle choices; it’s always been the best way to hold myself accountable, and apparently it’s unwise to live off of Cadbury chocolate eggs and stovetop popcorn. I’d love for you to join me on this journey, wherever it leads.

Super Saturday!

It’s been a fantastic day! If you’re like me (aka in Chicago) then you’ll have been hearing the Air and Water Show all morning. Did anyone go? I’ve got plans tonight, so I won’t have a chance to.

Here’s an update of the long runs I’ve been doing!
Last week it was 10 solo, with a great view

And a longer-than-usual plank


This week I ran with my CARA group because it was a very daunting 15 miles with another plank and and even better view.

20140816-152025.jpgMy good friend E also ran in my pace group so we could catch up. It’s been ages since we’ve seen each other and I’m glad he was there for support. My legs started turning into lead the last few miles and miles 12-15 are a blur. Thankfully we played games to pass the time! Does anyone remember the game “I’m going on a picnic?” You go through the alphabet and each person adds an object, but you have to remember what everyone else said too? E and I played that for the last 5 miles and it got weird, as things usually do with me.

Speaking of weird, I was surprisingly energetic to get up and run today. Maybe it was the 8 hours sleep I got the night before (note to self Natalia: it’s good for you)

20140816-152522.jpg. This is right before doing jumping jacks at the bus stop at 5:30AM. And also before I learned I put my capris on inside out…

20140816-153109.jpg Whoops!

After the 15, I got home, stretched, and had the 2nd breakfast of champions.

20140816-153210.jpg Carbs+eggs+Sriracha=perfection.

I spent most of the rest of my morning/early afternoon “recovering.” Or, better put, laying on the couch watching Netflix.

I noticed my left IT band was swollen and a little tender when I foam rolled, so I’m giving it extra love. Thankfully it hasn’t been hurting me though; I’m taking that as a good sign!

Now it’s off to a friend’s fundraiser for the evening. More on that soon, and it might involve a celebrity! (The real kind, not just one in my mind)

What’s your favorite breakfast?
How many miles did you run today?

An Ish Long Run

Good morning everyone! Today’s run was a total -ish run. Not because it was crap, but because nothing was exact. I forgot to charge my Garmin last night (oops!) so it was completely dead when I woke up this morning. My phone’s running app has been wildly inaccurate so I took to the Google and plotted/memorized a run route and just turned on the stopwatch on my phone.

The results? A 13.1-ish mile run in 2:24:29-ish, average pace 11:02/mile-ish. That’s including a bathroom break, 4 stops for water, and a photo opp or two.

Like this:
And this:20140802-123802.jpg
And me clearly missing the neon yellow/grey/black memo for the day:
20140802-123838.jpgI wore orange. Womp womp.

The great part about this run? I didn’t have a silly watch beeping at me every mile reminding me about how terrible I am at keeping a consistent pace. It was an effort based run so I kept in time with what my body allowed. It was actually pretty low key and not too hard to maintain a conversational pace. And I think I maybe had a negative split because I pushed it the last few miles.
The other great thing? I loved this run so much even though it was super hot (I started late) and I sweat a ton. I could not stop smiling the last 2 miles. Got to love those endorphins.

Now it’s off to shower and prepare for another busy weekend! Have a happy Saturday!

How long did you run today?
Do you every run based on effort or always with a set pace?

Where my runs have been taking me

This is clearly going to be one of those summers where life runs the show and not me. Was it just yesterday (the day before maybe?) that I was sitting here thinking about all the awesome things I was looking forward to? Nope, that was June, and now it’s practically August and so many fantastic things have already happened this summer. Here’s a bunch of pictures to bring you up to speed on all the places I’ve been running.

I did some running in Nashville. (Read: just a few miles in the most humid and hot weather I’ve ever run in and I pretty much crashed and burned, then decided not to do that again. It did prep me for humidity in Chicago though.)20140729-181216.jpg

We really were not pleased with the run. It was a miserable experience.


But we made up for it by doing a bunch of strength training outside. Yay side plank selfless!


I’ve run a ton on the Lakefront Trail with my CARA group. We ran past a bunch of people (cadets maybe?) carrying a gigantic log down the path. We all decided we’d rather run our 10 miles than carry that thing for 1.


Most of the CARA group runs have involved meeting up/eating/traveling with this guy!20140729-181635.jpg

I may be the one responsible for him signing up for the marathon this year. Not sorry in the least because now I have a training partner!

Like I said, lots of lake front runs. (PSA: always remember your sunscreen, especially when there is little cloud cover!)20140729-181726.jpg

Spent one of the most fantastic weekends of July celebrating the marriage of these two beautiful people!


Seriously, best wedding I’ve been to ever. They are just the most awesome couple and everything about their reception was totally and unapologetically them. I loved every minute and every detail! (Shout out to my table 9 3/4!!)

And once the wedding was done I got to have this guy as my new running buddy! We did 3 miles and 5 miles together. Look at that nose!


I was pet sitting for the above couple while they honeymooned and loved having a week to be a pet parent. It put a wrench in my training schedule but it was worth it to get my dog and cat fix!20140729-181814.jpg

And that brings us to today, where I found myself in a familiar place!


The weather has been really mild but I really needed to change up my regular runs during the week. My usual paths are getting really boring, so I did about a third of my run around the neighborhood and then the rest on the treadmill. I’m helping prepare myself for the potential mind-numbing boredom that may occur with parts of the 26.2. I cannot believe it’s just 2 months away! How insane!

And a yummy food picture to round things out. I read about this quick dessert of microwaved fruit and almond butter on Carrots ‘N’ Cake and I snuck a little extra in with chia seeds and a sprinkle of chopped pecans for crunch. It tasted decadent!
Where have you been running?

On Wednesdays We Eat Mussels

I’m a serious fan of my lunchtime runs with Joanne. It’s so easy to just throw my workout gear in my bag and do these first weeks of shorter runs with her. Today we did exactly 3 miles, averaging 10:22/mile. We took a few walk breaks. We came back with tons of time to eat our lunches (which, I need to make again and share with you…it was so good!)

After that lunch, I had a slice of cake leftover from a student’s birthday.

Just casually doing eating cake while doing a wall-sit. It’s all about balance, right?

It’s off to dinner now. Have a great Wednesday!

How do you maintain balance?