Change in Plans with Our Ultra + the Art of Competing.

10.25 miles @ a 7:43 average with some speed thrown in there and I felt really strong for this run.

Last week was rough in terms of my running. I did not feel like myself at all and my short runs felt really long.

Those tricky weeks where running feels terrible… they fool me every time;)

2.38 mile warm-up (stopped to switch into my Hyperion) followed by 6 x 5 minutes fast with 1 minute recoveries followed by a cool-down until I hit 10.25 miles.

I did this workout a few weeks ago and took the 1 minute recoveries completely stopped but this time I decided to jog during them (<–either way those 60 seconds go by too fast).  I started with a 6:58 average pace and worked down to a 6:00 average pace for the last one.  That last one felt pretty hard for me but I just took it ten seconds at a time… Staying in the moment is necessary for me when the running gets hard.

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Next up:  The grocery store and Skye gets her interest in sweet potatoes from me.  I AM OFFICIALLY MEAL PLANNING and picked up ingredients for dinner for every night this week.  I am determined to make this part of my Monday routine.

Andrew has made 98% of the dinners we eat at home since we got married but I’m going to start taking that over now.

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We picked up Knox and after a week away he was so beyond happy to see his dog.

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And of course his sis.

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I had a pork (from the night before) salad for lunch (if you have Wild Coyote ranch where you live… get it) followed by some leftover cornbread.

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It was warm enough for a walk so we took advantage.

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I asked Megan D for a bunch of her favorite easy recipes and she sent some really great ones that I’ll be making this week.  We started off with her Sloppy Joes.  PS this was from her daughter’s cookbook for her class that she submitted and the way she describes this meal makes me so happy.

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5 out of 5 of us loved it (which rarely happens).  Thank you Megan D.  I put mine on a sweet potato and everyone else had theirs on a bun.

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Dessert thanks to Costco.  These are delicious.

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Andrew had his first day of his capstone! He is working in the ICU and he is getting really close to graduation.  We are now transitioning into Andrew being at work full time.  Hopefully you won’t even notice the transition but if some days I’m slacking over here just know it is because Skye has protested her naps or something like that;)

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We changed our plans for our ultra.

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The other day Andrew told me that he wants me to go for it.  We will start out and run for a while together but then depending on how I feel, we’ll probably split off from there.  Our training has been pretty different (mileage/pace/hills) and he told me he doesn’t want to feel like he is holding me back so when I’m ready to move ahead he wants me to.   This way he can go the exact speed he wants and I’ll get out a bit of my need for some competition during the race:).

*And by go for it= go slow in the beginning and then go even slower than that so I don’t die out there but then for the last 15ish miles or so see what I can do.    Toby will be pacing Andrew and Austin is going to pace me for the last 17 so we are all covered!  And hopefully I can jump in and run the last little bit with Andrew if I can walk afterwards.  Time to train harder and recover even harder.

Oh and this way we won’t have to apologize to each other for what we say at mile 40;).

I love this little excerpt from Shoe Dog about the art of competing… I’m very good at forgetting.

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Last random fact for the day:

We found a raccoon in our backyard Sunday night.  I was looking in our backyard while drinking water before going to bed and I thought I saw a person, then I thought it was a bear and then I realized it was the largest raccoon in the history of the world.  I ran and got Andrew and he saw it too.  So now we have a pet raccoon back there (okay, he is gone but I swear he is planning on coming back often) and I’ll probably never go in the back yard (or let the kids) again.

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Found any creepy animals where you live?  

How do you meal-plan each week?  I need help.  

Do you have a favorite documentary?  I love watching documentaries so please give me some new ones to watch!

Who has a February race or a February birthday?

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85 comments

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Meal planning is great! It feels so good to have a plan, even if the plan gets thrown out sometimes. I usually plan 3-5 meals a week, counting on leftovers and hodgepodge meals to fill in the gaps. Rice, beans, chicken, corn is a go to most weeks because I always have those things on hand. I’m also cooking every recipe in the Magnolia Table cookbook this year so a couple of those make it into the plan each week.
There was a possum looking in my sunroom door one morning. That was creepy. But then my dog found a possum head (just the head) in our yard last year and that was horror movie-creepy. I’m choosing to believe an animal left it there and not a crazy psycho. Sorry if I just ruined your day with that!

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Plans are my love language haha so this is going to work out nice. That is a great idea to have those random meals ready to go each week too. You’ll have to keep me updated on your favorite meals from her cookbook and we will make sure to make them. OH THAT IS TERRIFYING. Now I don’t feel so bad about my raccoon hahah. I hope you never see a possum near you ever again ha. Have a wonderful day Ali.

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I’m excited for the change in your ultra plans!!!! I was afraid you were going to say it was canceled or rescheduled or you guys weren’t doing it!!!!!

Creepy animals. One time last summer a possum was running alongside the trail. I felt like I couldn’t get away from it!!! So so creepy. They just look horrible. Those eyes!!!! ha ha This is so so gross, but as a runner who runs on rural roads, I see way too many roadkill animals as a runner. *Hides eyes*!!!!!!!!

Meal planning–my husband and I take turns every other week meal planning/shopping/cooking. It’s always worked for us. The tough thing now is making something that everyone likes. My daughters only like spaghetti and tacos!!!!!

Have a GREAT day! It’s been around 50-60 degrees here in PA this week, and I am LOVING it!!!!!!!!!!! :)

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Oh thanks Jen! I’m excited to see what we can do! Oh that would freak me out…. yeah, no thank you! I love that you guys switch off every other week. Hahah that sounds like one of our kiddos;) . ENJOY THE SUNSHINE… we are supposed to get dumped on today! Have a beautiful day Jen.

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Can’t wait to read both of your race recaps! It would be interesting to have both your perspectives.
About meal-planning: I normally make my lunches ahead for the week on sundays, so I eat pretty much the same thing 4 days in a row (rice, some kind of bean stew or lentil curry and some oven-roasted veggies or salad). For dinner we have a rotation of easy meals : vegetarian burger and salad, chinese noodle stir-fry with chicken sausage and veggies, tofu stir-fry, pasta bolognese, broccoli-cheese soup and bread…

I normally build our meals around whatever is in the “protein drawer”, which usually contains halloumi, tofu, some kind of minced meat, veggie burgers, smoked fish and cheese.

My favourite website for recipes is Pinch of Yum

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That is a really great idea… We will absolutely both write a recap. I love that you do that on Sunday, I should copy you. And your dinners all sound so good. Thanks for sharing and I’m going to check out Pinch of Yum. Thank you so much Sarah and I hope you are having a fabulous day.

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I love Pinch of Yum too! I just made her cauliflower fried rice w/ tofu and the first thing my husband said was “I think we should add this to our regular recipe rotation.” Can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch today. :)

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When I stayed with my sister over the weekend, there was a raccoon just sleeping on her doorstep! She was so concerned about it and even gave it a bowl of water. It eventually left, but she asked her husband more than once how difficult it is to domesticate a raccoon. She had already named him Roy. Ha!

I’m really bad at meal planning, so props to you for starting to do so! I end up no knowing what I’m going to eat ever, and last night I ended up having froyo for dinner. I wasn’t mad about that at all, but I also know that it doesn’t actually provide me with a ton of nutritional value. :/

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Sleeping on her doorstep?! That would have freaked me out! Hahah we named ours Cooney. I think that sounds like a delicious dinner. Glad you had a great weekend Natalie. Enjoy your Tuesday!

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I remember by meal planning that it does not mean it has to be a recipe. One of our family favorites is fried egg sandwiches, sweet potato fries, and roasted veggies.
I also only shop one time a week, or I would be going to the grocery store for what I “felt like having” . Instead I buy all meals but don’t say this has to be this day cause that just feels too controlling and I find pleasure in eating what I sounds good.

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That is so so so so true. Simplicity is my friend so I don’t always need to have a recipe. I love how you think… sometimes I swear we have the same brains;) . Have a wonderful day with Hope!

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I usually meal plan a few meals a week. It depends on the weather (we don’t tend to grill in the winter and choose soups or stews more) and how healthy we want to be that week. This week I planned BLT salad (made with turkey bacon), turkey sausage stuffed acorn squash and chicken fajitas. I will make leftovers to fill the gaps :) I also always buy tons of fresh fruits and veggies to snack on when I am trying to figure out what to make and always have pantry items like pasta, rice, potatoes and a freezer filled with salmon, pierogies, chicken and pizzas on hand.
We have the most insane squirrels in our neighbourhood – and I realize that makes me a wimp but they are no joke. They will chew through anything electrical so we can’t put up xmas lights. They make this horrible shrieking noise anytime you are in the backyard. They eat through our garbage and green bins so we have to put them out at the very last minute (and I mean chewing through the thick plastic of the bins!). They are just awful.
I love Blackfish, Won’t You Be My Neighbour, RBG, Going Clear, Searching for Sugarman and Icarus for documentaries.

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Okay, those squirrels sound TERRIBLE. You are not a wimp, they would drive me crazy too. Can I come over for your dinners… they all sound amazing. THANK YOU for sharing how you do it and giving me ideas and also for the documentary recommendations. I can’t wait. Have a wonderful day Krista.

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We have deer & turkeys daily, the occasional peacock sighting and a black bear about once year in our neighborhood.

Meal planning is just part of my routine on Saturday. I figure out what will fit my run and work schedule, make a list and then do a Walmart pickup order so I don’t have to go in and shop! Then on Sunday I prep breakfast and snacks for my week.

My favorite documentary is Where Dreams Go to Die. It’s a Gingerrunner film about Gary Robbins and the Barkley Marathons.

Have an amazing day!!

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A BLACK BEAR IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?! Okay, that is so scary! Stay safe when you are out running. I think I need to start doing the pickup order too because I was in the store for way too long.
Thank you for sharing this documentary… I’m going to watch it on the treadmill today. Thanks, you too!

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My daughter will be 7 on Valentine’s Day!!! I can’t believe it!
I meal plan – I try to do 2 weeks at a time and do bigger grocery trips every other week rather than each week. (Then usually go to the store for milk/produce in between) I’ll plan based on what we have on hand, and I have the same 20ish meals that we just kind of always eat. I’ll ask my husband and kids what sounds good to them :) or check cookbooks or Pinterest if I’m really desperate to fill those two weeks.
And for documentaries, I love all the BBC Earth ones on Netflix. They make me cry!! Which sounds so weird but the majesty of it all and seeing God’s creativity and care for everything just gets me.

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Ahhhhh … happy almost birthday to her. My dad wanted my mom to wait to have me until Valentine’s Day (I was born the day before) ha but she didn’t listen to him;) . You guys have a good system and 20ish meals = that is so great Laura! I’m with you, we are very lucky to have this gorgeous place to live! Have a wonderful day Laura.

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Oh yeah, it’ll probably come back. Not to freak you out or anything ;).

I meal plan every Sunday night and it makes a big different in me actually making dinner and in our grocery bill.

Oh! And I checked out Trader Joe’s finally but I only had about 15 minutes so I’m hoping to go this week and spend a little longer in the produce section.

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Hahaha I know! I just need to be prepared. I am so glad you made it to TJ’s and keep me updated with anything that you find and love there and I’ll copy you. Have a great day Jenny!

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We used to leave our cat’s food in her bowl on the front porch. One night we heard a horrible yowling noise outside, like our cat was dying. We opened the front door to find her crouched in a corner, miserably watching a skunk nonchalantly eat her food. We let the skunk finish eating THEN brought in the cat and her food.

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NOOOOOOOOOO oh that would have been SO scary! I bet that was the last time you had the bowl on the porch ha. So glad no one got sprayed!

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Haha, sorry I really did beat you to it about how you were running the Ultra yesterday;)

Your husband is so supportive. It is nice that he doesn’t mind you going ahead and seeing what you can do.

Animals? Creepy, maybe not. Terrifying yes. One time I went for a run the day after a big hurricane (in FL), and it was pitch dark (I made a lot of running no-nos that day), and as I was running saw something shuffling up ahead and thought it was just my mind messing with me since it was dark. well once I got right up next to it I realized it was a gator. about to eat me alive on my run. gators are kind of normal here but not right on the side of the road about to eat you on your run, but right after the hurricane I guesss they came on land more. Idk but I still have nightmares about it.

I meal prep lunch and dinner for the whole week on Sunday nights. I also live alone, so I recognize this is a much harder task because you have lots of mouths to feed, and not everyone will happily eat the same thing everyday. For me, I am happy to cook a pot of soup or chili and eat it everyday for dinner, and then cook a big batch of rice, big batch of protein, and a whole bunch of roasted veggies and heat them up for lunch all week.

I had a February race last week->Double Bridge run 15k. It was a fun one, ran at aerobic pace so I didn’t need time to recover before my half in 4 weeks.

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You really are ahead of the game… what should I write about for tomorrow haha:) .
No. No. No. NO. No. No. That is my worst nightmare. A GATOR next to you on the run? I am SO glad nothing happened to you. That is terrifying.
I’m right there with you… I don’t need much variety (except for my treats:) but the others do ha:) . I love your way of doing it. Way to go on your 15k and I can’t wait to hear about your half. Have a beautiful day Eleanor.

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1. We have bats, coyotes, ‘possums, raccoons and fox. Some of our neighbors think they saw a mountain lion which is highly unusual in Iowa. We also have a few barn owls around which really creep you out at night when they start hooting at each other. A month or so ago, we had one on our roof and there was one on our neighbor’s roof and they just sat there, hooting back and forth. Creepy.
2. My husband is a dietician and exercise physiologist (sp) by training and we are meal planners. We get groceries for the week every Saturday morning and rarely repeat meals in a month. My favorite recipe sites are Iowa Girl Eats, Pinch of Yum and SkinnyTaste. When we meal plan, we try to figure out what nights demand a quick meal and plan accordingly. (Bagged salad with rot. chix for example.) During the winter, we are heavy on soups and in the summer, grilled foods. Once you get the hang of it, you won’t go back to not planning!
3. My b-day was Sunday and it was 50 degrees here! I can count on one hand the number of b-days I’ve had with temps above freezing. And I’ve had a lot of b-days! It was cloudy and drizzly but I didn’t care! I went for a run through the slop, had some of my favorite foods and had some quiet time. A lovely day!

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Ummmm yeah that would definitely creep me out. Hopefully that doesn’t happen again anytime soon. Thank you for the recommendations on the blogs and I’m really excited about this. How cool is it that you don’t repeat meals in a month… you two are creative. I love the idea of having the bagged salad and rotisserie chicken on the busy nights.
Happy birthday last Sunday and I am so happy that you were able to enjoy some better temperatures. Sounds like the perfect day. Thanks for sharing Jackie and I hope you have a great day today!

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I meal prep every single week and it’s a life saver. I think having breakfast prepped and ready to go is the biggest thing for us. We both run early, so being able to come home and eat right away before work is the BEST.

I share recipes all the time (and they’re always quick and easy!). I’m the worst about following recipes, so I just up my own stuff, ha!

That raccoon sounds nuts!

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Someday you’ll have to share some of your favorites with me:) and that is such a great idea to have your breakfast made and ready to eat when you get home from your run. Yes, he was and I hope I never see him again ha. Have a beautiful day Chelsea!

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I am a huge fan of meal planning, saves time the night of when you know what you’re making and also money because you’re not throwing a bunch of random stuff in the cart (mostly, haha). Tonight on our plan I have sunny side up eggs and avocado rice bowls from Skinnytaste. She’s fabulous for easy and healthy recipes. :) I usually start scouring my favorite recipe blogs mid week then start a grocery list. I try and make the stuff with items that could go bad first early in the week and always, always have either a pizza or taco night in there somewhere!

Once a few years ago my husband and I were driving home at night and when we were at a stop light I saw what looked like a huge rat go into the sewer. He told me it was a raccoon. I was so grossed out and have never looked at raccoons the same again (not that I liked them before!).

No February race but my 1/2 training started yesterday so woohoo! :) Have a great day!

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I meal plan 5 weeks at a time. 4 “fresh-cooked” meals each week, plus 2 days for leftovers and one unplanned day that we use for going out or finishing up the random left-over leftovers. Of those 20 fresh-cooked meals a cycle (cycle=5weeks), three each week are a standard rotation of tried&true/everybody loves them recipes (burritos, sweet potatoes, enchiladas, baked beans, spaghetti, etc) and one is a new-to-us or new-to-this-cycle recipe. It takes 15-20 minutes to fill out the calendar sheet I plan on (but only once every 5 weeks) and then Thr night or Fri morning (I shop on Fridays), I look at the plan and pull the recipes for the next week out, make a list of ingredients I need, shop once, and done until the next Friday. The leftover nights are pre-planned for the nights we are busy with youth night/soccer game/karate practice to make life just a bit easier.

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I’m interested to know why you changed shoes mid workout, rather than wearing the same pair for the warm up?

We had a raccoon in our house once. . . We never figured out how it got in, but it woke everyone up in the middle of the night when it knocked some glassware over. We all thought some kind of violent criminal had broken in to our home, and complete pandemonium broke out. Lol

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Hey Catherine! I like to wear my light shoes for the fast parts because in my brain they help me to go faster. And then for the warm up and cool down when I am going slower than I give my feet some more cushion and stability. I hope that makes since.

IN YOUR HOUSE…. I’m glad it wasn’t a criminal but still….

Have a beautiful day!

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I am jonesing big time for your avocados!!!! After a perfect one a couple of weeks ago, I ended up with 3 bruised ones in a row :(
Your ultra plan sounds ideal, especially the “what we might say at mile 40” part, LOL!
We’ve often had raccoons in our yard and sometimes even had to trap and release them elsewhere. Last week, we had fox visitors–have you ever heard them shriek? It’s terrifying if you don’t know what it is, or even if you’re not expecting it. Hawks like our neighborhood, too, and my husband once saw one swoop down and snatch another bird right out of the sky!
I’m terrible with meal planning. It’s such a great thing when it works, though, and having leftovers for lunches. Yum!

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I hope your next avocado is perfect. It’s hard to get let down after such a good one:) . Okay, your neighborhood is ACTIVE and I don’t know if I ever want to hear a fox shriek, that gave me chills thinking about it ha. Stay save when you are out there running. Thanks Corey!

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I’m terrified of possums and they drive my dog(s) crazy. My boy dog actually brought a possum INTO THE HOUSE! He was very proud of himself. Luckily it was just inside the back door. I still have nightmares.
You might have heard about this, but some parts of North Texas are having problems with aggressive coyotes. They are attacking runners! I haven’t seen any in a while, but it’s still very scary.
I plan about 3 meals a week and make lunches and quick meals with leftovers. My favorites are crock pot chicken and pork tenderloin. I make salads, tacos or steamed veggies to complete the meals.
My Half Marathon is in 3 weeks! I’m getting nervous and excited!

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No. No he did not… AHHHH. He better never do that again ha.
I have not heard about that happening, that is NUTS. Did you see some guy got attacked on a trail run by a mountain lion (he survived but the mountain lion did not).
I love that idea, that makes it so easy and delicious. Good luck Elizabeth, I better get to hear all about it please!

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I have a Feb Bday, 1 day away from being a leap year baby. But I wasn’t. I meal plan, and I’ve done it so long I’m a complete mess if I don’t. I plan the meals for each day, write my grocery list on Sundays. And I hit the grocery store on Monday morning. Every single week. Most workers and at my stores know me by 1st name and get worried if I do have to miss a Monday. lol Not long ago, we had an opossum in our garage !!!! http://everydaysnapshot.com/lady-with-broom-vs-opossum/ Not fun

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OH MY GOODNESS… I’m sorry but I just laughed so hard at your story! ‘Says the man who is 40 miles away.’ Thank you for sharing this with me and I hope I never come upon an opossum. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONTH!

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Your kiddos are the cutest ever! I don’t meal plan exactly but I do make lunches for the week on sundays so I can just grab them in the morning. We get in kind of a meal rut and eat the same thing over and over but I try to do at least one new meal per week to mix it up a little bit! Hope you have a great day!!!

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Thank you Taylor. I easily fall into the meal ruts too. Good for you to try one new meal per week, that is awesome. Thanks! You too!

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Good luck with meal planning! I find that it helps with my stress levels. When I already know what I’m making for dinner AND I have the ingredients in the kitchen, it’s a lot less stressful when 5 pm hits and I start to think about dinner.

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I totally agree… I am really excited about this. I hope you have had a great day so far Fiona!

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An entire pack of raccoons was having a pool party in our backyard a few months ago! (https://mcmomentsandmemories.blogspot.com/2018/10/theres-something-vicious-in-our-backyard.html)

I do my grocery shopping on Mondays, too. My meal planning goes like this: Me: Any food request this week? Les: Hmmm… I would say he requests spaghetti at least once a month and rarely anything else. Then I just decide what I’m in the mood for. We almost always have leftovers since it’s just the two of us, so I usually plan 3-4 meals and we’re covered.

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EIGHT RACCOONS? I’m glad it wasn’t a mountain lion too. Haha I love your meal planning conversation with Les. I get the spaghetti request! Have a beautiful day Kathy.

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I’m so glad you’ve decided to run your own race next month! Haha. Running with someone is fun, but an ultra is long, and it can be draining to go super slow when you get burst of energy and need to go fast.

There are bears and cougars here so I guess those are the creepiest. Raccoons are so cute?! Although maybe I would think otherwise if there was one in my yard.

For meal planning I take out all my fav cook books (Thug Kitchen, Oh She Glows, Run Fast Eat Slow) and choose 3-4 things to make. And then make em all on my day off so we have things for the week. After work and running I’m unlikely to cook a meal.

I have my 100k race near Phoenix in 12 days!😬

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12 DAYS. Mandi, I am cheering for you and I better get to hear all about it. BE SAFE where you live… and I used to think raccoons were cute too. I agree, 50 miles is too long for either of us to try to go the other person’s speed. I hope your taper is going well!

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I found a mouse living under my kitchen sink and nearly passed out, so THANK GOODNESS nothing crazier as of yet!

I do my grocery shopping Friday after work (I go straight to the store), so I usually plan out what I need to buy on Thursday. Then I do all my cooking over the weekend and divide up my lunches into separate containers so they’re really easy to pack over the week. So I don’t cook every night, but I also don’t have three children and a husband!

No birthdays or races, but super excited for Valentine’s Day! It’s probably my favorite holiday after Christmas. I stumbled across your Valentine’s post from last and agree 100% about how it shouldn’t just be about romantic love–it’s about ALL kinds of love. And chocolate.

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No. No. No. I would have passed out. I’m glad there hasn’t been anything else. I think that is a really good plan… I love that! Oh I love what you said, it’s about all kinds of love even the love for ourselves. Enjoy your second favorite holiday! Thanks Kristin!

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Have you watched Root Cause on Netflix? It’s scary.. if my lastest DEEP filling replacement doesn’t work I’ll need one and I don’t know what to do 😬

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Okay, I just read the summary of it… AND NOW I AM TERRIFIED. I have had a root canal ahhhhh. Crossing all of my fingers that your filling replacement works perfectly.

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We had a family of raccoons near my neighborhood and I’ll tell you what, they definitely scared the daylights out of me a few times. They are very noisy little animals! And of course skunks, I try and steer clear of those guys!

I use Google Keep to do all of my shopping lists and meal planning. The cool thing is you can make check boxes and when we have the meal, I’ll check the box but it’ll keep all of my past meals so it’s easy to go through and see what sounds good. I also put my kids to work and have them each choose a meal for the week.

One of my fav documentaries is Living on a Dollar. It was on Netflix and my kiddos enjoyed it too!

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Oh yes, seeing a skunk is terrifying too! I need to try out Google Keep, that sounds awesome and I’ll be watching that documentary too. Thanks Marissa! I hope you are having a great day.

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Lucky for me we don’t have any harmful animals where I live! I see fox, raccoons, skunks, opossums, and deer on the regular. Since I run when it’s dark, their eyes kind of creep me out but I am getting braver! One thing that is scary is hearing foxes “scream” in the pitch dark morning…during marathon training my mom would bike with me on the real long runs and we heard a pack of foxes shrieking. Terrifying! Then this morning there was a screech owl screeching…I’ve never heard one and it was really unnerving.
I can’t say I am very good at meal planning :( I do tend to make a big batch of something over the weekend and portion it out for lunch during the week, but dinner is a little more on the fly. I need to get better though – if I don’t have something planned I end up not eating very healthy.
I love any running documentaries…the Barkley Marathons one is really intense. There area also a couple of short ones on YouTube about Western States and some of the bigger ultras.
My birthday is February 26th! I was hoping to run a half marathon that weekend but I got sidelined by a sore hip and wasn’t able train. I am feeling better now but it’s a little too late to start :( I do have an April half I am planning on though!
Have a great day!

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Oh my goodness, hearing a fox scream while running in the dark sounds SO scary and that screech owl… I can’t imagine. I love that your mom would bike with you, that is the sweetest. HAPPY bday month and you are going to rock that April half. Thanks Laura, you too!

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Meal planning! My husband and I are trying to do it more. For a few months last year we were really good with it but not so much anymore. Good luck! Can’t wait to hear what you make as I often take ideas from you on food!

Not so much creepy but when I lived in a small town in Washington state, my roommate asked me to go out where our trash cans were, at the end of the drive since it was collection day, because there were 4 massive stags staring straight at her. It was the closest I have ever been to deer and would not like to do it again. Those things are massive! We survived though.

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Oh I am so glad… yes, I will blog about what we end up making! Oh that is creepy to me… just staring at her ahhhh! Glad everything was okay:) Have a wonderful rest of your day Sarah!

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Oh my gosh, can you do a whole post on meal planning?? Can you share all your meals that you plan out for like two weeks?? Are the meals kid friendly?? I need to start planning out dinners for my family and I need advice and meal ideas. Lets suffer through this together lol.

I hope you’re having a great week so far, Janae!

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Great idea–> . I will share each week what we made in a summary for that week… everything I’ll be doing is kid friendly! YES, let’s do this together ha. Send any tips you have my way too and have a wonderful day! Thanks Torrie.

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Can’t wait to hear about the race!
We had a raccoon run at my husband one day while he was doing yard work and about a month ago, I heard another raccoon attacking something. So scary. Also never letting the kids play outside ever!

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No. Way.
That is terrifying.
You aren’t alone being terrified of them!
I hope you never see one again

Thanks Jen! Have a great day!

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We have some possessed squirrels around our yard. One of our back neighbors feeds them people food so they are constantly looking for food and a little too comfortable with humans in my opinion. There have been a few times we have seen them climb our screen doors while sitting on the couch. It’s so scary. I got chased by a squirrel once in my parent’s yard so I have a bit of a fear of them getting too close to me. My mom used to feed the squirrels bread so I swear the squirrel thought I had food. I started to run around the tree in the middle of the yard and I probably did 3 laps and the squirrel was literally chasing me, I then ran for our backdoor, opened the screen door and closed the inside door behind me. It followed me ALL the way. I trapped it between the screen door and inside door and yelled for my mom. Then she made ME go out the front door and around the house to release the squirrel. I think he banged his head quite a bit but thankfully he ran off and didn’t try to get me again.

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Oh no… those squirrels sound terrible. One chased you… yeah, that would freak me out too. My heart rate increased just reading your story. Thanks for sharing Alicia!

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I used to meal plan for a long time, got out of it, and just now getting back into it. I’m a stay at home mom with a part time job in the evenings, so I decided to try and come up with a loose schedule to stick with each week that I can plug meals into. I don’t work on Mondays, so I have the day to make something a bit labor intensive like a roast chicken dinner, stuffed shells, etc. It has to be enough for two meals, because I am gone all day Thursdays at a playdate and REALLY hate cooking when I get home. So I cook Monday and Thursday dinner on Monday. Tues/Wed I work in the evenings, so I pick something quick and simple to make on those two days. Tonight we’re having lemon shrimp pasta, and tomorrow it’s chicken with roast veggies and gnocchi. (I think both of those recipes are from How Sweet Eats.) Fridays are homemade pizza day :) Saturdays are a wild card because I work every other one, so I either make use of leftovers or let my husband handle what he and my daughter are going to eat. Sundays are family dinners with my in laws :)

I’ve seen possums and raccoons but they don’t really freak me out. My neighborhood also has a deer family that roams around at night. BUT… my dad lives in upstate NY and one day he was looking out the window and saw a freaking MOUNTAIN LION walking up the fence line where his goats are. Like, literally just a hundred or so feet from the house. He didn’t see it again after that but he would make sure my mom was safe coming in from the car at night after work, and it was sighted all over town for a few weeks after that. Super scary.

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I love the way that you schedule things with your schedule. Can I come over for the shrimp pasta? That all sounds so good.
Your dad saw a mountain lion out his window… I really don’t think I would ever leave again unless I was in my car. That is nuts!
Have a beautiful day Rachel!

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Funny coincidence (maybe?)! I’m reading Cory Reese’s book on Badwater. There was a Toby who crewed him there….is this the same Toby? Love both of Cory’s books, if you haven’t read them yet.

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Okay, I had to text her because I didn’t know either. She said she wishes it was her ha:) . I need to read that book next. THANK YOU KATIE!

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Five thumbs up for sloppy joe on a sweet potato! Sweet!! Ok, ok, what do you think about prepping sweet potato for the race and for training? Maybe with some almond butter on it? Mmmm.

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That is a really great idea… I’ll try it!

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Like others I meal plan for the week Friday night and pick up groceries on Saturday. We cook a protein for salads on a Saturday or Sunday and we typically plan 3-4 meals and the others end up being leftovers or something easy like brinner or avocado toast. I use a dry erase board with the days of the week to list meals and I also make sure to mark the page number in the cookbook so you can find them quickly. We use Skinnytaste One and Done and Skinnytaste Fast and Slow cookbooks all the time.

Question about speed work (and if you answered this in a different post please direct me there): how are you calculating your pace when it’s less than a mile? Do you calculate out your time/distance before to know if you’re hitting your paces, use the lap button, or have your pace up continuously up on your Garmin? I’m trying to incorporate more speed work and not sure how to know what may pace is when I’m running the pace for less than a mile. Thanks for any thoughts!

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Hey Lindsey! Great question because I did not explain it very well ha. So for this workout I just set the treadmill to a certain pace and didn’t change it for the entire interval… so for the last one I set it at a 10.0 so that is how I know I was going at a 6 minute mile pace for that interval even though I didn’t go the full mile. When I am doing my speedwork outside then I set my garmin to show me my average pace for the LAP and use the lap button for each interval. That way I know how fast I am going for that interval (and if my workout calls for .5 miles in 3 minutes and 15 seconds then I figure out what pace that is for the mile ((6:30)) and hit that average pace for the interval). I hope this helps and let me know if you have any other questions. Super excited for your speed work! That is such a great idea to include the page number for your recipes on your board, I’m going to copy you!

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We live downtown but also on the river’s edge so we get raccoons, turkeys, turtles, snakes, toads, and tons of cool birds like gulls, great blue herons, hawks, eagles, owls, and vultures! I “save” as many snakes and frogs as i can by moving them off the path so they don’t get smushed by bikes. I love being so close to wildlife!

I have a February birthday…..started celebrating already even though it is not until the 27th! And I have a 5k on March 2nd then a half on March 3rd so it’s like a birthday race! I am doing the 5k as a shake out for the half…..that way I complete the “challenge” and get 3 medals!
Have a great day!!

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You get all sorts of animals, that is awesome! Happy birthday month and enjoy all of the celebrating. 3 medals, YES PLEASE. Thanks, you too Loribeth!

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Ugh I an in my first trimester and the sloppy joe on sweet potato made me want to puke 😆. Normally that would sound delicious to me, thanks alot pregnancy. But a serious question about it too, I often will sub out the carb in a meal and put my meal on a salad veggie etc. My 2.5 year old just started noticing that I am eating something different and it reminded me of your recent post about your kiddos and food attitudes. How do you (if they notice) explain why mama isn’t eating hers on a bun? Obviously you are running a ton and could eat carbs for days so is it as simple as talking about your body needing good fuel through things like sweet potatoes…but then does that send the message the bun isn’t good!? Maybe it’s as simple as “this sounded good to me”? So it doesn’t come off as a good food/bad food mentality?

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So I just left a comment on this post below yours so I read your post and I wanted to share my thoughts, for me personally anyway :) I like to eat this meal on a sweet potato and my kids like it on rolls. Simple as that. I offer it to them on a roll OR sweet potato and they get to choose. Honestly, sometimes I eat it on a roll too because that is what sounds good. When I make fresh mex, they get to choose if they want it on lettuce (which is the route I usually go) or on a tortilla. I tell them how much I love vegetables (honestly my kids really like vegetables too, just not salad. lol) and in this moment, that is what sounded good to me. I take an intuitive eating approach. Because of this there are some meals they have tried and ended up liking BETTER on spaghetti squash vs. noodles and what not. But it is always a choice for them and for me.

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Thank you for your response! It sounds like you handle it really well. It’s so hard in our world to guide our kids in a healthy and empowering way but being aware and mindful of it is a great start for us all.

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GREAT QUESTION Lauren and that is exactly what I did too Megan. I had both sweet potatoes and buns out and now have a bunch of sweet potatoes in my fridge ha because they all wanted buns. This meal is actually funny because the kids know I have a phobia of soggy bread (why I never ate sloppy joes growing up… I just can’t handle my bread being wet) so they knew in the first place why I chose the sweet potato. AND YES to everything Megan said… she kills it with this as she is raising her kids.

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Yay! I am so glad you tried it and liked it…and even more importantly (maybe?) that everyone ate it. Maybe it was Annabelle’s description that had you sold. Haha. So gross. I can’t make that meal without thinking of “soft chunks of meat”

I like to plan meals for the next week either on Saturday or Sunday. I like to pick 2 or 3 meals that will have left overs and then a an easy meal that wont’ have leftovers like brinner or sandwiches etc. That way there are plenty things to rotate throughout the week. I usually just pick the things I want (ha! If I am buying it, making it and am usually the one who eats most of the leftovers, then I get more say ;) ) and then a meal that my kids like more – like the sloppy joes, spaghetti or chili.

I order my groceries and schedule them to be picked up Monday morning on the way home from the gym. That way it is done and out of the way, I didn’t have to spend time in the store and buy things I don’t need as well, and it makes me get up and not miss my early morning Monday class ;)

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THANK YOU FOR SAVING OUR FAMILY DINNERS and for the soft chunks of meat. Making those taquitos tonight. You should get all of the say;) . I am going to copy you on the Monday morning grocery pickup. I was at the store yesterday for way too long and if I do that then I will lose steam with this goal of mine. Thanks for all of the help Megan. 8 days until our run !

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Found any creepy animals where you live? No, but we had a mountain lion attack a runner yesterday on a trail that I run all the time.

How do you meal plan each week? I pick two meats, cook one on Monday night and use it for Mon/Tues dinners (like ground turkey for spaghetti and tacos) and then cook the other meat on Wednesday and use it for two nights (baked chicken for Chicken and potatoes and chicken chili). I always have rice, canned beans, and corn for tacos/chili/burritos, etc. and I always have pasta on hand. I pick a few veggies each week. This week is broccoli, snow peas and carrots. I’ll roast them, steam them or saute them to go with our meals.

Do you have a favorite documentary? Journey to the South Pacific. I first saw it in the Omni theater at our local Nature and Science Museum years ago, and it finally came out on Blu Ray so I bought it!

Who has a February race or a February birthday? No February races for me! Training for an ultra in April.

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Are you in Colorado? I saw that and I’m posting about it tomorrow! Stay safe! Your method of meal planning sounds awesome. So excited for your ultra in two months ahhhh!

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My goal is always to meal plan on Sunday evenings or Monday morning, so I can go to the store Monday. I pay for it on weeks I don’t because I end up at the store 3+ times! When I’m at my most organized, I make a 4 week category rotation so each day I just have to fill in a meal from that day’s category. That makes it super easy!! Good luck. It’s hard to get in a routine but it sure pays off once you do :)

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Those ice cream bars from Costco look amazing — definitely need to try them! Speaking of which, have your tried the Healthy Choice brand of frozen fudge bars there? They are SO good!

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Hi Janae and everyone!
I am a longtime reader of the blog and loved reading your post today and everyone’s comments!
The reason I am commenting is veeeery unconventional, but I work at a wildlife refuge where we take care of permanently injured wildlife. One of the animals that we take care of is an opposum. They are 100% one of the most misunderstood animals and I love love love (guess I’m in the right field, haha) spreading the word about how awesome they are! Did you know they can eat thousands of ticks off of their fur in just one season (yay, opposums!) ? Or that they are North America’s only marsupial (like kangaroos, they have a pouch!). They are born the size of a honey bee! Even though they may look a little creepy, they are totally harmless (in fact, their body temperature is too low to carry rabies), and every animal has their purpose in the ecosystem. Don’t get me wrong – seeing an unexpected animal while running has scared the beejezus out of me too, but I just wanted to spread the word on how amazing native wildlife is – and how important it is for runners to protect their habitat!
Thanks everybody!

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I freeze everything in batches and make a list of what I have in my freezer, soup in crockpots are the easiest!

Oy, the animals around here are for the most part pretty mild (typical squirrels that have a penchant for anything in our dumpster and turkeys lol), but I have seen a pack of wild coyotes in a cemetery on one of my runs. I thought they were dogs and I could not find my way out, I ended up on a side street dirt road leading to a Main road thankfully!

I accidentally hid a raccoon with my car this past summer :(. Lil guy costs me almost $350 in repairs, so I have 0 sympathy for them! The most creepy thing I have ever seen around here though is a fishercat. One was dying in my fiancé’s windwell on the Fourth of July. Animal control was closed for the 4th and the weekend, his neighbor who was a cop took care of it haha. We still talk about it, listen to their shrieks, they are vicious!

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omg its so funny that you would bring up the raccoon — i just saw a raccoon on Monday night while I was walking my dog and I thought it was so odd, i never see raccoons just walking around (it was dark and near bushes, but still) so I was really wondering what he was up to. Well the next day we walked by the same spot, and I noticed 100 feet away there was a raccoon roadkill.. our lil buddy didn’t look both ways! How weird is that to see !? sorry i hope this doesnt bum anybody out..

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Wow I can’t believe that your plan for 50 MILES is not to just survive it, but to “see what you can do”!! You are just amazing! I really, really enjoy watching you train and strive for amazing goals I definitely do not plan to pursue myself. 😉

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