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Running Through a Fulfilled Life


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On the 3rd Day of Vacation

I danced like an absolute crazy person who can’t be bothered to change out of her running clothes.

http://justdancetv.ubi.com/en-GB/xbox/channels/video/key/Y29udGVudElkPTE1Mzkx

Fin.

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The 5 Days of Vacation

It is rare for me to take a ton of time off work in a row because I like to hoard my PTO like an episode of Hoarders.  You never know what can happen throughout a year and I like to be a doomsday prepper when it comes to PTO.  Which inevitably leads to having a large accumulation of time left for the month of December.  I took Wednesday->Friday off from work this week to use some time up.  I figured it would help me to finally feel like I was ready in both heart, mind, and soul to celebrate Christmas.  Tack on the weekend and I have 5 days off from work.

Eli Claus is coming to town!

Eli Claus is coming to town!

On the first day of vacation (yesterday), I chose to do 4 loads of laundry.  People watched the hell out of the laundromat.  Got my oil changed in my car.  Did a ton of grocery shopping for my holiday cooking/baking.  Ran 6.5 miles.  And was in my pajamas by 3:00 PM.  Watched 3 Family Channel made-for-TV Christmas movies.  Drank a beer.  Had 99 Bananas and made awful faces.  And then promptly passed out.  Oh the amazing life I lead.

On my second day of vacation (today), I chose to crack the whip on some holiday baking.  Hubs needs some goodies for his work shin-dig tomorrow, so I chose 2 of my favorite recipes.  Yes, THIS girl *points two thumbs at self* can bake AND cook pretty well when time allows.

Truffles!!!

Truffles!!!

I am pretty sure that maybe everyone has eaten or made Oreo Truffles at some point.  They are super popular around the Holidays.  And super awesomely easy to make.  The above picture is my Mom’s recipe.

I finally used my food processor that has been gathering dust since June 2011

I finally used my food processor that has been gathering dust since June 2011

You start by placing all the Oreo’s in a food processor and grinding until they are like Oreo dust.  Mix with the softened cream cheese.  This results in this.

Oreo and cream cheese monstrosity

Oreo and cream cheese monstrosity

Now comes the fun part.  Rolling the above concoction into tiny balls.  Tiny brown balls.

Get a load of my chocolate, salty balls

Get a load of my chocolate, salty balls

The balls must be refrigerated for 1 hour before proceeding.  Once cold, the balls can be dipped into melted dark chocolate and placed onto waxed paper.  You can choose to use festive sprinkles on top.

Yum!! Truffles all done and ready to refrigerate!

Yum!! Truffles all done and ready to refrigerate!

Messy fingers usually result

Messy fingers usually result

 

Caution: Truffles may make you look super creeptastic

Caution: Truffles may make you look super creeptastic

Once I was done playing finger paint with chocolate, I cleaned up the kitchen for Round 2.  Since I started making these particular cookies, whenever I get invited anywhere I am not allowed to make anything BUT these.  I can hardly take credit for the recipe, I got it from Picky Palate.  However, at my work place it’s a given that I have to make these every 1-2 months or else the natives get restless.  What can I say?  They and I love S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Start with the sugars, softened butter and place into a mixing bowl

Start with the sugars, softened butter and place into a mixing bowl

Ingredients placed inside mixing bowl, beat together until blended well.

Ingredients placed inside mixing bowl, beat together until blended well.

Add vanilla and eggs and beat again.

Add vanilla and eggs and beat again.

Place all of the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together.  Then gradually add to mixer, blending well.

Place all of the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together. Then gradually add to mixer, blending well.

Add in dry mixture.

Add in dry mixture.

Next add in chocolate chips.  Basically, making chocolate chip cookie dough.

Next add in chocolate chips. Basically, making chocolate chip cookie dough.

Now for the fun part.  This is where I deviate from the actual recipe.  The Picky Palate version calls for making a s’more and surrounding it in cookie dough.  From experience, this results in this recipe only making like 6 Frisbee sized cookies.  So, I like to make my balls of dough on the cookie sheet and place the s’more ingredients on top.  Making sure to add the ever important last dollop of dough on top so that it will bake over.

Ingredients placed on top

Ingredients placed on top

Added dollop of dough

Added dollop of dough

Pre-entering the oven

Pre-entering the oven

After baking at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, the end result!

Post oven!

Post oven!

S'mores Chocolate Chip Cookies!

S’mores Chocolate Chip Cookies!

What will the next 3 Days of vacation bring?  I plan to fly by the seat of my pants on those.  And try not to blow away in the 50 mph sustained winds tomorrow.


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Race Recap: Santa Hustle 5K

I’m hustler, baby.  I just want you to know.

The Santa Hustle was something I had marked on my racing calendar since a Groupon offer came about and I had to pounce on it.  I couldn’t turn a chance to run a holiday themed race (centered around my favorite holiday) in my own backyard.  I chose to run the 5K because I am a giant wussy kid and thought the weather in December could be cold, windy, and downright miserable.  So instead of enduring 1.5 hours +, I elected to choose 22-23 minutes of misery.  And then it decided to be 50 degrees out on December 16.  Blasphemy.

I still had a blast doing the 5K.  I convinced my parents to register and was super pumped that 2 of my besties from college also decided to partake (Jess was a total BAMF and ran the Half Marathon. She obviously is not a giant wussy kid like me.)

Pre-Race Shenanigans

Pre-Race Shenanigans

The race started and finished at Castaway Bay.  I was concerned that parking would become an issue, so we got to the race extra early and got to pass off Jess her race packet.

Teabaggin Fo Life.  Son.

Teabaggin Fo Life. Son.

Before starting my own warm-up, I wanted to watch Jess and the other Half Marathoners start.

The Half Marathon getting lined up

The Half Marathon getting lined up

The finish line all set up

The finish line all set up

Just prior the start of the Half Marathon

Just prior the start of the Half Marathon

Oh look! I've spotted a Jess!

Oh look! I’ve spotted a Jess!

Off and running.  Being distracted by Jackie.  Totally acceptable.

Off and running. Being distracted by Jackie. Totally acceptable.

Once the Half Marathon was off and out of Castaway, I started getting warmed up.  I felt pretty good, I was just worried about the 20 mph wind that was coming out of the South that was sure to majorly suck anus.  And boy was I right.

We took off right on time and even though I lined up towards the front, I still found myself getting out rather slow and having to weave around so many slow runners.  I didn’t find clearance from the pack until well beyond Breakers Express.  Yuck.  I pushed and felt comfortable.  I was sure that given the right conditions I would have been able to hold pace.  My goal was to stick to a 7:00/mile pace.  And I did until I hit the turnaround.

And then I quit holding pace and started thinking I would rather eat cookies and walk.  I just wanted to finish.  My body felt like it was going to blow off the causeway.  There was no letting up from the wind.  It hurt my body to lean forward into it.  It just plain sucked to run into the 20 mph wind for over a mile.  My thoughts wandered to poor Jess stuck out on the Half Marathon course and how she was going to have to run into this wind for over 3 miles.  So I made up my mind to finish, take pictures of my family and friends, and then help her finish.  I crossed the finish line in 22:48.

Dying at the end of my race

Dying at the end of my race

Good enough to place 3rd in my Age Group, 12th Female Overall.  Happy with it, but not what I was aiming for certainly.  Had it not been so windy, I think I would have been awfully close to breaking 22 again.

Jeremy entering the Finish area

Jeremy entering the Finish area

My Mom rounding the final turn

My Mom rounding the final turn

Mom finishing her first 5K back since June...a smidge over 28 minutes and a 1st in her age group!  So happy for her!

Mom finishing her first 5K back since June…a smidge over 28 minutes and a 1st in her age group! So happy for her!

T-Rex Race walking it in

T-Rex Race walking it in

Almost done!

Almost done!

My Mom is so cute.  Stylish IT Band Stretching.

My Mom is so cute. Stylish IT Band Stretching.

Once my picture fiesta was over, I ran out along the course again and settled into a spot about 1.5 miles from the finish.  And waited for a flash of neon green.

Running back along the course...the photographer was like where are you going?

Running back along the course…the photographer was like where are you going? Also, it appears the man in the background may be spreading his own Christmas Joy.

The runners coming across the Causeway with Cedar Point in the background

The runners coming across the Causeway with Cedar Point in the background

DSCF5127a DSCF5128a

And together we ran the last 1+ mile together and hopefully helped keep her going through that horrendous wind.

Best Picture Ever!

Best Picture Ever!

Take Number 1 of our picture...LOVE IT

Take Number 1 of our picture…LOVE IT

When we actually behave...Love these girls

When we actually behave…Love these girls

So happy to be able to have my parents there with me!

So happy to be able to have my parents there with me!

My overall race experience was great.  The location was wonderful, I loved the Christmas theme and seeing all the clever costumes, and I loved running into family/friends.  The course was fairly flat and the only drawback was the horrible wind.  My age group medal was cute and good quality.  Next year I would love to do the Half and get to venture through Cedar Point.  This race is definitely a must do!