Marathon Monday 2017

PJ: “Marathon Monday is the most American day of the year.”

Me: “Even more so than Fourth of July?”

PJ: “Definitely.”

After this year, I can actually believe him. Marathon Monday, aka Patriot’s Day (technically, vice versa) was yesterday, and it was as awe-inspiring, patriotic, and fun as ever!

I’m sure many of you know that the Boston Marathon is a pretty huge deal, and we students at Boston University have the privilege of getting the day off classes watching the participants charge right through our campus.

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LOTS of police security

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If you missed coverage of it, here are 12 must-see things moments from the marathon. My friends and I got to see Jose Luis Sanchez (a marine who lost his leg and ran the race with a prosthetic leg while holding a LARGE American flag) run to the finish. It was incredible. Everyone who participated is incredible.

Marathon Monday is also a notorious drinking day for the young, 21+ adults of Boston, but that’s much less important.

My day started early with more peanut butter, banana, strawberry overnight oats (it’s good to be back).

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Then I headed to my friend Lauren’s place to watch them celebrate Marathon Monday the way young adults do 🙂

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applause for those leggings, please

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After a couple hours of hangin’ out, I headed back to my apartment to study for an hour and nap, because I have been the worst at letting myself sleep at night lately.

I woke up feeling refreshed and then scarfed down a quick lunch before meeting back up with the crew on their way to see our friend/Rachel’s boyfriend, Austin, at the finish line!

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As always, we had a grand ol’ time cheering on all the runners/cyclists. It’s not a Marathon Monday without losing your voice a little bit. But we were truly the loudest kids on the block when we saw Austin coming!

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Congrats, Austin!! He got pretty badly dehydrated but still finished in 3:45:15. What a champ.

The rest of us were just like, “Our feet hurt from standing. Let’s go eat.”

Afterwards, I went back home to study a little bit more and do a quick workout in the apartment:

4 rounds for time:

  • 10 pushup burpees
  • 20 jump lunges
  • 15 pushups
  • 30 mountain climbers each leg
  • 40 air squat to side leg lifts

It took just under 19 minutes to complete. That’s about the extent of my stamina right there.

Then I rushed out to meet PJ for dinner at Saloniki Greek in Fenway!

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It’s kinda like a Greek version of Chipotle or Subway, except a little more gourmet. I got “The George”, which had spicy Colorado lamb meatballs, charred eggplant spread, zesty garlic yogurt, secret sauce, greens, tomato, cucumber, Greek fries, and I added some broken olive tapenade, all in a homemade pita.

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It was giant and so delicious. I [slowly but surely, and very messily] finished every last bite. Thank you again for treating, PJ!

Of course, we had to end with dessert, so we went to Cafe 472 for frozen yogurt. I got the apple pie flavor with granola on top. This isn’t like other froyo, guys. This is more like a massive soft-serve-blizzard-type deal.

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I also finished every last bite of that. Look at this sunset we got to witness while we ate!

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Goodness gracious, I love you, Boston.

Hope you all have a great Tuesday!

So tell me:

Did you follow the marathon at all? What were your favorite parts if you did?

Best thing you ate yesterday! That pita for sure.

“I’ve Had So Much Rest. I Should Be Able to Do This Workout!”

I feel like an adolescent going through a growth spurt. Or just a woman going through woman things.

I can’t. stop. sleeping. Or eating for that matter.

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Kylie’s banana pudding for breakfast

*eats a Rawxie bar*

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thanks for getting these sent to me, Emily! ♥︎ 

*eats a giant apple*

*eats a slice of cheese*

*eats crackers*

…within a 45 minute time span. *eats a spoonful of peanut butter an hour later*

Also, I defied my craving for a slow workout yesterday, which wasn’t the best idea. I did one round (instead of two) of Colby’s day three lower body workout, and I was absolutely spent. It wasn’t just a muscle fatigue thing; it actually did not feel good for my body or brain, so I skipped the second round.

After my warm up, I thought, “I really don’t want to do this workout. I could nap right here, right now.” Evidently, sometimes I still have trouble listening to my body, but I like to at least warm up and start the workout. If it absolutely sucks, then I modify like I did yesterday.

Do you ever think, “I gave myself a rest/yoga/active recovery day yesterday. Heck, I had so many days off of exercise last week! I should be able to do an intense workout today!”? That’s sort of what went through my mind yesterday, but I know that’s not necessarily true. We have a cycle ladies, so the kinds of movements and amounts of energy our bodies need cycle naturally.

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sneaky pic by Madre a couple days ago feat. college things

Dudes, you probably have off weeks too, right? I dunno, maybe you’re all invincible and never get tired.

All this to say: Don’t forget to listen to your body. You will not shrivel into a raisin if you do just yoga/walking/resting for one week.

Last night I had the privilege of meeting up with my wonderful friend, Christine! We were also supposed to meet up with Colby, but the poor girl had an infection that she had to take care of. Keep her in your prayers!

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Facebook reminded me that it had actually been exactly one year since we had dinner in the city together during my last winter break! This time, we met up at Le Botaniste, an organic, plant-based, fast-service restaurant.

We both got brown rice bowls with their delicious coconut curry peanut sauce. My add ons included pickled cabbage, turmeric onions, and Moroccan carrots.

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It was very satisfying, filling and tasty, but I can definitely make these at home. The company was the most important part though! Christine and I had a lot of much-needed girl chat.

Christine: “Do you want to get dessert?”

Me: “I was just about to ask.”

To froyo we went!

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toppings galore

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dessert-y for me, fruity for her

Vegetables and sugar are two of my favorite food groups.

I love you, Christine!! Thanks for a fun girls’ night 🙂

So tell me:

Does your workout motivation/energy ebb and flow?

What is the best vegetarian/vegan restaurant you’ve ever been to? 

Ireland Soon, But Boston First

So much for shorter, more frequent posts.

Time got away from me as these past few days have been a whirlwind (← prepare to hear that from me for the next year or so).

I’m currently in Boston visiting friends for the week, but nothing for Ireland is packed. A week from now I will be almost 3,000 miles away from home. For four months. Hahaaaa whaaaaat.

But it has been oh so worth it to hop from one thing to the next though. Seeing friends in Boston has been lovely ♥︎

Highlights from these past four days:

FRIDAY

It was my last day of work at the rehab hospital, which was bittersweet for sure. This job that I almost didn’t get turned out to be one of the most eye-opening, enriching, and challenging experiences I have ever encountered. It has also reassured me that I do love the field of physical therapy *sigh of relief*.

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my “I’m running late on my last day of work” breakfast

The kind folks at work bought me lunch from a local deli that they had been raving about all summer long. I got the “Nello burger”, which was a chicken burger with provolone, broccoli rabe, cherry peppers, and balsamic glaze. Very tasty!

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I also snacked on some corn bread that I baked for everyone. Then they gave me the coolest gift a future PT (or any health pro) could ask for:

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*angels singing*

DOPE SCOPE.

Other than taking blood pressure with it, I’ll just stare at the stethoscope and talk about the future with it. Maybe name it.

Later that night I did a quick 16 minute workout, ate a leisurely dinner with our family friends who were staying with us for the night, and packed for Boston, which took way longer than I expected; I totally overestimated my ability to pack for dorm life for a week.

I was also scrambling to ask friends for a place to stay, because I am a bad planner/great procrastinator. I promised to be an indentured servant to them. (Thank you so much, Christina and Lauren!! ♥︎)

SATURDAY

I was a little stressed and very exhausted on Friday night, which is a perfect combo for insomnia for me. -_-  I got a wee four hours of sleep before we headed off to Boston the next morning, but God is generous and allowed me to feel surprisingly awake. I even drove the first shift!

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peach banana overnight oats in a jar made my life feel slightly more stable

We arrived in (HOT) Boston at around 10 am, where we helped my friend move into MIT. Their buildings are asymmetrical and unconventional, just like the talented and off-the-cuff students who attend MIT.

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who needs rectangular windows when you can pretend you’re in an airplane?

Later on, the fam hit the road again for home. I dropped off my stuff at my friends’ apartment and grabbed lunch at Crispy Crepes Cafe. They serve crepes galore and… Middle Eastern food? A combo that I think should exist in more places.

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I happily ran into my friend, Lauren, and her mom, so I hung out with them for a bit. Lauren and I went to meet her friends at Super 88 later, where I picked up some dinner (which I knew would make for a really cheap three meals!).

Just look at how beautiful Lauren is for a second:

Alison wants to go to Canada and would be ready for bed instantly if she could have one superpower and I love her.

A post shared by Lauren Gustainis (@lgustainis) on

I told her that our face shapes are extremely similar. Aren’t they?

Dinner in the apartment:

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I thought about seeing friends later that night, but my body wanted to sleep at 8pm after a night of sleeplessness before. I tried to sleep at 8, but I only quasi-napped for an hour before giving up on sleeping (damn insomnia). I played around on my phone and read blogs for an hour or so before closing my eyes again, when I finally fell asleep.

 SUNDAY

I woke up, ate breakfast, and then took a nap right after breakfast. That’s the way to live a Sunday!

I brought my own oatmeal, peanut butter and a few bananas for the week, so I mashed those all together for breakfast. I found some almond milk in my friend’s fridge, so I poured a bit of that on top.

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But as soon as I took my first bite, I thought, “Nooooope.” Spoiled almond milk. I had to dump the whole thing 😦 Apparently, expiration dates on almond milk don’t mean anything if it’s been open for a while anyway. I didn’t sniff-test it, and I paid for it.

Take two, no milk:

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I’ve eaten weirder things.

After breakfast and a nap, I worked out at my favorite place by the river. I did a random bodyweight strength-plyo-cardio workout that was hard, but it felt great to move!

I showered quickly and then headed to the Catholic Center for Mass. I got to see and hug many friends there, which made me very happy.

Lunch at Gyro City with some of said friends:

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I demolished the whole chicken gyro (with a honey mustard sauce, ooo!), and I must have used ten napkins. I need to work on jaw maneuvers to minimize the amount of food I get on my face. I also wouldn’t be surprised if I have a hand-eye coordination deficit, so..

Later on, I met up with Lauren for some coffee shop chat.

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blueberry ginger scone

We watched a few episodes of The Office while I answered some blog comments and emails. Then it was Back Bay Mobile Soup Kitchen time, with a bunch of inspiring young people, including Lauren!

I got back to the room at around 9:30, where I ate another third of the Super 88 meal while FaceTiming Rachel (she’s coming today!!!).

MONDAY

MOVING DAY!! I helped Lauren and Christina move their stuff from their summer apartment to their apartment for the school year. It was sweaty and ridiculous, but it was a good workout at least? Teamwork makes the dream work, as well.

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the haphazard life of college students

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puppy therapy

Lunch was the last third of the Super 88 meal. WHAT A DEAL. I just ate it with a box of spring mix that I bought on Saturday.

My friend, Evan, brought me some of his homemade yogurt, which served as a delightful post-move-in snack. The yogurt is so thick and creamy, and I loved that it wasn’t super sweet, even with the raspberry preserves. Thanks again, Evan!

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he even put it in a hipster mason jar

Later that evening, I met up with my peanut butter pal, Christina (@foodietunes)! Check out her apartment view:

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ARE WE KIDDING.

The inside of her apartment is also beautiful. But the best part of it all was seeing her beautiful face and getting to catch up!

After that, I took a much needed shower before eating dinner with Lauren and our friend, Ben, at Chipotle. My second time at Chipotle EVER.

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I tried sofritas for the first time, and it was good!

When I’m in college, I don’t think about food as much, because I kinda just need to eat, go places, do things, and see people. Eating is necessary and is good for conversation, but no one really dwells on food when we’re all having a good time or super busy, which is nice and different from being at home by myself when I have too many options and opportunities to eat whatever I want.

Lauren taught us how to play a board game called King of Tokyo, which I won! (Beginners’ luck, or perhaps as Ben insisted, “The game favored you from the start.” It’s because I’m Asian.)

Lauren also let me use one of her face masks and nose strips, because seeing gunk come out of your face is girly and fun! Girl talk 1also always comes on the side 🙂

TUESDAY

After another weird breakfast, I said goodbye to Lauren, because she went home for the week before school starts for them next week.

I exercised a little bit in the room and started this blog post before heading to Mass. I got a nice footlong from Subway for lunch to serve as two meals (#bargaining) and ate it by the river.

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roast beef, pepper jack cheese, spinach, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomato, and honey mustard

Ahhhh I love this place!!

I went back to the Catholic Center to say hi and bye to Joe, since he stopped by for a bit. He promised me he would eat his vegetables in seminary, so I’m saying it here and holding him to it.

Then I asked my friend Nico if he wanted to come to the gym with me, and he agreed! We didn’t work out together, but at least we were working out in solidarity.

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Nico: “I look terrified.”

I hadn’t squatted something heavier than 36# in a long time, so I did Jen’s squat burpee ladder workout with 95#. I followed that up with some single leg deadlift with bent over rows, cleans and presses, jump lunges with a 10# plate, leg press, and kettlebell swings.

I ate an apple with peanut butter while typing up the rest of this post. Then I ate the second half of my Subway footlong for dinner (another great deal!).

Froyo and an evening walk with Nico, since all our other friends were either working or not here in Boston yet. But mostly since froyo and a walk with Nico sounded like a nice idea!

I am beyond thrilled to be here with friends. It’s also fun seeing all the baby freshmen getting stoked for their college journey (I say as if I’m thirty years older than them). I’m going to miss this city dearly this semester, but I’m excited for the adventures that God has in store for both myself and all my friends in Boston + family at home.

So tell me: 

College students: Does being with your college friends change your relationship with food in any way? 

Do you know how to use a stethoscope? Please tell me about other uses.

What is your favorite “bargain” meal purchase? Super 88 and Subway are pretty great options, I’ve found.

Currently…

I just walked outside to check the mail in shorts and a t-shirt.

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I mean, I was chilly, but I was okay. Don’t get me wrong— I very much appreciate this warmer weather, because only God knows what the rest of winter has in store for Boston…

Speaking of Boston, I’ll be back there in less than a week! I was complaining to everyone that winter break is too long (I’ll miss my friends, wahh wahh, #firstworldproblems), but this one has gone by in a flash. I’m not even sick of my family yet! 😉

I feel like I have a lot to tell you, but I am completely stumped on how to make it all cohesive, so I think this is a great time to do a “Currently” post! Julia and Hayley recently shared theirs for this month, and Amanda always does them. I like this bandwagon, so I’m hoppin’ on it!

Current book: Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux. Rachel and I are reading it together over winter break, but I feel like we’re not going to finish it by the time we get back to school. Or maybe that’s just me.

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It’s St. Therese’s autobiography, and it is one of the sweetest, most inspiring stories ever. My opinion may or may not be influenced by the fact that she’s my patron saint. But still! It’s beautiful.

Current music: I’m loving a lot of songs right now, but I just listened to this one. So sick.

Love the song. Do not condone smoking.

Current guilty pleasure: Froyo and pizza. Except that I am not guilty whatsoever. I ate froyo with Daliza and Michael on Friday night, and I ate pizza with some more high school friends when I hosted them on Saturday night.

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Um, I really like pizza. It had been tooooooo long.

Current nail color: Some metallic rose color that is chipped and fab. You don’t want to see it.

Current drink: Honestly, this will probably always be water or milk, unless we decide that melted peanut butter counts.

Current food: Opened-face egg sandwiches— one with melted cheese, one with avocado and sriracha, and then let it rain cracked black pepper. Angels sing whenever I pierce open that runny yolk (← that sounds really freaking weird, but I’m keeping it).

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Current obsession: Stretching my calves. I have very tight calves, and I blame that on my childhood habit of walking on my toes around the house and possibly figure skating. As a future physical therapist, I figured it would be a good idea to make sure I have that range of motion in my calves for movements like squats. I’ve been doing this stretch:

Also, I’m not super keen on the fact that my heels naturally pop up when I walk. I feel like an eager five-year-old going off to kindergarten.

Current craving: Probably sleep. Me:

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Current need: To do my nails (see “current nail color”).

Current bane of my existence: Nothing major, thankfully. The cost of textbooks?… I really need to work once I get back to Boston.

Current indulgence: I am currently sitting in our cushy recliner chair with a fluffy blanket and pillow on my lap. I would get up to get my phone that’s ten feet away to take a photo of the scene, but I’m being indulgent and not moving (see gif under “current craving”).

Current procrastination: Unpacking from college. Oh wait, but I’m going to have to pack for college again on Friday… DARN. (Fellow college students, am I the only one who doesn’t really unpack over breaks?)

Current confession: I’m stuffing all my friend catch-up in these last 1.5 weeks that I’m home. But that’s just concentrated smile-time right?

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she has such pearly white teeth

On Friday, Daliza and I went to an old garden that was owned by a wealthy lawyer named Samuel Untermeyer during the 1800s. The garden is obviously not that lush right now in the middle of winter, but it still has a cool, eerie vibe. Totally up Daliza’s alley. Totally some place I would only visit with Daliza.

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Later that night, Daliza and I met up with our pal Michael for crepes… until we found froyo at the crepe place. The next night, I hosted a few of my other high school friends for pizza and a huge catch-up session. We talked for a solid 5 hours! Lettin’ those good times roll.

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I kept bringing down snacks throughout the night, just like mama taught me. You will never go hungry in the moves and grooves household.

Current quote: I’m really feelin’ this.

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Current excitement: I am meeting up with two friends today! First is Colby, who was one of my cabin-mates at Blend last year (her Instagram is filled with pancakes and motivation). Second is Christine, who graduated from BU last year (she also has a blog!).

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Colby is right next to me!

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Christine, my fellow banana (yellow on the outside, white on the inside)

Current mood: Blessed/content/humbled. I am incredibly grateful for the good people in my life and for all God’s blessings.

Have a fantastic week, everyone! Eat a couple slices of pizza at some point.

So tell me your current…

…indulgence

…food

…excitement

…favorite pizza!

Hiking in Colorado

If you want to get fit, come to Colorado.

My brother told me that Colorado has the fittest people in the nation, and I believe that wholeheartedly. The atmosphere and culture just scream: “Outdoors! Stay active! Wear sneakers!”

I mean, with this kind of land, how could the culture not be that way?

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When in Colorado, do as Colorado people do. So we’ve been getting outdoors and climbing ALL the rocks!

(Warning: A ridiculous amount of photos ahead!}

Monday: Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater

We started with a delicious breakfast a la hotel.

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scrambled eggs, hard boiled egg, Canadian bacon + oatmeal with honey, banana, and pb

other half of banana with more peanut butter

Mom: “Alison’s cooking.” ➔ aka cutting up a banana and spooning peanut butter onto my oatmeal.

Then we were off to Red Rocks! As soon as I started walking up the hill and stairs, my heart started beating what felt like twice as fast as usual. Hello, high altitude!

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But the beauty of the red rocks distracted me from my lack of lung capacity.

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The good people of Colorado were doing their thing, working out at the amphitheater by running the bleachers and climbing the stairs. Ben and I were inspired!

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 had to throw some burpee bench jumps in there

Ben and I decided to walk on the quick and leisurely 1.4 mile trail around the red rocks. Man, was it fantastic.

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Our time at Red Rocks ended up being a great workout between all the stairs and walking, so we were definitely ready for lunch afterwards.

DSC_0960 some Enlightened crisps to snack on

Ben found a Nepalese/Indian restaurant with great reviews on Yelp called Sherpa House. It was an all you can eat buffet for $9.99! NAAN, PLEASE AND THANKS.

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After a mighty satisfying lunch, Ben and I explored the town we were in— Golden, CO. My motive for exploration was finding ice cream, to be honest. But the quaint, western town was beautiful and charming! (We found awesome ice cream though. Caramel Oreo + Bing Cherry, oh my goodness.)

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The rest of our day was spent in our hotel room resting/blogging until we went out to dinner at California Pizza Kitchen with some family friends. I had the roasted vegetable salad with grilled chicken, which I totally devoured. Plus lots of bread and olive oil.

Tuesday: Bear Peak

This hike was probably the hardest workout I’ve ever done. At least, it’s up there. If you see a little Asian waddling with a look of pain on her face in Colorado today and tomorrow, it’s probably me.

I woke up at 7:30, and my body felt pretty tired— not quite sore, but just lead-like. I knew that Ben and I had a long hike planned at Bear Peak, but I secretly wasn’t opposed to just chillaxin’ instead. But we got up, ate breakfast, and tackled the darn hike. We are in Colorado!

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scrambled eggs + pineapple + oatmeal with honey and pb (I didn’t end up eating the yogurt)

but I did have a quarter of my mom’s waffle with the rest of the honey and banana

Let me just commentate our hike for you. We heard great things about this trail, the weather was perfect, and we were excited (Ben a little more so than I). The hike was almost 8 miles and took us just over 5 hours.

I knew it was going to be a tough hike, and I consider myself to be fairly fit, but WOWZA this hike was a whole ‘nother level for me.

At the start:

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In my head: Oh that’s cute. The start of the trail is going downhill. Bringing you down to go up. 

Me: It’s so not cool to be hiking up a mountain when you just ate a large breakfast.

Ben: Some people run up this mountain. In the winter.

Me: If we see a mountain lion or bear, the plan is that I get up on your shoulders and we make ourselves look huge. I’ll try not to scream and you just back away. And you film the whole thing.

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The hike up to the summit was about 3 miles, with 1.1 miles being straight up. Those 1.1 miles were the death of me. Ben had to stop several times for me to catch my breath. If I want to make excuses, I’d say we were climbing from 6,000 ft to 8,000 ft elevation, which is way up there for this city girl. I’m also a high maintenance packer who brought two water bottles, lots of snacks, and my jacket in my honker of a backpack.

Me: I feel like I’m using the stair master, running, doing burpees, and squatting all at the same time.

Ben: We have about 1,000 ft of elevation left. ➔ I give him a silent death stare.

Me: I definitely should have eaten pizza last night. Need carbs.

Me: My glycogen stores are depleting. I need a snack.

 peanut butter and banana on whole wheat sandwich thin

 A girl about our age was climbing up behind us, and I let her pass us because she was a beast and powered through those rocks much faster than I. Poor Ben had to keep stopping for me, but he said that made it easy for him. Ha.

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After a sweaty and butt-killing 2.5 hours, we carefully climbed up the rocks at the summit and just soaked. it. in.

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In my head: Worth it. Also, don’t fall off the mountain.

We ate a power lunch/snack at the summit before heading back down the longer but less steep 4 mile trail down the mountain.

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sweet potato, eaten just like that

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The hike down was so much less strenuous than the hike up (thanks, gravity), but it was still interesting. There was a creek that was rushing pretty hard due to melting snow, and we had to cross it back and forth at least ten times. Our feet got completely wet, but it was still a fun challenge to figure out how to cross each time.

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Ben: I lied about this being the drier side of the mountain.

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we climbed up that whole left side of the mountain

In my head: If anything will kill me on this hike, it would be a fly buzzing past my ear, causing me to spazz out and fall off the cliff.

Our last obstacle of the hike was passing by a rattlesnake, which made my heart beat just as fast as when we were ascending the mountain.

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7.8+ miles and 5+ hours later, we made it back to where we started. It was an incredible experience and I absolutely loved this hike, despite the pain my legs are in right now.

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I ate two more of those peanut butter banana sandwiches upon finishing. 🙂

Showers and relaxation were much needed afterwards. Then dinner! Mom took us to a Vietnamese restaurant, where I ate a rice vermicelli bowl with grilled pork and tons of veggies, herbs, and ground peanuts. We also shared egg rolls as an appetizer. Hit the spot so good.

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As you can see, I housed that bowl. Hiking hunger is as real as “runger.” I even had room for frozen yogurt.

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peanut butter and cookies ‘n’ cream with graham cracker crumbs, hemp granola, and mochi

Now it’s time to sleep. Does anyone who is attending Blend wanna bring a foam roller?

Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday! Your lesson of the day: eat the dang pizza.

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Linking up this hiking and eating extravaganza with WIAW!

So tell me:

What is the hardest workout you’ve ever done?

Do you like hiking?

What sweet treats have you eaten lately?