Simple things Sunday: Living with intention

I hope you are sipping your coffee a little slower this morning, wearing cozy sweat pants, snuggling with you pet and planning to enjoy a beautiful fall day.

Yesterday Mike and I both had the day off. I feel like that rarely happens! We kept it low key, had a simple breakfast together, wandered around Old Fisherman’s Wharf (now that it’s no longer tourist season, yay!) and did a little browsing at Sur La Table.

I know it’s only October, and I don’t want to go all Costco and hang my Christmas decorations in August. I can’t help but start thinking about gifts already. These are perfect for the Type A chef!

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I love shopping there because they give me free samples of coffee. Dang it, even the stores know the way to my heart.

I had a shot of bold espresso from this Nespresso machine and fell in love. Their coffee pods have barcodes so the coffee machine can distinguish which pod you’re using and how it should brew.

A regular cup ‘o Joe or espresso, this babe does it all. Genius.

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After roaming the streets of Carmel, we came home and chilled out for a bit, then went on a dinner date. I ordered the spaghetti bolognaise and he had the braised short ribs with mashed potatoes and swiss chard. Then we traded plates half way through dinner which was his super awesome idea!

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Oh and, anyone want to come to a hummus tasting party at my place!? I have wine.

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Last night I pulled out my planner and started thinking about my goals for next week. Last week’s goals didn’t go so well, Mike was sick, I didn’t feel too great, some of my workouts didn’t happen, I was consumed with work, just some things life throws at ya.

Well I think it’s pretty darn cool we get a brand new week – a fresh start! So my goal for this week is to live with intention.

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Sometimes I find myself just going through the motions, doing things out of habit or just surviving. Who wants to live like that? So this week I am going to focus on doing what I love with passion and intention.

Other goals:

  • Run 2 days
  • Pool run 2 days
  • Try 2 new crockpot recipes
  • Take something other than turkey wraps and salads for work lunches. Gah, I am such a creature of habit.
  • 10,000 steps each day. Can you tell I love my fitbit? Ha!

How will you live with intention?

Any lunch ideas?

When do you start Christmas shopping?

Usually Black Friday, but I really suck at finding the perfect gifts, so I should probably start now. Ha!

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About my disappearing act this week…

Good Saturday morning friends!! Who’s running Chicago tomorrow? Good luck!

There has been a whole lotta busy going on over here. Actually just a lot of working. October is usually when our season starts winding down, but this year it has been insane and showing no signs of slowing down.

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Mike has been sick all week, but thankfully he is on the mend today. Cross your fingers all the green juice I’ve been chugging is going to keep his boy germs away.

I did have a rather exciting week at work. I had the honor to wait on and meet President George W. Bush!

I watched him tee off at our signature 7th. I was standing there watching him golf, trying to not to throw up. Ha! Right after he walked up to me and said “good morning darlin’.” Then looked at my nametag and said “Jacqueline, it’s nice to meet you.” as he reached out and shook my hand. <-Stuff I can’t make up.

It was such an incredible honor – something I will never forget.

I have a picture with him, but I promised Secret Service I wouldn’t put it online, so it’s scouts honor.

This sunset pic will have to do instead.

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In other news, I had yesterday off and all I wanted to do was sit and get a mani/pedi. It was everything I thought it would be.

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I did actually get the house cleaned, laundry/sheets clean, baked a fresh loaf of bread, cleaned the floors and did a Target/Costco run. Productivity at it’s finest.

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Oh and Bam says hi.

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I am looking forward to some downtime soon so I can sit right here with an iced coffee and watch the world go by with my boys.

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Better get ready for the day. I’m not sure what we’re doing, but the boy is feeling better and itching to get out of the house. Have a great weekend!!

Fill me in on what’s going on in your neck of the woods!!

Have you ever met anyone famous?

I do all the time, but funny thing is 98% of the time I don’t even recognize them. I just treat everyone the same. Making folks happy and exceeding their expectations is one of my passions.

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Virtual coffee date + giveaway winner

Good morning!! I hope your weeks is off to a great start.

Yesterday I dropped the ball on announcing the giveaway winner for the ‘close your eyes, find your happy place’ VISA gift card. Anyhoo the winner is…….

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SparklesSpandex!! Congrats lady!! Check your inbox for my email.

It’s been soooo long since we had a virtual coffee date. You know a post where I ramble on about a bunch of random stuff going on.

  • If we were having coffee I’d tell you that I am stoked to finally get my 20,000 steps in one day fitbit badge thanks to Sunday’s duathlon. Yah I know, total nerd alert, but it’s so much fun hitting new levels.

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  • You need this talenti sea salt caramel gelato in your life STAT. I am already coming up with very creative ways to hide it from Mike.

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  • I woke up to Pro’s new sock of the month and swear they have outdone themselves. Check out the tangerine, blue and lavender honeycomb design!!

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Use coupon code BOOM for 40% off plus free US shipping on orders more than $20.

  • I am a nerd who loves my planner, so I sat down Sunday evening to plan out the whole week. It’s a busy one and I am determined to fit all the things I love in.

Only problem is, I started writing on the wrong week. #blondemoment

Now would probably be a good time to go buy stock in whiteout.

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  • I really want to get my workouts in, so yesterday morning I joined the early birds before the sun came up to get in 30 minutes of pool running. I LOVE working out early mornings, it’s just something I rarely do. And that really needs to change.

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  • I came home from work last night and saw that Bam must have got board and built himself a fort. In my spot on the couch. It’s a good thing he’s cute and I kinda love him.

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  • This is one of my new favorite quotes.

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Your turn, if we were having coffee, what would you tell me?

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Mermaid Duathlon recap, 2014

Yesterday I participated in the Mermaid Duathlon in beautiful Capitola, CA. It’s an adorable beach town just south of Santa Cruz.

After being on the injured list all summer, I knew going into this race there was no way I could compete. So I took it easy and enjoyed every second of it. #bestdecisionever

This was my 3rd year participating and is still my absolute favorite race course in the history of ever.

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It starts on a pier overlooking the gorgeous October sunrise, goes through a charming residential street, on the beach and the ride takes you through wooded areas so you get a little of everything.

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I met up with my friend Brittany and her husband Troy, before the race to pick up our packets. Capitola is about a 40 minute drive from Monterey so I opted to get it race day. It was easy peasy,

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After racking our bikes and setting up our transition area, we walked down to the beach to hang out before the start. It was so fun to watch the triathletes head into the ocean for their swim. Brittany and I agreed they are hardcore and we were pretty darn happy to stay on land. #wussmeisterstatus

First leg: Run 1.5 miles

Then it was our turn to start the first run. The beginning is uphill but the views are so incredible, I forgot all about the hard work it took to get there.

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(pic from last year)

Then we ran on the beach and into transition. It flew by!

Leg 2, Ride 11.5 miles:

Oh dear lawd this ride was all about embrace the suck. Since I was injured for so long, I choose to focus my training on running. That was not a very wise life decision, but I did it and now I know I can!

I met Toren along the way. She had a Mizuno logo on her tank and I struck up a quick conversation. Turns out she reads this dumb ole blog. Hi Toren!!

The course description said it was “predominately flat”. Maybe it’s true for more advanced riders, which in my case is anyone BUT me. Ha! It was not flat. However they did warn us about a climb before the turnaround point which almost took the fight right out of me, but I turned the Britney station on Pandora and peddled through most of it. Hey, at this rate I’m just happy I didn’t get lost.

On the bright side going down that sucker was one heck of a ride!!

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Leg 3, run 2.5 miles:

I was so pumped to do what I love most, jello legs and all. It was getting hot, and I remembered my mental note from last year to grab a bottle of water. That was a brilliant decision, though it would have even been better if I  tossed a Nuun tab in. I shall remember that for next year.

I ran/walked this though I ran more than I thought I would. Woohoo!

We ran up that dang hill and into the residential area, but other than that the course is flat. Then onto the beach where Toren and I met up again. We ended up finishing together. How cool is that!?

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Toren’s goal was to make it under 2 hours and she did. Congrats girl!

The race bling:

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Gotta love a race that gives you a cute necklace you can rock every day. It has “Mermaid” engraved on one side, and “Athlete” on the other. The race shirts are super cute as well.

After crossing the finish line and taking sweaty pics we hit up the Whole Foods booth for a couple snacks. I usually have Mike with me and we opt to go out to lunch, so it was fun to participate in the post race festivities.

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We also grubbed at Pizza My Heart for some salty goodness.

My advise for future participants:

  • Please do this race!! Then feel free to send me love notes and coffee.
  • Get there early. I got there about an hour early, so I easily found a parking spot. But if you need to pick up your packet on race day morning, it’s a bit of a hike from the transition area. It’s easier to just ride your bike there.
  • Bring water + fuel. There was a water station at transition and another one at the turn around point on the 2nd run but that’s all I remember seeing. I carried a bottle of water for the 2nd run and it turned out to be a brilliant life decision.
  • Train for the race. Duh. I was injured all summer and off + on the month leading up to the race. It was a bit more difficult than it should have been had I trained. That being said, I think the race distances are perfect for an entry level duathlon participant. It’s enough you have to train for, but not overwhelming.

A HUGE thank you to the folks at the Mermaid Triathlon + Duathlon for the bib in exchange for this post. Please don’t ever stop putting on a fantastic race!

You may read my other Mermaid race recaps here and here.

Has anyone ever done a duathlon?

What is your favorite race course ever?

What does your significant other do while your racing?

Mike is my photographer, but other than that the boy get’s board. I think it would be awesome if the race directors put together a beer/coffee and food booth and maybe a tv to watch a game to keep them occupied. Ha!

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The 10% rule & the worst day ever according to Bam

Happy Thursday friends!! I hope October is off to a great start. I am still enjoying this gorgeous weather. This no fog thing rocks. Here is last nights sunset from my backyard.

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I usually throw out that whole ‘increase your running mileage by 10% a week’ rule, but since I am soooo sick of being on the broken runner list, I decided to actually follow it for like the first time ever.

I know there is some controversy about this golden running rule, but I feel comfortable training by it for now. We’ll see how it goes.

Since I am comfortable running a 5K, earlier this week I did 3.5 miles. I know it’s not exactly 10% but it made the Type A in me happy.

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It wasn’t easy, but now I know I can do it.

I had another follow up with my PT ninja yesterday for a hip adjustment. Turns out these things take time to work out, but today I’m feeling great. As I was leaving, he said I want to see more miles out of you.

Best day ever!

The other day Heather invited me to the gym for a round of strength training. I am pretty sure she was trying to kill me. In the best way possible of course. I mean, who really needs to lift their arms to do their hair anyway, right?

That girl can plank for 10 solid minutes. I swear she is super human.

In other news, Bam had a bath the other night and thinks it is the worst day ever. I mean, why would his humans not know he would rather roll in the mud? So rude.

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Don’t worry, I made up for it.

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And this should be Mike’s new shirt!

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What running rule{s} do you follow?

Have you set some October goals?

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Giveaway: close your eyes, find your happy place

This post and giveaway is sponsored by SpringHill Suites.

SpringHill Suites recently contacted me to write about my happy place. This is going to sound funny, but since I love where we live and really enjoy the simple things in life, I couldn’t choose just one.

Lately I realized my happiness stems from several things, not just one place. This guy makes me incredibly happy. Just don’t tell him or he will get a big head. Winking smile

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The ability to live in such a beautiful place by the sea. I am thankful for it every single day. I even ask Mike for reassurance that we are not ever moving. Yep, I am ‘that’ chick.

Over the last year I have realized how important quality of life really is to me. The weather is usually incredible, I can run and go to the farmers market year round, it’s walkable, and an overall happy, fantastic community. #simplethings

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This guy!! Oh man does Mr. Bam make me one happy girl! Taking him to the off leash beach in Carmel makes him so happy my heart can’t even stand it. I swear he smiles the entire time.

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My little grandma. She is my favorite person on the planet. Yes, you can have favorites. She has the biggest heart, is independent, stubborn, pushes her car into the garage at 86 year of age {no lie}, is tough as nails and hilarious without even trying.

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Traveling. This is something I have never really done much of, but would love to see a lot more. Now I just need to figure out how to become independently wealthy.

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I am most happy with things money can’t buy. Friends + family, great health, waking up to the sun shining, the ability to walk, run and workout, playing with Bam, having a job that I love, helping others who want to help themselves, a hike with a good friend. I could go on.

It took awhile to find my happy place, but now that I’m here…..

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Now it’s your turn!!

Wanna win a $50 VISA gift card and/or one of eight uber cool prizes like designer shades or a tablet from SpringHill Suites? Sure ya do!

Here’s how:

  • Enter on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #ArtIsEverywhere and tagging @SpringHillSuite and @SpringHillSuites.
  • Hop on over to ArtIsEverywhereGallery.com and upload your favorite pictures – {there’s no limit!}. I entered my Eiffel Tower shot from Vegas above and it was super easy. Crossing my fingers!
  • Leave a comment below telling me where you happy place is.
  • Extra entries if you upload you pictures to the Art Is Everywhere site, Tweet, FB, Insta, blog, etc about the giveaway. Just be sure to hop back over here and leave a comment telling me you did.

Giveaway is open to US shipping addresses only and will run until Sunday, October 5. I will announce the winner in Monday mornings post.

Good luck!!!!

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An apology + a rookie chicken noodle soup recipe

Yesterday Bam and I celebrated National Coffee Day by walking around Carmel. Yes, I was totally ‘that’ person.

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For those who are not familiar to Carmel, let me explain the…demographic might I say, with a few words.

  • Eclectic.
  • Affluent. I feel like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
  • One of the most dog friendly cities. Most restaurants have a dog menu.

You see, I am not pretentious at all. Okay, maybe when it comes to coffee and running shoes, but that’s about it. Bam on the other hand is not at tall. With anything. He has no sense of personal space or manners. He also has no idea how to walk like a normal dog on a leash.

While I was enjoying my iced coffee, little knucklehead here jumped into a beautifully manicured church garden probably out of boredom or hunting a butterfly. There was a sign clearly marked ‘no dogs’. This guy was even on leash.

Dog owner of the year, right here.

He sincerely apologized and then I took him shopping for a treat.

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File that under #reasonsIcanthavekids and #iamasucker

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Moving on, I did some grocery shopping and decided to be Suzi freaking homemaker and make a chicken noodle soup from scratch. Full disclosure: Mike helped with the flavors since I am kinda inept in that area.

It turned out better than I expected. Hey, even a blind squirrel can get a nut every now + then, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cans of chicken broth
  • 1 of those cans of water
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Chopped carrots-as much as you’d like
  • Chopped celery-as much as you’d like
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 T parsley
  • Sea salt + lots of pepper

Directions:

Season the chicken with garlic powder, parsley, S+P, then boil it in chicken broth + water until it shreds.

Add the veggies and simmer for about 20 minutes. Then add noodles. I am impatient so I went with egg noodles that only take 5-6 minutes to cook, but any kind will work.

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Eat.

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I can’t be a loner on this one, what did your pet do that embarrassed you?

How did you celebrate National Coffee Day? Crossing my fingers you did.

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Our first trail run + one of the best days of the year

Happy National Coffee Day!! This is like the best day ever! I will be sure to celebrate all day.

Running shoes + coffee. Is there a better pair? I hope you are nodding your head yes to this. Winking smile

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I convinced the boys to hit up the trail with me so I could throw down some miles. Remember I’m a chicken? I think a snake or mountain lion is going to stalk me.

The boys walked while I ran a couple loops.

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As I was passing them, Bam started running after me. I was stoked he wanted to be my running buddy, but a little worried he would see a butterfly or squirrel and chase after it. You see, he has the attention span of a gnat. But to my surprise he kept up. He did stop a couple times to sniff, but quickly caught up when I called him.

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He even led the way a couple times.

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I freaking loved trail running, and can’t wait to log some more miles with the Bamstagram!

I did a 5K in a little over 30 minutes. From what I hear, you don’t really focus on splits or time while trail running because the terrain is so varied. That is perfect because lately I’ve just been focusing on loving the run. Though next time I will be smart and wear my Pro Compression socks as my legs were itchy the rest of the day.

Any trail runners out there?

What are your best tips for a new trail runners?

How are you celebrating National Coffee Day?

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Saturday happenings + places you don’t recommend

I usually take Sunday off from blogging, but I have a little extra time. Mike + Bam are still snoozing, I’m still off work and I’ve probably had way too much coffee. So here I am, hanging out with you guys. Good morning!

This random week off has been so incredible, I have done many new things, and have truly enjoyed life to the fullest.

Yesterday we explored the beach by Spanish Bay golf course. We walked through the hotel lobby, onto the pedestrian trail from the golf course to the beach boardwalk.

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Spanish Bay is owned + operated by Pebble Beach company. A lot of folks who play Pebble, stay here because I think it’s a bit cheaper. To be guaranteed a tee time at Pebble, they require a minimum of 2 nights stay at one of their resorts. Pebble Beach Company owns 3 golf courses, Spy Glass is the third one in case you are wondering.

You are welcome for the fruitless information. Winking smile

I was surprised at how long the boardwalk went on, which made for a really cool adventure.

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After days of sun, the fog refused to lift, which made for a cozy afternoon. It was still in the 60’s. Perfect coffee weather if you ask me. So we tried a new to us coffee shop, Book Works in Pacific Grove.

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When visiting a new coffee shop, I always ask what their ‘claim to fame’ or most popular dink is and order it. This one happened to be Sweet Italian and another one I can’t remember. We got both to try and loved the one I can’t remember the name of. Oops.

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Because I am a chicken and don’t want to go by myself, I convinced Mike to check out a trail we drive by all the time. That was a great life decision.

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It was beautiful, I can’t wait to introduce Em + my trail running shoes to it.

The redwood trees were a pleasant surprise.

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We ended the day roaming Fisherman’s Wharf. Where we had a late lunch at Peter B’s {I do not recommend} and climbed rocks until someone got his feet wet and cried. Ha, not really but that boy does NOT like getting his shoes wet.

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I hear the boy stirring around, better wrap this up. We have some friends coming over for smoked ribs-a Mike specialty and I want to run and get the house in order before then.

I hope you have a fantastic Sunday with friends + family!!

How did you spend your Saturday?

We always talk about places we recommend, is there anywhere you don’t recommend? A restaurant or touristy place you feel it’s overpriced?

I feel like Fisherman’s Wharf is a bit overpriced and not too exciting. I would recommend walking through, {it really is a must see when coming to Monterey} and then finding someplace else to eat. Like Cannery Row or La Bicyclette in Carmel. Just my 2 cents fo free though.

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Bam is training for his first 5K

Yesterday I set out to take Bam for a long walk. He LOVES being active and outside so we are quite the pair.

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Bam was full of energy and not interested in walking {that’s a JRT for ya}, so we ran like somebody left the gate open.

He doesn’t know it, but he is training for his first 5K. Dude is more of a sprinter so I am working with him on slowing down a little and building endurance. I don’t have any experience training with a dog, so we are taking it easy.

Now I just have to find a dog friendly race.

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In other news, Mike and I went to brunch and it had to be the most simplistic meal I’ve had in years. No fancy pants ingredients or spices or ketchup or hot sauce {though I LOVE sauces}, just sea salt and coarse cracked pepper. It was so perfect. Real food is so good.

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Late afternoon I met with Michele for 40 minutes of pool running which made for a very active day around here. I am loving my fitbit so much I kinda want to marry it. Not really, but I get really excited when it buzzes when I hit 10,000 steps. I am constantly amazed at how much I underestimated my activity level before. Nerd alert.

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{calories burned are not accurate}

Better get ready, Mike and I have a super fun weekend planned.

Do you run with your furry friend?

If so, what’s your best advise?

Do you like simplistic meals or prefer lots of flavor + sauce?

Both, but I really love sauces.

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