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Cross Country Season Begins

Summer training came to a close and I do not miss running by myself in the dark hours of the morning one bit. At the beginning of the week I moved into my apartment at school to reunite with 22 teammates! Before any cross country shenanigans, I had to load up my stuff for the 6-hour drive and set up my new apartment! My three roommates wouldn’t be up for a few more days so my mom stayed one night with me while I settled in.

Moving Day! (stronglikemycoffee.com)

This week I have been so happy because I feel really proud to be a part of this cross country team. You don’t know how motivating it is to be surrounded by girls and guys with the same goals and commitment to running…it’s inspiring! All these people worked hard over the summer running hundreds and hundreds of miles as well. Freshman year I “red-shirted” (did not compete) because of a pre-existing hip injury. Sophomore year I also did not compete because of my surgery. This was the first year that I was cleared by the athletic trainers to begin practice on Day 1 and I wanted to scream HALLELUJAH! Being deprived of two years of cross country makes me so appreciative of every activity we have planned.

First Day of Practice! (stronglikemycoffee

Yesterday morning was a glorious hour-long run on the trails (how I missed them!) with a team – no iPod necessary. We also got our “gear” of shoes, shirts, accessories, & backpacks. It felt like Christmas! We didn’t waste any time getting back into the weight room with our strength coach who began teaching us Olympic Lifts. Maybe this will give me the extra boost I need to conquer my pull-up challenge ;)

Home Sweet Home!

Home Sweet Home!

Thank goodness our team has plenty of activities to keep us busy – I’m not too fond of living by myself. I’ve been texting my roommates through out the week, and I can’t wait for them to move in. The team is together most of the day (breakfast, lunch, dinner & dessert, team pictures, community service, NCAA paperwork, yadda yadda), but when we go home I really dislike going to an empty apartment. Thankfully my week by myself is coming to a close; it’s pretty creepy walking down the hall in the dark with out anybody around. I unlock & relock my door in record time! I also think feeling lonely is my weakness because when I’m a little anxious or homesick I constantly find myself in the kitchen snacking on Kashi crackers and cereal. It’s my unhealthy habit!

Aside from all of that though, I can’t tell you how ecstatic I am to be back at school. It is a complete 180 from this time last year when I was on the sidelines.  Bring on the hills, mud, rain, sweat, and competition! It’s going to be a GREAT season! :)

 

Easter Brunch & Lemony Pasta Salad

I couldn’t have picked a better way to spend my Easter Sunday. After rising extra early for a church service with one of my best friends Kerri, we got to enjoy the radiant sunshine and bright blue sky. It was glorious! Knocked out an 8-miler before noon with plenty of time to get ready for our Girl’s Team Easter Brunch.

Easter Girls Team Picture (stronglikemycoffee.com) (stronglikemycoffee.com)

We see each other daily at practice, when we are not trying to impress anyone. T-shirts and spandex. Make-up is minimal. Don’t even ask about my hair. Blatantly mismatched outfits have become normal, especially when it’s getting closer to laundry day…We have mastered getting ready for practice in under 15 minutes. Which is why getting dressed up in our Sunday Best was so fun! Dresses and heels obviously warranted some photographic proof that we can, in fact, look girly.

Kerri and I got a ride from our friends Emily and Carissa……when we got in the car, we noticed that we all happened to be sporting denim jackets. Classic.

Denim Over the Shoulders

The Foursome (stronglikemycoffee.com)

The brunch was potluck style, and our team can cook! The table looked amazing with homemade goodies from everyone. I knew I wanted to bring something light and springy, so I turned to my faithful Pinterest for some recipe-searching. The result:

Light Lemony Pasta Salad.

  • 1 lb. cooked pasta noodles
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • salt and pepper to preference
  • 10 oz. non-fat greek yogurt
  • 12 oz. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup steamed edamame, shelled
  1. Cook and drain pasta; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan, brown garlic for about one minute. Add in lemon juice, lemon zest, chicken broth and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add sauce to pasta; add in arugula, tomatoes, and edamame.
  4. Stir in greek yogurt; chill overnight.
  5. Top with fresh lemon slices and serve cold!

Light Lemony Pasta Salad for Easter Brunch (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Our meal was rounded out with some fresh pineapple, kale chips, chicken salad sandwiches, homemade whole wheat cinnamon rolls and other delicious dishes.

Next on the agenda: dyeing eggs! Guess what? Water and food coloring is not a sufficient substitute for vinegar and egg dye. Plan B: Expo Markers!

My Easter Egg (stronglikemycoffee.com)Hope you enjoyed you Easter weekend :) Now it’s back to the grind.

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