April absolutely, positively flew by. A combination of travel, end-of-semester class work, and many hours of training seemed to make this month pass uncomfortably quick. So here we are with summer right around the corner and another monthly recap.
[Monthly achievements, victories, and accomplishments]
- Completed my first marathon!
- On March 30 (the day before I sent the March recap), I ran my first marathon! I dedicated an entire blog post to this experience (which will be posted next week) and it includes my experience with training, the race, the aftermath, and all of the other details about all things marathon. For now, I will just say it was an absolutely crazy accomplishment and one of my biggest victories. Despite the unfortunate weather, my spirits were high and my legs were strong, and I clocked in at 3:59:07. If I didn’t have the pictures and results saved as proof, I wouldn’t even believe it’s true!
[Monthly reflection on the head & heart]
- Shared about the many aspects of health
- A few times this month I had the opportunity to share about my personal health. People often ask about the physical health aspects of my life, mostly because I talk about food and exercise a lot. However, health is so much more than just physical health, but includes many other dimensions like emotional, social, and mental health. While it’s easy for me to prioritize physical health, I have to constantly check the other dimensions that fall to the wayside because all of them are important! The visual below (from Holistically Grace) is helpful to evaluate overall health and wellness, and reflect on where improvements might be needed!
- Practiced environmental health
- In an effort to help the environment and celebrate earth day, I evaluated several ways to be more “green.” Luckily, I prioritize using natural lighting, washing only full loads, using hand towels, and reusable water bottles because it helps the earth AND saves money! Getting a reusable water bottle is one of the easiest things to do — I have a Hydro Flask that I love, but there are a million billion options out there. The visual below is a helpful reminder on easy ways to be more earth friendly!
- Marathon update
- Like I mentioned earlier in this post, the marathon happened! It was a crazy, awesome experience and I loved it. While I don’t have an upcoming marathons I plan to train for, I think this is only the beginning of marathons for me!
- Half marathon update
- To give background, a few months ago, Nancy and I registered for several races at one time. While we already had the marathon set at that point, we signed up for a half marathon and two triathlons. At the time of signing up they were a long way off, but now all of the races are here and happening! ‘Tis the season for races.
- Over the weekend, Nancy and I took a 24-hour trip to race the Champaign-Urbana Half Marathon. The trip was quick, but it was filled with great food (we went to the same restaurant twice), a cute airbnb, the best company (thanks Nancy!), and an amazing race. Our original goal in signing up for this half marathon was to attempt to set new personal records — our thought was that with only 3 weeks post-marathon, we would still be in great running shape. However, as the half marathon approached, I didn’t feel fully recovered. The night before the race, the wether looked perfect and we had our lucky pre-race meals, so we woke up feeling ready to bust it out. We raced HARD and clocked in at 1:47:07, which set new PR’s for us both! I highly recommend this race to anyone looking for an easy, organized, and fun race course.
- Triathlon update
- It’s hard to believe that the first triathlon is this weekend! I feel okay about the training for swimming and running, but biking will definitely be my weakness. I’ve been to go on a few outdoor rides, but I look forward to more time cycling with the warmer weather!
[Monthly eats, recipes, & culinary experiences]
- New blog post: The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Snacks
- I posted one of my favorite blog posts in April. Basically, you will always find me with a snack, whether I’m at work, studying, traveling, adventuring, or even resting in my own home. I’ve learned a lot about snacking over the years, which has changed the foods I consume. I created an Ultimate Guide to Healthy Snacks, which includes my tips for healthy snacking and a list of my favorites! Let me make it clear that I am not here to tell you how to snack, what to buy, or what to consume. This list is certainly not complete, but gives a general idea of the nutritious and delicious foods I consume on an everyday basis. I hope you find it helpful!
- New recipe: Copy Cat Trader Joe’s Tempting Trail Mix
- This recipe was in my last monthly recap, but I included it again because I’ve been snacking on this trail mix all month long!
- One of my go-to snacks from Trader Joe’s is their trail mix, specifically the “tempting trail mix” is my absolute favorite. The combination of chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, dried cherries and some roasted and salted nuts is absolutely tempting and satisfies my sweet tooth every time. I figured it would be super easy to recreate at home and this is the recipe I came up with! It takes about 5 minutes to prepare, and it has been the best afternoon snack.
- Breakfast on repeat: Waffles
- This plate of Kodiak Cakes waffles is what I looked forward to most mornings, especially when I’m on-the-go! It’s really easy to make a big batch of waffles over the weekend and bring them on-the-go in the mornings. I switch up the toppings between either nut butters and banana, or yogurt and syrup. These waffles have blackberries, raspberries, Rxbar nut butter, and Udi’s granola.
- Food tip: How to determine if an avocado is ripe
- I love a good, ripe avocado — I think it makes a great addition to a meal! It took me a while to figure out how to buy and use the perfect avocado, but I have finally mastered the skill. The below visual is a helpful visual from the College Nutritionist you can use if you’re new to the avocado-buying game!
- New restaurant: Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works
- On the quick 24-hour trip to race the Champaign Urbana Half Marathon, Nancy and I got to enjoy our pre-race dinner at Destihl. We both have our luck pre-race meals and the menu at Destihl fit our needs. I got a toasty turkey/cheese/bacon/avocado sandwich with chips/sweet potato fries and Nancy got pizza. The menu was filled with so many dishes we wanted to try that we actually went back for our post-race meal!
[Monthly points of joy]
- Met Jenna Fischer
- Jenna Fischer, most known from her role of Pam in The Office, visited Truman at the beginning of the month. Jenna is a Truman alumna and came back to campus for a fundraising event and to speak. She is just as charming, funny, and real as you might think, and it was great to get to meet her!
- Bonfire at Rainbow Basin
- Originally planning on enjoying a mid-week camping trip, a rainy forecast led us to deciding on just a bonfire instead. We loaded up our car with firewood, camp chairs, and s’more supplies to enjoy a bonfire at Rainbow Basin Conservation Area! (Did you know you can make a bonfire for free at any conversation area?) It’s crazy we needed winter gear at the end of April, but we definitely still enjoyed the warmth of the fire and had a great night chatting around the fire. Also, Laura, Taylor and I have met on Thursday mornings the past few years and we are soaking up all the time together we can before we all go our separate ways this summer!
[Monthly reflections on God]
- What I’ve prayed
- We are moving to Texas! Specifically, we are headed to Rocksprings, which is over 1000 miles from our little town of Kirksville. Rocksprings is the home of Camp Eagle, an outdoor adventure camp with the mission of inspiring Christ-like change through outdoor adventure, authentic relationships, and biblical truth. Camp Eagle is not new to us and the ministry has held a special place in our hearts for a while. Alan and I have both accepted full-time positions at the camp. We did not plan on this, however, we are all in. We are fired up for this new chapter, but have been praying SO MUCH. We would love for you to pray with us. Please pray for boldness, courage, and peace in this time of change. Pray for protection, commitment, and for our hearts. We can’t wait to continue sharing our journey with you.
FAM & FRIENDS
[Monthly relationship endeavors]
- Birthday Brunch
- At the beginning of the month, I got to join in a birthday brunch to celebrate my dear friend, Sam! Friends and brunch are high on my list of favorite things! It was great to spend a morning in the Gienke home with some other dear friends like Leah and Allie! The morning was absolutely good for the heart, soul, and stomach!
- Family wedding
- At the beginning of the month, we welcomed a new member to the Smith family! Rob, Alan’s twin brother, married Cassie, a friend from Truman. The wedding was on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in St. Louis.
- Hanging with the Rohr kids
- One of my favorite parts of every month is hanging out with the Rohr kiddos. The evenings usually are a combination of games, cooking, imagination, and maybe a movie. These kiddos are the coolest and I will miss them (and their parents) so much when we leave Kirksville.
[Monthly new music, reads, shows, and goods]
- Earth by Lil Dicky
- Lil Dicky released a new song last week to celebrate Earth Day. The music video features the voices of 30 celebrities and singer-songwriters, including Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Halsey, Katy Perry, Ed Sheeran, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brendon Urie, Miley Cyrus, among others. This song played in my head on repeat during the half marathon because of the amount of times I have listened!
- No updates
- I will be honest that I have not read a single book this past month. I have a triathlon book on the docket I hope to get to in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, I am just trying to do my required reading to get through the end of the semester with school!
- The last thing Alan and I watched was Hercules. We think it’s good for the soul to watch a Disney movie every once in a while!
This month brought races, friends, and big changes! This month held very memorable experiences including race victories, big life decisions, and sweet hangs with friends. I anticipate May will be filled with even more changes, adventures, and memories, so I’m looking forward to it!
Until next month,