Spring is finally here and it’s glorious! Most mornings are still chilly, but there’s also sunshine and birds chirping, so that has been especially refreshing. It’s already the end of March (I can’t believe it!) so I’m back at you with the monthly recap.
[Monthly achievements, victories, and accomplishments]
- Completed marathon training!!!
- Marathon training is completely over. It’s been a long winter filled with early, freezing mornings but I feel strong and accomplished! The race is scheduled for TOMORROW (3/30) so I will keep you posted on how it goes.
[Monthly reflection on the head & heart]
- Found time to chill
- The middle of March brought spring break, which created some extra space for rest. I still had to work every day, but no classes meant a break from homework and extra weekly activities. It was a week filled with extra hours of sleep, movies, home-cooked meals, and long phone conversations with friends.
- Practiced self-care strategies
- Self-care varies from individual to individual, day by day. It’s super important for me to evaluate all aspects of wellness to figure out the areas where I might need some extra care. This visual below is a helpful place to start evaluating your needs and pair them with actions!
- Learned about boundaries
- Creating boundaries goes hand-in-hand with practicing self-care strategies. It’s a similar practice of evaluating your values and needs, and then pairing them with actions. Below is another helpful visual!
- Marathon update
- Like I mentioned earlier in this post, the marathon is tomorrow! YAY. The biggest battle for me during training was my mentality. I found myself doubting my abilities when a long run would creep up or as I approached a really high mileage week. However, physically, I made it (mostly) injury-free and feeling good, which is a sign the training plan actually worked! I followed Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 2 Marathon Plan (he has plans for Novice 1 and 2, Intermediate 1 and 2, and then Advanced). I have a lot of thoughts, tips, and suggestions for my marathon training experience that I want to do a whole post about. But for now, tomorrow is the big day so let’s see if this training will lead to a successful race!
- Triathlon update
- The update here is pretty much still the same as last month, which is that I have been biking and swimming once a week, usually on a day that I run. It’s been good preparation to practice these activities on tired running legs. I’m excited to have more intense training for these races, which will begin after this weekend!
Joyful to be in taper week!
[Monthly eats, recipes, & culinary experiences]
- New recipe: Copy Cat Trader Joe’s Tempting Trail Mix
- 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 all week long!
- Breakfast on repeat: Pancakes
- This plate of Kodiak Cakes is what I looked forward to after almost every run! I switch up the toppings between either nut butters and banana, or yogurt and syrup. On top of here is strawberry syrup, greek yogurt, and strawberries!
- New Restaurant: Barred Owl Butcher and Table
- We got to spend an evening in Columbia, which meant we were obviously going to take advantage of the restaurants the city has to offer. The menus are guided by their commitment to whole-animal butchery, sustainability, and the seasonality of produce supplied by their farmers (super cool!) We enjoyed their butcher board, cheese board, flatbread, hummus and brussel sprouts and amazing cocktails! We will definitely be back for another visit soon.
[Monthly points of joy]
- Rxbar Package
- Rxbar sent me a package which made me giddy! The bars and nut butters this company makes are my favorite. I love how they taste (especially the chocolate and peanut butter flavors), how portable they are (I take them to work, on trips, and everywhere else I go), and the ingredients (so simple and nutrient-dense!). These are just a few of the reasons I keep these products stocked in my pantry. Seriously though, my heart was flooded when I opened this because it came at perfect timing! I am packing so many of these goodies for marathon weekend so I can be fueled to the finish line!
[Monthly reflections on God]
- A sermon I listened to
- 1 John 4 – This sermon was extra special because it was given by my husband, ALAN SMITH! I was able to hear it live, but then listened again through the podcast. This was actually the very first sermon I heard Alan give, and am so impressed by his ability to share truth in a clear, relatable, and personal way.
- Another sermon I listened to
- The Parable of the Great Banquet – This sermon was given by Derrick James Rohr III, and he asks us to consider who gets invited to our parties. Similar to Alan, I enjoy the way Derrick weaves together personal stories and scripture to teach about the Lord.
- What I’ve prayed
- Alan and I have been intently praying together this past month and reminding each other of the God’s faithfulness. I was reminded by my dear friend that the Lord’s will is good. Every every single cell in my body believes that exactly what is supposed to happen will happen because it always does. I must trust, lean in, and decide, and the right thing will come! The right thing might be hard, beautiful, or joyous, but it will be right. This has been my prayer and that Alan and I would be able to honor, serve, and be obedient as best as we can!
FAM & FRIENDS
[Monthly relationship endeavors]
- Family update
- Alan and I got wedding ring tattoos at the end of last year, which have been awesome. We originally got two lines, but the skin on our fingers didn’t heal the best, which led to blurred lines. We decided to get the tattoos filled in, and now we love them even more. Not only do I think these look super cool, but every time I see it I am reminded of how it’s so amazing I get to take part in marriage with Alan.
- Hosted another dinner party
- A few weeks ago, Alan and I hosted the dinner club. Hosting the dinner club fills my heart because it combines two of my favorite things: cooking and being with friends. You may have read my How-To Guide for Hosting a Dinner Party which explains the philosophy, purpose, and planning of hosting your very own dinner party. No need to be intimidated by the idea of a “dinner party” or “dinner club” — it’s basically committing to sitting around a dinner table with people you enjoy. It’s the best!
- Our dinner club rotates on a monthly basis. This means that we meet only once a month and we take turns hosting a dinner party. The hosts get to choose the menu with the only requirement of everything being homemade. It was our turn again so we took a look at our cookbooks and chose a menu of recipes that were new to us, would counter the winter weather, and sounded delicious. You can read the blog post to get the full menu for the winter edition of the dinner club!
THE WINTER EDITION OF DINNER CLUB READ MORE
[Monthly new music, reads, shows, and goods]
- Charging Up Album
- I created this album at the beginning of the year, specifically to help me through high mileage weeks! I have listened to this on repeat as the marathon has gotten closer, and it always, always hypes me up.
- Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
- I will be honest that I have had this book checked out all month, but still haven’t started reading it. This book was recommended to me by a friend, and I really am excited to read it soon (hopefully).
- The 2000s
- This is a TV documentary miniseries chronicling the trends, pop culture, and important events that took place from 2000 to 2009. There are 7 episodes and Alan and I have only watched the first few so far!
This month brought spring weather, sunshine, and rest! Despite having a month with 31 days, this month flew by! I’m looking forward to next month and all that it has in store. Specifically: a marathon update, more sunshine, new training, and more opportunities to see the Lord!
Until next monthly recap,