Week Recap: December 21st- December 27th

December 29, 2014


This past week was a fun one! On Saturday night, my parents, sister, and I went to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert. We have been before but this year they changed the "story" and it was very good.


I spent the next day doing all of my Christmas shopping then that evening my sister and brother-in-law came into town. We made cookies and cupcakes to celebrate their birthday that was the week before when they weren't here.


During the week, we made cookies, we wrapped gifts, did workouts together, our other sister came into town, we went to the Christmas Eve service, and celebrated Christmas. Our Christmas lunch was prime rib, green beans, mashed potatoes, and rolls. We always have this meal on Christmas but this year it was so good. We made sure to complement our dad who spent a lot of time cooking!


During the weekend, we grabbed lunch at Nordstrom Bistro. I ordered a citrus turkey sandwich and my sister ordered a prime rib french dip. It was a delicious lunch.


Workouts this week:

Sunday: Rest day
Monday: 4.5 mile tempo run
Tuesday: 30 min of weights and 10 min cycle
Wednesday: 3 mile run
Thursday: Rest day
Friday: 4 mile run
Saturday: 30 min cycle

11.5 miles of running
1 hour 10 minutes 

2014 In Review

December 27, 2014


2014 was a year full of PRs and first places. I started the year with a half marathon (1:38) and then decided I wanted to work with a coach. I knew I wanted to try and qualify for the Boston Marathon  so I hired a coach and worked with her for over half of the year. I am very happy I decided to work with a coach this year! Not only did I PR in every distance but I also trained smarter, learned how to race better, and run faster. The most memorable moments of 2014:

I ran a chocolate themed half marathon and beat my previous time by 5 minutes...


I bought my first triathlon bike...


I did my first brick workout...


In 2013, one of my goals was to run a race distance other than a half marathon or full marathon. I ran my first 10k race with a time of 41:16. 

I ran another half marathon in March and beat my time by 2 minutes...




My family and I went to DisneyWorld for vacation....


I had so much fun at my first triathlon that I signed up for another one and got first in my age group and won overall beginner champ...


I went to two complimentary Lululemon yoga classes...


I was told I am too old to be on the family plan at LTF... 

I miss you, Lifetime.

I found a new place to swim...


I got to test out different products from being a Sweat Pink and FitFluential Ambassador. One of the products was a FlipBelt...


I was able to try different Clif Bar products which worked out perfectly as I was trying to figure out what would work best for me during my marathon. I especially liked the electrolyte hydration and shot blocks.

I had so much fun during this marathon training cycle! Since I worked with a coach, it made it more fun to be able to share how I ran and get that email back that said "great job, Sara!" I got through 14, 16, 18, and 2 20 milers. Woah.


My mom, sister, and I had a girls weekend and saw Katy Perry in concert...


I ran a marathon, PRd by 30 minutes, and almost qualified for Boston. I missed qualifying by ninety seconds. Next time, Boston, next time...


My family and I travelled to Florida to watch my sister complete her first Ironman...


My parents, sister and I went to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert...


My family and I celebrated Christmas together...


2014 was a great year! I can't wait to see what 2015 has in store.


Also read: 2013 in review

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2014


Merry Christmas from our family to yours! 

Love, the Hoffmans 

Week Recap: December 14th- 20th

December 20, 2014


I took a break for a few weeks from weekly recaps since there wasn't much to recap. Now, I am back. And with a new blog design. Did you notice? This past week my sister and brother-in-law both had a birthday (HBD!!), it was finals week and I had a nursing exam which I am finished with and got all the scores I needed! It feels good to work hard and now be finished for Christmas break. 

My workouts for the past week were a bit scattered. Because finals, I studied most of the day and got in a workout when I could/felt like it.

Sunday: Rest day
Monday: 5.50 mi run
Tuesday: 30 min bike
Wednesday: Rest day
Thursday: 30 min run
Friday: 30 min weights
Saturday: 6 mi run

I went on my longest run since October and my goal of where I wanted to be at before I signed up for any Spring races, 6 miles!! I felt great and I am happy to be back!

What I have been eating: Christmas cookies and Bundt cakes. 



My mom gave her volunteers at church those treats. My sister volunteers regularly and I volunteer occasionally and we got to share those treats. 

What I have been doing:  some Christmas shopping, a Christmas party, a new haircut, and a concert. 

On Tuesday, my sister, Liz, did our hair for going shopping (see below image). I have no idea how she does it so well! I just need her to move back so she can curl our hair more often. Or learn how to do it myself, there's that too ;) Tuesday night my small group got together for a Christmas party. 



During our Christmas shopping trip, we grabbed a few gifts from Lululemon and I saw these cards at the front of the store. The employees said they were free so I grabbed a couple. The cards are blank on the inside so you can write whatever you want but they have a design on the outside. How cute is that?

Tonight my family and I are going to the Trans Siberian Orchestra concert which we are all looking forward to. Finals were a bit stressful but it was a fun week filled with lots of Christmas-y things.

This week was:
15 miles running
1 hour cross training

Peanut Butter Blossom Cookie Recipe

December 19, 2014

Today I am sharing my family's favorite Christmas cookie! These cookies are delicious and since they are small it is easy to eat ten in one day. At least, that is what I think ;)  



Ingredients//

Hershey Kisses Brand Milk Chocolates- about 48
1/2 cup shortening (we use butter instead)
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar- for rolling finished dough

Directions//

1. Heat oven to 375F. Remove wrappers from Hershey Kisses. 

2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.

3. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Once the cookies begin to "crack," press a chocolate kiss into the center. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. 

Prep time: 15 minutes. Bake time: 8 minutes. Makes: about 4 dozen cookies.


Enjoy!

Leibster Award!

December 17, 2014



Kelli, from Not Your Mama's Marathon, tagged me in a link up! The questions are themed around favorite things. I tagged a few people at the bottom for these same questions. Thanks for the tag, Kelli!

1. What is your favorite distance to run/race?

I think the half marathon will always be my favorite distance. As much as I love running marathons, half marathons are short and fun!



2. Do you have a favorite place to go on vacation?

I love the beach. There is something about being near an ocean that is so calming. 



3. How do you get yourself through a tough run?

Having a great playlist always helps! I buy a couple songs that I haven't listened to yet so that during a long run I am waiting to hear that certain song as I run the miles. 

Some of my favorite songs lately are...
Can't Get Enough by Becky G
Ghost by Ella Henderson
Come With Me Now by Kongos
I Lived by One Republic (<-- currently listening to this while I write this post!)

4. Tell me about your absolute favorite run or race you have done?

My favorite race is the Alamo 13.1. I ran it a couple of years ago and had so much fun. The course is organized and scenic, there is a good crowd, and the finish line has really good food. It is at the end of March next year and I am looking forward to having a come back race :)


5. What is your favorite piece of workout gear/clothing?

Anything Lululemon. My favorite right now would be the vest I got a few weeks ago. I love it! I wore it over a dress, during one of my cold night runs, and to nanny. It is versatile, cute, and comfy. 

6. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

The most memorable is the quote,

"Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” – Earl Nightingale

I have a lot of dreams that include eventually qualifying for Boston and becoming an Ironman. It may take a few years to get there but I'm not giving up!

I tag the usuals.. Brie, Anna, and Madelynne

Guest Post: Meet Darlene

December 16, 2014

I’m so excited to be a guest blogger on my friend Sara’s blog.  I ran my first half marathon at the San Antonio Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on December 7, 2014.

I lived in San Antonio for about 7 years before moving back home to West Monroe, LA last year, so I was super excited not only for the race, but also to see all my friends and go to my church.   I was very nervous and hesitant about signing up at first, but I decided I would regret not doing it, so I went for it.  I work a full time job and have a 4 year old son, so I can’t really follow a “traditional” training plan.  I have to run when I can; goal was 2-3 times a week.  During the week, I would try to get at least 4-5 miles every time I ran, and then on the weekend I would run 8-10 miles, depending on how much time I had to run.  So before the ½ marathon, the longest I had ran was 10 miles, but I had been able to do that at a consistent pace for several weeks.  The shorter days have really caused a time crunch for adding mileage. 

I knew Sara wasn’t running, so I asked her if she would want to go to the expo with me on Saturday morning.  She didn’t hesitate at all to agree.  I picked up my bib and my shirt and saw the countdown clock, and it all became real.  Sara and I walked around looking for all the samples and had fun in all the photo booths.  All of the gear, advice and sheer volume of the expo can be a little overwhelming, but we laughed a lot and had a great time. 


Then came race day. Weather was about 50 degrees – perfect running weather :). I had been training with Gatorade and Gatorade Prime Energy Chews, so I planned to stick with that even through everyone was talking about and pushing the GU Energy products.  I ate a potato/egg breakfast taco and was at the AT&T Center by 5:30 Sunday morning to catch the bus to the start line.  I had my fuel belt, my music and my running app ready to go.  I took a Gatorade Recover Protein Shake with me and left it in my bag at Gear check inside the Alamodome to drink it afterwards.  Race start time was at 7:30.  On the bus, I met a lady name Erika and we stuck together until race time.  Just talking to other people regarding training, fuel, pace, etc. can make you second guess yourself pretty quickly, but you just have to focus on yourself and not think too much.  Once in the corrals, I did find my friend that was running with her running group.  It was her first half marathon as well. We talked and were all giddy as they were counting down the corrals to start until ours came up. 


It was our turn!!!  I always start out running too fast at races and then I can’t maintain the pace.   There were so many people running at one time that the beginning pace was actually slower than the remainder of the race.  You had to zig zag and navigate through people until you were able to settle on a pace.  All during the race you were constantly surrounded by people. There was also a constant presence of spectators cheering everyone on from the sidelines.  It makes it much easier to keep going and is much different than training.  On Saturday, Sara was talking through my run plans with me, and she asked if I had a throw away jacket/long sleeve.  I had to ask what she was talking about.  It’s cold when the race starts, but you quickly get hot, so you shed clothes.  She brought me a jacket that I could throw on the side of the road when I needed.  I took it off at about mile 2 and tied it around my waist, but I finally had to let go of it completely around mile 7.  I tried, Sara :).  After the race, someone will pick them all up and either toss them or donate them, so no waste.   Race was going smoothly until we hit hills around mile 6 at the San Antonio Zoo and Trinity University.  I chose to walk the hills and not exert the energy required to run since it wasn’t even half way through the course.   I was worried when I was approaching mile 10 since that’s the farthest I had trained, but I was okay and kept running.  I hit the wall around mile 12, but by then I my feet were hurting and my legs were numb, so why stop now?  I kept to my original plan, which was to eat an energy chew before the start, at miles 3, 6, 9 and 11.5.  I drank the Gatorade from my fuel belt and got water at each water statin.  Took one sip of water and then poured the rest on the back of my neck or on my head to cool down.  I was pumped when I turned the last curve and saw the finish line!  So close, yet still seemed so far away.  Finally, I cross the finish line!   So happy!! 


After the race, I got my medal and took my picture.  Turns out, it was cold outside and my legs still thought I was running :). I make my way to the gear check to get my Gatorade recovery drink and to stretch out my legs.  I was very happy with my pace and my time with the run since it was my first, and even happier that I did it on my terms.  It still amazes me how many people were there and that we’re all crazy together.  I had so much fun and I’m extremely glad that I decided to stick to it and was able to  complete my first ½ marathon. 


In fact, I already have the next ½ marathon on my calendar!

Lights of Tejas

December 15, 2014

top picture from camptejas.org

Last weekend, my family and I went to Camp Tejas, a Christian retreat center. We went to the Lights of Tejas. We have been wanting to do Christmas activities and found out about this from my sister who works there. This is where the camp sets up over a million Christmas lights all surrounding the camp. There are different activities to do including: hay rides, a light show, decorating a cupcake to celebrate the birth of Jesus, zip line and climbing wall, games, and more.

We stayed the night in a log cabin that was so cute! Most people went only for the night but we wanted to stay to be with Liz, our sister, a little longer.


When we first got there we went to the zip line. I am not much of a camp girl and I have only been to a few camps when I was younger. Of course, I was too nervous to do the zip line as a child so I have never done it before. My dad said he would do it with me. It made me nervous to be so high off the ground but once they counted down I immediately jumped and my dad did too. It was very fun! I also did the climbing wall with my younger sister which is seen on the left side of the zip line tower in the picture below. We climbed all the way to the top!


We grabbed dinner at a food truck that had burgers and chips. After dinner we walked over to the cupcake decorating activity. Then, we rode the hay ride that took us around the camp to look at all the lights.


We walked over the lake to the light show which was a video synced up with lights. It was a sweet video that had songs, a story about who Jesus is, and a woman's testimony about how she was saved. 

There was one activity called the Snowball showdown which I didn't get pictures of because it was crazy! Basically it was a game of capture the flag. Everyone got an air gun with three foam balls. We went into a basketball court sized arena that had hay bales and trash cans set up like hideouts. My family was a team competing against five boys. There were four rounds and after my family won the first round it quickly got competitive. We won twice and the other team won twice but we like to say that we won. 


The next morning we had breakfast together, got a tour of the camp and where Liz works, then we headed back home. It was a fun weekend activity and we definitely want to go back!

Training Again!

December 14, 2014



I am back to training again! Well, sort of training. After almost two months off, I am learning how to take things slow... and have patience. I started working out two weeks ago and I am working on building up my fitness. I am looking at a few spring races but I don't want to register until I know I can run about 6 miles.


Workouts lately..

Week of December 1st
Monday: 4 mile run
Tuesday: 20 min weights // 12 min cycle
Wednesday: 4 mile run/walk
Thursday: 40 min cycle
Friday: Rest day
Saturday: 3 mile run
Sunday: Rest day

Week of December 8th
Monday: 3 mile run
Tuesday: 20 min cycle
Wednesday: 4.6 mile run
Thursday: 30 min weights
Friday: Rest day (traveling)
Saturday: Rest day (traveling)
Sunday: 30 min run

Life Lately: December

December 11, 2014



Life lately has been busy! I finished my last week of classes this week but that means I have three finals, a video project, and a nursing exam all next week. I have taken the nursing exam before but the program I am applying to has a high standard for acceptance so based on my scores last time I am taking it again to raise them.

I have been doing some online shopping and I wanted to share some of the outfits. I follow "cmcoving" on Instagram and her blog. Her style is similar to mine. I copied two outfits.. for the dress outfit I only had a floral thick scarf but I like it more with a plaid scarf that I put on my Christmas list (hint hint family). I also am showing my hair because it was the perfect braid.


Darlene, one of my friends who I have written about before, ran her first half marathon this past weekend! She asked if I would go to the expo with her which I immediately said yes. If I couldn't run the race, at least I could have fun at the expo ;) 

It was crazy getting downtown. I thought the expo was at the location it has been every other year but the race directors changed it this year. After thirty minutes of running around downtown by myself, I finally found the location. In my opinion, it was much nicer this year! We had a blast. There were four silly photo booths that we did and I took a couple of flyers for upcoming races. 


After church on Saturday night's, my family and I have been trying to find good restaurants. My sister and I got food poisoning from one restaurant a few weeks ago and I said I am never going back so we need new places. We went to Mellow Mushroom the past two weekends and they have delicious pizza. So far, so good, no food poisoning yet.


My family and I have a tradition of always buying a real tree. We went to a Christmas tree farm this year to pick out the perfect tree.

JK it was home depot.


awkward peeking behind the tree pose

I have been doing some cooking/baking. I made these cookies and will share the recipe next week!


I also have been getting back into running.. finally!! I feel that I took off a good amount of time because now I am ready to start training hard and racing again. I will share more on that later. 
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