Race Day, Workouts & Life <3

cereal and coffee

Good Morning, Everyone!

I finally have the time to sit down and blog. Life has been pretty busy on my end and also very exciting as well. I had yesterday scheduled out to blog, but of courseΒ life got in the way again. I had a bed delivered from the furniture store and they ended up shipping the wrong size. They sent a queen and I needed a king, so I had to cancel the order.Β I called my dad up and asked him how spontaneous he was feeling and then asked if he’d like to build a bed! He was extremely excited to have a new project and we headed to the drawing board. After we drew it all out, we headed to Lowe’s and built a bed in three hours under $150.00. That just saved me $600…I cannot WAIT to show you the final project. I have a couple teaser photos included in this post. While we were working on the bed, a camper pulled up in my parents driveway…IT WAS MY FAMILY FROM IOWA! They surprised us with a visit and I was so happy. No way was I going to sit on the computer while they were over, so I decided to just post my Β updates this morning!

& here it goes!

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Wednesday was the last day of my mini getaway. My friend’s and I spent the day out shopping and grabbed some coffee at Starbucks. I always order a tall nonfat latte with an extra shot of espresso.


After shopping, weΒ had an early dinner. I had an early flight, so wanted to get back to my hotel to pack. I had a seafood salad for dinner. It came with spring blend lettuce, cucumber, stuffed shrimp, crumbled crab, bacon, pita crisps, sliced almonds, onion, and tomatoes. I had a side of ranch and balsamic. I like to mix the two dressings. It was a very unique combo for a salad and tasted really well.

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The car picked me up at my hotel at 6:30 am and I made it to the airport around 7:15. I didn’t want to get caught up in rush hour, so I headed out about an hour early. I had a coffee and a bowl of Cheerios as I waited at my gate. I also downloaded a couple of documentaries for the trip.

When I got to my layover, I grabbed some fresh fruit, nuts and yogurt for lunch.


On the flight back to Charlotte, I watched the documentary “Caffeinated.” It was such a great film and it really opened your eyes (not a pun) to how the coffee industry really works. I never knew how intense and detailed the coffee process was and how much work is put into creating that perfect cup of coffee. It makes you really appreciate your coffee and want to get better at drinking, preparing and buying it. I highly recommend watching this if you are a coffee drinker. I really appreciate the farmer’s after this and think we should be giving more money to them for the hard work they put into our morning coffee. All of the coffee they keep in their country is the coffee they can’t sell to us. It’s very educational.


I gotΒ back to Charlotte around five and headed to the grocery store to pick up some food for dinner and other necessities. I was so happy to see Grumples! We went for a long walk and then headed back to my place to have dinner and cuddle up together. I made a Caesar salad and some fried eggs. I ended up watching the Blindside (one of my favorite movies) and fell asleep so early.


I worked out as much as I could on my trip, but not a lot. I had been slacking on my running, so I wanted to get out there and run one more time before the race. I decided to just jog a bit and only do three miles. I know a lot of people think it’s horrible to run the day before a race, but I needed to do it as confidence booster. I’m not a natural runner or someone who has been doing it for years, so it’s hard for me.

The run ended up being beautiful and it was gorgeous outside. I didn’t have any pains, tiredness, or struggles. This gave me the confidence to run Saturday morning. I’m going to be completely honest, I hate races. I don’t like running to compete, I like running becuase it makes me happy. I get anxiety at races or feel overwhelmed with all the people around me. I do want to fix that and get better, so I’m not going to rule races out. I’m going to stick to small races and work myself up.

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It was gorgeous Friday and I couldn’t wait to spend all day out in the sun. The peach trees all have buds down here in South Carolina! I was craving a smoothie after the run, so I headed to the grocery store to pick up some fresh kale and spinach to make one at home.


My smoothie had coconut water, spinach, kale, vanilla protein powder, frozen blueberries, frozen banana, frozen peaches, frozen strawberries, ice, and almond milk.

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I topped my smoothie with dehydrated oranges and chia seeds. I loved how smooth and fruity it was. I have a feeling I’m about to go into my smoothie phase.


After my run, Grumples and I headed outΒ to play. I get puppy withdrawals when I’m away too long! I ended up buying him tons of toys and annoying him to the fullest with kisses.


Grumple’s favorite thing to do is sit out on the patio, next to his bed and people watch. Sometimes I’ll bring a cup of coffee out and sit with him.


Becca and I went to dinner on Friday night. We planned on going to the Wine Bar over by the river but it was packed. We settled for having dinner at Fratelli’s in Baxter village and then heading over to the Grapevine for a glass of wine.

We started out with a plate of Bruschetta.


I ordered a grilled chicken salad, but they forgot the chicken. It was no big deal though, they brought it out after πŸ™‚ I also had a little cup of minestrone soup. The salad was so fresh and delicious!

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We sat out by the fireΒ at Grapevine listening to people’s hilarious conversations. Yes, we are those girl’s. We followed up the wine with some Fro-yo. It’s been forever since I’ve treated myself to frozen yogurt πŸ™‚ I had the vanilla almond milk froyo with some delicious goodies on top!


I woke up at 5:30 on Saturday so I could have my coffee, breakfast and relax before the race. I also made a new random playlist for the run. These are songs that just get me going for some reason. My top favorites are: How to Love, Snitch B*tch, Me, Myself, & I, and Same Old Love. I had about ten more songs on the playlist that aren’t in the screen shot. Lots of Eminem….

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My pre-run food is always cereal with almond milk. It fuels me, gives me energy and my body handles it really well. You have to test out different pre-run foods and find out what works best for your body. Not everyone can eat the same thing before a race.

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I headed over to the race at 8:00 am and did a quick mile and then stretched. I am not a morning runner, so it was a struggle. The route ended up being very hilly, but I was still pretty excited about my time. I ran the 3.1 in 28:28.

It wasn’t my fastest or best time, but it was still exciting for me. Last year, I finished the race in 31: something. I caught myself being disappointed in finishing it in 28:28, but then I had to remind myself that years ago, I would have never ran a race or ran a mile. I need to be proud of myself for doing things I never thought possible and proud of myself for constantly trying to better my life.


Right after my pep talk, they announced my name as the 1st place winner for the 20-29 female age group. I was so excited and so proud of myself.


My friend Becca was the best! She was there to support me and get excited with me.

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We decided to treat ourselves to a delicious lunch at one of our favorite places, Luna’s Living Kitchen! It was so nice out, so we sat outside.


I ordered one of my favorite drinks from Luna’s, the coconut milk latte.

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I ordered the fire & brimstone veggie burger. It had spicedΒ chipolte sunflower hummus, onion, cucumber, salsa verde and house hot sauce wrapped in collard leaf. I had the broccoli Wald0rf salad on the side and I’ve been craving it ever since. The broccoli Waldorf has broccoli, green apple, celery, walnuts, raisins and red onion tossed with homemade cashew mayonnaise & lemon juice.


The food at Luna’s is so fresh and unique. I could eat it everyday.


We headed to Ikea after lunch to pick out some new bedding. I had to climb to the top to grab some boxes and I felt like a spider monkey…

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After Ikea, we headed to get our haircuts. I hadΒ a deep condition treatment and two inches cut off. Next, we headed to Target to get toilet paper and we came out with everything but that…I bought tons of cozy clothes on sale. I love seaters, leggings and anything soft! Becca and I also made a pact to never say negative things about our bodies because we do it a lot. I think it’s so much more uplifting to say amazing things about yourself and others. You just feel better and negativity should never be welcomed. There is no reason to look in the mirror and see flaws, just see beautiful. We are all beautiful.

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I headed to my parents house for dinner on Saturday night. We decided to cozy up to a bonfire and a movie.
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My mom couldn’t stop talking about her radishes she found at the farmer’s market and she was so proud of them. It became the on going joke all night.

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I made dinner for my family on Saturday night. I made delicious turkey burgers wrapped in lettuce and Greek yogurt coleslaw! The turkey burgers were mixed with egg, italian bread crumbs, pepper, low sodium soy sauce, garlic powder, italian seasoning, minced onion, cheddar cheese, and honey.

The coleslaw had coleslaw cabbage blend, light olive oil mayo, Greek yogurt, honey, pickle juice, yellow mustard, celery salt, chopped onion, and pepper.

The burgers were so amazing that I ended up going back for another and had to stop myself from eating a third. I want to make them again soon!


I met up with Becca Sunday morning for our weekend coffee date. We’ve decided to make this a tradition. I’m a very traditional person and get excited for “the usual.”


It was so chilly on Sunday and I didn’t mind it. It gave me another opportunity to wear my pants and a thick coat. After our breakfast, we headed to Southpark mall to shop around. I will be doing an outfit post in the morning πŸ™‚ I want to start doing more fashion posts.


After walking the mall, we went to change into some workout clothes and get in a nice Sunday walk. It was pretty chilly out and we contemplated on going to a movie instead, but fitness was more important.

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We did a seven mile trail and it was one of the prettiest places I’ve ever walked in Charlotte.


The name of the trail is the four mile creek Greenway.


It was like a hidden forest with random swamp spots.

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We also played the “cuss word game”…Β IfΒ a cuss word comes out of your mouth, you have to drop down and do twenty sit ups + five burpees. We did this for seven milesΒ and I’m still sore today!Β 

It was five by the time we were finished walking and we were super hungry. The only thing I had all day was a dirty chai and a crescent. We went to Hobo’s in downtown Fort Mill for some salads and I had a glass of wine. I ordered a basic grilled chicken salad with ranch on the side.


After breakfast on Monday morning, I headed to my parents house so my dad and I could get started on our project! First I had my cereal πŸ™‚

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My dad amazes me. We drew up a plan in like ten minutes, bought all the materials, had aΒ vision and just went with it. I told him what I wanted and he made it come to life.


Sometimes, I wish I had a truck.


I had a BLAST learning and building with him and I get to put it in my room tomorrow πŸ™‚ We are going to deliver it to my place. I’m also adding side lights to the bed.


While we were staining the bed, our family showed up to surprised us! My dad and I hurried up and finished the bed and then we got to cooking and all hanging out drinking wine! They drove all the way from Iowa πŸ™‚ I haven’t seen them in two years.


My dad made some delicious homemade fries and I made some of those special burgers!

I was in bed right after attempting to watch Dancing With the Stars.


I headed back to my place this morning to catch up on my work and get my room ready for the new bed πŸ™‚ I’m definitely skipping out on a workout tonight. I may do a walk tomorrow, but my legs are killing me!

I hope you guys enjoyed the recap:)

Questions for you!Β 

  1. Do you have any weekly traditions you look forward to?
  2. Do any of you enjoy running, but NOT running races?
  3. What is for dinner tonight?Β 


  • Alicia

    Hi Taralynn! I have followed your blog for I don’t know how many years now, and you are always an inspiration to me! I just got back into running this year, and I totally agree with you- running itself is amazing, but races are stressful. I want to keep signing up for them though to feel more confident. I just did a Color Run, and it really was the best kind of race because there’s no official time and everyone is there just to have fun. Plus there’s awesome music and a ton of energy.

    Reply to Alicia
  • Julie

    1. My husband and I do Thai food once a week, and I always look forward to it! He teaches karate and I teach yoga, so we meet there after we are both out of class.

    2. I enjoy walking (not quite a runner yet), but I’m too scared to even walk in races! I actually just started walking at the mall and doing 2 miles a day.

    3. I’m thinking of having either salmon with a Greek salad or turkey meatballs and spaghetti squash!

    Reply to Julie
  • Carly

    Congrats on your 1st place!

    I don’t have any weekly traditions per say, but I always look forward to Saturday mornings when I’m up early before anyone else and get to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee with my dog snuggled by my side.

    I like running, although I wish I liked it more than I do. Currently I like to run because of the runner’s high after or if I get to run/chat with a friend. I did a half marathon once with a friend, which was fun because we didn’t race and just ran the course at our own pace, but I’m too scared to do any races alone (call it a mental block ha!).

    Dinner tonight is tomato soup and grilled cheese to match the rainy weather we’ve got here!

    Reply to Carly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks Carly!!!

      I love my Saturday mornings as well πŸ™‚

      Nice job on the marathon. I don’t think i’d ever be able to do that! my knees would fall off.

      That dinner is one of my favorites!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lindsey

    Hi Taralynn! Your posts always have me craving cereal and salads because your pictures look so good! I already had my Starbucks Friday latte- a weekly tradition i look forward to. I am the opposite with running; I do not enjoy it unless I have a race that I’m training for. Then I’m motivated to get outside and run following a program like couch to 5k since I am NOT a runner. I ordered a jogging stroller for my 4 month old to ride in so I can start training for a 5k! I haven’t done one in years so using your blog for motivation! Thanks! πŸ™‚

    Reply to Lindsey
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Lol thank you Lindsey! The races definitely keep me motivated to run, but doing them is the not-so-fun part for me! ONE DAY, I’ll enjoy it. Enjoy your new stroller! Summer will be great πŸ˜€ xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mystic

    I used to hate running races. But then I discovered the HUGE races where you are anonymous, no one cares how you do or if you fall or do something stupid, there are crowds of people to follow to the right place, etc. You’re only racing yourself! Small races scare me to death because there’s few enough people to be noticed, but I live in DC and most races are 10-30k people, which I love!

    Reply to Mystic
  • Brittany Joy

    Do you have any weekly traditions you look forward to?
    Do any of you enjoy running, but NOT running races?
    What is for dinner tonight

    1- I just recently moved in with my fiancΓ© and we both started new jobs so I am looking forward to getting some local “spots” and making weekly traditions!
    2- I love running but I love races too! 5ks are my usual, I don’t do great but I still have fun
    3- I’m hoping Outback is for dinner tonight!
    Were those sweet potato fries? I need to try those sometime.

    Reply to Brittany Joy
  • Misty

    Hi Taralynn,Congrats on the medal! I love races for the sense of accomplishment they give me. I am not the fastest out there but I compete with myself and try to get a better time each time. I have been doing various triathlons,walking marathons,5k’s and 5 mile races for about 5 years! My go to Pre race meal is a gf bagel with peanut butter and jelly about 2 hours before. Competing against your own time really takes the pressure off. A coffee date with friends is a weekly must! Happy Easter!

    Reply to Misty
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks Misty πŸ˜€ I agree. You really do feel like you accomplished something great! No matter how big or little the race is πŸ™‚

      That sounds like a great pre run food. & yes coffee dates ARE a must!

      Happy Easter to you as well πŸ˜€

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Brooklyn

    Every time you post about Luna’s Living Kitchen I want to go so bad.
    If I’m ever in Charlotte I know where I’ll be going!


    Reply to Brooklyn
  • Marilyn

    Congrats on the race!! Whoop Whoop!
    1. Once a week my boyfriend and I have a date night/day. Our schedules are almost opposite so keeping it on a regular day is kind of hard. We just make it a priority once a week to have “us” time.

    2. I love running and running races! I try and run at least 20 races a year and it really helps me keep motivated to run regularly. I still get nervous before every race but I have found that most runners are incredibly kind and supportive. When I run in the race all I worry about is me and my time, not what everyone else is doing. The race atmosphere just helps me push a little harder.

    3. Dinner tonight was a Dragon Lady Steak Wrap from House of JuJu! If you are ever in Clovis, California, you should definitely give the place a try.

    Reply to Marilyn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Marilyn!

      Date nights are great πŸ™‚ Glad you guys are making it a priority.

      Wow, you are a running machine. That is awesome though and I think the races would inspire me to run more too! I also agree about the race atmosphere pushing you harder, I feel that too!

      Oh yum! I need to make a Cali trip soon. Ive still never been πŸ™

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sarah L

    That coat is stunning!! Love your style. Where is the cat from? Thank you and happy Wednesday πŸ™‚

    Reply to Sarah L
  • Kerry

    Way to go on your race time!!! πŸ™‚

    Reply to Kerry
  • Lauren

    I’m in the hospitality major and recently I took a class on the origins of coffee. I absolutely love coffee and it was such a fun class! I definitely agree, I don’t think people realize how the coffee beans get to be their cup of coffee in the morning.

    2. I’m not a big fan of running, but I’m trying to get more into it.
    3. I went out to a little fancier pizza place in my college’s town and since I’m vegan, I love being able to customize my pie to just tomato sauce and a lot of veggies! I even have left overs for my road trip back home for Easter!

    Reply to Lauren
    • Taralynn McNitt

      For being so in love with coffee, I HAD NO IDEA the process. It was crazy informative.

      Running takes some time πŸ™‚

      That sounds delicious. I love anything pizza and I haven’t had it in so long! Enjoy Easter!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Haylee

    You officially eat cereal the right way! Mixing different kinds together is the greatest idea ever. (Where’s the thumbs up emoji when you need one?) I’mm have to remember that for a pre-workout snack. Though that would of course require me to workout so maybe nevermind. haha

    Reply to Haylee
  • Jessica

    Can you please post a tutorial of the bed? I want to make one!!

    Reply to Jessica
  • Taylor

    Congratulations on your race!! That is such an awesome accomplishment to win first place! I love what you posted about Target too.. I think almost every girl I talk to does the SAME thing every time we go in there.. they have such cute things all the time. Your bed is beautiful too. Has your dad built stuff before? It’s crazy that you guys created your own plan but so awesome! My husband, his dad, and his brother just build us a farmhouse dining room table. It’s a lot more work than I expected it to be for them but it turned out beautifully.

    1. I gave up alcohol for lent this year, so I am so excited to have my weekly glass (or two) again with my friends.
    2. The only races I have ever done were the color runs and I had a lot of fun. I didn’t feel pressure to run the whole time and ended up walking some of it. I’m definitely not a runner.
    3. We are headed over to our in laws for dinner tonight, so it’s a surprise whatever she makes. She’s Italian though and it’s always delicious πŸ™‚


    Reply to Taylor
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Taylor!

      Target is a scary place lol. We all get sucked in. My dad and I build basically everything! We built my end tables, my coffee table, my kitchen table and now my bed:) He’s so good! The farmhouse table was the first one that was built and then my mom was so jealous so he had to build one for her too hahaha!

      1. Ugh, so much wine lately. I had way too much last night and then grapes for breakfast lol so I’m giving up the grapes for a week or so! ha Good for you though for giving it all up for lent.

      2. The color run seems pretty chill and fun! Not a race to win, but to just enjoy!

      3. Italian meals are the best! πŸ˜€

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anna

    I love your recap posts so much! Your life looks so fun and happy. It’s so nice to see that when most people out there are always posting only negative things.
    1. I look forward to weekends because that is when I get to see my bf who lives an hour away. It’s nice to take little road trips together or even just veg out on the couch all weekend and have Netflix marathons πŸ˜›
    2. I WISH I loved running. Your posts honestly inspire me so much to get out there and get my butt moving. So THANK YOU.
    3. I have zero ideas for dinner, but I have a giant box of bananas at home, so it looks like a lot of banana bread will be made for sure πŸ™‚

    Reply to Anna
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Anna!

      I make sure to do things that make me happy. Life is toooooo short.

      1. It’s friday tomorrow so you’ll be able to see your BF πŸ˜€ Netflix marathons are the BEST!
      2. You’re welcome πŸ™‚ I used to hate it until I got better at it. I compete with myself and it motivates me.
      3. you can send that banana bread my way! thanks πŸ˜€

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kylie McGraw

    First, you look so happy in all of these pictures! Life changes can be hard but you seem to be adjusting well πŸ™‚
    1. Weekly traditions = drinking my cup of coffee while I teach small groups in the morning. I’m a teacher and it’s the first time I sit down all day, so I love drinking my coffee while I work with those groups! And on the weekend, I love lounging around with coffee in my bed before going on a long run or walk!!
    2. I’m in a season of life where I prefer running without races. I keep getting hurt as soon as I start training and I’m also super competitive, so now I don’t want to race unless I’m faster than my old times, and I’m not there yet. πŸ™‚ Congrats on winning your age group though! That’s such a confidence booster!!
    3. Dinner will probably be leftovers from my brother’s birthday dinner last night…but your post has me craving some kind of salad or a smoothie. SO many good ingredients in that one you made!

    Reply to Kylie McGraw
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Kylie. I’m so happy lately and things are great. Change IS good.

      1. I love that you LOVE coffee and that little time just as much as I do!

      2. Thank you very much πŸ™‚ & I agree. The injuries scare me, so I have to remember to run smartly! I’m working on slowing my pace and just running longer like for an hour or two so I can run a bigger race. If I can run longer, the speed will come naturally.

      3. Love smoothies and salads, but leftovers are NEVER a bad idea !

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Zey

    Getting excited about radishes is SO something my mom would do! I laughed out loud when I read that. Congratulations on your 1st place!!! πŸ™‚

    Reply to Zey
  • Maria

    I ran cross country in high school and I always had anxiety about the races! However, once the race got going the anxiety always went away (thankfully!) Now I like to run in the morning right when I wake up, before my brain realizes what I am doing πŸ˜‰ I love love love your bed and can’t wait to see the finished product! We are looking for a new king bed and I am trying to talk my fiancΓ© into making one for us!

    Reply to Maria
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I always wished I could have done cross country! I couldn’t run one minute lol

      I also do not like running in the morning, but I should! I’m a day runner.

      Making the bed was SO SO SO much fun and it was so much cheaper!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • brittany

    How do you get into running and working out. Im in college now and I have the hardest time either finding time to workout or even the drive to do it. I like having a buddy but my friends don’t want to. tips?

    Reply to brittany
    • Taralynn McNitt

      When I was back in school, I would walk/workout between classes or even take my notes to the gym and read them while I was on the treadmill. Just set and hour aside at night or in the morning to workout if you can’t do it during the day. You could also see if your school has fitness groups, or maybe even start one!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • brittany

        I have been going to the workout classes and it helps a lot! My friends are boring and don’t want to work out with me… I like having a buddy πŸ™‚

        Reply to brittany
  • Amanda Klems

    You look so happy and healthy. I’m happy for you!

    Not to get off topic from your questions, but a few things came to mind when reading your post.

    First, I’m not a runner at all, in fact, I’m terrible at it. Do you mind sharing what first got you interested in running, and how you helped yourself improve? Did you try a “Couch to 5K” or anything like that? I typically do a few miles on the elliptical or the arc trainer, but I’d like to get more into running.

    Second, those fries look amazing. Can you share the recipe?!

    Reply to Amanda Klems
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Amanda!

      I’ve been working on a running post and I am going to include all of that in there. For me, I just had to start. I had to get out there and run until I couldn’t anymore. I’d run 1/2 a mile and then walk a 5k, the next week run a mile and then walk the 5k and so on! Also strength training and diet play huge roles! I’ll make sure to include that all in my upcoming post. πŸ˜€

      Those fries were just cut and tossed in olive oil, sea salt, pepper, old bay seasoning and then baked at 400 degrees for 45 minutes!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Amanda

        Wonderful!! Looking forward to it! Thank you!

        Reply to Amanda
  • Brit

    Taralynn, you look so beautiful.

    Reply to Brit
  • Kat

    1. The necessary kick off to the weekend is a wine and nibblers hangout with co workers. I think its something everyone looks forward to, and I think it is healthy to see coworkers in an unprofessional and relaxed setting πŸ™‚

    2. I love running, it is something I thrive off of to keep me sane. I use it to clear and calm my mind. I am someone with a lot of energy so it is a nice outlet to keep me manageable lol But racing on the other hand terrifies me days before I am about to do it, but usually once the race has begun I am more relaxed and actually enjoy it quite a bit.

    3. Dinner is a leftover chickpea, acorn squash, and chopped veggie stir fry. I love how easy stir fries are to whip up and they always seem to reheat well πŸ™‚

    Reply to Kat
    • Taralynn McNitt

      1. That sounds like a blast.
      2. Yeah, that does sound a lot like me! I’m also a high-energy person, so it calms me down and fixes anxiety!
      3. Oh yum! I made stir-fry last night too πŸ˜€

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lauren

    Congrats on your race! I can’t wait to see the final pictures of your bed!

    1) I have a big breakfast with my boyfriend every Sunday morning.

    2) I used to run a lot. Now I have an injury, so I haven’t ran for almost a year. :s I liked the accomplishment of finishing the races, but they gave me so much stress. I ran a marathon and my stomach hurt the whole time from the stress. Also with another 10k race I heard somebody saying I was the leading female runner and because I got so stressed out I had to walk and I became second. The next 10k race I did get first place so that’s good. πŸ™‚ I hope I will be able to run again soon and be able to deal with the stress a bit better.

    3) I’m having homemade butternut squash and chickpea soup for dinner.

    Reply to Lauren
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Lauren!

      1. That sounds so nice:) I love Sunday Breakfasts.
      2. Injuries are what scare me the most. Stress is no fun, you can feel it tighten up your muscles. I love the playlist becuase i makes me just think about my music πŸ™‚
      3. Yum! Sounds like a delicious combo.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Luisa

    Oh! And I’m happy you’re starting your smoothie phase! I love love love smoothies ❀ It’ll be fun to see your recipes ?

    Reply to Luisa
  • Luisa

    1. Weekly traditions, well I’ve tried a couple times to establish different routines, like go for a post-work run with a friend, or meet up once a week for doing DIY stuff together – but it never stuck. Maybe I should try to build a weekly habit for myself first before including another person. To see if I can do it if it’s really just depending on me.
    2. I just get into the habit of running lately and am still very slow and untrained. The thought of competing in a race still scares me a lot, to be fair ^^ So, yeah, running is fine – racing not so cool though.
    3. We have a friend staying with us this week. Since the guys (bf and his friend) are home way earlier than I am they will probably cook something up. I’ll just get surprised tonight, I guess ^^

    Reply to Luisa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      1. That actually sounds like a good idea! Maybe your friends will see you do it and join once and a while πŸ™‚
      2. slow is good, especially when you’re starting out. You don’t need to focus on time at all! Just focus on running a little longer every time you run.
      3. Surprises are always fun!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cheyanne Whaley

    Looks like such a productive weekend and your hair looks so healthy and beautiful in the photos! πŸ™‚
    1. When I was younger my dad used to make Sunday morning breakfast for the family. Now that I live on my own I no longer have that pleasure. I would love to start a new weekend tradition for myself, do you have any ideas or recommendations?
    2. In high school I used to run in races but I haven’t raced in a few years. I don’t really run much anymore but have really been wanting to get back into it. I love going on walks outside so I’ll have to incorporate running in to build up my endurance and stamina!
    3. Dinner was a chicken breast and a side salad made with spinach, cranberries, nuts, strawberries, and raspberry vinaigrette dressing. The dressing wasn’t as healthy as it should have been, but the salad tasted absolutely delicious!

    Reply to Cheyanne Whaley
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you so much πŸ˜€ It’s definitely come along way!

      1. You could always start your own Sunday breakfasts πŸ˜€ Maybe with some friends or family!
      2. I love walking just as much as I love running!
      3. OH MY YUM!!!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cheyanne Whaley

    Looks like such a productive weekend! Your hair also looks so healthy and beautiful in the photos! πŸ™‚
    1. When I was younger my dad used to make Sunday morning breakfast for the family, but now that I live on my own I no longer have that pleasure. I would love to start a weekly tradition though! Any recommendations for me?
    2. In high school I used to run in races, but I haven’t raced in a few years! I don’t really run much anymore and really need to get back into it! I love going on walks outside so I’ll have to incorporate running into those to build my endurance and stamina back up!
    3. Dinner was a chicken breast and a side salad made with spinach, cranberries, nuts, and strawberries with raspberry vinaigrette dressing. It was delicious! (even though the dressing wasn’t very healthy).

    Reply to Cheyanne Whaley
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you so much ? It’s definitely come along way!
      1. You could always start your own Sunday breakfasts ? Maybe with some friends or family!
      2. I love walking just as much as I love running!
      3. OH MY YUM!!!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • K


    Good job at the race. I was in the race in the older age division and I kept my pace behind you. I hope that does not sound creepy but it helped me a lot. I was very happy to see you there supporting the Fort Mill community. You are an inspiration to our town and I look forward to reading your morning posts.

    Reply to K
    • Taralynn McNitt

      wow thank you! That isn’t creepy at all, that actually makes me feel good about myself lol

      Nice job finishing and thank you for all the kind words!!


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cassie

    You should still be so proud of yourself for the race! 28:28 is such a good time! Anyways, now I have to find a place with that collard wrap–it looks so so good!

    Reply to Cassie
  • Caitlyn

    Congrats on winning your age group for the race, it looked like a lot of fun. I’m not big into running because I have bad knees thanks to playing softball for 7 or 8 years and playing as catcher none the less, but sometimes a nice therapy run is in order and it helps to clear my mind. Also super awesome that you got to see your family, I live close to my family and it is hard to imagine not having them around me all the time, so hopefully you thoroughly enjoyed it ^_^

    Reply to Caitlyn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Caitlyn!

      Running and walking is great therapy! I take advantage of them living so close. I went almost four years away from them and now I’m catching up! πŸ˜€

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily B

    I don’t really have any weekly traditions… I really enjoy my Mondays though – my day off and I just enjoy having a leisurely productive day.
    I used to hate running but signed up for a 5k to help motivate myself to learn to enjoy running. That was like 5 years ago and it certainly did the trick! I’ve been running ever since. I’ve only done 2 other races besides that first one. One was a color run and wasn’t really a challenge… The next one was a 5k and I had the goal of running it in 35 minutes and ended up doing it in 28:30! It was super exciting!
    On the note of running, is it weird that I can’t at anything before I work out otherwise I feel super nauseous? Not even a banana half and hour before I run sits well with me! So I usually work out on an empty belly and just drink tons of water! Hard as I’ve tried I can’t eat before exercise!
    I made bbq pulled pork whole grain spaghetti casserole with roasted broccoli and mixed veggies on the side. It was delish!

    Reply to Emily B
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That is a nice day to leisure:D

      Signing up for races is a great way to make yourself get out there and run. I have to sign up for another race today to keep me motivated. Nice job on your times!

      It’s not weird at all! A lot of people can’t eat before a race/or working out. You should have enough calories and fuel in you from the day before to hold you over is what I read in the running digest book. I just have to have something lol


      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Hannah


    Reply to Hannah
  • Rachael

    Always love your recap posts! I’m doing my first 5k in May and am very nervous. I used to run for soccer all the time but have gotten away from it post soccer. This is motivation for me to get back into it and my expected time will definitely force me to train harder for the next one lol.

    Two things: 1. you look amazing and glowing in all your pictures! And 2. Focusing on loving yourself and not saying negative things about your body helps with having an overall positive outlook. I’m working on this myself and love hearing you are!

    Dinner tonight is some red lentil dahl with jasmine rice. It is my obsession lately and so easy to make!

    Reply to Rachael
  • carolyn

    I loooveee your update posts! Keep them coming! You should feel so proud of winning your age group! I tend to actually enjoy running races better than running on my own because of the people and environment of a race; it’s an individual sport so to have so many other people to watch and run with makes it feel easier for me =)

    Reply to carolyn
  • Melissa FitzGerald

    1. I don’t necessarily have any weekly traditions that I look forward to, but that’s a good idea! Like the first Jennifer said (lol), I like the idea of setting aside some time just for me every week. I may have to start doing that!

    2. I looove running, and I’d love to experience a race! I just can’t do it anymore because my knees are those of an 80 year old πŸ™ I can see why you’d get anxious and overwhelmed in a race, though! Big crowds of people like that freak me out.

    3. Tonight is a “treat yo self” takeout night, because I’ve been traveling like crazy this month and haven’t been grocery shopping in weeks. I randomly tried this Japanese place and got the most delicious red curry, and an order of their specialty fried rice made with chicken, shrimp, pineapple, broccoli, onions, and curry powder. SO GOOD! I almost wish I hadn’t tried it because I will definitely go back!

    Reply to Melissa FitzGerald
    • Taralynn McNitt

      1. me time is SO IMPORTANT. Mornings with my coffee are my me times.

      2. yeah me too! i had to spend a year recovering my knees!!

      3. that sounds delish. I love treat yo self nights!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cara

    I absolutely love reading your blog posts! As someone who is recovering from depression, they always give this warm feeling about the future, I just love seeing what you get up to! Probably the main tradition that I look forward to is Sunday breakfast with my family: we always cook bacon and eggs for my dad! But coming up to Easter this week, I am so excited for our traditional Easter egg hunt and easter dinner, an especially good day for me as I give up chocolate for Lent πŸ˜‰ As my parents are away in Europe, dinner tonight is some rice and Honey BBQ chicken that I made on Sunday night, ready to dig into once I’m home from work! So excited to see how your bed turns out πŸ˜€

    Reply to Cara
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Cara! That means so much!

      Depression is very scary and frustrating to go through. Just stay strong and keep yourself flooded with positive people πŸ™‚ It makes me happy that my blog can give you a sense of relief for a bit. Rice and honey bbq chicken sounds amazing! I’m also excited for easter! πŸ˜€

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Zoe

    My family and I spend every Friday with my parents! I love it and it’s a total refresher from staying home with the kids all week.

    Dinner tonight was salmon, baked sweet potato fries, and broccoli! Sooooo yummy!

    Reply to Zoe
  • Tara

    Great job on your first place!! That is so awesome!! I love racing, but they do stress me out. I completely understand where you’re coming from on needing that last run for a boost of confidence. I get nervous going into a race, and I worry if I will be able to perform like I want to. (I’m more competitive with myself than with anyone else.) But, in the end no matter how I finish, I always love the actual race and crossing the finish line! And you do look really good, and I’m glad you’re living life and having fun! πŸ™‚ (I’m having pork chops for dinner.)

    Reply to Tara
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Tara!!

      I’m just like you when it comes to being competitive with myself! Thats the way it should be πŸ™‚

      xo xo xo enjoy those chops!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jen H.

    1. My weekend tradition is that I always wake up early Saturday mornings…whether I like it or not (my internal clock does not know how to sleep in). I make myself a cup of coffee before anybody else or the world wakes up and I take a moment to sit in silence and just breathe. Life is so hectic so this little moment really brings be back to reality and reminds me to stop and enjoy life for a second.

    2. I am an avid runner but don’t often run races!! I totally agree with you that races give me anxiety and I run to relieve stress and as my own ‘therapy’.

    3. Dinner tonight is a lovely Quest Bar!!! I’m on the go at night class tonight and a protein bar is quick, easy, and so darn tasty!!!

    Reply to Jen H.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      My internal clock wakes up early every morning and I LOVE waking up before everyone on Saturdays. Those little moments are everything.

      Glad I’m not the only one who thinks that way!

      good luck at class! love quest bars! whats your favorite flavor?

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Jen H.

        I am a hard core Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough fan! I swear Quest should pay me for how much I promote and advertise for them! I always rave to people about how darn good they are! I crave them and look forward to eating them all the time. I’d say ‘obsessed’ is an understatement!!! lol

        Reply to Jen H.
  • Heather @ Polyglot Jot

    Sounds like a fun time! Congrats on the race πŸ™‚ I think you’re right about the negative body comments. i do it too often to myself!

    Reply to Heather @ Polyglot Jot
  • Imogen

    Great post! The weekly tradition I look forward to is seeing my grandparents, cousins, aunts etc on a Sunday evening. I love to run but races make me nervous because I feel more pressure on myself to get a good time/pb during the race and with the amount of people there watching, is all a little much but it’s something I’m trying to overcome! I’ve been doing weekly 5k event at the local park every Saturday morning recently which you can run, walk and even take your dog around the course, I’ve done this to ease me into races and hopefully get rid of the anxiety that comes with it!
    Dinner tonight is a grilled chicken topped with red pepper, bacon and cheese, and some veggies on the side

    Reply to Imogen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you!

      Love that family time πŸ˜€

      The pressure takes away the fun of it. That sounds like a fun saturday to me. I’m thinking about joining a running group here. I think it would help me with races too.

      Your dinner sounds so good.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Beth

    Nice job on your race, girl!! That’s awesome to get first place :). I just ran a half marathon this weekend and got a new PR. But I’m with you about races- I was so nervous and had so much anxiety going into it. I think the nerves make me faster though, haha πŸ™‚

    Reply to Beth
  • Marina @ Snackie Bird

    Congrats for your medal, Taralynn! You make a good job πŸ˜‰ I love traditional things so much. For example: I go for a new restaurant with my friend every month. I love to try new food and discover new places.

    Reply to Marina @ Snackie Bird
  • Shae

    What were you in Chicago for?! That’s my hometown and I looooove it! Too bad I didn’t run into you haha!

    I need those tan shoes, they’re so cute! ANd you and your mom look so much alike, it’s adorable πŸ™‚

    Reply to Shae
  • Allie S

    1. Every Monday night, I meet one of my friends for dinner. Between my busy work schedule and her wedding planning, it is so easy to get lost in the shuffle and go weeks without seeing each other. I also keep Wednesday nights for myself. I paint my nails, do a face mask and read a book or watch Friends.

    2. I have never really been a fan of running. I infinitely prefer biking or swimming.

    3. I accidentally grilled pork instead of chicken when meal prepping (I should really label what is in my freezer), so I will be finding creative ways to eat it for the week. Maybe a carnitas Chipotle-style salad?

    Reply to Allie S
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That sounds like a blast πŸ™‚ I do my nail painting on Mondays!

      Biking is fun too!!

      lol that is something I would do! That sounds like a good salad to me!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Rebecca

    1. Every Monday I teach dance at my local studio, and then I head over to my friend’s house for a girl’s night of either The Bachelor, or now, Dancing with the Stars! We always have a different food theme each week. It’s something I look forward to and I love catching up with the girls & eating yummy food πŸ™‚
    2. I think races actually motivate me more, but they’re a lot different like you said. Like you, I’m not a natural runner, but whenever I sign up for a 5k it motivates me to train more seriously. My goal is to run a 10k in Chicago!
    3. Dinner tonight is grilled chicken, goat cheese/rosemary quinoa & broccoli/green beans! Saved from my Sunday meal prep sesh πŸ™‚

    Reply to Rebecca
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That sounds like a blast. Mondays are the best for that! Everyone hates them, but you have to do something special to make them better.

      They really are a great motivation. I have to do a bigger race next time, but it’ll keep me in line!

      Love that. Goat cheese and quinoa!! yummy!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Chandler

    1. I don’t really have any weekly traditions, but I have a very set routine every day that works well for me, and it keeps me on track πŸ™‚
    2. I LOVE running, and I used to be a cross-country runner! I’m working on getting back into running, but my favorite thing is to run outside. I actually need some suggestions on pre-workout fuel if you have any tips to share! πŸ™‚
    3. For dinner tonight, I’m making veggie burrito bowls. I’m going to saute a bunch of bell peppers, onions, and jalapenos, and combine them with cilantro lime quinoa, shredded cheddar, and salsa! Yum yum!

    Proud of you for running that race!

    Reply to Chandler
    • Taralynn McNitt

      1. Routines are great! πŸ˜€

      2. I always envied people who did cross-country! I couldn’t run ONE MINUTE in high school lol. I usually eat cereal + almond milk OR a slice of toast with peanut butter one hour before a run and then fuel up with protein after. Egg whites, protein shake, or greek yogurt.

      You guys are all so creative with your dinners!!! yummy!!! (minus cilantro, can’t do that)

      & thank you!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    1. I wish I did! All my friends live all over the cities, so it’s not really convenient to meet up every week. My boyfriend and I almost made going to Ruby Tuesday’s every Monday a tradition, but I keep getting horrible service at the one near my place!

    2. I’ve only done two races. One which was the Color Run and I had to walk/run that because I wasn’t prepared and I hated it because of that. The second one was in honor of my friend Grace, and that one I ran the whole way! The first 5k I ever completed πŸ™‚ Besides the fact that I was slow, I felt really proud of myself. So I decided I only like races if I can finish them! haha

    3. Feta and basil stuffed chicken (I’ve been stalking Andie Mitchell’s blog and that’s where I saw it) broccoli, and maybe rice? Haven’t quite decided yet. Oh, and a Pomegranate Outshine bar for dessert (DELICIOUS)

    Reply to Jennifer
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yeah, that is a bummer, but maybe you and your boyfriend can come up with a special weekly tradition!

      Wow, that is awesome. Nice job on that πŸ™‚

      I’m seriously drooling over all of your dinners!! I just had plain ole chicken/veggie stir fry lol

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessie @ The Acquired Sass

    1. I try to always meet up with my local running group on Saturdays which is a tradition I love. The BF works an odd rotating schedule. So it’s hard to have every week be the same. But when our schedules align we try to always make breakfast & coffee @ home, followed by a hike nearby.

    2. I enjoy running, but running races is what keeps me motivated to get out there & actually run. Otherwise I think I would get lazy & always sleep in instead.

    3. Hibachi for dinner tonight! My birthday isn’t until Sunday, but we’re celebrating early because Easter is going to try & steal my thunder. I’m excited! I haven’t had Hibachi in forever!

    Reply to Jessie @ The Acquired Sass
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I have thought about doing that! There are a couple brewery groups here πŸ˜€

      I always love hearing about your weekends. They always sound so relaxing and if you lived close, id have to join you on all your hikes and cooking!

      #2 is me to a tee.

      lOVE HIBACHI!!!! happy early birthday!!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    Keeping busy is always a good thing! It’s definitely invigorating for the mind and body, especially when you’re taking in the beauty of nature with other people.

    How come you didn’t attend the Palm Sunday Mass service? You seemed so excited about it last year.

    Reply to Jennifer
  • Hilary

    I used to go to a local coffee shop and blog every Sunday but kind of got away from it, but it makes me want to start making it a tradition again!

    Reply to Hilary
  • Erin

    I love running but leisurely haha I’ve never done a race! Every weekend I go to my favorite coffee shop and sit on their beautiful patio, it’s my favorite!! I either get an iced coffee or an americano with almond milk! I love your haircut! I just got one yesterday and cried after lol so I took today off work and enjoyed the day. Dinner tonight is black bean tacos!!

    Reply to Erin
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Leisurely running is my favorite. You are making want to find a coffee shop with a balcony. I’m hoping i can visit maine again this summer and go to that one coffee shop I went to last year. & thank you! I have to keep getting it cut to keep it healthy! I bet your hair looks great!!!

      love me some black bean tacos!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer Arteaga

    You look so happy and beautiful!
    1. I try to do Sunday morning breakfast for the family but I would like to start a weekly tradition just for me. I get caught up with kids and life and lose myself. I need more me time.

    2. I don’t really run. I need to start walking and maybe I will work up to running. I have done one race it was a color run and it was fun but I walk/ran.

    3. I don’t know yet. I have been busy getting things ready for our weekend trip to Western NC for easter. I am thinking sandwhiches or something with potatoes. I always try to eat up the food at the house before a trip.

    Reply to Jennifer Arteaga
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Jennifer. I am very very happy πŸ™‚

      You time is important! Even if it’s something small like spending an hour drinking coffee and reading a book.

      I’ve never done a color run, but they have one coming up here.

      I need to eat up more of the house before I go on trips. I end up dropping all the food off at my parents to eat. lol

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Jennifer Arteaga

        I am definitely going to start making me a priority!

        You should do a color run with a group of friends or just you can Becca. You can get really creative with your outfit but keep it white so the colors show up better!


        Reply to Jennifer Arteaga
  • Jennifer


    Reply to Jennifer

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