Dessert/ Dinner/ Exercise/ Fitness

What You Need

Instead of asking yourself what the world needs,
ask yourself what makes you come alive,
and then go do that.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

Howard Thurman

Today I ran the best I have ever run. I didn’t run further than I’ve ever run before but today something just clicked for me and I had some revelations. Here’s what I thought of:

It doesn’t matter how far you run, how fast you run, how many calories you burn or who you beat. It’s about the feeling of wind blowing on the back of your neck and about feeling completely and totally alive. Today when I ran I didn’t focus on distance or speed…I ran to get back to why I run in the first place—for the joy of it and the great feeling it brings me. It was definitely the most enjoyable run I’ve ever had, and my legs felt strong and light even though the thermostat read 91 degrees! I let my mind get away from all of it. Away from my sleepless night, away from school, away from the heat, the stress and any issues that might have been lingering. I just let them all go. And I ran.

Surprisingly and totally on accident, I had my best time yet. I ran 2 1/2 miles in 20 minutes and then walked for about ten minutes or so to cool down and just enjoy the natural surroundings. I ran around Lake Eola in downtown Orlando and it was absolutely gorgeous. The lake is roughly about a mile around so it was easy to count my mileage that way. I couldn’t resist taking some pictures afterwards because it really was so gorgeous. After my run when I was driving home (and sitting in I4 traffic), I felt totally peaceful and at ease. This is why I run.


(these swans are actually little boats you can ride around in!)


Here are my stats:

Time: 32.22

Duration: about 3 miles or so (I ran 2 1/2 in 20 minutes then just walked and snapped some pictures for the next 12 minutes)

Average Heart Rate: 178

Max Heart Rate: 208 (it was HOT!)

Calories: 347

Another reason I especially loved my run today was that I could feel myself getting stronger and better. I’ve never considered myself a great runner or anything but I could feel like legs getting stronger and my endurance going up. It’s amazing, really—I have no more leg pain at all since reading Chi Running cover to cover and from wearing orthotics 24/7.

Before my run I snacked on half a almond butter & jam sammie with a 90 calorie pack of barney butter and bonne maman raspberry preserves:


And when I got home, I made a quick dinner to refuel! I had been dying to try these ever since I found them at Target the other day:


They did not disappoint!!!!!! I LOVED THESE! They were the perfect chew, the right amount of spice and were very filling! I sandwiched mine between a Rudi’s Whole Wheat english muffin (a new find but not as good as Ezekiel muffins) and used a slice of reduced fat cheddar, ketchup and plenty of texas pete.


I also had a huge spinach salad with a carrot and half a cucumber


And a perfectly ripe plum


It was a great little din-din. But then I started feeling a little snackie and since I haven’t baked for about three weeks (which is a record for me!), I set to the kitchen with a special recipe in mind—-Tina’s Oatmeal Raisin Bars! I had been salivating ever since I saw the recipe on her blog and knew I needed to try them, asap. I made a few substitutions—-I used all brown sugar and instead of raisins I used dark chocolate chips. 😉 The recipe made 10 perfect little bars, each at about 215 calories. The perfect sweet treat!


These were to die for. AMAAAAZING!!!! I’m a spaz and can never wait until anything completely cools to cut into it, so they kind of fell apart but still tasted phenomenal!

And here’s my wine fact for the day: Washington State and Bordeaux, France are on the same line of latitude, therefore the sun hits the grapes in the vineyards at the same angle. This is why great Merlots and Cabernet Sauvingons hail from these two places! I thought that was really really interesting!

I’m all set for a relaxing night of reading….hopefully I will sleep better tonight!

ps–And for everyone that hasn’t already or does not know, Lindsay (aka the Happy Herbivore) has finally finished her cookbook. Buy it here!

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  • AshleyH
    September 10, 2008 at 12:02 am

    I love running to but lately it has been such a chore. Possibly becuase I have been busy and dealing with alot physically (I have IBS.) and I have been squeezing it in even though I dont really feel that great. I think this weekend I am going to try and do a fun run like you did. Maybe renew my love.
    Also those black bean burgers look great!

  • Laura
    September 10, 2008 at 12:21 am

    Those bars look SO good! You have to eat chocolate when it’s all melty like that. I love the picture of the swan boats. I have never seen anything like that before.

    Are those burgers soy based? I’m always on the lookout for good veggie burgers without soy. So far Amy’s has been my favorite brand.

  • mel
    September 10, 2008 at 12:23 am

    they burgers are my favorite!! I had one for dinner last night and it hit the spot at always! yumm! great run Jenna!

  • Danielle
    September 10, 2008 at 12:43 am

    Wow Jenna. I’ve been enjoying my runs. I like getting up in the morning and doing something I know is good for me, and I like the feeling of accomplishment when I’m done… but now? My gosh, I’m looking forward to the run itself, thank you 🙂

  • Alli W.
    September 10, 2008 at 12:50 am

    Love the runners high!

  • michelle
    September 10, 2008 at 12:54 am

    Jenna this is an amazing post in the way you describe your running. I feel the same way, most days!! Today, though it was hard. I ran a 10K, not a race just running and i felt every single step. I still love it though and will never stop.

    Your dinner as always looks amazing. Oh and thanks for sharing the recipe for the oatmeal raisin bars….tomorrow i bake!!!


  • HangryPants
    September 10, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Jenna, I recently signed up for my first 5k even though I’ve only run outside a handful of times. This post was just what I needed to get my butt of the treadmill and outdoors. Congrats on your great run.


  • caitlin (see bride run)
    September 10, 2008 at 2:18 am

    yay that is EXACTLY why i love to run — it is the best feeling in the run!

    i had almost the exact same thing for lunch that you had for dinner 😀 lol

    seeya for dinner!

  • Andrea
    September 10, 2008 at 2:39 am

    love the quote. SO TRUE!

  • ttfn300
    September 10, 2008 at 3:23 am

    i completely agree!! all summer i’ve been running w/just my keys, no ipod, no watch, no set distance to make up and it’s been completely enjoyable! Those burgers are great, I just picked some up! Oatmeal bars… must make…

  • ModelBehavior
    September 10, 2008 at 3:31 am

    Wow you burned 35o calories in 3 miles? I have always heard that 1 mile is 100 cals burned but clearly that equation doesn’t work for everyone, this is why I need a HRM!!

  • Ryan
    September 10, 2008 at 3:38 am

    Glad you enjoyed the running so much, I know how much you missed it! And even though I haven’t read the Chi book, your description of the philosophy helped me run with the least pain and most enjoyable run I have had in 15 years today!! Now rest like the doctor told you tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Grounded Fitness
    September 10, 2008 at 3:39 am

    yikes- that heart rate is pretty high, be careful.

    i love the scenery pics! and i need to take your advice about running just to run. i think i need some new surroundings or something cause my runs are getting pretty blah.

  • Nikole
    September 10, 2008 at 3:51 am

    This is my first time posting but I have been reading your post for a while. I love seeing all of the new recipe ideas you come up with. My family owns a vineyard in Kansas so I love that you are taking a wine class now and your first tidbit of knowledge is interesting. We harvested our first year last year so I know all about planting and harvesting but I am just now learning about bottling and all the vintages. Thanks for making my night!

  • MLT
    September 10, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    I’m from Washington State and had no idea! thanks for the fun trivia. 🙂

  • Lisa
    September 10, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Have you ever ridden on one of those swan boats? haha they remind me of one of the disney movies I can’t remember which one.

    Interesting wine fact! I think i’ll look for a Washington State wine next time I’m buying some.

  • tsbrown
    September 10, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Jenna, thanks for a great post and for inspiring all of us!

  • runjess
    September 10, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    I think you discovered the true benefit of running today. Congratulations.
    I love those black bean burgers. I also enjoy them on Ezekiel muffins.
    I’m considering checking out the Chi Running (knee issues).

  • LadyLara
    September 10, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Aw, I used to live on Lake Eola, or a few blocks from it, the 5 years I lived in Orlando. Now I’m in chilly Chicago!

  • Betsy
    September 10, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    when i have runs like that, nothing in the world is better. that is why i run. 🙂

  • Erica
    September 10, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Sounds like you had a great run! You summed up exactly why I run in one paragraph. The feeling you have when you are done is amazing. There’s nothing like the runner’s high. I could almost feel it while reading your words! Powerful girl, you are! lol

    I’m glad to hear the black bean burgers were good. I got some the other day at Kroger but have yet to try them! Yay! And I’m glad to see you swapping out fruit for chocolate. haha Looks delicious!

  • jenna
    September 10, 2008 at 7:47 pm


    The burgers do have soy in them! Sorry! Amy’s makes some great ones that are soy-free though that you may want to check out…


    No but I would love to ride around in the swan boat. Preferably with a glass of wine. Haha

  • Amanda
    September 10, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    I loved this post! I felt that way on my run last night .. after a long day of work it was exactly what I needed. My mind just wandered and I kept asking myself if it has always been this easy/enjoyable! Isn’t it such a great feeling to realize that you’re getting stronger?!

  • Tina
    September 11, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Yum! Glad you liked the bars! They’re so versatile aren’t they? I want to try white chocolate chips and cranberries next!