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Army Ten-Miler Race Playlist

Army Ten-Miler Race Playlist

So story time after a two-month hiatus from posting. Sorry about that.

Anyway, I created the *perfect* Spotify playlist (located at the bottom of this post!) for the Army Ten-Miler Race in D.C. last October. And guess what? The race “rules” online said headphones and electronic listening devices weren’t allowed on the course.

Say whhhaaaat? Run 10 miles without any music?!?!

Inside I was like “Well sh** sh** sh**. I don’t know how well I’ll run it now…”

I had only ever run 2 miles without music a handful of times for the Army’s PT test. And with that run, I never think about music. For PT test runs, I’m always waaaay too focused on not dying or puking since I’m running full throttle. So I’m kinda like this photo minus the sitting down and hammock part.

As you already know if you’ve read my previous posts, I finished the Army Ten-Miler Race, and I ran it really well for me (an 8:16-per-mile pace). And now with this story, you know I did it without any music whatsoever. Just me and my thoughts for 1 hour and 22 minutes. Good times.

To be honest, although music would’ve been nice, I didn’t need it. Racing past the monuments and the thousands upon thousands of other runners gave me such a cliche runner’s high that I didn’t even think about music. It’s a really unique, patriotic experience that I encourage runners and non-runners to do at least once. It’s definitely a bucket-list type item. 🙂

So after hearing my story about how I didn’t need music for the race, I’m sure you’re ready to listen to this playlist!

Army Ten-Miler Race Playlist from Hungry Gator Gal

Just kidding. I really do prefer running with music, and this playlist contains some recent hits and really solid motivational throwbacks. <— I’m talking to all of you 90s kids.

So if you’re doing longer runs for race training or if you’re running distance just for fun, feel free to give this playlist a try. I still use it when I feel like doing a long run. I’m on a more strength-focused routine and have turned to cycling and swimming lately more so than running for cardio. But the reason for that switch is the topic of an entirely different post.

More to come on (1) preparing for a ten-mile race and/or a half marathon, (2) workout playlists, and (3) my favorite workouts lately (cardio and strength). Stay tuned!

P.S. Follow me and my playlists on Spotify here. Oh, and did I mention how everyone on the course had their phones, headphones and music? So much for “rules.”

Also, early registration for the 2016 Army Ten-Miler Race opens May 11 for service members and for persons who have run the race seven times or more. Mark your calendars!!!



  1. Do you prefer to run with or without music? <— With music for me, for sure.
  2. What’s your current favorite running song? <— Mine has been any remix of “Roses” by The Chainsmokers for like a solid 6 months now, haha. 


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Fast-paced Fall with SOS Rehydrate

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Home sweet home . . . sort of.

I often joke that I don’t have a home these days because I’ve lived in three different places this year alone: my hometown, Gainesville and Washington, D.C.

Despite my nomad tendencies, I couldn’t be happier to be back at my “home-for-now” apartment in the district after a rough few days of dealing with a family emergency. I enjoyed spending time my relatives and seeing the gorgeous fall foliage, but I hate living out of a suitcase.

Despite my absence and a crazy schedule (I was going to bed around 3:30 a.m. and waking up at 1 p.m.!), I did manage to snap some pictures of two meals I prepared. Since Sundays are usually reserved for (Almost) Grownup Lunchbox posts, I’ll start with my train fuel.

Revamped Classic Lunchbox

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich on one slice of Arnold’s Healthy Multigrain bread, which I upgraded with:

  • Two tablespoons Whole Foods 365 everyday brand natural chunky peanut butter
  • One tablespoon Smucker’s Orchard’s Finest strawberry preserves
  • Raisins
  • Dash of cinnamon

I paired the sandwich with a red delicious apple; one square Ghirardelli Twilight Delight chocolate; baby carrots; green pepper slices; and two tablespoons Sabra Classic hummus.

Next up . . .

The Makeshift Omelet

I’ve become the omelet-making queen in my family and whip up a few perfectly stuffed omelets when everyone’s too lazy to make dinner in my house. While I was away, I found that this protein-packed meal was perfect for a late-night/early morning shift at the hospital. I prepared it using:

  • Two large eggs
  • One tablespoon milk (fat-free, 2%, almond or whatever kind you prefer)
  • One heaping cup of chopped broccoli
  • One slice of Swiss cheese
  • Two ounces Boar’s Head Chipotle Chicken breast, cut into small slices
  • Two large tablespoons pico de gallo
  • Dash of ground black pepper


  1. Whisk the eggs and milk together after setting the stove on medium heat.
  2. Spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray and pour in the eggs when the pan is heated.
  3. Add the broccoli, pepper and chicken, and flip the omelet when the underside is golden brown.
  4. Add the cheese to the middle of the mixture. Wait for the other side to brown and fold the eggs in half to form the omelet.
  5. Top with pico de gallo and eat!

P.S. My grandmother is still alive, but the doctors say she could live for a few more days or up to two weeks. Therefore, don’t be surprised if I disappear again in the near future. Thanks for your support, and have a happy Sunday. 🙂



  1. Has any relative you were close with passed away recently?
  2. If so, what is your favorite memory of him/her?

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New Recipes from Washington, D.C.

New Recipes from Washington, D.C.

Hello from Washington, D.C.!

I’ve only been in the capital for two weeks, but it already feels like home. Fortunately, my three roommates are funny, amazing and genuinely nice girls. I enjoy every minute I spend with them, and we’ve already made some great memories.

In addition to spending quality time with my fellow Washington Center interns, I’ve been working full-time interning for the federal government, taking a class on Monday nights, and participating in a civic engagement project on Capitol Hill.

In other words, life has been hectic!

As for food, I’ve been making my tried-and-true recipes due to lack of time for cooking. However, I’ve had a few moments to get creative with new, healthy dishes in the kitchen. Not to mention, I taught my  roomies how to make overnight oats and a few other Hungry Gator Gal recipes 🙂

Here’s a what I concocted for dinner last night on the fly…

Zesty Chicken Salad Lettuce Boats with Triscuit Minis

I don’t think dinner could have been any simpler to make. All you have to do is cut up some veggies and make the yogurt sauce while the chicken is boiling. Spoon the salad on the lettuce strips, top the boats with salsa, and you’re done.

These little lettuce wraps are perfect for a light lunch or dinner.

Serves One

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes

Level of Difficulty: Beyond Easy!


  • Three ounces plain fat-free Greek yogurt (I used Fage’s Total 0%)
  • Two hearts of romaine lettuce pieces
  • Two teaspoons honey mustard
  • One tablespoon ranch dressing (I used Bolthouse Farms’ classic ranch yogurt dressing)
  • Dash of pepper
  • Small handful of broccoli slaw
  • Small handful diced green bell peppers
  • Small handful diced red onions
  • Two tablespoons guacamole
  • Two tablespoons pico de gallo salsa


  1. Place 4 oz. of chicken breast into a pot of boiling water. Cook for 10 minutes.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, stir yogurt, mustard, ranch, guacamole, pepper, and salsa together in a medium-sized bowl until evenly mixed.
  3. Cut veggies while the chicken is cooking. Add to the dressing mixture.
  4. When the chicken is done, shred it into small pieces and add to the dressing mixture.
  5. Stir until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Spoon salad on the lettuce beds and top with extra salsa, if desired.
  6. Enjoy!

Please forgive me for posting sporadically. I’m trying to fit blogging into my new D.C. schedule, and I’m hoping to keep you guys updated at least once a week.

In the meantime, try some of these recipes I’ve been making A LOT lately. They’re nothing new, but still delicious!

Crispy, Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Crispy, Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I don’t eat out very much, but when I do, I splurge. I’m not saying that I spend a ridiculous amount of money. However, I usually like to order something that I can’t or won’t make for myself.

One my favorite restaurants in Gainesville is The Swamp Restaurant, which is the No. 1 college sports bar and restaurant in the nation. With everything from Cajun Gatortail to the Freshman 15 burger, the local eatery with a simple but delicious menu is a must-try.

I usually create my own burger while eating at the Swamp, but its sweet potato fries are the real reason I go to this local hangout. Crispy, crunchy and fried to perfection, these little wedges show regular french fries who’s the boss.

Last Thursday I had a serious craving for the sweet potato fries. However, I worked from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and I sat in class from 4 – 7 p.m. It was a long day, which means I didn’t have the time or energy to walk all the way to The Swamp Restaurant.

Remembering that I had a sweet potato in my room, I figured I would try making some baked fries, which are definitely healthier than the fried version. How hard could it be?

It turns out that sweet potato fries require very little preparation and are just about the easiest thing to cook. Moreover, the baked fries tasted even better than the fried version.

Whether you make them sweet or spicy, these fries complement any main dish.  I enjoyed the fries with a baked salsa chicken entrĂ©e, which probably doesn’t look appealing, but I promise it was good. It had a real bite to it, but the fries balanced out the heat. Leave a comment or send me an email if you want me to post the chicken recipe.

All in all, the sweet potato fries were a huge success, and I plan to make these puppies again.


Baked Sweet Potato Fries


Serves One


  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper



  1. Wash the potato and cut it into small wedges with a large, sharp knife.
  2. Put the wedges in a large bowl of cold water. Make sure that all the wedges are submerged in the water. Let sit for 20 minutes (I’m told that this is what makes the fries crunchy).
  3. Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Dump the water out of the bowl and dry the potato wedges. Add the olive oil and toss the fries until they are evenly coated. Add the pepper, salt and cinnamon and toss the wedges again.
  5. Arrange the fries in a single layer on a large baking pan. Cook the fries in the oven for 30 minutes, turning the wedges every 10 minutes. Cook for more time if you want them to be really crunchy.
  6. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

These fries were on the sweeter side, and I’m looking forward to making them again with chili powder or cayenne pepper. However, I might be back in my beloved kitchen by the time I experiment with these fries again.

Between registering for fall and summer classes and finishing my current courses, it’s hard to remember that there are only 28 days until I’m back in the homeland! Despite my excitement for what the future holds, I’m trying not to wish my days away. My experiences interning in the State Attorney’s Office during the summer and living in D.C. for the fall are going to be amazing, but I need to enjoy my last days in Gainesville. It’s unbelievable that once I leave in May, I won’t be back until January 2013!

Until next time,