Highlights from the Weekend – September 26th, 2016


Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Even though our weekend was busy, I woke up this morning feeling rested and refreshed.  I thought it’d be fun to share some highlights from our weekend with you guys to start off the week.

Celebrating – On Saturday I made the 2-hour drive to West Chester, Pennsylvania to celebrate my friend Colleen’s upcoming nuptials.  One of my college sorority sisters, Colleen and her fiance live and work in Atlanta but his West Chester based family hosted a lovely backyard wedding shower for her. Since I can’t make it down to Atlanta for the wedding weekend,  the time we spent together on Saturday was very special.  We were able to spend some quality time together, laughing and catching up in between enjoying a lovely lunch spread with her friends and family.

Smoothies – Since Bo and I are both loving smoothies these days, I whipped up large batches of smoothies Friday, Saturday and Sunday. While I love our Magic Bullet for making individual smoothies, it was so much easier to make the larger batch in our VitaMix. This weekend’s flavors were pumpkin spice, strawberry peach and cherry vanilla.

Fall Flavors – The Farmer’s Market was overflowing with produce yesterday as the tables featured both the final bits of Summer tomatoes, squash and corn along with the first Fall flavors of the season. Inspired by the tables of local apples, we decided to make a Fall themed dinner last night. We started things off with a small cheese plate, including my favorite Cowgirl cheese followed by a dinner of smashed sweet potatoes served alongside pan-roasted pork chops topped with caramelized onions and apples.

Running – Sunday morning I laced up my shoes for ten miles, my longest run since the NYC Half Marathon in March.  As you guys know, I’ve been increasing my long run mileage by two miles each week in preparation for the RNR Brooklyn Half Marathon. Luckily I had friends to motivate and keep me company along the way, making yesterday’s 10 miles fly by! Zoe, Nicole and I ran the entire ten miles together while Katie joined us at the halfway point.  If you ever have a hard time finding the motivation to log your miles, call a friend for company as I swear logging miles with friends, especially those who are faster than you, is the best way to crush your training!

Decorating – Even though we’ve lived in our apartment for over a year, we still have decorating and final touches that we want to do. This month’s project is our master bedroom. In addition to painting the crown and bay window moldings bright white, we also moved one of our rugs into the bedroom and are going to mount the television on the wall next weekend. This morning we ordered the finishing touches from One King’s Lane  (<– Save $15 with that link) – a chair for the bay window as well as flowers and coasters for the bedside tables.


Finding My Rhythm With My Original Running Buddy

Theodora and Ashley Run

Happy Sunday friends!

As I mentioned earlier this week, I’m making an effort to include friends in my workouts. Luckily, this morning, I was able to run with Theodora, one of my original running buddies.

Yesterday as we were texting back and forth, we realized that we both had runs planned for this morning. With a little bit of compromise on time and location, we were able to choose a time and location that would allow for us to each get in our mileage while not getting in the way of other Sunday plans.

I woke up at 7:15 which was early enough to enjoy a banana and almond butter, cup of coffee and lots of water before leaving at 8:10. A mile into her run Theodora texted me that it was sprinkling so Glide and a hat would make the run more enjoyable.

Decked out in my most comfortable, chafe-free running gear and my favorite running hat, I ran a mile down to Atlantic Avenue before hailing a taxi to the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. The taxi driver was so confused that I wanted to not only go such a short distance but also that I was already in running gear. Our conversation went something like this:

“Good morning – can you please drop me on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge. Near the City Hall subway stop?” – me

“Wait, you were just running. Why aren’t you running over the bridge? It’s only a mile or so?” – taxi driver

“Well it’s not only a mile and I am about to run over it but I’m meeting a friend on the other side. If I run over it then I’ll be too far into my run to run for an hour with her and we want plenty of time running together.” – me

“You runners are weird.” -taxi driver

We met each other at the City Hall subway stop at 8:30, exactly as planned. Since we didn’t plan an exact route in advance, Theodora let me lead the way through Brooklyn. We headed up and over the bridge, down the Brooklyn Promenade, through a few shady streets towards Brooklyn Bridge Park, down along the water and back through Cadman Plaza towards Carroll Gardens. Due to the 95% humidity we were both drenched in sweat after just a few miles and we made sure to stop frequently for water. Even with these stops and the unpleasant weather we were able to keep our pace right around a nine-minute mile. Even though my hamstring wasn’t happy and I was dripping sweat, the moment I walked through the door I felt like a million bucks. Not only could I check off this week’s long run but it went far better than expected and was enjoyed with a friend while we chatted and caught up.

Even though I am not marathon training, I am hoping that I can join Theodora and other friends for training runs over the next few weeks and months because right now it’s the best way to hold me accountable as I get back into a regular training schedule and find my rhythm.

Did you run long this weekend or workout with a friend? 


Savoring the Perfect Runs

hills crushed

You know those confidence building, smile inducing runs that remind you why you enjoy the act of running so much? As runners, we lace up our shoes not knowing what the miles will bring. Regardless the preparatory measures we take like resting our legs, stretching, foam rolling and getting sleep – sometimes the result is far from perfect. But, those runs that include lots of smiles, flowing conversation with a running buddy and smiles are the ones we savor.

Luckily, for an hour and a half yesterday, I was able to experience one of those near perfect runs.

Originally, Ashley and I were going to run on Friday but we thought the sunshine and warmer temperatures in Saturday’s forecast seemed more appealing than snow, below 30 degree temperatures and wind gusts that greeted us when we each woke up Friday morning. The text message chain that takes place between running partners is hilarious ranging from “but I planned my week around this run” to “won’t the wind and cold just make me stronger.”  Luckily, Ashley’s argument that sunshine would be far more enjoyable won and we met yesterday on the Upper East Side at 9:15 ready for a great run.

Before leaving the house I made a pre-run breakfast of coffee, NUUN and peanut butter banana toast using Ezekiel bread, which Kristine introduced me to a few weeks ago.


Our goal for the run was to keep around a 9:10 pace since I’ll need to keep under a 9:09 during the NYC Half if I want to break 1:59:59. Since the first six miles of the NYC Half are in Central Park we figured there was no better place to run than the park. Harlem Hill, Cat Hill and the rolling West Side hills were the perfect way to test my legs and see if Prospect Park, Mile High and Barry’s Bootcamp hill training has worked.

long run map elevation

As you can see from our path, we did one loop of Central Park before heading towards the reservoir for a loop and half and finally coming South back towards the Met before finally ending at Butterfield Market. The first few miles flew by even as we continued talking while our legs pushed up Harlem Hills undulating twists and turns. After starting out a bit too fast, we pulled back the pace and settled into goal race pace. The weather was perfectly cool and crisp, the park was filled with runners and we were so busy talking that we both forgot to take fuel.

run buddy

Wearing: Vest Turtleneck Fleece TightsShoes Favorite UGA hat 

I love having an end goal in mind during long runs whether it’s a post run bagel, brunch date or smoothie. Knowing that we had delicious smoothies waiting for us when we finished was the extra boost I needed to find a kick in my step for the final half mile.
bloomfield market smoothies
I woke up this morning feeling the after effects of the hills, pace and run in my hips and IT band – a perfect reminder that today should be all about foam rolling, gentle yoga and rest. Luckily, I am two episodes into Season 1 of House of Cards so there is nothing I’d rather do after church than relax with a few more episodes.

Hope you guys are having great runs, workouts or weekend fun!