Read, Run, Repeat

A tale of fitness, books, food, and life in between

Quick Little Update

First of all —- Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I’m not Irish in any way (that I’m aware of any way!), but I’m still decked out in my green attire today — one of the benefits to working in a school … you get to accrue all this holiday gear J We also had a “pot luck” lunch at work today, which is always a great way to kick off the week…. Or eat shamrock cookies for lunch!

So, I didn’t mean to go MIA there … but honestly, I was NOT feeling the blogging vibe at all this last week. There’s been lots going on, work has been CRAZY busy, and honestly, it’s been enough to keep my head above water. I didn’t want to write one negative blog post after another or force something that I wasn’t feeling…. So, I didn’t. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t stressed about not posting (I do that anyway, since I don’t post every day), but it was the right decision for me. I also had the stomach bug last weekend, and I was recovering for the first half of last week! I think I ate twice my weight in saltines. For the record, the mini saltines are better than the regular ones J Did I tell you that already?

The stomach bug DID give me the title of Biggest Loser this week though – so, I’ll take that as a by-product!

We also all have cabin fever, are more than sick of the cold and snow, and that’s definitely affecting my mood. I was ready for winter to be over a month ago.

So, I’ll catch you up to speed quickly, since I never know where to start blogging when I got on a hiatus!

On the wedding front —- We picked out our rings (YAY!!), ordered our save the dates, pretty much finalized the guest list, and started our registry. All very exciting J The registry thing has been quite interesting since we’ve been together and lived together for quite some time already… but we do know that some people just prefer to buy tangible items… so we have a honeymoon registry and also registered for some home items that need replacing or items that we kinda have a mismatch of hand-me-downs.

We are almost to the “6 months to go” benchmark for our wedding, so things are really moving along – too quickly for me some days! I feel accomplished for about 10 minutes after we complete something, and then move on to obsessing about the next thing!! (sorry honey)

Fiona thinks that I make a fabulous doggy bed J or she really missed me that day!

These “jumped” into the shopping cart… but we haven’t yet made them! We also have been attempting to try all the B&J’s “Core flavors” – we are still not impressed, and are still on the hunt for the salted caramel one. P did say that he liked the Karmel Sutra one – and we’ve tried the peanut butter one too – that one was pretty good – I mean, it has PB in it! The “It’s my Jam” is definitely my least favorite.

Running continues to go well … I’m still running on my treadmill, which I don’t mind, but the speed and therefore, mileage, are still busted, so I have no idea how far I’m running. I’ve started to look at races and have signed up for the CDPHP workforce challenge in early May, which I’ve run for the last 2 years, and fired up the racing bug within in me again. I’m excited to run outside and racing always motivates me J Sadly, Best Body Bootcamp has ended, for good, so I have to go back to figuring out my own strength training…..

There, I think you’re all caught up now. J You didn’t miss much!

One more picture of Fiona, because she just cracks me up:

Hope your week is off to a great start! And here’s you’ll bet lucky today 😉

Answer me this: What was the best part of last week?

~ Brittany xo

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Thinking Out Loud (#1)

It’s #happydance time! Why? Because Thursday is almost over and we are sliding into Friday and the weekend – since I was out of school on Monday, I have felt off kilter the entire week – and the week has also felt #foreverlong. Why is that?

Today, I’m joining in Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud link-up! I’m sure you’ve already encountered this phenomenon – I love reading others’ random thought posts, and I have a lot of things floating around in this brain of mine today!

So, without further ado –

  1. Why do people like to “flaunt” their unhealthy habits? I just do NOT understand. Do you know what I’m talking about – the people in your newsfeed that post the meme’s that go something like “If you ever see me running, someone must be trying to kill me”? Hey, I get it – runners are a weird bunch. And I’m NOT saying that you should all go out and run. However, exercise IS important for a healthy lifestyle – and that’s why it’s so important to find some kind of movement that you LOVE. Someday soon, I’m going to do a post on how much exercise has changed my life. I understand that people are SUPER busy, tired, have other priorities, are nervous to start, or just don’t care. I get it. But even 10-15 minutes is better than nothing – and then you’ll be able to be around longer to actually enjoy the things you love. But advertising that you’re a couch potato? Just don’t get it. But hey, I’m a weirdo that loves to run 😉

2. I was watching Biggest Loser yesterday during my long run (thank you iPad!) The contestants were at the Olympic training center in Utah, and at one point training with Apollo Ono, and he said something along the lines of “Welcome every challenge in your life.” I thought about that statement for the majority of my run. It’s so true. Challenges are what make us stronger, better, faster – every time we are faced with something difficult, we are being given a chance to grow. I needed that phrase yesterday, and it’s kinda become my mantra for the time being.

3. I think I need new sneakers – I think I’ve had mine about a year now, and I’m starting to feel more consistent shin pain. Not good. I’ll get off the exercise kick now 😉

4. Weddings are off the chart expensive. Everyone knows this. But it certainly is creating drama in my world lately. On a side note, what does one register for when they’ve already established a household together? We are thinking honeymoon registry and several other good quality items (i.e., pots and pans). Any other ideas? Also, anyone want to go into the wedding business with me?

5. We are trying this Cheeseburger Mac Attack recipe for dinner – sure hope it’s good – it was supposed to be an easy prep meal, since it’s a slow cooker recipe – or so we thought until we realized this morning that we had to pre-cook and pre-mix most of it…. So… what’s the point of the slow cooker?! #whompwhomp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. I have to fully admit that I have an addiction to Annie’s cheddar bunnies. We cannot keep them in the house. There are other foods that fall into this category too – currently one of those is sugar cookies, which is why I am eating the very last one as I am writing this post

7. If you follow me on Instagram , you’ve already seen this picture of “Indian Pudding” – what the heck is Indian pudding, and why can we not sit “Indian Style” anymore in school, but we can eat Indian Pudding. I’m thinking that’s probably not PC.

8. I officially signed up for Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp session that starts on Monday! I’ve spent almost 3 weeks waffling about joining or not (see #4) – but then decided, that to me, it was important and worth it (See #1)

9. If you live in the north, you need to learn to function (read: drive) in the snow. We got some unexpected snowfall last night (like 1-2 inches) – people were driving like we were in the middle of a blizzard. I understand using caution – but if the roads are plowed, and you can see the pavement – there’s no reason to drive 10 mph and jam on the brakes every 10 feet. Also, please use your turn signal. #ihaveroadrageissues

10. This morning I was thinking about things I miss from my childhood/young adulthood: Popples, AIM away messages, unorganized playdates in the yard, Pretty Pretty Princess game, Dawson’s Creek, origami notes you passed to your friends, changing your Winamp skin, pottery time in art class, summer jellies (the shoes), and so many more!! I want to be 4 again.

  1. No questions today — tell me a random thought or two – what are you thinking about??

    ~ Brittany xo

 

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A little catch up with yours truly!

So … it’s Thursday already? The week kinda got away from me! I’d like to say that it’s because the week has just flown by – but not so much. In reality, every single day has been jam packed with work and appointments and “stuff” that blogging just had to take a little bit of a back seat! I’ve even been getting up early to fit my workouts in! Which also means that I am ready to crash at 8:00!!

So, let’s catch up before this week is over!!

First things first: doctor appointment. Thank you all so much for your good luck vibes for my knee doctor appointment! I did have an x-ray while I was there, and everything looked fine. I was diagnosed with IT band syndrome, which is exactly what I thought it was. So, no running for the moment … (and this week I’ve actually stuck to that! Haha), and the doc sent me home with some stretches/strengthening that I can do. He also told me that I could do PT if I wanted, and he would give me a cortisone shot if it was really annoying me! I’ve decided to go the easy route for now – I’m just kinda waiting it out and giving it time. It sucks, but I know it’s better in the long run and it is getting better. I KNOW walking is a great workout, but MAN is it boring on the treadmill … and not very cardiovascular when you’re walking your dog who wants to stop and sniff, sniff, sniff!! So, end story: nothing too serious, just annoying, and I’m still planning on running my zombie race at the end of October!

Waiting for my xray in my sexy attire

Last weekend was our out of town wedding experience, as P’s cousin was getting married at a Vineyard about 90 minutes away. So on Friday, I dropped my parents off at the airport and then went to get a mani/pedi. There’s just something about having pretty nails that makes everything better. I definitely enjoyed my hour of pampering – the leg/foot massage is never long enough!

Saturday AM I was up early and headed to the hair salon to get my hairs did. I’m totally hair challenged, you may remember, so having the appointment just took some of the stress off my shoulders! We decided to leave it down and curl it. I was nervous about it actually holding, since I had to sit in the car for 90 minutes and the wedding wasn’t until 4:30! But it all turned out okay J I just tried not to move much

Look! It’s Shirley Temple!

Once we dropped off the dog for boarding (always sad, but she loves it!), we headed south! It took longer than expected to get there, and once we reached our hotel, we had not much time to get changed, before we had to hop on the shuttle to the Vineyard! Little crazy, but it all worked out!

The wedding was beautiful – the ceremony took place on top of a hill that over-looked the Hudson and the mountains beyond. Gorgeous. I was freezing, but luckily my date had a suit jacket! Cocktail hour was inside the vineyard, and the hor d’oeuvres (that is the hardest word to spell!!!) were so good! Maple bacon wrapped scallops, a mango “sushi” roll, pulled pork in a tiny pie shell… yum. And champagne, of course.

Not a bad view…

The reception was held in a tent attached to the vineyard – but it was more like a “circus tent” (but white) rather than the traditional event tent. I was a little chilly throughout the night, as our table was in the back, and there wasn’t much heat, but I survived 😉 The reception was set up with the traditional activities – introductions, first dance, parent dances, speeches, interspersed between the dinner courses. I wish I could tell you that dinner was fantastic, but it was just kinda “eh” – except for the goat cheese “mozzarella stick” that was part of the salad – THAT was amazing – gotta try to replicate that one at home J After dinner, we were up and dancing and somehow missed eating our wedding cake! Bummer.

I love this dress … It was a little windy!

I still had champagne though, so it was ok 😉

The bride looked gorgeous and I loved, loved, loved her dress… and her hair! I didn’t get a great shot – luckily I was able to borrow this one from P. Overall it was a beautiful day, and we were really glad that we were there to celebrate it!

Sunday was spent traveling home, picking up the dog, and catching up on a little sleep – can’t say I slept all that well in the hotel – but who really does, usually? We were off from work on Monday, thanks to Columbus, and we spent that time catching up on house work, laundry, and meal planning/shopping for the week!

*Phew* I sure feel better, now that we’re pretty much caught up. We’re now officially back to regularly scheduled blogging 😉 .. well, as scheduled as I get anyway! I missed you all and hope that your week has been rolling along smoothly!!

Answer me this: What’s your favorite part of a wedding? Mine is when the bride is walking down the aisle, and the groom sees her – I like to watch his face J and the first dance together!

        How do you feel about AM workouts? I like getting them out of the way early, but man has my body had a hard time adjusting to waking up earlier!

~ Brittany xo


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My Monday Musings

Will alliteration ever get old? I think not!

Anyway – Did anyone else feel like the weekend moved way too fast? I mean, who am I kidding – we always feel like that – So, I mean like super fast? I feel like I blinked and it was Monday morning! I’ll be the first to raise my hand and admit that I’m dragging!

On Friday, K was home from Boston, so she stopped over for dinner, and then she, P and I hit up TCBY for the ever-necessary froyo! I had a hard time deciding between pumpkin and apple spice – so I didn’t I picked both and added some almond chocolate for fun! No pictures (sorry!)… but my cup MAY have runneth over. Oops.

Saturday I woke up early and Fiona and I headed over to watch my co-workers participate in the Autism 5K!

I’m not gonna lie – it was really hard to not being running. More than I even expected. Like actually physically hurt my heart and I may have gotten a little teary at one point. I KNOW it was the right decision to not race. It just didn’t feel like it was when I was watching everyone else run by. It felt awful.

But here’s something I DID learn: watching someone else achieve their goal – especially when it’s something that they didn’t think they could accomplish? THAT was freakin’ awesome. I saw many looks of pride as runners crossed that finish line. I saw other runners who were encouraging and motivating those less sure that they could get through a 5K. I saw one woman who finished the race with one runner, and then headed back to run to the finish with another runner! I saw my co-worker whose bottom line goal was to finish in no more than 45 minutes CRUSH that goal. I saw another co-worker be the second female to finish the race. I heard and saw so many affirmations of strength and heart, that it was amazing. And it did my poor stationary feet and hurting heart good.

It just reminded me again of some of the reasons that I love to run and be a part of a runner’s mentality.

We are truly a community – whether you’ve just started out, run/jog, run 5Ks, or train for marathons – we all support, encourage and motivate one another. We’ve certainly got strength AND heart – in terms of ourselves and others. I am proud and inspired when I read (and now watch) others run races and crush the goals that they’ve set for themselves.

I’m a fairly competitive person, but also non-confrontational (and also slightly uncoordinated!) When you’re a runner, the only person you really compete with is yourself — and the clock – unless you’re running a race, and then you compete with others. In my case, that’s usually to keep myself moving, but hey that’s fun too!!

So, as freaking hard as it was to be on the sidelines – watching and cheering on others – it was also a really good reminder to myself of the reasons I love to run and feel grateful to be a part of the running community.

I’ll be back out there soon J

I tried doing the jog/run on Sunday – it didn’t go horrible – I felt okay, and I’m not in a ton of hamstring/knee pain – but there is definitely still some twinges of pain around. I’m working really hard, both mentally and physically to not run and let myself heal. And in the process, I’ve had to rely on some other coping skills—which means a whole lot of cleaning and organizing has been going on at our house!!

Runners are a good bunch J I’m really glad that I am one

Other weekend highlights:

  • more work on our new-to-us bar (why do DIY projects take so long!),
  • attending a hot air balloon festival – minus the balloons … *whomp whomp* – it was way too windy to have the balloons out and launch – which in our opinion, made the festival kinda lame
  • dinner at a new restaurant – where we both tried “Vegetarian burritos” which included butternut squash – a good idea in theory, but both P and I were disappointed in the flavor
  • starting to clean/organize our office space (which has really become Fiona’s room)
  • Several good walks with Fiona –I’ve been continuing to use running as my cardio exercise, so my puppy companion benefits too!
  • Putting spices in my coffee grounds before brewing – so delicious! This weekend’s mix included cinnamon (always!), nutmeg, cloves, and a pinch of ginger. Just gives my coffee a hint of spicy and a whole lot of yummmmm!

I hope that your week is off to a great start – Happy Fall J I can go get my PSL now!

Answer me this: What was the best part of your weekend? Favorite seasonal food/drink of choice?

~ Brittany xo

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The Dentist Ruined Taco Night … and Other Sad Stories

On Tuesday, I had to go back to the dentist …*whomp, whomp*… you’ll remember that I went the week before, was hoping for no bad news … yeah, so much for that!

Okay. It wasn’t TERRIBLE news (to start), I had some cavities just starting to form, and the dentist wanted to take care of them ASAP,so I made the appointment for this week. Spent 2 days talking myself into just going and getting it over with and NOT rescheduling the appointment (I highly dislike the dentist!). The dentist was new to me, as the dentist that I’ve been going to since I was 7 recently picked up a new partner in his practice.

Enter the day of horror. Dentist was running late (no surprise or big deal there), but his dental assistant for the day … I could have done without her. Nonstop talker … about her failed marriage, new marriage, eating habits, jobs, personal life … and this all in about 15 minutes. I’m all for small talk, but holy crap! Dentist finally arrives … we talk about it being Taco Tuesday! And then he sticks me with Novocain to prep me for drilling – we are waiting for the numbing to start – and he and the dental assistant proceed to talk about BOTH of their failed marriages. Awesome (insert sarcasm here).

091913_1548_TheDentistR1.jpg

Now, imagine that movie scene that we’ve all seen before – patient tipped back in the chair, or the operating table – bright light in their face, people leaning over them, talking … (while some sort of internal monologue is occurring)… and the doctors/dentists are all talking in medical jargon … yeah, that’s what the dentist appointment felt like to me. Then the oh-so-lovely dentist starts to drill before I’m really numb (Do you know the country song, “some beach?”). Let’s just say my mantra went from “I can do hard things” to “I’m going to reach up and rip your face off!!!!”

“You’re going to feel some pressure” was my favorite line. No dude. I’m going to feel you drilling into my tooth, which hurts like hell.

Needless to say, it was NOT pleasant. And the first cavity ended up being much deeper than originally thought. It was bad, friends. Go ahead, you can cringe with me. I still am. I was ready to RUN out of there (I’ll stick with my usual, nice, friendly, non-horror movie dentist, thanks!)

You probably know where this is leading. Pain, not able to open my mouth = ruined taco night. I decided to use soft shells, couldn’t stuff mine full of the good stuff, and had to take teeny tiny bites. I’m actually STILL dealing with some discomfort!

Dude, you do NOT mess with taco night in my book.

Tacos = my favorite. Especially since we rediscovered this Crockpot Chicken Tacos recipe!! So stinkin’ easy, so delicious, and very little work involved. Don’t worry tacos, we will meet again next week – and this time, you’ll be enjoyed the correct way. With hard, yellow, crunchy shells!!

In other news, my knee/hamstring injury is back – or most likely, I never really let it heal the first time around. At this point, moving around, particularly up and down stairs/hills is particularly painful. Again, you know what’s coming.

No running. Full rest. Actually, no real cardio at all … or leg workouts. And most definitely no Autism 5K race on Saturday.

You can now imagine me performing a full out tantrum on my floor.

Okay, that acutally didn’t happen (this time). But I am so, so, so frustrated. I know I need to rest and let it heal – but ugggggggggggggg.

  • Full Rest = hard to do a good portion of my BBB workouts – I do all my workouts at home, so even the bike/elliptical machines are out.
  • Full Rest = no stress relieving, problem-solving , therapy running days
  • Full Rest = hard to work off the calories to drop weight
  • Full Rest = cranky Brittany who also feels like a fat hippo

Took Fiona on a 3 mile walk yesterday in an effort to get cardio in. Meh. I love walking with her, but it’s just not the same in terms of a good sweat session. Not even close.

Body, please heal quickly. I know the resting is important for healing, and I’m also icing my knee, hamstring every night, and trying to do a little stretching. I’m well aware that injuries happen and I messed up by not taking full rest to heal the first time this happened back in August. I’m just not in a good place without my exercise right now. I’m feeling overwhelmed/stressed about a good many things, and am having a hard time working through them at the moment, especially without my “therapy” time.

I’ve also just recently realized that My Saturdays are completely or partially booked for the next 5 weeks – and not by things that are necessarily my choice in some instances. So much for slowing down this season!! Typically I thrive off of being busy … but at the moment, I just feel *whoa*!

Ok, end of pity party! Time to but on my big girl panties and just get over it J

I hope you all are heading into the end of the week with some happy things – the weekend is at least on the horizon!! Let’s get to it!

Answer me this: Ever had an injury that’s sidelined you for awhile? How did you deal?

                                  Any dentist horror stories?

Tell me something that’s making you happy! I need warm fuzzies this AM J

~ Brittany xo

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Weekend Roundup

Today is certainly a day for the ducks – pouring rain/scattered storms all day long. It actually felt like I was driving through a tsunami on the way to work!! It also didn’t help that P and I slept through our alarms this morning and I finally woke up about an hour late … AHHH! Not a great way to start off the day (and apparently I could have skipped the whole drying my hair thing). Oh well, only clocked in 2 minutes late – so it all worked out okay!

So, the weekend was a total whirlwind – although a totally beautiful one! Started with my 5K race on Friday – and thankfully, there was no rain in sight! (thank you Mother Nature!!!) it was actually a really nice night for running – albeit a little humid. I went into the race hoping for a PR and a sub30 5K, but at the same time, not exactly feeling the whole running thing. I was exhausted after a long week of work, and kinda just wanted to be at home on the couch. But off I went, P and Fiona in tow, and met my team in Central Park. My Dad showed up a few minutes later to cheer me on too! We were about 45 min early, and it felt like a looooong time to stand around. We did have a team picture taken, and Tigger jumped in to it J

Ok not the best photo – but you get the idea!

The race was scheduled to start at 6:30 and a few minutes beforehand we jumped into line … somehow I started off near the front … which never happens – the race was fairly small – only about 250-300 people, which was a nice change, actually (even if I did have a few minutes of panic that I’d be last!)! About 200 feet into the race we were faced with a fairly long hill (not necessarily really steep, but it just felt like it went on foreverrrrrr). The hill totally surprised me and it really winded me more than I expected! I felt like I spent the first 2 miles recovering from the climb and my fast pace – I actually ran my first mile in 8:50! That’s about a minute faster than usual! So while I was really happy and excited about that, it definitely caused some problems later on – typically I try to run negative splits rather than take off fast!

At about 1.5 miles I was faced with yet another hill (shoot me!), but a little after the 2 mile marker, I saw P and Fiona hanging out on the park’s outdoor stage. I was so, so happy to see their beautiful faces 😀 It really kept me going, especially when I had to run that friggin’ long hill AGAIN! (seriously, who’s idea was THAT?). I looked down at my watch after I finally made it up the hill and was back on flat ground again, and realized my Garmin said I was at 2.6 miles. At that point I thought that either the race was longer than 3.1 miles or the finish was never coming (but my garmin assured me that it was 3.1miles). But I kept chugging along – I can’t even remember what I was thinking about the whole race!

I don’t typically run with a kissy face – I was blowing my family kisses 😀

As I came around the last bend, I realized that I was well under the mark for 30 minutes, as long as I kept up my pace and had some kick at the end… I was heading in to the finish when P and Fiona’s faces popped up again and that was just what I needed to finish strong 😀 And apparently Fiona really wanted to run that last stretch with me.. silly puppy!! I crossed the finish line at 29:41 (with an average mile time of 9:37)and I was PUMPED!!! It was definitely a tough race, and I didn’t know if I could actually run under 30 minutes .. but I totally did it!! And I was so, so, SO proud of myself 😀 … I’ve come a long way since May! Just about anything really is possible!!! (next up – sub-29 5K!) The night finished off with a late dinner of pizza and then crashing.

PS – my new Koss fitclips worked amazing! They didn’t move a bit or fall out one time! I’m so glad that I bought them! More info once I’ve worn them more than once, promise.

Saturday was spent recovering a little –as I felt like I had tweaked my hamstring – but I think that my muscles were really tight and were hurting after climbing 3 hills!! After French toast and coffee (I am so, so lucky that P loves to cook!!!) – we headed out to check out some estate sales! P and I discovered estate sales about 2 years ago when we randomly found one as we were driving around in VT, and we discovered that they are a lot of fun – and you can score some good finds! (although, we both also admit that it’s a little creepy and a lot sad, to be walking through someone’s house and go through their things after they have passed). We hit up about 4 or 5 on Saturday, and did come home with some new items. I found a cute snowman for our winter décor that I couldn’t pass up (I have a slight obsession with snowmen). Our last stop of the day was definitely the best stop of the day – the people were hysterical, and it was also the last hour of a 2 day sale, so they just wanted to get rid of it all! We came home with a cool blue bottle that was in an “S” shape for our bookshelves, since we have bunch of blue bottles on them. We also scored this jar:

And these super cool crates:

Not exactly sure where they are all going to go yet. The original plan was to put them above our washer and dryer on the shelves, but I kind of like them stacked like that too. Hmmm…

Saturday night we went to a local Italian festival, which was PACKED. And let me tell you – the choices of clothing that people choose to wear is seriously crazy? Ridiculous? If I had been dressed like some of the teenagers I saw, I think I might have still been grounded. I really should have taken pictures of the ridiculous outfits!! Sunday was spent doing the usual cleaning, grocery shopping, food prep, yard work, and we ended the evening at P’s brother and SIL house for a family dinner before P’s parents take off for a 3 week trip to England. It was a great evening and a nice way to end the weekend – even if I was ironing clothes at 9:00 😀 Sadly I did not get my s’more for National S’more Day on Saturday (I’m still grieving), but I’ll get it eventually (even if I make it in the microwave!!).

The other thing that didn’t happen was froyo – which has become a tradition after my races – so that happened last night! That makes for a happy Brittany! We actually tried the new “Silk” chocolate almond froyo, the first nondairy froyo at TCBY, and it was delicious! I thought that it was better than the regular chocolate – I had a mix of that and peanut butter froyo. YUM. It was kinda melted when we got home though, hence the froyo soup pic:

So, here we are at Tuesday already – 4 days and counting until the end of summer school!! And I have to say I am uber excited about our dinner plans for tonight – pear, prosciutto, goat cheese and balsamic glaze grilled pizza!! I’ll have to let you know how it turns out 😉

Answer me this: favorite running accessory? Favorite thing to eat for dinner? What did you do over the weekend?

~ Brittany

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A Little Running History of Me

I had a great run yesterday. I decided to hit up the bike path on my own – something I haven’t yet done, as typically I run with K when I’m not on the treadmill. But it was beautiful outside, and I couldn’t stand the thought of pounding out the miles on the ‘mill!

After work I ran home, changed as quickly as possible, tried to not let Fiona know I was home and headed on my way…. After locking myself out of my house and realizing that the Garmin was dead. Oops. Good thing for RunKeeper!

Anyway, I drove to a nearby bike path that I hadn’t yet run on. I ended up walking for the first 6 minutes because I forgot to leave my sunglasses in the car and had to backtrack. Again, oops.

Once I got started, this was my view for the first ten minutes or so.

Simply breathtaking.

I saw a few bikers on the trail and 2 runners – but I was mostly alone. I loved that. I was able to get out of my head, was jamming along to my playlist and just enjoying the view. Sometimes I was running in the warm sun, sometimes in the shade amongst the trees, and sometimes over dry streambeds. I had no pace “marker”, no real mile marker, no destination and no real goal. I just ran.

It was awesome.

Along the path, there were random sayings and pictures spray painted on the ground (and yes, I even stopped to snap a few pictures)… my favorite was this one:

The whole thing read “Be the one to break the cycle” #love. I LOVE that. Applies to so many situations and challenges in life! It actually became my little mantra during my run.

About 15ish minutes into my run, I ran smack into an old arch nemesis:

This photo was taken on my way back UP this ginormous hill. The picture doesn’t even come close to doing to justice and it’s actually smack in the middle of the hill. Running down it was pretty fun … back up, yeah, not so much. I loved that there was all sorts of warnings/motivation spray painted on the ground though! I won’t lie. It hurt on the way up. And it just kept going…….

I have to say I enjoyed every moment of the struggle up the hill. Why? Because that hill was a very old friend. It was the hill that we used in high school track/cross country for repeat hills. It was a BEAST, and running up (and down) it brought back a whole lot of memories… some good, some not so good.

I started running cross-country when I was an 8th grader, and then I continued with indoor and outdoor track until my junior year when I ended up having to have surgery on my legs. That kinda killed my HS racing career! Joining the track team was probably the best thing I ever did in HS though – I was kinda that awkward, school-loving, dorky girl who fell in that “middle population” – but joining the team made me feel a part of something. I gained a lot of confidence while I was running and competing … and I also realized how much I loved it. I was certainly never a “track star”, but I loved our workouts, I loved the friends that I made, and I loved running. Being a part of those teams made me feel special. I may have ended up with some wicked shin/leg issues, but I don’t regret it for a moment. The shin pain and surgery sucked. Having to give up running and racing was heartbreaking when it happened. But running got me through high school and now, at thirty-something ;), it’s an integral part of my life again, and I’m racing again. It’s my therapy. It makes me feel so good, even though I’m still not a “track star” or clocking 25 miles+ a week. It gives me such joy, and gosh I sure missed it all these years.

I think I’m still on a runner’s high from that run. J My doctors told me that I may not be able to ever really run again. Not for long (ish) distances anyway. Guess I’ll just keep breaking the cycle 😉

And on a completely random note, I totally wanted to share my outfit from today, just because I was totally feeling a little sassy/ actually in fashion J haha – perhaps my runner’s high has given me a better body image today! It’s a really simple outfit actually, I think I’m just really excited that I’m wearing my scarf from our trip to RI.

It’s almost the weekend my friends 😀 Hallelujah!! Make today a good one!

I want to know: If you run, what made you get into it? What’s your best running song? What outfit/piece of clothing makes you feel good?

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