Tag Archives: running

A run for sanity

Summer wrote back:

“Step off woman. I have 6 days before I need to get my act together. Between now and then I can mess with you as much as I like. Hope you enjoyed yesterday.”

I was like, “You’re a sarcastic one huh? Fair enough. I’m eventually moving back to Florida anyway, where your customer service is much better.”

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Ever have those days where it’s just one thing after another at work? You get something done only to have 3 more things get added to the list and they get increasingly harder? Yeah, that was yesterday for me. And if you’re sitting there thinking “I have no idea what she’s talking about” please leave a comment letting me know who to send my resume to. Ok? Thanks.

I used to just get wrapped up in it all and sit at my desk plowing through the work until it was all done. No breaks for lunch, bathrooms only if absolutely necessary. And then I realized that’s probably not the healthiest/sanest way of dealing with the stress. So, yesterday I pulled myself from the desk at noon and decided to go for a lunch time run. Since summer was all MIA again yesterday it was actually perfect running weather, low 60’s and cloudy.

Quick fuel:

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I honestly never thought we’d finish this ridiculously huge bag of dates from Sam’s Club but somehow we’re down to the last few. It only took 5 months. I can’t wait for that bag to be out of my fridge!

Signs you’re on a “frustration run”:

1. Your playlist consists of Linkin Park and Florence and the Machine on repeat. Bieber just isn’t cutting it this time.

2. You look down at your pace about 3/4 of a mile in and realize you’re running a 7:54. Effortlessly.

3. Simultaneously, the skies open up with a downpour & a gust of wind so strong it could keep you running in place kicks up and your reaction is to look up at the sky and say “Bring it bitches!” –> Seriously, I did this. After I looked around to see if anyone was nearby.

4 miles and 34 minutes on the dot later I was a soaked, sweaty mess. And it felt oh so good.

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Hi, awkward self portrait!

Quick shower and back to work. Smile

It doesn’t make the to-do list any shorter but it sure helps my mental state for the rest of the afternoon.

Jillian and I had a date after work to just chill out some.

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I probably should’ve done a yoga download instead because that lady’s voice is much more soothing than Jillian’s annoying voice screaming “I want heart rate up people! And, that’s why we rep it out!”

And then, I did what every person with a bad day should do.

Baked cookies.

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Emily’s recipe for coconut oil almond butter chocolate chip cookies immediately caught my eye when she posted it yesterday. Coconut and almond butter in chocolate chip cookies? What’s not to love about that? I followed the recipe exactly except I used a real egg instead of a flax egg. I still licked the batter, oops!

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I think most people have a go-to chocolate chip recipe. I, however, like to try a new one each time. There are thousands of variations out there, why not try a few new ones? I don’t mind healthy substitutions for most things, but when it comes to chocolate chip cookies I want it to still taste like a chocolate chip cookie. No oats, no applesauce. Butter, sugar and chocolate chips please. Subbing the butter for almond butter and coconut oil worked though in this case.

3 of these with some vanilla ice cream. Now that’s how you end a bad day. Smile

Today should be better though because even if work still bites, I’m meeting a friend in NYC for dinner at Tao!

How do you relieve work stress? Do you have a go-to chocolate chip recipe? Link up if you want to share it!

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17 Comments

Filed under Baking, Running, Work

Not your ordinary pesto

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Looks good right? Recipe to come, but first you’ll have to read about my day. Smile

First of all, thanks for all the nice comments on the dresses! The majority of you picked dress #1 and that’s exactly what I went with. Wasn’t a huge fan of the fabric that trailed off the back on the 1 strap dress. Felt a little too Greek Goddess for me. Works out well too because there are 7 of us as bridesmaids. 5 of the girls had already ordered their dress and 4 of them picked the 1 strap option, so I’ll even things out a bit more with my choice.

After Friday’s sore, slow run I was itching to get out today to redeem myself. The weather was overcast and barely 70, perfect for a run. I filled up the camelbak and hit the bike trail for 5 miles. Awesome run. Even if my face doesn’t exactly scream “yay!”. It was good to know that I just needed some rest and fresh legs.

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5 Mile Stats: (8:34 average pace)

Mile 1: 8:42

Mile 2: 8:36

Mile 3: 8:26

Mile 4: 8:47

Mile 5: 8:20

 

Came home to do workout 1A of NWOLFW which I was technically supposed to do yesterday but I was still so sore that I ended up taking a complete rest day instead. <—worth it! I still got my 3 workouts in for the week. Hopefully next week the lunges won’t be as bad!

After the workout, I attacked my car which badly needed a cleaning. Inside and out.

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Dad would be proud, I even did the tires. I don’t think the outside of my car had been washed since before winter. It’s just not worth washing in the spring here though because there is a constant film of green pollen on everything until about now.

Up next was dinner. My basil had already almost gotten to the point where it was bolting so I decided a pesto was in order. I didn’t have enough basil for a true pesto so it quickly became an “anything you need to use up that’s green pesto”.  I ended up using basil, parsley, arugula and baby spinach as the greens. I knew I didn’t have any parmesan at home either so instead of the creamy, hearty route, I added lemon to give it a nice citrus kick.

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As well as some garlic and pine nuts like a normal pesto.

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I love how green it stayed without the parmesan mixed in. Seriously, isn’t that the greenest pesto you’ve ever seen? Pesto > marinara sauce any day in my book. This one was a winner. Even better when served with whole wheat linguine with sautéed mushrooms and zucchini.

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The pasta was simple. I sautéed some shallots and garlic then added sliced baby portobellos and the zucchini which I peeled into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Once the pasta was cooked I added it and the vegetable mixture to a bowl and tossed with the pesto. If anything, it needed more salt but all in all a great, fresh tasting dish. The citrus was mellow enough but you could still taste it in the background.

Next time you have a random assortment of greens laying around try making it into a pesto. It’s an easy, tasty way to use up your leafy greens and there are so many variations to play with.

 

Everything Green Citrus Pesto

Makes about 1 1/4 cups

  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1 cup packed baby arugula
  • 2 cloves of garlic (if you’re not a huge garlic fan, 1 clove will do)
  • 1/8 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

Place everything except evoo into food  processor and pulse a few times until coarsely chopped. Scrape down sides. Process again while adding evoo through top. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

 

Do you make your own pesto? What’s the best thing you ate all weekend?

16 Comments

Filed under Around the house, Dinner, Recipes, Running, Side Dishes, Strength training

A fabulous Friday

It started with an amazing bowl of oatmeal on a sunny deck.

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An impromptu lunch time tanning session. These pale legs need some sun!

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A kicking lunch. First time I put avocado in a tuna salad. Best idea ever! The avocado makes it creamy. No need for mayo here. Pepper, tomatoes, avocado & a peach #projectvegup!!

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An after work 4 mile run. This was a tough run! I got to the parking lot of the trail, turned on my Garmin and it said “batteries low”. I took that as a sign to just ditch it and go with the flow. Definitely glad I did because this was a slow run with a couple of untimed walking breaks. I am so sore right now from the lunges in workout 1B of NWOLFW that my legs just did not want to go fast. The type A in me would’ve been staring at the Garmin the entire time getting pissed at myself for my average pace. Without it though, I was able to think about why it was such a hard run and realize it’s probably all my body can handle right now. I still ran 4 miles. 1.5 years ago I would’ve laughed at the thought of that. Smile

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An absolute gorgeous day.

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The new trail even has signs about the area. This makes me feel better about my taxes, at least I know all about the creek I’m running over for our $8K a year. photo 4

We actually had intentions to go hiking early in the evening but I got hit like a freight train with a wave of exhaustion around 6:30 and it just wasn’t happening. Almost gave up on dinner, but then got my second wind.<—No idea what was going on!

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Beer helps.

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Last 2 chicken sausages!

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Then things got wild.

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Sweats and flip flops. Living the dream.

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And even wilder.

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Since our Friday night was so riveting, I’ll leave you with a video of Ginger trying to channel her inner Mishka.

She needs some work.

Can your dog/cat/furball of any sort do any cool tricks?

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Filed under Around the house, Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch, Running, Videos

Things that made me happy this weekend

Lazy mornings that allow for breakfasts like this. Homemade blackberry waffles with yogurt and fruit on top.

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Hot summer spring days that make a root beer float an acceptable treat. Smile

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3 consecutive days of running. More to come on the book behind the Garmin tomorrow.

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A dog that always makes me laugh. Her water bowl was about 20 feet away. I guess the fountain was more intriguing.

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A man and his lawn mower. Seriously how can this not make you laugh? Headphones that look like he should be on the tarmac doing ground control at JFK, rain boots in case the floods come, and a big goofy grin. Besides golf and his dogs, tending to the lawn may be his favorite pastime.

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Icy cold drink on a hot day.

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First cherries of the season.

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Grilled corn on the cob.

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This guy preparing said corn.

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Grilled eats. Side note: these chicken sausages from Sam’s Club are amazing!

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Bright flowers. Sometimes I feel like an old lady by how happy I can be just sitting on the deck looking at potted flowers.

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A good book. Picked this up after one of Jenna’s book reviews and am loving it so far.

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Back to the grind…

What’s something that made you happy this weekend?

15 Comments

Filed under Around the house, Family, Meals

Home sweet home

We got home Friday night just as the sun was setting only to see the jungle that our entire yard had become. It was raining the 5 days prior to us leaving for Ireland so we never got to mow the lawn or do anything outside. Fast forward 8 more days and the place looked like it had been abandoned!

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I wish I had a ruler to illustrate how high the weeds grass actually was. Ginger has this thing with long grass and for some strange reason feels compelled to eat it. It happens on walks all the time but then she’s on a leash and I can pull her away. I didn’t really think of it when we let her out yesterday morning and she spent the next 20 minutes chomping her way around the yard. When she finally came in she wouldn’t eat her food and as I sat on the couch next to her I could hear her stomach making obscenely loud noises for a dog. 10 minutes later she was running to the door to be let out to then have a 15 minute puke fest from the ingested grass. Lovely. Thankfully, Ulysses mowed it before going to work so we didn’t have to deal with that the rest of the day.

After breakfast I spent the entire morning yesterday cleaning up these…

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Those damn seed pods are everywhere! I definitely don’t remember this happening last year. The worst part is we just mulched around the entire yard and now all my pretty black mulch is covered with these things. It’s impossible to blow them off the mulch without blowing the mulch away too so I just gave up and instead cleaned the deck, porch, walkway and driveway.

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Despite the “fun” morning, I’m definitely happy to be home for a few reasons…

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1. A workout!

Yes, I ran inside yesterday even though it was gorgeous out. Since I wasn’t done with operation seed pod clean up until almost noon it was pretty hot out by then and I really wasn’t in the mood to fill up the camelbak. #lazy. The run wasn’t nearly as hard as I was expecting after 10 days off. I ended up doing 4 miles with some intervals.

  • Mile 1: warm up 6.2mph
  • Miles 2&3: alternating 1/4 miles of 7.2 & 6.2
  • Mile 4: cool down 6.2mph

Some abs and pushups later I felt much better about those 8 scones over the past week. Smile

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2. Water

Oh how I missed my beloved Under Armour water bottle. This thing comes everywhere with me. I love the ounce markings on it so I can keep track of how much I’m drinking in a day. I usually drink somewhere between 70-100 ounces/day. That’s 3.5-5 of these. It’s not that water wasn’t available in Ireland, it was just inconvenient to drink that much when you’re constantly on the go because of the obvious side effects…needing to pee every 45 minutes or so. When you have to pay or buy something from a store to use a bathroom in most places in Europe it would have been annoying to drink my usual amount so I drastically cut back. I felt gross because of it too. I woke up parched every morning and I’m pretty sure it was a contributing factor to how blah I felt by the end of the trip body/health wise.

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3. A packed fridge (and fruit bowl)

We actually went to one grocery store on our way home on Friday because I couldn’t bear the thought of having no produce upon waking up yesterday morning. Then yesterday I hit up the other grocery store for a few remaining essentials. Having so much produce that it doesn’t all fit in the drawer makes me happy. I think I went a little overboard though. Eating 85% carbs for 8 days will do that to you.

In produce alone I bought:

-arugula

-spinach

-salad greens

-broccoli

-cucumbers

-zucchini

-tomatoes

-avocados

-kale

-Swiss chard

-sugar peas

-peaches

-nectarines

-bananas

-blueberries

-strawberries

-raspberries

-blackberries

-apples

-cantaloupe

We have a lot of eating to do!

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4. Healthy food

Besides a yogurt bowl that escaped photography this morning, these were my eats for the day. A strawberry banana protein smoothie, a big salad with a bit of everything, and coconut crusted baked tofu with overcooked steamed broccoli and Trader Joe’s harvest grain blend. The tofu was a wing-it kind of thing and it came out amazing! Just mixed shredded unsweetened coconut with some bread crumbs, salt & pepper for the crust. Dipped the tofu slices in an egg + coconut oil + milk mixture and then rolled them in the crust mix. Baked for 20 minutes at 425. Really good! Might be my new fav tofu recipe.

And lastly,

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5. Shorts & flip flops.

Ireland was cold. It made me happy to be able to wear these today. Smile

And to end with a little fun, while I was traipsing through the rain and wind in Ireland Tina @ Love, Sweat, and Beers nominated me for the “7 things about me” award. I actually found it pretty hard to come up with 7 things because most people reading this right now probably already know these about me so just as a disclaimer to friends and family you’re probably not going to find out anything earth shattering here, sorry.

7 things award

1. I have never wanted to have children and after almost 5 years of marriage we’re both still “eh” about it.  As everyone around us starts having a family though I wonder how our friendships might change if we are the only ones without kids.

2. I have a secret desire to go to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in France. When we lived in Florida I actually applied at their Miami location, paid the application fee, got accepted and then never followed through. I wish I had realized this desire before starting a career, getting married, buying a house, etc.

3. I’m severely allergic to any animal with hair/fur and get allergy shots and take zyrtec & nasonex daily just to have Ginger.

4. I despised oatmeal as a kid. Now, I’d consider it one of my favorite foods.

5. I’ve worked at the same job since graduating college for the past 7 years and have changed positions 6 times. Some promotions, some lateral, and some backwards just for a change.

6. I bought a stick shift car without knowing how to drive it because I wanted to learn. It worked. It sometimes feels bad-ass to be able to drive stick. Especially, on the other side of the road, shifting with your left hand.

7. I have only thrown up once since I was 5. It was my 21st birthday and that’s a story for another day. I hate throwing up and will avoid it at all costs.

And now I’m passing this on to these ladies:

Hayley @ Oat Couture

Kim @ Book Worm Runs

Kate @ What Kate is Cooking

What’s something random about you?

10 Comments

Filed under Around the house, Dinner, Lunch, Meals, Running

HOHA 5 mile race recap

Yesterday morning started out like every other race morning, EARLY! Every single race I’ve done I wake up with the same thought: “why, oh why did I sign up for this? I could totally just go run X miles myself today and not have to be up this early.”

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(Hi, it’s 5:30am on Sunday)

The weather was horrendous and as I listened to the rain that was so hard it sounded like hail hit the skylight in my bathroom I’d be lying if I said the thought to just skip the race and forfeit the $20 registration fee didn’t enter my mind. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was meeting my brother and his girlfriend in Hoboken and that I had blogged about it already, I might’ve just gotten back in bed Winking smile

Of course in the end it’s always worth it and the satisfaction of another race under your belt definitely trumps the wake up call. It’s just a little hard to remember that when this is what you’re driving through to get there.

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Note that the windshield wipers are on their “frantic” speed here. You know, the highest one where they’re going so fast you think they might just fly off.

Side note: improper frequency of windshield wipers is a HUGE pet peeve of mine. It has to be coming down in buckets for me to even contemplate using that speed. This was the kind of rain that is so loud and hard you can’t hear your radio and your hands are on the steering wheel at 10 & 2 like you’re 16 taking your driving test. I probably shouldn’t have been operating a camera at the same time. The things I do for blog content!

1.5 hours later I got to Hoboken and thankfully the rain had stopped. We picked up our bibs, used the nasty port-a-potties and headed to the start.

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Adrian was a spectator/cheerleader/photographer this year so he got to eat yummy chocolate, pear croissants while Doreen and I stretched.

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Scary and how ‘bout those bags under my eyes!

They changed the course a little this year so we had to walk a few blocks to the start.

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Why do we look insanely white compared to everyone else?

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And, we’re off!

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Doreen’s super excited to see Adrian taking this picture!

We discussed paces right before the start so we knew we wouldn’t really be running this “together”. Doreen is super fast! Even with me thinking I’d be about 20-30 seconds faster per mile this year than last, she still paces quite a bit faster than that. Her goal was to beat Adrian’s time last year of 36:08. So after about the first 1/2 mile I couldn’t even see her anymore.

The course was very similar for the first 4 miles even though they started in a different place so I knew what to expect. Mile 1 was flat and fast but at mile 2 you enter Stevens Institute of Technology’s campus which is full of hills! Last year it kind of took me by surprise so it was nice knowing what to expect this time around. The next 2 miles were again very similar and flat. Smile  The last mile they added in a loop through a new park to make the course an exact 5 miles. Last year the course was short (4.94 miles) and while that was great for reducing my pace and time, it’s nice to run a course that’s the exact length it’s supposed to be.

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Doreen on the final stretch.

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Take the damn picture Adrian, I’m done pretending I’m happy right now!

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“Sprinting” at the end

I looked up about right here to see the clock say 40:38 and I really wanted to clock in before the 41:00 mark. Mission accomplished, new PR 40:54!!

Mile splits:

  • Mile 1: 8:02
  • Mile 2: 8:20 <—hills! (last year this mile was 9:02. Improvement!)
  • Mile 3: 7:58 (!!)
  • Mile 4: 8:18
  • Mile 5: 8:16

Average pace: 8:11

Last year’s time was 42:46 and considering the course was short by .06, I beat that time by more than 2 minutes! Next year the goal will be under 40:00 Winking smile

Curious if Doreen beat Adrian’s time? Sooooo close! She clocked in at 36:51. I told you she was fast! She killed it!

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That’s not an awkward wave, it’s a “5”.

Then onto the best part about any race, food! We headed to La Isla, just like last year for their famous “stuffed french toast”. It was on Food Network’s Throwdown with Bobby Flay. Bobby lost.

The place is kind of a hole in the wall but, like most of those places the food is delicious.

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Thank you, Omar. Your french toast rocks.

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This picture doesn’t even come close to doing this bad boy justice.

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We all split everything and left perfectly satisfied. Smile

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And then it started raining again.

Anyone else race this weekend? How’d you do?

20 Comments

Filed under Family, Meals, Races, Restaurants, Running

5 miles & celebrating Mom

Next Sunday is the HOHA 5 miler race in Hoboken, NJ that I’m racing with my brother’s girlfriend. I haven’t run 5 miles in about 2 weeks and was starting to get a little nervous that maybe I should do a test run to be safe. I’ve done a bunch of 4 or 4.5 milers recently, but I just felt like I needed to run the actual 5 miles to feel better about the race. It was a gorgeous morning and they just recently opened up a 4 mile connector to our local bike trail so I don’t have to keep running back and forth on the one section that is only 1.75 miles. P1012405

There’s just something mental about having to turn around again and again to get the mileage in that makes the run feel longer. It was pretty hot out by the time I got out there around 11am and I definitely started to feel the heat and lack of fluids around mile 3. I think it’s time to break out the camelbak! I love the access to water at any time and it was definitely a life saver last summer with the intense heat but, I DESPISE cleaning the thing. It’s really the last thing I want to do after a long, hot run. Soon enough the 5 miles were over though and I felt a little better about next week’s race.

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Hi, it's hot!

5 Miles

  • Mile 1: 8:32
  • Mile 2: 8:23
  • Mile 3: 8:31
  • Mile 4: 8:39—>give me water!
  • Mile 5: 8:29

Then it was time to shower and head to Mom’s where this buffoon was waiting for me.

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That’s Switch. My parents have 2 greyhounds and a pointer (they went a little overboard with the empty nest thing). Switch more closely resembles a horse, not a dog. He’s about 90 pounds, comes up to my elbow, and might seriously be the length of a Smart Car. I say this with the utmost love for him of course but, he’s just not an intelligent dog. We always joke that if Switch could talk he’d preface every sentence with “doh”.

Claire, the pointer and Sugar, the other greyhound, also Switch’s sister. Oh, and also Mom. P1012422

Once Dad was done mowing the lawn we had that “meat on the grill” and wheatberry salad.

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Chicken’s not so pretty when it’s raw, huh? The salad turned out great. Grandma was intrigued by the wheatberries. I also picked up some corn on the cob from my favorite store which I totally thought was going to be a bust considering corn is not even close to being in season around here but, it was some of the sweetest corn I’ve ever had. Simple, yet delicious dinner.

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Hope all the Mom’s out there had a great Mother’s Day!

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Filed under Dinner, Family, Meals, Running