Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday 5: Harbor Lights Half

Hellllo!  It's been FOREVER since my last post (I actually refused to look because I'm pretty sure it was longer ago than I want to admit).  I figured the best way to make my way back to blog world was by joining up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia for my favorite link up!  A couple of weeks ago I ran J&A's Harbor Lights Half Marathon.  I wanted to share some things about it with you since I had such a good time!

1. It was on my birthday!!  This was a huge influence on my decision to sign up for this one.  I couldn't think of anything I would rather do on my birthday!

2. There was pie! Ok, real talk here.  The fact that it was on my birthday and there was pie felt like a sign.  It was like they knew it was my birthday and wanted to party.  I had a delicious mini chocolate pie and it was the perfect pick me up.  It actually was a great motivator.  I wasn't sure when the pie stop was and so at first I convinced myself to run at least the first 10k (I had hurt my foot a couple of weeks before the race which put a kink in my training and confidence).  After the 10k I decided that I should keep going until the pie stop.  The pie ended up being at mile 9 and at that point it seemed silly to take a break.

3. It rained the whole time.  Luckily I checked the weather and knew to bring my wind breaker and a hat (not completely waterproof, but much better than if I had just been wearing a normal tech shirt!).  It was one of those times when you kind of had to just laugh because if you couldn't laugh then it would probably have been miserable.  At one point I was running around two girls and we decided just to go for it and jump in the puddle instead of avoiding it because there was no way our shoes could have gotten any wetter.

Free race photos! 

4. The Grand Illumination Parade was the night before!  This was a bit of a surprise for my nice friend and me and we got to our hotel right in time before the roads closed.  It was fun to be able to watch the parade from our window.  Just a side note about our hotel: it was within walking distance from the race start/finish (wooo!) and from the Norfolk Tap Room that had a lovely selection of beer.  Gotta have my lucky pre race beer!

5. I loved the finish.  It was right on the water and they gave us one of those space blankets after we got our medals and snacks.  It's the little touches like this that make me love J&A so much.  (One time after a particularly hot race they gave us cool towels which was the best ever!).  We didn't end up staying for the after party.  I was cold and ready to be out of the rain, so I grabbed my stew and we headed back to the hotel.  Huge shout out to my nice friend for venturing out in the rain to get me to my starting corral and for cheering me on at the finish line.

Apparently can't have my time be over by even a second!

Thanks again J&A!  I would definitely run Harbor Lights again!

Oh, and just a side note--I have a new phone which means that I can finally take pictures that aren't "selfies!"  I know you guys will be disappointed not to see those masterpieces (been perfecting them for over a year now!)  My instagram game is about to be crazy good.

Happy Friday!!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday 5: Things I'm Loving

Hello again!  Double post this week--watch out world, I may just be getting back into a groove yet.  I'm linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia for the Friday 5.  Luckily for me, it's a free topic (I have trouble actually following along, and then once I see the topic I am usually sad that I missed it!).  I'm going to do my semi usual things I'm loving for you!  All photo cred goes to my sister!  I figured y'all might enjoy a break from my selfies ha!

1. Sister time. Last weekend I took advantage of the long weekend and headed to a small town near Cleveland for some much needed sister time.  It was so much fun just hanging out and we managed to pack in a ton of stuff in the short time we had together.

2. Luke Bryan.  The reason for our sister time, and every bit as incredible as you might imagine.  No idea how he works it like he does in those jeans, but I'll take it any day!  Florida Georgia Line, Randy Houser, and even little Dustin Lynch were amazing, too!  It was a terrific concert and I wish we could "play it again."  ;-)

3. Unusual, but amazing food in unusual, but awesome restaurants.  My sister took me to a few different places for meals that I would highly recommend if you are ever in the Cleveland area.  Before the concert we went to Willoughby Brewing Company.  I think she said that the building was an old rail car repair place.  I always enjoy trying some new beers (the chocolate peanut butter porter was awesome!) and I couldn't resist trying the mashed potato pizza.  In case you were wondering, it was every bit as good as you might guess.  We even contemplated going out to buy a cooler and ice so it would last through the concert, it was THAT good.  We also went to Covered Bridge Pizza Parlor (you may have guessed it was in a renovated covered bridge!) and Heavenly Creamery for ice cream in a renovated church.  Just FYI, the turtle sundae is totally the way to go although my sister would probably try to sway you over to the s'mores sundae.

4. Maddux getting in the water.  So Maddux really hates getting his paws wet.  Like if he steps in a puddle he frantically lies down and tries to lick all the water off.  If it's raining he refuses to go out.  After a walk at one of my sister's favorite parks, we took the dogs down to the beach area to cool off.  I tried my hardest to persuade Mad Dog to get all the way in the lake, but he was not having it.  It was still fun watching him attempt to avoid the waves.

Silly boy ran for the sand after the waves touched his toes!

5. Liane Moriarty books.  I'm reading The Last Anniversary right now and I really love that her books switch perspectives.  It's like getting a bunch of stories in one and makes for a quick read.  I've been staying up way too late this week reading!

What are you loving lately?  Have a great weekend!

Freekeh Giveaway Winner: (y'all made this easy!)  Congratulations to Beth!  She has been notified.  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Freekeh Review

Hello!  I know I say this after every long hiatus, but I really do plan to get into a writing routine.  (And let's be honest, a routine in general).  One thing that has been needing some serious attention lately is my meal planning.  Luckily, my affiliation with Fit Approach through the Sweat Pink Ambassador team allowed me to team up with Freekeh Foods to review their product.

I apologize for the photo quality.  Still rocking the selfies over here.
Hoping to get that fixed one day very soon! Or to bring back an actual camera...

Freekeh is pronounced "free-kah" (makes me want to sing some Missy Elliott!) and is organic roasted green wheat.  If you're anything like me, you are probably thinking something along the lines of "what the heck is that?"  It's basically a rice. You cook it the same basic way (boil water, add freekeh, reduce heat, cover, simmer) and it works as a great base for my beloved veggie burger bowls.  I really appreciate how easy freekeh is to make.  I actually whipped up a batch to go with veggie burgers and feta for my friend and myself before running in an evening race and it was the perfect pre-race fuel!  It wasn't too heavy and settled pretty quickly.    I really want to make stuffed peppers with it!  Freekeh has 6 grams of protein a serving which is also a win in my book, especially on meatless days which happen pretty often around here.

I received the Rosemary Sage flavor and the Original flavor.  I've got to be honest when I say that the original was my favorite.  I'm not sure why, but it seemed to have more flavor (or maybe it was the fact that it was SO good with cheese!).  I liked the Rosemary Sage, but I'm not sure I would go out of my way to buy it, where as the Original flavor I totally would.  Just a quick note about freekeh--it says that each bag is a 4 person serving, but when I measured it out, I actually ended up with two additional servings.  I have no problem with bonus!

Now here's the fun part: You can win your own package of freekeh!  You can choose either Original, Rosemary Sage, or Tamari.  Sorry international friends, only US Residents qualify this time!  To enter, please follow Freekeh on Twitter and Instagram (@freekehfoods) and like them on Facebook.  Tweet about the giveaway using the hashtags #LoveFreekeh and #Freekeh and then leave me a comment telling me you did so.  (I know that seems like a lot of steps, BUT totally worth it!)  I will randomly choose a winner on Thursday, September 10.

Good luck!

**Disclaimer: I was given two packages of freekeh to review because of my affiliation with Fit Approach and the Sweat Pink Ambassadors.  I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions are my own. **

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday 5: On my Mind

My poor blog.  Every week it seems to slip further and further down the list of priorities.  When I realized that today was Friday (aka Friday 5 link up day with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia!), I knew I had to give it a little love.  Because I'm kind of all over the place right now, I figured I would just get some of the thoughts in my head down!

1. I have no idea how I'm going to juggle working and school.  Ok, I mean I know how I'm going to do it.  I'm going to make tons of lists and have some late nights.  The work life balance might not be so fun this next year or so, but it will be worth it in the end.

In college I preferred to juggle my workload with a margarita in my hand.

2. The weather this week has been fantastic!  I sneaked in an outdoor run this week and Maddux and I went to the park almost every single day this week.  It was fabulous.

3. I wonder how my long run this weekend will go.  It's still kind of up in the air on how I'm going to approach it.  Part of me wants to just tack on a couple extra miles after my group run (hoping not too many hills tomorrow!), but my nice friend and I talked about possibly running a couple of miles later in the day together, so we'll see what happens.  Hopefully a two a day will be almost as good if that's how it works out.

4. Punkin' Ale is coming back!  As well as all other good things that are pumpkin.  Although I'm sad to see summer go, I really love fall.

We're a big fan of birthday beer in my family.
Luckily my birthday and pumpkin beers go well together.

5. Halloween.  My best friend and I are tossing around the idea of running the Wicked 10k together, so I've been thinking about some fun costumes we could run in!

It will be hard to beat the sibling costumes!

Overall things here are really good.  I am working on getting back into a routine, which is a little tricky, but I'm sure I'll be surprised how fast things will get back on track.  Also, apparently after rereading this list I'm really digging some fall ha!

What's on your mind lately?  Any fun time management tips? I'm a list maker and calendar person all the way! Have a very happy Friday!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday 5: My Day

Hello!  Today I'm linking up with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney for the Friday Five!  The theme of the day is "Day in the Life" and while today hasn't been super exciting so far, I figured I'd play along!

  • Maddux woke me up as usual around 6am for breakfast and as usual I stumbled back to bed for a couple of hours after I filled his dish.  Maddux let me sleep in until about 8 and then I made coffee and oatmeal and we snuggled on the couch for a little while watching Luke Bryan on Good Morning America.  It's been such a gray day that it was hard to get up and moving!

(No, I don't have snowflake sheets on my bed still.
This just captures our typical mornings after he eats!)

  • After Luke was done backing it on up (Kick the Dust up, anyone?) Maddux and I headed out for our first walk of the day.  It's been surprisingly cool today!  Nice change of pace for sure.  When we got back I got ready for my run, which basically involved half heartedly using the stick to roll out my IT band while texting my mom about Luke's performance.  

  • I headed to the park and felt really strong on my run!  Probably a big part of this was because of the cooler temps, but I'll take it any day!  My pace was about 45 seconds faster per mile than it has been lately and I even cranked out the last mile in just under 9 minutes.  It was a great confidence boost.  I need to figure out where I am on my training plan so I can start checking runs off again.  I didn't bring it with me on my Alabama trip, so I've just been kind of running to build up a base.  So far so good!
  • After my run I ran some errands.  Maddux needed food and I needed the new Luke Bryan album so off to Target I went.  I know some of y'all are going to make jokes about the fact that I bought a cd, but y'all are going to hate it when you miss out on the bonus tracks haha!   While I was at Target I also redeemed my free Starbucks drink since it was about to expire.  
Corgis and Luke.  Doesn't get much better.

  • Now I'm eating lunch and typing this up before it's time to get ready for my friends' wedding rehearsal.  I'm going to try to squeeze in one more quick walk and some homework, too!  
Congrats to the beautiful bride to be!

So that's been my day so far!  Just one of those run around getting things done kind of days.  I'm really looking forward to next week because I'll have a little bit of down time where I can focus on school work and relaxing before work kicks into high gear again.  

Tell me something about your day!  Did you get a break from the summer heat, too?  Any other Luke Bryan lovers?!  My sister and I are going to see him in concert in a few weeks and I am beyond excited!

Friday, July 17, 2015

5 Things About Pure Barre

Happy Friday!  I hope everyone had a great week!  I'm linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia today.  I finished my fifth Pure Barre class this week and wanted to share some things that I figured out along the way for those of you who want to try it, but are a little nervous like I was.  I will say that after my first class I wasn't sure how I felt about it.  I knew that it was a great workout, but it was a little intimidating.  It was also NOTHING like I thought it would be.  For some reason I expected classical ballet music, and it's not the case at all.  It is upbeat and fast paced.  Obviously I am no expert here (visit Courtney for a lot more about Pure Barre!), but I did learn a lot in my few classes!  

1. Get the sticky socks.  You don't necessarily have to get the Pure Barre ones, but it made a big difference when I started doing class in socks with a good grip on the bottom.  I will say that I love my Pure Barre socks because they are really thick and comfy.

Hi Maddux!!

2. Expect some feedback from the instructors.  I made sure to tell them ahead of time that I was a newbie which was helpful because they helped me get set up at first.  I have only been to one studio, but I'm assuming the format is pretty much the same where the instructor models the move and then walks around to check form.  They have made the slightest adjustment to my form that made the biggest difference in where I felt the movement.

3. It's ok to not be super flexible.  Guys, during the ab section there's a part where you lift your leg up.  A majority of the girls in my class had their leg all the way up almost touching the barre.  My leg was pretty much straight out in front of me.  At first it really bugged me, but I felt the workout a lot more when the instructor gave me advice on how to adjust to meet my inflexible needs.  Also, while I looked around a lot to make sure I looked similar to other people, most of the girls are so in the zone that they don't even notice what you're doing.  I learned to just focus on my workout and do my best instead of worrying about how my body just isn't bending like some of the other girls.

4. It's hard.  The first couple of workouts I was so sore for days after.  Eventually my body started getting a little used to the movements so it was slightly easier, but I have a feeling if it is easy the instructor will help you adjust to challenge yourself a little more.  I purchased a couple of DVDs that I think helped me a lot because it gets you more accustomed to the movements.  Also, the warm up is the same in the DVD so I felt a lot more comfortable at the beginning of class because I felt like an old pro.

5.  Find deals!  My first class was on a free "Love Your Body" event on Valentine's Day.  My last four classes were purchased through a Tax Day deal.  I got four classes for $60.  Usually single classes are $25 each.  If you're like me and aren't ready to commit to a full plan (it's a little daunting if you see the price tag!), then these deals are ideal (especially if you're new and trying to get used to it!).  My DVDs were also through a deal.  I got a tank, two DVDs, the socks, and one of the resistance bands used in class for a great price.  Follow Pure Barre on social media and sign up for the e-newsletter if you want to stay on top of offers.

While I probably won't be purchasing any packages in the near future (my closest studio is still about 25 minutes away), I really enjoyed trying out a new workout.  It's possible that most of this is mental, but I felt like I started to tone up a little bit when I added Pure Barre into my newest half marathon training plan for the first few weeks.  I encourage you to give it a try if you want a challenging workout.  Bonus points for not being super sweaty afterwards!  (And you guys know I sweat A LOT.)  **Just FYI, Pure Barre in no way paid me to say nice things about them.  I just know it's a big trend right now and I wanted to give you guys my honest opinion!

Have a great weekend!

Have you ever tried Pure Barre?  What did you think?  Any advice for newbies?    

Friday, July 10, 2015

5 Things I've Learned Lately

Haaaaappppy Friday!  I am linking up with Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar today!  Make sure to check out the awesome blogs joining in the fun.  I have been absent on the blog front lately.  Part of it is because I haven't been training for anything and the other part is that priorities have just been elsewhere.  I'm happy to report that I started a training plan for my next half on Wednesday, so I'm sure I'll be inspired to document those adventures along the way.  As I was trying to think of a good topic to write about today, I realized that I had a lot of random thoughts floating around (like always).  I figured I'd share some things I've learned lately with you.  Feel free to share your own findings in the comments!

1. Love can last a life time.  Before you roll you eyes and think that is totally cheesy, let me explain.  My nice friend and I just headed to Colorado to join a TON of my family to celebrate my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary.  It was so great being out there watching them renew their vows to one another.  They are each other's rock and have been a fabulous team and a wonderful example of what love can be.  I'm so thankful that I was able to share in their special day!

Obvious where were get our good looks from.
Photo cred for these awesome selfies goes to my sister!

2.  It's ok to say no.  Last summer my uncle and cousins convinced me to hike up to the top of St. Mary's Glacier.  As a nonhiker, this was pretty traumatic for me (even though I will reluctantly admit that it was a great experience and I'm glad I did it!).  My family and I returned to the glacier again this summer.  My nice friend, dad, and I got to the glacier first.  My nice friend was feeling adventurous, so my dad and he took off to continue climbing.  I sat my butt down on a rock, enjoyed the views, and had a great time being silly with the gals in the family when they arrived.  I had a great time and did not regret my decision to stay behind.

Last year's view from the top.

This year's view from the bottom.
It was a little rainy, a lot fun.

3. Sometimes you just have to ask. So, you guys know my love of Reba.  When I was little I was really upset that my mom wouldn't let me dye my hair red so that I could look like Reba.  (Obviously, we are twins except for that red hair thing...)  When I saw that Reba was performing in Vegas I really wanted to go, but didn't think it would actually happen.  I mentioned something about it to my aunt and she was immediately onboard with the idea.  So much so that we actually booked our tickets already!  Vegas here we come!  I'm so glad I brought it up, because I might have missed a fun opportunity that may not come up again.

I woud be ok if she sang Fancy over and over again.

4. Grocery shopping can be exciting.  I know what you're thinking.  Grocery shopping sucks.  It really does.  BUT, after eating out a ton of meals, it was nice to be able to get back into my regular eating groove.  When I eat out I am of the opinion that I should try what I want to try, even if it may not be the healthiest thing on the planet.  At home I try to eat a lot cleaner.  My fridge had been pretty pathetic leading up to my Colorado trip, but it is stocked back up with fruits, veggies, and of course, sriracha hummus.  Definitely a good feeling!

5. Learning is exciting.  I've always known this, but it's been renewed in the past couple of weeks.  I mentioned in an earlier post that I started grad school.  It is a little overwhelming trying to figure out how to be a student again, but I get a little giddy every time I think about the fact that I am a grad student.  I am so excited to learn more and see what opportunities this opens up for me.

What have you learned lately?  Or been reminded of recently?  Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Friday 5: Things that Make Me Happy

Happy Friday!  This is an especially happy Friday because I have a nice long break from work.  I'm looking forward to some long days at the pool!  I'm linking up with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney for the Friday 5 all about happy thoughts.  I'm excited to read about some things that are making others happy!  It's so nice to have positive things to read about.

1. Maddux.  He had to be first.  Guys, you knew this.

2. Watching the Pirates win.  I can't wait to go to the game tomorrow!  Sorry, Nats.  I'll cheer for you when you're playing someone else.

Wish I could go to PNC more regularly!

3. Races with my nice friend.  He is an awesome sport and goes to many of my races to support me, but it's not always easy to convince him to run with me!  He ran in the Charm City Crab Run with me last weekend and although it was hot, it was a great time!  I really liked running along the water and they had so many yummy snacks after!  When we finished the race we were handed a mug for beer samples and got to enjoy lots of fun beer. (Oh, and more snacks!)  The beer fest was a little different than most we've been to because you could choose whether you wanted a full glass or a sample.  Good times!

4. Trader Joe's Mini Mint Ice Cream Mouthfuls. Oh my gosh, these are so good.  They are nice because they are tiny enough that you can eat one in the afternoon and then another one later on in the day without feeling like a pig.  Another win for Trader Joe's!

5. Mary Kay Andrews books.  I have been waiting to read this book (I have a ton of reading for grad school and knew I would get caught up in my fun book over my school books!), but it is finally vacation time.  These books are just so girly, beachy, and fun and I can't wait to dive in! (Haha.)

What is making you happy lately?  Let's spread the joy!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Friday 5: ZOOMA 10k

Guys, I really do know my days of the week.  Lately though it's just been easier to post a little late because the week days have been so busy!  I hope everyone got in a wonderful run on Wednesday for National Running Day!  It was nice and cool here, and though it was a little dreary, it really was great weather for a run!  I'm linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia today--make sure to check out the link up for some good reads.

Last weekend I ran the ZOOMA 10k in Annapolis, Maryland.  Today I'm going to share with you some of my thoughts from the race.  I'm not really sure where the month of May went, but I didn't train nearly as well as I should have.  I kept putting off my longer distance runs and didn't run more than 4 miles before the race, (post-Shamrock running has been a little subpar!), but I still had a fun morning!  I was really proud of myself for running the whole race because it was a huge mental battle.  I really do believe that you can work on something in each race even if you know it's not going to be your fastest!

1. The Expo.  So a quick note about ZOOMA--it's a race geared towards women with the goal being a fun "girls weekend out" race. All of the locations are in really fun/gorgeous areas.  ZOOMA Florida is on my bucket list of runs!  The race expo was held in the Annapolis Loew's hotel (the host race of the hotel).  There were plenty of public parking places a couple of minutes walk away.  I went really early and only had to wait a couple of minutes to get my packet.  The expo was small, but they had some cute shirts.  Charm City Run had a booth, and I ended up buying a really fun shirt!

2. The Course. When I got to the Navy Marine Corps Stadium, there was quite a line for parking.  I arrived about 30 minutes prior to the race, and after I parked I decided it would probably be best to find the portapotties.  (Side note, thank goodness for car alarms, because I totally forgot where I had parked after the race.)  I'm glad I did, because the line was soooo long.  I waited for about 20 minutes in the line.  I don't remember it being that bad a couple of years ago!  The race started on time (or really close to it).  The first mile or so you just kind of wind through the stadium parking lot and the roads around it.  I think miles 2-4 were probably my favorite.  Those were the ones where you went through downtown Annapolis (which I think is super cute) and are near the water.  Around mile 5 we got to a bridge and it was brutal.  The uphill seemed to last forever and it was right in the sun.  (I remembered this bad boy from a couple of years ago!) Once you got to the downhill park though, it seemed like the breeze came back and it was lovely.  The rest of the course wasn't too remarkable.  Pretty much just winding through neighborhood streets back to the stadium for a slightly uphill finish.  There wasn't a whole lot of crowd support, but there were a ton of water stops!  It was really nice having that many opportunities to get water.  Even though the race started at 7, it was still pretty warm!

3. The Post Race Party.  After finishing the race, I was handed a medal, a bottle of water, a bag of Maryland Crab chips, and got to pick a snack box.  I went with the hummus, but chicken salad was also a choice.  My box had hummus and pretzels, carrots, and an apple.  There were some vendors available and there was wine, but since I ran it solo I felt like drinking alone at 8am was kind of not my thing and I would rather just go home.

4. The Swag.  In my race packet I received a reusable bag, a pair of Feetures socks, a journal, and my race shirt.  I actually wore the socks to the race.  I'm not sure I would say this is the best sock I've ever put on my foot, but they did seem a little more durable than some of my other socks.  As long as they last a few months without holes I'll be happy!  The medal was just a generic one for the 10k finishers.  The half marathon medal was pretty cool, but I can understand why they wouldn't want to go through the cost of making two different medals for all of their races.

5. Other Thoughts.  I left with the same impression of the race that I did the last time I ran it.  It was ok. It was fun, but not one that I feel compelled to do every single year.  I do like that it's pretty close (I was home before 9!) and I enjoy the distance, so I wouldn't rule it out completely in the future.  I also had some unfair comparisons--a couple of years ago I ran it and when I signed up they sent me a training pack that had a ton of different stuff in it and a really cute shirt that I still wear all the time.  At the actual race, I got another shirt, a water bottle, a yoga mat, and a cute necklace, AND I think the race was cheaper than it is now.  Look, I get that if they did that every year they would probably be bankrupt in no time, but when you're spoiled one year it can be a little disappointing when the next year you're not! In all fairness though, I thought the goodie bag was still great this year!

Guys, I felt kind of bad.  So they said that we would get a free race photo this year.  Pretty much every single race photo I'm in, I look like I am in some serious pain, even if I'm not.  I decided that I was just going to make a face at the camera this time so I would be intentionally crazy looking instead of the "oh that poor girl" crazy looking.  Weeeeellll, the photographer did NOT look happy.  As soon as I saw her face, I wished I could take it back, but oh well.  The past is in the past.

I think I captured the "Zombie Runner" look quite well.

Have you done any ZOOMA races?  What did you think?  What races do you have coming up? Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Friday 5: Thoughts on Joining a Training Group

It's Friday!  I'm linking up with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney for the Friday Five.  Make sure to check all the great blogs!  I have a race tomorrow, which I'm not super excited about, simply because I didn't train for it.  Oops.  It kind of sneaked up on me.  I don't want this to happen in future races, because honestly, they are expensive and it's just not fun to run a race when you aren't prepared for the distance.   I've been playing around with the idea of joining a training group for my next half, and luckily I have some time to think about it!  If I'm going to do it, I want to commit.  I have a lot of thoughts going on, so I would love to hear about anyone who has experience training with a group!

1. I need a goal.   I finally broke 2 hours in my half marathon and I haven't put a lot of thought into the next goal.  I mean, of course a PR would be nice, but I don't have as definitive of a goal.  Quite frankly, running sub 2 was hard, and it would be nice to do that again, preferably a little more comfortably.  

Love that PR bell!

2. I do really well following plans.  I really like posting my plan on the fridge and checking off each run.  I've been following essentially the same plan the past few races.  I try to do two 5 mile runs a week and then alternate speed work and long runs.  It's been working, but I would be interested to see what a coach had to say.  I wonder how fast I could get actually following advice from someone who knows what they are doing.  On the other hand, I appreciate how easy my plan is to follow.  It works for my life.

3. Long runs are tricky.  I try to go somewhat early and just pack a lot of water and shot bloks in my car.  I do various miles that circle back to my car every so often.  It seems like the training run group would have set up aid stations throughout the long runs.  That would be really great.  On the other hand, long runs are usually not very pretty for me.  I kind of like suffering solo.  Plus, I like being able to take breaks when I feel like I need them.  

4. I like my current group.  They are only a quick drive away, and besides, I would really miss seeing them every week.  Plus even though it's hotter, I like that we have a later start time.  7am runs would be tough at first!  From what I read there will be a couple of easy runs thrown into the mix, so I could always go back to my group for those instead.  

5. Commitment.  I think this is a really good thing for me, and something that I'm not so sure about.  It would be good for me to be held accountable by a group and a coach.  I like when other people know about my goals so that I can be reminded of what all the hard work is for.  The plan would coincide perfectly with 2 of my three half marathons I want to do, and would hopefully give me the tools to continue moving forward for my third.  I do appreciate the ability to be flexible though.  I like being able to do my runs when I feel like doing them.  I like being able to adjust according to how I'm feeling.  I like running for me.  Now I just have to decide how much support I want.

Gotta earn my bling!

Have you ever used a training group?  How did it go?  Did you find that it helped you meet your goals? Maybe form new goals?  I would love to hear your stories!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Friday 5: Things I'm Lovin'

Poor blog has been neglected lately.  One day I hope to get back into a consistent place with writing (and reading!), but for now it looks like I'm just sticking to the Friday Five with Mar, Cynthia, and Courtney!  Make sure to pop over and check out the link up!  Since my running has been in a sad place lately, I'm back to my usual Things I'm Lovin' post!  One day I might surprise y'all and mix it up!

1. Foster pups finding their families!  I picked up my latest foster pup on Sunday and he was adopted on Thursday!  Although I didn't have him long, I really loved having his adorable energy and sweet puppy snuggles for the week.  I must say though, it was a big change from our usual pace, and I think Maddux and I were both a little relieved when we could get back into our normal groove.  Congrats to Todd and his new family!

Todd really loved Maddux and all of Maddux's toys.
Guess how Maddux felt about that.

2. Volunteering with Lucky Dog Animal Rescue.  Yes, you guys know this, and it totally goes with #1, but it is worth repeating.  They appreciate their volunteers so much, and I'm sure I get on their nerves with all my questions, but they never show it!  They work incredibly hard to find their pups the best home, and I highly recommend getting involved with them.  They have events in Virginia, Maryland, and DC, but there are a thousand ways to help out.  If you are an animal lover you will have a lot of fun.

Time flies when you get to hang out with cute pups like Todd!

3. Library E-Books.  (And let's be honest, the library in general.)  I really love my nook, and it's nice being able to check out books so easily.  While I love purchasing books, I try to only do it with books that I know I will want to share or read again.  I read a lot of mysteries, and they aren't quite as fun the second time.  My library also makes it easy to check out physical books.  You just go online, put your book on hold, and then you can run in and grab it off the holds shelf.  (I use the self check out, too, so I can be in and out of the library in less than 2 minutes.)

4. Luke Bryan's New Music!  I (and every other woman) love me some Luke Bryan and I have been really excited that new music is coming out!  My sister and I are going to see him this summer and his new album is coming at a perfect time.

We <3 summer concerts!

5.  Feeling ready to run again.  I have been taking a big ol' break since Shamrock, and while I've still been going to my run group and signed up for a couple of races, my heart just wasn't really in it.  You know you're ready to train again when you obsessively start searching for races.  I have three (!!!) half marathons I want to sign up for this fall, and am trying to decide if it's doable or if I may be a little crazy.  I'll share more after I send my credit card up in flames from registering!  They may have some big challenges thrown in, so I'm pretty excited about figuring out how to adjust my training plan!

Shamrock, I miss you! Can we relive that weekend?!

What are you loving lately? Happy weekend, friends!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Friday 5: Things I'm Lovin'

We're going to pretend I'm not a giant slacker and actually wrote this on Friday.  I'm linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia!  They are talking organization this weekend, which isn't really my strong suit, so I'm going to keep on with my recent trend of telling you some things I'm loving lately.

1. Maddux.  Yes, you all know if you've ever even just glanced at my blog, BUT yesterday was our four year anniversary!  We celebrated with a walk at the park, a new toy and treats, and his favorite, a Frosty Paws doggie ice cream!

2. Trader Joe's.  Last weekend I had like three things on my list that I was going to grab, but as I drove by Trader Joe's I noticed that there was an open parking spot.  Guys, every time I drive by it is PACKED, so this was really exciting.  I ended up buying a whole cartful of things, but it was well worth it.  They just have such fun stuff that my regular grocery store doesn't carry.  Hopefully I can time it right again soon!

3. Hello Fresh.  As long as we're talking about food....So the reason that I only had a few things on my list was because my Hello Fresh box was scheduled for this week.  This is my third box and I am really loving it.  For those of you who don't know, Hello Fresh is a meal ingredient delivery service.  You pick a box (either meat or vegetarian) and then they send you the ingredients to make three two serving meals.  (Although, I have found I usually have enough for 3 meals!) The ingredients have been really fresh and everything is the right portion, so all you have to do is chop it up if needed and cook.  My first two boxes were vegetarian, so they give you the three vegetarian meals, but if you pick the meat box like I did this time, you get to pick out three meals (there are 4 meat choices and a vegetarian choice).  The meals have been really easy to make, and haven't used too many dishes to make, so I'm a fan!

*I'm not being paid in any way for saying nice things about Hello Fresh, just thought I would give you guys my opinion in case you were looking for an easy meal service!  If you want a code to get a discount though, I'm happy to send one your way, just know that I would also get a discount off my box, too.

4. My new Brooks! I have ran in them several times now and am loving them!  They are so comfortable and they were the best $7 purchase I have made!  Their laces are a little short, so I'm thinking of getting some kind of lace lock device for a little extra security.  Yes, I know that I can easily change the laces, but I think they are cute, so I'm not going to.  I haven't run any longer distances yet in them, but I'm hoping that they continue to feel great.

5. The Maryland 5k.  I ran this race last weekend and really enjoyed it!  The shirt is awesome, packet pick up was at Chickfila (and a lot of other places throughout the week, but when you can get it at Chickfila, why wouldn't you?), they gave me a Chickfila cookie at the end, AND I won a card for free Chickfila waffle fries.  So maybe number 5 should be Chickfila?  But seriously, yum.  The course was pretty hilly, but thanks to my running group routes, none of them seemed too terrible.  The race was big enough that I always had people to run with on the course, but not big enough to feel crowded.  There was also a ton of free parking.  I will definitely run again!

Y'all know you love my selfies that aren't selfies.

What are some things you're loving lately?  Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday 5: Things I'm Lovin'

So, I know I did this last Friday, but there are so many things to love right now.  I'm linking up with Mar, Courtney, and Cynthia--make sure to stop by and check out some of the amazing blogs!

1. My mom.  I am so lucky that I got the mom I did.  She is an incredible mom and an amazing person. Every time I talk to her she is doing something for someone else, whether it is volunteering, helping someone with a project, or making someone something she thinks they might like.  I hope to be half the woman she is one day!

2. S'mores Frappucino.  Ok guys, this is waaaaaay more sweetness than anyone actually needs, but it is so good.  I wasn't really sure how I felt about it when I first saw that it was coming out, but I figured since it was "happy hour" and I could get it half priced I may as well try it.  It was better than I ever could have imagined.  Whipped cream on the bottom and top?  Chocolate/coffee wonderful in the middle?  Yes please!

3. Fun mail.  I feel like ever since I entered the adult world, there has been a lot of not so fun mail.  I love coming home to see packages or letters.  My Pure Barre package came earlier this week, and today  Maddux's adoption day present got here!  (Our 4 year anniversary is next week!)

4. New running shoes.  Is there a better motivation to want to get out there and run?  I have been needing new shoes for a while, but they are expensive and I am cheap.  I was surprised with a fun email from City Sports saying that I had earned a big chunk of change for logging miles at run club with them and quickly ordered a pair of shoes.  After that and a 20% off extra code I ended up getting new shoes for just around $7.  New shoes + super sale = happy Lindsey.

Maybe I'll attempt to get my phone's camera fixed this weekend...
although, I think I'm getting really good at selfies ;-)

5. People sending me articles/links they think I'll love.  My mom sent me a magazine article about a donkey farmer the other day because she knew it would brighten my day.  (One day I hope to own a miniature donkey named Burrito.  Get it?  Haha!)  A couple of friends/family members sent me the links to this corgi video and this corgi beach day post.  I love that people took the time to send a smile my way!

What are you loving this Friday?  Happy weekend!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday 5: Things I'm Loving

Happy Friday!  And happy May!  It's insane how fast the month of April went by.  I'm linking up with Cynthia, Courtney, and Mar (who is running the Pittsburgh half marathon this weekend!  Make sure to stop by and wish her luck!) for the Friday Five!  I figured I'd start the month of May off on a happy note and tell you the five things I'm really loving right now!

1. Walks with my pup.  The weather has been SO nice lately and paired with longer days, Maddux and I have gotten in some amazing quality walks.  He seems to be feeling really good these days, so hopefully that will carry on even as the days start to get warmer.

2. Training for races.  I signed up for two races this month!  I have loved just running for the sake of running, but lately have had a major itch to start training for something.  There were lots of great races to choose from this month, so I'll be running both a 5k and a 10k.

3. Reba's new cd.  Guys, I have loved Reba since I was really little and her new cd is everything I hoped it would be.

Probably the best pic I've ever taken.

4. Pure Barre deals.  So, I took my first Pure Barre class on Valentine's Day and loved it.  (Holy crap, my abs/arms/thighs were sore for DAYS.)  Only problem is that Pure Barre is super expensive.  I was so excited when for tax day they offered 4 classes for $15 each.  I have yet to cash in, but have a few good months to get them in.  The other day they had a deal for their DVDs which included two DVDs (abs and "seat" aka butt), streaming to online videos, the Pure Barre socks, the resistance band thingy (don't be mad PB lovers, I'm still learning!) and a tank top for $65.  <--Just a side note, when I looked up the price of the tank top to see if the package was a good deal, I found that it normally costs $65!  Yikes!  I hope it's the most flattering piece of clothing in the world!  I've already done part of the online video a couple of times and really enjoyed it.  If you guys are interested in the package, I think they are running the deal until May 4.  (Not being compensated in any way, just letting you guys know a good deal!)

5. Fitness challenges.  My nice friend and I are doing a May competition to see who gets the most exercise minutes in this month.  I'm planning on totally kicking his butt.  I have a feeling May is going to be a very active month as we try to one up each other!

What are some things that you are loving lately?  Anybody else have competitions with their friends/family?  

Have a fabulous weekend!