A Very Merry Thanksgiving!

Thursday: Eat & Rest <— I gave thanks for a day off!

Friday: 8.5m easy 8:13/pace 

Thanksgiving was at Cameron’s parents house this year and they did a beautiful job hosting. As soon as I walked through the door they offered wine 🙂 (how can I not marry into this family!?) and they had their veggie/hummus plate in the living room next to a warm fireplace.


Cameron & his sister Juliana

Cameron & his sister Juliana

Our dinner started off with an arugula salad w/cherry vinaigrette (SO GOOD) and squash soup w/cranberries & gorgonzola cheese. Apparently Chris (Cameron’s mom) loves my blog and wanted to follow my rules about starting dinner with a salad. It helped me ease up on the carbolicious feasting, but i think it backfired for others. Cameron said he was just worried about filling up on salad before he “got to the good stuff.” Oh well.


After our feast we sat around the fire, attempted to watch football, but most of us (ok the girls) hung around the laptop and shopped.

Juliana & Chris

Juliana & Chris

And if you were wondering, my pumpkin pie w/almond flour crust came out perfectly!


Yesterday’s run was beautiful! It was cold out, but sunny which always helps it feel warmer than it is. I tried to make sure I didn’t start out too fast and kept my pace moderately even. For me to slow down I have to either run without music or make smart music decisions that are a little slower paced. Yesterday I listened to The Decemberists (perfect for this time of year!) & The Oh Hellos. Listening to the albums straight through also keeps my legs running calm and steady.


All bundled up and ready to run! I got that warm headband from Target’s C9 collection for $13. It was worth it for sure.

Last night we watched The Deathly Hallows: Part 1. We’ve been watching Harry Potter all the way through over the last month or so and we’re finally down to the last part 2! I miss having a Potter film to look forward to around Thanksgiving, brings back so many memories! (i’m secretly hoping Harry Potter becomes a tradition for us.) My family is so spread out we don’t have a ton of annual traditions so I’m excited to see what’s to come for me and Cameron ❤

What are some of your traditions?

Anyone do a Turkey Trot?

1 Comment

Getting ready for the big day, pumpkin style!

Monday: 8m treadmill easy  8:33/pace (5 strides at the end)

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: raining, gonna be another treadmill day.. oh well!

I hope all of you enjoy pumpkin flavored everything as much as I do. This is the first Thanksgiving in a long time that I won’t be in the Midwest and the first I’m in charge of dessert. I’m making my famous Food Network’s recipe for pumpkin dark chocolate chip cookies & an easy pumpkin pie with gluten free crust (my future MIL is gluten intolerant). Seriously though, try the cookies, they are to die for, and the pumpkin makes the cookies incredibly soft!


I borrowed and slightly changed a recipe from Elena’s Pantry & i’m excited to make my first almond flour crust! The nutty flavor will hopefully go well with pumpkin and i’ll add a little brown sugar and cinnamon as well. Just in case the crust is god awful i’ll have my cookies as a backup plan! haha.

And if all else fails…


Dogfish Head Punkin Ale

Also, I know everyone is giving tips for Thanksgiving and eating appropriately yada yada, so here are my three big ones for the holiday season:

1) The holidays are 3 days. Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years Eve. Splurge on those 3 days. THREE DAYS NOT 3 MONTHS. I understand there are lots of holiday parties inbetween these 3 big days, so if you have a party to go to on a weekend make sure you fit in prioritize workouts and eat healthy all week. Then if you want a few cocktails (wieners or drinks) you won’t feel so bad and you won’t lose your fitness progress!

2) Drink lots of water (even if splurging on adult beverages) and start with vegetables! Eat a salad with your Thanksgiving meal first, then you won’t overdo it on the bread/stuffing/potatoes. When you’re at holiday parties stick with the vegetable tray as long as possible before heading towards the higher calorie options and be mindful–don’t pick at everything one at a time. Use a plate and portion out your meal like you would at home.

3) This kind of goes with #2, but I always say, this is the time of year where you get to eat things you wouldn’t normally throughout the year. So go for it! Indulge a little! But only eat things that are completely worth the splurge! How many times do you pick up something that’s not that great?? Right? We’ve all been there. A mini quiche that is just okay, or cheesecake that’s a little mealy or cookies that look better than they taste, but you eat it anyway cause you picked it up. <—-STOP DOING THIS. Put down the half eaten or bitten into piece of food, spit it into a napkin and discretely throw it out. No one at a party will notice and you can save your calories for something decadent!

I hope this helps put holiday eating into perspective.  Enjoy this time of year, just try to indulge mindfully. Don’t wait until January 1st to find out all those parties decided to hang around a while longer– on your belly. (scare tactics, they work. haha)

With all this food talk I almost forgot! Sunday we saw Hunger Games: Catching Fire! Loved every minute of it! And I’ve been enjoying my runs a lot lately. The whole, build-mileage-don’t-worry-about-pace thing is really something I can get used to. Plus when I’m not stuck on the numbers the speed just comes easier and without the anxiety.

On my way for a date with the treadmill!

It’s raining out, so i’m heading to the gym to lay down some miles.

Who’s cooking for Thanksgiving? Desserts?

What do you most look forward to!?

I love pumpkin pie, nothing beats it. #sweettoothforlife


The Weekend in a Nuunshell. + w/o Summary 11/18-11/24

My weekend kicked off with a Nuun shipment. They were giving away a free pint glass with any order and now I love this brand even more! Not only do they want to help keep me hydrated, but they understand that endurance athletes sometimes like to indulge in a more dehydrating beverage, cheers!


Citrus Fruit, Lemon-Lime, Tri-Berry & Orange

I’ve been out of Nuun for the past week and dying with plain water and GU Brew. I bought GU Brew & Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes FIZZ about a month ago just to change it up and see how it compared to Nuun.

Complimentary Competitor Magazine, don't mind if i do!

Top right are the two alternatives I tried.

I used GU Brew all this week, it’s not awful, but tastes salty. The Hammer Nutrition tabs are the grossest thing i’ve ever tried to drink. It tastes like the stomach acid aftertaste when you throw up. I know, i’m sorry for the description, but it’s bad. Basically what I’ve gathered is to stick with Nuun cause it actually tastes great without any weird after flavors or saltiness.

Saturday Cameron joined me for the last 2 miles of my 7 mile run. I swung around the apartment to get him and this is what I walked into…


He was all ready to go, just warming up and stretching 🙂 It was nice outside, but windy.. it’s that time of year where gloves and beanies are important. I hate when the back of my hands get cold and Cameron absolutely needs something covering his ears. I love being outside all year. DC is definitely scoring some points over Chicago weather. I don’t think I could ever move any further north than we are right now.

Yesterday we spent some time at the mall and online doing a little Christmas shopping. I also am in need of a new cell phone. I’m looking at the HTC One, Galaxy S4, and of course the iPhone. If anyone has opinions on carriers (I currently have Sprint but am open to switching) and phones I mentioned, it would be a big help!

Shopping and driving in this area really wipes us out, so as soon as we got home I poured a glass of wine, played some piano, then we watched the Capitals lose to the Toronto Maple Leaves. Don’t worry it was still a good game!


The best part of yesterday was the snacking we did during the game. I looked at the table after the game I asked Cameron how the heck this happened…


I guess it’s what happens when you eat a late lunch at Panera, don’t cook dinner, then snack and drink throughout the evening. Doesn’t matter, it was a fun night!

This week’s workouts!

Monday: 4 miles easy progressive 8:27/pace, 50 pushups, 20 min abs

Tuesday: 7 miles easy 8:07/pace, 20 min biceps, 10 min abs

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 5.4 easy miles 7:52/pace, 20 min triceps/shoulders, 10 min abs

Friday: 45 min TRX full body workout

Saturday: 5 miles easy 8:03/pace, 2.2m run w/Cameron ❤

Total Miles: 23.6 lots of easy, mileage building, enjoyable runs 

Anyone have Turkey Trots planned for Thanksgiving morning?

What kind of phone do you have/recommend?


These are a few of my favorite things!

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 5.4 easy miles 7:52/pace

Tis’ the season yo! I grabbed my first holiday Starbucks drink midday while I had a lull at the gym. The Gingerbread Latte was needed to pick me up because yesterday was a headache. I literally had a muddy headache all day, didn’t feel well and left the gym early. Apparently when you stop taking allergy medicine, you get residual headaches.. not fun.

Gingerbread Latte. <3

They have a promotion to buy 5 holiday drinks and get the 6th free 🙂

Earlier today I went on a quick run. I love when it’s overcast out, because it scares people away from being outside, and then all the trails are mine!!! Muah HA HA HA! Just kidding around, but this did get me to thinking of my favorite things..

These are the second pair of running pants I bought from Marshalls. I love them 🙂


And this is the New Balance hoodie I got from The Parks 10K a few weeks ago. I wear it constantly (along with my Capitals beanie. They’re inseparable.)


I also love pumpkin pie,  long walks on the beach, long runs anywhere, thai food, coffee, a new cd that you just. can’t. stop. listening. to.,  the rubbery, fresh smell of running shoes straight out the box, Cameron’s cooking…so basically things that involve running, music and food haha. That’s my life in a nutshell.

What are a few of your favorite things? 

tumblr_mejd7kDMaF1r82bbmo1_r1_250 tumblr_mejd7kDMaF1r82bbmo2_250  tumblr_mejd7kDMaF1r82bbmo3_250


Oh yeah, i ❤ Friends 🙂 and I have NO idea how this song goes because I only sing it Phoebe style.


Happy Hockey! I mean Monday, happy Monday…

Monday: 4 miles easy progressive 8:27/pace Ps, It’s beautiful out today, sunny and 70 🙂

Last nights hockey game was a BLAST. Our home team, the Capitals, won 4-1. Before the game we went to LIME to grab a food. Really good, really cheap Mexican food with an excellent salsa bar. I had a few grilled fish tacos and left happy.



Right outside the Verizon Center they already had wreaths up for Christmas– this made me happy. Just like the Dunkin’ Donuts hot chocolate and popcorn I had during the game.

And here’s us at the train station…wearing our matching Washington Capitals Irish beanies. We got these for a steal at Sports Authority at the end of last season… $19.99 each, marked down to $4.98!

Did you start your Monday off with a run?


The Training Taper and my Workout Summary 11/11-11/17

Our weekend started out pretty quiet. Couch, tv, relaxing. Then we went out to a bar called the Iron Horse Taproom last night and had a blast, i.e. we drank. I loved the fun atmosphere of the bar. They had shuffle board and skeeball and a lot of tv’s playing sports. Apparently it’s a good bar to be at when there’s a Capitals game. Speaking of which, we’re heading out in a couple hours for tonights game. Cameron bought tickets late last night. There’s something about booze and the internet together that just makes you spend money.


this is the cute one…

This was the funny one, love the demon eyes

This was the funny one, love the demon eyes

I’m actually happy it’s been a laid back weekend. This is a “training taper week” for me. Much more strength training happened and lot less running. I know it might sound strange, but for me to stay healthy and away from injury while building mileage, I taper down about every 4 weeks.

Here’s an example: week one- 20 miles, week two- 24 miles, week three- 27 miles, week four -22 miles. Then week 5- 24 miles, week six- 28, week seven- 30, week eight 25 (taper week).  These numbers are just examples, but basically you build mileage slowly for 3 weeks, take an “easy” week then start building again. I’ve been doing this for almost a year now and it works for me and keeps me from burning out and literally running myself into the ground.

I take taper week to do a lot more strength training, stretching, foam rolling, compressing, maybe a visit to the chiropractor– so i’m ready to run the next stretch of training weeks fresh. I think of it as giving my body a tune up.

Taking a break from TRX'ing

Taking a break from TRX’ing & of course wearing my Pro Compression socks

Weekly Workouts! 

Monday: 5m easy 8:11/pace, 15 min TRX Core workout

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:12/pace

Wednesday: 4m easy 8:08/pace, 12 min leg/shoulder killer workout, 20 min abs

Thursday: 15 min abs

Friday: 50 min TRX full upper body

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

Weekly Mileage: 14

**My goal mileage for the next 3 weeks are 21, 25, 27, then i’ll have a taper week around 20 miles. I’m hoping to having my weekly mileage base between 30-35 by January, we shall see!

How do you make sure you stay injury free while running year round or training for a specific race??


I would walk 500 miles, but I would need new shoes before I walk 500 more.

Thursday: Rest

My running shoes are like children to me. I love them and care about their well being until they’re old enough to go out on their own (and be donated haha). I make sure to pay attention to the mileage i put on each pair and I only wear them when I run. A basic rule with running shoes is to change them between 300-500 miles. If you wear minimal shoes, or lightweight shoes you should change them out between 200-300 miles. Yeah I know, this is a very general piece of advice so hopefully the next part will help.

Changing your shoes depends on a few factors.

– The surface you run on. Roads will break down shoes faster than trails.

– Your weight. Example A 200 lb person will break down their shoes quicker than a 100 lb person.

– The type of shoe you wear. Minimal or lightweight shoes will wear out before basic heavier running shoes.

– The wear on the shoe. If you take a look at the heel, the outsole & tread on the bottom, you can determine if your shoe is worn. Look at your shoes like you would the tread on your tires. The picture below is an old pair of Nike’s I only use for hiking in. Check out the wear along the right side of the sole!


– How your body feels. Sometimes the tips above won’t help you decide if you should change your shoe. Little pains here and there without being injured could mean you need a new pair. When you’re out running and constantly feel off, or feel your knees aching, or parts of your foot hurting for no reason it might be time to change your shoes.

I have had many clients in the past come to me and tell me about their knee pain or foot pain and the first question I always ask is “how old are your running shoes?” If your running a decent amount & using the same shoes for the gym & everyday activities you may have to replace your shoes more often, and might want to consider buying running shoes you only run in to make them last longer.


Current Rotation from L to R: Brooks Pure Grit, Pure Flow, Nike Lunarfly 4, Saucony Kinvara 4, Shadow Genesis

I keep track of my training runs on my Runners World Training Log. I love their training log because I get to keep track of my shoe’s mileage on the same screen as I log my run. It’s pretty fun too because it breaks down the cost of your shoe to the mileage you’ve ran and gives you the price per mile. It definitely makes me want to get my money’s worth out of the shoe.

My shoes!

Determining the lifespan of your shoes is definitely up to the individual, but the best bet it to keep track of your mileage (even if just using a notepad and pen) and pay attention to your body’s signals and the wear on the shoes.

Happy Friday and put some miles on your shoes this weekend!

PS, I cut a side bang.


I’ll commit to a shorter one, once my hair gets longer

Leave a comment

I wish I could be as fast as Shalane Flanagan.

Tuesday: 5m 8:12/pace

Wednesday: 4m 8:08/pace, 12 min leg/shoulder killer workout, 20 min abs, lots of stretching

Sometimes I wonder if I had started running earlier, like in high school, if i could have been good enough to run competitively. It’s always a dangerous thought path to live in the “what ifs” (and this doesn’t only apply to running.) I read blogs often where people are on their 50th+ marathon or where sub-8s or sub-7 minute miles are normal. It’s really easy to compare myself to other runners and feel bad about my times or distances or running log. I think it is important not to get caught up in what others are doing, but what you are doing to accomplish your own goals.


Shalane Flanagan going too fast for the lens (Source)

I’m sure almost all runners have experienced some form of Runner Envy. It’s sort of inevitable and normal as a human being to want something someone else has, even if it’s running talent. My envy usually lasts a few minutes before I realize this is why I love the sport. Everyone who runs has a different body type, different goals and a different idea of what “fast” or “long” is.

When Cameron and I went running last, he said he was sorry for not being about to go as far as i normally go and having to take walk breaks. I like running and I like when people start running because it’s an amazing feeling to see what your body is capable of. I never want Cameron or my lovely readers to feel bad about where they are starting from. Running is a very personal thing when it comes to speed or distance and runners are a very supportive and loving group no matter if your Shalane Flanagan or a first time 5Ker (yes i’m making that a word. pronounced five-kay-er)


Marie has always been up at 4:00AM with me at my races. We ran our first 5k race together in 2010 & her 1st half in 2011 🙂

Let other’s accomplishments inspire you, not discourage you. Runners love runners and love people who want to start running! I found an old Facebook message that can show that I started just like everyone else, it’s really humbling to re-read it.

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 1.05.23 PM

Yep, a full 3.5 miles in 50 minutes a full 5 years ago. Accomplishments are accomplishments are accomplishments. I was obviously very proud. Today that seems ridiculously easy, but I like reminding myself everyone starts from somewhere.

Throwback Thursday (cause why not?) My sister Abbie did not think holding a towel like the old “Zest” commercials was funny. She had the “not impressed” face down before Mckayla Maroney was even born. Seriously.


Me, BFF Krisina, & my sister Abbie


Not Impressed


Also not impressed (source)

Can’t wait for the weekend already!

Capitals game on tonight, any sports fans out there?


I <3 Coffee, and other randomness

Monday: 5m easy 8:11/pace, 15 min TRX Core workout

I love coffee. It’s not a big secret. I love coffee almost as much as I love to run. Some people like coffee for the caffeine, i just love it for the flavor…I was in Starbucks yesterday grabbing an americano and one of my clients came up to say hi to me. She goes, “I wasn’t sure it was you, but then I thought ‘coffee addiction, running shoes and pants. Yep that’s her.'” Oops. I don’t like being that predictable, but what can i say, i wear workout gear and drink coffee almost every day.


   Adventure Time is on in the background 🙂

I’m drinking coffee right now, but i’m still in my pjs. It’s dark and gloomy out today. That being said, i’m holding off on running until I’m at the gym this afternoon and i’m going to hit the treadmill. I know, treadmill running is torture, but i can last about 6 miles as long as my ipod is charged.


I’m realizing this post is going all over the place so i’m gonna roll with it. Cameron snapped a picture of me probably blogging/reading blogs. It must have been intense by the look on my face. I feel bad now that this is what my fiancé has to stare at all day long. (I really have no idea why i look so angry haha)


Do any of you get excited as I do for these Pilsbury sugar cookies? I know they’re pretty much out all year, but I only want sugar cookies around the Christmas.


 Hope the warm atmosphere in the gym gets me motivated to add some miles in for the day.

What do you do to get motivated when the weather says crawl back in bed?

Favorite cookies?


My race season is over, so what’s next?

It’s that time of year where my races are finished, my PR’s have been bested and the weather is getting darker and cooler, like my wardrobe. It’s the time of year where I have to stay motivated to run even without a race on the schedule for another 4+ months.

Luckily, I live in a fairly temperate climate here in DC and can generally run outside all year long. In the past i’ve cut my running down in the winter simply from lack of motivation. But I have a new fire under me for next year and want to maintain my endurance throughout the dark months. And Cameron’s been coming out with me here and there. 🙂


He just got those pants for $17 from Marshalls and said they were super comfortable for his run. Shirt is C9 from Target that were on sale for $8.

We went to Marshalls and I picked up some new winter gear so I have no excuses on cold mornings. I bought 2 pairs of running pants for $40, a pair of Brooks Pure Grit for $32 (super deal!) and a pair of Brooks gloves for $8. I did good!


pants were $17 (retail price was $88)

Brooks Pure Grit & Brooks gloves.

Brooks Pure Grit & Brooks gloves.

I definitely am not trying to burn myself out before spring racing season, so my plan is to simply build mileage–nice, slow and easy all winter. I want to discover new music and create playlists to keep my running fresh and new. Hopefully this will keep me from injury and keep me happy through months of colder weather.

Running happy to me is taking my eyes off my watch and off the pavement in front of me. Otherwise I’ll miss out on stuff like this…


My Weekly Workouts

Monday: 5.5m easy 9:00/pace

Tuesday: 20 min chest/biceps, 15 min abs/stretching

Wednesday: 8.5m 8:21/pace 

Thursday: 4.5m 8:51/pace, 20 min triceps & lower back, 15 min abs

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 2.7m easy 10:00/pace 

Sunday:  Rest

Total Miles: 21.2

So how do you stay motivated when the weather sucks?

What kind of running goals do you set in the winter months?