How to Pretend to Balance Lifting & Running.

I get asked often about how I balance running and lifting.  I wanted to share with you guys how I do it.

The truth is, I don’t. And I definitely don’t do it well, I don’t always balance it, and I don’t know exactly what the right prescription is yet. With each marathon I’ve been experimenting.

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Living an athletic, disciplined lifestyle is not always glamorous. The PR’s, the smiling Instagram photos and the details of workouts can be deceptive. It’s a beautifully brutal and torturous lifestyle. It’s finding your pain threshold over and over again and then again the next day. It’s constant muscle soreness and fatigue on the way up to heavier weights and faster paces. It’s tapping into emotions of feeling on top of the world and complete utter weakness.

With that being said, I wouldn’t change the way I throw myself into training. I love hard workouts, I love two-a-days, eating better, sleeping more. I know this won’t be sustainable through different periods of my life, but for now, getting stronger, faster and fitter is keeping me, above all, happy.

I will try and answer your questions about pairing lifting and running, but feel free to ask anything else in the comments below!

Q: How many days per week do you lift and run? 
A: Right now I lift 2-4 days per week, one heavy lower and one upper body lift. The other days are usually supplemental/auxilary or a Crossfit day. I run 6-7 days per week averaging about 55 miles per week.

Q: What does your typical two-a-day look like? 
A: I’ve experimented a lot with this, my ideal double workout starts with speed work or a tempo run, the 2nd workout being a heavy lift. It doesn’t always work in my schedule that way, sometimes it’s reversed or on opposite days. I find when I separate my hard running (speed days) and heavy lifting I don’t get an “easy” day inbetween. Ideal Example: Monday/Wednesday/Fri easy running. Tues/Thurs speed & lift.

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my barbell

Q: How do you recover?
A: Eat, Sleep, Repeat. I try my best to eat real food and drink tons of water (about 80-100oz daily). I wear compression socks and full compression tights often since I stand all day at work. I try and get 7-9 hours of sleep. That’s it. No fancy story there. Oh, and sometimes I foam roll… sometimes.

Q: Aren’t you sore all the time?
A: You betcha! All. The. Time. But that’s half the fun right? Waking up each morning with a different muscle group screaming.

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Q: Should I train like you?
A: Probably not/maybe/depends on where your fitness level is. It might seem like I just started running a ton of miles and lifting heavy recently or all at once, but it’s been a real slow build over years and years of consistent training and running. And I’m in a constant lifting or running cycle and take down weeks or deload weeks, so I can continue to get stronger without getting hurt or burnt out. If you’re looking to improve your performance, work on being consistent first, and then start sprinkling in intensity.

Q: What would you recommed if I wanted to lift on top of running?
A: I would start with two days of strength training on a base of easy running. After 4-8 weeks deload or pull back on your strength a bit and start adding speed work slowly into your running. Then mix it up and find what days you can do workouts that don’t completely annihilate your legs. Once you’re about 10-14 days out from your race, pull the reins on the strength (lighten the load, up the reps!) and really allow yourself to have fresh legs on race day.

Just remember it will take time for you to get used to the cumulative fatigue and embrace running on tired quads and calves. If you’re training to race faster, this is the way I do it. Running on tired legs will simulate the end miles of a race. Hansons marathon method said it best, “You’re not running the first 16 miles of a marathon, you’re running the last 16. We’re duplicating that final-miles feeling.”

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Q: This seems hard, what if I can’t do it?
A: The most important thing to remember is that all of us runners go through the same emotions. At some point we will have a string of crappy runs or a period of time where every step feels impossible. Keep a journal of how you feel during both strength and cardio sessions and be flexible with yourself. Sometimes your paces may not reflect your effort because of muscle soreness from the strength, and that’s okay! Adjust, experiment, and repeat!

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Do you experiment with different training styles or plans for races? 

What race is next on your schedule?

Leave a comment

Savage 7K Race Recap!

It feels weird recapping some of these fall races, but I love documenting what I can recall and the Savage 7K holds a special place in my heart. Savage is home. Running a local race right down the street was the best way to break in and explore the new neighborhood. And of course, my own personal favorite, meet neighbors who run. I.E. my new best friends.

I decided to push a hard effort and test speed for the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM recap here and here) at the Savage 7K and Ragnar DC. Both races were within the same week of September without tapering which made it brutal. But it was a great training week due to the elevation, heat and overall effort of both races.

The Savage 7K was a half mile walk from our house with the usual suspects: Stephen, Clint and I. We walked up together to the start line, got our bibs, started stretching and warming up, then Stephen found out a race quirk of mine. He wanted to tear off the bottom part of the bib where it lists the name/sex/age on a perforated edge and he reached for mine and I jumped back, wide eyed and basically told him not to touch my race bib until after the race.


Me, Clint & Steve

I don’t think i’ve ever had anyone try to touch, rip or adjust my bib in the past, but apparently I don’t want anyone touching it until I cross the finish line. Pretty sure I said “What if i win?!” (Most small local races will tear off your info from the bib to keep the order of the runners.) In the same respect, okay just another weird quirk of mine, is not trying on the race shirt until after I complete the race. It’s just bad juju. I haven’t earned the shirt yet so I won’t put it on until it’s over.

After making fun of me a little we all edged to the start line and were ready for takeoff! Kinda literally because the first mile was straight up about 85 feet –which is similar to Heartbreak Hill in Boston so I will be charging up that thing as much as possible between now and April 16th!


We also made a meme out of Clint from the picture above..we dubbed it “Regretful Race Guy”

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I knew the first mile was going to be brutal so I tried to take it at a moderate effort knowing I could make up time. I also had no clue how to pace a 7k, so this was a “don’t go out at your 5k pace, but don’t sit back for too long either.” It was still a short race and marathon runners should remember how to settle into the pain cave every once in a while.

After the massive hill, it took a bit for my legs to recover on the rolling hills on the Patuxent Branch Trail This is where I caught up with Steve, probably said some nice words to him (I can’t remember) and then I took off to run my own race. Once we emerged from the trail there were a lot of in and outs of residential streets (which I personally loved because of the breathing room.) I was hurting through the last 2 miles. I wasn’t thinking of too much other than the finish and making my legs turnover.

And just when I felt like giving up and slowing down about half mile from the finish our neighbor Jason showed up on his Segway and started cheering me on! It gave me a huge boost on the final turn and he rode beside me almost across the line. He actually made me smile and laugh during the last few painful moments of the race.

I crossed the finish at 31:08 (7:10/pace) as the first female and it felt awesome. As soon as I grabbed water I stood next to the finish cheering in the other runners. It felt so good to be a cheering as Stephen, Clint and other runners crossed the line.

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When the awards were given out and they called my name, Steve shouted, hooted and hollered louder than I ever have been cheered for…so much that it took me off guard and laughing I realized I never had that much love and support at my side.  I’m still getting used to allowing myself to feel proud in my accomplishments and enjoy what I’ve worked at. Don’t worry though, Steve’s been helping me get there.22049829_10214558753982173_2669651835952610550_n

We met up with our neighbors! From left to right: Ed, me, Steve, Clint, Amy, Laura & Ted. Laura is the one I mentioned on Instagram that brews her own beer and we’re now best good running/beer friends. 22046886_10214558755542212_3801450687031533605_n.jpg

And a fun one…


How close have you run a race to your home?

What’s the weirdest race distance you’ve ran? 


Marine Corps Marathon Recap!

The evening of the MCM I rode the metro down to Arlington to meet a few familiar faces: Jenni and Josh ran Ragnar DC 17′. Josh couldn’t believe I was still down with peanut butter and bananas (I think a lot of the vanmates were burnt out of pb&b after Ragnar weekend) but explained how my love of PB is as deep and wide as a river.

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I got to the hotel kinda late, so it was a quick lay out of a flat runner and nutrition for the AM and it was bedtime for all of us.


Ragnar Van 2 Representing!

Just an FYI for future MCM runners- the Arlington cemetary Metro stop is a HIKE from the start line. We left with more than plenty of time, but with the poor funneling at the Metro’s exit and the long walk to the start & port-o-potty stop, I found myself running (yes, actually running) to try and get into my corral by the start. I made it just in time for the national anthem, to catch my breath, start my Garmin, and take off for the long run.


Josh & Jen 

My goals for this race were kinda all over the place. I thought, if I had a decent day I could pull a 3:30 finishing time. So 3:30 or under was my A goal. To qualify for Boston again, would be an amazing feat! My B goal was 3:35. I didn’t have a C or worse goal. I felt like 3:35 was the B-C goal. Anything less than that would be something entirely out of my control.


You will notice a lot/all of my race photos i have a worried look. I steered clear of the MCM marathon for a long time because a handful of people told me the course was super hilly at end and sometimes the weather didn’t cooperate and you could get a hot day. I was so stressed and anxious the first 10 miles of this race. I didn’t know if I was prepared, didn’t know if I would hit that dreaded “wall” didn’t know if it was too hot to run as fast as I was planning…


The truth is, it was warmer than ideal. We started at 55 degrees and 88% humidity and I know most people finished the race in the mid-high 70s. But I kept reminding myself that I trained all summer in super humid conditions and the temps were lower than I was used to, so yay! a positive thought amongst all the stress! Haha. This marathon was much more of a mental feat than fast feet. <—see what I did there?

Okay so temps weren’t ideal, my ipod somehow turned itself onto “Shuffle” so my songs were doing their own thing. I tried to enjoy the “let’s see what plays next” mentality even though I stratigically place songs in a specific TYPE A order. AHH!HH!H!H!HH!HH!

Once the crowds thinned, I actually started enjoying running around DC. I kept my spirits up with the crowd support, it was incredible! Spectators must have been out because of the beautiful day, and for that, I was okay with the warmer temps. I also knew that somewhere in the crowd was my very best of all time support crew. Stephen and his daughter (we will call her Curly for now) were meeting to see me at mile 9 or 11, then again at 22. Knowing they were on the course for me was enough. I wanted to run well for them and I wanted to get to them as fast as possible because I knew Steve had a bottle of Tailwind ready for me. It would be my first time running with Tailwind which claims you don’t need gels or chews, just this drink. (I ate gels during my race until I got the Tailwind, just an FYI).


When mile 11 came around I spotted the labeless bottle of Gatorade filled with Tailwind up in the sky. Steve was holding up the bottle above the crowd like the hammer of Thor! I spotted it easily and was SO EXCITED to stop and give a few sweaty hugs and kisses from my two favorite people and after he gave a few encouraging words, I was off again.

The fuel came in handy, Tailwind was a dream. I took small sips and held onto that bottle for about 10 miles until I finished it all. I was happy I didn’t have to stop at water stations and I felt incredible as I picked up the pace slowly through the 2nd half of the race.


Once I was past mile 20, i knew there was no wall to crash into. A 10K is nothing after 20 miles. It was time to work and start pushing. Focus on the finish line, a cold beer and checking another race off your list. I spotted Steve and Curly one more time past mile 22, and then grabbed a small cup of beer from college kids shortly after. I’m telling you, grab beer in the end of a marathon. It’s liquid pain killer and carbs. I soooo needed that.


The end of the race came quickly and I realized I was running where the port-o-pottys and corrals were earlier that morning, checked my watch and Dear God, I literally ran .7 tenths of a mile before the start! OH and the finish is on a bit of an uphill… but the elevation for the course is a joke. If you think Marine Corps is hilly please start running hills more often.

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574 total ft of elevation. 

By the time I hit that hill and crossed the finish line, I was ECSTATIC! My 2nd time qualifing for Boston, 2nd fastest marathon time and a negative split! 3:25:19


the finish!

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With all that said, this is probably my favorite marathon to date. Reasons being:

  • Spectator support: There was hardly a single moment without people lining the course. Feeding off the crowd was key to my success that day.
  • Stephen and Curly. He has supported my fitness and running goals since the day I met him. Having an active crew on race day was so special. They both lit a fire in my heart that day.

Curly liked the medal bc it opened and closed

  • The Blue Mile. I’ll never forget running a full mile where pictures of fallen service men and women lined both sides of the course. It’s amazing how long a mile feels when you see that many pictures of men, women and families. The volunteers held American flags at the end, creating a red, white and blue tunnel for the runners and thanked us as we ran by. All I could do was hold a hand over my heart and thank them. It was an emotional mile and hard not to get choked up.
  • I broke into the top 100 female finishers. Another thing I didn’t expect, but secretly wanted to happen one day.
  • I was craving fried pickles after the race and Steve was down for Buffalo Wild Wings. Yep, one of my favorite post-race meals. Fried pickles and wings.

What’s your favorite marathon to date?

Do you prefer hilly or flat courses?

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MCM Part 1: Six Weeks to a Marathon, the lead up, the plan.

Obtaining a race bib for the Marine Corps Marathon kinda fell into my lap. Aaaand I may or may not have had a beer or two in me aaaaand accidentally on purpose agreed to a bib transfer, for a marathon only 6 weeks away.

I need to back up a bit. I know i’ve skipped a lot of blogging. Over the summer I had an almost injury where I had to back off of running, see the chiropractor and an orthopedist in the same week because I was so scared I was on the verge of tearing something in my knee.

Right around the 4th of July I was getting some weird knee pain like I’ve never experienced before. Now, since I’m a personal trainer I like to set examples for my clients, readers and friends. When something feels “off”, not normal, or “OW” type pain, STOP whatever you’re doing, take time off and if it doesn’t get better and seek a professional diagnoses. So I did just that.

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4th of July

I immediately stopped running, lifting and to my despair and two more weeks off, nothing seemed to get better. After visiting the Ortho (who is also a marathoner) he ruled out the big fear of a tear and was 99.9% sure I was experiencing inflammation in the patella tendon and a tight hamstring which was pulling at the knee, making running feel unstable. Surprisingly, he said the issue wasn’t from running, but from the way I was squatting. He wrote me a prescription for lifting shoes which changed the angle I was squatting and ice for my knee.


That was it. Lifting shoes helped the problem instantly. I was excited and back to running slowly by the end of July. I spent all of August building a running base and was quickly back to 20-30 mile weeks. <—pretty much the type of running shape I attempt to be in even during “off season.” Is there such a thing as off season?

That’s when the MCM opportunity came up. September 5th I bought a bib transfer through one of the Zooma Ambassadors because I had nothing going on the weekend of October 22nd. Easy right? Well, easy was how I planned to run the race. I just wanted to run it for fun, but I always feel like I’m kidding myself when I say this. I like to race on race day. It’s hard for me to run for fun unless i’m running with friends. With the bib now in my name I had to come up with a training plan that would work in 6 weeks, including a taper week which realistically meant 5 weeks to prep for a marathon. Yikes.

I think the pictures below were Stephen making sure I was making a sound choice. 😉

I was starting off on the right foot, I had the base mileage. 30 miles was a great place to begin. I figured the best way to train on a shortened schedule wasn’t to do traditional speed work and tempo workouts.  I was nervous if I were to add more mileage on top of a crapload of speed sessions I would only increase my chances of injury (especially after recently sidestepping one).  I had to somehow do everything at once, but not in running workouts.

I decided to take a big risk and weight train (heavy lifting) for the fast twitch muscles (replacing speed work) then run on fatigued, tired legs (simulating the last miles of marathons). Then repeat. I didn’t let my legs relax for 5 solid weeks. I lifted my heaviest over those weeks and went running shortly after. Slogging miles with heavy steps and tired muscles on hills was the name of the game. This was a difficult training cycle, there were tears and many moments where i forgot what fresh legs felt like.


Heavy DL, then a run after

I used Ragnar DC for a speed work check in. I did the virtual Ragnar 7 Summits Challenge as motivation for another week of even more hills and elevation. I finished one 16 miler, mostly because i needed a confidence boost and had one high mileage peak week at 55 miles, 2 weeks before the race.

I didn’t rest until the taper, 7 days out from Marine Corps, I stopped heavy lifting, didn’t do any strength training and ran easy while attending my best friends wedding. A great way to take my mind off a marathon.

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And that was that. I had to trust that I put in work that was all my own. Not a training plan or Hansons or Runners World or a coach had given me. I was putting some faith into knowing my body, knowing I was a strong lifter and a strong runner. All that was left was to cross my heart and hope it would somehow merge together and show up as fitness on race day.

To be continued…




As I said before, a lot of life changes have happened over the last year. There’s a reason I haven’t posted many blogs in 2017 and a reason my Instagram turned into a million selfies. My life changed and I got divorced. Out of respect for my ex and his family, I’m not going to talk about any specifics, just understand that we weren’t happy and ultimately parting ways was the best choice.

It was difficult to try to put together a blog this year. I had to edit and water down posts to the bare minimum while going through the divorce process.  Which, in turn made the blogs boring and inorganic. I like sharing and being transparent with you guys. I like getting my thoughts out and re-reading old posts to see where my mind was during certain moments and training cycles. This blog has turned into a pseudo scrapbook and a fun way to share with friends and family what’s going on.

As sad as the above might sound, I’ve actually had the best year of my life. Most often when I’m away from my blog or social media, real life is happening, some good, some bad. I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again: I’ve been happier, healthier and more loved than ever. I’ve been around good people, new friends, new family and I hope you’re ready to take on the next steps with me because A LOT of good shit has happened and the future is so bright. Speaking of, have you watched Netflix’s “Bright”…it’s outstanding!

So quickly, I want to recap some highlights of 2017, since i’m late to the New Year’s post. I have some awesome race recaps coming soon and currently i’m training for a trail 1/2 marathon, a trail 50K (both in February), Boston in April, and a few 10 milers shortly after. Hang tight, the blog is about to get wild.

2017 (1711 total miles)

Jan 1st, 2017- Setting the tone of the year on day one: I PR’d the 5k at a local race and won 1st overall female shaving 50 seconds off my last 5k with the time of 20:09!

New Year's Day 5K 2017 - Photo by Dan Reichmann, MCRRC

New Year’s Day 5K 2017 – Photo by Dan Reichmann, MCRRC

March 11th- Rock n’ Roll DC 1/2.  PR’d on a cold day by almost 2 minutes. 1:33:37. I broke into the top 100 females that day, 67th.  A bigger accomplishment than the PR. I was super proud of that race.

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I ran a lot of trails this year.

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Including a Ragnar Trail


I PR’d just about every lift this year.
Deadlift Conventional 2 @ 255#
Back Squat 1 @ 195#
Front Squat 5 @ 155#
Bench 1 @ #105
Power Clean 3 @ 115#
Jerk 1 @ 115#
Snatch 1 @ 80#


His and Hers ❤

I learned how to eat Maryland crab this year.

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I ran my first 7K and won it!


I went to a lot of weddings, wore a lot of dresses this year…

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Marie my best friend, and most beautiful bride

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I ran Marine Corps Marathon on little running (ok, 50 mile weeks, but no legitimate speed/training plan). Not a PR, but a huge Boston Qualifier and the first time I broke into the top 100 female at a marathon (81st official female) and made it in the Washington PostFullSizeRender (1)

I ran another Ragnar DC with a good group of people.

I pit crewed for the love of my life at World’s Toughest Mudder. And it was the most fulfilling race I’ve ever not ran.


Clint and me in the Pit.

Have I introduced you to the dude in all my pictures? His name is Stephen. You can call him Steve. He’s a badass. He lifts heavy weights, completed 10 Tough Mudder events, runs incredible distances (he did 40 miles during World’s Toughest) and he’s an amazing, incredible, spectacularly inspiring father to an almost 4 year old girl. He has yet to run an official marathon (don’t worry we’ll get him there), but is jumping straight to the 50K trail with me in February… Let’s just say we get along real well.


That kinda sums up my year. Lots of change, but a lot of the same. Still striving to be a better person, develop relationships with people that matter, lift heavier, run farther, run faster, travel more. You know the drill.. and i’ll be around much more this year. Enjoy life kids. Be happy.

Now tell me your 2018 plans, goals, races, life changes…







5 Friday Favorites #5

Believe it or not i actually have draft posts for 3 different race recaps and a bunch of other life news, it’s all coming soon! But for now, a few Friday funsies to get us to the weekend!

  1. The Pop Tart Recipe. I posted a BEAUTIFUL, if i do say so myself, photo of a homemade strawberry pop tart we made for Thanksgiving. All i can say is it was just as delicious as it looks. I’m attempting another one this weekend (this time cherry!)

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2. Tailwind. Okay, I know i’m an ambassador for Nuun, but honestly 2018 is going to be the year for Tailwind. This stuff is AMAZING. I used it from mile 11-22 during the very warm Marine Corps Marathon and this nutrition is legit. It does what it says: it’s all you need and it’s easy to digest.Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 7.18.36 AM

3. No Bull cross training shoes. I bought these for the love of all things camo and army green, but I’ve wanted to try these gym shoes out for a while now. They are comfy, 4mm drop and a whole lot of nothing else going on. Hence the name No Bull. I’ve worn them during workouts and just to work (standing for 5-6 hours at a time) and i’ve loved them each and every day I’ve put them on. Doesn’t hurt they look great with jeans or black tights or awesome Star Wars socks.

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4. Campfire Smores GU. <–My favorite flavor gel of all time. Period. Aaaand the cutest ornament from my friend Normalied ..she acts like she knows me or something.. 😉

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And last but most definitely not least. #5. My favorite person. We will get into logistics and Q & A’s later.


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What are your weekend plans?

When does spring marathon training start for you?? I have 2 more weeks!


A Decade of Running, a Summer of Fun

I already saw everyone posting stuff about pumpkin spice pop-tarts and fall wishery out there in Instaland and shame-on-you local Starbucks for advertising cinnamon drinks to push out summer. I’m not done with summer yet okay! Maybe growing up in Indiana where I had to lay my clothes on the radiator before school, just so i’d feel warmth before trudging down the street… or as an young stupid adult would go to a tanning bed in the middle of January to defrost for 20 minutes…or when I had to literally warm up in the sauna before hitting the treadmill at the gym because the ice, snow and cold said NOPE to outdoor running. Are you really still excited for fall and winter? Just let me pout for a few seconds okay…

Hi. I’m Cori. I’m a solar powered runner. I actually kinda crave the sun and sweaty humid runs. They remind me fondly of ultra training last summer. Every run I spent in the hard-to-breathe, sweat mess was one in the bank for a faster fall race. As of now, I don’t have any fall races on the schedule. I will not be doing another marathon until Boston 2018. My fall goals rest entirely on being strong and healthy leading into spring training. This is partially due to a full fall social/weddings/things to do calendar and partially because I needed a break.

I’ve been training and racing for a decade.

A decade. Entering a fall season with no major “A” race feels… nice. I figured if a race pops up that I can enter last minute and either run for fun or use as a hard effort training day, i’ll do it. But for now i’m not putting anything on the calendar that requires 18 weeks of dedication. I’m saving that drive, that commitment, that motivation and time requirement for Boston. Trust me, i’m already antsy and ready to train. I have the running bug bad. Consider me a caged dog for a few months. Working the mental side of training until I can be released.

In the meantime, i’ve been soaking up summer with friends and family, old and new and it’s been fantastic! Here’s to the last few months, and a birthday summed up in pictures…

East side of NC…

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Sam and me at the beach, but cooling off in the kiddie pool 🙂

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West Side of NC. (Asheville Trip)

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Corepower Yoga, Bethesda, MD

Emmeline in town for chili fries, milkshakes, booze and crepes…

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Smores’ milkshake… i’d kill for another one.

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the 4th

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Erin, me and Sam

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Andrea and me in Annapolis for a day of fun…

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and an afternoon of gin & bourbon…File_000 (567)

Already hit up a couple Orioles games on beautiful days.File_000 (559)

And an all you can eat Crab Fest at a local brewery! File_000 (569)

Birthday party with my girls! Yomery and BrookeFile_000 (575)File_000 (573)

Dog days of summer, even for the cats.File_000 (560)Cake and my age.File_000 (570)

I guess fall will be good for fires… Wait did someone say smores?File_000 (446)

Ok okay… I may or may not have acquired a bib for the Marine Corps Marathon. Oops.

What was your favorite part of summer?

What races are on your schedule for the rest of 2017?