Friday, May 26, 2017

Top Five Friday : Need a Break

YAY for long weekends!  This could seriously not have come at a better time.  I've been feeling so stressed out and overwhelmed by work lately (hence my absence on here and not-so-chipper posts) so I'm really looking forward to having an extra day off.  I have so much to do, though, that I'll still probably log in for at least a few hours this weekend.  If it's outside in the hammock, it doesn't count as work though, right?

Here's hoping that you all have a great weekend as well- whether or not you have off on Monday!



linking up with ErikaHeather, and Friday Five 



Song : Swish Swish by Katy Perry

Hello- drama!  This song is so catchy and great for summer, but has an interesting meaning behind the lyrics.   Apparently it's Katy's way of snapping back at Taylor Swift for Bad Blood.  If they keep coming out with these catchy, fun songs, I never want them to make up.  (JK- #GIRLPOWER and all that jazz)



Podcast : Stuff You Should Know

I always love learning new things, and now that I started going to Trivia Tuesday on a weekly basis, I'm trying to up my podcast game so I can WIN!  This one ticks both of those boxes, and is described as a podcast that "educates listeners on a wide variety of topics, often using popular culture as a reference giving the podcast comedic value."  It's always ranked on the top of the iTunes chart, and I can understand why. It's funny but at the same time is really educational.  Give it a listen!



Product : Snack Nation box

I was really excited when I was contacted by Snack Nation to try some free snacks...that's an offer I can't refuse.  The company's mission is to get more healthy food to people, by making it more convenient than junk food.  There are boxes that are perfect for offices (with up to 150 snacks) as well as home boxes that you can customize yourself or get pre-selected.  I tried out their vegan box, and the snacks were amazing!!  My favorites were the Beanitos white bean chips, You Love Fruit fruit leather, and Dang toasted coconut chips.  If you're interested in trying out a box, you can use "SNACKBOX20" for a discount :)



Show : French Open


I haven't had any time to watch TV shows this week, but I am excited for the French Open to start!  Qualifiers are underway, the draw comes out today, and I can't wait.  This is going to be a really excitement without a really strong favorite in either the men or women's side, so I'll be watching very closely.  I'm hoping that my favorite Next Gen star Alex Zverev will win (or at least make it far), and I'm wishing for the return of Petra Kvitova after fighting off a knife attack in her own house late last year.




Random : CrossFit Regionals Week 2

Last week was the kickoff for the Regional competition in CrossFit.  It was a really exciting weekend, and I'm looking forward to this coming weekend, where we'll get to watch the Pacific, Central, and California regionals.  All of the events will be streamed live on the CrossFit YouTube channel or on their website if you're interested in watching!



Who else watches tennis?  Who's your favorite?
Have you ever done trivia?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Butler 5 Miler Training : Struggle Bus

I'm just going to warn you all today- this week sucked.  It happens to me every year and I've come to expect it- the first hot and humid week of the season is always so hard.  I feel sluggish and slow, and running a mile feels like I'm finishing a marathon!  Luckily this was a "step-down" week in my 5 miler training plan, so there weren't too many miles on my schedule.  I hope that forcing myself outside on hot days (and waiting until later in the day to run) helps me adapt to the hot weather faster!  Here's hoping to feeling better in the coming months!

Monday

3 miles / 9:28 pace
I went on an easy run around North Park, and then met up with Dan and Selma at the dog park.  Nice easy way to start the week!


Tuesday

Rest Day!
No running, but I did my arm workout for the day.  I also went to Tuesday Trivia, and didn't win again!  It's still fun, so always worth it :)

Wednesday

3.5 miles / 8:16 pace
I had 400 meter repeats on my plan, so I headed down to the track after work to get it down.  Unfortunately, the track was packed with some kind of group and I didn't feel like weaving around people, so I decided to take my speed work to North Park and use the quarter mile posts as my markers.  I did a half mile warmup, followed by 5x 1/4 mile with  1/4 mile jog between reps.  I ended with a cool down jog and was STEAMING at the end!  It was definitely warm out- close to the 90's!


Thursday

Rest Day!
No running, but did a leg workout and took Selma to the park for a hike.


Friday

3 miles / 9:31 pace
I took Selma for a run with me at the park!  I just got a new running belt to use with her that goes around my waist, so that I can run hands free with her.  It made such a big difference and made running a lot easier.  I can see myself running with her all the time now!


Saturday

Rest Day!
I was supposed to do my second speed workout, but we spent all day out of the house.  We had some errands to run and ended up being out from 8 in the morning until 6 in the evening.  The last thing I felt like doing was going for a run, so I decided to skip my run and just do my yoga and core work.  The highlight of the day was trying out a brewery on my Tour De Beer list- All Saints Brewing.  If you're ever in the Greensburg area you HAVE to stop by- one of my favorite breweries I've ever visited.


Sunday

5 miles
This whole run was a struggle fest!  It was so humid and hot out, and I just felt so miserable this entire run. I shut off my watch within the first mile because I didn't care about time, I just wanted to get through the run.  I'm just happy that I actually finished the run and didn't quit, so at least something positive came out of it. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Top Five Friday : Getting HOT HOT HOT

And just like that, it's summertime in Pittsburgh.  Last week I was running in temperatures in the 30s and 40s, and now all of a sudden we're in the 90s!  How does that happen?!  Luckily I love warm weather and I'm looking forward to spending a lot of time outside this weekend.  We have some fun plans which include checking off some breweries on my "Tour de Beer" list, and hope to get in some hikes with Selma.  I hope you have a sunny and happy weekend as well!



linking up with ErikaHeather, and Friday Five 



Song : Despacito Remix 

I feel like I've been hearing this song everywhere lately, and I don't even care because it's SO GOOD.  It makes me want to dance every time it's on (which means I had to put it on my running playlist!).  It's catchy and I think it'll be my summer anthem.




Podcast : Girls Gone WOD

I've been listening to this podcast for a really long time, but have to mention it now!  Joy and Claire (the two hosts of the podcast) just started a Whole30 and are documenting their experience every single day.  I've gone through two Whole30's myself and had a great experience with them, so if you're thinking about trying one out or want to learn more, I would suggest listening to their thoughts, which are being shared in real time!  Plus- this is a Crossfit podcast, which means that they'll be covering the Regional competition that starts today, as well as the Games later this summer!


Product : Suave Kids Detangler

I'm not embarrassed to say that this is my all-time favorite hair product.  Not only does it do a great job of detangling my hair (which can get really knotty if I'm not careful), but it also smells amazing.  I use this after my shower to help me comb through my hair, and it leaves my hair silky smooth and with no knots.  If anyone here follows Alina Gonzalez (aka thehyperbalist) on Instagram, I also use this as part of her #lifechanging air dry hair tip!  It works perfectly, and I've loved having wavy, air dried hair lately.





Show : First Dates

I admit that when I heard the premise of this show I thought it would be really dumb and cheesy, but I'm actually obsessed with it and binge-watched every available episode!  The show follows couples (usually about four per episode) as they have their first date.  There are interviews with each person before, during and after the date, as well as a couple interview where it gets awkward and the producers ask if there will be a second date.  It's a really sweet show that shows so many different types of people in a raw and authentic way.  I highly recommend it!


Random : Team Bonding

This week was my group's annual All Hands meeting, where we had presentations and activities all week.  This is always a really educational week, where we get to learn about different projects and teams in my group, as well as do some deep dives into emerging trends in the industry.  We always get to do a fun group activity as well, to get to know people in other groups on a more casual and social level.  This year, we got to make tricycles and wagons, and decorate canvas bags that we filled with books that were going to be donated to local non profits.  We also played a very competitive puzzle game, where my team ended up having one of the best scores!  It was a long week with 12 hour work days, but it was so nice to get to interact with new people and find out what's happening across the company.



What's your favorite hair product?
Who else loves team bonding?!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

A Strong and Speedy Summer

This summer I'm planning on focusing on getting stronger and training for shorter distance.  For the past few years, I've been training solely for longer races (10 milers, half marathons and full marathons), and have sprinkled in some shorter races as part of training.  I really miss running these shorter distances, so I decided to spend the summer working on my speed and getting stronger!


My first goal race is the Butler 5 Miler at the end of June.  I ran this race last year and really liked it, but ended up having a bad race.  It's about a month and a half away, which gives me the perfect amount of time to train.  I'm going to be loosely following Hal Higdon's 8k advanced plan
but replacing some of the runs with strength sessions.

My training will follow this schedule:

Monday  - 3 mile easy run with an arm workout
Tuesday - short speed workout (alternating 400 repeats and a tempo run)
Wednesday - no running, but a leg workout
Thursday - easy run (ranging from 3 to 6 miles)
Friday - no running, but yoga and core workout
Saturday - race pace workout, with either 2 or 3 miles at my goal pace (7:45) in between easy miles
Sunday  - long run (ranging from 4 to 8 miles) and light yoga

I've never really added any kind of weight lifting plan into my training, but since this is my strong and speedy summer, I wanted to switch things up.  I'm planning on doing strength training three times per week- one day for arms, one for legs and one for core. I'm also going to be adding in a day of yoga (just stretching and flexibility work) as well.  I made up my own plan by searching for the best exercises for runners, and here's what I came up with:


For the exercises, I do 3 sets of 10 reps.  Any exercises that are held (plank, wall sit, etc) I do 60 seconds.  I only use dumbbells, but most of these exercises can also be done with a bar.  Here are links to descriptions and pictures of all of the exercises:

SKULLCRUSHER
LATERAL RAISE
CURL AND PRESS
SINGLE ARM BENT ROW
DIPS
PUSHUPS
FORWARD RAISE
SQUATS
WALKING LUNGE
CALF RAISES
GLUTE BRIDGE
SQUAT JUMP
DEADLIFT
WALL SIT
SIDE PLANK
PRONE PLANK
BICYCLE
SUPERMAN
V-UP
ROMAN TWIST
SCISSORS

I'm also thinking about adding in a 5k before the race, but haven't picked one out yet.  There are a few races that I'm considering:
-Rally for McNally is a fundraiser for a local scholarship.  I really don't know much about this race at all, so I don't know what to expect!
-Riverview 5k is my local race.  I grew up near the park and ran there all the time, so it's one of my favorites.  The course is pretty difficult, and it's a Friday evening race. (NOTE- I registered for this one!)
-Greenfield Glide is another race put on by the Pittsburgh Citiparks.  I've run on this course a lot when I lived in Squirrel Hill but have never done this race.
-Sewickley Unleashed is a smallish race near me.  I've never really been to that neighborhood, and the course is supposed to be flat and fast.  The race is on Saturday though, which might be too soon.



What is your goal for the summer?
Do you add strength training to your training plans?
What's your favorite arm/leg/core exercise?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Butler 5 Miler Training : Back at It

This week I got back to training, and I could not be more excited.  I talked about how much I enjoyed training this entire year to get ready for the Gettysburg Marathon, so I was really looking forward to jumping right back in.  I'm going to be focusing on shorter distances for a while, and trying to get some speed back in my legs!  I'll share more about my plan and what races I'll be doing later this week, but here's a look at what my week of training looked like.


Monday

Rest day!
No running, but lots of yard work!  Sometimes I think that's just as much of a workout as actually going to the gym or out for a run...


Tuesday

3 miles / 9:39 pace
First run of my new training cycle!  Just an easy 3 miles before work.  I felt a little sore from the yard work but otherwise felt great.


Wednesday

Rest day!
Another day of no running, but I did an arm workout.  I'll be sharing the routine that I came up with (along with my entire training plan!) later this week.  It was definitely more challenging than I expected, which is probably because I haven't lifted weights in a long time.  Definitely need to get my strength back.


Thursday

5 miles / 9:37 pace
It was pouring rain when I went to work in the morning, so I ended up doing my easy run inside on the treadmill.  I watched some highlights from the Pens game 7 win and also watched some Parenthood.  The run was great and went by really quickly!  The gym was also completely empty, which meant that I could pick any treadmill that I wanted :)


Friday

Rest day!
After work, Dan and I took Selma to the park for a walk and some time in the off-leash dog park.  There were only a few dogs there, but they all followed Selma around which cracked me up.  Doesn't she look like the leader of the pack?  Starting next week, I'll be adding a leg day workout to this rest day, but I'm easing back into it and really didn't feel like lifting again.


Saturday

4 miles / 8:36 pace
First speed workout of my training, and first one in quite a while!  Speed work is always my favorite kind of workout, because I love to push myself and the feeling that comes after a hard workout is over.  Each week my plan has a pace run, where I run a few miles at my 5 miler race pace goal.  I ran a mile to warm up, then 2 miles at 7:45 pace, with a mile cool down.  The pace felt great but a bit challenging, which is exactly what I would expect for a first workout!


Sunday

7 miles / 9:16 pace
I went into this run thinking that it would be a piece of cake and would fly by, since 7 miles seems so short to me at this point.  I just ran 13 miles last weekend with no problem, just finished marathon training where 7 miles was an easy mid-week run.  NBD right?  WRONG!  I started out at an easy pace and could not get comfortable..my breathing was off, my body felt slow, my legs felt heavy.  My watch was also acting up and would go from a 6:00 pace to a 15:00 pace and randomly shut off a few times which was annoying me as well.  At around the 4 mile mark, I stopped to take a quick picture and took a moment just to look around and enjoy a beautiful, tranquil scene.
There was a crane sitting in the water, which was covered with trees and vines and flowers.  It was so serene and I felt lucky to get to see it and realized that even though this run was a struggle, I was still lucky to be able to struggle through it.  I started running again and felt 100 times better, my pace picked up, my body clicked and felt more smooth, my watch started working again, and I ran into a friend.  Funny how taking a moment and being appreciative can make such a difference.

I also ended the week with a little yoga session.  I'm trying to keep incorporating this in my training.  I really think it helps me avoid injuries (except when I mess up my chaturanga...) so I want to add it at least once a week!


What race are you training for?
Anyone else taking a break from distance?
Who likes speed work!?

linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs , Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin , Courtney at Eat Pray Run DC and Steff from Run Steff Run!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What I Ate Day in the Life

It's been a while since I've shared a day in the life or What I Ate Wednesday post, so I thought it would be fun to join in today!  Here's a look at a typical day for my lately, along with all of the food that I ate.



5:45 - Wake up, have a shot of espresso from the Nespresso, take Selma out and change into my running clothes.

6:00 - Leave for work.  Dan drops me off on his way to work which is always great.  More time with him, and I don't have to take the bus :)

6:30 - Stop at the gym.  I work downtown and have a YMCA across the street from my office.  I leave my work stuff there and head out for a run on the river trail.  There are so many places to run downtown so I never get bored!  Today I just have an easy four miles planned and get done in no time.

7:15 - Get back to the gym and take a quick shower.  I usually don't wash my hair at the gym because it takes forever to dry and the hairdryer isn't always available, so I just use some dry shampoo and do a quick braid.  I also put on a little bit of makeup (mascara, sunscreen, and tinted lip balm) and change into my work clothes.

7:40 - Find a desk for the day.  I'm on a floor that's free address, which means that no one has their own cube or office.  I have a locker to hold my stuff during the day and overnight, but I can pick a new spot every day.  I'm always in the same area, but like the opportunity to change around desks if I need a change of scenery!

7:47 - Grab my breakfast and make some coffee.  I have some mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries) and some granola and coconut.  I also fill up my water bottle and keep it filled all day to make sure I'm hydrated.

11:08 - My morning was filled with meetings, so I finally get a chance to catch up on emails and some other tasks.  I put on 70s rock to keep me energized, and love the song Life's Been Good by Joe Walsh.

12:10 - I have a meeting over lunch, so I grab a quick snack when I have a few minutes.  I tried out the roasted onion and garlic jam from Trader Joe's along with some pretzel crisps.  It was really good- a little savory and a little sweet- and surprisingly didn't have an overwhelming smell or taste of onions.  I'm sure my table-mates were happy about that ;)

3:26 - Crazy day at work, so I end up not being able to eat lunch until it's almost time to go home.  I had some leftover flautas from dinner (pinto beans, corn, green chili and spinach) along with vegan sour cream and salsa.

4:27 - Take the bus home.  There's a lot of construction happening on my bus route, so my normal 45 minute commute has been taking an hour lately.  More time for me to read, plus I discovered that the Netflix app allows you to download episodes of shows and movies, so if I'm not in a reading mood I can catch up on Parenthood!

5:13 - Get home and take Selma out. I'm a little hungry, so I have some orange slices and juice outside.  I also finish up my Friday post and respond to some comments.

6:15 - Head over to Jessie's to pick up some herbs.  She and her fiance (soon to be husband!!) have an amazing garden in their backyard and were nice enough to give us some mint and oregano.  I also scored some homemade pickles, which are my FAVORITE FOOD EVER.  We hang out and talk to them for a bit and make plans for the Pittsburgh half, then say goodbye.  When I get home, I plant the herbs in a large planter I found at At Home quickly before the rain started!

7:33 - My team had a Cinco de Mayo party, so I made a corn salad to bring along.  It's one of my favorite summer recipes and really easy (and cheap) to make.  I have a little bit as a snack just to make sure there's enough seasoning.  I also grab some of our homemade beer to take for a beer exchange, and have it ready in the fridge to grab the next day.

7:54 - Heat up leftovers from the night before (rice with Chana Aloo, topped with basil and vegan sour cream) and a Stella Artois.  I'm still trying to catch up on The Voice, so I watch that while I finish up my post for Friday and checking some work emails.

8:22 - I got the Trader Joe's Soy Creamy Mini Chocolate Sandwiches and tried it out.  I can't even tell it's soy ice cream (they have an amazing, creamy vanilla soy ice cream in a tub as well) and loved it!  I also made Dan have one so I wouldn't eat the entire box, and he liked it as well.

9:36 - Head upstairs to pack my lunch and work bag, and pick out an outfit for the morning.  I always have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, so anything that I can get ready makes a big difference.  I get ready for bed and watch some more Parenthood.  I usually end up falling asleep around 10:30, but like having about an hour to relax.  Sometimes I'll do night time yoga, which really helps me calm down if anything's on my mind.


What are your typical days like?
What's your favorite lunch?
Do you work in an open concept, or have your own work space?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

2017 Pittsburgh Half Marathon Recap

Hi everyone!  This weekend I was very lucky to run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon (thanks to Meranda).  The Pittsburgh half is one of my favorite races, but in the past few years I've always been out of town (or out of the country) that weekend and had to miss it.  After getting a bib and having a disappointing race in Gettysburg, I decided to not go into this race with any goals in mind except to have as much fun as possible.  Spoiler alert- totally crushed that goal!

I work downtown, so I was able to stop by the expo on Friday during lunch with Jennifer.  Pickup was really easy but the expo was packed, so I pretty much grabbed it as quickly as possible and got out of there.  It's probably for the best because expos always tempt me to buy way too many things that I don't really need!

On Sunday morning, Dan and I picked up Jessie and headed downtown.  Parking was easy (and free!) at Rivers Casino, and we took the T (also free!) into town for the race start.  We got into our corral a little before the race started at 7:00, and ended up crossing the start line around 7:20.  Even though we were in corral B, the organizers randomly split up the four official corrals into smaller groups that started a few minutes apart, and we ended up in "corral B-2".


The race started and we took off.  It was a beautiful morning and perfect weather for a race (cloudy with temperatures in the upper 40's at the start) so we started out pretty quickly.  The first section of the race goes through the Strip District, then across the 16th Street Bridge into the Northside.  It's the flattest part of the race, so we had some speedy first few miles!


After running through the Northside, we headed around PNC Park and Heinz Field, then went across our second bridge (West End) to run through the West End and Station Square.  This is always the hardest section for me, because there are a lot of steep uphills and downhills.  Plus, crowd support and live bands kind of dies out near Station Square.  We took some walk breaks and I also started taking some fuel at this point (yay for Honey Stingers being the official fuel of the race!) and grabbed some gummies from a group of spectators!


Our third and final bridge was the Birmingham Bridge that took us back into town.  This is where the full marathon and half marathon split off, and also the longest hill of the race.


We climbed up and up and up until we made it to Fifth Avenue, where it was all pretty much downhill to the finish.  Once we got off the bridge, a group was handing out cups of beer, and Jessie and I both gladly accepted a cup.


The finish line was on the Blvd of the Allies and was PACKED full of people.  I never felt so happy and energetic at the end of a race, and I was just grinning from ear to ear.  This was my first race that I just ran for fun and with a friend, and it was seriously the best experience.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to have good races and do my best, so it felt great to have a fun race where time didn't matter. My mom, who's been to almost every race that I've run in my 18-year running career, even commented that she's never seen me look so happy during a race.  This was exactly what I needed and makes me really excited to keep working hard, and maybe add in a few more races just for fun ;)  Plus, the course changes this year made the race so much more fun, and I loved the fact that we ran by all of Pittsburgh's sports venues.  I loved it!



Can we talk about how gorgeous the medals are?  Pittsburgh always has fantastic designs, but this might be my favorite out of the 5 that I have from this race.


After the race, we stopped by Wigle Whiskey Barrelhouse for free boozy milkshakes!  I've never been to any of the Wigle locations but everyone I know raves about them.  This location was so cute- there were benches outside, colorful decorations, a stage for outdoor performances, and games like Jenga and corn hole.  It's also dog friendly (one of the workers said enthusiastically that they are very dog friendly) so I know that we'll be back!


Overall it was such a fun day and I'm so glad that I got to spend it with one of my favorite running friends.  Pittsburgh is such a beautiful city and running it is the best way to see all of the fun neighborhoods.  If you're ever looking for a good half to do, make sure you do this one sometime soon!

Side note- since this is a race recap I feel like I should share the time!  We finished in 2:11:55.

Have you ever run a race for fun?
What's your favorite race course?
How was your weekend?

Friday, May 5, 2017

Top Five Friday : Busy as a Bee

TGIF!  It's definitely been a crazy week at work, with no signs of slowing down until the end of June.  We have a big release coming up which means I have a lot of work to do!  I'm going to have to start working weekends to keep up with everything, but I love all of the projects that I'm on that I'm actually looking forward to it.  Is that crazy?

This weekend is looking to be very busy, with a race, work event, errands and chores, and some social time as well.  I have a feeling that by Monday I'll be needing a weekend to recover from my weekend, but what can you do!  My favorites are a bit sparce this week since I didn't really have time to enjoy anything new or exciting, but I hope you enjoy them anyway.

Good luck to everyone racing, and to everyone else have a fun (and hopefully relaxing) weekend!



linking up with ErikaHeather, and Friday Five 



Song : OK Computer by Radiohead



I've been on a big Radiohead kick lately and have been listening to their album Ok Computer as my background music at work.  I love how experimental and interesting their music is, especially the song Exit Music (for a film).  It starts out really quietly and simply, then increases in intensity, volume and instrumentation as the song goes on.  It's so amazing and I have to keep listening to it over and over again!  If you want to hear a cool version of the song, listen to this one from Westworld.


Podcast : Anna Faris is Unqualified

This is such a funny podcast, and I love all of the people that Anna Faris interviews.  Not only is she hilarious by herself, but she brings on some of my favorite stars and talks about every topic imaginable.  Some of my favorites were Lauren Graham, RuPaul, and Eric Stonestreet.


Product : Homemade Cold Brew

Last week, I tried making my own cold brew for the first time (mostly because I got an amazing nut milk bag and that's just another way you can use it) and was shocked at how amazing it tasted.  All I did was use 1 cup of ground coffee (I used a cheap can that I got a while ago from Whole Foods) and 3 cups of filtered water.  I left it in a mason jar overnight, then in the morning I poured it through the nut milk bag to filter out the grounds, and was left with a ton of cold brew concentrate for the week!  I use equal parts of the concentrate and almond milk (which I also make at the beginning of the week) and it tastes AMAZING.  I don't even need any sweetener, and it tastes better than any cold brew that I've bought.  Now I want to try this out with a slightly nicer coffee that's not old and see how much better I can make it!




Show : The Voice


To be honest, I'm still behind of The Voice (just finished up the Live Playoffs) but I wanted to talk about it!  I feel like the auditions and narrowing down of the teams always takes forever, so I'm excited to actually dive into the performances and find out who I want to cheer for.  So far, I'm loving Vanessa Ferguson (her rendition of If I Was Your Woman gave me so many chills), as well as Chris Blue.  He's ridiculously talented.


Random : Marathon Weekend!


It's the best weekend of the year- Pittsburgh Marathon weekend!  The organizers are getting the roads ready and the corrals are set up.  Packet pickup is today, with the 5k on Saturday and the half/full marathons on Sunday!  I'll be running the half (thanks to the generous Meranda) and will be cheering on all my friends running the full!  I've done the half twice and the full twice, so I'm just excited to be running my favorite race again this year.  It's going to be a lot of fun, whether it's pouring down rain like the forecast says (I hope so!! LOVE running in the rain!) or not.  If you're local, come out and cheer!  



Are you watching the Voice this year?
Who else is running Pittsburgh this weekend?  Any other races?

Thursday, May 4, 2017

What's New With You? Linkup #16

Can you believe it's May already?  I'm definitely a summer person and I could just feel myself busting with happiness as the days get longer, the sun shines brighter, and the air warms up.  There were days when I would literally skip around the house, singing to myself and twirling around (Dan might think there's something wrong with me but I can't help myself- evidence below).  Does anyone else suffer from SAD that can relate?



Since it's a new month, you know what that means!  That's right...it's already time for the monthly linkup with Kristen and me.  Make sure you link down below and tell me what's going on!




Monthly Goals

Last month I mentioned that I wanted to switch things up and make some new goals for myself.  Here's what I plan on working on for the next few months:

Do Something Crafty.  I've mentioned this a lot of times before, but I love being creative and doing something crafty.  I'm not going to make specifics for myself, but I want to make something every month.  In April, I did a new cross stitch project to fix up the first version of my coffee project, and I love how it turned out!

Be Musical.  I'm still working on playing/learning the piano, but I also want to start playing the saxophone and violin again!  I've been playing the violin since I was in 2nd grade and saxophone since high school.  I've always loved to play but have gotten out of the habit recently.  I'm planning on joining a local symphonic band in the fall so I need to practice again.

Stay Active.  I decided that this summer is going to be my Strong and Speed Summer (more details on that soon!).  Part of my new "program" that I'm making up for myself is actually running less, and adding more cross training to my routine.  I've always felt my best when I was lifting weights, so I want to start that up again.  The weather is also turning beautiful in Pittsburgh, which means that I want to spend more time outdoors while also getting a workout.  This means going on hikes, kayaking, SUPing, doing yard work...basically anything that gets me sweating and being outside!

Drink Beer!  There are so many new breweries and old ones that I haven't visited in the area, so another goal is to try out more beer.  Let's just call it research since I have to start a new batch of my own homebrew soon!  I have a huge list that I want to get through, so if anyone wants to help me with this very important goal let me know (or if you have a favorite that I need to visit first let me know that too!)  Tour de Beer is ON!






Random Updates from April

I ran in the Gettysburg Marathon....and didn't finish.  Whoops!  You can read all about it here.  I appreciate everyone's support and understanding.  I'm feeling great and actually have a race coming up this weekend (the Pittsburgh Half! Who else is running?).  I'm not sure how it's going to go, but I have plans to run it and have fun with Jessie, so I'm looking forward to it.  I also have to give a big thank you and shout out to one of my favorite bloggers who gave me a free bib to the race!!


Dan finished grad school!  He started about three years ago and has been taking one or two classes every semester while working full time.  His program was a masters in Mechanical Engineering, which meant that he's been very busy pretty much all the time.  I'm proud of him for finishing, and happy that I get to see him more now.  To celebrate, we went to K Asian Bistro for sushi which was amazing.  I have to admit that sushi is my one non-vegan vice, so I try to save it for special occasions like this.


We joined a CSA!  If you've never heard of a CSA, it's Community Supported Agriculture.  You pay for a share in a farm's harvest for the season (for us, that's May to November) and receive weekly boxes of produce.  I've been wanting to get into this for years, and happened to talk to my neighbor who is a member of the Kretschmann Farm CSA. I like this one because the farm grows organic produce, there's a pickup site within walking distance of my house, and they donate any unused food (or your box if you go on vacation) to a Food Bank.  My shipment starts the last week of May and I can't wait!


My one year anniversary is on Saturday.  I can't believe it's already been a year, and at this time last year we were in Belize.  It's been an amazing 12 months and I couldn't be happier.  I'm not going to do a sappy post about 12 reasons why I love Dan or the lessons I've learned (the main one I've learned is to let some things go, aka compromise is key!).  We don't even have plans, but our relationship has always been low-key and non-traditional, so I wouldn't have it any other way!  P.S. you can read about our trip to Belize here and our wedding here.



That's all I've got for today- let me know what's new by linking up below!