4/26-5/2

Happy Sunday… FROM NEW ENGLAND!!!!!!!

My dad and I planned for me to come home to surprise my mom for an early Mother’s Day weekend. He told my mom they were going down to Rhode Island to start getting the boat ready and that they had to make a quick stop on the way to pick something up (presumably for the boat). Unbeknownst to her, I was that “something” they were picking up.

She was so surprised. I am so happy to be home. SO SO SO HAPPY.

Sun– 5 miles + 3 sets of stairs at the Philly Art Museum

KBT and I wanted to get in a decent run while we were in Philly. It’s our favorite way to see a new city. That, and walking.  We thought we were doing 7-8 miles but it ended up being only 5 miles. I wasn’t happy about it at first but then KBT’s knee was bothering him, we were running late for brunch, and I got a run in so I can’t complain.

CaptureMon– 6.2 miles

I usually don’t run on Mondays but I was in the mood so I went with it. I didn’t love setting my alarm for 6:30 but really wanted to run, so I did a shorter run knowing I’d be doing 5 days instead of my usual 4. Overall a lovely run.

Tues– OFF

I was at my cousin’s house and literally didn’t get off the couch except to get food. Solid rest day. I missed my lunchtime walk though, especially with how nice it was outside.

Wed- 6.3 miles

I was bummed I had to miss November Project but I wouldn’t have felt safe going even if I was in the city. I went for a run around my cousins’ development and was so. freaking. bored. I really missed city running along the water. And November Project in general, but I haven’t had a run like that in forever.

Thurs– OFF

Fri– 9 miles

It felt good to get back out there again. I didn’t go to November Project because I didn’t want to run in the dark, but I drove back to the city early enough that I could get a run in before work. I ran along the water and loved every minute of it. It was a little strange seeing the National Guard everywhere, but it also made things feel safe. I did notice how friendly everyone was. Usually nobody smiles as you run past but everyone was waving and it felt more like a community

Sat– 6 miles  walking AROUND THE ISLAND with my parents

I got to spend the day in Jamestown. This is my happy place. There’s no place else in the entire world like it. This is home. I am home. I thought about running but remembered that the whole point of coming home was to spend time with my mom, and walking with her is one of my favorite things  to do.

I kept most of my runs shorter because I just wasn’t feeling it most days and I finally didn’t feel sore anymore. Good thing because I accidentally forgot to go to my massage Wednesday amidst all the chaos in downtown Baltimore. And she’s in Italy for the next 3 weeks so I can’t make another appointment until next month. Oh well, i’m running injury-free and that’s all that matters.

And now I’m off to enjoy another quality walk with my mom, or maybe a run if I’m in the mood.

It’s good to be home.

No Words.

I don’t have any words to describe the tragedy in Baltimore right now. It honestly doesn’t feel real. I thought I was so removed from it because I live in an area of the city that feels safe. Fells Point is a touristy area, it feels more like I live in New England than Maryland. But for the first time since moving to Baltimore, I still felt unsafe in this city Monday night.

11164771_10152926505158155_8912228864003962295_nPeople have always said “Oh wow you live in Baltimore? That’s a rough city.” But I never saw it. I left work Monday night with every intention of staying in my apartment. Walking home, I could feel the tension in the air, but I was several miles away from the riots. I didn’t feel comfortable wandering around the streets, but I wasn’t in danger. First, my mom called. Then my grandmother. Then my aunt. And finally, my cousins who live about 40 minutes away. It was after that last phone call that I decided to leave, if only to put my mother at ease.

What I didn’t realize is that I couldn’t get to my cousin’s house because the roads were closed. I put their address into my address and my GPS said “No routes found.” KBT texted me to tell me I needed to leave. I told him where I was headed, he told me there wasn’t enough time. I argued with him until I realized he was right. I felt stuck and started to realize just how dangerous the situation could become. We weren’t in any immediate danger in Fells Point, but there was a chance it could turn ugly overnight.

Luckily, KBT had already arranged for me to stay at his friend’s house just outside the city before I talked to him, and far enough away from the chaos that I’d be safe. But he wouldn’t be joining me. I finally agreed to go and would drive to my cousin’s house in the morning when things calmed down.

I spent Monday night glued to the television. I had a sick-to-my-stomach kind of feeling the entire night watching police offers get hit with bricks, massive buildings burn down, cars blowing up, and hundreds of people ransacking both local and chain stores. I was afraid for all of my friends that stayed in the city- for my coworkers, for my roommates, for KBT, and for friends from my hometown that moved to Baltimore. I didn’t want to go to bed, but there was nothing I could do. I finally fell asleep around midnight hoping everyone would be okay.

When I woke up Tuesday, everyone I knew was still safe and that’s all that matters. I got in the car and drove to my cousin’s house where I stayed until last night. That means working remotely, skipping November Project, and missing important meetings, but that is all just an inconvenience. I know how lucky I am that I wasn’t affected directly by the tragedy. It could be so much worse. I’m shaken up, but I wasn’t harmed.

This type of event isn’t something you think will ever happen to you. It’s one of those things you hear about on TV and read about online, but it’s entirely different when it’s happening in your city. My heart hurts for those who lost their homes, their lives, their jobs, and their families. I cannot begin to fathom what I’d do if it were me. I’m so lucky I have family and friends in the area who were kind enough to open their homes to me. I briefly considered flying home. But I’m safe, everyone I know is safe, and the city is slowly restoring order. It will be a long process to get back to the way things were before the riots, but we’re not in immediate danger anymore.

The people of Baltimore are amazing. The images of little kids giving water to police, of the groups cleaning up the streets that were damaged, of the peaceful protesters- they’re all so powerful. I spent the past 2 days watching the news while I was working and I was amazed by the efforts. Knowing things could take a turn for the worse at any moment is unsettling, but I’m proud to live in a place where the majority of people care enough to put in that time to repair it. I’m not one to discuss social issues, but these riots were a long time coming, as President Obama said the other day. Hopefully the events spark a discussion and the large issues at hand will reach a resolution. Only time will tell.

So thank you to everyone who has texted, emailed, messaged, commented, called, and checked in. I was blown away hearing from people at home that I haven’t talked to in months. It’s times like these that everyone comes together and shows just how much good there is in times of need.

Baltimore is a resilient city, and one I have grown to love. It’s no Boston, but it’s home for at least another year. I live in a safe neighborhood and my apartment will be there for me when I feel ready to return. At this point, I am planning to go back to my office today but I won’t be sleeping in the city until sometime next week.

Pray for Baltimore.

Philly Wedding Weekend

**For those that have been following the riots happening in Baltimore, I’m okay. I left town last night shortly after work and will be heading further away from the city this morning to work from my cousins’ house. I really appreciate all of the texts, emails, phone calls, and messages from friends and family. I’m going to post as scheduled, but it didn’t feel right to do so without acknowledging what’s happening in a city I’ve grown to love. It’s terrifying and I’ve never been so close to a tragedy like this. Please pray for Baltimore.**

I need a weekend to recover from the weekend. For real.

I haven’t done a random post in awhile so I feel like there’s a lot to fill you in on. Except that there’s not. For the most part, my life is “same old, same old.” My weekends are really what changes each week and I’m okay with that. I like having structure on weekdays, and then on weekends I break out of that comfort zone.

10906351_915645328499306_7699874504883175638_nLast week my routine was disrupted a lot. Wednesday night I had to meet a friend for a bit because we’re putting together a special event in a few weeks. Then Thursday I left work an hour early to go to Charm City Run to work at Ladies Night. Meaning I was out of the house for 14 hours on Thursday. I love Charm City, but man was I wiped by the end. I really did enjoy every second spent in the store. I always do. But I can’t do the double shifts more than once or twice a year. It kills me. I don’t know how some people do it on a daily basis. When I got home, I still had to pack. And get to bed at a semi-reasonable hour because I “had” to be up at 5:30 for November Project (I #verbal-ed. You don’t back down on a verbal). I know, cry me a river. But I’ve been exhausted lately even when I get 8 hours of sleep, so I try to get at least that.

The guys killing it at ladies night

The guys killing it at ladies night

I wasn’t even sure what made it into my overnight bag. I just hoped I had enough clothes that would somewhat match so I wouldn’t look like a complete scrub. After a killer November Project workout Friday morning and 9 hours at work, KBT and I made our way to Philly. We stayed at his friend’s house outside of the city before heading in Saturday to begin our weekend. But first, we stopped at the greatest breakfast place I’ve ever been to in my entire life: Annamarie’s. I got the cinnabon french toast and was stuffed after just 2 of the slices. Heavenly.10373781_10204365857289633_6063122993846495582_nI think it’s safe to say KBT enjoyed his breakfast too. I may or may not have eaten the toasted marshmallow off the top of his sweet potato pancakes immediately after this photo was taken…

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can’t take him anywhere

We dropped our bags at the hotel (we stayed at the Omni right in Independence Park. I highly recommend it) and went exploring right when we got there. We had a few hours to kill so we wandered around South St. I found a wawa for hot chocolate and grabbed a Philly soft pretzel. I think they’re kind of overrated personally, but it was just what I needed to tide me over until the wedding festivities began.

10408956_10204378860854714_3038062634753568961_nThen there was the whole getting dolled up thing. Only for weddings will you see me decked out in heels, makeup, and a dress. So don’t expect to see it again for a long time. Luckily we took a picture to document the occasion. Actually, we took about 6 and none of them came out great.

10409595_10204370707250879_2344229228928025625_nThe wedding itself was a lot of fun. I haven’t been to many weddings, but I’ve decided I love them. The venue was absolutely gorgeous, the bride was stunning (she’s actually a fashion blogger), and it was one big party. Aka exactly how a wedding should be. We danced a lot, chatted with the groom’s college friends we were seated with, and just had a fun night. We left around 11 which was plenty of time in heels for me 😉

Capture Sunday morning I SLEPT IN until almost 9! We headed out for a run to the Art Museum and back. The concierge told me it was between 7-8 miles, but unless KBT and I suddenly got super speedy overnight, I highly doubt we ran 7+ miles in 39 minutes. So we’re estimating we did about 5 miles plus a few sets of stairs in honor of November Project Philadelphia. It was shorter than I was hoping to do, but I was pretty hungry and we had brunch plans so it worked out.

CaptureAnd we couldn’t go all the way to Philly without posing in front of the LOVE Sign.  I don’t do cheesy. So this is my “puking” face. Of course, repping Charm City Run everywhere we go!

11173395_10204378861014718_9216224429847861524_nWe got ready, packed our bags, and headed to brunch with one of KBT’s friends. I got a homemade bagel and made him stop at 7-eleven with me after for hot chocolate. After another short walk around old city, we made the trip back to Baltimore.

My weekend didn’t end there. It happened to be alumni weekend and I was bummed to be missing some of my friends, but I also didn’t really want to partake in any of the festivities, so I met a few of my best friends from college at an outdoor bar near Goucher (where I went to school) for a few hours. It was so nice to catch up on life, enjoy the last few hours of sunshine, and reminisce about the good times. I don’t miss college, but I do miss seeing my friends on a daily basis. It was the perfect end to an already pretty great weekend.

And now it’s back to reality… for five days until I hit the road again.

Life is good.

What do you miss most about college (if you’ve already graduated)?

What’s your favorite part about weddings?

Mine’s the cake. I just needed more of it. When I get married someday (in a LOT of years from now), I’m going to make sure I get a personal rainbow cake.

4/19-4/25

This week wasn’t a total recovery week but I definitely cut back my mileage a bit. I was feeling rather antsy to get out and about for whatever the reason but my legs weren’t feeling up to running longer distances. I’m not really training for anything right now though so there isn’t a *need* to keep my mileage above 30 miles every week. I just like that range and it works for me. My guess is this week will also be lighter on the running and I’ll have a massage thrown in there to loosen up my legs.

Sun– 24 mile bike ride + 2ish miles walking

I was a little stiff for the day after the race but biking actually made a huge difference and I wasn’t anywhere near as sore as I would have been otherwise. We did two loops around the BWI trail and it was absolutely beautiful outside. We’re trying to get up to 35ish miles so we can comfortably ride to Annapolis and back soon. I didn’t realize how different biking and running were though so it will take awhile to work our way up to that. Later that afternoon, I found myself with nothing to do and I didn’t like it, so I wandered around fells point for a couple miles talking to a friend on the phone.

Mon– OFF

Tues– 6.2 mile run

My hamstrings were still pretty tight but it felt good to get a run in. The weather was nice and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. I wish I hadn’t slept in so late or I would have gone longer.

Wed– 6 mile run + November Project (7ish miles total) + Yoga

We celebrated Earth Day. Solid workout, nice and sweaty. The best kind.

11173384_914180448645794_4090055738692187698_nLater in the day I went to office yoga. We do it every other week (alternating weeks with BootCamp) but I wasn’t feeling it the last time they had it so I opted out. This time work was pretty slow so I felt like getting in a good stretch. It ended up being a pretty intense workout and I was actually sore Thursday. My hamstrings were still super tight from the race on Saturday- yoga was the perfect solution and way better than the last class I took at work.

Thurs– OFF

Walked to Target because I woke up at 6am for no reason and felt restless. Let’s hope this doesn’t become a trend.

Fri– 9 mile run November Project

The usual. 4 miles to/from Patterson Park, 5 hill repeats. I ran with one of my new NP friends and the time flew by. I felt like we could have run forever (minus the fact that I was extremely sore from yoga Wednesday). My face must be because I was so surprised I wasn’t wearing mizunos.10906351_915645328499306_7699874504883175638_nSat– OFF/walking around philly

Total– 23 miles running + 24 miles biking + 1 hour yoga

I didn’t recover well this week. My legs were still sore by Friday morning. I should have taken it easier post-race. I didn’t think I needed to because my calves weren’t cramping or anything, but my legs were definitely tired and tight. I felt like I was by reducing my daily mileage, but my legs wouldn’t still feel this heavy if I had. This week I’m going to continue taking it easy, if not reduce my mileage by even more. Next weekend I’ll be out of town again and running will NOT be my focus. At all. If I get in one run in the 4 days I’m gone, it will be a weekend well spent. I don’t want to miss my November Project workouts, but I plan on reducing the mileage around them if my legs are still feeling tired come Monday.

How long does it take you to recover from a race?

Instagram vs. Reality

Social media is a tricky thing. We want to put our best self forward, but we forget that everyone around us is doing the same thing. In reality, our lives aren’t always as perfect as they might appear.

This is something I’ve thought about a lot lately (Emily posted about this the same day I wrote the post. We share a brain). When you scroll through your instagram feed of perfectly put-together meals, intense workouts, pinterest-worthy outfits, happy couples, gorgeous scenery, you’re missing a crucial piece of the puzzle: reality.

I’m guilty of it. I post a lot of pictures on instagram. During the week, I’m posting pictures of gorgeous waterfront views from my apartment, of killer workouts at November Project, of happy “throwbacks” from college. On the weekends, I’m posting scenic bike rides, “cute” pictures with KBT, decadent desserts. But that is not always my reality.

IMG_5885In reality, while I have amazing views outside of my apartment, there are serious problems inside. The heat doesn’t work in our bedrooms during the winter, we have issues with bugs, and the internet doesn’t always work. I love where I live, but it’s far from perfect.

IMG_5887In reality, while most of the workouts with November Project are awesome, not every day is the “OMG BEST WORKOUT EVER” as my photos might suggest. I contemplate turning off my alarm and going back to bed most mornings. I’m still pretty quiet, and I really stick with a few of the core members I’ve become close with. I’m not as social as I appear.

IMG_5894In reality, my job is not all fun and games. It’s incredibly stressful at times and I’m not super close with my coworkers because it takes me such a long time to open up to new people. I make mistakes when launching campaigns (everyone does) and I always feel awful when I do. We have a lot of perks great perks like yoga and free food all the time, but we’re worked extremely hard at the end of quarters and months.

IMG_5890In reality, my collegiate swimming years were far from “the glory days.” I like to look back fondly on some memories, but I was not in a healthy place physically or mentally. I loved competing but I was having panic attacks before every race and during hard sets at practice. My life now is 10000000x better post-grad. I’m healthy and happy and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

IMG_5892In reality, boatlife isn’t as glamorous as it looks on camera. Yes, the photos are amazing. Yes, it was the time of my life. But I also had no hot water, I didn’t have a microwave or freezer, I couldn’t charge anything due to limited electricity, I watched TV on my iPhone because I had no wifi, and I had very few friends on the island which is why I clung to the dockboys. I wouldn’t change those 5 summers for the world and it will be hard not being there this year, but my mom constantly reminds me that it isn’t this magical place I made it out to be in my head.

IMG_5888In reality, I don’t have the same passion for biking that I do for running. The trail we’ve been on is beautiful. KBT is great at getting me used to a road bike. I only started getting into it because it’s something we can do together. I don’t know how to use half the gears, I’m afraid to get clip-in pedals because I know I’m going to fall off, and I feel like I’m starting over with a new sport. Which is really uncomfortable when you’ve been playing the same sports since you were 6 years old and haven’t really been at “the bottom” in a long time. Bottom line: I’m not becoming a triathlete anytime soon.

IMG_5889In reality, I don’t eat crazy desserts all the time. I eat something sweet daily (or several times a day), but I definitely don’t order dessert every time we go out for dinner. More often than not, my dessert is a few squares of dark chocolate, not a giant slice of cake or ice cream sundae as my instagram might suggest.

IMG_5891In reality, my relationship with my family isn’t perfect. I have a hard time living so far away, but it doesn’t mean we get along 100% of the time. My brother and I couldn’t have a civil conversation until I was in college. We’re much closer now but it wasn’t always like that and we still argue from time to time when I’m home.

IMG_5886In reality, being in a soon-to-be “long-distance” relationship is hard. My weekends seem so full because we’re constantly trying to pack as much in as we can to make the most of those 48 hours we do have together. We don’t talk every day- I don’t text just for the sake of texting and neither does he. The day after the above picture was taken, I had a complete breakdown because I’m terrified of the changes coming. Not knowing how different things will be was eating away at me. It could be way worse and we’ve acknowledged it; that doesn’t make the unknown any less scary though. So contrary to what pictures may suggest, it’s not always big smiles for me. More like 98.7% of the time.

3In reality, instagram is not real life. Don’t get me wrong, I love my family, my boat, my boyfriend, my friends, my apartment, and my job (pretty close to that order). I’m really happy with my life the way it is and there is very little I’d change about it. But nobody’s life is perfect and we have a tendency to compare our reality to someone else’s highlight reel. So next time you’re on social media, remember that you’re not seeing the whole truth. They’re putting forth their best self just like you (likely) are.

Just some Thinking Out Loud for your Thursday.

Do you tend to compare yourself to others on instagram?

What’s your favorite form of social media?

Sole of the City 10K (45:10)

I don’t even know where to begin.

I forgot about this race until the week before. That’s probably for the best because of my tendency to psych myself out. Truthfully, I wasn’t excited about it. It was just something to check off my to-do list. I’ve been enjoying running without pressure and the 10K is by far my least favorite distance to run. I blame it on running in circles around the track in college.

So last week, when I should have been resting to run well Saturday morning, it was business as usual. I still did a semi-long run Monday and went to November Project Wednesday and Friday. My biggest mistake was the hill workout Friday. Even though I only did 6 miles instead of 10, running hills trashes your legs. Not exactly ideal the day before a race.

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KBT and I went out for dinner with my roommate Friday night. I ate a burger but left the fries because they were too spicy. A burger is a good pre-race meal for me. It has been since my early swimming days.

Saturday morning I got to Charm City Run at 8 to pick up my bib. Even though there were a few thousand runners, there was no line and I had almost an hour to kill until the gun went off. I should note that I get to run all Charm City Run races for free because I’m an employee, but we’re not allowed a premium until everyone else has one. They were awesome this year so I’m crossing my fingers that there are some left!

I walked with KBT to find coffee because I dragged him to the race so early which was my warmup. We went near the starting line around 8:50 and found Lauren so I had someone to start with. I gave him my phone, keys, etc. and went to line up. I always stand in one of the first few rows for races so I don’t get boxed in. The race started right on time and we were off.

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Behind the girl in the red sports bra

 

The first mile my legs felt absolutely awful. I was questioning whether I was going to finish, berating myself for doing such a hard workout the day before, and not enjoying myself at all. I was just putting one foot in front of the other and trying to stay with the people around me. I crossed mile 1 in 6:45.

Mile 2 wasn’t much better. I didn’t wear a watch so I have no idea what my split was but I could feel my pace slowing. I’m okay with that because my first mile is always significantly faster than the others, but I was worried about how much it was dropping.

Mile 3 and 4 I was in a groove. My legs weren’t as heavy and I was staying with the people around me. I was actually pretty excited when I saw that the halfway mark was literally outside my apartment. I was kind of tempted to drop out and go inside… but I didn’t. I crossed mile 4 in 27:55, just under 7 minute pace.

The last couple miles I was riding the pain train. I remember noticing how hot it was after mile 4. It probably jumped 10 degrees between the start and the finish. Given how cold it’s been lately, I was not at all prepared for the heat. I skipped the first water stop at mile 2 but at mile 4 I took a cup of water and dumped it on my head. I was still with the people I had started around so I was trying to hang on.

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CLEARLY struggling

 

Mile 5 was a blur, but I know I was down by inner harbor. I saw KBT half-laying on the ground “like an idiot” (that’s what I said to myself in my head) taking pictures so I tried to look like I wasn’t about to keel over. He yelled that there was “only one more hill” and I probably would have punched him if he’d been closer (I should be nicer– he was there to support me after all…). I didn’t want to hear that because that “one more hill” was the only real hill in the entire race. And it’s not a fun one.

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Right after I saw him a random guy asked me how I was doing. I tried to say something but was probably incoherent. As soon as he passed me I realized it was Josh, aka the owner of Charm City Run-and my boss. So that was awkward. He passes me during the last mile in every single race we run. Clearly I need to work on my kick.

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That hill kicked my butt. Every time I thought it was over it kept going. I’m just being dramatic because it’s really not that bad as far as hills go, but I was struggling. Finally I saw mile 6 and thought there was so much further to go than there was so I couldn’t make my legs move faster. When the finish line was in sight and I saw 44:XX I got really excited. I was convinced I broke 45 minutes until I checked my official results after work.

My official time was 45:10. My last PR was from 2012 where I ran a 45:25. Not the 25-second PR I announced on instagram but still a PR (my track PR is a 43:01 but running in a circle is completely different than running on a course). I ran a 49:50 last year so I’m extremely happy with the results from this race. I was 77th person overall, 8th female overall, and 4th in my age group out of 3500 runners.

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I found KBT at the end, got him some food for all his hard work, and hopped in the car to drive to work. Sweating and smiling. Good thing I work at the store that puts on the race or I’m pretty sure showing up covered in sweat would be frowned upon.

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What’s your least favorite race distance?

What’s your favorite race memory?

Weekend Happenings

How are we already almost at the end of April? Time is flying. I totally forgot I was running a race this past Saturday until last weekend. It just came up out of nowhere. For me, that’s the best kind of race- less stress=more success. I went into this weekend without any real plans. Everything just kind of fell into place and it ended up being one of the best weekends I’ve had in awhile.

Friday night I got out of work an hour early (5pm!), walked home, and sat on the docks outside my apartment. KBT came over awhile later to join me in my “stoop sitting” and before we knew it, it was 8pm and we were starving. My roommate just got home from traveling so we went out for dinner with her at Thames Street Oyster House in Fells. I was home and asleep by 10pm. My kind of Friday night.

CaptureSaturday morning I woke up at 7:30 and drove to Charm City Run around 8am for Sole of the City because I didn’t pick up my race packet beforehand. CCR puts on the best races in the city (and really anywhere– I’m not biased or anything…) so I always enjoy myself regardless of how I do. I’ll put together a more formal race recap but it was a lot of fun and I PRed.

2As soon as I finished, I found KBT so I could get my keys and drove straight to the Timonium store to work. I’ve enjoyed having my weekends to do my own thing, but I do miss being there on a regular basis. Luckily, I’m actually there three times in the next week. I was able to get a new pair of wave riders I desperately needed and catch up on everything I missed. It was a pretty slow day due to everyone being at the race downtown, but customers kept commenting on how “smiley” I was. I was just so happy to be back. I love Charm City Run so much.

so beautiful

so beautiful

I got out of work at 2 and desperately needed a shower, but I wasn’t ready to spend the rest of my day inside so I found a spot to sit on the docks and read a book for an hour instead. It was our first really warm day and I wanted to take full advantage of it. KBT came over around 5 and wanted to get Kilwins. I had already stopped in earlier while I was out walking around but didn’t get anything because I wasn’t in the mood (I just wanted to see if they had cake batter yet). I haven’t been to the Fells Point location since last October but my favorite employee recognized me and gave me a big hug telling me he missed his “favorite customer.” When I went back with KBT, he gave me free sprinkles to make up for still not having cake batter. We sat outside eating our ice cream and people watching (there was a pirate festival in Fells) and enjoyed the sunshine.

IMG_5900I wasn’t really hungry but around 8 we met friends at Jimmy’s Famous Seafood for the second time in 2 weeks. I got a grilled chicken salad which was enormous so I only ate a little more than half. We’re pretty much family now- they even tweeted at us 😉

4Sunday we went for a 24 mile bike ride on the BWI trail which ended up being the perfect way to shake out my legs. I’ve been taking the day off after a race when I’m really sore, but I couldn’t believe the difference yesterday morning when I woke up and wasn’t as sore as I normally am because I had gotten some of the lactic acid out of my legs.

from last weekend

from last weekend

When I got home that afternoon I didn’t know what to do with myself. I’ve been so busy the past few months that I literally haven’t had a free second on the weekend. I didn’t want to sit and watch TV, I couldn’t run, and it was too cold to sit outside, so I wandered around while catching up with one of my friends on the phone and ended up at lululemon. I did a little damage there and bought my first pair of wunder unders. The verdict: obsessed.

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image from the website

I went over to KBT’s for dinner later that night and we made burgers (except I forgot the burgers so we had to walk about 2 miles to get some…) and ghirardelli chocolate chip cookies mashed with talenti caramel gelato. Perfect Sunday night dinner and it tasted especially good after eating out for so many meals in a row. Homemade meals are the best. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep at 9. Weekends are exhausting.

IMG_5905And just like that, we’re onto another week! This one will be pretty normal, but next weekend we’re going to Philly for a wedding! I’m actually out of town for the next 2 weekends so it was nice to enjoy being in one place for a few days without any crazy plans :)

Did you have nice weather by you?

Favorite way to spend the weekend?

4.12-4.18

What a week. My mileage was lighter because I had a race yesterday. To be totally honest, I completely forgot about it until last weekend, so it really snuck up on me fast. This year is flying, I can’t believe we’re more than halfway through April! But I won’t complain because spring/summer/fall are the best months of the year for running and being outside in general. Which makes me really, really happy.

Sun– 12 mile bike ride around BWI

KBT and I drove down to BWI again to get a bike ride in before we went to look at some more apartments for him in DC. It went by really fast and I almost don’t believe it was 12 miles but apparently we were going pretty fast at times, so I guess I’ll take his word for it. We’re trying to work our way up to doing the loop 2-3 times so that we can ride further distances, like to Annapolis and back.

CaptureMon– 8 miles

I usually don’t run on Mondays but when I realized I was racing this weekend I knew I should space out my runs some more. I also knew the weather was going to be way nicer on Monday than Tuesday, so I shifted some things around and got in a very sleepy 8 miles Monday morning. I was still half-asleep when I got in the shower afterwards.

Tues– OFF

Wed– 6.5 miles November Project

We broke into groups of 3 and did a bunch of running, TONS of planking, some squats, stairs, and lunges, and one “social lap.” It was a killer workout and I actually broke a sweat for the first time in weeks thanks to some normal temperatures. Plus, the sunrise. No words.

CaptureThurs– OFF

Fri– 6 miles November Project

Probably not the smartest thing to do the day before a race, but I did cut out 4 of the 6 hill repeats that I usually do so I did make an attempt to take it easy. I spent of the rest of the time doing ridiculous things like giant hoisties with other people tapering for their races. We did a few squats, burpees, and pushups, but other than that it was a lot of standing around.

IMG_5884Sat– 10K Sole of the City

Recap to come!

Total– 26 miles running, 12 miles biking

Another pretty good week of workouts. I wasn’t feeling it as much but I’ll blame it on the crappy weather. Hopefully these April showers really do bring the May flowers, because I’m getting sick of rain. At least it isn’t snow though, right?

This week I might cut back my mileage, depending on how sore I am. I was feeling pretty exhausted last week- I didn’t really enjoy my run on Monday and it was a struggle to wake up Wednesday. So my goal for this week is to let myself sleep in a bit, run based on how my legs feel, and if that means I run 2-3 days instead of 4, so be it. I’ll probably be pretty sore from yesterday’s 10K so after KBT and I go for a long bike ride this morning, my guess is I’ll be taking it easy for a few days.

Post-Injury Running

**Getting a little more serious for today’s Thinking out Loud post. No random rambles from me today!**

I’ve been running injury-free again for about 4 months now after being out for about 4 months. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than telling a runner they can’t run. Not that anyone specifically told me not to, but I’ve learned my lesson after dealing with the same injury 3 times.

As painful as it was (physically and emotionally), I needed it to happen again. I learned a lot about myself in that time and really healed my relationship with exercise.

I’ve worked hard at overcoming the effects of an eating disorder. First I had to face the food issues, and I did after 4 years of struggling. But eventually I also had to realize that I was addicted to exercise. And not in a healthy way. Repairing that relationship wasn’t my main priority at first- I knew I was eating enough to fuel my activity levels and that was enough. I didn’t see anything wrong with running 7 every day because being an athlete is all I’ve ever known. I started swimming competitively at 6 years old and eventually progressed to swimming 7 days a week for several hours a day. When I quit swimming and joined track, my coach advocated running 6 days a week (sometimes I was on a 13 day cycle) and cross-training the last day.

393447_4429298660575_1955509112_nAfter I dealt with my calf issues for the 3rd time, I started looking back on when I was most successful. When I was running a sub-20 minute 5k (pre-blogging), I was “only” running 35 miles a week spread over 5 days, not the 50-60 miles over 7 days I got used to. When I was running healthiest and happiest post-collegiate running last fall, I was running 9 miles, 4 times a week, or 36 miles. I grew to really love this distance and I always looked forward to my runs because I was only doing them 4 times a week.

I’d love to workout 7 days a week, but my body doesn’t. I get injured the second I add too many days or up my intensity, and I’m learning to respect that. It means that when I’m tempted to run 5 days a week and go for a long bike ride a 6th day as the weather gets nicer, I have to restrain myself. I can handle 4 days of running and 1 day of biking (or yoga or spinning or something else entirely). But I can’t handle much more than that. My body rebels every single time. It’s crazy that it took me 5 years to figure it out, but that’s what happens when you’re controlled by an eating disorder.

Stepping away from the blog world for a few months also made a huge difference for me. As much as I enjoy blogging, I let it become something I “had” to do every day. For awhile, I let my blog world become my reality. I thought it was normal to exercise 7 days a week, running upwards of 60 miles because that’s what I saw other bloggers doing. I thought that if it worked for them, it would work for me too. I should have known better, especially working at a running store where we’re all about finding the right shoe for the individual. Like not every shoe works for every person, not every exercise regimen works for every person either 😉

Capture2For me, I function best exercising for a little bit longer less days of the week. I’m still relatively active on my rest days, but I also really make the most of my couch time. I still walk to work and cover about 3-4 miles on foot, but I do that every day. If I don’t bike on the weekend, it’s a full rest day- no long walks, just letting my body recover some more.

I still get to enjoy my November Project workouts- but instead of counting them as “rest days” as I did in the past, I count them as my toughest day of the week by running to the workout. I also no longer push myself to the limits while I’m there because I’d rather enjoy my time with friends than kill myself trying to fit in as many reps as possible in 40 minutes. Because where’s the fun in that? The whole point of this workout group is that you do it in a social setting.

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 7.11.49 AMI’m still an active person. I have a hard time sitting still for long periods of time and I’d rather be out and about on the weekend than laying on the couch. I walk home at lunch to stretch my legs. I enjoy going to workout classes and fitness events because it’s something I’m passionate about. But it doesn’t rule my life anymore. I run 4 days a week which gives me flexibility to choose which days I wake up and run and it keeps me from feeling like it’s something I need to check off my “to-do” list. I never force my runs anymore. I’ll repeat this one because it’s important. I never force my runs anymore. Ever. If I’m not feeling it, I don’t go.

Exercise addiction is real. I don’t know if my body suddenly became injury-prone after putting so much stress on it for so long, but I do know that I’m extremely injury prone now. It’s unfortunate that I had to deal with so many issues before I let it all sink in, but it’s also an important lesson I needed to learn. It took me 4 years to finally feel “recovered” from an eating disorder (I don’t believe in 100% recovered because it’s something that could always come back at any time, but it no longer controls my life in any way), and it took me even longer than that to repair my relationship with exercise. But now that I have, it’s infinitely more enjoyable.

There is more to life than exercise.

No questions, just comments.

Get Outside.

I love being outside. The spring and the fall are bar none my favorite seasons. I love summer too, obviously, but it doesn’t come close to those “in-between” months. I’ve never been one to complain about winter (too much) and I’d still rather run outside when it’s -4 degrees than hop on a dreadmill, but there’s something about soaking in that vitamin D.

This weekend was our first real “spring” weekend and I soaked up every second of daylight. Saturday morning I went to THB for breakfast with KBT before I left for Annapolis. My brother had a lacrosse game against Navy so I decided to make a day of it. I got to my aunt and uncle’s house around 9am and headed out for a run. Running in downtown Annapolis is probably one of my top 5 favorites places. It’s that beautiful. They live across the bridge from the Naval Academy so it’s perfect for running. I covered 8ish miles and made it back in time to shower before heading over to my brother’s game.

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View from the bridge

My uncle was a captain in the Navy for many years so whenever I visit he gives me the royal tour of the Academy. We were running late but he wanted to show me the new commissary and then we took the scenic route to the fields. Because he has a military ID, I didn’t have to wait in the line to pass through the metal detector.

The fields are literally on the water. I was in heaven and kept snapping pictures to send to my mom who is on a business trip in Chicago and couldn’t come. I love lacrosse, but I was really just so excited to be outside. Unfortunately, Delaware ended up losing but my brother got to play for a bit at the end of the game (freshman rarely play).

He's number 72

He’s number 72

After the game ended, my brother and I went in search of food. My uncle gave us tickets to the Army Navy lacrosse game that started right after my brother’s game, but we were hungry and under a time constraint so we didn’t go.  We went to Chick and Ruth’s diner in the middle of downtown. It was on Man vs. Food for their 6-lb milkshake. I went there before with my parents when I was a freshman and loved it. We waited forever for our food but it was worth it. I ordered a create your own chopped grilled chicken salad and it was one of the best restaurant salads I’ve ever had. I also got a cookies n’ cream milkshake and it was better than last time. We left stuffed. I honestly didn’t think I’d have room for dinner.

not from this weekend but i really like milkshakes

not from this weekend but i really like milkshakes

I drove him back to the megabus station in Baltimore so he could go back to Delaware. We waited for a half hour only to find out that there were 2 megabus stops and we were at the wrong one, so he missed the bus. I ended up driving him back to Delaware myself which made for way too many hours in the car.

When I got back, KBT and I went to Jimmy’s Famous Seafood for dinner around 9pm. I don’t like seafood but I enjoy going to seafood restaurants. They usually have really good burgers which is what I ordered. I was eying the dessert menu so we split the red velvet cake. It was the best red velvet cake I’ve ever eaten.

IMG_5869We hung out with KBT’s friend after we finished eating who was DJing. It was a really low-key place and we will absolutely be back. I want to check off a few more of those desserts! By the time we left at 11:30 I was completely exhausted.

11128772_10204283878800222_6746726150919199600_nSunday morning we (KBT) made pancakes before we drove down to the BWI trail again for a bike ride. It only took us 45 minutes this time to do the 12 miles so we’re going to do it twice next week until we’re ready to bike somewhere further, like Annapolis. I’m learning how to use about half the gears and put my bike on his car. Still working on the left hand gears and putting the tire back on. Baby steps.

CaptureFrom BWI, we drove down to DC to look at more apartments. After the first three were somewhat unsuccessful, we went to the last one (the furthest from Baltimore) and found a winner. It wasn’t the one I was hoping he’d choose at first, but it had the best feel and is closest to places where there are more things to do so I eventually came around.

The best part about KBT’s new apartment is that it’s close to Alexandria where my best friend from high school just moved, so whenever I go down to DC, I’ll be able to see her too. We were starving by the time we were done so we decided to get something to eat in Alexandria. We were able to eat outside (so I could work on my tanning game) and then walked along the waterfront before grabbing some ice cream and making the trip back to Baltimore.

Capture2It definitely made everything feel real and it will be hard until I adjust to the distance, but I could not have asked for a more perfect weekend. I got to see so many family members, spend so much time outside, eat really good food, and enjoy the company of one of my favorite people, so I really can’t complain. I love the weekends, but I’m also so tired by the end of them that I don’t mind using the weekdays to catch up. So here’s to another week!

Did you get to enjoy the weather at all this weekend?

What’s your favorite season?