Monday, June 30, 2014

Triple Race Weekend

Happy Marathon Monday! This week's workouts ended up a little different than I thought they would thanks to a slightly random hip injury. I bent over to get a measuring cup out of my drawer and must've pulled something. Pretty hardcore, huh? So, I passed on boot camp classes for the week and added in extra yoga and 2 visits to the chiropractor. Thankfully, running didn't bother it so I was able to get my miles in!

One of the highlights of this week was a race-filled weekend!! I did 3 different races this weekend - and my legs are kindly reminding me of that today!

Saturday morning, I ran the US Road Running Summer Luau 5K and 10K! Mark, Steph, and I headed up to Pinchot State Park bright and early Saturday morning for the races. There was no real description of the course on the website -- but it should've said "TRAIL RUN". With the exception of maybe 1/10 mile, the course was all trails. I'm not gonna lie - it was tough!

After the 5K, we hung around to also run the 10K! Mark and I were scheduled for 9 miles for marathon training, so it worked perfectly. Plus, the medal for the 5K was a left flip flop, and the 10K was the right one -- we had to get a pair!

These crazy friends all ran the 10K - and most of them had run the 5K as well!

We had fun sporting our bling! Mark had an extra piece of bling since he got 2nd place in the 10K! 

I ran the 10K with my friend, Diana. We went to high school together and trained for our first 5K together back in 2010. Since then, we've both lost lots of weight and gotten much better at running!! It was fun to reunite for this race!
Two tough trail runs made for tired legs - so Steph and I headed for much needed pedicures with our friend Laurie, then met some friends for an afternoon at the pool!


Sunday morning, I was up early again for another race! This time I was the run leg in the York YWCA Women's Triathlon.

I was part of a team with my friend Barb and her daughter, Samantha. Samantha is a super speedy high school swimmer! We were seeded according to swim time, and since she's fast - we started near the top! That was kind of intimidating!!

Since I was the run leg (aka - last!), I had some time to hang around in between registration and the start of my run. And by "some time" I mean...we registered at around 7:15 and I didn't start running until 9:30! I got some coffee and did some spectating!

 The run course was great! It was almost totally flat, ran through a neighborhood and some on our local Rail Trail. I should've been able to run it in about 26 minutes. However, my legs were having none of that after 9 miles of trails the day before and 2 hours of standing around that morning. I ended up with a time of 29:04. Not my best, but the day was really fun!

My favorite part of the day was this moment - my awesome friend Dawn crossing the finish line after completing the whole thing! Dawn is amazing!! 

My great, race-filled weekend ended with some bocce ball and a fire with friends! What a great weekend!!

The week's workouts:
Monday: rest day
Tuesday: yoga + 3 miles
Wednesday: yoga + 5 miles
Thursday: yoga + 3 miles
Friday: rest
Saturday: 9 miles - trail races
Sunday: 3.1 miles - triathlon relay
(23 miles this week)

Friday, June 27, 2014

A New Name


I think of it as "the scarlet W". Like Hester Prynne was forced to walk around with her red A emblazoned on her clothing, I sometimes feel like there's a red W on mine. 


It's a word that at 33, and at 28 when it became my reality, I never thought I'd associate with myself. 

It's a box that gets checked on a form...with a little sting each time.

Yesterday was my 5 year wedding anniversary. What a strange thing...when I never celebrated even a 1 year anniversary with Isaac. But our wedding day was truly the BEST day of my life. I loved everything about that day. When I think about getting married again, I can't imagine doing the whole big wedding thing. My first wedding was perfect. I wouldn't change a thing. 

But, I do want to get married again. 

I want to check the box that says "married".

I want to make dinner for someone and take spontaneous road trips together and go to the movies and kiss them goodnight.

People frequently say to me -- "you're so strong" -- but I am not.

I am not strong.

I am weak.

God is strong.

I sometimes give that word -- widow -- too much power in my life. I let it make me believe that it's the only box I'll ever get to check on the "marital status" forms.

And it might be.

But it's not the only word that defines me. It's not the only word God calls me.


Those are words God calls me.  
Those are words God calls YOU. 
We are more than our circumstances. 
We are HIS.

 Find more truth over at SheReadsTruth today!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Happy Days

You can tell it's summer because this is my 3rd blog in a week, and I've got one more coming tomorrow! I love having more time to actually sit and write. I didn't blog for about 2 weeks at the beginning of June because I was busy with lots of crazy fun! So, here's a little summary of the fun I was having while away from the computer!

My awesome friend Steph won tickets to see "Les Mis" at a local theater and asked me to be her date! Since "Les Mis" is one of my favorites, I jumped at the chance! Plus, we got to go early and enjoy a reception where there was free food and wine. We felt pretty classy being all VIP! It was a great show!

The next day, my BFF Michelle (in the middle) turned 30 and a few of us threw her a party to celebrate! The funny thing is, all 4 of us "party throwers" are not BFFS. We are friends, but we are friends through knowing Michelle -- we are all some of her BFFs from different times in her life. It was fun to come together with these gals to celebrate someone we all love!

The morning after Michelle's party, I got in the car and headed to Rehobeth Beach, DE! (yes, my 2nd weekend in a row at the beach!) Some of my friends rented a house (ok, it was really shack) so we could visit the Dogfish Head Analog-a-Go-Go festival!

But, before I headed to the brew festival, I had to get in a run! My friend, Heidi, was also in Rehobeth at the same time so we met up for an early morning boardwalk run! We sported our orange shirts because all of our friends from Gruver Fitness were running a big group 5k back home! We were there in spirit!

The Analog-a-Go-Go Festival was a blast! They had a bunch of different beers to taste, many of which are brewed specially for this festival and won't be around again. We also got to eat some great food, tour the Dogfish brewery, and have lots of laughs!!
(and I got to spend 2 days laying on the beach and soaking up the sun!)
The following week, I had some of my friends over for dinner. You know I love to cook, and cooking for just me gets really boring. I love having people over and cooking for them! We 
And, my final big fun event was a bridal shower for my sweet friend, Bethany! She's getting married at the end of August to a GREAT guy named Seth. They have been coined "Sethany" - and they are too cute! It's awesome to see how perfectly God has matched these two.  I can't wait to be a part of their special day in August - don't worry, I will blog about it! :) 

So, as you can see, it's been a bit of a whirlwind around here. This week I've been taking it easy and doing a whole lot of nothing. It feels pretty awesome...but I'm scouting out my next beach trip already!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Random Eats

Sometimes I bypass blogs where people share their food, sometimes I love them. Since I've been happily back in the kitchen this past week, I decided to share some of my latest eats with you!

Afternoon pick-me-up -- 1 cup cold brewed coffee, 1 tbsp So Delicious Hazelnut Creamer, a few drops of Stevia, lots of ice -- blend!

 Brunch -- leftover roasted root veggies (parsnips, sweet potato, beets) topped with 2 eggs, and avocado sprinkled with smoked paprika.

Salad -- mixed baby greens, arugula, grilled chicken, jicama, apricot, cucumber, drizzled with coconut balsamic vinegar and vanilla balsamic vinegar. (I got both of them from Olio)

My first ever bison steak! I marinated it in some coconut aminos (a soy sauce substitute) and some spices and then grilled it. Served with sweet potato, asparagus, and watermelon/jicama salad (chopped both up, tossed with lime juice and chopped mint)
Black iced coffee + eggs scrambled with veggies (kinda boring!)

Last night, I ate dinner around 5:30 and then went to yoga 6:30-7:30. I was meeting friends to run at 8:30, and wanted a little snack. I stuffed 2 Medjool dates with a tablespoon of Squirrelly Tail -- my favorite BSNB flavor!!

Another breakfast - I made this Paleo-friendly "English muffin" (which is really easy!!) for an egg sandwich and served it with a side of fresh watermelon.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Marathon Training Is ON!



It seems really overwhelming and crazy -  especially for my friends who are not runners, when they hear me say "I started marathon training".  Then they ask what I ran...and I answer with "3 miles". HAHA! It is kind of underwhelming when your first marathon training workout is 3 miles. But never fear - it gets worse.  Or better, I guess, depending on how you look at it!
I sat down last week with my "Believe I Am" Training Journal  and did a little goal setting. 

Here are my big goals...
1. Feel JOY in running. Marathon training is a little daunting. 15+ mile runs are going to be tough, but I want to feel the joy of running and run because I just love it!
2. Run even when it feels hard. It's really the only way to learn how to push through the tough stuff.
3. Stick to my training plan. This shouldn't be too hard. My friend, Mark, is also running Baltimore as his first full, and we already work out together regularly, so we're following the same plan. 
He's probably regretting this decision and already annoyed at the number of times I've texted him about training plans.  HA!!  I have some awesome other running buddies who are training for various races too, so I'll never be without a partner to help entertain me!
4. Pray. Before I did my first run, I sat and prayed over my training. Praying before each run helps remind me of my purpose. It helps keep me focused.

So, "Marathon Monday" will be making it's debut next week - because I kinda forgot about it this week. I'll post my weekly workouts and probably only my mom and dad will actually read them, but that's okay. They are my #1 fans, after all. (Hi Mom and Dad!)

Run happy, friends! :-)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Exciting (and nutty) News!

I've shared with you all before about a great local company that I love - Blind Spot Nutbutters!

A few weeks ago, Sheri (nutbutter maker extraordinaire) contacted me about BSNB's desire to start some kind of "ambassador" type program. She asked me if I'd be interested...and I might have jumped up and down cheering -- YES!

(this is frequently what my fridge looks like!)

I LOVE this company. Sheri and Troy are athletes, foodies, and all around great people!!

If you love nut butter and awesome companies like BSNB - you can join me as a Blind Spot Nutbutter ADDICT! We're looking for great folks to help spread the word about BSNB!

As a BSNB Addict, you'll get a shirt, nutbutter samples, and be the first in line to try new (and delicious) products!!

Click on this link and fill out the form!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Weekend Things + Winners!

Sorry for the delay in posting my Bondi Band winners! I was away for the weekend! For the 5th year, my former teaching team headed to the beach to celebrate the end of another school year!!!

Though it wasn't quite as celebratory since we are all working today, thanks to the snow! We had a blast, soaked up lots of sun, laughed until our cheeks hurt, and caught up on each other's lives. I'm so thankful to have worked with these women - they are all outstanding educators and great friends!!

The giveaway winners were Laurel and Jodi! 
I emailed you ladies to get your addresses. Thank you to everyone who participated!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Happy National Running Day!!!!

Today is National Running Day! As someone who used to HATE running, I can honestly say I never thought I'd be celebrating this day...but here I am!

There are so many reasons I love running. Admittedly, one of them is because I also love food - more calories burned means more room for calorie consumption! Haha!

But really, I love running for so many more serious reasons.
1. The people. Runners are some of the best people I've ever encountered. They are a fiercely united community who will support each other, cheer for each other, and just plain have a great time together. Runners are good people. 

2. The friendships. Also related to #1, but I've made some really amazing friends through running. Plus, when you're running for 2+ hours together, you get close pretty quickly!

3. The adventures. Just this year, I've run in Washington, D.C., Ocean City, and Brooklyn - and I have races in Philadelphia and Baltimore on the calendar! Running can take you so many fun places!!

4. The strength. Running has increased my physical strength - but more importantly, it has increased my mental strength. When I'm feeling out of sorts, a good long run puts things back into perspective. I've also increased my mental stamina like crazy - I push through hard workouts more than I ever used to before I started running! 

Check out some more reasons why folks run over at Olive to Run today!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bondi Band Giveaway!

I've got a great giveaway for you today!! 

I'm super picky about headbands. I must have a strangely shaped head, because very few headbands actually stay put for me. However - I have a bunch of these fabulous headbands because they are awesome!

Bondi Bands are a wider headband, but can be folded or scrunched up to make them smaller too.  They're made of a blend of nylon, spandex, and Lycra - making them thin and stretchy! They sort of remind me of bathing suit material. 

They absorb some of my sweat, keep my hair out of my face, and I can wear them over my ears when it's chilly.  Plus, they come with tons of fun sayings on them. 

Bondi Bands can be thrown in the wash with the rest of your workout clothes, too! I line dry mine, but they dry really quickly.

I have 2 BondiBands to give away to 2 lucky readers. Enter below using Rafflecopter and I'll notify the winners by Saturday morning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love them already? Use the code SWEATPINK for 10% off your purchase! Bondi Band has a lot of other fun products too - not just headbands!

(I was given a Bondi Band to try out - though I already owned a bunch myself - through a campaign from Fit Approach!)