It’s Half Marathon Weekend+Birthday Treats!

Well, St. Michael’s Half Marathon weekend is here!  I’ve missed several days of training runs (but cross-trained to keep my fitness level up) due to a tight calf/foot pain, so we shall see how this race goes on Saturday.  On top of that, it’s supposed to rain the entire time.  However, I have run a half marathon in steady rain before, and I’ll do it again and give it my best shot.  I’m so excited to have both Brandon and my momma cheering me on!

I did an easy 2 mile run yesterday morning just to test out my foot, and I wasn’t in any pain but I still felt it, if that makes sense.  I have my pre-race nutrition nailed down, and Laura and I came up with a race day strategy, so I already feel better knowing I have a plan going into it.  The plan is to run the first 3 miles at a conservative pace, ease into my goal pace from miles 3-10, then push at the end.  If anything hurts (like more than just an ‘I’m exhausted’ hurt), I’ll ease up.  At least I know everyone else out there will be racing in the same conditions at me, so we’re all up against the less than ideal weather.

On a positive note, I got some super fun birthday treats!!  Brandon got me a beautiful pair of emerald (my birthstone) and diamond earrings.

They’re seriously so gorgeous!  Also, as you know, I’m now a member of the Oiselle Volee team and am a huge fan of their gear.  My momma hooked me up with a pair of their Embossed Toolbelt Rogas and I love them!  They don’t poof out at the sides, are super lightweight and comfy, and have three pockets!  I’m all about the pockets.  She also bought me a pair of the Saucony bullet shorts.  Why is running gear so amazing?

Speaking of running gear, I hooked myself up with a pair of new shoes, because why not?!

The Saucony Triumph ISO 2’s!  I’ve had good luck with Saucony in the past, and the cushioning in these feels so good on my tootsies, but the shoe itself doesn’t feel clunky or heavy.  This is also the first time I’ve gotten running shoes a full size up, versus a half size.  I’m actually glad I tested shoes out after work, when my feet are more swollen than first thing in the morning.  I wish I could wear them Saturday for my race (along with my new shorts!), but I know that’s probably not smart so I’ll suck it up and wait to play with all my new gear until after.

Oh, random and fun fact I just found out–season 2 of Bloodline will be released onNetflix on 5/27!  I cannot wait to binge that bad boy.  Love me some Kyle Chandler.

 Brandon and I are heading down to St. Michaels this afternoon to pick up my bib–then it’s time to relax, eat, and rest up for race day! I’m sure it’ll be an interesting one and I’m looking forward to recapping it for you guys!  

Have a great Friday & weekend! 

What’s on your weekend agenda?

Have you ever raced in the rain before? Any advice?

Are you as obsessed with Bloodline as I am?!

Weekend Wrap-Up+Surprise Party!

I had such a great weekend!  First of all, Deb is in town, and on top of that, Brandon threw me an amazing surprise birthday party Saturday!  

Let’s back up to Saturday morning–I decided to go ahead and try my last long run, an 8 miler, that morning.  My foot has been feeling better (not quite 100%), and if I felt pain I told myself I’d stop and cross train instead.  I woke up around 6:00 and ate a banana, filled my handheld with Nuun, and set out for my favorite path, the Mt. Vernon trail.

The sun was out, which was amazing since we’ve had two weeks straight of rain.  I’m not even lying.  I felt pretty good once I started out, and my miles were around 10:15-10:30/pace.  The second half was a bit of a struggle. I don’t know if it’s because the temps were warmer and I didn’t have much shade, but my pace slowed considerably, and it just felt hard.  Obviously I was worried at the end of that run, because if those paces feel hard, how the heck am I supposed to be able to run faster than that for my race?  Here’s my overall stats:

I stopped at my fave local coffee shop afterwards to pick up dirty chai lattes for everyone, then my mom and I lounged around for a bit before heading out to Maryland.  My mom wanted to go to Target and Total Wine–little did I know she was stalling and keeping me out of the house while Brandon was setting everything up!  I couldn’t figure out why she was going up and down every single freaking aisle in the stores! 

When we finally got home, I opened up the door and saw all my friends and family there, yelling “Surprise!”  I was in so much shock and just so overwhelmed.  Brandon had the party catered and had decorations hanging up and everything.  It was the sweetest, most thoughtful thing ever.

I can’t thank my sweet husband enough!

I had the best time hanging out with everyone and dominating flip cup!  I am incredibly blessed and thankful.

Brandon and I slept in Sunday until close to 9:00, and we all lounged around the house, enjoyed the pumpkin spice baked oatmeal my momma made.  Later on, we went to my local running store to talk about some light stability shoes vs. orthotics (I don’t think I’m going to do orthotics, I really didn’t care for the feel), then hit up Trader Joes! 

That evening, I treated my mom go a belated Mother’s Day dinner at one of our favorite local French restaurants, Montmartre.  I love that place–it’s cozy and the food never disappoints.  We shared an English pea soup and a kale salad with quinoa, grapefruit and avocado to start.

Followed by steak tartare–they have the best I’ve ever had!

Then mussels for dinner!

I had such a nice time having a girls dinner with my momma.  I miss her when she’s gone.

Sunday night was spent having wine while spending time with my momma!  I hope you guys have a great Monday!

Share your weekend highlights!

Do you like surprises?

Have you ever had long runs that just feel harder than normal?

Friday Faves+Deb Is Coming+Foot Update

Whew, I feel like that title is a mouthful!  But I needed to cover all the bases.  First off, happy Friday!  I’m so freaking excited because my mom flies in this afternoon and will be in D.C. a little over a week.  I can’t wait to spend some time with her–she’ll be here to celebrate my birthday (heads up it’s Tuesday!) and spectate my race!  My momma and I always have the best time together.  We love wandering around Eastern Market, AKA going into all the food shops and eating goodies!

These past two weeks have been a bit of a struggle for me as far as running/training goes. It’s made me cranky and mopey and I don’t like it.   As you know, I’ve been going to my PT twice a week, and he recently started doing both dry needling and Graston on my calf. Heaven help me.  It does not feel fun, but I have noticed my calf and foot are starting to feel looser.  Also, I think PT needs to stand for Personal Torture. He wanted me to stick to the elliptical/bike until my race since I said I feel ready for my race aerobically, but I cheated and decided to run with some of my Oiselle teammates Thursday morning, Caitlin and Courtney!


I just couldn’t stand the idea of doing the elliptical again, and Laura said if I woke up and my foot was feeling up to it, I could try 3 very easy miles so that’s exactly what I did.  I still feel a little stiffness/tenderness in my heel pad area but it’s noticeably better, and I was happy to be outside chatting and running, despite the humidity.  Also, let’s talk about the fact that I’m super pale in that pic because we haven’t seen sunshine in like two weeks and I’m convinced I have a Vitamin D deficiency.  I need a spray tan.

My plan after my race is to hit up my favorite local running store (the manager is a Oiselle runner too! and super nice) to re-evaluate my shoe situation.  I’ve always run in neutral running shoes, but after looking back at some race pics from last year and the wear pattern on my shoes, I’m thinking I overpronate more than I realized, particularly on my right side which is where I’ve had issues in the past.  Has this happened to anyone else–where your running pattern/stride has changed and you’ve switched your style of running shoes? Either way, I love shoe shopping so this will give me an excuse to try on some new shoes.

And now onto some things I’m loving!

1. My Students.  I can’t believe my 8th graders are going to be leaving me next month.  I get to work with some awesome middle schoolers who make me laugh on a daily basis–and sometimes make me want to pull my hair out, let’s be honest.  But I love that I’m able to watch them grow and mature, and I’ve become close with several of them.  I can’t imagine not seeing some of them next year–it makes me sad to think about it, but hopefully I’ve had as much of an effect on them as they’ve had on me.

2. Lush ‘Vanishing Cream’ Moisturizer.  I don’t know about everyone else, but my skin needs change from winter to spring/summer, and I need a lighter moisturizer for my combination skin as the weather gets warmer and the humidity plagues DC.  Last time I went to Lush, the lady gave me a free sample of the vanishing cream moisturizer, and I love it.  It’s lightweight, doesn’t smell funny, and moisturizes but doesn’t make me feel greasy or break out.


3. Bermuda Shorts.  I treated myself to a Stitch Fix this month as a birthday present to myself, and I was pleasantly surprised by the pair of turquoise colored Bermuda shorts my stylist sent.  I never thought I’d like that style (I love showing off my legs, I’ll be honest), but they’re super cute and lengthening.  And, bonus: the longer style means I can wear them to work!  These are the ones they sent:

Cute right?!  

I hope you guys have a great Friday the 13th & weekend!  I have my last long run on the agenda–8 miles easy–which I’m planning on running unless my PT tells me my foot will fall off.  Then it’s taper time! 

What’s on your weekend agenda?

Have you ever switched from a neutral to light stability/guidance shoe or vice versa? 

Weekend Wrap-Up+Wedding Fun!

Hello & happy Monday to you!  I had a fun weekend filled with running, watching my friends get married, and stuffing my face!

I ended up taking 3 days off from running last week (but was able to cross train) to let my calf and foot rest.  I’ve been going to my PT twice a week and he’s switched from dry needling to Graston on my calf.  It’s been frustrating, but I know I just need to be patient and listen to my body.  Have you ever tried Graston before?  It’s seriously torture.

But, I was able to do a long run Saturday morning!  I prepped with the usual meal.

I’m glad I’ve nailed down my pre-run meal that works for me!  

Laura wanted me to try 10-12 miles at an easy pace, and I was able to cover 10.  My foot still felt a little tight and stiff, but I wasn’t in any actual pain and was happy to be running in sunshine.  Right now, I’m okay with my race not going the way I originally planned.  I know I’ll run a sub 2:00 one day!  Here’s my stats:

After my run, I recovered with chocolate protein oatmeal and a bowl of ice.

I didn’t eat the bowl of ice in case you were wondering.  I used it to dump in the tub to soak my foot.  And yes I ate my oatmeal as I was doing the ice bath.

After getting ready, Brandon and I hit the road for a two hour road trip for our friend’s wedding!  The venue was near Charlottesville, Virginia and it was beautiful.

The day was beyond emotional for many reasons, but the bride and groom looked so happy.

Brandon and I couldn’t be happier for them.  After the ceremony, Brandon and I took advantage of the beautiful views for some photo ops!

I’m wearing the shoes Deb got me! 

I love my framily 😊

Brandon and I didn’t drag our butts out of bed until 11:00 Sunday morning!  Ooops–too much wedding fun will do that to ya!

I called my momma after we were home to wish her a happy Mother’s Day.  She’s the best mom ever–always supportive, fun, and loving.

I love that pic of us from my wedding.  

Brandon and I lounged around all day Sunday, but treated ourselves to some delicious Mexican food for dinner.  Because clearly I hadn’t eaten enough the night before.  Carne asada get in my belly!

I polished that plate off!  I don’t mess around when it comes to food!

The rest of our Sunday was spent watching movies and being lazy.  Brandon leaves for Philly early tomorrow morning for work, so I’ll be catching up on all my trashy shows this week! 

Hope you guys have a great Monday!

Share your weekend highlights!

How did you celebrate Mother’s Day?

Favorite wedding you’ve ever been to?

Weekend Wrap-Up+Half Marathon Training, Week 4

Ugh, Monday already?!  Even though I’m bummed the weekend is over, I’m excited to have Brandon back home!  And it’s my birthday month!  

I had an easy 11 mile run Saturday morning–I could feel the plantar fasciitis in my right foot, but I wasn’t in pain.  It’s just annoying more than anything.  

I’m starting to experiment with foods the night before my long runs so I can hammer out a plan for race weekend.  Friday night, I baked some salmon and had it alongside a sweet potato with cinnamon and some plantains.

This was also my first time cooking a sweet potato in the microwave.  Genius!  I mean who has time to wait like 45 minutes when you’re hungry?  Not me.

My dinner seemed to work well for my tummy and I was satisfied but not stuffed.  I was up at 5:30 Saturday morning and prepped for my run.

My stomach felt so much better using jelly instead of almond butter.  I forgot to buy a banana to have along with my toast, so I ate the few leftover slices of plantains.  I brought my handheld with tropical flavored Nuun and two gels.  

The weather was overcast and in the upper 40’s.  Although it was dreary, it was perfect running weather.  I wore my Saucony Triumph ISO’s and compression socks instead of my Nike’s this time, since Laura said the extra cushioning in the forefoot may be better.  I was happy with how this run went–like I said, I wasn’t in any pain, but I could feel my PF.  I kept my pace easy, and picked it up over the last two miles.

After my run, I headed home to clean up and then picked up Brandon from the airport!

I was so happy he was finally home.  He had a hockey game that evening, so I dropped him off at the rink then went to grab dinner at a local Peruvian chicken place, Sardi’s!  

Pictured: Peruvian chicken, yucca fries, and salad.  Fun fact: I was so hangry I ate so fast that I actually thought I might up chuck when I was finished.  Nice huh?!

I headed back to the rink to cheer Brandon and his team on.

He’s in the white jersey, rockin the face off!  They won, woo!

After his game we headed back to DC so he could grab something to eat, and so we could watch the Caps game (they lost, boo).  I’m usually a wine drinker, but after a long run or speed session, all I want is a delicious craft beer.

Delicious!  Guess what Sunday morning was?

Hahahaha that is one of my all-time favorite memes.  Never gets old.  

I enjoyed a quiet morning with coffee, chocolate protein oatmeal, and the ads before heading to TJ’s. I was naughty and picked up some treats.

My favorite dark chocolate almonds and a mix pack of different craft beers.  Oh, and our TJ’s sells Picky Bars now!

I wish they sold the cookie doughpness flavor–that one is so hard to find!

I spent the rest of the rainy Sunday Netflixin’ (I’m on season 2 of The Tudors!) and chillin’.  We watched a documentary about the Duke University lacrosse scandal–very interesting.  Watch it if you get a chance!  

Now on to the recap of week four of training!

Monday: 4 miles easy+prehab exercises+core work.

Tuesday: 6×4 mins @ 5k-10k pace with 2 min recovery in between, plus w/u and c/d.  So tough because it was almost 70 degrees and sunny when I started, but I nailed that ish! Total 4.5 miles.

Wednesday: 3 miles easy+strength training.

Thursday: 5 miles easy.

Friday: Rest day!

Saturday: 11 miles easy, pushing a little more during the last 2-3 miles. 

Sunday: Lazy day.  I was supposed to do 40 minutes of cross-training but I slept in a bit and relaxed instead.  Oops!

Total Weekly Mileage: 27.5 miles.

Hope you guys have a great Monday!

Share your weekend highlights!

Any recs for PF? 

Favorite treat after a long/tough run or workout?