Weekly Workouts (9/22-9/29)

Whooop Friday eve — anyone else lovin’ that? I totally started this post yesterday and, um, yeah. Here we are.

So, I may not be marathon training (like for real now, that’s definitely out the window and I’ve relinquished my grasp on any last lingering false half-hopes that I miiiiight be one of those miracle people who can run a marathon without training for it), but I’m not slacking on my workouts/runs despite being so.freaking.busy, so I’m calling that a success! 

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Thurs, 9/22: 4-mile morning run; push-ups; abs (planks & leg raises); air squats.
Fri, 9/23:
Rest from running. Ty and I went for a 4-mile speedwalk along the Hudson River path at during sunset, which was really nice, and felt necessary considering my legs were sooooo sore from an all-the-legs workout on Wednesday.
Sat, 9/24:
ELTON JOHN DAY! We had a plan to leave early for the Poconos, so I was up and out before 8am for a 7-mile run. Felt good to have that over with.
Sun, 9/25: 7-mile sunset run = beautiful, and felt like the best way to end my weekend.
Mon, 9/26: 
hmm i honestly can’t remember if I did anything this day or not? maybe rest?
Tues, 9/27:
3.5 mile morning run. Drizzly out, rather slow pace (around a 9-minute mile average, I’d guess), but felt good after it was over!
Wed, 9/28: 
60 mins of strength and abs this morning: kettle bells (swings, round-the-body toss, squat-curl-tricep combo), TRX back rows, allll the push-ups (tricep push-ups and wide push-ups using the Perfect Push-Up handles), air squats, in-out jump squats, lunges, back/shoulders/arms using 5-lb plates.
Thurs, 9/29: 4-mile morning run. Having some weird hip/leg pain that feels like nerve pain (??) so took it slow, but otherwise felt really good. As much as I will bemoan the end of summer along with everyone else, I am loving fall running. NYC in Autumn is magic.

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Total weekly mileage: 25.5

Totally fine with that, and while I’d love to set the goal of running at least 30 miles a week, a lot of it just comes down to time in the mornings for me. Maybe if I get to bed at 9pm (I like a lot of sleep don’t judge me), I can actually get up at 5 or 5:30 and start earlier. For now, I’m doing what I can!

Songs of the week:
“Talk Too Much” by Coin
“Cold Water” by Biebs and Major Lazer

How’s the running going? Who has a big race coming up?
Best thing about your city in the fall?

There Are No Words for Magic

As the only daughter of a music-crazed father who raised me with a fierce appreciation for Oldies, some of my earliest and most cherished memories involve my family and I singing along to the radio in the car or listening to albums in our living room. Music was an integral aspect of my daily life growing up, and I knew all the words to every song on Oldies radio. The Beach Boys, The Beatles, The Zombies, The Monkees, America, Simon & Garfunkel — they sang the tunes that serve as the soundtrack to my childhood, and I’m so thankful that my parents instilled such a passionate love of music in my brother and me, as it’s played such a large role in our identities.

But there’s always been one singer/song writer who has stood out for me above the rest, more and more so as I’ve matured, and who has become a “bucket list” item for me… and on Saturday night, at the Mohegan Sun Arena nestled into the heart of the Poconos Mountains in Wilkes Barre, PA, this life dream of mine came true as I saw him in concert:

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Sir Elton John, you are everything music should ever aspire to be. Epic, iconic, legendary, incredible, beyond comprehension and words. It was literally a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’m so sosososo thankful my wonderful boyfriend surprised me with. That photo is from my seat, which was so close to him! He put on the absolutely most incredible show and sounded fantastic and was so charming and entertaining and and and I can’t say enough. And he played all his hits: Rocket Man, Tiny Dancer, Your Song, Daniel, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Levon, Candle in the Wind, and closed the night with a crowd-participatory version of Crocodile Rock that had everyone dancing on their feet and grinning ear-to-ear. It was pure magic, through and through. 

Moments before Sir Elton took the stage…and the face I wore all night.

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Aside from the wonderful show, the rest of the weekend was fantastic as well. It was book-ended by two 7 mile runs: one early on Saturday morning before we set off for the Poconos, and the other late last night as the sun set on Sunday. It’s not often I run at night, but I loved everything about last night’s run and felt so thankful to end my weekend like that.

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On the way to the Poconos on Saturday, we stopped at Sorrenti’s Cherry Valley Vineyards to see what Pennsylvania wine was all about (and mainly because I love anything and everything associated with the word “vineyard”). It was an absolutely gorgeous day — have I mentioned that I’m obsessed with September? — and Tyler’s first time ever at a vineyard/winery, so we were in love with our lives on this glorious day.

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We sampled some of their wines in the rustic tasting room, where for $4 you get to taste your choice of any six, and keep your glass to boot. Sold.

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They also have an Italian restaurant boasting brick oven pizza on the property, so we happily lounged outdoors on the spacious patio for a bit and each sipped a glass of red, and I think I succeeded in convincing him that we should go to Napa & Sonoma in the near future to expand his winery experiences. I mean, I’m only thinking of him here.

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On Sunday, after the best concert ever happened the previous night, we woke up and drove into town and lucked into finding a gem of a French brunch place in Wilkes Barre called Le Manhattan Bistro.

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Located in an old bank building, it was a spacious, inviting restaurant with amazing vaulted ceilings and an impressive menu (and as usual, I forget to take food pics…whoops!). Such a fun find, and a delicious way to end our Poconos stay.

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I’m still reeling from how fantastic of a weekend this was, and so ready to go on all the road trips I can possibly take this fall! Thank you, boyfriend, for making this such an epic, memorable weekend of which I loved every single moment.

What experiences are on your bucket list?
Been to any cute little towns lately?
Favorite Elton John song??🙂

Simplicity, Pumpkin Spice & I’m Published! (TOLT)

Thursday means a big shout-out-thanks to Amanda @ Running With Spoons, I get a chance to rant all over the place today and use it as an excuse to linkup with some other fun bloggers.

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. So first off, I just received an email (literally like 3 minutes ago) that a piece I recently submitted to Thought Catalog was accepted (!!!), so I’m currently really excited about that. I’ve published this piece on my Mogul site before, but I’m a huge Thought Catalog fan and definitely feel I can get more exposure being published there. 

My piece: You Have the Right to Remain Single

I’ve written quite a few memoir pieces over the years and this one (written this past year) holds a special place in my heart, so I’m over the moon thrilled and so very flattered that it was published on this site. I have a writer’s page now as well, so I hope to continue to push myself to write content worthy of being published. (PS – If you’ve never checked out this site, do yourself a big favor and start perusing — there are so many great reads!)

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2. I have big plans to be all outdoorsy this weekend, as the boy and I are going to drive a bit north of the city and go for a hike on Saturday, which is something we’ve been talking about doing for a while. September seems like the ideal time to hike in NY, so I’m stoked to get out of the city and explore some new-to-us paths and towns along the Hudson. It’s crazy to me that I live so close to these quaint little towns and gorgeous hiking trails, and yet I’ve barely explored any of that area. Time to change that! And I already know I’m going to want to go again once the leaves start to change and take in all that beauty.

3. Has anyone tried these alluring bars of healthy goodness yet? 

pumpkin-spice-rxbarThe only RxBar I’ve tried so far is the blueberry, which I rather enjoyed, so I figured I should buy a box of the seasonal pumpkin spice flavor while it’s available and show down on those as a wholesome way to welcome the start of Autumn. I’ve basically given up all bars except for the occasional Larabar (as they’re only dates and nuts), but I know these are also clean-eating friendly and whole food based, so I figured I’ll give ’em a whirl. Aka I blindly ordered a box off Amazon and really hope I like them. 

4. I feel like I’m getting a bit “bored” (not sure that’s exactly the right word but it’s in that wheelhouse so I’m sticking with that for now) with my workouts lately. I think I’m missing the high-intensity of the boot camp classes I used to take and need to up the kettlebell, plyo, TRX sessions to at least two a week. I’d love to try Orange Theory or do Class Pass, but right now my schedule is so restricted that really the only way for me to workout is either to wake up and immediately go running along the Hudson or else go two flights down to my apartment building gym and push myself as hard as I can without a trainer screaming at me to do another push-up until I fall on my face. Maybe I should take advantage of some of the Nike workouts, or look for suggestions online. Any thoughts? 

5. I’m currently reading The Untethered Soul and having mixed feelings about it. It’s very heady and zen, which I don’t really mind, except that while it does force me to think about the process of thinking and taking ownership of my consciousness (and not really being someone who is stuck inside her head too much or does much over thinking at all, some of it is a bit hit-or-miss for me), the primary affect it’s having on me is to make me wish I was really good at yoga (aka flexible at all) and send me searching for cool yoga pants online from which to start my own stretching practice in my bedroom. Apparently I associate meditation with lying on a mat in cute patterns and practicing gratitude… and I’m okay with that. I’m just not quite sure that’s what the author was going for. 

6. Been feeling a pull lately to really embrace simplicity more in the way I live, which is spurring me to want to dump the entire contents of my closet (and dressers, and beneath-the-bed bins) onto my floor and really contemplate what I can live without. This then led me to think about the kind of life I’d like to lead right now, which brought me to thoughts of moving somewhere super granola outdoorsy, surrounded by natural beauty, where I can engage in all sorts of physical outdoor activities to my heart’s content on a year-round basis and feel really centered and balanced. And that led me to thinking about what a complete overhaul of my closet would look like and what sort of clothing best represents me…and a few minutes later, I’d purchased a sweet Patagonia jacket from Backcountry. I mean, I can totally justify the jacket and love it, but find it sort of hilarious that a thought process starting with “simplify your life” and then going to “get rid of unnecessary stuff” finally led to “buy something new.” But I’m going to tackle the purge soon, I swear. This is just extra fuel for that fire.😉

I think that’s enough ranting for today! Feel free to tell me something random from your week.

Weekly Workouts (9/1-9-7)

It seems to be so easy for a full week to go by without me blogging lately, and here I am right back to another weekly workouts post already. Where does the time go??

I hope you all had lovely Labor Day weekends, and I’m guessing you’re as deep in denial as I am about Summer’s imminent send-off. We had the most beautiful weather imaginable in Upstate NY this past weekend,  and I wouldn’t be mad at all if early September just stayed forever. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect long weekend, full of all my favorite things: my family, close friends, a lake view and some boating/SUPing, a day in Saratoga that ended at a Zac Brown Band concert (they were amazinggggg), and lots of running and relaxing. Oh, and more delicious wine slushies! I was loving my life this past weekend.

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And as for the workouts/running, that’s been pretty good, too. Not marathon-training good, but decent enough.

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Thurs, 9/1: hour of upper body strength (kettlebells, free weights, plates, push-ups) & abs
Fri, 9/2: 3.5 mile morning run
Sat, 9/3: 9-mile very hilly run upstate; push-ups
Sun, 9/4: 5-mile run with the boy
Mon, 9/5: 3-mile run with the boy; paddleboarding
Tues, 9/6: rest.
Wed, 9/7: 5.5 mile morning run; push-ups; 50 walking lunges

Total weekly mileage: 26

Thoughts: I’m happy with this, although running has felt a bit tough/meh lately, largely in part to a very achey hip that won’t seem to give me a break. It’s not excruciating but it’s super tight and just annoyingly painful all the time. 

I did put in a request (just today) to defer my marathon til next year as I 1) am experiencing a lot of hip pain lately and 2) didn’t do any long run training this past month due to humidity and just not putting the time in, sooooo I’m nowhere near where I’d need to be to run a marathon in 4 weeks. A half, maybe; a full, well, that’d be really painful and probably stupid at this point. And I’m okay with this decision.

Song of the week: “Baby You’re Right” by Babe

Weekly Workouts (8/25-8/31)

How is it the last day of August already?? I honestly am baffled by how quickly this summer tumbled by and as much as I love all things September (favorite weather, favorite word, favorite birthstone, less humidity, crisp fall days start happening), I am just never ready to relinquish my annual love affair with summer. It never gets easier to say goodbye.

So, I hesitate to call this “Marathon Training” since I a) haven’t posted a training post in a few weeks and b) am still uncertain as to whether or not I’ll tackle the big beast of a race in October, soooo I figure it’s safer to revert to a weekly workouts post. I’m also linking up with my lovely friend Suzy and her friends for Running Coaches Corner.

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Thurs, 8/25: 60-minute strength workout – first one in a while and felt really good: kettlebells, push-ups, squat jumps, free weights (10lb weights and 5 lb plates); planks & other abs
Fri, 8/26: 4 mile morning run
Sat, 8/27: 4 mile early run (had to just get something in quick before beach day!); planks, abs, and push-ups
Sun, 8/28: 8 mile evening run – it was the most beautiful evening and I loved running at sundown. I was tired going into it but it turned out to be the best way to end my weekend.
Mon, 8/29: Rest. I think there were a few sets of push-ups and like 10 mins of free weights in there at night, but nothing substantial.
Tue, 8/30: 6 mile morning run
Wed, 8/31: 3.5 mile morning run (humid, felt just an overall fatigue today); push-ups; 5 minutes of planks

Total weekly mileage: 25.5 (plus loooots of walking these days — at least a couple of miles every day)

Thoughts: Ya know, I’m enjoying my running lately and honestly feeling a lot of gratitude that I’m able to fit it in on an almost-daily basis, both regarding time management and the fact that for the first time in a long time, I feel so good physically and have no aches and pains from regular running on pavement. I know I’ve talked about this a bit before but I work full-time (in finance) and am a graduate student in a very specialized psychology program (Marriage & Family Therapy), which has been a 5-year endeavor that consumes most of my evenings, so the fact that I’m able to get myself up and to continue this dedication to my running is something I’m really proud of but also so grateful to be able to do. Will I run another marathon in October? I’m honestly not sure, and I’m honestly not stressing about it. I’m just thankful to be as healthy and happy as I currently am, and will take it one day at a time from here. Would I love to feel the desire to continue training for this race and push myself? Of course. But I want to enjoy this and not dread it, so I’m practicing the art of being gentle with myself and listening to my gut, and will honestly enjoy my runs and whatever running journeys may arise no matter what that looks like.

Also, I have no idea where these leggings hail from, but I am on a mission to find out.

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Runhappy, friends.❤

Weekends Should Never End

The definition of time flies: Summer Saturdays & Sundays.

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Sunny Sunday in Bryant Park

Seriously — where do those S-days go? When I become Rearranger of the Universe, we will have many more weekend days than we currently do. You can quote me on that.

*Side note:  I know you can’t see much of it above but I found an adorable romper on Amazon that was such a surprisingly great find for only $20 and now think I’m becoming a believer in the romper trend. Really good quality for the price, just listen to the reviews and size up (I usually am a small and this medium fit perfectly).

Running. It was beautiful here both days this weekend, so even though I didn’t get any crazy big runs in as we had to be down to the Jersey Shore (not crazy Jersey Shore –think quiet, lovely little beach where football players have houses) early on Saturday, I had two pretty decent runs: a 4-miler on Saturday am and a slow and easy 8-miler last night. I have zero photos to show from my sunset run along the Hudson but let me assure you it was lovely.

I’m no closer to making a marathon decision as I only clocked in 12 miles total this weekend, and I should be running 18 at a pop…but I’ll see how September goes and how my body feels and take it from there. I’m praying for lots of 70s and humidity-free days!

Eating. In other news, I tried this last night for the first time and am now insta-obsessed:

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Dairy isn’t my friend and so I rarely eat ice cream, but this almond milk frozen dessert in my all-time favorite flavor was soooooo good. Will be buying on repeat for sure.

Drinking. The boy and I also tried our hand at making wine slushies, as I was super excited about that endeavor, and we were pleasantly surprised with our first attempt! We froze a bottle of Josh Cabernet into ice cube trays overnight, then blended them in the morning with a bag of mixed frozen berries and added a few packets of natural sugar…annnnnd success. Such a perfect summery drink!

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(Not my photo but very close to what ours looked like in color/consistency.)

Reflecting. So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about perfectionism and how we do ourselves such injustices by allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good (this is also a theme in the book I’m reading so I definitely recommend Daring Greatly if you want to delve into this more).

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It’s often so true, though, and I think affects everyone in different areas of our lives at different times. If we constantly strive for the ideal of perfection, which is an impossible construct that we will never achieve (and no objective version of perfection can exist anyway as we all see things from our subjective POVs), we sell ourselves short and miss the wonder and beauty in everything around us that might very well be so darn good but just shy of what we consider perfect.

How does this apply to me? Gah, in so many ways. Realizing that the 8-mile run I do do is better than the 20-miler I don’t and feeling pride in that accomplishment rather than disappointment in what I didn’t do. The blog post I write that may feel all over the place and “purposeless” is still a reflection of what I have to give that day, as opposed to the two weeks I spend not writing because I’m not sure I’ll be interesting enough to read. That book I’m always talking and dreaming about writing? Once I let go of what it means to write “the perfect book,” maybe I’ll actually start getting something out — and whatever I do write will be far better than the idea in my head that never gets put onto paper.

There’s so much freedom found when we learn to ease up on ourselves and embrace the reality of what we can do, rather than be paralyzed into inaction by thoughts of failing at what we see as the perfection we must achieve.

So be gentle with yourselves, friends, and don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for the things you do accomplish and take risks even if the result is “good enough” as opposed to “perfect.” Because sometimes our “good enough” is more amazing than we think.❤

Something good from your weekend?
Anyone else jump on the wine slushie fad?
What are you learning about yourself these days?

Friday Five: Lately Life in Verbs

Hi Friday people — I’m alive!

It’s amazing how when you stop making something a habit, it’s so easy to just push it to the side. I have no intentions of quitting my blog life, but I honestly haven’t felt any overwhelming desire to post late, for one reason or another…or else when I do sit down to write, I can’t seem to focus on anything cohesive or put a post together.

Maybe it’s that I’m too busy livin’ & lovin’ summer life, or that I don’t feel that I have enough interesting stuff to write about, or don’t put any forethought into my posts. Or maybe it’s just that I fell into an unplanned break and have no reasons for that. Regardless, I’m still here, but sort of struggling with what to blog about these sunshiney days. Do I just share about my life? Do I need to take more pictures in NYC, when in reality I haven’t been going out that much because I work all.the.time?

So, here’s an end-of-August update on me, as I link up with Mar, Courtney & Cynthia for the Friday Five.

1. Running. It’s going. I mean, it’s going fine, even well, and I’m still totally enjoying it — but I’m not really marathon training, to be honest. We had 3-4 weeks of overbearing heat and humidity here where it was basically impossible for me to get any long runs in, so the only long runs I’ve done in the past month are two 11-milers in July and a 12-miler this past weekend — and while it felt great, it’s still a far cry from where I should be if I’m planning to run a marathon in 6 weeks. I think I like the idea of running this race again as it was an amazing experience for me last year and I’m chasing a revival of that all-the-feels-and-pride feeling — but I don’t know that I’m that into it this year. I need nice weather and lots of time on weekend mornings to do long runs the way I want…and lately, I’m refusing to run far in crazy humidity and finding myself wanting to do 10 miles (tops) and then go enjoy my day. I’m also giving myself the space to recognize that this is okay and that I do not have to want to run this marathon and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ll see how the next few weeks of long runs (or not-so-long runs) go and decide if I should defer til next year or keep trying to tough it out and push past the resistance.

2. Wearing. In runfashion news, I’m absolutely crazy about my newest running capris and cannot NOT share with all you fit freaks: Athleta’s Mesh Sonar Capris. Love.

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3. Wining. I’ve had a few new-to-me red wines that I really enjoyed this summer, with the most recent being 1000 Stories Red Zinfandel last night at this absolutely darling speakeasy in the Flatiron called The Grain. I immensely enjoyed this California wine and will be running right to the wine store on my way home from work today to snag some! It’s aged in bourbon barrels, which creates a unique flavor, and it was so smooth and lovely. bottle

Also, has anyone jumped on the whole “frosé” aka frozen rosé trend? I’m hearing about it everywhere lately and although I’ve yet to try it, I know it’s totally my thing. I’ve been saying for years that I want to make frozen sangria a thing and open up a shack serving that and tacos on the beach in San Diego…and this seems like a step toward that dream.

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I’ve seen a whole mess of recipes for diff types of frozen wine slushies and love this article that has 15 drool-worthy choices. The boy and I are planning to try our hands at a red wine berry slushy concoction tonight to bring down to the Jersey Shore for a beach day with friends tomorrow, so I’ll keep you posted on how they turn out. Test run for Labor Day!

4. Reading. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown.

The-Daring-Way.pngOne of my best friends read this a couple of years ago and raved about it, so I finally borrowed it – and am so glad I did. It’s a really insightful, reflective book focused on the concept of having the courage to embrace vulnerability in all areas of our lives and reframe what we think “being vulnerable” means. This call to vulnerability is paired with a lesson in understanding shame and its destructive forces, and how battling shame is most effectively accomplished through the process of choosing to be vulnerable and authentic. She’s best known for her amazing viral TED talk on this subject called The Power of Vulnerability, which is actually the most-watched TED talk ever. She’s awesome.

5. Feeling. This is everything. This is what I hope to build my practice around — helping others live out authentic lives devoted to the daily pursuit of owning their own uniqueness and voicing their own story, in whatever way feels truest to them, so that they never tire of the lifelong journey toward the best version of themselves.❤

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Have a lovely weekend, lovies.❤

Best part of your week?
Something you’re learning/an area of growth you’re experiencing lately?