The Fourth in Photos (My Long Weekend Update)

For those of you that follow me on Instagram and Twitter you probably noted I’ve been tweeting from vacation. That’s right, B and I spent the Fourth of July long weekend in a romantic getaway in tropical Milwaukee! It was a great time – we were there during their music festival, Summerfest, and had such a great time. I love live music. So. Much.

Instead of one long blog post about our trip, here are just a few highlights from our Fourth of July, with mostly photos (starting in Cleveland):

Wednesday night: We met up with some friends for the Orchestra’s free concert outdoors downtown and fireworks. We packed a picnic and enjoyed an amazing start to the holiday weekend.

Picnic on the mall

Picnic on the mall

Selfie during the Cleveland fireworks

Selfie during the Cleveland fireworks

Red, white and blue for the orchestra

Red, white and blue for the orchestra

fireworks over downtown CLE

fireworks over downtown CLE

Thursday: B and I hit the road to Milwaukee. Our first stop, however, was a night in Chicago. We met up with B’s sister and her boyfriend for dinner at a cute BYOB Brazilian restaurant. I <3 farofa wayyyy too much.

awful picture but amazing food- feijoada and farofa

awful picture but amazing food- feijoada and farofa

view from our hotel

view from our hotel

Friday: We started off Friday morning with a 5 mile scenic run around Chicago. I love running in Chicago – I love the city and waterfront. Running along the water is so peaceful.

Running. On the beach with the Chicago skyline behind us

Running. On the beach with the Chicago skyline behind us

Then, we were on to Milwaukee! We enjoyed stopping off at my second favorite cheese place – the Mars Cheese Castle – on the way. Once we got to MKE, we hit up Summerfest! So much live music. Love it. The night ended with some more fireworks.

Cheese castle!

Cheese castle!

Goodies from the Cheese castle. Beer, cheese curds and meat stick. #healthy

Goodies from the Cheese castle. Beer, cheese curds and meat stick. #healthy

Corn on the cob at summerfest ... when in Milwaukee ...

Corn on the cob at summerfest … when in Milwaukee …

pretty gorgeous fireworks above the lake

pretty gorgeous fireworks above the lake

Saturday: We had a busy day! The morning started off with a run around Milwaukee. Again, loved running throughout the city and their lakefront. We also hit up some local coffee shops, the beach, Public Market, Historic Third Ward, and Summerfest again. We ended the night seeing Weird Al and Matt Nathanson. Matt Nathanson put on an amazing show, even doing covers – including Under Pressure!

Started the day with a run

Started the day with a run

Then we got some coffee and pastries!

Then we got some coffee and pastries!

Stopped by their public market

Stopped by their public market

Hit up the beach

Hit up the beach

grabbed drinks in the Third Ward along the water

grabbed drinks in the Third Ward along the water

#selfie

#selfie

hit up summerfest again!

hit up summerfest again!

Rocked out to Matt Nathanson

Rocked out to Matt Nathanson

Thanks Matt Nathanson for amazing Summerfest

A video posted by Melissa Koski Carney (@koskim) on Jul 4, 2015 at 9:39pm PDT

Sunday: After a quick trip to the hotel gym and my first day off running in 40 days (my running streak ended 4th of July), we hit up the local coffee shop again and then were on the road for the long drive back.

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last coffee shop stop before the road

Are you still there? Thanks for checking out this super long post. A few questions for you:

  • How do you take your coffee?
  • Scones – prefer them sweet or savory? Sweet all the way!
  • Have you ever had cheese curds? What do you think of them?

Linking up with Running N Reading and Her Heartland Soul today!

WIAW #21: Ice Cream For Dinner

I have a confession. These eats are from my Monday, and I had ice cream for dinner. That’s right – for this week’s What I Ate Wednesday, I’m putting it all out there and sharing with you a day with dessert for dinner.

The day started out healthy enough :) B made me breakfast, which was great. I had some great egg whites with hot peppers, spinach and other assorted veggies.

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I was hungry a little after that and had a nectarine. I saved the apricot for later :)

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Lunch was a salad I had made ahead of time. Yay for Sunday meal prep! Grilled chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, pepper, olives, beans and roasted sweet potato.

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Snacks during the day included a sweet/salty bar (okay, actually 1.5 of these. I had started one Friday and forgot about it and found it after I ate the full one…)

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And some cashews. And the above apricot! Yum!

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After work, I had plans to meet up with a friend and take a walk and grab ice cream. We walked to Ohio City from downtown and went to Mitchell’s. I got a cup of their Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel. Peanut butter yogurt with chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels. Oh my goodness.

Dinner.

Dinner.

I just hit a milestone birthday and am officially – and more than officially – an adult. Which means that sometimes, you just gotta have ice cream for dinner – because, well, you can. And that is what I did on this fine Monday. Peanut butter chocolate pretzel ice cream for dinner. #Noregrets

Was it a super healthy day? Not at all. But was it delicious? Yes! Well, that concludes this week’s  WIAW! Click on the badge below to see what WIAW is all about.

Some questions for you:

  1. Have you ever had ice cream for dinner?
  2. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

Training Tuesday: New Shoes, New Socks and a PR!

It’s been too long since I’ve written a Training Tuesday post, huh? You’re probably all wondering if I fell off the face of the running earth. Have I stopped running? Have I taken up another sport? Am I injured?

Thank goodness the answer is no, no and no (fingers crossed). In fact, I’ve still been running – I’ve just been bad about sharing my weekly updates (though if you read this blog you’ve seen me mention it on occasion anyway). Here are a few running updates:

  • I have new shoes! While I’m always a fan of Sauconys, I have my first pair of Mizunos! I have the new Mizuno Enigma Wave 5s (got them for reviewing purposes from Fitfluential!) and they’re SO soft. They’re a cushion shoe, which I love wearing, and have been enjoying them on long and short runs.
mizunos

doing running drills with my new Mizunos

  • I’ve signed up for a new race! Finally, right? I’m signed up for the Rock Hall Half Marathon in August. It’s the first time the race is in town and I’m excited for a brand new race and new course!
  • I’m apparently on week five of training for the race … whoops! Good thing I’ve been doing 6-8 mile runs on the weekends. Last Friday, Nicole and I ran 8 miles before work and discovered a new path in the flats with a great view.
  • I’m streaking! Hehe. What I mean to say is that I am participating in the Runners World Running Streak. You have to run daily between Memorial Day and Fourth of July. Only 4 more days and I’ll be complete!
  • I’m continuing to do speed training. I’ve only done two speed workouts since the Cleveland Half Marathon (one tempo run and one interval run … and have another interval run planned for today), but I have been seeing it work. I’m getting faster and that means …
  • I got my first sub-25 minute 5k!!!! Again, finally, right?! This has been a goal of mine for a year, but last year my main goal was a sub-2 hour half marathon. Now that I’ve crushed that, I was able to focus on the 5k and speed runs. I’m so happy :)
My race time! Proof! (and see who #1 is? Fellow Cle Marathon Ambassador Jess!)

My race time! Proof! (and see who #1 is? Fellow Cle Marathon Ambassador Jess!)

AND I’m excited to share with you that I found some new compression socks that I’m in love with- Lily Trotters! I was lucky enough to be sent a pair of their compression socks and I’ve worn them a few times now for training runs and just around the house (because I’m cool like that).

Lily Trotters Sock Selfie!

Lily Trotters Sock Selfie!

Some things I like about them:

  • They are made in the USA.
  • They are cute! Look at them. I love the polka dots and ruffles because let’s face it, I’m not that girly in real life but in my running life, I can pretend, right?
  • They’re soft and I can wear them all day. Sometimes compression socks itch if i wear them all day (does this happen to you?!) but these don’t!
  • They’re not toooo tight! I sometimes feel like other compression socks I wear are so tight over my slightly larger-than-normal not-so-ladilike calves, but not these.
Lily Trotters

I made Nicole take this picture of me running with them.

Want some for yourself? There’s a Kickstarter campaign starting July 14th so check them out now!
Lily Trotters
How about you? Some questions for you:
  • Have you crushed any running goals (or other workout goals) lately? What should my next goal be?
  • What’s your favorite pair of running shoes?
  • Do you wear compression socks?  Yes! I have three pairs and I swear by them. I definitely think they help me with recovery.

Disclosure: I received a pair of Mizuno Wave Enigmas thanks to Fitfluential to try out AND Lily Trotters sent me a pair of their compression socks. As always, all thoughts and reviews are my own. :)

Won’t Let The Rain Keep Us Down

We had a cool, rainy weekend in Cleveland. It was a high of 70 both days – at max – which is 10 degrees cooler than usual. And it rained on and off the entire time.

Starting with that, you’d think I’d say that we spent the entire weekend inside, right? Wrong! My parents were in town and we managed to still get out and do stuff in between (and during) the showers.

Friday morning started with an 8 mile run with Nicole. We discovered a new path with a pretty good view of the city and the river, too.

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Nature! Seen on the run.

Nature! Seen on the run.

Friday night, my parents got into town. We decided to spend the evening at the Asiatown Night Market. We walked over before sunset and were greeted by lots of food, music and other local vendors. We had dinner and dessert there – Vietnamese for me (along with some Chinese dumplings), and then shaved ice. SO good.

delicious ice!

delicious ice!

Night market

Night market

Saturday morning, we got up and trudged in the rain to Phuel for breakfast. I got my usual granola bowl, my parents enjoyed pancakes and eggs.

beautiful momma (and icky rain)

beautiful momma (and icky rain)

After a trip to Heinen’s and some travel planning indoors during the storm, we decided to go to the movies. We saw Spy – pretty funny!

After the movie, we walked around the area and  showed them the pathway to the beach.

selfie on our walk

selfie on our walk

Then, we enjoyed dinner at Luxe and dessert – the Shoreway Sundae at Sweet Moses. So. Good.

dinner

dinner

one of our dishes.  we shared a salad, some seared octopus and two entrees.

one of our dishes. we shared a salad, some seared octopus and two entrees.

bubbly with a straw for me!

bubbly with a straw for me!

dessert!

dessert!

Sunday morning, we got up early, and after breakfast at Phuel (yes, again), my parents were on the road. I got in a short workout and then hung out with B.

Phuel breakfast #2

Phuel breakfast #2

Then, it was time for some meal prep, Netflix binge watching, and when the sun came out again, a walk with Nicole. Followed by an Arctic Zero sundae for dessert. Another weekend, success.

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the sun came out again!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite rainy day activity?
  • What is your go-to breakfast order?

Linking up with Running N Reading this week!

WIAW #20: New Breakfasts

Happy Wednesday – are you ready for another What I Ate Wednesday? These were my eats from last Thursday – I tried to switch things up a little bit. Well, for at least one meal – breakfast!

Thursdays are my new cross training days. I’m training for a half marathon in August and I’m trying to stick to the schedule so the day started with 1 mile jog (gotta keep my Runners World streak up!) and an easy elliptical workout.

B typically makes me breakfast, but I was on my own Thursday morning as he was sleeping in. So, I brought in protein powder and fully expected to just have a protein shake at work and maybe some fruit. BUT my coworker Cari let me borrow some almond milk and I used our office Vitamix to make myself a smoothie bowl! It doesn’t look that pretty but it tasted great- it was 2 scoops Biotrust vanilla protein, about 1 cup almond milk, 1 TB PB 2 and some ice.

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Not quite the same as my typical egg whites and veggies but still pretty good!

I was pretty full until lunch, when I had a salad. It was combined leftovers from a few nights – half a turkey burger from Tuesday dinner, half an ahi tuna steak from Wednesday dinner and some lettuce, bean sprouts and hummus (hidden). I also had an apple. Delish!

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Snacks included a nectarine with nuts, carrots and some more nuts.20150618_152838 20150608_122035

For dinner, B was craving some roasted chicken so I picked up a rotisserie from Heinen’s and paired it with some veggies we had in the fridge – I roasted some cauliflower and sautéed some zucchini with peppers and onions (and basil).  Again, pretty good! I also had part of a sweet potato with cinnamon for “dessert.”

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Well, wraps up this week’s exciting round of WIAW! Click on the badge below to see what WIAW is all about.

Some questions for you:

  1. Do you like your sweet potatoes sweet or savory?
  2. Have you ever had a smoothie bowl?

Weekend Update – Birthdays and Baseball Games

The first day of summer is officially here! And while most of Cleveland was celebrating at the annual CMA Solstice Party, once again I neglected to get tickets in time and instead celebrated the summer in other ways – two baseball games, birthday drinks and a run (not in that order) with Nicole, and a bbq with B’s family to celebrate Father’s Day.

Friday morning started early – it was Nicole’s birthday and she wanted to get in a birthday run. Now that I’m in my 3rd week of training for the Cleveland Rock N Roll Half Marathon, I knew I wanted to get in a 7-ish mile run this weekend, so it was perfect – I met her early for a longer run before work. No sweaty selfies this time :)

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Friday after work, it was time to celebrate Nicole’s birthday. We met up for drinks at the Corner bar, the new bar at Progressive Field and had plans to watch the game with her friends.

B and me at the game

B and me at the game

A truly gorgeous sunset

A truly gorgeous sunset

Some ladies from LCBS (Ladies Craft Beer Society) at the game!

Some ladies from LCBS (Ladies Craft Beer Society) at the game!

The game ended with fireworks and then we hit up the rooftop bar at Greenhouse Tavern for after-game drinks.

Saturday morning started with some treadmill miles before B and I hit up the West Side Market for our regular groceries.

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We made a pit stop for ice cream after the groceries. Mason’s Creamery is the best – I had half salted caramel and half lychee.

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That night, B and I had more tickets to the Indians game – I was sitting in the #TribeLive section this time. It was also t-shirt giveaway night – wonder if my dad would like this shirt? (just a little big for me)

t-shirt giveaway!

t-shirt giveaway!

Sitting in the #TribeLive section we got great views and also our own private section. And a free viewing of fireworks from the dugout!

B and me - close to the field!

B and me – close to the field!

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Sunday morning I attempted to be productive. After an easy workout, we headed to Heinen’s for some groceries and lunch, followed by some laundry and meal prep. We also made it to Rising Star for some coffee and Hingetown for their Sunday Market.

my salad bar assortment

my salad bar assortment

Stands set up in Hingetown for Sunday Market

Stands set up in Hingetown for Sunday Market

We finished off the evening with B’s family for a Father’s Day meal.

My sister-in-law made a berry pie ;)

My sister-in-law made a berry pie for dessert ;)

It’s weekends like these that are hard to be away from my family – I would love to spend Father’s Day with him – but I’m so grateful to have B’s family to lean on. AND – my dad is coming by next week so we can celebrate then.

Dad and me right before my wedding

Dad and me right before my wedding

I can’t wait to see my parents in less than a week!

Some questions for you:

  • Did you spend Father’s Day with any family?
  • Who is your favorite baseball team?

Friday Five: Summer Favorites – Five Things I’m Looking Forward To This Summer

The official first day of summer is this Sunday and I’m pretty pretty excited for it to begin. Summer in Cleveland is the best. As is spring and fall but I do just LOVE SUMMER. Here are 5 things I’m already excited about- these are my summer favorites!

1.The Beach.

I love going to the beach. Yes, Lake Erie is a lake but this East Coaster grew up with the ocean and still loves Lake Erie. It’s so big that it feels like an ocean at times and just laying out on the sand, relaxing, AND going to events like Edgewater Live where there’s live music and food trucks on the beach make me so excited for summer!

Edgewater Last June ... I need to get back!

Edgewater Last June … I need to get back!

2. Summer Vacations.

B and I took a big trip to Asia early in the year so we don’t have anything huge planned for summer, but I do have a few trips already on our agenda:

– Milwaukee for  Summerfest – just a drive away and a great music festival on their water. Plus beer, cheese curds and Jelly Belly! (Here’s a recap from the last time we went)

Last Milwaukee Vacay

Last Milwaukee Vacay

– California to visit my brother – for my mom’s birthday, our family is taking a trip out west again and spending some time with my brother who lives in SF. We’ll be doing a few days in the Redwoods before I head back to CLE (they’re taking a longer trip and have a few more adventures planned).

Last Cali trip with the fan

Last Cali trip with the fam

– Camping with friends – B rented a cabin for us and a few other couples to enjoy a weekend in the woods.

3. Ice Cream.

Yes, I enjoy ice cream year round, but there’s just something about an afternoon walk to our favorite ice cream shop that just screams summer, amiright?

I realllly reallly really love ice cream ..

I realllly reallly really love ice cream ..

4. Running.

Yes, summer running can be hot, humid and less-than-stellar but the days are longer, mornings are brighter and paths are clear of ice and I definitely appreciate it. And since I’m running a half in August, training starts two weeks ago now! And my running bff signed up for a full so that means we’ll be sure to get in some early morning longish runs together hopefully.

see! I sweat .. a lot.

see! I sweat .. a lot. but i’m still smiling!

5. Blossom/Outdoor Music.

I love patios. And backyards. There’s just something so relaxing and freeing about sitting outside and enjoying live music. The Cleveland Orchestra’s summer home is at Blossom, and last year B and I went to two shows where we sat on the lawn, brought some wine and cheese and snacks, and listened to the orchestra perform. BEST way to spend a summer night!

A shot of the lawn - packed with people!

A shot of the lawn – packed with people!

Some questions for you:

  1. What are you most looking forward to for summer?
  2. Do you have any summer vacation plans?
  3. Do you like running in the summer? If not, what’s your preferred season for running?
  4. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Shout out to the Dancing Runner for inspiring me to write this post! AND linking up today with this fabulous blog – Running for Cupcakes!.