Friday Five: May Randomness

As we get to the unofficial start of summer, I realize I haven’t been so great about my weekend recap posts this month. Jinkies! (yes, cue the Mystery Machine) So here is a random Friday Five to catch you up to speed. Don’t worry – I hope have more weekend update posts AND some new baked goods recipes coming soon (butterscotch chocolate chip cookies and ginger cookies!).

Friday 5: 5 Random Things

1. I signed up for the new Rock Hall Half Marathon! Blame it on the runner’s high –  last weekend was the Cleveland Marathon (recap here). I was lucky enough to be an Ambassador and hang out with these lovely people AND run with B. (Yes, I did write about this but I just had to share it again because I’m still feeling the high from the event!)

Some of my fellow ambassadors the night before the race - we clean up good!

Some of my fellow ambassadors the night before the race – we clean up good!

Me and Nicole. We're running buddies.

Me and Nicole. We’re running buddies.

2. Earlier this month was the St. Martin De Porres Birthday Bash. I went with B and his family and we got all dressed up and celebrated/raised money for St. Martin De Porres High School at the Cleveland Art Museum. Such a great venue – and a great cause!

B and me at the bash

B and me at the bash

Some of us ladies at the event

Some of us ladies at the event

3. I’ve been baking up a storm this month. Some things have included ginger chocolate biscotti, butterscotch cookies, butterscotch chocolate chip cookies, triple ginger cookies. Yum! Recipes coming soon (hopefully).

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4. B and I finally got around to making one of the recipes we learned in Vietnam this year – spring rolls! Our contribution to Mother’s Day (theme: small plates) were these shrimp and pork spring rolls with peanut sauce. So delicious!

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5. A client of mine, Donate Life Ohio, recently kicked off a #DonateKindness campaign. They are encouraging people to take 2 minutes of their day to commit to an act of kindness toward someone else. (And of course, it only takes 2 minutes to do the ultimate act of kindness – register as an organ, eye or tissue donor) I participated already and can’t wait to do it again – I shipped some baked goods (see aforementioned treats) to some friends and family as a surprise!

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Some questions for you:

  1. Have you done any random acts of kindness lately? What have you done?
  2. What is a good Memorial Day appetizer or dessert to bring to a party? I need ideas!

Cleveland Half Marathon Training – 5 more days!

It’s taper time! You know, that time when every runner in your life gets cranky and slightly crazy because they can’t get in that longer run they think they should but really know they shouldn’t?

The second to last week of my Cleveland half marathon training is DONE. It’s somewhat bittersweet -and exciting! – that the next training post I share with you as an ambassador will include race day. Holy cow … am I ready?

Here is a look at this past week:

This week's training

This week’s training

Monday: On the schedule – 5 miles.

Actual run – 6.18 miles. It was truly gorgeous weather for a run outside- not too hot, not cool, but just beautiful spring!

Tuesday: On the schedule – 10×400 intervals.

Actual run – 10×400 on the treadmill. Each 400 was about 7.6-7.7 and I walked a minute or so in between each one. Confession: Intervals have not gotten any easier. I used to jog between them but this week started off with walking and was glad I did.

Wednesday: On the schedule – 3 miles.

Actual run – 5ish miles, thanks to running with Erica this day. It was a perfect morning for a run. We had 3 on the schedule, and I did about a mile warmup first and then felt so good after the run I did a little more. I was overdressed but it was so perfect out! If race day is this way – low 50s – I’ll be ecstatic!

I took a selfie while waiting for Erica-  you can see the Terminal Tower in the background AND the fact that my shirt is indeed too warm for our run.

I took a selfie while waiting for Erica- you can see the Terminal Tower in the background AND the fact that my shirt is indeed too warm for our run.

Thursday: On the schedule – stretch and strengthen.  

Actual workout – I did about 55 minutes on the elliptical at basically no resistance in the morning.

And then 3 miles, pace. At night, B had some time and it was beautiful out so I decided to do my Friday 3 mile pace run. With B pacing, it felt like we were flying. We finished the 3 miles in about 24 miles, an 8:18 pace. I was definitely hurting – if this is what it takes to get a sub-25 5k, I’m almost ready!

Feeling proud after 3  fast (for me) miles. And tired. Oh yes my body is tired.

Feeling proud after 3 fast (for me) miles. And tired. Oh yes my body is tired.

Friday: On the schedule – 3 miles, pace.

Actual run – No run! I did my pace run Thursday after work so I just did a super easy 60 minute elliptical workout on Friday.

Saturday: On the schedule – 12 miles.

Actual run – 12 miles. We were rollin’ deep today! Which was great because I was super warm and needed the distraction. B and I started out, met Nicole 1 mile in and then got to Mary after about another mile in. Also not ready for this warm weather – good thing we started early because it got up to 80!

How we look mostly through our run (we stopped for water)

How we look mostly through our run (we stopped for water)

How we feel. Holy heat!

How we feel. Holy heat!

Sunday: On the schedule – crosstrain or off.

Actual workout – 55 minutes on the elliptical and some abs. It was another beautiful day but we ended up not having time for a walk – because it was Mother’s Day! We spent the day at the Asian Market and then went to B’s parents house for some small plates. It was a great, relaxing day.

Some questions for you:

  • Race day is looking quite warm in the forecast. Any tips on staying hydrated and not overheating?
  • How do you stay motivated after your race? Do you sign up for another one? Take time off?

Training Tuesday: THREE WEEKS UNTIL RACE DAY

OMG it is only THREE WEEKS until race day! I’m feeling pretty good – but there is still work to be done! I was still sick at the start of this week somewhat. Ugh. Is it because I’m getting older? I typically get a cold once a year. That’s it. MAYBE twice-  once in the winter and once in the spring. This year?  I got a cold (with a fever) in January. AND April! That’s twice in four months. Who does that?

not quite the same .. but you get the picture

Anyway … being sick has seriously affected my running. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still crazy committed and keeping up with my training, but my times have not been good and speed workouts are basically me trying to run like normal … BUT we did end the week on a high note – the Cleveland 10 miler and a PR!

My runs for this week:

follow me on dailymile as @missaruns!

follow me on dailymile as @missaruns!

Monday: On the schedule – 5 miles.

Actual run: 5.56 miles. I can’t believe I’m already at 5 miles for my Monday morning runs?! Anyway, I was supposed to run outside with Nicole but got a text at around 6 a.m. saying that it was 20 mph winds and she was going to run at night. Me? I was already up and dressed so I decided to just take off a few layers and run indoors. Another treadmill day.

Tuesday: On the schedule – 9×400.

Actual run: 9×400 on the treadmill in the morning (and some more at night) … Interval training is the bane of my existence. I hate it but have been trying to keep up with it. I did it on the treadmill while watching TV, 9×400 intervals at 7.6 mph with up to 400 meter jogs in between. It was rough. I did walk in between a few-  check out the heart rate- it so looks like I was doing intervals! (And I forgot to turn it off in the end)

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Oh and I ran in the afternoon also – I don’t make it a habit of running twice in one day (I’ve been injured before. It sucks. Lesson learned) – but when I do, it can be great. 2nd run of the day was after work with Mary around downtown. 4ish quick miles-just what I needed after boring treadmill interval runs! Though it was super windy…and did start pouring rain for about 2 minutes of our run (But then stopped). Oh, Cleveland weather!

I made Mary take a selfie with me. I should have taken it from higher up #doublechin

I made Mary take a selfie with me. I should have taken it from higher up #doublechin

Wednesday: On the schedule –  3.2 miles.

Actual run: Sometimes running only 3 miles is good. After Tuesday’s two workouts I was happy to have just three miles on the schedule. Ended up doing them inside for no reason at all except for the fact that it was upper 30s/low 40s and I’m ready for spring.

Thursday: Rest.

Actual run: none! I did about 55 minutes on the elliptical, some abs and arms.

Friday: Rest.

Actual run: none! I did about 60 minutes on the elliptical, some abs. Wanted fresh-like legs for our 10 mile race on Saturday!

Saturday: 15 k race on the schedule.

Actual run: 10 miles! (just a little more) A few extra miles thanks to the Cleveland 10 miler race! The Cleveland Ten Miler is one of my favorite races of the year! It was a little chilly for this time of year but still ended with a PR! 1:28:39.16 was my final time.

This is a PR of 3 minutes from last year and more than 20 minutes from the first time we ran this race. Want proof? Past years:

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Super happy after an unexpected PR

Super happy after an unexpected PR

Sunday: Off day (the schedule says stretch and strengthen).

Actual run: None! B and I took a decent walk and I still got in my 15,000 steps for the day on my Fitbit. So while it wasn’t very active it was still active enough for me while being a rest day – if that makes sense. My quads were definitely sore though!

Some questions for you:

  • Have you had a recent PR? I want to know! Brag about it!
  • Do you have a favorite local race where you are? Yes! I happen to really like the ten miler for some reason. I like the route, the crowds, the course (flat!) and it’s so well run (no pun intended) – time markers at every mile, water/gatorade at every other mile, Gu or other fuel halfwayish through, etc. 
  • What’s the next radeon your calendar? the Cleveland half marathon – May 17!

Weekends Are Made For Livin

I love weekends. I know- you do too. Weekends are great – no (or at least only a little) working, no waking up early (okay, maybe sometimes), just time with friends, family, and you can do whatever you want!

What do I like to do on weekends? Eat … drink/go out … eat good food …. work out … cook … see family and friends … repeat!

And this weekend was pretty much ALL OF THAT.  So there. I won this weekend. And now onto a busy week and the beginning of May!

Friday night was super low key. We ordered some Flaming Ice Cube (RIP kalebouli :() and relaxed. We had to get up early on Saturday for our 10 mile race, so I was hoping to get to bed somewhat early.

Saturday morning started early – at least for a Saturday for me. We had the alarm set at 6 a.m. to get ready for and be at the race on time (side note – last year we got there late … which didn’t matter because it’s chip timed, but still not something we wanted to do every year). Started the day with my usual 1/4 bagel and PB2 and honey and off we went to the race!

It was a cold morning for this time of year – it was 40, cloudy and breezy and I had on a thick long sleeved shirt and vest and pants and gloves and was fine the whole time!

Feeling good post-race

Feeling good post-race

The race wasn’t easy. B pushed me – I’m still sore today! – and made me run harder than I likely would’ve liked, but it worked out! I ended up with a PR from last year too – 1:28:39.16 was my final time!

It was nice to be done with our run and ready for the day by 10:30 a.m. We decided to do our usual Saturday morning activities – hit up the West Side Market and get some tea and coffee in Hingetown.

Tea for me and coffee for B!

Tea for me and coffee for B!

In the afternoon, we hit up the driving range for the first time of the year. I don’t golf and I clearly wasn’t dressed properly, but it was fun to get in a few swings in the beautiful weather.

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Then – Gallucci’s! My favorite Italian grocer has limited hours and B and I made sure to get there early enough to pick up supplies for dinner. We had decided on homemade pizza – best decision ever.

This is Gallucci's. Yes, we also bought wine.

This is Gallucci’s. Yes, we also bought wine.

It was so nice out that we decided to go out and grab a few drinks before making dinner. Our typical go-to spot – Parnell’s.

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And then dinner! B made the best pepperoni pizza ever and we even experimented with limoncello drinks. I made limoncello a few months ago and wanted to try it with prosecco and a little cranberry juice – so good!

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Sunday my legs were sore so I decided to listen to my body and NOT work out. I did make B go for a walk with me – because, why not? It was a gorgeous day.

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We decided to walk to brunch. And surprise – I ended up getting lunch food. I enjoyed a black bean chorizo chili. I love chorizo and beans – it was perfect! B’s biscuits looked pretty good too – but for some reason I really don’t like biscuits and gravy. But his hash brown was amazing!

B's food ... that hash brown was great!

B’s food … that hash brown was great!

My chili

My chili

After a leisurely walk back we ran a few errands and then it was time for the Cavs game. Spoiler – they beat the Celtics and are on to the next round of playoffs! Woohoo!

Sunday afternoon ended with some baking – butterscotch brown sugar cookies from one of my favorite bloggers, Two Peas and their Pod. They came out so good – soft, chewy and sweet.

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And then Sunday dinner at B’s parents house. Another perfect ending to my weekend!

Only one question for you:

  • What was the best thing you ate this weekend? Besides those cookies and the pizza, probably the strawberry rhubarb crumble B’s mom made. Such a great Sunday dessert!

It’s SPRING!

First – happy Marathon Monday! Good luck to all the runners competing today and I’m so jealous of all you Bostonians enjoying the day off and cheering on the competitors. It’s been 7 years since I lived in Boston and I still miss Marathon Monday!

Now, onto the weekend. We had the most beautiful warm, sunny, springlike weekend in Cleveland. It was sunny, 60s and just absolutely positively a great weekend to be outside! So of course we tried to get in as much outside time as we could.

Friday night B and I strayed from our usual Flaming Ice Cube (they no longer have my favorite, kalebouli :() and opted to try out some new pre-long run eats – Phuel. I’ve eaten there before, but not before a long run. I had the ratatouille with polenta and a kale salad. Not bad!

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Saturday morning B and I headed out for a 10 mile run. After last week’s failed 9 miler I was not feeling so confident – and I was still somewhat sick – but we got it done! Was it a good run? Notsomuch. But did I complete 10 miles? Yes!

Near the end of my run

Near the end of my run

After the run, it was time to get to the West Side Market to pick up some items for our afternoon plans – making dinner for the women and children at the Moriah House of the West Side Catholic Center. B and I are in charge of the Cleveland Chapter of the Boston College Alumni Association and each year we plan at least one service event and this year was making dinner at the shelter. We had a great turnout and made some delicious chicken, potato salad, bean salad and salad for the families.

preparing dinner (I'm not doing much in the background)

preparing dinner (I’m not doing much in the background)

the whole group

the whole group

Then we headed off to one of my favorite local bars, Platform Brewery, to celebrate. I also got to meet up with Nicole and Reanna – I missed my monthly Ladies Craft Beer Event because of our service event, but we were able to catch up over a few local brews.

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Just a photo of Platform

And then time to celebrate Ali’s birthday at Nano Brew. I’ve known Ali for 7 years and still haven’t met many of her friends, so it was nice to put some faces to names.

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Sunday morning started off slow – I haven’t been out past midnight in a while (#gettingold #turning30) – but still managed to get in an EASY workout –  a little bit of ellipticalizing to shake out my legs after Saturday’s 10 miler.

During the day Sunday, B and I cleaned house. Well, B pretty much did most of the cleaning (he is a cleaning machine!) and I helped out by dusting. Guess spring cleaning was needed – our apartment looks great now! It was also 70 degrees out, so we decided to take a walk down to the lake and enjoy the great temps and get in some steps. Then it was game time! We watched and listened to the Cavs playoff game – they beat the Celtics! Woohoo.

I love water ...

I love water …

great day out!

great day out!

Oh and our evening ended with Sunday family dinner at B’s parents house and Sunday sundaes. All Sundays should end that way, right?

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Some questions for you:

  • Are you watching the Boston Marathon today? Do you know anyone running?
  • What’s your go-to sundae topping? whipped cream and candy :) This week I tried gummy bears – but ate them separate from the ice cream.

 

 

Training Tuesday: Back on the Running Buddy Bandwagon

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for another edition of Training Tuesday, where I share my Cleveland Half Marathon Training experiences for the week.

Another week of  Cleveland half marathon training is DONE. Despite some soreness in the beginning of the week, it was a pretty good week. I ran outside several days and even got back together with a running buddy, Erica, for two – not one – runs this week. Again, mileage was lower than it had been prior to training season where I was earning 30+ miles a week, but I’m not taking my miles for granted and trying to stay uninjured.

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Monday: On the schedule – 3.5 miles.

Actual run –   4.5 miles outdoors! The weather was perfect to run outside – I was even slightly WARM which was awesome. My legs were a little tight from the race still but it felt SO good to be outside!

Running outdoors means I can take pictures :)

Running outdoors means I can take pictures :)

Tuesday: On the schedule – 35 minute tempo run.

Actual run – 3.7 miles, 35 minutes tempo run. It was rough – normally tempo runs aren’t that bad for me but this day for some reason it was rough. You can see I literally have to write down minute by minute what I’m doing when running tempo runs  – I get mushy runners brain otherwise and forget.

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Wednesday: On the schedule – 3 miles.

Actual run – 4.27 (3 miles plus warmup and cool down). Didn’t make it outside but instead got in some indoor miles.

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Thursday: On the schedule – NO RUN. 

Actual workout –  I did the elliptical on EASY and lifted some weights. I’m really trying to take my off days seriously!

Friday: On the schedule – 3 miles.

Actual run – 7.89 miles. I wasn’t sure if I’d have time Saturday to get in a long run (or motivation, I knew we’d have a friend in town Friday through Sunday) so I headed out early with Erica, one of my running buddies. We hadn’t run together in FOREVER and it was so nice to see her! I got in 3 miles before meeting up with her and finished what I thought was only 4 more miles … my Nike+ had stopped working, though, and I didn’t realize I got in a few extra miles. Whoops!

Erica and me. I made her take a selfie before one of our TWO runs together this week!

Erica and me. I made her take a selfie before one of our TWO runs together this week!

Saturday: On the schedule – 7 miles.

Actual run – I was planning on doing an easy 3 (Friday’s workout) but instead ran with Erica again! Erica wanted to do 6 and I figured I’d try to get in a few with her — I got in 6.89 miles (not sure what’s up with the .89 miles on both Friday and Saturday) and felt pretty good. Woohoo!

Sunday: On the schedule – cross train or rest.

Actual run – none! Spent some time on the elliptical for a short workout and then got in a few walks with B and two movies at the Cleveland International Film Festival. Perfect off day!

Overall thoughts about the week:

The good:

  • I got back outside and it was great! Some days were a little chilly but it was so nice to be back outside and off that dreadmill.
  • I proved to myself that I could do a semi-long run (7+ miles) in the morning before work. It had been some time that I dragged myself out of bed and outside in the cold and dark and I was pleased with my ability to do so.
  • I ran with Erica twice in one week. Sometimes running indoors for a long time makes me doubt my ability to run not only outside, but also with others. Nope – still got it!

The bad:

  • I was pretty sore for a few days after Malachi. I don’t know why but those 5 lies really put a stress on my body. Guess I raced hard?
  • I didn’t 100% follow the plan – I ran a few extra miles. Not that that’s REALLY bad, but it’s still something I shouldn’t make a habit of.
  • Interval running still kicks my butt. Even an “easy interval run” (meaning not 200 meter repeats) was tough this week.

 

Questions for you:

  • Did you finally get outside and run this week?
  • Do you like running with other people? Yes, while I do love my alone runs and the solitude of it and being able to think to myself, running with others keeps me entertained and motivated. 

A super belated weekend update

I know, I know. It’s THURSDAY for goodness sake and I’m just sharing you my weekend update now. But I was sick Sunday/Monday and of course had to get you my Training Tuesday post … anyway, here it is! Last weekend – which is super exciting to think about because this weekend is already almost here woohoo!

Friday evening B and I went out for wine, comedy and more drinks. I know – you’re probably super surprised because the past few Fridays B and I have been staying in. I’ve been in winter hibernation mode and more than happy to spend Friday night in with some wine and takeout and Netflix. But not this weekend – first, B and I started the night with a stop at Heinen’s for a few glasses of wine. Yup, wine at the grocery store = classy. Their new downtown location is just gorgeous though and it’s a great place to grab a drink and snack!

Out on Fri. night

Out on Fri. night

Glass of wine while shopping!

Glass of wine while shopping!

Then it was time for the show. We saw Joey Diaz at Hilarities. He was really really good – a little raw (that’s his style) but super funny! I love going to comedy shows with B and it was a nice way to kick off the weekend.

[I was going to embed a Joey Diaz video here but realize that most of his stuff is … well… NSFW. So you’ll just have to google a video for yourself :)]

After the show, we hit up Parnells for a nightcap. While there, we met up with B’s aunt and uncle who were in town to see Dirty Dancing and spending the night at a hotel. We grabbed drinks with them before heading back to our apartment.

That doesn't look like a Guinness!

That doesn’t look like a Guinness!

Saturday morning started early – for me at least. I like sleeping in on the weekends. We had plans to meet up with B’s sister Mary and her friend for a 6 mile run at 8 a.m. It was in the 20s for the run, which was so warm! The sidewalks weren’t that clear, however, so it was a little icy. I can’t wait until clear roads and great running weather!

After the run, B and I hit up the West Side Market for some groceries for the week. We grabbed some Cleveland Bagel Co. bagels and tea at Cleveland Tea Revival and  then it was time to head to Columbus!

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bagel on my lap in the car.

 

my favorite tea shop.

my favorite tea shop.

B’s cousin’s birthday was Sunday and we had planned to take a day trip down to see him, go to the movies, and get dinner for his celebration. We ended up getting to do all of those, which was fun – we hadn’t seen them since Christmas!

B, me and the birthday boy!

B, me and the birthday boy!

Sunday I woke up to sunny skies and “warm” weather – I was so excited to spend the day outside, going out to brunch, on a walk in the park, you name it. Sadly, my body had other plans in mind – I woke up with a slight fever, headache and achy body; so instead of enjoying the warm weather, I spent the day on the couch. I rarely get a day with fewer than 12,000 steps (I haven’t since I got the Fitbit in January) but got in a measly 700-something. I did end up watching 3 episodes of Walking Dead and several episodes of my new favorite Netflix show, the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. If you haven’t started watching this, you must:

And that was pretty much a look at last weekend. Besides spending all day Sunday inside and on the couch it was a pretty fun time! And now – looking forward to THIS weekend!

Some questions for you:

  • When was the last time you were sick? I had a few colds earlier this year but this was my first fever/body aches in a loong time!
  • What’s your favorite TV series to binge watch?