Back on the Treadmill

This week, for the first time in weeks, I ran on the treadmill. Not just once, but TWICE!

Why? We had some SERIOUS thunderstorms. And as much as I don’t reallllllly mind running in the rain, thunder and lightning scare me. So when I woke up two days in a row to t-storms, I opted to keep up my running streak and hop on the treadmill. 

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Running With A Little Cold

It’s October, and that means that fall is here, and unfortunately, it also means that I got my first cold of the season.

And yes, it was just a cold — with my parents coming into town for the long weekend and us seeing B’s parents regularly (his mom is high-risk and has a compromised immune system), I decided to get tested for COVID. It was a simple, pretty painless process, and within 24 hours I found out it truly was just a cold. Yay!  

But the cold, combined with my plantar fasciitis, has left my mileage not being as high as it has been the past few weeks. 

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October, Here We Come

Does anyone else feel like they blinked and September came and went? Maybe it’s because Labor Day was so late … maybe it’s because of the pandemic? Or maybe because I hate winter and know it’s coming … but I feel like September was gone before it even started. 

And with that, the cooler weathers have come! We haven’t (thankfully) hit freezing yet, but I know that’s what’s coming soon. And while I don’t love this weather for hanging out, I do love it for running! I’m at 163 days of the running streak and my September total mileage was 158.26 miles. Not quite as high as the past few months, but with my foot slowing me down, I’ll take it.

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Starting A Running Challenge

This week was a hard week mentally. With everything going on in the world, I can find it hard to stay focused and positive. I know I’ve said this before, but Thank. Goodness. For. Running. ,

To shake things up a little bit, I decided to join the Runs for Cookies fall mileage challenge. It’s a friendly mileage competition for those who want to walk/run all fall long. While it’s gorgeous fall weather right now, I can’t help but think that on December 14 or so (still technically “fall”) it won’t be so great. So I’m going to soak up all the outdoor weather while I can!

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Running in Amish Country

Last week, for the first time since December, we went on vacation. Believe it or not, we hadn’t left our house for the night since Christmastime. Yes, we’d had plans for a family trip in March, but we all know what happened then … 

We spent a few days this week in Amish Country, Ohio. We rented a gorgeous cabin (and by cabin, I mean cute cottage with 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms) and got away from it all. And not only was it a great way to spend B’s birthday, but I was able to keep up my running streak!  

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Mini Vacation with the Baby

We’re back from a weekend away and the baby’s first hotel stay! B and I got in a quick weekend away with FW in Columbus and enjoyed some good food, drinks and even family time.

The weekend started off with pizza (yup,  every Friday) from Pies and Pints.  We didn’t get in until late, so we ended up not going out. Instead,  I picked up the pizza and grabbed a drink at the bar while B put FW to bed.  #winningmom

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Saturday we had a while day of exploring to do! We started with breakfast and a walk in the Short North.

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And then we spent the day on our feet walking – we walked to the Columbus Topiary Garden, downtown and German Village.

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In front of the statehouse where his great grandfather worked

We also had to stop by North Market.

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And then we were back again to grab drinks at the Short North.

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Saturday night,  we enjoyed dinner at a cute (and baby friendly!) restaurant- Hubbard.

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I had amazing food.  We started off with fried Brussels sprouts and then I enjoyed a cauliflower sandwich with arugula quinoa salad. Jeni’s ice cream not pictured.

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Sunday morning, we got up early and went for a stroller run around the city. We made it to a trail with a nice view of downtown.

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Then, it was time for brunch! We ended our trip with brunch at B’s cousins’ house and FW got to meet his great aunt and cousins.

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B, FW and cousin Pete – the Wolfpack! (I swear FW is howling at the moon, not crying)

And of course, we ended Sunday with dinner with B’s parents. We celebrated B and two of his brothers’ birthdays with B’s favorite – steak, mashed potatoes and chocolate chocolate cake!

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Questions:

  • What is your favorite birthday cake? Ice cream cake!! Love me some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cake- Heath bar (I know it’s not called that anymore) or Peanut Butter fudge.
  • Have you ever been to Columbus, Ohio?

And because it’s Monday, I’m linking up with ErinKatie and the weekly wraps.

Friday Five: Five Things To Do In Cleveland for the Holidays

I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS. Yes caps lock is intended.

great holiday sweaters and sweater vests

Okay, I know I’ve said it enough. And the picture above probably says it all anyway. But seriously – it may have been 60 degrees yesterday (and it was amazing – I went for a run in shorts) – but don’t let the weather fool you – the holidays are here. So you missed the Holiday Flea, Winterfest and the Public Square tree lighting ceremony? Don’t worry, there’s still so much more to do in Cleveland to get you in the holiday spirit!  I know quite a few people have shared their favorite holiday activities – here are 5 things that I’m looking forward to:

1. Checking out the holiday decor and lights downtown

I LOVE living downtown – it seems like suddenly overnight the festive lights, trees, and even store windows popped up, all to get us in the holiday spirit. Want to feel the holiday spirit? Start in Playhouse Square (and see a show while you’re there! Spoiler alert – check out #3) at Euclid and 14thish and take the E line trolley until you arrive at Public Square. All along Euclid you’ll see various stores with lights, flower pots overflowing with wintry decor, and more. And when you get to Public Square, get ready to be in awe of all the lights – it’s gorgeous! And don’t forget to check out the big tree, as well as the Holidays at Higbee displays. Not had enough? Head into Tower City to check out Bruce the Talking Spruce, as well as the holiday shows in the food court featuring the Toy Soldier and Fairy Godmother (and more – the whole Tower City list of events is here).

Lights around the Theatre District

Lights around the Theatre District

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storefront window in the Higbee building

2. Enjoying a holiday performance from the Cleveland Orchestra

Did you know that the world famous Cleveland Orchestra and their chorus perform a series of holiday concerts each year? The concerts feature a variety of holiday music in the beautifully decorated Severance Hall. I’m lucky to be married into an Ignatius High School family – the Orchestra performs a private show for Ignatius alums and their family and I look forward to the event each year!

Here’s a sneak peak – disclaimer, I found this video on YouTube, it’s not mine:

3. Seeing a show in the Theatre district

Seeing  A Christmas Carol at the Ohio Theater at Playhouse Square has become a tradition for B and me. This Great Lakes Theater production runs through December 22, and no matter how many times I watch it (or even A Muppet Christmas Carol), it never gets old. Interested in seeing the show? If you call 216-241-6000 or go to http://www.greatlakestheater.org/tickets/shows/a-christmas-carol to order tickets, enter GLT as your promo code for a discount!

Wine @ Gallucci's!

Wine @ Gallucci’s!

4. Feasting on local treats (going to Gallucci’s and the West Side Market)

OK, OK I know you can do this any time of year – but there’s just something SO magical about the West Side Market and Gallucci’s during the holidays. Stands are decorated in the Market, holiday food comes out, and the smell of the Italian food at Gallucci’s just seems more memorable (maybe it’s the fact that I grew up with an Italian mother and those cooking smells likely got stronger during the holidays?). Anyway, one of my favorite traditions that B and I have is going to the Market and Gallucci’s, buying supplies to make pepperoni bread and sauce, and then making the meal, decorating our apartment, and watching Love Actually. Try it. I dare you not to feel in the holiday spirit after doing that!

5. Local shopping

Let’s face it – the holidays wouldn’t be the same without shopping. This year, I’m buying a lot of stuff locally – if possible. The Holiday Flea was awesome, and there are so many other upcoming opportunities to get your holiday (or personal) shopping done:

Ohio City Festival (Dec. 7): Ohio City Festival is THIS weekend! So get your gift list ready and visit local shops like the Cleveland Bazaar and Made in the 216. If that doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, there’s also photos with Santa, Christmas tree sales, horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday crafts for children, a photobooth, carolers, and mulled Christmas Ale from Great Lakes Brewing Company.

Holiday CircleFest (Dec. 8): Keep the festivities going all weekend long and stop by University Circle on Sunday the 8th for the Holiday CircleFest! In addition to shopping, the event in University Circle will feature horse-drawn carriage rides, ice sculpting, live music, a gingerbread house competition – and more!

Pop Up Shaker (Thurs/Sat/Sun through Dec. 15): Pop Up Shaker started last week along Chagrin Boulevard and I can’t wait to check it out! (Yes I do LEAVE downtown sometimes. See numbers 2 and 4 above) This festive winter pop up combines crafting, food, and shopping and will take place Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays through the 15th.

Tremont Holiday BrewHaHa (Dec. 13-15): In addition to stopping by the BrewHaHa weekend in Tremont for the famous Santa Shuffle (where the picture of  B and me at the beginning of this post is from), I can’t wait to check out the Pop Up Shop and Party on Dec. 13. AND there’s even a Tremont Holiday ArtWalk!


And now, some questions for you:

  • What holiday traditions do you have? Love Actually and holiday decorating. And pepperoni bread. And seeing A Christmas Carol. Use the discount code I shared and see it yourself!
  • Quick! What are five things you are looking forward to about the holidays?
  • What’s your favorite local shop?
  • Do you run in any holiday races?

A (Half) Marathon of a Weekend

For those of you that know me – you know that I like to run. Those of you that know me even better know that this has not always been the case. I’ve always been into working out and trying out new things in terms of fitness, but it was only about two years ago that I started running – and actually enjoying it.

running shirt1A few months ago, I bit the bullet and signed up for the longest race I’d ever participated in – a half marathon. And this weekend, I ran it. And it was awesome. I had a great time, am not too sore today (a day later) and am thinking of maybe doing one again in the future! What made it so awesome? Here are some of my tips – from a newbie runner.

  • Start with small goals. I didn’t start running with the hopes of running a half marathon. Quite the opposite actually. My first race was a fun 5k, followed by a larger 5k (Race for the Cure), then a fun 5 mile race (Turkey Trot) and then a close-to-home 10 miler. This is over the span of just about two years.
  • Track your progress. I started out with a Nike + system, but have moved over to just tracking my runs at Dailymile.com. It’s one of my favorite websites and I’m due to write a blog post about it soon! As for tracking my progress during the half marathon, I used a new service called Tweet My Time (from a Columbus, Ohio based startup company) which automatically tweeted my pace and results, live from the race. Pretty cool stuff huh?
  • Have fun! You’ll notice that most of the races I mention above are described as “fun.” How is this possible? The first 5k I ran was part of a Pub Series- meaning tons of people just out to enjoy the run and then the free beer afterwords. The Race for the Cure was filled with hundreds of people, live music and entertainment. The Columbus Half Marathon is no different – there were bands at nearly every mile and hundreds of people cheering you on.
  • Make a vacation out of it! While running a race close to home is sometimes the most convenient, running a race in a new place means new sights and sounds (read: less boring run) and a mini-vacation. On our trip down, we stopped at Heaven on Earth (aka Grandpa’s Cheese Barn). While in Columbus, I checked out the Nationwide Better Health Expo (where we picked up our packets and where the shirts in this post are from), saw Where the Wild Things Are and had a great pasta dinner with other running friends courtesy of B’s aunt. It made the whole weekend a less stressful event.

If you’re looking to start running, check out the Couch To 5K plan – it will get you from walking to being able to run a 5k in no time… and a half marathon before you know it!

Cleveland Bridge Project

Now that I am an official Ohio Ambassador, you may remember I vowed not to spend the cold winter sitting on my couch and moping- instead  I want to take advantage of all the activities (whatever they may be) Ohio has to offer.

cool signWell, I am starting early. Thus weekend, fall came in with a bang- cold, windy and rainy. Normally this would mean spending my Saturday night gathered under a blanket, watching the latest Netflix and drinking hot cider. But how could I do that when the Cleveland Bridge Project (an expansion of Ingenuity Fest) was taking place? So I bundled up (with my new Target coat and Target boots of course), sucked it up and went out. Add I’m glad I did! We met up with some of B’s law school friends and explored the bottom level (which I never knew existed!) of the Detroit Superior Bridge.

It was awesome! There were bands playing the entire night, cool art exhibits, tons of people, and things to look at for the entire length of the bridge. Not to mention the fact that we could walk the entire length of the bridge (while cars were driving on the level above) was pretty cool.

ingenuitySome of the highlights: The 36 views of a bridge was neat- some people had creatively put together footage of different parts of the city (during fun activities, too, like St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Wade Oval Wednesdays, etc.) and set them to music. To make it interactive, a guy had created a hands on way for people to vote which scene they’d like to see next- either via the exhibit or their iPhone. Another highlight? The standing water exhibits. On roped off portions of the bridge, you could see what looked like deep areas of standing water- a staircase going down into nothing but water and a room that was vacant but for a few feet of water. I tried to take a picture but the poor lighting (it WAS nighttime on the lower level of a bridge) made it difficult to come out.  A final highlight? The “Tell Me a Joke” guy! There was a guy set up in front of a blue screen with a microphone, asking people to tell him jokes. He was recording them and they’re all going to be compiled and made into some YouTube videos, DVDs etc. I am not one for fame, but I couldn’t help but take part. B’s friend Joey and I told the following joke (per B’s suggestion):

tellmeajokeJoey: Why does a chicken coop have two doors?
Me:  Because if it had four doors it would be a chicken sedan!

Funny I know. So be on the lookout for my five seconds of fame!
All in all it was a worthwhile trip. I got to explore an area of the city I didn’t even know existed, and I managed to spend most of the night off the couch. Success!