Thinking Out Loud

Hey-o, Friday eve! Happy almost-weekend, Think Out Loud Thursday – linking up with Amanda @ Running With Spoons to do just that!

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1. Bunnies. All the bunnies! They’ve overtaken my office building and I absolutely love it.

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This perfect-for-Spring public art installation is called Intrude by Australian artist Amanda Parer and showcases giant inflatable, illuminated bunnies sprawling all over the place.IMG_9495

How amazing are these guys?! So fat & happy & lazy & adorable. I want one.

Fun fact about me: I was obsessed with bunnies (especially albino) as a child and not only did we have real ones (after years of begging I finally did get my albino baby dwarf bunny and promptly named her Snowball!), but my room and life were cluttered with every bunny stuffed animal and object a girl could possibly dream of acquiring. Seeing this exhibit hit my workplace (did I mention I work in an amazing building/area?!) this past week just made my week, and it arrived right in time for the glorious weather.

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2. I can always count on the wine store on my corner for some post-run humor.

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3. I made a white bean dip the other night and put cabernet in it, and it was delicious — and purple. That made me really happy because I still think life should include as many art projects as possible and if you end up with one inadvertently, that’s bonus points. I wish I could say I had a recipe for you but really I just emptied a can of cannellini beans into a food processor, added a little salt, and poured in some wine (twice). And it was amazing.

4. I think I bought these half because I love them and half because the word made me feel like a giggly little girl:

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“Figlets”?! Am I the only one new to this word? It kills me with cuteness. I’m finishing the bag as I write this post and can’t wait to buy more — they were delicious and soft and perfect. And have the cutest name ever and I feel like baby pigs should eat them. Some words just seem built to have “lets” on the end and made into cute little versions of their normal-sized selves, and I guess figs are a case in point for that!

5. This video is everything.

I probably should start watching this weekly. I desperately wish I’d written it and it basically sums up my internal struggle and overall life perspective. LOVE.

6. So I recently realized that I’m somehow not registered to vote (whoops) and should probably change that. I incorrectly assumed that when I changed my address on my license to New York City (over 5 years ago) that I’d be automatically registered to vote here. Wrong. So I sent in my application last month…only to have my registration returned with my last name spelled incorrectly. I’m taking this as a sign that I really need to start educating myself better politically before I even consider voting this fall…

and anyway, this makes me smile every time so there’s that.

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7. I’m going to Chicago next week (woot!) and stoked about it! I haven’t really spent any time there ever and will have lots of free time, so please send me suggestions of things to do & places to see & running routes to explore & establishments at which to wine & dine & any other wonderful silliness to be had.

Have a lovely Thursday, friends. ❀

Tell me something random or silly from your week!
Favorites things about Chicago?
What will you regret not doing or becoming or seeing or learning if you don’t accomplish it?Β 

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Weekly Workouts (4/14-4/20)

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Thurs, 4/14: 4-mile morning run outdoors. quick & easy!

Fri, 4/15: 45-minute strength workout. i’m not doing a lot of lower body right now b/c i’m trying to up the running mileage and my legs and hips get realllllly tight/sore, so most of my strength workouts focus on upper body and abs and usually look something like this:

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i try to switch up the exercises and keep it moving, taking only very short breaks, and do at least 2 sets of each of these groups (and usually at least 50 push-ups, as i default to those and often will just stop and throw a set in!). i know we all have exercises we prefer, and push-ups & planks are my faves. i did also add one set of walking lunges (40) and one set of bench jumps (20) into this routine, for no good reason. πŸ™‚

Sat, 4/16: glorious 12-mile outdoor run!! followed by a few abs (bicycles & leg raises). favorite workout of the week FOR SURE.

Sun, 4/17: another beautiful 8-miler. i felt soooo happy and it felt amazing to crush some good runs two days in a row! thank you, Lord, for sunny skies & feel-good legs.

Mon, 4/18: push-ups (tricep and regular), about 50; 10 minutes of planks. usually i rest on Mondays but i decided to get a quick one in in my room before work.

Tues, 4/19: 4.5 morning miles; 4 mins of planks.

Wed, 4/20: 45 minutes this morning of the same upper body routine as above, minus the plate chest press and adding back flys and punches with 5-lb plates, as well as a lateral pull machine. also brought my stuff to run home from work tonight — loving this weather!

total weekly mileage (counting tonight’s 4.5-5): 33-34.

thoughts: YASSSS. πŸ™‚ that about sums that up! highest mileage i’ve had in months and i couldn’t be happier or feel better.

How’s your week of workouts going?
Anyone else have any amazing runs lately?

Two Things Tuesday

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1. I finally wrote another memoir piece. And I’m really happy with it.

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This piece has sort of been a long time in the making, the different parts floating around in a non-cohesive jumble for quite some time before I was ready to tackle them head-on and harness them into something worth sharing with the world. I so desperately want to write things that I believe in whole-heartedly; that speak to the essence of who I am; that I can stand behind 100% as defining pieces of my story that I desire to get out just so. I want to believe in what I write, and let others see pieces of me as I’m ready to release them. I want my memoirs to be written from the soul.

I’m happy to be able to say that I believe this one is a part of that unfolding.

How I captioned this on IG:

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Thanks in advance if you read me, friends. Means more than you can know. ❀

2. I had a stellar, glorious weekend of running! It was GORGEOUS here finally, and I felt so so good, so I just listened to my body and let it keep going as long as it desired…which turned into a total of 20 wonderful miles along the West Side/Hudson River. I ran 12 on Saturday and felt so good on Sunday that I thought, “a 20 mile weekend sounds lovely,” and 8 miles later, I’d hit my goal.FullSizeRender

Dontcha just love when that happens? And what was so nice about these back-t0-back long runs was that they didn’t feel hard. I felt great and happy and enjoyed every single moment of them (and even ran again this morning without any pain or soreness, woot!). God knew I needed a weekend like that.

& then I got a little bit reflective after those runs were done and started thinking about how fortunate I am to be able to set goals like that and meet them, and how good it feels when you just feel good. I know you know what I mean! As runners, we experience the ups and downs and joys and trials and euphoric runs and miserable runs and everything in-between. I don’t know about you, but I’m a firm believer in riding out those highs while they’re here and reflecting on how thankful I am for all that I’ve been given.

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So today, I am happy. & that feels like enough.

Hope you had wonderful weekends, friends!

Tell me a weekend highlight!
Anyone have a glorious run/race/workout?

Thinking Out Loud

Thursdays mean one thing around these parts: a “tell me all your random thoughts” post to linkup with Amanda @ Running With Spoons! I’ve really come to enjoy these bouts of random goodness. In a life full of structure, sometimes ya just need to spill, amiright?

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1. Storydangles. I was recently introduced (virtually) to Sharon, the founder and mastermind behind the site Story Dangles, through a mutual friend who felt that the two of us had so much in common and were united by our love for communities built of stories that we just had to connect. With a tag line like “Read stories. Share stories. Buy jewelry. Support literacy.”, what’s not to like?!

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Her goal is to create a space where stories can be shared, and she sells “dangles” (earrings) and donates $2 from each purchase to support a literacy organization in Canada. I love when women are driven to turn their passions into ways to help others and was stoked when Sharon asked to feature one of my pieces on her site (and it seemed quite appropriate, as it revolves around the theme of jewelry!): Why I Still Wear His Jewelry After the Love Ran Out. I’m excited to see this site grow and evolve.

2. I posted this on my therapy office’s IG yesterday (@renewcounselingnyc) and like it so much that I have to share it with you guys, too.

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I came across this Emerson quote yesterday for the first time and it really resonates with me, the concept of perspective and how we view our circumstances. We have the choice to either focus on the negatives and allow them to become bullies that beat us down and define us by our struggles, or to keep our eyes fixed on our passions and live in constant pursuit of that which sets our soul on fire.

I don’t know about you, but I’d like to think I’m in the latter category of dream-chasers. It can be so easy to let L.I.F.E get to us, but remembering how beautiful it is and how uniquely US we are and how much we have to offer this world and putting one foot in front of the other toward our dreams & goals & best versions of ourselves on a daily basis is all any one of us can hope to do. I fully believe we were created to live passionate lives.

3. I’m on a runlove streak! ❀ Between my legs feeling great and the nicer weather (FINALLY), running has been my best buddy this week. I made it outside this morning for an early 4 miles, and had two decent back-to-backΒ  5-milers the past two days after work. It’s supposed to be nice this weekend, so I’m anticipating a great longer run on Saturday. I absolutely run better in the morning — my stomach struggles with post-work runs and operates a gazillion times better when empty.

4. Since coming back from Maui, I’m seeing pineapples everywhere. Like walking around the Meatpacking district on a Saturday morning in March.

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I’ve totally been suffering from the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, or more commonly termed the “frequency illusion.” Every clothing site I visit has pineapple bathing suits or sweaters or socks and I suddenly can’t remember why I don’t live somewhere tropical.

Later the same day of the above photo, we were jaunting around SoHo and passed the Spanish tapas restaurant Boqueria, to which I’d never been — and their sign out front begged “Try our Pineapple Sangria!”

Welp, that seemed like an order if I ever heard one.

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To be honest, however, I didn’t really like it. I like sangria, so long as it’s not that sweet, and I was hopeful for this one…but this just tasted weiiiird. I’m blaming it on the mezcal, which I can’t stand, because I like all the other ingredients. NY_Wine_Page_1.jpgI was more into the idea I had to have this than the actual act of having it, since it fit our pineapple frequency illusion. I DO like that Boqueria changes their sangria seasonally, though, so I’d definitely go back and try another one this summer. I’m pulling for peach!

5. I really need a new book (or 10) to read. Any suggestions? The boy and I are going to start this one together soon, which I’m looking forward to — there’s something about reading a thought-and-conversation-provoking book with someone that really makes me happy:

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It’s currently on the NY Times Best Seller list and I can definitely use a book that challenges me to think about how I’d live my life if I knew I only had 30 days left to live, so I’m stoked for this. But I’m always looking for other good options so please send my way!

6. I had a dream last night that my brother bought an apartment in San Francisco completely out of the blue — didn’t have a job there or anything — and announced he was moving there, and I got SO obnoxiously envious. Like, I was seething in such a palpable envy that I woke up perturbed about how upset I was and it took me a moment to realize that my brother was not, in fact, moving to SF and living out my California dreams. I’m not sure what bothers me more: the fact that in my dream, I was more jealous about him living in California than upset about him moving across the country; or the fact that I will probably never be able to shake my desire to live in California at some point and just need to give in and move my life to the Pacific Ocean. The struggle is real.

Oh, and I believe there’s an Emerson quote for that, too. πŸ™‚M_26A094_original.jpg

Join in the fun and tell me something random from your week!

Weekly Workouts (4/7-4/13)

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Thurs, 4/7: 4-mile morning run; planks.
Fri, 4/8: I can’t really recall what this morning workout consisted of: i think i ran 2 miles then did kettlebells, push-ups and planks. let’s go with that. πŸ™‚
Sat, 4/9: 8-mile outdoor run of non-stop hills, including one loooong upward climb that I’m proud to say I stuck out the whole way! Little victories. πŸ™‚
Sun, 4/10: gym with boy: 3.5-mile treadmill interval run (5k under 24 minutes so I was happy with that!); strength session that included lots of assisted pull-ups, bench jumps and push-ups.
Mon, 4/11: rest.
Tues, 4/12: 5-mile run home from work.
Wed, 4/13: running after work, hoping for 6 miles.

Total weekly mileage: between 22-28, depending on what I run tonight.

Thoughts: I’m happy enough with that, and more importantly, my legs are feeling great lately — no pain or issues or anything, thank the Lord. πŸ™‚

Song of the week: “Ghost” by Halsey. Super catchy and fun!

Happy running, friends! ❀

Song you’ve been digging lately?
Upcoming races?

2 Things Tuesday

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It’s been birthday central in my world lately!

I am such a birthday lover — is there anything more fun than being able to honor and celebrate the people you love most on a day that belongs to them?? The first week of April was a good one for me: my BFF had a baby on April 7th and it was my guy’s birthday yesterday and his mom’s on Wednesday, so forevermore, the beginning of April will be spent full of celebrating some lovely humans, like this amazing boy of mine…

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which we did by drinking some sparkling sangria, courtesy of a girlfriend’s baby shower on Saturday that doubled as Tyler’s birthday cheers. πŸ™‚

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Maybe next time I’ll remember to ask him to pose with me — whoops. I sadly didn’t take any photos at home this past weekend (other than baby pictures, which I’m not going to reveal yet until my BFF does!), so instead I’ll link you up to the two restaurants upstate at which we dined Fri & Sat night to celebrate Tyler’s birthday weekend (because birthdays always get full weekends in my life):

1. New World Bistro Bar

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If you live in the Albany area, you love this place. It’s just a given. We had brunch here the weekend we started dating and both love the food and ambiance, so it was a no-brainer for his birthday dinner. The dinner menu is extensive and offers a wide variety of unique options (his sweet potato & legume veggie burger with hummus was delicioussss), AND they serve my favorite wine, Josh Cabernet, so I can’t say a bad word about New World.

2. Rocco’s on Main St.

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I’d never heard of this adorable rustic restaurant until I started dating someone who lived near it, as it’s on the outskirts of the Albany area, and we went for the first time on Saturday night. It was like stumbling into a hidden gem of a country setting that seemingly sprung up out of nowhere. The place was packed, and rightfully so, as the food was great. (I had the salmon and would definitely order it again.) I really loved the atmosphere as well and want to emulate the centerpiece light fixture in my future home (if that ever becomes a thing!): it was a base of wooden planks with various industrial-filament light bulbs that I thought gave the room such a cool character in its simplicity. I should have snapped a photo but the best I can do is steal one from Yelp:

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Definitely doesn’t do it justice and I am making a mental note to have one of these made for me one day.

Rocco’s is a bit off the beaten path but definitely worth a drive if you’re an upstate-er looking for somewhere new to dine. I want to go back and sit at the huge bar sometime and just enjoy the atmosphere of being at such a quaint little rustic place in a small town.

Sometimes a city girl just needs a country environment like this to soothe the soul. πŸ™‚

What do you look for in a restaurant (besides good food!)?
Anyone else dined in the Albany area? What places do you like?
Are you a “celebrate all the birthdays” person? What do you like to do??

 

Thinking Out Loud

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I’m linking up with Amanda @ Running with Spoons for this week’s TOL random spill sesh!

1. This is everything.

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The boy sent it to me this morning and it resonates with me to the nth degree (and I posted a different version of it on my IG this morning, so follow me @glitterstruck!). It stirs up such thought-provoking questions about life & purpose & passion & doing everything that’s burning a hole within me and makes me want to purge all things I don’t love from my life and start over with a clean slate. Anyone with me?!

2. I am soon to be a proud (and super stoked) possessor of one of these babies:

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My parents live right on a lake and I am SO EXCITED to spend my weekends balancing on this beauty all summer! I’ve never been on a SUP before but am 1,000% convinced I will love it. It seems like the perfect way to start a day, when the world is still sleepy and the sun has just risen and all seems quiet and perfect.

3. I ran outdoors last night (4 miles) and again at 6am today (another 4 miles) and felt great and am so ready to get back into higher mileage weeks and push myself. I guess I have to admit I’ve been feeling rather stressed, in a frenetic, no-time-for-myself, rushing-from-one-thing-to-the-next sort of way, and really could use some more long runs for the sole purpose of having time alone to breathe. It’s so necessary to find that which makes you feel good and alive and keep doing more of it.

4. This is “my wine”: Josh by Joseph Carr, Cabernet Sauvignon.

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I love this wine, and it’s become my go-to and basically the only thing I drink regularly. Well, I recently discovered some fun facts about the winemaker: Joseph Carr is from my hometown area, in the same county where my parents live! It was like I was destined to try 4326242324 wines in the past 15+ years only to discover that my taste buds could tell a local. πŸ˜‰ This is a great article about his rise to success and details the struggles in his journey to turn this wine (which honors his father’s name) into a massive hit.

Soooo, if you haven’t had this wine (and are a cab fan), you must. It’s phenomenal. And if you’re ever in NYC, look me up and we will drink it together. πŸ™‚

5. Do you ever think about what you might want to do with your life if you didn’t have to worry about bills & health insurance & all that jazz? Not being dramatic — just been thinking so much about what it means to live a joy-journey life of passion lately. It’s one thing to talk about it, but what does it realllly look like if you put it into action?

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And yes, that was my preface into saying that I’m trying to convince the boy he wants to move to Maui and go off the grid for a while. & that I want to write a book about following your passions and choosing joy.

6. I recently read the book Language Arts by Stephanie Kallos & am consequently captivated by the wonders that are storybook houses.

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How have I missed these before now?! Like, what when how why where?!
Yes, I would like to live in a fairyland, please. Someone get me one of these.

7. One of my adorable clients recently surprised me with this:

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Talk about the perfectly appropriate gift for this therapist. I think maybe I should start collecting wine glasses with different icons or from different places or whatnot. That’d be a fun & useful collection!

8. And now I want wine. Not hard to set that in motion.

Go ahead, think out loud! Tell me something random from your week.

Weekly Workouts (3/31-4/6)

Hi from what might as well be the Arctic…seriously, whatttt is with this reversion to Winter?! April needs to rear her pretty little semi-warm head and fix this mess, because I’m so ready to put away my cold-weather running gear. C’mon, Spring, you tease.

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Thurs, 3/31: morning upper body workout: lots of kettlebells, push-ups, chest press with free weights, biceps, triceps, planks & leg raises.
Fri, 4/1: morning upper body, light session: kettlebells, lots of push-ups, 10 minutes of planks; 5m speedwalk at night with the boy (it was 70 degrees!)
Sat, 4/2: 8 mile outdoor chilly run: 5m solo, 3 with Ty, followed by planks & abs
Sun, 4/3: 4m speedwork run on treadmill (30 minutes). quick & sweaty!
Mon, 4/4: rest
Tues, 4/5: 5.5 mile treadmill run yesterday at a good pace (alternating between 7.0-8.5 for intervals); planks
Wed, 4/6: has yet to occur, but I’ll be running 4ish miles tonight and doing some strength, most likely in the form of push-ups, free weights and abs. really looking forward to running tonight.

Total weekly mileage: 21-22

Thoughts: Meh – I’d like to be running more. I worked a looooot last week (2 jobs does that to you) and had super long days, plus some serious muscle soreness the likes of which I haven’t felt, like, ever…and I’m just exhausted all the time. I need to get back to where I’m feeling better about running more, but I need more time to do that, so it’s a catch 22! I did up my speedwork on the treadmill runs, however, which is a goal of mine.

How was your week in workouts?
Anyone have a great long run?
Anyone else need to sleep for, like, 2-3 days?Β Β 

Two Things Tuesday

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ONE: Noshing. We had a health fair yesterday at work, which was fun in that every company represented brought snacks with them, so basically we all just made mad dashes from table to table to stock up on treats and pretended to show interests in scheduling podiatrist & acupuncture appointments between handfuls of chocolate & chips.

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Just the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my entire life, nbd.

Essentially, it was a lazy man’s adult Halloween, right here in our event space at work. I’m not mad about it at all, especially because the foot doctor table was giving away Oatmega bars, of which I’m a big fan…so I babbled to the guy about being a runner and losing toenails on the regular and knowing I should probably pay them a visit long enough to feel justified in trying a few samples and then taking a whole bar. Hey, gotta go after what you want, right? And it was a new-to-me flavor: Lemon Chia Crisp.

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Not quite as yummy as the Vanilla Almond Crisp, but good nonetheless. This made for a happy breakfast this morning after a nice & quick 5-miler on the treadmill. Which leads into today’s #2…

TWO: Inspiration. I used to post more inspirational quotes/images and realize I haven’t done that in a bit, and now that I’ve started an IG page for the therapy practice at which I work (follow us @renewcounselingnyc!), I’m constantly on the hunt for great quotes and inspiring messages. Feel free to send me any you like and I’ll happily post those!

True for both running & life in general:

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makes me think of the Serenity Prayer:

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& always a reminder to stay true to your passions and live from who God created you to be.

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Such simple advice, but so often gets lost in the flurry of activity that is our daily life. Remember to do what makes your heart soar and love those you love as well as you can. ❀

Tell me something happy from your week!

My Weekend in Verbs

I really hate to say that I essentially live for the weekends, as it’s not entirely true: I live for vacations, too. πŸ˜‰ I just want to be able to do whatever I want with my days; is that too much to ask?

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Like spend a lovely weekend with this one, who has entirely turned my world around in every magical & wonderful way possible in the past 6 months (time flies!):

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This was our best attempt at a “let’s take a 6-month-iversary-photo” while having brunch at Mercury Bar (this rather unassuming sports bar in Hell’s Kitchen actually has awesome brunch options) and watching a Formual 1 race (I basically have no idea what that means but I brought a journal and they had John Mayer on so I was happy). πŸ™‚

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Saturday: 8 miles outdoorsΒ (steady comfortable pace): 5m solo, 3m with T. I was cold (and sore) pretty much the whole time, but it was one of the longer runs I’ve done in a while, so that felt good. I will admit that I’m still mentally adjusting to running with someone, it seems; I want to run with the boy but I sort of psych myself out a bit and always seem to get into a flow better on my own, but I know it’s good to have someone push me & I like working out with him, so I don’t want to stop running with him…it’s a Catch 22 and I need to adjust! Anyone else experience this tension between adjusting from being a solo runner to a couple runner?

Sunday: 4 miles treadmill. The freezing temps and unbelievable wind prompted us to opt for an indoor session yesterday morning, which ended up being beneficial for me, as I decided to take advantage of the chance to do some speedwork. I’m really trying to incorporate this into my routine weekly. I did 4 miles and included intervals of 1-2 minute increases in speed and definitely felt myself working harder and pushing, and it felt great! Must do more of this.

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We ventured out to a new (to us) restaurant I’ve wanted to check out for a while called Friedman’s, a homey, rustic spot squatting unexpectedly on 35th St and 10th Ave, an area almost entirely devoid of other cute places to dine. I’ve been wanting to check it out, and as it was, it served as the perfect ending to our Saturday.

Friedman’s entire menu is gluten free (except for two items), and they’re a family-run business who lives by the mantra #eatgoodfood. Well, they certainly lived up to that.

We both wanted the fish tacos & grilled salmon salad, so that was easy: I ordered the tacos, he ordered the salmon, and we shared.

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Both were delicious and we already decided we’ll be back there soon. Well done, Friedman’s. I was a happy girl.

Watched

The Big Short.

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It was great. The cast was phenomenal, the story was riveting, and it was just overall so well done. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never delved that deeply into the logistics of the whole 2008 financial crisis, so this was really important and informational for me. Definitely recommend this.

Hope you had great weekends, friends!
Weekend highlights?
Best movie you’ve seen recently?