Weekly Workouts (9/1-9-7)

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

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

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

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

Total weekly mileage: 26

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

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

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

The Best Days

If my future self could communicate with me right now and told me that I was, in fact, currently living out some of what I’d always remember as the very best days of my life, I would 100% believe her. It all feels that authentically, blissfully good right now. I feel so healthy and balanced and happy and comfortable in my own skin, in my own lovely little life. Of course, some of this is because SUMMER, but I attribute a good deal of it to things just going swimmingly well and having a hopeful, positive attitude. That really does wonders for a soul.

Things are just good. Work is good (job one, the new one) and wonderful (job two, the passion job). Running is really, really good right now. I feel balanced, and happy, and surrounded by amazing people on all sides and angles. That really does wonders for me, having quality people cross-contexts. I enjoy my co-workers and feel fortunate to work with some of my close friends; I love weekends at home with my family; I have absolutely won the human being lottery when it comes to my boyfriend.

I’m really, genuinely happy right now. & I plan to ride this joywave for as long as I can.

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This past weekend was one for the books, as they say (I really have to start looking up the origins of cliches). I spent it upstate at the lake with the boy and one of my best friends.

Weekend Highlights

Dave Matthews Band. I have been such a fan of this band since I was about 14 and discovered how ridiculously amazing they are. This was my (count ’em) 10th time seeing them, and we went to my favorite outdoor venue, SPAC in Saratoga (one of the cutest towns I’ve ever seen, and a place I’d easily live one day). Dave never fails to put on an incredible show, selling out a 30,000 person amphitheater, and we had a blast dancing and drinking rose and loving our summer lives. Outdoor concerts are such a quintessential summer event for me, as I grew up going to SPAC every year, and my heart was so happy.

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Lake life/SUP. This is the summer of stand-up paddleboarding for this gal, and I can’t get enough. We thought it looked like it was built for two, so I paddled while she struck crazy half-yoga moves and basically danced around. By some miracle, we kept our balance!

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Is there anything better than a gorgeous day on the lake with some of your favorite people? I highly doubt it.

Running. So I’m just gonna (shamelessly) say it: I’m killing this lately.

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(I also ran in new sneaks for the first time this morning, which is always exciting! Same ones I’ve been running in, just brand spankin’ new and diff colors!).

I know very well just how those feel-amazing times go through cycles, and how frustrating and difficult the not-so-amazing, dealing-with-injuries, feeling-meh phases can be, so right now, I’m basking in the fact that I feel great and strong and am praying this lasts (for, like, ever would be great). I had one of my best runs in a long time on Saturday morning: 11 miles in the heat and sunshine, at a really decent pace (I even had a 7:45 mile in there!), almost entirely under or about 8:30s, with hills. It.felt.amazing.

The boy and I then ran a little over 3 miles on Sunday as well, so it was 14 (hilly!) miles for me this past weekend. #notbadatall

Also, in fun running (frunning??) news, I found this never-seen-before (by me or my family) photo of my grandfather and his 1924 Olympic gold medal relay team online on Friday:

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How amazing is that?! He’s one on the far left and my dad looks so much like him (and I’m being told by friends and colleagues I do as well?!). I printed it out for my dad and hope to have it framed — I love this part of my family history so much and take such pride in being part of a runlegacy!

Other fun weekend activities included a trip to the Troy Farmer’s Market with my friend Alex & my parents, which is such a great Saturday morning activity in the Capital Region. (Fave vendors for me include The Placid Baker & BuddhaPesto, which is by far the best pesto I’ve ever had!)

So yeah, this weekend was phenomenal. And I hope the same for you all of you!

Tell me a highlight from your weekend!
Fave band?

Two Things Tuesday

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ONE: Marathon training has officially begun! As of this morning, in fact! Yes, I’ve been running consistently, but I just decided today at 6am that I should probably, like, follow a plan or something. What race am I training for? The Mohawk Hudson River Marathon in the Capital Region of Upstate, NY — yes, the same (and only) 26.2 mile course I’ve run twice before. Hey, if it ain’t broke…right?
IMG_8395I’ve had two great experiences and love the course and running in early October, and it’s important to me to run a race at home so that my parents & loved ones can be there, so this has become my favorite race. I’ve done the half twice (2011 & 2012) and the full twice thus far (2013 & 2015), forced to defer 2014 due to an injury, and I’m excited to train for this full again. I like the structure and accountability a training plan offers me, even if I don’t always stick to it unwaveringly, and I’m hoping the next 13 weeks take me on a journey of self that challenges & stretches me in all sorts of ways.

I’ve chosen to follow Hal Higdon’s Intermediate 1 Marathon Training plan, which is the same one I (loosely) used last time. No complaints with it and I adjust as needed.

TWO: Dave Matthew Band — in concert, this coming Saturday night. So, so stoked for this outdoor summer concert at my favorite (and most-frequented) concert venue, Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC). I’ve seen dozens of concerts & ballets here throughout my life, but DMB has always been the front-runner — this will be my 10th time seeing them in concert since I became a huge fan in my early teens. An outdoor show on a golden evening in Saratoga, NY, where the music couldn’t be any more summer-perfect and the atmosphere is one of overwhelming joy and revelry just to be alive in that moment…those are some of my favorite memories of growing up Upstate, and I can’t wait to relive that again this weekend!

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Dave selling out SPAC!

What’s something you’re looking forward to this week?
Anyone following a plan/training for a fall marathon?

Happy We Love America Weekend!

Hope everyone had lovely 4th of July (or Canada Day, for my Canadian loves!) weekends! I had the absolutely most wonderfully perfect weekend upstate at the lake — so much so that returning to “real life” in NYC was a bit of a struggle. You know when you’re filled with alllll the happiness and feel like life just couldn’t be any better? That was this weekend for me. Home really is where the heart is (especially when home is a lake). 🙂

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Let’s recap this festive redwhite&blue weekend in verbs, shall we?

Ran. First thing’s first, even on holiday weekends — my fitness stayed strong! Here’s a breakdown of my 3 runs:

  • Saturday, 7am: 9 very, very hilly miles. This was a tough one for me, physically and mentally, even though it was the most gorgeous morning for running (57 degrees and sunshine with a little breeze). I hadn’t run hills at all in a few weeks and I think I had been anticipating having this amazing run, and when I started to struggle, I got disappointed and frustrated with myself. I managed to make it through the whole 9 miles, but it felt hard, and I was so glad when it was done. I did, however, debut my newest run gear obsession, which I absolutely love and want to wear every day now:
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  • Sunday, 9am: 5.5 (a little less hilly) miles, feeling good. Much better than Saturday, so I think my mind & body start to prepare themselves for the hills after the first day and I handle them better? Or maybe b/c it was a shorter run? Let’s go with both. Either way, I enjoyed Sunday’s run much more.
  • Monday, 10am: 5.5 miles with the boy. Duplicate of Saturday’s course, but with my favorite running partner this time – and this was one of our best couple runs! Woohoo. We both felt good and ran well despite the heat and hills, and dove face-first into mugs of smoothies I made for us as soon as we got back to the lake.

Total weekend mileage: 20 miles! Holiday weekend running = huge success.

Ate. All.the.fruit. (Hello, summer!) My fave summer post-run breakfast/brunch has been a very berry smoothie lately: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, half a banana, almond milk and ice, blended with a package of French Vanilla Medifast protein powder = all sorts of amazingness.IMG_9693

(Recycled pic but totally relevant!) We made these twice this weekend and I plan to continue making it all summer. Current food crush for sure.

Played. My brother threw a party at the lake on Sunday, so naturally, games.Kan-Jam

Kan Jam, anyone? When I think of “beach day” or “summer party,” this game automatically pops up for me, so I hit Amazon late last week and POOF! it was there by Saturday, in all its frisbee-throwing glory. I’m proud to announce that I hit a Kan Jam in the first game, to the shock of all of us! I seem to have a real future in backyard BBQ games. I’m on a hunt for Fricket poles right now as well (shout out to my Canadians!).

Paddled. I really, really love stand-up paddleboarding. I mean, I was Hundo P sure it was right up my alley before I even tried it, but now that I’ve spent more time on my little blue baby of a board, I can assuredly assert that it’s just so, so awesome. Who doesn’t want to enjoy a gorgeous day standing on top of a lake and getting tan while paddling around and getting a bit of a workout at the same time? Boy kayaking beside me, stopping to take breaks and lay down on the board (planks in the lake? don’t mind if I do!) and just enjoy the moment…it was seriously wonderful. I wish I could start or end every day that way.

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Hope you all had lovely, friend-and-family-and-fun filled holiday weekends, friends.

Best part of your 4th weekend?
How’s the summer running going?
Favorite backyard BBQ/beach game?

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. 🙂

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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. 🙂

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??

 

Two Things Tuesday

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ONE: Travel. I have a mini trip coming up this weekend for the long weekend/Valentine’s Day (how nice is it that those two fall on the same weekend this year??) — the boy and I are headed up to Lake Placid for a 3-day, 2-night little jaunt to the north country. His family actually used to own the Mirror Lake Inn (I so wish they still did!), so I’m stoked to check that out, especially the apres ski bar called The Cottage, which just looks like the darlingest little winter lodge:

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(photos taken from the Inn’s website)

How sweet is that spot? Consider it’s supposed to be, like, no degrees, I think we’ll be more than ready to curl up by a fire and enjoy a drink.

We’re going during Saranac Lake’s Winter Carnival, which means there’ll be plenty of events going on nearby and a giant ice palace to traipse through and fireworks to see. This year’s theme is Superheroes & Villians — does that make anyone else want to dress up like Wonder Woman and sing the Beach Boys song? Anyone with me?

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Thoughts of this little winter getaway are totally getting me through the week. We rented a half of a farmhouse right in town through Airbnb, which I think will work out well. C’mon, Friday, hurry on up!

TWO: Fitness fashion. I can’t stop with the fun leggings lately. I think my recent success with the Athleta tights has spurred the addiction back into full force. I’m currently awaiting the arrival of these little beauties from GapFit:

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These are the gFast mesh-ribbon leggings, and I’m praying I like them on as much as I do online. Or on that girl’s legs. 🙂

Anyone been to Lake Placid? If so, what are some of your fave spots?
Taking a mini-trip for the long weekend?
Anyone have GapFit leggings? Thoughts?
Favorite brand of running tights?

the thankful-est of weekends.

i’m not sure i could have had any better of a Thanksgiving holiday and weekend than i did, and i hope all of you are feeling the same. it was exactly the weekend i was looking forward to upstate…

fam time. boyfriend time. best friend time. running. sushi. wine. movies. relaxing.

it was pretty darn perfect.

some highlights:

*Wed night sushi date with the boyf at a new-to-us place: Nishiki Sushi in East Greenbush. it was really good — definitely a return-to-soon spot that i can see becoming a regular date place — and we ran into friends unexpectedly and celebrated Johnny’s birthday dinner with them, which was a blast. friendsit’s a family-owned business and our friends are regulars who know the owner (and have their own chop sticks behind the bar, in little boxes with their names on them!), so she came out and chatted with us and surprised him with dessert and by playing “Happy Birthday” over the system and having us all sing. it was a great start to my long weekend, and i’ll definitely return here.
boati mean, who doesn’t love a sushi boat?!

*Thursday morning, the boy and i got ourselves up at 6:30 to run the Troy Turkey Trot 10K at 8am. it was our first race together and i totally failed at capturing it on camera (whoops), so the best i can do is steal these off the site and pretend we all love having watermarks over our faces:boy
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we had a lot of fun (minus my weird stomach issues that almost ruined it for me and unfortunately added a 3-4 minute stop to our time…which would be about 50 minutes otherwise, so i’d have been happy with that!). i haven’t run any shorter races in a couple of years — probably since i ran this one 2 years ago?! — and it was a nice change. it was also such a beautiful morning for a race, and who doesn’t feel better about laying around and eating/drinking all day if you run in the morning?? such a great way to start a day that’s dedicated to thankfulness, by doing something i’m thankful i’m healthy enough to do, with someone i’m so thankful to have in my life. 🙂

i hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings and were blessed with so much for which to be thankful.FullSizeRender

Friday morning i got myself out for a hilly 9-mile run on fairly tired legs and was pretty spent by the end of it, but so glad i did it. i did a little shopping with the fam before meeting the boy to see Spectre, which we’ve been meaning to see for weeks now. SITE_STANDEE_V2-1000x1000i’m a fan of the Daniel Craig Bond movies (okay so they’re the only Bonds i’ve seen, but still, i really like them), so this didn’t disappoint. & it really made me want to pick up and go to Europe asap.

Saturday was a gym sesh & relaxing with the boy, then a relaxing dinner & movie night double date at my BFF’s (sushi, stir fry, red wine & Pitch Perfect 2 with some of my favorite people in the world –> perfection).

Sunday i eeked out 3 quick miles before church, for a total of 18 miles over this holiday weekend at home, so i feel pretty good about that!

the only thing i wish is that i had more photos to share with you of my wonderful weekend at home…but hopefully i’ll do better about that next time. 🙂

hope you all had blessed, lovely, thankful holiday weekends full of your favorite humans & all things wonderful!

Tell me something great from your Thanksgiving weekend!
Anyone else run a Turkey Trot?

Weekend Recap {Hello, November}

how was everyone’s Halloween weekend? mine was busy & fun & full of lovely people, so i can’t ask for a whole lot more than that. except, ya know, maybe a 7 day weekend. that’d be nice right about now. although i am loving the fact that it’s supposed to be 60-70 degrees every day this week here…not bad at allll for November in NY!

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as much fun as Halloween is for me, it’s overshadowed by something much more important, as November 1st happens to be my favorite person’s birthday — my brother. we make big deals out of birthdays in my family and i was so happy to be able to celebrate him all weekend.

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yesterday we birthday-brunched at New World Bistro (one of our favorite restaurants in Albany, NY), and that right there is a mason jar cheesecake. because everything looks/tastes better in mason jars, amiright?

so, Halloween! i love dressing up, and seeing everyone else all decked out. time for the big costume unveiling (unless you follow me on IG @glitterstruck, then you already know!): the boy and i were a deer & hunter combo.

IMG_8512& that, my friends, is by far the creepiest face i’ve ever made in my life.

deeroh, deer. 😉

Ry’s bday/Halloween party was an absolute blast, full of fun people, great costumes, soooo much yummy food, salsa dancing, ping pong, Cards Against Humanity, and lots of laughs.

IMG_8506we like headbands in our family, on holidays & every day.

girlsthe ladies.

in other wonderful family news, i discovered that my dog wants to carry on the family legacy and take up running. she was pretty subtle about it.

mokai left my sneakers by the door after my Saturday morning long run and she neatly nestled herself between them and camped out for a bit. i think she was feeling guilty about the time last summer when i tried to make her walk a half a mile in the heat and she made me carry her home (aka laid down on the side of the road and refused to budge). yellow is clearly her color, too.

i feel like i could use another weekend to do nothing but sleep, but i know i really can’t complain after such a great couple of days at home. hope you all had wonderful weekends!

Did you dress up? If so, what were you?
Best costume you saw this year?
Something you’re looking forward to in November?

weekly workouts {10/15-10/21)

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i’m so happy to report that my week of post-marathon recovery was…well, pretty darn amazing. i feel sooooo blessed that i didn’t have much soreness (or any pain at all) and was able to ease back into running rather easily! (note: all of my runs are outdoors. i refuse to get onto a treadmill until it’s absolutely frigid or snowing heavily…but let’s not discuss that yet. gah.)

Thurs, 10/15: first run since the marathon the previous Sunday: 4.6 miles & felt great!!
Frid, 10/16: 4 mile run & planks
Sat, 10/17: 10 mile run, and felt amazing!! hallelujahhhhh
Sun, 10/18: 6 miles (i have no idea how i’m feeling so awesome and rested but i’m literally rejoicing and running with it)
Mon, 10/19: rest. Mondays are my longest days, so lend well to being rest days. & by rest, i mean get home late & settle on the couch for red wine + phone date + The Voice. (“these are a few of my faaaavorite thingssss” when i’m not running. :))
Tues, 10/20: 5.5 mile night run — first night run in a while, and it went really well. thankfully, it was a balmy 65 degrees at 8pm. loving this.
Wed, 10/21 (today): finally added a strength session back into the routine — did an hour of kettlebells/free weights/back machines/planks & other abs before work this morning.

i know it might seem like i jumped back into running too much too soon after the marathon, but honestly, i didn’t have any pain and am not pushing myself to run fast and absolutely am listening to my body and monitoring how i feel and have zero intentions of doing anything that doesn’t feel good.

having said that, i’m praying the forecast of rain for this coming Sunday is a fluke, because i’m really looking forward to running my first trail race: the Hairy Gorilla Half in Upstate, NY. the course looks so beautiful — i mean, just look at these shots:

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must.run.this.race.

happy running & working it out, friends!

Best run/workout this week?
Anyone have a race coming up?Ever run a trail race? yay/nay?

Thinking Out Loud

i’m really liking these Thursday link-up posts lately (hosted by Amanda at Running With Spoons) — feels good to have a weekly post dedicated to just rambling about whatsoever my little heart desires. 🙂

Thinking-Out-LoudONE: yes, i’m still marathon-high — duh. i’m not sure if that should even be in question. i’m planning to ride this feeling of elation for as long as possible, thankyouverymuch! everyone at work has been asking about it, and all my friends are so encouraging and eager to hear how it went and i feel like i could just talk about it forever. but don’t worry, guys — i won’t. i swear. 🙂 just let me have it for a leeeeettle longer, mmmkay? because my world just feels all sorts of wonderful this week.

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TWO:
my recovery has been amazingggg. i’ve gone for two long walks since the race on Sunday (5 hilly miles Monday, 4 miles on Tuesday), did an hour + of kettlebells, upper body strength & abs yesterday morning, and woke up this morning ready to run — so i did! aside from the obligatory residual soreness, i have no actual pain or anything concerning, so i set out at 6am and ran 4.6 miles and felt so good and so happy and so grateful for it all, for this wonderful life that is so very mine.

THREE: i just read Paper Towns by John Green over the weekend and reallllly enjoyed it. this coming-of-age tale is sweet & heartfelt & reflective & raw & emotional & really makes you think about what it means to be young & vulnerable & so very present in your own life, on the verge of self-discovery, at such a tender time. this book has some heart-wrenchingly beautiful lines in it, and i was really impressed with his writing. it made me feel so much, and to me, that’s the best thing a book can do.

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FOUR: i’ve juuuust begun reading a new book, gifted to me from one of my bff’s darling boyfriends, who stumbled upon it and thought i’d enjoy it. (thank youuuu, Josh! oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!)

anyone read this?

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lil blurb from Amazon: In Why We Run, biologist, award-winning nature writer, and ultramarathoner Bernd Heinrich explores a new perspective on human evolution by examining the phenomenon of ultraendurance and makes surprising discoveries about the physical, spiritual — and primal — drive to win. At once lyrical and scientific, Why We Run shows Heinrich’s signature blend of biology, anthropology, psychology, and philosophy, infused with his passion to discover how and why we can achieve superhuman abilities.

sounds pretty dope to me! stoked to delve into it.

FIVE: so, i think imma run a half marathon next weekend. because why not?? i’m more than trained, i’m feeling great, and it looks like suuuuuch a rad race. i mean, even the name is fun: The Hairy Gorilla Half Marathon. like, stop. i so need to run this.

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the race is held in the gorgeous Thatcher Park just outside of Albany, NY, in the small town where my bff lives, actually. it’s a trail race — the photos on the site make it look so lovely and appealing — and apparently a lot of people dress up in costumes and really get into the Halloween spirit. i think it sounds like a total blast, and i was planning to be upstate next weekend anyway (because two weeks without my new boy is two weeks too long…omg what is happening to me?!), so it seems like a no brainer. i know i have a Wonder Woman costume somewhere i can dig up….jk. i’ll prob paint on whiskers and find ears and call it a day.

SIX: who’s dressing up for Halloween?? okay so my tooth & tooth fairy costume doesn’t seem to be happening this year (i’m determined it will happen one day!), but we have another idea that could turn out really sweet if i actually get my butt in gear and start working on it.  i just wanna wear cool make-up at this point, not gonna lie.

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Tell me something random from your life lately!
Anyone doing any costume races this season? Have you ever?
What’re you being for Halloween?