Beach Workouts!

Last weekend, I was in Cape May for a gorgeous wedding! It was a ton of fun. I spent the whole weekend there, which was fabulous. I had some beach time, did some window shopping, made it to Lobster House for drinks, went to Cape May Brewery, and, of course, the wedding. The brewery was really good! It’s only a few years old, and I was pleasantly surprised with all of the beers that I tried! There were a bunch – and all so good! My favorite were the Saison and the Devil’s Reach. It was a really nice little getaway. We stayed in an apartment that had beds for 5, and only cost $250 a night! And as for the wedding? I’m so happy for Vinny and Cassie – and they threw one awesome party complete with tater tots, cornbread pork belly sliders, tons of dancing, good booze, and a beautiful setting!

Cape May Brewery!

Cape May Brewery!

Wedding and Beach Fun!

Wedding and Beach Fun!

 

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View From My Run!

Jess and I even managed to get in a couple workouts while we were there. Saturday morning we took a 40 min-ish run. We ran along the beach promenade for a little over 1.5 miles before turning away from the water and running through the island. It was warm, but there was a great breeze. We probably ran about 3.5 miles, and it was a perfect way to start the day. We finished withiced coffee and bagels at this adorable coffee shop called Ellie’s, next to the cheese shop in West Cape May. They make them fresh there, and she was very proud to tell us that the boil and bake them – “just like they do in New York.”

Lithe Escape Style!

Lithe Escape Style!

Sunday morning, we got up and ran to the beach (only like 3 blocks away), and I took Jess through a Lithe workout! Working out on the sand certainly adds something to the double jacks and plyos and reach and pulls! We did a cardio – barre – cardio – barre – fold over work series that took about 40 minutes. My pictures don’t look awesome (the sun was in my eyes, and I look a little special in some of them!), but it was a great place to Lithe! I could get used to that! Again, perfect perfect start to the day!

Ramping it Up

The time has come when shorts, tanks, dresses, and skirts are  a gal’s daily wardrobe. I turned on my AC tonight! (Let’s not even talk about swim suits).  I LOVE summer weather and clothes, BUT go through a thing every year where I am decidedly not ready to give up my jeans and cardigans. I know I’m not alone. PLUS, there’s festivals, and eating, and drinking, and birthdays, and eating, and drinking. Warm weather is happy hour weather, am I right?

 

Here is how I’m getting through:

1. WORKOUTS! I’m definitely keeping up my workouts with Lithe, Sgt. Nate @ Professional Touch Fitness, and running. I aim for 5-6 days a week. No excuses.

2. I am tracking things on MyFitnessPal. I’m far from perfect, and go over more days than not, but it keeps me WAY more honest than I am otherwise. And I lost a few of the winter pounds, so I’m feeling a lot better about my shorts and tank tops than I was a few weeks ago, that’s for sure.

3. I’ve been snacking on Lithe Fudge when I need a little snack. It’s rich, satisfying, and full of delicious ingredients.

4. I’ve traded some of my beloved beers for white wine. (except it’s Philly Beer Week, so not this week.)

5. I bought a few new things: cute new skirt, trendy spring jacket, striped shorts from GAP. I’m thinking of a bathing suit like this one this year: http://bit.ly/1qJpHor. I love getting a few new things and incorporating them!

6. I remember this, that I heard last night at a Beer Week event called “Beer-lesque” (Deschutes Brewery and the Peekaboo Revue Burlesque Dance Troupe): “If you were born a woman, you were born beautiful.”

 

How do you transition into summer wear from covering everything up in the winter?

June YIP Run to Yards

Tonight, my friend Rob and I joined the Young Involved Philadelphia (YIP) Running Club on their monthly run. The first Tuesday of each month, the group runs to a place of interest in Philadelphia, takes a tour/learns something/etc, and then goes to a bar for some drinks. It’s a pretty awesome concept. I ran with them one other time, when we did a tour of the Reading Viaduct, which is going to be turned into a park. It was *super awesome*. (I posted a bit about it here and put pictures here.)

This month, the first Tuesday falls during Philly Beer Week, so the run was organized to end at Yards Brewery (my favorite!), where you could take a tour, and we got our first beer for free! I had to babysit until 6pm, so I went home quickly and took a quick 1.2ish mile run over to Philly Runner, where the runs start. I am normally a 10+ min/mile, and I was booking it a little to get over to the store in time. Rob and I had decided to do the longer run (they usually have a 3 mile route and a 5 mile route.)

splitsIn this case, the 5 mile route were the super duper fast runners. Our route went up 16th St to Race, down Race to 5th, across the Ben Franklin Bridge and back, up to Spring Garden, and then over to the brewery. I am generally really good at pacing myself, and I knew immediately that I’d have to slow down. But I did get caught up with them at the beginning – and I also hit  every single light going down Race St. I fell behind on Race, which was fine. I was seriously struggling trying to keep pace, and when I finally hit the bridge, I slowed down A LOT going up the first part. I had already decided to only run up half of the bridge, and then back down. I was able to pick up the pace coming back down, waited for the group to come back, and then ran to the brewery at a pretty good pace.  As you can see, my splits were ALL OVER THE PLACE. But, overall, it was a really successful run in really humid weather, and I’m really happy with my overall pace considering how much I felt like I was struggling.

When I rolled into Yards, I had maybe the reddest face that I’ve ever had before. I seriously should have taken a picture. I ordered a Yards Saison, chatted with a few people, and then Rob and I started walking back home (another 2+ miles). Everyone that does the YIP runs are super friendly, and the crowd definitely overlaps with some of the other running groups in the city, so you will likely see some friendly faces if you frequent other group runs. Also worth noting is that a lot of people go by themselves, so everyone is chatty and not cliquey.

This Week’s Reasons Why Life is Good

I love writing these posts. It’s easy to get caught up thinking about all of the crappy things that happen (like this weather), but we don’t spend enough time thinking about all of the little things that make life good.

1.  Jess and I went thrift store shopping yesterday on our day off. We went out to Ardmore, but our favorite place was the Wardrobe Boutique at 19th and Spring Garden. I got an awesome green pea coat from Macy’s for less than $20. Win! I almost didn’t try it on, because it said Size 12 – which I definitely am not. However, this coat fits me – so maybe it was mislabeled or something.

2. There was a Yelp event at Smashburger in Radnor last night. We basically got to try a “tasting menu” for free. We got a quarter piece of 7 different burgers, fries, sweet potato fries, fried pickles, veggies, and a little mini milkshake. Not healthy at all, but really delicious. I had a kale salad for lunch (I’ll take a picture tomorrow) and pumpkin greek yogurt for breakfast, so it all balances out.

3. This whole “eating normally” thing is A LOT less stressful. And believe it or not, once I decided I didn’t need to lose “5 more pounds,” I think I look good in what I’m wearing the vast majority of the time.

4. I am so happy that I have been going back to yoga. My body is a lot happier too. Taking some time off was really good for me. I took a whole week off with the exception of yoga.  I did go back to Sgt Nate a couple of times last week, which was exciting – but it did make my knee hurt some. I was super duper sore the following two days also. Anyway, yoga makes life good.

5. I’m going to cheer on some friends running the Philly Half Marathon this week. Trying to come up with a good sign. For Broad St, our sign said “If Broad St were easy, it would be called Your Mom.” Any good suggestions?

6. My students regularly give me little drawings and things they colored. Most of them (but not all) end up getting thrown away the next time I clean my desk, but they always make me smile.

 

Why is your life good this week?

 

This Week’s Reasons Why Life Good

I am acutely aware that I am long overdue for a good “Life is Good” post. This week seems particularly good timing for one since I’ve been feeling a little stressed about my cat’s urinary problems, and overall just a little worn out.  However – without further ado:

Did I use “ado” correctly? Is that actually a thing?

 

smoothies

1.  I have been making some *AWESOME* smoothies lately. My lovely roommate, Natalie, has a Vitamix. It finally came home to live with us, and I’m ecstatic. This picture was of my first attempt, but I’m very pleased with my daily smoothies each and every day. For my green smoothies, I’ve been doing a bag of spinach,  a cucumber, water or almond milk or a combo, an apple, maybe a pear or banana or both. I often add an avocado, maybe some peanut butter. We have chia seeds that I haven’t tried. I made an amazing pumpkin, banana, cocoa, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond milk smoothie last night. I could drink that every day of my life. I make a lot, and it’s enough for Natalie and I or for me for 2 days if she’s not around . Love them.

2. I have *officially* decided to stop trying to lose 10 more pounds. My body is protesting, and who says I need to lose 10 more pounds? I have been at this weight for a year and a half, and I’m happy at it. I can easily maintain it, and can focus on being fit and happy and not skinny and hungry. Sounds like a good trade to me. So, I have *NO* idea how many calories are in the smoothies, and I don’t care. They are good for me, and that’s enough. That said – I’ve been eating sort of crappy these past few days (but really, not that bad. Though I am craving a burger or hoagie right now something fierce). I’m chalking it up to PMS and will be back on the no carbs/dairy during the week train again next week.

3. My 34, yes – count them, 34 – fifth graders have pretty much fallen in line at school. Sure, it’s a ton of kids, and sure – they would certainly get more attention if there were less of them, but there is definite teaching and learning going on, and that’s all I’m going to ask for right now.

4. I rejoined OkCupid, and even though I think dating is a pain, I realize it’s something I probably should do. So, yeah. that’s happening. I’ll keep you updated.

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5. I went to the King of Prussia Beer Fest for free last Saturday with some friends thanks to Yelp! It was a good selection of craft beers and a pretty fun band. Good times were had by all. And get this – a guy came up to my friends and I saying that I looked really familiar. My friend, Greta, went into high gear, suggesting that we become Facebook friends to see if we have mutual friends in common.  Nope. Want to guess how he recognized me? We had been talking on OkCupid. As soon as I saw his profile picture I knew, but it took him until the next morning when he messaged me. Funny how these things happen, isn’t it?

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6. My most recent long run, on Sunday, was 8.6 miles. I ran with Carey and Matt late Sunday morning on the Kelly Dr/West River Drive Loop, ending with running up the Steps! Because, why not? Carey and I stayed together the whole time, stopping here and there to wait for Matt and what not. It was not such a great run for him, but he still pushed it out and that is all that matters. Read about his run here.

Carey and I kept a really solid pace the whole time, and even though it was crazy humid, I thought it went well. I’ve been having some IT Band issues, and my knee hurt a little in the last mile, but I’m doing some foam rolling and all is well.

7. I did two awesome running club runs last week. Tuesday, I ran with the running club portion of Young Involved Philadelphia.  (Run with us! Info here.) It was my first outing with this group, which meets the first Tuesday of every month. You run, and then explore some cool place in Philly. This past week was the Reading Viaduct, that is in the process of raising money to turn it into a park. It was super cool to be up there. They are basically elevated, abandoned railroad tracks. Then, we went to Prohibition Taproom for some food and drinks.  On Thursday, I ran with the infamous Fishtown Beer Runners. They are super nice, and super fun, and like to run and drink beer. How can you go wrong? There’s a group that leaves from 7 and Bainbridge, so we ran 4 miles and ended at LLama Tooth for some beer. The first was free! I had an awesome time and an awesome run. I’m trying to go tomorrow, but the rain might just get in the way! I sure hope not.

8. I got up yesterday at 6am to run with Pam, and I got up today at 6am to go to yoga with Natalie! If not for the rain, Pam and I would be running tomorrow at 6am. I’m positive that these 6am workouts are the only things that got me through my days the past 2 days!  I did end up going to Sgt Nate- Ranger Cross Training tonight, but now I’m completely wiped and not going to my frisbee game. Ah well. I need some rest, and it’s damp and chilly outside.

 

What are some reasons why your life is good this week?

 

Paint Nite

I am not very artistic, but I think it would be just fantastic if I were. So, I went to this painting class – they are popping up everywhere. If you aren’t familiar, you sign up, go to a bar or other venue. They provide you with all painting supplies and teach you how to paint the picture of the day. You have a grand old time and leave with something decent! This one was with Paint Nite, and I think we all did pretty great.

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This Week’s Reasons Why Life is Good

Another edition of why life is pretty lovely, even if it sometimes seems otherwise.

Waterfalls at Rickett’s Glen

1. Last weekend, I had the pleasure of going to Bloomsburg, PA with some friends in celebration of my friend Alex’s birthday. We did some awesome activities, including a 4 hour hike and picnic lunch at Rickett’s Glen,  meteor watching, and roller coaster riding at Knoebel’s Grove Amusement Park (perhaps the best place ever). It was an awesome weekend and really nice to get out of the city and relax.

2. I *finally* got to the go to the pool again at North Shore yesterday. I haven’t gone much this year, because I was away much of July, and then I was busy and working a lot, and then – well, the weather hasn’t been particularly hot lately. Yesterday was beautiful, and I got to spend a few glorious hours there.

3. I joined an ultimate frisbee team last June (which deserves it’s own post). We were *pretty* terrible least season, finally winning a game at the very end of the season.  We played our hearts out on Wednesday, and won 8-7 in sudden death. It was a lot of fun. I’m proud to say that we are now 2-0.

Knoebel's Amusement Park collage of fun

Knoebel’s Amusement Park collage of fun

4. I am doing some more celebrating this weekend! August is a busy month. My lovely friends Elisa, Christine, and Jaime are having small birthday gatherings. My fabulous friend Janice is having a wedding shower/celebration – which, I must add, includes me getting a massage – and I’m PRETTY pumped.

5. I had some good runs this week! I finally broke my pace slump and did a 4.4 mile run across the Ben Franklin Bridge (read: up hill both ways) in about a 10:15 pace! I was super proud of that, but super dead after. The run was one I organized through Run Like a Philly Girl. We ate burritos after. Burritos = happiness. Then, I ran with Matt and my sister, Jess, on Wednesday morning when we did an easy 3.  Running 6 on Sunday!

6.  Last night, I went out to the Race Street Pier for Live and Local Thursday. It’s an awesome little park, and they had local bands performing! There was free PBC beer, but the line was crazy. It was a beautiful night, and a beautiful location for some live tunes!

7. I finally found whole wheat tortillas that don’t have a lot of chemicals and things-I-can’t-pronounce in them, and I am *so* excited. (See above, #5). They are sold at Whole Foods, come 4 to a pack, cost $2.49 per pack, and are 220 calories each.

All Natural, yes!

All Natural, yes!

Live and Local at the Race Street Pier

Live and Local at the Race Street Pier

Sound off! What is one reason why you think life is good this week?