Week 3 Training Update + Something New (Bonus Recipe)

Can the running purchases settle down a little bit please? Found this funny cartoon that aptly describes my budgeting psyche as of late:

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But really. I love my new shoes, and they were a much-needed purchase. My old, well-loved Saucony Guides were starting to break open at the heel and I was feeling the pavement a little too much with every stride. The last thing I wanted was a foot strain so early on in my training, so I stopped back at Marathon Sports to see if I could find a new pair that fit well. I was not impressed with the updated Saucony Guides — I found something about their new support uncomfortable for my foot, so I tried on a few more options (I think there was a Brooks shoe that was just a little too unsupportive, an Asics shoe that was too heavy on my feet, and the Mizuno Wave Rider I ended up going with that seemed to combine the best of both worlds – lightness/flexibility with support). The guy helping me out happily offered to have the Wave Riders shipped to me from a different store since they didn’t have the color I wanted in stock in my size. I also got a bunch of advice from a different employee about different fueling chews and went home with a little booty stock pile of a bunch of different ones to try (with a 10% student discount, too!). When the shoes showed up on my doorstep a whole day earlier than I expected them to, I found a hand-written, personally addressed note inside. Marathon Sports, you know how to build a loyal customer – that’s for sure!

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Training (Week 3) Total Miles = 29.1

I’m considering this my third week of training, since my first few weeks were a little all over the place with traveling and recovering from the Half. This week was a good mix of cross training and running. I technically didn’t have a rest day, but would consider the two easy runs sandwiching my long run on Saturday more of an “active rest day,” since I don’t think being completely sedentary is a good way to have a rest day anyway.

Monday – 45 minute easy

Ran behind Harvard in the morning before work and saw a few new sights (also spotted a car that had a MN license plate and a window sticker from the University of Wisconsin and felt an overwhelming sense of pride for this unknown human). My legs felt pretty stiff, especially during the beginning of the run, after Sunday’s long one (after which I ended up driving ~3 hours in a car, picking strawberries and peas in a field, and grocery shopping). At the end of it, though, I realized how beneficial shaking out a long run can be, as opposed to just taking the day off after a long run, which I might have been more apt to do if not following this training plan. Since I ran first thing in the morning and hadn’t eaten breakfast, I found that my heart rate was more apt to stay down in the mid 150’s. Completed 4.7 miles with a 9:32 average pace.

Tuesday – 1 hour cross train + 30 minute core workout

Took advantage of the gym at school which is also near my work. Worked 40 mins on elliptical at varying resistance, with 2 minutes of high resistance pedaling in reverse every 7 minutes. Followed this with 20 minutes on the stationary bike doing preprogrammed hills.

Core workout was deceivingly challenging (in a good way!). Ended up doing 3 sets (the third set of mountain climbers was laughable though)

  • 50 bicycle crunches
  • 10 pushups
  • 50 second mountain climbers
  • 10 leg lifts (on your back, legs together)
  • 50 second side plank holds
    Add:
  • 2 x 25 air squats
  • 2 x 15 side lunges

Wednesday – Tempo Run

Had to fit this guy in between work and class, and ended up running around 2pm when the weather that had been cloudy and cool started to burn off and the sun/wind came out to say hello. Great timing (-__-). Was feeling pretty tired at the get-go, but wanted to complete the run and knew I’d feel better afterwards. I also knew that people were handing out free Yasso bars on the Greenway and this seemed like enough of a reward to push through my fatigue.

  • 20 minute warm up
  • 20 minutes at 8:00-8:15 pace (comfortably hard)
  • 10 minute cool down

The 8:10ish pace was hard for me to maintain with the wind, and I kept naturally settling into an 8:30 pace (that still felt like a big effort). I felt the after-effect of the squats and lunges on this run — didn’t have any pain, but was more ‘aware’ of my knees than usual and the impact of my feet hitting the pavement. This ended up being my final run in my Saucony Guides, and that’s probably for the best! Completed 6.22 miles.

Thursday – 1 hour cross train + 15 minute body weight workout

Tried out FlyWheel in Boston for the first time, and was very impressed! Sometimes I find the “cult” vibe of fitness studios a little too intimidating and hard to swallow, but was welcomed immediately into the bright FlyWheel studio inside the Prudential Center by the ladies working the front desk. Took this blonde a little too long to find it, which made me glad I budgeted in an extra 15 minutes in my commute. Loved that the shoe rental was complimentary, and there were locker rooms and bathrooms with often-missed essentials (definitely used some of the face wipes post-spin!). Since I had the day off, I took a class at 4pm and that made it a little less hectic and full of people. I really liked the FlyWheel bikes, that you could see actual numbers on the bike related to resistance and RPM, which satisfied a lot of the type-A in me wanting to know where I am and where I can push myself. Our instructor was very motivating, had a great playlist and pushed us to go beyond our own personal comfort zones. “I’ll take whatever you give me” he said, reminding everyone that the only one to benefit from the 45 minutes in the class is yourself, so why not push yourself to the next level? I haven’t been in the habit of spinning frequently, so whenever I do the classes are suuuper challenging and often leave me out of breath. I was definitely dripping in sweat after this class, but left feeling like I could definitely go back for more (on a future date, of course).

Completed the bodyweight work out back at home and definitely felt tired in my arms afterward.

2 Rounds:

  • 15 air squats
  • 1 min forearm plank hold
  • 15 lunges (each leg)
  • 1 min forearm plank hold
  • 15 side lunges (each side)
  • 1 min forearm plank hold

Friday – Light 30

Before work, went out for a light 30 minute jog keeping my heart rate between 155-160. Felt like my heart rate wanted to creep up towards the end of the run, but I also might have been sneaking in a faster pace. Completed 3.11 miles with an average 9:41 pace.

Saturday – 2 Hour Long Run (see video!)

Wanted to try something new and filmed a short long-run video! First time ever filming myself so will definitely need to get over the awkwardness of talking to my phone in front of other people… but hope you enjoy! I’ve loved watching other people’s training videos, reading blogs etc, and found them strangely comforting in my own journey. I like how unfiltered the running experience is with a video.. no time to reflect or edit thoughts.. just straight up documenting the run and how it makes you feel in that moment. My runs will no doubt get a lot longer and a lot more challenging, so I might try to document those as well!

Sunday – Recovery Run (30 minutes)

Another run that I might have skipped if not following this training program. Legs were pretty heavy in the beginning and ran at a very slow pace, but felt really good to get outside and enjoy the beautiful morning, stretch out my legs, and shake out a little stiffness. My HR stayed down on it’s own without too much effort (yay!) probably also due to running fasted – average rate was 142! Completed a total of 3.02 miles with average pace 10:24.

Feeling good so far! I did alert my coach that I felt like her plan had me running a lot more than I’ve been used to. I was comfortable running 2-3 times per week with a longer run on the weekends, fitting in crosstraining/weights where I could. The runs I’ve been doing recently with this plan are definitely a lot easier on my body compared to what I might have set off to run on my own before, and so far my legs/hips/feet aren’t complaining. I’ll definitely be watching out for any early signs of overtraining, though, since I am not about to be running through serious injuries any time soon!

THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to my crowdrise fundraiser for AHK since my last post. I’m over 10% to my goal, and that is so encouraging! If you haven’t had a chance to donate yet, but want to support physical activity and nutrition programming for kids around the country while also motivating me to reach the starting line of the marathon in November.

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Totally unrelated photo of my new favorite breakfast – one slice of Dave’s Killer 21 grain bread with an egg in the middle, sliced avocado and TJ’s green dragon hot sauce on top. A schmear of cream cheese on the bread cut out, and some kind of fruit on the side. NOMs.

As a huge perk of our Summer CSA, we get a particular amount of Pick-Your-Own produce throughout the season. Since our farm is a good 1:40 minute drive from Boston, we were able to pick our full share of PYO strawberries and different varieties of peas and bring them back home with us. The strawberry field was bountifully full of juicy, ripe, fragrant strawberries. I was instantly reminded of the song “Strawberry Fields Forever,” the bushes bursting with hundreds of plump strawberry hearts. It was crazy to me that there were so many strawberries virtually untouched by bugs or other critters. If I were a squirrel, you know I’d be having a heyday in that field. My roommate and I split 4 (heaping) quarts of strawbs, and I wanted to find some fun things to do with them before they went bad (besides just enjoying them fresh from the stem of course!)

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Here’s a super-quick recipe that takes just a few seasonal ingredients I had in my fridge. If you love the refreshing taste of a mojito and have some ripe, sweet strawberries around, MAKE THIS. I had it on top of Avocado Egg Toast this morning, and it was absolutely divine. Would also be good as a topping for fish or chicken, in place of dressing on a salad, or on its own as a salsa with corn or pita chips.

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Strawberry Mojito Salsa — Makes about 12 1/4 cup servings

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Cups fresh strawberries, washed and finely diced
  • 2-3 TBSP fresh mint, finely chopped (more or less to taste… I love mint so I was generous)
  • Juice + Zest from one medium lime
  • 1 TBSP vinegar of choice (I used raspberry vinegar because I had it, but cider, balsamic, or red wine vinegar would also work beautifully)
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine diced strawberries, chopped mint, lime zest and juice.
  2. In a small dish, whisk together vinegar and maple syrup.
  3. Pour dressing over strawberry mixture and mix to coat. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Note: For a smoother salsa or sauce, use a food processor to puree the strawberries, lime juice, vinegar and maple syrup, and add chopped mint at the end.

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True Life: Becoming the Tortoise

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Hello! Back from our whirlwind tour of the midwest, filled to the brim with wedding joy (congrats again Jen & Sean <3), family time, catching up with old and far away friends, reminiscing, cheese, ice cream and beer adventures, gawking at how much the Madison campus has changed since I graduated a mere 2 years ago, and lotssssss of time on the road. I don’t need to drive another car for a good long while, thanks!

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Quick pit stop at the top of Bascom Hill to selfie with Bae… I mean Abe

Meanwhile, I started up on my real-life marathon training plan, led by my wonderful coach, Heather, who will be helping me every step of the way! So far so good, but there was a bit of a learning curve I had to jump on to.

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The Memorial Union Terrace at UW-Madison … gorgeous as ever.

Things I’ve learned in the first weeks of training

  1. The phrase “It’s a marathon, not a sprint” is real
  2. You don’t have to feel super fatigued for a run to be worth-it
  3. There are a lot of hidden expenses involved with getting serious with running
  4. Toenails are fleeting
  5. Running at a lower heart rate makes the miles fly by
  6. Running at a lower heart rate is harder than it sounds

 

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Amazing to see all of these beautiful faces again

I ran my first “long run” this past Saturday, and found it unusually challenging in ways that I’m not used to. For one, the great majority of the 100 minute run was below a heart rate of 165. I got really used to pushing myself to run a steady pace of 8:30 while training for my half and never really paid attention to my heart rate. Now that I finally am paying attention to it, I realize how much extra effort I was exerting trying to maintain that pace! Running below 165 for me right now means running between 9:30-10 minute miles, and sometimes (especially when running with all the speedies along the Charles river…) it feels like crawling. I had to resist the urge to speed up — every time I did, my heart rate would climb upwards of 170 and I knew I needed to conserve my energy for the later part of the run where I would be running 2 sets of 8:30 pace for 5 minutes with a 2 minute “cool down” in between. After 65 minutes of slowwww running, I was amazed to find that I had run about 7 miles and hardly felt fatigued at all! I reminisced to the half marathon and realized I felt 2x worse at mile 4 during that race (granted, that was in sweltering heat but still–) than I did 65 minutes into this long run. BUT then I tried to speed up. Yikes. My legs did nottttt want to run at 8:30. Getting up to that pace was rough and I felt like I was straight up sprinting. What?! This used to be my cruising pace. Longest 5 minutes ever. I realized I should probably down a little fuel and used the first 2 minute rest to chew on a few jelly beans. My coach said I could probably fuel a bit earlier, like every 35-40 minutes, so I’ll definitely be experimenting with that on the next run. Overall, I feel a lot better heading into the training knowing I can trust my body to run for a long time and that I need to focus on fueling properly and building my aerobic capacity. I have my first 2 hour run on my schedule for this weekend, and I am anxiously looking forward to it! Hoping the weather cooperates!!

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Some delicious brunch, enjoyed on a Tuesday in Lakeview East, Chicago at Hutch (of course blood orange mimosas and smoked salmon were involved)

For the past few weeks, my training has been a little sporadic due to my traveling back in Minnesota and Wisconsin, with lots of days spent on the road or without access to proper training landscapes (crosstraining was a bit difficult). Thankfully, I was able to hit up a pilates class with my mom at her gym using a guest pass, and had access to the gym for a full 24 hours (luxury!). I also went to an outdoor yoga class with her towards the end of my trip for a bit of a different experience. Not much of a work-out, as it was labeled “restorative” yoga with a lot of focus on holding poses, but it was a beautiful morning and lovely to be within nature practicing yoga. That was about all I managed for cross training during the last few weeks, with a few body weight exercises here and there and quite a bit of walking. I managed to fit in almost all of my scheduled runs, which were mostly pretty easy with a few timed intervals and tempos. Luckily I was in Minnesota for my 7-miler and I was able to run on the gorgeous regional trail that winds around Lake Minnetonka. It was a muggy morning, but the terrain made it worth it. Otherwise, I tried to just have fun with my runs and get most of them out of the way in the morning so I had the rest of the day to enjoy my trip!

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Dusky Chicago Skyline

Now that I’m moving into some more serious training, I’m realizing really quickly that I’m going to need to invest in a new pair of sneaks. My current pair, lovely cotton candy colored Saucony Guides, are wearing down in the heal and I could feel a little too much pavement for my liking on my last run. Next on the list of running purchases I’ll need to make: a handheld water bottle to take with me, new fueling options to test out, and some running sunglasses. I also made an amazon mistake and bought an older-generation heart rate monitor that didn’t come equipped with features I need (and frankly just want at this point) like GPS tracking, interval capability, and bluetooth syncing. I was thankfully able to return it even after running a half marathon with it for amazon credit, and purchased the TomTom Cardio Spark instead — so far I’m really happy with it!! It tracks just about everything, even gym workouts, and syncs with TrainingPeaks effortlessly. I can program interval workouts or track them manually, and it even stores music and podcasts so I can run phone-free! Beyond all this, it also works as a fitness tracker and will track steps and sleep if I wear it continuously, completely taking over anything I lost by not wearing a Fitbit anymore. Highly recommend it so far. But hey someone send me some lottery tickets. Homegirl is stretched.

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Felt like sushi… so we did sushi right.

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Actually our first official Road Trip meal — Brunch at Hola Arepa in MPLS… no words (amazing)

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Happy Hour Margs for a (hot) Weekday Treat

As you may or may not know, I’m actually training for this marathon to run for an amazing non-profit organization — Action for Healthy Kids. With my help, and the help of hundreds of other racers, the charity will raise money to fund many programs throughout the country that address childhood obesity prevention. From Walk-to-School programs, to farmers markets, to after school sports clubs, the mission of this organization is to help make it easier for kids to live healthier lives through exercise and nutrition — to sorely lacking areas for most of today’s young generation. I can’t imagine a more motivating charity to raise money for as I train for my first ever marathon. Even more motivating than just simply crossing the finish line after 26.2 miles is knowing that I will have helped to fund really meaningful programs all around the country to build a healthier generation — really the thesis of my life’s work!!

But I can’t get there without you. I need to raise $3,000 by race day and so far I have some AWESOME donations, but I’m nowhere near close! If I don’t raise enough, I’ll be funding the rest and did you read what I said about already needing to win the lottery? No need to donate a huge chunk of change .. every little bit counts and I would be SO appreciative of whatever you choose to give to the organization in my honor! Follow the link below to submit donations.

❤ ❤ ❤

 

 

Vermont City Marathon Relay: Race and Burlington Recap

Well that was fun!

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It’s funny how we can look back on events that, in the moment, might have been painful and hard to get through, and find our memories of them completely positive. This past weekend, running the Vermont City Marathon relay, was a crazy experience and it was such a blessing to have my roommate there to rehash everything, commiserate on the struggles of running in extreme heat conditions, and celebrate both of our triumphs.

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The weekend got off to a great start at The Neighborhood, where Kelly and I got some traditional pre-race-day breakfast. WAFFLES – (pictured) Oh and cannot forget the Cream of Wheat (capitalization necessary). I have not met another restaurant that can make CoW as well as these guys – seriously, there is magic in the bowl. Of course, I finished almost everything and then realized that I had just eaten more dairy than I probably had all week… the day before the race. I was definitely worried that it would come back to haunt me, but it never did (hooray!) I didn’t feel super awesome after the meal and had some pretty annoying upper GI troubles, but I think that could probably just be attributed to eating a lot of food and not necessarily to the milk products in the cream of wheat and whipped cream. Made me think my past issues weren’t dairy related after all (this was later re-confirmed after I successfully had some REAL Ben & Jerry’s ice cream … no time to waste on the non-dairy, sugar bomb stuff they now sell… and did not implode). We had some time before catching the Megabus up to Burlington, so we pit-stopped for some Union Square donut holes to enjoy on the way, and some very necessary caffeine from Starbucks.

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Despite the mostly beautiful GREEN drive up through Vermont, our adventures hit a bit of a road-block when our Megabus decided to overheat just 15 minutes outside of Burlington. Our dear Megabus driver let all the passengers know that it would be HOURS before backup arrived, and we were basically on our own to figure out how to make it the rest of the way. What was definitely a headache and a half could have been WAY worse. We got super lucky — after having one uber driver cancel because we were – hello – in the middle of the interstate, we ended up sharing an uber with two girls who were also heading to Burlington for the weekend. Our uber driver was so nice – literally an angel for picking our poor souls off the side of the road. I have no idea what we would have done if the bus broke down any earlier in the trip. Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that any more! I’ve heard so many more horror stories about Megabus, it was about time I had some bad luck after taking them for years during college. Never again!

Arriving in Burlington, I was quickly reminded how much I used to pine for this city. UVM was actually my top choice in colleges when I was applying back during my senior year of high school. I remembered falling in love with the charm of Burlington, the views of the lake and mountains across it. One thing that stuck out to me this weekend was just how much friendlier the people in Burlington were compared to Boston. I think the city has hardened me a little – I don’t think I noticed this coming from Minnesota, but coming from Boston the contrast was insane!

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After settling in our Airbnb, Kelly and I set out to the Expo to pick up our bibs and hunt for dinner. We had originally planned to stop at a grocery store and pick up the makings of a simple pre-race dinner, but use of the kitchen in our Airbnb was questionable. Instead, we decided to use the extra meal to explore Burlington’s food scene, settling on an Italian restaurant where the options didn’t seem to heavy or questionable for our digestive systems to handle. I don’t know the last time I ordered spaghetti and meatballs at a restaurant (honestly I don’t know if I’ve ever ordered this), but it seemed like the best dairy-free option that combined simple carbs with some decent protein and not too much grease. It was certainly delicious – I ate about half of it (saved the rest for later which ended up serving me really well post-race) and felt like a true Bostonian with my giant balls of meat. We ended up doing quite a bit of walking despite sitting in a bus all day, and by the time we went to bed, both of our legs were pretty tired. I said a silent prayer that sleep would reinvigorate us and not leave us with screaming legs the following day.

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We woke up to a decently cool morning, and my nerves of running in muggy heat were partially assuaged. I ate my race day breakfast that worked really well for me during my first half (a cliff bar and a banana), and added some homemade snickerdoodle hummus (ummm this stuff was bomb, I will definitely be making it again) for a bit more staying power since I wound’t be running for another 3 or so hours. We both took a nuun tablet with some water before heading out to make sure our electrolytes were well-stocked in preparation for the ravines of sweat we were likely going to put out (nice picture right?) I hoped that in combination with my salty, carby dinner, my body was FULLY STOCKED with whatever reserves it would need. I ended up not needing to dip into any of my jelly bellies on the road (though I did pick up freeze pops from some nice Burlingtonians around mile 6 and 9), but by the way I was feeling during the last mile I probably could have.

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I walked with Kelly to the starting line and watched all of the runners take off before hitching a ride on the shuttle to the 2-person relay exchange zone, a few miles south. I did some yoga and tried to read while waiting, but soon enough it was time to get ready for the first runners to start passing us! It was insane to see the first marathoner go by right around 1 hour and 15 minutes. In 80 degree heat at that point! The exchange was set up so that marathon volunteers with loudspeakers would shout the bib number of an incoming relayer so their partner could get ready to change the wristband and start the second leg. We were supposed to be organized based on bib number, but everyone basically ended up in one big crowd and I just tried to listen for “6266,” headphones and HRM at the ready. When I did hear our number called, I said a quick omg and scooted off with our bags, found a smiling (made me feel so much better to see her NOT dying!) Kelly, traded the wristband for our gear bags, and made sure to take a quick selfie (priorities). My time didn’t start until exiting the exchange zone, so I had a quick second to get situated, turn on my music, and start tracking the race on my watch.

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It was very strange to be running alongside of so many runners with different goals. Besides the marathoners and 2-person relayers, there could be up to 5-person relay teams running shorter legs. Everyone was running at a different pace, and combined with the heat and extra water stations, it felt like there was a lot of walking happening around me. I tried to stay focused on how I was feeling, and run, but not too fast. I couldn’t help feeling a little guilty running my first miles around marathoners trying to get past the worst of it. But pretty soon, I found myself in the throws of the “worst of it,” and filled my mind with strategies for cooling off. I snagged a baggie of ice some great folks were handing out and stuffed this down my bra for the most of the race. Between that, and running through almost every sprinkler and water gun I could find, I looked pretty damn ridiculous. How I looked was the last thing on my mind, though. I was determined to get through the 13 miles and hopefully without any crazy passing out, bathroom issues, or injury. I remember asking myself what mile I was on right around the 16-mile marker (my 3rd mile), and figured that was the kiss of death. I reminded myself that even though I felt bad running in the heat, my body was doing fine — my lungs were working with my legs, my heart wasn’t going crazy, and I knew that I had the fuel to keep me going. Kept having to repeat these silent “thank you body” messages throughout the course, especially as I passed stretchers and ambulances caring to those whose bodies betrayed them.

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lol.

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By the time I hit mile 23, I knew that I would finish. I decided to skip a few water stations (I had been taking water at pretty much every other one before that) since I normally don’t like to overdo it on the water while running. Looking back, this was probably a mistake, and by the final mile I felt pretty nauseous and exhausted. Had a few close calls with vomiting during the last mile (my pictures from this stretch are of course the ones that ended up being posted and I look absolutely ill), and a cruel blow-up finish-line-looking-thing showed up in my vision too early, so I sprinted… only to realize it wasn’t the finish line. I didn’t exactly race through to the end, but it felt like I was racing to find a port-a-potty afterwards. There was a serious shortage of these at the finish – not cool.

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Miraculously, it didn’t take a heart surgeon to help me locate Kelly, and I felt 1000x better after seeing her (and chugging a chocolate milk she gave me in like 2 seconds). We celebrated our awesome finishes, and she told me that they had actually just discontinued the race because the weather conditions had turned “extreme.” Thankfully, we finished in time to receive an official time, but anyone who finished after 4:30:00 wouldn’t be considered officially finishing. So insane. She recapped her leg of the race and we agreed that she had the harder half — the first leg runners ran a 3 mile out-and-back on an interstate without shade or water. And apparently one of the early water stations ran out? Certainly made me more thankful for my route through the neighborhoods and generous sprinkler action.

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After partaking in the post-race festivities (pizza and chips ended up really hitting the spot – definitely needing that salt! could hardly finish the beer — Kelly had a few extra hours to recover for that one) we headed home to freshen up for an afternoon of brewery hopping. I finished off the rest of my spaghetti and meatballs before we left, and by the time we headed out, it had started to storm. We shared flights at some of the closest breweries — Switchback, Queen City, and Citizen Cider. For some reason I was really feeling the cider and not so much the beer — the hops were just a little too much unfortunately! We headed back downtown to put our name in at Farmhouse Tap, a place one of Kelly’s coworkers had recommended we definitely try. Since it was an hour wait, we decided to go for dessert first and hit up the original Ben & Jerry’s for some ice creammmm. No regrets. After going all-in on the dairy and not really feeling any repercussions, I’m starting to doubt my intolerance to it after all (though this kind of changed after I had my first taste of siggi’s greek yogurt this week 😦 ) When we finally got our table for dinner, we decided to both get one of their “famous” burgers — I got the turkey burger that seemed to be kind of thanksgiving inspired with some cranberry marmalade — and agreed that it was pretty much the best thing we had tasted in a long time. The buns were buttery soft, and the flavor combinations were absolutely on-point. After dinner, I realized how full I was and how much food I had just consumed. Definitely well-worth it after the sweaty milage, and hit every craving like a nail on the head. This food filled day didn’t stop us from hitting up a few more must-see places before heading out the next day. We stopped for coffee and some newspaper reading at the adorable Muddy Waters coffee shop, and had a delicious brunch at Penny Cluse (they had a wait from literally minutes after opening).

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Overall, the weekend combined lots of my favorite things. Running, food, beer, lakes, sunsets, and nice people. Thankfully, our ride back was a smoother one, but a much longer once since greyhound had more stops along the way. But I’d take that to a broken down bus ANY day, thank you very much. Now on to that 26.2 thing…