31 Blissful Miles, and Lettuce for Days

I’d start this with Happy St. Patrick’s Day, but that would mean that I’m at a point in my life where I’m remotely excited to drink all day. Spoiler alert: I am not. Those days are long gone — they have been for quite some time now. For me, happiness is more about cuddling up on the couch after a long day of work. It’s about relaxation. It’s about enjoying my home. My cat. My husband. Call it lame; I call it perfect.

St. Patrick’s Day also means spring though. I equate it with those first few days when you can go out and enjoy the warmer air. I equate it with that long sigh–that much awaited ahh–that signifies the end of winter.

Last week, I celebrated the change of season by running my tush off. 31 miles, broken down as follows:

Saturday: 6 sunny miles of melted snow.

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Sunday: 2 hours of skiing at a ghetto PA mountain so I could practice my new moves.

Monday: 5 miles along the Schuylkill.

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Tuesday: 5 miles along the Schuylkill … but first to the museum for a little sunrise action.

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Wednesday: 5 miles along the Schuylkill.

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Thursday: 5 miles–wait for it–to the Delaware! And back home.

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Friday: 5 miles along the Schuylkill, with a museum pitstop first.

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Saturday (bonus miles!): 3 miles with my mother-in-law along the Bethesda Crescent Trail.

Okay, so I’m a creature of habit — and the river just happens to be perfect, as I’m learning, this time of year. The trees are starting to bud, and the crew teams are returning to their morning practice routines. I love watching them glide along the river as I press on into the morning sun.

Other than basking in spring running, it’s also the time of the season for healthier living — a challenge, given that it is also the time of the year for Cadbury mini eggs. I like to think that my morning runs cancel them out.

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Other than sugar consumption, I’ve been making a real effort to consume healthier ingredients for breakfast and lunch, as well as during my many snacks throughout the day. To make sure I stay on track (an idea I use loosely, as I don’t actively “diet” or log what I eat), I pack lunch while making dinner — there is always a salad in my house. This season, I’ve been experimenting with shaved brussels sprouts, pea greens, and toasted almond slivers, all of which have added a little element of yum to my mid-day meal.

With the start of spring, have you been increasing your mileage or outdoor workouts at all? What about dietary changes — are you more mindful of what you eat once the warmer weather begins?

Broad Street Run: My First Race in 2 Years

A few weeks ago, I signed up for my first race in over two years: the Broad Street run, a Philadelphia staple, or so I hear. I had two hesitations before submitting my name into the lottery — and while you’ll have to take my word on it, believe me when I say that I thought long and hard.

1. It’s been so long since I’ve trained for a race. Would I like it again?

2. 10 miles! I haven’t “run long” in forever. Sure, this isn’t, like, a marathoner’s “run long” but for me, 10 miles is a lot. Not even when Noah trained for the New York City Marathon did I run that far. Sure, I like to accompany him during training, and yes, it makes me run for an extended period of time. But the longest I ran during his training period was 8 miles or so. That was back in August. And even though I have four half marathons under my belt, 10 miles at this juncture feels like forever. FOR-EV-ER.

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So anyway, I figured the more I sat around thinking about it and repeating lines from The Sandlot, the more likely I would be to psych myself out. I pulled the trigger not longer after this contemplation, and a few week’s later, I was admitted into the race. Let’s just take a moment to point out that Noah did not get picked. The likelihood of getting chosen for the Broad Street run is over 85%, yet he was picked for last year’s NYC marathon, which is what, like a .05% chance?

Anyway, just as I started to get excited about training, the weather went south. For the last couple of weeks, it has been absolutely freezing here in Philly — the mornings have hardly risen above 15 degrees.

Instead of running, my mornings have looked like this.

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Seabass has a thing for Jillian Michaels. She seriously can’t get enough of these videos, which makes it very hard to get anything done.

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Fortunately, it was a little bit warmer on Saturday morning. Finally. A whopping 18 degrees, in fact.

As I lay in bed Saturday morning debating whether or not to run, I continually looked at my phone, refreshing my weather app, thinking that if the temperature would increase just 1 degree — one measly degree! — I’d get up. Of course, that didn’t happen. And of course, I went out anyway. At the very least, it was sunny and bright, and even that was a big step up from what it has been.

To stay toasty, I layered up. Thick leggings with ski socks (my secret winter running weapon). Under Armour, hoodie, and a thick North Face puffy vest. Gloves and 180’s were part of the equation too, as was Elton John.

Although the air wasn’t warm, underneath all my layers, I certainly was. And I was happy I forced myself out the door. Just look at the views.

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To reward myself for five frigid miles after a night on the town, I spent the rest of the afternoon reading, hanging out in bed, watching movies, painting ceramics (indeed, you read that right), drinking wine, and slow cooking turkey tacos. By the time dinner rolled around, the sky was illuminated…

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…and I enjoyed a feast.

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I was in bed before 11 on Saturday night, and it felt freaking magical. This week is supposed to be warmer — in the 30’s tomorrow morning, following today’s ice storm. Countdown starts now to the Broad Street run on May 3rd. I can only hope that Mother Nature gives me two beautiful months of training.