8 Miles, Spring Blossoms, and Reflections

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Aside from being crazed on the professional front, the last few weeks were filled with a lot of milestones, all of them good. Let’s start with the running, given that this is a running blog and all.

Not long ago, I mentioned that I’d be running my very first race since moving to Philadelphia: the 10 mile Broad Street Run. I’ve heard there are a number of factors that make it a Philly “must,” from the roaring crowds to the largely downhill course.

Yet, while I’m excited to participate (albeit, less excited about waking up for an 8am start), committing to 10 miles also means committing to long-ish training runs. Could I cross the finish line without it? I mean… probably, yes. I logged 31 miles just a couple of weeks ago, so if I cut back on the week of the race, I can’t imagine I’d DNF. With that said though, I’ve never been one to half-ass anything. I may not be going for gold here, but what’s the point of signing up if I’m not going to give it my all?

So, on Saturday, I dedicated the first part of my morning to a lovely, sunny, and slightly too windy 8 miles.

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The morning itself was out of a movie. There were rowers out on the water; runners of all levels; and it seemed all of Philly had come out to spruce up the Schuylkill River trail.

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I had gone into the run accepting that the last 3 miles would be a push, as it had been a couple of months since I’d run more than 5. To my surprise, they were as easy as the first. In fact, dare I say, I could have gone a handful more.

Fortunately, I didn’t. My body, at that moment, felt fine to continue on, but if I’ve learned anything in my seven years of running it’s that the post-run recovery is often half the battle. After doing a bunch of errands and crossing things off the ol’ to-do, I got in bed at 4:00 and passed out until dinner. I woke up dehydrated from there, and then my dinner–relatively plain fish tacos–didn’t sit very well. Though of course, that could have been the two ginger margaritas that washed it all down.

On Sunday morning, I thought I’d skip my run and instead go to a new barre class near my apartment that I recently discovered and happen to love. I was powerless to Mother Nature though. Thinking with my heart, not my brain, I set out for a run.

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With Noah by my side, we kept it short; he’s still recovering from a marathon-induced knee injury and, having just finished PT, is limiting himself to 3 miles. In typical Stacy fashion, we picked a destination and ended our morning in the Italian market, picking up fresh mozzarella and homemade squid ink linguini to cook back at home.

Fortunately, beach season is still a few months away.

Anyway, spring has definitely arrived, and with it, has brought Noah’s and my first wedding anniversary. To be honest, we’ve never been one to celebrate lovey  occasions. In fact, if you promised me a million dollars if I could pinpoint our very first date, I still couldn’t figure it out.

Something about year one though, I found to be kind of special. In the week leading up to it, I became especially nostalgic — the week, and being surrounded by our closest family and friends in Brooklyn, was incredibly special. For a moment, I wanted to go back.

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Of course, we’ve moved forward–and quite a ways–since we said our vows. Now that spring’s here, I’m looking forward to happy races, spring blossoms, and a positive outlook for the future.

What are you looking forward to this spring? Do you have any races you’re currently training for?

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?