National Running Day

Good morning. It’s my favorite day of the year.

Do I love Wednesdays? Well, no. Not particularly. Actually, my favorite day of the week is Thursday. 😉

Is today my birthday? Nope.

Am I going on an exotic vacation today? Big ‘ol no.

So what is going on, you ask???
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It’s National Running Day. I know, you are so excited, you can hardly contain yourself!

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Every year since 2009, the first Wednesday of June has served as a day for runners across the country to claim their crazy passion for running. I shared the love of National Running Day on Instagram in 2013 and 2014. It’s funny how I look at these posts and remember both of those runs!

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On this particular day, I left my local YMCA after doing some strength training to go running outside. Because you just can’t run INSIDE on National Running Day –> thoughts of my crazy brain. 😉 However, if you live in Plum and you run in Holiday Park, bless your little running soul. SO many unexpected hills. This day was also very humid, which didn’t help!

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Last year, I shared my “why” for running…getting lost in the miles is definitely not the reason I started running, but it is definitely what keeps me running! I wrote all about my running story HERE.

2015’s Instagram post (because did it really happen if it’s not on social media?!) will be me running with my small group at church. How awesome is it that we get to run together and then eat and talk and pray together afterwards?! I am so happy I found this church and these people. 🙂 I am also super excited because I have been inviting one of my friends to come to running group with me and she is FINALLY able to come tonight. How perfect that she will meet all my other running and church friends on National Running Day!

Running is special to me for many reasons, but the PEOPLE are definitely one of the biggest, whether it’s with my friends, or with one of my poor family members that I make come with me…

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Color Me Rad 2013

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…or even my dogs! This is the front yard at my Mom’s house, and no I’m not holding onto either of their leashes, because after a few miles with these crazies, you just have to let go! Ha! They are actually pretty easy to manage once we get going. Colby (the golden retriever) is a brat and spends the first half of the run turned around trying to chew his leash off. Yes. That is reality. Amigo (the pitbull) is 65 pounds of MUSCLE and if I’m not careful, he can very easily put himself in charge of the run by pulling us along. He’s a fast one! BUT, overall, my neighborhood is pretty quiet and the dogs leave each other alone, so the perfect run consists of running down the middle of the road with the two of them right next to each other. In the middle of the road, they aren’t distracted by mailboxes and front yards. I can’t have them pulling my arms off. 😉

I love running for a purpose, whether it’s to get rid of stress, stretch my legs after sitting at school or work all day, or honor others. In 2013, I was part of the Steel City Road Runners club in Pittsburgh, and we dedicated one of our Saturday morning runs to those suffering the aftermath of the horrible bombing at the Boston Marathon.

I love running because it gives me an excuse to shop…

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…shoes, belts, Gu, new clothes, comfy socks…these things are NECESSARY for a great run. I kid. They definitely make running more comfortable but they really just help me have an excuse for “retail therapy”. 😉

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New shirts from races never hurt, either.

Running is the perfect way to explore, whether you’re in your own town or on vacation in a new place. That’s the best part about running: you can literally do it ANYWHERE! Of course, then you have to sacrifice your travel outfit to wear your running shoes OR sacrifice space in your suitcase to pack your running shoes. I usually choose the latter. You will make it work if it’s important to you! Nothing beats exploring by foot. 🙂

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Running also gives me the excuse to order dishes like this…

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Let me just say, “carb loading” is a real concept. However, you don’t need to eat massive amounts of carbs before you run. You DO need to fuel and refuel your body, which means eating some protein + carbs, but running is definitely not an excuse to eat whatever you want. Your body will definitely tell you that you messed up! Imagine this: a girl running down the National Mall a good half mile behind her friends because she ate a ridiculous amount of peanut butter and jelly out of their respective jars with a spoon two hours before running. No, that never happened to me. I have no idea who would do such a thing. #sonauseous #worstrunever

Running gives me a lot, but it also takes a lot. I don’t always feel like lacing up my shoes and even when I do, I don’t always return on cloud nine.

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You have to take care of your body. You have to stretch, you have to walk or jog after you finish your run, and you have to give your body some time to rest. But, the views that you see while you’re out there make it worth it. Listen to great music, listen to nothing at all except the sound of your feet running, just take it all in. There’s nothing wrong with running and taking a million pictures on your phone…or running to a really pretty spot in your city and just taking a little break.

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Running is what YOU make it. You are not an Olympic athlete, and neither am I. Just put on some shoes, walk out your front door, and put on your game face. You might just come to love it.

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So tell me…do you like to run?!

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Right now, I am participating in the Runner’s World Run Streak! The goal is to run at least one mile a day from Memorial Day until the Fourth of July. Find out more about the #RWRunStreak HERE and read all about my daily fun (and struggles) HERE!

Friday Favorites: It’s Gonna Be May

I just have to…
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#90skidhumor;)

Happy Friday! I hope your week was full of lots of fun moments. I’m so thankful for these posts because I love looking back at what I’ve already forgotten! Life can be really good even when it’s busy and hectic and crazy (as mine has been…grad school problems)!

Linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci!

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– FOOD –

I usually grocery shop on Saturday and cook a bunch of food for the week on Sunday. I am a huge fan of leftovers! They make meal time so much easier. And when I have only prepped healthy things, I can only make healthy choices, even when I am ravenous. It’s a pretty sweet deal;) I decided that I am the kind of person who really likes to eat in front of the TV. Who doesn’t have this problem!? So when it’s time to eat, I’ll turn on the TV, kick my feet up on the ottoman, and just eat in my favorite chair. There are sooo many benefits to actually eating at a table and focusing on your food because you are less likely to overeat. BUT! This works for me. I eat what’s on my plate, I get a little TV time, and then I get back to whatever I was doing. My roommate and I keep completely different hours and she and I never eat at the same so it’s not like I’m being rude. 😉 But sometimes my leftovers look like this…

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…eating and driving might be worse than texting and driving. Final decision up in the air.

The very best meal I had this week:

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 Burrito bowl + freshly baked chips because they were out when I ordered + queso. The chips and queso didn’t make it into the photo for obvious reasons. #myonetruelove

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Sometimes I cheat on queso with trail mix. Trail mix is my other true love. If you haven’t picked this “Handful of Everything” kind up at Target yet, PUT IT ON THE LIST! Yogurt dipped peanuts, dried pineapple, dried mango, and dried banana, coconut flakes, raisins, chocolate chips, almonds…I’m drooling. Don’t ask how long it took me to eat this bag.

– CLOTHES –

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My favorite Gap skinny jeans slid on my body without having to do a little dance earlier this week. Praise the skinny jean gods!

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Do you ever buy something with no idea of where you will wear it? I do that a lot with clearance items at Target. I bought this dress on sale last summer because I already had the shorts in the same pattern and fabric and LOVED them. I loved the style and cut of this dress because it is different than the rest in my closet, so that was another reason I needed it. Girl logic. 🙂 Anyways, I finally had the chance to wear it last weekend for an event for grad students at the UMD Golf Course! I call it an event, UMD called it “Grad Prom”. I can’t bring myself to admit I went to Grad Prom. That sounds so lame. But it was so fun! Hahaha

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Favorite hoodie ever! I’m a Beachbody coach and my team is The Power Krew. I wasn’t home for our quarterly event last weekend but I went to an event in Baltimore that was almosttt as good! I definitely missed my Pittsburgh fam ❤

– MAIL –

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I love every piece of mail I ever receive. I also love sending mail. Do you want to be pen pals? Because we totally can be. My mom told me to check my mailbox earlier this week and when I saw this card I thought, “YES! PERFECT FOR ME!” But I was surprised to open the card and see a note from my sweet baby brother and his volleyball pictures from this season! The best surprise.

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I love mail. And selfies. And superfoods. And chocolate.

– SUNSHINE –

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I don’t think I realized how NOT sunny it is in Pittsburgh until I moved to Maryland last summer. Pittsburgh and Seattle are on the same level of gray and rainy, I am now convinced. It is so sunny and warm here all the time. I love it! Especially after the long, snowy winter that we all endured!

– TRAIL RUNNING –

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Ohhh, the days of cross country, how I forgot about you! My running group and I went to Rock Creek Park this week to do a little loop around the trails. Oh my word. I was so glad to be following the people in front of me because I seriously was looking down at my feet the whole time! So many roots and rocks and little crevices! I kind of missed my racing spikes…

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…yes. I definitely need trail shoes now. A necessary purchase. So thankful for daylight until almost 8 PM every night!

– PICTURE MESSAGES –

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I am originally from Pittsburgh and I went to undergrad in Pittsburgh so it was always easy to sneak home to the suburbs if something was going on that I wanted to attend…like my youngest brother’s volleyball games. He’s 6’5″ of awesome. Sadly they lost this day, but I loved getting to see the action and pretend I was there!

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Meet my other brother’s dog, Amigo. We call him Migo. He is the sweetest little dog ever and SO smart. My family has a Golden Retriever and Migo seriously makes Colby look like an idiot. Hahaha but apparently yesterday Migo was up to some antics of his own…he is obsessed with tennis balls. And so even though this tennis ball is already destroyed, he just couldn’t stand to see it on the patio table and took it upon himself to go get it. I just can’t deal with his face. SO FUNNY!

Happy weekend, y’all!

Friday Favorites

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 Linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci for Friday Favorites!

This makes me laugh…

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Teaching PiYo is a definite favorite of mine! A few weeks ago, I taught at an event called “Get Pumped, Get Sculpted, Get Shaking”, which showcased some of the new routines and classes offered at the gym this semester. There were almost 60 people in the room and I had to teach on that little stage! I swear up close it looked like a ping pong table. I didn’t fall off, luckily;)

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                        Photo credit UMD CRS 2015

One of my favorite views this week…

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What is better than sunshine at 7 AM in the middle of winter? #thelittlethings

On Wednesday, I got my favorite email of all time…I HAD MAIL!

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Just slightly obsessed with peanut butter and jelly. And I don’t care who knows it. Thanks Mom:)

Later that night, I met up with my favorite group of people and we ran the National Mall aka the best running spot in D.C. in my opinion. It’s always so pretty and always makes me feel so lucky to live here!

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#somuchreflection #runnerproblems #ihatemyglasses

I LOVE THESE PEOPLE but the only thing I see when I look at this picture is my glasses. I do not like them but I was too lazy to put contacts in yesterday. That is quite ironic because I wore glasses from the age of 7 until approximately July of last summer. I have had contacts for less than a year and I already think I look so strange without them! You can hardly see me because of all my pretty friends, so it’s okay;)

After our run (which was actually pretty fast even though we had such a large group!), we ate dinner at Qdoba and talked about our word of the week: patience. And I got a parking ticket for $100. Thank you District of Columbia. That part was not so fun, but between running with my friends and talking to my best friend from home on the phone for two hours (no, your eyes did not deceive you), Wednesday was pretty darn good!

On the note of patience…this verse came up in my quiet time this week and I just love it. I am working my way through Jesus Calling and some verses stick with me more than others! This one is one that I thought about for a few days so it’s definitely a favorite. I am not so good at memorizing Bible verses but this is a good one!

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I am constantly writing, highlighting, or pinning quotes. I love how they seem to explain everything perfectly sometimes! So, thanks to Pinterest, I found this gem. I was reminded there is a difference between being patient and being passive!

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Read the blog post here!

Thursday started off on the most amazing note ever…snow delay!

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Read: no morning responsibilities. Aka: sleep in, eat breakfast in bed, and love. my. life. Our delay started as “university opening at 11 AM” and changed to “university opening at 12:30 PM”. I say if it’s afternoon we should just skip the whole day;)

My favorite day of the week is not Friday or Saturday or Sunday. It’s Thursday. In middle school, my friends and I declared it “Feel Good Thursday” and we even had a theme song.

We were silly teenage girls;)

Anyway, years later, I still have a love affair with Thursday. Which is odd because my schedule is usually still packed full and BUSY! But there is just something happy and exciting about knowing that the weekend is right around the corner. I liken it to the anticipation and cheerfulness that everyone feels right before Christmas Eve. Seriously. Such a little detail, but it will always be the best day of the week. 🙂

In food news…because don’t I always have food news…my roommate decided to be adventurous and cook eggplant parmesan. My favorite foods all in the same dish. Vegetables, cheese, sauce…the very best dinner.

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This weekend, I will be spending all of my time at the gym for the Southeast Collegiate Fitness Expo. That’s a mouthful;) I have to go because the University of Maryland is hosting the expo and since I’m a fitness instructor, I have to help represent our school well. 🙂 But I actually can’t wait to go to all the seminars! Healthy living, nutrition, fitness…it’s going to be so fun! #gymnerd

Happy Friday, friends!

What are you doing this weekend?!