Chocolate Elvis?

Philly girl running #bostonstrong in the 5k Run for Clean Air.

 

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It’s two weeks until the Broad Street Run and I have two races scheduled for this weekend — a 5k today and a 10k tomorrow.  Yikes!  After tomorrow, the next two weeks are going to be nice and easy until the big day — I promise ;)   The Run for Clean Air was an important race for my running buddy and they gave great swag — a t-shirt and tech shirt, plus a bag loaded with goodies!  I really liked the recycled paper bibs — way to keep it green.  After scoring the discounted registration fee for this race (thank you running buddy), I realized that a big race for me, the Dash for Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness, was the scheduled for the same weekend.  Tapering begins Monday!  (More about the Dash in tomorrow’s post)

5k Run for Clean Air Recap:  I went out hard #poweredbybits and was happy to PR!  Thank you ENERGYbits — couldn’t have done it without your help!

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Yup, check it out — a 9 minute mile :)  So happy!  A celebration was definitely in order…well at least breakfast ’cause remember this girl is on a beverage moratorium until after Broad Street.  Off to Milkcrate Cafe at 400 E. Girard Avenue.  Let’s just say Chocolate Elvis more than made up for not having a celebratory mimosa.

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Perfectly toasted croissant with a jackpot of gooey goodness — Nutella, peanut butter, and bananas — a perfect trio for a hungry runner.  Unless of course you are my running buddy, then you throw on some bacon for good measure.  Bonus!  Pair this with a steaming cup of LaColombe coffee and you have the perfect post-race combination.  Well, maybe a mimosa could have made it heaven ;)

Now to carb-load and rest up for tomorrow’s Dash…

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Prayers for Boston…

2.62 miles running and praying for Boston…

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Silent Sunday…

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6 miles of glorious beach running, powered by ENERGYbits!

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The Broad Street Run is only 21 days away.  Gotta start thinking about what to do after Broad Street to keep motivated, so I just registered for a bunch of summer races — all at the beach!

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Silver Linings

Reflecting on the past week of training, the theme silver linings comes to mind.  Now I know what you are thinking…but it’s not Silver Linings Playbook.  Although I enjoyed this movie for so many reasons,  heartwarming story, wonderful acting, and can we say — Philadelphia!  Yup, shot in Philly, written by Matthew Quick, a  La Salle University guy (you know I love my Explorers), and starring one of my favorite hometown boys…

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Bradley, next time you are in town, I’m available for a date run through the ‘hood!

But I digress, easy to do when you’ve got Bradley on your mind.  Back to my point, silver linings and training.  Overall, it was an awesome week for training.  One in which I came to a running epiphany, but not with a few ups and downs along the way.  Like…

photo-173First, freaking out when my downspout decided to go separate ways, allowing a monsoon to find its way into my newly finished basement.  But April showers leads to…

photo-176…this explosion of color that I experienced on my runs through campus.  Boy, did this burst of springtime make my heart and legs sing!

photo-175Next – Temptation!  Thanks to my teacher friend who left these goodies in the faculty lounge….

photo-174…after I succumbed to temptation, instead of beating myself up about it (and having another donut!), I decided to run an extra mile that day.  And this is when something just clicked.  An epiphany of sorts…running just felt easier.  What was different?  I’m not quite sure but I’ve always been a glass half full, look for the silver linings kinda girl.  Could it be this simple?  Or was it that I was making no negotiations and sticking to my training program and then some?  Maybe my self-imposed sanctions on adult beverages?  ENERGYbits?  All of the above?  I think so, but it was something more…I felt in control when I ran!  So here it is…my running epiphany – “let the past make you better, not bitter…look to the future with optimism”  and just run!

photo-178So now it’s your turn.  What’s your running epiphany?

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Philly Tales and Trails Smoothie

Yesterday, I ran into the sales rep for Garden of Life at my local Whole Foods.  I had been considering adding protein to my smoothies for an extra boost while running.  I was a bit skeptical to adding “powder” to my smoothie for obvious reason — natural??  Shouldn’t I just have an extra steak or two ;)  So we chatted and here’s the scoop  – it’s certified organic, raw, vegan protein powder. Raw protein provides 17 grams of protein or 33% of what we need daily, plus all essential amino acids. Would I like to try a sample?  Yes, please!  Ok, and you have a coupon for me, too?  Sold!

photo-169Vanilla is the ticket for me…

So on day one of my training moratorium of adult beverages, here’s a smoothie recipe that will surely get you to the finish line…

You will need:

Chia seeds sold by the pound at my local co-op.

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I’ve been on the wheatgrass train since last summer.  I found a guru blending smoothies tucked away in the back of Coffee Talk in Stone Harbor, NJ that turned me on to shots of the pure stuff.  I was like an addict all summer long stopping in every morning after my run to knock back the stuff.  Amazing help with muscle recovery!  Whole Foods has wheatgrass juice frozen and will do until I get back to the shore…Memorial Day is just around the corner!

Philly Tales and Trails Smoothie

1/4 cup O.J. plus 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (let sit in blender for 10 minutes)

3 heaping tablespoons of French Vanilla Fat Free Yogurt

1 frozen banana

1 and 1/2 cups of blueberries (I like mine very blueberry and hey, who doesn’t need more antioxidants?)

1/2 scoop of Vanilla Raw Protein

2 containers of wheatgrass (you can’t even taste it!! I swear!)

Honey

Whirl and voila!

photo-171Super delicious!  The chia seeds gives it almost the consistency of pudding.  Is it a smoothie?  A dessert?  Either way, just what I needed to recover from yesterday’s run and to get ready for tomorrow’s 5:00 a.m. wake up to run alarm.

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The hills are alive with the sound of music…

That would be 7 hilly miles and music was definitely needed to complete today’s run!  Not sugary sweet Maria von Trapp, but heart thumping, get your legs pumping, rockin’ tunes were the only thing that got me through this challenge.

photo-162Welcome to Fairmount Park, home of the killer hills!

photo-163Don’t let this babbling brook lure you into expecting a tranquil, easy run.  You know what is lurking right behind the bend — HILLS!

Today officially marks exactly ONE month to the Broad Street Run.  Yes, by this time 28 days from today, I will have accomplished my goal to run 10 miles through the City of Brotherly Love.  And after today’s messy, ugly, and painful run I have decided to get serious with my training.  Yup, even on this a National holiday…

photo-166What you don’t celebrate this one?  Hurry…run… you still have time!

I’ve decided to say goodbye to adult beverages.  A moratorium of sorts in the name of training.  That means bye bye to beer, wine, and cosmos.  Yikes! Don’t worry, my friends, we will meet again at the finish line.  This decision didn’t come without a lot of careful deliberation.  Even though I finished at the top of my 20 to 29 50-59 age group in Friday night’s 5k, I can’t continue to train and party like it’s 1979.  So after running the hills or should I say the hills running me, a decision was made on the spot.   Plans for brunch were scraped.  I mean you can’t have brunch without a mimosa, right?  Fortunately, Plan B was an awesome back up.  Breakfast at my favorite little cafe in the park which consisted of quiche, fresh fruit, and a cup or two of La Colombe coffee.  Yummo!  While dining alfresco, we were treated to live music — great acoustic tunes by Dave Cohen — bonus!

photo-165So much better than Maria von Trapp!

So the serious training is on.  If you happen to see me out and about in Philly, I’ll be hydrating with H2O and counting down to the Broad Street Run finish line.  Cheers!

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ENERGYbits Giveaway Winners and Manayunk Fools Run Recap

Drum roll please….So excited to announce the winners of my first giveaway EVER!  So without further ado, the winners of the ENERGYbits samples giveaway are:

Kris B and Meaghan

Congratulations to Kris B and Meaghan who are now going to be #poweredbybits!  Kris B wrote that she would like ENERGYbits to help power her through ice hockey and Insanity workouts.  Meaghan wrote that she would like ENERGYbits to power her through her workday so she could have the energy to fit in a workout at the end of her busy day.  Um…Yes and yes to both requests — reporting from my experience with ENERGYbits!

photo-161How cool is this? Thanks, ENERGYbits!

Thank you to all who participated and don’t forget ENERGYbits is offering my readers a 20% discount on any of their bags of bits.  Check it out at http://www.energybits.com.  If you want to get #PoweredbyBits, just enter the word “PHILLY” into the coupon box.

Manayunk Fools Run Recap - So after two weeks of Spring Break fun, I returned to work this week.  And how do I end this busy work week you ask? A 5k race on Friday night? Well, of course!

Last night I ran the Manayunk Fools Run, a 5k trail race benefiting the Danny Craige Foundation.  I was powered by ENERGYbits for sure because I finished at the top of my age category!  Sorry…I slacked a bit on the photography, but here’s how the run went down…

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Not sure what happened at mile 2?

Better late than never pose in front of the Canal…

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Leaving Bourbon Blue, who hosted the after party.  Thanks for the free beer!  Gotta love a race that includes your first drink as part of the registration ;)

photo-158My age group winners prize!  Yes, it’s ready to be filled on the bar at Bourbon Blue!

photo-160Race Swag…Also, a really cool tshirt.  Thanks to the Danny Craige Foundation for providing a much needed gym bag!

Great race, fantastic night with family and friends, and a wonderful foundation who provides scholarships to fund education to Philadelphia area students.  Check out www.dannycraigefoundation.org to find out more about the work they are doing in the Philadelphia area.

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NOLA recap and AT&T Back on My Feet 5 Miler

So here’s how I spent the last few days of my Spring Break…

First, getting my seafood on in the Big Easy at Acme Oyster House.

Hey, when in Rome or NOLA…Po-Boys it is!

photo-146 photo-148Fried Peace Maker Po-Boy - Golden fried oysters and shrimp seasoned to perfection, served with Tabasco infused mayo and Chargrilled Oysters loaded with cajun seasoning and Romano cheese — a repeat night at Acme for these bad boys and maybe even a trip down again just for these oysters — they were that delicious!

photo-152A daiquiri, or two to go…it’s daytime, please don’t judge ;)

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LaSalle proud on Bourbon Street watching the Sweet Sixteen

So with all the eating and drinking, I did manage to squeeze in a little running…There were some great sights on my runs like this early morning sunrise over the Mississippi.  Hmmmm…did I snap this pix on my morning run or was I just coming in from a night on Bourbon Street ;)

Also, some more exciting running news — another 9 minute mile while in New Orleans!!!

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The time flew by and before I knew it, it was time to return to the City of Brotherly Love just in time for the AT&T Back On My Feet 5 mile race scheduled for Saturday.  Oh, and yeah, I also had a job to return to on Monday.  Work always seems to get in the way of fun!

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What do teachers do for fun on Spring Break? Run 5 miles and then pretend they are Rocky and run up the Art Museum steps! Here’s my times, not great, but not awful.  I was happy to finish the 5 miles in under an hour.  The hill at mile two killed my time and almost me, too!  Thank God, I had my ENERGYbits!  They really helped power me through the hill and the entire race.

Have you tried ENERGYbits yet?  If not, here’s your chance!  ENERGYbits is giving away samples to two lucky readers of Philly Tales and Trails.  Just leave me a comment and tell me how you think ENERGYbits will help your training. I will randomly pick two winners on Friday, April 5.  I know ENERGYbits will be part of my Broad Street Run training.  How about you?

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Snow, ice, and icing…

How ridiculous — cleaning snow off my car in running shorts?  Spring Break, really?!

photo-139 Yesterday’s spring snow storm looked pretty.  But honestly, not one snow day this entire school year, and Mother Nature decides that Spring Break would be an ideal time for some snow?!

Since last week’s injection in my knee, I have been on the easy pass with running.  After the snow mobile was clean, I hit the gym for a 2 mile light run and then relaxed catching up on hours of Downton Abbey (hey, I’m on Spring Break, don’t judge!).

Today, I had another visit scheduled with my friendly orthopedic doctor, so I squeezed in another two mile run before our visit.  After the injection, I knew it would be a few days before I could get out, so I tried to make it count.  And boy did I!  I ran my first 9 minute mile EVER!  Now, how far into the nine minutes, we won’t discuss.  But since it was somewhere in the nines, I’m calling it a 9 minute mile!

photo-140I celebrated my 9 minute accomplishment with a little ice after my injection while watching the Phillies beat Tampa Bay 10-1!

After, I headed to South Philly for some Flyers pre-gaming at South Philadelphia Taproom for happy hour — all apps and local draft beers were half price.  Score for the home team!

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Nitro: Sly Fox O’Reilly’s Stout and Manayunk Schuylkill Funk, along with Wild Boar Tacos…enough said.  WINNER!

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A little icing in the Flyers zone.  Seats were 9 rows from the ice!  Sweet!

Too bad the Flyers didn’t come to play tonight not winner but a good time was had by all.

Spring Break is winding down and after the cold start, this Philly girl is finally heading south, and I don’t mean South Philadelphia.

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 I’m off to the Big Easy, the land of beignets, po’ boys, and hurricanes — drinks, that is!  Goodbye, cold, snow, and ice!  Hello, Spring!

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A tale of two states, with the help of a bridge…

According to my AccuWeather app, Saturday was a “fair” day for outdoor fitness.  I couldn’t disagree more!  It was a picture perfect day for a run between two states and some great views of the City of Brotherly Love, courtesy of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.  If you haven’t tried running the bridge, I would highly recommend it.  This 3+ mile round trip from PA to Jersey has a pretty steep incline — bonus — hill work with a view!  The exhilaration you get as you try to keep up with, not just the other runners, but the cars whizzing by, can’t be beat.  Also, the views are spectacular.  Here’s a peak…

photo-132Walkway Entrance – 5th and Race, Philly

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View looking south of I-95                                       Walt Whitman Bridge looking south along the Delaware River

photo-135Camden River Sharks Stadium.  Play Ball!

 On the road to Camden with Philly skyline behind me!

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After the bridge, a trip to Philadelphia Runner was next on the agenda.  I love, love, love this store!  If you are a runner, this place feels like waking up on Christmas morning when you were a kid.  They have everything you could possibly need or want to enhance your running experience — plus a friendly bunch of runners who work here and enjoy sharing their knowledge.  I gotta thank Philadelphia Runner who shared the love and gave a $15 off coupon when you spend $75 to all the Get Your Rear in Gear participants.  Bonus!  I scored two Asics running skirts and a Nike Dry Fit on the sale rack and was even able to use the coupon!  Double Bonus!

photo-138 Even though fools outfits are encouraged, I will be the best dressed runner at the Manayunk Fools Run on April 5, thanks to Philadelphia Runner.  If you are looking for a fun 5K trail run, check this run out.  The out and back run is along the Schuylkill River canal in the Manayunk neighborhood in Philadelphia, and ends with a free beer at the after party at Bourbon Blue.  The proceeds of the run will go to the Danny Craige Foundation, a cause near and dear to my heart.  This Foundation helps Philadelphia area students continue their education.

To register for the 5K, check out www.manayunkfoolsrun.com

To learn more about the Danny Craige Foundation, check out www.dannycraigefoundation.org

Hope to see you at the Manayunk Fools Run on April 5!

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