Running On Average

We’re Leaving on a Jet Plane

Hey! Happy Friday!!

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I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend! Dave and I went back to Berks County for the long weekend and we went to a different cookout every day! We ate so much great food. But more importantly, we had a really fun and relaxing weekend that was MUCH needed with family and friends. My mom and I even went on a nice 4 mile run around the neighborhood Sunday morning after Mass. I had no idea I would ever miss running around there so much.

I didn’t get many pictures, other than a few of the Memorial Day parade which my sister marched in and I shamelessly vied for candy!

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-My sister keeps it classy.

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-Me and Hubby

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-Me and My Mommie

Dave left on a business trip on Tuesday and won’t be back until Saturday so it’s just me and my bad self this week. I made a mile long list of things I want to get done while he’s away, including purge and update my makeup (I’m not a makeup person really, but seriously, all the years old little samples… embarrassing).

I’m always more productive when I’m by myself…but I’d still rather have him around!

Anyway, onto the big news. Next month Dave and I are embarking on an overseas adventure to… drumroll, please….

The Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland!!

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Ah!! We are so excited. Dave has been wanting to go to Germany for a long time, and I am super interested in the Netherlands, too, because my family is from there (and Germany and 1,000 other places), and Switzerland will just be quaint and gorgeous.

Our plan is to fly into Amsterdam where we will stay and explore for three days, then jet to Munich for four days and a tour of the Neuschwanstein Castle, then bus down to Lucerne for the last three days for some small town adventure and exploring Mt. Pilatus.

It’s a lot to pack into ten days, but we’ve got a plan. As always, Dave has his Excel spreadsheets to keep everything organized. I tease him so much about that, but am honestly so glad that he tracks everything. I have a Moleskine notebook and a planner with tons of Post-It notes. It’s my own method of organization, but isn’t as crisp and clean as a spreadsheet. Analytical versus creative minds.

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In the meantime, I’m just sitting here eating salads, doing laundry, and trying to get in touch with my green thumb until Dave gets home.

Have a great day, friends!

Have you ever traveled to The Netherlands, Germany, or Switzerland?

What was your favorite vacation?

Weekend in the Rearview

Hey, it’s Monday!

I’m not going to pretend to be one of those perky people who just loves Mondays and says “HappyMonday!”

No. I am just not that person.

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I had a dream last night that it was Saturday night and I didn’t have to work today. How cruel is that? But anyway, let’s talk about the weekend because I had one of those beautiful, rare weekends where everything just went even better than according to plan.

Friday night, Mike, Dave and I went out to Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza for dinner. I don’t have any pictures, but trust me when I say it was delicious. We split a large salad and a meatball ricotta pizza. Yum! Mike came back to our place afterward (Mike and Dave were roomies before I moved to Pittsburgh, btw) where we chilled and watched Nick Offerman’s stand up comedy.

Saturday, I woke up to the sound of thunder and pouring rain. Love it! J We had an easy morning involving Funfetti waffles, blueberries and bacon. Again, no photos. Super blogger fail. You’ll have to trust me on the level of the deliciousness for these, too! (Uh, hi, bacon, how could it not be delicious?)

We headed down to the Tanger Outlets for a little spring/summer clothes shopping since there were some great sales and no Memorial Day crowds. I got a few shirts, 2 sweaters, a maxi skirt and this cute dress. Overall, I’d say success!

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We headed to Barnes and Noble afterward to pick up some tour books for our vacation that’s coming up in just a few weeks! Yea!! Stay tuned to learn about where we’re headed!

When we got home, we had dinner which was a mess of leftovers. I threw a hodge podge of things intoFriday’s night salad leftovers.

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We took a little nap while some laundry went through the wash cycle, then, ended the night watching Sherlock Holmes –the one with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.

Sunday morning started with mass, then a visit to a little bakery near church called Batter and Dough Company. We’d never been there before, but we will definitely go back! The owner’s mom was running the shop that day and gave us a little intro- all the sweets are made with real ingredients, like real butter, and are made fresh daily. Although, since it was Sunday and they’re closed the next two days, the cupcakes/cookies were made on Saturday. But that didn’t deter us! We got a filled chocolate cherry cupcake and filled white chocolate raspberry cupcake. Then, because the lady has a good heart, she gave us a speckled velvet cupcake for free. (Speckled velvet is red velvet with chocolate chips in the icing and cake).

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Before we indulged in our treats, Dave came with me on a run. I haven’t run in 4 weeks (?!) for reasons I’ll explain at a later date, so we started with a half mile walk and then kept an easy pace for the run.

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When we got to the park, we took some time to stop and swing!

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Fun Fact: When we dated in high school, we used to go on walks around our neighborhood and would often ended up on the swings at a local park.

To round out the fitness portion of the day, we did a 25 minute yoga video when we got home. It was free on Amazon with a Prime membership.

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Lunch, nap (I love my weekend naps!), and a TON of laundry folding followed while Dave did some computer gaming and grocery shopping. Vacuuming and general house cleaning, etc, etc. Then we made this delicious dinner and sat out on the patio until sunset.

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We ended the weekend with a few early episodes of Castle and turned in early. It was such a blissful, calm weekend. I’m so glad that I finally got out on the road again. Hopefully, I’ll be able to start building some mileage back up!

I hope you all have a great week!

What did you do this weekend?

Pittsburgh Half Marathon Recap

(I apologize how late this review is coming, but better late than never, right?)

Back in November, I signed up to run the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Half Marathon as part of my company’s corporate team. Not only did it sound fun and I got corporate perks, but I was using it as part of my training for June’s Hatfield-McCoy Marathon.

Due to health and personal reasons, I had to drop out of the race. Instead, I transferred by bib over to Dave and he took the reins, training for his first ever half marathon in just under THREE weeks. He is not a regular runner, has never run more than 6 miles. He’s not even a weekly exerciser (and yet he’s thin and toned as the dickens which just isn’t fair). So this recap is of my first ever time spectating a race and of Dave’s journey to the finish line.

We woke up Sunday morning at the inglorious time of 4:30. Getting up this early and NOT having race nerves was actually kind of nice…but I was a bit nervous for Dave! He was a little nervous, but not too bad. Ate breakfast of peanut butter toast even though he never tried it before running. He basically did everything you aren’t supposed to do before a big race. No fueling plan. No eating plan. He carbo loaded with pasta at lunch Saturday, but that’s about it. We left the house a little bit after 5:30 and arrived by 6 at Pittsburgh’s North Shore and took the “subway” to the starting area downtown.

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When we arrived downtown, we hopped in the porta john line, of which there were plenty. Dave dropped my Nathan water bottle on the floor of the bathroom, so he decided not to use it for the race. (Solid decision, in my opinion.)

Then we headed over to corral B and waited outside until the runners were herded inside.

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The race organizers actually close the corral gate, which seems a little extreme to me, but I guess it keeps the runners in and, more importantly, the spectators and hopeful race bandits out.

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Our friend Mike came along to cheer on Dave with me and he met us right outside the corral. We stood and chatted for a while until Dave’s corral was up and started the walk toward the starting line. It was unfortunate that we couldn’t watch him actually start because the fencing cut us off at the sidewalk about a block or so away.

Anyway, once he was out of sight, Mike and I began our walk to mile 5 where we would first find him. I made 2 posters for the race and was pretty excited to cheer. We got to the bridge where we would stand early enough to watch the elites go by!

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It was crazy how the elite runners don’t look that fast. I know that sounds weird, but seriously, they just look like they’re running chill, whatever. So when the crowds of runners really started in they didn’t look faster either. Keeping in mind that they are all faster than me! They were just making it look so easy. 😉

And then we saw Dave! Decked out in the running clothes (and socks) I bought him and my purple Garmin watch I let him wear for the race. He looked like he was having fun and not struggling at all (which is good at mile 5!). We cheered and we cheered hard!

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Once he passed, Mike and I made our way around downtown and the course, across (one of the many) bridges to Station Square and mile 9, where we hoped to see Dave next. We picked a spot right after the relay exchange and settled in, watching all sorts of runners go past, some in quirky get-up, trying to recognize people who were by Dave at mile 5.

My favorite outfit was this guy. He’s wearing a shirt that says, “Will run for Whiskey.” That’s my kind of runner!

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We almost missed Dave at this point! He just came out of nowhere, looking cool and effortless. He gave me a big high five and continued on his way. We didn’t even get a picture.

While the morning started out pretty cool, I was wearing a tank top, tshirt, Under Armour zip-up, AND Dave’s sweatshirt he wore before running, by mid-morning it was sunny and warm (although still cold in the shade). It was a perfect day for the race! Most years it rains or is cold or hot, but this year the runners really lucked out!

Anyway, Mike and I made our way back over the bridge and headed toward the finish line, which was packed with people. We wiggled into a good spot and waited. We watched the elites finish and so many runners, keeping our eyes peeled for our runner. And then there he was!! Still smiling, still running strong!

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I didn’t get a shot of him finishing because it was too far away, but I can’t even explain my excitement for Dave. I was- and still am- so proud. It was like I had finished the race with how much I was beaming.

Getting to the finisher area was a bit of an obstacle (please note, marathon organizers, there has to be a better way than scaling a wall!), but we got there and found him. He’d already eaten a whole bagel before he got through the finisher chute and was working on 2 bananas.

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The best part? He really enjoyed the race!! He thought he’d hate it because he gets bored running after about 3-4 miles, but the crowds kept him exciting and it wasn’t as hard as he thought. Oh, and he gave Coach Jess some credit for teaching him how to pace (thank you, thank you very much). He said he’d ever run another, so he, Mike and I talked about signing up together next year. I’m holding you boys to it!

Overall, Dave finished in 2:07 and he beat my first half time…with less than 3 weeks of training under his belt! I’ll admit, I’m slightly jealous…but way more impressed.

We walked back to our car, got some victory shots in the parking lot, and headed over to Bruegger’s Bagels in Squirrel Hill for a celebration brunch. Then we dropped Mike off at his car and headed home to nap! It was an amazing day and I’m so proud of my husband!! Way to go, Dave! J

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