Running On Average

The Gateway Lodge Review

So it is absolutely gorgeous outside, but my body is just not up for the run so today is a rest day. Boo.

Good news for you, though! I am FINALLY getting my lazy butt around to post my review of the Gateway Lodge in Cooksburg, PA. In my last post, I talked about Dave’s and my romantic and fun weekend getaway to Cook’s Forest. We stayed in one of the Lodge’s Gallery Rooms.

IMG_0500
IMG_0503

While there were suites available for not much more, the Gallery Rooms are cozy and woodsy, in the original part of the Lodge…and they are located right above the restaurant (winning). They aren’t large and there is no television, phone, or cell service but those characteristics made me love the room even more. It truly was an escape.

IMG_0396

Breakfast is included with your stay and every morning you have a choice of two breakfasts with a small appetizer. On Saturday morning we started with a grilled peach with yogurt and a scone. Then I ordered the waffles and bacon, while Dave ordered the egg sandwich on an English muffin. Everything is homemade- including the English muffins! We both had some amaaaazing coffee and Dave had orange juice.

IMG_0926
IMG_0927
IMG_0928

After our adventures out hiking, there was an afternoon tea that included coffee, fruit and pastries. I had ALL THE COOKIES, coffee and half a banana (split with Dave).

IMG_0961

While we ate snacks, we relaxed in the Lodge’s great room. There were super comfy couches, a great fireplace, a few tables and puzzles to do. It was very serene.

IMG_0962

Our dinner was reserved for 6, so we headed over to the Lodge Restaurant for a little romantic dinner. We started off with some Reisling wine- a different brand, but it was pretty good. Although…spicier?…than I usually like Reisling.

IMG_0963

We each had a salad starter then for dinner, I ordered chicken stuffed with wild boar, pepper jack, and spinach. On the side was roasted seasonal vegetable and almond basmati rice. It was so incredible.

IMG_0964

Dave had pan roasted pork chops in apple cider reduction with fingerling potatoes and roasted seasonal vegetables on the side. We almost always split our dinners (at least share bites), and of course this dinner was no different. His meal was amazing as well. The chef is truly talented.

IMG_0965

But of course we cannot forget about the dessert. Dave enjoyed a zucchini chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream, which was rich and delicious, but absolutely paled in comparison to my dessert. I ordered a peanut milk latte with two sugar doughnuts. OH MY WORD. I cannot even describe it. The latte was the best thing I have ever drank in my life, no lie. And the doughnuts (homemade, of course), we so fresh and light and warm. I was seriously in heaven. When I asked the waiter if he knew how to make the latte, he responded “The chef starts with peanuts and ends with a latte. I’m not sure what happens in between.” So the fact that he goes completely from scratch on every single part of his food preparation earned him giant points.

IMG_0968
IMG_0967

It is one of the best meals I’ve had in a long, long time. And I would go back there simply for the food.

The next morning, breakfast started with a sticky bun and a smoothie.

IMG_0970

I had the blueberry buckwheat pancakes with sausage and Dave had eggs benedict. I will admit, that the pancakes were not quite my thing. They weren’t bad, but they were very moist and less fluffy than I am used to. Dave’s eggs were great, though! Sadly, I didn’t get any pictures of our breakfast because we were too busy eating.

Here is a picture of the Lodge restaurant (kind of. I took it on the sly).

IMG_0966

And here is my darling hubby on the front porch before we left.

IMG_0974

Final opinion: this place is amazing. I would go back in a heartbeat. It is not a cheap place to stay, but it is worth every penny. Go book a room!

(All opinions are my own.)

Marathon #3 Training Kick-Off

Uncategorized | February 12, 2015 | By

In June, I’m running my third marathon, the Hatfield McCoy Marathon. I’m super excited for it, although pretty nervous. According to the Weather Channel, it is one of the Toughest 15 Marathons (source). But after reading reviews, it sounds like it is one of the coolest marathons to run…I mean, it’s in Kentucky and steeped in history. I’m in!

This week kicked off my 18-week marathon training schedule. I used Hal Higdon’s two Intermediate Training Plans as a base for mine, adding in strength training and yoga. I’m training to run a 4:03 marathon. Now, I doubt I’ll actually run that, but I’m hoping I’ll at least PR. Why do I doubt my capabilities? Because, well, here’s the course:

hatfield-mccoy-course-elevation

That’s some hills! In mid-June! It’s going to be hard, but I’m going to push for this one. I hope it all works out.

Without further ado, here’s my week so far (with some food snapshots!)

Sunday:

Pre-training start, but Dave and I celebrated one year since we got engaged and three months since our wedding. On Saturday night, he took me to dinner at Le Mont, a fancy-pants restaurant on top of Mt. Washington. It overlooks the city and it was pretty fun to get dressed up! He even brought two slices of our wedding cake to celebrate. Which I enjoyed with some Irish coffee. It was such a great night.

IMG_0384
IMG_0381

*I use www.hillrunner.com for my treadmill paces…I actually run at a 1% incline which supposedly makes my paces slightly faster than I’ve written them, but since I’m not sure if that’s legit, I’m recording the slower of the two options.

Monday:

Training begins! Tonight was actually pretty easy. Three miles at slow pace- I did 10-minute miles on the treadmill. The pace was half torture/half relaxing. I was supposed to do BodyPump as part of the training, but didn’t get to the gym in time for both. Bummer.

IMG_0547

Also, lunch was leftovers from Le Mont. Yesssss.

IMG_0530

Tuesday:

5 miles. 1 mile warm-up (9:23 pace), 3 miles at marathon pace (9:05), 1 mile cool down (9:41). My Garmin Forerunner got a little excited on this run, so it looks like I really booked it (by my standards). That’s not true. Haha

IMG_0626

Also, made slow cooker jambalaya for dinner. My parents gave some food to me and Dave last time we were home and one was this all-natural, jambalaya slow cooker mix. All you have to add is boneless, skinless chicken thighs and cooked sausage. Dave was kind enough to shred the chicken and add the rice and sausage after work so it was ready when I got home. We have a lot of leftovers that will be great another night.

Wednesday:

Last night was a tempo run. 1 mile warm up (9:22), 1.5 miles tempo (8:34), .5 mile cool down (9:30ish). I followed that up with an Ab Burner workout from Nike Training Club. Has anyone used that app? Last night was my first night, and I’m definitely feeling the new moves in my back today!

Also, I found this recipe on Pinterest and made it for dinner. A definite win…I’ll make this again, for sure!

IMG_0632

Today is a rest day, leftovers for dinner and early night because I am going to try my damnedest to get up at 4:30 tomorrow morning for a 5-mile run before work…I’ll let you know how that works out!

My Real Deal Resolutions

I’m a little late on the get-go with New Year’s Resolutions, which is kind of a fail since one is “be more punctual.” But I’m here now!

gj2AVEJ[4]

We all know it’s that time of year when the country decides it’s the right time to exercise more, eat healthy, lose weight, etc etc. Why are so many resolutions fitness-centric?

Anyway, I am torn on resolutions. Half of me is totally on that bandwagon, but half of me is Captain Skeptic and thinks resolutions are a waste of breath because, really, who follows them? Which is why I’ve probably never declared any real serious promises on January 1st.

6 Steps to New Year's Resolutions that Stick

But this year, I’m going to give it a shot because what can it hurt? Now, we all know the ways to make resolutions succeed: make it specific, make yourself accountable (usually via social media), don’t do anything huge and honestly unattainable. The basics.

Still, I’m a dreamer and an optimistic (ignorance is bliss) so I created a list of five resolutions for the new year. And herrrrre they are!

The WanderlustRunner’s New Year’s Resolutions

1. Complete 5 30-Day Challenges.

For instance, I’m currently doing this 30-Day plank challenge. I want to do 4 more this year, just to keep things fresh and exciting.

FullSizeRender

Thanks to one of the fellow runners I stalk follow on Instagram for posting this!

2. Run 1000 miles.

As you know, 2014 wasn’t exactly my peak year for running. I got through marathon training and loved the Knoxville Marathon, but after that between colitis flares and wedding planning, my running kind of fell of the deep end. So this year I want to bring it back! And looking at my training calendar for Hatfield McCoy Marathon that shouldn’t be a problem. Let’s hope.

runner

3. Have a sit down dinner once a week.

When Dave and I moved in together, we used to sit at our tiny dining room table for dinner. But then we started sitting on the couch more and more and ate while we watched TV. By the time we get home, make dinner, and get to eat, our night seems almost over so we always just wanted to relax and eat while watching Big Bang Theory or something, then just snuggle all night.

This year, I’d like to try to eat at the table once a week to talk (although we do talk almost the entire way through the shows we’re “watching”) and to just change up the nightly pattern.

4. Be more punctual.

I’m always right on time bordering on late. Sometimes I’m just late, no question. I’d like to get better at this. I NEED to get better at this.

5. Gain confidence.

I worry. A lot. I worry about driving. I worry about work. I worry about running. I worry about my colitis. I worry about what my coworkers think of me. I worry if my friends actually like me.

I need to cut that out. Seriously. I am tired of worrying!

(Although, not worrying about driving might be hard since I hate it….especially in the winter!!)

Want it

Do you believe in New Year’s resolutions? What are yours?

Welcome to 2015!

Did everyone have a great new year? We had a little shindig at our house…

IMG_0322

…and, of course, had pork n sauerkraut on New Year’s Day.

IMG_0323

On Friday, I got to take my new Garmin Forerunner 220 on its first run! It was short and sweet and Dave came along. So much fun!

IMG_0327

Saturday, Dave and I ran a local Wellness Dash. It was freezing rain and nasty all morning, but luckily it stopped by noon when the race was. I came in the first female finisher!

I also won the crazy hat contest, which means a gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods! Winning!!

IMG_0332

Monday I ran on the treadmill at work with my FR220. It was a little more generous with the mileage than the treadmill, but pretty close. I’ll take it. And may I add that it’s my 5th run in a row without any colitis issues! HURRAY! Gosh, I hope this streak continues.

Yesterday was a lazy day. I got into work late because of weather and traffic (like WAY late), so I skipped my lunch/gym break. Boo.

Today, no lunch break again because I left early for a doctor’s appointment, so when I came home I did two yoga videos from Amazon. Nothing too tough, but it felt really good. I haven’t done yoga in sooooo long, it was great to stretch it out. I need to get back into it!

IMG_0357IMG_0361

Then some tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner. I’ve been on a crazy soup kick lately.

IMG_0362

And coffee. All the warm beverages!

IMG_0363

Now, I’m flashing back to my teenage years and watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch on Hulu.

How about you? How’s your first week of 2015 been? Have you made any resolutions?

Check back with me tomorrow to see what mine are!!

Getting Personal with My Insides

Because I know that those of you who read this blog, absolutely do it to hear me whine and rant about having ulcerative colitis.

But that’s what I’m going to do – right now anyway. I sort of feel like it’s taken oven a lot of my life recently and I need to vent.

Last time I talked about it, I told you that I got put on a new medicine that was so not working out for me. As a result I only took it two or three times and called it quits.

Two weeks ago, I called my doctor because my symptoms were still hanging around and my hair has been coming out like woah since about 2 months after I started Delzicol in the beginning of the year. He talked me into getting a flex sig (not explaining that, go Google it) to see how my colitis really was doing.

I felt so stupid having to go in for one, like he wasn’t going to find anything and I was just going to be a whining hypochondriac. Because my symptoms aren’t always that bad, but I’m just tired of dealing with them. Turns out, he was really glad I went in for the procedure and he’s surprised that I said I felt as good as I did because it’s worse than he (or I) thought. I confessed that I think I’ve just accepted things as “normal” that aren’t really and just felt like a whiney pants because I do have a disease and need to just get used to it. So turns out that none of that is true.

He told me I could stop taking Delzicol since I told him I feel better without it and I think it’s the cause of my hair issues. He prescribed me Uceris- a prednisone-like steroid without the crazy/bitch personality side effects. He also put me on a low residue diet for the next few weeks until our next appointment. That means only white bread and white bread products, rice and pasta (none of this whole wheat business), no raw veggies, only well-cooked carrots, asparagus and green beans, skinless, seedless tomatoes, well-cooked skinless potatoes, no sweet potatoes, only ripe bananas, peeled canned peaches, pears and mandarin oranges, up to 2 cups of dairy per day, no nuts, no seeds, no nut butters, no coconut, no berries, no dried fruits, no onions or peppers or garlic, no steak or tough meat, no lunch meat (which I don’t like anyway), only mild and well crushed herbs and spices.

It is such a boring diet. And it feels so unhealthy!! But the idea is to eat foods that are easy on the digestive tract and foods that will get mostly absorbed before they reach it. It is meant to give my large intestine a break so that it can heal. Soup is going to become my new BFF. With white bread to dip in it. I made a huge batch of chicken soup last night. (It was my first crack at it and I’ll share it later!)

My poor husband is largely doing this diet with me, although not completely because it wouldn’t be healthy for him, and he is completely on board with it. Whatever I do, he says he’ll do it with me and be there for me. I feel so bad because we got married less than 2 months ago, and this wasn’t supposed to happen…at least not already!

The doctor wants me to meet with him again in a month and talk about possibly going on biologic therapy, which I researched a little and honestly, it really scares me. It seems like it’s for people with severe active colitis and I really don’t think I fall into that category. Plus, the possible side effects just don’t seem pleasant. And although it’s such a low chance, it was mentioned that people on it are a fraction more likely to get lymphoma or leukemia (mainly lymphoma). It’s not even a side effect, just something that has to be stated, but I know too many people who have passed away from cancer, and that scares me so much. Dave did point out that letting it go and continue to flare increases the risk of colon cancer by more, but…I don’t know. That can be isolated and removed easier than cancer in your blood.

So I have been having some fantastic freak out moments the past few days. I’m not ready for a decision like this. Why can’t it just go away??!

How about all you lovely people? Have any of you been on biologic therapy for UC? What are your thoughts?