Running On Average

Weekend Highlights in Photos

Lifestyle | March 28, 2017 | By

This weekend was one for the books: beautiful weather, abandoning chores and spending some quality time together as a family. I decided to do a picture post with minimal writing. Enjoy!

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Stroller run nap.

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Post-run treats

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Falling in love with Mommie’s sport

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Learning to scrum?

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When did she get so big?

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Caring for her baby doll (this melted my heart)

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Family photo

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Toothbrush-Loving Toddler life.

We also went to the park on Saturday and Riley had a blast on the slides and swings, but we didn’t take our camera so alas, no photos!

How was your weekend?

Snow Play, Running and Weekend Adventures

Lifestyle, Running | February 13, 2017 | By

Happy Monday! This weekend was amazing. It all started Thursday morning when we woke up to about 4 inches of snow. I LOVE snow so seeing the winter wonderland outside was ridiculously exciting to me.

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Of course, Dave still went into work, but it felt like a “snow day.” I got to sleep in a bit and still run 3 miles on the treadmill for my baby girl woke up. Starting my day with a run makes me feel so much more put together. I never in my life thought I’d become a morning runner- especially not a consistent one- but over the last month and a half I’m really starting to enjoy starting my days that way. Of course, once daylight savings hits and there is still daylight after Dave gets home from work, I may revert to my evening ways. I truly love running at dusk when the sun is setting, birds are chirping, and there is that glorious mix of cut grass, summer heat, and grilled dinner aromas filling the air.

Spring fever is hitting me HARD.

But back to the snow day. Dressed in her fleece footie pajamas, coat, mittens, hat, and little boots which I later discovered were not really meant for a walker- especially outside- I took Roo out for some snow fun. At first she wasn’t sure what to make of it, but once she followed the tire treads over the snow and into our cul-de-sac, she took off. Running around and giggling and dipping her toes in slushy puddles. Pointing at the patches of snow and yelling as if trying to tell me what they were. She was SO HAPPY. And so freaking cute.

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She also got so messy! After about 40 minutes, I brought her in and bathed her then let her run around and “read” before her nap.

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I know this isn’t a mom blog, but, my gosh, how can I not talk about this sweetie?

Friday was Dave’s day off, so we went to the indoor playground at the mall. He’s never gotten to go and he and Riley both had a blast!

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Then we played some more in the snow.

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Saturday was a complete change of weather. Sunny and 55 degrees. I couldn’t NOT go for a run outside. My plan was to do 3 miles, I figured I’d only do 2.

I ended up with 5 glorious, windy miles under my belt.

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Yesterday was a rest day and Riley was under the weather. Poor girl. She’s never really been sick, but I think she’s getting some teeth in that are really bothering her. She did score some new shoes, though, that she keeps handing to us to put on her. We’ve got a new shoe addict!

That was my weekend. Today we’re back to the grind. This week promises to be a bit hectic, but we’ll just roll with what comes our way.

What were the highlights of your weekend?

Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

Local Travel | January 23, 2017 | By

This Saturday, Dave and I took Riley to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. We had originally planned to go see the parade of penguins, but since the weather was unseasonably warm, it would have been dangerous for the penguins to be out walking. A bummer for sure, but the upside is that the weather made for a very nice zoo day!

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We met with some friends around 11am and it was already packed. Dave and I grew up going to the Philadelphia Zoo, but this one is much smaller. There is both and upside and downside to this. The upside is that it is easily walkable and can be thoroughly explored in one day. The down side is that I feel the areas for the animals were very small by comparison, and couldn’t help feeling a little sad for them.

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It took Riley a little while, I think, to understand what we were doing, but once she saw the animals, I think she had fun! Since she is so little, I’m sure she didn’t understand all of it, but she did like looking at the different animals as we pointed them out to her and you could tell she was trying to figure out what to make of them all.

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We saw a tiger, flamingos, and a hippo. I love flamingos!

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Another big difference between here and the Philadelphia Zoo was the landscape. Philadelphia is open and flat. Like anything else in Pittsburgh, this zoo has plenty of hills! So while we weren’t aiming for a workout, we covered probably about 2.5 miles of hilly walking. Perfect, since we ended up staying until mid-afternoon and I never got my run in.

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The elephants came right up to the water and started drinking it!

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We went into the primate house, but I don’t have any photos from it. There was a baby gorilla! I’m not sure how young it was, but it was definitely the main attraction for everyone who went inside. We also saw a gorilla take a poo, though, so… big day in the primate house.

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My favorite animals to see are always the giraffes. Ever since high school, I’ve been jokingly called a giraffe because of my long neck, so I feel I relate to them. Winking smile Plus, they are just such chill looking creatures and crack me up. The two zebras in the exhibit were really active- running and chasing each other, rolling in the mud, playing like you would see dogs play with each other. I’ve never seen zebras act like that before and it was pretty funny.

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She doesn’t smile in pictures often, but I swear Riley was having a great time! haha

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This poor cheetah was in the next exhibit over, pacing back and forth, watching the zebras and giraffes. I couldn’t help but laugh because he’s never going to get them. (His partner was sunbathing nearby, well aware that his prey was unattainable.)

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Riley got a piggy back ride. I’m not sure who enjoyed this more- Dave or Riley!

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The aquarium was easily Riley’s favorite part. When she saw the fish in the tanks she got SO EXCITED. I was not expecting it at all, but something about them really made her giggle and point and shout for us to look at them. She tried so hard to climb out of her stroller to get closer. It was one of those moments that made me so glad to be her mommy because she was so happy.

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It wasn’t a big loss that the penguins didn’t parade. We saw them in their habitat, but Riley had no interest. She wanted to go back to the fish. Smile

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The two polar bears were putting on a good show, too. One of them has this peculiar dance that he does day in and day out and has done is for years. I later read it’s because polar bears are used to covering miles and miles of space, but when they are confined to a habitat they can no longer do that. So this is their way of adapting or getting out the frustration. It is apparently not an uncommon site at zoos. Poor guys.

After the polar bears, the zoo turns into a kids’ area, but Riley was too young for it yet. As we passed the petting zoo, however, Riley saw some goats and got excited for them. In October we went to Trax Farms Fall Festival where they had a petting zoo and she got to pet goats then. She must have remembered!

All in all it was a fun day. Maybe next year, we can go back and watch the penguin parade. I think Riley will really enjoy the animals then!

Weekend Rewind

Lifestyle, Running | December 19, 2016 | By

Let’s start off by saying that the weather this weekend was not conducive to running. On Friday morning, it was a balmy 5 degrees with a “real feel” somewhere below zero. Guilt-free I decided that my trusty treadmill was the way to go….until I saw another runner on Instagram who ran outside in the same weather. A little bit a guilt crept in and I briefly considered running outside to be a “real” runner, but you know what? That’s just stupid. I have been having trouble getting into the swing of exercise since emerging from the first trimester, so if I was already pumped and ready for an indoor run, why jeopardize that with thoughts and comparisons of some runner I had never met? To that runner; kudos for getting out there and braving the cold. To me and all the treadmill runners: kudos for lacing up and hopping on that ‘mill. Both are tough!

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Yeah, no thanks!

I did 4.5 treadmill miles with 2.25 of them at intervals. Mind you, they were not blazing speed intervals- somewhere in the vicinity of an 8:20-8:40 pace, but I felt amazing and happy to finally be working on speed.

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My best Frenemy.

**I do find it weird that when I ran outside last weekend (in the cold) that I kept roughly an 8:45 pace the whole run despite hills and felt good. I think two things were at play here. 1) I was so damn cold last weekend that I ran as fast as I could just to keep warm and 2) the treadmill, as I have mentioned before is largely a mental exercise and I am not very strong in that area yet.

But I digress.

4.5 miles boom bam over and done. Felt SO good. We spent the rest of the day at Toys ‘R’ Us picking out a few small gifts for Riley for Christmas, grocery shopping, and making delightful Gouda and Apple Stuffed Chicken for dinner. Two thumbs up on THAT recipe. I should have taken a photo.

Saturday morning, Riley woke us up at about 6am so no sleeping in. As we were lying in bed with her bouncing around, we watched a transformer blow outside and out went our power. We spent the morning eating oatmeal and tea (thank goodness for a gas stove), enjoying playtime by candlelight because the day was so gray and rainy, and layering our clothes to stay warm. It turned out to be a really fun morning and the power (and heat!) came on just as Riley was going down for a nap. Score.

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They Melt My Heart

Yesterday consisted of an easy 2.3 mile treadmill run at 10:00 pace and blueberry pancakes. Then baking ALL THE CHRISTMAS COOKIES. I love baking, so between the smell of freshly baked cookies and my post-run high I was in my happy place all day. The final count is 326 cookies and not a single one burnt. Hallelujah! I don’t know how I managed.

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We have: Peanut Butter Cookies, Gluten Free Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Coconut Macaroons, Thumbprints (my personal favorite),  Chocolate Wows, and Almond Macaroon Fingers. Now don’t worry, we don’t eat them all; some go to Dave’s parents and a majority go to my parents for their Christmas Eve party. That is, if I can go all week without eating them (I can blame pregnancy, right?)

This morning I did 50 minutes of prenatal yoga and now here we are. Less than a week from Christmas. Who’s still staying motivated and getting their workouts in? Who’s working their way through the cookies and other holiday treats (no shame in that game)? And who’s managing to do both?