About four months ago I got married.  I wanted to wait until I received wedding photos to post.  To keep from typing 1000 words I plan to have several posts.

We truly had the greatest day of our lives.  Our family, our friends and loved ones were all there to support us and I could not have asked for a better day.

Date: April 12, 2015

The Venue: Half Moone Cruise Center Norfolk, VA
Wedding Planner: Hannah Hildebrandt
Flowers: Personal friend, Kyle L
Dress: Maya Couture
Photographers: Justice Images
Caterer: Omar’s Carriage House
DJ: Astro DJ and personal friend Jon L
Hair: Tiffany
Makeup: Blush tones
Cake: Diane’s Sweet Tooth

half moon cruise center 4

half moone cruise center 1


flowers 1


cake 1

planes table

flowers table


hair 1

blush tones 1

groomsman 2

bridesmaids 10

wedding party 1

wedding party


behind dress


first dance]

tim and i 3

Run for the Hill of it 5 Miler (34:40)

The Run for the Hill of it race was held in the Wissahickon park. The park is just north of Philly.  Since I didn’t work I was able to travel a bit further for a race.  The name of the race should have given the course elevation away. I didn’t realize it was a trail race and the actual elevation profile. I assumed it was a race with a few rolling hills. I was wrong.

My original goal was to try and race the same pace as the Belmar Chase but once I realized the difficult of this course, I knew that was not happening.

I met Kara at registration and we warmed up together.

Kara and I

We arrived at the start and they announced it would start at 8:30 sharp.  I have to hand it to them…it did!

Once the race started, I found myself as fourth women overall.  Philadelphia is home to many incredible runners who are definitely out of my league.  The first mile was actually the easiest of the five.  I didn’t realize it was net downhill but it was my fastest mile of 6:37.  I passed one women and found myself as third!

During the second mile I passed two women. I didn’t feel great or terrible.  Wissahickon is a beautiful park so I was focused on enjoying the scenery.  I ran side by side with a couple of men for almost the entire race.  The park wasn’t closed for the race so we were definitely weaving around other runners (6:50).

The course was out and back so at 2.5 miles we turned around.  I saw the leaders come by about 3 minutes before I hit the halfway.  The leader didn’t look like he was trying at all despite being far in front.  Shortly after he passed, a few more males ran by as well as the lead female. I finally hit the halfway in exactly 17 minutes. While turning around I saw Kara who looked strong.  I like out and back courses because I know what to expect on the last half of the race.

The fourth mile was uneventful.  I ran side by side with the same men as earlier. The trifecta of three (myself and two men) didn’t part ways for most of the race.  We passed several people running in the park.

I didn’t realize we had gone slightly downhill the first two miles until we began running uphill for the way home.  The last two miles I just focused on finishing (7:04).

Once I hit mile four, I just gave all of my energy.  I wanted to finish the race as soon as possible.  I was done with hills and trails.  Don’t get my wrong, I enjoyed the race but I was exhausted.  We don’t have many hills in New Jersey and I barely run on trails.  It makes sense a hilly trail race would exhaust me more than a road race.  I finished the last mile in 6:58.

I crossed the finish line in 34:40.  I was second female overall.  I’m happy with the race because it was definitely a hard course.  It lives to the name of running for the hill of it.  I enjoyed a change of race scenery and I will be back to run in the park soon!

Questions for you: 

What is the hardest run you’ve ever done? 

Do you like running on trails, pavement, treadmill or the track the best?


Weekend Fun

How was your weekend?

I didn’t do a whole heck of a lot this weekend but relax.

I’ve started doing a massive cleanup of my house lately. One thing I do like about moving is that you don’t keep a lot of useless clutter.  If I haven’t worn a piece of clothing or used an item in months, I don’t keep it.  I think decluttering your life is one of the best things you can do you for yourself mentally and physically.  It feels nice not to have a bunch of useless junk laying around the house.

I also watched a few movies this weekend.  It was a very relaxing weekend for that.

I finally decided to go see the movie Trainwreck.  I’m a couple of weeks late but it has been a movie I’ve been dying to see.  Friday night before racing seemed like a good night.

trainwreck movie

I also rented the movie Four Minute Mile on Saturday.  It was really motivational for running and in life.

four minute mile movie

Both were really good and I would recommend them. 

On Saturday I ran the “Run for the Hill of it” 5 miler in Philadelphia.  It is a great cause supporting funding towards domestic violence.  The cause alone made me want to run the race.  I didn’t have to work so I was able to travel further for a race.  I also got to meet long time twitter friend Kara, and we ended up going to the Trolley Car diner afterwords.

Kara and I

The Trolley Car Diner is well known for their donuts.  The diner review will have to wait a few weeks but long story short, I’ll probably be back at least once in the next week.  The donuts were amazing.

Trolley Car Diner Donuts

Questions for you:

What was the last movie you saw in theaters?

How was your weekend? 


Training: Track and Trails

This week begins a more interesting part of training. This week I began formal speed work!

Monday: 10 miles easy
Tuesday: 10 miles fast finish
Wednesday: 12 400s average 87
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 10 miles easy
Saturday:  Run for the Hill of it Trail 5m (34:40)
Sunday: 14 miles with my coworker
 Total:  67 miles


On Monday and Tuesday I ran similar runs. I kept my base miles easy. On Tuesday I finished with a “fast finish”. On my personal “fast finish” runs, I like to end with the last mile about 1 minute faster than the overall pace.  It keeps the run more interesting and focusing on the important aspect of the race!

On Wednesday I went to the track for the first time in a very long time. My track workout experience is limited. In all honesty it’s almost nonexistent. I’ve only been to the track 5 times for workouts during my entire running experience. When I was doing formal speed work, I choose tempos.

My body is now able (knock on wood) to handle 2 days of speed right now so I opted for a track workout.

I did 12X400s with 1 minute standing rest in between. My average was 87 seconds for each, which ends up being 5:45 pace.

Appropriate foot on track post workout pose

Appropriate foot on track post workout pose


I was pleasantly surprised with this workout. I was more surprised that I enjoyed it a lot! I’m glad I am getting out of comfort zone and doing speed work.

On Thursday I needed rest. Thursdays have become my tradition to walk to a local coffee shop during my run time. I enjoy chatting with the barista and just relaxing. The last two Thursdays have been nice to do that but if it gets too hot then I’ll drive. ;)

On Saturday I ran the “Run for the Hill of it” trail race in Philadelphia.  It was a lot harder course than anticipated but I had a great time with Kara!  Plus I found the Wissahickon state park and I will definitely be back for trail and hill training!

kara and I

On Sunday I ran 14.5 miles with my coworker and friend who is training for the Chicago marathon.  I have been enjoying running with others because it makes the miles fly.

anita and i

Next week:

I’m honestly not sure my plans. I might do a 5k in Super South NJ. I know I’m super south but there is about 40 miles south of me…who knew?! I also plan to do another speed workout.

Questions for you:

Do you like the track or tempo workouts?

Marathon Grill

After Kevin and I’s long run last weekend we got brunch.  I’m an avid user of foursquare and a quick search of  restaurants brought us to the Marathon Grill.  It made sense to go with a name like marathon. It’s technically classified as an upscale diner, so I thought why not review it?

The Marathon Grill has several locations in Philadelphia. There is no parking but I had already found a garage for the run.

We arrived at the Marathon Grill around 9:30am.  For a Sunday the restaurant wasn’t as crowded as I anticipated.

Atmosphere: A 

The inside is clean and modern.  The walls are decorated with bright colors and bird cut outs.  It reminds me more of a hip and trendy restaurant.

From their website

From their website

The waitress was extremely nice and refilled my coffee and water a lot.  After running I was extremely thirsty for both coffee and water.

Coffee: A 

The coffee was a local Philadelphia brew called Chestnut Coffee. After doing research, I realized Chestnut Coffee is not far away and I’ll be visiting their coffee store soon.  The coffee itself is slightly nutty.  Personally I like flavored coffees the best so I drank a lot. The whipped cream was good as well!

marathon grill coffee

Food: A 

The Marathon Grill has multiple options from omelets to cookie dough pancakes to lunch items.  The problem was I wanted everything.

I ordered the smoked salmon omelet, which came with smoked salmon, tomatoes and goat cheese.  I ordered a side of fruit and their multigrain bread!

marathon grill omelet

As you can see from the photo they did not limit the goat cheese!  It was oozing out of the omelet. The omelet was a three-egg omelet and was probably 50% cheese. It was definitely one of the best omelets I’ve had in a while.

Cost: $

The cost of the omelet was $12.50.  The quality of the food and the ingredients they used made it 100% worth it.

Overall thoughts/Would I come back? 

Yes I will definitely be back.  The food was great and you could tell they use high quality ingredients.  I want to try the cookie dough pancakes as well as the design your own salad.  (This is basically me inviting anyone close by to go right now! Ha ha)

Cliff notes: 
Atmosphere: A 
Coffee: A
Food: A
Cost: $10-20
Overall score: A

Questions for you:
What is your favorite type of cheese?
What do you like to eat after a run?

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