Wordless Wednesday

I’m a sucker for plane photos.  I love looking down as your are a few hundred feet off the ground.  Unfortunately I don’t really enjoy the whole flying aspect.  Ironic considering I’m going to get married to a pilot.  Anyways-here are a few plane photos I took from my vacation to and from Seattle.   (I don’t claim to be good at photography).

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Questions for you: 

Do you enjoy flying? 

What is the coolest thing you have seen flying? 

Earth Day 5k (19:04)

When I found out that there was a 5k,10k,15k and half marathon near my oldest brothers house in Seattle I thought it would be fun to do a race in a new area.  Although I would like to say I found it, dad was the one who emailed me and said he was signing up.  I originally signed up for the 10k but getting to the race on Saturday I realized I wanted to downgrade to the 5k.  I hadn’t done a 5k in January and I thought it would be nice to see where I was at with that.

I knew with the random mileage and running I had been doing lately that this wasn’t going to PR.  I also knew that the jet lag was going to tire me out.  Both were true.  Regardless I thought it would be a lot of fun to do anyways.  I wasn’t worried about PRing or being stressed.

The race didn’t have a chip and it was an old school start that we all started together.  It actually gave me the most amusement I’ve ever had at the beginning of a race.  The race director noticed the long line for the womans rest room line.  He literally said “if this isn’t an emergancy and you are just using the rest room for precaution, there are some porta stations mid race”.  I laughed uncontrollably at it.  (I don’t even know why).

Anyways the race started and we were off.  The first mile felt like it took forever.  I remember looking at my watch at .26, .44, .67 .89 and finally when it beeped at 1 mile.  At that point I knew it was a race that was going to feel like it was taking forever…and it did.  Mentally it felt about 5 times longer than a half marathon.  I’m so glad I didn’t sign up for anything longer (6:06)

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The second mile had a random hill that I had absolutely no idea was even in the course.  It was a very flat course on some trails except for this one random hill.  You literally turned a corner and it was like bam up the hill we go.

With all the turns and the hill my second mile was about 5 seconds slower.  I honestly thought it was going to be much slower then that but I was lucky and it wasn’t.   It went by quicker mentally at least.  (6:11)

The final mile I was very focused on getting under 19 minutes  (Which didn’t happen).  I really wanted to power through and I thought I was on pace.  It was going to be extremely close.  We had a 180 turn and as I came across the final .2 I saw the clock tick just over 19 minutes.  Close but no cigar.

My oldest brother Doug running pushing his daughter.

My oldest brother Doug running pushing his daughter.

In all honesty this was a lot better then I had thought I would do.  I was realistically unsure (jet lagged, tired and the last 5k I ran was in January) how I would do.  I knew I would be upset if I couldn’t hold the same pace I’ve run in my halves the last few times (ie: faster than 6:21 pace).

Take aways: For the terrain and course (trails, gravel) I’m happy.  I am hoping in a month or two I’ll be in the lower 18s.  I think with a good course and good day I could be around my PR (18:35).

Questions for you:

Have you ever done a spur of the moment race?

How many states have you raced in?

For me I’ve raced in: Virginia, New York, North Carolina (cross country), Vermont (cross country), New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, Maryland and now Washington.  I think that is all of them…unless you count DC.

All the Coffee

When I came to Seattle I had no idea what I was in for with coffee. It only makes sense to post about coffee since that is really all my instagram is….I thought I would talk about some of the coffee I have really come to enjoy this past week.  It might seem like a lot but some are decaf and not full led.  Plus it’s over the course of a week so it seems like more than it really is.  I’ll probably end up going into a deep sleep once I ween myself off of coffee at home this week.

Seattle has a lot of coffee shacks around town.  In parking lots, in little shopping centers, they are truly everrywhere and they are awesome.

Kureg brew:

We don’t have a kureg at my parent’s house or at my house.  I think I’ve made kureg coffee 5 times in my life.  Long story short,  that is all my brother and his sister and law have.  My mornings were filled with kureg coffee.  So before I knew it I was already beginning my new enjoyment of all the brews of Seattle coffee.

kuregcoffee

Lady Latte:  (I wish they had a website to show you of their greatness!)

Down the street from my brothers house is a coffee shop called lady latte.  This is the best coffee shop I’ve been to ever in my life.  It’s even better than gas station coffee.  (I don’t just throw that around).  I ordered a regular coffee with half and half and whip cream and I honestly cannot get over how good it was.  I’m obsessed.

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Oiselle HQ:

After hanging out with the Seattle HQ, we went to get coffee.  It was really good and I approve.  (Edit to Add: there isn’t a coffee that I had that I didn’t approve of).  I loved the whip cream they had and also loved having some of Sarah Mac’s donut.  I would love to eat there at some point as the food looked fabulous.

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First Starbucks:

Of course in Seattle you have to visit the first Starbucks.  We waited in line for about 15 minutes.

Because it was later in the day so I enjoyed a large decaf coffee of their exclusive brew.  They used a pour over method.   The conversation between the man and I went like this:

Me: So you are watering the coffee?

Him: It’s like flower and must blossom.

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I must admit that this was a great cup of coffee and I (of course) got whip cream on top.  I loved their exclusive brand at the first Starbucks so I bought some to bring home.

My sister in law and I.

My sister in law and I.

Space Needle Café:

I also tried a Starbucks coffee on top of the Space Needle.  It was okay but nothing out of the ordinary. So yes this was decent and good coffee but it wasn’t the best.  The Space Needle was pretty rad though.  (no photo)

Winners:

Overall best coffee goes to Lady Latte. 

Best Whip Cream still goes to Starbucks. 

Questions for you:

Why doesn’t every part of the world have random coffee shacks?

What is your favorite coffee place?

 

 

Worry Free Training Month

To be honest the last two weeks of training haven’t really been seriously training.  I’ve been running easy and doing what I want. (Really when is that anything new?) Right now I’m in a period of transition (where I plan to be for a month or so).  I don’t have any specific races I’m training for.  (The Wineglass marathon is far off in October).  I got the half marathon PR I had been wanting so for not I’m relaxed with my running.  Yes I’m still running high mileage but I don’t have any immediate goals in the near future.  I’m actually in the process of actively seeking out a coach to help me with my next fall marathon.  (another post for another day)

All of that being said I do have a few races I’m signed up for.

April 27: The NJ half marathon next weekend.  I am excited to run this race.  I’m not looking for a PR but I am looking to meet a lot of people I know traveling to the race.  Not limited to two of my best friends Laura and Heather. The famous Boring Runner and NYC running mama.  Oh and let’s not forget Amelia and Danielle too.  Yeah it’s going to be a party. Yes, I do realize I just used my allotted amount of links for the day in one paragraph.  Oh well, they are all great bloggers. I would like to be around 1:25-1:26 again but we will see where my fitness (and jet lag) takes me.

May 4 The Broad Street 10 miler. 

Living near Philadelphia, you have to do this race.  I have to do this race. My goal is to be around 62-63 minutes if the weather is right. It’s the nations largest 10 mile race and I’ve heard nothing but great things about it.

June 1st Run for the Dream Half Marathon

Located in Williamsburg, VA this is one of my favorite races.  I had to come home this weekend to do it.  Plus coming back home, I can talk with my parents more about wedding stuff.  So it’s a win win situation.  It’s a very hot, hilly race but it is a lot of fun.

Thoughts:

Those are the three I have right now to do.  Since my 10 mile PR comes from the Atlantic City half, I would like to think I could PR in that.  Who knows though, I’m just taking it easy for a while so I don’t burn out in marathon training in a few months.

I achieved what I wanted this Spring.  I got a half marathon PR.  I am not worried about getting more PR’s right now.  I think of running kind like gambling and the lottery.

You must stop while you are ahead.  When you train hard and PR, you want to achieve more PR’s almost immediately after you get the first.  When I crossed the Atlantic City finish line I thought: When and where is my next half marathon PR?  Can I drop another 90 seconds?  Could I PR again at the NJ half?

It’s like gambling.  You win 500 dollars and you think, can you win another 500?  Can you risk it all and win?  You could risk it all and lose it all.  Or you could risk it all and double or triple your winnings.  In running you could continue hard training when you should be reocvering and then injure yourself.

I would rather play it safe and wait to run a lot of hard races for a while.  If I magically PR while recovering, great, if I don’t…I still know I’m going to have a great and fun time at these races.  I love the atmosphere of races and seeing my friends.

So that is where I’m at with training.  Staying safe and continuing to recover with easy mileage.  No goal “A” races for a while. 

Questions for you:

Do you like the 10 mile distance?

How much of the year do you consider yourself in “nonserious training”? 

Realistically I think this year I’ll have spent late Jan-April in serious training for half marathons and late June-October in serious training for Wineglass full marathon.

New Crystal Diner Review

New Crystal Diner- Tom’s River, NJ

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A few weeks ago Tim and I wanted to go out to eat somewhere new.  Not only did we want to go to a new restaurant but a new area in general.  Though Tom’s River and Seaside Heights (made famous by Snooki and the MTV Jersey Shore) is only 30 minutes away, we had yet to find ourselves there.  Since we have been to most of the rest of the state, we decided to head east.

We opted to just drive out there and find a diner to try.  Lucky for us there are plenty.  The nice thing about finding new diners in NJ, is you just have to drive.  Chances are if you drive 10 minutes down any road you’ll find one.

Atmosphere:  A

The New Crystal Diner is one large room.  It’s what you imagine when you picture “diner”.  It’s big, red booths and tables.  We were lucky to grab a booth by the window.

Coffee: B

The coffee was hot and they had plenty of different sweeteners as well as cream.  The lady couldn’t do whip cream for me (sad) but it wasn’t bad coffee.  It was normal coffee.  It wasn’t remarkably good or bad.  It wasn’t burnt or watery.  I only “took off points” because they couldn’t put whip cream on it when I know they had some for dessert.

Another diner, another cup of coffee

Another diner, another cup of coffee

A hipster shot of coffee with the light reflecting in the cup.

A hipster shot of coffee with the light reflecting in the cup.

Food: A

The menu is large.  There were ten full pages of different foods ranging from breakfast to seafood to an entire page of different salads…as you can see the list was endless.   I actually think this could have been the diner with the largest menu that we have been too.  I wasn’t sure what to expect since it was such a large and overwhelming menu.

I opted for the Greek Salad with chicken and no achovies.  It wasn’t more than 5 minutes and they brought the food out.  I’m not joking when I say 5 minutes.  It was the fastest restaurant food I’ve ever received.  (Faster than Waffle House).  Tim joked that maybe they had already made it and we were waiting for us to come.  It was amazing.

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The salad was really good.  In my personal opinion, it’s the toppings and dressings that make a salad.  If you eat dry lettuce it will be gross.  The Greek salad contained everything I liked: feta cheese, grape leaves, lots of pita bread, tomatoes, chicken, Their Greek dressing was a home mix of oil and vinegar.  Honestly this was the fastest and one of the best salads I’ve had.  I don’t even think I could have prepared it that quickly at home if I was being timed.

Dessert: B

They had plenty of dessert at the front but I wasn’t in the mood for anything heavy.  I drank some of Tim’s milkshake which was pretty good.  It wasn’t the best milkshake I have ever had nor was it the worse. It would recommend it but I wouldn’t say it was the best milkshake you’ve had or it will change your life.

newcrystaldinermilkshake

Cost: $$

For two meals, two coffees and a milkshake it was 40 dollars.  For a restaurant in NJ that is a good deal (especially for a filling meal).  I have no complaints for price and the portions were large too.

Overall Opinion:

Would I Come Back?

It was a really good meal.  I could not believe how fast the food came out.  I was extremely impressed because it wasn’t as if we were the only ones in the restaurant either.  I had a really good meal.  The only complaint that I have was the whip cream for the coffee but other then that it was good.  Next time I’ll probably try one of their many desserts or cakes.  I don’t have any complaints and I’m glad to check another diner off my NJ list.  So long story short, yes I would come back.

Questions for you:

What is the fastest that you have ever been brought out food?

What are your favorite salad toppings?

Dating Part 2

Part 1 is from yesterday.

The first few months of Tim’s flight school were hard. He couldn’t talk a lot due to his schedule.  I knew he was busy but it didn’t make it any easier. Distance is incredbily hard for anyone (military or not).

In November, I got to see Tim for the first time in five months.  I wondered if it would be the same.  I wondered if we would still be happy.  I wondered if we would still be in love.  It was easy to be in love in distance, but what if we had both grown apart during those times.  I wondered a lot and in November I boarded a plane to San Antonio nervous, excited and wondering what the next few days would bring.

On the San Antonio River Walk

On the San Antonio River Walk

The moment I saw him, the moment I knew nothing had changed.  I knew we had made it through the hardest part of our relationship.  We had made it five months without seeing each other.  Though I only got to see him less than a week it reassured me so much that we were happy.

I saw him again for Christmas, then in March and then in May. We made the executive decision that I would move down there at the end of the summer.  I loved my job in Oswego.  I enjoyed my friends and coworkers but eventually Tim and I wanted to continue our relationship.

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He would be graduating in October.  He was rather sure we would be staying in Del Rio so it made sense for dad and I to uhaul all my things to Texas.  So after getting hit by a cyclist and breaking my arm I drove 1700 miles to Texas.  (Packing is incredibly more difficult with a broken arm).

Flight School graduation (the plane he flies is in the background)

Flight School graduation (the plane he flies is in the background)

About 2 weeks after moving to Texas, Tim found out he would be restationed in New Jersey flying KC-10 planes.  I knew nothing about NJ.  I was mortified.  I was going to make this same drive (1700 miles) twice in 6 weeks.  He also was supposed to report the week of my first marathon.  The only concrete plans I had in 2014 were to run the NYCM.

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Edit to add: I am 100% happy we moved out of Texas.  Where we were I could not imagine spending 4 more years there.  I’m not sorry, I love NJ.

I didn’t want to drive 1700 miles two days before my marathon.  Absolutely not.  So I drove a few weeks earlier. I stayed with my parents at home and ran.  He moved into our house in NJ.

Since November we have enjoyed our time in NJ.  Tim has done great things flying.  The first few months were more difficult for me.  We had moved to NJ and I knew we weren’t moving anymore for a very long time.  Yet finding a job had become next to impossible.

From December until March, we were enjoying our time living together.  Everything was working out well and I knew I had made the right choice to move to NJ.  I was (and am) completely happy living here.  Thankfully we didn’t have a lot of excitement the last few months.  It seemed as if our lives had finally simmered down a bit.

Our first christmas tree choice together.

Our first christmas tree choice together.

Watching Tim and his dad ski (absolutely not I'm way to clumsy to get on those things).

Watching Tim and his dad ski (absolutely not I’m way to clumsy to get on those things).

Then April 1st, Tim proposed! 

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So here I leave you trying to figure out how to wedding plan, deciding if we need a wedding planner (probably) and excited to continue our relationship.  I could not imagine being with anyone else, nor would I want too!  

 

Dating

I finally had a moment to type a post about how Tim and I met and our relationship.  I’m not sure if I ever typed this up in full before so here it goes.

We orginally met through college cross country.  We went to neighboring schools in the tiny town of Potsdam NY.  Though Potsdam is small, the town hosts two schools (State Univeristy of NY at Potsdam) and Clarkson University.  SUNY Potsdam is a liberal arts school (my alma mater) and Clarkson is an engineering school (Tim’s alma mater).

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Our cross country teams are huge rivals.  Just kidding (not at all) but we did have a scimmage every year on the back trails against them.  It has never been an overwealming competitive race where we elbow people at the finish first but more of a tune up for the big championship race.

In October 2011 I had pulled a hamstring going into this race.  I had taken a few days off and was already nervous.  I was coming off a stress fracutre in July 2011 (my infamous 21st birthday stress fracture) so that cross season was more of a fluke.  With every season I enjoyed myself but with coming back from an injury and being my second year running, I was truly just running to run.

But anyways it was a disgusting 24 degrees that day.  Cold and unenjoyable.  The scimmage was okay.  I ended up winning for females overall.  I got a Snickers Bar.  Tim ended up winning for males overall.  I think he got a snickers bar too.

After the scrimmage we ended up chatting and going for a run together a few weeks later.  I remember telling my housemate Julie that I was going on a run with some boy.  I’m not sure if she was more weirded out or excited.

We went for a run and it was super awkward.  The weather conditions were not ideal to begin with.  (I actually nearly ditched it because I’m a fair weather runner).  We ran about 7 miles and it went by quickly.  This was also two weeks after I had quit swimming now and also the point I had changed my major so I had more to talk about then usual.  It seemed to go well and we went for a few more runs together.

Tim also skiis and was entering winter ski season for Clarkson.  This meant he wasn’t worried about pace and would run slower with me.  (This was good for me because I don’t run with people who are anal about pace…).  So we seemed to hit it off well.

Eventually we moved up in the world and started hanging out outside of running.  By December, I didn’t know if we were dating or not.  It was time for winter break and since Tim lived in PA and I lived in VA, it was about a 5 hour drive apart.  He decided he would come and visit for New Years for two local VA Beach road races. (Beat the Ball and Hair of the Dog).

Obviously not running...actually we are at a bar.

Obviously not running…actually we are at a bar.

Tim drove down on New Years Eve.  With my luck, my dog Sushi was very ill.  She had lived a great life but it became clear the week before that she was growing sicker and sicker.  My mom was watching after her.  Tim arrived to my dog nearly about to pass away.

Dad, Tim and I went to the road race Beat the Ball at 10:00pm.  The race started at 11:35 and the idea was to run faster than a 25 minute 5k and “Beat the ball dropping”.  At 11:33 Roy approaches me with the direct quote of “Your dog died, your dad left”.  I remember the race starting (not much I could do at this point) and I cried through the entire race.  I also remember Marie and Lori mortified at the bluntness of Roy.  (I chuckle at this story now).  We knew Sushi was going to pass very soon.  So I ran the race crying.  After the race, Tim consoled me.  (All I could think about was…well if we are dating he has been welcomed into the crazy that is my life).  Tim ended up having a really good race and breaking 17.  Despite crying through the race, I also had a decent race.

The next day we ran the Hair of the Dog 5k.  (Hey Mollie you won this race and we didn’t even know each other then!).  I forget all of the events at the mornning race but in summery, I was beat by Greg and his dog Cooper and Tim enjoyed himself.

The Spring, we became official (lolz) and I met Tim’s family in April at a wedding.  My family is a lot smaller so it was really overwealming but I really enjoyed it.  I had such a good time in Charlottesville.

timandi

Then in May we both graduated.  May was an extremely hard month.  We weren’t sure if we would stay in a long distance relationship or not.  Tim was going to flight school in Del Rio, Texas and I would be interning and working in Oswego.  We didn’t know when we would see each other.  I was incredibly nervous to see how it would work out.  I cried a lot in May wondering what my future would hold.

Tomorrow I will post the second chapter.  (There will be more pictures I promise…I didn’t bombard Tim with photos in our “early relationship days” as I do now)