travel

Things that Got me Through the Winter

Guess what my blogging friends?

These are the last few days of Winter!   Insert 20 dancing emoji woman here.

dancing emoji

Long story short, if you lived on the east coast this winter was rough.

Running outside was rough. 

Walking outside was rough. 

 

December and January weren’t too terrible.  Then in February it got very cold, very fast.  After I got back from Upstate NY it just kept getting colder and colder.  I honestly felt like I never left that area.  The days we received snow were the better days because it meant it was warmer and less windy…

Now that I’m done complaining about the weather I thought I would talk about some of things that got me through the winter this year!

None of these products were sponsored or afflicant links.  Here are some of the top things I think got my through the winter.

Northface Jacket

I bought this jacket is November.  I didn’t think it would become my best purchase of the season.  It’s warm and I have no regrets.  It was staple jacket and most people at work don’t remember a time I wasn’t wearing it.  (No really…).  I like to add photos of my jacket in action and on dates so here we go.

My jacket and Theresa.

My jacket and Theresa.

My jacket and Christine

My jacket and Christine

My jacket and DadLOLZ

My jacket and DadLOLZ

Basically if you have seen me in the last 3 months, it’s probably been in this jacket.

Injinji wool Socks

injinji wool socks

These babies are long and warm (TWSS).  They kept me feet warm but also came above my leggings so that my ankles didn’t get cold.  I wish I had more pairs but alas Injinji was sold out when I went online.  They are my favorite sock in the history of socks.

Space Heater:

Without my personal space heater, I would have some miserable days.  The personal space heater allows me to control the temperature around me without causing everyone else to live in a sauna.

 

Two Vacations in the winter:

As most people know, T was deployed during most of the winter.  It was a cold, miserable and lonely month.  Having two vacations with friends really helped propel me through the months of January and February.

The end of January, I went to Rochester and visted Laura, Heather and Brittany.  Hashtag Dream team (#DreamTeam),

How did this even happen?

How did this even happen?

Then obviously at the end of February I ran my Marathon in sunny Phoenix.

Party foul...my eyes are closed but everyone else looks nice so this photo won!

Party foul…my eyes are closed but everyone else looks nice so this photo won!

I think having things to look forward too really kept me balanced and ready to propel through the winter.

Questions for you:

How did you get through the winter this year?

Insert Sunshine Here

Where to even begin this post?

I spent the weekend in Phoenix, Arizona.  After a horror story with travel (as of now we are not receiving anything), we made it on Friday morning at 3 am East Coast time.

Here is a brief recap of everything outside of the race.

We enjoyed the Scenic views that New Jersey does not offer.   I kept thinking I was in a movie because they were so nice!

Phoenix View

Phoenix View

Lots and lots of blogging meetups…

Meet with Matt V

Matt V.

 

 

Party foul...my eyes are closed but everyone else looks nice so this photo won!

Party foul…my eyes are closed but everyone else looks nice so this photo won!

(Why did we not take a photo Adam?)

 

RunEMZRunEmz and I

With one of my favorite bloggers and people, Kevin!

IMG_1539

I had a great time in Phoenix.  It was nice to escape the cold of New Jersey and enjoy some warm weather.  Outside of running the actual marathon, I did a lot of fun and cool things.  Tim and I explored Phoenix and explored the entire city.

One thing I did learn was going to a destination race is tough. I wanted to go hiking and enjoy the views but didn’t want to hike before the marathon (and couldn’t hike after).

Would hiking a few miles the day before a marathon be smart?  No, probably not.

I had a great time and Phoenix is a lovely city.  I would recommend this race to any of my East Coast friends for the fact that you get out of the cold weather for a few months.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to Phoenix? 

Have you ever done a destination race? 

 

Flights From Hell

Many people asked about my travel experience last week to Phoenix.  Since I’m back home and in a better mood about it, I thought I would share.   We flew US Airways.

We got to the Philadelphia airport perfectly.  There were no delays, the weather was good and I had decent coffee.  I felt confident we would get to the Phoenix on time.

When does anything ho according to plan though?

Our flight was delayed in Philadelphia because the pilot wanted to get rid of fuel.  After waiting on the runway for an hour, the vehicle that was supposed to remove our fuel never came…so we left.  We waited an hour for nothing.

Once we arrived to Atlanta, and we saw our connecting flight leaving.  Our first flight pulled into gate D21 and we looked over at Gate D23 as our next flight pulled away.

Tim, myself and 4 other passengers missed our connection by about 5 minutes.  The Atlanta airport staff printed us a piece of computer paper to get on the flight two gates down to Charlotte.  We were told we would go to Charlotte and connect to Phoenix that way. I boarded the flight with no boarding pass and just sat down in an empty seat. I felt like a plane ride bandit!

We got to Charlotte and they finally printed us another boarding passes to Phoenix.  This travel left me no time to fuel accordingly for a marathon.   We got into Phoenix around 3 am Eastern Time and had been traveling for 14 hours.  Our travel time was supposed to be 7 hours but was 14. 

After all of the change in flight connections my bag had actually made to Phoenix too.  One look at my bag and I wish it had not made it.

The bag look like it had been thrown from a 2 story building or a plane had run over it.  The exterior of the bag was ruined as well as multiple items (including exploding gels, two tattered tops and brand new leggings from lululemon).  It left me needing to find a bunch of new things the day before my second marathon. It ended up being about 250 dollars’ worth of damage including the ruined bag as well as a couple articles of clothing.  The photo doesn’t do the damage justice, the bag which was new was torn apart.

suit case

Do I think the delayed flights, longer traveling and being awake so long affected my marathon?  Of course I do.  I have mentioned several times I’m a high maintenance sleeper.  I don’t do well on little sleep and I don’t thrive on being awake for lengthy periods of time.  Four days after the entire experience, I’m still finding myself catching up on sleep.

Edit to add: I sent an email March 3 to US Air/American and have not received a response.

Question for you:  What is your worst travel experience?  

Heading North in the Winter

Because who doesn’t want to head to a colder climate in the winter? 

Anyways, this past weekend I traveled to Rochester, New York.  I wanted to see some of best friends: Heather, Laura and Brittany.  They all have blogs and exist in real life too.  Since we all run, have blogs and exist in real life…we must be the same person.  Right?

Let’s rewind to Friday. 

I drove up to Jersey City and got dinner with Danielle and Amelia.  It was nice to finally see and catch up with both of them.  It’s weird to think we haven’t seen each other since October!  Danielle and Amelia make up 2 out of 5 of my friends in New Jersey.

On Saturday am, Danielle and I drove to the JFK airport.  Danielle was visiting her sister in Rochester, so we decided to travel together. All I remember from that morning (and I’m sure she agrees) was: holy $hit it’s cold, how are we going to make it in Rochester?  The temperature at JFK was 10 degrees and felt like -4.

Warm plane.

Warm plane.

 

After arriving to Rochester, dare I say it that it seemed warmer?

In summary, the ladies and I had such a great weekend.

Some highlights:

  1. Eating an entire red velvet cake red velvet cake
  2. Meeting the owner of the James Brown Diner (review to come in Rochester
  3. Introducing Brittany to Fast Trac Coffee…need I say more?

    Oh we had no idea this camera was taking a photo...we are obviously just causally chatting over our gas station lattes

    Oh we had no idea this camera was taking a photo…we are obviously just causally chatting over our gas station lattes

  4. Just girl chat. There isn’t a need to “recap” the amount of fun we had just chatting.  These three women are three of my closest friends.  While I haven’t seen them since early last year, nothing had changed.  I’m truly grateful to have friends that I can talk to anytime.  We can go months without seeing face to face and still pick up just where we left (that being said, I do wish we were closer).

Enjoy this photoshoot…

girls weekend

girls weekend coffee

How did this even happen?

How did this even happen?

Sadly, Brittany and Heather left on Sunday.  Laura and I went and watched the Super Bowl at one of Laura’s friends’ house.  While I’m not into football, I enjoyed hanging out and meeting friends of friends.

On Monday a huge snow storm hit Rochester.  Rochester received between 12-16 inches of snow.  Laura, had to work and I ran at the gym and relaxed.

Oh goodie...

Oh goodie…

Then on Tuesday, Danielle and I left bright and early (4:30 am) to JFK.  After a perfect flight and arrival, we arrived at my car.  My car was completely frozen over and had an entire half inch of ice on top (including all locks).  We could not physically break the ice because it was so thick.  We were freezing, miserable and honestly had no idea what to do.  The security car couldn’t help us, triple A didn’t have any great advice and we honestly didn’t know what to do.  We spent about 45 minutes trying everything possible.

Then the JFK long term bus driver came by and helped us out.  Honestly if he had not helped us with an ice pick, I don’t know how we would have gotten in my car.  I will always be thankful for him (and made sure to thank him).  I’ll never forget his kindness as long as I live!

After dropping Danielle back in Jersey City,  finally got back down to South Jersey.  My car still had a bit of snow on it (not prohibiting my driving).  People were staring at my car yesterday.

Cliff notes: I had a great weekend and my friends are the greatest. 

Questions for you:

Do your closest friends live near or far?

What was the last act of kindness you did for someone? (or someone did for you?)

I know Danielle and I will always be grateful for the bus driver’s kindness.

Marathon Week 10: 64 Miles

This week was all about that base…bout that base…no tempo (How many parodies can you do of that song?).  After careful consideration, I decided not to race a 5k.  Laura, Heather! Brittany and I decided it was not worth it to drive through a storm for a 5k. My 20 dollar race entry went to a good cause…I have no regrets about not showing.
Training this week:

Monday: 10.7 miles easy
Tuesday: 10.7 miles easy in the blizzard that wasn’t
Wednesday: 10.75 miles easy
1.75 miles picking up my car finally
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 10.75 miles easy
Saturday: 10 miles on the treadmill easy chatting to Laura
Sunday: treadmill miles 10)
Total: 64 miles

As I said last week, my goal was to build more base.  It didn’t work out for me to have a long run this week since I was traveling.  After last weeks 21 miler on Friday, I needed to skip a longer run this week.  I have two 20 milers left before Phoenix.

I could have run one mile loops on this road...

I could have run one mile loops on this road…

My weekly runs were boring and safe.  I ran very similar routes for the entire week because of the ice factor in NJ.  We received a lot of snow and ice which made a lot of the roads/sidewalks not clear.  In order to stay safe, I picked routes that I knew were plowed.  While running the same route daily isn’t the most exciting run, I knew it was the safest (besides the treadmill)

Cliff notes version: This was a boring training week but I’m not injured.

Next week:

I’ll be traveling back to NJ and I also have a long run planned.  I might do a very small cross country 5k next weekend but it depends on my work schedule.

I’m keeping my update short this week because there wasn’t much going on.  Plus it’s Super Bowl and I’m traveling.  Enjoy your day!

Questions for you:

What was your most exciting workout this week?

Do you have any Super Bowl Plans?

Wedding Weekend

Last weekend (the weekend before Thanksgiving), we went down to VA to get some wedding planning done.  I feel like in 36 hours Tim and I accomplished a lot.  Not only accomplished but we had a great time.

Before we talk about my wedding can we please talk about Snooki’s wedding:

“She confirmed the news over Twitter, demonstrating excellent emoji use and sharing a photo”

snooki wedding

 

Source

 

I didn’t realize Snooki and I had so much in common but announcing she was “officially” married on twitter with emojis seems like my type of thing.


 

Anyways back to my adventures…We arrived back to VA around 11pm.  If you know me then you know I haven’t been up that late in a while.

On Saturday morning we met with our cake decorator at Starbucks.  She brought us a sample and it was delicious.  I knew within one bite she was exactly who I wanted to do our cake.  It was perfect.  I won’t spoil the cake but if you know me, you know I have a huge sweet tooth.  Cake is ranked in my top 5 most important aspects of my cake.

After a whirlwind morning, we went to lunch at my favorite local restaurant JoJacks.  I have mentioned it on the blog before (and if you have visited me in VA then you have probably gone).

In the afternoon, Tim and I headed to downtown Norfolk to pick up my race packet.  We ended up walking around Norfolk for a while and just enjoying the sights.

A photo of me in Norfolk

A photo of me in Norfolk

Then we were able to hang out with one of my best friends Theresa.  We ended up going to No Frill Bar and Grille in Norfolk.  If you are ever visiting down there, it’s certainly one of the hidden gems of the area.  It was nice to just catch up since we hadn’t seen each other since August.

Here we are post dinner

Here we are post dinner

After that we met with our florist another Starbucks.  I don’t know if this is normal but all of my wedding vendors have wanted to meet at local Starbucks.  I went to him and said “I have absolutely no idea what kind of flowers I want or need”.  Luckily after about an hour of chatting we were able to figure something out.  I was a little bit worried it would be more stressful to pick out flowers.  Something that I have enjoyed about wedding planning in general is that everyone is so friendly.  They don’t make me think I’m a total idiot.  (Thank you people in the wedding business). 

flowers meme

On Sunday I ran the half marathon and just relaxed and hung out with my parents before heading back to New Jersey.  I feel like I got more accomplished this weekend then the last month of wedding planning. I feel more confident with our wedding (it’s pretty obvious I’m way out of my element).  Soon I’ll post about my bridal party.

The next step in December is to get wedding invites picked out and to find someone to actually marry us (who knew that would be the hardest part)?  It seems silly (to me) to pay thousands for wedding invites that will only end up in the trash..but what do I know.

Other wedding posts:

Engaged

Wedding Fears

Wedding Update 1 (I have a planner)

Wedding Update 2

Wedding Dress Shopping

Questions for you:

Where did you get your wedding invites? 

If you have gotten married, what kind of flowers did you have?

36 Miles and Cake

I’ll be the first to say this week hasn’t been the best week training wise or nutritionally for me.  Not that I’m going crazy (for nutrition) but with traveling down to VA (wedding planning), cake testing and eating on the go I found myself feeling the effects of that.  I’ve actually eaten in restaurants more than at home this week.  We all have those weeks and there is no need to stress.

I got another deep tissue massage on Tuesday which ended everything I wanted to do regarding consistency.   Would I say I’m bummed?  Of course I’m bummed, my only goal was to stay consistent and I didn’t do that.  But I know I one week won’t make or break me so I’m moving forward.  I needed the deep tissue massage more than I needed to run on Tuesday (That’s obvious).

I’m planning on running (not racing at all) the Harbor Lights Half Marathon as my long run.  Since this will be my longest run if I feel any weird pains, aches or of that nature I will stop.  It’s also a stretch from my longest run last weekend.  My only goal is to have fun with my friends down here and enjoy it.  I didn’t come to Virginia to run this race but it happened to work out that way.

Monday: 5.85 miles
Tuesday: Off deep tissue massage
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: 7.25 miles
Friday: OFF
Saturday: 5.3
Sunday: Harbor Lights Half Marathon (1:44)
Total: 36 miles

 

As far as training goes, I have one less mile than last week (as well as one less running day).  My training was not where I wanted but I expected to have some no progress weeks.  I don’t consider it a failure by any means but it’s not a week that I say I made a lot of progress.

So in summary, this week was more of a “stand still week” versus “increase mileage” week.

Next week I plan to take a down or rest week.  I’m going to let my body rest, recover and absorb the mileage I’ve put in the last month.  After that I’ll get back to staying consistent with my mileage.

Question for you: Have you ever done a race as a long run?

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