One Month

I am focusing a little less on marathon training/fueling right now because

  1. I am dealing with some IT Band pain (PT is scheduled for Friday and I have been biking lately...my butt is so sore).
  2. I have been eating and drinking my way through Burlington to savor every last bit of it!

So the focus in my life is on friends and fun. Less about food and training.

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I finally made it back to Burlington on Wednesday after so so so much travel. And while I love the chance to see friends, my twin, and her BF it's exhausting. I was so ready for my bed. And to cook food (not that I have cooked once since getting back...)

Thursday: Restaurant week plans!!!! After trying for 17 miles and making it 5 before my leg locked and I limped home, I was ready for some friend time. I have not seen Maia and Joey in so long and was looking forward to this all week. Not to mention the weather was GORGEOUS so we walked to dinner!! We went to Our House Bistro for their restaurant deal. It was a ton of food and I practically dragged my butt up the hill after dinner.

We started with some rose because the weather was fantastic (not that that's the only time you can drink rose...YOLO).

For appetizers Maia and I each got the pulled pork poutine and Joe got the spinach and artichoke dip. For the entree Joe got the lamb burger and Maia and I went with the mac and cheese flights. It featured buffalo chicken, caprese, and a sweet and salty one (like maple with beef and fried jalapenos...).

(devoured...because who likes leftover poutine??!)

Dessert was deep fried PBJ...I couldn't resist. I love peanut butter.

Friday: The next day I woke up early to bike before work. It felt nice to be at work on a weekday, but boy are 10:30-7 shifts tough for this morning person. Luckily (for me) Nolan texted me that his restaurant week plans fell through and since I love food I offered up my company. Yes, I will invite myself on people's dinner plans...it's all about the experience people. Restaurant week is one of the most exciting weeks for me! We ended up going to The Gryphon. It was dark inside and I was too chatty to remember to take a picture. But I do remember what I had because it was so tasty:

  • Cocktail: Summer Gimlet made with muddled cucumber and basil.
  • Rabbit...it had another word in the name, but basically it was rabbit with some toasted bread and a small salad with endive and arugula.
  • Filet with amazing mashed potatoes and green beans. This was cooked so well and the potatoes were out of this world (like Nolan said, probably cooked with lots of butter and cream...yes, but so good).
  • Hazelnut ice cream.

We were so impressed with the food. I offered some of my filet to Nolan...completely forgetting that the only food he does not eat is beef. Good one, Megan. Left feeling so satisfied and not too stuffed. WIN!

After dinner we walked down Church Street a bit before ending up at Foam on the waterfront. And what do you know, but it was their first anniversary party so it was PACKED. There was live music too! I wish I ordered their coconut beer, but I was not in a sweet mood after ice cream. Of course I ordered the highest alcohol beer...oops.

Saturday: Staying out a bit late the night before and a 5am wake up call meant for a tired day. But I made it through work and then even had the energy to bike for 2 hours at the gym. I watched Greys Anatomy and then Gilmore Girls to pass the time.

Driving home I was hit with intense sadness that I ended up crying before I even pulled into the driveway. I felt so happy that I got to spend Thursday with Maia and Joe. And I was so happy I got to catch up with Nolan on Friday. It's easy friendships like these that make me sad because they're hard to find and I'm moving away. It's not every day that you meet someone with whom you share so many interests with that it's almost scary. It's not everyday you meet someone who makes you laugh with every word they say. And it's definitely not every day that you meet someone who is there for you through the good, the bad, and the ugly and is always honest with you even if it's tough love you need. Burlington is home because of the friends I have made.

Lucky for me, Maia is always there for me and invited me out. It was just what I needed to be out and having fun with these three. I am so glad I went even if it meant another night of staying up too late before an early alarm. We went to the outdoor bar at Juniper and had a cocktail. My first cocktail made with egg white because I was told it's an experience I must have. Check.

Then we went to Church and Main because they were closing for good and it's on my restaurant bucket list. I went with the bartender's choice and after telling him I like gin and wanted something refreshing, he made me...a CUCUMBER GIMLET! Seriously people, get ready for the summer of the gimlet. I've already recruited Nolan to teach me how to make it. So good. SO refreshing.

At the end of the night I ran home and straight into bed.

Sunday: I woke up with the birds (seriously, if they could sleep a little bit later that would be great). Work was a bit of a struggle but I kept it to one cup of coffee surprisingly. After work I dragged my butt to the gym to bike for 30 minutes. I have been biking the amount of time that it takes me to run my planned miles. I have also been stretching and doing some strength. I need to remember to ice though...shoot.

After that was Colleen's birthday at Paint and Sip!!! What an amazing idea for a birthday celebration. I loved the painting and it was so relaxed and we had a big group of friends. I painted sober and had a much steadier hand :) Alex and I were singing to the 90s music that was playing the whole time. Love me some Brittney Spears and N'Sync. Greatest playlist ever. I think we did a pretty stellar job. The second tree from the right looks a bit medussa-esque.

I ended the night talking to my parents who said I am doing a great job and can't believe I am almost done with school! It's so surreal. Scary. And Surreal. I ended the night with some music and a Cadbury chocolate that my parents sent me from London (Double Decker!).

Feeling so lucky after the past few days.

The Golden Weekend

I was once told that in the healthcare industry having the entire weekend off is called a Golden Weekend. This weekend has only just begun but I can already tell you that I love weekends off, although I do spend a lot more. I have been looking forward to this weekend for a few weeks now, ever since I found out about Boyden Valley's Maple Fest. It was like Christmas this morning because I was so excited. I got dressed to go for a quick run and walked outside and came right back in...nope not a good morning to run outside. There is a thick layer of slush on the ground which had become pretty icy too.

Molly and I met up around 11:30am and started the drive to Cambridge. Once we got to the winery all of the great memories came flooding back. We ran into Colleen right when we got there! I love running into people I know at great events that support locally owned businesses. Molly and I started our day with some BBQ from the Smokin' Butts BBQ food truck.  I got the pulled pork sandwich and added some maple and spicy maple BBQ sauce. It was so delicious! It also came with a coupon for 1/2 off a cider of your choice. Molly and I both went with the honey cider. I tried the bourbon barrel aged cider last year and loved that one as well.

After sitting down for lunch in the upstairs dining "hall" with its beautiful wooden beams, we headed over to the free maple tasting. We tried the maple creme liquor, the apple creme liquor, the maple reserve wine, a maple dessert wine, and their bourbon barrel aged maple syrup. I loved their maple syrup. It's so so so flavorful and a great thick consistency.

Next up we did the cocktail tasting. We had the pleasure of trying four different cocktails. A maple martini, a manhattan, a moscow mule, and a coffee flavored cocktail. The moscow mule was my absolute favorite. I love anything with ginger.

We then split a wine tasting. Molly tried quite a few that she had been wanting to try and I tasted the blueberry again (I love blueberries), a black currant dessert wine, and a black currant based cider. The wine tasting came with a maple cupcake which Molly and I split. It was so rich in maple flavor, which was fantastic. We then ate some pretzels that I had brought rather than buying some sides from the BBQ food truck (i.e. maple carrots and cornbread).

Once we got home I headed to the gym to run 5 miles while watching Grey's Anatomy. Mentally this was challenging, but my legs felt great. I ended the night watching The Finest Hours which was filmed in the town next to mine and was so fun to recognize places!

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Sunday I woke up at the ripe hour of 5:45 to fuel for my long run with Rebecca. Two slices of PB&J toast later and I was on the road for my run! It was a gorgeous morning and although it started out cold, there was no wind and lots of sunshine! I love these runs with Rebecca! I had negative splits almost the whole time too so that made me happy (stay tuned for a recap).

17 miles later and I ended at Switchback where I quickly ate a banana, chugged some chocolate milk and changed into yoga clothes. The brewery was a very chilly (although I was also sweaty), but the yoga class was great! It's exciting when you find an instructor who you really like and would love to continue to go back to. Marta (my neighbor) and I loved the class. At the end we enjoyed a flight of Switchback beers and I tried their new smokey beer which was great in addition to their IPA, brown ale and another ale. I decided to try the three seasonal beers because they aren't always there and the IPA I just really enjoy.

By then Marta and I were getting hungry so we went home to change before walking downtown. We tried Penny Cluse because breakfast food is always a good idea, but there was a long wait so we ended up at American Flatbread. I ordered a Conehead to start and Marta got a Bloody Mary. For our pizza we did half of the maple fennel sausage (hello, it's maple weekend) and half eggs benedict. Let me just tell you that their brunch breads are amazing. It was great to finally have time to hang out and catch up with Marta.

A few full days left me ready for a nap and I happily obliged. Now it's time for me to snuggle up and do some homework before going to bed (probably around 8:30pm...)

I also need to find some recipes that include maple syrup. Let me know if you know of any!

WIAW - Snacking and Homework

I woke up at 6am to eat some breakfast before running. I just wasn't feeling like running after eating just a banana. I needed more energy (aka I really just wanted to eat breakfast). So I had two pieces of Great Harvest toast (I bought Goldrush this time around, but I usually get Honey Whole Wheat). I had both slices with peanut butter and jelly (and chia seeds!). One I put the jelly on first and one I put the peanut butter on first. My experiment revealed that I like pb&j toast better when the peanut butter goes on first. The ratio of peanut butter to jelly needs to be at least 2:1.

I met Rebecca at 7:15am for a 4 mile run. It was so windy that while I was waiting for her my car was shaking...not feeling the wind these days. At least it wasn't freezing...yet.

I came home and showered, cleaned my bathroom and made another cup of coffee. I drank my coffee while doing some homework and eventually ate a clementine before heading over to Molly's to work on our research project.

Molly and I split a chocolate chip and walnut pancake (homemade by her roommate) while working. I didn't take a picture because I was starving and legitimately wolfed it down. I love pancakes...and these were so fluffy and delicious.

Once Christine arrived and brought the majority of our snacks with her (you're the best, Christine) we made a smorgasbord of foods for lunch. We had cheese and crackers (thankful I can keep cheese in my diet), chips and guacamole, apple slices (literally the best apple), carrots, artichoke dip (leftover from our book club), and scones. Molly bought berry scone mix from Trader Joes that we topped with a wee bit of butter. Yum!

Tea was had shortly after and nearly put us all to sleep! I brought some of my David's Tea purchase to share with the girls because I went a bit overboard yesterday. The sale teas were 50% off and I couldn't resist. I got a small bag of Snow Day and a big bag of Nutty and Spice. I also ate a few more crackers and cheese because I can't resist...

After a very productive and comfortable afternoon with two of my best friends I ran a few errands before going home.

I then spent so much time building my portfolio and printing some things for a scrapbook I'm making. It's officially done!!! I love having scrapbooks to look back on. The last one I made was for my study abroad experience in Spain.

I ate the last of my chili with some avocado slices on top for dinner. It was a later dinner because I was so full from lunch! I also ate it so mindlessly that I forgot to take a picture...I'm terrible at this.

Currently sitting down to do a little more homework while drinking some ginger turmeric tea from Trader Joe's and watching Gilmore Girls.

Look what came this evening...so excited for my tempo run in these babies tomorrow!

They're just so pretty!

Mental Challenges of Running

Running is so mental for me. I have had some great runs lately and yet sometimes it is so hard for me to just put on running clothes and get out the door. Last night, for example. I had four miles planned. Why was it so challenging to run just four miles when Julie managed to run a marathon that morning in 3:20! She is a beast and I admire her. There is nobody who looks up to Julie more than I do. Just try me. I've basically tried to be her since I was little. Why do you think I took an Econ class in college? Anyways, when running is more mental than physical I've realized it's important to plan ahead. And yesterday I didn't.

  • I didn't pack gym clothes. Usually I can force myself to run after work by changing before I leave and driving straight to the gym.
  • I didn't have a running buddy. Running with someone else makes me look forward to a run so much more.
  • It was cold. I was cold all day at work and the wind chill last night was 10 degrees. Sure it was better than the -20 the day before but still...that's cold.
  • It was dark. I like running in the sun because it energizes me.

Four miles felt impossible to me. After work I went to Trader Joes because I needed chia seeds and peanut butter (hello staple foods!). I also ended up buying an acorn squash (random), brussels sprouts (why is there an "s" on the end of brussels), and a box of wine (it was a better deal than a bottle...and I am my mother's daughter). I convinced myself that I could have the wine only if I ran at least part of my run. I decided 2 miles felt feasible. Three miles did not. And thank goodness I only did two because my phone died (either from the cold or the battery) and I thought I had frostbite for the entire run. As Julie puts it "every little bit counts" and after her killer race I knew I had to give it a try.

This view made the cold and the immense effort totally worth it.

One of the reasons that I love running with other people is the motivation to get out the door and the motivation to keep going. I, personally, don't want to let the other person down who may be counting on me for their run or their workout. I also thrive on interpersonal interactions and look forward to any time I can spend with friends. I also am such a chatterbox while running, but it's a great opportunity to get to know a new friend or discuss deep, personal issues with your best friends. It can be a great distraction.

When I really don't want to run I need external help from a friend. I find that I am "in my head" too much and going for a run alone and even listening to music or a podcast is not enough of a distraction from my thoughts or my to-do list. This is why I have found running in the morning to be beneficial for me since I can get the run in before the stress of the day begins or the to-do list lengthens. To each his own though! The strategies that work for me to overcome the mental battle of running may not work for you. Just like most strategies in life, this is individualized. Try a few different things and see what works.

And on days when you are sick or really in need of a mental health day, take it. Do not force your body to do something that it doesn't want to do. Respect your body and all that it does for you. Your body is pretty amazing and accomplishes a lot on a day to day basis. Missing one workout will not make you a failure. Exercise because it feels good and you enjoy the movement. Find what you enjoy to do for movement and do that when your body wants to and it feels right.