A while back I set what seemed like a lofty goal. Scratch thatwhile I was running the Akron Marathon Relay last year I made a promise to myself that I would run the Akron Half Marathon this year. That’s right. I decided in the middle of my first major race that I would run the same race the following year — but in doing so I would complete my first ever half marathon.

I knew then and there that the energy and excitement I felt during the relay race would be enough to push me through a half marathon. Plus, seeing the hundreds of other men and women pumped up for 13.1 miles was inspiring. If ALL of these people could commit to finishing 13.1 miles, what could possibly be holding me back from doing the same thing!?

Well now I’m on week SIX of my training plan — I’m halfway there!! And over halfway there in distance!

Here’s how I’ve been working in my training runs:

3 mornings a week I get up early and head to the towpath trail to fit in 3 or 4 miles (usually 4 miles, 3 miles and then 4 miles another day). The other days I do my best to fit in some sort of strength training (which for me has been HIIT workouts via Turbo Fire – they are quick and intense!). Additionally – LOTS of stretching; even on days that I’m not running. And on Sundays I gear up for my ‘long run,’ which I’ve been trying to do with a group or partner (it makes the time pass by much more quickly and the miles not seem as long).

This past weekend I planned on using my long run day (Sunday) to run 7-miles. I started with a group of women from Cleveland MRTT. They were planning on running 9 miles at a 10-minute mile pace. But instead of turning around at 3.5 miles, I kept on.

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… but I ended up running 8-miles instead. I just felt so awesome that I didn’t even need to stop!


The best part? I finished with a 9 minute, 13 second per mile pace!! It was incredibly consistent for my longest run to date! And I set a couple of PR’s! Woo hoo!


And yes, I’ve been taking post-run selfies every time I run. No, not because I’m super vain, but because I want to document my progress and how I’m feeling via pictures while I go through this process.


Sidenote: I am growing my hair back out and I am HATING the length. So right now I do what I can with it. Which isn’t much. Ugh. Oh well.

Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be fitting in a couple more long training runs, including the Perfect 10 Miler! I hadn’t planned on running a 10-mile race before the half marathon; but after talking to some of the MRTT ladies, my plan is to run it as a training run versus a race. That way I get some race-day jitters out of the way, plus knock out 10 miles I’ll need to do anyways!

Hopefully over the course of the next couple of months, the half marathon race course will start to look a bit less intimidating…


And I’ve yet to set a timed goal for the race. Right now my only goal is to finish. Any suggestions for goal times??

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weekly mantra //

July 28, 2014 in mantra


Cause sometimes you need to be reminded.



Ya know what’s fun about having a long weekend?? Everything! I’ve been off from work since Thursday. And it has been marvelous!! Well, up until the point where I went back to work this morning.

Our long weekend can be summed up in a few words — zoo, family, running, and fun. For serious.


First day of staycation and I woke up super early to fit in a nice run. The idea of waking up early and potentially being tired completely outweighed the idea of running while pushing a 20-lb toddler in a stroller. True story.


It was seriously the most beautiful day. I savored the run and the few minutes in the car on the way home! Windows down and music turned up!

We had a family fun day planned. Which really meant we were all home together and had absolutely nothing planned other than that we were going to spend it together.


But we quickly decided to take full advantage of the awesome weather (70 degrees) and head to the zoo! And as it turns out, all of Akron decided it was a beautiful day for the zoo. For serious.


It was packed in a way that I’ve never seen before. But it didn’t matter. We go to the zoo all of the time; so we were really just there to see what we could see. No expectations.


We ended up seeing the garden section. Truthfully – we didn’t even know it existed. Oops. Other than the gardens, the only other notable thing we saw was the carousel. Obvy. This kid loves the damn carousel.

That night Moosh & I went to the Akron Art Museum. Chad had plans so Moosh and I went early to walk around the exhibits before the band started for Downtown at Dusk. Once the band started, Moosh and I relaxed on the grass and had some snacks. I wish I would’ve gotten some video of him dancing cause the dude was a wiggling machine!!




We needed to go back in the museum for a while (aka – Moosh started to lose it for a bit) where he decided to lay on the floor in front of the police officer. Tell me that being weird is completely normal for a toddler??


Ha! This kid… cracks me up. I just sat there and let him.


Moosh slept in like crazy (no surprise). When he finally woke up we went to the farmers market at Lock 3 in Akron. I have to say, we were severely disappointed with the turnout. There were several purse vendors and like one stand that had actual fruits and vegetables. Regardless, Moosh had fun running around the open space at Lock 3.


After our adventure to the market, our sitter came over to watch Moosh so Chad & I could go on a day date to P.F. Changs. I took a gazillion pictures of food, but somehow I didn’t take a picture of the two of us. WTF? Ha. Post-day date, we went to Earth Fare. Cause that’s what old married couples do. They go grocery shopping on dates. True story.

The rest of our night was spent watching movies on the couch. It was wonderful and relaxing!


Mimi & Poppy were in town from Kentucky, but Pops was exhausted from the drive up from the night before. And so was Chad from a rough night of allergies. So Mimi, Moosh & I went to the zoo. Again. Seriously. It was rainy and cold, but we ended up doing the indoor exhibits (and the carousel, duh).



The biggest part of our Saturday was a surprise party for my sister. She was in town from Columbus finishing her last weekend of graduate school at Case Western Reserve University, and her fiance put together all of our families (his and ours) for a surprise party to celebrate.

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She had no idea. (Yay!)

We were at the party for what felt like forever; but truthfully it wasn’t forever. We were just exhausted.


I woke up early to fit a 6.2 mile run in. It felt awesome! Post-run we went to the zoo. AGAIN. This time me, Moosh, Chad & Mimi + Poppy went. And guess what we saw? The carousel and the gardens. Obvy.


sun2Post-zoo we switched it up. Sure, we probably should’ve raced home to get Moosh a nap (he was starting to lose it); but we took our chances and went to get some lunch at The Game Grill. It was our second experience with this restaurant, and sadly, our first was much better. This time the food just didn’t seem as good. But I’d be willing to give it one last shot.



I was on a post-run high from Sunday come Monday morning. And although Monday is scheduled to be my rest day, I decided to take full advantage of staycation + beautiful weather and fit in another run. I set these expectations for myself: run as far as you want for as long as you want. That’s it. Since it wasn’t a scheduled training run, I had low expectations of myself.

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But. I. KILLED it. I ran 4.0 miles in 35 minutes. Sure, I’m not a super fast runner; but that’s way better than the 10-minute miles I used to do! And I sustained my pace for the full 4-miles! I felt awesome.

Plus I was home in time to take a shower and get ready for the day before Moosh even woke up! Super score!


When he finally did wake up we met up with my aunt (Ari’s “Grandma D,” as we refer to her) to go to the Great Lakes Science Center.


Moosh had a blast exploring and playing. And I had fun scrubbing his entire body with anti-bacterial. Cause kids are dirty, y’all! Ha!



He even caught his first IMAX movie! Well, really his first movie theater movie! This mama was skeptical — and so was the Moosh, actually. He finally relaxed enough to lay back on me and just look up at the screen. It was totally cute.


After the science center there were naps all around. But first, he took a selfie!



Another run in the books (man, I am on a ROLL!). And we went to the pool for most of the day. And no pictures!! A huge win.

And today

I can’t believe I thought I was going to get a ton of blogging done and a few household projects completed. I must’ve been kidding myself. Because none of that happened. NONE. In fact, hardly any housework got done; the blog was neglected; and projects were left untouched. But that’s OK with me. There will always be “stuff” to do. But I’ll never get this time with Moosh, the mister and our family again!




weekly mantra //

July 21, 2014

Because YES. 

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PF Changs Perfect Pairings // Review

July 20, 2014

Date nights are super hard to come by these days (no surprise, I’m sure). And whenever Chad & I can get away we tend to hit up an early dinner (or happy hour) so that we can be home early in time for Moosh to be put to bed. The other day we had our […]

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Making Movie Nights Better With The Perfect Pop // Review

July 18, 2014

Before Moosh came along, we went to the movies at least once a week. And every. single. time. we would order popcorn. We weren’t (and still aren’t) the type of people to go out to bars and clubs. Nope. Instead we went to the movies and snacked on popcorn. But things changed once Moosh was […]

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weekend wrap up // July 10th thru 13th

July 17, 2014

GUYS!! This weekend was amazeballs. Seriously. Thursday – After work I met up with some friends at the Nauti Vine Winery for my friend Cristin’s birthday celebration. Cristin and I nearly accidentally stumbled upon this winery a month or so back during a girls night out. The location is beautiful — it’s located on Portage […]

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weekend wrap up // 4th of July edition !

July 15, 2014

I swear we are still recovering from our Fourth of July weekend. I know, I know… it was over a week ago. But we packed a LOT into a little bit of time. Thursday night, after work, Moosh & I went on a mini-date… just the two of us! We went to the Akron Art […]

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weekly mantra //

July 14, 2014

Friends, it’s been hard not to ride this weekend high into Monday morning! I’ve been trying to wrap my head around all the fun & craziness that’s been happening over the last couple of weeks, but everytime I sit down to put it into words…. I just can’t. Not yet, at least. Don’t get me […]

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Summer Lovin’ // July 12th

July 12, 2014

Winter in the Midwest seems to last FOR.EV.ER. Come Spring (which lasts for two days) and summer, it seems like all of us Ohioans try and cram as much into these short few months as possible. And the events are a-plenty, my friends! Just looking at my social calendar for the next several months has […]

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