a little talk, a little tea, and some biscotti, please!

Welcome!

Sit down,

join me for some tea.

A little biscotti and some talk is all we need!

If we were talking over tea this morning I would share…

that I am training for a half marathon. This is will be my  10th half marathon (throw some confetti here) and I’ll be running it in the beautiful city of Pittsburgh (and do a happy dance here). I’m not new to the city of Pittsburgh because I ran a marathon there two years ago and I ran the half marathon there last year. I’m in week #3 of my training so my training plan is still very manageable. My long run this week is a six mile run and my total milage for this week is 16 miles. So far, I feel good about my training plan and I’m looking forward to the race in May.

If we were talking over tea this morning I would share…

that I have read six books from my #MustReadin2017 list. I’m currently reading Flying Lessons and Other Stories by Ellen Ho. It’s a great compilation of stories and it even has one written by my new all-time favorite author, Kwame Alexander. Yes, I’m obsessed with his books. I absolutely loved his newest release, The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life. I loved everything about that book – the quotes, the format, the illustrations, the text, and the fact that orange inside feels and looks like a basketball. (Only book nerds would understand this!) I also finished Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. Her book is shocking, spectacular, and thought-provoking. Yes, I sing Picoult’s praises too. Oh, and then there is Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk. Have you read it? Well, if you haven’t, you should. I would love to talk to you about that character Betty. There will be no spoilers here so just read Wolf Hollow, okay!?

If we were talking over tea this morning I would share…

that I am anxious for April to arrive. Maddie will be home and she will be turning the big two.one (21!). I don’t know how this happened, but it’s true. When she was home over Christmas she insisted that I learn how to use Snapchat. We’ve been snapping back and forth and having fun with it. Yes, she keeps me young. But most of all I’d like to share how proud I am of her. She’s in her Junior year of nursing school and texted us last week that she was accepted into Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honors Society. She was excited and so are we!

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So that’s a wrap for this runner, reader, and rockin’ mom.

Your turn!

What would you like to talk about over some tea and, of course, biscotti?

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SOL

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The Best of…

I love the city of Pittsburgh. I had never been there until we went college shopping. Now Maddie happens to go to school there, so I get to visit more frequently.  Quite simply, we have the best of times in Pittsburgh and this past weekend was no exception.

the best city for shopping:
We kicked off our visit with a quick stop at the Pittsburgh Marathon Expo. SO.MUCH.RUNNING.GEAR! Matt bought a new pair of sneakers and a running shirt. Then it was off to Shady Side on Walnut St. Maddie had birthday money so we stopped at Pandora and then went to Lululemon to buy her some running shorts for our 1/2 marathon the next day. We topped it off our trip with some delicious gelato from Mercurio’s.

the best city for dining out:
Saturday evening we had a delightful dinner at LeMont. The atmosphere and the service were excellent. And the view! It was spectacular.  Matt ordered a crab cake, Maddie a fillet, and I had sea scallops.  Dessert was on the house since we were celebrating Maddie’s birthday so she couldn’t resist the chocolate mousse cake.

the best city for running a race:
Sunday was race day! You know we are a family of runners.  Isn’t there a saying that says the family that runs together stays together? Well, maybe I made that saying up! Anyway, this was our second year of racing in Pittsburgh. Last year Matt and I ran the marathon and and Maddie ran the half-marathon. For as hilly as Pittsburgh is, the course is surprising kind and somewhat non-hilly!  This year Maddie and I tackled the half-marathon. The weather was so temperamental on race day and it really played with my mental aspect of racing. We weren’t sure if it was going to rain, thunderstorm, have cold temperatures, or even be a warm day.  One thing we were pretty sure…the sun wasn’t going to shine…and it didn’t. It ended up being warm and drizzly. So much so, that I was actually overdressed for the race.

the best city for site-seeing:
After the race Matt and I headed to Mt. Washington to get a view of the city.  It was magnificent! We could see the finish line of the race at The Point, Duquesne University, and the whole way down to the Cathedral of Learning at the University of Pittsburgh. Look at those skies though! Now you can see why the weather had me worked up and in a tizzy for the race.  Believe it or not, it only actually drizzled on and off. I can only imagine what our view could have been if the skies were clear and sunny.

the best city for casual dining:
We love to visit South Side Works for casual dining. Matt’s a fan of the Hofbrauhaus House. Me, not so much. But I did enjoy some post-race carb loading (if there is such a thing) and ordered the Hofbrauhaus pretzels and bier cheese for an appetizer. Lunch was a chicken salad sandwich on a croissant-nothing German about that! Matt had the Wurstplatte. Basically it was a sampling of Wursts. He was happy!
So today I’m celebrating the best of Pittsburgh, the time we have spent there, and the memories we have created.
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 Join in each Saturday for Celebrate This Week with Ruth Ayres.
It’s a time to celebrate the joy!
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the best ever!

Absolutely, positively, hands down, bar none! If you have had the opportunity to run in any of the Nike Women’s Half Marathon series races, I bet you know what I’m about to share. Yes, the best finisher’s medal necklace EVER! Compliments of Tiffany & Co.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I paid for that finisher’s necklace in a round about way, but it’s the only medal necklace I ever wear. Nike was pretty smart, I thought, when they paired with Tiffany & Co.  What girl doesn’t want a piece of Tiffany jewelry that showcases her favorite sport and passion, running! Drum roll, please!

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We Run DC 2013 & 2014

And then there was the Nike Expo.  My BFF & BRF, Holly, ran Nike with me in 2013 & 2014 and when we were at the expo we were like, TAKE.MY.MONEY.NOW! I mean who can’t resist a pair of these awesome sneakers. Not me 🙂

Honestly I’ve run my share of 5k’s, 1/2 marathons, and marathons, but nothing compares to the Nike races I was fortunate enough to run in Washington D.C. You can read the race recap here.

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While I’m on the topic of extremely impressive race swag, I can’t help but to mention the Baltimore Running Festival.  Their UnderArmour race shirts are the best and they never, ever disappoint!  I have several half marathon shirts and a 5k shirt.  I just need the marathon shirt to round out my collection. I may, just may, earn that shirt this fall but I’m truly on the fence.  I would love to run Baltimore again in the fall because when I ran the half-marathon last fall, I came home with this:

Yes, I’m a sucker for commemorative race jewelry and chances are if Pandora is going to show up in Baltimore, I’ll be there too in some fashion.  In the meantime, I’m headed to the beautiful city of Pittsburgh on Sunday to run the 1/2 marathon.  Who knows what I’ll bring home from there, but I’ll be sure to keep you posted!

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Yes, We Did!

Originally posted on Live, Laugh, Love, Repeat.

Live, Laugh, Love, Repeat!

Time certainly is going by quickly!  In fact, I didn’t even have a post for the month of May. 😦  So, what were we busy doing in May?  Running races, of course!  Running and fitness has become part of our daily routine.  You know what they say, the family that runs together, stays together…I’m sure you heard that saying!

Matt & I ran two marathons (yes, we did!) and Maddie crushed a 1/2 marathon and established a new personal record (yes, she did!).

Our first race was in the beautiful city of Pittsburgh.  After the long and cold, cold, winter weather we seriously couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather on race day. While I loathe the training for a marathon, Pittsburgh will definitely be a repeat race, whether it’s a full marathon or a half marathon.

Here’s a breakdown of the stats for each of us:

Maddie's Stats Maddie’s Stats

Amy's Stats Amy’s…

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Sunday Runday

I am at the pinnacle of marathon training (week #10) and today’s run gives a whole new meaning to the word exhaustion

{why, why would I want to run a marathon?}

You see, the long run on the training plan for week #10 was 17 miles.  I spent yesterday trying to wrap my mind around those 17 miles and, well, I told myself that I would run 15 and be happy with that.  Basically, because I bonked on my last long run that was outside!  (You can read about it here.) I am happy to report that I did not have a repeat of that outside run from several weeks ago.

{do a happy dance!}

First off, the weather was ab·so·lute·ly beautiful!  It was like a runner’s gift compared to the weather just two days ago.

Snowday!

Snowday!

Runday

Runday!

And then, I was fortunate enough to break my run up into three smaller runs.  I ran the first 7 miles on my own.  Then, for the second segment I ran 6 miles with my soul(run)mate and my BRF-best running friend. And finally I wrapped up the last 4 miles with my soul(run)mate. Running buddies are the best!

{BAM! Just like that 17 miles were history!}

Those stats!

Those stats!

That weather!

That weather!

Finally, time to relax and recover.  A post-run snack and a spa treatment for those feet.

protein, sugar, and salt

protein, sugar, and salt

LAX ball massage and some essential oil

LAX ball massage and some essential oil

{Gotta keep those feet happy!}

So now that week #10 is history I have an entire week to wrap my mind around the long run for week #11.  And, in order to do that I’ll leave you with a little saying that is going to help me prepare.

What the mind can conceive, the body will achieve.

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Slice of Life

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