{Friday Fab 5-Portland Edition}

Currently in the land of no wifi or cell service, this post comes to you having been written last Sunday en route to the beautiful and so-worth-no-technology Glacier National Park. Being without technology has its perks and really makes you reevaluate it’s influence in your life.

But, who am I kidding? I’ll be back to my tech dependency in a matter of hours upon returning to civilization I’m sure! Seriously, how did people live without the internet?

Last weekend we spent the weekend in Portland after I finished state number 15 by running the Foot Traffic Flat Marathon. We had lots of time to walk around and explore and eat AMAZING food. I’m not one to totally love and enjoy meals I eat, but Portland made me realize how you could. Probably a good thing since my waist band would be tighter and my pockets significantly emptier if we had those kinds of delicious eats where I live.

So what did we do and what are these great places to eat that I speak of? Here’s a look at our Saturday!
{#1-Voodoo Doughnuts}
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Voodoo has been mentioned on the Food Network and after tasting five of their flavors (Memphis Mafia, Miami Viceberry, Raspberry Romeo, Voodoo Doll and The Loop) it is easy to taste why. Their unique decor in pinks and purple (loved those colors my whole life) and their amazing flavor selection and taste make Voodoo a must stop if ever in Portland (or Denver.) We ate at the original and waited in line for 40 minutes. After we left the line was much longer so be prepared to be patient for your doughnuts. The wait is worth it though! No hexes needed!

{#2-Forest Park}

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After putting ourselves into a sugar-induced coma it was time to get moving! We headed to Forest Park where miles of trails awaited. We enjoyed the shade and scenery and were passes by many runners. Oh, how I’d love a place like this to run!

{#3-Grill Cheese Grill}

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After hiking we were hungry again. The Grill Cheese Grill was a food truck that I’d heard great things about online. Grilled cheese seems to be one of those childhood favorites that can be made more adult yummy by what you add to it. This place had awesome food. I had the jalapeño grilled cheese which had jalapeños (duh!), cream cheese and cheddar cheese. It was delicious as was their tomato soup. The husband ordered The Cheesus, which was a hamburger that had a grill cheese on the top and bottom to replace a bun with your standard fixings. We shared half our sandwiches with each other. I’m now inspired to get a lot more creative with this childhood favorite when we get home.

{#4-Salt & Straw}

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After walking around the Alberta neighborhood filled with unique and fun places to eat we worked up a hunger for a snack. When we saw Salt & Straw I knew I wanted to try it as I had read about it somewhere previously. They specialize in homemade ice cream using natural and organic local ingredients (ok, so who doesn’t in Portland, but…;). I had the strawberry with cilantro lime cheesecake and the husband had the summer cucumber and raspberry sorbet. Both were so yummy and refreshing. The best version of this iconic summer treat I’ve tasted.

{#5-The Red Tavern and Kell’s Irish Pub}

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After strolling our way through the Alberta neighborhood we headed to downtown Portland. Our visit included Pioneer Square, drinks at The Red Tavern and dinner at Kell’s Irish Pub. At The Red Tavern I had their signature drink made with vanilla vodka, black raspberries and citrus. It was perfect. After drinks we headed to dinner at a place the husband’s aunt recommended. Here I crossed two new beer flavors off my 30 beers bucket list, and we enjoyed yummy Irish fare and music. What a fun place!

If ever in the Portland area all of these places were awesome! Anyone have other Portland area food recommendation?

Happy Weekend!

Sarah

{Friday Fab 5-Go West: Part 1}

By the time you read this I will likely either be running my Fourth of July marathon or be done. Because we are on the road and pictures do a lot of talking, we are going wordless on the fab 5! Here are some trip highlights to fill you in. We live in a beautiful country. God bless America!

{#1-Badlands National Park}
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{#2-Grand Canyon of Yellowstone}

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{#3-Grand Prismatic Spring-Yellowstone}

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{#4-Hiking around Jenny Lake-Grand Tetons}

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{#5-Multnomah Falls}

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Any one else racing this 4th of July? Have a safe and fun weekend!

Sarah

{Friday Fab 5-Kansas City Edition}

This weeks edition is about fun things from Kansas City!
{#1-Views from the tower}

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While visiting the national World War I museum you can go in this tower and overlook the Kansas City area. Pretty!

{#2-Beer Kitchen}

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I had one of the most delicious and unique burgers here. The smokestack was a burger with smoked Gouda cheese, pickle relish, jalapeño straws, whiskey BBQ glaze, and chipotle aioli on a potato bun. Amazing!

{#3-Boulevard Brewing}

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Beer Kitchen specializes in unique, hard to find beers, but also carries some local beers like this yummy wheat! When a sign that says Buddy the Elf-what’s your favorite beer greets you at the bar, you know it’s a fun place.

{#4-Nelson-Atkins Art Museum}

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Unfortunately we only had a chance to walk around outside the museum enjoying the warm weather. Next time!

{#5-Cupcake Ala Mode}

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Here I had the best cupcake I’ve ever eaten! I had the Chocolatte and saved the Red Velvet for later. Ryan ate the Caramel Apple saving his Marshmallow Fondue for later. All were amazing, but now I’m craving cupcakes everyday! I suppose there are way worse problems I could have!

Happy Weekend!

{Friday Fab 5}

This week photos are all from my lovely trip to Utah to complete state number 13!

{#1-Hiking Ensign Peak in Salt Lake City}
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{#2-Views of Salt Lake City from the top of Ensign Peak}
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{#3-and views of the Wasatch Mountains from the top of Ensign Peak}
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{#4-Trying new beer in downtown Salt Lake City-Red Rock Brewery}
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{#5-Enjoying PSL for the first time this fall while hiking Sunday around Silver Lake/Twin Lakes}
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Happy Friday!

{End of Summer Thoughts}

Back to school. Back to school to prove to dad I’m not a fool. Well, sort of. Today ,Yesterday Two days ago was the first day of school and the return of the crazy life. Before things get too busy, as you can see in the prior crossed out words things have already started to get busy, I wanted to take a few moments to savor my many great summer moments and memories while also reflecting on my 2013 goals.

This summer I had the chance to run some great miles in great places before and even after hurting myself. In June I was ramping up my mileage in what I was planning to be a new PR attempt in September. I was putting in some great mileage weeks and even ran a few two a days. I met goal #2 on my 2013 list by running my fifth half marathon this year; this is the most I’ve completed in a year. In October I will look to add on to this goal at the Honky Tonk Half in Wisconsin Dells. June also brought the chance to run in several locations in Houston, TX while visiting my sister.
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The month of July began on the road with chances to run in more beautiful places (with more great people) like…
Mustang State Park-Padre Island,

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Ocean Drive Corpus Christi,

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And…
St. Louis, Missouri!

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I got to visit some great places (and people) in Texas such as…

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and

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and

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I, well really we, but you know whatever Ms. K. wants is what Ms. K gets, so I got to visit New Orleans…

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And Memphis.

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Then came the injury of the summer during what would have been my sixth half marathon this year, the Dances With Dirt Half Marathon. Little did I know it wouldn’t be a simple two or three weeks off. I’m still dealing with swelling after each longer run and when standing on my feet all day. The injury though was responsible for me doing something I hadn’t done in far too long-biking!

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August snuck in faster than I care to admit, but brought more chances to travel and run in fun places such as NYC! My long run walk route is detailed in the photos below.
Midtown Manhattan to…

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To Union Square Park,

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to Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment, to…

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Greenwich Village to…

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the Hudson River Trail to …
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Battery Park to…
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the Statue of Liberty to…
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Financial District to…
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the Brooklyn Bridge to…
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Brooklyn to…
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the Manhattan Bridge to…
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Manhattan to…
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Chinatown to…
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the Subway to…
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eat this yummy cupcake for a famished runner!
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Then of course there was the miles of walking to take in the sites like…
Grand Central Station,

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Times Square,

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Central Park,

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FAO Schwartz,

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And so much more!

I have a lot to be thankful for. Despite the ankle, this summer was awesome! When life gets stressful this school year I need to come back to this post to remind myself that life won’t always be like that. There will be a chance to catch my breath, run in great locations, and visit amazing cities again.

Until then I’m gearing up as best as I can for my marathon NEXT (insert major freak out sound) weekend. I’m so unprepared all I can do is laugh and hope I don’t fall down the canyon to an untimely death. Or maybe at that point it will be a welcomed break from the pain this race is going to ravage on me.

What summer memories will you cherish in the years to come?

{Friday Fab 5-NYC Edition}

Since I am writing from New York AND had my first real run in four weeks yesterday, you’re going to notice a theme today people! Cue Alicia Keys-In New York…All photos were from my running route yesterday morning. New York City is an amazing place to run!
{#1-First stop-Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment}
I could almost see Big coming down the street to pick her up!

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{#2-Onto the Hudson River Trail}
Breezy, city on one side and peaceful river on the other!

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{#3-Next Up-Battery Park and Statue of Liberty}
Look close; she’s in the distance!

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{#4-Headed to Brooklyn on the Brooklyn Bridge}

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{#5-Coming back to Manhattan via the Manhattan Bridge}

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That is pure elation all over my face at the fact that I was running again (literally in this photo). I was really running for the first time in four weeks. The location might have had something to do with it, too.

The rest of my run route details-to be continued…

Anyone else run somewhere awesome lately?

Happy Weekend!

{Friday Fab 5}

Since we are still on vacation and I’m getting to enjoy running in new places, this week’s fab 5 are all photos from runs this week!

{#1-Brazo Bend State Park}
Really we hiked here, but we could have ran. Instead we enjoyed the mostly shaded trails with my sister. The best parts: seeing armadillos, alligators, and the sunset!

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#2-Cullen Park}
If you live in the Houston area, then this park is a hidden gem! It connects to the nearby H Trail and is 5 miles (or 10 out and back) of nearly completely shaded trails (the earlier in the day the better). I was not expecting to find this kind of shade in Texas. Best Parts: The shade, and bathrooms and water fountains every couple of miles.

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{#3-Mustang Island State Park}
There is only a mile of paved path, but when you are at this beautiful beach you really should be running in the sand. We went barefoot for the last miles of our run and my feet loved the chance to be free from shoes. Best parts: You can’t beat an ocean breeze and the sound of waves hitting the shore on a morning run!

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{#4-Ocean Drive}
If you’ve been to Corpus Christi, then you’ve probably walked, biked, ran, or drove on Ocean Drive. There is a reason-it is beautiful. In the early morning hours you will also find quite a bit of shade! Best parts: running right by the water, palm trees everywhere, and the sunrises!

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{#5-My Running Partner}
The best part of being on vacation is having someone to run with. This someone is not just anyone, but rather my favorite person to travel and run with-my husband. Before vacation our schedules meant very little time to run together. Since vacation started we’ve run together every day I’ve had a training run. Having someone to encourage and sweat out those hot miles is so helpful. The extra support is awesome; thanks Ryan!

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Go exploring this weekend! Find a new route or place to run…or a running partner! If you are ever in Texas check out these routes!

Happy Weekend!