TGIFriday Faves.

Hello happy people! Oh Friday, I am so excited to see you again. Yes, I am dancing at my desk as we speak. A hard week of work deserves a celebration, if I do say so myself.

Let’s get to a few of my favorite things from this week!

Gym stereotypes? Oh yeah, I’ve met a few of these.

5 things that surprise your non running friends. Yep, I have been guilty of number 3. And maybe 5.

-Petite grapes. I tell you what…I am loving these. Nice little sweet treat. Talk about nature’s candy.

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This post from Wit and Delight. Real talk.

-The zucchini noodles are back! Gosh I love me some ZOODLES. I’m definitely looking to try this recipe next.

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21 cool gadgets that every runner could use. NEED number 12 yesterday. And 21.

That’s all for this week! See you on the other side of this 20 miler scheduled for tomorrow! Hashtag marathon training.

What are you up to this weekend? Does anyone have any long runs planned?

One of My Favorite 26.2s and Fall Races Coming Up.

7 miles this morning sporting my throwback Thursday shirt from the Marine Corps Marathon! This is without a doubt one of my favorite 26.2’s. I’ve been back three times already for that race alone (out of 14) so that should tell you something.

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Since fall is fast approaching here are just a few races that I have on tap! There are lots more medals to add to the rack and maybe some more PRs to break. Yeah, working on that. I’ve thrown in a few shorter speedier races for good measure. I’ve really enjoyed racing though lately so I’ve decided to get something on the calendar for the rest of the year at least once a month to keep the momentum going. Call it a mini racing streak! And of course a few of these will just be a run for fun. Haha…yeah I do run 26.2 miles just for the heck of it. I like the joyride.

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Here’s what we’ve got on tap!

September-
The Color Half Marathon- Cedar Hill, Texas
Yes I have done a color run that was a 5k awhile ago but I figured this one would be even more fun! 13.1 miles of color…& yes it is timed…things should get a little crazy. It should be some nice scenery out in Cedar Hill too and I’ve never run out there so I am looking forward to that.

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October-
Tyler Rose Marathon- Tyler, Texas
This is the race I’ve been training for most of the summer so I am hoping things go well but I hear it is crazy hilly. Good thing I’ve been doing a lot of my longer runs on some hilly routes so we should be in good shape to rock it out. The medal does look pretty cool.

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Monster Dash Half Marathon- Fort Worth, Texas
Yep…it’s on Halloween. Ahh!! Time to find a costume. I think I still have this flapper girl one.

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November-
Rock n Roll Marathon- Las Vegas, Nevada
This race starts in the late afternoon so I’m not sure how I’ll do as far as a target time goes…I’m just going out there to have fun! A few of my running buds will be running the half and it was the same price as the full so I just figured what the heck. I’d rather get more miles in for that extra glass of vino! I’m just saying.

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I always have fun traveling to do races with this gal though. Vegas here we come! She is my true blue racing buddy.

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Pumpkin Spice 15k- Fort Worth, Texas
Back to the DFW for a little speedy running fun! The 15k is one of my favorite distances so I’m hoping I’ll have it in me to pick up the pace a bit especially if we get lucky with some cooler weather.

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Runners…what fall races do you have on your calendar?

Weds Spin Playlist.

8 miles of fun this morning! It was a good run and I managed to get some speedy strides in. I think temps are trying to cool off a bit so I am happy about that. I would love another cold front or even just a quick breeze right about now though. Just saying. Hey…us Texas runners take every little bit we can get.

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I’m teaching some spin classes this week along with strength so here’s what we’ve got on tap! Lots of hills, sprints and tunes to keep you movin and groovin.

Let’s go for a ride!

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Come on to Me- Major Lazer feat Sean Paul: Warm up
Partition (Dave Aude Remix)- Beyonce: Standing run
Tom Ford- Jay-Z: Jumps
The Anthem- Pitbull feat Lil Jon: Climb 5/6/7
The Motto- Drake: Accelerations
It Takes Two- Rob Base: Rolling hills
Intoxicated- Martin Solveig & GTA: Tapbacks
Fine China- Chris Brown: Seated/standing run
Rollup- Flosstradamus: Sprints
Beautiful Now- Zedd: Recover 2 mins/Climb 6/7/8
Watch Me Whip- Silento: Jumps on a hill
Hot- Bobby Shmurda: Climb 7/8/9/10
My Way- Fetty Wap: Reverse climb
Turn up the Speakers- Afrojack & Martin Garrix: Sprints 30 x 4
The Hills- The Weeknd: Rolling hills
Cheyenne- Jason Derulo: Jumps/Sprint to the finish
Omen- Disclosure feat Sam Smith: Cool down

What new songs are on your workout playlist this week?

Hometown Spotlight: Bishop Arts District.

I’m taking a break from my regularly scheduled run talk (although yes, I did run today…nice 7 miles with plenty of cloud cover!) to chat about one of my favorite neighborhoods to kick back and relax in my hometown! That would be the Bishop Arts District. Want to shop, have a fun creative cocktail and get down on some brunch grub all in one spot? This without a doubt is the place to go.

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Located in north Oak Cliff and not too far of a drive from downtown Dallas, this charming part of town has over 60 independent boutiques, bars, restaurants and even art galleries. Every store to me has something special and eclectic about it that really stands out and I love that there’s none of your typical chain type spots. Everything is authentic and original. Here are some of my favorite joints to hit up when I’m in the area.

Jonathon’s

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This happening brunch place is located in a cute historic home with a patio to relax and enjoy a home cooked meal. Beware though, on weekends it can get crowded! Make sure you grab their eggs benedict with a spiked cherry limeade! The service at the bar is absolutely phenomenal too. And I have friends that just live for their chicken and waffles! Trust me…it is worth every calorie. You can just walk around the district and burn it off after.

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Espumoso Coffeehouse
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On a hot Texas day, you can find me here sipping on one of their iced lattes with hemp or almond milk with some crushed ice. Their lemon bars are to die for as well. It’s a tiny mom and pop type of coffee shop but they are brewing up some fantastic strong coffee drinks that you are sure to enjoy.

Bishop Arts Winery
Sipping on wine while grooving to some live music is one of the many simple pleasures that I enjoy in life. They have some awesome red and white flights and even a cheese board the shape of Texas. What more could you want, honestly? Excellent place and I cannot wait to go back. This is a Sunday funday joint you will want to keep on your list.

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Fete-ish
Sassy gifts and sassy salespeople are what you will come across when you hit up this boutique. Make sure will have time to look around and if you come around Mardi Gras time when BA does their big parade they may even just give you a hurricane. They have some fun holiday décor as well to stock up on before Christmas time. I love coming here just to check out what novelty trinkets and funny greeting cards they have in store.

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Artisan’s Collective
Without a doubt this place is a neighborhood gem. I could walk around here and just gawk at the works of art forever. There are some eclectic pieces and designs I seriously have not seen anywhere. Come support local artists! They have all kinds of treasures for purchase.

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If you’re looking to organize or host an event…or are searching for hot local spots in your area…be sure to check out Eventbrite management.

What’s your favorite local hot spot to hit up and do a little exploring?

Hottest Half Marathon Recap.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. I got my day started teaching a cycle and strength session with my early morning crew. Doing some upper body work to this track definitely makes the time go by faster!

This weekend I ran the Hottest Half Marathon down in Dallas…of course I had to wear something motivating to keep me going.

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As you all know, I try to run this race every year, and I ran it last year. I am still trying to figure out in my head why the heck I keep running this race though, honestly. I think maybe I like to be tortured? The weather that day was seriously no joke. This was the HOTTEST Half I’ve ever run over the years, for sure. The humidity for that day was up there, too.

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Like for real, though. Hot as balls kinda hot.

Anywayyyy….we lined up to the start, ready to go at 7:30, and of course…in typical Mellew production fashion we did not start on time. Yep…that does not make matters any better seeing as we were already pushing 90 degrees so early in the a.m. FUN.

To kill time me and my race buddy Mark took a pic. Because that’s what you do when time is ticking.

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So about 10-15 minutes go by and we are still waiting for the gun. Finally…just before 8 am…we get the ready set GO! From the announcer. Oh yeah, and no gun. Just a shout. And we are off to the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge. This is my favorite part of the race, for sure.

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My pace stayed steady for the first few miles and I was feeling good although the humidity was crazy thick. I took it easy in the beginning thinking I’d be able to finish strong in the end but thinking back I wish I would have ignored that thought and started out faster. I saw a few friends and high fived them along the way, then took in some salted caramel gu. The view from the trail was gorgeous and the sun was definitely beaming down on us.

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By about mile 7 or so after taking in some electrolytes I started to feel a little nauseous. I do not know where it came from and I feel like I had hydrated well but in hindsight perhaps not enough. I felt dizzy for a second like I may faint so I took a few shuffle breaks. It was then in my mind that I basically went into survival mode. I just wanted to finish the damn thing! My buddy Mark came up behind me and gave me some words of encouragement and told me to ‘listen to my body’. So that’s definitely what I did. They had cut down a bunch of trees too in the area which didn’t help matters and there was no shade. Plus there was construction so part of the trail was some dirt & rocks combo which was a little tough to navigate! But I did the best that I could, swallowed my pride and just got through it.

After going up a huge hill we went back over the bridge and back off into downtown. Finito! Not my best but not a terrible time for having to walk most of it and shuffle through a majority of this run. Oh yeah, the course was just a tad long too. Oh well.

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The race was held at a brewery so I had a little sip of their new Razzy beer. It was okay…just something nice and cold to sip on. Nothing wrong with a little fancy cerveza.

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No official time yet as I believe Mellew had some problems with the timing chips but I don’t really care. It’s done and over with and now I am probably out for revenge. I see another half marathon happening very soon…I’m juggling some options for September before I run the Tyler Marathon in October.

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Next week, it’s back to long easy runs. I have another 20 to knock out next Saturday. Definitely before 8 am when it gets crazy hot!

Another medal is on the rack and it’s far from my best time…but it’s done.

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13.1 number 23 is in the books. Let’s see if we can hit 25 before the year is up.

How was your weekend? Any other Texas runners out there? Have you ever run a half marathon in the 90 degree HEAT?

TGIFriday Faves.

The happiest of Fridays to you! I don’t know about you but this has been a long week of work and I’m ready to let my hair down a bit.

I see some running, kickin’ it the sunshine…and of course RACING involved! Bring on the Hottest Half. 13.1 in the sun. I will be running it on Sunday.

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The race actually starts and ends at a brewery so that should be pretty cool too. Although I’m not a huge beer drinker…but you know, I’m sure I can find something afterwards to enjoy.

Yes, yes it is.

Without further adieu let’s get to this week’s faves!

10 strange facts about runners. I seriously am loving all of these lists lately. And cheers to number 10 for sure.

11 undeniable reasons why fall is clearly better than summer. I am like a kid in a candy store when this season rolls around.

-Speaking of fall…yes I finally bit the bullet and signed up for the Pumpkin Spice 15k. Oh yeah, racing season is ramping back up!! It’s an inaugural race too so should be fun. I am not going to lie, the promise of a coffee mug had me sold.

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-And yes, I’ve already busted out the pumpkin scents. They will be all over the house from now until about December 1st.

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My cycle and strength class…it is a super fun class to teach on Mondays. We do a little cycling then get off the bike for a boot camp circuit. Yep, it’s definitely hard to get up so early but feels good when it’s over. Love pumping that iron and it has really been complimenting my running lately and making me feel powerful.

Embracing your ‘running’ type? I can dig it.

9 spaghetti squash recipes…oh yes it is that time again. I do miss me some fall and winter squash. Time to step my squash game up.

What are you up to this weekend? Is anyone rocking a fun summer race?

Asics Gel Kayano 21 Lite Show Review.

7 miles this morning and holy moly the weather was freaking incredible. Um yeah, 60s in August down here is pretty much unheard of.

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I guess we will have to enjoy it while it lasts, yes? I see some patio time going down this evening before the heat wave comes back.

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This week I’ve been breaking in and getting used to running in these sweet new pink kicks. The Lite Show model definitely does not disappoint with its durability, comfort and movability. Oh yeah, it kind of feels like you are running on clouds.

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Ever since I first started this whole distance running thing several years ago I’ve been an avid fan of Asics. Although they are starting to come up with some seriously awesome fun flashy colors, they have always just been plain jane, good shoes with no real fancy frills. And because of this…often times I wanted to change it up and wear other shoes because I like variety! And yeah…I’m maybe a little A.D.D. What can I say. Hokas, Newtons, Brooks…I tell you I feel like I’ve tried them all. But none of these shoes so far has compared to the way my feet feel in Asics shoes. So I say all of that to say…whatever is working for you…stick with it. It really will never let you down.

Asics are very traditional just like I like them and they get the job done…which for me is what is most important. Especially when you spend a lot of time out on the roads pounding the pavement, and even on the trail…these are the tried and true. They can be pricey but I have found with running shoes that you get what you pay for so for me they are an investment that I can believe in. If you are looking to purchase online instead you will find good deals on sites like 6 pm and Running Warehouse among others.

What I like about Kayanos is they provide a cushy ride and are very light and easy to move around in. I feel like my feet are protected while at the same time I’m getting some nice bounce and traction with the roadways. They are also great for picking up the pace / turnover and running fast because they are nice and light on my feet.

Overall I’m very happy with this Kayano model and think they are great shoes for racing as well as everyday wear.

What’s your favorite model of running shoe? What fall or winter marathons are you training for right now?

Weds Spin Playlist.

Easy miles this morning enjoying a little bit of RUNrise. Last night’s massage was so amazing and I got such good sleep I felt ready to get it in. I’m scaling it back just a bit though before this weekend’s half marathon. Bring on the Hottest Half!

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Anyway…here’s this week’s spin cycle playlist! I’ve definitely been enjoying being in the cycle room lately. My classes have been working hard and they enjoy me dancing around the room. Hey, I try to be entertaining.

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We’ve got lots of tracks to keep you movin’ & groovin’.

Bang Bang- Jessie J, Ariana Grade, Nicki Minaj: Warm up
Mr. Put it Down- Ricky Martin feat Pitbull: Jumps
679- Fetty Wap feat Remy Boyz: Climb 5/6/7
Turn Down for What (Remix)- Lil Jon & DJ Snake: Sprints
Back and Forth- B.o.B: Seated/standing run
SummerThing!- Afrojack feat Mike Taylor: Rolling hills
Higher- Just Blaze & Baauer feat Jay-Z: Climb 6/7/8
We Make it Bounce- Dillon Francis: Accelerations
I Think We’d Feel Good Together- Rob Thomas: Active recovery
Talking Body- Tove Lo: Climb 7/8/9/10
Mirrors- Justin Timberlake: Reverse climb/Tapbacks
Bangarang- Skrillex: Sprints
Flex- Rich Homie Quan: Rolling hills
Willing & Able- Disclosure feat Kwabs: Cool down

What songs are some of your favorites for high intensity workouts?

5 Tips for Trail Running.

Confession, I have to admit I slept in just a bit before this morning’s run. Which was wonderful! Sometimes just getting out the door is the hardest part. After putting in a good 20 miler over the weekend my body is definitely feeling it and needing the extra rest. Oh yes, and I’m getting a massage tonight and totally looking forward to it.

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I have had a few runs this year on the trail and a few trail races in year’s past…this one and this one especially provided quite the challenge. They definitely are a different beast from road racing but I do love the serenity of being immersed in nature.

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Here are a some pointers that have helped me get off the beaten path!

1. Be on the lookout for sticks and roots on the ground beneath you. For me this is the biggest thing because I’m probably the clumsiest person in America. This is especially important on a more technical trail with rocks and such around or that come out of nowhere.

2. Bring some buddies with you. It really does make being out on the trail lots more fun.

3. Try not to get too distracted in conversation. Make sure you are staying aware of your surroundings for sure! It’s easy to get lost in whatever it is you’re talking about then lose sight of the ground and trip because you weren’t paying attention. Not like that’s happened to me or anything…I’m just saying.

4. Slow down your pace and just enjoy nature. Being out on the trail is definitely NOT about going fast. Let go of your ego and learn to love not worrying about your pace all of the dang time.

5. Wear some running shoes that you do not mind at all getting dirty. Oh yeah, sometimes it can get muddy out there! They do make specialty trail shoes to handle the different terrain so that would be a great investment.

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What are some tips you have for getting off the beaten path?

20 Miles, Mini Bites of Artwork and Wknd Recap.

Hey lovely people! Hope your Monday is getting off to a great start. I got things going with a spin cycle & strength session that I taught at the gym then headed over to Starbucks. Someone in the drive thru paid for my breakfast and iced coffee! So I paid it forward and bought the next person’s drink. Feels good to do that sometimes! Spread love as much as you can. You never know when someone needs a little cheering up.

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Anyway…let’s backtrack to the weekend! There was lots of running and some fun in the sun of course. I had my longest run of the marathon training season on Saturday…20 miles…I got carried away and almost did 21. Haha…oops…I guess I was having a little too much fun.

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I hydrated with electrolytes and tons of ice cold water. Oh and of course I had to take a dip in the pool afterwards to cool off.

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After the run I met up with my girl Camillia and we explored a new area of Dallas called Trinity Groves. I am loving the new restaurant scene in this area! They have lots of fancy new chefs who make speciality cocktails and what not. We went to Sushi Bayashi and got down on their spicy ahi tuna tower. All kinds of awesome.

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And yeah, sometimes you have to treat yourself to some chocolate. I am in love with this lady’s chocolate shop. It is more like mini bites of artwork. LOVED the truffle honey and salted caramel! Can’t wait to go back.

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Sunday I went to church and then a run/hike reunion with some of my favorite runner girls! I have not done some miles with these ladies in forever. We just did a few very easy miles talking and catching up on life and such.

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That night I had a date night at home with the man friend…dinner and a movie…oh and I bought myself a new welcome mat! I am trying to spruce up my apartment a bit! Yes it is very colorful.

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How was your weekend? Did you eat anything awesome that was a party in your mouth?