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How I love thee, #Pgh10Miler let me count the ways! @PGHMarathon

How I love thee, #Pgh10Miler let me count the ways! @PGHMarathon

This Sunday marked my third year of running the EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler. As is typical of Pittsburgh’s October weather, it was lovely for running. This year was by far my slowest of the 10 milers I’ve run, but I don’t mind. I figure, the longer I’m running, the more calories I’m burning, so who cares if it takes me three days.  I really look forward to the 10 Miler each year, dare I say it is my favorite race?  Whether it’s my favorite, or one of several favorites, it’s still got a special place in my heart for these reasons:

 1. I got in on the ground floor.  It is always neat to hear how a race started off in the 1970s with 100 guys in their short-shorts and Nikes, and now it’s runners number in the thousands and it’s got major corporate sponsors. I envy those runners, whose ranks whittle down each year, of the ones who have been there since the beginning and have never missed a race.  The EQT 10 Miler is my chance to be in from the start on a run that is big and exciting. Even if I give up running, I’m going to hit the pavement and walk it (really fast).  Even if I move away, I plan to come back each year for the race. I will be so excited when we hit the 50th running in 2062 and I’ll be out there, a waddling little octogenarian, showing em how it’s done!

EQT 10 miler 2013


EQT 10 Miler 2014


EQT 10 Miler 2015

2. The route is perfect. It’s almost literally on my doorstep. All I have to do is roll down the hill and BOOM, I’m at the start line. This means that I don’t have to get up or leave particularly early. I can wake up leisurely, have my breakfast (coffee and an apple with peanut butter), and stroll on down to the start line just before it starts. Because there is nothing more painful in the first world than having your muscles stiffen for 2 hours in the cold before the race even starts. Also, it is a closed course. All the races I have run in Pittsburgh have been closed courses, so I didn’t know open courses were even a thing until I ran a 5k in Oregon. Even if the traffic is non-existent, I DO NOT LIKE OPEN COURSES.  The whole course for the EQT 10 miler is closed, and the cops and crossing guards who are monitoring the streets are great at cheering on the runners.

3.  10 Miles is my favorite distance.  It’s not as popular as 10k or Half-Marathon, but each year there are more and more 10 milers out there (and yes, I want to run them all!). I love the distance. It’s just hard enough– it takes some work for me to get ready for it, but it’s also still manageable for me if life goes nuts and I can only hit the pavement a couple of times a week.

4.  It’s a “big” race, but not so big as to be overwhelming.  I like the anonymity of bigger races. After all, I’m a solo runner and like to blast my music and just get in my zone. But I like that the EQT 10 miler is just big enough that I run into friends for a quick hello.  There aren’t a ton of spectators out, but I love that the ones who are out are totally into it. No big crowds staring at their phones. These are folks who are excited to cheer you on, and will clap, cheer, high-five and are all-around great.

5.  The social media team is killer. The whole Pittsburgh Marathon/EQT 10 Miler social media team is on it. They are quick to respond and are well informed. It makes things a lot easier when there is some last minute hiccup and you need some help. They jump right at it and get you squared away.

What fall races are you running this year?

What races are your favorite?

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My Erie Preview with @WholeFoodsErie Presque Isle State Park and Sara’s

My Erie Preview with @WholeFoodsErie Presque Isle State Park and Sara’s

I call my week in Erie an “Erie Preview” because I really did not do a whole lot of visiting or sightseeing. I was there for a trial in federal court, and until the jury went out for deliberations, I was (rightfully) all work-focus-work-focus-work-focus. I have to take a moment to be thankful for modern technology. I left bright and early Sunday morning, and did not return until Thursday evening. I missed my family. I was so thankful to be able to FaceTime with them for a few minutes in the evening, to talk about how much we missed each other and to wish each other sweet dreams.

FaceTime


I’m not going to talk about the trial itself, because frankly that would be inappropriate. But the jury went out on Wednesday afternoon and I had all the way through their return on Thursday afternoon to do a little exploring.

On the drive up. Game face on.

On the drive up. Game face on.


My first order of business once the jury went out was to go for a RUN. I hadn’t been for a run in at least two weeks. There was flat-out no time, and I was so stressed that I did not have the energy for running.But once that work was done, that energy flowed back! For my visit, I was staying at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront, with a room overlooking the little marina.

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I was able to run right out the hotel door onto the Erie SeaWay trail. The weather was absolutely perfect for a run. The sky was clear, the temperature warm, and the lake was a beauty to look at.

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After my run was done, I realized it was only about 6pm, and I still had the whole evening open and to myself. I have heard that Presque Isle State Park is very nice, so I decided to go for a drive through there. After getting there and seeing all the gorgeous trails, I realized it would have been an even more lovely place for my evening run. But I was not in a state to do 2 runs for the evening, so instead I went for a drive. And really, with gas prices being what they are, and with the rush rush rush of modern life, who goes for a leisurely drive anymore? I popped open the sunroof and wound my way through the park. It was just delightful.

I pulled over and stopped to take this selfie. No pictures while driving. Obvs.

I pulled over and stopped to take this selfie. No pictures while driving. Obvs.


The park is huge and full of trails, and there are beaches and lighthouses. The lake doesn’t have the waves of the ocean, but my kid cares more about the sand than the waves. I think it would be an ideal spot, and only 2 hours drive away, to take her for a little beach outing this summer.

After my drive, I stopped at local legend Sara’s for some summertime comfort food. Yummmmmmmm

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Afterward, I retired back to my room, to enjoy one last evening of watching whatever I wanted on TV  (read: Teen Mom) and sleeping basically sideways across the bed because OMG IT WAS A KING SIZE BED AND I HAD IT ALL TO MYSELF.

The next day while the jury continued its deliberations, I made my way over to the Whole Foods Co-Op. I picked up some necessaries (a mud mask for later, and a couple of bags of Food Should Taste Good multigrain tortilla chips, because they are the best). I also got lunch of a small wrap, a kale and beet salad and a chocolate chip cookie sandwich.

Whole Foods Co-op

All the food was extremely fresh and delicious. I must say, there is something special about the friendliness of a Co-Op. Since we are members of Pittsburgh’s East End Food Co-Op, the Whole Foods Co-Op extended their member discount to me. Also, I got to sign their guest book 🙂

Before this visit, I probably would have never considered doing a little family trip to Erie, but this trip introduced me to a lot of things my family would enjoy. Erie is now on my short list of destinations, when we are getting restless and just need to get ahhhhta tahhn. On a future visit, I’d like to take Baby Beez to the ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum. Also, the Erie area has quite the local brewing community, including Lavery Brewing Company, Erie Brewing Company and The Blue Canoe Brewery.  Mr. Beez and I would very much like to check out their offerings.

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6th Things for the 6th

6th Things for the 6th
  • In general I have sworn off Groupon because I buy a bunch of Groupons and never use them. Of course one day sitting around waiting to get called for court, I signed on to Groupon and went shopping. Because I’m a sucker. And fell down the rabbit hole of “Well, I’ve been meaning to go there anyway, so I might as well buy one.”  I got one for local, since I haven’t managed to make my way there yet. We took Baby Beez there on Saturday for a late lunch. It’s more bar than restaurant, so her presence was only mildly inappropriate. She also was refusing to act like a civilized human, so she fit right in with all the beer swigging March Madness fans. The food wasn’t impressive, and since there are a number of other restaurants in the South Side that I like better, I probably would not return for a meal. But I did get myself a Yinzerrita, and it was FANTASTIC. Mine was a strawberry yinzerita, which comes with pear cider (other flavors come with other corresponding beers and ciders). I would like a Yinzerrita waiting for me when I come home from work every day, plz, Jeeves.

Yinzerrita from Local Pgh

  • We went to Green Forest Churrascaria with my father in law for Easter lunch today. This was Baby Beez’ first meat-on-swords experience, and it was a revelation for her. She announce her favorite food is MEAT, because of course it is. I was a vegetarian for 10 years before I got pregnant with this kid. Then all I wanted was hot dogs and donuts. Of course those are Baby Beez favorite foods. Pregnancy cravings make a lot more sense to me now. Baby Beez is no stranger to dining out, and she announced Green Forest to be her FAVORITE RESTAURANT. She has found her happy place.

Green Forest

  • Also, because it is Easter, and she is spoiled, she got lots of chocolate even though we are Jewish and don’t celebrate Easter (we share it with Christian relatives). Baby Beez doesn’t care what you call it, as long as she gets chocolate. We usually don’t let her have chocolate because it makes her CRAY CRAY. Like serious cray cray. I thought “What the heck, it’s Easter” and let her eat a bunch of it. The result was her stripping off all her clothes and wearing only undies and my noise-cancelling headphones (not plugged into anything),  running in circles around the living room,  and at one point wrapping herself in a blanket and talking to herself under the dining room table. Now you see why she is not allowed to have chocolate. I guess I just need to eat the rest of the goodies in her Easter basket for her.

Easter Chocolate

  • We made a bunch of airline and hotel reservations for our travels over the summer and I am very excited about this. Also, I went through our calendar and plugged in “SWIM AT JCC FAMILY PARK” on a whole lot of days. In past summers, I fantasize about taking Baby Beez to swim in the kid pool while I lounge around and read magazines.Then I get all wrapped up in all the different things going on around the city and buy all these tickets to things, and then we don’t make it to the family park. So now I’m filling the calendar with “SWIMMING” and plan to stick to it.

  • Mr. Beez bought me 2 LUSH bath bombs for Hanukkah. I used one of them today, and turns out it was a bomb full of glitter. So the tub was full of glitter and I was covered in glitter, and Mr. Beez dropped a bunch of f-bombs about that bath bomb, and now I’m not allowed to have bath bombs anymore.

lush4

  • I was very excited to run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, but now I start a trial in Erie the next day. This means no race for me. Which is probably for the best because I’ve got full-on stabbed-in-the-knee runner’s knee going on in my right knee. I could run a half in May, but it would be bad news bears. So now my next long race isn’t until Labor Day weekend. I went to the South Side trail to try and run today, but I couldn’t make it more than a couple steps before I was limping. I did a 4 mile walk instead. I need to lose some LBS, strengthen my quads and do a whole lot of stretching. At least I’ve got time on my side for this…but I better not use that time as a temptation to slack off.  I took this neat picture of the industrial bric-a-brac on the trail today.

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HAPPY MONDAY, YINZ. Go get it.

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100 Medals.

100 Medals.

Running is kind of my thing. I’m not great at it, but I can accomplish it without embarrassing myself too badly. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. I ran 2 marathons about 10 years ago. I burned out on running for a while. Then I started running again. Then I had a kid. Then I didn’t run for a while. Now for the last 2 years or so, I’ve been back in the swing of it.

before running ATM

I like 10 mile races and half marathons. They’re long enough that I do have to train, but short enough that training doesn’t hijack my life. They get me to travel to neat places. They help me burn off the angry.

Baby Beez appropriates my medals. I’m happy to let her have them. I love teaching her that her mom has been strong and has worked for something that is hard.

This week, she earned her first medal of her own. She participated in a kid’s basketball class, and at the end of the session, she got her very own medal.

A medal for a job well done

A post shared by EC (@ecpgh) on

This morning, we were talking about the races I’m running this week. I told her I’m running a 10k and a Half Marathon, and I’m going to be getting a total of THREE medals. She was thrilled. She loves these medals. Jumping up and down, she exclaimed “WE’RE GONNA GET 100 MEDALS.”

I’ve been thinking about it all day. 100 Medals. Why don’t we earn 100 medals?

My girl and I, we’re going to earn 100 medals. They don’t all have to be running. They can be from other sports events. But we’re going to be strong and be healthy and earn those medals. I don’t know what we’ll do with them once we have them. But we’ll have them. With the races I’ve done, we’ve got a good start. We don’t have any deadline. But we’re going to do it. I’ve set up a photo album through Facebook, so you can watch our progress.

We’re going to earn 100 medals.

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Making a game out of #RWRunStreak — Week 1 in Pictures

Making a game out of #RWRunStreak  — Week 1 in Pictures

I’ve taken the challenge of the RW Run Streak– running at least 1 mile a day, every day from Thanksgiving to New Years. I’m training to run the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge (remember– I’m raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network! How about you kick in a dollar or two for the sick kids! I’m at 73% of my fundraising goal!!), and so the Run Streak is a nice overlay with my training schedule. On days where I’m not scheduled for a training run, I just do one quick mile. And the fact that the requirement is only one mile– which for me is only about 11 minutes of exercise– I can convince myself to take that little run early in the morning or late at night on days I would otherwise blow off running altogether.

I’ve turned my Run Streak runs into a little game. I snap a picture during each run, and although my dreadmill days aren’t very exciting pictures, I’ve had a lot of fun thinking of neat snaps when I’m out running in the neighborhood. I prefer running outside a million times more than running on the treadmill, and as long as the sidewalk is reasonably dry, I’ll run outside even if it’s very cold (yes, even though I’m a total California girl who CANNOT stand the cold). Hopefully the ice and snow will stay away, and I’ll be able to keep my runs outdoors! I didn’t think much about it at first, but over the last few days, I’ve had a lot of fun looking around my neighborhood for neat, unexpected things that might make a good Run Streak picture.

So lets celebrate finishing the first week of this 36 day challenge, here’s my first week in pictures!