365 Project – April Photos

Well, I’ve made it through the third month of the 365 project. I did fairly well this month, and only missed one picture. Not bad considering how many there will be in total. As always, here’s a look at my favorite pictures from this month. If you want to see all of them, you can check it out here.

Chasing daylight on a run. 66/365

Chasing daylight on a run. 66/365

Definition of perfection. 68/365

Definition of perfection. 68/365

Easter Sunset. 78/365

Easter Sunset. 78/365

1 of 88. 81/365

1 of 88. 81/365

The canon in Galion, the final turn of my favorite hs xc course. 86/365

The canon in Galion, the final turn of my favorite hs xc course. 86/365

 

I’ve noticed than more often than not my pictures are of sunsets and country views, but really they’re too beautiful to ignore. I’ve really enjoyed taking pictures every day so far . I can’t wait to see what the next month will bring!

April Rewind

My favorite month is over, but I have to say, it was a great one! This month was the best month of my training and was key not only for Medina, but mentally prepping me for the rest of the year. There are 152 days left until Wineglass Marathon, and I couldn’t be more excited! (Remind me of this when I get to mile 21 on race day). Let’s take a look at the numbers.

Miles run: 81

Races run: 2 (Hermes 10 Miler, Love a Stray 5k)

Miles biked: 0

Favorite Workout: 4/22 – Birthday Run

Books read: Started The Runner’s High

Places traveled: 0

New recipes: 0

I really stepped it up this month and ran the most miles since last August. Not only was running 80+ miles necessary for training, but it’s helping me to build base for a much more packed summer/fall. I can also say that luckily I’m still injury free, so let’s celebrate that. With the additional miles in April, I’m not up to 242 for the year, and will probably hit right around 300 by the end of May.

I ran two races this month, one was an old favorite, and the other one a new for me race/distance. I ran them back to back, left it all on the course, and managed to stay on a week long runner’s high!

My favorite workout was a birthday run I did. I didn’t have high expectations of the workout, just wanted to get some miles in. I ended up with negative splits from 9:35 to 8:18, finishing in a 7:44 pace. It was a good reminder to enjoy the moments of surprise in your workouts, and that you’re capable of more than you think some days.

April was full of mostly running, but I enjoyed just about every workout I had. This next month won’t be as intense since I’ll be tapering for the last two weeks, but it will be full of races. I’m also hoping to read a lot more now that the weather is nice enough to sit outside more often. And biking? Hopefully I’ll be friends with my bike again soon.

How was your month of April? What races do you have coming up this month?

 

Nuun Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered to win my Nuun giveway last week. I’m glad I could share my favorite things, and hopefully you’ll try them out!

Congrats to the winner Aimee! Send me an email at masherruns@gmail.com and we’ll get you all set up!

 

Winner winner!

Winner winner!

Local Treasures

Over the past couple days, I was fortunate enough to have some time to explore Medina and see some real gems around town. Melissa suggested a while back that I share more of my everyday life, because sometimes I do more than just run and drink wine.

Between Saturday and Tuesday, I was fortunate enough to visit some new places and some old favorites in Medina. Saturday night we headed to Cipriani’s, the new restaurant in town as part of my birthday celebration. As requested, I wanted someplace Italian, and when we saw that Cipriani’s had opened up, we couldn’t wait to try it.

We made a reservation, but luckily missed the crowd and were able to be seated right away. The restaurant had a cozy feel, with a mix of tables for dining and a bar for just hanging out. We started with shrimp cocktail, bread and salad, accompanied with some pretty good wine. The server was very friendly, and never rushed us through anything. I ordered the Angel Hair with Marinara and Darren got the Chicken Alfredo. Both were delicious and we had enough to take home for a meal the next day. We finished up dinner with some amazing Tiramisu, my absolute favorite.

The meal, the atmosphere and the whole experience were a lot better than we had expected. Pricing wasn’t too expensive either, which means Cipriani’s could definitely become a regular place for us. I’d definitely recommend checking it out.

Tuesday I continued my birthday celebrations by taking the day off work and treating myself to a massage and manicure. I tried out Bella Sorrellas and was very impressed. I opted for the full hour massage, and at a price of $45, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But it was hands down the best massage I’ve ever had. I followed it up with a shellac manicure, and at a price of $20, you really can’t complain. I’m certainly looking forward to treating myself more often with this place so close to home.

Massage room, ready to relax!

Massage room, ready to relax!

I finished up Tuesday with some of my favorite spots, Cool Beans Cafe and Buckeye Woods. Not only does Cool Beans have some pretty good coffee, but their lunch menu is getting better and better. I already know we’ll be biking down there quite a bit this summer.

Some new and some old, the smaller places in Medina have their charm. I’m excited to see what else we discover that will hopefully become our favorite places! If you want to keep up with our new discoveries, you can check out a new page that includes events and places around Medina.

 

Friday Faves and a Giveaway!

April happens to be my favorite month, mostly because it’s my birthday month, so I wanted to do something a little different this time. This month, I wanted to share a list of my favorite things, and as a little bonus, a giveaway!

Favorite Shoes: Asics GT 2000 – These shoes, they are heavenly. I first tried them on at the Columbus Marathon expo in 2012, and I’ve never looked back. I’ve gone through a couple pairs, and I’ve never been more satisfied with a shoe. I’ve always been an Asics’ girl, but these are hands down my favorite. They recently released the GT 2000-2 which are currently sitting in my closet waiting for their first run!

Asics GT-2000, Heaven for your feet

Asics GT-2000, Heaven for your feet

Favorite Half Marathon: Sandy Ridge Half Marathon – No longer around, this half marathon will always have a place in my heart. This course ran on my street and surrounding roads I grew up running on, the roads where I fell in love with running. My favorite moment of this race was running by my parent’s house, hearing them cheer and seeing words of encouragement sprayed onto the road.

Run!

Run!

Favorite 5k: Love-A-Stray 5k – I’ve run this race every year it’s been around, and will be running it for the third straight year next weekend. I grew up volunteering at the Love-A-Stray shelter and adopted two cats from them as well, so this race has always held a special place in my heart. Registration is still open if you’re interested in running, pups can join too!

Mile 2-3

On course last year

Favorite Place to Run – I will always love running in the Cleveland Metro Parks. There are so many opportunities and trails to discover, it’s hard to have a bad day running there. I don’t get there as often as I used to, so my second favorite has become Buckeye Woods and slowly creeping up to my number one spot.

Welcome to my happy place.

Welcome to my happy place.

Favorite Band on my iPod – Anberlin has been a favorite for a long time. Whether it’s a long run, or a race, they pump me up and remind me of how far I’ve come. They’re finishing up their last year together, but listening to them will always be a good reminder of the many, many miles I’ve run.

Favorite Run Fuel – Sport Beans are without a doubt my favorite thing to snack on during long runs and races. With such a sweet tooth, I’m not sure how I keep these in stock at home. I did a review last year, and naturally my favorite was and still is Lemon Lime. Best packet for long runs? That definitely has to be the assorted pack. This year they’ve introduced Extreme Pomegranate and Extreme Assorted.

Sport Bean Flavors

Sport Bean Flavors

Favorite Nuun – It’s no surprise that my favorite Nuun is Lemon Lime. Lemon Lime has always been my thing, and Nuun does it perfectly. They recently came out with Nuun Energy, which keeps the refreshing taste of the lemon lime flavor, but adds caffeine to stay hydrated and awake all day. Can you say perfection?

How do you make Lemon Lime better? Add caffeine!

How do you make Lemon Lime better? Add caffeine!

So here’s my chance to share the love of one of my favorite things. The awesome folks at Nuun are joining in on my birthday month and letting one lucky winner pick their favorite Nuun 4 pack for themselves! Here are the rules:

  • The contest will run from Friday, April 18th to Thursday April 24th, ending at 9:00 EST.
  • A winner will be randomly picked and announced on the blog on Friday, April 25th.
  • You may enter one time per option, leave a comment telling me which options you choose.

Here’s how to enter!

Good luck and stay hydrated!

365 Project-March Photos

Two months down in my 365 day project and I have to say, I was really satisfied with my pictures from March. Here’s a look back at my favorite pictures from March. If you’d like to see all of them, you can follow along here.

Perfect paw prints in the snow. 30/365

Perfect paw prints in the snow. 30/365

Caught the sun just on the edge of the road. 32/365

Caught the sun just on the edge of the road. 32/365

Gifts from India, such a unique arrangement. 38/365

Gifts from India, such a unique arrangement. 38/365

Layers of colors. 44/365

Layers of colors. 44/365

Sunrise over the back yard. 49/365

Sunrise over the back yard. 49/365

The red building, full of stories. 59/365

The red building, full of stories. 59/365

 What images are your favorites?

A Little Bit of Housekeeping

You may have noticed a few changes over here on my blog. I finally took the plunge and bought my own URL, https://masherruns.com/. I wanted to make sure I put some heart into my blog, so I took a step back and tried to figure out just what I wanted to accomplish with it. Being a running blog, I wanted to make sure that I kept my passion within my limits. I’m not getting paid to blog, so it had to be manageable, but also still me.

Here’s what I added:

  • A new look and layout
  • Run It List-A list of all my running bucket list items
  • Product Reviews– Older link, but good to know
  • Contact– Ways to contact me, with some additional links
  • A Facebook Page – For photos, articles and whatever else I find interesting in between blog posts
  • A Pinterest Page – A place for all things running related: recaps, gear, motivation, and tips

It’s not much, but it’s an upgrade from what I have been doing. Who knows how long I’ll continue to blog, but for the next couple of years, I want to make sure it’s my best!

Also, don’t forget that there’s still time to make a donation to Team JDRF in the quest of sub 2:00 for the Medina Half Marathon. You can donate here!

 

 

Friday Faves

Another month of my favorite things is here! It turns out that most of these are running related this month, but that’s ok. Hopefully you’ll find one of these items to be something you can’t live without, and they’ll be on your favorites list too!

Picky Bars – I finally hopped on the Picky Bars train and I’m so glad I did. I’ve been a long time lover of Clif Bars, but sometimes they don’t agree with my stomach. I tried Picky Bars and have yet to have any issues while running. New long run fuel? I think so.

House of Cards – After hearing all the buzz about House of Cards, we decided to sit down and test out a few episodes. This quickly turned into watching as much as we could in our free time….hello binge Nextflix! I didn’t expect to like House of Cards, but I can’t get enough. I’m also a big fan of the parody, House of Carbs….mmmmm pasta.

tumblr_n1ja0wX3kW1ttiucro1_1280

Oiselle Lux Side Zip Top – Just as soft as the original Lux long sleeve, the Side Zip is perfect for layering in the cold. I wish I would have gotten this sooner to enjoy the frigid temps!

Oiselle Charcoal Joggings – I’ll admit, I’ve been a big fan of the Asics Thermopolis LT Tights for as long as I could remember. But I’ve worn them a bit thin, and I needed something else to add into rotation. I tried the charcoal joggings and it was love at first run. They’ve been warm enough to deal with our crazy winter and they fit like a glove.

Nuun of the month: Cucumber Mint – Call me crazy, but I love cucumber chunks in my water. So when I tried Nuun’s Cucumber Mint U Natural Hydration, I instantly felt I was sipping water on a hot summer day. It may sound like an odd combination, but it’s so refreshing and may be come my summer drink of choice. U Natural Hydration is all natural flavored with vitamins and essential electrolytes, the perfect drink tablet to keep you going all day long. The U Natural Hydration flavors are often over looked with Nuun, but I have yet to find one that I don’t like.

NUU-00112-3

 

Well there’s my favorites for this month. I have a feeling that April’s will be extra special….

 

 

My Race Playlist

Every couple of months I change my music on my playlist, especially when I’m starting a new training cycle. I tend to keep a certain group of songs or artists that I’ve listened to forever, but I always try to add something new, so I don’t get too bored with it.

Now that I’ll be getting into more races through training, I need to focus on songs that will pump me up rather than remind me of the hundreds of laps I’ve done on the indoor track. I’ve started to refresh my playlist, but I still have some changes left to make. And after looking over my playlist, I’d say about 75% of the music are songs I’ve listened to for years! Good luck charms?

181552047179953160anIdlqFc

Old Favorites

  • Anberlin – I’ve been listening to them since high school. They’ll always be my favorite so they never get removed from my list. They also remind me how far I’ve come over the last couple years. Unfortunately, they’re ending their careers this year, so no more new music from them.
  • One Republic – Another good band from college, perfect songs for long runs and for speed workouts. One Republic was a staple for marathon training and their song “Marching On” pushed me through mile 24 of my marathon.
  • Kings of Leon, “Notion”/”The Runner” – These two songs turn up on almost every run, they’re just too good not to keep on my list.
  • Maroon 5 – I just imagine that Adam Levine is running with me, and that pretty much keeps me going.
  • Young the Giant, “My Body” – This song kept me going my entire Columbus training. There were so many times that I struggled with pain, but I kept going. My favorite line, “My Body tells me no, but I won’t quit, Cause I want more, cause I want more”
  • Chariots of Fire – This song has been on my playlist for years, and somehow always comes up when I need it most.

New Additions

  • Imagine Dragons – I got into them this past fall, and they’ve been a great addition to my list. I really get lost in their songs, which helps when I’m pushing through a rough workout.
  • Bastille – I mentioned them earlier this year that I downloaded their entire album. Their music is a little different, but I’m really starting to love this band and excited to add them to my list.
  • Katy Perry, “Dark Horse” – I’m never been one to love her songs, but they’re easy to listen to. The first time I heard this song, I loved it. It’s something completely different and helps pick up the speed when you’re struggling in a workout.

What’s on your race playlist? What songs should I add to mine?