Old and Older

On our last morning in New Bern, Ron had wanted to find a fitness center for a workout with weights but we ended up sleeping too late and decided on a quick 3 miler around New Bern.  4 miles later (Ron Cupit miles) we finished up and really enjoyed the run.

Sunrise on the Nuese River.

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A Spider Lily sculpture by the Convention Center.

 

 

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Our sweaty selfie!

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The breakfast area was mostly empty so I got some shots of our meal.  Ron and I both got the spinach omelettes and it came with a blueberry almond cobbler.  Breakfast at the Aerie was scrumptious.

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Next up was our tour of Tryon Palace.  No photos were allowed inside the buildings but I got a lot of shots in the gardens.  Just like the trolley tour yesterday, if you love history, this place is for you.

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We really shouldn’t have been all that hungry but we were after Tryon and we tried to eat at the Museum Cafe.  It looked really good but it was very crowded.  Ron remembered this Indian place near The Chelsea from last night so we swung back by there before we headed out of town.

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IMG_1486Totally vegan and totally delicious!  We both went back for seconds.  I noticed on the wall that Bay Leaf won several years in a row for the best entree in New Bern.  If you are there, you’ve just got to try this awesome restaurant.

Next we pointed our car towards Elizabeth City, NC.  Ron was stationed there 30 years ago when he was in the US Coast Guard and wanted to so me some of his old stomping grounds.

On the way to Elizabeth City, we saw we would be passing near Bath, NC and since we had just been to the 2nd oldest city in NC, we thought we might as well see the oldest city.

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Above is a beautiful shot of Bath Creek.

Bath had a curse put on it in the olden days and it was supposed to always stay a small town.  That curse has stayed true and I didn’t really see all that much to Bath.   There was a walking tour and we saw some more old houses and the oldest church.

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Blackbeard came to Bath for a pardon but then ended up getting killed at Ocracoke not too much later.

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I loved Bath Creek and I get the feeling that the citizens of Bath are very happy that it has remained such a small town.

We made it to Elizabeth City but Ron wouldn’t let me take any pictures at the gate of the base.  He scared me to death and told me that the US Coast Guard was a division of Homeland Security now and that they would probably shoot me if I didn’t get back in the car.

We walked down by the Pasquotank River and had a very nice veggie meal at the Cypress Grill.    It was a short visit to Elizabeth City but Ron had a blast reminiscing.

Today, we’ve spent the whole day touring the lighthouses of the Outer Banks.  I’ll get these pictures up ASAP.

We are on Ocracoke Island now and it is time to go exploring and find some dinner.

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Happy, happy, happy!

 

 

 

 

New Bern, We Like Bears

Day one of our vacation and we’ve learned so much about the city of New Bern, NC.  It’s the second oldest city in North Carolina and is the sister city to Bern, Switzerland.  Bern mean bear in Swiss and 4 years ago they celebrated the city’s 300th birthday and placed decorated bears all over. DSC_0019 DSC_0077   DSC_0076DSC_0075 DSC_0078 DSC_0090DSC_0072DSC_0032 DSC_0027 DSC_0026 DSC_0023 DSC_0022   But I’m getting a little ahead of my self.  Here’s some shots of our awesome B&B that we are staying at. DSC_0111 DSC_0110 DSC_0109 DSC_0037 DSC_0010 DSC_0008 DSC_0004 DSC_0001 Breakfast was wonderful but I didn’t get any shots of the actual food.  Every room was booked and the breakfast area was filled to capacity. I didn’t feel right snapping any food shots.  Ron had blueberry pancakes and I have almond French toast.  (I had dreamed that we overslept and didn’t have anything other than bacon and sausage so it was wonderful that we had other options.) Here are some shots of the breakfast area I captured later in the day. DSC_0104 DSC_0100 DSC_0099 The first order of business today was a trip to the birthplace of Pepsi! DSC_0033 I began a Coke girl and I do still love the advertising but sometime around college I switched over to Pepsi and I’ve never looked back.   We try to not drink sodas often but when I do, Diet Cherry Pepsi is my favorite. Ron’s favorite is Diet Mt. Dew! DSC_0036 We walked around a little and then it was time to take the 90 minute trolley tour. We saw so much! DSC_0093 DSC_0092 Check out that snake eye window!   Cool huh? DSC_0047 DSC_0041 I loved the history in the Cedar Grove Cemetery and this cedar tree was so neat.  Thousands lost their lives in New Bern to yellow fever and many were buried in mass graves here. The next stop on the trolley tour was Christ Church.  We got to go inside and it was breathtaking. DSC_0068 DSC_0067 DSC_0066 DSC_0064 Notice the Star of David in this Christian church.  Christianity embraces both the old and the new covenant.  It is 2 triangles and the triangle represents the Trinity. After the trolley tour we were getting hungry and Ron found this little gem. DSC_0086 We lucked out and found 2 vegetarian choices.  We got them both and shared.  A veggie wrap and a portabella mushroom burger with sweet potato fries.  We also both had this awesome strawberry and goat cheese salad. DSC_0084 DSC_0082 We try to stay away from dairy as a rule but since it was vacation we endulged! After lunch we rented bikes!  Ron said he hadn’t been on one in over 30 years and I hadn’t been on one since I did the Smithfield Tri back in 2012.  It was so fun! DSC_0094 In this shot of me you can see the trolley in the background. DSC_0097 Here’s some shots of the restaurant we ate at last night. DSC_0089 DSC_0088   Captain Ratty’s was a wonderful seafood restaurant and quite the hopping place.  Not too veggie friendly however.  Ron got a scallop salad and I had salmon tacos which were actually divine. Next came some afternoon siesta time back at our room and then dinner at The Chelsea. It was Wonderful! photo (8)   Check out the interior and the restored mosaic tile floors. photo (7) photo (5) They had 2 veggie selections and we got them both and shared.  Risotto and another portebella mushroom selection. photo (1) photo Our appetizer was fried green tomatoes with fresh mozzarella. photo (6) And I had my very first mint julep. photo (3) photo (4) Wowzer was it ever strong! For dessert it wasn’t vegan but boy was it good! photo (2) Delicious coconut cream pie! I highly recommend  The Chelsea! So delicious. We still have our tickets to Tryon Palace for tomorrow and Ron has announced that we will be guests of Sound Fitness. When you are in NC, make sure to go to the place that the Trent and Nuese River meet and have yourself a blast with the bears!

Swamp Sludge

 

I used to call my green smoothies, Green Monsters, but after last week when my sister dubbed them Swamp Sludge, the name has stuck.  And besides, these 2014 smoothies have taken on a whole new personality from the ones I first began drinking back in 2010.

In the olden days, I’d start in the bottom of the Vitamix with some almond milk, add a frozen banana, a scoop of protein powder, and maybe some berries, then a couple of handfuls of spinach.  They were delicious and a great recovery drink after my long runs.

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Now Swamp Sludge is a Green Monster on steroids!

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Ron invented these and I am so thankful that he takes the extra time and prepares these for us.  If it were up to me and I in charge of getting our protein recovery drink ready at 5:00am on a Saturday morning, it would probably be a tame little green monster at best.

Nothing doing for Ron.  It’s Swamp Sludge or bust!

Ron starts with green juice as the base.  Green juice is prepared in his Omega Vert juicer and has many of these in it on any given day:  kale, SuperGreens mix, celery, ginger, apples, and carrots.

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He puts probably about 2 cups of this juice in the Vitamix and then he adds some fresh blueberries and strawberries.  Next come the powders.  Garden of Life protein mix, spirulina, maca, and chlorella powders.  These powders are not sweet at all so today he added a little of this mix.

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This one is super sweet and a little bit will do ya.

After our long runs with Galloway on Saturday, we head to the truck and our cooler.   You won’t find anything this nutritious or delicious ANYWHERE!  You can’t buy this stuff!  In a pinch a Bolthouse Farms juice or a Smoothie King smoothie will get you close but those just can’t hold a candle to Swamp Sludge.

It does sound and look disgusting but I promise you, it is the bomb!  One Mason jar full satisfies me and I’m good to go until well up into the afternoon.   Do yourself a favor and next time someone offers you some chocolate milk after a long run, thank them kindly and go whirl up some Swamp Sludge.

Happy Sludging Friends!  :)

 

Energy Balls

The other weekend my sister shared this recipe with me and I loved it so much I had to share it with you.  I made them for our 4th of July party and everyone loved them too.

I’m calling them Energy Balls but they are very similar to this recipe that I found online. 

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All you do is take 1/2 cup flax, 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, and 1 cup oats and mix them up in a bowl.  Then take the wet ingredients and add them.  1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/3 cup honey, and a splash of vanilla.

I made 2 batches today and I used the vegan carob chips so some of them would be totally vegan.  Ron is getting very picky about anything dairy and I wanted to make sure he would eat them.

That’s coconut in the container on the left and I rolled some of the balls in that.  I love coconut and this was an awesome addition.

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Above are the ones with the carob chips.  I used creamy raw almond butter instead of peanut butter.  They were really easy to ball up due to the creamy nature of the raw almond butter from a brand new jar.

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These are the ones with the Nestle chips.  I used some regular almond butter from the fridge on these and they were a little harder to ball up.  If you keep your nut butter in the fridge, I’d recommend that you nuke it a little to help it get to a more creamy consistency.

Lydia tasted one before she left for work and she said she liked the ones from the party better and I used peanut butter in those.  I like these just fine.  It took me quite a while to get used to almond butter but now I prefer it over peanut butter.

I can’t wait to enjoy these all week for that needed afternoon energy.

I think the calories are probably around 100 per ball.

In other news, I got some cute new purple hand weights.  I’m loving the 30 Day Shred!

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Go make some energy balls and have a wonderful week!

 

Happy + Hale

Ron joined Galloway with me and we had a great 8 miler on the Black Creek Greenway.  We ran with the 12:30 pace group and they did 1.5 minute of running and 1 minute of walking.  It was “Just Right” which happens to be the group’s name.  The course was very hilly but when we made it to the 4 mile mark, we got to see this pretty view of Crabtree Lake. 10450047_839349916077528_8642070104883620688_o The humidity was down and the temperature was perfect for running.  For the 5th of July in Raleigh, North Carolina, we were very lucky indeed. After the run, Ron wanted to check out a new juice bar that our friend Dan had told him about. We set off to downtown Raleigh in search of Happy + Hale. IMG_1437 Ron was in heaven! This business was started by 2 NCSU students who began by peddling juice off a bicycle.  Click here for a very good article of how their business was born.    They sell salads, smoothies, and cold pressed juice.  IMG_1434 IMG_1435

We both got smoothies.  Mine was City of Oats and Ron’s was Green No Envy.

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City of Oats had strawberry, banana, steel cut oats, peanut butter, almond milk, cinnamon, and dates. Green No Envy had coconut water, spinach, mango, avocado, ginger root, pressed lemon juice. City was delicious but Green will only be loved if you are a true connoisseur of juice like Ron. Downtown Raleigh is such a pretty place to me.  We had a very nice time walking around.

IMG_1438   IMG_1439 And how did they come up with the name Happy + Hale?      Take a look. IMG_1433

Here’s to you and wishing joy and health always!

4 Ingredient Chia Seed Pudding

 

I really love desserts as I’m sure any long time reader has deduced.  However, on Sunday’s when Andie, Jonathan, and Mason come over for dinner, I have to be really careful about what dessert I serve.  They let him have sweets an all but they really are much more strict than I ever remember being.

That’s a good thing though.  Mason is a great eater and it is important that he eats his veggies before he fills up on sweets.

Today I’ve come up with a winner I think.

4 ingredient Chia Seed Pudding!  I got the inspiration from Daily Garnish and from Oh She Glows.  Hop on over to their great blogs for the exact proportions.  I followed Daily Garnish pretty closely but I took Oh She Glow’s advice and stirred in a little cacao powder.

Here are the 4 healthy ingredients:

Almond milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, and cacao powder

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Here is is all whisked up.

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I plan to serve it tonight with fresh fruit, maybe some sliced bananas, and some coconut.

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I cannot wait!  I hope Mason likes it.

I’ll post some more pictures tonight and let you know Mason’s verdict.

I’m very happy to report that I got my run in BEFORE church again this week.  I love getting it in early so I can have the whole day wide open.  I also love that I only have to take one shower.

My workout today was a 1.0 mile easy run to the track, 4 repeats of .5 mile fast followed by .25 mile easy, and then the 1.0 mile easy run home.  These repeats are called Yasso’s and I’ve got to do it religiously to help me get faster.  My fastest Yasso was 4:20 today!  I was thrilled because if you can do a Yasso in 4:20 you can supposedly do a marathon in 4:20:00.

4:30 Thunder Road Here I Come!

Oh, and I’ve got to give a shout out to the book I’m listening to right now.  A Prayer for Owen Meany is sooooooo good!  I love Owen!  I’ll try to do a good review of it when I finish but don’t wait on me.  You just have to read it. (or listen Smile)

Happy Running Friends!  Happy Eating!  Happy Week Ahead!

Rock-n-Roll Raleigh Race Recap

 

This is a very hard race recap for me to write. I’ve waited almost 2 months to write it and although I am feeling better, it still is very hard. On Palm Sunday, Ron and I ran in the inaugural Rock-n-Roll Raleigh Half Marathon.

We were ready to Rock!

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Ready to Rock

However, for 2 men in their early 30’s, this race would be their very last. They both collapsed and died. One man collapsed with the finish line in site and the other man collapsed around mile 10. Both men were reportedly in great shape and had run half marathons before.

I have heard about this phenomenon of people collapsing and dying in races but I took solace in the fact that statistically, running marathons was safer than any other active sport. Usually the people that lose their lives are men in their 30s and they most often have an undiagnosed heart conditions. This time the 2 people that lost their lives fit the profile to a T. However, on the same weekend that Ron and I were running the Wrightsville Beach Half Marathon, a 16 year old girl collapsed and died just after crossing the finish line in the Virginia Beach Half Marathon. This 16 year old was a student athlete and played softball and was on her high school swim team. It was seeming to me that you just couldn’t tell anymore. This was happening to more and more people of all walks of life and was happening much closer to home.

Ron and I did not see the men on the course and had no idea anything had happened. In fact we were at home eating Chinese Veggie Combo Plates when I noticed the news alert on my phone. I was in shock!

My heart broke for the 2 men and their friends and families.

My heart was also very heavy because this race was actually a very hard one for Ron. Ron and I don’t usually run together. Ron likes to listen to music and he is about 1 minute per mile slower than me. For this race, I had decided that I was going to stick with Ron the whole way. I knew he wouldn’t talk to me but since this was a very big race and the course was sure to be crowded, I wanted to stay together. We were doing great until around mile 5 when Ron asked me about the hills. I teased him and told him that the hill that we were on was the last one. I thought he could tell in my voice that I was teasing but he didn’t. Raleigh is one of the hilliest places you could ever imagine. Durham is hilly too but Raleigh comes in right behind them. When the hills just kept coming one right after another, Ron got a little freaked out. I told him that I was just joking and that I was very sorry but it was too late. Running is a very mental sport and Ron was getting so discouraged.

The hills were coming a lot easier to me because I have been doing hill repeats as part of my weekly training. I encouraged Ron to slow down and take short steps. Around mile 8, Ron took off his hat and his headphones and I knew something was up. He told me he was getting dizzy. We walked to the next aid station and he stopped and let the medics check him out. His pulse was perfect so the medic just offered him some Gatorade. At that point Ron cheered up a little but I suggested we run intervals for the rest of the way in. I set my Garmin to run 2 minutes and walk 1 minute. That went along pretty well for most of the way until around mile 12. Ron was really losing steam and walking more and more.

We were run/walking near a group of 3 other people. There was a guy and 2 girls probably in their early 20’s. One of the girls was having a very tough time of it and was just like Ron. Her 2 friends were sticking with her and encouraging her to run to the next block and stuff like that. I was doing the same for Ron but really trying to just take all the cues from him. If he needed to walk, we walked. In fact, I turned my Garmin completely off so we wouldn’t hear the interval beeps anymore.

We made it to the finish line, got our medals, grabbed some food and water, and proceeded directly to our car. This was one race that Ron was very glad was over.

After I heard the news of the 2 men that had lost their lives, I started feeling really guilty. Where do you draw the line between encouraging someone and just not saying anything?

What if our Ready to Rock selfie from above was the last photo I ever had of Ron? You can see, I was a bundle of nerves.

I’ve had several weeks to think about everything and I’m more at ease now. Only God knows the day and time that you’ll be called home to heaven and we just can’t get all caught up in that. I do believe in being careful and not reckless but I have to let it go. I love running marathons and I train for them. Statistically, running distances does make the heart grow stronger.

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Here’s a few shots of the Rock-n-Roll Raleigh expo. It was a very well-run race and loads of fun. The expo rocked and was truly the very best one I’ve ever attended.

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The course was pretty but like I mentioned, very hilly. Raleigh is my town and I’m getting more accustomed to her and I don’t get freaked out as much over the hills. Funny how training hills will do that for you. Imagine that. Hard things become easy if you practice. LOL Now if push-ups and dare I say pull-ups could ever become easy!

Everything about the Rock-n-Roll series was awesome. I’d highly recommend this race. I really liked the corral start. It was the largest race I’ve ever run in and with the corral start I never felt crowed at all.

The only negative that I can think of is the parking. That was horrible. I know they will work on this for next year so it shouldn’t be an issue in upcoming races. Just know that even with the 7:00am start, don’t panic. The last corral probably won’t even take off until around 7:45 so you’re not going to miss it.

I was thinking about doing a lot of half marathons over the summer but I’m leaning more to just volunteering at them instead of running. I have found a 50k that I can run before my marathon and I’m almost ready to bite the bullet and sign up for it. It is actually a 12 hour race and you just run as much as you can in the 12 hours. Surely I can do 50K in under 12 hours. This might be the very best first ultra for me. I’ve heard about Hinson Lake and it looks cool too but the registration is already closed for this year.

I also just got an email about the Run the Valley race that is coming up in September. I really get sucked in. Just when I say I’m not going to run as many races and email will come and now I want to see if I can tackle Morrow Mountain again. It was a very cool race. Maybe I’ll have to do it.

Happy running friends!

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