Weekend Runs & Bookworm Fun

Ingredients for a perfect weekend:

  • Running
  • Running with husband
  • Running with friends
  • Wine or Champagne
  • Books, reading, book club
  • BRUNCH

This past weekend involved all of the above… and I can’t wait to have another just like it.

Saturday, Mr. Speedy took me a nice long 13 mile run that has hilly trails sprinkled throughout.
This sounds very pleasant.
Even adventurous.
But it was actually quite dangerous.

This was all fine and dandy until we hit about mile 7, and were running aimlessly on a trail that clearly was a loop (WHICH MEANT WE WERE DOOMED FOREVER) and I began to panic that a) we would never escape the forest b) be forced to eat leaves and eventually c) die in each other’s sweaty arms.

As much as a death in each other’s sweaty arms would be romantic and somewhat epic, I was starving and really wanted a Panera Bread smoothie and it was my goal to get one. I complained to Mr. Speedy that we were lost, and probably going to be lost for hours, and that I was hungry and also had to go the bathroom. And forgot to brush my teeth.

He told me to stop being so dramatic and continued to drag me through the never-ending trail…. and we eventually re-surfaced to an open area that was familiar. Good thing he was with me.

Looking down at my watch, it was clear that we were actually only lost and running aimlessly for approximately 13 minutes. BUT- that is a long freaking time to be running around in uncharted territory that is thick with trees and rocks and creepy animal sounds.

My legs post-trail run. Little bit of mud. I have no idea how my socks stayed that clean???

My legs post-trail run. Little bit of mud. I have no idea how my socks stayed that clean???

The next day, I met two girls from book club to do a 10 mile run prior to our Brunch meeting.

I was VERY EXCITED for this run. Running with people for the first time is like a blind date, except you already know you like the person and want to spend time with them.

Ok- that is actually a weird reference and doesn’t make a lotta sense… but basically, I was EXCITED.

It was a blast running with these ladies. We chatted, enjoyed the weather, talked about everything from work, love, babies, periods, food, and just enjoyed our run. The one gal (I’ll call her Harley, because she just bought a Harley which makes her the coolest), ran 5 with us before going home to shower before the brunch. She was pretty funny because she sprinted off mid-run, let us catch up, and then was like ‘I regret that sprint.’ Ahhhh….. so different from running with Mr. Speedy!

The other girl (I shall call her Poly because she is getting her PhD in Political Science which is freakin’ amazing!), stuck it out for the full 10 and did awesome. I think she may have surprised herself with her overall run time. Poly is doing the Detroit marathon in October so I hope we can get some long runs in together! Makes it so much less painful.

Running with these girls makes you really cherish being able to share the sport. In some ways, running kind of allows you to open up and talk about things maybe you wouldn’t normally. It’s a raw sport and you are just yourself. Everyone is in the same boat, striding along one step at a time.

After running, it was time for book club brunch! Everyone brought something and it was delicious. We had a new member who made a blueberry-lemon-crazy-good-bread-cobbler. I strategically sat myself in front of it…. and Poly made HOMEMADE BAGELS.

HAVE YOU EVER HAD HOMEMADE BAGELS?

You have not eaten a bagel until you eat a homemade one. I told her that if I ever get really sick of something tragic happens, please just give me a bag of bagels. It’ll fill my heart and tummy with pure carb joy.

 

We discussed the books The Devil Wears Prada and Where We Belong (both very fun, summer reads).

I ate 4 bagels and 6 cookies.

The cookies were from my friend (I shall nickname her NY because she used to intern there). This Friday, NY and I, along with our friend Greek (that is her nickname because she is super-duper Greek) will be traveling to the Upper Peninsula for a girls’ getaway.

Here is the group:

SNL, Greek, and I.

NY, Greek, and I. This was at my bachelorette party- ignore my penis necklace.

We are touring the famous Pictured Rocks via kayak. NY is convinced this is dangerous – but it is not.

My co-worker recently did this and check out her picture:

Pictured Rocks!

Pictured Rocks!

How awesome does this look??? I plan to take many pictures and not tip my kayak over from pure excitement.

What is your favorite food at a brunch??? BAGELS. I SHALL EAT THEM ALL.

Sincerely,

Lily

Date a Girl Who Runs

Recently, my dear awesome friend Megan sent me this article about dating a girl that runs.
I lovedddddd it.

It is posted here, but I went ahead and provided it – along with my own interpretation 🙂

 

DATE A GIRL WHO RUNS

I started running at a very young age.

I started running at a very young age.

Date a girl who runs because she knows how to go the distance, even when the going the gets tough.

Because it will get tough. Her side will hurt and she didn’t eat breakfast, but you won’t hear her complaining because she’s in it for the long haul. (Actually, I do complain if I get hungry and my side hurts- usually in the form of ‘My side hurts and I’m going to eat the next squirrel I see.”)

Date a girl who runs because she doesn’t need you to be her therapist or to fill her up because she has her beat-up running shoes to do that for her, and this means that you can just be you. (TRUE- Mr. Speedy knows that when I’m in a mental block, I am in dire need of a run to clear things up.)

Date a girl who looks at food as fuel, not an enemy; she sees her thighs as gladiators slaying the beast of her demons, not as objects to cover up in bed. Date a girl who thinks of her body as a tool, an instrument to play, taking it to its limits, and not as something she hates. Watch her eat a stack of pancakes or plate after plate of eggs, never worrying about the calories. (<— never worrying about calories??? Food is fuel but I like to be conscience of what I’m fueling with… so I do think about calories but have no problem eating an entire box of cereal or bag of trail mix. Also, I like my thighs.)

Watch how she never asks you if these shorts make her look fat. Because they don’t. And even if she’s a big girl, she won’t care what you think because she will feel powerful and strong. When you’re with her, you’ll feel powerful and strong. (I usually ask if my shorts are giving me a wedgie….)

Date a girl who runs because she’ll know how to be alone without you, and sometimes she’ll need those solo runs. (Like when I’m on my period and I run at turtle speed and am BLOATED LIKE A WALRUS AND WILL CRY IF A LEAF HITS ME. YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW.)

Date a girl who runs because she’ll also know how to adjust her pace to fall in step with yours. And if you’re worth it, she will. (Racing? No, sorry, I will not adjust my speed #notworthit Sorry. Training? Ok, we can be peas in a pod.)

Date a girl who runs because she knows how to sprint when needed, and she knows when to make long strides for hours, if that’s what it takes. (LONG STRIDES FOR HOURS- Sign me up! Ha, no. I don’t do that.)

Massage her feet and legs when she’s achy and listen when she talks about gear. She’ll appreciate you taking the time,  even if you’re not a runner, or rather, especially if you’re not a runner. Runners are focused and they notice, so she will notice. (MASSAGE = HEAVEN. MASSAGE ME FOREVER PLEASE AND THANK YOU.)

Date a girl who plans her vacations according to trails because so much of what we’ve lost is that connection to nature and how it feels to see a rabbit at sunrise hopping next to you. (I don’t want to be anywhere near rabbits… but running while on vacation is part of vacation for me.)

Date a girl who knows how to walk it off when she’s hurt, and she will get hurt. If not her hamstrings, then her heart.  If you’re lucky, she’ll come over for a sweaty hug. (I SPRINT at the end of a race mainly because I want that sweaty kiss- forget the hug. And water, lots of water.)

Date a girl who runs because she’s got more on her mind than makeup and keeping up with the neighbors because she’s too busy trying to keep up with herself, outpace herself, outdo herself. If you want her to stay interested, set your own intentions about how you can be a better You. (Keeping up with the neighbors….. I don’t even know my neighbors *sad*).

Date a girl who runs because smiling while you sweat is sexy, and she knows that. (I thought smiles were friendly…..)

And she knows that she looks her best after a long run, even if there’s dust all over her cheeks, and her nose is sunburned. She knows she looks amazing because she is smiling.  In fact, she’s almost always smiling because she’s always releasing endorphins. (I do not agree with this- after long runs I have lots of boogers and salt caked on my face and look like an exhausted bum).

Date a girl who runs because she has great skin from all the hydration, and it’s so soft under your touch. And even if she has wrinkles, her brow is serene when she gazes off into the distance. And they’re probably laugh lines, anyway, because of those endorphins. (“Brow is serene” <— this is something that I will NEVER EXPERIENCE because my eyebrows are Italian and need to be waxed like every other day).

Date a girl who runs because she can’t be moved, and you wouldn’t settle for anything less. (Moved? Is that like swooning? Or crying? I cry a lot.)

Date a girl who runs because she knows how to quietly, patiently work every week on a goal she set that’s half a year or a year away. She’ll be working on her time, her distance, but what she’s really working on, is herself. (Awwww I like this.)

Date a girl who runs because if you’re reading this, you want to work on yourself and she’ll help you. (Let’s go for a run!)

My first marathon... this was at the half way point and I had a very mean face and was on fire.

My first marathon… this was at the half way point and I had a very mean face and was on fire.

Summer Time: Wedding Video, Fun Dinners, and More

Lordy, did I fall off the blogosphere or what?  I apologize for my extended absence !!!

First, here here is some REAL mushy mush….. our wedding highlight video complete with interviews:

NorthFox Media….. is THE BEST. Hands down. Hire them.

So…… here is what is new:

  • My name is officially changed. I am no longer bearing Pirate’s last name.
  • I signed up for a marathon in the fall. It is already starting to consume my brain.
  • I think I might be addicted to cereal. Specifically, Raisin Bran and All Bran.
  • My running injuries are pretty much healed…… ::happy dance::
  • My tiny niece is actually a llama:
How cute is this?

How cute is this?

What I’ve done lately:

  • Got tan. KIDDING. I don’t tan.
  • Got to hold a 6 week old baby. My running friend brought her cute baby boy to practice last week…. and I think I felt my ovaries leap for joy. Oh dear.
  • Fed a dog a pretzel. This is a big deal because I am learning to be friendly with canines and share my beloved carbs.
  • Cooking: Somewhere between pre-wedding and post-honeymoon I realized that I hadn’t really cooked any decent dinners for my man. My Mom has been cleaning out her cookbook collection and gave me magazines from like, the 80s, that are full of easy recipes. Sundays I have been planning our dinner menus for the entire week and making new things, such as:

I also made a gorgeous pork dish with a brown-sugar-red-wine glaze (are you drooling? I am.) but didn’t take a picture because we had a guest over and I didn’t want him to think ‘WOW MR. SPEEDY’S WIFE COOKS AND TAKES PICTURES OF HER OWN FOOD. WERID-O.”

Anyways, life is good.

This past weekend we travled to West Virginia with one of our running groups for a half-marathon. TOTAL FREAKIN BLAST.

Here is the group together:

We are a happy bunch.

We are a happy bunch.

My shorts are the shortest.... what does that mean?!?

My shorts are the shortest…. what does that mean?!?

During the race, someone yelled ‘GO BILLY!’
Naturally, I thought they meant to say ‘LILY’ so I corrected them as I ran by, screaming ‘Thanks but my name is LILY!’
And then…. a tiny voice breathed behind me, ‘My name is Billy.’

Here is a shot of us running together:

Lily and Billy.

Lily and Billy.

Poor Billy. I dragged him through mile 7-11. He was a senior in high school and every time he got a little behind, I yelled ‘Come on Billy!! Billy get up here!’

He probably regretted admitting that he was Billy. Oh well, good job young runner whom I will probably never meet! I hope you do well in college.

(Clearly, I’m a creep).

I was happy with my time at 1:33:53…. totally tanked at the end but this is proof that my IT Band is getting stronger and bandier (is that a word???).

After the run, we all drove a very windy path to one of the runner’s property and stayed for a few nights. It was a little slice of paradise. Woods. Fresh air. Mountain creeks. Natural waterfalls. This place had it all.

Mr. Speedy and I got to sleep above the barn with a large Elk head looming on a wall. It was kind of like sleeping in a Gander Mountain. All was fine and dandy until people started talking about ticks and bugs. If you don’t remember, I actually got a tick once in Nebraska. It was the single most terrifying moment in my life. I FREAKED OUT. Mr. Speedy had to light a match and BURN that nasty little thing out of my back. My spine was in danger. Gah. I can’t even talk about it.

So when people start talking about ticks, I FREAK OUT. You better believe that every night I swiftly stripped down, and demanded that Mr. Speedy fully inspect me. There was nothing sexy about this task. I also made it clear that if even JOKED about a bug burrowing into my skin, he would be sorry (I actually never really thought of a decent enough threat). I also took a hair-dryer (because ticks don’t like heat) and hair-dried my already dry body to the point that it was practically burning.

Just in case he missed any….

Obviously, I’d be a GREAT camping companion.

Yes. I can relate.

Yes. I can relate.

We did have the opportunity to drive this feisty little vehicle that had no windshield or doors. It could go over rocks, mud, branches, you name it.

Here we are when the vehicle is not moving:

Oh this is so nice.

Oh this is so nice.

And here I am when the vehicle was moving:

DEAR SWEET BABY JOSEPH SLOOOOW DOWN.

DEAR SWEET BABY JOSEPH SLOOOOW DOWN.

Obviously, I highly recommend anyone riding in one of these so they can look simply attractive and totally gorgeous. Your date will surely just drive faster and don’t mind the bugs that get lodged into your pupil, they eventually fly out.

I’m wearing a helmet next time.

Have you gotten a tick before?
What have you made for dinner lately?
Gone anywhere fun?

Sincerely,

Lily

Taking time to heal (and enjoy it)

This year has not been the greatest for the running in my life.

For my love life- it has been perfect.
For my travel life- amazing.
For my friendships- I love them all.

But for running- this year has been flat-out miserable.

First, I got Achilles tendinitis back in late January.

To allow my leg to heal AND stay fit for the wedding, I biked a lot. I went to the gym at my condo and biked and biked and biked.

Fast forward to right after the wedding, I tried running and discovered that the outside of my right knee was KILLING and my I.T. (ilitobial) band was injured. Most likely from a ill-fitting bike. So for a solid two months, I was unintentionally biking my knee into an injury while intentionally trying to let my Achilles heal.

What a cruel merry-go-round of events.

That bike did some damage.

That bike did some damage.

The past two weeks I have been very bitter about all of this, while trying to let my body heal and get my IT band strength and stamina back to normal.

I was suppose to run a half-marathon this Saturday – THE HALF THAT MR. SPEEDY AND I MET AT- but had to switch to the 5k.
I had to back out of my marathon next month.
I have been bashing my body, a lot.

And I really don’t like bashing my body. I highly dislike that and embarrassed to admit it. You know- those thoughts like you only ran a mile, that barely burned any calories, better eat less, you should be working out more, etc.

Thoughts like these can quickly creep up and seep deep and poison your entire day.

We have all been there.

Honestly- isn’t it funny how when we are limited in our normal exercise routine or not working out as much as we did before, there is this great assumption and fear that suddenly you will shrink into a less-attractive, lazier version of your former self?

I need to kick-out the negative thoughts and focus on positive words, like this:

I would like to plaster this on my wall and read it every day.

I would like to plaster this on my wall and read it every day.

Really.

One of my favorite sayings of all time –

The greatest gift you can give yourself is unconditional love.

I give Mr. Speedy unconditional love.
I give my family that too.
I plan on giving our children that type of love too.

Why am I denying myself during this time?

Just because I am running less or moving slower – is that reason to love myself a bit less too? Not grab the slice of pizza or second glass of wine?

Mr. Speedy has been SUCH A SAINT.

I have been moody and disappointed.

Just yesterday, we went for a run and he lead the way, taking a completely off-beaten path that was scenic and new to us both. When we got back to our normal path, he immediately stated how nice it was to run in between the trees and see something new.

And you know what I said?

“That was short. We aren’t going to get our full 6 miles in.”

He really should have slapped me across the cheek for that.

Instead he was quiet and said, “I thought you would have enjoyed the trees and seeing something instead of cement.”

He took the time to run a new route, one that was full of nature, and all I could think about was if I was going to reach my goal of X amount of miles. I completely missed out enjoying the beauty around me. I completely was rude towards my running partner, who choose to run a slower pace with me.

I was completely acting selfish and missed out on a beautiful run with the love of my life.

Well, enough of that behavior.

ENOUGH.

Every single day. Be kind.

Every single day. Be kind.

New mindset-

I will heal. I need to be patient. I will enjoy my runs, no matter what the pace/distance. Saturday I will run the 5k and be happy I can do that. I will be able to cheer on others competing in the half.  I will run a marathon again, just not in May, and this OK. I will eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. I will remember to tell Mr. Speedy each and every day how much his support means to me. I will appreciate every new run with him, no matter what the distance.

I will enjoy myself. And be kind.

How did you work through an injury? Tell me what kept you positive.

Sincerely,

Lily

 

 

 

 

Almost Married = Busy, Busy

Three weeks.

Three weeks is all the stands between me and my new life.
I will go from fiance to wife in a matter of seconds.
I will lose my current last name, and gain Mr. Speedy’s.
I will make a promise, an engagement, into a lifetime commitment.
I will be one part of a two part new family.

Serious vogue faces.

Serious vogue faces.

I have done quite a bit to prepare for March 28th, but I still have the following to scratch off my list:

  • Bikini Wax: To do or not to do? Frankly, I have been debating this for months and I still don’t know if I should take the plunge or not.
  • My wedding ring: Next week, I shall go to the jeweler and leave them with my engagement ring so they can make a band that perfectly matches. This is kind of important. Kind of need this done. I already have Mr. Speedy’s boxed up and ready to go.
  • Do not lose weight: When I get busy or stressed, I have a tendency to eat less and less. My dress is getting fitted  to my current bod. Mr. Speedy doesn’t want me any smaller and I don’t want the dress falling off of me. No weight losing is allowed.
  • Beauty regimen: My feet are SCALY LIKE A DRIED UP FISH. Seriously. I am trying really hard to put thick lotion on them every night. This is my main beauty regimen.
  • Coordinate deliveries, finalize reception layout, decor: Ugh…… I am trying not to think about this one too much.
  • Coordinate day of meals: I will be in a hotel suite with my ladies. We will probably be hungry. So far I have mimosas on my list of foods. I should probably work on this.
  • Prepare for visitors! I am just so excited for all the family and friends that are coming into town… I have to mentally prepare my heart and mind for all the visiting. I cannot wait. Mr. Speedy’s family will be here from NE, along with his dear Aunt and Uncle from TX, friends from Iowa, CA, IN, DC, WA, VA… all over. I am beyond excited to see everyone. It is like the best reunion ever.
  • Memorize my vows: If I can memorize the alphabet, I can memorize my vows…. right??? Every time I practice them, I start crying and my heart squeezes up like I am sprinting in a race. I need to learn how to say them c-a-l-m-l-y.
  • Hair Trial: I am doing this on Saturday! I already had one but it did not turn out…. so we are trying it again! If it doesn’t work, I’ll just wear this hat-
So chic.

So chic.

I am getting very curious about what guests are wearing to the wedding…. since it is 1920’s theme, I am sure (and hoping!) there will be lots of pearls, feathers, glitz, tuxes, top hats, and canes. It is also black tie optional, so very formal. I am really excited to see what people wear and how they accessorize. Our entire wedding party will have these 20’s accessories, so no one will be out of place — it’ll be such a roaring good time (so corny, I KNOW)!

In OTHER news, I got Achilles tendinitis about a month ago which really threw me off. Running kind of keeps me balanced and happy and sane and focused. But, I have been healing and biking (very different from running!). Biking is a good workout but it certainly makes one’s butt super sore! I am not sure how my marathon training will be once I start running more… but I am trying not to even think or stress about that at the moment. Marriage is my #1 thought and my marathon just might have to take a back seat for a while.

I have book club this weekend – we read the Divergent trilogy. Has anyone else read these books?? I am excited to get together with the club, eat some food, wine it up, and discuss what faction we would be in and how Tris and Tobias are probably not the greatest couple and should just break up and date other people.

I have a few blogs written… to make myself more visible the next few weeks! So bear with me, they are very wedding-related!

Sincerely,

Almost-Married-Lily

It has been great, 2013…. XoXo

Happy New Year’s Eve!

This time last year, I was returning from my getaway with Mr. Speedy in Cancun. As I flip through the pictures from that trip and look outside at the 17 degree weather, I wonder why on EARTH we did not jet away somewhere warm.

Moving on from that, 2013 has been amazing… for many reasons but mostly because of Mr. Speedy. Here is a timeline that validates that 2013 + Mr. Speedy = an amazing year:

I made this with powerpoint.

I made this with powerpoint.

Less than three months till the I DO. We will be married in under two years of knowing each other. Wow.

Here are some more 2013 highlights that made my year:

  • Jazzercise is a BLAST: My future sister-in-law teaches it and although I have only done in NE when I see her, it is super fun. Even though I am highly uncoordinated and look like a stringy pancake flopping and kicking at all the wrong times possible…. I have fun.
Can you believe she has had THREE kids? I hope I look like that.

Can you believe she has had THREE kids? I hope I look like that.

  • Discovering that even if you dress like starfish on a date, you can get proposed too. Even if you wore your hair crimped for years. Even if you got stuck in buckets. Love will find you. Life is fantastic that way.
  • The possibility to start something new. I mean this in any facet in my life, but I have been doing a lot of soul searching and love that if you pretty much make a committment to start something, you have the ability to finish it. No matter how different and new it may seem. Right now I am trying to finish making my bed and I almost have it completed. Almost.
  • Coaching GOTR: LOVED this program! Even though I had hairy legs that were often noted, I loved coaching and plan to do it again.
  • A family in our future: I always knew I’d want to have children one day, but until Mr. Speedy proposed that idea never really solidified itself into my brain and heart. It has. I think about it often and am excited to have enough children to have our own cross country team. KIDDING.
  • Wedding – it is what you make it. Big lesson learned. Planning a wedding can be easy or hard – you pick. It is what you make it. It is not at all what I expected but then I didn’t know what to expect. I am enjoying it. And I am looking forward to the end result.
I am so weird. He is so handsome. Bridal shower in Nebraska.

I am so weird. He is so handsome. Bridal shower in Nebraska.

  • Sometimes I talk out the side of my mouth. No one has noticed this (not even me) until Mr. Speedy mentioned it and said it was one of my cutest features. He also has noticed my two large freckles underneath my eyes, that one of my ears is slightly lower than the other, and my tiny birthmark on my hip. The fact that he notices the unseen or not-noticable things on me… makes me feel so special. Like a speckled apple mixed in with a bunch of solids. Only noticeable to the close observarber. I love that he observes me in such a minature, simple way.
  • Laundry: This is a major chore that I seem to get behind on constantly. Let’s hope 2014 can bring me up to speed on figuring out the special way to keeping laundry under control.
  • Bloggin’ Friends: I’ve gotten a lot closer to some of my bloggers on here… thank you. You are all such wonderful friends with such full personalities. I can’t wait to meet Brittany and Megan at the wedding and then hopefully meet up in the fall, along with Britta.
  • Aunt: I get to be an Aunt now because Mr. Speedy has nieces and a nephew. This makes me jump over the moon and back. These three children make me smile so much and although our time together is short (they are in NE), I love every minute!
Me and tiny Lillyan talking to Santa.

Me and tiny Lillyan talking to Santa.

  • Running: I PR in my 10 mile. Close to my half marathon, but not quite. Let’s hope to PR in the half and re-qualify with a better marathon time for Boston. These are the goals. I am thankful that I still have strong legs and a solid set of lungs to run. I love running. Running fuels me. Deep in my bone marrow, a feeling of being alive and happy and healthy, seeps and stinks in.
  • Alexander McCall Smith: Um….. yeah. That was a pretty flippin amazing moment – meeting this amazing Scottish author. So charming. So intelligent. So respectable and inviting. I want to invite him over for dinner and ask him all about his life.

DSC_0034

So…. what about you? Highlights of 2013??? Excited about 2014??

Have a happy and safe holiday! XoXo

Sincerely,

Almost-married-Lily

Running on Ice

So, there has been some serious freezing-rain-or-snow-or-ice happening here in Michigan.

Everyting is frosted and iced.

Everything is frosted and iced.

The last two days I went out early and ran.

The path was either wet and slick or thick with snow. And for some reason I absolutely LOVED it.

There is something about running when the conditions aren’t great, or even ideal. There is something about running miles before passing another brave soul. There is something about having to use extra caution so that you don’t twist or fall. There is something about feeling extra strong because you are pounding the pavement when most avoid it. There is something about running in winter that makes you feel so dang CONFIDENT. You can’t be stopped by the weather. You can’t be stopped by the temperature. You can’t be stopped.

There is something about running that makes me feel so alive, so here, and so in the moment.

I love this quote from the book Run Like a Girl –

quoteDon’t you just love that?

This applies to me so much. This last week at work made me want to rip my hair out. The wedding is getting close and I have so much to do. I am behind on laundry. GAAAAAHHHH the list goes on. But-

Taking time for my sweat session clears my head and cleans my soul. Throw yesterday away and start fresh the next. Let that icy road carry your mind to a solid and strong place. Sweat it out.

With Christmas so close, many people seem to voice concerns about ‘holiday eating’ and ‘too cold to workout.’ Silly. Nonsense. There has never been a BETTER time to throw your gloves on and get some fresh air. Layer up and make time for yourself during the holidays. Round up your family or a friend. Sign up for a 5k and walk it.

We are leaving for Nebraska in the morning to spend Christmas with Mr. Speedy’s family. I am not looking forward to the looooong car ride but I am sure looking forward to doing some running and taking in the cornfields and Nebraska sky.

I just love running, even on icy paths.

Sincerely,

Lily

Winner of Pretty Gift Giveaway & Sunday News

Big news of the day:

bayshore

I just signed up for the Bayshore Marathon, in an attempt to re-qualify for Boston. This means I will start training towards the end of January while simultaneously planning our wedding that will take place in March. (WHAT A PERFECT WAY TO STAY LEAN FOR THE BIG DAY 😮 !) This also means the honeymoon will involve a lot of running, since it is during crucial training time. This also means I will have to manage my time carefully because I am planning on coaching GOTR in the Spring. This also means I will be a wife. This also means my life will be completely different as it is now.

Basically, please pray for my sanity and legs. I  am a little tired just thinking about it but very excited.

running1

Now for the giveaway winner….

I just love the tree in the background. And yes, I planned that.

I just love the tree in the background. And yes, I planned that.

SO MANY LOVELY COMMENTS ABOUT CHRISTMAS. Loved them all. I love how so many people enjoy the time together with family and friends, and giving gifts, and the wintery-weather. I used a random number generator and the winner is:

randomnumberforgiftandreaaDo you like that chick? I got super creative with Word. ANYWAYS — HUGE CONGRATS TO ANDREA! She lives in AZ where it is sunny and beautiful and I would like to be transported there immediately. Andrea- enjoy the treats and thanks for reading!

On a completely unrelated note, I started a bookclub with some girls and one of the girls found these cute Kate Spade book totes –

THIS IS ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS TO READ BOOKS. TO USE THIS BAG.

THIS IS ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS TO READ BOOKS. TO USE THIS BAG.

They are from The Strand (here) and completely affordable and adorable. This bag literally is the best Christmas gift to myself and makes me slightly more excited to read. I can’t wait for our first meeting January. I am hosting and am planning a menu of lots of wine, conversation, and hummus. SO PUMPED.

Need a gift for a book lover? Buy them a tote!

HAPPY SUNDAY!

Sincerely,

Lily

How I Always See Him

Do you have a particular picture that perfectly represents a person? It perfectly conveys exactly how you picture them in your head and when you hear their voice, this image pops up?

For me, this picture of Mr. Speedy is one of those photos:

MrSpeedywins

This photo is somewhat of snapshot of what I saw when I first met him and it is forever scarred into my left ventricle. And right.

He is not always wearing a running shirt, that detail is interchangeable. And that smirk, that smirk often displays itself, usually when he is thinking a funny thought or looking at me when I am doing something funny or being silly. His hair is the same. And it will always be like that. Thick, and not quite blonde or brown, but speckled with warm sandy colors. Those arms- those arms are the arms of my dreams. Those arms have the ability to wrap me up in such a secure little knot of strength and hope and calmness, it makes it quite impossible to remember if any emotion other than happiness and love were possible to cross my mind. Those arms hold some sort of salvation, a saving grace, for me.

But my favorite aspect of this picture is his expression. It is that expression. It is his expression and it is so him. It is dead on. His eyes are light and playful, but direct and unwavering. He seems so content, and ready for whatever is about to happen. And maybe he is showing a little of readiness because we were about to start our courtship and our lives were about to change forever. Or maybe he is always ready for whatever comes his way. Confident. Assertive. Intelligent. He is the only man I have ever known to render this type of expression and I love him for it.

When I picture Mr. Speedy in my mind, I picture this.

And I will always picture him like this and see him like this.

Even when we are 93 years old and withered running champs, our minds filled with a lifetime of memories, I will always picture him as this twenty-something stud that I so effortlessly wanted in my life.

Sincerely,

Lily

Thankful for Friends I’ve Never Met

HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

This is my house.... KIDDING. I wish.

This is my house…. KIDDING. I wish.

Isn’t this picture just darling? Find it here, along with the printables so you can make the sweet banner and signs. It even comes with menus. Gush. Drool. I DIE. I can’t wait to host a holiday and make all these cute things and personalize the entire event!

Anyways, I am not hosting Thanksgiving (my Godmother is and Mr. Speedy, along with my family, are going) but I am thankful for a whole lot.

Here are just a few things to start your Thanksgiving off with a smile-

1. That I have gained an eye for fashion and no longer wear red sweatsuits and have to run away from lake water.

"GAAAWD HELP MEEEEEE"

“GAAAWD HELP MEEEEEE”

2. For dissss legzzzz:

Mhhmmmm these legs.

Mhhmmmm these legs.

3. Speaking of those legs, I am also thankful that the man in my life understands my need for decorations and celebrated my birthday by having streamers everywhere, balloons, and a mini cake. BEST BIRTHDAY EVER:

Mr. Speedy took this. How sweet.

Mr. Speedy took this. How sweet.

4. For my inability to understand directions. If I did understand them, my life would be so much more boring.

5. For this small child in a puffy tutu, whom would not be in my life had I not met Mr. Speedy. She will also be one of two flowergirls in our wedding:

I hope she rolls down the aisle. That would be epic.

I hope she rolls down the aisle. That would be epic.

6. For my dear friend Brittany and Megan who are traveling across the country and renting a horse to come to my wedding. (They aren’t really renting a horse but I thought that added a bit of drama to the whole thing). And you know what is so dang special about these two friends of mine… WE HAVE NEVER MET. Nadda. Zero. Zilch. We have been friends in the blogging world for years and now we have a reason (maaawrriage) to meet up.

Isn’t it crazy how you get connect to people even when you’ve never actually met them? I feel like it is a special form of friendship because we read and write to each other and take the time to communicate in a somewhat lost form.

Horses pulling a carriage.

Horses pulling a carriage. Luckily, they are not traveling this dangerous way.

I really am thankful for these two ladies. I am really excited to get a picture of all three of us TOGETHER in the flesh. It’ll be amazing.

7. For how awesome running is and how it can change your day. Running gives me such joy. Seriously.

8. For thisssssss and my friend from college, J, whom I find funny, creative, and inspiring. She is awesome.

Wineee with friends!

Wineee with friends!

9. For Pirate, mother, hippie sister, smelly brothers, and my whole dang family. They are ze best. They are all mine. They understand me.

10. For marraige. I am thankful that such a thing exists. I am excited to join the marriage club and wear a wedding ring. I am excited to share the same last name and call Mr. Speedy my husband and bear his children and grow old together and make an entire life of memories.

ONLY 4 MONTHS FROM TODAY AND I’LL BE KISSING THIS MAN IN FRONT OF A LOT OF PEOPLE. AND CRYING LIKE A BABY.

DSC_0198

I lost those sunglasses later that day. Tragic.

What are you thankful for today?

Sincerely,

Thankful Lily