labor day weekend, estling lake.

This was the post I didn’t want to write. The end-of-vacation post.

Five days ago I was all but running to my car to get to the airport. I was hot. I was tired after a long week. I was mentally and physically done with everything. Done.

This morning I feel new. I’m rested. I feel like I can see the things that are in front of my face. I’ve smiled more this weekend than I have the past month. 

And I’m not ready to head back to Tampa today. I’m a different person here at Estling Lake. I’m excited, outgoing, motivated, loved, centered (if we’re getting all hippie), totally relaxed. I’m probably more fun. I’m leaving on United at 3 p.m. Who wants to slash the plane tires for me?

I can’t pick any favorite moments because I’m obsessed with them all. To name a few:
(1) A painless flight on Wednesday night that left late from Tampa but still arrived on time in Newark because the pilot “gunned it.”
(2) The most spectacular day in New York City on Friday when the weather gods showed. up. and I got to visit three friends.
(3) Three consecutive days of Jersey pizza.
(4) A Saturday morning pancake breakfast with tons of relatives and friends I haven’t seen in years.
(5) A Saturday evening Italian feast at La Cucina.
(6) Ten million cups of coffee every morning with my uncle.
(7) Walk/runs every day with no time crunch, just one foot in front of the other.

There were so many hugs. And my heart is about to explode. Here’s what you didn’t see on Instagram.

flying on united
Wednesday night: Somewhere between Florida and New Jersey.

estling lake
Thursday: Morning coffee on the deck. The weather was perfection.

mountain lakes nj
Part of my walk/run on goes through trails in Mountain Lakes. Heaven.

estling lake beach day
Beach day, hello.

electra townie bike ride
A quick grocery run to stock up on some bunny food.

pavolos pizza denville nj
Pavolo’s pizza; the best ever.

fishs eddy nyc
Friday: Fishs Eddy, NYC.

fishs eddy nyc 2
I could’ve spent hours in Fishs Eddy. They have everything you could ever want for your kitchen. It’s so perfect in there.

union square market nyc
I found a farmer’s market (or it found me) in Union Square.

highline nyc
Walking the Highline.

aquagrill nyc
My friends took me out to lunch at Aquagrill on 6th and Spring St. After walking for 4.5 hours, it was the biggest treat. To start, I got the Rosemary Citrus Sprtizer: Iced London Dry Gin, Rosemary Syrup, Hint of Green Chartreuse and Fresh Lemon Soda. ((Best decision ever. It was like drinking a flower. With lots of alcohol. An alcohol flower.))

south street seaport
South Street Seaport; another one of my favorite places.

watermark bar nyc
I headed even further down to the water at South Street Seaport to visit another friend. We had drinks and caught up at Watermark. The views were freaking unbelievable. I’m SO JEALOUS he lives a block from here.

watermark bar nyc 2
We cute.

watermark bar nyc 3
Facing the Watermark; the water is behind me.

The pace of NYC is my speed. It’s exciting. It’s different every day. I’m going to be there one day. Some day.

apple walnut bread
Sunday: It was raining and that only means one thing. Baking! Apple Walnut Bread happened.

starbucks coffee
Monday morning: Just a few hours left of vacation before I shove off to the airport. Big sad face. But I’ve got so many happy feelings for this past weekend. I can’t wait for another.

How was your weekend?

apple walnut bread via on sutton place.

Oh, hello!

chopped apples

I haven’t been here much the past few days because, well, I’m in my happiest of happy places. Nothing and no place can bring me the joy that Estling Lake does, even when it’s pouring rain. Which it did this afternoon.

apple walnut bread ingredients

And what do we do when it’s pouring rain? We raid Pinterest for easy recipes that’ll make the kitchen smell sweet and wonderful.

apple walnut bread pre-bake

On Sutton Place’s Apple Walnut Bread came up, and it didn’t take much convincing because it’s sorta kinda a dessert, but it’s in loaf form so that makes it still OK to eat any time of the day.

Here is Anne’s recipe:

Ingredients
1 c. sour cream
1 c. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. apples diced very fine
1 c. chopped walnuts

Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare one large loaf pan or 3 small. (runnaroundd note: I used 3 small loaf pans)
Beat together first 4 ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients mixing well and scraping sides of the bowl.
Fold in the apples and half of the nuts.
Pour batter into loaf pan(s) and top with remaining nuts.
Bake for 60 min. (large) and 35-40 min. (small)
Let sit in pans for 10 minutes and then cool on a rack.

apple walnut bread

I haven’t had dinner yet. So I’m probably going to have a slice or two anyway, and then bookend my meal with maybe another sliver.

Because, vacation.

i’m so excited for me.

In t-minus 30 minutes I’ll be on a United airplane heading to my happiest of happy places (it’s a tie with Disney, duh). 

tampa international airport

To say I needed another refreshing, revitalizing weekend–with a sunburn to match–would be THE understatement of this entire century. Maybe I just really want one. Either or, I’m heading up to dirrrrty jerz and I’ve never been more excited.

I brought too many magazines, a really good book (right now I’m reading The Silver Star by Jeanette Walls), and a carry-on and a suitcase that both for sure are pushing the boundaries of overhead bin-appropriate.

PEACE.

walk breaks.

Four years ago (omg, four years ago) I would’ve laughed in my own face if I told myself it was morally OK to take walk breaks during a run. That I wouldn’t burn in a hell made of Icy Hot and thigh chafe if I took a walk break.

I never needed them. If I felt fatigued, if I felt like I couldn’t finish that last mile of the long run with the guys group, I slowed down, I didn’t pump my arms so hard, I focused on my form and my breathing instead of my speed. But I never, ever walked.

You’re better than that, I told myself. Walking is weakness. It’s giving up. You’re not weak, and you sure as hell don’t walk.

I didn’t give up. I never gave up. Until a few years ago when I didn’t have a choice.

I remember the week I had to start walking on my runs. I couldn’t understand what was happening. I was so in tune with my body. I knew when to push it and how to push it. I hit times coach told us to hit, and then I ran faster in the next set. My mind was sharp and it knew my goals of marathons, of triathlons, of ironmans, of having a social running life after my college glory days. I would join a running team and wear a branded singlet. My race registrations would be paid for, and I’d work for a company that lived and breathed and sweated all running everything. But my body was giving up for me, and all I could do was stop and walk.

It started slowly, the walking, and then it progressed. Two runs per week I was walking. Then three. Then suddenly I couldn’t remember a run I finished without a walk. All of them. I was walking during every run. My legs were heavy, my heart weighed a thousand pounds. I couldn’t accept that this was my new normal. I didn’t want to believe that a disease was taking over my body each week, each month.

It was Dystonia, and it was slowly ruining my life.

Today, this new running life includes a lot of walk breaks. More than half my “runs” are walking. I’m only doing what I can do. I’m doing as much as I can do, damnit, and as much as I can do is walk.

The day of my diagnosis was good but hard. I had an answer, but not a cure. I couldn’t accept it, but I didn’t have a choice. I walked.

After all this time, going through this disease every single day, it’s taken me this long to realize that walk breaks aren’t a weakness. They’re a reminder to me every day that I still care so much about this sport. I put on my sports bra the same way every day. I tie my hair in a messy bun. I lace up my shoes and get out there. I haven’t given up on the run life. ((#stubborn)) But I know it might just take me a little longer to get where I want to go.

weekend food and sunshine.

I tried to stay outside as much as possible this weekend, but I’m so in love with sitting in my living room looking out my bigazz windows watching the trees blow all over. Wanna come over?

Despite my fridge being absolutely bare, I had a lot of yummy foods. I started Saturday with a little oatmeal with cinnamon and honey and some grocery-listing… which was actually pointless because I’m only in town for three days this week before heading up to New Jersey (!!!!). I got lotsa food to eat before Wednesday night.

grocery list
Oatmeal and groceries Saturday morning.

fresh salad tampa fl
Veggie-filled lunch salad al frescoooo.

sunday food prep collage
A mini Sunday food prep.

pool day tampa fl
Davis Islands pool grand opening. Too many children not following rules.

davis islands tampa fl
Sailing lessons at Davis Islands.

In between the sunning and burning, I got in a few good bike rides and one walk/run, but I made sure to save some energy for a walk/run early this morning. My legs felt rested and a little more refreshed, but my face didn’t. I am le tired. I ended up doing about an hour walk/run with some stair-running, abs and girl push-ups in between. I was a sweaty mess when I got home. Mission accomplished.

Three work days until I’m in my happy place with a happy face. YAY.

Have a fun Monday!

friyay.

FRIYAY

YAY because it’s finally Friday.

YAY because we have just one work day away from the weekend.

YAY because I won a blog giveaway this week for 12 JARS OF ALMOND BUTTER from Amanda.

NOT YAY because I’ll be about 8,000 pounds in month.

YAY because I had FIVE great morning workouts this week and I’m feeling awesome about it.

YAY because I went shopping last night after work with a friend, and I needed that girl time like whoa. Financially, I did not need these items. Emotionally, I definitely did.

anthropologie outfits

YAY because this is where my head has been for the past long while at work: BRA LAND. I fall asleep at night thinking about cup sizes.

bali and playtex bras

YAY because my office buddy shared her Trader Joe’s Roasted & Salted Shelled Pistachios with me and now I’m in trouble. #lifechanging

YAY because I’m so excited to chill in my new apartment tonight after work. The plan: go for a walk on Bayshore, pick up a few things at the grocery, make dinner, watch The Real Housewives, fall asleep on the couch, drag my  butt to bed. I cannot wait.

What’s your FriYAY?!

one important thought.

No surprise, but this one important thought came to me while I was on a run/walk this morning. They have that effect. Too much time to think actually turns out to be a good thing.

And basically, in the time between being annoyed that I couldn’t run the whole way and gasping for air after doing a crap ton of burpees, I realized that you can only do what you can do. I can certainly do less, but I’m not about waking up super early to half-ass anything.

((Now that I’m re-reading this, I’m having a DUH, LINDSAY moment. But it’s simple and true.))

running

You can only do what you can do.

Whether you’re injured for a little while or–in my case–forever, you can only do what you can do. So I’m trying not to get worked up about not being able to train for races. I have to hit that hard into my head every. single. day. when all I want to do is bang out a 12-miler on my favorite trails. Maybe someday, my Dystonia will go away and I’ll be able to cross a marathon or an Ironman finish line. Maybe it won’t. But I’m making myself sick being so upset about what I can’t do.

I’ve only got enough energy for what I can do right now. If that means limping every run and stopping every 30 seconds to walk, then I say: at least I’m not in a wheelchair, at least I can walk, at least I’m fighting for a good workout and not my life.

This is what I can do today, and I’ll wake up and find out what I can do tomorrow.

three for three.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning workouts = DEMOLISHED.

morning running

When I moved to a new place this past weekend I lost my free apartment gym, and my ability to do HIIT workouts in my room (because I’m on the third floor and my building is 1,000 years old). I was left with only one choice: RUN. (Or try to)

So, I did! And have been.

I’m loving my new morning routine. Like, a lot. I feel like I have a new life. This apartment has already brought me so much joy. Here’s what’s been going down in the new casa de runnaroundd!

6AM: Get jolted awake by my alarm and snooze it for 10 more minutes. 
6:10:
Scroll through Insta, eventually get up and dressed.
6:25ish:
Out the door (hopefully). Start out walking for a bit. Jam to Backstreet Boys.
6:50: Pass old teammates running on Bayshore. Cry a little.
7:00ish:
Run/walk to the stairs in downtown and run up and down them a few times. Throw some tricep dips in there for fun, maybe a few high knees.
7:35ish: Get home. Take pictures of my stupid outfit. Sweat everywhere. Drink all the fluids and suck on ice cubes. Florida humidity SUCKS. Lay on my floor, plank for five minutes (I’m getting good!), shower, watch the news (now that I have cable !!!!), post an insta pic because I’m damn proud of myself for getting out there and because MANATEES.
8:00: Put together breakfast (I’m on an eggs/spinach/salsa bender), pack lunch and snacks for the day. Pick out clothes that are still in suitcases and boxes. Oops. Pretend like I have a makeup routine. Give up after mascara.
8:20: Head to work.
8:35-5:30PM: Meetings. Get ish done. Melt brain.
6:00: Get home (sometimes earlier, sometimes later). Throw on gym clothes and head out to Bayshore for another walk/run in the gorgeous sunshine.
6-7something: Use the little gym areas on Bayshore to do burpees and sit-ups and push-ups. People stare. I sweat. Think how much I love working out outside.
7:30-9:30ish: Shower, eat dinner while making it because I’m an animal, slather this nut butter on everything and devour, veg in front of the TV (my favorite), finish up some more work. Read in bed until I fall asleep.

It’s not perfect, but so far it’s working out really well. And I can’t wait to rot my brain with more TV tonight.

Happy workout-ing. What was yours today (or what’s it going to be later)? What part of your day do you look forward to the most? 

(almost) settled.

Saturday was the day. I was up at 5 a.m. hauling things from apartment to car up three flights of stairs into another apartment. At 10 a.m. I was wedged in the corner of my new (very small) kitchen between bikes and boxes bawling about the amount of pans and coffee mugs and lack of cabinets and closet space. I was emotional. And hot.

sunrise sunset tampa

Then mommabear swooped in and talked me off the crazy ledge while finding places for my tupperware and reusable bags. Then my dad set up the TV and showed me how to work it. Then they took my to Ikea and bought me the most beautiful rug that makes my new rental feel like a home. Then they went out of the way for a toilet paper run. I swear, these two are better than all the rest.

ikea mapnew apartment

As ecstatic as I was to be moved in, I felt the sadness that is the first day at a new school. I was the weird one with no friends or fashion sense. And I missed my parents! But a rough night of sleep turned into a gorgeous Sunday.

morning coffee anthropologie mugegg whites and vegetables

I rode my bike, did big loads of laundry and relaxed. A lot. Now that I have Internet and cable TV (!!!) all I want to do is watch the Real Housewives and turn on the news every morning.

I still have lots left to unpack and pictures will come, but for now I’m living the good life. And the good life is big ass windows, tons of sunlight and a kitchen that isn’t perfect, but has “charm.”

My new workout situation:
I’m actually a little bummed about this. 
I used to get up and do HIIT workouts in my apartment every morning, but now that I live on the 3rd floor of a very old building, I’ll have to scrap those because all that pounding on the floor is super loud. I also don’t have access to a free gym anymore so I’m going to scope out the gyms in my area.

Instead of a HIIT workout, I went out for a run/walk on Bayshore (first time in months) and ran up and down some stairs with some hardcore Army-lookin’ dudes until I wanted to puke. Then I pretended to do push-ups when they did. It was awesome.

bayshore blvd tampa

Have a great Monday! What’s an absolute must when it comes to looking for a gym? (Mine is great classes and free towels so I don’t have to bring my own.)