Absent from the Blog (Present in Real Life!)

running shoes and wedding shoes
My running shoes outnumbered my wedding shoes. (Photo Credit: Abby Greenawalt)

You may have noticed I took some time off from blogging. Okay, a lot of time off… I thought about apologizing, but honestly I’m not sorry. I’ve been focused on myself and my own daily goings-on, and I simply didn’t feel the need to document those activities here—mostly because they weren’t running related, but also because I was being, well, selfish. (Gasp—I know!)

Now I’m ready to share the love! Here’s why I’ve been absent lately:

Photo Credit: Abby Greenawalt
Moments after saying, “I do!” (Photo Credit: Abby Greenawalt)

1. Michael K. Farrell and I tied the knot! Last month, the 53 people who love us the most in this world squeezed into a small church in Virginia and witnessed the beginning of our marriage. Planning the wedding took over my life. Don’t believe what you hear, single ladies, even a small event pulls your attention away from the rest of your life. But in the end, I loved every minute of it. It was a day filled with love and laughter—and I still get all smiley thinking about it!

My matron of honor—six months pregnant, glowing and gorgeous! (Photo Credit: Abby Greenawalt)
My matron of honor—six months pregnant, glowing and gorgeous! (Photo Credit: Abby Greenawalt)

2. I became a pregnancy expert. I’ve never had the pleasure of bringing a life into the world. (Michael K. Farrell hopes to knock that off my bucket list later this year. Wink. Wink.) However, I took on a really awesome set of assignments for Parents.com and learned more about pregnancy weight gain, breast tenderness, and relationship changes than any non-mom needs to know. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to swollen ankles, but at least I’ll understand where all that fluid is coming from.

myfitnesspal snack packing tip
Meet my desk accessories at MyFtinessPal! (Photo Credit: Elle Penner)

3. I’m the new managing editor at MyFitnessPal! This month I started working with the phenomenal team at MyFitnessPal. The incredible health-tracking app that you know and love is beefing up its healthy living content, starting with its blog, Hello Healthy—and I’ll be steering the ship. Stay tuned for fun changes over there (and possibly some spillover here)!

Running with the Bride, Chicago-Style!

Sara’s sister made her an adorable top to run in pre-vows. (And yes, this beach is in Chicago!)

I just love a June wedding–especially when it takes me to a city I’ve never visited before. A couple of weekends ago, I had the pleasure of watching my friends Sara and Iain tie the knot in front of family and friends at an art gallery in Chicago. Craving a girls’ weekend, I made Baby Sister come along as my date and we took the Windy City by storm.

Brrr! It was so much fun that after climbing out, Sara and I just had to jump back in again.

There’s no better way to learn about a city than to go for a run! The morning of the wedding, I pulled Baby Sister* out of bed early to meet Sara and her sister for an easy 4-miler. We took an out-and-back route along the water front, which included a loop of the zoo in Lincoln Park. Then, we jumped into Lake Michigan!

One all-beef dog, mustard, onions, sweet relish, pickle, tomatoes, peppers, and a shake of celery salt on a poppy seed bun.

After all of that sweating and swimming (30 seconds of treading water totally counts), I felt as though I’d earned a hot “dragged through the garden” dog. This one from Portillo’s was topped with everything under the sun–everything except ketchup, that is. (Surprise!) Chicagoans love their cheesy, saucy deep dish pizzas, but they’re not big fans of that other kind of tomato sauce.

Speaking of hot dogs… It’s time for me to find a grill and get my BBQ on. Happy 4th of July! And congratulations again, Sara and Iain!

Did you go for a run before you walked down the aisle? Have you ever tasted a Chicago-style hot dog?

*Baby Sister isn’t a big fan of running, so I’d like to thank her for being such a good sport. Not only did she hold her own at a 9:00 min/mile pace, she also threw herself (and her new Lululemon capris) into a Great Lake just for me. Baby Sister, you rock!

Best Foot Forward

With the glowing bride on her big night.

The big day my feet were training for has come and gone. I wore 5-inch heels for five full hours of standing and dancing this past Saturday, because… Emily got married!!!

Subjecting the balls of my feet, calves, and all the muscles and tendons in between, was the least I could do for a friend who has always supported me. I mean, the woman made a t-shirt for me when I ran the Boston Marathon this year. Love her!

I’m typically a flat-footwear kind of girl, so working up to wearing such a tall shoe was challenging. I practiced walking in my apartment for weeks before feeling confident that I could pull them off on a dance floor. After loading up my stilettos with two sets of Foot Petals, one at the back of the heel, and another in the toe box, I was ready to boogie the night away. (The 15-piece White Heat Swing Orchestra made that part easy.)

I’m leaving High Heel-A-Thons to Kelly Rippa from now on.

The next morning my feet were fine. In fact, those shoes were so comfortable that I decided to take them out for a run. No joke—I didn’t get very far, but I did attempt it. Since stilettos pitch you forward, you have to pull your chest and shoulders back a bit in order to prevent falling (and landing on your face) when you stride. On top of that, the height of the heel makes planting your forefoot tough, so you have to remind yourself to aim for a mid-foot strike. It’s not easy.

How did you challenge yourself over the weekend?