Since my resolve to stop hating on winter, I’ve made sure to take advantage of this long, long season by enjoying the outdoors!
I got two more snowshoeing adventures in this weekend! I skipped my long run in favor of two short snowshoe treks, the first of which was in the Albany Pine Bush!
I drove to the trailhead for Blueberry Hill East Loops, located off of Washington Ave Extension in Albany, grabbed a trail map and set off. I hiked the red and yellow trail loops for a total of 2.5 miles. It was short, but felt like I went a lot further! I have never been to this part of the Pine Bush. It was nice but very close to residential neighborhoods–it felt like I was walking through their backyard! I’m going to make use of these trails when the weather warms up to get in some trail running.
Today Chris and I went to Thacher Park for some more snowshoeing! I have actually never been to Thacher in the winter, and I cannot believe I waited so long. It was gorgeous! We parked at the Paint Mine Lot and then wandered around the trails, totaling about 2.7 miles in about 2 hours.
Hope you got out to enjoy the outdoors this weekend!
Look, a restaurant review! It has been so long since Chris and I have gone out to a “new” restaurant in Albany. Yesterday was our chance! We had plans to attend the Winterfest Beer Social at Lionheart Pub on Madison ave after work, so we decided to grab dinner nearby at the Chinese place, Rain.
There was a nice ambiance in the restaurant. It kind of reminded me of Sushi X…ha. We love that place, too. But it was nice inside.
I decided to order a drink and went with the Scorpion, a cocktail of fruit juice, brandy, and rum. It was tasty, tropical, and reminded me of summer…
Chris ordered a beer, and we both got appetizers. Chris got the Hudson Valley foie gras soup dumplings($12)and I got the veggie dumplings ($6).
My dumplings were very good. They were pretty much your standard Chinese dumplings.
My main meal was the pineapple chicken ($15). It was literally served in a pineapple! It was delicious. I had the option of brown or white rice with the dish, and I was thrilled because I love brown rice (and its healthier). Along with the chicken, there were mushrooms, peppers, and onions in a pineapple sauce. It was great, and not overly filling. I saved half to bring for lunch today.
Dessert was a chocolate and mascarpone mousse with a crispy topping–it was good, but a little small for the high price ($8).
Overall, Rain was great! It was a bit pricey…our bill added up pretty quick with drinks and dessert, but we hardly ever eat out so it was a nice treat. If you are looking for a tasty place to sit down near Lark Street, I’d suggest checking them out.
Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil Body Butter
I finally bought this body butter after hearing such good things about it. I needed some new moisturizer so I got it last time I was at Trader Joe’s. Let me tell you, it smells amazing! One of my goals this winter is to keep my skin in check. It has been so cold that my skin just dries right out. Using body oil before I shower, using a moisturizing body wash and slathering this on afterwards has helped my skin tremendously!
Urban Decay’s Naked3 Eye Shadow Palate
I got a Macy’s giftcard for Christmas and got myself some new eye makeup. After seeing the Naked palates all over Pinterest, I knew I had to get it eventually. The colors are neutral pinks: some are sparkly and some are matte, I love them all!
Lavender Vanilla Deodorant (Home made!)
I’m trying to steer clear of conventional deodorant and I have always wanted to try making my own. (Hippie much?) I found a DIY deodorant recipe
online and actually had all of the ingredients! I simply mixed coconut oil, corn starch, baking soda, a drop of jojoba oil, with some vanilla and lavender essential oil and it creates a great smelling mixture that looks similar to conventional deodorant, but its a little bit more crumbly and soft. I keep it in small glass mason jar. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and so far, so good! When I feel like I need to reapply (like after a daytime workout, for example) I use Tom’s of Maine lavender deodorant that I keep at work. So far this combination is working great!
That’s about it. What are some your favorite beauty products right now?
Happy February! I can’t believe January is already over! But–that means we are a little bit closer to spring. Yesterday was the last race in the HMRRC Winter Series races that take place at SUNY.
The final race is a 4 M, 10 M or 20 M and is always on Super Bowl Sunday. For the past two years I’ve ran the 10 M and quickly determined that its my favorite race in the Series. You may be wondering how anyone can have a favorite WS race since each course in the series in the same inner and outer loops of the State Campus. They can get pretty repetitive and boring. BUT, I find the repetitiveness soothing, I can zone out and just focus on running. Every time I’ve ran the 10M course, I feel great and usually speed up the last couple miles. Yesterday was no different.
The weather was the warmest it’s been here in a while–40 degrees! Perfect running weather in my book. The race went by really fast, I only stopped to walk through a few water stops, for only a few seconds. Pretty soon I was hitting the final mile at a faster pace that I had thought I’d be capable of yesterday.
I’ve been really excited about running lately and can’t wait for my races this spring. All of them are new-to-me races except for the Marathon Relay. One of my goals in 2014 is to run local races I haven’t ran before, along with new non-local races.
Feb 16 – Winter Marathon Relay (9.7 mi leg)
Feb 23 – Brave the Blizzard Snowshoe 5K in Guilderland (A snowshoe 5K on the trails! I’m kind of hoping the snow is gone so I can run the trails…I don’t have running snowshoes–mine are for backcountry hiking!)
March 15 – Runnin’ of the Green Island 4M (my first time running this popular St Patty’s Day local race!)
April 19 – Dodge the Deer 5K (Another local 5K first for me–on trails that I haven’t run before)
April 26 – Asbury Park Half Marathon in NJ (a flat half on the Jersey Shore, I’m hoping to run a personal record!)
May 4 – The NorthFace Endurance Challenge Half Marathon at Bear Mountain in the Catskills (A tough trail half…I just want to survive this one)
What are your winter race plans? Running any new ones?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a solo runner. The majority of my long runs for marathon training in the past have been run alone…and it never really bothered me! Sometimes I enjoy running with a buddy, but I find the solitude of running by myself enjoyable, and use it as a time for reflection where I can just think about things (or nothing) and zone out.
However, sometimes it can be hard to stay motivated when you are always running alone. For the past week I’ve been doing some of my week day runs with co-workers on our lunch break! Usually when I run on my break, I run the same old route by myself. Last Friday I decided to switch up, and since it was 12 degrees with a zero degree windchill, I decided some company would be nice, so I ran with some co-workers on their regular Friday group run, and the route included a huge hill!
Running with them got me to run further than I normally would by myself, and also included running some intense hills! It was so fun. This week I’ve ran twice with them and the run was a nice (and hilly) route around the park. I never would have ran this route by myself!