*RECAP* Race To The Row 5k

*RECAP* Race To The Row 5k

Note: I was given a complimentary entry for the race, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Ain't nobody got time for lyin'!

How can you pass up participating in a race that is literally across the street from your neighborhood? I mean the commute alone is a huge PRO! ;)

2015 marked the third year of the Race To The Row 5k at Assembly Row in Somerville and the third different course. Haha. There has been a lot of change to the area (improvements) so the course had to adjust as well.

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Just The Weekend I Needed...

Just The Weekend I Needed...

Everybody's working for the weekend! 

When I woke up Friday I was in a bad mental place. I opted to take a No-Weigh In for my weekly weigh-in and shifted my focus to recharging over the weekend.

For the first time in awhile we weren't traveling or racing so it was the perfect chance to dial back the "go go go" pace we've been on this summer and just be. 

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Weekend Wrap-Up: Friends, #LogOffRace Virtual 10k Recap & Getting Sick

Wait you mean I had a weekend without a marathon to prep for or run? No long run to be had. Whatever will I do with myself? I'll do all the things and none of the things at the same time.

Does that even make sense to anyone? It made perfect sense in my head.

Let's see what the weekend held for me:

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The 2nd Annual Stop Stroke Shuffle 5k Finisher's Medal Reveal!

The 2nd Annual Stop Stroke Shuffle In Person and Virtual 5k registration is OPEN!!!

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For those that don't know, I am running the 2015 Boston Marathon with Tedy's Team to raise awareness and fight Stroke! This will be my third-consecutive Boston Marathon with Tedy's Team and I run in honor of my grandparents, my father-in-law and all those affected by Stroke.

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If you are in the Boston area, please think about coming down to run/walk/bike the 5k with me in person on February 15 at Noon.

We will be hosting the event out of Slumbrew's American Fresh Brewhouse at Assembly Row (in Somerville). American Fresh is a heated tent with ample free parking and access to the Assembly Stop on the Orange line.

We will have bibs, medals and water on hand. There will be beer available for purchase!

^^ Strollers welcome, but unfortunately pups need to stay home this time.

**PLEASE NOTE: this will not be a chip-timed race**

Register HERE for in person OR virtual option!

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If you are NOT in the Boston or unable to join us on February 15, please consider running/walking/biking the charity 5k virtually.

A virtual run-walk means you do the 5k (3.1 mile) “race” at your leisure anytime in the month of February! Map out your own route, get your own friends together or jump on the old trusty treadmill. Your call.

This “race” is one to anyone all over the world.

I will provide a race bib that you can print out and fix to your shirt (if you want)!!

Register HERE for in person OR virtual option!

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The Finisher's Medal is going to GLOW IN THE DARK this year!! Yay! Well okay the outer ring of the medal plus the 2015 portion will glow. But still awesome. I love it.

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The $26.20 registration fee is a donation to Tedy's Team!

Register HERE for in person OR virtual option!

The 2nd Annual Stop Stroke Shuffle 5k - In Person & Virtual

The 2nd Annual Stop Stroke Shuffle In Person and Virtual 5k registration is OPEN!!!

stroke

For those that don't know, I am running the 2015 Boston Marathon with Tedy's Team to raise awareness and fight Stroke! This will be my third-consecutive Boston Marathon with Tedy's Team and I run in honor of my grandparents, my father-in-law and all those affected by Stroke.

26 -

If you are in the Boston area, please think about coming down to run/walk/bike the 5k with me in person on February 15 at Noon.

We will be hosting the event out of Slumbrew's American Fresh Brewhouse at Assembly Row (in Somerville). American Fresh is a heated tent with ample free parking and access to the Assembly Stop on the Orange line.

We will have bibs, medals and water on hand. There will be beer available for purchase!

^^ Strollers welcome, but unfortunately pups need to stay home this time.

**PLEASE NOTE: this will not be a chip-timed race**

Register HERE for in person OR virtual option!

medals

If you are NOT in the Boston or unable to join us on February 15, please consider running/walking/biking the charity 5k virtually.

A virtual run-walk means you do the 5k (3.1 mile) “race” at your leisure anytime in the month of February! Map out your own route, get your own friends together or jump on the old trusty treadmill. Your call.

This “race” is one to anyone all over the world.

I will provide a race bib that you can print out and fix to your shirt (if you want)!!

Register HERE for in person OR virtual option!

***

The $26.20 registration fee is a donation to Tedy's Team!

^^ Race bib and Finisher's Medal are still be designed. Thank you for your patience on that.

Register HERE for in person OR virtual option!

Join The Slumbrew Happy Soles For American Fresh's Free Monthly 5k

Does beer motivate you to work out? Are you looking for other like-minded runners/walkers? Also known as beer runners! ;)

Well you have come to the right place!

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The Slumbrew Happy Soles are a group of fun-loving folks who run, run-walk or walk to the Finish Beer Line! :) The Happy Soles love to participate in the entire Cambridge 5k series as well as many other local road and trail races.

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For those that don't know Slumbrew is an awesome brewery out of Somerville, MA. Slumbrew recently opened a brewhouse at Assembly Row in Somerville, known as Assembly Fresh and have been gracious enough to offer a fun and free monthly 5k from this hot new spot.

The route is along the Mystic River and around the Assembly Row outlets. It is mainly on the bike path and involves crossing very few streets near the outlets.

We hosted our first fun run on November 30 and are looking to make this a monthly thing come 2015! The brains behind Slumbrew, Caitlin and Jeff, are stepping up the fun run game!! In addition to offering water and bag check for all participants, there will be some sweet post-run/walk snacks.

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Oh and plenty of beer on tap to purchase.

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Mmmm beer.

Oh sorry got distracted by the gloriousness of the Porter Square Porter above. (My personal favorite!)

After a great run or walk - where alllll paces are welcomed and encouraged to come out - there is time to catch up and make new friends over a beer.

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We had an amazing turnout at our first 5k on November 30 and met a ton of new Happy Soles!

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Itching to get out and meet these AWESOME Happy Soles? I know you are! You can catch the crew at the next monthly 5k on January 11 at 11am.

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Looking for a way to remember this great event - feel free to RSVP to our Facebook event here or join our Facebook group.

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Will I see you on January 11?

American Fresh Assembly, Slumbrew & A 5k Fun Run/Walk

Have I told you lately how much I love Slumbrew?

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Well if I haven't then let me do that now. What's not to like about a local Somerville brewery putting out delicious beer and rockin' a sweet running team - the Slumbrew Happy Soles - who welcome folks of all paces?

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Nothing is not to like. Does that make sense? Did I use the right negative and not a double negative? Eh... moving on!

If you haven't heard, the lovely brains - Caitlin and Jeff - behind Slumbrew have opened up a hot spot at Somerville's Assembly Row.

American Fresh

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American Fresh can be found on the corner lot of Assembly Row across from FUJI and Off Saks 5th Avenue Off 5th.

I headed over there on Opening Night - Wednesday, November 19 - to celebrate a running milestone (hitting 900 miles for the year - pictured above).

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American Fresh is actually constructed out of old cargo containers. Cool right? Well since it is frigid in the Boston area in the winter, the whole area is covered by a large heated tent so we can enjoy good local beer into the winter months. Woo!

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In addition to serving amazing beer...

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... American Fresh also offers a great menu featuring some great local finds.

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Like Fluff!!

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But wait there's more! ;)

You can also support other local artists and companies by shopping local like Q's Nuts, TAZA Chocolate and more.

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Wicked cool space, right?

After joining some delicious mac and cheese

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Photo via Facebook

or charcuterie

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Photo via my friend Kim

you may want to load up on some Slumbrew swag!! They got your back!

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But parents may be wondering what they can do with the kiddos while enjoying a brew... enter the legos!

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Photo via Facebook

It's like a playground for all ages. :)

So when are you planning on stopping by American Fresh? When you do make sure to tip the staff, they're pretty awesome!

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Keep an eye out for Slumbrew's brewery to open - Boynton Yards - even more Slumbrew fun to be had in Somerville!

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Looking for a fun 5k run or walk to take part in during Thanksgiving weekend? Join the Happy Soles and I at 11am on Sunday November 30th at Assembly Fresh!

Check out the Facebook Event!

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We'll have bag check, water, snacks and beer for purchase! :)

***

What is your favorite Slumbrew brew?

Monday Musings (a day late): Labor Day Weekend Fun & Beer

I hope you all like pictures!! :) I have a ton from this long weekend and a cute toddle. Let's dig right in!

Friday started off with a bang. A great weigh-in (oh hey 157.4) and my longest bike ride to date (56.29).

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Once the hardest work of my weekend was out of the way I was ready to enjoy the people in my life and the awesome weather on the docket.

Okay just kidding. I had some blog work to get done before the fun could start.

My wife actually got out of work early so we took the opportunity to get together for a little Sangria date at Papagayo at Assembly Row.

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It is sooo nice having the shops/restaurants at Assembly Row open up here in Somerville ... especially since it is across the street from our house. ;)

We called it an easy low-key evening as we had a packed Saturday planned.

Well Saturday wasn't all fun action planned.

I started by walking to my Weight Watchers meeting. Proud of myself for attending 11 of the 12 meetings this summer. It feels so nice to be back with my member hat on and it has really led to my success this summer.

After my meeting I walked home to get to work. I had some blog work to get done, while the wife was working on a side project she took on.

Before taking on our busy Saturday afternoon, I convinced the wife to bike along me while I knocked out a 4.6 mile run.

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It really does help pass the time and is extra QT time to have her there.

With the day's workout in the books, it was Saturday afternoon time.

Lunch with a side of Baxter Stowaway IPA at John Brewer Tavern (Malden).

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Can I tell you that grocery shopping is a little bit easier after a beer? ;)

After grocery shopping, the rest of the day was filled with giving our apartment a deep clean before our guest were to arrive the next day. No one said the Saturday was going to be 100% fun.

We enjoyed the Weight Watchers Grilled Tequila, Citrus and Jalapeno Chicken with broccoli and wine for dinner. It was delicious!! I highly recommend it.

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After a tiring afternoon of cleaning, Netflix was on the agenda for the evening.

Sunday morning called for an early wake-up so I could get my swim workout done before my best friend and her family arrived.

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The workout wasn't the best, but I gave it my all and was happy I got up early to do it.

After a quick stop at Dunkin Donuts on the way home, it was time to prepare for the cutest 2 year old on the planet.

The best friend wanted to get a quick run in when she got there so we walked the significant others and 2 year old down to the park so we could get our run in.

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Running is always better with a friend.

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Joanna really enjoyed the water jets at the park. Oh and of course she figured out how to use the jets before the adults with her. ;)

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Once everyone did a quick costume change/clean-up, it was time to head out to Night Shift Brewery (Everett, MA).

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It was a great location. We each tried the flight of 4 beers (4oz each) for $8. Thanks to Untappd (Friend Me). I recorded my samples: Art #29 - JavaPine, Morph (8/19/14), Trifecta and Whirlpool.

Big thanks to Night Shift Taproom for being open on a Sunday!!

The BFF and her family had another engagement for dinner so the wife and I enjoyed some BLTs with real bacon (our once a month treat)! We had apple cured bacon and it was delicious.

When they got back from dinner, it was game time. We tried out the wife's card game Poop (similar to UNO) before switching to the trusty Apples to Apples.

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Now thankfully they are as old as I am and were down for a early bedtime (aka before 11pm). Yes I am that cool. :P

Usually the little lady will wake up around 6:30/7, but on this day she and the rest of us slept until 8am, which was late for everyone in the house. It was kind of glorious.

We wanted to make the most of our time together before they had to leave in the early afternoon to get back to Maine.

So we loaded the troops up in sunblock and headed over to the Assembly Row playground.

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I mean is she not the cutest thing ever?

Following a little too much time in the Sun, we headed over to the Lego Store so Joanna the wife could buy a toy.

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The Wife (hoodie) and I

I will commend the wife on picking out Lego "us" to take on adventures. I just need to find a beer mug for mine like my friend Dacia!!

It was finally time to head home and start getting our grill on for lunch.

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What a busy "rest day," huh?

The wife did a great job grilling out some steak tips, chicken, corn on the cob, green beans and squash. A great well-balanced lunch with friends.

We worked with Joanna on cheering "Go Aunt Dani!" as she will be on-site for my race on Sunday. Yup, I will have the cutest spectator out there.

Before I knew it it was time for my favorite family out of Maine to head home. Luckily I will see them next week, but it is always hard to say goodbye.

With the heat rising and our guests gone, we spent the rest of Monday hiding in the air conditioned bedroom enjoying the Sherlock Holmes show on the BBC thanks to Netflix. Have you seen that show? It only has 3 episodes per season, but each is like a mini movie. They are amazing works of art and directed by the director of Dr. Who.

Overall I had one exhausting weekend with less workouts than I had been used to since this weekend kicked off taper week for the Half Ironman.

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Since this was a long weekend, I allowed the #drinkend to include Monday. Here are the brews I enjoyed:

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Foley Brothers - Native IPA (highly recommend this!)

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Left Hand Brewering 400 Pound Monkey

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Ignore foam - Berkshire Brewing Company Black IPA - Brewer's Series #1

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Coronado Brewing Company - Sock Knocker (bought based on logo, but sooo good)

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Left Hand Brewing - Wake Up Dead (5 out of 5 stars)

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Finally I turn 32 2 weeks from today and would love to have you celebrate with me by helping me #FightStroke!! Find out more info here. :) There is a sweeeet raffle involved.

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***

Did you ring in Labor Day with friends or family?

RACE RECAP: 2nd Annual Race To The Row 5k

How many races do you participate in that take place across the street from your house? Oh is that next to none?

Yeah I feel you on that...

... except when the Race To The Row 5k comes around!

That's right. It takes the wife about 5 minutes (more if there is a stop at Dunkin' Donuts for her) to get to the Start Area of the Race To The Row 5k, which is at the new Assembly Row area in Somerville, MA.

When the inaugural race took part last year, the Assembly Row area was still under construction so the race course lacked a lot of visual beauty. But with Assembly Row in full effect this year, I was ready to enjoy the beautiful new buildings and shots of the Mystic River.

Since the race didn't start until 9:30, I was 1) able to sleep in and 2) could do bib check day of. Woo!

We decided to leave the house just after 8:30 to stop at Dunkins and give us enough time to chat with friends before the Kids Race would start at 9:15.

There were a lot of great local businesses set up near bib pick-up and day of registration.

Somerville's own Runfellow gear

Runfellow also hosts a Tuesday night run club, which changes venues each week, but always takes place in the Somerville-Cambridge area.

b Positive Project out of South Boston

After browsing the booths, we made sure to get a good spot for the Kids Race. It was just about a 1/4 mile and each participant received an adorable Finisher's Medal. (Side Note: I really wish I had entered ;P)

My favorite was this tiny tiny boy with a big Superman cape on. I really wanted to borrow it from him, but he seemed attached to it.

Once the kids and their parents cleared the Start Area, it was time to line up.

I had no idea what kind of time to expect. My body was tired from the workouts the day prior - 1.5 mile swim, 30 mile bike and 5k run - so I didn't expect a PR.

I actually PRed at this race the previous year pulling a 21:59.2... yeah that wouldn't happen again. But I was ready to give it all I had.

The Sun was out and ready to shine out on the pretty shadeless course.

Now the Somerville Road Runners, the group organizing the race, had changed the course from the year prior. We would now be doing 2 loops, which was intriguing.

As we lined up, I distracted myself by chatting with a fellow Nike Run & Walk Club and Somerville resident, Ben. He was coming off an injury so also unsure what sort of race he would have.

The goal as always was to enjoy the run ... and hurry to the beer! ;)

The horn went off and it was a blaze of color in front of me. I tried to keep myself in my own groove and not worry about the folks around me. Which is always easier said than done at the beginning of a race for me.

Since I am working on racing without music in prep for the Half Ironman, I spent most of the race listening to my own breathing and the breathing of the folks around me. Ouch! Not the best soundtrack for a run.

BUT there was a slight out and back portion of the race so I could cheer for my friends after rounding the first turn. YES! I love being able to do that. Plus, I could marvel at the lead pack. Man those guys were flying!!

Mile 1: 7:29

I may or may not have picked a couple near me after that first mile and set a goal to get ahead of them at some point in the next mile. Sometimes it is a fun game to play and a way to push yourself in a race.

As we hit the end of the first loop, I waved to the wife, gave Jillian (creator of Runfellow) a high-five (pictured above) and checked in with the body. I was hot and I could tell the legs were slowing down.

I picked myself up by posting my halfway mark selfie to the interwebs before bearing down and finishing off the race.

Not one of my finest mid-run selfies

At least with the double loop you know when the Finish is coming.

Mile 2: 7:38

Now I never actually saw the Mile 2 marker, but when my Garmin buzzed I tried to dig deep and give it everything I could for the final mile.

I was back-and-forth with a couple of girls during Mile 2 so I kept them in my sights during the final mile.

I can't tell you how many times I repeated to myself Beer Beer Beer during that last stretch.

The volunteers did a great job directing and cheering on the runners.

I definitely won over the water stop with my Sparkle Skirt! ;)

Oddly enough not so many comments on the BEER socks, which surprised me.

Oh and yes these were thoughts during the final 1/2 mile of the run.

Mile 3: 7:40

Just get me to the BEER!

Final Finish: 23:46

Sweet. I was definitely happy with that. The quads felt good and the left hamstring was a bearable dull pain. ;) Baby steps.

According to the results I finished 79th overall and 10th in my division. Yeah! I never end up in Top 10 of my division.

After crossing the Finish Line, I headed right into the post-race party for some food and beer.

I can't pass on mint chocolate chip ice cream at 10am.

Oh and Ernesto's pizza - great crust!

The post-race party was treated to the musical stylings of the IT Band.

It was a great vibe and always fun hanging out with my fellow Slumbrew Happy Soles.

The Race To The Row 5k is such a great local race and I cannot wait to see the race flourish over the years.

I will see you at the 3rd Annual race in 2015.

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Did you Race To The Row? What was your favorite part?

Monday Musings: Weekend of Workouts & Wedding Wonder

Weekends this summer have been full of workouts, laughs, love, friends and family ...but not a ton of rest! So you can imagine this past weekend was right along those same lines. ;) My wife actually got up early on Sunday to get her 4 mile run in before we walked over to my 5k race and she quipped later that day: "Wow, I don't know how you do this getting up early to workout thing all the time."

It made me smile to myself. Now she appreciates the early mornings I put in so that we can have more time to spend together. :)

Sunday marked just two weeks until the Pumpkinman Half Ironman. Wow September 7 will be here before I know it. This weekend I needed to really buckle down and focus.

The workouts started bright and early Friday after a great weigh-in. Did you hear I am happily back in the 150s?

My goal on Friday was to get 4 hours in on the bike, but that didn't happen. Between a Recycle Studio Spin workout and a bike tide out to Bedford from Somerville - I spent about 3 hours in the saddle.

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But I still haven't gotten 56 miles in on the bike and I need to do that before the race just to show myself I can do it. So guess what is on the docket for this upcoming week?

The bike is so mental for me. My body knows it can do it, but the mind gets nervous and overwhelmed. Time to shut the brain down.

The rest of the Friday called for relaxation and blogging. Isn't that what all the cool kids do on a Friday night? :)

I had an early morning on Saturday. I wanted to hit up the 8am Weight Watchers meeting and claim my Ace Your Summer Challenge bling for having attended 10 of the last 11 weeks of meetings. Woo!

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It is such a nice and welcoming group. I am happy to attend their meetings and occasionally sub before I return to long run Saturdays this Fall.

I was smiling from ear to ear as members of the group talked about the fun they had attending the Nike Run & Walk Club that I have been helping to host. They talked about feeling welcome without thought of pace or fitness level. Exactly the kind of group I have been trying to create. :)

Full of motivation and inspiration, I headed to the pool to get my 1.2 mile time trial swim done.

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During the entire swim I felt strong and like I could keep swimming for days. :) I guess that training is paying off. :P It was a great morning in the pool full of entertainment from the kids' swim classes going on on the opposite side of the pool from me.

Once I was out of the pool, I had to race home, quickly change and head to my cousin's wedding dress appointment. How cute are the cards our friend Lauren made to judge the dresses?

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They are so my cousin. :)

Since I never did the wedding dress shopping thing myself (maybe some day), it was a complete learning experience. It really is a live version of Say Yes To The Dress. My cousin found a style she liked, but didn't say yes to a dress at the first location.

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My cousin & I working the duck lips

She inevitably found her dress at appointment #2 of the day, which I wasn't able to make.

While my Saturday afternoons were canceled last minute, I wouldn't waste the time by getting in my BRICK workout with my #1 supporter the wife by my side.

She humored me while I blabbered on about nothing for two hours on the bike trainer and then jumped on her bike while I knocked out a quick 5k (26:34) to shake the legs out.

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She also listened to me curse out the wind for blowing in my face for the entire run. Not sure I could've said: "Are you serious wind?" any more than I did. Haha.

We decided to cook in on Saturday night and enjoy a lovely meal outside in the backyard, while the pups played.

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Please note: it is the wife who is drinking Pumpkin beer in August. #TheShame 

The wife made Skinnytaste's Weeknight Skillet Sazon Chicken Tenders and it was delicious!! We paired it with our once a month treat of yellow rice (yum) and steamed broccoli.

After a fantastic dinner outside, we finally watched Muppets Most Wanted. It was cute but not nearly as good as the Muppet Movie from 2011.

Now while the wife got up early on Sunday to run I slept in until 7:15am - woah! Late I know. ;) But it was great to lounge around and snuggle some pups until she came home.

The Race To The Row 5k I was running on Sunday didn't start until 9:30am AND was located across the street from my house which meant a late departure time. Boy I wish all of my races were that close.

It was a fun morning with lots of friends. I will post a recap of that race shortly.

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I wasn't sure how my body would handle the race since I had done a 1.5 mile swim, 30 mile bike and 5k run the day before.

But as you can see it was pretty speedy. I ended up 79th overall and 10th in my division. Woo! I never reach the top 10 in my division so that was exciting.

Following the race I had a couple of hours of downtime before we headed to a wedding celebration for my friend Nicole and her partner Melsen. It was a lovely afternoon in Brookline with friends.

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They had a great spread and a make your own burritos area, which totally was up the wife's alley. I ate most of the large salad they had available. :P

Our crew has gotten older and maybe more mature? Okay not at all more mature, but it was fun to come together to celebrate love and friendship.

With a busy weekend in the books, it was great to come home and just vet out for the rest of the evening.

I went to bed Sunday night with a happy heart, a complete Weight Watchers food tracker and renewed energy for the week ahead.

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Since we know I am - for now - just enjoying adult beverages on the weekend, here are a couple of the local brews I tried:

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Berkshire Brewing Company

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Tap Brewing Company (Haverhill, MA)

Both were full of hoppy goodness...

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Two other notes for this week:

1) I have a $10 off discount code for the Max Performance Buzzards Bay Sprint Triathlon on September 14.

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Use code: WOMSBUZZ14 (code expires Friday, August 29)

2) I am holding a giveaway for a free entry into the inaugural South Shore Half Marathon in Norwell, MA on November 2.

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Feel free to enter here.

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How did you stay active this weekend?