Welcome to the Jungle

As far as perfect summer weekends go, I'm not sure they get much better than this one. Friday night I found myself sitting out under the stars with some cousins, tipping back Angry Orchards and swapping war stories. When the weather is as nice as it has been lately, there's no reason at all not to be outside soaking up every damn bit of it.

Saturday was the official first day of summer. I kicked off the season with a hike
a trip to the farmers market
and lunch — complete with my first gin & tonic of the season.  :)
I really can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning in summer. I feel really blessed to have so easily been able to do all those things. My friend and I got to chatting about where we live over lunch, because it was one of those days where I can't imagine living anywhere but NJ.

From my town, I can be in NYC — arguably the greatest city in the world — in 20 minutes; I'm far enough away to enjoy a storybook suburb. In less than an hour, I can be at a real beach, on the Atlantic Ocean, with all the trappings of shore life. If I go an hour in the other direction, I can be in the foothills of the Appalachian Trail, or at a secluded waterfall, or on a full working farm. I feel like that's something pretty unique to NJ, and that's not even scratching the surface of why I love living here.
My farmers market haul: gluten-free banana bread & fresh cuke + cherry tomatoes — need those for my favorite summer salad
I know it gets a bad wrap, and I know there are farmers markets and hiking trails in other states. But all of that plus so much more add up to New Jersey probably being the only place I'll ever call home. I love this place. Everything about living here just makes me happy. Except for the humidity. But it's a small trade-off.  :)

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On Sunday, Claire and I participated in the Lager Run 5k, hosted by a nearby pub in partnership with the running shop we frequent.
Pre-race: Ready and raring to go!
I'm certain it's because of all the amazing cheerleaders I have here {thanks you guys!}, but I astounded even myself in this race. I've never shared my race stats here before, because compared to some other running bloggers I know, my numbers are nothing to write home about. But to show you guys why I'm as ecstatic as I am, here they are:

Official PR (Apple Chase 5k): 29:05
Unofficial PR (Timed 3.1mi training run): 28:44
New PR (Fitzgerald's Lager Run 5k (yesterday)): 26:37
Post-race: That's water all over me, it wasn't that hot out.
No, I have no idea how I did it. When I hit mile one and saw 8:40 — a solid 30 seconds better than my previous best recorded mile — I was in shock. I ran the whole race with no pain and I'm having a really, really hard time recalling a moment in my life where I've felt more powerful than I do as a result of this race. {Just a reminder, 6 months ago I couldn't run one tenth of a mile. Who do I think I even am right now?}

I want to wax emotional about running right now but I'll save it for another day. But thanks to all you fine people who wished me luck and cheered me on from afar!
Claire & I with one of our buddies from group runs, who wasn't coerced into taking the photo, despite what it looks like.
Also, big shoutout to the kids who live on the race route and were out there with garden hoses cooling off the runners. And big kisses to the Boston finisher I chatted with post race who told me I had impressive form and that I "have what it takes to be great." Seriously, someone pinch me, and then punch me in the face for good measure.

Enough about me! How was your first weekend of summer??

Comments

  1. Congrats on rocking that 5k! I'm so impressed!! And love the idea of your location- I hope to live in a similar middle ground in the not so distant future but with Boston being my NYC and the Cape being my beach :)

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  2. Congratulations on that wonderful time on your race!! That is awesome!! Sounds like the perfect summer weekend!! I totally agree with just soaking up as much time outdoors as possible - especially when it's so amazing outside!! Happy Monday!

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  3. What a great weekend! Holy crap you killed that race!!! And it doesn't matter what your times are compared to anybody else's, they're yours and therefore they're awesome and you should be loud and proud about them!

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  4. Thats an awesome time, my last one was 32 minutes

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  5. well this is just such an awesome story about your running!!! that's so awesome. i love when i'm running and i see my time per mile and thought wow I ran that quick??

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  6. congrats on the pr and no pain!!!

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  7. So excited for you!!!! Congrats!!! And NJ seems pretty stellar if you ask me! I have only heard good things about it from my friends who live there. Never ever a bad word. Even my aunt in NYC complains sometimes about pure city life but NJ seems to have the best of both worlds.

    I damaged my ankle last week (not bad enough to blog it) but Im taking it easy and just treadmill-ing this week. I can only hope I get to this level soon!

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  8. You are the bomb dot com or whatever the cool kids are saying these days ! I'm so proud/excited that you're doing so well ! You're improving leaps and bounds (you see what I did there ?!) every day and I can't wait to see in another 6 months what you've accomplished when you look back and go "Whoa...a year ago I didn't run AT ALL !" High fiving you from NC :)

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  9. Your love for Jersey always reminds me how much I love it here too! Congrats on the race!!

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  10. Aww so fun! Congrats on your PR! So exciting. I just signed up for a half marathon today and it's in a little over a month, so here goes nothin!

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  11. Yay for the farmer's market! They're just starting to open up around here... can't wait!

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  12. I LOVE farmer's markets- I need to find one near me! And congrats on the awesome race! I wish I liked to run... SIGH.

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  13. HOT DAMN HOLY PR!!!! way to freaking go girl, so proud of you and happy for you. seriously, amazeballs. you go girl!
    also, stop making me want to live in new jersey. i'm jealous enough already.

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  14. Oh my gosh!! That is so fast! You are awesome girl!!
    Yea, I'm totally ready to leave KY, and move to NJ. Jealous! That farmers market looks amazing.

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  15. Oh wow! Congratulations on such a great time on the 5k! I can imagine you were excited when you saw that. NJ doesn't sound half bad. We have a lot of the same things where I am at, and we don't really get humidity ;D

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