Running is my fitness love language. But runners don’t just run anymore, and group workouts aren’t really my “thing”. I’ve struggled for years trying to find another type of training that fits who I am. But six weeks ago that all changed when I found November Project.
I received a tweet from a random dude (@jwlevitt) inviting me to check out the November Project. He told me to just show up. I’d never heard of this “project” and assumed it would be starting in November. I’ve since discovered it’s quite possibly the greatest, ongoing, FREE fitness movement ever to exist. Period.
That tweet aligned with the stars on a week my running buddy was out-of-town, which meant I could cheat on her without guilt. I showed up alone. 6:29 AM. Gas Works Park in Seattle. I trudged up this huge hill in the park called Kite Hill boasting one of Seattle’s most epic city views.
wake up with us. here.
Most would say I’m an outgoing person, but ascending alone upon 80+ people is a bit intimidating. Just then a total stranger threw a massive hug in my direction. I went in for the embrace! I’ll remind you again that this is Seattle. For those of you who haven’t been introduced to the culture here, let’s just say the “Seattle Freeze” can be a bit chilly. I grew up in the south and spent time on the east coast — people HUG, that’s what we do — but not here. It’s like a whole thing to break down the hug barrier in Seattle. (FUN FACT: this one time I took a personality test that basically told me I hugged too much. Lame.)
Then out of nowhere pops this guy with enough energy to light up Time Square — he’s our fearless leader Casey. He welcomes everyone, especially those who are new, and informs us that part of November Project is waking up together. I think what he really meant was, “we’re trying to wake up the entire city of Seattle”. It goes something like this:
(WITH EVERYONE JUMPING)
LEADER YELLS: GOOD MORNING!
TRIBE YELLS: GOOD MORNING!
LEADER YELLS: Y’ALL GOOD?
TRIBE YELLS: FUCK YEAH!!!
LEADER YELLS: WAKE UP!
TRIBE YELLS: WAKE UP!
LEADER YELLS: TOGETHER!
TRIBE YELLS: TOGETHER!
You know what makes me giddy like a schoolgirl? The fact that I’ve started receiving emails from some of you reading my blog! While it may seem like it’s no big deal, it’s kind of like receiving a Barbie Dreamhouse for Christmas when you’re 4. I mean, maybe not AS cool, but what it says is A) you’re reading this crazy blog and B) it’s incredibly beneficial for me to hear your opinions, understand what inspires you, and know what you could stand to never read again. A sincere THANK YOU coming your way — you all rock!
Recently, I’ve had emails from folks asking me to share my favorite running places in Seattle. After cutting and pasting the email a few times, the thought crossed my mind to go ahead and share them with the rest of you. Total duh moment!
Seattle is loaded with trails, parks, and walking paths offering endless options to get your run on. Whether you’re visiting for a few days or setting your sites on becoming a Seattleite, these maps offer perfect starting lines for you lace up, head out, and explore some of the picturesque views this city has to offer. Here are 11 of Seattle’s BEST running routes delivered straight to you!
DOWNTOWN: Seattle waterfront with 180° of Puget Sound
FREMONT: home to Brooks Running and the troll
Croissants are fancy and muffins are cute, but scones pack a solid bang for their buck. Most commercial scones are loaded with sugar and white flour, and for heaven sakes they’re HUGE! Every once in a while it’s worth splurging at the local coffee shop to enjoy my favorite cheddar dill scone, but I’m thankful for my internal health foodie angel when she reminds me that moderation is the key.
This pumpkin scone recipe has become a recent household favorite, and I’m loving them because there is no guilt attached. Originally inspired by Jen’s recipe at My Kitchen Addiction, these whole wheat pumpkin scones contain just enough pumpkin and spice with a hint of sweetness, but the added cardamom knocks them out of the park. I’ve been on a cardamom kick since this past summer when I drank an iced coffee at a little café in New York City. I thought it was laced with spiced crack. Seriously, I couldn’t put it down — turns out it was the cardamom. But really seriously though, cardamom has this incredibly aromatic smell and almost citrus flavor. It’s commonly found in middle eastern food and pairs well with cinnamon, nutmeg, and citrus flavors. I used freshly ground cardamom for this recipe, but you can certainly opt for a pre-ground version as well.
Did you know that cold butter is better? The trick to making a perfect scone is cutting cold butter into the dry ingredients, but make sure you avoid melting it before they bake. The butter pieces will create little steam pockets as they melt in the oven, and this aids in the rising of the dough. So even though we might all reach for a softer butter that will easily smoosh between our fingers as we work the dough … keep it cool!
Now that all the ingredients are combined, it’s time to play with your food! First you need to work the dough with your hands quickly enough to get it into a ball, but try not to melt the butter with your hands. Next, tear the dough into two equal parts, flatten the parts into two 1/2 – 3/4″ thick circles, and cut them into triangle wedges. I find it easiest to do this with a knife, although I’ve also seen it done with a pizza cutter.
Where this recipe differs from the original, other than slight changes in the ingredients, is the pumpkin spice glaze. The scones already have a tinge of sweetness from the coconut sugar, but inspiration was knocking so I answered. The trick to the drizzle is to mix the ever-living shit out of it. It’s made with coconut oil instead of milk so it needs a little extra lovin’ to combine everything. Once it’s ready to roll you can let your frosting fly — channel your inner Snoop Dogg and let that drizzle fly, fo’ shizzle.
Hi! I’m back and I’m bearing a fun blog for you today with more, yes more, pumpkin recipes. Are you sick of them yet? Oh gosh, me neither!
On Sunday, we took a road trip to the Skagit Valley for a day of face-stuffing on the Bow-Edison Food Trail. The charming towns of Edison and Bow are so small on a map that most Seattleites go zipping by on the I-5 and miss these tiny gems.
If you take Chuckanut Drive northwest from Burlington, Washington, you’ll end up hot on the trail of some of the most captivating farmland and breathtaking views the Pacific Northwest has to offer. About 7 miles from Burlington, you’ll come to the intersection of Bow Hill Road and Chuckanut Drive. Turn left and you’ll drive straight into Edison, or hang a right and head into Bow.
You might get the feeling you’re entering an old western film lot when you arrive in Edison, but upon second glance you’ll find it is dotted with artist galleries and a sprinkling of funky, artisan boutiques. The Breadfarm hand crafts loaves and pastries made from local, scratch ingredients. The bread is exactly how it should be — chewy insides and crispy outsides. My mouth had an affair with one of their chocolate ginger spice cookies. Imagine a soft, spicy ginger cookie and now top it off with a gooey center of decadent chocolate. Just pause and take that in for a minute.
The town has gained bragging rights with the restaurants Mariposa and Tweets. Both establishments are owned by the same couple and tout local farm to table fare. Mariposa was closed so we went all in at Tweets. I’d reckon you’d not be in a hurry in this one-horse town. Find a place to relax on the porch so you can sip on a latte and daydream about a cozy life in the country. Their portions are HUGE, but they do take about 35 minutes to come out.
(Tweets, Bread Farm, The Lucky Dumpster)
Leave Edison stuffed to the gills and continue Northeast towards Bellingham along historical, scenic Chuckanut Drive. The cliff-hugging, mountain-wrapping roadway loops past Larabee State Park. Hidden oyster bars and vista pull-offs overlooking Samish Bay will keep you oohing and aahing as you descend upon the town of Fairhaven. Stretch your legs walking along the water in Boulevard Park before heading back.
By this point your appetite should be back, so swing through Bow for a cheese tasting at Samish Bay Cheese. The couple who own the 200-acre farm use the milk from the cows to make all their cheeses. We tried some as fresh as 1-day old and some as old as 9-years. Across the street from the creamery is Bow Hill Blueberries. During harvest season, you can bring the kids (or the adults) and have a u-pick blueberry field day. It’s past prime picking season so we sampled pickled blueberries and blueberry sauce and then treated ourselves to fresh blueberry ice cream. We will certainly be back for the picking adventure that awaits in 2016!
Fairhaven & Bow, Washington
( Boulevard Park, close encounters with a pig at the creamery, Bow Hill Blueberries)
Thanksgiving Day turkey trots are just around the corner, and believe it or not, there’s still time train!
The 5K training program I’ve put together starts THIS SUNDAY, October 3rd. Don’t worry, your first day is a rest day. (Thanks, Coach!) If you can trot for 5 1-minute increments with a 90-second pause in between each, you can gobble up this program! In just 8-weeks from now, you’ll be huffin’ for the stuffin’ when you cross that finish line. What’s more fun than that? Bring the whole family along and dress up like the bunch of turkeys you are! Here’s a link some festive costume ideas.
SOME TRAINING TIPS TO HELP YOU GET STARTED:
-Check out my “10 things I wish I knew before I started running” post.
-Make sure you have good running shoes!
-Write down your goals somewhere you can see them.
-Print the training plan out and tape it up somewhere. Cross off the days you’ve completed!
-Start slow. There is no need for speed in this program. Find a pace where you can breathe easy and talk if you choose to.
-Download a good running playlist. Here are two new ones I’m currently listening to.
-Reach out to me with ANY questions, motivational moments, etc through the process. I’d love to hear how your training is going!
-Register for the race. It will keep you motivated!