Friday, August 29, 2014


Back in the Spring when I was in Philly for the Lager Jogger, I politely requested (okay, practically begged) to have dinner at PYT.  I had been reading about it online - they make all these crazy burgers.  I LOVE burgers so I had to eat here.  Kasey very nicely indulged my demands and off we went!

The restaurant is located in the Piazza in the Northern Liberties neighborhood.  It wasn't too hard to get to via the subway, but since the Septa subway is horribly planned, it involved a decent amount of walking. But don't worry, the meal is definitely worth the walk!

They don't take reservations, but fortunately, the wait was only about 15 minutes. We spent that time at the bar and had a beer.  While waiting, I proceeded to drool over the menu and everything coming out of the kitchen.

We decided not to spoil our appetites with apps and went straight for the burgers.  Kasey and I decided to each pick a burger and split them.  This way we'd each get a taste of two different burgers.  We selected the following:

- The Pickleback Burger: Beef patty, applewood bacon, pepper jack, jameson whiskey glaze & fried pickles

- Cheesesteak Pretzel Roll Burger: Beef patty, cheddar cheese, cheesesteak with wiz on a Philly Pretzel Factory roll

We got 1 with waffle fries and 1 with onion rings (because obviously).  There are no words that describe how good these burgers were.  A burger with cheesesteak on it and in a pretzel roll?  A-MAZ-ING.  And the Pickleback?  Equally as good.  The Jameson Whiskey glaze was so good I wanted to buy a vat of it.  And come on - fried pickles? Delicious.  

The sides were also really good.  The waffle fries were crispy and prefectly seasons.  The onion rings were freshly fried with the right amount of batter to onion ratio.

Kasey (who loves onion rings) even declared them some of the best onion rings she's ever had.  Now if that doesn't convince you to go to PYT immediately, I can't help you.  I'm also not sure we can be friends anymore (just kidding, we can still be friends). 

The Piazza
1050 N Hancock St #67
Philadelphia, PA

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Race Recap: Battle of Brooklyn 10M

Battle of Brooklyn 10M
August 17, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, I venture to Brooklyn to run the Battle of Brooklyn 10M.  I did this race last year and really enjoyed it.

The race took place in Prospect Park and started at 8am.  It's not too early of a start but when you have to factor in an hour long subway ride, it is!  Fortunately, the subway was pretty empty so I was able to get a seat and I had brought a magazine so the time passed quickly.

I had picked up my number before hand so when I got there, I was able to go right to bag watch and head to the start.  Based on my time on the subway, I didn't have much time to kill, only a few minutes. I dropped my bag in bag watch and headed to the start.

This is a small race, maybe 300 people?  I'm not very good at estimating so that number could be off.  The race started promptly at 8 am and off we went.

The course starts on the downhill in Prospect Park so my first mile was fast.  I remembered that from last year, but still had trouble pulling back.  The loop in Prospect Park is about 3.33 miles around, so the race is 3 full loops of the park.  There is a pretty lengthy hill on 1/2 of the park and the other half is a downhill.  I didn't mind the hill until the 3rd time around.  By then, I was ready for the hill to be over.

The race was crowded when it started, but thinned out pretty quickly as everyone settled into their pace.  Jack Rabbit had 2 water stations (with port-o-potty's) on the course with water and 1 section in the middle of the hill with water guns.  It wasn't too hot out, but the water still felt nice.

The weather was pretty strange race morning.  It was cool out and overcast at the beginning.  Then it misted for about 4 miles.  And then at about mile 8ish, the sun came out and it started to warm up.

I wasn't racing this one, just using it as a long run, but I was pretty pleased with how I felt during the race and with my pace.  Feeling ready for Disneyland!

The race was sponsored by Shake Shack and they had custard at the finish line.  There was a short line (that moved quickly) and I got my sugar fix... at 10am.  Man, I love ice cream.  It was delicious and a great treat the finish line.

Official: 10.0 mi, 1:35:30, 9:33 pace
Garmin: 10.05 mi, 1:35:31, 9:30 pace

Custard... yum.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dumbo Double Dare Costumes

I can't believe Dumbo Double Dare is here already!  As excited as I have been for the race, it did kinda sneak up on me.  I only did my costumes this past weekend!  Eeek!

I mentioned this in my post for my Glass Slipper costumes, but after the hours spent on my Donald costume, I wanted to stick to something easy to make.  The costumes for this year are all running clothing based with accessories to help pull it all together.

So without further ado, I bring you this year's costumes!

For the 10K, I am going to be the Cheshire Cat.  I had found the tank at last years Rock n Roll Providence expo and am going to pair it with 2 Sparkle Athletic skirts.  I have a purple one already and I am going to pick up a pink one at the expo to layer on top.  I already have a pink Sweaty Band to wear and I got some ears on Etsy to complete the look.  BTW, searching for the ears on Etsy was pretty interesting.  There was a surprising number of cat ears (and tails) available.  I know why I wanted the ears, not sure what other people do with them, lol.  No tail though, that just seemed like it would annoy me.

Imagine a pink skirt on top of the purple

For my half costume, I took my inspiration from Karen (over at Just Me and My Running Shoes) and her costume from the Disneyland Half from last year.  Thanks for letting me borrow your idea Karen!

I am going to be a Mouseketeer!  I used a basic white skirt and added my name (using iron-on letters) and I'll pair it with a blue Sparkle Athletic skirt.  I actually already had an extra set of ears that I can wear as well.  I am excited to be Mouseketeer Sarah for the race!

Anyone else going in costume for the Disneyland Half races?

See all my runDisney costumes here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Two on Tuesday

Does anyone else use the app Timehop?  I just downloaded it a couple of weeks ago and I am in love with it.  I don't have it post automatically to Facebook or anything, it's really just for me.  I get a kick seeing each day what I was doing on that date a couple of years ago.  It's really entertaining when the really old photo's show up.  Makes me laugh!

Over the weekend, I spent Sunday morning at the movies (with my coffee and a bagel).  As usual, I went to my favorite theatre and saw Guardians of the Galaxy.  I've mentioned before that I love the Marvel movies and this one was no different.  I had heard good reviews and the movie did not disappoint.  I really enjoyed it!  It might actually be one of my favorite Marvel movies to date.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Training recap week of 8/18 (Dumbo Double Dare Week 4)

Last week of training before we leave for California!  Got lots of solid runs in - I did scale back in terms of mileage this week as a mini taper.  It was a busy weekend and was very productive.  I'm almost entirely packed for Disneyland (I already had a packing list from last year to go off of) since I'm going to the US Open tomorrow night after work and didn't want to leave all of it to Tuesday night.

Scheduled: Cross training
Actual: PiYo Define: Upper Body

Scheduled: 4 miles easy
Actual: Rest

Abby had gotten us passes to go see the 9/11 Museum after work (more on that is a post soon), so wasn't able to get a run today.

Scheduled: 5 miles easy
Actual: 5.0 mi, 49:40, 9:55 pace

Scheduled: 4 miles easy
Actual: 4.13 mi, 41:26, 10:02 pace

Scheduled: Rest
Actual: Rest

Scheduled: 8 miles easy
Actual: 8.25 mi, 1:21:55, 9:55 pace

Scheduled: Cross training or rest
Actual: 2.31 mi, 23:41, 10:16 pace

I decided to make up some of Tuesday's missed run on Sunday.  I cut it a little short since my legs were feeling a little tired.

Total miles: 19.69
Total August miles: 93.16
Miles until goal (1,250): 392.72

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Race Recap: Eugene Half Marathon

I don't usually post on the weekends, but I am bound and determined to finish my outstanding race recaps before Disneyland.

Eugene Half Marathon
July 27, 2014

State: #18 (Oregon)
Lifetime: #46

 The race started very early - almost Disney early!  The race started at 6am and since there was no parking at the start, we had to get on a shuttle in Downtown Eugene.  We left pretty early since we anticipated some traffic.  Luckily for us, there was no traffic and we parked quickly.  There was a minimal wait for the shuttle as well. 

The race started right outside Hayward Field.  It was a short walk from the shuttle to the start (we did make a pit stop at baggage first).  The start area was pretty uncrowded - the race was smaller than I thought. 

It was a good temperature, a little chilly but that was prefect for race day.  The race started right on time and off we went.  The course went throughout downtown Eugene and the surrounding area.  It was flat with some rolling hills, a couple bigger but nothing major.

Since I was only 1 month out form Grandma's, I wasn't racing this one.  I was keeping the pace easy and tried to enjoy the scenery.  The second part of the course was in a nature preserve and part of Pre's trail.  It was gorgeous!  I didn't stop for any pictures as I was in a nice groove.

The race finished on the track at Hayward Field and as a running nerd, that was amazing.  When I turned the corner and took my first step on the track, I got goosebumps.  It was incredibly cool run on the same track so many incredible athlete's have run before me.  It was worth the trip to Eugene just to experience that!

Crossing the finish line, I felt good.  I wasn't feeling spent and not too sore.  For my first race back, I thought that was good!

They had a great finish line area with free pancakes for the athlete's, yoga and stretching, plus a beer garden! 

After getting taking the time to fully stretch, I got my pancakes (they were quite good!) and took some photo's with the University of Oregon mascot (a duck).


Once the other girls had finished, we celebrated with some beers in the beer garden!

Official: 13.1 mi, 2:04:45, 9:31 pace
Garmin: 13.25 mi, 2:04:467, 9:23 pace

Friday, August 22, 2014

Eugene Half Marathon: Expo

At the end of July, I headed west to do the Eugene Half and check another state off the list.  But before you can run the half, you must head to the expo!  The expo was held at University of Oregon's arena.

We went to the expo early and wanted to get it done first thing, arriving about 5 minutes before it opened.  Unfortunately, they were a bit delayed (the shirts hadn't arrived yet), so we got to spend some extra time waiting. 

Eventually, we did head in.  It was well organized with number pick-up right at the front.  A quick check of number assignments and I picked up my number and gear check bag.  Time to head to the main floor! 

The vendors were housed on the floor of the arena.  There weren't a ton of vendors, but a good variety.  You had your standard races and gear (gu's, body glide, etc).  The race shirts and official merchandise was all the way at the end, so we walked all the way through to get that first.  When we got there, we realized the shirts hadn't arrived yet (which was the hold up to open the expo). 

Since we were there, we figured we should look at the official merchandise now and then head back into the full expo.  I liked a couple of pieces of official merchandise but it all said "Eugene Marathon" and since I was only doing the half, decided not to get anything.  While we were looking, the race shirts arrived!  Perfect timing!

I really like the race shirt - it's a soft Nike drifit shirt with a really cute design!

Once we got our shirts, we headed back to the expo starting at the beginning.  Our first stop was the Oregon Track Club booth.  Even though I'm not a member, I still wanted a shirt.  I figured it was a perfect souvenir of a running trip to Oregon.  They also had a $1 bin which some old race shirts (which I picked one up for as a throwaway) and some awesome 80s styled bags.  I have no need for it, but it was only a $1!  I couldn't resist!

Most amazing bag ever.

Next, we made a stop at the Picky Bars booth.  I've been wanting to try them since they are gluten free (and that makes my stomach feel better).  They were really good!  But the best part was my total fangirl moment when I met pro runner Lauren Fleshman.  She and her husband created Picky Bars and she runs for Oiselle (I love their clothing!).  She was super nice and even posed for a photo with me.  You know what made me like her even more?  I tagged her in the photo on Instagram and she even commented!  Love that she took the time to do that. 

After that we wondered through the rest of the booths, checking out races and seeing what freebie's there were.  I also picked up a cute (non-running) shirt from Run Pretty Far.  They had a bunch of cute sayings and I got one perfect for Wine and Dine weekend.


Despite our best effort to not stay too long, we ended up being there for close to 1.5 hours so it was time to head back to the hotel. 

Up next, the race!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Grandma's Marathon: Travel and Logistics

We are finally coming to the end of my Grandma posts - thanks for sticking with me!  This post is really only useful if you are planning on doing Grandma's someday.  When I was doing research for Grandma's, I didn't find a ton of info on the travel logistics.  So I thought I would pay it forward to someone else who is doing Grandma's and share my knowledge.

Let's start with the most important thing (after registering of course) - the hotel.  As you might imagine, Duluth is a small town and hotels are limited.  First piece of advice (and possibly the most important) - book your hotel as EARLY as possible.  As I said, there are limited hotels and the longer you wait, the less ideal your hotel could be.

The website does a good job of updating the current availabilities, but there are still a lot of options.  The list of hotels they provide (via the website) has a bunch of different areas to choose from. 

My recommendation?  Pick one of the downtown Duluth or Canal Park hotels.  Yes, they will be more expensive but they will be within walking distance to the expo and finish line.  I stayed at the Holiday Inn Downtown Duluth and it was perfect for me.  It is connected to the expo via the walkway and was only a 10 minute walk from the finish.  They also cater to those doing the race with a snack table with banana's, juice and pretzels in the lobby.  Plus, when I got to my room they provided complimentary bottles of water and granola bars.  It was really nice!

The race is a point to point so they bus you out to the start.  It's important to consider the pickup point of the bus when booking your hotel.  It's going to be early so you don't want to have to walk a ton.  Luckily for me, the Holiday Inn is a shuttle bus stop, so it was right in front of the hotel.  Very easy on race morning. 

Once you make your hotel decision (again, book early, I cannot stress that enough!), the next decision is how to get there.  You can't fly direct there from the east coast - it's a really tiny airport.  Your options are to fly through another midwest airport and connect.  Flying from New York, my layover airport choices were Detroit or Minneapolis. 

I decided to fly through Detroit on the way there and Minneapolis on the way back.  I did it because it was cheaper, but if I had to do it again, I would fly through Minneapolis on the way there.  Why?  Well, you never know what weather is going to do and if my flight from Detroit couldn't get out (or I missed my connection due to delays) there was no other way for me to get to Duluth.  It was too far to drive, so I'd be screwed.  At least in Minneapolis you could rent a car (it's about 2 hours away).  It ended up working out for me, but I would have liked to not have the stress.

Of course, you can also fly to Minneapolis and either drive or take a shuttle service from there.  I personally didn't want to sit in a car for 2 hours, so I flew to Duluth. 

If you do decide to fly, check with your hotel about an airport shuttle.  Mine had a one and it took me back and forth which was really nice as well.

These are the most important items to consider if you are planning to head to Duluth for Grandma's.  If you are doing it and have other questions, feel free to email me at and I'll answer the best I can!

Oh, one last item... book your hotel as early as possible!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Grandma's Marathon: Post Race Party

The Grandma's fun doesn't stop when you cross the finish line!  They have a whole post race festival set up for you!

When you get your finisher's t-shirt, they also give you a drink ticket for the festival.  Upon getting my heat sheet, I made my way over to the baggage.  They had it well organized and it was easy to get my stuff.  I changed out of my sweaty top into the race shirt and started to head towards the festival.

However, it was still pretty chilly and as I walked, I started to get really cold.  The heat sheet helped, but not enough.  Since I wasn't prepared for the cold, I hadn't brought any post race gear.  I made my way to the merchandise tent and picked up some Grandma's branded yoga pants. 

Outside of the fact I needed the warmer pants, they are actually really comfortable!  I have been wearing them a lot since then.

Once I was warmer (and managed to change to without issue in a port-a-potty), I headed to the beer table.  They had several beers available and I choose a Goose Island 312 to drink and set off in search of chairs. 

They had a big tent set up and under it there were bands playing and chairs.  They also had chairs outside in the tent to sit at.  I managed to snag a chair and sat to listen to music and enjoy my beer.  It gave me some time to return texts and check in with everyone. 

After my first beer was empty, I needed a refill (post race hydration is important!), but it was getting much more crowded and I was afraid my chair would get stolen.  I asked the group behind me if they would watch it and they happily agreed!

I went and got my beer and came back to my chair.  The group had kept my chair for me and invited me to hang with them; I ended up staying with them for the rest of the afternoon.  They were so friendly and from the area.  They had done the half marathon. 

We all chatted about the race and life and the afternoon (and several beers) passed quickly.  After a bit, we all got up to go dancing!  My legs were definitely stiff, but believe it or not, the dancing helped.  It was so much fun!

Dancing fools (photo courtesy of my new friends Leah)
After a while, I did decide to make my way back to the hotel (which was about a 10 minute walk) to show and recover, but not before becoming Facebook friends with my new pals (who were so nice and even told me to come back next year to do the half and invited me to stay with them!).

Even though I was tired, sweaty and sore, I was so glad I stayed for the after party. It was a lot of fun and I made some new friends.  If you ever do Grandma's, I recommend you stay for the post race party!

The marathon's namesake!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Two on Tuesday

I finally got a FitBit.  I'd been thinking about getting one for almost a year and I finally did it.  Now that I have, I love it!  I can't believe I waited so long to get one!  I am obsessed with hitting my 10,000 steps every day.  On run days, it is not a problem at all; but on none run days it does take some effort.  I go for a walk at lunch or get off the subway a stop earlier.  I am pretty active, but it's still a good reminder.

Surprisingly, most of the Tinker Bell races are still open a week later (as of writing this: Tinker Bell Half, Pixie Dust Challenge, Neverland 5K).  It's a much slower sell out than normal for Tink (or lately, any runDisney races).  I think it's a combination of things - Mother's Day Weekend, college graduations, more runDisney races in general.  It worked out well for me - I actually ended up registering for the Neverland 5K over the weekend.  Even though it's super early (5 am!) and 4 early mornings (flight, 5K, 10K, Half), I am still excited for it.  This one starts on Main Street in Disneyland and ends on Paradise Pier - which is really the whole reason I signed up.  Should be a really good time - I can't wait for May now!