Sushi, Sushi, Froyo Time

Happy Monday to you! How does your week ahead look? Mine is going to be a bit wonky to say the least. My goal is to come out of it on as normal of a schedule as possible. Let’s just say I am going to be more than ready for the long weekend to come! Now… who wants to buy me a plane ticket to Florida? ;)

I don’t know about you, but I’ll tell ya what, I am not sure I sat down for more than 30 minutes total this weekend. Saying that makes it seem like I certainly must have been doing fabulous things like attending music festivals and museum openings when in reality I was doing fabulous things like eating great meals with wonderful people, and seeing my parents…All served up with a healthy does of 90% humidity.

Bet you thought I left Florida, so did I. Ohhh North Carolina, gotta love ya!

To fuel my sweatfest, I spent Friday night with the lovliest of friends. Despite just having a baby (the cutest!) She insisted on cooking me dinner !

IMG_4664[1] Seafood, my one true love

Saturday Morning, after a sweaty, untimed 6 miles it was times for a Saturday morning favorite, runny eggs and Dogs 101! I mean really, what better way to start your weekend than  cute and cuddly dogs?

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The remainder of the day was spent lunching at a new to me sushi spot, Sushi-O, somehow, this restaurant directly across the street from one of my favorite sushi places, Sushi Blues (how I have overlooked it for so long is a mystery) and checking off the list on the typical weekend chores such as oh, finally buying a rug for your kitchen….. an entire year after you’ve moved in… whoops!

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The day capped off the best kind of way, Whole Foods, House Hunters, and Froyo…and yes, my friends and I are 20- somethings ;)

Sunday Morning was time for a confidence boost. Time for a confession ya’ll. Remember my last 10k, a PR race in June? well, aside from vacation out west, that was the last time I did any sort of hill work! How that happens in a city as hilly as Raleigh is a conundrum, but I knew it was time to get in some serious hills!

I can’t believe how wonderful this run felt! It sure was not fast, but I was more worried about completing it than anything. The ease of the run, was the exact confidence boost I needed!

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Eggs, and the Sunday paper to refuel.

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Lunch was more sushi at the always incredible Cowfish.

Cowfish

Too top it all off… three nights in a row of froyo. So in other words… success!

Froyo Recycled

Have a wonderful week friends!

What do you have coming up this week? Any Labor Day plans?

Yes! Where I will go, and what I will do remains to be seen, but it’s time to get outta town!

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The Hardest Part of Running. Fear

Last week, I posted about loving to run, and the best part of running. That same day, the always awesome Janae, of Hungry Runner Girl asked what the hardest part of running for her readers was. Janae shared that, the first 1-2 miles of her runs are the hardest.

Physically, I largely agree, the first 2-3 miles are the hardest for me.

As I often share, I have always found that running is 70% mental, and 30% physical, and that the multitude of mental aspects that go into running are the hardest part.

Just because something is hard, that does not mean we are fearful of it. Waking up at 5am is hard but it certainly is not fear inducing.

Running and Fear

It does not matter if you are working through a Couch to 5K program, or a seasoned runner, running is hard. That is why we run.

I do not know if all runners struggle with running fear in addition to the sheer difficulty of running, but I do.

I do not fear not setting a PR at a race

I do not fear injury

I do not fear not being unable to complete a distance

I do not fear judgment from others runners

I fear loosing my consistent workout regime. With the exception of injury, years ago, I conquered what many find to be the most difficult aspect to any exercise regime, consistency. I picked up running as I was waning my 16 year dance career. Running became the consistent force in my life that dance had always filled.

Fear Source

I don’t know where this fear came from, it is relatively new, and something that 1-2-3 years ago NEVER struggled with. What I DO know, is that I am going to keep on fighting!

What is the hardest part of running to you?

DO you have any running fears?

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Now That’s How You Come Come Back From Vacation!

Baseball, Birthdays, Friends, and New Jobs, and promise from your momma that she is coming up to stay in one week! That is what life is all about people!

It has been quite a while since I have done a weekend recap, so I think it is about time!

After returning from vacation, Monday, I began a new role within my company that I am more than excited to take on! As thrilled as I was with my week, Friday night ended the exact way all Summer Friday nights should end, with giant diet cokes at a minor league baseball game!

IMG_4613[1]Durham Bulls

The moment I got home and my head hit the pillow, I was out like a light! Since returning from vacation Sunday night, no matter how many calls or messages I receive during the night, nothing has been able to break me out of this zombie slumber, I have to admit, I am kinda lovin it!

Saturday began with a humid, but otherwise enjoyable 10 mile run on Raleigh’s Greenway. It was one of those mornings where I had to force my booty out of the door. The only way I could get my legs moving was to make a compromise with myself to run with no plan, based on feeling. That was a wonderful idea! My mood turned, and now I cannot wait for the cooler Fall temperatures to arrive, making long runs possible!

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Much of the rest of the day was spent in the kitchen making this baby, Sally’s Baking Addiction’s Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake, for a dear friend’s birthday!

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As I type this, I have come to the realization that never in my life have I had the desire to bake a non-layered cake. I mean why would you choose a cake that does not provide a minimum of three opportunities for frosting?

Sunday morning, I woke up to a case of the lazys again (ok, when do I not, normally I just get over them;)) and traded in my planned 5 miler for a nice long walk before trying out yet another new church.

I don’t like to discuss many personal subject on CCR, and religion includes that, but today I am making a exception, though I have been in Raleigh for an entire year now (Oh my goodness, when did that happen!?!) I have yet to find a church I feel comfortable with. I struggle with the, “new-agey” churches many young people gravitate too, yet have been seeking a church with other young professionals. After Sunday morning, I just think I might have found the perfect compromise!

And for your daily does of random, ya’ll know I love, love, love my Costco, but this literally stopped me in my tracks on Saturday, making me exclaim out loud to myself, “You have to be friggin kidding me…”

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HALLOWEEN COSTUMES people! It not even late September! My goodness, this is just too much for me!

Have Halloween costumes popped up anywhere near you?

Cold weather or hot weather runner?

Cold, cold, cold baby! (Yes, I am from Florida)

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Back to Basics- I Love to Run

Let’s get back to the basics of Candy Crazed Run for a moment shall we? Let’s get back to talking running.

As I discussed previously, I have not discussed running much recently because, well, I haven’t wanted to. Yes, I had been running, but aside from going through the motions (literally ;)) there was not much else to it. I knew the “blah” spell would pass eventually. Key word being eventually.

The annual family vacation, this year to my beloved Colorado and Santa Fe, came at just the right moment.

I don’t think it is possible to spend 10 days outdoors, exploring the mountains, hills and deserts of the American West and not want to continue to spend every single moment of life (except for hot showers of course) outside!

SantaFerunmom Running with momma in Santa Fe

That makes returning to 5am treadmills runs a little…mehh. It feels as exciting as mehh sounds.

My solution? Stretch every.single. last. moment. of daylight out of Summer’s waning mornings.

While I am motivated to focus on speed for the next 4-5 weeks (bring on the 10ks ya’ll!) I am even more motivated to get my booty out the door and throw thoughts of pace to the wind.

Running Our Best

These conflicting motivations made this girl, who has never even looked at a training plan before think about when I run my best.

Every race I have won or placed in, ever PR I have set have a single common denominator, I was having a blast. Were there hard moments? sure, every time I have run and placed in the Race 13.1 Raleigh 10k, I have wanted to quite climbing the final hill to the finish, but I am still happy.

10k race After the Race 13.1 Raleigh 10k this June, 2nd Female (slow race, trust me!)

I realize that this is not the case for everyone, or even for most runners, and considering that I have never followed a training plan, I cannot say that I would not blow my current PRs out of the water if I did, but as cliché as it sounds, in my heart, I believe Brooks has it right…

Run Happy

At the end of the day, to me, loving to run, is running happy -even on bad runs. I needed my vacation outdoors to help prove to my brain that running is more than the treadmill, and more than the same ole same ole weekend routes around town. Running happy might not make me PR this Fall, but then again… it just might ;)

When do you run best?

Do you like to run outdoors? Do you consider yourself an “outdoorsy” person?

How do you like to spend your vacations?

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America’s Best Mountain Town- A Guide to Crested Butte, CO

Families are funny. They have their quirks that anyone outside of the family find weird and either absolutely hilarious or just plain ole strange. If you want to make my sister’s boyfriend crack up uncontrollably, just get my brother and I into a disagreement about the color of the sky, yelling at a louder and louder pitch until I win the argument ;)

Travel is one of our families quirks. Most families love to travel, they dream of Minnie, Micky, and Magic Mountain at Disney, or white sand beach cruises. My family dreams of deserts, mountains, and dirty hiking boots. And food….always food.

Over the past 15 years that we have been traveling together, one of the two places that has become a 6th member of our family is Crested Butte, Colorado.

Writing about Crested Butte intimidates me. How in the world could I ever do this place justice? I would love to write a comprehensive guide to the town, but an entire devoted site would be required. Instead what I thought I would do is share a general guide to the Mountain town, touching on a few of it’s biggest draws.

General

One of the biggest draws to Crested Butte  is it’s community. It is in our opinion, Crested Butte is one of the last great mountain towns in Colorado. It has as much to do, and equal if not superior beauty to Aspen and Telluride. Unlike those star studded spots however, if you were to walk down Elk ave, the main street, decked out head to toe in Louis Vitton, well, you would not quite “fit in” – not that anyone should overly concern themselves with fitting in to begin with- but you see the point.

The town of Crested Butte sits at 8,885 ft, and the mountain town, 9,200. With a  population of 1,503, it is the perfect size to visitors such as our family! Locals and devotee’s have been unsettled over the past few years, as, “the Aspen crowd” has begun to move in, threatening the town’s charm, as some see it. The true future of the town, will only be known as time proceeds.

It’s true popularity occurs in the Winter ski season. Not being skiers, we have never visited during this period so I am unable to speak to that, but when the warmth of Summer comes, what I can say is that there are fewer places on earth I would rather be!

Hiking

There are a plethora of hikes in and around the town of Crested Butte for all skill levels! The majority of trails are numbered as opposed to named. After 15 years, I still find the map available at, and the people at the visitor’s center to be the most efficient, consolidated source of hiking information available. We have yet to come across a book or website that offers a suitably consolidated visitor friendly overview of the area’s many trails (hello business opportunity!)

*Edited to add: Travel Crested Butte reached out to me, I had never seen their site before, but it is a wonderful resource!

Hiking Resources: (Our Favorites!)

CrestedButteHiking

Research trails you are interested in online, and when you get into town, stop by the visitor’s center to get a map of trails (the best I have seen) and ask any questions of the staff.

Need to know: Many of the area’s hikes are along popular mountain biking trails, so always be alert for bikers and horses!

  • Website: Great Crested Butte Lodging, Travel Crested Butte
  • Hikes:
    • Trail 403- Incredible views of the valleys. Hike halfway from the Washington Gulch side, and return on that same side instead of hiking all the way to the Gothic road side.
    • West Maroon Train (takes you from Crested Butte to Aspen) – Have not done it yet, but it’s a bucket list item!
    • Snodgrass Mountain Trial – A classic you must hike before they develop it into a ski slope!

Other Outdoor Activities

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Mountains Biking is huge in Crested Butte. If you are a biker, you will love this town! Considering our mountain biking experience is minimal, I do not have any guidance here except to say that Snodgrass is a fun ride for novices, though I recommend beginning from the Gothic Road side, and finishing on the Washington Gulch side, then riding your bike into town for a fun morning ride.

Four Wheel Driving There are advanced four wheel driving roads in the area that can take you to truly incredible vistas. Having a high clearance vehicle, with four wheel drive is advised to allow you to explore many of the area’s incredible views, lakes, and activities.

Fly Fishing in town along the East, or Slate Rivers is not the West’s best. Better fishing can be found approximately 30 minutes from town along the Almont River.

Naturing I made that word up, do you like it? Crested Butte is well known for it’s annual Wildflower Festival, and has a plethora of birds and wildlife to view – bears included ;)

Food

My favorite topic. Crested Butte is not home to a single cuisine or dish it is, “known” for, but that sure doesn’t mean it doesn’t have great eats!

Sherpa Sherpa Cafe

  • Pizza- The Secret Stash – Shoot for a table downstairs!
  • Buffalo Burgers – The Wooden Nickel- Un. Real….Unreal. The Best I have ever had – and I have had a lot of buffalo burgers in my life.
  • Salad- McGill’s – Margarita Salad- do it
  • Ethnic- Sherpa  Cafe- Tibetan/Nepalese – the most authentic ethnic cuisine I have ever had in the U.S!
  • Italian – Martichelli’s Gourmet Noodle
  • Coffee- Camp 4 Coffee
  • Breakfast – Izzy’s
  • Bar – The Eldo – If you visit Crested Butte and don’t drink a beer on the balcony….we aren’t friends. Just kidding (but seriously)

Lodging

There are some hotels available in Crested Butte, but if traveling with friends or family, I highly recommend renting a house or condo. You can either stay in town or on the mountain. The benefits to town are the ease of walking to shops, dinner, and the center of town life. The benefits to staying on the mountain are proximity to the ski slopes in the winter, and swankier diggs and upgrades found in mountain condos.

Greatest Hit Summer Events

These are just a very, very, few of the great events I am qualified to recommend!

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  • Wildflower Festival- An annual festival drawing people from around the world to admire the area’s unparalleled wildflowers!
  • Aspenglow - A weekly Summer concert Music Series which brings out the whole town to relax and mingle!
  • Crested Butte Famer’s Market – Saturdays all Summer long!
  • Fourth of July Festivities – Begining with a morning parade and continuing all day long!
  • Annual Gothic to Crested Butte 1/3 Marathon – I had to miss this race 2 years ago due to injury, but I will be back.

Have you ever been to Crested Butte?

What are your favorite “hidden gem” towns?

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Shaun White, Adventures, and EMTs in Silverton

How is that for a title?

Durango, Co

After leaving the land of blue corn and green chilis, Santa Fe, we made the 6 hour drive through the mountains to Silverton, Colorado. We made a quick stop in Durango forcandy and sightseeing (In that order :)) before reaching the tiny adventure town.

Unfortunately, as it was a quick stop, I did not get a single picture of Durango, but for those of you interested in white water rafting, mountain biking, or rodeos, Durango is your town. One of the best rodeos we have ever been to has it’s home in this classic Western town. While scouting a lunch spot, we came across, the best candy store I have can remember visiting in quite some time! I was far to elated to even think to snap a photo, but take my word for it when I say it was my largest candy haul to date.

We stopped by the Diamond Belle Saloon for a drink before leaving town. The Diamond Belle was home to Louis Lamour as he authored dozens of his classic westerns.

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Silverton, Co

Late that afternoon, we arrived in Silverton Colorado. Ya’ll let me tell you, there aren’t too many places like Silverton to be found in America. Sitting at 9,318 feet of elevation, the town is home to a population of approximately 600. During the Summer, a train takes visitors from Durango, along the Animas Forks River to Silverton, where the population swells to 1000 until the train departs and the majority of the tourists leave.

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In all his years of visiting, my dad has never spent the night in Silverton, but has longed to do so. After arriving in late afternoon, we reacquainted ourselves with the 1 mile town before a perfect dinner at Handlebars where my elk burger hit. the. spot!

The next day, we had planned an ATV tour into the area’s back country for the afternoon, leaving us a cold and drizzly morning free.

If you have never heard of the Hardrock 100, well, now you have. Anyone familiar with untrarunning, is likely aware that the Hardrock 100 is known as one of, if not THE most difficult ultra in the US. The race begins and ends in Silverton. That description sums up the spirit of the town, home to truly hardcore outdoor enthusiasts…we are only outdoor lovers – not quite hardcore as you will soon see.

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Fun fact: If you were to take ATVs over the mountain you see on the left, you would come across the half pipe Red Bull built for Shaun White to practice for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The goal was complete secrecy, talk about remote privacy!

A last minute change of plans meant my sister an I decided to drive the Million Dollar Highway (belting Frozen the entire drive obviously) to Ouray, a neighboring town while our parents and Eric continued with the planned ATV tour.

IMG_4538[1] Selifies on the Million Dollar Highway

We had a lovely time exploring the town and a easy fun hike to stunning waterfalls.

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The rest of the family, their day ended with thus….

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Remember how I said Silverton is for hardcore outdoor enthusiast? The ATV tours typically take patrons to Animas Forks, a wonderful ghost town in the area. We have taken the 4-wheel drive road to Animas Forks multiple times, looking for something more remote, as usual, we asked for it.

Long story short- Eric went over the side of a mountain, jostled some organs, and after packing up and driving to a neighboring town for a CAT scan is doing just fine. Bruised but fine.

And so ended our time in the Wild West town of Silverton. When you look for adventures, ya just never know what your going to get!

I hope to return to the area in the future to hike up to a few lakes that I learned about during my time there. Ice Lake, I’m comin for ya- with two feet, not four wheels ;)

Have you ever ridden an ATV?

Do you ever visit small towns?

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