amc loop 10k amsterdam

Since I had to miss this year’s Pittsburgh half marathon (for a good reason: this Europe trip!), I haven’t actually participated in a race of any kind since my last triathlon last September. For me, that’s a long time to go without! So I asked my sister to help find a race in the Netherlands that we could run together. We ended up at the AMC Loop 10k, running with some of Dutch coworkers.

AMC Loop 10k

There was one obvious Dutch-specific peril to this race: a near-constant, serious risk of being nailed in the face by an elbow. Life can be rough when everyone is an good foot taller than you… And while it was raining and I was experiencing the awful beginnings of an upper-respitory infection, the race was super fun. Angie and I ran an absolutely perfect negative split (each mile time gets faster and faster throughout the race) and a nine minute mile average. We celebrated with a fantastic healthy lunch in Utrecht (and soon I imagine also lots of cookie butter…).

tot ziens!


This post is #47 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima.

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running (free) through the bossche broek

If you’re a runner (or a triathlete), you know how easy it is to get hooked on data: GPS watches, tracking apps, heart rate monitors… Whatever device it is, there is something absolutely addicting about knowing your progress, mile for mile (and often publicly sharing that progress too). But getting caught up in numbers can take away the basic joy of running sometimes. Besides a casual 10k race at the end of this month and triathlon in September, I’m not currently in the throws of training. But still I monitor each run with more gusto than it’s worth. I start to judge the quality of the run based on its length and pace- even for my “fun runs,” which should, after all, be purely for fun.

So today, I left my GPS watch at home and took a (who knows how long!) run through the Bossche Broek. Without a watch, I took moments to pause, take a breath, and really enjoy the scenery. It’s a run like this one that reminds me why I run in the first place.

Den Bosch, The Netherlands #100daysofmiaprima Den Bosch, The Netherlands #100daysofmiaprima Den Bosch, The Netherlands #100daysofmiaprima

Tot ziens!


This post is #33 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima.

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waterfalls + covered bridges

I spent much of the day Saturday preparing for my first-ever flea market for my Etsy vintage clothing shop, the Gibbson Girl. But I did manage to get away for a run through beautiful Hampton Falls. I slowed down enough to snap some photos along the way at my favorite spot: the newly renovated cover bridge that overlook the town’s namesake.

Hampton Falls, New Hampshire #100daysofmiaprima Hampton Falls, New Hampshire #100daysofmiaprimaHampton Falls, New Hampshire #100daysofmiaprima

I’d be pretty satisfied if all my runs took me through such beautiful territory!



This post is #21 of the #The100DayProject. For more updates on my progress, be sure to follow me on Instagram and look for the hashtage, #100DaysofMiaPrima.

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Because I Can: Pittsburgh Marathon Highlights

Because I Can: Pittsburgh Marathon Highlights

Has it already been two weeks since I crossed the finish line of the Pittsburgh Marathon? A lot has happened since then, including an amazing trip to Europe to visit my sister. I can’t wait to tell you all about our adventures in The Netherlands and Italy, but before I do, I want to share some highlights from my second full marathon.

I don’t think I’ve ever had more fun at a race, ever. I didn’t think things would pan out that way. This was the first race where no one was waiting for me at the finish line…and the first major race I wasn’t running with my sister. I figured I’d get the race done and move on to my next race (triathlon, maybe?), no big whoop. Except that right from the beginning I didn’t feel like I was running alone. My friends and family signed up for text alerts that let them know the second I crossed certain milestones in the race, my coworkers were running the half marathon and although they weren’t along side me for the race, it was a comfort to know they were there, and, of course, I was running with thousands of other people. No matter how many races I run, I will always be in awe of completing a single, grueling task with thousands of strangers. We were all there to do one thing: finish the race. It doesn’t matter how long it took us to get to that start line or what problems we had to face or why were really there at all. What matters is that we are there, pushing ourselves to our limit. And we aren’t doing it alone.

Endurance running can often be a long, lonely sport, but in the end, it’s the community that keeps me coming back to the start line.

“Why are we doing this again?” A young female runner next to me asked. I was standing in my coral with minutes to the start, talking with the only two veteran marathon runners I could find nearby (the coral was a mixture of half, relay, and full runners).

We all laughed. Amused at our own tenacity, courage, insanity, whatever.

“Because we can,” replied the middle-aged woman next to me. “I could be in a wheel chair right now. Or going through chemo therapy. But I’m not.”

And isn’t running for 26.2 miles straight the ultimate gesture of thankfulness? Thankfulness for our health, our self-discipline, our support.

Nope, endurance running isn’t lonely. Sure, I’m the one who gets the metal at the end, but if I could give one to every person who inspired and supported me through my journey to the finish (and the start), I would. Or even better, I’d ask them to go out and try for their own metal. No matter if it’s a 5k or an ultra, finishing a race is an experience you will never forget.



Two Hundred Miles

Two hundred miles. That’s how many miles I’ve run to get to the start line of tomorrow’s marathon. Two hundred.

At mile six, when I’m thinking, “Oh God, I’ve still got three and a half hours to go!” I’m going to think of those two hundred. At mile 17, when I wonder if I can make it the last nine, I’m going to remind myself of the those two hundred. At mile, 25, when 1.2 seems like it will never come, I have to think of those two hundred. Because 26.2 is nothing compared to all the work I’ve done to get here.

14 hours to go, guys! Keep me in your thoughts at 7am tomorrow!

p.s. I’m loving my race day outfit for marathon #2. Showing off some aerie pride!

Keepin' it real for race day! #aerie #aeriereal #marathon #26.2 tank, Moving Comfort sports bra, Under Armour compression shorts, VSX fanny pack, Brooks Ghost running shoes, Balega compression socks, Nike visor, Stinger energy gels

Taper Time (& What I’m Eating)

It’s finally taper week for my marathon training! Woohoo! I love tapering (contrary to many endurance athletes who find it hard to cut back the miles) because I get to spend time really focusing on preparing mentally with yoga, meditation, and all around relaxation. Yesterday, I practiced yoga for an hour coupled with a half hour of mindfulness meditation, and I wen to bed feeling relaxed and in the present.

Vegan Fried Tofu, Broccoli, Kale Stir Fry

Food is also really important for this final week. Per my coach’s suggestion, I’m sticking to higher protein dishes earlier in the week and adding on carbs, but not lots of calories, as the week goes on. Being vegan, I have to take extra care in ensuring my meals are high in protein. Yesterday, I created a delicious fried tofu, broccoli, and kale stir fry served over brown rice. This was my first time frying tofu, and I was thrilled with the outcome of the dish! Just perfect with a crispy outside and soft, flavorful middle. Learn some good techniques here.

Then, of course, I had to make vegan, sugar-free brownies for dessert. My own recipe! So, I’ll be sharing soon. 🙂

What’s your favorite high protein meal?




Pirates, Sparkle, & 16 Miles

Easter in Pittsburgh

Being away from family can be hard enough, but when holidays roll around it becomes that much harder. Thankfully, for Easter this year, my little sister was able to take a break from being a genius med student at RIT to spend the weekend with me here in Pittsburgh. The weather was perfect! And compared to Rochester, NY, it probably felt like heaven.

Pittsburgh- Oakland

Before Michelle made it down here on Saturday afternoon, I snuck in a 16 mile marathon taper run. Why am I tell you this? Because sometimes, when you’ve run over 20 miles in one go, you start to forget that even 16 miles is impressive. This is my attempt at reminding myself that running 16 miles (or any amount for that matter!) is an accomplishment–one of which I should always be proud!

Stay Classy (lots of sparkle included)

Sparkle was a key component of our Easter weekend attire.

Pirates Baseball Pittsburgh, PA

I took Michelle to her first professional baseball game. The Pirates lost, but it was an exciting game no less, complete with the classic Pittsburgh Pirates fireworks show. (By the way, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a professional baseball game that didn’t involve the Brewers. Seriously. I saw the Cubs play them in Chicago…then again in Milwaukee…and now they played the Pirates in my new city. It’s like my Wisconsin ancestors are trying to speak to me…)

Homemade Vegan Squash & Kale Pizzas

Instead of the traditional Easter ham dinner, we opted for homemade squash pizzas, complete with kale, Brussels sprouts, and vegan cheese. Recipe (Michelle’s original) soon to follow!

Madewell fruit dress + Merino sweater + lots of sparkle Springtime outfit

My Easter outfit of choice: Madewell fruit dress, Lands’ End Canvas Merino sweater, vintage Salvatore Ferragamo heels, statement necklace (a great find from a Chicago second hand shop), and a gorgeous sparkly clutch (a gift from an old roommate). Michelle looked gorgeous in an Loft eyelet tee, J.crew cardigan, Ann Taylor pencil skirt, and sparkly J.crew flats.

Easer outfits

Hope you all had a fabulous Easter weekend as well! Here’s to more sunny days filled with Pirates, sparkle, and lots and lots of miles.



What a Day to Celebrate the Earth!


Celebrating Earth Day in Pittsburgh

I’ve been celebrating Earth Day with a month of car free Fridays, but today I also made a point of taking my run outside (despite the heavy wind and dipping temps). I chose a stretch of the Three Rivers Heritage Trial located on the South Side. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the trails so clean! The crowds of volunteers picking up trash and debris from the river front was a happy sight.

Celebrating Earth Day in Pittsburgh

I also had the privilege of running through eagle territory. Yes, there are real life eagles in the middle of my city. I’ve seen a pair of baby bald eagles on one of my runs last week, and now that the word has gotten out about our native eagle family, pedestrians and cyclists slow down to stare expectantly up into the wooded hillside along a now designated “eagle viewing area.”

Celebrating Earth Day in Pittsburgh

And there was also that moment when the sun’s setting rays caught the bridges. Sometimes, I can catch that one second when the bridges glow golden with the filtered light. Unfortunately, my camera was too slow. You’ll just have to come to Pittsburgh to see the sight for yourself.

How did you celebrate Mother Earth today?



One Does Not Simply (Run) Into Mordor

19 days and counting.

That’s a mere nineteen days until the Pittsburgh Marathon, when I will run (and admittedly, thanks to a persisting leg injury, walk) 26.2 miles. This will be my second full marathon, but the journey has been no less challenging and no less exhilarating. I completed a 20 mile run (!) this past weekend and will (THANK GOD) begin to taper starting this week. But don’t let that fool you, my taper includes a 16 mile run this weekend. 🙂

Well said, Boromir

But what’s running for four hours straight anyway? To those who have never experienced it, I like to describe it as no different that doing any one thing for hours on end. At a certain point you just keep going and going. You stop thinking about the action.

To me, it’s not unlike trying to read the complete Lord of the Rings trilogy in one sitting. At some point, eating and going to the bathroom become second priorities to finding out what happens to your beloved characters. Usually, you enjoy the ride, but at some point the battle scenes start to feel too long and your eyes begin to glaze over the lyrics to another one of Tolkein’s songs. But you just keep reading.

After all, Frodo throwing the ring into the firry pit is obviously the objective, but becoming a spectator to the battle of Helm’s Deep or a sighing over a smoldering love affair between Arwen and Aragorn or witnessing Frodo and Sam hiding among the rocks in Mordor FOR THE THOUSANDTH TIME was part of the journey. You can’t really get to Mordor without it.

Running to Mordor

Did I really just describe the marathon finish line as Mordor?!

Well, hell, it basically is. There’s just a lot more cheering and a lot less fire. But in the end, you sure do feel like you just saved the Shire.



“It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing. Such a little thing.”