Friday Five: Summer FUN!

First of all..someone informed me this morning that yesterday was National Hug a Cat Day. I’m a cat person, so this was about as exciting as National Running Day! How could you not love little faces like this:

I’m a high school teacher, and today is one of our last days! Well, sort of. The kiddos are taking finals, and all we have left are a few in-service type days. By Wednesday next week, I am done until late August. I AM SO EXCITED! I love, love, love my job and wouldn’t trade it but I do enjoy the break during the summer. I promise I will only do one obnoxious “I’m off for summer” post because I realize I am fortunate to have a break to look forward to and don’t take it for granted.

So, in the spirit of the Friday Five posts everyone does, here are five things I’m stoked to do this summer!

Grandma’s Marathon

gmas(0)In just about two weeks, I will be lining up at the start of Grandma’s marathon in Minnesota! In my quest to run a marathon in all 50 states, this will be my 28th state and my 36th marathon. My husband and I are leaving on Tuesday, June 16th and road tripping it all the way to Duluth. We are taking a route through Michigan and doing some camping on the way out, and then camping the whole way back. Once in Duluth, we are staying at the University of Wisconsin! How cool is that – they open the dorms to the marathoners. I paid $155 total for two nights of lodging. It’s definitely a no frills kind of thing, but I will be surrounded by other runners AND there is a bus from the dorm to the start so my husband doesn’t have to drive me all over the place at an ungodly hour. We will be attending the pasta dinner the night before, and hopefully meeting up with Charissa and Hanna  while we are there!!! I’ll do a whole pre-race post in about a week, but it’s how I’m kicking off my summer and I couldn’t be more excited!

Summer Workouts

IMG_7699Of course, I’m mainly referring to running! I don’t love the heat, but I LOVE summer running because it means I can go at my leisure. Usually, that means I’m up and out the door early to beat the humidity because that’s when I feel the best. I can’t wait. I plan on exploring some trails, heading to the track, and hopefully logging some long miles. I want to get on my bike as often as I can (I had to cut back on the cycling in my peak marathon training weeks which made me sad!) and on my yoga mat. My fitness goals this summer are to increase my base and get back to running 70- maybe 80 (I never went above 71 hence the “maybe”) miles per week. It sounds a little crazy, but want to run 6x/week, bike 2x/week, swim 2x/week, strength train 2x/week and do yoga 2x/week. My coach gives me workouts, but I add a lot of the extra cross training in on my own. My goal is to break three hours in a marathon in the fall, so lots of base building needs to happen while I have the time to do it. I have some social/family commitments throughout the summer, but being off will make it easier to fit most of the workouts in.

Pool Time and Vacation!

imageWe bought our old farmhouse in 2012 as a foreclosure and it needs a lot of work. But one thing we do have that totally rocks is the most amazing pool! We actually didn’t know if we were going to keep it when we bought the house because we didn’t know what was under the cover. The bank had covered it with tarp and 2x4s. We could see the nasty water through holes in the cover, and there were frogs living in it! However, we opened it and chose to keep it when we cleared up the water and realized it was actually in awesome condition! I plan to get up early and get my workouts/house stuff done early so I can relax by the pool as often as possible!

We also have a family lake house up in Vermont. It’s really amazing up there and the perfect spot for being active. It’s super hilly, but I can do plenty of running up there and I can swim on the lake for some open water swimming. We go there at the end of July/beginning of August and stay for a week. It’s the perfect getaway before wrapping up the end of the summer!

House Projects

Our 1890s farmhouse could probably use a blog of it’s own. Since moving there in 2012, we’ve done a ton of work – converted the house to gas, new windows, new roof, and completely gutted a section upstairs. My husband is a union electrician by trade, and is extremely gifted with all things construction related. I am in awe of all knows how to do and the construction he’s already done for our home. The first aesthetic renovation we completed was our bedroom, bathroom, and a dressing room. We also have a huge barn, and my husband renovated a section of that last summer. Our latest project is gutting a huge section of the house on the first floor to create our ideal kitchen. I’ve been so excited for this project since we purchased the house three years ago, but we had other priorities to make the house live-able. To begin our kitchen project, we’ve already knocked down structural walls, taken plaster off of the brick and ripped the ceiling out. We are also completely taking apart the hideous fireplace and rebuilding it. It’s going to be a long process but I plan to help my husband with whatever I can. I also have some organizational and cleaning projects in other areas of the house that I want to get a handle on, so I know the summer house projects alone could fill up my days! Here is the demolition process so far:


Last but certainly not least, I am excited to do some cooking projects in my temporary kitchen! I want to keep the Paleo lifestyle and would like to experiment with some recipes I’ve pinned that are more time consuming. I tend to gravitate towards easy, quick recipes that allow me to cook healthy meals during the school year. With the kitchen project happening, I thought cooking was going to be the last thing I’d be doing this summer – I envisioned lots of dinners out and everything else prepared on the grill (which I also love, I just love having a kitchen to go with said grill). My husband took all of the old cabinets and appliances and set up a temporary kitchen in our sunroom:

The funny thing is, I like the temporary kitchen better than the old kitchen I’ve been using since we moved in the house! So bring on the summer cooking and deliciousness!

What’s on your agenda this summer? Do you enjoy home projects? Cooking?


25 Replies to “Friday Five: Summer FUN!”

  1. Oh no! I missed National Hug a Cat Day? I have two cats and I didn’t hug either of them yesterday. (Not that one of them would let me anyway.)

    Ummm I am in LOVE with your house. I love houses that have such amazing history to them! One day I would love to completely redo an old Baltimore row home. Total pipe dream, but it would be so awesome. You SHOULD start a blog for your house! I’d totally read it!

    1. Hahah my cats are so temperamental, too! Sometimes I can hug them…when they aren’t being cranky! I do love the house but oh my gosh – I’ve basically been living in a construction zone since we moved in with no end in sight! But it’s really, really fun! Maybe this summer I’ll start a blog for it…hmmm…

  2. OMG!! It’s almost here!! I can’t wait to meet you and I hope we all do awesome on June 20! I’ve heard only good things about Gmas and I think this is going to be a terrific race and a fun weekend!! eeeeeek!! I also was going to stay in the dorms, it’s a great deal and I totally don’t mind no frills….beats the heck out of $300/night hotel rooms (don’t get me started). I actually am staying with a friend in Duluth who is running Grandma’s as her first marathon so I was able to cancel my dorm reservation and get housing on the cheap-o. Yay!

    Look at that farm house – what a beaut! My boyfriend works in construction and recyclable material salvaging and would be in seventh heaven over there with all those house projects. I like doing house projects too, but we rent an apartment so our creative options are fairly limited 🙂

    I too look forward to summer workouts! I actually don’t mind the heat once I’m used to it, and the warm weather makes me more motivated to get out and work up a sweat! I’m really hoping to FINALLY pull off a transition to AM running this season

    1. I am soooo excited to meet you and be in Duluth! I was so annoyed with the cost of the hotel rooms. I kept putting off booking something because I was soooo mad and not sure about what I wanted to do. I even considered camping the night before…but the dorm option? YES PLEASE! So glad you found a good option for housing, too! Woohooo!

      LOL – The whole house is one huge project that is going to probably take us many many years to finish! It is really, really fun!

      Summer is a GREAT time to transition to morning running. Way more daylight and warmer weather! You can totally do it!

      1. Did you see we have our BIB NUMBERS now??? I found mine by going to the runner tracking page on the website and searching for myself. 6849, I am in love!!! yay!!

      2. AHHHHHHH no way!!! I’m 9307!!! I also looked you up with your bib # and then proceeded to friend you on FB, haha! I am seriously excited for this one!!!

  3. Wow, you’ve got some awesome plans for the summer! First off, your cats are adorable, I would definitely give them a hug. 🙂 Secondly, GOOD LUCK at the marathon! What an awesome way to cross off another state and keep costs down by camping and staying in the dorms. I’m absolutely itching to sign up for another marathon, but I know I don’t have the time to train for it right now. 😦 Still, I’m looking forward to plenty of summer running when I can!

  4. Your summer plans sound awesome! Can’t believe how much exciting training you pack into a week – such a superwoman!! 🙌 you’re definitely right about summer being the best time to build a good base – it’s just so much more enjoyable in the good weather, whereas in winter it’s just a slog lol! I’m looking forward to hearing about our exciting marathon goal 😊

  5. We stayed in the dorms at U of Minnesota Duluth when we ran Grandmas. It’s no frills but it had tons of really adorable “amenities” like coffee at all hours, bagels, printed books with results, handmade signs and tons of really excited runners. Enjoy it and run it fast!!!

  6. One of my closet friends is a teacher; I’m often rather jealous of her summers off. 😉

    It seems like you have some great summer plans though. I can’t wait to see pics of your kitchen project as it progresses.

    And, your trek-to-Grandmas sounds AWESOME!

  7. Your summer sound fun! And so relaxing. My mom was a teacher, so it was nice to have her home to take us on summer excursions. Have fun at Grandma’s. It actually sounds kinda fun to stay in the dorms.

    1. Thank you! I’m looking forward to all of it. I was excited when I heard about the dorm option – plus I waited until the absolute last minute so I guess I couldn’t be too picky!

  8. Your kitty cat is too cute! I have a grey Russian cat. But have you actually tried to hug a cat? Mine doesn’t go for it lol she’s miss independent kitty. I wish I loved summer running but I just don’t. My enthusiasm almost always wanes…this needs to change. I can’t wait to see you break 3:00! That’s crazy good fast girl. You’re a rockstar! I’m stoked I finally broke 4! 🙂 keep crushing it!!

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