Monday, June 30, 2014

The Great Adventure: London (Day 1)

I've been busy catching up with friends, working (and getting my Vitamin D on the beach), so that's where I've been the last few days. I have SO much to share from my time in London, but it has to be broken up to three (if not four) posts. London is so huge and I did SO much. This one is basically a HUGE photo dump... So get ready!


Millenium Bridge (Harry Potter friends, recognize this from Deathly Hallows?)

The Globe Theatre (Shakespeare Theatre) 

The Changing of the Guards

The Changing of the Guards

We were actually really close and had a great view of the changing of the guards, but we were on the opposite side of the Buckingham Palace entrance. That meant that we missed some of the activities behind the gate, but we still got some really great pictures! 

Fish and Chips (I wasn't impressed)

Does it look like I'm running into the wall? I also look like I belong in the Weasley family with how red my hair looks! 

With my friend, K! (one of the few times I was with friends this trip)

The London Eye

In my experience, the price for the London Eye was NOT worth it, but I am glad that I did it just to say that I've done it! 

Tower Bridge

Tower of London

Victim of Jack the Ripper

We did a Jack the Ripper tour with the cutest tour guide ever. It was cheap, but he was the best part of the tour. I do wish that there were more remnants leftover from the crime (as in actual locations), but it was still a good time. This photo is from the location where one of Jack the Ripper's victims were found. 

Have you ever done a tour of a city's Dark History? Who are my Harry Potter friends who recognized the Millennium Bridge before I gave a hint?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Being Smart about Post-Injury Running

Even though I ran three times in Germany, I marked my official "comeback" to running last Thursday. After a luggage debacle (my luggage was delayed 2.5 days), I got my running gear back on Wednesday and decided Thursday would be my comeback.

On Wednesday, I ran two miles and managed to be under a 10 min/mi pace. I tried the walk/run method recommended by my doctor, but it's tough on me mentally. I lose my mojo when I stop to walk, even if its for a minute. My hamstring felt great, through the run though, which is always promising!

On Thursday, I ran two miles again, still under a 10 min/mi pace. I'm happy that I retained some of my "speed" even though I've been out. My cardio capacity seems to be okay. but running is definitely not easy!

On Saturday, I only did a mile at a 9:23 pace. There were some bad thunderstorms coming and I didn't want to push my luck with my hamstring, so I ended after a mile. This brought my total mileage to 5 miles for the week.

I'm really struggling with not going out and doing what I was running before I got hurt. Mentally and cardio wise, I feel like I could do it. My legs are slightly sore from even these shorter runs, but I need to remind myself that I was injured and my body is readapting to running. This week, I plan on doing six miles total. I ran a mile on Monday after I got back to Florida (I drove 20 hours by myself) to stretch out my legs, two miles yesterday and I plan on doing a three miler at least once this week. I'm not sure how slow to take it, but I don't want to risk it! I wanna eventually work my way back up to at least 4x a week until I can get back to 5x a week!

Do you have any advice for me as I return post-injury? What is the longest you were out for an injury?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Great Adventure: Blue John Mines and Chatsworth House

As promised yesterday, here's part two of my Manchester recap. Tomorrow, I plan on having something other than travel recaps, so if you're bored with travel recaps, come back for running tomorrow!

Blue John Mines

Blue john is a rare, precious gem; it is a blue yellow color (it gets its name from how the English heard the words "blue" and "yellow" in French). In the United Kingdom, it is only found in the Blue John Cavern (where I visited) and one other location. The caves are located in Derbyshire and were GORGEOUS! Everything was entirely natural and excavated by glaciers and rivers (with the exception of the stairs/handrails). It was cold (I had to wear my gloves) and wet. 

The cavern was about a mile deep at the lowest point and had fresh water running through it. Definitely worth the trip, but there are a LOT of stairs.

Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House is where the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire live. Apparently, years ago, the family lost the house when one of the family members passed away. They had to give the government their paintings and statues, as well as their home. However, the current Duke and Duchess pay "market price" rent to live in Chatsworth House, which I thought was pretty cool! Apparently, the Duke and Duchess also come and socialize with tourists periodically, but I didn't have a chance to see them! 

These two locations were by far some of my favorite places in the Manchester area. The gardens of the Chatsworth House were giant and beautiful. I'd love to return and spend just a little more time there! 

Have you ever been in a cave? Have you ever visited somewhere and saw that "famous" person who lives there?

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Great Adventure: Manchester

If you haven't noticed yet (I just did it Friday), I have added a "Travel" tab where you can find my Costa Rica recaps and the two recaps of Europe I have posted so far! And even though I said last week that my photo recaps would be done by the end of this week.. I"m not sure that's the case. Even though I'm not saying much about the trip (I'd be glad to go into great detail if you want!),  I really want to share a good amount of photos with you since I abandoned you for so long. I hope this is okay!


Manchester was my least favorite city that I visited on my trip. There is a lot of history and some fun museums, but the city itself was very dirty and very expensive. I did have a chance to visit cities around Manchester, and I enjoyed those cities a lot more! However, there was still a lot of beauty and fun to be had in Manchester! 

 Manchester Cathedral

Imperial War Museum

Food court at Trafford Center


Chester was BEAUTIFUL! We only had about an hour or two there (I was with a friend), but I wish that I had more time there. I would definitely return back to Chester. There is a lot of Roman history there and the Tudor houses (which I didn't have a chance to see). Such a gorgeous area. 

Chester Cathedral

Roman Walls

Bramall Hall

Bramall Hall is a Tudor home (the type of design) that used to be owned by a wealthy family. I'm a really bad tourist and am unsure as to what exactly this hall was for, but Wikipedia has a history that indicates that this was a home for the Davenport family (landowners in NW England). We didn't take a tour inside, but the grounds were gorgeous and so was the home! 

I'm going to leave my photos of Blue John Mines and Chatsworth House for the next post! Thanks to everyone who's stuck around in my hiatus and are dealing with all of these photos! 

What turns you off from visiting cities? Do you ever go to landmarks and not go inside?

Friday, June 20, 2014

5k Foam Fest

Hi guys! As promised, I have other fun things to share besides my trip recaps :) As a Sweat Pink ambassador, I was lucky enough to be chosen as a 5k Foam Fanatic! With that, I am considered to be an ambassador for the 5K Foam Fest and I have a discount code to share with you all!

Before we begin, let me tell you a little bit about the 5K Foam Fest. The 5K Foam Fest is an obstacle course complete with mud pits and obstacles, all with a foamy aspect! They have a number of locations and races left this year, so if you would like to see if there's a race in your area, head on over to the site. I haven't signed up for my race yet because there's not one in Central FL until the middle of next year (where I'm currently living), but since I am job hunting, it's possible that I can move to a location where there is a race at a closer time! As soon as I sign up, you guys will know!

If you would like to sign up for the race, please use the code FF3356 for $5 off your registration fee! For the purpose of full disclosure, as an ambassador, I get a free race entry and I get one point for every person who signs up using my code. Those points lead to fun rewards for me, but I am not receiving any other benefits! I hope you guys will sign up and try out this fun race, I know that I can't wait to run it!

Have you ever done an obstacle race? What is your favorite part of fun runs?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Great Adventure: Blarney Castle

I took a day trip the day after I got to Dublin so that I could see Blarney Castle. The day trip consisted of Cobh (Cove), Cork, and Blarney Castle. These areas are located about 2.5 - 3 hours away from Dublin, but the scenery was so beautiful, I didn't mind!


Cobh was the last port of call for the Titanic, as well as the departure point for Irish immigrants to America. They had a Titanic Museum, but we were only allotted an hour here, so I just walked to the top of a hill and went into St. Colman's Cathedral. Such a beautiful day! 

 First family to Ellis Island


There was not much to do in Cork other than shop, but it was such a cute little town and we had lunch in the English Market. There were so many choices, but I settled on a sandwich and finished with ice cream :) 

English Market 

Made from happy cows in Dingle! 

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle was STUNNING. We were allotted 2 hours here, but I think I needed half an hour more. I kissed the Blarney Stone. The experience was great and I'm glad I did it, but it was totally not what I expected and was really anti-climactic. The grounds of Blarney were GORGEOUS and I am SO thankful the weather was so beautiful. I have like 12,000 photos from Blarney, but I'll share just a few ;) 

 Kissing the Blarney Stone. I now have the gift of gab ;) 

The Blarney trip was one of my favorite parts of my time in Ireland. I think if I return to Ireland, I want to spend more time in the countryside, because it is so beautiful and so luscious. There's SO much I didn't get to see in Ireland, so I DEFINITELY have to go back :) 

Have you ever visited a tourist location that didn't live up to the hype? Do you prefer the countryside or city?