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motivation monday


I ran 10 miles tonight. So. Freaking. Happy. It was my first 10-miler post surgery. I’m not gonna lie, I was hurtin’ the last 3 miles. But I’m so glad I convinced myself not to give up and to keep going. I might be limping around Chicago the rest of the week, but I’m alright with that ; ).

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Running Playlist – August 2014

I’m so thankful that I am finalllyyyyyy getting back into my normal running routine!  Loving these tunes right now. And no matter how many times I hear John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ on the radio, it never gets old.

Click here to listen on Spotify!

runorshine playlist

Overtime (Vicetone Remix) – Cash Cash
All of Me (Tiesto’s Birthday Remix) – John Legend
Hold On – Nervo
Wasted – Tiesto
So Much Love (Radio Edit) – Fedde Le Grand
Sound of the Drums – Armin Van Buuren
Helium – Chris Lake
Open Window (Original Mix) – Anna Yvette
Strangers – Seven Lions
Bad (ft Vassy) – David Guetta
Til It’s Gone – Britney Spears
Collide (Radio Edit) – Leona Lewis
Kings & Queens – SoMo
Crave You (Adventure Club Remix) – Flight Facilities

Click here to listen on Spotify!

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a runner’s nightmare

So it’s been a while to say the least! I think it’s time for an update. : )


Back in March while I was home in Philadelphia for work, I fell (literally on my kneecap) and landed really hard. I knew right away I did some serious damage and the following day I hobbled to the E.R. after our last training session. I walked in, and told the guy at the front desk, “I’m pretty sure I broke my kneecap.” His response? “Sweetheart, if you broke your kneecap, you wouldn’t be walking.” Two things: 1) Bro, don’t call me sweetheart. And 2) He obviously doesn’t know me but I have the HIGHEST pain tolerance. So much so that it drives my mom crazyyy. I won’t go to the doctor until I’m on my death bead, or in this case, I’m in so much pain I know something is up. Anyways, I spoke with an E.R. doctor and got a few X-rays. After reviewing the X-rays, the doctor then tells me that it’s a bad bone bruise and that I should rest up for a few weeks. She also said that once I got back to Chicago, I should see a sports medicine doctor to make sure there was no ligament damage.

I got back to Chicago and of course waited a few weeks before seeing a sports medicine doctor because I’m (admittedly) stubborn. The pain persisted and I finally made an appointment to get it checked out. Doctor #2 told me that I needed to get an MRI to make sure there was no ligament damage. Done. When the results came in, I went back for a follow-up appointment. Doc 2 reviewed my MRI, and told me that it looked like I have a rare bone disorder called “Bipartite Patella.” It’s so rare that even SHE was Googling it… in front of me. This rubbed me the wrong way for obvious reasons but I figured if it was really that rare, then maybe she’d never seen a patient with that condition before.

Side note: Bipartite Patella is a rare condition that about 1% of the population has. It occurs when the patella (kneecap) never fully fuses together during childhood. The bone remains separated and is connected with a fibrous tissue called a ‘synchondrosis.’ Most people with Bipartite Patella could go their entire lives without any problems. In fact, most people don’t even know they have it until they have to get an X-ray or an MRI for another reason. The problem arises when there is direct trauma (such as a fall) to the kneecap. The fibrous tissue then becomes swollen and disrupted. There are various surgical options to treat this, but the initial treatment is usually rest and physical therapy.

Side Note #2: No, I’m not in med school. And no, I didn’t just copy and paste the last paragraph from webmd.com. When I left the Sports Medicine doctor that day, I stalked the internet so hard and I’m pretty sure I read every single article online concerning athletes with an injured bipartite patella.

I obviously asked the sports medicine doctor what the next steps were as my main concern was being able to run again. She told me to rest (which I was thrilled about) and to come back in a few weeks. I spent the next few weeks hobbling around Chicago – not even kidding – in constant pain. I decided that I needed to find a specialist in Bipartite Patella who had worked with injured athletes before. I called around to all of the major hospitals in the area and got a call back from Northwestern saying that they had a doctor who specialized in the Bipartite Patella and that I should come and see him “as soon as possible.” I made an appointment at Northwestern Orthopedics for the following Tuesday morning.

That Sunday just happened to be the first beauuuutiful day in Chicago, so obviously I had to attempt a run on Lake Shore Drive. Actually, I probably didn’t have to. I just really, really wanted to. I was going a little cray not being able to run for weeks and the sunshine was calling my name. I stepped outside and made it approximately 2.3 miles. How??? I have no freaking idea. It was the most painful run of my life. I finally stopped, did an abs workout and hopped on a divvy bike. The crazy part is, as painful as those 2 miles were, it absolutely made my day. I was so happy I got at least 2 miles in, even if it hurt like hell.

I showed up to my appointment at Northwestern the following Tuesday morning and for the first time in WEEKS, I finally felt like I was in good hands. My doctor was great. I could immediately tell how experienced and educated he was; that alone instantly made me feel relieved. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I didn’t have my initial X-rays with me, so he asked if he could take another set of X-rays. I said yes, and upon looking at the films (shown above and below), he turned around and said, “so, it looks like you’ve been walking around on a fractured patella for a month and a half.” He also reviewed my MRI and told me that I had torn my meniscus. Part of me was angry because not one but two doctors missed the fracture. How is that even possible? If it had been detected initially and treated correctly, I could have been running in a few weeks. The other part of me was so happy I finally found a doctor who knew exactly what he was talking about and was able to properly diagnose my injury. Looking back, I have to laugh a little bit because at one point he said, “it’s going to be a while before you’re running again” and I started crying – like actually crying. Poor guy didn’t know what to do. He clearly didn’t realize how much running means to me; how could he? As I wiped away my tears, he said, “I promise, we’ll get you back out there running again.” Best news I’d heard in months.

He told me there were 2 options: Option #1: I could wait a few more weeks and try to rehab my knee back to health as he monitored the bone’s healing progress. Option #2: I could get surgery. He would remove the piece of fractured patella bone and repair the torn meniscus. I chose option 2 for several reasons. I was so sick of being in constant pain and not being able to run. I just wanted it to get better, and if my pain was at a 10 when I initially fractured it, it was still at a persistent 8.5/9 weeks later. I am also incredibly impatient and I couldn’t imagine waiting around a few more weeks hoping that it would heal, likely prolonging the inevitable surgery.

I went with option 2 and ended up scheduling the surgery for May 12 at Northwestern Orthopedics. As much as I tried not to think about it, I was slightly terrified going into it. It was my first time getting surgery and I was in Chicago without my family. I’d be lying if I said the post-surgery recovery was easy. I had no idea how much pain I was going to be in and how overall helpless I would be the first week. I’m a very independent person and I hate feeling like I ‘need’ someone or that I have to be taken care of. It was a very humbling experience and I wouldn’t have gotten through the first week after surgery without some amazing friends in Chicago – one in particular – who I am forever grateful for.

More to come on my recovery, but I am finally running again and it feels amazing! I almost forgot how happy running makes me. I feel like myself again. I’m trying my best to ease back into it one mile at a time, but I’m a runner, so you can guess how that’s going ; )

I sincerely apologize for the novel but I guess that’s what happens when you take a 4-month blogging hiatus. If you actually read this entire post, thank you; I just blew you a kiss from Chicago.


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things I’m lovin’ thursday


Running Maps of 22 major cities.  This is so cool.  Data was pulled from the RunKeeper iPhone app to show the most used routes runners take. I’m pretty sure I’ve run down every single street highlighted on the map of Philly. Next up: conquering Chicago this spring ; )

Click here to read more.

Quote.  I really believe this.

My brothers.  They just turned 21 yesterday and it was really hard not being there to celebrate with them. (Thank God for snapchat).  Regardless, they are honestly two of the most amazing people I know.  They give me hope that there are genuinely good guys out there haha.  They’re going to make some girls’ worlds some day. : )

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creamy avocado & sweet potato soup

This soup is seriously the PERFECT winter pick-me-up.  I made it a few weeks ago and I am obsessed.  I’m not gonna lie, I was really proud of how good it turned out haha.  Especially because I just threw random ingredients together and hoped for the best.


runorshine sweet potato soup


  • 2 large sweet potatoes (or 3 small ones)
  • 3 cups of chicken broth (or veggie broth if you prefer that instead)
  • 1-2 cups quinoa (cooked)
  • Garlic
  • Pepper
  • Sirracha
  • Avocado
  • 1 cup Almond Milk


  • Skin sweet potatoes and chop up into smaller pieces
  • Boil sweet potatoes until soft (usually ~10 minutes will do the trick!)
  • Drain sweet potatoes
  • Throw the sweet potatoes in a blender & add the broth
  • Blend until smooth
  • Pour soup back into pan
  • Add 1 cup of almond milk. (You can also substitute cream but it’s obviously not as healthy!)
  • Add cooked quinoa to soup (I prefer a lot of quinoa but you can obviously add less or skip all together)
  • Add garlic, pepper and sirracha to taste (The sweet & spicy is the perfect combination!)
  • Top with sliced avocado & enjoy!

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Running Playlist – January 2014

running playlist


1. You Make Me – Avicii
2. Stay the Night – Zedd ft. Hayley Williams
3. All Night – Icona Pop
4. Smile – Galantis
5. Live for the Night – Krewella
6. Under Control – Calvin Harris
7. All of You – Peter Thomas ft. Betty Who
8. Burn – Ellie Goulding
9. Dare You – Hardwell
10. X You – Avicii
11. You Used to Hold Me – Calvin Harris
12. Carried Away – Passion Pit (Tiesto Remix)
13. In My Mind – Ivan Gough ft. Georgi Kay
14. Bring You to Life (Transcend) – Steve Aoki
15. Center of the Universe – Axwell

Click here to listen on Spotify!

SO, now that it’s officially freezing cold in Chicago, I’m forced to run inside on an indoor track.  (I can’t do treadmills).  Anyways, it’s really easy to get bored running in circles with a lack of scenery.  Music is so key to my workouts.  This running playlist has gotten me through the past few weeks.  Hope you enjoy it just as much as I do! : )




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iPhone diary

Life has been such an adventure lately but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So this is where I live! I’m obsessed with the older, beautiful homes on my street.  I snapped this pic on my way to church in the snow yesterday.  (How I made it to church in the snow after being out late Saturday night is beyond me).  The Gold Coast in Chicago has some gorgeous stinkin’ houses. If only I were a millionaire and could afford to buy a place here…

Zoo lights in Chicago were pretty cool!  Definitely got me in the Christmas spirit. : )

I got to spend a week and a half home for Christmas and it was awesome. My nieces are quite possibly the 2 cutest human beings in the entire world. (And one more is on the way!) I love being an aunt.

I was able to work from our Philly office for a few days when I was home. Kinda missed that place.

Got in a few (painful) long runs while I was home. Ouch. I think I forgot how taxing running up and down hills can be. It’s been so cold in Chicago that I’ve only been running inside. Luckily my gym is amazing and has an indoor track, but STILL… I miss the great outdoors.

Also worked from our NYC office one day while I was home. I love New York in small doses, but I will admit, it is such an electric city.

TBOX bar crawl in Chicago with these beauties. Wild, wild, wild but I’m glad I experienced it at least once. (And no, I have no idea who that guy is behind us.)

Sleepy baby at home. I love my little brothers more than words.

Got to spend NYE in Chicago with these babez <3

And my best guy friend in Chicago, Phil. Ladies… He’s single. ; )

Shameless NYE selfie. I’m obsessed with the dress I wore. It’s from this store in Chicago called Akira. Chicago girls… If you ever need a fancy dress… Go there!! Impossible not to find one.

I’ve been doing most of my workouts in the morning. As much as waking up at 5:15 suckssss, it’s seriously the BEST way to start the day. Hands down.

Finally started cooking a lot at home. I’m glad I got back into it because for a while there my diet basically consisted of Greek yogurt, fruit, rice cakes and cheese. Embarrassing. Plenty new recipes to come on the blog. : )

I leave you with a beautiful PA sunset.

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things I’m lovin’ Thursday

This quote. I recently made a huge (both professional & personal) move to Chicago and this quote is what I’m trying to live by. No risk, no reward, right? As terrifying as it was to pick up and relocate to a new city half way across the country, there’s also something about it that makes you feel more alive. Anything is possible; you’ve just gotta be willing to take a crazy chance every once in a while and trust that what’s meant to be will be.

Actually working out over winter break. I’m still home but I’ve already gotten in 4 killer workouts. I’m ashamed to admit it but usually I come home, stuff my face with ridiculously good holiday grub and drink too much vino with my family. While the vino part and DID happen and I may have eaten one too many Christmas cookies, at least I can live with myself at the end of the day knowing I burned some surrrrrious calories.

Spending so much time with my family. You really don’t appreciate what you’ve got until it’s gone. AKA you move half way across the country and can’t see your family whenever you want to anymore. I’m a lucky girl. My siblings really are my best friends and I don’t know what I would have done without them these past few months. Much love goes out to them. Oh and thank GOD for facetime. It’s a beautiful thing.

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things I’m lovin’ Thursday

I’m obsessed with all Essie polishes but this is my favorite at the moment: “Naughty Nautical.” It’s the perfect fall teal – not too light. It even has a slight shimmer and I’m all about the sparkle ; )

I love everything about this.

Saw this on Pinterest the other day and almost died. Can this please be my life in 5-10 years??? Cutest kid, cutest dog.

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working out with a heart rate monitor


1. Calories Burned.

Being able to see how many calories you burn during a workout is amazing.  I’m obsessed with the iPhone app “May My Run.”  It also has a calorie counter but it only bases ‘calories burned’ off of your height, weight & age.  While Map My Run is great for calculating distances, I love that my Polar is more accurate and also uses my heart rate to calculate the calories I burn in each workout.  I’ve tested this out many times, using both my polar watch and Map My Run during a workout.  Map My Run overestimates the calories burned 90% of the time.  Which kind of stinks considering that the last 2 years I thought I was burning a lot more calories than I actually was!  Oh well.  At least now I know better.


2. Motivation.

Being able to see how many calories I’ve burned often encourages me to take the long way home if I’m trying to hit a certain amount of calories during a workout.  Perfect example: the other morning I wanted to burn 600 calories during my run.  At the end of my run I ran up to the house and I was only at 580 something.  Did I take another loop around the block?  Yes.  Would I have done that if it weren’t for my watch?  Never!  I really like running for calories versus distance.  Some days it’s nice to switch things up.


3. Not just for runners.

I love that I can use this watch during my spinning and cross fit classes at the gym.  Before I got this watch, I never really knew how many calories I was burning during group fitness classes.  Knowing exactly how many calories I’ve burned after a spinning class is awesome – especially when I’ve worked so hard!  Spinning classes can be brutal.


4. It Pushes You.

Now that I’ve been using my watch for a few months, I know where my target heart rate should be when I’m jogging vs. running hard.  I can glance down in the middle of a run and know (just based off of my heart rate) if I’m not pushing myself hard enough.  Then I’ll run harder.  Same goes for spinning class.  It’s a nice dynamic and almost acts as a digital running coach.


5. Prevents Over-Training.

When training for a race (in particular, a marathon), it’s so important to give yourself ‘easy days.’  Sometimes I find it hard to hold back during the easy runs and I tend to go too fast when I’m supposed to be giving my body a break.  It’s really important not to over-train.  Using a heart-rate monitor allows you to stay below a specific heart rate and prevents you from going too hard when you’re supposed to be taking it easy.  That way, you’re less likely to feel exhausted the next day when you’re scheduled to do a longer, harder run.




P.S.  I have the Polar FT4 shown above and I love it.  It’s really basic and I’m okay with that.  If you’re looking for something more high-tech there are a ton of great heart rate monitor watches out there.  This one is perfect for me though.  And it’s pink so can you really blame me for being so obsessed? ; )

Only $59.99 on Amazon!

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