Running and Eating Cincinnati.

Yesterday’s run got postponed due to freezing temps and poor planning, but this morning there was no avoiding it.  Ever since you guys made so many great comments and suggestions about preparing your body for a run, I’ve taken it a lot more seriously.  First things first, FLUIDS – water and coffee.  Lots of both.

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My mother in law got a bread maker and has been “baking” up a storm.  She brought one of her loaves to us, and it was the perfect pre-run fuel.  It was soft and chewy and full of delicious nuts and seeds.  Now I really really want a bread maker!

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I cut off a thick slice and had it as toast with butter.  Mmmmm.  Wanted to eat the whole loaf, but resisted.  Did I mention that I want a bread maker?  Because I do.

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It was once again FREEZING this morning, and we had to scramble to find good weather appropriate running gear.  I took great pleasure in seeing Casey wear one of my old sorority shirts! 

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We bundled up and headed out, despite the temperature barely hovering over 20 degrees.  I could tell that as the sun rose, it was getting warmer and warmer every minute, and that we would be okay. 

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One of the things I get most excited about when I come home is getting to RUN here!  Maybe it’s because I started my running career here, and it’s just so familiar, but I can’t even explain how much I love to run these streets.  We ran aaaaall the way down the Flying Pig Marathon course backwards, and started at the bottom of the notorious Gilbert Avenue hill.  This hill is what makes the Cincinnati Marathon famous for it’s hills – so long and steep!  I ran the entire thing without stopping, and was huffing and puffing the whole way up.

It was so fun to run with Casey back through all our old routes.  We ran all over the old neighborhood, covering about 12 miles total.  I wish we could have run longer, but we had family waiting for us at home, and we didn’t want to take up too much precious visiting time.  Twelve miles felt good, and it was BEAUTIFUL weather by the time we finished.

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After quick showers, we gathered our group to head out for a family lunch.  Me, Casey, and the wonderful Malones…

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And my adorable mom.  :)

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Since we did the Green Dog Cafe last night, we headed to my other tied-for-first-place favorite place to eat in Cincinnati – Melt Eclectic Deli!

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It is a favorite for obvious reasons…

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The only thing that stops me from going there more often is the 20 minute drive and difficult parking.  It is the only really good veg/vegan place in Cincinnati, and they have s
o many amazing tofu, seitan, and tempeh dishes.  I can never decide what to order.

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I also love their awesome homemade teas and hunks of free bread.  I like when restaurants have fun little extras, like offering stevia instead of just splenda – it’s little stuff like that that will get me back in the door every time!

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I was a little caught off guard when we got there and discovered that they were not serving the regular menu – just a special Sunday brunch menu.  I like to plan my orders ahead of time!  But I survived the menu switch up and ended up ordering vegan huevos rancheros – absolutely amazing!

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Big side of fresh fruit!  I was really impressed that this wasn’t just the big hunks of melon and grapes that are so typical.  Loads of berries, pineapple, and mango!

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The veganized huevos rancheros consisted of a delicious tofu scramble with smoky gooey soy cheese (that you would have never known wasn’t dairy!), served on an avocado smeared tortilla and topped with vegan chili.  Holy yum!

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Casey got the vegan version of “steak and eggs” which was seasoned seitan strips and the same tofu scramble, on a delicious foccacia bread. 

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As you can see, the special brunch menu was a success…

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In an effort to apparently eat my way through Cincinnati, our next stop was my very favorite frozen yogurt shop.  No trip home is complete without Yagoot

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The main purpose for the visit was because of an email I received last week announcing their new BANANA flavor! 

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My little sis works here when she is at home, and I will admit to a little sadness that she was not there.  :(  I have still not accepted that she has grown up and gone to college!

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I got a small banana with fresh blueberries and Nilla Wafers for my toppings…

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The banana did NOT disappoint!  I think it might be my favorite flavor ever, and that is a pretty bold statement.

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Mmmmmm I want more right now. 

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When we got home, I spent some time snuggling with my old cat Toby.  He has to live at my mom’s house now because the dogs tried to eat him.  :(  I miss him so much!

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As you can see, he really misses me too. 

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After lunch, we said our goodbyes to Tina and Eddie, who had to head back to Indianapolis.  Before the sun went down and we lost the warm, beautiful weather, I got to take a fabulous long 4ish mile walk with Lindsey – it was so nice for the two of us to get some alone time and catch up.  Our walk brought my day’s total mileage to a little over 16 – not too shabby!

It’s been a fabulous but FAST weekend at home.  The fun times always go by so quickly…sniff.  Hoping for another sunny and painless car ride home tomorrow, and looking forward to giving my doggies some big snuggles – I miss them!

Alright, time to go pass out in front of the boring Oscars.  I am wiped out!