Just keep running

Hello lovelies! It is the best time of the year everyone! September, the beginning of fall, and most importantly; MY BIRTHDAY MONTH! Now, although I am breaching the age of mid-20’s (24 – GASP!) I feel as though I am only able to accomplish more.

With my birthday approaching, there were goals set a year ago to keep up with that I am happily still doing, running, and blogging; although I may fall off the band wagon from time to time, I have been keeping up with both of these for over a year now!

So with those goals still being accomplished (because hopefully I will keep running, and keep blogging), I should probably add a few more to the list. One that has been brewing in my brain is that I need to run my first half marathon by this time next year, so by my 25th birthday: RUN A HALF MARATHON.

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So far I am up to 7 miles, but if that is how many miles I can add in a year, then my timing is pretty much perfect. Along the way I certainly want to sign up for more races in between, certainly some 10k’s and 10 milers to warm me up for the whole 13.1.

Luckily I have the time and amazing places in the area to run! Since I do live so close to Washington DC the area provides any number of awesome running trails/ areas throughout Washington, Virginia, and Maryland.

So far, I have only been able to explore a few trails in my area, but one of my favorite weekend past times is to find  a new trail or park and go for a long weekend run. Here are some of the ones I have gotten checked off my list so far!

Burke Lake park, is a great 4.5 mile trail around the lake. It is pretty flat and usually pretty crowded but it is a great loop, for a quick easy run with a gorgeous view. Another fun aspect about this park is the exercise stations throughout one half of the trail.

Great Falls park (VA Side), is SO close to my apartment, I absolutely love it, with its absolutely beautiful and interesting terrain (can be very rocky, can be very wooded depends on where you are in the park) but it is difficult to be in such a beautiful place and not love it. The park is always pretty crowded, and there is an entry fee (depending on the time of day) but if you live in the area, certainly add Great Falls to the list of fun run places!

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(Great Falls, VA)

 

The Washington and Old Dominion Trail (W&OD Trail for short) is a seriously bikers trail that winds all through out Loudoun and Fairfax county. WIth its many access points, and accessibility it is far more popular with bikers than your standard runner. You certainly feel as though you are vying for your space on the road against the bikers. However it is relatively flat, and great to really work out some distance. The only downfalls are that it is only shaded in the morning (that is some HOT pavement) and it is just straight, it goes on forever and ever so eventually you have to just turn around and do it all again. (me personally I love a long loop if at all possible)

And most recently I have tried out a great trail right across the water from the city with incredible views! The Mount Vernon trail runs right along the Potomac and gives you an awesome view of the monuments right across the way! The trail is nice because you have the option to run in VA or into DC, you can also go explore as a detour on Theodore Roosevelt Island. However the day I went, was incredibly hot and almost unbearable but the view was so gorgeous, I will have to go back many more times to explore!

IMG_4989(Potomac River, smack dab inbetween VA & DC)

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Well little gluten free foodies, runners, prepsters, and cat lady’s that is all I have for today. Much more gluten free goodies and birthday month fun to come!

TTFN XOX GFP

 

From January through July, my oh my!

Well hello there friends and readers, if I have any of those left at this point. 😉 Hope you all have been achieving great things in your  lives and living exactly as you envision yourself doing so! It has been a while and I do apologize for my long absence; there has been A LOT of things going on…

Let’s take a flashback to my last post in January, “New year, New Everything!” there were three goals in there that I should have been keeping up with as the year of 2013 has progressed.

Goal 1: Get a full time job.

Goal 2: Keep Running.

Goal 3: Keep Blogging.

Well folks, if you count this blog as keep blogging you can count me in for 3/3! When I said there had been a lot of things going on I meant it!

As January progressed, I continued to dredge on in post grad life, searching for a full time job. So many applications, and resumes, and cover letters, I could have gone mad! Luckily, thanks to my roommate and pledge sister, I applied at, what has turned out to be an amazing company!  Wedding and event planning has always been one of my passions and will continue to be, it will always be something I want to pursue later in life; however as someone in need of a full time job and some great work experience you apply to things that you would do well in and hopefully enjoy as well. Luckily I discovered something exactly like that, I got a job at a custom t-shirt company called CustomInk! I started there in February and have been loving it ever since! Essentially I sell t-shirts for a living! It is a great, young, fun company with wonderful, unique individuals who make coming to work enjoyable every single day. And I mean it doesn’t get much more fun than t-shirts!

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Since the big step into the real world, I have also moved out on my own as well and moved into my own apartment, I have continue to run, and explore the world of gluten free living.  Although the adult world can be stressful, and at times, monotonous, exciting at others but it is rewarding non the less.

So a lot has been happening, work has been taking up a lot of my time. I am still spending my weekends exploring new places to run and hike. I will have to update everyone soon about my tree top adventures and how I am getting closer and closer to a half marathon all the time. Every mile worth it.

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So to continue on with my goals I need to get back into this blog! More to come that is for sure! I have been brainstorming some ideas of some great gluten free goodies to share, there are many adventures, festivals, wine tastings, and races to come. As well as a little bit of this and that in between.

Happy to be back, happy to be blogging. Keep your eye out for more to come from this… GlutenFreePrep. ❤ xox

{Mountain Hikes and Unmarked Trails}

Well since I have been running, I have been exploring different places to run to keep it interesting; this week I decided I was going to go out and run the Manassas Battlefield.  This was a location that many people had recommended to me as a good spot to run so I thought I would check it out. This was a lot easier said than done; what was supposed to be a 1.5 hour run turned into roughly a 3 hour run/hike around the battlefields. Upon my arrival, I ran around aimlessly looking for the entrance to the trail, then once I found it there were many occasions that I had to stop, look around, and really guess which way I was supposed to be going. And finally I ran the same loop twice in a row because of a lack of markers out on the trails. I ended up pretty turned around and lost and the map was of no help; and as much as I don’t like to admit it, I gave up and called my Dad to pick me up from one of the parking lots off the Battlefields. Sad I know. But I was very frustrated and concerned by the lack of markings and how easy it was for me to get lost out on the trail, I’m not saying I am the most avid hiker but I have a relatively good sense of direction so for someone who really gets turned around easy this could have been a nightmare!

On a brighter note I did run like 5 miles out there while being lost in the wilderness and then walked a lot too, all in all I think it totaled out to around 7 miles! Woop thats always a plus.. and there were some pretty views as well.

This week has been a week full of outside adventures, thanks to the oddly warm weather in October 🙂 yesterday a few friends and I hiked up Old Rag Mountain and man am I sore today! We only went about 6 miles but its a mountain, so the first half is all up-hill, and the last bit before we turned around was literally climbing up rocks! I was pretty tired but it was so worth it! The views were spectacular and we didn’t even make it all the way to the summit (we got kind of a late start).  It was so pretty and I would do it again in a heartbeat, I just need some better hiking shoes!

Well more adventure posts to come later, and some gluten-free yummies coming soon!

TTFN xoxo GFP ❤

{October brings cool morning runs and Instagram photo challenges}

So I am super excited! (SORRY FOR BEING MIA THE PAST TWO WEEKS! Life has been hectic and there hasn’t really been time for blogging. I am hoping the internet connection is back up at work the next few events and I can blog during my downtime. YAY! :)) ANYWAYS I am super excited because I just signed up for my first 5k! whoop whoop! It is 26 days away and I really think it will be a lot of fun. It is the Three Fox Haunted Hallowine 5k in Delaplane, VA. It involves a vineyard run and a haunted trail! Hopefully a few of my friends will run it with me. I have been trying to run on the days that I don’t work all day long, which is tough on the weekend but it almost makes me look forward to Monday because I finally get to go on a run. Seriously the thought of me saying that 6 months ago is pretty insane.

Does anyone have any suggestions on places to run in Northern VA? I have a few friends who were runners or run for fun but I have only gotten a few ideas. Bull Run Marina, The Battlefields, Prince William Forest, Veterans Park, Leesylvania Park; SO MANY FUN PLACES TO EXPLORE! If only I had an adventure buddy to do all these fun things, it used to be my roomie Emily but we don’t live that close anymore :(.

The most irritating thing to figure out while running that I have encountered is how to carry water with you. So either you actually carry it while you run, or have a sweet fanny pack (NO), or hope your pants have pockets big enough to put a water bottle in and your pants won’t fall down? It’s a problem. Any tips would be greatly appreciated, because with a water bottle I can run so much farther than without. #runningstruggles. I have also been in need of light weight long sleeve breathable shirts they are so comfy and perfect for these fall mornings. Blah RAMBLING! I can’t wait for this vineyard 5k it is going to be SO MUCH FUN :).

And last but not least: SPOILER ALERT! This month I am doing one of those photo a day, Instagram challenges and although it isn’t the one everyone is doing for October (because I thought that one was annoying and lame #sorrynotsorry) I am adapting one I saw from August instead. Look for a post at the end of the month going through my month in photos and a recap about my first 5k!

TTFN, xoxo GFP ❤