A Girl’s Best Friend

January 26th, 2010 | Posted by Alison Spath in Good Reads

I’m officially stocked up on things to blog about!

First things first! On Sunday I took my camera along with me on an overcast and very-mild-for-January morning run.

I took a punk along with me too.


Who wants to come along on a 5 mile run through my new neighborhood? Well, you don’t have a choice. Get your sneakers on. It’s time to go.

Our first landmark would be what is currently my most favorite thing to run over in the whole wide world. A pedestrian bridge that crosses the river that divides the city in half.


Why I take so much pleasure from running over a pedestrian bridge I’ll never know – but I love it, I do!

(Pictures are more fun with people in them so expect to see my running friend Shawn a lot during this post.)

Over the River

Over the river.


To the river path that also happens to run along a college campus.

Yet Another Shawn Pic

More River Get Your Ducks in a Row

A glimpse of downtown from the path.

City Glimpse

Getting closer…

A Closer Look

I should let you in on a secret goal I have in life: to be able to do a cartwheel even when I’m 100 years old.

Prep Cartwheel

30 years and going strong! 70 years to go.

After the river path, it’s time to break into the cemetery though a broken spot in the wrought iron fence.

Dude, you ran right by it!

You Missed It!

There We Go

The only problem with taking my camera with me on this run was that Shawn would run up ahead while I stopped for my mid-run photo shoots, and then I would have to bust ass to catch up with him. Ah well, probably a good thing really, especially given I haven’t done speed work in ages.

More Crooked



Don’t just lay there, get up and run with us!

Don't Just Lay There

Through the cemetery. (And figuring out to just take pictures while I’m running.)

Through the cemetery

Back across the river.

Back Across the River

To stop and admire some graffiti.


Why does this come as no surprise that this very cryptic message was spray painted on by men? I certainly can’t imagine a group of women spray painting “BALLS” under a bridge. “KITTENS”? Probably not. “DIAMONDS”? Maybe. “CHOCOLATE”? Getting closer now.

There! 5 miles! Done! That wasn’t so bad now was it? We were only gone about 45 minutes, and it seemed to go by like the scroll of a mouse wheel, didn’t it?

Next on today’s bloggy agenda would the awesome care package that arrived via United States Postal Service from my boyfriend Brendan Brazier yesterday!

OK, maybe not from BB himself, but a girl can still dream.

Thrive Fitness

I need to give a big shout out and thank you to my girl Kelly at Sequel Naturals for offering to hook me up with Brendan’s latest book, Thrive Fitness. I’m so excited to read and review this book!

In case you missed it, I happened to love Brendan’s book Thrive. The changes I made in my diet thanks to everything I learned in his first book have made such a difference in my life. Thrive gave me the information I needed to make adjustments in my approach to eating which in turn has given me more energy in general, has allowed me to sleep better, and made my runs and workouts feel positively amazing – I can’t wait to see what Brendan’s training program and book dedicated to fitness has to offer!

This happens to the perfect segue into Blog Worthy Item #3:

I realized this weekend that the half marathon I plan to run in April is now less than 12 weeks away! Considering the training program I used last time is 12 weeks long, I guess that means it’s time to start thinking about training? Ugh. I’m not ready yet. The Sunday long runs don’t start getting longer for another 5 weeks, but still. If I hope to beat my previous half marathon time of 1:47, I’ve got to get back to doing long runs and speed work too. Speed work is so much easier in the summer! Or at the very least, on a treadmill.

Well, it’s not anywhere near summer and I don’t have a treadmill or even a gym membership, so I’m going to have to figure something out. I’m probably going to have suck it up and run fast outside. In the cold. Joy to the world.

Runners! Do you do speed work outside in the winter? (And if you live in a warm climate, your comment doesn’t count!) Does it suck as much as I imagine it’s going to? Maybe I’ll be surprised and sucking in cold, frozen air fast and hard will be petting a kitten? Putting on a diamond necklace? Eating chocolate? No?

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25 Responses

  • Sharon says:

    I too want to be able to do a cartwheel when i’m 100. I did one this summer with Haylee, just to see if i could and wal la, even one handed!

  • Amy says:

    Ooh, I’m so jealous you got BB’s new book already! I’m excited to see what you have to say about it.

  • Lauren says:

    I too, have the (not-so-secret) goal of being able to do a cartwheel until I’m 100!!! I’m only at 28 years but I’m going strong!! Glad to know there are at least two of us out there…

  • Holly says:

    i get so excited every time i see a post from you! yay for fun runs, half marathon training (i need to start mine soon!) and brendan! ummmm…i hate running outside in the cold period, so i am sooooo the wrong person to ask about this :)

  • Katie says:

    Outdoor runs all winter in Rochester… ugh you are a brave woman! I used to use the track at a local high school to do speed work (though this was summertime). Sometimes they are locked up but you might find one that is not or be able to ask the school.

    • Alison says:

      Good thinking Katie. I use to use the indoor track at my fitness center near my old house… maybe I can find an open gym at a high school or something! Definitely worth investigating further!

  • Fallon says:

    What an exciting run!!

    Can’t wait to hear what you think of Brendan’s new book. I bought the last one that you reviewed and loved it a lot as well. Now I need a new book to read 😉

  • Erica says:

    What a pretty run! I need to bring my camera long on my next run- so much fun. I can’t do outdoor running when its too cold- I’m a huge baby. I need to read Thrive! I’ve heard way too many good things. Hope your week is going well!

  • yeah I do speed outside if the track is available, and not icy. Going that fast on the treadmill kinda freaks me out.

  • KatieF says:

    Living down the Thruway in Syracuse and training for an April marathon (Boston!). It’s a treat! Did you sense my dripping sarcasm? :) Right now, I’m doing all my runs outside EXCEPT for my speedwork, which I am doing on the treadmill. I do make exceptions for those days when you went to sleep with a lawn and wake up to 2 feet of snow covering everything…no need to slip and fall just for the sake of getting a run in.

  • go cartwheel go! i used to be able to do cartwheels but i dislocated my shoulder as a kid and have been weary since….

  • That was a fun run (from the comfort of my bed!)… :) I admire you for running outside in the winter where you are! After living in CA for almost 20 years, I can’t handle the cold anymore…

    I’m really interested in your review of the new Thrive book! I may just be ready for some more changes… :)

  • Jess says:

    Yes, it does suck just as much as you think 😉 I really didn’t think it through when I decided to train for a marathon through an Albertan winter. Luckily I do have a treadmill at my disposal because I just suck at speedwork in the snow.

    Also, I’ve never been able to do a cartwheel, so I guess my goal is to learn to do one by the time I’m 100 :)

  • Michelle says:

    Well, I live in the south, so I guess my comment doesn’t count about speed work…:)

    Curious – how did you handle the portion issue with the Thrive book? It seems that the recipes are extremely high in calories and made for people who are triathlon training. I average 26 miles or more a week, but I’m worried about gain.

    • Alison says:

      Hi Michelle!

      Yes, some of those recipes are calorie dense for sure. Around the same time I was reading Thrive I was reading the Raw Food Detox Diet, and thanks to both Brendan and Natalia came to really understand that if you stick to whole foods, eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, and don’t go too crazy with seeds and nuts (and I know some of Brendan’s recipes are seed and nut heavy!) that you won’t eat more than you’re supposed to. It’s hard to overindulge on broccoli and lettuce! Now that I’m running less (compared to my mileage over the summer) I’m less hungry, and therefore eating smaller portions. There’s more time between meals and snacks without really trying or feeling like I’m depriving myself. Processed foods get in the way of those signals and mucks it all up though… I don’t know if this answers your question. Basically, I just stick to whole foods, focusing largely on fruits and vegetables, and the portion control comes easily and effortlessly – try not to go overboard on seeds and nuts (*cough*almond butter*cough*) and haven’t had any issues maintaining my weight. I’m probably running 15 miles a week right now.

  • Bernadette says:

    You are one lucky girl!! That is a beautiful running route and I would totally run thru the cemetery if I we had old ones like you do. That was one of the things I found so fascinating about the East was the way the old Cemeteries were preserved…. I mean really what did we (on the West) do with ours???? Build right on top of them??? Probably, but I hate to think of it.

    I’ll be curious to see what your thoughts were on the new Thrive book, I’ve still got my nose burried in the 1st one.

  • Cindy says:

    Alison..that is the most beautiful run I have seen in a long time. Love the bridge, the water, the city view and even the spooky cemetary. That would have made me run faster!

    I have been re reading my original Thrive lately too. I’m kinda lost in the food game right now except to day that Sugar is my real foe and need to get it out of my system. After that everything else falls into place.

    Nice cartwheel. LOVE EM!

  • Jane/you-know-who says:

    Love your finger in the “hole in the fence” pic

  • jennabean says:

    hmmmm… I’m sure your Brendan dude is fine and very ‘boyfriend” worthy indeed but I think I’d still take George Clooney anyday :)

    good luck with the 1/2 marathon and yes, I’d imagine running “fast” would suck in the cold… then again, I’d imagine it would suck no matter what, so maybe I’m not the best judge of that….

  • Love the running route! Can’t wait to hear what you think of the new book.

    I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t done any speed work this winter, but am set to start next week. I hope to do most of it outside, but if its below 20 I may fold and run on the dreadmill.

  • Jenn says:

    Your cartwheel goal is so cute. Cartwheels are fun!

    I have this kinda-secret to be able to do the splits still when I’m 100.