Princess Perfect Birthday, An Awesome GIVEAWAY + Keep Pushing Through The Hard Stuff

Okay. Let me clarify on the Princess Perfect Birthday part.
I am SO far from being a Princess. I am sweaty and in running clothes every day, picking up toys, soothing boo boo's, dealing with 2 year old tantrums (Josh and Megan didn't really go through major tantrums, but this little girl #3... She is all DRAMA one moment and the next sweeter than a bag of sugar), plowing through homework, trying to cook creative dinners, endless laundry. You get where I am coming from. But yesterday was super special. Yesterday, for just a moment - I kinda felt like a princess.

I can't believe we live in LA and I have never been to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. I absolutely love classical music and seeing an orchestra perform live is one of my favorite things to do. So Jerold got tickets for us to see a performance on my actual birthday. First, the seats were awesome. See where I am standing? We were 2 rows down from there. It wasn't the full orchestra, but a smaller group that divided and came on stage for different acts. They played the most beautiful chamber music and it was simply incredible. My heart was bursting and I couldn't be any happier. Violins, Violas, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon (I think it is such a cool instrument!), Piano, Cellos and on and on.
I started playing flute in 3rd grade and I played in the orchestra in high school, so I was right in my element.
At one point I was so moved by the music I could feel a tear well up at the corner of my eye.

At one point during the night I read this, and really started to cry...

They had a gorgeous Christmas tree set up in the lobby (It's finally time for Christmas celebrations!) and of course we had to take a picture...

We started off the evening with a big chocolate cake from my favorite bakery and it was fun to sing and celebrate with the kids...

Then Jerold and I were off to dinner before the show. We went to Patina, which is right next to the Disney Concert Hall. If you are ever in downtown LA (we rarely come downtown and it was so fun!) and you are looking for a special place for dinner ---> go here!! It was amazing. The food is like a work of art...

Escargot with porridge - stop the madness.

Lobster salad - we couldn't even speak, we just ate and groaned :)

Of course we had big luscious glasses of wine and they brought dessert (my 3rd dessert of the day! ha!)

This picture doesn't even do it justice. Each bite was exquisite!

As we were leaving (we left 5 minutes before show time and had plenty of time to slip into our seats - perfect!), the general manager came over to say Happy Birthday and gave me a box of chocolates. All I could do was hug him! He said I made his night :)

AFTER the concert, we went to another hotel for more drinks and to listen live piano bar with a roaring fire. We had to drag ourselves out of there - it was so fun!!

Let me back up a bit and say I can't even believe how much I ate during the day (and night). My Mom took me to lunch at one of my favorite places. We had awesome quinoa and avocado salads with a huge array of veggies and Of COURSE we had to have dessert!!

Oh! I forgot to say I woke up at 4:30 AM to run on my birthday (5 mile easy run)!! That is crazy early for me, but I knew the day would be super busy and it was the only time to fit it in. It was pretty amazing to see the sunrise...

Okay, let's talk about Wednesday's workout. A serious workout. The day after indulging, drinking and late bedtime. Oy.
Here's the details...

That feeling when you wake up in the morning after a late, fun night + 2 glasses of wine and a flute of champagne (thank you all for the birthday wishes!!). The feeling you have when you realize you have a hard workout on the schedule... The workout: 2 mile warm up, 6 x 1/2 mile (7:15-7:30 pace) with 1/4 mile jog, 1.5 mile cooldown. I did 15 minutes of dynamic stretching mostly to mentally prepare. The actual paces ➡7:14, 7:10, 6:56, 6:59, 7:28, 7:18. I am used to doing 800 meter repeats on the track and it was nice to be on road and trail. Some slight uphill and my lungs were burning, but I have to slowly get ready for those Boston hills, right?! 😅 I have enjoyed these last 11 weeks of conditioning and prep to get ready for real marathon training soon. Also, I am loving my new @momentumjewelry wrap with an awesome mantra by @tinamuir88!!! Be Brave. Be Strong. Be You!! Lastly ➡ The giveaway to win a brand new pair of running shoes is going on until 12/8! Good luck!!!! #run #running #runnersofinstagram #marathonrunner #marathontraining #boston2016 #motherrunner
A photo posted by Natalie (@natrunsfar) on

Well, I got it done. I realize I got lucky. It could have been a disaster. But I wouldn't change a thing! At the end of the day, birthdays come once a year and you gotta go for it, right?! I mean, I guess if my birthday was April 17th (Boston is on the 18th), then I would wait...
Anyway. After the workout - I really needed a nap. Yeah, no - that didn't happen :)

It's almost time to start seriously training for Boston! I can't believe it's been 11 weeks since I started my conditioning and building a base. The time has flown by and I feel ready to start really training in the coming weeks.

Definitely check out my Instagram for an awesome giveaway!!! One lucky person is going to win a brand new pair of running shoes!!! Any shoe they want (well, almost - up to $140!) - pick it out and I'll have it sent to your doorstep. Tuesday December 1st was #givingtuesday and I wanted to celebrate that!

My body is pretty used to running mid morning these days, but I am going to have some super early runs this month - it is such a crazy busy month for everyone and I know I am going to have to adjust for that.

I just read this article about Andrea Duke - the 36 year old amazing woman going to the Olympic Trials. If you haven't read this ----> READ IT
You. Will. Be. Inspired.

Thanks for reading my super long post!! Gold stars all around! 

Do you like big celebrations for your birthday?

Have you started (or finished) your holiday shopping?

800 meter repeats - love 'em or hate 'em?

Happiness Is Running Life!


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