Trail Running + Being More Basic Than Ever Before

Today has been a day. It’s 8pm and I’m finally getting around to writing a blogpost. I had two hours of sleep last night and Leo was sick today. I get so stressed when my dogs aren’t feeling well. Luckily, he’s doing better tonight.

This past weekend was so much fun. I fit in some fun workouts, healthy meals, not-so-healthy meals, and much-needed girl time. We’ve had GREAT weather! It’s been in the high 50’s and 60’s and tomorrow is going to be 70 degrees! 🙂 It makes getting outside and being active so much easier. Can it be summer already!? PLEASE! 
Leo’s vet wanted me to feed him boiled chicken and rice for dinner, so I headed to the store to pick some up. I decided to grab some things for dinner while I was there. One of my readers commented and recommended a place called “Burtons” in Charlotte. It’s fairly new and they have a huge gluten free menu + everything is made fresh daily. I tried it once and then tried it twice…I can’t get enough. Tonight’s dinner was inspired by a couple meals I had while I was out this weekend!
 I toasted 1/4 cup of rainbow quinoa with 2 tsps olive oil, added water, and then let it simmer for twenty minutes on low. 
I diced up chicken breast and cooked it in a pan on high with 1 tsp olive oil and low sodium soy sauce.

I sautéed shredded brussels sprouts and kale with olive oil. Once they were cooked, I tossed in a little bit of balsalmic vinaigrette. 
I topped the sautéed kale and brussels sprouts with quinoa, avocado, roma tomatoes, and chicken! I was so mad at myself for forgetting goat cheese.

Leo’s dinner.
Time to take this recap post all the way back to Tuesday!

I found these mirrors at Home Goods for $25 a piece. I’m going to add a entryway table underneath, hooks and some photos next to them. I still need to paint the walls! I’m torn between some colors. I know I just painted the accent wall in the living room, but I’m already picking out colors to change it. I’m over the blue.

I had my leftover chicken and vegetable soup on Tuesday night for dinner. Grumples apparently wanted some too.
I met up with Meighan on Wednesday night for an uptown run! We like to do faster/shorter distance runs during the week.
Our first mile was the fastest, which is not what we like doing. We like going slow and then fast, but we totally butchered that plan on this run. The crazy thing about running is that you can’t force your body to go fast because it doesn’t feel good and it’s what causes most injuries. Your body naturally gets faster. If I were to run a 7:20 minute mile when I first started running, I’d be dead. My knees would fall off and I’d quit running. Now, I don’t even know when I’m going that fast. 
*I just want to mention this* If you ladies are running at night, PLEASE wear reflectors and try to run with a buddy. There are tons of running groups out there too if you can’t find a running buddy. Meighan and I run in the city and on the trails, so we like to stick together. I see girls out running alone on side streets at night, on running secluded trails and it makes me so worried. There are so many things you can do to stay safe while running and I’ll be writing about that soon! It’s easy to go into your own little world with music and get caught up in that runner’s high, but you need to pay attention to your surroundings. I have some really strange and scary stories to talk about during some of my runs and I just feel so much safer while running with someone else. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not. *rant over*
 
We ran to Southend for coffee at Central Coffee Co! It’s one of my favorite coffee shops in Charlotte. It’s not about the atmosphere there, it’s about the damn good espresso. I ordered a nonfat cappuccino.

I picked up a grilled chicken salad for dinner. I also had sea salt Good Thins on the side with hummus. My favorite hummus is the Sabra Supremely Spicy! I literally eat it on everything. 
Thursday breakfast: 2 scoops vanilla whey protein, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup ice, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 banana, 1 packet stevia. 
When I’m uptown, I take the pups on separate walks because there are so many people around. I took Leo to see Meighan at work on Thursday 🙂 He LOVED the office chairs. 
Northeastern’s newest student! 🙂

Meighan surprised me with tickets to see An American in Paris for an early birthday gift! We got all dolled up and headed out for dinner and the show!

Every time we run uptown, we go past this restaurant called “Essex” and it looks amazing. The outdoor seating has the perfect Charlotte view and the food always smells great. We have been talking about going there for months and she got reservations! 🙂 We started with a glass of riesling!

This warm brussels sprout caesar salad was also an inspiration for my dinner tonight. SO GOOD.
 
And what is wine without a charcuterie board? I loved the cute little stump platter it came out on.

Perfecto!

We walked down to the Belk Theater for the show!

I was blown away. The performers were so talented that it didn’t feel real. The dancing, singing, and acting were all on point. There wasn’t a dull moment in this performance. The set, the costumes…JUST EVERYTHING! If you get the chance to see this, PLEASE DO! It was just incredible.

I had such an amazing night and I feel so lucky to have the greatest friends in my life. ♥
I woke up early on Friday to have breakfast and get ready for the day. It was 75 degrees!
I decided that it was time to give Grumples a grooming. He LOVES it. I lay out a blanket and spend hours shaving him. It grows back so fast, so I try to go super short. I like to keep his face long though. If you’re interested in the shaver I use, I bought the Wahl Professional Animal PRO ION Home Pet Grooming Kit.

Grumples was all smiles after the shave! 🙂 Leo secretly dug a hole…

He was VERY proud of it when I found him. No shame…
I picked up a frozen pizza at Earthfare for dinner. I only make frozen pizzas when I have someone to split it with me! This one was SO good. It was pretty reasonably priced for being gluten free too.

I made a side salad to go with it. My salad had cucumber, spinach, bell pepper, goat cheese, and honey mustard vinaigrette on top.

I woke up really early, had coffee, and headed out for a neighborhood run. I say this a lot, but the hills are tough…

I was sitting outside to stretch and cool down, but Leo was at the door waiting to see me! He’s seriously the biggest cuddle bug! My run was really good and I love making time for fitness on Saturday morning!

I had a shopping day with Becca Saturday. I picked up some new frames and things to home projects. I was so excited about my finds:) (I’ll post soon)

I mentioned Burton’s earlier in this post. One of my amazing readers recommended this place and I went there twice in one week. If anyone asks me where they should eat in Charlotte…THIS IS NOW MY ANSWER! It has gluten free, paleo, vegetarian and so much more.

I ordered the superfood salad. It came with spinach, brussels sprouts, rainbow quinoa, cranberries, goat cheese, grape tomatoes, medium rare steak, and honey mustard vinaigrette. See where my dinner inspiration was coming from?

If you are a steak lover, I promise…this will be one of the best steaks you’ve ever had. I’m drooling over this again. I can’t wait for Kyle to try it out. The meal was so filling, but so healthy and fresh!

Becca ordered the lettuce wrapped paleo burger with brussels sprouts and she said it was one of the greatest burgers she’s ever had.

No box necessary.

I had a crazy sweet tooth (running does that to me) so I bought a gluten free coconut macaroon at Suarez Bakery. It’s a super popular spot in charlotte and they make the cutest cookies and cakes.

I made a super random omelet for dinner. It had shredded brussels sprouts, bacon, cheese, and 1 egg yolk, four egg whites. If you love brussels sprouts, which there definitely isn’t a shortage in this post, you’ll love this omelet.
 And with supremely spicy hummus!
 
Always eating on Kyle’s snapchat…

We decided to play checkers on Saturday night and I remain undefeated.

We have been watching The Killing on Netflix. It’s a great show to get into!

I woke up early on Sunday morning to eat breakfast before heading to the trails with Meighan.

I had oatmeal with peanut butter, half a banana, two slices bacon, and a cappuccino from Starbucks. This is my perfect combo for an hour+ trail run.

It’s so much fun to get off the streets and run on the trails. There is so much to look at and it feels like an adventure. Pocahontas made it look so fun and easy.

Look how gorgeous this is? The Latta Plantation Preserve. It goes on for miles and the trails are breathtaking.
We ran the Hill Trail (2.21mi), Cove Trail (2.54 Mi), Split Rock Trail (1.15 mi)
There is one POWERFUL hill at the beginning. If you can run past that, you can do anything. 
The best part is the Cove Trail. You run all the way to the water and it’s just unbelievable. I REALLY felt the runner’s high on this run.

We decided to start running more trials to help us with our half training. I am searching for trail running shoes!
 The weather was perfect because it was overcast and 60 degrees.

I like sprinting uphill and taking it slow downhill. I make sure to lean back and trot down instead of sprinting to prevent knee injury.

We finished our last mile on the main road. It’s so weird to go from running on the trail to concrete. You can feel the difference! 
Lots of elevation and obstacles! We were jumping over creeks, walking on giant rocks, hopping over fallen trees and skipping through the mud. That is what made it fun!
 
Best running partner in the world!

We had to keep ourselves basic, so we stopped at Clean Juice for post-run workout smoothies.

I ordered “The Intense One” It came with kale, ginger, lemon, coconut water, apple, spinach, spirulina protein, and whey protein.

I may have cracked and bought some sour gummy bears at Kilwins…….

I made a salad and pizza for dinner. My salad had mixed greens, hard boiled eggs, cucumber, and shredded brussels sprouts.

We tried out some new frozen gluten free pizzas. Against The Grain…taste like cardboard.

The Smart Flour pizza was AWESOME! Totally made up for the bad taste in my mouth after eating the Against the Grain. I told myself this was the last frozen pizza I was allowing myself this month! I’ve been on a frozen pizza kick, but I need to start making my own.

Another basic day in the works!

Meighan had Monday off so we made some plans to workout and hangout for the day. We wanted to do a day trip to hike in Asheville, but we were concerned with the chance of rain, so we decided to do something local instead. I stopped at Coco & The Director for coffee and a powder bar for breakfast.
I just bought a new coffee pot for my house and I’m bringing my older one over to Kyle’s, so I don’t have to go on coffee runs. This was a small latte with skim milk.

We decided to go to Pure Barre. I LOVE this class because it’s small movements and I’m alway so sore the next day. There is no crazy cardio or difficult movements. Anyone can do it! The only issue I had was that we paid $25 for a 45 minute class and we could hardly move in there. They packed 32 people into a tiny room and expected us to all be able to lay out the ground and do full out movements.I felt a little bit cheated. I think since you have to sign into the class, they should have limited spots. I think was kicked in the face at least twice. The room is meant for about 18-20 people to workout comfortably. It was just a pain in the butt. Other than that, it was a good workout and I’m still feeling the burn today.
 It’s important to change up your workouts and fit in strength as much as you can as a runner. It’s so easy to just stick to running, but cardio is not going to cut it. To prevent injuries and continue to get stronger, you have to put your body through more strenuous activities. Weights! Weights! Stretching…& I’m totally due for yoga. 
We had to get our basic on, so we headed to Clean Juice again. We were starving and it was right next door!

I had the same protein smoothie, but I had them skip on the apple this time. The banana made it sweet enough. 
We headed to the mall after our workout so we could shop a bit. I have a wedding this weekend and needed a dress.

We were super hungry by four, so we decided to go to Burton’s. YUP! AGAIN:) I really wanted her to try it out!

We started with General Tso fried cauliflower. They even made it 100% gluten free for us. This dish was just unreal. Every bite was heaven and the aioli sauce on the side was perfect. The chef makes everything fresh from scratch daily.

I ordered the superfood salad again with grilled chicken. I PROMISE I’ll order something different next time, and there will be a next time! Just so delicious.
Becca came over for Bachelor Monday. I just can’t with this show. I can’t stop watching and I can’t stand watching. And I can’t with Corinne. It’s just a big mess. More respect for Vanessa and I hope Rachel is the next bachelorette.

Questions for you!

  1. What is your favorite workout class to take?
  2. Have you ever tried a restaurant twice in one week?
  3. Any fun projects coming up?

Comments

  • Anonymous

    Love your friendships

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Caitlyn

    cool trail

    Reply to Caitlyn
  • Kaitlin

    Taralynn,

    I’m so happy to have found your blog! I remember reading your Tumblr a few years ago and loved all of your posts. So great to see you’re happy and healthy! Reading your posts are so inspiring 🙂

    But I wanted to say that I absolutely LOVE Burtons!! There are a few in the Boston area and they always have the best food… I had my wedding rehearsal dinner there and it was perfect. Also, so happy to see you like barre too! Definitely one of my favorite ways to work out. I can only imagine though how tough it would be when you’re crammed into one class with so many people. I’ve almost been kicked during the stretching parts of a barre class. ha!

    Looking forward to reading more posts!

    xoxo Kaitlin

    Reply to Kaitlin
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Kaitlin!

      Thank you so much! 🙂 That means a lot to me!

      Hahaha I was definitely kicked in that class. I love it when it’s not packed though! 🙂 & that is so cool you had your dinner at Burtons! It’s so perfect. I’m already craving it!

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Valerie

    This might sound like an odd question, but how do you get your omelettes to turn out so perfect?! I can never figure it out…either I flip it too soon and it is still gross and mushy inside or I end up wayyy overcooking it. Help!

    Reply to Valerie
  • Meghan

    Hey Taralynn,
    I noticed you’ve been on a GF pizza kick lately. I also eat GF and I LOVE pizza. For a couple years I’ve been making a version of a pita pizza on brown rice tortillas. I buy the Food for Life brown rice tortillas (in the GF frozen section). They’re only 120 calories each and they’re really good! I use them as a crust and make pizzas just like I would any pizza ( pizza sauce, mozzarella, fun veggies and turkey pepporoni or sausage, olives, etc.). You only need to cook it about 10-15 minutes and it comes out amazing, just like any super thin crust pizza. They’re a staple in my diet because they’re healthy, easy to make, and its really easy to keep lots of ingredients on hand so you can make one whenever you want.

    Let me know if you try it, I swear you’ll never go back!!

    Love reading your posts 🙂

    Reply to Meghan
  • Meghan

    Hey Taralynn,
    I noticed you’ve been on a GF pizza kick lately. I also eat GF and I LOVE pizza. For a couple years I’ve been making a version of a pita pizza on brown rice tortillas. I buy the Food for Life brown rice tortillas (in the GF frozen section). They’re only 120 calories each and they’re really good! I use them as a crust and make pizzas just like I would any pizza ( pizza sauce, mozzarella, fun veggies and turkey pepporoni or sausage, olives, etc.). You only need to cook it about 10-15 minutes and it comes out amazing, just like any super thin crust pizza. They’re a staple in my diet because they’re healthy, easy to make, cheap, and its really easy to keep lots of ingredients on hand so you can make one whenever you want.

    Let me know if you try it, I swear you’ll never go back!!

    Love reading your posts 🙂

    Reply to Meghan
  • Emily

    Hi Taralynn~
    Is there anyway that you could remind me of what memory foam bed you purchased? I am looking into getting a new bed for out guest room. We are building a platform bed and I am needing a mattress!
    Thanks so much!

    Reply to Emily
  • Taryn

    Have you tried coconut aminos instead of soy sauce? I have heard SO much about it, I have just never actually used it to cook with!

    Reply to Taryn
  • Calynn

    I have really fallen in love with you and your blog the past few months. I am a mom of an active 18 month old and I am six month pregnant. I do not get the chance to go out adventuring on trails or checking out new restaurants much these days, but your blog makes me wonder why not? You do so many amazing, fun, life giving things every week and you make me want to get out and do more of those things myself. It sounds super cheesy but I wish I had a friend like you to pull me out of my shell… but I guess I will have to get out there and maybe I can be the friend that inspires another one day.

    Reply to Calynn
  • Jessica

    It’s so funny when dogs are sick and they get to have chicken and rice they just see it as a treat. My dog flips for it!

    My favorite workout class has and always will be PiYo. It’s a pilates/yoga fusion class that makes you move the whole time and you end up leaving feeling like a strong kick butt girl.

    I haven’t tried the same restaurant twice in one week but when I find something new I like I tend to go there a ton of times until my husband is burnt out!

    I have to figure out a gift for my husband for our leather anniversary and I’m trying to be creative (no wallets here). It is starting to feel like a project at this point.

    Reply to Jessica
  • Michelle

    I was just wondering…. what machine do you use to make lattes? Did you buy the same, or something new? I need my caffeine fix daily, but I don’t really care for coffee— whereas I love lattes!

    Reply to Michelle
  • Linda B

    I go to a barre class twice a week and Pilates. The rest of the time I try to fit in hiking snowshoeing cross country skiing walking anything just to get active. Yes I have gone to many restaurants twice in the same week. I’m going to paint my bedroom and I’m so excited. I love your blog !

    Reply to Linda B
  • Ashton Jury

    I have a Pure Barre around the corner from my place, so I think I’m going to have to go check it out now! I kept driving by and thinking it was a facial place. lol I have definitely been to the same place twice in one week, the first time I tried Pei Wei I went back twice in one week for there hot and sour soup and the veggie lettuce wraps! Plus I love how accommodating they are as well with there menu. No super projects coming up just more working out, now that I can ( I broke my arm running the Ragnar trail run here in California, I fell down a hill in the dark. But I finished!) I do want to make some cute Valentine’s day crafts though I have an adorable bowl with candy and a pic of me + my husband but would love to do a cute sign. I can’t wait to see all the remodels and crafts you have planned for your new place! I’m loving the breakfast at Tiffany’s theme in the bathroom and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one in the world who likes chandeliers in bathrooms.

    Reply to Ashton Jury
  • alyssa

    It would be sooo cool to move back to the Carolinas. I used to live in Jacksonville NC and loved the green woodss, moist air and living simple. great post

    Reply to alyssa
  • mal

    What is your favorite running shoe?

    Reply to mal
  • kenz

    Love supremely spicy hummus! You got me hooked on it over the summer with pita chips!

    Reply to kenz
  • Abby

    Hi Taralynn!

    I actually used to work at Pure Barre and I think it’s still my favorite workout class, even though I’m not going currently! I’m sorry they packed the class…At the studios I worked at there was always a cap on how many people could fit! Anyway I was always sore after class, even when I took like 4-5 times a week for months!

    I actually have gone to this one Mexican restaurant two days in a row AND had the same waitress. Haha!

    Not too many projects coming up, but I just added some b&w pictures in my boyfriend’s and my apartment. I really want to redo some others that we did a few months ago cause I’m not loving them anymore but I feel a little silly! haha

    Have a great weekend!

    Reply to Abby
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Abby!

      Pure Barre is definitely a great workout and I always feel the burn the next day. I love that your studio put a cap on the classes! Makes sense 🙂

      Lol love when you get the same waitress!! haha

      I’m doing some photo projects this week too! I just got all my prints done 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cate

    It looks like you really love Charlotte. My boyfriend and I have been looking into moving there this summer and I would love to see a blogpost about the city and your favorite spots.

    Reply to Cate
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Cate! You’ll love Charlotte!

      I’ve been thinking about writing a post like that for a long time and have started one, but I need to finish!!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Caitlyn

    Hi Taralynn! Are you gluten free now? I’ve been considering it and would love to hear what made you decide to make that change. Thank you!

    Reply to Caitlyn
  • Kelsey

    Recently my favorite has been spin/cycle classes. My favorite studio is Core Revolution and FlyWheel but I also love hot yoga, just need to get back into it. Yes- I do this a lot. Once I’m on a kick of something its hard to get off. I had Chopt twice this week (and am craving it just writing this). I’m glad you love Burtons- I grew up with having one in my town back North so I feel like a piece of home has made it to Charlotte. Their food is the best! I used to always get a chopped salad and add grilled shrimp on top- I hope they still have that! My latest project is adding a coffee bar to my apartment. I just discovered Hobby Lobby and it is dangerous. I just have a few finishing touches left and then I want to re-paint one of my dressers!

    Happy friday!

    Reply to Kelsey
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I agree. Spinning is one of my favorite workouts 🙂 I love the energy in the room and the fun music! My boyfriend’s roommate does hot yoga and I really want to try it sometime. Getting into yoga is one of my goals for the year.

      Literally had Chopt yesterday for dinner! lol Did you know they’re putting a Chopt uptown?! & A Clean Juice in Southend! SO excited.

      I saw that Burton’s does have grilled shrimp on the menu! 🙂

      You JUST discovered Hobby Lobby??? SO AMAZING! Painting dressers is so fun! A SPRING project for sure! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Kelsey

        I know- I’m happy it took me this long. I’ve already been to Hobby Lobby three times this week. I must have just missed you at Chopt then! The clean juice is coming in right next to my apartment- I’m so excited about it! Between that and Central coffee I’m pretty much set. I did not know about Chopt uptown- that’s awesome. This whole area is getting a bunch of new places in the next 6 months!

        Reply to Kelsey
        • Taralynn McNitt

          You’re in the perfect location! My friend and I run by central coffee all the time on our short uptown runs and I LOVE LOVE LOVE their espresso! I’m so excited that Juice Bar is coming! Ill be running there all the time this summer!

          Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kristin Isabelle

    I adore all your running photos. I wish I had a running buddy, but I feel like everyone is way above my level haha. I almost wish I could take my cat out with me hahaha I don’t have a dog and yours are too cute!

    I’ve been doing Fitness Blender videos at home. I LOVE them! over 700 videos on Youtube and they even have 4/8 week programs you can buy for just $10. Definitely check them out if you’re looking for something you can do at home.

    Reply to Kristin Isabelle
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you Kristin!

      lol I couldn’t imagine running with my dogs. They need more training lol, but they DO LOVE walks.

      You could try to find a running group for new runners! or start one? 🙂

      I love Fitness Blender videos too, I always play my own music. xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Melissa

    Thank you for being concerned about woman out running alone in possibly dangerous areas. People always ask me why I don’t listen to music while walking–this is exactly why. I like to be able to hear if there is a car coming behind me, a person coming up behind me, etc. I like to stay aware. I also carry hand weights–great exercise, but I think they might make a good weapon, if need be. This is going to sound SO silly, but hey–it may have saved me many times and I just don’t know it. Sometimes when I get the “Creeper Alert” feeling–I will look way ahead on the trail/area I’m walking and I’ll start waving like crazy–as though someone is way up ahead waiting on me. Or if there are houses around, I’ll pretend to wave at a “neighbor” in their back yard. It makes me feel like Mr. Creeper Dude wouldn’t dare do something if he thinks someone is watching. My husband makes fun of me … and maybe it’s ridiculous–but it does make me feel better. One time I even “pretended” to be talking into my wristwatch (as though I was 007 or something–LOL)–but I was thinking if they think I’m in contact with someone at that moment, Creeper Guy might just leave me alone. BE SAFE and, if accosted–do WHATEVER IT TAKES to GET SAFE!!

    Reply to Melissa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I had to mention that because I saw someone post on a blog about how women should stop being so afraid and it concerned me. As women, we shouldn’t have to be concerned, but we must! Yes, it’s unfortunate, but it’s reality. I love the way you think! Who cares if you look silly doing something? It really could save your life. If someone behind me seems a little off, I always cross the street, and if they follow, I know something is up! That happened to Meighan and I the other night, but the guy was just getting into his car. It was dark and he seemed a little strange, but it was just our minds.

      You are awesome!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Carlee

    If you like the Sabra spicy one (it was my favorite too!!) look out for a jalapeño and black bean hummus. GAME CHANGER! The one I get is just Wal-Mart brand but I’m sure there are others out there!!

    Reply to Carlee
  • Rachel

    Ah I love trail running I just got a new pair of shoes for trail running. They’re Brooks Calderas. They easily can go back and forth from trail to pavement without hurting the shoe so you don’t have to worry if you decide to run in the city or have specific shoes for either.

    Reply to Rachel
  • Jaime

    1. My favorite is called Boss Chick Dance Workout, it’s a high intensity twerking/hip hop/dance hall/afrobeats dance class that is so much fun! They dim the lights so it doesn’t feel like a workout, but it’s the best cardio I’ve ever done
    2. Oh yes…this mexican place near me. Sometimes you have to..I wish Philly had a Burton’s!
    3. I’m planning on completely re-organizing my makeup. I have it on my desk out in the open but want to hide it all in drawers while still making it easy to get to. We’ll see what I come up with..I love organizing 🙂

    Reply to Jaime
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That sounds so fun!!!

      Everyone needs a Burtons!

      I did the makeup organization last week! I love to clean all my brushes and blow dry them. I don’t know why I think it’s so fun!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sarah

    All your pictures make me miss running so much 🙁 When I lived in Ithaca (a very rural town in upstate NY) I would run through trails and woods and farmland all the time. Now I live in the suburbs and can’t find any good running trails near me 🙁 Also doesn’t help that its below freezing every day still!

    Reply to Sarah
    • Taralynn McNitt

      AWWWW 🙁 Try YELP! That is where I find inspiration for my running trails/paths. Hopefully you can get out there in the spring when it warms up!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    Well the only workout class that I’ve been to is spinning, and I love it! I just wish it wasn’t so expensive–I’d go all the time. I looked up pure barre and they actually have one close to me and I want to go check it out soon. I’ve never done barre before!

    HAHA yes try twice in one weekend. When Mark and I went up to Duluth this past summer we went to Canal Park Brewery for the first time, and loved it so much we went the next night too! I love brewery food because it’s always so good and so unique from what I’ve experienced.

    Nothing too big. I want to get around to painting a board with chalkboard paint so I can put (and be able to change) cute sayings on it as decoration! Maybe with some garland or lights around it.

    P.s. I tried this new vinaigrette for lunch today and it was so good and when I noticed its gluten free I thought you’d love it if you haven’t tried it already! http://maries.com/product-detail.aspx?productID=23&catID=7&pcatID=1

    Reply to Jennifer
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Jennifer!

      Spinning is so much fun. Sometimes you can find a gym that has spin classes included! Barre is great, but way more expensive than spinning IMO.

      Glad I’m not the only one that will go somewhere twice!

      That chalkboard idea sounds cute!

      OH, I HAVE HAD ALLLLLL of the Maries dressings and they’re all so good!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kristenn

    Your hair is getting so long

    Reply to Kristenn
  • Taylor

    Did somebody call you basic or are you just making fun of yourself? 😉 I don’t think you are basic at all!

    One of my great friends swears by Pure Barre so I am excited to try a class out. Hopefully it won’t be as jam packed as yours sounded!

    The food in your past couple posts has looked SO delicious. I’ve been on a health + fitness kick since the beginning of January and your posts really help to keep me positive and motivated. Thanks for always sharing!

    Reply to Taylor
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hey Taylor!

      No no no! It’s a joke between friends and I! We start laughing at ourselves because of some of the things we do. Being a basic is definitely not a bad thing, we just make jokes about it. We find ourselves doing things like coffee, juices, workouts, coffee, juices, workouts…lol

      You’ll love the class! & yes hopefully its not as jammed packed.

      Thanks so much! Love healthy food for sure!! 🙂 xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sara Tinklenberg

    Hi! First of all, I just want to tell you how much I love reading your blog. I have struggled with a variety of eating disorders and I am still on the road to recovery. I honestly look up to you and think your journey is amazing, thanks for allowing me to be a part of it!

    1) My favorite classes at the local YMCA are spin and HIIT. I am an instructor and my favorite part is coming up with a new playlist for each class. For me, music makes a HUGE difference during my workout. I also love getting know people who come to my classes and connecting with them.

    2) I have tried a restaurant twice in one week! When I was in Arizona with a friend about a year ago, we tried this amazing restaurant called The Breakfast Club. We absolutely fell in love with their menu and had to go back before we left! It was amazing breakfast food and the best iced coffee!

    3) I don’t currently have any projects I am working on, unless you count assignments?? I am a nursing student with only one semester left so that keeps me extremely busy!

    Reply to Sara Tinklenberg
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you so much!

      & thank you for sharing your story. Stay strong and positive. I will keep you in my prayers!

      Playlists definitely make a HUGE difference in the workout! So cool you’re an instructor! You get to help so many people on their fitness journeys and that must be so rewarding for you.

      OMG…I HAVE TO GO TRY THAT PLACE! Please tell me it’s themed from the movie?!?!

      assignments count lol

      xo & have a great weekend.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anonymous

    Hi! Love the blog! Is Leo officially your dog now? I noticed you said “my dogs” a few times and I was just curious if you and Kyle decided it would be easier this way so that he and Mr. Grumples could always have a buddy around?

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Hilary

    I saw you and your friend running the trails! I was walking my dog with my friend and you guys passed us like four times! Such a small world 🙂

    Reply to Hilary
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I remember you! Your dogs were so well behaved!!!! I was so impressed that they sat there off leash. My dogs would have chased the runners! 🙂 Hope you had a great day! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Sarah

    Hi Taralynn!

    I came across your blog last year and have been reading ever since! I’ve been meaning to take the time to comment and basically thank you for helping me get back on track with healthy eating and exercise. After having my son last February and undergoing surgery, I’ve been my heaviest weight and in the worst shape of my LIFE. I started getting into unhealthy eating cycles and not finding the time to exercise, and having had food-related issues in the past, it was making me really unhappy.

    But recently I’ve been making meal plans and doing prep – making healthy snacks but allowing myself the odd treat (of course!) when I’ve craved it – and it’s made such a huge difference to my wellbeing. I’ve always been SO bad at running but you’ve inspired me to give it a go, starting slow – baby steps! Sorry if you’ve already written about this but do you have any tips for a beginner? Have you always been a good runner? I can’t tell you how bad I am! Anyway, I’ll let you know how it goes. Thank you, Taralynn – you’ve been such a positive light for me. I love your blog and following your fitness journey (you look incredible btw!) xo

    And to answer your questions – my favourite class before I had my son was spinning! Must drag my ass back to a class.
    I’ve definitely eaten at the same restaurant twice in one week before (ahem!)
    Fun projects coming up? Project running!! 🙂 xo

    Reply to Sarah
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Sarah!

      Thank you so much for the kind words and I am so happy you are feeling back on track with your health and fitness. That is always a great feeling! Keep staying positive!!

      Meal prepping helps a lot and it sounds like you’re super dedicated! I’m so thrilled to hear that you’re running! & it’s all about the baby steps. Never try to push yourself too hard! Your body will naturally get up there. I wrote all about my running on this post here! http://simplytaralynn.com/2016/10/17/my-relationship-with-running/ 🙂

      Please keep me updated on your running and progress!!!

      xo xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lara

    That trail looks cool!

    Reply to Lara
  • Chelsea

    I think it is so cute that you and Kyle played checkers together. Where did you find him? All my boyfriend ever wants to do is drink beer and watch sports *sigh*

    Can’t wait to read about your half

    Reply to Chelsea
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Lol thank you Chelsea:) He’s a great guy! You can look at the bright side, while your man is occupied with his sports, you can go do whatever you want!:) Have a girls night! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lauren

    Hi! Over the summer I bought a pair of Hookas for trail running and I love them! They have amazing support and can also be worn when running on pavement.

    Reply to Lauren
  • hannah

    Love your blog

    Reply to hannah
  • liuye

    What is your favorite workout class to take?—— Basically i use nike trainning or just follow some videos like T25 , I do yoga everyday, it’s light me up or calm me down.

    Have you ever tried a restaurant twice in one week?—— Yes!! each morning I go to the same restauranr, the waitress don’t even need ask me what do i need , she just say”Hi morning”and then make coffee for me, if she doesn’t busy ,I can chat with her,, I have to say this feeling is amazing,
    Any fun projects coming up?——Spring festival is coming! i am busy for buy presents !

    Reply to liuye
  • Kelsey

    What is your favorite place to shop for clothes?

    Reply to Kelsey
  • Tiffany S

    Favorite workout class is spin! I know you love your spin classes too. I also am a fan of yoga flow classes when my body needs a break from high intensity things. Would LOVE to try a pure barre class someday!

    This really fun asian place called Bento is a chain in Florida where I live, and when a branch opened in my town, I ate it twice the first week and every week since it’s been open! They have sushi, poke bowls, rice or noodle bowls with dozens of types of chicken/steak/pork/tofu, and delicious apps like wontons and dumplings. I can’t stop- the menu is so huge!

    Latest project was making a perfect desk to study for medical school board exams at. The last part of the project is putting up happy pictures on the wall above it and assembling my new chair!

    Also, I’m sad you’re over the blue wall because I LOVED it! What are you hoping to do with it? I also am obsessed with your Audrey Hepburn/Breakfast at Tiffany’s bathroom. Also! How did you happen to find your great running buddy? You guys seem to flow so well together for running, and I haven’t been able to find a running partner like that! Always a fan of your recap posts, xx!

    Reply to Tiffany S
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I love love love spin and I really need to start getting down with yoga more!

      Oh yum!!! That place sounds so good!

      Making desks and office areas are so much fun:)

      I think I want to do something more soft!!

      I really got lucky with her! We met through mutual friends and both shared the love for fitness! We did one run and then were hooked! My running isn’t the same without her! lol

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Dominique Finnemore

    I experienced the same thing during my pure barre class. There were way too many people in there and I couldn’t move, so I walked out and went for a run!

    Reply to Dominique Finnemore
  • Savannah Grace

    OMG I have been wanting to try pure barre so bad!!! Also btw totally agree on the bachelor… IT’S MADNESS

    Reply to Savannah Grace
  • Hillary

    Orange Theory is AWESOME!!! One hour and I usually burn between 500-550 calories which is more than I would ever do on my own. LOVE IT!!!

    Reply to Hillary
  • Linda @ The Fitty

    Tara, I miss running SO MUCH. It hasn’t been an entirely long time since I’ve ran(maybe 2 weeks ago) but I’ve been stuck inside because of either the weather, and more recently because of the stomach flu. I haven’t had a workout in a few days and I’m feeling stiff and weak in my body. It actually gives me a lot of anxiety to think about it. 🙁

    Any words of encouragement? I just hate not being able to follow through with things on my planner.

    Reply to Linda @ The Fitty
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Oh, no! SO SORRY to hear that you’re not feeling well! 🙁

      Just keep relaxing and focus on getting better. You’ll be back to normal in no time!! Don’t get anxiety, you’re only human! Sometimes life doesn’t work the way we want it to and plans fall through, and that is the BEAUTY of life. Just take a deep breath and live in the moment for a few days! You’ll be ok! YOU COME FIRST!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Heather @ Polyglot Jot

    I always love Bootcamp structure classes if I’m going to take a group class. I also like pilates and yoga too.
    Cant say that I’ve ever eaten at the same restaurant twice in a week–I guess I need to find my perfect spot still!
    Sounds like you’ve been enjoying some great weather down there! It’s not been too bad here either the past week but Im bracing myself for the next batch of winter weather!

    Reply to Heather @ Polyglot Jot
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Those are all great classes.

      Lol I feel like I’m the only one who does this. My friend asked if I wanted to go there again last night and I was like I CAN’T!! hahaha

      Yes colder weather coming our way too, but NOTHING to complain about!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Leighann

    I am obsessed with cauliflower wings!! I’ve made them, baked style and they’re good, but I bet fried is a really yummy treat. These look amazing, as does all the food you post :). Am super jealous of your 70 degree day(s). Enjoy!

    Reply to Leighann
  • Carly

    I’m training for my first all trail 1/2 marathon. Thanks for the inspiration! And btw, I absolutely LOVE Salomon shoes for trail running.

    Reply to Carly
  • Brooklyn

    My favorite work out class is kickboxing, and also full bodied yoga. I have very large breasts (sorry if tmi haha) so going to the full bodied yoga helps me with different positions for my breasts. It is awesome!

    The Latta Plantation Preserve looks so beautiful!

    http://www.justbeingbrooklyn.com

    Reply to Brooklyn
  • Parker

    But I love the navy blue wall with the gold mirror! I’m sure you will find another great color 🙂

    Reply to Parker
  • Rachel

    This last november, my husband and I were on trip to yosemite and we stayed in a little mountain town about an hour outside the park. I went on a run at five in the morning, apart from being FREEZING, it was pitch black and I started to run up the highway out of town, (only like half a mile from the hotel), and I saw a coyote cross the road about 200 feet in front of me. Scared the crap out of me!! I ran past because it went into the bushes but then I was paranoid the whole rest of the run that it was following me. All I had was a dinky little headlamp, and there were zero lights on the road. NEVER AGAIN!!!

    I’m excited to try orange theory and I just do barre classes at home off youtube, there aren’t any studios in my town. But I do love the workout! It burns soon good!

    xo

    Reply to Rachel
  • Amber

    Great post! I love all of the running inspiration 🙂

    Reply to Amber
  • Molly Scruggs

    Keep us (or I guess selfishly me….:P) Updated on your trail running shoes finds! I’m searching for ones as well and there’s almost too many options haha. Thanks for always inspiring me to get out and DO THE DAMN THING! haha!

    Reply to Molly Scruggs
  • Brittany

    Loved this recap 🙂 I just recently started running and am working toward my first 5k! Can you recommend a good running app to track my runs?

    Reply to Brittany
  • Sammy

    How many miles do you run a week?

    Reply to Sammy
  • Jocelyn

    Love your post! 🙂 Your pictures make Charlotte look so inviting and beautiful! My husband’s aunt and uncle are planning a move there this year for his job and your pics make me want to plan a visit sooner rather than later:)

    Out of curiosity, are you totally gluten free?

    Reply to Jocelyn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You need to visit. It’s amazing 🙂 So much do to and see! AND EAT.

      I am. My doctor recommended it and I added a little detailed reason in the post on the last recap 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Teresa

    Hey girl!

    My all time favorite workout classes are boxing. I used to belong to a boxing gym called 9Round. It was a 30 minute circuit so you could come at anytime. 9 Rounds, 3 minutes each with boxing on different bags. the 30 seconds in between each round is a different cardio/ab exercise. You’re literally moving the whole time and I would leave feeling great. Unfortunately it got super expensive for my husband and I to belong so we just take normal boxing classes at our own gym. I think we will eventually join again though…

    The first time I tried Protein Bar (do you have in Charlotte?) I went three times that week. Quinoa bowls with different mixings/toppings. I replicate some of their bowls at home now because I love it so much.

    Question for you- I have been wanting to try Pure Barre but I’ve seen pictures and videos and it looks like some of the movements are hard on the knees. I have terrible knees and it’s very painful to do squats/lunges/movements like that. I tape my knees when i workout and it helps – but I imagine 45 minutes of those small movements might get tough. I know you have bad knees too so do you find you still have a good experience?

    Have a great week!

    Reply to Teresa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes boxing classes are so much fun! I haven’t done it in so long!!!

      I went there in D.C.! I got their matcha protein smoothie and vegan chili. It was pretty good!!

      I actually think the movements were easy on the knees. There weren’t any hard movements or repetitive squats. I am very careful on my knees as well. The small movements continue to change and you don’t feel like you’re stuck doing something for too long. I loved the workout, just wish there was more room 😀

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily

    Love your recap posts! Would you be willing to talk more about your decision to go gluten free? I’ve been considering for a while, but I don’t have celiacs disease, so it would be my choice. Thanks!

    Reply to Emily
  • Mallory Patterson

    I LOVE reading your blog posts so much!

    My favorite workout class would have to be hot yoga. I feel like you can hit all the areas in one workout and it leaves you feeling so refreshed. I haven’t tried a new restaurant twice in one week but if I ever did and fell in love with the food I would be there everyday. 😂 Projects coming up….. currently house hunting and may be putting an offer together today which is exciting so I’m sure that will come with lots of pinterest projects!

    Question for you- how early do you wake up everyday?! I feel like you get up early everyday and get your workouts done. That must be a really refreshing and rewarding feeling. I need to find the motivation to do that before my 8-5 job! 😴

    Thanks for all the inspiration!

    Reply to Mallory Patterson
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi mallory!

      Thank you very much!

      I really need to try hot yoga! SO exciting!:) House hunting is fun! Congrats!

      I wake up early and relax with coffee and work a bit! I actually hate early workouts. I like to workout anytime after 10am! I love waking up early, just not physically lol

      XO

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily

    Hey Taralynn,

    I just wanted to say your posts are SO helpful and inspiring. I just moved to Charlotte about 5 months ago right after getting married. Your posts give me SO many ideas of neat places to go in Charlotte: restaurants, hikes, trails, gyms, coffee shops, juice bars, gluten-free & other allergy friendly places, etc. Your love for this city is so evident and reading your blogs make me feel so blessed and excited to live here.

    My favorite workout class to take is probably zumba or other dancing classes. Even though it takes a while to catch on, I like the challenge of learning the different dance routines while also getting a good work out!
    Yes I’ve tried a restaurant twice in a week. Whenever I visit NY, I love to go to Bareburger and tend to go multiple times while I’m there because they don’t have one in NC.

    A fun project I’m working on is a way to surprise my husband for his 24th bday in Feb. I’m big on celebrations and trying to make this one special for him!

    I cannot wait to read more posts from you and I hope you have a fantastic day. Keep being you!

    Emily

    Reply to Emily
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Emily!

      Thank you so much for the kind words. Makes me so happy that they are inspiring. Charlotte is so great & WELCOME! I truly LOVE this city.

      It’s so fun, and I’M SO BAD AT ZUMBA! I like to play it on the WII. I always go to my fave places twice when I’m out of town!

      I love that! Your husband is a lucky man!

      xo xo xo thanks for reading! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anonymous

    Great post! 🙂 Charlotte looks beautiful! My husband’s aunt and uncle are moving there later this year for his job and seeing your posts make me want to visit!
    Out of curiosity, have you gone gluten free?

    Reply to Anonymous
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Awwww it’s wonderful here:) You must visit! & yes, I have for right now. I posted my reason in the last paragraph on my last recap post! 😀

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Bethany

    YES!! I’m so glad you took my recommendation and went to Burton’s!!! I first found it in Mt Pleasant, and when they announced they were opening one in Charlotte I almost dropped dead! Definitely a favorite of mine!! I’ll have to think up another GF restaurant recommendation that compares to Burton’s! I tried to go to Burton’s the day of the ‘huge’ snowstorm but they closed at 5 due to ‘inclement weather’ (1/8 an inch of snow that melted by 2pm…) so we ended up going to Rock Salt… wouldn’t recommend.. nothing beats Burtons 🙂

    Reply to Bethany
    • Taralynn McNitt

      THANK YOU THANK YOU FOR THE RECOMMENDATION! 🙂 GIRL, IM OBSESSED.

      You should try ESSEX uptown. They have a great GF menu:) lol & I’ve totally heard the same thoughts on Rock Salt. I run by there when I do sugar creek!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily S.

    1. I’ve taken a pole fitness class and it was SO much fun! AND I was super sore the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that….I highly recommend it.

    2. I don’t believe I have ever tried a restaurant twice in one week…But where I went to college, we had very limited options for off-campus restaurants/bars so maybe…

    3. My boyfriend and I recently moved into a house that is a FIXER UPPER for sure. We have so many fun projects we want to tackle but realistically, there a bunch of things that need to be fixed that we can’t fully do on our own first like replacing the water heater, new roof, etc. These things are huge dollar signs that the fun stuff has to wait a little while longer, like painting and interior design stuff. BUT, we got to chop down a bunch of trees and have a huge bonfire which was so much fun (friends, family and a little wine drinking was involved of course). Maybe I should start a blog about the journey of fixing up our house, hmmmm ….I’ll have to ask you for some pointers on getting it up and running though!

    Reply to Emily S.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That literally sounds like a blast!!!!

      A fixer upper is fun, stressful at times, but fun! You’re going to be so happy once everything comes together. Definitely start a blog to keep track of the process! That could be so much fun!!:)

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Erica Palladino

    Hi! Speaking of fun coming up! My boyfriend may be taking a job in Charlotte. We currently live in Philadelphia, PA. He asked me my feelings about the move and my first comment was ” My favorite blogger lives there!!!!!!!!!!!”

    I’ve been reading your blog since high school. It is fabulous, you are fabulous, and you helped me make my boyfriend excited about this new venture. So thank you!

    PS. I will be looking for a new job there. So let me know if you know any places looking for a graphic designer!!!!!

    Reply to Erica Palladino
    • Taralynn McNitt

      AWWW that is so exciting. YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE LOVE LOVE CHARLOTTE!!!!! I hope he takes the job! 🙂 such a young and fun city!

      Thank you for all the kind words! Makes me so happy 🙂

      There are so many opportunities here in the QC!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • claudia

    I was just wondering when me might expect another fitness challenge from you?

    Reply to claudia
  • Carly

    Looks like you had a fun week! glad Leo is feeling better! A sick doggy is the worst 🙁

    My favorite workout class is a bootcamp class I go to with my mom when I am home! The instructor is a 50+ guy who really just loves fitness and seeing people get stronger! I’ve been to lots of different bootcamps but have never found another one that I like as much as this one! This class showed my cardio bunny ways how much fun/good for the body strength training can be!

    I haven’t tried a new restaurant twice in a week, but if its THAT good I probably would! I have been known to suggest Panera for lunch multiple times in a week ha!

    I’ve got no big projects planned here! Just new recipes to try! Can’t wait to see some of your projects with your new house!

    Reply to Carly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Carly!

      So glad Leo is feeling better too! It’s so scary when they are sick.

      Bootcamp is AWESOME! & totally a kick in the butt.

      lol Panera and Chipotle are always acceptable.

      I need to try some fun recipes soon 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jenna

    You should try an OrangeTheory workout! I’ve been a member since the middle of last year, and I love it!

    Reply to Jenna
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    I’ve eaten at one restaurant twice a week for sure! I especially love Outback hahaha, I go there like every single week.

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Bethany @LuluRuns

    Girl! Looks like such a fun week. I am super jealous of your warm weather- you are convincing me to move south 😉
    I so, so agree with you about running with somebody, I’ve only run once or twice in the dark by myself before and got too creeped out. Never again!

    And amen to your point about cross training- it is so important! I used to be cardio only junkie and now I cross train at least 2 days a week. I feel and am so much stronger too. Win win.

    Favorite workout class? I really haven’t attended too many classes, but I just went to a class my mom and sister teach and had a blast! We did Pilates and Zumba. I may have looked like a dying duck on the Zumba portion, but I loved the Pilates burn.
    Excuse the novel >> have a great week girl!

    Reply to Bethany @LuluRuns
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hey Girl 🙂

      The South is always welcoming!

      Running is scary if you’re not with someone. You never know! Just have to be cautious and prepared of all situations.

      yes! me too girl, me too! I hated cross training so much but I grew to love it once I got better at it.

      Pilates and Zumba are fun! I’m awful at zumba but its so fun and laughing at yourself is the best workout.

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily Weir

    I have a Cardio Sculpt class I go to weekly at my gym. The instructor is in his 60’s but he has us moving in different aerobic activities for about 50 minutes, and it’s way harder than any other class I’ve taken. I loved Pure Barre, but I can’t afford to go to 2 classes/week.

    I’ve never tried a new restaurant twice in one week, but every time I eat Chipotle I’m reminded of how much I love Chipotle and end up eating it again a day or two later.

    And for fun projects, my husband and I are building some bookshelves in our living room made of planks and piping this month. We love the industrial look and can’t wait to bring more of it into our new home!

    Reply to Emily Weir
    • Taralynn McNitt

      A cardio sculpt class sounds awesome! Your instructor seems pretty inspiring! 60 and going hard! Love it 🙂 Pure Barre is overpriced and definitely something you can do at home (without getting kicked in the face)

      lol Chipotle is great, any day, everyday, any meal!

      OH COOL! Sounds so Pinterest-y! Love it 🙂

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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