Labor Day Workouts + Good Eats in Downtown Roanoke

While a big chunk of our Labor Day weekend plans revolved around football, we did find time to work out and take advantage of some of the good local food downtown Roanoke has to offer. I mean let’s face it; you need to try to squeeze in a little workout on days that you know you will be eating more than usual (which was pretty much every day of this vacation). Lucky for us there is a beautiful greenway that runs around the city. Our first morning there, I squeezed in a relaxed 5k run, at a decent pace, while my husband ran up Mill Mountain.

photo 1-13 What was the reason for our separation? He is running the Blue Ridge Relay this weekend. As part of this race, relay teams are formed to run from a remote location in Virginia to Asheville, NC. The teams cover the mountainous terrain over several hundred miles ultimately to enjoy each other’s company. It is a grueling race that I hope to do at some point in the future. For now, I will stick to my thirty minute runs! I have to admit though; I didn’t see views like this on my run.

257563_10100321176441693_5687034_o We followed our workouts up with a family breakfast, at local breakfast hot spot, Thelma’s Chicken and Waffles. I pondered over the idea of getting something other than chicken and waffles, but that just seems crazy. If a restaurant is bold enough to include a menu item in their name, then it has to be good. This place never ceases to amaze me. The chicken is fried on the spot, and the sweet and salty combo just works. Every time we go to this restaurant, we run into our favorite waitress, Gigi. We might only see her a few times a year, but she sure remembers us every time we walk in the door. That’s the kind of service that you can’t buy.

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photo 3-107 On a beautiful non-game day, there is nothing better than taking a cruise through downtown Roanoke. I’m not kidding. I will even dare to say that the eclectic area is turning into a mini Greenville, SC. There is always something going on. We swung by a few of our favorite stores, before a set of books in Chocolate Paper caught my eye. Being the indoor cyclist that I am, I loved to see an entire section of cute biking books. I was very tempted to buy the “Heels on Wheels” book. Description: “A lady’s guide to owning and riding a bike.” Let’s face it. We could all use a lesson or two.

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My parents offered to watch my daughter, so my husband and I could have an early date night. Date night for us has turned into sushi night. For whatever reason, my daughter does not do well at sushi restaurants. Too bad for us, because we love it. Hence, every time we get a night out alone, we end up eating sushi. Our go-to spot in Roanoke is Metro.

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This place is a little more modern than most restaurants downtown, but the attire is still pretty casual. We enjoyed drinks on the patio before ordering an amazing, better yet, healthy appetizer: steamed shrimp dumplings. They were served with a side of sweet chili sauce. We typically go for edamame as an appetizer when ordering sushi, so today we went out of our comfort zone. Good call. This stuff was amazing.

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photo 1-121The restaurant recently added some specialty sushi rolls to the menu. Get this; they added rolls to give people more healthy options (i.e. no tempura fried/mayo/cream cheese)! Sign me up. We ordered the spicy vegetarian roll, the newly added salmon avocado roll, the cabo tuna roll, and the dragon roll. They all looked as good as they tasted!

photo 3-106We followed up our date night with one final workout in town the following day. This time we stuck together. Couples that sweat together, stay together, right? This was a FiA/F3 convergence workout all the way. We took advantage of a park less than 1.5 miles from where we were staying, so we could squeeze in some exercises on top of our run. Utilize as much equipment in a park as you can. Benches are incredible resources for the following exercises:

  • Decline/incline pushups
  • Knee to elbow plank abs (hands on ground, feet on bench)
  • Dips
  • Step ups
  • Box Jumps (if you have the space and the bench is not wet)
  • Lunges

If you run into an area where there isn’t any equipment that you can find to use, do body weight exercises:

  • Burpees
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Pushups
  • Planks
  • Abs

Key is creativity. You would be surprised what kind of strength workout that you can do with little to no equipment! I have to admit, it took me a long time to realize how easy it was. With that said, we are back in Charlotte, which means we are somewhat back on a routine. I am looking forward to posting some at home workouts this week, as well as, getting back on the bike!

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