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Showing posts from December, 2013

A Time for New Perspectives

This post might be a bit heavy for a Monday. If you don't want to stick around, I understand. I've debated on writing it. I don't have pictures. I don't have motivational quote. I have sincerity.

I know that this time of the year tends to be happy. It's a time for family, friends, for re-connecting and then for new resolutions. There's hope in the air. And for me, it was very much a time with family and friends. Time with loved ones. Enjoying the innocence of my niece and nephew. Their wonder and excitement.

Also, it was a time of loss and reflection. Last Monday I learned of the loss of someone I knew. We weren't best friends by any means. But she was someone I had known from the gym then later learned we had mutual good friends and even worked at the same company.

She was one of those people who always had a smile on her face, always upbeat. I have been to her home, worked out with her, hung out with her at tailgates, enjoyed time together. She and her si…

Fun For Friday - Getting Old Gift List

Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I know that we did. It started off on Christmas Eve Day for us. We headed to our hometown to for lunch with my mom, her husband, my sister and her kids. I'll talk about some of the food I made later - a vegan "ham", coconut maple carrots from a new cookbook, and gluten-free Irish soda bread.

We had a great time, and the weather was beautiful, sunny, 50 degrees. One funny before I move along, my sister and I have always felt we just should have been twins. We are 3 years apart, but most people think we're the same age. We have very similar mannerisms even if we don't look much alike.

Well, this year when the gifts were being passed around, I handed Sarah her gift bag from me. She started laughing hysterically and pointed out my gift bag from her.

Yep, same gift bags. And similar gifts. She got me a new beach bag with my initial and I got her a new work bag. Great minds?

Anyway, after mom's it was off to …

Sharing a Cookie Baking Tradition

Saturday was all about family time. It was a miserably rainy day, kind of the perfect day to stay inside and bake cookies though. Cookie baking (and decorating) was something my sister and I had grown up doing, and continued the tradition up until about two years ago. Well, this year we brought the tradition back.

My sister and her kids showed up around 11. We started working on some of the cookies while Jason and C ran to the store to pick up a few things I had forgotten.

Jason's brother, sister-in-law and their 2 kids showed up closer to 1. Let the party begin! They have a girl (J) who is one year younger than A and a son (N) who is one year younger than C. But they all got along fabulously.

They played and the ladies finished up most of the cookies. My niece had initially started off assisting Sarah and me with making the dough for a few of the cookies and the icing as well. Then she got side tracked playing with J and the boys.

I took the easy way out for sugar cookies that th…

Fun for Friday - Race Day Runfessions

Marcia at Marcia's Healthy Slice did another Runfessions post for the Holidays. I "borrowed" her Runfessions idea once before, and am borrowing it again for Fun for Friday. I hope she doesn't mind ;-)

I thought I would do a Runfessions - Race Day edition since I finished another half marathon last week and it's still fresh on my mind, especially the mistakes I made that day. Funny how you can PR but also have a host of silly mistakes. But I have a few other confessions to make, so it's not all about mistakes.

Though, I did make several no-no race day mistakes. I broke the golden rule of never doing anything new the day of a race. Not only did I break that one once, I broke it twice. So, here it goes...

1. I tried a new gel on race day. I had been coveting my Salted Caramel GU packets for weeks. I was practically salivating at the mere thought of trying them out. My special treat to myself for the race. Now, the error had nothing to do with the flavor (thankfu…

My Year of Running

MissZippy started a wonderful post idea, Year of Running. I have really enjoyed reading other people's year of running recaps, but wasn't sure if I could pull one together. It can be hard to pinpoint a best run or name the most inspiring runner.

But, when I sit back and reflect on my year, running has been such a huge part of it. This was the biggest running year for me period. And it's funny because it didn't start out with running at all. Many of you will recall that I was sidelined with a blood clot in my left jugular. I was told no running, no exercise, sit on the couch.

It was a tough pill to swallow. Not only was I terrified because of the clot, the one thing that I could do to decompress, to sort of get away from it all, I couldn't do. I couldn't run. I couldn't run away from the problem. I couldn't have that zen me time.

Once I was cleared to run, I tried to jump right back into it, but it was HARD. I could barely run two miles. I struggled a lo…

Post Race Running

I wanted to thank everyone again for the congratulations on my CASA Half Marathon. If you ever want to sleep very very soundly, run your fastest half. I slept 12 hours Saturday night. That was even after having had a catnap around 3:45. I imagine the other way to sleep that soundly is by running a full.

Sunday was a very lazy day for me other than running a few errands. Basically, the rest of the weekend was a no hair and no make up weekend for me. The only reason I got out of PJs was to leave the house.

By Monday, my hamstrings and inner thighs (odd right?), and piriformis were hating me from the race. I knew I needed to get my legs moving to work out some of the stiffness. I also desperately needed a massage.

And I do mean desperate. I actually do not like massages at all. I know, I know ... crazy. I don't know what most people's post-race recovery is like, but I'm usually pretty wiped out and the muscle soreness starts to set in big time by day 2. I also know that I nee…

CASA Half Marathon Recap

If you recall, I posted last Thursday about not feeling truly prepared for this half marathon. We had been having very cold temps that seemed to be negatively impacting my running. My last training week was slow and felt very difficult overall.

Luckily, the temperatures for the CASA Half Marathon had started to go up. Race start was 39 degrees with a "feels like" temperature of 36. The problem was that it was heavy fog and the winds were starting to kick up. This means damp and raw basically.

The CASA Half Marathon is a small race. It's one I had not done before. I decided to sign up for it on the tail end of the PR high from the Soaring Wings Half. Sometimes I think there should be a law that states you must wait x number of weeks after one race before signing up for another. Seriously, runner's amnesia can bite you in the butt.

But, I signed up for it. I was going to run it. It was a flat course, so I was kind of looking forward to that for a change. But, I was als…

Running in the Cold Slowing Me Down

Well, I wasn't sure about doing this post today. Normally I'd be posting about pre-race jitters. How I'm feeling about Saturday's CASA Half Marathon really doesn't even have anything to do with jitters this time around. Now, I know many of you will automatically want to disagree with me when I say that I feel very under-prepared. 
It's true though. I've been putting in the miles, yes. But since my last half marathon, my runs have slowed down some and I've not pushed out any tempo runs other than the 10-Mile Treadmill last Saturday.

Yes, my body knows the distance. I'm not worried about that. I guess I'm worried about this sudden slow down of my pace. I know, shake your heads if you will, it's still how I'm feeling about Saturday. Slow.

The thing is, my last race was in very ideal weather conditions. It was in the 40's, sunny, no wind. So while the course was hard, the weather was perfection, especially coming out of the heat of summ…

Tasty Tuesday - Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

You're probably shocked to see a Tasty Tuesday post. I admit that it's been a while. I do have one other recipe that I need to re-make and share, hopefully sooner than later.

It's getting close to time to hit up the grocery store. What's funny is that I've noticed I tend to get more creative when I have fewer ingredients.

We're getting low mostly on the fresh veggies. I knew I had a few things that needed to be used, like an opened can of pumpkin puree. I decided to attempt creativity with a Pumpkin Alfredo sauce to go with spaghetti squash and some homemade ciabatta I had on hand.

I didn't have any coconut milk, but knew that almond milk would work perfectly. Since I was out of vegetable stock, I decided to infuse additional flavor with white wine.

Pumpkin Alfredo
Ingredients:
1 large can pumpkin puree
1/8 cup minced red onion (emphasizing minced)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup (approximate, may need to add more) unsweetened almond milk or lite coconut milk
1/4 …

I Might be Crazy. Ten Treadmill Miles.

This weekend's training was almost derailed thanks to an ice storm. While the roads and ground were blanketed in white, it was anything but soft and fluffy the way snow is. It was solid ice. While I will run in many different conditions, there was just no way I could safely run on the ice. I could barely walk out into the yard as it was. 
This meant I had to make some serious decisions. I have a half marathon on the 14th and needed to get in my last long run. The ice was going to be on the ground for several days so it wasn't that I could just switch the run to Sunday. Even Monday was iffy. I had ridden my bike trainer on Friday morning and really didn't want to do that two days in a row.
Luckily, the company I work for really promotes health and wellness for it's employees, so we have access to an on-site gym. Of course, I didn't know if it was open or if I could even get to it. Jason spent about 30 minutes trying to get the ice off the cars. Then he carefully dr…

Fun for Friday - Squats During a Run & Other Escapades

Hope everyone has had a nice week - if nothing else, at least it's Friday right? Our weather has taken another crazy turn today - Wednesday's high was mid 70s, today we have ice and sleet coming down.

Luckily, I planned today as a non-running day. I've put in 23 miles over 3 days plus I did legs last night. So, I got up this morning and got on my bike trainer and watched Miss Congeniality. I forgot how funny that movie is. 
I will say that perhaps I need my own personal trainer as I am terrible at planning out my workouts. Three days of running, legs then bike trainer? Yeah...wobbly legs. But, I guess I can't or shouldn't complain because at least I am healthy enough to do these workouts.

You see, on this date last year, I was diagnosed with a blood clot in my neck. My world pretty much was turned upside down. I was told no running, no exercising period. I went from running 36 miles to sitting on the couch, scared. 
Just before the blood clot diagnosis, I was reall…

At-Home Workout Gift Guide

'Tis the season for gifts and lists of gifts. I had planned on doing a gift list for runners, but I think there are plenty of those being done right now. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing them and getting more ideas for things I "need."

Rather than repeat what so many others are sharing - like fab long-sleeved running shirts with thumbholes that I want or tights that I need - I thought I might focus on other workouts like weight lifting.

While I have a long wish list for my running gear, I also have a wish list (or list of things that used to be on my wish list) for weight lifting and at-home workouts. Since most of these things are ideal for at-home workouts or mini-gyms, maybe that's what I'll call this one - At-Home Workout Gift Guide.

Note - I am mentioning Amazon, but I do not have an affiliate with Amazon, I just use Amazon a lot for purchases. I do, have an affiliate with Cathe Friedrich. 

Equipment

Kettlebells
I found this set on Amazon for a really gre…

Ups and Downs of Change - Wave Rider 17 Review

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno.



I discovered Mizuno Wave Rider 16 probably a year and a half ago. I guess right when they were released. I fell in love with them immediately. For the first time ever, I had a shoe that had some arch support for my high arches, but they were/are still a neutral shoe. I also loved how light and flexible they were.

I've gone through several pairs since. So when FitFluential and Mizuno offered me the opportunity to test out the new Mizuno Wave Rider 17 (released December 5 just in time for Christmas), you can bet I was jumping up and down like a runner in a running store!

Wave Rider 17 technical details from the Mizuno website.
They weigh in at 7.4 ouncesU4ic midsole - to provide lightweight and resilient cushioningNew sock liner emphasizing increased resiliency and responsivenessLateral forefoot sculpting for a smooth touchdown and transitionBlown rubber forefront with deep flex grooves for optimal flexibility a…

First Turkey Trot and Thanksgiving Weekend

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving (if you're in the US) and a wonderful weekend. Thursday morning, Jason and I decided to do a last minute Turkey Trot - the GO!BBLER Turkey Trot. This is a completely unofficial, fun run/walk that's put on by my favorite, local running store, GO! Running.

I've always avoided this run because of the course. They have 3 different distances, 2 of which hit up trails. I've never run trails. I'm a klutz. So it's always intimated me. This year, Amy and her boyfriend were running it. And, for me, it's been a year of new things. Like actually recovering from a blood clot, doing a 10K, major PRs. So, I thought I would go out on a limb and try this one out.

There are no race fees. You are simply asked to bring canned goods to donate. So it's for a good cause as well. It was a super chilly morning with temps hovering in the low 20s, but the sun was out thankfully. The number of participants was shocking to me - estimated…