What I Ate Wednesday…

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…too much gluten. As my best friend Jen said to me “When will you learn?”

I do believe I’ve finally learned. I gave up gluten for a month back in April and honestly never felt better. Then I reintroduced a little, and felt fine. Then I continued to eat it and it has caught up to me.

Bloat.

Tummy trouble.

You name it. Basically, I feel like ass.

I thought I was going to miss my long run on Saturday morning because I spent just about the same amount of time in the bathroom as I did preparing for the run… mega bad.

Yesterday I made it a point to tell both her and the bf – NO MORE GLUTEN.

One day without and I swear I feel better already. It’s like my body is thanking me for finally listening to it.

The bf and I went out to dinner last night and as I drooled over the amazing draft beer choices at the restaurant we went to – I chose an Angry Orchard cider instead, with a gluten free pizza.

It’s time to stick with this for real – I told Jen, and the bf, and I’m telling any of you who are friends with me on MyFitnessPal – if you see food with gluten in it on my food log – PLEASE YELL AT ME. I clearly need some serious tough love.

Have you ever removed a food from your diet only to realize you feel so much better, then reintroduced it only to realize you feel like crap? What did you do?

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Reach the Beach Recap

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I know, I know – “What have you been waiting for?” Well I kinda left my camera in the van after the race was over. Whoopsy!

Thursday night after #FitBlogNYC (that recap is coming up too!) I drove from the train station to Fitchburg, MA to meet my other teammates at our hotel. The fun began pretty much right away…

Our first goal was to get dinner in our bellies and since Janine was the most organized Team Captain, she already had a place picked out for us. After carbing up (on food AND beer – of course) we headed back to the hotel room to get a good night’s sleep.

Or so we thought. My roommates, Sara and Alyssa, and I settled into our room with some Nuun and our pajamas, and settled into bed.   As our room got quiet it became quite apparent to us that our neighbors (the room right behind our beds of course) were having a little bit of late night grown up fun. And they were loud. Which, of course, made us giggle like a bunch of little kids. And when Kristen, our 4th roommate, arrived we had to tell her what was going on. And she was appalled. She was also appalled when she found out she was our first runner – whoopsy. All of this made the other 3 of us giggle even more. It was like being at a teenagers sleepover. With our alarms set for 5:30, we finally got to sleep around 12:30-1 a.m. So much for a good night’s sleep.

5:30 a.m. comes really fast when you get to sleep at 12:30 a.m. and you’re sleeping in a hotel bed. But we all got up with our alarms and got ready to head over to Wachusett Mountain for check in. Blah blah blah there is nothing exciting about checking in to a relay race – lots of paperwork, safety checks, photos, etc… Finally we’re heading toward the start line! photo (20)

The race started and Kristen was off! Those of us in Van 1 headed to the van to drive to Transition #1 to meet Kristen. While we were waiting for her, Teresa (our #2 runner) practiced a little road side yoga to warm up.

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And then she was off…

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We continued this way all the way until my leg, which was the final leg for our van until the evening.

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I was beyond nervous for my first leg since this was my first relay race. “What if I get lost?” “What if I didn’t tell the van to stop enough for me?” Etc…It was also 1:15 in the afternoon, full blown sun, and it felt like 80 degrees out (although I’m pretty sure it wasn’t that hot.) Thankfully I carried my handheld water bottle – even with that I needed two refills on that leg. There was NO SHADE. The highlight of this leg: While running the streets of Worcester a police officer spoke to me from his car via his intercom and said “Keep going, pick up the pace, you can catch them!” I was pretty amused by that!

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My awesome teammates filling me up with water and cheering me on!

Splits and elevation from Leg #1:

RTB Leg 1 Splits

RTB Leg 1 Elevation

I knew from the start that I was in the company of a group of amazing women, but I knew it even more when I got to the transition point and there waiting for me was Kristen with a bag of ice, just as I had asked. I promptly placed it on top of my head and worked on cooling down.

Relay lesson #1: If your first leg is due to start at 1:15 p.m. in Mid-May, wear a hat.

While Van #2 was running, it was time for Van #1 to find some food and get cleaned up. We were supposed to go to the home of the parents of a fellow teammate and shower at their house but there was confusion, a miscommunication, something. I don’t really know. All I know is that it didn’t happen. So we did the next best thing and took baby wipe baths in the local Price Chopper. Alyssa had the best idea of the day:

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Right after I took that picture I threw my bag in the cart too – it was so much easier than carrying it! Then we went out to find some food and attempt some sleep until it was time for Round #2!

Relay lesson #2: Find somewhere to sleep/rest where you can elevate your legs. This was the best thing I could’ve done – we were at a state park waiting for transition, and the ground just happened to slope downward, so Sara and I laid with our legs up and our heads down to let the blood drain from the legs. Wicked good idea.  I did the same after Leg #2 by sleeping with my legs up on the dashboard of our van.

Before we knew what had happened, all of our rest time had flown by and it was time to hit the road again. Kristen led us off again – this time headed into Hopkinton. She got to run right over the Boston Marathon Start line! Wicked cool! At this point we were starting to get a bit punchy – nothing an impromptu dance party and photo session can’t fix!

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Relay newbies – me and Alyssa

I was even more nervous for my night leg than I was for my first leg. This leg started at 11:09 p.m. and was just under 6 miles long. As I hit the start at transition I hear a voice “Be careful out there, those first 3 miles are DARK.” Holy. crap. She wasn’t kidding. There were no street lights for at least the first almost 4 miles. The only thing that kept me going without being too petrified was that once in a while I’d get passed by another team van, and once in a while I’d see a sign telling me I was still heading in the right direction. I have a minor gripe with the signage for the evening legs – there WASN’T ENOUGH!  When I started to get a bit petrified I would tell myself “At least you have your phone on you. If you get lost you can call for help.”

I was beyond happy to see the transition point at this leg. It was also midnight and I was running on 5 hours of crappy hotel sleep plus a couple hours of “rest.”

Splits and elevation from Leg #2:

RTB Leg 2 Splits

RTB Leg 2 Elevation

That’s a lovely hill the last couple of miles…

And then it was time for sleep…Kinda. Since I was the last person back in the van, I missed where everyone claimed their sleeping spots and ended up in the front seat. It wasn’t too bad though – as I mentioned before, I was able to put my feet up on the dash and prevent the blood from pooling.

I woke up a few times – once because I was freezing (I forgot my blanket…). And a few other times just because I was sleeping in the front seat of a van! I finally woke up around 4:15 and had enough of trying to sleep, especially since the alarm was going off at 4:30 so we could get Kristen ready for her final leg! I turned on the van and turned on the heat – it got down into the 40s the night before, no wonder I was so cold.

Relay lesson #3: DON’T forget your blanket and/or sleeping bag. There’ll always be room for something squishable.

Thankfully it only took us to Kristen’s transition to find a Dunkin’ Donuts – we were all in desperate need of coffee at that point. I also had to start getting myself psyched up for my leg since I was running in the #4 spot this time around, and it was to be the longest of my 3 legs.

This was THE hardest run – quite possibly that I’ve ever done. I didn’t even want to run it. I was not feeling up for another 8 miles after what I had just put my body through. Plus I was tired, cranky, in need of a shower and a real meal. I did manage to really get into it after the first mile or so – thanks to gorgeous weather and awesome teammates. It was another hot one (so it was actually only 57 degrees…) – little to no shade once again – so the girls met me every 2 miles with more water for my  handheld. They also got me my gels and some desperately needed body glide! I could not for the life of me keep a steady pace during this leg. My body ached and I swear I moved based on the song and elevation. I took advantage of every downhill to get my pace down closer to where I wanted it to be! I did kick it into high gear for a strong finish once I could see the finish – I couldn’t have been happier to be this close to completing all of my legs!

Splits and elevation for Leg #3:

RTB Leg 3 Splits

Not so steady…

RTB Leg 3 Elevation

And like that my first relay was done. Almost. We had 2 more runners in our van to go, plus we had to meet Van #2 at the end so we could all cross the finish line together.

In the meantime, after our anchor runner got done, we got showered up and hit up Not Your Average Joes for a long awaited real meal and, even more important, BEER.

Then we were ready to hit the beach. One our way we ran into Van #2! Naturally that stop wasn’t complete until we took a few pictures:

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And after 33 hours, 29 minutes, and 43 seconds of running and driving – Team Tutu Hot to Handle had Reached the Beach.

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This was an amazing experience, I’m looking forward to joining my fellow Tutu’s once again for a future Reach the Beach Relay!

Have you ever run a relay? How did it go?!

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Thankful Thursday

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Ever have one of those days where it seems the universe is out to get you? Yup, that’s how I felt today. I’m turning this frown upside down stat. I have way too much to be thankful for.

I have a roof over my head and food in my belly. Every. single. day. I never have to worry about freezing, being uncomfortable, or going without proper nutrition.

I have an amazing support system. I cried and whined to my best friend today about the aforementioned attack from the universe. She did everything in her power to try to help me out. I love her. I also have my awesome boyfriend – who let me bitch, whine, and complain and promised me everything will be okay and he will help me in every way he possibly can (including coming to my house after work to cook dinner for me – he’s wonderful!). And of course I always have my parents, whenever I need them, whatever I need, they are there for me.

I have my health. This is huge to me. There are far too many people in this world suffering from far too many illnesses – I am grateful every day that I am not one of them and I will never take my health for granted.

Does anyone really need anything else? I don’t.

Thankful

I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday night! I am unplugging to spend time with my man eating wonderful food, enjoying some wine, and just relaxing.

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Weighty Wednesday

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I have a confession to make.

I have not been the healthiest of health/fitness bloggers lately.

I’ve also resorted back to my gluten-full ways.

It all started right around May 1st – I was moving, so it was easy to grab food on the run. Then I had a week full of appointments, so I decided again that it was easier to grab food on the run.

Then I had a race and Mother’s Day – so I ate out twice in one day and indulged in a few beers.

Then it was time for Reach the Beach and my system got all out of whack – post race? Burgers and beers. Then pasta and more beer with my parents.

Are you seeing the trend here? And it hasn’t stopped.

Sunday afternoon I felt like absolute death. Between Wednesday night trivia (chicken sandwich and beer), Friday night out with the bf and one of his friends (nachos and fries for dinner…and beer…), Saturday party at my house, Sunday grad party at a pool hall… OMG, I was in unhealthy food/alcohol overload.

Then I stepped on the scale Monday morning and wanted to scream. I knew I wasn’t where I wanted to be after I tried on 2 pairs of jeans and something like 3 or 4 shirts Sunday afternoon and couldn’t fit into any of them properly.

I was up 10# from May 1st. Whoops. How the hell did I let that happen? Now, I’m not going to give my weight here, or my goal weight, because I don’t want to start any type of discussion about that.

All I know is shit’s gotta change. And I started Monday – food only on Monday because I was still feeling overly sluggish and disgusting from the poor choices I had made for practically a month straight.

I’m back to gluten free.

I’m back to regularly scheduled workouts.

The best part is – I have plenty of accountability. My best friend watches my MyFitnessPal account like a hawk and yells at me when I screw up. The boyfriend is trying to lose weight so we’re in this together. My mom also follows my MyFitnessPal and we chat about our food choices.

With a 10 mile road race, 2 half marathons, and a marathon yet to come this year I have a lot of training to do and I want to be my healthiest. The number on the scale may not always reflect that, but I will know when my clothes fit right and I feel my best. Right now, that is not the case.

We are all a work in progress, sometimes the progress gets stalled. Sometimes you fall down. As long as you get back up and continue to strive toward the best you can be every day, it’s never failure. Just a stepping stone in this health and fitness journey.

Have you had any food/alcohol/exercise mis-steps lately? What did you do to remedy that?

Are you on My Fitness Pal? Follow me: runcupcake19

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Trainer Tuesday: Tabata Workouts

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Sometimes when I’m at home, and I don’t have to work at the gym, I don’t want to go to the gym. But unless I’m doing a workout DVD, I never feel like I’m getting a hard enough workout at home.

Enter the Tabata Workout. What’s that you say? You don’t know what a tabata workout is?

4 Total Minutes of High Intensity Work

20 seconds work

10 seconds rest

Repeat 8 times

Sounds easy, right?! It’s not. What’s great about it is that the 20 seconds is up so quickly it doesn’t even give you a chance to think “I can’t do this, it’s so hard.” The best part is you can do it with any exercises – at home, at the gym, anywhere! You can also tailor a tabata workout to the length of time you have – I usually do 8 exercises, with one minute of rest between. That takes about 40ish minutes to complete.

Here are a few examples of tabata workouts you can do at home:

Tabata #1

Tabata #2

Tabata #3

Tabata #4

I’d love it if you guys tried these workouts and reported back to me with your feelings on them!

Have you ever done a tabata workout before? What’s your favorite?

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June Goals

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I know it may be almost the middle of the month already but it’s never to late to announce your goals for the month, amiright?!

Goal #1) Hit 100 running miles for the first time since January 2012. Time to really rebuild my leg strength in order to get ready for the remaining races of 2013 – especially that ever important 26.2

Goal #2) Do a different speed workout every week. Speed workouts are so important to increasing your running speed, but also your strength. Mixing it up so your body doesn’t get used to the same thing every single week is also important. My first speed workout of June was 6 x 400m intervals – so I will not be doing that workout again this month.

Goal #3) Blog at least 4-5 times per week. I need to make more time to get my blogging done – it’s something I love so very much, so I must keep it going!

Goal #4) Create a REAL marathon training plan and STICK WITH IT. I would love to PR the next marathon – I’d like even more to shave a ton of time off so I can get closer to my dreams of one day running a BQ.

set and reach goal concept

What are you trying to accomplish this month?

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Five for Friday: Where I’ve Been

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Hi guys! Remember me? Sorry for being such a bad blogger lately but life has been crazy. Crazy good that is! So what have I been up to?

1) Running. Lots of running. BF Run #1BF Run #2First Speed Workout Since MarchNational Running Day Run

Sweating Bullets

2) Researching running stuff. I’m trying to keep my run workout routine as fresh as possible going into these next few races. That makes now the perfect time to go through all these issues of Running Time’s that I’ve never made the time to read!

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3) Supporting those who support me. My mom just got back into horseback riding after a 5 month hiatus due to shoulder surgery. Wanna know where I get my crazy from? She has been back to riding for 2 weeks, she had ridden this horse 4 total times, and she decided to do a horse show.

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Because my mommy is awesome she even got a blue ribbon on her first horse show in a year! She rode in 4 classes and placed: first, second, second, and third. Way to go mommy!

4) Spending time with friends and family.  Memorial Day party at my parents house. Wednesday night trivia with my bro and his girlfriend, and now the rents too. My best friend is coming over this afternoon for some shopping, girl chat, and I’m sure food and wine will be part of that. I’m having a housewarming party tomorrow with some of my closest friends. And, I’ve been spending a lot of time with this guy too:

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We met a couple of weeks ago and have been pretty much attached at the hip since. I’m surprised he’s not sick of me yet, after all I am a very special kind of crazy. Winking smile

5) Attempting to re-enter the professional world. As much as I love working as a personal trainer, it is a very difficult field to break into. Many of my clients have discontinued services due to the cost so I am find it increasingly difficult to keep full time hours. So I am going to continue to work with the clients I currently have, work on building up my Runcupcake Fitness business, but also go back to office work for the time being so that I don’t become poor. Winking smile I went on an interview yesterday that sounded like it had really great potential so keep your fingers crossed for me!

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That’s my – holy cow I’m not used to wearing clothes like this – look.

What have you guys been up to lately?!

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And So It Begins…

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Happy unofficial summer! After some rather unpleasant weather this weekend, today was a BEAUTIFUL day. After a little rain tomorrow we’re in for a toasty weekend. I’m going to the beach!

Today was my official kick off to my remaining goals for 2013 – most of which I haven’t discussed here at all because I was entirely unsure what was going to happen. After today’s run I’m fully convinced that with a lot of running and effort I will get all of these goals.

First up – today’s run:

First Post RTB Run

Can I hear it for fresh legs?! I took 9 total days off of running after Reach the Beach and just did weights, spin, elliptical, and a little walking. What a difference taking proper recovery makes!

I thought the run was net downhill and that was my advantage… well, it was net downhill, but only by 4 feet. So I had a pretty even amount of up and down over the 4 miles. I feel like this is a great way to kick off my summer of training!

Next up – what’s on tap for the rest of the year:

  • The Blessing of the Fleet 10-Mile Road Race, Narragansett, RI – July 26, 2013
  • Zooma Cape Cod Half Marathon, Falmouth, MA – September 28, 2013
  • Rock N Roll Providence Half Marathon, Providence, RI – September 29, 2013
  • United Healthcare MARATHON, Newport, RI – October 13, 2013

Yes folks you read that right – I am going to run Marathon #4 in October. I’ve rescinded my “No Marathons in 2013” rule and decided that I’m ready for another one. Well mentally anyway…

I haven’t decided if I want to talk time goals here or not yet… Many times I’ve done it and not made my goals. When I ran Rock N Roll Providence last year I never told you guys that I was trying for a sub 2 hour half, and I did it. Call me superstitious…

What’s my plan of attack? I’m thinking of focusing first on the Blessing of the Fleet, then the half’s and marathon together. Blessing is 2 months before the rest, and 2 months away, plus it’s only 10 miles. My thoughts are – train strictly between now and July for Blessing (which includes loads of heat training – the race takes place at 6 p.m. on a Friday). After Blessing start my marathon training plan. Zoom and RnR Providence fall exactly 2 weeks before the full marathon which places them at a perfect place in a marathon training plan. Waiting until the first week in August to start marathon training also allows me to have a life for the next few months, which we all know goes away once marathon training begins!

What do you guys think? Anyone else have some good distance races on their calendar for the second half of 2013? Do you think I should keep my time goals to myself or are  you just dying to hear them?

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Like Riding a Bike…

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After Reach the Beach I put myself on a run hiatus – my mother told me “You never take enough time to recover after things like this.” She’s absolutely right. Hence my wicked IT band injury last year…Plus, I forgot to cut my toenails before this weekend and ended up with 3 that had nasty blood blisters underneath them and they still hurt today!

But you all know that I cannot go without a wicked sweatfest and some heart pounding cardio. So I created another spin workout. It’s been 2 months since I last did spin, so I was a bit nervous that creating an hour long workout would kill me. On the contrary – it was AWESOME. I rode 23.8 miles in an hour to this amazing playlist:

Post RTB Spin Workout

Back in October I created my very first spin workout and got some great responses and feedback on it. I hope you guys enjoy this one just as much. Once again I listed the beats per minute for the songs in case you’re not a fan of my teeny bopper meets country playlist!

This workout was a complete and utter sweatfest – I even went through an entire 20 oz. bottle of water in the process. I hope you guys will give it a try and let me know what you think.

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