Cake Balls

Foodie Penpals Round 4 – Christmas Edition

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Good evening everybody! I can’t believe it’s Foodie Penpals time already – and the 4th one! Time flies when you’re having fun.

If you don’t know what Foodie Penpals is by now (I know I talk about it every month!) visit Lindsay’s blog  for all the deets. You have until January 4th to sign up (do it, do it, it’s so much fun!).

This month’s package came from another Lindsay – from Biking and Baking Before Bed.

Mexican Vanilla – My mom and I used this in all of our holiday baking. It just so happened we were out of vanilla!

Bear Naked Fit Vanilla Almond Crunch Granola – I love this stuff. Bear Naked is one of my fave granolas because it’s all natural.

Candy Cane Lane Green Tea – Super yummy peppermint flavored green tea. And it’s decaf so I can drink it before bed!

Cake balls! Holy yum! The cake inside is pink too, perfect and delicious.

I was glad I had this in my bag yesterday. Luna Bar’s are one of my favorite go to emergency snacks and boy was yesterday a hungry emergency!

The cutest Santa bowl ever! I’ve been using it since I got it – mostly for yogurt, with my Bear Naked Granola!

I sent my package to Amy at Healthy, Hungry and Happy - check it out!

Have a great Friday night everyone!


The First One

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Hey everybody! Can you believe it’s Thursday already? Here I am, blogging away from my new site – so exciting!!

I titled this post the first one for two reasons

  1. Although I transferred all of my other posts from Blogger over already, this post is my first WordPress post. Woot! Pardon the appearance while the site is still under construction – I am going to work as fast as I can to make it beautiful. 
  2. Tonight I ran my first training run for Marathon #3 and Half-Marathon #6. 

Wait what did I just say? Yup, half-marathon #6. It didn’t take much to talk me into this one. Half at the Hamptons Half Marathon at Hampton Beach, NH. 

  1. “As of right now, the elevation guide we have shows this to be the flattest course in New England for a half marathon.” (From race site) Can we say hello to a sub 2-hour half marathon finally? I hope so. This race will be long run #8 for Marathon #3 training so I’d like to think this is a good possibility.
  2. After Race party including hot soup, Lindt Chocolate and BEER.. in the classy Ashworth Hotel Ballroom. Does this even need an explanation?
  3. One friend is running, another I may be able to talk into it, another is spectating, and yet another I’ve yet to meet. 

So it’s going to be New Hampshire in February which means cold – but it’s flat, I’ll be in good company, and there’s beer and chocolate afterwards. Woohoo!

Prepare yourselves now for the barrage of marathon/half-marathon talk that will be coming from me in the next 64 days.

Goodnight my friends!

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Some Big News

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Happy Tuesday everyone!


I started another post tonight, but it’s pretty analytical, it’s 9 p.m., and I’m tired. 


So instead, I’m giving you a shorty with some important BIG news!

I’m moving!

Yes, you read that right. “Because I Can” will once again assume the name “Running and Cupcakes” (I’ve had so many comments from people wondering why I ever changed it – and to tell the truth, I actually do like Running and Cupcakes better).

So where am I moving to?!

I’m so glad you asked.


YES! That’s right – my own domain name! I am so excited – oh and it’s on Word Press. Double excited.

I will continue to post here until I get my Word Press site up and running – which will hopefully be sooner than later. 

Don’t worry, I’ll keep you guys posted on how the move is going!

That is all for this Tuesday night. Have a great night friends!

Gettin’ Back at It (Christmas Weekend Recap)

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I can’t believe Christmas has come and gone – just like that! This weekend was a whirlwind of family, fun, and food.


Now that it’s all over it’s time to get back at it. I wasn’t motionless this weekend by any means, but I cannot wait to get to the gym tomorrow night and get my sweat on. I may have consumed one too many bottles glasses of wine in the past 3 days.


How was everybody’s Christmas? Mine was great. Saturday I went last minute shopping with my step-dad and out to lunch, before going to a family Christmas Eve party. We ate, drank, and laughed, played with my cousin’s puppy (black lab – she’s so cute!), and played Uno Attack. When we got home me and my mom decided to watch Rudolph at 11 p.m. while we washed our wine down with some tea. I think we talked through the whole movie LOL.


Christmas day was lowkey – our typical. Breakfast followed by gifts. After that my brother and I got busy in the kitchen. I baked some red velvet cupcakes – then helped him prepare dinner. We spent most of our day in the kitchen! The grandparents came for dinner and dessert.  Afterwards me, bro, and the rents watched Bridesmaids – holy that movie was funny!


Santa was very good to me. Here’s a quick rundown:

Cupcake decorating kit for beginners – Ive got the baking part down, but not the decorating.
Not bad for my first try!
Cork yoga block – I need this for some of the more complicated poses
My favorite type of socks



YAY Books!
Hilarious shirt from my brother – it’s called “Dangerous Games”

Plus some good old fashioned cash-ola. That came in handy for my shopping trip with mommy to the outlets today – I made out with 3 tank tops, 2 pairs of crop yoga pants, 2 sports bras (HOORAYYYYYYYY the Champion ones I love were on sale at the outlets!), a pair of brown shoes (I really didn’t have any winter brown shoes that aren’t boots – so weird…), a cute purple dress top from the Gap (for $6), and the sweetest deals of the day: a gunmetal grey pair of dress pants from Calvin Klein (for $27 – original price $89.50!) and a belted Calvin Klein dress (for $41 – original price $140). I love outlet shopping!


It was an amazing weekend – but now I’m ready to get back into a schedule and back on track. Marathon training starts tomorrow – My training schedule is e-mailed to Coachy, and is just awaiting his approval.


What about everyone else? How was your Christmas/holiday? Are you ready to be back into a regular routine yet?


Hello world!

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Welcome to WordPress.com. After you read this, you should delete and write your own post, with a new title above. Or hit Add New on the left (of the admin dashboard) to start a fresh post.

Here are some suggestions for your first post.

  1. You can find new ideas for what to blog about by reading the Daily Post.
  2. Add PressThis to your browser. It creates a new blog post for you about any interesting  page you read on the web.
  3. Make some changes to this page, and then hit preview on the right. You can always preview any post or edit it before you share it to the world.

Reluctantly (Kinda) Resting

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Today I very reluctantly decided to take a full blown rest day. I was sitting at my desk at work, not doing anything, and my ankle was sore. So I took the advice that so many of you had for me yesterday:

REST
Source

Thanks guys (err, gals…). I know I need to do it, I’ve just been on such a hot streak lately, that sitting back and taking a rest day feels crappy. Of course that hot streak is why I’m being forced into a full blown rest day in the first place. 


But, then there’s the kinda part. When I got home from work, I did this (first and most important):


Then I did this:

Then I made these for me and mom:


Then I had some of this (created by the brother – recipe to follow):


So, I ended up on my feet for 4 hours anyway. Whoops. 

Now I’m sitting with ice on my ankle, finally resting. 


And watching Serendipity.


So maybe resting isn’t so bad after all. 



Speed, Interrupted

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Last night I went to the gym for my Wednesday speed workout. On tap for this week – mile warm up, 8 x 400 speed interval, 8 x 400 recovery interval, mile cool down = 6 total miles.


I walked out, with 3 okay miles. 

It was so weird. I ran my warm up mile at a 10 minute pace and felt fine. Then I cranked the old ‘mill to a whopping 8.6 mph (I figured if I could run mile intervals at 7:47 then I can run 1/4 miles at 6:59 right?). I did my first speed interval, it was hard, but I really just didn’t feel “on”. I recovered for a quarter mile, then cranked it for speed interval number 2. Something still didn’t feel right… I recovered again, and tried again. I didn’t make it the full 1/4 mile this time – my foot/ankle/shin on my right foot just hurt. So I slowed it down and lightly ran out 3 miles.

I sprained this ankle last May while I was still doing Couch to 5k – and I feel like I never strengthened it properly because last night was roughly the 4th or 5th time I’ve experienced this exact pain in my ankle. It hurt to drive home. It hurts now, 24 hours later, not as bad but still sore.

Today, I sat down and reviewed my training log. 11 total speed sessions in November and December (including 2 5k races). Well…

DUH

11 Speed sessions in 8 weeks. That’s about 3 speed sessions to many for me. And now my body has something to say about it. You may also recall that I had a less than stellar run this past Saturday. I am convinced my body is saying
I love Smurfs! (source)
I obviously took it too far because now I have pain. 

The plan from now until January 1st (My first official day of Marathon #3 training) is as follows:
  • 3-4 Days Elliptical
    • I’m hoping to try to get a slow easy run in – but my foot/ankle may not want to hear it.

If that’s the case:

  • I plan on going back to strength training Monday. Jill and Carla (both wicked WICKED awesome ladies and both fellow FitFluential ambassadors) both volunteered themselves last night to help whoop my scared of heavy lifting booty into shape. I hope they realize how much I plan on pestering them – I am STILL sore from my Xen Strength Yoga workout the other day. I need HELP.
    • Speaking of Xen Strength, have you entered my giveaway yet? I’m picking a winner on Christmas Eve morning! 
  • Stretch.
  • Stretch.
  • Stretch some more.
  • Build my ankle strength though any and all means possible, as well as a couple exercises I’ve learned for shin splints – just to make sure I don’t get those bad boys again, they hurt!
  • Speedwork no more than once a week and not always balls to the wall (thanks for the recommendation Jess!). 
I hope, since January 1st is really only 8 days away, that this quick recovery plan works and I’m back hitting the road or the ‘mill in no time.

For now, I rest/recover/hope for the best.

Do you have any butt kicking ankle exercises to share with me? 



(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday: Natural Beauty

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I do have a couple of things to say today:


1) Please join FitFluential and GNC for a Twitter Chat at 7:30 CST! Hashtag for the chat is #LiveWellNow


2) Make sure you enter my Xen Strength Yoga Giveaway. Trust me when I tell you that you want this DVD. 


Have a great Wednesday!

* All of the pictures you see here were taken by me unless otherwise noted *



Randomosity Galore

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Happy Tuesday! I’m in a wicked silly, random mood. I just got back from a butt kicker of a workout, so we’ll start there!


I started with my friend, Mr. No Armed Elliptical trainer – I cranked the incline up to 20 (max) and just torched my quads. What I love about this particular piece of equipment (other than the ability to torch my quads) is that I can tweet, reply to emails, and work while working out. And the half hour FLEW by. 


Then I hoped on the treadmill for an easy 3 mile run with 1/4 mile striders. I did 3/4 of a mile at 9:31 (6.3 mph) then I did 1/4 mile at 8:57 (6.7 mph). That flew by too, and I felt great afterwards. 


Now for some randomness:


A bagel with cream cheese and raspberry jam is FANTASTIC. (That’s what I had for dinner – that and some more of my GNC Lean Shake, it has the perfect post workout carb:protein ratio).


I love Google. A few people have posted on Twitter about going to Google and typing in Let it Snow. How cool is that? I also love how Google does neat things for famous birthdays, etc…


Don’t you wish that you could tell how awesome a sweatshirt is going to be when you buy it? Then you could buy 5, ya know what I mean? I have this sweatshirt from Old Navy that I’ve had for probably 6 years. It’s so broken in and the sleeves are falling apart, but I love it. I wish I had 6 more.


Moving Comfort sports bras chafe the hell out of my front bra strap area. Like BAD. WTF? I’ve tried two. I’ve tried Body Glide, Vaseline, you name it. Yet I still haven’t bought another good sports bra, so I suffer (I’m suffering right now – OUCH.)


After seeing this on Twitter today, I am totally buying it for my dog. She only weighs 30 pounds and has very short hair, she totally needs this. 

Oh Mom, are you really going to make me wear a pink puffy vest?
Speaking of buying cool wintery things – I loathe winter. But I love snow. Do I make any sense? However, I am amused when I leave the gym (when it’s 36 out) in shorts and a hoody, then make a stop at a store. People look at me like I’m crazy. I find it funny – if only they knew how crazy I really am. 



I can’t blog while watching the Saturday Night Live Christmas Special – I’m paying more attention to the TV than writing. 


Alright that’s all folks! I’m going to go hit the fridge (yup still hungry – apparently that workout really ramped my metabolism). 


Oh wait, I’m not done (my friends say I write like I talk – today I believe that 100%). 


“Join us (us being FitFluential) on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 7:30 PM CST for a Twitter Chat. We will discuss tips on how to Live Well Now with GNC. The hashtag for the Chat is #LiveWellNow.” More info here!


Will you be there? I will be, and I hope to see ya’ll there (did I really just type ya’ll? We don’t say ya’ll in Rhode Island!). 


Okay, now I’m really done. I hope you guys enjoyed my super silly random post tonight!


GOODNIGHT LOVES!









Xen Strength Yoga DVD Review & GIVEAWAY

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*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED*



Holy crow, I just finished the Xen Strength Yoga Video.


I mean really, holy crow. My shoulders are shaking. My legs feel super stretched, but I know I’m going to be feeling this tomorrow.


Let me back up a  minute because you’re probably going, what the heck is this Xen Strength Yoga she’s talking about? 


Fellow FitFluential Ambassador Danielle Diamond just came out with a brand new DVD called (don’t be too shocked now…) Xen Strength Yoga.  


From the Xen Strength Website


Why Xen Strength Yoga is DIFFERENT than any yoga you’ve done before?

My program offers a UNIQUE approach to traditional yoga by combining a creative flow with light weights. This fusion provides a transformational workout designed to sculpt, lengthen, and challenge every major muscle group. Xen Strength BUILDS MUSCLE, increases FLEXIBILITY, and boosts BODY CONFIDENCE by taking your body further, faster-no matter what your fitness level.
This video is AMAZING. 
I was going to record another vlog tonight where I talked all about it, but I didn’t think you’d appreciate me vlogging while eating dinner.
I am that excited by it. Seriously.
I am also so excited by this video that I plan on adding it to my weekly routine. The only other thing I do weekly is run. Everything else is scattered (ADD? Muscle confusion? You decide.).
Why am I so excited by Xen Strength Yoga?
  • Danielle is an awesome instructor. She has a great personality, and shows that even as the instructor you can’t keep perfect poses all the time. And when she wobbles, she laughs, and explains that wobbling in a pose makes your body work harder.
  • Yoga + strength training = two workouts that I like (and need) to do, combined into one, which is a huge time saver.
  • Danielle offers modifications of all of the difficult poses.
    • Side note: This video is tough. I took the modifications on a lot of the poses. You still get a butt kicking workout.
    • You’re encouraged to push yourself, but not outside of your (un)comfort(able) zone. 
  • I really enjoyed the video itself, aside from the workout:
    • It’s black and white, which I find very easy on the eyes.
    • There’s nothing more than Danielle, her mat, and her weights – that’s it, nothing distracting to look at.
    • Words of encouragement, assistance, etc. appear on the screen during the poses. 

Have I convinced you that this video is amazing? If I have, you can head on over to Danielle’s website and buy a copy for yourself. From now until Wednesday Danielle is offering 7 Free Bonuses when you buy the DVD!

Or, you can test your luck here by trying to win a copy. I have one copy of this amazing (yes, it really is, I’m sorry I’m not sorry for going on and on about how awesome this workout is) DVD to give away to one lucky reader.
Here’s how to enter (2 Mandatory Entries for this Giveaway). Please leave one comment per entry:
1) (MANDATORY) Visit Xenstrength.com – Look around. Learn about Danielle, her classes, check out one of her videos. Come back here and leave me a comment with something that interested you, or something that you learned, etc.
2) (MANDATORY) Tweet about this giveaway: “Want a butt kicking yoga workout? @runcupcake is giving away an @xenstrengthyoga DVD. Enter here: http://goo.gl/EFDt1″
Or, for those that don’t use Twitter: Share this giveaway on Facebook, mentioning my dedicated blog page
3) (Optional) Tell me why you want to try Xen Strength Yoga. 
4) (Optional) Tell me about your favorite yoga pose or favorite strength move.
I will choose one winner using the Random.org Random Number Generator on Saturday Morning, Christmas Eve.
Good luck!