Foodie Penpals–Round 6

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Hey hey everyone! It’s Foodie Penpals time again. What’s that? You don’t know what Foodie Penpals is? Then you don’t know what you’re missing!

Head on over to the Lean Green Bean and visit the lovely Lindsay for all the details, plus a link up of all the Foodie Penpal posts from February!

This month my package came from Kristen at Mind Your Bees and Trees (super cute blog name, isn’t it?).

She is living in Japan so I received a box full of Japanese goodies! How exciting is that?

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                   Veggie Chips 2Veggie Chips

Veggie Flavored Potato Chips

Energy Balls

Homemade Energy Balls

Green Tea

Gotta have green tea, right?!

Japenese Rice Cakes

Japanese Rice Cakes

Cookies 2Cookies

Japanese Cookies

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Where Kristen lives – isn’t it beautiful?

So, have I convinced you that you want to join in on this fun? It’s so fun getting packages from different people every month filled with new goodies to try!

Don’t forget to visit Lindsay for all the details!

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The Return of Monday Love

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Happy Monday everyone! Time to bring back an old favorite of mine, random things I am loving for Monday!

1) Lemon Water. I cannot get enough lemon water. I crave it. Which is funny because Christine wrote a post on this exact same thing last week, go read it, it’s very informative and interesting!

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2) Re-making restaurant recipes. I’ve recently re-made Carabba’s Chicken Bryan, Panera’s Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup, and I have plans to re-make Ruby Tuesday’s Zucchini “sliders”. Recipes on the soup and sliders to come soon!

3) Newly downloaded music!

Monday Love New Songs

Yes, I downloaded Selena Gomez. I can’t help but move to that song, it’s too catchy!

4) Compression everything. I now own two pairs of compression socks, a pair of compression calf sleeves, and a pair of compression shorts. These have made my life so happy. I’m even running New Orleans in the calf sleeves! The rest of my super awesome outfit will have to remain a surprise though!

5) Tapering and NO MORE TREADMILL! Daylight Savings Time begins on March 11th, and it’s already light enough at night for me to run after work this week, because I’m tapering, so my runs aren’t going to be any longer than 3 or so miles.

6) Race Day Weather – and really the weather for my entire trip. It looks great!

Race Day Weather1

What are YOU loving this Monday?!

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Sweat to Street Link Up – A new Sunday tradition!

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Happy Sunday evening! I have been running around like a complete maniac all day today – shopping, which fits in perfectly with what I’m about to tell ya’ll.

Remember on Friday I said I want to talk to you guys more about fashion – as in clothes I wear when I’m not running and/or working out.

Let me introduce you to the brain child of Emily, from Family and Life in Las Vegas:

Welcome to Sweat to Street


A weekly Link-Up hosted by:
Wild Things RUN Free (Charlotte)
Family and Life in Las Vegas (Emily)
Running and Cupcakes (Me!)
MCM Mama (Erika)
Boobs, Barbells, and Broccoli (Tenecia)

***IF YOU WANT TO FOLLOW SWEAT TO STREET ON TWITTER OR PLAN ON TWEETING YOUR POST, PLEASE USE THE HASHTAG #SweatToStreet***

Sweat to Street has been created as a place to link up your favorite outfits of the week as a new Sunday blog feature. The idea is to have some fun and change it up! We’ve all blogged about out workout fashion, and we should face it – we tend to identify ourselves with fitness and health. But – that doesn’t mean we don’t look good when we get all dolled up and go out (I see you rolling your eyes men. You get all dolled up sometimes too!) So each week we encourage you to post one workout outfit and one outfit you wore that isn’t fitness related.

Every week we are going to feature ONE OF YOU!! That’s right! A blogger who links up will get their time in the spotlight as a fashion model!

HELPFUL GUIDELINES:

From Sweat:

Shirt and shorts: Asics

Socks: Thorlo Experia

Shoes: Saucony Kinvara 2

To Street:

Shirt: Candies

Jeans: Gap

Shoes: Nine West

Necklace: Silpada

STAY TUNED NEXT WEEK FOR OUR FIRST SUNDAY SWEAT TO STREET LINK UP!!!!


Fashion Friday

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HAPPY FRIDAY!!!! Something occurred to me the other day – I never write about non-running fashion. I’ll write about running shoes, and compression garments, etc. all day long, but I never write about what I wear when I’m not running.

A lot of people will say, “If I could live in workout clothes, I would.” I am not one of those people. I love to get dressed in “real” clothes. My day job requires me to look somewhat professional, and I enjoy dressing up and looking cute on the weekends too!

For my very first Fashion Friday – I’m going to share with you one of my favorite work outfits from this week!

Me Top Half w-HeadWhole Outfit

Top Headless Half

Unfortunately you can’t see the stripes in the pants really well – and I thought I had taken a picture. They’re black, white, and purple. I love to wear a top with striped pants that brings out the color of the stripe.

What’s the other thing I love about these pants? They’re about 7 years old. So anyone that says “Oh, I don’t like Old Navy, they’re not quality, blah blah blah…” Sorry, you’re wrong.

Here’s where I got what I’m wearing:

Headband – Sparkly Soul

White Tank Top – Aeropostale

Purple Top – Gap

Pants – Old Navy

Cardigan – Ann Taylor

What is one of your favorite fashionable things to do, like me matching my shirt to my stripes?

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Recipe Makeover: Carraba’s Chicken Bryan

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I absolutely love the food at Carraba’s. For a chain Italian restaurant their food is delicious! Recently, I just happened to have everything I needed to create my very own version of their Chicken Bryan, which is my favorite dish on the menu.

From their menu:

Chicken Bryan
Topped with goat cheese, sundried tomatoes and a basil lemon butter sauce

Sounds delicious, right? My version was almost identical to theirs – and it’s pretty simple to make!

Chicken Bryan (Modified from Recipe found on CDKitchen, Inc.)

Ingredients:

3 Cloves minced garlic

1 minced shallot

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 stick butter

1 1/3 cup lemon juice (this can be to taste, I like to really taste the lemon)

1 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (marinated in your choice of marinade – I used Annie’s Goddess salad dressing, which is lemony/vinegary/olive oil type dressing)

8 ounces goat cheese

1 pound cooked pasta (of your choice, I used spaghetti)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil over medium heat until tender. Add lemon juice and butter, increase heat to medium-high. Once butter is melted, add tomatoes, basil, salt, and white pepper, continuing to simmer until sauce is of a somewhat thick consistency, lower heat to keep sauce warm.

While the sauce is cooking, grille chicken until it is approximately 75% of the way done.

Remove chicken from grille and place on a baking sheet. Top each piece of chicken with goat cheese and the sundried tomato-lemon sauce.

Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Mix the remaining sauce in with the pasta, and serve chicken over pasta.

Enjoy!

Chicken Bryan

Plated Chicken Bryan

Chicken Bryan Plated 2

Let me know what you think if you make this!

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What I Ate Wednesday: Round 2

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I loved What I Ate Wednesday so much, I’m back for Round 2! This time it’s actually an entire days worth of eats, and not just a bunch of random pictures dumped off  of my phone. I’m really getting the hang of photographing most of my snacks and meals! Here’s what I had:

Pineapple Green Smoothie

Breakfast – Pineapple Green Smoothie

Apple Cinnamon Chobani

Mid-Morning Snack – My new FAVORITE Chobani Flavor

Chia-Goat-Salad

Lunch – Mixed baby greens with zucchini, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, goat cheese, and chia seeds with a whole wheat ciabatta roll on the side. And my new salad dressing obsession – Annie’s Goddess Dressing

Mini Triscuits & Applesauce

Mid afternoon – Mini Triscuits and Applesauce – A strangely delicious snack!

Take Out Sushi

Dinner – Need I say more?

Go visit Jenn at Peas and Crayons for ALL of the What I Ate Wednesday Love!!!!

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Taper (No Treadmill) Tuesday

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With Marathon #3 12 days away I have officially begun tapering. YIKES. I’ve written about how taper affects me a few times:

Taking Advantage of Excess Energy

Oh So Hungry! (A Long Story, Advice Needed!)

Let the Taper Begin

And of course, the always not-so-fun

Unplanned Taper Madness (Day 25 – TGIF) 

So far I’m not suffering during this taper, but I did just run a half marathon two days ago, and have been recovering from some sort of stomach something or other.

I do plan on running today though – and I plan on running outside. At least 2, if not 3, of my 4 weekly runs have taken place on the treadmill since November 2nd (I actually titled my Garmin data for that run as “Last Post Work Outdoor Run for Winter” hah!).

That’s 2-1/2 months of treadmilling during the week. That is quite enough for this girl!

Now that I’m tapering and shouldn’t be doing any sort of speedwork – I’m definitely saying goodbye to my old friend, the treadmill.

no-treadmill

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And welcoming my other friend, the road.

Asphalt_Road

Source

I’m very much looking forward to a night-time, post-work run. Nothing like the road and fresh air to take away all the stress and tension of a day!

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

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Half at the Hamptons: Race Recap

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Yesterday I finished my 6th half marathon in 13 months, the Half at the Hamptons in Hampton Beach, NH.

I felt kind of off all morning, but I had myself convinced it was just nerves.

When we got there, we parked (at a lot called Chat, Chew, and Play – I’m still laughing about that) and walked over to the Ashworth by the Sea Hotel – where bib pick up was located.

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I picked up my bib and t-shirt. I’m happy that the shirt is not a long sleeve tech tee – I have WAY too many of those already and I hardly wear them.

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The good part about this is that we were able to wait inside – it was about 27 degrees out and windy. We were also able to use the indoor bathrooms.

While waiting I met up with Halen and Amy – I had never met either of them, just a lot of chatting on Twitter, so it was great to put faces to names!

The starting area was a bit crowded – since there was nothing separating the runners from the spectators – but it was easy to find the 9mm pacer, right where I wanted to be.

As soon as I took off I had a bad feeling about this race. I could not get my head in the game. I felt nauseous from the start, and my breathing was ragged and almost painful. Cold weather is the only time I cannot beat my exercise induced asthma. I fought side stitches from Mile 6 through the end. I had thought race day weather was going to be a bit warmer, not taking into consideration the wind, since we were by the ocean.

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Still smiling – this was around Mile 2ish. Thanks to my bro for taking pics!

I ran the best race I could have run given the conditions – coming in with a 2:11:26 official finish time. That’s VERY close to my PR – and I’m not in the least bit upset with my performance. I had a very sound frame of mind going into the race – thanks to the ever so awesome Coachy. He said, “Remember, no matter what happens during this race, if it doesn’t go as well as you had expected, it’s out of your control. You have done everything right in training, and you are ready for this.” The stars just didn’t align for me yesterday, but I’m okay with that. New Orleans is in two weeks, and this was an ass kicking pre-marathon training run.

At Mile 11 I did see Jolene waiting and cheering for me, that was so AWESOME. It was just what I needed at the time. I did feel bad when the only thing I could say to her was, I think I’m going to throw up! You can see it in my face, these pics are from Mile 13.

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Now, as for the race itself, it sucked (In my opinion).

First off – there were a total of 3 water stops. THREE. I was DYING. I never carry water during a race, I’ve never had to. I also normally look at the course map for location of the water stops, but this race didn’t outline the location of the water on the course map.

Second – I am known for being a hill lover. But for this race I wasn’t prepared for hills because it was touted as being “…the flattest course in New England for a half marathon…” I have friends that have run other half’s that I’m pretty sure are flatter than this was. The website also says no climbs bigger than 60 feet – well not according to my Garmin data (not including that crazy little blip at 4ish miles).

Hampton Half Hills

Does this look flat to you?

Third – The town. I don’t know what I was expecting but this town looked to me like 1960’s Jersey Shore. Or that scene in Dogma, along the boardwalk…

IMG_3153

No one’s playing at Playland today

Anyway, I was less than impressed with what the town looked like. Other than runners I’m pretty sure it was deserted. All the business were boarded up, and it looked ghetto and creepy. Some of the neighborhood areas we ran through were nice…only one stands out in my mind though, it was a straight stretch surrounded on either side by tall pine trees.

Finally – The finish. Every race I’ve ever run has had people either handing you water at the end, or it’s RIGHT there. I found food before I found water. And at that, all I found for food was bananas and yogurt samples. I was about to give up and go drink my own water that I had in the car, when I finally found the water. And the medal is cheesy. It’s a cute idea, but it’s cheap.

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I will never run this race again. There’s nothing about it that stands out in my mind and says “Maybe give it another chance next year.”

Post-race we went to a pub called the Coat of Arms in Portsmouth and met up with even more blogger/Twitter peeps. Unfortunately I had to bail after just 2 hours because my stomach was bothering me. Turns out, I’m pretty sure I ran this race with a stomach bug. I was sick all night last night, and still feel pretty weak, tired, and crappy today. It was so awesome to meet everyone. I can’t wait to do it again! And, I’m not sore today though, so that’s a plus!

Group at Coat of Arms

Halen, Greg, me, Janine, Amy 

Sorry for this post being such a downer. Look forward to my normal perky-ness tomorrow! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

P.S. Less than 2 weeks until Rock N Roll New Orleans. I’M STOKED!

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30 for 60 Challenge: Final Stats and WINNERS

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Hey everybody! First off I want to thank everyone who made my first challenge a success. I had a great time following along with everyone’s workouts on Twitter.

Today I’m going to present you with our January 30 for 60 Challenge Stats – and our WINNERS!

30 for 60 Graphic

The top 3 in each category are as follows:

Total Workout Hours:

  1. Brittany (43)
  2. Jolene (40)
  3. Jennifer (39)

Total Miles:

  1. Jennifer (165.5)
  2. Jenn (138)
  3. Rachael (124)

Total Weight Lost:

  1. Alyson (11 pounds)
  2. Marty (6 pounds)
  3. Rachael (4 pounds)

Only 6 people who checked in during January didn’t miss any days – that’s 50% less than in December.

My January stats are as follows:

133 Miles

28 Hours

24 total workout days – I began taking at least one full blown rest day per week since I started marathon training.

And Coachy’s January Stats:

163 Miles

27.25 Hours

And he didn’t tell me how many days… silly man.

Now what you’ve all been waiting for – The 30 for 60 Challenge Winners!

Total Workout Hours:

Brittany – with 82 total hours

Total Miles:

Jennifer – with 272 total miles

Total Weight Lost:

Alyson – with 18 pounds

Most Variety:

Brittany – This girl really knows how to mix things up. She had well over a dozen different workouts over two months!

30 for 60 Rockstar

Jenn – she killed it during the 30 for 60 Challenge. She didn’t miss a single day, she worked out for 63 total hours (that’s more than an hour a day!), and she ran 269 miles.

Congrats to everyone who participated and all of the winners.

Winners – email me your mailing address so I can get your prizes to you! runcupcake {at} gmail {dot} com.

I’m already thinking of another challenge. This one will be shorter though!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Five for Friday: Attitude Adjustment Time

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Lately I’ve found myself a little whiney, a little complainy, a little not-so-positive. When I started thinking about the things I was whining and complaining about I smacked myself back to reality, realizing I was being straight up bratty and selfish.

Today I’m taking that whininess, sending it packing, and giving myself a 180 degree attitude adjustment.

  1. “I need a new job so bad, I just can’t stand this one anymore.”  It is no surprise that I don’t love my job. I’ve been there almost 7 years, doing just about the same. damn. thing. while I went to school. Well, so? At least I have a job right? The unemployment rate is Rhode Island is 10.8% – that is a HUGE number. So today, instead of whining about my job, I’m grateful. Grateful I’m not struggling to make ends meet. Grateful I’m not stressing day in and day out about not having a paycheck. A less than ideal job is always better than no job.
  2. “I’m always so busy all the time, it’s exhausting.” Yet everything (almost) that I do is FUN. I blog. I run. I do yoga. I bake. I cook. I travel. I’m studying to be NASM Certified. Well duh, of course I’m busy! I’ve very recently started really listening to my body in terms of being tired – learning the queues my body gives me when it’s truly tired, or when I’m just being lazy and unmotivated. If I’m for real tired, I take a break. I unwind with a book and a glass of wine. No more complaining about being so busy when everything I do to make me so busy is stuff I have chosen to do and enjoy.
  3. “Tapering sucks. I’m way more tired than I am when I run. I haven’t run since Sunday (don’t run on Mondays, was too lazy to get to the gym yesterday morning since I had a night time appointment).” A direct quote from me on Facebook. I’d like to thank Jess for setting my ass straight on this one, she said: “whenever I get anxious during taper or whatever, I try to remind myself: at least I’m able to run and am only not running today because I’m in taper mode. Not because I’m injured or literally unable to run for another reason. it usually gives me the slap of perspective I need to snap out of the taper-sucks funk” I love that girl! And you know what? I had a totally butt kicking tempo run last night too.
  4. “I’m so sick of the treadmill. Is it Daylight Saving’s yet so I can run outside?” I don’t feel safe running outside in the dark near my house because I live on a 45 mph road – and you know that the speed limit is merely a suggestion to most people. WHAT THE HELL AM I COMPLAINING ABOUT? I was nervous going into this training cycle that winter was going to F with my training, and my long runs. I’ve run every single long run outside in stellar weather. (Other than my 16 miler the day after a snow storm). So I have to run 50% of my runs on the treadmill and I’m COMPLAINING. Bad me. Very bad me. No more. Especially because the treadmill has it’s benefits – such as last nights run. Forcing myself to negative split 3 fast tempo miles. I could’ve done it outside, sure. But on the treadmill it’s do or die. No slowing down, keep pace or fall off. I don’t want to be scraped off of the wall behind the treadmill at the gym.
  5. “My family is driving me crazy, I can’t wait to get my own place so I can have some peace and quiet.” Really Samantha?! BAD ME. Again. My family is noisy (that’s where I get it from). They’re quirky. My mom has this crazy obsession that every time the dogs go out at night they’re going to get sprayed by a skunk. My dog is petrified of my step-dad (90% of the time) and he loves to make a point every day of how bi-polar she is. Me and my brother get along awesome – most of the time. When we don’t? We fight like we did when we were kids. But without them I’d be struggling. And living alone isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be – although I do miss the peace and quiet coming whenever I wanted it. But I’m grateful that they’re here for me, they helped me through a rough time, and are helping me get back on my feet. They put up with me when I wander around the house all day after a long run eating, and defending myself with “I ran blah blah blah miles today.” Who else would put up with that?

Thinking about this, and writing it out, was really therapeutic. Next time I want to get whiny/bitchy/complainy about nonsense stuff – I’m going to remember this.

What do you do for yourself when you need an attitude adjustment?

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